Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Chapter 19” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe
Now let’s start our meeting. At first, let’s read a piece of God’s words “Chapter 19” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe.
It is mankind’s obligation to take My words as the basis for his survival. Man must establish his individual portion in each and every part of My words; not to do so would be asking for trouble, seeking his own destruction. Humanity does not know Me, and because of this, instead of bringing his own life to Me to offer in exchange, all he does is parade in front of Me with the trash in his hands, trying thereby to give Me satisfaction. But, far from being satisfied by things as they are, I keep on making demands of humanity. I love man’s contributions, but hate his demands. All men have hearts filled with greed; it is as if the human heart is in thrall to the devil, and man is unable to break free and offer his heart up to Me. When I speak, man listens to My voice in rapt attention; but when I stop speaking, he starts again on his own “enterprise” and ceases entirely to heed My words, as if My words were an adjunct to his enterprise. I have never been lax with humanity, and yet I have also been patient with and tolerant toward humanity. And so, because of My leniency, human beings have all grown overweening, incapable of self-knowledge and self-reflection, and they take advantage of My forbearance to deceive Me. Not a single one among them sincerely cares for Me, and not a single one truly treasures Me as an object dear to his heart; only when they have idle moments to spare do they give Me their perfunctory regard. The effort I have expended on man is already beyond measure. I have wrought on man an unprecedented kind of work, and apart from this, I have given him an additional burden, in order that, out of what I have and what I am, man might gain in knowledge and undergo a change. I do not ask man to be a mere “consumer,” but ask him to be a “producer” capable of inflicting defeat on Satan. Though I may not demand anything of man, nonetheless I do have standards for the demands I make, for there is a purpose in what I do, as well as principles in accordance with which I act: I do not, as man imagines, play around haphazardly, nor do I, in willful capriciousness, fashion the heavens and earth and the myriad things of creation. In My working, man should be able to see something, gain something. He should not squander away the springtime of his youth, or treat his own life like a garment on which dust is carelessly allowed to gather; rather, he should stand strict guard over himself, taking from My bounty to provide for his own enjoyment, until, for My sake, he cannot turn back toward Satan, and for My sake he mounts an attack against Satan. Isn’t what I ask of man as simple as this?
When a faint glimmer of light begins to show in the East, all the people within the universe on that account turn their attention for the nonce toward the light in the East. No longer steeped in slumber, mankind goes to observe the source of the eastern light, but due to the limits of human power, no one is able to see the place whence the light originates. When all within the universe is fully illuminated, man will rouse from sleep and dream, and only then will he realize that My day is slowly coming into the world. All humanity celebrates because of the coming of the light, and because of this no longer lies sound asleep, and is senseless no longer. Under the radiance of My light, all humanity becomes clear of mind and sight, and suddenly awakens to the joy of living. Under cover of a shrouding mist, I look out over mankind. The animals are all at rest; because of the coming of a faint glimmer of light, everything in creation becomes conscious that a new life is approaching. For this reason, the animals too all creep out from their caves, looking for food. Plants, of course, are no exception, and in the light’s radiance their green leaves glisten with a lustrous sheen, waiting to consecrate their individual portion to Me at the time when I am on the earth. All human beings wish for the coming of the light, and yet they all fear its advent, anxious that their own ugliness will no longer find concealment, for man is stark naked, and lacks for covering. How many people have fallen into panic, because of the light’s coming, and because the light has appeared, are in a state of shock? How many people, on seeing the light, are filled with boundless remorse, abhorring their own uncleanness, but, powerless to alter the accomplished fact, can only wait for Me to pronounce sentence. How many people, refined by suffering in the darkness, on seeing the light are suddenly struck by its profound meaning, and thenceforth hug the light close to their bosoms, fearful of losing it again? How many people, instead of being thrown out of orbit by the light’s sudden appearance, simply go about the daily work in hand, because they have been blind for long years, and so they do not notice that the light has come, nor are they gratified by it. In men’s hearts, I am neither high up, nor low down. As far as men are concerned, it is a matter of indifference whether I exist or not, as though man’s life would not get any lonelier if I did not exist, and if I did, would not gain in pleasure. Because human beings do not cherish Me, the enjoyments that I afford them are few. But as soon as humanity gives Me so much as an ounce of adoration, then I will also make a change in the attitude I bear toward humanity. For this reason, only when humanity grasps this law, only then will men be fortunate enough to dedicate themselves to Me and demand the things I hold in My hand. Surely man’s love for Me is not bound solely to his own interests? Surely his faith in Me is not bound solely to the things that I give? Could it be that, unless he sees My light, man is unable to love Me sincerely by means of his faith? Surely man’s strength and vigor are not really restricted to the conditions of today? Could it be that man needs courage in order to love Me?
Relying on My existence, the myriad things of creation make obedient submission in the places where they reside, and do not, in the absence of My discipline, indulge in licentious abandon. Therefore, the mountains become boundaries between nations upon the land, the waters become barriers to keep people apart between the lands, and the air becomes that which flows from man to man in the space on earth. Only humanity is incapable of truly obeying the demands of My will; this is why I say that, out of all creation man alone belongs in the category of the disobedient. Man has never truly submitted to Me, and for this reason I have all along kept him under strict discipline. If in the midst of humanity, it should come to pass that My glory extends over the whole universe, then I will surely take all of My glory and make it manifest before mankind. Because in his defilement man is unfit to look upon My glory, for thousands of years I have never come into the open, but have remained hidden; for this reason My glory has never been manifest before mankind, and man has always been sunk in sin’s deep abyss. I have forgiven the unrighteousness of humanity, but human beings know not how to preserve themselves, and are instead always laying themselves open to sin, allowing sin to injure them. Is this not man’s lack of self-respect and self-love? In humanity’s midst, is there one who can truly love? How many ounces can man’s devotion weigh? Aren’t there adulterated goods mixed into his so-called authenticity? Isn’t his devotion compounded wholly of a mish-mash? What I require is man’s undivided love. Man does not know Me, and though he may seek to know Me, he will not give Me his true and earnest heart. From man I do not exact what he is unwilling to give. If he gives Me his devotion, I will accept it without polite demurral; but if he does not trust Me, and refuses to offer up even an iota of himself to Me, rather than growing more vexed on that account, I will simply dispose of him in some other way and send him to the home for which he is fit. The thunder, rolling across the skies, strikes man down; the high mountains, as they topple, bury him; the wild beasts in their hunger raven him up; and the oceans, surging, close over his head. As humanity engages in fratricidal conflict, all men will seek their own destruction in the calamities arising from humanity’s midst.
The kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst; there is no force that can destroy My kingdom. Of My people who are in the kingdom of today, which of you is not a human being among human beings? Which of you lies outside the human condition? When My new starting point is announced to the multitude, how will humanity react? You have seen with your own eyes the state of mankind; surely you do not still harbor hopes of enduring forever in this world? I am now walking abroad in the midst of My people, I live in the midst of My people. Today, those who bear genuine love toward Me, people like these are blessed; blessed are those who submit to Me, they will surely stay in My kingdom; blessed are those who know Me, they will surely wield power in My kingdom; blessed are those who seek after Me, they will surely escape from Satan’s bonds and enjoy blessing in Me; blessed are those who are able to forsake themselves, they will surely enter into My possession, and inherit My kingdom’s bounty. Those who run around for My sake I will remember, those who go to expense for My sake I will joyfully embrace, those who make offering to Me I will give enjoyments. Those who find enjoyment in My words I will bless; they will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom, they will surely have matchless bounty in My house, and no one can compare with them. Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that were made for you? You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You will surely be the master of all creation. You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely be resolute and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit the blessing that comes from Me, and will surely radiate My glory throughout the entire universe.
March 19, 1992
Are you able to see what the main point of “Chapter 19” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe is? The main point is that which God’s work in the last days will accomplish. What fruit does God’s promise mainly intend to attain? To put it simply, it is to perfect a group of overcomers. Who, then, are these overcomers? There may be some who are unclear about this, and who may say, “Who are the overcomers? Are overcomers not those who have true faith in God, and those who are able to follow God to the end?” This is one way of saying it. There are others who say, “The overcomers are those who truly enter into the reality of the truth, and who in the end stand witness.” Is this way of speaking correct? It is also correct. There are still others who say, “In God’s work in the end times, only the people who are perfected in the end are the true overcomers.” All these words are correct. What does it mean that they are all correct? No matter how you say it, people must have genuine knowledge of God’s work in the end times, and furthermore must have true experience and true witness. This is most illustrative. Some say, “No matter how you say it, I follow God, I have steeled myself, and I am guaranteed to persist to the end. Can it be that I am not among the overcomers?” Is this correct? Some say it is incorrect. Why is it not correct? It is not people themselves who have the final say in whether or not they can stand witness. The will of people is all quite great, but will it still be so when faced with the trial? Some are seized by the great red dragon and become Judas in the span of one night—just one night. They become Judas after one night of being tortured, and all those years of paying their dues with painstaking care, and the will that was so great in the past, all of this disappears in one night, evaporating like steam. How can this happen? Without the reality of the truth one will not be able to stand firm, and when the trial arrives it is not by having will alone that you will be able to attain the result! So when the trial befell Job, why was he able to stand witness? Who can say? Is it because he was a perfect man? Was it merely because he had faith? Some people say it was not. What is the most important thing here? The most important thing was that he had a heart that revered God, and he was a person who revered God and shunned evil, so he was able to stand witness. The words “revering God and shunning evil” were Job’s very life. Job believed in God for many years, and because he had obtained this kind of life—a life of revering God and shunning evil, he was able to stand witness. There are many saints throughout the ages who merely had faith, but they were not necessarily able to stand witness in this way. So the main thing is that people must have this life of revering God and shunning evil, for this life is most precious. What is the life of an overcomer? It is the life of Job, it is a life of revering God and shunning evil. If a person obtains this life, and furthermore this life grows and takes shape within his heart, then he is an overcomer. Without this life, then although on the surface a person’s will is great, and he seems to have true faith in God, he is not necessarily able to stand firm. This is the reality.
We can see that some people, upon being tortured by the great red dragon, will in the end become Judas. Some people say, “Were those people careless in their belief in ordinary times?” Some of them are this way, but do you dare to say that all of them are so? There are also a small number of people who are truly not bad, and their humanity at first was very good, and they sought truly. Before people have obtained the truth they are weak and unable to withstand even one blow. So people must see clearly what the life and witness of an overcomer is. If they do not see it clearly, then it is unlikely and not guaranteed that they will be able to stand witness relying on their own little will and faith. You see that there are some people who, when they have not yet faced trials and tribulations, are brimming with confidence, and cast everything away, even to the point that they do not retreat when they suffer much pain. But when the trial arrives before them, why are they paralyzed? Why do they not dare to do practical work, or dare truly to do their duty for God? Why do they become inactive and slack in their work, and want to give up on their work? What is the problem here? Can we say that they have no life? People who have no life are like this—as soon as they are faced with the slightest miniscule thing, as soon as they are faced with a trial and tribulations, they become passive, they become pessimistic and lose hope. Now, do these kinds of people have knowledge of God’s work? Does this kind of person have knowledge of God’s almightiness and the reality of God’s work? Has this kind of person seen the deeds of God? Is this kind of person someone who knows God? He is not a person who knows God. God is almighty. There are those who say, “I know these words, and I also believe that God is almighty, but how is it that God has not annihilated the great red dragon? Were He to annihilate the great red dragon, then He would be Almighty.” Are there not people who say this? Some people say, “Why are those antichrists and devils still able to resist and condemn God’s work so savagely? Why has God not destroyed them?” People all have these doubts, and what does this explain? People do not know God’s work, and they have not seen God’s deeds, so they do not know God. Today the majority of countries all over the world accuse Israel and oppose Israel, but what is Israel? It is the chosen people of God. The word Israel is the name that represents the chosen people of God! When most countries of the world rise up in opposition to Israel and accuse Israel, even so far as a time when they will send soldiers to eradicate Israel from the face of the earth, the deeds of God will begin to manifest. That is the time when the chosen people of God will be faced with the greatest trials and tribulations, a time when most people will lose heart and hope, giving rise to despair, and only then will the deeds of God begin to manifest. The last days of the world will certainly only befall after God’s deeds manifest completely, and in the end God’s deeds will be manifested to all of humanity, and cause everyone to see that the God of Israel is the true God, that Jehovah God is the true God, that the Lord Jesus is the true God, that Almighty God is the true God, and thereafter the last days of the world can arrive. Some people say, “Is this the open appearance of God to mankind?” It is not; it is His deeds appearing to mankind. God is concealed to the filthy world and revealed to the holy kingdom, and God only reveals His deeds and disposition to the wicked world and its wicked people. At present, Israel is facing the accusations and invectives of many nations, even to the point that these nations are beginning to levy armies to attack Israel. The people of Israel call out in search of God, but God’s day has not yet dawned! What does the final decisive battle of humanity refer to? It means when the many nations begin to attack Israel—at that time, God’s deeds will begin to be revealed, allowing all people to see that the God whom Israel believes in is certainly the true God! They will have fallen and completely collapsed with weeping and gnashing of their teeth, dying without any place to bury their bodies! Is the current situation of the world not tending toward the development of this day? It is growing ever more vile, and the situation ever more grave! What do the people of Israel think of this state of affairs growing viler and graver by the day? “When will Jehovah God rescue us? Can we possibly be made to perish by these evil people?” They are all thinking this way, and so they pray night and day to God. This is a fact.
Since God did the work of the last days, have those evil forces of resisting God not grown more furious? Some people say, “When the forces of the religious antichrists are so furious, why does God not destroy them?” Are there not people who think this way? Then why does God not do so? Why does God allow these things to happen? There are many people who cannot see this clearly. Something like this has two levels of meaning; first, it is something God permits, and the second, it is something that is an inevitable tendency. Because people do not know God and resist God, and are hostile to the truth, they will inevitably act in this way, so it can be said that this is an inevitable pattern. So why does God allow these forces of evil to resist and condemn the work of God so furiously? In this is the good will of God. Without the furious condemnations and attacks of the evil forces of the antichrists, would people be able to know the evil forces of the antichrists? Would they be able to know the essence of the antichrists? Would people be able to know the truth that humanity has been corrupted so deeply and has become the offspring of Satan? They would not. So God will thoroughly reveal to people the essence and actual truths about these forces of evil and lay them bare in the light—this is the good will of God. If these things were not revealed for people to see and were not made to be revealed in the light, then when the day of the calamity arrives and God has destroyed all the forces of religious antichrists, what kinds of notions may this give rise to in people? People may say, “When God speaks, His word does not remain valid. God destroyed the religious world, who all believed in Him, so God is unjust indeed!” If the forces of these religious antichrists were not arising in making condemnations against God’s work so frantically, then people would be unable to see through them, and would sympathize with or pity them, or even speak for them in complaint to God. Wouldn’t any of these things be possible? For example, “All those who do not believe are devils, and in the very end they will all be destroyed by God.” Is this saying correct? At the same time as people say “correct,” there will be a day that their dad and mom, or their husband or wife, who do not believe in God will die, and they will also complain to God. Is this not people’s natural instinct? People have a nature that resists God, and when they see that the things God does do not conform to human notions, they all make condemnations against God. All people are like this. So every kind and sort of the brood of the devil Satan—God will reveal all about how they resist God, condemn God, and how they treat the chosen people of God. He will expose them all in the light and allow everyone to know, and in the very end when God destroys them all, people will only then be able to praise God with elation and excitement. If God did not do this, might people retain notions about God? They still would, and this is for certain. It is the nature of this corrupt humanity to resist God, and if a person has any notions about what God does, then he will disobey and resist God; if there is anything God does that does not conform to his will then he will feel unwell inside. They do not truly praise God. People cannot see the nature of this corrupt humanity in themselves, while God sees in great detail, so when God acts there are many facets that are unsuitable to people’s expectations. If He did not act this way it would not work! Do you understand? Look at how God tries the people of Israel, causing all the Muslims to accuse, oppose, and attack them. God says to the people of Israel, “You resist God and do not know God, who sets you wandering in every nation without any land or home to return to, and makes you suffer every kind of agony!” In whatever respect, the final purpose of whatever thing is to cause people to know God. But when all the various countries unite to attack Israel, the deeds of God will be revealed, God will issue forth His wrath and punish these countries and will destroy their armies. Before reaching the most critical and final moment, the deeds of God will not be revealed, and God is only watching intently, watching people’s each and every movement. God is watching how every country moves. When God’s time comes, God will take action. It’s like man’s saying, “When the time comes to take action, action will be taken.” God will not take action before the crucial, final, and most perilous moment. This is the wisdom of God, and this is also meant to be a trial for man’s faith. There are some people who become afraid when faced with pursuit by the great red dragon, and say, “Is this God the true God? Is God able to save me? Why does God not destroy them?” All people have this weakness, and all have this experience, and all think this way. Before the critical moment God will not let His voice sound forth, but when the moment to take action comes He will take action. He will not take action when it is not time. You see how when people arrive at a moment that is a matter of life and death, they are often able to see God’s deeds, but if they are not met with a matter of life and death, if they still fall short of a matter of life and death, God will not take action, and you will not be able to see God’s deeds. This is where God’s wisdom lies—in order to refine people’s faith, to see whether they have true faith in God.
We just discussed what kind of life the life of an overcomer is. If the kind of heart that reveres God and shuns evil is truly within a person and has grown, he will have life! Now let us read another passage from the word of God: “It is mankind’s obligation to take My words as the basis for his survival. Man must establish his individual portion in each and every part of My words; not to do so would be asking for trouble, seeking his own destruction.” These words are very important. Before, we often spoke about entering the reality of the truth. There are people who then ask, “To what degree does one have to enter into the reality of the truth in order to finally be considered to have the reality of the truth? Does this mean that only by completely living out the word of God will a person receive God’s praise, and only then will one accord with God’s mind? Or is it only living out part of it? If it means to live out all of it, that will take until the end of time, and a person cannot possibly live it all out in one lifetime. So to what degree must a person live out the word of God to be considered one who has obtained the truth and has obtained life?” Most people face this quandary, and does the passage we just read not provide exactly the right solution to this quandary? What does the word of God say about this? “It is mankind’s obligation to take My words as the basis for his survival.” It is his obligation, not his duty. Do you know what “obligation” means? It is your duty and that which you must accomplish. It is a person’s responsibility and what he must take upon himself, and the responsibility he must discharge. It is also that with which a person must be equipped—this is the meaning of “obligation.” What obligation? Taking the word of God as the basis for one’s survival is man’s obligation. There may be others who ask, “Taking the word of God as the basis for one’s survival—does this not just mean taking the word of God as the life of a man?” This understanding is absolutely correct. When people believe in God and experience God’s work, they are essentially experiencing the word of God as their own life. In whatever time you come to experience the word of God becoming the reality of your life, your experience of God’s work comes to fruition, and there is genuine benefit in this. Every person should reflect on himself in this way: In believing in God for so many years, have I attained the truth and life? In having experienced so much of the word of God, have I reached a point of understanding the truth and obtaining life? What is this achievement like? If you have obtained this achievement, you would be extraordinarily smart. Those who are able to obtain this achievement do not make up a large portion of all people, because those who pursue the truth are few whereas those who seek status and fame are many. What is the most profound thing many people have experienced? “I finally know what kind of person in God’s family is fit to be a leader, and I have tasted the flavor of leading. I have profound experience in leading. If a person does not have the truth then he absolutely must not lead, and if he does lead there will be misfortune!” They have thoroughly experienced this. Does the kind of person have achievement in experiencing the work of God who lives unaware of whether he has obtained the word of God and the truth as his life? He has believed in God for so many years, but all in all, what did he experience? All he experienced is how to pursue status and fame, and in the very end he was hurled down violently from status and fame. After he was hurled down he sobered up and regained consciousness. Though he has thoroughly experienced this matter, he has not experienced much as far as the judgment and chastisement of the word of God is concerned. If he has some experience, it is also after he is hurled down from his status as leader that it seems as if he has finally experienced some of the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. Are these kinds of people many? People say they are many. Why are there many people like this? Because too many people are enamored of status and fame, and those who have love for the truth are too few. This is the result brought about by people being corrupted by Satan to such an abject level, as well as by the fact that it is in man’s nature to resist God.
So what degree of experience of the word of God does one have to reach to finally be considered someone who has obtained the truth and life? Here are words of God, “Man must establish his individual portion in each and every part of My words.” These words are very powerful and spoken very clearly. Think long and carefully about the words, “Man must establish his individual portion in each and every part of My words.” What is being spoken of in these words? The most difficult thing in these words is “each and every part.” What does “each and every part” refer to? To put it simply, it is the truth in all its facets. In saying “each and every part,” knowing God’s work is one part, and God bearing witness to God’s work and bearing witness to God’s appearance is all one part. That which concerns the work of the Holy Spirit is also one part, and that which concerns a person’s entry is also one part. Concerning why God does the work of the last days is also one part, the inside story of the work of the Age of Grace and of the Age of Law is also one part. These parts all represent all the facets of the truth. So we can accept it in this way, that “[m]an must establish his individual portion in each and every part of My words.” This is establishing one’s individual portion within each article of the truth issued by God. What does it mean to say “establish his individual portion”? It means that you must equip yourself with a portion of every article of the truth, and that portion of what you yourself obtain, and the portion that you should enter yourself, and the portion that you should understand. For each article of the truth you must have a portion of experience, a portion of witness, and a portion of reality. This portion of experience, witness, and reality means you have a real entry into each article of the truth. No mater how deeply you enter into it, you must have your own individual portion in it. If there is an article of the truth that you have not experienced at all, and of which you have no portion, then you are deficient in something; you are incomplete! For instance, do you have a portion of being an honest person or not? Do you have experience? If you have no experience, then you are still a crafty person, and crafty people cannot enter the kingdom. For example, in terms of having true faith in God, if you do not have this portion at all, then you do not have true faith and will not be able to stand firm! To give another example, in terms of having a heart of loyalty to God, if you do not yourself have that portion of experience and witness, then you do not have a heart of loyalty to God, and you will be eliminated. With respect to true love for God, if you do not have any portion of it, then you don’t have any love for God at all, you are incompatible with God, and you are finished. Of these several portions, you are not able to be without even one portion, and lacking any one portion will be fatal! It is like how people die no matter what kind of cancer they get. You do not need to get every kind of cancer to die. You only need one kind in order for it to be fatal. Why is it said in this way? I will give an example: Suppose that people experience God’s work, see some of God’s deeds, and know a little of the work of the Holy Spirit, and feel like they know how the Holy Spirit works. However, they do not themselves have that portion of being an honest person, and do not have any experience, so can this person receive salvation? Some people say they cannot. Why do they say they cannot? Because the humanity of such a person is not good, and is not up to the standard. If you are not an honest person, and your humanity is not up to the standard, then you are certainly a crafty person. You are certainly an unbeliever, the same as those worldly people, and can there be unbelievers in the kingdom of God?
What life is the life of an overcomer? It is a life that reveres God and shuns evil, and the faith of a person who reveres God and shuns evil is true. What does it mean to say a person’s faith is true or not true? Merely acknowledging that God is almighty, and merely acknowledging all the miracles performed by God in the Bible—is this kind of faith strong? It is not strong. You cannot see God’s rule, nor can you see that the word of God accomplishes everything. The faith of this kind of person is still imperfect. Those who see that God rules everything and that God’s word accomplishes everything, who have true faith in each word, and see that it is all an expression of God’s disposition and a manifestation and expression of God’s almightiness—only these kinds of people have true faith. With this kind of true faith, a person will have true reverence for God. Through having reverence for God a person can shun evil, and without having a heart that reveres God, will he be able to shun evil? He will not be able to shun evil. So the ideas in his mind, and what he considers in his heart will all be entirely evil, and he will not be able to separate himself from these evils. He will not be able to obtain cleansing, and they will still persist in his heart. When people have a heart that reveres God, the ideas in his mind and what he considers and thinks about can all be cleansed, and a heart that reveres God has power within. He will then naturally break free from evil. If he has a heart that reveres God only a little, then it has no power, and he will not be able to break free of his evil, so his notions and imaginations about God will still be very many. They will still exist, and this is absolutely true.
“Man must establish his individual portion in each and every part of My words.” It is now clear what this refers to. One is able to enter into the reality of truth in every facet, allowing it to become one’s individual portion, a part of one’s true life. This is the most important. For a person’s spiritual life to grow relies on understanding the truth to enter into the reality. The more the truth is understood by you, the more you will naturally have the reality of living by God’s word; once the reality of your reliance on God’s word to live has become great, then you are someone who has humanity, and you are a real person. If a person is not able to enter into and experience the truth of God in all aspects, and establish their individual portion of a true witness, then do these kinds of people have life? Some people say they don’t. Why do they not have life? Let’s give an example: There are a lot of people who are able to speak about letters and doctrines, and are quite good at communicating the truth, and seem to have established their individual portion in every aspect of the truth as well as an individual portion of understanding and an individual portion of witness. However, it has not become their reality of truth, and is merely something they have articulated very well. They have not lived out that reality, so can this kind of person completely break free of evil? Can changes take place in their life disposition? Some people say they can’t, and this is certainly the case! So it is that there are so many false leaders and antichrists who preach letters and doctrines very well, with eloquence much greater than my own, who truly have a talent for oration. Why have they been eliminated? Why are they not able to stand firm? It is because all that they understand is letters and doctrines and not at all the reality of truth. It is because they have not established an individual portion in every part of the word of God and in every aspect of the truth God has expressed. In the very end they are all exposed and eliminated because of this. God’s word has been fulfilled: “[N]ot to do so would be asking for trouble, seeking his own destruction.” You see that experiencing God’s work up to today people who are able to preach letters and doctrines are no longer a small number, and actually, most people are able to speak letters and doctrines. You see that if you get the people in the church who are least able to speak to say some words of encouragement or doctrines, they are all able to speak quite a lot. Isn’t that right? The eloquence of each one of these people is greater than the last, all quite good. How is it that however much they do their duty they have no result? How is it that they cannot resolve problems when they do work? What is the problem here? Why are people who are able to speak so many doctrines and spiritual theories not able to carry out their duty or demonstrate devotion to God, and even more so have no love of God? What is it to have no life, really? If a person has no work of the Holy Spirit, then he will never be able to express true knowledge of God in words. However many letters and doctrines he understands and is able to speak, this does not represent him having the reality of truth, and even more so does not represent his having obtained truth and life. Understand this now! We will speak more about this in greater detail. If you truly have the reality of truth now, then please say which of God’s words have already become part of your life. Is this question easy to answer? Whichever words you genuinely understand and know have become your true faith and love? Which words and items of the truth have become the foundation of your existence? Do you have this witness? People who can speak letters and doctrines, answer this! The house of God has issued twenty questions on assessing the truth for several months, but those who are able to answer only make up a very small percentage. Most people have no idea at all. Why is this? Ordinarily when you give sermons, it is excellent, so why is it that when you answer these twenty questions you have nothing to say? Where did all your words go? Is it not very easy to bring forward one tenth or one hundredth of your words to answer these questions? Are these questions, which the church gives the chosen people of God, so profound? Are they more profound or shallower than the spiritual theories that those false leaders and workers speak? How is it that you don’t utter a single word? Once the conversation touches upon a crucial area you have nothing to say. When you talk about external things you always have something to say about everything, but this all ends when it comes time to be earnest, as you are afraid to be asked being earnest! What people who speak letters and doctrines fear the most is discussing what is real, isn’t that right?
God says: “Humanity does not know Me, and because of this, instead of bringing his own life to Me to offer in exchange, all he does is parade in front of Me with the trash in his hands, trying thereby to give Me satisfaction. But, far from being satisfied by things as they are, I keep on making demands of humanity.” God is not satisfied with man’s current situation, and is always making demands on humanity. But man keeps parading in front of God with the trash hoping to satisfy Him. What do these words mean? What does the phrase “the trash” mean? One thing is letters and doctrines, but what else is there? There is also the witness that does not belong to the experience of life, but is merely a witness that is enjoying grace and God’s presence. One may say, “How God loves me, God has not left me, God still disciplines me, and how much grace has God bestowed on me, and God has heard so many of my prayers.” You may say this to prove that God is happy with you, and that you have already conformed to the will of God, but this is called deception. What does God call things like this? The trash, brought out to parade in front of God in order to make God content. Aren’t there these kinds of people around? If you ask, “Do you have life?” They will bring out the trash and say, “Look and see if I have life or not! With all this experience and witness, would you say I have life or not?” They say this with such forceful conviction!
Later on, the text says, “I love man’s contributions, but hate his demands. All men have hearts filled with greed; it is as if the human heart is in thrall to the devil, and man is unable to break free and offer his heart up to Me.” “I love man’s contributions, but hate his demands.” Do you know what “contributions” refer to? Contributions refer to your true contributions to the work of God and in spreading His gospel. It is that you have been able to fulfill the role that you are intended to fulfill, and have brought about some results. This is contribution. It also includes giving alms and devotions, giving truly of alms to the church, solving problems of crucial work, having genuine devotion, having genuine spending, having brought about contributions and had success in doing certain duties, and having been able to fulfill an important function in spreading the gospel of God. All these are considered contributions. Before, we heard of the contributions unbelievers talked about, such as how many enemies you kill in the age of war, how many victorious campaigns you wage, how many bandit chieftains you behead. All this is contribution in war and rendering meritorious service—deeds of special merit, first class merit, and second class merit. There is also contribution in enterprise, for when you invent a new product, or have scientific achievements, or perform a scientific experiment, or invent something, which produces some contributions for mankind’s health. That is the contribution of unbelievers, but the contribution that God requires in the work of God is to make contribution to the work of God, the spreading of the gospel, and the doing of God’s will. These contributions are good deeds which people should equip themselves with and are the best kind of good deeds. If people prepare for the best kind of deeds, then how will God treat them? God says, “I love man’s contributions,” so God loves those who have contributions. What God displays to those who make demands is hate, and so God says, “… but hate his demands.” If you always make demands, this is deliberately bad, and your contribution is not genuine, and only has the nature of a business deal. If one has never demanded but only has contribution, this kind of person has true faith. He is not making a business deal, so what is God’s attitude to those who only have contribution and who do not make demands? It is love, it is likeness. So is there blessing in this? There is blessing! What does it mean to have blessing? It is to have something conferred on you, right? You see that in God’s work, in spreading the gospel of the house of God, those pillars and backbone have been the supports in every aspect of work. They preserve it, they urge it on to completion, they lead, and they directly resolve difficulties and solve problems. They have guaranteed the smooth execution of the work of the house of God, and all this is considered contribution. As for people without contribution, they say, “No matter who takes on the responsibility, or who takes the lead, I am just dazed and confused, not taking things seriously, and whatever you say I should do I will just do it.” They say this with the result that they work for a long time with no clear result. This work can get along fine with or without them. Is this kind of person considered one who has contribution or not? If you push them they move, but if you don’t push they don’t budge. They have no contribution. You can see that the caliber of some people is not bad, and tell them to take on some responsibility, and begin some leadership work, but they won’t do it, saying, “Letting me take responsibility is ok, having status is ok, but I will not take up leadership work. I’ll just occupy that position, that will be best.” If you make them take responsibility, then when they have gotten into the position, they will say, “OK, I’ll take it,” but once they take it they do not do practical work, but only enjoy the benefits of the position. Is this a person who demands or a person who has contribution? Is this kind of person not quite selfish and contemptible? If you do not do practical work then why do you accept that position, accept that duty, accept that responsibility? After you have accepted it why do you not take on the responsibilities? This is being deliberately bad, with treacherous intent, very low integrity, not deserving of confidence and trust.
In what follows, the word of God says, “All men have hearts filled with greed; it is as if the human heart is in thrall to the devil, and man is unable to break free and offer his heart up to Me.” Are people who do not have God in their hearts able to offer their hearts up to God? Are people who do not love the truth able to offer their hearts up to God? Among those who do not pursue the truth, not one who offers his heart up to God. Is this right to say? It’s a reality which no one can deny. Of those who do not genuinely pursue the truth, not one truly offers his heart up to God, and even if they say they will do so, it is a lie. Is it possible for one who truly offers his heart up to God not to expend for God? Is it possible not to have sincerity with respect to God? Is it possible not to pay the price and suffer hardships in performing one’s duty? If a person lacks these realities, yet says he is offering his heart up to God, that is deceit, a lie, mere boasting. There are some people who, once you get them to fulfill their duties even a little, are taken by impurities. While performing duties, they work for themselves with sincerity, yet work carelessly for God’s family, going through the motions instead of taking it seriously. In the end, they take care of things for their own benefit quite well, but tasks entrusted to them by the church are a mess. Do people like this pursue the truth? Are their hearts offered up to God? So what kind of hearts are theirs? Selfish and despicable hearts. They are hearts which place gaining blessings above all else, hearts which only follow God in order to gain blessings, hearts which only fulfill their duties to gain blessings and enter the kingdom. They are all very reluctant, and if you are serious with them, they will resist and say, “Up to now, I have sufficiently fulfilled my duties and dedicated to God, yet you ask me to expend more and suffer more hardships. I can’t do that, no way! God never gave me that much. If you give me $100,000, I will run about however you ask, and if you place a gold bar in my bag, I’ll fulfill my duty and sweat every day.” Aren’t there many people like this? People can’t withstand material temptation, can they? For example, when everyone is doing their duty and someone gives one among them a reward of $500, saying “Let me bestow this on you, you’re doing a good job, so I’m encouraging you with money!” do you know what the result will be? Most other people will react negatively, saying, “Why is he giving it to that person and not me, this isn’t fair!” Then they’ll all start fighting amongst themselves. Before this reward was given, they could fulfill their duties tolerably well, but give something to just one of them, and in return they’ll start fighting each other and breaking each other’s heads. What is the problem here? Doesn’t this reveal people? So, people today are very reluctant to fulfill their duty, and unable to bear any enticement or cope with any attack. If there is any trouble, any attack or any danger they will make their getaway. There are not many who can stand witness and become genuine overcomers. Is it correct to say this? If you don’t believe it, then if police abroad suddenly arrest a person doing their duty, if anyone is taken and beaten by the members from religion for spreading the gospel, will most people react passively, or with more strength? Would most people be able to stand firm? It’s hard to say! This person might say, “I escaped to avoid the pain of sitting in prison, why is there still this kind of danger even after I have arrived here? I can’t do my duty anymore.” Is this how an overcomer bears witness? No. So is their faith up to standard? It is not. Their faith is too little! “Man must establish his individual portion in each and every part of My words,” this is critical. What is the use of God expressing the truth in all its aspects? To bestow it upon man to become his life. God will grant man a new life, a spiritual life, which is the complete truth expressed in the word of God, and if you have attained entry into all this truth, and have established your true witness, then you have God’s word as life. Only by having God’s word as life can you be a true overcomer. When true overcomers face every kind of trial, whoever is seized and harmed, even to the point of death, they will not be weak or passive. Through prayer, the true overcomers will continue to expend, and suffer no effect at all. In doing their duty and satisfying God, they will not suffer the control of any person, matter or thing. This is the true testimony of an overcomer!
God continued, saying, “When I speak, man listens to My voice in rapt attention; but when I stop speaking, he starts again on his own ‘enterprise’ and ceases entirely to heed My words, as if My words were an adjunct to his enterprise.” What kind of situation is this? This is something that reveals what man is, something that reveals man’s attitude in how he treats God’s word. When God is sending forth His voice, people listen attentively and with full concentration, but when God stops speaking, people start again on their own “enterprise.” What does “starts again on his own ‘enterprise’” refer to? It refers to walking along one’s own deviant path and still pursuing whatever he likes and considers important. He still pursues status and fame just as before, enjoys the world just as before, and still lives by his emotions, without any evident change. Can one attain the truth with this kind of attitude toward God’s word? God’s word is the truth. Since it is the truth, you need to experience and practice it. When you have experienced and practiced it to a certain level, you can understand the truth, and finally you will have true knowledge of God’s word. You will feel that this is indeed something that can be man’s life, and that it is not man’s food or clothing, but instead the life that people should obtain. If one cannot obtain this life, then he will be destroyed. Today we can say that all of humanity does not have life, but only has physical life. Well, such life is the same as that of animals, and only takes one disaster for it to be destroyed. Some people get into an accident and die when driving, some people don’t turn correctly when driving and careen over a cliff and die—the physical life is just as frail as that of an animal. God now expresses the truth in order to bestow upon mankind new life of the spirit, which moreover is eternal life, yet people do not love it or take it seriously. They act as if they could take it or leave it, and whether they listen to it or not it doesn’t matter. Do people like this know what is precious? They do not know what is precious. The Lord Jesus gave an example: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” This is man’s way of thinking. What does this analogy refer to? This metaphor here is that there is one day God would express the truth to confer life upon people, and when people see how precious this life is, they would throw everything away; they would sell off everything in order to obtain this life. This is God enlightening people and causing people to know what is precious, and in the last days it is precisely these words that are the way of eternal life. If you attain the way of eternal life, then you will never die. When the great calamity comes—when the calamity befalls that destroys humanity, you are guaranteed to be able to live on. God will allow you to live on, and you will not die. These truths are all truths by which a human life should be conducted. They are the way of eternal life, so in believing in God, one aspect is that one should have true faith toward God, but another is that one should know God, knowing His disposition, His work, being able to see God’s miraculous deeds, and finally to understand all the truths that God has sent forth, which in turn produces a heart that fears God, and makes you a person who reveres God and shuns evil. Once you accomplish this, you have obtained the way of eternal life. Whenever you attain the state of fearing God and shunning evil because of understanding many truths, that is when you attain the way of eternal life. You see people practicing all kinds of martial arts, but what result and state does this allow them to reach? The body does not get sick and is especially healthy, and one is also able to practice self-defense, so no one is able to injure them. But even when these results have been attained, are such people able to escape from death? Are they able to evade the calamity? When a war comes, a bullet will be able to kill them, or when an epidemic arrives, they can die from this infection. If an earthquake comes, they can die in an instant. Whatever martial skills they have will be of no use, because they will not be able to evade the calamity. Further, no matter how much one trains in martial arts, will that add years to their life? They seem not to live longer, there are no martial artists who train diligently and live to a hundred and twenty or thirty or forty, isn’t that right? Are the elderly people with long life spans in the world today all practicing martial arts? People who have genuine long life are not those who practice martial arts. Those who obtain the way of eternal life are people who love the truth, and in the end people who love the truth obtain eternal life. So I ask, is practicing martial arts a waste of energy or not? Doesn’t it take a lot of energy? It takes the energy of an entire lifetime, demanding practice from ten years of age up until the age of seventy or eighty. There are people who say, “Won’t I make it if I practice for twenty or thirty years?” You will. But a few years after the accomplishments, without practice, it all disappears. It is easy to lose, and you still have to preserve and maintain it. You still have to practice, but after practicing until old age, one day you will suddenly feel that you don’t have skill in martial arts, and that the organs of your body are failing you. Once that happens, a person’s skill in martial arts is made useless, and he will close the door and refuse to meet with guests or compete in tournaments. A few years after his skills are made useless, he will die. People who practice martial arts become healthy when they do so, but they also pay no small price for their skill. So what if we take the price paid and time spent in practicing martial arts and instead use it to pursue truth? Could we not attain the truth and life? Of course we could. They use their entire lives, and so do we in order to attain this truth and life. When you obtain this truth and life, your physical health will be good even without practicing martial arts, and there will be no illness. Living before God and being able to obey and praise God will let you shine with life. When you achieve an effect in your inner life, it will broaden your perspective, as if all the secrets of the universe were opened to you. People naturally become young once they regain their life force, and their bodies will be healthy. Some people say, won’t people be immortal if they eat a lot of ginseng? If that were true, rich people would always eat ginseng, yet there are so many people eating ginseng, but none have been able to escape death. Ginseng doesn’t work. The truth will make people shine with life and have vitality. The truth is the best medicine, and the moment people understand and accept the truth and when it truly becomes your life, that is an immeasurable strength.
The word of God says: “I have never been lax with humanity, and yet I have also been patient with and tolerant toward humanity.” This touches on what God has and is, and His heart. God says, “I have never been lax with humanity, and yet I have also been patient with and tolerant toward humanity.” In the period when God is working, God’s attitude toward people is like this, and it has never been lax. What does it mean to say “I have never been lax with humanity”? This is not necessarily the case with respect to the devil Satan, but with people, those whom God genuinely wants to save, He is never lax. What does “have never been lax with” refer to? It means that God has had demands on man all along, always letting him learn his lessons, preparing proper surroundings for him while never letting up in His work of saving people. Do you understand it? This is what it means. “[Y]et I have also been patient with and tolerant toward humanity.” What does “have also been patient with and tolerant toward humanity” mean? There are times when people feel that “God seems to have quit, does God actually want me? Can God actually save me?” People can’t feel God at work, but God is patient with and tolerant toward humanity. Sometimes people are disobedient, and sometimes they lose faith. God does not do supernatural things, and does not manifest to people. But He treats you with patience and tolerance. He reveals who you are, gives you a chance to understand, makes you learn your lessons, lets something befall you to admonish you and remind you—this is how God works. “And so, because of My leniency, human beings have all grown overweening.” The phrase “human beings have all grown overweening” means the lack of introspection—you do not know your limitation, you think you are great. When you are conceited you always feel you are great—that’s what it means. Because of His tolerance, God does not reveal His deeds to people, nor does He show His rage, nor give people any punishment, so people get more and more arrogant, and more and more overestimate their own abilities. They do not know their inadequacy. This is what it means. “… incapable of self-knowledge and self-reflection, and they take advantage of My forbearance to deceive Me.” What does it mean to take advantage of God’s forbearance to deceive Him? When you exhibit this kind of corruption on many occasions, God does not take any supernatural actions. Neither does He appear nor show His rage to you. So you become arrogant and, begin to express corruptions. It is okay to express corruptions, but you must reflect upon and know yourself. However, you do not reflect upon yourself, and do not know yourself; this is the situation God speaks of. “[A]nd they take advantage of My forbearance to deceive Me.” God is forbearing; He does not pay you any mind or casts you aside to make you reveal yourself, reveal your own corruption. God does not respond, does not speak. He does not let you feel Him. So you wonder, “Is there actually a God?” It is just like a mouse. When people are sitting at home silently and it doesn’t hear any sound of them moving around, it thinks to itself, “Has everyone left? Or is everyone sleeping? If the owner is sleeping, then this is all my domain, and I should amuse myself.” This is how man behaves, just like a mouse. When God has spoken about the situation of this corrupt humanity, He makes a summary, “Not a single one among them sincerely cares for Me.” This is a kind of situation. “[A]nd not a single one truly treasures Me as an object dear to his heart; only when they have idle moments to spare do they give Me their perfunctory regard.” The phrases “have idle moments to spare” and “give Me their perfunctory regard” mean that when one’s affairs are done and his goals are attained, he remembers there is still one more matter. He thinks, “The matters concerning belief in God must still be addressed and dealt with. I have to be looking like a believer; otherwise, I will be in trouble if I cannot be saved.” Is this not the mentality of corrupt humanity? This is what it means.
