Let’s read a piece of God’s word “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God”:
“The work of the Holy Spirit changes from day to day, rising higher with each step; the revelation of tomorrow becomes even higher than today’s, step by step climbing ever higher. Such is the work by which God perfects man. If man cannot keep pace, then he may be forsaken at any time. If man does not have an obedient heart, then he cannot follow to the end. The old age has passed; now is a new age. And in a new age, new work must be done. Particularly in the final age where man will be perfected, God will perform new work ever more quickly. Therefore, without obedience in his heart, man will find it difficult to follow the footsteps of God. God abides not by the rules, nor does He treat any stage of His work as unchanging. Rather, the work done by God is ever newer and ever higher. His work becomes more and more practical with each step, more and more in line with the actual needs of man. Only after man experiences this kind of work can he attain the final transformation of his disposition. Man’s knowledge of life grows ever higher, therefore the work of God likewise becomes ever higher. Only in this way can man reach perfection and be fit for God’s use. On one hand, God works this way to counter and reverse the notions of man, while on the other, to lead man into a higher and more realistic state, into the highest realm of belief in God, so that in the end, the will of God is done. All those of a disobedient nature and with a heart of resistance shall be forsaken in this fast and powerful work; only those who have an obedient heart and are willing to be humbled will progress to the end of the road. In such work, all of you should learn how to submit and to put aside your notions. Every step should be taken with caution. If you are careless, you will surely become one of those loathed and rejected by the Holy Spirit and one who disrupts the work of God. Prior to undergoing this stage of work, man’s rules and laws of old were so innumerable that they got carried away, and as a result, they became conceited and forgot their place. These are all obstacles in the way of man accepting the new work of God and are hostile to man coming to know God. It is dangerous for man to have neither obedience in his heart nor a yearning for the truth. If you obey only the work and words that are simple, and are unable to accept any of a deeper intensity, then you are one who keeps to old ways and cannot keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit. The work done by God differs across periods of time. If you show great obedience in one phase, yet in the next phase show less or none at all, then God shall desert you. If you keep pace with God as He ascends this step, then you must continue to keep pace when He ascends the next. Only such men are obedient to the Holy Spirit. Since you believe in God, you must remain constant in your obedience. You cannot simply obey when you please and disobey when you do not. Such manner of obedience is not approved by God. If you cannot keep pace with the new work I fellowship and continue to hold on to the former sayings, then how can there be growth in your life? In God’s work, He supplies you through His word. When you obey and accept His word, then the Holy Spirit shall surely work in you. The Holy Spirit works exactly in the way I speak. Do as I have said, and the Holy Spirit will promptly work in you. I release a new light for you to see and bring you into the present light. When you walk into this light, the Holy Spirit will immediately work in you. Some may be recalcitrant and say, ‘I simply will not do as you say.’ Then I tell you that now this is the end of the road. You have withered away and have no more life. Therefore, in experiencing the transformation of your disposition, it is most crucial to keep pace with the present light. The Holy Spirit not only works in certain men who are used by God, but even more in the church. He could be working in anyone. He may work in you now, and after you have experienced it, He may work in someone else next. Follow closely; the more you follow the present light, the more your life can grow. Follow those whom the Holy Spirit works in, whatever kind of man he may be. Take in his experiences through your own, and you will receive even higher things. In so doing you will see growth more quickly. This is the path of perfection for man and a way through which life grows. The path to perfection 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 bring you profit and enable you to gain some insight. If you are able to walk onto this right track, this shows that there is great hope for you to be perfected by God. If you are unable to do so, this shows that your future is bleakness and one of darkness. When you walk upon the right track, you will be given revelation in all things. No matter what the Holy Spirit may reveal to others, if you continue on in your experience on the basis of their knowledge, then it shall become your life, and you shall be able to supply others because of this experience. Those who supply others by parroting words are those without experience; you must learn to find, through the enlightenment and illumination of others, a way of practice before speaking of your own actual experience and knowledge. This will be of greater benefit to your own life. You should experience in this way, obeying all that comes from God. You should seek the mind of God in all things and learn lessons in all things, creating growth in your life. Such practice affords the fastest growth.
The Holy Spirit enlightens you through your practical experiences and perfects you through your faith. 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, and will be able to do as God says and not be passive or weak. You will be able to obey all that comes from God, and all of your actions, whether or not done in His presence, will be presentable to God. Be an honest person and practice the truth in all things, and you will be perfected. Those deceitful men who act one way before God and another way behind His back 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 man chosen by God! If your actions and behavior cannot be presented before God or be looked upon by the Spirit of God, then this illustrates a problem with you. Only if you accept the judgment and chastisement of God, and place importance on the transformation of your disposition will you be set on the path to being perfected. If you are truly willing to be perfected by God and to carry out the will of God, then you should obey all of God’s work and issue not a word of complaint, nor should you evaluate or judge the work of God at will. These are the very basic conditions for being perfected by God. The requirement for those who seek to be perfected by God is this: do all things on the basis of your love for God. What does on the basis of love for God mean? This means that all of your actions and behavior can be presented before God. As you hold the right intentions, whether your actions are right or wrong, you are not afraid for them to be shown to God or to your brothers and sisters; you dare to swear to God. Your every intention, thought, and idea can be presented before God to be examined. If you practice and enter in this way, then growth in your life will be swift.
Since you believe in God, then you must put faith in all of the words and work of God. That is to say, since you believe in God, you must obey Him. If you are unable to do this, then it matters not whether you believe in God. If you have believed in God for many years, yet never obeyed Him or accepted all of His words, and instead asked God to submit to you and follow your notions, then you are the most rebellious of all, and you are an unbeliever. How is one such as this able to obey the work and words of God that do not conform to the notions of man? The most disobedient person is one that intentionally defies and resists God. He is the enemy of God and is an antichrist. Such a person always retains hostility against the new work of God, shows no intent to submit, and has never gladly obeyed or humbled himself. He exalts himself before others and never submits to another. Before God, he considers himself the most proficient in preaching the ‘word’ and most skillful in working on others. He never discards the treasures already in his possession, but treats them as family heirlooms to be worshiped, to be preached to others, and used to lecture those fools who adore him. There are indeed some such people in the church. It can be said that they are ‘indomitable heroes,’ generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They think preaching the ‘word’ (doctrine) to be their highest duty. One year after another and one generation after the other, they perform their holy and sacred duty. None dare touch them and none dare openly reproach them. They became ‘king’ in the house of God, acting tyrannically through the ages. These demons seek to join hands and together destroy My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before Me? Even those with only half an obedient heart cannot walk until the end, much less these tyrants without the slightest obedience in their hearts. The work of God is not easily gained by man. Even if man uses all of his strength, he will only be able to gain just a portion and attain perfection in the end. What then of the children of the archangel who seek to destroy the work of God? Do they not have even less hope of being gained by God? The purpose of My work to conquer is not solely for the sake of conquest, but to conquer so as to reveal righteousness and unrighteousness, to obtain proof for the punishment of man, to condemn the wicked, and furthermore, I conquer to perfect those with a heart of obedience. In the end, all will be separated according to kind, and all those perfected have their thoughts filled with obedience. This is the final work done. Those filled with rebellion will be punished, sent to burn in the fires and forever be cursed. When that time comes, those former “great and indomitable heroes” will become the basest and most shunned ‘weak and useless cowards.’ Only this can illustrate all the righteousness of God and that the disposition of God allows no offense. Only this can appease the hatred in My heart. Do you not agree that this is very reasonable?
Not all those who experience the work of the Holy Spirit can receive life, and not all in this stream can receive life. Life is not a common property shared by all, and the transformation of disposition is not easily achieved by all. Submission to the work of God must be tangible and must be lived out. Submission on a superficial level cannot receive the approval of God, and the heart of God cannot be pleased by simple obedience to the surface of the word of God without seeking a transformation of your disposition. Obedience to God and submission to the work of God are one and the same. Those who submit only to God but not to the work of God cannot be deemed to be obedient, and surely neither can those who do not truly submit and are outwardly sycophantic. Those who truly submit to God are all able to gain from the work and achieve understanding of the disposition and work of God. Only such men truly submit to God. Such men are able to gain new knowledge from new work and experience new changes from the same. Only such men have the approval of God; only this kind of man is one perfected and has undergone a transformation of his disposition. Those approved by God are those who gladly submit to God, as well as to His word and work. Only this kind of man is in the right; only this kind of man truly desires and seeks God. And those who merely speak of their faith in God, yet in actuality curse Him are those who mask themselves. They are venomous, the most treacherous of man. These scoundrels will one day have their vile masks ripped away. Is that not the work that is being done today? Those who are wicked will always be wicked and will not escape the day of punishment. Those who are good will always be good and will be revealed when the work comes to an end. Not one of the wicked shall be deemed to be righteous, nor any of the righteous deemed to be wicked. Would I let any stand wrongfully accused?
