Let’s first read a piece of God’s word “Are You a True Believer of God?”
“Perhaps your journey of faith in God has been more than one or two years, and perhaps in your life over these years you have endured much hardship; or perhaps you have not been subjected to hardship and instead have received much grace. It may also be that you have experienced neither hardship nor grace, but instead have lived a life most ordinary. Regardless, you are still a follower of God, so let us fellowship about the subject of following Him. However, I must remind all who read these words that the word of God is directed toward all those who acknowledge God and all those who follow God, not toward all people at large, including those that do not acknowledge God. If you believe that God is speaking to the multitude, to all people in the world, then the word of God will have no effect upon you. So, you should keep all the words close to your heart, and do not place yourself outside the scope of them. In any case, let us speak of what is happening in our house.
You should all now understand the true meaning of believing in God. The meaning of faith in God that I previously spoke about is related to your positive entry. This is not so today. Today I would like to analyze the essence of your faith in God. Of course, this is guiding you from the negative; if I do not do so, then you will never know your true countenance and will forever boast of your devoutness and faithfulness. In other words, if I do not unearth the ugliness deep within your hearts, then each of you will place a crown upon your head and give all glory to yourself. Your haughty and arrogant nature drives you to betray your own conscience, to rebel against and resist Christ, and to reveal your ugliness, thereby exposing to the light your intentions, notions, excessive desires, and eyes full of greed. And yet you continue to profess that you will dedicate your life to the work of Christ, and you repeat again and again the truths that were spoken by Christ long ago. This is your ‘faith.’ This is your ‘faith without impurity.’ I have held man to a very strict standard all along. If your loyalty comes with intentions and conditions, then I would rather not have any of your so-called loyalty, for I abhor those who deceive Me through their intentions and extort Me with conditions. I only wish for man to be loyal to none other than Me, and to do all things for the sake of and to prove that one word: faith. I despise your use of sweetened words to make Me rejoice. For I always treat you with complete sincerity and so I wish for you to also act toward Me with a true faith. When it comes to faith, many may think that they follow God because they have faith, otherwise they would not bear such suffering. Then I ask you this: Why is it that you never revere God though you believe in His existence? Why, then, do you have no fear of God in your heart if you believe in His existence? You accept that Christ is the incarnation of God, so why do you hold such contempt and act so irreverently toward Him? Why do you openly judge Him? Why do you always watch His movements? Why do you not submit to His arrangements? Why do you not act in accordance with His word? Why do you extort and rob Him of His offerings? Why do you speak in the place of Christ? Why do you judge whether or not His work and His word are correct? Why do you dare blaspheme Him behind His back? Are these and others what constitute your faith?
Every part of your speech and behavior reveals the elements of unbelief in Christ that you carry within. Your motives and goals for what you do are pervaded by unbelief; even the look in your eyes and the breath you exhale are tainted with such elements. In other words, each of you, during every minute of the day, carry with you elements of unbelief. This means that, at every moment, you are in danger of betraying Christ, for the blood that runs through your body is infused with unbelief in the incarnate God. Therefore, I say that the footprints you leave upon the path of belief in God are not substantial. Your journey along the path of belief in God is not well grounded, and you are instead simply going through the motions. You are always skeptical of the word of Christ and cannot immediately put it into practice. This is the reason that you do not have faith in Christ, and always having notions about Him is another reason that you do not believe in Christ. Always retaining skepticism about the work of Christ, letting the word of Christ fall on deaf ears, having an opinion on whatever work is done by Christ and not being able to properly understand it, having difficulty putting down notions no matter the explanation you receive, and so on; these are all elements of unbelief mixed in your hearts. Though you follow the work of Christ and never fall behind, there is too much rebellion mixed in your hearts. This rebellion is an impurity in your belief in God. Perhaps you do not agree, but if you cannot recognize your own intentions from it, then you shall surely be one who will perish. For God perfects only those who truly believe in Him, not those who are skeptical of Him, and least of all those who follow Him despite never having believed that He is God.
Some people do not rejoice in the truth, much less judgment. Rather, they rejoice in power and riches; such people are deemed to be snobs. They exclusively seek out those sects in the world with influence and those pastors and teachers coming from seminaries. Despite having accepted the way of truth, they remain skeptical and are unable to devote themselves fully. They speak of sacrificing for God, but their eyes are focused on the great pastors and teachers, and Christ is brushed aside. Their hearts are filled with fame, fortune, and glory. They do not believe at all that such a meager man is capable of conquering so many, that one so unremarkable is capable of perfecting people. They do not believe at all that these nobodies among the dust and dunghills are the people chosen by God. They believe that if such people were the objects of God’s salvation, then heaven and earth would be turned upside down and all men would laugh their heads off. They believe that if God chose such nobodies to be perfected, then those great men would become God Himself. Their perspectives are tainted with unbelief; indeed, far from unbelief, they are preposterous beasts. For they only value position, prestige, and power; what they hold in high regard are large groups and sects. They have no regard at all for those led by Christ; they are simply traitors who have turned their backs on Christ, on truth, and on life.
What you admire is not the humility of Christ, but those false shepherds of prominent standing. You do not love the loveliness or wisdom of Christ, but those wantons who associate with the vile world. You laugh at the pain of Christ who has no place to lay His head, but admire those corpses that seize offerings and live in debauchery. You are not willing to suffer alongside Christ, but gladly go into the arms of those reckless antichrists though they supply to you only flesh, only letters, and only control. Even now your heart still turns toward them, their reputation, their standing in the hearts of all the Satans, their influence, and their authority, yet you continue to have an attitude of resistance and refusal to accept the work of Christ. This is why I say that you do not have the faith of acknowledging Christ. The reason you have followed Him to this day is entirely because you were forced. In your heart forever tower many lofty images; you cannot forget their every word and deed, nor their influential words and hands. They are, in your heart, forever supreme and forever heroes. But this is not so for the Christ of today. He is forever insignificant in your heart and forever undeserving of reverence. For He is far too ordinary, has far too little influence, and is far from lofty.
In any case, I say that all those who do not esteem the truth are all unbelievers and traitors of the truth. Such men shall never receive the approval of Christ. Have you now identified how much unbelief is within you? And how much betrayal of Christ? I exhort you thusly: Since you have chosen the way of truth, then you should devote yourself wholeheartedly; do not be ambivalent or half-hearted. You should understand that God does not belong to the world or any one person, but to all those who truly believe in Him, all those who worship Him, and all those who are devoted and faithful to Him.
Presently, there is still much unbelief within you. Try looking diligently within yourselves and you will surely find your answer. When you find the real answer, then you will admit that you are not a believer of God, but rather one who deceives, blasphemes, and betrays Him, and one disloyal to Him. Then you will realize that Christ is no man, but God. When that day comes, then you will revere, fear, and truly love Christ. Presently, your faith is only thirty percent of your heart, while seventy percent is possessed by doubt. Any deed done and any sentence spoken by Christ can cause you to form notions and opinions about Him. These notions and these opinions stem from your complete unbelief in Him. You admire and fear only the unseen God in heaven and have no regard for the living Christ on earth. Is this not also your unbelief? You yearn only for the God who did work in the past but do not face up to the Christ of today. These are always the ‘faith’ mingled in your hearts that does not believe in the Christ of today. I do not underestimate you, for there is too much unbelief within you, too much of you that is impure and must be dissected. These impurities are a sign that you have no faith at all; they are a mark of your renouncement of Christ and brand you as a betrayer of Christ. They are a veil covering your knowledge of Christ, a barrier to your being gained by Christ, an obstacle preventing your being compatible with Christ, and a proof that Christ does not approve of you. Now is the time to examine all parts of your life! Doing so will profit you in every way imaginable!”
We’ve just read a piece of God’s word, “Are You a True Believer of God?” This is the title of God’s word. It is through faith that people accept the work of God and come to stand before Him. If a person lacks faith, will he be able to accept God? If you say to a random guy on the street, “You believe in God, no? Then come read God’s word with us, come fellowship about the truth.” Will he accept this invitation? Not at all. Some of them will say, “How much money will you give me if I believe in God? I’ll believe in God if you give me $100 to attend your congregation. I won’t go if you don’t give me money; there’s no use in going for me otherwise.” What kind of mindset is this? The mindset of a non-believer. He believes in money, but not in truth, nor in God. He’ll do anything for money, and he won’t do anything if you don’t give him money. He won’t even choose to gain eternal life through the truth if money isn’t involved. So, what’s the real difference between us and them? Those of us who come to listen to the preaching are able to leave aside our families. Some of us even cast aside our jobs and renounce everything that we have in order to serve God and bear witness for God. We devote everything to God so that we can attain the truth and bear witness for God. We offer up our whole selves, devoting our lives and time on earth to God. Why are unbelievers incapable of doing this? This is the difference between us and unbelievers: We have faith in God, and they do not. Is this not the case? Today we read the piece of God’s word “Are You a True Believer of God?” God expresses this piece of word for all those who stand before Him, in order to watch over them and inspect them. And so, we must look at what God says about what it means to have faith in Him. In doing so, we can see what differences there are between what God says and our own conceptions of so-called “faith.” What impurities or ulterior motives exist within our faith? What does God’s discourse on faith actually mean? What does it mean to have faith? Is this the truth that all believers must seek? Indeed, there is truth to be sought within faith. And so, today we will eat and drink God’s word so we can resolve any impurities that surround our faith in God. We will seek to answer the following questions: The impurities in us produce what repercussions, what consequences? How do they influence us to have conceptions of God? How do they lead us to disobey or resist God? How do they ultimately cause man to rebel against God? If these impurities are not resolved, will our faith still lead us to gain God’s approval? Some people say, “I’ve believed in God for so many years. I’ve devoted so many years of my life to God. How could my faith possibly be impure?” Others say: “I’ve suffered so much hardship for believing in God. I’ve suffered so much persecution on His behalf. How could my faith possibly be impure?” Is this kind of certainty a good thing? Is this a good line of thinking? Don’t boast that there are no impurities within your faith. We should look at what God has to say, for He can see all the way down into the bottom of our hearts. For those of us who believe in God, is it merely enough to just believe in Him? Will it suffice to merely acknowledge His existence? Some people believe in Christ of the last days and say, “I recognize You as Christ of the last days. You’ve expressed the truth and I have seen it, and so I have no doubts at all about You. I acknowledge without reservation that this truth comes from God’s Spirit, and that it is God’s Spirit who has expressed it.” Is this acknowledgment an example of true faith? Does this acknowledgment prove that a person possesses true faith?
In the Age of Law, the followers of Judaism all acknowledged that Jehovah was the Creator of the heavens and earth and all things, the one true God. They acknowledged this without reservation for ages and ages to come. However, when the Lord Jesus came, they did not recognize Him, and they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross. What was wrong with their faith? For two thousand years, religious people believed in Jesus Christ. When Almighty God comes in the last days, they still condemn Him and want to nail Him to the cross once again. Is this humankind’s “true faith” in God? They believe in God but do not know God. Will God approve those who have faith without understanding? Those who believe in God can still resist Him. They can still crucify Him. Will God acknowledge such faith? The Lord Jesus, as early as the Age of Grace, explained this phenomenon very clearly: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). In prayer, these people always say, “Lord, Lord, I’ve devoted myself to preaching in Your name, I’ve done many wonderful works in Your name.” How can someone like this lack true faith? Why doesn’t the Lord acknowledge their faith? Why does He still condemn them, and say to them, “depart from me, you that work iniquity”? They’ve devoted themselves to preaching in the name of the Lord and have done many wonderful works in the name of the Lord, but the Lord brands them as evil-doers. Where are they in the wrong? Is there no truth to be sought here? Indeed, there is truth to be sought here. If we look at it from the aspect of truth, then what is wrong with this person’s faith? Those who believe in God but do not submit to God are not true believers. Believers who do not accept the judgment and chastisement from the word of God do not accept the truth. This is not faith. God does not acknowledge such faith. Those who believe in God without understanding Him can still oppose Him. Isn’t this person an enemy of God? Allow me to propose an analogous example. Let’s say God suddenly took all of His believers and raised them up to heaven (including all of the Jewish chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees, along with the Christian pastors, elders, and believers). With God speaking words in heaven every day, what do you think the outcome would be? Would these people be able to submit themselves to the Lord? Would they be able to accept His words? Or would they continue to resist the Lord and oppose Him? When the Lord expressed the truth in heaven, would these people still oppose Him, condemn Him, and hate Him? Would they nail Him to a cross again in heaven? Would this happen again, and how so? Religious people won’t acknowledge this as a possibility. Instead, they’ll say, “Absolutely not. Of course we’ll submit to whatever the Lord says in heaven. Of course we will continue to devote ourselves to preaching in the name of the Lord, casting out demons and doing great works in His name.” But in reality, will they truly be able to submit themselves? For example, when the Lord Jesus came to earth to do the work, what would the outcome be if He were to go to a Jewish synagogue to deliver a sermon? Most people would say, “The Jewish chief priests and scribes would surely rise up from all sides and attack the Lord Jesus. They’d even go so far as to arrest Him and hand Him over to the authorities.” Now, why would they do such a thing? The Lord Jesus did not come to preach at their synagogue to scold them, nor to shame or disgrace them. He did not come to deprive them of their right to believe in what they want to believe in. So why would they do such a thing? I’ll see who can see to the bottom of this matter. Can you see to the bottom of this matter? I’ll propose another hypothetical example. When Almighty God does His work of judgment, what would the outcome be if He went to a religious venue to preach the truth and express His word piece by piece? The Christians would surely force Him out of the church and condemn Christ, “This is a false Christ, He’s come to lead us astray! We have no faith in You, we have faith in Lord Jesus, the Lord of the Jews, not You, for You are false. If You don’t leave, we’ll force You to do so. We’ll turn You over to the authorities!” What’s wrong with this? If Christ came to visit their homes to fellowship about the truth, they would force Him out the door. Isn’t this just like how long ago, Lord Jesus had no pillow and nowhere to rest His head?
Why doesn’t Almighty God come to the religious churches to speak and do His work? Isn’t the reason obvious by now? God does not go to religious churches because the people there do not welcome Him or accept Him. When Lord Jesus came, why did He go to the seaside to look for fishermen and talk to them? He said, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17), calling out to the fishermen, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19). Why did He talk to fishermen instead of going to the synagogues to find the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees? Don’t we have all the answers to these questions by now? Once we tell people such things, they will admit the facts. And so, in the end, why do things like this happen? There are simply too many impurities in people’s faith. People do not truly have faith in God. If the Lord Jesus were to be cast away by the Jews, what would He say to them in return? “You people do not truly believe in God. Rather, you believe in your idols, in the vague God. When God comes to speak and do His work as I have done, you will not believe in Him.” And so, Almighty God won’t go to religious churches to do His work. Instead, just like the Lord Jesus said to the Jews, He would say, “You are not true believers in God. You do not know God. And so when God incarnate comes to deliver the truth so that He may purify you, judge you, and save you, you do not believe in Him. Even worse, you want to nail Him to the cross once more.” What is the root cause of this dilemma? It is man’s unbelief that causes all of this. The unbelief of all religious people is revealed by the fact that they do not know Christ, and even resist and condemn Him. Thus, man is revealed by the actual facts. When the Lord Jesus came, He made it evident that the Jews who believed in God did not know God and opposed Him. When Almighty God came, He revealed how all the Christian pastors, elders and followers do not know God, but rather oppose Him, turn Him away, and reject Him. When God has revealed all of this, we come to understand according to this fact.
What impurities and elements of unbelief exist within our faith in God? If we do not resolve these things, what will their repercussions be? Is it necessary to discuss this subject? It is extremely necessary! Why so? If we do not resolve these elements of unbelief, danger will continue to plague our faith in God. Some will say: “What could be dangerous about faith in God?” Is there not a danger of betraying God? Is there not a danger of God forsaking you and condemning you for your sins? Yes. This is why God reveals your unbelief. If God does not reveal the impurities and elements of unbelief within man’s faith, can a person come to know them on their own? No, man will never be able to realize them. If we give this piece of word to the religious world so that the leaders, pastors, and elders may read it. Will they accept God’s words? No. Most of them will reject them, oppose them, and condemn them. Mankind’s desire to disobey and resist God is far too strong. Yet when we speak of submission to God, they all say, “Well, of course! I’m a person who submits himself to God.” If we ask who here is a true believer, everyone will raise their hands and say, “We are all true believers. We are the most faithful. Our faith is complete, without reservations, without even a shred of doubt.” They’ll all boast about their faith and brag about themselves. However, once the true facts are revealed, they’ll fall flat on their face. This is what God has to say about people who brag about their obedience: “On the inside, you are faithless and evil!” Yet they’ll respond, “What? Why do you say that we have an evil disbelieving heart? We are the most faithful of all!” What kind of disposition is this? Isn’t this extreme arrogance and conceit? Is this what submission to God looks like? Is this what submission to the truth looks like? Many people who believe in God are like this. They’ll say, “If you speak to flatter me and your words conform to my notions, I’ll accept them, I’ll approve of them, I’ll say, ‘Amen!’ But if what you say does not conform to my notions, or reveals my inner darkness, then I’ll be angry at you. I will oppose you and condemn you.” What kind of disposition is this? Is this not the disposition of Satan? God has come and speaks the truth in this way, how many accept it? How many seek out this truth? The entire religious world is all waiting for God’s coming. Yet when God actually comes, when His truth is made public on the Internet for all the countries and people of the world to see, how many people actually take the initiative to seek out the truth and accept it? The majority of people reject Him and condemn Him. Is this not a wicked and faithless age? It is indeed, and the entire religious world has no true faith in God, they all resist God. Do you accept this or not?
Now let’s fellowship about the revelations of the word of God. The second paragraph in this piece of God’s word reads, “You should all now understand the true meaning of believing in God. The meaning of faith in God that I previously spoke about is related to your positive entry. This is not so today. Today I would like to analyze the essence of your faith in God. Of course, this is guiding you from the negative; if I do not do so, then you will never know your true countenance and will forever boast of your devoutness and faithfulness. …” God reveals the fact as He says, “if I do not do so, then you will never know your true countenance and will forever boast of your devoutness and faithfulness.” Is this not the truth? If you don’t believe it, ask a religious person, “Are you a true believer of God or not?” He’ll say, “I am, why must you ask me? I have no doubts at all. Do you have any idea how much I’ve sacrificed, how much I’ve suffered?” “Are you a devout follower?” “Of course.” “Then are you loyal to God?” “Why must you ask this? My loyalty to God is unmatched!” Religious people are just that sure of themselves. In the past, we were also once like this. So just because someone has this kind of mindset, it doesn’t mean you ought to say to them, “So backward. You’re really disobedient to God. Your ‘true faith’ is a sham!” We also had this revolting behavior, we were just like them, and we were no better than others. As for now, how have we improved since then? We accepted God’s work of the last days, we experienced the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, and began to examine ourselves and know our true selves. As a result, we enjoy the fruits of this process today. When reading the word of God or listening to the fellowship about God’s words, we have no opposition whatsoever. We have learned how to quiet ourselves before God and listen to His word and the fellowship about it. How does this kind of submission come into being? We underwent the judgment and chastisement before the seat of Christ. Although the duration of this process varies between each person, we all have complete faith in Christ’s judgment. “Ah, this is the voice of God, this is God’s judgment of us. God uses His words to purify us, save us, and perfect us.” We know this. “Oh, how we enjoy Christ’s love, the realest love of all. God uses His word to judge us in order to purify us, so that we may attain perfection and enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, believing in Almighty God is the only true way to reach the kingdom of heaven!” We have seen this clearly. And so we all submit to God, no matter how God judges and chastises us, no matter how much we suffer and are rebuked in our hearts, we don’t complain to God. “This is God’s love! Those He teaches are His children, while those He does not teach are not His children. We are truly God’s chosen people for the Age of Kingdom.” We submit ourselves to God so that we can enjoy God’s word at gatherings and accept God’s judgment and chastisement. This is what makes God most satisfied. When someone reads the word of God, they learn that God has granted us more good blessings today than past generations of followers. These great blessings are a special grace of God, a predestined blessing. When a person sees this blessing, he’ll be so overjoyed, he’ll jump up and down in happiness. But as soon as he hears God’s judgment and chastisement, he’ll run away like a sniveling coward. He’ll be happy to enjoy good blessings but will not accept God’s judgment and chastisement. When God bestows these graces upon him, lets him enjoy these pleasures, he is delighted; if God lets him endure pain from His words, he thinks it’s absolutely unacceptable. So does this person have true faith in God? No, he does not. True faith is submitting oneself to God and listening to Him obediently, regardless of what God says and does. When God reveals our true natures to us so that we may see our true selves, we must submit ourselves to Him, and pray from our hearts: “Oh God, so this is what I really am. Oh God, what You’ve revealed is all true, I submit to You, I accept Your word into my heart completely, this is a fact, I will not resist You, I will not complain to You, I will obey and accept it until I become pure.” Is praying in this way good? This kind of submission, wherein one accepts the truth that God speaks and accepts God’s judgment, is this not true faith? This is precisely the kind of faith that God finds most deserving of His favor and approval, and this person can certainly obtain purification and perfection through God. But if a person constantly brags about himself, he will reply to whatever God says with, “Wrong! I’m not like that, He’s talking about someone else. I’m not like that at all. I’m much better than that person. I’m the most devout follower of all, the most loyal, and the most faithful in the whole religious circle.” Is this a person who submits to the truth? Is this a person who submits to God? When someone this boastful reads the word of God, they’ll constantly think that what God says is wrong. This is truly troublesome, for these people are extremely disobedient, self-righteous and arrogant.
Some people say, “I admit some of the corruptions that God reveals to us, but some of them I can’t recognize.” If you can recognize them, you will obey what God says about them. But how do you deal with things that you don’t understand? If the word strongly defines the nature of corruption, is too profound and you don’t understand it, what’s a suitable way to deal with this? You should be submissive. How do you pray to God to demonstrate your submission to Him? How do you speak to God about this? You must speak truthfully, as an honest and simple person, open yourself to God and say, “God, I still don’t understand this sentence here. It’s too deep and profound. My stature is too small for me to grasp this. But regardless of what You said here, I recognize Your word as truth, which is absolutely right, so I submit to Your word, and I will wait for the Holy Spirit to illuminate this and enlighten me, and then I’ll talk with You again.” This kind of prayer is good. But how will an arrogant person react when they encounter this kind of thing? Do you know? An arrogant person will say, “God can see all the way down into the bottom of man’s heart. But He’s got it wrong here. This can’t tell us anything about my heart. What He said here is wrong; it does not accord with the facts. There are other places where what He says accords with the facts. But this part I think is wrong and can’t convince me, so I won’t accept it.” He doesn’t understand that there’s something wrong with him. He denies the word of God. This is extremely arrogant and self-righteous. If you don’t understand His word, it is because your stature is small. If you don’t understand it now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do so in ten years, or perhaps three to five years. Before, we were arrogant like this too. But after experiencing 3-5 years, we read the word of God again, “How could we not have understood this before! When I read it now, it sounds completely right.” How truly regretful! “Originally, we had notions about God. We disobeyed Him and argued that God’s word was inaccurate, that He was exaggerating things. I was so arrogant back then!” We experienced God’s judgment and chastisement like this at the very beginning. When arrogant and conceited people undergo this process, they will reject it and refuse to submit to it wherever they see something that does not conform to their own notions. When we read God’s word of judgment before, most of us found it to be extremely strict and felt it broke our hearts. What kind of attitude did we take about this? Some said, “When you reach a point like this you can just skip to the next page, find a passage that makes you feel comfortable, one that accords with your notions. When you constantly read about God’s word of judgment, aren’t you just stirring up more troubles for yourself? It’s better if you read more words of God’s blessings, words that God speaks heart to heart with us. These words are great. Then you’ll feel more comfortable when you read them.” This is precisely what most of us did when we first started out. But now when we look back on these times, we are filled with regret and smack ourselves on the mouth. Later on, some people would read God’s most strict judgments of mankind, His most severe revelations, and immediately say, “Quick, quick! Mark them out! This is what we need to enter into. This is where we must seek out the truth. This is where we can understand God’s will. This is true submission to God. Quick, mark them out!” But to the words of blessings and comforting that accord with our notions, we responded, “Forget about it, that’s not the most important thing. The most crucial part of God’s word is where He judges and chastises mankind. This is our point of entry into life. It is here that we can learn how to transform our disposition. If we submit to these words and accept them, this will accord with God’s will. This is most capable of comforting God.” Now when it comes to reading God’s word, those who have just begun to believe in God are just the same as us when we first started to believe. This is because all people share the same corruption. I share with you how we experienced ourselves. These things are a source of shame for us. Our corruption has been exposed. We hope that if you see and understand it, you’ll learn a lesson from our mistakes.
Let’s continue our fellowship about the words of God. “In other words, if I do not unearth the ugliness deep within your hearts, then each of you will place a crown upon your head and give all glory to yourself.” Do God’s words accord with reality? They are extremely accurate and absolutely reflect reality. Corrupt humans are all like this! And so, if God doesn’t unearth our ugliness or reveal the truth to us, we will all still brag about ourselves! Which kind of person doesn’t brag about themselves? I also boasted about myself, “I believe in God in order to seek the truth. I am a true believer in God. I am a devout person.” I’ve said this before. Sometimes I might have kept it from other people, but said it to myself. No one heard me, but I admit that this is how I really felt inside. When God’s word says, “then each of you will place a crown upon your head,” this is what things are truly like. At that time, this was the kind of person that I was. This is how I underwent. If God didn’t say so, I would be most likely to brag about myself, always counting myself a true believer, “When someone turns away from God, I will not turn away, for I am most obedient to God. I would rather die than leave God’s side. If God wants me to give everything up, then I will give everything up. Whatever job it is, I will cast it aside, whatever family I have, I will cast aside. I am the most faithful follower of God!” How boastful I was! What an enormous crown I placed upon my own head!
Let’s go on reading the words of God. “Your haughty and arrogant nature drives you to betray your own conscience, to rebel against and resist Christ, and to reveal your ugliness, thereby exposing to the light your intentions, notions, excessive desires, and eyes full of greed.” Why do we expose our corruption? Why do we betray our own conscience and rebel against and resist Christ? Why do we reveal our ugliness and expose to the light our intentions, notions, excessive desires, and eyes full of greed? What is the reason for this? What compels us to do this? God says, “Your haughty and arrogant nature drives you to … to … to ….” What is this haughty and arrogant nature, exactly? This is the satanic nature, satanic disposition. We constantly sin, constantly express our corruptions, for what? What is the reason for this? A lot of people do not care to seek the root cause of this. When their corruptions are exposed, they’ll just try to restrain. When they lie, they’ll say, “I’ve lied this time, but next time I won’t.” When their disobedience and opposition is exposed, they’ll say, “This time I was disobedient and resistant to God, but next time I won’t.” When they hold to their own notions, they’ll say, “This time I had my own conceptions, next time I will not do so.” Can you fix problems this way? Where is the root of corruption? It is the haughty and arrogant nature. Is this arrogant nature easy to fix? No, it is not easy to fix. Therefore, in the Age of Grace, regardless of how long people believed in God, even if they believed in Him their whole lives and dedicated their whole lives to Him, they kept expressing corruption. For this reason, it caused people to sink into a never-ending loop of committing sins and confessing sins. They repeated this endless loop until the day they died. What sins would they confess? “Oh Lord, today I lied again. Oh Lord, today I engaged in debauchery again; I clung to the pleasures of the flesh. Oh Lord, today I brought dishonor to Your name.” It is always like this, praying to confess sins they committed, without understanding the root cause of sin itself. God did have forgiven us for our sins, but why, after being forgiven, must a person persist in sinning again? How is he unable to resolve his sinful behavior? In the Age of Grace, people scratched their heads saying, “I am truly suffering!” In the Age of Kingdom, when Almighty God comes, He takes the root cause of sin and reveals it for all to see. This root is the haughty and arrogant nature of mankind. This is the satanic nature. This satanic nature lies within all people. We cannot free ourselves of it. It is this nature that dominates and controls our actions, compelling us to disobey God, urging us to cling to the pleasures of the flesh and to seek fame, profit and status, to lie in order to uphold our reputations, to protect ourselves, to constantly struggle for fortune. This ultimately leads us to form our own notions about God, to disobey God and resist Him in numberless ways, fail to practice the truth. In the end, there is no true compatibility with Christ at all. This is where the satanic nature leads. The root of all our trouble is here. When the Age of Kingdom comes, and God does the work of judgment in the last days, He reveals this satanic nature. What is the purpose of God’s revelations? To make people understand. He will make them realize that this is the root of all their problems. What can realizing the root of the problems resolve? It will lead you to understand many truths, to accept the truth as your life. When this happens, the satanic nature inside you will crumble apart, defeated.
How does man eliminate the satanic nature within himself and become pure? Some say: “I believe in God, so why must I undergo His judgment and chastisement? I might be corrupt by nature, but don’t all people have both a good side and a bad side? We all wear a mask with two faces. Why must we always talk about the bad one? We all have a bad side and a good side. That’s just how people are. Has there ever been a person with only one side to them? Has there ever been a completely good person without a bad side? It can’t be so.” This person believes every person has a good side and an evil side, no matter who they are, for this is what it means to be human. Is he correct? No, he’s wrong. What kind of person would say this kind of thing? This is the argument Satan would make. Is there any actual distinction between a good person and a bad one? Yes, there is. God purifies us and saves us, but how? What kind of person does He change us into, what does a saved person look like? Does God merely alter your bad side, leaving your good side as it is? No, that’s not how this goes. You can’t separate a person into two sides, into good and evil. A person does not even have a good side to begin with. On the contrary, they are wholly evil. Some people will say, “Wrong! Aren’t we believers of God good in some ways?” No, because all humans have been corrupted by Satan. Therefore, they all have a satanic nature. Because of this, we all are considered part of corrupt humankind, the corrupt brood. We are dominated and controlled by our satanic nature. Are we all living under the domain of Satan? In all facets of life, we suffer domination by our satanic nature, so we live our life under the domain of Satan. How does God save this corrupt humankind? God speaks the truth so that He may judge you and cleanse your satanic nature and satanic disposition. Among all humans corrupted by Satan, there is one group of people who can accept the truth, love the truth, and accept God’s work. Once these people accept God’s work, they submit to His judgment and chastisement, and accept His truth. In doing so, they will gain a true understanding of God. Once they attain a true understanding of God, what fruits may they reap? These people will see God’s almightiness and wisdom. They will see God’s loveliness and righteousness, His purity and holiness. They will see that He is the Master of all things. As a result, these people will grow to revere God and shun evil. They will submit themselves to God and worship Him. When their hearts grow to revere God, they will have a new life given by God; when people revere God, they will have gained the life. This life grows as a person eats and drinks the word of God, experiences His work and gradually gains more knowledge of the truth. As they grow, they will become more obedient to God, their love becomes more true, and they become more willing to worship God. When a person reaches this level, what happens to their satanic nature? What destroys this satanic nature within a person? What causes it to thoroughly fall apart and crumble away? The primary reason is that this person understands the truth and knows God, and he sees through all that is satanic within him, “These satanic notions, philosophies, theories, misconceptions: they’re all wicked falsehoods. I renounce them all! I choose to betray them! I only have Christ as my life. I only have God’s word as my life. Only the truth is my life!” This person sees completely through to the satanic nature within him, as well as its substance, influences and evil. When a person begins to hate, betray, renounce, and abandon his nature, can this satanic nature still control him? No, it cannot control him any longer.
In the Age of Grace, people worked very hard to pursue God, but why couldn’t they break free from the control of their satanic nature? They had great faith in the Lord, made sacrifices for Him, suffered hardships in His name, and spread the Lord’s name by bearing witness for Him. Even those in prison did not fear death. After all of this, how is it that they have not yet cast aside their satanic nature and freed themselves from the domain of Satan? Why do they still continue to tell lies and sin? How can this be the case? How can a person who believes in Almighty God reach this outcome? Who can see this matter clearly? At the crux of this matter is God’s work of judgment and chastisement by the word during the last days. God completes this judgment and chastisement through expressing the truth. In the Age of Grace, God did not do this work of judgment and chastisement, and the Lord Jesus did not speak these words of the last days. And so, only Almighty God’s work of judgment and chastisement during the last days will thoroughly purify and save humankind. During the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus only did the work of redeeming mankind. Do you understand now? Some people say: “Why must we accept God’s judgment and chastisement in the last days? If we don’t want to be judged and chastised, can’t we just enter the kingdom of heaven directly on the basis of our faith, love, and our will to submit and suffer hardships?” How to explain this? In the Age of Grace, God’s redemptive work was merely to forgive people of their sins. At that time, He did not work to thoroughly resolve mankind’s satanic nature and their satanic disposition. And so, the sin offering during the Age of Grace was merely to forgive a man of his sins; it did not fix or cleanse a man’s corruption.
Some people ask, “We might be corrupted by Satan, we might have some corrupt disposition and tell some lies, but we still have great faith in God. Our hearts are full of love for God. We submit to Him. So how can you say that we belong to Satan, that we oppose God, that we can’t enter God’s kingdom? Is this corruption such a big problem? Although we have been corrupted by Satan, does this necessarily mean we oppose God?” Is this an easy question to answer? Let’s consider this: When the Lord Jesus appeared on earth to do His work and issued the words of the Age of Grace, were the Jews able to accept these words? No, they were not able to do so. A person might believe in God, but when God actually appears on earth to live and speak the words amongst men, man immediately clashes with Him and fights with God. Mankind will immediately regard God as an enemy. Is this not the truth? I’ll give another example. When Almighty God appears to do His work on earth, who knows what would befall Him if He went straight to a religious church. If Christ went to a religious church, He would absolutely be unwelcome there. They would banish Him. It might go like this:
“What are You doing here?”
“I’m here to profess My faith in the Lord.”
“Ah. In that case, come attend our congregation.”
“Yes. I believe in the Lord so I must attend the gathering. I will come on Sunday to worship the Lord with you.”
Christ says, “Would it be alright if I speak a few words?”
“Speak a few words?”
“I want to bear witness for the Lord. To share the Lord’s grace, we must bear witness.”
“Okay. Sure, we will all welcome You with applause.”
Christ says, “I will express a piece of truth, is it okay?”
“What truth will You express?”
“‘Are You a True Believer of God?’ That’s it.” What do you think the religious people would do? “What did You just say? You’ve made a total mess of us! You decried our faith as false! You’ve judged us! Truly, You’re condemning saints! How dare You decried our faith as false! You accuse us!” How troublesome. Indeed, Christ would be banished from these churches. Many religious people say, “Lord, we welcome You to appear to us. We welcome You to appear among us and to speak to us.” Are these true words? No, they are empty. What they really mean is this: “Come, Lord Jesus, come to us, take us up to heaven in an instant so that we may meet You and obtain good fortune. But we won’t welcome You if You come and speak the truth and judge us. In that case You can leave immediately!” This is their true face, is it not? Now do you understand? Some people ask, “Humans might be corrupted by Satan, but can a person truly become God’s arch-enemy? Do these people really oppose God? Is it this situation all that dire?” Do you think it’s a dire situation? Of course it is! God has become flesh twice to walk among men on earth, and both times He did not go to religious churches. Rather, He decided to speak and work among lower-class people who love the truth. When the Lord Jesus did His work, He did not go to the religious churches, and neither does Almighty God. When those who have accepted Almighty God’s work during the last days deliver what Christ says to the religious churches, the religious communities condemn them and do their best to judge them. If God should bring the Jews and Christians up to heaven in an instant, wouldn’t these people just fight with God and oppose Him? They would indeed. When these people arrived in heaven, they would fight with God. They would argue with the Lord Jesus and dispute Him in the kingdom of heaven. Do you believe it? This reality has already manifested itself in this age. When we preach the gospel and bear witness for God among religious communities, they oppose us. They besiege us. They blockade and seal off their churches as if they were impenetrable fortresses. Some brothers and sisters go to these churches and attend meetings secretly. They look at who there pursues the truth and they will preach the gospel to them. They do not dare to reveal their own true identities. Some are discovered after not too long, and then they are banished. These religious communities will even put their pictures on the wall for others to see, saying that these persons bear witness for Almighty God, and if you see them you must report them to the police and force them to leave. Today, religious communities are extremely opposed to us. They and us are as incompatible as fire and water. As a result, these communities are incompatible with Christ. They hate Christ in particular and stand in extreme opposition to Him. Is this not the result of Satan’s corruption? Is this not the consequence of the satanic nature within people, dominating their lives? Some people say, “Is this situation really so dire? How does one’s satanic disposition express itself?” A while ago, I composed a list to enumerate the 12 primary expressions of satanic disposition. These are merely the most fundamental, primary expressions; I still don’t know how many secondary expressions there must be.
The 12 Primary Expressions of Man’s Satanic Disposition:
1. Constant desire to be God, control everything, and sit equal with God.
2. They hate the truth, worship evil, and make an enemy of God.
3. They are arrogant, self-conceited, and lawless, and obey no one.
4. They consider themselves to be the most honorable, and make others worship and obey them.
5. They try to put themselves above others, restrain others, control others, and toy with others.
6. They are self-righteous, overbearing, arbitrary, and capricious.
7. They say one thing and do another, are crooked and crafty, lie to the utmost, and deceive their superiors while defrauding their subordinates.
8. They despise the truth, worship status and power, and indulge in the blessings of status.
9. They follow evil forces, work in collusion with them, and abet them.
10. They crave physical comfort, indulgence of the flesh and lust, and the joy of sin.
11. They have no truth or life, yet still wish to rule and control others and put themselves above others.
12. To hold power and gain control over humanity, they eradicate competing opinions, murder, and take all other measures necessary without compunction. All people have these 12 aspects of satanic disposition. The satanic disposition expresses itself in 12 ways, at the very least. But what is at the core of satanic nature? This is arrogance, this is constant desire to be God, the constant desire to control everything. Isn’t it? Some people say, “What you say is all well and good, but is this such a dire situation? These expressions don’t seem very relevant to me. This problem can’t be that severe!” Is it that severe of a problem? Am I just exaggerating? No. Others say, “On the outside, man’s corrupt disposition doesn’t seem to be that severe of a problem. We can’t say that we don’t have this satanic nature, and we can’t say that this list is irrelevant to us, but we’ve never done any of these things.” But it doesn’t really matter whether you’ve done these things or not, does it? Not doing these things is not the same as being free of satanic nature or your nature not containing such things. Am I wrong? I’ll give you an example. If you look at any country during election season, the presidential candidates will make endless promises during their campaigns. They’ll say, “I promise you this, I promise you that, I’ll do this for you, I will fix that for you.” Everyone listens and says, “Alright, if you fix this problem for us, we will vote for you.” But when this person becomes president, what happens? Who will care about you then, who will fix things for you then? You’ve been deceived; this person just said whatever he had to say to get your vote. Corrupt humans like to deceive people, don’t they? They’ll strive to achieve their goals unscrupulously, by any means possible. If you have a satanic disposition, you can’t do much of anything when you don’t have power. But as soon as you obtain power, you’ll act like a king, and these 12 expressions of the satanic disposition will all come true. I am not exaggerating at all.
You think that two ordinary brothers would never kill each other? If they’re just trying to survive on this world, doing business to make ends meet, very few brothers would find good reason to kill the other. But as soon as you add the title of emperor into the mix, these two brothers would do their utmost to kill the other. The relationship between father and son is the deepest relationship of all, but as soon as father and son strive for the title of emperor, they will try to murder each other. Is this not the case? As soon as power is involved, people’s true natures will be revealed and laid bare. This is the fact of the matter. When there is no present struggle for power, you’ll say, “Meh. It’s not that big of a problem. Don’t we all just have a little bit of satanic nature inside us? Don’t we all just say a few lies? Aren’t we all just a little selfish and mean? It’s just we’re striving for a title or power. Perhaps for a little profit. How could this be such a serious issue?” You can’t speak like this. Trivial matters cannot reveal a man’s true nature. Only when a man faces a great trial will the truth about him be revealed. I used to say all the time, “These rotten politicians! How much money do they need to satisfy their greed?” In saying this, I also said, “I have no corruption; I’m good, I’m not that kind of person.” But after undergoing God’s judgment and chastisement, I began to think deeply on this matter: Perhaps the reason why I was not corrupt before was that I was not in charge of money. But if I were, would I do these things? Do I dare to guarantee that I would not do these things? Who would? No one. If you had power, would you dare to say that you would not do these things? When those of us who don’t have power see these 12 expressions of the satanic disposition, they seem to have little relevance for us, and it’s hard to take the matter seriously. But if you actually did obtain power one day, wouldn’t the expressions of your satanic disposition have more severe consequences? It’s hard to say. Why is it so hard to say? Many sins require a context in which they can be committed. Without this context, you can’t commit these sins. Some people say, “I’ve always loved and respected others as I love myself.” But if one day you obtain power over others and some people offend you by speaking too frankly, how will you deal with them? Will you be fair and impartial to these people? Will your compassion be enough? It’s hard to tell. You must understand that sometimes you cannot know yourself, and that certain things about you will only be revealed through the particular contexts of certain environments and trials. Is this not the case? If you have no status or power, if you don’t have a context in which to commit such sins, of course you’ll say, “I don’t commit sins, I’m pure and holy, I’ve never committed such sins.” Do you dare to say something like this? Some people say, “I can absolutely guarantee that I would never steal or covet offerings for God.” But what kind of context are you in? You aren’t responsible for safeguarding the offerings. But imagine a context where you were in charge of the offerings. In this context, only you know about this money, and no one else does. Will you still be able to keep yourself from coveting, stealing, or eating these offerings? This is the kind of trial that will reveal a person’s true nature! In this context, if you don’t covet, steal, or eat the offerings, this will prove that you have “a heart that reveres God.” But what if there are several people in charge of inspecting the offerings? If you want to steal some but cannot do so because of them, but you still say, “I will absolutely not steal the offerings to God,” does your promise hold water? It does not. Therefore, in order to bear witness for God, you need to have specific contexts in which your testimony can be powerful. Only then will Satan be shamed and humiliated. Only then can God be satisfied. Without these contexts, you’re merely boasting and bragging blindly, speaking empty words. It’s not good.
Everyone has these twelve primary expressions of the satanic disposition inside of them. It’s only that some people’s expressions do not result in serious consequences; it’s merely a difference in the level of severity. But as soon as you attain status, as soon as you truly wield power over others, it is possible that the severity of these consequences will not be as you imagined, or, in fact, will be much more serious than that. Before people become leaders, they seem like great people, people with compassion. But as soon as they become leaders, this isn’t the case any longer. They change. They commit much evil. How do we make sense of this? At the time they were elected, they seemed fine. But after they became leaders, how could they change this much in just a year or two? After a person becomes a leader, how can they be so different from how they were before? This is because after achieving status, they are not the same as before. A person with status is not the same as someone without status. A person performing a duty is not the same as someone who does not perform any duty. A person facing a trial is not the same as someone who is not being tried. A person who has undergone judgment and chastisement is not the same as someone who has not. This is where the difference lies. It also follows that a person with an innate nature to love the truth is different from someone without this love. When a person who loves the truth faces failure or suffers a fall, he can repent and reflect on his soul. But someone who does not love the truth doesn’t care how many times he fails or suffers a fall, he will never reflect on his soul, he will be stubborn and obstinate. He will insist on his own desires, walk his own path. He will not have any regrets, nor will he undergo any transformations. Therefore, God ultimately decides your end on the sole basis of whether or not you have the truth, not on the basis of other matters, such as how much hardship you have suffered, how long you have believed in God, your age or your qualifications (not even if a stack of your qualifications and prestige reached all the way to heaven itself). If a person has the truth and lives his life according to the truth, the satanic nature within them will be eradicated, it will be pulled out by the roots. Inside this person a great transformation will occur, and Christ will take Satan’s place and make His home there, and Christ will be their master. Now, you will say: The word of Christ wields its power within me. The word of Christ is the foundation of my existence, the guidebook to my actions, and my truth and life.
Do you know what constitutes the nature of Satan? How has it come to be that people with Satan’s nature can resist God, that they can do evil? Wanting to become God, wanting to be worshiped, to be obeyed? Look at all the singers and movie stars standing in front of their audience, singing and talking to the audience, the audience beneath them cheering, leaping, praising them. These singers and movie stars derive so much enjoyment from such feelings, they become so moved by these feelings. They say: “How is this so enjoyable? It is so great to be a singer, it is great to be worshiped by the masses. I wish that times like this can last longer, I wish that I can freeze this moment!” What disposition is this? This is Satan’s disposition. Now, once you have experienced the judgment before the seat of Christ, as you stand before the masses, you feel yourselves naked, embarrassed, ashamed. You are exposing your weaknesses, you are abashed. You feel that you are not fit to stand before others. Having no truths, unable to bear witness for God, don’t stand there. It is so shameful to show off oneself. Isn’t it? When it comes time to pick a leader, someone says: “Pick me, I want to be the leader.” Now that they have been picked as leader, once there is a gathering, they are troubled, “What am I going to talk to people about? I am the leader, I must speak, but what do I say? I don’t have the reality of the truth, how am I going to be this leader? Why do I not have any?” So they feel that they would embarrass themselves by speaking. Once they become the leader, they feel that they are poor, miserable, and naked, “How am I going to bear witness for God? What truths am I going to fellowship about? I have nothing,” and they feel ashamed. After experiencing the judgment before the seat of Christ, man has obtained some understanding regarding the truth of his own corruption, and man becomes humbler, not as arrogant. Is this a result of experiencing the judgment before the seat of Christ? After experiencing a few times the judgment before the seat of Christ, having a thorough understanding of the truth of his corruption, man begins to dislike himself, detest himself. Therefore man’s vanity also has disappeared, his desire for position is gone. He becomes willing to follow God, to be the humblest of followers, feeling that he has been exalted by God. Does this man now have reason? Does he now have a likeness of man? Now he is not as insolent, not as arrogant, not as self-right, not as self-important, not as insufferable, not as cynical. Without such things, is he not cleansed? Therefore, the more we experience the judgment before the seat of Christ, the more we come to understand the truths regarding our corruption, the clearer we see our lack of a normal humanity, and the better we are able to strive for the truth. “Hurry up and let’s equip ourselves with the truths, we have no life. Hurry up and let’s equip ourselves with the truths, we lack that which is a normal humanity. Hurry up and let’s equip ourselves with the truths, our understanding of God is too shallow. Hurry up and let’s equip ourselves with the truths, what we have gained is not rich enough.” In this way, we endeavor to strive for the truth. By striving thus, one day we shall obtain a true understanding of God; we shall witness God with words that will never run out; we shall witness God’s work with no breaks; we shall witness what God has and what God is, feeling as if we can never finish speaking about them. And now, man will feel enriched in his heart, man will feel enjoyment in his heart. Man will feel that he has gained so very much, that it is such a precious thing to experience God’s work. He will say, “I have gained so many transformations. So much of my corrupt disposition, so many Satan’s notions, philosophies, theories, they have been repudiated through the pursuit of truth, they have been eliminated, they have been abandoned. When now I look upon those famous quotes and sayings of the world that I used to worship before, I realize that they are all fallacies, they are all lies. I have completely given them all up. Now, all that I memorize and remember are the classics of God’s words spoken by Christ. These God’s words have replaced those logics, those notions, those theories of Satan. The words of Christ have become life within me.” This is the result that has been achieved by experiencing the judgment before the seat of Christ. Some people might say: “Now that you have understood these truths, what is the result you have achieved?” Apparent results: No more notions regarding God, able to see through all things encountered, able to understand God’s will, God’s goodwill, and thereby no longer misunderstanding God; no longer have any conflicts regarding any truths that Christ has expressed, able to obey and practice them all; knowing clearly in our heart how to bear witness for God, how to fulfill that which was commissioned by God, what duties to perform, how to fulfill our duties to achieve the result of bearing witness for God; seeing the world clearly, that this world is an evil and licentious age, it is a world under the domain of Satan, hence as prophesied in Revelation, the beast of this world, all the beasts, whores—religions, they all are in enmity with God. We cannot be taken captive by them. Once we are taken captive, we shall be imprinted by the mark of the beast, and we shall be the target of perdition and destruction. We shall see through the entire corrupt mankind, seeing clearly what type of man God shall save, what men shall remain, what type of man shall perish. Therefore, when the catastrophe should arrive, seeing the many who die this way, the many who die that way, seeing God’s righteousness, we shall leap in joy, praising Him endlessly, and not complain that God is unjust.
Someone even says: “The catastrophe is here, and children are dead. Are they not innocent? Why does God not save the children?” This is so naive. What about the wars in the Middle East, Damascus turning into ruins? Refugees from the nations involve adults, children, and the elderly. Who do you blame? Are you blaming God for being unjust? So many children have died, and you blame God for being unjust? And you call yourself someone who believes in God, while you are unable to see through even this. Some watch the lion hunt its quarry, and they say “How cruel, how wretched.” Yet you do not see your own wretchedness, your own ignominy in not accepting God’s work; yet you do not see that if men disobey God’s judgment and chastisement, if men even rebel against and resist God, such men should be cursed. You do not feel hate against the evil mankind who resist God, instead you sympathize with them. Which side are you on? Are you on the side of Satan, or are you on the side of God? Such men do not believe in the righteousness of God. Still some other say: “God is merciful and loving. God will eventually save this mankind. God will save all men.” This is nonsense. Do such people truly know God? During the era of Noah, only Noah’s eight family members entered the ark, while the rest died in the flood. Can you say that God is unjust? Amongst those who died, there were the elderly, women, children, new born babies. There were all kinds of people, yet they all died, and you say that God is unjust? Once you say this, you are resisting God, you are the kind that opposes God. As a matter of fact, God rules over mankind, and how do you learn that? God rules over mankind, the arrival of mankind’s every event has been permitted by God, each major event has been arranged by God, can it not be understood thus? You say that God rules mankind, how do you seek this truth, how do you know this truth? If your understanding is good, you may praise God; if your understanding is not good, you may blame God, and judge God. If you should truly blame and judge God, then you belong to the unbelievers, and how does God take care of the mankind that does not believe? He takes care of them with catastrophe. You shall perish when you are faced with a catastrophe, this is the unavoidable result, because you are an unbeliever. Can the endings of the believers and the unbelievers be the same? Those who believe in Almighty God, the true believers, even though they might still reveal certain corruptions, yet they are somewhat obedient to God, and they worship God to a certain extent. Even though there might be areas that are uncleansed, there might even be occasional lies, or even transgressions, but based on their beliefs, based on their obedience to God’s work, the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work has been effective on them, therefore they shall remain. Can Satan still accuse? It no longer has the power to accuse, because there remains the redemption of the Lord Jesus, the sin offering has been effective on such people. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus, if they do not accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, then they are betraying God, and the sin offering shall not be effective for them. There have been some who worry about this, “If we should experience God’s work of the last days, and if the catastrophe should arrive after us experiencing for two or three years when we have yet to be cleansed, can we still be saved? Can we still remain?” Aren’t there many who ask this question in their minds? There are many, ninety percent of all people have this question. How do you view this question now? Are you clear now? What did I just say? Even if we are not yet perfect, we still reveal certain corrupt disposition, we even tell lies, and make transgressions, yet we seek the truth, and such people shall have salvation. Because you have gained some reality of the truth, therefore you shall remain, and your transgressions shall not warrant your death. Some even lie, some may have once committed the sin of adultery, but this does not warrant death, for the sin offering of the Lord Jesus shall be effective for you. Then some might say: “For those who have experienced God’s work for twenty, thirty years, whereby they have gained the truth, whereby they have been perfected, what would be the reward for these people?” “They shall be called the overcomers.” “Therefore these people have not a single trace of corruption in them? Impossible.” It is not that they do not reveal a single trace of corruption; there is more-or-less some. Then why have these people become the overcomers? Because the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption will be effective for these people for eternity. The Lord Jesus has already taken on the sins for man, they have long been forgiven, and Satan dares not accuse, for Satan has no power to accuse. Then, during the last days, those overcomers that have been perfected by God, based on what shall they be defined as the overcomers? Because those people have borne witnesses that are glorious and resounding. What are these glorious and resounding witnesses? Under this harsh environment, under the harsh environment where Satan is feverishly persecuting God’s elects, standing firm in the testimony, continuing to follow God, to fulfill one’s duty as usual, to seek the truth when fulfilling one’s duty, and ultimately holding onto principles when carrying out one’s deeds, standing on God’s side while encountering many trials, without stumbling, without being taken captive by Satan, persevering until the end, such people are the overcomers, such are the witnesses of the overcomers. Let me give an example. Let’s say there is a battle, where a regiment is stationed in a position on top of a hill. The enemy has launched a dozen or so attacks, but they have all been repelled, and the regiment is ultimately victorious. However, only a company of troops has survived, while the rest have perished in battle. Tell me, isn’t this company the final victors? Therefore, those people who persevere in their belief in God and their experience of God’s work until the very end, persevering until the arrival of the catastrophe, these people shall be the overcomers. During this period of time, they have endured multiple temptations, sieges, and persecutions from Satan, yet they have not stumbled, they are still standing: These are the overcomers. These people have battled until the end, they are still holding their positions, fulfilling their duties to God’s satisfaction: These are the overcomers. Do you understand? Then some might say: “Therefore, those who persevere until the end shall be the overcomers.” Yet this is not the right interpretation. Such men must experience many trials, and have withstood these trials to become the overcomers. Some have failed during the trials, they have compromised, surrendered to Satan, yet they continue to stay in the church among the crowds; these men shall not be the overcomers. Some are coerced by their spouse, being threatened with “If you still won’t come back, then I am divorcing you. If you are still fulfilling your duties, then I will no longer be with you.” “You can live with whoever you wish. I shall fulfill my duties; I shall follow God. If it is your wish to divorce, I shall sign all the papers immediately.” Just like this, these people have stood their ground. Some were arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced by Satan. These people did not sign any letters of repentance, they did not compromise, they were released after being imprisoned for a few years, they have stood their ground and borne witnesses. Some were abandoned by their husbands, their children left them, yet they stood their ground, did not fall, and followed God until the end; these men shall be the overcomers. They come from all walks of life, they have encountered all kinds of situation, yet no matter how many trials they have encountered, they have not been struck down, they have stood their ground. These people have persevered until the end in fulfilling their duties; they even seek the truth and accept the truth while they are fulfilling their duties. Their notions continue to diminish, their resistance continues to abate, their conflicts continue to dwindle, and in the end, they feel that they have become compatible with Christ, without any trace of conflicts, without any hint of notions; they shall be the overcomers. If a person should follow until the end, with notions that are never resolved, with disobedience that is never resolved, with arrogance that is never resolved, fulfilling his duties yet not seeking the truth, with his paltering and fooling around unresolved, shall someone like him become an overcomer? No. He did not seek the truth, and therefore he has never encountered any trials.
During the previous gathering, some brother and sister asked a question: “What is the ‘mark of the beast’ from Revelation?” I do not know how to interpret the Bible, and I have never interpreted the Bible. Man is unable to interpret the prophecies of the Bible, for those are God’s words, and man is not qualified to interpret them. When God’s work has fulfilled such a thing, and made such a thing come true, man will praise God when he sees it, thereby knowing God’s sovereignty, knowing God’s almightiness, seeing the glory of God. It is sufficient to praise God. Man cannot interpret God’s words and God’s prophecies. We cannot interpret them. If we have some understanding or some points of view regarding the “mark of the beast” that we can fellowship, that we can make a contribution to others, then this is what we should fellowship to others. Some might also say, “I cannot accept your interpretation. I do not agree.” That is fine. The truth holds dominion over God’s house, and there is freedom of speech. Each to their own understandings, each to their own choices, and each to their own paths. Regardless of your understanding, you shall experience thus. If you are someone who seeks the truth, you should put your effort into seeking the truths. You should never hold onto your own opinions, and you should understand the principles of truth. If you are always obsessed with interpreting the Bible, then you are arrogant, because man cannot interpret God’s prophecies. If man should force an interpretation, it will surely be erroneous, and man shall certainly bring shame to himself. Do not interpret the Bible. We talk about our own points of view and understanding. They might be a little off and not quite right, but they still originate from the right source, the path is still correct, the result is still good, and that shall be sufficient. Do you understand? How should we fellowship the truth in this area? First, we must look at what the “beast” in Revelation is referring to. It is referring to Satan’s regime. What is Satan’s regime referring to? The regime of each nation, the regime of the great red dragon. None of the regimes of each nation belongs to God. If it should belong to God, it shall be the kingdom of Christ. “Beast” refers to the regimes of each nation. “Great whore” refers to the religions. Some are Catholic, some are Christian, yet regardless of their religion, they are still whores, committing fornication with the world. Let us not define. I have said that I do not interpret the Bible, therefore I shall provide a simple outline to give you a rough idea so that you know what to do.
God’s appearance in the last days is to go to war with Satan, and to carry out the final battle with Satan’s evil forces on this earth. When Christ came to this earth to perform work during the Age of Kingdom, what did He come here to do? First, to establish His kingdom; second, to end this era. Therefore, those who accept Almighty God shall be God’s elects during the Age of Kingdom, the Church of Almighty God shall be the primary source of the kingdom’s people during the Age of Kingdom. This shall result in the entire religious world, and eventually the entire world, battling with Christ. Therefore, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, and His elects shall be persecuted by the various beasts and whores of the world. In this way, the prophecies from Lord Jesus in the Bible, “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:25), shall be fully fulfilled. Some might say, “What is the ‘mark of the beast’ referring to?” We are unable to clearly say what the “mark of the beast” specifically refers to, but let me tell you a fact. During the process in which we follow Almighty God, we must experience many battles with Satan, and endure many plunders carried out by Satan. Satan will plunder you, Satan will persecute you, Satan will coerce you, Satan will throw you in jail, Satan will cut off your way of life; you will encounter all kinds of trials, and inevitably some will be captured by Satan. Once a person has been captured by Satan, standing on the side of Satan, the belief of this person will no longer qualify, and he shall be denied by God. God calls such people the unbelievers. The unbelievers have shamed God in front of Satan and denied God. They have been captured by the beast. Once they have been captured by Satan, once they have surrendered, God shall see the mark of the beast on these people. Look, at this very moment, some have already been captured by Satan. They have been arrested by the great red dragon. “If you still acknowledge that you believe in Almighty God, we shall put you in prison, we shall sentence you to imprisonment for this many years. You will cause your spouse to be fired from work, your children will never qualify for university. Your children will not be allowed to enter into university, your family will not be allowed to work, you will not have any way out in life.” Is this not the doing of Satan? In any case, you will encounter all kinds of trials. If you have not encountered any today, you shall encounter them tomorrow; if you shall not encounter any tomorrow, eventually you shall encounter them one day. In short, God requires that you encounter them. Why? There is no bearing of witness without trials. Your loyalty will not reveal itself if you have not been placed in tribulations, your true heart will not be revealed. Your true heart has to be revealed, your loyalty has to be revealed, your obedience also has to be revealed, and then this shall be the end. God demands such things from everyone. We are examined thus during the Age of Kingdom, we are examined thus when appearing before the seat of Christ, every one of us must pass this examination. If you do not pass this examination, if you should be captured by Satan at any stage and be imprinted with the “mark of the beast,” you will never be qualified to enter the kingdom of God. Because to accept Christ of the last days, to be taken up in front of God, this shall be the key moment to enter the kingdom, therefore we must encounter major battles and great tribulation. There will be many difficulties on this path to enter the kingdom, and it requires the offering of one’s life to reach the destination. In Revelation, look at those who believe in Almighty God, “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4), “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9), “These are they which came out of great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14). Look upon these words, they are all referring to those who believe in Almighty God. These people follow Christ without deviating one single step, they are loyal until their death; these are the overcomers. In Revelation, there are also those who bear witness for Jesus, there are also those who martyred themselves. How are the souls of those who martyred themselves being handled, what is happening with those who bear witness for Jesus, what is happening to those who believe in Almighty God and follow Christ of the last days? You can see several different types—what is their end, which ones are saved and perfected by God, what is happening with those who have been captured—and thereby these several types of people have been distinguished.
All those that have been captured by Satan shall be imprinted with the mark of the beast. What are these marks? They are not always external marks; they are not like the mark of a prisoner in the old days. No, it is when you have written the letter of repentance, when you have surrendered to Satan, when you have said words that blaspheme God and deny God, and others have recorded you thus, then you shall be done. These are all marks of the beast. In short, these are all evidence that you have been captured and swallowed up by Satan, and the evidence is the mark. Do you understand now? What does it mean to be imprinted with the mark of the beast? It means that everyone who follows Almighty God will encounter several great battles and major trials, and if any were to be captured by Satan, they shall be imprinted with the mark of the beast, and they shall be done. Therefore, take heed, believe in Almighty God, hold on to the name of “Almighty God,” stand your ground, and you shall be blessed, you shall become an overcomer and you shall be brought into the kingdom of heaven. Should you leave Almighty God, there will be no other paths into the kingdom of heaven; all those who leave Almighty God will not enter the kingdom of heaven. All those who do not believe in Almighty God will most certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven, this is a certainty. This is all that you must remember. Do not be captured by the beast, do not let the beast imprint you with the mark, and there shall be hope that you may remain. In the future, the wars of the entire world will revolve around this. Satan shall besiege the holy city in the house of God, and all the Catholic religion, Christian religion, Jewish religion will battle the Church of Almighty God. All these people shall belong to those who have been imprinted with the mark of the beast, captured by the beast, and they shall be denied by God. So long as you are tied together with religion, so long as you are tied together with Satan’s regime of the world, following the world, following religion, then you shall belong to those who have been imprinted with the mark of the beast. Do you now understand? Look at those from religion who say: “We shall live and die with our religion!” and this shall be their end. “We resolve to fight by the side of the great red dragon!” and this shall be their end, for they have been imprinted with the mark of the beast. “We resolve to follow Christianity, the Catholic Church!” and this shall be their end, for the mark of the beast has been imprinted onto them. Religion is the “whore,” and Satan’s regime is the “beast.” Do you understand now? This is an outline, and it is sufficient so long as you remember the outline. Do not talk about specifics, we do not study such things. There is no use in studying such things. I do not interpret the Bible, but you will not err by understanding in this way. This will surely be beneficial to your entry, to the path that you must travel in the future. This is more important than interpreting the Bible. You might not reap any benefits if I had interpreted the Bible, but this way that I fellowship about the truth shall benefit you.
Therefore, what is the pressing issue at this moment? We must know God’s work. After we have known God’s work, we shall be able to lay the foundation in the true way. Once we have laid the foundation, we can ensure that we will not be captured, that we will not be imprinted with the mark of the beast, this much is certain. If you do not have a foundation, then things shall be very troublesome, and you might be captured at any moment. Look at those who have left after hearing one thing I have said that does not fit with their notions. What is the end of such people? They have departed from the gate of the kingdom, and they are done. Some resist and will not accept after hearing something I have said that does not fit with their notions. Are such people in danger? One day, they will not be allowed entrance to the kingdom because of this, they will not remain, and who are they going to blame when that day should come? Can they blame me? I am fellowshiping the words of God, and they are not rejecting something that I have said, but Christ’s work of the last days, but the Church of Almighty God. Remember, the Church of Almighty God, this Church that has been condemned by the religious community, condemned by the ruling parties of the world, this is the true kingdom of Christ! If you should keep this, then you will not be captured by the beast; if you should fail to keep the name of “Almighty God,” then you are done, then your belief shall be in vain. Some say: “I am believing in the Lord because I am looking for peace and quiet, because I want to stay away from the conflicts of this world. It is enough for me to enjoy the grace of God. I do not want to be involved with who is right and who is wrong. I do not participate in politics.” What do you think of such opinions? What are such opinions? They are nonsense. You do not want to be involved with who is right and who is wrong, but Satan is looking for you, it insists on condemning you, it insists on persecuting you. Can you not be involved? It is not that we want to be involved with who is right and who is wrong. Who wants to be involved in such things? Everyone wants to eat and drink God’s words in quiet and peace, to appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged and cleansed. Who desires to be involved in such things? But now it is looking for you, and it is buckling a helmet filled with dung onto your head, it is insisting on condemning you, on arresting you. Could you not stand up and bear witness? This is the devil specifically coming after you. The devil says: “If you continue to follow Almighty God, then I am divorcing you, the entire family shall abandon you.” Whose problem is this? It is not you who say: “I am following Almighty God, and I must divorce you, I must stop living my life.” It is the devil that is controlling you, it is your unbelieving family, your unbelieving children that are controlling you thus. They are tools of the devil, and the devil is using them to capture you. Is this not the case? Look at how the Public Security Bureau interrogated some of the sisters who had been imprisoned: “Write a repentance letter.” “I will not write such things.” “Simply you say that ‘I don’t believe,’ and we will let you go.” “I will not say that. I shall persevere in my belief.” The devils said that there was nothing else they could do, they now had to dig into her weak spot. Someone said: “This woman loves her husband very much. If her husband urges her to not believe, I am sure she will stop believing.” Her husband came over to urge her, and when she was urged, she stood her ground, “What did we agree on? Didn’t you say that you would let me be? Why then are you sticking your nose in my business now? If you must stick your nose where it doesn’t belong, we will get a divorce.” The husband saw that he wasn’t able to sway her, therefore he told the police: “She listens to her son. If her son asks her, she will succumb.” Finally, her son said: “Mother, allow me to have your love. If you are in prison, then I would have lost my mother, and I would have lost my mother’s love.” Once her son had said this, she cried: “Ok then, for the love of my son, I will sign this letter of repentance.” Once she signed, she was released from prison. After being released from prison, her heart grew dark, and immediately God was no longer with her, “I have never felt this in my heart before, why does this feel even worse than being in prison?” She buried her head in her arms and cried when she returned home, saying: “I made a mistake signing this letter of repentance, I have been tricked. If I only knew, then I wouldn’t have signed it. Why do I feel so upset after I have signed this letter? This is the first time that I have felt this way.” She kept on crying, repenting and confessing to God: “God, please give me another chance, put me in jail once again. I would rather die in prison than sign this letter ever again!” There is no use, the case has already closed. Can such a thing be redone? Is it not dangerous to live in emotions? Just this one emotion could spell the end of you in the hands of Satan. Is this not the case? Someone says, “I shall keep on believing even if no one else believes. I shall keep on following even if no one else follows. I shall go to jail, I shall rot in prison, to follow God to the end.” His resolve is good, but he is too emotional. He has too much feeling for his wife, he has too much feeling for his children, and he is unable to get past his own emotions. Are these not empty words then? Therefore, to be captured by Satan is not something that we can imagine: If you stop believing, if you don’t want to believe any more, if you can’t go on any more, then you will be captured—that is not how it happens. When the time comes, it would not be up to you. Some unexpected event might happen, and you might lose your witnessing in spite of yourself, compromising with Satan. For some, this happens when fulfilling this duty; for others, this happens when fulfilling that duty. There is no saying what might happen which results in you being captured by Satan. Others bear witness as an overcomer, yet this person, he stumbled when tried. Look at Job when he was being tried. He looked on as all of God’s grace and all of God’s blessing for so many years were being robbed and taken away by Satan within a single day, and so he reflected, silently praying in his heart, and finally came to a conclusion that: I have not been robbed by Satan; this is God’s deprivation working in the background. One must obey God’s deprivation, and one must not blame God. He calmly reflected, and made a final decision, henceforth he said: “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). Look at his witnessing. Job was especially calm when being tried. He was never flustered. People around him must be saying: “Let us give chase. Let us gather a throng of people to get back what’s yours!” Yet Job did no such thing. He reflected, he looked at what actually happened, whether it came from God. If it should come from God, what would it matter what man did? Just as God gives to man, God can take away in the same breath. If God should give to you once again, man can only wait, for all of this is up to God. Even if you have obtained it, should God wish to take away, it shall be taken away from you regardless; should God wish to take away, there is no use in giving chase. Job saw this clearly. Therefore, one must lay down a solid foundation in the true way before one can stand one’s ground and bear witness when tried. This is key. Some were pruned and dealt with, judged and chastised, after they had just accepted God’s work of the last days. Would you not say that this is a good thing? This is the arrival of God’s love, the arrival of God’s grace, the arrival of God’s blessing. You say, “Whether this appears to be pruning and dealing, or trials and refinements, God has made me understand one truth, God has benefited me in this matter, God has given me an understanding of God from this.” Has this not become a blessing? It has turned into a blessing, you have benefited, therefore you should thank God, and you should praise God!
So what have you learned from our fellowship today? Have you seen that there are many elements of unbelief in our faith? You always form conceptions about God’s words. This is an indicator of unbelief. You always form conceptions about Christ. This is an indicator of unbelief. You always form conceptions about God’s work. This is an indicator of unbelief. You always have your own conceptions of the work of God’s household and how the chosen experience God’s work. This is an indicator of unbelief. Not obeying God or not pursuing the truth; this will not suffice. If we Christians want to obtain salvation, we must pursue the truth. The best way to pursue the truth is to seek the truth first in all things. That is, you should say, “I am forming my own conception about this. I will try to find the truth in this. I am not submitting to God in this. Well, I will seek the truth in this.” You can seek the truth in many things, or you can find some truth in many things. Therefore, your belief is real, because you can submit to God. To obey God is to truly believe in God. If you cannot submit to God’s words or the truth God expresses, you do not really believe in God; there is impurity in your belief. All religions admit that there’s a God, but they don’t accept the truth expressed by Christ in the last days. How does God judge their sins? God considers these people to be nonbelievers. Therefore, those who believe in God but do not believe in all of His truth and do not submit to the authority of Christ are considered nonbelievers in the eyes of God. They are all traitors to God and will be convicted of sin. They’ll never enter the kingdom of heaven. Now, some people say, “After the great disaster, will any nonbelievers survive?” Yes. Some of those whose deeds don’t involve God will survive. They will be under the jurisdiction of God’s people. Even if you are a famous scholar of religion or a preacher, if you have your own conceptions about God’s work in the last days, if you do not submit to Him, if you do not accept but deny the truth of Christ of the last days, then you are the ultimate antichrist! Now that the ultimate antichrists have been revealed, they are the same as Jewish chief priests, scribes and Pharisees. These people must all be subjected to perdition and destruction as part of God’s eternal punishment. In the spiritual world there is a place dedicated to punishing these antichrists. Paul’s spirit is there now being punished. His punishment is coming directly from God. In the last days, most of the religious leaders will meet the same fate as Paul. They will all be sent to that place. Peter’s spirit is in the kingdom of heaven, so are Abraham’s and David’s. This is recognized by all. Therefore, we who have received the judgment and chastisement of Christ in the last days are the most blessed. But you must pursue the truth. You must stand witness and cannot be captured by Satan. If people here don’t accept the truth or pursue the truth, they will meet their trials one day and be exposed. Or one day, these people may fall ill and die and be revealed thus. At that time, they will meet their end; they will be abandoned as well. Do not think that all who have accepted Almighty God will survive. This is not so. Some people will not survive, namely nonbelievers who do not accept the truth. Even if they do believe, it is of no use. Do you understand what this means? Some people may believe in Almighty God for one or two years. They may understand some truth and may have undergone some changes. They survive and are left standing after the great disaster. Some people believe in Almighty God for twenty years but do not pursue the truth at all and do not do their duty well. When the great disaster arrives, they die. Does it matter how long people believe in God? No, it does not. Time is not the most important factor. The key is whether you’re pursuing the truth. This is the most important thing. Can we see God’s righteousness in this? God is righteous. Remember that! Some people say, “God’s work is coming to an end soon. I have just started to believe. Am I too late? If only I had believed earlier! If I can enter the reality of the truth in these next two years, can I survive? There must be a difference between new believers like me and those who have kept the faith for many years, right?” Not necessarily. Some new believers are pretty good. They are spiritual, pure and obedient to the truth. I say these people have promise. God is righteous. He is just and fair to all people. God does not show favoritism. The truth does not play favorites either.
Some people encounter many things but do not understand the difference between the truth and rules. “How can those who believe in God recognize the truth? Is satanic speech of unbelievers the truth? Are sayings in the books of sages the truth? Mottos of unbelievers sound very nice. Are they the truth? Are the well-known words of some religious figures the truth?” Many people can’t distinguish real truth. Satan has a famous saying “Every man for himself, and the devil takes the hindmost.” Is this the truth? This is obviously easy to recognize. “All people have good and evil sides.” Is this the truth? “Good people will live peaceful lives.” Is this the truth? “The worth of other pursuits is small, the study of books excels them all.” Is this the truth? Is knowledge the truth? Is philosophy the truth? Is science the truth? Is law the truth? None of these are the truth. These questions are easy to answer, but when it comes down to specifics, will you be able to tell the difference? Many people cannot distinguish specific things. Is it education that helps your children grow up? No. Well then, what is it? It is as God ordains. What you reap is what you sow. This is not the result of education. Then what role does education play? Education can improve our behavior and bring a measure of order to our lives. Your world view does not come from education. Human nature is not taught, but men can be corrupted by Satan. This is far more dangerous than well-intentioned human education. If you’re brought to the great red dragon and educated there for a few years, you’ll be finished. You’ll be full of the great red dragon’s poison. It’s really something else. Satan can corrupt men. Men cannot look to good education to solve problems. Their nature is what it is. After they grow up, those that should be devils will still be devils, and those that should be Satan will still be Satan. It’s the same as wolves. They’re wolves from the minute they’re born. Even if you feed them like they’re dogs and give them dogs’ milk to drink, they’ll still be wolves. Their nature will not change. Right? There’s a popular saying of unbelievers. Even though it’s not the truth, it’s in line with the facts. “Birth time decides one’s life; your entire life is predestined.” Is this correct? Yes, it’s correct and in line with the facts, but it’s not the truth. “Birth time decides one’s life,” that is, God determines what family you are born into and when you are born, up to the very minute and second. It is a mystical thing. Our entire lives, our fate have to do with our birth data. This time is mystical. Do you understand? Therefore, when a certain person finally starts believing in God, when he accepts the commission God has given him, when he encounters certain things and what his end is, all of these things are predetermined by God. Even though these things are predetermined, if he pursues the truth, he can change his fate. God allows people to use the pursuit of truth to change their fates. For example, some people do service for years, pursuing the truth, and they obtain life and become people of God. God gives people a choice, because God gives them free will. People have the opportunity to choose. Therefore, if you pursue the truth, you can change your fate. Relying on Feng Shui or your own clout will not change your fate. You can rely on force and other means to obtain material goods and curry favor, but in the end, your fate won’t change. You’ll still die, and you’ll still be destroyed. Is it not so? If you pursue the truth, your fate will be changed. The truth will bring you good luck. If you practice the truth, God will not unleash His wrath on you. God will say, “I must give this person My blessing.” If a person pursues the truth and practices the truth, all of God’s wrath will be quelled. If he pursues the truth, he will start to love God, and his fate will be changed. Even his children will receive God’s protection and blessing. If you love God, you will be blessed for generations. Your children will receive His blessing as well. If you hate God, your iniquity will haunt your descendants to the third and fourth generations. See how significant this is? Therefore, pursuing the truth can change your destiny. Men spend thousands or even millions studying knowledge, and what do they get? Death, destruction, desolation. If men don’t spend money and pursue the truth instead, they’ll obtain the truth and eventually obtain God’s blessing. Then they will enter the kingdom of heaven and have eternal life, and their children will obtain God’s blessings. Therefore, pursuing the truth is of the utmost importance. The truth can be your life and cleanse you of your satanic disposition. It can absolve you of your satanic nature and give you true life. The truth can give you eternal life and change your fate. Believing in God is the truth. Obeying God is the truth. Worshiping God is the truth. Being loyal to God is the truth. Loving God is the truth. Being an honest person as God requires is the truth. If you are an honest person, you will receive God’s blessing. If you are a deceitful person, you will perish. Just try it for yourself and find out whether these words are true. Some people say, “Can we really obtain God’s blessing by being an honest person?” Yes. Be an honest person, and you’ll see how God protects you and blesses you, because this is the truth. As long as you practice the word of God and practice the truth as He requires you to do, you are guaranteed to receive God’s blessing, grace and protection. This is an absolute certainty. Everything God says is the truth. Unbelievers do not accept it. They say, “We will not follow that path.” If you do not follow that path, you will be destroyed. We believe in God, so we listen to God’s words and accept His words. In the end, we will receive His blessing. This is what distinguishes us from unbelievers.
That is as much of God’s words that we’ll communicate for now. Now I’ll answer a few questions.
Question & Answer
Question 1: How do I experience God’s work? What does it mean to experience God’s work?
Answer: I’ll discuss this issue briefly, as it is very important. The most important thing about experiencing God’s work is experiencing judgment and chastisement by God’s word, so that humanity is cleansed of their corruption, understands the truth, and knows God. This entire process is what it means to experience God’s work. In addition, this process is best suited to an environment that contains the truth. What does it mean by “an environment that contains the truth?” It refers to experiencing God’s work in the church. This means fulfilling your duty in the church, living and serving together with your brothers and sisters, then experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement by the word. This is ideal and the most effective way to experience it. Some people say, “I’m not in an environment like that. My life at home is difficult. There’s only one way out—working. I don’t have an opportunity to participate in church life or perform my duty.” People like this can experience God’s work at home by listening to sermons and interacting and communicating with several brothers and sisters. This will also suffice. However, when it comes to relative effectiveness, is it different than fulfilling your duty and experiencing God’s work in the church, an environment that contains the truth? Yes, there is a difference. There’s no way around it. Therefore, to experience God’s work is to experience judgment and chastisement by God’s word. In the church, an environment that contains the truth, everyone communicates God’s words. This leads them to gradually understand the truth so that they are finally cleansed of their corruption. They know God more and more, and they grow more and more compatible with Him. Such compatibility brings them the joy of obeying and worshiping God, and their life becomes increasingly happy, as if they were living in heaven. This is what you experience when you live in the church, an environment that contains the truth. Fulfilling your duty and experiencing God’s work in the church is ideal. If this is not an option for you, if you’re working to provide for your family, well, you can read God’s word, listen to sermons and fellowship about the truth with others in your spare time. This will also suffice, but it’s still not as good as living in the church. You will get less in return, and your growth will be slower. That is the main difference. However, both of these options are ways to experience God’s work. Do you understand?
As for experiencing God’s work, some people follow God and experience some persecution. Some people receive pruning and dealing. Some people fail, fall and are rejected by others. Some people are expelled, while some eventually repent and do good deeds, and come back again. That is to say, we have been through a lot while believing in God all these years, but we all obtained some truth; we have all obtained substantial benefit. Our life disposition is all changed in some way. Experiencing judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, pruning and dealing, frustration, failure, cooperation and friction with our brothers and sisters in the church has led us to understand many truths. These experiences have definitely changed us. We have gained so much truth and life. This process is what it means to experience God’s work. Through experiencing all of these things, we have obtained a lot and grown substantially. Well, then hasn’t church life trained us and made us who we are? As we have grown like this through church life, we slowly remove our corruption and will become compatible with God. When the great disaster comes, we will survive. After we survive, the kingdom of Christ will be realized, and we will belong to that kingdom.
Question 2: In God’s fellowship, “The Minimum Requirements for Attaining Reverence for God Are Conscience and Humanity,” God left a question for us: “Can a person without a conscience or humanity, that is to say, a person with exceptionally low character, completely devoid of integrity, have reverence for God?” This is a question we also discussed when we gathered together, but it has yet to be fully illuminated. I’d like to ask brother to talk about it.
Answer: This question is how God reveals humanity. God exposes a certain kind of man’s corruption. However, the key is, now that God has exposed you, how will you respond? God said, “Can a person without a conscience or humanity, that is to say, a person with exceptionally low character, completely devoid of integrity, have reverence for God?” If people want to know God’s words, then they must understand what is required to have reverence for God. If a person really doesn’t have a conscience, humanity, or any semblance of character, this is a special case. This person is like a savage. Can a person like this accept the truth or accept pruning and dealing? They cannot even accept pruning and dealing. No matter how accurately you criticize them according to the facts, they will rebel against you with shouts and abuses. Can people like this learn to fear God? Well, now we have the answer to the question. Nonetheless, for the majority of us, as soon as we see our past arrogance and self-righteousness, the foolish things we did, our selfishness, our lies, our self-interest, our efforts to save face, we realize we are now shameless, lacking conscience, humanity, or character, we feel like slapping ourselves in the face. Afterward, we still accept God’s word and the truth, accept pruning and dealing, and obey Him no matter how He judges and chastises us. Well, do you think we can become God-fearing people? Some will say we can. Why will this situation be able to instill the fear of God into someone? He recognizes that “I had no conscience before, no humanity and no character.” After understanding this, when he is pruned and dealt with, he can know himself and obey. He accepts whatever judgment and chastisement God doles out. What is the difference between this person and the one we previously discussed? The first person is absolutely devoid of any conscience, humanity, or character. The second person can accept the truth, submit to God’s judgment and chastisement and subject himself to pruning and dealing. In reality, on the surface, he may say “My God! I don’t have a conscience. I don’t have humanity. How am I even fit to call myself a human? I do not have any truth at all, and am committed to telling lies!” However, the fact that he is able to accept the truth, to accept pruning and dealing, shows that he is not completely devoid of conscience, humanity, or character. He acknowledges his own corruption. He is different from the person who has no awareness of his corruptions. Do you understand? You can think of it this way: An unbeliever, the savage, is irrational. Do they admit that they are irrational? They won’t admit it. They’ll say they’re perfect. If you call them a savage, then they’ll get mad and challenge you to a fight. On the other hand, a person who believes in God will behave a bit more appropriately. After being judged and chastised, they will admit they’re an inhuman savage, unfit to be called a human. Now then, which of these people really lacks humanity? Which of them is really unfit to be called a human? Can you tell the difference? The one with self-awareness still has a bit of humanity. They can still accept the truth. The one who does not acknowledge this, who refuses to accept it, who thinks they are perfect, this person cannot be saved. They are finished. They really are devoid of humanity. Isn’t that quite a big difference?
Question 3: How do we observe the work of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: First you must understand the work that the Holy Spirit does. You must grasp the principles behind His work. The principles behind the Holy Spirit’s work, well, the main objective is to enlighten humanity so that they understand God’s word and the truth, so that they know God’s work. Additionally, all those who have already received God’s grace and mercy or new believers, if you pray to God in times of hardship or temptation, you will see the Holy Spirit’s work and observation. In times of temptations and tribulations, you must quickly pray to God; don’t speak out of hand, but pray instead and instantly ponder God’s word. If you do this, it will be easy to obtain the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment. These are the crucial times when the Holy Spirit works. On the one hand, when you read God’s word and seek the truth, you must be mindful of the Holy Spirit’s work. On the other hand, when you pray to God in times of temptations and tribulations, this is when the Holy Spirit enlightens you. Additionally, when you are following the wrong path, coveting the comforts of the flesh, sometimes your heart feels hollow. You feel you’re about to be disciplined by God. It feels like a great scourge is about to fall down on you. This is when you must be mindful of the Holy Spirit’s work. At these key points and these critical moments, you must pray and seek God in order to receive the work of the Holy Spirit and ensure you do not miss it.