How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
First, let us sing a hymn: Kingdom Anthem (I) The Kingdom Has Descended Upon the World.
Accompaniment: The multitudes cheer God, the multitudes praise God; all mouths name the one true God. The kingdom descends upon the world of men.
1. The multitudes cheer God, the multitudes praise God; all mouths name the one true God, all people lift their eyes to watch God’s deeds. The kingdom descends upon the world of men, God’s person is rich and bountiful. Who would not rejoice at this? Who would not dance for joy? Oh, Zion! Raise your triumphant banner to celebrate God! Sing your triumphant song of victory to spread God’s holy name!
2. All creation unto the ends of the earth! Hasten to cleanse yourselves that you may be made as offerings to God! Constellations in the sky above! Hasten back to your places to show God’s mighty power in the firmament! God lends His ear to the voices of the people on earth, who pour out their infinite love and reverence for Him in song! On this day, when all creation returns to life, God comes down into the world of men. At this moment, at this very juncture, all flowers burst into riotous bloom, all birds sing as with one voice, all things palpitate with joy! In the sound of the kingdom’s salute, Satan’s kingdom topples down, annihilated in the thundering of the kingdom anthem, never to rise again!
3. Who on the earth dares to rise and resist? As God descends to earth, He brings burning, brings wrath, brings catastrophes of all kinds. The earthly kingdoms are now God’s kingdom! Up in the sky, the clouds tumble and billow; under the sky, lakes and rivers surge and joyously churn out a stirring melody. Resting animals emerge from their dens, and all peoples are aroused from their slumbers by God. The day awaited by the multitudinous peoples has come at last! They offer up the most beautiful songs to God!
What do you think about every time you sing this song? (We feel very excited and thrilled, and we think about how glorious the beauty of the kingdom is, how humankind and God will be together forever.) Has anyone thought about the form humans must adopt to be together with God? In your imaginations, how must people be to join with God and enjoy the glorious life that will follow in the kingdom? (Their dispositions should be changed.) Their dispositions should be changed, but to what extent? What will they be like after their dispositions have been changed? (They will become holy.) What is the criterion for holiness? (All one’s thoughts and considerations must be compatible with Christ.) How is such compatibility manifested? (One does not resist or betray God, can submit to Him absolutely, and one has a fearful reverence for Him in one’s heart.) Some of your answers are on the right track. Open your hearts, all of you, and give voice to what you wish to say. (People who live with God in the kingdom should be able to do their duties—with loyalty—by pursuing the truth and not being held back by any person, event, or object. It then becomes possible for them to break away from the influence of darkness, attune their hearts to God, and fear God and shun evil.) (Our perspective on things can grow attuned with God, and we can break away from the influence of darkness. At the very least, we can get to where we are no longer exploited by Satan, and where we cast off any corrupt dispositions, and submit to God. We believe it is essential that people break away from the influence of darkness. People who cannot break away from the influence of darkness and escape Satan’s bonds have not attained God’s salvation.) (To meet the standard for being perfected by God, people must be of one heart and mind with Him, and no longer resist Him. They must be able to know themselves, put the truth into practice, attain an understanding of God, love God, and become attuned with God. That is all it takes.)
How Heavily People’s Outcomes Weigh in Their Hearts
You appear to have some thoughts regarding the way you should abide by, and you have developed some understanding of it or appreciation for it. However, whether all the words you have uttered turn out to be hollow or real, depends on your focus in your day-to-day practice. Over the years, you all have reaped certain fruits from each aspect of the truth, both in terms of doctrine and in terms of the truth’s actual content. This proves that people nowadays place a lot of emphasis on striving for the truth, and as a result, each aspect and item of the truth has surely put down roots in some people’s hearts. However, what is it that I fear the most? It is that despite the fact that these subjects of the truth and these theories have taken root in your hearts, their actual content has little substance there. When you encounter problems and are faced with trials and choices, how much practical use will the reality of these truths be to you? Can it help you surpass your difficulties and emerge from your trials, having satisfied God’s will? Will you stand firm in the midst of your trials and bear resounding testimony for God? Have you ever concerned yourselves with these matters? I ask you: In your hearts, and in all your daily thoughts and contemplations, what is it that is most important to you? Have you ever come to a conclusion about this? What do you believe is most important to you? Some people say, “It is putting the truth into practice, of course,” whereas others say, “Of course it is reading God’s words every day.” Some people say, “It is coming before God and praying to Him every day, of course,” and then there are those who say, “Of course, it is doing my duty properly every day.” There are even some who say they only ever think about how to satisfy God, how to obey Him in all things, and how to act in harmony with His will. Is that right? Is this all there is? For example, some say, “I want only to submit to God, but whenever I encounter a problem, I am unable to.” Others say, “I want only to satisfy God, and it would be fine even if I could only satisfy Him once—but I can never satisfy Him.” Some say, “I want only to submit to God. In times of trial I want only to submit to His orchestrations, to His sovereignty and arrangements, without any complaints or requests. And yet I fail to submit almost every time.” Still others say, “When I am faced with decisions, I can never choose to put the truth into practice. I always want to satisfy the flesh and want to fulfill my own personal, selfish desires.” What is the reason for this? Before God’s test comes, will you already have challenged yourselves multiple times, trying and testing yourselves over and over? See whether you can genuinely submit to God and truly satisfy Him, and whether you can guarantee that you will not betray Him; see whether you can keep from satisfying yourselves and fulfilling your selfish desires, and only satisfy God instead, without making any individual choices. Does anyone do this? Actually, there is only a single fact that has been placed before your very eyes, and it is what every one of you is most interested in and what you most wish to know—the matter of everyone’s outcome and destination. You may not realize it, but this is something that no one can deny. When it comes to the truth of people’s outcomes, God’s promise to humanity, and what kind of destination God intends to bring people into, I know there are some who have already studied God’s words on these subjects several times. Then there are those who are repeatedly looking for the answer and mulling it over in their minds, yet still they come up with nothing, or perhaps end up arriving at some ambiguous conclusion. In the end, they remain uncertain about what kind of outcome awaits them. When accepting communication of the truth, when accepting church life, and when performing their duties, most people tend to want to know definitive answers to the following questions: “What will my outcome be? Can I walk this path right up to its end? What is God’s attitude toward humanity?” Some even worry thusly: “In the past, I’ve done some things, and I’ve said some things; I’ve been disobedient to God, I’ve committed actions that have betrayed God, and, in certain instances, I failed to satisfy God, I hurt His feelings, and I disappointed Him and made Him hate me and loathe me. Perhaps, therefore, my outcome is unknown.” It would be 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 will. I am a person who is in tune with God’s heart; I am one whom God praises.” Some people think it is particularly difficult to follow God’s way, and that putting the truth into practice is the hardest thing of all. Consequently, such people are convinced that they are beyond help, and do not dare to raise their hopes about attaining a good outcome; or, perhaps, they believe that they cannot satisfy God’s will and therefore cannot become survivors. Because of this, they claim that they have no outcome and cannot attain a good destination. Regardless of how exactly people think, they have all wondered about their outcomes many times. On questions of their future and of what they will get once God has finished His work, they are constantly calculating and planning. Some pay double the price; some abandon their families and their jobs; some give up on their marriages; some resign to expending themselves for God’s sake; some leave their homes to fulfill their duties; some choose hardship, and begin to take on the most bitter and exhausting tasks; some choose to dedicate their wealth and devote their all; and still others choose to pursue the truth and strive to know God. No matter how you choose to practice, is the manner in which you practice important or not? (No, it is not.) How then do we explain this “unimportance”? If the method of practice is not important, then what is? (Outward good behavior is not representative of putting the truth into practice.) (The thoughts of each individual are not important; the key here is whether or not we have put the truth into practice, and whether or not we love God.) (The fall of antichrists and false leaders helps us to understand that outward behavior is not the most vital thing. On the surface, they seem to have forsaken much and seem willing to pay the price, but upon closer inspection, we can see that they simply do not revere God, but instead they oppose Him in all respects. At crucial moments, they always side with Satan and interfere with God’s work. Thus, the main considerations here are which side we stand on when the time comes, and what our viewpoints on things are.) You all speak well, and you seem to already possess a basic understanding and a standard to live up to when it comes to putting the truth into practice, God’s intentions, and what God demands of humanity. That you are able to speak like this is very moving. Although some of what you say is not very accurate, you have already come close to having a proper explanation of the truth—and this proves that you have developed your own actual understanding of the people, events, and objects around you, of all of your surroundings as arranged by God, and of everything that you can see. This is an understanding that is close to the truth. Even though what you said is not entirely comprehensive, and a few of your words are not very appropriate, your comprehension is already nearing the reality of the truth. Hearing you speak this way makes Me feel very good.
People’s Beliefs Cannot Take the Place of the Truth
Some people are able to bear hardships, can pay the price, are outwardly very well-behaved, are quite well-respected, and enjoy the admiration of others. Would you say that this kind of outward behavior can be regarded as putting the truth into practice? Could one determine that such people are satisfying God’s will? Why is it that time and time again people see such individuals and think that they are satisfying God, walking the path of putting the truth into practice, and keeping to God’s way? Why do some people think this way? There is only one explanation for it. What explanation is that? It is that for a great many people, certain questions—such as what it means to put the truth into practice, what it means to satisfy God, and what it means to genuinely possess the reality of the truth—are not very clear. Thus, there are some people who are often deceived by those who outwardly seem spiritual, noble, lofty, and great. As for people who can speak eloquently of letters and doctrines, and whose speech and actions seem worthy of admiration, those who are deceived by them have never looked at the essence of their actions, the principles behind their deeds, or what their goals are. Moreover, they have never looked at whether these people truly submit to God, nor have they ever determined whether or not these people genuinely fear God and shun evil. They have never discerned the essence of the humanity of these people. Rather, beginning with the first step of getting acquainted with them, they have, little by little, come to admire and venerate these people, and in the end, these people become their idols. Furthermore, in some people’s minds, the idols whom they worship—and who they believe can abandon their families and jobs, and who seem superficially able to pay the price—are the ones who are truly satisfying God and who can really attain good outcomes and good destinations. In their minds, these idols are the ones whom God praises. What causes them to believe such a thing? What is the essence of this issue? What are the consequences it can lead to? Let us first discuss the matter of its essence.
Essentially, these issues regarding people’s viewpoints, their methods of practice, which principles of practice they choose to adopt, and what they each tend to focus on have nothing to do with God’s demands of humankind. Whether people focus on shallow matters or profound issues, or on letters and doctrines or reality, they do not adhere to that which they should adhere to most, nor do they know that which they most should know. The reason for this is that people do not like the truth at all; as such, they are not willing to put time and effort into seeking out and putting into practice the principles of practice found in God’s utterances. Instead, they prefer to use shortcuts, summing up what they understand and know to be good practice and good behavior; this summary then becomes their own goal to pursue, which they take as truth to be practiced. The direct consequence of this is that people use human good behavior as a substitute for putting the truth into practice, which also satisfies their desire to curry favor with God. This gives them capital with which to contend with the truth, which they also use to reason and compete with God. At the same time, people also unscrupulously put God aside, placing the idols they admire in His stead. There is only one root cause which makes people have such ignorant actions and viewpoints, or one-sided opinions and practices—and today I will tell you about it: The reason is that, although people may follow God, pray to Him every day, and read His utterances every day, they do not actually understand His will. Herein lies the root of the problem. If someone understood God’s heart and knew what He likes, what He loathes, what He wants, what He rejects, what kind of person He loves, what kind of person He dislikes, what kind of standard He uses when making demands of people, and what kind of approach He takes for perfecting them, then could that person still have their own personal opinions? Could people like this simply go and worship someone else? Could an ordinary human become their idol? People who understand God’s will possess a slightly more rational viewpoint than that. They are not going to arbitrarily idolize a corrupted person, nor will they, while walking the path of putting the truth into practice, believe that blindly adhering to a few simple rules or principles is tantamount to putting the truth into practice.
There Are Many Opinions Concerning the Standard by Which God Determines People’s Outcomes
Let us come back to this topic and continue discussing the matter of outcome.
Given that what every person is concerned with is their own outcome, do you know how God determines that outcome? In what manner does God determine someone’s outcome? Moreover, what sort of standard does He employ to determine it? When a person’s outcome still has yet to be determined, what does God do to reveal it? Does anyone know? As I said a moment ago, there are some who have already spent a very long time researching God’s words in an effort to seek out clues about people’s outcomes, about the categories into which these outcomes are divided, and about the various outcomes awaiting different kinds of people. They also hope to find out how God’s word dictates people’s outcomes, what sort of standard He uses, and exactly how He determines a person’s outcome. In the end, however, these people never manage to find any answers. In actual fact, there is precious little said on the matter among God’s utterances. Why is this? So long as people’s outcomes are yet to be revealed, God does not wish to tell anyone what is going to happen in the end, nor does He want to inform anyone of their destination ahead of time—because doing so would not be of any benefit to humanity. Here and now, I only want to tell you about the manner in which God determines people’s outcomes, about the principles He employs in His work to determine and to manifest these outcomes, and about the standard He uses to determine whether or not someone can survive. Are these not the questions over which you are most concerned? So then, how do people believe God determines people’s outcomes? You mentioned part of it just now: Some of you said it has to do with doing one’s duties faithfully and expending for God; some said it is about submitting to God and satisfying Him; some said a factor is being at God’s mercy; and some said the key is to keep a low profile…. When you put these truths into practice, and when you practice in accordance with the principles you believe to be right, do you know what God thinks? Have you ever considered whether or not going on like this is satisfying His will? Does it meet His standard? Does it cater to His demands? I believe that most people do not really give these questions much thought. They just mechanically apply a portion of God’s word, or a portion of the sermons, or the standards of certain spiritual figures whom they idolize, forcing themselves to do this and that. They believe that this is the correct way, so they keep adhering to it and doing it, no matter what happens in the end. Some people think, “I’ve had faith for so many years; I’ve always practiced this way. I feel like I have really satisfied God, and I also feel like I’ve gotten a lot out of it. This is because I have come to understand many truths during this time, as well as many things I did not understand before. Specifically, many of my ideas and views have changed, my life values have changed enormously, and I now have a pretty good understanding of this world.” Such people believe that this is a harvest, and that it is the final result of God’s work for humanity. In your opinion, with these standards and all of your practices taken together, are you satisfying God’s will? Some of you will say with all certainty, “Of course! We are practicing according to God’s word; we are practicing according to what the above preached and communicated. We are always doing our duties and constantly following God, and we have never left Him. We therefore can say with complete confidence that we are satisfying God. No matter how much we understand of His intentions, and no matter how much we comprehend of His word, we have always been on the path of seeking to be compatible with God. As long as we act correctly, and practice correctly, then we are bound to achieve the right result.” What do you think about this perspective? Is it right? There might also be some who say, “I’ve never thought about these things before. I just think that as long as I keep fulfilling my duty and acting in line with the requirements of God’s utterances, then I can survive. I have never considered the question of whether I can satisfy God’s heart, nor have I ever considered whether I am meeting the standard He has set forth. Since God has never told me or provided me with any clear instructions, I believe that as long as I keep working and do not stop, then God will be satisfied and shouldn’t make any additional demands of me.” Are these beliefs correct? As far as I am concerned, this way of practicing, this way of thinking, and these viewpoints all entail fantasies, as well as a bit of blindness. Perhaps My saying this causes some of you to feel a little disheartened, thinking, “Blindness? If this is blindness, then our hope for salvation and survival is very small and uncertain, isn’t it? By putting it that way, aren’t You pouring cold water on us?” No matter what you believe, the things I say and do are not meant to make you feel as if cold water were being poured on your hopes. Rather, they are meant to improve your understanding of God’s intentions and increase your grasp on what He is thinking, what He wants to accomplish, what kinds of people He likes, what He loathes, what He despises, what type of person He wishes to gain, and what type of person He spurns. They are meant to give your minds clarity and to give you a clear understanding of just how far the actions and thoughts of each and every one of you have strayed from the standard required by God. Is it very necessary to discuss these topics? Because I know you have had faith for so long, and have listened to so much preaching, but these are precisely the things that you lack the most. Although you have recorded every truth in your notebooks, and have memorized and engraved in your hearts some of the things which you personally believe to be important, and though you plan to use these things to satisfy God during your practice, to use them when you find yourselves in need, to use them to get through the difficult times that lie ahead, or simply to let these truths accompany you while you live your lives, as far as I am concerned, regardless of how you do it, if you are just doing it, this is not so important. What, then, is very important? It is that while you are practicing, you must know deep down, with absolute certainty, whether or not everything you are doing—every single deed—is in keeping with what God wants, and whether or not all your actions, all your thoughts, and the results and goal you wish to achieve actually satisfy God’s will and cater to His demands, as well whether or not He approves of them. These are what are very important.
Walk in the Way of God: Fear God and Shun Evil
There is a saying you should take note of. I believe this saying is very important, because for Me, it comes to mind countless times every single day. Why is that? It is because every time I am faced with someone, every time I hear someone’s story, and every time I hear of a person’s experience or testimony of believing in God, I always use this saying to determine in My heart whether or not this individual is the type of person God wants and the type of person God likes. So, then: what is this saying? I now have you all on the edges of your seats. When I reveal the saying, perhaps you will feel disappointed, because there are some who have been paying it lip service for many years. I, however, have never once paid it any lip service at all. This saying resides in My heart. So, what is this saying? It is this: “Walk in the way of God: Fear God and shun evil.” Is this not an exceedingly simple phrase? Nevertheless, despite its simplicity, people who genuinely have a deep understanding of these words will feel that they carry great weight, that this saying is very valuable for one’s practice, that it is a line from the language of life containing the reality of the truth, that it represents a lifelong objective for those seeking to satisfy God, and that it is a lifelong way which anyone considerate of God’s intentions should follow. So, what do you think: Does this saying express the truth? Does it or does it not have such significance? Also, perhaps some of you are thinking about this saying, and trying to figure it out, and perhaps there are some of you who even feel doubtful about it: Is this saying very important? Is it very important? Is it necessary to emphasize it so much? There may also be some of you who do not much like this saying, because you think that taking God’s way and distilling it into this one saying is too much of an oversimplification. To take all that God said and boil it down to one saying—would that not be making God out to be a bit too insignificant? Is that how it is? It could be that most of you do not fully understand the profound significance of these words. Though you have all made a note of it, you have no intention of storing this saying in your hearts; you have simply written it down in your notebooks to revisit and ponder in your spare time. Some of you will not even bother to memorize this saying, let alone attempt to put it to good use. Why, though, do I wish to mention this saying? Regardless of your perspective and no matter what you think, I had to mention this saying, for it is extremely relevant to how God determines people’s outcomes. No matter what your current understanding of this saying is or how you treat it, I will still tell you this: If people can properly put the words of this saying into practice and achieve the standard of fearing God and shunning evil, then they are assured to be survivors and are certain to have good outcomes. If, however, you cannot meet the standard laid out by this saying, then it can 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 will know what kind of standard God uses to measure you. As I just told you, this saying is extremely relevant to God’s salvation of humanity, as well as to how He determines people’s outcomes. In what way is it relevant? You would really like to know, so we will talk about it today.
God Makes Use of Various Trials to Test Whether People Fear God and Shun Evil
In every age, while working among humans, God bestows some words upon them and tells them of some truths. These truths serve as the way people should adhere to, the way they should walk in, the way that enables them 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 is for these reasons that God expresses these utterances to humanity. These words that come from God should be adhered to by people, 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 life, then this person is not putting the truth into practice. Furthermore, if people are not putting the truth into practice, then they are not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. People who are incapable of satisfying God cannot receive His praise, and such people have no outcome. So, how, then, in the course of His work, does God determine a person’s outcome? What methods does God use to determine a person’s outcome? Perhaps you are still a bit fuzzy on this at the moment, but when I tell you of the process, it will become quite clear, because a lot of you have already experienced it yourselves.
Over the course of His work, ever since the beginning, God has set out trials for every person—or you could say, every person who follows Him—and these trials come in various sizes. There are those who have experienced the trial of being rejected by their families, those who have experienced the trial of adverse environments, those who have experienced the trial of being arrested and tortured, those who have experienced the trial of being faced with choices, and those who have faced the trials of money and status. Generally speaking, each of you has faced all manner of trials. Why does God work like this? Why does He treat everyone this way? What sort of result does He seek? Here is the point I wish to communicate to you: God wants to see whether or not this person is the type who fears Him and shuns evil. What this means is that when God is giving you a trial, and facing you with some circumstance or other, His intention is to test whether or not you are a person who fears Him and shuns evil. If someone is faced with the duty of safekeeping an offering, and this duty leads to coming into contact with God’s offering, would you say that this is something that God has arranged? It undoubtedly is! Everything you encounter is something that God has arranged. When you are faced with this matter, God will observe you in secret, watching what choices you make, how you practice, and what thoughts you have. What God cares about the most is the end result, since it is this result that will help Him to measure whether or not you have lived up to His standard in this particular trial. However, whenever people encounter a problem, they often do not think about why they are being faced with it, what standard God expects them to meet, what He wants to see in them or what He wishes to obtain from them. When faced with this problem, such people merely think, “This is something I’m faced with; I have to be careful, not careless! No matter what, this is God’s offering, and I can’t touch it.” Equipped with such simplistic thoughts, people believe that they have fulfilled their responsibilities. Would the result of this trial bring satisfaction to God or not? Go ahead and talk about it. (If people fear God in their hearts, then when faced with a duty that allows them to come in contact with God’s offering, they will consider just how easy it would be to offend God’s disposition, and that will make them be sure to proceed with caution.) Your response is on the right track, but it is not quite there yet. Walking in God’s way is not about observing superficial rules; rather, it means that when you are faced with a problem, you view it first and foremost as a situation that has been arranged by God, a responsibility He has bestowed upon you, or a task that He has entrusted to you. When facing this problem, you should even see it as a trial God has put to you. When you encounter this problem, you must have a standard in your heart, and you must think that this matter has come from God. You must think about how to deal with it in such a way that you can fulfill your responsibility while remaining loyal to God, as well as how to do it without infuriating Him or offending His disposition. A moment ago we spoke about the safekeeping of offerings. This matter involves offerings, and it also touches upon your duty and your responsibility. You are duty-bound to this responsibility. However, when faced with this problem, is there any temptation? There is! Where does this temptation come from? This temptation comes from Satan, and it also comes from humans’ evil, corrupt dispositions. Given that there is temptation, this issue involves standing the testimony that people ought to stand, which is also your responsibility and duty. Some people say, “This is such a minor matter; is it really necessary to make such a big deal out of it?” Yes, it is! This is because in order to keep to God’s way, we cannot let go of anything that happens either to us or around us, even the little things; whether we think we should pay attention to it or not, as long as any matter is facing us, we must not let it go. All things that happen should be viewed as tests God has given us. What do you think about this way of looking at things? If you have this kind of attitude, then it confirms one fact: Deep down, you fear God and are willing to shun evil. If you have this desire to satisfy God, then what you put into practice will not be far off meeting the standard of fearing God and shunning evil.
There are often those who believe that matters people do not pay much attention to and do not usually mention are but minor trifles that have nothing to do with putting the truth into practice. When faced with just such an issue, these people do not give it much thought, and then they let it slide. In actual fact, however, this matter was a lesson you should study—a lesson on how to fear God and how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned with is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right by your side, observing your every word and action, and watching everything you do and what changes take place in your thoughts—this is God’s work. Some people ask, “If that’s true, then why haven’t I felt it?” You have not felt it because you have not adhered to the way of fearing God and shunning evil as your primary way; you therefore cannot sense the subtle work God does in people, which manifests itself according to people’s various thoughts and actions. You are a scatterbrain! What is a major matter? What is a minor matter? The matters that involve walking in God’s way are not divided between major or minor ones, but can you accept that? (We can accept it.) In terms of everyday matters, there are some which people view as very major and significant, and others that are viewed as minor trifles. People often see these major matters as being very important, and they consider them to have been sent by God. However, as these major matters play out, due to people’s immature stature and because of their poor caliber, people are often not up to fulfilling God’s will, cannot obtain any revelations, and cannot acquire any actual knowledge that is of value. As far as minor matters are concerned, these are simply overlooked by people and left to slip away one bit at a time. As such, people have lost many opportunities to be examined before God and to be tested by Him. What does it mean if you always overlook the people, events, and objects, and situations that God has arranged for you? It means that every day, and even at every moment, you are constantly renouncing God’s perfection of you, as well as His leadership. Whenever God arranges a situation for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, observing your thoughts and deliberations, watching how you think, and waiting to see how you will act. If you are a careless person—one who has never been serious about God’s way, His words, or the truth—then you will not be mindful of or pay attention to what God wishes to complete or the requirements He expected you to meet when He arranged a certain environment for you. Neither will you know how the people, events, and objects that you encounter relate to the truth or God’s will. After you face repeated circumstances and repeated trials like this, with God not seeing any results in you, how will He proceed? After having repeatedly faced trials, you have not magnified God in your heart, nor have you seen the circumstances God arranged for you for what they are: trials and tests from God. Instead, one after the other, you have rejected the opportunities that God bestowed upon you, letting them slip away time and time again. Is this not extreme disobedience that people exhibit? (It is.) Will God feel hurt because of this? (He will.) God will not feel hurt! Hearing Me say such a thing has shocked you once more. You may be thinking: “Was it not said earlier that God always feels hurt? Will God not therefore feel hurt? When, then, does He feel hurt?” In short, God will not feel hurt in this situation. So, then, what is God’s attitude toward the type of behavior outlined above? When people reject the trials and tests that God sends them, and when they shirk from them, there is only one attitude that God has toward such 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 should I explain it from My point of view? Deep down, the word “spurn” carries connotations of loathing and hate. What about the other layer of its meaning? That is the part that implies giving up on something. You all know what “give up” means, right? In a nutshell, “spurn” is a word that represents God’s ultimate reaction and attitude toward those people who are behaving in such a way; it is extreme hatred toward them, and disgust, and, thus, it results in the decision to abandon them. This is God’s final decision toward a person who has never walked in God’s way and who has never feared God and shunned evil. Can all of you now see the importance of that saying I mentioned earlier?
Now do you understand the method God uses to determine people’s outcomes? (He arranges different circumstances every day.) “He arranges different circumstances”—these are things that people can feel and touch. So, what is God’s motive for doing this? His intention is to give each and every person various sorts of trials at different times and in different places. What aspects of a person are put to the test during a trial? A trial determines whether or not you are the type of person who fears God and shuns evil in every issue you face, hear about, see, and experience personally. Everyone will face this kind of trial, because God is fair toward all people. Some of you say, “I’ve believed in God for many years, so how come I haven’t faced any trials?” You feel that you have not yet faced any because whenever God has arranged circumstances for you, you have not taken them seriously and have not wanted to walk in God’s way. Thus, you simply do not sense God’s trials at all. Some people say, “I’ve faced a few trials, but I don’t know how to practice properly. Even when I have practiced, I still don’t know whether I have stood firm during God’s trials.” People in this type of state are definitely not in the minority. What, then, is the standard by which God measures people? It is just as I said moments ago: It is whether or not you fear God and shun evil in everything you do, think, and express. This is how to determine whether or not you are a person who fears God and shuns evil. Is this concept simple, or not? It is simple 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, and they don’t know how God perfects people, so when they’re faced with matters, they don’t know how to seek out the truth to solve their problems. They have to go through various trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments before they can possess the reality of fearing God.) You might put it that way, but as far as you are concerned, fearing God and shunning evil seems very easily doable right now. Why do I say this? It is because you have listened to a lot of sermons and received no small amount of watering from the reality of the truth; this has allowed you to theoretically and intellectually understand how to fear God and shun evil. As for how to actually put that fear for God and shunning of evil into practice, this knowledge has all been very helpful and made you feel as though such a thing is easily achievable. Why, then, can people never actually achieve it? This is because the essence of human nature does not fear God, and it likes evil. This is the real reason.
Not to Fear God and Shun Evil Is to Oppose God
Let Me begin by asking you where this saying, “fear God and shun evil,” came from. (The Book of Job.) Since we have mentioned Job, let us discuss him. In Job’s time, was God working for the salvation and conquest of humanity? No! Is that not so? Also, as far as Job was concerned, how much knowledge did he have of God back then? (Not much.) And how did that knowledge of God compare to the knowledge you have these days? Why is it that you do not dare to answer? Did Job have more or less knowledge than you have right now? (Less.) This is a very easy question to answer. Less! That is for sure! These days you are face-to-face with God, and face-to-face with God’s words; you have much more knowledge of God than Job did. Why do I bring this up? What is My purpose in saying these things? I would 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 was still able to fear Him and shun evil; why is it that people these days fail to do so? (They are profoundly corrupt.) “Profoundly corrupt”—this is the superficial phenomenon causing the problem, but I would never view it in such a way. You often take frequently used doctrines and terms, such as “profound corruption,” “rebelling against God,” “disloyalty toward God,” “disobedience,” “not liking the truth,” and so on, and use these catch-phrases to explain the essence of every single issue. This is a flawed way of practicing. Using the same answer to explain matters of different natures inevitably raises blasphemous suspicions about the truth and God; I do not like hearing this kind of answer. Think about it long and hard! None of you has given this matter any thought, but I can see it every single day, and every single day I can feel it. Thus, while you are acting, I am watching. When you are doing something, you cannot feel its essence, but when I watch, I can see its essence, and I can feel its essence, too. So, what is this essence then? Why are people these days incapable of fearing God and shunning evil? Your answers are far from being able to explain the essence of this problem, nor can they resolve it. That is because it has a source of which you are not aware. What is this source? I know you want to hear about it, so I will tell you of the source of this problem.
Since God began to do work, how has He regarded human beings? God rescued them; He has seen humans as members of His family, as the objects of His work, as the ones He wanted to conquer and save, and as those whom He wished to perfect. This was God’s attitude toward humanity at the outset of His work. What, though, was humanity’s attitude toward God at that time? God was unfamiliar to humans, and they regarded God as a stranger. It could be said that their attitude toward God did not reap the right results, and that they did not have a clear understanding of how they should treat God. As such, they treated Him however they liked, and did whatever they liked. Did they have any opinions about God? At first, they did not; their so-called opinions merely comprised certain notions and presumptions about Him. They accepted what conformed to their notions, and when something did not conform to their notions, they obeyed it on the surface, but deep down they felt strongly conflicted and they opposed it. This was the relationship between God and humans in the beginning: God viewed them as family members, yet they treated Him as a stranger. However, after a period of God’s work, humans came to understand what He was trying to achieve, and they knew that He was the true God; they also came to know what they could obtain from God. How did people regard God at this time? They saw Him as a lifeline, and hoped to be granted His grace, blessings, and promises. At this time, how did God regard humans? He saw them as targets for His conquest. God wanted to use words to judge them, to test them, and to put them through trials. However, as far as people were concerned back then, God was just an object they could use to achieve their own goals. People saw that the truth issued by God could conquer and save them, that they had an opportunity to obtain the things they wanted from Him, as well as attain the destinations that they wanted. Because of this, a tiny bit of sincerity formed in their hearts, and they became willing to follow this God. Time passed, and due to their having gained some superficial and doctrinal knowledge of God, it could even be said that humans were beginning to grow “familiar” with God and the words He said, His preaching, the truths He issued forth, and His work. They were therefore under the misapprehension that God was no longer unfamiliar, and that they had already set foot upon the path of becoming compatible with God. By now, people have listened to a lot of sermons on the truth and have experienced a great deal of God’s work. Nevertheless, because of the interference and obstruction caused by many different factors and circumstances, most people cannot succeed in putting the truth into practice, nor are they able to satisfy God. People have grown increasingly slack and are increasingly lacking in confidence. They have a growing sense that their own outcomes are unknown. They do not dare to come up with any extravagant ideas, and they do not seek to make progress; they just reluctantly follow along, going forward, step by step. With regard to the present state of humans, what is God’s attitude toward them? He wishes only to bestow these truths upon them and instill them with His way, and then arrange various circumstances in order to try them in different ways. His goal is to take these words, these truths, and His work, and bring about an outcome whereby humans are capable of fearing Him and shunning evil. Most people I have seen merely take God’s words and regard them as doctrines, mere letters on paper, regulations to be observed. In their actions and speech, or while facing trials, they do not regard God’s way as the one that they should abide by. This is especially true when people are faced with major trials; I have not seen any such person practicing in the direction of fearing God and shunning evil. Therefore, God’s attitude toward humans is full of extreme loathing and aversion! Despite His having repeatedly given them trials, even hundreds of times, they still do not have any clear attitude with which to demonstrate their determination: “I want to fear God and shun evil!” Since people do not possess this resolve and do not make this kind of display, God’s present attitude toward them is not the same as it was in the past, when He extended them mercy, tolerance, forbearance, and patience. Instead, He is extremely disappointed in humanity. Who caused this disappointment? On whom does God’s attitude toward humans depend? It depends on each and every person who follows Him. Over the course of His many years of work, God has made many demands of people and arranged many circumstances for them. Regardless of how they have performed, though, and no matter what their attitude toward God is, people have failed to practice in clear accordance with the goal of fearing God and shunning evil. Thus, I will offer a phrase of summary, and use this phrase to explain everything we just said about why people cannot walk in God’s way of fearing God and shunning evil. What is this phrase? It is this: God regards humans as the objects of His salvation and the objects of His work; humans regard God as their enemy and their antithesis. Do you now have a clear understanding of this matter? It is very clear what humanity’s attitude is, what God’s attitude is, and what the relationship between humans and God is. No matter how much preaching you have listened to, those things about which you have drawn your own conclusions, such as being faithful to God, submitting to God, seeking the way of becoming compatible with God, wanting to expend a lifetime for God, and wanting to live for God—to Me, those things are not examples of consciously walking in God’s way, which is to fear God and shun evil, but instead, they are simply channels through which you can attain certain goals. To attain them, you reluctantly observe some regulations, and it is precisely these regulations that take people even further from the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and that place God in opposition to humankind once more.
Today’s topic 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 will be able to do what I have just told you. Do not regard God as just a bunch of empty air—as though He exists when He is of use to you, but does not exist when you have no use for Him. Once you have such a thought in your subconscious, you have already infuriated God. Perhaps there are people who say, “I don’t regard God as mere empty air. I always pray to Him and I always try to satisfy Him, and everything I do falls within the scope, standard, and principles that God requires. I’m definitely not practicing according to my own ideas.” Yes, this manner in which you are practicing is correct! Nevertheless, what do you think when you come face to face with a problem? How do you practice when you are faced with an issue? Some people feel that God exists when they pray to Him and supplicate to Him, but then whenever they encounter a problem, they come up with their own ideas and want to abide by them. This means they regard God as just a bunch of empty air, and such a situation renders God non-existent in their minds. People believe that God should exist when they need Him, but not when they do not need Him. People think that practicing based on their own ideas is sufficient. They believe they can do whatever they please; they simply do not believe they need to seek out God’s way. As for people who are currently in this sort of situation and stuck in this kind of state, are they not courting danger? Some people say, “Whether I am courting danger or not, I have had faith for so many years, and I believe that God will not abandon me, because He could not bear to.” Others say, “I have believed in the Lord from the time I was in my mother’s womb. It has been forty or fifty years, so in terms of time, I’m most qualified to be saved by God and I am most qualified to survive. Over these four or five decades, I have abandoned my family and my job and I have given up all that I had—things like money, status, enjoyment, and time with my family. I have not eaten many delicious foods, I have not enjoyed a lot of amusements, I have not visited many interesting places, and I have even experienced suffering that ordinary people could not endure. If God cannot save me on account of all of this, then I am being treated unjustly, and I cannot believe in this type of God.” Are there many people with this sort of view? (There are.) Well, then, today I am going to help you to understand a fact: People with such a view are all shooting themselves in the foot. This is because they are covering their eyes with their own imaginations. It is precisely these imaginings, as well as their own conclusions, that take the place of the standard God requires humans to meet and hold them back from accepting God’s actual intentions. It makes them unable to sense His true existence, and it also causes them to lose the opportunity to be perfected by God, forsaking any part of or share in God’s promise.
How God Determines People’s Outcomes and the Standards by Which He Does So
Before you settle on any views or conclusions, you should first understand what God’s attitude toward you is, and what He is thinking, and then you can decide whether or not your own thinking is correct. God has never used time as a unit of measurement to determine a person’s outcome, nor has He ever based such determination on how much a person has suffered. What, then, does God use as a standard to determine a person’s outcome? Determining it based on time would be what most conforms to people’s notions. Moreover, there are those people you often see who at one point devoted a great deal, expended a lot, paid a huge price, and suffered greatly. These are the ones who, the way you see it, can be saved by God. All that these people demonstrate and live out is precisely in line with people’s notions of God’s set standards for determining a person’s outcome. Whatever you believe, I will not list these examples one by one. To put it briefly, anything that is not a standard within God’s own thinking comes instead from the human imagination, and all such things are human notions. If you blindly insist on your own notions and fancies, what will be the result? It is quite obvious that the consequence of this can only be God spurning you. This is because you always flaunt your qualifications before God, compete with Him, and argue with Him, and you do not try truly to comprehend His thinking, nor do you try to comprehend His will or His attitude toward humankind. Proceeding in this manner honors yourself above all; it does not magnify God. You believe in yourself; you do not believe in God. God does not want such people, nor will He bring them salvation. If you can let go of this sort of viewpoint and, furthermore, rectify those incorrect viewpoints you had in the past, if you can proceed according to God’s demands, if you can practice the way of fearing God and shunning evil from this point on, if you can manage to honor God as One who is great in all things and refrain from using your own personal fancies, viewpoints, or beliefs to define yourself and God, and if you can instead seek out God’s intentions in all respects, come to a realization and understanding of His attitude toward humanity, and satisfy Him by meeting His standards, that will be wonderful! It will signify that you are about to embark on the way of fearing God and shunning evil.
If God does not use people’s various thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints as standards by which to determine their outcomes, what sort of standard does He use to determine people’s outcomes? He uses trials to determine their outcomes. There are two standards to God’s use of trials to determine people’s outcomes: The first is the number of trials that people undergo, and the second is the results these trials have on people. It is these two indicators that establish a person’s outcome. Now, let’s elaborate on these two standards.
To begin, when a person is faced with a trial from God (note: It is possible that in your eyes, this trial might be a minor one, not worth mentioning), He will make you distinctly aware that this is His hand upon you, and that it is He who arranged this circumstance for you. While you are still immature of stature, God will arrange trials in order to test you, and these trials will correspond to your stature, what you are able to comprehend, and what you can withstand. What part of you will be tested? Your attitude toward God. Is this attitude very important? Of course it is important! It is of special importance! This attitude in humans is the result God desires, so, as far as He is concerned, it is the most important thing of all. Otherwise, God would not spend His efforts on people by engaging in such work. By way of these trials, God wants to see your attitude toward Him; He wants to see whether or not you are on the right path. He also wants to see whether or not you fear God and shun evil. Therefore, whether you understand much or little of the truth at any particular time, you will still be faced with God’s trials, and following any increase in the amount of truth you understand, He will continue to arrange relevant trials for you. When you are once again faced with a trial, God will want to see whether your viewpoint, your ideas, and your attitude toward Him have experienced any growth in the intervening period of time. Some people wonder, “Why does God always want to see people’s attitudes? Hasn’t He already seen how they put the truth into practice? Why would He still want to see their attitudes?” This is mindless drivel! Given that God works in this manner, His will must lie therein. God constantly observes people from the side, watching their every word and action, their every deed and movement; He even observes their every thought and idea. God makes a note of everything that happens to people—their good deeds, their faults, their transgressions, even their rebellions and betrayals—as evidence with which to determine their outcomes. Step by step, as God’s work is elevated, you will hear more truths and come to accept more positive things and information, and you will gain more of the reality of the truth. Throughout this process, God’s requirements of you will also increase, and as they do, He will arrange more serious trials for you. His goal is to examine whether your attitude toward Him has progressed in the meantime. Of course, when this happens, the viewpoint God demands of you will conform to your understanding of the reality of the truth.
As your stature gradually builds up, so will the standard that God demands of you. While you are still immature, He will set a very low standard for you to meet; when your stature is a little greater, He will raise your standard a bit higher. But what will God do after you have gained an understanding of all of the truth? He will have you face even bigger trials. Amid these trials, what God wishes to obtain from you, what He wants to see from you, is a more profound knowledge of Him, an actual reverence of Him. At this time, His requirements of you will be higher and “harsher” than they were when your stature was more immature (note: People might view them as harsh, but God actually views them as reasonable). When God is trying people, what kind of reality does He wish to create? He is constantly asking that people give Him their hearts. Some people will say, “How can I give that? I have fulfilled my duty; I abandoned my home and livelihood, and I have expended myself. Are these not all instances of my giving my heart over to God? How else could I give my heart to God? Could it be that these weren’t actually ways of giving my heart to Him? What is God’s specific requirement?” The requirement is very simple. In fact, there are some people who have already given their hearts to God to varying degrees during various stages of their trials, but the vast majority of people never give their hearts over to God. When God tries you, He sees if your heart is with Him, with the flesh, or with Satan. When God tries you, He sees whether you are standing in opposition to Him or are in a position that is compatible with Him, and He also sees whether your heart is on His side. When you are immature and facing trials, you have little confidence, and you cannot know exactly what it is you need to do to fulfill God’s intentions, for your understanding of the truth is limited. However, if you can still pray to God genuinely and sincerely, and if you can be willing to give your heart over to Him, make Him your sovereign, and be willing to offer unto Him all those things that you believe to be most precious, then you will have already given God your heart. As you listen to more sermons and understand more of the truth, your stature will also gradually grow. At this time, the standard of God’s demands will not be the same as it was when you were immature; He will demand a higher standard of you. As people gradually give their hearts over to God, their hearts grow slowly nearer to Him; as people can genuinely grow nearer to God, then their hearts will revere Him ever more. What God wants is just such a heart.
When God wants to obtain someone’s heart, He will put that person through numerous trials. During these trials, if God does not obtain that person’s heart or see that this person has any attitude—that is to say, if God does not see this person practicing or behaving in a way that shows reverence to Him, and if He also does not see in this person an attitude and resolution that shuns evil—then, after numerous trials, God’s patience with them will be withdrawn, and He will no longer tolerate them. He will no longer try this person, and He will no longer work on them. So, what does this signify for this person’s outcome? It means they have no outcome. Perhaps this person has done no evil; perhaps they have done nothing disruptive and caused no disturbance. Perhaps they have not openly resisted God. However, this person’s heart remains 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 or that they are seeking to fear Him and shun evil. God loses patience with such people, and will no longer pay any price for them, extend any mercy to them, or work on them. Such a person’s life of faith in God has already ended. This is because, in all of the many trials that God has given them, 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 can this be seen? These people may have believed in God for many years, and on the surface, they have behaved with vigor; they have read many books, handled many affairs, filled a dozen or so notebooks, and mastered a great deal of words and doctrines. However, there is never any visible growth in them, their views on God remain invisible, and their attitudes are still unclear. In other words, their hearts cannot be seen; they are always wrapped up and sealed—they are sealed off from God. As a result, He has not seen their true hearts, He has not seen in these people any true reverence for Him, and, what is more, He has not seen how these people walk in His way. If God still has not gained such people by now, can He gain them in the future? He cannot! Will He keep pushing for things that cannot be obtained? He will not! What, then, is God’s current attitude toward such people? (He spurns them and ignores them.) He ignores them! God does not heed such people; He spurns them. You have memorized these words very quickly, and very accurately. It appears as though you have understood what you have heard!
There are some people who, when they begin to follow God, are immature and ignorant; they do not understand His will, nor do they know what it is to believe in Him. They adopt a human-conceived and mistaken way of believing in and following God. When such people are faced with trials, they are not aware of it; they remain numb to God’s guidance and enlightenment. They do not know what it means to give their hearts over to God or what it means to stand firm during a trial. God will give such people a limited amount of time, and during this time, He will let them understand the nature of His trials and what His intentions are. Afterward, these people must demonstrate their points of view. For those at this stage, God is still waiting. As for those who have some views yet still waver, who want to give their hearts over to God but are not reconciled to doing so, and who, despite having put some basic truths into practice, try to hide and give up when faced with major trials—what is God’s attitude toward them? He still expects a little from them, and the result depends on their attitude and performance. If people are not active in progressing, what does God do? He gives up on them. This is because, before God gives up on you, you have already given up on yourself. Thus, you cannot blame God for doing so, can you? Is this fair or not? (It is.)
The Various Embarrassments a Practical Question Brings About in People
There is another type of person who has the most tragic outcome of all; this is the sort of person that I like mentioning the least. They are not tragic because they have received God’s punishment, or because His demands on them are harsh and they therefore have a tragic outcome; rather, they are tragic because they do it to themselves. As the common saying goes, they dig their own grave. What sort of person does this? These people do not walk the correct path, and their outcomes are revealed in advance. In God’s eyes, such people are the greatest objects of His loathing. In human terms, people like these are the most pitiful. When such people begin to follow God, they are very zealous; they pay many a price, have a good opinion of the prospects of God’s work, and have an abundant imagination when it comes to their own futures. They are also especially confident in God, believing He can make humans complete and bring them to a glorious destination. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, these people then run away during the course of God’s work. What does “run away” mean here? It means they disappear without a goodbye, without even a sound; they leave without a word. Although such people claim to believe in God, they never really put down roots on their path of faith. Thus, no matter how long they have believed in Him, they are still capable of turning away from God. Some people leave to go into business, some leave to live their lives, some leave to get rich, and some leave to get married and have children…. Among those who leave, there are some who later have attacks of conscience and want to come back, and others who have a very hard time getting by and end up drifting in the world for years and years. These drifters experience 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, and joy, and they want to continue believing in God in order to escape disaster, or to attain salvation and a beautiful destination. This is because these people believe that God’s love is boundless, and that His grace is inexhaustible. They think 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 duties. There are even those who give some of their belongings to the church, hoping that this will pave the way back to God’s house. What is God’s attitude toward such people? How should He determine their outcomes? Feel free to speak up. (I thought that God would accept this type of person, but after hearing that just now, I feel He may not.) Say your reasoning. (Such people only come before God so that their outcomes won’t be death. They don’t come to believe in God out of genuine sincerity; they come because they know that God’s work will soon be finished, so they are under the delusion that they can come and receive blessings.) You are saying that these people do not sincerely believe in God, so He cannot accept them, right? (Yes.) (My understanding is that such people are just opportunists, and do not genuinely believe in God.) They have not come to believe in God; they are opportunists. Well said! These opportunists are the sort of people that everyone hates. They sail in whichever direction the wind blows, and they cannot be bothered to do anything unless they are going to get something out of it, so of course they are despicable! Does any other brother or sister have an opinion they would like to share? (God will not accept them anymore, because His work is about to be complete, and now is the time that people’s outcomes are being set. It’s at this time that these people want to come back—not because they actually want to pursue the truth, but because they see disasters descending, or because they are being influenced by external factors. If they really had the intention of pursuing the truth, they would never have run away in the middle of God’s work.) Are there any other opinions? (They won’t be accepted. God actually already gave them opportunities, but they insisted on taking a heedless attitude toward Him. No matter what these people’s intentions are, and even if they really do repent, God still won’t let them come back. This is because He gave them so many opportunities, but they have already demonstrated their attitude: They wanted to leave God. For this reason, if they try to come back now, God won’t accept them.) (I agree that God won’t accept 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 and to Satan’s embrace, then this is a huge betrayal of God. Despite the fact that God’s essence is mercy and love, it depends on what kind of person that essence is being directed at. If this person comes before God looking for comfort or seeking something to pin their hopes on, then they simply are not the type who sincerely believes in God, and God’s mercy toward such people only goes so far.) If God’s essence is mercy, then why does He not give this kind of person a bit more of it? With a little more mercy, would this person not then have an opportunity? In the past, people frequently said that 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 to search for the missing one. Now, when it comes to these people, should God accept them and give them a second chance on account of their sincere faith? This is not actually a hard question; it is very simple! If you truly comprehend God and have real knowledge of Him, then not much explanation is needed—and not much speculation is needed, either, right? Your answers are on the right track, but they still fall far short of God’s attitude.
Just now, some of you expressed certainty that God could not possibly accept this type of person. Others were not too clear, thinking that God might accept them or might not—this attitude is the more moderate one. There were also those of you whose viewpoint was that you hope God will accept this kind of person—this attitude is the more ambiguous one. Those of you who are certain in what you think believe that God has worked for so long, and that His work is complete, so He does not need to be tolerant of these people; as such, you think He will not accept them again. The more moderate among you believe that these matters should be handled according to individual circumstances; if these people’s hearts are inseparable from God, and if they genuinely believe in God and pursue the truth, then God should forget their previous weaknesses and faults—He should forgive these people, give them a second chance, and allow them to return to His house and accept His salvation. However, if these people later run away once again, then God will no longer want them, and abandoning these people cannot be considered an injustice. There is another group who hope God can accept such a person. This group is not quite sure whether God will actually do so or not. If they believe He should accept this kind of person, but He does not, then it seems this view is slightly out of conformity with God’s perspective. If they believe that God should not accept such a person, and God happens to say that His love toward humans is boundless and that He is willing to give this kind of 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 represent a kind of knowledge within your own thoughts; they are also a reflection of the depth of your understanding of the truth and of God’s will. It is correct to say so, is it not? It is wonderful that you have opinions on this matter! However, there is still the question of whether your opinions are correct. You are all a bit worried, are you not? “Then what is correct? I can’t see clearly, and I don’t know exactly what God is thinking, and He hasn’t told me anything. How can I know what He is thinking? God’s attitude toward humankind is love. Going by the attitude He has had in the past, He should accept such a person, but I’m not too clear on God’s present attitude; I can only say that maybe He will accept this person, and maybe He won’t.” This is laughable, is it not? This question has really stumped you. If you do not have a proper viewpoint on this matter, then what will you do when your church is actually faced with such a person? If you do not handle the situation correctly, then you could offend God. Is this not a dangerous affair?
Why did I want to ask about your views concerning the matter I just raised? I wished to test your viewpoints, to test how much knowledge of God you have, and how much of His intentions and attitude you understand. What is the answer? The answer is your viewpoints themselves. Some of you are very conservative, and some of you are using your imaginations to guess. What is “guessing”? It means being unable to discern how God thinks, and thus coming up with baseless conjecture that God should think in some way; you do not actually know yourself whether you are right or wrong, so you voice an ambiguous viewpoint. Faced with this fact, what have you seen? When following God, people seldom pay attention to His will, and they rarely take heed of His thoughts and His attitude toward humans. People do not understand God’s thoughts, so, when asked questions about His intentions and disposition, you get confused; you fall into deep uncertainty, and then you either guess or gamble. What sort of mindset is this? It proves a fact: that most people who believe in God regard Him as a bunch of empty air and as something which seems to exist one minute and not the next. Why do I put it like that? Because whenever you encounter a problem, you do not know God’s will. Why do you not know His will? Not just now, but from start to finish, you do not know God’s attitude toward this problem. You cannot fathom it and do not know what God’s attitude is, but have you given it much thought? Have you sought to know it? Have you fellowshiped about it? No! This confirms a fact: The God of your belief has no connection to the God of reality. In your belief in God, you ponder only your own intentions and those of your leaders; you merely give thought to the superficial and doctrinal meaning of God’s words, without truly trying to know or seek God’s will at all. Is this not the case? The essence of this matter is quite terrible! After so many years, I have seen many people who believe in God. What has their belief transformed God into in their minds? Some people believe in God as if He were just a bunch of empty air. These people have no answer to questions of God’s existence, because they can neither feel nor sense either His presence or His absence, let alone see it clearly or understand it. Subconsciously, these people think that God does not exist. Others believe in God as if He were a man. These people think that He is unable to do all of the things that they, too, are unable to do, and that He should think however they think. Their definition of God is “an invisible and untouchable person.” There is also a group of people who believe in God as if He were a puppet; these people believe that God has no emotions. They think God is a statue, and that when faced with an issue, God has no attitude, viewpoint, or ideas; they believe He is at humankind’s mercy. People simply believe however they want to believe. If they make Him great, then He is great; if they make Him small, then He is small. When people sin and need God’s mercy, tolerance, and love, they assume God should extend His mercy. These people invent a “God” in their own minds, and then make this “God” fulfill their demands and satisfy all of their desires. No matter when or where, and no matter what such people do, they will adopt this fancy in their treatment of God and in their faith. There are even those who, having aggravated God’s disposition, still believe He can save them, because they assume that God’s love is boundless and His disposition is righteous, and that no matter how much a person offends God, He will not remember any of it. They think that since human faults, human trespasses, and human disobedience are momentary expressions of a person’s disposition, God will give people chances, and be tolerant and patient with them; they believe that God will still love them as before. Thus, they maintain high hopes for attaining salvation. In fact, no matter how people believe in God, as long as they are not pursuing the truth, He will hold a negative attitude toward them. This is because over the course of your faith in God, though you have taken the book of God’s words and seen it as a treasure, and study and read it every day, yet you set the real God aside. You regard Him as mere empty air, or as just a person—and some of you regard Him as no more than a puppet. Why do I put it this way? I do so because the way I see it, whether you are faced with a problem or encounter some circumstance, those things that exist in your subconscious, those things that you give rise to internally, have never had any connection with God’s words or with pursuing the truth. You only know what you yourself are thinking, what your own viewpoint is, and then you force your own ideas and opinions onto God. In your mind they become God’s viewpoints, standards to be unwaveringly upheld. Over time, proceeding like this takes you farther and farther away from God.
Understand God’s Attitude and Set Aside All Misconceptions of God
Just what sort of God is this God you currently believe in? Have you ever thought about it? When He sees an evil person committing evil acts, does He despise it? (Yes, He does.) What is His attitude when He sees ignorant people making mistakes? (Sorrow.) When He sees people stealing His offerings, what is His attitude? (He despises them.) This is all very clear, right? When God sees someone confused in their belief in Him, who is in no way pursuing the truth, what is God’s attitude? You are not quite sure, are you? “Confusion,” as an attitude, is not a sin, nor does it offend God, and people feel that it is not a sort of major mistake. So, tell Me—what is God’s attitude in this case? (He is unwilling to acknowledge them.) “Unwillingness to acknowledge”—what sort of attitude is this? It means God looks down on these people and scorns them! The way He deals with such people is to give them the cold shoulder. God’s approach is to set them aside, not engaging in any work on them, and this includes the work of enlightenment, illumination, chastening, and discipline. Such people are simply not counted in God’s work. What is God’s attitude toward those who aggravate His disposition and violate His administrative decrees? Extreme loathing! God is tremendously enraged by people who are unrepentant about aggravating His disposition! “Enraged” is no more than a feeling, a mood; it does not correspond to a clear attitude. However, this feeling—this mood—will bring about an outcome for such people: It will fill God with extreme loathing! What is the consequence of this extreme loathing? It is that God will set these people aside and not respond to them for the time being. He will then wait to sort them out “after autumn.” What does this imply? Will these people still have outcomes? God never intended to grant such people any outcome! Therefore, is it not perfectly normal that God does not now respond to such people? (Yes, it is normal.) What should such people be preparing to do? They should prepare to bear the negative consequences of their behavior and of the evil actions they have committed. This is God’s response to such a person. So, now I say clearly to such people: Do not hold on to your delusions any longer, and do not engage in any more wishful thinking. God will not be tolerant of people indefinitely; He will not endure their trespasses or disobedience forever. Some people will say, “I’ve seen a few such people, too, and when they pray, they feel especially touched by God, and then they weep bitterly. Usually they’re also very happy; they seem to have God’s presence and God’s guidance with them.” Do not utter such nonsense! Bitter tears do not necessarily mean one is being touched by God or enjoys God’s presence, let alone God’s guidance. If people anger God, will He still guide them? In short, when God has decided to eliminate and abandon someone, that person’s outcome is already gone. No matter how favorable their feelings when they pray, or how much faith they have in God in their hearts, it is no longer of consequence. The important thing is that God does not need this kind of faith; He has already spurned these people. How to deal with them in the future is also unimportant. The important thing is that in the very instant that these people anger God, their outcomes are set. If God has determined not to save such people, then they will be left behind to be punished. This is God’s attitude.
Though God’s essence contains an element of love, and He is merciful toward each and every person, people have overlooked and forgotten the fact that His essence is one of dignity as well. That He has love does not mean that people can offend Him freely, without inciting in Him feelings or a reaction, nor does the fact that He has mercy mean that He has no principles in how He treats people. God is alive; He genuinely exists. He is neither an imagined puppet nor any other object. Given that He does exist, we should carefully listen to the voice of His heart at all times, pay close attention to His attitude, and come to understand His feelings. We should not use human imaginings to define God, nor should we impose human thoughts or wishes on Him, making God treat people in a human manner based on human imaginings. If you do this, then you are angering God, tempting His wrath, and challenging His dignity! Thus, once you have come to understand the severity of this matter, I urge each and every one of you to be cautious and prudent in your actions. Be cautious and prudent in your speech, as well—with regard to how you treat God, the more cautious and prudent you are, the better! When you do not understand what God’s attitude is, refrain from speaking carelessly, do not be careless in your actions, and do not apply labels casually. Even more importantly, do not come to any arbitrary conclusions. Instead, you should wait and seek; these actions, too, are an expression of fearing God and shunning evil. Above all else, if you can achieve this, and above all else, if you possess this attitude, then God will not blame you for your stupidity, ignorance, and lack of understanding of the reasons behind things. Rather, owing to your attitude of fear of offending God, respect for His intentions, and 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—judging Him as you wish or arbitrarily guessing at and defining His ideas—God will condemn you, discipline you, and even punish you; or, He might offer comment on you. Perhaps this comment will involve your outcome. Therefore, I wish to emphasize once more: Each of you should be cautious and prudent about everything that comes from God. Do not speak carelessly, and do not be careless in your actions. Before you say anything, you should stop and think: Would this action of mine anger God? In doing it, am I revering God? Even in simple matters, you should try to figure these questions out, and spend more time considering them. If you can truly practice according to these principles in all aspects, in all things, at all times, and adopt such an attitude especially when you do not understand something, then God will always guide you and provide you with a path to follow. No matter what sort of show people put on, God sees them quite clearly and plainly, and He will offer an accurate and appropriate evaluation of these displays of yours. After you have undergone the final trial, God will take all of your behavior and sum it up completely in order to determine your outcome. This result will convince every single person beyond the shadow of a doubt. What I would like to tell you here is this: Your every deed, your every action, and your every thought decide your fate.
Who Determines People’s Outcomes?
There is another matter of the utmost importance to discuss, and that is your attitude toward God. This attitude is extremely important! It determines whether you will ultimately walk toward destruction or into the beautiful destination that God has prepared for you. In the Age of Kingdom, God has already worked for more than twenty years, and perhaps, over the course of these two decades, deep down you have been a bit unsure of how you have performed. However, in God’s heart, He has made a real and truthful record of each of you. From the time that each person started following Him and listening to His sermons, gradually understanding more and more of the truth, and until the time each person began to fulfill their duties, God has kept a record of all manner of behaviors attributable to each person. While fulfilling their duties and being faced with all manner of environments and trials, what are people’s attitudes? How do they perform? How do they feel toward God in their hearts? … God has an account of all of this; He has a record of all of it. Perhaps, from your point of view, these issues are confusing. However, from where God stands, they are all clear as crystal, and there is not even the slightest hint of sloppiness. This is an issue that involves the outcome of each person, and touches upon each person’s fate and future prospects as well, and more than that, this is where God expends all of His painstaking efforts; therefore, God would never neglect it one bit, nor does He tolerate any carelessness. God is making a record of this account of humankind, making note of the entire course of humans in their following of God, from the beginning right up to the end. Your attitude toward Him during this period has determined your fate. Is this not true? Now, do you believe that God is righteous? Are His actions appropriate? Do you still have any other imaginings about God in your heads? (No.) Then would you say that people’s outcomes are for God to determine, or for people to determine themselves? (They are for God to determine.) Who is it that determines them? (God.) You are not sure, are you? Brothers and sisters from Hong Kong, speak up—who determines them? (People themselves determines them.) Do people themselves determine them? Would that not then mean that people’s outcomes have nothing to do with God? Brothers and sisters from South Korea, speak up. (God determines people’s outcomes based on all of their actions and deeds, and in accordance with what path they are on.) This is a very objective response. There is a fact here of which I must inform you all: Over the course of God’s salvation work, He has set a standard for humans. This standard is that they must listen to the word of God and walk in God’s way. It is this standard that is used to weigh people’s outcomes. If you practice in accordance with this standard of God, then you can obtain a good outcome; if you do not, then you cannot obtain a good outcome. Who, then, would you say determines this outcome? It is not God alone who determines it, but rather God and humans together. Is this correct? (Yes.) Why is that? It is because it is God who actively wishes to engage in the work of humankind’s salvation and prepare a beautiful destination for humanity; humans are the objects of God’s work, and this outcome, this destination, is what God prepares for them. If there were no objects for Him to work on, then He would not need to do this work; if He were not doing this work, then humans would not have an opportunity to gain salvation. Humans are the ones to be saved, and although being saved is the passive part of this process, it is the attitude of the ones playing this part that determines whether or not God will be successful in His work to save humankind. If not for the guidance that God gives you, you would not know His standard, nor would you have an objective. If you have this standard, this objective, yet you still do not cooperate, put it into practice, or pay the price, then you will not obtain this outcome. For this reason, I say that one’s outcome cannot be separated from God, and it also cannot be separated from the person. Now, then, you know who determines people’s outcomes.
People Tend to Define God Based on Experience
When communicating about the topic of knowing God, have you noticed something? Have you noticed that His attitude these days has undergone a transformation? Is His attitude toward humans unchangeable? Will He always endure like this, extending all of His love and mercy to humans indefinitely? This matter also involves the essence of God. Let us return to the question of the so-called prodigal son mentioned earlier. After that question was asked, your answers were not very clear; in other words, you still do not have a very solid understanding of God’s intentions. Upon knowing that God loves humankind, they define Him as a symbol of love: They believe that no matter what people do, no matter how they behave, no matter how they treat God, and no matter how disobedient they might be, none of this really matters, for God has love, and His love is unlimited and immeasurable; God has love, so He can be tolerant of people; and 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 even a few times, they will treat these experiences as capital in their own understanding of God, believing that He will forever be patient and merciful toward them, and then, over the course of their lives, they take this patience of God and regard it as the standard by which He treats them. There are also those who, after having experienced God’s tolerance once, will forever define God as tolerant—and in their minds, this tolerance is indefinite, unconditional, and even totally unprincipled. Are such beliefs correct? Every time matters of God’s essence or God’s disposition are discussed, you seem bewildered. Seeing you like this makes Me very angry. You have heard a lot of truths concerning God’s essence; you have also listened to a great many discussions concerning His disposition. However, in your minds, these issues and the truth of these aspects are just memories based on theory and written words; in your day-to-day lives, none of you is ever able to experience or see God’s disposition for what it really is. Thus, you are all muddleheaded in your beliefs; you are all believing blindly, to the point that you have an irreverent attitude toward God and even brush Him aside. What does your having this kind of attitude toward God lead to? It leads to your always making conclusions about God. Once you have acquired a little bit of knowledge, you then feel very satisfied, as though you have obtained God in His entirety. Afterward, you conclude that this is how God is, and you do not let Him move freely. Furthermore, whenever God does something new, you simply refuse to admit that He is God. One day, when God says, “I do not love humankind anymore; I will extend no more mercy to humans; I do not have any further tolerance or patience for them; I am filled to the brim with extreme loathing and antipathy toward them,” such statements will cause conflict deep in people’s 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 won’t give me mercy, love, and tolerance anymore, then I will stop following You. If You are tolerant of me indefinitely, always patient with me, and allow me to see that You are love, that You are patience, and that You are tolerance, only then can I follow You, and only then will I have the confidence to follow You to the end. Since I have Your patience and mercy, my disobedience and my trespasses can be forgiven and 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 opinions or draw any conclusions about me.” Though not a single one of you may think about this sort of issue so subjectively or consciously, whenever you consider God to be a tool to be used to forgive you of your sins or an object to be used for obtaining a beautiful destination, you have subtly placed the living God in opposition to you, as your enemy. This is what I see. You may keep on saying such things as, “I believe in God,” “I pursue 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 submit to God,” “I want to be faithful toward God, and do my duty well,” and so forth. However, no matter how sweet-sounding your words might be, no matter how much theory you might know, and no matter how imposing or dignified that theory might be, the fact of the matter is that there are now many of you who have already learned how to use the regulations, the doctrines, the theories you have mastered to draw conclusions about God, thus naturally placing Him in opposition to yourselves. Though you may have mastered letters and doctrines, you have not genuinely entered the reality of the truth, so it is very difficult for you to get close to God, to know Him, and to understand Him. This is so lamentable!
I saw the following scene in a video: A few sisters had a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh, and they were holding it up very high; they were raising the book in their midst, high over their heads. Although this was just an image, what it evoked inside Me was not an image; rather, it made Me think that what every person holds high in their heart is not God’s word, but the book of God’s word. This is a matter that is extremely sad. Such an action is not at all the same as holding God high, because your lack of understanding of God has gotten to the point that even a very obvious question, an extremely minor issue, has you coming up with your own notions. When I ask things of you, and am being serious with you, you respond with conjecture and your own imaginings; some of you even take on a doubtful tone and answer My questions with questions. This tells Me even more clearly that the God you believe in is not the true God. After reading God’s words for so many years, you use them, God’s work, and more doctrines to draw conclusions about Him once again. Moreover, you never even attempt to understand God; you never try to figure out His intentions, understand His attitude toward humans, or comprehend how God thinks, why He is sad, why He is angry, why He spurns people, and other such questions. Moreover, even more people believe that God has always been silent because He is simply watching humanity’s various actions, with no attitude or ideas about them. Yet another group of people believe that God does not utter a sound because He has acquiesced, remaining silent because He is waiting or because He has no attitude; they think that because God’s attitude has already been elaborated fully in the book, and expressed in its entirety to humankind, it therefore does not need to be told to people time and time again. Although God is silent, He still has an attitude and a viewpoint, as well as a standard He demands people to live up to. Though people do not try to understand Him or seek Him, God’s attitude is very clear. Consider someone who once passionately followed God, but then, at some point, abandoned Him and left. Should this person want to come back now, surprisingly enough, you do not know what God’s viewpoint would be, or what His attitude would be. Is this not extremely sad? The fact is 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 would not give an ambiguous answer. Since you do not know, allow Me to fill you in.
God’s Attitude Toward Those Who Run Away During His Work
There are people like this everywhere: After they have been certain about God’s way, for various reasons, they depart in silence, without a goodbye, to go off and do whatever their hearts desire. For the time being, we will not get into the reasons these people leave; we will first take a look at what God’s attitude is toward this kind of person. It is very clear! From the moment these people walk away, in God’s eyes, the span of their faith is over. It is not the individual person who ended it, but God. That this person left God means that they have already rejected God, that they do not want Him anymore, and that they no longer accept God’s salvation. Since people like this do not want God, can He still want them? Moreover, when such people possess this sort of attitude, this view, and have grown determined to leave God, they have already aggravated God’s disposition. This is despite the fact that they may not have flown into a rage and cursed God, despite the fact that they may not have engaged in any vile or excessive behavior, and despite the fact that these people are 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, or 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 these people have calculated in their minds when exactly they will come back, and even though they have tried to leave the door open for their return, they do not realize that no matter what they believe or how they plan, this is all just wishful thinking. Their biggest mistake is being unclear about how their desire to leave makes God feel. From the very moment they decided to leave God, He completely abandons them; by then, He has already determined the outcome of such a person in His heart. What outcome is that? It is that this person will be one of the hamsters, and will therefore perish along with them. Thus, people often see this kind of situation: Someone abandons God, but then does not receive a punishment. God operates according to His own principles; some things can be seen, while others are only concluded in God’s heart, so people cannot see the results. The part which is visible to humans is not necessarily the true side of things, but that other side—the side you do not see—does indeed contain God’s true heartfelt thoughts and conclusions.
People Who Run Away During God’s Work Are Those Who Abandon the True Way
So, how can God give this sort of people such serious punishment? Why is He so angry at them? First of all, we know that God’s disposition is majesty and wrath; He is not a sheep to be slaughtered by anyone, much less a puppet to be controlled by people however they want. He is also not empty air to be bossed around. If you truly believe that God exists, then you should have a God-fearing heart, and you should know that His essence is not one to be angered. This anger may be caused by a word, or perhaps a thought, or perhaps some kind of vile behavior, or perhaps even by mild behavior—behavior that is passable in the eyes and ethics of humans; or, perhaps it is provoked by a doctrine or a theory. However, once you have angered God, your opportunity is lost, and your end days have arrived. This is a terrible thing! If you do not understand that God must not be offended, then maybe you are not afraid of Him, and perhaps you are routinely offending Him. If you do not know how to fear God, then you are unable to fear God, and you will not know how to enter into and follow God’s way—which is one of fearing God and shunning evil. Once you become aware, and are conscious that God must not be offended, you will know what it is to fear God and shun evil.
Walking in the way of fearing God and shunning evil is not necessarily about how much truth you know, how many trials you have experienced, or how much you have been disciplined. Rather, it depends on the sort of essence your heart has with regard to God, and what your attitude toward Him is. People’s essences and their subjective attitudes—these are very important, very crucial. As for those who have renounced and left God, their contemptible attitudes toward Him and their hearts that despise the truth have already aggravated His disposition, so as far as He is concerned, they will never be forgiven. They have known about God’s existence, been informed of the news that He has already arrived, and even experienced God’s new work. Their departure was not a case of being deluded or muddle-headed, much less were they forced to leave. Rather, they chose consciously, and with a clear mind, to leave God. Their departure was not a matter of losing their way, nor were they cast off. Therefore, in God’s eyes, they are not lambs that strayed from the flock, let alone prodigal sons who lost their 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 hopeless outcomes. Is this kind of outcome not frightful? Therefore, if people do not know God, they can offend Him. This is no small matter! If people do not take God’s attitude seriously, and still believe that He is looking forward to their return because they are some of His lost lambs and He is still waiting for them to have a change of heart, then they are not far off from their days of punishment. God will not merely refuse to accept them—given that this is their second time aggravating His disposition, the matter is all the more terrible! These people’s irreverent attitudes have already violated God’s administrative decrees. Will He still accept them? In His heart, God’s principles regarding this matter are that someone has attained certainty about which is the true way, yet can still consciously and with a clear mind reject God and depart from God, then He will block off the road to such a person’s salvation, and for this individual, the gate into the kingdom will henceforth be closed. When this person comes knocking once more, God will not open the door; 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 expressed their disobedience to Moses because of his actions and for various other reasons. To whom did they refuse to submit? It was not Moses. They refused to submit to God’s arrangements; they refused to submit to God’s work on this issue. They said the following: “You take too much on you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Jehovah is among them….” Are these words and lines very serious, from a human point of view? They are not serious! At least, the literal meaning of these words is not serious. In a legal sense, they do not break any laws, because on its very surface, this is not hostile language or vocabulary, much less does it have any blasphemous connotations. These are just common sentences, nothing more. Why is it, then, that these words can trigger such rage from God? It is because they were not spoken to people, but to God. The attitude and disposition expressed by them is precisely what aggravates God’s disposition, especially the part of God’s disposition that must not be offended. We all know what those leaders’ outcomes were in the end. Regarding people who have abandoned God, what is their viewpoint? What is their attitude? And why do their viewpoint and attitude cause God to deal with them in such a manner? The reason is that though they clearly know He is God, they still choose to betray Him, and this is why they are totally stripped of their chances for salvation. As is written in the Bible, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.” Do you now have a clear understanding of this matter?
People’s Fates Are Decided by Their Attitudes Toward God
God is a living God, and just as people behave differently in different situations, His attitude toward these behaviors differs because He is neither a puppet nor is He empty air. Getting to know God’s attitude is a worthy pursuit for humankind. People should learn how, by knowing God’s attitude, they can little by little attain knowledge of God’s disposition and come to understand His heart. When you gradually come to understand God’s heart, you will not feel that fearing Him and shunning evil is such a difficult thing to accomplish. Moreover, when you do understand God, you will not be as likely to draw conclusions about Him. Once you have stopped drawing conclusions about God, you will be less likely to offend Him, and without your realizing it, God will lead you to gain knowledge of Him; this will fill your heart with reverence for Him. You will then stop defining God by way of the doctrines, letters, and theories you have mastered. Instead, by constantly 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 humans, but as far as He is concerned, the actions of each and every person—along with their attitude toward Him—are not merely perceptible by God, but visible to Him as well. This is something that everyone should recognize and be very clear about. You might always be asking yourself, “Does God know what I’m doing here? Does He know what I’m thinking about right now? Maybe He does, and maybe He doesn’t.” If you adopt this sort 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 will arouse His anger, for you are already teetering on the edge of a dangerous precipice. I have seen people who have believed in God for many years, yet who still have not gained the reality of the truth, much less understood God’s will. These people make no progress in their lives and statures, adhering only to the shallowest of doctrines. This is because such people have never taken God’s word to be life itself, and they have never faced up to and accepted His existence. Do you think that upon seeing such people, God is filled with enjoyment? Do they comfort Him? Thus, it is how people believe in God that decides their fate. Concerning how people seek and how people approach God, people’s attitudes are of primary importance. Do not neglect God like He is just a bunch of empty air floating around in the back of your head; always think of the God you believe in as a living God, a real God. He is not sitting around up there in the third heaven with nothing to do. Rather, He is constantly looking into everyone’s heart, observing what you are up to, watching your every little word and every little deed, watching how you behave and seeing what your attitude toward Him is. Whether you are willing to give yourself to God or not, all of your behavior and your innermost thoughts and ideas are laid bare before Him and being looked upon by Him. Due to your behavior, due to your deeds, and due to your attitude toward Him, God’s opinion of you and His attitude toward you are constantly changing. I would like to offer some advice to some people: Do not place yourselves like infants in the hands of God, as if He should dote on you, as if He could never leave you, and as if His attitude toward you were fixed and could never change, and I advise you to quit dreaming! God is righteous in His treatment of each and every person, and He is earnest in His approach to the work of conquering and saving people. This is His management. He treats every single person seriously, and not like a pet to play with. God’s love for humans is not the pampering or spoiling kind, nor are His mercy and tolerance toward humankind indulgent or unmindful. On the contrary, God’s love for humans involves cherishing, pitying, and respecting life; His mercy and tolerance convey His expectations of them, and are what humanity needs to survive. God is alive, and God actually exists; His attitude toward humankind is principled, not at all a pack of dogmatic rules, and it can change. His intentions for humanity are gradually changing and transforming with time, depending on circumstances as they arise, and along with the attitude of each and every person. Therefore, you should know in your heart with absolute clarity that the essence of God is immutable, and that His disposition will issue forth at different times and in different contexts. You might not think that this is a serious matter, and you might use your own personal notions to imagine how God should do things. However, there are times when the polar opposite of your viewpoint is true, and by using your own personal notions to attempt to gauge God, you have already angered Him. This is because God does not operate the way you think He does, nor will He treat this matter like you say He will. Thus, 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, which is to fear God and shun evil. You must develop a firm understanding with regard to the matters of God’s will and God’s attitude, you must find enlightened people to communicate these matters to you, and you must seek in earnest. Do not view the God of your belief as a puppet—judging Him at will, arriving at arbitrary conclusions about Him, and not treating Him with the respect He deserves. While God is bringing you salvation and determining your outcome, He may grant you mercy, or tolerance, or judgment and chastisement, but in any case, His attitude toward you is not fixed. It is dependent on your own attitude toward Him, as well as your understanding of Him. Do not allow one passing aspect of your knowledge or understanding of God to define Him in perpetuity. Do not believe in a dead God; believe in the living One. Remember this! Though I have discussed some truths here—truths you needed to hear—in light of your present state and present stature, I will not make any greater demands of you for now, 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 for God you have in your hearts and employ a respectful attitude toward God when walking the path that lies ahead. Do not muddle through this matter of how to believe in God; treat it as one of the biggest issues there is. Place it in your heart, put it into practice, and connect it with real life; do not just pay it lip service—for this is a matter of life and death, and one that will determine your destiny. Do not treat it like a joke or child’s play! After sharing these words with you today, I wonder how much understanding your minds have harvested. Are there any questions you wish to ask about what I have said here today?
Although these topics are a bit new, and a bit removed from your views, from your usual pursuits, and what you tend to pay attention to, I think that once they have been fellowshiped by you for a period of time, you will develop a common understanding of everything I have said here. These topics are all very new, and ones that you have never considered before, so I hope that they will not add to your burden in any way. I am not speaking these words today to frighten you, nor am I using them as a way to deal with you; rather, My aim is to help you to understand actual facts about the truth. Because a gulf exists between humankind and God, though people believe in God, they have never understood Him or known His attitude. Humans have also never been very enthusiastic in their concern for God’s attitude. Rather, they have believed and proceeded blindly, and been careless in their knowledge and understanding of God. I therefore feel compelled to clear these issues up for you, and help you to understand just what kind of God this God you believe in is, as well as what He is thinking, what His attitude is in His treatment of various sorts of people, how far you are from fulfilling His requirements, and how great the disparity is between your actions and the standard He demands. The goal in informing you of these things is to give you a yardstick by which to measure yourselves, and so that you will know what kind of harvest the road you are on has led to, what you have not obtained along this road, and in what areas you simply have not gotten involved. While communicating amongst yourselves, you usually speak on a few commonly-discussed topics that are very narrow in scope and shallow in content. There is a distance, a gap, between that which you discuss and God’s intentions, as well as between your discussions and the scope and standard of God’s demands. Proceeding like this over time will result in your deviating ever farther from God’s way. You are just taking God’s current utterances and turning them into objects of worship, and seeing them as rituals and regulations. That is all you are doing! In actual fact, God simply has no place in your hearts, and He has never really obtained your hearts. Some people think that to know God is very difficult, and this is the truth. It is difficult! If people are made to do their duties and get things done outwardly, and work hard, then they will think that believing in God is very easy, because all those things fall within the scope of human capability. However, the moment the topic shifts over to God’s intentions and His attitude toward humanity, then from everyone’s point of view, things really do get a bit more difficult. That is because this involves people’s understanding of the truth and their entry into reality, so of course there will be a degree of difficulty! Nevertheless, once you get through the first door and begin to attain entry, things gradually get easier.
The Starting Point for Fearing God Is to Treat Him Like God
A little while ago, someone raised a question: How is it that even though we know more of God than Job did, we still cannot revere Him? We touched upon this matter a little bit previously, did we not? We actually have discussed the essence of this question before, too, which is the fact that although Job did not know God back then, he still treated Him like God and regarded Him as the Master of the heavens and earth and all things. 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 are they unable to revere Him? One reason is that they have been deeply corrupted by Satan, and with such a deeply-ingrained satanic nature, they have become enemies of God. Thus, even though they believe in God and acknowledge God, they are still able to resist Him and place themselves in opposition to Him. This is determined by human nature. The other reason is that despite their belief in God, people simply do not treat Him as God. Instead, they consider Him to be opposed to humanity, regarding Him as their enemy, and feel that they are irreconcilable with God. It is just that simple. Was this matter not broached in our previous session? Think about it: Is that not the reason? You might possess a bit of knowledge of God, but just what does this knowledge entail? Is this not what everyone is talking about? Is it not what God told you? You are only familiar with the theoretical and doctrinal aspects of it—but have you ever appreciated the true face of God? Do you have subjective knowledge? Do you have practical knowledge and experience? If God had not told you, could you know? Your theoretical knowledge does not represent real knowledge. In short, no matter how much you know or how you came to know it, until you attain a real understanding of God, He will be your enemy, and until you actually begin to treat God as a God, He will oppose you, for you are an embodiment of Satan.
When you are together with Christ, perhaps you can serve Him three meals a day, or perhaps serve Him tea and attend to His life’s needs; you will seem to have treated Christ as God. Whenever something happens, people’s viewpoints always run contrary to God’s; people always fail to understand and accept God’s point of view. Though people might get along with God on the surface, this does not mean that they are compatible with Him. As soon as something happens, the truth of humanity’s disobedience emerges, thus confirming the hostility that exists between humans and God. This hostility is not one of God’s opposing humans or of God’s wanting to be hostile to them, nor is it that He places them in opposition to Himself and then treats them as such. Rather, it is a case of this contrary essence toward God that lurks in humans’ subjective will and in their subconscious minds. Since people regard all that which comes from God as objects for their research, their response toward what comes from God and toward everything involving God is, above all, to guess, to doubt, and then to quickly adopt an attitude that conflicts with and opposes God. Soon thereafter, they carry a negative mood into disputes or contests with God, going so far as to doubt even whether such a God is worth following. Despite the fact that their rationality tells them that they should not proceed in this manner, they will still choose to do so in spite of themselves, such that they will continue without hesitation to the very end. For example, what is the first reaction some people have when they hear rumors or slanderous talk about God? Their first reaction is to wonder whether these rumors are true or not and whether these rumors exist or not, and then to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Then they start to think, “There’s no way to verify this. Did that really happen? Is this rumor true or not?” Though people like this do not show it on the surface, in their hearts they have already begun to doubt, and already started to deny God. What is the essence of this kind of attitude and of such a viewpoint? Is it not betrayal? Until they are faced with this matter, you cannot see what these people’s viewpoints are; it seems like they are not in conflict with God, and as though they do not regard Him as an enemy. However, as soon as they are faced with a problem, they immediately stand with Satan and oppose God. What does this suggest? It suggests that humans and God are opposed! It is not that God regards humanity as the enemy, but that the very essence of humanity itself is hostile toward God. No matter how long someone has followed Him or how big a price they have paid, and regardless of how they praise God, how they might keep themselves from resisting Him, and even how strenuously they urge themselves to love God, they can never manage to treat God as God. Is this not determined by people’s essence? If you treat Him as God and genuinely believe that He is God, can you still have any doubts toward Him? Can your heart still harbor any question marks about Him? There cannot anymore, right? The trends of this world are so evil, and this human race is, too; so, how could you not have any viewpoints on them? You yourself are so wicked, so how is it that you do not have a viewpoint about that? And yet, just a few rumors and some slander can give rise to such enormous notions about God, and lead to your imagining so many things, which shows just how immature your stature is! Just the “buzzing” of a few mosquitos and a few repulsive flies—is that all it takes to deceive you? What kind of person is this? Do you know what God thinks about such people? God’s attitude is actually very clear regarding how He treats them. It is only that God’s treatment of these people is to give them the cold shoulder—His attitude is to not pay them any attention, and to not take these ignorant people seriously. Why is that? It is because in God’s 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 a way of being compatible with Him. Perhaps these words I have spoken might hurt a few people. Well, are you willing to always let Me hurt you like this? Whether you are or not, everything I say is the truth! If I always hurt you and expose your scars like this, will it affect the lofty image of God you harbor in your hearts? (It won’t.) I agree that it will not, for there simply is no God in your hearts. The lofty God that inhabits your hearts—the one you strongly defend and protect—is simply not God. Rather, he is a figment of human imagination; he simply does not exist. Therefore, it is all the better that I expose the answer to this riddle; does this not lay the entire truth bare? The real God is not what humans imagine Him to be. 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 faith has never been acknowledged within God’s heart. In other words, God does not recognize that they are His followers, because He does not praise their beliefs. For these people, regardless of how many years they have followed God, their ideas and views have never changed; they are like the unbelievers, adhering to the unbelievers’ principles and ways of doing things and to the unbelievers’ laws of survival and faith. They have 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 see believing in God as some kind of amateur hobby, treating Him as mere spiritual sustenance; as such, they do not think it is worth it to try and understand God’s disposition or essence. It can be said that all that corresponds to the true God has nothing to do with these people; they are not interested, nor can they be bothered to pay heed. This is because deep in their hearts, there is an intense voice that is always telling them, “God is invisible and untouchable, and does not exist.” They believe that trying to understand this sort of God would not be worth their efforts, and that in doing so they would be fooling themselves. They believe that by merely acknowledging God with words without taking any real stand or investing themselves in any real actions, they are being pretty clever. How does God look upon such people? He views them as unbelievers. Some people ask, “Can unbelievers read God’s words? Can they fulfill their duties? Can they say the words, ‘I’ll live for God’?” What humans often see are the displays people exhibit on the surface; they do not see people’s essences. However, God does not look at these superficial displays; He only sees their inner essences. Thus, this is the kind of attitude and definition God has toward these people. 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 human notions; You must explain that to me….” In answer to this, I ask: Is it really necessary to explain these matters to you? Do these matters actually have anything to do with you? Who do you think you are? Where did you come from? Are you really qualified to give God pointers? Do you believe in Him? Does He acknowledge your faith? Since your faith has nothing to do with God, what business of yours are His doings? You do not know where you stand in God’s heart, so how can you be qualified to engage in dialogue with Him?
Words of Admonishment
Are you not uncomfortable after hearing these remarks? Though you may be either unwilling to listen to them or unwilling to accept them, they are all facts. Because this stage of the work is for God to perform, if you are not concerned with His intentions, have no care about His attitude, and do not understand His essence and disposition, then in the end, you will be the ones who will lose out. Do not blame My words for being difficult to hear, and do not blame them for dampening your enthusiasm. I speak the truth; it is not My intention to discourage you. No matter what I ask of you, and no matter how you are required to do it, I hope that you walk the correct path and follow God’s way, and that you never deviate from the correct path. If you do not proceed in accordance with God’s word or follow His way, then there can be no doubt that you are rebelling against God and have strayed from the correct path. Thus, I feel there are some matters that I must clarify for you, and that I must make you believe unequivocally, clearly, and without a shred of uncertainty, and help you to have a clear understanding of God’s attitude, His intentions, how He perfects humans, and in what manner He determines people’s outcomes. Should there come a day when you are unable to embark upon this path, then I bear no responsibility, for these words have already been spoken to you very clearly. As for how you deal with your own outcome, this is a matter that is entirely up to you. God has different attitudes regarding the outcomes of various types of people; He has His own ways of measuring people, as well as His own standard that He expects people to meet. His standard of measuring people is one that is fair to everyone—there is no doubt about that! Therefore, the fears of some are unnecessary. Are you relieved now? That is all for today. Goodbye!
October 17, 2013