Chapter 3. Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” (III)
God Blesses Most Those Who Understand His Will in Creating Mankind and Pursue to Become God’s Confidants
Now, we’ll start the fellowship on God’s word. “Today we’re first going to summarize God’s thoughts, ideas, and every move since creating humans, and to take a look at what work He carried out from creating the world to the official start of the Age of Grace. We can then discover which of God’s thoughts and ideas are unknown to man, and from there we can clarify the order of God’s plan for management, and thoroughly understand the context in which God created His management work, its source and development process, and also thoroughly understand what results He wants from His management work—that is, the core and the purpose of His management work. To understand these things we need to go back to a distant, still and silent time when there were no humans …” Here, we see “God’s thoughts, ideas, and every move since creating humans.” These keywords are critical to understand. If we wish to know God in detail, where should we begin? By understanding God’s thoughts, ideas, and every move. This is a topic we’ve never heard about, isn’t it? The Bible records much of God’s work and deeds, but it never discusses the thoughts and ideas behind any of God’s particular actions, which is why for generations, people have read the Bible and never understood what God’s thoughts and ideas are, which has in turn made God’s thoughts and ideas one of mankind’s greatest mysteries. In the last days, God has come incarnate to do the work of saving mankind, and at the same time to conclude this era, and has revealed the thoughts and ideas behind every piece of His work and each of His actions since creation. Some might ask, “What result did God want to achieve by revealing these things?” This is something we ought to know about and understand. In the past, we’ve often said that the most important element of pursuing knowledge of God was understanding God’s disposition, so what is the relationship between God’s thoughts and ideas and His disposition? The relationship is close and direct. “God’s disposition” is a general term. Specifically, God’s disposition is made up of these thoughts and ideas, and every idea, thought, action, and word from God represents His disposition, so if we want to know God’s disposition, we must know the thoughts and ideas behind each of God’s actions and each piece of His work before we can achieve real knowledge of His disposition. For example, when we as humans speak or act, are there ideas and thoughts behind it? (Yes.) In fact, one could say that all we say and do represents our notions and viewpoints. What represents and expresses our notions and viewpoints? These thoughts and ideas. This is why, to understand God’s disposition, we must understand the thoughts and ideas behind each thing God does. This is the only way to understand God’s disposition. Next we’ll look at what God’s ideas were when He created mankind.
“When God arose from His bed, the first thought that He had was this.” Here, it mentions that He “arose from His bed,” which tells us that God has a resting place. “The first thought that He had was this,” what was it? God wanted “to create a living person, a real, living human—someone to live with and be His constant companion.” How should people understand this thought of God’s? This is key. As humans, we sometimes feel solitary and lonely, and once we have this feeling, we need someone else as company, to speak and exchange with us, and once we have this, we feel happy and joyous. We humans have this feeling, and when we see that God also has thoughts and ideas like this, do we know something about God? (Yes.) What do we know? We know that He has the same thoughts and ideas, which is very significant. Once we have this knowledge of God, we should then look at what God meant. God wanted someone to live with and be His constant companion. Is this fact significant? (Yes.) Why is this significant? Some people don’t understand, and say, “God is the Creator of all things. He has many angels to be His constant companions, why doesn’t that satisfy Him?” Isn’t it easy for people to think that? God created a living man to be His constant companion, to accompany Him and live with Him. Could angels ever take the place of such a man? Since God created man to be His companion, it’s impossible that angels could ever take the place of man, and this is very significant. There is mystery in this. From this fact, do you think God created man to live in His presence as angels do? (No.) God creating mankind to be His companions, live with Him, and accompany Him has a special significance, which means that the significance of God’s creation of man is deep. Before reading this passage of God’s word, we all read the records of God creating Adam and Even in the Bible. We didn’t understand God’s thoughts, and simply knew that God created man and that was the end of it. We didn’t know the meaning of God’s creation of man. Today, now that we know God’s thoughts and ideas when He created man, what should we understand? What is the significance of God’s creation of mankind? That we are to be God’s companions, that we are to live with God and accompany Him. This is very significant. And what allows us to know this? We only understand the significance of God’s creation of man by understanding God’s thoughts and ideas at the time He created man. This is a fact. Who revealed God’s thoughts and ideas at the time He created man? The incarnate God revealed them, and if God had not come incarnate, corrupt mankind would never be able to know God’s thoughts and ideas, and in fact we can say not even angels would be able to know. Do you think Satan would be able to know God’s thoughts and ideas when He created man? Only God knows His own thoughts and ideas, and this is why, after God came incarnate and made clear His thoughts and ideas when He created man, we are suddenly enlightened, and realize how significant God’s creation of man was, that the significance of our creation goes deeper than we could know, and that being a person is something very meaningful. Then what, specifically, is that significance? What must people live out to conform to God’s thoughts and ideas when He created man? To understand this, we must understand God’s will and requirements for man. In the past, we didn’t know why God’s requirements for us are so high in His work of the last days, why God requires us to be honest people, and to be obedient to Him, and further to be like Job in our fear of God and avoidance of evil, and still further to sincerely love God and bear witness for Him like Peter. But now we understand. It’s because when God created mankind, He wanted to create a living man to live with Him and be His constant companion. Today God does this work, the work of judgment and chastisement, as well as sends trials and refinement to purify us; God’s good intentions are within this work. God does not do these things without reason. On the contrary, there is deep significance in what God does. It is because God favors us, and because the people God wants to save stand above all in His heart. Now, do we finally understand God’s good intentions? (Yes.) What allows us to understand these things? The passage we just read in God’s word. That is what allows us to understand God’s thoughts and ideas when He created man. Let me ask you further, “Is understanding the thoughts and ideas behind each part of God’s work in man in each historical age necessary for achieving knowledge of God?” Absolutely, it is critical, and it is impossible to pursue knowledge of God without practicing in this manner. So, nothing is more important than reading God’s word to achieving knowledge of God. Many people are unwilling to read God’s word in detail, and would rather develop their own notions. But what use are your own notions if they are not based on God’s word? What result do they achieve? No matter how imaginative you may be, it is useless, and it does not represent that you understand God’s thoughts and ideas.
Now let’s examine, “This person could listen to Him, and God could confide in and speak with him.” This is also critical. Don’t these three phrases mean the same thing? The surface meaning of the words is similar, but they actually mean three different things. Each of these things is important, and each is related to the significance of God’s creation of man. The first is “could listen to Him.” Many people don’t want to listen to God speak. Those unwilling to read God’s word are unwilling to hear God speak, as are those unwilling to contemplate God’s words, as are those who don’t care or are indifferent when God speaks. “Listen to Him” means listening out for God’s words at every moment. People have ears specifically to hear others speak, but because of our corrupt dispositions, we always have a choice in who we listen to, and that choice determines our fate. If someone chooses not to listen to God’s word, then he is betraying God. Today, many enjoy hearing the words of Satan, as well as the words of corrupt mankind, but do not enjoy hearing the words of God. Some people believe that whatever a nation’s government says is most important, but don’t think what God says is important. What is the problem here? Who do such people enjoy hearing? They like hearing the voice and the words of Satan rather than the words of God. What does not enjoying the words of God lead to? It is the beginning of the fall, and the beginning of betraying God. Perhaps now you believe in God and accept God’s work in the last days, but do you wish to hear God’s words? This fact reveals people. Whose words are most important to you? Whose words are your life, or perhaps even more important than your life? Some people lack penetration into this matter, and choose to listen to the words of Satan, worldly words, or the words of government. When people make such an error in their choices, is it not due to their corrupt disposition? This proves that people have fallen, betrayed God, and gone away from God. So, aren’t those unwilling to listen to God’s words people who betray God? (They are.) Many people refuse to listen to God’s words in the last days, God’s words in the present, and insist on hearing God’s words in the Age of Law or the Age of Grace. What problem is this? It proves that such people are blind! There is a principle in God’s work, which is that you must listen to God’s words in the present. Only then are you a follower of God, someone in accordance with God’s will, and the subject of God’s work. If you do not listen to God’s words in the present, and instead listen to God’s words in the past, what God said before, you are not the subject of God’s work, and you are not a follower of God. “Listen to Him,” in this passage, is critical. We must be willing to hear God’s words. Is this easy to do? When we have our own choices and preferences, it isn’t easy at all.
There is another line, “God could confide in … him.” “Confiding” and “speaking” are two different things. “Speaking” is normal speech, while “confiding” is God wishing to express a certain mood to someone, to tell them something. That is confiding. “Confiding” here means that God sometimes speaks heart-to-heart with people, and this is very important. God never confides in ordinary people, those who are not His confidants. What does “could confide in … him” mean? What does “confide” mean here? Many things weigh on God’s heart, and God wants someone to share His difficulties and inner feelings with. Who does God want to confide in? Consider, for example, if someone has troubles and things to say, will he go out on the street and confide in the first person he sees? Could that ever happen? No one would do that. Then who do most people confide in? If they wish to confide in someone, they usually won’t unless that person is their confidant. God’s confidants are the people God wishes to gain. God wants to make complete a group of confidants who share His will to be His constant company. So, from these words, we can also see that God’s wish to make complete a group of people who share His will is an urgent desire. Why does God want to gain a group of people who share His will? He wants them to listen to Him, hear Him confide in them, speak with Him, accompany Him, and be His constant companions. I previously asked why God, if He has angels as His constant companions, wants to create a living person and make complete a group of people to be His constant companions. He said, “People and angels are different.” God created man to listen to Him, and this is very, deeply significant. The words “could confide in … him” appear here because God has difficulties and many things to say, and no one to say them to. Telling angels doesn’t resolve the problem. He wants to say these things to people, and He enjoys talking to people. Can you see, from this point, how high is man’s place in God’s eyes and status in God’s heart? (Yes.) God wants to make mankind His constant companions. “This person could listen to Him, and God could confide in and speak with him.” “Speak with” here is deeply meaningful, even more so than “confide.”
