Chapter 18

All of God’s words contain part of His disposition. God’s disposition cannot be fully expressed in words, which suffices to show just how much richness there is in Him. What people can see and touch is, after all, limited, as is people’s ability. Although God’s words are clear, people are unable to understand them fully. Take these words for example: “In a flash of lightning, every animal is revealed in its true form. So too, illuminated by My light, man has regained the sanctity he once possessed. Oh, corrupt world of old! At last, it has toppled over into the filthy water and, sinking below the surface, has dissolved into mud!” All of God’s words contain His being, and though all people are aware of these words, none has ever known their meaning. In the eyes of God, all those who resist Him are His enemies, that is, those belonging to evil spirits are animals. From this, one can observe the true state of the church. All men are illuminated by God’s words, and in this light, they examine themselves without being subject to the lecturing or chastening or direct dismissal of others, without being subject to other human ways of doing things, and without others pointing things out. From the “microscopic perspective,” they see very clearly how much sickness there really is inside of them. In God’s words, every kind of spirit is classified and revealed in its original form. The spirits of angels grow more illuminated and enlightened, hence God’s words, “having regained the sanctity they once possessed.” These words are based on the final result achieved by God. For the moment, of course, this result cannot yet be fully achieved—it is just a foretaste, through which God’s will can be seen. These words suffice to show that a great number of people will crumble within God’s words and will be defeated in the gradual process of all people’s sanctification. Here, “having dissolved into mud” does not contradict God’s destroying the world with fire, and “lightning” refers to God’s wrath. When God lets loose His great wrath, the whole world will experience all sorts of disasters as a result, like a volcano exploding. Standing on high in the sky, it can be seen that on the earth, every manner of calamity approaches all of mankind, closer by the day. Looking down from on high, the earth presents a variety of scenes like those that precede an earthquake. Liquid fire rushes unchecked, lava flows freely, mountains shift, and a cold light glitters over all. The entire world has sunk into fire. This is the scene of God unleashing His wrath, and it is the time of His judgment. All those who are of flesh and blood will be unable to escape. Thus, wars between countries and conflicts between people will not be needed to destroy the entire world; instead, the world will “consciously enjoy itself” within the cradle of God’s chastisement. No one will be able to escape; each and every person must pass through this ordeal, one by one. After that, the entire universe will once again sparkle with holy radiance and all of mankind will once again begin a new life. And God will be at rest above the universe and will bless all of mankind each day. Heaven will not be unbearably desolate, but will recover the vitality it has not had since the creation of the world, and the coming of the “sixth day” will be when God begins a new life. God and mankind will both enter into rest and the universe will no longer be turbid or filthy, but will be renewed. This is why God said: “Earth is no longer deathly still and silent, heaven no longer desolate and sad.” In the kingdom of heaven, there has never been unrighteousness or human emotions, or any of mankind’s corrupt disposition, because Satan’s disturbance is not present there. “People” are all able to understand God’s words, and life in heaven is a life full of joy. All those in heaven have wisdom and the dignity of God. Because of the differences between heaven and earth, the citizens of heaven are not called “people”; rather, God calls them “spirits.” These two words have substantive differences—those now called “people” have been corrupted by Satan, while “spirits” have not. In the end, God will change the people of the earth into beings with the attributes of the spirits of heaven, and then they will no longer be subject to Satan’s disturbance. This is the true meaning of the words, “My holiness has extended throughout the universe.” “Earth in its primordial state belongs to heaven, and heaven is united with earth. Man is the cord uniting heaven and earth, and because of man’s sanctity, because of man’s renewal, heaven is no longer concealed from earth, and earth is no longer silent toward heaven.” This is said in reference to people who have the spirits of angels, and at this point, the “angels” will once again be able to coexist peacefully and regain their original state, no longer divided by the flesh between the realms of heaven and earth. The “angels” on earth will be able to communicate with the angels in heaven, people on earth will know the mysteries of heaven, and the angels in heaven will know the secrets of the human world. Heaven and earth will be united, with no distance between them. This is the beauty of the realization of the kingdom. It is what God will complete, and it is something that all humans and spirits long for. But those in the religious world know nothing of this. They are just waiting for Jesus the Savior to come on a white cloud and take their souls away, leaving “garbage” strewn over the earth (“garbage” referring here to corpses). Is this not a notion that all humans share? This is why God said: “Oh, the religious world! How could it not be destroyed by My authority on earth?” Because of the completion of God’s people on earth, the religious world will be overturned. This is the true meaning of the “authority” that God spoke of. God said: “Are there any who, in My day, disgrace My name? All men direct their reverential gaze toward Me, and in their hearts, they secretly cry out to Me.” This is what He said about the consequences of the destruction of the religious world. It will submit in its entirety before God’s throne because of His words, and will no longer wait for a white cloud to descend or look to the sky, but will instead be conquered before God’s throne. Hence the words, “in their hearts, they secretly cry out to Me”—this will be the outcome for the religious world, which God will conquer entirely. This is what God’s almightiness refers to—knocking down all religious people, the most rebellious of mankind, so that they will never again cling to their own notions that they might know God.

Although God’s words have repeatedly foretold the beauty of the kingdom, have spoken of its various aspects and described it from different perspectives, they still cannot fully express every condition of the Age of Kingdom because people’s ability to receive is too lacking. All the words of His utterances have been spoken, but people have not looked inside them through a fluoroscope, with X-rays, as it were, and are thus deprived of clarity and understanding, and are even bewildered. This is the greatest defect of the flesh. Although in their hearts, people want to love God, they resist Him because of the disturbance of Satan, so God has time and again touched people’s numb and dull-witted hearts so they may be revived. All that God exposes is Satan’s ugliness, so the harsher His words are, the more shamed Satan is, the less bound people’s hearts become, and the more people’s love can be aroused. This is how God works. Because Satan has been exposed and because it has been seen through, it no longer dares to occupy people’s hearts, and thus the angels are no longer harassed. In this way, they love God with their whole heart and mind. Only at this time is it clear to see that, in their true selves, the angels belong to and love God. It is only by this path that God’s will can be achieved. “Inside the hearts of all human beings, there is now a place for Me. No longer will I meet with aversion or rejection among men, for My great work has already been accomplished, and is hindered no more.” This is the meaning of what was described above. Because of Satan’s harassment, people cannot find time to love God and are always entangled by the things of the world and deluded by Satan so that they act out of confusion. This is why God has said that mankind “has undergone so many of life’s hardships, so many of the world’s injustices, so many vicissitudes of the human realm, but now they dwell in My light. Who does not weep for yesterday’s injustices?” When people have heard these words, they feel as if God is their partner in misery, is commiserating with them and, at that time, is sharing their complaints. They suddenly feel the pain of the human world and think: “That’s so true—I’ve never enjoyed anything in the world. Since coming out of my mother’s womb up until now, I’ve experienced human life and I haven’t gained anything, but I’ve suffered so much. It’s all so empty! And now I am so corrupted by Satan! Oh! If not for God’s salvation, when the time of my death comes, won’t I have lived my whole life for nothing? Is there any meaning to human life? No wonder God said that everything under the sun is empty. If God hadn’t enlightened me today, I would still be in the dark. How wretched!” At this point, a misgiving arises in their heart: “If I cannot gain God’s promise, how can I continue to experience life?” Everyone who reads these words will come to tears while they pray. Such is the human psyche. It would be impossible for someone to read this and not have any reaction, unless they are mentally unbalanced. Every day, God reveals the states of all kinds of people. Sometimes, He vents grievances on their behalf. Sometimes, He helps people overcome and pass successfully through a certain environment. Sometimes, He points out people’s “transformations” for them. Otherwise, people would not know how much they have grown in life. Sometimes, God points out people’s experiences in reality, and sometimes, He points out their inadequacies and flaws. Sometimes, He makes new requirements of them, and sometimes, He points out the degree to which they understand Him. However, God has also said: “I have heard heartfelt words spoken by so many people, accounts from so many people about their painful experiences in the midst of suffering; I have seen so many, in the direst straits, unfailingly offer up their loyalty to Me, and I have watched so many, as they walked the rocky path, search for a way out.” This is a description of positive characters. In each episode of the “drama of human history,” there have not only been positive characters but negative ones as well. Therefore, God goes on to reveal the ugliness of these negative characters. Thus, it is only through their contrast with “traitors” that the unyielding loyalty and fearless courage of “upright men” is revealed. In all people’s lives, there are negative factors and also, without exception, positive factors. God uses both to reveal the truth about all people, so that the traitors will lower their heads and admit their sins, and so that, with encouragement, upright men will continue to be loyal. The implications of God’s words are very deep. At times, people read them and double over with laughter, while at other times, they only hang their heads in silence. At times they reminisce, at times they cry bitterly and acknowledge their sins, at times they fumble, and at times they seek. Overall, there are changes in people’s reactions because of the different circumstances in which God speaks. When a person reads God’s words, sometimes bystanders may even mistakenly believe that that person is mentally ill. Consider these words: “And so, contentious disputes on earth are no more, and, following the issuance of My words, the various ‘weapons’ of the modern age are withdrawn.” The word “weapons” alone could fuel a whole day’s worth of laughter, and whenever someone by chance recalls the word “weapons,” they will laugh mightily to themselves. Is this not so? How could you not laugh at this?

When you laugh, do not forget to grasp what God requires of mankind, and do not forget to see the true state of the church: “All mankind has returned to a normal state and embarked upon a new life. Dwelling in new surroundings, a goodly number of people look around them, feeling as if they have entered into an entirely new world, and because of this, they are not able to adapt to their present environment right away or to enter at once onto the right track.” This is currently the true state of the church. Do not be too anxious to have all people immediately enter onto the right track. Once the Holy Spirit’s work has progressed to a certain point, people will all enter into it without realizing it. When you grasp the essence of God’s words, you will know to what point His Spirit has worked. God’s will is: “I only administer, depending on man’s unrighteousness, a fitting measure of ‘education,’ the better to enable everyone to get onto the right track.” This is God’s way of speaking and working, and it is also mankind’s specific path of practice. After this, He pointed out for people another of mankind’s states: “If men are unwilling to enjoy the bliss that is in Me, I can only go along with what they have set their hearts upon and send them into the bottomless pit.” God spoke exhaustively and left people without the slightest opportunity to complain. This is precisely the difference between God and man. God is always speaking to man openly and freely. In everything God says, one can see His sincere heart, which causes people to measure their own hearts against His and enables them to open up their hearts to Him, that He may see where in the spectrum of the rainbow they fall. God has never applauded any person’s faith or love, but He has always made requirements of people and exposed their ugly side. This shows what small “stature” people have and how lacking their “constitution” is. They need more “exercise” to make up for these deficiencies, which is why God constantly “unleashes His anger” on people. One day, when God has revealed the entire truth about mankind, people will be made complete, and God will be at ease. People will no longer wheedle God, and He will no longer “educate” them. From then on, people will be able to “live on their own,” but now is not the time. There is still much within people that can be called “counterfeit,” and several more rounds of examination are needed, several more “checkpoints” where their “taxes” can properly be paid. If there are still counterfeit goods, they will be confiscated so that they will not be sold, and then that batch of smuggled goods will be destroyed. Is this not a good way to do things?

Previous: Chapter 17

Next: Chapter 19

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