Excursus Three: How Noah and Abraham Obeyed God’s Words and Submitted to Him (Part Two)

At the last gathering, we fellowshipped on the tenth item of the various manifestations of antichrists, “They despise the truth, brazenly flout principles, and ignore the arrangements of God’s house.” What details did we fellowship on specifically? (God has mainly fellowshipped how to approach God’s word.) Is this related to item ten? (Yes. Because, in the item “They despise the truth, brazenly flout principles, and ignore the arrangements of God’s house,” one of antichrists’ behaviors is they merely listen to that which Christ says, but neither obey nor submit to it. They don’t obey God’s words, and they don’t practice according to God’s words either. In the last gathering, God fellowshipped on how to approach God’s word, how to obey God’s word, and then how to implement and execute God’s word.) All of this is understood, right? During our previous gathering I told two stories: One was the story of Noah, and one was that of Abraham. These are two classic stories from the Bible. Many people know about and understand these stories, but after having understood them, very few people know how to approach the words and requirements of God. So, what was the main objective of our fellowshipping on these two stories? It was to make people know how, as a person and as a created being, they should approach God’s words and requirements—and know the position that a created being should take, and the attitude they should have, when faced with God’s requirements, and when listening to God’s words. These are the main things. This is the truth that people are intended to come to know and understand when we fellowshipped on these two stories last time. So, after we fellowshipped on these two stories, are you now clear about how to submit to Christ and obey His words, about what attitude people should have, and what their perspective and position should be, toward Christ, and toward the words spoken by Christ, as well as about how people should approach the words and requirements that come from God, and what truths should be understood within this? (Number one is being sincere with Christ, number two is learning to respect Christ, and number three is obeying His words, listening to the words of God with our hearts.) You remember the rules. If I hadn’t spoken of these rules, would you have been able to distill them from the two stories I told? (The only thing we can conclude is that we must obey whatever God says.) All you can distill are simple, dogmatic, and theoretical ways of acting; you are still incapable of understanding or knowing the truths within this that people should seek and understand. So let us fellowship, in detail, on the stories of Noah and Abraham.

I. Noah’s Attitude Toward God’s Words

Let us first talk about the story of Noah. Last gathering, we broadly covered the causes and outcomes of the story of Noah. Why were we not more specific? Because most people already know the causes, outcomes, and specific details of this story. If there are any details you aren’t very clear on, you can find them in the Bible. What we are fellowshipping on are not the particular details of this story, but about how Noah, the protagonist of the story, treated the words of God, what aspects of the truth people should understand from this, and what God’s attitude was, what He thought, and what His assessment of Noah was after He saw every move that Noah had made. These are the details we should fellowship on. God’s attitude toward Noah and His assessment of what Noah did are sufficient to tell us just what standards God requires of mankind, of those who follow Him, of those He saves. Is there truth to be sought in this? Where there is truth to be sought, it is worth dissecting, pondering, and fellowshipping in detail. We won’t go over the specific details of Noah’s story. What we will fellowship on today is the truth to be sought in Noah’s various attitudes toward God, as well as the requirements and intentions of God that people should understand from God’s assessment of Noah.

Noah was an ordinary member of humankind who worshiped and followed God. When God’s words came upon him, his attitude was not to move slowly, delay, or take his time. Instead, he listened to God’s words with great seriousness, he listened to God’s every utterance with great care and attention, diligently listening to and trying to remember everything that God commanded of him, not daring to be inattentive in the slightest. In his attitude toward God, and God’s words, was a God-fearing heart, which showed that God had a place in his heart, and that he was submissive to God. He listened closely to what God said, to the content of God’s words, to what God asked him to do. He listened attentively—not analyzing, but accepting. There was no refusal, antipathy, or impatience in his heart; instead, he calmly, carefully, and attentively noted, in his heart, every word and thing pertaining to God’s requirements. After God gave him each instruction, Noah recorded, in detail and by his own means, everything that God had said and entrusted to him. Then he put aside his own labors, broke with the routines and plans of his old life, and began preparing for all that God had entrusted him to do, and all the supplies required for the ark that God had asked him to build. He dared not neglect any of God’s words, or any of what God asked, or any detail of what was required of him in God’s words. By his own means, he recorded the main points and particulars of all that God asked and entrusted to him, then pondered and reflected on them, over and over. Next, Noah went in search of all the materials that God had asked him to prepare. Naturally, after each instruction God gave him, he, in his own way, made detailed plans and arrangements for all that God had entrusted to him and instructed him to do—and then, step by step, he implemented and executed his plans and arrangements, and every detail and individual step of what God asked. Throughout the whole process, everything Noah did, whether great or small, whether remarkable or not in man’s eyes, was what he had been instructed to do by God, and was what had been spoken of and required by God. From all that was exhibited in Noah after he accepted God’s commission, it is evident that his attitude toward God’s words was not one of just listening, and nothing more—much less was it the case that after hearing these words, Noah chose a time when he was in a good mood, when the environment was right, or when the timing was favorable to carry this out. Instead, he put aside his own labors, broke with his life’s routine, and made the construction of the ark that God had ordered the biggest priority in his life and existence from then onward and implemented it accordingly. His attitude toward God’s commission and God’s words was not indifferent, perfunctory, or capricious, much less was it one of rejection; instead, he listened carefully to God’s words, and put his heart into remembering and pondering them. His attitude toward God’s words was one of acceptance and submission. To God, only this is the attitude that a true created being should have toward His words which He desires. There was no refusal, no perfunctoriness, no willfulness in this attitude, nor was it adulterated by human intent; it was, wholly and completely, the attitude that a created human being ought to have.

After accepting God’s commission, Noah began planning how to create the ark that God had entrusted to him. He sought out various materials, and the people and tools necessary for building the ark. Naturally, this involved a lot of things; it wasn’t as easy and simple as suggested by the text. In that pre-industrial age, an age in which everything was done by hand, by means of physical labor, it isn’t difficult to imagine how hard it was to build such an ark, such a colossus, to complete the task of building an ark as entrusted by God. Of course, how Noah planned, prepared, designed, and found various things like materials and tools were not simple matters, and Noah may never have seen such a massive boat. After accepting this commission, reading between the lines of God’s words, and judging from everything God had said, Noah knew that this was no simple matter, no easy task. This was no simple or easy task—what were the implications of this? For one thing, it meant that, after accepting this commission, Noah would have a heavy burden on his shoulders. What’s more, judging by how God personally summoned Noah and personally instructed him how to build the ark, this was no ordinary thing, it was no small matter. Judging by the details of everything God said, this was not something that any ordinary person could bear. The fact that God summoned Noah and commissioned him to build an ark shows the importance that Noah held in God’s heart. When it came to this matter, Noah was of course able to understand some of God’s intentions—and having done so, Noah realized the kind of life he would face in the years to come, and was aware of some of the difficulties he was going to encounter. Although Noah realized and understood the great difficulty of what God had entrusted to him, and how great the ordeals he faced would be, he had no intention of refusing, but was instead profoundly grateful to Jehovah God. Why was Noah grateful? Because God had unexpectedly entrusted something so significant to him, and had personally told and explained every detail to him. Even more importantly, God had also told Noah the whole story, from beginning to end, of why the ark was to be built. This was a matter of God’s own management plan, it was God’s own business, but God had told him about this matter, so Noah sensed its importance. In sum, judging by these various signs, judging by the tone of God’s speech, and the various aspects of what God imparted to Noah, Noah could sense the importance of the task of building the ark which God had entrusted to him, he could appreciate this in his heart, and dared not treat it lightly, nor did he dare to overlook any detail. Therefore, once God had finished giving His instructions, Noah formulated his plan, and he got to work making all the arrangements for building the ark, looking for manpower, preparing all kinds of materials, and, in accordance with God’s words, gradually gathering the various kinds of living creatures to the ark.

The entire process of building the ark was filled with difficulty. For the moment, let’s put aside how Noah got through the whipping winds, scorching sun, and lashing rain, the searing heat and bitter cold, and the four turning seasons, year after year. Let us first speak of what a colossal undertaking building the ark was, and of his preparation of the various materials, and the myriad difficulties he faced in the course of building the ark. What did these difficulties include? Contrary to people’s perceptions, some physical tasks didn’t always go right the first time, and Noah had to go through many failures. After finishing something, if it looked wrong, he’d take it apart, and after he’d finished taking it apart, he’d have to prepare materials, and do it all over again. It wasn’t like the modern era, where everyone does everything by electronic equipment, and once it has been set up the work is carried out according to a set program. When such work is carried out today, it is mechanized, and once you turn a machine on, it can get the work done. But Noah was living in an age of primitive society, and all work was done by hand and you had to do all work with your own two hands, using your eyes and minds, and your own diligence and strength. Of course, most of all, people needed to rely on God; they needed to seek God everywhere and at all times. In the process of encountering all manner of difficulties, and in the days and nights spent building the ark, Noah had to face not only the various situations that occurred while completing this colossal undertaking, but also the various environments around him, as well as the ridicule, slander, and verbal abuse of others. Though we did not personally experience those scenes when they took place, isn’t it possible to imagine some of the various difficulties that Noah was confronted with and experienced, and the various challenges he faced? In the course of building the ark, the first thing Noah had to face was his family’s lack of understanding, their nagging, complaints, and even vilification. Second was his being slandered, ridiculed, and judged by those around him—his relatives, his friends, and every kind of other person. But Noah only had one attitude, which was to obey God’s words, implement them to the very end, and never waver from this. What had Noah determined? “As long as I am alive, as long as I can still move, I will not abandon God’s commission.” This was his motivation as he carried out the great enterprise of building the ark, as well as his attitude when presented with God’s commands, and after hearing God’s words. Faced with all manner of troubles, difficult situations, and challenges, Noah did not shrink back. When some of his more difficult engineering tasks frequently failed and underwent damage, even though Noah felt upset and anxious in his heart, when he thought of God’s words, when he remembered every word that God commanded of him, and God’s elevation of him, then he often felt extremely motivated: “I cannot give up, I cannot discard what God commanded and entrusted me to do; this is God’s commission, and since I accepted it, since I heard the words spoken by God and the voice of God, and since I accepted this from God, then I should submit absolutely, which is what ought to be attained by a human being.” So, no matter what kind of difficulties he faced, no matter what kind of mockery or slander he encountered, no matter how exhausted his body became, how tired, he did not forsake what had been entrusted to him by God, and constantly kept in mind every single word of what God had said and commanded. No matter how his environments changed, no matter how great the difficulty he faced, he trusted that none of this would go on forever, that God’s words alone would never pass away, and only that which God commanded to be done would surely be accomplished. Noah had in him true faith in God, and the submission that he ought to have, and he continued to build the ark that God had asked him to build. Day by day, year by year, Noah grew older, but his faith did not diminish, and there was no change in his attitude and determination to complete God’s commission. Though there were times when his body felt tired and exhausted, and he fell ill, and in his heart he was weak, his determination and perseverance toward completing God’s commission and submitting to God’s words did not lessen. During the years that Noah built the ark, Noah was practicing listening to and submitting to the words God had said, and he was also practicing an important truth of a created being and ordinary person needing to complete God’s commission. To all appearances, the entire process was actually only one thing: building the ark, carrying out what God had told him to do well and to completion. But what was required to do this thing well, and to complete it successfully? It did not require people’s zeal, or their slogans, much less some oaths made on a passing whim, nor people’s so-called admiration for the Creator. It did not require these things. In the face of Noah’s construction of the ark, people’s so-called admiration, their oaths, their zeal, and their belief in God in their spiritual world, these are all of no use whatsoever; in the face of Noah’s true faith and true submission to God, people seem so poor, pitiful, and the few doctrines they understand seem so hollow, pale, feeble and weak—not to mention shameful, despicable and sordid.

