Chapter 1. Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Knowing God Is the Path to Fearing God and Shunning Evil” (I)
In Regards to the Path to Knowing God
“Every one of you should examine anew your life of believing in God to see whether, in the pursuit of God, you have truly understood, truly comprehended, and truly come to know God.” “Examine anew your life of believing in God.” First, what to examine is the first. The second is, “whether you truly know what attitude God bears to the various types of human beings.” This one is also important. This is the content of knowing God, and cannot be ignored. The third is, “whether you truly understand what God is working upon you and how God defines your every act.” The fourth is, “This God, who is by your side, guiding the direction of your progress, ordaining your destiny, and supplying your needs—how much do you, in the final analysis, understand and how much do you really know about Him?” The fifth is, “Do you know what He works on you every single day?” The sixth is, “Do you know the principles and purposes on which He bases His every action?” The seventh is, “Do you know how He guides you?” The eighth is, “Do you know the means by which He supplies you?” The ninth is, “Do you know the methods with which He leads you?” The tenth is, “Do you know what He wishes to obtain from you and what He wishes to achieve in you?” The eleventh is, “Do you know the attitude He takes to the multifarious ways in which you behave?” The twelfth is, “Do you know whether you are a person beloved of Him?” The thirteenth is, “Do you know the origin of His joy, anger, sorrow, and delight, the thoughts and ideas behind them, and His essence?” The fourteenth is, “Do you know, ultimately, what kind of God is this God that you believe in? Are these and other questions of the sort something that you have never understood or thought about?” The fifteenth is, “In pursuing your belief in God, have you, through real appreciation and experience of God’s words, cleared up your misunderstandings about Him?” The sixteenth is, “Have you, after receiving God’s discipline and chastening, arrived at genuine submission and caring?” The seventeenth is, “Have you, in the midst of God’s chastisement and judgment, come to know the rebelliousness and satanic nature of man and gained a modicum of understanding about God’s holiness?” The eighteenth is, “Have you, under the guidance and enlightenment of God’s words, begun to have a new outlook of life?” The nineteenth is, “Have you, in the midst of the trial sent by God, felt His intolerance for man’s offenses as well as what He requires of you and how He is saving you?”
From within God’s word, we see that God has in total nineteen questions for us. These questions are all things that God’s chosen people must recognize, understand, and know. If you do not have any experience of these nineteen questions, then you do not have any understanding and knowledge of God. These nineteen questions are too crucial! Some people say, “I have some theoretical knowledge of God’s disposition, God’s being, and God’s substance. Does this count as knowing God?” In the past, people were not clear about this question, and they thought they had some knowledge of God. But after God has questioned us in this way and placed these nineteen questions before us, then we understand: To measure whether somebody knows God, we must check them against these nineteen questions. If you have experience and knowledge of all of these nineteen questions, then it can be said that you have knowledge and understanding of God; if you cannot answer these nineteen questions and you do not have true experience and knowledge, then it could be said that the knowledge you have spoken about God in the past was all theoretical and meaningless. So these nineteen questions that God raises against His chosen people today are too important! Now, many people are willing to pursue the truth and pursue knowing God, but they do not know how to experience and how to pursue this, or which paths can lead to success. Now, this question has an answer. Where is this answer? It is within these nineteen questions. Once you have understood and are clear about these nineteen questions and you have an accurate answer, then your understanding of God yields results, and your understanding of God is true. Now that we have a path to pursuing knowledge of God and we are clear in our hearts, then let us fellowship about these nineteen questions.
“Every one of you should examine anew your life of believing in God.” “Examine anew your life of believing in God” means the time, experience, and effect of your belief in God, which together are called “your life of believing in God.” “In the pursuit of God, you have truly understood, truly comprehended, and truly come to know God.” Generally speaking, after believing in God for three to five years, people begin to come to know God. This is the regular pattern. The first and second years of believing in God are often the time for laying foundations on visions. It is the process of being certain about visionary truths and God, not of coming to know God. After the third year, they will begin experiencing some things. People who have believed in God for more than three years, no matter if they have believed for ten or twenty years, ought to introspect and examine: Have I reached the stage of “you have truly understood, truly comprehended, and truly come to know God”? “Examine”, is also called introspection, reflection, and contemplation, and they have the same meaning. Some people ask: “How do I examine? How do I contemplate? How do I introspect?” Having believed in God for so many years, do you have true understanding and true knowledge of God? This is called summarization. If someone says that they do not know what knowing God is, nor what understanding God is, then this person definitely does not know what pursuing the truth is. If someone cannot answer this kind of question and they have no words in their hearts, then this proves that he does not have knowledge. People who truly have knowledge can summarize some knowledge after a bit of examination and contemplation. For example, some people say: “I have defied God many times. I did not pursue the truth, but only relied on my own conceptions and imaginations in believing in God. After facing some setbacks, I blamed God and left the church life and went into the world. Then, I felt in my heart that God was angry toward me and disciplining me, making me face some unfortunate events. Later, I saw that God’s disposition does not allow offense!” Is this not a true experience? (Yes). There are many people with this kind of experience. If in his belief of God he has often experienced these kinds of things, then this proves that this person used to not pursue the truth, and he has betrayed God before. What have people who are more pursuant and enthusiastic experienced? They served God with their own enthusiasm and gifts, but they were disciplined and chastened, and they saw that God’s disposition does not allow offense. Does this count as a bit of recognition of God’s disposition? This counts. Some people never pursue the truth. After some disciplining and chastening, they still do not pursue the truth, but they carry hopes of receiving blessings: “I won’t leave God’s house, and if I persevere till the end, I will be saved.” In the end, they are set aside by God and ignored. Then they feel that, “I cannot feel God, I have lost God in my faith, God is ignoring me and has stopped caring for me. This is bad! I have to pursue Him, otherwise I’ll be in trouble! What is the difference to not believing in God?” So they start pursuing again. What is the experience of people like this? You have not pursued the truth, and experienced God’s disciplining and chastening, yet you are still rebellious, do not pursue the truth, and do not submit to God. So, God has set you aside and ignored you. You feel that: “God does not like me, God does not appreciate me, and God is sick of me.” This kind of knowledge is a bit of experience, knowledge gained from a failed experience. Aren’t there many people with this kind of knowledge? (Yes).
Some people are never loyal when they perform their duties. They think that: “I have freedom in believing in God, I can believe however I want. I’ll perform duties however I want. I shouldn’t be tired or anxious, nor should I seek to do things efficiently. I’ll just be relaxed and do what I want, I am not going to leave anyway.” God also leaves these kinds of people aside and ignores them. After a long period, they ought to be revealed and eliminated. This kind of person is in danger. If you do not pursue the truth, which phrase of the Bible is fulfilled? “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:16). God does not want people like this. Then do people like this have knowledge of God? They do not have any knowledge. These kinds of people do not like the truth, so after a long period of time, they ought to be eliminated. God does not care about what kind of gifts you have. This is how God’s house treats people: If you are a new believer, then you are treated with some pity; you can be forgiven and provided for. If from beginning to end, over a few months, you are always like warm water, neither cold nor hot but acting in accord to your personality, then sorry, but God ought to be angry toward you and eliminate you. This is God’s disposition.
Some people, when fulfilling their duties, are superficial, neither rushing nor slow, dragging their feet, and inefficient. People like this do not revere God, and they are absolutely not people who pursue the truth. God is disgusted by these kinds of people, He does not like them. God often asks me: “Who among these people pursue the truth more? Have you discovered it?” I said, “I have discovered some people, but some people I cannot see through clearly. These people are now in charge of important duties, but I haven’t seen much efficiency in their work.” God said: “They must be observed more.” What does “haven’t seen much efficiency” mean? Do these people truly care for God’s will? Are they loyal to God when performing their duties? Do they truly have a heart that loves God? These are all questions. They have not been observed on these people, but if they have been observed over a long time, there should be a conclusion, right? If I ask somebody who has believed in God for one or two years “Do you have knowledge of God?” this would be too early; if I ask this of somebody who has believed in God for three or five years then that would be acceptable. If someone has believed in God for seven, eight, or even ten years, yet they do not have any knowledge of God, then isn’t this something pitiful and shameful? So now, whether you have “truly come to know” and “truly understood” God, whether you are somebody who cares for God’s will and submits to God, these are all questions you should be clear about. People who have no knowledge of God, no understanding of God’s will, and no knowledge of God’s work are all targets of elimination! When disaster falls, “kachow!” people like this will face plagues, diseases, and God’s punishment. The church will see that: “Ah, he has the plague, he is sick, he cannot fulfill his duties, this is God wanting to eliminate him, this person is in trouble!” Even if the church doesn’t eliminate him, God will, and this is very problematic! He doesn’t know what extent God has worked to, or what kind of people God wants to eliminate. He doesn’t know God’s disposition, he thinks he is like lukewarm water. “I can’t be punished nor can I be eliminated, this is called ‘hitching a ride.’” A ‘hitching a ride’ method of faith isn’t tenable! One being like lukewarm water, neither cold nor hot, is ultimately a target for elimination. Have you remembered this? (Yes.)
“In the pursuit of God, you have truly understood, truly comprehended, and truly come to know God.” This sentence is to let everybody hurry and reflect on themselves. If in your belief of God, you have not come to know Him over many years of belief, this proves that you do not walk on the path of pursuing the truth and you are in danger of being eliminated. It can be said that these kinds of people are in danger. If you have followed God for many years, and you have come to have some knowledge, understanding, and comprehension of God, then in your fulfillment of duties, you should be loyal, you should be able to suffer, and you should be able to care for God’s will. You should be anxious about what God is anxious about, and think what God is thinking about. Only people like this are those who truly pursue the truth. Are you this kind of person now? What is your true expression? If you cannot complete a duty regardless of how long it takes, if you do not have any efficiency regardless of how long you work, if people are anxious and disappointed, but do not want to deal with you because you have a small stature and have only just believed in God, and they do not want you to become passive and weak, then do you comprehend God’s will or not? You should understand God’s thoughts, you should know what God’s attitude is to people like you. If you have believed in God for a few years, and you have not come to know God at all, are people like this somebody who pursues the truth? This can be concluded. So you should be clear about whether you are somebody who pursues the truth.
If now you are not somebody who pursues the truth, then how did you believe before? Are you going to continue believing like that? Are you going to tread on old paths again? If you still believe like before, and if you still have not come to know God over these years of belief, then you are eliminated. How did you believe before? Have you believed for many years, but have no knowledge of God? Are you able to summarize? Some people say: “I’ve left everything behind, I’ve even suffered! I’ve left my home behind, my family is broken, I’ve even been to jail!” God doesn’t care how much you have suffered, God only wants this result—do you have knowledge of God, and can you show this result? You say, “I’ve suffered for decades!”; God says: “Don’t talk about your suffering, I am asking if you have knowledge of God.” Then, you say: “I’ve been in jail for three years for God”; God says: “I am not asking if you have been to jail, I am asking if you have knowledge of God.” Then, you say: “I’ve left my home for God, my family is broken”; God says: “I don’t care if your family is broken, I am asking if you have knowledge of God.” You say: “If this is the only thing you ask, then I don’t.” “You don’t. Sorry! You do not have truth.” God determines man’s outcome according to whether man has truth! If you have no truth, it is no use no matter how much suffering you have endured! It is in vain. This proves that you’re on a wrong path of believing in God. This is God’s righteous disposition! God does not care how many years you have been following, or how much bitterness you have endured, He cares even less how much you have abandoned; what is the result that God wants? It is whether you have knowledge of God, whether you fear God and shun evil; this result is what is wanted. If you cannot have this result, this answer, that proves that the path you are walking on is wrong, you are not a person who pursues the truth, what you are walking on is not the path of pursuing the truth. Now there are still many people always boasting of their suffering, they put on the airs of an old veteran. They think, “As a long-time believer, I’ve forsaken many things.” They think, “I’ve believed in God for so many years, endured so many years of suffering, even been imprisoned, endured torture, endured the serious persecution of the great red dragon; this is capital for my attaining salvation, capital for entering the kingdom of heaven.” These words are untenable. According to what do I say they are untenable? Because God’s aim, the effect of God’s work is to make people know God, fear God and shun evil. If this is not the very effect that is achieved on you, then you must be eliminated. God determines man’s outcome according to whether man has truth, what is meant by “whether man has truth”? It is whether you attain the results of fearing God and shunning evil in your experience of God’s work.
