XV. Essential Words on Entering Into the Reality of the Truth
615. (A Selected Chapter of God’s Word)
How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will
When one believes in God, how, exactly, should one serve Him? What conditions should be fulfilled and what truths should be understood by those who serve God? And where might you be deviating in your service? You should know the answers to all these things. These issues touch upon how you believe in God, and how you walk onto the path led by the Holy Spirit and submit to God’s orchestrations in all things, thus allowing you to understand every step of God’s work in you. When you reach that point, you will appreciate what faith in God is, how to properly believe in God, and what you should do to act in harmony with God’s will. This will make you completely and utterly obedient to God’s work; you will have no complaints and you will not judge, or analyze, much less research God’s work. As such, you will all be capable of obeying God till death, allowing God to steer you and slaughter you like a sheep, so that you can all become the Peters of the 1990s, and can love God to the utmost even upon the cross, without the slightest complaint. Only then will you be able to live as Peters of the 1990s.
Everyone who has resolved to can serve God—but it must be that only those who give every care to God’s will and understand God’s will are qualified and entitled to serve God. I have discovered this among you: Many people believe that as long as they fervently spread the gospel for God, go on the road for God, expend themselves and give things up for God, and so on, then this is serving God. Even more religious people believe that serving God means running around with a Bible in their hands, spreading the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and saving people by making them repent and confess. There are also many religious officials who think that serving God consists of preaching in chapels after pursuing advanced studies and training in the seminary, and teaching people through readings of Bible scriptures. Moreover, there are people in impoverished regions who believe that serving God means healing the sick and casting out demons among their brothers and sisters or praying for them, or serving them. Amongst you, there are many who believe that serving God means eating and drinking the words of God, praying to God every day, as well as visiting and doing work in churches everywhere. There are other brothers and sisters who believe that serving God means never getting married or raising a family and dedicating their entire being to God. Yet few people know what it actually means to serve God. Although there are as many people who serve God as there are stars in the sky, the number of those who can serve directly, and who are able to serve in accordance with God’s will, is paltry—pifflingly small. Why do I say this? I say this because you do not understand the substance of the phrase “service to God,” and you understand so little of how to serve in accordance with God’s will. There is an urgent need for people to understand exactly what sort of service to God can be in harmony with His will.
If you wish to serve in accordance with God’s will, you must first understand what kind of people are pleasing to God, what kind of people are loathed by God, what kind of people are made perfect by God, and what kind of people are qualified to serve God. At the very least, you should be equipped with this knowledge. Moreover, you should know the aims of God’s work, and the work that God shall do in the here and now. After understanding this, and through the guidance of God’s words, you should first have entry, and first receive God’s commission. Once you have had actual experience of God’s words, and when you truly know God’s work, you will be qualified to serve God. And it is when you serve Him that God opens your spiritual eyes and allows you to have a greater understanding of His work and to see it more clearly. When you enter this reality, your experiences will be more profound and real, and all those of you who have had such experiences will be able to walk among the churches and offer provision to your brothers and sisters, so that you can each draw on each other’s strengths to make up for your own deficiencies, and gain richer knowledge in your spirits. Only after achieving this effect will you be able to serve in accordance with God’s will and be made perfect by God in the course of your service.
Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be pleasing to God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Whether you act in private or in public, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk the path you should walk, and give every care to God’s burden. Only people like this are intimates of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission and God’s burden, they are able to make God’s heart their own, and take God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to their future prospects: Even when they have no prospects, and they stand to gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His thoughts, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God desires to do is borne out in such people’s testimony. Thus, these people are pleasing to God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart, and only people such as this can rule together with God. When you have truly become God’s intimate is precisely when you will rule together with God.
Jesus was able to complete God’s commission—the work of all mankind’s redemption—because He gave every care to God’s will, without making any plans or arrangements for Himself. So, too, was He the intimate of God—God Himself—which is something you all understand very well. (Actually, He was the God Himself who was testified to by God. I mention this here to use the fact of Jesus to illustrate the issue.) He was able to place God’s management plan at the very center, and always prayed to the heavenly Father and sought the will of the heavenly Father. He prayed and said: “God the Father! Accomplish that which is Your will, and act not according to My desires but according to Your plan. Man may be weak, but why should You care for him? How could man be worthy of Your concern, man who is like an ant in Your hand? In My heart, I wish only to accomplish Your will, and I would that You can do what You would do in Me according to Your own desires.” On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus was in agony, as if a knife were being twisted in His heart, yet He had not the slightest intention of going back on His word; always there was a powerful force compelling Him onward to where He would be crucified. Ultimately, He was nailed to the cross and became the likeness of sinful flesh, completing the work of the redemption of mankind. He broke free of the shackles of death and Hades. Before Him, mortality, hell, and Hades lost their power, and were vanquished by Him. He lived for thirty-three years, throughout which He always did His utmost to meet God’s will according to God’s work at the time, never considering His own personal gain or loss, and always thinking of the will of God the Father. Thus, after He was baptized, God said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Because of His service before God that was in harmony with God’s will, God placed the heavy burden of redeeming all mankind upon His shoulders and made Him accomplish it, and He was qualified and entitled to complete this important task. Throughout His life, He endured immeasurable suffering for God, and He was tempted by Satan countless times, but He was never disheartened. God gave Him such an enormous task because He trusted Him, and loved Him, and thus God personally said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” At that time, only Jesus could accomplish this commission, and this was one practical aspect of God’s completion of His work of redeeming all mankind in the Age of Grace.
If, like Jesus, you are able to give every care to God’s burden, and turn your back on your flesh, God will entrust His important tasks to you, so that you will meet the conditions required to serve God. Only under such circumstances will you venture to say that you are doing God’s will and completing His commission, and only then will you venture to say you are truly serving God. Compared to Jesus’ example, do you venture to say you are God’s intimate? Do you venture to say that you are doing God’s will? Do you venture to say that you are truly serving God? Today, you do not understand how to serve God, do you venture to say you are God’s intimate? If you say that you serve God, do you not blaspheme against Him? Think about it: Are you serving God, or yourself? You serve Satan, yet you stubbornly say you are serving God—in this, do you not blaspheme against God? Many people behind My back covet the blessing of status, they gorge themselves on food, they love to sleep and give every care to the flesh, always afraid that there is no way out for the flesh. They do not perform their proper function in the church, but freeload off the church, or else they admonish their brothers and sisters with My words, lording themselves over others from positions of authority. These people keep saying they are doing God’s will and always say they are God’s intimates—is this not absurd? If you have the right intentions, but are unable to serve in accordance with God’s will, then you are being foolish; but if your intentions are not right, and you still say you serve God, then you are someone who opposes God, and you ought to be punished by God! I have no sympathy for such people! In the house of God, they freeload, always coveting the comforts of the flesh, and give no consideration to the interests of God. They always seek what is good for them, and they pay no heed to God’s will. They do not accept the scrutiny of God’s Spirit in anything they do. They are always maneuvering and deceiving their brothers and sisters, and being two-faced, like a fox in a vineyard, always stealing grapes and trampling over the vineyard. Could such people be God’s intimates? Are you fit to receive God’s blessings? You take no burden for your life and the church, are you fit to receive God’s commission? Who would dare trust someone like you? When you serve like this, could God dare to entrust you with a greater task? Would this not cause delays to the work?
I say this so that you might know what conditions must be fulfilled in order to serve in harmony with God’s will. If you do not give your heart to God, if you do not give every care to God’s will like Jesus, then you cannot be trusted by God, and will end up being judged by God. Perhaps today, in your service to God, you always harbor the intention of deceiving God and always deal with Him in a perfunctory manner. In short, regardless of anything else, if you cheat God, ruthless judgment will come upon you. You should take advantage of having just entered onto the right track of serving God to first give your heart to God, without divided loyalties. Regardless of whether you are before God, or before other people, your heart should always be turned toward God, and you should be resolved to love God like Jesus did. In this way, God will make you perfect, so that you become a servant of God who is after His heart. If you truly wish to be made perfect by God, and for your service to be in harmony with His will, then you should change your previous views about faith in God, and change the old way you used to serve God, so that more of you is made perfect by God. In this way, God will not abandon you, and, like Peter, you will be at the vanguard of those who love God. If you remain unrepentant, then you will meet the same end as Judas. This should be understood by all who believe in God.
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
616. Since the beginning of His work throughout the universe, God has predestined many people to serve Him, including those from every walk of life. His purpose is to satisfy His will and bring His work on earth to smooth completion; this is God’s aim in choosing people to serve Him. Every person who serves God must understand His will. This work of His makes God’s wisdom and omnipotence, and the principles of His work on earth, more evident to people. God has actually come to earth to do His work, to engage with people, so that they may know His deeds more clearly. Today you, this group of people, are fortunate to serve the practical God. This is an incalculable blessing for you—truly, you are raised up by God. In selecting a person to serve Him, God always has His own principles. Serving God is by no means, as people imagine, that it is simply a matter of enthusiasm. Today, you see that all who serve before God do so because they have the guidance of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, and because they are people who pursue the truth. These are the minimum conditions for all those who serve God.
Excerpted from “Religious Service Must Be Purged” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
617. Regarding work, man believes that work is to run around for God, preach everywhere, and expend for His sake. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to run around for Him; beyond just this, this work is concerned with ministry and provision within the spirit. Many brothers and sisters, even after all these years of experience, have never thought about working for God, because work as conceived by man is incongruous with what God asks. Therefore, man has no interest whatsoever in the matter of work, and this is precisely the reason why the entry of man is also quite one-sided. All of you should begin your entry with working for God, so that you may better undergo every aspect of experience. This is what you should enter into. Work refers not to running around for God, but to whether the life of man and what man lives out are able to give God enjoyment. Work refers to people using their devotion to God and their knowledge of God to testify about God, and also to minister to man. This is man’s responsibility and this is what all man should understand. One could say that your entry is your work, and that you are seeking to enter during the course of working for God. Experiencing God’s work does not merely mean that you know how to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must know how to testify about God and be able to serve God and be able to minister to and provide for man. This is work, and it is also your entry; this is what every person should accomplish. There are many who only focus on running around for God and preaching everywhere, yet overlook their individual experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what has led those who serve God to become those who resist God. …
One works in order to satisfy the will of God, to bring all those who are after God’s heart before Him, to bring man to God, and to introduce the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s guidance to man, thereby perfecting the fruits of God’s work. Therefore, it is imperative that you are thoroughly clear on the substance of work. As one who is used by God, every man is worthy of working for God, that is, everyone has the opportunity to be used by the Holy Spirit. However, there is one point that you must realize: When man does the work commissioned by God, man has been given the opportunity to be used by God, but what is said and known by man are not entirely the stature of man. All you can do is to better know your own deficiencies during the course of your work, and come into possession of greater enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. In this way, you will be enabled to gain better entry in the course of your work.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
618. Those who can lead churches, supply people with life, and be apostles to the people must have actual experience; they must have a correct understanding of spiritual things and a correct appreciation and experience of the truth. Only such people are qualified to be workers or apostles who lead the churches. Otherwise, they can only follow as the least and cannot lead, much less be apostles who are able to supply people with life. This is because the function of apostles is not to rush about or to fight; it is to do the work of ministering life and leading others in transforming their dispositions. Those who perform this function are commissioned to shoulder a heavy responsibility, one that not just anyone can shoulder. This kind of work can only be undertaken by those with life being, that is, those who have experience of the truth. It cannot be undertaken by merely anyone who can renounce, who can rush about, or who is willing to expend themselves; people who have no experience of the truth, who have not been pruned or judged, are unable to do this type of work. People with no experience, who are people without reality, are unable to see reality clearly because they themselves are without this kind of being. So, this type of person is not only unable to do leadership work, but, if they remain without the truth for a long while, they will become an object of elimination.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
619. The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and grant them greater entry into the truth. His work can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people liberation and freedom, and the capacity gradually to grow in life and to have a more profound entry into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short. His work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules, and what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to people’s actual needs. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality, nor into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to adhere to a few worthless rules. Such guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become like him; he can bring you into what he has and is.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
620. In their work, church leaders and workers must pay attention to two things: One is to do their work exactly according to the principles stipulated by the work arrangements, never violating these principles and not basing their work on anything they might imagine or on their own intentions. In everything they do, they should show concern for the work of God’s family, and always put its interests first. There is the other thing which is key, and that is that in everything they do, they must focus on following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do everything in strict keeping with the word of God. If you are still capable of going against the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or if you stubbornly follow your own ideas and do things according to your own imagination, then your actions will constitute a most serious resistance against God. Frequently turning your back on the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit will only lead to a dead end. If you lose the work of the Holy Spirit, then you will not be able to work, and even if you do manage to work, you will accomplish nothing. These are the two main principles to abide by while working: One is to perform the work in exact accordance with the arrangements from the above, as well as to act according to the principles that have been set forth by the above. The other point is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit within. Once these two points are grasped, you will not easily make mistakes.
Excerpted from “The Main Principles of Work for Leaders and Workers” in Records of Christ’s Talks
621. Service that is divorced from the present utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of notions, and it is impossible for it to be in accordance with God’s will. If people live among religious notions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imaginings and notions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God. Those who are unable to follow the work of the Holy Spirit do not understand the will of God, and those who do not understand the will of God cannot serve God. God wants service that is after His own heart; He does not want service that is of notions and the flesh. If people are incapable of following the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work, then they live amid notions. The service of such people interrupts and disturbs, and such service runs contrary to God. Thus those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God are incapable of serving God; those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God most certainly oppose God, and are incapable of being compatible with God.
Excerpted from “Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
622. Someone who truly serves God is someone who is after God’s heart, who is fit for use by God, and who is able to let go of religious notions. If you wish for your eating and drinking of the words of God to be effective, then you must let go of your religious notions. If you wish to serve God, then it is even more necessary first to let go of religious notions and obey the words of God in everything. This is what should be possessed by someone who serves God. If you lack this knowledge, then as soon as you serve, you will cause disruption and disturbances, and if you hold on to your notions, then you will inevitably be knocked down by God, never to get up again. Take the present, for example: Many of the utterances and work of today are incompatible with the Bible and with the work previously done by God, and if you have no desire to obey, then you may fall at any time. If you wish to serve in accordance with the will of God, then you must first let go of religious notions and rectify your own views. Much of what will be said will be incompatible with what was said in the past, and if you now lack the will to obey, you will be unable to walk the path that lies ahead. If one of God’s methods of working has taken root inside you and you never let it go, then this method will become your religious notion. If what God is has taken root within you, then you have gained the truth, and if the words and truth of God are capable of becoming your life, you will no longer have notions about God. Those who possess true knowledge of God will have no notions and will not abide by doctrine.
Excerpted from “Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
623. Many serve God on the strength of their passion but have no understanding of the administrative decrees of God, still less any inkling of the implications of His words. And so, with their good intentions, they often wind up doing things that disrupt God’s management. In serious cases, they are thrown out, deprived of any further chance of following Him, and are cast into hell, all association with God’s house at an end. These people work in the house of God on the strength of their ignorant good intentions, and end by angering God’s disposition. People bring their ways of serving officials and lords to the house of God and try to put them into play, vainly thinking that they can be applied with effortless ease here. Never do they imagine that God has not the disposition of a lamb, but that of a lion. Therefore, those associating with God for the first time are unable to communicate with Him, for the heart of God is unlike that of man. Only after you understand many truths can you continuously come to know God. This knowledge is not made up of words and doctrines but can be used as a treasure by means of which you enter into close confidence with God, and as proof that He delights in you. If you lack the reality of knowledge and are not equipped with the truth, then your passionate service can only bring upon you the loathing and abhorrence of God.
Excerpted from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
624. Serving God is no simple task. Those whose corrupt disposition remains unchanged can never serve God. If your disposition has not been judged and chastised by God’s words, then your disposition still represents Satan, which proves that you serve God out of your own good intentions, that your service is based on your satanic nature. You serve God with your natural character, and according to your personal preferences. What’s more, you always think that the things you are willing to do are what are delightful to God, and that the things you do not wish to do are what are hateful to God; you work entirely according to your own preferences. Can this be called serving God? Ultimately, there will not be the slightest change in your life disposition; instead, your service will make you even more stubborn, thus deeply ingraining your corrupt disposition, and as such, there will be formed within you rules about service to God that are primarily based on your own character, and experiences derived from your service according to your own disposition. These are the experiences and lessons of man. It is man’s philosophy of living in the world. People like this can be classed as Pharisees and religious officials. If they never wake up and repent, then they will surely turn into the false Christs and the antichrists who deceive people in the last days. The false Christs and the antichrists that were spoken of will arise from among such people. If those who serve God follow their own character and act according to their own will, they run the risk of being cast out at any time. Those who apply their many years of experience acquired to serving God in order to win the hearts of others, to lecture them and control them, and to stand on high—and who never repent, never confess their sins, never renounce the benefits of position—these people shall fall before God. They are of the same kind as Paul, presuming upon their seniority and flaunting their qualifications. God will not bring people like this to perfection. Such service interferes with the work of God. People always cling to the old. They cling to the notions of the past, to everything from times gone by. This is a great obstacle to their service. If you cannot throw them off, these things will throttle your whole life. God will not commend you, not in the slightest, not even if you break your legs running or your back with labor, not even if you are martyred in your service of God. Quite the contrary: He will say that you are an evildoer.
Excerpted from “Religious Service Must Be Purged” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
625. In religion, many people suffer a great deal throughout their lives: They subdue their bodies and bear their cross, and they even continue to suffer and endure when on the very verge of death! Some are still fasting on the morning of their death. All their lives they deny themselves nice food and clothing, focusing only on suffering. They are able to subdue their body and forsake their flesh. Their spirit for enduring suffering is commendable. But their thinking, their notions, their mental attitude, and indeed their old nature, have not been dealt with in the slightest. They lack any true knowledge of themselves. Their mental image of God is that traditional one of an abstract, vague God. Their resolve to suffer for God comes from their zeal and their positive natures. Even though they believe in God, they neither understand Him nor know His will. They merely work and suffer blindly for God. They place no value whatsoever on acting with discernment, care little about how to ensure that their service actually fulfills God’s will, and much less are they aware of how to achieve the knowledge of God. The God they serve is not God in His original image, but a God shrouded in legend, a product of their own imagination, a God they have only heard of, or found in writings. They then use their fertile imaginations and piousness to suffer for God and undertake God’s work that God wants to do. Their service is too inexact, such that practically none of them are truly able to serve in accordance with God’s will. Regardless of how gladly they suffer, their original perspective on service and their mental image of God remain unchanged, because they have not undergone God’s judgment, chastisement, refinement and perfection, and nor has anyone guided them using the truth. Even if they believe in Jesus the Savior, none of them has ever seen the Savior. They only know of Him through legend and hearsay. As a result, their service amounts to no more than serving randomly with eyes closed, like a blind man serving his own father. What, ultimately, can be achieved by such service? And who would approve of it? From beginning to end, their service remains the same throughout; they receive only man-made lessons and base their service only on their naturalness and their own preferences. What reward could this bring? Not even Peter, who saw Jesus, knew how to serve in accordance with God’s will; he only came to know this in the end, in his old age. What does this say about those blind people who have not experienced the slightest bit of being dealt with or of being pruned, and who have had no one guiding them? Is not the service of many among you today like that of these blind people? All those who have not received judgment, not received pruning and dealing, and who have not changed—are they not all incompletely conquered? Of what use are such people? If your thinking, your knowledge of life, and your knowledge of God show no new change and you do not truly gain anything, then you will never achieve anything remarkable in your service!
Excerpted from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
626. What you have experienced and seen surpasses that of the saints and prophets from all ages, but are you able to provide testimony greater than the words of these saints and prophets of times past? What I now bestow upon you surpasses Moses and eclipses David, so likewise I ask that your testimony surpass Moses and that your words be greater than David. I give you a hundredfold—so I likewise ask you to repay Me in kind. You must know I am the One who bestows life unto mankind, and it is you who receive life from Me and must bear witness for Me. This is your duty which I send down upon you and which you ought to do for Me. I have bestowed all My glory unto you, I have bestowed unto you the life that the chosen people, the Israelites, never received. By rights, you ought to bear witness to Me and devote to Me your youth and lay down your life. Whomsoever I bestow My glory unto shall bear Me witness and give their life for Me. This has long been predestined by Me. It is your good fortune that I bestow My glory upon you, and your duty is to testify to My glory. If you were to believe in Me only to gain blessings, then My work would bear little significance, and you would not be fulfilling your duty. The Israelites saw only My mercy, love, and greatness, and the Jews witnessed only My patience and redemption. They saw very, very little of the work of My Spirit, to the point that they understood but one-ten-thousandth of what you have heard and seen. What you have seen exceeds even the chief priests among them. The truths you understand today surpass theirs; what you have seen today exceeds what was seen in the Age of Law, as well as the Age of Grace, and what you have experienced surpasses even Moses and Elijah. For what the Israelites understood was only the law of Jehovah, and what they saw was only the sight of Jehovah’s back; what the Jews understood was only the redemption of Jesus, what they received was only the grace bestowed by Jesus, and what they saw was only the image of Jesus within the house of the Jews. What you see this day is the glory of Jehovah, the redemption of Jesus, and all My deeds of this day. So, too, have you heard the words of My Spirit, appreciated My wisdom, come to know My wonder, and learned of My disposition. I have also told you all of My management plan. What you have seen is not merely a loving and merciful God, but a God filled with righteousness. You have seen My wondrous work and known that I brim with majesty and wrath. Furthermore, you know that I once brought down My raging fury upon the house of Israel, and that today, it has come upon you. You understand more of My mysteries in heaven than Isaiah and John; you know more of My loveliness and venerableness than all the saints of ages past. What you have received is not merely My truth, My way, and My life, but a vision and revelation greater than that of John. You understand many more mysteries, and have also looked upon My true countenance; you have accepted more of My judgment and know more of My righteous disposition. And so, though you were born in the last days, your understanding is that of the former and the past, and you have also experienced the things of today, and this was all personally done by Me. What I ask of you is not excessive, for I have given you so much, and you have seen much in Me. Thus, I ask you to bear witness for Me to the saints of ages past, and this is My heart’s only desire.
Excerpted from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
627. What I desire is your loyalty and obedience now, your love and testimony now. Even if you do not know at this moment what testimony is or what love is, you should bring to Me your all, and turn over to Me the only treasures you have: your loyalty and obedience. You should know that the testimony to My defeat of Satan lies within the loyalty and obedience of man, as does the testimony to My complete conquest of man. The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness to Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end. Before I begin the next step of My work, how will you bear witness to Me? How will you be loyal and obedient to Me? Do you devote all your loyalty to your function, or will you simply give up? Would you rather submit to My every arrangement (even if it be death or destruction), or flee midway to avoid My chastisement? I chastise you so that you will bear witness to Me, and be loyal and obedient to Me. What’s more, the chastisement at present is to unfold the next step of My work and to allow the work to progress unimpeded. Hence, I exhort you to be wise and treat neither your life nor the significance of your existence as worthless sand. Can you know exactly what My work to come will be? Do you know how I will work in the days to come, and how My work will unfold? You should know the significance of your experience of My work, and furthermore, the significance of your faith in Me. I have done so much; how could I give up halfway, as you imagine? I have done such extensive work; how could I destroy it? Indeed, I have come to bring this age to an end. This is true, but moreover you must know that I am to begin a new age, to begin new work, and, most of all, to spread the gospel of the kingdom. So you should know that the present work is only to begin an age and to lay the foundation for spreading the gospel in the time to come and bringing the age to an end in the future. My work is not so simple as you think, nor is it as worthless or meaningless as you may believe. Therefore, I still must say to you: You ought to give your life to My work, and moreover, you ought to devote yourself to My glory. Long have I yearned for you to bear witness to Me, and even longer have I yearned for you to spread My gospel. You ought to understand what is in My heart.
Excerpted from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
628. Although your faith is very sincere, none among you is able to give a full account of Me, none can give full testimony to all of the facts you see. Think about it: Today, most of you are derelict in your duties, instead pursuing the flesh, satiating the flesh, and greedily enjoying the flesh. You possess little truth. How, then, can you bear testimony to all that you have seen? Are you really confident that you can be My witnesses? If a day comes when you are unable to testify to all that you have seen today, then you will have lost the function of created beings, and there will be no meaning whatsoever to your existence. You will be unworthy of being human. It could even be said that you will not be human! I have done immeasurable work on you, but because you are currently learning nothing, aware of nothing, and ineffective in your labors, when it is time for Me to expand My work, you will just stare blankly, tongue-tied and utterly useless. Will that not make you a sinner for all time? When that time comes, will you not feel the deepest regret? Will you not sink into dejection? All of My work today is not done out of idleness and boredom, but to lay a foundation for My future work. It is not that I am at an impasse and need to come up with something new. You should understand the work I do; it is not something done by a child playing in the street, but is a work done in representation of My Father. You should know that it is not Me doing all this Myself; rather, I represent My Father. Your role, meanwhile, is strictly to follow, obey, change, and testify. What you should understand is why you should believe in Me; this is the most important question for each of you to understand. My Father, for the sake of His glory, predestined all of you for Me from the moment He created the world. It was for the sake of My work, and for the sake of His glory, that He predestined you. It is because of My Father that you believe in Me; it is because of My Father’s predestination that you follow Me. None of this is of your own choosing. Even more important is that you understand that you are the ones My Father bestowed upon Me for the purpose of testifying to Me. Because He granted you to Me, you should abide by the ways I bestow upon you, as well as the ways and the words I teach you, for it is your duty to abide by My ways. This is the original purpose of your faith in Me. Therefore, I say to you this: You are merely people that My Father bestowed upon Me to abide by My ways. However, you only believe in Me; you are not of Me because you are not of the Israelite family, and are instead ilk of the ancient serpent. All I am asking you to do is to bear witness for Me, but today you must walk in My ways. All of this is for the sake of future testimony. If you function only as people who listen to My ways, then you will be without value, and the significance of My Father’s having bestowed you upon Me will be lost. What I insist on telling you is this: You should walk in My ways.
Excerpted from “What Is Your Understanding of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
629. Are you able to communicate the disposition expressed by God in each age in a concrete way, with language that suitably conveys the significance of the age? Are you, who experience God’s work of the last days, able to describe God’s righteous disposition in detail? Can you testify about God’s disposition clearly and accurately? How will you pass on what you have seen and experienced to those pitiable, poor, and devout religious believers who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are waiting for you to shepherd them? What kind of people are waiting for you to shepherd them? Can you imagine? Are you aware of the burden on your shoulders, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your sense of historic mission? How will you adequately serve as a master in the next age? Do you have a strong sense of masterhood? How would you explain the master of all things? Is it really the master of all living creatures and of all physical things in the world? What plans do you have for the progress of the next phase of the work? How many people are waiting for you to be their shepherd? Is your task a heavy one? They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness—where is the way? How they yearn for the light, like a shooting star, to suddenly descend and dispel the forces of darkness that have oppressed man for so many years. Who can know the full extent to which they anxiously hope, and how they pine, day and night, for this? Even on a day when the light flashes past, these deeply suffering people remain imprisoned in a dark dungeon without hope of release; when will they weep no longer? Terrible is the misfortune of these fragile spirits who have never been granted rest, and long have they been kept bound in this state by merciless bonds and frozen history. And who has heard the sound of their wailing? Who has looked upon their miserable state? Has it ever occurred to you how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see innocent mankind, whom He created with His own hands, suffering such torment? Human beings, after all, are the victims who have been poisoned. And although man has survived to this day, who would have known that mankind has long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Are you not willing to strive, out of your love for God, to save these survivors? Are you not willing to devote all of your energy to repaying God, who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood? When all is said and done, how would you interpret being used by God to live your extraordinary life? Do you really have the resolve and confidence to live the meaningful life of a pious, God-serving person?
