44. Why one must seek to know God

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

To believe in God and know God is perfectly natural and justified, and today—during an age when God incarnate is doing His work in person—is an especially good time to know God. Satisfying God is something that is achieved by building on the foundation of understanding God’s will, and in order to understand God’s will, it is necessary to have some knowledge of God. This knowledge of God is the vision that one who believes in God must have; it is the basis of man’s belief in God. In the absence of this knowledge, man’s belief in God would exist in a vague state, in the midst of empty theory. Even if it is the resolution of people like this to follow God, they will gain nothing. All those who gain nothing in this stream are the ones who will be cast out—they are all freeloaders. Whichever step of God’s work you experience, you should be accompanied by a mighty vision. Otherwise, it would be difficult for you to accept each step of new work, because the new work of God lies beyond man’s capacity to imagine, and is outside the bounds of his conception. So, without a shepherd to tend to man, without a shepherd to engage in fellowship about visions, man is incapable of accepting this new work. If man cannot receive visions, then he cannot receive the new work of God, and if man cannot obey God’s new work, then man will be unable to understand God’s will, and so his knowledge of God will amount to nothing. Before man carries out the word of God, he must know the word of God; that is, he must understand God’s will. Only in this way can God’s word be carried out accurately and in accordance with God’s will. This is something that everyone who seeks the truth must possess, and it is also the process that everyone who tries to know God must undergo. The process of coming to know the word of God is the process of coming to know God and the work of God. So, knowing visions not only refers to knowing the humanity of God incarnate, but also includes knowing the word and the work of God. From the word of God people come to understand God’s will, and from the work of God they come to know God’s disposition and what God is. Belief in God is the first step to knowing God. The process of advancing from this initial belief in God to the most profound belief in Him is the process of coming to know God, the process of experiencing the work of God. If you only believe in God for the sake of believing in God, and not for the sake of coming to know Him, then there is no reality to your faith, and your faith cannot become pure—of this there is no doubt. If, during the process by which man experiences God’s work, he gradually comes to know God, then his disposition will gradually change, and his belief will become increasingly true. In this way, when man achieves success in his belief in God, he will have completely gained God. The reason why God went to such great lengths to become flesh for the second time to do His work in person was so that man would be able to know Him and to see Him. Knowing God[a] is the final effect to be achieved at the conclusion of God’s work; it is the last requirement God makes of mankind. The reason why He does this is for the sake of His final testimony; He does this work in order that man may finally and completely turn to Him. Man can only come to love God by knowing God, and to love God he must know God. No matter how he seeks, or what he seeks to gain, he must be able to achieve knowledge of God. Only in this way can man satisfy God’s heart. Only by knowing God can man have true faith in God, and only by knowing God can he truly fear and obey God. Those who do not know God will never arrive at true obedience and fear of God. Knowing God includes knowing His disposition, understanding His will, and knowing what He is. Yet whichever aspect one comes to know, each one requires man to pay a price and requires the will to obey, without which no one would be able to continue following to the end.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God

Footnotes:

a. The original text reads “The work of knowing God.”


