Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “‘The Sixth Utterance’ of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe”
The matter of knowing God is very profound, and the little that we know is very superficial. So no matter how much of God’s work you experience, should anyone dare to say that he has any knowledge of God? He cannot say that! If he says this then he will be disgraced. Today I have communicated this and that to you, and there are people who think, “This brother understands more than we do, this brother knows God!” You are wrong to say this. I do not dare to say this—I do not know God, I only have some experience and have some shallow and superficial knowledge. I do not acknowledge that I am someone who knows God, as I am not qualified. I just have this little amount of experience and this shallow knowledge, and it is not enough to know God. You must understand! To whatever stage you have experienced, no matter how the Holy Spirit works, and even if people hear you communicate and they feel it is quite advantageous, in no circumstances should you say that you know God, because you yourself know that you have only reached to a certain shallow level. You are clear in your heart about what level you have experienced to; while other people do not know, do you yourself not know?
True faith is produced by having some knowledge of God, and true love of God is also produced by having some knowledge of God. Is this not the case? So if we want to attain having true faith in God, that is, our faith is up to the standard in the eyes of God, how should we seek to have this kind of faith? How should we seek to have true love of God? The most important thing is to seek to know God, this is for certain. In seeking to know God, how should you seek? It is just seeking the truth! If in believing in God you do not seek the truth, then this faith of yours is in vain and is deviant. In this you have not entered into the right track and the right road of belief in God, and it is only as a person who seeks the truth that you can have true faith in God. You should be able to accept this kind of statement! There are many people who believe in God for twenty or thirty years and do not understand the truth, and they do not have the truth. Can you say they are people who have true faith in God? Is it not a contradiction that people who have true faith in God, if they believe for twenty or thirty years, do not understand the truth and have no knowledge of God? This sentence makes no sense! When people who do not understand the truth speak, they are only contradicting themselves. Suppose someone says, “On the whole I am counted as a person who seeks the truth.” And someone else says, “In seeking the truth, for how many years have you believed?” “Twenty or so years.” “How much of the truth have you understood?” “I can’t say I understand the truth.” What problems have arisen? Is this not contradicting themselves? Is this not slapping themselves in the face? Some people pick up a Bible and say, “Do you know how many years I have read this Bible, how much I have yellowed its pages with use, and worn out all the pages!” Someone else says, “This is indeed not false—this Bible has been yellowed and worn out quite thoroughly. So, then, do you have knowledge of God?” “I do not have any knowledge.” Is this not contradicting oneself? You have worn out and yellowed all the pages of this Bible, but can this represent you having knowledge of God? That is just an external matter, and it is of no use even if you have yellowed or worn all the pages out. If you had not flipped through it, and not worn out the pages, or worn all the pages yellow yet had still obtained the truth, that would also be knowing God. Having the truth does not consist in having believed for a certain number of years. At the least you can obtain the truth in eight or ten years, and at the most you can obtain the truth in thirty or fifty years. Some people had believed for seventy or eighty years and still did not have the truth, and had not obtained the truth straight up to their deaths. How can this be explained? In short, having said all this, a person must be pragmatic in his belief in God, and must seek to know God, and if he believes in such a way for one year he will truly gain a full year’s harvest! If you do not seek to know God, if you do not seek to know God in the words of God, this is having faith in vain. No matter how many years you believe it will all be to no avail.