“Speak with,” do we understand the special significance of this term? What does it mean to “speak with”? (To be able to communicate with one another, and understand everything about each other.) That’s a very good way of putting it. It is to be able to communicate with one another, to have a conversation, to be spiritually linked. But the statuses of man and God are different. Man is a created being, and here, the Creator wanted to communicate, often, with the humans He created. Do you see how deep this significance is? It’s very, very deep. Have we humans ever thought about this? We didn’t dare. We simply thought, “We are created beings, and we count for nothing before God. We are less than ants and dust. God’s thoughts and ideas are beyond man’s thoughts and ideas, God’s wisdom is higher than man’s, and man cannot hope to fathom it. How could man possibly speak with God? That is something man will never be able to accomplish.” But here, God says He needs man to speak with Him, so now do you see how important those to be made complete are in God’s heart? They are incredibly important. We humans mustn’t undervalue ourselves, because the moment we gain the truth and are perfected by God’s word, God says we will be able to speak with Him. This proves that the creation of man is deeply significant. God did not simply create man, place him on the earth, and say, “You manage all the things on earth, you may give the animals names, and if you don’t ruin these things I’ve created, if you don’t ruin the environment you live in, and if you don’t ruin the ecology, you’re already doing very well.” Now we can see that God’s creation of man has a deeper meaning than this, one far beyond it. This raises our status of ourselves immensely. After we really attain salvation and are perfected, we will be able to speak with God. Have we considered this fact before? Dared we consider it? It would have been too much to dream. Now can you see God’s thoughts and ideas? God had precisely that thought, precisely that idea, precisely that plan, and this is a fact. This is why God’s work in the last days contains these demands for us. Now can you understand God’s good intentions? Can you understand the place we occupy in God’s heart? We are so important! We are meant to accompany God, we are to be God’s constant companions, we will hear God confide in us and listen to God, and finally, we will be able to speak with God, and when we do, we will never leave God, and we will live with God. Some might ask, “But for that, don’t we need to ascend to the third heaven?” Don’t think about that. God never said that. Must we ascend to the third heaven to speak with God? Can’t we also speak with God on earth? (We can.) Isn’t being able to speak with God the most joyous thing possible? This is what the group of people made complete by God in the last days, the people who share His will, will enjoy. This is a part of receiving God’s inheritance and promise. To be able, in the end, to speak with God is something I never dared dream of, but today, after seeing God’s word, I was surprised to find that this is also promised. What do you think of what God has revealed to us today? Do you feel as though your views have been transformed? In ten lifetimes of reading the Bible, we never could have understood this by ourselves.
After God had these thoughts and ideas, “for the first time, God grabbed a handful of dirt and used it to create the very first living person that He had imagined,” who was Adam. What would a scientist think after he reads these words? He would say there were humans before Adam, but they went extinct. That is another matter. There were other humanities before us, two or three, but all went extinct. But here it says, “Then, for the first time, God grabbed a handful of dirt,” which very obviously tells us that when God created Adam, it was the first time He had personally picked up the dirt with His own hand. We can be certain, based on this line, that the humans that came before Adam were not created by dirt grasped in God’s own hand, that Adam was the first human created from dirt grasped in God’s own hand. This was the first time. If there were humans before Adam, they were not created from dirt shaped by God’s hand for the first time. Perhaps they were spoken into existence, or perhaps they were created another way, we don’t know how. But Adam was created after God had these thoughts and ideas: “Then, for the first time, God grabbed a handful of dirt and used it to create the very first living person that He had imagined, and then gave this living creature a name—Adam.” These were God’s thoughts and ideas when He created Adam, and God completely reveals them to us.
What are your thoughts after reading this passage of God’s word? Is this passage significant? It is very significant. Do those in the religious world who read the Bible know about this passage? They don’t know what God’s thoughts and ideas were when He created Adam, they would be surprised to learn it, and they would treasure these words of God. It’s a shame they haven’t accepted God’s work in the last days, so they can’t enjoy this blessing. They have lost so many blessings because they haven’t accepted the incarnate God. They are too blind and too ignorant. It is precisely because God revealed His thoughts and ideas when Adam was created to us that we understand how significant and profound the creation of man was. If we then think of work in the last days, what kind of people does God want to perfect us to become? What does God base His perfection of us upon? Is it based on His thoughts and ideas when He created Adam? Is it to achieve His thoughts and ideas at the time He created Adam? (Yes.) Then let us ask, is there any conflict between the results God hopes to achieve upon His followers in the last days and His thoughts and ideas at the time He created Adam? There is none at all. In the past we didn’t understand what it meant to be of one heart with God, but now, based on God’s revelations, we know that to be of one heart with God means “This person could listen to Him, and God could confide in and speak with him.” People such as this are people of one heart with God. Today, have we achieved these conditions? Sometimes we don’t want to listen to God’s words, at other times we unknowingly despise God’s words, and these are problems. Sometimes God wants to find a person to talk to and share His inner feelings, but He can’t. No one pays attention to Him, and no one understands Him. At times like these, is God’s heart not tormented? It’s true that today many people’s belief in God is strong, that they forsake everything to fulfill their duties, but when God wants someone to share His inner feelings, why aren’t they up to the task? What is the problem here? No matter how strong a person’s faith in God, if he is unwilling to be God’s confidant, become someone who shares His will, or exert effort on the truth, what is the problem? Isn’t this a deviation in man’s pursuit? It is unworkable when man has his own pursuits in his belief in God. Pursuing the truth and pursuing knowledge of God are the most important pursuits. No matter what duty you perform, nothing matters more in your performing it than how you become someone who shares His will, how you become able to listen to God, be someone God can confide in, be someone who can speak with God, listening out for God’s word at all times. In our duties, a problem we often discover is that, without realizing it, we produce the desires, methods, and rules of man, we use the notions, thinking, wisdom, and experience of man as substitutes for the truth, we put God’s word aside, and we don’t want to hear God confide in us, listen to God, or speak with God. Instead, we rely on what we summarize ourselves to live independently of God. What does this independence represent? Isn’t it betrayal? (Yes.) Man’s nature is to betray God, so often it’s easy to stray from God, isolate ourselves from God, oppose God, and live independently. Sometimes, when God’s house arranges duties for someone, he asks, “How should I perform this duty?” God’s house tells him how, after which he says, “Alright, I can do it now. Leave me alone from now on, and I’ll decide how I want to do it. My duties and my work are my personal property, and God’s house has no right to interfere.” He tries to be independent. What is the problem here? Isn’t this betraying God? This is a state of betrayal, and even though it isn’t quite the kind of true betrayal we imagine, even though not entirely the same, it is the beginning of betrayal. The moment he begins to stand apart from God and become independent is the moment he begins to betray God. He does not want to speak with God, listen to God, or hear God confide in him, but instead, based on his own understanding of the truth and what he summarizes from his own experiences, he begins to live independently. Aren’t there many such people? (There are.) This is why they sometimes receive interference, pruning and dealing, or discipline from God’s house. Some people are incapable of performing their duties, or set up their own independent kingdoms, and God’s house dismisses such people. They must be eliminated. Why? Because these people have begun to betray God and depart from God. Some people might ask, “How could someone begin to live independently of God by simply performing their duties and doing their work? He hasn’t departed from God or denied God, and he still normally goes to meetings.” Such a person has departed from God in his heart. He thinks he understands the truth, thinks himself competent and capable, and then imagines that he can perform his duties or do a job independently, and that no one else has the right to interfere. Isn’t this a state of betrayal? Is such a person serving God? If allowed to continue for a long time, it becomes a problem, because over time, distance develops in his relationship with God, and gradually, he loses the work of the Holy Spirit. Before people have gained the truth, it’s all too easy for them to become independent and produce this state of early betrayal. Let me tell you about several such states. When some people understand a little spiritual doctrine, they begin to think of themselves as competent and capable of being independent, after which they separate themselves from all other brothers, sisters, leaders, and workers and become independent. Is this not a kind of betrayal? When some people understand some of the truth, have some spiritual stature, and can work independently, they refuse to accept management by God’s house, thinking: “I can be independent!” Isn’t this a kind of betrayal? Some people have worked for a period of time, and have some prestige and reputation among God’s chosen people. Once they have everyone’s approval, they think, “I have the truth, I can be independent, and no one can control me now.” Isn’t this a kind of betrayal? You might say, “He possesses the truth and works according to God’s word. What’s wrong with that?” The problem isn’t that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s that such people don’t possess the truth. You think they possess the truth, so where do they lead God’s chosen people? Can God’s chosen people receive genuine supply of life from such a person? Does such a person truly have principles? Can such a person really use the truth to deal with problems? Can such a person truly bring God’s chosen people into God’s presence? He doesn’t have principles, and he can’t achieve that result, so becoming independent makes him an antichrist establishing his own kingdom. If he truly could bring God’s chosen people into God’s presence, it wouldn’t count as betraying God, would it? Many people lack discernment, and assume that when such a person speaks, he is right, and that he speaks well. If you think such a person speaks well, you are without spiritual understanding. Sometimes people speak words that are correct, but the words are empty and lack the reality of truth. Sometimes people speak words that are correct, but the speakers’ intentions are wrong. Sometimes people speak words that are correct, but they use the words as a disguise, a front, or a ruse, and their real intentions are something else. Can you discern these things? You cannot, you are still far from being able to do so. As such, before people are perfected, their nature is to betray God, and at nearly any moment, they can depart from God and become independent.