It took 120 years for Noah to build the ark. These 120 years were not 120 days, or 10 years, or 20 years, but decades longer than the life expectancy of a normal person today. Given the length of time, and the difficulty of completing this, and the magnitude of the engineering involved, if Noah had not been possessed of true faith, if his faith had merely been a thought, the pinning-on of hopes, zeal, or a kind of vague and abstract belief, would the ark ever have been completed? If his submission to God had been but a verbal promise, if it had only been a note made in writing, in pen, like the kind you’re making today, could the ark have been built? (No.) If his submission toward accepting God’s commission had been nothing more than will and determination, a wish, could the ark have been built? If Noah’s submission toward God had been just going through the formalities of forsaking, expenditure, and price-paying, or just doing more work, paying a greater price, and being loyal to God in theory, or in terms of slogans, then could the ark have been built? (No.) This would be too hard! If Noah’s attitude toward accepting God’s commission had been a kind of transaction, if Noah had merely accepted it in order to be blessed and rewarded, could the ark have been built? Absolutely not! A person’s zeal can persist for 10 or 20 years, or 50 or 60, but when they are close to death, seeing that they have gained nothing, they will lose faith in God. This zeal which perseveres for 20, 50, or 80 years does not become submission or true faith. This is very tragic. The true faith and true submission found in Noah, meanwhile, is precisely what is lacking in the people of today, and precisely the things that the people of today cannot see, and that they disdain, scorn, or even turn their noses up at. Telling the story of Noah building the ark is always met with a torrent of discussion. Everyone can talk about it, everyone has something to say. But no one gives any thought to, or tries to figure out, what was found in Noah, what path of practice he had, what kind of attitude desired by God and view toward God’s commands he possessed, or what character he had when it came to listening to and practicing God’s words. So I say that the people of today are unfit to tell the story of Noah, because when anyone tells this story, they treat Noah as nothing more than a legendary figure, even as an ordinary old man with a white beard. They question in their minds whether there really was such a person, what he was really like, and they don’t try to appreciate how Noah came to exhibit those manifestations after he accepted God’s commission. Today, when we revisit the story of Noah’s construction of the ark, do you think it is a major or a minor event? Is it just an ordinary tale of an old man who built an ark in times gone by? (No.) Among all men, Noah was a figure of fearing God, submitting to God, and completing God’s commission that is most worthy of emulation; he was approved by God, and should be a model to those who follow God today. And what was most precious about him? He had only one attitude toward God’s words: to listen and accept, to accept and submit, and to submit until death. It was this attitude, which was most precious of all, that won him God’s approval. When it came to God’s words, he wasn’t perfunctory, he didn’t go through the motions, and he did not examine, analyze, resist, or reject them inside his head, then relegate them to the back of his mind; instead, he listened in earnest, accepted them, little by little, in his heart, and then pondered how to put them into practice, how to implement them, how to carry them out as originally intended, without distorting them. And as he pondered God’s words, he said privately to himself, “These are the words of God, they are God’s instructions, God’s commission, I am duty-bound, I must submit, I cannot leave out any details, I cannot go against any of God’s wishes, nor can I overlook any one of the details of what He said, or else I would not be fit to be called human, I would be unworthy of God’s commission, and unworthy of His exaltation. If I fail to complete all that God has told me and entrusted to me, then I will be left with regrets. More than that, I will be unworthy of God’s commission and His exaltation of me, and will not have the face to return before the Creator.” Everything that Noah had thought and contemplated in his heart, his every perspective and attitude, all these determined that he was eventually able to put God’s words into practice, and make God’s words a reality, bring God’s words to fruition, make it so that they were fulfilled and accomplished through his hard work and turned into a reality through him, and so that God’s commission did not come to nothing. Judging by everything that Noah thought, every idea that arose in his heart, and his attitude toward God, Noah was worthy of God’s commission, he was a man trusted by God, and one favored by God. God observes people’s every word and deed, He observes their thoughts and ideas. In God’s eyes, for Noah to be able to think like this, He had not mischosen; Noah could shoulder God’s commission and God’s trust, and he was able to complete God’s commission: He was the only choice among all of humankind.

In God’s eyes, Noah was His one and only choice for accomplishing such a great undertaking of building an ark. So what was found in Noah? Two things: true faith and true submission. In God’s heart, these are the standards that He requires of people. Simple, yes? (Yes.) The “one and only choice” possessed these two things, things that are so simple—yet apart from Noah, they are found in no one else. Some people say, “How could that be? We have forgone our families and careers, we have forsaken work, prospects, and education, we have abandoned our assets and children. Look at how great our faith is, how much we love God! How are we inferior to Noah? If God asked us to build an ark—well, modern industry is highly developed, do we not have access to wood and plenty of tools? We too can work under the hot sun if we use machines; we too can work from dawn ’til dusk. What’s the big deal about completing a small job like this? It took Noah 100 years, but we’d do it in less so that God wouldn’t feel anxious—it’d only take us 10 years. You said that Noah was the one and only choice, but today, there are many perfect candidates; people like us who have forsaken their families and careers, who have true faith in God, who truly expend themselves—they are all perfect candidates. How could You say that Noah was the only choice? You think too little of us, no?” Is there a problem with these words? (Yes.) Some people say, “Back in Noah’s time, science and technology were still very underdeveloped, he had no electricity, no modern machines, not even the simplest electric drills and chainsaws, or even nails. How on earth did he manage to build the ark? Today we have all of these things. Would it not be incredibly easy for us to complete this commission? If God spoke to us from the sky and told us to build an ark, then forget just one—we could easily build 10 of them. It would be nothing, a piece of cake. God, command of us whatever You wish. Whatever You require, tell us. It wouldn’t be difficult at all for so many of us to build an ark! We could build 10, 20, even 100. As many as You want.” Are things that simple? (No.) As soon as I say that Noah was the one and only choice, some people want to butt heads with Me, they are unconvinced: “You think well of the ancients because they’re not here. The people of today are right under Your nose, but You can’t see what’s so good about them. You are blind to all the good things the people of today have done, to all their good deeds. Noah just did one little thing; is it not because there was no industry back then, and all physical labor was hard, that You think what he did worthy of commemoration, that You think him an example, a model, and are blind to the people of today’s suffering and the price we pay for You, and to our faith today?” Is this the case? (No.) Regardless of the age or era, no matter what kind of conditions the environment people live in have, these material objects and the general environment count for nothing, they are not important. What is important? What is most important is not the age you live in, or whether you have mastered some kind of technology, nor how many of God’s words you have read or heard. What is most important is whether or not people possess true faith, whether or not they have true submission. These two things are most important, and neither may be lacking. If you were placed in the time of Noah, who of you could complete this commission? I dare say that even if you were all to work together, you couldn’t accomplish this. You could not even do half of it. Before all the supplies had even been prepared, many of you would have run off, complaining about God, and doubting Him. A small number of you would be able to persevere with great difficulty, to persevere due to your tenacity, zeal, and thoughts. But how long could you persevere? What kind of motivation do you need to carry on? How many years would you last without true faith and true submission? This depends on character. Those with better character and a little conscience could last eight or 10 years, 20 or 30, maybe even 50. But after 50 years, they would think to themselves, “When is God coming? When will the floods arrive? When will the sign given by God appear? I’ve spent my whole life doing one thing. What if the floods don’t come? I’ve suffered a lot throughout my life, I’ve persevered for 50 years—that’s good enough, God won’t remember or condemn it if I give up now. So, I’m going to live my own life. God doesn’t speak or react. I spend all day looking at the blue sky and white clouds and see nothing. Where is God? The One who had once thundered and spoken—was that God? Was it an illusion? When is this going to end? God is not concerned. No matter how I call out for help, all I hear is silence, and He does not enlighten or guide me when I pray. Forget it!” Would they still have true faith? As time went on, they would likely grow doubtful. They would think about making a change, they would look for a way out, put aside God’s commission, and abandon their ephemeral zeal and ephemeral vows; wanting to control their own fate and lead their own lives, they would put God’s commission to the back of their minds. And when, one day, God personally came to urge them onward, when He asked about the progress in building the ark, they would say, “Ah! God really exists! So there really is a God. I must get building!” If God did not speak, if He did not hurry them along, they would not see this as a pressing matter; they would think that it could wait. Such a fickle way of thinking, this attitude of reluctantly muddling through—is this the attitude that people with true faith ought to display? (No.) It is wrong to have such an attitude, it means they do not possess true faith, much less true submission. When God spoke to you in person, your momentary zeal would indicate your faith in God, but when God put you aside, and did not urge you, or supervise you, or make any inquiries, your faith would disappear. Time would go on, and when God did not speak or appear to you, and did not carry out any inspections of your work, your faith would completely disappear; you would want to live your own life, and to carry out your own enterprise, and God’s commission would be forgotten at the back of your mind; your zeal, oaths, and determination of that time counting for nothing. Do you think God would dare entrust a great undertaking to someone like this? (No.) Why not? (They are untrustworthy.) That’s right. One word: untrustworthy. You are not possessed of true faith. You are untrustworthy. And so, you are not fit to be entrusted by God with anything. Some people say, “Why am I unfit? I’ll carry out whatever commission God entrusts to me—who knows, I might be able to accomplish it!” You can do things in your everyday life in a careless manner, and it doesn’t matter if the results fall a little short. But things entrusted by God, that which God wishes accomplished—when are they ever simple? If they were entrusted to a blockhead or a cheat, to someone who is perfunctory in everything they do, someone who, after accepting a commission, is liable to act in poor faith everywhere and at any time, would that not delay a great undertaking? If you were asked to choose, if you were to entrust a major undertaking to someone, what kind of person would you entrust it to? What kind of person would you choose? (A trustworthy person.) At the very least, this person must be dependable, have character, and no matter what the time, or how great the difficulties they encounter, they would put all of their heart and energy into completing what you had entrusted to them, and give you an account. If that is the kind of person people would choose to entrust a task to, how much more so for God! So, for this major event, the destruction of the world by floods, an event that required the building of an ark, and someone worthy of surviving to remain, who would God choose? First, in theory, He would choose someone who was fit to remain, who was fit to live in the next era. In reality, before all else, this person must be able to obey God’s words, they must have true faith in God, and treat whatever God said—no matter what it involved, whether it conformed to their own notions, whether it was to their taste, whether it agreed with their own will—as the words of God. No matter what God asked them to do, they should never deny the identity of God, they must always consider themselves a created being, and always treat obeying God’s words as a bounden duty; this is the kind of person God entrusts this particular undertaking to. In God’s heart, Noah was just such a person. Not only was he someone worthy of remaining in the new era, but he was also someone who could bear a heavy responsibility, who could submit to God’s words, without compromise, to the very end, and who would use his life to complete what God had entrusted to him. This was what He found in Noah. From the moment Noah accepted God’s commission, until the moment he completed every single task that had been entrusted to him—throughout this period, Noah’s faith and his attitude of submission toward God played an absolutely crucial role; without these two things, the work could not have been completed, and this commission would not have been accomplished.

If, in the course of accepting God’s commission, Noah had his own ideas, plans, and notions, how would the whole undertaking have changed? First off, faced with each detail imparted to him by God—the specifications and types of materials, the means and methods of building the whole ark, and the scale and dimensions of the whole ark—when Noah heard all this, would he have thought, “How many years would it take to build something so large? How much effort and hardship would it take to find all these materials? I’d be exhausted! Surely such exhaustion would shorten my life, right? Look how old I am, yet God won’t give me a break, and asks me to do something so demanding—could I bear it? Well, I’ll do it, but I’ve got a trick up my sleeve: I’ll just broadly do as God says. God said to find a type of waterproof pine. I’ve heard of a place where I can get some, but it’s pretty far away, and quite dangerous. Finding and obtaining it will take a lot of effort, so how about finding a similar kind nearby as a substitute, one that’s more or less the same? It would be less risky and take less effort—this would be okay as well, wouldn’t it?” Did Noah have such designs? If he had, would this be true submission? (No.) For example: God said for the ark to be built 100 meters high. Hearing this, would he have thought, “A hundred meters is too high, no one could get on it. Wouldn’t it be mortally dangerous to climb up and work on it? So I’ll make the ark a little shorter, let’s go with 50 meters. That’ll be less dangerous and easier for people to get on to. That would be fine, right?” Would Noah have had such thoughts? (No.) So if he had, do you think God would have chosen the wrong person? (Yes.) Noah’s true faith and submission to God allowed him to put aside his own will; even if he had had such thoughts, he would never have acted on them. On this point, God knew Noah was trustworthy. First, Noah would not make any changes to the details stipulated by God, nor would he add any of his own ideas, much less would he change any of the details stipulated by God for his own personal benefit; instead he would carry out all that God asked to the letter, and regardless of how hard it was to get hold of materials to build the ark, regardless of how hard or exhausting the work was, he would do his best to, and use all his energy to complete it properly. Isn’t this what made him trustworthy? And was this a real manifestation of his true submission to God? (Yes.) Was this submission absolute? (Yes.) And it was not tainted with anything, it contained none of his own inclinations, it was not adulterated with personal plans, much less personal notions or interests; instead, it was pure, simple, absolute submission. And was this easy to achieve? (No.) Some people might disagree: “What’s so hard about that? Doesn’t it just involve not thinking, being like a robot, doing whatever God says—isn’t that easy?” When the time comes to act, difficulties arise; people’s thoughts are always changing, they always have their own inclinations, and so they are liable to doubt whether God’s words can be accomplished; God’s words are easy for them to accept when they hear them, but when the time comes to act, it gets tough; as soon as the hardship begins, they are liable to become negative, and it is not easy for them to submit. It is evident, then, that Noah’s character and his true faith and submission, truly are worthy of emulation. So, are you now clear about how Noah reacted and submitted when faced with God’s words, commands, and requirements? This submission was not tainted with personal ideas. Noah required of himself absolute submission, obedience, and implementation of God’s words, without going astray, or playing clever little tricks, or trying to be smart, without having a high opinion of himself and thinking he could make suggestions to God, that he could add his own ideas to God’s commands, and without contributing his own good intentions. Is this not what should be practiced when trying to achieve absolute submission?

How long did it take Noah to build the ark after God commanded him to do so? (One hundred and twenty years.) During these 120 years, Noah did one thing: He built the ark and collected various kinds of living creatures. And though this was but one thing, not many different tasks, this one thing involved a tremendous amount of work. So what was the purpose in doing this? Why did he build this ark? What was the aim and significance of doing this? It was so that each type of living creature might survive when God destroyed the world by flood. So, Noah did what he did to prepare, prior to God’s destruction of the world, for the survival of each kind of living creature. And for God, was this a very urgent matter? From the tone of God’s speech, and the essence of what God commanded, could Noah hear that God was impatient, and that His intention was pressing? (Yes.) Say, for example, you are told, “The plague is coming. It has started spreading in the outside world. You have one thing to do, and be quick about it: Hurry up and buy food and masks. That’s all!” What do you hear in this? Is it urgent? (It is.) So when should this be done? Should you wait until next year, the year after that, or several years from now? No—this is an urgent task, an important matter. Put everything else aside and take care of this first. Is this what you hear from these words? (Yes.) So what should those who are submissive to God do? They should immediately put aside the task at hand. Nothing else matters. God is very impatient regarding that which He has just commanded to be done; they should waste no time in doing and carrying out this task, which is pressing to God and which preoccupies God; they should complete it before carrying out other jobs. This is what submission means. But if you analyze it by thinking, “A plague is coming? It is spreading? If it’s spreading, just let it spread—it’s not spreading to us. If it does, we’ll deal with it then. Buying masks and food? Masks are always available. And it doesn’t matter whether you wear them or not. We still have food now, why worry about that? What’s the hurry? Wait until the plague gets here. We have other things on our plate right now,” is this submission? (No.) What is this? This is collectively referred to as rebellion. More specifically, it is indifference, opposition, analysis, and examination, as well as having disdain in one’s heart, thinking this could never happen, and not believing it is real. Is there true faith in such an attitude? (No.) Their overall status is this: In regard to the words of God, and toward the truth, they invariably have an attitude of dragging their heels, of indifference, of carelessness; in their heart, they don’t see this as important at all. They think, “I’ll listen to the things You say that relate to the truth, and to Your lofty sermons—I won’t hesitate to note these down so I don’t forget them. But the things You say about buying food and masks don’t relate to the truth, so I can reject them, I can ridicule them in my heart, and I can treat You with an attitude of indifference and disregard; it’s enough that I listen with my ears, but what I think in my heart is not Your concern, it is none of Your business.” Was this Noah’s attitude toward God’s words? (No.) What shows he wasn’t like this? We must talk about this; it will teach you that Noah’s attitude toward God was completely different. And there are facts to prove it.

In that pre-industrial era, when everything had to be carried out and completed by hand, every manual task was very strenuous and time-consuming. When Noah heard God’s commission, when he heard all the things God described, he sensed the seriousness of this matter, and the severity of the situation. He knew that God would destroy the world. And why was He going to do this? Because human beings were so evil, didn’t believe in God’s word, and even denied God’s word, and God loathed that humankind. Had God loathed that humankind for just a day or two? Did God, on impulse, say “Today I do not like this humankind. I will destroy this humankind, so get to it and make Me an ark”? Is this the case? No. After hearing God’s words, Noah comprehended what God meant. God had not loathed that humankind for just one or two days; He was eager to destroy it, so that humankind could begin anew. But this time, God did not wish to once more create another humankind; instead He would let Noah be fortunate enough to survive as the master of the next era, as humankind’s forefather. Once he comprehended this aspect of God’s meaning, Noah could feel, from the depths of his heart, the pressing intention of God, he could sense God’s urgency—and so, when God spoke, aside from listening carefully, closely, and diligently, Noah felt something in his heart. What did he feel? Urgency, the emotion that ought to be felt by a true created being after appreciating the pressing intentions of the Creator. And so, what did Noah think in his heart, once God had commanded him to build an ark? He thought, “From today onward, nothing matters as much as building the ark, nothing is as important and urgent as this. I have heard the words from the Creator’s heart, I have felt His pressing intention, so I must not delay; I must build the ark that was spoken of and asked for by God with all haste.” What was Noah’s attitude? One of not daring to be neglectful. And in what manner did he execute building the ark? Without delay. He carried out and executed each detail of what was spoken of and instructed by God with all haste, and with all his energy, without being at all perfunctory. In sum, Noah’s attitude toward the Creator’s command was submission. He was not unconcerned with it, and there was no resistance in his heart, nor was there indifference. Instead, he diligently tried to understand the intention of the Creator as he memorized every detail. When he comprehended God’s pressing intention, he decided to pick up the pace, to complete what God had imparted to him with all haste. What did this mean, “with all haste”? It meant completing, in as little time possible, work that would previously have taken a month, getting it done perhaps three or five days ahead of schedule, without dragging his feet at all or the least procrastination, but pushing ahead with the whole project as best he could. Naturally, while carrying out each job, he would try his hardest to minimize losses and errors, and not to do any work such that it would have to be repeated; he would also have completed every task and procedure on schedule and done them well, guaranteeing its quality. This was a true manifestation of not dragging one’s feet. So, what was the prerequisite for his being able not to drag his feet? (He had heard God’s command.) Yes, that was the prerequisite and context for this. Now, why was Noah able not to drag his feet? Some people say Noah was possessed of true submission. So, what did he possess that allowed him to achieve such true submission? (He was considerate of God’s heart.) That’s right! This is what it means to have heart! People with heart are able to be considerate of God’s heart; those without heart are empty shells, fools, they do not know to be considerate of God’s heart. Their mentality is: “I don’t care how urgent this is for God, I’ll do it however I please—in any case, I’m not being idle or lazy.” This kind of attitude, this kind of negativity, the total lack of proactiveness—this is not someone who is considerate of God’s heart, nor do they understand how to be considerate of God’s heart. In which case, are they possessed of true faith? Definitely not. Noah was considerate of God’s heart, he had true faith, and was thus able to complete God’s commission. And so, it is not enough to simply accept God’s commission and be willing to make some effort. You must also be considerate of God’s intentions, give your all, and be loyal—which requires you to have a conscience and reason; it is what people ought to have, and what was found in Noah. What do you say, to build such a big ark at that time, how many years would it have taken if Noah had dragged his heels, and had no sense of urgency, no angst, no efficiency? Could it have been finished in 100 years? (No.) It would have taken several generations of constant building. On the one hand, building a solid object like an ark would take years; what’s more, so would collecting and looking after all the living creatures. Was it easy to collect these creatures? (No.) It was not. And so, after hearing God’s commands, and comprehending God’s pressing intention, Noah sensed that this would be neither easy nor straightforward. He realized that he had to accomplish it according to God’s wishes, and complete the commission given by God, so that God would be satisfied and reassured, so that the next step of God’s work could proceed smoothly. Such was the heart of Noah. And what kind of heart was this? It was a heart that was considerate of God’s intentions. Judging from Noah’s behavior in building the ark, he was absolutely a man of great faith and did not hold any doubts toward God’s word for a hundred years. What did he depend on? He depended on his faith in and submission to God. Noah was able to submit absolutely. What are the details of his absolute submission? His consideration. Do you have this heart? (No.) You are able to speak doctrines and call out slogans, but you can’t practice, and when faced with difficulties, you can’t put God’s commands into effect. When you talk, you talk very clearly, but when it comes to actual operations and you are faced with some difficulty, you become negative, and when you suffer a little, you start to complain, wanting to just give up. If there was no heavy rain over eight or ten years, you would become negative and doubt God, and if another 20 years passed without heavy rain, would you continue to be negative? Noah spent more than 100 years building the ark and never became negative or doubted God, he just kept on building the ark. Who else but Noah could have done this? In what ways are you lacking? (We don’t possess normal humanity or conscience.) That’s right. You don’t possess Noah’s character. How many truths did Noah understand? Do you think he understood more truths than you? You have heard so many sermons. The mysteries of God’s incarnation, the inside truth of God’s three stages of work, God’s management plan; these are the highest and most profound mysteries expressed to mankind, and all of these have been made clear to you, so how is it that you still do not possess Noah’s humanity and are unable to do as Noah was able to do? Your faith and humanity are so inferior to Noah’s! It can be said that you don’t have true faith, or the minimum conscience or reason that should be possessed within humanity. Though you have listened to many sermons and on the surface, you seem to understand truths, the quality of your humanity and your corrupt disposition cannot be changed immediately by listening to more sermons or by understanding truths. Without discernment of these things, people feel that they aren’t too inferior to the saints of old, thinking to themselves “We are now accepting God’s commission too and listening to the word of God from God’s own mouth. We are also taking every single thing that God asks us to do seriously. Everyone fellowships on these things together, and then does the work of planning, deploying, and carrying things out. How are we any different from the saints of old?” Is the difference you see now large or not? It is enormous, primarily in regard to character. People of today are so corrupt, selfish, and despicable! They don’t lift a finger unless they benefit from it! They find that doing good things and preparing good deeds requires a lot of effort! They are willing to do a duty but have no willpower, they are willing to suffer but can’t take it, they wish to pay a price but can’t do it, they are willing to practice the truth but can’t carry it out, and they wish to love God but can’t put this into practice. Tell Me just how lacking this type of humanity is! How much truth must be understood and possessed in order to make up for this?

We just fellowshipped in regard to Noah’s consideration of God’s intentions, which was a precious part of his humanity. There’s something else, too—what is it? After hearing God’s words, Noah knew one fact; so, too, did he know what God’s plan was. The plan was not to simply build an ark to serve as a memorial, or to create an amusement park, or to make some big building as a landmark—that was not the case. From what God said, Noah knew one fact: God loathed this humankind, which was wicked, and had determined that this humankind was to be destroyed by flood. Those who would survive to the next era, meanwhile, would be saved from the floods by this ark; it would allow them to survive. And what was the key issue in this fact? That God would destroy the world with a flood, and that He intended for Noah to build an ark and survive, and for each kind of living creature to survive, but for humankind to be destroyed. Was this something major? This was not some trifling family matter, nor some minor matter concerning an individual or a tribe; instead, it involved a major operation. What kind of major operation? One that related to God’s management plan. God was going to do something big, something that involved the whole of humankind, and which related to His management, to His attitude toward humankind, and to its fate. This is the third piece of information that Noah learned as God entrusted this undertaking to him. And what was Noah’s attitude when he heard of this from God’s words? Was it one of belief, doubt, or total disbelief? (Belief.) To what extent did he believe? And what facts prove that he believed this? (Upon hearing God’s words, he began putting them into practice, and built the ark as God had said, which means that his attitude toward God’s words was one of belief.) From everything that was exhibited in Noah—from the level of execution and implementation after Noah accepted what God had entrusted to him, to the fact of what was ultimately accomplished—it can be seen that Noah had absolute belief in every word that God had uttered. Why did he have absolute belief? How did he have no doubts? How is it that he did not try to analyze, that he did not examine this in his heart? What does this relate to? (Faith in God.) That’s right, this was Noah’s true faith in God. Therefore, when it came to everything that God spoke of and His every word, Noah did not simply listen and accept; instead he had true knowledge and faith in the depths of his heart. Though God had not told him the various details, such as when the floodwaters would come, or how many years it would be before they did, or what the scale of these floods would be, or what it would be like after God had destroyed the world, Noah believed that all God had said had already become fact. Noah did not treat God’s words like a story, or a myth, or some saying, or a piece of writing, but in the depths of his heart believed, and was certain, that God was going to do this, and that no one can change what God determines to accomplish. Noah felt that people could only have one attitude toward God’s words and that which God wishes to accomplish, which is to accept this fact, submit to what is commanded by God, and cooperate in the tasks that God asks them to cooperate in—this was his attitude. And it was precisely because Noah had such an attitude—not analyzing, not examining, not doubting, yet believing from the depths of his heart, and then deciding to cooperate in what was required by God, and in what God wished to be accomplished—it was precisely because of this that the fact of the ark’s construction and the collection and survival of each type of living creature was accomplished. If, when Noah heard God say that He would destroy the world with floods, Noah was doubtful; if he dared not completely believe this, because he had not seen it, and did not know when it would occur, there being many unknowns, then would his frame of mind and conviction toward building the ark have been affected, would it have changed? (Yes.) How would it have changed? While building the ark, he might have cut corners, he might have ignored God’s specifications, or not gathered each kind of living creature within the ark as God asked; God said there must be one male and one female, to which he might have said, “For some of them it’s enough just to have a female. I can’t find some of them, so forget about them. Who knows when the flood that destroys the world will happen.” The great undertaking of building the ark and collecting each type of living creature took 120 years. Would Noah have persisted for these 120 years if he had not had true faith in God’s words? Absolutely not. With interference from the outside world, and various complaints from their family members, for someone who does not believe that the words of God are fact, the act of building an ark would be very difficult to accomplish, let alone if it would take 120 years. Last time, I asked you if 120 years was a long time. You all said it was. I asked you how long you would last, and when I eventually asked if you could manage 15 days, none of you said you could, and My heart sank. You are vastly inferior to Noah. You are not the equal of one hair on his head, you do not even possess one-tenth of his faith. How pitiable you are! For one thing, your humanity and integrity are too low. For another, it can be said that your pursuit of the truth is basically absent. And so, you are incapable of producing true faith in God, nor do you have true submission. So how have you been able to last until now—why is it that, as I fellowship, you still sit there listening? There are two aspects found in you. On one hand, most of you still wish to be good; you do not want to be bad people. You wish to take the good road. You have this little bit of resolve, you have this little bit of good aspiration. At the same time, most of you are afraid of death. To what degree do you fear death? At the slightest sign of trouble in the outside world, there are those of you who put extra effort into doing their duty; when things calm down, they revel in comfort, and put far less effort into their duty; they are always attending to their flesh. Compared to the true faith of Noah, is there any true faith in what is manifested in you? (No.) I think so, too. And even if there is a little faith, it is pathetically small, and not able to withstand the test of trials.

I’ve never produced any work arrangements, but I’ve often heard of them being prefaced with words like this: “Right now, various countries are in serious disarray, worldly trends are becoming ever more wicked, and God will punish the human race; we should do our duty to an acceptable standard by doing such-and-such, and offer our loyalty to God.” “These days, the plagues grow ever more severe, the environment ever more adverse, the disasters ever more serious, people face the threat of illnesses and death, and only if we believe in God, and pray more before God, will we avoid the pestilence, for only God is our refuge. Nowadays, faced with such circumstances, and such an environment, we should prepare good deeds by doing such-and-such, and equip ourselves with the truth by doing such-and-such—this is imperative.” “This year’s pest infestation was especially severe, humankind will face famine, and will soon encounter looting and social instability, so those who believe in God should often come before God to pray and ask for God’s protection, and must maintain normal church life, and a normal spiritual life.” And so on. And then, once the preface has been spoken, the specific arrangements begin. Every time, these prefaces have played a timely and decisive role in people’s faith. So I wonder, would the work arrangements not be carried out if these prefaces and statements weren’t made? Without these prefaces, would the work arrangements not be work arrangements? Would there not be a reason to issue them? The answer to these questions is surely no. What I want to know now is, what purpose do people have in believing in God? Just what is the significance of their faith in God? Do they, or do they not, understand the facts that God wishes to accomplish? How should people treat the words of God? How should they treat all that the Creator asks? Are these questions worth considering? If people were held to the standard of Noah, it is My view that not a single one of them would deserve the title “created being.” They would not be worthy of coming before God. If the faith and submission of the people of today were measured by God’s attitude toward Noah, and the standards by which God selected Noah, could God be satisfied with them? (No.) They are a long way off! People always say that they believe in and worship God, but how does this faith and worship manifest in them? Actually, it manifests as their dependence on God, their demands of Him, as well as their veritable rebellion against Him, and even their disdain toward God incarnate. Could all this be considered as mankind’s contempt for the truth and the open violation of principle? That is, in fact, the case—this is its essence. Every time the work arrangements contain these words, there is an increase in people’s “faith”; every time work arrangements are issued, when people realize the requirements and significance of the work arrangements, and are able to carry them out, then they believe that there has been an increase in their level of submission, that they are now possessed of submission—but do they, in fact, really possess faith and true submission? And just what is this supposed faith and submission when measured by the standard of Noah? A kind of transaction, actually. How could this possibly be considered faith and true submission? What is this so-called true faith of people? “The last days are here—I hope God will act soon! It’s such a blessing that I will be here when God destroys the world, that I will be lucky enough to remain, and will not suffer the ravages of destruction. God is so good, He loves people so much, God is so great! He has elevated man so much, God truly is God, only God could do such things.” And their so-called true submission? “Everything God says is right. Do whatever He asks; if not, you will be plunged into disaster, and it will all be over for you, no one will be able to save you.” Their faith is not true faith, and their submission is also not true submission—these are nothing but lies.

Today, virtually everyone in the world knows of Noah’s construction of the ark, right? But how many people are aware of the inside story? How many people understand the true faith and submission of Noah? And who knows—and cares—about what God’s assessment of Noah was? No one pays any attention to this. What does this show? It shows that people do not pursue the truth, and do not love positive things. Last time, after I fellowshipped on the stories of these two figures, did anyone go back to the Bible to read the details of these stories? Were you moved when you heard the stories of Noah, Abraham, and Job? (Yes.) Do you envy these three people? (Yes.) Do you want to be like them? (Yes.) So, did you hold detailed fellowships about their stories, and about the essence of their behavior, their attitude toward God, and their faith and submission? Where should people who wish to be like these kinds of people start? I first read the story of Job a long time ago, and I had some understanding of the stories of Noah and Abraham, too. Each time I read and think in my heart about what the three men exhibited, what God said and did to them, and their various attitudes, I feel like I’m going to shed tears—I am moved. So what moved you when you read them? (Having listened to God’s fellowship, I finally came to know that when Job was undergoing his trials, he thought that God was suffering for him, and as he didn’t want God to suffer, he cursed the very day he was born. Every time I read this, I felt that Job was truly considerate of God’s intentions and I felt very moved.) What else? (Noah went through such hardships when building the ark, yet he was still able to show consideration for God’s intentions. Abraham was granted a child at 100 years of age and was filled with joy, but when God asked him to offer his child, he was able to obey and submit, yet we can’t do that. We do not have the humanity, conscience, or reason of Noah or Abraham. I am filled with admiration when I read their stories, and they are models for us to follow.) (The last time You fellowshipped, You mentioned that Noah was able to persist for 120 years in building the ark and that he completed the things God commanded him to do perfectly and didn’t let down God’s expectations. In comparing this with my attitude toward my duty, I see that I have no perseverance at all. This makes me feel guilty as well as moved.) You’re all moved, right? (Yes.) We won’t fellowship on this topic for the time being; we’ll discuss all this after we’ve finished up with the stories of Noah and Abraham. I’ll tell you which parts moved Me, and we’ll see if they were the same ones that moved you.

We just fellowshipped about Noah’s true faith in God. The established facts of his building the ark are sufficient to show his true faith. Noah’s true faith is demonstrated in every single thing he did, in his every thought, and in the attitude with which he acted toward what God had commanded of him. This is enough to show Noah’s true faith in God—faith which is beyond all doubt, and utterly pure. Regardless of whether what God asked him to do was in line with his own notions, regardless of whether it was what he had planned to do in life, and regardless of how it conflicted with the things in his life, much less how difficult this task was, he had but one attitude: acceptance, submission and implementation. Ultimately, the facts show that the ark built by Noah saved each species of living creature, as well as Noah’s own family. When God brought down the flood and began destroying the human race, the ark carried Noah’s family and various kinds of living creatures, floating upon the water. God destroyed the earth by sending a great deluge for forty days, and only Noah’s family of eight people and the various living creatures that entered the ark survived, all other people and living things were destroyed. What is seen from these facts? Because Noah was possessed of true faith and true submission to God—through Noah’s true cooperation with God—everything God wished to do was realized; it all became a reality. This was what God valued in Noah, and Noah did not disappoint God; he lived up to the important commission that God had given him, and completed all that God had entrusted to him. That Noah was able to complete God’s commission was, on the one hand, because of God’s commands, and at the same time, it was also largely due to Noah’s true faith and absolute submission to God. It was precisely because Noah possessed these two most cherished of all things that he became loved by God; and it was precisely because Noah possessed true faith, and absolute submission, that God saw him as someone who should remain, and as somebody who was worthy of surviving. Everyone apart from Noah was the object of God’s loathing, the implication being that they were all unworthy of living amidst God’s creation. What should we see from Noah’s creation of the ark? For one thing, we’ve seen Noah’s noble character; Noah was possessed of conscience and reason. For another, we’ve seen Noah’s true faith and true submission toward God. All of this is worthy of emulation. It was precisely because of Noah’s faith and submission toward God’s commission that Noah became beloved in the eyes of God, a created being that was loved by God—which was a fortunate and blessed thing. Only such people are fit to live in the light of God’s countenance; in God’s eyes, only they are fit to live. People who are fit to live: what does this mean? It means those who are worthy of enjoying all that which could be enjoyed that God has bestowed upon mankind, worthy of living in the light of God’s countenance, worthy of receiving God’s blessings and promises; people like this are beloved by God, they are true created human beings, and are the ones God wishes to gain.

II. Abraham’s Attitude Toward God’s Words

Now let us look at the things in Abraham that are worthy of emulation by later generations. Abraham’s chief act before God was the very one which later generations are very familiar with and know very well: the offering of Isaac. Every aspect of what Abraham manifested in this matter—be it his character, his faith, or his submission—is worthy of emulation by later generations. So just what, exactly, were the specific manifestations he displayed that are worthy of emulation? Naturally, these various things that he manifested were not hollow, and even less were they abstract, and they certainly were not fabricated by any person, there is evidence for all of these things. God bestowed upon Abraham a son; God personally told Abraham of this, and when Abraham was 100, a son named Isaac was born to him. Clearly, the origin of this child was not ordinary, he was like no other—he was personally bestowed by God. When a child has been personally bestowed by God, people think that God is surely going to perform something great in them, that God will entrust them with something great, that God will perform extraordinary acts on them, that He will make the child exceptional, and so on—these were the things that Abraham and other people had high hopes for. And yet, things took a different course, and something happened to Abraham that no one could have expected. God bestowed Isaac upon Abraham, and when the time of offering came, God said to Abraham, “You don’t need to offer anything today, just Isaac—that is enough.” What did this mean? God had given Abraham a son, and when this son was just about to grow up, God wanted to take him back. Other people’s perspective on this would be: “You were the One who gave Isaac. I did not believe this, yet You insisted on giving this child. Now You’re asking that he be offered as a sacrifice. Isn’t this You taking him back? How can You take back what You have given to people? If You wish to take him, then take him. You can just take him back silently. There’s no need to bring me such pain and hardship. How could You ask that I sacrifice him by my own hand?” Was this a very difficult demand? It was extremely difficult. Upon hearing this demand, some people would say, “Is this really God? Acting in this way is so unreasonable! It was You who gave Isaac, and now You are asking for him back. Are You really always justified? Is everything You do always right? Not necessarily. People’s lives are in Your hands. You said You would give me a son, and You did just that; You have that authority, just as You have the authority to take him back—but isn’t the manner of Your taking back and this matter a bit unjustifiable? You gave this child, so You should allow him to grow up, do great things, and behold Your blessings. How could You ask that he die? Instead of ordering his death, You may as well not have given him to me! Why did You give him to me then? You gave Isaac to me, and now You’re telling me to offer him—is this not You bringing me extra pain? Aren’t You making things hard for me? What was the point of You giving me this son in the first place, then?” They can’t make sense of the logic behind this demand, no matter how they try; no matter how they put it, it sounds untenable to them, and no person is able to understand it. But did God tell Abraham the reasoning behind this? Did He tell him the reasons for it, and what His intention was? Did He? No. God only said, “During tomorrow’s sacrifice, offer Isaac,” that was all. Did God provide an explanation? (No.) So what was the nature of these words? Viewed in terms of God’s identity, these words were an order, one that ought to be carried out, that ought to be obeyed and submitted to. But viewed in terms of what God said and the matter itself, wouldn’t it be hard for people to do what they ought to do? People think things that ought to be done must be reasonable, and accord with human feelings and universal human sensibilities—but did any of this apply to what God said? (No.) So should God have given an explanation, and expressed His thoughts and His meaning, or revealed even a little of what He meant in between the lines of His words so that people could understand? Did God do any of this? He did not, nor did He plan to. These words contained what was required by the Creator, what He ordered, and what He expected of man. These very simple words, these unreasonable words—this order and demand that lacked consideration for people’s feelings—would merely be thought of as difficult, arduous, and unreasonable by other people, by any person who viewed this scene. But to Abraham, who was actually involved, his first feeling after hearing this was heart-rending pain! He had received this child bestowed by God, he had spent all those years raising him, and enjoyed all those years of familial joy, but with one sentence, one order from God, this happiness, this living human being, would be gone and taken away. What Abraham faced was not merely the loss of this familial joy, but the pain of everlasting loneliness and longing after losing this child. For an elderly man, this was unbearable. After hearing such words, any ordinary person would cry floods of tears, would they not? What’s more, in their heart they would curse God, complain about God, misunderstand God, and try to reason with God; they would exhibit all that they are capable of doing, all of their abilities, and all of their rebelliousness, rudeness, and unreasonableness. And yet, though he was equally pained, Abraham did not do this. Like any normal person, he instantly felt that pain, he instantly experienced the feeling of his heart being pierced, and instantly felt the loneliness of losing a son. These words of God were inconsiderate of human feelings, unimaginable to people, and incompatible with people’s notions, they weren’t spoken from the perspective of human feelings; they took no account of human difficulties or human emotional needs, and they certainly took no account of human pain. God coldly hurled these words at Abraham—did God care just how painful these words were to him? On the outside, God seemed both uncaring and unconcerned; all that he heard was God’s order, and His demand. To anyone, this demand would seem incompatible with human culture, conventions, sensibilities, even human morality and ethics; it had crossed a moral and ethical line, and had gone against man’s rules for comportment and dealing with people, as well as man’s feelings. There are even those who believe, “These words are not only unreasonable and immoral—even more so, they are just causing trouble for no good reason! How could these words have been uttered by God? God’s words should be reasonable and fair, and should thoroughly convince man; they shouldn’t cause trouble for no good reason, and they shouldn’t be unethical, immoral, or illogical. Were these words really uttered by the Creator? Could the Creator say such things? Could the Creator treat the people He created like this? There’s no way that’s the case.” And yet, these words indeed came from the mouth of God. Judging by God’s attitude and by the tone of His words, God had decided what He wanted, and there was no room for discussion, and people had no right to choose; He was not giving man the right to choose. God’s words were a demand, they were an order that He’d issued to man. To Abraham, these words of God were uncompromising and unquestionable; they were an uncompromising demand that God was making of him, and were not up for discussion. And what choice did Abraham make? This is the key point that we will fellowship on.

After hearing God’s words, Abraham began his preparations, feeling anguished and like a great weight was pressing down on him. He prayed silently in his heart: “My Lord, my God. All that You do is worthy of praise; this son was given by You, and if You wish to take him back, then I ought to return him.” Abraham may have been in pain, but wasn’t his attitude evident from these words? What can people see here? They can see the weakness of normal humanity, the emotional needs of normal humanity, as well as the rational side of Abraham, and the side of him with true faith and submission to God. What was his rational side? Abraham was well aware that Isaac was given by God, that God had the power to treat him however He wished, that people should not pass any judgments on this, that everything spoken by the Creator represents the Creator, and that whether it seems reasonable or not, whether it coheres with human knowledge, culture, and morality or not, God’s identity and the nature of His words do not change. He clearly knew that if people cannot understand, comprehend, or figure out God’s words, then that is their business, that there’s no reason why God has to explain or elucidate these words, and that people shouldn’t only submit when they understand God’s words and intentions, but should have but one attitude toward God’s words, regardless of the circumstances: listening, then accepting, then submitting. This was Abraham’s clearly discernible attitude toward all that God asked him to do, and in it is contained the rationality of normal humanity, as well as true faith and true submission. What, above all, did Abraham need to do? To not analyze the rights and wrongs of God’s words, to not examine whether they were said in jest, or to try him, or something else. Abraham did not examine such things. What was his immediate attitude toward God’s words? It was that God’s words cannot be reasoned out with logic—whether they are reasonable or not, the words of God are the words of God, and there should be no room for choice and no examination in people’s attitude toward God’s words; the reason people should have, and what they should do, is to listen, accept and submit. In his heart, Abraham knew very clearly what the Creator’s identity and essence are, and what station a created human being ought to occupy. It was precisely because Abraham possessed such rationality and this kind of attitude that, even though he bore immense pain, he offered Isaac to God without qualms or any hesitation, returning him to God as He desired. He felt that since God had asked, he had to return Isaac to Him, and should not try to reason with Him, or have his own wishes or demands. This is precisely the attitude that a created being ought to have toward the Creator. The hardest thing about doing this was the most precious thing about Abraham. These words that God spoke were unreasonable and inconsiderate of human feelings—people can’t figure them out or accept them, and no matter what the age, or whom this happens to, these words don’t make sense, they are unachievable—yet God still asked for this to be done. So, what should be done? Most people would examine these words, and after several days of doing so, they would think to themselves: “God’s words are unreasonable—how could God act in this way? Is this not a form of torture? Doesn’t God love man? How could He torment people so? I do not believe in a God that torments people so, and I can choose not to submit to these words.” But Abraham did not do this; he chose to submit. Though everyone believes that what God said and required was wrong, that God ought not to make such demands of people, Abraham was able to submit—which was what was most precious of all about him, and precisely what other people lack. This is Abraham’s true submission. In addition, after hearing what God required of him, the first thing he was sure about was that God had not said this in jest, that it was not a game. And since God’s words were not these things, what were they? It was Abraham’s profound belief that it is true that no man can change that which God determines must be done, that there are no jokes, testing, or tormenting in God’s words, that God is trustworthy, and everything He says—whether it seems reasonable or not—is true. Wasn’t this Abraham’s true faith? Did he say, “God told me to offer Isaac. After I got Isaac, I did not thank God properly—is this God requesting my gratitude? Then I must show my thanks properly. I must show that I am willing to offer Isaac, that I am willing to thank God, that I know and remember God’s grace, and that I won’t cause God to worry. Without a doubt, God said these words to examine and test me, so I should go through the motions. I will make all the preparations, then I’ll bring a sheep along with Isaac, and if at the time of sacrifice God says nothing, I will offer the sheep. It’s enough just to go through the motions. If God really does ask me to offer Isaac, then I should just get him to make a show of it on the altar; when the time comes, God might still let me offer the sheep and not my child”? Was this what Abraham thought? (No.) If he had thought that, there would have been no anguish within his heart. If he had thought such things, what kind of integrity would he have had? Would he have had true faith? Would he have had true submission? No, he would not have.

Judging from the pain that Abraham felt and gave rise to when it came to the matter of sacrificing Isaac, it is clear that he absolutely believed in God’s word, that he believed in every word that God said, understood everything that God said in exactly the way God meant it from the very bottom of his heart, and had no suspicions toward God. Is this or is this not true faith? (It is.) Abraham had true faith in God, and this illustrates a matter, which is that Abraham was an honest person. His sole attitude toward God’s words was one of obedience, acceptance, and submission—he would obey whatever God said. If God were to say something was black, then even if Abraham could not see it as black, he would believe what God said to be true, and be convinced that it was black. If God told him something was white, he would be convinced that it was white. It’s as simple as that. God told him that He would bestow a child upon him, and Abraham thought to himself, “I’m already 100 years old, but if God says He is going to give me a child, then I am thankful to my Lord, God!” He didn’t have too many other ideas, he just believed in God. What was the essence of this belief? He believed in the essence and identity of God, and his knowledge of the Creator was real. He was not like those people who say they believe God to be almighty and the Creator of mankind, but hold doubts in their hearts such as “Are humans actually evolved from apes? It is said that god created all things, but people haven’t seen this with their own eyes.” No matter what God says, those people are always halfway between belief and doubt, and rely on what they see to determine whether things are true or false. They doubt anything they can’t see with their eyes, therefore whenever they hear God speak, they put question marks behind His words. They carefully, diligently, and cautiously examine and analyze every fact, matter, and command that God puts forward. They think that, in their belief in God, they ought to examine God’s words and the truth with an attitude of scientific research, to see if these words are actually the truth, otherwise they’ll be liable to be scammed and deceived. But Abraham was not like this, he listened to God’s word with a pure heart. However, on this occasion, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, to Him. This caused Abraham pain, but he still chose to submit. Abraham believed that God’s words were immutable, and that God’s words would become reality. Created humans should accept and submit to God’s word as a matter of course, and in the face of God’s word, created humans have no right of choice, much less should they analyze or examine God’s word. This was the attitude that Abraham held toward God’s word. Even though Abraham was in great pain, and even though his love for and reluctance to give up his son caused him extreme stress and pain, he still chose to return his child to God. Why was he going to return Isaac to God? When God hadn’t asked Abraham to do this, there was no need for him to take the initiative to return his son, but since God had asked, he had to return his son to God, there were no excuses to give, and he should not try to reason with God—this was the attitude that Abraham held. He submitted to God with this kind of pure heart. This was what God wanted and this was what God wished to see. Abraham’s behavior and what he achieved when it came to the matter of sacrificing Isaac was exactly what God wanted to see, and this matter was God testing and verifying him. And yet, God did not treat Abraham as He treated Noah. He did not tell Abraham the reasons behind this matter, the process, or everything about it. Abraham only knew one thing, which was that God had asked him to return Isaac—that was all. He did not know that in doing this, God was testing him, nor was he aware of what God wished to accomplish in him and his descendants after he was subjected to this test. God didn’t tell Abraham any of this, He just gave him a simple command, a request. And though these words of God were very simple, and inconsiderate of human feelings, Abraham lived up to God’s expectations by doing as God wished and required: He offered Isaac as a sacrifice upon the altar. His every move showed that his offering of Isaac was not him going through the motions, that he was not doing it in a perfunctory way, but was sincere, and doing it from his innermost heart. Even though he couldn’t bear to give up Isaac, even though it pained him, when faced with what the Creator had asked, Abraham chose that method which no other person would: absolute submission to what the Creator asked, submission without compromise, without excuses, and without any conditions—he acted just how God asked him to. And what did Abraham possess, when he could do what God asked? In one respect, there was within him the true faith in God; he was sure that the Creator was God, his God, his Lord, the One who is sovereign over all things and who created humankind. This was true faith. In another respect, he had a pure heart. He believed every word uttered by the Creator, and was able to simply and directly accept every word uttered by Him. And in yet another respect, no matter how great the difficulty of what the Creator asked, how much pain it would bring him, the attitude he chose was submission, not trying to reason with God, or resist, or refuse, but complete and total submission, acting and practicing in accordance with what God asked, according to His every word, and the order He issued. Just as God asked and wished to see, Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice on the altar, he offered him to God—and all that he did proved that God had chosen the right person, and that in God’s eyes, he was righteous.

What aspect of the Creator’s disposition and essence was revealed when God asked Abraham to offer Isaac? That God treats those who are righteous, who are recognized by Him, wholly according to His own required standards, which is completely in line with His disposition and essence. There can be no compromise in these standards; they cannot be more or less satisfied. These standards must be met exactly. It was not enough for God to see the righteous deeds that Abraham performed in his daily life, God had yet to observe Abraham’s true submission toward Him, and it was because of this that God did what He did. Why did God wish to see true submission in Abraham? Why did He subject Abraham to this final test? Because, as we all know, God wished Abraham to be the father of all nations. Is “the father of all nations” a title that any ordinary person could shoulder? No. God has His required standards, and the standards that He requires of anyone He wants and makes perfect, and anyone He sees as righteous are the same: true faith and absolute submission. Given that God wanted to perform in Abraham such a great thing, would He have rashly gone ahead and done it without seeing these two things in him? Absolutely not. Therefore, after God gave him a son, it was inevitable that Abraham would undergo such a test; this was what God had determined to do, and what God had already planned to do. Only after things went as God wished, and Abraham had met God’s requirements, did God begin planning to do the next step of His work: making Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore—making him the father of all nations. While the outcome of Him asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac remained unknown and had yet to materialize, God would not act rashly; but once it had materialized, what Abraham possessed met the standards of God, which meant that he was to receive all the blessings that God had planned for him. From the offering of Isaac, then, it can be seen that God has expectations and required standards of people for whatever work He does in them, or whatever role He requires them to play or whatever commission He requires them to accept in His management plan. There are two kinds of results for God’s expectations of people: One is if you cannot do that which He asks of you, you will be eliminated; the other is if you can, God will continue to accomplish in you that which He wishes to in accordance with His plan. The true faith and absolute submission that God demands of humans are, in reality, not too difficult for people to achieve. But whether they are easy or hard, these are the two things that, for God, must be found in people. If you can meet this standard, then God will find you to be adequate, and God will ask for nothing more; if you cannot, then that’s a different matter. The fact that God asked Abraham to offer his son shows that He did not feel that Abraham hitherto possessing a God-fearing heart and true faith in Him was all that was needed, that more or less was good enough. That was absolutely not the manner of God’s demand; He makes demands by His means, and according to what people are able to achieve, and this is non-negotiable. Is this not God’s holiness? (It is.) Such is the holiness of God.

Even a good person such as Abraham, who was pure, had true faith, and possessed rationality, had to accept God’s testing—so in the eyes of humankind, was this testing not somewhat inconsiderate of human feelings? But this lack of consideration for human feelings is precisely the embodiment of God’s disposition and essence, and Abraham underwent this kind of testing. In this testing, Abraham showed to God his uncompromising faith and uncompromising submission to the Creator. Abraham passed the test. Ordinarily, Abraham had never experienced any vicissitudes, but after God tested him like this, his usual faith and submission were proven to be real; it was not external, it was not a slogan. That Abraham was still capable of uncompromising submission under this circumstance—after God had spoken such words and made such a demand of him—meant one thing for sure: In Abraham’s heart, God was God, and would always be God; the identity and essence of God was immutable regardless of any changing factors. In his heart, humans would forever be human and were not entitled to contest, try to reason, or compete with the Creator, nor were they entitled to analyze the words spoken by the Creator. Abraham believed that when it came to the words of the Creator or anything that the Creator asked, people did not have the right to choose; the only thing they were supposed to do was submit. Abraham’s attitude was very telling—he had true faith in God, and in this true faith was born true submission, and so no matter what God did to him or asked of him, or whatever deed God carried out, whether it be something that Abraham saw, heard of, or personally experienced, none of this could affect his true faith in God, much less could it affect his submissive attitude toward God. When the Creator said something that was inconsiderate of human feelings, something that made an unjustifiable demand of man, no matter how many people took offense to these words, resisted them, analyzed and examined them, or even scorned them, Abraham’s attitude remained undisturbed by the environment of the outside world. His faith and submission to God did not change, and they were not merely words spoken from his mouth, or formalities; instead, he used facts to prove that the God he believed in was the Creator, that the God he believed in was the God in heaven. What do we see from all that was manifested in Abraham? Do we see his doubts about God? Did he have doubts? Did he examine God’s words? Did he analyze them? (He did not.) Some people say, “If he did not examine or analyze God’s words, what was he feeling distressed for?” Do you not permit him to feel distressed? He felt so distressed and was still able to submit—are you able to submit even when you don’t feel distressed? Just how much submission is within you? That such distress and pain had no effect on Abraham’s submission proves that this submission was real, that it was not a lie. This was a created human being’s testimony to God before Satan, before all things, before all creation, and this testimony was so powerful, so precious!

In the stories of Noah and Abraham, and in the story of Job, just what is it in their behavior and speech, and in their attitude and their every word and deed when God’s words and actions befell them, that so moved later generations? What moved people the most regarding these three individuals’ attitude toward God’s words, and their behavior, speech, and attitude after hearing God’s words, and after hearing what God commanded and required, is just how pure and persevering their sincerity toward God, the Creator, was. To people today, this purity and perseverance might be called stupidity and obsessiveness; but to Me, their purity and perseverance were the most moving and touching things about them, and even more so, the things that feel so out of reach to other people. From these individuals I truly appreciated and witnessed what a good person looks like; from their behavior and speech, as well as their attitude when faced with God’s words, and when they listened to God’s words, I see what the people who God regards as righteous and perfect are like. And what is the most striking feeling that I experience after reading and understanding these people’s stories? It is the profound remembrance, attachment to, and adoration of these individuals. Is this not a feeling of being moved? Why do I have this kind of feeling? Throughout the long history of mankind, there has never been a history book focusing on recording, praising, and disseminating the stories of these three people, nor has anyone used their stories to educate later generations, treating them as people to be emulated by later generations. But there’s one thing that the people of the world don’t know: At different times, each of these three men heard something different from God, each received a different commission from God, each had different requirements made of them by God, each did something different for God, and completed different work that had been entrusted to them by God—yet they all shared one thing in common. What was it? They all lived up to God’s expectations. After hearing God speak, they were able to accept what God had entrusted them with and had asked of them, and after that they were able to submit to everything that God said, they were able to submit to every single thing that they heard God demand of them. What did they do that lived up to God’s expectations? Among all mankind, they became exemplars for listening to, accepting, and submitting to God’s words, and for bearing resounding testimony to God in the face of Satan. Since they were exemplars for mankind, and perfect and righteous in God’s eyes, what, ultimately, is the most important piece of information that this tells us? That this is the kind of person that God wants, a person who is capable of comprehending what God says, who uses their heart to listen to, grasp, apprehend, understand, and submit to and implement the words of the Creator; this kind of person is beloved by God. No matter how great the tests and trials are that God subjects them to before He has affirmed their righteous deeds, once they bear resounding testimony to God, they become that which is most precious in God’s hands, and one who will live forever in the eyes of God. This is the fact that it tells us. This is what I wish to tell you through fellowshipping on the stories of Noah and Abraham, and what you should understand. The implication is that those who still do not understand the Creator’s words, and still do not know that listening to the words of the Creator is their responsibility, obligation, and duty, and are unaware that accepting and submitting to the words of the Creator is the attitude that created humans ought to have, regardless of how many years they have followed God—such people are the ones who will be eliminated by God. God does not want such people, He loathes such people. So just how many people are ultimately able to listen to, accept, and completely submit to the Creator’s words? However many can. Those who have followed God for many years yet still despise the truth, brazenly violate the principles, and who are incapable of accepting and submitting to God’s words whether they are spoken in the flesh or the spiritual realm, will ultimately face one outcome: elimination.

