H. On How to Obey God

517. Submission to the work of God must be real and actual, and it must be lived out. Superficial submission alone cannot receive God’s praise, and merely obeying the superficial aspects of God’s word, without seeking change in one’s disposition, is not after God’s heart. Obedience to God and submission to the work of God are one and the same. Those who submit only to God but not to His work cannot be deemed obedient, much less those who do not truly submit but are outwardly sycophantic. Those who truly submit to God are all able to gain from the work and achieve understanding of the disposition and work of God. Only such people truly submit to God. Such people are able to gain new knowledge, and undergo new changes, from new work. Only these people are praised by God, only these people are perfected, and only these are the ones whose dispositions have changed. Those who are praised by God are those who gladly submit to God, and to His word and work. Only such people are in the right, only such people sincerely want God, and sincerely seek God.

Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

518. During God’s time in the flesh, the submission He requires of people does not involve refraining from making judgments or resisting, as they imagine; rather, He requires that people use His words as their principle to live by and the foundation of their survival, that they absolutely put the essence of His words into practice, and that they completely satisfy His will. One aspect of requiring people to submit to God incarnate refers to putting His words into practice, while another aspect refers to being able to submit to His normality and practicality. These must be both absolute. Those who can achieve both of these aspects are all those who harbor genuine love for God in their hearts. They are all people who have been gained by God, and they all love God as they love their own lives.

Excerpted from “Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

519. The work done by God differs from period to period. If you are of great obedience to God’s work in one phase, but in the next phase your obedience toward His work is poor, or you are incapable of obedience, then God shall desert you. If you keep pace with God as He takes this step, then you must continue to keep pace when He ascends the next; only then will you be someone who is obedient to the Holy Spirit. Since you believe in God, you must remain constant in your obedience. You cannot simply obey when you please and disobey when you do not. This kind of obedience is not praised by God. If you cannot keep pace with the new work I fellowship, and continue to hold on to the former sayings, then how can there be progress in your life? God’s work is to supply you through His words. When you obey and accept His words, the Holy Spirit shall surely work in you. The Holy Spirit works exactly as I speak; do as I have said, and the Holy Spirit will promptly work in you. I release a new light for you to behold, bringing you into the light of the present, and when you walk into this light, the Holy Spirit shall immediately work in you. There are some who may be recalcitrant, saying, “I simply will not carry out what You say.” In which case, I tell you that you have now come to the end of the road; you are dried up, and have no more life. Thus, in experiencing the transformation of your disposition, nothing is more crucial than keeping pace with the present light.

Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

520. The key to obeying God is appreciating the new light, and being able to accept it and put it into practice. This alone is true obedience. Those who lack the will to yearn for God are incapable of intentionally submitting to Him, and can only oppose God as a result of their satisfaction with the status quo. That man cannot obey God is because he is possessed by what came before. The things that came before have given people all manner of notions and imaginings about God, and these have become the image of God in their minds. Thus, what they believe in are their own notions, and the standards of their own imagination. If you measure the God who does actual work today against the God of your own imagination, then your faith comes from Satan, and is tainted by your own preferences—God does not want this kind of faith. Regardless of how lofty their credentials, and regardless of their dedication—even if they have devoted a lifetime of efforts to His work, and have martyred themselves—God does not approve of anyone with faith such as this. He merely bestows upon them a little grace and allows them to enjoy it for a time. People such as this are incapable of putting the truth into practice. The Holy Spirit does not work within them, and God will eliminate each of them in turn. Young and old alike, those who do not obey God in their faith and have the wrong intentions are those who oppose and interrupt, and such people will unquestionably be eliminated by God. Those who are without the slightest obedience to God, who merely acknowledge His name, and have some sense of God’s kindness and loveliness, yet do not keep pace with the steps of the Holy Spirit, and do not obey the present work and words of the Holy Spirit—such people live amid the grace of God, and will not be gained or made perfect by Him. God makes people perfect through their obedience, through their eating, drinking, and enjoying of God’s words, and through the suffering and refinement in their lives. Only through faith such as this can people’s dispositions change, and only then can they possess the true knowledge of God. Not being satisfied with living amid God’s grace, actively yearning and searching for the truth, and seeking to be gained by God—this is what it means to consciously obey God and this is precisely the kind of faith that He wants. People who do nothing more than enjoy God’s grace cannot be made perfect or changed; and their obedience, piety, love, and patience are all superficial. Those who only enjoy God’s grace cannot truly know God, and even when they do know God, their knowledge is superficial, and they say things like “God loves man,” or “God is compassionate toward man.” This does not represent the life of man, and does not show that people truly know God. If, when God’s words refine them, or when His trials come upon them, people are unable to obey God—if, instead, they become doubtful, and fall down—then they are not in the least bit obedient. Within them, there are many rules and restrictions about faith in God; old experiences that are the result of many years of faith, or various doctrines based upon the Bible. Could people such as this obey God? These people are full of human things—how could they obey God? Their “obedience” is according to personal preference—would God want obedience like this? This is not obedience to God, but adherence to doctrine; it is self-satisfaction and self-appeasement. If you say that this is obedience to God, do you not blaspheme against Him?

Excerpted from “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

521. If people can let go of religious notions, they will not use their minds to measure the words and work of God today, and instead will obey directly. Even though God’s work today is manifestly unlike that of the past, you are yet able to let go of the views of the past and obey the work of God today directly. If you are capable of understanding that you must give pride of place to the work of God today, regardless of how God worked in the past, then you are someone who has let go of their notions, who obeys God, and who is able to obey the work and words of God and follow His footsteps. In this, you will be someone who truly obeys God. You do not analyze or scrutinize the work of God; it is as if God has forgotten His previous work, and you, too, have forgotten it. The present is the present, and the past is the past, and since today, God has put aside that which He did in the past, you should not dwell on it. Only such a person is one who obeys God completely and has let go of their religious notions completely.

Excerpted from “Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

522. Since you believe in God, you must put faith in all of the words of God and in all of His work. Which is to say, since you believe in God, you must obey Him. If you are unable to do this, then it does not matter whether you believe in God or not. If you have believed in God for many years, and yet have never obeyed Him, and do not accept the entirety of His words, and instead ask that God submit to you and act according to your notions, then you are the most rebellious of all, you are a nonbeliever. How could such people be able to obey the work and words of God that do not conform to the notions of man? Most rebellious of all are those who intentionally defy and resist God. They are the enemies of God, the antichrists. Theirs is always an attitude of hostility toward the new work of God; they never have the slightest inclination to submit, nor have they ever gladly submitted or humbled themselves. They exalt themselves before others and never submit to anyone. Before God, they consider themselves the best at preaching the word, and the most skillful in working on others. Never do they discard the “treasures” in their possession, but treat them as family heirlooms for worship, for preaching about to others, and they use them to lecture those fools who idolize them. There are indeed a certain number of people like this in the church. It can be said that they are “indomitable heroes,” generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They take preaching the word (doctrine) to be their highest duty. Year after year, generation after generation, they go about vigorously enforcing their “sacred and inviolable” duty. None dare touch them; not a single person dares openly reproach them. They become “kings” in the house of God, running rampant as they tyrannize others from age to age. This pack of demons seeks to join hands and demolish My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before My eyes? Even those who are only half obedient cannot carry on until the end, much less these tyrants without the slightest obedience in their hearts!

Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

523. All those who do not seek obedience to God in their faith oppose Him. God asks that people seek the truth, that they thirst for His words, eat and drink His words, and put them into practice, so that they may achieve obedience to God. If these are your true intentions, then God will surely raise you up, and will surely be gracious toward you. This is undoubtable and unchangeable. If your intention is not to obey God, and you have other aims, then all that you say and do—your prayers before God, and even your every action—will be in opposition to Him. You may be soft-spoken and mild-mannered, your every action and expression may look proper, and you may appear to be one who obeys, but when it comes to your intentions and your views about faith in God, everything you do is in opposition to God; everything you do is evil. People who appear as obedient as sheep, but whose hearts harbor evil intentions, are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They directly offend God, and God will not spare a single one of them. The Holy Spirit will reveal each and every one of them and show everybody that all those who are hypocrites will, with certainty, be detested and rejected by the Holy Spirit. Worry not: God will reckon with and dispose of every last one of them in turn.

Excerpted from “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

524. In measuring whether or not people can obey God, the key thing to look at is whether they desire anything extravagant from God, and whether or not they have ulterior motives. If people are always making demands of God, it proves that they are not obedient to Him. Whatever happens to you, if you cannot receive it from God, cannot seek the truth, are always speaking from your own subjective reasoning and always feeling that only you are right, and are even still capable of doubting God, then you will be in trouble. Such people are the most arrogant and rebellious to God. People who always make demands of God can never truly obey Him. If you make demands of God, this proves that you are making a deal with God, that you are choosing your own thoughts, and acting according to your own thoughts. In this, you betray God, and are without obedience. To make demands of God is senseless; if you truly believe that He is God, then you will not dare to make demands of Him, nor will you be qualified to make demands of Him, whether they be reasonable or not. If you have true faith, and believe that He is God, then you will have no choice but to worship and obey Him. People today not only have a choice, but even demand that God act in accordance with their own thoughts. They choose their own thoughts and ask that God act according to them, and they do not require themselves to act according to God’s thoughts. Thus, there is no true faith within them, nor is there any substance to their faith. When you are able to make fewer demands of God, your true faith and your obedience will grow, and your sense of reason will also become comparatively normal.

Excerpted from “People Make Too Many Demands of God” in Records of Christ’s Talks

525. When confronting real-life problems, how should you know and understand God’s authority and His sovereignty? When you are faced with these problems and do not know how to understand, handle, and experience them, what attitude should you adopt to demonstrate your intention to submit, your desire to submit, and the reality of your submission to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? First you must learn to wait; then you must learn to seek; then you must learn to submit. “Waiting” means waiting for the time of God, awaiting the people, events, and things that He has arranged for you, waiting for His will to reveal itself gradually to you. “Seeking” means observing and understanding God’s thoughtful intentions for you through the people, events, and things that He has laid out, understanding the truth through them, understanding what humans must accomplish and the ways they must adhere to, understanding what results God means to achieve in humans and what accomplishments He means to attain in them. “Submitting,” of course, refers to accepting the people, events, and things that God has orchestrated, accepting His sovereignty and, through it, coming to know how the Creator dictates man’s fate, how He supplies man with His life, how He works the truth within man. All things under God’s arrangements and sovereignty obey natural laws, and if you resolve to let God arrange and dictate everything for you, you should learn to wait, you should learn to seek, and you should learn to submit. This is the attitude every person who wants to submit to God’s authority must adopt, the basic quality every person who wants to accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements must possess. To hold such an attitude, to possess such a quality, you must work harder. This is the only way you can enter into the true reality.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

526. When Noah did as God instructed, he did not know what God’s intentions were. He did not know what God wanted to accomplish. God had only given him a command and instructed him to do something, and without much explanation, Noah went ahead and did it. He did not try to secretly figure out God’s intentions, nor did he resist God or show insincerity. He just went and did it accordingly with a pure and simple heart. Whatever God had him do, he did, and obeying and listening to God’s word underpinned his belief in what he did. That was how straightforwardly and simply he dealt with what God entrusted. His essence—the essence of his actions was obedience, not second-guessing, not resisting, and moreover, not thinking of his own personal interests or his gains and losses. Further, when God said He would destroy the world with a flood, Noah did not ask when or ask what would become of things, and he certainly did not ask God how He was going to destroy the world. He simply did as God instructed. However God wanted it to be made and made with what, he did exactly as God asked and also commenced action immediately. He acted according to God’s instructions with an attitude of wanting to satisfy God. Was he doing it to help himself avoid the disaster? No. Did he ask God how much longer it would be before the world was to be destroyed? He did not. Did he ask God or did he know how long it would take to build the ark? He did not know that either. He simply obeyed, listened, and acted accordingly.

Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

527. In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and going without in his life, none of which could alter his love for God. Was this not the ultimate love for God? Was this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Whether in chastisement, judgment, or tribulation, you are always capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love for God. If man can achieve this much, then he is a qualified creature of God, and there is nothing which better satisfies the desire of the Creator. Imagine that you are able to work for God, yet you do not obey God, and are incapable of truly loving God. In this way, not only will you not have fulfilled the duty of a creature of God, but you will also be condemned by God, for you are someone who does not possess the truth, who is incapable of obeying God, and who is disobedient to God. You only care about working for God, and do not care about putting the truth into practice or knowing yourself. You do not understand or know the Creator, and do not obey or love the Creator. You are someone who is innately disobedient to God, and so such people are not beloved by the Creator.

Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

528. Bearing a resounding witness for God primarily relates to whether or not you have an understanding of the practical God, and to whether or not you are able to submit before this person who is not only ordinary, but normal, and submit even unto death. If, by way of this submission, you truly bear witness for God, that means you have been obtained by God. If you can submit unto death and, before Him, be free of complaints, not make judgments, not slander, not have any notions, and not have any ulterior motives, then in this way God will gain glory. Submission before a regular person who is looked down upon by man, and being able to submit unto death without any notions—this is true testimony. The reality that God requires people to enter into is that you are able to obey His words, put them into practice, bow down in front of the practical God and know your own corruption, open up your heart in front of Him, and, ultimately, be gained by Him through these words of His. God gains glory when these utterances conquer you and make you fully obedient to Him; through this, He shames Satan and completes His work. When you do not have any notions about the practicality of God incarnate—that is, when you have stood firm in this trial—then you have borne this witness well. If there comes a day when you have a full understanding of the practical God and can submit unto death like Peter did, then you will be gained and perfected by God. Anything God does that is not in line with your notions is a trial for you. If God’s work were in line with your notions, it would not require you to suffer or be refined. It is because His work is so practical and not in line with your notions that it requires you to let go of such notions. This is why it is a trial for you. It is because of God’s practicality that all people are in the midst of trials; His work is practical, not supernatural. By fully understanding His practical words and His practical utterances without any notions, and being able to genuinely love Him as His work grows ever more practical, you will be gained by Him. The group of people whom God will gain are those who know God; that is, those who know His practicality. Furthermore, they are those who are able to submit to God’s practical work.

Excerpted from “Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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