Words on Serving God (Excerpt 71)

You all want to strive toward the truth. In the past, you expended some effort when you distilled various aspects of the truth in God’s words. Some people gained a little from this, while others just liked to follow regulations and went astray. As a result, they took each aspect of the truth and turned them into regulations to follow. When you distill the truth like this, you are not helping others gain life or change their disposition from within the truth; rather, you are making them master some knowledge or doctrine within the truth. It is as though they understand the purpose of God’s work when, in fact, they have only mastered a few doctrines and words; they do not understand the meaning contained within the truth. It is just like studying theology or the Bible; after summarizing some bits of biblical knowledge and a few theological theories, people have only gained an understanding of some biblical knowledge and theories. They are most adept at speaking those words and doctrines, but have no real experience. They do not have an understanding of their corrupt disposition and have even less of an understanding of God’s work. Ultimately, what these people have gained is just a few doctrines and pieces of knowledge; it is but a bunch of regulations. They have not gained anything practical. If God performs new work, are these people capable of accepting and submitting to it? Can you match it up with the truths you have distilled? If you can and also have some understanding, then the things which you have distilled are practical to some extent. If you cannot, then the things which you have distilled are just regulations and have no value. As such, is distilling the truth in this way appropriate? Can it help people understand the truth? If it has no effect, then there is absolutely no meaning in doing it. It is just getting people to study theology. It does not get them to experience God’s words and the truth. That is why the house of God must have principles when it edits books. They must be able to help people easily understand the truth, have a path to entry, and have light within their hearts. This makes it easy to enter the truth reality. You cannot be like those in a religion who study biblical and theological knowledge in a systematic way. That will only steer people toward biblical knowledge, religious rituals, and regulations, and confine them to a box. It is incapable of bringing people before God to understand the truth and God’s intentions. You think that by asking line after line of questions and then responding to them, or by outlining the central points and then summarizing and distilling the truth in a few lines, these issues will be made self-evident, be made easy for your brothers and sisters to understand. You think this is a fine approach. However, after people are done reading it, they will not understand the meaning contained within the truth; they will never match it up with reality. All they have mastered is a few words and doctrines. That is why it is better not to do these things than to do them! Doing these things is a way to lead people to understand and master knowledge. You are guiding people into doctrine and religion, and getting them to believe in and follow God within the context of religious doctrine. Is this not the path Paul led people to take in their belief in God? You think that it is particularly important to understand spiritual doctrine, but not important to come to know God’s words. This is a grave mistake. There are many people who focus on how many of God’s words they can memorize, how much doctrine they can talk about, and how many spiritual formulas they can discover. This is why you always want to systematically distill every aspect of the truth so that everyone says the exact same thing in unison, recites the same doctrines, possesses the same knowledge, and abides by the same regulations. This is your goal. It seems as though you do this to help people better understand the truth, but you do not know you are leading people into doctrinal regulations of God’s words, and that they will only stray further and further from the truth reality of God’s words. To truly help people understand the truth, you must combine the reading of God’s word with reality and people’s corrupt states. You must reflect on and understand problems within yourself, and reflect on the corrupt dispositions you reveal. You must then fix these things by seeking the truth in God’s words. This is the only way to resolve people’s real problems and get them to understand the truth and enter reality. Only by effecting this result are you truly bringing people before God. If all you talk about is spiritual theory, doctrine, and regulations; if the only thing you focus on is making sure people have good behavior; if all you can achieve is making people speak the same and follow the same regulations, but you are unable to lead them to understand the truth, much less get them to understand themselves better so they can repent and make a change, then all you have understood is words and doctrines, and you are devoid of any truth reality. In the end, by believing in God in this way, not only will you be unable to gain the truth, you will also have hindered and forfeited yourself—you will be unable to gain anything.

Have you noticed some patterns in how God speaks? Some people express it like this: The content in every discourse from God is multifaceted. The meaning of each passage and each sentence differs. It is not easy for man to remember, nor is it easy for people to understand. If people wish to summarize the main idea of every passage, they will not be able to. People of poor caliber cannot comprehend God’s words. No matter how they are fellowshipped with, they are still incapable of understanding the truth. God’s words are not novels, prose, or literary works; they are the truth, and the language that supplies life to man. These words cannot be understood by man simply pondering them, nor can people summarize the patterns within them by expending a bit more effort. That is why, no matter what aspect of the truth you have a bit of knowledge of, and are able to articulate something about, you cannot boast, for what you understand is only a partial knowledge. It only scratches the surface, it is but a drop in the ocean, and absolutely falls short of understanding God’s true intentions. In every discourse from God, there are several aspects of the truth. For instance, a discourse speaks of the mysteries of God’s incarnation. It includes the significance of the incarnation, the work accomplished by the incarnation, and how people should believe in God. It may also cover how people should know God and love God. It encompasses many aspects of the truth. If, as you imagine, the incarnation has but a few meanings, which can be encapsulated in several sentences, then why does man always have notions and imaginings about God? What effects does the work of the incarnation aim to achieve upon people? It is to enable people to hear God’s words and return to God. It is to interact with man, directly save man, and enable man to know God. After coming to know God, people naturally develop a God-fearing heart, and it becomes easy for them to submit to God. That is why any aspect of His word or the truth is not as simple as you imagine. If you view God’s words and divine language as being so simple, believing that any problem can be solved with a single passage of God’s words, then you cannot fully understand the truth. Even if your understanding aligns with the truth, it is still one-sided. Every discourse from God is spoken from multiple perspectives. God’s words cannot be summarized or distilled by man. After distilling them, you think that a passage of God’s words only addresses one issue, when in reality, that passage can resolve several problems. You cannot encapsulate or delimit them, because all aspects of the truth include numerous realities. Why is it said that the truth is life, that it can be enjoyed by people, and that it is something that people could not experience fully even after several lifetimes or hundreds of years? If you distill a certain aspect of the truth or a passage of God’s words, then the passage you have distilled has become a formula, a regulation, a doctrine—it is no longer the truth. Even though it is God’s original words, with not a single word changed, if you distill and arrange them this way, they become theoretical words, not the truth. Why is that? It is because you will lead people astray and into doctrines, making them think, imagine, consider issues, and read God’s words all according to your doctrine. After reading it over and over, people will only understand one doctrine and see one regulation in that passage, and fail to see the aspect that is the truth reality. In the end, you will lead people on a path to understand doctrines and follow regulations. They will not know how to experience God’s words. They will only understand doctrines and discuss doctrines, but they will not understand the truth or know God. What comes out of their mouths will all be pleasant-sounding and correct doctrines, yet they will lack even the slightest reality and have no viable path themselves. Such leadership truly does man great harm!

Do you know what is the greatest taboo in man’s service of God? Some leaders and workers always want to be different, to be head and shoulders above the rest, to show off, and to figure out some new tricks, in order to make God see just how capable they really are. However, they do not focus on understanding the truth and entering the reality of God’s words. This is the most foolish way to act. Is this not precisely the revelation of an arrogant disposition? Some even say, “If I do this, I’m sure it’ll make God happy; He’ll like it. This time I am going to show it to God; I’ll give Him a nice surprise.” The “nice surprise” doesn’t matter. What is the result? People see the things these people do are too absurd. Not only are they of no benefit to the work of God’s house, but they are a waste of money—they bring about losses to God’s offerings. God’s offerings are not to be used however you want; it is a sin to waste offerings to God. These people end up offending God’s disposition, the Holy Spirit stops working in them, and they are eliminated. As such, never ever impulsively do whatever you want. How can you not consider the outcome? When you offend God’s disposition and violate His administrative decrees, and are subsequently eliminated, there will be nothing left for you to say. Regardless of your intent, and whether or not you do it deliberately, if you do not understand God’s disposition or His intentions, you will easily offend Him and be liable to violate His administrative decrees; this is something against which everyone should be on guard. Once you have violated God’s administrative decrees or offended His disposition, if it is extremely serious, then He will give no consideration as to whether you did it intentionally or unintentionally. This is a matter that you need to see clearly. If you cannot understand this issue, then you are bound to have problems arise. In serving God, people wish to make great strides, do great things, speak great words, perform great work, hold great meetings, and be great leaders. If you always have such grand ambitions, then you will violate God’s administrative decrees; people who do this will die quickly. If you are not well-behaved, devout, and prudent in your service to God, then sooner or later, you will offend His disposition. If you offend God’s disposition, violate His administrative decrees, and thereby sin against God, then He will not look to see for what reason you did this, nor to see your intentions. So do you think God is unreasonable? Is He being inconsiderate to man? (No.) Why not? Because you are not blind or deaf. Nor are you foolish. God’s administrative decrees are clear and evident. You can see and hear them. If you still violate them, what reasoning could you possibly have? Even if you harbor no intentions, as long as you offend God, you will face being destroyed and punished when the time comes. Would it even matter what your circumstances were? People with the nature of Satan are naturally able to offend God’s disposition. No one is ever forced at knifepoint to violate God’s administrative decrees or offend His disposition; this simply doesn’t happen. Rather, this is something that is determined by the nature of man. “God’s disposition is not to be offended.” This statement has meaning contained within. However, God punishes people based on their state and background. Offending God without knowing it is Him is one type of state, while offending God despite clearly knowing it is Him is another. Some people can offend God despite clearly knowing it is Him, and they will be punished. God expresses some of His dispositions in each step of His work. Hasn’t man come to understand some of it? Do people not know a little about which of God’s dispositions He has revealed through the many truths He expressed, as well as which of people’s actions and words are prone to offend Him? And as for those matters set by God’s administrative decrees—what man should and should not do—do people not know these too? Some matters related to the truth and principles cannot be fully understood by people because they have not experienced them; they are incapable of understanding them. However, the matters of administrative decrees fall within a prescribed scope. They are regulations. They are things that man can easily understand and attain. There is no need to study or explain them. It is enough for people to act according to how they understand their meaning. If you are careless, lack a God-fearing heart, and knowingly violate the administrative decrees, then you deserve to be punished!

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