Chapter 41

How does God work on man? Have you figured this out? Is it clear to you? And how does He work in the church? What are your views on these things? Have you ever considered these questions? What does He wish to accomplish through His work in the church? Are these things all clear to you? If not, then all that you do is futile and hollow! Have these words touched your heart? Merely making active progress without passively retreating—will this meet God’s will? Is blind cooperation enough? What should be done if you are unclear on the visions? Would it do not to seek further? God says, “I once undertook a great endeavor among men, but they did not notice, so I had to use My word to reveal it to them, step by step. Still, man could not understand My words, and he remained ignorant of the purpose of My plan.” What do these words mean? Have you ever considered its purpose? Did I truly make it blithely and aimlessly? If so, what would have been the point? If the purpose is unclear and incomprehensible to you, then how can genuine cooperation be achieved? God says that all humanity’s seeking is upon the boundless seas, amidst doctrine written in empty words. As for your pursuits, even you are unable to explain to what category they belong. What does God want to accomplish in man? You should be clear on all of these things. Is it only to shame the great red dragon in a negative way? Having shamed the great red dragon, would God simply go empty-handed into the mountains and live there in seclusion? Then, what is it God wants? Does He truly want the hearts of men? Or does He want their lives? Or their wealth and possessions? What use are these? They are of no use to God. Has God done so much work on man just to use him as proof of His victory over Satan, in order that He may manifest His “capabilities”? Would God not then seem quite “petty”? Is God that kind of God? One like a child, who drags adults into fights with others? What would the point of that be? Man constantly uses his own notions to measure God. God once said, “There are four seasons in a year, and three months in each season.” Man listened to these words, committed them to memory, and said always that there were three months in a season and four seasons in a year. When God asked, “How many seasons are there in a year? And how many months in a season?” man replied in unison, “Four seasons, three months.” Man always tries to define God by way of rules, and now, having entered the era of “three seasons in a year, four months in a season,” man remains unaware, as if he has gone blind, seeking rules in all things. And today, mankind tries to apply their “rules” to God! They are truly blind! Do they not see there is now no “winter,” only “spring, summer, and fall”? Man is truly stupid! To have come to this pass and still be unaware of how to know God, like a person of the 1920s, who thinks transportation is inconvenient, and people should all walk, or lead a little donkey, or who thinks people should use oil lamps, or who believes that a primitive way of life still prevails. Are all these not notions that exist in the brains of men? Why do they still talk of mercy and lovingkindness today? What is the use of this? It is like the rambling of an old woman about her past—of what use are these words? After all, the present is the present; can time be turned back 20 or 30 years? All people follow the tide; why are they so reluctant to accept this? In the present age of chastisement, what is the use of talking of mercy and lovingkindness? Mercy and lovingkindness—is that all there is to God? Why is it, in this era of “flour and rice,” people continue serving forth “millet husks and wild vegetables”? That which God is unwilling to do, man forces upon Him. If He resists, He is labeled a “counter-revolutionary,” and though it has been said once and again that God is not inherently a merciful or loving God, who listens? Man is too absurd. It is as if the word of God has no effect. Men always view My words in a different light. God has all along been bullied by humanity, as if crimes have groundlessly been imputed to innocent people—so who can be of one mind with God? You are always willing to live in God’s mercy and lovingkindness, so what is there for God to do but endure the insults of man? However, I hope you will thoroughly explore how the Holy Spirit works before arguing with God. Yet I urge you to look carefully into the original meaning of God’s word—do not think yourself clever in believing God’s words are “diluted.” There is no need of that! Who can tell how “diluted” the word of God is? Unless God says so directly or indicates such clearly. Do not think so highly of yourself. If you can see the path of practice from His words, then you will have met His requirements. What else do you wish to see? God said, “I will cease to show any mercy for the feebleness of man.” If you cannot grasp the meaning of even this obvious and simple statement, what would be the point of further study and investigation? Without even the most basic knowledge of mechanics, would you be qualified to build a rocket? Would such a person not be one who makes idle boasts? Man does not have the resources to do the work of God; it is God who exalts him. Simply serving Him without knowing what He loves or what He hates—is this not a recipe for disaster? Men do not know themselves, but think themselves extraordinary. Who do they think they are! They have no idea what is good or what is bad. Think back on the past, and look ahead to the future—how does that sound? After that, come to know yourself.

God has revealed a great deal about man’s intentions and goals. He said, “Only then did I see clearly man’s intentions and goals. I sighed from within the clouds: Why do men always act for themselves? Are My chastisements not meant to make them perfect? Am I deliberately striking at their positive attitude?” How much have you learned about yourselves from these words? Are man’s intentions and goals truly gone? Have you looked into this yourselves? You may as well come before God and try to understand this: What result has been achieved by the work of chastisement God has done in you? Have you summarized it? Perhaps the result is minuscule; otherwise, you would already have spoken of it in grand terms. What does God have you achieve? Of the many words that have been spoken to you, how many have come to fruition, and how many have come to naught? In the eyes of God, only a few of His words have come to fruition; this is because man is ever unable to decipher the original meaning of His words, and what he accepts are but echoes of the words, bouncing off a wall. Is this the way to know God’s will? In the near future, God will have more work for man to do; can man accomplish that work with the tiny stature he has now? If not deviating, then erring, or else being arrogant—such, it would seem, is human nature. I find this difficult to understand: Though God has said so much, why does man take none of it to heart? Could God be speaking in jest with man and not seeking any result? Or having man perform a play called “Joy, Anger, Sorrow, and Happiness”? Making man happy for a moment, having him weep the next—and then, when man has gone offstage, he is left to his own devices? What would be the result of this? “Why do the demands I make of man always come to nothing? Could it be that I am asking a dog to climb a tree? That I am making much ado about nothing?” All God’s words are directed at man’s actual state. It would do no harm to look inside all men, to see who is living within God’s word. “Even now, much of the land continues to change. If, someday, the land truly changes into another type, I will cast it aside with a flick of My hand—is this not exactly My work in the current stage?” Indeed, even now God is going about this work; however, what He said about “casting it aside with a flick of My hand” refers to the future, because everything must have a process. God’s current work tends toward this—is this clear to you? There are flaws in man’s intentions, and unclean spirits have seized this opportunity to enter in. At this time, “the land changes to another type.” People will then have undergone a qualitative change, though not a change in their substance, for there will be other things on the improved earth. In other words, the original earth was inferior, but after its improvement, it may be used. However, after it has been used for a certain period, and is no longer being used, it will gradually revert to its old appearance. This is a summary of the next step in God’s work. The future work will be more complex, because it will be time for all things to be separated according to their kind. At the meeting place, when things come to an end, there will inevitably be chaos, and man will be without strong convictions. It is just as God said: “Men are all performers who sing along with whatever tune is being played.” Men have the ability to sing along with the tune being played, so God exploits this very defect in them to take the next step in His work, thereby enabling all men to remedy this defect. It is because they do not have real stature that men are like the grass growing atop a wall. If they did gain stature, they would become towering trees that touch the sky. God intends to use a portion of the work of evil spirits to perfect a portion of humanity, enabling these people to see completely through the devils’ iniquities, that all humanity may truly know their “ancestors.” Only in this way can humans break completely free, not only forsaking the posterity of the devils, but even the devils’ ancestors. This is God’s true purpose in utterly defeating the great red dragon, to make it so that all humanity knows the great red dragon’s true form, to tear its mask off fully and to look upon its true form. This is what God wants to achieve, it is the final goal of all the work He has done on earth, and it is what He aims to accomplish in all humanity. This is known as mobilizing all things to serve God’s purpose.

As to the future work, are you clear on how it will be done? These things must be understood. For example: Why does God say men never attend to what they should be doing? Why does He say there are many people who fail to complete the “homework” He has assigned them? How can these things be achieved? Have you ever considered these questions? Have these become topics of fellowship for you? In this stage of work, man must be made to understand God’s present intentions. Once this has been achieved, then other things can be discussed—is this not a great way to go about things? What God wishes to achieve in man needs to be explained clearly, otherwise all would be in vain, and man would be unable to enter into it, much less achieve it, and all would be empty talk. As to what God has said today—have you found a path to put it into practice? People all have a feeling of trepidation about God’s words. They cannot fully comprehend them, yet they also fear offending God. So far, how many of the ways to eat and drink God’s words have been found? Most people do not know how to eat and drink God’s words; how can this be resolved? Did you find a way to eat and drink within today’s words? How are you now trying to cooperate in doing so? And once all of you have eaten and drunk the words, through what means will you discuss your reflections on them? Is this not what man should do? How does one prescribe the right medicine for a given illness? Do you still need God to issue an utterance directly? Is this necessary? How can the aforementioned problems be eradicated completely? This depends on whether you are able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in your practical actions. With appropriate cooperation, the Holy Spirit will do great work. Without appropriate cooperation, but instead only confusion, the Holy Spirit will not be in a position to unleash His power. “If you know yourself and you know your enemy, then victory will always be yours.” Whoever first spoke these words, they may be applied most appropriately to you. In short, you must know yourselves before you can know your enemies, and only after you have done both will you win every battle. These are all things you should be able to do. No matter what God asks of you, you need only work toward it with all your strength, and I hope you will be able to come before God and give Him your utmost devotion in the end. As long as you can see God’s gratified smile as He sits upon His throne, even if this moment is the appointed time of your death, you should be able to laugh and smile as you close your eyes. You must, during your time on earth, do your final duty for God. In the past, Peter was crucified upside down for the sake of God; but you should satisfy God in the end, and exhaust all your energy for His sake. What can a created being do on behalf of God? You should therefore give yourself up to God, sooner rather than later, for Him to dispose of you as He wishes. As long as it makes God happy and pleased, then let Him do as He will with you. What right do men have to speak words of complaint?

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Next: Chapter 42

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