Some people, after experiencing me dealing with them once or twice, don’t want to see my face. When they hear me speak, they hide or get far away, because they’re afraid I’ll deal with them. What is the problem here? Isn’t there betrayal in this? What is in your mind when you fear someone dealing with you? Is it a good thing to be dealt with or pruned? If you are never dealt with by others, is that good? Some people lack experience, and can’t see the matter clearly. The mood when someone deals with you is painful. Who would want that to happen to them? No one. But after someone deals with you and you reflect, you benefit. You can truly see that your corrupt state is dangerous, you can truly see that you are impoverished and pitiful, and you can understand that you have nothing, which gives you the motivation to pursue the truth. What do you gain after each time you suffer? You gain true understanding of yourself, true repentance, and true change. Isn’t that the greatest possible benefit? Don’t look only at the pain. You also have to look at how you benefit. Once you taste this sweetness, you’ll say, “After I was dealt with several times, in the last six months, I’ve achieved some change, I’ve made some progress, I’ve gained some discernment, and I can more accurately practice principles in my duties.” This is a huge benefit. You might not be able to see it, but the benefits of suffering are huge. Some people have never been pruned or dealt with by me. What do people like that say? “I’ve done well, I’ve done things appropriately, so I’ve never been dealt with. People who are dealt with all have problems.” What do you think of that statement? What’s the actual case with some people I haven’t dealt with? If they haven’t been leaders, what would I deal with them for? I deal with leaders, not ordinary brothers and sisters. If you are a leader, you will always be dealt with. You can’t escape it except by not being a leader. If you are a leader, you will be dealt with. If you aren’t a leader, you are unqualified to be dealt with. No matter how badly you do things, you won’t be dealt with. Do you understand this matter? Some people don’t. If you are never a leader, you will go your entire life without me dealing with you, but this doesn’t mean you have no problems. You have a lot of problems. Some people say, “Then I won’t be a leader. If I’m a leader, I’ll always be dealt with.” What does it mean to experience God’s judgment and chastisement? It primarily means to be pruned and dealt with. They are things you must experience, things that should be common for you. Everyone must be dealt with, even me. Just after God appeared was when I was dealt with the most. Do you know why? I was a leader, and leaders are always dealt with. Being dealt with is the primary expression of God’s judgment and chastisement. So, isn’t it a good thing to be dealt with? What is the first lesson to learn when you are dealt with? To understand yourself. The second to learn is to obey, and the third is to not dare betray the truth and that you have to do things according to principle, or you’ll be dealt with again. When you learn to obey, when you can act according to principle, when you can practice the truth, when you can do practical work, you won’t be dealt with as much. This is to say that before you enter the correct track in your service to God, you will inevitably be dealt with, and it will be common. The more you are dealt with, the more you will grow and the faster you will change. The less you are dealt with, the slower you will grow, and the less you will change. This is a certainty. Some people understand when I put it this way, “No wonder I am always dealt with, so that’s the reason.” Others say, “Can’t I be a leader without being dealt with? Your fellowship on the truth is enough to solve my problems!” Is this reasonable to think? (No.) I’ve fellowshiped on the truth for many years. Have I been unclear in my fellowship? (No.) Then why can’t they practice the truth? Because this is the state of people’s corrupt disposition, they are precisely this lazy and base, and it takes dealing with them to resolve it. What would we call them in simpler terms? When people are in a state of satanic corruption, they are shameless. If you don’t deal with them, they act shamelessly, but if you do, they are someone better. Some people fear being dealt with, so they act more obediently and behave better. What kind of change does this represent? Being pruned and dealt with is the most common lesson of experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, and it is a lesson we must learn regularly. This is what God does. Of course, God doesn’t only rely on pruning and dealing, He also uses trials and refinement. What happens when people experience these things to the end? One result achieved is that they are able to listen to God, hear God confide in them, converse with God. They are no longer independent or attempt to betray God, instead they are truly obedient, can be considerate of God’s will, and they mature into adults. You’ll see that those who have experienced much pruning and dealing speak with meekness, obedience, and sense. Whatever God says, they immediately listen with their hearts. They don’t dare to be remiss, they listen with fear and reverence, and they always strive to listen and hear God. Doesn’t this bring them ever closer to God? Can they get along without pruning and dealing? Truly they cannot. When I first began dealing with others, some said I was scolding and developed notions against me, but afterward, as time went on, they thought, “He was right to scold me, I deserved to be scolded. He only told me what I am. Frankly, I deserve to be beaten.” You see? They learned to understand. Would speaking in polite terms have accomplished the job? Polite terms wouldn’t have pricked their hearts. It wouldn’t have worked. Sometimes scolding people works. When you prick their hearts, cause pain, and provoke tears, they pray, seek, then contemplate, “He was right to scold me, it’s good that he scolded me,” and become obedient. So, do I need to speak by the rules of civility? Some brothers and sisters are able to listen when I speak, but others don’t. They don’t listen no matter what I say, so I have to deal with them. That’s just common sense. Those of good caliber, character, and humanity who can accept the truth don’t need to be dealt with. Dealing with people isn’t a formula or a rule, it’s only something I use when I have no other options. Now we all understand that experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement is primarily experiencing pruning and dealing, but what result will be achieved by God’s judgment and chastisement? When people are able to listen to God, hear God confide in them, converse with God, and be God’s constant companion, God’s will shall be fulfilled, and God’s work in man will be concluded. This is the result that God’s work in the last days will achieve.
