1. Knowing the Source of People’s Opposition to the New Work of God in Their Belief in God
Relevant Words of God:
The reason why man opposes God stems, on the one hand, from his corrupt disposition, and on the other hand, from ignorance of God and lack of understanding of the principles by which God works and of His will for man. These two aspects, taken together, constitute a history of man’s resistance to God. Novices in the faith oppose God because such opposition lies within their nature, while the opposition to God of those with many years in the faith results from their ignorance of Him, in addition to their corrupt disposition.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
The work of God is always moving forward, and though the purpose of His work does not change, the method by which He works constantly changes, which means that those who follow God are constantly changing, too. The more work God does, the more thorough man’s knowledge of God is. Corresponding changes occur, too, in man’s disposition in the wake of God’s work. However, it is because the work of God is ever-changing that those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit and those absurd people who do not know the truth become people who resist God. Not ever does the work of God conform to the notions of man, for His work is always new and never old, and never does He repeat old work, but rather forges ahead with work never done before. As God does not repeat His work, and man invariably judges God’s current work by the work He did in the past, it has become exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man has far too many difficulties! He is too conservative in his thinking! No one knows the work of God, yet everyone delimits it. When he leaves God, man loses life, truth, and God’s blessings, yet neither does he accept life nor truth, much less the greater blessings God bestows upon mankind. All men wish to gain God, yet are unable to tolerate any changes in God’s work. Those who do not accept God’s new work believe that the work of God is immutable, that it forever remains at a standstill. In their belief, all that is needed to gain eternal salvation from God is to observe the law, and as long as they repent and confess their sins, the will of God will always be satisfied. They are of the opinion that God can only be the God under the law and the God who was nailed to the cross for man; it is their opinion, too, that God should not and cannot exceed the Bible. It is precisely these opinions that have shackled them firmly to the laws of old and nailed them to dead rules. There are even more who believe that whatever the new work of God might be, it has to be substantiated by prophecies, and that in each stage of such work, all those who follow Him with a “true” heart must also be shown revelations; if not, such work could not be the work of God. It is already no easy task for man to come to know God. Taken in addition to man’s absurd heart and his rebellious nature of self-importance and self-conceit, it becomes all the more difficult for him to accept God’s new work. Man neither gives careful scrutiny to the new work of God, nor accepts it with humility; instead, he adopts an attitude of contempt as he awaits revelations and guidance from God. Is this not the behavior of those who rebel against and resist God? How can such people gain God’s approval?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Notions Receive the Revelations of God?
Because there are always new developments in God’s work, there is work that becomes obsolete and old as new work arises. These different types of work, old and new, are not contradictory, but complementary; each step follows from the last. Because there is new work, the old things must, of course, be eliminated. For example, some of the long-established practices and habitual sayings of man, coupled with man’s many years of experience and teachings, have formed all manner and form of notions in the mind of man. That God has yet fully to reveal His true face and inherent disposition to man, along with the spread, over many years, of traditional theories from ancient times have been yet more propitious to man’s formation of such notions. It may be said that, over the course of man’s belief in God, the influence of various notions has led to the continual formation and evolution of all sorts of notional understandings of God in people, which has caused many religious people who serve God to become His enemies. So, the stronger people’s religious notions are, the more they oppose God, and the more they are the enemies of God. The work of God is always new and never old; it never forms doctrine, instead changing continually and being renewed to a greater or lesser extent. Working in this way is an expression of the inherent disposition of God Himself. It is also the inherent principle of God’s work, and one of the means by which God accomplishes His management. If God did not work in this way, man would not change or be able to know God, and Satan would not be defeated. Thus, in His work, changes continually occur that appear erratic, but which are actually periodic. The way in which man believes in God, however, is quite different. He clings to old, familiar doctrines and systems, and the older they are, the more palatable they are to him. How could the foolish mind of man, a mind that is as intransigent as stone, accept so much unfathomable new work and words of God? Man abhors the God who is always new and never old; he likes only the old God, who is long of tooth, white of hair, and stuck in place. Thus, because God and man each have their own likes, man has become the enemy of God. Many of these contradictions still exist even today, at a time when God has been doing new work for almost six thousand years. They are, then, beyond remedy. … God’s intention has always been for His work to be new and alive, not old and dead, and what He has man adhere to varies with the age and period, and is not everlasting and immutable. This is because He is a God who causes man to live and be new, rather than a devil who causes man to die and be old. Do you still not understand this? You have notions about God and are incapable of letting go of them because you are close-minded. It is not because there is too little sense within God’s work, nor because the work of God diverges from human wishes, nor, moreover, is it because God is always negligent in His duties. You cannot let go of your notions because you are too lacking in obedience, and because you have not the slightest likeness of a created being; it is not because God is making things difficult for you. You caused all of this, and it bears no relation at all to God; all suffering and misfortune is created by man. God’s thoughts are always good: He does not wish to cause you to produce notions, but wishes for you to change and be renewed as the ages pass. Yet you do not know what is good for you, and are always either scrutinizing or analyzing. It is not that God is making things difficult for you, but that you have no reverence for God, and your disobedience is too great. A tiny created being, daring to take some trivial part of that which was previously given by God, then turning around and using it to attack God—is this not the disobedience of man? Humans, it is fair to say, are utterly unqualified to express their views before God, and less still are they qualified to parade around their worthless, stinking, rotten, flowery language as they wish—to say nothing of those moldy notions. Are they not even more worthless?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God
Know that you oppose God’s work, or use your own notions to measure the work of today, because you do not know the principles of God’s work, and because of your rash treatment of the work of the Holy Spirit. Your opposition to God and obstruction of the work of the Holy Spirit is caused by your notions and inherent arrogance. It is not because God’s work is wrong, but because you are naturally too disobedient. After finding their belief in God, some people cannot even say with certainty where man came from, yet they dare to make public speeches appraising the rights and wrongs of the Holy Spirit’s work. They even lecture the apostles who have the Holy Spirit’s new work, passing comment and speaking out of turn; their humanity is too low, and there is not the slightest sense in them. Will the day not come when such people are rejected by the work of the Holy Spirit, and burned by the fires of hell? They do not know the work of God, but instead criticize His work, and also try to instruct God how to work. How can such unreasonable people know God? Man comes to know God during the process of seeking and experiencing; it is not through criticizing at whim that man comes to know God through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The more accurate people’s knowledge of God becomes, the less they oppose Him. In contrast, the less people know of God, the more likely they are to oppose Him. Your notions, your old nature, and your humanity, character and moral outlook are the capital with which you resist God, and the more corrupted your morals, odious your qualities, and low your humanity, the more you are the enemy of God. Those who are possessed of strong notions and who have a self-righteous disposition are even more in enmity of God incarnate; such people are the antichrists. If your notions are not rectified, then they will always be against God; you will never be compatible with God, and will always be apart from Him.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the essence of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What is more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not pursue the truth of life. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of clinging to the mere name of the Messiah while opposing the essence of the Messiah by any means possible. These Pharisees in essence were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God was: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah. Is this belief not preposterous and ridiculous? I ask you further: Is it not extremely easy for you to commit the mistakes of the earliest Pharisees, given that you have not the slightest understanding of Jesus? Are you able to discern the way of truth? Can you truly guarantee that you will not oppose Christ? Are you able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit? If you do not know whether you will oppose Christ, then I say that you are already living on the brink of death. Those who did not know the Messiah were all capable of opposing Jesus, of rejecting Jesus, of slandering Him. People who do not understand Jesus are all capable of rejecting Him and reviling Him. Moreover, they are capable of seeing the return of Jesus as the deceit of Satan, and more people shall condemn Jesus returned to flesh. Does not all of this make you afraid? What you face shall be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the ruination of the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches, and the spurning of all that is expressed by Jesus. What can you gain from Jesus if you are so befuddled? How can you understand the work of Jesus when He returns to flesh on a white cloud, if you obstinately refuse to realize your errors? I tell you this: People who do not receive the truth, yet blindly await the arrival of Jesus upon white clouds, will surely blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, and they are the category that shall be destroyed. You merely wish for the grace of Jesus, and merely want to enjoy the blissful realm of heaven, yet you have never obeyed the words spoken by Jesus, and have never received the truth expressed by Jesus when He returns to flesh. What will you hold up in exchange for the fact of Jesus’ return upon a white cloud? Is it the sincerity in which you repeatedly commit sins, and then speak your confession, over and over? What will you offer in sacrifice to Jesus who returns upon a white cloud? Is it the years of work with which you exalt yourselves? What will you hold up to make the returned Jesus trust you? Is it that arrogant nature of yours, which does not obey any truth?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew
The source of man’s opposition and rebelliousness against God is his corruption by Satan. Because of Satan’s corruption, man’s conscience has grown numb; he is immoral, his thoughts are degenerate, and he has a backward mental outlook. Before he was corrupted by Satan, man naturally followed God and obeyed His words after hearing them. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, man’s original sense, conscience, and humanity grew dull and were impaired by Satan. Thus, he has lost his obedience and love toward God. Man’s sense has become aberrant, his disposition has become the same as that of an animal, and his rebelliousness toward God is ever more frequent and grievous. Yet man still neither knows nor recognizes this, and merely opposes and rebels blindly. Man’s disposition is revealed in expressions of his sense, insight, and conscience; because his sense and insight are unsound, and his conscience has grown supremely dull, thus his disposition is rebellious against God. …
The revelation of man’s corrupt disposition has its source in nothing more than man’s dulled conscience, his malicious nature, and his unsound sense; if man’s conscience and sense are able to become normal again, then he will become someone fit for use before God. It is simply because man’s conscience has always been numb, and because man’s sense, which has never been sound, is growing ever duller that man is increasingly rebellious toward God, such that he even nailed Jesus to the cross and refuses God’s incarnation in the last days entry into his home, and condemns God’s flesh, and sees God’s flesh as lowly. If man had but a little humanity, he would not be so cruel in his treatment of God’s incarnate flesh; if he had but a little sense, he would not be so vicious in his treatment of the flesh of God incarnate; if he had but a little conscience, he would not “give thanks” to God incarnate in this way. Man lives in the era of God become flesh, yet he is incapable of thanking God for giving him such a good opportunity, and instead curses the coming of God, or completely ignores the fact of God’s incarnation, and is seemingly against it and weary of it. Regardless of how man treats the coming of God, God, in short, has always carried on patiently with His work—even though man has not been the slightest bit welcoming toward Him, and blindly makes requests of Him. Man’s disposition has become supremely vicious, his sense has grown supremely dull, and his conscience has been completely trampled by the evil one and long ago ceased to be the original conscience of man.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God