How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result of His Work (Part Three)
How God Establishes Man’s Outcome and the Standard by Which He Establishes Man’s Outcome
Before you have any of your own views or conclusions, you should first understand God’s attitude toward you, what God is thinking, and then decide whether or not your own thinking is correct. God has never used units of time to establish a person’s outcome, and He has never used the amount of suffering endured by someone to establish their outcome. Then what does God use as a standard for establishing man’s outcome? Using time units to establish a person’s outcome—this is what most conforms to people’s conceptions. And there are also those individuals who you often see, those who at one point devoted a lot, spent a lot, paid a lot, suffered a lot. These are ones who, in your views, can be saved by God. All that these people show, all that they live out, is precisely mankind’s conception of the standard by which God establishes the outcome of man. Regardless of what you believe, I won’t list out these examples one by one. Generally speaking, so long as it isn’t the standard of God’s own thinking, then it comes from man’s imagination, and it’s all man’s conception. What’s the consequence of blindly insisting on your own conception and imagination? Obviously, the consequence can only be God spurning you. This is because you always flaunt your qualifications before God, compete with God, and dispute with God, and you do not try to truly comprehend God’s thinking, nor do you try to comprehend God’s intentions and God’s attitude toward humanity. Proceeding like this is honoring yourself above all, not honoring God. You believe in yourself; you don’t believe in God. God doesn’t want this type of person, and God won’t save this type of person. If you can let go of this kind of viewpoint, and then rectify these incorrect viewpoints of the past; if you could proceed according to God’s demands; start practicing the way of fearing God and shunning evil from this point forward; manage to honor God as great in all things; don’t use your own personal fancies, viewpoints, or beliefs to define yourself, define God. And instead, you seek out God’s intentions in all respects, you achieve a realization and understanding of God’s attitude toward humanity, and you use God’s standard to satisfy God—that would be wonderful! This would mean you are about to embark on the way of fearing God and shunning evil.
Since God doesn’t use how people think this way or that way, their ideas and viewpoints, as a standard to establish the outcome of man, then what kind of standard does He use? God uses trials to establish the outcome of man. There are two standards for using trials to establish man’s outcome: The first is the number of trials that people undergo, and the second is the people’s result in these trials. It is these two indicators that establish man’s outcome. Now we will elaborate on these two standards.
First of all, when you are faced with a trial from God (note: It’s possible that in your eyes this trial is a small one and isn’t worth mentioning), God will make you distinctly aware that this is the hand of God upon you, and that it is God who has arranged this circumstance for you. When your stature is immature, God will arrange trials in order to test you. These trials will correspond to your stature, that which you’re able to understand, and that which you’re able to withstand. Test what part of you? Test your attitude toward God. Is this attitude very important? Of course it’s important! Moreover, it’s especially important! Because this attitude of man is the result God wants, it is the most important thing as far as God is concerned. Otherwise God wouldn’t spend His efforts on people by engaging in these kinds of work. God wants to see your attitude toward Him by way of these trials; He wants to see whether or not you are on the right path; and He wants to see whether or not you are fearing God and shunning evil. Therefore, regardless of whether you understand a lot or a little of the truth at that particular time, you will still be faced with God’s trial, and following any increase in the amount of truth you understand, God will continue to arrange corresponding trials for you. When you are once again faced with a trial, God wants to see whether your viewpoint, your ideas, and your attitude toward God have had any growth in the meantime. Some people say: “Why does God always want to see people’s attitudes? Hasn’t God seen how they put truth into practice? Why would He still want to see people’s attitudes?” This is mindless drivel! Since God proceeds like this, then God’s intentions must lie therein. God always observes people from their side, watching their every word and deed, their every act and movement, even their every thought and idea. Everything that happens to people: their good deeds, their faults, their transgressions, and even their rebellions and betrayals, God will record it all as evidence in establishing their outcome. As God’s work builds up step-by-step, you hear more and more truth, you accept more and more positive things, positive information, and the reality of the truth. Over the course of this process, God’s requirements of you will also increase. At the same time, God will arrange heavier trials for you. His goal is to examine whether your attitude toward God has matured in the meantime. Of course, during this time, the viewpoint God demands of you conforms to your understanding of the reality of the truth.
As your stature gradually builds up, the standard God demands of you will also gradually build up. When you’re immature, God will give you a very low standard; when your stature is a little bigger, God will give you a little higher of a standard. But what will God be like after you understand all of the truth? God will have you face even bigger trials. Amid these trials, what God wants to obtain, what God wants to see, is your deeper knowledge of God and your true fear. At this time, God’s demands of you will be higher and “harsher” than when your stature was more immature (note: People view it as harsh, but God actually views it as reasonable). When God is giving trials to people, what kind of reality does God want to create? God is constantly asking that people give Him their heart. Some people will say: “How does one give that? I do my duty, I abandoned my home and livelihood, I spent for God. Are these not all examples of giving my heart to God? How else could I give my heart to God? Could it be that these aren’t examples of giving my heart to God? What is God’s specific requirement?” This requirement is very simple. In fact, there are some people who have already given their heart to God in varying degrees at various stages of their trials. But the vast majority of people never give their heart to God. When God gives you a trial, God sees whether your heart is with God, with the flesh, or with Satan. When God gives you a trial, God sees whether you are standing in opposition to God or whether you are standing in a position that is compatible with Him, and He sees whether your heart is on the same side as Him. When you are immature and facing trials, your confidence is very low, and you can’t know exactly what it is you need to do in order to satisfy God’s intentions because you have a limited understanding of the truth. Despite all this, you can still genuinely and sincerely pray to God, be willing to give your heart to God, make God your sovereign, and be willing to offer unto God those things that you believe to be most precious. This is what it is to have already given your heart to God. As you listen to more and more preaching, and you understand more and more truth, your stature will also gradually mature. The standard which God demands of you at this time is not the same as that when you were immature; He demands a higher standard than that. When man’s heart is gradually given to God, it is getting closer and closer to God; when man can truly get near to God, they increasingly have a heart that fears Him. God wants this kind of heart.
When God wants to obtain someone’s heart, He will give them numerous trials. During these trials, if God does not obtain this person’s heart, nor does He see that this person has any attitude—that is to say He doesn’t see that this person goes about things or behaves in a way that fears God, and He doesn’t see an attitude and resolution that shuns evil from this person. If this is how it is, then after numerous trials, God’s patience toward this individual will be withdrawn, and He will not tolerate this person anymore. He will no longer give trials to them, and He will no longer work on them. Then what does that mean this person’s outcome is? It means that they will have no outcome. It’s possible that this person has done no evil. It’s also possible that they have done nothing to disrupt or disturb. It’s also possible they have not openly resisted God. However, this person’s heart is hidden from God. They have never had a clear attitude and viewpoint toward God, and God cannot clearly see that their heart has been given to Him, and He can’t clearly see that this person is seeking to fear God and shun evil. God no longer has patience for these people, He will no longer pay any price, He will no longer extend mercy, and He will no longer work on them. The life of this person’s belief in God is already over. This is because in all of the many trials that God has given this person, God has not obtained the result He wants. Thus, there are a number of people in whom I have never seen the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. How is it possible to see this? This kind of person might have believed in God for many years, and on the surface they have been very active. They have read many books, handled many affairs, made a lot of notes, and mastered a lot of letters and doctrines. However, there is never any visible growth, and never any visible viewpoint toward God from this person, nor is there any clear attitude. That is to say that you cannot see this person’s heart. Their heart is always wrapped up, their heart is sealed—it’s sealed to God, so God has not seen this person’s true heart, He has not seen this person’s true fear toward God, and even more, He has not seen how this person walks in God’s way. If up until now God has not gained this type of person, can He gain them in the future? He can’t! Will God keep pushing for things that cannot be obtained? He won’t! What is God’s current attitude toward these people, then? (He spurns them, He doesn’t heed them.) He doesn’t heed them! God doesn’t heed this kind of person; He spurns them. You have memorized these words very quickly, very accurately. It seems like you have understood what you’ve heard!
There are some people who, at the outset of following God, are immature and ignorant; they don’t understand God’s intentions; they also don’t know what it is to believe in God, adopting a man-made and mistaken way of believing in God, following God. When this kind of person is faced with a trial, they aren’t aware of it, and are numb to the guidance and enlightenment of God. They don’t know what it is to give their heart to God, and what it is to stand firm during a trial. God will give this person a limited amount of time, and during this time, He will let them understand what God’s trial is, what God’s intentions are. Afterward, this person needs to display their viewpoint. Regarding those people who are at this stage, God is still waiting. Regarding those people whose viewpoints are still wavering back and forth, who want to give their heart to God but are not reconciled to doing so, who, although they have put some basic truths into practice, when faced with a major trial, they shirk it and want to give up—what is God’s attitude toward these people? God still has a little bit of expectation toward these people. The result depends on their attitudes and performances. How does God respond if people aren’t active to make progress? He gives up. This is because before God gives up on you, you already gave up on yourself. Thus, you can’t blame God for doing so, can you? Is this fair? (It’s fair.)
