Chapter 26. A Talk About God’s Administrative Decrees in the Age of Kingdom
Let’s start by talking about what God’s administrative decrees are. You should understand the definition of them. When they hear them, some people say, Administrative decrees? What do they mean? Are they laws? Are they rules? Are they a system? Or some set of domestic rules? What on earth are they? They don’t understand. Are God’s administrative decrees commandments? Some people still don’t understand; they don’t know what God’s administrative decrees precisely are. Though people often say things like, “God has His administrative decrees, and if you don’t do as He says, He shall use His administrative decrees to punish you and keep you in check,” and although their mouths say the words “God’s administrative decrees,” they don’t actually understand what their substantive connotations are. Just what are God’s administrative decrees? God’s administrative decrees are a kind of language set by God that is aimed at people’s natures and their corrupt dispositions, and which keeps their behavior in check. His administrative decrees are not laws, or a legal system, much less are they like the constitutions of the world. They are a set of parameters set out by God to keep people’s behavior in check. Each of God’s administrative decrees relates to how to fear God, how to worship God, how to obey God, how to be a created being, how to be a human being, how to testify to God, how to not bring shame upon God’s name—it covers all that. So, some people say: “God’s Spirit can do things: He can punish people, He can bring retribution upon every person, and He also has the truth to teach every person. Why must His administrative decrees be used?” The truth concerns entry into life, it relates to those detailed states of people’s corrupt dispositions. God’s administrative decrees, meanwhile, are explicit stipulations, and regardless of your state and what kind of person you are, since you believe in God and are in God’s house, you must carry them out; and if you are incapable of that which is set out and spoken of in God’s administrative decrees, you must be struck off. If someone is incapable of what is set out in God’s administrative decrees, in God’s eyes they will be detested and rejected. In fact, God’s administrative decrees are the very least that people should achieve in their faith in God. They’re similar to how the Israelites worshiped Jehovah, offering sacrifices, observing the Sabbath, and following the work and rules that Jehovah carried out during the Age of Law. In the Age of Law, Jehovah carried out some work and said many words. Of course, He also set many laws—and these laws, naturally, contained much that people were supposed to do. What people were supposed to do at that time covered how they should fear Jehovah, how they should offer sacrifices to Jehovah, how they should give one tenth of their possessions to Him, how they should donate…. It covered a lot, which at that time was called the laws. With the arrival of the Age of Grace, this was called the commandments.
We spoke about this before. There were also the commandments of the new age, which were also part of God’s administrative decrees—it’s just that today, they’re called administrative decrees. Previously, during that age, they were called the commandments, but the commandments of that age cannot be carried forward to today and called administrative decrees, because what people do in each age is different. Every age has commandments, and every age has the criteria of God’s requirements of people, criteria which can change at any time, altering according to the age and the needs of God’s work. It would be inappropriate to use some of the laws of the Age of Law today, but some are, of course, suitable. Of the commandments that Jesus spoke of, most are suitable for the present day, and some aren’t. Some people say: “Do not smoke, do not sin, do not commit adultery, do not worship idols—how could these not be suitable?” I’m talking about just a few of them. For those like “You must honor your father and mother,” it depends on the circumstances. Don’t get the wrong idea and say, “God said the commandments that came before have all been abolished, only a few of them can be used.” You must not pass this on—this is the wrong thing to pass on. You’ll be meddling, and you’ll be a demon! “God said the ones from before—do not smoke, do not drink, do not sin—they’ve all been abolished.” If they’ve all been abolished, then go and drink and smoke, go and do bad things! You must possess the very least of what ought to be possessed by people who have the propriety of saints. Those laws and commandments, and the administrative decrees that we’re talking about today—they are all what people need based upon the age, upon the circumstances, context, and God’s work at the time. Thus, God has spoken some extra words, which are as many as people need. In this age, God has spoken a few extra words, and given people a few extra rules to hold them in check, giving them standards, telling them how to believe in God, and what they should and shouldn’t do as part of their faith in God. Of course, during the time of Jesus, Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.” Afterward, He abolished many laws, and He did so because they were not appropriate for that age, they were not suitable for the work of that time, they were not fitting for the environment of that time—and so He abolished them. Today, of course, there is an even greater necessity to do this—yes? When it comes to applying the commandments of the New Testament today, in the new age, some need to be abolished, and some must continue, for the environment of the work of today is different, and what people need is different—so each stage is higher than the last. Some people are absurd, and they say, “Jesus said He had come to fulfill the Law, so why did He abolish and eliminate so much of it? Why did what He did violate the Law?” He abolished some laws and fulfilled others. What does it mean that He fulfilled them? Some have continued, and become even higher than before; upon the basis of continuation, they have become a step higher, and the rest—the ones that are inappropriate—have been abolished, for the work of God does not follow doctrine. Today, those laws and commandments can be abolished. But only some of them are abolished. If you misunderstand this, what you pass on will be wrong, you’ll say, “God said they were abolished!” Have all the commandments that were spoken before been abolished? Are they all useless? In this, you would be being absurd. Today, God’s administrative decrees are according to people’s states. Some people say: “Why are God’s administrative decrees always being issued?” Given how corrupt people are, how could it be alright to not issue God’s administrative decrees? Is this not OK? They say: “Why do they have to keep being issued, they only need to be issued once. When people know God’s administrative decrees, it’s done. They need only practice according to them, that’s all—why keep issuing them?” People’s circumstances vary, people are always changing, it is not the case that as soon as they accept God, they have carried out the commandments, and these people live in a vacuum, and are holy and righteous—that’s not the case. People always have corrupt dispositions, they always live in their corrupt dispositions, they are always amid corruption, and so there must always be the corresponding administrative decrees to keep their behavior in check. For those who truly violate God’s administrative decrees, they may be kicked out, or have limits imposed upon them, or not be used for a long time, or be eliminated—they will face all kinds of consequences. During that period there were some administrative decrees, so of course, today there must also be administrative decrees—and so what are the administrative decrees of the Age of Kingdom? Note them down.
1. Man should not magnify himself, nor exalt himself. He should worship and exalt God.
“Man should not magnify himself, nor exalt himself. He should worship and exalt God.” Let Me explain this. These four things actually speak of one issue: In the tone of their speech, people’s perspective must be a human one, they should speak in the position of man, and should not boast about themselves. Don’t boast about how well you’ve led the churches in one area, don’t brag that they belong to you, don’t crow that God uses you and is especially good to you. And do not say boastful things like, “God eats with us, He chats with us, He works with us.” There’s no use in saying this. So what should people say? That is, in terms of their language, what should people say? If you can’t speak of how to worship God—if you are incapable of providing this kind of life—then you should try to know yourself, dissect yourself, lay yourself bare, and show your true face. You should be able to lay bare yourself and what you do to everyone. Laying yourself bare in this way does not mean justifying yourself. It means revealing your true face, and exposing the motivations and thoughts within you. By doing this, you are not exalting yourself. If you can humble yourself—if you can put aside your own motivations, can dissect your own motivations, can lay bare the filthy things within you, and can expose yourself—then this proves that you are in the right position. I’ve realized that many people are only able to lecture others and preach to them, and are not able to fellowship with them, they are incapable of normal interaction with them. They can only lecture others, they can only preach lofty sermons from up high. There are also some who are only capable of giving speeches and talks. Their words only address the states of others. They never lay themselves bare; they never start with themselves, they never dissect their own corrupt dispositions, but instead dissect the corrupt dispositions of others in order to make everyone know them. Why do they do this? Why do they preach in this way, and say such words? What does this prove? It proves that they don’t know themselves, that they believe themselves higher than others; they think their ability to know the corrupt dispositions of others proves that they are higher than other people, that they are more incisive, and less corrupt, than them. Dissecting and lecturing others, but not laying themselves bare, not exposing their own corrupt dispositions, not dissecting their own corrupt dispositions, not showing their true face, saying nothing of their own motivations, only lecturing others for doing things wrong—this is magnifying and exalting oneself. Why do some people make trouble out of nothing; why, when asked to lead the churches in a certain area, to lead a few people, do you lecture them however you please, being reckless and willful? Why, when you say those things, do you not think about the consequences, why do you never give any consideration to your own status? Why do you do that? Because, although you have been asked to lead, you do not know your own status and position. In fact, your being asked to lead is merely a sign of respect, it does not mean that you are higher than others. Actually, you’re no different from them, and you might even be worse than them. Why do you senselessly lecture others, lecturing and constraining them as you please? Why do you force other people to listen to your words, why do you still ask that other people do as you say when what you’re doing is wrong? What does this prove? It proves that you are not standing in the right position. You are not standing in the position of man to do your work, but that of God—you are working from a high position. What you’re doing is wrong, so why do you force others to do as you say? Are you authority? Are you supreme? Are you the truth? If what you’re doing were right, they could do as you say—that’s justified. But when you’re wrong, why force others to do as you say? Some people are asked to go somewhere to preach the gospel, and there is work to be done after they arrive, yet they try to leave—and when the others don’t let them go, they chide them and say, “Why won’t you let me go?” The other people say, “You’ve work here—why do you have to go?” And they say, “I won’t listen!” They’d rather have the last word even if it means holding up the work, they would rather do whatever they say they’re going to do. Do such people not magnify themselves? Are they not exalting themselves? When they lead others, they don’t ask that they put the truth into practice, but make them do as they say. Why ask that people listen to those devilish words of yours? You are of a devilish nature, so why try to make people obey you? Does someone like this not magnify themselves? Do they not exalt themselves? Can they bring others before God? Can they make people worship God? They’re the ones they try and make others obey. Regardless of how much it holds up the work, no matter how important the thing it delays, they say people must listen to them. Are such people of a devilish nature? I say that such people are devils in human skin. You’ve the face of a human—but inside you’re nothing but demon, you are of a devilish nature! You speak devilish words, you do devilish things, your behavior is not that of a human, but that of a devil. Do you understand? This is number one. When you act and speak, when you interact with others—in everything in your life—you should think to yourself, “I should not magnify myself, nor exalt myself. I should exalt and worship God.” Think what these words mean, ponder them more. Don’t let them go in one ear and out the other.
2. You should do anything that is beneficial to God’s work, and nothing that is detrimental to the interests of God’s work. You should defend God’s name, God’s testimony, and God’s work.
As long as something concerns the interests of the house of God, the work of the house of God, and God’s name, you should defend it, and speak up for it; each person has a responsibility and obligation to do this—this is what you should do. Do you not understand?
3. The money, material objects, and all property in God’s household are the offerings that should be given by man. These offerings may be enjoyed by none but the priest and God, for the offerings of man are for the enjoyment of God, God only shares these offerings with the priest, and no one else is qualified or entitled to enjoy any part of them. All of man’s offerings (including money and things that can be enjoyed materially) are given to God, not to man. And so, these things should not be enjoyed by man; if man were to enjoy them, then he would be stealing offerings. Anyone who does this is a Judas, for, in addition to being a traitor, Judas also helped himself to what was put in the money bag.
Let Me explain this. If I don’t, some people who have no sense of shame will have the cheek to steal offerings! Do these words need to be explained? Are you having difficulty understanding them? Are they especially difficult to understand, do you not understand them in the slightest? The priest is not some minor leader. The priest does not lead a single church or a certain area—that’s not who the priest is. Today, people like you are being used temporarily. If you’re not up to standard, you’re kicked out; your use is not set in stone. Don’t think that as soon as you’re used this becomes set in stone and you will never be eliminated. Don’t have such delusions—these are extravagant desires. But the priest has rights and qualifications. And who are these qualifications given by? Who are these rights given by? They are, of course, given by God. The priest possesses the rights and qualifications to serve God directly. In the time of the Old Testament, those priests could enter the temple of God, them and no one else. They, and no one else, could eat the sacrifices. But what kind of person is the priest today? This kind of person used to be called a priest; today he is a person who is used by the Holy Spirit. So are you? You are not! When I speak of the priest, don’t say, “Humph, what? I am!” You are not—you have yet to reach that level! The priest is the one who is used by the Holy Spirit, and no one else but the priest is fit to enjoy God’s offerings. You may say you are fit, but those are your own words; you are not allowed to enjoy the offerings, you should not enjoy these offerings, and they are not given to you.
I’ll tell you some more things about yourselves. For people like you who lead the church, the church can pay your travel expenses. But for your clothing, for what you wear and your daily necessities, the church gives no money. Without exception. It is not permitted to spend any money on such things. You might speak of special circumstances—this is not permitted in special circumstances, too. All the money of the house of God is used for God’s work; it is not spent on your personal clothing or daily lives. You came here, you believe in God, and you are used—and you do all of this voluntarily. If you say, “I don’t want to be used,” then go home, you shall not be used. No one’s forcing you or pressuring you. The church has many members—if not you, then someone else can be used.
4. Man has corrupt disposition and, moreover, he is possessed of emotions. As such, it is absolutely prohibited for two members of the opposite sex to work together when serving God. Any who are discovered doing so will be expelled, without exception—and no one is exempt.
There are some brothers who fellowship with sisters and insist on doing so alone. They also lay themselves bare to the sisters when they fellowship with them, and refuse to do it with anyone else. These people are no good! There are some sisters, meanwhile, who don’t fellowship with their other sisters, and never lay themselves bare to them. They specifically seek out brothers to fellowship with, joining the brothers to fellowship. And what kind of people are these? Can none of your sisters support you? Can none of them fellowship with you? Do they all despise you, are they all incapable of getting along with you? Can you only get along with brothers? I think there are other motivations here! Some stick to members of the opposite sex like glue, which must be restrained using willpower—don’t indulge yourself as you please. People have corrupt dispositions and always have to hold themselves back. Those without constraints become seriously dissolute. There must always be something holding you back, making you always think about these things. That way, your behavior is much better.
5. You shall not pass judgment on God, nor casually discuss matters related to God. You should do as man ought to do, and speak as man ought to speak, and must not overstep your limits nor transgress your boundaries. Guard your own tongue and be careful of your own footsteps. All this will prevent you from doing anything that offends God’s disposition.
6. You should do that which ought to be done by man, and carry out your obligations, and fulfill your responsibilities, and hold to your duty. Since you believe in God, you should make your contribution to God’s work; if you do not, then you are unfit to eat and drink the words of God, and are unfit to live in God’s household.
Decree 6 concerns people’s duty. If you are capable of doing something, as long as the church has work that needs you, regardless of what your life used to be like, what your own pursuit is like, what your caliber is like, no matter what your humanity is like, if the church needs you to do something, you must do it, even if it means losing your head. If you don’t, get out—the house of God doesn’t feed people for nothing! It doesn’t matter whether they believe in God or not, kick them out! This is the minimum. It’s enough to have a little worship for God in your behavior, as it is in your actions; God doesn’t need both your caliber and humanity to be good and for you to be good at working, and not perfunctory. He doesn’t ask too much of you, but at the very least, your actions and behavior must be tolerable. If you can’t do this, then get out of the house of God. Right now there are many places where the church’s workers or others have gone, which are not welcoming. For the moment, you can ignore such places. If they are able to welcome you but don’t, then they won’t be given books in the future. Or if they are able to do this work but won’t go, they won’t be given books in the future. If, again and again, they don’t do it—refusing to do so no matter what anyone says, they should stop eating for free, stop taking up space. You’re revolting—stop wasting space here! If you want to believe, believe. If you don’t, I’m not going to beg you. Who’s begging you? You came voluntarily! If you’re incapable of even this, how can you say you believe in God? If you’re incapable of being a righteous person, then be a good person in the world. It’s enough to do something good and to be a good person. If you can’t even be a good person, you’re worthless trash. The house of God doesn’t want worthless trash. This isn’t the trash recycling center—trash like this has no use, and those who have no use must be kicked out, without exception! Yet you must not be rash; if you are, and I find out, then you’ll be expelled, you’ll be kicked out.
7. In work and matters of the church, apart from obeying God, in everything you should follow the instructions of the man who is used by the Holy Spirit. Even the slightest infraction is unacceptable. You must be absolute in your compliance, and must not analyze right or wrong; what’s right or wrong has nothing to do with you. You must only concern yourself with total obedience.
You must listen to the man who is used by the Holy Spirit regardless of what he says or does. You should carry out whatever he arranges for you, and do whatever he tells you to. Do not say, “Does God know? I must ask God.” There’s no need to ask—you should do whatever he tells you to, do you not understand? There’s no need for Me to say this, you’re already clear about this.
8. People who believe in God should obey God and worship Him. You should not exalt or look up to any person; you ought not to give first place to God, second place to the people you look up to, and third place to yourself. No person should hold a place in your heart, and you should not consider people—particularly those you venerate—to be on a par with God, to be His equal. This is intolerable to God.
Some people are really good at trimming their sails and brown-nosing. Whoever they see Me favor, whoever they see Me praising, whoever they see Me keep calling over and chatting to, that’s who they’ll start brown-nosing—after which a conception, a pattern, will form in their brains: “Right, next to God is Brother so-and-so, next to Brother so-and-so is Sister so-and-so, next to Sister so-and-so is such-and-such a brother, and next to him is such-and-such a sister. So! God’s attitude toward them is certain to never change, their place is set in stone!” Let Me tell you: These people’s place shall never be set in stone, and yours shall never be set in stone. Don’t think that because their place is high now they will always be used. Who knows—the day may come when they are kicked downstairs. Let’s see if you still worship them then! In your brains, don’t rank people, thinking: “God is number one, so-and-so is number two, so-and-so is number three, so-and-so is number four.” Where is the use in that? Is this not the same as the imperial court, where the emperor was top, the chancellor was second, such-and-such was number three, and such-and-such was number four? There is no distinction between number one and number two! Do you rank people in your heads? Actually, you’re all equal, without exception. Don’t say, “Ugh, I was promoted before him,” “Ugh, I was promoted even earlier than him, and since then I’ve never been demoted.” Don’t compare yourselves with other people like that. You might be of better caliber than others, but you too have been dealt with a lot—there’s nothing good about you. Do you cry less? Are you dealt with less? Are you reprimanded less? And why are you reprimanded? You’re a good-for-nothing. Don’t think there’s anything great about you. Don’t rank people. When you do, this proves that what you think, worship, and obey inside is tainted with many of the things of man.
9. Your thoughts ought to be of the work of the church. You should put aside the prospects of your own flesh, be decisive about family matters, wholeheartedly devote yourself to the work of God, and put God’s work first and your own life second. This is the decency of a saint.
10. Kin who are not of the faith (your children, your husband or wife, your sisters or your parents, and so on) should not be forced into the church. God’s household is not short of members, and there is no need to make up its numbers with people who have no use. All those who do not believe gladly must not be led into the church. This decree is directed at all people. In this matter you should check, monitor and remind each other, and no one may violate it. Even when kin who are not of the faith do reluctantly enter the church, they must not be issued books or given a new name; such people are not of God’s household, and their entry into the church must be put a stop to by any means necessary. If trouble is brought upon the church due to the invasion of demons, then you yourself will be expelled or will have restrictions placed upon you. In short, everyone has a responsibility toward this matter, but you should also not be reckless, or use it to settle personal scores.
These are the ten administrative decrees of God that the chosen ones of the Age of Kingdom must follow. Remember them all!
