How to Eat, Drink and Ponder God’s Words to Gain the Truth
How to Eat, Drink and Ponder God’s Words
It seems now that eating and drinking God’s words is the most fundamental issue, so I shall now focus on fellowshiping how to eat and drink God’s words. … Let’s look at a passage of God’s words, the Preface to the book of The Word Appears in the Flesh: “Though many people believe in God, few understand what faith in God means, and what they must do to be after God’s heart. This is because, though people are familiar with the word ‘God’ and phrases such as ‘the work of God,’ they do not know God, much less do they know His work. No wonder, then, that all those who do not know God are possessed of a muddled belief. People do not take belief in God seriously because believing in God is too unfamiliar, too strange for them. In this way, they fall short of the demands of God. In other words, if people do not know God, do not know His work, then they are not fit for God’s use, much less can they fulfill the desire of God. ‘Belief in God’ means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept of faith in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God; rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones. True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.” We will stop reading here, and now let’s begin to ponder how to eat and drink God’s words: “Though many people believe in God, few understand what faith in God means, and what they must do to be after God’s heart.” This should be pondered! What kind of problem does this sentence reveal? It reveals this kind of problem, namely: “Though many people believe in God, few understand what faith in God means.” This means that, despite the fact that the majority of believers have a faith that is very strong, resolute, and true, they are not necessarily understanding what faith in God is. The majority of people do not understand it. Is this the truth? This is the truth. God reveals one of the greatest problems that exist for the majority of believers, which is that although they believe in God, they do not know what faith in God is. People believe in God but do not know what faith in God is, so is kind of faith acceptable? It is not acceptable. If it is unacceptable, then what kind of belief is this classed as? It is called muddled belief. Isn’t this revealed by God? God reveals that there exists a universal problem with people believing in God. Since the majority of people have this problem, after reading this sentence, we must relate it to ourselves: Although we all believe in God, do we actually understand what faith in God is? Examine yourselves. Read God’s words and examine yourselves in this way. Whatever God’s words reveal, examine yourselves—do I have this problem? Do I have a true knowledge of faith in God? Do I truly understand it or not? How should you examine yourselves? First ask yourself: “What exactly is faith in God? Do I truly understand it or not?” This is how you should examine yourselves and ask yourselves these questions. When you ask yourself these questions, let yourself answer from the heart as to what faith in God is. For a little while, you really may not be able to answer and you think in your heart: “Is faith in God not acknowledging that there is God? I have long since acknowledged that God exists, ever since I was a child. Especially when I finished reading the Bible, I believed even more that heaven and earth and all things were created by God. So is this not truly believing in God?” Is such a belief of just acknowledging that God exists truly believing in God? Does it accord with God’s will? Then look at God’s meaning. Read God’s words in this way: First understand what God is saying, then ponder God’s words by comparing your own situation and combining your own actual problems to see if what God’s words reveal is accurate or not. In addition, we see our shortcomings from God’s revelations. Aren’t results achieved from eating and drinking God’s words in this way? “Yes, they are.” If you believe in God by only acknowledging that God exists, to the point where you are one hundred percent certain that God exists, even if you can see that God holds sovereignty over everything, does this belief actually accord with God’s will? Let’s read the following words of God: “This is because, though people are familiar with the word ‘God’ and phrases such as ‘the work of God,’ they do not know God, much less do they know His work. No wonder, then, that all those who do not know God are possessed of a muddled belief.” Now we know another layer of meaning from God’s words: There is a type of belief called muddled belief. What kind of manifestations do people with muddled belief show? Their manifestations are that they believe in God but do not know God, much less do they know His work—this kind of belief is muddled belief. Since God defines people that do not know God or God’s work as having muddled belief, we should ponder: “Why is this muddled belief?” Every time you finish reading a sentence of God’s words, you must ponder it, and think: “Believing in God but not knowing God or God’s work—this is muddled belief! So why is muddled belief at odds with God’s will?” By pondering why muddled belief is at odds with God’s will, can you then come up with any problems? You can certainly think of some things. The first you will think of is that muddled belief is believing in God but not knowing God. Will there be any consequences if we do not know how God acts and works? Will there be any consequences if God speaks again but we do not hear that it is the voice of God? When one believes in God but does not know God or God’s work, it is then easy to reject and defy God, and it is not possible to be compatible with God—one will still be hostile to God. This kind of faith does not meet God’s demands. When you believe in God but do not know God, you are still capable of defying and betraying God. This belief just acknowledges the existence of God and you simply cannot be in accord with the will of God. It seems that God has strict requirements when He asks people to believe in Him. To believe in God you must experience God’s work. Acknowledging that God is the Sovereign of all things and the Creator of all things, and only by experiencing God’s work on this basis can you know God. If you only acknowledge that God exists and do not experience God’s work nor know God, you will still be capable of defying and betraying God, therefore this kind of belief is completely meaningless. From ancient times until the present day, Chinese people have all acknowledged that there is a God in heaven. There have been so many people who have not attended school nor studied theology, much less have they received teachings from those who believe in God, and God has not appeared before them either. Yet deep down they acknowledge that God exists. There are many such people, but do they know God? Do they know God’s work? They do not know it at all. And so they still defy and betray God. This is a fact. What kind of standard needs to be met for one’s faith in God to actually satisfy God? This is a question that we need to ponder deeply. The question of what kind of standard and requirements need to be met for one’s faith in God to actually satisfy God, what issue does it relate to? It relates to the true meaning of faith in God; that is, it relates to the substantive question of the truth of faith in God, and there appears the question “What exactly is faith in God?” Now that you have figured out what kind of faith muddled belief is and what kind of faith is not up to standard, what questions will you go on to ponder? They are: How should you truly believe in God and what kind of faith meets God’s requirements and satisfies God’s will? Let’s continue to read God’s words: “In other words, if people do not know God, do not know His work, then they are not fit for God’s use, much less can they fulfill the desire of God.” This problem is explained clearly here. The true requirements for believing in God are said in this sentence and the meaning is expressed: “if people do not know God, do not know His work, then they are not fit for God’s use, much less can they fulfill the desire of God.” What does “not fit for God’s use” refer to? It means that you are unable to accept God’s commissions and are unable to do your duty or the work you should do. People who believe in God all have a zeal and a beautiful hope. They are all willing to show their enthusiasm to satisfy God. But you do not know God, do not understand what God demands of people, much less understand God’s intentions, and you do not understand what God actually wants to achieve by letting people believe in Him. Therefore, you want to work for God and expend for God and yet you are incapable of being fit for God’s use. Do you have this problem now? You do, right? So many people who believe in God all want to expend and work for God. They see how difficult it is for God to save and gain people, so they all want to cooperate with God’s work. This kind of intention is good, but because people have shortcomings, and do not truly know God or God’s work, whenever they do their duty or do any work, they constantly cause disturbances and never achieve any results. No matter what they do, they achieve nothing, and even when they apply all their skills, they still achieve no results. Now, when you lead God’s chosen people to eat and drink God’s words and live the church life, do God’s chosen people feel enjoyment? Can they obtain enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit every time they eat and drink God’s words? Does their understanding and knowledge of the truth get ever deeper? If not, then they will reap no results. So without having true knowledge of God, a person may want to do some work for God and do their duty, but they will not achieve any results. Are people who achieve no results in their work fit for God’s use? “They are not fit for God’s use.” Therefore, “if people do not know God, do not know His work, then they are not fit for God’s use, much less can they fulfill the desire of God.” This sentence of God’s words is confirmed. It seems that if people believe in God but cannot know God, then they cannot be fit for God’s use. We may be certain on this point. In particular, the results of the work of many leaders and workers are not obvious, and brothers and sisters are not satisfied, which is enough to prove that the leaders or workers are not fit for God’s use. People who are not fit for God’s use should examine themselves. Why do you not have the truth? How many years have you believed in God? How come you do not have the truth? How much effort have you actually made in eating and drinking God’s words? Is there some problem? Some people like to do external things, and always think: “I understand a lot about believing in God. See how many doctrines I can speak of. I can say a lot when I preach. I can speak to anyone I see. When I preach I can do it for a few hours.” This kind of person thinks that what they understand is enough to use and that it is enough to prove they have stature, that they can be used for God and that they can work. Is this point of view correct? This point of view is not correct. Does speaking of many letters and doctrines mean that you know God? Does it mean you understand God’s will? Does it mean that you have gained the truth and are living out reality? Can it mean these things? No, it cannot. Understanding letters and doctrines does not mean that you understand the truth, and even less does it amount to you gaining the truth and having reality. If people have believed in God for many years then why do they still have this problem? This needs to be pondered even more: “Why have I believed in God for many years and understand many letters and doctrines but still have not gained the truth?” It seems very sad to say this. Believing in God for many years and understanding many letters and doctrines but not gaining the truth is related to how people believe in God. How do you believe? Do you believe in God according to God’s demands? You do not understand what faith in God is, and so you deviate, and all these years spent believing in God has been time wasted in vain. When people believe in God but do not understand the meaning of faith in God and do not know what faith in God is, then this is a serious problem and it is easy to deviate from the path. And you know what deviating from the path is all about, right? Deviating from the path is believing in God for many years without gaining the truth, without having reality, and being unfit for God’s use. Although some people have not been deceived by false Christs and antichrists