Chapter 23. Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” (VIII)

Experiencing Tribulations and Trials Is Too Beneficial to the Growth of a Person’s Life

Many people say: “As we experience God’s work of the last days, as long as we seek the truth, we can see that all that God does, that is, every single event that we encounter, is beneficial to the growth of our life.” They all agree with God’s words that “I shall not do any useless work, and everything that I do shall have significance to the growth of man’s life,” and they agree that these words are true, that they are very true. All those who have experienced God’s work for several years agree that in order to experience God’s work, we must perform our duties, and only then can our life grow, which means that we have clarity regarding the path to enter into life. Without performing our duties, without suffering, without going through some trials, without enduring some dealing and pruning, and without undergoing some judgment and chastisement, we will never grow in life. This is fact. If we do not undergo hardships, ordeals and tribulations, nothing will work, and our life cannot grow. What does it really mean for our life to grow? What does it really mean to attain salvation? Do you have clarity regarding these matters? Now, through the testimony of Job, we should be able to see one fact clearly: If a person does not experience Satan’s temptations, deceptions, attacks and persecutions, can he see through the essence of Satan? Most certainly not. If a person is unable to see clearly through Satan’s essence, can he then truly hate Satan and forsake Satan? (No.) If a person does not truly hate Satan and forsake Satan, can he truly turn to God and attain obedience to God? Likewise, no. Therefore, what it means is that if a person cannot see through Satan, if he cannot discern Satan, then he will not be able to break away from the influence of Satan, and he is not someone who shall attain salvation. This is fact, and this cannot be denied. Someone might say, “I do not hate Satan, but I will follow God; I do not hate Satan, but I will obey God; I do not hate Satan, but I will love God.” Are these words valid? (Not valid.) Why are they not valid? Because he is not clear about what to love and what to hate, and his love is not real love, and his hate is not real hate. What result will this lead to? When God and Satan are at war, will this person really stand on the side of God, or will he really stand on the side of Satan? If he doesn’t hate Satan, can he really stand on the side of God? He won’t really stand on the side of God, and he will say: “I will take the stance of a third person.” Can someone like this be someone who has attained salvation? (No.) Therefore, if a person cannot see through the essence of Satan, he cannot really hate Satan and forsake Satan. Someone like this can never really turn to God, this is for certain. There can be no mediation in the war between God and Satan. Here, the war between God and Satan is not simply a war between two forces, and it is the opposition between two essences, the opposition between two life essences. God is the truth, the representation of positive things; Satan is the one that expresses heresies and fallacies, it is the representation of all evil things. If you say you do not belong to either side and you are in the middle, this is invalid. Therefore, there is only one way for God to save men from the influence of Satan: which is to hand men over to Satan.

Then, some might say, “Aren’t we, the corrupt mankind, originally under the domain of Satan? We have yet to attain salvation under the domain of Satan. Isn’t it a paradox to hand us over to Satan?” What are your thoughts on this matter? You must have clarity on it now. Before you have gained the truth and attained salvation, you are someone who lives under the domain of Satan; that is all true. However, while you are living under the domain of Satan, you have not experienced the temptations, persecutions, abuses, and attacks from Satan, which is also true. For instance, you are living under the domain of Satan, and you have not attained salvation. Now, has Satan tempted you? Has it attacked you? Has it persecuted you? No. When it is said that you have been deeply corrupted by Satan, it means that your nature has been deeply corrupted by Satan. However, you have not been officially handed over to Satan yet, that is, you have not experienced any of its violent persecutions, severe temptations and attacks, and therefore you cannot recognize the nature of Satan. For instance, you have not been arrested, you have never been to prison, and you have never experienced its cruel tortures. Tell me, what are the most evil and despicable things that Satan can perform? What is the degree of its evil? To what extent is it at its most despicable? To what extent is it at its most vicious? What are the manifestations of its ruthlessness and cruelty, the way that it devours people whole without leaving behind any bones? If you live under the domain of Satan, and if you cannot see clearly the extent of Satan’s evil and these other things that we have just mentioned, then you cannot really hate it, and you cannot really forsake it. Therefore, God is handing you over to Satan, such that Satan can persecute you, minister some cruel tortures to you, and attack you. This way, Satan’s abuses and persecutions that you suffer in prison are entirely different from the corruptions that you suffer when living under the domain of Satan. They are different things. Therefore, many