12. How to resolve the problem of delimiting and judging God
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
God and man cannot be spoken of on equal terms. His essence and His work are most unfathomable and incomprehensible to man. If God does not personally do His work and speak His words in the world of man, then man would never be able to understand the will of God. And so, even those who have devoted their entire lives to God would not be able to receive His approval. If God does not set to work, then however well man does, it will all be for naught, because God’s thoughts will always be higher than the thoughts of man, and God’s wisdom is beyond man’s comprehension. And so I say that those who claim to “fully understand” God and His work are an inept lot; they are all overweening and ignorant. Man should not define the work of God; moreover, man cannot define the work of God. In the eyes of God, man is as insignificant as an ant; so how can man fathom God’s work? Those who like to spout, “God does not work in this or that way,” or “God is like this or that”—are they not speaking arrogantly? We should all know that man, who is of the flesh, has been corrupted by Satan. Mankind’s very nature is to oppose God. Mankind cannot be on par with God, much less can mankind hope to advise the work of God. As for how God guides man, this is the work of God Himself. It is fitting that man should submit, without professing this or that view, for man is but dust. Since it is our intent to seek God, we should not superimpose our notions onto His work for God’s consideration, still less should we employ our corrupt disposition to its utmost to deliberately oppose the work of God. Would that not make us antichrists? How could such people believe in God? Since we believe that there is a God, and since we wish to satisfy Him and to see Him, we should seek the way of truth, and should look for a way to be compatible with God. We should not stand in stiff-necked opposition to Him. What good could possibly come of such actions?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
Do many people not oppose God and obstruct the work of the Holy Spirit because they do not know the varied and diverse work of God, and, furthermore, because they possess but a smidgeon of knowledge and doctrine with which to measure the work of the Holy Spirit? Though the experiences of such people are superficial, they are arrogant and indulgent in nature and they regard the work of the Holy Spirit with contempt, ignore the disciplines of the Holy Spirit and, moreover, use their trivial old arguments to “confirm” the work of the Holy Spirit. They also put on an act, and are wholly convinced of their own learning and erudition, and convinced that they are able to travel across the world. Are such people not those who are despised and rejected by the Holy Spirit, and will they not be cast out by the new age? Are not those who come before God and openly oppose Him ignorant and under-informed villains, who are merely trying to show how brilliant they are? With but a meager knowledge of the Bible, they try to run riot in the world’s “academia”; with but a superficial doctrine to teach people, they try to reverse the work of the Holy Spirit and attempt to make it revolve around their own thought process. Short-sighted as they are, they try to behold in one glance 6,000 years of God’s work. These people do not have any sense worth mentioning! In fact, the greater people’s knowledge of God, the slower they are to judge His work. Furthermore, they only talk a little of their knowledge of God’s work today, but they are not rash in their judgments. The less people know of God, the more arrogant and overconfident they are and the more wantonly they proclaim God’s being—yet they only talk of theory, and offer no real evidence. Such people are of no value whatsoever. Those who see the work of the Holy Spirit as a game are frivolous! Those who are not cautious when they encounter the new work of the Holy Spirit, who run their mouths off, are quick to judge, who give free rein to their temperament to deny the rightness of the Holy Spirit’s work, and who also insult and blaspheme it—are such disrespectful people not ignorant of the Holy Spirit’s work? Are they not, furthermore, people of great arrogance, people who are inherently proud and ungovernable? Even if a day comes when such people accept the new work of the Holy Spirit, still God will not tolerate them. Not only do they look down upon those who work for God, but they also blaspheme against God Himself. Such desperate people will not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come, and they shall forever perish in hell! Such disrespectful, indulgent people are pretending to believe in God, and the more people are like this, the more liable they are to offend God’s administrative decrees. Do not all those arrogant ones who are innately unbridled, and who have never obeyed anyone, all walk upon this path? Do they not oppose God day after day, God who is always new and never old?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
Know that you oppose God’s work, or use your own notions to measure the work of today, because you do not know the principles of God’s work, and because of your rash treatment of the work of the Holy Spirit. Your opposition to God and obstruction of the work of the Holy Spirit is caused by your notions and inherent arrogance. It is not because God’s work is wrong, but because you are naturally too disobedient. After finding their belief in God, some people cannot even say with certainty where man came from, yet they dare to make public speeches appraising the rights and wrongs of the Holy Spirit’s work. They even lecture the apostles who have the Holy Spirit’s new work, passing comment and speaking out of turn; their humanity is too low, and there is not the slightest sense in them. Will the day not come when such people are rejected by the work of the Holy Spirit, and burned by the fires of hell? They do not know the work of God, but instead criticize His work, and also try to instruct God how to work. How can such unreasonable people know God? Man comes to know God during the process of seeking and experiencing; it is not through criticizing at whim that man comes to know God through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The more accurate people’s knowledge of God becomes, the less they oppose Him. In contrast, the less people know of God, the more likely they are to oppose Him. Your notions, your old nature, and your humanity, character and moral outlook are the capital with which you resist God, and the more corrupted your morals, odious your qualities, and low your humanity, the more you are the enemy of God. Those who are possessed of strong notions and who have a self-righteous disposition are even more in enmity of God incarnate; such people are the antichrists. If your notions are not rectified, then they will always be against God; you will never be compatible with God, and will always be apart from Him.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
