X. One Must Fellowship Clearly on the Truths Concerning How to Know God
2. How can one know God’s disposition and essence?
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 in bringing 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 harm that the existence and interference of injustice brings upon 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 than that, it 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
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 personality of man, however, may be optimistic, lively, or unfeeling. The disposition of God is one that belongs to the Ruler of all things and living beings, 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 that, 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
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. … 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 The Word Appears in the Flesh
Knowing God must be done through reading and understanding God’s word, practicing and experiencing God’s word. Some say: “I haven’t seen God incarnate, so how could I know God?” In fact, God’s word is an expression of God’s disposition. From God’s word you can see God’s love and salvation for mankind, and His method for saving them…. This is because God’s word is expressed by God Himself as opposed to using man to write it out. It is personally expressed by God—He is expressing His own words and His inner voice. Why is it said that they are 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…. Among God’s words are harsh words, gentle and considerate words, and there are some revelatory words that are not in line with human wishes. If you look only at the revelatory words, you will feel that God is quite stern. If you look only at the gentle words, you will feel that God does not have much authority. Therefore, you must not take this out of context, but look at it from every angle. 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 disposition that will tolerate no offense. Man is deplorably filthy and is not worthy of seeing God’s face or of coming before God. That people can now come before God is purely God’s grace. God’s wisdom can be seen from the way He works and the meaning of His work. People can still see these things in God’s word even without directly contacting Him.
from “How to Know God Incarnate” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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 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 putting them into practice come to understand the purpose behind the words God speaks, and to understand the source 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 attain in order to attain truth and life, grasp God’s intentions, become transformed in his disposition, and become able to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements. At the same time that man experiences, grasps, and attains 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 confirms within himself. Only after appreciating, experiencing, feeling, and confirming these things does man’s knowledge of God acquire content; only the knowledge that man 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 confirming 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. Thus, man will have fewer disputes with God, he will have fewer conflicts with God, and there will be fewer occasions on which man rebels against God. Conversely, man’s caring for and obedience to God will grow greater, and his reverence for God will become more real and more profound. In the midst of such 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 such 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 obedience and caring, into real reverence, and man will also, in the process of following 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 “Knowing God Is the Path to Fearing God and Shunning Evil” in 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 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).”