Today is no longer the Age of Grace, nor the age of mercy, but the Age of Kingdom in which the people of God are revealed, the age in which God does things directly through divinity. Thus, in this chapter of God’s words, God leads all those who accept His words into the spiritual realm. In the opening paragraph, He makes these preparations in advance, and if one possesses the knowledge of God’s words, one will follow the vine to get the melon, and shall directly grasp what God wishes to achieve in His people. Before, people were tested by application of the appellation “service-doers,” and today, after they have been subjected to the trial, their training formally begins. In addition, people must have a greater knowledge of God’s work based on the foundation of the words of the past, and must look upon the words and the person, and the Spirit and the person, as one inseparable whole—as one mouth, one heart, one action, and one source. This requirement is the highest requirement that God has made of man since the creation. From this it can be seen that God wishes to expend part of His efforts on His people, that He wishes to display some signs and wonders in them, and, more importantly, that He wishes to make all people obey the entirety of God’s work and words. In one regard, God Himself upholds His testimony, and in another, He has made requirements of His people, and has directly issued God’s administrative decrees to the masses: Thus, [s]ince you are called My people, things are not as they used to be; you should heed and obey the utterances of My Spirit, and closely follow My work; you may not separate My Spirit and My flesh, for We are inherently one, and by nature undivided. In this, to prevent people from neglecting God incarnate, there is once again an emphasis on the words “for We are inherently one, and by nature undivided”; because such neglect is man’s failing, this is once more listed in God’s administrative decrees. Next, God informs people of the consequences of offending God’s administrative decrees, without hiding anything, by saying, “[They] shall suffer loss, and shall only be able to drink from their own bitter cup.” Because man is weak, after hearing these words he cannot help but become more wary of God in his heart, for the “bitter cup” is enough to make people ponder a while. People have many interpretations of this “bitter cup” of which God speaks: being judged by words or expelled from the kingdom, or being isolated for a period of time, or having one’s flesh corrupted by Satan and possessed by evil spirits, or being forsaken by the Spirit of God, or having one’s flesh terminated and banished to Hades. These interpretations are what can be achieved by people’s thinking, and so in their imagination, people are incapable of going beyond them. But God’s thoughts are unlike those of man; that is to say, the “bitter cup” does not refer to any of the above things, but to the extent of people’s knowledge of God after receiving God’s dealing. To put this more clearly, when someone arbitrarily separates the Spirit of God and His words, or separates the words and the person, or the Spirit and the flesh with which He clothes Himself, this person is not only incapable of knowing God in God’s words, but also, if they grow a little suspicious of God, they will become blinded at every turn. It is not as people imagine that they are directly cut off; rather, they gradually fall into God’s chastisement—which is to say, they descend into great catastrophes, and no one can be compatible with them, as if they have been possessed by evil spirits, and as if they are a headless fly, butting against things wherever they go. Despite this, they are still incapable of leaving. In their hearts, things are indescribably hard, as if there is unspeakable suffering in their hearts—yet they cannot open their mouths, and they spend all day in a trance, unable to feel God. It is under these circumstances that God’s administrative decrees threaten them, so that they do not dare to leave the church despite having no enjoyment—this is what is called an “internal and external attack,” and is terribly hard for people to endure. What has been said here is different from people’s notions—and that is because, under those circumstances, they still know to seek God, and this happens when God turns His back on them, and what is more important is that, just like an unbeliever, they are totally incapable of feeling God. God does not save such people directly; when their bitter cup is emptied out, that is the time when their last day has arrived. But at this moment, they still seek God’s will, wishing to enjoy just a little bit more—but this time is different from the past, unless there are special circumstances.
Following this, God also explains the positive aspects to all, and thus they once more gain life—for, in times past, God said that the service-doers had no life, but today God suddenly talks of “the life within.” Only with talk of life do people know that there can still be the life of God within them. In this way, their love of God increases by several increments, and they gain a greater knowledge of God’s love and mercy. Thus, after beholding these words, all people repent their previous mistakes, and secretly shed tears of contrition. Most, too, quietly make up their minds that they must satisfy God. Sometimes, God’s words pierce people’s innermost heart, making it hard for people to accept them, and difficult for people to be at peace. Sometimes, God’s words are sincere and earnest, and warm people’s hearts, such that after people have read them, it is as when a lamb sees its ewe again after many years of being lost. Tears fill their eyes, they are overcome with emotion, and they are itching to throw themselves into God’s embrace, wracked with sobs, setting free the indescribable pain that has been in their hearts for many years, so as to show their loyalty to God. Due to the several months of test, they have become a little oversensitive, as if they have just suffered a nervous attack, like an invalid that has been bedbound for years. To make them adamant in their belief in God’s words, many times does God stress the following words: “In order that the next step of My work may proceed smoothly and without hindrance, I employ the refinement of words to test all those in My house.” Here, God says “to test all those in My house”; a close reading tells us that when people are acting as service-doers, they are still people within God’s house. Moreover, these words emphasize God’s truthfulness toward the title “people of God,” bringing people a measure of relief in their hearts. And so why does God repeatedly point out the many manifestations in people after they have read God’s words, or when the title “people of God” has yet to be revealed? Is it only to show that God is the God who looks deep into man’s heart? This is only part of the reason—and here, it is only of secondary importance. God does so in order to make all people utterly convinced, in order that every person might, from God’s words, know of their own inadequacies and know of their own previous deficiencies with regard to life, and, more importantly, in order to lay the foundation for the next step of work. People can only strive to know God and pursue emulation of God based upon the foundation of knowing themselves. Because of these words, people change from being negative and passive to positive and proactive, and this enables the second part of God’s work to take root. It can be said that, with this step of work as the foundation, the second part of God’s work becomes a simple matter, requiring but the slightest of effort. Thus, when people expel the sadness within their hearts and become positive and proactive, God takes this opportunity to make other requirements of His people: “My words are released and expressed at any time or place, and so, too, should you know yourselves before Me at all times. For today, after all, is unlike what came before, and you can no longer accomplish whatever you wish. Instead, under the guidance of My words, you must be capable of subduing your body; you must use My words as your mainstay, and you may not act recklessly.” In this, God primarily stresses “My words”; in the past, too, He referred to “My words” many times, and thus, each person cannot help but give some attention to this. Thus is indicated the core of the next step of God’s work: All people shall turn their attention to God’s words, and may not have any other loves. All must cherish the words spoken from God’s mouth, and not take them lightly; thus will be ended the previous circumstances in the church, when one person would read God’s words and many would say amen and be obedient. At that time, people did not know the words of God, but took them as a weapon with which to defend themselves. To reverse this, God on earth makes new, higher demands of man. To stop people from becoming negative and passive after seeing God’s high standards and stringent requirements, God encourages people many times by saying: “Since things have come to such a situation as today’s, you need not feel too aggrieved and regretful about your deeds and actions of the past. My magnanimity is as boundless as the seas and the sky—how could man’s capabilities and knowledge of Me not be as familiar to Me as the back of My own hand?” These earnest and sincere words suddenly open up people’s minds, and immediately take them from despair to the love for God, to being positive and proactive, for God speaks by seizing hold of the weakness within people’s hearts. Without being aware of it, people always feel ashamed before God because of their past actions, and they express remorse over and over again. Thus, God reveals these words especially naturally and normally, so that people do not feel that God’s words are stiff and dull, but both stern and soft, and vivid and lifelike.
From the creation until today, God has silently arranged everything for man from the spiritual world, and never described the truth of the spiritual world to man. Yet, today, God suddenly gives an overview of the battle that rages within it, which naturally leaves people scratching their heads, deepens their sense that God is profound and unfathomable, and makes it even harder for them to locate the source of God’s words. It can be said that the embattled state of the spiritual world brings all people into the spirit. This is the first crucial part of the work of the future, and is the clue enabling people to enter the spiritual realm. From this, it can be seen that the next step of God’s work is mainly targeted at the spirit, the primary aim of which is to give all people greater knowledge of the miraculous deeds of the Spirit of God within the flesh, thus giving all those who are loyal to God a greater knowledge of the foolishness and of the nature of Satan. Although they were not born in the spiritual realm, they feel as if they have beheld Satan, and once they have this feeling, God immediately changes to another means of speaking—and once people have attained this way of thinking, God asks: “Why am I training you with such urgency? Why do I tell you the facts of the spiritual world? Why do I remind and exhort you time and again?” And so on—a whole series of questions that provoke many questions in people’s minds: Why does God speak in this tone? Why does He speak of the matters of the spiritual world, and not of His demands of people during the time of the building of the church? Why does God not strike at people’s notions by revealing mysteries? Simply by being a little more thoughtful, people acquire a little knowledge of the steps of God’s work, and thus, when they encounter temptations in the future, there is born in them a real sense of loathing toward Satan. And even when they encounter trials in the future, they are still able to know God and detest Satan more profoundly, and thus curse Satan.
At the end, God’s will is entirely revealed to man: “… allowing each of My words to take root, blossom and yield fruit within your spirits, and, more importantly, to bear more fruit. This is because what I ask for is not bright, lush flowers, but bounteous fruit, fruit that does not lose its ripeness.” Of God’s repeated demands of His people, this is the most comprehensive of them all, it is the center point, and is put forward in a straightforward manner. I have transitioned from working in normal humanity to working in full divinity; thus, in the past, in My plain-spoken words, there was no need for Me to add any further explanations, and most people were able to understand the meaning of My words. The result was that, back then, all that was required was for people to know My words and be capable of speaking of reality. This step, however, is hugely different. My divinity has completely taken over, and left no room for the humanity to play a part. Thus, if those among My people wish to understand the true meaning of My words, they have the utmost difficulty. Only through My utterances can they gain enlightenment and illumination, and if it is not through this channel, any thoughts of grasping the aim of My words are but idle daydreams. When all people have a greater knowledge of Me after accepting My utterances is the time when My people live Me out, it is the time when My work in the flesh is completed, and the time when My divinity is entirely lived out in the flesh. At this moment, all people shall know Me in the flesh, and will truly be able to say that God appears in the flesh, and this will be the fruit. This is further evidence that God has grown tired of the building of the church—that is, “[a]lthough the flowers in a greenhouse are as innumerable as the stars, and draw all the admiring crowd, once they have wilted, they become as tattered as the deceitful schemes of Satan, and no one shows any interest in them.” Although God also personally worked during the time of the building of the church, because He is the God who is always new and never old, He has no nostalgia for matters of the past. To stop people thinking back upon the past, He employed the words “they become as tattered as the deceitful schemes of Satan,” which shows that God does not abide by doctrine. Some people may misinterpret God’s will, and ask: Why, since it is work done by God Himself, did He say “once they have wilted, no one shows any interest in them”? These words give people a revelation. What is most important is that they allow all people to have a new, and correct, starting point; only then will they be able to satisfy God’s will. Ultimately, the people of God shall be able to give God praise that is true, not forced, and which comes from their hearts. This is what is at the heart of God’s 6,000-year management plan. That is, it is the crystallization of this 6,000-year management plan: letting all people know the significance of God’s incarnation—letting them practically know God become flesh, which is to say, the deeds of God in the flesh—so that they deny the vague God, and know the God who is of today and also yesterday, and, more than that, of tomorrow, who has really and actually existed from everlasting to everlasting. Only then shall God enter rest!