If you use your own notions to measure and delimit God, as if God were an unchanging statue of clay, and if you completely delimit God within the parameters of the Bible and contain Him within a limited scope of work, then this proves that you have condemned God. Because the Jews in the age of the Old Testament took God to be an idol of fixed form that they held in their hearts, as if God could only be called the Messiah, and only He who was called the Messiah could be God, and because humanity served and worshiped God as if He were a (lifeless) clay statue, they nailed the Jesus of that time to the cross, sentencing Him to death—the guiltless Jesus was thus condemned to death. God was innocent of any offense, yet man refused to spare Him, and insisted on sentencing Him to death, and so Jesus was crucified. Man always believes that God is unchanging, and defines Him on the basis of one single book, the Bible, as though man has a perfect understanding of God’s management, as though man holds all that God does in the palm of his hand. People are absurd in the extreme, arrogant in the extreme, and they all have a flair for hyperbole. No matter how great your knowledge of God, I still say that you do not know God, that you are someone who opposes God the most, and that you have condemned God, because you are utterly incapable of obeying the work of God and walking the path of being made perfect by God. Why is God never satisfied with the actions of man? Because man does not know God, because he has too many notions, and because his knowledge of God in no way agrees with reality, but instead monotonously repeats the same theme without variation and uses the same approach for every situation. And so, having come to earth today, God is once more nailed to the cross by man.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Wicked Will Surely Be Punished
Currently, most people think, “What God has said during the last days is all in The Word Appears in the Flesh, there are no more words from God; that is all God has said,” right? It is a big mistake to think this way! The words contained within The Word Appears in the Flesh are only the opening words of God’s work in the last days, a part of the words of this work, these words are mainly concerned with the truths of visions. Later on there will also be words spoken in regard to the many details of practice. Therefore, the release of The Word Appears in the Flesh to the public does not mean God’s work has come to the end of a phase, much less does it mean that God’s work of judgment in the last days has come to a conclusive end. God still has many words to express, and even once these words have been spoken, one cannot say that all of God’s management work has concluded. When the work of the entire universe is finished, one can only say that the six-thousand-year management plan has ended; but at this time, will there still be people existing in this universe? As long as life exists, as long as humanity exists, then God’s management must still be in continuation. When the six-thousand-year management plan is complete, as long as there exists humanity, life, and this universe, then God will still be managing it all, but it will not be called the six-thousand-year management plan any longer. Now it is referred to as God’s management. Perhaps it will be called a different name in the future; that will be another life for humanity and God; it cannot be said that God will still be using the words of today to lead people, as these words are only suitable for this period of time. Therefore, do not delineate the work of God at any time. Some say, “God only provides people with these words, and nothing else; God can only say these words.” This also is confining God within a certain scope. This is just like, currently, in the Age of Kingdom, applying the words spoken in the age of Jesus—would that be appropriate? Some of the words would apply, and some need to be abolished, so then you cannot say that the words of God can never be abolished. Do people readily delineate things? In some areas, they do delineate God. Perhaps one day you will read The Word Appears in the Flesh just like people read the Bible today, not keeping up with God’s footsteps. Now is the right time to read The Word Appears in the Flesh; there’s no telling in how many years that reading it will be like looking at an outdated calendar, because there will be something new to replace the old at that time. People’s needs are produced and developed according to the work of God. At that time, human nature, and the instincts and attributes that people should have will have somewhat changed; after this world changes, the needs of humanity will be different. Some ask: “Will God talk later on?” Some will come to the conclusion that “God will not be able to talk, because when the work of the Age of Word is finished, nothing else can be said, and any other words will be false.” Is this not also wrong? It is easy for mankind to make the mistake of delineating God; people are apt to cling to the past and delineate God. They clearly do not know Him, but still wantonly delineate His work. People have such arrogant nature! They always wish to hold on to the old notions of the past and keep the things of days gone by lodged in their hearts. They use them as their capital, being arrogant and pompous, thinking that they understand everything, and having the gall to delineate the work of God. In doing this, do they not pass judgment on God? In addition, people give no consideration to God’s new work; this shows that it is difficult for them to accept new things, and yet they still blindly delineate God. People are so arrogant that they are devoid of reason, they listen to no one, and don’t even accept the words of God. Such is the nature of man: totally arrogant and self-righteous, and without the slightest bit of obedience. This was the way the Pharisees were when they condemned Jesus. They thought “Even if You are right, I still won’t follow You—only Jehovah is the true God.” Today, there are also some who say: “He’s Christ? I wouldn’t follow Him even if He really were Christ!” Do people like this exist? There are a lot of religious people who are like that. This shows that man’s disposition is too corrupt, that people are beyond salvation.