There is another most important question, “how God defines your every act.” This is very crucial. Normal people are not clear about this matter. There are very few people who are clear on this. Some people, when fulfilling their duties, are perfunctory and negligent, and they do not know “Does God approve of me fulfilling my duties in this way, or does He condemn it? Does He like it, or does He dislike it?” These kinds of people do not have understanding of God, and they are muddled and confused. People say: “When you do work for a period of time, are you clear about which of your behaviors are detested by God, which are praised by God, and which are approved by God?” If people are not clear on all of these matters, then what does this explain? That this person does not pursue the truth, that they are too careless, they have never understood what God’s attitudes to their actions and behaviors are. They do not have true knowledge of God. To have true understanding of God, you must be able to understand God’s will, grasp God’s will, and understand God’s attitude on these minute things. This is the most vital.
Then, I will ask you about another matter. Throughout your life of believing in God, what have you done that you are certain that God detests and hates? Has there been such cases? Have you done something that angered God, and caused Him to discipline you? Has something like this happened? What have you done that caused you to lose the work of the Holy Spirit, so that God covered His face from you and ignored you? Has there been such things? What have you done that deceived God, caused you to lose the work of the Holy Spirit, and so God started to detest you? Has there been such things? What have you done that was stubbornly carried out behind God’s back without you daring to pray to God, ultimately leading to losing the work of the Holy Spirit over a long time and God ignoring you? Has there ever been such cases? You should sort out these things that you have done and re-examine them. From them, understand what God’s attitude is toward each thing you have done, your actions, and your behaviors, and from this come to know God’s disposition. This is beneficial to progressing your life to attain salvation. If you do not organize these things, if you do not reflect and come to know yourself anew and come to know God’s disposition anew, then you are not somebody who pursues the truth. Pursuing the truth means you should put some effort on these minute things to reach effects, do not foolishly let them pass by. Also, what rebelliousness and resistance to God still remain in your heart? How does God reveal His attitude to what you have done? Have you discovered it? Are you conscious of it? If you have discovered it or become conscious of it, then write it down, write a diary and record it. This is the record of your life of believing in God!
Some people are repeatedly superficial and negligent. Only later when they faced severe pruning and dealing did they begin to reflect. Do you know what this severe pruning and dealing represents? It represents that God is angry toward you. Through the man used by the Holy Spirit or a leader or worker, God reveals to you His anger, His disgust, and His hatred. Have you become conscious of these things? If you have experienced God’s work but you do not understand spiritual matters, then you cannot be conscious of it. If you truly have a spirit and understand spiritual matters, then you ought to be able to become conscious of these things. Some people say: “I have believed in God for many years, I have muddled through.” Then you are not a person who pursues the truth, and even if you believe in God you are a fool. Isn’t this the conclusion? If this is the conclusion, then this is troublesome for you. If you continue to muddle through, you will ruin yourself. If you cannot see this matter clearly, do you still dare to persist on the path of faith that you have walked on in the past? If you dare to persist, do you dare to guarantee that you would definitely attain salvation by believing like this? If you do not dare to promise like this, then you ought to select your path of believing in God anew. The way you have believed in the past is not tenable. Why is it not tenable? In the past, you have believed foolishly for so many years, and you do not have true knowledge or understanding of God. In particular, you do not know the attitude of God to all kinds of people, and you do not know God’s thoughts to the various things you have done throughout your lifetime of believing in God. This is enough to prove that you have, from beginning to end, not pursued the truth in your faith over these many years. You have believed in it foolishly. So, you do not have any gains at all up until now. If you continue believing like this, regardless of how many years you believe, you will still not have any gains. Isn’t this the case? (Yes.) Then is your method of believing before a success or a failure? (Failure.) Why is it a failure? Because there are no gains. Some people feel: “I’ve believed decently in the past, nor have I done evil deeds or left church life.” God does not care if you have left church life nor whether you have committed evil deeds. Because you have no gains, the path you walk on is wrong. Do you understand? If you have no gains, then at least one problem is confirmed: You have not pursued the truth. If you continue to believe in that way, you will still not gain the truth, have understanding of God, and reach the stage of fearing God and shunning evil. Does this still need to be said? Don’t think that “Ah! I have forsaken much and suffered a lot,” or “I’ve gone to jail and been persecuted by the great red dragon until I cannot return to my home.” God does not care how much you have suffered. God only asks of you: “Have you come to know God, have you gained the truth?” This is what God asks, He is asking you what your greatest gains are. Some people say: “Then did I believe in vain in the past?” We cannot say that you believed in vain, but if you continue to believe in this way then I am afraid it may be dangerous, because you have not pursued the truth, your path is slightly astray. Is it clear now what “your path is slightly astray” means now? That means that you have not focused on pursuing the truth. This is the greatest mistake. If you focus only on suffering, on expenditures, on working, on preaching, on fulfilling your duties, and neglect the most crucial matter—pursuing the truth, is this not being “astray”? What do you think this “astray” is caused by? You think that: “Following God means that I ought to suffer for God and bear the cross. The more I suffer, the more I will receive God’s approval. The greater the suffering, the greater the rewards.” Isn’t your being “astray” caused by this conception? Has God said things like “I approve of you after suffering to such a degree, the more you suffer the more I approve, suffering is the requirement of entering into the kingdom of heaven”? (No.) Then what is your understanding based on? On your imagination, your conception, and your misunderstanding about God. Your low cunning has ruined you. Believing in God has to be based on God’s word, you must understand God’s will, what effect God wants to achieve by working on people, what God wants to gain, and what God wants to obtain. First understand these matters, then define the path you ought to walk on. If you have not clarified them and you choose your path based on your own conceptions, isn’t this blindness?! Your blindness brings the wrong choices, leading to walking on the wrong path. In the end, you have believed in God for many years without real gains, and you only have yourself to blame. Why do those leaders and priests of religious communities ultimately become punished? Because they do not like the truth, they treasure their own position too much. They fight with God over God’s chosen people and they only have themselves to blame. They are deserving and unfortunate! The antichrists in God’s family are more pitiful than them. These people have accepted the true path, yet they still pursue positions, they still fight with God over God’s chosen people, they fight for authority and always want to control people. How are they different from religious antichrists?! So they have committed many evil deeds, and there is no doubt that they will receive punishments.
