God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III (Part One)
Our past few fellowships have had a big impact on every one of you. As of now, people can finally really feel the true existence of God and that God is actually very close to man. Although people may have believed in God for many years, they have never truly understood His thoughts and ideas as they do now, neither have they truly experienced His practical deeds as they do now. Whether it be knowledge or actual practice, most people have learned something new and achieved a higher understanding, and they have realized the error in their own past pursuits, realized the superficiality of their experience and that too much of their experience is not in line with God’s will, and realized that what man most lacks is knowledge of God’s disposition. This knowledge on man’s part is merely a type of perception-based knowledge; to rise to the level of rational knowledge requires a gradual deepening and strengthening through one’s experiences. Before man truly understands God, subjectively it could be said that they do believe in the existence of God in their hearts, but they have no real understanding of specific questions such as what kind of God He actually is, what His will is, what His disposition is, and what His real attitude toward mankind is. This greatly compromises people’s faith in God, preventing their faith from ever achieving purity or perfection. Even if you are face to face with God’s word, or feel that you have encountered God through your experiences, it still cannot be said that you completely understand Him. Because you do not know God’s thoughts, or what He loves and what He hates, what makes Him angry and what brings Him joy, you therefore do not have a true understanding of Him. Your faith is built on a foundation of vagueness and imagination, based on your subjective desires. It is still far from an authentic belief, and you are still far from being a true follower. Explanations of the examples from these Bible stories have allowed humans to know God’s heart, what He was thinking at every step in His work and why He did this work, what His original intention and His plan were when He did it, how He achieved His ideas, and how He prepared for and developed His plan. Through these stories, we can gain a detailed, specific understanding of God’s every specific intention and every real thought during His six thousand years of management work, and His attitude toward humans at different times and in different eras. If people can understand what God was thinking, what His attitude was, and the disposition He revealed as He faced every situation, this can help every person to more deeply realize God’s true existence, and more deeply feel His practicality and authenticity. My goal in telling these stories is not for people to understand biblical history, nor is it to help them become familiar with the verses of the Bible or the people in it, and it is especially not to help people understand the background of what God did during the Age of Law. Rather it is to help people understand God’s will, His disposition, and every little part of Him, and gain a more authentic and more accurate understanding and knowledge of God. This way, people’s hearts can, little by little, open up to God, become close to God, and they can better understand Him, His disposition, His essence, and better know the true God Himself.
Knowledge of God’s disposition and what He has and is can have a positive impact on people. It can help them have more confidence in God and help them achieve true obedience and fear for Him. Then, they will no longer blindly follow or worship Him. God does not want fools or those who follow a crowd blindly, but rather a group of people who have in their hearts a clear understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition and can act as God’s witnesses, people who, because of His loveliness, because of what He has and is, and because of His righteous disposition, would never abandon God. As a follower of God, if in your heart there is still a lack of clarity, or there is ambiguousness or confusion about God’s true existence, His disposition, what He has and is, and His plan to save mankind, then your faith cannot gain God’s praise. God does not want this type of person to follow Him, and He does not like this type of person coming before Him. Because this kind of person does not understand God, they are unable to give their heart to God—their heart is closed to Him, so their faith in God is full of impurities. Their following of God can only be called blind. People can only gain true belief and be true followers if they have true understanding and knowledge of God, which engenders within them true obedience and fear of God. Only in this way can they give their heart to God and open it up to Him. This is what God wants, because everything they do and think can withstand God’s test and can bear witness to God. Everything I communicate to you regarding God’s disposition, or what He has and is, or His will and His thoughts in everything that He does, and from whichever perspective, from whichever angle I talk about it, it is all to help you be more certain of God’s true existence, more truly understand and appreciate His love for mankind, and more truly understand and appreciate God’s concern for people, and His sincere desire to manage and save mankind.
Today we will first summarize God’s thoughts, ideas, and His each and every move since He created mankind. We will take a look at what work He has carried out, from creating the world to the official start of the Age of Grace. We can then discover which of God’s thoughts and ideas are unknown to man, and from there we can clarify the order of God’s management plan, and thoroughly understand the context in which God created His management work, its source and development process, and also thoroughly understand what results He wants from His management work—that is, the core and the purpose of His management work. To understand these things we need to go back to a distant, still and silent time when there were no humans …
When God arose from His bed, the first thought that He had was this: to create a living person—a real, living human—someone to live with and be His constant companion; this person could listen to Him, and He could confide in and speak with him. Then, for the first time, God scooped up a handful of dirt and used it to create the very first living person according to the image that He had imagined in His mind, and then He gave this living creature a name—Adam. Once God had this living and breathing person, how did He feel? For the first time, He felt the joy of having a loved one, a companion. He also felt for the first time the responsibility of being a father and the concern that comes along with it. This living and breathing person brought God happiness and joy; He felt comforted for the first time. This was the first thing God had ever done that was not accomplished with His thoughts or even words, but was done with His own hands. When this kind of being—a living and breathing person—stood in front of God, made of flesh and blood, with body and form, and able to speak with God, He experienced a kind of joy He had never felt before. God truly felt His responsibility, and this living being not only tugged at His heart but warmed and moved His heart with every little move he made. When this living being stood in front of God, it was the first time He had the thought to gain more of such people. This was the series of events that began with this first thought that God had. For God, all of these events were occurring for the first time, but in these first events, no matter what He felt at the time—joy, responsibility, concern—there was no one for Him to share it with. Starting from that moment, God truly felt a loneliness and a sadness that He had never experienced before. He felt that man could not accept or comprehend His love and concern, or His intentions for man, so He still felt sorrow and pain in His heart. Although He had done these things for man, man was not aware of it and did not understand. Aside from happiness, the joy and comfort man brought to Him quickly brought with it His first feelings of sorrow and loneliness. These were God’s thoughts and feelings at that time. While God was doing all these things, in His heart He went from joy to sorrow and from sorrow to pain, and these feelings were mixed with anxiety. All He wanted to do was to make haste to let this person, this mankind know what was in His heart and understand His intentions sooner. Then, they could become His followers and share His thoughts and align with His will. They would no longer merely listen to God speak and remain speechless; they would no longer be unaware of how to join God in His work; above all, they would no longer be people indifferent to God’s requirements. These first things that God did are very meaningful and hold great value for His management plan and for human beings today.
After creating all things and mankind, God did not rest. He was restless and eager to carry out His management, and to gain the people He so loved among mankind.
Next, not long after God created human beings, we see from the Bible that there was a great flood across the entire world. Noah is mentioned in the record of the flood, and it can be said that Noah was the first person to receive God’s call to work with Him to complete a task of God. Of course, this was also the first time God had called upon a person on the earth to do something according to His command. Once Noah finished building the ark, God flooded the earth for the first time. When God destroyed the earth with the flood, it was the first time since creating human beings that He felt overcome with disgust toward them; this is what forced God to make the painful decision to destroy this human race through a flood. After the flood destroyed the earth, God made His first covenant with humans, a covenant to show that He would never again destroy the world with floods. The sign of this covenant was the rainbow. This was God’s first covenant with mankind, so the rainbow was the first sign of a covenant given by God; the rainbow is a real, physical thing that exists. It is the very existence of the rainbow that makes God often feel sadness for the previous human race which He lost, and serves as a constant reminder for Him of what happened to them…. God would not slow His pace—He was restless and eager to take the next step in His management. Subsequently, God selected Abraham as His first choice for His work throughout Israel. This was also the first time God selected such a candidate. God resolved to begin carrying out His work of saving mankind through this person, and to continue His work among this person’s descendants. We can see in the Bible that this is what God did with Abraham. God then made Israel the first chosen land, and began His work of the Age of Law through His chosen people, the Israelites. Once again for the first time, God provided to the Israelites the express rules and laws that mankind should follow, and He explained them in detail. This was the first time God had provided human beings with such specific, standardized rules for how they should give sacrifices, how they should live, what they should do and not do, which festivals and days they should observe, and principles to follow in everything they did. This was the first time God had given mankind such detailed, standardized regulations and principles about how to live their lives.
Each time that I say “the first time,” it refers to a type of work that God had never before undertaken. It refers to work that did not exist before, and even though God had created mankind and all manner of creatures and living things, this is a type of work that He had never done before. All of this work involved God’s management of mankind; it all had to do with people and His salvation and management of them. After Abraham, God once again made another first—He chose Job to be the one who lived under the law and who could withstand the temptations of Satan while continuing to fear God, shun evil, and stand witness for God. This was also the first time that God allowed Satan to tempt a person, and the first time He made a bet with Satan. In the end, for the first time He gained someone who was capable of standing witness for and bearing witness to Him while facing Satan, and someone who could thoroughly shame Satan. Since God had created mankind, this was the first person He had gained who was able to bear witness for Him. Once He had gained this man, God was even more eager to continue His management and carry out the next stage in His work, preparing the location and the people He would choose for the next step of His work.
After fellowshiping about all of this, do you have a true understanding of God’s will? God considers this instance of His management of mankind, of His salvation of mankind, as more important than anything else. He does these things not only with His mind, not only with His words, and certainly not with a casual attitude—He does all of these things with a plan, with a goal, with standards, and with His will. It is clear that this work to save mankind holds great significance for both God and man. No matter how difficult the work is, no matter how great the obstacles are, no matter how weak humans are, or how deep mankind’s rebelliousness is, none of this is difficult for God. God keeps Himself busy, expending His painstaking effort and managing the work He Himself wants to carry out. He is also arranging everything and exercising His sovereignty over all those people on whom He will work and all the work He wants to complete—none of this has ever been done before. This is the first time God has used these methods and paid such a great price for this major project of managing and saving mankind. While God is carrying out this work, little by little He is expressing and releasing to mankind, without reservation, His painstaking effort, what He has and is, His wisdom and almightiness, and every aspect of His disposition. He releases and expresses these things as He has never done before. So, in the entire universe, aside from the people who God aims to manage and save, there have never been any creatures so close to God, that have had such an intimate relationship with Him. In His heart, mankind, which He wants to manage and save, is most important; He values this mankind above all else; even though He has paid a great price for them, and even though He is continually hurt and disobeyed by them, He never gives up on them and continues tirelessly in His work, with no complaints or regrets. This is because He knows that sooner or later, people will awaken to His call and be moved by His words, recognize that He is the Lord of creation, and return to His side …
After hearing all of this today, you may feel that everything that God does is very normal. It seems that humans have always felt some of God’s intentions for them from His words and from His work, but there is always a certain distance between their feelings or their knowledge and what God is thinking. That is why I think it is necessary to communicate with all people about why God created humankind, and the background behind His wish to gain the mankind He hoped for. It is essential to share this with everyone, so that everyone is clear in their heart. Because God’s every thought and idea, and every phase and every period of His work tie into, and are closely linked to, His entire management work, therefore when you understand God’s thoughts, ideas, and His will in every step of His work, it is the same as understanding how the work of His management plan came about. It is on this foundation that your understanding of God deepens. Although everything God did when He first created the world, which I mentioned previously, for now seems to be merely “information,” irrelevant to the pursuit of truth, over the course of your experience there will however be a day when you do not think this is something so simple as a couple of pieces of information, nor that it is simply some kind of mystery. As your life progresses, once God has some place in your heart, or once you more thoroughly and deeply understand His will, then you will truly understand the importance and the necessity of what I am talking about today. No matter the extent to which you accept this now, it is still necessary for you to understand and know these things. When God does something, when He carries out His work, no matter if it is with His ideas or His own hands, no matter if it is the first time He has done it or the last, ultimately, God has a plan, and His purposes and His thoughts are in everything He does. These purposes and thoughts represent God’s disposition, and they express what He has and is. These two things—God’s disposition and what He has and is—must be understood by every single person. Once a person understands His disposition and what He has and is, they can gradually understand why God does what He does and why He says what He says. From that, they can then have more faith to follow God, to pursue truth and a change in their disposition. That is to say, man’s understanding of God and his faith in God are inseparable.
If what people gain knowledge of and come to understand is God’s disposition and what He has and is, then what they gain will be life that comes from God. Once this life has been wrought inside you, your fear of God will become greater and greater. This is a gain that comes very naturally. If you do not want to understand or know about God’s disposition or His essence, if you do not even want to ponder over or focus on these things, I can tell you with certainty that the way you are currently pursuing your faith in God can never allow you to meet His will or gain His praise. More than that, you can never truly attain salvation—these are the final consequences. When people do not understand God and do not know His disposition, their hearts can never truly open up to Him. Once they have understood God, they will begin to appreciate and savor what is in His heart with interest and faith. When you appreciate and savor what is in God’s heart, your heart will gradually, bit by bit, open up to Him. When your heart opens up to Him, you will feel how shameful and contemptible your exchanges with God, your demands of God, and your own extravagant desires were. When your heart truly opens up to God, you will see that His heart is such an infinite world, and you will enter into a realm you have never experienced before. In this realm there is no cheating, there is no deception, there is no darkness, and no evil. There is only sincerity and faithfulness; only light and rectitude; only righteousness and kindness. It is full of love and care, full of compassion and tolerance, and through it you feel the happiness and joy of being alive. These things are what God will reveal to you when you open up your heart to Him. This infinite world is full of God’s wisdom and omnipotence; it is also full of His love and His authority. Here you can see every aspect of what God has and is, what brings Him joy, why He worries and why He becomes sad, why He becomes angry…. This is what every single person can see who opens up their heart and allows God to come in. God can only come into your heart if you open it up to Him. You can only see what God has and is, and you can only see His intentions for you, if He has come into your heart. At that time, you will discover that everything about God is so precious, that what He has and is is so worthy of treasuring. Compared to that, the people who surround you, the objects and events in your life, and even your loved ones, your partner, and the things you love, are hardly worth mentioning. They are so small, and so lowly; you will feel that no material object will ever be able to draw you in again, or that any material object will ever again be able to entice you to pay any price for it. In God’s humility you will see His greatness and His supremacy. Moreover, you will see in some deed of God that you previously believed to be quite small His infinite wisdom and His tolerance, and you will see His patience, His forbearance, and His understanding of you. This will engender in you an adoration for Him. On that day, you will feel that mankind is living in such a filthy world, that the people by your side and the things that happen in your life, and even those you love, their love for you, and their so-called protection or their concern for you are not even worth mentioning—only God is your beloved, and it is only God that you treasure the most. When that day comes, I believe that there will be some people who say: God’s love is so great, and His essence is so holy—in God there is no deceit, no evil, no envy, and no strife, but only righteousness and authenticity, and everything that God has and is should be longed for by humans. Humans should strive for and aspire to it. On what basis is mankind’s ability to achieve this built? It is built on the basis of their understanding of God’s disposition, and their understanding of God’s essence. So understanding God’s disposition and what He has and is, is a lifelong lesson for every person; this is a lifelong goal pursued by every person who strives to change their disposition, and strives to know God.