X. One Must Fellowship Clearly the Aspect of Truth Concerning How to Know God
2. How can one know God’s disposition and essence?
Relevant Words of God:
People often say that it is not an easy thing to know God. I, however, say that knowing God is not a difficult matter at all, for God frequently allows man to witness His deeds. God has never ceased His dialogue with mankind; He has never concealed Himself from man, nor has He hidden Himself. His thoughts, His ideas, His words and His deeds are all revealed to mankind. Therefore, so long as man wishes to know God, he can come to understand and know Him through all sorts of means and methods. The reason why man blindly thinks that God has intentionally avoided him, that God has intentionally hidden Himself from humanity, that God has no intention of allowing man to understand and know Him, is that he does not know who God is, nor does he wish to understand God; even more so, he is not concerned with the Creator’s thoughts, words or deeds…. Truthfully speaking, if one only uses their idle time to focus upon and understand the Creator’s words or deeds, and pay a little attention to the Creator’s thoughts and the voice of His heart, it will not be difficult for them to realize that the Creator’s thoughts, words and deeds are visible and transparent. Likewise, it will take little effort to realize that the Creator is among man at all times, that He is always in conversation with man and the entirety of creation, and that He is performing new deeds every day. His substance and disposition are expressed in His dialogue with man; His thoughts and ideas are revealed completely in His deeds; He accompanies and observes mankind at all times. He speaks quietly to mankind and all of creation with His silent words: I am in the heavens, and I am amongst My creation. I am keeping watch; I am waiting; I am at your side….
from “God Himself, the Unique II” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
Coming to know the substance of God is no trifling matter. You must understand His disposition. In this way, you will, gradually and unknowingly, come to know the substance of God.
from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The disposition of God is a subject that seems very abstract to everyone and is moreover one that is not easy for everyone to accept, for His disposition is unlike a human being’s personality. God, too, has His own emotions of joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness, but these emotions differ from those of man. God is what He is and He has what He has. All that He expresses and reveals are representations of His substance and of His identity. What He is and what He has, as well as His substance and identity, are things that cannot be replaced by any man. His disposition encompasses His love for mankind, solace of mankind, hatred of mankind, and even more, a thorough understanding of mankind. … The disposition of God is one that belongs to the Ruler of the living beings among all things, to the Lord of all creation. His disposition represents honor, power, nobility, greatness, and most of all, supremacy. His disposition is the symbol of authority, the symbol of all that is righteous, the symbol of all that is beautiful and good. More than this, it is a symbol of Him who cannot be[a]overcome or invaded by the darkness and any enemy force, as well as a symbol of Him who cannot be offended (nor will He tolerate being offended)[b] by any created being. His disposition is the symbol of the highest power. No person or persons can or may disturb His work or His disposition.
from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The joy of God is due to the existence and emergence of righteousness and light; because of the destruction of darkness and evil. He takes delight because He has brought the light and a good life to mankind; His joy is a righteous joy, a symbol of the existence of all that is positive and, even more, a symbol of auspiciousness. The anger of God is due to the existence of injustice and the disturbance it causes that are harming His mankind; because of the existence of evil and darkness, because of the existence of things that drive out the truth, and even more because of the existence of things that oppose what is good and beautiful. His anger is a symbol that all things negative no longer exist and, even more, is a symbol of His holiness. His sorrow is due to mankind, for whom He has hopes but who has fallen into darkness, because the work He does on man does not come up to His expectations, and because the mankind He loves cannot all live in the light. He feels sorrow for the innocent mankind, for the honest but ignorant man, and for the man who is good but lacking in his own views. His sorrow is a symbol of His goodness and of His mercy, a symbol of beauty and of kindness. His happiness, of course, comes from defeating His enemies and gaining the good faith of man. More than this, it arises from the expulsion and destruction of all enemy forces, and because mankind receives a good and peaceful life. The happiness of God is unlike the joy of man; rather, it is the feeling of garnering good fruits, a feeling even greater than joy. His happiness is a symbol of mankind breaking free of suffering from this time forth, and a symbol of mankind entering a world of light.
from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Is the truthfulness of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the faithfulness of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the selflessness of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the humility of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the love of God for man His holiness? (Yes.) God freely bestows truth and life on man—is this His holiness? (Yes.) All this that God reveals is unique; it does not exist within corrupt humanity, nor can it be seen there. Not the slightest trace of it can be seen during the process of Satan’s corruption of man, neither in the corrupt disposition of Satan nor in the essence or nature of Satan. So all that God has and is is unique and only God Himself has this kind of essence, only God Himself possesses this kind of essence.
