The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word
In the Age of Kingdom, God uses words to usher in the new age, to change the means by which He works, and to do the work of the entire age. This is the principle by which God works in the Age of Word. He became flesh to speak from different perspectives, so that man could truly see God, who is the Word appearing in the flesh, and could behold His wisdom and wondrousness. Such work is done in order better to achieve the goals of conquering man, perfecting man, and casting out man, which is the true meaning of the use of words to work in the Age of Word. Through these words, people come to know the work of God, the disposition of God, the substance of man, and what man ought to enter into. Through words, the work God wishes to do in the Age of Word is brought to fruition in its entirety. Through these words, people are exposed, cast out, and tried. People have seen God’s words, heard these words, and recognized the existence of these words. As a result, they have come to believe in the existence of God, in the omnipotence and wisdom of God, as well as in God’s love for man and His desire to save man. The word “words” may be simple and ordinary, but the words spoken from the mouth of the incarnate God shake the universe, they transform people’s hearts, transform their notions and old dispositions, and transform the way the whole world used to appear. Through the ages, only the God of today has worked in this way, and only He speaks thus and comes to save man thus. From this time forward, man lives under the guidance of God’s words, shepherded and supplied by His words. People live in the world of God’s words, amid the curses and the blessings of God’s words, and there are even more people who have come to live under the judgment and chastisement of His words. These words and this work are all for the sake of man’s salvation, for the sake of fulfilling God’s will, and for the sake of changing the original appearance of the world of old creation. God created the world using words, He leads people throughout the universe using words, and He conquers and saves them using words. Ultimately, He shall use words to bring the entire world of old to an end, thus completing the entirety of His management plan. Throughout the Age of Kingdom, God uses words to do His work, and to achieve the results of His work. He does not work wonders or perform miracles, but merely does His work through words. Because of these words, man is nourished and supplied, and gains knowledge and true experience. In the Age of Word, man has been exceptionally blessed. He suffers no physical pain and simply enjoys the bountiful supply of the words of God; without needing to go blindly seeking or journeying forth blindly, from amid his ease, he sees the appearance of God, hears Him speak with His own mouth, receives that which He supplies, and watches Him personally doing His work. These are things that the people of ages past were unable to enjoy, and they are blessings that they could never receive.
God has resolved to make man complete, and regardless of the perspective from which He speaks, it is all for the sake of making people perfect. Words spoken from the perspective of the Spirit are difficult for people to understand; they have no means of finding the path to practice, for their capacity for understanding is limited. The work of God achieves different effects, and in taking each step of the work He has His purpose. Moreover, it is imperative that He speak from different perspectives, for only in so doing can He perfect man. If He were only to utter His voice from the perspective of the Spirit, there would be no way to complete this stage of God’s work. From the tone with which He speaks, you can see He is determined to make this group of people complete. So what should be the first step for each of those who wish to be made perfect? Above all, you must know the work of God. Today, a new method has begun in God’s work; the age has transitioned, the way God works has also changed, and the method by which God speaks is different. Today, not only has the method of His work changed, but so too has the age. Now is the Age of Kingdom. It is also the age of loving God. It is a foretaste of the Age of Millennial Kingdom—which is also the Age of Word, and in which God uses many means of speaking to perfect man, and speaks from different perspectives to supply man. Upon entry into the Age of Millennial Kingdom, God will begin to use words to make man perfect, allowing man to enter into the reality of life and leading him onto the right track. Having experienced so many steps of God’s work, man has seen that the work of God does not remain unchanged, but is evolving and deepening without cease. After people have experienced it for so long, the work has revolved repeatedly, changing again and again. However much it changes, though, it never deviates from God’s purpose of bringing salvation to humanity. Even through ten thousand changes, it never strays from its original purpose. No matter how the method of God’s work might change, this work never departs from truth or from the life. Changes in the method by which work is done merely involve a change in the format of work, and the perspective from which God speaks; there is no change in the central objective of God’s work. Changes in God’s tone of voice and the method of His work are made in order to achieve an effect. A change in tone of voice does not mean a change in the purpose or the principle behind the work. People believe in God chiefly in order to seek life; if you believe in God yet do not seek life or pursue the truth or the knowledge of God, then this is not belief in God! And is it realistic to still seek to enter the kingdom to be king? Achieving true love for God through seeking life—only this is reality; the pursuit and the practice of truth—these are all reality. Reading God’s words, and experiencing these words, you will come to grasp the knowledge of God amid actual experience, and this is what it means to truly pursue.
Now is the Age of Kingdom. Whether you have entered into this new age depends on whether you have entered into the reality of God’s words, on whether His words have become the reality of your life. The words of God are made known to every person so that, in the end, all people will live in the world of God’s words, and His words will enlighten and illuminate each person from within. If, during this time, you are careless in reading the words of God, and have no interest in His words, then this shows that your state is wrong. If you are unable to enter into the Age of Word, then the Holy Spirit does not work in you; if you have entered into this age, He will do His work. What can you do at the onset of the Age of Word in order to gain the work of the Holy Spirit? In this age, and among you, God shall accomplish the following fact: that every person shall live out the words of God, shall be able to put truth into practice, and shall love God earnestly; that all people shall use the words of God as a foundation and as their reality, and shall have hearts that revere God; and that, through practicing the words of God, man shall then wield kingly power together with God. This is the work to be achieved by God. Can you go without reading the words of God? Today, there are many who feel that they cannot go even a day or two without reading His words. They have to read His words every day, and if time does not permit, listening to them will suffice. This is the feeling that the Holy Spirit gives people, and it is the way He begins to move them. That is, He governs people through words, so that they can enter into the reality of the words of God. If, after just one day without eating and drinking the words of God, you feel darkness and thirst, and cannot stand it, this shows that you have been moved by the Holy Spirit, and that He has not turned away from you. You are, then, one who is in this stream. However, if after a day or two without eating and drinking the words of God, you don’t feel a thing, if you have no thirst, and are not at all moved, this shows that the Holy Spirit has turned away from you. This means, then, that there is something wrong with the state within you; you have not entered into the Age of Word, and you are one of those who have fallen behind. God uses words to govern people; you feel good if you eat and drink the words of God, and if you do not, you have no path to follow. The words of God become people’s food, and the force that drives them. The Bible says that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Today, God will bring this work to completion, and He shall accomplish this fact in you. How is it that in the past, people could go many days without reading the words of God and yet be able to eat and work as usual, but this is not the case today? In this age, God chiefly uses words to govern all. Through the words of God, man is judged and perfected, then finally taken into the kingdom. Only the words of God can supply the life of man, and only the words of God can give man light and a path for practice, particularly in the Age of Kingdom. As long as you do not stray from the reality of God’s words, eating and drinking His words each day, God will be able to make you perfect.
Pursuit of life is not something that can be rushed; growth of life does not happen in just a day or two. The work of God is normal and practical, and there is a process that it necessarily undergoes. It took the incarnate Jesus thirty-three and a half years to complete His work of crucifixion—so what of purifying man and transforming his life, work of the utmost difficulty? It is no easy task to make a normal man who manifests God. This is particularly so for the people who are born in the nation of the great red dragon, who are of poor caliber and require a long period of God’s words and work. So do not be impatient to see results. You must be proactive in eating and drinking God’s words, and put more effort into the words of God. When you are finished reading His words, you must be able to put them into actual practice, growing in knowledge, insight, discernment, and wisdom in the words of God. Through this, you will change without realizing it. If you are able to take as your principle the eating and drinking of God’s words, reading them, coming to know them, experiencing them, and practicing them, you will come to maturity without realizing it. There are those who say that they are unable to put the words of God into practice even after reading them. What is your hurry? When you reach a certain stature, you will be able to put His words into practice. Would a four- or five-year-old child say that they are unable to support or honor their parents? You should know how great your current stature is. Put into practice what you are able to put into practice, and avoid being someone who disrupts the management of God. Just eat and drink God’s words, and take that as your principle from now on. Do not worry, for the time being, about whether God can make you complete. Do not delve into that yet. Just eat and drink God’s words as they come to you, and God will be certain to make you complete. However, there is a principle by which you must eat and drink His words. Do not do so blindly. In eating and drinking the words of God, on the one hand, seek out the words that you should come to know—that is, those that relate to visions—and on the other, seek out that which you should put into actual practice—that is, what you should enter into. One aspect has to do with knowledge, and the other with entering. Once you have grasped both—when you have grasped what you should know and what you should practice—you will know how to eat and drink the words of God.
Going forward, talk of God’s words should be the principle by which you speak. Ordinarily, when you come together, you should engage in fellowship about the words of God, taking God’s words as the content of your interactions, talking about what you know of these words, how you put them into practice, and how the Holy Spirit works. As long as you fellowship the words of God, the Holy Spirit will illuminate you. Achieving the world of God’s words requires the cooperation of man. If you do not enter into this, God will have no way of working; if you keep your mouth shut and do not talk about His words, He will have no way of illuminating you. Whenever you are not otherwise occupied, talk about the words of God, and do not just engage in idle chit chat! Let your life be filled with the words of God—only then will you be a devout believer. It does not matter if your fellowship is superficial. Without shallowness there can be no depth. There must be a process. Through your training, you will grasp the illumination of the Holy Spirit upon you, and how to effectively eat and drink the words of God. After an interval of probing, you will enter into the reality of the words of God. Only if you are resolved to cooperate will you be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit.
