15. Performing one’s duty well is true testimony
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
Everyone who believes in God should understand His will. Only those who perform their duties well can satisfy God, and only by completing God’s commission can one’s performance of their duty be satisfactory. There is a standard for the accomplishment of God’s commission. The Lord Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” “Loving God” is one aspect of what God requires of people. Where should this requirement manifest itself? In that you must complete God’s commission. In practical terms, it is performing your duty well as a human. So what is the standard for performing your duty well? It is God’s requirement that you do your duty as a created being with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This should be easy to understand. In order to meet God’s requirement, you mainly need to put your heart into your duty. If you can put your heart into it, then it will be easy for you to act with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. If you perform your duty by just relying on the imaginings of your mind, and by relying on your gifts, can you meet God’s requirement? Absolutely not. So, what is the standard that must be met in order to fulfill God’s commission, and to perform your duty loyally and well? It is to do your duty with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. If you attempt to perform your duty well without a God-loving heart, it will not work. If your God-loving heart grows ever stronger and more genuine, then you will naturally be able to perform your duty with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Is It, Exactly, on Which People Rely to Live?
If you are truly possessed of conscience, then you must have a burden, and a sense of responsibility. You must say: “Regardless of whether I will be conquered or made perfect, I must bear this step of testimony properly.” As a creature of God, one can be utterly conquered by God, and ultimately, one becomes able to satisfy God, repaying God’s love with a God-loving heart and by completely devoting oneself to God. This is the responsibility of man, it is the duty that ought to be performed by man, and the burden that ought to be borne by man, and man must complete this commission. Only then does he truly believe in God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (3)
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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Do You Know of Faith?
Do not always do things for your own sake and do not constantly consider your own interests; do not consider the interests of man, and give no thought to your own pride, reputation, and status. You must first consider the interests of God’s house, and make them your priority. You should be considerate of God’s will and begin by contemplating whether or not there have been impurities in the performance of your duty, whether you have been devoted, fulfilled your responsibilities, and given it your all, as well as whether or not you have been wholeheartedly thinking about your duty and the work of the church. You must consider these things. If you think about them frequently and figure them out, it will be easier for you to perform your duty well. If you are of poor caliber, if your experience is shallow, or if you are not proficient in your professional work, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and you may not get good results—but you will have done your best. You do not satisfy your own selfish desires or preferences. Instead, you give constant consideration to the work of the church and the interests of the house of God. Though you may not achieve good results in your duty, your heart will have been set straight; if, on top of this, you can seek the truth to solve the problems in your duty, you will be up to standard in the performance of your duty, and, at the same time, you will be able to enter into the truth reality. This is what it means to possess testimony.
Some people believe in God but do not pursue the truth. They always live by the flesh, coveting fleshly pleasures, always sating their own selfish desires. No matter how many years they believe in God, they will never enter into the truth reality. This is the mark of having brought shame to God. You say, “I haven’t done anything to resist God. How have I brought shame upon Him?” All of your ideas and thoughts are evil. The intents, goals, and motives behind what you do, and the consequences of your actions always satisfy Satan, make you its laughingstock, and allow it to get something on you. You have borne none of the testimony that a Christian should. You are of Satan. You bring shame to God’s name in all things and you do not possess genuine testimony. Will God remember the things that you have done? In the end, what conclusion will God draw about all of your actions, behavior, and the duties that you have performed? Does something not have to come of that, some sort of statement? In the Bible, the Lord Jesus says, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and in Your name have cast out devils, and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22–23). Why did the Lord Jesus say this? Why did so many of those who preached, cast out demons, and performed many miracles in the name of the Lord become evildoers? It was because they did not accept the truths expressed by the Lord Jesus, they did not keep to His commandments, and they had no love for the truth in their hearts. They only wanted to exchange the work they had done, the hardships they had endured, and the sacrifices they had made for the Lord for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. In this, they were attempting to strike a deal with God, and they were trying to use God and trick God, so the Lord Jesus felt sick of them, hated them, and condemned them as evildoers. Today, people are accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, but some still pursue reputation and status, and always wish to distinguish themselves, always wanting to be leaders and workers and to gain reputation and status. Although they all say that they believe in God and follow God, and they renounce and expend for God, they perform their duties to gain prestige, profit, and status, and they always have their own schemes. They are not obedient or devoted to God, they can run amok doing evil without reflecting on themselves at all, and so they become evildoers. God hates these evildoers, and God does not save them. What is the standard by which a person’s actions and behavior are judged to be good or evil? It is whether or not they, in their thoughts, outpourings, and actions, possess the testimony of putting the truth into practice and of living out the truth reality. If you do not have this reality or live this out, then without doubt, you are an evildoer. How does God regard evildoers? To God, your thoughts and external acts do not bear testimony for Him, nor do they humiliate and defeat Satan; instead, they bring shame to Him, and they are riddled with marks of the dishonor that you have brought upon Him. You are not testifying for God, you are not expending yourself for God, nor are you fulfilling your responsibilities and obligations to God; instead, you are acting for your own sake. What does “for your own sake” mean? To be precise, it means for Satan’s sake. Therefore, in the end, God will say, “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” In God’s eyes, your actions will not be seen as good deeds, they will be considered evil deeds. Not only will they fail to gain God’s approval—they will be condemned. What does one hope to gain from such a belief in God? Would such belief not come to naught in the end?
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Freedom and Liberation Can Be Gained Only by Casting Off One’s Corrupt Disposition
No matter what trials confront you, you must come before God—this is right. You must reflect on yourself while not delaying the performance of your duty. Do not only reflect and never perform your duty, neglecting the important to concentrate on the insignificant—that is the way of foolishness. No matter what trial befalls you, you must treat it as a burden given to you by God. Say some people are beset by great sickness and unbearable suffering, some even face death. How should they approach this kind of situation? In many cases, the trials of God are burdens He gives to people. However great the burden bestowed upon you by God, that is the weight of burden you should undertake, for God understands you, and knows you will be able to bear it. The burden given to you by God will not exceed your stature or the limits of your endurance, so there is no question that you will be able to bear it. No matter what manner of burden God gives you, what kind of trial, remember one thing: Whether or not you understand God’s will and whether or not you are enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit after you pray, whether or not this trial is God disciplining you or warning you, it does not matter if you do not understand. As long as you do not delay in performing your duty and can faithfully abide by your duty, God will be satisfied, and you will stand firm in your testimony. Seeing that they are suffering from a serious illness and are going to die, some people think to themselves: “It was to avoid death that I started believing in God—but it turns out that even after all these years of performing my duty, He’s going to let me die. I should get on with my own business, do the things I have always wanted to do, and enjoy the things I have not enjoyed in this life. I can put off my duty.” What attitude is this? You have been performing your duty for all these years, you have listened to all these sermons, and still you have not understood the truth. One trial topples you, brings you to your knees, and lays you bare. Is such a person worthy of being cared for by God? (They are unworthy.) They are totally without loyalty. So what is the duty they have spent all these years performing known as? It is known as “doing service,” and they have just been exerting themselves. If, in your faith in God and pursuit of the truth, you are able to say, “Whatever sickness or disagreeable event God allows to befall me—no matter what God does—I must obey, and stay in my place as a created being. Before all else, I must put this aspect of the truth—obedience—into practice, I must implement it, and live out the reality of obedience to God. Moreover, I must not cast aside what God has commissioned to me and the duty I should perform. Even on my last breath, I must abide by my duty,” is this not bearing testimony? When you have this kind of resolve and this kind of state, are you still able to complain about God? No, you are not. At such a time, you will think to yourself, “God gives me this breath, He has provided for and protected me all these years, He has taken much pain from me, given me much grace, and many truths. I have understood truths and mysteries that people have not understood for generations. I have gained so much from God, so I must repay God! Before, my stature was too small, I understood nothing, and everything I did was hurtful to God. I may not have another chance to repay God in the future. No matter how much time I have left to live, I must offer the little strength I have and do what I can for God, so that God can see that all these years of providing for me have not been in vain, but have borne fruit. Let me bring comfort to God, and no longer hurt or disappoint Him.” How about thinking this way? Do not think about how to save yourself or escape, thinking, “When will this illness be cured? When it is, I shall do my best to perform my duty and be devoted. How can I be devoted when I’m ill? How can I perform the duty of a created being?” As long as you have a single breath, are you not capable of performing your duty? As long as you have a single breath, are you capable of not bringing shame upon God? As long as you have a single breath, as long as your mind is lucid, are you capable of not complaining about God? (Yes.) It is easy to say “Yes” now, but it will not be so easy when this really happens to you. And so, you must pursue the truth, often work hard on the truth, and spend more time thinking, “How can I satisfy God’s will? How can I repay God’s love? How can I perform the duty of a created being?”
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only in the Frequent Reading of God’s Words and Contemplation of the Truth Is There a Way Ahead
No matter what you encounter while performing your duty—negativity and weakness, or being in a bad mood after being dealt with—you should treat it properly, and you must also seek the truth and understand God’s will. By doing these things, you will have a path to practice. If you wish to do a good job in fulfilling your duty, then you must not be affected by your mood. No matter how negative or weak you are feeling, you should practice the truth in everything you do, with absolute strictness, and sticking to the principles. If you do this, then not only will other people approve of you, but God will like you, too. As such, you will be a person who is responsible and who shoulders a burden; you will be a genuinely good person who actually fulfills your duties up to standard and who fully lives out the likeness of a genuine person. Such people are purified and achieve real transformation when fulfilling their duties, and they can be said to be honest in God’s eyes. Only honest people can persevere with practicing the truth and succeed in acting with principle, and can fulfill their duties up to standard. People who act with principle fulfill their duties meticulously when they are in a good mood; they do not work in a perfunctory manner, they are not arrogant and they do not show themselves off to make others think highly of them. When they are in a bad mood, they can complete their everyday tasks just as earnestly and responsibly, and even if they encounter something that is detrimental to the fulfillment of their duties, or that puts a bit of pressure on them or causes a disturbance while they do their duties, they are still able to quiet their hearts before God and pray, saying, “No matter how big a problem I come up against—even if the sky comes tumbling down—as long as I am alive, I am determined to do my best to fulfill my duty. Every day I live is a day in which I must perform my duty well, so that I am worthy of this duty bestowed upon me by God, as well as this breath He has put in my body. Regardless of how much difficulty I might be in, I will set it all aside, for fulfilling my duty is of the utmost importance!” Those who are not affected by any person, event, thing, or environment, who are not constrained by any mood or external situation, and who put their duties and the commissions with which God has entrusted them first and foremost—they are the people who are loyal to God and who genuinely submit to Him. People like this have attained life entry and have entered the truth reality. This is one of the most genuine and practical expressions of living out the truth.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Life Entry Begins With the Performance of Duty
People who do not do their duty before God are already guilty of the most heinous of crimes, for which even death is an insufficient punishment, yet they have the gall to argue with God and match themselves against Him. What is the worth of perfecting such people? When people fail to fulfill their duty, they should feel guilt and indebtedness; they ought to despise their weakness and uselessness, their rebelliousness and corruption, and moreover, ought to give their life to God. Only then are they created beings who truly love God, and only such people are worthy of enjoying the blessings and promise of God, and of being made perfect by Him. And what of the majority of you? How do you treat the God who lives among you? How have you performed your duty before Him? Have you done all you were called upon to do, even at the expense of your own life? What have you sacrificed? Have you not received much from Me? Can you discern? How loyal are you to Me? How have you served Me? And what of all that I have bestowed upon you and have done for you? Have you taken measure of it all? Have you all judged and compared this with what little conscience you have within you? Who could your words and actions be worthy of? Could it be that such minuscule sacrifice of yours is worthy of all I have bestowed upon you? I have no other choice and have been wholeheartedly devoted to you, yet you harbor wicked intentions and are half-hearted toward Me. That is the extent of your duty, your only function. Is this not so? Do you not know that you have utterly failed to perform the duty of a created being? How can you be considered a created being? Is it not clear to you what it is you are expressing and living out? You have failed to fulfill your duty, but you seek to gain the tolerance and bountiful grace of God. Such grace has not been prepared for ones as worthless and base as you, but for those who ask for nothing and gladly sacrifice. People such as you, such mediocrities, are utterly unworthy of enjoying the grace of heaven. Only hardship and interminable punishment shall accompany your days! If you cannot be faithful to Me, your fate shall be one of suffering. If you cannot be accountable to My words and My work, your outcome will be one of punishment. All grace, blessings, and the wonderful life of the kingdom shall have nothing to do with you. This is the end you deserve to meet and a consequence of your own making! Not only do those of ignorance and arrogance not try their best, nor perform their duty, they hold out their hands for grace, as if what they ask for is deserved. And if they fail to gain what they ask for, they become ever less faithful. How can such people be considered reasonable? You are of poor caliber and devoid of reason, completely incapable of fulfilling the duty you ought to fulfill during the work of management. Your worth has already plummeted. Your failure to repay Me for showing you such grace is already an act of extreme rebelliousness, sufficient to condemn you and demonstrate your cowardice, incompetence, baseness, and unworthiness. What entitles you to keep your hands outstretched? That you are unable to be of the slightest assistance to My work, unable to be loyal, and unable to stand witness for Me are your misdeeds and failings, yet you instead attack Me, tell falsehoods of Me, and complain that I am unrighteous. Is this what constitutes your loyalty? Is this what constitutes your love? What other work can you do beyond this? How have you contributed to all the work that has been done? How much have you expended? I have already shown great tolerance by not blaming you, yet still you shamelessly make excuses to Me and complain about Me in private. Do you have even the slightest trace of humanity? Though the duty of man is tainted by the mind of man and his notions, you must do your duty and show your loyalty. The impurities in the work of man are an issue of his caliber, whereas, if man does not perform his duty, it shows his rebelliousness. There is no correlation between the duty of man and whether he is blessed or cursed. Duty is what man ought to fulfill; it is his heaven-sent vocation, and should not depend on recompense, conditions, or reasons. Only then is he doing his duty. To be blessed is when someone is made perfect and enjoys God’s blessings after experiencing judgment. To be cursed is when someone’s disposition does not change after they have experienced chastisement and judgment, it is when they do not experience being made perfect but are punished. But regardless of whether they are blessed or cursed, created beings should fulfill their duty, doing what they ought to do, and doing what they are able to do; this is the least that a person, a person who pursues God, should do. You should not do your duty only to be blessed, and you should not refuse to act for fear of being cursed. Let Me tell you this one thing: Man’s performance of his duty is what he ought to do, and if he is incapable of performing his duty, then this is his rebelliousness. It is through the process of doing his duty that man is gradually changed, and it is through this process that he demonstrates his loyalty. As such, the more you are able to do your duty, the more truth you shall receive, and the more real your expression shall become. Those who merely go through the motions in doing their duty and do not seek the truth shall be cast out in the end, for such people do not do their duty in the practice of truth, and do not practice truth in the fulfillment of their duty. They are those who remain unchanged and will be cursed. Not only are their expressions impure, but everything they express is wicked.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man