Words on Knowing God’s Work and Disposition

Excerpt 19

Most people do not understand God’s work, so their faith is too lacking. Knowing God’s work is not easy; one must first know that there is a plan to all God’s work and it is all done on God’s timing. Man can never fathom what and when God works; God does certain work at a certain time, and He does not delay; no one can destroy His work. To work according to His plan and according to His intention is the principle by which He does His work, and no person can change this. Therein, you should see God’s disposition. God’s work waits for no one, and when it is time to do some work, it must be done. You have all experienced God’s work in the last few years. Who can destroy the way in which He provides for people, prevent Him from saying His words when He needs to say them and carrying out work when it needs to be done? When they first started to spread the gospel, most people gave out books of God’s words to those in the churches and religious people. What was the result of this? Very few of these people investigated God’s words; most of them were slanderous, judgmental, and full of hostility. Some burned the books, some confiscated them, some beat those who were spreading the gospel and forced them to admit their guilt, and some even called the police to arrest and persecute them. At that time, all the denominations resisted frantically, but in the end, the gospel of the kingdom was still disseminated all over the mainland of China. Who can disrupt the carrying out of God’s will? Who can stop the spread of God’s kingdom gospel? God’s sheep listen to God’s voice, and those who should be gained by God will be gained sooner or later. This is something that no one can destroy. It is like the sentence in Proverbs which states, “The king’s heart is in the hand of Jehovah, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will” (Proverbs 21:1). This is even more so the case for those insignificant people, right? God has His own plans and arrangements about when He will do what work. Some people always judge that it is impossible for God to do this or that, but such ideas are only people’s imaginings. No matter how much damage people do and how much trouble Satan stirs up, it will come to nothing, and they will not be able to stop God’s work. The work of the Holy Spirit determines everything, and people can accomplish nothing without the work of the Holy Spirit. What kind of reason should people possess regarding this? When a person realizes that the Holy Spirit is not working, they should let go of their own notions and be careful not to do anything blindly. The wise choice is to seek God’s intention and wait for God’s timing. Some people always rely on their own human notions and imaginings and preempt God, and the result is that the Holy Spirit does not work and their efforts are futile. However, people must do what they ought to do, and they must fulfill their duty. You cannot wait passively for fear of doing something wrong, and you certainly cannot say, “God has not yet done it, and God has not yet said what He wants me to do, so I will not do anything for now.” Is this not a failure to do your duty? You must think this through, for it is not a small matter, and a single error in thinking can damage your prospects or ruin you.

In God’s management plan, whatever work God does is done on schedule, at the right time, very precisely, and absolutely not according to the imagination of people who say, “This won’t work, that won’t work, this will get you nowhere!” God is almighty, and nothing is difficult for God. From the Age of Law to the Age of Grace to the Age of Kingdom, every step of God’s work has been done contrary to the notions of people, who think it is all unfeasible. Nonetheless, in the end it all works out, and Satan is completely disgraced and fails, and people cover their mouths. What can people do? They cannot even practice the truth, but they can still be arrogant and conceited and think that they can do anything, and their hearts are full of extravagant desires, and they don’t bear true witness at all. There are even people who think, “God’s day is coming soon, we won’t have to suffer anymore, we will have a good life, and the end is in sight.” Let Me tell you, such people are just going along for the ride and fooling about, and in the end they will only be punished and gain nothing! Can believing in God for the sake of seeing the day of God and escaping the great disaster help one gain the truth and life? Anyone who believes in God to escape disaster and to see the day of God will perish. However, those who believe to pursue the truth, and to be saved through a change in disposition will survive. These are the true believers in God. Those muddled believers will ultimately gain nothing, only work in vain, and will be punished more heavily. All people have a severe lack of insight. Those who believe in God but don’t see to their tasks and are always thinking about wicked things are evildoers, they are nonbelievers and can only harm themselves. Aren’t believers and unbelievers both in God’s hands? Who can escape the hands of God? No one can escape! Those who escape must ultimately return to God and be punished. This is obvious, why can’t people see it clearly?

Some people do not have the slightest knowledge of God’s almightiness, even though they believe in Almighty God. They are continually confused about the following question: “Since God is almighty, has authority, and is able to hold sovereignty over all things, why did He still create Satan, allow it to corrupt mankind for 6,000 years and throw the world into a state of chaos? Why doesn’t God destroy Satan? Wouldn’t people have a good life if Satan was eliminated?” This is the way most people think. Can you now explain this issue? This involves the truth in regard to visions. This question has been considered by many, but now that you have something of a foundation, you will not doubt God because of it. However, the confusion about this must be cleared up. There are some people who ask, “Why did God allow the archangel to betray Him? Could it be that God did not know the archangel was capable of betraying Him? Did God fail to control it, did He allow it, or did God have some purpose?” It is normal for people to raise this question, and they should know that this question involves God’s entire management plan. God arranged for there to be an archangel and this archangel’s betrayal of God was both permitted by God and arranged by Him—it most definitely falls within the scope of God’s management plan. God permitted the archangel to corrupt mankind that He had made, after it had betrayed Him. It is not that God failed to control Satan, so that mankind was seduced by the serpent and corrupted by Satan, but that it was God who permitted Satan to do this. Only after He had given His permission for this to happen did God begin His management plan and His work of saving mankind. Can man fathom out the mystery here? Once mankind had been corrupted by Satan, God then began His work of managing mankind. First, He did the work of the Age of Law in Israel. After two thousand years had passed, He performed the work of the crucifixion in the Age of Grace, and all mankind was redeemed. In the time of the last days, He is incarnated to conquer and save a group of people in the last days. What kind of people are those who have been born in the last days? They are those who have undergone thousands of years of Satan’s corruption, who have been so deeply corrupted that they no longer have the human likeness. After experiencing the judgment, chastisement, and exposure of the words of God, after being conquered, they attain the truth from within God’s words and are sincerely convinced by God; they achieve an understanding of God, and they can submit to God absolutely and satisfy His will. In the end, the group of people gained through God’s management plan will be people like this. Do you think that those who have not been corrupted by Satan will satisfy God’s will, or will it be those who have been corrupted by Satan and eventually saved? The people to be obtained throughout the course of the entire management plan are a group who can understand God’s will, who attain the truth from God, and who possess the kind of life and human likeness which God requires. When humans were first created by God, they merely had human likeness and human life. However, they did not possess the truth that God requires of men and they could not live out the likeness God has always hoped men would have. The group of people who will ultimately be gained are those who will remain to the last, and these are the ones whom God gains, with whom He is pleased, and who satisfy Him. Over the several-thousand-year course of the work of management, these people who He has finally saved have gained the most; the truth these people have gained has been precisely the watering and sustenance given to them by God through His war with Satan. The people in this group are better than those whom God created in the very beginning; even though they were corrupted, this was inevitable, and it is a matter that falls within the scope of God’s management plan. This fully reveals His almightiness and wisdom, as well as the fact that everything God has arranged, planned, and achieved is the absolute greatest. If you are afterward asked again: “If God is almighty, how could the archangel still betray Him? Then God cast it down to earth where He allowed it to corrupt mankind. What is the significance of this?” you can say this: “This matter falls within the preordination of God and it is most significant. Man cannot entirely fathom it, but from the level that man can comprehend and reach, it can be seen that what God did is very meaningful. This is certainly not to say that God has a temporary lapse, or that He loses control and has no way to manage things, and then He turns Satan’s tricks against it, saying ‘The archangel engaged in betrayal anyway so I may as well just get on with it, and I’ll just save mankind after it has corrupted them all.’ This is absolutely not the case.” People should know at the very least that this matter falls within the scope of God’s management plan. What plan? In the first stage, there was an archangel; in the second stage, the archangel betrayed; in the third stage, after the archangel’s betrayal, it came amongst mankind to corrupt them, and then God began His work of managing mankind. When people believe in God they must understand the vision of God’s management plan. Some never understand this aspect of the truth, feeling always that there are many unsolvable contradictions. With no understanding they feel unassured, and if they are unassured, they have no energy to move forward. Without the truth it is hard to make any progress, so it is really difficult for those who do not seek the truth when they are faced with an issue. Has this fellowship helped you understand? It was only after the betrayal of the archangel that God had the management plan to save mankind. When did the archangel begin its betrayal? There were definitely some things which revealed its betrayal, there was a process to the betrayal by the archangel, it certainly can’t be as simple as the text makes it out to be. It’s like Judas’ betrayal of Jesus—there was a process. He didn’t just betray Jesus shortly after following Him. Judas didn’t love the truth, he coveted money, and was always stealing. God gave him to Satan, Satan gave him ideas, and then he began to betray Jesus. Judas became depraved step by step and in some specific circumstances, when the time came, he betrayed Jesus. There is a regular pattern to people’s depravity, and it is not as simple as people imagine it to be. At the moment, people can only understand the things in God’s management plan to this extent, but they will be able to comprehend its significance more deeply when they grow in stature.

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 submit to God. God has the truth, the life, and the way, God is unoffendable…. 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 likeness of sinful flesh 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 a practical way, He therefore is practical, only has a practical side and has no almighty aspect”; if you say that, it will become a regulation. 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 literal meaning of God’s words but have no practical 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 holds sovereignty over all things, maneuvers Satan to render 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 flesh, and do the same work as the flesh, and that, because God is almighty, no matter if it were the flesh 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 almighty, the flesh is almighty, and God Himself is almighty, 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 flesh and some things can be achieved by the work of the Spirit. God chooses to work through the flesh 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 realistic things, and that they can be touched and seen by man. If people really have caliber and the comprehension ability, 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 flesh 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 flesh. When God chooses the flesh 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 flesh, the work of the Spirit is to assist and help, and this achieves the results of the work of the flesh. 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 flesh can do, and that the Spirit can take the place of the flesh, then you will never know the significance of the flesh, the work of the flesh, and what the incarnation is.

Excerpt 22

The contents of The Word Appears in the Flesh are particularly rich, include various aspects of the truth, as well as some prophetic statements, foretelling the state of ages to come. In fact, the prophecies are very general, with the majority of the words contained within this book discussing life entry, exposing human nature, and speaking on how to know God and His disposition. And as for what age is to come, how many ages there will be, what kinds of circumstances mankind will enter into, is there no specific blueprint, specific reference, or even specific era in this book? This is to say that people need not concern themselves with ages to come, that time has not yet been reached and it is still very far away. Even if I were to talk to you about these things, you wouldn’t understand, and in addition, people don’t need to understand these things right now. Those things have little relation to people’s change in life disposition. All you need to understand are those words that expose human nature. This is enough. In the past, there were some prophecies made, such as the Millennial Kingdom, God and man entering into rest together, and also regarding the Age of Word. The words of prophecy are all concerning times soon to come; those that are not mentioned are things that are very far away. You do not need to study those things that are far away; that which you should not know will not be told to you; that which you should know is the whole truth that comes from God—for example, God’s disposition expressed toward man, what God has and is which is revealed by God’s words, and exposure of the nature of man through the judgment and chastisement, as well as the direction in life given to people by God, because God’s work of saving people includes these things at its core.

The purpose of God saying these things when doing the work of managing humanity is mainly to conquer and save people, and to change the disposition of people. Currently the Age of Word is a realistic age, is the age of the truth conquering and saving man; there will be more words later—there is much that has not yet been said. Some people think that these current words are God’s expression in its entirety—this is a hugely mistaken interpretation, because the work of the Age of Word has just had its start in China, but there will be more words after God publicly appears and works in the future. How the Age of Kingdom will be, what kind of destination humanity will enter, what will happen after entering that destination, what life will be like for humanity then, what level human instinct can reach, what kind of leadership and what kind of provisions will be needed, etc., all of this is included in the work of the Age of Word. The all-inclusivity of God is not as you imagine only in The Word Appears in the Flesh. Can the expression of God’s disposition, and the work of God, be as simple as you imagine it to be? God’s all-inclusivity, omnipresence, omnipotence, and supremeness are not empty words—if you say that the book The Word Appears in the Flesh represents everything of God, and that these words end all of God’s management, then you have viewed God in too small a way; is this not delineating God again? You must know that these words are a very small part of the all-inclusive God. All religious circles have delineated God within the Bible. And today are you not delineating Him too? Do you not know that delineating God is demeaning God? That this is to condemn and blaspheme God? Currently, most people think, “What God has said during the last days is all in The Word Appears in the Flesh, there are no more words from God; that is all God has said,” right? It is a big mistake to think this way! The words contained within The Word Appears in the Flesh are only the opening words of God’s work in the last days, a part of the words of this work, these words are mainly concerned with the truths of visions. Later on there will also be words spoken in regard to the many details of practice. Therefore, the release of The Word Appears in the Flesh to the public does not mean God’s work has come to the end of a phase, much less does it mean that God’s work of judgment in the last days has come to a conclusive end. God still has many words to express, and even once these words have been spoken, one cannot say that all of God’s management work has concluded. When the work of the entire universe is finished, one can only say that the six-thousand-year management plan has ended; but at this time, will there still be people existing in this universe? As long as life exists, as long as humanity exists, then God’s management must still be in continuation. When the six-thousand-year management plan is complete, as long as there exists humanity, life, and this universe, then God will still be managing it all, but it will not be called the six-thousand-year management plan any longer. Now it is referred to as God’s management. Perhaps it will be called a different name in the future; that will be another life for humanity and God; it cannot be said that God will still be using the words of today to lead people, as these words are only suitable for this period of time. Therefore, do not delineate the work of God at any time. Some say, “God only provides people with these words, and nothing else; God can only say these words.” This also is confining God within a certain scope. This is just like, currently, in the Age of Kingdom, applying the words spoken in the age of Jesus—would that be appropriate? Some of the words would apply, and some need to be abolished, so then you cannot say that the words of God can never be abolished. Do people readily delineate things? In some areas, they do delineate God. Perhaps one day you will read The Word Appears in the Flesh just like people read the Bible today, not keeping up with God’s footsteps. Now is the right time to read The Word Appears in the Flesh; there’s no telling in how many years that reading it will be like looking at an outdated calendar, because there will be something new to replace the old at that time. People’s needs are produced and developed according to the work of God. At that time, human nature, and the instincts and attributes that people should have will have somewhat changed; after this world changes, the needs of humanity will be different. Some ask: “Will God talk later on?” Some will come to the conclusion that “God will not be able to talk, because when the work of the Age of Word is finished, nothing else can be said, and any other words will be false.” Is this not also wrong? It is easy for mankind to make the mistake of delineating God; people are apt to cling to the past and delineate God. They clearly do not know Him, but still wantonly delineate His work. People have such arrogant nature! They always wish to hold on to the old notions of the past and keep the things of days gone by lodged in their hearts. They use them as their capital, being arrogant and conceited, thinking that they understand everything, and having the gall to delineate the work of God. In doing this, do they not pass judgment on God? In addition, people give no consideration to God’s new work; this shows that it is difficult for them to accept new things, and yet they still blindly delineate God. People are so arrogant that they are devoid of reason, they listen to no one, and don’t even accept the words of God. Such is the nature of man: totally arrogant and self-righteous, and without the slightest bit of submission. This was the way the Pharisees were when they condemned Jesus. They thought “Even if You are right, I still won’t follow You—only Jehovah is the true God.” Today, there are also some who say: “He’s Christ? I wouldn’t follow Him even if He really were Christ!” Do people like this exist? There are a lot of religious people who are like that. This shows that man’s disposition is too corrupt, that people are beyond salvation.

Among the saints through the ages, Moses and Peter were the only ones who really knew God, and they were approved of by God; however, could they fathom God? What they grasped is also limited. They themselves did not dare say that they knew God. Those who really know God do not delineate Him, because they realize that God is incalculable and immeasurable. Those who do not know God are the ones who are apt to delineate Him and what He has and is. They are full of imagination about God, easily produce notions about everything God has done. So, those who believe that they know God are the most resistant to God, and are the people that are in the most danger.

Excerpt 23

Tell Me, is it the truth that God loves and has mercy for man? (It is the truth.) Then is it the truth that God does not love man, and even curses and condemns them? (This is also the truth.) In fact, both of these sentences are the truth and absolutely correct. But it is no simple matter to say, “It is also the truth that God does not love man,” and it is hard for people to speak such words; they can only be uttered once one has knowledge of God’s disposition. When you see that God has done something loving, you say, “God truly loves man. That is the truth; this is God’s doing,” yet when you see that God has done something that is not in keeping with man’s notions—such as getting angry at hypocritical Pharisees or at antichrists, and cursing them—you think, “God does not love man; He hates man.” Then you have notions about God, and deny Him. So which of these two scenarios is the truth? There are those who cannot explain this clearly. In people’s hearts, is it better that God love man, or that He not love man? People undoubtedly all like that God loves man, and they say that God’s love of man is the truth. But they do not like that God does not love man, so they say that God not loving man is not the truth, and they deny the saying, “It is also the truth that God does not love man.” What, then, is the basis for man’s determination of whether or not what God does is the truth? It is based entirely on man’s notions and imaginings. God should do things however man likes Him to do things, and it is not the truth unless what God does conforms to man’s notions and imaginings; if man does not like what God does, then what God does is not the truth. Do those who determine the truth in such a way have knowledge of the truth? (They do not.) What are the consequences of always defining God according to man’s notions? Will it lead to submission to God, or to resistance to God? Certainly not to submission to God—only to resistance. Are then those who always treat God on the basis of their notions and imaginings people who submit to God? Or are they people who resist God? (They are people who resist God.) This point can be ascertained, and it is correct to discern it this way. People think that God’s love of man must resemble a shepherd stroking a lamb, giving them warmth and enjoyment, and that it must meet their emotional and physical needs, so people feel this is God’s love, do they not? (They do, but in reality, God’s judgment, chastisement, and pruning are more beneficial to people’s lives.) This is still God’s love for man! After all the talk, you still feel that God’s love for man is the truth, and that His not loving man is not the truth, is that not so? (It is also the truth that God does not love man.) Then how is it that God does not love man? What is it, about not loving? We all know that God loves man: His righteous disposition, His judgment and chastisement, and His chastening and discipline—all fall within the scope of love. So, if God does not love man, why would that be? (Because of His righteous disposition.) Are judgment and chastisement of that righteous disposition? (They are.) If judgment and chastisement are of that righteous disposition, is God’s righteous disposition toward man then loving, or unloving? (It is loving.) You have understood that God’s love of man is His righteous disposition, but is not loving man of that disposition? (It is.) How can God not love man yet still be of a righteous disposition? Let Me ask you one more question: Do you think it is possible for God not to love man? Can there be such an instance? (When man commits all sorts of evil acts and breaks God’s heart, God does not love man.) What you are speaking of is conditional and based on prerequisites, whereas what I am asking is non-presuppositional. God’s love of man is surely the truth, and everyone understands this. But people have their doubts as to whether God’s not loving man is the truth. If you get past this matter, you will get past most of the things that God does, and you will not develop notions. Where God is concerned, what are some of the manifestations of His not loving man? (We are not yet conscious of this aspect.) You have not felt it, and you have not experienced it. What words do we know so far that can explain God’s not loving man? Loathing, aversion, hatred, and disgust; and also, abandonment and spurn. These are basically the words. Everyone understands these words, so can they be equated with not loving? (They can.) They are inherent in the manifestation of God’s not loving man, so do you think they are the truth? (Yes, they are the truth.) In your view, God’s not loving man requires a premise: God does things that are unloving to man in the context of loving man—that is the truth. Suppose this premise has neither an element of nor a basis for love, and God then does things that are unloving to man, with the manifestation of not loving man. You will not be able to ascertain whether God’s not loving man is the truth, nor will you be able to understand those things fully. Herein lies the crux of the matter, and that being so, we should fellowship about it.

Do you think that God, as the Lord of all created beings, created this mankind, and having done so, He has to take care of people, managing what they eat and drink and running their entire lives and destinies? (He does not.) That is to say, is it within God’s power to take care of you if He wants to, and to throw you into the crowds or into a certain environment if He does not want to take care of you, leaving you either to sink or to swim? (It is.) Since it is within God’s power, is it not the truth that God does not care about man? (It is.) It is in keeping with the truth. How can this be said to be the truth? (God is the Lord of all creation.) In terms of God’s identity and status, and in terms of the difference between God and mankind, God will take care of you if He so wishes, and if He does not wish to take care of you, then He will not. That is, it is appropriate for God to take care of you if He wants to, and it is reasonable if He does not. What does this depend on? It depends on whether God is willing or not, and this is the truth. There are those who say, “No, since You created me, You must take care of what I eat and drink—You must take care of me for the rest of my life.” Is that in keeping with the truth? This is unreasonable and inconsistent with the truth. If God said, “After I created you, I cast you aside and will no longer take care of you,” this is the power of the Creator. Because God could create you, He has the power to cast you aside, whether to a good place or a bad place. That is God’s power. What is the basis for God’s power? It is God’s identity and status, so He can take care of you or not, and in either case, it is the truth. Why do I say it is the truth? Here is what people should understand. Once you have understood it, you will know who you are, who the God in whom you believe is, and what the differences are, between you and God. Let us return to the aspect concerning God’s not loving man. Does God have to love man? (He does not.) Since He does not have to, is it the truth that God does not love man? (It is the truth.) Does that not make things clearer? Now, let us talk about this: As mankind has been corrupted by Satan and has a satanic, corrupt disposition, if God does not save mankind and bring mankind to Him, then what is the relationship between man and God? (There is no relationship.) That is untrue; there actually is a relationship. Then what kind of relationship is it? It is a hostile relationship. You are hostile to God, and your nature essence is hostile to God’s essence. Is it therefore reasonable for God to not love you? Is it reasonable for God to loathe you, to hate you, to be disgusted with you? (It is reasonable.) Why is it reasonable? (Because there is nothing in us that is worthy of God’s love, and our dispositions are too gravely corrupted.) God is the Creator, and you are a created being, but as a created being, you have not followed God or listened to His words; instead, you have followed Satan and have become God’s opposite and enemy. God loves you because He has the essence of mercy: He has pity on you, and He saves you. God has this essence. God has mercy and concern for the mankind He created. His love for you is a revelation of His essence, which is one aspect of the truth. On the other hand, mankind is not worthy of God’s love. Mankind is arrogant, loathes positive things, is wicked, vicious, and both hateful of and resistant to God. So, given God’s essence—His holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, and authority on top of that—how can He love such a mankind? Can God be compatible with mankind such as this? Can He love it? (He cannot.) Since He cannot, when God comes into contact with people and wants to save them, what will God evince? As soon as God comes into contact with people, He evinces disgust, loathing, and hatred, and He spurns those who do serious evil; this is not loving. Then is it the truth that God does not love man? (It is.) That God does not love man is the truth. Is it correct that God does not love those who resist Him? (It is.) This is fair and reasonable and determined by God’s righteous disposition, so here, too, it is the truth that God does not love man. What determines that this is the truth? It is determined by God’s essence.

So, when all is said and done: Does God love man? (He does.) As a matter of fact, according to the essence and manifestation of man, man is not worthy of God’s love, but God can still love man so much. In your view, is God the truth? Is His essence holy? (It is.) On the other hand, since man is so disgusting and their corruption runs so deep, can God love man without a bit of hatred? If there is not a little bit of hatred, a little aversion or disgust, then this is not in keeping with God’s essence. God hates, loathes, is disgusted with and sick of this mankind, but He is still able to save people, and this is God’s true love—the essence of God! God’s not loving man is due to His essence, and that He can still love man is also due to His essence. So, now that it is clear, which is the truth: That God loves man? Or that He does not love man? (Both are the truth.) Now it is settled. Then, can man do this? No man can do this; there is not one person who can—not even people to their own children. If your child is always making you angry and breaking your heart, you will be angry at first, but in time your heart will grow disgusted; once he has disgusted you for long enough, you will give up completely, and in the end, you will sever relations with him. What is human love? It comes from the affections and the blood relationships of the flesh, so it has nothing to do with the truth; it is the love that arises out of the needs of man’s flesh and affections. What is the basis for this love? It is based on affections, blood relationships, and interests, and there is not a shred of truth to it. What, then, is the reason for man’s not loving? Having hated, loathed, and been disgusted by one who has broken his heart, he no longer loves; he can no longer love. To what extent do you think this mankind has broken God’s heart? (It is indescribable.) Yes, it is indescribable. Does God then still love man? You do not know whether God loves man, but even now God is saving you, always working, speaking to lead and provide for you. He will not give up on you until the very last moment, when the work is done. Is this not love? (It is.) Does mankind have love such as this? (It does not.) When people’s emotional needs are gone, when their blood relationship is severed, and there is no longer any connection of interest between them, they no longer love, their love is gone, and they then choose to give up—to no longer “invest.” They have given up completely. What is the essential expression of love? It is to do practical things and to achieve results, and if these love-related things are not done, then there is no love. Some people say that God hates man, but this is not entirely correct. God hates you, but has He spoken to you any less? Has He provided you with any less truth? Has He worked any less in you? (He has not.) Therefore, in saying that God hates you, you have no conscience; your words are unconscionable. It is not false that God hates you, but He still loves you, and He has done much work in you. It is a fact that God hates you, but why? If you submitted to God in every respect and became like Job, would God still hate you? He would no longer hate you; He would only have love for you. How does God’s love manifest itself? It does not resemble the love of man, which is like wrapping someone up in cotton wool. God does not love people that way: He lets you have the normal life of created mankind; He lets you become aware of how to live, how to survive, and how to worship Him; how to be master among all things and live a meaningful life; and neither to do meaningless things nor to follow Satan. Is the meaning of God’s love not enduring and far-reaching? It is too far-reaching, and the after-effects of God doing these things are of monumental significance and of the most far-reaching value for all mankind. This is something no human being can do: It is of inestimable value, and it cannot be exchanged by man with money or with any material things. You see, people nowadays understand some truths, and they know how to worship God, but did they know any of this 20 or 30 years ago? (They did not.) They did not know how the Bible came to be; they did not know what God’s management plan was; they did not know how to worship God and live to be a qualified created being: They knew none of these things. So if you jump forward twenty years from now, will mankind at that time not be far better than you are now? (They will be.) How will this come about? It is because of God’s salvation and His infinite love for man. It is because He has such patience, tolerance, and mercy for man, that man has gained so many things. Were it not for God’s great love, man would gain nothing.

Do you think God loves man? (He does.) Does God then hate man? (He does.) In what way? In His heart, God is actually disgusted by man and loathes man’s nature essence. He is disgusted by every person, so how can He still work in man? Because He has love, and He wants to save these people. Does He not hate people when He saves them? He does; hate and love coexist simultaneously. He hates, He loathes, and He is disgusted—but at the same time, He works for man’s salvation. Who do you think can do that? No man can do that. When people see someone they are disgusted with and loathe, they no longer want to look at them, and even a word with them is too much, or as unbelievers say, “If there is no common ground, a single word is a waste of breath.” How many words has God spoken to man? Too many. Can you say that God does not love man? Or that He does not hate man? (We cannot.) Hate is a fact, as is love. Suppose you say, “God hates us; let’s not get close to Him. Let’s not let God save us, so as not to annoy Him all the time.” Is this in order? (It is not.) You are not considerate of God’s heart, and you neither understand Him, nor do you know Him. Instead, by saying this, you are rebelling against God and breaking His heart. You have to understand why God hates man and how He loves man. There are reasons to God’s love and hate; each has its background and principles. If you say, “As God saves me, He must love me; He cannot hate me,” is this an unreasonable demand? (It is.) Even if God hates you, He does not delay in saving you and still gives you the opportunity to repent. It has no effect on your eating and drinking of the words of God or on your performing your duty, and you continue to enjoy God’s grace, so why are you still arguing? God hating you is as it should be; it is determined by God’s essence, and He has not delayed in saving you. Should people not have some knowledge of this matter? (They should.) What should they know? They must know God’s righteous disposition and His holiness. How should one go about knowing them? What is it called, when God hates this mankind so much but is still able to save it? Abundant mercy. This is what is within God’s righteous disposition. Only God can do this; Satan will not do this. While it doesn’t hate you, it tramples upon you. If it hated you, then it would torment you all day, even permanently depriving you of reincarnation and leaving you to descend into the eighteenth circle of hell. Is that not what Satan does? (It is.) But does God treat people this way? Absolutely not. God gives people enough opportunity to repent. Therefore, do not be fearful that God hates you; His hatred of you is determined by His essence. Do not turn away from God because He hates you, think, “I’m not worthy of being saved by God, so God needn’t save me; let Him be spared any worry,” and then forsake God. This will make God loathe you all the more, because you have betrayed and humiliated Him and allowed Satan to laugh at you. Do you think this is how it is? (Sometimes when I experience being dismissed or suffer some setbacks and failures, I feel that I have broken God’s heart, and that He will no longer save me; my heart is in a state of avoiding God.) Your breaking of God’s heart is no temporary thing; you broke God’s heart a long time ago—and more than once! But truly giving up on yourself is tantamount to letting God completely give up on you and not save you, and then God’s heart will really be broken. God will not sentence people to death or draw conclusions about them because of their behavior, momentarily or over a period of time; He will not do that. How then should you know God’s disposition? How can man’s notions and misconceptions be fixed? You do not know what God thinks about many things or how to match them up with His righteous disposition and His holy essence. You do not understand, but there is one thing that you must remember: No matter what God does, man must submit; man is a created being, made of clay, and they should submit to God. This is man’s duty, obligation, and responsibility. This is the attitude people should have. Once people have this attitude, how should they treat God and the things God does? Never condemn, lest you offend God’s disposition. If you have notions, then fix them, but do not condemn God or the things He does. Once you condemn them, you are finished: It is equivalent to standing on the opposite side of God, with no chance of receiving salvation. You may say, “I am not standing opposite God now, but I have a misunderstanding of God,” or “I have a little doubt in my heart about God; my faith is small, and I have weaknesses and negativities.” All of these are manageable; they can be fixed by seeking the truth—but do not condemn God. If you say, “What God has done is not right. It is not in keeping with the truth, so I have reason to doubt, question, and accuse. I will spread this everywhere and unite people in questioning Him,” this will be troublesome. God’s attitude toward you will change, and if you condemn God, you will be completely finished; there are too many ways in which God can retaliate against you. Therefore, people should not deliberately oppose God. It is not a big problem if you unintentionally do something to resist Him, because it was not done intentionally or on purpose, and God gives you a chance to repent. If you intentionally condemn it even though you know something is God’s doing, and you incite everyone to rebel as one, then this is troublesome. And what will be the result? You will end up like the two hundred and fifty chiefs who resisted Moses. Knowing that it is God, you still dare to clamor with Him. God does not debate with you: His is the authority; He makes the earth split open and swallow you up directly, and that’s all. He will never see you or listen to your reasoning. This is God’s disposition. What is God’s disposition manifesting at this time? It is wrath! Therefore, by no means should people clamor against God or provoke His wrath; should any offend God, the result will be perdition.

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 a distorted 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 submission, one of unconditional submission. 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 rebel against God, and betray Him—then you are far from being able to submit to 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 created being, 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 reveal you, to see whether or not you are able to seek the truth, whether or not you have true submission 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 submission. 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 spurn 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 created being? 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 submission to God, unconditional submission. 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 created being. 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 submit, and on not submitting when you don’t understand. When you do this, you have mistaken your place, in which case your submission to God is not absolute; it is submission that is relative and conditional. Are those who make conditions for their submission to God people who truly submit to 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 submission to God? And how should you experience? For one thing, people must accept the judgment and chastisement of God, and they must accept pruning. 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 life entry, and attain understanding of God’s will. Sometimes, this is beyond people’s caliber, and they lack the powers of insight 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 submission 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 created being. You must have an attitude of submission, and must not always ask the reason or speak of conditions. If you lack even the most basic attitude of submission, 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 submission 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. 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.

Excerpt 25

Several years after this stage of work began, there was a man who believed in God but did not pursue the truth; all he wanted was to earn money and find a partner, to lead the life of the rich, and so he left the church. After roaming around for a few years, he returned unexpectedly. He felt great remorse in his heart, and wept untold tears. This proved that his heart did not leave God completely, which is a good thing; he still had a chance and a hope of being saved. Had he stopped believing, becoming the same as unbelievers, then he would have been completely done for. If he can truly repent, then there is hope for him yet; this is rare and precious. Regardless of how God acts, and no matter how He treats people—even if He hates, detests, or curses them—if there comes a day when they can make a turnaround, then I will take great comfort, for this will mean that they still have that little bit of room for God in their hearts, that they have not completely lost their human reason or their humanity, that they still want to believe in God, and they have at least some intention to acknowledge and return before Him. For people who truly have God in their hearts, no matter when they left God’s house, if they return and still hold this family dear, then I will become somewhat sentimentally attached and will take some comfort in it. However, if they never return, I will think it a pity. If they can return and truly repent, then My heart will especially be filled with gratification and comfort. That this man was still capable of returning implies that he had not forgotten God; he returned because in his heart, he still longed for God. It was very touching when we met. When he walked away, he certainly was being quite negative, and he was in a bad state; if he can come back now, though, it proves he still has faith in God. However, whether or not he can continue forward is an unknown factor, because people change so quickly. In the Age of Grace, Jesus had mercy and grace for humans. If one sheep was lost out of a hundred, He would leave the ninety-nine to look for the one. This line does not represent a kind of mechanical action, nor a regulation; rather, it shows God’s urgent intention to bring salvation to people, as well as His deep love for them. It is not a way of doing things; it is a kind of disposition, a sort of mentality. Thus, some people leave the church for six months or a year, or have however many weaknesses or suffer from however many misconceptions, and yet their ability to later wake up to reality, gain knowledge and make a turnaround, and get back on the right track makes Me feel especially comforted and brings Me a little piece of enjoyment. In this world of gaiety and splendor, and in this evil age, being able to acknowledge God and get back on the right track is something that brings quite a bit of comfort and excitement. Take raising children, for example: Whether or not they are filial, how would you feel if they did not acknowledge you, and left home, never to return? Deep down, you would still keep on feeling concerned about them, and you would always wonder, “When will my son return? I’d like to see him. After all, he is my son, and it wasn’t for nothing that I raised him and loved him.” You have always thought this way; you have always longed for that day to come. Everyone feels the same in this regard, to say nothing of God—is His not an even greater hope that man will find their way back after having gone astray, that the prodigal son will return? People these days are small of stature, but the day will come when they understand God’s will—unless they have no inclination toward true faith, unless they are nonbelievers, in which case they are beneath God’s concern.

Excerpt 26

There are different types of people, and they are differentiated by what sort of spirit they have. Some people have human spirits, and they are the ones whom God has predestined and selected. Some do not have human spirits; they are demons who have tricked their way in. They who were not predestined and chosen by God cannot be saved even if they have managed to sneak into God’s house, and ultimately, they will be revealed and cast out. Whether people can accept God’s work, and, after they have accepted it, what kind of path they walk and whether they can transform, all depends on the spirit and nature within them. Some people cannot help but go astray; their spirits determine them to be such people, and they cannot change. In some people, the Holy Spirit does not work, because they do not walk the right path; if, however, they could make a turnaround, the Holy Spirit could yet work. If they do not, then it will be all over for them. Every kind of situation exists, but God is righteous in His treatment of every person. How do people know and grasp God’s righteous disposition? The righteous receive His blessings and the evil are cursed by Him. This is God’s righteousness. God rewards good and punishes evil, and He recompenses every man according to their deeds. This is correct, but there are at present some events that do not accord with man’s notions, namely, that there are some who believe in God and worship Him who are killed or meet with His curses, or who God has never blessed or paid attention to; no matter how much they worship Him, He ignores them. There are some evil people who God neither blesses nor punishes, yet they are rich and have many offspring, and all goes well for them; they are successful in everything. Is this God’s righteousness? Some people say, “We worship God, yet haven’t gotten blessings from Him, while evil people who don’t worship God and even resist Him are living better and more prosperously than we do. God isn’t righteous!” What does this show you? I just gave you two examples. Which one speaks to God’s righteousness? Some people say, “They are both manifestations of God’s righteousness!” Why do they say this? There are principles to God’s actions—it is just that people cannot see them clearly, and being unable to see them clearly, they cannot say that God is not righteous. Man can only see what is on the surface; they cannot see through to things as they are. Therefore, what God does is righteous, however little it accords with man’s notions and imaginings. There are many people who constantly complain that God is not righteous. This is because they do not understand the situation for what it is. It is easy for them to make mistakes when they are always looking at things in light of their notions and imaginings. People’s knowledge exists among their own thoughts and viewpoints, within their ideas of transactions, or within their perspectives on good and evil, on right and wrong, or on logic. When someone sees things from such perspectives, it is easy for them to misunderstand God and to give rise to notions, and that person will resist Him and complain about Him. There was a poor person who knew only to worship God, but God just ignored him, and did not bless him. Perhaps you are thinking, “Even if God did not bless him in this life, certainly God will bless him in eternity and reward him ten thousand times over. Would that not make God righteous? A rich man enjoys hundredfold blessings in this life, and in eternity meets with destruction. Is this not also the righteousness of God?” How should one understand God’s righteousness? Take understanding God’s work as an example: If God had concluded His work after completing His work in the Age of Grace and had not done the work of judgment in the last days, and had not thoroughly saved mankind, leading to mankind’s complete extermination, could He be considered to possess love and righteousness? If those that worship God were cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, while those that do not worship God and do not even know God exists were allowed by God to survive, what should be made of this? When speaking in the context of doctrine, people typically always say that God is righteous, but if faced with this kind of situation, they may be unable to discern properly and might even complain about God and judge Him to be unrighteous.

God’s love and righteousness must be understood thoroughly and must be explained and grasped based upon God’s words and the truth. Furthermore, one must also undergo true experience and attain God’s enlightenment in order to truly know God’s love and righteousness. One’s appraisal of His love and righteousness should not be based on one’s notions and imaginings. According to human notions, good is rewarded and evil punished, good people are recompensed with good and evil ones are recompensed with evil, and those who do no evil should all be recompensed with good and receive blessings. It would appear that, in all cases where people are not evil, they should be recompensed with good; only this is God’s righteousness. Is this not people’s notion? But what if they fail to be recompensed with good? Would you then say that God is not righteous? For instance, during Noah’s time, God said to Noah: “The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13). He then ordered Noah to build the ark. After Noah accepted God’s commission and built the ark, a great downpour of rain fell upon the earth for forty days and nights, the entire world was submerged below floodwaters and, with the exception of Noah and his seven family members, God destroyed all the humans of that age. What do you make of this? Would you say that God is not loving? As far as man is concerned, no matter how corrupt humankind may be, as long as God destroys mankind, this means that He is not loving—are they correct in believing this? Is this belief not absurd? God did not love those that He destroyed, but can you honestly say that He did not love those that survived and attained His salvation? Peter loved God to the uttermost and God loved Peter—can you really say that God is not loving? God loves those that truly love Him and He hates and curses those that resist Him and refuse to repent. God is possessed of both love and hate, this is the truth. People should not pigeonhole or judge God according to their notions and imaginings, because mankind’s notions and imaginings, which are their way of viewing things, have no truth at all. God must be known based on His attitude toward man, on His disposition and essence. One absolutely must not try to define what essence God has based on the externalities of those things He does and addresses. Mankind is so deeply corrupted by Satan; they do not know the nature essence of corrupt mankind, much less what corrupt mankind is before God, nor how they ought to be treated according to His righteous disposition. Consider Job, he was a righteous man and God blessed him. This was God’s righteousness. Satan made a wager with Jehovah: “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not You made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face” (Job 1:9–11). Jehovah God said, “All that he has is in your power; only on himself put not forth your hand” (Job 1:12). So Satan went to Job and attacked and tempted Job, and Job encountered trials. Everything he had was stripped away—he lost his children and his property, and his whole body became covered in boils. Now, did Job’s trials have within them the righteous disposition of God? You can’t say clearly, can you? Even if you are a righteous person, God has a right to subject you to trials and to allow you to bear Him witness. God’s disposition is righteous; He treats everyone equally. It is not that righteous people do not then need to undergo trials even if they can withstand them or that they must then be protected; this is not the case. God has the right to put righteous people through trials. This is the revelation of God’s righteous disposition. Finally, after Job had finished undergoing trials and bearing witness to Jehovah, Jehovah blessed him even more than before, even better than before, and He gave him twice as many blessings. Furthermore, Jehovah appeared to him, and spoke to him from out of the wind, and Job saw Him as though face to face. This was a blessing given to him by God. This was God’s righteousness. What if when Job had finished undergoing trials and Jehovah saw how Job had borne witness to Him in Satan’s presence and shamed Satan, Jehovah then turned away and left, ignoring him, and Job did not receive blessings afterward—would this have God’s righteousness in it? Regardless of whether Job was blessed after the trials or not, or whether Jehovah appeared to him or not, all of this contains God’s good will. Appearing to Job would have been God’s righteousness, and not appearing to him would also have been God’s righteousness. Upon what basis do you—a created being—make demands of God? People are not qualified to make demands of God. There is nothing more unreasonable than making demands of God. He will do what He ought to do, and His disposition is righteous. Righteousness is by no means fairness or reasonableness; it is not egalitarianism, or a matter of allocating to you what you deserve in accordance with how much work you have completed, or paying you for whatever work you have done, or giving you your due according to what effort you expend. This is not righteousness, it is merely being fair and reasonable. Very few people are capable of knowing God’s righteous disposition. Suppose God had eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him: Would this be righteous? In fact, it would be. Why is this called righteousness? How do people view righteousness? If something is in line with people’s notions, it is then very easy for them to say that God is righteous; however, if they do not see that thing as being in line with their notions—if it is something that they are incapable of comprehending—then it would be difficult for them to say that God is righteous. If God had destroyed Job back then, people would not have said He was righteous. Actually, though, whether people have been corrupted or not, and whether they have been profoundly corrupted or not, does God have to justify Himself when He destroys them? Should He have to explain to people upon what basis it is that He does so? Must God tell people the rules He has ordained? There is no need. In God’s eyes, someone who is corrupt, and who is liable to oppose God, is without any worth; however God handles them will be appropriate, and all are the arrangements of God. If you were displeasing to God’s eyes, and if He said that He had no use for you after your testimony and therefore destroyed you, would this, too, be His righteousness? It would. You might not be able to recognize this right now from the facts, but you must understand in doctrine. What would you say—is God’s destruction of Satan an expression of His righteousness? (Yes.) What if He allowed Satan to remain? You dare not say, yes? God’s essence is righteousness. Though it is not easy to comprehend what He does, all that He does is righteous; it is simply that people do not understand. When God gave Peter to Satan, how did Peter respond? “Mankind is unable to fathom what You do, but all of what You do contains Your good will; there is righteousness in all of it. How can I not utter praise for Your wisdom and deeds?” You should now see that the reason God does not destroy Satan in the time of His salvation of man is that humans may see clearly how Satan has corrupted them and the extent to which it has corrupted them, and how God purifies and saves them. Ultimately, when people have understood the truth and clearly seen Satan’s odious countenance, and beheld the monstrous sin of Satan’s corruption of them, God will destroy Satan, showing them His righteousness. The timing when God destroys Satan is filled with God’s disposition and wisdom. Everything that God does is righteous. Though humans may not be able to perceive God’s righteousness, they should not make judgments at will. If something He does appears to humans as unreasonable, or if they have any notions about it, and that leads them to say that He is not righteous, then they are being most unreasonable. You see that Peter found some things to be incomprehensible, but he was sure that God’s wisdom was present and that His good will was in those things. Humans cannot fathom everything; there are so many things that they cannot grasp. Thus, to know God’s disposition is not an easy thing. Despite there being so many people that believe in God in the religious world, few are able to know His disposition. When some people tried to spread the gospel to religious people and have them read God’s words, not only did they not seek and investigate, they even burned books of God’s words and were punished. Others believed rumors, blasphemed God and were punished. There are many, indeed, countless examples of this kind of thing happening. Some new believers are arrogant and haughty, so they do not accept this when they hear about it—they develop notions. God sees that you are foolish and ignorant and ignores you, but there will come a day when He will make you understand. If you have followed God for many years and still behave in this way, clinging to your notions no matter how many, not only not seeking the truth to resolve issues, but even spreading your notions everywhere and mocking and satirizing God’s house, you should meet with retribution. In some cases, God may forgive you because you were just being foolish and ignorant, but if you know better and still intentionally act that way, failing to listen regardless of how much council you are given, then you ought to be punished by God. You only know that God has a tolerant side, but do not forget that He also has an unoffendable side, which is His righteous disposition.

Excerpt 27

“Blasphemy and slander against God is a sin that will not be forgiven in this age or the coming age, and those who commit this sin will never be reincarnated.” This means that God’s disposition does not tolerate being offended by man. It is certain beyond doubt that blasphemy and slander against God will not be forgiven in this age or the coming age. Blasphemy against God, whether or not it is intentional, is something that offends God’s disposition, and speaking blasphemous words against God, no matter the reason, will certainly be condemned. However, some people speak condemnable, blasphemous words in situations where they do not understand this, or in which they have been misled, controlled, and suppressed by others. After they say these words, they feel uneasy, they feel that they have been accused, and they are very remorseful. After this, they prepare enough good deeds while gaining knowledge and changing in this, and God therefore no longer remembers their previous transgressions. You must know God’s words precisely and not arbitrarily apply them according to your notions and imaginings. You must understand at whom His words are targeted, and in what context He is speaking. You must not arbitrarily apply or casually define God’s words. People who do not know how to experience do not reflect on themselves about anything, and they do not hold themselves up against God’s words, while those who have had some experiences and insight are prone to be oversensitive, holding themselves up against God’s words arbitrarily when they read His curses or His detesting and casting out people. These people do not understand God’s words, and always misread Him. Some people did not read God’s current words or investigate His current work, let alone gain the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. They spoke in judgment of God, and then someone spread the gospel to them, which they accepted. After this, they regret what they did and are willing to repent, in which case we will see what their behaviors and manifestations are like going forward. If their behavior is especially poor after they start believing, and they add insult to injury by thinking, “Well, I already spoke blasphemous, slanderous and judgmental words toward God, and if God condemns these kinds of people, then my pursuits are useless,” then they are completely done for. They have abandoned themselves to despair and dug their own grave.

Most people have transgressed and besmirched themselves in certain ways. For example, some people have resisted God and said blasphemous things; some people have rejected God’s commission and not performed their duty, and were spurned by God; some people have betrayed God when they were faced with temptations; some have betrayed God by signing the “Three Letters” when they were under arrest; some have stolen offerings; some have squandered offerings; some have frequently disturbed the church life and caused harm to God’s chosen people; some have formed cliques and handled others roughly, making a shambles of the church; some have often spread notions and death, harming the brothers and sisters; and some have engaged in fornication and promiscuity, and have been a terrible influence. Suffice it to say that everyone has their transgressions and stains. Yet some people are able to accept the truth and repent, while others cannot and would die before repenting. So people should be treated according to their nature essence and their consistent behavior. Those who can repent are those who truly believe in God; but as for the truly unrepentant, those who should be cleared out and expelled will be cleared out and expelled. Some people are evil, some are ignorant, some are foolish, and some are beasts. Everyone is different. Some evil people are possessed by evil spirits, while others are the lackeys of Satan and devils. Some are particularly sinister by nature, while some are particularly deceitful, some are especially greedy when it comes to money, and others enjoy being sexually promiscuous. Everyone’s behavior is different, so people should all be viewed comprehensively in accordance with their natures and consistent behaviors. According to the instincts of man’s mortal flesh, every person has a free will no matter who they are. They can think about things according to man’s notions, and do not have the faculty to directly penetrate the spiritual realm or have any way to know its truth. For example, when you believe in the true God and want to accept this stage of His new work, yet no one has come to spread the gospel to you and only the work of the Holy Spirit is enlightening you and guiding you somewhere, then you are so limited in what you know. It is impossible for you to know what work God is doing now and what He will accomplish in the future. People cannot fathom God; they do not have the faculty to do so, nor do they possess the faculty to directly comprehend the spiritual realm or to thoroughly understand God’s work, much less to serve Him most willingly just like an angel. Unless God first conquers, saves, and reforms people through His words, or waters them and supplies them with the truths He expresses, people are unable to accept the new work, gain the truth and life, or come to know God. If God does not do this work, they will not have these things within them; this is decided by their instinct. Thus, some people resist or rebel, incurring God’s anger and hatred, but God treats each case differently and deals with each of them separately in accordance with man’s instinct. Any work done by God is appropriate. He knows what to do and how to do it, and He will certainly not make people do anything that they cannot do instinctually. God’s handling of each person is based in the actual situations of that person’s circumstances and background at the time, as well as in that person’s actions and behavior and their nature essence. God will never wrong anyone. This is one side of God’s righteousness. For example, Eve was seduced by the serpent into eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but Jehovah did not reproach her by saying, “I told you not to eat it, so why did you do it anyway? You should have had discernment; you should have known that the serpent spoke only to seduce you.” Jehovah did not reprimand Eve like that. Because humans are God’s creation, He knows what their instincts are and what those instincts are capable of, to what extent people can control themselves, and how far people can go. God knows all this quite clearly. God’s handling of a person is not as simple as people imagine. When His attitude toward a person is one of loathing or revulsion, or when it comes to what this person says in a given context, He has a good understanding of their states. This is because God scrutinizes man’s heart and essence. People are always thinking, “God has only His divinity. He is righteous and brooks no offense from man. He doesn’t consider man’s difficulties or put Himself in people’s shoes. If a person should resist God, He will punish them.” That is not how things are at all. If that is how someone understands His righteousness, His work, and His treatment of people, they are gravely mistaken. God’s determination of each person’s outcome is not based in man’s notions and imaginings, but in God’s righteous disposition. He will repay each person according to what they have done. God is righteous, and sooner or later, He will see to it that all people are convinced, through and through.

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