3. How should people experience God’s judgment and chastisement in order to be saved?
Relevant Words of God:
True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
The current process of speaking is the process of conquering. How exactly should people cooperate? By eating and drinking these words effectively and understanding them. People cannot become conquered by themselves. They must, from eating and drinking these words, come to know their corruption and filth, their rebelliousness and unrighteousness, and fall down before God. If you can understand God’s will and then put it into practice and, further, have the vision, and if you can completely obey these words and not exercise any of your own choices, then you will have been conquered. And it will be these words that have conquered you.
from “The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What is it to accept truth? It means that no matter which corrupt disposition you have or which venom of the great red dragon poisons your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s word and submit to God’s word with utter conviction. And, you know yourself according to God’s word. This is what it means to accept God’s word. No matter what God says, no matter how piercing to the heart, no matter what words He uses, you can accept it as long as it is truth, and you can acknowledge it as long as it conforms to reality. You can submit to God’s word regardless of how deeply you understand it, and you accept and submit to the light of enlightenment from the Holy Spirit that is communicated by the brothers and sisters. When such a person’s pursuit of truth has reached a certain point, he can obtain truth and achieve the transformation of his disposition.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
First, one must put aside his own intentions, improper pursuits, and even his family and all things of his own flesh. He must be wholeheartedly devoted, that is, completely devote himself to the word of God, focus on eating and drinking the word of God, focus on the search for the truth, the search for God’s intention in His words, and try to grasp the will of God in everything. This is the most fundamental and the most critical method of practice. This is what Peter did after seeing Jesus, and it is only by practicing in this way that one obtains the best results. Wholehearted devotion to the words of God mainly means seeking the truth, seeking God’s intention within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from the words of God. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines and he was even less focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he was focused on understanding the truth and grasping God’s will, and achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. He also tried to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, and understand the corrupt nature of man and man’s true shortcomings, achieving all aspects of the demands God makes of man in order to satisfy Him. He had so many correct practices within the words of God; this is most in line with God’s will, and it is mankind’s best cooperation in his experience of the work of God.
from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Only when man practices the word of God can his life truly blossom; it cannot grow simply by reading His word. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life, to have stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice the truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing the truth can it ever be understood.”
from “Practice the Truth Once You Understand It” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and lack in his life, none of which could alter his love of God. Is this not the ultimate love of God? Is this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Chastisement, judgment, tribulation—you are capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love of God. If man can achieve this much, then he is a qualified creature of God, and there is nothing which better satisfies the desire of the Creator.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If one could truly enter into the reality of God’s words from the matters and the words required by Him, then he would be a person perfected by God. It could be said that the work and the words of God were completely effective for this person, that God’s words became his life, he obtained truth, and he could live according to God’s words. After this the nature of his flesh, that is, the foundation of his original existence, would shake and collapse. After one has the words of God as their life they become a new person. The words of God became his life; the vision of God’s work, His requirements of man, His revelation of man, and the standards for a true life that God requires man to achieve became his life—he lived according to these words and these truths, and this person became perfected by the words of God. He experienced rebirth and became a new man through His words.
from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
How to experience God’s judgment and chastisement to gain the truth and life, and get rid of our sinful nature to achieve salvation and enter the kingdom of heaven, this question is very important, because this is the major issues that relate to our ending and destination.
As believers we first need to understand what believing in God means. Experiencing God’s work and His word to understand the truth and live out the reality of truth, this is the process of believing in God. The work of God in the last days is judging through His word. Then if we want our corrupt disposition to be cleansed and to achieve salvation, we must first put in some effort on God’s word, genuinely eat and drink the words of God, and accept God’s judgment and revelations in His word. No matter how much God’s word cuts to the heart, how harsh it is, or how much it makes us suffer, we should first be sure that God’s word is all the truth and the reality of life that we should enter into. Every utterance of God’s word is to cleanse and change mankind, to make us shed our corrupt disposition and achieve salvation, and even more so to let us understand the truth to achieve the knowledge of God. So we must accept the judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing of God’s word. If we want to gain the truth in God’s word, we must be able to suffer for accepting and obeying God’s word and the truth. We must seek the truth in God’s word, feel out God’s will, and reflect on and know ourselves, reflect on God’s word to know our own arrogance, deception, selfishness and despicableness, how we engage in transactions with God, take advantage of God, deceive God, toy with the truth, and other satanic dispositions, as well as the various impurities in our belief in God and intentions to receive blessings. In this way, we can gradually get to know the truth of our corruption and the essence of our nature. After we understand more of the truth, our knowledge of God will gradually grow deeper, and we will naturally know what kind of person God likes and dislikes, what kind of person He would save or eliminate, what kind of person He would use, and what kind of person He would bless. Once we see through these things, we will start to understand God’s disposition. These are all the results of experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word. All those who seek the truth pay attention to experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, pay attention to seeking the truth in everything, and pay attention to practicing God’s word and obeying God. Such people will be able to gradually understand the truth and enter reality through experiencing God’s word, and achieve salvation and be made perfect. As for those who don’t love the truth, they can recognize God’s appearance and work from the truth expressed by God, however, they think they can definitely achieve salvation as long as they abandon something for God and fulfill their duty. In the end, they still cannot gain the truth and life after believing in God for many years. They understand only a few words, letters, and doctrines, but think they know the truth and have reality. They are lying to themselves and will surely be eliminated by God.
Almighty God says, “Only when man practices the word of God can his life truly blossom.” This line is the truth, it’s too practical. Believers who do not practice and experience God’s word cannot gain the truth. A person without the truth is a person without life. Almighty God gave testimony of how Peter pursued the truth to be perfected. Peter was a person who pursued the truth. He not only sought how to love God, but also paid attention to changing his life disposition. The primary manifestation is that he could obey the Lord’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement. Even if the Lord handed him over to Satan, he could still be obedient to death. He was crucified upside down on the cross for the Lord, providing a beautiful and resounding testimony. Peter put special attention into believing in God with his heart, obeying and loving God with his heart. He paid attention not only to preaching and working, but especially to practicing the truth and entering reality. That’s why Peter was ultimately perfected by God and received God’s approval. In accordance with Peter’s testimony, we believers must pursue the truth if we want to achieve salvation, and pay attention to putting effort into God’s word, seeking the truth, and feeling out God’s intentions, practicing the truth and entering into reality. By pursuing in this way, we will become more and more clear about the truth and the paths to practice it. Before we know it, we will have entered into the reality of the truth. If man is merely satisfied with understanding doctrines, then they cannot practice the truth and enter into reality. The more doctrines man knows, the more arrogant they become. The result is that their life disposition cannot achieve change despite believing in God for many years. They will then think believing in God is empty. Can such people receive the truth and life? People who have belief in God in religion all go down this path. They will never receive God’s approval, that’s for certain. When it comes to experiencing God’s work of the last days, those who do not love the truth will naturally avoid the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, and will move even further away from God especially when they see God’s word cuts to the heart or is harsh. How could such people gain the truth? People who genuinely love the truth are willing to withstand any amount of suffering for the sake of gaining the truth. They can obey when suffering from the judgment of God’s word. They can also stand firm when faced with trials and refinements. Even if their families are torn apart, if they are imprisoned, or if they have to give up their lives, they can still stand and be a witness for God. Such people can certainly obtain the truth and receive God’s approval after experiencing God’s work!
from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom
When we read God’s words today, the most important thing is that we accept God’s judgment and chastisement. The key point is to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, which is the most fundamental thing. … How much did you suffer and exactly what kind of suffering did you experience in God’s words about judgment and chastisement and in God’s words about pruning and dealing with people? Do you really consider God’s every word to be a judgment of yourself and are you willing to accept it? There are many people who, when they see some incisive words of God, turn the page hurriedly to avoid reading them. There are even people who, after reading God’s words and seeing how harshly these words judge people, think that they are not like those people. They think that God is judging those deeply corrupt people, those people who belong to Satan, the devil. As a result, they think that they will be spared from God’s judgment and chastisement, as if God’s words have nothing to do with them and are not directed toward them but are directed toward others. Is this not shirking from the judgment and chastisement of God? This is a rejection of God’s judgment and chastisement, and is definitely not submitting oneself to God’s work! If you do not accept the judgment and chastisement of the word of God, then how can you have reality? You absolutely have not entered the reality of the word of God, you are a person who lives outside the word of God. If you live outside of the word of God and can never enter it, you will be eliminated, you will be ruined. Do you think this is a good thing? If you do not suffer now, you will suffer later and the suffering of perdition and destruction will be much worse than this. The suffering you will experience now is small: It is light and temporary. But if you do not bear this suffering, you will suffer more later. The suffering you will experience later is the suffering of perdition and destruction, it is the suffering of punishment and is one hundred times worse than this. Are you going to choose that path? Will you choose to bear the suffering of judgment and chastisement now or the suffering of punishment later? Which suffering are you willing to bear? You all say that you are willing to bear the suffering of judgment and chastisement. Since you are willing to bear this suffering, how will you submit? How will you accept it? If you see God’s words about judgment and chastisement, will you be able to accept them, and say that God’s words are referring to you, that these words are God’s judgment of you and that you must accept them? Or will you maintain that these words are judging others, that they have nothing to do with you, and thus avoid the judgment and chastisement of God? Will you take this path in the end? There are some brothers and sisters who are willing to bear God’s judgment and chastisement. This is good. If we are willing to bear God’s judgment and chastisement, then we should not avoid it when we are reading the word of God at home. No matter how cutting or stern the words are, you should accept them all and pray. You say: “God, Your words about judgment are directed toward me. I am this kind of a corrupt person, so I should accept Your judgment and chastisement, as this is Your love for me, it is Your exaltation.” Then compare God’s words to your own states to deepen your understanding. This is an expression of submission to God’s judgment and chastisement. But if you see words of God that are quite stern, and say: “God, these words are not a judgment of me, they are about the judgment of others, they are about the judgment of Satan. They have nothing to do with me, I will not read them,” then this is avoiding the judgment and chastisement of God. Are you willing to avoid the judgment and chastisement of God? What should you do if you are unwilling? If you are unwilling, you must pray. You say: “God, I am willing to accept Your judgment and chastisement. These words are about my judgment. I have these problems of corruption, so I completely accept and obey them, and I am grateful for Your love!” As soon as you pray in this way you will accept them, you will not find it difficult; this is how it can be done. If some brothers and sisters prune and deal with you, what should you do? You should quickly pray to God, and say: “God, I thank You! Your love has reached me. You have moved my brothers and sisters to prune and deal with me because of Your love for me. I submit.” You must pray. If you do not pray it will be easy for you to refuse, easy for your flesh to revolt, easy for you to get into conflict with others. You will be quick to complain and it will be even easier for you to be negative. At times like these, quickly go and pray. After you have prayed, your mind will be calm and you will be able to submit. After you are really able to submit, you will be able to feel gratified. After you return home you will say: “At that time I didn’t lose my temper but accepted it. I was able to get such results by praying, now I can finally submit to God.” You see, this ultimately allows you to see a glimmer of hope of the success in your belief in God, it ultimately gives you some stature; this is how a person grows.
from “How to Eat and Drink the Words of God to Achieve Good Results” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)