Some people, because of their poor caliber, are powerless in pursuing the truth. Some people are of suitable caliber, but they dislike the truth and love fleshly enjoyments. Their preoccupation with the search for a partner or daily life causes them to waste or ruin the best times of their lives. Some people are eager to preach the gospel and sacrifice for God, but are then suddenly spotted by the great red dragon; they become wanted and cannot return home. In that case, they should stay at a brother or sister’s house or perform their duties in God’s house. After experiencing this for a few years, they grow to truly understand some truth and make some progress. Therefore, the hardships they suffered were not in vain. The environment was what made them unable to return home. This negative has therefore been turned into a positive. Then what do some people say? They say, “See, he’s become well-known for his faith in God. Even the government is trying to arrest him. We haven’t become well-known for our faith. The government isn’t after us. Our way of believing is better and smarter. It involves less hardship!” What’s the result? They don’t do their duty and definitely don’t forsake everything else. They believe in God for ten to twenty years and obtain nothing. They do not suffer any hardships and obtain nothing. Is there any benefit to this? There’s no benefit at all. Not having the truth is the biggest loss of all. Someone says, “It didn’t disrupt my personal life and I was not arrested or imprisoned. This is a much better way.” Better? His “better” life has ruined him. He obtained nothing. When the great disasters come, he will die. That is his “benefit.” The “benefit” you get from believing in God for many years but not experiencing His work or His words and not focusing on pursuing the truth is to die and be destroyed during the great disasters. The ones who forsake everything else for God and endure many hardships are pursued by the government. They are unable to return home and enjoy the happiness of family life. The hardships they endure enable them to perform their duties and understand the truth. When the great disasters occur, they’ll survive. Instead of dying, they’ll gain life. What do we mean by gain? What do we mean by loss? How do we view “gaining something” and “losing something”? Everyone has a different opinion. Some people like the benefits they obtain from the flesh. Some people like obtaining life, regardless of the hardships they endure in the process. Obtaining truth and life is the most important thing. No matter how many hardships you endure, if you gain life, you have won, you have made it. A person with this attitude is a wise person. Some people find a spouse, then divorce; they find a job, then resign. They say, “I’ve forsaken so many things, if I don’t obtain the truth from my faith in God, it’ll be a huge loss for me. Therefore, I must pursue the truth.” If, by pursuing the truth, you one day grow to know God, your perspectives change, your life disposition changes, you no longer lie or cheat, then you’ll say, “I really am totally different than before. Have I obtained life, have I had the truth as my life? I seek the truth in everything I do and do everything according to principle. My life is now becoming more and more liberated. Have I obtained the truth, have I obtained life? In this case, my sacrifices all these years, the hardships I’ve endured, it’s all been worth it!” People with peace and joy in their hearts who feel a great sense of comfort, aren’t they the most blessed people of all? All of humanity is asking the same question, “What is the meaning of life?” Is it the enjoyment of the flesh? Or is it to live for obtaining the truth and life? What exactly do we live for? Some people are looking for a partner; they want to get married and have children. This is living for children; it isn’t living for the truth. Some people live for money. Earning money comes first; enjoyment comes second. They earn money and just put it all in bags. They love to count it every day in their spare time. They are living for money. In the end, they earn a lot of money, but they die having never enjoyed life. When they’re near death, someone asks them if they want to see their money again and count it again. They vigorously shake their head. It is useless, empty. If you do not have life, it doesn’t matter how much money you have; it’s still useless. Are these people not pitiful? Some people nearing death are penniless but know God. They have done many good deeds in their lives. Their hearts are happy. Their lives have not been in vain. When they die, they will go to a good place, so their hearts are comforted. They say, “I have never done a wicked deed in my life. I’ve acted on my good conscience. When I return to the spiritual realm, I will not suffer many hardships.” Still other people have had many good enjoyments of the flesh, but will still do anything for their own benefit. They’ve committed many evil acts. When these people near death, their hearts are afraid; they feel blamed and accused. They cry a river of tears! What do these people get? Do their lives have meaning? They get curses and regret! The hearts of these lowlifes should not be comforted in the face of death. Everyone has a different attitude toward life. We who pursue the truth view obtaining the truth and Christ as the most precious thing of all. Not only do we obtain the truths expressed by Christ, but we also become compatible with Christ. We become able to worship and obey Christ. We become loyal to Him; we become witnesses for Him and compatible with Him. This is the greatest blessing we obtain. We do not have any conceptions or misunderstandings about Christ. We are compatible with Him and obey Him completely. How much peace and joy should that bring to our hearts? You see, there are many people who believe in Christ, but their hearts aren’t compatible with Christ. They always have conceptions; they’re always disobedient. Are there barriers between their hearts and Christ? It is this barrier that’s the problem. This barrier is trouble. It proves that your disposition has not changed and that you do not know God. It’s this conception, this misunderstanding that is so troublesome. In the end, if you lose, this is where you’ll have lost. If you fail, this is where you’ll have failed. Therefore, by no means is this a small problem. “If you lose, this is where you’ll have lost. If you fail, this is where you’ll have failed.” Store these words in your heart. Think about them. No matter what, if you do not learn to know God by experiencing His work, this is your greatest failure as a believer.
Someone said, “What does it mean to know God? I understand so much spiritual doctrine. I can speak about so much of that doctrine. Does that mean I know God?” There are other people who say, “I have forsaken everything for God. I’ve paid such a high price to follow Him. Doesn’t that mean I know Him? How else could I put my family, my job, my whole world aside to follow God? If this is not what it means to know God, what is? I did all of this because I know God.” This is something that must be clarified. Many people get stuck here. They think, “If I don’t know God, what have I given up everything for? My knowledge of God is confirmed by my actions. Who would give up everything if they didn’t know God? Can you find someone like that for me?” The fact that they forsake things is evidence that they are certain of God. Who would give up everything if they didn’t identify God? But does being certain of God mean you know God? What does it mean to be certain of God? It means that you have true faith. If you didn’t have true faith, you wouldn’t forsake everything else. That is an undeniable fact. However, even if someone can forsake everything, does that mean they truly know God? Does the fact that they can forsake everything mean they truly obey God? This is another matter entirely. You see, there are many people who forsake everything else but still answer the dealing and pruning with their own conceptions. They cannot completely accept it. They have internal conflicts with God. There are other people who forsake everything else but do not do their duties effectively; that is, they do not act on principle of truth at all. Most of these people do not get along well with others. They do as they please, and other people do not approve of their actions. These kinds of situations are quite common, right? Almost everyone here has, right? You can’t coordinate with others harmoniously; you don’t perform your duty according to principle; you’re not loyal to God. Still some people never seek the truth when they encounter difficulties. Instead they rely on their own ideas and conceptions to just do things willfully. What does this all mean? At the very least, it means that people’s current understanding of the truth is too shallow and cannot reach a level where they act on principle. If we go a bit deeper, we can say that although you have true faith, you do not truly know God. This is like Job, whose true faith in God had earned him God’s praise, but who didn’t really know God. Peter truly knew God. This is something we know from God’s praise, not humans’ flattery. He had true testimonies. In the end, he was crucified upside down for God. That is what it means to truly repay God’s love. “God was crucified for me. So I will be crucified for Him upside down.” Having true faith in God does not mean you truly know God, and it certainly doesn’t mean you have obtained the truth. Even though people follow God, forsake everything and perform their duty, this doesn’t mean the performance of their duties is up to standard. These distinctions must be made clear. We cannot mix things up. We can’t rely on our own conceptions and imaginations. We can’t think, “The fact that I forsake everything else for God means that I have true faith in Him. Having true faith in God means that I know God somewhat. If I didn’t know God, I wouldn’t have real faith in God.” You know God a little, but your knowledge is shallow. You do not know God’s disposition and essence. Your shallow understanding can only produce faith; it cannot produce true love, and it definitely cannot produce true obedience. Now we can forsake everything to follow God. We can perform our duties as God’s creations. This is only evidence of our true faith; it doesn’t mean we know God. It certainly doesn’t mean our life disposition has changed and we’ve truly become witnesses to God.
God’s words say, “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God.” What does “bear testimony” mean? First, it refers to all the duties we perform. That is what it means to bear witness to God. Second, it refers to bearing witness to God’s work, communicating the truth, talking about our true experiences, using our experiences to allow people to know and return to God. Things like preaching the gospel to others, writing articles bearing witness to God, talking about your own experiences bearing witness to God in the church, these are all ways you can bear witness to God. Everything we are doing can be said to be related to bearing witness to God. Whether we do this well or not, whether our witness is up to standard or not, this depends on how well we know God. If we have enough knowledge of God, our true knowledge becomes life and motivation for life and allows us to bear witness to God. This is what God means when He says, “His word becomes man’s faith, His word becomes man’s love.” When His word becomes our faith and love, then we are true witnesses. If we want to pursue a knowledge of God, what do we have to focus on? We must focus on implementing and experiencing the word of God. This is the most fundamental task! God’s words say, “If man cannot receive the visions, then he cannot receive the new work of God, and if man cannot obey God’s new work, then man is incapable of understanding God’s will, and so his knowledge of God amounts to nothing.” If you cannot even receive God’s new work, then you do not understand God’s will. God wants you to accept His new work. What does it mean to accept God’s new work? God intends to purify you and make you perfect, so that you can cleanse yourselves of your corruption and truly break free of Satan’s influence. If you cannot get rid of your corruption, you are not free of Satan’s influence; you live in the satanic corrupt disposition; you belong to Satan. Now what specific problem is God trying to solve with His new work? He’s trying to solve humanity’s corruption. People who don’t accept God’s new work do not know God at all, not in the slightest. Therefore, whether you’re a pastor, elder or preacher, if you do not accept God’s work in the last days, the knowledge of God you speak about is not grounded; it’s just empty, vacuous speech. It can be said that you do not know God at all. We are experiencing God’s work now. If we want to really know God, we must practice God’s words!
God’s word says: “Before man carries out the words of God, he must know the words of God, that is, understand God’s will; only in this way can God’s words be carried out accurately and according to God’s heart. This must be possessed by everyone who seeks the truth, and is the process that must be experienced by everyone who tries to know God.” Later on it continues, “The process of knowing the words of God is the process of knowing God.” Is this sentence important? It’s incredibly important. “The process of knowing the words of God is the process of knowing God, and also the process of knowing the work of God. And so, knowing the visions not only refers to knowing the humanity of God incarnate, but also includes knowing the words and work of God.” If you do not know God’s words and work, you cannot know God. Now there are some people for whom, the more they read God’s words, the more they understand them and the more precious they think they are. What is this feeling they have? They have matured and made progress. They understand how precious the word of God is. They are focusing on the truth. For some people, the more they believe in God, the more they cherish His words; the more they read His words, the more they are enlightened. When they first start to read His words, they don’t understand them. They read more and get confused. They read even more and then get tired. They think the words are good but can’t grasp their meaning. Without experience, they just read the words but don’t understand the content. Through often listening to sermons they remember more and understand more. Then, when they go back and read them again, they think “Why is it so easy to understand now?” How can this be so? You can understand it a bit without me even fellowshiping about it, right? What am I saying here? I’m telling you about things I learned after I experienced and understood God’s words. So, after you listen to my words and understand them, if you go back and read God’s words again, there will be no barrier between you and God’s words. You’ll meet Him face to face. That’s why there are lots of people who read God’s words now and say, “These words are so important. Why didn’t I understand them before? Why can I understand them more at first glance today?” The more a person reads God’s words, the more they understand them and the more they are enlightened. What does this mean? It means they know God somewhat. They’ve seen God face-to-face. If they understand God’s words, can they talk about their real experience and knowledge? If they can speak about their experience and knowledge, that is evidence that they have started to experience God’s words, that they have really started to enter into them. The more you experience and the more you enter into God’s words, the more you’ll understand them. If you understand God’s words, you’ll be able to stand witness to God and talk about your experiences. This is what it means to bear witness to God and His work, exactly. Therefore, some people say the more they preach the gospel, the more they have this feeling, “The words that I communicate are the enlightenments and illuminations of the Holy Spirit. First, I get nourishment from them and understand God’s words, and then others are also moved by them.” This is what it means to experience God’s work. The more you communicate God’s words, the more the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. The more you are enlightened, the more you’ll understand God’s words, which in turn will allow you to communicate them more clearly. This is what it means to bear witness to God. If you cannot communicate God’s words clearly then you are not bearing witness to God, you’re not working effectively. You can stand there and talk as you please but you won’t be bearing witness, right? Religious pastors and elders expound on the Bible, is that testifying to God? People who talk about letters and doctrines, their own conceptions, their imaginations, their own literal interpretations, are they bearing witness to God? That is just fooling people.