Today we believe in Almighty God, which is different from believing in God within a religion. God has serious requirements for us. How is He serious with us? God has issued forth many truths. God has issued forth many truths that man must fulfill if he is to enter into the kingdom of heaven. If you carelessly believe in God like you did in the Age of Grace, and do not seek the truth, will you be able to understand the will of God? Will you be able to achieve true obedience to God? If you do not understand any of the truths issued forth by God, will your accomplishments keep to the intention of God? Will you be able to achieve a true love of God? Will you be able to achieve true obedience to God? Every day Jewish leaders explained the Bible to followers of Judaism. They explained the laws of the Old Testament. They had been explaining for decades, for centuries, even for two thousand years, but what was the result? When the Lord Jesus came they nailed the Lord to the cross. What is the problem with this? They explained the Bible for two thousand years, but finally they were not able to recognize God. When God spoke, they responded by condemning Him. God said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life…” (John 5:24). It was these words, these words that included the word “I,” these words that had the most authority of God, it was these words that were condemned by them. “You? Who are You? You dare say that You are God? You dare say that You have been sent by God? These are words of blasphemy! We shall condemn You because of this.” But if God didn’t speak in this way, what else could He say? Should God say, “I created the heavens and earth and all things,” or should He have phrased it as “You created the heavens and earth and all things”? God created them Himself. God commands all things, but would it be okay to say that you command all things, would that satisfy you? Are you able to command them? Are you able to create the heavens and earth and all things? The Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you.” Can you say these words “Truly, truly”? You always tell lies to deceive others, you could never utter these words “Truly, truly.” When God speaks in this way it is very real and true, but when using the first person “I” people condemned Him. What is the problem with this? Putting aside how people resist God, or how bad or evil one’s nature is, most importantly, regardless of how much knowledge you have of the Bible, regardless of how many years you have studied the Bible, it does not mean that you have knowledge of God. Isn’t that so? What kind of behavior would a person have if they possessed true knowledge of God? They would hear the words from the Lord Jesus and say, “Wow, these words have authority and power! These words are the truth, I have not heard them spoken before. If what He issues forth is the truth, then He must have been sent by God, He must be the Son of man, for if He didn’t come from God He could not issue forth the truth! Wow, you don’t say, maybe Jesus was sent here by God, how else otherwise could He issue forth so many truths, how else could these words have such authority and power? I accept!” The Lord Jesus said: “I am the One sent by God, I am the Messiah who you thirst and long for and whose appearance you seek.” “I accept! Based on these words You have issued forth, I firmly believe that You are the Messiah!” Could this kind of person be regarded as having knowledge of God? They absolutely could be considered as having knowledge of God. Were there these kinds of people? Were there any within Judaism? There was not. Except for those few people approved by God—Abraham had knowledge of God, Job had knowledge, Noah had some knowledge—you could say there are not many people that have knowledge of God. Noah built his ark for one hundred years and did not doubt the word of God. He said: “The word of God will surely become true, let’s build, we cannot not build.” He had faith in the word of God within himself. Abraham did not doubt the word of God. God bestowed upon him a son and then demanded him back as a sacrifice. He did not doubt God, he obeyed. People that have true knowledge of God have knowledge of the word of God and recognize the voice of God. They believe in the word of God without a doubt, they absolutely will not go back on it. They are sure the word of God must be fulfilled. They believe the word of God can accomplish all. These people have true faith, and they have knowledge of God. True faith is established on the basis of knowledge of God. Isn’t that so?
If within some people’s faith there is no true knowledge of God, can that still be regarded as true faith? It cannot. Non-believers believe in the existence of the Old Man in the Sky—“Of course there is the Old Man in the Sky”—but is that true faith in God? If all you do is admit that God exists, that is not true faith, right? To believe that God is the truth, to believe that God presides over everything, to believe that God is almighty, this can only be achieved by acquiring knowledge and understanding of the truth. Only this kind of faith is true faith. True faith is established on the basis of understanding the truth and having knowledge of God, only this kind of faith is up to the standard and will receive God’s approval. There are many believers in the Lord who do not seek the return of the Lord Jesus but look up to the sky and observe which cloud the Lord Jesus will come upon. This is what they mull over. Is this a person that has knowledge of God? This is a fool. When people that have true knowledge of God hear someone bear witness to God’s return, they will say, “Tell me carefully, what is the return of God all about? What work has God done upon His return? What words have been issued forth? Can you tell me?” “Since God has returned, then certainly there must be His words and work to evidence it. If there are no words, if all you heed is His outward appearance, then how could you recognize Him?” When seeking the appearance of God, you must listen to the voice of God, not seek to see Him. God incarnate doesn’t have any marks in appearance, people must listen to His voice to recognize Him as the manifestation of God. Isn’t that so? When you show someone the words issued forth from God, as soon as they read them, as soon as their eyes see them, their eyes will light up, and they will think, “There’s no way that a person could speak these words, this was issued forth from the Spirit of God, this was issued forth from the Spirit of truth, this is the voice of God!” The more they read these words the more they will feel that these words have authority and truth. The more they read them, the more they will see these words are the voice of God. “Wow, God has issued forth so many words! For how long?” “Many years.” “I didn’t know this for so many years! How much of the truth do I lack?” Some people might ask: “How many years has God been working?” “He started in 1991.” “That’s more than twenty years, how am I just now finding this out?” But it is not late to just now be finding this out, there are many people who have heard many times of people bearing witness to God’s arrival, but they refuse to listen, they continuously pass judgment. How do you feel about these kinds of people? God has searched on earth for many people to be His followers, isn’t this a fact?
Some people say: “God is searching for people? God has not come knocking on my door, He has not spoken with me, He has not led me. Where should I go in search of God? Right now it is I, a man, who is searching for God. If God was searching for people, then how come He hasn’t come to me in a dream? How come God has not given me a revelation? How come God has not led me?” But these words: “I have sought many on earth to be My followers,” do you believe them to be the words of God? They do not conform to people’s conceptions and imagination. In a situation where they do not conform to your conceptions and imagination, would you still recognize them as the words of God? These words were not spoken by you and they were not spoken by me, but rather they were spoken by Christ, so they are the words of God. “These are the words of God, so why do they not conform to my conceptions and imagination? God has sought many people? Certainly there are many of us who are searching for God.” Later we fellowship with others, and say: “Based on our experience as verification, would you say that really people are searching for God or that God is searching for people?” There are some with experience who say: “Based on my experience, it seems that every step I take is part of God’s plan, it’s all under the guidance of God. Some people have spread the gospel to me once before, and I didn’t respond. So, God arranged for it again, and I came across another person who spread the gospel to me. In this way, I felt the need to respond, so I said, ‘Since you come witnessing the coming of God, speak. If I listen and understand then I will accept, but if you speak and I do not understand I will not accept,’ and so I let them speak. So this person spoke a few words, and as soon as I started listening it was making sense, these truths were not in the Bible, this was the first time I was hearing them. It felt very likely that this was the word of God, that God had arrived, and that I must go back and search out these things again. As I searched through these things, this person once again spoke very clearly, but I still had some questions, which were resolved through fellowshiping with them. So I accepted it.” So what do you think, how did this all come about? Are people searching for God or is God searching for people? God is the One searching for people, because many circumstances are set up by God. There are these words in the word of God: “From the time of creation, I began the predestination and selection of this group of people—of you, this group today. Your disposition, caliber, appearance, stature, the family in which you were born, your work, marriage—your everything, even the color of your hair, your skin, and your date of birth—these are all arranged by My hand. Whatever you do and whoever you meet each day are also subject to My arrangement, to say nothing of bringing you before Me today, which is even more the subject of My arrangement. Do not cause upset for yourself, but proceed calmly.” If these are all things arranged by God, then there’s a basis here for us to say that God searches for people, because the circumstances are arranged by God. If He weren’t making the arrangements, would you be able to come before God? Since God makes the arrangements, God has given every believer in Him many opportunities to receive the true way. Some people miss these many opportunities, but finally there’s one opportunity where they nearly miss but then they receive it. Or, because of some matter or another, they receive it. So would you say that this is man searching for God or God searching for man? If you think it is man searching for God, first of all, you have not actively sought this out and you have not actively searched. Someone spreading the gospel has continuously called on you, has continuously sought you out, but you passively listened, you passively responded, you passively sought, and finally you passively received. Is this God seeking out man or man seeking out God? Would you say you actively sought out God? Then did you search the word of God? How many times have you read the word of God? Do you have proof? How many times have you prayed to God and sought out the true way? Do you have proof? Your faith in Almighty God, is it an active faith or was it spread to you through someone who tried to spread the gospel to you many times, who explained and debated the gospel many times, and finally you reluctantly believed and came to have faith? You were being passive in every aspect except this: After receiving the gospel, you actively came to the meetings. Nobody kidnapped you. Nobody forced you. Right? Finally you came to understand some of the truth, and you were willing to forsake. You forsook your family and your job. Now with heart and soul you expend yourself for God. This is the result you have attained through understanding the truth. Your faith has risen. Isn’t this a fact? If you are not aware of the truth, then how could you forsake everything? Even if your father and your mother want you to forsake, you won’t forsake it. This is all part of the result you have attained through being aware of the truth. If you were passive toward everything, if it was always others seeking you out, asking you to fellowship, asking you to come to the meetings and asking you to listen to sermons, and then if these people didn’t call you, you would not do it. If they didn’t call you once, you’d give it up one time. If they didn’t call you twice, you’d give it up two times. If they didn’t call you three times, you would not come to the meetings, and you would not come back again. So, we can say that all of this is God seeking out people!
What do we mean when we say that people search for God? People at the very least must pay some sort of price. Someone said: “I have traveled across oceans and throughout the land, I have traveled through churches in every place searching for the work of God, but it wasn’t until I arrived at the Church of Almighty God that I found the appearance of God. I searched all over the internet, and I found the website of the Church of Almighty God. As soon as I read the word of Almighty God, I saw God appear, I saw the work of God. Finally, I wanted to attend meetings. I wanted to actively seek out and gather together with my brothers and sisters from the Church of Almighty God. I wanted to actively participate in church life.” All of the steps in this process were active, so if you again say, “This is me seeking out God,” you are basically correct. Isn’t that so? There are very few examples of people seeking out God like this, right? But some people say: “We thirst in our hearts for the appearance of God! We hope to find the true way.” This is no lie. Regardless of how thirsty you are, it is God who actively knocks on your door. When you listen to the voice of God the door will be opened, and then God and you, you and God, will feast together. This is God searching for man, this is God actively knocking on the door. Nowadays there are many people spreading the gospel that want to fellowship with you, to find you and talk to you, and give you witness to Almighty God. Is this not God knocking at your door? This is God knocking at your door. When God comes knocking at your door, how will He knock? Do you think that the Lord Jesus personally comes to knock on the door of your home? No. It is through people who spread the gospel, “Ding Dong,” “Brother/sister, let us fellowship. We will give you testimony to the work of God in the last days.” Then you say: “I’m not listening!” You refuse. God’s first ‘knock at your door’ is not successful. So He knocks again for a second time through someone, “Brother/sister, we have a book of the word of God for you to look at, God has come.” “I’m not listening!” The second knock at your door is also a failure. For some people, God “knocks” ten or more times, and finally they answer the door reluctantly. Isn’t this God searching for people? But some other people say: “I am an exception, I actively seek out God.” And we believe this kind of person, we don’t need to talk about this in detail. We don’t need to debate over this question of “Is it really God searching for people or people searching for God?” We will wait for you to experience more, and then you will understand. After three more years, when you again fellowship about this matter, then you will see if it is God seeking you out, or if it is you seeking out God. God says: “Nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God.” Don’t these words exist? God says: “None can truly love God.” Don’t these words exist? It is all in the word of God. Many people say: “I truly love God, I am truly looking for God.” Every person that says these words has true faith in God, but are there impurities in your search for God, your love of God, and your obedience to God? Are you trying to make a trade? If there are impurities you don’t need to say it like this, God will not acknowledge it. Only if you get rid of the impurities will you receive the approval of God.
Some people say: “There are a lot of us believers in the Lord who are old, we have never gone on the internet. So if God had come to us here, if He had been born in our country, we long ago would have believed.” Are these words true? They are not. Some people say: “I have not accepted Him because I haven’t seen Him. If God incarnate came to my house, if He was passing by my window, then I would be able to discover Him. As soon as I saw Him then I could believe.” Can this saying stand? It cannot stand. So now you can see, do you believe? Do you believe that these words are the truth? You believe in the Christ of the last days, but which of the truths issued forth from the Christ of the last days do you believe in? You believe His word is the truth, but which words are the ones that you do not listen to, that stick a needle in your heart, that cause you to have conceptions, that you dislike, that you don’t receive? Why do you receive the Christ of the last days? Why is it that you receive? How many of the truths issued forth from the Christ of the last days do you accept? How many parts of the truth do you accept? Isn’t this something that ought to be summed up? Some people say: “I have accepted over two months, over three months.” So in these two or three months, how many of the truths issued forth from Almighty God have you really accepted? How many of these truths have you accepted in heart and by word, and that you submit? How many of these truths have been refused by you and condemned by you because they do not conform to your conceptions? These things ought to be summed up. Some people talk big: “I have received, I have received the best, I can now submit to God, and be compatible with God.” Are these words real? I was among the earliest to receive this stage of God’s work, I was part of the first batch. Up to now I have come to understand many truths, but I still cannot say it goes deep enough. It is still shallow. There are many of my corruptions that have been cleansed, I have not done anything evil, but I don’t dare say that I don’t have any corruption within me. I fear that if I say that humiliation will fall over me. If God exposes me once again, I will again be humiliated. So, I say conservatively that I’ve been cleansed, but I don’t dare say I am without corruption; I understand some truths, but I don’t dare say that everything I do completely conforms to the truth. We have some knowledge of God, but we still carry some of our conceptions and imagination along with the knowledge. Isn’t this the reality of the situation? This is the reality. After believing for over 30 years, this is what I can say. Someone believes for one or two years, and they say: “I am compatible with God, I now have knowledge of God, I am an obedient person to God, I am a man that loves God.” You could say things as you please, but I would not dare say that. I have long ago received judgment and chastisement for these things. I know that God looks deep into man’s heart. You see people within the religion say: “I love God the most. I have the most faithfulness in God. No matter who retreats, I will not retreat. No matter who falls, I will not fall.” In the Age of Grace all men boasted in this way, and no one was serious with you. But it is not that same in the Age of Kingdom. The judgment and revelation of God’s word have befallen you, causing you to feel ashamed and unable to show your face, and you wish there would be a crack in the earth that you could hide yourself in! So people within the religion have said every kind of arrogant thing there is to say. Why is that? Isn’t it because God has not done the work of judgment on them and isn’t serious with them? They have shouted out, they have praised themselves, they have boasted shamelessly, but God has not paid attention to them. Isn’t that so? Do you see why that is?