Man Is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan
Right now, in the performance of their duties, the majority of people are able to hold to their duties, without doing evil, but are they devoted? Are they able to do their duties to an acceptable standard? They still fall short by a wide margin. Whether or not people can do their duties well touches on the issue of humanity. So how can they do their duties well? What must they possess in order to do their duties well? Regardless of what duty they perform or what they do, people must be meticulous and earnest, and fulfill their responsibilities; only then will their hearts feel steady and at peace. What does it mean to fulfill one’s responsibilities? It means to be diligent, to give your whole heart to your responsibilities, and to do all the things you ought to do. For example, say that a church leader assigned you to do a duty, and fellowshiped the simple principles of it to you, but did not go into much detail—how should you act in order to do this duty well? (Rely on your conscience.) At the very least, you must rely on your conscience to do it. “Rely on your conscience”—how can you implement these words? How do you apply these words? (By thinking about the interests of God’s house, and not doing anything that would bring shame upon God.) This is one aspect. Additionally, when you do something, you must deliberate on it repeatedly, measuring it according to the truth principles. If your heart does not feel at peace after finishing it, and you feel as though there is still a problem with it, and after it is examined, a problem is indeed discovered, what should you do at this point? You must quickly fix it and resolve the problem. What sort of attitude is this? (It is meticulousness and an attention to detail.) This is meticulousness and an attention to detail, which is an earnest, rigorous attitude. Doing your duty must be based in an earnest, responsible attitude, saying: “This work has been given to me, so I must do whatever I can to do it well within the scope of what I am able to know and achieve. I cannot make any mistakes.” You cannot have a mindset of “close enough is good enough.” If you always have a careless and perfunctory way of thinking, can you do your duty well? (No.) What gives rise to being careless and perfunctory? Is it not your satanic, corrupt disposition? Being careless and perfunctory is a manifestation of a corrupt disposition; it arises when people are compelled by their corrupt dispositions. It directly affects the results they get in their duties, even causing them to make a mess of their work, and affecting the work of the church. This consequence is very severe. If you are consistently careless and perfunctory in your duty, what kind of problem is this? This is a problem that involves your humanity. Only people without a conscience or humanity are consistently careless and perfunctory. Do you think that people who are always careless and perfunctory are reliable? (No.) They are so unreliable! Someone who does their duty carelessly and perfunctorily is an irresponsible person, and someone who is irresponsible in their actions is not an honest person—they are an untrustworthy person. No matter what duty they do, an untrustworthy person is careless and perfunctory, because their character is not up to an acceptable standard, they do not love the truth, and they are certainly not an honest person. Can God entrust anything to untrustworthy people? Absolutely not. Because God searches the depths of people’s hearts, He absolutely does not make use of deceitful people to do duties; God only blesses the honest, and He only does work on those who are honest and love the truth. Whenever a deceitful person performs a duty, it is an arrangement made by man, and it is man’s mistake. People who like to be careless and perfunctory do not have conscience or reason, their humanity is poor, they are untrustworthy, and they are so unreliable. Will the Holy Spirit do work on such people? Absolutely not. So, those who like to be careless and perfunctory in their duties will never be perfected by God, and they will never be used by Him. Those who like to be careless and perfunctory are all deceitful, full of evil motives, and totally lacking in conscience and reason. They act without principles or lower limits; they act based only on their own preferences, and are capable of doing all kinds of bad things. All their actions are based on their moods: If they are in a good mood, and they are pleased, then they will do slightly better. If they are in a bad mood, and they are displeased, then they will be careless and perfunctory. If they are angry, then they might be arbitrary and reckless, and delay important matters. They do not have God in their hearts at all. They just let the days pass by, sitting around and waiting for death. So, no matter how people who do their duties carelessly and perfunctorily are encouraged, it is of no use, and it is useless to fellowship with them about the truth. They refuse to mend their ways despite repeated admonishments, they are heartless; they can only be cleared out, that is the most appropriate course of action. Heartless people have no lower limits in their actions; nothing can restrain them. Can such people handle matters based on conscience? (No.) Why not? (They do not possess the standards of conscience, nor do they have humanity, or lower limits.) That’s right. They do not have the standards of conscience in their actions; they act based on their preferences, doing whatever they want to, based on their moods. Whether the results they get in their duties are good or bad depends on their mood. If their mood is good, the results are good, but if their mood is bad, the results are bad. Can doing one’s duty in this way possibly reach an acceptable standard? They do their duties based on their moods, not the truth principles; thus, it is very difficult for them to put the truth into practice, and very difficult for them to obtain God’s approval. Those who act based on physical preferences do not put the truth into practice at all.
Anything that people do touches on seeking the truth and putting the truth into practice; anything that touches on the truth relates to the quality of people’s humanity, and the attitude with which they do things. Much of the time, when people do things in an unprincipled way it is because they don’t understand the principles behind them. But a lot of the time, people do not only not understand the principles, they also do not wish to understand them. Even though they may know a little about them, they still don’t wish to do better. This standard is not in their hearts, and neither is this requirement. So, it is very hard for them to do things well, it is very hard for them to do things in a way that is in line with the truth and that satisfies God. The key to whether people are able to perform their duties acceptably depends on what they strive for, whether or not they pursue the truth, and whether or not they love positive things. If people do not love positive things, it is not easy for them to accept the truth, which is very troublesome—even though they perform a duty, they are only doing service. Regardless of whether or not you understand the truth, and whether or not you are able to grasp the principles, if you perform your duty based on your conscience, you will, at the very least, achieve average results. Only this is acceptable. If you are then able to seek the truth and do things according to the truth principles, then you will be able to completely fulfill God’s requirements and be in accordance with God’s will. What are God’s requirements? (That people give all their hearts and strength to performing their duties well.) How should “giving all their hearts and strength” be understood? If people devote their whole minds to performing their duties, then they are giving all their hearts. If they use every ounce of strength they have to perform their duties, then they are giving all their strength. Is it easy to give all your heart and strength? This is not easy to achieve without conscience and sense. If a person does not have a heart, if they are lacking in intellect and incapable of contemplation, and if, when faced with an issue, they do not know how to seek the truth, and have no ways or means to do it, are they capable of giving all their heart? Definitely not. Then, if someone has a heart, are they capable of giving all their heart? (Yes.) If a person has a heart, but they do not use it to do their duty, instead thinking only about vile and crooked paths, and using it to do improper things, then will they be able to give all their heart to their duty? (No.) Say that they experience being pruned and dealt with, and come to know their corrupt disposition, and they swear to God that they are willing to repent, and have the resolve to do their duty well, but when they run into difficulties or temptations, their heart is shaken, they do their duty halfheartedly, or negativity arises in them and they run away—at this time, are they capable of giving all their heart? (No.) You just said that if someone has a heart, then they are capable of giving all their heart. Does that statement hold water? (No.) Whatever you do, you should not rely on your impulses or imaginings, much less your passion; you should not proceed based on your feelings, nor by following human ideas—rather, you need to continually seek and practice the truth. Relying on enthusiasm and feelings, or passion and temporary impulses, cannot ensure that you will do your duty well. It is like how, when everyone is very young, they want to show filial piety to their parents after they grow up. When you do grow up, and the time comes for you to fulfill that aspiration, what difficulties might obstruct you from doing so? This touches on real problems; for every person, the reality is that their difficulties are greater than their ideals. For example, when you graduate from college and start to make money, you think, “Now that I’m making money, I must first buy some nice clothes for my mom and dad to wear, and get them some health care products, and from now on I’ll have to show them filial piety. I’ll give them my money to spend, so that they can pass each day happily.” But after you receive your wages and do your accounting, after taking out your rent, living expenses, and various other expenses, there is hardly anything left over, and you still need to buy yourself some nice clothes to wear. When your money is all spent, you feel ill at ease, because you violated the promise you made that you would earn money to show filial piety to your parents when you grew up. You think, “I’m being unfilial toward my parents, I have to save some money next month.” Then the next month comes, and the money you earn is still not enough, so you think, “There’s plenty of time for me to show filial piety to my parents.” Gradually, over the course of time, you find a partner, start a family, and have children, and money grows ever tighter. Based on your situation and life circumstances, your desire to show filial piety to your parents becomes very difficult to realize, because you also have to support your family and get by, and provide for your children’s education; in order to survive, you also have to socialize with local tyrants and corrupt officials, which makes you miserable. Even though you want to show filial piety to your parents, it’s useless; the various difficulties of real life overwhelm you, and your desire to show filial piety to your parents is slowly ground down by reality. So, is your intention to show filial piety tenable? (No.) So was your desire to be filial toward your parents when you were young real or fake? (Real.) At the time, your desire was real, but it was also naive, silly, and foolish; it was undependable. Which one is your real self? The things that pour forth from you and the things you manifest in your real life are your true humanity and the real attitude with which you treat your loved ones. You continuously put off showing your parents filial piety, until unwittingly, you lose the perception of your conscience, your self-reproach, and your sense of responsibilities and obligations. Then you think: “Everyone is like this. I’m not doing any worse than anyone else, and besides, I also have real difficulties!” Each of your pretexts, arguments, and excuses—what are these? They are part of your corrupt disposition. No matter how difficult reality is for you, how much it gives you reasons and pretexts to evade the responsibilities you ought to take on, and no matter how solid your arguments and pretexts are, in the end, the things that you manifest are your complete and true self. So how can you fulfill a positive ideal? In real life, before understanding or obtaining the truth, what are the things people manifest? Are they righteous and positive? (No.) If you do not understand the truth, then no matter how good your actions are or how correct your ideas seem to be, they are still corrupt dispositions, and they are not in line with the truth. So, if you do not pursue or understand the truth, it will be very difficult for you to practice the truth, and then what you live out will be the outpourings of corrupt dispositions. However good you think you are, however great, however upright, the things you do upon this foundation cannot possibly be in line with the truth. Do you understand? (I understand a little.) What do you understand? (People all want to do their duties properly, but because they are controlled by their corrupt dispositions, even though they wish to do their duties according to their consciences, they cannot accomplish this. Therefore, they must resolve their corrupt dispositions in order to do their duties well.) Someone else, what more do you understand? (The things that a person does when they do not understand the truth, no matter how people see them, are not the practice of the truth. Even if people think these actions are very good, those actions cannot possibly be in line with God’s will, so I’ve seen that understanding the truth is very important.) Very well said! It looks like you have all made some progress during this time. Obtaining the truth is no easy matter; people must pay many prices for it. In addition to forsaking the flesh and seeking and practicing the truth, people must also suffer much pain and refinement, and they must experience persecution and brutal abuse at the hands of Satan—even if they do not die, they must still have some teeth pulled—only then can they cast off their corrupt dispositions and obtain the truth. One could say that obtaining the truth is a process of experiencing judgment and chastisement, and thereby being cleansed. You may acknowledge that you have a corrupt disposition, and also acknowledge the truth, but when you practice the truth, will your corrupt disposition not come out to obstruct and disturb you? (Yes.) What things arise in people’s hearts at that time? (They argue and look for excuses. Selfishness pours forth from them, and they consider their own pride and vanity.) This is a problem with people’s dispositions. Some people do not say or pour forth anything at all, but when you look at their disposition, you can clearly see that there is rebelliousness in their hearts. Rebelliousness is a kind of corrupt disposition. Whether they are arguing or looking for excuses, it is all done in order to maintain their own interests, pride, status, and vanity, to achieve some kind of intent or objective. If a person has this kind of rebellious disposition within them, then it will give rise to all kinds of corrupt dispositions that are hostile and antagonistic toward God. What is rebelliousness? Put simply, it is when there is resistance within someone’s heart, when they set themselves against God, saying: “Why are the words that You speak different from what I think? Why do I not like them? I do not like them, so I cannot accept them, and I am unwilling to listen to You speak.” They set their heart against God, and they are disobedient, to the extent that they oppose reality, they oppose all that God has done and His requirements for them. This is where people are rebellious, and it is the greatest difficulty people have in accepting and practicing the truth. Whether you are looking for excuses or looking for various objective arguments or conditions, in any case, this is the rebellious disposition that exists within you causing you trouble. Suppose you are able to resolve this rebellious disposition, to reverse this kind of state, and whatever happens to you, you say, “This has happened to me, and I do not understand the truth, nor do I know how to practice it. All I can do is pray to God and rely on reading the word of God to find a path of practice, or seek from a person who understands the truth. If I learn how to practice in a way that is in line with the truth, that God likes, and that satisfies Him, then I will practice like that.” Having such a mindset is right; this is someone who loves the truth. If you pursue the truth in this way, trying to do better in spite of all setbacks, without becoming negative or discouraged, then you will be able to cast off your corrupt disposition and attain God’s salvation.
When God first tested Job, was Job able to correctly know God’s will based on his understanding at the time? (No.) So what did Job manifest? Did he submit, or did he rebel, resist, and complain? (He submitted.) From his interior to his exterior, what kind of a state was he in? Did he ever show forth the slightest amount of unwillingness or resistance? He did not. Even though one can only see a simple description in the biblical record, one cannot see Job ever reveal a rebellious state at all. From these words, can you see that Job understood a lot of the truth? (No.) In reality, what truth did Job understand at the time? Did God talk about the truth of submission? Did He talk about how people should not rebel against Him? He did not talk about any of these things. What was Job’s state? Although at the time he did not have today’s word of God as a foundation, his conduct and all he did allowed people to see the thoughts of his heart and the state within his heart. Is this not something people can see and feel? (It is.) Some people say: “We do not know what he was thinking in his heart.” You do not need to know that; you should be able to see his external actions. When he encountered trials, he displayed the actions of a person who was completely without rebellion and who submitted to God completely: rending his clothes and prostrating himself. His prostration came from within his heart, and totally conformed to all his thoughts and all he wanted to express at the time. This represented his pursuit and his attitude toward God. So what was his attitude toward God? What was his reaction to the things that God had done to him? His first reaction was to accept and submit, without objection and without dissent. Some people who do not understand spiritual matters say doubtfully: “How can there be such a person in the world? Are they not a saint? This must be fake.” The reality is that there truly are people like Job, but there was only one Job, and I’m afraid there will never be another. Job’s state was what unbelievers call “unselfish and without desire.” When God’s trials came upon him, he said nothing; rather, he expressed his attitude toward God with his actions. His prostration proved that when trials came upon him, he was truly accepting and truly submissive, and he was not resistant at all. He was neither putting on a show nor playacting; he did not do this for other people to see, he did it for God to see. So how did Job attain this kind of submission? He was not able to attain this kind of submission just by experiencing one trial and understanding submission. Every one of the members of corrupt mankind who live on the earth has been corrupted by Satan; they all have rebellious dispositions. People are selfish, and they all rebel against God. This is a nature corrupted by Satan; all corrupt mankind is of this nature. But was Job able to submit to God to this degree overnight? Certainly not. He had to pursue, and moreover, he had to have a clear goal to pursue, and a correct path. At the same time, he also had to have God’s guidance, and have God take care of and guard him. It was only because Job pursued walking the right path, pursued fearing God and shunning evil that he was able to obtain grace, compassion, and blessings from God; then, he continually saw God’s hand and guidance, and he continually received God’s care. Only then was he able to grow. Why do you think God did not give Job such a trial when he was twenty years old? (He did not have the stature at the time.) The time had not yet come. Why did he not have such a great trial when he was forty? The time still had not yet come. Why did God only test him when he was seventy? (God’s time had come.) That’s right, the time had come. Do you all now need to wait until you are seventy? (No.) Why not? (Right now, we are able to listen to the words of God with our own ears. God expounds His will and His requirements to us very clearly.) The work of that era and the work of this era are different. In that era, God did not speak to man, and man did not understand the truth; God only did some simple, representative work. Those who believed in God just kept the words of God conveyed by the prophets, and those who feared God obtained His blessings. Those who did not truly believe in God were muddleheaded; at most, they kept the sacrifices and prayed, and that wasn’t too bad. At that time, were Job’s friends not also believers in God? Was their belief not far poorer than Job’s? They and Job were of the same era, but was Job not far stronger than them? (He was.) Why was there such a big difference? (It has to do with people’s nature and their pursuit.) That’s right, it has to do with people’s pursuit. You reap what you sow. If you do not plant anything, then when the time comes, you will have no harvest at all. Those few muddlers did not pursue; they were the same as the nonbelievers in the church today. They only kept the rules, and liked to follow the rules in all things. They did not understand the truth, and they thought they were always right, that they understood everything. When trials came upon Job, they told him: “You should quickly confess. See, God’s punishments have come.” In the end, what was God’s attitude toward them? God said: “You have lived to this great age, and you cannot clearly see My actions or My attitude toward people, nor the pattern by which I act. You really are muddlers; Job saw clearly.” So, God appeared to Job, but not to them; they were not worthy. They did not pursue a knowledge of God, and they neither feared God nor shunned evil, so God did not appear to them.
Now, everyone wants to become a person that fears God and shuns evil. So what does the way of fearing God and shunning evil mean? It can be said that it involves seeking to submit to God, and submitting to Him completely and absolutely. It involves being genuinely afraid and fearful of God, without any elements of deception, resistance, or rebellion. It is being completely pure of heart and absolutely loyal and obedient toward God. This loyalty and obedience must be absolute, not relative; it is not dependent upon time or place, or how old one is. This is the way of fearing God and shunning evil. In the process of such a pursuit, you will gradually come to know God and experience His deeds; you will feel His care and protection, sense the truth of His existence, and feel His sovereignty. Finally, you will really feel that God is in all things, and that He is right beside you. You will have this kind of realization. If you do not follow the way of fearing God and shunning evil, then you will never gain knowledge of these things. People say, “God is sovereign over all things; He is omnipresent and omnipotent.” You totally acknowledge this in your heart, but you cannot see or experience these things, so how can you come to know God? What have you been doing all these years of believing in God? You often attend gatherings and listen to sermons, and you always do your duty; you have run more than a few roads, and have won over some people in spreading the gospel. So why do you not understand that God is sovereign over all? You do not understand the truth at all! Are you completely unseeing? You clearly know that this is the true way, but you do not pursue the truth. Although you attend gatherings, listen to sermons, and live a church life, you do not understand the truth, and you have not changed at all. You are so pitiable! This is the state of the nonbelievers, as though they were not of the house of God; in God’s eyes, you are a hireling, a service-doer. You might say: “I’m doing my duty. God, You have to acknowledge me!” And would God say: “I am not in your heart at all, and you do not accept any of the truth. You are an evildoer. Depart from Me!” These are God’s innermost thoughts. You do not love the truth, you do not understand that God is the truth, the way, and the life, and you have no experiential knowledge. You cannot pull out any real experiences to testify that the God you believe in is the truth, the way, and the life. So can you obtain God’s approval? You cannot testify of God. You still live according to a corrupt disposition, doing whatever you want to; there is no clear difference between you and an unbeliever. You can hardly forsake the little selfish and despicable pettiness you have, and you find it difficult to resolve your notions and rebelliousness. Every time God arranges circumstances for you, you do not learn your lesson, and you have no clear harvest after decades of experience, so it is impossible for your corrupt disposition to be cleansed. Whether you believe in God for twenty years, thirty years, or even longer, if your rebelliousness, resistance, and your corrupt disposition are not resolved or cleansed at all, then you are an untouched old devil, who has not changed at all. This is sufficient to prove that you are a nonbeliever, and will easily be cast out.
Some people believe in God for many years, listen to many sermons, and understand many doctrines, so they think that they have obtained the true way, obtained God, and they think that they have obtained life; but in ordinary matters, they still strive for fame and profit. They even hurt and exclude others, totally exposing their selfish and despicable ugliness. Why can they not accept the truth or practice it at all? They only know how to speak some words and doctrines, and they mistakenly think they have obtained life. Is this not the pitiable state of man? They cannot even set aside their own interests, nor can they suffer this small amount; so what can they suffer? From beginning to end, they see their own interests and selfish desires as more important than anything else. They are this way when they start believing in God, never having changed up to the present; they still feel that they are good. Why is this? They think that they have believed in God for many years, doing their duty up to the present; they think that they have suffered somewhat, and that their contributions are significant, that they are superior to others in every way—in particular, these people who have listened to many years of sermons have a feeling of superiority, and they mistakenly think that they have obtained God. The oaths they swear and the determination they express are exactly the same as when they first began to believe in God. Neither their determination nor oaths have changed at all, nor have their enthusiasm or will. The energy they expend for God is still great, but there are also things that have not changed, that is, their arrogant, rebellious, deceitful, intransigent dispositions have not changed at all. So I wonder, what have these people been doing all these years? They believe in God and do their duties from dawn to dusk each day, expending most of their lifetime, so they think that they have already obtained God and the true way. Is this the fact of the matter? Have their feelings been confirmed by God? What does God want to see? Is this not an issue worth pondering? If there is a clear conflict between a person’s feeling that they are good and the way that God looks at them, which one has the problem? (The person.) That is for certain, because God cannot be mistaken. The standard that God requires of man has never changed; rather, man is constantly misinterpreting it, constantly understanding it in a way that is beneficial to them. Some people think: “These people have believed in God for most of their lifetimes. If God really does not approve of them, are they not so pitiable?” Are such people worth pitying, worth sympathizing with? If you say they are not worth pitying, not worth sympathizing with, is this not too cruel to them? No. Why do I say this? (Because God has already given people enough opportunities. They themselves do not pursue, and the blisters on their feet are their own fault.) To say it a little less nicely, they deserve it, and they are not worth pitying. If I speak of other people, you all think: “You deserve it! The blisters on your feet are your own fault. No one prevented you from listening to God’s words! God does not want you, and I neither sympathize with nor pity you. You deserve it!” But if this were to happen to you, would you examine your own consciences and introspect? What should you think? How should you think rationally, with reason and conscience, in the role a created being ought to be, and with the thoughts and attitude they ought to have? How should you think and act in order to give the most reasonable and fair accounting possible to God and man? (God, I want to say a little about my own feelings. I think that I have believed in God for many years, but have not obtained the truth. This is not because God has done something wrong, nor because God’s works have not achieved results, but rather because I have not pursued the truth. I think of the example that the Lord Jesus drew: The wages of those who enter the vineyard early and of those who enter the vineyard late are the same. For those who accept God’s work early and those who accept His work late, God is extremely fair and reasonable in what He gives to them all. If a person does not pursue the truth, and in the end does not obtain the truths that God bestows upon people, this is not because He has not given them enough time, but rather because they do not treasure or accept the truth; one by one, they forfeit and lose the opportunities that God has given them. Some people have believed in God only a short time, but nevertheless are able to accept and pursue the truth. After experiencing several years of the judgment, chastisement, pruning, and dealing of God’s words, they obtain some transformation, and are able to be saved. All this that God has done is just. These are some of my feelings after listening to God’s fellowship.) Very good! Let us first address this issue from a human perspective. If God had not been incarnated to save mankind, then in what situation would all those who believe in God be? They would live entirely under the power of Satan, in the tides of wickedness, and among corrupt mankind. Living among corrupt mankind is equivalent to living in the prison of devils, living in a den of demons, or living in a great dying vat. If someone does not believe in God, they very naturally will do whatever they desire, working wickedness and doing evil. Their corruption grows ever deeper, and they become increasingly wicked, increasingly unreasonable, and in the end, they become living demons. From their words and deeds they appear human, but their whole mentality and disposition has already become that of a living demon. What is the ending of such people? Do they not meet the same end as Satan? (Yes.) They have been taken captive by Satan. They are Satan’s partners, have become Satan’s accomplices and lackeys, and are just as resistant to God as Satan. Thus they have no more room to maneuver, and in the end, their destination is to be punished and destroyed. This is speaking regarding humans. If you do not believe in God, then God will not save you. You might be very free in this world, be able to do whatever you desire, and act however you want; you might not need to be restrained by conscience and reason, nor need to accept or practice the truth, much less accept pruning, dealing, and discipline. You only live according to your own preferences, live by following the trends of the world, until you completely change to have no reason, no perception of conscience. You utterly and completely degenerate into a living demon, a living Satan, a living devil within and without; you do not need to be disguised or wrapped up—you are a genuine Satan, a devil. This is the result of unbelievers living under the power of Satan, and in the end, they must be destroyed by disasters. Suppose that someone believes in God, but is never able to accept the truth, never able to know themselves, and does not truly repent; they have believed in God for many years, but they have not changed at all; their conscience and reason have not recovered, and their way of life is the same as that of an unbeliever. Regardless of how God judges and chastises people, and regardless of how the house of God fellowships on the truth, they do not pay attention to it at all. Such people are nonbelievers, the wicked who have infiltrated the house of God. God has given many opportunities to obtain the truth and salvation, and people believe for many years without paying any attention to God’s will; they still pursue the enjoyments of the flesh as usual, eating, drinking, and making merry. They have no conscience, no positive elements of humanity; they have already gone beyond the point of being saved, beyond the point of turning back. God gives up on them, and does not save them; their end need not be spoken. At this point, their life of believing in God ends; their course of believing in God is finished. Their ending is set—this is their ending. What feelings would someone have in their heart when they have this ending? Their hearts would ache faintly, they would be truly distraught and sorrowful, feeling that they had been abandoned by God, as if they were in a limitless ocean, unable to clutch at their last straw, utterly wretched and utterly helpless. When you have not sunk to that level, you cannot feel that kind of pain, but as soon as you get to that point, you cannot turn back. In this situation in which God will not save people, this is how people eventually walk toward this kind of fate, and toward this kind of ending. But is it any loss to God for people to have this kind of fate, this kind of ending? Is it any loss to God if the people He created are corrupted by Satan, if they do not accept His salvation at all, and walk toward the road of destruction? Absolutely not. Would God stop being God because one of His creations was destroyed? Would He lose His identity and status as God, His essence as God? Would this change the fact that He is sovereign over all things? (No.) It would not. What does this mean? Regardless of whether people accept God’s work, whether they are able to attain salvation, it is no loss to God. This is one aspect of things. Even if people don’t believe in God and God doesn’t work to save people, God doesn’t lose anything at all. Satan is still Satan; God is still God. The One who has dominion over all things is still God, God is still the One who created all things, and He is still the One who administers all things. The fate of mankind, the fate of Satan and the fate of all things are held in God’s hands. There can be no change to God’s position, God’s uniqueness, God’s disposition and God’s essence. God’s holiness will also not be sullied, and His work will suffer no loss. God is still God. This allows people to understand one fact: No matter how numerous mankind gets, in God’s eyes it is just a number. It does not amount to any kind of force and it poses no threat to God. No matter what course mankind follows, they are held in God’s hands. No matter what end mankind faces, whether they believe in God or acknowledge His existence or sovereignty, none of it can affect God’s intrinsic identity or position, and neither can it affect God’s essence. This is a fact that nobody can change. But there is something that people have perhaps not yet understood clearly or experienced. If any one among mankind is abandoned by God, and He doesn’t save them, then their final ending will be destruction, and that is irreversible. In the entire universe and all things, no matter how big they are, no matter how many planets there are, how many lives there are, they cannot change the fact of God’s existence, and the fate of the universe and all things is held in the hands of the One alone. From a living organism to a star, nothing can affect God’s existence, nor affect God’s dominion, much less can anything control any idea God has. This is a fact. Some people believe: “I don’t believe in You, so You are not God.” “Not many people believe in You, so You are not God.” Is this a tenable thing to say? (No, it isn’t.) Some others say: “Only we believe in You, so Your power to dominate all things and mankind is only this great, only extends this much.” Is this the case? (No.) People who have such views are so ignorant, so foolish!
I just fellowshiped about how if God did not save people, then mankind would be headed toward destruction, but God’s identity and status would not be affected at all, much less His essence. You see this fact clearly, right? (Yes.) Regardless of whether or not mankind accepts the truth or is able to attain salvation, God is still God—His status, identity, and essence will not change. But there is a great variability when it comes to the fate of mankind. Who controls that variability? Is it people themselves? Is it a country? Is it a ruler? Is it a force? No. The One in charge of your fate and the fate of mankind is God—all is in His hands. So, you must see this fact clearly: By saving mankind, and saving you, God is showing you grace; it is a great salvation, which is the greatest of graces. Why do I say it is the greatest of graces? Because God’s salvation of mankind is not an inexorable law, nor is it an inevitable trend, nor is it a necessity. God chooses to do it freely. Would it be alright if God did not save you? Surely, He does not have to save you? At the outset, God may have predestined you, but if He does not want to choose you now, and He does not save you, then you cannot obtain this grace. So, what should you do? You must perform well, and try by every means possible to use your actions, your heart, and your true faith to move God and obtain His grace. This is certainly not infeasible. When the Lord Jesus was spreading the gospel back in the day, there was a Canaanite woman—what did she do? (Her daughter was possessed by a demon, so she asked the Lord Jesus to help her. The Lord said: “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” The woman said: “The dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” The Lord Jesus said that the woman’s faith was great, and fulfilled her wishes.) What about her did the Lord Jesus approve of? (Her faith.) What actually was her faith? How should we understand her faith? (She acknowledged that the Lord Jesus was God.) The Lord Jesus said she was a dog, so why was she not upset? You are not able to speak very clearly about this matter. These are the facts: Why did the Lord Jesus approve of this person’s faith? He did not approve of the fact that she was willing to be a dog, nor did He approve of her willingness to eat crumbs—these were all secondary. So, what did the Lord Jesus approve of? It was that she did not care whether the Lord Jesus treated her as a dog, a person, or a devil, Satan—it did not matter to her how He treated her. The most important thing was that she treated the Lord Jesus as God, firmly believing that He was the Lord and God, and that this was a truth and a fact that could never change. The Lord Jesus is God and the Lord, and He was the One she recognized in her heart. That was enough. Whether the Lord Jesus saved her or not, whether He treated her as someone who ate with Him, as a disciple, as a follower, or treated her as a dog, it did not matter to her. In short, the fact that she acknowledged the Lord Jesus as the Lord in her heart was enough—that was her greatest faith. Do you have this kind of faith? If one day I said that you all were the guard dogs of God’s house, would you be willing to accept this? If I said that you were the little darlings of God’s house, God’s people, and angels, you would find this quite satisfactory, but if I said that you were a dog, you would be unhappy. Why would you be unhappy? Because you view yourself as very important. You think: “I acknowledge that You are God, so how could You call me a dog? I acknowledge that You are God, so whatever You do, You ought to be fair and reasonable. The two of us are equals, we are buddies! I believe in You, which shows such great courage, love, and faith on my part. How can You say that I am a dog? You do not love man! We are buddies, we should be on equal footing. I respect You, I fear You, and I admire You—You ought to respect me, and treat me as a person. I am a person!” What do you think of this attitude? (It lacks sense.) When people want to be on equal footing with God and to treat God as their buddy, does this not spell trouble? You say: “You look ordinary—I actually look better than You, and I am taller than You. You also cough when You catch a cold, and You also get tired when You talk a lot—I’m healthier than You. You just have the truth, and in that respect You are stronger than me. If I believe in God for many years, and understand more truths, then I will not be so much worse than You. What’s more, I have a skill that You don’t! By that comparison, You’re not so much greater than I am.” What do you think of this viewpoint? (It is wrong.) What do you think of this method of comparison? Humans cannot possibly be compared to God. What kind of mistake is being made through this method of comparison? (That person is not standing in their proper position, and they are not treating God as God. They are treating Him as an ordinary person. They only see the humanity of the incarnate God, but they do not see His divinity.) To speak plainly, it is that they have neither conscience nor reason—they have no humanity. Additionally, people have not seen God’s spiritual body, so they treat His incarnation as a human, and think that this ordinary person is neither great nor impressive, and that He is easy to bully and fool. That’s just how it is. Humans are just such corrupt things. If you do not pursue the truth, this is what will happen as time goes on; you will have neither fear nor reverence for God in your heart. The point of people pursuing the truth is for them to be able to submit to God. No matter how He acts, what form He appears in, or in what way He talks to you, God’s place in your heart will not change, nor will your fear of Him, nor your relationship with Him, nor your true faith in Him. God’s essence and status in your heart will not change. You will handle the relationship between you and God very well, appropriately, and rationally, with standards, and with restraint. But if you do not pursue the truth, this will be very difficult for you to achieve—it will not be easy for you to do. If people do not pursue the truth, they will never be able to see God’s essence, nor His divinity. They will not know what things make up His disposition or His true outpourings. People will not be able to see these things. Even if they are told to you, you will not be able to see them, nor will you be able to recognize them.
We just talked about what people’s outcome would be if God did not save them. What outcome is that? (Destruction.) What about God? (It would have no effect on God at all.) This is speaking from the perspective of God not saving people; God would not be affected at all, but people’s fate and outcome would be miserable—vastly different from the outcomes of people like Job and Abraham. If God does not save someone, then they are numbered among His enemy forces and the ranks of His adversaries. This outcome is clearly terrible. Let’s talk now about what a person will obtain from God wanting to save them, and to do work on them. Why do people believe in God? What are believers in God chasing after? Are they chasing after God’s satisfaction? Are they chasing after fulfilling the duty of a created being? Are they chasing after shaming Satan and testifying for God? These reasons are all quite high-sounding, and a bit too far-fetched. If I were to ask you now to talk about the intents you had when you originally began believing in God, you would have a guilty conscience and blush while speaking these words; you would have a hard time speaking, because those are not the facts. So, what actually are the facts? (People believe in God because they are chasing after blessings.) (They are chasing after a good destination, or a source of spiritual sustenance.) In summary, such intents are a bit indecent, and not quite presentable. But, if they did not chase this objective at first, would people believe in God? They certainly did not intend to believe in God, nor did they want to; if they didn’t get any benefits from it, who would believe in God? When it comes to believing in God, people think that if they do not profit a little from it, they should at least receive a promise. What promise? Some people say: “God’s promise is that we will obtain a hundredfold in this life, and eternal life in the next—this means that we will live forever, without ever dying. That is a kind of bliss and a blessing that no one throughout the ages has ever enjoyed or received before. What’s more, if people believe in God, He will give them some grace, blessings, and protection in this life.” In short, when someone has just begun to believe in God, their heart is impure and unclean. They do not believe in God in order to do the duty of a created being, to live like a human, to ultimately live out the image of a person beloved by God, to live in a way that glorifies and testifies for Him, and to not bring shame upon Him, and to still testify for Him even after death—rather, with all their heart and soul, they want to be blessed, and to enjoy more of God’s grace and blessings in this life. If they have a next life, they want to obtain even greater blessings there. When people first come to believe in God, these are the wishes, intents, and objectives they carry with them; they believe in God in order to obtain the blessings of the kingdom of heaven and God’s promise. For corrupt mankind, this is legitimate, and God will not fault people for it. When people first start to believe in God, they are all ignorant, and they understand nothing. By reading the words of God and experiencing His enlightenment, they slowly begin to understand the truths about believing in God and the significance of believing in God, as well as God’s requirements of man. During this process, people enjoy God’s care and protection; some people’s illnesses are cured, their bodies are quite healthy, their families are peaceful, and their marriages are happy—in various ways, they enjoy different degrees of God’s grace and blessings. Of course, these are all secondary. From God’s perspective, these are not His greatest exertions. What is His greatest exertion? (The expectations He has placed on people, and His painstaking efforts.) “His painstaking efforts” has some concrete content, whereas “expectations” is a bit empty. What is the most practical benefit, the most precious thing you have received from God? (The provision of the truth.) (Understanding some of the truth, and being able to see through some matters.) It is certainly not those so-called graces and blessings. Are the most precious things that humans receive from God not His life, words, and truths, as well as the path that humans ought to walk as created beings which God enables them to understand? In summary, people have obtained the truth, the way, and the life from God—are these not the most precious things of all? (They are.) Have you obtained them? (We have not truly obtained them yet.) It may not feel as practically beneficial or real as it would if someone gave you a hundred dollars when you were poor, or if someone gave you two bread rolls when you were hungry, but the truth, the way, and the life that comes from God is truly granted to every person who sincerely believes in Him. Isn’t that a fact? (Yes.) That is a fact. No matter how much of God’s word you have heard, how much of the truth you are able to accept and have understood, how much reality you have lived out, or how many results you have obtained, there is a fact you must understand: The truth, the way, and the life of God are bestowed freely on each and every person, and this is fair to everyone. God will never play favorites with one person over another because of how long they have believed in God or how much they have suffered, and He will never favor or bless a person because they have believed in Him for a long time or because they have suffered a lot. Nor will God treat anyone differently because of their age, their appearance, their gender, their family background, and so on. Every person obtains the same things from God. He doesn’t allow anyone to obtain less, or anyone to obtain more. God is fair and reasonable to each and every person. He gives people exactly what they need, when they need it, not letting them go hungry, cold or thirsty, and He satisfies all the needs of man’s heart. When God does these things, what does God require of people? God bestows these things on people, so does God have any selfish motives? (No.) God has no selfish motives at all. God’s words and work are all for the sake of humankind, and are meant to solve all of people’s hardships and difficulties, so that they can obtain the real life from Him. This is a fact. But can you prove this with facts? If you can’t prove this with facts, then by saying this you are being very false and this statement is just a platitude. Can I put it like that? For example, God asks people to be honest, to speak honestly and do honest things, and to not be deceitful. The significance of God saying this is to enable people to have true human likeness, and to not be like Satan, speaking like a snake slithering along the ground, always equivocating, and stopping other people from grasping the truth of the matter. That is, it is said so that people, in both word and deed, will live out the likeness of a human, and be dignified, upright, and decent, without harboring a dark side or any shameful things, and possessing clean hearts. It is said so that people will be the same on the outside as they are on the inside, saying whatever they think in their hearts, not cheating God or any other person, keeping nothing back, with hearts like a piece of pure land. This is what God asks, and it is God’s objective in requiring people to be honest. In requiring people to be honest, what does God want them to obtain? What kind of likeness does He want them to live out? Who is the greatest beneficiary of this? (Man.) Some people are never able to understand God’s will, and they always doubt God, saying: “God wants us to be honest, and to speak with Him simply and openly, so that He can find out our true situation, and then control and manipulate us, making us totally submit to His orchestrations and arrangements.” Is this thought correct? This thought is so dark and shameless, and only devils would speculate about God and doubt Him in this way. What is the significance of God requiring people to be honest, to become people without any selfish motives, intents, self-will, or adulterations, and without a dark side? It is to allow people to be cleansed of their corrupt dispositions, to gradually attain holiness, to live in the light, to live more freely and liberated, to be filled with enjoyment, and brimming with joy and peace—such are the most blessed people of all. God’s objective is to perfect people, to allow them to enjoy the greatest of all blessings. If you become this kind of person, what benefits can God obtain from you? Does God have any ulterior motives? Does He profit from this at all? (No.) So if a person is honest, who is the greatest beneficiary of this? (The person themselves.) What benefits and advantages can a person receive from this? (Their heart will be free and liberated, and their life will become easier and easier; they will be trusted more and more by others as they interact with them, and they will have normal relationships with other people.) What else? (When people conduct themselves in accordance with God’s words and requirements, they will no longer be in pain, instead, they will live relaxed, peaceful, and happy lives.) This feeling is quite real. So, what is the objective of God’s salvation of man? (To transform and cleanse people, so that in the end He can gain them.) What is the consequence of being gained by God? It is obtaining the wonderful destination that God has promised. So, who is the greatest beneficiary of this? (Man.) Man is the greatest beneficiary!
What do people gain from following God all these years? Most people would say that their harvest has been great. For now we will not talk about how great the harvest is of those who have good caliber and who pursue the truth; even those who have ordinary caliber harvest a lot. First off, do people have some discernment regarding this wicked, corrupt world? (Yes.) How did you used to feel, when you were mixed in with the unbelievers? Each day, you felt tired, irritated, angry, aggrieved, and depressed; you dared not blow off steam for fear that you would run into an evil person who would bully you, and you would not be able to beat them, so you had to swallow your pride. That is to say, living in an unbelieving world, in this wicked world, those you came in contact with were devils; they brutalized one another, so your heart was in great pain. This is the most obvious feeling. So after believing in God, what did this obvious feeling turn into? What did this fragment of conscience and moral perception of yours become? It became true discernment and true knowledge of this wicked era. By suffering many persecutions, you can see the hideous countenance of the devil kings, as well as the darkness and wickedness of this era. Is this not a harvest? If you do not believe in God and do not accept the truth, can you have such a harvest? Before, you merely felt: “How are people more and more wicked? Inconceivable.” Would you still say that now? Right now, you have some knowledge and discernment of evil people, of wicked and worldly devils. Would you be willing to come in contact and interact with them? (No.) You would certainly not be willing. If you were asked to associate and mingle with them, you would instead gasp, saying: “I am afraid. I cannot beat them. Those people all belong to Satan, they are so evil!” What made you change so much? Is it not the effects of the word of God? Is it not that always speaking of how to discern evil people, the wicked era, and wicked trends allows you to come to know this era and mankind? You have this knowledge, so you are unwilling to mingle with them; the moral sense and conscience within you is disgusted by them, and you start to have discernment. You gradually see through to their nature essence; from the bottom of your heart, you can see that they are devils. Getting along with them pains your heart and makes you so upset that you have no way to continue living; your only wish is to immediately separate yourself from them. Some people, when they first enter the church and come into contact with the brothers and sisters, feel: “How are these people different? They are all able to simply and openly speak their innermost thoughts, like family members. How do they not defend themselves from others at all? Are they stupid, or what? I’m the smart one. I defend against everyone, and I do not speak my innermost thoughts with anyone.” As time goes on, they understand a little truth; they think that if they do not start pursuing becoming an honest person, instead always disguising themselves, lying, and deceiving, then would they not be a devil, Satan? They would certainly be cast out. “I must accept the truth and be an honest person.” Then they try to open their hearts to the brothers and sisters and speak their innermost thoughts. When they occasionally tell lies, they pray to God, and they forsake their lies, and practice the conduct of an honest person. They always practice this way, and then one day they feel that living this way is really good; not only are they not tired, they are also not depressed, and they have no pain. Their hearts are free and liberated, and they really have feelings of peace and joy. After this point, they are able to openly fellowship all their thoughts and ideas with the brothers and sisters. “Only the house of God has the environment of the truth, only there does God’s word exercise authority, and only there is a pure land. Only in the house of God can people have more of the semblance of a human as they continue to live!” If you really have such feelings, then you will not leave God, because you see that God is love, and you enjoy His love. Unbelievers do not comprehend it when they see people believe in God and follow Him in this way. They do not understand what these people are doing, why they have such great faith in God, or why they would still persist in gathering in such difficult circumstances—even when they are cleared out and expelled they do not leave God, they still persist in doing service, and they spread the gospel and prepare good deeds. There are some people among them who might not dare to leave God out of fear; they fear that leaving will bring upon them God’s punishment. I tell you the truth: You can simply go out with your heart at ease, God will not punish you. God gives people freedom, and the door to the house of God is eternally open; whoever wants to leave may do so at any time and place, without restrictions. But if someone wants to reenter after leaving, that is not so simple, because it constitutes betrayal against God. They must go through strict examination; whether or not they have truly repented, whether or not they are a good person, must be investigated. Only then can they be accepted back into the church. But as to those who want to forsake God and return to the world, the house of God has never had any restrictions. Does the church have any administrative regulations that say certain people are not permitted to leave? (No.) There never have been. The house of God permits anyone to leave the church; if an evil person leaves the church, the house of God will even see them off gladly. But there are some people who always want to express their good intentions to the people who want to leave, saying: “You can’t leave, you still have some gifts, and some caliber. You still have a future in the church, and you could be blessed greatly in the future.” There are some well-intentioned people who try to persuade others in this way, thinking that this is love. Is it any use to ask people to stay like this? You can get people to stay, but you cannot get their hearts to stay. Those who do not love the truth cannot stand firm in the house of God; even if you compel them to stay, they are not someone who pursues the truth, so what blessings can they obtain? If they are devoted service-doers, then the blessing of being able to survive is not small; but for those who do not love the truth, believing in God is tiresome, so are they willing to do service? So, this method of good intention-based persuasion has some results for a good person, but is a little foolish when applied to an evil person. There are principles for exhorting others. Practicing exhortation toward those who are able to repent gives some results, while practicing exhortation toward evil people is useless. The more you try to persuade them, the more they are disgusted with you, and their shame turns into anger. This demonstrates foolishness—it is foolish to exhort an evil person. There are some people who, though they have not believed in God for very long, they feel in the depths of their hearts that reading the words of God the past few years has given them perceptual, plain knowledge of many truths, and that although they have not yet fully obtained the truth, they have changed somewhat, and have truly obtained a great deal from God. Though when you are asked to speak about experiential knowledge and testimony you are still unable to talk about it clearly, you simply feel that you are moving forward in a good and positive direction, and that you are not moving backward in a bad or negative direction—and you are constantly telling yourself, “I need to be a good person, I need to be an honest person. I absolutely cannot be a deceitful person, much less an arrogant acolyte of wickedness, who God detests. I need to be someone who pleases God.” You often thus admonish yourself and restrain yourself, and after a few years, you finally think that you are able to live out a little of the likeness of a human. Speaking from people’s truest feelings, experiences, and understandings, man is the greatest beneficiary of God’s work as He saves mankind. Having believed in God up to the present, what have you missed out on? I will lay it out for you. You have missed out on self-indulgence, doing whatever you want, on living heartlessly, on opportunities to go to dance, sing, and party at nightclubs and bars, and you have missed out on the opportunity to eat and drink yourself stupid in the tides of wickedness. You have not had these days. But more than that, what have you obtained? People often feel that believing in God makes them pretty happy and carefree. Living a whole lifetime this way would be pretty good. Most of what you obtain is happiness, joy, and peace. Are these not real benefits? (They are.) Some people might say: “Although I am a bit tired from doing my duty the past two years, I nevertheless feel at ease.” This easiness and peace cannot be bought with money, nor can they be exchanged for status, fame, profit, or academic degree.
For a believer in God, to obtain the truth is to obtain life, and to obtain life is to obtain real benefits. At the same time that man obtains real benefits, what does God obtain from them? What are God’s requirements of man? What does God need to obtain from man? Is God engaged in a transaction? (No.) In God’s speech and actions, has He ever said, “I have said these words, so you need to give Me this much money”? Has God ever asked you for a single cent? (No.) Some distrustful people never believe that God would so selflessly and freely grant so many truths that can be man’s life to mankind; they do not believe in this fact. They think that all matters on earth are transactional, that there is no such thing as a free lunch, so they do not believe that all God’s words and deeds are granted to mankind freely, and without price. They think that even if it is this way, it is certainly a trap. That they would doubt God in this way is hardly surprising, because they do not know who God saves and perfects, much less on whom the truth is bestowed. But what God does is truly free. No matter what He requires people to do, as long as they do it, He is pleased, and people are able to receive His commendation. As long as people are able to accept the truths God expresses, and are able to live according to His words, this is the result God expects, and is what He wants from people as He saves them. God wants this little bit, but can people give it to Him? How many people are there who can treat this requirement of God as the most precious thing of all to repay Him? Who can understand God’s heart? No one can, and people are unaware that they have obtained the most precious thing of all. Why do I say they have obtained the most precious thing of all? God has bestowed His life, all He is and all He has, on man, so that they can live it out, so that they can take all that He is and has, and the truths He has bestowed on man, and turn them into their life direction and goal, so that they can live according to His words, and make His words into their life. In this way, could it not be said that God has bestowed His life freely on man so that He could become their life? (It could.) So what is it that people get from God? His expectations? His promises? Or what? What people get from God is not an empty word, it is God’s life! At the same time that God grants people life, His only requirement of them is that they live His life out as their own. When God sees you living out this life, He is gratified; this is His only requirement. So, what people obtain from God is something priceless, but at the same time that He grants them this priceless thing, He gets nothing. The greatest beneficiary is man; man reaps the greatest harvest, and man is the greatest beneficiary. At the same time that people accept God’s words as their life, they understand the truth and have principles and a foundation for conducting themselves, so they have a direction for their life path. They are not deceived or bound by Satan any longer, nor are they deceived or used by evil people any longer; they are no longer polluted or enticed by wicked trends. They live free and liberated between the heaven and earth, and are able to live under God’s dominion, never again to be brutalized by any wicked or dark force. That is to say, as a person lives out this kind of life, they no longer suffer pain, and they have no difficulties; they live happily, free and easy. They have a normal relationship with God; they do not rebel against Him, nor resist Him. Truly living under His sovereignty, inside and out they live in a way that is perfectly justified; they have the truth and humanity, and become worthy of the name of mankind. Compare obtaining such a great benefit with what in the imagination of man are the promises given to man by God or the blessings man wishes to obtain—which is better? Which one do people need most? Which one is able to make people submit to and worship God, make them live forever, without being destroyed or punished by God? Is your desire to be blessed important, or is truly living out the life that God has given you important? What is more able to help you come before God, without making Him detest you, forsake you, or punish you? What is able to preserve your life? Only by accepting the truth that comes from God can you obtain this everlasting life. Once you have this life, your life is without a time limit—this is eternal life. The implication is that if someone does not obtain the life that comes from God, they must die; human life is limited by time. Is life limited by time still eternal life? It is not. Can receiving eternal life from God take the place of your desire to be blessed? Can someone’s desire to be blessed keep them from dying? No, that is for certain.
God has come to express so much truth. People obtain life from God and they obtain the everlasting life which comes from Him, a life that is eternal. Has God changed? (No.) Theoretically speaking, God’s great project of saving mankind has finally caused people to be qualified to live forever without dying; on this level, God has fulfilled His wishes, fulfilled His six-thousand-year management plan—the work of saving mankind. God’s great work has been accomplished, and it seems as though God has gotten some benefit out of it, but in reality, who is the one who will live forever? Who is the one obtaining the greatest blessings? (Man.) It is mankind. If God does not obtain these people, will His status change? (No.) God’s status would not change, nor would His essence, nor would anything else. On the contrary, man’s fate would change significantly; not a small difference, but the difference between heaven and earth! One is to die eternally, the other is to live eternally. Which should people choose? (To live eternally.) What does God wish to see? What is His greatest expectation of mankind? Why would He pay such a great price? God granted His life to man freely, without any demands or transaction, and without any additional requirements. All He requires of people is to accept His words into their hearts and live out the semblance of a human according to His requirements, and then His work will achieve results, and His wishes will be satisfied. But humans are narrow-minded; they think that in saying all these words and having people eat and drink them and enter into them, in having people cast things away and expend themselves, forsake themselves, put themselves aside, and constantly worship Him, God may be getting some great profit. Is this in fact the case? (No, God is selfless. He freely bestows the truth upon man, without demands, and without requiring people to repay Him.) Looking at these matters, is the phrase “God is selfless” true? (Yes.) God is selfless. There is no selfishness in any of the things God does. Has God ever done anything that was only for Himself, and not for man? He never has. Up to the present, God has never done such a thing, which people can know through their experiences. At the same time that God allows people to understand the truth and obtain the life that comes from Him, He also arranges a great many circumstances, people, events, and things, and provides people with the appropriate opportunities to do their duties; so that they may have the appropriate circumstances and conditions in which to sufficiently experience and understand the truthfulness of His words and the truth contained therein. He uses all kinds of methods, such as dealing, discipline, trials, refinement, promptings, and encouragement, as well as church life and the mutual fellowship, support, and help of the brothers and sisters, to help people understand His will, to not misunderstand His heart, and to get people to step onto the right way. At the same time that God does all this, does He have any additional requirements of people, requiring them to do special things for Him? (No.) In summary, in the time that God saves people, He gives them sufficient opportunities and sufficient space, and provides various advantageous and convenient conditions and circumstances to build up each person. At the same time, He also cleanses each person, and in the end, He perfects those who can be perfected; He perfects those who love and pursue the truth. In short, all this that God does, whether the words He says to people, the work He does, or the price He pays, is done freely.
Actually, no matter how many years God works, how much of God’s word people are able to understand, how much of the truth they are able to put into practice, or how much life provision they get from God, can anyone among mankind truly converse with God? Set aside conversation for now—this requirement is a bit high for you right now—is there anyone who can truly understand the heart of God? Let us not speak of satisfying Him—can you understand His heart? No one can. Some people say: “God is so great, and we humans are so small. God is in heaven, and we are on earth. One of God’s thoughts is enough for us to ponder over for years—how can we understand Him? This is not easy to achieve, and conversing with Him is even more unachievable.” So is achieving this a difficult matter? Is there a level of difficulty? Where does that difficulty come in? God’s thoughts are in all His words, in the truth He has expressed, and in His disposition. If someone does not pursue the truth, cannot understand the truth, nor can they obtain the truth and life that comes from God, then they can never comprehend Him. If someone does not comprehend God, then they can never come before Him to converse with Him, nor will they be capable of doing that. What do I mean by converse? It is to lay one’s heart bare, to speak from the heart. Do you know how to do this? You know how to speak from the heart with your parents, with your siblings, and with your bosom friends, but you never know how to speak from the heart with God. Where does the problem come from? (Not comprehending God’s heart.) Why can you not comprehend God’s heart? (Man does not have true knowledge of God.) This is one main reason. People do not comprehend God’s heart; they do not know His heart, nor do they know what He is thinking, what He loves, what He hates, why He is sorrowful, or why He is sad. You cannot appreciate these things, which proves that you have not obtained the truth or life from within God’s words, and your heart is still far from God. What does it mean when one’s heart is far from God? First, it means that people have no place for God in their hearts; they still want to be their own master. Carrying on like this leads to them rebelling against and resisting God everywhere, all the time; they even forsake God, and leave Him. Some people encounter disaster and calamity and misunderstand God, and complain against Him; they say things that judge and deny God. Such people are already resisting and betraying God. This is the truth of the situation. For God, is living in such a state good or bad? (Bad.) Why is it bad? (This is not what God wants, nor is it what He hopes to see.) This is one aspect, and God does not hope to see such things. So how would God feel in His heart? (Regretful and hurt.) First, He would be hurt. If you were full of expectations for someone, and you hoped that they would lay their hearts bare to you, but they instead were estranged from you and misunderstood you, always hiding from you and avoiding you, what would you think? Even if they opened their heart to you and talked with you, and what they said was not what you wanted to hear, what would you think? Would you not feel lonely? (Yes.) First you would feel lonely and isolated, as though you had no loved ones, no confidants, no one to speak from the heart with, no one to believe in or rely on; your heart would be lonely. At the same time that you felt lonely, what would you think? How would you feel? Would your heart not hurt? (Yes.) It would hurt. Is this pain easy to resolve? What sorts of things could lessen this pain? How could you change this situation? Could giving up on this desire and pretending you could not see this fact do it? (No.) So what would you have to do in the end? What should the final choice be? How can such a situation be changed? God could do two things. Man might have other methods, but corrupt mankind’s choices are certainly different from God’s courses of action. Man’s choice would be, “If you do not act in line with my will, I will not pay you any heed. If this person will not do, I will choose that person. If the first is bad, I will choose the second.” Would God act this way? Certainly not. God does not give up on the things He wants to do. So what would God do? This is a matter in which God’s selfless essence is embodied. For one, God would continue to freely provide for man’s needs, for the needs of their life and their spirit, as well as the various needs of their circumstances. Additionally, God would do the second thing, which is what He has been doing for the past several thousand years. Can you think of what it is? (Wait.) What else? (God would continue to wait, and continue to guide them.) It seems that you have some understanding, this mindset. That’s right, He would wait. God would not choose a second method, whether escape, or giving up, or lessening His sorrow. At the same time that He freely grants life provision to mankind, He also freely waits. This is what He does. How well does He do it? To use man’s words, is God not really something? (God does all He can and all He ought to.) God does all this freely, so that people can obtain eternal life. He has no other requirements; at the very least, it could be said that He has no unreasonable requirements of man. At the same time that God grants all this to man, He, freely and bit by bit, grants His most precious and valuable thing to man, which is the thing that man most ought to value and cherish. As people obtain all these things, they obtain happiness, peace, a foundation for survival and human conduct, and the greatest benefits possible. But at the same time, have any of these people thought of God? Have they thought of what He is doing and thinking? They haven’t thought of this, have they? As people obtain all this, do any of them ask themselves: “What did we give God in return for all that He has bestowed upon us? What does God get from us? When we obtain joy and happiness, is God happy?” People might not ask or think about this. When people fellowship about the words of God with one another, and are steeped in happiness and merriment, have any of them thought about God? They do not think; they have never thought, and they do not know how to think. Such things are not in their hearts. At the same time that people get all this from God, they think: “I’m so lucky! Getting all this is so great, I’m so blessed! No one is as blessed as me. It’s really thanks to God!” People just say one word of thanks; they only have a kind of grateful mood. No matter how sincere they are, or how fervent their hearts are, or how great a burden they think they can carry, and no matter how much of the truth they think they already understand, or what they can do for God, even when God is by man’s side, He is still lonely! Why do I say He is lonely? Because, from beginning to end, no matter what God bestows upon man, what He does to them, in what form He appears to them, or in what manner He works on them, God is isolated by them. Is this not the case? (It is.) So at what point will this situation change, so that God no longer needs to wait, and no longer feels lonely? Which things do people need to do and what level does their stature need to be at in order to change this condition, to change this state? What is this dependent on? (It depends on people’s pursuit.) This matter ultimately still depends on man, not on God. As I have said, when man is able to speak from the heart with God face to face, and when their hearts are not estranged, when they are able to converse with God and comprehend His heart, when they know what He is thinking and what He wants to do, what He likes and what He hates, why He is sorrowful and why He is pleased, then God will not be lonely. If people are able to do this, then they will truly be obtained by God. This is the true relationship God wants to see between Himself and man. Do you understand? (A little.) Is God’s heart easy to understand? When you earnestly read the word of God and diligently consider and experience each word and every truth that He has expressed, then you will gradually enter into and comprehend God’s heart. At the same time that you comprehend God’s heart, you will know how to satisfy His heart. If someone cannot comprehend God’s heart, then how can they satisfy Him? It is impossible. What is the precondition to satisfying God? (Comprehension.) Understanding and comprehension are first, then you can speak of satisfaction. Is this matter difficult for you? (By putting in effort and diligently considering, it is not difficult.) This matter is not actually difficult. People can hear the words God speaks and see the work He does; they acknowledge these words in their hearts, and no one denies them. This depends on people’s hearts; as long as they have the heart for it, it is easy to achieve. If you are heartless, then it is troublesome. It does not matter how many words are said to you—they are all in vain.
I just fellowshiped about how man is the greatest beneficiary of God’s management plan. Is that not a fact? Have you seen this fact? (We have.) Some people have heard and understood, and now are pondering, “So I can get real benefits. This is not just a story for children, I can really receive eternal life!” How can you receive eternal life? (Practice according to God’s requirements.) Who do you think most needs these truths that God has expressed? Does God need them? (God does not need them, man needs them.) It is man who needs them most; God does not need them. God has granted to man the things they most need. Are they not the most blessed? (They are.) Right now, if you were given a choice between the whole world and eternal life, which would you choose? Some foolish people would say: “I don’t want eternal life, since I can’t see it or feel it. Pursuing it seems very tiring. I want money, a mansion, and a fancy car—those are tangible benefits!” Do such people exist? You cannot say they do not, there are all kinds of idiots out there. However I speak, they do not understand, so let them go. They do not have this blessing. They have made their own choice. In the end, you will obtain what you choose; you have to be responsible for your own choices. You have to pay for your own choices; whether life or death depends on the path you have chosen. If you want to resist God to the end, then you are on the road to death. If you say, “I will live by following the path God has pointed out to me,” then you will be able to live always—this will come true. Every word of God will be fulfilled and become real, that cannot be denied. Some people say: “How is it that I do not know this matter?” If you do not know and I tell you, then do you not know it? Some others say: “Even if I have heard of it, I have not seen it with my own eyes, so I still think it is not real.” Then there’s nothing to be done. If someone has no faith, then they will not believe even if they see with their own eyes. Those who do not understand spiritual matters do not know, even if they see, nor do they understand, even if they hear. Only those who understand spiritual matters and understand the truth can see the word of God being accomplished and fulfilled each day. If you believe that God’s words accomplish everything, that God is omnipotent, that all His words will be fulfilled, then you should pursue the truth. If you see that God’s words are fulfilled and accomplished in you, then you will have faith in Him. Rest assured, God’s promises and blessings for you will certainly surpass all that you could ask for or imagine!
December 11, 2016