How Man Crosses Into the New Age
Today, our topic for fellowship is man entering into the new age, the Age of Kingdom, and how people should live in the Age of Kingdom, how they should experience God’s work in the Age of Kingdom and truly cross into the new age. What will this discussion on the topic of how man crosses into the new age mainly focus on? God expresses so many words in the Age of Kingdom and He is doing the work of judgment and chastisement, and God’s chosen people should all know exactly how man should believe in God in the Age of Kingdom in order to meet God’s demands. Most people in the past believed in the Lord and enjoyed a great deal of grace from God. Right now, they are beginning to experience God’s work of judgment and chastisement, so how can they make the transition from their old views on belief in God to a new one that meets God’s demands? No matter whether your past views on belief in God were right or wrong, this will not be a matter for investigation, and you should face reality, and you must know how to believe and how to pursue now. If you continue to pursue based on how you believed back in the Age of Grace, and you continue to believe in God based on your past views, then you will not have entered into the new age. Let Me first speak a demonstrative phrase that will explain this issue. What phrase is that? This phrase was often spoken in the Age of Grace: “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” That is, when one person believed in Jesus, their whole family, from the oldest to the youngest, benefited from association, and all of them enjoyed peace and joy. Because Jesus performed the work of redemption, He was infinitely tolerant, patient, forgiving, and absolving toward man. No matter what your life entry was like, or what your caliber was like, or how many sins you had committed in the past, all you had to do was confess to the Lord and all would be forgiven, and peace and joy would be bestowed upon you. All you needed to do was “believe” and that was enough—it was so simple. Is it the case now that when one person believes in God their whole family is blessed? No. Why is that work not being done now? Because the time has come, and God is here to do the work of judgment and to save mankind from the influence of Satan once and for all. That is why God now requires people to be loyal and sincere toward Him, to worship Him and obey Him, and to have a heart that reveres Him—these are the things that people must do. If those who believe in God can receive the truth, accept the truth, understand the truth, and gain the truth, then they will be utterly saved. Those, however, who do not accept the truth and who merely covet God’s grace will be cast out. If you still demand now that God performs the work of the Age of Grace, thinking still that when you believe in God your whole family will be blessed, that is too foolish! God is no longer doing the work of the Age of Grace. That age is over. You understand this, right?
This so-called “crossing into the new age” means entering into today’s Age of Kingdom, and your views on belief in God, your intents, your faith, the way that you live your life, and how you experience things must all change. If you only change one thing, if you used to believe in Jesus but today you believe in Almighty God, and only the name of the God that you believe in has changed, then in reality the way in which you believe, the path that you walk, and the things that you pursue have not changed. That is to say, there must be some changes in your pursuit, in your understanding, and in your views. Only when you pursue the truth on this basis can your faith be pure and true. Why are some people now always negative, thinking that belief in God is meaningless, and not as energizing as it used to be? It is because their views on belief in God have not yet been transformed. They still hold on to the views they used to have when they believed in Jesus, focusing only on gaining a little grace or expending more and running about more; they focus on gifts, on surface-level work and surface-level sermons, and on enthusiasm. Yet they do not keep pace with God’s current work, they do not concentrate on eating and drinking God’s words, and they are not enlightened by the Holy Spirit, so they always feel negative. People like this appear as though they believe in God, when in fact, they have not accepted the truth in their hearts, and that is why their negative state is never resolved. They do not enter into life at all, they still cling to their old views on belief in God, without any transformation. Is that not the case? The work of the Holy Spirit has changed, and man’s belief in God must change alongside the Holy Spirit’s work. If your pursuit, the way that you live, the way that you experience, your attitude toward belief in God, and your intents and views in your belief in God have not been transformed, that shows that you have not kept pace with the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work. If people want to keep up with the new work of the Holy Spirit, to change in new ways, and to gain new understandings, then they must seek the truth, enter in, and change in small details like their every move and action, their thoughts and ideas, their every intent and view—only then will they make progress. If people just pay lip service to this, and only change a little of their behavior, this is not considered transformation. The most important thing is that you must undergo a transformation in your thoughts and views and in the way you live your life. If you can cast off your old notions and imaginings, and gain discernment and knowledge of your old views on belief in God, this will prove that you have been transformed. Examine yourselves to see which parts of you have not yet been transformed, whether you still maintain old ways of speaking or looking at things, and what deeply ingrained things of the past you still have which have not yet been unearthed. If you do not do any digging, you may think there is nothing there, but when you dig down carefully you will find that there is much to unearth. Why is it that some people now are never able to keep up with the steps of God’s work? It is because there are many things within people that prevent them from doing so, because people have no understanding of new things and cannot accept them. Why do people always harbor notions about God? They have notions about God’s words and work, they have notions too about God’s judgment and chastisement, they are unable to accept which people God saves and which people He casts out, and they cannot get past the fact that God does not show signs and wonders. What exactly is the reason for this? One reason is that this is determined by man’s arrogant and self-righteous nature, it is because people always have their own notions and imaginings about every matter—this is the root of the issue; another reason is an objective one, and it is that people harbor many mistaken notions about belief in God that have not been transformed, it is because those deeply ingrained things still have not been transformed. Those old ways of saying things from their belief in Jesus or in Jehovah are still rooted in their hearts, so when they encounter God’s new work, they accept the true way, but they are unable to accept God’s new ways of saying and doing things. Why are you not able to accept these new things? It is because you still cling to those old things of the past and cannot let them go, which leads you to resist these new things. If you did not have those things of the past within you, you would be able to accept what God does now. If you cannot let go of those things of the past, you will be liable to develop notions about God and to rebel against Him, and you will suffer a loss as a result. If you set yourself against God, you will be in danger of being cast out by God, and you will be punished by God.
You should all dig and examine to see what old ways of doing things, old ways of understanding things, and old views from the past are still deeply rooted within you. Let Me give you a simple example. Some people have never seen Christ nor heard Him speak. They have only read the words that Christ expressed, and they say that these words are good and authoritative, and that they are words of judgment, but after they come into contact with Christ in reality, notions begin to arise within them, and they think, “Why does God speak so sternly? Why does God lecture people so? Why does He speak so grandiosely? The way He talks is so terrifying, always exposing and judging people. Who can accept that? Our faith in Jesus is different. Everyone speaks softly and gets on harmoniously with each other. No one speaks like He does. I simply cannot accept that kind of God and I cannot tolerate a God like Him. If He were to speak as softly and cordially as the Lord Jesus, if He were kind and amiable to people, then I would be able to accept Him. But I cannot accept this kind of God. I cannot even engage with Him!” You acknowledge that this is the true way, that these are the words of the incarnation, and you have been wholeheartedly convinced, so why, when you come into contact with Christ, do you harbor notions about His tone, the words that He uses, and the way that He speaks, that you are unable to let go of? What does this prove? It proves that those old things in your heart have already taken over and that they have become notions and rules. In fact, these things all come from man, they are all the verdicts and imaginings of man, and they do not accord with the truth. If someone tried to impose these things on the God of today, not only would they be unable to do this, but they would also be liable to resist Him. The work that God does in different ages is different, so the disposition that He expresses is different, and what God has and is which He reveals is different too. You cannot apply rules to this; when you do, you will be likely to develop notions about God, and you will be capable of resisting God. If you do not reflect on yourself and absolutely refuse to repent, you will be condemned by God and He will punish you. This is how God’s work is in each age—there will always be some people that accept and obey God, who are blessed by Him, and those that resist and condemn God, who are destroyed by Him. God speaks so many words and expresses so many truths in His work of the last days. He is not afraid of people harboring notions, He is afraid that people will not read His words, or accept the truths that He expresses—this is the most terrifying thing. If your notions and views do not accord with the truths that God expresses, then they are contrary to the truth, they oppose God, and they are untenable. People have corrupt dispositions, they are rebellious and resistant, and they have thoughts—what is it that dominates their thoughts? They are dominated by people’s intents, and the angle and perspective from which people view things, so your thoughts do not come from the Holy Spirit, nor do they arise upon the foundation of the truth. Why do I say that your notions and views are the things of man and of the flesh? It is because your thoughts are not dominated by the truth, nor do they arise through contemplation that is based on the truth. Some people’s thoughts come from contemplation that is based on the Bible, and that is even more wrong. We are not saying that the Bible itself is wrong, only that it is inappropriate to compare the work that God performed in the past with His new work—you must not compare His work in this way. For example, would it have been appropriate in the Age of Grace for people to compare the work of Jehovah to the work of the Lord Jesus? Is it appropriate for you to compare the work of the Lord Jesus to God’s work today, in the Age of Kingdom? Of course not, they are not comparable. This is because each stage of God’s work is more elevated than the last, and He does not repeat His work. Why is it that, every time God performs a new stage of work and begins a new age, there is always a group or a majority of people who rise up to oppose God’s work and set themselves up against Him? Why does this happen in every age? It is because, no matter whether people accept God’s new work or not, their past interpretations of the Bible, as well as their views about God’s name and image, and about belief in God, and the ways that they believe in God have already taken shape in their hearts. Moreover, they treasure these things, and, believing themselves to have made some gains, they become boundlessly arrogant, and think themselves to be amazing and so grand, and when they see how different the work that God does today is to the work that He did in the past, they judge it. They always take things from the Age of Grace and compare them to the God of today, with the work that God does now, and with the truths of today—are they comparable? Do not apply rules to things, instead you must have this awareness: “I have now accepted God’s new work but there are some things that I’m not able to receive. I will experience and get to know them gradually, I will pursue them little by little, working my way through them bit by bit like an ant gnawing at a bone, and over time I will come to understand them.” God’s work is endlessly mysterious, and it is unfathomable; man can never get to the bottom of it. After experiencing it for a year or two, people may gain some understanding; after three or four years, people may gain a little more understanding, and bit by bit they will grow and change. Their views on those old things will shift bit by bit, and little by little they will cast them off; only when people have cast off those old things will they understand the new things. Those old things are still deeply ingrained in you, and you have not even begun to unearth them, and yet you dare to willfully spread your notions and to express your own opinions, and you speak however you want—there is no sense to this. Why do I say that people become extremely arrogant? This is the reason. Those rotten things within people are worthless, and yet they still dare to willfully express and spread them. Is this not entirely lacking in sense? Therefore, some people have accepted this stage of work and have read God’s words, but they have not really let go of those old things that they carry inside them. Why are the leaders and workers in some places able to carry out and implement work that accords with their notions, but when the work does not accord with their notions and they do not wish to do it, they do not implement it? How does this situation come about? It is because people are unable to let go of those old things that they carry inside of them. The more that those old things within you take form, the more intensely you resist. Is that not the case? Why is it that there are some leaders in the religious world now, who become more arrogant and less able to accept God’s work of the last days the higher the position that they occupy, and the more people that they lead? It is because people always cling to the things of the past, they do not take God’s words as the truth and as the life, and they are not capable of respecting God as the greatest and highest of all things. Instead, they take their own religious notions and their own thoughts and views as the truth and as the true way—is this not a terrible mistake? In this way, will you be able to find the truth anywhere? If you believe those things of yours to be the truth, will you still be capable of gaining the truth from God? Will you still be able to seek the truth and yearn for it?
Some people say, “I’ve read many of God’s words, I’ve heard the voice of God, I accept the true way and I know how to read God’s words. I resolve my own problems, I don’t need others’ help, and this ensures that my life can grow.” You overstate things when you talk like that. If you read God’s words in reliance on yourself alone and the Holy Spirit does not enlighten you, are you then able to understand them? If God’s words did not expose you and dissect the corruption within you, you would be incapable of change and incapable of understanding—you would find it difficult to reach any understanding. When people read novels, they understand them well and are able to remember many scenes, and when they have finished reading one, they can immediately tell others about it. But the matters of life are unlike anything else. The matters of life are extremely profound, and you must believe for many years before you can understand even a little. You can experience one utterance of God’s for a lifetime and still never experience it enough. No matter what utterance God makes, you will never experience it enough for as long as you live; no matter how good your caliber is, you must still rely on experiencing and practicing God’s words before you can understand the truth. Take being an honest person, for example. How many years must you experience before you can resolve the problem of telling lies? It is not the case that you need only one or two years’ experience and then you are done, you tell no more lies, you are deceitful no longer, and you are now an honest person. This is not possible. You must have several decades of experience before you will see this result. This is because people are very complicated, their corrupt dispositions are deeply rooted within them, their notions prevent them from entering into the truth, from knowing God, their intents prevent their dispositions from changing, prevent them from practicing the truth, and the views and positions they take on their actions and speech prevent them from understanding the truth. If you are able to speak and act on the side of the truth, on the side of the truth which God demands man to attain in the Age of Kingdom, then you will easily be able to submit to His work and can enter onto the right track of belief in God. If you do not stand on the side of the truth, then you will have strayed far from God, or else you will be standing in opposition to God. Do not think that just because you have listened to so many sermons and believed in God for such a long time that your stature is not still greatly lacking! Pursuing the truth is a matter of gaining life, it is to gain eternal life. The truth is forever immutable, applicable always, never to be discarded, irrefutable, undeniable—this is the value and the significance of the truth. The truth is the highest, the most profound, and the most valuable thing. It is precious, and there is a limit to what a person can understand and gain after a lifetime of experience.
Someone says, “I believe in Almighty God and I conduct my faith by myself at home, and likewise I sing hymns and pray to God. I follow the work no matter what stage it’s at, and by keeping this faith until the end, God will not abandon me.” What do you think of this? How can you pursue the truth by conducting your faith at home? How can you experience God’s work without performing your duty? If you do not perform your duty, there are some corrupt dispositions that will not be revealed, and how then will you reflect on yourself? How will you experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words? How will God’s words expose you and deal with you? People are unable to experience these things at home. Can you truly come to know yourself without practical experience? Can you truly change? Change would be impossible. To experience God’s work, you must live the church life, and only by performing your duty can you experience things properly. If you conduct your faith at home for ten years or so, twenty years or so, and the great red dragon is toppled and the great disasters have finished, will you be able to speak of having truly experienced and borne witness? Will you have suffered as God has suffered? The people of God, who will have borne such beautiful witness, will have truly changed, will truly submit to God and be truly loyal to Him—would you be able to bear such witness? I am afraid that, at that time, you would be utterly shamed. Why is it that God has said many are called, but few are chosen? It is because, among corrupt humankind, those who love the truth are very few. The majority of people do not love the truth, much less are they capable of accepting the truth. Why do I say this? Some people come to believe in God, and while everything is fine at home, they make no complaint. When something goes wrong, however, when a family member is taken sick and admitted to hospital, or their child does not get into college, or some disaster occurs, they beat their fists on the table and complain about God, saying, “Humph! What has believing in God got me? God has not blessed me! You ought to bless me, bless everything about me, including my whole family, my children, my husband (or my wife), as well as my mom and dad, everybody. If this hadn’t happened to my family, wouldn’t I be earnestly pursuing the truth?” They make such excuses for not having gained the truth! Can their excuses take the place of the truth? They believe their excuses are entirely sufficient and tenable, and that it is right to complain. People do not complain about God when they are not undergoing trials and tribulations. They shout about how great and wonderful God is. But the moment trials and tribulations arrive, their desire to complain about God can burst forth at any minute. They do not ponder things and they spare no thought; they just naturally give vent to their feelings. For some people, it is not something that happens to their family but to their livestock and they complain about God. Is this not so senseless? If a person can reach the stage whereby no matter what happens to their family or whatever disaster befalls them, they do not complain about God or take the matter to heart, when they do not cause delays to their duty or their expending themselves for God no matter what happens, when their obedience to God is unaffected, and when the thing that has happened does not prevent them from praising God, this proves that their heart that believes in God is a pure one. The view “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed” is wrong. If you always cling to this view in your belief in God, you will never gain the truth. Look at your unbelieving family members and relatives, busy living their lives every day; when the disasters arrive, will they be able to escape them? No, they will not. If you do not pursue the truth in your belief in God and you remain just like your relatives, unable to escape the punishment of the disasters, you will perish together with them. If you do pursue the truth, however, and you are able to see through to their essence, you will be able to reject Satan, and will think, “They do not believe in God. They are demons and should be destroyed in the disasters. They used to try to stop me from believing in God, and they said things in defiance of God, that were blasphemous to God. They got their just deserts when they died in the disasters. In this, God’s words have truly been fulfilled.” You did not have this faith before and did not dare to curse the demons. Now, you see the demons’ true faces and your heart grows to hate these God-defying demons, and if they die, all you will need to do is bury them. Being able to approach them in this way shows that your heart has truly turned toward God. If you still hold within your heart notions and imaginings, believing always that “when a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed, that even the animals raised by the family are blessed, that the house is blessed, and that the crops in the ground are blessed,” then these things will prevent you from pursuing the truth and from following God and performing your duty. If a person’s heart turns purely to God, only to God, then their heart becomes so pure and simple, and when that time comes they suffer very little. Why is it that you now suffer so much? It is because you spend all day rushing and busying around for your family, for your children, expending so much effort for them. If you expended yourself purely for the church, then I daresay you would be much more relaxed, is that not so? It is precisely because you now busy yourself with family matters too much and with church matters too little, and because your home affairs become so onerous that you cannot stand it, that you begin to complain about God. But how much have you, in fact, offered up to God? You have offered nothing worth mentioning at all! You still rush and busy around so much for matters of the home and for your own flesh, so how can you complain about God? You must not complain about God anymore. Whosoever believes in God is capable of gaining the truth and has a chance to know God—this is crucial, more important than anything else, and it is directly related to the issue of whether or not you will attain salvation. Firstly, however, you have to take your incorrect intents, views and understanding from the past, as well as those things you pursue inside yourself, and dissect and come to know them according to God’s words. When you become able to see these things clearly, then you can practice reducing them and giving them up. The more clearly and penetratingly you can see these things, the more things you will let go, until you are able to give up all these old, wrong things. You will then feel so much more relaxed, and when you put the truths you understand into practice and are able to bear witness to them, you will begin to change little by little. You should now begin practicing and training in this direction, and gradually you will no longer be controlled and disturbed by those things—you will then have entered onto the right track of belief in God.
Have you really understood all this that I have said? Do you know how to cross into the new age? And do you know what aspects you need to change, what aspects to enter from? Perhaps you do not understand this. Although people gained some entry in the past, yet they were still lacking in many aspects and were unable to meet God’s demands. Now, God speaks so many words to lead people into the new age. Why is it that people always harbor notions about God’s words and His work? It shows that they did not gain the truth before and that they are without the truth reality. Although you may be able to accept God’s words when you read them now, why is it that in your real life you are unable to put the truth into practice, and instead are always acting rebelliously toward God and opposing Him? Why is it that when things happen to you, you always have your own ideas and act according to your own will, yet are unable to obey God? It is because there are too many fleshly things and things of self-will within you, always thinking that your way is the right way. You feel great when listening to a sermon and harbor no notions, but when something happens to you, you want to practice the truth, but you lose control, and the rebellious things within you show themselves. I say you are too rebellious, and if you do not believe Me, you can keep a record. Every time you hear an utterance of God’s, keep a record of what notions arise in your heart and what your thoughts are, and then unearth the things within you, dissect them, hold them up against God’s words, and you will then know how far your rebelliousness goes. Practicing in this way is beneficial for your life entry. You must dare to face the facts and dare to reveal yourself. When you dare to reveal yourself, this proves that you have a heart that accepts the truth, a heart that lets go of notions and submits to God. You must forsake yourself; do not be constantly rebelling against God, for that is wrong. It will not do to believe in God but not know how to obey Him. At such time as you find it easy to obey God, that is when you will have peace and joy in your heart; you will find great enjoyment when you then read God’s words, you will find the words to say when you pray to God, and you will grow closer and closer to Him. Those who are always rebelling against God never wish to practice the truth, and when they read God’s words, the words do not sink in—what peace and joy can there be in their hearts? When people encounter issues, their notions and imaginings rise to the surface, and they are unable to avoid them. You must then contemplate and reflect, thinking, “How has this problem come about? How has this kind of notion arisen? Where can its source be found?” You must pray to God, read God’s words, see through this matter, and when the problem is resolved you will have gained life entry. If you do not resolve your problems practically in this way, always believing that harboring some notions is not a big deal, that they will go away on their own after a few days, and that once they are gone then it means you are harboring no notions, you will always think that you have no notions, when in fact when notions arose you ignored them and let them slide. You felt at that time that there was no harm done, and afterward you refuse to acknowledge that you had any at all. Ordinarily, when people do not undergo being pruned and dealt with, when they are not having to deal with any adverse situation, they harbor no notions and forget that they ever had any. They think themselves amazing, that they really are without notions. When something happens, however, notions arise and they oppose God, and then after a while the notions disappear and they forget about it, and once again they feel they have a wonderful state and that they harbor no notions about God—what is their problem? It is that they do not truly understand the truth and have not resolved their notions at their source. That is why these kinds of notions repeatedly arise, until such time as someone fellowships thoroughly with them about the truth, and then their notions are resolved for good. When it comes to resolving one’s notions, it will not do to not seek the truth in earnest—merely understanding doctrine is useless. Those who do not understand the truth have limited, skin-deep knowledge of themselves. Sometimes when notions arise in them, they are not able to discover them, nor even to sense them. A minor notion that goes unresolved will not trip someone up, but a major notion that goes unresolved will trip them up straight away. To know yourself, you must first resolve your own notions and imaginings, and resolve your wrong views that often crop up. Then resolve all your various corrupt dispositions, from the superficial down to the deeper, more complicated ones, and by doing this you will gradually enter into the truth reality. Knowing yourself begins with first knowing the notions and imaginings that exist within you. As your understanding of the truth grows ever deeper, you will get to know yourself ever more deeply, too. When it comes to knowing yourself, you must be meticulous. If you are never able to know yourself, you will not gain life entry; life entry starts with knowing yourself. If you want to gain life entry, then you must conscientiously seek the truth, take opportunities to resolve your issues, and not let even one slide. Once you have noted down your notions, you must seek the truth, open yourself up and engage in fellowship, and dissect them according to God’s words. When you understand the truth, these kinds of notions will be totally resolved. If you encounter the same matter again and your notions arise once more, and your heart is controlled by them, this shows that you have not truly understood the truth, but that you have merely understood the doctrine, and so your notions remain. Only when you come to truly understand the truth will your notions disappear completely, and even if they do arise again in the future, they will be easily resolved and you will not come under their control, because you understand the truth. Tell Me, is it difficult to practice knowing yourselves and entering into the truth in this way? Does it take a lot of effort? It does! If your self-knowledge only involves the cursory recognition of superficial things—if you merely say that you are arrogant and self-righteous, that you rebel against and resist God—then this is not true knowledge, but doctrine. You must integrate the facts into this: You must bring to light whichever matters you hold fallacious intents and views or absurd opinions on for fellowship and dissection. Only this is truly knowing oneself. You should not gain an understanding of yourself based on your actions alone; you must grasp what is key and resolve the root of the problem. Once a period of time has gone by, you must reflect on yourself and summarize which problems you have resolved, and which still remain. So, too, must you seek the truth to solve these problems. You must not be passive, you must not always need others to coax you or push you to do things, or to even lead you by the nose; you must have your own path for entry into life. You must frequently examine yourself to see what things you have said and done that are at odds with the truth, which of your intents are wrong, and what corrupt dispositions you have revealed. If you always practice and enter in this way—if you make strict demands of yourself—then you will gradually be able to understand the truth, and enter into life. When you genuinely understand the truth, you will see that you really are nothing. For one thing, you have a seriously corrupt disposition; for another, you lack too much, and you do not understand any truths. If a day comes when you truly possess such self-knowledge, you will no longer be capable of arrogance, and in many matters you will possess sense, and be capable of obedience. What is the key issue right now? Through fellowship and dissection on the essence of notions, people have come to understand the reason that they form notions; they are able to resolve some notions, but this does not mean that they can see clearly the essence of every notion, it just means that they have some self-knowledge, but their knowledge is not yet deep enough or clear enough. In other words, they still cannot see their own nature essence clearly, nor can they see what corrupt dispositions have taken root in their hearts. There is a limit to how much a person can gain knowledge of themselves in this way. Some people say, “I’m aware that my disposition is extremely arrogant—does this not mean I know myself?” Such knowledge is too superficial; it cannot solve the problem. If you truly know yourself, then why are you still seeking personal advancement, why do you still crave status and distinction? This means that your arrogant nature has not been eradicated. Therefore, change must start from your thoughts and views and the intents behind your words and actions. Do you acknowledge that much of what people say is barbed and venomous, and that there is an element of arrogance in the tone that they use? Their words carry their intents and personal opinions. Those who have insight will be able to discern this when they hear it. Some people talk in a certain way and have certain expressions most of the time when their arrogance is not pouring forth from them, but their behavior is very different when their arrogance is revealed. Sometimes they will drone on and on about their own high-sounding ideas, sometimes they will bear their fangs and claws and hold their heads high. They think that they are the king of the mountain, and Satan’s ugly face is exposed in this. There are all sorts of intents and corrupt dispositions inside every person. Just like how crafty people wink when they talk, and look at people out of the corner of their eye—there is a corrupt disposition concealed within these actions. Some people speak in evasive words, and others never know quite what they mean. There are always hidden meanings and tricks within their words, but on the outside they are very calm and collected. People such as this are even more crafty, and it is even harder for them to accept the truth. They are very hard to save.
Previously, when people believed in God, they always settled for having a peaceful home and everything they did going smoothly, and they believed that this meant God surely loved them and was pleased with them. If you merely settle for these things, then you will never embark upon the path of pursuing the truth. Do not settle for how well or smoothly your life is going externally; those superficial things are not important. God’s salvation of people now involves cleansing and changing the deeply ingrained things in people that pertain to Satan, digging them up at the root, and unearthing them from man’s essence and nature. Why is God always dissecting man’s views and intents? It is because man’s nature is so deeply entrenched. God does not look at how you do things, or what you look like, or how tall you are, nor does He look at what kind of family you have or whether you have a job or not—God does not look at these things. The key thing God looks at is your essence, in order to resolve your problems from the essence and root up. Therefore, do not be content merely with a peaceful home and everything going smoothly, thinking then that God is blessing you—this is wrong. Do not pursue these external things and do not allow yourself to be caught up in them. If you settle for these things, then this shows that the goal you are pursuing in your belief in God is too low, and you are falling far short of what God demands. You must concentrate on dispositional change, beginning with your disposition and humanity, as well as your intents and the views you hold in your belief in God. In this way, when you come into contact with people who have just begun to believe in God or who have not accepted Him, they will be able to see from your appearance that you have undergone a change, and that what you pursue is indeed different. They say, “In our belief in God, we pursue making more money, having status, our children getting into college, and our daughters finding a suitable partner. Why don’t you pursue these things? You look upon these things as though they’re dung and totally worthless. How, then, do you believe in God?” You then fellowship with them on what your experience is like, what corrupt dispositions you have, how God prunes and deals with you, chastises and judges you, how you reflect on yourself and understand things, and how you repent and change. When people meet you, they get a sense of how very practical your fellowship is, that it provides somewhat for them and is beneficial for them, and that you are not simply giving superficial sermons to coax and exhort people. You will be able to talk about life entry and self-knowledge, and this will prove that you are truly someone of the new age, truly a new person. There are some now who still talk about the things of the past, saying, “I used to believe in the Lord Jesus, and wherever I went to work the Holy Spirit did great work. When I spread the gospel, many were willing to listen to me, and whomever I prayed for got better very quickly….” They still talk about these things, and this is so backward! You should spend more time talking of those essential things to do with life entry, such as fellowshiping on the truth, life entry, changes in disposition, and knowledge of oneself. Do not talk of matters that have nothing to do with the truth. If you frequently practice in this way, you will gain some truth realities. Given your current stature, you are not able to do work that provides life or use the truth to resolve problems. All you can do is coax and exhort people, saying, “Do not disobey or resist God. Despite our being so corrupt, God still saves us, so we should heed His words and submit to Him.” After hearing this, people understand doctrines, but they still lack energy and do not know how to practice or experience God’s words. This proves that you, as leaders and workers, are also not in possession of the truth reality. If you yourselves have not achieved entry, then how can you provide for others? You cannot get to the root of other people’s difficulties and corrupt dispositions, you cannot grasp what is key, for you still do not know yourself. As such, providing life in your work in the church is beyond you, and by only exhorting people, telling them to be good and obey in earnest, you are incapable of solving actual problems. This is sufficient evidence that you have not truly understood the truth or achieved any life entry. Most of you know only how to preach spiritual doctrine and empty theological theories, but you cannot provide life; as such, you are too small of stature. There has yet to be a change in your view of faith in God. Your understanding and intents remain the same. Will you have a path forward in asking others to change when you yourself have not resolved your own issues? Will you be able to provide for others? Will you be able to solve their problems? What results can you achieve by asking others to change if you are not able to do any of these things? If all you can do is preach words of doctrine to lecture and exhort people, can you get others to understand the truth? If you have no true understanding of God’s work yourself, would God’s chosen people be able to understand God’s work by listening to your fellowship? How will you get God’s chosen people to perform their duty well when you yourself perform your duty without principles? How will they muster the energy to follow God? Those who act as leaders and workers should comprehend and master the states of all the different kinds of people in the church, which among them have experience and understanding of God’s words and of God’s work, and who among them truly have self-knowledge and truly repent. Those leaders and workers who are able to master these things will be capable of performing some practical work. If those you work alongside in your duty are just like you, lecturing others without any self-knowledge at all, then that proves that you are not in possession of the truth reality either, that you do not know yourself and that there is no difference between you. Have you ever considered these things before? You know only “I have been given power here, I have status, I am an official in the church and I now have a place where I can lecture others.” You focus only on status and prestige, on how to lecture others and give sermons, what to say to get others to listen to you, to give you influence in several churches and win high prestige, and to firmly establish your position. Focusing only on these things proves that you have gone astray. To enter into a new age from an old age means not only that people’s ways of doing and saying things change, but it also requires them to have a higher entry, to pay a higher price, to be able to forsake their flesh once and for all, to give up the predilections of the flesh, to pursue only the truth as their life and live out a true human likeness. Only in this way can they truly undergo a thorough transformation. In doing new work, God must necessarily make new demands of man, and by clinging to those old, traditional notions, man only slows things down. Some people have blind faith in the Bible and never depart from it—are they capable of gaining life and knowing God by doing this? No, absolutely not. For generations, the Pharisees read the Bible, until ultimately they nailed the Lord Jesus who was expressing the truth to the cross—how could that happen? If they had truly understood the Bible then they should have known God, and when the Lord Jesus came, they should have welcomed Him and not condemned Him. There are still many people who are not able to penetrate this matter with understanding. In their hearts, they are always thinking that no matter how many utterances God makes now, they must still read the Bible and must not depart from it. This means that they end up being able to remember much that is written in the Bible, but not able to understand the truths God now expresses or put them into practice. In the end, they bear no real witness to their experiences at all and they are cast out. Is this not shameful? In actual fact, there are now many people who still often read the Bible but who read God’s words too little—is this a smart thing or a foolish thing to do? Previously, when they believed in the Lord, people believed that great enthusiasm meant a great life and good faith. When it is said now that, with only enthusiasm and without dispositional change, one shall not be commended by God, some people always think that God treats such people unjustly. I have dealt with some people like that before and some of them did not accept it, and defended such people, saying, “They’ve believed in God for so many years. They’ve paid the price and suffered a great deal, and they’ve worked hard even if they haven’t made any contribution. How can You treat them like this?” Some people are not able to rectify their views. Is this difficult to understand? People see how others do things externally, whereas God sees their essence, and that is a very different thing. You see only how pious someone appears on the outside, how well they are able to speak, and how much they run around and pay the price. How come you do not say how many notions they are harboring, or how self-righteous and arrogant they are? Why do you not see those things? That is why I say your views on things are still too old and backward. God does not now look at the price people pay externally; He does not speak of the price paid or of your capital, nor of how much you have suffered—He looks at your essence. What were the principles for making use of people in the previous age? Whoever was greatly enthusiastic, whoever could run around and expend themselves, whoever had believed in God the longest, and whoever was the oldest and unmarried—the more someone fit this description, the more prestige they had and the more they were capable of becoming a leader. Those things are not important anymore. It is a person’s essence that is important, because what is key to believing in God is what a person’s essence is like, whether they are able to worship God, and whether they are able to accept God’s new work. If, now that God has come in the flesh, you do not know Him, what does that say about your essence? Is it not that your essence resists God? This depends on whether or not your views and intents can accord with God. If you are able to accept the true way and forsake your past intents and notions, then people such as you will be able to be accepted and blessed by God. There are principles to how God makes use of people in His work. He does not look at your capital, family background, prestige or status. He does not make use of those who resist Him—would that not only delay His work? People are always talking about their capital, arrogant beyond measure—they are devils! We do not talk about things like offerings, expending oneself, capital, and prestige—it is useless to talk of those things! Whosoever is most sincere to God and most willing to obey God will be in possession of the truth reality, and we approve of such people. Is there any point in looking at the outside? Some things may change externally for a person, but many things within their nature will not have changed, and upon a time they will emerge. That is why you must know these things and unearth them. There are so many things within a person’s nature! Of course, the nature of man is arrogant, self-righteous, and rebellious, and these are the largest, most rooted problems. Besides these, there are also a number of corrupt dispositions within man. Therefore, knowing oneself is not a simple matter. Those with some measure of caliber will easily become aware and understand when they do something wrong or commit some sin. However, the things within their nature, the things within their disposition, and in particular those things which relate to their vital weaknesses, are what they find most difficult to see and to know. Do not think that, when you do something wrong and you pray to God, or you commit a sin and confess it to God, then that means you know yourself—that is a far cry from self-knowledge! If you do not believe Me, then you go right on ahead and see. Perhaps a day will come when you encounter some issue and fall down, or maybe a time will come when you are arrested and in the space of one night you become a Judas, and you will be dumbfounded. If you wish to have life entry, you must first know yourself; if you wish to achieve dispositional change, then even more so you must reflect on and know yourself through God’s words. When you come to have a way forward in self-knowledge, when your self-knowledge grows deeper, and when you know how to put the truth into practice, you will naturally gain life entry. Dispositional change begins at this point, too. If you are truly able to know yourself, then you will have a way forward with life entry and dispositional change, and these things will become easier for you.