43. The Principles of Seeking to Be Perfected

(1) It is necessary to hand one’s heart over to God, to devote oneself entirely to God and expend oneself for Him, to read His words in earnest, and to commune with Him in His words;

(2) Sincerely expend yourself for God and, in performing your duty, seek the truth to address your corrupt disposition. Cooperate with others in harmony, and perform your duty satisfactorily;

(3) Accept being judged, chastised, pruned, and dealt with in God’s words, and put a thorough end to lies, falsity, trickery, and perfunctory, slipshod work. Be an honest person;

(4) In every sort of trial, seek the truth, address notions and corruption, learn to show consideration for God’s will, and come truly to submit to God.

Relevant Words of God:

By what means is God’s perfection of man accomplished? It is accomplished by means of His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and He perfects man primarily by means of His judgment. Some people do not understand, and ask why it is that God is only able to make man perfect through judgment and curse. They say, “If God were to curse man, wouldn’t man die? If God were to judge man, wouldn’t man be condemned? Then how can he still be made perfect?” Such are the words of people who do not know the work of God. What God curses is the disobedience of man, and what He judges are the sins of man. Although He speaks harshly and relentlessly, He reveals all that is within man, revealing through these stern words that which is essential within man, yet through such judgment, He gives man a profound knowledge of the essence of the flesh, and thus man submits before God. The flesh of man is of sin and of Satan, it is disobedient, and it is the object of God’s chastisement. Thus, in order to allow man to know himself, the words of God’s judgment must befall him and there must be employed every kind of refinement; only then can God’s work be effective.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

To seek to be made perfect by God, one must first understand what it means to be perfected by Him, as well as what conditions one must meet in order to be perfected. Once one has a grasp of such matters, then one must search for a path of practice. To be perfected, one must be of a certain quality. Many people are not innately of high enough quality, in which case you must pay a price and work hard subjectively. The worse your quality, the more subjective effort you must put in. The greater your understanding of God’s words and the more you put them into practice, the more quickly you can set foot upon the path of perfection. Through prayer, you can be made perfect in the area of prayer; you can also be perfected by eating and drinking of the words of God, grasping their substance, and living out their reality. By experiencing God’s words on a daily basis, you should come to know what is lacking in yourself; moreover, you should recognize your fatal flaw and your weaknesses, and pray and supplicate to God. By doing so, you will gradually be made perfect. The path to perfection is: praying; eating and drinking of God’s words; grasping the essence of God’s words; gaining entry to the experience of God’s words; coming to know what is lacking in yourself; submitting to God’s work; being mindful of God’s burden and forsaking the flesh through your love for God; and joining in frequent fellowship with your brothers and sisters, which can enrich your experiences. Whether it be communal life or your personal life, and whether it be large assemblies or small ones, they can all allow you to acquire experience and receive training so that your heart can be quiet before God and return to Him. All of this is part of the process of being made perfect. Experiencing the words of God, as mentioned earlier, means being able actually to taste them and allowing yourself to live them out, so that you will gain greater faith and love for God. In this manner, you will gradually shed your corrupt, satanic disposition; free yourself of improper motivations; and live out the likeness of a normal person. The greater the love for God within you—which is to say, the more of you that has been made perfect by God—the less you will be possessed by Satan’s corruption. Through your practical experiences, you will gradually set foot upon the path of perfection. Thus, if you wish to be made perfect, then it is especially important to be mindful of the will of God and to experience His words.

Excerpted from “Be Mindful of God’s Will in Order to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Are you truly willing to be perfected? If you are truly willing to be perfected by God, then you will have the courage to cast aside your flesh, you will be able to carry out God’s words, and you will not be passive or weak. You will be able to obey all that comes from God, and all of your actions, whether done in public or in private, will be presentable to God. If you are an honest person, and practice the truth in all things, then you will be perfected. Those deceitful people who act one way in front of others and another way behind their backs are not willing to be perfected. They are all sons of perdition and destruction; they belong not to God but to Satan. They are not the kind of people chosen by God! If your actions and behavior cannot be presented before God or looked upon by the Spirit of God, this is proof that there is something wrong with you. Only if you accept the judgment and chastisement of God, and care about the transformation of your disposition, will you be able to set foot upon the path to being perfected. If you are truly willing to be perfected by God and to do the will of God, then you should obey all of God’s work, without a single word of complaint, without presuming to evaluate or to judge the work of God. These are the minimal requirements for being perfected by God. The necessary requirement for those who seek to be perfected by God is this: Act with a heart that loves God in all things. What does it mean to act with a heart that loves God? It means that all of your actions and behavior can be presented before God. And because you have the right intentions, whether your actions are right or wrong, you are not afraid to show them to God or to your brothers and sisters, and you dare to swear an oath before God. You must present your every intention, thought, and idea before God for His scrutiny; if you practice and enter in this way, then progress in your life will be swift.

Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If you want to be used and perfected by God, then you must be possessed of everything: the will to suffer, faith, endurance, obedience, and the ability to experience the work of God, grasp His will, be considerate of His sorrow, and so forth. Perfecting a person is not easy, and every single refinement that you experience requires your faith and love. 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.

Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Eating and drinking of God’s words, practicing prayer, accepting God’s burden, and accepting the tasks He entrusts to you—all of this is so that there may be a path before you. The more the burden of God’s entrustment weighs on you, the easier it will be for you to be perfected by Him. Some are unwilling to coordinate with others in service to God, even when they have been called upon; these are lazy people who wish only to revel in comfort. The more you are asked to serve in coordination with others, the more experience you will gain. Due to having more burdens and experiences, you will gain more opportunities to be perfected. Therefore, if you can serve God with sincerity, then you will be mindful of God’s burden; as such, you will have more opportunities to be perfected by God. It is just such a group of people that is currently being perfected. The more the Holy Spirit touches you, the more time you will devote to being mindful of God’s burden, the more you will be perfected by God, and the more you will be gained by Him—until, in the end, you will become a person whom God uses. At present, there are some who carry no burdens for the church. These people are slack and sloppy, and only care about their own flesh. Such people are extremely selfish, and they are also blind. If you cannot see this matter clearly, you will not carry any burden. The more mindful you are of God’s will, the greater the burden He will entrust to you. The selfish are unwilling to suffer such things; they are unwilling to pay the price, and, as a result, they will miss opportunities to be perfected by God. Are they not doing themselves harm? If you are someone who is mindful of God’s will, then you will develop a true burden for the church. In fact, instead of calling this a burden you bear for the church, it would be better to call it a burden you bear for your own life’s sake, because the purpose of this burden you develop for the church is to have you use such experiences to be perfected by God. Therefore, whoever carries the greatest burden for the church, whoever carries a burden for entering into life—they will be the ones who are perfected by God. Have you seen this clearly? If the church you are with is scattered like sand, but you are neither worried nor anxious, and you even turn a blind eye when your brothers and sisters are not normally eating and drinking of God’s words, then you are not carrying any burdens. Such people are not the kind in whom God delights. The kind of people in whom God delights hunger and thirst for righteousness and are mindful of God’s will. Thus, you should become mindful of God’s burden, here and now; you should not wait for God to reveal His righteous disposition to all humanity before growing mindful of God’s burden. Would it not be too late by then? Now is a good opportunity to be perfected by God. If you allow this chance to slip through your fingers, you will regret it for the rest of your life, just as Moses was unable to enter the good land of Canaan and regretted it for the rest of his life, dying with remorse. Once God has revealed His righteous disposition to all peoples, you will be filled with regret. Even if God does not chastise you, you will chastise yourself out of your own remorse. Some are not convinced by this, but if you do not believe it, just wait and see. There are some people whose sole purpose is to fulfill these words. Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the sake of these words?

If you do not seek out opportunities to be perfected by God, and if you do not strive to be ahead of the pack in your seeking of perfection, then you will ultimately be filled with remorse. The best opportunity to attain perfection is the present; now is an extremely good time. If you do not earnestly seek to be perfected by God, once His work has concluded, it will be too late—you will have missed the opportunity. No matter how great your aspirations, if God is no longer performing work, then regardless of the effort you put in, you will never be able to attain perfection. You must seize this opportunity and cooperate while the Holy Spirit does His great work. If you miss this chance, you will not be given another one, no matter what efforts you make.

Excerpted from “Be Mindful of God’s Will in Order to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

People’s pursuit of entry into life is based upon the words of God. Previously, it was said that everything is accomplished because of His words, but no one saw this fact. If you enter into experiencing the current step, all will be clear to you, and you will be building a good foundation for future trials. Whatever God says, focus only on entry into His words. When God says He will begin to chastise people, accept His chastisement. When God asks people to die, accept that trial. If you are always living within His newest utterances, God’s words will perfect you in the end. The more you enter into God’s words, the more quickly you will be perfected. Why, in fellowship after fellowship, do I ask you to know and enter into God’s words? Only when you pursue and experience in God’s words, and enter into the reality of His words, does the Holy Spirit have the opportunity to work in you. Therefore, you are all participants in every method by which God works, and whatever the degree of your suffering, in the end you will all receive a “souvenir.” In order to attain your final perfection, you must enter into all of God’s words. The Holy Spirit’s perfection of people is not unilateral; He requires people’s cooperation, He needs everyone to consciously cooperate with Him. Whatever God says, focus only on entry into His words—this will be more beneficial to your life. Everything is for the sake of achieving a change in your disposition. When you enter into God’s words, your heart will be moved by Him, and you will be capable of knowing everything that God wishes to achieve in this step of His work, and you will have the resolution to achieve it.

Excerpted from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

At present, what you should chiefly seek is to be perfected by God in all things, and to be perfected by God through all people, matters, and things with which you are faced, so that more of what God is will be wrought into you. You must first receive the inheritance of God on earth; only then will you become eligible to inherit more, and greater, blessings from God. These are all things that you should seek, and which you should understand before all else. The more you seek to be perfected by God in all things, the more you will be able to see the hand of God in all things, as a result of which you will, through different perspectives and in different matters, actively seek to enter into the being of God’s word and enter into the reality of His word. You cannot be content with such passive states as merely not committing sins, or having no notions, no philosophy for living, and no human will. God perfects man in a multitude of ways; in all matters lies the possibility of being perfected, and He can perfect you not only in positive terms but also in negative terms, to make what you gain more abundant. Every single day there are opportunities to be perfected and occasions to be gained by God. After experiencing thus for a time, you will be greatly changed, and will naturally understand many things of which you were previously ignorant. There will be no need for instruction from others; unbeknownst to you, God will enlighten you, so that you will receive enlightenment in all things and enter into all your experiences in detail. God will surely guide you so that you veer not to left or right, and you will thus set foot upon path to being perfected by Him.

Excerpted from “Promises to Those Who Have Been Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If you wish to be perfected by God, you must learn how to experience in all matters, and be able to gain enlightenment in everything that happens to you. Whether it be good or bad, it should bring you benefit, and should not make you negative. Regardless, you should be able to consider things while standing on the side of God, and not analyze or study them from the perspective of man (this would be a deviation in your experience). If you experience thus, then your heart will be filled with the burdens of your life; you will live constantly in the light of God’s countenance, not readily deviating in your practice. Such people have a bright future ahead of them. There are so many opportunities to be perfected by God. It all rests on whether you are someone who truly loves God and whether you possess the resolve to be perfected by God, to be gained by God, and to receive His blessings and inheritance. Mere resolve is not enough; you must have much knowledge, else you will always be deviating in your practice. God is willing to perfect each and every one of you. As it stands now, although most people have already accepted the work of God for a very long time, they have limited themselves to merely basking in the grace of God, and are only willing to allow God to give them a little comfort of the flesh, yet are unwilling to receive more, and higher, revelations. This shows that the heart of man is still always on the outside. Even though the work of man, his service, and his heart of love for God have fewer impurities, as far as his inner essence and his backward thinking are concerned, man still constantly seeks the peace and enjoyment of the flesh, and cares nothing for what the conditions for and purposes of God perfecting man may be. And so, the lives of most people are still vulgar and decadent. Their lives have not changed in the slightest; they simply do not regard faith in God as a matter of importance, it is as if they just have faith for the sake of others, going through the motions and getting by any old how, adrift in a purposeless existence. Few are those who are able to seek to enter into the word of God in all things, gaining more and richer things, becoming people of greater wealth in the house of God today, and receiving more of God’s blessings. If you seek to be perfected by God in all things, and are able to receive what God has promised on earth, if you seek to be enlightened by God in all things and do not let the years slip idly by, this is the ideal path to enter actively. Only thus will you become worthy and eligible to be perfected by God.

Excerpted from “Promises to Those Who Have Been Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Holy Spirit not only works in certain people who are used by God, but, furthermore, in the church. He could be working in anyone. He may work in you during the present time, and you will experience this work. During the next period, He may work in someone else, in which case you must haste to follow; the more closely you follow the present light, the more your life can grow. No matter what manner of person someone is, if the Holy Spirit works in them, then you must follow. Take in their experiences through your own, and you will receive even higher things. In so doing you will progress more quickly. This is the path of perfection for man and the means by which life grows. The path to being made perfect is reached through your obedience to the work of the Holy Spirit. You do not know through what kind of person God will work to perfect you, nor through what person, occurrence, or thing He will allow you to gain or see things. If you can set foot upon this right track, it shows that there is great hope for you to be perfected by God. If you cannot, it shows that your future is bleak, devoid of light. Once you embark upon the right track, you will gain revelation in all things. No matter what the Holy Spirit reveals to others, if you proceed on the basis of their knowledge to experience things on your own, then this experience will become a part of your life, and you will be able to supply others out of this experience. Those who supply others by parroting words are people who have not had any experiences; you must learn to find, through the enlightenment and illumination of others, a way of practice before you can begin to speak of your own actual experience and knowledge. This will be of greater benefit to your own life. You should experience thus, obeying all that comes from God. You should seek the will of God in all things and learn the lessons in all things, that your life may grow. Such practice affords the fastest progress.

Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

What Peter sought was to come to know himself and see what was revealed in him through the refinement of God’s words and within the various trials that God provided for him. In the end, when he truly came to understand himself, Peter realized how deeply corrupt man is, and how worthless and unworthy of serving God, and that man does not deserve to live before God. Peter then fell prostrate in front of God. Ultimately, Peter felt, “Knowing God is the most precious thing! If I could not know God, then my death would be such a pity; I feel that knowing God is the most important, most meaningful thing. If man does not know God, then he does not deserve to live, and he has no life.” By the time Peter’s experience had reached this point, he was fairly knowledgeable of his own nature and had a relatively good understanding of it. Although he perhaps would not have been able to thoroughly explain it as people might imagine, he had reached this state. Therefore, the path of seeking life and achieving perfection by God involves gaining a deeper understanding of one’s own nature from within the words of God, as well as comprehending the aspects of one’s nature and accurately describing it in words. To thoroughly understand one’s old life—the life of the old satanic nature—means to have achieved the results required by God. If your knowledge has not reached this point, yet you claim to understand yourself and that you have gained life, are you not simply bragging? You do not know yourself, nor do you know what you are in front of God, whether you have truly met the standard of a human being, or how many satanic elements you still contain. You are still unclear about who you belong to, and you do not even have any self-knowledge, so how can you possess reason in front of God? When Peter was pursuing life, he focused on understanding himself and changing his disposition over the course of his trials. He strove to know God, and in the end, he felt, “People must seek an understanding of God in life; knowing Him is the most critical thing. If I do not know God, then I cannot rest in peace when I die. Once I know Him, if God then has me die, I will still feel most gratified to do so; I will not complain in the least, and my entire life will have been fulfilled.” Peter was not able to obtain this understanding or reach this level immediately after he had begun to believe in God; he first had to undergo many trials. His experience had to reach a certain point, and he had to completely understand himself, before he could sense the value of knowing God. Therefore, the path Peter took was one of gaining life and of being perfected; his specific practice was mainly focused on this aspect.

Excerpted from “How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks

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 domain of Satan? I would prefer that my entire being live amid Your chastisement. I am unwilling to live under the domain 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 domain. 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 his love of God was ever greater. 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 domain 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 domain 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 domain 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 domain 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.

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If, in man’s belief in God, he 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, then you must understand God’s work. In particular, you must understand the significance of His chastisement and judgment, and why this work is 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 knowledge of God and of the work of the Holy Spirit, and if you 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 man has been conquered can he 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 change and renewal in yourself, and so you have no actual experience of life. During this step-by-step work, you once acted as a service-doer and as 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; it is His judgment and chastisement that 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, and nor could I have been saved. Today I see: As a creature, not only does one enjoy all things made by the Creator, but, more importantly, all creatures should enjoy the righteous disposition of God and 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 this is 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, who possess the truth. When they experience until the very end, during God’s judgment they will surely completely rid themselves of the influence of Satan, and be gained by God.

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

You must be able to follow to the very end regardless of whether there are any prospects, and you must not lose faith in God regardless of the environment. Ultimately, you must achieve two aspects of testimony: the testimony of Job—obedience unto death; and the testimony of Peter—the supreme love of God. In one respect, you must be like Job: He lost all material possessions, and was beset by the pain of the flesh, yet he did not forsake the name of Jehovah. This was Job’s testimony. Peter was able to love God unto death. When he was put on the cross and faced his death, he still loved God; he did not think of his own prospects or pursue beautiful hopes or extravagant thoughts, and he sought only to love God and to obey all of God’s arrangements. Such is the standard you must achieve before you can be considered to have borne testimony, before you become someone who has been made perfect after having been conquered.

Excerpted from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When people set foot on the path to perfection, it becomes possible for their old dispositions to change. Further, their lives continue to grow, and they gradually enter more deeply into the truth. They are able to loathe the world and all those who do not pursue the truth. They especially loathe themselves, but more than that, they clearly know themselves. They are willing to live by the truth and they make it their goal to pursue the truth. They are unwilling to live within the thoughts generated by their own brains, and they feel loathing for man’s self-righteousness, haughtiness, and self-conceit. They speak with a strong sense of propriety, handle things with discernment and wisdom, and are loyal and obedient to God. If they experience an instance of chastisement and judgment, not only do they not become passive or weak, but they are grateful for this chastisement and judgment from God. They believe that they cannot be without God’s chastisement and judgment, that it protects them. They do not pursue a faith of peace and joy and of seeking bread to satisfy hunger. Neither do they pursue fleeting fleshly enjoyments. This is what occurs in those who are perfected.

Excerpted from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If one can satisfy God while fulfilling one’s duty, is principled in one’s words and actions, and can enter the reality of all aspects of the truth, then one is a person who becomes perfected by God. It can be said that the work and the words of God have been completely effective for such people, that God’s words have become their life, they have obtained the truth, and they are able to live in accordance with God’s words. After this, the nature of their flesh—that is, the very foundation of their original existence—will shake apart and collapse. After people possess God’s words as their life, they will become new people. If the words of God become their life, if the vision of God’s work, His requirements of humanity, His revelations to humans, and the standards for a true life that God requires them to meet become their life, if they live according to these words and truths, then they are perfected by the words of God. Such people are reborn, and have become new people through God’s words. This is the path by which Peter pursued the truth; it was the path of being perfected, perfected by God’s words, and gaining life from the words of God. The truth expressed by God became his life, and only then did he become a person who obtained the truth.

Excerpted from “How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Previous: 42. The Principles of God’s Perfection of Man

Next: 44. The Principles of Knowing Oneself Through Self-Reflection

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