from “How Should You Attend to Your Future Mission?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
630. Bearing testimony to God is primarily a matter of speaking of your knowledge of God’s work, of how God conquers people, of how He saves people, of how He changes people; it is a matter of speaking of how He guides people to enter into the reality of truth, allowing them to be conquered, made perfect, and saved by Him. Bearing testimony means speaking of His work and all that you have experienced. Only His work can represent Him, and only His work can reveal Him publicly, in His entirety; His work bears testimony to Him. His work and utterances directly represent the Spirit; the work He does is carried out by the Spirit, and the words He speaks are spoken by the Spirit. These things are merely expressed through the incarnate flesh of God, yet, in reality, they are expressions of the Spirit. All the work He does and all the words He speaks represent His essence. If, after clothing Himself in flesh and coming among man, God did not speak or work, and then asked you to know His realness, His normality, and His omnipotence, would you be able to? Would you be able to know what the substance of the Spirit is? Would you be able to know what the attributes of His flesh are? It is only because you have experienced each step of His work that He asks you to bear testimony to Him. If you were without such experience, then He would not insist that you bear testimony. Thus, when you bear testimony to God, you are not only testifying to His exterior of normal humanity, but also to the work He does and the path He leads; you are to testify to how you have been conquered by Him and in what aspects you have been made perfect. This is the kind of testimony you should bear.
Excerpted from “Practice (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
631. When bearing testimony for God, you should mainly talk more about how God judges and chastises people, what trials He uses to refine people and change their dispositions. You should also talk about how much corruption has been revealed in your experience, how much you have endured and how you were eventually conquered by God; talk about how much real knowledge of God’s work you have, and how you should bear witness for God and repay Him for His love. You should put substance into this kind of language, while putting it in a simple manner. Do not talk about empty theories. Speak more down-to-earth; speak from the heart. This is how you should experience. Do not equip yourselves with profound-seeming, empty theories in an effort to show off; doing so makes you appear quite arrogant and senseless. You should speak more of real things from your actual experience that are genuine and from the heart; this is most beneficial to others, and most appropriate for them to see. You used to be people who opposed God the most and were least inclined to submit to Him, but now you have been conquered—never forget that. You should ponder and think about these matters more. Once people have understood them clearly, they will know how to bear testimony; otherwise, they will be liable to commit shameful and senseless acts.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
632. Step by step, you have experienced chastisement, judgment, refinement, trials, setbacks, and tribulations, and you have been conquered; you have put aside the prospects of the flesh, your personal motivations, and the intimate interests of the flesh. In other words, God’s words have conquered your heart completely. Although you have not grown in your life as much as He demands, you know all these things and you are utterly convinced by what He does. Thus, this may be called testimony, testimony that is real and true. The work God has come to do, the work of judgment and chastisement, is meant to conquer man, but He is also concluding His work, ending the age, and carrying out the work of conclusion. He is ending the entire age, saving all of humankind, delivering humankind from sin for once and for all; He is fully gaining humankind, which He created. You should bear testimony to all of this. You have experienced so much of God’s work, you have seen it with your own eyes and experienced it personally; when you have reached the very end, you must not be unable to perform the function incumbent upon you. What a pity that would be! In the future, when the gospel is spread, you should be able to speak of your own knowledge, testify to all that you have gained in your heart, and spare no effort. This is what a created being should attain. What is the actual significance of this stage of God’s work? What is its effect? And how much of it is carried out in man? What should people do? When you can speak clearly of all the work God incarnate has done since coming to earth, then your testimony will be complete. When you can speak clearly of these five things: the significance of His work; its contents; its substance; the disposition it represents; and its principles, then this will prove you are capable of bearing testimony to God, that you are truly possessed of knowledge. My requirements of you are not very high, and are attainable by all those who are in true pursuit. If you are resolved to be one of God’s witnesses, you must understand what God loathes and what God loves. You have experienced much of His work; through this work, you must come to know His disposition, understand His will and His requirements of mankind, and use this knowledge to testify about Him and perform your duty.
Excerpted from “Practice (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
633. To bear witness to God’s work, you must rely on your experience, knowledge, and the price you have paid. Only thus can you satisfy His will. Are you someone who bears witness to God’s work? Do you have this aspiration? If you are able to bear witness to His name, and even more, to His work, and if you can live out the image that He requires of His people, then you are a witness for God. How do you actually bear witness for God? You do it by seeking and longing to live out God’s word, and, by bearing witness with your words, allowing people to know His work and to see His actions. If you truly seek all of this, then God will perfect you. If all you seek is to be perfected by God and be blessed in the very end, then the perspective of your faith in God is not pure. You should be pursuing how to see God’s deeds in real life, how to satisfy Him when He reveals His will to you, and seeking how you ought to bear witness to His wondrousness and wisdom, and how to bear witness for how He disciplines and deals with you. All of these are things you should now be pondering. If your love for God is solely so that you can share in God’s glory after He perfects you, then it is still inadequate and cannot meet God’s requirements. You need to be able to bear witness to God’s work, satisfy His demands, and experience the work He has done on people in a practical way. Whether pain, tears, or sadness, you must experience all of these things in your practice. They are meant to perfect you as one who bears witness for God.
Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
634. People who have the truth are those who, in their real experiences, can stand firm in their testimony, stand firm in their position, stand on the side of God, without ever retreating, and who can have a normal relationship with people who love God, who, when things happen to them, are able to completely obey God, and can obey God unto death. Your practice and revelations in real life are the testimony of God, they are man’s living out and the testimony of God, and this is truly enjoying God’s love; when you have experienced to this point, the due effect will have been achieved. You are possessed of actual living out and your every action is looked upon with admiration by others. Your clothing and outward appearance are unremarkable, but you live out a life of the utmost piety, and when you communicate the words of God, you are guided and enlightened by Him. You are able to speak God’s will through your words, communicate reality, and you understand much about serving in spirit. You are candid in your speech, you are decent and upright, non-confrontational and decorous, able to obey God’s arrangements and stand firm in your testimony when things befall you, and you are calm and composed no matter what you are dealing with. This kind of person has truly seen God’s love. Some people are still young, but they act as someone of middle age; they are mature, possessed of the truth, and admired by others—and these are the people who have testimony and are the manifestation of God.
Excerpted from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
635. Today, you can seek to be made perfect or seek changes in your external humanity and improvements in your caliber, but of principal importance is that you can understand that everything that God does today has meaning and is of benefit: It enables you who are born in a land of filth to escape the filth and shake it off, it enables you to overcome the influence of Satan, and leave behind the dark influence of Satan. By focusing on these things, you are protected in this land of filth. Ultimately, what testimony will you be asked to give? You are born in a land of filth but are able to become holy, never again to be sullied by filth, to live under the domain of Satan but divest yourself of Satan’s influence, to be neither possessed nor harassed by Satan, and to live in the hands of the Almighty. This is the testimony, and the proof of victory in the battle with Satan. You are able to forsake Satan, you no longer reveal satanic dispositions in what you live out, but instead live out that which God required that man attain when He created man: normal humanity, normal sense, normal insight, normal resolve to love God, and loyalty to God. Such is the testimony borne by a creature of God. You say, “We are born in a land of filth, but because of God’s protection, because of His leadership, and because He has conquered us, we have rid ourselves of the influence of Satan. That we can obey today is also the effect of being conquered by God, and it is not because we are good, or because we naturally loved God. It is because God chose us, and predestined us, that we have been conquered today, are able to bear testimony to Him, and can serve Him; so, too, it is because He chose us and protected us, that we have been saved and delivered from the domain of Satan, and can leave behind the filth and be purified in the nation of the great red dragon.”
Excerpted from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
636. If you are someone who pursues being made perfect, then you will have borne testimony, and you will say: “In this step-by-step work of God, I have accepted God’s work of chastisement and judgment, and though I have endured great suffering, I have come to know how God makes man perfect, I have gained the work done by God, I have had the knowledge of the righteousness of God, and His chastisement has saved me. His righteous disposition has come upon me and brought me blessings and grace; it is His judgment and chastisement that has protected and purified me. If I had not been chastised and judged by God, and if the harsh words of God had not come upon me, I could not have known God, and nor could I have been saved. Today I see: As a creature, not only does one enjoy all things made by the Creator, but, more importantly, all creatures should enjoy the righteous disposition of God and His righteous judgment, because God’s disposition is worthy of man’s enjoyment. As a creature that has been corrupted by Satan, one should enjoy God’s righteous disposition. In His righteous disposition there is chastisement and judgment, and, moreover, there is great love. Although I am incapable of completely gaining God’s love today, I have had the good fortune to see it, and in this I have been blessed.” This is the path walked by those who experience being made perfect, and this is the knowledge of which they speak. Such people are the same as Peter; they have the same experiences as Peter. Such people are also those who have gained life, who possess the truth. When they experience until the very end, during God’s judgment they will surely completely rid themselves of the influence of Satan, and be gained by God.
Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
637. Today, you should be aware of how to be conquered, and of how people conduct themselves after they have been conquered. You may say you have been conquered, but can you obey unto death? You must be able to follow to the very end regardless of whether there are any prospects, and you must not lose faith in God regardless of the environment. Ultimately, you must achieve two aspects of testimony: the testimony of Job—obedience unto death; and the testimony of Peter—the supreme love of God. In one respect, you must be like Job: He lost all material possessions, and was beset by the pain of the flesh, yet he did not forsake the name of Jehovah. This was Job’s testimony. Peter was able to love God unto death. When he was put on the cross and faced his death, he still loved God; he did not think of his own prospects or pursue beautiful hopes or extravagant thoughts, and he sought only to love God and to obey all of God’s arrangements. Such is the standard you must achieve before you can be considered to have borne testimony, before you become someone who has been made perfect after having been conquered.
Excerpted from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh