Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important” (I)
Let’s start our meeting. Let’s first read a passage of God’s word, “Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important.”
Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important
People believe in God, love God, and satisfy God by touching the Spirit of God with their heart, thereby obtaining His satisfaction; when engaging with God’s words with their heart, they are therefore moved by the Spirit of God. If you wish to achieve a proper spiritual life and establish a proper relationship with God, you must first give your heart to Him, and quiet your heart before Him. Only after you have poured your whole heart into God can you gradually develop a proper spiritual life. If people do not give their heart to God in their belief in Him, if their heart is not in Him and they do not treat His burden as their own, then everything they do is cheating God, and it is all the behavior of religious people—this cannot receive God’s praise. God cannot get anything from this kind of person; this kind of person can only serve as a foil to God’s work, like a decoration in the house of God, taking up space, and is a good-for-nothing—God does not use this kind of person. In such a person, not only is there no opportunity for the work of the Holy Spirit, but even more, there isn’t any value of perfection. This type of person is the real “walking dead.” They have no components that can be used by the Holy Spirit—they have all been appropriated by Satan, corrupted to the extreme by Satan, and they are the object of God’s elimination. Currently the Holy Spirit is not only using people by putting their virtues into play, but also perfecting and changing their shortcomings. If your heart can be poured into God and keep quiet before Him, then you will have the opportunity and the qualifications to be used by the Holy Spirit, to receive the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and even more, you will have the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to make up for your shortcomings. When you give your heart to God, you can enter more deeply into the positive aspect and be on a higher plane of insight; in the negative aspect, you will have more understanding of your own faults and shortcomings, you will be more eager to seek to meet God’s will, and you will not be passive, and will actively enter in. This will mean that you are a correct person. On the premise that your heart is calm before God, the key to whether or not you receive praise from the Holy Spirit and whether or not you please God is whether you can actively enter in. When the Holy Spirit enlightens a person and uses a person, it never makes him negative, but always makes him actively progress. Even though he has weaknesses, he is able to not live according to them, he is able to refrain from delaying his growth in life, and he is able to continue to seek to meet God’s will. This is a standard which sufficiently proves that you have obtained the presence of the Holy Spirit. If a person is always negative, and even after being enlightened to know himself he is still negative and passive, unable to stand up and act in concert with God, then this type of person just receives the grace of God, but the Holy Spirit is not with him. When a person is negative, this means that his heart has not turned to God and his spirit has not been moved by God’s Spirit. This should be recognized by all.
It can be seen from experience that one of the most important issues is quieting one’s heart before God. It is an issue that concerns people’s spiritual life, and the growth of their life. Only if your heart is at peace before God will your pursuit of the truth and of changes in your disposition bear fruit. Because you come burdened before God and you always feel that you are lacking too much, that there are many truths that you need to know, much reality that you need to experience, and that you should give every care to God’s will—these things are always on your mind, and it is as if they are pressing down on you so hard that you can’t breathe, and thus you feel heavy of heart (but not in a negative state). Only people such as this are qualified to accept the enlightenment of God’s words and be moved by the Spirit of God. It is because of their burden, because they are heavy of heart, and, it can be said, because of the price they have paid and the torment they have suffered before God that they receive His enlightenment and illumination, for God does not give anyone special treatment. He is always fair in His treatment of people, but He is also not arbitrary in His provision to people, and does not give to them unconditionally. This is one aspect of His righteous disposition. In real life, most people have yet to attain this realm. At the very least, their heart has yet to completely turn to God, and thus there has still not been any great change in their life disposition. This is because they only live amid God’s grace, and have yet to gain the work of the Holy Spirit. The criteria for God’s use of people are as follows: Their heart turns to God, they are burdened by the words of God, they have a heart of yearning, and they have the resolve to seek the truth. Only people such as this can gain the work of the Holy Spirit and frequently gain enlightenment and illumination. The people God uses appear from the outside to be irrational and seem to not have proper relationships with others, though they speak with propriety, don’t speak carelessly, and can always keep a quiet heart before God. But it is just this kind of person who is sufficient to be used by the Holy Spirit. This “irrational” person God speaks of looks like they don’t have proper relationships with others, and they don’t have outward love or superficial practices, but when they are communicating spiritual things they can open their heart and selflessly provide others with the illumination and enlightenment they have acquired from their actual experience before God. This is how they express their love for God and meet God’s will. When others are all slandering and ridiculing them, they are able to not be controlled by outside people, occurrences, or things, and can still be quiet before God. Such a person seems to have their own unique insights. Regardless of others, their heart never leaves God. When others are chatting cheerfully and humorously, their heart still remains before God, contemplating God’s word or praying in silence to the God in their heart, seeking God’s intentions. They never make the maintenance of their proper relationships with other people the main focus. Such a person seems to have no philosophy of life. On the outside, this person is lively, adorable, and innocent, but also possesses a sense of calmness. This is the likeness of a person God uses. Things like the philosophy of life or “normal reason” cannot get through to this type of person; this type of person has devoted his whole heart to God’s word, and seems to only have God in his heart. This is the type of person who is what God refers to as a person “without reason,” and is just the person that is used by God. The mark of a person who is being used by God is: No matter when or where, his heart is always before God, and no matter how dissolute others are, how much they indulge in lust, indulge in the flesh—his heart never leaves God, and he doesn’t follow the crowd. Only this type of person is suited for God’s use, and is exactly the one who is perfected by the Holy Spirit. If you are unable to reach this point, then you are not qualified to be gained by God, to be perfected by the Holy Spirit.
If you want to have a proper relationship with God, your heart must turn to God, and on this foundation, you will also have a proper relationship with other people. If you don’t have a proper relationship with God, no matter what you do to maintain your relationships with other people, no matter how hard you work or how much energy you exert, it will still belong to a human philosophy of life. You are maintaining your position among people through a human perspective and a human philosophy so that they will praise you. You do not establish proper relationships with people according to the word of God. If you don’t focus on your relationships with people but maintain a proper relationship with God, if you are willing to give your heart to God and learn to obey Him, very naturally, your relationships with all people will become proper. This way, these relationships aren’t established on the flesh, but on the foundation of God’s love. There are almost no interactions based on the flesh, but in the spirit there is fellowship as well as love, comfort, and provision for one another. This is all done on the foundation of a heart that satisfies God. These relationships aren’t maintained by relying on a human philosophy of life, but they are formed very naturally through the burden for God. They don’t require human effort—they are practiced through the principles of the word of God. Are you willing to be considerate toward the will of God? Are you willing to be a person “without reason” before God? Are you willing to completely give your heart to God, and not consider your position among people? Of all the people you have contact with, with which of these do you have the best relationships? With which of these do you have the worst relationships? Are your relationships with people proper? Do you treat all people equally? Are your relationships with others maintained according to your philosophy of life, or are they built on the foundation of God’s love? When one does not give his heart to God, his spirit becomes obtuse, it becomes numb and unconscious. This kind of person will never understand God’s words and will never have a proper relationship with God; this kind of person will never change their disposition. Changing one’s disposition is the process of one giving his heart completely to God, and of receiving enlightenment and illumination from the words of God. God’s work can allow one to actively enter in, as well as enable him to get rid of his negative aspects after gaining knowledge. When you are able to give your heart to God, you will be able to perceive every subtle moving within your spirit, and you will know every enlightenment and illumination received from God. Hold onto this, and you will gradually enter into the path of being perfected by the Holy Spirit. The quieter your heart can be before God, the more sensitive and delicate your spirit will be, and the more your spirit will be able to perceive the moving of the Holy Spirit, and then your relationship with God will become more and more proper. A proper relationship between people is established on the foundation of giving their heart to God; it is not achieved through human effort. Without God in their hearts, interpersonal relationships between people are merely relationships of the flesh. They are not proper, but are indulgent of lust—they are relationships that God detests, that He loathes. If you say that your spirit has been moved, but you always want to have fellowship with people who appeal to you, with whoever you think highly of, and if there is another seeker who does not appeal to you, who you hold a bias against and will not engage with, this is more proof that you are an emotional person and you do not have a proper relationship with God at all. You are attempting to deceive God and cover up your own ugliness. Even if you can share some understanding but you carry wrong intentions, everything you do is good only by human standards. God will not praise you—you are acting according to the flesh, not according to God’s burden. If you are able to quiet your heart in front of God and have proper interactions with all those who love God, only then are you fit for God’s use. This way, no matter how you associate with others, it will not be according to a life philosophy, but it will be living in front of God, considerate of His burden. How many people like this are there amongst you? Are your relationships with others really proper? On what foundation are they built? How many life philosophies are there within you? Have they been cast off? If your heart cannot completely turn to God, then you are not of God—you come from Satan, and in the end you will be returned to Satan. You are not worthy of being one of God’s people. All of this requires your careful consideration.
During our past few meetings, I’ve talked a bit about the truth about visions. In reality, God’s words about these truths are even clearer and more revealing. I was just communicating very basically. Some people say, “I am pretty informed about the truth of visions. I know that Almighty God is true. The thing I’m most interested in now is life entry! How can we enter the reality of the truth by believing in Almighty God? How can we be made perfect by God? I don’t have a way to do that now. I just want to be purified and made perfect by God.” Raising this issue is fairly important. Are people with this need in their heart those who seek the truth? Yes, they are people who seek the truth. When I see these people’s needs, I am happy. Therefore, today we will start communicating about the truth of life entry.
Well then, as for the truth of life entry, where should we start? We should start by establishing proper relations with God. If people do not have a proper relationship with God, can they obtain the Holy Spirit’s work? If people cannot obtain the Holy Spirit’s work, they will not obtain the truth or life, no matter how true and practical their God is. Isn’t this true? In the Age of Grace, many people were focused on doing external works. They were focused on understanding biblical knowledge and theory. No one was focused on establishing a proper relationship with God. No one really tried to get to know God. Therefore, the Lord said, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:22-23). Why does the Lord tell these people, who are enthusiastically working for Him, “I never knew you”? Why is this? Some of you may understand it after we have read this passage of God’s word today. You might say, “Those people definitely do not have a proper relationship with God. They have no true communion with God. They are just praying to thin air. When they pray, they are talking to themselves, not to God, nor are they seeking the truth. They definitely are not touching the heart of God.” People such as this, do they have a proper relationship with God? No, they do not. People who do not have a proper relationship with God, who believe in God in name only, who only do external work on His behalf, can these people act according to God’s will? No, they cannot act according to God’s will. They are working on their own. It is just wishful thinking. Therefore, this is why the Lord responds to these people and all that they do with a single sentence, “I never knew you.” What does He mean when He says He never knew them? Some people say, “The Lord keeps watch over all. How can He say He never knew us?” These people may believe in the Lord’s name and pray to Him, but they have never had a true communion with the Lord in spirit; they have never given their heart to the Lord; they have never turned to the Lord in pursuit of the truth, touched the Lord’s heart or followed His commands. This is why the Lord said, “I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” Has our communication today taught us what the Lord Jesus meant when He uttered that sentence during the Age of Grace? This time, we really do understand it.
Establishing a proper relationship with God is important, right? Every person should reflect on him/herself. You have believed in God until now, do you have a proper relationship with God? Shouldn’t we think about this question? Some people may say, “I pray to God too. Are my prayers … are my prayers religious prayers? I talk to the vague God. I speak about logic and the literal words of the Bible. I am not communing with God, and I am not pursuing the truth and touching God’s heart. In this case, are my prayers real prayers? Does God listen to these types of prayers?” Is this a question that people should figure out and ponder over? If men only pray religious prayers, do they have a proper relationship with God? Someone said no. Why do you say that it’s not proper? Their prayers lack substance: 1. They are not communing with God and they are not turning to God in search of the truth. 2. They are not touching God’s heart or following His commands. 3. They are definitely not trying to get to know God, obey God or find a way to obtain the truth and life. Without any of these things, they are just praying to thin air and speaking their own words toward a vague God. They’re saying their own words; they don’t know whether God is listening or not, nor do they care whether He likes it or not or how He feels. They are just spewing out their own so-called “knowledge.” Some people pray for one or two hours at a time. They say so many things, but they don’t know what to say to God on any given day or what truth to seek. In short, they just babble on and on, saying whatever words they know about believing in God. Is this a real prayer? It’s not a real prayer. Someone said, “They said all that, and it still doesn’t count as a prayer? Then what exactly is a prayer?” Some people just can’t understand this. Let’s take an example. These religious prayers are typical; they are the most commonly said prayers. “Jehovah God, You are the Creator of the heavens and earth and all things. You control human destiny. Lord Jesus, You are our Savior. You shed Your blood on the cross to cleanse us of our sins. You no longer see us as sinners. You see us as righteous. Therefore, you do not define our misdeeds as sins. No matter how corrupt we are or how we sin, You forgive us. Lord Jesus! Your words are our guiding light. You are our everything. You are our Lord. We are Your sheep. You watch over and keep us every day. You are with us every day. You bless us every day. You bless our parents, our children and our families. You bless us so that we may have prosperity, year after year, and live long lives. You guarantee us peace and let us live happy lives. You save us from disaster. When disaster comes, it shall not strike us down. You shelter us during the disaster until we are raised up into the sky to meet You. This prayer is said in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen!” What do you think of this prayer? Is it a prayer? Tell me. What is this about? Is this communicating with the Lord? Is this turning to the Lord in search of the truth? Is this touching God’s heart? What kind of prayer is this? A religious prayer, a prayer of the Pharisees. God does not listen to these kinds of prayers. God hates these kinds of prayers. He is fed up with these kinds of prayers. These are just the types of prayers that religious people pray. All I’ve just said is just an approximation, a simplification. Many people pray for two or three hours. They don’t only say the stuff I just said. They say ten or twenty times more words! They just say those types of prayers, once in the morning and once in the evening, every day, every year the same way. You won’t see any change in their life disposition, the work of the Holy Spirit, or any true regret or repentance. Do these people have a proper relationship with God? Do you understand?
Why does God curse the Pharisees? Who are the Pharisees? What is the true essence of the Pharisees? Hypocrisy. When they say prayers like this, are they hypocrites? They are hypocrites. These are the prayers of hypocrites. You understand what’s going on here, right? Do you have any of these types of prayers in your heart? Someone said yes. Then, is this a problem? How should we resolve it? What is the problem here? The prayer of hypocrites. If you constantly say the prayer of hypocrites, then what kind of person are you? People like this are Pharisees. Tell me, is there any danger in believing in God like this? God is righteous. If we walk the path of the Pharisees, as the Lord Jesus judged the Pharisees guilty, so will Almighty God judge us guilty, then we will be forsaken! Isn’t this so? We must see this for what it is. We cannot simply say that religious pastors and elders are Pharisees, and then unknowingly end up walking the path of the Pharisees ourselves. That would be a problem! What do we need to do first to solve the problem of hypocrisy? “Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important.” These are the words of God, and they are all too meaningful. Now, many people want to pursue the truth and enter life. In speaking about life entry today, we will start with this passage of God’s word.
What is life entry? What is the path to life entry? First, we believe in God, not a person. This is something you must understand. Can we obtain the truth and life? Can we be saved and made perfect? Can we be brought into the kingdom of God? What is the key factor here? The key is to establish a proper relationship with God. As soon as we achieve this, we have the basis, the prerequisites, a guarantee and the ability to achieve life entry. The direct consequence of not establishing a proper relationship with God is that we will not be able to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. If we do not obtain the work of the Holy Spirit, if we just do this and that in the Lord’s name, laboring for Him, what will be the result? Some people say, “Even if we do not get credit, we are rewarded by hard work. If we get no credit for our hard work, we are rewarded with fatigue.” What is “fatigue”? Is it life? Is it truth? Fatigue is nothing. What is fatigue? It is empty. It is vanity! You understand, right? Establishing a proper relationship with God will allow us to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. With the work of the Holy Spirit, we are living in the light of God’s face, we are living under His guidance, and we are living and acting in accordance with His will. This way, everything we do will earn His praise. Isn’t this true? Therefore, if we want our belief in God to allow us to obtain truth, obtain life, be saved and be made perfect, we must first establish a proper relationship with God.
Someone said, “What is a proper relationship with God?” A “proper relationship” means a relationship between creation and Creator; it means treating God as God and obeying Him, treating God as God and believing in Him and becoming a person who is truly obedient to God. This is the most important relationship we must have. If you can truly obey God, give your heart to God and have a true communion with God, then God is your God and you are a person of God. Is this not a proper relationship? If people do not have a proper relationship with God, then what kind of relationship do they have? A negative, incorrect relationship. Can you see this? This means that people are trying to take advantage of God and gain His blessings. They are trying to use Him to achieve a purpose, guarantee peace, ward off disaster and avoid death. Is this a proper relationship? There is also a type of “quid-pro-quo” relationship, “God, if You save me and keep me from disaster, if You don’t let me die and allow me to enter Your kingdom, I will work for You and sacrifice everything for You and suffer for You.” Is this not the very definition of quid-pro-quo? In the former relationship, one seeks to use God to achieve their own ends. It’s not a proper relationship. In the latter, one seeks to conduct a “transaction” with God, exchanging labor for His blessing. This is a business transaction, not a proper relationship. One wants to use God and one seeks to conduct a transaction. Neither of these represents a proper relationship with God. Do you understand?
Those who seek to use God for sustenance and hope that their belief in Him will earn His blessings, what kind of relationship do they have with God? They believe in God to use Him. Then there are those who believe in Him to get His blessings. This is just making a deal with God. Paul’s path and the way he conducted himself, what does that reflect about his relationship with God? He was mainly thinking, “Lord Jesus, You shone Your light on me from heaven; You’ve allowed me to see that You are the Lord, Christ. Well then, didn’t You ask me to work for You? I agreed to do so. I am working as an apostle for You and spreading Your gospel. I can accept any hardship, but my purpose is to enter the kingdom of heaven, become rewarded and be crowned.” What was his relationship with the Lord? Paul’s relationship with the Lord was actually using the Lord and making a deal with Him. The work he did for the Lord was not done in an attempt to be saved, nor was he trying to get to know God and live a meaningful life, put his fate in God’s hands or obey God’s plans. That was not it. When he had suffered hardships and paid some price, he was complacent. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day” (2Ti 4:7-8). See, he wanted a crown from the Lord. “Lord, You are righteous. Thus, You must give a crown to me according to Your righteousness. There is nothing more to be said. Come. Bring me the crown.” As soon as he said these words, didn’t the purpose behind his work become very clear? He didn’t say, “I have suffered much for the Lord, but this is His exaltation, His grace! The Lord has given me this chance to spread the gospel as part of His plan. This is a chance for me to repent. If I cannot repent, then I should be destroyed as punishment for my defiance of the Lord. However, these past few years, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, God’s work has achieved some results in me. I really have grown to know the Lord. I’ve seen that God is almighty. If it wasn’t for God’s work, I would not be able to gain anyone. Even if I spread the gospel, it would have no effect. This is the power of God! Now I have some knowledge of God. I can finally live a little bit like a real person. I have a little bit of a conscience and sense. If God puts His trust in me and asks me to work again for Him, then I will do my best to oblige Him. I want to live a meaningful life.” If he had said something like that, then his purpose for believing in God and his relationship with God would be proper, right? Nowadays, many people can’t distinguish this. They cannot determine whether someone has a proper relationship with God or not. They do not know what a proper relationship with God is. Today Almighty God has expressed these truths. As we ponder over Almighty God’s words, we realize that, “These words are the truth. Almighty God’s words reveal man’s relationship with God, what a proper relationship is and what an improper relationship is.” If God’s words hadn’t been so clear, we would be just like all of the other people who believed in the Lord during the Age of Grace, unable to see anything. From this we can see that we have received God’s grace and have been enlightened by Him to understand the truth in His words, so that we understand more about man’s relationship with God.
I will read a sentence from God’s words. “People believe in God, love God, and satisfy God by touching the Spirit of God with their heart, thereby obtaining His satisfaction; when engaging with God’s words with their heart, they are therefore moved by the Spirit of God.” This is one sentence. This sentence is the truth. Every sentence of God’s words is the truth. When you get to a period, that makes a full sentence, and it means there’s truth there. Tell me, what is the truth in this sentence? “People believe in God, love God, and satisfy God by touching the Spirit of God with their heart.” This means, if you believe in God or love God or satisfy God, you must touch His Spirit with your heart. This is the only way you’ll be effective. If you do not use your heart to contact His Spirit, you will never earn God’s satisfaction and never be moved by the Holy Spirit. Here, can we say that God’s words reveal the mystery of how people can believe in God, love God, fulfill God and satisfy God? Whether you believe in Him or you seek to love and satisfy Him, you must use your heart to contact His Spirit. That’s what He means by “touching the Spirit of God with their heart, thereby obtaining His satisfaction.” If people do not use their heart to touch His Spirit, they will never earn God’s satisfaction and never be moved by the Holy Spirit. These words immediately clarify how to earn God’s satisfaction and become moved by the Holy Spirit. Then, where have most believers in the Lord failed throughout history? What’s wrong with saying religious prayers? Those who seek to conduct a transaction with God or use Him to obtain blessings, what mistakes are they making? What have they failed to do? What have they lost? If we want to sum up the main failures of all believers, we can say they are not using their hearts to touch God’s Spirit. “Not using their hearts to touch God’s Spirit,” how would we describe this in practical terms? We’d say that when they pray, they’re not talking to God from the heart, and they’re not contacting His Spirit with their hearts. They do not give their hearts to God, so they do not earn His satisfaction and do not receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Isn’t this right? Let’s give an example. Of course, when we say we want to give an example, well then we’re obligated to use the most famous person in religion as the example. Tell me, did Paul use his heart to touch God’s Spirit? Someone said no. Is there evidence? Give me an example. This is something that must be acknowledged. If you just state it simply like that, many believers in the Lord will not agree. They’ll say, “You’re wrong. I don’t see it that way. That’s your opinion.” See? They just won’t accept it. Then, what is the difference between praying in God’s name with your lips and touching God’s Spirit with your heart? When we read God’s words, we must carefully ponder each sentence. If we don’t, can we really understand it? No, we have to be meticulous. If you aren’t meticulous, you’ll just say “I am using my heart to touch God’s Spirit,” and that will be that. Then they’ll say, “When you say that, what do you really mean? Is there a practical manifestation of what you’re talking about? I don’t see the path there. I just see that as an empty phrase. It’s the same as just praying to God with one’s lips.” If you just say it like that, will other people be able to understand you? Then, is there a difference between praying in God’s name with your lips and touching His Spirit with your heart? Yes, there is. Sometimes reciting a prayer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re using your heart. In that case, what does it mean then? Sometimes, when we say prayers, it comes from the mind. Our brain produces thoughts which then spill out of our mouth instead of coming from our hearts. Is there a difference between words that come from the brain and words that come from the heart? Someone said there is a difference. Then, the words you say when you pray to God from the heart and when you ponder God’s words with your heart, what kinds of words are these? Can you discern them? Well, say something to God from your heart, then say something to God from your brain and then compare the two.
Speak from the heart and tell me, what have you gained from believing in God? Speak from your heart, pray. For some people, when they read God’s word of judgment they try to ponder over it and pray. After praying for a while, they see their true corrupt nature and say something like this from the heart, “God’s words reveal the exact truth. In the beginning, I had my own conceptions. I thought that God’s words went a bit too far, were a bit too judgmental and exaggerated a bit. As I experience them again this time, I know that God speaks the absolute truth. God, when I came face-to-face with You, I was able to see my true self. I am a total jerk! I am a devil! This isn’t an exaggeration!” What do you think of this? Is it true? “Ever since I ate and drank Your words, I have become more and more clear about humanity’s corruption by the day. Now I have no conceptions about Your words, what You reveal, Your judgment and Your conviction. These words You speak are all the truth; it is all true.” This is practical, right? Say some words from your head, some empty logic. Say something more. Someone says, “God! I know You love me and raise me up, so I will do my part for You.” That really sounds vivid, that’s empty logic. “Logic” does not come from the heart. It is imagined by the brain and comes out of the mouth. Some people say, “Almighty God! You are the second coming of the Lord Jesus. You are the manifestation of Jehovah God, Master of the universe. We will always believe in You and always love You. We want to obey You and will sacrifice everything for You.” Isn’t this just empty speech? Is this coming from the heart? It’s all empty.
When establishing a proper relationship with God, where should we start? The most important thing is to speak from the heart when praying to God. For example, you say in prayer, “O God, I see that many of my brothers and sisters are able to dedicate their entire selves to expend themselves for You, but my stature is too small. I’m taking my livelihood and my future into consideration, as well as whether I’ll be able to endure physical hardship. I can’t let go of those things. I really am in Your debt. How could they have such stature? Our family backgrounds are the same, but they are able to expend themselves for You full time—why can’t I? I lack so much of the truth. I’m always thinking of fleshly concerns; my faith is so paltry. O God, may You enlighten and illuminate me, allowing me to have genuine faith in You and fully expend myself for You very soon.” This is speaking from the heart. If you have this kind of heart-to-heart communication with God every day, He will see that you’re sincere, that you’re not just going through the motions with Him, sweet-talking Him, or just paying lip service to Him. Then the Holy Spirit will do His work. This is the beginning of establishing a proper relationship with God. We are created beings, and He is the Creator. What should we created beings possess in the presence of our Creator? True obedience, acceptance, faith and worship. We must give our hearts to God completely; we must allow Him to lead, rule and plan. By praying and seeking in this way, our relationship with God will become proper.
Some people have the following belief: “Isn’t the point of believing in God to receive blessings? If I don’t receive blessings, what’s the point in believing in God?” What kind of a viewpoint is this? Why can’t people like this establish a proper relationship with God? Because they are trying to make deals with God. Then, when they say prayers to God, what do they say? They say like this, “O God, You once gave Abraham Your biggest blessing. I am also human. Why can’t You give me a bigger blessing?” What do you think of this prayer? Is it good? Someone said no. Why not? Doesn’t it follow the example of Abraham? It’s intentionally wrong, isn’t that so? When your intentions are wrong, people can see through you, no matter what you say. Thus, it’s even easier for God to figure it out by searching your heart. Will God accept these kinds of prayers? When He hears these kinds of prayers, what will He say? He will say, “Do you have the faith of Abraham? Do you have his humanity? Are you even fit to be compared with him? You should look in the mirror and see what kind of person you are. You’re not even fit to lick Abraham’s boots.” That’s what God will probably say. The description above is just our attempt to use our hearts and our human language to describe God’s heart. God may not necessarily say it in the same way, and our words may not be totally correct, but the basic meaning is the same. Describing it this way allows you to understand it. God’s heart is this kind of heart. God hates those kinds of prayers. Here’s another example. There are people who pray like this, “O God, You promised to lead us into the kingdom of heaven and reveal Yourself to us. You promised to raise us up to meet with You in the air. Why haven’t You honored this promise yet after all this time? Why is this?” What do you think of this prayer? Does this person have a proper relationship with God? Someone said no. Why not? Where is it improper? You know it’s wrong but you can’t put your finger on it. What’s the problem here? You can’t see the true nature of the problem. When he prays like this, he’s questioning God! “Why? Why?” When he speaks to God like this, he’s treating God as his equal, right? God is the Creator. How can you talk to your Creator as if He’s your equal? You can certainly talk to another person like this, “What did you tell me last time? Why haven’t you honored your agreement? Why don’t you make good on your promise?” You can get away with talking to other people like that, regardless of your attitude, because you are equals. However, if someone talks to the Creator like that, it’s a different story. Their relationship with God is improper. They want to be on an equal level with God. If you speak this way, you might as well be Satan, because you’re speaking Satan’s words. People who seek to be equals with God do not have a proper relationship with God. Can you cite some examples showing how people have improper relationships with God? What kinds of prayers, what types of prayers reflect an improper relationship with God? There are people who pray like this, “Lord, I heard some people in The Church of Almighty God say that they were brought before You and are now feasting with You. They also said that You have made a group of overcomers among them. I don’t understand this. I have believed in You my entire life. I love You more than anyone. Why didn’t You reveal Yourself to me first? Why did You reveal Yourself to them?” What do you think of this prayer? Does this person have a proper relationship with God? No. Some religious people pray to the Lord like this, “Lord Jesus, why did You reveal Yourself to them and not to us? We have endured so many hardships for You. We’ve followed You for all these years, through the wind and rain, bearing witness to You all along the way. Yet, You pay us no mind; You do not listen to our prayers. Instead, You revealed Yourself to them. Now I understand. If You cannot raise me into the kingdom of heaven, then I refuse to accept any witnesses to Your coming!” A person who says a prayer like this, do they have a proper relationship with God? No. Still other people pray like this, “O Lord, I’ve believed in You for twenty or thirty years and sacrificed much for You! I gave up a good job for You! I didn’t earn any money for twenty plus years, just for You! I’ve eaten bland food and worn ordinary clothes, all for You! I’ve suffered persecution, tribulation, ridicule and slander, all for Your sake! Today, I hope You can raise me into the kingdom of heaven when you return, but I’ve already waited all of these years without hearing anything or feeling anything from You. Lord, have You forsaken me? If You really have forsaken me, then You have no credibility. I cannot continue to believe in You or follow You any longer.” What do you think of this prayer? This prayer is completely unreasonable.
Let’s continue reading God’s words. “People believe in God, love God, and satisfy God by touching the Spirit of God with their heart,” that is, they should give their heart to God. Giving your heart to God, using your heart to pray to God, using your heart to communicate with God, this is what it means to have a proper relationship with God. Using your heart to communicate with God is just like how you would have a heart-to-heart talk with another person. In both cases, you’re speaking from the heart. When people speak from the heart, how do they feel? They feel free and happy, as if a burden has been lifted. Isn’t that right? You see, when some people encounter difficulties, they mull over them, but can’t see to the heart of the matter. They’re too embarrassed to even talk to others, and they do not give their hearts to God when praying. Instead, they ponder about the problem, bearing all of the suffering and pressure alone until they finally break down. Are these types of people true believers in God? If they have that big of a problem, why don’t they pray to God about it? What are the possibilities here? The first possibility is that they can’t bring this thing before God. It’s something done behind people’s back, something dark, evil or sordid. They are bound by their sins, so they don’t pray to God or tell anyone else. They find it difficult to talk about it. Are these not the ones who suffer the most? They are under too much pressure. Another possibility is that they think God cannot solve their problem, which is an inherently human problem. This is also possible. Well, are there any other possibilities? Maybe they are unwilling to seek the truth or act in accordance with God’s demands for fear of suffering losses. In all three of these situations, the people involved do not have proper relationships with God. They do not give their hearts to God. There are many things that make people unwilling to give their hearts to God. Do these kinds of people have proper relationships with God? For people who do not have proper relationships with God, there are many things that they cannot bring to God. Therefore, they do not have faith in God, and they do not love the truth. They are living in sin, but they do not want to give it up. They’d rather enjoy the pleasures of sin, so they do not pray to God. These people are wracked with sin. They are not free and liberated people, right? Now if you encounter these problems, how will you solve them? Do you want to pursue the truth? If you want to pursue the truth, you’ll have the courage to let go of these things and put them down. If you don’t seek the truth, if you think letting go represents a loss, then you may cling onto these things as hard as you can, and see what the end result will be. Some people who follow God fall in love with someone halfway down the path. They hold onto their love. They’re unwilling to let it go. The end result is they follow God for three years without obtaining any truth. Is this a loss? They do not dare to pray to God. They know that they will be accused by their conscience and they will feel ashamed. They know that praying to God means they will have to give that stuff up and forsake the flesh. Therefore, they can’t pray to God. They want to cling onto their love and enjoy it for a while. Does this kind of person have a proper relationship with God? No. Some people believe in God but then meet temptation along the way. The unbelievers find a good job for them or they stumble upon an opportunity to gain wealth, “Wow! This is a rare opportunity! The end times aren’t here yet. I should earn money while I can!” Can they pray to God about these things? Can they pursue the truth in them? Someone said no. Why not? They say, “If I pray to God, will He still allow me to have this opportunity? God will probably say, ‘You’d better throw it away quickly!’ I can’t pray to Him about this, or I’ll have to throw away the opportunity. If I don’t throw away the opportunity, God won’t be satisfied. If I don’t want to throw away this opportunity, I’d best not bring it to God, not pray to God. This is my own business. It’s private, and I can’t bring it to God.” If you encountered a problem like this, how would you deal with it? If believers in God have their own private matters that they cannot bring to God, how does that impair their ability to enter into life? Picking up a mate along the way, holding onto them for three years. What do people lose during these years? Can you see to the heart of this matter? You find an opportunity to gain wealth, hold onto it for three years, and in the end it’s still taken away and you’re eternally regretful. It’s easy for people to establish a proper relationship with God. They only have to give their hearts to God. However, Satan will occasionally tempt them, and if they cannot rid themselves of this temptation, they will be struck down by it. After they are struck down by it, their relationship with God is no longer proper. They avoid God and hide from Him. It’s just like Adam and Eve. After they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God called for them, and they hid from Him. Sometimes people hide for a year or more. Sometimes it’s a month or so. They take detours and start to avoid God, unable to stand before Him. When they pray, they have nothing to say; they don’t know where to start. Isn’t this just delaying their life growth? Have you had such an experience before? You all have. What did you pick up along the way? Did any of you find a mate? Did any of you have opportunities to acquire wealth? Were you tempted by promotions? This is Satan’s temptation. If you haven’t rid yourself of it, you’ve been struck by it. People that are struck by it do not have a proper relationship with God.
Building a proper relationship with God is very simple in terms of the reasoning. Putting it into practice is also not difficult. So, if there are difficulties, where would they be? Man’s stature is too small. He is still affected by Satan’s disturbance, tricks and temptation. Don’t these things have the greatest influence on the relationship between man and God? Now, aside from these factors, aside from Satan’s disturbance and temptation, of our own difficulties, which ones obstruct us from having a proper relationship with God? What are our personal difficulties? Some people say that it is our arrogance, conceitedness, vanity and desire to save face. This is one aspect. The most important aspect, however, is that we love status and chase after reputation inside. We are bound by these things and it affects our communication with God and relationship with God. Isn’t this true? Sometimes we are subject to the control of our arrogant nature. Our arrogance and conceitedness is a huge problem. We want to run ahead of God, we want to be our own independent masters and take control of everything related to ourselves. We do not allow God to intervene nor do we seek God. We walk our own path. It is this disposition that is the stumbling block that prevents man from establishing a connection with God. Can it be said in this way? Man is arrogant and conceited. Once you ponder things over, “That is it, I’ll do it this way!” Someone says, “Have you prayed to God?” “Regardless of whether or not I pray, I’ll do it this way, it makes no difference. Therefore, there’s no need to pray.” The result of this behavior is that you will not have the Holy Spirit’s work and you will not achieve any results. Do these kinds of things happen a lot? Your arrogance and conceitedness causes you to think that you are capable of anything. If you are capable, the Holy Spirit will no longer work through you. Let’s see if you will still get any results. Some people are able to preach, “I can preach. I have a lot of things in my head. I understand a lot about the Bible doctrines. I know by heart the most important verses in the Bible. If you want, I can give a sermon anytime.” The result is, once this person starts preaching, there is no practicality to what he is saying and he cannot make any solid contributions to anyone. It is all empty theories. How do people feel after he finishes talking? Everything he says is correct, and it is in accordance with the Bible. However, he is unable to make any contributions to anyone’s life entry, nor can he provide any light to those who are trying to understand the truth. Now, does this sort of work have any kind of value? It has absolutely no value whatsoever. So, why do some people not establish any real communication with God through prayer? Why do they not seek the truth through God in every matter? What is obstructing our path in seeking the truth? It is our arrogance and conceitedness. Our arrogant satanic nature. We believe that we are capable of anything and we do not need to pray. In this way, we forfeit ourselves. If this kind of person were allowed to go through the formalities and pray to God, what would he say? He would say, “God, I am Your creation. I should expend for You. Today, I am going to do work for You. I will preach a sermon. I am willing to let You lead my footsteps. Let my abilities shine through. Let my eloquence and gift shine through so that I can satisfy You.” What do you think about this kind of prayer? Is this a good prayer? Some people say that it is not good. How is it not good? There is no seeking within this prayer. He views his gift and abilities too highly. It is as if he does not need the Holy Spirit’s work to deliver a good sermon or do good work. Is this an arrogant and conceited disposition? Now, what kind of quality of prayer is this? What does it reveal? Here, he does not seek the truth through God, nor does he see through his talent and gift. Just what kind of thing is this, and what kind of results will it produce? This person is not able to see this matter clearly. Also, he does not see the Holy Spirit’s work as the most important thing that is unconditionally higher than everything else. Therefore, this person’s prayer reveals the arrogant and conceited disposition of Satan. Isn’t this the case? Now, is this person’s relationship with God proper or improper? This person does not have a heart that reveres God. Moreover, he does not honor God as great and he is quite arrogant and self-righteous. It is as if he does not pay any attention to God and when he prays he says a few words carelessly.
Now, the quality of this kind of prayer and whether or not this person has a proper relationship with God can basically be distinguished. When it comes to your daily prayers, what things are you lacking? What kind of disposition does it reveal? Is it in accordance with God’s will? Are you able to obtain the Holy Spirit’s work? Can you see these things clearly? For example, someone wakes up, and he starts praying, “God, today, I commit my entire day to You. I am willing to let You guide me throughout the day. Please watch over me today so I do not encounter any evil or temptation. Let me live in the radiance of Your countenance. May God bless me. Amen!” The prayer has finished, but actually, the heart has not moved. This person’s lips have moved joyously but his heart has not moved at all. How is this prayer? We all think it is not good. Now, do you still pray this way? What is the quality of this kind of prayer? Does he treat God as God should be treated? He treats God as if He didn’t exist. He thinks of God as a vague God. Am I right? Is this the right attitude to have toward God? When you hear this person pray, it is as if this person believes in a vague God. It is not practical to believe in a vague God! Do you treat God as if He were empty air? This type of prayer is called going through the motions. You are deceiving God! Do you not know that God observes everything? Is this person devout? Is this a person that reveres God? This is not a person that reveres God. He does not have a heart that reveres God. Is he a devout person? If someone does not have a heart that reveres God, is he a person that loves God?
Some people, after they have heard my sermon, will haphazardly make their own conclusions and say that I judge people, that I always judge religious pastors and elders and condemn them. What would you say is the problem here? What kind of characteristic is this? Should we dissect this a little bit? They have their own opinions regarding the Lord Jesus cursing the Pharisees. They are full of resentment and refuse to accept Almighty God exposing religious pastors, elders and antichrists. They are happy when they see the Pharisees resist God. They are in opposition to God hating and cursing these people. Do these people stand on God’s side or Satan’s side? They are happy when they see religious pastors and elders continuously condemn Almighty God. They are dissatisfied at Almighty God for condemning these people and cursing the Pharisees. They get in the way of this and do not let God condemn them. What kind of people are they? Aren’t these people antichrists? Aren’t they the watchdogs of religious groups? This is a very serious matter. You are a religious person and you haven’t accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, so you definitely do not have the truth. However, as a person that believes in God, shouldn’t you seek the truth in matters that you cannot see through? Why do you haphazardly comment and judge other people’s words? Do you think that I am randomly saying these things? My words are based on God’s words. They are based on what God has revealed. These are not man’s notions. They are in accordance with the truth. If my words have a basis, if they are based on God’s words and God’s will, aren’t your convictions and resistance toward me in fact resistance toward God? When you do this, doesn’t it mean you hate the truth? This is the nature of your behavior, but we do not condemn these kinds of people. We must see through the nature of this kind of matter, understand? It is very dangerous if these people do not repent. They will know whether or not they can be saved by God in the end. There are some people who persistently resist and condemn God’s work. No matter how many truths God expresses or how many mysteries He reveals, you will not see them accept or understand any of them. In brief, they persistently stand on Satan’s side, on the religious side researching and questioning God, trying to find fault with His words. “Why is it said like this? Why? Why? Why?” They do not seek the truth nor do they have a heart that reveres God. They do not see these words as God’s words. Now, you believe in the Lord Jesus, but if you were alive 2,000 years ago, when the Lord Jesus was cursing the Pharisees, you would be protesting against the Lord Jesus. You would be opposing and condemning the Lord Jesus! The Lord Jesus has ascended into heaven and you cannot see Him, so you don’t utter a word of condemnation. If you really saw Him, you would definitely be standing on the side of the Pharisees condemning the Lord Jesus. Isn’t this the case? That is why, if we truly believe in God, we must seek the truth in all things, no matter what. Do not speak blindly and recklessly. If you doubt man’s word as to whether it accords with the truth or not, and that should be acceptable. If you doubt God’s words and you directly pass judgment on them, then this is the sin of resisting God! If you deny all the truth that Almighty God expresses, this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit! Is what I’m saying accurate? Those who believe in God must keep a reverent heart and seek the truth. This is wisdom. Do not think that you understand everything. What do you understand? You see nothing clearly. You cannot even recognize the truth or God’s work. You do not even know whether or not my fellowship and preaching is in accordance with God’s words. Just what is it that you understand? You do not understand anything!
Let us continue holding fellowship over God’s words, “If you wish to achieve a proper spiritual life and establish a proper relationship with God, you must first give your heart to Him, and quiet your heart before Him. Only after you have poured your whole heart into God can you gradually develop a proper spiritual life.” Ponder over these words. What truth do they convey? Each word of God is the truth. After you finish reading a word, you must contemplate and try to figure it out. “What is the truth in this word? What kind of truth is this word conveying? I must understand!” You cannot simply read it, am I right? When reading God’s words, you cannot use your eyes and simply count the words. You can’t just finish reading it and say, “It’s done, the truth will automatically be revealed in my heart.” Do you have this capability? If you do not contemplate and seek, would you be able to understand the truth? Now, what truth are these words conveying? “If you wish to achieve a proper spiritual life,” what is “a proper spiritual life” alluding at? It means praying to God properly, eating and drinking God’s words properly and communicating the truth properly. These can all be considered part of a proper spiritual life. First of all, your spiritual life must be proper. Afterward, “establish a proper relationship with God.” Once your spiritual life has been normalized, then you can establish a proper relationship with God. Am I correct?
“[Y]ou must first give your heart to Him, and quiet your heart before Him. Only after you have poured your whole heart into God can you gradually develop a proper spiritual life.” How many steps are involved in giving your heart to God? Someone says, “Well then, I’ll pray, ‘God, I give my heart to you.’ It only takes one step. I just gave my heart to God.” Is this giving one’s heart to God? From my point of view, I see this as giving yourself your own heart. Does this mean, once you say these words, then you have given your heart to God? God would say, “I have not received it. All I have received is nonsense, empty words, words that are meant to deceive Me.” Using your mouth to deceive God is no good! Using your mouth to deal with and fool God, is this the attitude of a person who believes in God? This is called resisting and deceiving God! You said, “If I pray, ‘God, I give You my heart,’ then the matter is finished.” Is this all there is to it? When God says one sentence, then the matter is finished. Can man do this too? What kind of matter has been completed? The matter of deceiving God. The matter of committing a sin. The matter of telling a lie. Isn’t this the case? “[Y]ou must first give your heart to Him.” Here, there is one proper process. “[Q]uiet your heart before Him,” this is the first step. How do we quiet our hearts? One way is through praying to God, “God, I now come before You wanting to tell You something important. I have encountered a certain situation, I do not know what to do….” When someone communicates with God about a situation, has this person’s heart not been quieted in front of God? Alternatively, pondering a section of God’s words after you have finished reading it, “Oh, there is some truth here. There is light. I need to think it over some more. God, I am asking You to enlighten me.” This is a heart that is completely immersed in God’s words. When a heart is immersed in God’s words, it is quiet before God. A heart that prays to God, that communicates with God, is also a heart that is quiet before God. Once you have silenced your heart before God, you will not think of anything else. You will not think about world issues, family issues, matters of the flesh. Your heart is free of them. At this moment, it is only you and God, face to face. This is what it means to quiet your heart before God. This is the first step. The second step “pou[r] your whole heart into God” means to completely immerse your heart. “[W]hole heart” means to completely orient your heart toward God, immerse yourself in God’s words and have a communion with God. At this time, you can “gradually develop a proper spiritual life.” Once a person’s heart is completely oriented toward God, in the words of unbelievers, it is in “a world with only two people.” There is no other. It means, “I am with God and God is with me. I pray to God and communicate to God.” “[G]radually develop a proper spiritual life,” what does this mean? There is a real communion with God in your prayers. Through eating and drinking God’s words, you have obtained the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination. Your seeking of the truth has achieved results. All your prayers, eating and drinking God’s words and seeking of the truth have all achieved proper results. Isn’t this kind of life a proper spiritual life? This is a proper spiritual life.
When some people pray to God, they say, “God, I entrust You with this matter. I entrust You with my children. I entrust You with my parents. I entrust You with everything. God, please bless and protect me. Amen!” The prayer consists of only a few sentences and it is over. Is this being quiet in front of God? Is this wholeheartedly oriented toward God? This person’s prayer is as quick as a rabbit. His heart is impatient. He only addresses God with two sentences and then he quickly runs away. It is as if the whole purpose is to go through the process as quickly as possible. This is similar to a religious person praying. Before they eat, they quickly pray to God thanking Him for the food but when they look at the time they realize they have to rush off to work, “God, You have blessed me with this meal. God, You have given me this meal. I will never forget Your grace. A drop received in need will be repaid with a whole river. God, I will not forget Your love for me. I pray in the Lord Jesus’ name, Amen! I need to go to work now.” Then he leaves. Is this kind of prayer useful? It is useless. This is not praying with the heart, this is called going through the formalities. This is cursory and purely religious ceremony. There is no meaning to this and God despises this sort of activity. If you do not have time, then do not pray. Just say “thank You, God” in your heart, and it would be fine. There is no need to pray this kind of repulsive prayer. These are the same old platitudes and doctrines. God does not listen to this kind of prayer. God pays attention to what is real. If someone does not understand God’s disposition, then they will not know how to pray. Isn’t this the case? If you do not understand God’s intentions, yet you still want to impose yourself onto God, then this is silly and ignorant.
Let’s continue reading God’s words. “If people do not give their heart to God in their belief in Him, if their heart is not in Him and they do not treat His burden as their own, then everything they do is cheating God, and it is all the behavior of religious people—this cannot receive God’s praise. God cannot get anything from this kind of person; this kind of person can only serve as a foil to God’s work, like a decoration in the house of God, taking up space, and is a good-for-nothing—God does not use this kind of person.” How does God compare and describe these types of people? “[T]his kind of person can only serve as a foil to God’s work, like a decoration in the house of God, taking up space, and is a good-for-nothing—God does not use this kind of person.” What situation do these words of God talk about? What exactly do these types of people resemble in God’s house? These people’s only use is to fill up the church. They are good-for-nothings. God definitely has no use for them. Since God definitely has no use for them, can these people be written off? Aren’t these people garbage? If you believe in God, are you willing to be garbage? We all say we do not want to be. Why have these people become garbage to be eliminated? They are unable to give their hearts to God. They do not have a proper relationship with God. They imitate religious ceremonies and they imitate the Pharisees. In the end, God treats them as waste and deals with them as if they were garbage. Do you understand? Some people say, “‘[T]his kind of person can only serve as a foil to God’s work,’ what does this mean? ‘… like a decoration in the house of God.’ What does ‘decoration’ mean?” What is the use of a foil? Do you know? It is used to render a service. What kind of service? This is like when God’s chosen people are not aware of what is hypocrisy. Oh, just call these people out and pick them apart, then you will know what hypocrisy means. If God’s chosen people do not know what it means to serve God yet resist Him at the same time, then these foils have a use. Pick apart their conduct and deeds and then you will understand what their use is, what a foil can be used for. If these people did not exist, then you would not understand. This is what a foil is used for, do you understand? Now, what is a foil? That is, sometimes, when you are preaching, you talk about something negative but you are unable to make it well understood. Then you bring up these foils, and pick them apart. And the others will understand what you were originally trying to say. This is how they can be useful. A similar example is God permitting wicked people, evil spirits, antichrists and nonbelievers that only want to eat their fill to exist in the church. What is the purpose of letting these people exist in the church? Someone says, “What kind of people does God’s work need to eliminate?” “Wicked people, evil spirits, antichrists and nonbelievers.” “Then, what are antichrists? What are nonbelievers?” Bring up an archetype of an antichrist that has already been expelled. Bring up an archetype of a nonbeliever that seeks bread to satisfy hunger. Once you bring these people up as examples, everyone will understand. They will understand what an antichrist is. They will understand what false leaders, wicked people, evil spirits and nonbelievers are. They will thoroughly understand. How is it that everyone will thoroughly understand this? It is because of the existence of these foils. When you bring these negative people out to dissect, everyone else will be able to differentiate. This is how these foils are effective. They have this function in God’s work. They are used to achieve this result. Do you understand? Now, if someone asks, “I do not understand. God wields power in His house. Why does He allow evil spirits, antichrists, wicked people and nonbelievers to sneak into God’s house?” Can we explain this problem? “The great red dragon frantically persecutes God’s chosen people and resists God’s work. Why does God not exterminate it? He allows it to remain until after His work is finished. At this point, He will eliminate it. Why is this?” Is there an explanation to this problem? God brings the great red dragon into play as a foil. Foils have this sort of use in God’s work. Once God’s work has concluded, these foils will be exterminated first. When it comes time for God to destroy the world, He will destroy one country at a time. However, first He will destroy the great red dragon. This is how a foil exits the stage. Do you understand? If you want to understand God’s words, then there must be foils. Isn’t this correct?
Let’s continue fellowshiping about God’s word. “God does not use this kind of person.” God dislikes people who conduct religious ceremonies while impersonating people of virtue. God will not bless those people; moreover, He will not use them. What does it mean that God refuses to make use of someone? It means that this person is a hopeless waste that God has no use for. We all have our own unique duties to fulfill and roles to play. We complete these duties under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the illumination and enlightenment attained therefrom. If a person lacks a proper relationship with God, will he be able to fulfill his duties? No, he will not. Why does a service-doer fail to attain perfection? Why did Paul who did so much work and suffered so many hardships fail to attain perfection? How do we explain this? So many religious people can’t understand this. No matter how you explain to them, they cannot accept the fact. But we can understand, can’t we? How do you understand it now? Why does God not approve of the acts of men who lack a proper relationship with Him? If a man relies on himself to act, and in doing so pays dearly by suffering many hardships, why is it that God will ultimately disapprove of him and eliminate him? Some say it’s because he doesn’t do what God wants him to do. This is correct, but it is only one reason. What are the other reasons? The main reason is that he lacks a proper relationship with God, and therefore he will not receive the work of the Holy Spirit. What is the fate of a man who does not receive the work of the Holy Spirit? He will never be able to know God. Knowledge of God is attained through undergoing the work of the Holy Spirit. The degree to which someone understands God depends on how much he experiences and understands the Holy Spirit’s work. Am I right? If he never gets in touch with the Holy Spirit, or cannot feel the slightest bit of work of the Holy Spirit, will his faith in God be able to mature at all? Absolutely not. How is this? He’ll say, “I’ve believed in God for many years, but I’ve never been able to feel or sense Him.”
Some people who haven’t believed in God for very long will say, “I’ve felt God! I’ve really felt Him!”
“How do you know that what you felt was really God? Did you see Him?”
“No, I didn’t see Him.”
“Did you touch Him?”
“Then how do you know that it was truly God?”
“I’ve felt the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart, I’ve felt His actions, as well as the illumination and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. I can sense it when God’s Spirit inspects me and guides me. Because of this, my faith in God has truly matured. God really does exist, and He can guide and enlighten us to understand the truth. When the Holy Spirit works inside me, I can feel how God loves me, how He saves and purifies me. And so God must be real.” How can we precisely define what it means to undergo God’s work? First of all, through practicing and experiencing God’s word, you will become aware of the Holy Spirit’s actions, enlightenment, illumination, and guidance. This is extremely important. Second of all, through understanding the truth by experiencing God’s work, you will acquire a completely new understanding of God. This new understanding will cause your faith in God to become stronger and stronger. Your heart will grow to revere and love God. In your heart, you will be willing to devote everything to God and do whatever you can to please Him. How does one attain these fruits? He attains them by using his heart to speak, pray and commune with God and obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit. The more you experience the Holy Spirit’s work, the more you will understand God; the less you experience the Holy Spirit’s work, the less you will understand God. The less you understand God, the weaker your faith in Him will be. Experience, understanding, and faith are correlative; they have a mutual relationship here. And so, a person who truly knows God will surely have the work of the Holy Spirit. He will truly pray to God about many matters, and experience the illumination, enlightenment, and guidance of the Holy Spirit on many affairs, he will attain the fruit of understanding of God’s word and the truth. This kind of person walks the path toward perfection through God. In this case, we must clearly understand one thing: What does it mean for a man to touch the Spirit of God with his heart? If you pray to God with sincerity, and you speak from your heart while communicating with God, you will be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Once you receive the work of the Holy Spirit, it will be the same as witnessing God appear right before your eyes, and you will grow more and more aware of just how extremely real God is. “God truly is real, He’s not at all vague! Though we cannot see Him with our eyes or touch Him with our hands, we can feel God’s genuineness and realness in our hearts, and know that the God we believe in is the real, live God! The only thing we cannot see is God’s image. However, we are all able to perceive God’s deeds, His enlightenment, and His love. We experience so many things through our hearts! We feel so many things in our hearts! It’s all about the heart. Don’t count on your eyes, there are so many things they won’t be able to see, things that you can only perceive with your heart. The heart can perceive the truth a hundred times, a thousand times better than your eyes can!” As this kind of person experiences more of the Holy Spirit’s work, won’t he come to understand God more and more? He’ll be able to perceive exactly what kind of God God is. Will his faith in God grow stronger and stronger? Yes! Let this be clear. When a person maintains consistent communication with God and always perceives the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit, his relationship with God will become more and more proper, more genuine. If you ask him to pray emptily like a religious person prays to the air, he’ll do nothing of the sort. He’ll say, “That way of prayer is completely wrong. Isn’t it just like talking to yourself? There’s no God in your heart. You’re cheating God! I could never pray like that, that kind of prayer is not devout. God would be disgusted with me and resent me. But when I speak with God, I speak my heart, and God listens to me. I don’t always feel Him there, but I still talk to God like this, sincerely, for God listens to me in secret.” Sometimes, a person will feel the work of the Holy Spirit and he will pray quite devoutly. But when he doesn’t feel this work, he may talk rubbish. Does this kind of person revere God in their hearts? No, this person is muddle-headed, foolish! God won’t always let you sense Him, but He will be secretly hearing your prayers and inspecting you. He will see if your heart is true or not, if it is reverent and devout. Only in this way can you be revealed. If God were to always make you realize how He works and why He does each thing, you wouldn’t develop true faith. There’s no knowing what you would do to God behind His back. This is why sometimes the Holy Spirit will allow you to sense Him, and other times the Holy Spirit will not allow you to sense Him. God will hide and conceal Himself from you so that He will be able to see whether you have true faith and obedience in Him, whether or not you truly revere Him. Do you understand what I’ve said so far? If you have this kind of experience, raise your hand. If you’ve been through this before, you will say, “Sometimes I perceive the Holy Spirit’s work, and other times God conceals Himself from me, but I still have faith in God. I just know that God is concealing Himself from me, inspecting me in secret. But I still give my heart to God. I still speak my mind to Him.” A person with this kind of experience, his life and faith will always grow and never stop. Is this clear?
Some people say, “Before, when I prayed to God, I felt the illumination and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and I was very moved. Those prayers were very spiritual, I spoke quite well, and after I finished praying, my tears began to flow, I felt God so lovely. But after some time passed, that feeling was gone. After it left me, I began to wonder: Why does God hide from me? What did I do wrong? Where did I offend God? Oh God, if I offended You, I’ll confess my sins in a heartbeat. I want to go back to that feeling, I can’t live without that feeling! And so, I must find a way to recover this feeling, to ask the Holy Spirit to touch me, to guide me directly, so that I can feel that feeling again, so that I can restore my spiritual life.” Is this line of thinking correct? If you think it’s wrong, raise your hand. There are still people who don’t understand. Don’t keep asking God to give you these kinds of transcendent feelings. God is real, He won’t work like this all the time. Understand this! If God always reveals Himself to you and His Spirit moves you and guides you in obvious ways, allowing you to feel Him clearly, it means that your stature is small, and you are still a “child.” Consider how a mother and father will always watch over a newborn child. Sometimes the mother and father will look at their child, without saying anything, and the baby will begin to cry because the baby’s eyes cannot see them clearly. But once the adult begins to soothe the baby, the baby will fall asleep and calm down. What does this mean? God will only watch over you like this if you are an infant child. After the child can eat solid food and gains some awareness of the world, at the age of five or six, the adults will go out to work and say to the child, “Wait for us in the house.” And the child will say, “Okay.” The grownups will go outside to work, and the child will wait inside. Soon the child will say, “Why haven’t they come home yet?” And he’ll start to cry. “Mom, why haven’t you come back yet? Where are you?” After he cries for a while, his mom will come back, and ask, “Why are you crying?” “I haven’t seen you for a long time, I’m scared.” “Didn’t I tell you I’d be working outside? There’s so much work to do, how could I come into the house to check on you? Be good. I’m working outside!” “I understand.” And he’ll go without crying again for another 2-3 hours. If he grows another year older, the grownups could leave him alone for 5 hours without an issue. But when he grows another two years older, the adults can leave him behind to run errands for half a day without an issue. A child grows more and more sensible like this. Doesn’t the spiritual life of man progress in the same way? Some people always ask, “God, please illuminate and enlighten me, let me feel You, let me see You.” Is it right to always ask for this? No, it’s not. Then what should we ask for? You should ask God for the work of the Holy Spirit to bear fruit, and ask God to let you attain this fruit. Say to Him, “God, after I finish praying to You, I still have yet to touch You, feel You, or see You. But after a while, I understand the truth, I become enlightened. It’s more than enough, my prayers have been so fruitful.” This is like a small child saying, “Mom, dad, you can go work outside. When I get hungry, just give me some food and water, and it’ll all be okay. Then I will know that you are working outside.” If this is how you talk to God, you’ll get along just fine, won’t you? It’s also okay to ask God to let you understand the truth, His will and His wishes, and how to satisfy Him. Don’t beg Him to let you feel Him directly, just ask Him to help you attain the fruits of His work. And so, if you have a problem, and you sincerely pray to God and seek answers from God, after thinking it over for several days, it will all become clear, a path will appear, there will be a light, and things will become clearer and clearer. Today it will be a bit clear, and tomorrow it will be even clearer, and the day after tomorrow you will be able to perceive it completely, and 3 days from now you will know exactly what to do. You’ll pray to God once again: “God, You’ve enlightened me, I understand now, I’ve come to understand in these past few days, this is all because of Your illumination and enlightenment. God, I am so grateful to You, I’m ready to act according to Your wishes, I know how to satisfy You now. Thank You, God. Amen!” When God sees you, He’ll say, “You understand, you’ve received the fruit, and I have received your response.” How is this prayer? Is it realistic or not? This is a proper relationship between man and God, one where man regularly prays to God, and tells Him his true feelings. When man and God interact like this, when man prays to God like this, he will be able to handle one thing after another. When you pray for things, speak your heart to God, and when you are finished, you will know what you need to do to obey and satisfy God. In the light of God’s enlightenment, you will come to understand one thing after another, and you will be able to satisfy God through receiving His guidance. If you walk the path of a believer in God like this, you will come to understand the truth more and more without even noticing it. Your obedience to God will become more and more real. As your knowledge of God becomes more real, your love for God will become more real. The way you obey God will become more real. The way you see things and your life disposition will transform without you even realizing it. This is the road you must walk as a believer in God. Pray to and communicate with God like this, and you will become a person who submits to God, you will attain perfection and salvation.
Is this the road you walk? This is the path of a believer in God. Pray to God about one thing after another, seek the truth from God, and grasp God’s will. In the end, you will be illuminated and enlightened and understand the truth, you will know how to act in accordance with God’s will. This is how you should handle the things you encounter, this is how you experience them. When you expose your corruption or make transgressions, do just like this: Pray to God and seek the truth. And at last, once you understand yourself, your heart will be heavy with true remorse, and you can repent sincerely and offer God your gratitude and praise. “God, I’ve learned a lesson through this. Now I understand where I was wrong before, I understand Your will, and I won’t rebel against You again, I will definitely practice the truth, I will work according to the principle, and I won’t ever again obstruct the work of God’s house. Thank You, God, for Your salvation.” This will do. You know how to handle your transgressions, and when you encounter complex problems, you know how to pray to God and pursue the truth. Moreover, in any kind of difficult situation, whether it concerns human relationships, work relationships with coworkers, relationships with God, or what principles to apply while dealing with people you don’t understand, you must pray to God about all of these problems, you must entrust them all to God, and seek the truth to resolve them. Let’s say that in the span of one year, you go through this process of truly contacting God like this a dozen times, and you are able to use the truth to resolve your problems. Do you think that you will benefit much from this single year of experiencing God’s work? Yes, you will benefit greatly. It is sufficient to truly experience God’s work on a dozen or so problems in a year. You rely on God to solve your problems. Through praying to God, you understand truth and attain true repentance. After you pray to God about these hardships for 1-2 months, you come to understand the truth, and you understand God’s will. And finally you give up your own ideas. This is what it means to truly experience the truth. If you completely resolve a dozen problems in one year, through praying to God and seeking the truth, this experience is extremely rewarding. Religious people pray to God and talk their heads off every day. They talk a load of garbage to God every day, but they don’t communicate with God no matter what they do; they rely on their own ideas, and they only act in order to satisfy themselves. Isn’t this a hundred times worse? These religious people are hypocritical Pharisees. We resolve actual problems through truly experiencing God’s work to attain and understand the truth. Thus the road we walk and the road that religious people walk are two different paths. Is this not the case? This is how we undergo God’s work, and this is how we walk the path to believing in God. Will we be able to resolve our corruptions by walking this path? Will we be able to understand the truth and know God? Of course we will, it just depends on whether or not you are a person who pursues the truth.
Today we’ve communicated a little about God’s word, let’s stop here. A few brothers and sisters new to the faith have asked some questions. Now I’ll provide some simple answers.
Questions & Answers
Question 1: A new believer said that since he believed in the Lord Jesus, he has been adoring Paul the Apostle. On the surface of things, Paul made many sacrifices and went through many pains on God’s behalf. Paul even looked after the church and wrote letters while in jail, and he disseminated the gospel throughout all of Europe. This new believer felt that Paul had some love for God, and that we can’t completely denounce him.
Answer: Is this an easy question to answer? Do we completely denounce Paul? We just use the word of God to dissect Paul’s path. During the Age of Grace, there were thousands upon thousands of people like Paul who went through many pains on God’s behalf. This is a fact. They accomplished quite a lot, going through so many pains, but what fruit did they attain through this work? Did their work satisfy God? Is their work a testament to the transformation of their disposition and a true love for God? Their labor was toilsome indeed, but does it prove that they followed God’s decrees and attained God’s will? No. And so, although they went through many pains, they did not do this work according to God’s will, that is, they did not fulfill God’s demands; they did not abide by God’s will, nor did they transform their life disposition. In the end, they fell back into their old wretched ways. They were arrogant and conceited and thought far too highly of themselves, demanding that God reward them and bestow a crown upon them. Thus, we can see that during the Age of Grace, most of the apostles and disciples believed in God along a wrong path. They did not act in order to pursue the truth and life, and thus they were not true lovers of God. Although they accomplished a great deal of work, they did not obey God’s will. Can you perceive the heart of this matter? Today we discern how Paul’s path was deviant, and this is communicated in accordance with God’s word. This doesn’t mean that we completely denounce Paul. Paul is Paul, after all! But where is Paul now? Paul never made it into the kingdom of heaven; he is being punished by God. This is God’s righteous judgment for Paul, because Paul opposed God from the outset and condemned the Lord Jesus. At that time, he had already been exposed as an antichrist. He followed the chief priests in pursuit of an official career in the religion, and he did his absolute utmost to condemn the Lord Jesus. He became a lead perpetrator in opposing and condemning the Lord. To what extremes did Paul oppose and condemn the Lord Jesus? He opposed the Lord Jesus even after He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven! After learning of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, this great miracle of God, how could Paul possibly continue to oppose Him? Do you think that Paul’s resistance of God was brought about by stupidity and ignorance? Was it because he lacked understanding of God? If stupidity and ignorance or a lack of understanding were to blame, or falling for man’s tricks, then as soon as Paul knew that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven after appearing to His disciples for 40 days, Paul would have said, “Oh no! I opposed the true God, Jesus! I was wrong to oppose Him. I repent, I allowed myself to be fooled and confused by men, I’m stupid and ignorant!” Paul ought to have taken it upon himself to repent. But Paul had no regrets, and he persisted in ruthlessly capturing the disciples of the Lord Jesus. “Jesus, I could not capture You for good and I lost You. You can rise from the dead and ascend to heaven, but I will capture all Your disciples and apostles!” Isn’t that what Paul did? Do you still think that Paul opposed God out of ignorance? Or did he consciously take the Lord Jesus as his enemy? This certainly puts things in a different light. Is it not so?
Then why did Paul still go through so many pains to disseminate the gospel for the Lord Jesus? This is because the Lord Jesus is all-powerful. He shone His light down on Paul from heaven, and this great light pierced his eyes and blinded him. And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you persecute.” Paul was instantly paralyzed. “It turns out the Lord Jesus really is God! This is really bad! He could destroy me with a single word. I will agree without hesitation. I will suffer many pains for Him so that He will spare my life!” And so, when Paul turned toward God like this, was it out of his own will? Did he actually want to do this? Was he willing to turn toward God after seeing God appear? No, he was forced to do so; he had no choice in the matter. To believe in God only after He openly reveals Himself, that is seeing and believing. This is far from believing without seeing. This is just how Almighty God does His work in the flesh: On the outside He is the Son of man, who does not possess the image of God’s Spirit at all. Anyone who looks at Him would say, “He’s an ordinary human.” People don’t recognize Him as God, and don’t acknowledge He is God. Only we, who have heard His word and seen His work, say, “This is the Word become flesh; this is the God we believe in. Christ suffers the slanders of this generation and the persecution of the religious world, but we believe in Him, He is God incarnate! We accept Him, not with shame, but with honor!” Others say, “Who is it you believe in?” “Almighty God incarnate!” “You’re so ignorant.” “What you call ignorance, I call the highest honor! I’m not ashamed. God lifts me up!” Isn’t this true faith? Now what about Paul? He believed in God in heaven, but he did not believe in God incarnate. And when he heard what God incarnate had to say, he saw that He spoke with much authority and power. Fearing that people would all turn toward Christ, Paul did his utmost to capture Him, condemn Him, and demean Him. In the end, it was only after the Lord Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven that He revealed Himself to Paul, and only then did Paul believe that He was God. Doesn’t this mean that Paul only believed in the God in heaven? If the Lord Jesus hadn’t revealed Himself, Paul would never have acknowledged the Lord Jesus as God. Is this not the case? And so, what did Paul believe in, in the end? He had faith in the heavenly God, but if God had not revealed Himself to him, he would not have believed in Him at all. This is why Paul harbored such hostility toward the incarnate Christ expressing the truth, and why Paul ruthlessly captured and persecuted the Lord Jesus. Doesn’t this expose his nature? Isn’t this Paul’s true essence? Isn’t this who Paul is? In what context did Paul conduct his service? When God was going to destroy him. The Lord Jesus ascended to heaven and revealed Himself to Paul through His light and in His spiritual body. Only then did Paul accept Him. If the Lord Jesus had never revealed Himself to Paul through His light, Paul never would have gone through so many pains for God in the first place, nor would he have taken up the duties God entrusted Him with. Is this not so? Paul was forced to surrender to God by God’s miracles, His almighty marvels! If Jesus Christ had remained in the flesh as a Son of Nazareth and carpenter, Paul wouldn’t have believed in Him at all. What nature does someone as stubborn as this have? The nature of an antichrist. The work Paul did is simply doing service. Do you understand? Did Paul come to recognize his own nature during the time of his doing service? Did he have any remorse for persecuting the Lord Jesus? How many tears did he cry? Is he fit to inherit God’s promise? Is he at all fit to wear a crown, and isn’t he completely senseless to demand one? It would be good enough to wash away his sins. How could he be fit to wear the righteous crown? Is he worthy of it? What do you think of my answer?
Question 2: Please give some fellowship on this sentence from God’s word: “At the time of the last days, do your utmost to offer up your love before Me, lest My wrath never depart from you!”
Answer: During the end of times, God took on a fleshly body to do His work. If people do not experience His work deeply enough, will they be able to truly love God? No, they will not. At this stage of God’s work in the last days, God has spoken many words and brought such great salvation, and revealed so much of His disposition to man. If people have yet to see His love and offer their love to God, don’t they deserve to be cursed? If a person still doesn’t know God or truly love Him after He has said so much, this person deserves to die. He is not fit to live. God says, “[L]est My wrath never depart from you!” God didn’t say this during the Age of Grace. He reveals the entirety of His disposition to humanity only during the last days. What is true love? What God has and is and the whole of God’s disposition are true love for all of humanity. Whatever God reveals to people, whatever fruits they attain, it is all true love! If you experience His work deeply enough, if you experience it personally all the way through, you will attain the entirety of God’s love. The more you undergo God’s wrath, judgment and chastisement, the more you will understand God. As you understand God, the ultimate fruit you attain will be reverence and love for God. Many people say, “After I underwent God’s judgment and chastisement, I could see that I am a devil, I could see that I am unfit to be called a human, and I could see what a wretched scoundrel I am! Am I someone with normal humanity? Am I genuinely human? As soon as I saw these things, I felt that I deserved to die. How could I attain the true love of God when I’m like this? Isn’t this a bit contradictory?” The more you experience God’s judgment and chastisement, won’t you feel less like a human, and more like Satan the devil? “I didn’t realize it before at all. Before I used to think I was the best person, I didn’t steal, I didn’t rob, I didn’t do anything bad. But when I underwent God’s chastisement and judgment, I saw that my nature was exactly like the archangel’s. I was arrogant and conceited, egotistical, and thought everyone else was beneath me, to the point where I even looked down on God. What kind of beast am I!?” Once you’ve reached this point in the work, you’ll think you’re a child of hell, “I’m going to hell! I deserve to go to hell!” But in the end, God will not send you to hell on the basis of your past transgressions or the true condition of your corruption. What happens once you plead guilty, repent, and try to know yourself? You begin to be transformed, you begin to have sense and conscience, you truly expend yourself for God, and you believe yourself to be unfit. Regardless of how much you suffer, or what price you pay, or how hard you work to do your duty, you are still willing. You won’t require a crown, you won’t require any blessings. “After I’ve exerted myself and done all I can to do service, if God sends me to hell, I have no complaints!” This person isn’t like Paul at all. “Paul strove for a crown, but I don’t. I don’t want it. If I go to hell, that’s ok. I’m at God’s mercy, and I can see that God is a righteous God.” This person has attained this level of experience. He doesn’t seek rewards, titles, or blessings, he puts himself under the orchestration of God. He is willing to do service, to do all that he can, to do all his duties and dedicate all that he has to God, while saying, “I don’t deserve God’s blessings.” Isn’t this love for God? This is true love for God. When a person reaches this level of understanding, haven’t they reached the summit in their experience of God’s work? When someone attains this level of understanding, God will say, “People who understand like you are the people I will save, you are precisely the fruit that I seek to attain through My work, you are the people of My kingdom!” What do you think? Do you feel God is lovely? God is a righteous God. He sees that our past transgressions are numerous, and that we are Satan and devils, yet He has not yet punished us or thrown us into hell. Moreover, He will lead us into the kingdom of God to become His people. What do you have to say about God’s love? Shouldn’t we dedicate our love to God? If you reach this level of God’s work, and even at this point you’re still unable to dedicate your love to God, God’s wrath will “never depart from you.” Is this easy to understand? If you still can’t dedicate your love to God, then you really aren’t fit to be called a human, you have no conscience at all! In that case, is it wrong for God to express His wrath? This kind of person deserves God’s wrath; he is guilty and he deserves to be punished. God’s words are not undue, for this person lacks both conscience and sense, and they are lower than a dog or a pig.
This concludes today’s meeting! Goodbye!