43. Why only those who truly love God can be made perfect by Him
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
Those who love God are those who love the truth, and the more those who love the truth put it into practice, the more of it they have; the more they put it into practice, the more of God’s love they have; and the more they put it into practice, the more blessed they are by God. If you always practice in this way, God’s love for you will gradually enable you to see, just as Peter came to know God: Peter said that God not only has the wisdom to create the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, that He also has the wisdom to do real work in people. Peter said that He is not only worthy of people’s love because of His creation of the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, because of His ability to create man, to save man, to make man perfect, and to bequeath His love to man. So, too, did Peter say that there is much in Him that is worthy of man’s love. Peter said to Jesus: “Is creating the heavens and earth and all things the only reason You deserve people’s love? There is more in You that is lovable. You act and move in real life, Your Spirit touches me inside, You discipline me, You reproach me—these things are even more worthy of people’s love.” If you wish to see and experience God’s love, then you must explore and seek in real life and must be willing to put aside your own flesh. You must make this resolution. You must be someone with resolve who is able to satisfy God in all things, without being lazy or coveting the enjoyments of the flesh, not living for the flesh but living for God. There may be times when you do not satisfy God. That is because you do not understand God’s will; the next time, even though it will take more effort, you must satisfy Him and must not satisfy the flesh. When you experience in this way, you will have come to know God. You will see that God can create the heavens and earth and all things, that He has become flesh so that people can actually see Him and actually engage with Him; you will see that He is able to walk among man, and that His Spirit can make people perfect in real life, allowing them to see His loveliness and experience His discipline, His chastening, and His blessings. If you always experience in this way, in real life you will be inseparable from God, and if one day your relationship with God ceases to be normal, you will be able to suffer reproach and to feel remorse. When you have a normal relationship with God, you will never wish to leave God, and if one day God says He will leave you, you will be afraid, and will say that you would rather die than be left by God. As soon as you have these emotions, you will feel that you are incapable of leaving God, and in this way, you will have a foundation, and will truly enjoy God’s love.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light
The reason only those who truly love God have the most value and meaning in their lives, the reason only they truly believe in God, is that these people are able to live in God’s light and are able to live for God’s work and management. It is because they do not live in darkness, but live in the light; they do not live meaningless lives, but lives that have been blessed by God. Only those who love God are able to testify of God, only they are God’s witnesses, only they are blessed by God, and only they are able to receive God’s promises. Those who love God are God’s intimates; they are the people beloved by God, and they can enjoy blessings together with God. Only people such as this will live to eternity, and only they will forever live under God’s care and protection. God is for people to love, and He is worthy of all people’s love, but not all people are capable of loving God, and not all people can testify of God and hold power with God. Because they are able to testify of God and devote all their efforts to God’s work, those who truly love God can walk anywhere beneath the heavens without anyone daring to oppose them, and they can wield power on earth and rule all the people of God. These people have come together from across the world. They speak different languages and have different skin colors, but their existence has the same meaning; they all have a God-loving heart, they all bear the same testimony, and have the same resolve, and the same wish. Those who love God can walk freely throughout the world, and those who testify of God can travel across the universe. These people are beloved by God, they are blessed by God, and they will forever live within His light.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light
God works in those who pursue and treasure His words. The more you treasure God’s words, the more His Spirit will work in you. The more a person treasures God’s words, the greater their chance of being perfected by God. God perfects those who truly love Him, and He perfects those whose hearts are at peace before Him. To treasure all of God’s work, to treasure God’s enlightenment, to treasure God’s presence, to treasure God’s care and protection, to treasure how God’s words become your reality and provide for your life—all this accords best with God’s heart. If you treasure God’s work, that is, if you treasure all the work that He has done upon you, then He will bless you and cause all that is yours to multiply. If you do not treasure God’s words, He will not work in you, but He will only grant you paltry grace for your faith, or bless you with scant wealth and your family with scant safety. You should strive to make God’s words your reality, and be able to satisfy Him and be after His own heart; you should not merely strive to enjoy His grace. Nothing is more important for believers than to receive God’s work, gain perfection, and become those who do God’s will. This is the goal you should pursue.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God Perfects Those Who Are After His Own Heart
The more you satisfy God, the more God blesses you and the greater the strength of your love for God; so, too, will you have faith and resolve, and will feel that nothing is more worthy or significant than a life spent loving God. It can be said that man has but to love God to be without sorrow. Although there are times when your flesh is weak and you are beset by many real troubles, during these times you will truly rely on God, and within your spirit you will be consoled, and you will feel certainty, and that you have something to depend upon. In this way, you will be able to overcome many environments, and so you will not complain about God because of the anguish that you suffer. Instead, you will want to sing, dance, and pray, to assemble and commune, to give thought to God, and you will feel that all the people, matters, and things around you that are organized by God are fitting. If you do not love God, all that you look upon will be irksome to you and nothing will be pleasing to your eyes; in your spirit you will not be free but downtrodden, your heart will always complain about God, and you will always feel that you suffer so much torment, and that it is so unjust. If you do not pursue for the sake of happiness, but in order to satisfy God and to not be accused by Satan, then such pursuit will give you great strength to love God. Man is able to carry out all that is spoken by God, and all that he does is able to satisfy God—this is what it means to be possessed of reality. Pursuing the satisfaction of God is using your God-loving heart to put His words into practice; regardless of the time—even when others are without strength—inside of you there is still a God-loving heart, which profoundly yearns for and misses God. This is real stature. Just how great your stature is depends on how much of a God-loving heart you possess, on whether you are able to stand fast when tested, whether you are weak when a certain environment comes upon you, and whether you can stand your ground when your brothers and sisters reject you; the arrival of the facts will show just what your God-loving heart is like. It can be seen from much of God’s work that God really does love man, though the eyes of man’s spirit have yet to be completely opened and he is unable to clearly see much of the work of God and His will, nor the many things which are lovely about God; man has too little true love for God. You have believed in God throughout all this time, and today God has cut off all means of escape. Realistically speaking, you have no choice but to take the right path, the right path that you have been led onto by the harsh judgment and supreme salvation of God. Only after experiencing hardship and refinement does man know that God is lovely. Having experienced up until today, it can be said that man has come to know part of God’s loveliness, but this is still not enough, because man is so lacking. Man must experience more of God’s wondrous work, and more of all the refinement of suffering arranged by God. Only then can man’s life disposition be changed.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God
Since you believe in God, you must hand over your heart before God. If you offer up and lay your heart before God, then during refinement it will be impossible for you to deny God, or leave God. In this way your relationship with God will become ever closer and ever more normal, and your communion with God will become ever more frequent. If you always practice in this way, then you will spend more time in God’s light and more time under the guidance of His words. There will also be more and more changes in your disposition, and your knowledge will increase day by day. When the day comes that God’s trials suddenly befall you, you will not only be able to stand by God’s side, but will also be able to bear testimony to God. At that time, you will be like Job, and like Peter. Having borne testimony to God you will truly love Him, and will gladly lay down your life for Him; you will be God’s witness, and one who is beloved by God. Love that has experienced refinement is strong, not weak. Regardless of when or how God subjects you to His trials, you are able to lay down your concerns about whether you live or die, to gladly cast aside everything for God, and to happily endure anything for God—thus your love will be pure and your faith real. Only then will you be someone who is truly loved by God, and who has truly been made perfect by God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love
The people God saves are the ones who love the truth, who have caliber and the comprehension ability, they are all people who have conscience and sense, who are able to fulfill God’s commissions and do their duty well. They are people who are able to accept the truth and cast off their corrupt dispositions, and they are people who truly love God, obey God, and worship God. Although most of these people are from the bottom of society, from the families of workers and farmers, they are definitely not muddle-headed people, simpletons, or good-for-nothings. On the contrary, they are clever people who are able to accept, practice and submit to the truth. They are all righteous people, who would forsake worldly glory and riches to follow God and gain the truth and life—they are the wisest people of all. These are all honest people who truly believe in God and who truly expend themselves for Him. They can gain God’s approval and blessings, and they can be perfected into His people and the pillars of His temple. They are people of gold, silver, and precious jewels.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Knowledge of the Six Kinds of Corrupt Dispositions Is True Self-Knowledge
If a person’s attitude toward God is only to admire Him or to show Him respect from a distance, and not to love Him in the slightest, then this is the result at which a person without a God-loving heart has arrived, and that person lacks the conditions to be perfected. If so much work is unable to obtain a person’s true love, then that person has not gained God and does not genuinely pursue the truth. A person who does not love God does not love the truth and thus cannot gain God, much less receive God’s approval. Such people, however they experience the work of the Holy Spirit, and however they experience judgment, are unable to have a God-fearing heart. These are people whose nature is unchangeable and who have extremely wicked dispositions. All who do not have a God-fearing heart are to be cast out, to be objects of punishment, and to be punished just like those who do evil, to suffer even more than those who have done unrighteous things.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work
Today, you all know that man’s belief in God is not solely for the salvation of the soul and the well-being of the flesh, nor is it to enrich his life through loving God, and so on. As it stands, if you love God for the sake of the well-being of the flesh or momentary pleasure, then even if, in the end, your love for God reaches its peak and you ask for nothing more, this love that you seek is still an adulterated love and not pleasing to God. Those who use love for God to enrich their dull existence and fill a void in their hearts are the kind of people who are greedy for a life of ease, not those who truly seek to love God. Love of this kind is forced, it is the pursuit of mental gratification, and God has no need of it. What kind of love, then, is yours? For what do you love God? How much true love for God is there within you right now? The love of the great majority of you is of the aforementioned kind. Such love can only maintain the status quo; it cannot achieve immutability, nor can it take root in man. This kind of love is only like a flower that blooms and withers without bearing fruit. In other words, after you have loved God once in such a way, if there is no one to lead you on the path ahead, then you will collapse. If you can only love God in the time of loving God but afterward your life disposition remains unchanged, then you will remain unable to escape from the shroud of the influence of darkness, you will remain unable to break free from Satan’s bonds and its trickery. No one such as this can be fully gained by God; in the end, their spirit, soul, and body will still belong to Satan. There can be no doubt about this. All those who cannot be fully gained by God will return to their original place, that is, back to Satan, and they will go down to the lake of fire and brimstone to accept the next step of punishment from God. Those gained by God are those who forsake Satan and escape from its power. They are officially numbered among the people of the kingdom. This is how the people of the kingdom come to be. Are you willing to become this kind of person? Are you willing to be gained by God? Are you willing to escape from the power of Satan and return to God? Do you now belong to Satan or are you numbered among the people of the kingdom? These things should already be clear, and require no further explanation.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Viewpoint Believers Ought to Hold
If you want to be perfected by God, it is not enough to merely rush ahead on the path, nor is it enough to merely expend yourself for God. You must possess many things to be able to become someone who is perfected by God. When you face suffering, you must be able to lay aside concern for the flesh and to not make complaints against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or dissipate. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design and be prepared to curse your own flesh rather than make complaints against Him. When you are faced with trials, you must satisfy God, though you may weep bitterly or feel reluctant to part with some beloved object. Only this is true love and faith. No matter what your actual stature is, you must first possess both the will to suffer hardship and true faith, and you must also have the will to forsake the flesh. You should be willing to endure personal hardships and suffer losses to your personal interests in order to satisfy God’s will. You must also be capable of feeling regret about yourself in your heart: In the past, you were unable to satisfy God, and now, you can regret yourself. You must not be lacking in any of these regards—it is through these things that God will perfect you. If you cannot meet these criteria, then you cannot be perfected.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement
As someone who pursues the love of God, entry into the kingdom to become one of the people of God is your true future, and a life that is of the utmost value and significance; no one is more blessed than you. Why do I say this? Because those who do not believe in God live for the flesh, and they live for Satan, but today you live for God, and live to do the will of God. That is why I say your lives are of the utmost significance. Only this group of people, who have been selected by God, are able to live out a life of the utmost significance: No one else on earth is able to live out a life of such value and meaning. Because you have been selected by God, and are raised up by God, and, moreover, because of God’s love for you, you have grasped the true life, and know how to live a life that is of the utmost value. This is not because your pursuit is good, but because of the grace of God; it was God who opened the eyes of your spirit, and it was the Spirit of God that touched your heart, giving you the good fortune to come before Him. If the Spirit of God had not enlightened you, then you would be incapable of seeing what is lovely about God, nor would it be possible for you to love God. It is wholly because the Spirit of God has touched people’s hearts that their hearts have turned to God. Sometimes, when you are enjoying the words of God, your spirit is touched, and you feel that you cannot help but love God, that there is great strength within you, and that there is nothing that you cannot