It has been thirty years now since God became flesh and came to work on earth. He has spoken many words and expressed many truths. No matter how He speaks, no matter what methods He employs to speak, and no matter how much content He speaks, He only has one requirement of people, that they are able to listen, accept, and submit. However, there are many who cannot grasp or carry out this simplest requirement. This is very troublesome, and it shows that mankind is so deeply corrupted, has great difficulty in accepting the truth, and cannot easily be saved. Even now, with the context of people recognizing that man was created by God and the fact that God in the flesh is God Himself, people still oppose and defy God and reject God’s word and His requirements. They even examine, analyze, reject, and are indifferent toward the words spoken by God’s incarnation, without understanding how created beings should treat God’s word and what attitude they should have toward God’s word. This is truly sad. Even now, people don’t know who they are, what position they should stand in, or what they should do. Some people even constantly complain about God, saying “Why does God always express truths in His work? Why is He always demanding that we accept the truth? When God speaks and works, He should consult us, and He shouldn’t always make things difficult for us. We have no reason to obey Him absolutely, we want human rights and freedom, we should vote by a show of hands on the demands that God puts forward for us, and we should all also have discussions and reach consensuses. The house of God should enact democracy and everybody should make the final decisions together.” Even now, many people hold this view, and although they do not say it openly, they hold it in their hearts. If I am not entitled to ask anything of you, if I am not entitled to ask that you obey what I say, and to demand your absolute submission to what I say, then who is? If you believe that the God in heaven is entitled to do so, and that the God in heaven is entitled to speak to you from the sky through thunder, then great! That means I won’t have to be patient and earnest or waste My breath talking to you—I don’t want to say anything more to you. If you believe that the God in heaven is entitled to speak to you from the sky, from the clouds, then go ahead and listen, go and search for His words—wait for the God in heaven to speak to you in the sky, in the clouds, amidst the fire. But there is one thing you must be clear about: If that day truly comes, the time of your death will have arrived. It would be better if that day did not come. “It would be better if that day did not come”—what do these words mean? God has become human to personally speak to man face-to-face on earth, to issue truths telling people all that they are supposed to do, yet people are scornful and flippant; in their hearts, they secretly resist and vie with God. They do not wish to listen, believing that God on earth has no right to try to govern people. Does this attitude that people have make God happy, or does it vex Him? (It vexes Him.) And what will God do when He is vexed? People will face the fury of God—you understand this, right? The fury of God, not the testing of God; these are two separate concepts. When the fury of God befalls people, they are in danger. Do you think that God is furious toward those He loves? Is He furious toward those who are worthy of living in the light of God’s countenance? (No.) What kind of person is God furious toward? For those who have followed Him for many years and yet still do not understand His words, who still do not know they are supposed to listen to God’s words, who lack the awareness to accept and submit to God’s words, God feels averse to and repulsed by such people, and does not wish to save them. You understand this, right? So what should people’s attitude be toward God, God incarnate, and the truth? (We should listen, accept, and submit.) That’s right. You must listen, accept, and submit. Nothing is more simple than this. After listening, you must accept in your heart. If you are unable to accept something, you must keep seeking until you are capable of complete acceptance—then, as soon as you accept it, you must submit. What does it mean to submit? It means to practice and implement. Do not dismiss things after hearing them, outwardly promising to do them, noting them down, committing them to writing, hearing them with your ears, but not taking them to heart, and just carrying on in your same old ways and doing whatever you wish when the time comes to act, putting what you wrote down to the back of your mind and treating it as unimportant. This is not submitting. True submission to God’s words means listening to them and comprehending them with your heart, and truly accepting them—accepting them as an unshirkable responsibility. It is not simply a matter of saying one accepts God’s words; instead, it is accepting His words from the heart, turning your acceptance of His words into practical actions and implementing His words, without any deviation. If what you think, what you set your hand to do, and the price you pay are all to meet God’s demands, that is implementing God’s words. What does “submission” imply? It implies practice and implementation, turning God’s words into reality. If you write the words God says and His demands in a notebook and put them to paper, but do not record them in your heart, and you do as you wish when the time comes to act, and it seems from the outside as if you have done what God asked, but you have done it according to your own will, then this isn’t listening to, accepting, and submitting to God’s words, this is despising the truth, it is brazenly flouting the principles, and ignoring the arrangements of God’s house. It is rebellion.

Once, I entrusted someone to do something. As I explained the task to him, he carefully made a record of it in his notebook. I saw how careful he was in recording it—he seemed to feel a sense of burden for the work, and have a careful, responsible attitude. Having conveyed the job to him, I set to waiting for an update; two weeks went by, and still, he had not sent word back. So, I took it upon Myself to find him, and asked how the task I had given him was coming along. He said, “Oh, no—I forgot about it! Tell me again what it was.” How do you feel about his answer? That was the sort of attitude he had when doing a job. I thought, “This person really is untrustworthy. Get away from Me, and quick! I don’t want to see you again!” That was how I felt. So, I will tell you a fact: You must never associate the words of God with the lies of a trickster—doing so is abominable to God. There are some who say they are as good as their word, that their word is their bond. If that is so, then when it comes to God’s words, can they do as those words say when they hear them? Can they implement them as carefully as they do their personal affairs? Every sentence of God’s is important. He does not speak in jest. What He says, people must implement and execute. When God speaks, is He consulting with people? He certainly is not. Is He asking you multiple-choice questions? He certainly is not. If you can realize that God’s words and commission are orders, that man must do as they say and implement them, then you have an obligation to implement them and execute them. If you think that God’s words are just a joke, just casual remarks that can be done—or not done—however one likes, and you treat them as such, then you are quite without reason and unfit to be called a person. God will never speak to you again. If a person is always making their own choices when it comes to God’s requirements, to His commands and His commission, and treating them with a perfunctory attitude, then they are a sort of person that God loathes. In things I command and entrust to you directly, if you are always needing Me to supervise you and urge you on, to follow up with you, always making Me worry and make inquiries, requiring that I check everything for you at every turn, then you ought to be eliminated. There are many of this kind of person among those currently eliminated from the house of God. I instruct them on a few things and then I ask them: “Have you got all that down? Is this clear? Do you have any questions?” To which they respond: “I’ve got it all down, no problems here, no need to worry!” They agree to do them very easily, even putting their hands over their heart and swearing it to Me. But do they actually go on to implement these things after they agree? No, they just vanish without a trace and with no further news coming from them. They do the things they like right away, acting swiftly and decisively. They readily agree to the things I entrust them with, but then they just ignore it, and when I follow up with them on the matter later, I find that they haven’t done anything at all. This kind of person doesn’t have any conscience or reason whatsoever. They are a good-for-nothing and not worthy of doing a duty. They are worse than a pig or a dog. When a person keeps a guard dog, when they are away, the dog is able to help watch the house and the yard when strangers come along. There are a lot of people who aren’t even as good as dogs at doing things. Some people always have to have somebody supervising them for them to do even a little bit of their duty, and they always have to have somebody prune them, and watch over them before they do anything. Is this doing a duty? These people are liars! If they didn’t plan on doing it, then why did they agree to it? Is this not deliberately deceiving people? If they thought the task would be difficult, why didn’t they say so earlier? Why did they promise to carry it out and then not go on to do it? If they deceive other people they can’t do anything to them, but if they deceive God, what are the consequences? This kind of person should be sorted out and eliminated! Don’t you think that people who despise the truth and brazenly violate principles are bad people? They are all bad people, they are all demons, and they should be eliminated! Because these people act wantonly, violate principles, are rebellious and disobedient, establish their own kingdom, and because they are lazy and irresponsible, they have brought great losses upon the church! Who can afford to reimburse such losses? Nobody can shoulder such a responsibility. These people complain, and remain unconvinced and dissatisfied when they are pruned. Are these people not unreasonable devils? They are truly beyond help and should have been eliminated long ago!

Do you understand what the point of the stories of Noah and Abraham that we fellowshipped today is? Is what God requires of man very difficult? (No.) What God requires of man is what should be most fundamental in a created human being; it is not difficult at all, and it is most practical and most realistic. People must possess true faith and absolute submission to be approved by God; only those who possess these two things are truly saved. But for those who have been profoundly corrupted, those who despise the truth and are averse to positive things, and for those who are hostile to the truth, there is nothing more difficult than these two things! This is only achievable by those who have a pure and open heart toward God, who possess humanity, reason, and conscience, and who love positive things. Are these things found in you? And in whom is found the perseverance and purity that should be possessed by people? In terms of age, all of you sitting here are younger than Noah and Abraham, yet in terms of purity, you cannot compare with them. Purity, intelligence and wisdom are not found in you; petty trickery, on the other hand, is in no short supply. So, how can this problem be resolved? Is there any way to fulfill God’s requirements? Is there a path? Where to start? (By listening to the words of God.) That’s right: by learning to listen and submit. Some people say, “Sometimes what God says isn’t the truth, and isn’t easy to submit to. If God spoke a few words of truth, submission would be easy.” Are these words right? (No.) What have you discovered in the stories of Noah and Abraham that we spoke of today? Obeying the word of God and submitting to God’s requirements is man’s bounden duty. And if God says something that does not accord with man’s notions, man should not analyze or examine it. Whomever God condemns or eliminates, giving rise in however many people to notions and resistance, God’s identity, His essence, His disposition, and His status are forever unchanging. He is forever God. Since you have no doubt that He is God, your only responsibility, the only thing you should do, is to obey what He says and practice according to His word; this is the path of practice. A created being should not examine, analyze, discuss, reject, contradict, rebel against, or deny the words of God; this is loathed by God, and not what He wishes to see in man. How, exactly, are God’s words to be treated? How should you practice? It is actually very simple: learn to obey them, listen to them with your heart, accept them with your heart, understand and comprehend them with your heart, and then go and practice and implement them with your heart. What you hear and comprehend in your heart should be closely connected to your practice. Do not separate the two; everything—what you practice, what you submit to, what you do by your own hand, everything you run around for—should be correlated to God’s words, then you should practice in accordance with His words and implement them through your actions. That is what it is to submit to the words of the Creator. This is the path of practicing God’s words.

July 18, 2020

Previous: Excursus Two: How Noah and Abraham Obeyed God’s Words and Submitted to Him (Part One)

Next: Item Ten: They Despise the Truth, Brazenly Flout Principles, and Ignore the Arrangements of God’s House (Part Five)

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