How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result God Works to Achieve
Sing a hymn first: The Kingdom Anthem I The Kingdom Has Descended in the World
Accompaniment: All the people are shouting joyfully to God; all the people are praising God; all tongues are confessing the only true God. The kingdom has descended in the world.
1. All the people are shouting joyfully to God; all the people are praising God; all tongues are confessing the only true God; all men are lifting up their eyes, watching God’s deeds. The kingdom has descended in the world, and God’s person is full and bountiful, full and bountiful. Who does not rejoice over this (Who does not rejoice over this)? Who does not dance with joy for this (Who does not dance with joy for this)? O Zion (O Zion)! O Zion (O Zion)! Raise your banner of triumph to celebrate for God! Sing your victorious songs of triumph to proclaim God’s holy name! O all things of the ends of the earth! Cleanse yourselves completely right away to offer sacrifices to God, offer sacrifices to God! O stars of heaven! Return immediately to your original places to display God’s mighty power in the expanse! God is listening carefully to the voices of the people on earth; their singing is saturated with infinite respect and love for God! Just on the day all things are revived, God comes to the world personally, comes to the world personally. Just at this moment, the flowers are in full bloom, the birds are chorusing, and all things are jubilating! The flowers are in full bloom, the birds are chorusing, and all things are jubilating! At this moment, Satan’s kingdom falls at the sound of the salute of the kingdom, and is destroyed at the reverberations of the kingdom anthem, never to rise again!
2. Who among the people on earth dare rise to resist? For God has descended to the earth, and then God has brought down burning, wrath, and all disasters, all disasters. The kingdom of the world has become, has become God’s kingdom! In heaven, the white clouds are rolling and billowing; under heaven (under heaven), under heaven (under heaven), the water of lakes and rivers is tossing and surging, merrily playing a touching dance. The animals at roost come out from their caves; all peoples in their sleep are awoken by God. The day that all peoples wait for has finally come, has finally come! They offer up the sweetest songs, the sweetest songs to God, to God, to God!
Every time you sing this hymn, what do you think in your heart? (Very excited and thrilled. I think that the prospect of the kingdom is so beautiful, and man and God can be together forever.) Has anyone thought what a man must be like before he can be together with God? In your imagination, what should a man be like before he can enjoy the future beautiful kingdom life with God? (He should be transformed in his disposition.) To what extent should he be transformed in his disposition? What should he become like through the transformation? (Become holy.) What is the standard for holiness? (Being compatible with Christ in mind and thought.) What is the manifestation of being compatible with Christ? (No longer resisting or betraying God, being able to absolutely, and having a heart of fearing God.) Some people’s words are somewhat to the point. You all open your heart and say what you want to say. (Those who live with God in the kingdom should be ones who, on the basis of pursuing the truth, can perform their duty without being restrained by any person, matter, or thing—perform their duty faithfully, and can break away from the influence of darkness, can have a heart compatible with God, and can fear God and shun evil.) (We can be compatible with God in viewpoints on things, can break away from the influence of darkness, not being used by Satan at least, can cast off our corrupt disposition, and can obey God. We think it is crucial for man to break away from the influence of darkness. If a person cannot break away from the influence of darkness and cannot break away from Satan’s bondage, he has not reached the point of being saved by God.) (The standard one should meet for being perfected by God is that he can be of one heart and one mind with God and will no longer resist God, he can know himself and practice the truth, and he has reached the point of knowing God, loving God, and being compatible with God. Then, this will be OK.)
The Weight of the Outcome in Man’s Heart
It can be seen that you all have something in your heart concerning the way you should keep and that you also have some knowledge or understanding of it. However, whether these things you say are very empty or very practical to you depends on what you pay attention to in your daily practice. Over these years, you have gained something in every aspect of the truth, whether in doctrines or in the contents of the truth. It proves that people of today all pay attention to striving in the truth. So the various aspects and outlines of the truth have certainly taken root in some people’s heart. But what is the thing that worries Me the most? It is that these subjects of the truth, these theories, have taken root in your heart, but their real contents have not had much weight in your heart. When you encounter things, facing trials or choices, how much effect can the reality of these truths have on you? Can it help you go through the difficulties and come out of the trials to satisfy God’s heart’s desire, standing firm in the trials and bearing resounding testimonies for God? Have you ever been concerned about these things? Let Me ask you this: In your heart, what is the most important to you among the things you think of every day? Have you ever made a summary? What is the most important thing to you? Some people say that of course it is practicing the truth; some say that of course it is reading every day; some say that of course it is coming before God and praying to God every day; some others say that of course it is performing duty well every day; others even say that they only hope that they can satisfy God and obey God in everything and act to God’s will. Is that so? Do you only think of these things? For example, some say, “I only think of obeying God, but when encountering things, I cannot obey.” Some say, “I only think of satisfying God, even if for one time, but I always fail.” Others say, “I only hope that I will obey God and when a trial comes, I can let God orchestrate me and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement, without any complaint or any demand. However, I simply cannot obey, failing almost every time.” Still others say, “Whenever I face a choice, I cannot choose to practice the truth but want to satisfy my flesh and satisfy my own selfish desire.” Why so? Have you, before God’s tests come, challenged yourselves many times and tested and tried yourselves many times to see whether you can truly obey God, whether you can truly satisfy God, whether you will absolutely not betray God, and whether you will not satisfy yourselves or your selfish desires, but will only satisfy God without your own choices? Has anybody done so? Actually there is only one fact lying before your eyes. It is that what everyone is most concerned about and wants to know the most in his heart is his outcome and destination. You may not realize it, but it cannot be denied by anyone. I know that some people have read many times the truths or God’s words concerning men’s outcomes, God’s promises to mankind, and what kind of destination God will bring man into, and some others have sought and pondered them over and over, but finally they fail to get any result, or they may draw an ambiguous conclusion and yet in the end they are still uncertain what outcome they will have. In the course of receiving the fellowship of the truth, receiving the church life, and performing duty, most people always want to know the exact result: What will my outcome be? Can I walk to the end? What attitude does God actually have toward man? Some people are even worried: I have done certain things before, I have said certain words before, I have disobeyed God before, I have done certain things of betraying God before, and I have failed to satisfy God and broken God’s heart in certain things before, so that God is disappointed in me and hates and loathes me. So probably my outcome is questionable! It can be said that most people feel troubled and uneasy about their outcome in their heart, and no one dares to say, “I am one hundred percent sure that I am one to be left alive; I am one hundred percent sure that I can satisfy God’s heart’s desire; I am one after God’s heart; I am one approved by God.” Some people feel it very hard to keep God’s ways and feel that practicing the truth is the most difficult thing, so they think that they are beyond and dare not hope they will have any good outcome, or they think that they cannot possibly satisfy God’s heart’s desire and become ones to be left alive. Therefore they say that they will have no outcome and receive no good destination. No matter what people think, in a word, everyone has kept contemplating his outcome in his heart dozens of times, contemplating and planning for his future and for what he can gain at the end of God’s work. Some people doubly pay the price; some leave their families and give up their careers; some choose to give up their marriages; some choose to quit their jobs to spend for God; some choose to leave their families to perform duty; some choose to bear hardships and work hard and undertake the hardest and most tiring work; some choose to offer money or offer their all; even more, some choose to pursue the truth and pursue to . No matter what way of practice you choose, do you think the way is important? (No, it is not important.) How do you explain “it is not important”? The way is not important; what is important? (Good outward behavior does not mean practicing the truth.) (What we think is not important. The crucial thing is whether we practice the truth and whether we love God.) (The fall of those antichrists and the fall of some false leaders make us realize that how one’s outward behavior is is not the most important. Outwardly they have given up a lot and have been willing to pay the price, but when dissecting them, we see that they do not have a heart of fearing God at all, that they set themselves against God in every aspect, and that at crucial times, they always side with Satan to disturb God’s work. So the important thing is to see on whose side we are when encountering things and what our viewpoints are.) What everyone has said is quite good. It can be seen that in your heart, you already have some basic knowledge about and criteria for practicing the truth as well as God’s will and God’s requirements for man. As you can say so, I am quite touched. Although some of your words are not very suitable, they are already close to the explanation accordant with the truth. This proves that you already have some true knowledge about the surrounding people, matters, and things, the circumstances God has arranged, and what your eyes have seen. It is knowledge close to the truth. Even though what you have said is not so comprehensive, and some of your words are not very suitable, your knowledge within is already very close to the reality of the truth. I’m pleased to hear you say so.
Man’s Thoughts Cannot Substitute for the Truth
Some people can bear hardships and work hard and can pay a price; they have very good outward behavior and are greatly respected and admired by others. In your view, can such outward behavior be called practicing the truth? Can it be concluded that they are satisfying God’s heart’s desire? Why is it that often when people see such ones, they think that they are satisfying God, that they are taking the way of practicing the truth, and that they are walking in God’s ways? Why do some people think so? There is only one explanation for it. What is the explanation? It is that many people are still not very clear in their heart about such issues as what it means to practice the truth, what it means to satisfy God, and what it means to truly have the reality of the truth. So some people are often deceived by those who outwardly seem to be very spiritual, very noble, and have a very lofty image. In treating these people who can speak letters and doctrines outwardly and who are admired by others in outward speech and action, they never consider what the substance of their actions is, what their principles of doing things are, and what their goals in doing things are, or consider whether they truly obey God and whether they are ones who truly fear God and shun evil. They never discern the substance of these people’s humanity, but they go from unacquainted at first to acquainted with them, then admire and look up to them little by little, and finally make them their idols. Moreover, in some people’s heart, only the idols they adore, those who in their eyes can leave their families and give up their careers and who can pay a price outwardly, are ones who truly satisfy God, ones who will truly have a good outcome and a good destination, and ones who are approved by God. What causes them to have such a “thought”? What is the substance of this thing? What will the consequence of this be? Let’s first talk about what the substance of this thing is.
These viewpoints of men, these ways of practice of men, and the principles of practice they adopt, as well as what everyone pays attention to at ordinary times, these all have nothing to do with God’s requirements for man in substance. Whether what men pay attention to is deep or shallow, or whether it is letter and doctrine or reality, in a word, men have not kept what they should keep the most, nor do they know what they should know the most. The reason for this is that men do not love the truth at all and thus they are not willing to make effort to find out the principles of practice in God’s word and practice them, but rather they take a shortcut, summing up what they regard and know as good behavior and practices, and pursuing them as their goals and practicing them as the truth. The consequence this directly leads to is that men substitute good human behavior for practicing the truth, and this also satisfies their desire to curry favor with God, so that they have the capital to stand against the truth and the capital to reason with and compete against God. Meanwhile, they recklessly put God aside and place the idol in their heart in the position of God. There is only one reason that men have these foolish practices and opinions, or one-sided opinions and practices. Let Me tell you today. It is that though men follow God and pray to God and read God’s word every day, actually they do not understand God’s will at all. This is the root of the problem. If men knew God’s heart and knew what God likes, what God loathes, what God wants to gain, what God rejects, what kind of person God likes, what kind of person God dislikes, by what standard God makes requirements of man, and by what means God perfects man, would they have their own thoughts? Would they adore a man at will? Would they take an ordinary man as their idol? If men understood God’s will, their opinions would be somewhat rational, and they would not make a corrupt man their idol at will, nor would they hold fast to several simple regulations or principles as they please on the way of practicing the truth and regard that as practicing the truth.
People Have Many Thoughts About the Standard by Which God Decides Men’s Outcomes
Let’s come back to our subject and go on with the topic about men’s outcomes.
Since what everyone cares about is his outcome, do you know how God decides men’s outcomes? By what means does God decide a person’s outcome? By what standard does God decide a person’s outcome? Before men’s outcomes are decided, what works does God do to reveal their outcomes? Does anyone know these? As I have just said, some people have investigated in God’s word for a long time to see what actually men’s outcomes are, what categories men’s outcomes are classified into, and what different outcomes there are for different men, and also to see how men’s outcomes are decided in God’s word and by what standard and what means God decides a person’s outcome. But in the end they still fail to find the answers. Actually in God’s word, these things are spoken about only briefly, not much. Why? Before men’s outcomes are revealed, God does not want to tell anyone the final result, nor does He want to tell men in advance what their destinations are like, because to do so is of no benefit to them. Now here I only want to tell you by what means God decides men’s outcomes, by what working principles God decides men’s outcomes and reveals men’s outcomes, and by what standard God decides whether a person can be left alive. Isn’t this also what you are most concerned about? Then in man’s notion, how does God decide a person’s outcome? Just now you said something about it. Some said by performing duty and spending faithfully, some said by obeying God and reaching the point of satisfying God, some said by submitting to any orchestration of God, some said by conducting oneself in a low-key way…. When you practice these truths and when you practice according to what you regard as principles, do you know what God thinks? Have you thought whether your doing so is satisfying God’s heart’s desire? Whether it is complying with God’s standard? And whether it is complying with God’s requirement? I think, most people do not think about these. They only mechanically apply to themselves some of God’s words, some of the preachings, or the standards of certain spiritual men they adore, and force themselves to conduct this or that way. They believe it is right to do so, so they just stick to them like that and keep doing so continually, regardless of what the final result will be. Some people think, “I have believed in God for so many years, and I have practiced like this all the time. I feel I have satisfied God a lot, and I also feel I have gained a lot, because during the period, I have understood many truths and have also understood many things I did not understand before. Especially I have changed a lot in my thoughts and viewpoints, have changed a lot in my values of life, and have known much about this world.” They think that these are the gains and are the final results God works to achieve in man. In your opinion, with these standards and the practices of all of you added together, are you satisfying God’s heart’s desire? Some people say with certainty, “Yes, of course! Because we practice according to God’s word, because we practice according to the brother’s preachings and fellowships, and because we have been performing our duty and following God and have never left God, therefore we can say confidently that we are satisfying God. No matter how much we understand God’s will and no matter how much we understand God’s word, anyway, we have always been on the way of pursuing to be compatible with God. If we practice rightly and do rightly, then its result will surely be right.” What do you think of such a viewpoint? Is it right or not? Some people may say, “I have never thought about these things. I only think that if I perform my duty like this and keep doing according to God’s requirements in His word, I will be left alive. I have not considered whether I can satisfy God’s heart or whether I have met the standard required by God, because God has not told me or clearly instructed me. I think as long as I keep doing so, God will be satisfied and should not have any other requirement.” Are these thoughts correct or not? In My view, such practices and such thoughts and viewpoints of yours are based on your imaginations, and are a bit blind. As I say this, some of you may feel disheartened: Blind? If so, then won’t there be very little or vague hope for us to and left alive? Aren’t You throwing cold water on us by saying so? No matter what you think, what I want to say and what I want to do are not to achieve the result that you feel cold water is thrown on you, but that you will better understand God’s will and better understand what God is thinking, what God wants to accomplish, what kind of person God likes, what God loathes, what God hates, what kind of person God wants to gain, and what kind of person is the object of God’s detestation and rejection, and that you will know clearly and distinctly in your heart how far what every one of you does and thinks is from the standard required by God. Isn’t it very necessary to talk about these subjects? For I know that these things are what you lack the most, who have believed for so long and heard so many messages. Although you have written down all the truths in your notebooks and borne in mind and heart some things you regard as very important, and intend to bring them out at the time you need to practice them, so as to satisfy God by them, meet your emergency needs by them, help yourselves go through each of your present difficulties by them, or let them accompany your life, nevertheless in My view, no matter what you do, if you are only doing it, this is not very important. What is very important? It is that when you are doing it, you should know very clearly in your heart whether what you are doing and what you are practicing are what God wants, and whether your deed, your thought, and your desired result and desired goal in your heart satisfy God’s heart’s desire, meet God’s requirement, and are approved by God. These are very important.
Walk in God’s Ways: Fear God and Shun Evil
There is one word you should write down. I regard it as very important, because every day it appears in My heart so many times. Why do I say so? Because whenever I meet a person, hear a person’s story, or hear a person’s experience or testimony in believing in God, I measure by this word in My heart whether he is one God wants and one God likes. Then what is this word? You are all waiting for the answer anxiously. When this word is spoken out, you may feel very disappointed, because this word has been on the lips of some people for many years. But I never have it on My lips. I put it in My heart. What is this word? It is “Walk in God’s ways: Fear God and shun evil.” Isn’t it a very simple word? This word is simple, but with a person who truly has a deep understanding of it, he feels that this word carries a heavy weight and is very worthy to be practiced, and it is a word of life with the reality of the truth, a goal for a person who pursues to satisfy God to pursue all his life, and a way for a person who cares for God’s will to follow all his life. Then is this word a truth to you? Is it of such significance to you? Maybe some people are thinking and pondering, but some are doubting it: Is this word very important? Is it very important? Is it very necessary to emphasize this word like this? Some people may not like this word very much, because they think, “God’s ways are expressed in just this one word; isn’t this too simple? All the words spoken by God are summed up in just one word; isn’t God considered too small?” Is that so? Most of you may not quite understand the deep meaning of this word. Although you have written it down, you have no intention of putting it in your heart. You only write it down in your notebooks, and at your leisure, you may get it out to look at and ponder over it; that’s all. Some people even disdain to remember it, much less have the intention of using it. But why do I say this word? Regardless of what viewpoint you have or what you may think, I must say this word because it has a very great bearing on God’s deciding men’s outcomes. No matter how you understand it and how you treat it now, I still want to tell you: If you can practice this word well and can reach the standard of “fearing God and shunning evil,” you will surely be one to be left alive and surely be one who has a good outcome; if you cannot reach the standard of this word, then it can be said that your outcome is questionable. So I tell you this word in advance, with the purpose that you will know the true fact in your heart beforehand, knowing by what standard God measures you. Just now I have said that this word has a very great bearing on God’s saving men and deciding men’s outcomes. Where does this bearing lie? You want to know it very much. Let’s talk about it today.
God Tests by Various Trials Whether Men Fear God and Shun Evil
When God works among men in each age, He bestows on men some words and tells them some truths. These truths are the ways men should keep, the ways men should walk in, and the ways that enable men to fear God and shun evil, and they are also what men should practice and keep in their lives and in their life journey. This is the purpose of God’s expressing His words to men. Since these words are expressed by God, men should keep them. If one keeps them, he will have life. If one does not keep or practice them, and fails to live out these words of God in his life, then he is not practicing the truth; since he is not practicing the truth, he is not fearing God and shunning evil, and he cannot satisfy God; since he cannot satisfy God, he cannot receive God’s approval and so his outcome will come to naught. Then how does God decide men’s outcomes in His work? By what means does God decide men’s outcomes? You may not be clear if I do not speak about it, but when I tell you its process, probably you will be clear, because many people have experienced it.
In God’s work, from the beginning until now, God has given everyone, everyone who follows Him, trials varying in degree: Some people have experienced the trial of being rejected by their families; some have experienced the trial of adverse environment; some have experienced the trial of being arrested and tormented by cruel tortures; some have experienced the trial of facing choices; and some have faced the trial of position or money. In a word, various kinds of trials have come upon everyone. Then why does God do so? Why does God treat everyone in this way? What result does He want to see? This is the main point I want to tell you: God wants to see whether a person is one who fears God and shuns evil. That is to say, when God tries you, when God causes you to encounter a circumstance, He wants to test whether you are fearing God and whether you are shunning evil. Suppose a person is entrusted with the duty of keeping the offering. This duty lets him come into contact with God’s offering. Then do you think this thing is arranged by God? This is beyond doubt! Whatever you encounter is arranged by God. When you encounter this thing, God is watching in secret to see what you will choose, what you will practice, and what you will think in your heart. This result is what God is most concerned about, because God wants to measure by this result whether you meet God’s standard in this trial. However, when man encounters something, he never thinks why this thing comes to him, what God’s required standard is, and what God wants to see or gain in him. When he encounters this thing, he just thinks to himself, “This thing comes to me. I must be careful and should not be negligent! No matter what, I cannot touch it, for it is God’s offering.” With such a simple thought, he thinks he has fulfilled his responsibility. Does this result of the trial satisfy God or fail to satisfy God? Tell Me your opinions. (If a person has a heart of fearing God, when he encounters the thing of contacting the offering, he will think that it is something in which man is likely to offend . So he will surely be cautious in it.) What you say is somewhat relevant, but it is not very to the point. Walking in God’s ways is not to keep regulations outwardly; rather, it is that when you encounter this thing, you should first consider it a circumstance God arranges, a responsibility God gives to you, or a commission God entrusts to you, and that when this thing comes to you, you should even consider it as God’s trial of you. When it comes to you, you should have a criterion in your heart. You should think that this thing is from God, and think what you should do to fulfill your responsibility and be faithful to God and what you should do so as not to infuriate God and not to offend God’s disposition. Just now, we mentioned keeping the offering. This involves the offering and also involves your duty and your responsibility. This responsibility is unshirkable. However, is there temptation when this thing comes to you? There is temptation! Where does the temptation come from? It comes from Satan and also comes from man’s evil, corrupt disposition. Since there is temptation, it involves the testimony man should stand. Standing the testimony is also your responsibility and duty. Some people say, “It is so small a thing. Is it necessary to make so great an issue of it?” Yes, it is necessary! This is because to walk in God’s ways, we should not let go anything that happens about or around us, even if it is a trifle. As long as it comes to us, whether we think it worthy of our attention or not, we should not let it go but regard it as God’s test of us. What do you think of such an attitude? If you have such an attitude, it proves a fact: Your heart fears God and your heart wants to shun evil. Since you have the desire to satisfy God, your practice will not be far from the standard of fearing God and shunning evil.
Some people usually take the things no one pays much attention to and no one mentions at ordinary times as trifles and as the things unrelated to practicing the truth. When encountering such a thing, they only think about it briefly and let it slip. Actually, when such a thing comes to you, it is just the time for you to learn the lesson of how to fear God and how to shun evil. And even more, you should know what God is doing when it comes to you. God is right at your side, watching your every word and deed and watching your behavior and the changing of your thoughts. This is God’s work. Some people say, “How come I have not felt that?” You have not felt that, because you have not taken the way of fearing God and shunning evil as the most important way to keep. Thus you have not felt the fine work God does on you according to your different thoughts and different manifestations. You are a careless person! What are great things? What are small things? With the things related to walking in God’s ways, there is no difference of great and small. Can you understand this? (Yes.) Among the things that come to men every day, to them some are great, while others are small. Men always regard great things as very important ones and consider them to be from God, but in the great things men always fall short of God’s will and cannot receive any revelation or any valuable practical knowledge, because their stature is small and their qualities are poor. As for the small things, however, men all ignore them and let them slip one by one. Thus they lose many opportunities for God to test them or try them before Him. If you keep ignoring the people, matters, and things God arranges for you and the circumstances God arranges for you like this, what does it mean? It means that you forsake God’s perfecting of you and God’s guidance to you every day, even every moment. When God arranges a circumstance for you, He is watching in secret, searching your heart and searching your mind and thoughts, to see what you think and what you will do. If you are a careless person and you are a person who is never serious in God’s ways, in God’s word, or in the truth, then you will not pay heed or attention to what God wants to accomplish and what God’s requirements for you are in the circumstance He arranges for you, nor will you know what relationships the people, matters, and things you encounter have with the truth and God’s will. Thus, after many circumstances or many trials come upon you, as God sees no results in you, what will God do? After you encounter many trials, as your heart does not magnify God, and you have not taken seriously the circumstances God arranges for you and regarded them as God’s trials or God’s tests, but you have pushed away the opportunities bestowed on you by God one after another and let them slip time after time, isn’t this man’s great disobedience? (Yes.) Will God grieve for it? (Yes.) No, God won’t! Hearing Me say so, you are shocked again: Hasn’t it been said before that God is always grieved? God will not be grieved? When will God be grieved? Anyway, God will not grieve over this thing. Then what is God’s attitude toward the above manifestations of man? When a man pushes away God’s trials and tests of him, when he avoids these, God only has one attitude toward him. What is the attitude? God detests and rejects such a person from His heart. This “detest and reject” has a twofold meaning. How do I explain it? The “detest” in it means loathing and hating very much. What does “reject” mean? To Me, it means “give up.” You all know what “give up” means, don’t you? In a word, “detest and reject” is God’s final response and attitude toward a person who does such things, which means that God extremely loathes and detests him and so decides to give him up. This is God’s final decision about a person who never walks in God’s ways and who never fears God and shuns evil. Now have you seen the importance of the word I said just now?
Now, have you known by what means God decides men’s outcomes? (By arranging various circumstances every day.) “Arranging various circumstances,” this is what man feels and contacts. Then what is God’s intention of doing so? It is that God wants to try everyone by different means, at different times, and in different places. What does God test by trying you? He tests if you are one who fears God and shuns evil in each thing you encounter, either something you hear, or something you see, or something you experience personally. Everyone will encounter such trials, as God is fair to everyone. Some people say, “I have also believed in God for several years, but why haven’t I encountered them?” You feel that you have not encountered them, because you have not at all taken seriously the circumstances God arranges for you and because you have not wanted to walk in God’s ways at all. So you have not had any feeling about God’s trials. Some say, “I have encountered several trials. However, as I did not know the exact ways of practice, even though I have carried out my practice, I do not know whether I have stood in the trials.” Those in such a state are not in the minority. Then what is the standard by which God measures a man? It is, as I said just now, whether what you do, what you think, and what you manifest are fearing God and shunning evil. By this God decides whether you are one who fears God and shuns evil. Isn’t this simple? It sounds simple, but is it simple to practice it? (No.) Why is it not simple? (Because people do not know God’s word and do not know how God perfects man, and so in the things they encounter, they do not know how to seek the truth to solve the problems. People have to experience various trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments before they can have the reality of fearing God.) Although you say so, now to your feeling, it seems as if it is very easy for you to live up to “fearing God and shunning evil.” Why do I say so? Because so far you have heard many messages and received much watering of the reality of the truth, so that you have known theoretically and ideologically how to attain fearing God and shunning evil. This is very helpful to your practice of “fearing God and shunning evil” and makes you feel it very easy to attain it. However, why can no one attain it actually? It is because the substance of man’s nature does not fear God but likes evil. This is the real reason.
Not Fearing God and Shunning Evil Is Standing in Opposition to God
Here let’s first see: Where does the word “fear God and shun evil” come from? (The Book of Job.) Since we mention Job, let’s talk about Job. In the times of Job, did God do any work of saving and conquering man? No! Right? Then how much knowledge of God did Job have at that time? (Not much.) How is his knowledge of God in comparison with yours today? Why do you not dare to answer this question? Is it more than or less than your knowledge today? (Less.) This question is very easy to answer. Less! That is definite! Now you are face to face with God and face to face with God’s word. Your knowledge of God is much more than Job’s. Why do I mention this? Why do I say so? Here I want to illustrate a fact. Before I illustrate it, I want to ask you a question: Why is it that Job, with far less knowledge of God, could fear God and shun evil, but people of today cannot? (People have been deeply corrupted.) “People have been too deeply corrupted” is the surface of the problem. For My part, I will never view it this way. You always have on your lips the doctrines or letters you often say at ordinary times, the pet phrases, such as, “being deeply corrupted,” “disobeying God,” “not being faithful to God,” “not being obedient,” “not loving the truth,” … to explain the substance of any problem. This is a wrong way of practice. Explaining the problems of different nature with the same answer would naturally be suspected of blaspheming the truth and God. I do not like to hear such an answer. You think about it carefully! None of you has thought about it. However, for My part, I can see it every day and can feel it every day. So, while you are doing, I am watching. When you are doing, you cannot feel its substance, but when I am watching, I can see its substance and can also perceive its substance. Then what is its substance? Why can’t people of today fear God and shun evil? Your answer is far from enough to explain the substance of this problem or solve the substance of this problem. This is because there is a root, which you do not know. What is the root? I know you want to hear it very much. Then I will tell you the root of this problem.
From the day God did His work, whom did God treat man as? God rescued man back and treated man as His family member, as the object of His work, and as the object to be conquered, saved, and perfected by Him. This was God’s attitude toward man when He did His work at the beginning. However, what was man’s attitude toward God at that time? Man found God alien and treated Him as a stranger. Man’s attitude toward God could be said to be perplexed, and he did not know how he should treat God. Anyway, he just treated God according to what he thought, and acted according to what he thought. Did man have his viewpoint about God? At the beginning, man did not have any viewpoint about God. His so-called viewpoint was his notion and imagination about God. He just accepted what fit his notion. As for what was discordant with his notion, outwardly he pretended to obey it, but in his heart he resisted and opposed it to the utmost. This was the relationship between man and God at the beginning: God treated man as His family member, but man treated God as a stranger. However, after God did the work for a period of time, man understood what God wanted to do, knew that He was the true God, and knew what man could receive from God. Then whom did man treat God as? He treated God as a life-saving straw, hoping to receive from God grace, blessing, and promise. Whom did God treat man as at the time? God treated man as the object to be conquered. God was to judge, test, and try man with His word. But at the time, to man, God was the one who could be used by him to achieve his own ends. Man saw that the truth God expressed could conquer and save man and that man had the opportunity to receive from God his desired things and desired destination, so man had a little bit of sincerity and was willing to follow this God. Later, man had some superficial and doctrinal knowledge about God and could be said to be more and more “familiar” with God and more and more “familiar” with the words God spoke, the messages God preached, the truth God expressed, and the work God did, so man mistakenly thought that he was no longer unfamiliar with God and had walked on the way of being compatible with God. By now, people have heard many messages of the truth and experienced many works of God, but disturbed and hindered by many factors and many situations, most fail to practice the truth and fail to satisfy God. They become more and more slack, have less and less faith, and feel more and more uncertain about their outcome, and they no longer dare to have any extravagant thought and no longer make an effort to seek progress but just follow and go forward step by step reluctantly. People being in such a state now, what is God’s attitude toward them? God only wants to inculcate these truths, His ways, in them and then arrange various circumstances to try them and use various means to try them, for the purpose that He will achieve the result “people can fear God and shun evil” by these words, these truths, and the works He does. What My eyes see is that most people just observe God’s words as doctrines, as letters, and as regulations. When doing things or speaking or encountering trials, they do not keep God’s ways as the ways they should keep. Especially when people encounter some great trials, I see none of them direct his practice toward “fearing God and shunning evil.” Therefore, God’s attitude toward man is extreme detestation and loathing! After God has tried man many times and even a hundred times, man still has no definite attitude to show his resolution—I am determined to fear God and shun evil! Since man does not have such a resolution or such a manifestation, now God’s attitude toward man is that He no longer shows mercy, tolerance, forbearance, or patience to man as before, but feels extremely disappointed in man. Who causes this “disappointment”? As for what attitude God has toward man, whom does it lie with? It lies with each one who follows God. In these many years of work, God has made many requirements of man and arranged many circumstances for man. However, no matter what man has practiced and no matter what attitude man has toward God, man just cannot direct his practice definitely toward the goal of “fearing God and shunning evil.” So I sum up one word by which to explain why people cannot walk in God’s ways—fear God and shun evil, which we have just talked about. What is the word? It is: God treats man as the object of His salvation and the object of His work, but man treats God as his enemy and his opposite. Now have you seen this clearly? What man’s attitude is, what God’s attitude is, and what the relationship between man and God is, these are very clear. No matter how many messages you have heard, the summaries you yourselves make, such as being faithful to God, obeying God, seeking the way to be compatible with God, spending your whole life for God, living for God…, these, in My eyes, do not mean that you are consciously walking in God’s ways—fearing God and shunning evil, but are only some channels for you to achieve your certain purposes. For these purposes, you are reluctantly keeping some regulations. However, it is exactly these regulations that cause man to be further away from the way of “fearing God and shunning evil” and to place God in opposition to man again.
The subject I talk about today is somewhat heavy. But anyway I still hope that you can live up to what I have just said to you in your future experience and future time. Do not treat God as air—feeling He exists when you need Him and feeling He does not exist when you do not need Him. When you have such knowledge in your subconscious, you have infuriated God. Some people may say, “I have not treated God as air. I pray to God all the time, and I satisfy God all the time. Whatever I do, I do it based on the scope and the principle and standard required by God, and not according to my own will.” Right, the way of your practice is right! But when you encounter things, what do you think? When you encounter things, what do you practice? Some people feel God exists when they make prayers and requests to God, but when they encounter things and their own will comes out and they want to act according to it, they treat God as air. At this time, God does not exist to them. People think that when they need God, He should exist, and that when they do not need God, He should not exist, and they can just practice according to their own will, doing whatever they want to do, and there is no need to seek God’s ways at all. Since people are in such a condition and in such a state now, aren’t they on the brink of danger? Some people say, “No matter whether I am on the brink of danger or not, anyway I have believed in God for so many years, and I believe that God should not forsake me, because God does not have the heart to forsake me.” Still some say, “I have believed in the Lord since I was in my mother’s womb. It has been forty to fifty years by now. In terms of time, I am most qualified to be saved by God, and I am most qualified to be left alive. During the forty to fifty years, I have left my family, given up my career, and given up my all, such as money, position, enjoyment, and family happiness. Many good foods I have not tasted, many enjoyable things I have not enjoyed, and many nice places I have not visited. I have even undergone the sufferings ordinary men cannot stand. If God cannot save me because of these, then I am treated too unjustly, and I cannot believe in such a God.” Aren’t there many people who have such thoughts? (Yes.) Then today I will let you know a fact: All who have such thoughts are lifting a rock only to drop on their own feet. This is because they have blinded their eyes with their own imaginations. It is exactly their imaginations and conclusions that have replaced God’s required standard for man and hindered them from receiving God’s true will, so that they are unable to feel the real existence of God, lose the opportunities to be perfected by God, and have no part or share in God’s promises.
How God Decides Men’s Outcomes and the Standard by Which God Decides Men’s Outcomes
Before you have any opinion or conclusion, you should first know what God’s attitude toward you is and what God’s heart thinks; then you can conclude whether what you think is right or wrong. God has never decided a person’s outcome by time, nor has God ever decided a person’s outcome by how much he has suffered. Then by what standard does God decide a person’s outcome? It fits man’s notion the most to decide a person’s outcome by time. Also, those who have offered up a lot, spent a lot, expended a lot, and suffered a lot, as you often see, are all regarded in your notion as ones who can receive God’s salvation. What such people manifest and live out is precisely the standard in man’s notion by which God decides a person’s outcome. No matter what you think, instances of which I will not list one by one, in a word, as long as it is not the standard in God’s mind, it is man’s imagination and is man’s notion. If you hold on to your notion and imagination blindly, what will the result be? Obviously, the result will only be that you are detested and rejected by God. This is because you always put on the airs of a veteran before God, compete against God, and argue with God, but do not truly try to know God’s mind, God’s will, or God’s attitude toward mankind. By doing so, you are magnifying yourself, not magnifying God, and you are believing in yourself, not believing in God. God does not want such a person, nor will God save such a person. If you can drop such a viewpoint, correct your former erroneous viewpoint, and do according to God’s requirement, from now on you practice the way of fearing God and shunning evil and magnify God in every aspect, and you do not draw conclusions about yourself or about God according to your own imaginations, opinions, or thoughts, but in everything try to seek God’s will, know and understand God’s attitude toward mankind, and satisfy God according to God’s standard, then it will be very good! It means that you are about to get on the way of fearing God and shunning evil.
Since God does not take the viewpoints conceived by men this or that way as the standard to decide men’s outcomes, by what standard does God decide men’s outcomes? God decides men’s outcomes by trials. There are two criteria in deciding men’s outcomes by trials: The first is the times of trying them, and the second is the result of trying them. God decides men’s outcomes just by these two indices. Now let’s talk about these two criteria in detail.
First, when you encounter God’s trial (Note: To you, this trial may be very small, unworthy of mention), God will make you realize clearly God’s hand has fallen upon you and God has arranged such a circumstance for you. When your stature is small, God arranges some trials to test you which are in accordance with your stature and which you can understand and withstand. Test what in you? Test your attitude toward God. Is this attitude very important? Of course! And it is particularly important! This attitude is the result God wants, so man’s attitude is the most important to God. Otherwise, God will not spend efforts to do such a work on man. For God wants to, through trials, see your attitude toward God, see whether you are taking the right way, and see whether you are fearing God and shunning evil. So, no matter whether you understand much truth or little at the time, God’s trials will come upon you. As you understand more truth, God will continue to arrange trials for you accordingly. When you encounter trials again, God will see whether there is an improvement in your viewpoint and thought and your attitude toward God in this period. Some people say, “How come God always wants to see men’s attitudes? Hasn’t God seen men practice the truth like that? Why does God still want to see men’s attitudes?” These are foolish words! Since God can do so, there must be God’s will in it. God is at men’s side all the time watching men’s every word and deed, every act and move, and even every thought and idea. As for everything that happens in men: men’s good deeds, men’s faults, men’s transgressions, and men’s disobediences and betrayals, God will write them down one by one and take them as the evidence by which to decide men’s outcomes. As God’s work is uplifted step by step, and you hear more and more truths and receive more and more positive things, positive messages, and reality of the truths, God’s requirements for you will also be uplifted. At the same time God will arrange severer trials for you in order to test whether there is any improvement in your attitude toward God in this period. Of course, at this time the viewpoints God requires of you will be in accordance with the reality of the truths you understand.
As your stature is gradually uplifted, God’s required standard for you will also be uplifted gradually. When you are immature, God gives you a very low standard; when you grow somewhat bigger in your stature, God will give you a somewhat higher standard. However, when you have understood all the truths, what will God do? God will bring greater trials upon you. In greater trials, what God wants to gain and what God wants to see are your deeper knowledge of God and your true fear of God. At this time God’s requirement for you will be higher and “harsher” than when your stature is small. (Note: To man, it is harsh; as a matter of fact, to God, it is very reasonable.) During the period God tries man, what fact does God want to accomplish? God keeps requiring man to give his heart to God. Some people may say, “How to give? I have been performing duty, I have left my family and given up my career, and I have been spending. Aren’t all these the manifestations of having given the heart to God? What else should I do to give my heart to God? Could my doing in such ways not mean that I have given my heart to God? What is the specific requirement of God?” This requirement is very simple. Actually in the trials of different periods, some people have given their hearts to God in varying degrees, but most people have never given their hearts to God. When God tries you, He wants to see whether your heart is toward God or toward your flesh and toward Satan; when God tries you, He wants to see whether you stand on the opposite side of God or stand on the ground of being compatible with God, and whether your heart is on God’s side. When you encounter trials at the time of being immature, though your faith is very small and because you have a limited understanding of the truths, you cannot know accurately what to do to satisfy God’s heart’s desire, yet if you can pray to God genuinely, be willing to give your heart to God and let God be the sovereign, and be willing to offer up to God the things you regard as the most precious, this means that you have given your heart to God. As you hear more and more messages and understand more and more truths, you gradually grow in your stature. God’s required standard for you then will not be the standard given when you are immature, but one higher than it. When man can give his heart to God little by little, man’s heart will gradually draw near to God; when man can truly come near to God, man will more and more have a heart of fearing God. What God wants is just such a heart.
When God wants to gain a person’s heart, God will give him many trials. During these trials, if God cannot gain his heart or see any attitude of his, that is, God cannot see his practice and manifestation of fearing God or his attitude and resolution of shunning evil, then God, after trying him many times, will withdraw His patience for this person and will no longer tolerate him, try him, or work on him. Then what does this mean to his outcome? It means that he will have no outcome. Though he may not do any evil, may not do any disrupting or disturbing things, and may not resist God openly, his heart is hidden from God and he never shows any definite attitude toward or viewpoint about God, and God cannot clearly see that his heart is given to God or that he is pursuing to fear God and shun evil. With such a person, God will no longer show patience to him, no longer pay any price for him, no longer show mercy to him, and no longer do any work on him. Thus his life of believing in God will have come to an end. This is because in the many trials given by God to him, God has not received the result He wants. So, in some people I have never seen that they have the enlightenment and illumination of the . How has this been seen? During so many years of believing in God, this kind of person has run around vigorously on the outside, and though he has spent much time reading the book, done a lot of things, taken about ten books of notes, and known a large amount of letters and doctrines, yet no growth can be seen in him, nor can it be seen that he has any viewpoint about God or any definite attitude toward God. That is to say, in him you cannot see his heart. His heart is wrapped all the time, and his heart is closed—closed to God, so God has never seen his true heart or his true fear of God, much less how he walks in God’s ways. So far God has not gained this kind of person. Can God gain him in the future? No! Will God demand what He cannot gain? No! So now what is God’s attitude toward this kind of person? (Detesting and rejecting. Ignoring.) Ignoring! God ignores this kind of person, and detests and rejects him. You memorize this word very quickly and very accurately. So you understand very well!
Some people, when first following God, are immature and ignorant, and they do not understand God’s will or know what believing in God is all about, so they and follow God in some man-made wrong ways. When trials come upon them, they do not have any realization, and they are very numb toward God’s enlightenment and guidance and do not know what it means to give their heart to God and what it means to stand in the trials. To such people God will give a period of time, during which God will let them understand what God’s trial is and what God’s will is and then give their viewpoints. God is still waiting for the people in such a phase. Toward those who have some viewpoints but are still wavering, who want to give their heart to God but feel reluctant, and who have practiced some basic truths but who, when encountering severe trials, avoid them and want to give up, what is God’s attitude? God still has some expectation for them. What the result will be depends on their attitude and manifestation. If they do not strive upward actively, then what will God do? God will give them up. This is because before God gives you up, you have already given yourself up. Then you cannot blame God for giving you up. Right? Is this fair or not? (Fair.)
Men’s Various Embarrassments Brought About by a Practical Problem
There is another kind of people who have the most miserable outcome. They are the kind of people I am most unwilling to mention. The reason why they are said to be miserable is not that they are punished by God, or that God’s requirement for them is so harsh that they have a miserable outcome, but that they bring it upon themselves. As the saying goes, “Self do, self have.” What kind of people are they? This kind of people do not take the right way and have their outcome revealed before the due time. In God’s eyes, such people are the ones He loathes the most. In human terms, such people are most miserable. At the beginning of their following God, they were very zealous and paid much price; they had a very positive view as to the prospect of God’s work and were full of imaginations about their own future; and they had a great faith in God, believing that God could make man complete and bring man a pleasant destination. However, for certain reasons, they ran away during God’s working. What does this “ran away” mean? It means that they did not give notice but disappeared quietly, leaving without saying good-bye. Although such people said with their mouths that they believed in God, they had not laid a foundation on the way of believing in God, so they could leave God no matter how long they had believed. Some of them went to do business, some went to live their own lives, some went to make a big fortune, some went to get married and have children…. Among these people, some are pricked by conscience and want to come back. Now they lead a very miserable life. They have wandered in the world for years and suffered a lot; they feel it so miserable to live in the world and feel they cannot live without God; they want to come back to God’s family to receive comfort, receive peace and joy, and continue to believe in God so that they can escape the disasters or can be saved and receive a pleasant destination. This is because they believe that God’s great love is infinite and measureless and God’s grace is unfailing and inexhaustible, and that no matter what they were like before, God should forgive them and tolerate their past. They claim repeatedly that they want to come back to perform duty. Some of them even give the church some money or things, wishing to come back again to God’s family by this means. What is God’s attitude toward such people? How should God decide their outcome? You may give your answers. (I thought that God would receive such people, but after listening to the fellowship just now, I think God probably will not receive them.) Give your reason. (Such people come before God only trying to get the outcome of not dying, not to believe in God genuinely. They know that God’s work is about to end, so they come back, vainly hoping to gain blessings.) You mean that they are not sincere in believing in God, so God will not receive them, right? (Yes.) (My understanding is that such people are opportunists. They do not come to believe in God sincerely.) They do not come to believe in God, and they are opportunists. This word is well said too! “Opportunists,” this kind of people are hated by everyone. They sail with the wind and seek nothing but profit. Of course, they should be hated! Do other brothers and sisters have any viewpoint? (God will not receive them, because now God’s work is about to end and it is the time to decide men’s outcomes. At this time they want to come back, and their purpose is not really to pursue the truth. Rather, it is because they see the befalling of the disasters or are influenced by certain external factors that they want to come back. If they really had a heart of pursuing the truth, they would have never run away halfway.) Do you have any different viewpoints? (God will not receive them. Actually God has given them opportunities, but they have a disregarding attitude toward God all the time. No matter what intent such people have, even if they truly repent, God will not receive them again. This is because God has already given them many opportunities, but their attitude has been made clear: They were determined to leave God. So now when they want to come back, God will not receive them.) (I also agree that God will not receive such people, because if a person has seen the true way and experienced God’s work for so long a time, and yet he still can return to the world and return to the embrace of Satan, it means a great betrayal against God. Although God’s substance is mercy and love, we should consider at what kind of people that is directed. If they want to come before God to seek for comfort and for sustenance, then they are not genuine believers in God at all. God’s mercy toward such people only goes thus far.) God’s substance is mercy. Why does He give no more mercy to such people? If He gives them a little mercy, won’t they have an opportunity? In the past people often said: God wants all men to be saved and not one to perish; if one of the hundred sheep is lost, God will leave the ninety-nine and go after the lost one. Now for such people, considering that they truly believe in God, shouldn’t God receive them and give them a second opportunity? Actually it is not difficult to answer this question. It is very simple! If you truly knew about God and you had a true knowledge of God, you would not need to give much explanation or make many guesses, right? All that you have said is somewhat relevant, but it is still at some distance from God’s attitude.
Just now some of you have expressed a definite viewpoint, believing that it is impossible for God to receive such people. Others have a rather indefinite viewpoint, believing that God may receive them, and again God may not; this attitude is rather moderate. Still others have the viewpoint that they hope God will receive them; this attitude is ambiguous. Those who have a definite attitude believe that God’s work has ended by now, so it is unnecessary for God to tolerate such people, and that God will not receive them again. Those who are rather moderate believe that it depends: If they cannot leave God in their heart, and they are still genuine believers in God and are pursuers of the truth, God should not remember their past weaknesses and faults but forgive them and give them another opportunity, letting them come back to God’s family and receive God’s salvation; if they run away again, it will not be an injustice to them for God to abandon them then. Other people hope that God can receive them. They are not quite certain whether God will receive them or not. If they believe that God should receive them, but God does not receive them, their viewpoint seems to be somewhat incompatible with God’s; if they believe that God should not receive them, but God says that He loves man timelessly and is willing to give them another opportunity, then won’t their ignorance be exposed? Anyway, every one of you has a viewpoint. Your viewpoint is a kind of knowledge in your mind and is also an expression of the level of your understanding the truth and God’s will. It can be said so, can’t it? You have your viewpoints on this thing. Very good! But as to whether your viewpoints are right, this is still questionable now. Aren’t you all a little anxious about it? “What is right? I am not clear. I do not know what God thinks about it. God has not told me, so how can I know what God thinks? God’s attitude toward man is love! According to God’s former attitude, God should receive them. But what God’s attitude is now I am not clear, so I can only say that God may receive them, and again He may not.” Isn’t this very ridiculous? You have really been stumped. If you do not have a correct viewpoint on this thing, how will you handle it if there is really such a person in your church? If you handle it improperly, you may offend God. Isn’t this a very dangerous thing?
As for the matter brought up just now, why do I ask your opinions about it? I want to test your viewpoints and test how much knowledge you actually have of God, how much you know about God’s will, and how much you know about God’s attitude. What are the answers? The answers are the viewpoints you have given. Some of you are very conservative, and some answered based on guesswork and imagination. What does “guesswork” mean? It means that you cannot figure out what God actually thinks, so you just guess groundlessly in your heart that God should think this way or that way. Actually you do not know whether it is right or wrong, and then you just speak out such an ambiguous viewpoint. In the face of the fact, what can you see? When following God, man seldom pays attention to God’s will and seldom gives heed to God’s mind and God’s attitude toward mankind. Man does not know God’s mind, so when you are asked a question concerning God’s will and God’s disposition, you are at a loss, you feel uncertain, and you either guess or bet. What attitude is this? It proves a fact: Most people, while believing in God, treat God as air, as if He exists and yet does not exist. Why do I say so? Because whenever you encounter a thing, you do not know God’s will. Why do you not know? It is not that you do not know now, but that from beginning to end you never know what God’s attitude toward this thing is. Since you cannot see it clearly and do not know God’s attitude, have you pondered over it? Have you sought? Have you fellowshipped about it? No! This proves a fact: The god you believe in has nothing to do with the true God. You, who believe in God, only ponder your own will, only ponder your leaders’ will, and only ponder the superficial and doctrinal meaning of God’s word, but do not truly try to know and seek God’s will at all. Isn’t that so? This thing is very terrible in substance! In these many years I have observed many people’s belief in God. What do they believe in God as? Some of them believe in God as air. They have no answer to the question as to whether there is a God, because they cannot feel or realize whether God exists or not, let alone have a clear seeing and knowledge. In their subconscious they think that God does not exist. Others believe in God as a man, that is, they believe that God cannot do whatever is impossible with them and that God should think in the way they think. They define God as “an invisible and intangible man.” Still others believe in God as a puppet. They think that God does not have pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, and God is just a clay idol. Whatever happens, God does not have His attitude, His viewpoint, or His thought but lets them orchestrate Him at will. They can believe in Him as they please. If they want Him to be great, He will be great, and if they want Him to be small, He will be small. When they commit sins and need God’s mercy, need God’s tolerance, and need , God should show mercy to them. These people have imagined a god in their mind and brain and ask this god to supply their needs and satisfy all their desires. No matter when and where, no matter what they do, they treat God and believe in God according to such imaginations. With some people, even after provoking God’s disposition, they still think that God will save them. This is because they believe that God’s love is infinite and measureless, God’s disposition is righteous, and no matter how people offend God, He will not remember it, and that their fault, their transgression, or their disobedience is a momentary expression of their disposition, and God will give them an opportunity and tolerate and be patient with them and God will still love them as before, so they still have a great hope of being saved. Actually, no matter how people believe in God, as long as they are not pursuing the truth, God takes a denying attitude toward them. This is because while you believe in God, you may treat the book of God’s word as the most valuable treasure, reading it every day and looking at it every day, but you put the true God aside and treat God as air or treat God as a man, and some people simply treat God as a puppet. Why do I say so? Because I see that no matter whether you encounter things or meet any circumstances, the things that exist in your subconscious and the things that come from within you never have anything to do with God’s word or with the pursuit of the truth. You only know what you are thinking and what your viewpoints are, and then you impose your own thoughts and your own viewpoints on God, regarding them as God’s viewpoints, and hold on to them as standard. Thus, as time passes, you become more and more distant from God.
