Submission to God Is a Basic Lesson in Gaining the Truth (Part Three)

It is easy for people to submit when they don’t have any troubles. But when trouble does arise they are unable to submit. What can be done in this case? It is necessary to pray and seek the truth to resolve this difficulty. From someone feeling that they are a noble person who has been elevated by God, to that same person becoming a debased toy who is without merit in God’s eyes, nothing at all, a worthless wretch, yet one who is still happy to submit to God and have no demands of Him at all—how much time is necessary to reach that degree of experience? (In his last seven years, Peter went through hundreds of trials. If someone doesn’t pursue the truth, then they won’t achieve that no matter how many years they believe for.) It isn’t about the number of years of faith—rather, it depends on whether someone pursues the truth, and if they are able to use the truth to resolve the problem of a corrupt disposition. It all depends on what your pursuit is. Some people pursue nothing but reputation and status, always wanting to display themselves and to stand out from the crowd. They collapse when they encounter the slightest setback or failure, becoming negative and paralyzed. Some people like to take unfair advantage, but don’t love the truth; they are happy when they’ve benefited at another’s expense, and they’re not sad or bothered if they haven’t gained the truth. Some are listless in their faith if they don’t have any status, and are more energized than anyone else once they have this status; then they never feel down, and will happily work themselves to death. They just don’t pay any mind to practicing the truth or doing things according to principles, and as a result, they still lack experiential testimony after many years of faith. They feel envious and regretful when they see others who have been believers for a handful of years and have wonderful experiential testimony, but after that feeling passes they still don’t pursue the truth. If someone doesn’t focus on striving for the truth, if they don’t use the truth to resolve problems, then no matter how many years of faith they have, it is of no use. Those who don’t pursue the truth can never be perfected by God. Peter was perfected by going through hundreds of trials—don’t you have to go through hundreds of trials, too? How many trials have you been through at this point? If not hundreds, then how about just one hundred? (No. Not yet.) Peter was perfected through hundreds of trials, so if you haven’t even been through one, or you’ve only been through one hundred, then your experience is nowhere near his. Your stature is lacking. Don’t you need to put effort into pursuing the truth? And how should you do that? You have to put effort into understanding and practicing the truth. Don’t be careless and muddle-headed, not giving serious thought to anything, living a carefree life and just busying yourself with tasks all day long. This isn’t to say that being busy is a problem—if you have a lot of things to do, then you will have to busy yourself; not being busy isn’t always an option. But while you busy yourself taking care of everything, you must still strive for the truth and for principles; you must still try to comprehend things and ask God for whatever it is that you lack. How do you ask God for something? Every day, you pray to God silently in your heart for that thing. This shows that you long for the truth in your heart, and you have the will to let God fulfill your aspirations. If your heart is true, God will hear your prayers; He will arrange and prepare appropriate situations for you so that you can learn lessons. You might say, “My stature is really lacking. Is God going to give me a major trial that crushes me?” No, that would be impossible. God absolutely will not do something like that. God knows best how great someone’s faith is and what their true stature is. You have to have faith in this. God would never have a three-year-old child take on an adult’s burden—never! You have to be sure of this in your heart. But you need to ask God for it. You must have that desire and that resolve, and only then will God act on your request. If you’re always fearful and hiding, afraid of being tested, if you always want to have peaceful, carefree days, then God won’t work in you. Therefore, you need only to freely and boldly beseech God, truly offer yourself up, and hand everything over to God, and only then God will work on you. God certainly does not work to arbitrarily torment people, but to achieve results and goals. God wouldn’t do useless work or have you shoulder a load you can’t bear—you must have faith in this. To seek perfection, to seek to satisfy God and be an acceptable created being, one must have resolve. What resolve is that? The resolve to seek perfection, to seek to become someone who possesses the truth and humanity, to become someone who loves and bears witness to God. That is what God takes joy in the most. If you don’t have that resolve, but are just content to say: “I’m busy with my duty. I’m shouldering a load, giving service, and listening to sermons. I’m not falling behind anyone else,” then you don’t have any prospects. At most, you can render service, but you will not become one of God’s people. Aren’t you just being content with the way things are, with no desire for progress? You don’t pursue the truth, you don’t fellowship on the truth in gatherings, and you doze off once you have listened to sermons. But when discussing worldly matters you rattle on and on, and your eyes light up—these are the behaviors of someone who renders service. There are some people whose eyes light up as soon as the truth is mentioned; they feel they lack too much, and when they hear something good and practical they rush to make note of it. They feel they are too far from what God requires and there aren’t enough positive things in their heart. They feel that there is too much of Satan’s poison, and they are too rebellious toward God. They think to themselves: “No wonder God isn’t satisfied with me. I’m so far from what He wants, I’m not compatible with God in any way, and I misunderstand Him too much. When will I be able to meet God’s will?” In their duty, they don’t delay trying to figure these things out, and they often come before God in silent prayer: “God, please test me. I ask You to expose me, to allow me to understand the truth, gain the truth reality, and come to know You. Please discipline, judge, and chastise me.” When they take on a burden with this, they always keep it in mind. They are always thirsting for the truth, and thus God begins to work on them. He arranges some people, things, and events, all sorts of situations, so that they can learn something from them every day. Aren’t they then favored? Why was Peter able to have hundreds of trials? Because he pursued the truth, he wasn’t afraid of God’s trials, and believed that God’s trials were there to purify people. He believed that this path could perfect people, and that it was the only true path. He prayed for this, expended himself for and devoted himself to this; that is why God worked in him. Could that mean that God chose him, that He was determined to test and perfect Peter? That’s exactly right. When God chooses a person, He has a goal and He has principles in mind—this is absolute. Why are the majority of people unable to gain this kind of work from God? Because they don’t pursue the truth and they lack this resolve, and that is why God doesn’t work in them. God doesn’t force anyone. When God wants to perfect someone, that is a wonderful thing, and any degree of suffering is worth it. But most people don’t have this resolve, and they just scurry away and hide when faced with trials and hardships. Is God going to force someone like that? Some people don’t pursue the truth, and don’t even have the courage to see Christ face-to-face. They say: “I wouldn’t know what to say if I saw Christ. I don’t know any truths, or how to fellowship. Wouldn’t that be humiliating if Christ saw what is wrong with me? I wouldn’t be able to handle it if I were pruned. I should avoid God and keep a respectful distance from Him. If I’m always in contact with God and living before Him, He would see through me and get sick of me. I would be cast out and wouldn’t have a good destination anymore.” Is that the way things are? (No.) Some people are harboring these kinds of ideas. Would God demand anything from someone like that? (No, He wouldn’t.) So whatever you pursue, however far your resolve goes, God will perfect you up to that point. If you don’t pursue the truth but always hide from God and distance yourself from Him, always hiding your thoughts from God, then what did God have to say about people like you? (“Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6).) You don’t love the truth and you hide from God, but you think that He will insist on testing and perfecting you? You are mistaken. If you aren’t the right kind of person, no amount of beseeching and prayers will do any good. God won’t do that; God doesn’t force people. That is one aspect of His disposition. But what He wants, from those who pursue the truth, is that they can be like Peter, or Job, or Abraham; that they might step onto the right path in life as required by God; that they might step onto the path of fearing God and shunning evil, and ultimately gain the truth and be perfected. God hopes to gain this kind of person, but will God force you if you don’t seek it yourself? No. God has never compelled anyone. The Holy Spirit will not persistently move you, grabbing hold of you and not letting go, intent upon perfecting you and not stopping before that. To tell you the truth, God absolutely will not do anything like that. That is His attitude. God just hopes that in the end, when His work is complete, He will have gained more people like Job, Peter, and Abraham. But how many people really pursue the truth and are gained by God in the end is something that He won’t force. He will let things take their course—this is one side of God’s practical work. God has not determined a particular number—that it should be 10, 20, 1,000 or 2,000, or even 10,000. He has not stipulated anything about this. God is just continuing this way, getting real work done, and really walking among people. This is how He works and speaks, carrying out every aspect of work involving the truth, work that benefits mankind. This is the work He continues to do within the right kind of people, within those who long for the truth. In the end, those who have resolve and pursue the truth will be perfected. They are the most blessed and they are the ones who will gain eternal life. This proves that God is just toward everyone, and favors no one. That all of you are able to follow God today is not by chance—it was predetermined by God long ago. God predetermines people’s families, when they are born, the environment in which they grow up, their caliber, gifts, abilities, and surroundings—all of these things. What will people see God’s righteousness to be in the end? Ultimately, being able to survive and gain a beautiful destination relies on people’s own pursuits and the price they pay. God predetermining these things is one aspect, but people’s cooperation is also imperative. God determines people’s outcomes based on the path they take and whether or not they possess the truth. This is His righteousness.

Everyone has seen the practical side of God incarnate. God treats every single person fairly and reasonably. You’ve seen that; others have seen that; all of you have seen that. God incarnate is a regular person. Some people have notions when they see Christ, thinking, “He looks so normal, so inconspicuous. Can this really be the incarnation? I don’t believe in Him—there’s no way I can believe in Him.” Or they just follow Him reluctantly, believing in Him with reservations, bringing their notions along with them. Other people who see Christ have some reason, and think: “The incarnation is a regular person, but He can express the truth and provide people with life, so I should treat Him like God. I accept and practice His words as the truth, as the words of the Creator. I will follow Him.” These people end up being perfected and gaining the truth. What kind of people gain the truth in the end? Those who pursue the truth. God waters, sustains, shepherds, and works in His chosen people every day. I share sermons and fellowship, the Holy Spirit works in God’s chosen people, and everyone receives watering and sustenance. No one receives special treatment, and everyone who participates in church life and does their duty enjoys God’s work on a daily basis this way. I treat every single person the same. I provide answers no matter who asks questions, I don’t provide any extra care, set up special situations, or try to urge or encourage anyone, giving extra enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit, or showing signs and wonders. God doesn’t do anything like that. God showed many signs and wonders in the Age of Grace, in order to forgive people’s sins and have them take the path of repentance, and so that they would believe in God and not doubt Him. The current step of work entirely consists of providing the truth, so that people can understand the truth and develop true faith. No matter how much you have suffered, if you have ultimately gained the truth, then you are someone who has been perfected and will be kept. If you do not gain the truth, any reasons you find are of no use. You may say: “God didn’t perform any miracles, so I couldn’t believe,” “God was always expressing truths that were beyond me, so I couldn’t believe,” or “God was too down-to-earth, too normal, so I couldn’t believe.” These are all your problems. You were provided with the truth just the same as the others—so why were they perfected, while you were cast out? Why didn’t you gain the truth? This is your judgment: It’s because you didn’t pursue the truth. In this last stage, God just does the work of words. He practically uses words to judge and cleanse humanity; He doesn’t show signs and wonders. If you want to see God’s miracles, then go 2,000 years in the past to see the Lord Jesus’ miracles in that age. Don’t be a believer in this age. You have accepted God’s work of judgment, so don’t look for miracles. God isn’t performing those. Is that reasonable? (It is.) It’s fair and reasonable. If you pursue the truth, God won’t favor you. If you don’t pursue the truth, but just pursue service-giving, always serving faithfully until the end, God will allow you to remain and you will be graced. But if you are unable to serve until the end, you will be cast out. What does casting out mean? It means destruction! This is fair and reasonable, and there is no favoritism. It is all based on God’s words and the truth. In light of all that, isn’t the path that people take of the utmost importance? What path you pursue, what sort of person you seek to become, what kind of pursuit you engage in, what you hope for, what you ask God for, what your attitude toward God is and what your attitude toward God’s words is when you are before Him: all these things are very important. You tell Me—can showing signs and wonders perfect people? For example, if you get into a traffic accident and God saves you, could that perfect you? If you died once and were resurrected, could that perfect you? Or if, in your dreams, you went up to the kingdom of heaven and saw God, could that perfect you? (No.) These things cannot take the place of the truth. So, in this last stage of work, which is the stage of work in which God’s management is concluded, He uses words to perfect people, to expose people. This is God’s righteousness. If you are perfected through God’s words, then no one can complain that He has kept you, and Satan cannot accuse you for being kept. This is the kind of person that God wants. God has provided so many words, so if you don’t gain anything in the end, whose fault will that be? (Our own.) It’s your own fault for choosing the wrong path. What path people take is really important. How so? Because it determines their destination. That is why you shouldn’t be constantly trying to figure out if prophecies have been fulfilled, if God has displayed any signs and wonders, when God will actually depart from the earth, and if you will be able to witness it when He does leave the earth. Figuring that out wouldn’t do you any good; it does not impact your destination or your being perfected. So what does matter to you? (The path I take in faith.) The path you take does affect whether or not you can be perfected. What is the truth you should most enter into in your pursuit of being perfected? The truth of submission to God. Submitting to God is the highest, most crucial of truths, and in essence, pursuing the truth is the same as pursuing submission to God. You need to pursue submission to God for your entire life, and this path of pursuing submission to God is the path of pursuing the truth. Why do you need to pursue submission to God for your entire life? Because the process of pursuing submission to God is the process of resolving a corrupt disposition. Why do you need to resolve a corrupt disposition? Because a corrupt disposition is at odds with God. If you live by a satanic disposition, then your essence is of Satan, the devil, and pursuing submission to God requires you to resolve the problem of your corrupt disposition. This is critical! As long as you have a corrupt disposition and as long as there remains one bit that is unresolved, you will be at odds with God, you will be an enemy of God, and will be incapable of submitting to Him. The degree to which your corrupt disposition is resolved is the degree to which you submit to God; the percentage to which your corrupt disposition is resolved is the percentage to which you submit to God.

In this gathering, we haven’t talked about knowing God. Knowing God is gradually achieved through the process of resolving your corrupt disposition and pursuing being perfected in order to reach submission to God. The pursuit of knowledge of God on its own would be a very profound lesson, which is why we haven’t talked about it. Right now, we’re talking about topics closely related to people’s practices, lives, pursuits, and the paths they’re taking. In the process of seeking to resolve your corrupt dispositions, you gradually understand God and come to know His will. Don’t you have more knowledge of God when you are able to understand His will? (Yes.) Then you have some real knowledge of God. Why are you able to achieve submission to God as you follow Him? Because you know His heart and understand His will; you understand what standards and principles God requires of you, and what His goals are. Doesn’t this understanding contain some knowledge of God? (It does.) This is gradually attained, and it is all interrelated. You will struggle if you only pursue knowledge of God. You may say: “I’ll do nothing aside from pursuing knowledge of God, day in and day out. I’ll see where flowers come from, why lambs kneel for their milk while calves do not. I’ll study all this, and I’ll come to know God that way.” Can you achieve knowledge of God by just researching all of that? Absolutely not. The truth doesn’t come from research, but it is only truly known through experience. Research is of no use at all. You know that all things were created by God, and that’s wonderful, and you thus already have some knowledge of God. But what should you be focused on? You have to pursue the truth, resolve your corrupt disposition, and achieve submission to God. In the process of this pursuit, you will come to answer many peripheral questions bit by bit, and you will find a path for your practice and your entry. The more thoroughly your corrupt disposition is resolved, the easier it will be for you to practice the truth and achieve submission to God. Once people are no longer held back by their corrupt disposition, they truly gain freedom and release, and putting any truth into practice isn’t taxing, but very easy. Isn’t that the truth becoming people’s life?

October 1, 2017

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