Of the principles of eating and drinking the words of God, one relates to knowledge, and the other to entry. Which words should you come to know? You should come to know the words that relate to visions (such as, those relating to which age God’s work has now entered, what God wishes to achieve now, what the incarnation is, and so on; all these are related to visions). What is meant by the path that man should enter into? This refers to the words of God that man should practice and enter into. The above are the two aspects of eating and drinking the words of God. From now on, eat and drink the words of God in this way. If you have a clear understanding of His words concerning visions, then there is no need to keep reading all the time. Of primary importance is to eat and drink more of the words on entering, such as how to turn your heart toward God, how to quiet your heart before God, and how to forsake the flesh. These are the things you should put into practice. Without knowing how to eat and drink the words of God, true fellowship is impossible. Once you know how to eat and drink His words, when you have grasped what is key, fellowship will become free, and whatever issue is raised, you will be able to fellowship and grasp the reality. If, when fellowshiping the words of God, you have no reality, then you have not grasped what is key, which shows that you do not know how to eat and drink God’s words. Some people may find reading the words of God tiresome, which is not a normal state. What is normal is never growing tired of reading God’s words, always thirsting for them, and always finding the words of God to be good. This is how one who has really entered eats and drinks the words of God. When you feel that the words of God are exceedingly practical and are exactly what man should enter into; when you feel that His words are greatly helpful and beneficial to man, and that they are the provision of man’s life—it is the Holy Spirit that gives you this feeling, and it is the Holy Spirit that moves you. This proves that the Holy Spirit is working in you and that God has not turned away from you. Some people, seeing that God is always speaking, become tired of His words, and think it of no consequence whether they read them or not—which is not a normal state. They lack a heart that thirsts to enter into reality, and such people neither thirst for nor place importance on being perfected. Whenever you find you do not thirst for the words of God, this shows that you are not in a normal state. In the past, whether God had turned away from you could be determined by whether you were at peace within, and whether you experienced enjoyment. Now the key is whether you thirst for the words of God, whether His words are your reality, whether you are faithful, and whether you are able to do all that you can for God. In other words, man is judged by the reality of the words of God. God directs His words to all of humanity. If you are willing to read them, He will enlighten you, but if you are not, He will not. God enlightens those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and He enlightens those who seek Him. Some say that God did not enlighten them even after they read His words. But in what way did you read these words? If you read His words in the way a man on horseback looks at flowers, and placed no importance on reality, how could God enlighten you? How can one who does not treasure God’s words be made perfect by Him? If you do not treasure the words of God, then you will have neither truth nor reality. If you treasure His words, then you will be able to put the truth into practice, and only then will you possess reality. This is why you must eat and drink the words of God at all times, whether you are busy or not, whether the circumstances are adverse or not, and whether you are being tried or not. All in all, the words of God are the foundation of man’s existence. No one can turn away from His words, but must eat His words as they do the three meals of the day. Could being made perfect and gained by God be that easy? Whether or not you understand at present, and whether or not you have insight into the work of God, you must eat and drink the words of God as much as possible. This is entering in a proactive way. After reading the words of God, hasten to put into practice what you can enter into, and set aside for the moment what you cannot. There may be many of the words of God that you cannot understand in the beginning, but after two or three months, perhaps even a year, you will. How can this be? It is because God cannot make people perfect in a day or two. Most of the time, when you read His words, you may not understand right away. At that time, they may seem like nothing more than mere text; you must experience them for a time before you can understand them. God having spoken so much, you should do your utmost to eat and drink His words, and then, without you realizing it, you will come to understand, and without you realizing it, the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man, it is often without man’s awareness. He enlightens and guides you when you thirst and seek. The principle by which the Holy Spirit works is centered around the words of God that you eat and drink. All those who place no importance on the words of God and are always of a different attitude toward His words—believing, in their befuddled thinking, it a matter of indifference whether they read His words or not—are those who do not possess reality. Neither the Holy Spirit’s work nor His enlightenment can be seen in such a person. People like this are merely coasting along, pretenders without true qualifications, like Mr. Nanguo of the parable.[a]
Without the words of God as your reality, you have no real stature. When the time comes to be tried, you will certainly fall, and then your true stature will be revealed. But those who regularly seek to enter into reality shall, when beset by trials, come to understand the purpose of God’s work. One who is possessed of conscience, and who thirsts for God, should take practical action to repay God for His love. Those who are not possessed of reality cannot stand firm in the face of even trivial matters. Such is the difference between those with real stature and those without. Why is it that, though they both eat and drink the words of God, some are able to stand firm amid trials, while others flee? The obvious difference is that some lack real stature; they do not have the words of God to serve as their reality, and His words have not taken root within them. As soon as they are tried, they reach the end of their path. Why is it, then, that some are able to stand firm amid trials? It is because they understand the truth and have a vision, and they understand God’s will and His requirements, and thus they are able to stand firm through trials. This is real stature, and this, too, is life. Some may also read the words of God, but do not put them into practice, do not take them seriously; those who do not take them seriously place no importance on practice. Those who do not have the words of God to serve as their reality are without real stature, and such people cannot stand firm through trials.
