All those who have experienced the judgment and chastisement of God, their purpose of spending for God has changed: “I don’t do it for reward or for laurels, I do it for carrying out the will of God, I do it to repay the love of God, for God’s love is great. God has given so much to save us, He has suffered so much, and if I don’t repay the love of God then I don’t deserve to be called man.” Someone asks, “So after you do your duties get old and die, then what?” They say, “I should submit to God’s orchestration and arrangement. Even if I am made to die in hell I shouldn’t complain. If I should die in hell then it’s because I don’t conform to God’s will, that’s God’s righteousness, I shouldn’t complain about it but I should instead thank God.” If somebody is really like this, does he count as having the truth? Does he count as being purified? If he has no intention of receiving blessings, and doesn’t strive for his own personal gain, does this count as being purified? Yes. Just like how some people show respect for their parents, they show respect not for property or inheritance, but to console their parent’s hearts, to repay them and thank them for bringing them up. How is this person’s humanity? This person has a conscience! Why do some people respect their parents? They do it for inheritance and property. How is this person’s intention? Is it totally selfish and contemptible? This is contemptible. Therefore, what are the benefits of accepting the work of God, knowing God and understanding many truths? Someone says that it can set us free from the dark influence of the devil Satan and can rid us of its shackles. Most importantly, what is the truth? What is it? Why do we need to pursue the truth? What effect can the truth have on the human race? What can it do? What does it change? What can it solve? What can it purify in us? What can it perfect in us? What can it be in us? Can you understand this? Should we understand all this? If you can’t understand all this, then how can you be willing to pursue the truth? To obtain the truth we should pay the price, it’s not like learning knowledge. Any branch of knowledge can be learned in just 3 or 5 years. If you study something for 10 years then you can pretty much get a handle on it. However, once you have been pursuing the truth for around three or five years, you can just about find the way to the truth and achieve some result; if you really want to obtain the truth fully, it requires a whole lifetime. Isn’t that true? Those who just start believing, ordinary people can’t understand the real value of the truth. They don’t know why we should pursue the truth. Therefore, after hearing Jesus’ words many Pharisees and scribes said, “Ah, these words are the truth, it carries authority and power!” But they just couldn’t accept it, they just resisted it, condemned it, they just didn’t know what the truth is, what is the consequence of blindly condemning the truth. Then let me commune with you about it.
The paragraph we read just now is the key words of God’s determination of people’s destination. God determines people’s destination based on whether or not they possess the truth. Some people say: “What is the truth? What on earth is the truth? Why does God only determine somebody’s destination based on whether or not they have the truth, and not based on other things?” Then how do we know God’s righteousness? Many people who believed in the Lord worked hard all their lives, and when they were approaching one’s end they thought they would certainly gain entrance into heaven. But in the end they were denied entry, the Lord cast them aside and didn’t pay any attention to them. They then started to distrust the Lord, even complained and said that the Lord was not righteous. What is the problem here? People don’t know the Lord, they don’t understand the Lord’s will and they rely only on their wishful thinking and toil and seek the Lord’s reward. Isn’t this completely absurd? This is indeed absurd. People with absurd ideas are easily led astray and make mistakes. They can’t see things accurately and solely rely on their wishful thinking to determine that must be the case, but in the end they judge things incorrectly. When you make misjudgments you have to pay the price. Some people say, “I abide by the name of the Lord Jesus, but I can’t accept the name of Almighty God. I think, the name of the Lord Jesus is reliable, for there is evidence for it in the Bible. I shall abide by the Bible.” This is a wrong decision and a misjudgment. To abide by the Lord Jesus but resist and condemn Almighty God will ultimately result in their being abandoned and punished, and their chances of entering the kingdom of heaven will be obliterated and their dream of getting into heaven will be utterly smashed. What is their mistake? Wrong decisions and a misjudgment. If you just follow the trend of abiding by the name of the Lord Jesus then you are finished, over. When the Lord Jesus came, the Jewish Pharisees, chief priests, scribes resisted and condemned Him, and religious followers of Judaism all followed their leaders to reject the Lord Jesus. Ultimately the Jewish state was destroyed; Judaism was desolate for 2 thousand years. Is this paying the price? A wrong decision, to deny the Lord Jesus, was to evoke a calamity from the sky. In the Age of Kingdom Almighty God came and those who believe in God were tested and revealed once again. Many people followed pastors and elders to abandon Almighty God and to continue to believe in the Lord Jesus. And in the end the religious circles became desolate and was turned into Babylon the Great. What does “turned into Babylon the great” mean? Babylon is a Gentile city, it is a destroyed city. Religious circles became Babylon the great, a Gentile city, which means God will take those religious people and deal with them as Gentiles, the unbeliever. These people all have to be destroyed. Therefore, the key is to accept the name of Almighty God. In the Age of Kingdom only those who believe in Almighty God may enter the kingdom, and be allowed their place in Christ’s kingdom.
So what type of person can accept Almighty God? Those who are able to hear the words of Almighty God and say: “This is the voice of God, not that of man!” After reading a few pages of the words of Almighty God, they say, “These are the words of God, men are unable to say this. I have read countless books from pastors and spiritual people, but they are unable to say such words as this. The words of Almighty God are the words of God, the utterance of God Himself!” Oh, to have this intuition, to see the words of Almighty God as the words of God. Aren’t these types of people wise virgins? How are the wise virgins so wise? To know the voice of God, this is spiritual intuition, is it not so? They can understand the voice of God and admit that God has come. God has come in the flesh, not a spiritual body. They say, “As soon as a normal man starts to speak and as soon as we listen, we realize it’s the voice of God, the more we listen the more we know it is the voice of God, the more He says the more we read, the more we discover the voice of God and the truth expressed by God. He is God.” From what Almighty God says we can see that God has come, God is speaking from the flesh. Is this a simple matter? Not simple at all. In fact, there is a group of people that have accepted Almighty God, and many of these people once believed in the Lord Jesus. They come from religious circles; they believed in the Lord Jesus but didn’t abide by the Bible. They didn’t abide by the name of the “Lord Jesus.” They thought that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and so they accepted Him; this is hard to come by and totally strange. There are so many ignorant and absurd people in the world, when they hear that God has come to China, they think, “China is an authoritarian state, our country is far more advanced than it, we can’t accept God is in China! If God came to a democratic country like America, England or France then we can accept it; if God came to China we wouldn’t accept that. That authoritarian country is backward.” How are these people so stupid? They always believe their own country and their own race to be the salt of the earth. They think, “God, if You have come and not to our country then we won’t accept You as God.” What sort of disposition is that? Do you want God’s work to fit with your own ideas and feeble concepts, is this possible? God is the Creator; God has His own management plan. Some people see the utterances of Almighty God, they are positive it is the voice of God and the truth. But because His reincarnation is in the form of a Chinese person they can’t accept it. If it was an American, an English or French person then they would accept Him. These people have not been taken before God’s throne and will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Whose fault is it? Should they blame God for not being fair or should they blame their arrogant and stupid selves? Blame themselves for being arrogant and stupid. It serves them right, such arrogant and foolish people they are. Some people say: “I just don’t believe in it all, there are so many people in religious circles that don’t accept it, neither do I. I will just go with the trend of the religious circles and everybody else, I will see if God can destroy all the religious circles.” Are there such people who challenge God? What is the disposition of these people who challenge God? It is such sheer arrogance to challenge God.
Some people say: “Brother, some of what you say I approve of, some I don’t.” This is OK, to approve or not that’s one’s own personal matter. What I say, except for the words of God I read, is just my knowledge of God’s word, some people can accept it, some people can’t, this is normal. I can’t say that what they say is wrong. But people can’t challenge God. If you don’t obey, object or challenge God’s word, then who will be the one who suffers? You will be one who suffers, because you’re not God, you don’t have God’s omnipotence, why would God obey your command? Therefore don’t challenge God. Let’s take another look back at the time of Noah. Noah spent nearly a hundred years building the ark; in these one hundred years he also spread the gospel and bore witness for God. How many people heard of Noah talk about God sending the flood to destroy the earth, what would they have thought? They would have surely said: “Noah, you are crazy, you are just talking utter nonsense. God told you He’s going to destroy the earth with a flood, how? We have lived a long time and we’ve never heard of flood, why didn’t God tell us? How did He only tell you? I think it’s impossible. If God told us also and we saw God, then we would believe it too. If God only told you and not others then we don’t believe it, we think this is impossible. We even don’t know whether God really exists. What proof do you have?” Are there many people that say such things like this? There are many. All the people of that era didn’t believe what Noah said. So many people said: “Noah, I will watch you build the ark and let’s see if there will be a flood; if there isn’t a flood, I will see how you end up.” Some people said: “I’m not buying that, let me see how God will send a flood to drown us!” Were there such people who challenged Noah? Yes, that is for certain. One day Noah finished building the ark, all sorts of animals got on board the ark, as well as Noah and his family of eight. God made sure all these people and animals were inside and then the flood started to fall from the sky. It fell for 40 days and 40 nights. After 40 days and 40 nights just how deep was the water level of the flood? Even the highest mountains on earth were submerged under the water. Nobody could have escaped the flood, even if the tallest man on earth stood on the tallest mountain, he too would have drowned. Do you think there were many children at that time? Many, and all of them drowned. In the Bible does it say children under 12 would be saved? Does it say this? It does not. Then could it be that God has no mercy and love? God is benevolent and merciful, but He is also righteous. In the Age of Law, all those who hated and resisted God would be destroyed by God, until the third and fourth generation; all those who loved God would be blessed for a thousand generations. Were the offspring of all those who hated God and resisted God blessed? If their offspring were only one or two years old, under 12 then should they be destroyed? Why destroy them? Because their ancestors hated and resisted God and were cursed. So what can we see by this? God’s disposition is righteous and allows no offense, God’s disposition is merciful and He doesn’t harm the innocent, all of this He possesses.
Let’s take a look at after God destroyed Sodom, what happened to another city called Nineveh. God sent the prophet Jonah to preach the gospel and told people of this city that in 40 days God would destroy the city. He told them if they started to repent now there would still be enough time to be saved. As soon as the people of the city heard this news and the message reached the king, he and his men admitted guilt and repented their sins in sackcloth. After that God forgave and pardoned this city. At that time Jonah didn’t want to go, why didn’t he want to go? Because Jonah was an Israelite, he thought: Jehovah God is the God of Israel; Gentiles have no place to worship our God. God will not bless all you Gentiles; you should all just be destroyed. Such was his heart. Was Jonah a little petty? These sorts of people are not suitable for God to use; they are too petty and disobedient. After God disciplined him, God sent him again, and he went back. After he spread the messages of God all the people of Nineveh repented their sins and the whole city was forgiven. At that time there was a word of God, “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:11) Just looking at those one hundred and twenty thousand people, who couldn’t differentiate between their left and their right hands, God couldn’t bear to destroy them. Just see, does God have mercy and love? He is merciful and loving! Don’t believe just because God destroyed the entire city of Sodom that God has no mercy but only righteousness and majesty. However Nineveh is an exception. God pondered over the one hundred and twenty thousand people there who couldn’t discern between their left and their right hands, so when people in this city all wore sackcloth and ashes and repented their sins and turned toward God, God pardoned them, forgave them and decided not to destroy the city.