Chapter 33. How to Understand the Righteous Disposition of God
People can be assigned to categories, which are determined by their spirits. Some people have human spirits, and they are selected in a predetermined way. Within a human spirit is a portion that is predetermined. Some people have no spirit; they are demons who have infiltrated. They are not predestined and chosen by God. Though they have come in, they cannot be saved, and ultimately will be pulled away by demons. It is determined by the inner nature of the person whether he will accept God’s work, or what path he takes or whether he will be able to change after he accepts it. Some people cannot help but go astray. Their spirits determine that they are this category of thing; they cannot change. There are people in whom the Holy Spirit ceases to work because these people have not taken the right course. If they turn back the Holy Spirit may still do His work, but if they persist in not turning back then they are thoroughly finished. There are all kinds of circumstances. How should one understand, how should one comprehend the righteous disposition of God? How does one come to know this righteousness? The righteous man receives God’s blessing, and the evil person meets the curses of God. Such is the righteousness of God, right? Is this how it is? I will ask you, if a righteous person has not received God’s blessing, and cannot obtain God’s blessing, and if God does not bless him, and an evil person on the contrary is wealthy in family property, has numerous children, and everything goes smoothly and successfully, is this the righteousness of God? Yes! How do we explain it? There is a saying that God rewards the good and punishes the evil, and that each person receives retribution according to his or her actions. Is this saying correct? Now there is a thing like this: A person who worships God is killed or is cursed by God, or God has never blessed him or paid attention to him, and further worship is ignored. Then there is an evil person whom God has neither blessed nor punished, but he is wealthy in family property, has numerous children, and everything goes smoothly and successfully. Some people say: “God is not righteous. We worship Him, yet we have not received His blessing. The evil person, however, who has not worshiped Him but resisted Him, is better than us in everything, higher than we are. God is not righteous!” What does this thing allow you to see? Of the two examples that I just gave, which one illustrates God’s righteousness? Some people say: “They are both God’s righteousness!” Why say this? The understanding that people have of the disposition of God is erroneous. All of man’s knowing is within his thinking and point of view, from a standpoint of trade, or from viewpoint of good and evil or right and wrong, or from the point of view of logic. If you go about knowing God while holding these viewpoints, there will be no way to be compatible with God, and you will still resist God, and make complaint. There was a beggar that appeared to be a fool. He knew only to worship God, but God just ignored him, God did not bless him. Perhaps you are thinking, “Even if God will not bless him in the world to come, certainly God will bless him in eternity and reward him ten thousand times over. Would that not make God righteous? That rich man, he enjoys hundredfold blessings, and in the ever-after is extinguished. Is this not also the righteousness of God?” How should one understand righteousness? Take, for example, knowing the work of God. If God worked only until the Age of Grace, and did not carry out this final stage of work, and all the people were extinguished, is God’s love in this? Suppose that a person who worships God is thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, and someone who does not worship God or does not know of God, and God allows that person to remain, how shall we address this? Is there righteousness in this? What people say is all about knowing doctrines. When reality is encountered there is confusion.
Why say that God has love for man, and that God is righteous? This is something that one must fully understand. According to human conceptions, the good is rewarded and the evil is punished, evil persons must not receive reward, and those who do no evil should all receive reward, and be blessed, because God is righteous. It seems that people should receive what they deserve, and that God is said to be righteous only when people receive what is due to them. What if someone does not get his or her share? Should you then say that God is not righteous? Suppose the people in this era were to see an account in a book that said God made a human race in the previous era. After the passing of thousands of years, God sees that people have become corrupt beyond recognition, and He is in no mood to save them and therefore destroys them. How would you look at this thing? Would you say that God has no love? As people see it, God destroyed people in the previous era, so God had no love. Knowledge of God is not saying what God is like based on a human view of things; there is no truth in the way humans view things. You must see what the essence of God is, as well as what the disposition of God is. People should not see the essence of God based on any external phenomena resulting from what God has done or dealt with. The human race itself has been corrupted by Satan. It essentially does not know what its nature is, or what the corrupted human race is before God, and how it should be dealt with. Consider Job, a righteous man blessed by God. This is God’s righteousness. Job undergoes trials, and Satan makes a wager with Jehovah: “Why does Job worship You? It is because You give him such reward. If You take all of that away from him, will he still worship You?” Jehovah God said, “As long as you don’t take his life, you may do whatever you please.” Satan went to Job and later Job encountered trials. Everything he had was stripped away, and his children died. Is the righteous disposition of God contained in Job’s trials? Yes! Where? You can’t explain it, right? Even if you are a righteous person, God still has a right to try you, and allow you to become a witness for God. God’s disposition is righteous; He treats everyone equally. This does not mean that the righteous person does not need to undergo trials or that the righteous person needs to be protected. It is not like this. God has the right to put you to trial. This is an expression of His righteous disposition. Finally, after Job underwent trials and bore witness for Jehovah, He blessed him even more than before, blessing him doubly and better. Furthermore, Jehovah appeared before him, and spoke to him in the wind, as if Job saw Him face to face. This is a blessing given to him, yes? This is God’s righteousness. What if it is the opposite? Jehovah saw Job accepting these trials, bearing witness for Him in Satan’s presence, and shaming Satan. But Jehovah turned and left, ignoring him. Job did not attain blessing afterward. Is God’s righteousness in this? Regardless of whether Job was blessed after the trials or not, or whether Jehovah appeared before him or not, all of this contains God’s good will. Appearing before him is God’s righteousness, and not appearing before him is also God’s righteousness. As part of the creation, on what basis do you make demands on God? Man is not qualified to make demands on God. To make a demand of God is the most unreasonable thing. God will do what He wants, and God also has the right not to do it this way. He has a right to handle these things on His own; His own disposition is righteous. Righteousness is by no means fair or reasonable; it is not egalitarianism or a matter of allocating to you what you deserve according to how much work you have completed, or paying you for whatever work you have done, or giving you your due according to what effort you expend. This is not righteousness. Suppose God had eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him: God would have been righteous then, too. Why is this called righteousness? If something matches people’s notions, it is much easier for them to say God is righteous; however, if they do not see it as matching their notions—if it is something that they are unable to understand—then it would be very strenuous for them to say that God is righteous. Suppose God eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him. God is righteous here, too. Why say that He is righteous? Saying that God is righteous in doing this, why say such a thing? Righteousness is such a thing that if something matches people’s conceptions, people say God is righteous, which is much easier, but if people do not see it as matching their conceptions, if it is something that people are unable to understand, that would require a great effort of people to explain that as righteousness. If He had eliminated Job at that time, people would not say that God was righteous. Even if there were people who said He was, they would say unwillingly: “Jehovah God is all right….” In fact if people are eliminated by God, whether or not they have been corrupted, ought God to explain the reasons for elimination to people? Should He explain to people His basis for eliminating them? There would be no need, right? Need it be based on preserving useful persons, and eliminating a useless person? It need not. In God’s eyes a corrupted person can be dealt with as He pleases. However it is done is appropriate; all is in His plan. If unpleasant to His eyes, you are useless after bearing witness and are eliminated, is this righteous? It is righteousness. Though in reality this is not easy to understand, you must have an understanding in principle. Tell Me, is God’s destruction of Satan righteous? If He had spared Satan? Perhaps you dare not say? God’s essence is righteousness. Though it is not easy to understand what God does, all that He does is righteous; it is simply that people do not understand. When God gave Peter to Satan, how did Peter respond? “Mankind is unable to fathom what You do, but all of what You do contains Your good will; there is righteousness in all of it. How can I not utter praise for Your wise deeds?” Now you should notice that God does not eliminate Satan right away, so that man is able to see how Satan has corrupted people, and how God has saved people. Only after man is able to see the extent of Satan’s corruption of man, how Satan’s list of crimes reaches the heavens does God ultimately eliminate Satan, so that people can see that therein is God’s righteousness and His disposition. Everything that God does is righteous. Though it might be unfathomable to you, you should not make judgment as you please. If something He does appears to you as unreasonable, or if you have any notions about it, and then you say that He is not righteous, then you are being most unreasonable. Just now I raised a few negative examples for you to differentiate, and you don’t dare to speak. You see that Peter found some things incomprehensible, yet he was sure that God’s wisdom was present and that God’s good will was in them. Humans are unable to fathom everything; there are so many things they cannot grasp. To know God’s disposition really is not easy.
Some people burned books and were directly punished. Some people declared God guilty and were punished. There are many examples of this sort. When new believers hear these things they can’t accept them, having conceptions. God sees that you are benighted and pays no attention to you. Do you think He can’t figure it out? If long-term believers are like this, it’s not acceptable, regardless of how many years they have associated with or followed Him. New believers are arrogant and haughty, so He doesn’t pay heed to you. There’s bound to be a day when you find out for yourself. If you come along for many years and still have conceptions that you won’t let go, if you ridicule, mock, give the cold shoulder, and scatter notions everywhere, you should be dealt retribution. In some things you are forgiven for being stupid and ignorant, but if you know and still act that way on purpose, and don’t listen no matter what, then you are in for punishment. You know only God’s lenient side for people. Do not forget that God also has a side that does not tolerate offense from people.