Some people in fulfilling their duties focus on vanity and appearances, “I will do whichever duty that can allow me to show off; I won’t do those that involve heavy work that people cannot see, that conceal or hide me, that are about supporting anonymously in the background. I want to do external work and vain work.” They want to show off in front of others. When they can show off, they are happy, no matter how much they have to suffer or how much effort they have to put out. They are always pursuing to satisfy their own vanity. People like this do not love the truth. You have to care for God’s will and submit to God’s arrangement. However God’s house arranges things, it carries God’s approval, and you have to be submissive. If you can submit to the arrangements of the house of God, that means that you can submit to God. If you do not submit to the arrangements of God’s family, then your submission is empty, because God would never directly order you to do something face to face. God’s family arranges you to fulfill this or that duty based on the requirements of the work. You say: “I have a choice, I will do whichever duty I am willing to do, and if I do not like it I will not.” By fulfilling your duties like this, is this submitting to God? Are people like this people who love the truth? Can they come to know God? So, they are not somebody who reveres God. Being picky with fulfilling duties and being passive and lazy, people like this do not have any reality of truth. They do not have true submission, they are completely working and fulfilling duties based on their own personal preferences. God does not like people like this. What kind of people does God like? People who volunteer to carry burdens to take whichever work is more crucial and important, they are capable of carrying heavy burdens. They can submit to the arrangements of God’s family, they can care for God’s will, be anxious about what God is anxious about and think about what God is thinking of. Also, they are efficient in working and fulfilling their duties, so that they can achieve the results in the fastest time. They do not drag their feet or slog through their work, nor are they perfunctory and negligent or doing things to their own will. When fulfilling duties and when you need to suffer, you have to suffer. When things become tight, you have to work accordingly. Sometimes, you have to work more than ten hours a day. When it is time to put in hard work, then you can do a few more hours. You won’t be tired out, it is fine. When you need to suffer you ought to suffer. What is this called? Caring for God’s will. God is suffering for us, so we also need to suffer for God’s work and for satisfying God. This is called repaying God’s love! Don’t use your own personality, don’t speak of reason. What reason do you speak of? Some people say: “Even a job follows an eight-hour schedule! Why would you make me work for ten or twelve hours?” This might sound reasonable, but you can be certain that you are heartless! Saying this is being without conscience. You speak of reason, but do you have the truth? Do you know what the truth is? Do you know what caring for God’s will is? Speaking of reason at this moment, this reveals you. You do not accept the truth, you are being rebellious to God.
“Do you know what He works on you every single day?” This is crucial! This shows that you have come to know the work of the Holy Spirit to a certain extent, you have experienced minute aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work. Where you are disciplined and where you are enlightened, from these you can confirm what God is doing upon you. What God does upon people is principled. Today, when you encounter something, God uses this matter to enlighten you, so you can learn from what you have encountered. He does not speak when all sorts of things are encountered, but He sends a message, can you feel this? Sometimes God speaks to people through events. You cannot hear His voice externally, nor is there language, but your spirit knows what message is being sent, what God’s will is, and what God’s requirements to you are. People who understand spiritual things are clear about them, they can see God’s hand. If you do not have spiritual understanding, then when you encounter things you cannot learn things, you cannot experience God’s work, nor can you see God’s work. People like this, to put it bluntly, are animals. Animals cannot see God’s work, because they do not have spiritual understanding.
Some people might say: “Every day, most of the time, I cannot feel the Holy Spirit doing something. Maybe I can feel something once in a while over several days.” This is pretty subjective, and quite true. Because people who believe in God but who have experienced too little of the work of the Holy Spirit are like this. Most of the time, they cannot feel it. There are very few lessons that they can learn over a year. In reality, it is you who cannot experience it. You rely only on your feelings. When you feel supernatural things and things that are obviously from the Holy Spirit, you think that they are from the Holy Spirit. When they are not obvious, you muddle through them, unaware. This method of experiencing is a mistake. Actually, if you pray to God on all things that you encounter every day, you can learn some lessons. This is a fact. If you rely on your feelings, like “When sometimes God disciplines me and the Holy Spirit has especially enlightened me, I can learn some lessons,” how are you mistaken here? You are normally not diligent. The work of the Holy Spirit is not always supernatural. If you actively pursue the truth and actively pray to God, if you seek the truth on all things that you encounter and grasp for God’s will, then it could be said that the lessons that you ought to and could learn every day are too many. At least, you can learn lessons from two or three things every day. Tell me, is what I say the truth? (Yes.) Because you’re too oblivious, you always notice when the Holy Spirit performs supernatural, obvious work that you can feel, but you have overlooked some simple things and small things, losing many opportunities to be perfected. You ought to understand this now. Actually, people can learn lessons on every matter. The more lessons you learn, the faster you progress. The less you learn, the slower you progress. For example, if you encounter spreading the gospel every day, after you spread the gospel, you have experienced spreading the gospel, and what do you feel after this experience? That you lacked the truth. Without the truth, you could not conquer others, you haven’t satisfied them. This is an experience. You see what you lack. If you encounter an evil spirit when you are spreading the gospel, you see that they are an evil spirit and you think, “I won’t preach to him,” but what lessons have you learned? You have become more discerning. You are able to discern and recognize evil spirits. Is this beneficial to your life progress? For example, when you spread to a fallacious person, you only feel that “This person is fallacious, do not have spiritual understanding,” but how do you discern this fallaciousness? What truth do you use to refute him? Are you able to convince him? You can learn lessons from here too. To refute a fallacious person is not simple, you have to know truths from many aspects. Experience like this every day: One way is you can meet all sorts of people and learn a lot of lessons from spreading the gospel, and another is there are many duties that you ought to perform every day. When you perform each duty, you can find corresponding truths and principles of practice. In this way, you can come to understand and know more about some truths. When you come into contact with brothers and sisters in the church every day and fellowship about the truth with them, you gain from others the truth that you have not experienced yourself or that you do not understand. On top of that, you fellowship and share with others about the truths that you understand, and from this you gain a deeper understanding of the truth, and you progress another step. For lessons like these, all you have to do is perform your duties every day and exercise like this, then you can understand many truths. When you have had a lot of experiences, then it will reach an effect. What effect? You know what God is doing on you every day, “Which work does the Holy Spirit perform on me, how does He enlighten me, how does He guide me, how does He lead me to practice some truths and understand some principles,” so aren’t these questions now resolved? If you do not experience in this way, then you are wasting your days and accomplishing nothing. There is nothing that you can gain. So the less duties you perform, the less you gain. The more duties you perform, the more you gain. The more you gain, you are completely clear of what God does on you every day. You are aware of what you are doing. You are too aware of how the Holy Spirit enlightens and illuminates you, of how great the rewards you gained are, what you have gained, and what you have understood. …
What must you do to understand what God does on you every day? Is there a path? You must perform your duties, perform all duties that you can perform. Then, you can experience what God does on you every day. When you perform your duties, as long as you focus on seeking the truth, you are guaranteed to have rewards. As long as you are aware of this, you know how to experience God’s work. Some people are quite enthusiastic when believing in God, but they do not know how to perform their duties and waste their efforts for nothing. If you do not know how to perform duties, then it is a waste of time! Some people, when believing in God, always worry about what to wear, what to eat, what to show off before brothers and sisters, and what goals to achieve so that people can view them highly. What use is this? It is of no use, it is too vain! Even if brothers and sisters view you highly, will God view you highly? Can you attain God’s blessings? Are you living before God? Don’t look for shameless narcissism. It is useless to pursue vanity. Perform your duties properly, and earnestly do things out of love of God. Do practical things for the purpose of satisfying God and repaying God’s love, so that you feel consoled in your heart. If you are a writer, then quiet before God every day, pray to God, and write. If you are a movie maker, then think every day how to make movies well, so you can quickly publish a good movie. If you are a video maker, then think every day and pray to God, “God, enlighten me and guide me so that I can be successful in making videos, in order to bear testimony to you. No matter what duties you perform, pray properly to God and rely on God to fulfill them well, and show some gifts to God every day: “God, this is the result of what I created today, this is for repaying your love, this is a small token from me.” Show some products, and when God looks at them: “Now, you’ve done some actual things for God, you are not juts speaking empty words. Good!” God’s heart is satisfied, and you are also at peace. If you live before God every day and do some practical things for God, if you perform your duties well based on loving God and are not perfunctory and negligent, then you will feel at peace in your heart and happy. After a long time, after gaining the truth, you will become more consoled! If you do not gain the truth, and your heart is always hollow and without peace, then when disaster comes, you would be terrified, afraid, and scared to death. If you know God, then you are without fear. Living or dead, you belong to God!
Now, scientific research has come to a conclusion: When people die, they do not truly die, only their body dies. Their soul goes to another world and another realm. So they admit that people have souls. The Creator rules over souls, and He arranges where the destinations of souls are and where they come and go. Since you’ve come to the human world once, now that disasters are coming and the apocalypse is arriving, then where would your soul go? What is its destination? You have to select a path. But how do you select a path? You must experience God’s work every day, perform your duties as creatures of God well, and know what God acts on you every day. In this way, you will know what your future destination will be. If you can’t experience what the Holy Spirit does on you, then your ending is very troubling. You are a living corpse, you have no soul, and you are just sitting around and waiting for death. What does that mean? It means they are just eating every day and not fulfilling their duties. When the day comes, they deserve to die. Just like a pig, a pig chomps and chomps away at food every day. At the end of the year, it ought to be slaughtered. A pig’s day is that of eating every day and waiting for death. If people do not love the truth, do not pursue the truth, and live like pigs, then what is the outcome? When disaster comes, they are destroyed. Look, now there are many people who muddle through when fulfilling their duties, they are just enjoying themselves. They sing, dance, and have fun, but they don’t know what they are doing. When you ask them: “Do you know what pursuing the truth is?” “No, it’s fine to just fulfill duties.” Isn’t this muddling through? They are living in a muddled way. Regardless of if you’re singing or dancing, you have to pray to God and ask for God’s leadership, “What dance am I dancing? Can it glorify God? Does God like this? What sort of dance and what sort of actions does God like? How do I sing in a way that God likes? How do I sing to bear testimony of God? How do I sing so people enjoy listening to it, so that people can understand God’s word, so that people can come before God and feel that believing in God is too beautiful and too happy?” After praying like this, then your singing and dancing are fulfilling duties. This is truly fulfilling duties, this is not simply eating and drinking and enjoying yourself. Other people are fulfilling their duties when they sing, and they are praying to God in their hearts. When they are dancing, they are also praying to God, they are seeking to grasp God’s will, they are not just enjoying themselves. Heartless people are only enjoying themselves: “As long as I am happy, I will sing and dance, then I am satisfied. I don’t ask for other things. This is fulfilling duties. Sing, dance, being happy, and I can enter into the kingdom in the end. How wonderful!” How could there be such great things in the world! People like this are a bit foolish. They do not understand what God does on people every day, nor do they understand what path they are walking on. This is called a foolish belief.
Whether a person has principles when fulfilling duties, whether they can grasp God’s will, whether they are fulfilling duties based on God’s requirements, this is very crucial. If you follow God’s will and requirements in fulfilling duties, then you can seek truth and pray to God. Once you seek the truth and pray to God, then isn’t it clear what God does upon you every day? If you don’t pray to God every day nor seek truth and always muddle through when fulfilling duties, then can you know what God does upon you every day? You do not know. If you do not know, are you qualified in fulfilling your duties? Are you fulfilling your duties as creatures of God? This is worthy of suspicion. Some people do not have hearts when fulfilling their duties, they put in efforts with eyes closed. They never seek truth and never seek principles. It is like what disbelievers say “they pull on the cart without looking at the road.” Can people like this have rewards after a few years of fulfilling their duties? Can they achieve true knowledge of God? They cannot if they do not pray to God enough, nor if they do not seek the truth. They cannot be clear what God does on them every day. If they believe in God for a long time but never practice the truth, if they don’t truly pray to God and rely on God, then are people like this people who pursue the truth? Aren’t people like this very problematic? Can they reach true effects in practicing their duties like this? If they do not have the truth, then don’t they only put forth effort? Don’t they just do service? How do service-doers come about? They perform their duties without seeking truth and implementing truth. These kinds of people are service-doers. When you seek the truth and practice the truth in fulfilling duties, this is fulfilling your duty as creatures of God. Some people believe in God for many years and put in a lot of effort at the end, they have suffered a lot. But why is it that they end up as service-doers? Who must they blame? Shouldn’t they blame themselves? It is their own faults! Who told you to not pursue the truth? This is a path you have chosen. There is a proper path that you did not follow, but you chose a wrong path. You were asked to seek the truth and pray to God, but you did not. In the end, when others are pursuing the truth, and becoming more and more principled and qualified in fulfilling duties, you are still rendering service, you are still unprincipled in doing things. Then who do you blame? Blame your own foolishness. People create their own paths.
“Do you know the attitude He takes to the multifarious ways in which you behave?” This question is very crucial. “The attitude … to the multifarious ways in which you behave.” This sentence is really not easy to understand for average people! Some people say: “I am God’s chosen people, I am a follower of God, God treats me with only one attitude, and that is love. Love sometimes involves a bit of disciplining, pruning, and judging and chastising, but this is all for the sake of salvation! Ah! How is there ‘the attitude He takes to the multifarious ways in which you behave’? Are there attitudes to treating multifarious ways in which we behave?” What is the problem here? When people have not yet attained complete salvation, they have various expressions. Sometimes they are somewhat submissive due to the work of the Holy Spirit. They sometimes care for God’s will and sometimes they can practice the truth. Most of the time, this effect is from the work of the Holy Spirit. But sometimes the Holy Spirit stops working. What happens then? They are still capable of committing evil, resisting God, and being perfunctory and negligent. When faced with special circumstances, they are even capable of betrayal. When facing trials and refinements they are able to complain about God. These situations are very frequent. On many people, they are like this, exactly. So, in God’s house there has to be leaders and workers to take on responsibilities to endlessly solve problems for God’s chosen people. Problems exist among leaders and workers too. Leaders and workers have to help and accuse each other among themselves, and the above, God’s house has to be responsible for looking after these leaders and workers. Each level manages the level below it. So during the period of work, God must use this sort of church life to lead God’s chosen people and every level of leaders and workers fulfill their duties at the same time. Only in this way can God’s chosen people be led into the reality of truth. So in God’s house, God’s chosen people can all clearly see the work that the Holy Spirit performs on all sorts of people, and they supervise and constrain each other through various circumstances. If there are no leaders and workers and people of each level constraining each other, most people can easily become distant from God or stray onto their own paths. Some people are arrogant and always want to control God’s chosen people and seize authority. They want to command everybody, and they always think their own authority is too small. If you really can manage things, that’s fine. If you could do it well then that’s great. If you can’t manage things well and you can’t do the work, then aren’t you harming people? If you want to manage everything and become everyone’s boss, do you have those skills? Can you reach that effect with your work? How is it that you haven’t submitted? Don’t you know that you are only average? People like this are simply shameless. What is God’s attitude to this kind of people? God detests and hates them. God detests and hates people who walk on the path of the antichrist. Some people say: “I am someone who pursues the truth.” Then do you have expressions of resisting God? What is God’s attitude to your expressions of resistance? What is God’s attitude to your expressions of submission? What is God’s attitude to your expressions of practicing the truth? What is God’s attitude to your expressions of deceiving God? God has His attitude to all sorts of things. You cannot say sweepingly that “God is only loving to me.” That is wrong. When you submit to God and love God, He loves you. When you hate and complain about God, does He love you then? Then God hates you and detests you. How should this be explained? This is based on God’s disposition. God is holy, He does not allow blemishes, He dislikes filth, rebellion, and negative things. So when you display your corruption, He dislikes you, He detests you, and He is disgusted by you. So that is why some people sometimes lose the work of the Holy Spirit. Can you still say that: “God loves me no matter what I do, God pities me no matter what I do”? This statement is not tenable. Have you ever been disciplined by God? If you have not experienced being disciplined by God, then you do not know that God has different attitudes to various types of expressions. If God discovers rebellion in people He likes, He still disciplines them and becomes angered. So would you say God disciplined and punished David? (Yes.) Can you come to know God’s disposition from this? So you have to be aware of God’s attitude to your various expressions. In the past, what caused you to receive God’s disciplining? What caused you to offend God and see Him cover His face from you? What did you do to lose the work of the Holy Spirit and caused God to ignore you? What did you do to cause God to set you aside, so that you cannot grasp God’s presence with you? Think back on all of these things. It is important to come to know God’s disposition on these matters! It is too crucial to our entry into life!
What is God’s attitude to people who dislike the truth? Disgust and hatred. Whenever people fellowship about the truth, they are displeased and unwilling to listen. What kind of expression do these people show? They display their expressions of being tired of and hating the truth. God detests, abhors, and hates these kinds of people. Look at some people who are new to faith and who have experienced a period of church life, and they see that: “Gatherings are just eating and drinking the word of God and fellowshiping about the word of God. There is only truth and more truth. I cannot listen to this, this is boring, I quit.” What kind of expression is this? An expression of being tired of and hating the truth. If they do not enjoy eating and drinking the words of God, they are the devil. Another expression is, once they hear that doing duties involves suffering, they shake their heads, “I don’t want to perform this duty. I want to pick a duty that does not involve suffering,” what kind of expression is this? An expression of being perfunctory and negligent, being rebellious to God, and betraying God. What is God’s attitude to this type of behavior? Disgust and hatred. God dislikes people like this. God says: “This person is not loyal to me. I don’t like it. I will not work on them.” This is God’s attitude to this kind of expression. Another type of people do not do practical work when doing their duties. They do not pick heavy burdens, but always want to command people and boss them around. What kind of expression is this? This kind of people are not loyal to God. God says: “This person only picks easy responsibilities and cannot bear heavy ones, they wish for ease and comfort, to rule from above, and they do not do practical work.” God dislikes them. God’s attitude to people like this is one of disgust. God has attitudes to many of your different expressions. Do not neglect this. If you are not clear, you do not know God’s disposition; if somebody truly knows God’s disposition, they definitely know what God’s attitude is to all kinds of things. God has different attitudes to all kinds of people, and definitely different attitudes to each type of expression of every person. This is absolute. So how are these different attitudes distinguished? That has to be based on God’s word. We can understand through God’s word. What is God’s attitude to cunning people? Are there words of God? What is God’s attitude to honest people? Are there words of God? What is God’s attitude to evil people? Are there words of God? What is God’s attitude to people who resist Him? There are also words of God. In this way, through reading God’s word we can understand what God’s attitude is to each kind of people. If you are more attentive, if you have true experience of God’s word, then you can understand that God has different attitudes to your own various expressions. If you experience God’s work to this degree, then you have come to know God’s disposition. In your experiences, you go through many disciplining by God. Based on whichever matter you were disciplined, you can see God’s attitude in your expressions of those matters. For example, one time you promoted or recommended a bad person to be leader or worker, you received God’s disciplining; for example, when you spoke up or argue for a bad or evil person, God became angry to you; for example, in doing your duties you were negligent in your responsibility, so that you brought damages to the work of God’s house, and God covered His face from you and you lost the work of the Holy Spirit. Can you see God’s attitude to your various expressions from these examples? You ought to be able to. Some people do not fulfill their duties, and God becomes angry at them and no longer works on them. What is God’s attitude to you not doing your duties? What is God’s attitude to you not liking the truth? What is God’s attitude to you making judgments on leaders and workers of all levels? What is God’s attitude to you revealing false leaders and antichrists? No matter positive or negative things, God has attitudes. Once you clearly know God’s attitudes to various kind of expressions and have a clear grasp, then you come to know God’s disposition. If you have limited experiences yourself and come to know a little, if others have more experiences, then through fellowshiping about the truth with others, you see some more of God’s disposition in others’ experiences and God’s attitude to all kinds of expressions. Then haven’t you gained another aspect of your knowledge of God and God’s disposition? Therefore fellowshiping about the truth is very helpful to coming to know God. People’s own experiences are limited. When fellowshiping about the truth with others, that is to understand others’ experiences and understand how God works on other people. In this way, you have a richer knowledge of God, and you gain even more. In the past, a lot of people said something like this: “How do you come to know God’s disposition? How should this be experienced?” Do you know how to know it through God’s question? From which way do you start knowing? That is from God’s attitude to all kinds of people and your various kinds of expressions.
… “Do you know whether you are a person beloved of Him?” This is also very important. By what basis is this confirmed? Can it be only confirmed based on what the Lord Jesus said during the Age of Grace, “For God so loved the world”? That was God’s attitude to humankind during the Age of Grace. During the Age of Kingdom, God loves those who pursue the truth, and not those who do not pursue the truth. Those that pursue the truth have the work of the Holy Spirit. Having the work of the Holy Spirit proves that God loves them. If people do not love the truth, they do not have the work of the Holy Spirit. If they do not have the work of the Holy Spirit, are they somebody beloved by God? At least it could be said that they are temporarily not beloved by God, or they are not currently. Whenever they truly come to love the truth, the Holy Spirit works on them. When the Holy Spirit is truly working on them, that can prove that they are somebody who loves the truth, because God examines people’s hearts! Theoretically, you understand this aspect of truth, but do you have true experiences? Do you know in which period of your faith in God you did not pursue the truth and did not have the work of the Holy Spirit? What happened to you when you were without the work of the Holy Spirit? What sort of situations were you in? Your heart was dark, and your situations were fraught with perils and dangers. You always felt that God was about to be angry to you, and there were disciplining and unfortunate things that happened to you. Then you know: “I am living for the flesh, I do not love the truth, nor do I pursue the truth, so I live in darkness and truly cannot see God’s blessing!” If you cannot see God’s blessing, that proves you are not loved by God. Some people have faith in God for a period of time, but because they were disinterested in the truth they returned to the world to earn money. Does God love people like this? If you return to the world God ignores you. But some people love the truth a bit in their hearts. When God sees that they still have hope, He disciplines them, causes them to fail, lets them encounter setbacks, and finally touches them so they turn their head back and return to God’s house. After returning to God’s home, they say: “During this period, I betrayed God and pursued the world. My heart was too dark. I encountered a lot of chastening and pain, so I turned my head back. I saw that if people do not pursue the truth, they do not have a path in the world. There is only a road that leads to death!” So what did they learn through this experience? That when people betray God and do not fulfill duties, they only encounter pain and chastening. It is too painful to live in darkness without God’s guidance, the guidance of God’s word! So they come to a conclusion: When people do not love the truth and pursue the truth it is a betrayal of God. What is the result of betraying God? God’s disciplining and God’s punishment. All that people encounter is pain. So to those people who do not do their duties and who pursue the world, all they encounter are pain and chastening. Can you see God’s disposition from this? What people does God love, after all? God loves those who pursue the truth.
Then, are you now somebody who likes the truth? Can you see it clearly? You should be clear. Some people say: “In the past, I was not somebody who loved the truth. Now I have started to love the truth.” Now you’ve started to love the truth, can you care for God’s will? Can you suffer for the truth? It is not enough to only love it verbally. You have to suffer, you have to pay the price for gaining the truth. This is a testimony. Only in this way can you prove you are somebody who truly pursues the truth. Now, do you have this testimony? You say you love the truth, but can you suffer for the truth? Can you pay the price? Can you leave everything behind for fulfilling your duties? If when you perform your duties, people in your family discredit you, mock you, and friends of the world abandon you, can you endure this suffering? Can you still betray God? All of this reveals people! If you are truly somebody who loves the truth, then you ought to suffer through all kinds of setbacks when taking the way of pursuing the truth! No matter how your family, people of the world, and friends abandon, judge, and discredit you, you are still able to follow God and loyally fulfill your duties. Only this can prove that you are truly somebody who pursues the truth. Only this can prove you are truly kind-hearted, love the truth, have the sense of justice, and suffer all pain for the just cause. Now, many people love the truth in their hearts, but they have not suffered or paid the price enough for the truth. When the suffering and setbacks become too much, they begin to turn their heads and betray God. Can people like this be said to truly pursue the truth? Their faith is insufficient, because they cannot suffer and pay the price. Some people do not have confidence. You ask them: “Can you sacrifice the remainder of your life in expenditure for God?” And they say: “No, certainly not! I cannot do this!” Do people like this count as people who truly pursue the truth? People who truly pursue the truth can sacrifice their whole life for God, they can leave behind marriage, family, and all entanglements of the flesh. They can reach true betrayal of Satan and break away from Satan’s influence. To carry out God’s will, they expend their whole lives. This is somebody who pursues the truth and yearns for the light. Now, people truly have resolve. But after making this decision, they will face many setbacks and difficulties. The path to the kingdom is full of difficulties. This is the truth. Even the persecution and hunting of the great red dragon and the discrediting and judgment from people in the world are hard for people to overcome. People cannot endure this hardship. Some people cannot overcome the discrediting and judgment and obstruction of their family, children, and relatives. Aren’t their faiths too small? They are not the good soldiers of Christ. What kind of people are the good soldiers of Christ? In loving God, they go through every difficulty. Nothing can beat them, and nothing can defeat them. No matter how savage satanic forces are, they cannot defeat you, they cannot seduce you, and they cannot stop you from believing in God and following God. Only people like this are the good soldiers of Christ and overcomers. Overcomers are not even scared of death, so how could they be scared of Satan?
How many truths must people understand to become people who truly love God? You need to have an idea of this in your heart. What sort of will must people have when pursuing the truth to attain God’s happiness and God’s blessing? People must be aware of this too. It is not that when you wish for it, when you have some inclination and will you can attain God’s love. God has to test your confidence and your loyalty too, revealing you through various types of tests and trials. Job feared God and shunned evil. What did he maintain throughout his life? Job maintained the path of fearing God and shunning evil, he maintained this purity for which he was famous. God saw that, “This person is loyal. Good, I will give him a test!” Then he encountered a trial. When the trial came, Job lost everything, but still thanked and blessed God, he continued to fear God and shun evil. What happened? After losing his family, his family members, and all of his wealth, when he did not have anything left, what did he gain? He still maintained his purity. In the end, he saw God’s appearance and gained God. From the testimony of Job’s experience we gain a revelation, that is when we wish to gain the truth, we may face the danger of losing everything. When we have lost everything, it is the time when we gain God. Is this a path to being perfected by God? This is a testimony! When Job had nothing, he was actually the richest. Why was he rich? At that time, when he did not have anything, he maintained God’s path. Maintaining the path is having God and gaining God. Have you experienced it to Job’s degree? Now, you have everything, family, children, parents, wealth, fame, and position. What do you lack? When you have everything and are wealthy, do you have God? Do you have God’s path? It is difficult to say, isn’t it? When Job had nothing at all, it revealed that he was the richest person. He had God’s path. This is Job’s purity: “I can lose anything, but I must hold onto God’s path! I can lose anything else, but I cannot lose God’s path!” This is Job’s belief, Job’s core values! Then do you now have Job’s confidence? If one day when trials come, and you do not have your parents or your family, you have lost your wealth and your house, then can you stand the testimony? Like Job: “It is enough that I maintain this path. I can lose everything else!” Do you have this confidence? It is difficult to answer this, but everyone must have an idea in your heart! Is it clear now what kind of people God loves? Is it people like Job? If you say, “God loves people who pursue the truth,” this is a bit too general. What kind of people are those who can pursue the truth? People like Job, who can leave everything, people who will maintain God’s path even when stripped of everything. This is somebody who truly pursues the truth. God loves people like this.