Job’s testimony represents his faith. What state did his faith attain? “The LORD gave,” which ordinary people have experienced. “After believing in the Lord, I have experienced God’s grace in no little part. I have had many difficulties, have fallen ill so many times, but my prayers and supplications to God have all been fulfilled. So what I am able to have today, everything I possess is bestowed by God.” Many people are equipped with this faith. It is the second level “the LORD has taken away” that ordinary people are unable to have knowledge of. They believe “It is Satan that did this, or it was done by robbers. God gave unto me, and Satan itself ruined these things. It is the devil that specializes in being the enemy of God. It wants to seize everything that God gives to people, so it was Satan that did this. All I need is to fight against Satan. This has no connection to God.” Do most people think this way or not? Then this faith is far inferior to that of Job. What is rare and precious regarding Job is his last sentence “blessed be the name of the LORD!” This sentence is incredible to people, who say, “He caused you to be deprived, and afterward you still praise His name? This cannot be! Praising God on this instance of being deprived, what kind of person could do so? This is impossible and incredible!” Is this not what happened? Tell me, when Job was confronted with this trial, or wretched situation, he still said, “blessed be the name of the LORD.” What kind of knowledge of God must he have in order to speak these words? This is enough for people to rack their brains about for a while. How long must you try to figure it out before you come up with an answer? Would you be able to figure it out in three days, or five? If you are unable to figure it out, then experience it. When you have reached a certain level through experience, you will be able to know why Job said these words. Only once you experience Job’s faith in that degree, can you say, “Oh, what Job said is so true. How was I unable to imagine this before? Today I understand why Job was able to speak these words, today I have finally experienced them. When Job reached the age of seventy—‘Man’s life from of old has rarely reached seventy’—his life was fast approaching its end, and when faced with the trial, he was able to speak words like this. He had thoroughly experienced this in his whole life. His faith was very true, what Job experienced was certainly profound enough!” Job and Abraham, these two are great people of faith, whose faith was the greatest, their state being very elevated. Ordinary people cannot reach or attain this. Otherwise how would these two receive such great blessings from God? Isn’t it like this? We experience God’s work today, and God promises that what we will gain will surpass that of the saints of the previous generations. Is this not the grace and blessing of God? How can we surpass them? Surpassing the former saints in faith and knowledge of God, is this easy to attain? It is not easy. Why do you say it is not easy? Because in obtaining the truth you must pay a price! There is no one who can obtain the truth without paying a price. In obtaining the truth you must pay a price, in obtaining the truth you must suffer much hardship. One must gradually pass through experience and do well in seeking the truth and in seeking to know God. Is this not the case?
Do you know what is the result of your seeking to know God? Some people say, “Casting away the corrupt disposition, and being obtained by God.” Attain it by relying on what? “Relying on our understanding of the truth. As we understand the truth more, we will naturally belong to God.” Are these words correct? There are many antichrists, who seem to understand all things, and they preach excellently and speak pompously. They talk for days without giving their mouths a rest, but in the disposition of their lives there is no change. What is this? They just want to understand some secrets within God’s word, to see how God performs His work, and what kind of people are among those who are gained by God. They want to understand these outward things and the outer part of the truth. They can speak and preach, and they think they are gained by God, so where is the error? They have not accepted the judgment and chastisement of God’s word with sincerity and uprightness. It is like how people say, “I have no words against the judgment and chastisement of God’s word. I acknowledge that the word of God is all the truth, but it is being dealt with and pruned by man that I cannot accept. I cannot be obedient.” I deal with some leaders and workers, and I deal with them very severely, and some are refined with great suffering, pondering, “How can it be that I am an antichrist? Do I really resist God? Am I not really seeking the truth? How can it come so unexpectedly? In believing in God up to today I have been reduced to such a condition. I am not convinced. I am out of balance in my heart!” Are these words true or not? People who have not experienced do not know, but people who have gone through experience all know that these words are true and accurate. Do you think that experiencing the judgment before the seat of Christ is as simple as you imagine? “We several people are gathered together, eating and drinking the word of God, communicating in the knowledge of God’s word, and in the end everyone acknowledges that the word of God is the truth, and everyone is able to know themselves in the word of God. Afterward, we speak a little about knowledge, and show a little resolution. Just with this experience, in the end there will come a day when our life disposition is changed, and we are gained by God.” Is it like this? What was Job’s trial like? What was Peter’s trial like? God says, “which of course left him half dead,” that is, he was made