“This living and breathing person brought God happiness and joy; He felt comforted for the first time.” After God created man for the first time, He felt many things, but what did those “many things” include? He felt the happiness of family, the happiness of companionship, the responsibility of fatherhood. He also felt concern and comfort. God’s creation of man was very meaningful, more meaningful than God’s creation of anything else. Now, through revelations from God like this, we can see that God’s creation of man wasn’t nearly as simple as we previously thought. After we truly understand God’s will in creating man, how should we, as members of corrupt mankind, pursue the truth to achieve salvation and be perfected to comfort God’s heart and make God satisfied and happy? Isn’t this the true meaning of being a person? Just how, if we want to live out the true likeness of man and live out the most meaningful life, should we practice? How should we satisfy God’s demands? Do we have a path? Today, we can’t simply do whatever we want or live as whatever person we want, we need to consider God’s will in creating mankind, what effect God hopes to produce in man, and what kind of person God wants us to become. We absolutely must understand these things. If we don’t understand God’s will, do we have a path for how to be human at all? Do we have a way to choose the path we will walk? Some people might say, “I will pursue my individual happiness. I don’t care about God’s will!” Is this the sense mankind should have? (No.) Some might say, “I’ll pursue fleshly happiness, comfort, enjoyment, and joy, as well as the best food and clothes.” Does this accord with God’s will? Once we understand God’s will in creating mankind, should we choose our own happiness and our own path? If we walk our own worldly path, we are rebelling against God, which hurts God’s heart and makes us unworthy to live before God. There are some believers today who truly do not understand God’s will, who still wish to pursue individual happiness, living well, good food and clothes, enjoyment, wealth, and status. Are these things meaningful? Aren’t they empty? If the path you walk is not in accord with God’s will, what is the result? Can you understand this? It is to betray God! And what finally becomes of those who betray God? They are extinguished. They no longer exist. So, once we understand God’s will in creating mankind, we should pursue satisfying God in accordance with God’s requirements. This is the greatest happiness for mankind and the most correct life. Is there any meaning in the tiny happiness you gain by pursuing individual fleshly enjoyment? That is incredibly short-sighted! What is it that we gain by believing in God today? What do we gain after we forsake our homes and everything else? We gain the truth. What does the truth give people? Happiness, enjoyment, comfort, eternal joy and satisfaction. What does fleshly enjoyment give people? Spiritual emptiness, miserable encumbrance, absolutely no real joy at all, so lusting for the comfort and enjoyment of the flesh is short-sighted and utterly lacking in understanding. Today there are so many people pursuing the truth by fulfilling their duties, who accept God’s words as they perform their duties, who accept God’s judgment and chastisement, who accept pruning, dealing, trials, and refinement. What do they gain? Understanding of the truth and entry into its reality, eternal spiritual comfort, eternal happiness, as well as ever greater release in the spirit. Today, many people have seen that, “Oh my! Understanding the truth is so meaningful! Those who gain the truth as life live so happily, they escape all their encumbrances and pain. It’s so meaningful!” Being without family and fleshly burdens, feeling freedom and release, gaining the truth, and living in the presence of God are the most meaningful things. Those who haven’t escaped their families and fleshly enjoyment still enjoy their family lives, which is meaningless. Those worn out by the burdens of children, parents, and relatives become ever more miserable and feel ever more empty, is this not the case? What happens to those who look to their children to take care of them in old age? Does it work? It brings only endless misery, disturbance, and disaster, and brings no happiness at all. But what about living in God’s presence and relying on God? That brings eternal joy, eternal happiness, and eternal comfort. No matter how close a person is to us, it’s meaningless, because only God can be everything to us. Today, everyone who leaves their homes to fulfill their duties and pursue the truth feels that they understand ever more of the truth, that they can see everything in the world more and more clearly, that leaving their families was correct, and that if they hadn’t left their families to pursue the truth, they would never have enjoyed such blessings from God. So, those who leave their families to fulfill their duties and pursue the truth feel ever more enjoyment, and those who do not, who treasure their own families and fleshly lives feel ever more torment. In the past I knew a sister who followed God very sincerely, but later she got married to an unbeliever, and within a year, the couple were fighting every day. What did she say to her brothers and sisters? “If I knew this would happen, I never would have got married. I regret getting married. Heed my words and never get married!” Many people today suffer the burden of family, and the encumbrance and pain of having an unbelieving family is great indeed. Those who don’t marry don’t understand just how great the pain of marriage is, and they still want to get married, but those who are married have tasted its pain. They think, “Having a family is so much trouble, it’s an eternal burden. There’s no way to escape it. Unless the unbeliever dies, that is an escape, but every day he lives is a day you are his slave, as if you owe him a debt that you always have to repay.” But when you cut your fleshly ties and escape, what happens? Life is relaxed, easy, a life of freedom and release, just like a bird that has escaped its cage and found freedom. Are fleshly intimates truly intimate? Or are they encumbrances? Now do you understand? Fleshly intimates can never be intimate. They are useless. Only by escaping these fleshly intimates can we find freedom and release. It hurts in the moments immediately after you escape them, but after a time you understand the truth, and you realize that escaping them is a very good thing, that it is God’s salvation, and that is the beginning of happiness. Today many of our brothers and sisters suffer the constraints of unbelieving spouses and children which cause them endless torment and complaints and make them regret finding a partner. Some of them say, “How did I ever have such terrible children? This is awful!” But if they regret it now, what can they do about it? Nothing. Expending for God, gaining the truth, and being perfected by God is the goal which we pursue. By striving to pursue the truth and practicing the truth as we perform our duties to gain entry into realities, thereby living out the likeness of a man and living out the most meaningful existence, we will achieve God’s will at the time He created mankind, and in doing this we will give God great comfort. When the day comes that you live out a true human likeness, you will pray to God and say, “God, I was lost, but now I’ve returned, and I will never leave You again. I’ve returned to God’s house, and my only intimate is God!” What a great comfort that will be! Can you say this prayer? “My fleshly intimates are not my intimates. They are not worth caring about, and only God is my true intimate. I have returned to God’s presence and I will never leave God again.” When you pray like this, you can understand God’s heart, and your own heart will be comforted. This is the happiness, and the significance, of believing in God.
Continuing on, “He felt comforted for the first time,” this sentence is very important. After mankind was corrupted by Satan, was God comforted? After mankind was corrupted by Satan, was there any man who allowed God to feel comforted for the first time? What did Adam give to God? The feeling of being comforted for the first time after creating mankind. What did Job’s testimony give to God? God tasted the comfort of the first time man had given perfect testimony of God in the presence of Satan in the Age of Law. What comfort will those who find salvation and become perfected in the last days bring God? After mankind becomes saved, God’s will at the time He first created man will be realized. Man can become God’s companion, live with God, listen to God, hear God confide in them, and converse with God, which will give God comfort. It is the comfort of recovery, a return of the comfort God felt when He created Adam and Eve after mankind was corrupted by Satan. So, now, who will give the comfort God wishes to receive through His work in the last days? It is us, the group of people who pursue the truth, who in the end will make God say, “I’ve finally gained a group of people who are of one mind with Me, I’ve finally gained a group of people with whom I can converse, who have true knowledge of Me, who are considerate of My will, who can give perfect testimony of Me and live by My words, which gives me the greatest possible comfort.” This fulfills God’s ultimate purpose and greatest desire in His creation of man, and this comfort is the comfort God wants to gain in the last days. If we have this determination and desire to comfort God, we absolutely will receive God’s blessings. This is assured. Do you have confidence in this? (Yes.) If we think back, why did God like David so much in the Age of Law? David wanted to build a holy temple for Jehovah God, and he said, “We humans have only known how to sin after being corrupted by Satan, we worship Satan and evil spirits, and we have no knowledge of God. Why do we have no holy temple in which to worship God? If we had such a temple, it would be wonderful, because everyone could go there to worship God!” That’s what David thought, which is why God liked David. Today, after we understand God’s will, how should we think? We should have thoughts more lofty than David’s, but what thought is more lofty than David’s? Not only building a holy temple to God on the earth, this isn’t enough. We primarily should allow God to make us into a group of people who are of one mind with Him, who are able to do God’s will on earth, carry out what God entrusts to them, and serve God on earth. This will give God the greatest comfort. If we have this desire and determination to comfort God, we are those most after God’s heart. Shouldn’t we have this determination? We must consider how to comfort God. God was comforted by Adam and Job, so why can’t we comfort God as well? When we haven’t believed in God for long, for maybe only one, three, or five years, we can’t satisfy God, but if we are determined, can we satisfy God in ten or twenty years from now? If we truly have such determination, is it worth forsaking everything to achieve our desire? Is it worth suffering a great deal of hardship to achieve that desire? It’s worth sitting in prison for years for this desire, and we should pursue it to our last breath and never give up. If we do, God will certainly make our desire reality. What is it that many of our brothers and sisters think when they have been tortured and are taking their last breath? They think, “I can’t die yet, I still need to live for God, I have to stand testimony!” They pray to God, “God, if You protect me and allow me to live on, I still intend to pursue the truth, fulfill my duties, and repay Your love. I will be happy if I can do Your will.” What determination is this? The determination to satisfy God, to live out the true image of a man, and if someone who pursues this goal dies before they can complete it, they feel like they’ve died without achieving their purpose. If we believe in God with this determination, don’t we become just like David? We become those after God’s heart in the last days, and God will certainly perfect us! If you truly dare to make such an oath to God, to pray to God like this, to offer up yourself and live for God, and to insist on becoming someone who gives God comfort in the last days, then you will receive God’s blessings, and God will, without a doubt, make your desire come true.
People must have this desire, this determination, if they want to accomplish anything. A person with this determination will receive God’s blessings. This isn’t a momentary notion, this is something a person gains when, after deep and long consideration, his viewpoint becomes the goal he pursues, the root and principle of his existence. In this way, he becomes someone who gains God’s blessings, and God will certainly perfect him. We can’t get by without such a determination. Without it, without a goal, if we live only for fleshly desires, then don’t we become animals? How do people live in the world today? They live no differently than animals, by the law of the jungle. Do you want to live the way worldly people do? It’s utterly meaningless. It’s wasting your life on trifles, something you’ll regret forever! On the brink of death you’ll sob and repent, but will it matter? You must pursue the correct goals and have the correct views while you live. We all have goals in our lives now, don’t we? What are God’s thoughts and will for us in the last days? Are we clear on the matter now? (Yes.) If we truly are clear on the matter, how ought we to determine our views on life and values? Ought we to determine them now? If we ought to determine them, then how should we pray to God and converse with God? Isn’t this a practical problem we should resolve? What does it prove if you believe in God but lack the courage to make this determination? That you don’t understand God’s will, and that you lack the truth. Can you have sincere faith in God without the truth? If you truly understand God’s will, you understand the truth, and you say, “I truly understand God’s thoughts and will, I see clearly God’s good intentions, so if I continue to be inconsiderate of God’s will, I am truly less than a man! I am unworthy to live in God’s presence, and if I continue to live in pursuit of my fleshly interests, if I can’t become someone who comforts God, I am less than a man, I am unworthy to live, I should be cursed, and how I die doesn’t matter.” Dare you swear such an oath? Once you swear such an oath, you may encounter suffering and trials. What should you do when they come? These moments will be the times that reveal you. God will ask, “Is this person’s oath genuine or false? I must use trials to reveal him to see whether he is sincere!” When the trials come and the pressure is too great, yet you are still sincere, and you have no regrets for your oath and are willing to walk to the end of the path, when you are willing to endure poverty and rejection from the world to walk to the end of the path, this is when God will perfect you. So, the times when trials come are the times that reveal people. Some can’t stand up for their oaths, and the slightest suffering turns them back and makes them run away. Such a person’s oath is false, he has deceived God, and that is not acceptable!
Today, the great red dragon fabricates rumors and blackens the names of God and The Church of Almighty God, and this reveals some people. Such people believe the great red dragon’s rumors and Satan’s lies, and they do not believe that God is the truth and holy. What problem do you think this is? Isn’t this a revelation of whether someone has true faith in God’s presence? Do you, at root, believe in God and the truth, or in Satan? This is a time and question that reveals people. So, to achieve what result does God allow the great red dragon to do service in this manner and all the satanic forces of evil to do these things in His work of the last days? One reason is to perfect those who pursue the truth, but also to reveal people who do not love the truth and eliminate all those of false faith. Today, those who do not love the truth or believe in God are being revealed and eliminated. Can you see God’s good intentions in allowing Satan to perform this service? Some people can’t see it clearly. This is a good thing! How do those who pursue the truth handle this trial? Of those among God’s chosen people in mainland China who undergo the great red dragon’s arrest, false accusation, judgment, harm, and libel, 99% can stand firm, end up hating the great red dragon even more, and have even stronger faith in God, thereby becoming people who Satan can never bring low. Only a small minority, certain individuals, are deceived, become negative, and withdraw. So, how effective is the great red dragon? It assumed its nation-wide suppression and destruction of The Church of Almighty God was a success, but it never imagined that in the space of one night, all The Church of Almighty God’s videos on life experience testimony, hymns, and God’s word, as well as all of its articles of testimony, would appear online. “Oh no! How did all these movies appear on the internet overnight? Where are these people? They haven’t been banished and extinguished, they’re actually stronger than ever!” Isn’t this something that humiliates Satan? Were these people defeated? No, in fact they’re actually stronger. And how are those who pursue the truth doing? Stronger than ever. Many brothers and sisters, when they see the newest words spoken by God, stand up, find strength, and have a path to pursue the truth, saying, “We will pursue being like Job and becoming people who fear God and shun evil.” After experiencing the large-scale, nation-wide suppression of the great red dragon, God’s chosen people become stronger. Their numbers are not only not diminished, they increase. Why does this happen? This is the might of God’s word and the truth; God’s word can accomplish anything. What effect do the great red dragon’s lies and its varieties of evil methods, its arrests, persecution, and torture, have upon God’s chosen people? They serve the growth in life of God’s chosen people. Those who emerge from jail have greater faith, and they know more clearly that Almighty God is the true God, a God that can be relied upon. The might of Almighty God’s word is incomparable. Almighty God’s word can become a person’s life, this is entirely true. The great red dragon could never imagine that after its attempt at suppression, it would not only fail to bring down The Church of Almighty God, but would in fact make God’s chosen people of The Church of Almighty God even stronger, gain further entry into the realities of truth, and provide beautiful, resounding testimony.