16. The Principles of Exalting God as Great
Relevant Words of God:
God is the One who rules over all things and administers all things. He created all that there is, He administers all that there is, He rules over all that there is, and He provides for all that there is. This is the status of God, and it is His identity. For all things and all that there is, God’s true identity is the Creator and the Ruler of all of creation. Such is the identity possessed by God, and He is unique among all things. None of God’s creatures—whether they be among mankind or in the spiritual world—can use any means or excuse to impersonate or replace God’s identity and status, for there is only One, among all things, who is possessed of this identity, power, authority, and ability to rule over creation: our unique God Himself. He lives and moves among all things; He can rise to the highest place, above all things. He can humble Himself by becoming human, becoming one among those of flesh and blood, coming face-to-face with people and sharing weal and woe with them, while at the same time, He commands all that there is, deciding the fate of all that there is and in what direction it all moves. Moreover, He guides the fate of all mankind, and steers the direction of mankind. A God such as this should be worshiped, obeyed, and known by all living beings. Thus, regardless of which group or type among mankind you belong to, believing in God, following God, revering God, accepting His rule, and accepting His arrangements for your fate is the only choice—the necessary choice—for any person and for any living being.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique X” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God created all things, and so He makes all creation come under His dominion and submit to His dominion; He will command all things, so that all things are in His hands. All of God’s creation, including animals, plants, mankind, the mountains and rivers, and the lakes—all must come under His dominion. All things in the skies and on the ground must come under His dominion. They cannot have any choice and must all submit to His orchestrations. This was decreed by God, and it is the authority of God. God commands everything, and orders and ranks all things, with each classed according to kind, and allotted their own position, according to God’s will. No matter how great it is, no thing can surpass God, all things serve the mankind created by God, and no thing dares to disobey God or make any demands of God. Therefore man, as a creature of God, must also perform the duty of man. Regardless of whether he is the lord or caretaker of all things, no matter how high man’s status among all things, still he is but a small human being under the dominion of God, and is no more than an insignificant human being, a creature of God, and he will never be above God.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
1. Man should not magnify himself, nor exalt himself. He should worship and exalt God.
8. People who believe in God should obey God and worship Him. Do not exalt or look up to any person; do not put God first, the people you look up to second, and yourself third. No person should hold a place in your heart, and you should not consider people—particularly those you venerate—to be on a par with God or to be His equal. This is intolerable to God.
Excerpted from “The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The group of people whom God incarnate wants to gain today are those who conform to His will. They need only submit to His work, and stop constantly concerning themselves with the ideas of God in heaven, living in vagueness, and making things difficult for God in the flesh. Those who are able to obey Him are those who absolutely listen to His words and submit to His arrangements. Such people pay no mind at all to what God in heaven might really be like or what kind of work God in heaven might currently be doing among mankind; they fully give their hearts to God on earth and they place their entire beings before Him. They never give any consideration to their own safety, nor do they ever make a fuss over the normality and practicality of God in the flesh. Those who submit to God in the flesh can be perfected by Him. Those who believe in God in heaven will gain nothing. This is because it is not God in heaven, but God on earth, who bestows promises and blessings upon people. People should not always magnify God in heaven while seeing God on earth as a mere average person; this is unfair. God in heaven is great and wonderful with marvelous wisdom, yet this does not exist at all; God on earth is very average and insignificant, and is also very normal. He does not have an extraordinary mind or perform earth-shattering acts; He simply works and speaks in a very normal and practical manner. While He does not speak through thunder or summon the wind and the rain, He truly is the incarnation of God in heaven, and He really is the God living amongst humans. People must not magnify the one whom they are able to understand and who corresponds to their own imaginations as God, while seeing the one they cannot accept and absolutely cannot imagine as being lowly. All of this comes from people’s rebelliousness; it is all the source of mankind’s resistance to God.
Excerpted from “Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“But I say to you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (Mat 12:6–8). What does the word “temple” refer to here? To put it simply, it refers to a magnificent, tall building, and in the Age of Law, the temple was a place for priests to worship God. When the Lord Jesus said “in this place is one greater than the temple,” who did “one” refer to? Clearly, the “one” is the Lord Jesus in the flesh, because only He was greater than the temple. What did those words tell people? They told people to come out of the temple—God had already left the temple and was no longer working in it, so people should seek God’s footsteps outside of the temple and follow His steps in His new work. When the Lord Jesus said this, there was a premise behind His words, which was that under the law, people had come to see the temple as something greater than God Himself. That is, people worshiped the temple rather than worshiping God, so the Lord Jesus warned them not to worship idols, but to instead worship God, for He is supreme. Thus, He said: “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.” It is evident that in the eyes of the Lord Jesus, most people living under the law no longer worshiped Jehovah, but were merely going through the motions of sacrificing, and the Lord Jesus determined that this constituted idol worship. These idol-worshipers saw the temple as something greater and higher than God. In their hearts there was only the temple, not God, and if they were to lose the temple, then they would lose their dwelling place. Without the temple they had nowhere to worship and could not carry out their sacrifices. Their so-called “dwelling place” is where they used the false pretense of worshiping Jehovah God in order to stay in the temple and carry out their own affairs. Their so-called “sacrificing” was just them carrying out their own personal shameful dealings under the guise of conducting their service in the temple. This was the reason people at that time saw the temple as greater than God. The Lord Jesus spoke these words as a warning to people, because they were using the temple as a front, and sacrifices as a cover for cheating people and cheating God. If you apply these words to the present, they are still equally valid and equally pertinent. Although people today have experienced different work of God than the people in the Age of Law experienced, the essence of their nature is the same. In the context of the work today, people will still do the same type of things as are represented by the words, “the temple is greater than God.” For example, people see fulfilling their duty as their job; they see bearing witness to God and battling the great red dragon as political movements in defense of human rights, for democracy and freedom; they turn their duty to utilize their skills into careers, but they treat fearing God and shunning evil as nothing but a piece of religious doctrine to observe; and so on. Are not these behaviors essentially the same as “the temple is greater than God”? The difference is that, two thousand years ago, people were carrying out their personal business in the physical temple, but today, people carry out their personal business in intangible temples. Those people that value rules see rules as greater than God, those people that love status see status as greater than God, those that love their career see careers as greater than God, and so on—all their expressions lead Me to say: “People praise God as the greatest through their words, but in their eyes everything is greater than God.” This is because as soon as people find an opportunity along their path of following God to display their own talents, or to carry out their own business or their own career, they distance themselves from God and throw themselves into their beloved career. As for what God has entrusted to them, and His will, those things have long since been discarded. What is the difference between the state of these people and those who conducted their own business in the temple two thousand years ago?
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People who genuinely believe in God always have Him in their hearts, and they always carry within them a God-revering heart, a God-loving heart. Those who believe in God should do things cautiously and prudently, and all that they do should be in accordance with God’s requirements and able to satisfy His heart. They should not be headstrong, doing whatever they please; that does not befit saintly propriety. People must not run amok, waving the flag of God all over the place while swaggering and swindling everywhere; this is the most rebellious sort of conduct. Families have their rules, and nations have their laws—and isn’t it even more so in the house of God? Aren’t the standards even stricter? Aren’t there even more administrative decrees? People are free to do what they want, but the administrative decrees of God cannot be altered at will. God is a God who does not tolerate offense from humans; He is a God who puts people to death. Do people really not know this already?
Excerpted from “A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Believing in God requires you to put your intentions and views in proper order; you must have a correct understanding of, and a correct way of treating, the words of God and God’s work, all the environments that God arranges, the man for whom God testifies, and the practical God. You must not practice according to your own ideas or devise your own petty schemes. Whatever you do, you must be able to seek the truth and, in your position as a created being, submit to all of God’s work. If you wish to pursue being perfected by God and enter upon the right track of life, then your heart must always live in God’s presence. Do not be dissolute, do not follow Satan, do not allow Satan any opportunities to carry out its work, and do not let Satan make use of you. You must give yourself to God completely and let God rule over you.