by God half dead. Tell me, how can we explain these words? God dealt with him, so he was halfway between life and death, feeling that death would be better than life! Tell me, are these words true or false? Is God able to do this? Someone says yes. How is He able? These words are not easy to say, and if you have not experienced it, you cannot speak about it. Ask Peter, he knows, and Job also knows. Job would say, “God has blessed me so many years, and I have gained so much from God, but suddenly, in the span of one day, everything was taken away and there was nothing left. No matter how many children I had, they had all died.” When God does things, they can be extraordinary and impossible to fathom. And they can be unlike what people think in their notions and imagination. Sometimes it is grace that comes descending in a downpour, that is when a bumper harvest happens to occur. Sometimes you undergo a trial, suddenly, like a mountain toppling over or the sky collapsing, this will befall you. How do the unbelievers describe this? “Disaster falls from the sky.” This very matter might torture a person half to death. Tell me, when Job was faced with this matter, was he not tortured half to death? Suddenly, he encountered such a great disaster, and who would not topple over at this? Who could bear this up? Furthermore, Job’s whole body became covered in boils, so that he had to use a potsherd to scrape them off. As for Abraham, God spoke those words to him, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of” (Genesis 22:2). What state of mind do you think was Abraham in after he heard these words and decided to sacrifice his son? Was he at all happy? Death was better than life! He took his son to the place of sacrifice, and how did he walk this road? What was he to do when he arrived there? Kill his son. His only son, whom he had late in life at the age of a hundred. Who would not be dearly pained! This truly is like a knife twisting in the heart. It is the same feeling as the Lord Jesus on the road to Jerusalem where He was to be crucified. Experiencing the work of God is such a way, can it be said like this? Experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God is just this kind of experience, it is having so many trials befall you. Today, the great red dragon seizes you, and tomorrow the religious world condemns you, and the next day everyone abandons you, and even friends and relatives scorn you, all saying that “You are deranged, you have wandered onto a crooked path, you have believed in an evil teaching.” Can you endure this? Are there not some people who have experienced some of this? What does it feel like in your heart to have such things befall you? Is it easy to bear? It is absolutely not easy to bear. Is there not a feeling of wishing for death? “How is life so wearying? How is it so difficult to believe in God? I might as well not believe, just let me die!” If your households have not broken apart, you have not reached the end of this suffering. When one day your family breaks apart, and your wife leaves you and your children are scattered, you have nearly suffered all the torment. Believing in Almighty God, you must have such experience, “And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38). The words of the Lord Jesus have been fulfilled and come to fruition. Is this path easy to follow or not? It is not easy to follow, this is correct and is spoken from the heart. If there are people who say, “It is easy to follow! I do not believe it is difficult to follow. Even if some have stumbled, I will not!”, then you should feel shame after speaking such words.
When you are faced with the slanderous words of judgment of the religious world, there are also the rumors, condemnations, libel, and defamation by the Chinese Communist Party government. Have you had discernment to defend yourselves? This negative propaganda cannot defeat you, correct? This is the first step, and it shows that you have some faith, and if further you can use the truth and the word of God to refute their fallacies, you are guaranteed to be able to completely stand firm; this difficulty will have passed. Are you currently able to refute them? You still feel it difficult. You simply do not listen, “I am not listening, I do not believe it!” You may ponder this in your heart: Is what he is saying true or false? Is it, after all, in accordance with reality? I still do not understand it too well. I am at a loss in trying to use the truth to refute them. Who knows if it is true or false? I cannot see it through, and anyway I do not believe it, “Do not talk to me! I will not listen, I will not listen!” People will say, “If you will not listen, then I will force you to, I will force it into you. If you will not listen, you still have to listen!” This is dangerous. So to say, if you want to stand firm on the true way, will you be able to if you do not understand the truth? It is not a matter of you listening or not; if you do not listen, then when something befalls you, you will cause trouble yourself in your heart, and will feel doubt there. If you do not have the truth, then your heart is in danger. Your notions and imagination can become your obstacle, and may cause you to fail. Do you believe this or not? It need not to be said that the lies and rumors of the outside world may defeat you, and the notions and imagination in your heart, your arrogance, and not seeking the truth but believing yourself infallible—these may cause you to be sent to hell. The greatest enemy of mankind is his heart, and it is those satanic notions and imagination. These things are a stumbling block. Enemies of the outside world are easy to handle, but the enemy within is difficult to handle, and if you do not have the truth you will not be able to resolve this. Are you able to accept words like these?