Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement (Part Two)
Someone who serves God should not only know how to suffer for Him; more than that, they should understand that the purpose of believing in God is to pursue a love of God. God makes use of you not just to refine you or for the sake of making you suffer, but rather He makes use of you so that you may know His actions, know the true significance of human life, and in particular, so that you may know that serving God is not an easy task. Experiencing God’s work is not about enjoying grace, but rather about suffering for your love of Him. Since you enjoy God’s grace, you must also enjoy His chastisement; you must experience all of this. You can experience God’s enlightenment in you, and you can also experience how He deals with you and judges you. In this way, your experience will be comprehensive. God has carried out His work of judgment and chastisement upon you. God’s word has dealt with you, but not only that; it has also enlightened and illuminated you. When you are negative and weak, God worries for you. All of this work is to let you know that everything about man is within God’s orchestrations. You may think that believing in God is about suffering, or doing all manner of things for Him; you might think that the purpose of believing in God is so that your flesh may be at peace, or so that everything in your life runs smoothly, or so that you may be comfortable and at ease in all things. However, none of these are purposes that people should attach to their belief in God. If you believe for these purposes, then your perspective is incorrect, and it is simply impossible for you to be perfected. God’s actions, God’s righteous disposition, His wisdom, His words, and His wondrousness and unfathomableness are all things people ought to understand. Having this understanding, you should use it to rid your heart of all personal demands, hopes, and notions. Only by eliminating these things can you meet the conditions demanded by God, and it is only by doing this that you can have life and satisfy God. The purpose of believing in God is to satisfy Him and to live out the disposition He requires, so that His actions and glory may be manifested through this group of unworthy people. This is the correct perspective for believing in God, and this is also the goal that you should seek. You should have the right viewpoint about believing in God and you should seek to obtain. You need to eat and drink God’s words and you must be able to live out the truth, and in particular you must be able to see His practical deeds, His wonderful deeds throughout the entire universe, as well as the practical work He does in the flesh. People can, through their practical experiences, appreciate just how God does His work on them and what His will is toward them. The purpose of all of this is to eliminate people’s corrupt satanic disposition. Having cast out all the uncleanliness and unrighteousness inside you, and having cast off your wrong intentions, and having developed true faith in God—only with true faith can you truly love God. You can only genuinely love God on the foundation of your belief in Him. Can you achieve love for God without believing in Him? Since you believe in God, you cannot be muddle-headed about it. Some people become full of vigor as soon as they see that faith in God will bring them blessings, but then lose all energy as soon as they see that they have to suffer refinements. Is that believing in God? Ultimately, you must achieve complete and utter obedience before God in your faith. You believe in God but still have demands of Him, have many religious notions you cannot put down, personal interests you cannot let go of, and still you seek blessings of the flesh and want God to rescue your flesh, to save your soul—these are all behaviors of people who have the wrong perspective. Even though people with religious beliefs have faith in God, they do not seek to change their dispositions and do not pursue knowledge of God, but rather seek only the interests of their flesh. Many among you have faiths that belong in the category of religious convictions; this is not true faith in God. To believe in God, people must possess a heart that is prepared to suffer for Him and the will to give themselves up. Unless people meet these two conditions, their faith in God is not valid, and they will not be able to achieve change in their disposition. Only people who genuinely pursue the truth, seek knowledge of God, and pursue life are those who truly believe in God.
When trials come upon you, how will you apply God’s work in handling those trials? Will you be negative, or will you understand God’s trial and refinement of man from a positive aspect? What will you gain through God’s trials and refinements? Will your love for God grow? When you are subject to refinement, will you be able to apply the trials of Job and engage earnestly with the work God does in you? Can you see how God tests man through the trials of Job? What kind of inspiration can Job’s trials bring to you? Will you be willing to stand witness for God in the midst of your refinements, or will you want to satisfy the flesh in a comfortable environment? What truly is your perspective on faith in God? Is it truly for Him, and not for the flesh? Do you actually have a target which you pursue in your seeking? Are you willing to undergo refinements so that you may be perfected by God, or would you rather be chastised and cursed by God? What is truly your view on the matter of bearing witness for God? What should people do in certain environments to bear true witness for God? Since the practical God has revealed so much in His actual work in you, why do you always have thoughts of leaving? Is your belief in God for God? For most of you, your belief is part of a calculation that you make on your own behalf, for pursuit of your own personal benefit. Very few people believe in God for God; is this not rebelliousness?
The purpose of the work of refinement is primarily to perfect people’s faith and ultimately to cause you to reach a state where you want to leave but you cannot, where some people may be bereft of even a single shred of hope yet they still have their faith, where people no longer hold on to any hopes for their own future prospects. Only at this time will God’s refinement be finished. Man still has not reached the stage of hovering between life and death, and they have not tasted death, so the process of refinement is not yet finished. Even those who were at the step of the service-doers were not refined to the utmost. Job underwent extreme refinement, and he had nothing to rely on. People must undergo refinements to the point that they have no hope and nothing to rely on—only this is true refinement. During the time of the service-doers, if your heart was always quiet before God, and if no matter what He did and no matter what His will for you was, you always obeyed His arrangements, then at the end of the road you would understand everything that God had done. You undergo the trials of Job, and at the same time you undergo the trials of Peter. When Job was tested, he stood witness, and in the end, Jehovah was revealed to him. Only after he stood witness was he worthy of seeing the face of God. Why is it said: “I hide from the land of filth but show Myself to the holy kingdom”? That means that only when you are holy and stand witness can you have the dignity to see the face of God. If you cannot stand witness for Him, you do not have the dignity to see His face. If you retreat or make complaints against God in the face of refinements, thus failing to stand witness for Him and becoming Satan’s laughing stock, then you will not gain the appearance of God. If you are like Job, who in the midst of trials cursed his own flesh and did not complain against God, and was able to detest his own flesh without complaining or sinning through his words, then you will be standing witness. When you undergo refinements to a certain degree and can still be like Job, utterly obedient in front of God and without other requirements of Him or your own notions, then God will appear to you. Now God does not appear to you because you have so many of your own notions, personal prejudices, selfish thoughts, individual requirements and fleshly interests, and you are not worthy of seeing His face. Were you to see God, you would measure Him through your own notions and, in so doing, He would be nailed to the cross by you. If many things come upon you that do not align with your notions but yet you are able to put them aside and gain knowledge of God’s actions from these things, and if in the midst of refinements you reveal your heart of love for God, then this is standing witness. If your home is peaceful, you enjoy comforts of the flesh, no one is persecuting you, and your brothers and sisters in the church obey you, can you display your heart of love for God? Can this situation refine you? It is only through refinement that your love for God can be shown, and it is only through things occurring that do not align with your notions that you can be perfected. With the service of many contrary and negative things, and by employing all sorts of Satan’s manifestations—its actions, its accusations, its disturbances and deceptions—God shows you Satan’s hideous face clearly, and thereby perfects your ability to distinguish Satan, that you may hate Satan and forsake it.
Your many experiences of failure, of weakness, your times of negativity, can all be said to be God’s trials. This is because everything comes from God, and all things and events are in His hands. Whether you fail or whether you are weak and you stumble, it all rests on God and is within His grasp. From God’s perspective, this is a trial of you, and if you cannot recognize that, it will become temptation. There are two kinds of states that people should recognize: One comes from the Holy Spirit, and the likely source of the other is Satan. One is a state in which the Holy Spirit illuminates you and allows you to know yourself, to detest and feel regret about yourself and to be able to have genuine love for God, to set your heart on satisfying Him. The other is a state in which you know yourself, but you are negative and weak. It could be said that this state is God’s refinement, and also that it is Satan’s temptation. If you recognize that this is God’s salvation of you and if you feel that you are now deeply in His debt, and if from now on you try to repay Him and no longer fall into such depravity, if you put your effort into eating and drinking His words, and if you always consider yourself to be lacking, and have a heart of longing, then this is God’s trial. After the suffering has ended and you are once again moving forward, God will still lead, illuminate, enlighten, and nourish you. But if you do not recognize it and you are negative, simply abandoning yourself to despair, if you think in this way, then Satan’s temptation will have come upon you. When Job underwent trials, God and Satan were betting with each other, and God allowed Satan to afflict Job. Even though it was God testing Job, it was actually Satan that came upon him. For Satan, it was tempting Job, but Job was on God’s side. If that had not been the case, then Job would have fallen into temptation. As soon as people fall into temptation, they fall into danger. Undergoing refinement can be said to be a trial from God, but if you are not in a good state, it can be said to be temptation from Satan. If you are not clear about the vision, Satan will accuse you and obscure you in the aspect of vision. Before you know it, you will fall into temptation.
If you do not experience the work of God, then you will never be able to be perfected. In your experience, you must also enter into the details. For example, what things lead you to develop notions and an excess of motives, and what kind of suitable practices do you have to address these problems? If you can experience God’s work, this means that you have stature. If you only appear to have vigor, this is not true stature and you absolutely will not be able to stand firm. Only when you are able to experience God’s work and you are able to experience and ponder it at any time and in any place, when you are able to leave the shepherds and live independently in reliance upon God, and you are able to see God’s actual actions—only then will God’s will be achieved. Right now, most people do not know how to experience, and when they encounter an issue, they do not know how to take care of it; they are incapable of experiencing God’s work, and they cannot lead a spiritual life. You must take God’s words and work into your practical life.
Sometimes God gives you a certain type of feeling, a feeling that causes you to lose your inner enjoyment and lose God’s presence, such that you are plunged into darkness. This is a type of refinement. Whenever you do anything, it always goes awry, or you hit a wall. This is God’s discipline. Sometimes, when you do something that is disobedient and rebellious toward God, nobody else may know of it—but God does. He will not let you off, and He will discipline you. The work of the Holy Spirit is very detailed. He very carefully observes people’s every word and action, their every act and move, and their every thought and idea so that people can gain internal awareness of these things. You do something once and it goes awry, you do something again and it still goes awry, and gradually you will come to understand the work of the Holy Spirit. Through many times of being disciplined, you will know what to do to be in line with God’s will and what is not in line with His will. In the end, you will have accurate responses to the Holy Spirit’s guidance from within you. Sometimes you will be rebellious and you will be rebuked by God from within. This all comes from God’s discipline. If you do not treasure God’s word, if you slight His work, then He will pay you no mind. The more seriously you take God’s words, the more He will enlighten you. Right now, there are some people in the church who have a muddled and confused faith, and they do a lot of inappropriate things and act without discipline, and so the work of the Holy Spirit cannot be clearly seen in them. Some people leave their duties behind for the sake of earning money, going out to run a business without being disciplined; that kind of person is in even more danger. Not only do they not currently have the work of the Holy Spirit, but in the future, they will be difficult to perfect. There are many people in whom the work of the Holy Spirit cannot be seen and in whom God’s discipline cannot be seen. They are those who are not clear on God’s will and who do not know His work. Those who can stand steady in the midst of refinements, who follow God no matter what He does, and at the very least are able to not leave, or achieve 0.1% of what Peter achieved are doing fine, but they have no value in terms of God making use of them. Many people understand things quickly, have true love for God, and can exceed Peter’s level, and God does the work of perfection on them. Discipline and enlightenment come to such people, and if there is something in them that does not accord with God’s will, they can cast it off at once. Such people are gold, silver, and precious stones—their value is most high! If God has done many kinds of work but you are still like sand or stone, then you are worthless!
God’s work in the country of the great red dragon is marvelous and unfathomable. He will perfect one group of people and eliminate some others, for there are all kinds of people in the church—there are those who love the truth, and those who do not; there are those who experience God’s work, and those who do not; there are those who do their duty, and those who do not; there are those who testify for God, and those who do not—and a portion of them are nonbelievers and evil men, and they will certainly be eliminated. If you do not clearly know the work of God, then you will be negative; this is because God’s work can only be seen in a minority of people. At this time, it will become clear who truly loves God and who does not. Those who truly love God have the work of the Holy Spirit, while those who do not truly love Him will be revealed through each step of His work. They will become the objects of elimination. These people will be revealed over the course of the work of conquest, and they are people who have no value for being perfected. Those who have been perfected have been gained by God in their entirety, and are capable of loving God like Peter did. Those who have been conquered do not have spontaneous love, but only passive love, and they are forced to love God. Spontaneous love is developed through understanding gained through practical experience. This love occupies a person’s heart and makes them voluntarily devoted to God; God’s words become their foundation and they are able to suffer for God. Of course, these are things possessed by someone who has been perfected by God. If you only seek to be conquered, then you cannot bear witness for God; if God only achieves His goal of salvation through conquering people, then the step of the service-doers would finish the job. However, conquering people is not God’s final goal, which is to perfect people. So rather than say that this stage is the work of conquest, say that it is the work of perfecting and eliminating. Some people have not been fully conquered, and in the course of conquering them, a group of people will be perfected. These two pieces of work are carried out in unison. People have not departed even throughout such a long period of work, and this shows that the goal of conquering has been achieved—this is a fact of being conquered. Refinements are not for the sake of being conquered, but for the sake of being perfected. Without refinements, people could not be perfected. So refinements are truly valuable! Today one group of people is being perfected and gained. The ten blessings mentioned previously were all aimed at those who have been perfected. Everything about changing their image on the earth is aimed at those who have been perfected. Those who have not been perfected are not qualified to receive the promises of God.