How to Believe in God to Be Saved and Perfected?
Relevant Words of God:
Though many people, few understand what faith in God means, and what they must do to be after God’s heart. This is because, though people are familiar with the word “God” and phrases such as “the work of God,” they do not know God, much less do they know His work. No wonder, then, that all those who do not know God are possessed of a muddled belief. People do not take belief in God seriously because believing in God is too unfamiliar, too strange for them. In this way, they fall short of the demands of God. In other words, if people do not know God, do not know His work, then they are not fit for God’s use, much less can they fulfill the desire of God. “Belief in God” means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept of faith in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God; rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones. True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God. Yet people often see belief in God as something very simple and frivolous. The belief of such people is meaningless and shall never gain the approval of God, because they tread the wrong path. Today, there are still those who believe in God in letters, in hollow doctrines. They are unaware that their belief in God has no substance, and that they are unable to gain the approval of God, and they still pray for peace and sufficient grace from God. We should stop and ask ourselves: Could believing in God really be the easiest thing on earth? Does believing in God mean nothing more than receiving much grace from God? Can people who believe in God but do not know Him, and believe in God yet oppose Him, really fulfill the desire of God?
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
It is heaven’s law and earth’s principle to believe in God and know God, and today—during an age when God incarnate personally does His work—is a particularly good time to know God. Satisfying God is achieved upon the foundation of understanding [a] is the final effect to be achieved at the end of God’s work; it is God’s final requirement of mankind. He does this for the sake of His final testimony, and so that man may finally and completely turn to Him. Man can only love God by knowing God, and to love God he must know God. No matter how he seeks, or what he seeks to gain, he must be able to achieve the knowledge of God. Only in this way can man satisfy God’s heart. Only by knowing God can man truly believe in God, and only by knowing God can he truly revere and obey God. Those who do not know God shall never truly obey and revere God. Knowing God includes knowing God’s disposition, understanding God’s will, and knowing what God is. Yet whichever aspect of knowing God it is, each requires man to pay a price, and requires the will to obey, without which no one would be able to follow to the end. The work of God is too incompatible with the conceptions of man, God’s disposition and what God is are too difficult for man to know, and all that God says and does is too incomprehensible to man; if man wishes to follow God, but is unwilling to obey God, then man will gain nothing. From the creation of the world until today, God has done much work that is incomprehensible to man and which man has found hard to accept, and God has said much that makes the conceptions of man difficult to heal. Yet He has never ceased His work because man has too many difficulties; He has carried on working and speaking, and even though great numbers of “warriors” have fallen by the wayside, He is still doing His work, and continues to choose group after group of people who are willing to obey His new work. He does not pity those fallen “heroes,” but instead treasures those who accept His new work and words. But to what end does He work in this way, step-by-step? Why is He always eliminating and choosing people? Why does He always employ such method? The aim of His work is for man to know Him, and thus be gained by Him. The principle of His work is to work on those who are able to obey the work He does today, and not to work on those who obey His past work, but oppose His work of today. This is the very reason why He has eliminated so many people., and to understand God’s will, it is necessary to know God. This knowledge of God is the vision that a believer must have; it is the basis of man’s belief in God. If man does not have this knowledge, then his belief in God is vague, and lies in empty theory. Though it is the resolution of people like this to follow God, they obtain nothing. All those who obtain nothing in this stream are the ones who will be eliminated, and they are the people who are merely doing the bare minimum. Whichever step of God’s work you experience, you should be accompanied by a mighty vision. Without such a vision, it would be difficult for you to accept each step of new work, for man is incapable of imagining the new work of God, it is beyond man’s conception. And so without a shepherd to tend to man, without a shepherd to fellowship about the visions, man is incapable of accepting this new work. If man cannot receive the visions, then he cannot receive the new work of God, and if man cannot obey God’s new work, then man is incapable of understanding God’s will, and so his knowledge of God amounts to nothing. Before man carries out the words of God, he must know the words of God, that is, understand God’s will; only in this way can God’s words be carried out accurately and according to God’s heart. This must be possessed by everyone who seeks the truth, and is the process that must be experienced by everyone who tries to know God. The process of knowing the words of God is the process of knowing God, and also the process of knowing the work of God. And so, knowing the visions not only refers to knowing the humanity of God incarnate, but also includes knowing the words and work of God. From the words of God people come to understand God’s will, and from the work of God they come to know God’s disposition and what God is. Belief in God is the first step to knowing God. The process of advancing from the initial belief in God to the most profound belief in God is the process of knowing God, and the process of experiencing the work of God. If you only believe in God for the sake of believing in God, and do not believe in God in order to know God, then there is no reality to your belief, and it cannot become pure—of this there is no doubt. If, during the process by which he experiences God, man gradually comes to know God, then his disposition will gradually change, and his belief will become increasingly true. In this way, when man achieves success in belief in God, he will completely gain God. God went to such great lengths to become flesh for the second time and personally do His work so that man would be able to know Him, and would be able to see Him. Knowing God
from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
It is the belief in God so that you may obey God, love God, and perform the duty that should be performed by a creature of God. This is the aim of believing in God. You must achieve a knowledge of the loveliness of God, of how worthy God is of reverence, of how, in His creatures, God does the work of salvation and making them perfect—this is the minimum that you should possess in your belief in God. Belief in God is principally the switch from a life in the flesh to a life of loving God, from a life within naturalness to a life within the being of God, it is coming out from under the domain of Satan and living under the care and protection of God, it is being able to achieve obedience to God and not obedience to the flesh, it is allowing God to gain your entire heart, allowing God to make you perfect, and freeing yourself from the corrupt satanic disposition. Belief in God is principally so that the power and glory of God may be manifested in you, so that you may carry out God’s will, and accomplish God’s plan, and be able to bear testimony to God before Satan. Belief in God should not be in order to behold signs and wonders, nor should it be for the sake of your personal flesh. It should be for the pursuit of knowing God, and being able to obey God, and like Peter, obeying Him until death. This is what it is mainly in order to achieve. Eating and drinking the word of God is in order to know God and in order to satisfy God. Eating and drinking the word of God gives you a greater knowledge of God, only after which can you obey God. Only if you know God can you love Him, and the attainment of this aim is the only aim man should have in his belief in God. If, in your belief in God, you always try to behold signs and wonders, then the viewpoint of this belief in God is wrong. Belief in God is principally the acceptance of the word of God as the reality of life. Only putting into practice the words of God from His mouth and carrying them out within yourself is the attainment of the aim of God. In believing in God, man should pursue being made perfect by God, being able to submit to God, and the complete obedience to God. If you can obey God without complaint, be mindful of God’s desires, achieve the stature of Peter, and possess the style of Peter spoken of by God, then that will be when you have achieved success in belief in God, and it will signify that you have been gained by God.
from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Since you believe in God, you must eat and drink of His word, experience His word, and live out His word. Only this is belief in God! If you say you believe in God yet cannot speak out any of His words or put them into practice, you are not considered to believe in God. This is “seeking bread to satisfy hunger.” … Believers in God should be possessed of good behavior externally, at the very least, and of utmost importance is to have the word of God. No matter what, you can never turn away from His word. Your knowledge of God and fulfillment of His will are all achieved through His word. All nations, sects, denominations, and sectors will be conquered through the word in the future. God will speak directly, and all people will hold the word of God in their hands; through this will people be perfected. The word of God pervades throughout: People speak of God’s word and practice according to God’s word, while kept within is still the word of God. Both within and without, they are steeped in the word of God, and thus are they perfected. Those who fulfill the will of God and are able to bear witness to Him are those who have the word of God as reality.
When you enter into the Age of Word, you will be in the Age of Millennial Kingdom. This is the work that is being achieved now. From now, practice fellowshiping about the word of God. Only through eating and drinking of His word and experiencing it can you exhibit the word of God. Only through your words of experience can others be convinced by you. If you do not have the word of God, none would be convinced! All those used by God are able to speak the word of God. If you cannot, this shows that the Holy Spirit has not worked in you and you have not been perfected. This is the importance of the word of God.
from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The process of man experiencing the word of God is actually the process of coming to know the word of God appearing in the flesh. The more that man experiences God’s word, the more man comes to know the Spirit of God. Through his experience of God’s word, man comes to know the practical God Himself by grasping the principles of the work of the Spirit. In actuality, for God to perfect man and gain man is to enable man to come to know the deeds of the practical God, and through the work of the practical God, enable man to see the practical significance of the incarnation and witness the Spirit of God appearing practically before man. When man is gained by God and made perfect by Him, that is when man is conquered by the expression of the practical God, and through His words, man is changed; His life is wrought into man, so that man is filled with His being (whether the being of His humanity or that of His divinity) and with the essence of His words, so that His words are lived out in man. God gains man mainly by the words and utterances of the practical God dealing with the inadequacies of man, as well as judging and disclosing the rebellious disposition of man, thereby allowing man to receive what is needed and to see that God has come among man. Most importantly, the work that the practical God intends to carry out is to save each and every man from the influence of Satan, taking man away from the filthy place and ridding man of his corrupt disposition. The deepest significance of being gained by the practical God is to be able to regard Him as an exemplar, a model, such that you live out a normal humanity, and to be able to put into action the words and demands of the practical God without any discrepancy or deviation, such that you put into practice whatever He says, and you are able to achieve whatever He asks for. Then you will have been gained by God.
from “You Ought to Know That the Practical God Is God Himself” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The greater your understanding of God’s words and the more you put them into practice, the faster you can enter onto the path of being made perfect by God. Through praying, you can be made perfect amid prayers; through eating and drinking the words of God, grasping the substance of God’s words, and living out the reality of God’s words, you can be made perfect; through experiencing God’s words on a daily basis, you come to know what is lacking in you, and, moreover, come to know your Achilles’ heel and weaknesses, and you offerto God—through which you will gradually be made perfect. The paths to being made perfect: praying, eating and drinking the words of God, grasping the substance of God’s words, entering into the experiencing of God’s words, coming to know what is lacking in you, obeying the work of God, being mindful of God’s burden and forsaking the flesh through your loving heart, and having frequent communion with your brothers and sisters, which enriches your experiences. Whether it be communal life or your personal life, and whether it be large assemblies or small ones, all can allow you to experience and receive training, so that your heart can be at peace before God and return to God. All of this is the process of being made perfect. Experiencing the words of God that I have spoken of means being able to actually undergo the words of God and allowing the words of God to be lived out in you so that you have greater faith and love toward God. Through this way, you will gradually shed the corrupt satanic disposition, you will divest yourself of improper motivations, and will live out the likeness of a normal person. The greater the love for God within you—which is to say, the more of you that has been made perfect by God, the less you are corrupted by Satan. Thanks to real experiences, you will gradually enter onto the path to being made perfect, and thus if you wish to be made perfect, being mindful of the will of God and experiencing the words of God are especially important.
from “Mindful of God’s Will and Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If people want to become living humans, become people who witness for God, and become people approved by God, they must receive God’s salvation, and willingly submit to God’s judgment and chastisement, willingly accept God’s pruning and dealing. Only then will they be able to practice all the truths that God demands. Only then will they gain God’s salvation and become truly living ones.
from “Are You a Person Made Alive?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God’s perfection of man is through man’s submission, through man’s eating and drinking and enjoying the word of God, and through painful refinements in his life. Only through such faith can one be transformed in his disposition, and gain true knowledge of God. One is not satisfied with just living in the grace of God, but takes the initiative to thirst after and seek the truth, working toward being gained by God; this is conscious submission, which is the faith God truly wants.
from “Those Who Believe in God Should Submit to Him” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must seek life. Today, those who will be made perfect are the same kind as Peter: They are those who seek changes in their own disposition, and are willing to bear testimony to God and perform their duty as a creature of God. Only people such as this will be made perfect. If you only look to rewards, and do not seek to change your own life disposition, then all your efforts will be in vain—and this is an unalterable truth!
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What does the transformation in disposition mean? You have to be a person who loves the truth. In experiencing God’s work, you accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, experience all kinds of sufferings and refinements, and thus are purified of the satanic poisons within you. This is the transformation in disposition. … The transformation in disposition spoken of in the house of God means that a person, because he loves the truth and can accept the truth, finally comes to know his nature of disobeying and resisting God, know that man has been corrupted too deeply, know man’s absurdness and craftiness, know man’s poorness and pitifulness, and in the end know the substance of man’s nature, and thus he can completely deny himself and forsake himself, live by God’s word, and practice the truth in everything. Such is a person who knows God and a person who is transformed in his disposition.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church
Changes in disposition primarily refer to changes in your nature. The things of man’s nature cannot be observed from his external actions; they directly touch upon the worth and significance of man’s existence, and upon his life values, and relate to that which is in the depths of the soul, to the substance of man. If people are incapable of accepting the truth, then they will undergo no changes in these areas. Only if those who experience the work of God have fully entered into the truth, changed their values and their outlook on existence and life, become of the same views as God, and become capable of total obedience and loyalty to God can their dispositions be said to have changed.
from “The Knowledge That Ought to Be Possessed of Changes in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church
If people experience until the day comes when their outlook on life and the significance and the basis of their existence have entirely changed, when they have been altered to their very bones, and have become someone else, won’t this be incredible? This is a great change, an earth-shattering change. Only when you are disinterested in the fame and fortune, status, money, pleasure, and luxuries of the world, and can easily forgo them, will you have the likeness of a human being. Those who will ultimately be made complete are a group such as this; they live for the truth, live for God, and live for that which is just. This is the likeness of a human being.
from “You Must Know That There Are Similarities and Differences in People’s Natures” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church
Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. Only when he has his goal in life and conducts himself according to the truth, only when he obeys God absolutely and lives by God’s word, only when he feels assured and enlightened deep in his soul, only when his heart is free of darkness, and only when he lives freely and unrestrained in God’s presence–only then does he live a true human life and have the truth. Besides, the truths you have are from God’s word and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things—God Most High—approves of you, as a real man living the true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval? Such is a person who has the truth.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church
a. The original text reads “The work of knowing God.”