First, let’s sing a hymn: The Kingdom Anthem (I) The Kingdom Has Descended on the World.
I. God’s kingdom has come on earth; God’s person is full and rich. Who can stand still and not rejoice? Who can stand still and not dance? Oh Zion, raise your banner of victory to celebrate for God. Sing your song of victory to spread His holy name over the world. Countless people praise God with joy, countless voices exalt His name. Look at His awesome deeds; now His kingdom on earth has come.
II. All things on earth, make yourselves clean; come and make offerings to God. Stars, return to your nest in the sky, show God’s might in the heavens above. On earth voices rise up and sing, pouring out infinite love and boundless reverence to God. He attently listens to them. Countless people praise God with joy, countless voices exalt His name. Look at His awesome deeds; now His kingdom on earth has come.
III. On that day all things are revived, God in person comes to the earth. Flowers burst out in joyful bloom, birds sing and all things rejoice. See the kingdom of Satan fall as the salute of God’s kingdom sounds, trampled down, never to rise again, drowned beneath the anthem of praise. Countless people praise God with joy (with joy), countless voices exalt His name (His name). Look at His awesome deeds; now His kingdom on earth has come.
IV. Who on earth dare rise to resist? When God stands among men, He’s brought His wrath and all disasters to earth. The world has become God’s kingdom. Clouds roll and toss in the skies, lakes and streams stir up a merry tune. Resting animals leave their caves, and man is awakened from their dreams. Now that longed-for day has arrived and all honor God with their songs, the most beautiful songs of all time. Countless people praise God with joy (with joy), countless voices exalt His name (His name). Look at His awesome deeds; now His kingdom on earth has come.
What do you think about every time you sing this song? (Very excited; thrilled; think about how glorious the beauty of the kingdom is, and mankind and God will be joined forever.) Has anyone thought about the form man must take on in order to be with God? In your imaginations, how must a person be in order to join with God and enjoy the glorious life that follows in the kingdom? (They should have a changed disposition.) They should have a changed disposition, but changed to what extent? What will they be like after it has been changed? (They will become holy.) What is the standard for holiness? (All their thoughts and considerations are compatible with Christ.) How does such a compatibility manifest? (They don’t resist God, don’t betray God, but offer absolute obedience to God, and fear God in their hearts.) Some of your answers are on the right track. Open your hearts, all of you, and share what your heart is telling you. (People who live with God in the kingdom can do their duty, faithfully do their duty, by pursuing the truth and not being restrained by any person, event, or object. And it becomes possible to break away from the influence of darkness, align their hearts with God, and fear God and shun evil.) (Our perspective of looking at things can be aligned with God, and we can break away from the influence of darkness. The minimum standard is to not be exploited by Satan, to cast off any corrupt disposition, to achieve obedience to God. We believe that breaking away from the influence of darkness is the key point. If someone cannot break away from the influence of darkness, cannot break free from Satan’s bonds, then they have not attained God’s salvation.) (The standard for being perfected by God is man being of one heart and mind with God. Man doesn’t resist God anymore; he can know himself, put truth into practice, attain an understanding of God, love God, and align with God. That’s all one needs to do.)
The Outcome’s Weight in People’s Hearts
It seems like you have got something in your hearts about the way you should walk in and you have developed a good grasp and understanding of it. But whether everything you said turns out to be hollow words or actual reality depends on what you pay attention to in your day-to-day practice. You have reaped a harvest from all aspects of the truth over the years, both in doctrines and in the content of the truth. This proves that people nowadays put an emphasis on striving for the truth. And as a result, every aspect and every item of the truth has surely put down roots in the hearts of some people. However, what is it that I fear the most? That though the subjects of the truth, and these theories, have put down their roots, the actual content just doesn’t hold much weight in your hearts. When you encounter issues, faced with trials, faced with choices—how much will you be able to put the reality of these truths to good use? Will they help you pass through your difficulties and emerge from your trials having satisfied God’s intentions? Will you stand firm in your trials and testify loud and clear for God? Have you been interested in these matters before? Allow Me to ask you: In your hearts, in all your daily thoughts and contemplations, what is it that is most important to you? Have you ever come to a conclusion? What do you believe is the most important thing? Some people say “it’s putting truth into practice, of course”; some people say “of course it’s reading God’s word every day”; some people say “it’s placing myself before God and praying to God every day, of course”; and then there are those who say “of course it’s doing my duty properly every day”; there are some people yet who say they are only ever thinking about how to satisfy God, how to obey Him in all things, and how to act in harmony with His will. Is this how it is? Is this all there is? For example, there are some who say: “I only want to obey God, but when something happens I can’t obey Him.” Some people say: “I only want to satisfy God. Even if I could satisfy Him just once, that would be fine, but I can never satisfy Him.” And some people say: “I only want to obey God. In times of trial I only want to submit to His orchestrations, obeying His sovereignty and arrangements, without any complaints or requests. Yet almost every time I fail to be obedient.” Some other people say: “When I’m faced with decisions, I can never choose to put truth into practice. I always want to satisfy the flesh, always want to satisfy my personal selfish desires.” What’s the reason for this? Before God’s test comes, have you already challenged yourselves multiple times, and tried and tested yourselves multiple times? See if you can really obey God, really satisfy God, and be certain not to betray God. See whether you can not satisfy yourselves, not satisfy your selfish desires, but only satisfy God, devoid of your individual choices. Is anyone like that? Actually, there is only one fact that has been placed before your very eyes. It’s what every one of you is most interested in, what you most want to know, and that is the matter of everyone’s outcome and destination. You may not realize it, but this is something that no one can deny. I know there are some people who, when it comes to the truth of man’s outcome, God’s promise to humanity, and what kind of destination God intends to bring man into, have already studied God’s word on these matters several times. Then there are those who are repeatedly looking for it and thinking it over in their minds, and they still get no result, or maybe arrive at some ambiguous conclusion. In the end they still aren’t certain about what kind of outcome awaits them. When accepting communication of the truth, when accepting church life, when performing their duty, most people always want to know a definitive answer to the following questions: What will my outcome be? Can I walk the path right up to its end? What is God’s attitude toward man? Some people even worry: I’ve done some things in the past, I’ve said some things, I’ve been disobedient to God, I’ve done some things that have betrayed God, there were some matters where I did not satisfy God, hurt God’s heart, made God disappointed in me, made God hate me and loathe me, so perhaps my outcome is unknown. It’s fair to say that most people feel uneasy about their own outcome. No one dares say: “I feel with one hundred percent certainty that I will be a survivor; I am one hundred percent certain that I can satisfy God’s intentions; I am a person who is after God’s heart; I am a person who God praises.” Some people think it’s particularly hard to follow God’s way, and that putting truth into practice is the hardest thing of all. Consequently, these people think they’re beyond help, and don’t dare to get their hopes up about a good outcome. Or maybe they believe that they can’t satisfy God’s intentions, and can’t become a survivor, and because of this will say that they don’t have an outcome, and can’t attain a good destination. Regardless of how exactly people think, everyone is wondering about their outcome many times. On questions of their future, on questions of what they’ll get when God finishes His work, these people are always calculating, always planning. Some people pay double the price; some people abandon their families and their jobs; some people give up on their marriage; some people resign to spend for God; some people leave their homes to do their duty; some people choose hardship, and begin to take on the most bitter and tiring task; some people choose to dedicate wealth, dedicate their all; still some people choose to pursue truth, and pursue knowing God. No matter how you choose to practice, is the manner in which you do so important? (Not important.) How do we explain that it’s not important, then? If the manner isn’t important, then what is? (Outward good behavior is not representative of putting truth into practice.) (What everyone thinks is not important. The key here is whether we have put truth into practice, and whether we love God.) (The fall of antichrists and false leaders helps us understand that outward behavior isn’t the most important thing. They outwardly seem to have forsaken much, and they seem to be willing to pay the price, but upon dissection we can see that they simply don’t have a heart that fears God; in all respects they oppose Him. They are always standing with Satan at critical times, interfering with God’s work. Thus, the main considerations here are which side we stand on when the time comes, and our viewpoints.) You all speak well, and it seems like you already have a basic understanding of and a standard for putting truth into practice, God’s intentions, and what God demands of man. That you’re able to speak like this is very moving. Although there are a few inappropriate words here and there, your statements are already nearing an explanation worthy of the truth. This proves that you have developed your own real understandings of the people, events, and objects around you, all of your surroundings that God has arranged, and everything that you can see. These understandings are nearing the truth. Even though what you said isn’t totally comprehensive, and a few words aren’t very appropriate, your understandings are already nearing the reality of the truth. Hearing you speak this way makes Me feel good.
People’s Beliefs Cannot Substitute for the Truth
There are some people who can bear hardships; they can pay the price; their outward behavior is very good; they are well respected; and they have the admiration of others. What do you think: Can this kind of outward behavior be regarded as putting truth into practice? Can you say that this person is satisfying God’s intentions? Why is it that time and time again people see this kind of individual and think that they are satisfying God, think that they are walking the path of putting truth into practice, that they are walking in God’s way? Why do some people think this way? There’s only one explanation for it. And what explanation is that? It’s that for a great many people, questions like what it is to put truth into practice, what it is to satisfy God, what it is to really have the reality of the truth—these questions aren’t very clear. So there are some people who are often deceived by those who outwardly seem spiritual, seem noble, seem to have lofty images. As for those people who can speak of letters and doctrines, and whose speech and actions appear worthy of admiration, their admirers have never looked at the essence of their actions, the principles behind their deeds, what their goals are. And they have never looked at whether these people truly obey God, and whether or not they are someone who truly fears God and shuns evil. They have never discerned the substance of the humanity of these people. Rather, from the first step of getting acquainted, bit by bit, they come to admire these people, venerate these people, and in the end these people become their idols. Moreover, in some people’s minds, the idols who they worship, who they believe can abandon their families and jobs, and pay the price on the surface—these idols are the ones who are really satisfying God, the ones who can really receive a good outcome and a good destination. In their minds, these idols are the people who God praises. What causes people to have this kind of belief? What’s the essence of this issue? What are the consequences it can lead to? Let’s first discuss the matter of its essence.
These issues regarding people’s viewpoints, people’s practices, which principles people choose to practice, and what everyone normally emphasizes, essentially these all have nothing to do with God’s demands on mankind. Regardless of whether people are focusing on shallow matters or deep ones, on letters and doctrines or reality, people don’t adhere to that which they should adhere to most, and they don’t know that which they should know the most. The reason for this is that people don’t like the truth at all. Therefore, people aren’t willing to put time and effort into finding and practicing principles in God’s word. Instead, they prefer to use shortcuts, and sum up what they understand, what they know, to be good practice and good behavior. This summary then becomes their own goal to pursue, becomes truth to be practiced. The direct consequence of this is people using human good behavior as a substitute for putting truth into practice, which also satisfies people’s desire to curry favor with God. This gives people capital with which to contend with the truth, and to reason with and dispute God. At the same time, people also unscrupulously put God aside, and place their heart’s idol in God’s position. There is only one root cause which makes people have these ignorant actions, ignorant viewpoints, or one-sided viewpoints and practices, and today I’ll tell you about it. The reason is that although people may follow God, pray to Him every day, and read the word of God every day, they don’t actually understand God’s will. This is the root of the problem. If someone understands God’s heart, understands what God likes, what God loathes, what God wants, what God rejects, what kind of person God loves, what kind of person God dislikes, what kind of standard God applies to His demands on man, what kind of approach He takes for perfecting man, can that person still have their own personal ideas? Can they just go and worship another person? Could an ordinary person become their idol? If one understands God’s will, their viewpoint is a bit more rational than that. They aren’t going to arbitrarily idolize a corrupted person, nor will they, while walking the path of putting truth into practice, believe that arbitrarily adhering to a few simple rules or principles is tantamount to putting truth into practice.
