Chapter 15. Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” (III)
All of God Incarnate’s Work and Words Are for Mankind to Gain the Truth and Know God
“In the Age of Kingdom, God became flesh again, in the same way He did the first time. During this period of work, God still unreservedly expresses His word, does the work He should be doing, and expresses what He has and is. At the same time, He continues to endure and tolerate man’s disobedience and ignorance. Doesn’t God continuously reveal His disposition and express His will during this period of work too? Therefore, from the creation of man until now, God’s disposition, His being and possessions, and His will, have always been open to every person. God has never deliberately hidden His essence, His disposition, or His will. It’s just that mankind doesn’t care about what God is doing, what His will is—that’s why man’s understanding of God is so pitiful. In other words, while God conceals His person, He is also standing by mankind at every moment, openly projecting His will, disposition, and essence at all times. In a sense, God’s person is also open to people, but due to man’s blindness and disobedience, they are always unable to see God’s appearance. So if that is the case, then shouldn’t understanding God’s disposition and God Himself be easy for everyone? That is a very difficult question to answer, right? You can say it’s easy, but while some people seek to know God, they can’t really get to know Him or get a clear understanding of Him—it’s always hazy and vague. But if you say it’s not easy, that’s not correct either. Having been the subject of God’s work for so long, everyone should, through their experiences, have had genuine dealings with God. They should at least have sensed God to some extent in their hearts or previously collided with God on a spiritual level, and so they should at least have some emotional awareness of God’s disposition or gained some understanding of Him. From the time man began to follow God until now, mankind has received far too much, but due to all sorts of reasons—man’s poor caliber, ignorance, rebelliousness, and various intentions—mankind has also lost too much of it. Has God not already given mankind enough? Though God hides His person from humans, He supplies them with what He has and is, and even His life; humanity’s knowledge of God should not only be what it is now. That is why I think it is necessary to further fellowship with you about the topic of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. The purpose is so that the thousands of years of care and thought God has poured into man does not end up in vain, and so that mankind can genuinely understand and appreciate God’s will toward them. It is so people can move forward onto a new step in their knowledge of God. It will also return God to His rightful place in people’s hearts, that is, to do Him justice.”
Quite a few things are discussed in this passage from God’s words. The first is how God in the flesh works, how His disposition is expressed, and how He expresses what He has and is. It is mentioned here that while God works in the flesh, He “still unreservedly expresses His word, does the work He should be doing, and expresses what He has and is.” This sentence is an expression of one issue: Regardless of in what age God becomes flesh, regardless of the gender of His fleshly body, His way of working is the same. How did the Lord Jesus work when He came in the Age of Grace? One aspect was the work of words; no matter what happened or what the context was, He said whatever He wanted to. He expressed His opinions, what He has and is, and His disposition within the context of the time without any reservations. What was God’s goal in working that way? What fruit did it bear? This touches upon another issue. What issue is that? God in the flesh utters words at any time, in any place regarding issues He encounters and within a certain context—He expresses what He has and is. Through what He has expressed mankind can come to know God. Isn’t this God’s will? (It is.) What’s the purpose of God in the flesh living among mankind, doing His work, and expressing His words in that way? Did He just speak and go around on His own and that was it? Wasn’t the goal to have people see Him, come into contact with Him, know Him, and in the end have them gain Him, follow Him, obey Him, and worship Him? This is God’s will. By working this way, no matter what kind of issue He encounters or what the context is, He can express His words without reservation. He can express His truths—the truths that mankind should understand and gain. Is this method beneficial for man gaining the truth and knowing God? It is the best way, the best path. People need to see Him, and they need to encounter Him. Corrupt humanity has been living for thousands of years and people have rarely seen God incarnate living amongst mankind. They have all seen those devils and all sorts of corrupt people doing things amongst mankind. They make speeches to have people follow them, and then they start an uprising and have a revolution to topple the regime of the time. Different spirits do different things! Revolutionaries come along and give speeches; scholars come along and write books with their theories; some come along who try to cultivate immortality. They prepare collections of Buddhist and Daoist scriptures for people to read, have them learn religious exercises and practice asceticism. Christ came and spoke, expressed what He has and is, revealed what He has and is, letting people see and know this. What is different about Christ from those devils of the world? What is different about His disposition? What is different in how He does things, and in His principles? Do you have discernment on this? (Dispositionally, God is humble and hidden, but those demons and evil spirits come to show, exalt, and bear witness to themselves.) This is the starkest difference. God’s disposition is different from that of evil demons. Their dispositions are incredibly arrogant, self-righteous, and lawless; they look down on everyone else, and coerce people into following and obeying them. When Christ comes He is humble and hidden, and He does not show Himself off. You see, how many people are with Christ when He speaks, and how many people are around the devils when they speak? They hold large speeches and give speeches in the streets; they go all over the place, and go everywhere trying to garner support. When Confucius came, he traveled to various states within China to garner support for himself, hoping to conquer those states’ kings so that they would be obedient under his authority, people would worship him, and he would be lord under the heavens. Isn’t that incredibly arrogant? When Christ came, did He call on people to follow Him? Did He go to crowded places to give speeches? Did He show off in front of people? He didn’t. When God became flesh, His words, disposition, character, humanity, conscience, and reason—every aspect—were all blameless and admirable. That is truly normal humanity! I wrote a song, “The Humble and Hidden God Is so Lovable.” At that time, I had that little bit of understanding through my haze, so I wrote “so lovable.” What makes Him lovable? I saw that I am arrogant, self-righteous, and self-important, while Christ is the truth yet is so humble and hidden—God is so lovable! However, I did not have a deep understanding. Now when I think of these words I possess some new light. When I see this, I feel that I am a demon of Satan. This is how great the difference is between God and corrupt humanity—as different as heaven and earth! Why does God require that humans have a change in disposition? Because you are corrupt people! How can you be so arrogant and self-assured? Christ is the way, the truth, and the life but is yet humble and hidden without a bit of arrogance or self-righteousness, and He does not show off at all. Throughout the entire world, just this one aspect of being lovable has only been possessed by Christ from the start of humanity until now. Put this way, do you think this is true? (Yes.) Let’s take another example from God’s work in the Age of Grace. The people who followed the Lord Jesus at the time asked Him quite a few questions; they asked Him about many things. One of the things they inquired about was this: “Was the work in the Age of Law done by Moses, by Jehovah, or by You?” How did the Lord Jesus respond? Obviously, it was He who did it, enlightening, illuminating, and with dominion over Moses, but He still said “Moses did it.” He didn’t show off—He was humble and hidden. Have you seen God’s disposition within this? If we had that kind of position what would we say? “It was Me who did it; I just did it by galvanizing Moses and had him act under My dominion. At its root I was the one who did it.” That’s definitely what we would say, right? Does saying this count as incorrect? (No.) It’s not wrong and it’s in line with the facts, but that’s not what God said. This is very compelling for people! Is there any truth in this that can be sought? Does this contain some of what God has and is? Is there any of God’s disposition that can be known from this? (Yes.) So now do you have a bit more of a path for how to eat and drink God’s words and how to seek the truth? If you cannot be awakened in this, it is because of your foolishness and ignorance. If you are very foolish and ignorant, no matter how much of His disposition God reveals in front of you and how much of the truth He expresses, you cannot gain it. You are foolish and ignorant, you are lacking in caliber, and you have lost too much. There’s another very interesting thing. The Lord Jesus’ disciples surrounded Him and asked: “We beg You to allow us to see the Father.” What did the Lord Jesus say? (“I am in the Father, and the Father in Me …” (Jhn 14:10).) Based on our human way of thinking, we would certainly respond: “The Father is I and I am the Father. Can’t you see that?” Would that kind of response be wrong? (No.) That response would be very concise, so why didn’t He say that? What is this issue here? God did not present Himself according to His status, He did not bear witness to Himself or show off; He just made that one tactful statement. If it had been any of us, we certainly would have said something very clarifying, very incisive and concise. This is a different kind of disposition! Have you seen God’s disposition and loveliness from this? (Yes.) We would believe that if He had said that way, it would be entirely reasonable and not come from arrogance at all, and that if it had been any of us, we would have said it that way. Would you say that we as human beings have a problem? This problem is so serious, and the consequences are unthinkable. Our dispositional change is still so limited—we have a long way to go! With my current stature, if I were to have another hundred years of experience what would I be living out? Compared to Christ, the difference would be as great as heaven and earth! One lifetime or two lifetimes of experience could not get us to what Christ has and is, what God has and is, and even with all of eternity our experience could not get us there. That is what the life of God is! Why is it said that God’s disposition and His life are unsurpassably beautiful and wonderful? There are no words for it! It cannot be explained in just a few words: “There isn’t the slightest arrogance or the slightest self-righteousness.” Can it be described with these few simple words? It’s so much better, so much more beautiful than what we describe here! It is worthy of praise and glory!
Would you say that it’s meaningful to seek the truth and seek what God’s life is? It is so meaningful! Now, the more we have this kind of fellowship on God’s words and the truth, the truer our understanding is of God’s beauty, benevolence, and loveliness. Once we know that God’s disposition is so lovely and beautiful, we prostrate ourselves in admiration, we have nowhere to hide; we feel that our own dispositions are too corrupt, that we truly are Satans, and lack any semblance of a human. Isn’t it meaningful to seek life? Living out our natural corruption—arrogance, self-righteousness, self-importance—haven’t you felt how nauseating this is? (We’ve felt it.) When you feel it, you really hate and despise yourself. You don’t trust yourself, so it becomes easy to deny and forsake yourself. We’ve experienced the work of God for so long and we have barely gained a certain understanding of His heart and His pain. We have a taste of it. Isn’t this very obtuse of us? We’ve been believers all these years but have only now gotten a hint of the meaning of these words—that’s so obtuse! God does His work this way, step by step, so that you may experience it step by step and so that you may awaken one small step at a time. It is to have you become conscious bit by bit, word by word; it is to have you experience it and feel it word by word. One day in your awakening consciousness, when you truly become aware of God’s earnest intentions, when God’s heart is in pain, when He is bleeding and crying, take another look at what words God used and how He used them. At that time you will see: Oh! God’s disposition is so mighty, so worthy of mankind’s love; His image is so beautiful and His earnest intentions were hidden within that wording! Generally, when someone just reads the words they are unable to really see that. It comes from experience, and without experience, no matter what you understand of the literature and the literal meaning, it is not enough. You cannot awaken to God’s will.
In which aspects can we see what was just read? “At the same time, He continues to endure and tolerate man’s disobedience and ignorance.” Some say: “God saying this means He is definitely being tolerant.” Have you seen it? Have you had a taste of it? You can’t just acknowledge these words. You must experience them; you must see them. For example, ask a child: “Do you understand what’s in your parents’ hearts?” They will say, “I understand. Sometimes they are tolerant and forgiving!” How can you see that? Any ordinary person would lose their temper and get angry with you, but your parents can force themselves to keep it in check, to be gentle with you, and to smile at you, even though it’s not a natural smile, but is forced. Sometimes they smile at you through their tears so that you won’t be weak or angry anymore. Have you had a taste of this kind of heart within God? Reading these words, you understand and know that this is the way it is, but have you really gotten a taste of it? If not, what kind of problem is that? It’s that you haven’t really paid attention, that you don’t focus on grasping God’s will, you don’t focus on seeking the truth, and you don’t focus on seeking an understanding of Him. This means that you’re simply not interested in God.
Reading further, we see: “Doesn’t God continuously reveal His disposition and express His will during this period of work too?” Is this something that you are able to see? If you’re not careful, you won’t see it. We must be attentive to God’s every move, and ideally have some understanding of God’s every thought and idea; this is the way for you to more quickly know God. If you never take this issue to heart, how could you possibly know God? There will be no way for you to know God if you do not take His utterances, His thoughts and ideas, and what He reveals to heart; if you cannot know God, will you be able to gain the truth? Can you be saved? Knowing God is related to being saved and to gaining the truth, and it is directly related to ultimately living out the likeness of a true human being and living a meaningful life. In fact, this is what it’s for. Knowing God is the most meaningful thing, and this meaning far surpasses our own thoughts or requests. What does it mean when someone treats knowing God and pursuing the truth as an ordinary thing? It means they have no idea what the truth is; they don’t know that the truth is a treasure, and don’t know to gain life. Why has God expressed these words in the last days? What has God come to do? God Himself has come to work man and perfect man. Put in the simplest terms, God uses His work and utterances of the last days to bestow life on people, to have these words become the life inside of a group of people. This group of people are those God personally uses His words to perfect, the ones He is bestowing with new life. This new life is eternal life. If you gain this new life bestowed by God, then you gain eternal life. This is the most important work of God throughout the entire history of mankind, and it can also be said that it is the most blessed critical moment in history! God has come to utter words to bestow life on man, and these words are expressed through God in the flesh so that people may encounter, see, know, and follow Him, then ultimately be gained and perfected by Him. After completing this group of people, God will annihilate the people of this world.
What’s most critical in one’s experience of God’s work? It’s learning how to get a sense of God’s will from His words, knowing what God has and is, knowing His disposition, seeing what of what God has and is resides within His words, and what kind of disposition He expresses, which allow us to reflect on ourselves and gain the truth. One aspect is gaining the truth, reflecting on ourselves, and casting off our satanic corruption; another aspect is to have us conduct ourselves according to the principles of the truth. Ultimately, if we are able to live out little bits and pieces of what God has and is, or even live out 1% or 0.1% of what He has and is, God will rejoice. Only if you have this in your heart and you have this kind of will to pursue the truth can you be perfected by God. When you perform your duty, if you are always arrogant and self-righteous, if you always uphold your own ideas and have others listen to you and you don’t listen to God’s words or obey Him, is this appropriate? What kind of person is that? Isn’t that someone who is taking the path of an antichrist? If you would have other people listen to you, you must be obedient to God and you must possess the truth. If you have a little bit of the reality of the truth, if your words are correct and in line with the truth, should you push others into accepting you? There’s no reason in that. All we can do is have fellowship on the truth and get people to understand. Whether it is accepted or not is others’ affair; we are not qualified to force anyone. We were just having fellowship on what Christ has and is, right? He is the embodiment of God the Father, but some people asked: “Where is the Father? Show Him to me.” He did not say: “I am the Father and the Father is Me.” Instead, He said: “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me …” This is such a skillful thing to say; God really is humble and hidden. He does not have an ounce of arrogance or self-righteousness—He is so lovely! As soon as we see these words we repent ourselves and we are very ashamed. What God has and is is so beautiful. When we place importance on that reasoning and uphold that concept, even if what we uphold is the right thing and is in line with the truth, what we reveal is arrogance, which is still a satanic disposition and is not worth praising—it’s not worthy! It is what God has and is, and His disposition that are so beautiful. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and what He expresses is what God has and is. Why is it that He isn’t remotely self-righteous? We are not the way, the truth, or the life, and we possess little of the reality of the truth, yet we are still so arrogant and self-righteous. How can this compare to God? Compared to Christ this is terribly shameful and there is nowhere to hide—it’s a difference as great as heaven and earth! Would you say that being arrogant and self-righteous is good? If someone is arrogant with good reason, if they are correct in their arrogance, is that a good thing? Even if they’re right it’s still not good, it’s still shameful. That disposition is shameful and despicable; it is detestable and disgusting to people! If people truly recognize their own satanic disposition of being arrogant and self-righteous they will feel they have nowhere to hide and are not worthy of living in front of God! When will we be able to live out God’s disposition? God’s humility and hiddenness are so lovely. He is not arrogant or self-righteous when it is the truth or is in line with the truth, nor does He insist on His own ideas. He is able to put Himself aside and obey others. This is the most beautiful kind of life. Do you admire God’s humble and hidden life? (Yes.) This is such a beautiful life. Why do I say that it’s so beautiful, so lovely? What is its beauty? What is its loveliness? Why aren’t arrogance and self-righteousness lovely, but are instead detestable, hated, and disgusting? Can you fully understand this? Isn’t there truth in here that can be sought? Are there mysteries? Those who seek the truth should put some effort into this.
In our current cooperation between brothers and sisters, we are always insisting on our own ideas and focusing on getting others to listen to what we say. Is that a good disposition? If what you’ve said is right and is in line with the truth, from what perspective should you say these things? What kind of tone should you use to have people hear them and find them appropriate, reasonable, and to be comfortable with them? Is this worth exploring? (Yes.) When you believe that your perspective is right, what is your attitude when you speak? You say: “I’ve really seen through this issue; what I have to say is definitely in line with the truth. Now I’m going to share it with you very earnestly, and I hope you accept it.” Is that a good way to speak? Or, you could say this: “I’ve been considering this issue for a long time and I’ve prayed about it many times. In the end, it has proven what I think. It is entirely in line with the truth, and now I’m going to officially share it in fellowship with all of you.” Is that an appropriate thing to say? (It’s not.) Saying it has been proven after praying many times, and then officially sharing it in fellowship with you isn’t appropriate? Doesn’t it show that it is something in line with the truth and God’s will? Why isn’t that appropriate? Does anyone think that it is? You can’t see through this? This presentation, this perspective is representative of an incorrect disposition—arrogance and self-righteousness! First you’re too self-assured. If you think, pray, and deliberate over something on your own, can you dare be certain that you’re right? Have you verified it through the Holy Spirit? Have you verified it through Christ? Do you dare be certain that you’re right? Isn’t this still being arrogant and self-righteous? Isn’t that where your error lies? (Yes.) Then what would be the appropriate thing to say? What could you say so that it seems reasonable to others? You say: “I’ve prayed a number of times and given this a lot of thought. It seems there aren’t any issues with this, but I can’t guarantee that; it would be best for everyone to have fellowship on this. I can’t dare say that just one person’s viewpoint is correct and there’s no way to prove it, so I will believe the group, and not just myself.” Is this a good way to put it? Saying this has reason, and this is a good method of practice. You believe that it’s right, that it’s accurate, and you are certain there are no errors. Is that reliable? It’s not. Remember, no matter how right you think it is, it’s not reliable. What does it have to undergo to be seen as reliable? It must be verified by the Holy Spirit a number of times. It must gain the clear verification of the Holy Spirit, and it must undergo the proof of many experiences. After that, ideally it should be verified by a few people who understand the truth, and only then can it be considered to be verified as correct. And even if it has been verified as correct, in what kind of tone should it be presented? Should it be with an arrogant and self-righteous disposition? Even if you know that it’s correct, it can’t be presented with that kind of disposition. We have just seen that attitude that God in the flesh has in His words. In people’s eyes, He would have been very correct if He had said it that way. However, He did not put it that way. Only God’s disposition is beautiful. Even when we think of ourselves as right, we cannot say that, and we cannot have a satanic self-assured disposition. Through gradual experience you will gain a foothold, have a path, and slowly resolve your arrogance and self-righteousness.