people have lived for decades under the domain of the great red dragon, yet they have not seen clearly through its evil. However, once they have experienced the arrest by the great red dragon and experienced its cruel tortures and persecutions for several months, for one year, or for two years, they can finally see through the essence of the great red dragon. You see, after having undergone these sufferings, they look at the great red dragon with different eyes. What did they use to say? “Only some policemen of the great red dragon try to arrest those who believe in God. It doesn’t mean that all the police of the great red dragon are involved.” After they have been arrested and suffered torture for days, they no longer say such things. Now, they say: “All the police of the great red dragon are so very evil. These people have the appearance of humans, but in actuality, they are the reincarnations of demons. They are too vicious, they will do anything. They devour men whole without leaving behind any bones.” After staying in prison for days, they, who now have been released, are able to say such things. How is such a result achieved? When you are handed over to Satan to experience some of Satan’s cruel tortures, to experience some of Satan’s attacks and persecutions, then you will see the true colors of Satan, its true face. While you are under the domain of Satan, if you return home to cultivate the fields, or if you return home to go to work and make a living, supporting your family, you will not see the evil of Satan. However, you will see everything clearly once you are being placed inside Satan’s prison. Some might then say, “The result of being arrested is indeed effective, and you get to see Satan very clearly at once. Things that for many years I was unable to understand or see through, I have finally seen through in these several days.” Therefore, those overcomers who have come out of prison have a very different mentality, they are now in a different realm, they have sharp eyes, and they now have seen through Satan. Then, they have gained a brand new appreciation for God’s salvation, for God’s work, for God’s words and the truths expressed by God. Some have stayed in prison for several months, without eating or drinking God’s words, and without any contact with the brothers and sisters, and they feel that they have been severely deprived. They think, “I’ve come back now, and I will properly eat and drink God’s words, fulfill my duties, and share my testimony with brothers and sisters. I have a million things to say.” You see, after they have experienced the abuses and tortures of Satan, the state in their heart and spirit is different. Isn’t this the result achieved through God’s work? (Yes.) Therefore, God said to hand over man to Satan, such that, through the forces of Satan, man will be perfected to know God, to understand the truth, to know what to love and what to hate, to hate the great red dragon, hate Satan, forsake Satan and truly turn to God. How is this way of performing work? Isn’t this of the highest wisdom of God? This is the method of accelerated perfection. Some people failed to see through the satanic nature and essence of the great red dragon, even after ten years of believing in God, yet they have gained clarity on them only after one year in prison. In terms of your growth in life, believing in God for ten years under a comfortable environment cannot compare with one year in prison. Isn’t this the method of accelerated perfection? (Yes.) Are you willing to accept such a method of perfection? (We are willing.) Good. When you encounter such a circumstance, experience it fully. Do you dare to experience it? There are indeed some who dare. Let me ask you a question: What if you really encounter such a circumstance and you cannot stand up to it? What if you tell the great red dragon everything despite yourself and surrender your arms when you are being beaten and can no longer take it? Many people, after they had been arrested by the great red dragon, underwent a period of brutal torture, and then they completely surrendered their arms and told the great red dragon everything they knew about the church. They did whatever the great red dragon told them to do, they carried out whatever deeds the great red dragon told them to carry out. Did they do so on purpose? Had they planned to become a Judas when they were being arrested by the great red dragon? (No, they had not.) Then what was the reason? They have never loved the truth, they do not have the resolve to suffer for the truth, and they cannot give up their life, so they stumbled once they encountered a temptation. Once you are put in the prison of the great red dragon, what should you prepare yourself for, first and foremost? (Death.) Oh, you have seen this matter clearly: You must exchange your life for the truth. If God hands us over to the great red dragon, we must exchange our life for the truth. .What should we do to gain life from God? Exchange our life for the truth, to gain a new life. This is impossible without the mentality of sacrificing ourselves. In his belief in God, man does not know what he shall encounter at any given moment. It is not up to you to decide where this path will lead. You have no idea what you will encounter tomorrow, or what you will encounter the day after tomorrow. No one can see clearly his path, for it is a rough and bumpy road, it is fraught with difficulties and dangers. We must exchange our life for the truth, we must pay the price to gain the truth, for this is impossible without paying the price.

Now, what price must you pay to gain the truth and attain salvation? When it is necessary, you must offer up your life. What other prices must you pay at times when it is not necessary for you to offer up your life? Sometimes you must abandon your spouse, your parents, or your children. Some might say: “How should I abandon them? Should I leave them at home, lock up the door, and then walk away? Is that how I should abandon them?” No. If the great red dragon has arrested you, and you are thrown into prison, will you still think about your spouse, or your children? Will you not have to abandon them? When you are wanted by the great red dragon, can you not leave your home? Once you have left home, then, haven’t you abandoned your family? When you are wanted by the great red dragon and you can no longer go home, can you not abandon your family? Sometimes, to fulfill your duties, you must detach yourself from your family; can you not abandon them? These are the prices that we must pay, and we must abandon them. What have you abandoned now? Some have given up on marriage, and they no longer involve themselves in any romantic relationships. Some have abandoned their job, regardless of how good the job is, fulfilling their duties in God’s house. Some have abandoned their family, walking away from their family, and leaving their family behind, no longer able to care for their family. There are also some who have been rejected by their family, relatives, and friends, who say, “If you believe in God, then don’t return to this home, for no one will pay you any heed.” Such is the price, such are the sufferings to be endured. Once you have encountered such circumstances, there is no way you can avoid them. They are not what you have planned, and you have to pay the price. In order to gain the truth, these are the sufferings that must be endured, and there is no alternative. When it is necessary, when you are arrested, you must even offer up your life. Once you have offered up your life, it is all up to God whether or not you will live. Therefore, these are the sufferings that man must endure when being handed over to Satan, and these are also the lessons that man must learn, for nothing will work otherwise. If you really do not love the truths, if when you encounter these tests, you say: “No. I will not learn these lessons, I do not want the truth, I only want my family, I only want my spouse, my children, and my parents,” won’t you be eliminated? You will then be eliminated, you will no longer be able to walk this path, and you shall not gain the truth, because you do not have the resolve to endure the sufferings, and you cannot pay the price. Tell me, after a man has been handed over to Satan, why does his life grow so rapidly? Why did it grow so slowly before he was handed over to Satan? What is the matter? His life grows so rapidly after that mainly because he suffers much of the time. When suffering, Satan is persecuting him face to face, and thereafter he can see through Satan, and he has seen it clearly. Furthermore, when he is suffering, God is saving him face to face, revealing Himself to him directly, giving him God’s words, giving him enlightenment, and giving him guidance, as if he has come face to face with God. He is being perfected through these two instances of being face to face. Therefore, this suffering is too significant, and this suffering is too marvelous. How come there is no such a result under a comfortable environment? Why are these two instances of being face to face lacking? First, it is because we are not encountering the direct persecutions, attacks and temptations of Satan, and we cannot see the true face of Satan; second, it is because when we are not being tempted, when we are not experiencing the sufferings from Satan, that is, when we are not undergoing any terrible sufferings, it is not easy for us to see the work of the Holy Spirit, it is not easy for us to enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit, that is, it is not easy for us to see God revealing Himself to us. Under such circumstances, we cannot see God, as if God is hidden from us, and we only know of God from what we have heard with our ears. God is walking in front of us, yet we cannot see Him; God is on our left, yet we cannot feel Him; God is on our right, yet we do not notice Him, we fail to see Him. Therefore, days that we fail to see Him are like days where we live in darkness, unable to see any light, and thus the growth of our life becomes slow.

So tell me, is it better to believe in God under a comfortable environment, or is it better to believe in God during days of pain and suffering? When believing in God during days of pain and suffering, we can see God revealing Himself, we can enjoy the presence of God, and we can receive the special enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and therefore the growth of our life is rapid. Tell me, while experiencing God’s work, will you achieve more rapid growth if you have abandoned your family and everything else, or will you achieve more rapid growth if you believe in God only during your spare time, as you live a comfortable life? You will achieve a very slow growth when believing in God during your spare time because you cannot fulfill your duties. Without fulfilling your duties, you will not be really following God, so your growth will be very slow. Now tell me, when you are living a normal church life and performing your duties regularly in the church, if you have not encountered any temptations, if you have not encountered any of God’s judgment and chastisement, and if you also have not encountered any dealing and pruning, is the growth of your life fast or slow? It is slow. Some might say: “It is too painful to encounter dealing and pruning, and I feel as if I am being eliminated.” Is such a feeling appropriate? (It is not appropriate.) Why is it wrong? (They have misunderstood God’s will.) If a person always misunderstands God’s will and always relies on his own conceptions and imaginations to assess God’s work, it is not easy for someone like this to accept the truth, and it is not easy for him to grow even if he encounters dealing and pruning. Therefore, I see that some people, after encountering many instances of dealing and pruning, have not achieved any growth, but instead, they have even intensified their interruptions. These people will be eliminated, and they will no longer be used. Some people have achieved growth, and they can continue to fulfill their duties. If they have only improved a little in their fulfillment of duties, but they do not pursue the truth to have their life disposition transformed eventually, then they will still be in danger, for man cannot stand by himself without the truth. As you can see, after someone has performed his duties in the church for a year or two, the brothers and sisters can tell that this person is pursuing the truth, and that this person loves the truth. Every time when he has encountered dealing and pruning, you can see his growth. The more his life grows, the better his humanity becomes. What is the manifestation of someone’s humanity becoming better? His relationship with the brothers and sisters becomes normal, he comes to have normal interpersonal relationships, and he is able to interact with other people in harmony. Doesn’t this mean he has some likeness of a human? This is called growth. Some people, when fulfilling their duties among the brothers and sisters, are incompatible with anyone else, their relationships with others are abnormal, there is no love in their relationships with others, there is only hate, and they are always getting close to this person and distancing themselves from that person, and always attacking this person and getting that person on their side. They have no normal interpersonal relationships with others. Does someone like that have a normal humanity? (No.) Is a person lacking a normal humanity someone who pursues the truth? (No.) If he does not pursue the truth, then he does not have a normal humanity; if he does not have a normal humanity, then he has no reality of the truth; if he has no reality of the truth for a long period of time, he will be despised by others, he will be rejected by others and be eliminated. Until one day when no one pays him any heed, they all say that he is wicked, they all say that he is deceitful, they all say that he does not love the truth, and they all say that he has no humanity, they will sweep him out the door. When that time comes, he will be completely eliminated. Therefore, though everyone in God’s house expresses corruptions, yet with those who pursue the truth, the more they experience God’s work, the more they are transformed; the more they are transformed, the more they have a normal humanity; and the more they have a normal humanity, the better they are liked by everyone else. They are well liked wherever they go, and they can interact with others in harmony. Because these people can accept the truth, because they can pursue the truth, in the end, they will live out the likeness of a real human. Aren’t those who have lived out the likeness of a real human the people who have been transformed in their life disposition? Their life disposition has undergone transformation, and that is without a doubt. Once their relationship with others has become normal, couldn’t their relationship with God also become normal? (Yes.) How does this normal relationship come about? It is due to their acceptance of the truth, and their obedience to the truth. Then, can those who do not accept the truth practice the truth? (No.) Can they obey the truth? (No.) Those who cannot obey the truth, are they people obedient to God? Most certainly not. Then, how should you assess if someone is obedient to God? Just this one thing: You only need to see whether he can accept the truth and obey the truth. If he is able to accept whatever words spoken by a brother or sister that fit with the truth, and regardless of who speaks such words, he can accept them and obey them, then this person is without a doubt someone who obeys the truth, he is someone who is obedient to God. This is definite. All those who cannot obey the truth in their fulfillment of duties are arrogant and conceited, they are all reckless, they have no obedience, and they do not have any reality of the truth. All those who are able to obey the truth are able to obey their brothers and sisters, and they can obey what is right no matter who says it, so they will have no difficulty in obeying God, and it will not be anything difficult for them. What is the condition for obeying God? It is being able to obey all truths, for God Himself is the truth, for God’s essence is the truth. If you can obey all truths, then you can obey God; if you cannot obey all truths, then even if you say that you are willing to obey God, it is all false, and you are deceiving others.

Only by Having Faith in, Obedience to, and Fear of God During Trials Can We Defeat Satan and Attain God’s Salvation

The other aspect is that, because Satan is the foil and serving object in God’s work, man is often given to Satan; this is the means God uses to allow people to see the wickedness, ugliness, and contemptibility of Satan amid Satan’s temptations and attacks, thus causing people to hate Satan and be able to know and recognize that which is negative. This process allows them to gradually free themselves from Satan’s control, and from Satan’s accusations, interference, and attacks—until, thanks to God’s words, their knowledge and obedience of God, and their faith in God and fear of Him, they triumph over the attacks of Satan, and triumph over the accusations of Satan; only then will they have been completely delivered from the domain of Satan. People’s deliverance means that Satan has been defeated, it means that they are no longer the food in Satan’s mouth—that instead of swallowing them, Satan has relinquished them. This is because such people are upright, because they have faith, obedience, and fear toward God, and because they completely break with Satan. They bring shame upon Satan, they make a coward of Satan, and they utterly defeat Satan. Their conviction in following God, and obedience to and fear of God defeat Satan, and make Satan completely give them up. Only people such as this have truly been gained by God, and it is this which is God’s ultimate objective in saving man. If they wish to be saved, and wish to be completely gained by God, then all those who follow God must face temptations and attacks both great and small from Satan. Those who emerge from these temptations and attacks and are able to fully defeat Satan are those who have been saved by God.” What is the result to be achieved by God through handing us over to Satan and allowing us to experience Satan’s temptations, attacks and persecutions? It is that, through our faith in God, our obedience to God, and our fear of God, we may defeat Satan and triumph over Satan, so that Satan cannot deceive us any longer, cannot persecute us any further, and cannot control us any longer, and ultimately it will be put to complete shame and failure. Such people are those who triumph over Satan and those who have eventually break away from the influence of Satan. This is the process of attaining salvation. Tell me, is there any significance in God saving man from the influence of Satan using this method? God’s work of saving man is so practical that not only does He deliver sermons to man so that man can understand how to attain salvation, but He also enables man to overcome Satan through steadfastly battling and fighting Satan face-to-face with guns and swords, engaging in the thick of the battle, and breaking out through the enemy. Therefore, God’s work of saving man is too practical. Of course, we do not fight this battle with the physical weapons of flesh and blood, but instead, regardless of the method used by Satan, we shall rely on the truth and God’s words to live and stand firm in our testimony, and we shall thereby put Satan to shame. That we shall rely on the truth to live means that first, we shall rely on our faith in God, second, we shall rely on our obedience to God, and third, we shall rely on our fear of God to stand firm in our testimony. By doing so, we shall shame Satan thoroughly. If, when experiencing such a battle with Satan, a man triumphs and stands firm in his testimony, then he will be someone who has been saved; if he fails when experiencing this process, if he is taken captive by Satan, then he will be revealed to be someone eliminated by God. Regarding this matter, what is it that God’s chosen people should gain clarity about? Whether or not a man can triumph in this war is dependent on himself. Dependent on what of himself? Whether or not he can seek the truth, whether or not he can accept the truth, and whether or not he can obey the truth. These things are too critical. Some might say: “Many testimonies borne by man are the results achieved through God’s work, and man cannot have borne them through relying on himself.” This is indeed a fact, but if a man has triumphed by relying on God, then isn’t he someone who obeys the truth? Isn’t he someone who seeks the truth? If he does not seek the truth and does not obey the truth, how can the Holy Spirit perform work on him? When some people are tortured, they simply stop relying on God, and they fall down, surrendering. What is the issue? While equally afraid of torture, while having the same small stature in front of Satan, yet some people are able to rely on God, while others do not; some people seek the truth, while others do not; some people are able to obey the Holy Spirit after having received the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, while others still do not obey the Holy Spirit even after having received the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. These are the distinctions between individuals. Such distinctions between individuals have determined that some people have stood firm in their testimony, while others have failed in their trials and stumbled. God is almighty, and that is true. However, if you do not obey Him, if you have no faith in Him, and if you do not fear Him, can you stand firm in your testimony? (No.) Here, those with a heart that fears God have stood firm, those who can rely on God have stood firm, those who can obey God have stood firm. If you can rely on God, obey God, and have a heart that fears God, isn’t this real faith? If someone cannot rely on God and obey God, and does not have a heart that fears God, does he have real faith in God? (No.) Therefore, those without real faith shall fall down during trials, as simple as that. Therefore, God said: “During this final stage of work, if a man does not have the faith of Job, he cannot stand firm.” The faith of Job is the key to a person standing firm in his testimony.

You see, Job encountered trials that were so severe that he was deprived of his properties, he was deprived of his children, and his flesh was being attacked by Satan and painful sores were breaking out all over his body, yet in the end he was still able to praise God and he did not deny God, thereby standing firm. During God’s work of the last days, everyone must encounter trials like the ones that Job had been through, encountering circumstances like the ones that Job had experienced. The only difference is that some people will encounter them ahead of or earlier than others, and on top of that, there are slight variations in the severity of the trials that everyone encounters. Therefore, when encountering trials like this, if you have the faith of Job, then you will be able to stand firm; and if you do not have the faith of Job, then you will not be able to stand firm. As we can see, when some people’s properties were robbed from them by the great red dragon, their house was torn down, their land was confiscated, or their children lost their job, they did not follow God. What did they do? They filed lawsuits and they reasoned with the great red dragon. With these lawsuits, they were unable to take back anything of theirs even after several years, and in the end they have ruined their life, they have held it up. Isn’t this foolish? (Yes.) There is no use in reasoning with Satan. They should have thought, “What is the use for me to fight with Satan on this? If I have the energy, I might as well use it to gain the truth. Is there really any reasoning with Satan?” Look at those unbelievers in the world whose houses and land were taken away by the great red dragon. They file a petition here, file a lawsuit there, and then after so many years of lawsuits, not only have they not been able to get back what was theirs, but instead they have wasted all of their wealth and all the money in their hands, and in the end, some were even arrested and put in prison. Is there any reasoning with the great red dragon? If when your properties were confiscated, you said: “You confiscated my house and my land, but that is fine. I shall follow God, and I shall pursue the truth,” and if in the end, you have gained truths, is the truth gained by you worth any less than houses? Is it worth any less than land? Once you have gained the truth, you will have also gained life, you can then survive, and you shall remain during the coming age. If you are able to remain, do you know how many houses you can have? You shall be given an entire city, and you can live anywhere you want; how many houses are there? All the land of a city shall be under your care; how much land is that? God shall give you even more. While Satan has taken away a house of yours, and a piece of land, if in the future you have gained the truth, if you have remained, one hundred houses will be given to you, one hundred pieces of land will be given to you, and you shall receive a hundredfold in this time, and in the age to come eternal life. Isn’t this a matter of faith? There are not few brothers and sisters who say “I have already long wanted to give up on these things. I will go. I will follow God,” when the great red dragon wants to confiscate the houses and land of the believers and take away their jobs. Isn’t this impressive? They simply leave their jobs and quit. Whatever secure job, whichever university, they would refuse even if they were offered for free, and they would not take them even if they were offered official positions. They simply follow God and leave behind everything. What will happen in the end? They will receive even more. God shall be responsible. God shall bless them. Without God’s blessing, even the president shall turn into a beggar, even a millionaire shall die of illness, and even if you are a magnate, you will be afflicted by the plague, and you will encounter disasters. Without God’s blessing, no matter how much money you have, and no matter how high your status is, they are all useless, they are all empty. If you are blessed by God, you can find food anywhere, and you can find a place to live anywhere, for God shall be responsible, and God shall make arrangements for you. “With the truth you’ll walk the entire world; without the truth, you’ll get nowhere.” This is true! If you pursue the truth properly, you will be received by people everywhere. Look at some of our brothers and sisters. Wherever they go to fellowship about the truth, they serve other brothers and sisters very well, and those brothers and sisters say, “Your fellowship was great, and when you have concluded your fellowship, I have become enlightened. Now I have a path, and I now know how to experience. In the future, whenever you come here, you can eat with me, you can stay with me, and you won’t need to worry about anything.” They say: “That won’t do. There are many places that need me, there are many churches that I need to look after, and they are waiting for me to water and serve them.” Look, what happens to someone in possession of the truth? He is in demand everywhere. In the future, when the great disasters come, could there be any church that doesn’t need someone possessed of the truth to fellowship about the truth with them and to supply them? Those possessed of the truth and understand the truth are needed everywhere. Isn’t it the case that, with the truth, you’ll walk the entire world? Being possessed of the truth is more valuable than anything else, and it is even better than having skills. You might have skills, but someone might say: “I don’t need skills right now, and I don’t welcome you.” However, it is not the case if you have the truth, for most people need the truth. Now, many churches cannot even find one person who is possessed of the truth. Dozens of people in the church hunger and thirst for righteousness, and they in particular need to be watered. “Whoever is possessed of the truth, come take a look at our church, come walk among our church. Our church needs someone like you!” Are there many churches like this? (There are many.) Most of the leaders and workers only know to talk about doctrinal words, they don’t have much reality of the truth, and once their brothers and sisters encounter some actual difficulties, they can solve nothing. You see, if they were indeed possessed of the reality of the truth, they would be able to resolve any difficulty for you, and they would be able to help you to see through it in just a few sentences. Many problems are like rice paper on a window which comes apart with just a poke of the finger. Without the truth, a person cannot help you to see through anything. Sometimes if someone is clear about the truth, just one sentence of his can make you understand. If a person does not have the truth and he is only able to talk about doctrinal words, he won’t be able to utter that sentence, even if it is only one sentence. Tell me, isn’t it valuable to pursue the truth? Are you now able to fellowship about the truth, and resolve issues with the truth? Tell me, is it easy to possess the truth? (It is not easy.) How is it not easy? I see that many people are quite good at fellowshiping in private, and they are able to tell you many theories. Have they understood the truth? (No.) Why not? (They lack reality.) They lack reality? What are the manifestations of them lacking reality? They are unable to resolve practical issues. It is just like how many doctors of Chinese medicine are boastful when they talk about theories of Chinese medicine, yet their hands are tied when they encounter a difficult case in the real world. When they are asked: “Where did you graduate?” “The Chinese Medicine College.” “Which famous doctor did you study under?” “So-and-so.” “Can you diagnose illnesses? How many years have you been practicing?” “Twenty to thirty years, or forty to fifty years.” They talk quite eloquently in theories, yet once they encounter an actual illness that they must diagnose, they do not have a clue. What use is it to only have empty theories? There is no use. The ability to resolve real issues is unrelated to how many theories you have understood. To be able to know someone’s condition and see through it once you meet him, this is the key.

To break away from the influence of Satan, how should we resolve some of the specific issues? For instance, when you encounter a false leader, if you cannot discern him, does it mean that you have overcome Satan? Does it mean that you have really broken away from the influence of Satan? (No.) “No” is the right answer, but what is the reason? This is critical. Because you can still be deceived by him, because you can still be constrained by him. While you can still be constrained and deceived by the false leader, what impact does this have on your relationship with God and your faith in and obedience to God? If you can be deceived and constrained by the false leader, can you still obey God? When you say that you obey God, aren’t those merely empty words? If you can be deceived by a false leader or an antichrist, can you still continue to follow God? (No.) Who are you following then? (I am following a person.) Therefore, if you can be deceived and constrained by a false leader or an antichrist, this has constituted an absolute threat to you following God and obeying God. Furthermore, if you can be deceived and constrained by a false leader or an antichrist, then you are not someone who has truly turned to God, you are also not someone who truly obeys God, and you are not someone who follows God. It is as if, on your path of following God, you have been abducted by Satan for a time. If you have been abducted until the time that God’s work has concluded, if you have not yet been released by that time, what may occur? You will be eliminated. That is, you will have been ruined because you have been abducted by Satan, and you will have been devoured by Satan. Because of the consequences of this problem, let us say this: All those who can be deceived and constrained by the false leaders and the antichrists are in grave danger of not attaining salvation, and they might not be saved. If at the conclusion of God’s work, they are still unable to break free from the constraints of the false leaders and antichrists, if someone is still able to deceive them and constrain them, then they are people who shall be eliminated. If, even now, a man is unable to discern false leaders or false workers, unable to discern antichrists, unable to discern evil spirits, and unable to discern the various heresies and fallacies, then he is in great danger. He will most certainly be eliminated. Someone like him has no truths. Can someone without truths triumph over Satan? He is unable to triumph over Satan. Some people were arrested and subsequently brainwashed by the great red dragon, and once they were brainwashed, they retreated, they denied God, and they followed the great red dragon. These people failed to stand firm; they have no truth. Some people fell down after being cruelly tortured for a while, and they betrayed God. Some people, pressured by the public opinion created by the great red dragon and the other evil forces of the world, could not take it, they retreated; they do not have the truth. Therefore, with the revelation of this major trial, only a minority of people, or a very small number of people, can stand firm. However, these people who are being perfected are those who will reign as kings in the future, they will not be ordinary people of God, for all those who have stood firm in their testimony will be “the people of Sinim.” “The people of Sinim” will all be people who shall reign as kings, who are of the same mind with God, who know God, and who have the reality of the truth; those who have fallen shall be eliminated.

Tell me, if right now, a man is unable to see clearly things such as what kind of person someone is, whether this person has humanity, and whether this person has knowledge of God, then does this man have any reality of the truth? (No.) Is this man someone who has broken away from the influence of Satan? (No.) Why? For he can too easily be deceived and controlled by others. Now, within the church, are there some people who are able to deceive others, who can beguile others with their appearances, who are quite cunning, who can never fellowship about the truth to solve problems, and who even show themselves off wherever they go? (Yes.) In the eyes of others, aren’t these people quite well-liked, and aren’t they even quite prosperous, being worshiped by many, being admired and approved by many? (Yes.) What issue is this? If a person is particularly sly in his speech, particularly deceitful, and he never opens his heart to anyone in his interactions with others, and those who are close to him do not agree with him very much, what does it show when such a person is doing well among a group of people? That the majority of people still have no understanding of the truth. If such a person is being assigned to perform work within a group of people, and if someone like this can become popular among them, it shows that the majority of people have no discernment. If such a person is rejected amongst this group of people, if he has been found out by everyone, if he has been exposed by everyone, then, it shows that the majority of people possess the truth. Has such a level been reached by you now? Who are those people that have become popular among the people? Can you see through these people? Isn’t it the case that most of you are unable to see through these people? What does this show? That you have no truth. What does it mean that you have no truth? That you have not met the criteria of attaining salvation. Why do I say that you have not met the criteria of attaining salvation? Because you have not broken away from the influence of Satan, because you are still easily controlled by the influence of Satan, because you have yet to truly turn to God, because you do not know God, and because you are not people who truly obey God. If someone who doesn’t obey God, that is, someone who is an evil-doer, someone who has been corrupted by Satan and belongs to Satan, is still able to hold power amongst people, and he can still be worshiped by others and supported by others, then all these people have no truth, for only those without the truth would support