The lesson of knowing God is higher than any of the natural sciences of mankind. It is a lesson that can only be achieved by an extremely small number of those who seek to know God, and cannot be achieved by just any person of talent. So, you must not view knowing God and pursuing the truth as if they are things that could be achieved by a mere child. Perhaps you have been completely successful in your family life, or your career, or in your marriage, but when it comes to the truth and the lesson of knowing God, you have nothing to show for yourself and you have achieved nothing. Putting the truth into practice, it can be said, is of great difficulty for you, and knowing God is an even greater problem. This is your difficulty, and this is also the difficulty faced by the whole of mankind. Among those who have had some achievements in the cause of knowing God, there are almost none who are up to standard. Man does not know what it means to know God, or why it is necessary to know God, or to what degree one must attain in order to know God. This is what is so confounding to mankind, and it is quite simply the biggest riddle faced by mankind—no one is capable of answering this question, nor is anyone willing to answer this question, because, to date, no one among mankind has had any success in the study of this work. Perhaps, when the riddle of the three stages of work is made known to mankind, there will appear in succession a group of talented people who know God. Of course, I hope that is the case, and, furthermore, I am in the process of carrying out this work, and hope to see the appearance of more such talented people in the near future. They will become those who bear testimony to the fact of these three stages of work, and, of course, they will also be the first to bear testimony to these three stages of work. But nothing would be more distressing and regrettable than if such talented people do not emerge on the day that God’s work comes to an end, or if there are only one or two such people who have personally accepted being made perfect by God incarnate. However, this is only the worst case scenario. Whatever the case may be, I still hope that those who truly pursue can gain this blessing. Since the beginning of time, there has never before been work such as this; such an undertaking has never occurred in the history of human development. If you can truly become one of the first of those who know God, would this not be the highest honor among all creatures? Would any creature among mankind be more commended by God? Such work is not easy to achieve, but will ultimately still reap rewards. Regardless of their gender or nationality, all those who are capable of achieving the knowledge of God will, in the end, receive God’s greatest honor, and will be the only ones that possess the authority of God. This is the work of today, and it is also the work of the future; it is the last and highest work to be accomplished in 6,000 years of work, and it is a way of working that reveals each category of man. Through the work of causing man to know God, the different ranks of man are revealed: Those who know God are qualified to receive God’s blessings and accept His promises, while those who do not know God are unqualified to receive God’s blessings and accept His promises. Those who know God are the intimates of God, and those who do not know God cannot be called the intimates of God; the intimates of God can receive any of God’s blessings, but those who are not His intimates are not worthy of any of His work. Whether it be tribulations, refinement, or judgment, all these things are for the sake of allowing man to ultimately achieve a knowledge of God, and so that man may submit to God. This is the only effect that will ultimately be achieved. Nothing of the three stages of work is hidden, and this is advantageous to man’s knowledge of God, and helps man gain a more complete and thorough knowledge of God. All this work is of benefit to man.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God

God does the work of judgment and chastisement so that man may gain knowledge of Him, and for the sake of His testimony. Without His judgment of man’s corrupt disposition, man could not possibly know His righteous disposition, which brooks no offense, and nor would man be able to turn his old knowledge of God into a new one. For the sake of His testimony, and for the sake of His management, He makes His entirety public, thus enabling man, through His public appearance, to arrive at knowledge of God, to be transformed in his disposition, and to bear resounding testimony to God. The transformation of the disposition of man is achieved through many different kinds of God’s work; without such changes in his disposition, man would be unable to bear testimony to God and to be after God’s heart. The transformation of man’s disposition signifies that man has freed himself from Satan’s bondage and from the influence of darkness, and has truly become a model and specimen of God’s work, a witness of God, and one who is after God’s heart. Today, God incarnate has come to do His work on earth, and He requires that man achieve knowledge of Him, obedience to Him, testimony to Him, to know His practical and normal work, to obey all of His words and work which do not accord with the notions of man, and to bear testimony to all the work He does to save man, as well as all the deeds He accomplishes to conquer man. Those who bear testimony to God must have knowledge of God; only this kind of testimony is accurate and real, and only this kind of testimony can shame Satan. God uses those who have come to know Him through undergoing His judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning, to bear testimony to Him. He uses those who have been corrupted by Satan to bear testimony to Him, and so too does He use those whose disposition has changed, and who have thus gained His blessings, to bear testimony to Him. He does not need man to praise Him with his mouth, nor does He need the praise and testimony of the ilk of Satan, who have not been saved by Him. Only those who know God are qualified to bear testimony to Him, and only those who have been transformed in their disposition are qualified to bear testimony to Him. God will not allow man intentionally to bring shame upon His name.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God

Man experiences God’s work, comes to know himself, purges away his corrupt disposition, and seeks growth in life, all for the sake of knowing God. If you only seek to know yourself and to deal with your own corrupt disposition, but have no knowledge of what work God does upon man, of how great His salvation is, or of how you experience God’s work and witness His deeds, then this experience of yours is fatuous. If you think that one’s life has attained maturity just because one is able to put the truth into practice and to endure, this means that you have still not grasped the true meaning of life or God’s purpose in perfecting man. One day, when you are in the religious churches, among members of the Repentance Church or of the Life Church, you will come across many devout people, whose prayers contain “visions” and who, in their pursuit of life, feel touched and are guided by words. Furthermore, they are able in many matters to endure and to forsake themselves, and not to be led by the flesh. At that time, you will not be able to tell the difference: You will believe that everything they do is right, is the natural expression of life, and that it is a great pity that the name that they believe in is wrong. Are not such views foolish? Why is it said that many people have no life? Because they do not know God, and thus it is said that they have no God in their hearts, and have no life. If your belief in God has reached a point where you are capable of thoroughly knowing the deeds of God, the reality of God, and every stage of God’s work, then you are possessed of the truth. If you do not know the work and the disposition of God, then there is still something missing in your experience. How Jesus carried out that stage of His work, how this stage is being carried out, how God did His work in the Age of Grace and what work was done, what work is being done in this stage—if you do not have a thorough knowledge of these things, then you will never feel assured and you will always be insecure. If, after a period of experience, you are able to know the work done by God and every step of His work, and if you have gained thorough knowledge of God’s aims in speaking His words, and why so many words He has spoken have not been fulfilled, then you may boldly and without holding back pursue the road ahead, free from worry and refinement.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God

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.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III

As a creature of God, if you wish to perform the duty of a creature of God and understand the will of God, you must understand the work of God, you must understand God’s will for creatures, you must understand His plan of management, and you must understand all the significance of the work He does. Those who do not understand this are not qualified creatures of God! As a creature of God, if you do not understand where you came from, do not understand the history of mankind and all the work done by God, and, furthermore, do not understand how mankind has developed up to today, and do not understand who commands the whole of mankind, then you are incapable of performing your duty. God has led mankind up until today, and ever since He created man upon the earth He has never left him. The Holy Spirit never stops working, has never stopped leading mankind, and has never left mankind. But mankind does not realize that there is a God, much less does he know God. Is there anything more humiliating than this for all creatures of God? God personally leads man, but man does not understand the work of God. You are a creature of God, yet you do not understand your own history, and are unaware of who has led you on your journey, you are oblivious of the work done by God, and so you cannot know God. If you still do not know now, then you will never be qualified to bear testimony to God. Today, the Creator personally leads all people once again, and causes all people to behold His wisdom, almightiness, salvation, and wonderfulness. Yet you still do not realize or understand—are you not therefore the one who will not receive salvation? Those who belong to Satan do not understand the words of God, while those who belong to God can hear the voice of God. All those who realize and understand the words I speak are the ones who will be saved and who will bear testimony to God; all those who do not understand the words that I speak cannot bear testimony to God, and are the ones who will be cast out. Those who do not understand God’s will and do not realize the work of God are incapable of achieving the knowledge of God, and such people cannot bear testimony to God. If you wish to bear testimony to God, then you must know God; the knowledge of God is accomplished through the work of God. All in all, if you wish to know God, then you must know God’s work: Knowing God’s work is of the utmost importance. When the three stages of work come to an end, there will be made a group of those who bear testimony to God, a group of those who know God. These people will all know God and will be able to put the truth into practice. They will possess humanity and sense, and will all know the three stages of God’s work of salvation. This is the work that will be accomplished at the end, and these people are the crystallization of the work of 6,000 years of management, and are the most powerful testimony to the ultimate defeat of Satan.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God

