Words on Knowing God's Work and Disposition (Excerpt 20)

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

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

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

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

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