put aside. If you feel like this, then you have been touched by the Spirit of God, and your heart has wholly turned to God, and you will pray to God and say: “O God! We truly have been predestined and chosen by You. Your glory gives me pride, and it feels glorious for me to be one of Your people. I will expend anything and give anything to do Your will, and will devote all my years, and an entire lifetime of efforts, to You.” When you pray like this, there will be unending love and true obedience toward God in your heart. Have you ever had such an experience as this? If people are often touched by the Spirit of God, then they are especially willing to devote themselves to God in their prayers: “O God! I wish to behold Your day of glory, and I wish to live for You—nothing is more worthy or meaningful than to live for You, and I have not the slightest desire to live for Satan and the flesh. You raise me up by enabling me to live for You today.” When you have prayed in this way, you will feel that you cannot help but give your heart to God, that you must gain God, and that you would hate to die without having gained God while you are alive. Having spoken such a prayer, there will be an inexhaustible strength within you, and you will not know from where it comes; in your heart there will be limitless power, and you will have a sense that God is so lovely, and that He is worth loving. This is when you will have been touched by God. All those who have had such an experience have been touched by God. For those who are often touched by God, changes occur in their lives, they are able to make their resolution and are willing to completely gain God, their God-loving hearts are relatively strong, and their hearts have completely turned to God. They hold no regard for family, the world, entanglements, or their future, and they are willing to devote a lifetime of efforts to God. All those who have been touched by the Spirit of God are people who pursue the truth, and who have hope of being made perfect by God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
Those who have been made perfect not only possess normal humanity, but are possessed of truths that exceed the measures of conscience, that are higher than the standards of conscience; they not only use their conscience to pay back God’s love, but, more than that, they have known God, and have seen that God is lovely, and worthy of man’s love, and that there is so much to love in God; man cannot help but love Him! The love for God of those who have been made perfect is in order to fulfill their own personal aspirations. Theirs is a spontaneous love, a love that asks for nothing in return, and which is not a transaction. They love God because of nothing other than their knowledge of Him. Such people care not whether God bestows graces upon them, and are content with nothing more than to satisfy God. They do not strike bargains with God, nor do they measure their love of God by conscience: “You have given to me, thus I love You in return; if You do not give to me, then I have nothing for You in return.” Those who have been made perfect always believe that: “God is the Creator, and He carries out His work upon us. Since I have this opportunity, condition, and qualification to be made perfect, my pursuit should be to live out a life of meaning, and I should satisfy Him.” It is just like that which was experienced by Peter: When he was at his weakest, he prayed to God and said, “O God! Regardless of the time or place, You know that I always remember You. No matter the time or place, You know that I want to love You, but my stature is too small, I am too weak and powerless, my love is too limited, and my sincerity toward You is too meager. Compared to Your love, I am simply unfit to live. I wish only that my life is not in vain, and that I can not only repay Your love, but, moreover, that I can devote all I have to You. If I can satisfy You, then as a creature, I shall have peace of mind, and will ask for nothing more. Although I am weak and powerless now, I will not forget Your exhortations, and I will not forget Your love. Now I am doing nothing more than repaying Your love. O God, I feel awful! How can I give back the love in my heart to You, how can I do all I can, and be able to fulfill Your wishes, and be able to offer all that I have to You? You know the weakness of man; how can I be worthy of Your love? O God! You know I am of small stature, that my love is too meager. How can I do the best that I can in this kind of environment? I know I should repay Your love, I know that I should give all that I have to You, but today my stature is too small. I ask that You give me strength and confidence, so that I will be more able to possess a pure love to devote to You, and more able to devote all that I have to You; not only will I be able to repay Your love, but I will be more able to experience Your chastisement, judgment and trials, and even more severe curses. You have allowed me to behold Your love, and I am incapable of not loving You, and though I am weak and powerless today, how could I forget You? Your love, chastisement and judgment have all caused me to know You, yet I also feel incapable of fulfilling Your love, for You are so great. How can I devote all that I have to the Creator?” Such was Peter’s request, yet his stature was too inadequate. At this moment, he felt as if a knife were being twisted in his heart. He was in agony; he knew not what to do under such conditions. Yet he still continued to pray: “O God! Man is of childish stature, his conscience is feeble, and the only thing I can achieve is to repay Your love. Today, I know not how to satisfy Your desires, and I only wish to do all I can, give all I have, and devote all I have to You. Regardless of Your judgment, regardless of Your chastisement, regardless of what You bestow upon me, regardless of what You take away from me, make me free from the slightest complaint toward You. Many times, when You chastised me and judged me, I grumbled to myself, and was incapable of achieving purity, or of fulfilling Your wishes. My repayment of Your love was born out of compulsion, and at this moment I hate myself even more.” It was because he sought a purer love of God that Peter prayed in this way. He was seeking, and entreating, and, furthermore, he was recriminating himself, and confessing his sins to God. He felt indebted to God, and felt hatred of himself, yet he was also somewhat sad and passive. He always felt thus, as if he was not good enough for God’s wishes, and unable to do his best. Under such conditions, Peter still pursued the faith of Job. He saw how great had been the faith of Job, for Job had seen that everything he had was bestowed by God, and it was natural for God to take everything from him, that God would give to whomever He wished—such was the righteous disposition of God. Job had no complaints, and could still praise God. Peter also knew himself, and in his heart he prayed, “Today I should not be content with repaying Your love using my conscience and with however much love I give back to You, because my thoughts are too corrupt, and because I am incapable of seeing You as the Creator. Because I am still unfit to love You, I must cultivate the ability to devote all that I have to You, which I would do willingly. I must know all that You have done, and have no choice, and I must behold Your love, and be able to speak Your praises and extol Your holy name, so that You may gain great glory through me. I am willing to stand fast in this testimony to You. O God! Your love is so precious and beautiful; how could I wish to live in the hands of the evil one? Was I not made by You? How could I live under the power of Satan? I would prefer that my entire being live amid Your chastisement. I am unwilling to live under the power of the evil one. If I can be made pure, and can devote my all to You, I am willing to offer up my body and mind to Your judgment and chastisement, for I detest Satan, and am unwilling to live under its power. Through Your judgment of me, You show forth Your righteous disposition; I am happy, and have not the slightest complaint. If I am able to perform the duty of a creature, I am willing that my entire life be accompanied by Your judgment, through which I will come to know Your righteous disposition, and will rid myself of the influence of the evil one.” Peter always prayed thus, always sought thus, and he reached a, relatively speaking, high realm. Not only was he able to repay God’s love, but, more importantly, he also fulfilled his duty as a creature. Not only was he not accused by his conscience, but he was also able to transcend the standards of conscience. His prayers continued to go up before God, such that his aspirations were ever higher, and he possessed more and more of a God-loving heart. Though he suffered agonizing pain, still he did not forget to love God, and still he sought to attain the ability to understand God’s will. In his prayers he uttered the following words: “I have accomplished nothing more than the repayment of Your love. I have not borne testimony to You before Satan, have not freed myself from the influence of Satan, and still live amid the flesh. I wish to use my love to defeat Satan, to shame it, and thus satisfy Your desire. I wish to give my entirety to You, to not give the slightest bit of myself to Satan, for Satan is Your enemy.” The more he sought in this direction, the more he was moved, and the higher his knowledge of these matters. Without realizing it, he came to know that he should free himself of the influence of Satan, and should completely return himself to God. Such was the realm he attained. He was transcending the influence of Satan, and ridding himself of the pleasures and enjoyments of the flesh, and was willing to experience more profoundly both God’s chastisement and His judgment. He said, “Even though I live amid Your chastisement, and amid Your judgment, regardless of the hardship that entails, still I am unwilling to live under the power of Satan, still I am unwilling to suffer Satan’s trickery. I take joy from living amid Your curses, and am pained by living amid the blessings of Satan. I love You by living amid Your judgment, and this brings me great joy. Your chastisement and judgment is righteous and holy; it is in order to cleanse me, and even more, it is to save me. I would prefer to spend my entire life amid Your judgment so that I may be under Your care. I am unwilling to live under Satan’s power for a single moment; I wish to be cleansed by You; even if I suffer hardship, I am unwilling to be exploited and tricked by Satan. I, this creature, should be used by You, possessed by You, judged by You, and chastised by You. I should even be cursed by You. My heart rejoices when You are willing to bless me, for I have seen Your love. You are the Creator, and I am a creature: I should not betray You and live under the power of Satan, nor should I be exploited by Satan. I should be Your horse, or ox, instead of living for Satan. I’d rather live amid Your chastisement, without physical bliss, and this would bring me enjoyment even if I were to lose Your grace. Though Your grace is not with me, I enjoy being chastised and judged by You; this is Your best blessing, Your greatest grace. Though You are always majestic and wrathful toward me, still I am incapable of leaving You, and still I cannot love You enough. I’d prefer to live in Your home, I’d prefer to be cursed, chastised, and smitten by You, and am unwilling to live under the power of Satan, nor am I willing to rush about and busy myself only for the flesh, and much less am I willing to live for the flesh.” Peter’s love was a pure love. This is the experience of being made perfect, and is the highest realm of being made perfect; there is no life that is more meaningful.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment
God Perfects Those Who Love Him Truly
God Only Perfects Those Who Truly Love Him