Excerpted from “How Is Your Relationship With God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What, would you say, is expressed in those who accept that God is the truth, who accept that God is their Lord, and the Ruler of all things? What do they put into practice, what states do they have, what do they live out? (They seek the truth in all things.) That’s one aspect. What else? Keep going. (They obey all the environments, people, things, and matters that God sets out, and they try and learn lessons and gain the truth from these.) What else? (In their actions, they dare not oppose or offend God.) (They are able to accept God’s observation in all things.) These are all expressions. Anything else? (God has a place in their hearts.) (They exalt God in all things.) Those are empty words, they’re just cants. As you spoke more, the cants came out. You really are something—just now you managed to keep on track, but as you kept going you strayed. Above all, when something happens to them, they will say, “It doesn’t matter whether I understand the truth or not. It doesn’t matter whether I have to seek the truth later. Firstly, I must be apprehensive of God, I must not act rashly, and I must fear God. Before all else, I must not offend God.” One look at them and people will say, “Ah, this person is very precise in what they say and calm in what they do. They’re really at peace. They’re not impetuous, or dissolute—they’re really at peace, they’re able to wait. In their hearts, there is a story going on between them and God, they interact with God. They do not live superficially—they fear God.” Is this what they must live out? (Yes.) So do the people who live this out have a connection with God? (Yes.) People who often don’t live this out are reckless and insolent, they are not held in check, they are dissolute, they spend all their time laughing and joking. They do not take performing their duty seriously, they say whatever pops into their head, and are impetuous in all they do. They are not in the slightest bit at peace; they bare their teeth and show their claws in all they do and say—they look just like unbelievers. So in what they reveal and express, are they people who live before God? Is this what is expressed and revealed by someone who lives before God? (No.) So what is the state inside people who express these things? Is God in their hearts? (No.) He most certainly is not. Such people are condemned and loathed by God.
Excerpted from “Only If You Live Before God at All Times Can You Walk the Path of Salvation” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Once a person begins to recognize that he or she is an object of creation, that person will develop hopes of becoming a genuine creature of creation in order to satisfy God. At the same time, such people will also accept God as their Lord and desire to obey all of God’s requirements, as well as His rule. They therefore will stop acting wantonly, and will seek for God’s intentions and seek the principles of truth in everything they do. They will no longer simply do whatever they want to or do things according to their own plans. Rather than relying on their individual ideas, they will begin to have God constantly in their thoughts, and their subjective wish will be to satisfy God in all aspects, conform to the truth and meet God’s requirements in their actions. People in such a state have undoubtedly begun learning to seek the truth, practice the truth, and enter the reality of the truth. If you are in such a state and can begin to learn how to do these things, then it goes without saying that you will very naturally start to learn how to seek God’s will, and begin to seek how not to dishonor God’s name, how to magnify God, how to fear God, and how to satisfy God, rather than satisfying yourself or satisfying someone else, let alone trying to satisfy your own selfish desires. When people enter this sort of state, and have begun to have such a state, their corrupt disposition and corrupt nature will no longer guide the way they think, and will no longer control or influence their thoughts and ideas. Their corrupt disposition and corrupt nature will not be able to control them anymore. Once you are in this state, your subjective desires will be for positive things, and you will be able to grasp how to act in order to prevent your corruption from being revealed, and how to keep from acting in an arbitrary fashion and doing selfish and despicable things. In this way, even though you will still possess a corrupt disposition, it will no longer be able to dominate everything about you and will not be able to control you anymore. Will you not then be living with the truth holding sway within you?
