Knowing God 1
Daily Words of God Excerpt 1
Every one of you should examine anew how you have believed in God throughout your lives, so that you may see whether, in the process of following God, you have truly understood, truly comprehended, and truly come to know God, whether you truly know what attitude God bears to the various types of human beings, and whether you truly understand the work that God is enacting upon you and how God defines your every act. This God, who is by your side, guiding the direction of your progress, ordaining your destiny, and supplying your needs—how much do you understand this God, when all is said and done. How much do you really know about this God? Do you know what work He enacts on you every single day? Do you know the principles and purposes on which He bases His every action? Do you know how He guides you? Do you know the means by which He provides for you? Do you know the methods by which He leads you? Do you know what He wishes to obtain from you and what He wishes to achieve in you? Do you know the attitude He holds toward the various ways in which you behave? Do you know whether you are a person beloved of Him? Do you know the origin of His joy, anger, sorrow, and delight, the thoughts and ideas behind them, and His essence? Do you know, ultimately, what kind of God is this God that you believe in? Are these and other questions of the sort something that you have never understood or thought about? In pursuing your belief in God, have you, through real appreciation and experience of God’s words, dispelled your misunderstandings about Him? Have you, after receiving God’s discipline and chastening, attained genuine obedience and caring? Have you, in the midst of God’s chastisement and judgment, come to know the rebelliousness and satanic nature of man and gained a modicum of understanding about God’s holiness? Have you, under the guidance and enlightenment of God’s words, begun to hold a new outlook on life? Have you, in the midst of the trials sent by God, felt His intolerance for man’s offenses as well as what He requires of you and how He is saving you? If you do not know what it is to misunderstand God, or how to dispel this misunderstanding, then one can say that you have never entered into true communion with God and have never understood God, or at least one can say you have never wished to understand Him. If you do not know what is God’s discipline and chastening, then you surely do not know what are obedience and caring, or at least you have never truly obeyed or cared for God. If you have never experienced God’s chastisement and judgment, then you will surely not know what is His holiness, and you will be even less clear as to what man’s rebellion is. If you have never truly had a correct outlook on life, or a correct aim in life, but are still in a state of perplexity and indecision over your future path in life, even to the point of being hesitant to move forward, then it is certain that you have never received God’s enlightenment and guidance; one can also say that you have never truly been supplied or replenished by God’s words. If you have not yet undergone God’s trials, then it goes without saying that you will certainly not know what is God’s intolerance for man’s offenses, nor would you understand what God ultimately requires of you, and even less what, ultimately, is His work of managing and saving man. No matter how many years a person has believed in God, if they have never experienced or perceived anything in God’s words, then assuredly they are not walking the path toward salvation, their faith in God is assuredly without actual content, their knowledge of God too is assuredly zero, and it goes without saying that they have no idea at all what it is to revere God.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
Daily Words of God Excerpt 2
God’s possessions and being, God’s essence, God’s disposition—all has been made known in His words to humankind. When he experiences God’s words, man will in the process of putting them into practice come to understand the purpose behind the words God speaks, and to understand the source and background of God’s words, and to understand and appreciate the intended effect of God’s words. For humanity, these are all things that man must experience, grasp, and attain in order to attain truth and life, grasp God’s intentions, become transformed in his disposition, and become able to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements. At the same time that man experiences, grasps, and attains these things, he will gradually have gained an understanding of God, and at this time he will also have gained different degrees of knowledge about Him. This understanding and knowledge does not come out of something man has imagined or composed, but rather from what he appreciates, experiences, feels, and confirms within himself. Only after appreciating, experiencing, feeling, and confirming these things does man’s knowledge of God acquire content; only the knowledge that man obtains at this time is actual, real, and accurate, and this process—of attaining genuine understanding and knowledge of God through appreciating, experiencing, feeling, and confirming His words—is no other than true communion between man and God. In the midst of this kind of communion, man comes truly to understand and comprehend God’s intentions, comes truly to understand and know God’s possessions and being, comes truly to understand and know God’s essence, comes gradually to understand and know God’s disposition, arrives at real certainty about, and a correct definition of, the fact of God’s dominion over all creation, and gains an essential bearing on and knowledge of God’s identity and position. In the midst of this kind of communion, man changes, step by step, his ideas about God, no longer imagining Him out of thin air, or giving rein to his own suspicions about Him, or misunderstanding Him, or condemning Him, or passing judgment on Him, or doubting Him. Thus, man will have fewer disputes with God, he will have fewer conflicts with God, and there will be fewer occasions on which man rebels against God. Conversely, man’s caring for and obedience to God will grow greater, and his reverence for God will become more real and more profound. In the midst of such communion, man will not only attain the provision of truth and the baptism of life, but he will at the same time also attain true knowledge of God. In the midst of such communion, man will not only be transformed in his disposition and receive salvation, but he will at the same time also garner the true reverence and worship of a created being toward God. Having had this kind of communion, man’s faith in God will no longer be a blank sheet of paper, or a promise offered up in lip service, or a form of blind pursuit and idolization; only with this kind of communion will man’s life grow toward maturity day by day, and only now will his disposition gradually become transformed, and his faith in God will, step by step, pass from a vague and uncertain belief into genuine obedience and caring, into real reverence, and man will also, in the process of following God, gradually progress from a passive to an active stance, from the negative to the positive; only with this kind of communion will man arrive at true understanding and comprehension of God, at true knowledge of God. Because the great majority of people have never entered into true communion with God, their knowledge of God stops at the level of theory, at the level of letters and doctrines. That is to say, the great majority of people, no matter how many years they have believed in God, are as far as knowing God is concerned still in the same place where they started, stuck at the foundation of traditional forms of homage, with their associated feudal superstitions and romantic tinges. That man’s knowledge of God should be stalled at its starting point means that it is practically non-existent. Apart from man’s affirmation of God’s position and identity, man’s faith in God is still in a state of vague uncertainty. This being so, how much true reverence can man hold for God?
No matter how firmly you believe in God’s existence, this cannot replace your knowledge of God, nor your reverence for God. No matter how much you have enjoyed of His blessings and His grace, this cannot replace your knowledge of God. No matter how willing you are to consecrate your all and expend your all for His sake, this cannot replace your knowledge of God. Perhaps you have grown so familiar with the words God has spoken, or you even know them by heart and can rattle them off, but this cannot replace your knowledge of God. However intent man may be on following God, if he has never had genuine communion with God or had a genuine experience of God’s words, then his knowledge of God would be but a blank patch, or an endless reverie; for all that you may have brushed shoulders with God in passing, or met Him face to face, your knowledge of God would still be zero, and your reverence for God no more than an empty catchword or an idealized concept.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
Daily Words of God Excerpt 3
Many people hold up God’s words to read day by day, even to the point of carefully committing to memory all the classic passages therein as their most prized possession, and moreover preach God’s words everywhere, providing and aiding others with God’s words. They think that to do this is to bear witness to God, to bear witness to His words, that to do this is to follow God’s way; they think that to do this is to live by God’s words, that to do this is to bring His words into their actual lives, that doing this will enable them to receive God’s commendation, and to be saved and perfected. But, even as they preach the words of God, they never comply with God’s words in practice, or try to compare themselves against what is revealed in God’s words. Rather, they use God’s words to gain the adoration and trust of others by trickery, to enter into management on their own, and to embezzle and steal God’s glory. They hope, vainly, to exploit the opportunity afforded by spreading God’s words so as to be awarded God’s working and His commendation. How many years have gone by, but not only have these people been incapable of earning God’s commendation in the process of preaching God’s words, and not only have they been incapable of discovering the way that they should follow in the process of bearing witness to God’s words, and not only have they not aided or provided for themselves in the process of aiding and providing others with God’s words, and not only have they been incapable of knowing God, or awakening in themselves genuine reverence for God, in the process of doing all these things; but, on the contrary, their misunderstandings about God grow ever deeper, their mistrust of Him ever graver, and their imaginings about Him ever more hyperbolic. Supplied and guided by their theories about God’s words, they appear as if completely in their element, as if plying their skills with effortless ease, as if they have found their purpose in life, their mission, and as if they have won new life and been saved, as if, with God’s words rolling crisply off their tongue in recital, they have gained the truth, grasped God’s intentions, and discovered the path to knowing God, as if, in the process of preaching God’s words, they often have come face to face with God. Also, they are often “moved” to bouts of weeping, and, often led by the “God” in God’s words, they appear to be ceaselessly grasping at His earnest solicitude and kind intention, and at the same time to have grasped God’s salvation of man and His management, to have come to know His essence, and to have understood His righteous disposition. Based on this foundation, they seem to believe even more firmly in God’s existence, to be more cognizant of His exalted state, and to feel even more deeply His grandeur and transcendence. Steeped in superficial knowledge of God’s words, it would appear that their faith has grown, their resolve to endure suffering has strengthened, and their knowledge of God has deepened. Little do they know that, until they actually experience God’s words, all their knowledge of God and their ideas about Him come out of their own wishful imaginings and conjecture. Their faith would not hold up under any kind of test from God, their so-called spirituality and stature would simply not hold up under God’s trial or inspection, their resolution is but a castle built upon the sand, and their so-called knowledge of God no more than a figment of their imagination. In fact, these people, who have, as it were, put a lot of effort into God’s words, have never ever realized what is real faith, what is real obedience, what is real caring, or what is real knowledge of God. They take theory, imagination, knowledge, gift, tradition, superstition, and even the moral values of humanity, and make them into “capital” and “weaponry” for believing in God and following Him, even making them into the foundations of their belief in God and their following Him. At the same time, they also take this capital and weaponry and make them into magic talismans through which they know God, for facing and dealing with God’s inspections, trials, chastisement, and judgment. In the end, what they garner still consists of nothing more than conclusions about God that are steeped in religious connotation, in feudal superstition, and in all that is romantic, grotesque, and enigmatic. Their way of knowing and defining God is stamped in the same mold as that of people who believe only in Heaven Above, or the Old Man in the Sky, while God’s realness, His essence, His disposition, His possessions and being, and so forth—all that relates to the real God Himself—are things that their knowledge has failed to grasp, from which their knowledge is completely divorced, and even as far apart as the north and south poles. In this way, although these people live under the provision and nourishment of God’s words, they are nevertheless unable truly to tread the path of fearing God and shunning evil. The true reason for this is that they have never become acquainted with God, neither have they ever had genuine contact or communion with Him, and so it is impossible for them to arrive at mutual understanding with God, or to awaken in themselves genuine belief in, following of, or worship for God. That they should thus regard God’s words, that they should thus regard God—this perspective and attitude has doomed them to return empty-handed from their endeavors, has doomed them to never in all eternity be able to tread the path of fearing God and shunning evil. The goal for which they are aiming, and the direction in which they are going, signifies that they are God’s enemies through eternity, and that through eternity they will never be able to receive salvation.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
Daily Words of God Excerpt 4
If, in the case of a person who has followed God for many years and enjoyed the provision of His words for many years, their definition of God be essentially the same as that of someone who prostrates himself in homage before idols, then this would signify that this person has not attained the reality of God’s words. This is because they have simply not entered into the reality of God’s words, and for this reason the reality, the truth, the intentions, and the demands upon humanity, all of which inhere in God’s words, have nothing whatsoever to do with that person. That is to say, no matter how hard such a person may work on the surface meaning of God’s words, all is futile: Because what they pursue is mere words, what they obtain will also of necessity be mere words. Whether the words spoken by God be plain or profound in outward appearance, they are all truths indispensable to man as he enters into life; they are the fount of living waters that enables man to survive in both spirit and flesh. They provide what man needs to stay alive; the principles and creed for conducting his daily life; the path he must take to salvation, as well as its goal and direction; every truth that he should possess as a created being before God; and every truth about how man obeys and worships God. They are the guarantee that ensures man’s survival, they are man’s daily bread, and they are also the sturdy support that enables man to be strong and stand up. They are rich in the reality of the truth with which created mankind lives out normal humanity, rich in the truth by which mankind breaks free from corruption and eludes Satan’s snares, rich in the tireless teaching, exhortation, encouragement, and solace that the Creator gives to created humanity. They are the beacon that guides and enlightens men to understand all that is positive, the guarantee which ensures that men will live out and come into possession of all that is righteous and good, the criterion by which all people, events, and objects are measured, and also the navigation marker that leads men toward salvation and the path of light. Only in the practical experience of God’s words can man be supplied with the truth and with life; only herein can man come to understand what is normal humanity, what is a meaningful life, what is a genuine created being, what is real obedience to God; only herein can man come to understand how he should care for God, how to fulfill the duty of a created being, and how to possess the likeness of a real man; only herein can man come to understand what is meant by genuine faith and genuine worship; only herein can man come to understand who is the Ruler of the heavens and earth and all things; only herein can man come to understand the means by which the One who is the Master of all creation rules over, leads, and provides for creation; and only herein can man come to understand and grasp the means by which the One who is the Master of all creation exists, becomes manifest, and works. Separated from the real experience of God’s words, man has no real knowledge of or insight into God’s words and the truth. Such a man is a downright living corpse, a consummate shell, and all knowledge relating to the Creator has nothing whatsoever to do with him. In God’s eyes, such a man has never believed in Him, nor has he ever followed Him, and so God recognizes him neither as His believer nor as His follower, even less as a genuine created being.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
Daily Words of God Excerpt 5
A genuine created being must know who the Creator is, what man’s creation is for, how to carry out the responsibilities of a created being, and how to worship the Lord of all creation, must understand, grasp, know, and care for the Creator’s intentions, wishes, and demands, and must act in accordance with the way of the Creator—fear God and shun evil.
What is to fear God? And how can one shun evil?
“To fear God” does not mean nameless fright and horror, nor to evade, nor to put at a distance, nor is it idolization or superstition. Rather, it is admiration, esteem, trust, understanding, caring, obedience, consecration, love, as well as unconditional and uncomplaining worship, requital, and submission. Without genuine knowledge of God, humanity will not have genuine admiration, genuine trust, genuine understanding, genuine caring or obedience, but only dread and unease, only doubt, misunderstanding, evasion, and avoidance; without genuine knowledge of God, humanity will not have genuine consecration and requital; without genuine knowledge of God, humanity will not have genuine worship and submission, only blind idolization and superstition; without genuine knowledge of God, humanity cannot possibly act in accordance with the way of God, or fear God, or shun evil. Conversely, every activity and behavior in which man engages will be filled with rebellion and defiance, with slanderous imputations and maligning judgments about Him, and with evil conduct running contrary to the truth and to the true meaning of God’s words.
Once humanity has genuine trust in God, they will be genuine in following Him and depending on Him; only with real trust in and dependence on God can humanity have genuine understanding and comprehension; along with real comprehension of God comes real caring for Him; only with genuine caring for God can humanity have genuine obedience; only with genuine obedience to God can humanity have genuine consecration; only with genuine consecration to God can humanity have requital that is unconditional and without complaint; only with genuine trust and dependence, genuine understanding and caring, genuine obedience, genuine consecration and requital, can humanity truly come to know God’s disposition and essence, and to know the identity of the Creator; only when they have truly come to know the Creator can humanity awaken in themselves genuine worship and submission; only when they have real worship for and submission to the Creator will humanity be able truly to put aside their evil ways, that is to say, to shun evil.
This constitutes the whole process of “fearing God and shunning evil,” and is also the content in its entirety of fearing God and shunning evil. This is the path that must be traversed in order to attain fearing God and shunning evil.
“Fearing God and shunning evil” and knowing God are indivisibly connected by a myriad threads, and the connection between them is self-evident. If one wishes to attain to shunning evil, one must first have real fear of God; if one wishes to attain to real fear of God, one must first have real knowledge of God; if one wishes to attain to knowledge of God, one must first experience God’s words, enter into the reality of God’s words, experience God’s chastening and discipline, His chastisement and judgment; if one wishes to experience God’s words, one must first come face to face with God’s words, come face to face with God, and ask God to provide opportunities to experience God’s words in the form of all sorts of environments involving people, events, and objects; if one wishes to come face to face with God and with God’s words, one must first possess a simple and honest heart, readiness to accept the truth, the will to endure suffering, the resolution and the courage to shun evil, and the aspiration to become a genuine created being…. In this way, going forward step by step, you will draw ever closer to God, your heart will grow ever more pure, and your life and the value of being alive will, in the wake of your coming to know God, grow ever more meaningful and wax ever more radiant. Until, one day, you will feel that the Creator is no longer a riddle, that the Creator has never been hidden from you, that the Creator has never concealed His face from you, that the Creator is not at all far from you, that the Creator is no longer the One that you constantly long for in your thoughts but that you cannot reach with your feelings, that He is really and truly standing guard to your left and right, supplying your life, and controlling your destiny. He is not on the remote horizon, nor has He secreted Himself high up in the clouds. He is right by your side, presiding over your all, He is everything that you have, and He is the only thing you have. Such a God allows you to love Him from the heart, cling to Him, hold Him close, admire Him, fear to lose Him, and be unwilling to renounce Him any longer, disobey Him any longer, or any longer to evade Him or put Him at a distance. All you want is to care for Him, obey Him, requite all that He gives you, and submit to His dominion. You no longer refuse to be guided, provided for, watched over, and kept by Him, no longer refuse what He dictates and ordains for you. All you want is to follow Him, to be around Him in His company; all you want is to accept Him as your one and only life, to accept Him as your one and only Lord, your one and only God.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
Daily Words of God Excerpt 6
People’s Beliefs Cannot Take the Place of the Truth
Some people are able to bear hardships, can pay the price, are outwardly very well-behaved, are quite well-respected, and enjoy the admiration of others. Would you say that this kind of outward behavior can be regarded as putting the truth into practice? Could one determine that such people are satisfying God’s will? Why is it that time and time again people see such individuals and think that they are satisfying God, walking the path of putting the truth into practice, and keeping to God’s way? Why do some people think this way? There is only one explanation for it. What explanation is that? It is that for a great many people, certain questions—such as what it means to put the truth into practice, what it means to satisfy God, and what it means to genuinely possess the reality of the truth—are not very clear. Thus, there are some people who are often deceived by those who outwardly seem spiritual, noble, lofty, and great. As for people who can speak eloquently of letters and doctrines, and whose speech and actions seem worthy of admiration, those who are deceived by them have never looked at the essence of their actions, the principles behind their deeds, or what their goals are. Moreover, they have never looked at whether these people truly submit to God, nor have they ever determined whether or not these people genuinely fear God and shun evil. They have never discerned the essence of the humanity of these people. Rather, beginning with the first step of getting acquainted with them, they have, little by little, come to admire and venerate these people, and in the end, these people become their idols. Furthermore, in some people’s minds, the idols whom they worship—and who they believe can abandon their families and jobs, and who seem superficially able to pay the price—are the ones who are truly satisfying God and who can really attain good outcomes and good destinations. In their minds, these idols are the ones whom God praises. What causes them to believe such a thing? What is the essence of this issue? What are the consequences it can lead to? Let us first discuss the matter of its essence.
Essentially, these issues regarding people’s viewpoints, their methods of practice, which principles of practice they choose to adopt, and what they each tend to focus on have nothing to do with God’s demands of humankind. Whether people focus on shallow matters or profound issues, or on letters and doctrines or reality, they do not adhere to that which they should adhere to most, nor do they know that which they most should know. The reason for this is that people do not like the truth at all; as such, they are not willing to put time and effort into seeking out and putting into practice the principles of practice found in God’s utterances. Instead, they prefer to use shortcuts, summing up what they understand and know to be good practice and good behavior; this summary then becomes their own goal to pursue, which they take as truth to be practiced. The direct consequence of this is that people use human good behavior as a substitute for putting the truth into practice, which also satisfies their desire to curry favor with God. This gives them capital with which to contend with the truth, which they also use to reason and compete with God. At the same time, people also unscrupulously put God aside, placing the idols they admire in His stead. There is only one root cause which makes people have such ignorant actions and viewpoints, or one-sided opinions and practices—and today I will tell you about it: The reason is that, although people may follow God, pray to Him every day, and read His utterances every day, they do not actually understand His will. Herein lies the root of the problem. If someone understood God’s heart and knew what He likes, what He loathes, what He wants, what He rejects, what kind of person He loves, what kind of person He dislikes, what kind of standard He uses when making demands of people, and what kind of approach He takes for perfecting them, then could that person still have their own personal opinions? Could people like this simply go and worship someone else? Could an ordinary human become their idol? People who understand God’s will possess a slightly more rational viewpoint than that. They are not going to arbitrarily idolize a corrupted person, nor will they, while walking the path of putting the truth into practice, believe that blindly adhering to a few simple rules or principles is tantamount to putting the truth into practice.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
Daily Words of God Excerpt 7
There Are Many Opinions Concerning the Standard by Which God Determines People’s Outcomes
Given that what every person is concerned with is their own outcome, do you know how God determines that outcome? In what manner does God determine someone’s outcome? Moreover, what sort of standard does He employ to determine it? When a person’s outcome still has yet to be determined, what does God do to reveal it? Does anyone know? As I said a moment ago, there are some who have already spent a very long time researching God’s words in an effort to seek out clues about people’s outcomes, about the categories into which these outcomes are divided, and about the various outcomes awaiting different kinds of people. They also hope to find out how God’s word dictates people’s outcomes, what sort of standard He uses, and exactly how He determines a person’s outcome. In the end, however, these people never manage to find any answers. In actual fact, there is precious little said on the matter among God’s utterances. Why is this? So long as people’s outcomes are yet to be revealed, God does not wish to tell anyone what is going to happen in the end, nor does He want to inform anyone of their destination ahead of time—because doing so would not be of any benefit to humanity. Here and now, I only want to tell you about the manner in which God determines people’s outcomes, about the principles He employs in His work to determine and to manifest these outcomes, and about the standard He uses to determine whether or not someone can survive. Are these not the questions over which you are most concerned? So then, how do people believe God determines people’s outcomes? You mentioned part of it just now: Some of you said it has to do with doing one’s duties faithfully and expending for God; some said it is about submitting to God and satisfying Him; some said a factor is being at God’s mercy; and some said the key is to keep a low profile…. When you put these truths into practice, and when you practice in accordance with the principles you believe to be right, do you know what God thinks? Have you ever considered whether or not going on like this is satisfying His will? Does it meet His standard? Does it cater to His demands? I believe that most people do not really give these questions much thought. They just mechanically apply a portion of God’s word, or a portion of the sermons, or the standards of certain spiritual figures whom they idolize, forcing themselves to do this and that. They believe that this is the correct way, so they keep adhering to it and doing it, no matter what happens in the end. Some people think, “I’ve had faith for so many years; I’ve always practiced this way. I feel like I have really satisfied God, and I also feel like I’ve gotten a lot out of it. This is because I have come to understand many truths during this time, as well as many things I did not understand before. Specifically, many of my ideas and views have changed, my life values have changed enormously, and I now have a pretty good understanding of this world.” Such people believe that this is a harvest, and that it is the final result of God’s work for humanity. In your opinion, with these standards and all of your practices taken together, are you satisfying God’s will? Some of you will say with all certainty, “Of course! We are practicing according to God’s word; we are practicing according to what the Above preached and communicated. We are always doing our duties and constantly following God, and we have never left Him. We therefore can say with complete confidence that we are satisfying God. No matter how much we understand of His intentions, and no matter how much we comprehend of His word, we have always been on the path of seeking to be compatible with God. As long as we act correctly, and practice correctly, then we are bound to achieve the right result.” What do you think about this perspective? Is it right? There might also be some who say, “I’ve never thought about these things before. I just think that as long as I keep fulfilling my duty and acting in line with the requirements of God’s utterances, then I can survive. I have never considered the question of whether I can satisfy God’s heart, nor have I ever considered whether I am meeting the standard He has set forth. Since God has never told me or provided me with any clear instructions, I believe that as long as I keep working and do not stop, then God will be satisfied and shouldn’t make any additional demands of me.” Are these beliefs correct? As far as I am concerned, this way of practicing, this way of thinking, and these viewpoints all entail fantasies, as well as a bit of blindness. Perhaps My saying this causes some of you to feel a little disheartened, thinking, “Blindness? If this is blindness, then our hope for salvation and survival is very small and uncertain, isn’t it? By putting it that way, aren’t You pouring cold water on us?” No matter what you believe, the things I say and do are not meant to make you feel as if cold water were being poured on you. Rather, they are meant to improve your understanding of God’s intentions and increase your grasp on what He is thinking, what He wants to accomplish, what kinds of people He likes, what He loathes, what He despises, what type of person He wishes to gain, and what type of person He spurns. They are meant to give your minds clarity and to give you a clear understanding of just how far the actions and thoughts of each and every one of you have strayed from the standard required by God. Is it very necessary to discuss these topics? Because I know you have had faith for so long, and have listened to so much preaching, but these are precisely the things that you lack the most. Although you have recorded every truth in your notebooks, and have memorized and engraved in your hearts some of the things which you personally believe to be important, and though you plan to use these things to satisfy God during your practice, to use them when you find yourselves in need, to use them to get through the difficult times that lie ahead, or simply to let these things accompany you while you live your lives, as far as I am concerned, regardless of how you do it, if you are just doing it, this is not so important. What, then, is very important? It is that while you are practicing, you must know deep down, with absolute certainty, whether or not everything you are doing—every single deed—is in keeping with what God wants, and whether or not all your actions, all your thoughts, and the results and goal you wish to achieve actually satisfy God’s will and cater to His demands, as well as whether or not He approves of them. These are what are very important.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
Daily Words of God Excerpt 8
Walk in the Way of God: Fear God and Shun Evil
There is a saying you should take note of. I believe this saying is very important, because for Me, it comes to mind countless times every single day. Why is that? It is because every time I am faced with someone, every time I hear someone’s story, and every time I hear of a person’s experience or testimony of believing in God, I always use this saying to determine in My heart whether or not this individual is the type of person God wants and the type of person God likes. So, then: what is this saying? I now have you all on the edges of your seats. When I reveal the saying, perhaps you will feel disappointed, because there are some who have been paying it lip service for many years. I, however, have never once paid it any lip service at all. This saying resides in My heart. So, what is this saying? It is this: “Walk in the way of God: Fear God and shun evil.” Is this not an exceedingly simple phrase? Nevertheless, despite its simplicity, people who genuinely have a deep understanding of these words will feel that they carry great weight, that this saying is very valuable for one’s practice, that it is a line from the language of life containing the reality of the truth, that it represents a lifelong objective for those seeking to satisfy God, and that it is a lifelong way which anyone considerate of God’s intentions should follow. So, what do you think: Is this saying not the truth? Does it or does it not have such significance? Also, perhaps some of you are thinking about this saying, and trying to figure it out, and perhaps there are some of you who even feel doubtful about it: Is this saying very important? Is it very important? Is it necessary to emphasize it so much? There may also be some of you who do not much like this saying, because you think that taking God’s way and distilling it into this one saying is too much of an oversimplification. To take all that God said and boil it down to one saying—would that not be making God out to be a bit too insignificant? Is that how it is? It could be that most of you do not fully understand the profound significance of these words. Though you have all made a note of it, you have no intention of storing this saying in your hearts; you have simply written it down in your notebooks to revisit and ponder in your spare time. Some of you will not even bother to memorize this saying, let alone attempt to put it to good use. Why, though, do I wish to mention this saying? Regardless of your perspective and no matter what you think, I had to mention this saying, for it is extremely relevant to how God determines people’s outcomes. No matter what your current understanding of this saying is or how you treat it, I will still tell you this: If people can put the words of this saying into practice and experience them, and achieve the standard of fearing God and shunning evil, then they are assured to be survivors and are certain to have good outcomes. If, however, you cannot meet the standard laid out by this saying, then it can be said that your outcome is an unknown. Thus, I speak to you about this saying for your own mental preparation, and so that you will know what kind of standard God uses to measure you.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
Daily Words of God Excerpt 9
God Makes Use of Various Trials to Test Whether People Fear God and Shun Evil
In every age, while working among humans, God bestows some words upon them and tells them of some truths. These truths serve as the way people should adhere to, the way they should walk in, the way that enables them to fear God and shun evil, and the way that people should put into practice and adhere to in their lives and over the course of their life journeys. It is for these reasons that God expresses these utterances to humanity. These words that come from God should be adhered to by people, and to adhere to them is to receive life. If a person does not adhere to them, does not put them into practice, and does not live out God’s words in their life, then this person is not putting the truth into practice. Furthermore, if people are not putting the truth into practice, then they are not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. People who are incapable of satisfying God cannot receive His praise, and such people have no outcome. So, how, then, in the course of His work, does God determine a person’s outcome? What methods does God use to determine a person’s outcome? Perhaps you are still a bit fuzzy on this at the moment, but when I tell you of the process, it will become quite clear, because a lot of you have already experienced it yourselves.
Over the course of His work, ever since the beginning, God has set out trials for every person—or you could say, every person who follows Him—and these trials come in various sizes. There are those who have experienced the trial of being rejected by their families, those who have experienced the trial of adverse environments, those who have experienced the trial of being arrested and tortured, those who have experienced the trial of being faced with choices, and those who have faced the trials of money and status. Generally speaking, each of you has faced all manner of trials. Why does God work like this? Why does He treat everyone this way? What sort of result does He seek? Here is the point I wish to communicate to you: God wants to see whether or not this person is the type who fears Him and shuns evil. What this means is that when God is giving you a trial, and facing you with some circumstance or other, His intention is to test whether or not you are a person who fears Him and shuns evil. If someone is faced with the duty of safekeeping an offering, and this duty leads to coming into contact with God’s offering, would you say that this is something that God has arranged? It undoubtedly is! Everything you encounter is something that God has arranged. When you are faced with this matter, God will observe you in secret, watching what choices you make, how you practice, and what thoughts you have. What God cares about the most is the end result, since it is this result that will help Him to measure whether or not you have lived up to His standard in this particular trial. However, whenever people encounter a problem, they often do not think about why they are being faced with it, what standard God expects them to meet, what He wants to see in them or what He wishes to obtain from them. When faced with this problem, such people merely think, “This is something I’m faced with; I have to be careful, not careless! No matter what, this is God’s offering, and I can’t touch it.” Equipped with such simplistic thoughts, people believe that they have fulfilled their responsibilities. Would the result of this trial bring satisfaction to God or not? Go ahead and talk about it. (If people fear God in their hearts, then when faced with a duty that allows them to come in contact with God’s offering, they will consider just how easy it would be to offend God’s disposition, and that will make them be sure to proceed with caution.) Your response is on the right track, but it is not quite there yet. Walking in God’s way is not about observing superficial rules; rather, it means that when you are faced with a problem, you view it first and foremost as a situation that has been arranged by God, a responsibility He has bestowed upon you, or a task that He has entrusted to you. When facing this problem, you should even see it as a trial God has put to you. When you encounter this problem, you must have a standard in your heart, and you must think that this matter has come from God. You must think about how to deal with it in such a way that you can fulfill your responsibility while remaining loyal to God, as well as how to do it without infuriating Him or offending His disposition. A moment ago we spoke about the safekeeping of offerings. This matter involves offerings, and it also touches upon your duty and your responsibility. You are duty-bound to this responsibility. However, when faced with this problem, is there any temptation? There is! Where does this temptation come from? This temptation comes from Satan, and it also comes from humans’ evil, corrupt dispositions. Given that there is temptation, this issue involves standing the testimony that people ought to stand, which is also your responsibility and duty. Some people say, “This is such a minor matter; is it really necessary to make such a big deal out of it?” Yes, it is! This is because in order to keep to God’s way, we cannot let go of anything that happens either to us or around us, even the little things; whether we think we should pay attention to it or not, as long as any matter is facing us, we must not let it go. All things that happen should be viewed as tests God has given us. What do you think about this way of looking at things? If you have this kind of attitude, then it confirms one fact: Deep down, you fear God and are willing to shun evil. If you have this desire to satisfy God, then what you put into practice will not be far off meeting the standard of fearing God and shunning evil.
There are often those who believe that matters people do not pay much attention to and do not usually mention are but minor trifles that have nothing to do with putting the truth into practice. When faced with just such an issue, these people do not give it much thought, and then they let it slide. In actual fact, however, this matter was a lesson you should study—a lesson on how to fear God and how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned with is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right by your side, observing your every word and action, and watching everything you do and what changes take place in your thoughts—this is God’s work. Some people ask, “If that’s true, then why haven’t I felt it?” You have not felt it because you have not adhered to the way of fearing God and shunning evil as your primary way; you therefore cannot sense the subtle work God does in people, which manifests itself according to people’s various thoughts and actions. You are a scatterbrain! What is a major matter? What is a minor matter? The matters that involve walking in God’s way are not divided between major or minor ones, they are all a big deal—can you accept that? (We can accept it.) In terms of everyday matters, there are some which people view as very major and significant, and others that are viewed as minor trifles. People often see these major matters as being very important, and they consider them to have been sent by God. However, as these major matters play out, due to people’s immature stature and because of their poor caliber, people are often not up to fulfilling God’s will, cannot obtain any revelations, and cannot acquire any actual knowledge that is of value. As far as minor matters are concerned, these are simply overlooked by people and left to slip away one bit at a time. As such, people have lost many opportunities to be examined before God and to be tested by Him. What does it mean if you always overlook the people, events, and objects, and situations that God has arranged for you? It means that every day, and even at every moment, you are constantly renouncing God’s perfection of you, as well as His leadership. Whenever God arranges a situation for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, observing your thoughts and deliberations, watching how you think, and waiting to see how you will act. If you are a careless person—one who has never been serious about God’s way, His words, or the truth—then you will not be mindful of or pay attention to what God wishes to complete or the requirements He expected you to meet when He arranged a certain environment for you. Neither will you know how the people, events, and objects that you encounter relate to the truth or God’s will. After you face repeated circumstances and repeated trials like this, with God not seeing any results in you, how will He proceed? After having repeatedly faced trials, you have not magnified God in your heart, nor have you seen the circumstances God arranged for you for what they are: trials and tests from God. Instead, one after the other, you have rejected the opportunities that God bestowed upon you, letting them slip away time and time again. Is this not extreme disobedience that people exhibit? (It is.) Will God feel hurt because of this? (He will.) Wrong, God will not feel hurt! Hearing Me say such a thing has shocked you once more. You may be thinking: “Was it not said earlier that God always feels hurt? Will God not therefore feel hurt? When, then, does He feel hurt?” In short, God will not feel hurt in this situation. So, then, what is God’s attitude toward the type of behavior outlined above? When people reject the trials and tests that God sends them, and when they shirk from them, there is only one attitude that God has toward such people. What attitude is this? God spurns this kind of person, from the bottom of His heart. There are two layers of meaning for the word “spurn.” How should I explain it from My point of view? Deep down, the word “spurn” carries connotations of loathing and hate. What about the other layer of its meaning? That is the part that implies giving up on something. You all know what “give up” means, right? In a nutshell, “spurn” is a word that represents God’s ultimate reaction and attitude toward those people who are behaving in such a way; it is extreme hatred toward them, and disgust, and, thus, it results in the decision to abandon them. This is God’s final decision toward a person who has never walked in God’s way and who has never feared God and shunned evil. Can all of you now see the importance of that saying I mentioned earlier?
Now do you understand the method God uses to determine people’s outcomes? (He arranges different circumstances every day.) “He arranges different circumstances”—these are things that people can feel and touch. So, what is God’s motive for doing this? His intention is to give each and every person various sorts of trials at different times and in different places. What aspects of a person are put to the test during a trial? A trial determines whether or not you are the type of person who fears God and shuns evil in every issue you face, hear about, see, and experience personally. Everyone will face this kind of trial, because God is fair toward all people. Some of you say, “I’ve believed in God for many years, so how come I haven’t faced any trials?” You feel that you have not yet faced any because whenever God has arranged circumstances for you, you have not taken them seriously and have not wanted to walk in God’s way. Thus, you simply do not sense God’s trials at all. Some people say, “I’ve faced a few trials, but I don’t know how to practice properly. Even when I have practiced, I still don’t know whether I have stood firm during God’s trials.” People in this type of state are definitely not in the minority. What, then, is the standard by which God measures people? It is just as I said moments ago: It is whether or not you fear God and shun evil in everything you do, think, and express. This is how to determine whether or not you are a person who fears God and shuns evil. Is this concept simple, or not? It is simple enough to say, but is it easy to put into practice? (It’s not so easy.) Why is it not so easy? (Because people don’t know God, and they don’t know how God perfects people, so when they’re faced with matters, they don’t know how to seek out the truth to solve their problems. They have to go through various trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments before they can possess the reality of fearing God.) You might put it that way, but as far as you are concerned, fearing God and shunning evil seems very easily doable right now. Why do I say this? It is because you have listened to a lot of sermons and received no small amount of watering from the reality of the truth; this has allowed you to theoretically and intellectually understand how to fear God and shun evil. As for how to actually put that fear for God and shunning of evil into practice, this knowledge has all been very helpful and made you feel as though such a thing is easily achievable. Why, then, can people never actually achieve it? This is because humans’ nature and essence does not fear God, and it likes evil. This is the real reason.
Daily Words of God Excerpt 10
Not to Fear God and Shun Evil Is to Oppose God
These days you are face-to-face with God, and face-to-face with God’s words; you have much more knowledge of God than Job did. Why do I bring this up? What is My purpose in saying these things? I would like to explain a fact to you, but before I do, I want to ask you a question: Job knew very little of God, yet was still able to fear Him and shun evil; why is it that people these days fail to do so? (They are profoundly corrupt.) “Profoundly corrupt”—this is the superficial phenomenon causing the problem, but I would never view it in such a way. You often take frequently used doctrines and terms, such as “profound corruption,” “rebelling against God,” “disloyalty toward God,” “disobedience,” “not liking the truth,” and so on, and use these catch-phrases to explain the essence of every single issue. This is a flawed way of practicing. Using the same answer to explain matters of different natures inevitably raises blasphemous suspicions about the truth and God; I do not like hearing this kind of answer. Think about it long and hard! None of you has given this matter any thought, but I can see it every single day, and every single day I can feel it. Thus, while you are acting, I am watching. When you are doing something, you cannot feel its essence, but when I watch, I can see its essence, and I can feel its essence, too. So, what is this essence then? Why are people these days incapable of fearing God and shunning evil? Your answers are far from being able to explain the essence of this problem, nor can they resolve it. That is because it has a source of which you are not aware. What is this source? I know you want to hear about it, so I will tell you of the source of this problem.
Since God began to do work, how has He regarded human beings? God rescued them; He has seen humans as members of His family, as the objects of His work, as the ones He wanted to conquer and save, and as those whom He wished to perfect. This was God’s attitude toward humanity at the outset of His work. What, though, was humanity’s attitude toward God at that time? God was unfamiliar to humans, and they regarded God as a stranger. It could be said that their attitude toward God did not reap the right results, and that they did not have a clear understanding of how they should treat God. As such, they treated Him however they liked, and did whatever they liked. Did they have any opinions about God? At first, they did not; their so-called opinions merely comprised certain notions and presumptions about Him. They accepted what conformed to their notions, and when something did not conform to their notions, they obeyed it on the surface, but deep down they felt strongly conflicted and they opposed it. This was the relationship between God and humans in the beginning: God viewed them as family members, yet they treated Him as a stranger. However, after a period of God’s work, humans came to understand what He was trying to achieve, and they knew that He was the true God; they also came to know what they could obtain from God. How did people regard God at this time? They saw Him as a lifeline, and hoped to be granted His grace, blessings, and promises. At this time, how did God regard humans? He saw them as targets for His conquest. God wanted to use words to judge them, to test them, and to put them through trials. However, as far as people were concerned back then, God was just an object they could use to achieve their own goals. People saw that the truth issued by God could conquer and save them, that they had an opportunity to obtain the things they wanted from Him, as well as attain the destinations that they wanted. Because of this, a tiny bit of sincerity formed in their hearts, and they became willing to follow this God. Time passed, and due to their having gained some superficial and doctrinal knowledge of God, it could even be said that humans were beginning to grow “familiar” with God and the words He said, His preaching, the truths He issued forth, and His work. They were therefore under the misapprehension that God was no longer unfamiliar, and that they had already set foot upon the path of becoming compatible with God. By now, people have listened to a lot of sermons on the truth and have experienced a great deal of God’s work. Nevertheless, because of the interference and obstruction caused by many different factors and circumstances, most people cannot succeed in putting the truth into practice, nor are they able to satisfy God. People have grown increasingly slack and are increasingly lacking in confidence. They have a growing sense that their own outcomes are unknown. They do not dare to come up with any extravagant ideas, and they do not seek to make progress; they just reluctantly follow along, going forward, step by step. With regard to the present state of humans, what is God’s attitude toward them? He wishes only to bestow these truths upon them and instill them with His way, and then arrange various circumstances in order to try them in different ways. His goal is to take these words, these truths, and His work, and bring about an outcome whereby humans are capable of fearing Him and shunning evil. Most people I have seen merely take God’s words and regard them as doctrines, mere letters on paper, regulations to be observed. In their actions and speech, or while facing trials, they do not regard God’s way as the one that they should abide by. This is especially true when people are faced with major trials; I have not seen any such person practicing in the direction of fearing God and shunning evil. Therefore, God’s attitude toward humans is full of extreme loathing and aversion! Despite His having repeatedly given them trials, even hundreds of times, they still do not have any clear attitude with which to demonstrate their determination: “I want to fear God and shun evil!” Since people do not possess this resolve and do not make this kind of display, God’s present attitude toward them is not the same as it was in the past, when He extended them mercy, tolerance, forbearance, and patience. Instead, He is extremely disappointed in humanity. Who caused this disappointment? On whom does God’s attitude toward humans depend? It depends on each and every person who follows Him. Over the course of His many years of work, God has made many demands of people and arranged many circumstances for them. Regardless of how they have performed, though, and no matter what their attitude toward God is, people have failed to practice in clear accordance with the goal of fearing God and shunning evil. Thus, I will offer a phrase of summary, and use this phrase to explain everything we just said about why people cannot walk in God’s way of fearing God and shunning evil. What is this phrase? It is this: God regards humans as the objects of His salvation and the objects of His work; humans regard God as their enemy and their antithesis. Do you now have a clear understanding of this matter? It is very clear what humanity’s attitude is, what God’s attitude is, and what the relationship between humans and God is. No matter how much preaching you have listened to, those things about which you have drawn your own conclusions, such as being faithful to God, submitting to God, seeking the way of becoming compatible with God, wanting to expend a lifetime for God, and wanting to live for God—to Me, those things are not examples of consciously walking in God’s way, which is to fear God and shun evil, but instead, they are simply channels through which you can attain certain goals. To attain them, you reluctantly observe some regulations, and it is precisely these regulations that take people even further from the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and that place God in opposition to humankind once more.
Today’s topic is a little heavy, but no matter what, I still hope that when you go through the experiences to come, and the times to come, you will be able to do what I have just told you. Do not regard God as just a bunch of empty air—as though He exists when He is of use to you, but does not exist when you have no use for Him. Once you have such a thought in your subconscious, you have already infuriated God. Perhaps there are people who say, “I don’t regard God as mere empty air. I always pray to Him and I always try to satisfy Him, and everything I do falls within the scope, standard, and principles that God requires. I’m definitely not practicing according to my own ideas.” Yes, this manner in which you are practicing is correct! Nevertheless, what do you think when you come face to face with a problem? How do you practice when you are faced with an issue? Some people feel that God exists when they pray to Him and supplicate to Him, but then whenever they encounter a problem, they come up with their own ideas and want to abide by them. This means they regard God as just a bunch of empty air, and such a situation renders God non-existent in their minds. People believe that God should exist when they need Him, but not when they do not need Him. People think that practicing based on their own ideas is sufficient. They believe they can do whatever they please; they simply do not believe they need to seek out God’s way. As for people who are currently in this sort of situation and stuck in this kind of state, are they not courting danger? Some people say, “Whether I am courting danger or not, I have had faith for so many years, and I believe that God will not abandon me, because He could not bear to.” Others say, “I have believed in the Lord from the time I was in my mother’s womb. It has been forty or fifty years, so in terms of time, I’m most qualified to be saved by God and I am most qualified to survive. Over these four or five decades, I have abandoned my family and my job and I have given up all that I had—things like money, status, enjoyment, and time with my family. I have not eaten many delicious foods, I have not enjoyed a lot of amusements, I have not visited many interesting places, and I have even experienced suffering that ordinary people could not endure. If God cannot save me on account of all of this, then I am being treated unjustly, and I cannot believe in this type of God.” Are there many people with this sort of view? (There are.) Well, then, today I am going to help you to understand a fact: People with such a view are all shooting themselves in the foot. This is because they are covering their eyes with their own imaginations. It is precisely these imaginings, as well as their own conclusions, that take the place of the standard God requires humans to meet and hold them back from accepting God’s actual intentions. It makes them unable to sense His true existence, and it also causes them to lose the opportunity to be perfected by God, forsaking any part of or share in God’s promise.
Daily Words of God Excerpt 11
How God Determines People’s Outcomes and the Standards by Which He Does So
Before you settle on any views or conclusions, you should first understand what God’s attitude toward you is, and what He is thinking, and then you can decide whether or not your own thinking is correct. God has never used time as a unit of measurement to determine a person’s outcome, nor has He ever based such determination on how much a person has suffered. What, then, does God use as a standard to determine a person’s outcome? Determining it based on time would be what most conforms to people’s notions. Moreover, there are those people you often see who at one point devoted a great deal, expended a lot, paid a huge price, and suffered greatly. These are the ones who, the way you see it, can be saved by God. All that these people demonstrate and live out is precisely in line with people’s notions of God’s set standards for determining a person’s outcome. Whatever you believe, I will not list these examples one by one. To put it briefly, anything that is not a standard within God’s own thinking comes instead from the human imagination, and all such things are human notions. If you blindly insist on your own notions and fancies, what will be the result? It is quite obvious that the consequence of this can only be God spurning you. This is because you always flaunt your qualifications before God, compete with Him, and argue with Him, and you do not try truly to comprehend His thinking, nor do you try to comprehend His will or His attitude toward humankind. Proceeding in this manner honors yourself above all; it does not magnify God. You believe in yourself; you do not believe in God. God does not want such people, nor will He bring them salvation. If you can let go of this sort of viewpoint and, furthermore, rectify those incorrect viewpoints you had in the past, if you can proceed according to God’s demands, if you can practice the way of fearing God and shunning evil from this point on, if you can manage to honor God as One who is great in all things and refrain from using your own personal fancies, viewpoints, or beliefs to define yourself and God, and if you can instead seek out God’s intentions in all respects, come to a realization and understanding of His attitude toward humanity, and satisfy Him by meeting His standards, that will be wonderful! It will signify that you are about to embark on the way of fearing God and shunning evil.
If God does not use people’s various thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints as standards by which to determine their outcomes, what sort of standard does He use to determine people’s outcomes? He uses trials to determine their outcomes. There are two standards to God’s use of trials to determine people’s outcomes: The first is the number of trials that people undergo, and the second is the results these trials have on people. It is these two indicators that establish a person’s outcome. Now, let’s elaborate on these two standards.
To begin, when a person is faced with a trial from God (note: It is possible that in your eyes, this trial might be a minor one, not worth mentioning), He will make you distinctly aware that this is His hand upon you, and that it is He who arranged this circumstance for you. While you are still immature of stature, God will arrange trials in order to test you, and these trials will correspond to your stature, what you are able to comprehend, and what you can withstand. What part of you will be tested? Your attitude toward God. Is this attitude very important? Of course it is important! It is of special importance! This attitude in humans is the result God desires, so, as far as He is concerned, it is the most important thing of all. Otherwise, God would not spend His efforts on people by engaging in such work. By way of these trials, God wants to see your attitude toward Him; He wants to see whether or not you are on the right path. He also wants to see whether or not you fear God and shun evil. Therefore, whether you understand much or little of the truth at any particular time, you will still be faced with God’s trials, and following any increase in the amount of truth you understand, He will continue to arrange relevant trials for you. When you are once again faced with a trial, God will want to see whether your viewpoint, your ideas, and your attitude toward Him have experienced any growth in the intervening period of time. Some people wonder, “Why does God always want to see people’s attitudes? Hasn’t He already seen how they put the truth into practice? Why would He still want to see their attitudes?” This is mindless drivel! Given that God works in this manner, His will must lie therein. God constantly observes people from the side, watching their every word and action, their every deed and movement; He even observes their every thought and idea. God makes a note of everything that happens to people—their good deeds, their faults, their transgressions, even their rebellions and betrayals—as evidence with which to determine their outcomes. Step by step, as God’s work is elevated, you will hear more truths and come to accept more positive things and information, and you will gain more of the reality of the truth. Throughout this process, God’s requirements of you will also increase, and as they do, He will arrange more serious trials for you. His goal is to examine whether your attitude toward Him has progressed in the meantime. Of course, when this happens, the viewpoint God demands of you will conform to your understanding of the reality of the truth.
As your stature gradually builds up, so will the standard that God demands of you. While you are still immature, He will set a very low standard for you to meet; when your stature is a little greater, He will raise your standard a bit higher. But what will God do after you have gained an understanding of all of the truth? He will have you face even bigger trials. Amid these trials, what God wishes to obtain from you, what He wants to see from you, is a more profound knowledge of Him, an actual reverence of Him. At this time, His requirements of you will be higher and “harsher” than they were when your stature was more immature (note: People might view them as harsh, but God actually views them as reasonable). When God is trying people, what kind of reality does He wish to create? He is constantly asking that people give Him their hearts. Some people will say, “How can I give that? I have fulfilled my duty; I abandoned my home and livelihood, and I have expended myself. Are these not all instances of my giving my heart over to God? How else could I give my heart to God? Could it be that these weren’t actually ways of giving my heart to Him? What is God’s specific requirement?” The requirement is very simple. In fact, there are some people who have already given their hearts to God to varying degrees during various stages of their trials, but the vast majority of people never give their hearts over to God. When God tries you, He sees if your heart is with Him, with the flesh, or with Satan. When God tries you, He sees whether you are standing in opposition to Him or are in a position that is compatible with Him, and He also sees whether your heart is on His side. When you are immature and facing trials, you have little confidence, and you cannot know exactly what it is you need to do to fulfill God’s intentions, for your understanding of the truth is limited. However, if you can still pray to God genuinely and sincerely, and if you can be willing to give your heart over to Him, make Him your sovereign, and be willing to offer unto Him all those things that you believe to be most precious, then you will have already given God your heart. As you listen to more sermons and understand more of the truth, your stature will also gradually grow. At this time, the standard of God’s demands will not be the same as it was when you were immature; He will demand a higher standard of you. As people gradually give their hearts over to God, their hearts grow slowly nearer to Him; as people can genuinely grow nearer to God, then their hearts will revere Him ever more. What God wants is just such a heart.
When God wants to obtain someone’s heart, He will put that person through numerous trials. During these trials, if God does not obtain that person’s heart or see that this person has any attitude—that is to say, if God does not see this person practicing or behaving in a way that shows reverence to Him, and if He also does not see in this person an attitude and resolution that shuns evil—then, after numerous trials, God’s patience with them will be withdrawn, and He will no longer tolerate them. He will no longer try this person, and He will no longer work on them. So, what does this signify for this person’s outcome? It means they have no outcome. Perhaps this person has done no evil; perhaps they have done nothing disruptive and caused no disturbance. Perhaps they have not openly resisted God. However, this person’s heart remains hidden from God; they have never had a clear attitude and viewpoint toward God, and God cannot clearly see that their heart has been given to Him or that they are seeking to fear Him and shun evil. God loses patience with such people, and will no longer pay any price for them, extend any mercy to them, or work on them. Such a person’s life of faith in God has already ended. This is because, in all of the many trials that God has given them, God has not obtained the result He wants. Thus, there are a number of people in whom I have never seen the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. How can this be seen? These people may have believed in God for many years, and on the surface, they have behaved with vigor; they have read many books, handled many affairs, filled a dozen or so notebooks, and mastered a great many words and doctrines. However, there is never any visible growth in them, their views on God remain invisible, and their attitudes are still unclear. In other words, their hearts cannot be seen; they are always wrapped up and sealed—they are sealed off from God. As a result, He has not seen their true hearts, He has not seen in these people any true reverence for Him, and, what is more, He has not seen how these people walk in His way. If God still has not gained such people by now, can He gain them in the future? He cannot! Will He keep pushing for things that cannot be obtained? He will not! What, then, is God’s current attitude toward such people? (He spurns them and ignores them.) He ignores them! God does not heed such people; He spurns them. You have memorized these words very quickly, and very accurately. It appears as though you have understood what you have heard!