and have not followed religious trends, they still have not gained the truth. When you believe in God but do not pursue the truth, then this is not truly believing in God—this is deviating from the path. Can you accept this? So what exactly is truly believing in God? Let us read this passage of God’s words: “‘Belief in God’ means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept of faith in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God.” This sentence is key. “What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God.” This sentence reveals the source of why many believers have gone astray. Have all believers in religion gone astray? Have they gained the truth? Have they achieved knowledge of God? They have not achieved any of these things and they do not understand the significance of faith in God. What do they think? “In my heart I really do believe in God’s existence. I one hundred percent acknowledge that God exists. Do you think that my faith in God is not real?” They have this conception of faith in God. Is this a mistake? This is a mistake. They simply do not know what faith in God is, and this is the root of their mistake. Would you say it is possible for people who believe in God but do not know what belief in God is to take the right track of belief in God? This is absolutely impossible. God’s words continue as follows: “rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones.” What does it signify if there are religious overtones to someone’s faith in God? Having religious overtones is enough to prove that you do not know God. God is truth; God is not a religious figure. If you have religious overtones, then it will be easy for you to deviate from the path in your belief in God. So what are religious overtones? They are colored glasses. Can you see things accurately wearing colored glasses? It is no wonder people deviate from the path of believing in God when they have religious overtones. “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.” Can one sentence be used to explain the words “faith in God” clearly? It cannot! Even if you were a theological theorist, you still could not explain it clearly. God uses facts to explain things, not using a sentence of simple words, but using facts. What kind of facts? First you should believe there is a God, then you should “experience the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things.” These are two different things, right? There is another item: “So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God.” Is it finished? Not yet. “…shall come to know God.” And you should know God as well. “Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.” God uses a journey of life experience to explain what faith in God is. These words are so real! So it is not good if you use logic and reasoning to define the concept of faith or to use people’s thinking to explain it. Now, if I ask you to explain exactly what faith is, who can explain it clearly in one sentence? I cannot say it clearly. This is a very complicated matter and not a simple one. If you view faith in God in such a simplistic manner, you will definitely not be able to enter onto the right track of belief in God. The more simplistic your view on matters of faith, the more you will cling to rules and religious rituals in your practice. If you cling to rules and religious rituals in your faith, can you achieve knowledge of God? Can you get rid of your corrupt dispositions? No, you cannot. And when these results cannot be achieved, can you be considered to have faith in God? Your faith is too simple. It is lacking something. Some people’s faith is practicing religious ceremony. What does religious ceremony include? Praying every day at specified times, gathering on Sundays, verbally saying “Thank You” to God and saying words in praise of God. In addition, when they have free time, they spread the gospel and bear witness for God with other people. They do these kinds of things, and they do not seek to know God, much less seek to understand the truth or enter into reality. Are such people not clinging to rules? Can you gain knowledge of God by clinging to such rules? Can you bring God into your real life? Can you live out the reality of God’s words in your real life? A lot of people, when you look at how they gather and fellowship the word of God or how they preach the gospel, you might say: “Oh! You are a believer.” Everyone admits, “This person believes in God,” but then you look at their life and you see that in their words and actions they do not have God’s word. You look at the actions deep in their hearts, and in their thoughts and their ideas they have no reverence for God. You see that they are still controlled by the philosophy of Satan in all they do and all that they are, that they do not live by the truth. These kinds of people only believe in God with their lips. They go to gatherings to practice their faith, but in their private life, at home, they do not practice their faith. They just believe in themselves, in the philosophy of Satan, and in the world. They follow the trends of the world. Aren’t these people hypocrites? Aren’t they Pharisees? If you believe in God but do not bring Him into your actual life, if in your heart you do not eat and drink God’s word and do not ponder God’s word, if you pray to God but do not actually commune with Him, then how can you say that you believe in God? Isn’t this just practicing religious ceremony? When you practice religious ceremony in religion, you do not know what faith in God is. It is forgivable. But you are now experiencing God’s work of the last days and experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, so if you are still engaging in religious ceremony then you will have a problem. What problem? You do not love the truth. God has expressed so many truths, but you do not care and do not take them seriously, and you do not eat and drink God’s words and do not pursue the truth. This is why, though people have believed in God for many years, they are still unable to gain true knowledge of God and are unable to live out the reality of God’s words, and as soon as they gather to fellowship, they only speak letters and doctrines to cover up their true colors, and so that people cannot see the intention and the ugliness of their unbelief. This is how the Pharisees believed in God.