Excerpted from “The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Although Job had never seen God or heard the words of God with his own ears, God had a place in Job’s heart. What was Job’s attitude toward God? It was, as previously referred to, “blessed be the name of Jehovah.” His blessing of God’s name was unconditional, irrespective of context, and bound to no reason. We see that Job had given his heart to God, allowing it to be controlled by God; all that he thought, all that he decided, and all that he planned in his heart was laid open to God and not closed off from God. His heart did not stand in opposition to God, and he had never asked God to do anything for him or give him anything, and he did not harbor extravagant desires that he would gain anything from his worship of God. Job did not talk of trades with God, and made no requests or demands of God. His praising of God’s name was because of the great power and authority of God in ruling all things, and it was not dependent on whether he gained blessings or was struck by disaster. He believed that regardless of whether God blesses people or brings disaster upon them, God’s power and authority will not change, and thus, regardless of a person’s circumstances, God’s name should be praised. That man is blessed by God is because of God’s sovereignty, and when disaster befalls man, so, too, it is because of God’s sovereignty. God’s power and authority rule over and arrange everything about man; the vagaries of man’s fortune are the manifestation of God’s power and authority, and regardless of one’s viewpoint, God’s name should be praised. This is what Job experienced and came to know during the years of his life. All of Job’s thoughts and actions reached the ears of God and arrived before God, and were seen as important by God. God cherished this knowledge of Job, and treasured Job for having such a heart. This heart awaited God’s command always, and in all places, and no matter what the time or place it welcomed whatever befell him. Job made no demands of God. What he demanded of himself was to wait for, accept, face, and obey all of the arrangements that came from God; Job believed this to be his duty, and it was precisely what was wanted by God. Job had never seen God, nor heard Him speak any words, issue any commands, give any teachings, or instruct him of anything. In the words of today, for him to be able to possess such a knowledge and attitude toward God when God had given him no enlightenment, guidance, or provision with regard to the truth—this was precious, and for him to demonstrate such things was enough for God, and his testimony was commended and cherished by God. Job had never seen God or heard God personally utter any teachings to him, but to God his heart and he himself were far more precious than those people who, before God, were only able to talk in terms of deep theory, who were only able to boast, and speak of offering sacrifices, but who had never had a true knowledge of God, and had never truly feared God. For Job’s heart was pure, and not hidden from God, and his humanity was honest and kind-hearted, and he loved justice and that which was positive. Only a man like this who was possessed of such a heart and humanity was able to follow the way of God, and capable of fearing God and shunning evil. Such a man could see God’s sovereignty, could see His authority and power, and was able to achieve obedience to His sovereignty and arrangements. Only a man such as this could truly praise God’s name. That is because he did not look at whether God would bless him or bring disaster upon him, because he knew that everything is controlled by the hand of God, and that for man to worry is a sign of foolishness, ignorance, and irrationality, of doubt toward the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things, and of not fearing God. Job’s knowledge was precisely what God wanted.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Although the skills and abilities of Satan are greater than those of man, although it can do things that are unattainable by man, regardless of whether you envy or aspire to what Satan does, regardless of whether you hate or are disgusted by these things, regardless of whether or not you are capable of seeing them, and regardless of how much Satan can achieve, or how many people it can deceive into worshiping and enshrining it, and regardless of how you define it, you cannot possibly say that it has the authority and power of God. You should know that God is God, there is only one God, and moreover, you should know that only God has authority, that only God has the power to control and rule all things. Just because Satan has the ability to deceive people and can impersonate God, imitate the signs and miracles made by God, and has done similar things as God, you mistakenly believe that God is not unique, that there are many Gods, that these different Gods merely have greater or lesser skills, and that there are differences in the breadth of the power that they wield. You rank their greatness in the order of their arrival and according to their age, and you wrongly believe that there are other deities apart from God, and think that the power and authority of God are not unique. If you have such ideas, if you do not recognize the uniqueness of God, do not believe that only God is possessed of authority, and if you only abide by polytheism, then I say that you are the scum of the creatures, you are the true embodiment of Satan, and you are an absolute person of evil! Do you understand what I am trying to teach you by saying these words? No matter what the time, place, or your background, you must not confuse God with any other person, thing, or object. Regardless of how unknowable and unapproachable you feel the authority of God and substance of God Himself is, regardless of how much the deeds and words of Satan agree with your notion and imagination, regardless of how satisfying they are to you, do not be foolish, do not confuse these concepts, do not deny the existence of God, do not deny the identity and status of God, do not push God out the door and bring in Satan to replace the God within your heart and be your God. I have no doubt that you are capable of imagining the consequences of doing so!
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique I” in The Word Appears in the Flesh