As your life progresses, you must always have new entry and new and higher insight, which grow deeper with every step. This is what all of man should enter into. Through communing, listening to a message, reading the word of God, or handling a matter, you will gain new insight and new enlightenment. You do not live within the rules of old and times of old. You always live within the new light, and do not stray from the word of God. This is what is considered setting on the right track. It will not do to simply pay the price on a superficial level. The word of God becomes higher and new things appear day by day. It is necessary as well for man to make new entry every day. God perfects up to the point of which He has spoken; if you cannot keep pace, then you fall behind. Your prayers must become deeper; you must eat and drink more of the word of God, deepen the revelations you receive, and decrease negativity. You must strengthen your judgment so that you are able to gain insight, and by understanding that which is in the spirit, gain insight into the outward things and grasp the core of any issue. If you do not have such qualities, how will you be able to lead the church? If you only speak of letters and doctrines without any reality and without a way of practice, you can only get by for a short period of time. It may be marginally acceptable for new believers, but after some time, when new believers gain actual experience, then you will no longer be able to supply them. Then how are you fit for God’s use? You cannot do work without new enlightenment. Those without new enlightenment are those who fail to experience, and such men never gain new knowledge or experience. And they can never perform their function in supplying life, nor can they be fit for God’s use. This kind of man is wasted and useless. In truth, such men are unable to perform their function at all in the work and are all good for nothing. Not only do they fail to perform their function, they actually place an unnecessary strain on the church. I exhort these ‘old men’ to hurry and leave the church so that others no longer have to see you. Such men have no understanding of the new work but are filled with notions. They serve no function in the church; rather, they make instigation and spread negativity, even engage in all manner of misconduct and disturbance in the church, thereby confusing and disconcerting those who make no distinctions. These living devils, these evil spirits should leave the church as soon as possible, lest the church be blighted as a result. You may not fear the work of today, but do you not fear the righteous punishment of tomorrow? There are large numbers of people in the church who are freeloaders, as well as a great number of wolves that seek to disrupt the natural work of God. These are all demons sent by the Devil and are vicious wolves who seek to devour the guileless lambs. If these so-called men cannot be expelled, then they become parasites on the church and moths feeding on the offerings. These contemptible, ignorant, base, and repugnant maggots will one day soon be punished!”
“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God,” this is the title of the piece of God’s word that we eat and drink today. What is this title saying? “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” The meaning of the title is quite clear. If you have the will to pursue the truth and salvation, then you should become a person that truly obeys God. If you are someone who really obeys God, then your longings and your desires will be realized. That is why the topic of the piece of God’s word “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” is actually a promise from God. This title is the truth. There have been many people who have aspired to fulfill their duties and strived to achieve their salvation. But how are we supposed to enter? How do we put this into practice? The piece of God’s word we just read answers these questions clearly. So, what is the answer? In the last days, as God is doing His work, how should you experience it, how should you face it? We know that accepting Almighty God’s work in the last days is the only road into His kingdom. Only by experiencing Almighty God’s work in the last days can we receive purification, salvation and perfection. Only those who truly obey God’s work in the last days can be gained by God. So, as we eat and drink the words of God today, we really should have this viewpoint: “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” Now, some people will say, “Don’t I already obey God? I’ve accepted God’s work, I’ve forsaken and offered myself for God, and I am now performing my duties. Isn’t this obeying the work of God?” This is obeying God’s work, but to obey in this manner, is it enough? It can be said that, if someone practices any God’s word, if he can diligently satisfy any God’s demand, then this is obedience. However, is this one aspect of obedience truly obeying God’s work? Here, when we refer to obeying the work of God, what does this actually mean? What is the most basic key point in this area? Let’s read a paragraph of God’s word:
“The work of the Holy Spirit changes from day to day, rising higher with each step; the revelation of tomorrow becomes even higher than today’s, step by step climbing ever higher. Such is the work by which God perfects man. If man cannot keep pace, then he may be forsaken at any time. If man does not have an obedient heart, then he cannot follow to the end.” What is God saying here? “The work of the Holy Spirit changes from day to day, rising higher with each step; the revelation of tomorrow becomes even higher than today’s, step by step climbing ever higher.” How many people have this kind of feeling, this kind of perspective? If some people truly have this feeling, this kind of understanding, then they can actually feel the work of God rising higher each day, and the light getting greater each day. Tomorrow’s revelations would be even higher. If they are absent from the gathering for a few days, or are unable to hear the sermon for a few days, then they will feel they have fallen very far; they will feel that they can no longer keep up. Right now, there are some people who have had experience of God’s work. How can this be confirmed? It’s this sort of feeling. This person can be able to say, from the heart, “Truly, the Holy Spirit’s work rises higher each day. Look at the gathering of God’s family, and the sermon communicated from the above. Each day it rises higher. Each day it grows deeper. There is always new light and new revelation.” For many people, the more they eat and drink God’s word, the more enlightened they become. The more they listen to the sermons, the more they understand, the stronger they become. Is this not the result that is achieved through the Holy Spirit’s work? When a man experiences God’s work, then he can distinctly feel the work of the Holy Spirit as He guides him step by step. This is how the Holy Spirit works on man. Man can’t see it, nor feel it, but man’s spirit can feel that God leads him step by step. The vision that he understands, the truth and light that he has obtained, each day they rise ever higher. If you experience God’s work in this manner, if you obey God’s work to the very end, if you follow God’s work to the very end, imperceptibly, you will have been perfected by God, you will have been gained by God. Presently, there are a lot of people who feel, “To believe in Almighty God is not the same. Our lives have grown tremendously. The old religion has fallen too far, it has fallen behind thousands of years. The religious world keeps falling further and further behind. We experience God’s work faster and faster, step by step! Oh, why does the religious world not accept God’s work? Look, we eat and drink God’s word here. Our lives grow faster and we become more purified and more knowledgeable of God. How do you not see this?” Many people say, “We enjoy the happiness and fortune of the good land of Canaan. Every day we see God face to face, eat and drink His word, experience His work and relish the water from the river of life that flows from His throne.” What is it that the religious world eats? It eats scripture that is outdated. It has been discarded for a long time now. The religious world is living in famine. This is how God works on us. We are enjoying a heavenly feeling. The more we eat and drink God’s word, the more we feel God face to face. The more we eat and drink God’s word, the more accurate our understanding of Him is. Our knowledge of God is more and more real. It is no longer vague doctrine or based on our notions or imagination. This is a real understanding of God that we have obtained through eating and drinking God’s word, and experiencing God’s word and work.
There are some religious people who say, “Even if the work of Almighty God is God’s work in the last days, those in the religious world who whole-heartedly believe in God will also be saved. God would not forsake them.” Is this correct? Some people say it’s not correct. Why is this not correct? It is because God has given man a chance. He has given everyone many chances to investigate the true way. The Lord Jesus has said: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14). The gospel of the kingdom of heaven has already been spread to the whole world and the very ends of the earth. This word has come true ages ago. This confirms that every person, every human being on this earth has already seen God’s salvation, they have already heard the gospel. You have heard it. You have heard it for many years but you have not investigated it, you have not accepted it. In this case, can you say that God has not given you a chance? For religious people, what exactly does “a chance” mean? They think that God will give them a chance, God will not forsake them. What kind of chance will God give them? How will He give this to them? Could God give them a revelation, a dream or let them see a vision? God wouldn’t do that. Why would He not do that? For each stage of work, God does it in a fixed way; He does not do such supernatural things. Let me give you an example. During the Age of Law, God worked through Moses. When 250 leaders rose up against Moses, did God appear before them? Did God explain to them why He had chosen Moses? God did not give them an explanation. He directly had them destroyed. God gave authority to Moses. He opened up the earth and had them fall into the chasm. What does this say? God’s disposition is not to be offended by man. If you see the things and the work that He does, the man He works through, you should obey. Why would you not obey? For what reason do you not obey? Can man reason with God during these times? If you reason with God, then you are traitorous and you should die.
Let’s take a look at the Age of Grace, the period of time when the Lord Jesus arrived. John the Baptist was baptizing people with a group of disciples. After he saw the Lord Jesus, he suddenly felt something inside: “This is the Messiah I have been waiting for. He is the Lord and He has arrived!” John’s spirit could feel it. Before long, he was thrown in prison. After he was thrown in prison, he started to doubt the Lord: “If You are really the Lord, can You rescue me from this prison cell? If You can rescue me from this prison cell, then You truly are the Lord. If You cannot rescue me, then You are not the Lord.” John had this notion. In the end, the Lord did not rescue him, and he died. After he died, what happened to his disciples? When John’s disciples first started following him, they preached: “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So, why didn’t the Lord Jesus reveal Himself before them? Is it possible that the Lord does not have compassion and mercy? This cannot be true. Jesus is the Lord of compassion and mercy. Then why did He not reveal Himself before them? There is a principle here, a truth here, and a mystery here. As man prepares for the coming of the Lord, He never forces them to accept Him. He does not offer easy access for anybody. He is fair to everybody. He allows you to make your own choice. He lets you accept on your own and does not force anybody. During the Age of Grace, the Holy Spirit enlightened Peter. He testified to the Lord, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Aside from Peter, was the Holy Spirit revealed to anyone else? Besides Peter, nobody else experienced this. Now, can you say that the Lord Jesus is not fair to man?
Presently, the entire religious world, every church in every corner of the world, knows the name of Almighty God. Almighty God’s gospel of the last days has been preached on the internet for over ten years now. The great red dragon has also propagated the name of our church, the Eastern Lightning. This has even been transmitted all the way to Israel. Even Israel knows of China’s Eastern Lightning denomination. The Eastern Lightning, the Church of Almighty God, is known in the United States and Canada as well. Clearly, God’s name and God’s work during the last days have already been spread throughout the world. Some people still ask, “Now, is it possible to give the religious world a chance?” Has God already given people this chance? Actually, God has offered this chance, it’s just that the religious people don’t receive it. Not only has this opportunity already been given, but it has already been available for years. The website of the Church of Almighty God has already been established for more than ten years. Hasn’t this opportunity been available for more than ten years? This opportunity has been available, starting from when the Church of Almighty God first started witnessing Almighty God all the way until the arrival of the great disasters. All throughout this period, the door of salvation has been wide open. The door of salvation has been open for all these years. Does this not mean that all people have been given a chance? No one has been omitted. Isn’t it right? However, there are people who do not see this reality. They think God should give people a special chance. What kind of special chance? God’s chosen people in Mainland China received this testimony of God’s work. This was how it was transmitted to them. This is how they accepted the gospel. God has not revealed Himself publicly to anybody. He has not given anyone a dream or a special revelation. None of this has occurred. It all depends on man using his two ears to listen and his two eyes to see. Do you not have eyes to see? Then look! Look at what the Church of Almighty God has done. Look at what God has said. Listen to the voice of Almighty God. He lets you see and hear. This is the chance we are talking about. If you do not look or listen, then you have missed your chance. In the very end, there will be a lot of people who say, “Lord, why did You not reveal Yourself to us? Why did You not give us a revelation?” How would the Lord respond? “I did not reveal Myself to anyone nor give anyone a revelation. Why do others believe? Why do you not believe? After some people have listened to the words of Almighty God, why do they recognize that it is God’s voice, but why do you deny it after listening to the word? Could it be that you have not been given a chance?” You do not listen to God. When God knocks on the door, you do not open the door for Him. This is why God does not acknowledge you. There are people who say, “Perhaps it is not appropriate for God to do things in this way.” God is righteous. Do you dare say that what He does is inappropriate? When you say this, you are reasoning with God. Do you think you can reason with God? What do you think you are? You are dust. If you reason with God, God will simply destroy you. Do you dare reason with God? You still want to go to heaven and reason with God? Are you fit to do so? Isn’t this too arrogant? God treats everyone righteously. A normal man has a normal man’s functions. You have ears to hear God’s words. You have eyes to look at God’s deeds. If you cannot accept God’s work, it is because you do not love the truth.
When I give my sermon, some people hear the fellowship’s message and they say, “That is all true, this is great!” However, do they actually understand fully? Their understanding has some limitations, but they agree with the majority of what I say. The parts that don’t accord with their notions, they cannot comprehend them. However, they do not judge and they are able to be obedient. What do they feel in their hearts? “Ah, what my brother is saying, most of it is practical, I can accept it, but some parts of it I do not agree with. We can’t say that what our brother is saying is incorrect. Maybe we haven’t experienced it, or our ability to receive these things is lacking. I will take my time and look into this.” Are they people who obey God? When they experience God’s work, they have a heart that obeys God. There are things they do not understand, and parts of the fellowship do not conform to their notions. They say, “I will take my time and investigate it. I will not give up just because I do not understand this one point. I won’t deny or reject it.” This is what it means to truly obey God. Recently, I held a meeting with some new believers from the church and I listened to their thoughts. Most of these people were like this. They were able to obey. These are people who could truly obey God. As man’s fellowship, what he communes is his experience and knowledge. Some fellowship is very deep, so some new believers can’t understand. Yet they did not have any notions nor did they judge. They said, “This way is good, it is real. I must accept it. It looks like I should believe sincerely and pursue the truth.” These people exemplify what it means to truly obey God. Some people were not like this. They thought that 90% of what I said was correct. However, when it came to one part of the fellowship that ran counter to their own notions they showed resistance against it, they would not accept it. They simply gave up. What kind of person is this? Is this someone who truly obeys God? They do not accept the truth! If one part does not fit with your notion, can you say that everything I said is incorrect? If so much of what I said is correct, why do you not investigate it or accept it? These people choose not to accept the things that I said because just one part of the fellowship does not agree with their notion. Is this the kind of person that loves the truth? Almighty God has said these words, “Perhaps, having heard the way of truth and read the word of life, you believe that only one in 10,000 of these words are in line with your convictions and the Bible, and then you should continue to seek in that 10,000th of these words. …” Now, I have discovered that a few new believers, if they find that 99% of what I said is right, yet one tiny part is incorrect, then they reject everything else. They are arrogant and nitpicking. If these people saw Jesus coming, do you think they would be able to receive Him? They are unable to receive Him. They would definitely resist God. This is because the things that Jesus says do not conform with man’s notions and imaginations. The truth does not conform with man’s notions and imaginations. The deeper the truth, the more it does not conform with man’s imaginations.
“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” is not only God’s promise, it is also the truth. Those who cannot obey God have all sorts of notions and only follow their own reasoning to comment on or judge God’s work. Is this resisting God? This is resisting God. Can these people who resist God be gained by God? They cannot. That is why many evil people and antichrists within the church have been expelled. In the beginning, I tried to maintain a loving heart for these people. For more than ten years I watered them but to no avail. These people clung tightly to their own notions and imaginations in all they did. In this way, they disturbed God’s work. God’s word clearly indicates that these people who resist God have a satanic nature. These people will never change. They will be eliminated in the end. Finally, I understood this. After I understood this, I took bold and decisive actions to cut these people off. Afterward, the church life returned to normal. Once again, God’s chosen people could eat and drink the word of God in peace and begin to commune over the reality of the truth. Within God’s house, all those who only speak of letters and doctrines will receive dealing and pruning. Additionally, when we elect our leaders, we cannot elect those without any reality of the truth, because they only speak of letters and doctrines to deceive people. If the church can select leaders that have the reality of the truth, then the church life will slowly become normal. Our brothers and sisters would then be able to communicate their understanding and knowledge of God’s word. When we communicate the truth, it allows us to relate our own corrupt state and express ourselves from our heart. We begin to open up in an innocent and pure manner. We take our mistaken thoughts, actions, experiences and understandings and put them out there for others to discern. In this manner, imperceptibly, we begin to truly experience and understand God’s words, the truth. For church life to reach a certain standard, the key is to eliminate those antichrists and demons who are especially arrogant and conceited. They always have narrow notions when it comes to God’s work, and want to wield their power in God’s house. Wherever the antichrists or demons have not been purged and expelled, that is where the church life would never be able to return to normal.
God says, “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” When it comes to the antichrists and these demons, are they people who truly obey God? Are those that reject the truth truly obedient to God? Are those disobedient, loud and arrogant, armchair strategists truly obedient to God? No, they are not. Now, can those people who do not truly obey God understand the truth and enter the reality? Those who are unable to obey God will never be able to enter the reality of the truth. Some people ask, “What does it mean to truly obey God? I have cast away everything and have come before God and to God’s house. Is this obeying God?” Other people say, “I have cast aside my work and my family and have come to God’s house to fulfill my duties. Is this obeying God?” Others say, “The great red dragon has cruelly captured and persecuted me. Now, I am following God in the same manner. I am still spreading the gospel and bearing witness. Is this genuinely obeying God?” Other people say, “I have cast aside everything for God’s house. I do my utmost to fulfill my duties for God every day. Is this obeying God?” Can we be gained by God if we obey Him in this manner? “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” These people are only lacking in trueness. “The Truly Obedient,” how exactly do we obey God? To obey a single word of God and cast away everything? Or, during the Age of Grace, to bear His cross and follow Him, or toil and work hard for the Lord? Is this considered being truly obedient to God? What does it mean to be truly obedient to God? What is it saying? Obeying God does not mean just randomly obeying a single word from God. It means to obey His work. So what does it mean to obey God’s work? It means to obey God’s judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning, trials and refinement, obey God’s orchestration and arrangement, obey all the truths expressed by God, obey the arrangements of God’s house and obey the Holy Spirit’s work. All of this, collectively, is called truly obeying God. Obeying God includes all of these details. If you just pick out one sentence, saying it represents God, this does not work. If you just pick out one sentence and proclaim, “This verse represents God’s work during the last days.” This doesn’t make sense.
A while ago, we had a brother who said something. What did he say? After he heard a hymn titled “Obey God’s Judgment and Chastisement,” he said, “Just this hymn is enough. If I learn it well, I can obey God’s judgment and chastisement, then I will be perfected by Him.” What do you think about his statement? Someone said, “The greatest blessing is to love God. Those who love God can be perfected. Great! It’s enough to try my best just to love God.” Another person said, “In order to enter into life what’s crucial is to know oneself. So what’s important to me is to know myself. Once I know myself, my life disposition will change.” Someone else said, “The key to believing in God is to be an honest person. As long as I am honest and do not tell lies, I will be gained by God.” Are these statements right? Obeying the work of God is not for you to just experience and practice one word of God. One word does not represent God. One word does not represent the work of God. The key to wholeheartedly obeying God is to obey the work of God. It is not just obeying one word of God. Truly obeying God is obeying the work of God. Do you understand? What is most important is His work, judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning, trials and refinement. Only through this process can you achieve purification and perfection in the end. God’s work is awesome.
I have already experienced the work of God for many years. So, which areas did I focus my efforts on? Firstly, I focused on knowing what God has and is and then reflecting on my corrupt nature and substance. Secondly, I focused on fulfilling my duties to satisfy God’s wishes. The third thing I focused on is to become an honest person and live a normal human life. Do not desire luxury or have improper cravings. Fourth, is to strive to understand the truth in its entirety. By experiencing and coming to know more truths, I can live out some reality. Experiencing the truth in this manner, eventually I’ve achieved some results and some changes occur to my life disposition. And I’m able to speak some reality of the truth in every aspect. As you experience God’s work, the more you focus your efforts on God’s words and the truth, the more you will gain. If you are not determined to use your heart to ponder the truth, you will not be able to gain anything. It is useless if you only focus on outward practices and religious doctrines. No matter how many years you obey, it will be for nothing. Focus on understanding the truth, transforming your disposition and your perspectives, and knowing God. In the end you will live out the reality of the truth. That is why the phrase “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” is the truth. This is one of the ways to gain God. If you have no mind to obey and instead focus on obtaining blessings, satisfying your own desires, competing with others and seeking status, then it is all over. God will eliminate you! Someone asks, “What does it mean to be eliminated by God?” That means that you are likely to lose the work of the Holy Spirit and be set aside by God. God will set you to one side and ignore you. This is what it means to be eliminated by God. If the Holy Spirit is not working within you, no matter how strong your own belief is, it is of no use. People may believe in the Lord in the religious world, but the Holy Spirit is not working there. They can be in the church for hundreds, even thousands of years, and it would be for nothing. They can’t gain anything. Once they die, they will go to hell. This is what the situation is. That is why to truly obey God requires you to focus on obeying God’s judgment and chastisement. You must accept all the judgment and chastisement from God’s word.
Some people say, “I can accept a portion of God’s words about judgment and chastisement, but occasionally there are some that I can’t accept.” If you can’t accept His words, keep an attitude of obedience. Do not resist or judge! In other words, if God’s words are too profound and you do not understand, let go of it and wait for God. God will reveal it in time. If you cannot accept it, do not judge: “God’s words are incorrect, they are not congruent with reality. God is making a big fuss over a minor issue. Perhaps it is not God saying these words.” If you truly have this kind of perspective or way of thinking and you say these sorts of things, what kind of issue is this? Is this someone who truly obeys God? This is not a person who obeys God. This can be compared to a time when I dealt with someone, and I said, “You do not have any humanity or conscience. How can you do this?” How did he feel after hearing what I had to say? His mouth did not move and he did not oppose me. What was going on inside of him? Inside he was thinking, “I obey God, I do not obey man.” Is this someone who truly obeys God? This is not someone who wholeheartedly obeys God. For one, he had notions about God’s words. He was opposed to and denied God’s words. He thought that God’s words were incorrect. This is not someone who truly obeys God. Additionally, when it comes to how he treated the man used by the Holy Spirit, he didn’t accept his dealing and pruning. He thought that it was the man who dealt with him, not God. “If God deals with me in this way, then I will obey, but if man deals with me, I will not obey. I obey God, I do not obey man.” What kind of issue is this? This is a very real issue. As a matter of fact, there are many instances where God uses man to deal with other men. When God worked through Moses, Moses was not Christ. He was a man that God was using. Moses dealt with other men, accused other men. If they did not obey, isn’t this the same as resisting God? This is resisting God. Suppose Moses was dealing with or reproaching someone, and they said “I obey God, I do not obey man”; what would this mean? Whoever speaks like this is directly disobeying God. He is very cunning in his resistance to God! He uses correct words to resist God. He uses accurate, reasonable words as a sensible excuse to resist God. Isn’t this a very cunning way of resisting God? This is very grave in nature. Also, in our real lives sometimes God will use non-believers, brothers and sisters to deal with us, obstruct us, reproach us and discipline us. He will also use our environment, people, events, and objects to discipline, prune and obstruct us. Does this sort of thing happen? These kinds of things happen a lot!
According to man’s theories, no matter what kind of dealing and pruning that you experience, if you say things like “I obey God, I do not obey man,” is this still obeying the work of God? Some people say no. Why? Is that difficult to understand? We speak the reality. When you encounter the actual instances of God’s work, you can’t differentiate them and are at a loss what to practice. You do not know the way. You do not know all the details of obeying God and you do not know how to accurately put it into practice. You still talk about obeying God? These are empty words. Someone said, “I wholeheartedly obey God.” If you think like this or have this kind of understanding, then on what basis can you confirm that you are obeying God? Are you actually obeying God? Where is the reality of your obedience to Him? Can you tell us your experience? Another person said, “God has not dealt with me, how do I obey Him? If God deals with me, then I promise I can obey!” What do you think about these statements? They are quite empty. According to God’s word, God prunes people every day, God deals with people every day. If you say, “God still has not dealt with me. When Christ comes to deal with me, that is when God is dealing with me. If it is not Christ dealing with me, not the incarnate God dealing with me, or not the Holy Spirit revealing Himself directly to deal with me, then it does not originate from God but from man. I do not obey what originates from man.” Is this the correct way to receive? Where is the error in this thinking? He does not understand. He is not able to differentiate exactly what originates from God. Experiencing the work of God involves many details. For example, what does it mean to go through trials? A person said, “Trials are when you encounter a great adversity, disease, suffering or persecution. These are all trials. When the great red dragon captures you, that is also a trial. To have cancer is a trial. When someone in your family dies, that is a trial. To suffer disasters is also a trial.” Is this correct? So what exactly is a test? What does temptation mean? How do you explain this? You can’t explain. When it comes to the details of the truth, you do not understand them. How does God reveal man? Someone said, “When my corruption is exposed, this is God revealing me.” Now, have you been revealed when you do not expose corruption? “No, my corruption has been hidden. Whenever it is exposed, that is when God is revealing me.” After God has revealed man, what then? “Elimination! Whoever expresses corruption will be revealed. Whoever is revealed will be eliminated.” Is this correct? This is groundless. God reveals everyone. Especially those that seek the truth and in the end can be perfected. He constantly reveals, cleanses and refines them. To be revealed does not mean elimination. It is normal to be revealed in life experience. For example, when you have exposed your own corruption in a matter, you read God’s words, and once the Holy Spirit enlightens you, you understand the truth. Once you understand the truth, then you see through the substance of the corruption that you exposed. Isn’t this revealing? So, what is this revealing supposed to do? It is used to cleanse, give you understanding and help you to repent. Once you repent, then you will be cleansed. If you do not have a solid understanding of this, you won’t be able to repent and thus, you won’t be cleansed. So what does it mean when someone is revealed and then eliminated? They are antichrists or demons. God lets everybody see the things they have done, “Oh, this is demonic! Now I see. They were doing these things in secret. Who knew of these things before? When you hear them talk, they sound quite good. Once the things they have been doing behind our backs have been exposed, then we finally know!” This is what it means to be revealed for elimination. All the evil people, those who do not seek the truth in the slightest, once their ugliness, their corruption, satanic countenance are thoroughly exposed, that means they are revealed and will be eliminated. Do you understand? Those who truly obey God, they will also often expose their corruption. However, they will continue to seek the truth and perform self-reflection. With the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, they will achieve a true understanding. This kind of revealing is used to perfect their repentance as well as their cleansing. It is for the sake of their life growth. So, for those who pursue the truth and truly obey God, when they get revealed, they do not get eliminated. Instead they get saved and perfected, understand?
When those who truly obey God have their corruption exposed and those who hate the truth, like the antichrists and demons, are revealed, is there a difference in substance? Of course there are differences. Revealing corruption and the satanic nature and substance are not the same. When a demon deliberately kills someone, their intent is revealed and it is a capital crime. This is what it means to be eliminated. There are people who have good intentions, who follow the doctrine or who do not understand the truth and do some ignorant things. Perhaps they are weak, their flesh is undisciplined and it leads them to rebel against God and go against the truth. The nature of their action is different from the nature of the antichrist doing evil. There is a difference. I will give you a related example. Say there is a person who commits evil. He disturbs the work of God’s family. His disturbance is to paralyze the work of God’s house. It is to destroy and bring chaos to the work of God’s house. When he does these things, the nature that is revealed is different. Some people try to do good work, but they do not have experience or do not know the way and they end up failing. Some people have good intentions when they do things, but their work is no good and they fail. Are their natures different from that of the antichrist and evil people who destroy the work? Their natures are not the same. I will give another example. When it comes to safeguarding money, some people steal it, spend it and then look for an excuse as to why they no longer have it. Some people are not careful and they have that money stolen by a thief. Are their natures different? They are different. So the way to deal with them varies, and they are dealt with according to a different principle. God’s house has to deal with them according to the nature of the things they do. One man creates a false impression because he wants to embezzle God’s offerings. In reality, he is a demon and he must be expelled. Another person, who normally upholds the work of God’s house and has made many offerings to God’s house, in an isolated instance of ignorance, is deceived and has the money stolen from him. This is a transgression and we should not expel him. However, if a similar situation occurs again, our response would be severe. Some people simply commit transgressions. Some reveal satanic nature. So they must be dealt with according to different principles.
No matter how they are dealt with, people who truly obey God will not be eliminated by God. Those who do not obey God, who do not even seek the truth in the slightest, though they have not encountered any significant dealing or pruning, when it permits, they will be eliminated. If they are deemed as wicked, they will be eliminated. There is a difference here. This is known as conducting affairs according to principle. That is why when it comes to people who obey God’s work, sometimes they will perform their duty and the results are unsatisfactory. Afterward, upon observation it is found that they are not suited for the duties at hand. They may do better in another duty, so their duties are adjusted. As some of them perform their duties, they will experience multiple instances of dealing and pruning. They will change for the better. Every few days, they will be dealt with and pruned and go through judgment and chastisement. In this way, they consistently experience the work of God, God’s dealing and pruning, and God’s judgment and chastisement. When they encounter trials, they do their utmost to seek the truth and stand firm in their testimony. They diligently cooperate with God in this way. What is this? This is what it means to obey God’s work and follow in the footsteps of God. They obey and follow in this way. How many years have they been following? Some have faithfully followed for five or six years and have not faltered at all. Others have followed for ten years, undergone countless instances of dealing and pruning and still have not retraced a single step or had a single complaint. In this way, when these people walk till the end of the road, they will all have gained the reality of the truth. All of them can talk about their own experiences and bear witness. All of them will have a real understanding of God. These are the kinds of people who have been truly cleansed, who have been saved and perfected in the end.
Now, suppose you ask people to bear witness and talk about their states. You say to them, “You have followed God for two to three years. How has the process been like?” Most people would say, “These two to three years have been great. I have made a lot of progress! When I reflect back to when I first started believing in God, I was quite ignorant and did not know anything. Now, after two to three years, I have gained so much!” When they first started doing their duties, some people were very weak. They missed their family so much that they cried. Afterward, they no longer miss their family. They enjoy doing duties with brothers and sisters. After they experienced some dealing and pruning and reaped some benefits, they feel their stature has improved, they have grown and start to understand. What do they say then? “Now, I feel I have definitely grown a lot. I have a basic grasp of what it means to obey. When I am dealt with and pruned, I can obey. When I experience intense words of judgment and chastisement, I can obey. Even undergoing trials in harsh environments, I am able to obey. Even in difficult and bitter environments, I can obey. I will not give up. No matter how heavy the burden or how great the difficulty, I will not complain, I will not blame God. I am confident that I can carry the weight. I will shoulder the responsibility and march forward courageously.” What do you think of these people? Do these people wholeheartedly obey God? People who truly obey God can follow God to the end like this. This is very valuable! In the beginning, people’s stature is small. If brothers and sisters look down upon them, they can’t take it. If brothers and sisters don’t love them, they can’t take it. If brothers and sisters don’t obey them, don’t listen to them, they can’t take it. When they are pruned and dealt with, they become passive and weak. Isn’t this pitiful? When it comes to real experiences of bearing witness, they have none. They can’t even communicate one passage of God’s word. If they say some empty words and doctrines, they are afraid of other people laughing at them. They are unable to utter even one word regarding the reality of the truth. They are so poor and pitiful! After a few years of experience, they are somewhat obedient. Regardless of the arrangements of God’s house, they can still follow God’s plans. They do not make their own decisions independently. No matter how difficult it is, they perform their duties and they do not say that they are too tired. They feel this is God making an exception and lifting them higher. They have a little more stature, and are able to shoulder some more responsibilities. They no longer say things are too hard or unjust. They are able to use all of their strength and ability to satisfy God. Their heart rejoices and they enjoy this feeling. Has such a person’s desire to obey God become stronger? When it comes to obeying God, their stature has grown and they are able to take on greater tasks. When they first started doing their duty, they said, “Oh, I’m not making any money, it is good enough to do a little. I can only dedicate one hour a day!” Later, they said they could do two hours a day and then half a day. In the end, they do their duty days at a time and they still feel okay. Some people ask, “For what reason do you spend yourself for God every day?” Other people say, “Well, for what reason am I doing this? How could I have not thought of this? I am doing this to enter the kingdom of heaven!” Other people say, “I’m doing this to obtain the truth and to obtain life!” Still others say, “I’m doing this to obtain the truth, achieve an understanding of God and get cleansed. I want to live a life with meaning!” Are these the kinds of people who truly obey God? If you do not wholeheartedly obey God, would you have a willing heart to fulfill your duty and spend for God every day? You would not. What are those that do not truly obey God mulling over? “It’s going to be like this from now on? So, I need to spend myself like this for God? I do not even make a single cent. The church will just take care of my accommodations and food? Afterward, I will not get married? I still have a mother and father. Who will pay respect to them? I have kids. Who will raise them?” When it comes to someone who does not truly obey God, can these difficulties be resolved? Would they be able to completely let go of all that they have? They can’t let it go. They will let it go for two days, and then bring it back up and reflect and ponder: “When will this end?” They will be passive for two days. Will it do to perform one’s duty and follow God without any visions? They will still be weak. They will still want to look back. No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. They are not clear about the vision! Once they have experienced God’s work for a period of time, some people say, “Oh, I can feel how valuable the truth is. If I can obtain the truth to be my life, then it is absolutely worth it to cast away everything to obtain life. Definitely worth it! For the rest of my life, I would no longer chase after fame, fortune or even survival. I will toil until I die to obtain the truth and life. This is absolutely worth it!” The reason they believe in God is to obtain something valuable. This is similar to a parable that Jesus gave. There was a person who discovered an extremely valuable pearl. This person sold everything he owned in order to buy this pearl. Once he had it in his hands, he felt he finally obtained something real that he could enjoy. He felt it was the most valuable thing.
Are you clear now what exactly we spend ourselves for? “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” What is this alluding to? Some people say that they believe in God in order to obtain the truth. Now, what does obtaining the truth and “being gained by God” have in common? Other people say that they believe in God in order to obtain God. Now, what does obtaining God and “being gained by God” have in common? What does “being gained by God” mean? To be gained by God means you are made complete by God and God has obtained you, He says that you are one of His people. Is it the same as saying someone has obtained God? It is the same. However, other people think that it is inaccurate to say that one has obtained God. To say that God has obtained people instead is more accurate, it is more real. Is this correct? Why do we say it like this? It is because God is doing His work. God is saving people. God is the One who is active, it is man that is passive. Some people say, “Well, when we seek God’s footsteps, seek God’s appearance, investigate God’s work, isn’t it man who is being active?” In reality, is it man who is being active? No. It is God incarnate doing this. It is God expressing His truth. It is the Spirit of God doing the work wherever we are. God makes sure His chosen people are accommodated in appropriate environments and come before Him at appropriate times. That is why when God does the work of judging man, chastising man and cleansing man, His objective is to obtain man. He wants to obtain those that are of one heart and one mind with Him. This is the fruit of God’s work in the last days.
Why is it that we often become passive and weak? We lose strength and we can’t go on. How do we stand our ground in the end? How do we catch up? How do we manage to rise up? What exactly is this? This is God not abandoning us. This is God showing us mercy. This is God supporting us in secret. Leading us, stabilizing us. If this is so, then is it man who is actively obtaining God or God working to obtain man? Which wording is correct? To put it accurately, it is God working to obtain us. This is why the phrase “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” is the truth. Additionally, this phrase is also God’s promise to mankind. If you experience God’s work for 20 years, 30 years or 50 years and finally, one day, you are obtained by God, would you say that the way you lived your life was worth it? More than being the president? More than becoming a wealthy person? 1,000 times more, 10,000 times more. Now, someone has said, “For 30-50 years of my life, I’ve believed until I am obtained by God. I do not have a family, no assets, not even a small home. I do not have a villa or a car!” Now, just how is this worth it? When you have been obtained by God, you will never die. You have obtained everlasting life. When you say that you have nothing, God would say that you instead, have everything. The whole world is yours. How do you explain this? Can you explain this statement? During the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus said this, “There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (Luke 18:29-30). In one instance, in the present world, your rewards will be one hundred fold and in the other instance, in the world to come, you shall obtain everlasting life. Now, that means those who have been obtained by God will not die! You will have obtained everlasting life. We wouldn’t trade this for the entire world! Isn’t this the case? Those who become president, high officials or wealthy people, after they have become these kinds of people, their lives will be shortened by quite a few years, and in the end, they will still die. Look at the high officials in any country. They toil for ten years, eight years, and they suffer too much fatigue. They cling to the one life they have but in the end they still die. What do they have to show for this? Those who enter politics are on a road of no return. That is why, at present, do not look at us like we have nothing. All we have is that we follow God and in the end, what will we obtain? Something that is so valuable that we would not trade the entire world for it: everlasting life! If you have obtained everlasting life, you will never die, have you lost anything? You haven’t lost one bit. Now, do you have any weakness or negativity? Some people, after they have fallen asleep, will then wake up in the middle of the night and say, “What am I busy with during the day? What is this all for? When will this end? Am I crazy?” After they get up, they find it hard to bear. They do not have the heart to fulfill their duties. Do you still have these kinds of thoughts? What kinds of people have these kinds of thoughts? Short-sighted fools, right? For what are you doing your duty and seeking the truth as a believer? You do not understand this, yet you still fulfill your duty. You are so confused! You do not understand any part of the truth, yet you still go and perform your duty. Do you not feel weak? It is imperative that you have a clear understanding of this. Some people say, “Others are spiritual and their caliber is good. They seek the truth as if they were born to do so. We are, however, stupidly fumbling around. No matter how the truth is communicated to us we do not understand. If we are this diligent and expend our efforts in this way, can we obtain everlasting life? I cannot say.” How does this sound? Some others say, “This is how we are. I think the more we try, even if we try for an entire lifetime, we will not obtain anything. We are just idiots. Why don’t we just go home and find a job, work a bit and earn some money? That way at least our lives will improve somewhat.” How does this sound? How poor is your caliber? Do you mean to tell me that you can’t even understand God’s words and the sermons? As long as you can understand, even though you may not express it well, that is fine. If you can understand, then you can spend for God with true intentions. It does not matter if you are stupid. As long as your heart is pure and in the right place and you use all your strength and do no evil, then it is fine. God does not treat people unfairly. Do you understand? God examines the bottom of your hearts. If your heart is right, if it is pure, if you wholeheartedly make an effort for God and if you accomplish all that you can as one of God’s creations, regardless of your ability, God will be satisfied. God’s expectations of you are not too high. God empathizes with the weakness of man. God knows man’s caliber. You must understand God’s heart. As long as you can see through this, it is adequate.
“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” Here “truly” is very important! So what is meant when you say that it is not true? To be not true is to deliberately have some different aim or some different intention. For example, some people spend for God in order to obtain a laurel or in order to obtain rewards; some people spend for God in hope of bringing status to themselves, to become an outstanding person or to satisfy their own desires; and some people spend for God because they just want everlasting life and to avoid catastrophe. With these kinds of intentions, are people being truly obedient to God? It is very bad for people to have these kinds of intentions, because they will inevitably incur the hatred and anger of God. So what should be done? You should pray to God, open up your heart to God, allow God to look upon you, accept the judgment and chastisement of God, and allow yourself to be cleansed. This is correct. These false intentions obstruct people from obeying God. Look at some people: When God judges and chastises them by saying that they are arrogant and conceited and are of the same sort as Satan, they say, “The same sort as Satan? Not me!” It is too much trouble, they will not accept it. If someone discovers that the words of God’s judgment do not completely conform to their notions, they will reject it, not accept it, argue against it or put it over someone else’s head. They will not put it on themselves. Is that person being truly obedient to God? Some people expend for God and perform their duties but you cannot deal with them, because as soon as you do they will resist and firmly reject you. If you do not deal with them they will work in obscurity, burying themselves in their work and undertaking their tasks despite any hardship. If you do deal with them, they will immediately become a devilish figure filled with fury. Is that a person who is being truly obedient to God? People who are truly obedient to God allow themselves to be put to death by God, like sheep. However God decides to treat them, they will always be obedient, they will not talk about their reasons. Whenever a person is able to not talk about their reasons, whenever they are able to submit to whatever God asks of them or does to them, then they will have become someone who is obedient to God.
“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” But what shall be gained? How do you go about being gained by God? Many brothers and sisters have experienced the work of God for 20 plus years, but from the very start they have not been obedient, always talking about reasons, and acting on their own notions and imaginations. Whenever they are pruned and dealt with, they jump up and rebel, revealing their nature, and afterward nobody pays attention to them. A couple days go by and they settle down, they feel bad and ask themselves, “How have you behaved these past few days? You were resisting like the devil, you were not being obedient. What did you do to be disobedient? You talked about your reasons, you took your own notions and imaginations as the truth, you refuted the word of God and contradicted the word of God, and in this way you were resisting God.” Is it possible to feel no regrets after this? Is it possible to not repent? For these past few days there was nobody to deal with you, but you felt so bad that you were at a loss for words! Do you know what the consequences are after resisting God? You will experience suffering. This bad feeling inside you won’t go away, you are suffering because you feel hate toward yourself, so then you declare: “Oh God, if You deal with me next time, I promise to submit myself to You, I will absolutely comfort You with my true obedience, I will not resist You, I will not state my reasons, and if I do again may You curse me, may You punish me.” After praying in this way, things will seem to have calmed down. But after a few days go by, the judgment and chastisement of God will suddenly come upon you, and before even three minutes have gone by, you will jump up again and get into a debate and try to reason with God. By debating and reasoning like this, others will not pay attention to you, saying, “You are rational, that’s fine, and if you are rational then you must be a good person.” Then after a while you will again feel paralyzed, you will feel like you are being refined like before, that you are being punished, and you will feel unpleasant for several days. The pain is not inflicted by another person, it is because of you. You will feel that you are suffering a lot, so then what will you feel inside? “How did I rebel again? Last time when I prayed did I not figure it out and resolve that I would be obedient? How is it that I fell off course again? What’s going on here? This is the nature of Satan, and the nature of Satan does not change. Even in the face of death I do not repent. Alas! This is a deep-rooted problem! It is easier to change mountains and rivers than to alter a person’s nature!” Once you arrive at this realization you will begin to snivel and then weep. Then you will feel the need to turn to God again and pray: “Oh God! I know now, I can see clearly now, Satan’s nature lies deep within me, there is no cure. Oh God, do not try to deal with me. You might as well go straight to punishing me, because if You punish me then I will at least feel a little bit better.” You will feel a little bit better after praying like this, thinking, “Then I will once again get into a fight to the death with the flesh, the old Satan, and it must be punished to death!” Then you will feel peaceful once again in your heart. But only after a few months go by you will again be confronted with an unusual circumstance where you have to be pruned and dealt with, and again you will resist. You will wonder: What is going on here? How is it that every time there is no change? Do you think this kind of experience is normal? Can these kinds of people be eliminated? This is a normal experience.
Some people will ask: “A normal experience might happen once or twice, but is it still normal after three or four times?” It depends. If you are fooling around promiscuously this is a transgression; it is limited to once or twice, but not allowed to happen three or four times. When it comes to the resolution of a corrupt disposition, you cannot talk about it in these terms; this kind of formula is not suitable. Do you understand? People must be cleansed of their satanic nature, but this is not something that just happens one, two, three or four times, it is something you accomplish through many years of laborious efforts, trials and tribulations. Look at the way a husband and wife live their lives. When they are young they get married and they are kind to and love one another, but before long things start to get worse. At first they start to bicker, then before too long things start to heat up, and eventually they are going at it all the time, but even after fighting for so many years they do not leave each other. To what age will they fight until they stop? In their 60s they will stop fighting, they will stop scolding, neither will pick a fight, neither will scold the other. Would you say that at this time this couple is truly committed to each other? They are able to live in harmony and they no longer quarrel. Why is this? Because they have no strength left, right? So, when people reach their 60s, they have already experienced everything in life, they have suffered all hardships there are to suffer, and at this time they are able to submit themselves to the will of God and to be equipped with normal humanity. Now thinking back to when you were young and would express your satanic nature and fiery temper, you will feel nauseated. “What is that!” No matter what, you aren’t willing to think about the past. But now everything is okay, you submit to everything. Regardless of what people say or how they treat you, in your heart you are obedient, and by feeling this way you think, “Ah, I finally know what normal humanity, conscience and rationality are!” The words you speak are true, the things you do are true, and there is humanity in the things you think. They are compatible with people’s thoughts, and everything seems to go according to your wishes. So what is going on here? Is this a mature life? When you were young you came to realize many truths through God’s work, and after experiencing countless failures you can put the truth into practice now. It doesn’t take any effort. Being obedient to God is easy. Coordinating with people, coming together harmoniously, being obedient to your brothers and sisters, all these things are easy. Forbearing with and forgiving your brothers and sisters is easy. Waiting in patience is easy. Handling your affairs in a principled way is easy. It feels like none of this takes any effort. And now when you are asked to do some bad things, to do some things for fame and profit, status or vanity you do not do it, you feel that it is disgraceful. Forsaking your flesh, renouncing those things that belong to the flesh is even easier. Practicing the truth is easy, rebelling against your flesh is even easier. Is this really what’s going on here? Practicing the truth and forsaking your flesh is most difficult when you first start believing in God. One day it is easy to forsake the flesh, which is something you have attained by practicing the truth. When going against your flesh is easy, it’s also easy for you to practice the truth; when you practice the truth easily, forsaking your flesh is also easy. The two things equal each other. When your life experience reaches a certain level, you feel that practicing the truth and going against the flesh is not difficult, and that renouncing your flesh is even less difficult. It is not difficult to delight in helping others. All of this is easy to do. It’s also not difficult to love others as you love yourself, it’s just doing a little something for someone else, it’s just meeting some of the responsibility you have toward others. You see someone that is just beginning to believe and you think, “Okay, now how can we help this person, we will help them in whatever area they need help, easy!” At this time if you are asked to do things for yourself, or doing things in order to meet your own goals, that makes you feel shameful and it makes your mind unsettled, because you think acting in that way is despicable. When your life experience gets you to this level, is this attained by being obedient to God? This is the result you achieve by submitting yourself to God. If you’re always obedient, being obedient to God will not be difficult; if you’re always practicing the truth, practicing the truth will not be difficult; if you’re always trying to be an honest person who doesn’t tell lies, a day will arrive where this too does not feel difficult. All of this will be easy.
Now what does it mean to have these kind of results? It means this person has been obtained by God. To be obtained by God means: 1. This person is truly obedient to God; 2. This person is able to practice the truth in all things, and does not feel that this is difficult; 3. This person is able to do real things for their love of God and in order to satisfy God. Now could this kind of person be able to leave God? 1. They are unable to leave God, they are inseparable from God; 2. They will never be able to rebel against God again; 3. Even more so, they will not be able to do things that resist God. Is this kind of person someone who has been obtained by God? This is someone who has been obtained by God. After being obtained by God your whole body will feel relaxed, you will feel that you have finally been obtained through your faith in God! Now what exactly is “obtained” referring to? In specific terms it means you have obtained much of the truth, and you have obtained life; in more general terms it means you have obtained God and been obtained by God. When someone is obtained by God, it means that they are not only inseparable from God, but also that they are only able to live for God and for carrying out His will. The only way for them to live a meaningful life is to honor God and be witness to God. Now these kinds of people are living out the most meaningful lives. So when these people say something or do something and God looks down upon them, what will He feel? God will be pleased, God will feel comforted. He will think about how this is what He envisioned when He created the human race. He will think about how this meets the condition that He wants the human race to ultimately reach. When the words of man are completely compatible with God, regardless of what is said by God, they will listen patiently and attentively, they will try to figure it out, and they will carry out their actions in accordance with God’s words and God’s commands without their own choices or preferences. This is the condition that God wants people to be in. So how can people arrive at this condition? These results can be achieved by experiencing and being truly obedient to the work of God. Look around and think about how many of your brothers and sisters there are who try to do their duty every day, who eat and drink the word of God every day, who gather in fellowship to discuss the truth every day. Is this not being obedient to the work of God? If this is how you experience things and carry out your actions, then in 10 or 20 years, you will be rewarded and you will be able to attain certain results. If you are of good caliber then you will have good results, but if you are of poor caliber then your results too will be poor. To experience a year is to have a year’s worth of results, to experience 10 years is to have 10 years of results, this is how it is.
Now, would someone say: “My obedience to God is to abandon my family and the world, to come to God’s household and fulfill my duties. So long as I am fulfilling my duties in such a way, I am obeying God; so long as I persist until the end in this way by fulfilling my duties, I will be gained by God”? Does it make sense to say such things? What could be wrong? It is not enough to have an appearance of obedience without the pursuit of truth. Someone might say: “I shall fulfill whatever duties that God’s household asks of me, I shall obey in all that I am told. Is it not sufficient that I do whatever I have been told?” Such obedience on the outside is required, but so is the pursuit of truth; it is insufficient without truth. Can it be sufficient without eating and drinking God’s words? Some people are all enthusiastic when we talk about fulfilling our duties, but once we start eating and drinking God’s words, they get confused, and they become sleepy. Their slumber is so sweet once someone starts fellowshiping about the truth. They normally have difficulty falling asleep, but once we get together to fellowship about the truth, it is guaranteed that they will sleep very well. What is the issue here? God’s words can perfect man. It is not merely us fulfilling our duties and doing the deeds that perfect man; it is God’s words that perfect man, it is the truths that perfect man, and you cannot ignore this. Do you understand? Don’t say “I will fulfill my duties. Whatever my duties are, whatever deeds I must do each day, I will carry them out, day in and day out, until God’s work has concluded, and I shall be perfected thus.” This mentality is not right. While you are fulfilling your duties, you must also experience God’s work. Tell me, when a man performs his duties, does he not reveal his corrupted disposition? How do we resolve the corrupted disposition that has been revealed? We must eat and drink God’s words, we must fellowship about the truth. Look at how many times we gather each week. We have one sermon gathering, and during your gatherings you must also fellowship about the truths, you must relate your own corrupted state when talking about your understanding. Regardless of the church life that you lead, you must put in the effort to seek the truth, from the bottom of your heart. This is key.
Some people, when I deal with them this way and that, they do not complain, but instead they put in efforts toward the truth. “The manner with which you dealt with me, I must remember it well—in what way you have dealt with me, regarding which matter. I must learn to know myself from what you have said to me. I shall understand it thoroughly. I cannot let the words that you used to deal with me slip by, helter-skelter. I must thoroughly understand these words. And then I shall have a true repentance, a transformation. I must experience thus.” To experience the pruning and dealing of God this way, is that not good? You shall be transformed if you experience thus, and transformation will be difficult if you do not experience in such a way. Some people are quite confused. When someone asks these people: “How was the dealing that you received?” “Of course the dealing was right.” “So how are you going to handle it? What do you think?” “I must acknowledge it. I know that I am wrong, and I won’t do these things again,” and that is that. Is this sufficient? Their understanding is not thorough, and their heart is not in the right place; if there is merely an appearance of obedience with no effort to seek the truth, it is a certainty that the result will not be satisfactory. At present, no matter the pruning and dealing from God’s household, there is no longer anyone who would openly contradict them. Some people might still be conflicted on the inside, but later on, they are able to reach an understanding. They would say: “This is my rebellious disposition that is still in conflict. Why is it not more obedient? Since I am not contradicting on the outside, therefore I should become obedient on the inside as well. I should be saying ‘Amen’ with enthusiasm. How good would it be, if the more that I got dealt with from above, the more I say ‘Amen’ on the inside. I shall have a better understanding later on, and continue to repent, such that how I am on the inside matches how I am on the outside.” This is what people hope to achieve, but is this an easy thing? It won’t be possible without a few years’ effort, and just this one thing will take three to five years. If these people are no longer conflicted on the inside, they shall be able to seek the truth, saying, “These words that you used to deal with me, I must really look for the truths in them, and earnestly reflect on myself”; they shall start to pray to God, reflecting on themselves; after a period of reflection, they will actually be able to thoroughly reflect on their own situation and attain a clear understanding, and now they realize that “God, You love me so. This pruning and dealing truly came from You, yet for some reason I wasn’t able to obey it. This disposition of mine is the devil’s and the Satan’s disposition.” They now see God’s hand in this matter through such reflections, “This originated from God, and not from man. If I should encounter more pruning and dealing in the future, I shall better obey, I must not think that ‘This comes from man, and I shall not obey this; I only obey God,’ always talking about notions, explanations, whereby I end up digging my own grave.” Now, how do you like this transformation? This is a welcomed transformation, transformation of life, transformation of understanding; it is beginning to transform into true obedience, transforming from a rebellious conflict inside into true acceptance and obedience. The absence of rebellion in appearance does not equate obedience; true obedience only comes when rebellion is also absent on the inside, when there is complete obedience on the inside. Is it easy to attain such obedience? It is not easy; one must acquire an understanding of the truth and an understanding of God’s disposition, combined with a period of experience, before one can attain such obedience. For an ordinary person, once there is true obedience on the inside, it turns into transformations in life disposition. When does life disposition begin to transform? It begins from bringing about true obedience from the inside. Do you understand now? You must be obedient on the inside. If you see someone is dealt with by others, with such strong words, that tears are flowing on the outside, while he is obedient on the inside, while he is praying to God on the inside, the life disposition of such a person has started to transform. Some people are only satisfied with not having any conflicts in their appearance, not giving any explanations, and with that they think “I have become someone obedient to God.” They are indeed quite obedient in appearance, and in comparison, aren’t they much better than the unbelievers? Do you dare say things about the unbelievers? They want to put you in your place even before you say anything about them, they already have issues with everything that you do; if you should dare to say something about them, would they not hit you, and give you a slap on the face? You having such an obedience in appearance is already much better than the unbelievers, but are you someone who is truly obedient to God? Not yet, you are not. So, what have you achieved? You are able to obey God’s work, and you are somewhat obedient to God. This is a more objective way to put it.
With some people, when they encounter things, or when they encounter pruning and dealing, they can be obedient eight out of ten times, while they are unable to be obedient for the remaining two times. Why are they unable to be obedient for those two times? The tone that was used to deal with them was too strong, there was a connotation of condemnation, a connotation of a curse, therefore they were unable to be obedient. If the tone used in those two dealings was a little gentler, then they would guarantee to be obedient, then they would have a perfect score; it was only because the language used was too strong, hinting of condemnation and cursing, that they were unable to be obedient. Are such people truly obedient to God? This level is sufficient. Are you able to understand, the way that I put this? There is no such thing as you imagined, to be one hundred percent obedient, such a standard is too high. To be obedient to such a degree, where they have this tiny bit of contradiction, which they can subsequently overcome after some understanding, they have now achieved a transformation, and they are already someone who is truly obedient to God. It is true that they still have some insignificant flaws here and there, but these are due to them not being completely thorough and clear on the truths, is that not the case? Think back to the time when we first started to accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement. Once we read God’s words saying that man is a beast, that man is the progeny of Satan, we started having notions, “Aren’t these words that curse man? Why is God saying things to curse man? God’s words are always right, they are the truth, but then He said such words that curse man, how should I think about this?” While we had notions, yet we did not dare to deny God. We still acknowledged God incarnate, we still acknowledged that this is God’s work, yet we were unable to accept such words within us, we were unable to be obedient. However, after we have experienced for two, three years, when we read God’s words of pruning and dealing, revealing the truth of man’s corruption, we think, “Oh, God says that man is a beast. This is to reveal the corrupt essence of man. This is not cursing man, this is telling the truth as it is. The degree to which Satan has corrupted man, to the point of lacking any likeness of man, lacking any humanity, does that not make us beasts? These are not words that curse man, these are the simple truths, this is merely expressing the truth of human corruption with the most practical language.” Once we have reached such an understanding, when we think back on the previous judgment that we had of God, saying that the words of God are sometimes words that curse man, we become regretful. “Was I not passing judgment on God?” You should slap yourself on the face. “To curse God, to pass judgment on God—how can such things be tolerated? Every word of God is the truth. I could accept and acknowledge so many of God’s words, yet I did not acknowledge this one thing that God said. I am blind, I had no understanding of God’s words, yet I still denied God’s words and passed judgment on God. God did not curse me this time, therefore let me curse myself. I am an utter beast, I am no better than a pig or a dog.” Is this not a transformation? After experiencing another year or two, we gain another level of understanding of God’s words. After two, three years, we become even more thorough and clear regarding the truths of God’s words; we understand more and more, we become more enlightened and illuminated. In the end, when we read the same words again, we say, “God’s words are all truths, every single one of them. Regardless of what God says, whether they are words that curse man, or words that condemn man, they are all truths, they are all facts!” Ultimately, the more we read those God’s words that condemn and curse man, the more we realize that those are the God’s words that will perfect man. When we first started believing in God, every time we encountered God’s words that judge man, we said, “Quick, flip through them quickly. Such words are so prickly, they are so difficult to take. Flip through them quickly, let us go to that other page instead.” We marked all the words of judgment and chastisement so that we could flip through them once we arrived at them. After experiencing for a few years, we look at these words and say, “These words here are key, these are words that can most perfect man. The words that can most transform man’s disposition are all here, yet I flipped through all of them. How much growth of mine have I thwarted?” This time around, we even pay special attention to these words. When we see God’s words relating to God cursing man or condemning man, we now say, “Hurry up, let us seek the truth and look for answers here. Let us make haste and resolve the corruption in this area.” Are people who experience God’s work thus not truly obedient to God? How are they truly obedient to God? Is this clear now? Some people continue to be obedient to God with trivial matters in appearance, but in places where one should truly seek the truth, places that genuinely require the cleansing from God, that rightly require salvation from God, they are no longer obedient. They are now evasive, and they now circumvent the path. Are these people not fools?
At this point, when experiencing God’s work, the more we experience, the more we understand God. We begin to think that God’s words are magnificent. Your experience of three years is different from your experience of five years; while your experience of five years is even more different from other’s experience of ten years—where you have only gained half the experience. Therefore, for some people who have first accepted Almighty God, once they have read God’s words, they say: “These words are all truths, I would have never understood these truths when I was believing in the Lord and reading the Bible. Oh, it is so good to believe in Almighty God, I have gained so many truths. However, there is so much that He has said. How long will it take for me to eat and drink these words until I understand them? When will I be able to experience these words thoroughly? If I have only known, it would be fantastic if I started believing a few years earlier.” Everyone who believes in God says such things, they all feel that they started late in believing in God, and lament how much more they could have gained if they only started a few years earlier. Some people have a good memory, they can memorize tens of God’s passages in their one year of believing in God, and memorize hundreds of such passages in three to five years of believing in God. They say: “If I were to start believing in God three to five years earlier, I would have memorized a hundred passages of God’s words already, I would be able to talk about my own experiences and understanding by now. Wouldn’t that be marvelous. Then I would be able to bear witness for God, then I would be fit for God’s use.” The experience of reading God’s words is different from year to year. For example, with the same passage of God’s words, you might have a certain understanding when you first started believing in God, and your understanding drew a certain picture after you had read this passage. When you come back to read the same passage after you have believed in God for one year, you now have a different understanding, it is now a level deeper, and your understanding draws another new picture. After you have believed in God for ten years, and then you come back to read this same passage again, you gain an even deeper understanding, and what you have understood draws another even newer picture. No matter how many years you have believed in God, the results are different after every time you read the same passage of God’s words. It gets better each time, you become more enlightened and illuminated each time. God’s words are the source of flowing water, each sentence can be a person’s life, each sentence can be experienced by a person for ten years, or an entire lifetime. Take the simple truth of being an honest person. God said, “You must be an honest person,” and these are words that you shall experience for the rest of your life. You experience for ten years, and you say, “I am almost an honest person now,” but bits of craftiness are still within you. After experiencing for twenty years, you say, “This time I have progressed even more compared to how I was the last time, this time I have truly become an honest person,” yet there is still a trace of crookedness in you. After experiencing for thirty years, now you say, “I am, for sure, an honest person now. I am even purer than before,” but no, there still exists a tiny bit of imperfection in you.
Now how do you experience being obedient to God? This is also a similar process. At the start someone might declare: “Right now I am a little obedient to God, haven’t you seen that I’ve cast away my family and the world?” But in the end they are not being obedient to many aspects of the truth, they are not being obedient to many of God’s words. On the surface they have met the requirements with all the effort they can expend, and in a basic way they’ve met all of them. However, they are still somewhat lacking when it comes to being obedient to the word of God. In addition, within their obedience there are the notions and imaginations of man, they can submit a little to the things that they understand, they can submit a little to the things that are in line with their notions, but they still can’t submit to things that are not in line with their notions or that they can’t understand. They say, “Alas, I am still lacking in the reality of truth when it comes to being obedient to God.” Someone asks, “In ten years you have been able to cast away everything, you have been able to submit to general truths, and you have basically been able to submit to the dealing and pruning of God. So where are you still falling short?” “I am still falling short when it comes to being absolutely obedient to God’s authority, I still feel disobedience inside.” “If major trials befall you, God will deliver you to Satan, so will you be able to be obedient?” “I still can’t be completely obedient, but I do not resist. Still, even though I do not resist, I feel complaints within me.” “That is not okay, you can’t be obedient till death.” Does it not take your whole life to experience the truth of being obedient to God? It does. This is the most profound truth! There is no limit to the truth of knowing God, and the truth of being obedient to God is the most profound.
There’s also the truth of loving God. When I first started believing in the Lord, I relied completely on my enthusiasm, everywhere I’d go I would spread the gospel to bear witness to the Lord. I would also run into a lot of barriers and do a lot of ignorant things. Now looking back on it I can see that I was blindly spreading the gospel without basing it on principles. If I heard someone was near death with cancer in some place, I would think, “Quick, let’s go spread the gospel there.” If I heard someone was possessed by evil spirits in some place, I would think, “Quick, let’s go cure them and drive away the demons with our prayers.” Was this not stupid and ignorant? At that time, I did not pray to sense the will of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this way I was relying on my enthusiasm to do work for the Lord, until one day I would be able to cast away my work and my family for the Lord, that made me feel like a person that loves the Lord. After receiving God’s work in the last days, I experienced the judgment and chastisement from the word of God, where man’s nature and substance is disclosed. How would that make me feel? That inside I was paralyzed, and no longer willing to say that I was a person that loves God, nor willing to say that I was a person who submits to God. Before the disclosure and judgment of the word of God, I felt that I was not deserving. On the outside I would do little things for God because I thought this was loving God, but is loving God that easy of a thing to do? Do you have true knowledge of God? To put it as simply as possible, when it comes to the loveliness of God, how much can you see? How much do you know? How much work does God do to save man, why must God chastise and judge man, why does God allow mankind to face this much suffering, trials and refinement? These things all incorporate God’s love, they are all pondered earnestly by God. How much of this is man able to know and see? If a man doesn’t feel that God is too lovely, then will he be able to truly love God? That would be impossible. In this world there is no love without reason, and there is no hate without reason. So, a lot of people that enthusiastically spent their efforts for the Lord felt that they loved the Lord, and that they submitted to Him and followed His will. In the end, after accepting God’s work, they come to an understanding of man’s nature and substance through the word of God. At this time they finally see that they have nothing at all, that they are poor and pitiful. Their former understanding of the word of God was just empty words and doctrines, it was an understanding not based on experience. How could they have the reality of the truth? So, to be conquered by God is not a simple matter. People at present think they are good in this and that part, then one day will come when they have undergone the chastisement and judgment of the word of God for about one year and gone through the dealing and pruning, and they will be knocked down by God all at once. And at that time they will see that they have no saving grace, and that they are poor and pitiful. They will no longer believe that they obey God, nor will they boast that they love God, nor will they boast like Peter that “whosoever shall fall, I will never fall away.”
Question & Answer
Question 1: When performing my duty, I act very passively. It’s a little better when I am spurred by others but I’m kind of passive when there is no one to spur me. Sometimes I only realize that God says man has a particularly strong slave mentality and that man can’t always be forced to carry on in performing his duty. So I try to forsake my flesh through prayers and cooperate with God consciously. Sometimes it will be a little better, sometimes it will feel like my devotion has not reached its peak, but I’m never able to actively devote myself to fulfilling my duties. It feels like this circumstance is not only something I experience myself, but also something that brothers and sisters experience, but I don’t know how to resolve this situation. Brother, I ask you to please fellowship about it briefly.
Answer: Let’s fellowship about this state, why is it that man’s slave mentality is so strong? There are two situations. First, man does not possess the truth and is not aware of God’s intentions, so he doesn’t know what to do and he just waits passively. It’s the same as a child eating food, they wait for an adult to feed them and if the adult doesn’t feed them there’s nothing they can do besides cry and make noises. There’s no other road for them to go down. Isn’t this how it is? If a man loves the truth and pursues the truth, then they will begin to actively better themselves. They don’t need someone else to push them, drag them, pull them or scoot them along. How old would you say is it when a child usually becomes aware that they will have to actively help their parents by working? Perhaps at the very least once they are a teenager, right? So as to all those who perform duties passively, they won’t do something if no one tells them to, they will do something only when they are told to, they will be okay as long as someone leads them, and they will do nothing when no one leads them. Such people are lifeless. They just started believing in God and have not obtained life, so they do not know how to strive forward for the truth. When a person has their own burden to bear and is the same whether or not there is someone else to help them, such is a sensible man who has stature. If there is someone to help, they are able to perform their duty as usual, and if there is no one there to help, they still know what duty they need to perform. For example, imagine if a young child of five or six is at home alone and their parents are working in the farm, and if a thief comes into the house, will they be able to stop him? The thief comes in and coaxes the child by giving them some candy, so the child looks at him wanting to call him papa. Then the thief runs off with their things, but the child is still looking at him wanting to call him papa. Isn’t this troublesome? Because the child is so young they don’t understand things. Some of God’s chosen people neither know how to protect the work in the house of God nor actively perform their duties, and they are passive but will perform some of their duties when someone is watching over and restricting them, that is because they are with small stature. This is one of the situations.
Now some people say that they have believed for almost a decade, and that they have always been this way. It’s normal that some new believers act like this. But if there are some people who have believed for a decade and are still like this, they are the ignorant people who don’t pursue the truth at all. This is the way that people who don’t pursue the truth to the slightest degree are, they say, “I come to perform my duty, when I do my work that’s one day and when I don’t do my work that’s also one day. I simply let things take their course, and drift along through the day.” These people don’t care if any progress is made in the work of God’s house, it doesn’t matter to them whether or not there are any results, they won’t feel any regrets. Is this kind of person someone who is truly obedient to God? This is not a person that is truly obedient to God, they do not strive forward. So if these people have never strived to better themselves during several years of belief and have never made any progress, what outcome can they have? They are just the service-doers. If after doing the service they are not the faithful service-doers, they will also die and can’t survive. They do not have any humanity. You see some people perform their duties with no interest in the word of God, they do not eat and drink the word of God, and they do not strive toward the truth. All day long they just waste their time, stuffing their faces and waiting to die. Does this kind of person have life? This kind of person is not a proper man. They are not a proper man, and if they perform their duties in this way they will not grow, they will not have life. If they do not strive toward the truth this is where their life will end. So, it looks as though there are many people who do not understand the spirit, and they don’t strive toward the truth. If they never strive toward the truth, then they are a man who does not love the truth, they are an ignorant man. If you do strive toward the truth, then after a few years you will receive rewards, you will have changes, isn’t that correct? If a normal person strives toward the truth, will they be able to go through a transformation after a few years? They will certainly be able to have changes. So if they strive for many years but with no results that would certainly be very troublesome, and surely there is something wrong there.
When we experience God’s work today, if we truly are men in pursuit of the truth, then after some time we will make progress. If after a few years no progress has been made and someone has not come to any understanding whatsoever, then this kind of person has not experienced the work of the Holy Spirit. A man who does not have the work of the Holy Spirit but who serves here is just Satan’s slave, and they will obtain nothing. If they do not pursue the truth, do they not belong to Satan? If man pursues the truth then it will be alright, slowly they will be able to obtain the truth. If they never pursue the truth, they will be finished and they will obtain nothing for they are an ignorant man. If people watch after them or lead them they will follow them down the same path, if nobody is watching after them or leading them then they will disappear all alone. Men who are truly considerate of God’s intentions will focus on pursuing the truth, regardless of what duty they have to perform they will always think hard about it: “How can I perform my duties in a way that will satisfy God? How can I perform my duties in a principled way? How can I perform my duties as testimony for God? How can I perform my duties in a way that shows I am truly obedient to God, that shows my love for God and that satisfies God?” If man always thinks things through in this way then they will make progress in their life, this is what it means to be a man who truly considers God’s intentions. This is a man in pursuit of the truth, and this is the kind of behavior that a man who is truly obedient to God ought to manifest.
From Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life