Chapter 32

God’s words leave people scratching their heads; it is as if, when He speaks, God is shunning man and speaking to the air, as if He has no thought at all to pay any more attention to man’s deeds and is totally heedless of man’s stature, as if the words He speaks are not directed at people’s notions, but shun man in accordance with God’s original intention. For myriad reasons, God’s words are ungraspable and impenetrable to man. This is no surprise. The original aim of all God’s words is not for people to gain know-how or learn tricks from them; instead, they are one of the means by which God has worked from the start until today. Of course, people do gain things from God’s words: things related to mysteries, or things concerning Peter, Paul, and Job—but this is what they ought to attain and what they are capable of attaining, and, as befits their stature, they have already gone as far as they can in attaining these things. Why is it that the effect that God asks to be achieved is not high, yet He has spoken so many words? This is connected to the chastisement of which He speaks, and naturally, it is all achieved without people realizing. Today, people endure greater suffering under the attacks of God’s words. Superficially, none of them seem to have been dealt with, people have begun to be set free in doing their work, and the service-doers have been elevated to the people of God—in this, it appears to people that they have entered into enjoyment. In fact, the reality is that, from refinement, they have all entered into more severe chastisement. Just as God says, “The steps of My work are closely linked one to the next, each one ever higher.” God has raised the service-doers out of the bottomless pit and cast them into the lake of fire and brimstone, where chastisement is more grievous. Thus, they suffer even greater hardship, from which they are barely able to escape. Is such chastisement not more grievous? Having entered a higher realm, why is it that people feel sorrow rather than any happiness? Why is it said that, having been delivered from the hands of Satan, they are given to the great red dragon? Do you remember when God said, “The last part of the work is completed in the home of the great red dragon”? Do you recall when God said, “The final hardship is bearing strong, resounding testimony for God before the great red dragon”? If people were not given to the great red dragon, how could they bear testimony before it? Who has ever said words such as “I have defeated the devil” after killing themselves? Seeing their own flesh as their enemy, and then killing themselves—where is the practical significance of this? Why did God speak thus? “I do not look at people’s scars, but at the part of them that is unscarred, and from this I gain gratification.” If it were true that God wishes for those who are without scars to be His expression, why would He have patiently and earnestly spoken so many words from the perspective of man to strike back against people’s notions? Why would He concern Himself with that? Why would He go to the unnecessary trouble of doing such a thing? Thus it is shown that there is real significance to God’s incarnation, that He would not “write off” the flesh after becoming flesh and completing His work. Why is it said that “gold can’t be pure and man can’t be perfect”? How can these words be explained? When God speaks about man’s essence, what do His words mean? To people’s naked eyes, the flesh appears incapable of anything, or else it appears all too lacking. To God’s eyes, this is not important at all—yet to people, it is an issue of enormous importance. It is as if they are utterly incapable of resolving this, as if it must be personally handled by a heavenly body—is this not a human notion? “In people’s eyes, I am but a ‘little star’ that has descended from the sky, a little star in heaven, and My arrival on earth today was commissioned by God. As a result, people have come up with more interpretations of the words ‘Me’ and ‘God.’” Since humans amount to nothing, why does God reveal their notions from different perspectives? Could this also be the wisdom of God? Are such words not ridiculous? As God says, “Although there is a place I have established in people’s hearts, they do not require that I reside there. Instead, they wait for the ‘Holy One’ in their hearts to suddenly arrive. Because My identity is too ‘lowly,’ I do not match up to people’s demands and am thus cast out by them.” Because people’s estimation of God is “too high,” many things are “unattainable” to God, which puts Him “in difficulty.” Little do people know that what they ask God to be capable of is their notions. Is this not the actual meaning of “A clever person may become the victim of his own ingenuity”? This is truly a case of “smart as a rule, but this time a fool”! In your preaching, you ask that people dispense with the God of their notions, but has the God of your notions gone away? How can God’s words that “[t]he demands I make of man are by no means great” be interpreted? They are not to make people negative and dissolute, but to give them a pure understanding of God’s words—do you understand? Is God incarnate really the “‘Me’ that is high and mighty” as people imagine?

Although there are those who have read all the words spoken by God and can provide a general outline of them, who is able to speak of what God’s ultimate aim is? This is what mankind lacks. Regardless of from what perspective God speaks, His overall aim is to make people know the God in the flesh. If there were nothing of humanity in Him—if all He has were the attributes of the God in heaven—then there would be no need for God to say so much. It can be said that what people lack serves as first-hand materials that correlate with God’s words. This is to say, what is manifested in man is the background to what God says about people’s notions, and thus, people serve the utterances of God. Naturally, this is based on what God says about people’s notions—only in this way can this be said to be the combination of theory and reality; only then can people more effectively be made to be serious about knowing themselves. What would be the point if the God in the flesh were compatible with people’s notions and if God also testified of Him? It is precisely because of this that God works from the negative side, using people’s notions to highlight His great power. Is this not the wisdom of God? All that God does for everyone is good—so why not give praise at this time? If things reached a certain point, or if the day came, would you, like Peter, be able to utter prayers from deep within yourself amid trials? Only if, like Peter, you are still able to praise God when in Satan’s hands will there be the true meaning of “being released from Satan’s bondage, overcoming the flesh, and overcoming Satan.” Is this not a more real testimony for God? Only this is the effect achieved by “divinity coming forth to act and the sevenfold intensified Spirit working in man,” and so, too, is it the effect achieved by “the Spirit coming out from the flesh.” Are such actions not real? You used to pay attention to reality, but do you have true knowledge of reality today? “The demands I make of man are by no means great, yet people believe otherwise. Thus, their ‘humility’ is revealed in their every move. They are always liable to walk before Me, leading the way for Me, profoundly afraid that I will get lost, terrified that I will wander into the ancient forests deep within the mountains. As a result, people have always led Me onward, deeply fearful that I will walk into the dungeon.” What is your knowledge of these simple words—are you truly able to grasp the roots of God’s words in them? Have you paid attention to which of your notions God has spoken such words about? Do you put your attention on this key point every day? In the first sentence of the next part, which follows closely after, God says, “Yet people are unknowing of My will and keep praying for things from Me, as if what I have bestowed upon them are incapable of meeting their requirements, as if demand outstrips supply.” In this sentence, it can be seen what the notions within you are. God does not remember or investigate what you did in times gone by, so think no more of matters of the past. Of greater importance is whether you are able to create “the spirit of Peter in the final age” in the path of the future—do you have the faith to attain this? What God asks of man is nothing more than the emulation of Peter, that people might ultimately forge a path to bring shame upon the great red dragon. It is because of this that God says, “I hope only that people have the resolve to cooperate with Me. I do not ask that they cook Me nice food, or that they arrange somewhere suitable for Me to lay My head….” In the world, people are asked to bring the “spirit of Lei Feng” into the 1990s, but in the house of God, God asks that you create “the unique style of Peter.” Do you understand God’s will? Are you truly able to strive for this?

“I move above the universes, and as I walk I observe the people of the entire universe. Amongst the throngs of people on earth, never have there been any who are suitable for My work or who truly love Me. Thus, at this moment I sigh in dismay, and people immediately disperse, to assemble no more, deeply fearful that I will ‘catch them all in one net.’” Most people, perhaps, find these words very difficult to understand. They ask why God does not ask much of man, yet sighs in dismay because there are none who are fit for His work. Is there a contradiction here? Literally speaking, there is, but in reality there is no contradiction. Perhaps you can still recall when God said, “All of My words shall have the effect that I desire.” When God works in the flesh, people fixate upon His every action to see what exactly He is going to do. When God carries out His new work targeting Satan in the spiritual realm, there are, in other words, produced all manner of notions among the people on earth because of the God in the flesh. When God sighs in dismay—that is, when He speaks of all man’s notions, people try their utmost to deal with them, and there are even those who believe they are without hope, for God says that all those who have notions about Him are His enemies—and so how could people not “disperse” because of this? Particularly today, when chastisement has arrived, people are even more fearful that God will wipe them away. They believe that after they are chastised, God will “catch them all in one net.” Yet the facts are not thus: As God says, “I do not wish to ‘detain’ people amid My chastisement so that they may never escape. Because My management lacks the deeds of man, it is not possible to successfully complete My work, which prevents My work from proceeding effectively.” God’s will is not for His work to end once all people are put to death—what would be the point of that? By working in people and chastising them, God then makes plain His deeds through them. Because people have never grasped that there is already chastisement in the tone of God’s words, they have never had any entry in their consciousness. People are incapable of expressing their resolve, and thus God cannot say anything before Satan, and this prevents God’s work from moving forward. Thus God says, “I once invited man as a guest to My house, yet he ran hither and thither because of My calls—as if, rather than inviting him as a guest, I had brought him to the execution ground. Thus, My house was left empty, for man always shunned Me, and was always on his guard against Me. This left Me with no means of carrying out part of My work.” It is because of man’s mistakes in his work that God clearly puts forward His requirements of man. And it is because people fail to accomplish this step of work that God adds more utterances—this is precisely the “another part of work on man” that God speaks of. But I will not talk at length about the “catching them all in one net” of which God speaks, because this has little bearing on the work of today. Naturally, in “God’s Words to the Entire Universe,” many of His words deal with man—but people must understand God’s will; regardless of what He says, His intentions are always good. It can be said that because the means by which God speaks are so many, people are not one hundred percent certain about God’s words, and believe that most of God’s words are spoken because of the necessities of His work, and contain little that is real. This leaves them addled and weighed down by their thoughts—for in their notions, God is so wise, and so totally beyond their reach, it is as if they know nothing and are clueless about how to eat God’s words. People make God’s words abstract and complex—as God says, “people always wish to add flavoring to My utterances.” Because their ideas are too complicated, and “barely attainable” by God, part of God’s words are constrained by man, leaving Him no choice but to speak in a manner that is straightforward. Because people’s demands are “too high,” and because their imagination is too rich—as if they are able to cross over into the spiritual realm to behold the deeds of Satan—this has lessened God’s words, for the more that God says, the more melancholy people’s faces grow. Why can they not simply obey, instead of contemplating their end? Where is the benefit in this?

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Next: Chapter 33

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