The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment (Part Two)
Man’s entire life is lived under the domain of Satan, and there is not a single person who can free themselves from the influence of Satan on their own. All live in a filthy world, in corruption and emptiness, without the slightest meaning or value; they live such carefree lives for the flesh, for lust, and for Satan. There is not the slightest value to their existence. Man is incapable of finding the truth that will free him from the influence of Satan. Even though man believes in God and reads the Bible, he does not understand how to free himself of the control of Satan’s influence. Throughout the ages, very few people have discovered this secret, very few have touched upon it. As such, even though man detests Satan, and detests the flesh, he does not know how to rid himself of the ensnaring influence of Satan. Today, are you not still under the domain of Satan? You do not regret your disobedient acts, much less do you feel that you are filthy and disobedient. After opposing God, you even have peace of mind and feel great tranquility. Is your tranquility not because you are corrupt? Does this peace of mind not come from your disobedience? Man lives in a human hell, he lives under the dark influence of Satan; across the land, ghosts live together with man, encroaching upon the flesh of man. On earth, you do not live in a beautiful paradise. The place where you are is the realm of the devil, a human hell, a netherworld. If man is not cleansed, then he is of the filth; if he is not protected and cared for by God, then he is still a captive of Satan; if he is not judged and chastised, then he will have no means of escaping the oppression of the dark influence of Satan. The corrupt disposition that you show forth and the disobedient behavior that you live out are sufficient to prove that you are still living under the domain of Satan. If your mind and thoughts have not been cleansed, and your disposition has not been judged and chastised, then your entire being is still controlled by the domain of Satan, your mind is controlled by Satan, your thoughts are manipulated by Satan, and your entire being is controlled by the hands of Satan. Do you know just how far you are, now, from the standards of Peter? Are you of caliber? How much do you know of the chastisement and judgment of today? How much do you possess of that which Peter came to know? If, today, you are unable to know, will you be able to achieve this knowledge in the future? Someone as lazy and cowardly as you is simply incapable of knowing the chastisement and judgment of God. If you pursue the peace of the flesh, and the pleasures of the flesh, then you will have no means of being cleansed, and in the end you will return to Satan, for what you live out is Satan, and the flesh. As things stand today, many people do not pursue life, which means that they do not care about being cleansed, or entering into a deeper life experience. And so how can they be made perfect? Those who do not pursue life have no opportunity to be made perfect, and those who do not pursue a knowledge of God, and do not pursue changes in their disposition, are incapable of escaping Satan’s dark influence. With regard to their knowledge of God and their entry upon changes in their disposition, they are not serious about them, like those who only believe in religion, and who merely follow ceremony in their worship. Is that not a waste of time? If, in his belief in God, man is not serious about matters of life, does not pursue entry into the truth, does not pursue changes in his disposition, much less pursue a knowledge of the work of God, then he cannot be made perfect. If you wish to be made perfect, you must understand the significance of God’s work. In particular, you must understand the significance of His chastisement and judgment, and why they are carried out upon man. Are you able to accept? During chastisement of this kind, are you able to achieve the same experiences and knowledge as Peter? If you pursue a knowledge of God and of the work of the Holy Spirit, and pursue changes in your disposition, then you have the opportunity to be made perfect.
For those who are to be made perfect, this step of work of being conquered is indispensable; only once he has been conquered can man experience the work of being made perfect. There is no great value to only performing the role of being conquered, which will not render you fit for use by God. You will have no means of playing your part in spreading the gospel, for you do not pursue life, and do not pursue the changes and renewal of yourself, and so you have no actual experience of life. During this step-by-step work, you once acted as a service-doer, and a foil, but if ultimately you do not pursue to be Peter, and your pursuit is not according to the path by which Peter was made perfect, then, naturally, you will not experience changes in your disposition. 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, and His judgment and chastisement 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, nor could I have been saved. Today I see that, as a creature, not only does one enjoy all things made by the Creator, but, more importantly, that all creatures should enjoy the righteous disposition of God, and enjoy 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 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, and who possess the truth. If man experiences until the very end, during God’s judgment he will inevitably completely rid himself of the influence of Satan, and be gained by God.
After they have been conquered, people do not have any resounding testimony. They have merely shamed Satan, but have not lived out the reality of God’s words. You have not gained the second salvation; you have merely gained a sin offering, yet you have not been made perfect—what a great loss it is. You must understand what you should enter into, and what you should live out, and you must enter into them. If, in the end, you do not accomplish being made perfect, then you will not be a real human being, and will be filled with regret. Adam and Eve created by God in the beginning were holy people, which is to say, whilst in the Garden of Eden they were holy, untainted with filth. They were also faithful to Jehovah, and knew nothing of the betrayal of Jehovah. This is because they were without the disturbance of the influence of Satan, were without Satan’s poison, and were the purest of all mankind. They lived in the Garden of Eden, undefiled by any filth, unpossessed by the flesh, and in reverence of Jehovah. Later, when they were tempted by Satan, they had the poison of the serpent, and the desire to betray Jehovah, and they lived under the influence of Satan. In the beginning, they were holy and revered Jehovah; only like this were they human. Later on, after they were tempted by Satan, they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and lived under the influence of Satan. They were gradually corrupted by Satan, and lost the original image of man. In the beginning, man had the breath of Jehovah, and was not the slightest bit disobedient, and had no evil in his heart. At that time, man was truly human. After being corrupted by Satan, man became a beast: His thoughts were filled with evil and filth, without good or holiness. Is this not Satan? You have experienced much of God’s work, yet you have not changed or been cleansed. You still live under the domain of Satan, and still do not submit to God. This is someone who has been conquered but has not been made perfect. And why is it said that such a person has not been made perfect? Because this person does not pursue life or a knowledge of God’s work, and covets nothing more than the pleasures of the flesh and momentary comfort. As a result, there are no changes in their life disposition, and they have not regained the original appearance of man as created by God. Such people are the walking corpses, they are the dead ones that have no spirit! Those who do not pursue a knowledge of matters in the spirit, who do not pursue holiness, and who do not pursue living out the truth, who are content only to be conquered on the negative side, and are incapable of living out and showing forth the truth, and becoming one of the holy people—they are people who have not been saved. For, if he is without the truth, man is unable to stand fast during God’s trials; only those who can stand fast during God’s trials are the ones who have been saved. What I want are people like Peter, people who pursue being made perfect. Today’s truth is given to those who yearn for and seek it. This salvation is granted to those who yearn to be saved by God, and is not only meant to be gained by you, but is also so that you can be gained by God. You gain God in order that God can gain you. Today I have spoken these words to you, and you have heard them, and you should practice according to these words. In the end, when you put these words into practice will be when I have gained you through these words; at the same time, you will have also gained these words, which is to say, you will have gained this supreme salvation. Once you have been made clean, you will be a real human being. If you are incapable of living out the truth, or of living out the likeness of one who has been made perfect, then it can be said that you are not a human, you are a walking corpse, a beast, because you are without the truth, which is to say that you are without the breath of Jehovah, and thus you are a dead person that has no spirit! Although it is possible to bear testimony after being conquered, what you gain is but a little salvation, and you have not become a living being possessed of a spirit. Although you have experienced chastisement and judgment, your disposition is not renewed or changed as a result; you are still your old self, you still belong to Satan, and you are not someone who has been cleansed. Only those who have been made perfect are of value, and only people such as this have gained a true life. One day, someone will say to you, “You have experienced God’s work, so speak a little about what His work is like. David experienced God’s work, and beheld the deeds of Jehovah, Moses too beheld the deeds of Jehovah, and the two of them were able to describe the deeds of Jehovah, and could speak of the wondrousness of Jehovah. You have beheld the work done by God incarnate; can you talk of His wisdom? Can you talk of the wondrousness of His work? What demands did God make of you, and how did you experience them? You have experienced God’s work during the last days; what is your greatest vision? Can you speak of this? Can you speak of God’s righteous disposition?” How will you reply when faced with these questions? If you are able to say, “God is so righteous, He chastises and judges us, and unsparingly exposes us. God’s disposition is really intolerant of offense by man. After experiencing the work of God, I have come to know our own beastliness, and I have truly beheld God’s righteous disposition,” then the other person will continue to ask you, “What else do you know of God? How does one enter into life? Do you have any personal aspirations?” You will reply, “After being corrupted by Satan, the creatures of God became beasts, and were no different from donkeys. Today, I live in the hands of God, and so I must satisfy the Creator’s desires, and obey whatever He teaches. I have no other choice.” If you only talk in such generalities, that person will not understand what you are saying. When they ask you what knowledge you have of God’s work, they are referring to your personal experiences. They are inquiring what knowledge you have of God’s chastisement and judgment after experiencing it, and in this they are referring to your personal experiences, and asking that you speak of your knowledge of the truth. If you are unable to speak of such things, this proves you know nothing of the work of today. You always speak words that are specious, or which are universally known; you have no specific experiences, much less is there substance to your knowledge, and you have no true testimonies, and so others are unconvinced by you. Do not be a passive follower of God, and do not pursue that which is curious. Through being neither cold nor hot you will forfeit yourself and delay your life. You must rid yourself of such passivity and inactivity, and become adept at pursuing positive things and overcoming your own weaknesses, so that you may gain the truth and live out the truth. There’s nothing fearful about your weaknesses, and your shortcomings are not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem, and your greatest shortcoming, is your being neither hot nor cold and your lack of desire to seek the truth. The biggest problem with all of you is a cowardly mentality whereby you are happy with things as they are, and await passively. This is your greatest obstacle, and the greatest enemy to your pursuit of the truth. If you obey only because the words that I speak are so profound, then you do not truly possess the knowledge, nor do you treasure the truth. Obedience such as yours does not count as testimony, and I do not approve such obedience. Someone may ask you, “Where exactly does your God come from? What is the substance of this God of yours?” You will reply, “His substance is chastisement and judgment.” “Is God not compassionate and loving toward man? Do you know this?” You will say, “That is the God of others. It is the God that people of religion believe in, it is not our God.” When people such as you spread the gospel, the true way is distorted by you, and so what use do you have? How can others gain the true way from you? You are without the truth, and can speak nothing of the truth, nor, moreover, can you live out the truth. What qualifies you to live before God? When you spread the gospel to others, and when you speak of the truth, and bear testimony to God, if you are incapable of winning them over, they will refute your words. Are you not a waste of space? You have experienced so much of the work of God, yet when you speak of the truth you make no sense. Are you not a good-for-nothing? What use do you have? How can you have experienced so much of God’s work, yet not have the slightest knowledge of Him? When they ask what real knowledge you have of God, you are lost for words, or else reply with something irrelevant—saying that God is mighty, that the great blessings you have received are truly the exaltation of God, and that there is no greater privilege than to be able to behold God personally. What value is there in saying this? They are useless, empty words! Having experienced so much of God’s work, do you only know that the exaltation of God is the truth? You must know God’s work, and only then will you bear a true testimony to God. How can those who have not gained the truth bear testimony to God?
If so much work, and so many words, have had no effect upon you, then when the time comes to spread the work of God you will be unable to perform your duty, and will be shamed and humiliated. At that time, you will feel that you owe God so much, that your knowledge of God is so superficial. If you do not pursue the knowledge of God today, while He is working, then later on it will be too late. In the end, you will have no knowledge to speak of—you will be left empty, with nothing. What, then, will you use to give an account to God? Do you have the gall to look upon God? You should work hard in your pursuit right now, so that in the end you will, like Peter, know just how beneficial God’s chastisement and judgment is to man, and that without His chastisement and judgment man cannot be saved, and can only sink ever deeper into this filthy land, ever deeper into the slurry. Men have been corrupted by Satan, have intrigued against each other and ridden roughshod over each other, have lost their fear of God, and their disobedience is too great, their conceptions are too many, and all belong to Satan. Without the chastisement and judgment of God, man’s corrupt disposition could not be cleansed and he could not be saved. What is expressed by God incarnate’s work in the flesh is precisely that which is expressed by the Spirit, and the work He does is carried out according to that which is done by the Spirit. Today, if you have no knowledge of this work, then you are so foolish, and have lost so much! If you have not gained God’s salvation, then your belief is religious faith, and you are a Christian who is of religion. Because you hold to dead doctrine, you have lost the new work of the Holy Spirit; others, who pursue a love of God, are able to acquire the truth and the life, whereas your faith is incapable of gaining God’s approval. Instead, you have become an evildoer, someone who commits ruinous and hateful acts, you have become the butt of Satan’s jokes, and a captive of Satan. God is not to be believed in by man, but loved by him, and pursued and worshiped by him. If you do not pursue today, then the day will come when you say, “If only I had followed God properly, and satisfied Him properly. If only I had pursued changes in my life disposition. How I regret not being able to submit to God at the time, and not pursuing the knowledge of God’s word. God said so much back then; how could I not have pursued? I was so stupid!” You will hate yourself to a certain point. Today, you do not believe the words I say, and you pay no attention to them; when the day comes for this work to spread, and you see the entirety of it, you will regret, and at that time you will be dumbfounded. There are blessings, yet you do not know to enjoy them, and there is the truth, yet you do not pursue it. Do you not bring contempt upon yourself? Today, although the next step of God’s work has yet to begin, there is nothing exceptional about the demands that are made of you and what you are asked to live out. There is so much work, and so many truths; are they not worthy of being known by you? Is God’s chastisement and judgment incapable of awakening your spirit? Is God’s chastisement and judgment incapable of making you hate yourself? Are you content to live under the influence of Satan, with peace and joy, and a little fleshly comfort? Are you not the lowliest of all people? None are more foolish than those who have beheld salvation but do not pursue to gain it: They are people who gorge themselves on the flesh and enjoy Satan. You hope that your faith in God will not entail any challenges or tribulations, or the slightest hardship. You always pursue those things that are worthless, and you attach no value to life, instead putting your own extravagant thoughts before the truth. You are so worthless! You live like a pig—what difference is there between you, and pigs and dogs? Are those who do not pursue the truth, and instead love the flesh, not all beasts? Are those dead ones without spirits not all the walking corpses? How many words have been spoken among you? Has only a little work been done among you? How much have I provided among you? And so why have you not gained it? What do you have to complain of? Is it not the case that you have gained nothing because you are too in love with the flesh? And is it not because your thoughts are too extravagant? Is it not because you are too stupid? If you are incapable of gaining these blessings, can you blame God for not saving you? What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God—for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh—do you have a heart, do you have a spirit? Are you not a beast? I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God? I bestow the real human life upon you, yet you do not pursue. Aren’t you no different from a pig or a dog? Pigs do not pursue the life of man, they do not pursue being cleansed, and they do not understand what life is. Each day, after eating their fill, they simply sleep. I have given you the true way, yet you have not gained it: You are empty-handed. Are you willing to continue in this life, the life of a pig? What is the significance of such people being alive? Your life is contemptible and ignoble, you live amid filth and licentiousness, and you do not pursue any goals; is your life not the most ignoble of all? Do you have the gall to look upon God? If you continue to experience in this way, will you not acquire nothing? The true way has been given to you, but whether or not you can ultimately gain it depends on your own personal pursuit. People say that God is a righteous God, and that as long as man follows Him to the very end, He will surely be impartial toward man, for He is most righteous. If man follows Him to the very end, could He cast aside man? I am impartial toward all men, and judge all men with My righteous disposition, yet there are suitable conditions to the requirements I make of man, and that which I require must be accomplished by all men, regardless of who they are. I care not how extensive or venerable are your qualifications; I care only whether you walk in My way, and whether or not you love and thirst for the truth. If you lack the truth, and instead bring shame upon My name, and do not act according to My way, merely following without care or concern, then at that time I will strike you down and punish you for your evil, and what will you have to say then? Will you be able to say that God is not righteous? Today, if you have complied with the words I have spoken, then you are the kind of person whom I approve. You say you have always suffered whilst following God, that you have followed Him through thick and thin, and have shared with Him the good times and the bad, but you have not lived out the words spoken by God; you wish only to run about after God each day, and have never thought to live out a life of meaning. You say that, in any case, you believe God is righteous: You have suffered for Him, run around for Him, and devoted yourself for Him, and you have worked hard despite not receiving any recognition; He is sure to remember you. It is true that God is righteous, yet this righteousness is untainted by any impurities: It contains no human will, and it is not tainted by the flesh, or human transactions. All who are rebellious and in opposition, and not in compliance with His way, will be punished; none is forgiven, and no one is spared! Some people say, “Today I run around for You; when the end comes, can You give me a little blessing?” So I ask you, “Have you complied with My words?” The righteousness that you speak of is based on a transaction. You think only that I am righteous, and impartial toward all men, and that all those who follow Me to the very end are sure to be saved and gain My blessings. There is inner meaning to My words that “all those who follow Me to the very end are sure to be saved”: Those who follow Me to the very end are the ones who will be fully gained by Me, they are those who, after being conquered by Me, seek the truth and are made perfect. What conditions have you achieved? You have only achieved following Me to the very end, but what else? Have you complied with My words? You have accomplished one of My five requirements, yet you have no intention of accomplishing the remaining four. You have simply found the simplest, easiest path, and pursued it whilst thinking yourself fortunate. Toward such a person as you My righteous disposition is one of chastisement and judgment, it is one of righteous retribution, and it is the righteous punishment of all evildoers; all those who do not walk in My way will surely be punished, even if they follow to the very end. This is the righteousness of God. When this righteous disposition is expressed in the punishment of man, man will be dumbfounded, and regret that, whilst following God, he did not walk in His way. At that time, he only suffered a little whilst following God, but did not walk in the way of God. What excuses are there? There is no option but to be chastised! Yet in his mind he is thinking, “Anyway, I have followed to the very end, so even if You chastise me, it can’t be too severe a chastisement, and after exacting this chastisement You will still want me. I know You are righteous, and will not treat me that way forever. After all, I’m not like those who will be wiped out; those who are wiped out will receive a heavy chastisement, whereas my chastisement will be lighter.” God’s righteous disposition is not as you say. It is not the case that those who are good at confessing their sins are dealt with leniently. Righteousness is holiness, and is a disposition that is intolerant of offense by man, and all that is filthy and has not changed is the target of God’s disgust. God’s righteous disposition is not law, but administrative decree: It is administrative decree within the kingdom, and this administrative decree is the righteous punishment of anyone who does not possess the truth and has not changed, and there is no margin for salvation. For when each man is classified according to kind, the good will be rewarded and the evil will be punished. It is when the destination of man will be made clear, it is the time that the work of salvation will come to an end, the work of saving man will no longer be done, and retribution will be brought upon every one of those who commit evil. Some people say, “God remembers every one of those who are often by His side. I am one of those brothers and sisters, and God could not forget any one of us. We are guaranteed to be made perfect by God. He will not remember any of those who are below us, those among them who will be made perfect are guaranteed to be less than us, who often encounter God; among us none have been forgotten by God, we have all been approved by God, and are guaranteed to be made perfect by God.” You all have such conceptions; is this righteousness? Have you put the truth into practice or not? You actually spread rumors such as these—you have no shame!
