Words on Knowing God’s Work and Disposition

Excerpt 20

All corrupt human beings have a satanic nature. They all have a satanic disposition and can betray God anywhere, anytime. Some people ask, “God created humans, and they are in God’s hands. Why doesn’t God protect humans instead of allowing them to betray God? Isn’t God almighty?” This is indeed a question. What problems can you find with this? God has an almighty side and also a practical side. People could betray God without being corrupted by Satan. Humans have no subjective will of their own, in terms of how they should worship God, and how to renounce Satan, not associate with Satan and obey God. God has the truth, the life, and the path, God is inviolable.... Humans do not have any of these things inside of them. They do not see through those things in Satan’s nature and do not understand the truth at all, so they can betray God anywhere, anytime. What’s more, after people have been corrupted by Satan, they have Satan’s things inside of them, and it is easier for them to betray God. This is the problem. If you only see the practical side of God and not the almighty side of God, it will be easy for you to betray God and see Christ as an ordinary person, and you will not know how He can possibly deliver so many truths to save humankind. If you see only the almighty side of God and not the practical side of God, it will also be easy for you to resist God. If you do not see either side, you will be even more likely to resist God. Therefore, isn’t knowing God the hardest thing in the world? The more that people know God, the more they understand God’s intentions, and understand that everything God does has meaning. If people have a true knowledge of God, they can achieve such results. Although God has a practical side, people can never fully know God. God is too great and wonderfully unfathomable, and people’s thinking is too limited. Why is it said that man is forever an infant before God? This is what it means.

When God speaks or does something, people always misunderstand, “How can God do that? God is almighty!” People always have their own notions. With regard to God tasting worldly suffering, some people think, “Isn’t God almighty? Does He need to taste worldly suffering? Doesn’t God know what worldly suffering is like?” This is the practical side of God’s workings. In the Age of Grace, Jesus was crucified for the redemption of mankind, but man does not understand God and always harbors some notions about God, saying: “To redeem all mankind, God had only to say to Satan, ‘I am almighty. You dare to withhold mankind from Me? You must give them to Me.’ With these few words, everything could have been resolved—did God not have authority? All that was needed was for God to say that mankind was redeemed and that man’s sins were pardoned, then man would have been without sin. Could these things not be decided by God’s words? If the heavens and earth and all things came into being with words from God, how then could God not resolve this issue? Why did God Himself need to be crucified?” Both God’s almighty side and His practical side are at work here. With regard to His practical side, God incarnate endured much suffering in His thirty-three and a half years living on earth, in the end being crucified. He endured the most terrible suffering. Then He was resurrected from death, and His resurrection was God’s aspect of almightiness at work. God did not make any indication, or shed any blood or make it rain and say this was a sin offering. He didn’t do anything like that, but instead He personally became flesh to redeem mankind and was nailed to the cross, so that mankind would know of this deed. By means of this deed, mankind came to know that God had indeed saved man and this was proof. Whichever incarnation performs the work or whether the Spirit does the work directly, it is all necessary. This means that, by doing things in this way, the work is made most valuable and most significant, and only by doing things in this way can mankind reap the benefits thereof. This is because the whole of mankind is the object of God’s management. It was said before that this was to wage war with Satan and to humiliate it. And actually, is this not good for man in the end? To man, this is something to commemorate and is something that is most valuable and significant, because what God wishes to make are people who have emerged from tribulation with an understanding of God, who have been made perfect by God and who have come through the corruption of Satan. Therefore, this work must surely be done in this way. The decision about which method God employs in every stage of His work is based on the needs of mankind. God’s work is certainly not done using indiscriminate methods. But people have a choice and have their own notions. As with Jesus’ crucifixion, people think: “What has God being crucified got to do with us?” They think there is no connection, but God had to be crucified in order to save mankind. Being crucified was the worst suffering of that time, could the Spirit have been crucified? The Spirit could not be crucified and could not be a prefiguration of God, much less shed blood and die. Only the incarnation could be crucified, this was the proof of the sin offering. His flesh took on the form of a sinful body and bore the suffering for humankind. The Spirit could not suffer for humankind, nor could He atone for people’s sins. Jesus was crucified for the sake of humankind. This is the practical side of God. God could do this and love people in this way, while humans could not. This is the almighty side of God.

Everything that God does involves His almighty side as well as His practical side. God’s almightiness is His essence, and His practicality is also His essence; these two aspects are inseparable. God’s doing of deeds in a real, practical manner is His practical aspect at work, and that He can work this way also shows His almighty aspect. You cannot say, “Because God works in reality, He therefore is practical, only has a practical side and has no almighty aspect”; if you say that, it will become a rule. This is the practical aspect, but there is also the almighty aspect. Anything God does contains both of these aspects–His almightiness and His practicality—and it is all done based on His essence; it is an expression of His disposition as well as a revelation of His essence and what He is. People think that, in the Age of Grace, God was mercy and love; but He still had His wrath and His judgment. God’s cursing of the Pharisees and of all the Jews—was this not His wrath and righteousness? You cannot say that God was only mercy and love during the Age of Grace, that He basically had no wrath, no judgment or curse—to say this shows people’s lack of understanding of the work of God. God’s work in the Age of Grace was all an expression of His disposition. Everything God did that man could see was to prove that He Himself is God and that He is almighty, to prove that He Himself has the essence of God. Does God’s work of judgment and chastisement during this present stage mean that He has no mercy or love? No. If you summarize the essence of God in just one sentence or one statement, you are too arrogant and self-righteous, foolish and ignorant, and it shows that you do not know God. Some people say, “Tell us the truth about knowing God, explain it clearly.” What should a person who knows God say? They will say, “The matter of knowing God is so deep that I can’t explain it clearly in a few sentences. I cannot make it understandable, no matter how I put it. As long as you get the gist, that is enough. One can never know God thoroughly.” An arrogant person who does not know God will say, “I know what kind of God He is, I really understand Him.” Isn’t this bragging? Anyone who says this is arrogant in the extreme! There are some things that—if people do not experience and have not seen some facts—they cannot really know or experience, so they feel that knowledge of God is quite abstract. People who do not know only hear a kind of statement, they understand its logic, but do not know it. Just because you do not know it does not mean that it is not the truth. It seems abstract to those who have no experience, but it is, in fact, not abstract. If a person really has experience, they will be able to match the words of God to their appropriate contexts and apply them and put them into practice. This is what understanding the truth is. Can you understand the truth if you only listen to the sentences of God’s words but have no real understanding? You must put them into practice and experience them. It is not an easy thing to understand the truth.

God redeemed all of humankind in the Age of Grace. This is God’s almighty side, and His almightiness includes all His practical work. By doing His work to conquer people, all people fall down before God and can accept Him. If people speak of God’s almightiness and practicality independently of each other, they will not be able to understand them thoroughly. To know God, you must combine your knowledge of His two aspects of almightiness and practicality; only then can you achieve results. God’s ability to do His work actually and practically, and to cleanse and resolve the corruption of humanity by expressing the truth, as well as His being able to directly lead people—these things show God’s practical side. God expresses His own disposition and what He is, and whatever work humans cannot do, He can do; in this can be seen God’s almighty side. God carries the authority to bring what He says into existence, to make His commands stand firm, and to have what He says be done. While God speaks, His almightiness is revealed. God rules over all things, maneuvers Satan to do service for Him, arranges environments to test and refine people, and purify and transform their dispositions—all of these are manifestations of God’s almighty side. The essence of God is both almighty and practical, and these two aspects complement each other. Everything God does is an expression of His own disposition and a revelation of what He is. What He is includes His almightiness, His righteousness, and His majesty. God’s work from beginning to end is a revelation of His own essence and an expression of what He is. His essence has two aspects: One is the aspect of His almightiness, the other is the aspect of His practicality. No matter which stage of God’s work you look at, there are these two aspects, which are in everything God does. This is one path to understanding God.

Excerpt 21

Whether God does His work through His incarnation or His Spirit, it is all done according to His management plan. It is not done according to any overt or hidden methods, or according to human needs, but completely according to His management plan. It is not as if the work of the last days can be done any way that God pleases. This stage is done on the foundation of the previous two stages of His work. The work of the Age of Grace, the second stage of His work, enabled mankind to be redeemed, and this was done by the incarnation. It is not impossible for the Spirit to perform the current stage of God’s work, He is capable of doing it, but it is more appropriate for the incarnation to do it, this can save people more effectively. After all, the utterances of the incarnation are better than the direct utterances of the Holy Spirit at conquering people, and they are better at facilitating people’s knowledge of God. When the Spirit works, He can’t always be with people, it’s not possible for the Spirit to directly live and speak with people face-to-face like the incarnation does now, and there are times when it’s not possible for the Spirit to reveal what’s inside people like the incarnation can. In this stage, the incarnation’s work is mainly to conquer people, and after conquering them, to make them perfect, so that they will come to know God and be able to worship Him. This is the work of ending the era. If this stage were not about conquering people, but only about letting them know that there is indeed a God, then the Spirit could perform it. You may think that if this stage were done by the Spirit, He could replace the incarnation, and do the same work as the incarnation, and that, because God is omnipotent, no matter if it were the incarnation or the Spirit working, the same results could be achieved. However, you would be wrong. God works according to His management, and to His plan and steps to save man. It is not like, as you imagine, that the Spirit is omnipotent, the incarnation is omnipotent, and God Himself is omnipotent, so He can do whatever He wants to do. God works according to His management plan, and each stage of His work has certain steps within it. How this stage should be done, and the details that should be involved are also planned out. The first stage of God’s work was done in Israel, and this last stage is in the country of the great red dragon, China. Some people say, “Can’t God do it in another country?” According to this stage’s management plan, it must be done in China. The people of China are backward, their lives are decadent, and there are no human rights or freedoms. It is a country where Satan and evil demons are in power. The purpose of appearing and working in China is to save the people who are living in the darkest part of the world and who have been most deeply corrupted by Satan. This is the only way to really defeat Satan and completely obtain glory. If God were to appear and work in another country, it would not be as significant. Every stage of God’s work is necessary, and performed by God in the way that it must be done. Some things can be achieved by the work of the incarnation and some things can be achieved by the work of the Spirit. God chooses to work through the incarnation or the Spirit according to whichever method will get the best results. It’s not like, as you have suggested, that any way of working would be fine, that God could do the work by casually taking on human form, and that the Spirit could also do it without meeting any people face-to-face, and that both of these methods could achieve certain results. You must not misunderstand this. God is almighty, but He also has a practical side, and people cannot see this. People see God as very supernatural, and they cannot fathom Him, so they develop notions and all kinds of unrealistic ideas about Him. Very few people see that God’s words and work are the truth, that they are practical, that they are the most real things, and that they can be touched and seen by man. If people really have caliber and the ability to comprehend, after experiencing several years of God’s work, they should be able to see that all of the words God expresses are the truth realities, that there are truths and principles in all of the work and the things that He does, and that everything He does has great significance. Whatever God does has meaning, is necessary, and can achieve the best results. It all has a definite purpose, plan, and significance. Do you think that God’s work is done based on thoughtlessly spoken words? He has an almighty side, but He also has a practical side. Your knowledge is one-sided. There are errors in your understanding of God’s almighty side, to say nothing of your understanding of His practical side, where your errors are much greater.

In the three stages of God’s work, the first stage is done by the Spirit, while the last two stages are done by the incarnation, and each stage of His work is very essential. Take the crucifixion, for example, if the Spirit was crucified on the cross, it would have no meaning, because people cannot see or touch the Spirit, and the Spirit cannot feel anything or suffer pain. Consequently, this crucifixion would have no meaning. The stage which takes place in the last days is that of conquering people, which is work that the incarnation can do—the incarnation cannot be replaced by the Spirit when it comes to this work, and the work done by the Spirit cannot be done by the incarnation. When God chooses the incarnation or the Spirit to do any stage of His work, this is an absolutely necessary choice, and it is all done in order to attain the best results and to achieve the aims of His management plan. God has an almighty side and a practical side. He works in a practical way in every stage of His work. People imagine that God doesn’t talk, or think, and that He does whatever He wants to do, but this is not the case. He has wisdom, He has all that He is, and this is His essence. When He works, He needs to reveal and express His disposition, His essence, His wisdom, and all that He has and is, so that people can understand, come to know, and attain these things. He does not work based on thin air, and much less does He work based on people’s imaginings, He acts according to the needs of the work and according to the results which need to be achieved. He speaks in a practical way, He works and suffers day by day, and when He suffers, He feels pain. It is not as if the Spirit is present during the time when the incarnation works and speaks, and that the Spirit goes away when the incarnation does not work and speak. If this were the case, then He would not have suffered, and this would not have been an incarnation. People can’t see God’s practical side, and so, people do not know God well, and their understanding of Him is only skin-deep. People say that God is practical and normal, or that God is almighty and all-powerful—all of these words are ones that they have learned from others, because they don’t have true knowledge or real experience. When it comes to the incarnation, why is there such an emphasis on the essence of the incarnation? Why not the Spirit? The focus is on the work of the incarnation, the work of the Spirit is to assist and help, and this achieves the results of the work of the incarnation. In each phase, people can come to know a little about God, but they are unable to break through or attain it when they want to know a little more about Him; when God says a little, people understand a little, but their knowledge of Him is still not very clear, and they can’t easily grasp the essential part of it. If you think that the Spirit can do whatever the incarnation can do, and that the Spirit can take the place of the incarnation, then you will never know the significance of the incarnation, the work of the incarnation, and what the incarnation is.

Excerpt 24

God loves mankind—this is true and everyone acknowledges this fact—so, how does God love man? (God expresses truth, supplies man with truth, exposes, judges, disciplines, tries and refines them, allowing them to understand and gain the truth.) This is what you have all experienced and seen. God’s expression of His love for mankind differs from age to age—in some cases, God’s love accords with people’s notions and they can immediately grasp and acknowledge it, but sometimes God’s love stands in contradiction to people’s notions and they are unwilling to accept. Which aspects of God’s love stand in contradiction to people’s notions? God’s judgment, chastisement, condemnation, punishment, wrath, curses, and so on. No one is willing to face these things, nor can they accept them, nor did they ever imagine that God’s love may manifest in this way. So, how did man originally delimit God’s love? They originally delimited God’s love to the Lord Jesus’ healing of the sick, driving out of demons, feeding of five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, bestowment of abundant grace, and seeking of those that were lost—in their delineation, God treats mankind like a little lamb, caressing them ever so softly. This, to them, is what God’s love consists of. Thus, when they observe God speaking severely and dealing out judgment, chastisement, smiting and discipline, it chafes with their imagined version of God and so they develop notions, become rebellious and even deny God. If God were to curse you, say you lack humanity, do not love the truth, are no better than a beast and that He will not save you, what would you think? Would you think God’s love is not true, that God is not loving? Would you lose your faith in Him? Some say: “God judges and chastises me in order to save me, but if He curses me, I will not accept Him as my God. If God curses someone, does that not spell the end for them? Does it not mean that they will be punished and descend into hell? With no outcome in sight, what is the point in believing in God?” Is this not an absurd notion? If God curses you someday in the future, will you still follow Him as you do now? Will you still do your duty? It is difficult to say. Some people are able to persevere in their duty; they place emphasis on pursuing the truth and are prepared. Others, however, do not pursue the truth and do not place importance on life progress—they neglect these things. All they think about is receiving rewards and perks and being a useful person in God’s house. Whenever time allows, they are always summarizing what work they have done recently, what good deeds they have performed for the church, what great price they have paid, and what rewards and crowns they should be given. These are the kinds of things they summarize in their spare time. When God curses such people, is it not shocking and unexpected for them? Are they liable to immediately stop believing in God? Is this a possibility? (Yes.) The only attitude that a created being should have toward the Creator is one of obedience, one of unconditional obedience. This is something that some people today may be unable to accept. This is because man’s stature is too small and they are without the truth reality. If, when God does things that are at odds with your notions, you are liable to misinterpret God—even to disobey God, and turn your back on Him—then you are far from being able to obey God. While man is provided for and watered by the word of God, they are in fact striving for a single goal, which is ultimately to be able to achieve unconditional, absolute submission to God—at which point, you, this creation, will have reached the standard required. There are times when God deliberately does things that are at odds with your notions, and deliberately does things that go against your wishes, and which may even seem to be at odds with the truth, inconsiderate toward you, and not in keeping with your own preferences. These things may be difficult for you to accept, you may not be able to get your head round them, and no matter how you analyze them, they may feel wrong to you and you may not be able to accept them, you may feel that God was unreasonable to do this—but in fact, God did this deliberately. So what is God’s aim in doing these things? It is to test and expose you, to see whether or not you are able to seek the truth, whether or not you have true obedience to God. Do not seek a basis for all that God does and asks, and do not ask why. Trying to reason with God has no use. You just have to recognize that God is the truth and be capable of absolute obedience. You just have to recognize that God is your Creator and your God. This is higher than any reasoning, higher than any worldly wisdom, higher than any human morality, ethics, knowledge, philosophy, or traditional culture—higher, even, than human feelings, human righteousness, and so-called human love. It is higher than everything. If this is not clear to you, then a day will sooner or later come when something happens to you and you fall. At the very least, you will rebel against God and walk a deviant path; if you are ultimately able to repent, and recognize the loveliness of God, and recognize the significance of God’s work in you, then you will still have hope of salvation—but if you fall because of this thing and are unable to climb back up, you have no hope. Whether God judges, chastises, or curses people, this is all in order to save them, and they need have no fear. What should you fear? You should fear God saying, “I detest and reject you.” If God says this, you are in trouble: This means that God will not save you, that you have no hope of salvation. And so, in accepting God’s work, people must understand God’s will. Whatever you do, do not nitpick when it comes to God’s words, saying, “Judgment and chastisement are okay, but condemnation, curse, destruction—won’t that mean it’s all over for me? What’s the point of being a creature of God? So I’m not going to be, and You won’t be my God anymore.” If you reject God and do not stand firm in your testimony, then God may truly reject you. Do you know this? No matter how long people have believed in God, no matter how many roads they have traveled, how much work they have done, or how many duties they have performed, everything they have done during this time has been in preparation for one thing. What is that? They have been preparing to ultimately have absolute obedience to God, unconditional obedience. What does “unconditional” mean? It means that you make no justification, and speak nothing of your own objective reasons, it means that you don’t split any hairs; you are not worthy of this, for you are a creature of God. When you split hairs with God, you have mistaken your place, and when you try to reason with God—again, you have mistaken your place. Do not argue with God, do not always try to figure out the reason, do not insist on understanding before you obey, and on not obeying when you don’t understand. When you do this, you have mistaken your place, in which case your obedience to God is not absolute; it is obedience that is relative and conditional. Are those who make conditions for their obedience to God people who truly obey God? Are you treating God as God? Do you worship God as the Creator? If you do not, then God does not acknowledge you. What must you experience in order to attain the absolute and unconditional obedience to God? And how should you experience? For one thing, people must accept the judgment and chastisement of God, they must accept being pruned and dealt with. In addition, they must accept God’s commission, they must pursue the truth as they perform their duty, they must understand the various aspects of the truth that relate to entry into life, and attain understanding of God’s will. Sometimes, this is beyond people’s caliber, and they lack the powers of comprehension to attain understanding of the truth, and can only understand a little when others fellowship with them or through learning lessons from the various situations created by God. But you must be aware that you must have a heart of obedience to God, you must not try to reason with God or make conditions; everything that God does is what ought to be done, for He is the Creator and you are a creature of God. You must have an attitude of obedience, and must not always ask the reason or speak of conditions. If you lack even the most basic attitude of obedience, and are even liable to doubt and be wary of God, or to think, in your heart, “I have to see if God is really going to save me, and whether God is really righteous. Everyone says that God is love—well, then, I have to see whether there really is love involved in what God does in me, whether it really is love,” if you constantly examine whether what God does is in line with your notions and tastes, or even what you believe to be the truth, then you have mistaken your place, and you are in trouble: You will be likely to offend God’s disposition. Truths relating to obedience are crucial, and no truth can be completely and clearly explained in just a couple of sentences; they all relate to people’s various states and corruption. Entry into the truth reality cannot be attained in one or two—or three or five—years. It requires experiencing many things, experiencing much of the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, experiencing much pruning and dealing. Only when you ultimately attain the ability to practice the truth will your pursuit of the truth be effective, and only then will you possess the truth reality. Only those who possess the truth reality are those who have true experience.

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