Know God’s Attitudes and Drop Various Misunderstandings of God
What kind of God is the God you believe in now? Have you thought about that? Does He feel hatred when He sees the wicked do evil? (Yes.) What attitude does He have when He sees a foolish person makes a mistake? (Being sorrowful.) What attitude does He have when He sees someone steals His offerings? (Hating.) You are all very clear about these, right? What attitude does God have when He sees a person muddles on in believing in God and does not pursue the truth at all? You are not very clear about this, right? The attitude of “muddling on” is not sinning, nor does it offend God. In man’s heart, He does not think that it should be a great wrong. Then what do you say God’s attitude is? (Ignoring.) “Ignoring,” then what is His inner attitude? He looks down on such a person and despises such a person! Toward him, God adopts a manner of cold treatment, which is laying him aside—not doing any work on him, such as giving enlightenment, illumination, chastening, or discipline. This kind of person is not counted in God’s work. What is God’s attitude toward those who provoke His disposition and offend His administrative decrees? Extremely loathing! With those who provoke His disposition and yet do not repent, God feels extremely angry! “Angry” is only a feeling, a mood, and it cannot represent a definite attitude. However, such a feeling, such a mood, can bring upon those people an outcome, that is, being extremely loathed by God! Then what is the consequence of this “being extremely loathed”? God puts them aside and gives them no attention for the time being, and will settle with them “after the autumn harvest.” What is the implication of that? Will such people have an outcome? God has no intention of giving them an outcome! So isn’t it very normal that God ignores them now? (Yes.) What should such people be ready for now? They should be ready to take the pernicious consequence brought by the evil they have done and by their own actions. This is God’s declaration to such people. So now I clearly tell this kind of people not to cherish any illusion or harbor any wishful thinking. God will not tolerate man timelessly or bear with man’s transgressions and man’s disobedience timelessly. Some people may say, “I have seen several people of this kind. When they prayed, they were particularly moved by God, weeping in tears. At ordinary times, they are quite cheerful and seem to have God’s presence and God’s guidance.” Don’t say this rashly! “Weeping in tears” does not necessarily mean that they are moved by God or have God’s presence, much less can it be said that they have God’s guidance. Since they have infuriated God, could God still guide them? In a word, when God is determined to eliminate or give up a person, he already has no outcome. No matter how good he himself feels when praying and how great is his faith in God within, these are not important anymore. What is important is that God does not need such a faith and God has detested and rejected such a person. Besides, how to deal with him later is not important either. What is important is that the moment he infuriates God, his outcome is already decided. If God is determined not to save such a person, then He will leave him to be punished. This is God’s attitude.
God has the element of love in His substance, and He has mercy on everyone, but men all neglect and forget the point that He has dignity in His substance. He has love but it does not mean that man can offend Him at will and yet He does not have any feeling or any response. He has mercy but it does not mean that He has no principles in treating man. God is living and exists truly and really. He is not a puppet or a certain object conceived by man. Since He exists, we should always listen attentively to His heart’s voice, pay attention to His attitudes, and know His feelings. Do not circumscribe God by man’s imaginations; do not impose on God what man thinks in his mind or what man hopes in his will and ask God to treat a person in man’s way and according to man’s imaginations. If you do so, you are infuriating God, you are tempting God’s fury, and you are challenging God’s dignity! So, after you know the seriousness of this matter, I advise every one of you present to be careful and cautious in doing things and be careful and cautious in speaking. In the matter of treating God, you must be doubly cautious and doubly careful! Before you know what God’s attitude is, do not speak rashly, do not do things recklessly, and do not stick labels indiscriminately, much less draw conclusions at will, but wait and seek. This is a manifestation of fearing God and shunning evil. If you can first live up to this and first have such an attitude, God will not blame you for being foolish, ignorant, and not sensible, but will remember you, guiding and enlightening you or tolerating your immatureness and ignorance, because you have such an attitude as fearing to offend God, respecting God’s will, and being willing to obey God. Otherwise, God will condemn you, discipline or even punish you, or give a conclusion about you due to your disdainful attitude toward God—passing judgment on God at will and guessing and defining God’s will as you please. The conclusion will probably have to do with your outcome. So I want to stress again and tell every one of you present to be careful and cautious in treating whatever is from God. Do not speak rashly; do not do things recklessly. Before you want to say anything, you should first think: Will I infuriate God if I do so? Will I be fearing God if I do so? Even if it is a simple thing, you should ponder and think it over and over in your heart. If you can truly practice according to such a principle in any place, in any thing, and at any time, and especially in the things you do not understand, you can also have such an attitude, then God will guide you at all times, so that you will have the way to go. No matter what manifestations you have, God can see them clearly and distinctly, and God will give an accurate and proper evaluation of these manifestations of yours. When you have experienced the final trial, God will sum up all your deeds together to decide your outcome. Such a decision will make everyone sincerely convinced. Here what I want to tell you is: What you practice, what you do, and what you think in your heart determine your destiny.
By Whom Man’s Outcome Is Decided
There is another most important thing, that is, your attitude toward God. This attitude is very important! This attitude decides whether you will eventually go to destruction or enter into the pleasant destination God has prepared for you. In the Age of Kingdom, God has worked for more than twenty years. During these more than twenty years, in your hearts you all may be unclear about your manifestations, but in God’s heart He has been keeping a real, actual record for each one. From the time each one begins to follow Him, hear His preachings, and understand more and more truths, to the time he performs his duty, God has a record of all his various manifestations of this period. During the course of his performing duty, when he encounters various circumstances and various trials, what his attitude is, what his various manifestations are, what he thinks of God in his heart, … of all these God has an account, a record. You may be very unclear about these things, but God is very clear about them, without any negligence. Because this matter has to do with each person’s outcome and has to do with each person’s destiny and future, and even more because all God’s painstaking effort and price are put in it, God dare not neglect in the least and does not allow any carelessness. God has been keeping such an account for man, an account of the course of man’s following God from beginning to end. What your attitude toward God is in this course will decide your destiny. Isn’t this very real? By now, don’t you think God is very righteous? Isn’t it very appropriate for God to do so? Do you still have any imagination about God? (No.) Then tell Me, is man’s outcome decided by God or by man himself? (Decided by God.) By whom? (God.) You do not know again! Brothers and sisters from the church in Hong Kong answer first. By whom? (By man himself.) By man himself? So then, it has nothing to do with God? Someone from the church in South Korea, give your answer. (God decides man’s outcome according to his actions and behavior and according to the way he takes.) This word is very objective. Here is a fact I have to tell you: While God does the work of salvation, He sets a standard for man. This standard is that man can listen to God’s words and walk in God’s ways. By this standard man’s outcome is judged. If you practice according to this standard from God, then you will receive a good outcome; if you do not practice according to this standard, then you cannot receive a good outcome. So by whom do you say this outcome is decided? It is not decided by God alone, but by God and man together. Is that right? (Yes.) Why do I say so? Because God takes the initiative to do the work of saving man and prepare a pleasant destination for man, and man is the object of God’s work and this outcome or destination is prepared by God for man. Without the object of His work, God would not need to do this work. If God did not do this work, man would have no opportunity to be saved. Man is the object of salvation. The object of salvation is the passive party, but the attitude of this party decides whether God can fulfill His work of saving mankind. Without God’s guidance for you, you would not know the standard or have a goal. After you have the standard and goal, if you do not cooperate, not practicing or paying price, you still cannot receive it. So this outcome can neither do without God nor do without man. Now you know by whom man’s outcome is actually decided!
Man Likes to Circumscribe God by Experience
When we fellowship about the subject of knowing God, have you found a fact? Have you found that God now has a change in His attitude? Is God’s attitude toward mankind unchanging? Will God be patient like this forever and keep giving all His love and His mercy to man timelessly? This thing has to do with God’s substance again. Let’s come back to the question raised just now about the so-called prodigal sons’ return. After I asked that question, your answers are not very definite, which shows that you do not quite know the will of God. Once man knows that God loves him, he circumscribes God as the symbol of love: No matter what man does, no matter how man behaves, no matter how man treats God, and no matter how man disobeys, it does not matter, because God has love and God’s love is infinite and measureless; God has love, so He can bear with man; God has love, so He can have mercy on man, having mercy on man’s immaturity, on man’s ignorance, and on man’s disobedience. Is this really true? When having experienced God’s patience once or several times, some people take that as their capital of knowing God and think that God will be patient with them and have mercy on them forever. And in their whole life, they regard God’s patience with them as the standard for God’s treatment of them. Some others, after having received God’s tolerance for them once, circumscribe God as tolerance forever, which is timeless and unconditional and is even based on no principle at all. Are these views correct? Whenever you are asked about God’s substance and God’s disposition, you are at a loss. Seeing you are like this, I am really worried. You have heard much about the truth concerning God’s substance and much about the subject concerning God’s disposition, but in your mind these things, the truths of these aspects, are only theories and memories in letter. No one has ever realized or seen what God’s disposition is like in real life. So you all believe in a muddled way and believe blindly, and you even have a disdainful and disregarding attitude toward God. What does your such attitude toward God cause? It causes you to always circumscribe God. Once you know a little, you feel very content and feel that you have gained God’s everything, and then you circumscribe God and do not allow God to move. Once God does a new thing, you refuse to acknowledge that He is God. Consequently, when one day God says, “I no longer love man, I no longer have mercy on man, I no longer show any tolerance and patience to man, and I extremely loathe and detest man,” man resists such words from his heart, and some people even say, “You are no longer my God, and You are no longer the God I am to follow. Since You say such words, You are unqualified to be my God, and it is not necessary for me to follow You anymore. If You do not have mercy on me, give me love, or show me tolerance, I will not follow You any further. Only if You tolerate me timelessly and are patient with me all the time for me to see that You are love, You are patience, and You are tolerance, will I follow You and have faith to follow to the end. This is because only if You show patience and mercy to me can my disobedience and my transgression be forgiven and pardoned timelessly, and can I sin anytime and anywhere, confess my sin and be forgiven anytime and anywhere, and infuriate You anytime and anywhere, while You should not have any critical view or conclusion about me.” Although in everyone’s heart, you may not subjectively and consciously give such thoughts to this issue, yet when you treat God as a tool through which you can be forgiven of sins and as an object you can use to gain a pleasant destination, you already place the living God in opposition to yourself and treat Him as your enemy unconsciously. This is what My eyes have seen. Although you repeatedly say, “I believe in God,” “I pursue the truth,” “I want to be transformed in my disposition,” “I want to break away from the influence of darkness,” “I want to satisfy God,” “I want to obey God,” “I want to be faithful to God and perform my duty well,” … no matter how pleasant to the ear your words are, how many theories you have, and how magnificent and high-sounding they are, actually many of you, following to this day, have learned to circumscribe God with the regulations, doctrines, and theories you have grasped, and have naturally placed God in opposition to yourselves. You have grasped the letters and grasped the doctrines, but you have not truly entered into the reality of the truth, so it is very hard for you to draw near to God, know God, and understand God. This is a very sad thing!
