Let’s take a look at the Age of Grace, the period of time when the Lord Jesus arrived. John the Baptist was baptizing people with a group of disciples. After he saw the Lord Jesus, he suddenly felt something inside: “This is the Messiah I have been waiting for. He is the Lord and He has arrived!” John’s spirit could feel it. Before long, he was thrown in prison. After he was thrown in prison, he started to doubt the Lord: “If You are really the Lord, can You rescue me from this prison cell? If You can rescue me from this prison cell, then You truly are the Lord. If You cannot rescue me, then You are not the Lord.” John had this notion. In the end, the Lord did not rescue him, and he died. After he died, what happened to his disciples? When John’s disciples first started following him, they preached: “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So, why didn’t the Lord Jesus reveal Himself before them? Is it possible that the Lord does not have compassion and mercy? This cannot be true. Jesus is the Lord of compassion and mercy. Then why did He not reveal Himself before them? There is a principle here, a truth here, and a mystery here. As man prepares for the coming of the Lord, He never forces them to accept Him. He does not offer easy access for anybody. He is fair to everybody. He allows you to make your own choice. He lets you accept on your own and does not force anybody. During the Age of Grace, the Holy Spirit enlightened Peter. He testified to the Lord, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Aside from Peter, was the Holy Spirit revealed to anyone else? Besides Peter, nobody else experienced this. Now, can you say that the Lord Jesus is not fair to man?
Presently, the entire religious world, every church in every corner of the world, knows the name of Almighty God. Almighty God’s gospel of the last days has been preached on the internet for over ten years now. The great red dragon has also propagated the name of our church, the Eastern Lightning. This has even been transmitted all the way to Israel. Even Israel knows of China’s Eastern Lightning denomination. The Eastern Lightning, the Church of Almighty God, is known in the United States and Canada as well. Clearly, God’s name and God’s work during the last days have already been spread throughout the world. Some people still ask, “Now, is it possible to give the religious world a chance?” Has God already given people this chance? Actually, God has offered this chance, it’s just that the religious people don’t receive it. Not only has this opportunity already been given, but it has already been available for years. The website of the Church of Almighty God has already been established for more than ten years. Hasn’t this opportunity been available for more than ten years? This opportunity has been available, starting from when the Church of Almighty God first started witnessing Almighty God all the way until the arrival of the great disasters. All throughout this period, the door of salvation has been wide open. The door of salvation has been open for all these years. Does this not mean that all people have been given a chance? No one has been omitted. Isn’t it right? However, there are people who do not see this reality. They think God should give people a special chance. What kind of special chance? God’s chosen people in Mainland China received this testimony of God’s work. This was how it was transmitted to them. This is how they accepted the gospel. God has not revealed Himself publicly to anybody. He has not given anyone a dream or a special revelation. None of this has occurred. It all depends on man using his two ears to listen and his two eyes to see. Do you not have eyes to see? Then look! Look at what the Church of Almighty God has done. Look at what God has said. Listen to the voice of Almighty God. He lets you see and hear. This is the chance we are talking about. If you do not look or listen, then you have missed your chance. In the very end, there will be a lot of people who say, “Lord, why did You not reveal Yourself to us? Why did You not give us a revelation?” How would the Lord respond? “I did not reveal Myself to anyone nor give anyone a revelation. Why do others believe? Why do you not believe? After some people have listened to the words of Almighty God, why do they recognize that it is God’s voice, but why do you deny it after listening to the word? Could it be that you have not been given a chance?” You do not listen to God. When God knocks on the door, you do not open the door for Him. This is why God does not acknowledge you. There are people who say, “Perhaps it is not appropriate for God to do things in this way.” God is righteous. Do you dare say that what He does is inappropriate? When you say this, you are reasoning with God. Do you think you can reason with God? What do you think you are? You are dust. If you reason with God, God will simply destroy you. Do you dare reason with God? You still want to go to heaven and reason with God? Are you fit to do so? Isn’t this too arrogant? God treats everyone righteously. A normal man has a normal man’s functions. You have ears to hear God’s words. You have eyes to look at God’s deeds. If you cannot accept God’s work, it is because you do not love the truth.
When I give my sermon, some people hear the fellowship’s message and they say, “That is all true, this is great!” However, do they actually understand fully? Their understanding has some limitations, but they agree with the majority of what I say. The parts that don’t accord with their notions, they cannot comprehend them. However, they do not judge and they are able to be obedient. What do they feel in their hearts? “Ah, what my brother is saying, most of it is practical, I can accept it, but some parts of it I do not agree with. We can’t say that what our brother is saying is incorrect. Maybe we haven’t experienced it, or our ability to receive these things is lacking. I will take my time and look into this.” Are they people who obey God? When they experience God’s work, they have a heart that obeys God. There are things they do not understand, and parts of the fellowship do not conform to their notions. They say, “I will take my time and investigate it. I will not give up just because I do not understand this one point. I won’t deny or reject it.” This is what it means to truly obey God. Recently, I held a meeting with some new believers from the church and I listened to their thoughts. Most of these people were like this. They were able to obey. These are people who could truly obey God. As man’s fellowship, what he communes is his experience and knowledge. Some fellowship is very deep, so some new believers can’t understand. Yet they did not have any notions nor did they judge. They said, “This way is good, it is real. I must accept it. It looks like I should believe sincerely and pursue the truth.” These people exemplify what it means to truly obey God. Some people were not like this. They thought that 90% of what I said was correct. However, when it came to one part of the fellowship that ran counter to their own notions they showed resistance against it, they would not accept it. They simply gave up. What kind of person is this? Is this someone who truly obeys God? They do not accept the truth! If one part does not fit with your notion, can you say that everything I said is incorrect? If so much of what I said is correct, why do you not investigate it or accept it? These people choose not to accept the things that I said because just one part of the fellowship does not agree with their notion. Is this the kind of person that loves the truth? Almighty God has said these words, “Perhaps, having heard the way of truth and read the word of life, you believe that only one in 10,000 of these words are in line with your convictions and the Bible, and then you should continue to seek in that 10,000th of these words. …” Now, I have discovered that a few new believers, if they find that 99% of what I said is right, yet one tiny part is incorrect, then they reject everything else. They are arrogant and nitpicking. If these people saw Jesus coming, do you think they would be able to receive Him? They are unable to receive Him. They would definitely resist God. This is because the things that Jesus says do not conform with man’s notions and imaginations. The truth does not conform with man’s notions and imaginations. The deeper the truth, the more it does not conform with man’s imaginations.
“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” is not only God’s promise, it is also the truth. Those who cannot obey God have all sorts of notions and only follow their own reasoning to comment on or judge God’s work. Is this resisting God? This is resisting God. Can these people who resist God be gained by God? They cannot. That is why many evil people and antichrists within the church have been expelled. In the beginning, I tried to maintain a loving heart for these people. For more than ten years I watered them but to no avail. These people clung tightly to their own notions and imaginations in all they did. In this way, they disturbed God’s work. God’s word clearly indicates that these people who resist God have a satanic nature. These people will never change. They will be eliminated in the end. Finally, I understood this. After I understood this, I took bold and decisive actions to cut these people off. Afterward, the church life returned to normal. Once again, God’s chosen people could eat and drink the word of God in peace and begin to commune over the reality of the truth. Within God’s house, all those who only speak of letters and doctrines will receive dealing and pruning. Additionally, when we elect our leaders, we cannot elect those without any reality of the truth, because they only speak of letters and doctrines to deceive people. If the church can select leaders that have the reality of the truth, then the church life will slowly become normal. Our brothers and sisters would then be able to communicate their understanding and knowledge of God’s word. When we communicate the truth, it allows us to relate our own corrupt state and express ourselves from our heart. We begin to open up in an innocent and pure manner. We take our mistaken thoughts, actions, experiences and understandings and put them out there for others to discern. In this manner, imperceptibly, we begin to truly experience and understand God’s words, the truth. For church life to reach a certain standard, the key is to eliminate those antichrists and demons who are especially arrogant and conceited. They always have narrow notions when it comes to God’s work, and want to wield their power in God’s house. Wherever the antichrists or demons have not been purged and expelled, that is where the church life would never be able to return to normal.
God says, “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” When it comes to the antichrists and these demons, are they people who truly obey God? Are those that reject the truth truly obedient to God? Are those disobedient, loud and arrogant, armchair strategists truly obedient to God? No, they are not. Now, can those people who do not truly obey God understand the truth and enter the reality? Those who are unable to obey God will never be able to enter the reality of the truth. Some people ask, “What does it mean to truly obey God? I have cast away everything and have come before God and to God’s house. Is this obeying God?” Other people say, “I have cast aside my work and my family and have come to God’s house to fulfill my duties. Is this obeying God?” Others say, “The great red dragon has cruelly captured and persecuted me. Now, I am following God in the same manner. I am still spreading the gospel and bearing witness. Is this genuinely obeying God?” Other people say, “I have cast aside everything for God’s house. I do my utmost to fulfill my duties for God every day. Is this obeying God?” Can we be gained by God if we obey Him in this manner? “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God.” These people are only lacking in trueness. “The Truly Obedient,” how exactly do we obey God? To obey a single word of God and cast away everything? Or, during the Age of Grace, to bear His cross and follow Him, or toil and work hard for the Lord? Is this considered being truly obedient to God? What does it mean to be truly obedient to God? What is it saying? Obeying God does not mean just randomly obeying a single word from God. It means to obey His work. So what does it mean to obey God’s work? It means to obey God’s judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning, trials and refinement, obey God’s orchestration and arrangement, obey all the truths expressed by God, obey the arrangements of God’s house and obey the Holy Spirit’s work. All of this, collectively, is called truly obeying God. Obeying God includes all of these details. If you just pick out one sentence, saying it represents God, this does not work. If you just pick out one sentence and proclaim, “This verse represents God’s work during the last days.” This doesn’t make sense.