When the words of God come forth, you should immediately receive them, and eat and drink them. No matter how much you understand, the one point of view to which you must hold fast is to eat and drink, to know, and to practice His words. This is something you should be able to do. Never mind about how great your stature may become; simply focus on eating and drinking His words. This is what man should cooperate in. Your spiritual life is mainly to try to enter into the reality of eating and drinking God’s words and putting them into practice. It is not your business to focus on anything else. Church leaders should be able to guide all their brothers and sisters so that they know how to eat and drink God’s words. This is the responsibility of every single church leader. Be they young or old, all should regard the eating and drinking of God’s words as of great significance and should have His words in their hearts. Entering into this reality means entering the Age of Kingdom. Today, most people feel that they cannot live without eating and drinking the words of God, and feel that His words are fresh regardless of the time. This means that they are beginning to set upon the right track. God uses words to do His work and provide for man. When everyone yearns after and thirsts for the words of God, humanity shall enter into the world of His words.
God has spoken a great deal. How much have you come to know? How much have you entered into? If a church leader has not guided their brothers and sisters into the reality of God’s words, then they will have been derelict in their duty, and will have failed to fulfill their responsibilities! Whether your understanding is profound or superficial, regardless of the degree of your understanding, you must know how to eat and drink His words, you must pay great attention to His words, and understand the importance and the necessity of eating and drinking them. God having spoken so much, if you do not eat and drink His words, or try to seek, or put His words into practice, this cannot be called believing in God. Since you do believe in God, then you must eat and drink His words, experience His words, and live out His words. Only this can be called belief in God! If you say you believe in God with your mouth and yet are unable to put any of His words into practice or to produce any reality, this is not called believing in God. Rather, it is “seeking bread to satisfy hunger.” Speaking only of trivial testimonies, useless things, and superficial matters, without possessing even the slightest bit of reality: these do not constitute belief in God, and you have simply not grasped the right way of believing in God. Why must you eat and drink as many as possible of God’s words? If you do not eat and drink His words but seek only to ascend to heaven, is that believing in God? What is the first step one who believes in God should take? By what path does God perfect man? Can you be perfected without eating and drinking the words of God? Can you be considered a person of the kingdom without the words of God to serve as your reality? What exactly does belief in God mean? Believers in God should, at the very least, be well-behaved on the outside; most important of all is to be possessed of the words of God. No matter what, you can never turn away from His words. Knowing God and fulfilling His intentions are all achieved through His words. In future, every nation, denomination, religion, and sector will be conquered through God’s words. God will speak directly, and all people will hold the words of God in their hands, and by means of this, humanity will be perfected. Within and without, the words of God pervade throughout: Humanity will speak God’s words with their mouths, practice in accordance with God’s words, and keep the words of God within, remaining steeped in God’s words both inside and out. Thus will humanity be perfected. Those who fulfill the intentions of God and are able to bear witness to Him, these are the people who possess the words of God as their reality.
Entering into the Age of Word—the Age of Millennial Kingdom—is the work that is being accomplished today. From now on, practice engaging in fellowship about the words of God. Only by means of eating and drinking as well as experiencing the words of God will you be able to live out the words of God. You must produce some practical experience in order to convince others. If you cannot live out the reality of God’s words, no one will be persuaded! All those who are used by God can live out the reality of God’s words. If you cannot produce this reality and bear testimony to God, this shows that the Holy Spirit has not worked in you, and that you have not been perfected. This is the importance of the words of God. Do you have a heart that thirsts for the words of God? Those who thirst for the words of God thirst for truth, and only people such as this are blessed by God. In the future, there are many more words that God will say to all religions and all denominations. He first speaks and utters His voice among you to make you complete before moving on to speak and utter His voice among the Gentiles to conquer them. Through His words, all will be sincerely and utterly convinced. Through the words of God and His revelations, man’s corrupt disposition diminishes, he gains the appearance of a man, and his rebellious disposition lessens. The words work upon man with authority and conquer man within the light of God. The work that God does in the present age, as well as the turning points of His work, can all be found within His words. If you do not read His words, you will understand nothing. Through your own eating and drinking His words, and through engaging in fellowship with your brothers and sisters and your actual experiences, you will gain the full knowledge of God’s words. Only then will you be able to truly live out their reality.
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “of the parable.”