Heyi Zhuanghe City, Liaoning Province
In words and in doctrine, we all acknowledge that God is faithful and whatever he says will be fulfilled, but many times we do not truly believe God’s word from the bottom of our heart and even often deny it in our practical experience. For example, God says: “Nothing is too difficult for me.” However, when we encounter some difficulties or when we achieve no results in the gospel work, we no longer believe this word but think that the practical difficulties are there and that even if we rely on God, we will not be able to resolve the problems or achieve the results. God says: “God perfects people according to their different functions.” But some of the brothers and sisters who preach the gospel, handle general affairs, or do hosting cannot believe this word. They always consider that only the leaders and those who water the churches are the ones to be perfected by God, while they are the serving ones, not the ones to be perfected by God. God says: “I do not care whether you have done laborious service and made great contribution, whether you have much seniority…; as long as you do not act according to my requirements, you can never receive my approval.” But some brothers and sisters cannot believe this word. And they always consider that as they have followed God for so many years, they have done hard work if not good work and God will not be so heartless as to eliminate them in the end. God says: “God’s will is to save man to the utmost.” However, some brothers and sisters do not believe this word but think that they are through and God will never forgive them, because they have brought great losses to God’s family in performing their duties or have once committed a grievous transgression. God says: “All God’s words are directed at everyone who acknowledges God and at everyone who follows God.” But we say that some of God’s words are directed at us and some not, for in us there are not those kinds of states God speaks about. Again, some people see that God always says such words as “My day has been laid before your eyes,” “my day will not be delayed,” and “my day is truly not very distant,” but so far God’s day still has not come; so they think that God’s words are without accuracy.
All the above states are the manifestation of our disbelieving God’s word and denying God’s faithful substance. It is a very serious problem that we cannot believe God’s word but hold a doubting attitude toward it. This is extremely loathsome, hateful, and intolerable to God. If we do not solve such a state, we will not gain the truth, much less succeed in believing in God, but will only end up being eliminated.
The main reason why we can disbelieve God’s word and hold a doubting attitude toward it is that we do not have the true knowledge of God’s faithful substance. God says: “God’s substance is faithful; he does what he says and accomplishes what he does. He is faithful. …he is sincere and faithful in speaking every word. … God is a righteous God; God is a faithful God.” “God has faithful substance, so what he says is always trustworthy, and what he does, even more, is beyond fault and beyond doubt.” From these words of God, we know this: Every word of God is sincere, trustworthy, beyond reproach, and beyond doubt; and God does what he says. All these are determined by God’s faithful substance. As God’s substance is faithful, all that he expresses is the faithful element, and it is impossible for him to express the hypocritical or the crooked and crafty element. Therefore, no matter how God’s words do not fit our notions and no matter whether we can accept them, we should never deny that every word of God is the fact and is absolutely true and trustworthy.
For example, when God discloses man’s corruptions, he speaks completely according to the true facts, for God has a penetrating knowledge of man, and he has seen through man’s nature and the things in the depths of man’s heart and soul. If we refuse to acknowledge or hold a denying attitude toward the words by which God discloses man, it only shows that we have no knowledge or only a very superficial knowledge of ourselves, but can never be proof that God’s words are inaccurate. For another example, God says: “I do not care whether you have done laborious service and made great contribution, whether you have much seniority … as long as you do not act according to my requirements, you can never receive my approval.” Since God says these words, he will surely decide people’s outcomes according to them. God does what he says; this is a never-changing truth. From Paul and those “lofty men” who have fallen, could we not see God’s faithful substance of doing what he says? God says: “Nothing is too difficult for me.” This word is an absolutely true and undeniable truth, for God is almighty and he can make that which exists disappear and call into being that which does not exist. The reason why sometimes we fail to see God’s almighty deeds when in difficulty is that we have not cooperated with God properly. Although there are times when we have tried our best to cooperate and yet God does not work according to our wish, we still cannot say that God is unable to do so but only that God has his good purpose: either to expose us, or to test our faith, or to let us taste the hardships he has undergone in doing his work, etc. God has said such words as “My day has been laid before your eyes,” “my day is truly not very distant,” and so on, so we think that since God has said that his day is close at hand, it should have come. But when seeing that it has not come so far, we deny God’s faithfulness, saying that God is inaccurate in his speaking. In fact, this only shows that we have deviations in comprehending God’s words and understand God’s words erroneously and absurdly. In the fellowship from the above, it says: “God’s statements about time and about the number of times are completely different from man’s viewpoints. It is in the heavenly position that God speaks to the whole mankind in the entire universe. Man is the proverbial frog in the well that sees but a corner of the sky, so how can he understand God’s meaning? Without the revelation of the Holy Spirit, no man could understand God’s words but would only misunderstand and misinterpret them….” Therefore, we should never impose our own imagination, thinking, or understanding upon God, much less should we say that God’s words are without accuracy because they have not been fulfilled as we have imagined or thought. In short, regardless of which aspect of God’s word we doubt or cannot believe, we should not deny God’s faithful substance but should only seek to know our own arrogance, craftiness, erroneousness, absurdity, and corruption from it. This is because God’s word is the truth and it is absolutely accurate. If anyone has notions or doubts about a certain word of God, he must have misunderstood it or misinterpreted God’s meaning in it.
God’s substance is faithful; he does what he says and accomplishes what he does. This is a never-changing truth. We may have a review of the facts God has accomplished according to his word: In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and all things, he said, “Let there be light,” and there was light; and God said, “Let there be an expanse,” so God made the expanse. It was by the word of God’s mouth that the heavens and the earth and all things were made and established. In Noah’s time, man’s wickedness had become so great that God was going to destroy the world with a flood. God promised Noah that he and his family would be safe, but he commanded him to build an ark. Noah believed in God’s word and did as God commanded him. Over one hundred years later, God accomplished the fact according to his word. When God promised Abraham that he would beget a son at the age of one hundred, his wife Sarah was past the age of childbearing. In man’s eyes, it was utterly impossible for Sarah to bear a son. Yet the next year, God fulfilled what he had promised Abraham. In the Age of the Grace, God promised that whoever believed in him would receive peace, joy, and endless grace. Didn’t we enjoy the peace, joy, and abundant grace bestowed by God in the Age of the Grace? Weren’t all these the facts God accomplished according to his word? Today, in the Age of the Kingdom, God has spoken countless words, and similarly, they are being realized one by one and fulfilled one by one. For example, God’s word says: “My people will surely listen to my voice, and all those who truly love me will surely return before my throne!” This word was once regarded as impossible to be fulfilled, because at the beginning of the work of spreading the gospel, all sects and denominations resisted it fiercely and rejected the true way. But so far, haven’t all those who truly believe in God returned to God’s family one after another? For another example, God’s word says: “When man lives in the word of God, he will have the presence and the working of the Holy Spirit; if he does not live in the word of God, he lives in the bondage of satan. When man lives in his corrupt, he does not have the presence and the working of the Holy Spirit.” In the practical experience, we all have more or less experienced these words. When we practice according to God’s word and live in the state required by God, we have the working of the Holy Spirit; when we stay away from God and go against his word or when we live in disobedience and corruption, we fall into darkness and suffer chastisement. Through these indisputable facts, we can clearly see that from the creation of the world until today, every word God speaks is an expression of his faithfulness, and will be realized and fulfilled. Although some of God’s words seem to us not yet fulfilled, in the eyes of God, they have already been fulfilled. As God’s work advances, we will see all those accomplished facts with our own eyes and thus will be convinced that whatever God says will be fulfilled and that everything is established and accomplished by the word of God’s mouth. In short, every word of God is the truth and is forever trustworthy, and no matter whether we believe it or not, God’s faithful substance cannot be changed, nor can God’s disposition of doing what he says be changed.
Another reason why we cannot believe God’s word is that we simply have not regarded today’s Christ on earth as God. Otherwise, why can we believe the word of Jehovah and that of Jesus in the Bible but hold a doubting attitude toward the word of Almighty God of today? We do not have the slightest doubt about the prophecies God made in the Age of the Law and in the Age of the Grace, but cannot fully believe the facts Almighty God wants to accomplish and the promises he has made to mankind in the end time. Aren’t Jehovah, Jesus, and Almighty God one God? Aren’t they the very God who has appeared to men in different ways in the different ages? Although God incarnate in the end time is ordinary and normal and performs no signs or wonders at all, he, like Jesus, is a flesh with the substance of divinity. His words are precisely the direct expression of the Spirit, with authority and power; and none of them will by any means pass away. Just as Almighty God says: “I am the First and the Last, the very only true God who has risen from the dead; right before you, I am uttering my voice and speaking to you. You shall be certain about my words. Heaven and earth will pass away, but not the least stroke of a pen will by any means pass away from my words. Remember this! Remember this! None of the words I have spoken has ever returned to me, but each of them will be fulfilled.” “God speaks clearly about all the works he ought to do at the end time, such as, what he does today, what he will do in the future, what he will accomplish, the destinations of people in the end, what kind of people will be saved, what kind of people will perish, and so on. All this is for the purpose of fulfilling the practical significance of ‘the Word appearing in the flesh.’ The words in the administrative decrees and in the constitution issued before and the words about what kind of people will perish and what kind of people will enter into rest will all be fulfilled. The incarnated God is mainly to accomplish this work in the end time, letting people know where those God predestined will go, where those God did not predestine will go, how people will be classed as God’s people or God’s sons, what Israel will be like, and what Egypt will be like. In the future, all these words will be fulfilled one by one.” This Christ on earth is the very only true God, the One who created all things, rules over all things, and manipulates all things, the God Godself who arises from the end of the earth full of power and authority and filled with glory and honor. He will accomplish everything by his word and conquer the entire universe and change the old appearance of the entire world by the word of his mouth. Mankind’s destination and destiny are in his hands; all things are established and accomplished by the word of his mouth; his word is with authority and power, and the results achieved by it are measureless. If we have truly realized all these, could we still hold a doubting attitude toward God’s word? Could we still deny it at will? Take an emperor for example. His people all know his identity, know that he has authority, and know that in his empire, he can do whatever he pleases and can manipulate anything at will and that whoever does not obey him will come to no good end. So, they all humbly accept and follow any edict issued by him, not daring to doubt or disobey it in the slightest. It is the same with our treating God’s word: When we truly regard the God on earth as the God in heaven, truly realize that the Spirit, the Person, and the Word are one, and truly see the supremacy, greatness, wonder, and almightiness of God, we will accept God’s word with a fearful heart; and when we have any doubt about God’s word, we would rather deny ourselves and pray to curse ourselves than dare to hold a doubting attitude toward God’s word.
Furthermore, that we cannot believe God’s word reveals that we are too arrogant and crafty by nature. In the fellowship from the above, it says: “If a person cannot fully believe God’s word, this reveals that he has arrogance and craftiness in his nature. ‘Arrogance’ referred to is that he acts as if he were able to see through everything and as if he himself were the truth and could measure everything. ‘Craftiness’ referred to is that he does not even believe God’s word but only believe himself.” “A crafty person not only treats others with craftiness, but he also treats God with craftiness because he is crafty by nature. From a crafty person’s attitude toward God’s word, we can see his nature: A crafty person always has doubts about God’s word, and he does not quite believe God’s word. … No matter what God says, a crafty person always suspects that it is a way of speaking and God speaks it wisely, so he cannot easily accept and practice it. … Whoever holds a doubting or a disbelieving attitude toward God’s word is an out-and-out crafty person. He can never gain the truth from God’s word but will only end up being eliminated.” From these words, we know that it is because of the arrogance and craftiness in our corrupt nature that we cannot believe God’s word. We believe in God but do not believe his word and do not believe his word to be the never-changing truth. Instead, we believe our own mind, our own perception and judgment, as if we ourselves were the truth and we ourselves could see through everything and determine everything. Doesn’t this show that we are too arrogant to have sense and are too lacking in self-knowledge? We all have been corrupted by satan so deeply that our thinking and viewpoints, logic and doctrines, reasoning and judgments are all from satan and no element in them is compatible with the truth. But even so, we still use them as standards to measure God. For example, we like position and like those with position as well, so we think that God also likes those with position; we like to use others for our own ends, so we think that God also uses people to work or preach the gospel for him; we like to speak against facts, so we suspect God of speaking against facts too. In a word, we all measure God from the angle of an unrighteous man, always gauging the heart of God with our own mean measure, being full of the elements of suspecting and disbelieving in God, and treating God as a man. Doesn’t this exactly reveal that we are an out-and-out crafty person? Since we cannot even believe God’s word, how can we gain the truth from it? And how can we have love for God? Our suspecting God like this is in substance blaspheming God and denying God, and it seriously offends God’s disposition. Such a belief can only cause us to become more and more distant and more and more estranged from God. Finally, we will end up being punished instead of being saved by God.
Therefore, we all should treat “being unable to believe God’s word and holding a doubting attitude toward it” as a serious problem and pursue to know God’s faithful substance from God’s previous and present words and works and from our own experiences, so that we can have our faith based on having true knowledge of God, can be certain that God’s word is the truth, the way, and the life, and can firmly believe all God’s words without the slightest doubt and be an honest person who believes and obeys God’s word in simplicity.