someone who belongs to Satan. Through a person like this, and an incident like this, the stature of all people has been revealed. When some people see this, they say: “How can God’s house even use someone like this? There is nothing good about this person’s humanity, and he is quite deceitful. He is also not someone who sincerely pursues the truth.” Therefore they become negative, they become weak, they doubt whether the truth wields power in God’s house, and they become dejected in their belief in God. What people are these? Do they have any truth? When they see that someone without humanity, who does not pursue the truth, prospers in God’s house and he is even being used by God’s house, they lose faith in God, they become negative and weak, they no longer want to pursue the truth, and they even doubt whether the truth wields power and God wields power in God’s house. Such people are too naive, they have too little truth, and they have been revealed through just this one person. How can you conclude that the truth does not wield power in God’s house simply because a person like this is being used? Do you have any idea regarding the arrangements of God’s house? Do you know? Do you understand God’s will? You cannot see clearly, so why are you making blind assumptions? You cannot see clearly, but God’s house is in the know, the above sees the matter clearly. Do you need an explanation from the above to make you understand? Do you need the above to explain to you? These things have already been arranged. What do you understand? The evil people will all be eliminated eventually, those without the truth will not be able to stand. This was predestined, and this is the inevitable trend. Some people do not pursue the truth, and they will eventually crumple, they will certainly be eliminated, regardless of who they are; this is because of the righteousness of God. If you cannot even see clearly this matter, yet you say that you have faith in God, then what kind of faith is that? Those people who no longer pursue the truth and who become negative and weak whenever they are being constrained by some small matter or some isolated occurrence, these people are all shortsighted like a mouse and have no knowledge of God. They do not even have a heart that fears God, much less have knowledge of God, and they do not see the almightiness of God. Some might say: “How come the great red dragon is so lawless? Why is it so vicious? Could God destroy the great red dragon? Could God defeat the great red dragon?” They even doubt God. These people are even more shortsighted. Why do I say that they are shortsighted? For they do not know God’s sovereignty and God’s almightiness. God has already made arrangements for it long ago, He made arrangements for everything thousands or tens of thousands of years ago, and everything was arranged at that time. For instance, how many years each dynasty in China would last, how many generations there would be for each dynasty, how many emperors each dynasty would have, these things have all been fulfilled, they had all been predestined. As for when the great red dragon shall crumple and the manner with which the Millennial Kingdom shall be realized, haven’t they been prophesied in the Book of Revelation? These are facts that have already been carried out by God, these are things being played back to you like a movie. In the blink of an eye, another decade will pass, the world will be radically changed, it will be different, and everything will come true. God has made arrangements long ago. God spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. All things that God has said are facts that have already been accomplished, and they shall all come true according to God’s words, without any deviation. Only man’s faith is too weak. You do not see the facts that have already been accomplished by God, therefore you have no faith. You see, when God created the heavens and earth and all things, God said “Let there be light,” and there was light. Who could block out this light? No one can. Has any of God’s words been hindered by Satan from coming true? Has it ever happened? (No.) Therefore, God has already predestined the fall of the great red dragon. “The great red dragon is the first to be destroyed,” this word has already been fulfilled, it is a fact that has already come true, and you must have this faith. Having real faith in God is not an empty word, and it is not something purely theoretical. It requires us to understand many truths, and see the almightiness of God. We must see God’s power of ruling over all things before we can have faith. These are all things that have already come true, that have already been accomplished. If God has said such things, then these things have long been accomplished. No one can prevent God’s words from accomplishing all things. If you have such a faith, then you will become energized in following God. God said, “All unclean demons and evil spirits have been annihilated,” and when reading it, you will say, “God has said this long ago, and it has already been accomplished.” God said, “All those who have been perfected during the Age of Kingdom are saints,” and when reading it, you will say, “This has already been accomplished. None of the unclean demons exist any longer. All the unbelievers and cowards have already been eliminated. These are all facts that God has already fulfilled, and things that have already been accomplished by God’s words.” If you have such a faith, then everything is fine, and you are no longer subject to the constraints of any people, things or objects. Then, regardless of the abnormal or transient things that you have encountered, you will be able to understand this: These things surely will not stand, and these people surely will not stand. In God’s house, God and God’s words wield power, and the Holy Spirit rules over all things. You should see this matter clearly.

Previous: Chapter 22. Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” VII

Next: Chapter 25. Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” (X)

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