from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
Knowing God must be done through reading God’s word and understanding God’s word. Some people say: “I haven’t seen God incarnate, so how can I know God?” God’s word is actually an expression of God’s disposition. From God’s word you can see God’s love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and the way He saves them … because God’s word is expressed by God as opposed to God using man to write it out. It is personally expressed by God. It is God Himself expressing His own words and His inner voice. Why do we call them heartfelt words? Because they are issued from deep down, expressing His disposition, His will, His thoughts, His love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and His expectations of mankind. … Sometimes God speaks from a gentle and compassionate perspective, and people see God’s love for mankind; sometimes He speaks from a strict perspective, and people see God’s unoffendable disposition. Man is deplorably filthy and is not worthy of seeing God’s face, and is not worthy of coming before God. People’s coming before God now is purely out of God’s grace. God’s wisdom can be seen from the way God works and the meaning of His work. Even if people don’t come into contact with God, they will still be able to see these things in God’s word.
from “Knowledge of the Incarnation” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The words and disposition issued forth and revealed by God represent His will, and they also represent His substance. When God engages with man, no matter what He says or does, or what disposition He reveals, and no matter what man sees of God’s substance and what He has and is, they all represent God’s will for man. Regardless of how much man is able to realize, comprehend or understand, it all represents God’s will—God’s will for man. This is beyond doubt! God’s will for mankind is how He requires people to be, what He requires them to do, how He requires them to live, and how He requires them to be capable of accomplishing the fulfillment of God’s will. Are these things inseparable from the substance of God? In other words, God issues forth His disposition and all that He has and is at the same time as making demands of man.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
God’s possessions and being, God’s essence, God’s disposition—all has been made known in His words to humankind. When he experiences God’s words, man will in the process of carrying them out come to understand the purpose behind the words God speaks, and to understand the wellspring and background of God’s words, and to understand and appreciate the intended effect of God’s words. For humanity, these are all things that man must experience, grasp, and access in order to access truth and life, grasp God’s intentions, become transformed in his disposition, and become able to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. At the same time that man experiences, grasps, and accesses these things, he will gradually have gained an understanding of God, and at this time he will also have gained different degrees of knowledge about Him. This understanding and knowledge does not come out of something man has imagined or composed, but rather from what he appreciates, experiences, feels, and corroborates within himself. Only after appreciating, experiencing, feeling, and corroborating these things does man’s knowledge of God acquire content, only the knowledge that he obtains at this time is actual, real, and accurate, and this process—of attaining genuine understanding and knowledge of God through appreciating, experiencing, feeling, and corroborating His words—is no other than true communion between man and God. In the midst of this kind of communion, man comes truly to understand and comprehend God’s intentions, comes truly to understand and know God’s possessions and being, comes truly to understand and know God’s essence, comes gradually to understand and know God’s disposition, arrives at real certainty about, and a correct definition of, the fact of God’s dominion over all creation, and gains a substantive bearing on and knowledge of God’s identity and position. In the midst of this kind of communion, man changes, step by step, his ideas about God, no longer imagining Him out of thin air, or giving rein to his own suspicions about Him, or misunderstanding Him, or condemning Him, or passing judgment on Him, or doubting Him. In consequence, man will have fewer debates with God, he will have fewer conflicts with God, and there will be fewer occasions on which he rebels against God. Conversely, man’s caring for and submission to God will grow greater, and his reverence for God will become more real as well as more profound. In the midst of this kind of communion, man will not only attain the provision of truth and the baptism of life, but he will at the same time also attain true knowledge of God. In the midst of this kind of communion, man will not only be transformed in his disposition and receive salvation, but he will at the same time also garner the true reverence and worship of a created being toward God. Having had this kind of communion, man’s faith in God will no longer be a blank sheet of paper, or a promise offered up in lip service, or a form of blind pursuit and idolization; only with this kind of communion will man’s life grow toward maturity day by day, and only now will his disposition gradually become transformed, and his faith in God will, step by step, pass from a vague and uncertain belief into genuine submission and caring, into real reverence; man will also, in his pursuit of God, gradually progress from a passive to an active stance, from one who is acted upon into one who takes positive action; only with this kind of communion will man arrive at true understanding and comprehension of God, at true knowledge of God.
from Preface to Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
No matter what stage you have arrived at in your experience, you are inseparable from God’s word or the truth, and what you understand of God’s disposition and what you know of what God has and is are all expressed in God’s words; they are inextricably linked with the truth. God’s disposition and what He has and is themselves are the truth; the truth is an authentic manifestation of God’s disposition and what He has and is. It makes what God has and is concrete and expressly states it; it tells you more straightforwardly what God likes, what He doesn’t like, what He wants you to do and what He does not permit you to do, what people He despises and what people He delights in. Behind the truths that God expresses people can see His pleasure, anger, sorrow, and happiness, as well as His essence—this is the revealing of His disposition. Aside from knowing what God has and is, and understanding His disposition from His word, what is most important is the need to reach this understanding through practical experience. If a person removes themselves from real life in order to know God, they will not be able to achieve that. Even if there are people who can gain some understanding from the word of God, it is limited to theories and words, and there is a disparity with what God is really like.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
To understand God’s disposition and God Himself you must begin with something very little. But from a little bit of what should you start? First of all, I have dug up some chapters of the Bible. The information below contains Bible verses, all of which are related to the topic of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. I specifically found these excerpts as reference materials to help you know God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. …
… But the purpose of Me finding these chapters today is not so you can try to grasp these stories and the characters in them. Rather, it is so you can, through these characters’ stories, see God’s deeds and His disposition, thus making it easier to get to know and understand God, to see the real side of Him, to halt your imagination, to stop your conceptions about Him, and to put an end to your faith amid vagueness. Trying to make sense of God’s disposition and to understand and get to know God Himself without a foundation can often make you feel helpless, powerless, and unsure of where to start. This is why I thought of the idea to use such a method and approach to let you better understand God, more authentically appreciate God’s will and get to know God’s disposition and God Himself, and to let you genuinely feel God’s existence and appreciate His will toward mankind.
(Gen 2:15-17) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
In these few simple words, we see God’s heart. But what kind of heart do we see? Is there love in God’s heart? Does it have any concern in it? God’s love and concern in these verses can not only be appreciated by people, but it can also well and truly be felt. Isn’t that so? Now that I’ve said these things, do you still think these are just a few simple words? Not so simple, right? Could you see this before? If God personally told you these few words, how would you feel inside? If you are not a humane person, if your heart is ice cold, then you wouldn’t feel anything, you wouldn’t appreciate God’s love, and you wouldn’t try to understand God’s heart. But if you are a person with a conscience, with humanity, then you would feel differently. You would feel warmth, you would feel cared for and loved, and you would feel happiness. Isn’t that right? When you feel these things, how will you act toward God? Would you feel attached to God? Would you love and respect God from the bottom of your heart? Would your heart grow closer to God? You can see from this just how important God’s love is to man. But what is even more crucial is man’s appreciation and comprehension of God’s love. In fact, doesn’t God say a lot of similar things during this stage of His work? But do the people of today appreciate God’s heart? Can you grasp the will of God I just spoke of? You can’t even discern God’s will when it is this concrete, tangible, and realistic. That’s why I say you don’t have real knowledge and understanding of God. Is this not true?
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
Knowledge of God’s authority, God’s power, God’s own identity, and God’s substance cannot be achieved by relying on your imagination. Since you cannot rely on imagination to know the authority of God, then in what way can you achieve a true knowledge of God’s authority? Through eating and drinking the words of God, through fellowship, and through experiencing the words of God, you will have a gradual experience and verification of God’s authority and thus you will gain a gradual understanding and incremental knowledge of it. This is the only way to achieve the knowledge of God’s authority; there are no shortcuts. Asking you not to imagine is not the same as making you sit passively to await destruction, or stopping you from doing anything. Not using your brain to think and imagine means not using logic to infer, not using knowledge to analyze, not using science as the basis, but instead appreciating, verifying, and confirming that the God you believe in has authority, confirming that He holds sovereignty over your fate, and that His power at all times proves Him to be the true God Himself, through the words of God, through the truth, through everything that you encounter in life. This is the only way that anyone can achieve an understanding of God. Some say that they wish to find a simple way of achieving this aim, but can you think of such a way? I tell you, there’s no need to think: There are no other ways! The only way is to conscientiously and steadfastly know and verify what God has and is through every word that He expresses and everything that He does. This is the only way to know God. For what God has and is, and everything of God, is not hollow and empty—but real.
from “God Himself, the Unique I” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The original text reads “it is a symbol of being unable to be.”
b. The original text reads “as well as a symbol of being unable to be offended (and not tolerating being offended).”