Work and Entry (4)
If man can truly enter in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s work, his life will quickly sprout, like a bamboo shoot after a spring rain. Judging from the current stature of the great majority of people, people attach no importance to life, and place importance instead on certain matters that appear to be of no consequence. Or else they rush hither and yon, working aimlessly and in a random and unfocused fashion, without knowing in which direction they should go and still less for whom. They are but “humbly concealing themselves.” The truth is, few among you know anything about God’s intentions for the last days. Scarcely any of you know God’s footprint, but even worse, no one knows what God’s ultimate accomplishment will be. Yet everyone, through sheer grit and endurance, is undergoing the discipline and dealing of others, as though flexing their muscles and getting ready for a fight in anticipation of their hour of triumph. I will not offer any commentary on these “strange spectacles” among humanity, but there is one point that all of you must understand. Right now most people are developing toward abnormality, and in their steps into entry they are marching toward a dead end. There may be many who think that is a utopia outside the human world that man longs for, believing it to be the realm of freedom, but in fact, it is not. Or perhaps one could say that people have already gone astray. But regardless of what people are doing, I still want to talk about what it is that man should enter into. The merits and shortcomings of the multitudes are not the primary topic of this discourse. I hope that all of you, brothers and sisters, will be able to receive My words in the right way and not misunderstand My intention.
God has been incarnated in the Chinese mainland, or in the words of compatriots from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the “interior.” When God came from heaven above to the earth, no one in heaven or on earth was aware of this, for this is the true meaning of God returning under concealment. He has been working and living in the flesh for a long time, and yet no one has been aware. Even to this day, no one recognizes it. Perhaps this will remain an eternal riddle. God’s coming into the flesh this time is something that no human can possibly become aware of. No matter how large-scale and powerful the impact of the Spirit’s work, God always remains impassive, never giving anything away. One can say that this stage of His work is the same as if it were taking place in the heavenly realm. Even though it is apparent to all who have eyes to see, no one recognizes it. When God finishes this stage of His work, all humanity will break with their usual attitude, and awaken from their long dream. I remember God once saying, “Coming into the flesh this time is like falling into the tiger’s lair.” What this means is that, because in this round of God’s work God comes into the flesh and moreover is born in the dwelling place of the great red dragon, even more than before, He faces extreme danger by coming to earth this time. What He faces are knives and guns and cudgels and clubs; what He faces is temptation; what He faces are crowds wearing faces filled with murderous intent. He risks being killed at any moment. God came bringing wrath with Him. However, He came in order to do the work of perfection, which is to say that He came in order to do the second part of His work, that which continues after the work of redemption. For the sake of this stage of His work, God has devoted the utmost thought and care and is using every conceivable means to avoid the assaults of temptation, humbly concealing Himself and never flaunting His identity. In rescuing man from the cross, Jesus was only completing the work of redemption; He was not doing the work of perfection. Thus only half of God’s work was being done, and finishing the work of redemption was only half of His whole plan. As the new age was about to begin and the old one about to recede, God the Father began to deliberate on the second part of His work and to make preparations for it. This incarnation in the last days was not clearly prophesied in the past, thereby laying a foundation for the increased secrecy surrounding God’s coming into the flesh this time. At the break of dawn, unbeknownst to the multitudes of humanity, God came to earth and began His life in the flesh. People were unaware of the coming of this moment. Maybe they were all fast asleep; maybe many who were watchfully awake were waiting, and maybe many were praying silently to God in heaven. Yet among all these many people, not a single one knew that God had already arrived on earth. God worked like this so as to carry out His work more smoothly and to achieve better results, and also to forestall even more temptations. When man’s springtime slumber breaks, God’s work will have long been finished and He shall depart, bringing to a close His life of roaming and sojourning on earth. Because God’s work requires God to act and speak in His own person, and because there is no way for man to intervene, God has endured extreme suffering in order to come to earth to do the work Himself. Man is unable to stand in for God’s work. For this reason God braved dangers several thousand times greater than those during the Age of Grace to come down to the land where the great red dragon dwells to do His own work, expending all His thought and care, to redeem this group of impoverished people, this group of people mired in a dung heap. Even though no one knows of God’s existence, God is not troubled, because this greatly benefits His work. Given that everyone is heinous and wicked in the extreme, how would they tolerate God’s existence? That is why it is always in silence that God comes onto the earth. No matter that man has sunk into the worst excesses of cruelty, God does not take any of it to heart, but only keeps doing the work He needs to do so as to fulfill the greater commission that the heavenly Father entrusted to Him. Who among you has recognized God’s loveliness? Who shows more consideration for the burden of God the Father than does His Son? Who is able to understand the will of God the Father? The Spirit of God the Father in heaven is often troubled, and His Son on earth prays constantly for the sake of God the Father’s will, worrying His heart to pieces. Is there anyone who knows of the love of God the Father for His Son? Is there anyone who knows the heart with which the beloved Son misses God the Father? Torn between heaven and earth, the two are constantly gazing after each other from afar, following one another in Spirit. O mankind! When will you be considerate of God’s heart? When will you understand God’s intention? Father and Son have always depended on each other. Why then should They be separated, with one in heaven above and the other on earth below? The Father loves His Son as the Son loves His Father. Why then must the Father wait with such deep and painful longing for the Son? They may not have been separated for long, yet who knows how many days and nights the Father has been yearning with painful longing, and how long He has been pining for His beloved Son’s quick return? He observes, He sits in quietude, and He waits; there is nothing He does that is not for the sake of His beloved Son’s quick return. The Son who has wandered to the ends of the earth: when will They be reunited? Even though, once reunited, They will be together for eternity, how can He endure the thousands of days and nights of separation, one in heaven above and the other on earth below? Decades on earth feel like millennia in heaven. How could God the Father not be worried? When God comes to earth, He experiences the countless vicissitudes of the human world just as man does. God is innocent, so why should He be made to endure the same suffering as man? No wonder God the Father pines so urgently for His Son; who can understand God’s heart? God gives man too much; how can man adequately repay God’s heart? Yet man gives God too little; how could God, on that account, not be worried?
Scarcely anyone among man understands the urgency in God’s state of mind, because the caliber of human beings is too inferior and their spirit quite dull, and so they all neither heed nor pay any mind to what God is doing. For this reason, God is constantly ill at ease about man, as if man’s beastly nature could break out at any moment. From this one can see even more clearly that God’s coming to earth is accompanied by exceedingly great temptations. But for the sake of making a group of people complete, God, fully laden with glory, told man of His every intention, hiding nothing from him. He has firmly resolved to complete this group of people, and so, come whatever hardship or temptation, He looks away and ignores it all. He only quietly does His own work, firmly believing that one day when God has come into possession of His glory, man will know Him, and believing that, once man has been completed by God, he will fully understand God’s heart. Right now there may be people tempting God, or misunderstanding God, or blaming God; God takes none of these to heart. When God descends into glory, people will all understand that everything God does is for the happiness of mankind, and they will all understand that everything God does is so that mankind may better survive. God comes, bringing temptation, and He also comes, bringing majesty and wrath. At the time God leaves man, He has already long since come into possession of His glory, and He leaves fully laden with glory and with the joy of return. The God who works on earth does not take things to heart no matter how people reject Him. He only keeps doing His work. God’s creation of the world goes back thousands of years. He has come to earth to do an immeasurable amount of work, and He has experienced to the full the human world’s rejection and slander. No one welcomes God’s arrival; He is greeted coldly. In the course of these several thousand years of rough going, man’s conduct has long since wounded God to the quick. He no longer pays attention to people’s rebellion, and has instead made another plan to transform and purify man. The derision, slander, persecution, tribulation, the suffering of crucifixion, the ostracism by man and so on, which God has encountered since coming into the flesh: God has tasted enough of these things, and as for the hardships of the human world, God who has come into the flesh has suffered all of these to the full. The Spirit of God the Father in heaven has long since found such sights to be unbearable and, throwing back His head and shutting His eyes, waits for His beloved Son to return. All He wishes is that humanity will listen and obey, and be able, having felt the utmost shame before His flesh, to cease to rebel against Him. All He wishes is that humanity will be able to believe in God’s existence. He has long since stopped making greater demands of man, because God has paid too high a price, yet man is resting easy, and does not take God’s work to heart in the least.
Although the things I am saying today about God’s work may contain much that is “baseless absurdity,” it nonetheless has profound relevance for man’s entry. I am just talking some about work and then talking some about entry, but both aspects are equally indispensable, and when combined, they are even more beneficial to man’s life. These two aspects complement each other and are greatly beneficial, allowing people better to understand God’s will and enabling communication between people and God. Through today’s talk on work, humanity’s relationship with God is further improved, mutual understanding is deepened, and man is able to give greater consideration and care to God’s burden; man is made to feel what God feels, to be more confident that he will be changed by God, and to wait for God’s reappearance. This is the sole demand God makes of man today—to live out the image of one who loves God, making it so that the light of the crystallization of God’s wisdom will flash forth in the age of darkness and so that man’s living out may leave behind a radiant page in God’s work, shining forever in the East of the world, commanding the attention of the world and the admiration of all. This, most assuredly, is an even better entry for those in the present age who love God.
1. “Flexing their muscles and getting ready for a fight” is used mockingly.
2. “Abnormality” means that people’s entry is deviant and their experiences one-sided.
3. “A dead end” means that the path people are taking runs counter to the will of God.
4. “Break with their usual attitude” refers to how people’s notions and views about God change, once they have come to know God.
5. “Resting easy” means that people are nonchalant about God’s work and do not regard it as important.
6. “Baseless absurdity” means that people are fundamentally incapable of getting at the basis of the words God says and have no idea what He is talking about. This phrase is used ironically.
7. “Complement each other” means that combining both “work” and “entry” in fellowship would be even more beneficial to our knowledge of God.