After man knows the fact that “God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind,” what results will be achieved? The first result is, man will come before God, return to His presence, and bow down to Him in worship; the second result is, man will cease to fight for his own fame or his own selfish interests, and no longer lust after the pleasures of the flesh, but will obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement; the third result is, man will find his place in the household of God, and perform his duty within God’s management, walking the right way of human life. Do you see that these three results are what we can achieve once we realize the truth that, “God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind”? When someone has read this article of God’s words, they might say, “I know, I understand, it’s as plain as day, it’s easy to comprehend,” but does that really mean they understand? No. And why not? If their knowledge has not produced the three results, then it means they do not have true understanding. The truth can change people. The truth can be man’s life. The truth can cleanse and perfect people. If you say you understand the truth, but the fruits of the truth are missing from your life, then do you truly understand the truth? No, you don’t. Understanding of the literal meaning of the truth is not real understanding of the truth. It is not true understanding. This is what’s called understanding the surface of the truth, the letters and doctrines. It does not mean you have true experiential knowledge. So, there are many pastors who interpret the Bible very convincingly, yet at the end of the day you don’t see their transformation, don’t see any change in their life disposition, and don’t see the most basic fear of God in their hearts that would enable them to turn from evil. So do they understand the truth? No. If you say that what they understand is the truth, then you are perverting the truth, demeaning the truth and desecrating the truth. Understanding the truth will bear fruit. The truth can be people’s life. It can change them, and cleanse them. You say you understand the truth, but you don’t change even one iota, you’re still the same old you, with the same old views, and the same old Satan’s logic; there is no obedience to God, no true worship of God—you say you understand His truth, yet you recognize God in name only. This is what’s called deception. This is called hypocrisy! Many believers who understand some letters and doctrines flaunt their ostensible understanding everywhere they go, but are ultimately condemned and lose the work of the Holy Spirit. Some of them become false leaders and false shepherds, and are thus eliminated. What is it that causes them to be eliminated? It’s their contempt for the truth, their spite of the truth, their desecration of the truth, their flirtation with the truth, and their oversimplification of the truth. Do you really think that the truth is something that you can scan your eyes over and understand in a glance or two? Is this the truth? Do you think this is like comprehending the knowledge of the mortal world? Do you think that it’s something you can grasp by just reading a few books?
After reading this article of God’s words, you can understand a bit about the truth that “God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind,” but if you want to truly understand the fullness of it, then how many years of experience would you need? It’s impossible to determine exactly how many years of experience are necessary, but at least to what extent should you experience it? You have to experience such that you feel your destiny is not in your own hands, but in God’s hands. You realize through your own experience, that God truly does preside over the fate of all mankind! After you have gained this understanding of the truth and seen the fact ultimately, you will have been conquered, “I am convinced. I completely obey God, and submit to His presence. I submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement! I won’t plan for my own fame and fortune, my own status or my own future prospects; but I will simply follow God, I will let Him lead the way! I will do well the duties I should do, so I can receive happiness and peace of mind for it; this is the responsibility of any human being. Now I can keep a low profile in all my deeds, and ultimately I can be obedient before God.” At this point can we say this person really understands the truth, and has really changed? You have to take it to this far to really understand this truth. If you think you can get it all by understanding a few letters and doctrines, then all I have to say is, you shouldn’t be so shallow. How many years must you experience this truth before you can say that you understand it in all its fullness? How many years before you will be able to bear the fruits I have spoken about? Only when you become obedient before God, only when you give up your ambitions, your desires, and aspirations will there be the fruits and the transformation that understanding the truth brings. Yet, if people are somewhat brash and unconvinced, and say, “I don’t know if it’s really like what you say, I think I’ll just keep on fighting for my own interests; I guess if I fail again, then I’ll admit that God presides over the fate of all mankind,” then should we say that such a person really understands the truth? This person chooses to fight on alone, and is defiant and disobedient. This is a person who knows nothing of the truth! And how many such recalcitrant people like this are out there in the world?
In the past we have said that in real life, especially when faced with difficulties, we should search for the truth. Is this practical? Some people might say: “Will you search for the truth regardless of what difficulties befall you? Suppose you were in a famine, what kind of truth would you search for then? There would only be one truth, that without food to eat you feel like you are starving, that without food to eat you cannot get anything done, and that without eating for several days you could starve to death. This is the truth you would understand, but could you understand other truths? What other truths would you say you would look for?” Would this kind of person understand what it means to search for the truth? A lot of people don’t know how to search for the truth, so they might say: “Would you still search for the truth even when things befall you? How could I not know what that means? Search for what truth? Some people did not pass the university entrance examination, because they did not try hard enough. For this matter, if they had tried harder would they have not passed? They did not try hard so they did not pass, this is a fact, and this is the truth.” How do you feel about what this person said? What kind of person is this? This is an ignorant person. They only know that if they eat they won’t starve. Even animals know that! Do you understand? If you do not understand God, then are you unable to say disobedient things? People who do not understand God are all like this, and here we have come together to fellowship about a fact: For all the things that befall a man, when all is said and done, is there a truth they are able to seek, and ultimately does the truth exist? It’s like being an honest person. Everyone has experienced being an honest person, but eventually something happens to you and when you open your mouth a lie comes out. Afterward you reflect upon yourself and think, “That’s no good, I told a lie,” and you quickly go apologize to that person you lied to, saying, “The thing I just told you was a lie, what I actually wanted to tell you is this … I need to make up for that.” Some people say: “What is good about being an honest person? If you are an honest person, are you not going to die? If you are an honest person, will you not starve if you do not eat? I don’t believe that.” This is what unbelievers say. But some foolish person might say: “What these unbelievers say is really practical, is being an honest person an aspect of the truth? Is this really the truth? Does this truth ultimately exist or not? If I really am an honest person, will my outcome be good in the end? Will I ultimately be rewarded? I don’t know the answers to these questions.” So when all is said and done, should you be this kind of honest person? You’d have no strength, you’d be defeated. What is wrong with this? “Does truth ultimately exist or not? Does God ultimately exist or not? Does God ultimately rule over the fate of all mankind? If people live by the word of God and according to the truth, what will be their ultimate outcome? How will God treat them? Will the commitment of the word of God be honored?” When many people first start practicing the truth, this kind of perplexity and test will befall them, and most often as a result they fall by the wayside and will be unable to continue practicing the truth. If you truly feel these kinds of tests and perplexities when practicing the truth, what is the cause of it? What is it that causes you to be unable to practice the truth? This is what we are going to fellowship about. Who would like to say something? Where does the root of this problem lie? Ultimately, it lies within the phrase “God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind.” This truth, this fact is something that people cannot see, so they do not have any faith in practicing the truth. If this truth is not something you can come to understand, then you will not have the strength to practice the truth and you will be unable to submit yourself to God. This will be a huge problem, because no matter what you have to do, in your head you will always be thinking of the result, “If this is how I do it, what will be obtained? If I do it this way, how will that benefit me? If I cannot think through this issue clearly, then I won’t act in that way.” Is this not the satanic logic of man?
Nowadays the house of God requires that everyone fellowship about the truth after reading the word of God, and then practice the truth after fellowshiping about it. Will some people then be likely to say the following? “How does it benefit me if I practice the truth? What will I obtain after I’m done practicing it? Can you guarantee this? Can you sign off on it? If you can give me your signature, will you compensate me or make up for it in another way if I don’t obtain the benefits when the time comes? Right now I cannot see the benefits, so after I’m done practicing it I’m afraid I will lose out, so I’m not going to practice it.” Do these kinds of people exist? Some people have been captured by the great red dragon. When the great red dragon first interrogates them they do not submit. “I will not listen to you!” “You won’t listen? Then you will be tortured!” And after being submitted to torture they will yell out, “Ow, ow! Okay! I will submit, I will submit, I’ll talk!” They will confess everything in full detail, but why are they confessing? “My flesh is in so much pain, I can’t take it anymore. It’s not okay if I don’t confess, I can no longer hold my own!” Some people might pray to God: “Oh, God! Please protect me, my flesh will soon no longer hold up; in these next few days, if You do not perform a miracle of some kind, then I will become like Judas. God, please save me! Do not let me become like Judas!” But after waiting several days, God does not do anything, and as a result this person says: “That settles it, I prayed and God You did not do anything. You did not perform any supernatural act. You did not stop Satan from torturing me, so I will be like Judas.” Is this someone who practices the truth? Some people might say: “Alas! Is this the price you have to pay to practice the truth? I never imagined there would be this big of a price to pay. If there’s this big of a price, where you might have to even pay with your life, then there’s nothing I can do! I cannot follow God, for this is too big of a price to follow God and practice the truth. The price is your life. Who is able to accept that!” What kind of words are these? These are disobedient and absurd words from an ignorant person, aren’t they? Some people might respond: “That’s not true, you don’t have to pay that kind of price to be an honest person. At most others will shame you, or call you a fool.” But the truth isn’t merely about being an honest person, God requires you to do many things. You must also submit to God, fear God and shun evil, understand God, follow God, cast away everything and stand in witness. You must also bear witness to God and spread the gospel. These are the most crucial points. These are the bare minimum conditions you must be able to fulfill in order to be saved. If people truly practice these aspects of the truth, they will necessarily suffer many hardships and pay a great price. No one can deny this! In China you put your life in danger when you follow Christ, and sometimes the price you pay might even be your life! If you believe in some vague God in a democratic nation you won’t have any problems, but in China even believing in a vague God is not okay. So long as it is the true way or the word of God, then it will be condemned and declared an evil cult. Isn’t this how it is? If this was during the Cultural Revolution then you would be immediately declared a counter-revolutionary for believing in God, which would be extremely dreadful. After the reforms and opening up to the world in the 1980s, they stopped putting a political label on you, but what did they accuse you of being? A “cult follower,” a “disturber of social order,” someone “attempting to overthrow the government.” They accuse you of being all sorts of things. Any one of these charges could put you in jail with a sentence of several years, and put together these charges could put you in jail for life. So, would you all say that there is no price to pay to follow God and to practice the truth? If you do not have true faith, would you really be able to keep up? You might want to follow God, but do you have that kind of faith? Do you have that kind of courage and insight? If you don’t have faith or courage and insight, do you still deserve to follow God? Do you think that believing in God is a simple matter? Do you think you are in a democratic nation where you can practice your faith in a church without anyone watching you or questioning you? If you truly do seek the truth there, they will interfere with you and question you all the same, right? So it can be said that the first thing someone comes into contact with after believing in God is the word of God. They are coming into contact with the truth, but people cannot see the true face of God. They are only able to see the words that come from God, the word and the disposition of God as issued forth by God incarnate, that is, the truth. This is what man has come into contact with. Some people might say: “You believe in God but can you see Him?” “I cannot see Him.” “Then what can you see?” “I can see what God issues forth, I can see the word of God, and that is the truth.” “So are you able to practice it?” “That’s hard to say. Through many years of experience, I have realized that, to practice the truth one must have an understanding of God and true faith in God! Because if you really practice the truth, stand witness to God, lift up God, spread the word of God and practice being an honest person, you have to suffer hardships, suffer persecutions, and have mankind forsake you and ridicule you. That is really challenging!” People feel it is very difficult to come into contact with the truth like that, without ever seeing the face of God, only the word of God and all the truth that is issued forth by God. God has you eat and drink these words, He has you understand these words, and if you eat and drink these words and come to understand them and live by them, then you will be able to enter into the kingdom of God. Then you will be able to see the appearance of God, this is how it is. This is true, this is what we will see with our own eyes, and this is what we will personally experience.