In a video I saw such a scene: Several sisters are holding up a book of The Word Appears in the Flesh and holding it up very high. They are raising the book in the center and above their heads. Although this was a picture, what I saw was not a picture, but rather it made Me think of the fact that in everyone’s heart, what he exalts is not God’s word but the book of God’s word. This is a very sad thing. Such doing is not exalting God at all, because you do not know God. Even in a very obvious and very small matter, you have notions within. When I asked you and when I am serious with you, you gave answers based on imagination and guesswork, and some even asked in reply with a doubting tone. From this, I know more clearly in My heart that what you believe in is not the true God. After you have read God’s word for so many years, you again circumscribe God with God’s word, God’s work, and more doctrines. And you never try to know about God and ponder God’s will, and never try to know such issues as what God’s attitude toward man actually is, what God’s heart thinks, what God is sorrowful for, what God is angry for, why God detests and rejects man, and so on. More people think that God is always silent, because God is only watching man’s various manifestations, with no attitude or opinion. Some people even think that God is silent because God approves tacitly, that God is silent because God is waiting, or that God is silent because God has no attitude and because God’s attitudes have all been told in the book and have all been expressed to man, and there is no need to tell man repeatedly and from time to time. Though God is silent, God has His attitude, His viewpoint, and His required standard for man. Even though man does not try to know Him or seek Him, His attitude is very definite. As for the thing that some people who had followed God very zealously in those days forsook God and now want to come back, you do not even know what is God’s viewpoint on it and what is God’s attitude toward it. Isn’t this a very sad thing? Actually this is a very shallow thing. If you truly understand God’s heart, you should have known what attitude He has toward such people and should not have answered ambiguously. Since you do not know it, let Me tell you.
God’s Attitude Toward Those Who Ran Away from God’s Work
In every place there are some people of this kind: After they had been certain about God’s way, they left quietly for various reasons. They left without saying good-bye and went to do what they wanted to do at their own will. Let’s not discuss for the moment why they left. Let’s first see what God’s attitude is toward such people. It is very definite! From the very moment they left, in God’s eyes, their life of believing in God was over. It was not they who put an end to it, but God who put an end to it for them. Their leaving God meant that they rejected God already and did not want God anymore, and meant that they no longer accepted God’s salvation for them. Since they no longer wanted God, could God still want them? Moreover, when they had such an attitude and such a thought and were determined to leave God, they already provoked God’s disposition, even though they did not point at God and yell abuse in a towering rage, even though they did not have any excessive or wicked behavior, and even though they thought to themselves, “If one day I have enough fun outside or when I still need God, I will come back; or when God calls me, I will come back,” or they said, “When I get hurt outside, or when I see the outside world is too dark and too evil and I do not want to go with the current, I will come back to God.” Even though they planned in their hearts they would come back some day, and even though they left themselves a way out, they did not know that no matter what they thought and what they planned, it was only their own wishful thinking. Their biggest mistake was that they did not find out what God’s heart felt when they wanted to leave. From the very moment they were determined to leave God, God gave them up completely, and God already decided their outcome in His heart. What is their outcome? Such people are classified as mice and will perish together with them. So, man often sees such a thing: After a person has rejected God, he, however, goes unpunished. God has His principles in doing things. Certain things man can see; certain things God only decides in His heart, so man cannot see the results of these things. What man’s eyes see does not amount to the side of reality, but the side man has not seen is precisely the real thought and decision in God’s heart.
Those Who Ran Away from God’s Work Are Ones Who Have Forsaken the True Way
So, why can God give such people so severe a punishment? Why does God have such great wrath toward them? We should first know that God’s disposition is majesty and wrath. He is not a sheep for man to slaughter at will, much less a puppet for man to manipulate at will, nor is He air for man to breathe in and out. If you truly believe in God’s existence, you should have a heart of fearing God, and you should know that God’s substance is not to be infuriated. This “infuriating” may result from a word, or a thought, or an evil behavior, or a very mild behavior, a behavior that is acceptable according to man’s view and man’s morality and ethics, or a doctrine, a theory. However, once you infuriate God, you will have no more opportunity, and your last day will come. This is a very terrible thing! If you do not know that God is not to be offended, you cannot possibly dread God, and you may often offend God; if you do not know how to fear God, you cannot possibly fear God, and you will not know how to set about walking in God’s ways—fearing God and shunning evil. Once you have a realization in your heart and can realize that God is not to be offended, you will know what to do to fear God and shun evil.
As for entering into walking in the way of fearing God and shunning evil, you do not have to know many truths, experience many trials, or experience many disciplines before you can achieve it; rather it depends on what the substance of your heart is toward God and what attitude you have toward God in your heart. Man’s substance and man’s subjective attitude are very important and crucial. As for those people who rejected and left God, their disdainful attitude toward God and their heart of hating the truth have provoked God’s disposition. So in God’s eyes, they can never be forgiven. They had known the existence of God, heard the news that God has come, and even experienced the new work God does. They did not leave in the condition of being deceived, nor in the state of being hazy, much less in the condition of being compelled; rather it was in the condition of being conscious and clearheaded that they voluntarily chose to leave God. Their leaving is not going astray or being lost, so in God’s eyes, they are not the lambs lost from the flock, much less the prodigal sons who lost their way. They left without fear of anything; such a condition, such a state, provoked God’s disposition, and it was this “provoking” that brought them an irremediable outcome. Isn’t such an outcome very terrible? Therefore, if man does not know God, he can offend God! This is in no way a small thing! If one does not take God’s attitude seriously and even thinks that God is looking forward to his return, because he is the little lost lamb of God and God is still waiting for him to change his mind, then he is not far from the day of being punished. Not only will he not be received by God, but he provokes God’s disposition the second time. This is a more terrible thing! His disdainful attitude toward God has offended God’s administrative decrees, so will God receive him? In God’s heart the principle for this thing is that if one, even after being certain of the true way, rejects and leaves God in the condition of being conscious and clearheaded, under such a background God will close the way for him to be saved, and from then on the gate to the kingdom will be shut to him. When he comes back again to knock at the door, God will not open it for him again, and he will be shut out forever. Some of you may have read the story about Moses in . After God anointed and appointed Moses, due to Moses’ various manifestations and for various reasons, the two hundred and fifty leaders showed their refusal to submit. Whom did they refuse to submit to? It was not Moses that they refused to submit to; they refused to submit to God’s arrangement, refusing to submit to the thing God did. They said such a word as this: “You take too much on you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them….” Is this word very grievous in man’s eyes? No! At least its literal meaning is not grievous. Legally speaking, it is nothing serious, because on the surface it contains no opposing word or phrase, much less does it have the meaning of blasphemy. It is only an ordinary word. However, why could such a word provoke God into so great anger? This was because their word was not directed at a man but at God, and the disposition and attitude they expressed through their word precisely provoked God’s disposition and offended God’s disposition that is not to be offended. In the end they had the outcome as known by us. As for those who have forsaken God, what is their viewpoint? What is their attitude? The reason why their viewpoint and attitude can bring upon themselves such punishment of God is that they chose to betray God when having clearly known He is God. Therefore, they are completely deprived of the opportunity of being saved. Just as the Bible says, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.” Now you are very clear about this thing, aren’t you?
Man’s Attitude Toward God Decides His Destiny
God is a living God. When encountering things, men have different manifestations. Toward their different manifestations God has different attitudes, because He is not a puppet or air. God’s attitudes are worthy for man to know, and man should learn to know God’s disposition and understand God’s heart little by little through knowing God’s attitudes. When you understand God’s heart little by little, you will not feel it very difficult to fear God and shun evil. And when you understand God, you will not easily circumscribe God. When you no longer circumscribe God, you will not easily offend God. And without your knowing it, God will guide you to have knowledge of God, so that you will have fear of God in your heart, and you will no longer impose on God the letters, doctrines, or theories you have grasped, but seek God’s will at any time and in any thing. Thus, you will become a man after God’s heart without knowing it.
Although man cannot see or touch the work God does, yet for God’s part, God not only can perceive but also can see everyone’s deeds and everyone’s attitude toward God. This is what everyone should be clear about and should know in his heart. If you always think to yourself, “Does God know I am doing this here? Does God know I am thinking in that way? He may know, and again He may not,” if on the one hand you believe in God and follow God with such a viewpoint, and on the other hand you doubt God’s work and God’s existence like this, then you will infuriate God sooner or later, because you are already on the brink of danger. I see that some people, though having believed in God for so many years, have not gained the reality of the truth, much less understood God’s will, and they do not have any growth in their stature in life but only hold on to the few doctrines that cannot be more superficial. The reason for this is that they have never accepted the words of God’s mouth as life and never faced up to or accepted the existence of God. So, seeing such people, could God have enjoyment? Could God feel comforted in His heart? Therefore, the way of man’s believing decides his destiny. How man pursues and how man treats God, man’s attitude is of the first importance. Do not put God out of your mind and treat Him as air, but always remember that the God you believe in is a living God who is real and practical. It is not that He stays in the third heaven with nothing to do, but that He searches the heart of everyone, searches the conduct of everyone and your every word and deed, and searches your manifestations and your attitude toward God at all times. No matter whether you are willing to commit yourself to God, all your deeds and your mind and thoughts are before God, being searched by God. God will constantly vary His opinion of you and His attitude toward you according to your behavior, your conduct, and your attitude. However, I want to advise some people: Do not always regard yourselves as little babies in God’s hands as if God favors you very much, as if God cannot do without you, and as if God’s attitude toward you is ever unchanging. Don’t dream! God is righteous toward everyone. He comes to do the conquering and saving work on man seriously. This is His management. He takes a serious attitude toward everyone instead of treating man as His pet and entertaining him for fun. God’s love for man is not to pamper man or to cosset man; His mercy and tolerance for man are not to be indulgent with man or give free rein to man. On the contrary, God’s love for man is loving care, is compassion and cherishment, and is the respect for life; His mercy and tolerance for man carry His expectation for man; His mercy and tolerance are the capital for mankind’s existence. God is living and God exists practically. His attitude toward man is based on principles and is by no means a regulation, and it can change. His will for mankind has been gradually altering and changing with time, with environment, and with each one’s attitude. So in your heart you should clearly and definitely know that God’s substance is ever unchanging but God’s disposition will be expressed at different times and in different situations. Maybe you do not regard a thing as very serious, and you imagine according to your notion that God should do it that way. However, in certain things He does just the opposite. When you measure God by your notion, you infuriate God already, because God will by no means do as you imagine or treat the thing as you say. So I still warn you to be careful and cautious in treating everything around you and learn to practice in everything according to the principle of walking in God’s ways—fearing God and shunning evil. In dealing with a thing concerning God’s will or God’s attitude, you must make certain of it, must fellowship with someone who understands it, and must seek seriously. Do not treat the God you believe in as a puppet—passing judgment on Him at will, drawing conclusions about Him at will, or treating Him with disdain. During the course of God’s saving you and deciding your outcome, no matter whether He shows mercy and tolerance to you or judges and chastises you, His attitude toward you is not unchanging but depends on your attitude toward Him and your knowledge of Him. You should not circumscribe God as that forever because you have the knowledge or understanding of God in a certain aspect. Do not believe in a dead god, but believe in the living God. Remember it? Although some words I say are true facts and are also what you need, yet because of your present state and present stature, I do not want to make higher requirements lest your enthusiasm be dampened and you feel too desolate in your heart and feel too disappointed with God, but hope that you can walk the way ahead with a heart of loving God and a respectful attitude toward God. Do not treat the matter of believing in God casually, but treat it as the biggest thing. Lay it on your heart, link it to reality, and link it with the real life instead of just having it on your lips. This is because it is a vital thing, a thing that decides your destiny. Do not treat it as a joke or as a trifling matter! After I have spoken these words to you today, have you understood and gained anything in your heart? Do you have any questions about these words I have said?
These topics are a bit new, and there is some distance between them and your viewpoints as well as what you usually pursue and pay attention to, but I think that after you fellowship for some time, you will have a common recognition of these words I have said. Since these topics are quite new and are what you have never thought about, I hope that these words have not added any burden to you. My purpose in saying them today is not to frighten you or to deal with you by this means, but to let you know the real facts. As there is a distance between God and man after all, though man believes in God, he never understands God or knows God’s attitude, and he is not so zealous in caring about God’s attitude, but he simply believes like that and walks like that, muddling on in the matter of knowing and understanding God. So I feel it very necessary to make certain things clear to you so that you will know what kind of God the God you believe in is, what He is thinking in His heart, what attitudes He has toward various kinds of people, and how far your doing so is from His requirement and how far it is below the standard required by Him. The purpose of making you know these is so that you each will have a measuring scale in your heart and know on this path what you have gained, how many things you have not gained, and what fields you have not set foot in at all. At ordinary times when you fellowship together, you only talk about some topics people often speak about, which are very narrow in scope and very shallow in content. This is at a distance from and falls short of God’s will and God’s required scope and standard for man. If you go on like this, you will surely go further and further away from God’s ways. You just take these present words of God as the object of worship and as rituals and regulations; that is all! Actually God has no place in your heart at all, and God has never gained your heart. Some people think that it is very difficult to know God. This is also true. It is indeed somewhat difficult! If people are required to do things outwardly in performing duty or to do physical work, they all will feel it very easy to believe in God, because all these are things within mankind’s ability. However, when the realm of God’s will and God’s attitude toward man is involved, it is indeed rather difficult for everyone. As it involves the matter of understanding the truth and entering into reality, of course it is rather difficult. However, when you touch the entrance and begin to enter into it, it will gradually become less and less difficult.
Treating God as God Is the Beginning of Man’s Being Able to Fear God
Just now someone asked a question: Why is it that we have more knowledge of God than Job but we do not fear God? We have mentioned a bit about it earlier, right? Actually we have talked about the substance of this problem. At that time though Job did not know God, he treated God as God and as the Ruler of the heavens and the earth and all things. He did not treat God as an enemy but worshiped Him as . Why do people of today resist God so much? Why can’t they fear God? One of the reasons is that people of today have been so deeply corrupted by Satan that their satanic nature has been deeply ingrained and they have become God’s enemies. So, though they believe in God and acknowledge God, they still can resist God and oppose God. This is determined by their nature. The second reason is that although people believe in God, they do not at all treat God as God, but treat God as their opposite and as their enemy, being irreconcilable with God. The reasons are just so simple. Haven’t these been mentioned a bit in our foregoing fellowship? You may ponder over them. Aren’t they the reasons for it? Though you have some knowledge of God, what is that knowledge of yours? Isn’t it what everyone generally talks about? Isn’t it what God tells you? You only know the theories and doctrines concerning this aspect, but have you tasted the real aspect of God? Do you have your own knowledge of it? Do you have a practical knowledge and understanding of it? If God did not tell you, could you know it? You know the theories concerning it, but that does not mean that you have a true knowledge of it. In a word, no matter how you know it and how much you know it, before you have a true knowledge of God, God is your enemy, and before you can treat God as God, God still stands on the opposite side of you, because you are the embodiment of Satan.
When you are with Christ, you may be able to take care of His daily meals, serve Him tea or water, and take care of His life, treating Christ as God seemingly. When something happens, man’s viewpoint is always contrary to God’s, and God’s viewpoint always cannot be understood or accepted by man. Although man can live in harmony with Him outwardly, it does not mean that man is compatible with Him. Once something happens, man’s true self of disobedience comes out. This proves that man is hostile to God. This hostility is not because God stands against man, or God intends to be hostile to man, or God places man in opposition to Himself, but because in man’s subjective will and in man’s subconscious there is such substance that stands against God. Man takes whatever is from God as the object of his study, so to what comes from God or what relates to God, his first reaction is guess and suspicion, then he will immediately take an antagonistic attitude and stand against God, and right after that, he will “argue” or compete with God in a negative mood, and will even suspect whether such a God is worthy of his following. Even though his reason tells him that he should not do so, he will still make such a choice in spite of himself and will even hold it to the end “without turning back.” For example: When some people heard some rumors or slanders about God, what was their first reaction? Their first reaction was: I do not know whether the rumor is true or false, whether the thing exists or not; I should quietly observe how things go. Then they pondered: I have no way to verify this thing. Does this thing really exist? Is the rumor actually true? Though they did not show anything outwardly, they already began to doubt and already began to deny God in their hearts. What is the substance of such an attitude and viewpoint of theirs? Isn’t it betrayal? Before they encountered this thing, you could not see their viewpoint, and it seemed that they did not have any resistance against God, nor did they treat God as their enemy. But when they encountered this thing, they immediately stood on Satan’s side to oppose God. What does this fact show? It shows that man is in opposition to God! It is not that God treats man as His enemy but that man’s substance in itself is hostile to God. No matter how long man has followed God or how much he has expended, no matter how man has praised God or how he has restrained himself from resisting God or even required himself to love God, man just cannot treat God as God. Isn’t this determined by man’s substance? If you treated Him as God and you truly regarded Him as God, could you have any doubt about Him? Could you have any question mark against Him in your heart? No, right? The current of this world is so evil and this mankind is so evil, but why do you have no notions about them? You yourselves are so corrupt, but why do you have no notions about yourselves? Just a few rumors and slanders have caused you to have so great notions and so many critical views about God. It shows how small your stature is! Simply a few mosquitoes and a few foul flies “humming,” you have been deceived? What kind of people are these? Do you know what God thinks of such people? God’s attitude toward such people is very clear actually, only He adopts a cold treatment—a disregarding attitude—toward them, and He is not serious with these ignorant people. Why? Because in His heart He has never intended to gain this portion of people who pledge to act against Him to the end even at the cost of death and who never have an intention of seeking the way to be compatible with Him. When I say this, maybe it hurts some people again. Do you want Me to always hurt you like this? Whether you want or not, what I say are facts! As I always hurt you like this, always touching you on the raw, will it affect the image of the lofty god in your heart? (No.) I also don’t think it will! This is because there is no God in your heart at all. The lofty god in your heart that you defend and protect to the utmost is not God at all, but something imaginary, which never exists. So, I’d better disclose this mystery. Then won’t “the whole truth come out”? The true God is not produced by man’s imagination. I hope you all can face up to reality. Only doing so is beneficial to your knowing God.
A Kind of People Disapproved by God
In God’s heart, some people’s belief has never been approved by Him. In other words, God does not acknowledge these people to be His followers, because God does not approve their belief. No matter how many years these people have followed God, their thoughts and viewpoints have never changed. They hold on to the same principles and manners of dealing with the world as unbelievers, and hold on to the same rules and beliefs of living as unbelievers. They have never accepted God’s word as life, have never believed that God’s word is the truth, and have never intended to accept God’s salvation, nor acknowledged God as their God. They only take believing in God as a hobby and only treat God as a kind of spiritual sustenance, so they disdain to know God’s disposition and God’s substance. It can be said that everything of the true God has nothing to do with them, and they do not want to care about it or bother to heed it. This is because in the depth of their heart there is a strong voice that always tells them: God is invisible and intangible, and God does not exist. They think that to know such a God is a waste of time and is to fool themselves, and it is really smart to only acknowledge Him with their mouths but not to express any attitude or to take any actual action. What does God think of them? God regards them as unbelievers. Some people say, “Would unbelievers read God’s word? Would they perform duty? Could they say that they will live for God?” Usually man only sees a person’s outward manifestations but cannot see his substance, whereas God does not look at a person’s outward manifestations but only looks at his inner substance. So God takes such an attitude toward these people and gives them such a definition. To what they say, “Why did God do that? Why did God do this? I cannot understand this thing, I cannot understand that thing, this thing is discordant with my notions, that thing You have to explain to me…,” My reply is: Is it necessary to explain it to you? Does this thing have anything to do with you? Who are you? Where do you come from? Are you entitled to tell God how to act? Do you believe in Him? Does He acknowledge your belief? Since your belief has nothing to do with God, what do His doings have to do with you? You do not even know your place in God’s heart, so are you qualified to talk with God?
Words of Admonition
Hearing these words, you feel very upset, don’t you? Although you do not want to hear or accept these words, they are all facts. It is God who comes to do this stage of work, so if you do not care about God’s will or God’s attitude and do not know God’s substance and disposition, then in the end you yourselves will suffer loss. Do not blame Me for speaking unpleasant words or blame Me for chilling your heart by My words. What I say are all facts and are not to discourage you. No matter what I require you to do and how I require you to do it, My expectation is that you can take the right way and that you can walk in God’s ways and will not deviate from the right way. If you do not do according to God’s words or keep His ways, then undoubtedly you are disobeying God and deviating from the right way. So I feel it very necessary to make certain things clear to you, so that you can believe in a clear and distinct way and not in a muddled way, and so that you can definitely know God’s attitude and God’s will and know how God perfects men and by what means God decides men’s outcomes. If one day you fail to keep up, I can say that I have no responsibility for it, because many words I have already told you clearly. As to how you yourself treat your outcome, it is completely up to you. In treating different people’s outcomes, God has different attitudes, and He has His way of measurement and His required standard. This standard of measurement is fair to everyone. This is beyond question! So it is unnecessary for some people to be worried. Now you are relieved, right? That’s all for today. Good-bye!
April 29, 2014
from A Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh