How to Know God’s Sovereignty
Knowing God’s sovereignty is a very profound lesson. To see God’s sovereignty over everything, one must understand spiritual matters, and one must also comprehend many truths. When it comes to understanding God, people are very often narrow-minded and only look at what is in front of them. They always judge God based on their views of right and wrong, correct and incorrect, and black and white, or based on human notions and imaginings, and say that God was wrong to do this or wrong to do that. Yet what is right? As long as something has been done by God, it is right. Is it right for God to destroy people? (Yes.) God has raised up a race and made it prosperous, but you feel that this race should not be prosperous. How did it become prosperous, then? The Jews opposed God, so in people’s eyes, once God had become angry and cursed them, He should have wiped them out. But that is only man’s notion and imagining. After God cursed and punished the Jewish people, He allowed them to survive, and He made a promise to them that their roots would remain, that they would be scattered to other countries across the world, and that they would finally restore their own nation. God’s promises cannot be changed, and the words of punishment that God spoke had to be fulfilled too. God’s sovereignty is so marvelous. If you try to judge the work of God and the things that befall people from the perspective of right and wrong, and correct and incorrect, you will reject them. You will think that they do not seem like the work of God and that they are not in line with your notions and imaginings, and you will reject them. If you reject them, how can you obey them as the truth? It will be impossible. Why do people reject them? This is caused by human notions, which means that there are limits to what the human brain can recognize, and what people can see of the deeds of God, and that there are limits to the truths that people can understand. How can you break through these limits to truly know God? You must receive things from God, and not lightly define the things you encounter that you cannot understand, and not blindly pass judgments if you cannot solve some problem. This is the reason that people should possess the most. If you say, “That is not what God does, God would never do that!” then you lack reason. What can you really understand? If you dare to pass judgments on behalf of God, then you are truly lacking in reason. God will not necessarily act exactly as you think or in the scope of your imaginings. God is too great, too unfathomable, too profound, too wonderful, and too wise! Why have I added the word “too”? Because humans cannot fathom God. You are a created being, so do not try to fathom God. Once you no longer have this thought, you will possess a bit of reason. Do not try to set rules for God, and if you are able to refrain from doing so, then you will possess reason. There are many people who always set rules for God and say that God should act in a certain way, that God would absolutely do it this way or God absolutely would not do it that way, that this is absolutely an act of God, and that something else is absolutely not an act of God. And how about this addition of the word “absolutely”? (It lacks reason.) You say that God is too wonderful and too wise but then you say that God would never act in a certain way. Isn’t that a contradiction? That is not true knowledge of God. It is utterly lacking in reason to always insist on one’s own views and to always set the rules for God.
God is doing this final stage of work, and no one thought that He could appear and work in China. Is the fact that you can’t imagine it not due to the notions and imaginings in your heart, and limitations to your thinking? You might think of America, the United Kingdom, or Israel as all being possible, but can absolutely not imagine that God would work in China. It’s inconceivable to you. It’s far beyond people’s notions and imaginings, but God has just begun His work in China, carrying out His final and most important work. This is too far at odds with human notions. So, what have you learned from this? (That God’s work doesn’t accord with human notions, and is wondrous and unfathomable.) God’s work is far beyond human imaginings, wondrous and unfathomable, wise, profound—these are human words used to describe all that God has and is, His disposition and essence, and this is considered reasonable. It’s through God doing things which are at odds with human notions that people sum it up with these words—God’s work is wondrous and unfathomable, at odds with human notions. What else can people learn from this? That mankind’s former notions and imaginings have all been subverted. So where have these notions come from? From what you see, China is poor and backward, the Communist Party wields power, Christians are persecuted, there’s no freedom, no human rights, and Chinese people are poorly educated, with a low standing on the world stage, appearing as the pitiful sick men of East Asia. How could God incarnate in China to do His work? Is this not a notion? Now, see if this notion is right or wrong. (It is completely wrong.) First, let’s not talk about why God would work in this way, whether it’s because He wants to be humble and hidden, or if working in this way carries a profound significance and value. Let’s not discuss this level, but talk about whether God working in this way conflicts a lot with human notions. Very much so! People cannot imagine. It’s a mystery of Heaven, and no one knows. Even if astronomers, geographers, historians, and prophets are called, would anyone be able to figure it out? No one would be able to, even if all capable people, living or dead, were convened to analyze and investigate, or observe and study with astronomical telescopes—it would all be to no avail. What does this mean? That mankind is too insignificant, too ignorant, too lacking in insight to fathom God’s affairs. If you cannot fathom then don’t bother. What would be the end result if you tried? Your notions do not equal the truth, and are actually far removed from what God wants to do. They are not the same thing at all. What little knowledge humans have is useless, unable to figure anything out or solve any problems. Now that you read God’s words, and listen to sermons and fellowships, do you understand a little bit more in your hearts? Do you have some knowledge of God? Someone might say: “God doesn’t discuss what He does with us, if He would only give us a celestial sign so that we could understand what He intends to do, or even inspire a prophet to give a prediction.” You wouldn’t be able to see it, even with a celestial sign, and neither could a prophet. What God does in the spiritual world has remained secret from ancient times until now, and is so secret that not a single human can know. No matter how talented a prophet or astronomer, or scholar, expert, or scientist in any discipline might be, they could study all they want but they would never understand God’s affairs. People can study God’s past work, and might be able to glean a few secrets or meaning which may have something to do with why God did it, but no one knows what God will do in the future, or His intentions. People shouldn’t, therefore, think to fathom God or ultimately fathom how He works through observation and study, long-term investigation and experience, multifaceted analysis, or much diligence and hard work. This is impossible, and will never work out. So, if people cannot fathom God, what should they do? (They should obey.) It’s most sensible for people to obey, and most aligned with God’s will; obedience is the premise. What is its purpose? It’s to be able, based on experiencing God’s work, to know Him more, to obtain the truth, and gain life. This is what you ought to gain, and the treasure you should desire. Regarding major external events, such as international affairs, how God does things, and how He leads this human race—if you can come to understand these, that’s even better. It’s also okay if you say: “I don’t really care about those things. I don’t have the caliber or the mind for that; I only care about how God provides me with the truth and changes my disposition.” As long as you have an obedient and God-fearing heart, you will ultimately be able to gain the truth from God, as well as wisdom. The truth changes people’s dispositions; it is the life that people should seek to gain, and the path they should walk. So, what is the wisdom that people get? Without even knowing it, you’ll be able to see the way God does many things, why He does them, what His intentions and goals are, and what His principles are in doing certain things. You will unconsciously be able to realize this through the process of experiencing the truth of God’s words. Perhaps these words and matters are too profound, and you won’t be able to express it in words, but you will feel it in your heart, and have real understanding without even realizing it.
Let’s start with the story of Abraham. When he had lived for 85 years but still did not have a son, God promised to give him one. What was his wife Sarah’s response? She thought to herself: “I’m already old and infertile. How could I bear a son?” Is this not a human notion? She used human notions to measure God’s work, and thus could doubt and think such a thing impossible. Then what did she do? She gave her maid Hagar to Abraham as concubine. So tell Me, did God see what she did? God knew. The following year, Hagar bore a son named Ishmael. When Abraham was 99 years old, Jehovah God appeared and promised him that Sarah would bear him a son around the same time the next year, and the whole land of Canaan would be given to him and his descendants as their everlasting possession. The following year, Sarah bore a son named Isaac. As the son of the mistress, Isaac was heir while Ishmael, born of a concubine, could not inherit. Later, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away, and Hagar brought him to the desert, where there was neither food nor water. Facing death, Hagar prayed to Jehovah God, saying: “There’s no way out. I have a child, and want to live.” Jehovah God sent an angel to give them water, and they survived. The desert later became their home, and they put down roots and had many descendants—modern people, such as Arabs, living in the Middle East. You see, there is God’s good will in allowing this. This is a major external event, which no one studied, but it doesn’t mean that God’s act is not present—it is. It’s not like someone did something secretly which God didn’t see, definitely not. There’s God’s good will here. God allowed and promised that the tribe of Ishmael would survive in order to balance the world and be of use when needed. They have always fought with the Israelites for territory, for the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. You must see God’s act in this matter. God did something which people see as bad, and they think that maybe He miscalculated, or didn’t watch closely enough, and that people took advantage of loopholes. This is what the average person’s mind is capable of reaching and imagining. People think that God dozed off and didn’t keep an eye on things, with the result that Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, and that God took pity on them and allowed them to survive, arranging for them to live in the desert. Is this really the case? (No, it isn’t.) God has a plan, and the birth and existence of various races—that is, the various ethnicities and skin colors of mankind—all play a role in balancing the entire human race, and you can see exactly what role they play by looking at the state of the world. Is this an act of God? God controls how quickly a race reproduces, its global population, what role it plays on the earth and among the whole human race, and what its people do, both good and bad things. Speaking of bad, people believe that such things cannot possibly come from God, and are all Satan’s doing. But isn’t Satan also in God’s hands? Some people say, “Satan does as it pleases, and God has no control.” Is this the explanation? This matter cannot be reasoned logically, and it’s wrong to do so. Some things appear bad from the outside, and some appear good, but all are under God’s sovereignty. You cannot say that God rules only over the good and not the bad, as both are in God’s hands, orchestrated and controlled by Him, and His good will is behind everything. This is the truth, and if you can see this clearly then you understand the truth. It is incorrect for you to conclude that things are bad and look only through that lens, as it is easy to misunderstand and resist God. Everything God does has His good will. So, what is God’s good will? People only see the bad things that happen right before their eyes, and can never see what the consequences might be ten or twenty years after the fact. What will happen one or two thousand years later, what place it will have and what key role it will play in shaping the state of the world and in the whole of mankind—people cannot see this, but this is the sovereignty of God. Is the development of the state of the world and all mankind a simple matter? Wherever something happens, wherever some major event occurs, or wherever there’s a plague or earthquake, God is in control! Some absurd people, with no understanding of spiritual matters, might wonder: “If God controls everything, then the devil’s suppression and the slaughter and cruel persecution of God’s chosen people is also under His control? Did God instigate it?” Is it right to look at it in this way? Does it hold water? This puts God in a negative position, and is wrong. So, how should you look at this matter? God instigates all things, and what does “all things” include? It includes everything: whatever can be seen by the naked eye, like mountains and rivers, trees, plants, people, and so on. It also includes microorganisms invisible to the naked eye, as well as devils, Satan, and all kinds of spirits and ghosts of the spiritual world. These are all under God’s control. They do what God wants them to do. He lets them out whenever they are needed, and they do what they should. This is God’s sovereignty. However God rules and arranges, you can see God’s will being carried out in the end, and every one of God’s words will be fulfilled.
People may not now be able to see the effect of something God does, or know its purpose, why God does it, or what His will is. This may still be unseen after two hundred years, and mankind would still not know, but would be convinced after a thousand years: “It was so right and wonderful for God to do this! God is truly God!” Mankind will discover that everything God does is the truth, and nothing is wrong. For example, the crucifixion and death of the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace was at that time viewed by the world as a failure of that stage of work. They thought, “The Lord Jesus didn’t follow a mortal fate of birth, old age, sickness, and death, and yet was betrayed by Judas before He had done any work, arrested by soldiers, whipped, wore a crown of thorns, mocked, and finally nailed to the cross. Is this not a failure?” Is crucifixion a failure? Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus to the government, but what does the government represent? It represents the forces of Satan. Is it good or bad that Christ was delivered into Satan’s hands? (It looks bad on the outside.) People thought, “Oh, no! God’s work has been disturbed by the devil. This isn’t good, it’s a bad sign, because God wasn’t watching, and isn’t that powerful! How could the incarnate Christ still be betrayed and delivered into the hands of the rulers? Isn’t that clearly just being left to Satan’s mercy? The Lord Jesus must quickly find a way to escape, otherwise won’t this work be over? Christ still has a ministry.” Isn’t this what people would think? So Peter said, “Be it far from You, Lord: this shall not be to You” (Matthew 16:22), and out came human notions. They thought, “God couldn’t possibly be delivered into the hands of the rulers, so if He was, then He is not God.” Is this not a human notion? It’s only because they had this kind of notion that people could say such things, act or behave in such a way, and hinder God’s will from being carried out. What did Jesus say to Peter? “Get you behind Me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23). The Lord Jesus took Peter for Satan. Ultimately, the Lord Jesus was delivered into Satan’s hands, and those people became serving objects to accomplish the work of the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion. Was it a good or bad thing for the Lord Jesus to be delivered into Satan’s hands? (A good thing.) Looking at it in this way, it’s a good thing, not bad, for God’s work was accomplished by this means. Did God do anything from Judas’ betrayal through to the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion? Did He plan to escape, or did anyone come rescue Him? (No.) Did God think of a way to manifest a miracle, lifting the Lord Jesus straight up to heaven and hiding Him behind the clouds where no one could see Him? How glorious, how magnificent an ascension! But no one saw these things, as God didn’t do them. Does God not doing this prove that He cannot? Could God do it? (Yes, He could.) So, why didn’t He? (There was God’s good will, and He had a plan.) What was God’s plan? It was to hand Himself over to Satan, and then take the place of those sinners on the cross, sacrificing Himself to redeem mankind. This is what God wanted to do; He doesn’t do the things people imagine in their notions. Many people think, “God should send more lightning to strike down all those wicked people who resisted Him and, after striking them down, the Lord Jesus would ascend to heaven. How glorious and awesome that would be, and how that would reveal God’s authority! Let these devils and Satans, and these humans all see the consequences of crucifying God, then they won’t dare in the future, right?” People may dare not resist, but isn’t it a hindrance if God’s work is not accomplished? Human notions always interrupt God’s work, so He doesn’t work in that way. Some people really believe in the Lord Jesus because He was crucified to do His work of redemption, but at the same time will say with all good intentions, “The Lord Jesus should not have been crucified. It was not easy to be incarnated, and He had to work in humility and hiddenness, be forsaken by people and slandered by those scribes and Pharisees. This is so pitiful. He should have avoided crucifixion, not lowered Himself to that level, there’s no need for it.” Is it right for people to look at it like this? (No, it isn’t.) Looking at it now, two thousand years later, this way of thinking is wrong. Is there truth in the human mind? (No, there isn’t.) So, what is in people’s mind? It’s all human imaginings and notions, as well as good intentions, feelings, compassion, and selfishness. Can these things accomplish God’s work? Can they carry out His will? They cannot, hence the Lord Jesus’ words, “Get you behind Me, Satan.” God wanted to personally deliver Himself into Satan’s hands, allow Satan itself to crucify Christ, and through the crucifixion thus accomplish the work of redemption. God didn’t manifest any miracles. God has said several times, “God keeps silent.” What is meant by this? Does it mean that God sees not, concerns Himself not, heeds not, speaks not a word, and keeps total silence? (No, it doesn’t.) So, what is the meaning of “keeps silent”? This contains God’s will, wisdom, and disposition. What is God’s disposition revealed in God’s keeping silent? There is God’s wisdom here. He wants to complete His management work. No matter how many notions or imaginings people have, He first avoids these without offering an explanation, but works silently and practically until the day comes when His chosen people understand the truth and can obey Him, His will is carried out and His work on them is complete, and He has totally vanquished Satan and gained glory. He uses these facts and results as proof for all mankind to see, proof for Satan to see—this is God’s disposition and will revealed in God’s keeping silent. What aspect of God’s disposition is this? Does it show God’s patience? (It does.) Why was God patient at this time? Why did He keep silent? Here is God’s wisdom. Some things are mysteries that no created being, non-created being, or angel, is permitted to understand or grasp. This is God’s wisdom. God can’t speak prematurely, and is there any benefit in Him speaking even one more word? There’s no benefit, for they don’t understand. If He spoke with someone, would they understand? (They would not.) In that case, there’s no benefit in speaking. Would people have understood if, two thousand years ago, God had said to mankind, “I want to be crucified, offer My precious blood to redeem mankind in the form of sinful flesh”? (They would not.) What were God’s only words? He said, “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and had people practice patience and tolerance. Did God say any more to man? (No, He didn’t.) Why didn’t He? (Man couldn’t comprehend.) There’s no way mankind could comprehend. This is why God was compelled to reveal His disposition and thoughts in silence. Even if God spoke with any created or non-created being, they would not understand. So, He could only use His deeds and facts to prove to mankind and carry out His will. Not until now, two thousand years later, has God revealed these things as He does the work of judgment in the last days; people look back on events of two millennia ago and only now understand the significance of the Lord Jesus being crucified back then. About the reason for God’s crucifixion, deliverance to Satan, betrayal by Judas in those circumstances and, after the betrayal, the Lord Jesus suffered so much, draining the last drop of blood to carry out God’s will, why God did this, and its significance—God only speaks about this when bearing witness to the incarnation as He appears and works in the last days and, additionally, reveals many mysteries such as God’s will and management. Now that people have seen the connection between the three stages of work, they finally know the vision of God’s management plan, and understand these truths and God’s good intentions. If God had told mankind a thousand years in advance, would people have understood? (They would not.) So, God often does everything while keeping silent. What is the reason for this silence? It’s because the work God does is too wise, too wonderful, and too profound—if God had spoken earlier, no matter what was said, then people would not be able to understand or comprehend. So God can only keep pressing ahead silently, always speaking to do His work and lead mankind. It’s right for humans to follow God, and the farther down the road the brighter it gets. God won’t lead you astray, and even if He delivers you to Satan, God is responsible to the end. You must have this faith, and this is the attitude created beings should have toward God. If you can say, “Even if God delivers me to Satan as a plaything, He is still God, and I cannot change my heart which follows Him, cannot change my faith in Him,” then this is true belief in God.
It’s been two thousand years since the Lord Jesus was crucified, and now these people who accept God’s work of the last days hear His voice, and listen to sermons and fellowship on the truth every day. They understand the three stages of God’s work, and know the mysteries of His management plan. Do believers in the Lord in the religion understand? Even now they still don’t understand, and still cling to their notions. When someone says, “The Lord Jesus was the son of a poor carpenter. Look at the sort of Lord you believe in,” they are powerless to refute, and unable to testify to God. How contemptible people are! God has expressed so many truths for mankind and done such great things, but if He doesn’t personally tell people the significance, value, and truth in these things, then not one person is able to stand up to speak for and bear witness to God. What is the meaning of speaking for God? It is to bear witness to God’s deeds and sovereignty, to the price He’s paid to redeem this human race and His thoughts, and the meaning of everything He has done. What can you understand from this? (Mankind cannot imagine God’s work.) Mankind cannot imagine God’s work, nor fathom it. Man must therefore have the correct perspective and standpoint to view or treat God’s work, His guidance of mankind, and His will. Man must have a correct standpoint. This is critical. You must know who you are and who God is, the things you need to have which enable you to understand God’s words and work, what you are fundamentally incapable of understanding clearly or fathoming, and what sort of attitude you should have. This is the reason you should possess. In this way, your relationship with God will be quite normal and harmonious. If you always adopt a wait-and-see, speculative, doubting, or even resistant attitude in studying and speculating about God, or investigating everything He does, then there’ll be trouble. This is academic, this is research—this is a nonbeliever. You must treat God’s sovereignty with a perspective and attitude of obedience, seeking, and fear; only this will produce true knowledge, and understanding of God. If you understand God then you won’t stand in opposition to Him, or at least you won’t misunderstand Him. You’ll be able to obey, and say, “Although I don’t know the meaning of God doing this, I understand that everything He does is right.” What is this understanding? It’s that your heart is fully convinced that everything God does has meaning, and people should obey. The Lord Jesus Christ delivered Himself into Satan’s hands and was crucified by Satan—this was not a good thing in people’s eyes, but He accomplished God’s will and completed the work of redeeming mankind. This is a great thing, something of huge meaning and value to all of mankind, but did mankind see it clearly? (They did not.) Mankind didn’t see it clearly. Mankind didn’t see God’s will in it, nor comprehend the meaning and value of God doing it; that is, people didn’t see the immense benefit to mankind. They only saw that the Lord Jesus was resurrected three days after being crucified, appeared before people and met with them, talked, reminisced, and then departed; but God’s will was done. Is this not of great significance? (It is.) Did people fathom it? They did not. From this matter, people must have a correct evaluation of themselves, and a correct attitude to God. Whatever God does, whether people understand it or not, they must cover their mouths. This is right. Don’t think to go studying everything, that’s not okay. Why not? There’s no rule saying you’re not allowed to do so, but you’ll hit a wall and be in danger. You can’t understand, and aren’t able to comprehend now, but you always want to study, always stand in opposition to God. If you can’t work it out by studying, but also don’t seek the truth, then what problems can easily appear? It’ll be easy for you to misunderstand God. You’ll misunderstand at the beginning, and if you can’t understand things clearly and this misunderstanding remains, you’ll be negative and weak, and it’ll affect performance of your duty and your life entry—these things are all related. Many things cannot be understood clearly in just a year or two, and the truth is too profound. Even if God enlightened you right now, could you understand with your small stature? Even if you could understand a little, could you understand the truth thoroughly? You’d say, “I know gravity. Why do things fall down and not up on earth, but if you left the atmosphere and went out into space, you’d float? Because you’d leave the gravitational pull of earth. I understand this, so don’t I already understand God’s deeds?” You don’t know how exactly God rules over gravity, and you’ve only understood its manifestation. That doesn’t mean you’ve fathomed how God rules over it, and even if you could, would you be able to rule over it? People would be in trouble if they left the atmosphere, they’d just float and fly around everywhere without gravity. What can be seen from this? (That there are many things which people can’t fathom.) People can’t fathom, yet always stand in opposition to God to study and observe Him, their hearts suspicious, saying, “If I can’t fathom this matter, then You are not God.” What about this view? This view and standpoint are wrong, they stand in opposition to God, and it’s wrong to always study. You must understand God, and say, “I cannot understand this, it’s too profound and I wouldn’t be able to understand thoroughly even if God enlightened me. So I’ll seek for a few years with an obedient heart, and if God doesn’t give me an answer then I’ll just forget about it. There are no barriers or misunderstanding between me and God. If I don’t misunderstand or complain about God then I won’t resist Him. If I don’t resist Him then I won’t rebel against Him, and if I don’t rebel against Him then I won’t reject or stray from Him. I am a follower of God forever.” What is the foundation for being “a follower of God forever”? It’s “Regardless of whether what God does aligns with my notions, I will always obey and follow. God is still my God and I am a created being, I am a human. No matter how God treats me, throwing me into hell, the lake of fire, to Satan, or to devils, I will always obey Him with no complaints. God’s position cannot change, nor can my identity as a created being. As long as this fact remains unchanged, I should follow God, and He is forever my God.” Once your belief in God has firmly taken root, you will not turn your back on Him. This is the relationship between your identity as a created being and God. Once you clearly see God’s identity and position in your heart, and your identity and position as a created being that you should adhere to, and once these have taken root in your heart, then you won’t stray from Him. Then, when you’re weak, negative, sad, or something happens that doesn’t align with your notions and you cannot fathom or understand it, can this affect your relationship with God? (It cannot.) So long as you are clear about the truth of visions, have laid the foundation, and you’ve experienced many environments and realized that everything God does has meaning, then you will know God’s work and it will be difficult for notions to arise again. Some people can only understand a part. For example, regarding judgment and chastisement, people admit that what God does is meaningful, but have notions when faced with being pruned and dealt with. No matter who deals with them, they’re unwilling to accept it and don’t admit that the matter comes from God. They think it’s done by man, and comes from Satan. Is this not another mistake? Another problem appears, and the search for the truth must continue. If you can’t pass this, can you wholly obey God’s work? You can only obey that which aligns with your notions, and disobey that which does not. This kind of person can all too easily resist God, and is someone whose disposition has not changed.
There are many thoughts, ideas, and states within people which often influence some of their opinions, perspectives, and standpoints. If you can solve these thoughts, ideas, and states one by one through seeking the truth, then they will not affect your relationship with God. You might have a small stature now, with a shallow understanding of the truth, and because you’ve only believed in God for a short while or because of various other factors, you don’t understand very many truths—but you should grasp one principle: I should obey everything God does, regardless of whether it looks good or bad from the outside, right or wrong, and whether or not it aligns with human notions. I have no right to criticize, assess, analyze, or study if it’s right or wrong. What I should do is fulfill my duty as a created being and then practice the truths which I can understand, to satisfy God and not deviate from the true way. I’ll practice however much God lets me understand, and seek that which I should practice, even if God hasn’t enlightened me; if God hasn’t enlightened me about something I need not understand, then I will obey and wait, and maybe one day God will let me understand. Just like the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, two thousand years later those people who accept the work of God in the last days basically understand, and even those who aren’t too keen on their pursuit also understand what it was all about. You might not be able to understand some of the great work concerning God’s management plan right now, but you misunderstand Him because you don’t understand the truth and deny His existence, which tears down the normal relationship between you and God. This is a grave mistake. You should have an attitude, perspective, and standpoint where you say: “I’ll just wait for these things that I don’t understand. When God one day enlightens mankind, maybe I’ll understand them all.” When the Lord Jesus departed He said, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now,”—why could they not be borne? It’s because people’s stature was too immature, and they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. It’s like telling a three- or five-year-old about earning money or supporting a family; he’ll hear it, but feel it’s so far away from him that he can’t understand and it’s beyond his reach. There’s so much which people ought to understand that God wants to tell mankind, but because of mankind’s immature stature, or because the processes of God’s work have not yet been completely revealed to man, and people haven’t experienced them, they won’t understand if these things are known too early. Even if they listened, they’d take it as doctrine and understand it literally, but not really know what God is saying. So, God doesn’t speak. Is it appropriate for God not to speak? Is there any benefit for man? (There is.) Will it delay people’s lives growing? There will certainly not be any delay, none at all, with no impact on your daily life or your normal pursuit. You just relax your heart and pursue the truth, as this is the most important thing; ultimately, it all comes down to the pursuit of truth. If you pursue the truth then the mysteries in some of the things God does, His wisdom, wonderfulness, and disposition in all He does, and the things which humanity should understand, will gradually become clear through the process of following God. There are many aspects involved in attaining knowledge of God, and you must—in the process of your interactions, association, and contact with God—experience His words, savor His words, savor His work, as well as His enlightenment and guidance upon you. During this process you will, without even knowing it, attain knowledge of God; that is, you’ll gradually gain an understanding of God through the process of experiencing His sovereignty and arrangement upon you. If you don’t go through these processes, but just look at the sky with eyes wide every day, relying on your imagination to see God’s work, then you never will. Eventually you’ll end up doubting and say, “Where is God? Did He make the moon? The sun rises in the morning and sets at night—is this how God rules all things?” This kind of understanding is hollow, and your conviction will become but empty words. If someone asked you if you believed in God, you’d say: “I believe in God, I have conviction, I am a Christian.” If they then asked: “Why aren’t you a Buddhist?” you’d say: “Buddhism isn’t the true way, Christianity is.” The fact you can only say this proves that you have no experience and have gained nothing. Everything about God, all that He has and is, His disposition, His sovereignty and arrangements for mankind and all things, the reality and accuracy of His words and their significance, edification, and value for mankind, as well as some of His ways of working, such as through trials, discipline, enlightenment and illumination, comfort and encouragement, and some of His special guidance for man—if you haven’t personally experienced these, haven’t truly tasted them, can your relationship with God be normal? Can you truly obey Him? Your understanding of God will forever be a question mark, a series of question marks, with no real understanding at all. So, is your relationship with God normal? Is it really the relationship between created being and Creator? What exactly does this question mark represent? God will forever be unfamiliar to you, whether in identity, status, or His essence. He’s not your family, not your relative, He always seems like an alien visitor you’ve never known—so it’s not easy to explain what your relationship with God actually is, but it definitely doesn’t measure up to that between created being and Creator.
What are the key points for believing in God? How to turn faith in God into the reality people should have in life? How to achieve obedience and gain God? You must rely on experiencing His words, and most importantly His judgment and chastisement, before you can obey and gain God. Although many people are willing to perform their duty, they don’t understand how to experience His work. To do so, you must experience His judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, and trials and refinement. All God’s requirements must be practiced, entered into, and attained. This is called experiencing God’s work. To experience it you must establish a normal relationship with Him, always praying to and seeking from Him with an obedient heart. No matter what happens or what difficulties you face, you must rely on and look up to God, finding answers and the path in His words, and always praying and fellowshiping with Him. Experiencing God’s work is to be in contact with Him and obey His words and work, pray to and seek from Him when you have problems or difficulties. Once you have a lot of experience in this way, and understand the truth, then you will have learned how to apply God’s words to things that happen. There are many ways to apply God’s words, for example, by praying and seeking when things happen, and thus seeing how God’s words clearly state how people should act, what the principles are, and what God’s will and requirements for people are. When you know all this, and understand God’s intentions, then you will have some knowledge and understanding of God. When faced with trials you should seek, “What does God’s word say about such a great trial? What is the meaning of God testing people? Why does He want to test people?” God’s words say that you are corrupt, always rebellious and disobedient, and that you don’t submit to Him, but constantly have imaginings and notions, and that God wants to cleanse you through trials. No matter what you experience, whether persecution and trials, or being pruned and dealt with, disciplined and punished, and no matter what environment God lays out for you or what method He uses, you must always look for the answer and basis in God’s words, and seek His will and requirements of you. That is to say, no matter what happens, you must first think what God has said, how He wants people to practice, what His requirements of people are, and what His will is. Understand these things, and you’ll know how to experience God’s work. If there’s no place for God in your heart and you don’t love the truth, but always think about what people, books, or famous and great people say, or what unbelievers do when this thing happens, then if you seek and practice in this way you are of the nonbelievers, because your thoughts and your path are the same as unbelievers. If you are someone who believes in God, but your thinking is the same as unbelievers and you walk the path of unbelievers, then this is the wrong way and a dead end; that’s not what someone who believes in God should do, or the path they should walk. There are people like this within the church, and they are of the nonbelievers, unbelievers hidden in the church.
How are man and God connected? How can you know God? How does He work on man? It’s by using His words, through which He reveals His will, guides you to the path you should take, tests you, and tells you all His requirements and standards for you. Without even realizing it, people understand all aspects of the truth in God’s words: the principles behind how to deal with people and handle matters, how to treat their brothers and sisters, church work, and their duty, how to experience trials, how to be loyal to God, how to renounce, how to treat the world of unbelievers, and so on. All of this is in God’s word, and He has told mankind. But to what extent does man ultimately experience it? People can see God in His words, and come face to face with Him. Someone might ask: “Where is the God you believe in?” Those who haven’t experienced it can’t work it out: “Yes, where is God? He’s never appeared to me. He’s always said to be in the third heaven, but I’ve never seen Him. I don’t know how big or how tall God really is, or how omnipotent and omniscient.” Those with experience would say: “Those things aren’t important. I encountered God’s words since the very first day I believed in Him. Now I’ve believed in Him for twenty or thirty years, and in His words I see His disposition and essence, and I have some understanding and knowledge of Him. After experiencing His words all these years, if one day God came to me and spoke with me, engaged with me, I would be able to confirm that He is the God who had expressed those words, He is the One I believe in, without a doubt! No matter what He looks like, as long as His words and these are of the same source, then He is the God I believe in, God from heaven, the One who has sovereignty over my fate, and all things. It is Him.” At this time, would there still be a need for God to speak to you from heaven? (No need.) It’s that no matter what form or image God takes, you don’t have to see it. There’s no need. You won’t have that curiosity. But why? After these years of experience, in contact with God, while you can’t say that you know Him, or are too familiar, at the very least you’re no longer a stranger to Him through His words and your experience of them and His work. He is with you, guiding your life, sovereign over your every day and your fate. He understands your joy, sorrow, anger, and happiness all too well, and you know His. You no longer misunderstand Him or complain about Him, and His place in your heart is such that you could even say He is enthroned there, and reigns as King, able to control your whole being. What does it mean to “reign as King”? It means that you use God’s words to solve whatever happens, and His words are the master of your heart. You are no longer the master. Your knowledge and learning, the books you’ve read, the experiences and events of your life—all these cannot lead you. God’s words will guide you in everything, they’ll become your life’s guidebook, revealed and lived out every day in your actual life. This is the way you will have the truth realities. At that time, if someone asks you again, “Since you believe in God, do you know Him?” You would say: “I know God a little. I dare not use words to describe how mighty and wise He is, nor dare define Him, but at least I know that God is unfathomable, so wise and wonderful, and loves mankind so much. God’s love is so great, so true, and His disposition so righteous!” Isn’t this little bit of knowledge more valuable than people’s illusory and opaque notions and imaginings? (Yes, it is.) So, where do these valuable things come from? They come from experiencing God’s words. That is, after being provided with God’s words all these years, they take root in you and sprout, blossom, and bear fruit, and you have lived out the reality of His words. How do you achieve this effect while living out God’s words? (By experiencing, little by little, God’s arrangements of people, events, and things.) It comes from experience, namely constantly confirming God’s words during this period, confirming that every one of God’s sentences is the truth, and what you need in your life. At that time, if someone says, “The God you believe in is not God, He doesn’t exist, He can’t be seen,” you will say: “It’s not for one person to decide God’s existence and sovereignty. It’s God who decides, it’s the fact of God’s existence and sovereignty over all things that decides, it’s my actual experience of God’s work these years that decides, it’s all the testimonies of experiencing God’s work that decide. This is proof.” This is testifying to God. If someone again said, “Where is God?” how would you reply? (In the heart of every person who believes in Him.) God already lives in people’s hearts, but He is also within and among all things, around us. This is God’s existence. You can’t deny it, and what you experience is more real than what you see. Even if you saw God, would you recognize Him? (No, I wouldn’t.) If God’s spiritual body descended among people and said, “I am God,” you’d be startled and say, “You’re God? How come I don’t recognize You? I don’t accept a God like You!” Actually, you’d be afraid. Why would you have this kind of reaction? Because you don’t know God, so you have this kind of attitude and behavior toward Him.
What is the most important thing to pay attention to when believing in God? You could say that experiencing His words is most important. In the process of experiencing God’s words, whichever wrong states people have, states of resistance to God or rebelliousness, or whichever erroneous views, these must all be turned around and resolved with the truth. In this way your internal state will gradually improve, your relationship with God will become increasingly normal, and you will feel God’s existence. If your relationship with God isn’t normal, you won’t feel God’s existence. Isn’t there truth in all of this? There is truth in it all. If people believe in God like they’re living in a vacuum, in contact with nothing, seeing nothing, knowing nothing, disregarding the outside world, just like those Taoist monks and nuns who practice ascetic cultivation, then it’s not the right way. If people can observe, comprehend, and experience, then they’ll be able to see God’s actions in many things. But there are currently some matters that are too profound and out of reach for most people, so you shouldn’t give up on what’s close by in search of what’s far away. Just concentrate on God’s words and learn how to measure yourself against them. What is meant by measuring yourself against them? It’s seeing whether you have any of the various states revealed in God’s words, which state you’re in, what God’s words refer to, and which human states He’s speaking about. These must all be examined and understood clearly. Sometimes people will hear God’s words once, but they go in one ear and out the other and they think, “God’s words are not directed at me. I don’t have this state. He’s talking about other people.” This is the wrong way to understand them, and shows that you still don’t understand His words, that they still haven’t had an effect on you, and that you haven’t digested them. Gain experience until the day comes that you hear God’s words revealing people and you’ll say, “God is speaking about me.” This is measuring yourself against God’s words. But this is just the beginning, it’s just the start of entering into God’s words—you might not know what this state He speaks of actually is. So you must undergo a period of seeking what the truth is in what God says, what His requirements are, and what the path He gives mankind is. This involves details; it’s not like you can just examine and dissect an outward state and be done with it. What is God’s aim in dissecting people’s state and having them examine it? It’s to make them turn around. God says this is a wrong state, and if you’re living in this kind of state, or have this kind of view, then you can resist God. This is rebellion, displeases God, and is a corrupt disposition which belongs to Satan and doesn’t align with the truth; you must change course. While changing course, you must understand what God’s requirements are, that there is truth in these requirements, and you must understand God’s will and contemplate, “What does God require in this matter? How do I change course, free myself from and resolve this kind of state?” This involves seeking the truth. It’s not enough just to measure yourself against God’s words—in addition to this, you still need to understand the truth and be able to know yourself. Then you’ll feel that God’s requirements for mankind are great, and be able to praise Him from your heart: “God is so wise, surveying man’s innermost heart! God revealed my state, which I didn’t even know I had, but God knows everything!” Is that it? It’s nowhere near enough, and not what God requires. He requires you to let go of those negative, wrong states, those corrupt dispositions and, once you’ve resolved them, to practice according to the truth. As your understanding of the truth gradually deepens, your internal state will completely change and you will let go of your former view on things, see that it’s erroneous, know where the error lies and what its essence is, and thence be able to resolve it. When you can totally let go of worldly things and satanic views then, even though you might feel hollowed out inside, the truths you have understood will begin to occupy your heart. What the correct view God wants you to have is, what He wants you to possess, which views are right to have and which are wrong—there’s a process for understanding these things which requires you to constantly seek the truth and go deeper into it, and when you’ve truly understood the truth, your heart will be thoroughly fulfilled and assured. It’s not easy for someone to believe and accept the truth. People all have active minds, they all have thoughts and ideas and corrupt dispositions, and will always study and analyze whether God’s words are right or wrong when they have nothing to do. If they were to meet a person who understands the truth and shares their experiential testimony, they would gain some benefit and edification; but if they were to encounter someone who spoke absurdities and absurd views, they would be swayed by them. This is a normal state. But, after experiencing enough, one day they’ll completely acknowledge that God’s words are the truth and realize where they’ve gone wrong. But can realizing it mean they’re able to put the truth into practice? (No, they can’t.) They’re still unwilling, thinking to themselves, “Just deny myself like that?” They still want to continue scrutinizing things, and no matter what they think in their hearts, their rebelliousness and corrupt disposition are always there. It’s not that easy for them to accept the truth; they cannot so simply or purely directly accept it as the truth. Even if they clearly know it’s the truth, they still can’t put it into practice quickly and absolutely. This confirms the fact that within man are corrupt dispositions, and a satanic essence. The purpose of God’s work and expression of the truth is to resolve man’s corrupt disposition, to dig out the corruption, resolve it, and cleanse it bit by bit. A person’s views will gradually accord with God’s, and what they do will align with the truth. In whichever aspect you accord with God, you won’t misunderstand Him in that aspect. Wherever you have misunderstandings about God, that is where you should seek the truth, and use it to resolve the misunderstanding. You must not always insist on your view, always thinking that your misunderstanding is correct and sensible, that it holds up and makes sense wherever it is applied. This is ridiculous. People have corrupt dispositions—it’s normal for them to be a little arrogant; they can change as long as they accept the truth. It’s dangerous if they are absurd and hold incorrect views on things, and it won’t be easy for them to accept the truth, and they will often misunderstand it. These sorts of people are most likely to have notions about and be antagonistic toward God; they are the type who belong to Satan. Regarding misunderstanding God, if someone doesn’t seek the truth, they will think what God does is wrong. If they always “litigate” against God in this way, competing and fighting with Him, fighting and competing, then ultimately it will end in failure, and they will be totally humiliated. The truth and God will always emerge victorious. If you’re able to maintain an obedient heart, and seek and accept the truth in your contention and fighting with God, only then can your heart be turned around, and eventually you’ll have to submit before the word of God. Experiencing this process is the process of God saving and obtaining man, and those who would rather die than accept the truth will be exposed and cast out. If you can accept the truth, and submit before God, then you are someone who obeys God, can achieve compatibility with Him, and will never again rebel against or resist Him. No matter how many years someone’s believed in God, as long as they can accept the truth and succeed in submitting to Him, then ultimately they can all obtain a change in their life disposition. Let Me give you an example. Say you study botany or agriculture, and you sow ten fruit tree seeds in the earth. From what you’ve learned, you know that these ten seeds can grow ten trees. This is a conclusion based on scientific foundations and theory, and you adhere to this conclusion. So when God says that ten seeds can grow eleven trees, you won’t believe it: “Is that possible? How can ten seeds grow eleven trees?” In fact, there’s one hidden seed that you didn’t see. What is the basis for sticking to your own view? It’s the scientific evidence and knowledge you’ve learned—these things control your thinking, and you can’t see beyond that scope. If you take that as your standard, then you’re not taking God’s words as your standard—and that is human rebellion. You’d think, “I have a foundation, so how can You say that my conclusion is not the truth? What You said is baseless, so how can You say that Your words are the truth? They’re totally without foundation! How many people proved it? Who proved it? Who saw it? Where are the facts?” You deny God’s words before you’ve seen the facts, always appending a question mark to His words, always denying Him, always feeling, “What God said is wrong; my conclusion is the right one, because it’s been proved. I’m an academic in this field, a professional, so my conclusion should be marked correct.” You equate ten seeds with growing ten trees, so you don’t believe God when He says that eleven trees will grow. But if the end result and fact is that eleven trees grow, will you be convinced? (Yes, I will.) Will you be completely convinced? How come? (I saw the facts.) When you see the facts, you’ll begin to reject the knowledge you’ve acquired and your own conclusion, and there’ll probably be a struggle in your heart: “How could I be wrong? Could science actually be mistaken?” In this process, people will study and analyze whether God’s words are right or wrong, and compare them: “Which is correct, God’s words or scientific arguments? Who is more likely to be right?” The facts are right there, but people still can’t completely accept them, and must wait several years more before they can be fully convinced by what God has done and truly accept it. God doesn’t speak or act without foundation; the process of His actions allows you to experience and learn for yourself, until you see what the results are. What do you gain from this process? It allows you to have a genuine affirmation of God’s actions. He doesn’t let you baselessly say, “You are God, You are great and noble, wise and wonderful.” He doesn’t let you testify to Him like that; instead, He uses these facts to let you experience and see for yourself. God won’t tell you it’s wrong that ten seeds will grow ten trees. He won’t refute or argue with you, but use facts to prove the point, and let you see it for yourself. Maybe God told you this when you were twenty, but He didn’t say “I am the truth, and you must listen to Me.” God didn’t say that; He just did it, and you see the results when you’re thirty. That’s how long it took. Did God argue with you during this time? (No, He didn’t.) So, who was arguing? It’s people who argue with God, and always think, “God is wrong. What He says and does is unscientific and unreasonable.” People love arguing with God, but He just stays silent and continues to act. Ten years later you’ll discover a fact and be scared: “Oh, it turns out my point of view was wrong!” By the time you admit you were wrong, the conclusion of that matter has actually already taken shape, but can you accept it? You are only accepting a phenomenon, but in your heart you still don’t really know what’s going on. How many more years’ experience do you need? It might take another decade of experiencing it for yourself before you can confirm that the conclusion of what God did in this matter was correct, and that God is the truth and right, while you are wrong. By the time you’re forty you’ll be completely convinced, and say, “God is the truth, He really is God, and what He does is so wonderful and real! God is so wise!” You deny yourself. Look, how many years’ experience did it take? (Twenty years.) And what has God done in these twenty years? He didn’t use formulae to tell you, like explaining what Newton’s laws are all about—He used facts to make you see some things, and enlightened and guided you to understand them through phenomena and events happening around you. You’ll gain a little understanding after three or five years and say, “I was wrong, but was I completely wrong?” Experience more and God will lay out some facts for you, and when you’re forty—so after another decade—you’ll admit you were wrong. This is how God works, these are the things He does. Through what process can you recognize that you are wrong, and God is right? It’s through the process of encountering facts, and under God’s enlightenment and guidance that you’ll come to have this realization. It is such a process; God doesn’t just give you a conclusion and make you believe it without foundation. If God forced you to understand, would that be okay? If God forcibly controlled you to make you understand, you would, and you’d know anyway that God was right. But God’s intention is not to turn people into robots. That’s not what He wants. He wants people to understand the truth, make their own choices, and be able to obey Him. But achieving this result takes time.
Have you experienced that God’s work is practical by now? (Yes, I have.) It’s so practical. The practicality of God’s work is opposite to man’s imaginary, vague views, so you need to consider those things inside you which are imaginary, or empty and impractical, or have no basis in God’s word. It’s right for you to just refute all of these. It’s definitely right and you have to experience in this way. How many things has God—the Creator of all things—created? How wise must He be? If you think that you’ll be able to thoroughly experience and fathom this in three or five years, it’s impossible. You won’t be able to fathom it with even a lifetime of experience. So you must be down-to-earth as you experience God’s words; start small, beginning from the details, and seek the truth principles. When faced with something you cannot fathom, learn to quiet yourself before God and seek the truth, without being anxious or impatient. How can one be quiet before God? Your heart must pray to and fellowship with Him and, if you cannot become quiet, then you can read and ponder God’s words, or sing hymns of God’s words. This will all help achieve the result of being quiet before God. A person’s heart will become quiet when it returns before God; they’ll feel like doing things or running around outside is pointless, with nothing to be gained. As long as they’re quiet before God—whether reading His words, fellowshiping on the truth, or singing hymns in praise of God—then their spirit will gain something and be enlightened, and their heart will feel nourished and fulfilled. Gradually, you’ll see God’s work clearly, be able to obey Him, and gain the truth and life. If people want to gain the truth and gain God, then they must make sacrifices, endure much suffering, and spend time and energy experiencing God’s work over many years. Only then can they gain the truth and life, and all of God’s salvation.
October 11, 2017