We’ve just read “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God.” This passage from God’s word clearly articulates how we can effectively bear testimony to God, how we can bear testimony to God according to His will and the conditions we must meet in order to bear testimony to God. What is the main focus of this passage? In order to exalt God and bear testimony to Him, we must understand the truth and know God. What is the purpose of this passage? It seeks to allow all of us who are willing to bear witness, who are willing to stand as good witnesses to God to pursue the truth and strive to know God. This is its most important purpose. Today we can see that many believers are willing to forsake everything to follow God. They are willing to do their duty to bear testimony to God, but why is God still disappointed? The majority of people do not possess the truth; they do not know God. Thus, even if they do their duties, they are not bearing testimony to God. Why do I say that even if they do their duties they are not bearing testimony to God? Because if you do not have the truth, you do not know God. Because if you do not know God, then isn’t talk of obeying God or satisfying God just empty speech? Some people say, “We have worked so hard and sacrificed everything to fulfill our duties. How are we still unable to bear testimony to God?” Without the truth, can you perform your duties up to His standards? Without the truth, will performing your duties be effective enough for you to bear witness to God? Without the truth, will your evangelism win anyone over? Without the truth, as a leader or worker, can you solve the problem of life entry for God’s elects? Without the truth, you cannot even speak of your own knowledge of God. In that case, how can you be truly obedient to Him? Therefore, without the truth, you cannot bear testimony to God. Even if you work hard to fulfill your duty, you will just be doing a service, you still won’t be working in accordance with God’s wishes. So, what does God command us to do? Pursue the truth and strive to know Him. If you fail to get to know God, whatever duty you do is of little value; it’s all just doing a service. You must understand this!
In the past, we have read God’s words about what it means to believe in Him. What does He say about it? “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.” Knowing God through experiencing His work, this is truly believing in God. If you believe in God for many years but are never able to know Him, then He will not consider you to be a true believer because you have not obtained the truth. To believe in God for many years but fail to know Him, this is the biggest failure of any believer! Believers often gather together and say things like, “What has been your greatest achievement during all your years of believing in God? What have you really gained from it?” When people first hear this question, they do not know how to respond. They’ll say something like, “The biggest thing I gained was understanding lots of truth. Unbelievers cannot obtain the truth. We understand many truths.” What do you gain from understanding the truth? You learn to know God. You get to know God, the Creator, a little bit because the truth originated from God. Is this not the main benefit of believing in God? Some other people say, “Getting to know God a little is the biggest benefit to believing in God. Believing in God causes one to endure so much hardship and persecution, and in the end you just get to know God a little bit better? Is that worth it?” Someone said it’s worth it. Why is it worth it? Because a true understanding of God becomes the truth and life that man has. That is the life from believing in God, which is eternal life, so it is the most valuable life of all. People earn eternal life, obtain the most precious, valuable life. Isn’t that worth it? If you acknowledge all of this, it’s definitely worth it. Obtaining life is more than worth it. What does it mean to obtain life? To obtain life is to truly know God. Truly knowing God will dramatically change a person. What will change? Some people may not be able to see these changes. When a person truly knows a bit about God’s disposition, God’s true essence and God’s almightiness, what is the first thing that happens to them? First, they obtain real faith. “God is real and eminently credible. God’s disposition is righteous, holy and worth of our praise! Additionally, God’s almightiness and wisdom cannot be measured by mortals. He is too omnipotent. He is the true Master of the universe, and everything is in His hands.” People who know God in this manner not only have true faith, but they also begin to treasure the truth, God’s disposition and God’s essence. As soon as they sense the true value of these qualities, as soon as they begin to treasure what God has and is, their life dispositions begin to change as well. What happens to them? Because to know God, His disposition and what He has and is are all part of the truth and are priceless, they feel their past pursuits and hobbies are worthless in comparison, so they automatically forsake them and lose all interest in them, much less continue to pursue them. They consider these things as worthless as dirt. They are willing to submit to God and follow God, are unwilling to leave God, and form an increasingly normal relationship with God. They enjoy the pursuit of God, the pursuit of the truth, the pursuit of justice, the pursuit of life in the light. Is this not evidence of a change in their life dispositions? As soon as their life dispositions change, they are able to see through the things that are pursued by the world and corrupt humans. They recognize that these things are worthless. Some people struggle to find a partner, but as soon as they know God, they say, “Partner? Who needs a partner? There are no loveable ones among the corrupt humans. I can live with or without them. It makes no difference.” Some people like money. As soon as they know God, they see that wealth is just an externality without much use. It is not life, and people who know God are able to set it aside. As far as hardship is concerned, they see hardship as having value and meaning, far better than wealth, because accepting hardship is a normal human quality. Because they are able to endure sufferings and distinguish between what to love and what to hate, they will select the proper path. Therefore, after men know God, their perspectives change. They are able to choose what God loves; they are able to choose the truth; they can choose to follow God and serve Him. This is all because of the changes in their life dispositions brought about by knowing God. Now, what can we learn from this? If you do not know God, you will not be able to truly change your life disposition. You can’t give up things like carnal pleasures or carnal pursuits on a whim. You can’t betray the flesh just because you want to. If you want to put them aside, you need to know God. You must know God before you can be freed of your corruption. You must know God before you can choose the truth or the right path. Therefore, you must know God to have life. Men must obtain true life, must obtain the truth which will give them life, in order to forsake the flesh, willingly do their duty to carry out God’s will, and accept suffering. With life as your motivation and life as your source, there’s nothing you can’t do.
In the past, many people used to say, “I understand all truth, but I cannot practice the truth.” What’s the problem here? They know the truth but cannot practice it. Why is that? Practicing the truth isn’t exciting or motivating to them because they do not know God. They seem to understand the truth, but they only have a shallow understanding. They don’t really know God, so they have no strength to practice the truth. Well, to what extent must you understand the truth in order to obtain the motivation of life, forsake the flesh and act according to the principles of the truth? Is a shallow understanding of letters and doctrines sufficient? You say you understand the whole truth. In reality, you do not understand any truth. If you really understood the truth, you would know God. As soon as I listen to your words, I can tell you do not know Him. If you do not know God, then isn’t your professed understanding of the truth false? Understanding the superficial aspects and doctrines of the truth, is that understanding the essence of the truth? No. So, what does it mean to understand the truth? It means you have known God. Isn’t the truth you understand all that God has and is? What is the true essence of the truth? What is the source of the truth? The truth is derived from the words of God and His divine life. Then, what is the true essence of the truth? How precious is the truth? How lovely is it? What is its value? If you obtain the truth, what can you live out? How will it change you? To know the answers to these questions is to truly understand the truth. Some people think understanding some spiritual words and doctrines means they understand the truth. These people are absurd. They’re taking a far too shallow perspective on this.
God’s word says, “It is heaven’s law and earth’s principle to believe in God and know God, and today—during an age when God incarnate personally does His work—is a particularly good time to know God.” What does that mean, “a particularly good time to know God”? God becomes flesh and comes down to earth to do His work and speak. People may encounter Him; they can listen to His words themselves. Additionally, they can see what He does, how He saves people through His work, how He judges and chastises people by the word, how He expresses the truth to free mankind from their preconceived notions, how He prunes and deals with men and saves them from their corruption. All these are ways in which we can experience God’s guidance, shepherding and watering in the flesh, and through these experiences, we shall ultimately know Him. If you can know God through Christ in the flesh, this is the best way. It’s the chance of a lifetime. Why do I say it’s the chance of a lifetime? Such opportunities are extremely rare and there are only two since God created this world—His first incarnation and His second incarnation in the last days. The first time He was incarnated, He did not fulfill His work of “the Word appearing in the flesh.” He was mainly focused on the redemptive work instead of expressing the truth to purify and save mankind. This time He comes back in the flesh during the last days is the best chance for humanity to know God. During the Age of Grace, when God became flesh, He only made one person perfect; only Peter truly knew Jesus. During the last days, God becomes flesh to make many more men perfect, that is to say, a group of people, a group of overcomers. These overcomers get to know the practical God; they can bear witness to the practical God. This is the work that God will accomplish during the last days. Some people may ask: “Then, what does it really mean to understand the practical God?” Look at how Peter knew the Lord Jesus. If we fully communicate that passage of God’s word, we will instantly understand.