However much understanding of God there is in people’s hearts, that is also the extent of the position He holds in their hearts. However great the degree of knowledge of God is in their hearts, that is how great God is in their hearts. If the God that you know is empty and vague, then the God you believe in is also empty and vague. The God that you know is limited to the scope of your own personal life, and has nothing to do with the true God Himself. Thus, knowing God’s practical actions, knowing the reality of God and His omnipotence, knowing the true identity of God Himself, knowing what He has and is, knowing the actions that He has manifested among all the things of His creation—these things are very important to every single person who pursues knowledge of God. They have a direct bearing on whether people can enter into the truth reality. If you limit your understanding of God to just words, if you limit it to your own little experiences, to what you figure to be God’s grace, or your little testimonies to God, then I say that the God you believe in is absolutely not the true God Himself. Not only that, but it can also be said that the God you believe in is an imaginary God, not the true God. This is because the true God is the One that rules over everything, that walks among everything, that manages everything. He is the One that holds the fate of all of mankind and of everything in His hands. The work and actions of the God that I am talking about are not just limited to a small portion of people. That is, they are not limited to just the people who currently follow Him. His deeds are manifested among all things, in the survival of all things, and in the laws of change of all things. If you cannot see or recognize any deeds of God among all the things of His creation, then you cannot bear witness to any of His deeds. If you cannot bear witness for God, if you continue to speak of the small so-called “God” that you know, that God who is limited to your own ideas and exists only within the narrow confines of your mind, if you continue to speak of that kind of God, then God will never praise your faith. When you bear witness for God, if you do so only in terms of how you enjoy God’s grace, how you accept God’s discipline and His chastening, and how you enjoy His blessings in your witness for Him, then that is nowhere near enough and not even close to satisfying Him. If you want to bear witness for God in a way that accords with His will, to bear witness for the true God Himself, then you must see what God has and is from His actions. You must see God’s authority from His control of everything, and see the truth of how He provides for all of mankind. If you only acknowledge that your daily sustenance and your necessities in life come from God, but you fail to see the truth that God has taken all the things of His creation for the provision of all of mankind, and that, by ruling over all things, He is leading all of mankind, then you will never be able to bear witness for God.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IX

If you do not understand the disposition of God, then it will be impossible for you to do the work you should do for Him. If you do not know the essence of God, then it will be impossible for you to have fear and dread of Him; instead, there will be only heedless perfunctoriness and prevarication, and moreover, incorrigible blasphemy. Although understanding God’s disposition is indeed important, and knowing God’s essence cannot be overlooked, no one has ever thoroughly examined or delved into these issues. It is plain to see that you have all dismissed the administrative decrees I have issued. If you do not understand the disposition of God, then you will be very likely to offend His disposition. Offending His disposition is tantamount to provoking the ire of God Himself, in which case the ultimate fruit of your actions will be the violation of the administrative decrees. Now you should realize that when you know God’s essence, so too can you understand His disposition—and when you understand His disposition, so too will you have understood the administrative decrees. Needless to say, much of what is contained within the administrative decrees touches upon the disposition of God, but not all of His disposition is expressed within the administrative decrees; hence, you must go a step further in developing your understanding of God’s disposition.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition

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.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III

Coming to know the essence of God is no trifling matter. You must understand His disposition. In this way, you will, gradually and unknowingly, come to know the essence of God. When you have entered into this knowledge, you will find yourself stepping into a higher and more beautiful state. In the end, you will come to feel ashamed of your hideous soul, and, moreover, will feel that there is nowhere to hide from your shame. At that time, there will be less and less in your conduct to offend the disposition of God, your heart will come closer and closer to that of God, and a love for Him will gradually grow in your heart. This is a sign of mankind entering a beautiful state. But as yet, you have not attained this. As you all rush about for the sake of your destiny, who has any interest in trying to know the essence of God? Should this continue, you will unknowingly transgress against the administrative decrees, for you understand far too little of the disposition of God. So is not what you do now laying down a foundation for your offenses against the disposition of God? That I ask you to understand the disposition of God is not divorced from My work. For if you transgress against the administrative decrees often, who among you will escape punishment? Would My work then not have been entirely in vain? Therefore, I still ask that, in addition to scrutinizing your own conduct, you be cautious in the steps you take. This is the higher demand that I make of you, and I hope that you will all consider it carefully and give it your earnest regard. Should a day come when your actions provoke Me to a towering rage, then the consequences will be yours alone to consider, and there will be no one else to bear the punishment in your place.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition

Related Hymns

The Result Achieved by Knowing God

To Know God Is the Highest Honor for Created Beings

Man Can Only Come to Love God by Knowing God

The Consequences of Not Knowing God’s Disposition

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Next: 45. How to understand God’s righteous disposition

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