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 within mind and thought.) What is the manifestation of being compatible with Christ? (No longer resisting or betraying God, being able to obey God 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 God’s word 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. 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 salvation 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 know God. 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 toand 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.
A Selected Passage from “How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result God Works to Achieve”
in A Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh