3. What harm and consequences will ensue if notions and imaginings remain unresolved?
Relevant Words of God:
People’s notions may have no effect on what they eat or how they sleep, and they may not impact their normal human lives, but they do exist in people’s minds and in their thoughts, they cling to people like a shadow, following them around all the time. Unless you constantly remove them, they will constantly control your behavior and thinking, they will control your judgment, they will control your knowledge of God, and they will control your relationship with God. Notions are a major problem. People having notions about God is like a wall standing between them and God, one that stops them from seeing the true face of God, that stops them from seeing the true disposition and true essence of God—for people live among their notions, and among their imaginings, and they use their notions to determine whether God is right or wrong, and to measure, condemn, and judge all that God does. What kind of state are people often plunged into by doing this? Can people truly submit to God when they live among their notions? Can they have true faith in God? No, they cannot. Even when they do submit a little, it is according to their own notions and imaginings. As soon as someone submits according to their notions and imaginings, it becomes tainted with personal things that are of Satan and the outside world, and that are at odds with the truth. The problem of people’s notions about God is a serious one; it is a major issue between man and God that urgently needs to be resolved. Everyone who comes before God brings notions, they bring all manner of suspicions about God. So, too, can it be said that they bring myriad misunderstandings about God in the face of all that God bestows upon them, in the face of His arrangements and orchestrations. And what kind of relationship with God are they then faced with? People constantly misunderstand God, they are constantly suspicious of God, and they constantly use their own standards to measure whether God is right or wrong, to measure each of His words and work. What is this behavior? They are rebelling against, opposing, condemning, blaspheming against, passing judgment on, competing with—and, in more serious cases, “dueling” with—God. At the most grievous extent, people’s notions render them incapable of accepting the true God Himself, of accepting and obeying the truth, and so they are liable to deny the existence of God and forsake the God they follow. This is a frightening problem.
Excerpted from “Only by Resolving One’s Notions Can One Enter the Right Track of Believing in God (1)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Know that you oppose God’s work, or use your own notions to measure the work of today, because you do not know the principles of God’s work, and because you do not take the work of the Holy Spirit seriously enough. Your opposition to God and obstruction of the work of the Holy Spirit is caused by your notions and inherent arrogance. It is not because God’s work is wrong, but because you are naturally too disobedient. After finding their belief in God, some people cannot even say with certainty where man came from, yet they dare to make public speeches appraising the rights and wrongs of the Holy Spirit’s work. They even lecture the apostles who have the Holy Spirit’s new work, passing comment and speaking out of turn; their humanity is too low, and there is not the slightest sense in them. Will the day not come when such people are rejected by the work of the Holy Spirit, and burned by the fires of hell? They do not know the work of God, but instead criticize His work, and also try to instruct God how to work. How can such unreasonable people know God? Man comes to know God during the process of seeking and experiencing; it is not through criticizing at whim that man comes to know God through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The more accurate people’s knowledge of God becomes, the less they oppose Him. In contrast, the less people know of God, the more likely they are to oppose Him. Your notions, your old nature, and your humanity, character and moral outlook are the “capital” with which you resist God, and the more corrupt, degraded and low you become, the more you are the enemy of God. Those who are possessed of strong notions and who have a self-righteous disposition are even more in enmity of God incarnate; such people are the antichrists. If your notions are not rectified, then they will always be against God; you will never be compatible with God, and will always be apart from Him.
… Man thinks that his notions are right and without error, and he thinks that these notions come from God. Today, when man witnesses the work of God, he lets loose notions that have built up over many years. The imaginings and ideas of the past have become an obstruction to the work of this stage, and it has become difficult for man to let go of such notions and to refute such ideas. The notions toward this step-by-step work of many of those who have followed God until today have become ever more grievous, and these people have gradually formed a stubborn enmity to the God incarnate. The source of this hatred lies in the notions and imaginings of man. The notions and imaginings of man have become the enemy of the work of today, work which is at odds with the notions of man. This has happened precisely because facts do not allow man to give free rein to his imagination, and, moreover, cannot be easily refuted by man, and the notions and imaginings of man do not brook the existence of facts, and, furthermore, because man does not give thought to the correctness and veracity of facts, and merely single-mindedly lets loose his notions and employs his own imagination. This can only be said to be the fault of the notions of man, and cannot be said to be a fault of the work of God. Man may imagine whatever he wishes, but he may not freely dispute any stage of God’s work or any bit of it; the fact of God’s work is inviolable by man.
Excerpted from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you use your own notions to measure and delimit God, as if God were an unchanging statue of clay, and if you completely delimit God within the parameters of the Bible and contain Him within a limited scope of work, then this proves that you have condemned God. Because the Jews in the age of the Old Testament took God to be an idol of fixed form that they held in their hearts, as if God could only be called the Messiah, and only He who was called the Messiah could be God, and because humanity served and worshiped God as if He were a (lifeless) clay statue, they nailed the Jesus of that time to the cross, sentencing Him to death—the guiltless Jesus was thus condemned to death. God was innocent of any offense, yet man refused to spare Him, and insisted on sentencing Him to death, and so Jesus was crucified. Man always believes that God is unchanging, and defines Him on the basis of one single book, the Bible, as though man has a perfect understanding of God’s management, as though man holds all that God does in the palm of his hand. People are absurd in the extreme, arrogant in the extreme, and they all have a flair for hyperbole. No matter how great your knowledge of God, I still say that you do not know God, that you are someone who opposes God the most, and that you have condemned God, because you are utterly incapable of obeying the work of God and walking the path of being made perfect by God. Why is God never satisfied with the actions of man? Because man does not know God, because he has too many notions, and because his knowledge of God in no way agrees with reality, but instead monotonously repeats the same theme without variation and uses the same approach for every situation. And so, having come to earth today, God is once more nailed to the cross by man.
Excerpted from “The Wicked Will Surely Be Punished” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If people’s notions and imaginings are not addressed, it becomes easy for them to do things that cause interruptions and interference. In more serious cases, people’s notions can produce in them all manner of resistance to the incarnation of God, which makes you question Christ and become unable to accept Him, whilst also affecting your acceptance of the truth and entry into truth reality. In even more serious cases, people’s various notions about the work of God cause them to deny the work of God, the ways in which God works, and the sovereignty and arrangements of God—in which case they have no hope of salvation whatsoever. No matter which aspect of God people have notions about, behind these notions lurk corrupt dispositions, which can cause these corrupt dispositions to become worse, giving people even more of a pretext to approach the work of God, God Himself, and the disposition of God using their own corrupt dispositions. And does this not encourage them to resist God with their corrupt dispositions? This is the consequence of notions for man.
Excerpted from “Only by Resolving One’s Notions Can One Enter the Right Track of Believing in God (1)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
That man cannot obey God is because he is possessed by what came before. The things that came before have given people all manner of notions and imaginings about God, and these have become the image of God in their minds. Thus, what they believe in are their own notions, and the standards of their own imagination. If you measure the God who does actual work today against the God of your own imagination, then your faith comes from Satan, and is tainted by your own preferences—God does not want this kind of faith. Regardless of how lofty their credentials, and regardless of their dedication—even if they have devoted a lifetime of efforts to His work, and have martyred themselves—God does not approve of anyone with faith such as this. He merely bestows upon them a little grace and allows them to enjoy it for a time. People such as this are incapable of putting the truth into practice. The Holy Spirit does not work within them, and God will eliminate each of them in turn.
Excerpted from “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When God becomes flesh and comes to work among men, all behold Him and hear His words, and all see the deeds that God works from within His body of flesh. At that moment, all man’s notions become foam. As for those who have seen God appearing in the flesh, they shall not be condemned if they willingly obey Him, whereas those who purposefully stand against Him shall be deemed an opponent of God. Such people are antichrists, enemies who willfully stand against God. Those who harbor notions regarding God but are still ready and willing to obey Him will not be condemned. God condemns man on the basis of man’s intentions and actions, never for his thoughts and ideas. If He were to condemn man on the basis of his thoughts and ideas, then not a single person would be able to escape from the wrathful hands of God. Those who willfully stand against the incarnate God shall be punished for their disobedience. With regard to these people that willfully stand against God, their opposition stems from the fact that they harbor notions about God, which leads them in turn into actions that disrupt God’s work. These people intentionally resist and destroy the work of God. They do not merely have notions about God, but they also engage in activities that disrupt His work, and for this reason people of this kind shall be condemned. Those who do not willfully disrupt God’s work shall not be condemned as sinners, because they are able to willingly obey and not engage in activities that cause disruption and disturbance. People like this shall not be condemned. However, when people have experienced God’s work for many years, if they continue to harbor notions about God and remain unable to know the work of the incarnate God, and if, no matter how many years they have experienced His work, they continue to be filled with notions about God and are still unable to come to know Him, then even if they do not engage in disruptive activities, their hearts are nevertheless filled with many notions about God, and even if these notions do not become apparent, people like this are of no help whatsoever to the work of God. They are unable to spread the gospel for God or stand witness to Him. People like this are good-for-nothings and imbeciles. Because they do not know God and are moreover wholly incapable of casting away their notions about Him, they are therefore condemned. It can be said like this: It is normal for novices in the faith to hold notions about God or to know nothing of Him, but for one who has believed in God for many years and experienced a good deal of His work, it would not be normal for such a person to continue to hold notions, and it would be even less normal for someone like this to have no knowledge of God. It is because this is not a normal state that they are condemned. These abnormal people are all garbage; they are the ones who oppose God the most and who have enjoyed the grace of God for nothing. All such people shall be eliminated in the end!
Excerpted from “All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh