Words on Knowing God's Work and Disposition (Excerpt 26)

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

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

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