Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Chapter 6” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe
Let’s start our meeting. Let’s first read a passage of God’s word, “Chapter 6” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh.
In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive; to My words, you should be carefully attentive. You should aim for the state in which you see My Spirit and My fleshly self, My words and My fleshly self, as one indivisible whole, so that all of humanity will be able to satisfy Me in My presence. I have trodden the universe with My feet, stretching out My gaze over its entire expanse, and I have walked in the midst of all mankind, tasting the sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent flavors of human experience, but man never truly recognized Me, nor did he notice Me as I walked abroad. Because I was silent, and performed no supernatural deeds, because of this no one ever truly saw Me. Things are not now as they once were: I am going to do things that, since the beginning of creation, the world has never seen, I am going to speak words that, throughout the ages, men have never heard, because I ask that all humanity come to know Me in the flesh. These are steps in My management, about which humanity has not the faintest inkling. Even when I speak of them openly, man is still so befuddled in his mind that it is impossible to articulate them to him in every detail. Herein lies man’s abject lowliness, does it not? This is precisely what I wish to remedy in him, is it not? All these years, I have not worked anything upon man; all these years, even those who were in direct touch with My incarnate flesh never heard the voice coming directly from My divinity. And so it is unavoidable that human beings should be lacking in their knowledge of Me, but this one thing alone has not affected humanity’s love for Me through the ages. Now, however, I have wrought upon you countless amount of work miraculous and unfathomable as well as spoken to you many words. And yet, even under conditions like these, so many people still oppose Me to My face. Let Me give you a few examples:
Daily you pray to a vague God, trying to grasp My intentions, to get the feel of life. But, when My words actually come down, you look at them differently: You take My words and My Spirit as one indivisible entity, but you kick the man aside, thinking that the man that I am is simply incapable of uttering words of this kind, and that they are rather the result of My Spirit’s disposing. How would you know about a situation like this? You believe in My words to a certain extent, but as for the flesh that I put on, to greater or lesser degree you entertain your own ideas, about which you cogitate day by day, saying: “Why does He do things in that way? Could it be that this comes from God? Impossible! In my view, He is pretty much the same as I am—a normal, ordinary person.” Again, how would you explain a situation like this?
Regarding what I said above, is there any one among you who is not equipped with it? Any who does not possess it? It would appear to be something that you’re holding onto like a piece of personal property, and all this time you’ve been reluctant to let it go. Still less have you been willing to pursue active effort; instead you wait for Me to do the work in person. Truth be told, there is not a single human being who, without seeking after Me, comes to know Me with ready ease. Indeed, these are not shallow words with which I preach you a lesson, because I can raise an example from a different angle for your reference:
As soon as Peter is mentioned, everybody is full of praise, instantly reminded of all these stories about Peter—how he thrice denied knowing God and moreover rendered service unto Satan, thereby testing God, but in the end was nailed upside down on the cross for His sake, and so on. Now I place great importance on narrating for you how Peter came to know Me as well as his final outcome. This man Peter was of excellent caliber, but his circumstances were different from those of Paul. His parents persecuted Me, they belonged to demons possessed by Satan, and for this reason one cannot say that they transmitted the way to Peter. Peter was agile of wit, endowed with native intelligence, doted on from boyhood by his parents; after growing up, however, he became their enemy, for he always sought to know Me, and this led him to turn his back on his parents. This was because, first of all, he believed that the heavens and earth and all things are in the hands of the Almighty, and that all positive things originate from God and come directly from Him, without passing through any processing by Satan. With the counterexample of his parents to serve as a foil, this enabled him all the more readily to recognize My love and mercy, thereby inflaming in him an even greater passion to seek after Me. He paid close attention not only to eating and drinking My words, but even more to grasping My intentions, and was constantly prudent and cautious in his thoughts, so that he was always keenly astute in his spirit, and hence was able to please Me in everything he did. In ordinary life, he paid close attention to integrating the lessons of those who had failed in the past so as to spur himself on to greater endeavor, deeply afraid that he might fall into the nets of failure. He also paid close attention to assimilating the faith and love of all those who through the ages had loved God. In this way he not only in negative aspects, but much more importantly, in positive aspects sped up the progress of his growth, until he became in My presence the one human being who knew Me best. For this reason, it is not difficult to imagine how he could place all that he had in My hands, no longer being his own master even in eating, dressing, sleeping, or where he stayed, but made satisfying Me in all things the foundation on which he enjoyed My bounty. So many times did I put him under trial, which of course left him half dead, but even in the midst of these hundreds of trials, he never once lost faith in Me or became disillusioned with Me. Even when I said I had already thrown him aside, he did not grow faint of heart or fall into despair, but continued on as before carrying out his principles so as to love Me in a practical way. I told him that, even though he loved Me, I did not commend him but would cast him into Satan’s hands in the end. In the midst of these trials, which did not reach unto his flesh but were trials by means of words, he still prayed to Me: “Oh, God! Among the heavens and earth and the myriad things, is there any man, any creature, or any thing that is not in the hands of You, the Almighty? When You wish to show me mercy, my heart rejoices greatly on account of Your mercy; when You wish to execute judgment on me, unworthy though I may be, I feel all the more the profound mystery of Your deeds, because You are filled with authority and wisdom. Though my flesh may suffer, I am comforted in my spirit. How could I not extol Your wisdom and Your deeds? Even if I die after coming to know You, I would be ever ready and willing. Oh, Almighty One! Surely it is not that You truly do not wish to let me see You? Surely it is not that I am truly unworthy of receiving Your judgment? Can it possibly be that there is something in me that You do not wish to see?” In the midst of these kinds of trials, even though Peter was not able to grasp My intentions accurately, it is evident that he considered it a matter of pride and personal glory to be used by Me (be it only to receive My judgment so that humanity might see My majesty and wrath), and was anything but dejected on account of being put under trial. Because of his loyalty in My presence, and because of My blessings upon him, he has become an exemplar and a model for mankind for thousands of years. Is this not precisely the example that you should follow? At this time, you should think hard and try to work out why I have given such a lengthy account of Peter. This should serve you as a code of conduct.
Even though there are very few people who know Me, I will not on that account vent My anger upon humanity, because human beings have so many shortcomings that it is difficult for them to attain the level that I ask of them. And so I have been lenient to humanity for thousands of years, all the way down to the present day. But I hope that you will not, because of My leniency, be too ready to indulge yourselves; you should rather, through Peter, come to know Me and seek after Me, and through all of Peter’s stories, receive revelation in unprecedented ways, and in this way arrive at a realm previously unattained by humanity. Throughout the universe and the limitless expanses of the firmament, among all things in heaven and earth, the myriad things on earth, and the myriad things in heaven are each and every one consecrating their whole strength for the sake of My last stage of work. Surely you do not wish to remain spectators on the sidelines, driven hither and yon by Satan’s forces? Satan is constantly devouring the knowledge that men hold of Me in their hearts, and constantly, with teeth bared and claws unsheathed, engaged in the last throes of its death struggle. Do you wish to be captured by its deceitful stratagems at this moment? Do you wish, at the moment that the last phase of My work is completed, to cut off your own life? Surely you are not still waiting for Me to dispense My leniency one more time? Seeking to know Me is the key thing, but neither should you neglect to pay attention to actual practice. I am revealing insights to you directly in My words, in hopes that you will be able to submit to My guidance, and cease to entertain aspirations or designs of your own.
February 27, 1992
“Chapter 6” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh—this passage is very important to us in having faith in God, experiencing God’s work, attaining knowledge of God, so today we just want to lay importance on communicating this passage. The beginning of this passage is thus: “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive; to My words, you should be carefully attentive. You should aim for the state in which you see My Spirit and My fleshly self, My words and My fleshly self, as one indivisible whole, so that all of humanity will be able to satisfy Me in My presence.” What matter is being addressed here? In the course of experiencing God’s work in order to attain knowledge of God, what must we place importance on first of all? “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive; to My words, you should be carefully attentive.” These two matters are crucial. There are many people who do not seek the truth, with the result that even after having believed in God for many years they still possess nothing of the truth, and they have no real knowledge of God, and this causes them to be without principles in performing their duties. This kind of person is even unworthy to do service, is this not a fact? They are unworthy to do service! Because in doing your duty you still cannot be up to the standard, you are not qualified to do service. If your service is not up to the standard, and if God’s work is finished in the very end, can you survive? You cannot. Those who continue to exist are the faithful service-doers. What conditions must a faithful service-doer be equipped with? One whose service can be justifiable and who is truly able to produce good results that can be put to use is a faithful service-doer. What is the meaning of “faithful”? It is not just going through the motions, it is not giving up halfway down the road; it is bearing up the responsibility in doing well the work that God entrusted to you, and remaining firm until the end. This is a faithful service-doer. Now there are many people who perform their duty and do not reach the standard. You can say these people are all service-doers, because not being up to the standard in doing their duty they cannot be called people of God. In the past, there were many people that had no understanding of God’s people. What, after all, are the people of God? Isn’t it true that we who have accepted Almighty God are His people? It is not when you accept the name of Almighty God that you become one of His people. For that, there is a process of being made perfect, which contains a criterion. What is this criterion? It is having performed your duty up to the standard, and only then are you one of the people of God; those who have not reached this criterion in their duty are not God’s people. They are not people of God. To put it precisely, they are the service-doers—this is what they are called during this period of exercise. Those who have not yet gained the truth are called service-doers. When one has gained the truth and is able to handle affairs in accordance with principle, it means that they have attained life. Only those who have the truth as their life are truly people of God.
How do you act if you want to seek the truth? About this it is said, “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive; to My words, you should be carefully attentive.” If people are not equipped with just these two things, then it is not easy to obtain the truth. Even though many people wish to seek the truth, they are unable to put it into practice. They do not know where to begin, and do not know how to experience it, so what problems must be resolved? What is most crucial are these two sayings: “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive; to My words, you should be carefully attentive.” Some people may ask what “matters within the spirit” refer to. They are matters that partake of the truth. Matters of spiritual life, matters of the spiritual world, and matters that involve the truth are all considered matters within the spirit. To give an example, how does the Holy Spirit perform works? Is this not a matter within the spirit? What is the principle whereby the Holy Spirit performs works? What people does God love or detest, make blessed or eliminate? In battles of the spiritual world, how does Satan test people? How does God appropriate the tests of Satan to try people, refine people, and reveal people for who they are? The path for entering into life, the principles of pursuing the truth, and the true course of life’s maturation–are these not all matters within the spirit? They are all matters within the spirit. When you ask some people, “When the Holy Spirit performs works, how does He do so?” They say, “The Holy Spirit performs works? This cannot be seen and cannot be felt. I do not know.” Can this kind of person understand the spirit or not? If you ask, “In what place does God reside?” “Where does God reside? Of course, He resides in heaven.” “Incorrect. The word of God says that God walks and lives among people!” “Oh, it says that. But I have not seen Him!” Can such people understand the spirit? God brought His glory from Israel to the East, and there are people who say, “Having brought it to the East, what then is this glory like? How have I not seen it?” Can a person who speaks these words understand the spirit? God says He has done a stage of the work of judgment in the last days. The person says, “Where is this work of judgment done? Where is God’s judgment seat? Is God sitting on the throne? Then where is the throne, and how have I not seen it?” Does this person understand the spirit or not? People may ask you, “Do you believe in God in heaven or God on earth?” You say, “What I believe in is God on earth, it is Christ incarnate!” “Then where is God? Have you seen Him? Where is God? Who has seen Him?” Can a person who speaks these words understand the spirit or not? Are these things not matters within the spirit? Matters within the spirit are things a person cannot see with the physical eye but nevertheless certainly exist. All people can feel them through the spirit, and spiritual people all recognize it is a certain fact that these are matters within the spirit. In the words “[i]n matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive,” what does the phrase “be delicately sensitive” refer to? It means you must be serious and earnest; do not persist in a rough and confused understanding. Once a person carefully communes, ponders and thinks, then he will see matters within the spirit ever more clearly and more truthfully until he reaches a level of clarity and reality such that he can express it verbally. Then he will have knowledge of God, and will then be able to bear witness to God. To give an example, the great red dragon frantically resists and condemns the work of God, and fiercely persecutes and seizes the chosen people of God. Is this not a matter within the spirit? Some people say, “Is seizing the chosen people of God not an external matter? I have seen my brothers and sisters seized and severely persecuted, and this is an external matter. How is this a matter within the spirit?” So, what is the “matter within the spirit”? It is that God allows the evil spirit Satan to act this way, allowing Satan to come and try these chosen people of God, and that God uses these tests to reveal who people really are. God is making a wager with Satan using these chosen people. Is this not a matter of the spiritual world? This is reality, and these are matters within the spirit. There is another phrase from the word of God, “My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots.” When you open your physical eyes wide, can you see this matter clearly? No matter how wide you open your eyes you cannot see it. Why? It is a matter of the spiritual world. The physical eye cannot see the matters of the spiritual world, but the spirit can sense them. If you vainly rely only on the physical eye to determine true from false, is this correct? This causes only trouble, and you will certainly not understand the truth, much less come to know God.
Now, God demands that the chosen people of God seek to know God, so He has expressed “Chapter 6.” If you are not in the least concerned with matters within the spirit, and you do not seek the truth, can you attain knowledge of God? In knowing God, the principal thing is to be sensitive and serious toward the matters within the spirit, and to place importance on the word of God. In the words of God there are many things that are matters of the spiritual world, matters within the spirit, and external matters are very few. Why are there many people who read the word of God but feel sapped of energy? Why can’t this energy be invigorated? It is because these are all matters within the spirit that the physical eye cannot see nor the hand feel. To give an example, the unbelievers seek fame and fortune–can the physical eye see that or not? There are people chosen as presidents or as legislators, and people can see this. But with respect to matters of the spiritual world, and seeking to know God, and obtaining the praise and blessings of God–can these be seen or not? You cannot see them relying on the physical eye alone. You cannot see them relying on the physical eye, so how can you acknowledge that people like Peter obtained the praise of God? How can you see this matter of how Peter truly obtained the praise of God? This requires seeking the truth before you can understand. What level do you have to reach in seeking the truth to be convinced and acknowledge that Peter indeed received God’s praise, and was indeed made an exemplary model by God? Is this easy to attain or not? It is truly not easy, and this requires us to do what God says, “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive; to My words, you should be carefully attentive.”
Now there are many people who lay emphasis on external matters, “What should I eat? What should I wear? What will the world be like tomorrow? When will the great calamity occur? I have not yet found a partner; will I be able to start a family in the future? Where will I live? Will I live high up on a mountain, or on an island, or on the plains?” What are all these matters considered? They are external matters, matters of the flesh. Matters of the flesh are completely contradictory to matters within the spirit, and if you give importance to matters of the flesh, then can you know matters within the spirit? The more you live in the flesh, the more you feel the matters within the spirit are uncertain. The more you emphasize matters within the spirit, the more truly you can see matters within the spirit. The more truly you see the matters of the spiritual world, the more you will take interest in the word of God and in the truth, and then you will feel that the matters within the spirit are so real, a hundred or a thousand times more real than the matters of the flesh. There are people who do not understand, saying, “I do not deny the reality of matters within the spirit, but are matters of the flesh not real? How can matters within the spirit be a hundred times more real than matters of the flesh? What are you talking about?” Tell me, are these words tenable or not? Matters of the flesh are all false, and even if what is in front of your eyes is real, it is still false because matters of the flesh are temporary. In the blink of an eye they will be gone, and they cannot permanently exist. The matters of the flesh cannot exist forever, but matters within the spirit will last forever. People all recognize these words, so in the end is it matters of the spiritual world that are real, or matters of the substance and the flesh that are real? I say that matters within the spirit are a hundred times more real than matters of the flesh. Is this correct? When I speak this way, those people who seek physical pleasure all appear as imbeciles, and those people who seek fame and fortune and status are even greater imbeciles. What has no connection with the truth is considered a matter of the flesh. You must not seek after it, for in an instant it will be gone! If you seek after it, you will have a feeling of having been deceived and misled by Satan. Is there such a feeling or not? If you don’t believe then you may seek fleshly pleasures, saying, “I will have several children, I will get several mates, I will find a good job, I will earn so much money, I will live in such a grand mansion.” In an instant all this is gone. After a great earthquake it is all lost and after you have died it is all lost, and there will be a day when the world no longer exists. At that time, you will feel, “I have been cheated, I have followed the wrong path, this is the Creator toying with people!” Are there people who have this feeling? They say it is the Creator toying with people, but what you have sought is a way of error, so who can you blame? Here, Satan is wielding its influence among this corrupt humanity, and why did you allow yourself to be fooled by it? Why did you not place importance on matters within the spirit, why did you not seek the truth? This is what you deserve! Some people see others enjoying themselves very well, and say, “How did you come to have such enjoyment? How have I not come to have these enjoyments? Heaven is unjust, I will not accept it! I want to enjoy the same things you are enjoying, and I must have even more enjoyment than you!” What kind of person is this? Is this not of the same species as Satan? The day when you enjoy a good life will be the day when death befalls you, the day of your extinction. “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive.” However much misfortune you suffer in matters of the flesh, it is not misfortune–misfortune is also to your benefit! Can this be said? Some people have sex with a lot of people, and afterward they think, “How favorable this is, it is quite favorable! I’m this lucky in love affairs!” One day when they come in contact with the matters of the spirit and the truth, they think about those matters, “I have suffered a great misfortune and loss, and I have been cheated!” The more advantage you gain, the more misfortune you will suffer! Do not seek the matters of the flesh, for the matters of the flesh are not real, they are illusory! You should understand this now!
“In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive”—why must one be delicately sensitive? This is like how you open your eyes to see something clearly. Will it work not to be delicately sensitive? If you are crude and sloppy and not earnest, you will not be able to see it clearly, and there will be no way to understand the truth. To give an example, God says that God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots. Is this a matter within the spirit or an external one? It is a matter within the spirit. Then what matter has any relation to these words? We must pay careful attention to the word of God, so let us pay attention to it. Let us take these words as an example. How do you know these words, and can you bring forth examples? This is a matter within the spiritual world, and if you are delicately sensitive to it and seek the truth, you will understand what the meaning of these words is, and what God is saying. If you can produce many examples, then you can confirm in your heart that the phrase “God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots” is the truth, and is a fact, and that God acts precisely in this way. In experiencing this, once you are delicately sensitive and earnest, you will then come to know and understand these words. When you truly know and understand these words, is this not understanding this aspect of the truth? When you bear witness to the work of God, there is this truth—that God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots—and when you understand this truth, you can bear witness to it. How will you bear witness? How does God make use of the service of the great red dragon? How is the fact that God’s wisdom is exercised on Satan’s plots fulfilled in the great red dragon? Talk about this with examples. Some people say, “God is so almighty, so why does He not annihilate the great red dragon in an instant? If God brought about an earthquake of higher than a magnitude of nine in China, all the political power of the great red dragon would be wiped out. How does God not do this?” People who know God say, “Do you not know that God has these words?” “What words?” “My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots.” “What are the plots of Satan?” Satan says, “I’ll catch all the chosen people of Yours in one fell swoop, and I’ll see how You will establish the kingdom on earth!” God says, “Fine, I will perfect a group of overcomers through your persecution and oppression of My chosen people and in the end when this group of overcomers appears, the kingdom of Christ will appear.” This is like Satan’s accusations against Job, with the result that Job was faced with this temptation. God used Satan’s temptation to try Job, and Job had a beautifully resounding bearing of witness. Afterward, Satan retreated in humiliation, and through this matter God came to defeat Satan. What do all of these facts illustrate? “My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots.” These words are a matter within the spirit, and can you see it from the outside? You cannot. When those fiends of Satan have seen these words, do they understand what they mean? They shake their heads back and forth like pellet drums, and they don’t understand. “What are these words? I do not understand them.” They do not see them clearly. People who believe in God understand these words as soon as they see them, those who understand the spirit understand a little once they see them, and they become clearer when these words are communicated, and they will become perfectly clear after some tens of years of experience. Those who do not understand the spirit cannot see them clearly, and these are all matters within the spirit.
There are some people who say, “I do not know which are matters within the spirit and which are external matters.” In the next phrase God says, “You should aim for the state in which you see My Spirit and My fleshly self, My words and My fleshly self, as one indivisible whole.” Is this not a matter within the spirit? Now it appears that all matters which involve the truth, and everything that counts as the truth—all these are matters within the spirit. Having principles in doing work, is this not a matter within the spirit? It is. Why is it a matter within the spirit? Putting the truth into practice is a matter within the heart; it is not something that emerges after just being called out aloud, nor is it something that comes out of working hard with your hands. That is taking hold of principles within your heart, knowing how to implement them within your heart, knowing what to do, and knowing what kind of heart to have. Afterward the heart will control the hands and control the mind, and once you act in this way, people cannot understand it when they look only at the surface. But you carry out the truth, and God looks upon it, and sees that you have principles in doing your work. God praises this, and all these things are matters within the spirit. In saying the same things, there are some people who are lying, some who are speaking the truth and genuine words—is this not a matter within the spirit? Some matters are within the heart, and matters within the heart also involve the spiritual world. If in your heart you act perfunctorily, or if in your heart you resist God, or if you curse God in your heart, if your heart is resentful of God, if there is contrariness in your heart, if your heart has rebellion in it, then even when you are not saying this out loud, it is still a matter of the spiritual world, and is also a matter within the spirit. God looks into the bottom of people’s hearts, and He knows all. There are some people who believe in God who suddenly die, and everyone says, “The way this person believed was very good, and he did not speak anything that showed resistance against God or judgment of God, or any words of condemning God’s work. He believed very well, so how did he die?” Is this not a matter within the spirit? No one can see through this from the outside, but the person who died knows in their heart: “I have resisted God.” They did not do this externally, so nobody knew it, but their outcome has been revealed for what they are, and God has established their outcome; these are all matters within the spirit. There are some antichrists who do many and varied acts of evil which are seen and distinguished by many people who understand the truth, who determine them to be evil people and antichrists and so expel them. Is this a matter within the spirit or not? It has been revealed on the surface, and is a matter within the spirit. Some people say, “When it is revealed on the surface, how is it still a matter within the spirit?” They have not distinguished them. For people who have not distinguished, it is a matter within the spirit, but as for those who have distinguished them, they understand the truth, they are able to see it. But the unbelievers still see them as good, and say, “How can you expel such good people?” This is a matter within the spirit. These people are antichrists, and they are people that have enmity for the truth. If a label were put on their brains, that would not be a matter within the spirit; since no label is put on them, common people and people who do not understand the spirit cannot discern them. It is just like there are some people whom I am able to see into as soon as I meet them, and I say, “This is not a good person, this person is a devil!” There are many chosen people of God who come into contact with them, and say, “This person is not bad!” “Not bad?” I say, “You are blind, and you have not seen into them. I have seen into them, and they are not good people!” Is this not a matter within the spirit? Whether they appear good or bad on the outside, you are able to see this, and that is a matter of the flesh, whereas ordinary people are unable to see into matters within the spirit.
As for knowing Christ, some people are able to separate the words of Christ from His person, and consider that the words are spoken by the Spirit, and that they all come out of the Spirit, and are not spoken by the person, and are spoken by means of the Spirit controlling the person. So they believe that this person is still a common man, and only the Spirit that is speaking is the Spirit of God. What problem does this separation reveal? If a person does not understand the spirit, then he separates the word and the Spirit from the person. Some people also say, “I submit to the word of Christ, I do not submit to the person of Christ.” What is the problem in this? Do people like this understand the spirit? Some say they don’t. Why is it said that they don’t understand the spirit? Is there a basis for this? Because the Spirit realized in the flesh and man obtaining the revelation of the Holy Spirit are two separate issues. God’s incarnation is the Spirit of God truly realized in the flesh, and apart from a life of humanity, He is able to see through matters of the spiritual world, not always needing the Holy Spirit for the revelation. This is God’s incarnation. The Holy Spirit giving revelation to people indicates people who are used by God or who have the work of the Holy Spirit, and people that have the work of the Holy Spirit have revelation from the Holy Spirit when it is necessary. When it is not necessary they are still subject to human error. Sometimes the Holy Spirit makes revelation to them, and sometimes He does not. God incarnate is not like this—He directly expresses the truth, no matter in what time or place, so it is called God realized in the flesh. People who have just accepted the work of God cannot see through this matter; they say, “What this person says cannot be said by ordinary people but truly has come out of the Holy Spirit.” These words “come out of the Holy Spirit” are easy to say, but that which comes out of the Holy Spirit is differentiated into two kinds. One kind is revelation of the Holy Spirit, which comes out of the Holy Spirit. Another kind is the true realization of the Spirit of God, the incarnation, which also comes out of the Holy Spirit. So which kind of emergence out of the Holy Spirit is the incarnation, and which kind is occasional revelation? People cannot differentiate these, and the result is that they divide God’s incarnation into the word and the person, with the person and the word being two different things. This kind of division brings about a consequence, which is that a person cannot submit to Christ, he cannot worship Christ, and in his heart he does not revere Christ. Once you separate the word of Christ and the person, that is equal to still believing in a vague God up in heaven, and is not believing in the real God on earth. If a person divides Christ into two parts—one part belonging to the Spirit and one part belonging to the person—in making this division, is he certain of Christ being the incarnation? He divides Christ into two parts: Christ occasionally has the work of God, and at other times does not have the work of God, and he considers Christ to be a common person. In this way, can such a person truly submit to Christ? Can he honor Christ as great? Can he worship Christ? If he cannot, the nature of this problem is very severe. In what respect is it severe? Do you, after all, believe in the practical God on earth? Do you believe in Christ or believe in a vague God up in heaven? Once this problem emerges, your ending will be very troublesome. If you do not believe in the practical God on earth, but believe in a vague God up in heaven, that will subject you to being dealt with in the same way as religious people—to sink into destruction. God will not acknowledge your faith, and your faith will not be up to the standard. Is this not troublesome?
God says, “You should aim for the state in which you see My Spirit and My fleshly self, My words and My fleshly self, as one indivisible whole, so that all of humanity will be able to satisfy Me in My presence.” These words “so that all of humanity will be able to satisfy Me in My presence” mean to make everyone who believes in Christ be able to reach a certain condition: seeing the Spirit of God, the word of God, and the person as one indivisible whole. What is the conclusion when you see Them as one indivisible whole? Treat Christ as God, and do not treat Him as a man. If you truly treat Him as a man, your faith is not up to the standard, and you are not a person who believes in the practical God on earth, but are a person who believes in the vague God up in heaven. Some people say, “It’s true that I believe in the vague God up in heaven, but I also believe in the word of God and I acknowledge that the origin of the word of God is from God!” Can people with such a faith receive salvation? Some say they cannot. Why? Because what they believe in is not the practical God incarnate. If you do not believe in the practical God incarnate, then the following words of condemnation will appear: “You are a person who denies Christ and denies the appearance of God, who denies the incarnate God.” Who is able to take these accusations upon himself! Is this not the greatest trouble? No one can take these accusations upon himself. Why is the religious community destroyed? Is it not just because of denying the practical God incarnate? If you only believe in the Spirit of God but do not believe in Christ, you are in trouble. If you take God’s Spirit and the word together with the person—the fleshly body of Christ—and see Them as one indivisible whole, then this is acknowledging the practical God. You say, “This is the God that I want to believe in, this is the God that I believe in, this is Whom I hope to see, Who in the past was in heaven and has now again come to earth to become a practical man—the practical God.” If what you believe in is the practical God, and the practical God is your God in your heart and is your Lord and your everything, then your faith is up to the standard. Understand this! If you understand this, then you will understand the words, “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive; to My words, you should be carefully attentive. You should aim for the state in which you see My Spirit and My fleshly self, My words and My fleshly self, as one indivisible whole, so that all of humanity will be able to satisfy Me in My presence.” Some people ask the meaning of the phrase “so that all of humanity will be able to satisfy Me in My presence.” Does it satisfy God to see the Spirit of God together with the person, and the word of God together with the person, as one indivisible whole? What does this “as one indivisible whole” mean? It relates to whether you acknowledge or not the practical God when He is standing right before you. If you acknowledge Him, then God will acknowledge you, but if you do not acknowledge Him then God will not acknowledge you. These words are concealed inside, and are not spoken. As for the matters within the spirit, if you are not delicately sensitive to them, can you distinguish the meaning of this? Can you see to this level? If you are not delicately sensitive to the matters within the spirit, and if you only pay attention to the surface meaning of God’s words, and pass them by after explaining them a little, this will allow so much meaning and so many crucial problems to slip away. This is very dreadful! Is that considered understanding and knowing the word of God? That is not what is called being delicately sensitive—it is called leaving something out by mistake, and if you are not delicately sensitive to the matters of the spirit then you have left something out! If you allow the truth to go missing, neglect the intention of God, and even when your eyes are open you cannot see it, this means that you do not understand the matters within the spirit! Can this allow major problems to slip away? There are people who say, “You must see the Spirit together with the Person, and the word together with the Person, as one indivisible whole. They are one!” Why are They one? “Because the Spirit is truly realized in the flesh, and everything that the flesh does is controlled by the Spirit, so They are one.” Your answer here is right, and you have understood quite well, but the crucial thing here is: Do you know what the result is of the phrase “They are one”? Is that a theoretical answer? It is not a theoretical answer; you must have this in your heart, you must be certain that, “This incarnation of God is my Lord, is my God, is the God of heaven come down and become man. He is the Lord I want to believe in, the God I want to believe in, so to everything God says I must submit. I must not only revere Him, but also must obey Him, and I also want to worship Him.” Have you taken your faith in God to this point? Can you truly worship Christ? This is much like Christ coming right up to you among a group of people. How do you treat Him? Do you dare to acknowledge Him? Can you bow down prostrate? If you say, “I cannot lie prostrate, it will make people look poorly upon me,” then that proves that in your heart you do not acknowledge He is your God and that you do not have a heart of reverence! Acknowledging that “this Christ is my Lord and my God” before those who hold power and office—would you dare to speak this way? Do you have this courage and valor inside you? If you are truly to be able to accomplish this much it will illustrate that you truly take God’s Spirit together with His person, and God’s word together with His person, and see Them as one indivisible whole. It is truly treating Them as the practical God in obedience and worship. Can ordinary people understand and see this meaning? As for the matters within the spirit, if you are not delicately sensitive to them, will you be able to see to this degree? If you merely see the surface meaning of the words, this will not do. It falls far short of the truth, and will not resolve any problems.
Knowing God is the most profound lesson. When I say it is the most profound, in what respect is that so? Because it is a matter within the spirit and involves matters of the spiritual world, and the physical eye cannot see nor perceive this. If you want to know a material object, this is relatively easy, as the eye can see it. For that which the eye cannot see, there are scientific tools such as telescopes and microscopes, but there is no way to see that which telescopes and microscopes are not enough for. Knowing God of the spiritual realm who is a spiritual body and is also able to become God incarnate—this is difficult, and truly no easy task. Is it easy to know a person? Having been in contact with him for several years, you will be able to see through even that which he still keeps inside, conceals deep within and does not reveal. At most it takes eight or ten years, after which even a clever spy will reveal his true nature. How much easier still, then, is it to see through a husband, wife, son, daughter, or other person who is close to you? However, knowing the incarnate God is not easy, nor is knowing merely the same as acknowledging. There are some people who, when they have read all of the word of God, say, “Alright, I’m convinced, it is the word of God. If it were not God incarnate speaking all these words, then what would God incarnate be? I believe this is God incarnate.” After reading very much of the word of God, they acknowledge that God came incarnate in the flesh, and this is easy, but does this represent knowledge of God? Some say it doesn’t. Why does it not represent your knowing God if you acknowledge the incarnate God, believing in heart and speech? It is because God incarnate has expressed all the truths for saving mankind, and as you have not experienced all these truths, you have no knowledge, so you do not know the substance of Christ. How must you know the divine substance of Christ? You must first experience these words expressed by Christ, and when you know all these words, then you can truly know God. These words expressed by Christ are very abundant, and within them is everything that you need. They allow people to greatly open up their vision. Experience and know them, for the mysteries of all humanity are revealed in the words of Christ. How many words and phrases do you know of these truths and these words? We are not talking about all of the words, but it is also not simple for you to know every subject of the words expressed by Christ. How many written pieces are there of the word of God? Altogether there are several hundred pieces of the word of God. If people want to know every single sentence in these hundreds of pieces of the word of God, it would take an entire lifetime to understand even a general sense. But if you can figure out these subject headings, then that is considered having the most knowledge of God. If you are able to know the words of God that we communicate often, then you can be considered having the most knowledge of God, and it is not easy to get to this point.
God says, “My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots.” Is it easy to know this phrase? Ordinary people will not understand this sentence if they lack experience. There is another particularly awesome sentence; in the last passage, God says, “Throughout the universe and the limitless expanses of the firmament, among all things in heaven and earth, the myriad things on earth, and the myriad things in heaven are each and every one consecrating their whole strength for the sake of My last stage of work.” How large is the scope of “the universe and the limitless expanses of the firmament”? Just this phrase is very hard to understand. In the sentence, “[A]mong all things in heaven and earth, the myriad things on earth, and the myriad things in heaven are each and every one consecrating their whole strength for the sake of My last stage of work,” what, after all, does “the myriad things in God’s creation” refer to? Does the extent of the myriad things only encompass things on earth? The scope of things on earth is too small, and the myriad things in heaven are also within the whole universe and the heavenly firmament, and there are also the myriad things in the vast oceans. Look: “the myriad things in God’s creation”—this phrase is more than enough for people to know, and it is very difficult for people to know! There is another phrase, “Surely you do not wish to remain spectators on the sidelines, driven hither and yon by Satan’s forces?” What does “Satan’s forces” refer to? What does the phrase here, “driven hither and yon by Satan’s forces,” refer to? God also says here, “Satan is constantly devouring the knowledge that men hold of Me in their hearts.” What is it after all that Satan is doing? What result does it want to attain? God says, “Satan is constantly devouring the knowledge that men hold of Me in their hearts, and constantly, with teeth bared and claws unsheathed, engaged in the last throes of its death struggle.” How should these words be explained? These words are very profound, and this is the great matter of the spiritual world!
God says, “Do you wish to be captured by its deceitful stratagems at this moment? Do you wish, at the moment that the last phase of My work is completed, to cut off your own life?” What is the meaning of the question, “Do you wish, at the moment that the last phase of My work is completed, to cut off your own life?” When the final work of God is completed, this humanity will come to an end, and at that time the ending of man will be determined. If one has not obtained the truth and life, then he belongs to those who have forfeited their own lives. God says, “Surely you are not still waiting for Me to dispense My leniency one more time?” Here it says “dispense My leniency,” and why does it say “dispense”? That means it is the special mercy of God, and God deliberately dispenses it. If it were not dispensed, then people would lose their lives and come to their ending earlier. Look at the words below; God says, “Seeking to know Me is the key thing, but neither should you neglect to pay attention to actual practice. I am revealing insights to you directly in My words, in hopes that you will be able to submit to My guidance, and cease to entertain aspirations or designs of your own.” What does “cease to entertain aspirations or designs of your own” mean here? Do not serve yourself, do not entertain designs of eating, drinking, or wearing any clothing for the physical body, or plan later on how to start a family. If you aspire to or plan anything for your physical body, you will simply fail to achieve it and it will just interfere with your progress, causing yourself to be ruined. Do you understand these words? Should you or should you not make plans for your physical body? What is included in making plans for the physical body? Is it all the different kinds of things that you think of? Do these words not all touch on matters within the spirit? The word of God indicates matters within the spirit, so if you do not place importance on the word of God then you will not know how to treat matters within the spirit, or what being delicately sensitive to matters within the spirit is, or in what way being delicately sensitive to these things is suitable. If you do not know how to be delicately sensitive to matters within the spirit, you cannot be earnest in your treatment or fathoming of them, or make them clear and understandable so as to reach a point of perfectly and thoroughly understanding them. Then mistakes will certainly appear in people’s choices and ways of acting, and they may deviate from the right way. When I speak like this, is it clear to you?
Let’s read another passage of God’s words, “I have trodden the universe with My feet, stretching out My gaze over its entire expanse, and I have walked in the midst of all mankind, tasting the sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent flavors of human experience, but man never truly recognized Me, nor did he notice Me as I walked abroad. Because I was silent, and performed no supernatural deeds, because of this no one ever truly saw Me.” When God says, “I have trodden the universe with My feet,” by the words “I have” He means things that He has already done, and this also includes the first time God became incarnate. “I have trodden the universe with My feet, stretching out My gaze over its entire expanse, and I have walked in the midst of all mankind, tasting the sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent flavors of human experience, but man never truly recognized Me, nor did he notice Me as I walked abroad. Because I was silent, and performed no supernatural deeds, because of this no one ever truly saw Me.” Man is quite apathetic and dim-witted, and there is no one who seeks to know God, so why does God speak in this way? First, this is a fact, and everything that God says is a fact. Second, why does God always require people to know Him? There are, perhaps, many people who do not understand these words. Why does God often say the words like “man never truly recognized Me” and “no one ever truly saw Me” yet still demands that people should know God? This matter is richly significant, so significant! Do you all think that people can fathom the significance of knowing God? The significance is too deep, so no one can fathom it! Some people may say, “Could it be that people must know God while they are alive, and if they do not know God, then will they not live in the same way?” What do you think of these words? If you do not know God, you still will live, but what can be lived out in your life? Can the significance of human life be lived out in your life? Can the value of human life be lived out in your life? Can the likeness of a real man be lived out in your life? Can you truly fathom the mysteries of human life? You will not attain any of these. Then what other mysteries does man have? The mysteries of man are also very profound, and the significance of God creating man is very profound too! If you truly do not place importance on knowing God, then when you have lived a life among men and in the end have not known God, your whole life will have been lived in vain. It will have had no significance, and it will have been a life no different from those of animals and beasts, with no distinction between high and low, or noble and lowly. In the eyes of God, what kind of people can receive the blessing of God, what kind of people can live out the meaning of man’s life in their lives, and which kind of person obtains the greatest blessing? This is something that is well prepared for people by God, but the majority of people do not obtain it. It is like how a very rich mother and father treat their children, “If you are truly able to honor me as your parent and truly be considerate of my heart, and understand my mind, how good that would be. I will cause you to enjoy the best wealth and status among people. What a pity that you are insufficient in this, I pity you so much!” Do mothers and fathers not have this way of thinking? But that said, no matter how rich your parents are, what they give you to enjoy is still limited, and only consists of material things—just power, status, and fame—but after all, what is the greatest blessing that the Lord of creation causes the humanity of His creation to be able to enjoy? That significance is certainly of great profundity, so God demands that people know Him, and there is great significance in this. That is the intention of the Lord of creation, and the intention of the Lord of creation toward humanity is certainly extremely profound in its significance. Then if people do not obtain it, and do not enjoy it, will they be able to fathom this matter? They will never be able to fathom this, nor have any means to do so, because the power and deeds of the Lord who created things cannot fundamentally be fathomed by mankind. Even the heavenly emissaries and angels cannot fathom them, so how much more difficult would it be for us who are within humanity and are subject to creation? We truly cannot fathom them. So it can be said that when God speaks this way, demanding people know Him, the significance in this is too profound! To what degree does this profundity reach? It can be said that it is mystery, in brief, that knowing Him is the matter with the greatest significance, and this point is for certain.
Now we can see what this corrupt humanity is able to attain—is it not very limited? First, our lifespan is so limited, and it can be said that in these four or five thousand years, the lifespan of people has always been seventy or eighty years, and those who live for a hundred or so are extremely rare cases, pretty much one in a hundred thousand or a million. Ordinarily it is seventy years, and people who are robust can get to eighty. Three thousand years ago, Moses made this matter known, so certainly this was the case even three thousand years ago, because at the time of Moses, it was just this way, and if we extend it back to four or at most five thousand years ago, the lifespan of people was within this range, more or less. Now, this lifespan, within the range of this fixed limit of years—is it not so that what humanity can learn and know in this period is too limited? It is too limited. Let us look at the people of China some hundred years ago, or two or three thousand years ago, what was the highest knowledge? It was that knowledge of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, the Confucian way, the learning of Confucius, and the knowledge of Mohism, was it not just these things? Looking at it now, are the theories of Confucius not all merely fallacy? They are nothing but fallacy! No one sees, hears, or reads, and they are all untenable fallacies, and will get a person nowhere. Confucius himself said that he was working for the sake of protecting the benefit of the ruling class; he babbled on about such wild misconceptions and theories, to trick the ruling class into giving him a good position of power, so his learning and theories are all totally fallacious. Scholars in China in the past one or two thousand years all relied mainly on the way of Confucius and Mencius, and when they had studied those old worn-out things they thought themselves to be great intellectuals. What is all this with respect to the present? There is no one studying those worn-out old things. What do people study in the modern era? Humanity has become empty, and they study useless things. But in the last days, when humanity is most empty, the work of God establishes the Age of Kingdom, and has opened up a new era, and the word of God appears just like a ray of the true light within the world of darkness, and we chosen people of God begin to formally eat and drink the word of God, and experience the work of God, and meet face to face with God. Is this not a blessing from God for humanity? It is God caring for and taking pity on humanity! In the last days, God personally becomes flesh and expresses the truth to cleanse and save humanity, but these words are spoken directed toward the people selected by God in the last days, and indeed not spoken directed toward all of this corrupted humanity. The work of God in the last days is indeed not in order to save all of the corrupted humanity, so this stage of the work is very hidden. What is the significance of God secretly descending to do work among the people? It is to reveal Himself only to one part of humanity, and not to everyone, so most people do not know even after having seen Him, and not understand even after having heard Him. This is what happens. Is this not a matter of the spiritual world? It is all a matter of the spiritual world and a matter within the spirit, and one must be delicately sensitive to this matter! There are some people who say, “I am eager for when scientists come to accept this; I cannot wait for intellectuals to accept this, eager for the entire religious world to come accept this, eager for all the unbelievers who acknowledge the existence of God to come accept this.” This “eagerness” that you speak of is not the intention of God, and not what God has planned and so is of no use. If it were that way, then God would not be hidden, and He would simply perform several great signs and wonders and descend in the open. God would speak directly with a thunderclap from heaven, and all people would come to believe in God, and what use would our spreading His gospel and bearing witness be then? One must understand the intention of God, and must be delicately sensitive to matters within the spirit, and not substitute one’s own conceptions and imaginations for the intention of God, for it is falseness and bias on the part of man.
Later on, the word of God continues: “Things are not now as they once were: I am going to do things that, since the beginning of creation, the world has never seen, I am going to speak words that, throughout the ages, men have never heard, because I ask that all humanity come to know Me in the flesh. These are steps in My management, about which humanity has not the faintest inkling. Even when I speak of them openly, man is still so befuddled in his mind that it is impossible to articulate them to him in every detail. Herein lies man’s abject lowliness, does it not? This is precisely what I wish to remedy in him, is it not?” What is “man’s abject lowliness”? It is that people do not understand the intention of God, and even when God’s words are spoken as clearly as this, people are still befuddled in their minds. What does it mean for a person to be “befuddled in his mind”? Not being able to comprehend the word of God, but being muddled and seeming as if not yet awakened, and being unable to understand the word of God. When God says, “These are steps in My management,” what are the steps in God’s management? That is, what work is God’s work in the last days? “I am going to do things that, since the beginning of creation, the world has never seen,” the things God will do are things that no one has never seen before, since the world was created, and God will speak words that, throughout the ages, men have never heard. This work done by God in the last days, and these things done by God and these words spoken by God—are they not things that no one has seen or heard in all the succession of generations? Had Moses ever heard such words? Had Peter ever heard such words? Had Peter seen these things done by God? People in the religious world say, “We do not acknowledge these words that were not written in the Bible, and do not accept them.” Is this not a clear proof? The work of God in the last days is to do “things that, since the beginning of creation, the world has never seen,” and it is to say what “words that, throughout the ages, men have never heard,” so what does this phrase prove to be fulfilled? God always does new things, and He does not repeat anything in deed or word, and does not repeat any work. God is always new and never old! People have no way to fathom God’s almightiness and omniscience. He is continuously speaking new words and doing new things, and never repeats anything. In how many years and ages, can it be guaranteed that the work of God will not be repeated? Can people fathom it? Eternally it will not repeat, because God is almighty. So today we see these words that God expressed—are they words that men have never heard throughout the ages? One hundred percent, of course they are! The words that God has expressed throughout the ages are relatively limited, but the words that God expresses in the last days surpass all the words that He has expressed before. This is a fact, and people have seen this. Some people say, “Later, when the Millennial Kingdom comes to be, will God still be sending forth utterances?” Will God speak or not? What characterizes the Age of the Millennial Kingdom? It is the Age of Word. God will use His words to lead all of humanity on earth for a thousand years. But is that a mere thousand years on earth? What does a millennium represent? It is just a number, the Millennial Kingdom could also be a thousand years or two thousand years, or it could be three or five thousand years. It does not say specifically how many years it is, in the end whether it is a thousand or two thousand years; it is simply called the Millennial Kingdom. Is the Millennial Kingdom that God spoke of the number of a thousand years in human terms? No one can fathom this, no created being either in heaven or on earth can fathom it. If God does not say this no one would understand, and one must understand this matter well. What goal does God hope to achieve in doing work such as this? Below, it says, “… because I ask that all humanity come to know Me in the flesh.” This is the age of God’s incarnation, and God asks that all men should know the incarnate God, everyone on earth know the incarnate God, all submit to the authority of God’s incarnation, and in the end most people be able to know God and attain to a love of God. God will have been completely glorified on earth, it can be said that the will of God will have been done on earth as it is in heaven. When you look today at The Church of Almighty God, is the will of God carried out on earth or not? It is carried out on earth just as it is in heaven. In The Church of Almighty God, are there people who in public disobey and go against God? There are none, they have all been eliminated and expelled. There are people who say, “There are certainly already some who have been expelled, but there are some antichrists, false leaders, and wicked people still hiding themselves in secret.” Those hiding in secret—how long can they hide? Everything is revealed for what it is with God. Do they dare to block the will of God from being carried out? Do they dare to disturb and interrupt the work of the house of God? They do not dare. In case they dare even a little to do so, the church will expel them immediately, so even if there is a small number of other false leaders and antichrists, they cannot block the carrying out of the will of God, and furthermore they dare not disturb or interrupt the work of God. As soon as they are not well behaved at all or make the slightest move, they will be detected by people. As soon as they make one move, they are exposed, brought out and expelled, and so Satan has already collapsed, powerless. This is not merely a matter within the spirit, but is also a manifest matter, and is a matter that all the chosen people of God can see.
Let’s continue our reading of the word of God. It says: “All these years, I have not worked anything upon man; all these years, even those who were in direct touch with My incarnate flesh never heard the voice coming directly from My divinity.” This indicates the incarnate God in the Age of Grace. “[T]hose who were in direct touch with My incarnate flesh” means those who came into contact with the Lord Jesus, and all the Lord’s disciples came into contact with Him. But in the phrase “never heard the voice coming directly from My divinity,” what does “the voice coming directly from My divinity” refer to? All the mysteries in the spiritual realm, and the mysteries of God’s management plan in His work, and the procedures in God’s work, He is speaking these things directly, and this is “the voice coming directly from My divinity.” You must understand that it is not ordinary talk of communicating with the truth! What part does “the voice coming directly from My divinity” mainly point to in The Word Appears in the Flesh? “God’s Words to the Entire Universe” is all utterance in divinity. “The Words of the Son of Man Incarnate as He Walked in the Churches” is the utterance in humanity. Many utterances in His humanity, in reality, are also words in divinity, because the words of Christ are all the direct utterances of the Holy Spirit. “And so it is unavoidable that human beings should be lacking in their knowledge of Me,” and what is the most important reason for this? God was once incarnated, and although people had come into contact with His flesh, they had never heard God making utterances directly in divinity. And for this reason, even if people directly came into contact with the incarnation, it is still hard to avoid lacking knowledge of God. If God were not speaking or doing work, no one would know Him, and if what God said was very sparse or if what He did was very little, people would only know Him a little. If God speaks and does a lot, then people’s knowledge of God will be more. This is exactly how it is! But experiencing God’s work in the same way, and eating and drinking and communicating the word of God in the same way, some people have true knowledge of God, and some people do not have their ideas straightened out and do not have such understanding. How does this happen? It is a difference in caliber. If a person’s caliber is good, then what he gains is much. For those who seek the truth with a special love for the truth, what they gain is much. What those who do not seek the truth gain is only a little. For those whose caliber is deficient, even if they search, they gain even less than those who have a good caliber. This is the case. There are some people who, even though they search, do not gain very much; this is because their caliber is deficient. There are some people who have already experienced and followed, while they gain only a little, and this is because they do not seek. These are the two reasons. Then why are there some people of good caliber who do not seek very much? They do not love the truth, and always think, “What use is the truth? What use is seeking to know God, and what can be gained by that, and who has seen this? Peter received the praise of God, but I have not seen Peter enjoying anything.” They always rely on their eyes to see, and how troublesome this is! Tell me, where is Peter now? Do you know? He is in the heavenly kingdom! There are some people who were lifted up into the kingdom of heaven and walked around it, seeing Peter, Abraham, and Job all there in the kingdom of heaven, while Paul is in hell, and the famous people and Emperors of past ages, even including Shakyamuni Buddha and the Pope of Catholicism, are all in hell. Tell me, is this true or not? This is a matter within the spirit. People who do not understand the spirit say, “How have I not seen it? I also believe that this is the truth, but I have not seen it.” That is also a matter of the magnitude of one’s faith. In merely believing and acknowledging without seeing, can he have any strength even if he seeks? Of course he will have no strength. If you believe one hundred percent in your spirit, you can say, “That is true, I have no need to rely on the eye to see. One hundred percent, the words of God are very accurate, and with God there aren’t any lies whatsoever. What Satan says is all lies, whereas with God everything is the truth. God is absolutely trustworthy, so that which I most believe in is the word of God.” If you believe one hundred percent in the word of God, then as such a person you are blessed. You are guaranteed to be able to seek the truth, because you believe in the word of God. It is only true faith once you believe that the word of God is all the truth, that the word of God is all real, and that all of the word of God will be realized. Merely acknowledging God’s existence, one hundred percent and without any doubt, is not real faith. The religious world has just this kind of faith. They merely believe in the existence of God, saying, “There truly is a God, one hundred percent, this we do not doubt at all!” But when the word of God comes, they do not acknowledge that, and say, “This is not the word of God!” When they receive Christ in the last days and read the word of God, they say, “I see these words are not in the Bible, so they are all not the words of God.” Look, do they have faith in God? That amount of their faith can only acknowledge that God is in heaven and only acknowledge that God is true, and this is not merely legend and myth, nor is it a lie. But this amount of faith is not up to the standard, and it cannot cause them to receive salvation. If people in the religious world are all annihilated one day, and thrown into the calamity, there are some people who will still cry out in grief for them and believe that God is unjust. What is the problem here? Can it be that you do not believe in the righteousness of God? God causes other people’s children to be annihilated, and you praise God; God causes your enemies to be destroyed, and you praise God as being righteous. But if God causes your father and mother to be destroyed—two wicked people that do not believe in God—you would doubt the righteousness of God. Does this kind of person know God? Not even in the slightest could they know God! In believing only in a vague God, seeming to have true faith in a vague God up in heaven, why can they not receive salvation? They do not have knowledge of the real God, and do not acknowledge the real God, so what difference is there between them and those who do not acknowledge that there is a God, and indeed resist God? There is simply no difference. So people who merely acknowledge that there is a God have no worth. Those who believe in evil spirits and in the devil all acknowledge that there is a God, and is that true faith? That kind of faith is of no worth whatsoever! So if a person merely acknowledges God up in heaven, and only believes in a vague God, is he not the enemy of God? Is he not somebody who hates the truth? Is it not this kind of person who nails the incarnate God on the cross? It is exactly this kind of person. These kinds of people can nail Christ on the cross, so are they not the enemies of God? They are the enemies of God, and God will not grant them salvation, is this correct? This is God’s righteousness. If you can truly see this point, then one day when the religious world is destroyed, you will not cry out in grief on their behalf, but you will clap your hands and exclaim in happiness, “Today I finally have seen that God is righteous, God’s righteousness is not false at all, nor is it empty at all!” If you want to attain this result, is it alright to not have any knowledge of God? On what basis is true faith produced? It is established on the basis of having knowledge of God. How is a heart that has true love of God produced? It is also produced on the basis of having knowledge of God. If a person has no true knowledge of God, then even if he wishes to love God he will not be able to.
In the first few years after God began to work, this truth was already being communicated, and there were some people who said, “How is it this difficult to love God? I cannot succeed in loving Him.” At that time people thought, “If you do not love God when faced with such great salvation from God, you are a type of person who has no conscience, you are not human at all.” Is it considered having knowledge of God to say these kinds of words? One could say that this kind of person has a bit of humanity, and that is why he gives such a response, and that these words are still correct. However, this is not considered having knowledge of God. At that time, I too communicated it in this way without having any knowledge. But now analyzing this matter in hindsight, why is a person not able to succeed in loving God? Even if you have believed in God for many years, then if you have no knowledge of God you will not be able to love Him, and what little love you have will be the shallowest. What is the shallowest love? Because you have enjoyed some of God’s grace, you have endured criticism and urging in your conscience, and this has gotten you to want to repay a bit of God’s love in your heart. It is just this little amount of love. Can just this small amount of love express loyalty to God? One day when the judgment and chastisement and trial come upon you, you will snivel passively and weakly, and be unable to love God. People who truly love God are still able to praise God right before they are nailed to the cross, and when the trial befalls them they are still able to extol God. Only these are called people who have true love of God! When the trial is before such a person, even if he cannot feel God’s intention, he still feels, “God is worthy of man’s love, and God is the most lovely God, and nothing can cause me to deny God’s loveliness. God’s true substance is of the utmost loveliness.” Some people put some truths into practice, and say, “This practice of truth is so much better than life in the satanic disposition, there is enjoyment, and so much peace in the heart. There is joy, and there is gratitude!” You have done many things in order to attain your own goals, and sometimes even if you are in a state in which your flesh is satisfied, and you have attained your goals, your spirit still feels more and more empty. What is the reason for this? You have committed no sin, so why do you feel empty? Because what is satisfied is the flesh, and your spirit suffers pain. The feeling of emptiness comes from within your spirit; it is not produced by your flesh. When you have sought for a long time to buy a nice article of clothing or a precious treasure that is beloved to you, you think, “Once I have obtained this thing, maybe I will feel great joy and happiness in my heart!” But when you have actually obtained it, and have taken it into your hand, how is your heart still pained and devoid of pleasure? How did this happen? Who can explain this? What you have made satisfied is your flesh, and there is no happiness. Why do unbelievers live in a state of desires of the flesh, or in sin, and in the end feel that they have no joy and no peace, and begin to take drugs to solve their own emptiness? They indulge in their desires of the flesh, even when they reach a climax they still have no pleasure. They say, “Tell me, how did this happen? What is pleasure in human life? What are peace and joy? They don’t exist, so I might as well take some drugs!” Right when they begin to take drugs, they have ended their own lives. How did people who take drugs, begin to do so? Most people start taking drugs this way: They have money, they have status, they have fame, they have big houses, they have fancy cars, they dally with men and women, and in the end they begin taking drugs. This is just the way they were looking for. They wonder what is actually most able to give people pleasure, and what is actually able to satisfy people’s needs in their hearts? They have toyed with the flesh to its fullest extent, and are still empty. In the end they have still not found an answer, and in the end they have reached just one conclusion, and what is this conclusion? That living is a kind of slavery, and death is complete happiness, and that only in death can one have complete happiness! Death is a release, and release is something to be enjoyed. They have arrived at this conclusion. What does this explain? Their life is a failure, an utter and complete failure!
Now we have known something about how to experience God’s work. The most important thing that is necessary in satisfying the needs in the spirit is being able to satisfy God on the basis of God’s word, and in this way one then finally has true enjoyment, and true peace. Is this not a matter of the greatest happiness? Some people ask what it means to satisfy the needs in the spirit. It just means to satisfy God. Once you satisfy God, you will be happy and full of enjoyment within your spirit, for God is the source of man’s spirit and man’s life, and the origin of the feeling within the spirit is all from God! If God were to give you a feeling of emptiness, you would not be able to break free of it, and you would always feel this emptiness. But if God were to make you feel pleasure in your spirit, then it would be just like feeling the pleasure of enjoying God’s presence and the blessings of God. So the feeling within the spirit originates in God! Why do we speak of it this way? God is the source of the life of all things! If people are able to thoroughly know this very word and this very truth, then they will know what is most urgent to satisfy. They will know how man’s peace and man’s happiness are produced, and by whom they are decided. Is the feeling when you finish carrying out the truth the same as when you attain fleshly desires? Why do we say it is not the same? Is there a basis for this in the word of God? If you can find a basis in the word of God, then that explains that you know those words of God. If you cannot find a basis, then you have no knowledge of the word of God. So seek out a basis from within the word of God—why is there no real happiness in satisfying the flesh? There are certain things in satisfying the flesh that are not sins, and since they are not sins, why is there no happiness or true enjoyment, and why does one still feel empty? How does this happen? Who can explain this matter thoroughly? This is a matter within the spirit, so can you see through it thoroughly? If you cannot see through it then your experience is too shallow.
Why should people practice the truth, why should they obtain the truth? Why is it only the truth that can be man’s life? What is the new life that is granted to man by God? It is the truth. What is the truth? In the Age of Grace when Pontius Pilate was interrogating the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus said, “I am the truth.” When Pontius Pilate heard these words, he said, “Truth? If You are the truth, then what is the truth?” He shook his head, not understanding, and said, “I have seen it, Jesus is without guilt, and I should release Him. He has come for the sake of the truth, and was born for the truth.” In the end he could not fathom the truth. Not only could Pontius Pilate not fathom it, but within all of humanity there is no one able to fathom it. Even up to the present, when we now know where the truth comes from, is there anyone who truly understands what the truth really is? Everyone’s understanding of this is very limited. What I understand is very limited, and very shallow, but even these limited things are very precious and are all because of God’s grace and mercy. Now let us fellowship about this using our superficial knowledge! What is the truth? Once you say this, there will be people who say, “The truth is just God’s word, and God’s word is just the truth.” Is it good to speak of it in this way? These words do not represent they have knowledge. These are true words, and are the words of God, but they do not represent that you have knowledge of the truth. If you are to say something that contains knowledge, then what is the truth? According to what little we understand, we can speak definitely that the truth is indeed all that God has and is, is a part of what constitutes God’s life, and is the reality of positive things; it is absolutely true, and therefore it is able to become man’s life. If people have obtained the truth and have it as their life, then they are the most precious among created beings, they are the most precious created beings, and they have far surpassed all the lives of aliens, and far surpassed the life of all other created beings. This little is what we are able to see, and it does not represent any true knowledge. It is just what we can see. Today this corrupted humanity appears very lowly, and not much higher even than animals, because they have no truth or life. But God takes mercy on this humanity. God cares for this humanity, because when He created humanity it was with intention, and He will achieve this intention. He will accomplish it, so in the last days God does such a stage of work. That is to say, God will bestow a part of humanity with true life, eternal life, that is, the truth. All these truths belong to matters of the spiritual world, and they are all in the word of God. In which parts of the word? Look at which words represent all that God has and is, which words are the expression of all that God has and is and are the expression of God’s disposition—these words are the truth and can become man’s life, and they are prepared to be man’s life. In the word of God, are there many of these words? There are many. Indeed, there are many! If you read a section of the word, there are several phrases. If you read another section of the word, there are several other phrases, and these words are of the utmost importance! For example, when God says, “I am the Beginning and the End,” what does this mean? People say, “‘The Beginning,’ ‘the End.’ … Oh! God used the word to create the heavens and the earth and all therein. God is the Beginning, God initiated this humanity and initiated this world. In the earliest time when He began to create all things, there was only God’s existence; in the end, God wants to bring the old age to an end, God wants to end this humanity that has been corrupted by Satan, end this age, and conclude all of the old creation, so it is still God that brings the age to an end.” There are people who say, “Now Satan has corrupted man for some thousands of years, and what is the future result?” What words can be used to explain this? “God is the Beginning and the End.” “God is the End” means that God will end this old age in which Satan corrupts humanity, that He will terminate every evil one that belongs to Satan, He will terminate this evil regime of the great red dragon, and He will terminate all evil people and politicians that have power on earth, so He is the Beginning and the End. Remember that in the very end these demons will not be able to control humanity, and they must be destroyed, because God is the End. Is it right to use these words here? Will you not have faith when we speak like this here? This is called true faith. Once you see the prophecy, you will say, “The things that happen now were already spoken of by God earlier, and the things we see now were all scheduled well in advance by God. Since they were scheduled by God, God has already made clear what the ending of these things is. Since God has explained them clearly, and yet I have still not seen them, should I believe them?” The magnitude of man’s faith lies in this. Do you not have faith that the word of God will accomplish everything? Do you not believe that God created the beginning and will complete the end? Do you not believe that God is the Sovereign of all? If you do not believe then do you have true faith? You do not have true faith. So no matter how evil this world is, no matter how darkened it is, you have faith that God will certainly bring an end to it, and it will not take long for this world to reach its ending.
Some people say, “These kings of devils are especially cunning now, so can God control them? What if they do not act in accordance with God’s intention?” All people have once had these doubts, but do not forget that God is almighty, God is the Creator of the beginning and the Achiever of the end, God is the Sovereign of everything, and no created thing can escape from the grip of the hand of God. Even though Satan is cunning, it is just a pawn in the hand of God. Is this not the truth? There are people who also say, “This is just a theory; how can God achieve this?” I will say something very simple: Tell me, are those great people and kings of devils able today to know the weather of tomorrow or the day after? They do not know. Do they know what kinds of obstacles may appear in their affairs tomorrow or the day after? They also do not know. Can they know what conditions may arise on their body tomorrow or the day after? Can they foresee what things may occur within the next several years? They cannot. Since there are these several unknowns, can they break free of the grip of the hand of God? They cannot break free, this is true. There is still another fact: Is man not under the control of the spirit? If a person is possessed by a spirit, can he control himself? Can he control himself and not be dominated by the spirit? He cannot control it. So when God was creating the physical bodies of people, these physical bodies had one function which is to be able to receive the control of the spirit. This is a pattern that is predestined. Sometimes God sends a spirit to go and lead some king to do certain things, and when the spirit goes there it controls the king to do this or that thing. Does this appear in history or not? It is recorded very clearly in the Bible which matters Jehovah God dispatched a spirit to go and complete. So, all things that happen to humanity are predestined by God, and special things are all completed by a spirit dispatched by God, and all people who are of the flesh are subject to the control of the spiritual world, and all must be controlled by the spirit. When under the control of the spirit, they are not acting of their own volition, and they cannot see the spirit entering into their bodies or how it controls them, and they are just like a robot that is completely under man’s control. In speaking like this, will everything that God expressed in the prophecy not all be fulfilled and come about as predicted? This is a very uncomplicated matter, it is very uncomplicated for God, and these prophecies will come about as predicted. If you have seen God do these things in the Bible, can you believe that all of God’s words and prophecies will be accomplished? So, looking at it from this fact, how is man’s faith produced? It is produced from the word of God. Once people know God’s word, they increase in faith in God, so the word of God says, “… convert words to faith, to love, and to life.” This is the result that God will achieve in the work of the last days. How can His word become man’s faith? How can His word become man’s love? It is attained through people’s experience, understanding, and knowledge of God’s word. When you have experienced all of the word of God, you see that the word of God is all that God has and is. It is all the expression of God’s disposition. These aspects of what God has and is are all very precious, and if people are able to live them out, if people are able to live in reliance on them, would that not also be living out what God has and is? Then man’s life would be quite advanced and precious. There may be people who misunderstand and say, “If people live out some of what God has and is, would they not become God?” Are these words correct? Some people say they are not correct. Why are they not correct? Whoever knows this matter is really something. Is this matter easy to know? All that God has and is is so abundant, and if you are able to live out just this little of it, that would be like a drop in the ocean. If you live out a drop in the ocean, are you able to become the ocean? You are too arrogant. Do you understand why a person is not able to become God if he lives out a little of what God has and is? You think God is just this little of what He has and is? This is one drop in the ocean of God’s life, and is very limited. If people live out this little, it is too shallow, and this is like a drop in the ocean if you compare it to the substance of God’s life. So if people live out this little of it, they cannot become God; it is just living out a little of what God has and is. In having this little part of the image of the truth, and thinking you will become God, you are too arrogant, too lacking in reason! Some religious people reason on the basis of this logic, and once they reason this way they become a person who resists God. They want to become God, and always think of becoming God. When God said God created man in His image, this kind of person says, “God created God in His own image,” and is this not an absurd explanation of the word of God? Is this not something that just comes out of people’s logic and speculations? Of course, that He created a kind of people, a very advanced humanity, does not mean He created God. God did not say, “I will bestow all that I have and am, and the substance of My life to people, and will incorporate it into people.” When God says it is according to His image that He created man, how much of God’s image is this, after all? Is it one drop in the ocean or the entirety of the ocean? God did not say, so you cannot say this. When you talk that way, it is easy to make mistakes through using logic. What percentage of the substance of God’s life are the words of God and what God has and is that God expressed to humanity? There is no way to say it. In short, it is just a drop in the ocean, and this way of describing it is relatively accurate. You can also not say that it is one percent, nor can you say that it is one-ten-thousandth. If you say that it is one-ten-thousandth, that is seeing God as too little, and you will have underestimated God, you will have blasphemed against God! Saying it is one part out of billions is close, and is pretty near. If people can live out that little, just one part out of billions of what God has and is, and think they can become God, is this not too ignorant and arrogant? You cannot rely on people’s notions to explain this! There are some matters within the spirit that are not the same as matters of material substance, and when people use logic and notions to explain them they make major mistakes, and in doing this people become idiots and cause trouble. Can you say that the people who claim that “living out some part of the image of God, one will become God” are people who know God? First, they do not understand the meaning of the words that God spoke. Second, they have not thoroughly seen the abundance of God’s life, but have underestimated God’s life, and it seems they have seen God’s life as something that is too limited. You see how religious people often say one phrase: “The word of God is only in the Bible, and nowhere else.” Are these words blasphemy against God? Can those words in the Bible represent God? They cannot even represent one-ten-thousandth of God, and you might only say one part out of billions or a drop in the ocean. So people who say these words are idiots, and really do not know God! Saying that they do not know God is not false at all! Almighty God came and expressed these many words in the last days, which God had not spoken since the creation of the world. If they do not know or acknowledge these words, how much more so is this not knowing God. God’s words are so clear, but they cannot recognize they are the words and voice of God. Yet they still dare to boast and say that they know God and understand the Bible. How arrogant, ignorant and stupid they actually are!
The matter of knowing God is very profound, and the little that we know is very superficial. So no matter how much of God’s work you experience, should anyone dare to say that he has any knowledge of God? He cannot say that! If he says this then he will be disgraced. Today I have communicated this and that to you, and there are people who think, “This brother understands more than we do, this brother knows God!” You are wrong to say this. I do not dare to say this—I do not know God, I only have some experience and have some shallow and superficial knowledge. I do not acknowledge that I am someone who knows God, as I am not qualified. I just have this little amount of experience and this shallow knowledge, and it is not enough to know God. You must understand! To whatever stage you have experienced, no matter how the Holy Spirit works, and even if people hear you communicate and they feel it is quite advantageous, in no circumstances should you say that you know God, because you yourself know that you have only reached to a certain shallow level. You are clear in your heart about what level you have experienced to; while other people do not know, do you yourself not know?
True faith is produced by having some knowledge of God, and true love of God is also produced by having some knowledge of God. Is this not the case? So if we want to attain having true faith in God, that is, our faith is up to the standard in the eyes of God, how should we seek to have this kind of faith? How should we seek to have true love of God? The most important thing is to seek to know God, this is for certain. In seeking to know God, how should you seek? It is just seeking the truth! If in believing in God you do not seek the truth, then this faith of yours is in vain and is deviant. In this you have not entered into the right track and the right road of belief in God, and it is only as a person who seeks the truth that you can have true faith in God. You should be able to accept this kind of statement! There are many people who believe in God for twenty or thirty years and do not understand the truth, and they do not have the truth. Can you say they are people who have true faith in God? Is it not a contradiction that people who have true faith in God, if they believe for twenty or thirty years, do not understand the truth and have no knowledge of God? This sentence makes no sense! When people who do not understand the truth speak, they are only contradicting themselves. Suppose someone says, “On the whole I am counted as a person who seeks the truth.” And someone else says, “In seeking the truth, for how many years have you believed?” “Twenty or so years.” “How much of the truth have you understood?” “I can’t say I understand the truth.” What problems have arisen? Is this not contradicting themselves? Is this not slapping themselves in the face? Some people pick up a Bible and say, “Do you know how many years I have read this Bible, how much I have yellowed its pages with use, and worn out all the pages!” Someone else says, “This is indeed not false—this Bible has been yellowed and worn out quite thoroughly. So, then, do you have knowledge of God?” “I do not have any knowledge.” Is this not contradicting oneself? You have worn out and yellowed all the pages of this Bible, but can this represent you having knowledge of God? That is just an external matter, and it is of no use even if you have yellowed or worn all the pages out. If you had not flipped through it, and not worn out the pages, or worn all the pages yellow yet had still obtained the truth, that would also be knowing God. Having the truth does not consist in having believed for a certain number of years. At the least you can obtain the truth in eight or ten years, and at the most you can obtain the truth in thirty or fifty years. Some people had believed for seventy or eighty years and still did not have the truth, and had not obtained the truth straight up to their deaths. How can this be explained? In short, having said all this, a person must be pragmatic in his belief in God, and must seek to know God, and if he believes in such a way for one year he will truly gain a full year’s harvest! If you do not seek to know God, if you do not seek to know God in the words of God, this is having faith in vain. No matter how many years you believe it will all be to no avail.
Let’s go on reading the words of God. “Daily you pray to a vague God, trying to grasp My intentions, to get the feel of life. But, when My words actually come down, you look at them differently: You take My words and My Spirit as one indivisible entity, but you kick the man aside, thinking that the man that I am is simply incapable of uttering words of this kind, and that they are rather the result of My Spirit’s disposing. How would you know about a situation like this?” Does this not cause trouble? As for “[d]aily you pray to a vague God”—there are some people who say, “What I pray to is the name of Almighty God, so how is this praying to a vague God?” Are these words correct? You do not see into this thoroughly. There are some people who say, “Praying to the Lord Jesus is vague, and praying to Jehovah God is even more vague, and it is only praying to Almighty God that can be true prayer and through which one is finally able to have faith in a practical God!” Are these words correct? Some say they are not correct. Why are they not correct? Do you think that in praying to Almighty God it is not praying to a vague God? If you do not pray to Christ, and you do not treat Christ as Almighty God, but take the Spirit to be Almighty God, then in this kind of prayer are you praying to a practical God or praying to a vague God? Explain this! “In matters within the spirit, you should be delicately sensitive.” Is this not a matter within the spirit? If you get unbelievers to explain this matter, they cannot explain it, because they do not understand it, and the more they hear it the more they are lost. If you believe in Almighty God for several years, are you able to understand this matter? You cannot explain it clearly! Once you separate the Spirit and the man, and the word and the man, even if you pray to the name of Almighty God you are still believing in a vague God. I will give another very simple example: One day I was dealing with a person, and when I was done he said in his heart, “I submit to God, but I do not submit to man. You are a man, you are not God.” He did not say this with his mouth, but he said this in his heart. Tell me, does this person have knowledge of God? Some say he does not. Why do you say that he has no knowledge of God? You do not know! You merely say he does not have it, but you just understand this theoretically. Why do I say that you do not know God? It is because there are some things that you cannot distinguish whether or not they come from God. There is a passage in the word of God that says: “In work and matters of the church, apart from obeying God, in everything you should follow the instructions of the man who is used by the Holy Spirit. Even the slightest infraction is unacceptable. You must be absolute in your compliance, and must not analyze right or wrong; what’s right or wrong has nothing to do with you. You must only concern yourself with total obedience.” What is the meaning of these words? People still do not understand! If God wants to complete a matter and attain a result, regardless of whether a person thinks it is right or wrong it is absolutely allowed for the man used by the Holy Spirit to act in this way. No matter what he does, through it God intends to perfect you as an obedient person. No matter what notions you have, God requires this of you. You say, “If what he does comes from God, it is in accord with truth, and I will obey. If by chance it comes from man, should I obey it? How could it be that what he does represents God?” What is it that you are saying, do you know? Your experience is too shallow, and you cannot see into this. Is that not right? If you use your notions to try to examine this, is this not a mistake? You are able to use your notions to examine external matters, but you cannot use human notions, imagination, and reason to examine matters within the spirit. You must simply obey. This is the administrative decree of God, the administrative decree and principle of the Age of Kingdom, so do you dare to nitpick and quibble about faults? You truly have ability, and no small amount of courage! If you dare to quibble about faults, then that is trouble. There are some things about which, after nitpicking them, you have some notions, and God is not serious with you. But as for some other things, do you dare to find fault with them? After you are done finding them you will die, and your death will be imminent. How dreadful that is! “Defiance means death” is fulfilled in this matter. Is God’s disposition in this? For very trivial matters you say, “I have a notion, I have an imagination!” God will say, “You disobedient son!” God will not respond to you. If you really offend the administrative decree of God, you will die immediately. Do you dare to test God on these matters? Do you dare to doubt? What is that commonly called? You are courting disaster, you are resentful at dying so slowly! Is it difficult to hear these words? If it is difficult, then why do I say things like this? This is just how it is. When I have explained these words to you they have some benefit for you. When you are done hearing them you feel that this is how it is, and say, “I must learn to obey, I must have a heart of reverence for God! This is very serious, this is the real matter!” I am telling you, there are some matters of notions with which if you should test God, once the words leave your mouth your spirit will die before you even finish speaking. It will be over, and you die without having any idea how you died. In trivial matters God ignores you, and you say, “Never mind, God still will take mercy on me, I even had some notions!” Do not jump to the conclusion, if you come across a crucial point you will be finished. Understand this!
What people does “[d]aily you pray to a vague God” refer to? Is this now clear? If you pray to a vague God, even if you pray to him until the time when the great calamity befalls, can you continue on and enter the kingdom of heaven? You cannot. Then where will you go? You must die, undoubtedly! If in the very end you have not known God, but you still pray to a vague God, then if you pray up until the time when the great calamity comes, you will have your “success”—by having prayed yourself into hell. It is suitable if you pray to a practical God, and in your heart you say, “God, the incarnate Almighty God is Christ of the last days.” It will be proper if you pray in this way. Do not say, “Almighty God! You are the Spirit, even though you are God incarnate I still know the Spirit of God comes, and what I pray to is the Spirit of God!” This sentence is trouble for you, for with it you deny Christ of the last days and do not know the practical God, and this sentence will bring your end. Tell me, what consequences may arise from praying to a vague God, merely praying to the Spirit of God, and kicking aside God in the flesh. Is this not a person who resists God? This is a person who resists God, and he will be punished for resisting God! You always say, “If it were not for the direction of the Spirit of God, no one would be able to say these words,” and if you say this with respect to people it is alright, but as for Christ you must say, “Christ is the true realization of the Spirit of God—God’s Spirit is realized in Christ—so Christ is able to express the word of God.” It is proper to speak like this. So Christ is God, and He is not a person enlightened by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not work in Him only temporarily, but He is the realization of the Holy Spirit, so His words are the expression of the Holy Spirit. He is the practical God, and He whom we worship is this practical God. He is Christ incarnate, and is not a vague God up in heaven. Even more so is He not merely the Spirit of God, but is the incarnate practical God, the practical God who has become man.
Can you explain the phrase “how would you explain a situation like this?” at the end of this passage? Praying every day to a vague God and differentiating between God’s Spirit and His incarnation, treating Them in distinction—how do you explain this situation? Is everyone resisting God who believes this way, separating the Spirit and the word from the man who is Christ of the last days and who is the practical God, paying no attention to the man, and only taking notice of the utterance of the Spirit of God and the word of God? Can this kind of person obtain the mercy and love of God? Can he obtain the perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit? He cannot. Because he is a person who resists God, and because he is a person who does not treat Christ as the practical God, this kind of person cannot obtain the grace and mercy of God even if he believes in the name of Almighty God and prays to the name of Almighty God, and his ending is still destruction.
The example of Peter is offered in what follows, and what is the most important aspect of the example of Peter? Peter had knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and in the end he treated the Lord Jesus as God. He had true love of the Lord Jesus, so God said Peter was the best in knowledge of God. How can we confirm that Peter was best in knowledge of God? Through the fact that he knew Christ, that he had true faith in Christ, that he had true love for Christ, and that he bore beautiful witness for Christ; we can use this to confirm that he was best in knowledge of God. God did not make a person who believed best in Jehovah God of the Age of Law as the one who was best in knowledge of God, but said that a person who believed in God incarnate, and believed in Christ, and had knowledge of Christ, and could truly love Christ, is the person who was best in knowledge of God. Was there a meaning in God’s speaking this way? It was very full of meaning. God acted in this way, God praised Peter; this is very real. It is only in knowing the practical God that somebody can be a person who has true knowledge of God. These words are the truth, they are real, and they cause people to believe in both heart and speech. So God will not acknowledge that those people who research the Bible are people who have knowledge of God, no matter to what degree they reach in research. Why will He not acknowledge them? The words in the Bible are too limited and do not allow any way to reach true knowledge of God. In former times, God did not appear to people, but merely said those words. They did not see God’s deeds and know God’s words during the appearance of God, so no matter what kind of results this kind of person has attained in the word of God, because he does not have the incarnate God to refer to in order to achieve practical results, that kind of knowledge is all empty, and it is not practical. When Christ speaks practically and performs actions practically, if people truly know it they will understand God’s intention. The word of God will truly have attained its results upon man, and this kind of person can finally have true knowledge of God.
You see Peter’s treatment of Christ as God, how he sought the truth and sought to know the word of the Lord Jesus; how he completely submitted to the word of the Lord Jesus, and in the end knew the Lord Jesus was the real God. Thereby he was able to truly love the Lord Jesus. On the other hand, how did Peter attend to his parents? He came to see his parents in truth as the devil Satan, as demons which stood in opposition to God. He had already seen that they were the real form of the demons, because they opposed God. Someone may say, “How were Peter’s parents in opposition to God?” How did they oppose God? Peter’s parents objected to him following the Lord Jesus, objected to Peter expending himself for the Lord Jesus, and they hoped Peter would grow into an outstanding man who would do honor to them, to the devil Satan. Peter saw clearly that his parents were devils standing against God, so he drew a clear boundary separating them. If one day the parents of a person like Peter were destroyed by God, would he complain against God? Of course he would not. He saw them as devils who opposed God, and saw accurately. When Job was faced with a trial, his wife said these words to him: “Curse God, and die!” He said, “You ignorant and stubborn woman!” Perhaps in his heart he still thought the words, “You devil!” Was she not a devil revealed? Some people show their true nature to be that of a devil, that is, Satan. What consequences may arise if one does not recognize these people? Can one draw a clear boundary line between himself and them? Can one truly betray these devils? If one cannot overcome these, then it is very easy for him to be led astray, restrained, and disturbed by devils, as well as for him to be influenced in his following of God and in fulfilling his duty and bearing witness.
Here it is mentioned how Peter searched; God’s word says: “He paid close attention not only to eating and drinking My words, but even more to grasping My intentions, and was constantly prudent and cautious in his thoughts, so that he was always keenly astute in his spirit, and hence was able to please Me in everything he did.” This man Peter was delicately sensitive in spirit, placed great importance on eating and drinking the word of God and on grasping God’s intention. The more a person grasps God’s intention, the more one understands God’s intention and what God requires from people, and the more one has ways of practice and knows how to make God content. People who do not place importance on grasping God’s intention are always confused, muddled, completely blind, and without any path in their spirits. Can such a person act in accordance with God’s intention? He cannot act in accordance with God’s intention, and this is absolutely certain. So, a person who seeks the truth must meet a minimum of conditions. First, he must be tender toward the matters of the spirit. Second, he must place importance on eating and drinking the word of God. Third, he must place importance on grasping God’s intention. If one has these three things, he will have a path for seeking the truth, and his search for the truth will bear fruit and be successful. When his search for the truth is successful, he will then be able to know much of the word of God, and after he has finished reading the word of God, this will become a real knowledge of God. Having a true knowledge of God is a result reached through knowing much of the word of God. If you truly are a person who seeks the truth, how should you carry this out? Further, up to now how much of the word of God do you have real knowledge of, so as to say “This word is what my life is, and is a life precept for me, and I hold these words in my heart”? Which words of God are a precept for your life, having become a tenet you hold close to inspire you and a compass for your life? Is this matter important or not? If you are a person who seeks the truth, you must often reflect on yourself and honestly critique yourself in your mind, saying, “How much of the word of God do I truly understand? After reading so much of the word of God, I consider myself truly to know and understand these phrases from the word of God. In my knowledge of God, I have only these results, and in believing in God I have these achievements.” If you have truly known many important phrases from the word of God, truly known many dozens of important sentences from the word of God, or known many hundreds of the most important phrases from the word of God, have you not obtained more and more truth? Does your knowledge of God become more and more abundant? If your knowledge of God is abundant beyond compare, then does the life you have gained become richer and richer? The growth of life is such a process.
If a person knows much of the word of God, is able to explicate the true experience of bearing witness, can communicate God’s words in connection with the facts of the material world, with people, matters, and things, then he has true knowledge of the word of God. Once you know much of the word of God, then you have understanding of God, and when you say you are a person who knows God’s work, that is in keeping with reality and completely consistent. If you do not have true knowledge of even one word of God, then if you still say you know God’s work, this is just empty chatter without any basis. What is the main foundation for knowing the word of God? You must be able to communicate the truth in order to bear witness, and to gather people, matters, and things to discuss it. For whatever God’s word indicates, you put forward two examples, and once you explain the examples clearly and people hear it, they will say, “Your understanding like this is so pure. Before, I had not known this. Your understanding like this truly is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is completely correct. I must also have knowledge like this!” After receiving benefit, God’s chosen people are completely convinced! Now, has this kind of person obtained a treasure? He has obtained life. Those words of God that he knows, have formed part of his life, have become a compass for his life, and have become a foundation for his life and existence. Is this or is it not obtaining a treasure? Having obtained a treasure, you have not believed in vain. If someone asks you about it, say: “Believing in God, you have obtained such a treasure. How much suffering have you endured?” “My family has been cast aside, I am without livelihood, am forsaken and maligned by the people of the world, and even up to now there are many people insulting me behind my back!” That person will say, “However much they insult you, and however much they hate you is worth it, because you have obtained the truth, and obtained life.” Now we the group of people are forsaken by the world, and have many relatives, friends, and acquaintances insulting us behind our backs, slandering us and judging us behind our backs, even to the point that the government is arresting us and making plans to seize us. If we truly are able to obtain some truth, or know some God’s words, then these torments are not suffered in vain. They are worth it. When you have completely endured all these tribulations—the world forsakes you, and relatives slander and judge you, and the government arrests you—if in believing in God you have not sought the truth and merely done some service without obtaining any truth and life, have you suffered loss? You have suffered loss! It is out of balance! Torments have been suffered and you still have not obtained the truth. How did this happen? Having suffered so many torments, we cannot have suffered them in vain. We must obtain a bit of truth as a recompense! Without a husband or a wife, without sons or daughters, if you do not obtain truth is it worthwhile or not? Are you foolish or not? If you are able to bear witness, say, “I have no spouse, no sons or daughters, no family, but I have obtained the truth. It is worth it!” These words are spoken in an imposing manner, with a courageous spirit, which people admire! Are you able to do it? Once you speak of this suffering you let out gleaming tears. Once you speak of obtaining the truth, you hang your head in despair. Is this a male child, an overcomer? You have suffered all kinds of torment, just that you have not obtained the truth, so in the end are you smart or stupid? Some people say, “I also want to obtain the truth; how is it that I am not able to obtain it?” Does this question hold water? What kind of talk is this? Can the truth be partial to anyone? Do you truly want to obtain the truth? What price have you paid that you say you have not obtained it? This kind of talk makes no sense! When you talk like this, it would seem that God and the truth are unfair to people. Why, after all, have you cast aside your family and given up your livelihood? If it is not for the sake of attaining the truth, then all that you have abandoned and expended and all the hardships you have endured are all meaningless. Do you understand this matter?
Some people say, “I have had faith all my life, but I still have no real knowledge of God.” How have you believed all your life? You have not entered the correct path of faith in God, and have not attended to your duties properly. Why do you not exert yourself in the way of the truth? Is attaining the truth really so difficult? Is understanding the truth really so difficult? Tell me, is understanding the truth difficult or not? The word of God was spoken so plainly and clearly, and afterward there is the man used by the Holy Spirit to communicate these practical words; if you have some caliber, then when you combine the man’s fellowship with God’s words, you should be able to understand the truth! Further, as to people’s caliber, the caliber of common people is sufficient, and it is easy for people to understand the truth. Some people are energetic and have a good caliber and high level of education, so why do they not use it to do the right things? If you use it to do the right things, then in searching for the truth for three years you will have obtained quite a lot, and you can know much of God’s word—not just one or two sentences, but you will be able to know dozens of crucial phrases of the word of God and the classic words of God. You will be able to give examples in explanation and to talk about real experience. It is not a simple thing to be able to know several dozen phrases of the word of God, and that is enough to prove you do not believe in vain, but rather that you have obtained something. Of course, after we know several dozen phrases in believing in God, we will certainly have true faith, and this result will have been reached; if you then come to know the words regarding God’s disposition, and the words that express God’s disposition, you will have knowledge of God’s disposition and will be able to produce a heart that reveres God. Once a person has a heart that reveres God, then this person’s life can be said to have reached maturity. Once a person has a heart that reveres God, then the fulfillment of his duty will be able to meet what is required, and he cannot do evil because he fears making an offense against God. No matter what befalls him, he is able to ponder it carefully: “How can I not sin against God? How can I please God?” Once he has pondered this, then even without knowing it he has departed far from evil. Who among people with any brains or caliber is not able to weigh the benefits and shortcomings? They all can completely weigh the benefits and shortcomings, consider things in their entirety, and find a choice that is suitable for themselves and a path that is suitable for their heart’s desires. If a person has really understood some truth, he also has a heart that reveres God, and it can be said that his faith in God has achieved success and his faith has met the standard. If one can become a Christian who fears God and shuns evil, he is surely among the people of the heavenly kingdom. This is the exemplary standard of what God said with respect to the faith of Job. Understand this! What exactly does it mean to say that one is equipped with the faith of Job? It is having reached what Job accomplished—fearing God and shunning evil. God calls this kind of person a perfect man, and if you reach this criterion, you are then of the same ilk as Job. When this is done, you have been made complete as a person of the heavenly kingdom. Once you have been made perfect as a person of the heavenly kingdom, because you are a person who fears God and shuns evil, then think about whether all the suffering you have endured was worth it. It was worth it! Even a little more suffering would be worth it, because you have gained life. Any suffering you endure is worth it! The suffering you have endured before is worth it, and the suffering you will endure later is also worth it. Even if you die, it is worth it; your soul will be raised up to the heavenly kingdom, this is for certain!