There are some people who, when they begin to follow God, are immature and ignorant; they do not understand His will, nor do they know what it is to believe in Him. They adopt a human-conceived and mistaken way of believing in and following God. When such people are faced with trials, they are not aware of it; they remain numb to God’s guidance and enlightenment. They do not know what it means to give their hearts over to God or what it means to stand firm during a trial. God will give such people a limited amount of time, and during this time, He will let them understand the nature of His trials and what His intentions are. Afterward, these people must demonstrate their points of view. For those at this stage, God is still waiting. As for those who have some views yet still waver, who want to give their hearts over to God but are not reconciled to doing so, and who, despite having put some basic truths into practice, try to hide and give up when faced with major trials—what is God’s attitude toward them? He still expects a little from them, and the result depends on their attitude and performance. If people are not active in progressing, what does God do? He gives up on them. This is because, before God gives up on you, you have already given up on yourself. Thus, you cannot blame God for doing so. It is wrong of you to hold a grievance against God.
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When following God, people seldom pay attention to His will, and they rarely take heed of His thoughts and His attitude toward humans. People do not understand God’s thoughts, so, when asked questions about His intentions and disposition, you get confused; you fall into deep uncertainty, and then you either guess or gamble. What sort of mindset is this? It proves a fact: that most people who believe in God regard Him as a bunch of empty air and as something which seems to exist one minute and not the next. Why do I put it like that? Because whenever you encounter a problem, you do not know God’s will. Why do you not know His will? Not just now, but from start to finish, you do not know God’s attitude toward this problem. You cannot fathom it and do not know what God’s attitude is, but have you given it much thought? Have you sought to know it? Have you fellowshiped about it? No! This confirms a fact: The God of your belief has no connection to the God of reality. In your belief in God, you ponder only your own intentions and those of your leaders; you merely give thought to the superficial and doctrinal meaning of God’s words, without truly trying to know or seek God’s will at all. Is this not the case? The essence of this matter is quite terrible! After so many years, I have seen many people who believe in God. What has their belief transformed God into in their minds? Some people believe in God as if He were just a bunch of empty air. These people have no answer to questions of God’s existence, because they can neither feel nor sense either His presence or His absence, let alone see it clearly or understand it. Subconsciously, these people think that God does not exist. Others believe in God as if He were a man. These people think that He is unable to do all of the things that they, too, are unable to do, and that He should think however they think. Their definition of God is “an invisible and untouchable person.” There is also a group of people who believe in God as if He were a puppet; these people believe that God has no emotions. They think God is a clay statue, and that when faced with an issue, God has no attitude, viewpoint, or ideas; they believe He is at humankind’s mercy. People simply believe however they want to believe. If they make Him great, then He is great; if they make Him small, then He is small. When people sin and need God’s mercy, tolerance, and love, they assume God should extend His mercy. These people invent a “God” in their own minds, and then make this “God” fulfill their demands and satisfy all of their desires. No matter when or where, and no matter what such people do, they will adopt this fancy in their treatment of God and in their faith. There are even those who, having aggravated God’s disposition, still believe He can save them, because they assume that God’s love is boundless and His disposition is righteous, and that no matter how much a person offends God, He will not remember any of it. They think that since human faults, human trespasses, and human disobedience are momentary expressions of a person’s disposition, God will give people chances, and be tolerant and patient with them; they believe that God will still love them as before. Thus, they maintain high hopes for attaining salvation. In fact, no matter how people believe in God, as long as they are not pursuing the truth, He will hold a negative attitude toward them. This is because over the course of your faith in God, though you have taken the book of God’s words and seen it as a treasure, and study and read it every day, you set the real God aside. You regard Him as mere empty air, or as just a person—and some of you regard Him as no more than a puppet. Why do I put it this way? I do so because the way I see it, whether you are faced with a problem or encounter some circumstance, those things that exist in your subconscious, those things that you give rise to internally, have never had any connection with God’s words or with pursuing the truth. You only know what you yourself are thinking, what your own viewpoint is, and then you force your own ideas and opinions onto God. In your mind they become God’s viewpoints, and you make of these viewpoints standards that you unwaveringly uphold. Over time, proceeding like this takes you farther and farther away from God.
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Understand God’s Attitude and Set Aside All Misconceptions of God
Just what sort of God is this God you currently believe in? Have you ever thought about it? When He sees an evil person committing evil acts, does He despise it? (Yes, He does.) What is His attitude when He sees ignorant people making mistakes? (Sorrow.) When He sees people stealing His offerings, what is His attitude? (He despises them.) This is all very clear, right? When God sees someone confused in their belief in Him, who is in no way pursuing the truth, what is God’s attitude? You are not quite sure, are you? “Confusion,” as an attitude, is not a sin, nor does it offend God, and people feel that it is not a sort of major mistake. So, tell Me—what is God’s attitude in this case? (He is unwilling to acknowledge them.) “Unwillingness to acknowledge”—what sort of attitude is this? It means God looks down on these people and scorns them! The way He deals with such people is to give them the cold shoulder. God’s approach is to set them aside, not engaging in any work on them, and this includes the work of enlightenment, illumination, chastening, and discipline. Such people are simply not counted in God’s work. What is God’s attitude toward those who aggravate His disposition and violate His administrative decrees? Extreme loathing! God is tremendously enraged by people who are unrepentant about aggravating His disposition! “Enraged” is no more than a feeling, a mood; it does not correspond to a clear attitude. However, this feeling—this mood—will bring about an outcome for such people: It will fill God with extreme loathing! What is the consequence of this extreme loathing? It is that God will set these people aside and not respond to them for the time being. He will then wait to sort them out “after autumn.” What does this imply? Will these people still have outcomes? God never intended to grant such people any outcome! Therefore, is it not perfectly normal that God does not now respond to such people? (Yes, it is normal.) What should such people be preparing to do? They should prepare to bear the negative consequences of their behavior and of the evil actions they have committed. This is God’s response to such a person. So, now I say clearly to such people: Do not hold on to your delusions any longer, and do not engage in any more wishful thinking. God will not be tolerant of people indefinitely; He will not endure their trespasses or disobedience forever. Some people will say, “I’ve seen a few such people, too, and when they pray, they feel especially touched by God, and then they weep bitterly. Usually they’re also very happy; they seem to have God’s presence and God’s guidance with them.” Do not utter such nonsense! Bitter tears do not necessarily mean one is being touched by God or enjoys God’s presence, let alone God’s guidance. If people anger God, will He still guide them? In short, when God has decided to cast out and abandon someone, that person’s outcome is already gone. No matter how favorable their feelings when they pray, or how much faith they have in God in their hearts, it is no longer of consequence. The important thing is that God does not need this kind of faith; He has already spurned these people. How to deal with them in the future is also unimportant. The important thing is that in the very instant that these people anger God, their outcomes are set. If God has determined not to save such people, then they will be left behind to be punished. This is God’s attitude.
Though God’s essence contains an element of love, and He is merciful toward each and every person, people have overlooked and forgotten the fact that His essence is one of dignity as well. That He has love does not mean that people can offend Him freely, without inciting in Him feelings or a reaction, nor does the fact that He has mercy mean that He has no principles in how He treats people. God is alive; He genuinely exists. He is neither an imagined puppet nor any other object. Given that He does exist, we should carefully listen to the voice of His heart at all times, pay close attention to His attitude, and come to understand His feelings. We should not use human imaginings to define God, nor should we impose human thoughts or wishes on Him, making God treat people in a human manner based on human imaginings. If you do this, then you are angering God, tempting His wrath, and challenging His dignity! Thus, once you have come to understand the severity of this matter, I urge each and every one of you to be cautious and prudent in your actions. Be cautious and prudent in your speech, as well—with regard to how you treat God, the more cautious and prudent you are, the better! When you do not understand what God’s attitude is, refrain from speaking carelessly, do not be careless in your actions, and do not apply labels casually. Even more importantly, do not come to any arbitrary conclusions. Instead, you should wait and seek; these actions, too, are an expression of fearing God and shunning evil. Above all else, if you can achieve this, and above all else, if you possess this attitude, then God will not blame you for your stupidity, ignorance, and lack of understanding of the reasons behind things. Rather, owing to your attitude of fear of offending God, respect for His intentions, and willingness to obey Him, God will remember you, guide and enlighten you, or tolerate your immaturity and ignorance. Conversely, should your attitude toward Him be irreverent—judging Him as you wish or arbitrarily guessing at and defining His ideas—God will condemn you, discipline you, and even punish you; or, He might offer comment on you. Perhaps this comment will involve your outcome. Therefore, I wish to emphasize once more: Each of you should be cautious and prudent about everything that comes from God. Do not speak carelessly, and do not be careless in your actions. Before you say anything, you should stop and think: Would this action of mine anger God? In doing it, am I revering God? Even in simple matters, you should try to figure these questions out, and spend more time considering them. If you can truly practice according to these principles in all aspects, in all things, at all times, and adopt such an attitude especially when you do not understand something, then God will always guide you and provide you with a path to follow. No matter what sort of show people put on, God sees them quite clearly and plainly, and He will offer an accurate and appropriate evaluation of these displays of yours. After you have undergone the final trial, God will take all of your behavior and sum it up completely in order to determine your outcome. This result will convince every single person beyond the shadow of a doubt. What I would like to tell you here is this: Your every deed, your every action, and your every thought decide your fate.
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Who Determines People’s Outcomes?
There is another matter of the utmost importance to discuss, and that is your attitude toward God. This attitude is extremely important! It determines whether you will ultimately walk toward destruction or into the beautiful destination that God has prepared for you. In the Age of Kingdom, God has already worked for more than twenty years, and perhaps, over the course of these two decades, deep down you have been a bit unsure of how you have performed. However, in God’s heart, He has made a real and truthful record of each of you. From the time that each person started following Him and listening to His sermons, gradually understanding more and more of the truth, and until the time each person began to fulfill their duties, God has kept a record of all manner of behaviors attributable to each person. While fulfilling their duties and being faced with all manner of environments and trials, what are people’s attitudes? How do they perform? How do they feel toward God in their hearts? … God has an account of all of this; He has a record of all of it. Perhaps, from your point of view, these issues are confusing. However, from where God stands, they are all clear as crystal, and there is not even the slightest hint of sloppiness. This is an issue that involves the outcome of each person, and touches upon each person’s fate and future prospects as well, and more than that, this is where God expends all of His painstaking efforts; therefore, God would never neglect it one bit, nor does He tolerate any carelessness. God is making a record of this account of humankind, making note of the entire course of humans in their following of God, from the beginning right up to the end. Your attitude toward Him during this period has determined your fate. Is this not true? Now, do you believe that God is righteous? Are His actions appropriate? Do you still have any other imaginings about God in your heads? (No.) Then would you say that people’s outcomes are for God to determine, or for people to determine themselves? (They are for God to determine.) Who is it that determines them? (God.) You are not sure, are you? Brothers and sisters from Hong Kong, speak up—who determines them? (People themselves determine them.) Do people themselves determine them? Would that not then mean that people’s outcomes have nothing to do with God? Brothers and sisters from South Korea, speak up. (God determines people’s outcomes based on all of their actions and deeds, and in accordance with what path they are on.) This is a very objective response. There is a fact here of which I must inform you all: Over the course of God’s salvation work, He has set a standard for humans. This standard is that they must listen to the word of God and walk in God’s way. It is this standard that is used to weigh people’s outcomes. If you practice in accordance with this standard of God, then you can obtain a good outcome; if you do not, then you cannot obtain a good outcome. Who, then, would you say determines this outcome? It is not God alone who determines it, but rather God and humans together. Is this correct? (Yes.) Why is that? It is because it is God who actively wishes to engage in the work of humankind’s salvation and prepare a beautiful destination for humanity; humans are the objects of God’s work, and this outcome, this destination, is what God prepares for them. If there were no objects for Him to work on, then He would not need to do this work; if He were not doing this work, then humans would not have an opportunity to gain salvation. Humans are the ones to be saved, and although being saved is the passive part of this process, it is the attitude of the ones playing this part that determines whether or not God will be successful in His work to save humankind. If not for the guidance that God gives you, you would not know His standard, nor would you have an objective. If you have this standard, this objective, yet you still do not cooperate, put it into practice, or pay the price, then you will not obtain this outcome. For this reason, I say that one’s outcome cannot be separated from God, and it also cannot be separated from the person. Now, then, you know who determines people’s outcomes.
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People Tend to Define God Based on Experience
When communicating about the topic of knowing God, have you noticed something? Have you noticed that His attitude these days has undergone a transformation? Is His attitude toward humans unchangeable? Will He always endure like this, extending all of His love and mercy to humans indefinitely? This matter also involves the essence of God. … Upon knowing that God loves humankind, they define Him as a symbol of love: They believe that no matter what people do, no matter how they behave, no matter how they treat God, and no matter how disobedient they might be, none of this really matters, for God has love, and His love is unlimited and immeasurable; God has love, so He can be tolerant of people; and God has love, so He can be merciful toward people, merciful toward their immaturity, merciful toward their ignorance, and merciful toward their disobedience. Is this really the way it is? For some people, when they have experienced God’s patience once or even a few times, they will treat these experiences as capital in their own understanding of God, believing that He will forever be patient and merciful toward them, and then, over the course of their lives, they take this patience of God and regard it as the standard by which He treats them. There are also those who, after having experienced God’s tolerance once, will forever define God as tolerant—and in their minds, this tolerance is indefinite, unconditional, and even totally unprincipled. Are such beliefs correct? Every time matters of God’s essence or God’s disposition are discussed, you seem bewildered. Seeing you like this makes Me very anxious. You have heard a lot of truths concerning God’s essence; you have also listened to a great many discussions concerning His disposition. However, in your minds, these issues and the truth of these aspects are just memories based on theory and written words; in your day-to-day lives, none of you is ever able to experience or see God’s disposition for what it really is. Thus, you are all muddle-headed in your beliefs; you are all believing blindly, to the point that you have an irreverent attitude toward God and even brush Him aside. What does your having this kind of attitude toward God lead to? It leads to your always making conclusions about God. Once you have acquired a little bit of knowledge, you then feel very satisfied, as though you have obtained God in His entirety. Afterward, you conclude that this is how God is, and you do not let Him move freely. Furthermore, whenever God does something new, you simply refuse to admit that He is God. One day, when God says, “I do not love humankind anymore; I will extend no more mercy to humans; I do not have any further tolerance or patience for them; I am filled to the brim with extreme loathing and antipathy toward them,” such statements will cause conflict deep in people’s hearts. Some of them will even say, “You’re not my God anymore; You’re no longer the God that I want to follow. If this is what You say, then You’re no longer qualified to be my God, and I don’t need to keep following You. If You won’t give me mercy, love, and tolerance anymore, then I will stop following You. If You are tolerant of me indefinitely, always patient with me, and allow me to see that You are love, that You are patience, and that You are tolerance, only then can I follow You, and only then will I have the confidence to follow You to the end. Since I have Your patience and mercy, my disobedience and my trespasses can be forgiven and pardoned indefinitely, and I can sin anytime and anywhere, confess and be pardoned anytime and anywhere, and anger You anytime and anywhere. You shouldn’t have any opinions or draw any conclusions about me.” Though not a single one of you may think about this sort of issue so subjectively or consciously, whenever you consider God to be a tool to be used to forgive you of your sins or an object to be used for obtaining a beautiful destination, you have subtly placed the living God in opposition to you, as your enemy. This is what I see. You may keep on saying such things as, “I believe in God,” “I pursue the truth,” “I want to change my disposition,” “I want to break free from the influence of darkness,” “I want to satisfy God,” “I want to submit to God,” “I want to be faithful toward God, and do my duty well,” and so forth. However, no matter how sweet-sounding your words might be, no matter how much theory you might know, and no matter how imposing or dignified that theory might be, the fact of the matter is that there are now many of you who have already learned how to use the regulations, the doctrines, the theories you have mastered to draw conclusions about God, thus naturally placing Him in opposition to yourselves. Though you may have mastered letters and doctrines, you have not genuinely entered the reality of the truth, so it is very difficult for you to get close to God, to know Him, and to understand Him. This is so lamentable!
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God’s Attitude Toward Those Who Run Away During His Work
There are people like this everywhere: After they have been certain about God’s way, for various reasons, they depart in silence, without a goodbye, to go off and do whatever their hearts desire. For the time being, we will not get into the reasons these people leave; we will first take a look at what God’s attitude is toward this kind of person. It is very clear! From the moment these people walk away, in God’s eyes, the span of their faith is over. It is not the individual person who ended it, but God. That this person left God means that they have already rejected God, that they do not want Him anymore, and that they no longer accept God’s salvation. Since people like this do not want God, can He still want them? Moreover, when such people possess this sort of attitude, this view, and have grown determined to leave God, they have already aggravated God’s disposition. This is despite the fact that they may not have flown into a rage and cursed God, despite the fact that they may not have engaged in any vile or excessive behavior, and despite the fact that these people are thinking, “If there comes a day when I’ve had my fill of fun on the outside, or when I still need God for something, I will come back. Or if God calls on me, I will come back,” or they say, “When I am hurt on the outside, or when I see that the outside world is too dark and too wicked and I no longer want to go with the flow, I will come back to God.” Even though these people have calculated in their minds when exactly they will come back, and even though they have tried to leave the door open for their return, they do not realize that no matter what they believe or how they plan, this is all just wishful thinking. Their biggest mistake is being unclear about how their desire to leave makes God feel. From the very moment they decided to leave God, He completely abandons them; by then, He has already determined the outcome of such a person in His heart. What outcome is that? It is that this person will be one of the mice, and will therefore perish along with them. Thus, people often see this kind of situation: Someone abandons God, but then does not receive a punishment. God operates according to His own principles; some things can be seen, while others are only concluded in God’s heart, so people cannot see the results. The part which is visible to humans is not necessarily the true side of things, but that other side—the side you do not see—does indeed contain God’s true heartfelt thoughts and conclusions.
People Who Run Away During God’s Work Are Those Who Abandon the True Way
How can God give people who run away during His work such serious punishment? Why is He so angry at them? First of all, we know that God’s disposition is majesty and wrath; He is not a sheep to be slaughtered by anyone, much less a puppet to be controlled by people however they want. He is also not a bunch of empty air to be bossed around. If you truly believe that God exists, then you should have a God-fearing heart, and you should know that His essence is not one to be angered. This anger may be caused by a word, or perhaps a thought, or perhaps some kind of vile behavior, or perhaps even by mild behavior—behavior that is passable in the eyes and ethics of humans; or, perhaps it is provoked by a doctrine or a theory. However, once you have angered God, your opportunity is lost, and your end days have arrived. This is a terrible thing! If you do not understand that God must not be offended, then maybe you are not afraid of Him, and perhaps you are routinely offending Him. If you do not know how to fear God, then you are unable to fear God, and you will not know how to put yourself on the path of walking in God’s way—fearing God and shunning evil. Once you become aware, and are conscious that God must not be offended, you will know what it is to fear God and shun evil.
Walking in the way of fearing God and shunning evil is not necessarily about how much truth you know, how many trials you have experienced, or how much you have been disciplined. Rather, it depends on the sort of attitude you have toward God in your heart, and what essence you express. People’s essences and their subjective attitudes—these are very important, very crucial. As for those who have renounced and left God, their contemptible attitudes toward Him and their hearts that despise the truth have already aggravated His disposition, so as far as He is concerned, they will never be forgiven. They have known about God’s existence, been informed of the news that He has already arrived, and even experienced God’s new work. Their departure was not a case of being deluded or muddle-headed, much less were they forced to leave. Rather, they chose consciously, and with a clear mind, to leave God. Their departure was not a matter of losing their way, nor were they cast off. Therefore, in God’s eyes, they are not lambs that strayed from the flock, let alone prodigal sons who lost their way. They departed with impunity—and such a condition, such a situation, aggravates God’s disposition, and it is out of this aggravation that He gives them hopeless outcomes. Is this kind of outcome not frightful? Therefore, if people do not know God, they can offend Him. This is no small matter! If people do not take God’s attitude seriously, and still believe that He is looking forward to their return because they are some of His lost lambs and He is still waiting for them to have a change of heart, then they are not far off from their days of punishment. God will not merely refuse to accept them—given that this is their second time aggravating His disposition, the matter is all the more terrible! These people’s irreverent attitudes have already violated God’s administrative decrees. Will He still accept them? In His heart, God’s principles regarding this matter are that someone has attained certainty about which is the true way, yet can still consciously and with a clear mind reject God and depart from God, then He will block off the road to such a person’s salvation, and for this individual, the gate into the kingdom will henceforth be closed. When this person comes knocking once more, God will not open the door; this person will be shut out forever. Perhaps some of you have read the story of Moses in the Bible. After Moses was anointed by God, the 250 leaders expressed their disobedience to Moses because of his actions and for various other reasons. To whom did they refuse to submit? It was not Moses. They refused to submit to God’s arrangements; they refused to submit to God’s work on this issue. They said the following: “You take too much on you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Jehovah is among them….” Are these words and lines very serious, from a human point of view? They are not serious! At least, the literal meaning of these words is not serious. In a legal sense, they do not break any laws, because on its very surface, this is not hostile language or vocabulary, much less does it have any blasphemous connotations. These are just common sentences, nothing more. Why is it, then, that these words can trigger such rage from God? It is because they were not spoken to people, but to God. The attitude and disposition expressed by them is precisely what aggravates God’s disposition, and they offend God’s disposition that must not be offended. We all know what those leaders’ outcomes were in the end. Regarding people who have abandoned God, what is their viewpoint? What is their attitude? And why do their viewpoint and attitude cause God to deal with them in such a manner? The reason is that though they clearly know He is God, they still choose to betray Him, and this is why they are totally stripped of their chances for salvation. As is written in the Bible, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.” Do you now have a clear understanding of this matter?
Daily Words of God Excerpt 17
People’s Fates Are Decided by Their Attitudes Toward God
God is a living God, and just as people behave differently in different situations, His attitude toward these behaviors differs because He is neither a puppet nor is He a bunch of empty air. Getting to know God’s attitude is a worthy pursuit for humankind. People should learn how, by knowing God’s attitude, they can little by little attain knowledge of God’s disposition and come to understand His heart. When you gradually come to understand God’s heart, you will not feel that fearing Him and shunning evil is such a difficult thing to accomplish. Moreover, when you do understand God, you will not be as likely to draw conclusions about Him. Once you have stopped drawing conclusions about God, you will be less likely to offend Him, and without your realizing it, God will lead you to gain knowledge of Him; this will fill your heart with reverence for Him. You will then stop defining God by way of the doctrines, letters, and theories you have mastered. Instead, by constantly seeking out God’s intentions in all things, you will unconsciously become a person who is after God’s heart.
God’s work is unseen and untouchable by humans, but as far as He is concerned, the actions of each and every person—along with their attitude toward Him—are not merely perceptible by God, but visible to Him as well. This is something that everyone should recognize and be very clear about. You might always be asking yourself, “Does God know what I’m doing here? Does He know what I’m thinking about right now? Maybe He does, and maybe He doesn’t.” If you adopt this sort of viewpoint, following and believing in God yet doubting His work and His existence, then sooner or later there will come a day when you will arouse His anger, for you are already teetering on the edge of a dangerous precipice. I have seen people who have believed in God for many years, yet who still have not gained the reality of the truth, much less understood God’s will. These people make no progress in their lives and statures, adhering only to the shallowest of doctrines. This is because such people have never taken God’s word to be life itself, and they have never faced up to and accepted His existence. Do you think that upon seeing such people, God is filled with enjoyment? Do they comfort Him? Thus, it is how people believe in God that decides their fate. Concerning how people seek and how people approach God, people’s attitudes are of primary importance. Do not neglect God like He is just a bunch of empty air floating around in the back of your head; always think of the God you believe in as a living God, a real God. He is not sitting around up there in the third heaven with nothing to do. Rather, He is constantly looking into everyone’s heart, observing what you are up to, watching your every little word and every little deed, watching how you behave and seeing what your attitude toward Him is. Whether you are willing to give yourself to God or not, all of your behavior and your innermost thoughts and ideas are laid bare before Him and being looked upon by Him. Due to your behavior, due to your deeds, and due to your attitude toward Him, God’s opinion of you and His attitude toward you are constantly changing. I would like to offer some advice to some people: Do not place yourselves like infants in the hands of God, as if He should dote on you, as if He could never leave you, and as if His attitude toward you were fixed and could never change, and I advise you to quit dreaming! God is righteous in His treatment of each and every person, and He is earnest in His approach to the work of conquering and saving people. This is His management. He treats every single person seriously, and not like a pet to play with. God’s love for humans is not the pampering or spoiling kind, nor are His mercy and tolerance toward humankind indulgent or unmindful. On the contrary, God’s love for humans involves cherishing, pitying, and respecting life; His mercy and tolerance convey His expectations of them, and are what humanity needs to survive. God is alive, and God actually exists; His attitude toward humankind is principled, not at all a pack of dogmatic rules, and it can change. His intentions for humanity are gradually changing and transforming with time, depending on circumstances as they arise, and along with the attitude of each and every person. Therefore, you should know in your heart with absolute clarity that the essence of God is immutable, and that His disposition will issue forth at different times and in different contexts. You might not think that this is a serious matter, and you might use your own personal notions to imagine how God should do things. However, there are times when the polar opposite of your viewpoint is true, and by using your own personal notions to attempt to gauge God, you have already angered Him. This is because God does not operate the way you think He does, nor will He treat this matter like you say He will. Thus, I remind you to be careful and prudent in your approach to everything around you, and learn how to follow the principle of walking in God’s way in all things, which is to fear God and shun evil. You must develop a firm understanding with regard to the matters of God’s will and God’s attitude, you must find enlightened people to communicate these matters to you, and you must seek in earnest. Do not view the God of your belief as a puppet—judging Him at will, arriving at arbitrary conclusions about Him, and not treating Him with the respect He deserves. While God is bringing you salvation and determining your outcome, He may grant you mercy, or tolerance, or judgment and chastisement, but in any case, His attitude toward you is not fixed. It is dependent on your own attitude toward Him, as well as your understanding of Him. Do not allow one passing aspect of your knowledge or understanding of God to define Him in perpetuity. Do not believe in a dead God; believe in the living One. Remember this! Though I have discussed some truths here—truths you needed to hear—in light of your present state and present stature, I will not make any greater demands of you for now, so as not to sap your enthusiasm. Doing so could fill your hearts with too much bleakness and make you feel too much disappointment toward God. Instead, I hope you can use the love for God you have in your hearts and employ a respectful attitude toward God when walking the path that lies ahead. Do not muddle through this matter of how to believe in God; treat it as one of the biggest issues there is. Place it in your heart, put it into practice, and connect it with real life; do not just pay it lip service—for this is a matter of life and death, and one that will determine your destiny. Do not treat it like a joke or child’s play! After sharing these words with you today, I wonder how much understanding your minds have harvested. Are there any questions you wish to ask about what I have said here today?
Although these topics are a bit new, and a bit removed from your views, from your usual pursuits, and what you tend to pay attention to, I think that once they have been fellowshiped by you for a period of time, you will develop a common understanding of everything I have said here. These topics are all very new, and ones that you have never considered before, so I hope that they will not add to your burden in any way. I am not speaking these words today to frighten you, nor am I using them as a way to deal with you; rather, My aim is to help you to understand actual facts about the truth. Because a gulf exists between humankind and God, though people believe in God, they have never understood Him or known His attitude. Humans have also never been very enthusiastic in their concern for God’s attitude. Rather, they have believed and proceeded blindly, and been careless in their knowledge and understanding of God. I therefore feel compelled to clear these issues up for you, and help you to understand just what kind of God this God you believe in is, as well as what He is thinking, what His attitude is in His treatment of various sorts of people, how far you are from fulfilling His requirements, and how great the disparity is between your actions and the standard He demands. The goal in informing you of these things is to give you a yardstick by which to measure yourselves, and so that you will know what kind of harvest the road you are on has led to, what you have not obtained along this road, and in what areas you simply have not gotten involved. While communicating amongst yourselves, you usually speak on a few commonly-discussed topics that are very narrow in scope and shallow in content. There is a distance, a gap, between that which you discuss and God’s intentions, as well as between your discussions and the scope and standard of God’s demands. Proceeding like this over time will result in your deviating ever farther from God’s way. You are just taking God’s current utterances and turning them into objects of worship, and seeing them as rituals and regulations. That is all you are doing! In actual fact, God simply has no place in your hearts, and He has never really obtained your hearts. Some people think that to know God is very difficult, and this is the truth. It is difficult! If people are made to do their duties and get things done outwardly, and work hard, then they will think that believing in God is very easy, because all those things fall within the scope of human capability. However, the moment the topic shifts over to God’s intentions and His attitude toward humanity, then from everyone’s point of view, things really do get a bit more difficult. That is because this involves people’s understanding of the truth and their entry into reality, so of course there will be a degree of difficulty! Nevertheless, once you get through the first door and begin to attain entry, things gradually get easier.
Daily Words of God Excerpt 18
The Starting Point for Fearing God Is to Treat Him Like God
A little while ago, someone raised a question: How is it that even though we know more of God than Job did, we still cannot revere Him? We touched upon this matter a little bit previously, did we not? We actually have discussed the essence of this question before, too, which is the fact that although Job did not know God back then, he still treated Him like God and regarded Him as the Master of the heavens and earth and all things. Job did not consider God to be an enemy; rather, he worshiped Him as the Creator of all things. Why is it that people nowadays resist God so much? Why are they unable to revere Him? One reason is that they have been deeply corrupted by Satan, and with such a deeply-ingrained satanic nature, they have become enemies of God. Thus, even though they believe in God and acknowledge God, they are still able to resist Him and place themselves in opposition to Him. This is determined by human nature. The other reason is that despite their belief in God, people simply do not treat Him as God. Instead, they consider Him to be opposed to humanity, regarding Him as their enemy, and feel that they are irreconcilable with God. It is just that simple. Was this matter not broached in our previous session? Think about it: Is that not the reason? You might possess a bit of knowledge of God, but just what does this knowledge entail? Is this not what everyone is talking about? Is it not what God told you? You are only familiar with the theoretical and doctrinal aspects of it—but have you ever appreciated the true face of God? Do you have subjective knowledge? Do you have practical knowledge and experience? If God had not told you, could you know? Your theoretical knowledge does not represent real knowledge. In short, no matter how much you know or how you came to know it, until you attain a real understanding of God, He will be your enemy, and until you actually begin to treat God as God, He will oppose you, for you are an embodiment of Satan.
When you are together with Christ, perhaps you can serve Him three meals a day, or perhaps serve Him tea and attend to His life’s needs; you will seem to have treated Christ as God. Whenever something happens, people’s viewpoints always run contrary to God’s; people always fail to understand and accept God’s point of view. Though people might get along with God on the surface, this does not mean that they are compatible with Him. As soon as something happens, the truth of humanity’s disobedience emerges, thus confirming the hostility that exists between humans and God. This hostility is not one of God’s opposing humans or of God’s wanting to be hostile to them, nor is it that He places them in opposition to Himself and then treats them as such. Rather, it is a case of this contrary essence toward God that lurks in humans’ subjective will and in their subconscious minds. Since people regard all that which comes from God as objects for their research, their response toward what comes from God and toward everything involving God is, above all, to guess, to doubt, and then to quickly adopt an attitude that conflicts with and opposes God. Soon thereafter, they carry a negative mood into disputes or contests with God, going so far as to doubt even whether such a God is worth following. Despite the fact that their rationality tells them that they should not proceed in this manner, they will still choose to do so in spite of themselves, such that they will continue without hesitation to the very end. For example, what is the first reaction some people have when they hear rumors or slanderous talk about God? Their first reaction is to wonder whether these rumors are true or not and whether these rumors exist or not, and then to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Then they start to think, “There’s no way to verify this. Did that really happen? Is this rumor true or not?” Though people like this do not show it on the surface, in their hearts they have already begun to doubt, and already started to deny God. What is the essence of this kind of attitude and of such a viewpoint? Is it not betrayal? Until they are faced with this matter, you cannot see what these people’s viewpoints are; it seems like they are not in conflict with God, and as though they do not regard Him as an enemy. However, as soon as they are faced with a problem, they immediately stand with Satan and oppose God. What does this suggest? It suggests that humans and God are opposed! It is not that God regards humanity as the enemy, but that the very essence of humanity itself is hostile toward God. No matter how long someone has followed Him or how big a price they have paid, and regardless of how they praise God, how they might keep themselves from resisting Him, and even how strenuously they urge themselves to love God, they can never manage to treat God as God. Is this not determined by people’s essence? If you treat Him as God and genuinely believe that He is God, can you still have any doubts toward Him? Can your heart still harbor any question marks about Him? There cannot anymore, right? The trends of this world are so evil, and this human race is, too; so, how could you not have any notions on them? You yourself are so wicked, so how is it that you do not have a notion about that? And yet, just a few rumors and some slander can give rise to such enormous notions about God, and lead to your imagining so many things, which shows just how immature your stature is! Just the “buzzing” of a few mosquitos and a few repulsive flies—is that all it takes to deceive you? What kind of person is this? Do you know what God thinks about such people? God’s attitude is actually very clear regarding how He treats them. It is only that God’s treatment of these people is to give them the cold shoulder—His attitude is to not pay them any attention, and to not take these ignorant people seriously. Why is that? It is because in God’s heart, He never planned on obtaining those people who have pledged to be hostile toward Him to the very end and who have never planned on seeking out a way of being compatible with Him. Perhaps these words I have spoken might hurt a few people. Well, are you willing to always let Me hurt you like this? Whether you are or not, everything I say is the truth! If I always hurt you and expose your scars like this, will it affect the lofty image of God you harbor in your hearts? (It won’t.) I agree that it will not, for there simply is no God in your hearts. The lofty God that inhabits your hearts—the one you strongly defend and protect—is simply not God. Rather, he is a figment of human imagination; he simply does not exist. Therefore, it is all the better that I expose the answer to this riddle; does this not lay the entire truth bare? The real God is not what humans imagine Him to be. I hope you can all face this reality, and it will help in your knowledge of God.
Daily Words of God Excerpt 19
Those People Who Are Not Acknowledged by God
There are some people whose faith has never been acknowledged within God’s heart. In other words, God does not recognize that they are His followers, because He does not praise their beliefs. For these people, regardless of how many years they have followed God, their ideas and views have never changed; they are like the unbelievers, adhering to the unbelievers’ principles and ways of doing things and to the unbelievers’ laws of survival and faith. They have never accepted the word of God as their life, never believed that God’s word is truth, never intended on accepting God’s salvation, and never recognized God as their God. They see believing in God as some kind of amateur hobby, treating Him as mere spiritual sustenance; as such, they do not think it is worth it to try and understand God’s disposition or essence. It can be said that all that corresponds to the true God has nothing to do with these people; they are not interested, nor can they be bothered to pay heed. This is because deep in their hearts, there is an intense voice that is always telling them, “God is invisible and untouchable, and does not exist.” They believe that trying to understand this sort of God would not be worth their efforts, and that in doing so they would be fooling themselves. They believe that by merely acknowledging God with words without taking any real stand or investing themselves in any real actions, they are being pretty clever. How does God look upon such people? He views them as unbelievers. Some people ask, “Can unbelievers read God’s words? Can they fulfill their duties? Can they say the words, ‘I’ll live for God’?” What humans often see are the displays people exhibit on the surface; they do not see people’s essences. However, God does not look at these superficial displays; He only sees their inner essences. Thus, this is the kind of attitude and definition God has toward these people. These people say, “Why does God do this? Why does God do that? I can’t understand this; I can’t understand that; this doesn’t conform to human notions; You must explain that to me….” In answer to this, I ask: Is it really necessary to explain these matters to you? Do these matters actually have anything to do with you? Who do you think you are? Where did you come from? Are you really qualified to give God pointers? Do you believe in Him? Does He acknowledge your faith? Since your faith has nothing to do with God, what business of yours are His doings? You do not know where you stand in God’s heart, so how can you be qualified to engage in dialogue with Him?
Words of Admonishment
Are you not uncomfortable after hearing these remarks? Though you may be either unwilling to listen to them or unwilling to accept them, they are all facts. Because this stage of the work is for God to perform, if you are not concerned with His intentions, have no care about His attitude, and do not understand His essence and disposition, then in the end, you will be the one who will lose out. Do not blame My words for being difficult to hear, and do not blame them for dampening your enthusiasm. I speak the truth; it is not My intention to discourage you. No matter what I ask of you, and no matter how you are required to do it, I hope that you walk the correct path and follow God’s way, and that you never deviate from the correct path. If you do not proceed in accordance with God’s word or follow His way, then there can be no doubt that you are rebelling against God and have strayed from the correct path. Thus, I feel there are some matters that I must clarify for you, and that I must make you believe unequivocally, clearly, and without a shred of uncertainty, and help you to have a clear understanding of God’s attitude, His intentions, how He perfects humans, and in what manner He determines people’s outcomes. Should there come a day when you are unable to embark upon this path, then I bear no responsibility, for these words have already been spoken to you very clearly. As for how you deal with your own outcome, this is a matter that is entirely up to you. Regarding the outcomes of various types of people, God has different attitudes, He has His own ways of weighing them, as well as His own standard of requirement for them. His standard of weighing people’s outcomes is one that is fair to everyone—there is no doubt about that! Therefore, the fears of some are unnecessary. Are you relieved now?
Daily Words of God Excerpt 20
In fact, God’s disposition is open to everyone and is not hidden, because God has never consciously avoided any person and has never consciously sought to conceal Himself to prevent people from knowing Him or understanding Him. God’s disposition has always been to be open and to face each person candidly. In God’s management, God does His work, facing everyone, and His work is done on every single person. As He does this work, He is continuously revealing His disposition and continuously using His essence, what He has and what He is, to guide and to provide for every single person. In every age and at every stage, regardless of whether the circumstances are good or bad, God’s disposition is always open to each individual, and His possessions and being are always open to each individual, just as His life is constantly and unceasingly providing for and supporting mankind. Despite all of this, God’s disposition remains hidden to some. Why? Because even though these people live within God’s work and follow God, they have never sought to understand God nor wanted to get to know God, let alone get closer to God. To these people, understanding God’s disposition portends that their end is nigh; it means they are about to be judged and condemned by God’s disposition. Therefore, they have never desired to understand God or His disposition, nor ever coveted a deeper understanding or knowledge of God’s will. They do not seek to comprehend God’s will through conscious cooperation—they just forever enjoy and never tire of doing the things they want to do; believe in the God they want to believe in; believe in the God that exists only in their imaginations, the God that exists only in their notions; and believe in a God that is inseparable from them in their daily lives. When it comes to the true God Himself, they are completely dismissive and have no desire to understand Him or to pay heed to Him, and still less wish to grow closer to Him. They are only using the words God expresses to adorn themselves, to package themselves. To them, this already makes them successful believers and people with faith in God inside their hearts. In their hearts, they are guided by their imaginations, their notions, and even their personal definitions of God. The true God Himself, on the other hand, has absolutely nothing to do with them. Because, were they to understand the true God Himself, understand God’s true disposition, and understand what God has and is, it would mean that their actions, their faith, and their pursuits would be condemned. That is why they are loath to understand God’s essence and are loath and unwilling to actively seek or pray to better understand God, better know God’s will, and better understand God’s disposition. They would rather God be something made up, something hollow and vague. They would rather God be someone who is exactly as they have imagined Him, someone who can be at their beck and call, inexhaustible in supply and always available. When they want to enjoy God’s grace, they ask God to be that grace. When they need God’s blessing, they ask God to be that blessing. When faced with adversity, they ask God to embolden them, to be their rear shield. These people’s knowledge of God is stuck within the ambit of grace and blessing. Their understanding of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself is also merely restricted to their imaginings and letters and doctrines. But there are some people who are eager to understand God’s disposition, want to genuinely see God Himself, and truly understand God’s disposition and what He has and is. These people are in pursuit of the reality of truth and of salvation by God, and seek to receive conquest, salvation, and perfection by God. They use their hearts to read God’s word, use their hearts to appreciate every situation and every person, event, and thing God has arranged for them, and they pray and seek with sincerity. What they want to know most is God’s will, and to understand most is God’s true disposition and essence, that they may no longer offend God and, through their experiences, may see more of God’s loveliness and His true side. It is also so that a genuinely real God will exist inside their hearts, and so that God will have a place in their hearts, such that they will no longer be living amidst imaginings, notions, or vagueness. For these people, the reason they have a pressing desire to understand God’s disposition and His essence is because God’s disposition and essence are needed by mankind from moment to moment in the course of their experience; it is His disposition and essence that supply life throughout one’s lifetime. Once they understand God’s disposition, they will be able to better revere God, better cooperate with God’s work, and be more considerate toward God’s will and do their duty to the best of their abilities. Such are the attitudes toward God’s disposition held by two types of people. The first type does not want to understand God’s disposition. Even though they say they want to understand God’s disposition, get to know God Himself, see what God has and is, and genuinely appreciate God’s will, deep down they would rather that God not exist. It is because this type of people consistently disobeys and resists God; they fight God for position in their own hearts and often doubt or even deny God’s existence. They do not want to let God’s disposition or the real God Himself occupy their hearts. They only want to satisfy their own desires, imaginings, and ambitions. So, these people may believe in God, follow God, and may also give up their families and jobs for Him, but they do not desist from their evil ways. Some even steal or squander offerings, or curse God in private, while others might use their positions to repeatedly testify about themselves, aggrandize themselves, and compete with God for people and status. They use various methods and measures to make people worship them, constantly trying to win people over and control them. Some even intentionally mislead people into thinking that they are God so that they can be treated like God. They would never tell someone that they have been corrupted—that they too are corrupt and arrogant, not to worship them, and that no matter how well they do, it is all due to God’s exaltation and that they are doing what they ought to, anyway. Why do they not say these things? Because they are deeply afraid of losing their place in people’s hearts. This is why such people never exalt God and never bear witness to God, as they have never tried to understand God. Can they know God without understanding Him? Impossible! Thus, while the words in the topic “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself” may be simple, they have different meanings to each person. For someone who often disobeys God, resists God, and is hostile toward God, the words portend condemnation; whereas someone who pursues the reality of the truth and often comes before God to seek God’s will will take to such words as a fish to water. So there are those among you who, when they hear talk of God’s disposition and God’s work, start to get a headache, their hearts grow full of resistance, and they become extremely uncomfortable. But there are others among you who think: This topic is exactly what I need, because this topic is so beneficial to me. It is something that cannot be missing from my life experience; it is the crux of the crux, the foundation of faith in God, and something mankind cannot abandon. For all of you, this topic might seem both near and far, unknown yet familiar. But no matter what, this is a topic that everyone must listen to, must know, and must understand. No matter how you deal with it, no matter how you look upon it, or how you understand it, the importance of this topic cannot be ignored.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 21
God has been doing His work ever since He created mankind. At the start, it was a very simple work, but despite its simplicity, it contained expressions of God’s essence and disposition. While God’s work has now been elevated, and this work on every person who follows Him has become prodigious and concrete, with great expression of His word, God’s person throughout has been hidden from mankind. Although He has been incarnated twice, from the time of the biblical accounts to modern days, who has ever seen God’s real person? Based on your understanding, has anyone ever seen God’s real person? No. No one has seen God’s real person, meaning no one has ever seen God’s true self. This is something that everyone agrees on. That is to say, God’s real person, or God’s Spirit, is concealed from all of humanity, including Adam and Eve, whom He created, and including the righteous Job, whom He accepted. None of them saw God’s real person. But why does God knowingly mask His real person? Some people say: “God is afraid of scaring people.” Others say: “God hides His real person because man is too small and God is too great; humans may not see Him, or else they will die.” There are also those who say: “God is busy managing His work every day, and He might not have time to appear so that others may see Him.” No matter what you believe, I have a conclusion here. What is that conclusion? It is that God simply does not want people to see His real person. Staying hidden from humanity is something God does deliberately. In other words, it is God’s intent for people to not see His real person. This should be clear to all by now. If God has never revealed His person to anyone, then do you think God’s person exists? (He exists.) Of course He does. The existence of God’s person is beyond all doubt. But as for how great God’s person is or what He looks like, are these questions mankind should investigate? No. The answer is negative. If God’s person is not a topic we should be exploring, then what is? (God’s disposition.) (God’s work.) Before we begin fellowshiping about the official topic, however, let us return to what we were discussing a moment ago: Why has God never revealed His person to mankind? Why does God intentionally hide His person from mankind? There is only one reason, and that is: Although man, whom God created, has experienced thousands of years of His work, there is not a single person who knows God’s work, God’s disposition, and God’s essence. Such people, in God’s eyes, are in opposition to Him, and God would not show Himself to people who are hostile toward Him. This is the sole reason God has never revealed His person to mankind and why He deliberately shields His person from humanity. Is the importance of knowing God’s disposition now clear to you?
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 22
Since the existence of God’s management, He has always been fully dedicated to carrying out His work. Despite veiling His person from man, He has always been by man’s side, doing work on man, expressing His disposition, guiding all of humanity with His essence, and doing His work on every single person through His might, His wisdom, and His authority, thus bringing into being the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and today’s Age of Kingdom. Though God conceals His person from man, His disposition, His being and possessions, and His will toward mankind are unreservedly revealed to man for man to see and experience. In other words, though human beings cannot see or touch God, the disposition and essence of God encountered by humanity are absolutely expressions of God Himself. Is that not the truth? Regardless of the way or angle of approach God chooses for His work, He always treats people through His true identity, does the work incumbent upon Him, and says the words He is bound to say. No matter what position God speaks from—He could be standing in the third heaven, or standing in the flesh, or even as an ordinary person—He always speaks to man with all His heart and all His mind, without any deception or concealment. When He carries out His work, God expresses His word and His disposition, and expresses what He has and is, without any reservation whatsoever. He guides mankind with His life and His being and possessions. This is how man lived through the Age of Law—the cradle era of humanity—under the guidance of the “unseeable and untouchable” God.
God became flesh for the first time after the Age of Law—an incarnation that lasted thirty-three and a half years. For a human being, is thirty-three and a half years a long time? (It is not long.) Since the lifespan of a human being is usually much longer than thirty-something years, this is not a very long time for a man. But for God incarnate, these thirty-three and a half years were long indeed. He became a person—an ordinary person who took on God’s work and commission. This meant that He had to assume work an ordinary person cannot handle, while also enduring suffering that ordinary people cannot withstand. The amount of suffering endured by the Lord Jesus during the Age of Grace, from the start of His work to when He was nailed to the cross, may not be something that people of today could have witnessed in person, but can you not at least get an idea of it through the stories in the Bible? Irrespective of how many details there are in these recorded facts, all in all, God’s work during this period was full of hardship and suffering. For a corrupted human, thirty-three and a half years is not a long time; a little suffering is a small matter. But for the holy, unblemished God, who had to bear all of mankind’s sins, and eat, sleep, and live with sinners, this pain was unbelievably great. He is the Creator, the Sovereign of all things and the Ruler of everything, yet when He came into the world, He had to endure the oppression and cruelty of corrupted humans. In order to complete His work and rescue humanity from the sea of misery, He had to be condemned by man and bear the sins of all mankind. The extent of the suffering He went through cannot possibly be fathomed nor appreciated by ordinary people. What does this suffering represent? It represents God’s devotion to humankind. It stands for the humiliation He suffered and the price He paid for man’s salvation, to redeem their sins, and to complete this stage of His work. It also means that man would be redeemed from the cross by God. This is a price paid in blood, in life, and a price no created being could afford. It is because He has God’s essence and possesses what God has and is that He could bear this kind of suffering and do this type of work. This is something no being created by Him could have done in His stead. This is the work of God during the Age of Grace and a revelation of His disposition. Does this reveal anything about what God has and is? Is it worth mankind getting to know? In that age, though man did not see God’s person, they received God’s sin offering and were redeemed from the cross by God. Mankind may not be unfamiliar with the work God did during the Age of Grace, but is anyone familiar with the disposition and will expressed by God during this period? Man merely knows about details of God’s work during different ages and through various channels, or knows of stories related to God that took place at the same time God was carrying out His work. These details and stories are at most just some information or legends about God and have nothing to do with God’s disposition and essence. So no matter how many stories people know about God, it does not mean that they have a deep understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition or His essence. As in the Age of Law, though people in the Age of Grace had experienced an immediate and intimate encounter with God in the flesh, their knowledge of God’s disposition and God’s essence was virtually non-existent.
In the Age of Kingdom, God became flesh once more, in the same way He did the first time. During this period of work, God still unreservedly expresses His word, does the work He is bound to do, and expresses what He has and is. At the same time, He continues to endure and tolerate man’s disobedience and ignorance. Does God not continuously reveal His disposition and express His will during this period of work, too? Therefore, from the creation of man until now, God’s disposition, His being and possessions, and His will have always been open to every person. God has never deliberately hidden His essence, His disposition, or His will. It is just that mankind does not care about what God is doing, what His will is—that is why man has such a pitiful understanding of God. In other words, while God conceals His person, He is also standing by mankind at every moment, openly projecting His will, disposition, and essence at all times. In a sense, God’s person is also open to people, but due to man’s blindness and disobedience, they are never able to see God’s appearance. So if that is the case, then should understanding God’s disposition and God Himself not be easy for everyone? That is a very difficult question to answer, isn’t it? You can say it is easy, but while some people seek to know God, they cannot really get to know Him or get a clear understanding of Him—it is always hazy and vague. But if you say it is not easy, that is not correct either. Having been the subject of God’s work for so long, everyone should, through their experiences, have had genuine dealings with God. They should at least have sensed God to some extent in their hearts or have had a spiritual brushing with God, and they should at least have had some perceptive awareness of God’s disposition or gained some understanding of Him. From the time man began to follow God until now, mankind has received far too much, but due to all sorts of reasons—man’s poor caliber, ignorance, rebelliousness, and various intentions—mankind has also lost too much of it. Has God not already given mankind enough? Though God hides His person from humanity, He supplies humans with what He has and is, and His life; humanity’s knowledge of God should not only be what it is now. That is why I think it is necessary to further fellowship with you about the topic of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. The purpose is so that the thousands of years of care and consideration God has vested in man do not end in vain, and so that mankind can genuinely understand and appreciate God’s will toward them. It is so people can advance to a new stage in their knowledge of God. It will also return God to His true place in people’s hearts; that is, do Him justice.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 23
God’s Command to Adam
Gen 2:15–17 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
What do you gather from these verses? How does this part of Scripture make you feel? Why have I decided to talk about God’s Command to Adam? Does each of you now have an image of God and Adam in your mind? You can try to imagine: If you were the one in that scene, deep down, what do you think God would be like? How does thinking about this make you feel? This is a moving and heartwarming picture. Though there is only God and man in it, the intimacy between them fills you with a sense of admiration: God’s overflowing love is freely bestowed upon man and surrounds man; man is innocent and pure, unencumbered and carefree, blissfully living under God’s eye; God shows concern for man, while man lives under God’s protection and blessing; every single thing man does and says is inextricably linked to and inseparable from God.
This can be called God’s first command to man after creating him. What does this command convey? It conveys God’s will, but also His worries for mankind. This is God’s first command, and it is also the first time God expresses worry for man. That is to say, God has felt a responsibility toward man since the moment He created him. What is His responsibility? He has to protect man, to look after man. He hopes man can trust and obey His words. This is also God’s first expectation of man. It is with this expectation that God says the following: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” These simple words represent God’s will. They also reveal that, in His heart, God has begun to show concern for man. Among all things, only Adam was made in God’s image; Adam was the only living thing with God’s breath of life; he could walk with God, converse with God. That is why God gave him this command. God made it very plain in His command what man can and cannot do.
In these few simple words, we see God’s heart. But what kind of heart shows itself? Is there love in God’s heart? Is there concern? In these verses, God’s love and concern can not only be appreciated, but also intimately felt. Would you not agree? After hearing Me say this, do you still think these are just a few simple words? They are not so simple after all, are they? Were you aware of this before? If God personally told you these few words, how would you feel inside? If you were not a humane person, if your heart were ice cold, then you would not feel a thing, you would not appreciate God’s love, and you would not try to understand God’s heart. But as a person with a conscience and sense of humanity, you would feel differently. You would feel warmth, you would feel cared for and loved, and you would feel happiness. Is that not right? When you feel these things, how will you act toward God? Would you feel attached to God? Would you love and respect God from the bottom of your heart? Would your heart grow closer to God? You can see from this just how important God’s love is to man. But what is even more crucial is man’s appreciation for and comprehension of God’s love. In fact, does God not say a lot of similar things during this stage of His work? Are there people today who appreciate God’s heart? Can you grasp the will of God I just spoke of? You cannot really appreciate God’s will when it is this concrete, tangible, and real. That is why I say you do not have real knowledge and understanding of God. Is this not true?
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 24
God Creates Eve
Gen 2:18–20 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Gen 2:22–23 And the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her to the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
There is one key line in this part of Scripture: “whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” So, who gave all living creatures their names? It was Adam, not God. This line tells mankind a fact: God gave man intelligence when He created him. That is to say, man’s intelligence came from God. This is a certainty. But why? After God created Adam, did Adam go to school? Did he know how to read? After God made various living creatures, did Adam recognize all of these creatures? Did God tell him what their names were? Of course, God also did not teach him how to come up with the names of these creatures. That is the truth! How, then, did Adam know how to give these living creatures their names and what kind of names to give them? This is related to the question of what God added to Adam when He created him. The facts prove that when God created man, He added His intelligence to him. This is a key point, so listen carefully. There is also another key point that you should understand: After Adam gave these living creatures their names, these names became set in God’s vocabulary. Why do I mention this? Because this also involves God’s disposition, and this is a point I must expound on further.
God created man, breathed life into him, and also gave him some of His intelligence, His abilities, and what He has and is. After God gave man all of these things, man was able to do some things independently and think on his own. If what man comes up with and does is good in the eyes of God, then God accepts it and does not interfere. If what man does is right, God will let it stand. So, what does the phrase “whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” indicate? It indicates that God did not see fit to alter any of the names given to the various living creatures. Whatever name Adam called a creature, God would say “So it is,” affirming the creature’s name. Did God express any opinion on the matter? No, He certainly did not. So, what do you gather from this? God gave man intelligence and man used his God-given intelligence to do things. If what man does is positive in the eyes of God, then it is affirmed, acknowledged, and accepted by God without any judgment or criticism. This is something no person or evil spirit, or Satan, can do. Do you see a revelation of God’s disposition here? Would a human being, a corrupted person, or Satan permit anyone else to do something in their name, right under their nose? Of course not! Would they fight over this position with that other person or other force that is different from them? Of course they would! If it were a corrupted person or Satan who was with Adam at that time, they would have certainly repudiated what Adam was doing. To prove that they have the ability to think independently and have their own unique insights, they would have absolutely denied everything Adam did: “You want to call it this? Well, I’m not going to call it this, I’m going to call it that; you called it Tom but I’m going to call it Harry. I have to show how clever I am.” What kind of nature is this? Is it not wildly arrogant? And what of God? Does He have such a disposition? Did God have any unusual objections to what Adam was doing? The answer is unequivocally no! Of the disposition God reveals, there is not the slightest hint of argumentativeness, arrogance, or self-righteousness. That much is clear here. This may appear to be a minor point, but if you do not understand God’s essence, if your heart does not try to figure out how God acts and what God’s attitude is, then you will not know God’s disposition or see the expression and revelation of God’s disposition. Is that not so? Do you agree with what I just explained to you? In response to Adam’s actions, God did not grandiosely proclaim, “You have done well, you have done right, and I concur!” In His heart, however, God approved, appreciated, and applauded what Adam did. This was the first thing since creation that man had done for God at His instruction. It was something man did in God’s stead and on God’s behalf. In God’s eyes, this arose out of the intelligence He bestowed upon man. God saw it as a good thing, a positive thing. What Adam did at that time was the first manifestation of God’s intelligence in man. It was a fine manifestation from God’s point of view. What I want to tell you here is that God’s aim in imparting to man something of what He has and is and of His intelligence was so that mankind could be the living creature that manifests Him. For such a living creature to act on His behalf was precisely what God had been longing to see.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 25
God Makes Coats of Skins for Adam and Eve
Gen 3:20–21 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. To Adam also and to his wife did Jehovah God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
“To Adam also and to his wife did Jehovah God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” In this scene, what kind of role do we see God assume when He is with Adam and Eve? In what way does God manifest Himself, in this world with only two human beings? Does He manifest Himself in the role of God? Brothers and sisters from Hong Kong, please answer. (In the role of a parent.) Brothers and sisters from South Korea, what kind of role do you think God appears as? (Head of the family.) Brothers and sisters from Taiwan, what do you think? (The role of someone in Adam and Eve’s family, the role of a family member.) Some of you think God appears as a family member of Adam and Eve, while some say God appears as the head of the family and others say as a parent. All of these are very appropriate. But do you see what I am getting at? God created these two people and treated them as His companions. As their only family, God looked after their lives and took care of their food, clothing and shelter needs. Here, God appears as a parent of Adam and Eve. While God does this, man does not see how lofty God is; he does not see God’s supremacy, His mystery, and especially not His wrath or majesty. All he sees is God’s humbleness, His affection, His concern for man and His responsibility and care for him. The attitude and way in which God treated Adam and Eve is akin to how parents show concern for their children. It is also like the way parents love, look after, and care for their own sons and daughters—real, visible, and tangible. Instead of elevating Himself to a high and mighty position, God personally used skins to make clothing for man. It does not matter whether this fur coat was used to cover their modesty or to shield them from the cold. What matters is that this clothing for covering man’s body was personally made by God with His own hands. Rather than simply thinking the clothing into existence or using some other miraculous means, as people might imagine God would do, God legitimately did something that man would have thought God would not and should not do. This might seem like a trivial thing—some people might not even think it is worth mentioning—but it allows any follower of God who was beset with vague conceptions about Him to gain an insight into His genuineness and loveliness, and to see His faithfulness and humbleness. It makes insufferably arrogant people who think they are high and mighty bow their conceited heads in shame in the face of God’s genuineness and humbleness. Here, God’s genuineness and humbleness further enables people to see how lovable He is. By contrast, the “immense” God, “lovable” God, and “omnipotent” God people hold in their hearts has become trifling and ugly, and crumbles at the slightest touch. When you see this verse and hear this story, do you look down upon God because He did such a thing? Some people might, but others will have the opposite reaction. They will think God is genuine and lovable, and it is precisely God’s genuineness and loveliness that moves them. The more they see the real side of God, the more they can appreciate the true existence of God’s love, the importance of God in their hearts, and how He stands beside them at every moment.
Now, let us relate our discussion back to the present. If God could do these various little things for the people He created at the very beginning, even things that people would never dare think of or expect, then could God do such things for people today? Some say, “Yes!” Why is that? Because God’s essence is not feigned, and His loveliness is not feigned. God’s essence truly exists and is not something added on by others, and certainly not something that changes with different times, places, and eras. God’s genuineness and loveliness can truly be brought out only by doing something people think is unremarkable and insignificant—something so trifling that people would not even think He would ever do it. God is not pretentious. There is no exaggeration, disguise, pride, or arrogance in His disposition and essence. He never boasts, but instead loves, shows concern for, looks after, and leads, with faithfulness and sincerity, the human beings He created. No matter how little people may appreciate, feel, or see what God does, He most certainly is doing it. Would knowing that God has such an essence affect people’s love for Him? Would it influence their fear of God? I hope when you understand the real side of God, you will grow even closer to Him and be able to more truly appreciate His love and care for mankind, as well as be able to give your heart to God and be delivered from suspicions and doubts about Him. God is quietly doing everything for man, doing it all silently through His sincerity, faithfulness, and love. But He never has any apprehensions or regrets over anything He does, nor does He ever need anyone to repay Him in any way or have intentions of ever obtaining anything from mankind. The only purpose of everything He has ever done is so He can receive mankind’s true faith and love.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 26
God Intends to Destroy the World With a Flood and Instructs Noah to Build an Ark
Gen 6:9–14 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth. And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.
Gen 6:18–22 But with you will I establish My covenant; and you shall come into the ark, you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shall you bring into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come to you, to keep them alive. And take you to you of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to you; and it shall be for food for you, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Do you now have a general understanding of who Noah was after reading these passages? What kind of person was Noah? The original text is: “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations.” According to the understanding of modern people, what kind of a person was a “just man” back in those days? A just man should be a perfect man. Do you know whether this perfect man was perfect in the eyes of man, or perfect in the eyes of God? Without a doubt, this perfect man was a perfect man in the eyes of God, but not in the eyes of man. This is for certain! This is because man is blind and cannot see, and only God looks upon the entire earth and every single person, and only God knew that Noah was a perfect man. Therefore, God’s plan to destroy the world with a flood began from the moment He called upon Noah.
That Noah was called upon is a simple fact, but the main point of what we are talking about—God’s disposition, His will, and His essence in this record—is not so simple. To understand these several aspects of God, we must first understand the kind of person God desires to call upon, and through this, understand His disposition, will, and essence. This is crucial. So in God’s eyes, just what kind of a person is this man He calls upon? This must be a person who can listen to His words and who can follow His instructions. At the same time, this must also be a person with a sense of responsibility, someone who will carry out God’s word by treating it as the responsibility and duty they are bound to fulfill. Then does this person need to be someone who knows God? No. Back in that time, Noah had not heard much of God’s teachings or experienced any of God’s work. Therefore, Noah had very little knowledge of God. Although it is recorded here that Noah walked with God, did he ever see God’s person? The answer is definitely no! Because in those days, only God’s messengers came among people. While they could represent God in saying and doing things, they were merely conveying God’s will and His intentions. God’s person was not revealed to man face-to-face. In this part of the scriptures, all we basically see is what Noah had to do and what God’s instructions to him were. So what was the essence expressed by God here? Everything God does is planned with precision. When He sees a thing or a situation occurring, in His eyes there is a standard to measure it with, and this standard determines whether He launches a plan to deal with it or what approach to take in dealing with this thing or situation. He is not indifferent or lacking in feelings toward everything. It is actually the complete opposite. There is a verse here stating what God said to Noah: “The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” When God said this, did He mean He was destroying only humans? No! God said He was going to destroy all living things of flesh. Why did God want destruction? There is another revelation of God’s disposition here; in God’s eyes, there is a limit to His patience toward man’s corruption, toward the filthiness, violence, and disobedience of all flesh. What is His limit? It is as God said: “God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.” What does the phrase “for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth” mean? It means any living things, including those who followed God, those who called on the name of God, those who once made burnt offerings to God, those who verbally acknowledged God and even praised God—once their behavior was full of corruption and reached God’s eyes, He would have to destroy them. That was God’s limit. So to what extent did God remain patient with man and the corruption of all flesh? To the extent that all people, whether followers of God or unbelievers, were not walking the right path. To the extent that man was not just morally corrupt and full of evil, but where there was no one who believed in God’s existence, let alone anyone who believed that the world is ruled by God and that God can bring people light and the right path. To the extent that man despised God’s existence and did not permit God to exist. Once man’s corruption reached this point, God could stand it no longer. What would replace it? The coming of God’s wrath and God’s punishment. Was that not a partial revelation of God’s disposition? In this current age, are there no men who are righteous in the eyes of God? Are there no men who are perfect in the eyes of God? Is this age one in which the behavior of all flesh on earth is corrupt in the eyes of God? In this day and age, are all people of flesh—apart from those God wants to make complete, and those who can follow God and accept His salvation—not challenging the limit of God’s patience? Is everything that happens beside you—what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears, and personally experience every day in this world—not full of violence? In God’s eyes, should such a world, such an age, not be ended? Though the background of the current age is completely different from the background of Noah’s time, the feelings and wrath God has toward man’s corruption remain exactly the same. God is able to be patient because of His work, but in light of the circumstances and conditions, in God’s eyes this world should have been destroyed long ago. The circumstances are far beyond what they were when the world was destroyed by flood. But what is the difference? This is also the thing that saddens God’s heart the most, and perhaps something none of you can appreciate.
When He destroyed the world by flood, God was able to call upon Noah to build an ark and do some of the preparation work. God could call upon one man—Noah—to do these series of things for Him. But in this current age, God does not have anybody to call upon. Why is that? Every single person sitting here probably understands and knows the reason very well. Do you need Me to spell it out? Saying it out loud might make you lose face and get everybody upset. Some people might say: “Although we are not righteous people and we are not perfect people in the eyes of God, if God were to instruct us to do something, we would still be capable of doing it. Before, when He said a catastrophic disaster was coming, we started preparing food and items that would be needed in a disaster. Wasn’t all of this done in accordance with God’s demands? Weren’t we really cooperating with God’s work? Can’t these things we did be compared to what Noah did? Isn’t doing what we did true obedience? Weren’t we following God’s instructions? Didn’t we do what God said because we have faith in God’s words? Then why is God still sad? Why does God say He has no one to call upon?” Is there any difference between your actions and those of Noah’s? What is the difference? (Preparing food today for the disaster was our own intention.) (Our actions cannot amount to being “righteous,” whereas Noah was a righteous man in God’s eyes.) What you said is not too far off. What Noah did was essentially different to what people are doing now. When Noah did as God instructed, he did not know what God’s intentions were. He did not know what God wanted to accomplish. God had only given him a command and instructed him to do something, and without much explanation, Noah went ahead and did it. He did not try to secretly figure out God’s intentions, nor did he resist God or show insincerity. He just went and did it accordingly with a pure and simple heart. Whatever God had him do, he did, and obeying and listening to God’s word underpinned his belief in what he did. That was how straightforwardly and simply he dealt with what God entrusted. His essence—the essence of his actions was obedience, not second-guessing, not resisting, and moreover, not thinking of his own personal interests or his gains and losses. Further, when God said He would destroy the world with a flood, Noah did not ask when or ask what would become of things, and he certainly did not ask God how He was going to destroy the world. He simply did as God instructed. However God wanted it to be made and made with what, he did exactly as God asked and also commenced action immediately. He acted according to God’s instructions with an attitude of wanting to satisfy God. Was he doing it to help himself avoid the disaster? No. Did he ask God how much longer it would be before the world was to be destroyed? He did not. Did he ask God or did he know how long it would take to build the ark? He did not know that either. He simply obeyed, listened, and acted accordingly. The people of now are not the same: As soon as a bit of information is leaked through God’s word, as soon as people sense a mere rustle of leaves in the wind, they immediately spring into action, no matter what and regardless of the price, to prepare what they will eat, drink, and use in the aftermath, even planning their escape routes for when the disaster strikes. Even more interesting is that, at this key moment, human brains are very good at “getting the job done.” Under circumstances where God has not given any instructions, man can plan for everything very appropriately. You could use the word “perfect” to describe such plans. As for what God says, what God’s intentions are, or what God wants, no one cares and no one tries to appreciate it. Is that not the biggest difference between the people of today and Noah?
In this record of Noah’s story, do you see a part of God’s disposition? There is a limit to God’s patience toward man’s corruption, filthiness, and violence. When He reaches that limit, He will no longer be patient and will instead begin His new management and new plan, start to do what He has to do, reveal His deeds and the other side of His disposition. This action of His is not to demonstrate that He must never be offended by man or that He is full of authority and wrath, and it is not to show that He can destroy humanity. It is that His disposition and His holy essence can no longer allow or have the patience for this kind of humanity to live before Him, to live under His dominion. That is to say, when all of mankind is against Him, when there is no one He can save on the whole earth, He will no longer have patience for such a humanity and will, without any misgiving, carry out His plan—to destroy this kind of humanity. Such an act by God is determined by His disposition. This is a necessary consequence, and a consequence that every created being under God’s dominion must bear. Does this not show that in this current age, God cannot wait to complete His plan and save the people He wants to save? Under these circumstances, what does God care about the most? Not how those who do not follow Him at all or those who oppose Him anyway treat Him or resist Him, or how mankind is slandering Him. He only cares about whether those who follow Him, the objects of His salvation in His management plan, have been made complete by Him, whether they have become worthy of His satisfaction. As for the people other than those who follow Him, He merely occasionally provides a bit of punishment to express His wrath. For example: tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. At the same time, He is also strongly protecting and looking after those who follow Him and are about to be saved by Him. God’s disposition is this: On the one hand, He can have extreme patience and tolerance toward the people He intends to make complete, and He can wait for them for as long as He possibly can; on the other hand, God passionately hates and loathes the Satan-type of people who do not follow Him and oppose Him. Although He does not care whether these Satan-types follow Him or worship Him, He still detests them while having patience for them in His heart, and as He determines the ending of these Satan-types, He is also waiting for the arrival of the steps of His management plan.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 27
God’s Blessing to Noah After the Flood
Gen 9:1–6 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, and on every fowl of the air, on all that moves on the earth, and on all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man.
After Noah accepted God’s instructions and built the ark and lived through the days in which God used a flood to destroy the world, his whole family of eight survived. Apart from Noah’s family of eight, all of mankind was destroyed, and all living things on earth were destroyed. To Noah, God gave blessings, and said some things to him and his sons. These things were what God was bestowing upon him and also God’s blessing upon him. This is the blessing and promise God gives to someone who can listen to Him and accept His instructions, and is also the way God rewards people. That is to say, regardless of whether Noah was a perfect man or a righteous man in God’s eyes, and regardless of how much he knew about God, in short, Noah and his three sons all listened to God’s words, cooperated with God’s work, and did what they were supposed to do in accordance with God’s instructions. As a result, they preserved humans and various kinds of living things for God in the wake of the destruction of the world by flood, making a great contribution to the next step of God’s management plan. Because of everything he had done, God blessed him. Maybe for the people of today, what Noah did was not even worth mentioning. Some might even think: Noah did not do anything; God had made up His mind to spare him, so he was definitely going to be spared. His survival was not due to his own accomplishments. This is what God wanted to make happen, because man is passive. But that is not what God was thinking. To God, no matter whether a person is great or insignificant, as long as they can listen to Him, obey His instructions and what He entrusts, and can cooperate with His work, His will, and His plan, so that His will and His plan can be accomplished smoothly, then that conduct is worthy of His remembrance and of receiving His blessing. God treasures such people, and He cherishes their actions and their love and affection for Him. This is God’s attitude. So why did God bless Noah? Because this is how God treats such actions and the obedience of man.
In regard to God’s blessing of Noah, some people will say: “If man listens to God and satisfies God, then God should bless man. Doesn’t that go without saying?” Can we say that? Some people say: “No.” Why can we not say that? Some people say: “Man is not worthy of enjoying God’s blessing.” That is not entirely right. Because when a person accepts what God entrusts to them, God has a standard for judging whether their actions are good or bad and whether the person has obeyed, and whether the person has satisfied God’s will and whether what they do meets that standard. What God cares about is the person’s heart, not their actions on the surface. It is not the case that God should bless someone as long as they do something, regardless of how they do it. This is a misunderstanding people have about God. God looks not just at the end result of things, but places more emphasis on how a person’s heart is and how a person’s attitude is during the development of things, and He looks at whether there is obedience, consideration, and the desire to satisfy God in their heart. How much did Noah know about God at the time? Was it as much as the doctrines you know now? In terms of aspects of the truth such as concepts and knowledge of God, did he receive as much watering and shepherding as you? No, he did not! But there is one fact that is undeniable: In the consciousness, minds, and even the depths of the hearts of the people of today, their concepts of and attitudes toward God are vague and ambiguous. You could even say that a portion of people hold a negative attitude toward God’s existence. But in Noah’s heart and his consciousness, God’s existence was absolute and beyond the slightest doubt, and thus his obedience to God was unadulterated and could stand the test. His heart was pure and open toward God. He did not need too much knowledge of doctrines to convince himself to follow every word of God, nor did he need a lot of facts to prove God’s existence in order to be able to accept what God entrusted him with and to be capable of doing whatever God had him do. This is the essential difference between Noah and the people of today. It is also the true definition of precisely what a perfect man is in God’s eyes. What God wants is people like Noah. He is the type of person God praises and is also precisely the kind of person God blesses. Have you received any enlightenment from this? People look at people from the outside, while what God looks at is people’s hearts and their essence. God does not allow anyone to have any half-heartedness or doubts toward Him, nor does He permit people to suspect or test Him in any way. Hence, even though the people of today are face to face with God’s word—you could even say face to face with God—due to something deep inside their hearts, the existence of their corrupt essence, and their hostile attitude toward Him, people have been obstructed from having a true belief in God and blocked from being obedient to Him. Because of this, it is very difficult for them to obtain the same blessing that God bestowed upon Noah.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 28
God Uses the Rainbow as a Symbol of His Covenant With Man
Gen 9:11–13 And I will establish My covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.
Next, let us take a look at this part of the scriptures about how God used the rainbow as a symbol of His covenant with man.
Most people know what a rainbow is and have heard of some stories related to rainbows. As for the story about the rainbow in the Bible, some people believe it and some treat it as legend, while others do not believe it at all. No matter what, all of the events that happened in relation to the rainbow were the work of God and took place in the process of God’s management of man. These events have been recorded exactly in the Bible. These records do not tell us what mood God was in at the time or the intentions behind these words God said. Moreover, no one can appreciate what God was feeling when He said them. However, God’s state of mind regarding this entire event is revealed between the lines of the text. It is as though His thoughts at the time leap off the page through each word and phrase of God’s word.
God’s thoughts are what people should be concerned about and what they should be trying to get to know the most. This is because God’s thoughts are inextricably related to man’s understanding of God, and man’s understanding of God is an indispensable link to man’s entry into life. So what was God thinking at the time when these events happened?
Originally, God created a humanity that in His eyes was very good and close to Him, but they were destroyed by flood after rebelling against Him. Did it hurt God that such a humanity just instantly vanished like that? Of course it hurt! So what was His expression of this pain? How was it recorded in the Bible? It was recorded in the Bible in these words: “And I will establish My covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” This simple sentence reveals God’s thoughts. This destruction of the world pained Him very much. In man’s words, He was very sad. We can imagine: How did the earth that was once full of life look like after being destroyed by the flood? What did the earth, that was once full of human beings, look like at that time? No human habitation, no living creatures, water everywhere and utter devastation on the surface of the water. Was such a scene God’s original intention when He created the world? Of course not! God’s original intention was to see life all across the land, to see the human beings He created worshiping Him, not just for Noah to be the only one worshiping Him or the only one who could answer His call to complete what was entrusted to him. When humanity disappeared, God saw not what He had originally intended but the complete opposite. How could His heart not be in pain? So when He was revealing His disposition and expressing His emotions, God made a decision. What kind of a decision did He make? To make a bow in the cloud (that is, the rainbows that we see) as a covenant with man, a promise that God would not destroy mankind with a flood again. At the same time, it was also to tell people that God had destroyed the world with a flood, so that mankind would forever remember why God would do such a thing.
Was the destruction of the world at that time something God wanted? It was definitely not what God wanted. We might be able to imagine a small part of the pitiful sight of the earth after the destruction of the world, but we cannot come close to imagining what the scene was like at the time in God’s eyes. We can say that, whether it is the people of now or then, nobody is able to imagine or appreciate what God was feeling when He saw that scene, that image of the world following its destruction by flood. God was forced to do this by man’s disobedience, but the pain suffered by God’s heart from this destruction of the world by flood is a reality no one can fathom or appreciate. That is why God made a covenant with mankind, through which He aimed to tell people to remember that God once did something like this, and to swear to them that God would never destroy the world in such a way again. In this covenant we see God’s heart—we see that God’s heart was in pain when He destroyed this humanity. In the language of man, when God destroyed mankind and saw mankind disappearing, His heart was weeping and bleeding. Is that not the best way to describe it? These words are used by humans to illustrate human emotions, but since man’s language is too lacking, using them to describe God’s feelings and emotions does not seem too bad to Me, and nor are they too excessive. At least it gives you a very vivid, very apt understanding of what God’s mood was like at the time. What will you think of now when you see a rainbow again? At least you will remember how God was once in sorrow over destroying the world by flood. You will remember how, even though God hated this world and despised this humanity, when He destroyed the human beings He created with His own hands, His heart was hurting, struggling to let go, feeling reluctant, and finding it hard to bear. His only comfort was in Noah’s family of eight. It was Noah’s cooperation that made His painstaking efforts of creating all things not be in vain. At a time when God was suffering, this was the only thing that could make up for His pain. From that point, God placed all of His expectations of humanity on Noah’s family, hoping they could live under His blessings and not His curse, hoping that they would never see God destroy the world with a flood again, and also hoping that they would not be destroyed.
What part of God’s disposition should we learn about from this? God had despised man because man was hostile to Him, but in His heart, His care, concern, and mercy for humanity remained unchanged. Even when He destroyed mankind, His heart remained unchanged. When humanity was full of corruption and disobedient toward God to a grievous extent, God had to destroy this humanity, because of His disposition and His essence, and in accordance with His principles. But because of God’s essence, He still pitied mankind, and even wanted to use various ways to redeem mankind so they could continue to live. Man, however, opposed God, continued to disobey God, and refused to accept God’s salvation; that is, refused to accept His good intentions. No matter how God called to them, reminded them, supplied them, helped them, or tolerated them, man did not understand or appreciate it, nor did they pay attention. In His pain, God still did not forget to grant man His maximum tolerance, waiting for man to reverse course. After He reached His limit, He did what He had to do without any hesitation. In other words, there was a specific time period and process from the moment God planned to destroy mankind to the start of His work in destroying mankind. This process existed for the purpose of enabling man to reverse course, and this was the last chance God gave to man. So what did God do in this period before destroying mankind? God did a significant amount of reminding and exhorting work. No matter how much pain and sorrow God’s heart was in, He continued to vest His care, concern, and abundant mercy in humanity. What do we see from this? Undoubtedly, we see that God’s love for mankind is real and not something He merely pays lip service to. It is actual, tangible and appreciable, not feigned, adulterated, deceitful or pretentious. God never uses any deception or creates false images to make people see that He is lovable. He never uses false testimony to let people see His loveliness, or to flaunt His loveliness and holiness. Are these aspects of God’s disposition not worthy of man’s love? Are they not worth worshiping? Are they not worth cherishing? At this point, I want to ask you: After hearing these words, do you think God’s greatness is merely empty words on a sheet of paper? Is God’s loveliness just empty words? No! Certainly not! God’s supremacy, greatness, holiness, tolerance, love, and so forth—every detail of every one of the various aspects of God’s disposition and essence find practical expression every time He does His work, are embodied in His will toward man, and are also fulfilled and reflected in every person. Regardless of whether you have felt it before, God is caring for every person in every possible way, using His sincere heart, wisdom, and various methods to warm each person’s heart, and awaken each person’s spirit. This is an indisputable fact.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 29
God created mankind; regardless of whether they have been corrupted or whether they follow Him, God treats human beings as His most cherished loved ones—or as human beings would say, the people dearest to Him—and not as His playthings. Although God says He is the Creator and that man is His creation, which may sound like there is a slight difference in rank, the reality is that everything God has done for mankind far exceeds a relationship of this nature. God loves mankind, cares for mankind, and shows concern for mankind, as well as constantly and unceasingly providing for mankind. He never feels in His heart that this is additional work or something that deserves a lot of credit. Nor does He feel that saving humanity, supplying them, and granting them everything, is making a huge contribution to mankind. He simply provides for mankind quietly and silently, in His own way and through His own essence and what He has and is. No matter how much provision and how much help mankind receives from Him, God never thinks about or tries to take credit. This is determined by the essence of God, and is also precisely a true expression of God’s disposition. This is why, regardless of whether it is in the Bible or any other books, we never find God expressing His thoughts, and we never find God describing or declaring to humans, with the aim of making mankind be grateful toward Him or praise Him, why He does these things, or why He cares so much for mankind. Even when He is hurt, when His heart is in extreme pain, He never forgets His responsibility toward mankind or His concern for mankind; all while He bears this hurt and pain alone in silence. To the contrary, God continues to provide for mankind as He has always done. Even though mankind often praises God or bears witness to Him, none of this behavior is demanded by God. This is because God never intends for any of the good things He does for mankind to be exchanged for gratitude or to be paid back. On the other hand, those who can fear God and shun evil, those who can truly follow God, listen to Him and are loyal to Him, and those who can obey Him—these are the people who will often receive God’s blessings, and God will bestow such blessings without reservation. Moreover, the blessings people receive from God are often beyond their imagination, and also beyond anything human beings can justify through what they have done or what price they have paid. When mankind is enjoying God’s blessings, does anyone care about what God is doing? Does anyone show any concern for how God is feeling? Does anyone try to appreciate God’s pain? The answer is an emphatic no! Can any human being, including Noah, appreciate the pain God was feeling at that moment? Can anyone comprehend why God would establish such a covenant? They cannot! Mankind does not appreciate God’s pain not because they cannot understand God’s pain, and not because of the gap between God and man or the difference in their status; rather, it is because mankind does not care at all about any of God’s feelings. Mankind thinks God is independent—that God does not need people to care about Him, to understand Him or show Him consideration. God is God, so He has no pain, no emotions; He will not be sad, He does not feel sorrow, He does not even cry. God is God, so He does not need any emotional expressions and He does not need any emotional comfort. If, under certain circumstances, He does need these things, then He can cope alone and will not require any assistance from mankind. Conversely, it is the weak, immature humans who need God’s consolation, provision, encouragement, and even for Him to comfort their emotions at all times and all places. Such things lurk deep inside the hearts of mankind: Man is the weak one; they need God to look after them in every way, they deserve all the care they receive from God, and they should demand from God whatever they feel should be theirs. God is the strong one; He has everything, and He ought to be mankind’s guardian and bestower of blessings. Since He is already God, He is omnipotent and does not ever need anything from mankind.
As man does not pay attention to any of God’s revelations, he has never felt God’s sorrow, pain, or joy. But conversely, God knows all of man’s expressions like the palm of His hand. God supplies everyone’s needs at all times and in all places, observing each person’s changing thoughts and thus comforting and exhorting them, and guiding and illuminating them. In terms of all the things God has done on mankind and all of the prices He has paid because of them, can people find a passage in the Bible or from anything God has said until now that clearly states that God will demand something from man? No! To the contrary, no matter how people ignore God’s thinking, He still repeatedly leads mankind, repeatedly provides for mankind and helps them, to enable them to follow God’s way so they can attain the beautiful destination He has prepared for them. When it comes to God, what He has and is, His grace, His mercy, and all His rewards, will be bestowed without reservation upon those who love and follow Him. But He never reveals to any person the pain He has suffered or His state of mind, and He never complains about anyone not being considerate toward Him or not knowing His will. He simply bears all of this in silence, waiting for the day mankind will be able to understand.
Why do I say these things here? What do you see from the things I have said? There is something in God’s essence and disposition that is all too easy to overlook, something that is only possessed by God and not by any person, including those others think of as great people, good people, or the God of their imagination. What is this thing? It is God’s selflessness. When speaking of selflessness, you might think you are also very selfless, because when it comes to your children, you never bargain or haggle with them, or you think you are also very selfless when it comes to your parents. No matter what you think, at least you have a concept of the word “selfless” and think of it as a positive word, and that being a selfless person is very noble. When you are selfless, you esteem yourself highly. But there is no one who can see God’s selflessness in all things, among people, events, and objects, and in His work. Why is this the case? Because man is too selfish! Why do I say that? Mankind lives in a material world. You may follow God, but you never see or appreciate how God provides for you, loves you, and shows concern for you. So what do you see? You see your blood relatives who love you or dote on you. You see the things that are beneficial to your flesh, you care about the people and things you love. This is man’s so-called selflessness. Such “selfless” people, however, are never concerned about the God that gives life to them. In contrast to that of God, man’s selflessness becomes selfish and despicable. The selflessness man believes in is empty and unrealistic, adulterated, incompatible with God, and unrelated to God. Man’s selflessness is for himself, while God’s selflessness is a true revelation of His essence. It is precisely due to God’s selflessness that man is constantly provided for by Him. You might not be too deeply affected by this topic I am talking about today and are merely nodding in approval, but when you try to appreciate God’s heart in your heart, you will unwittingly discover this: Among all the people, matters, and things you can sense in this world, only God’s selflessness is real and concrete, because only God’s love for you is unconditional and unblemished. Apart from God, anyone else’s so-called unselfishness is feigned, superficial, inauthentic; it has a purpose, certain intentions, carries a tradeoff, and cannot stand to be tested. You could even say that it is filthy and contemptible. Are you in agreement with these words?
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Daily Words of God Excerpt 30
Gen 9:11–13 And I will establish My covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.
At the end of Noah’s story, we see that God used an unusual method to express His feelings at the time. It was a very special method: to make a covenant with man which declared the end of God’s destruction of the world with the flood. On the surface, making a covenant may seem like a very ordinary thing. It is nothing more than using words to bind two parties and prevent them from violating their agreement, so as to protect both of their interests. In form, it is a very ordinary thing, but from the motivations behind and intent of God in doing this thing, it is a true revelation of God’s disposition and state of mind. If you just put these words aside and ignore them, if I never tell you the truth of things, then humanity will really never know God’s thinking. Perhaps in your imagination God was smiling when He made this covenant, or perhaps His expression was serious, but regardless of what most ordinary expression people imagine God to have had, no one would have been able to see God’s heart or His pain, let alone His loneliness. No one can make God trust them or be worthy of God’s trust, or be someone He can express His thoughts or confide His pain to. That is why God had no choice but to do such a thing. On the surface, God did an easy thing in bidding farewell to humanity as it was, settling the issue of the past and bringing to a perfect end His destruction of the world by flood. However, God buried the pain from this moment deep inside His heart. At a time when God did not have anyone to confide in, He made a covenant with mankind, telling them that He would not destroy the world with a flood again. When a rainbow appeared, it was to remind people that such a thing had happened and to warn them to refrain from evil. Even in such a painful state, God did not forget about mankind and still showed so much concern for them. Is this not God’s love and unselfishness? But what do people think of when they are suffering? Is this not the time they need God the most? At times like this, people always drag God over so He can comfort them. No matter when, God will never let people down, and He will always enable people to get out of their predicaments and live in the light. Although God so provides for mankind, in man’s heart God is nothing more than a soothing pill, a comfort tonic. When God is suffering, when His heart is wounded, having a created being or any person keep Him company or comfort Him would undoubtedly be just an extravagant wish for God. Man never pays attention to God’s feelings, so God never asks nor expects there to be someone who can comfort Him. He merely uses His own methods to express His mood. People do not think it is a great hardship for God to go through some suffering, but only when you truly try to understand God, when you can genuinely appreciate God’s earnest intentions in everything He does, can you feel God’s greatness and His selflessness. Even though God made a covenant with mankind using the rainbow, He never told anyone why He did this—why He established this covenant—meaning He never told anybody His real thoughts. This is because there is no one who can comprehend the depth of the love God has for the mankind He created with His own hands, and there is also no one who can appreciate just how much pain His heart suffered when He destroyed humanity. Therefore, even if He were to tell people how He felt, they would be unable to undertake this trust. Despite being in pain, He still continues with the next step of His work. God always gives His best side and the best things to mankind while quietly bearing all the suffering Himself. God never openly discloses these sufferings. Instead, He endures them and waits in silence. God’s endurance is not cold, numb, or helpless, nor is it a sign of weakness. Rather, God’s love and essence have always been selfless. This is a natural revelation of His essence and disposition, and a genuine embodiment of God’s identity as the true Creator.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I