Today, some people pursue being used by God, but after being conquered they cannot be used directly. As for the words spoken today, if, when God uses people, you are still unable to accomplish them, then you have not been made perfect. In other words, the arrival of the end of the period when man is made perfect will determine whether man will be eliminated or used by God. Those who have been conquered are nothing more than examples of passiveness and negativity; they are specimens and models, but they are nothing more than a counterpoint. Only when man has life, his disposition has changed, and he has achieved changes inside and out will he have been fully made complete. Today, which do you want, to be conquered, or to be made perfect? Which do you wish to achieve? How many of the conditions for being made perfect have you fulfilled? Which have you not fulfilled? How should you equip yourself, and how should you make up for your deficiencies? How should you enter onto the path to being made perfect? How should you completely submit? You ask to be made perfect, so do you pursue holiness? Do you pursue chastisement and judgment so that you may be protected by God? You pursue being cleansed, so are you willing to accept chastisement and judgment? You ask to know God, but do you have a knowledge of His chastisement and judgment? Today, most of the work He does on you is chastisement and judgment; what is your knowledge of this work, which has been carried out upon you? Has the chastisement and judgment that you have experienced cleansed you? Has it changed you? Has it had any effect on you? Are you weary of so much work of today—curses, judgments, and disclosures—or do you feel that they are of great benefit to you? You love God, but because of what do you love Him? Do you love God because you have only received a little grace, or do you love God after having gained peace and joy? Or do you love God after being cleansed by His chastisement and judgment? What exactly makes you love God? Which conditions did Peter fulfill in order to be made perfect? After he was made perfect, what was the crucial way in which it was expressed? Did he love the Lord Jesus because he longed for Him, or because he couldn’t see Him, or because he had been reproached? Or did he love the Lord Jesus even more because he had accepted the suffering of tribulations, and had come to know his own filth and disobedience, and had come to know the holiness of the Lord? Did his love of God become purer because of God’s chastisement and judgment, or because of something else? Which is it? You love God because of God’s grace, and because today He has given you some slight blessing. Is this true love? How should you love God? Should you accept His chastisement and judgment, and, after beholding His righteous disposition, be able to truly love Him, such that you are utterly convinced, and have a knowledge of Him? Like Peter, can you say that you cannot love God enough? Is what you pursue to be conquered after chastisement and judgment, or to be cleansed, protected and cared for after chastisement and judgment? Which of these do you pursue? Is your life a meaningful one, or is it pointless and without value? Do you want the flesh, or do you want the truth? Do you wish for judgment, or comfort? Having experienced so much of God’s work, and having beheld the holiness and righteousness of God, how should you pursue? How should you walk this path? How should you put your love of God into practice? Has God’s chastisement and judgment achieved any effect in you? Whether or not you have a knowledge of God’s chastisement and judgment depends on what you live out, and to what extent you love God! Your lips say you love God, yet what you live out is the old, corrupt disposition; you have no fear of God, much less do you have a conscience. Do such people love God? Are such people loyal to God? Are they those who accept God’s chastisement and judgment? You say you love God and believe in Him, yet you do not let go of your conceptions. In your work, entry, the words you speak, and in your life, there is no manifestation of your love of God, and there is no reverence for God. Is this someone who has gained chastisement and judgment? Could someone such as this be Peter? Do those who are like Peter only have the knowledge, but not the living out? Today, what is the condition that requires man to live out a real life? Were Peter’s prayers nothing more than words that came out of his mouth? Were they not the words from deep within his heart? Did Peter only pray, and not put the truth into practice? For whose sake is your pursuit? How should you have yourself protected and cleansed during God’s chastisement and judgment? Is God’s chastisement and judgment of no benefit to man? Is all judgment punishment? Could it be that only peace and joy, only material blessings and momentary comfort, are beneficial to the life of man? If man lives in a pleasant and comfortable environment, without a life of judgment, could he be cleansed? If man wishes to change and be cleansed, how should he accept being made perfect? Which path should you choose today?