Among the saints through the ages, Moses and Peter were the only ones who really knew God, and they were praised by God; however, could they fathom God? What they grasped is also limited. They themselves did not dare say that they knew God. Those who really know God do not delineate Him, because they realize that God is incalculable and immeasurable. Those who do not know God are the ones who are apt to delineate Him and what He has and is. They are full of imagination about God, easily produce notions about everything God has done. So, those who believe that they know God are the most resistant to God, and are the people that are in the most danger.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Upon knowing that God loves humankind, they define Him as a symbol of love: They believe that no matter what people do, no matter how they behave, no matter how they treat God, and no matter how disobedient they might be, none of this really matters, for God has love, and His love is unlimited and immeasurable; God has love, so He can be tolerant of people; and God has love, so He can be merciful toward people, merciful toward their immaturity, merciful toward their ignorance, and merciful toward their disobedience. Is this really the way it is? For some people, when they have experienced God’s patience once or even a few times, they will treat these experiences as capital in their own understanding of God, believing that He will forever be patient and merciful toward them, and then, over the course of their lives, they take this patience of God and regard it as the standard by which He treats them. There are also those who, after having experienced God’s tolerance once, will forever define God as tolerant—and in their minds, this tolerance is indefinite, unconditional, and even totally unprincipled. Are such beliefs correct? Every time matters of God’s essence or God’s disposition are discussed, you seem bewildered. Seeing you like this makes Me very anxious. You have heard a lot of truths concerning God’s essence; you have also listened to a great many discussions concerning His disposition. However, in your minds, these issues and the truth of these aspects are just memories based on theory and written words; in your day-to-day lives, none of you is ever able to experience or see God’s disposition for what it really is. Thus, you are all muddle-headed in your beliefs; you are all believing blindly, to the point that you have an irreverent attitude toward God and even brush Him aside. What does your having this kind of attitude toward God lead to? It leads to your always making conclusions about God. Once you have acquired a little bit of knowledge, you then feel very satisfied, as though you have obtained God in His entirety. Afterward, you conclude that this is how God is, and you do not let Him move freely. Furthermore, whenever God does something new, you simply refuse to admit that He is God. One day, when God says, “I do not love humankind anymore; I will extend no more mercy to humans; I do not have any further tolerance or patience for them; I am filled to the brim with extreme loathing and antipathy toward them,” such statements will cause conflict deep in people’s hearts. Some of them will even say, “You’re not my God anymore; You’re no longer the God that I want to follow. If this is what You say, then You’re no longer qualified to be my God, and I don’t need to keep following You. If You won’t give me mercy, love, and tolerance anymore, then I will stop following You. If You are tolerant of me indefinitely, always patient with me, and allow me to see that You are love, that You are patience, and that You are tolerance, only then can I follow You, and only then will I have the confidence to follow You to the end. Since I have Your patience and mercy, my disobedience and my trespasses can be forgiven and pardoned indefinitely, and I can sin anytime and anywhere, confess and be pardoned anytime and anywhere, and anger You anytime and anywhere. You shouldn’t have any opinions or draw any conclusions about me.” Though not a single one of you may think about this sort of issue so subjectively or consciously, whenever you consider God to be a tool to be used to forgive you of your sins or an object to be used for obtaining a beautiful destination, you have subtly placed the living God in opposition to you, as your enemy. This is what I see. You may keep on saying such things as, “I believe in God,” “I pursue the truth,” “I want to change my disposition,” “I want to break free from the influence of darkness,” “I want to satisfy God,” “I want to submit to God,” “I want to be faithful toward God, and do my duty well,” and so forth. However, no matter how sweet-sounding your words might be, no matter how much theory you might know, and no matter how imposing or dignified that theory might be, the fact of the matter is that there are now many of you who have already learned how to use the regulations, the doctrines, the theories you have mastered to draw conclusions about God, thus naturally placing Him in opposition to yourselves. Though you may have mastered words and doctrines, you have not genuinely entered the reality of the truth, so it is very difficult for you to get close to God, to know Him, and to understand Him. This is so lamentable!
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
People like to rigidly apply rules, and to use such rules to delimit and define God, just as they like to use formulas to attempt to understand God’s disposition. Therefore, as far as the domain of human thought is concerned, God does not think, nor does He have any essential ideas. But in reality, God’s thoughts are in a state of constant transformation according to changes in things and in environments. While these thoughts are transforming, different aspects of God’s essence are revealed. During this process of transformation, at the precise moment when God has a change of heart, what He shows to mankind is the real existence of His life, and that His righteous disposition is full of dynamic vitality. At the same time, God uses His own true revelations to prove to mankind the truth of the existence of His wrath, His mercy, His lovingkindness, and His tolerance. His essence will be revealed at any time and any place in accordance with how things develop. He possesses a lion’s wrath and a mother’s mercy and tolerance. His righteous disposition allows no questioning, violation, change, or distortion by any person. Among all matters and all things, God’s righteous disposition—that is, God’s wrath and God’s mercy—can be revealed at any time and any place. He gives vital expression to these aspects in every corner of all creation, and He implements them with vitality in every passing moment. God’s righteous disposition is not limited by time or space; in other words, God’s righteous disposition is not mechanically expressed or revealed according to the constraints of time or space, but rather with perfect ease and in all times and places. When you see God have a change of heart and cease to express His wrath and refrain from destroying the city of Nineveh, can you say that God is only merciful and loving? Can you say that God’s wrath consists of empty words? When God rages with fierce wrath and retracts His mercy, can you say that He feels no true love toward humanity? This fierce wrath is expressed by God in response to people’s evil acts; His wrath is not flawed. God’s heart is moved in response to people’s repentance, and it is this repentance that brings about His change of heart. When He feels moved, when He has a change of heart, and when He shows His mercy and tolerance toward man, all of these are utterly without flaw; they are clean, pure, unblemished and unadulterated. God’s tolerance is exactly that: tolerance, just as His mercy is nothing other than mercy. His disposition reveals wrath or mercy and tolerance in accordance with man’s repentance and the variations in man’s conduct. No matter what He reveals and expresses, it is all pure and direct; its essence is distinct from that of anything in creation. When God expresses the principles underlying His actions, they are free from any flaws or blemishes, and so are His thoughts, His ideas, and every single decision He makes and every single action He takes. Since God has thus decided and since He has thus acted, so does He complete His undertakings. The results of His undertakings are correct and faultless precisely because their source is flawless and unblemished. God’s wrath is flawless. Likewise, God’s mercy and tolerance—which are possessed by none among all of creation—are holy and flawless, and can withstand thoughtful deliberation and experience.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique II
Some people come to believe in God when they see that the words expressed by God are indeed the truth. However, when they get to God’s house and see that God is an ordinary person, they develop notions in their hearts. Their words and deeds become unrestrained, they become dissolute, and they speak irresponsibly, judging and slandering however they see fit. This is how such wicked people are exposed. These creatures without humanity often do evil and disturb the work of the church, and nothing good will come to them! They openly resist, slander, judge and insult God, openly blaspheming Him and setting themselves in opposition to Him. Such people are to be recipients of severe punishment. Some people belong to the ranks of false leaders, and after having been dismissed, they feel constant resentment toward God. They seize the opportunity of gatherings to keep spreading their notions and venting their complaints; they may even blurt out any harsh words or words that vent their hate. Are such people not demons? After being cleared out of God’s house, they feel remorse, claiming they had said something wrong in a moment of foolishness. Some people fail to discern them, saying, “They’re quite pitiful, and they’re remorseful at heart. They say they are indebted to God and don’t know Him, so let’s forgive them.” Can forgiveness be given so lightly? People have their dignity, let alone God! After these people finished their blasphemy and slander, they seem remorseful to some, who forgive them and say they acted in a moment of foolishness—but was it a moment of foolishness? They always have some intention in their speech, and even dare to judge God. God’s house replaced them, and they lost the benefits of status, and in fear of being cast out, they utter many complaints and cry bitterly and remorsefully afterward. Does this do any good? Once your words have been spoken, they are like water poured on the ground, which cannot be recovered. Would God tolerate people resisting, judging, and blaspheming Him as they will? Would He just ignore it? God would have no dignity, if so. Some people, after their resistance, say, “God, Your precious blood redeemed me. You have us forgive people seventy times seven—You should also forgive me!” How shameless! Some people spread rumors about God, and grow fearful after slandering Him. Afraid of being punished, they quickly kneel down and pray: “God! Do not leave me, do not punish me. I confess, I repent, I am indebted to You, I did wrong.” Tell Me, could such people be pardoned? No! Why not? What they have done offends the Holy Spirit, and the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit will never be pardoned, in this life or the next! God stays true to His words. He has dignity, wrath, and a righteous disposition. Do you think that God is the same as man, that if someone is just a bit nicer to Him, He will look past their previous transgressions? Nothing of the sort! Will things turn out well for you if you resist God? It is understandable if you do something wrong out of momentary foolishness, or occasionally reveal a bit of a corrupt disposition. But if you directly resist, rebel against, and set yourself in opposition to God, and if you slander, blaspheme, and spread rumors about Him, then you are wholly doomed. There is no need for such people to pray any longer; they should just wait to be punished. They are unforgivable! When that time comes, do not shamelessly say, “God, please forgive me!” No matter how you plead, it will be useless, sorry to say. Having understood some of the truth, if people then knowingly transgress, they cannot be forgiven. Previously, it has been said that God does not remember one’s transgressions. That referred to minor ones that do not involve God’s administrative decrees and do not offend God’s disposition. These do not include blasphemy and slander against God. But if you would blaspheme, judge, or slander God just once, this will be a permanent stain that cannot be erased. People wish to blaspheme and abuse God as they will, and then to exploit Him to gain blessings. Nothing in the world comes as cheaply as that! People always think that God is merciful and kind, that He is benevolent, that He has a vast and immeasurable heart, that He does not remember people’s transgressions and lets bygones be bygones for people’s past transgressions and deeds. Letting bygones be bygones happens with trivial matters. God will never forgive those who openly resist and blaspheme Him.
Although most people in the church truly believe in God, they do not have God-fearing hearts. This shows that most people do not have true knowledge of God’s disposition, so it is difficult for them to fear God and shun evil. If people do not fear God and are not terrified of Him in their belief, and say whatever they like once God’s work touches their own interests, then when they finish speaking, will that be the end of it? They must then pay a price for what they say, and this is not a simple matter. When some people blaspheme God, when they judge God, do they know in their hearts what they are saying? All those who say these things know in their hearts what they say. Apart from those who have been possessed by evil spirits and whose reason is abnormal, regular people know in their hearts what they are saying. If they say they don’t, then they are lying. When they speak, they think: “I know that You are God. I’m saying that You are not doing right, so what can You do to me? What will You do when I am done talking?” They do this intentionally, to disturb others, to draw others over to their side, to make others say similar things, make others do similar things. They know that what they say is in open defiance of God, that it is going against God, blaspheming God. After they have mulled it over they think that what they did was wrong: “What was I saying? It was an impetuous moment and I really regret it!” Their regret proves that they knew exactly what they were doing at that time; it wasn’t that they didn’t know. If you think that they were momentarily ignorant and confused, that they had not thoroughly understood, then this is not entirely correct. People may not have understood thoroughly, but if you believe in God then you must have a minimum of common sense. To believe in God you should be afraid of God and fear Him. You cannot blaspheme against God, or judge or slander Him however you like. Do you know what is meant by “judging,” “blasphemy” and “slander”? When you say something, do you not know whether or not you are judging God? Some people always talk about the fact that they have played host to God, and often see God, and have listened to God’s face-to-face fellowship. They talk about these things with whoever happens by, at length, all about externalities; they have no true knowledge at all. They may have no ill intentions when they say these things. They may mean well for the brothers and sisters and wish to encourage everyone. But why do they pick these things to speak about? If they proactively bring up this matter, then they do have something of an intent: mainly, to show off and have people look up to them. If they would make people confident and encourage people in their faith in God, they might read them more of His words, which are the truth. Why then do they insist on talking about such external things? What is at the root of their saying these things is that they are simply without a God-fearing heart. They are not afraid of God. How can they act up and shoot their mouth off before God? God has dignity! If people realized this, would they still do such things? People do not have God-fearing hearts. They arbitrarily say how God is and what God is like for their own motives, to achieve their personal goals and to get others to think highly of them. This is simply judging God and blaspheming God. Such people have no fear at all for God in their hearts. They are all people who resist and blaspheme God. They are all evil spirits and demons.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
If you try to judge the work of God and the things that befall people from the perspective of right and wrong, and correct and incorrect, you will reject them. You will think that they do not seem like the work of God and that they are not in line with your notions and imaginings, and you will reject them. If you reject them, how can you obey them as the truth? It will be impossible. Why do people reject them? This is caused by human notions, which means that there are limits to what the human brain can recognize, and what people can see of the deeds of God, and that there are limits to the truths that people can understand. How can you break through these limits to truly know God? You must accept things from God, and not lightly define the things you encounter that you cannot understand, and not blindly pass judgments if you cannot solve some problem. This is the reason that people should possess the most. If you say, “That is not what God does, God would never do that!” then you lack reason. What can you really understand? If you dare to pass judgments on behalf of God, then you are truly lacking in reason. God will not necessarily act exactly as you think or in the scope of your imaginings. God is too great, too unfathomable, too profound, too wonderful, and too wise! Why have I added the word “too”? Because humans cannot fathom God. You are a created being, so do not try to fathom God. Once you no longer have this thought, you will possess a bit of reason. Do not try to set rules for God, and if you are able to refrain from doing so, then you will possess reason. There are many people who always set rules for God and say that God should act in a certain way, that God would absolutely do it this way or God absolutely would not do it that way, that this is absolutely an act of God, and that something else is absolutely not an act of God. And how about this addition of the word “absolutely”? (It lacks reason.) You say that God is too wonderful and too wise but then you say that God would never act in a certain way. Isn’t that a contradiction? That is not true knowledge of God. It is utterly lacking in reason to always insist on one’s own views and to always set the rules for God.
God is doing this final stage of work, and no one thought that He could appear and work in China. Is the fact that you can’t imagine it not due to the notions and imaginings in your heart, and limitations to your thinking? You might think of America, the United Kingdom, or Israel as all being possible, but can absolutely not imagine that God would work in China. It’s inconceivable to you. It’s far beyond people’s notions and imaginings, but God has just begun His work in China, carrying out His final and most important work. This is too far at odds with human notions. So, what have you learned from this? (That God’s work doesn’t accord with human notions, and is wondrous and unfathomable.) God’s work is far beyond human imaginings, wondrous and unfathomable, wise, profound—these are human words used to describe all that God has and is, His disposition and essence, and this is considered reasonable. It’s through God doing things which are at odds with human notions that people sum it up with these words—God’s work is wondrous and unfathomable, at odds with human notions. What else can people learn from this? That mankind’s former notions and imaginings have all been subverted. So where have these notions come from? From what you see, China is poor and backward, the Communist Party wields power, Christians are persecuted, there’s no freedom, no human rights, and Chinese people are poorly educated, with a low standing on the world stage, appearing as the pitiful sick men of East Asia. How could God incarnate in China to do His work? Is this not a notion? Now, see if this notion is right or wrong. (It is completely wrong.) First, let’s not talk about why God would work in this way, whether it’s because He wants to be humble and hidden, or if working in this way carries a profound significance and value. Let’s not discuss this level, but talk about whether God working in this way conflicts a lot with human notions. Very much so! People cannot imagine. It’s a mystery of Heaven, and no one knows. Even if astronomers, geographers, historians, and prophets are called, would anyone be able to figure it out? No one would be able to, even if all capable people, living or dead, were convened to analyze and investigate, or observe and study with astronomical telescopes—it would all be to no avail. What does this mean? That mankind is too insignificant, too ignorant, too lacking in insight to fathom God’s affairs. If you cannot fathom then don’t bother. What would be the end result if you tried? Your notions do not equal the truth, and are actually far removed from what God wants to do. They are not the same thing at all. What little knowledge humans have is useless, unable to figure anything out or solve any problems. Now that you read God’s words, and listen to sermons and fellowships, do you understand a little bit more in your hearts? Do you have some knowledge of God? Someone might say: “God doesn’t discuss what He does with us, if He would only give us a celestial sign so that we could understand what He intends to do, or even inspire a prophet to give a prediction.” You wouldn’t be able to see it, even with a celestial sign, and neither could a prophet. What God does in the spiritual world has remained secret from ancient times until now, and is so secret that not a single human can know. No matter how talented a prophet or astronomer, or scholar, expert, or scientist in any discipline might be, they could study all they want but they would never understand God’s affairs. People can study God’s past work, and might be able to glean a few secrets or meaning which may have something to do with why God did it, but no one knows what God will do in the future, or His intentions. People shouldn’t, therefore, think to fathom God or ultimately fathom how He works through observation and study, long-term investigation and experience, multifaceted analysis, or much diligence and hard work. This is impossible, and will never work out. So, if people cannot fathom God, what should they do? (They should obey.) It’s most sensible for people to obey, and most aligned with God’s will; obedience is the premise. What is its purpose? It’s to be able, based on experiencing God’s work, to know Him more, to obtain the truth, and gain life. This is what you ought to gain, and the treasure you should desire. Regarding major external events, such as international affairs, how God does things, and how He leads this human race—if you can come to understand these, that’s even better. It’s also okay if you say: “I don’t really care about those things. I don’t have the caliber or the mind for that; I only care about how God provides me with the truth and changes my disposition.” As long as you have an obedient and God-fearing heart, you will ultimately be able to gain the truth from God, as well as wisdom. The truth changes people’s dispositions; it is the life that people should seek to gain, and the path they should walk. So, what is the wisdom that people get? Without even knowing it, you’ll be able to see the way God does many things, why He does them, what His intentions and goals are, and what His principles are in doing certain things. You will unconsciously be able to realize this through the process of experiencing the truth of God’s words. Perhaps these words and matters are too profound, and you won’t be able to express it in words, but you will feel it in your heart, and have real understanding without even realizing it.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know God’s Sovereignty
No matter what God does, man must obey; man is a created being, made of clay, and they should obey God. This is man’s duty, obligation, and responsibility. This is the attitude people should have. Once people have this attitude, how should they treat God and the things God does? Never condemn, lest you offend God’s disposition. If you have notions, then fix them, but do not condemn God or the things He does. Once you condemn them, you are finished: It is equivalent to standing on the opposite side of God, with no chance of receiving salvation. You may say, “I am not standing opposite God now, but I have a misunderstanding of God,” or “I have a little doubt in my heart about God; my faith is small, and I have weaknesses and negativities.” All of these are manageable; they can be fixed by seeking the truth—but do not condemn God. If you say, “What God has done is not right. It is not in keeping with the truth, so I have reason to doubt, question, and accuse. I will spread this everywhere and unite people in questioning Him,” this will be troublesome. God’s attitude toward you will change, and if you condemn God, you will be completely finished; there are too many ways in which God can retaliate against you. Therefore, people should not deliberately oppose God. It is not a big problem if you unintentionally do something to resist Him, because it was not done intentionally or on purpose, and God gives you a chance to repent. If you intentionally condemn it even though you know something is God’s doing, and you incite everyone to rebel as one, then this is troublesome. And what will be the result? You will end up like the two hundred and fifty chiefs who resisted Moses. Knowing that it is God, you still dare to clamor with Him. God does not debate with you: His is the authority; He makes the earth split open and swallow you up directly, and that’s all. He will never see you or listen to your reasoning. This is God’s disposition. What is God’s disposition manifesting at this time? It is wrath! Therefore, by no means should people clamor against God or provoke His wrath; should any offend God, the result will be perdition.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Every person, in the course of living their life of faith in God, has done things that resist and deceive God. Some misdeeds need not be recorded as an offense, but some are unforgivable; for there are many deeds that violate the administrative decrees, which offend the disposition of God. Many who are concerned about their own fates may ask what these deeds are. You should know that you are arrogant and haughty by nature, and unwilling to submit to the facts. For this reason, I shall tell you bit by bit after you have reflected upon yourselves. I exhort you to get a better understanding of the content of the administrative decrees, and to make an effort to know the disposition of God. If not, you will find it difficult to keep your lips sealed, your tongues will wag too freely with high-sounding talk, and you will unwittingly offend the disposition of God and fall into the darkness, losing the presence of the Holy Spirit and the light. Because you are unprincipled in your actions, because you do and say that which you should not, you shall receive a fitting retribution. You should know that though you are unprincipled in word and deed, God is highly principled in both. The reason you receive retribution is because you have offended God, not a person. If, in your life, you commit many offenses against the disposition of God, then you are bound to become a child of hell. To man it may appear that you have only committed a few deeds that are at odds with the truth, and nothing more. Are you aware, however, that in the eyes of God you are already someone for whom there is no more sin offering? Because you have violated the administrative decrees of God more than once and have, moreover, shown no sign of repentance, there is no other recourse but for you to plunge into hell, where God punishes man. A small number of people, while following God, committed some deeds that violated principles, but after being dealt with and given guidance, they gradually discovered their own corruption, thereafter entered on the right track of reality, and they remain well-grounded today. Such people are those who shall remain in the end. Nevertheless, it is the honest that I seek; if you are an honest person and someone who acts according to principle, then you can be a confidant of God. If in your actions you do not offend the disposition of God, and seek the will of God, and have a God-fearing heart, then your faith is up to the standard. Whoever does not fear God and does not have a heart that trembles in horror is highly likely to violate the administrative decrees of God. Many serve God on the strength of their passion but have no understanding of the administrative decrees of God, still less any inkling of the implications of His words. And so, with their good intentions, they often wind up doing things that disturb God’s management. In serious cases, they are thrown out, deprived of any further chance of following Him, and are cast into hell, all association with God’s house at an end.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Three Admonitions
Every sentence I have spoken contains within it the disposition of God. You would do well to ponder My words carefully, and you will surely profit greatly from them. The essence of God is very difficult to grasp, but I trust that you all have at least some idea about the disposition of God. I hope, then, that you will have more to show Me of things you have done that do not offend the disposition of God. Then will I be reassured. For example, keep God in your heart at all times. When you act, do so according to His words. Seek out His intentions in all things, and refrain from doing that which disrespects and dishonors God. Even less should you put God in the back of your mind to fill the future void in your heart. If you do this, you will have offended the disposition of God. Again, supposing you never make blasphemous remarks or complaints against God throughout your life, and again, supposing you are able to discharge properly all that He has entrusted to you and also to submit to all His words throughout your life, then you will have avoided transgressing against the administrative decrees. For example, if you have ever said, “Why do I not think that He is God?” “I think that these words are nothing more than some enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,” “In my opinion, not everything God does is necessarily right,” “The humanity of God is not superior to mine,” “The words of God are simply not believable,” or other such judgmental remarks, then I exhort you to confess and repent your sins more often. Otherwise, you will never have a chance at forgiveness, for you offend not a man, but God Himself. You may believe that you are judging a man, but the Spirit of God does not consider it that way. Your disrespect of His flesh is equal to disrespecting Him. This being so, have you not offended God’s disposition? You must remember that all that is done by the Spirit of God is done in order to safeguard His work in the flesh and in order that this work be done well. If you neglect this, then I say that you are someone who will never be able to succeed in believing in God. For you have provoked the wrath of God, and so He shall use fitting punishment to teach you a lesson.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition
Though God’s essence contains an element of love, and He is merciful toward each and every person, people have overlooked and forgotten the fact that His essence is one of dignity as well. That He has love does not mean that people can offend Him freely, without inciting in Him feelings or a reaction, nor does the fact that He has mercy mean that He has no principles in how He treats people. God is alive; He genuinely exists. He is neither an imagined puppet nor any other object. Given that He does exist, we should carefully listen to the voice of His heart at all times, pay close attention to His attitude, and come to understand His feelings. We should not use human imaginings to define God, nor should we impose human thoughts or wishes on Him, making God treat people in a human manner based on human imaginings. If you do this, then you are angering God, tempting His wrath, and challenging His dignity! Thus, once you have come to understand the severity of this matter, I urge each and every one of you to be cautious and prudent in your actions. Be cautious and prudent in your speech, as well—with regard to how you treat God, the more cautious and prudent you are, the better! When you do not understand what God’s attitude is, refrain from speaking carelessly, do not be careless in your actions, and do not apply labels casually. Even more importantly, do not come to any arbitrary conclusions. Instead, you should wait and seek; these actions, too, are an expression of fearing God and shunning evil. Above all else, if you can achieve this, and above all else, if you possess this attitude, then God will not blame you for your stupidity, ignorance, and lack of understanding of the reasons behind things. Rather, owing to your attitude of fear of offending God, respect for His intentions, and willingness to obey Him, God will remember you, guide and enlighten you, or tolerate your immaturity and ignorance. Conversely, should your attitude toward Him be irreverent—judging Him as you wish or arbitrarily guessing at and defining His ideas—God will condemn you, discipline you, and even punish you; or, He might offer comment on you. Perhaps this comment will involve your outcome. Therefore, I wish to emphasize once more: Each of you should be cautious and prudent about everything that comes from God. Do not speak carelessly, and do not be careless in your actions. Before you say anything, you should stop and think: Would this action of mine anger God? In doing it, am I fearing God? Even in simple matters, you should try to figure these questions out, and spend more time considering them. If you can truly practice according to these principles in all aspects, in all things, at all times, and adopt such an attitude especially when you do not understand something, then God will always guide you and provide you with a path to follow. No matter what sort of show people put on, God sees them quite clearly and plainly, and He will offer an accurate and appropriate evaluation of these displays of yours. After you have undergone the final trial, God will take all of your behavior and sum it up completely in order to determine your outcome. This result will convince every single person beyond the shadow of a doubt. What I would like to tell you here is this: Your every deed, your every action, and your every thought decide your fate.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
God is a living God, and just as people behave differently in different situations, His attitude toward these behaviors differs because He is neither a puppet nor is He a bunch of empty air. Getting to know God’s attitude is a worthy pursuit for humankind. People should learn how, by knowing God’s attitude, they can little by little attain knowledge of God’s disposition and come to understand His heart. When you gradually come to understand God’s heart, you will not feel that fearing Him and shunning evil is such a difficult thing to accomplish. Moreover, when you do understand God, you will not be as likely to draw conclusions about Him. Once you have stopped drawing conclusions about God, you will be less likely to offend Him, and without your realizing it, God will lead you to gain knowledge of Him; this will fill your heart with fear of Him. You will then stop defining God by way of the doctrines, words, and theories you have mastered. Instead, by constantly seeking out God’s intentions in all things, you will unconsciously become a person who is after God’s heart.
God’s work is unseen and untouchable by humans, but as far as He is concerned, the actions of each and every person—along with their attitude toward Him—are not merely perceptible by God, but visible to Him as well. This is something that everyone should recognize and be very clear about. You might always be asking yourself, “Does God know what I’m doing here? Does He know what I’m thinking about right now? Maybe He does, and maybe He doesn’t.” If you adopt this sort of viewpoint, following and believing in God yet doubting His work and His existence, then sooner or later there will come a day when you will arouse His anger, for you are already teetering on the edge of a dangerous precipice. I have seen people who have believed in God for many years, yet who still have not gained the truth reality, much less understood God’s will. These people make no progress in their lives and statures, adhering only to the shallowest of doctrines. This is because such people have never taken God’s word to be life itself, and they have never faced up to and accepted His existence. Do you think that upon seeing such people, God is filled with enjoyment? Do they comfort Him? Thus, it is how people believe in God that decides their fate. Concerning how people seek and how people approach God, people’s attitudes are of primary importance. Do not neglect God like He is just a bunch of empty air floating around in the back of your head; always think of the God you believe in as a living God, a real God. He is not sitting around up there in the third heaven with nothing to do. Rather, He is constantly looking into everyone’s heart, observing what you are up to, watching your every little word and every little deed, watching how you behave and seeing what your attitude toward Him is. Whether you are willing to give yourself to God or not, all of your behavior and your innermost thoughts and ideas are laid bare before Him and being looked upon by Him. Due to your behavior, due to your deeds, and due to your attitude toward Him, God’s opinion of you and His attitude toward you are constantly changing. I would like to offer some advice to some people: Do not place yourselves like infants in the hands of God, as if He should dote on you, as if He could never leave you, and as if His attitude toward you were fixed and could never change, and I advise you to quit dreaming! God is righteous in His treatment of each and every person, and He is earnest in His approach to the work of conquering and saving people. This is His management. He treats every single person seriously, and not like a pet to play with. God’s love for humans is not the pampering or spoiling kind, nor are His mercy and tolerance toward humankind indulgent or unmindful. On the contrary, God’s love for humans involves cherishing, pitying, and respecting life; His mercy and tolerance convey His expectations of them, and are what humanity needs to survive. God is alive, and God actually exists; His attitude toward humankind is principled, not at all a pack of dogmatic rules, and it can change. His intentions for humanity are gradually changing and transforming with time, depending on circumstances as they arise, and along with the attitude of each and every person. Therefore, you should know in your heart with absolute clarity that the essence of God is immutable, and that His disposition will issue forth at different times and in different contexts. You might not think that this is a serious matter, and you might use your own personal notions to imagine how God should do things. However, there are times when the polar opposite of your viewpoint is true, and by using your own personal notions to attempt to gauge God, you have already angered Him. This is because God does not operate the way you think He does, nor will He treat this matter like you say He will. Thus, I remind you to be careful and prudent in your approach to everything around you, and learn how to follow the principle of walking in God’s way in all things, which is to fear God and shun evil. You must develop a firm understanding with regard to the matters of God’s will and God’s attitude, you must find enlightened people to communicate these matters to you, and you must seek in earnest. Do not view the God of your belief as a puppet—judging Him at will, arriving at arbitrary conclusions about Him, and not treating Him with the respect He deserves. While God is bringing you salvation and determining your outcome, He may grant you mercy, or tolerance, or judgment and chastisement, but in any case, His attitude toward you is not fixed. It is dependent on your own attitude toward Him, as well as your understanding of Him. Do not allow one passing aspect of your knowledge or understanding of God to define Him in perpetuity. Do not believe in a dead God; believe in the living One. Remember this! Though I have discussed some truths here—truths you needed to hear—in light of your present state and present stature, I will not make any greater demands of you for now, so as not to sap your enthusiasm. Doing so could fill your hearts with too much bleakness and make you feel too much disappointment toward God. Instead, I hope you can use a God-loving heart and employ a respectful attitude toward God when walking the path that lies ahead. Do not muddle through this matter of how to believe in God; treat it as one of the biggest issues there is. Place it in your heart, put it into practice, and connect it with real life; do not just pay it lip service—for this is a matter of life and death, and one that will determine your destiny. Do not treat it like a joke or child’s play!
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
Is God As Simple As You Say?