A Practical Question Brings About All Kinds of Embarrassments in People
There is another type of person who has the most tragic outcome of all. These are the ones that I like mentioning the least. It’s not tragic because this person receives God’s punishment, or that God’s demands on them are harsh and they have a tragic outcome. Rather, it’s tragic because they do it to themselves, as it’s often said: They dig their own grave. What type of person is this? This person does not walk the correct path, and their outcome is revealed in advance. God views this type of person as the utmost target of His loathing. As people put it, these ones are the most tragic of all. This type of person is very enthusiastic at the outset of following God; they pay many prices; they have a good opinion on the outlook of God’s work; they are full of imagination about their own future; they are particularly confident in God, believing that God can make man complete, and bring man a glorious destination. Yet for whatever reason, this person then runs away in the course of God’s work. What does it mean that this person runs away? It means that they disappear without a goodbye, without a sound. They leave without a word. Although this kind of person claims to believe in God, they never really put down any roots on the path of believing in God. Thus, no matter how long they have believed for, they can still turn away from God. Some people leave to go into business, some people leave to live their life, some people leave to get rich, some people leave to get married, have a child…. Among those who leave, there are some who have an attack of conscience and want to come back, and others who are getting by very poorly, drifting in the world for years and years. These drifters have experienced a lot of suffering, and they believe that being in the world is too painful, and that they cannot be separated from God. They want to return to God’s house to receive comfort, peace, joy, and continue believing in God in order to escape disaster, or to be saved and obtain a beautiful destination. That’s because these people believe that God’s love is boundless, that God’s grace is inexhaustible and that it cannot be used up. They believe that no matter what someone has done, God should forgive them and be tolerant of their past. These people say they want to come back and do their duty. There are those who even donate some of their belongings to the church, hoping that this is their way back to God’s house. What is God’s attitude toward this type of person? How should God establish their outcome? Feel free to speak up. (Thought that God would admit this type of person, but after hearing that just now, maybe they won’t be admitted again.) And what’s your reasoning? (This type of person comes before God so that their outcome won’t be one of death. They don’t come out of genuine sincerity. Rather, out of knowledge that God’s work will soon be finished, they come under the delusion of receiving blessings.) You’re saying that this person doesn’t sincerely believe in God, so God can’t admit them? Is that it? (Yes.) (My understanding is that this kind of person is an opportunist, and they don’t sincerely believe in God.) They have not come to believe in God; they’re an opportunist. Well said! These opportunists are the type of person that everyone hates. They just go with the flow, and can’t be bothered to do anything unless they get something out of it. Of course they’re despicable! Do any other brothers or sisters have a viewpoint? (God will not admit them anymore because God’s work is about to be complete and now is when people’s outcomes are being set. It’s at this time that these people want to come back. It’s not because they really want to pursue the truth; they want to come back because they see disasters descending, or they’re being influenced by external factors. If they really had a heart which was seeking after the truth, they would have never run away in the middle of the course.) Are there any other opinions? (They won’t be admitted. God really gave them opportunities, but their attitude toward God was to always pay Him no heed. No matter what this person’s intentions are, and even if they really do repent, God still won’t admit them. This is because God already gave them lots of opportunities, yet they already demonstrated their attitude: They wanted to leave God. Therefore, when they come back now, God won’t admit them.) (I also accept that God won’t admit this type of person, because if a person has seen the true way, experienced God’s work for such a long period of time, and can still return to the world, return to Satan’s embrace, then this is a big betrayal of God. Despite the fact that the essence of God is mercy, is love, it depends what kind of person it’s being directed at. If this person comes before God looking for comfort, looking for something to put their hope in, then this kind of person simply is not the type who sincerely believes in God, and God’s mercy toward them only goes this far.) God’s essence is mercy, so why does He not give this kind of person a little more mercy? With a little mercy, do they not then get an opportunity? Before, it would often be said: God wants every person to be saved, and does not want anyone to perish. If one among a hundred sheep is lost, God will leave the ninety-nine and search for the missing one. Nowadays, with regard to this type of person, if it’s for the sake of their true belief in God, should God admit them and give them a second chance? It’s actually not a difficult question; it’s very simple! If you truly comprehend God and have a real understanding of God, then not much explanation is needed; not much speculation is needed either, right? Your answers are on the right track, but there’s still some distance between them and God’s attitude.
Just now there were some of you who were certain that God couldn’t admit this type of person. Others weren’t too clear, believing that God might admit them, and might not admit them—this attitude is the more moderate one; and then there were those whose viewpoint was that they hope God admits this kind of person—this is the ambiguous attitude. The ones with the certain attitude believe that God has worked until now and His work is complete, so God doesn’t need to be tolerant of these people, and He won’t admit them again. The moderate people believe that these matters should be handled according to their circumstances: If this person’s heart is inseparable from God, and they’re still a person who truly believes in God, a person who seeks after the truth, then God shouldn’t remember their previous weaknesses and faults; He should forgive them, give them another chance, let them return to God’s house, and accept God’s salvation. However, if this person runs away once again, that’s when God can no longer want this person and it cannot be considered doing them an injustice. There’s another group who hope that God can admit this person. This group doesn’t clearly know if God is admitting them or not. If they believe that God should admit them, but God doesn’t admit them, then it seems that they are a little bit out of conformity with God’s viewpoint. If they believe that God shouldn’t admit them, and God happens to say that His love toward man is indefinite and that He’s willing to give this person another chance, then is this not an example of human ignorance being laid bare? In any case, you all have your own viewpoints. These viewpoints are a knowledge in your own thoughts; they’re also a reflection of the depth of your understanding of the truth and your understanding of God’s intentions. Well put, no? It’s wonderful that you have opinions on this matter! But as to whether your opinions are correct or not, there is still a question mark. Aren’t you all a little bit worried? “What is correct then? I can’t see clearly, and don’t know exactly what God is thinking. God didn’t tell me anything. How can I know what God is thinking? God’s attitude toward man is love. According to God’s past attitude, He should admit this person. But I’m not too clear on God’s present attitude—I can only say that maybe He will admit this person, and maybe He won’t.” Isn’t this ridiculous? This has really stumped you. If you don’t have a proper view on this matter, then what will you do when your church is truly faced with this kind of person? If you don’t deal with it properly, then maybe you’ll offend God. Is this not a dangerous issue?
Why do I want to ask about your views on what I was just discussing? I want to test your viewpoints, test how much knowledge of God you have, how much understanding you have of God’s intentions and God’s attitude. What’s the answer? The answer lies within your viewpoints. Some of you are very conservative, and some of you are using their imaginations to guess. What is “guessing”? It’s when you have no idea how God thinks, so you come up with groundless ideas on how God should think this way or that. You don’t actually know if your guess is right or wrong, so you voice an ambiguous viewpoint. Faced with this fact, what do you see? When following God, people seldom pay attention to God’s intentions, and seldom take heed of God’s thoughts and God’s attitude toward man. You don’t understand God’s thoughts, so when asked questions involving God’s intentions, involving God’s disposition, you get into a muddle; you are deeply uncertain, and you either guess or gamble. What is this attitude? It proves this fact: Most people who believe in God regard Him as empty air, as indistinct. Why do I put it like that? Because every time you are faced with a matter, you don’t know God’s intentions. Why don’t you know? It’s not that you just don’t know right now. Rather, from the beginning to the end you don’t know what God’s attitude is toward this matter. In those times that you cannot see and you don’t know God’s attitude, have you pondered it over? Have you sought it? Have you communicated it? No! This confirms a fact: The God of your belief and the true God are not connected. You, who believe in God, only ponder your own will, only ponder your leaders’ will, and only ponder the superficial and doctrinal meaning of God’s word, but do not truly try to know and seek God’s will at all. Isn’t that how it is? The essence of this matter is awful! Over many years, I have seen lots of people who believe in God. What form does this belief take on? Some people believe in God as if He were empty air. These people have no answer to questions of God’s existence because they can’t feel or be aware of God’s presence or absence, let alone clearly see or understand it. Subconsciously, these people think that God doesn’t exist. Some others believe in God as if He were a man. These people believe that God is unable to do all of the things that they are unable to do, and that God should think however they think. This person’s definition of God is “an invisible and untouchable person.” There’s also a group of people who believe in God as if He were a puppet. These people believe that God has no emotions, that God is a statue. When faced with a matter, God has no attitude, no viewpoint, no ideas; He’s at the mercy of man. People just believe however they want to believe. If they make Him great, He’s great; if they make Him small, He’s small. When people sin and need God’s mercy, need God’s tolerance, need God’s love, then God should extend His mercy. These people think up a God in their own minds, and make this God fulfill their demands and satisfy all of their desires. No matter when or where, and no matter what this person does, they will adopt this fancy in their treatment of God, and their belief in God. There are even those who believe that God can save them after they have aggravated God’s disposition. This is because they believe that God’s love is boundless, God’s disposition is righteous, and that no matter how people offend God, God won’t remember any of it. Since man’s faults, man’s trespasses, and man’s disobedience are momentary expressions of that person’s disposition, God will give people chances, and be tolerant and patient with them. God will still love them as before. So the hope of their salvation is still great. In fact, no matter how someone believes in God, so long as they are not seeking after the truth, then God holds a negative attitude toward them. This is because while you’re believing in God, maybe you treasure that book of God’s word, you study it every day, you read it every day, but you set aside the real God, you regard Him as empty air, regard Him as a person, and some of you simply regard Him as a puppet. Why do I put it this way? Because from how I see it, regardless of whether you’re faced with a matter or encounter a circumstance, those things that exist in your subconscious, those things that are developed within—none of them have any connection with God’s word or seeking after the truth. You only know what you yourself are thinking, what your own viewpoints are, and then your own ideas, your own viewpoints are forced onto God. They become God’s viewpoints, which are used as standards to be unwaveringly adhered to. Over time, proceeding like this puts you further and further away from God.