Let’s go on reading the words of God. “Daily you pray to a vague God, trying to grasp My intentions, to get the feel of life. But, when My words actually come down, you look at them differently: You take My words and My Spirit as one indivisible entity, but you kick the man aside, thinking that the man that I am is simply incapable of uttering words of this kind, and that they are rather the result of My Spirit’s disposing. How would you know about a situation like this?” Does this not cause trouble? As for “daily you pray to a vague God”—there are some people who say, “What I pray to is the name of Almighty God, so how is this praying to a vague God?” Are these words correct? You do not see into this thoroughly. There are some people who say, “Praying to the Lord Jesus is vague, and praying to Jehovah God is even more vague, and it is only praying to Almighty God that can be true prayer and through which one is finally able to have faith in a practical God!” Are these words correct? Some say they are not correct. Why are they not correct? Do you think that in praying to Almighty God it is not praying to a vague God? If you do not pray to Christ, and you do not treat Christ as Almighty God, but take the Spirit to be Almighty God, then in this kind of prayer are you praying to a practical God or praying to a vague God? Explain this! “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive.” Is this not a matter within the spirit? If you get unbelievers to explain this matter, they cannot explain it, because they do not understand it, and the more they hear it the more they are lost. If you believe in Almighty God for several years, are you able to understand this matter? You cannot explain it clearly! Once you separate the Spirit and the man, and the word and the man, even if you pray to the name of Almighty God you are still believing in a vague God. I will give another very simple example: One day I was dealing with a person, and when I was done he said in his heart, “I submit to God, but I do not submit to man. You are a man, you are not God.” He did not say this with his mouth, but he said this in his heart. Tell me, does this person have knowledge of God? Some say he does not. Why do you say that he has no knowledge of God? You do not know! You merely say he does not have it, but you just understand this theoretically. Why do I say that you do not know God? It is because there are some things that you cannot distinguish whether or not they come from God. There is a passage in the word of God that says: “In work and matters of the church, apart from obeying God, in everything you should follow the instructions of the man who is used by the Holy Spirit. Even the slightest infraction is unacceptable. You must be absolute in your compliance, and must not analyze right or wrong; what’s right or wrong has nothing to do with you. You must only concern yourself with total obedience.” What is the meaning of these words? People still do not understand! If God wants to complete a matter and attain a result, regardless of whether a person thinks it is right or wrong it is absolutely allowed for the man used by the Holy Spirit to act in this way. No matter what he does, through it God intends to perfect you as an obedient person. No matter what notions you have, God requires this of you. You say, “If what he does comes from God, it is in accord with truth, and I will obey. If by chance it comes from man, should I obey it? How could it be that what he does represents God?” What is it that you are saying, do you know? Your experience is too shallow, and you cannot see into this. Is that not right? If you use your notions to try to examine this, is this not a mistake? You are able to use your notions to examine external matters, but you cannot use human notions, imagination, and reason to examine matters within the spirit. You must simply obey. This is the administrative decree of God, the administrative decree and principle of the Age of Kingdom, so do you dare to nitpick and quibble about faults? You truly have ability, and no small amount of courage! If you dare to quibble about faults, then that is trouble. There are some things about which, after nitpicking them, you have some notions, and God is not serious with you. But as for some other things, do you dare to find fault with them? After you are done finding them you will die, and your death will be imminent. How dreadful that is! “Whoever resists will die!” is fulfilled in this matter. Is God’s disposition in this? For very trivial matters you say, “I have a notion, I have an imagination!” God will say, “You disobedient son!” God will not respond to you. If you really offend the administrative decree of God, you will die immediately. Do you dare to test God on these matters? Do you dare to doubt? What is that commonly called? You are courting disaster, you are resentful at dying so slowly! Is it difficult to hear these words? If it is difficult, then why do I say things like this? This is just how it is. When I have explained these words to you they have some benefit for you. When you are done hearing them you feel that this is how it is, and say, “I must learn to obey, I must have a heart of reverence for God! This is very serious, this is the real matter!” I am telling you, there are some matters of notions with which if you should test God, once the words leave your mouth your spirit will die before you even finish speaking. It will be over, and you die without having any idea how you died. In trivial matters God ignores you, and you say, “Never mind, God still will take mercy on me, I even had some notions!” Do not worry, if you come across a crucial point you will be finished. Understand this!
What people does “daily you pray to a vague God” refer to? Is this now clear? If you pray to a vague God, even if you pray to him until the time when the great calamity befalls, can you continue on and enter the kingdom of heaven? You cannot. Then where will you go? You must die, undoubtedly! If in the very end you have not known God, but you still pray to a vague God, then if you pray up until the time when the great calamity comes, you will have your “success”—by having prayed yourself into hell. It is suitable if you pray to a practical God, and in your heart you say, “God, the incarnate Almighty God is Christ of the last days.” It will be proper if you pray in this way. Do not say, “Almighty God! You are the Spirit, even though you are God incarnate I still know the Spirit of God comes, and what I pray to is the Spirit of God!” This sentence is trouble for you, for with it you deny Christ of the last days and do not know the practical God, and this sentence will bring your end. Tell me, what consequences may arise from praying to a vague God, merely praying to the Spirit of God, and kicking aside God in the flesh. Is this not a person who resists God? This is a person who resists God, and he will be punished for resisting God! You always say, “If it were not for the direction of the Spirit of God, no one would be able to say these words,” and if you say this with respect to people it is alright, but as for Christ you must say, “Christ is the true realization of the Spirit of God—God’s Spirit is realized in Christ—so Christ is able to express the word of God.” It is proper to speak like this. So Christ is God, and He is not a person enlightened by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not work in Him only temporarily, but He is the realization of the Holy Spirit, so His words are the expression of the Holy Spirit. He is the practical God, and He whom we worship is this practical God. He is Christ incarnate, and is not a vague God up in heaven. Even more so is He not merely the Spirit of God, but is the incarnate practical God, the practical God who has become man.
Can you explain the phrase “How would you explain a situation like this?” at the end of this passage? Praying every day to a vague God and differentiating between God’s Spirit and His incarnation, treating Them in distinction—how do you explain this situation? Is everyone resisting God who believes this way, separating the Spirit and the word from the man who is Christ of the last days and who is the practical God, paying no attention to the man, and only taking notice of the utterance of the Spirit of God and the word of God? Can this kind of person obtain the mercy and love of God? Can he obtain the perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit? He cannot. Because he is a person who resists God, and because he is a person who does not treat Christ as the practical God, this kind of person cannot obtain the grace and mercy of God even if he believes in the name of Almighty God and prays to the name of Almighty God, and his ending is still destruction.
The example of Peter is offered in what follows, and what is the most important aspect of the example of Peter? Peter had knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and in the end he treated the Lord Jesus as God. He had true love of the Lord Jesus, so God said Peter was the best in knowledge of God. How can we confirm that Peter was best in knowledge of God? Through the fact that he knew Christ, that he had true faith in Christ, that he had true love for Christ, and that he bore beautiful witness for Christ; we can use this to confirm that he was best in knowledge of God. God did not make a person who believed best in Jehovah God of the Age of Law as the one who was best in knowledge of God, but said that a person who believed in God incarnate, and believed in Christ, and had knowledge of Christ, and could truly love Christ, is the person who was best in knowledge of God. Was there a meaning in God’s speaking this way? It was very full of meaning. God acted in this way, God praised Peter; this is very real. It is only in knowing the practical God that somebody can be a person who has true knowledge of God. These words are the truth, they are real, and they cause people to believe in both heart and speech. So God will not acknowledge that those people who research the Bible are people who have knowledge of God, no matter to what degree they reach in research. Why will He not acknowledge them? The words in the Bible are too limited and do not allow any way to reach true knowledge of God. In former times, God did not appear to people, but merely said those words. They did not see God’s deeds and know God’s words during the appearance of God, so no matter what kind of results this kind of person has attained in the word of God, because he does not have the incarnate God to refer to in order to achieve practical results, that kind of knowledge is all empty, and it is not practical. When Christ speaks practically and performs actions practically, if people truly know it they will understand God’s intention. The word of God will truly have attained its results upon man, and this kind of person can finally have true knowledge of God.