Today, let us fellowship another issue: How people should live and experience as they enter the new age. In other words, how people should transition into the new age. What main aspects of this issue will we talk about? We’ll chiefly discuss how people should believe in God, and how they should turn their prior views about faith in God into present views about faith in God. God does not scrutinize whether your previous views about the belief in God were right or wrong. You should face reality—how to believe today, and how to pursue today. If you continue to pursue according to how you used to believe, still believing in God according to the views you used to have, then you have not entered into the new age. First, let Me use a representative saying to explain this issue. Which saying? During the Age of Grace, it was said, “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” Do you know of these words? Have you heard them before? You all know these words. What are the substantive connotations of these words? Why, at that time, were these words used to make people pursue? The work of the Age of Grace was giving people grace, allowing them to enjoy God’s grace, to enjoy peace and joy, and material blessings and benefits. What’s more, if one person believed in God, their whole family would be blessed with these things. What does this mean? During the Age of Grace, Jesus’ work was that of limitless forgiveness and tolerance toward man. You had but to believe in God for your whole family to receive blessings. And how would this be said today? Plainly put, “When one person believes in God, their whole family benefits from the association.” That’s how this would be said today. Before, people said, “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” On earth, their whole family was blessed, and when the time came for them to die, the whole family must be saved. Is that what people used to say? It represented one age. In that age, this is how it was done. “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” What this meant was that when someone believed in Jesus, their whole family would benefit from this association—they would all get peace and joy. In the work of the Age of Grace God pardoned people for their sins. He ushered in tolerance and forgiveness toward man, and the forgiveness given to man was limitless, as was the tolerance. Because the work that Jesus came to do was being a sin offering for man, His tolerance toward man was limitless. He didn’t care what your life, entry, or caliber was like, and the various aspects of normal humanity that people possessed were not particularly important—you just needed to believe. It was very simple. But today, if one person believes in God, will their whole family be blessed? No. And why not? Why does God not do such work today? Some people say: “Now is not the Age of Grace. It not being the Age of Grace, how could God casually dispense His grace to people? Whoever believes is blessed, and whoever doesn’t, isn’t.” These words are half right, but in substance it is because that work is not done in this age; today, people must have loyalty, they must have sincerity, they must have worship, obedience, and fear—they must have these things. Those who believe in God are able to understand the truth, accept the truth, and gain the truth. And those who don’t believe in God are incapable of such things. Their substance is opposition to God, and rejection of God. In substance, they are atheists. Thus, “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed” is no longer carried out. Whosoever believes is able to gain the truth, and whosoever believes has the chance to testify to God and know God. Those who don’t, can’t. In the previous age, people were allowed to ask things from God. But today, they must give everything to God. Why did God do such work? Because, during that age, people were still sinners, and had yet to be forgiven or redeemed, they were given enough grace for them to enjoy. Because of this grace, people had belief toward God, and only then could they be forgiven for their sins. They were forgiven because of this belief. But today, people have already been redeemed, they have already been forgiven for their sins, and so what is required now is changes in their disposition. They are required to pursue the truth, and to know God. Thus, God does not do that work, He does not carry out “When one person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” Are you able to understand this? Some people believe in God so that their family may be blessed, saying, “Aw, my family has never been at peace, we’re always fighting, we’ve always got problems, people in my family are always being struck down by illness. I believe in God for us.” If you say that, then your view is wrong.
The transition into the new age is the entry into today’s Age of Kingdom. There must be changes in every aspect—in your views, your faith, your motivations, your lifestyle, and the manner in which you experience. If change only happens in one regard, if you say, “I believe in the practical God,” then the name will have changed, but there will have been no change in substance. In other words, there must be change in every regard—in your pursuit, in your knowledge, and in your views. Only if you try and pursue upon this foundation will your belief be pure and true. So why, today, are some people always negative? Why, today, are there those who believe that faith in God has no meaning, that it is not as enlivening and meaningful as before? Because their viewpoint has not changed. It is the same viewpoint they had when they believed in Jesus. They focus on gaining grace, or expending themselves more, or running around more, on gifts, on superficial actions and words, on zeal—and so they are always negative. Outwardly, these people appear to believe in God. But in fact, the substance of their belief has not changed, they have not come around. Right? As the work of the Holy Spirit changes, so must people. So if there is no transformation in your entry, your lifestyle, the manner in which you experience, the attitude with which you believe in God, and your motivations and views concerning the belief in God, this proves that you are not turning and changing with the work of the Holy Spirit. If people are to have new entry, and new changes and knowledge, then they must enter and change in every detail—in their every action, their every thought, their every motivation, and the perspective with which they do and see things. If they don’t change these details, if the change doesn’t go beyond what comes out of their mouths, if there is only a little change in their behavior, this does not count as coming around. You must be capable of turning and changing in your psychological consciousness and views, your lifestyle, and even in the tiniest detail. Once you have completely stripped yourself of the things of before, once they have been wiped clean away, this will prove that you have come around. Try examining yourselves: In which things have you yet to turn yourself around, which are still the old sayings and ways of looking at things, which things have you yet to dig out, and which things are the things of before, things that are deeply embedded? Before you try digging them out, there don’t seem to be any of these things, but when you start digging, you’ll find lots and lots of them—yes? Why, today, are there those who are always incapable of keeping pace? It is because many things are standing their way. They have no knowledge or acceptance of the new things. Why do the people of today have conceptions about God? When I do something, they have conceptions. When I say something, they have conceptions. When I do something else, they also have conceptions. They can’t accept this or that. On the one hand, the source of this relates to people’s arrogant nature and rebelliousness; on the other, there is an objective reason that they have yet to turn themselves around in these aspects. In terms of the things that are deeply embedded in you, what was previously said about the belief in Jesus or Jehovah still exists in you, it is still rooted in you. Thus, as soon as you encountered the new work of God, you accepted the new way, but there were some sayings and ways of doings things, and new things, that you are unable to accept. You are unable to accept the things that eliminated or took the place of what came before. Why are you unable to accept these things? Because, in your mind, you still clung to the old things, you still couldn’t let them go—which led to your opposition to these things. If you do not have the things of before in you, you are able to accept those of today; if there are still the things of before, and you are unable to put them aside, particularly the things that has taken a solid form, then you are most likely to be hostile to the work of today.
Have a go at digging out and reflecting on which of the old practices, old means of knowing, old ways of seeing, and old viewpoints remain deeply rooted inside you. Let Me give you a simple example: After reading the books of God, some who haven’t met God or heard the words of God say: “These words are good, they are the words of judgment.” Yet after encountering God, as soon as they see Him they say: “Goodness, His words are really harsh! Why is He always telling people off when He speaks? Why does He always use such a strong tone? And He’s so blunt—who can accept Him? We believers in Jesus aren’t like that. We all speak softly, we’re in harmony with each other—none of us speaks like Him. I can’t accept such a God, I can’t tolerate a God like that! If His words were as gentle and earnest as Jesus’, if He were amiable and kindly toward people, like an old mother, then I could accept Him. I can’t accept someone like this, I simply can’t accept Him, there’s just no way I can engage with Him.” You acknowledge that this is the true way, that these words are spoken by God incarnate—so why, when you come into contact with Him, do you have conceptions about some of the tones He uses and some of the things He does and says, and why can’t you let these conceptions go? What does this prove? Something has taken form within you; your view of God has taken form, it has taken shape, within you. If you try and apply this to the God of today, you will, of course, be unable to. The work of one age is different from that of another. As such, the disposition expressed by God is also different, what He reveals is different. Don’t try and apply rules—if you do, you will surely die and be condemned. It is fair to say that your conceptions, your views, your way of knowing and seeing, your motivations—they are all at odds with the God of today. Thus, they are in enmity to Him, and untenable. Let Me put it like this: People have corrupt dispositions, they rebel and oppose, they have their own thoughts—and what are their thoughts governed by? By their motivations, by the things contained in their own individualism, by the viewpoints and perspectives with which they see things. These are what their thoughts are governed by, and so your thoughts don’t come from the Holy Spirit, they have not emerged from a foundation of the truth. Why do I say that your viewpoint is a conception, that it is something of you yourself, something of man? That it is something that belongs to the flesh? Because your thoughts are not governed by the truth, and have not emerged from contemplation based on the truth. In some people, they have come from contemplation based on the Bible, which is even more erroneous. This is not to say that the Bible is wrong, but that if you try to apply the things of before to today, this is assuredly wrong. There is, assuredly, no way of applying them. It’s like when people tried to square Jehovah with Jesus during the Age of Grace—were they able to? No. And if you tried to square the Jesus of the past with the God of today? Could you? No. Why is it that today, when God does a new step of work, there is formed among man a great horde, a great gang—or maybe an even greater number of people—that is in enmity to God? What forms this gang of hostile forces? Why do such things come about? Because, although people say they accept God’s new work, regardless of whether they do or not, once the image of and sayings of God of times past, and the viewpoints of faith in God of times past, have taken form within them, people are unwilling to put them aside. They can’t bear to put them aside, they can’t bear to let them go. They still have the utmost love for them, after which they become self-righteous, incredibly arrogant, self-important, they think very highly of themselves, and they make a comparison with the God of today, they compare such things to the work of today, they compare them to the truths of today. Would you say there is any comparison? Don’t try and impose one on the other. If you are really straightforward, really liberated, then you can accept whatever you see God do. You must have the following mentality: Today, I have accepted the new way. Having accepted the new way, there are some things that I don’t understand. I’ll take my time in experiencing and coming to know them, I’ll pursue bit by bit, like an ant gnawing on a bone. Bit by bit, I’ll gnaw through them, and I’ll understand them. There are endless mysteries in God’s work. They are profound and unfathomable. They are ungraspable to man. After experiencing His work for one or two years, you’ll have a little knowledge. After experiencing for three or four years, you’ll have a little more knowledge. You’ll grow and change bit by bit. Bit by bit, those things will be altered. Bit by bit, they’ll be removed. There can only be knowledge of the new things if the old things are removed. At the moment, the old things are still deeply rooted in you, they haven’t been dug out at all. Dare you be so casual in your conceptions? Dare you be so casual in your views? Dare you express your own opinions so casually? This is the irrationality of man. Why do I say that man’s arrogance knows no bounds? Because of this. Those things within people are nothing good, they have no value. Yet people dare to casually disclose them—are they not especially irrational? Thus, although some people have accepted the new way, and they acknowledge it, nodding their heads, and read the books of God, they have not actually put aside the old things within them. Why, in the work of leaders in some areas, are they able to accomplish and execute the nice-sounding things, but they won’t execute what doesn’t sound nice, or the things they can’t do or are unwilling to do? Why do such situations appear? It’s because people are incapable of putting aside the things inside them, and the more that the things of before take form in them, the more severely they oppose—is this so? Why is it that today, for some religious leaders and heads, the higher their status, and the more people they are in charge of, the less likely they are to accept the new way? What is this because of? They are unable to put aside the things of times past. People don’t treat the things of God as belonging to God, as the truth, as the life, as on high; instead, they treat their own things as the truth, as the true way. Is this not a great mistake? With this being the case, where can you go to search for the truth? If you consider your own things as the truth, what other truths can you gain? Can you still search? Can you still yearn for the truth?
Some people say: “Humph, I’ve accepted the true way. You need not concern Yourself with me—I’ll read God’s books on my own, and in a year I’ll have grown.” I guarantee you are incapable of growing. If you are not exposed, if those things within you are not brought to light, you’ll have no way of changing. Are you capable of knowing those things by yourself? You are not—knowing them isn’t easy. When people read martial arts novels, they have no problems understanding them, and memorize them very quickly. After reading the book and shutting it, they are able to describe it to someone else. This is different. Matters of life are unlike anything else—they are extremely profound. You, too, have read some books from the world, some novels. So today, compare them to the books of the words of God. You’ve been reading the words of God for many years yet there are still some things that you can’t understand, that remain impenetrable to you, yes? These things take an entire lifetime to experience. If you spend your whole life experiencing them, often putting effort into them, always thinking about them, probing and digging them out in minute detail, meticulously experiencing them, then you will constantly acquire a knowledge of them. It’s not a case of experiencing for one or two years, and saying “I’m done experiencing these words, I’ve attained this.” That’s beyond you. Are people complex inside? People’s conceptions hinder their entry into the truth and their knowledge of God. People’s motivations hinder changes in their disposition, they stop them in putting the truth into practice, and the viewpoints and perspectives from which people act and speak obstruct their knowledge of the truth. If you are able to stand on the side of the truth in what you say and do, on the side of what the new age requires you to pursue and achieve, then it will be easy for you to change, and this will show that you have entered onto the right track. And if you are not on this side? Then I say that you’ve still a long way to go! Despite having heard all these sermons, and experienced all this work, you’ve still a long way to go! Matters of the truth are matters of life. Why are they called the truth? Because they are immutable. Nowhere are they not fitting, in no one are they not fitting. They are all the truth, and no one can refute them, they are irrefutable by any language or practice, and they are the most high, and the most profound.
Let Me ask you this: Suppose you say, “I believe in the practical God; I’ll just pray, pursue, and sing at home. If You ask me to sing, I’ll sing. If You ask me to pray, I’ll pray. I’ll follow whichever step of work God does.” If you don’t examine your own viewpoints and motivations, nor try and reflect upon which corrupt dispositions and extravagant desires are still within you, if you don’t examine those things, don’t dig them out, can you change? You can’t, yes? I dare say that today, the viewpoint of many of you believers in God is still “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed,” yes? Some people say: “That’s not true. You’re being unfair on me.” Let Me explain these words to you. You say this is not the case, and I say it is. Why do I say, “it is”? There are some that believe in God who, when nothing has happened in their family, don’t complain, and keep crying out, “Ah, God is good. God is good and man is bad.” But when something happens, when something happens to their husband (or wife), or to their child, who falls ill and has to go to hospital, or breaks his or her leg, or doesn’t get into university, or if they become entangled in some other matter that grips their heart, and harms their flesh, and they feel pain, then they’d probably smack the table and curse God, saying: “Ugh, what have I got from my belief in God? You don’t bless me! You’re supposed to bless me and all my people. And who do all my people include? My son, my husband (or wife), my whole family, including my mother and father—they all count. If these things hadn’t happened, wouldn’t I be able to pursue You without any problems?” They give reasons! They believe they have ample reasons, and they think these reasons are legitimate, that they ought to speak them. When nothing had happened, they had no complaints. But in the event that something happens—if someone sues their family and they have to pay reparations, and they owe them money, or else if something happens to their husband, or something happens in their family, or they themselves fall ill, out come their complaints—and they come quickly! For example, when someone sends you a message saying your husband is in the hospital somewhere, or that something has happened to your wife somewhere, your heart skips a beat: “Oh God, how could You do this?” Words such as these come out. How many things do these words contain? “Ugh God, why did You not protect them? How worried I am, can’t You be a bit considerate toward me, can’t You spare me some thought?” Is this what happens? When nothing goes wrong, everyone seems to cry: “Ah, God is so good! God is high and mighty!” But when something happens, your face grows dark. Not a single one of you says, “God is good! I don’t care what they’re like—if the demon dies, that’s good!” Who dares say such things? You dare not say such things! What if they were to come true after you said them? “I can’t let that happen; who would I depend on if that really came to pass? We can’t lose any members of our family. Our family’s better off together, we can’t lose anyone!” You couldn’t bear it. Take people in the countryside: Never mind when something happens to them or their families, even when something happens to their old cow, they complain about God. Yes? If people are able to not complain about God whenever something happens to their family, when some disaster befalls them, or when they have some problem, if they are able to let it go, and not allow it to hold up their own pursuit, entry, obedience to God, and praise of God, then this will prove that your belief of God is especially pure. If you always have the viewpoint of “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed,” then you’re wrong. If this is always your viewpoint, then I say that your belief shall never be good. Because the unbelievers in your family never rest, because they’re always doing things, and everything they do causes trouble, and their meddling also leaves you no rest, and thus your belief is poor. Yes? Look at those unbelievers today, who spend all their time rushing about. Sooner or later, something’s going to happen to them. Even if nothing happens to them now, will they be able to escape when the catastrophe befalls them in the future? They will not. If your belief is poor, you won’t be able to escape, either—you’ll be in the same situation as they are. If your belief is good, you’ll say: “If they can’t escape, that’s their fault! I’m prepared for this. If a day comes when that happens, I’ll make up my mind to ignore them, and I’ll dig a pit for them.” If your heart is truly thus, then it is especially pure, showing that it truly faces God. At the moment, you just need to start preparing for this. There’s no need for you to say these words or do such things. Right now, many things still occupy your heart—and so what do you believe in that viewpoint of yours? “My husband (or wife) should be blessed, my son should be blessed, my old cow should be blessed, my little chickens should be blessed, my house should be blessed. Other people suffer an earthquake; don’t let my family suffer an earthquake. Where will I live if my family’s house collapses? How could I believe in God?” You give reasons! And so if people’s hearts face none but God and God alone, and if they are only for God, then their hearts will be especially pure and straightforward, and when that time comes, they will suffer very little hardship. Why do you suffer hardship now? Why do you suffer so much hardship? You spend all your time running about on behalf of your son or daughter, hurrying about, rushing here and there, saying this and that—you put a lot of effort into these things. If all you did was purely for the sake of the church, I dare say you wouldn’t be so terribly busy and tired, you wouldn’t be crippled by exhaustion. Yes? Precisely because you want to believe in God, and family matters take up 80% of your time, and church matters 20% at most, this 100% has placed a heavy burden on you, and you are unable to bear it. Because you have so many family matters to attend to, and so many of your own matters to attend to, when all this becomes unbearable to you, you begin to complain about God. How much have you actually given to God? A little bit, nothing worth mentioning! Most of your rushing about is for the sake of matters concerning your family and your own flesh, so how can you complain about God? In the future, you must not complain about God ever again. If you do, your mouth must be smacked. Is this what people are like? Actually, most of what they do is for the sake of their own flesh.
Whosoever believes in God can gain the truth, and has the chance to know God. Nothing is more important than this, it is more important than your marriage. Right now you’re not being asked to do or say very much. Before all else, cut down your motivations, viewpoints, your knowledge, and the things you wish for in your hearts. Before, in those corporations of the world, did they not cut down the number of divisions and staff? Today, you must cut down your motivations, put them aside, one by one. Today, begin to enter into this regard, begin to train yourselves in this regard. At the start, you’ll cry a lot, then you’ll cry a little; after that, your eyes will stop being red; in the end, at the mention of some problem, you’ll only look a little crestfallen, and when something happens to you after that, you’ll be nothing but happy—and that’s right. Who among you finds it easy to put these matters aside, and who doesn’t? Speak up. I tell you, people with children will have trouble putting them aside. Yes? Mothers love their children more than anything else. They say: “They came from my own flesh; how could I not love them?” You should put them aside, they don’t belong to you. Some people say: “Were they not bestowed to me by God? How can they not belong to me?” It’s right that they were given to you by God, but God has not gained them. They are a demon, something outside your body. You should see this clearly. As you believe in God, will you allow them to stand in your way, and then forfeit you? Could you be forfeit because of them? Are you happy for this to happen? Are you willing? Today, some people still don’t give up on their husbands, saying, “Ah, he can believe. Look at his substance and caliber—they’re good! When he starts believing in God, he’ll be the best. There’ll be none better.” Do no applaud him. He is the biggest demon of all, and yet you praise him! Don’t hold out hope for him. If you don’t hold out hope, you will suffer less hardship—yes?
Now that I’ve said all this, are you aware of what problems I’ve been talking about? How people can cross into the new age, in what areas they should change, from what aspects they should enter. Today is the start of this entry. Before, people had some entry, but remained unacceptable in many regards. Why do you always have conceptions? When you read the books of God, you’re able to accept them, but when something really happens to you, why are you always hostile and rebellious? Why do you always have opinions within? Why are you never able to obey? There are many things of the flesh in people. Listening today, it seems to you, “There aren’t, there really aren’t.” Are there really not? “There really aren’t, not at all.” When the fact arrives, this is out of your control; those things naturally emerge. In the future, remember to prepare a notebook of your conceptions. When the fact happens, record your conceptions and what you’re thinking, dig out the things in you—it will be beneficial. You must have the courage to face this fact and expose yourself. That you dare expose yourself proves you are willing to accept the truth, to put aside your conceptions, and to obey. You must rebel against yourself. Don’t keep rebelling against God—that’s wrong. Do not be antagonistic. Asked to keep a notebook of your conceptions, you keep endless records, noting down the big things, the little things, the many things, the few things, the trifling things—but there’s no need. Note down the things that are key, and at the source. After noting them down, compare them against the facts; when you’re doing something and your conceptions emerge once more, you should think a little; you must take certain measures, you must have certain paths to practice, paths that correspond to practice. Only then will you be capable of entry. You always say you know yourself, but when your conceptions emerge you ignore them. When they’re gone, you don’t acknowledge them. Ordinarily, when people are in a good state, when they don’t have conceptions, when they have not been dealt with, when they have not encountered adversity, they don’t have any conceptions or views; they can’t recall the conceptions they used to have, they think themselves very good, they think they really don’t have any conceptions—and when their conceptions come forth, they become hostile to God. And after such a time has passed, they once again feel they have no conceptions, and think they’re really good. And so, such is their situation; they are never able to know themselves. Yes? You always forget your conceptions! It is not OK to never take these things seriously. If you wish to enter, you must take them seriously; you must seize the opportunity, and not let anything pass you by. After you’ve made a note of those things, you can lay them bare and fellowship. And after fellowshiping, you will be able to enter. After digging them out, examine yourself in everything you do: “Have I shed my conceptions in this area? Have I put them aside? Has there been a change?” Bit by bit, you will naturally change.
Would you say such entry is hard? Does it take a lot of effort? It does! Some people say: “My family are very dear to me, they’re my flesh and blood. None of us could let go of each other.” You can’t let them go—but slowly, bit by bit, you will. In some things, you must have willpower to exercise self-restraint, letting them go bit by bit. You have a perfunctory knowledge of superficial things—arrogance, self-righteousness, self-importance, rebelliousness, and these things you speak of are doctrine. You must focus on the facts: You have certain perspectives on certain things; you will only have true knowledge if you are able to bring to light the motivations within you in these matters, only then will you be able to make a comparison. Don’t merely say, “I’m very arrogant and rebellious, I oppose God.” That’s not enough, that is not knowing yourself. You must consider your motivation and the source of your substance. You must resolve these things. It is not OK to merely know from your actions; you must solve the source, and grasp what’s key. If some things are revealed over a certain period, you must summarize these things and then fellowship about them. For example, after listening today, you will have gained knowledge of yourself. Inside, you’ll think to yourself, “Ah, I’m really not a good person.” Then, after some time has passed, that will go, and you’ll say to yourself, “Aren’t I pretty good? I’m quite a good person!” These things have to be pointed out to you again. You can’t always let God lead you by the nose. You yourself must have entry in this area. After a certain period of time, have a go at summing up and reflecting on yourself: What things did I do wrong, in a manner at odds with the truth; what did I say that was wrong, which of my motivations were bad, what dispositions did I reveal? If you always enter thus, making strict demands of yourself, then your knowledge in these aspects will slowly increase. If you put it all together, you’ll be able to see that you are indeed not good. If a day comes when you truly have such knowledge of yourself, you couldn’t be arrogant even if you were asked to. What is crucial right now? After these things have been pointed out to people, they understand them and are aware of them—but they still don’t know themselves. Some people say: “How could I not know myself? I know in what matters I’m arrogant.” You’re aware of in what matters you’re arrogant; how is it you’re not aware that your disposition is arrogant? Why, during a certain period, do you still want to be promoted, why do you still keep wanting to do this and that? Those arrogant things are still inside you! You must start by changing your motivations in doing things, your viewpoints, and your ways of seeing things. Do you acknowledge that much of what you say contains thorns, that there is arrogance in the tone of your speech? (Yes.) Your words also contain motivations. In your words are represented your own viewpoints and motivations; these can be found in what you say. Some people usually have a certain expression in their face when they’re not being arrogant. But when they are being arrogant, their eyes narrow, their mouth contorts, they bare their teeth, they scrunch their nose up, and their hair stands on end. They look different, and that ugly face is the ugly face of Satan being revealed. People have motivations in them; these deceitful people always speak under their breath, they always whisper, they always look askance when they speak. This shows that they have motivations, that there are things within them. Others speak softly, furtively. There are things in their words, but they don’t give anything away. Such people are even more insidious.
Before, people were satisfied with this: I am blessed, and so God is satisfied with me. My family is at peace, none of us have any indemnity or debts, and I’m successful in all I do. God surely likes me. If that’s all it takes to satisfy you, then I think that you’ll pursue nothing more right up to your death. Don’t be satisfied with how successful or good your external life is. Do not be satisfied with that—you shouldn’t care about such things, they don’t matter. Today, when God works man and saves man, He is saving man from the things within them, the things that are deeply embedded within them; He is digging these things out from their source, from their substance, and from their nature. Why do I always speak of people’s viewpoints and motivations? In this, I am beginning from the things that are deeply embedded, the things at the source. God does not care about what you do, He does not care about your exterior, or what kind of family you have, what kind of husband you have, nor does He care about what you look like, whether you’re tall or short, whether you have a job, or where you were born—He doesn’t care about these things. What’s key is what sort of substance you have; God’s work begins from your substance and your source. So don’t be satisfied with “My family has been very successful. We kept many ducks, and none of them died. God has greatly blessed us. My family had many cows, we sold them for a lot of money; God has greatly blessed us. My family has built many houses, none of them has ever had any problems, nor do we owe any debts, the houses are really nice—God has blessed us.” Don’t look at these external things, don’t focus on them, don’t pursue them. Don’t be taken over by these things, don’t be satisfied with them. To be satisfied with them proves there is a problem with your own views on the belief in God—that they’re too low, too far-off. You must focus on your disposition. Your disposition, your humanity, your motivations, your views—you must start with these areas. In this way, when you encounter those who have just accepted God’s work in the last days or those who haven’t accepted it, they can see from your exterior that you’ve changed, that what you pursue really is different. They say: “In our belief in God, we pursue getting more money, status, for our children to get into university, for our daughter to find a good partner, for my husband to become an official—that’s what we ask for. How come you don’t ask for this? You seem to regard this a shit, as worthless. How do you believe in God?” So you commune with them how you experience, and what corrupt dispositions people have. When they meet you, they sense that you’re able to provide life, that you don’t preach an external message, that you don’t preach the external message that coaxes or exhorts people. You are able to provide life, the truth, you are able to speak of life, and of knowing oneself, and this proves that you truly are of the new age, that you truly are a new person.
Today, what do many people talk about when they’re sitting together? “Back when I used to believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit would do great things wherever I went to work. When I spread the gospel, many people would be willing to listen to me, and when I prayed for someone, their incurable illness was cured—it was up to me!” That’s what they say. How backward! Are these words not backward? Are there many who are liable to say such things? Aren’t there still many of them? There are some who don’t say this in front of your face, but say it secretly when you’re gone. People who say that are especially backward. It’s like how people today ride in cars, but they’re still sitting on a donkey cart, thinking to themselves, “When I traveled by donkey cart back then, it was the best there was!” What’s a top official doing riding on a donkey cart? You’re so backward—who would listen to your words? These words are so infantile, yes? Don’t treat people like idiots. Others speak of how blessed they were when they believed in Jesus, and how many people they converted. “Now I only eat one bowl of food every three days. I pray to God to stop me being hungry, to make me need less food, so I can eat and drink more of God’s words.” What’s the use in saying this? How backward! Will other people not laugh at you? They’ll all laugh at you. If, when you’re together in the future, you talk about life, about changes in disposition, about knowing oneself, and about the things of substance, and if you don’t talk about trivial things, then you’ll be doing alright. At the moment, you are incapable of providing life; if you were asked to support someone, you’d only be able to hold them by the arm as they walked. If they could already walk, they’d have no use for you. You can only act as their crutch. You are unable to provide for them within, your words are incapable of being their food, they can’t eat the words you say—and even when they do, these words are of no use. Is this bad? When you serve and provide to people, all you’re doing is coaxing them: “Obey, don’t rebel against God, don’t oppose God. We’re all bad; in the future, we must listen to the words of God.” After you’ve said this, the other person says: “Yes, that’s right, I must listen to the words of God.” After you go, they remain collapsed there, and can’t get up. And so you’re just a crutch, you can’t be food, and that’s unacceptable—it proves that you yourself have yet to enter. People have certain problems or corrupt dispositions, and you can’t grasp the source, or what’s key. Because you still don’t have any knowledge of yourself, in your own territory you’re incapable of any provision of life. You can only exhort people, telling them to listen properly. All you can do is coax children. You can’t solve any real problems. This proves that you yourselves have yet to enter the reality of the truth, have yet to gain the true way—yes? Every time I say a lot, I tell you of these things of substance, these crucial things. After I speak of these things, if you have a true knowledge, you will be able to fellowship with people lower down. Right now, most people are able to preach, but that’s all they can do. Why do I call it preaching? Preaching means talking of theology, standing on a stage, reading from a book—that’s what preaching is. It can’t provide life. Thus, you are especially lousy. Your viewpoint has still not changed, nor have your knowledge and motivations. You ask others to change, but you have no path, and you’re incapable of providing to them. Having no path, you are only able to exhort. You can only reprimand people and glare at them, with no result—yes? In the end, these people remain unenthusiastic. They still have no knowledge, the work you’ve done has had no effect. Consider this group of the people in your area; what they know, what knowledge they have of themselves, depends on you, their leader. If you are the head of the several sisters who work with you, they too will reprimand people, and have no knowledge of themselves. This proves that you, too, are finished, that you’re nothing good, that you, too, don’t know yourself. Have you ever considered this? All you know is this: “Humph, this gives me power, I have status, I’m like an official. I can lecture people.” All you care about is status, reputation, how to reprimand people, how to preach, how to be funny, to make people laugh, how to make people listen to you, establish a foundation for your status, gain influence in your group, have a good reputation, shore up the foundation of your status. All you care about is preaching in a loud voice, saying a lot, speaking well. This proves that you have taken the wrong path.
When people enter the new age from the old age, this doesn’t just involve changes in their words and actions; they are required to have higher entry, to pay a greater price, and to make more sacrifices; in fact, they’re not being asked to make sacrifices, but to suffer; they must suffer great hardship in these things, and only then will they change, changing from inside out. For example, some people liked reading the Scriptures in the work of the previous age. Today, when they’re told not to read the Scriptures, they think: “Some of the words of the Scriptures are OK, they’re pretty good—when I get the chance I must still take a look at the Scriptures! God says that some of the Scriptures are the words of man, but how come I’ve never felt that? It doesn’t seem like they are to me.” In addition, it is now said that with passion alone, some people’s dispositions won’t change, and such people will be incapable of gaining God’s approval. Previously, anyone who was passionate and enthusiastic would have a life that was high, and if someone’s life was high, they would be higher up the rankings, and would be a better believer. Today, now that this is no longer spoken of, there are those who feel that it seems like God is being unfair on such people. Previously, I dealt with some people, and afterward there were those who didn’t agree with what I did and tried to stick up for them: “Ugh, they paid a price, they suffered all that hardship, they worked hard to wait on You, they suffered a lot for You, and they’d believed in God for all those years, working hard without any recognition. How could You treat them like that?” Some people wouldn’t come around. Is it hard to have knowledge in such things? People look at people’s external actions, and God looks at their substance. There’s a great difference. You look at, superficially, how meticulous they are, how devout, how articulate they are, how much running about they do, how much of a price they’re able to pay. You look at these things. Why don’t you talk about how many conceptions they have, how self-righteous they are, how arrogant—why don’t you look at these things? And so, your view of things is too old, too backward. Some people say: “I did all that work, but He didn’t compliment me at all. I’m so hardworking, when I was there I didn’t return home for two or three months—yet instead of complimenting me, He dealt with me. I did one thing badly and He dealt with me. He said I’d done it badly, and sternly dealt with me.” Today, God does not look at what price people have paid. What price have you paid? What capital do you have? The price you’ve paid, your capital, and how much you’ve suffered don’t matter; God looks at your substance.
During the previous age, what was the principle behind when people were used? Whoever could sing and dance, or was oldest and unmarried, had pride of place. Anyone who was forty or fifty and hadn’t married yet was number one. The more they were like this, the better their reputation. We don’t care about that. We look at man’s substance, because the key to believing in God is what a person’s substance is like, and whether they are able to worship God. God cares about man’s substance: Regardless of how much you contribute, or expend, no matter how great the price you pay, if you don’t accept the true way of the last days, and don’t know God incarnate when He truly comes, what is your substance? Is it opposition? This depends on if your viewpoints and motivations are compatible with God. If it were measured by capital, then you would all have to step down and return home. Among those old people in the local churches and house churches of before, the more toothless they were, the more hard of hearing, the whiter their hair, the more bald their head, the more qualified they would be. These things have no use. Those people have no use, their substance is unacceptable, they’re incapable of working, so would using them not hold up God’s work? In those places, there are many such people—and people like you wouldn’t make the grade. At the beginning, using people took such effort! Young people of good caliber were selected, but many disagreed with this. What do you think? If there’s an 80-year-old who’s never married, you believe her a chaste virgin. Each day she cooks food for the other brothers and sisters, rushing and hurrying about, expending her whole life for God. But she always goes on about her capital, she’s always incredibly arrogant. She’s nothing but a demon! What has she contributed? What has she expended? We won’t focus on this—there’s no use! We praise whoever is the most sincere, whoever is the most willing to obey God, whoever is possessed of the most truth. Is there any point in looking at their exterior? Some external things might have changed, but many things inside them have not, and the time will come when these things are exposed. And so, you must know these things, and must dig them out. There are still many things in people! Their nature is, of course, arrogant, and rebellious. This is one of the biggest problems, and it lies at the very source. In addition, there are also some corrupt dispositions in people. And so, if you wish to know yourself, if you wish for your disposition to change, there must be a path; know from which aspect to enter, from which aspect to know and get started—this makes things a lot easier. You must have a path; you cannot be without a path.