In what follows, God says, “The effort I have expended on man is already beyond measure. I have wrought on man an unprecedented kind of work.” Some say, “I just have seen these words God incarnate says, but I have seen nothing else. As to how God’s Spirit reigns, how His Spirit works upon man, how He arranges people, matters, and things in man’s surroundings, and what lessons He causes man to learn, what God’s intention is in doing these things and what pain God’s heart suffers, I have not seen the pains of these efforts.” Isn’t this people being blind? They do not know the work or deeds of God’s Spirit, or what work the Spirit is doing, what circumstances He is preparing, what influences He employs to perfect those who love God behind those words God says, and even more don’t know how man is defying and resisting God when God expresses His word. They don’t know how man treats the word of God, how they are even irreverent to God and how they form notions, judgments, condemnations, and resistance against God, thereby causing much sorrow in God’s heart. In conclusion, all of man’s behaviors, disobedience and defiance against God, even to the point of betraying God—all these behaviors are seen in God’s eyes, annoying and antagonizing His heart, as everyone bites the hand that feeds him. Let’s state a fact: There are some places with two, three, or four hundred people, and among them you can’t find one person who spends sincerely for the sake of God, who can act as a leader or worker. You can’t find anyone who truly pursues the reality of truth and who can bear witness for God. Isn’t this a fact? We take a look. Are these people not good-looking enough? No! When you look at their figures, they look so fine and well-shaped, as well as quite vigorous and are highly educated. Once you comprehend their attitudes toward God, their attitudes toward the truth, it will shock you. When these people expend themselves for God, they don’t do it from their hearts. They are all full of human notions and imaginations along with human intentions, greed and lust of every kind. The majority of people are not even trustworthy. They are capable of doing anything and everything. If you let them look after the offering for God, most of them are capable of treating it as their own property, secretly pilfering and misusing it, and they are all capable of running away with the money. If you let them do something for the family of God, they can take advantage of it and do their own things, none of them can genuinely treat it as something important entrusted to him by God and handle it well. So, seeing these people all coming together in one gathering to eat and drink the word of God, it seems on the surface that they all pursue the truth and are all being considerate of God’s will. In reality, how many people really pursue the truth and care about God? Isn’t this the case? In a church, no matter how many people there are, if you want to find a person who truly pursues the truth and is able to do the work of leading people, is a person like this hard to find? It really is hard to find one, and what does this demonstrate? Look at all these big-eyed dashing types. Few of them do the right things, or say human words, and they are good at using flattery. As to doing practical work, they are good for nothing, and several of them together cannot do a task well.
So why do people not know God’s work? God says, “The effort I have expended on man is already beyond measure. I have wrought on man an unprecedented kind of work.” There are many people who don’t comprehend these words. What does it mean that they don’t understand them? It means they don’t know God’s work. Why do they not know it? They have not taken God’s work seriously; they have not put forth effort. If people truly put forth effort and took it seriously, how could they not know it at all? They ought to know at least part of it. Can you not speak about literal theories? Then just communicate your understanding of these words to me and I’ll listen, and see if what you say is passable. There are plenty of people who can talk about literal theories, but how many are there who are truly able to communicate the word of God? There aren’t many, as most people pay no attention to the word of God. Isn’t that the case? “[A]part from this, I have given him an additional burden.” There are people who take this to mean: “This is an additional burden given to man! God’s work is just to give man additional burdens, otherwise we would be just like worldly people, just enjoying sinful pleasure. When the pleasure is over the sky will fall and everyone will die, and it will all be over. It won’t just be I who die, but everyone who will die, that goes without saying.” Now what kinds of notions do some people have when something happens to them? Unbelievers say, “When the sky collapses there will be the tall ones holding it up, so what are we concerned? Let’s just go on our way, we have nothing to worry about.” Aren’t there these kinds of people around? In any place, when something happens, they say, “It’s none of our business,” and go about just as before, eating and drinking their fill and sleeping sweetly, isn’t that right? The word of God says, “… in order that, out of what I have and what I am, man might gain in knowledge and undergo a change.” The goal of God’s work is to let man have knowledge of God, to reach some kind of transformation. Perhaps people can thus truly obey and revere God; this is what it means. Below it also says, “I do not ask man to be a mere ‘consumer,’ but ask him to be a ‘producer’ capable of inflicting defeat on Satan.” Just being a consumer is not good enough, you must also produce. Now the country is invigorating the economy and letting people continuously consume and spend money. When you spend a lot of money, goods circulate naturally, money can be recouped, and the economy improves. Is merely consuming a kind of contribution? If you do not produce something good, however much you spend will not better the economy. Here it says, “I do not ask man to be a mere ‘consumer.’” “[C]onsumer” means “I spend for the sake of God, I follow God, I am going to bear witness for God.” On the surface, it seems that they are consumers, but here it also says “but ask him to be a ‘producer’ capable of inflicting defeat on Satan.” What does it refer to? It isn’t just that you can do some things outside and be done with it. You must have genuine experience and witness. You must be able to say something about real knowledge of God, and only in this way will your negative state be transformed into a force of life by which you sincerely spend for the sake of God. “[A] ‘producer’ capable of inflicting defeat on Satan” is one who has practical experience and witness, and when other people are passive and weak, you can have true faith. You can truly bear witness, and the true witness produced by this true faith is the witness offered by the producer capable of defeating Satan. Is it now clear what “a ‘producer’ capable of inflicting defeat on Satan” refers to? You must pursue the truth and know God’s work to produce true faith, and afterward you will create a beautiful and resounding witness. Only in this way is one being a producer. What do they produce? They produce witnesses. How are the witnesses produced? Pursuing the truth produces true faith, and true faith transforms into true witnesses. All this is the result of pursuing the truth and taking God’s word as their life. So now these people who truly bear witness are those who sincerely do their duty and have principles. They are people who, no matter what duty they do, they produce true results, and in the end they produce every kind of good witness. Isn’t this the result that producers who defeat Satan get? So have the duties that you performed produced any products that are up to standard? Is what they produce just half-baked goods and counterfeit products, or the authentic articles? Or does it have the effectiveness of an atom bomb or a missile? If you manufacture a bomb that is a dud, it only fizzles off without a bang when you launch it. It does nothing but confuses people. Can someone like this be considered a producer?
I’ve discovered that some people were having good results from fulfilling their duties while in the mainland China, but once they go overseas, they have no results at all. What is going on here? Why did these people have results when they were in the mainland China? It was the hostile environment of the mainland China that caused this. Even though they wanted to cling to the world and pursue things they enjoyed, they couldn’t because the environment made it too risky. Shutting themselves off in their rooms to fulfill their duty was the only thing they felt they could do, and so there were some results from fulfilling their duties when they were in the mainland China. But after arriving overseas, their environment was different. The environment was free, with so many things to enjoy, so many things to watch, and endless novelties of this world of pleasures. With their minds on pleasure-seeking, they have no interest in fulfilling their duties quietly before God, which is why they are no longer productive. They produce nothing, and have no results to show, since their minds are always on going out to enjoy themselves. Are these people sincerely expending for God? These people have revealed themselves. They are not people who genuinely love the truth. So how should we deal with these people? Send home those who have never properly fulfilled their duty and whom no amount of fellowshiping on truth can help, do you hear me? There are some able to accept exhortation and advice, pursue truth, and faithfully fulfill their duties. These people will stay. All those who, after a period of time, remain unmoved no matter how people talk with them, should be promptly dismissed and sent back to the mainland China. Why return to the mainland China? The environment of the mainland China shapes people. It is that hostile environment which drives people to make efforts on behalf of God’s work. Without that hostile environment, they are in trouble. Once in a world of pleasure, they have no desire to fulfill their duties to God, and only desire the world of pleasure. Some want to find a lover, pursue their lust, and make a game out of physical desire. Should these people be sent away? Bringing these people overseas is snaring them, cutting off their chances in life, but sending them home is protecting them, God’s grace and blessing, isn’t it? Keep those who have set their minds on fulfilling their duty, and accepting the truth, those who have good humanity and are obedient. Send away all those who do not accept the truth in the least or do not fulfill their duty in a normal fashion, for God’s house will not retain such people. They cannot become producers of defeat for Satan, nor will they bear true witness. They have used the opportunity of expending themselves for God and fulfilling their duty to indulge in the sin of physical covetousness. These are people who take pleasure in physical enjoyment, people who are filled with evil lusts. They do not genuinely expend themselves for God. If these people continue to remain overseas, not only will they ultimately be unable to become overcomers, but their chances in life will also be cut off. Such people are not worthy of performing their duty in a free, democratic society. “Though I may not demand anything of man, nonetheless I do have standards for the demands I make, for there is a purpose in what I do, as well as principles in accordance with which I act: I do not, as man imagines, play around haphazardly, nor do I, in willful capriciousness, fashion the heavens and earth and the myriad things of creation. In My working, man should be able to see something, gain something. He should not squander away the springtime of his youth, or treat his own life like a garment on which dust is carelessly allowed to gather; rather, he should stand strict guard over himself, taking from My bounty to provide for his own enjoyment, until, for My sake, he cannot turn back toward Satan, and for My sake he mounts an attack against Satan. Isn’t what I ask of man as simple as this?” Such simple demands are the lowest standard. But some people cannot meet such simple demands. What is their problem? They are people who do not love the truth and do not sincerely expend themselves for God. If they were in the least sincere, it would not come this point. When some people produce no results after performing their duty for a long time, if you do not send them away, you are blind, and you are inconsiderate of God’s heart.
