Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 10
Not to Fear God and Shun Evil Is to Oppose God
These days you are face-to-face with God, and face-to-face with; you have much more knowledge of God than Job did. Why do I bring this up? What is My purpose in saying these things? I would like to explain a fact to you, but before I do, I want to ask you a question: Job knew very little of God, yet was still able to fear Him and shun evil; why is it that people these days fail to do so? (They are profoundly corrupt.) “Profoundly corrupt”—this is the superficial phenomenon causing the problem, but I would never view it in such a way. You often take frequently used doctrines and terms, such as “profound corruption,” “rebelling against God,” “disloyalty toward God,” “disobedience,” “not liking the truth,” and so on, and use these catch-phrases to explain the essence of every single issue. This is a flawed way of practicing. Using the same answer to explain matters of different natures inevitably raises blasphemous suspicions about the truth and God; I do not like hearing this kind of answer. Think about it long and hard! None of you has given this matter any thought, but I can see it every single day, and every single day I can feel it. Thus, while you are acting, I am watching. When you are doing something, you cannot feel its essence, but when I watch, I can see its essence, and I can feel its essence, too. So, what is this essence then? Why are people these days incapable of fearing God and shunning evil? Your answers are far from being able to explain the essence of this problem, nor can they resolve it. That is because it has a source of which you are not aware. What is this source? I know you want to hear about it, so I will tell you of the source of this problem.
Since God began to do work, how has He regarded human beings? God rescued them; He has seen humans as members of His family, as the objects of His work, as the ones He wanted to conquer and save, and as those whom He wished to perfect. This was God’s attitude toward humanity at the outset of His work. What, though, was humanity’s attitude toward God at that time? God was unfamiliar to humans, and they regarded God as a stranger. It could be said that their attitude toward God did not reap the right results, and that they did not have a clear understanding of how they should treat God. As such, they treated Him however they liked, and did whatever they liked. Did they have any opinions about God? At first, they did not; their so-called opinions merely comprised certain notions and presumptions about Him. They accepted what conformed to their notions, and when something did not conform to their notions, they obeyed it on the surface, but deep down they felt strongly conflicted and they opposed it. This was the relationship between God and humans in the beginning: God viewed them as family members, yet they treated Him as a stranger. However, after a period of God’s work, humans came to understand what He was trying to achieve, and they knew that He was the true God; they also came to know what they could obtain from God. How did people regard God at this time? They saw Him as a lifeline, and hoped to be granted His grace, blessings, and promises. At this time, how did God regard humans? He saw them as targets for His conquest. God wanted to use words to judge them, to test them, and to put them through trials. However, as far as people were concerned back then, God was just an object they could use to achieve their own goals. People saw that the truth issued by God could conquer and save them, that they had an opportunity to obtain the things they wanted from Him, as well as attain the destinations that they wanted. Because of this, a tiny bit of sincerity formed in their hearts, and they became willing to follow this God. Time passed, and due to their having gained some superficial and doctrinal knowledge of God, it could even be said that humans were beginning to grow “familiar” with God and the words He said, His preaching, the truths He issued forth, and His work. They were therefore under the misapprehension that God was no longer unfamiliar, and that they had already set foot upon the path of becoming compatible with God. By now, people have listened to a lot of sermons on the truth and have experienced a great deal of God’s work. Nevertheless, because of the interference and obstruction caused by many different factors and circumstances, most people cannot succeed in putting the truth into practice, nor are they able to satisfy God. People have grown increasingly slack and are increasingly lacking in confidence. They have a growing sense that their own outcomes are unknown. They do not dare to come up with any extravagant ideas, and they do not seek to make progress; they just reluctantly follow along, going forward, step by step. With regard to the present state of humans, what is God’s attitude toward them? He wishes only to bestow these truths upon them and instill them with His way, and then arrange various circumstances in order to try them in different ways. His goal is to take these words, these truths, and His work, and bring about an outcome whereby humans are capable of fearing Him and shunning evil. Most people I have seen merely take God’s words and regard them as doctrines, mere letters on paper, regulations to be observed. In their actions and speech, or while facing trials, they do not regard God’s way as the one that they should abide by. This is especially true when people are faced with major trials; I have not seen any such person practicing in the direction of fearing God and shunning evil. Therefore, God’s attitude toward humans is full of extreme loathing and aversion! Despite His having repeatedly given them trials, even hundreds of times, they still do not have any clear attitude with which to demonstrate their determination: “I want to fear God and shun evil!” Since people do not possess this resolve and do not make this kind of display, God’s present attitude toward them is not the same as it was in the past, when He extended them mercy, tolerance, forbearance, and patience. Instead, He is extremely disappointed in humanity. Who caused this disappointment? On whom does God’s attitude toward humans depend? It depends on each and every person who follows Him. Over the course of His many years of work, God has made many demands of people and arranged many circumstances for them. Regardless of how they have performed, though, and no matter what their attitude toward God is, people have failed to practice in clear accordance with the goal of fearing God and shunning evil. Thus, I will offer a phrase of summary, and use this phrase to explain everything we just said about why people cannot walk in God’s way of fearing God and shunning evil. What is this phrase? It is this: God regards humans as the objects of His salvation and the objects of His work; humans regard God as their enemy and their antithesis. Do you now have a clear understanding of this matter? It is very clear what humanity’s attitude is, what God’s attitude is, and what the relationship between humans and God is. No matter how much preaching you have listened to, those things about which you have drawn your own conclusions, such as being faithful to God, submitting to God, seeking the way of becoming compatible with God, wanting to expend a lifetime for God, and wanting to live for God—to Me, those things are not examples of consciously walking in God’s way, which is to fear God and shun evil, but instead, they are simply channels through which you can attain certain goals. To attain them, you reluctantly observe some regulations, and it is precisely these regulations that take people even further from the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and that place God in opposition to humankind once more.
Today’s topic is a little heavy, but no matter what, I still hope that when you go through the experiences to come, and the times to come, you will be able to do what I have just told you. Do not regard God as just a bunch of empty air—as though He exists when He is of use to you, but does not exist when you have no use for Him. Once you have such a thought in your subconscious, you have already infuriated God. Perhaps there are people who say, “I don’t regard God as mere empty air. I always pray to Him and I always try to satisfy Him, and everything I do falls within the scope, standard, and principles that God requires. I’m definitely not practicing according to my own ideas.” Yes, this manner in which you are practicing is correct! Nevertheless, what do you think when you come face to face with a problem? How do you practice when you are faced with an issue? Some people feel that God exists when they pray to Him and supplicate to Him, but then whenever they encounter a problem, they come up with their own ideas and want to abide by them. This means they regard God as just a bunch of empty air, and such a situation renders God non-existent in their minds. People believe that God should exist when they need Him, but not when they do not need Him. People think that practicing based on their own ideas is sufficient. They believe they can do whatever they please; they simply do not believe they need to seek out God’s way. As for people who are currently in this sort of situation and stuck in this kind of state, are they not courting danger? Some people say, “Whether I am courting danger or not, I have had faith for so many years, and I believe that God will not abandon me, because He could not bear to.” Others say, “I have believed in the Lord from the time I was in my mother’s womb. It has been forty or fifty years, so in terms of time, I’m most qualified to be saved by God and I am most qualified to survive. Over these four or five decades, I have abandoned my family and my job and I have given up all that I had—things like money, status, enjoyment, and time with my family. I have not eaten many delicious foods, I have not enjoyed a lot of amusements, I have not visited many interesting places, and I have even experienced suffering that ordinary people could not endure. If God cannot save me on account of all of this, then I am being treated unjustly, and I cannot believe in this type of God.” Are there many people with this sort of view? (There are.) Well, then, today I am going to help you to understand a fact: People with such a view are all shooting themselves in the foot. This is because they are covering their eyes with their own imaginations. It is precisely these imaginings, as well as their own conclusions, that take the place of the standard God requires humans to meet and hold them back from accepting God’s actual intentions. It makes them unable to sense His true existence, and it also causes them to lose the opportunity to be perfected by God, forsaking any part of or share in God’s promise.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve