Chapter 16. People’s Three Kinds of Beliefs in the Practical God
Within God’s family, there are several different kinds of beliefs; these different beliefs must be identified to see which one you yourself hold.
With the first kind of belief, which is also the best kind, a person is able to believe in God’s word in all things, can accept all of God’s revelations, dealings, and pruning, and is attentive to God’s will; he or she loves, is loyal to, and worships God, and is willing to practice the truth. With such a belief one can obtain life, and it enables one to achieve a change in disposition and to be gained by God.
With the second kind of belief, people partially believe in God but are also partially suspicious. When God’s work is not agreeable to such people, they would make comparisons in their hearts, questioning whether God should be doing such things. They are often suspicious of God, and therefore only able to partially obey God and cannot obey Him in other things. They can obey that which they believe is right, but they have their own notions when faced with things that they feel are wrong, over which they feel conflicted deep down, and so they refuse to carry them out. This is also a type of belief. Most people nowadays have this sort of stature; they are only able to obey what they feel is right, and cannot obey what they feel is wrong. They will not carry out what they are unwilling to do. Likewise, sometimes, when the mood strikes, they become enthusiastic toward God, feeling that they should be attentive to God’s burden, and they therefore fulfill their duties; or sometimes they get excited about communicating, find God to be quite lovable, and only then do they feel a bit of faith in God. Most of the time, their belief in God merely stems from following the crowd; they do not actually have any love for God, nor are they attentive to God, much less truly obeying and worshiping God. People with this sort of belief in God only occasionally possess a small amount of love, attentiveness, and obedience for God—and it only happens when they are especially moved by the Holy Spirit, and while the Holy Spirit is doing His work. When they are in a bad state, when they are deceived by others, or when they are weak and negative, then these things all vanish, while they themselves have no clue of how that has come to pass. They are no longer able to love God even if they want to and are not motivated to practice God’s word anymore, and then they see God’s work as very ordinary and very normal. Even if they are not suspicious anymore, they no longer have any energy. This is the second kind of belief.
With the third kind of belief, people have no understanding of God incarnate. To them, He only appears as an ordinary person, and they cannot discern any substantive difference. Therefore, they treat God incarnate simply as an ordinary person in a respectable position. They are able to go along with God and say nice things, and can also believe, but this belief is not the real thing. They are able to go along with God in some trivial matters once in a while, but there is no love for God in such a person. Love is not a caring of the flesh; rather, it means having true obedience while doing one’s work and fulfilling one’s duties, as well as being attentive to God and revering God. Love for God can only be professed by a person with considerable experience; it is not something that anyone can simply say at will. Some people say that such and such really loves God upon seeing that someone is passionate, or say that the people from a certain denomination truly love God. This is nonsense. People of this kind of belief can barely accept and obey when it comes to trivial matters, and when faced with important matters that involve the truth, not only are they not able to obey, but also have their own notions; such people may even grow suspicious of God. These sorts of people are in the majority. They are constantly suspicious of God: “Is this God? How come He doesn’t look like God? The things He said and did were probably directed by the Holy Spirit.” Such people’s belief is the most pathetic sort.
The level of a person’s belief in God, obedience to God, and love, attentiveness, and reverence of God is mainly determined by the following:
Firstly, it is based on whether he or she loves the truth. If you love the truth, then you can keep seeking it further; you can focus on understanding the truth, God’s word, God’s work, the significance of God’s incarnation, and God’s disposition. An understanding of God is primarily based on this one thing. The more you understand God, the more you can identify Him; the more you understand God, the more you can follow Him unwaveringly. That is, one’s understanding of God is based on one’s pursuit of the truth.
Secondly, it is based on whether a person knows God incarnate; that is key. Without an understanding of the practical God, any talk of obeying God, loving God, witnessing God, or serving God is nothing but empty words. Such things are simply unattainable for such a person.
Thirdly, it is based on a person’s humanity, but this is not absolute. This is because some people possess quite a good humanity; they are nice people, yet they do not love the truth. If they have absolutely no understanding of God incarnate, then their belief cannot stand, and sometimes their good intentions unwittingly cause interruptions. Can you say that they are people who truly believe in God? They are enthusiastic, are well-intentioned, and do some good deeds, but these behaviors are only virtuous on the surface; these are just superficial appearances, and do not show that their belief is sincere. If you say that you truly believe in God and truly love God, you must be able to say why you love God, what your love of God is based on, why you believe in Him, whether you are simply following the crowd or if you believe in Him because you truly see that He is God, and what truths your belief in and love of God are based on—and there must be foundations that support these things. Some people like to say that they truly believe in God and love God, but as soon as someone wishes to seriously communicate the truth to them, they have nothing to say. I have heard many people say, “I listen to whatever God says, I believe in all of God’s words, and I believe whatever He says. I have no notions of my own about anything God says and does.” Are you really someone who loves God just because you’ve said such things? You have to have some actual experience; you must be able to talk about your real understanding of God incarnate. Also, what is the essence of God? In which areas do you find it difficult to obey God, and in which are you able to? To what extent do you obey God? In which circumstances are you unable to obey God? How do you resolve your notions of God, and how do you gradually deepen your understanding of God? If you lack such experiences, then you do not have a true love of God. Some people are particularly happy when they see God’s arrival; they give Him a warm reception, and then cry when He leaves. Other people think that this is a manifestation of their love for God. Does this really show that they love God? It only shows that they are earnest, yet it cannot be said that their actions and displays indicate a love of God or a true belief. Some people donate some money, but does that prove a love of God? You might also hurry over to pour a glass of water when you are told to, but is that true obedience? Likewise, some people say, “I started believing in God after I had read His utterances, and believed that God had become flesh. After seeing Him in an ordinary flesh, I harbor no doubts whatsoever.” Can this be called true belief? Do you dare say that you know God? Have you had dealings with God? Have you associated with Him? Do you know His disposition? Do you know what He likes? Do you know the things you do that offend His disposition? Do you know the corruptions in you He dislikes? Do you know through which people He reveals His righteous disposition? Do you know which people He detests? Do you know which of your problems He loathes the most? If you do not know the answers to such questions, it shows that you really have no understanding of God. You cannot say that you truly believe in God, or that you absolutely obey God; you certainly cannot say that you are a person who is doing things according to God’s will, that you love God, or that you understand God. You can only say that, regarding this matter, you understand His will, know what He likes, that you are acting in accordance with God’s will and your actions are based on the truth, and that you obey Him in this matter. Are you someone obedient to God only because you have obeyed Him in this matter? You cannot say that; to say that someone loves God simply based on something superficial is a big mistake. The fact that you have done some good deeds or have particularly cared for God merely shows that you are a kind person; it does not indicate that you are attentive to God’s will. Of course, a love of God and attentiveness to His will are both built on a foundation of humanity, and there can be no love of God without humanity. Thus, every one of you should examine yourself and determine which states you are in. Some people think that they are almost there, but this is not realistic; some go to the extreme by thinking that there is nothing good about them, and that they cannot survive, and this is a negative attitude. Some people think that there is no good in them, and some define themselves as people who love God. They tend to be at one extreme or the other; this is the actual state of people, and it shows that they are not yet on the right track. They should continue to strive for clarity on the truth, and enter into reality; only then can they conform to God’s will.