What are the realities God demands of people, of the overcomers whom God ultimately perfects? Turn to the last passage in this text of God’s word. “The kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst.” This is a fact. So, what does this kingdom refer to? It refers to those who are truly God’s people, the people in The Church of Almighty God who sincerely accept and obey the work of Almighty God. These are the people of the kingdom. With the existence of the people of the kingdom, with these people of the kingdom being made complete by God, the words “[t]he kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst” are fulfilled. Then is the kingdom of Christ produced from within The Church of Almighty God? It is precisely because the expansion and development of The Church of Almighty God that the kingdom of Christ expands, takes shape, and arises among mankind. So, who are these people? They are the overcomers. Below it states further, “[T]here is no force that can destroy My kingdom.” Are these words plain enough? They are as plain as day! That is, there is no power in the world, even in the universe, that can destroy God’s kingdom. Are these not God’s words? They are what God has said. No human has the authority to say such things, but God has the courage to spread His voice to the entire universe and to all creation. If you do not accept this, then stand up and try to reject it. No one dares to challenge Him, and no matter how He openly spreads His voice, once it is heard, the entire human race will fall silent, and no one will dare respond. We can prove this by recalling something that once happened. When God first began the work of the Age of Law, He appeared and spoke to Moses. What task did He entrust to Moses to do? To lead the Israelites out of the hand of the Egyptian Pharaoh and into the good land of Canaan. Moses accepted the task God entrusted to him, and he did lead the Israelites out of Egypt ruled by Pharaoh. We don’t need to detail this process. The course of these events revealed some of God’s deeds, and the Pharaoh had no choice but to let the Israelites go, but just when the Israelites were leaving Egypt, the Pharaoh resisted once again, “Letting them go like this is out of the question, and I won’t put up with it.” Then he sent his army in pursuit of the Israelites to intercept them and bring them back. The Israelites had just gotten to the Red Sea when the Pharaoh’s army came up behind them, and the Red Sea ahead blocked their escape route. When it appeared that the Israelites were trapped and there was no hope, God stretched out His mighty hand and parted the Red Sea. The sea is full of water, how could you put a road there? But as if slicing through it, God divided the sea, leaving a path through it, and the water didn’t flow back onto this path. The Israelites took one look, and said, “The God of our faith is the true God, He is too almighty!” Immediately they found confidence and escaped across the Red Sea. Once they set out, the Pharaoh’s army behind them had to go after them. They thought, “You got across this way, so we can too.” But while the Israelites got through, when the Egyptian soldiers were still in the midst of the sea, the waters closed back up and drowned them. What do we see in this? Can the evil power of Satan destroy anything that God determines to accomplish? It cannot.
What God wants to accomplish, no power can obstruct. Never mind a Pharaoh, even the whole world united together cannot. Once God reveals His deeds, those several planets will be destroyed if He wishes them destroyed? Gone in one word. It’s a fact. And it is God’s work that will save the human race. The powers of the world, no matter how evil, cannot obstruct or destroy that. What do we see in this? What will God’s six thousand-year management plan accomplish? It is a group of overcomers. These overcomers are the fruit of God’s six thousand-year management plan, and it is because of these overcomers that God gives them a kingdom, the kingdom of Christ. Can Satan destroy that achievement? No. When God guided the Israelites out of Egypt, they were not yet overcomers. They were God’s chosen people, and when the Pharaoh tried to pursue and bring them back, God didn’t allow it. Nor will God allow this for the overcomers—the result of the completion of God’s six thousand-year management plan in the last days. Even less can Satan destroy them. These people are favored by God, so would Satan dare do anything? It won’t. We should understand this fact. God protects His chosen people. When it’s not yet crucial to do so, He does not act, but when it becomes time, He acts. Now you see clearly that this is so. Beyond this, in the Book of Revelation we see prophecies. What will be the scale of the final apocalypse? What is it that the kings of earth cry out? “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev 6:16). “Fall on us,” what does it mean? Do not let us see the wrath of God’s Lamb. It is too terrifying. It is seeing the sight of God venting His fury that is too awful, so they are desperate for the mountains to cover them to block out God venting His fury on them. Is there such a scene in the Book of Revelation? God has the power to destroy the human race. If God has such great power, can He protect His chosen people and His kingdom? He can do that and more. So, is there any power among humans on this earth that dares raise its voice to challenge Him? There are none that will dare raise their voice in protest. At the first sound they will be instantly destroyed. As God said, “[T]here is no force that can destroy My kingdom.” This is a fact, and God’s chosen people have already seen God’s almightiness. The disaster of the last days is inevitable. In this disaster the deed of God will be made clear to humanity, and He will vent His wrath on this corrupt human race. When this corrupt humanity is on the verge of extinction, they will be made to see God’s deeds, made to acknowledge the awesomeness of the true God, and that those who resist the true God are all doomed. But God will not reveal Himself to them.
“Of My people who are in the kingdom of today, which of you is not a human being among human beings? Which of you lies outside the human condition?” These words are important. “Of My people who are in the kingdom of today….” God’s chosen people today are all people of the kingdom, the people of Christ’s kingdom in the last days. Are those words clear enough? Some might ask, “So will this be all of us who accept Almighty God?” No, but the people of the kingdom are all in The Church of Almighty God. What proportion of the people in The Church of Almighty God are people of the kingdom is difficult to say now, but all those who pursue the truth certainly are. Some might then ask, “Are there people of the kingdom from outside The Church of Almighty God?” There still are, for the gospel is just now spreading, and no one can say how many people will accept it later, right? No matter whether now or later, the majority of people among all those who accept Almighty God are people of the kingdom, and those who are eliminated are not people of the kingdom. They make up the numbers. They have no love for the truth at all, and they will be eliminated.
“When My new starting point is announced to the multitude….” The “new starting point” refers to God’s new work, and God’s work in the last days is this new starting point. “When My new starting point is announced to the multitude, how will humanity react? You have seen with your own eyes the state of mankind; surely you do not still harbor hopes of enduring forever in this world?” What is the meaning of “surely you do not still harbor hopes of enduring forever in this world?” God’s words do not say so plainly, but there is a meaning within these words, which is that the end of the world is fast approaching, this world will not endure, and because this world is about to be destroyed, you shouldn’t count on being able to live for long in this world, or on eternal existence in this world! If someone says, in this world I still want to get this or that official position, I still want to become famous, or I want to start some enterprise or other, then their thinking makes no sense, it’s all fantasy. This world is soon to be destroyed. The disaster is rapidly approaching. The four blood moons have already appeared, and all people who have studied the Bible understand clearly to what degree that prophecy has been fulfilled. The world commonly acknowledges the great disaster that is coming immediately. Everyone knows this, so there’s no need to discuss it in any more detail.
Next, God says: “I am now walking abroad in the midst of My people, I live in the midst of My people. Today, those who bear genuine love toward Me, people like these are blessed.” What do “now” and “I” mean? God has incarnated, is walking in the midst of His people, and lives in the midst of His people; now this truth has been seen and tasted, hasn’t it? What we read is God’s word and God’s utterance in the midst of His people. “Today, those who bear genuine love toward Me, people like these are blessed; blessed are those who submit to Me, they will surely stay in My kingdom.” Are these overcomers? These are overcomers. “[T]hey will surely stay in My kingdom.” “[B]lessed are those who know Me, they will surely wield power in My kingdom.” Are these overcomers? These are also overcomers. “[B]lessed are those who seek after Me, they will surely escape from Satan’s bonds and enjoy blessing in Me.” Are these overcomers? “[B]lessed are those who are able to forsake themselves, they will surely enter into My possession, and inherit My kingdom’s bounty.” These too are overcomers. In short, these blessed people have achieved what the overcomers possess which is real testimony, displayed in all overcomers. So, how many types of overcomers are there? There are these several types; those types of people who God has said to be blessed are overcomers. And the following says: “Those who run around for My sake I will remember, those who go to expense for My sake I will joyfully embrace, those who make offering to Me I will give enjoyments. Those who find enjoyment in My words I will bless; they will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom, they will surely have matchless bounty in My house, and no one can compare with them.” The phrase “no one can compare with them” refers to the greatest blessings; isn’t this the case? What are the greatest blessings? “Those who find enjoyment in My words I will bless; they will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom, they will surely have matchless bounty in My house, and no one can compare with them.” “Those who find enjoyment in My words” refer to people who can truly witness for God and have true knowledge about God; the fact of finding enjoyment in God’s words is used for illustration. “[T]hey will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom.” The “pillars” found in the phrase “pillars that hold up the ridgepole” refer to the most precious and weightiest people among the overcomers. The following is about God’s blessings: “Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that were made for you?” There are two questions involved, one is “have you ever accepted” and the other is “have you ever sought”; these two questions are rather essential. If you neither accept nor seek, then you would have nothing. Now God’s kingdom has formed and has appeared; God walks, works, and expresses the truths in the midst of His people. The question regarding what sort of people shall be blessed and shall remain in God’s kingdom has been answered by God’s words which are made known to all. Everyone should think thoroughly as to whether you are able to accept and seek God’s blessings and promises; this is related to your ending and destination.
God says: “You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You will surely be the master of all creation.” With regard to the phrase “surely be the master of all creation,” who shall be the master of all creation in the next age? It will be these overcomers. They are the masters who shall reign in the kingdom. From the phrase “[y]ou will surely be an overcomer before Satan” you can see that there are deep implications in being an overcomer, one of which is being the master of all creation! “You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely be resolute and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit the blessing that comes from Me, and will surely radiate My glory throughout the entire universe.” These words are blessings which have been personally spoken by God to His people. The style of speaking personally in order to bless is rarely seen. What style of speaking has been adopted? The style involves the use of “surely,” appearing early in the phrases. The first “surely” is seen in the following phrases: “You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness.” The second “surely” is seen in the following phrases: “You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you.” The third “surely” is seen in the following phrase: “You will surely be the master of all creation.” The fourth “surely” is seen in the following phrase: “You will surely be an overcomer before Satan.” The fifth “surely” is seen in the following phrases: “You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory.” The five occurrences of “surely” coincide with God’s ordination and authority. They cannot be changed, removed, or damaged by anybody. God’s words become facts upon His mouthing and the facts shall be realized.
“You will surely be resolute and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit the blessing that comes from Me, and will surely radiate My glory throughout the entire universe.” These are God’s promises and God’s blessings; they are both promises and blessings. Then which are the witnesses of the overcomers? Are they about the “blessings” mentioned previously? That’s the overcomer’s witness. It means that the overcomer, in accepting each aspect of the truth in God’s words, achieves his own real witness and establishes his own portion. The portion that belongs to the individual becomes obvious via the effect of these several “blessings” mentioned above; it should be clear by now! Among these “blessings,” how many do you have? You must build up your own part. If you cannot identify with any of the “blessings” and cannot tie with any of them, not even one in the end, wouldn’t it be troublesome to lose your part? The honor roll has been announced; it would spell trouble for an individual who cannot find his name. Should one build up his own part? Yes. Firstly, God says, “[T]hose who bear genuine love toward Me, people like these are blessed.” Regarding “bear genuine love,” some people know the truth and are inspired, and have understanding, but can’t communicate clearly; nonetheless, such people possess true love toward God, are considerate of God’s will, and especially comprehend God’s painstaking intention; these people are blessed. “[B]lessed are those who submit to Me.” People who are truly submissive toward God, regardless of what God says, which environments they’re in, and what pruning and dealing they face, they can obey God resolutely. When they are blessed, what are God’s promises for them? “[T]hey will surely stay in My kingdom.” It is these people who certainly have a claim in God’s kingdom. Nobody can remove them; nobody can rob them away; they surely will remain in God’s kingdom. People like these are a part of the group of overcomers. “[B]lessed are those who know Me, they will surely wield power in My kingdom.” Now let’s see; some people are blessed and they surely will remain in God’s kingdom and they are God’s people. Some people are blessed and they will wield power in God’s kingdom. An individual with such blessing not only remains but also wields power; isn’t this a greater blessing? “[B]lessed are those who seek after Me, they will surely escape from Satan’s bonds and enjoy blessing in Me,” it means all who seek God are blessed. “[B]lessed are those who are able to forsake themselves, they will surely enter into My possession, and inherit My kingdom’s bounty,” it is that if one really has entered into these lives, as long as there is God’s promise in whatever one enters into, he shall remain in God’s kingdom, and he has a share in God’s kingdom. So, which aspect have you occupied? You take a look! The following then says: “Those who run around for My sake I will remember, those who go to expense for My sake I will joyfully embrace, those who make offering to Me I will give enjoyments. Those who find enjoyment in My words I will bless; they will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom, they will surely have matchless bounty in My house, and no one can compare with them.” Blessings are the greatest for those who enjoy God’s words; isn’t that right? Some people may ask, is there any difference between this and “blessed are those who know Me, they will surely wield power in My kingdom”? In fact, they are addressing one situation, but portrayed in two different ways. An individual who knows God surely enjoys His words, he shall surely be inspired in enjoying God’s words; he shall have understanding about the truth as well as knowledge about God; these two things are directly related. It has been mentioned previously that God says: “[B]lessed are those who know Me, they will surely wield power in My kingdom.” Why then should it be followed by the special mentioning that “[t]hose who find enjoyment in My words I will bless; they will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom”? A different way is used to state the matter and state it concretely. It means that the aspect about enjoying God’s words receives God’s particular attention, and therefore the issue has been brought up again. Is this what it means? “Those who find enjoyment in My words I will bless; they will surely be the pillars that hold up the ridgepole in My kingdom.” Is holding up the ridgepole the same as wielding power? This may not be the case. It may involve a broader range. It may be about priests, or something else. I’m not clear with such things, but it is about ridgepole which is the pillar in the kingdom. These are key figures and not ordinary people; this is for sure. Can those who wield power serve as pillar? Of course, that’s even more a pillar. It can be understood in this manner. Therefore, for people who particularly love the words of God, particularly love to enjoy the words of God, bear witness for the words of God, are good in communicating the words of God, and the truth to solve problems for God’s chosen people, “they will surely have matchless bounty in My house, and no one can compare with them.” What message is being carried by this word? The message is that for people who particularly love the words of God, pay attention to eating and drinking God’s words, attach importance to experiencing God’s words and understanding the truth so as to know God, they are the most blessed by God. That’s the message God has disclosed; you now understand! There are many people who don’t quite love to enjoy the words of God. An individual belonging to this category leaves God’s words somewhere alone for days. When he attends church he just listens to the sermons—whoever wants to talk just talk, but he himself isn’t good at enjoying God’s words. “I’d take in how much that can be communicated from God’s house. If there’s no sermons coming from God’s house and I don’t know how to read, what I receive is limited.” Do such people really love God’s words? What type of people are these? They don’t really like the truth, have average quality, and lack in the ability to receive. Consequently, they aren’t interested in God’s words. He who possesses the power to receive is different. He has light upon contact with God’s words, communicates almost the same as the brother above upon reading God’s words, understands easily messages coming from the brother’s fellowship, understands God’s words once he reads them, and receives light greater than those contained in the brother’s fellowship. All such people love the truth; they will receive more in the future and are most blessed. Therefore, those who pay attention to enjoying God’s words, when they read God’s words, instantly understand, see a path, see light, and understand the truth; such people are most blessed. So, what are overcomers? Who are the overcomers? What sort of life should overcomers possess? How should overcomers take note of enjoying God’s words? Are you clear with these issues? Once you are clear, you have a path. You should then know how to pursue and enter. You can become an overcomer, and you have a chance to become an overcomer. The implication of becoming an overcomer carries great significance, the associated blessings are rich and abundant. You should understand me!