Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God”
How do those who don’t know how to experience the word of God experience it? When reading something that is extremely revealing, they say, “There really are such people? Who are they? I know, this is talking about Joe Schmoe. God sees all, Joe is completely exposed.” Then there are others that say: “This is meant for the leaders.” They do not check this against themselves. This kind of person can’t experience the work of God. They believe the judgment and chastisement of God is all directed toward villains, devils, and those leaders and workers. As soon as they see the revelation of the leaders and workers, they compare it to the words of God; they do not compare these words to themselves, thus they do not know themselves. What kind of experience is that? Are these people not absurd? How do some other people experience it? When I expose and deal with their performance in doing their duties, I say, “Your way of doing things affects the work, your way of doing things goes against the truth, and it is not bearing witness to God.” Then I expose them and say, “How are you still just going through the motions? How are you this good at acting perfunctorily? Do you have no conscience?” As soon as they consider my words, they say, “You don’t have it right! I have suffered so much, I have put in all this effort, and you still say I am perfunctory? You equate everything I have said and done to nothing. How do you see me as this bad? You are exaggerating and taking it too far, and I refuse to accept this condemnation. If you spoke fairly, I would have no problem accepting your criticism.” How is this type of experiencing? This person is very good at justifying himself, what is the meaning behind his words? “I’m not that bad, all I did was make a few small mistakes, and you are saying I am perfunctory. You have taken it too far and it is hurtful! Do you not think that you are exaggerating too much? I have put in all this effort only to end up with poor results? To be given such a harsh criticism? It is too unfair!” He is very good at making excuses for himself. Can this type of individual who justifies himself accomplish a lot? Can he attain true obedience? No, he cannot. Where is his error? Are we really exaggerating? Is this truly wrong? In fact, it is his failure to do his duty that led to these consequences. When someone says to him, “How can you act perfunctorily like this?” this is not a simple occurrence of perfunctoriness. The work is extremely important and he is completely neglecting his duty. Criticizing in this way is not at all an exaggeration, so why is he unable to accept it? In his heart, he believes he has done a lot of work for God; he has given up everything and has performed his duties with all his heart. Perhaps his error is from a temporary lapse of carelessness or from a superficial understanding of the truth. It is completely unintentional and not persistent, so this criticism is quite harsh and he is not able to immediately accept it. This is a very common reaction in this situation. This is the reaction most people have. However, do not rush to defend yourself, first practice obedience. Others dealt with you, because you didn’t handle this matter well, you did not adhere to principles, and seriously affected the results of the work of God’s house. When others lost their temper and became angry, they were not wrong in dealing with you this way. If you have humility, you should first accept these criticisms and say, “I didn’t do it well, I am wrong, there is no truth in my action, and it has negatively affected the work of God’s family.” When you admit to impacting the work of God’s family, then it doesn’t matter how the others teach you, it is all right. Only you still have the slightest amount of self-confidence, and think that “I’m not that bad, I am very loyal to God, and I am willing to be obedient to God.” Wait until one day after you have had more experiences, you will find that in fact you are not loyal to God and that this is not a temporary lapse of carelessness. If you are not dealt with, this kind of situation will happen regularly. Wait until you have failed two or three times, you will look back and think about the words, “How are you so good at working perfunctorily? You are not the least bit loyal to God!” You will be completely convinced by this accusation and recognize your error. The first time you fail you will not be convinced, the second time you fail you will admit to some of it, but by the third and fourth time you will have nothing to say, and however anyone should deal with you would not be wrong. Go through failure several times and you will be convinced, you will be submissive. How can someone with superficial life experiences have a deep understanding of themselves? Are they able to truly and clearly understand the true condition of themselves? You can’t see clearly because your experience is too shallow. Wait until your experience deepens. When people criticize you, you won’t have any objections; when they scold you, you still will have no objections; and when they slap you across the face, you will say, “You are right to slap me. You cannot slap me enough; I’ll give myself two more.” When you reach this point, you will have succeeded. You will have come to know God, you will have achieved true obedience, and you will have undergone real change. Do you believe that the difference between superficial and deep experiences is significant? The obedience of those that have undergone deep experiences is absolute. When someone with deep experiences is dealt with, when he is faced with failures and setbacks, once he starts talking about his knowledge, someone with only superficial experiences cannot understand. Some people will even think, “What is wrong with this person? If I should encounter these things I would not have this perspective. All you did was make some simple mistakes. Your understanding is too much.” They fail to understand. However, upon looking at your disposition, they will admire you and say: “Upon encountering such dealing and pruning you did not resist, you did not complain, and you kept your remorse to yourself. Why can’t I do the same? If it were me who have encountered this situation, I would reason with my criticizers, I would argue with them. Ten sentences wouldn’t be enough; I would need one hundred sentences to argue against them. How come you don’t do that? It is incomprehensible. It looks like you are better than me, stronger than me!” Those with superficial experiences are like this. This is normal, and this is what I was like once as well.
If someone’s experience is shallow, will they be able to truly change their life disposition? People who always make excuses, can their dispositions be changed? No. This is pretty apparent to you, right? Then you’ll see how you’ll respond in your heart when you are pruned and dealt with, see how many conceptions, imaginations, excuses and complaints come out of your heart, and you’ll see how big your stature is. If you do not voice any complaints, that means you have seen you are nothing. You have seen that you have not gained any truth from your belief in God all of these years. How can these be the results of you doing your duty? How could you have behaved this way? You’ll think it’s incredible. “How have I been getting along all these years? I have not been doing my duty according to principle at all. This isn’t being a true witness at all. How am I returning God’s love this way? Am I not just trying to fool God?” Experiencing God’s work is this kind of a deepening process. When people first experience pruning and dealing, judgment and chastisement, they respond by “making excuses” and start pitching a fit. Someone says one sentence to them, and they have ten sentences ready in response. They think everyone is like this, that if you don’t react that way, you’re not a normal person, you don’t have caliber, you’re worn out trash. They think that the more you make excuses, the better you are. Refuting the criticizer to the point where he is shamed, now THAT is what it means to be capable. It means you’ve obtained the reality of the truth. After two or three years of experience and after some frustrations and failures, their opinion will have changed. “I see that it really was my problem. My former opinions about such behavior were totally wrong. I was not doing my duty with my true heart, nor was I really practicing the truth. I was doing things according to my own conceptions and illusions and only pretending to do these things to make other people see the “hardships” I was going through. Wasn’t I just trying to fool God? How could I have gotten to this point without ever recognizing it? Why am I so convinced of all this today? What’s going on here?” They begin to repent and look back on all their “logic,” their arrogance, their lack of self-awareness. They realize that they never had anything and have only exposed their own corruption. “Oh no! I was so pitiful back then! I can’t even think of it. It’s too disgusting! Before, I wasn’t even a human. Why remember those times?” There are some people with these experiences. There are many people who haven’t even reached this point and are still making excuses, but the majority of people who make excuses aren’t negative. They don’t shirk away. Instead they yap on endlessly quite happily. They think that people who do not make excuses are useless, that it is normal to talk logically. They think that it’s good to clarify. This is a necessary phase of experiencing life. People are all like this initially. I was like that once. I may have even argued and reasoned more than you guys did but most of the time I was saying it in my heart and not with my mouth. From the outside, I looked like a sheep, while my heart was arrogant and did not obey. This situation was quite common.
At this point, I will raise another question to you all: What does it mean to experience God’s work? Is this an easy question to answer? Some people just base their understanding on the facts of their being pruned and dealt with. They say, “Experiencing pruning and dealing is experiencing God’s work.” Is this an acceptable answer? Some people get the most benefit out of being pruned and dealt with, but many people cannot experience pruning and dealing. They do not do their duty; they do not do any work; no one deals with them. How do people experience God’s work? First, they experience the chastisement and judgment of God’s words. This is the most basic method. Then there are those that experience some pruning and dealing when they do their duty and work. This is especially true for those who do important work, as they will receive direct pruning and dealing from God’s family. These people experience pruning and dealing more often, and it’s generally harsher. The leaders at the bottom do not interact with the above. They are only pruned and dealt with occasionally by the upper leaders or workers, which is very shallow. They do not experience pruning and dealing very often, and the results are not as good. There are many other God’s chosen people that do an ordinary job, and seldom experience pruning and dealing. In that case, do they not obtain even less? To experience God’s work, you have to experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s word. This depends on your caliber. If you have good caliber and you love the truth, you can experience judgment and chastisement by God’s word. If you have bad caliber and you do not understand the truth, you will not be able to experience very much of it. Some people may ask: “When you experience pruning and dealing, are you also experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word?” It depends on how someone accepts it. If they really do have the ability to accept it, and they see that the pruning and dealing is based on God’s word and according to the truth in God’s word, then that person truly has experienced the judgment and chastisement of God’s word. You don’t just experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s word by reading it. You gain a deeper experience of it by being pruned and dealt with while doing your duty. This is obviously a better way to get results. For some people, if they do not do their duty, it will be hard for them to experience pruning and dealing. They just experience a bit of judgment by word alone. Experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word involves a person’s caliber. If you’re not a person of high caliber, you will never understand God’s word no matter how you read it. You’ll only apply part of it to yourself instead of fully accepting it. You will not achieve the results gained from God’s judgment. Accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s word requires understanding the parts that reveal and judge man’s corruption, and then comparing them with yourself and reflecting on your own behavior. These words will make you convinced. Only then can you fall prostrate before God and really start the process of feeling remorse for your own behavior. If people just interpret some words and phrases as talking about them and about their states but don’t really understand most of the words, if this is the case, they will not be judged or chastised by God’s word largely. If they are just able to recognize some parts of God’s words, but miss the most important parts, they won’t be able to reflect on their own behavior and won’t acknowledge it. Experiencing God’s word this way will not yield much in the way of judgment or chastisement. Then what kinds of people get the best results from experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word? These people love the truth; they thirst for the truth. When they see the truth, they accept it into their heart. When they encounter the truth, they try to figure it out; especially when they see the words of judgment and chastisement of God, they turn inward and reflect on their own behavior so that they have true knowledge and an accurate understanding of the truth. This way, they can truly pray to God in their heart, obey God’s word and acknowledge God’s word from their heart. The judgment and chastisement of God’s word is only effective for people that pursue the truth. As for those who do not pursue the truth, not only do they not understand God’s word when they read it, they can’t even understand God’s word when other people communicate it to them. They only understand logic and literal meaning. They are not serious about the truth. Therefore, people that do not love the truth seem to have accepted God’s work in the last days on the surface and lived a church life, but their dispositions have not changed, even if they’ve believed in God for twenty or thirty years. There are many people like that. If it isn’t 1/3, it’s pretty close to that. They have believed in God for many years, but it has had little effect. Someone said that they believed in God all those years and they got nothing? You can’t say that they obtained nothing. They believe with certainty that He is God. They admit that God’s word is God’s expression, God’s voice, but they cannot enter the reality of God’s word. They cannot practice and experience God’s word. They are finished. There are many people that have believed in God for twenty years. They still lie too much, obey God too little and make too many excuses. They’re finished.