There Are Many Opinions Concerning the Standard With Which God Establishes Man’s Outcome
Let’s come back to this topic and continue discussing the matter of outcome.
Since every person is concerned with their outcome, do you know how God determines that outcome? In what manner does God establish a person’s outcome? And what kind of standard does He use to establish a person’s outcome? And when man’s outcome has yet to be established, what does God do to reveal this outcome? Does anyone know this? As I just said, there are some who have already researched God’s word a long time. These people are searching for clues about mankind’s outcome, about the categories that this outcome is divided into, and about the different outcomes awaiting different kinds of people. They also want to know how God’s word establishes man’s outcome, the type of standard that God uses, and the manner in which He establishes man’s outcome. Yet in the end these people never manage to find anything. In actual fact, there is precious little said on the matter among God’s word. Why is this? So long as man’s outcome has yet to be revealed, God doesn’t want to tell anyone what’s going to happen in the end, nor does He want to inform anyone of their destination ahead of time. The reason for this is that God’s doing so would not have any benefit to man. Right now, I only want to tell you about the manner in which God establishes the outcome of man, about the principles He employs in His work to establish the outcome of man, and to manifest this outcome, as well as the standard He uses to establish whether or not someone can survive. Isn’t this what you’re most concerned about? So then, how do people conceive the way by which God establishes man’s outcome? You spoke a bit on this matter just now. Some of you said it’s a question of doing their duty faithfully, spending for God; some people said obeying God and satisfying God; some people said being at the mercy of God; and some people said leading a low-key life…. When you put these truths into practice, when you practice the principles of your imagination, do you know what God thinks? Have you considered whether or not going on like this is satisfying God’s intentions? Whether it caters to God’s standard? Whether it caters to God’s demands? I believe that most people don’t really think this over. They just mechanically apply a portion of God’s word, or a portion of the sermons, or the standards of certain spiritual men they adore, forcing themselves to do this, to do that. They believe that this is the correct way, so they keep adhering to it, doing it, no matter what happens in the end. Some people think: “I’ve believed for some many years; I’ve always practiced this way; I feel like I have really satisfied God; I also feel like I’ve gotten a lot out of it. For I’ve come to understand a lot of truths during this period, and come to understand many things I did not understand before—in particular, many of my ideas and views have changed, my life values have changed a lot, and I have a pretty good understanding of this world.” Such people believe that this is a harvest, and it is the final result of God’s work for man. In your opinion, with these standards and all of your practices taken together—are you satisfying God’s intentions? Some people will say with all certainty: “Of course! We are practicing according to God’s word; we are practicing according to what the brother preached and fellowshiped; we’re always doing our duty, always following God, and we have never left God. Therefore we can say with complete confidence that we’re satisfying God. No matter how much we understand of God’s intentions, no matter how much we understand of God’s word, we have always been on the path of seeking to be compatible with God. If we act correctly, and practice correctly, then the result will be correct.” What do you think about this perspective? Is it correct? Perhaps there are some who say: “I’ve never thought about these things before. I only think that if I continue to do my duty and keep acting according to the requirements of God’s word, then I can survive. I have never considered the question of whether I can satisfy God’s heart, and I have never considered whether I am achieving the standard required by Him. Since God has never told me, nor provided me with any clear instructions, I believe that as long as I keep going, God will be satisfied and He shouldn’t have any additional demands of me.” Are these beliefs correct? As far as I’m concerned, this way of practicing, this way of thinking, and these viewpoints—they all bring with them fancies and a bit of blindness. When I say this, perhaps there are some of you who feel a little disheartened: “Blindness? If it’s a ‘blindness,’ then our hope of salvation, our hope of surviving is very small, and very uncertain, is it not? Isn’t Your phrasing it like that akin to pouring cold water on us?” No matter what you believe, the things I say and do aren’t meant to make you feel as if cold water is being poured on you. Rather, it’s meant to improve your understanding of God’s intentions, and improve your grasp on what God is thinking, what God wants to accomplish, what kind of person that God likes, what God loathes, what God despises, what type of person God wants to gain, and what type of person God spurns. It’s meant to give your minds clarity, to help you clearly know how far the actions and thoughts of each and every one of you have strayed from the standard required by God. Is it necessary to discuss these topics? Because I know you have believed for so long, and have listened to so much preaching, but these are precisely the things that are most lacking. You may have recorded every truth in your notebook, you may have also recorded that which you personally believe to be important in your mind, and in your heart. Plan to use it when you’re practicing, to satisfy God; use it when you find yourself in need; use it to get through the difficult times that lie before your eyes; or simply let these truths accompany you while you live your life. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re only practicing, how exactly you’re practicing isn’t important. What, then, is the very important thing? It’s that while you’re practicing, your heart knows with all certainty whether or not everything you’re doing, every deed, is what God wants; whether or not everything you do, everything you think, and the result and the goal in your heart satisfy God’s intentions, cater to God’s demands, and whether or not God approves of them. These are the important things.
Walk in God’s Way: Fear God and Shun Evil
There’s a saying you should take notes of. I believe this saying is very important, because for Me it comes to mind countless times every single day. Why is that? Because every time I’m faced with someone, every time I hear someone’s story, every time I hear of someone’s experience or their testimony of believing in God, I always use this saying to weigh whether or not this individual is the type of person God wants, the type of person God likes. So what’s this saying, then? Now you are all eagerly waiting. When I reveal the saying, perhaps you will feel disappointed because there are those who have been paying it lip service for many years. But as for Me, I’ve never paid it any lip service. This saying resides in My heart. So what is this saying? It’s “walk in God’s way: fear God and shun evil.” Is this not an exceedingly simple phrase? Yet though the saying may be simple, someone who genuinely has a deep understanding of it will feel that it’s of great weight; that it has a lot of value for practice; that it’s language of life with the reality of the truth; that it’s a lifelong objective to strive toward for those seeking to satisfy God; and that it’s a lifelong way to be followed by anyone who’s considerate of God’s intentions. So what do you think: Is this saying truth? Does it have this kind of significance? Perhaps there are some people who are thinking about this saying, trying to figure it out, and some yet who are suspicious of it: Is this saying very important? Is it very important? Is it so necessary and worthy of emphasis? Perhaps there are some people who don’t much like this saying because they think taking God’s way and distilling it into this one saying is too much of an oversimplification. To take all of which God said and boil it down to one saying—isn’t this making God out to be a little too insignificant? Is that how it is? It could be that most of you don’t fully understand the profound meaning behind these words. Though you have made note of it, you don’t intend to place this saying in your heart; you just write it down, and revisit it and mull it over in your spare time. There are some other people who won’t even bother memorizing the saying, let alone trying to put it to good use. But why do I discuss this saying? Regardless of your perspective, or what you will think, I have to discuss this saying because it is extremely relevant to how God establishes the outcomes of man. No matter what your current understanding of this saying is, or how you treat it, I’m still going to tell you: If someone can properly practice this saying and achieve the standard of fearing God and shunning evil, then they’re assured as a survivor, then they’re assured as someone with a good outcome. If you can’t attain the standard laid out by this saying, then it could be said that your outcome is an unknown. Thus I speak to you about this saying for your own mental preparation, and so that you know what kind of standard God uses to measure you. As I just discussed, this saying is extremely relevant to God’s salvation of man, and how He establishes man’s outcome. Where does this relevance lie? You would really like to know, so we will talk about it today.
God Makes Use of Different Trials to Test Whether People Fear God and Shun Evil
In every age, God bestows some words upon man when He works in the world, telling man of some truths. These truths serve as the way to be adhered to by man, the way that is to be walked in by man, the way that enables man to fear God and shun evil, and the way that people should put into practice and adhere to in their lives and over the course of their life journeys. It’s for these reasons that God bestows these words on man. These words that come from God should be adhered to by man, and to adhere to them is to receive life. If a person does not adhere to them, does not put them into practice, and does not live out God’s words in their lives, then this person is not putting truth into practice. And if they’re not putting truth into practice, then they’re not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. If someone can’t satisfy God, then they cannot receive God’s praise; this kind of person has no outcome. So how in the course of God’s work does He establish a person’s outcome, then? What method does God use to establish man’s outcome? Perhaps you’re not too clear on this right now, but when I tell you the process it will become quite clear. This is because a lot of people have already experienced it themselves.
Over the course of God’s work, from the beginning up until now, God has set out trials for every person—or you could say, every person who follows Him—and these trials come in different sizes. There are those who have experienced the trial of being rejected by their family; those who have experienced the trial of adverse environment; those who have experienced the trial of being arrested and tortured; those who have experienced the trial of being faced with a choice; and those who have faced the trials of money and status. Generally speaking, every one of you has faced all sorts of trials. Why does God work like that? Why does God treat everyone like that? What kind of result does He want to see? This is the important point of what I want to tell you: God wants to see whether this person is the type who is fearing God and shunning evil. What this means is that when God is giving you a trial, making you face up to some circumstance, He wants to test whether or not you are that person who fears God, that person who shuns evil. If someone is faced with the duty of safekeeping an offering, and they come into contact with God’s offering, then do you think this is something that God has arranged? No question! Everything you face is something God has arranged. When you’re faced with this matter, God will observe you in secret, watching how you choose, how you practice, what you’re thinking about. The end result is what God is most concerned with, since it’s the result that will allow Him to measure whether or not you have achieved God’s standard in this trial. However, when people are faced with some matter, they often don’t think about why they’re being faced with it, or the standard being demanded by God. They don’t think about what God wants to see of them, what He wants to obtain from them. When faced with this matter, this kind of person is only thinking: “This is something I’m faced with; I must be careful, not careless! No matter what, this is God’s offering and I can’t touch it.” This person believes that they can fulfill their responsibility possessing such a simplistic thinking. Would God be satisfied by the result of this trial? Or would He not be satisfied? You can discuss this. (If someone fears God in their heart, then when faced with the duty that allows them to contact God’s offering, they would consider just how easy it would be to offend God’s disposition, so they would be sure to proceed with caution.) Your response is on the right track, but it’s not quite there yet. Walking in God’s way is not about observing rules on the surface. Rather, it means that when you’re faced with a matter, first of all, you view it as a circumstance that has been arranged by God, a responsibility bestowed on you by Him, or something that He has entrusted to you, and that when you’re facing this matter, you should even view it as a trial from God. When facing this matter, you must have a standard, you must think that it has come from God. You must think about how to deal with this matter such that you can fulfill your responsibility, and be faithful to God; how to do it and not infuriate God, or offend His disposition. We just spoke about the safekeeping of offerings. This matter involves offerings, and it also involves your duty, your responsibility. You are duty-bound to this responsibility. Yet when you’re faced with this matter, is there any temptation? There is! Where does this temptation come from? This temptation comes from Satan, and it also comes from man’s evil, corrupt disposition. Since there’s temptation, this involves standing testimony; standing testimony is also your responsibility and duty. Some people say: “This is such a small matter; is it really necessary to make a big deal out of it?” Yes it is! Because in order to walk in God’s way, we cannot let go of anything to do with ourselves, or anything that happens around us, even the little things. No matter whether we think we should pay attention to it or not, as long as any matter is facing us we should not let it go. All of it should be viewed as God’s test for us. How’s this kind of attitude? If you have this kind of attitude, then it confirms one fact: Your heart fears God, and your heart is willing to shun evil. If you have this desire to satisfy God, then what you put into practice isn’t far from the standard of fearing God and shunning evil.
There are often those who believe that the matters which aren’t paid much heed by people, the matters that aren’t usually mentioned—these are merely minor trifles, and they don’t have anything to do with putting truth into practice. When these people are faced with just such a matter, they don’t give it much thought and let it slide. But in actual fact, this matter is a lesson for which you should be studying, a lesson on how to fear God, on how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned about is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right at your side, observing every one of your words and deeds, observing your actions, your mind changes—this is God’s work. Some people say: “Then why don’t I feel it?” You haven’t felt it because the way of fearing God and shunning evil hasn’t been your most important way to be adhered to. Therefore, you can’t feel the subtle work of God in man, which manifests itself according to people’s different thoughts and different actions. You’re a scatterbrain! What’s a big matter? What’s a small matter? All matters that involve walking in God’s way aren’t divided into big or small ones. Can you accept that? (We can accept it.) In terms of everyday matters, there are some which people view as very big and significant, and others that are viewed as minor trifles. People often view these big matters as being the very important ones, and they consider them to be sent by God. However, over the course of these big matters playing out, owing to the immature stature of man, and owing to man’s poor caliber, man is often not up to God’s intentions, cannot obtain any revelations, and cannot acquire any actual knowledge that is of value. So far as the small matters are concerned, these are simply overlooked by man, left to slip away little by little. Thus, they have lost many opportunities to be examined before God, to be tested by Him. Should you always overlook the people, things, and matters, and circumstances that God arranges for you, what will this mean? It means that every day, even every moment, you’re always renouncing God’s perfection of you, and God’s leadership. Whenever God arranges a circumstance for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, looking upon your thoughts and considerations, looking at how you think, looking at how you will act. If you are a careless person—a person who has never been serious about God’s way, God’s word, or the truth—then you won’t be mindful, you won’t pay attention to that which God wants to complete, and that which God demands of you when He arranges circumstances for you. You also won’t know how the people, things, and matters that you encounter relate to the truth or God’s intentions. After you face repeated circumstances and repeated trials like this, with God not seeing any achievements to your name, how will God proceed? After repeatedly facing trials, you don’t magnify God in your heart, and you don’t treat the circumstances God arranges for you as they are—as God’s trials or God’s tests. Rather you reject the opportunities that God bestows on you one after the other, and let them slip away time and time again. Is this not huge disobedience by man? (It is.) Will God be grieved because of this? (He will.) God won’t be grieved! Hearing Me speak like this has shocked you once more. After all, wasn’t it said earlier that God always grieves? God won’t be grieved? When will God be grieved then? Anyway, God will not be grieved by this situation. Then what’s God’s attitude toward the type of behavior outlined above? When people reject the trials, the tests, that God sends them, when they shirk from them, there’s only one attitude that God has toward these people. What attitude is this? God spurns this kind of person from the bottom of His heart. There are two layers of meaning for the word “spurn.” How do I explain them? Deep down, the word carries connotations of loathing, of hate. And as for the second layer of meaning? That’s the part that implies giving up on something. You all know what “give up” means, correct? In short, spurn means God’s ultimate reaction and attitude toward those people who are behaving in such a way. It is extreme hatred toward them, disgust, and thus the decision to abandon them. This is God’s final decision toward a person who has never walked in God’s way, who has never feared God and shunned evil. Can all of you now see the importance of this saying I have spoken?
Now do you understand the method God uses to establish man’s outcome? (Arranging different circumstances every day.) Arranging different circumstances—this is what people can feel and touch. Then what’s God’s motive for this? The motive is that God wants to give each and every person trials in different ways, at different times, and in different places. What aspects of man are tested in a trial? Whether or not you are the kind of person who fears God and shuns evil in every matter you face, you hear about, you see, and you personally experience. Everyone will face this kind of trial, because God is fair toward all people. Some people say: “I’ve believed in God for many years; how come I have not faced a trial?” You feel you haven’t faced a trial because whenever God has arranged circumstances for you, you haven’t taken them seriously, and haven’t wanted to walk in God’s way. So you just don’t have any sense of God’s trials. Some people say: “I’ve faced a few trials, but I don’t know the proper way of practice. Even though I practiced, I still don’t know whether I stood firm during the trials.” People with this type of situation are definitely not in the minority. So what is the standard by which God measures people then? It is just as I said moments ago: Everything you do, everything you think, and everything you express—is it fearing God and shunning evil? This is how to determine whether or not you’re a person who fears God and shuns evil. Is this a simple concept? It’s easy enough to say, but is it easy to put into practice? (It’s not so easy.) Why is it not so easy? (Because people don’t know God, don’t know how God perfects man, and so when they’re faced with matters they don’t know how to seek out truth to solve their problem; people must go through various trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments, before they have the reality of fearing God.) You put it like that, but as far as you’re concerned, fearing God and shunning evil, seems easily doable right now. Why do I say this? Because you have listened to a lot of sermons, and received no small amount of watering of the reality of the truth. This has allowed you to understand how to fear God and shun evil in terms of theory and thinking. With regard to your practice of fearing God and shunning evil, this has all been helpful and made you feel like such a thing is easily achievable. Then why in actual fact can people never achieve it? This is because the essence of man’s nature does not fear God, and likes evil. That’s the real reason.
To Not Fear God and Shun Evil Is to Oppose God
Let’s begin by addressing where this saying “fear God and shun evil” came from. (The Book of Job.) Now that you’ve mentioned Job, let’s discuss him. In Job’s time, was God working for the conquest and salvation of man? He wasn’t, was He? And so far as Job was concerned, how much knowledge did he have of God at the time? (Not a lot of knowledge.) And how did that knowledge of God compare to the knowledge you have right now? How can it be that you don’t dare answer this? Was Job’s knowledge more or less than the knowledge you have right now? (Less.) This is a very easy question to answer. Less! This is certain! You are now face-to-face with God, and face-to-face with God’s word. Your knowledge of God is much more than Job’s. Why do I bring this up? Why do I speak like this? I’d like to explain a fact to you, but before I do, I want to ask you a question: Job knew very little of God, yet he could fear God and shun evil. So why is it that people these days fail to do so? (Deep corruption.) Deep corruption—that’s the surface of the question, but I’ll never view it like that. You often take doctrines and letters that you commonly speak of, like “deep corruption,” “rebelling against God,” “disloyalty toward God,” “disobedience,” “not liking the truth,” and you use these phrases to explain the essence of every single question. This is a flawed way of practicing. Using the same answer to explain questions with differing natures inevitably raises suspicions of blaspheming the truth and God. I don’t like hearing this kind of answer. Think about it! None of you have thought about this matter, but every single day I can see it, and every single day I can feel it. Thus, you are doing, and I am watching. When you are doing it, you can’t feel the essence of this matter. But when I see it, I can see its essence, and I can feel its essence as well. So what is this essence then? Why can’t people these days fear God and shun evil? Your answers are quite a ways from being able to explain the essence of this question, and they can’t solve the essence of this question. That’s because there’s a source here that you don’t know about. What is this source? I know you want to hear about it, so I’ll tell you about the source of this question.
At the very beginning of God’s work, what did He regard man as? God rescued man; He regarded man as a member of His family, as the target of His work, as that which He wanted to conquer, to save, and as that which He wanted to perfect. This was God’s attitude toward man at the outset of His work. But what was man’s attitude toward God at that time? God was strange to man, and man regarded God as a stranger. It could be said that man’s attitude toward God was incorrect, and man wasn’t clear on how he should treat God. So he treated Him however he liked, and did whatever he liked. Did man have a viewpoint on God? In the beginning, man did not have any viewpoint on God. Man’s so-called viewpoint was just some conceptions and imaginings concerning God. That which conformed to people’s conceptions was accepted; that which did not conform was obeyed on the surface, but in their hearts people strongly clashed with and opposed it. This was man and God’s relationship in the beginning: God viewed man as a family member, yet man treated God as a stranger. But after a period of God’s work, man came to understand what God was trying to achieve. People came to know that God was the true God, and they came to know what man could obtain from God. What did man regard God as at this time? Man regarded God as a lifeline, hoping to obtain grace, obtain blessings, obtain promises. And what did God regard man as at this juncture? God regarded man as the target of His conquest. God wanted to use words to judge man, to test man, to give man trials. But as far as mankind was concerned at this point in time, God was an object that he could use to achieve his own goals. People saw that the truth issued by God could conquer and save them, and that they had an opportunity to obtain the things they wanted from God, the destination that they wanted. Because of this, a tiny bit of sincerity formed in their hearts, and they were willing to follow this God. Some time passed, and people had some superficial and doctrinal knowledge of God. It could be said that they were getting more and more “familiar” with God. With the word spoken by God, His preaching, the truth He had issued forth, and His work—people were more and more “familiar.” So, people mistakenly thought that God was no longer strange, and that they were already walking the path of compatibility with God. Up until now, people have listened to a lot of sermons on the truth, and have experienced a lot of God’s work. Yet under the interferences and obstructions of many different factors and circumstances, most people can’t attain putting truth into practice, and can’t attain satisfying God. People are increasingly slack, increasingly lacking in confidence. They increasingly feel like their own outcome is an unknown. They don’t dare have any extravagant ideas, and don’t seek to make any progress; they just reluctantly follow along, going forward step-by-step. With regard to the present state of man, what is God’s attitude toward man? God’s only desire is to give these truths to man, and imbue His way unto man, and then arrange various circumstances in order to test man in different ways. His goal is to take these words, these truths, and His work, and bring about an outcome where man can fear God and shun evil. Most people I’ve seen just take God’s word and regard it as doctrines, regard it as letters, regard it as regulations to be observed. When they go about things and speak, or face trials, they don’t regard God’s way as the way that they should observe. This is especially true when people are faced with major trials; I have not seen anyone who was practicing in the direction of fearing God and shunning evil. Because of this, God’s attitude toward man is full of extreme loathing and aversion. After God has repeatedly given trials to people, even hundreds of times, they still don’t have any clear attitude to demonstrate their determination—I want to fear God and shun evil! Since people don’t have this determination, and they don’t make this kind of display, God’s present attitude toward them is no longer the same as in the past, when He extended mercy, extended tolerance, extended forbearance and patience. Instead, He is extremely disappointed in man. Who caused this disappointment? The kind of attitude God has toward man, who does this depend on? It depends on every person who follows God. During the course of His many years of work, God has made many demands of man, and arranged many circumstances for man. But no matter how man has performed, and no matter what man’s attitude toward God is, man cannot practice in clear accordance to the goal of fearing God and shunning evil. Thus, I’ll sum it up in one saying, and use this saying to explain everything we just spoke of on why people cannot walk in God’s way—fear God and shun evil. What is this saying? This saying is: God regards man as the object of His salvation, the object of His work; man regards God as his enemy, as his antithesis. Are you clear on this matter now? What man’s attitude is; what God’s attitude is; what the relationship between man and God is—these are all very clear. No matter how much preaching you’ve listened to, those things that you’ve summed up for yourselves—like being faithful to God, obeying God, seeking the way of compatibility with God, wanting to spend a lifetime for God, living for God—to Me those things aren’t consciously walking in God’s way, which is fearing God and shunning evil. Instead, they’re channels through which you can attain certain goals. To achieve these goals, you reluctantly observe some regulations. And it’s precisely these regulations that take people even further from the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and place God in opposition to man once more.
The question we are discussing today is a little heavy, but no matter what, I still hope that when you go through the experiences to come, and the times to come, you can do what I’ve just told you. Don’t neglect God and regard Him as empty air, feeling like He exists at times when He is of use to you, but when He is of no use feeling like He does not exist. When you subconsciously hold this kind of understanding, you have already infuriated God. Perhaps there are people who say: “I don’t regard God as empty air, I always pray to God, I always satisfy God, and everything I do falls within the scope and standard and principles demanded by God. I’m definitely not proceeding according to my own ideas.” Yes, the manner in which you’re going about things is correct. But how do you think when you come face-to-face with a matter? How do you practice when you’re faced with a matter? Some people feel that God exists when they pray to Him, and appeal to Him. But when faced with a matter, they come up with their own ideas and want to abide by them. This regards God as empty air. This type of situation renders God non-existent. People think that God should exist when they need Him, and when they don’t need God He shouldn’t exist. People think that going by their own ideas to practice is enough. They believe they can do things however it pleases them. They simply think they don’t need to seek out God’s way. People who are currently in this kind of condition, this kind of state—are they not at the edge of danger? Some people say: “Regardless of whether I am on the edge of danger or not, I have believed for so many years, and I believe that God won’t abandon me because He couldn’t bear to abandon me.” Other people say: “Even from the time I was in my mother’s womb, I believed in the Lord, all the way up until now, forty or fifty years in all. In terms of time, I’m most qualified to be saved by God; I am most qualified to survive. Over this period of four or five decades, I abandoned my family and my job. I gave up all that I had, like money, status, enjoyment and family time; I have not eaten many delicious foods; I have not enjoyed many amusing things; I have not visited many interesting places; I have even experienced suffering that ordinary people couldn’t endure. If God can’t save me because of all this, then I am being treated unjustly and I can’t believe in this type of God.” Are there a lot of people with this kind of view? (There are a lot of them.) Then today I’ll help you understand a fact: Each and every one of those who hold this kind of view are shooting themselves in the foot. This is because they’re using their own imaginations to cover their eyes. It is precisely their imaginations, and their own conclusions that replace the standard of what God demands of man, holding them back from accepting God’s true intentions, making it so they cannot feel God’s true existence, and making them lose their opportunity to be perfected by God and have no part or share in God’s promise.
How God Establishes Man’s Outcome and the Standard by Which He Establishes Man’s Outcome
Before you have any of your own views or conclusions, you should first understand God’s attitude toward you, what God is thinking, and then decide whether or not your own thinking is correct. God has never used units of time to establish a person’s outcome, and He has never used the amount of suffering endured by someone to establish their outcome. Then what does God use as a standard for establishing man’s outcome? Using time units to establish a person’s outcome—this is what most conforms to people’s conceptions. And there are also those individuals who you often see, those who at one point devoted a lot, spent a lot, paid a lot, suffered a lot. These are ones who, in your views, can be saved by God. All that these people show, all that they live out, is precisely mankind’s conception of the standard by which God establishes the outcome of man. Regardless of what you believe, I won’t list out these examples one by one. In short, so long as it isn’t the standard of God’s own thinking, then it comes from man’s imagination, and it’s all man’s conception. What’s the consequence of blindly insisting on your own conception and imagination? Obviously, the consequence can only be God spurning you. This is because you always flaunt your qualifications before God, compete with God, and dispute with God, and you do not try to truly comprehend God’s thinking, nor do you try to comprehend God’s intentions and God’s attitude toward humanity. Proceeding like this is honoring yourself above all, not honoring God. You believe in yourself; you don’t believe in God. God doesn’t want this type of person, and God won’t save this type of person. If you can let go of this kind of viewpoint, and then rectify these incorrect viewpoints of the past; if you could proceed according to God’s demands; start practicing the way of fearing God and shunning evil from this point forward; manage to honor God as great in all things; don’t use your own personal fancies, viewpoints, or beliefs to define yourself, define God. And instead, you seek out God’s intentions in all respects, you achieve a realization and understanding of God’s attitude toward humanity, and you use God’s standard to satisfy God—that would be wonderful! This would mean you are about to embark on the way of fearing God and shunning evil.
Since God doesn’t use how people think this way or that way, their ideas and viewpoints, as a standard to establish the outcome of man, then what kind of standard does He use? God uses trials to establish the outcome of man. There are two standards for using trials to establish man’s outcome: The first is the number of trials that people undergo, and the second is the people’s result in these trials. It is these two indicators that establish man’s outcome. Now we will elaborate on these two standards.
First of all, when you are faced with a trial from God (note: It’s possible that in your eyes this trial is a small one and isn’t worth mentioning), God will make you distinctly aware that this is the hand of God upon you, and that it is God who has arranged this circumstance for you. When your stature is immature, God will arrange trials in order to test you. These trials will correspond to your stature, that which you’re able to understand, and that which you’re able to withstand. Test what part of you? Test your attitude toward God. Is this attitude very important? Of course it’s important! Moreover, it’s especially important! Because this attitude of man is the result God wants, it is the most important thing as far as God is concerned. Otherwise God wouldn’t spend His efforts on people by engaging in these kinds of work. God wants to see your attitude toward Him by way of these trials; He wants to see whether or not you are on the right path; and He wants to see whether or not you are fearing God and shunning evil. Therefore, regardless of whether you understand a lot or a little of the truth at that particular time, you will still be faced with God’s trial, and following any increase in the amount of truth you understand, God will continue to arrange corresponding trials for you. When you are once again faced with a trial, God wants to see whether your viewpoint, your ideas, and your attitude toward God have had any growth in the meantime. Some people say: “Why does God always want to see people’s attitudes? Hasn’t God seen how they put truth into practice? Why would He still want to see people’s attitudes?” This is mindless drivel! Since God proceeds like this, then God’s intentions must lie therein. God always observes people from their side, watching their every word and deed, their every act and movement, even their every thought and idea. Everything that happens to people: their good deeds, their faults, their transgressions, and even their rebellions and betrayals, God will record it all as evidence in establishing their outcome. As God’s work builds up step-by-step, you hear more and more truth, you accept more and more positive things, positive information, and the reality of the truth. Over the course of this process, God’s requirements of you will also increase. At the same time, God will arrange heavier trials for you. His goal is to examine whether your attitude toward God has matured in the meantime. Of course, during this time, the viewpoint God demands of you conforms to your understanding of the reality of the truth.
As your stature gradually builds up, the standard God demands of you will also gradually build up. When you’re immature, God will give you a very low standard; when your stature is a little bigger, God will give you a little higher of a standard. But what will God be like after you understand all of the truth? God will have you face even bigger trials. Amid these trials, what God wants to obtain, what God wants to see, is your deeper knowledge of God and your true fear. At this time, God’s demands of you will be higher and “harsher” than when your stature was more immature (note: People view it as harsh, but God actually views it as reasonable). When God is giving trials to people, what kind of reality does God want to create? God is constantly asking that people give Him their heart. Some people will say: “How does one give that? I do my duty, I abandoned my home and livelihood, I spent for God. Are these not all examples of giving my heart to God? How else could I give my heart to God? Could it be that these aren’t examples of giving my heart to God? What is God’s specific requirement?” This requirement is very simple. In fact, there are some people who have already given their heart to God in varying degrees at various stages of their trials. But the vast majority of people never give their heart to God. When God gives you a trial, God sees whether your heart is with God, with the flesh, or with Satan. When God gives you a trial, God sees whether you are standing in opposition to God or whether you are standing in a position that is compatible with Him, and He sees whether your heart is on the same side as Him. When you are immature and facing trials, your confidence is very low, and you can’t know exactly what it is you need to do in order to satisfy God’s intentions because you have a limited understanding of the truth. Despite all this, you can still genuinely and sincerely pray to God, be willing to give your heart to God, make God your sovereign, and be willing to offer unto God those things that you believe to be most precious. This is what it is to have already given your heart to God. As you listen to more and more preaching, and you understand more and more truth, your stature will also gradually mature. The standard which God demands of you at this time is not the same as that when you were immature; He demands a higher standard than that. When man’s heart is gradually given to God, it is getting closer and closer to God; when man can truly get near to God, they increasingly have a heart that fears Him. God wants this kind of heart.
When God wants to obtain someone’s heart, He will give them numerous trials. During these trials, if God does not obtain this person’s heart, nor does He see that this person has any attitude—that is to say He doesn’t see that this person goes about things or behaves in a way that fears God, and He doesn’t see an attitude and resolution that shuns evil from this person. If this is how it is, then after numerous trials, God’s patience toward this individual will be withdrawn, and He will not tolerate this person anymore. He will no longer give trials to them, and He will no longer work on them. Then what does that mean this person’s outcome is? It means that they will have no outcome. It’s possible that this person has done no evil. It’s also possible that they have done nothing to disrupt or disturb. It’s also possible they have not openly resisted God. However, this person’s heart is hidden from God. They have never had a clear attitude and viewpoint toward God, and God cannot clearly see that their heart has been given to Him, and He can’t clearly see that this person is seeking to fear God and shun evil. God no longer has patience for these people, He will no longer pay any price, He will no longer extend mercy, and He will no longer work on them. The life of this person’s belief in God is already over. This is because in all of the many trials that God has given this person, God has not obtained the result He wants. Thus, there are a number of people in whom I have never seen the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. How is it possible to see this? This kind of person might have believed in God for many years, and on the surface they have been very active. They have read many books, handled many affairs, filled over 10 notebooks with notes, and mastered a lot of letters and doctrines. However, there is never any visible growth, and never any visible viewpoint toward God from this person, nor is there any clear attitude. That is to say that you cannot see this person’s heart. Their heart is always wrapped up, their heart is sealed—it’s sealed to God, so God has not seen this person’s true heart, He has not seen this person’s true fear toward God, and even more, He has not seen how this person walks in God’s way. If up until now God has not gained this type of person, can He gain them in the future? He can’t! Will God keep pushing for things that cannot be obtained? He won’t! What is God’s current attitude toward these people, then? (He spurns them, He doesn’t heed them.) He doesn’t heed them! God doesn’t heed this kind of person; He spurns them. You have memorized these words very quickly, very accurately. It seems like you have understood what you’ve heard!
There are some people who, at the outset of following God, are immature and ignorant; they don’t understand God’s intentions; they also don’t know what it is to believe in God, adopting a man-made and mistaken way of believing in God, following God. When this kind of person is faced with a trial, they aren’t aware of it, and are numb to the guidance and enlightenment of God. They don’t know what it is to give their heart to God, and what it is to stand firm during a trial. God will give this person a limited amount of time, and during this time, He will let them understand what God’s trial is, what God’s intentions are. Afterward, this person needs to display their viewpoint. Regarding those people who are at this stage, God is still waiting. Regarding those people who have some views yet still waver back and forth, who want to give their heart to God but are not reconciled to doing so, who, although they have put some basic truths into practice, when faced with a major trial, they shirk it and want to give up—what is God’s attitude toward these people? God still has a little bit of expectation toward these people. The result depends on their attitudes and performances. How does God respond if people aren’t active to make progress? He gives up. This is because before God gives up on you, you already gave up on yourself. Thus, you can’t blame God for doing so, can you? Is this fair? (It’s fair.)
A Practical Question Brings About All Kinds of Embarrassments in People
There is another type of person who has the most tragic outcome of all. These are the ones that I like mentioning the least. It’s not tragic because this person receives God’s punishment, or that God’s demands on them are harsh and they have a tragic outcome. Rather, it’s tragic because they do it to themselves, as it’s often said: They dig their own grave. What type of person is this? This person does not walk the correct path, and their outcome is revealed in advance. God views this type of person as the utmost target of His loathing. As people put it, these ones are the most tragic of all. This type of person is very enthusiastic at the outset of following God; they pay many prices; they have a good opinion on the outlook of God’s work; they are full of imagination about their own future; they are particularly confident in God, believing that God can make man complete, and bring man a glorious destination. Yet for whatever reason, this person then runs away in the course of God’s work. What does it mean that this person runs away? It means that they disappear without a goodbye, without a sound. They leave without a word. Although this kind of person claims to believe in God, they never really put down any roots on the path of believing in God. Thus, no matter how long they have believed for, they can still turn away from God. Some people leave to go into business, some people leave to live their life, some people leave to get rich, some people leave to get married, have a child…. Among those who leave, there are some who have an attack of conscience and want to come back, and others who are getting by very poorly, drifting in the world for years and years. These drifters have experienced a lot of suffering, and they believe that being in the world is too painful, and that they cannot be separated from God. They want to return to God’s house to receive comfort, peace, joy, and continue believing in God in order to escape disaster, or to be saved and obtain a beautiful destination. That’s because these people believe that God’s love is boundless, that God’s grace is inexhaustible and that it cannot be used up. They believe that no matter what someone has done, God should forgive them and be tolerant of their past. These people say they want to come back and do their duty. There are those who even donate some of their belongings to the church, hoping that this is their way back to God’s house. What is God’s attitude toward this type of person? How should God establish their outcome? Feel free to speak up. (Thought that God would admit this type of person, but after hearing that just now, maybe they won’t be admitted again.) And what’s your reasoning? (This type of person comes before God so that their outcome won’t be one of death. They don’t come out of genuine sincerity. Rather, out of knowledge that God’s work will soon be finished, they come under the delusion of receiving blessings.) You’re saying that this person doesn’t sincerely believe in God, so God can’t admit them? Is that it? (Yes.) (My understanding is that this kind of person is an opportunist, and they don’t sincerely believe in God.) They have not come to believe in God; they’re an opportunist. Well said! These opportunists are the type of person that everyone hates. They just sail in whichever direction the wind blows, and can’t be bothered to do anything unless they get something out of it. Of course they’re despicable! Do any other brothers or sisters have a viewpoint? (God will not admit them anymore because God’s work is about to be complete and now is when people’s outcomes are being set. It’s at this time that these people want to come back. It’s not because they really want to pursue the truth; they want to come back because they see disasters descending, or they’re being influenced by external factors. If they really had a heart which was seeking after the truth, they would have never run away in the middle of the course.) Are there any other opinions? (They won’t be admitted. God really gave them opportunities, but their attitude toward God was to always pay Him no heed. No matter what this person’s intentions are, and even if they really do repent, God still won’t admit them. This is because God already gave them lots of opportunities, yet they already demonstrated their attitude: They wanted to leave God. Therefore, when they come back now, God won’t admit them.) (I also accept that God won’t admit this type of person, because if a person has seen the true way, experienced God’s work for such a long period of time, and can still return to the world, return to Satan’s embrace, then this is a big betrayal of God. Despite the fact that the essence of God is mercy, is love, it depends what kind of person it’s being directed at. If this person comes before God looking for comfort, looking for something to put their hope in, then this kind of person simply is not the type who sincerely believes in God, and God’s mercy toward them only goes this far.) God’s essence is mercy, so why does He not give this kind of person a little more mercy? With a little mercy, do they not then get an opportunity? Before, it would often be said: God wants every person to be saved, and does not want anyone to suffer perdition. If one among a hundred sheep is lost, God will leave the ninety-nine and search for the missing one. Nowadays, with regard to this type of person, if it’s for the sake of their true belief in God, should God admit them and give them a second chance? It’s actually not a difficult question; it’s very simple! If you truly comprehend God and have a real understanding of God, then not much explanation is needed; not much speculation is needed either, right? Your answers are on the right track, but there’s still some distance between them and God’s attitude.
Just now there were some of you who were certain that God couldn’t admit this type of person. Others weren’t too clear, believing that God might admit them, and might not admit them—this attitude is the more moderate one; and then there were those whose viewpoint was that they hope God admits this kind of person—this is the ambiguous attitude. The ones with the certain attitude believe that God has worked until now and His work is complete, so God doesn’t need to be tolerant of these people, and He won’t admit them again. The moderate people believe that these matters should be handled according to their circumstances: If this person’s heart is inseparable from God, and they’re still a person who truly believes in God, a person who seeks after the truth, then God shouldn’t remember their previous weaknesses and faults; He should forgive them, give them another chance, let them return to God’s house, and accept God’s salvation. However, if this person runs away once again, that’s when God can no longer want this person and it cannot be considered doing them an injustice. There’s another group who hope that God can admit this person. This group doesn’t clearly know if God is admitting them or not. If they believe that God should admit them, but God doesn’t admit them, then it seems that they are a little bit out of conformity with God’s viewpoint. If they believe that God shouldn’t admit them, and God happens to say that His love toward man is indefinite and that He’s willing to give this person another chance, then is this not an example of human ignorance being laid bare? In any case, you all have your own viewpoints. These viewpoints are a knowledge in your own thoughts; they’re also a reflection of the depth of your understanding of the truth and your understanding of God’s intentions. Well put, no? It’s wonderful that you have opinions on this matter! But as to whether your opinions are correct or not, there is still a question mark. Aren’t you all a little bit worried? “What is correct then? I can’t see clearly, and don’t know exactly what God is thinking. God didn’t tell me anything. How can I know what God is thinking? God’s attitude toward man is love. According to God’s past attitude, He should admit this person. But I’m not too clear on God’s present attitude—I can only say that maybe He will admit this person, and maybe He won’t.” Isn’t this ridiculous? This has really stumped you. If you don’t have a proper view on this matter, then what will you do when your church is truly faced with this kind of person? If you don’t deal with it properly, then maybe you’ll offend God. Is this not a dangerous issue?
Why do I want to ask about your views on what I was just discussing? I want to test your viewpoints, test how much knowledge of God you have, how much understanding you have of God’s intentions and God’s attitude. What’s the answer? The answer lies within your viewpoints. Some of you are very conservative, and some of you are using their imaginations to guess. What is “guessing”? It’s when you have no idea how God thinks, so you come up with groundless ideas on how God should think this way or that. You don’t actually know if your guess is right or wrong, so you voice an ambiguous viewpoint. Faced with this fact, what do you see? When following God, people seldom pay attention to God’s intentions, and seldom take heed of God’s thoughts and God’s attitude toward man. You don’t understand God’s thoughts, so when asked questions involving God’s intentions, involving God’s disposition, you get into a muddle; you are deeply uncertain, and you either guess or gamble. What is this attitude? It proves this fact: Most people who believe in God regard Him as empty air, as indistinct. Why do I put it like that? Because every time you are faced with a matter, you don’t know God’s intentions. Why don’t you know? It’s not that you just don’t know right now. Rather, from the beginning to the end you don’t know what God’s attitude is toward this matter. In those times that you cannot see and you don’t know God’s attitude, have you pondered it over? Have you sought it? Have you communicated it? No! This confirms a fact: The God of your belief and the true God are not connected. You, who believe in God, only ponder your own will, only ponder your leaders’ will, and only ponder the superficial and doctrinal meaning of God’s word, but do not truly try to know and seek God’s will at all. Isn’t that how it is? The essence of this matter is awful! Over many years, I have seen lots of people who believe in God. What form does this belief take on? Some people believe in God as if He were empty air. These people have no answer to questions of God’s existence because they can’t feel or be aware of God’s presence or absence, let alone clearly see or understand it. Subconsciously, these people think that God doesn’t exist. Some others believe in God as if He were a man. These people believe that God is unable to do all of the things that they are unable to do, and that God should think however they think. This person’s definition of God is “an invisible and untouchable person.” There’s also a group of people who believe in God as if He were a puppet. These people believe that God has no emotions, that God is a statue. When faced with a matter, God has no attitude, no viewpoint, no ideas; He’s at the mercy of man. People just believe however they want to believe. If they make Him great, He’s great; if they make Him small, He’s small. When people sin and need God’s mercy, need God’s tolerance, need God’s love, then God should extend His mercy. These people think up a God in their own minds, and make this God fulfill their demands and satisfy all of their desires. No matter when or where, and no matter what this person does, they will adopt this fancy in their treatment of God, and their belief in God. There are even those who believe that God can save them after they have aggravated God’s disposition. This is because they believe that God’s love is boundless, God’s disposition is righteous, and that no matter how people offend God, God won’t remember any of it. Since man’s faults, man’s trespasses, and man’s disobedience are momentary expressions of that person’s disposition, God will give people chances, and be tolerant and patient with them. God will still love them as before. So the hope of their salvation is still great. In fact, no matter how someone believes in God, so long as they are not seeking after the truth, then God holds a negative attitude toward them. This is because while you’re believing in God, maybe you treasure the book of God’s word, you study it every day, you read it every day, but you set aside the real God, you regard Him as empty air, regard Him as a person, and some of you simply regard Him as a puppet. Why do I put it this way? Because from how I see it, regardless of whether you’re faced with a matter or encounter a circumstance, those things that exist in your subconscious, those things that are developed within—none of them have any connection with God’s word or seeking after the truth. You only know what you yourself are thinking, what your own viewpoints are, and then your own ideas, your own viewpoints are forced onto God. They become God’s viewpoints, which are used as standards to be unwaveringly adhered to. Over time, proceeding like this puts you further and further away from God.
Understand God’s Attitude and Drop All Misconceptions of God
This God that you currently believe in, have you ever thought about what kind of God He is? When He sees an evil person doing evil things, does He despise it? (He despises it.) When He sees the mistakes of ignorant people, what is His attitude? (Sadness.) When He sees people stealing His offerings, what is His attitude? (He despises them.) This is all very clear, right? When He sees someone being careless in their belief in God, and in no way seeking after the truth, what is God’s attitude? You’re not totally clear on this one, right? Carelessness is an attitude that isn’t a sin, and it isn’t offending God. People believe that it shouldn’t be considered a blunder. Then what do you think God’s attitude is? (He’s unwilling to respond to it.) Unwilling to respond to it—what attitude is this? It’s that God looks down on these people, scorns these people! God deals with these people by giving them the cold shoulder. His approach is to set them aside, not engaging in any work on them, including enlightenment, illumination, chastening, or discipline. This type of person just does not count in God’s work. What is God’s attitude toward people who aggravate His disposition, and offend His administrative decrees? Extreme loathing! God is extremely enraged by people who are unrepentant about aggravating His disposition! “Enraged” is just a feeling, a mood; it can’t represent a clear attitude. But this feeling, this mood, will bring about an outcome for this person: It will fill God with extreme loathing! What is the consequence of this extreme loathing? It’s that God will set this person aside, and not respond to them for the time being. He will wait for them to be sorted out during the retribution. What does this imply? Does this person still have an outcome? God never intended to give this type of person an outcome! So is it not then normal that God currently doesn’t respond to this type of person? (Yes.) How should this type of person prepare now? They should prepare to take on the negative consequences caused by their behavior, and the evil they’ve done. This is God’s response to this kind of person. So I now clearly say to this type of person: Do not hold on to delusions anymore, and don’t engage in wishful thinking anymore. God will not be tolerant of people indefinitely; He will not endure their trespasses or disobedience indefinitely. Some people will say: “I’ve also seen a few people like this. When they pray they are especially touched by God, and they weep bitterly. Usually they’re also very happy; they seem to have God’s presence, and God’s guidance.” Don’t say that nonsense! Weeping bitterly is not necessarily being touched by God or having God’s presence, let alone God’s guidance. If people anger God, will God still guide them? In short, when God has determined to eliminate someone, to abandon them, that person already doesn’t have an outcome. It doesn’t matter how complacent they feel about themselves when they pray, and how much confidence they have in God in their heart; this is already unimportant. The important thing is that God doesn’t need this kind of confidence, that God has already spurned this person. How to deal with them afterward is also unimportant. What is important is that in the moment this person angers God, their outcome is already established. If God has determined to not save this type of person, then they will be left behind to be punished. This is God’s attitude.
Though part of God’s essence is love, and He extends mercy toward everyone, people overlook and forget the point that His essence is dignity as well. That He has love doesn’t mean that people can freely offend Him and He doesn’t have any feelings, or any reactions. That He has mercy doesn’t mean that He doesn’t have any principles in how He treats people. God is living; He really exists. He is not an imagined puppet or something else. Since He exists, we should carefully listen to His heart’s voice at all times, pay attention to His attitude, and understand His feelings. We shouldn’t use people’s imaginings to define God, and we shouldn’t impose the thoughts and wishes of people onto God, making God employ man’s style and thinking in how He treats mankind. If you do so, then you’re angering God, you’re tempting God’s wrath, and you’re challenging God’s dignity! Thus, after you’ve understood the severity of this matter, I urge each and every one of you here to be cautious and prudent in your actions. Be cautious and prudent in your speaking. And regarding how you treat God, the more cautious and prudent you are, the better! When you don’t understand what God’s attitude is, don’t speak carelessly, don’t be careless in your actions, and don’t carelessly apply labels. Even more, don’t arbitrarily come to conclusions. Instead, you should wait and seek; this is also a manifestation of fearing God and shunning evil. If you can achieve this point above all, and possess this attitude above all, then God will not blame you for your stupidity, your ignorance, and your unreasonableness. Instead, owing to your fear of offending God, your respect for God’s intentions, and your attitude of willingness to obey Him, God will remember you, guide and enlighten you, or tolerate your immaturity and ignorance. Conversely, should your attitude toward Him be irreverent—arbitrarily judging God, arbitrarily guessing and defining God’s ideas—God will give you a conviction, discipline, even punishment; or He will give you a statement. Perhaps this statement involves your outcome. Therefore, I still want to emphasize this once more, and inform everyone present to be cautious and prudent toward everything that comes from God. Don’t speak carelessly, and don’t be careless in your actions. Before you say anything, you should think: Would doing this anger God? Is doing this fearing God? Even for simple matters, you should still really try to figure these questions out, really consider them. If you can truly practice according to these principles everywhere, in all things, and all of the time, especially with regard to the matters you don’t understand, then God will always guide you, and will always give you a path to follow. No matter what people are displaying, God sees it all clearly, plainly, and He will provide you with an accurate and suitable evaluation of these displays. After you’ve experienced the final trial, God will take all of your behavior and sum it up completely to establish your outcome. This result will convince everyone beyond the shadow of a doubt. What I’d like to tell you is that your every deed, your every action, and your every thought will decide your fate.
Who Sets the Outcome of Man
There’s another most important matter, and that’s your attitude toward God. This attitude is crucial! It determines whether ultimately you will walk toward destruction, or into a beautiful destination that God has prepared for you. In the Age of Kingdom, God has already worked for more than 20 years, and over the course of these 20 years perhaps your hearts have been a bit unsure about your performance. However, in God’s heart, He has made an actual and truthful record for each and every one of you. Beginning from when each person starts following Him and listening to His preaching, understanding more and more of the truth, all the way to when they perform their duty—God has a record of each and every one of these displays. When someone does their duty, when they’re being faced with all manner of circumstances, all manner of trials, what is the person’s attitude? How do they perform? How do they feel toward God in their heart? … God has an account of all of this, a record of all of it. Perhaps from your point of view, these issues are confusing. However, from where God stands, they’re all crystal clear, and there isn’t even the slightest hint of sloppiness. This is an issue that involves the outcome of each and every person, and their fates and future prospects as well. Even more, this is where God expends all of His painstaking efforts. Hence God doesn’t dare to neglect it in the slightest, and won’t tolerate any sloppiness. God is recording this account of mankind, recording an account of the entire course of man following God, from the beginning right up to the end. Your attitude toward God in this time will determine your fate. Is this not true? Now, do you believe that God is righteous? Are God’s actions appropriate? Do you still have any other picture of God in your heads? (No.) Then do you say that man’s outcome is for God to set or for man himself to set? (It’s for God to set.) Who is it that sets it? (God.) You’re not sure, are you? Brothers and sisters of the Hong Kong churches, speak up—who sets it? (Man sets it himself.) Man sets it himself? Then doesn’t that mean it has nothing to do with God? Who wants to speak up from the Korean churches? (God establishes man’s outcome based on all of their actions and deeds, and based on the path they walk.) This is a very objective response. There’s a fact here that I must inform all of you: In the course of God’s salvation work, He sets a standard for man. This standard is that man can obey the word of God, and walk in God’s way. It is this standard that is used to weigh man’s outcome. If you practice in accordance with this standard of God, then you can obtain a good outcome; if you don’t, then you cannot obtain a good outcome. Then who is it you say that sets this outcome? It’s not God alone who sets it, but rather God and man together. Is this correct? (Yes.) Why is that? Because it’s God who actively wants to engage in the work of mankind’s salvation, and prepare a beautiful destination for man; man is the target of God’s work, and this outcome, this destination, is what God prepares for man. If there was no target for His work, then God wouldn’t need to do this work; if God didn’t do this work, then man wouldn’t have an opportunity for salvation. Man is the target for salvation, and although man is the passive side in this process, it is the attitude of this side that determines whether or not God will be successful in His work to save mankind. If not for the guidance that God gives you, then you wouldn’t know His standard, and you would have no objective. If you have this standard, this objective, yet you don’t cooperate, you don’t put it into practice, you don’t pay the price, then you still won’t obtain this outcome. This is why we say that this outcome cannot be separated from God, and it cannot be separated from man. And now you know who sets man’s outcome.
People Tend to Define God Based on Experience
When communicating the topic of knowing God, have you noticed something? Have you noticed that God’s current attitude has undergone a change? Is God’s attitude toward mankind unchangeable? Will God always endure like this, extending all of His love and mercy to man indefinitely? This matter also involves the essence of God. Let’s return to the question of the so-called prodigal son from before. After this question was asked, your answers weren’t very clear. In other words, you still don’t well understand God’s intentions. Once people know that God loves mankind, they define God as a symbol of love: No matter what people do, no matter how they behave, no matter how they treat God, and no matter how disobedient they are, none of it matters because God has love, and God’s love is unlimited and immeasurable. God has love, so He can be tolerant with people; God has love, so He can be merciful toward people, merciful toward their immaturity, merciful toward their ignorance, and merciful toward their disobedience. Is this really the way it is? For some people, when they have experienced God’s patience once, or a few times, they will treat it as capital in their own understanding of God, believing that God will forever be patient toward them, be merciful toward them, and over the course of their life they will take God’s patience and regard it as the standard of how God treats them. There are also those people who, when they have experienced God’s tolerance once, will forever define God as tolerance, and this tolerance is indefinite, unconditional, and even totally unprincipled. Are these beliefs correct? Every time matters of God’s essence or God’s disposition are discussed, you seem bewildered. Seeing you like this makes Me a little angry. You have heard a lot of truth concerning God’s essence; you have also listened to many topics concerning God’s disposition. However, in your minds these issues, and the truth of these aspects, are just memories based on theory and written words. None of you are ever able to experience just what God’s disposition is in your real lives, nor can you see just what God’s disposition is. Therefore, you’re all muddleheaded in your beliefs, you all blindly believe, to the point that you have an irreverent attitude toward God, that you brush Him aside. What does your having this kind of attitude toward God lead to? It leads to you always making conclusions about God. Once you acquire a little bit of knowledge, you feel very satisfied, you feel like you have obtained God in His entirety. Afterward, you conclude that this is how God is, and you don’t let Him move freely. And whenever God does something new, you just don’t admit that He is God. One day, when God says: “I don’t love man anymore; I don’t extend mercy to man anymore; I don’t have any tolerance or patience toward man anymore; I am full of extreme loathing and antipathy toward man,” people will clash with this kind of statement from the bottom of their hearts. Some of them will even say: “You’re not my God anymore; You’re no longer the God that I want to follow. If this is what You say, then You’re no longer qualified to be my God, and I don’t need to keep following You. If You don’t give me mercy, don’t give me love, don’t give me tolerance, then I will not follow You anymore. Only if You are tolerant of me indefinitely, are always patient with me, and let me see that You are love, that You are patience, that You are tolerance, only then can I follow You, and only then can I have the confidence to follow to the end. Since I have Your patience and mercy, my disobedience and my trespasses can be forgiven indefinitely, be pardoned indefinitely, and I can sin anytime and anywhere, confess and be pardoned anytime and anywhere, and anger You anytime and anywhere. You shouldn’t have any of Your own ideas or conclusions concerning me.” Though you may not think about this kind of question in such a subjective and conscious manner, whenever you consider God to be a tool for having your sins forgiven and an object to be used for obtaining a beautiful destination, you have already imperceptibly placed the living God in opposition to you, as your enemy. This is what I see. You may keep on saying, “I believe in God”; “I seek after the truth”; “I want to change my disposition”; “I want to break free from the influence of darkness”; “I want to satisfy God”; “I want to obey God”; “I want to be faithful toward God, and do my duty well”; and so forth. However, no matter how nice whatever you say sounds, no matter how much theory you know, no matter how imposing that theory is, how dignified it is, the fact of the matter is that there are now many of you who have already learned how to use the regulation, the doctrine, the theory you’ve mastered to draw conclusions about God, and place Him in opposition to yourselves in a totally natural way. Although you have mastered letters and mastered doctrines, you have not really entered the reality of the truth, so it’s very hard for you to get close to God, to know God, to understand God. This is pathetic!
I saw this scene on a video: A few sisters were holding a book of The Word Appears in the Flesh, and they were holding it up very high. They were holding this book in the middle of them, higher than their own heads. Although this is just an image, what it evokes inside Me isn’t an image. Rather, it makes Me think that what every person holds high in their heart isn’t God’s word, but the book of God’s word. This is a very depressing matter. This way of practicing is simply not a case of holding God high. It’s because you don’t understand God such that an obvious question, a very small question, has you coming up with your own notions. When I ask things of you, when I’m being serious with you, you respond with conjecture and your own imaginings; some of you even adopt a doubtful tone and ask back. This confirms it even more clearly to Me that the God you believe in is not the true God. After reading God’s word for so many years, you use God’s word, use God’s work, and more doctrines to draw conclusions about God once again. Moreover, you never attempt to understand God; you never try to figure out God’s intentions; you don’t attempt to understand what God’s attitude toward man is; or how God thinks, why He is sad, why He is angry, why He spurns people, and other such questions. What’s more, even more people believe that God has always been silent because He’s just watching mankind’s actions, because He has no attitude toward them, nor does He have His own ideas. Another group takes it even further. These people believe that God doesn’t utter a sound because He has acquiesced, God doesn’t utter a sound because He is waiting, God doesn’t utter a sound because He has no attitude, because God’s attitude has already been elaborated fully in the book, it has already been expressed in its entirety to mankind, and doesn’t need to be repeatedly told to people time and time again. Although God is silent, He still has an attitude, has a viewpoint, and has a standard He demands of people. Though people don’t try to understand Him, and don’t try to seek Him, His attitude is very clear. Consider someone who once passionately followed God, but at some point abandoned Him and left. Should this person want to come back now, surprisingly enough, you don’t know what God’s viewpoint would be, and what God’s attitude would be. Isn’t this pathetic? In fact, this is a fairly superficial matter. If you truly understood God’s heart, you would know His attitude toward this kind of person, and you wouldn’t give an ambiguous answer. Since you don’t know, allow Me to fill you in.
God’s Attitude Toward Those Who Run Away During His Work
You’ll find this kind of person everywhere: After they have been certain about God’s way, for various reasons, they depart silently and without a parting word to go off and do whatever their heart desires. For the time being, we won’t get into why this person leaves. First we’ll take a look at what God’s attitude is toward this kind of person. It’s very clear! From the moment this person leaves, in God’s eyes, the span of their belief is over. It’s not this person that ended it, but God. That this person left God means that they have already rejected God, that they already don’t want God. It means that they already don’t accept God’s salvation. Since this person doesn’t want God, can God still want them? Moreover, when this person has this attitude, this view, and is determined to leave God, they have already aggravated God’s disposition. Even though they didn’t fly into a rage and curse God, even though they didn’t engage in any vile or excessive behavior, and even though this person is thinking: If there comes a day when I’ve had my fill of fun on the outside, or when I still need God for something, I will come back. Or if God calls on me, I will come back. Or they say: When I am hurt on the outside, when I see that the outside world is too dark and too wicked and I no longer want to go with the flow, I will come back to God. Even though this person has calculated in their mind at what point they’re coming back, even though they leave the door open for their return, they don’t realize that no matter how they think and how they plan, this is all just wishful thinking. Their biggest mistake is being unclear about how God feels when they want to leave. Starting from that moment when this person determines to leave God, God has completely abandoned them; God has already established their outcome in His heart. What outcome is that? That this person is one of the hamsters, and will perish along with them. Thus, people often see this kind of situation: Someone abandons God, but they don’t receive a punishment. God operates according to His own principles. People are able to see some things, and some things are only concluded in God’s heart, so people cannot see the result. That which people see isn’t necessarily the true side of things; but the other side, the side you do not see—this is the true thoughts and conclusions of God’s heart.
People Who Run Away During God’s Work Are Those Who Abandon the True Way
So why can God give this kind of person such a serious punishment? Why is God so enraged toward them? First of all we know that God’s disposition is majesty, is wrath. He is not a sheep to be slaughtered by anyone; even more, He is not a puppet to be controlled by people however they want. He is also not empty air to be bossed around by people. If you really believe that God exists, you should have a heart that fears God, and you should know that God’s essence is not to be angered. This anger may be caused by a word; perhaps a thought; perhaps some kind of vile behavior; perhaps mild behavior, behavior that’s passable in the eyes and ethics of man; or perhaps it is caused by a doctrine, a theory. However, once you anger God, your opportunity is lost and your end days have arrived. This is a terrible thing! If you don’t understand that God cannot be offended, then maybe you aren’t afraid of God, and maybe you offend Him all the time. If you don’t know how to fear God, then you’re unable to fear God, and you don’t know how to put yourself on the path of walking in God’s way—fearing God and shunning evil. Once you become aware, you can be conscious that God cannot be offended, then you will know what it is to fear God and shun evil.
Walking in the way of fearing God and shunning evil isn’t necessarily about how much truth you know, how many trials you have experienced, or how much you have been disciplined. Rather, it depends on what the essence of your heart is with regard to God, and what your attitude toward God is. People’s essence and their subjective attitudes—these are very important, very key. With regard to those people who have renounced and left God, their contemptible attitude toward God and their hearts that despise the truth have aggravated God’s disposition, thus so far as God is concerned they will never be forgiven. They have known about God’s existence, they have had the information that God has already arrived, they have even experienced God’s new work. Their departure isn’t a case of being deluded, nor is it that they’re hazy about it. It’s even less a case of them being forced into it. Rather they have consciously, and with a clear mind, chosen to leave God. Their departure isn’t losing their way; it’s not their being cast off. Therefore, in God’s eyes, they are not a lamb who has strayed from the flock, let alone a prodigal son who lost his way. They departed with impunity, and such a condition, such a situation, aggravates God’s disposition, and it is out of this aggravation that He gives them a hopeless outcome. Is this kind of outcome not frightful? So if people don’t know God, they can offend God. This is no small matter! If someone doesn’t take God’s attitude seriously, and still believes that God is looking forward to their return—because they are one of God’s lost lambs and God is still waiting for them to have a change of heart—then this person is not that far removed from their day of punishment. God won’t just refuse to admit them. This is their second time aggravating His disposition; it’s an even more terrible matter! This person’s irreverent attitude has already offended God’s administrative decree. Will God still admit them? God’s principles regarding this matter are: If someone has been certain about the true way yet can still consciously and with a clear mind reject God, and distance themselves from God, then God will block off the road to their salvation, and the gate into the kingdom will henceforth be closed to them. When this person comes knocking once more, God will not open the door for them again. This person will be shut out forever. Perhaps some of you have read the story of Moses in the Bible. After Moses was anointed by God, the 250 leaders were dissatisfied with Moses because of his actions and other various reasons. Who did they refuse to obey? It wasn’t Moses. They refused to obey God’s arrangements; they refused to obey God’s work on this matter. They said the following: “You take too much on you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them….” In man’s eyes, are these words very serious? They’re not serious! At least the literal meaning of the words is not serious. In a legal sense, they don’t break any laws, because on their very surface it’s not hostile language, or vocabulary, much less has any blasphemous meaning. A common sentence is all there is, nothing more. Yet why is it that these words can trigger such rage from God? It’s because they are not spoken to people, but to God. The attitude and disposition expressed by them is precisely what aggravates God’s disposition, especially that of God’s disposition which cannot be offended. We all know what their outcome was in the end. Regarding those who abandoned God, what is their viewpoint? What is their attitude? And why does their viewpoint and attitude lead to God dealing with them in such a manner? The reason is that they clearly know He is God yet they still choose to betray Him. That is why they are totally stripped of their chance for salvation. Just like the Bible says: “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.” Are you clear on this matter now?
Man’s Fate Is Decided by His Attitude Toward God
God is a living God, and just as people perform differently in different situations, God’s attitude toward these performances differs because He is not a puppet, nor is He empty air. Getting to know God’s attitude is a worthy pursuit for mankind. People should learn how, by knowing God’s attitude, they can know God’s disposition and understand His heart bit by bit. When you come to understand God’s heart bit by bit, you won’t feel that fearing God and shunning evil is a difficult thing to accomplish. What’s more, when you understand God, it’s harder for you to make conclusions about Him. When you stop making conclusions about God, you’re less likely to offend Him, and unwittingly God will lead you to have a knowledge of Him, and thereby you will fear God in your heart. You will stop defining God using the doctrines, the letters, and the theories you’ve mastered. Rather, by always seeking out God’s intentions in all things, you will unconsciously become a person who is after God’s heart.
God’s work is unseen and untouchable by mankind, but as far as God is concerned, the actions of each and every person, along with their attitude toward Him—these are not just perceptible by God, but visible as well. This is something that everyone should recognize and be clear about. You might be always asking yourself: “Does God know what I’m doing here? Does God know what I’m thinking about right now? Maybe He does, maybe He doesn’t.” If you adopt this kind of viewpoint, following and believing in God yet doubting His work and His existence, then sooner or later there will come a day when you anger Him, because you’re already teetering on the edge of a dangerous precipice. I’ve seen people who have believed in God for many years, but they still haven’t gained the reality of the truth, nor do they even understand God’s will. Their life stature doesn’t make any progress, adhering only to the shallowest of doctrine. This is because these people have never taken God’s word as their own life, and they have never faced up to and accepted His existence. Do you think that God sees such people and is filled with enjoyment? Do they comfort Him? In that case, it’s the method of people’s belief in God that decides their fate. Whether it’s the question of how you seek after God or how you treat God, it’s your own attitude that is the most important thing. Don’t neglect God like He is empty air in the back of your head. Always think of the God of your belief as a living God, a real God. He’s not up there in the third heaven with nothing to do. Rather, He’s constantly looking into everyone’s hearts, looking at what you’re up to, into every little word and every little deed, looking into how you behave and what your attitude toward God is. Whether you’re willing to give yourself to God or not, all of your behavior and your innermost thoughts and ideas are before God, being looked upon by Him. It’s according to your behavior, according to your deeds, and according to your attitude toward God, that His opinion of you, and His attitude toward you, is constantly changing. I’d like to offer some advice to those who would place themselves like a little baby in the hands of God, as if He should dote on you, as if He could never leave you, as if His attitude toward you is fixed and could never change: Quit dreaming! God is righteous in His treatment of each and every person. He approaches the work of mankind’s conquest and salvation earnestly. That’s His management. He treats every single person seriously, not like a pet to play with. God’s love for man is not the pampering or spoiling kind; His mercy and tolerance toward mankind is not indulgent or unmindful. On the contrary, God’s love for mankind is to cherish, to pity, and to respect life; His mercy and tolerance convey His expectations of man; His mercy and tolerance are what humanity needs to survive. God is alive, and God actually exists; His attitude toward mankind is principled, not a dogmatic rule at all, and it can change. His will for humanity is gradually changing and transforming with time, with circumstance, and with the attitude of each and every person. So you should be crystal clear on this, and understand that the essence of God is immutable, and His disposition will issue forth at different times, and in different contexts. You might not think that this is a serious issue, and you use your own personal conceptions to imagine how God should do things. But there are times when the total opposite of your viewpoint is true, and that by using your own personal conceptions to try and gauge God, you’ve already angered Him. This is because God doesn’t operate like you think He does, and God won’t treat this matter like you say He will. And so I remind you to be careful and prudent in your approach to everything around you, and learn how to follow the principle of walking in God’s way in all things—fearing God and shunning evil. You must develop a firm understanding on matters of God’s will and God’s attitude; find enlightened people to communicate it to you, and seek earnestly. Don’t view the God of your belief as a puppet—arbitrarily judging, arriving at arbitrary conclusions, not treating God with the respect He deserves. In the process of God’s salvation, when He defines your outcome, no matter if He grants you mercy, or tolerance, or judgment and chastisement, His attitude toward you is not fixed. It depends on your attitude toward God, and your understanding of God. Don’t let one passing aspect of your knowledge or understanding of God define Him in perpetuity. Don’t believe in a dead God; believe in a living one. Remember this! Though I’ve discussed some truths here, truths you needed to hear, in light of your present state and present stature, I won’t make any greater demands so as not to sap your enthusiasm. Doing so could fill your hearts with too much bleakness, and make you feel too much disappointment toward God. Instead I hope you can use the love of God in your hearts, and use an attitude that is respectful of God when walking the path ahead. Don’t muddle through the matter of how to treat the belief of God. Treat it as one of the biggest questions there is. Place it in your heart, put it into practice, connect it with real life—don’t just pay it lip service. For this is a matter of life and death, and it’s one that will determine your destiny. Don’t treat it like a joke, like a child’s game! After sharing these words with you today, I wonder what the harvest of understanding has been in your minds. Are there any questions you wish to ask about what I’ve said here today?
Although these topics are a bit new, and a bit removed from your views and what you usually pursue and pay attention to, I think that after they’ve been communicated for a period of time, you’ll develop a common understanding of everything I’ve said here. As these are new topics, topics that you’ve never considered before, I hope that they won’t add to your burden. I speak these words today not to frighten you, nor do I try to deal with you; rather, My aim is to help you understand the truth of the fact. After all, there is a distance between mankind and God: Though man believes in God, he has never understood God; he has never known God’s attitude. Man has also never been enthusiastic in his concern for God’s attitude. Rather, he has believed blindly, he has proceeded blindly, and he has been careless in his knowledge and understanding of God. So I feel compelled to clear up these issues for you, and help you understand just what kind of God this God you believe in is; what He is thinking; what His attitude is in His treatment of different kinds of people; how far you are from fulfilling His requirements; and the disparity between your actions and the standard He demands. The goal in your knowing this is to give you a yardstick in your hearts with which to measure against and know what kind of harvest the road you’re on has led to, what you haven’t obtained on this road, and what areas you simply haven’t got involved in. When you’re communicating amongst yourselves, you usually speak on a few commonly-discussed topics; the scope is narrow, and the content is very shallow. There is a distance, a gap, between that which you discuss and God’s intentions, between your discussions and the scope and standard of God’s demands. Proceeding like this over time will make you deviate further and further from God’s way. You are just taking existing words from God and turning them into objects of worship, into ritual and regulation. That’s all this is! In fact, God simply has no place in your hearts, and God has never obtained your hearts. Some people think that to know God is very difficult—this is the truth. It’s difficult! If people are asked to do their duty and get things done on the outside, if they are asked to work hard, then people will think that believing in God is very easy, because all of this falls within the scope of man’s abilities. Yet the moment the topic shifts toward the areas of God’s intentions and God’s attitude toward man, then things get a lot more difficult so far as everyone is concerned. That’s because this involves people’s understanding of the truth and their entry into reality; of course there’s a degree of difficulty! But after you get through the first door, after you start entering into it, it gradually gets easier and easier.
The Starting Point for Fearing God Is to Treat Him Like God
Someone just raised a question: How is it that we know more of God than Job did, yet we still can’t fear God? We touched on this matter a little bit previously, right? In fact, the essence of this question has also been discussed before, that though Job didn’t know God back then, he treated Him like God, and regarded Him as the Master of all things in heaven and earth. Job did not consider God to be an enemy. Rather, he worshiped Him as the Creator of all things. Why is it that people nowadays resist God so much? Why can’t they fear God? One reason is that they have been deeply corrupted by Satan. With their satanic nature deeply ingrained, people become an enemy of God. Thus, even though they believe in God and acknowledge God, they can still resist God and place themselves in opposition to Him. This is determined by human nature. The other reason is that although people believe in God, they simply don’t treat Him as God. Instead, they consider God to be opposed to man, regarding Him as man’s enemy, and they are irreconcilable with God. It’s that simple. Wasn’t this matter broached during the previous session? Think about it: Is that the reason? Though you have a bit of knowledge of God, just what is this knowledge? Is this not what everyone is talking about? Is it not what God told you? You only know the theoretical and doctrinal aspects; have you ever experienced the real aspect of God? Do you have subjective knowledge? Do you have practical knowledge and experience? If God didn’t tell you, could you know this? Your knowledge of theory doesn’t represent real knowledge. In short, no matter how much you know and how you came to know it, prior to your attaining a real understanding of God, God is your enemy, and prior to your actually treating God as such, He is placed in opposition to you, for you are an embodiment of Satan.
When you’re together with Christ, perhaps you can serve Him three meals a day, perhaps serve Him tea, attend to His life’s needs, seemingly treating Christ as God. Whenever something happens, people’s viewpoints are always contrary to God’s. They always fail to understand God’s viewpoint, fail to accept it. Though people might get along with God on the surface, this doesn’t mean that they are compatible with Him. As soon as something happens, the truth of man’s disobedience emerges, confirming the hostility that exists between man and God. This hostility is not God opposing man; it’s not God wanting to be hostile to man, and it’s not God placing man in opposition and treating man as such. Rather, it’s a case of this oppositional essence toward God lurking in man’s subjective will, and in man’s subconscious mind. Since man regards all that which comes from God as the object of his research, his response toward that which comes from God and that which involves God is, above all, to guess, and to doubt, and then to quickly adopt an attitude that conflicts with God, and oppose God. After that, man will take these passive moods and dispute God or contest God, even to the point where he’ll doubt whether this kind of God is worth him following. Despite the fact that man’s rationality tells him he shouldn’t proceed like this, he will still choose to do so in spite of himself, such that he will proceed without hesitation to the very end. For example, what is the first reaction of some people when they hear some rumor or slander about God? Their first reaction is: I don’t know if this rumor is true or not, whether it exists or not, so I’ll wait and see. Then they start to ponder: There’s no way to verify this; does it exist? Is this rumor true or not? Though this person is not showing it on the surface, their heart has already started to doubt, already started to deny God. What is the essence of this kind of attitude, this kind of viewpoint? Is it not betrayal? Before they are faced with the matter, you can’t see what this person’s viewpoint is—it seems like they don’t conflict with God, like they don’t regard God as an enemy. However, as soon as they’re faced with it, they immediately stand with Satan and oppose God. What does this suggest? It suggests that man and God are opposed! It’s not that God regards man as an enemy, but that the very essence of man itself is hostile toward God. Regardless of how long someone follows God, how much they pay; regardless of how someone praises God, how they keep themselves from resisting God, even urging themselves to love God, they can never manage to treat God as God. Is this not determined by man’s essence? If you treat Him as God, you truly believe that He is God, can you still have any doubt toward Him? Can there still be any question marks concerning Him in your heart? There can’t. The trends of this world are so evil, this human race is so evil—how is it that you don’t have any conceptions about them? You yourself are so wicked—how is it that you don’t have any conceptions about that? Yet just a few rumors, some slander, can produce such big conceptions about God, can produce so many ideas, which shows just how immature your stature is! Just the “buzzing” of a few mosquitos, a few repulsive flies, that’s all it takes to deceive you? What kind of person is this? Do you know what God thinks about this kind of person? God’s attitude is actually very clear in how He treats these people. It’s only that God’s treatment of these people is to give them the cold shoulder—His attitude is to not pay any attention to them, and to not be serious with these ignorant people. Why is that? Because in His heart He never planned on obtaining those people who have pledged to be hostile toward Him to the very end, and who have never planned on seeking out the way of compatibility with Him. Perhaps these words I have spoken hurt a few people. Well, are you willing to always let Me hurt you like this? Regardless of whether you’re willing or not, everything I say is the truth! If I always hurt you like this, always expose your scars, will it affect the lofty image of God in your hearts? (It won’t.) I agree that it won’t. For there simply is no God in your hearts. The lofty God that inhabits your hearts, the one you strongly defend and protect, simply isn’t God. Rather it’s a figment of man’s imagination; it simply does not exist. So it’s all the better that I expose the answer to this riddle. Is this not the whole truth? The real God is not the imaginings of man. I hope you can all face this reality, and it will help in your knowledge of God.
Those People Who Are Not Acknowledged by God
There are some people whose belief has never been acknowledged in God’s heart. In other words, God does not recognize that these people are His followers, because God does not praise their belief. For these people, regardless of how many years they have followed God, their ideas and views have never changed. They are like the non-believers, adhering to the non-believers’ principles and manner of doing things, adhering to their laws of survival and belief. They never accepted the word of God as their life, never believed that God’s word is truth, never intended on accepting God’s salvation, and never recognized God as their God. They regard believing in God as some kind of amateur hobby, treating God merely as spiritual sustenance, so they don’t think it’s worth it to try and understand God’s disposition, or God’s essence. You could say that all that which corresponds to the true God has nothing to do with these people. They’re not interested, and they can’t be bothered to respond. This is because deep in their hearts there’s an intense voice that’s always telling them: God is invisible and untouchable, and God doesn’t exist. They believe that trying to understand this kind of God would not be worth their efforts; it would be fooling themselves. They just acknowledge God in words, and don’t take any real stand. They also don’t do anything in practical terms, thinking that they’re pretty clever. How does God look upon these people? He views them as non-believers. Some people ask: “Can non-believers read God’s word? Can they do their duty? Can they say these words: ‘I’ll live for God’?” What man often sees are the surface displays of people, not their essence. Yet God doesn’t look at these surface displays; He only sees their inner essence. Thus, God has this kind of attitude, this kind of definition, toward these people. Regarding what these people say: “Why does God do this? Why does God do that? I can’t understand this; I can’t understand that; this doesn’t conform to the notions of man; You must explain that to me; …” My answer is: Is it necessary to explain this matter to you? Does this matter have anything to do with you? Who do you think you are? Where did you come from? Are you qualified to give out pointers to God? Do you believe in Him? Does He acknowledge your belief? Since your belief has nothing to do with God, what business are His doings to you? You don’t know where you stand in God’s heart, yet you’re qualified to dialogue with God?
Words of Admonishment
Aren’t you uncomfortable after hearing these remarks? Though you may be unwilling to listen to these words, or unwilling to accept them, they are all facts. Because this stage of the work is for God to perform, if you aren’t concerned with God’s intentions, aren’t concerned with God’s attitude, and don’t understand God’s essence and disposition, then in the end you’re the one who will lose out. Don’t blame My words for being hard to listen to, and don’t blame them for deflating your enthusiasm. I speak the truth; I don’t mean to discourage you. No matter what I ask of you, and no matter how you’re required to do it, I hope that you walk the correct path, and hope that you follow God’s way and do not deviate from this path. If you do not proceed in accordance to God’s word, and don’t follow His way, then there can be no doubt that you are rebelling against God and have wandered from the correct path. Thus I feel there are some matters that I must clarify for you, and make you believe unequivocally, clearly, without a shred of uncertainty, and help you explicitly know God’s attitude, God’s intentions, how God perfects man, and in what way He sets the outcomes of man. Should there come a day when you’re unable to embark upon this path, then I bear no responsibility, because these words have already been spoken to you very clearly. As for how you treat your own outcome—this matter is entirely up to you. God has different attitudes regarding the outcomes of different kinds of people. He has His own ways of measuring man, and His own standard of requirements. His standard of measuring people is one that’s fair to everyone—there is no doubt about that! So some people’s fears are unnecessary. Are you relieved now? That’s it for today. Goodbye!
April 29, 2014