Chapter 7 Several Other Aspects of the Truths That Are the Minimum That Should Be Understood by New Believers
1. You Must Know the Source of People’s Opposition to the New Work of God in Their Belief in God.
Relevant Words of God:
The reason that man opposes God stems, on the one hand, from the corrupt disposition of man, and on the other hand, from ignorance of God and lack of understanding of the principles of God’s work and His will toward man. These two aspects merge into a history of man’s resistance to God. Novices in the faith oppose God because such opposition lies within their nature, while the opposition against God of those with many years in the faith results from their ignorance of God, in addition to their corrupt disposition.
from “All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Each of the three stages of work is carried out upon the foundation of the previous stage; it is not carried out independently, separate from the work of salvation. Though there are great differences in the age and type of work that is carried out, at its core is still the salvation of mankind, and each stage of the work of salvation is deeper than the last. Each stage of work continues on from the foundation of the last, which is not abolished. In this way, in His work that is always new and never old, God is constantly expressing an aspect of His disposition that has never before been expressed to man, and is always revealing to man His new work, and His new being, and even though the religious old guard does its utmost to resist this, and openly opposes it, God always does the new work that He intends to do. His work is always changing, and because of this, it is always encountering the opposition of man. So, too, is His disposition always changing, as are the age and recipients of His work. Furthermore, He is always doing work that has never been done before, even carrying out work that appears to man to be in contradiction to the work done before, to run counter to it. Man is only able to accept one kind of work, or one way of practice. It is difficult for man to accept work, or ways of practice, that are at odds with them, or higher than them—but the Holy Spirit is always doing new work, and so there appear group after group of religious experts that oppose the new work of God. These people have become experts precisely because man has no knowledge of how God is always new and never old, and has no knowledge of the principles of God’s work, and, what’s more, has no knowledge of the many ways in which God saves man. As such, man is utterly unable to tell if it is work that comes from the Holy Spirit, and if it is the work of God Himself. Many people cling to an attitude in which, if it corresponds with the words that came before, then they accept it, and if there are differences with the work of before, then they oppose and reject it. … Know that you oppose God’s work, or use your own conceptions to measure the work of today, because you do not know the principles of God’s work, and because you do not take the work of the Holy Spirit seriously enough. Your opposition to God and obstruction of the work of the Holy Spirit is caused by your conceptions and inherent arrogance. It is not because God’s work is wrong, but because you are naturally too disobedient.
from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Because there are always new developments in God’s work, thus there is new work, and thus there is also work that is obsolete and old. This old and new work is not contradictory, but complementary; each step follows on from the last. Because there is new work, the old things must, of course, be eliminated. For example, some of the long-established practices and habitual sayings of man have, coupled with man’s many years of experience and teachings, formed all manner of conceptions in the mind of man. Yet more propitious to the formation of such conceptions by man is that God has yet to fully reveal His true face and inherent disposition to man, combined with the spread, over many years, of traditional theories from ancient times. It is fair to say that, during the course of man’s belief in God, the influence of various conceptions has led to the continual formation and evolution of a knowledge in man in which he has all kinds of conceptions about God—with the result that many religious people who serve God have become His enemies. And so, the stronger people’s religious conceptions, the more they oppose God, and the more they are the enemies of God. The work of God is always new and never old, and it never forms doctrine and is, instead, continually changing and renewing to a greater or lesser extent. This work is the expression of the inherent disposition of God Himself. It is also the inherent principle of God’s work, and one of the means by which God accomplishes His management. If God did not work in this way, man would not change or be able to know God, and Satan would not be defeated. Thus, in His work there continually occur changes that appear erratic, but which are actually periodic. The way in which man believes in God, however, is quite different: He clings to old, familiar doctrines and systems, and the older they are the more palatable they are to him. How could the foolish mind of man, a mind that is as intransigent as stone, accept so much unfathomable new work and words of God? Man abhors the God who is always new and never old; he only likes the antiquated old God who is white-haired and immobile. Thus, because God and man each have their own likes, man has become the enemy of God.
from “Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today Can Serve God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Not ever does the work of God conform to the conceptions of man, for His work is always new and never old. Not ever does He repeat work of old but rather forges ahead with work never before done. As God does not repeat His work and man invariably judges the work of God today based on His work of the past, it is exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man presents far too many hindrances! The thinking of man is too hidebound! No man knows the work of God, yet they all define such work. … All men wish to gain God yet are unable to tolerate any changes in God’s work. Those who do not accept the new work of God believe that the work of God is changeless, and that the work of God forever remains at a standstill. In their belief, all that is needed to gain eternal salvation from God is to keep the law, and as long as they repent and confess their sins, the heart of God will be forever satisfied. They are of the opinion that God can only be the God under the law and the God who was nailed on the cross for man; it is their opinion too that God should not and cannot exceed the Bible. It is precisely these opinions that have shackled them firmly to the law of old and kept them fettered by rigid regulations. Even more believe that whatever the new work of God, it must be substantiated by prophecies, and that in each stage of such work, all those who follow Him with a true heart must also be shown revelations, else that work could not be that of God. It is already no easy task for man to come to know God. Taken in addition to man’s absurd heart and his rebellious nature of self-importance and conceit, then it is all the more difficult for man to accept the new work of God. Man neither studies the new work of God with care nor accepts it with humility; rather, man adopts an attitude of contempt, waiting for the revelations and guidance of God. Is this not the behavior of a man who rebels against and opposes God? How can such men gain the approval of God?
from “How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
It is easy for mankind to make the mistake of delineating God; people are apt to stick to the past, and demarcate God. They clearly do not know God, and still wantonly delineate the work of God. Their nature is so arrogant! People always wish to hold on to the old conceptions of the past, they keep the things of days gone by stored in their hearts, and use them as their principal, being arrogant and pompous, and thinking that they understand everything, and having the gall to delineate the work of God. In this, do they not pass judgment on God? In addition, people give no consideration to the new work of God, which shows that it is difficult for them to accept new things, and yet they still blindly delineate God; people are so conceited that they are devoid of reason, they listen to no one, and don’t even accept the words of God. Such is the nature of man: totally arrogant and self-righteous, and without the slightest obedience. When they condemned Jesus, the Pharisees were like this: Even if You were right, I still wouldn’t follow You—only Jehovah is the true God. Today, are there not also people who say: “He’s Christ? I wouldn’t follow Him even if He were really Christ!” … This shows that man’s disposition is too corrupt, that he is beyond salvation.
from “Do Not Delineate God’s Work” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the substance of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What’s more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not seek the truth of life. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah, and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of paying empty tribute to the name of the Messiah while opposing the substance of the Messiah by any means. These Pharisees in substance were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God is: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah. Are these views not preposterous and ridiculous? I ask you again: Is it not extremely easy for you to commit the mistakes of the earliest Pharisees, given that you have not the slightest understanding of Jesus? Are you able to discern the way of truth? Can you truly guarantee that you will not oppose Christ? Are you able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit? If you do not know whether you will oppose Christ, then I say that you are already living on the brink of death. Those who did not know the Messiah were all capable of opposing Jesus, of rejecting Jesus, of slandering Him. People who do not understand Jesus are all capable of denying Him, and reviling Him. Moreover, they are capable of seeing the return of Jesus as the deceit of Satan, and more people shall condemn Jesus returned to flesh. Does not all of this make you afraid? What you face shall be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the ruination of the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches, and the spurning of all that is expressed by Jesus.
from “When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
For example, when God became flesh in Judea, His aim was to complete the work of crucifixion to redeem all mankind. Yet the Jews believed that it was impossible for God to do this, and they thought it impossible that God could become flesh and assume the form of the Lord Jesus. Their “impossible” became the basis by which they condemned and opposed God, and ultimately led to the destruction of Israel. Today, many people have committed a similar error. They wantonly proclaim the imminent appearance of God, yet also condemn His appearance; their “impossible” once more confines the appearance of God within the limits of their imagination.
from “The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh