Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen”
Among those that are followers there are several groups of people. It is very important to remember this. God says, “Among them are those who serve as priests….” Those who serve as priests, that is one type. But the priest is not just a single person, in the future there will be many priests, but not a whole lot. You can compare it to where you are now, there are a fixed number of God’s chosen people, and among these people there are some that serve as priests; in another place there are many that are God’s chosen people, so among them there are also some that serve as priests. There is not just one priest for the entire world, there are many. There are priests spread out throughout every nation and place. Do you understand? “Those who lead.” Do you know what is meant by “lead”? Among the Israelites there were commanders of hundreds, commanders of thousands that were all classified as leaders. Nowadays, in the Church of Almighty God, among the names of different levels of leaders are church leader, district leader and regional leader. These are all leaders. God also says, “Those who form the sons, those who constitute the people, and those who do service.” The sons are part of a hierarchy, a ranking. The status of the sons is slightly higher than that of the people. Look at the priests, the leaders, the sons, the people and the service-doers, these five grades, these five levels, these five ranks! So, among all the followers there are these five groups of people. So then, how are they divided up into these five groups? God later on said, “I draw these distinctions in accordance with the loyalty man has to Me.” This is a very important sentence. So what is the basis for the amount, the degree of loyalty man has toward God? It is based on the different statures of people and their understanding of the truth and their knowledge of God. Those who have deep knowledge of God, who possess the truth and are able to bear witness to God, these people are able to love God to the highest level, and obey God to the death. To love God to the highest level and obey Him to the death, this degree of loyalty has to be the highest, right? This is what is meant to be a priest. Slightly below this level are the leaders; slightly below them are the sons; slightly below them are the people; and at the lowest level are the service-doers. They have loyalty to the end, do not shirk their duties halfway through or become passive, and do not issue complaints. These are the five types of people that will enter the kingdom. So how are they chosen, how is it decided? God decides based on their level of loyalty. Think of it as some people having a loyalty level of 99%, these are the priests; a loyalty level of 90%, these are the leaders; a loyalty level of 80%, these are the sons; a loyalty level of 70%, these are the people; a loyalty level of 60%, these are the service-doers; a loyalty level of 50%, these people are eliminated, they are not approved. So tell me, among those who have loyalty to God, is there any distinction in their ranks and levels of loyalty? Among those who love God, is there any distinction made between their respective degrees of love for God? There are always distinctions. God ranks and divides people up based on these distinctions. From this can’t you see the righteousness and justness of God? God is righteous and just toward all people, and in the future He will divide people in this way into the ranks in His kingdom. Is that clear? You see that for some people when they have nothing to worry about they have loyalty, but whenever they are in tribulation they don’t have loyalty. “The great red dragon is closing in on us, many people have been snatched up, we need to hide ourselves away at this time, we can’t perform our duties. At this time, we might as well not come together.” Does this kind of person have loyalty? As soon as there is talk of danger they bury their head in the sand. They do not dare to perform their duty. For some people, as soon as they are captured by the great red dragon they will shout out, “I just believe! God is the true God! I have no doubts in my faith!” “Okay, you hold fast to your faith, so you shall be tortured soon at hand.” Then they will be tortured until they cannot take it anymore. “Do you still believe?” “I don’t believe.” “Sign your name!” “Okay, I’ll sign.” What do you think about this level of loyalty? Without torture their lips are sealed tight, they hold strong, but as soon as they are tortured they can’t stand it. So, their degree of loyalty is revealed under this adverse environment. If there is no adversity, people’s faith in God would always be burning brightly, and nobody would be able to make out any differences. But as soon as people are put into an adverse situation, differences always come about. Isn’t that so?
Some people ask: “What decides who is in which of these five groups?” First, it is based on people’s pursuits; second, it is also based on the predestination and plan of God. So are there any exceptions to the rule? Yes, there are some exceptions, some people pursue the truth very diligently, and they will go from a service-doer to one of the people, they will become one of the people. You see, an exception will be made for this kind of person. This shows that God does not show favoritism toward certain people, there is no favoritism in the truth. If you pursue the truth, if you understand the truth, and if you perform your duties to the level required, then you will be one of the people! Some people do not pursue the truth. They just simply perform their duty. They do not handle affairs in a principled way, they just simply exert themselves and serve as much as they can, but after exerting all of their efforts they do not understand anything about the truth, they do not act according to principle. But, they are not the wicked and their work is not in resistance to God. They are just service-doers with loyalty. These people only perform services. They are loyal service-doers. There are some that serve as sons. As soon as you say sons, you think of their position within the house of God. They are able to serve as leaders or workers, they are sons of God. They have a close relationship with God. They are able to submit unconditionally to God and consider the intentions of God. They have a true communion with God. This is what it means to be one of the sons. To be one of the leaders is to take the work upon oneself, to be able to lead God’s chosen people, to be able to use the truth to help out God’s chosen people no matter what difficult situation they may be in. They are able to fairly set up the duties that God’s chosen people are to perform. This is what it means to be a leader. This kind of person understands the truth and handles affairs in a principled manner, they are able to arrange the work, and they have a certain inner quality. Finally, there are the priests. These are men who have been perfected. These men, first of all, are people who love God; second, they are able to bear witness to God and they surely understand the truth; and third, they can accurately fellowship about the truth, without any confusion. These people are qualified to convey the word of God. These are the real levels of life, the different degrees of maturity for these five types of people.
Now there are some people that may ask: “Those who do not seek the truth will be eliminated, but who will eliminate them?” Are they eliminated by the church, or by the leaders in the house of God, or by God? These people do not understand who it is that eliminates them. This is something we need to talk about. Let’s compare it to the Age of Grace, when there were some people who had the work of the Holy Spirit. The numbers were very few. There were very few people within each church that had the work of the Holy Spirit. This is accepted as fact, right? If you ask how few there were, you could say at best about 10% of people. But some people don’t believe this, they don’t accept it. “It’s at least 50%. There’s no way it’s that few, I’ve seen that most people have it.” We will not dispute over the amount, so long as someone has the work of the Holy Spirit, they will ascend to heaven when they die. What kind of place is heaven like is something we will not say. On what basis is this determined? Of course God knows. God knows who has the work of the Holy Spirit, but do the pastors in the church know? Are they able to determine this? Do they have authority to determine this? “I draw these distinctions in accordance with the loyalty man has to Me.” This is the word of God, so of course God can make this determination, but can pastors determine what ends which people will face? They do not know, they don’t even know if they are a Pharisee, or whether or not they are actually resisting God. They aren’t even clear about this with themselves. They are like the Pharisees who condemned the Lord Jesus and nailed Him to the cross. They thought they had loyalty to Jehovah God. So, do pastors have any right to determine if someone lives or dies or what someone’s outcome will be after they die? They don’t have any authority, this is determined by God. Some people ask: “How does God decide this? How do you know that?” This is based on the word of God, it is done however God said it is done. “Then how is this said by God, how do people know this?” God has already issued forth the standards and principles by which He will divide people up in the last days. Then we know this. But if He does not speak it out then nobody can know it. The Lord Jesus has said many words, but what are the mysteries within these words? Sometimes the Lord Jesus would speak to His believers in this way, and sometimes He would speak figuratively, that’s all there is to it. In the last days Almighty God has come and brought out the word of the Lord Jesus, saying many things about its implied meaning. He has spoken out on all of the implied meanings and substance of the broad and generalized words spoken by the Lord Jesus, and He has explained all of these things clearly. The word of God has been spoken out in this way, and we must look at things the same way based on His word. By looking at things based on the word of God, there certainly will be no mistake on which groups of people within each church will have a destination after death and which will not. In the Age of Grace it was so, and in the Age of Kingdom it too will be so. Only those that have the work of the Holy Spirit will have a good destination. Those that do not have the work of the Holy Spirit will not have a good destination. God knows best and is most clear about who does not have the work of the Holy Spirit, but people who understand the truth can also see this, they can also confirm it.
Some people say: “What is the basis for your faith today in Almighty God? In His outer appearance He is just a normal person, so how can you say that He is God’s incarnation? What are you basing this on?” “Our basis is that the words He speaks are the voice of God, they are issued forth by God, and they are all the truth, so therefore we have determined that He is God’s incarnation.” This is correct. You see, when you listen to the word of God, you are able to acknowledge that it is the voice of God, that it is the truth, so why is it that so many people do not acknowledge or accept it? They cannot realize it. They cannot discern it. In other words, God did not give these people the faculty by which to discern it, they do not have that perception in their spirit. But we have it, isn’t this the grace of God? Some people say: “I don’t know, I cannot see, I just follow the religious pastors and elders. If the religious pastors and elders say, ‘This is the voice of God,’ then I too accept that this is the voice of God; if the religious pastors and elders say that this isn’t the truth, this isn’t the voice of God, then I also don’t believe that He is Christ incarnate.” Is this kind of person going down the right path? Can the pastors and the elders see these things clearly? If they could truly see these things clearly, then why would the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees from the Age of Grace still condemn the Lord Jesus? Didn’t they have a higher position and understand the Bible more than the pastors and elders of today? They cannot see these things. Some people say: “All of the pastors and elders cannot see this, so who is able to realize it?” How should we reply to these words? “I ... will be gracious to whom I will be gracious” (Exodus 33:19). Aren’t these words in the Bible? We can only say there are some people that are able to see, this is the grace of God. Some people whom God is gracious to can see that the word of Almighty God is the voice of God, it is the truth. These people are not pastors, and they are not elders, nor are they preachers. So how are they able to hear this? This is the grace of God. God is willing to be gracious to whom He will be gracious. Do you feel jealous when you see who God is gracious to? Do you have any objections? Some confused people, when they hear someone say, “The word of Almighty God is the voice of God, it is the truth,” they will say, “Okay, then I will accept it.” After accepting it, they will read the words of Almighty God, and some of them will not conform to their conceptions, so they wonder: “Why do some of these words not conform to my conceptions, are the words that don’t conform to my conceptions actually the word of God? Are they really the truth? That’s not okay, I cannot understand it clearly, I ought to ask the pastors and the elders.” When they ask this, the pastors and the elders will slander, judge and discredit these words, and they will no longer believe. Do you think that these people that asked the pastors and elders have accepted good or accepted adversity? Some people say they have accepted adversity. Why have they accepted adversity for asking the pastors and the elders? Why would they deny the Christ of the last days? Is this kind of person wise, or are they foolish? They are foolish, they are stupid.
The Lord Jesus predicted in the Bible that at the time of His return there would be two types of people, He used wise virgins and foolish virgins as a parable for all of the believers in the Age of Grace: All who are able to hear the voice of God are wise virgins; all who are not able to hear the voice of God, who listen and still deny and do not believe it, these are the foolish virgins. Do you all think that the foolish virgins can be raptured? Of course not, right? So how can these foolish and wise virgins be revealed? By using the word of God. “There’s a book called The Word Appears in the Flesh, look at these words and see what you think, look over it.” After some ordinary believers finish reading it, they say, “Wow, such deep words, these words contain the truth.” “Read it again carefully.” “This is not something that a normal person can talk about, it seems like this has come from God.” “Read it again carefully.” “Wow, this is the voice of God, there’s no way these words come from a man!” You see, this person is blessed, they are a wise virgin. As for the foolish virgins, some are pastors, some are elders, some are preachers, and some are confused believers that only want to eat their fill. How do they feel after they finish reading the word of God? “Hmm, these words do not conform to my conceptions and imagination, I do not accept them.” And after carefully reading over them again: “Hmm, some of the words seem as if they are the truth, but that’s not possible, this could not be the work of God.” So once again it does not conform to their conceptions and imagination. After saying “Hmm” a few more times, they will say: “This is not the word of God, I cannot accept it. This is a counterfeit. A false Christ is trying to confuse people, do not believe it!” What kind of person is this? This is a Pharisee, a foolish virgin, right? How do the wise and foolish virgins get brought to the light? It is the word of God that brings them to light. It is the word of God in the last days that will classify and divide them into the categories they belong to, and then God will start to reward the good and punish the wicked. How will He reward the good? The wise virgins will be brought face to face with God and feast alongside Him. In the end they will be cleansed and perfected. This is receiving the reward, it is the reward and the grace of God. It doesn’t matter how many years the foolish virgin believes in the Lord, or how much they expend themselves for God, or how many hardships they suffer. Since they deny and refuse the word of God, and do not accept the work of God in the last days, since they do not recognize their Groom when He arrives, they will be eliminated and fall into the darkness weeping and gnashing their teeth. What is this called? It is called the punishment of the wicked. All of those who refuse, deny and resist the work of God in the last days will be left in darkness by God. They will be in the great disasters. Isn’t this their punishment? Today we all have come face to face with Almighty God, every day we eat and drink the word of God, every day we listen to and talk about the way of God, and fellowship about the truth. Isn’t this the reward and blessing that God has bestowed upon us? This is the reward that God has given these wise virgins.
Nowadays those wicked people are still waiting, “When will the Lord descend among us? The Lord will publicly descend so certainly we will witness it.” You say that you certainly will witness it, so then why don’t you wait! You will see at what time you will witness it. Of course, you will not witness it before the great disasters, you will witness it after the great disasters. Isn’t that how it is? There’s one piece in the word of God, how does it go? “When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth.” When will heaven and earth be made anew? It will be after the great disasters, that is when God will make the heaven and earth anew. The great disasters will destroy all unbelievers and all the satanic and devilish people, so then won’t the heaven and earth be made anew? After the great disasters, corrupt mankind, with the exception of those who believe in Almighty God, will be completely destroyed. This is one aspect of the renewal. Mankind will be renewed. What about the renewal of heaven? Many stars will fall from the sky, and many new stars will appear. These will be stars newly created by God. Astronomers will look and remark, “Wow, there are a lot of new stars in the sky, where did these new stars come from? Where did they come from?” They were created by God. They did not see this, so they do not know this. The stars have been made anew. One day the moon and the sun will be darkened, and so too will the moon and the sun be made anew. Astronomers will say: “That old sun is no more, a new sun has emerged. Where did it come from? Where did it come from?” God created it. They did not see this. When God creates this will you be able to witness it? Will God allow you to witness how He creates the sun? How does He create the stars? How are these celestial bodies made? Today’s scientists have made another discovery: “Wow, how has this protective layer appeared 10,000 kilometers in the space above the earth’s surface? Where did this come from? Who put it there?” They do not know how this happened. God created it, for He feared that some objects might come from outer space and harm the earth or attack the earth, so God created this protective layer. Those foolish virgins will not acknowledge God until they witness the spiritual body of God, without seeing Him they will not acknowledge Him. Isn’t this foolish? This is called being a fool.