Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light”
Let’s read a passage of God’s word “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light.”
The substance of most people’s belief in God is religious conviction: They are incapable of loving God, and can only follow God like a robot, unable to truly yearn for God or adore Him. They merely follow Him silently. Many people believe in God, but there are very few who love God; they only “revere” God because they fear catastrophe, or else they “admire” God because He is high and mighty—but in their reverence and admiration there is no love or true yearning. In their experiences they seek the minutiae of the truth, or else some insignificant mysteries. Most people merely follow, they fish in murky waters only to receive blessings; they do not seek the truth, nor do they truly obey God in order to receive God’s blessings. The life of all people’s belief in God is meaningless, it is without value, and in it are their personal considerations and pursuits; they do not believe in God in order to love God, but for the sake of being blessed. Many people act as they please, they do whatever they want, and never consider the interests of God, or whether what they do is in accordance with the will of God. Such people can’t even achieve true belief, let alone the love of God. God’s substance is not just for man to believe in; it is, moreover, for man to love. But many of those who believe in God are incapable of discovering this “secret.” People don’t dare to love God, nor do they try to love Him. They have never discovered that there is so much that is lovable about God, they have never discovered that God is the God who loves man, and that He is the God who is for man to love. The loveliness of God is expressed in His work: Only when they experience His work can people discover His loveliness, only in their actual experiences can they appreciate the loveliness of God, and without observing it in real life, no one can discover God’s loveliness. There is so much to love about God, but without actually engaging with Him people are incapable of discovering it. Which is to say, if God did not become flesh, people would be incapable of actually engaging with Him, and if they were unable to actually engage with Him, they also wouldn’t be able to experience His work—and so their love of God would be tainted with much falsehood and imagination. The love of the God in heaven is not as real as the love of the God on earth, for people’s knowledge of God in heaven is built upon their imaginings, rather than upon what they have seen with their own eyes, and what they have personally experienced. When God comes to earth, people are able to behold His actual deeds and His loveliness, and they can see everything of His practical and normal disposition, all of which is thousands of times more real than the knowledge of the God in heaven. Regardless of how much people love the God in heaven, there is nothing real about this love, and it is full of human ideas. No matter how little their love for the God on earth, this love is real; even if there is only a little of it, it is still real. God causes people to know Him through real work, and through this knowledge He gains their love. It’s like Peter: If he hadn’t lived with Jesus, it would have been impossible for him to adore Jesus. So, too, was his loyalty toward Jesus built upon his engagement with Jesus. To make man love Him, God has come among man and lives together with man, and all that He makes man see and experience is the reality of God.
God uses reality and the advent of facts to make people perfect; God’s words fulfill part of His perfection of people, and this is the work of guidance and opening the way. Which is to say, in God’s words you must find the path of practice, and must find the knowledge of visions. By understanding these things, man will have a path and visions as they actually practice, and will be able to be enlightened through God’s words, they will be able to understand that these things come from God, and able to discern much. After understanding, they must immediately enter into this reality, and must use God’s words to satisfy God in their actual life. God will guide you in all things, and will give you a path of practice, and make you feel that God is so lovely, and allow you to see that every step of God’s work in you is in order to make you perfect. If you wish to see God’s love, if you wish to truly experience God’s love, then you must go deep into reality, you must go deep into real life, and see that everything God does is love, and salvation, and so that people may leave behind that which is unclean, and in order to refine the things within them that are unable to satisfy God’s will. God uses words to provide to man whilst also creating environments in real life that allow people to experience, and if people eat and drink many of God’s words, then when they actually put them into practice, they can resolve all the difficulties in their lives using many words of God. Which is to say, you must have the words of God in order to go deep into reality; if you do not eat and drink the words of God, and are without the work of God, then you will have no path in real life. If you never eat or drink the words of God, then you will be confounded when something happens to you. You only know that you should love God, but you are incapable of any differentiation, and have no path of practice; you are muddled and confused, and sometimes you even believe that by satisfying the flesh you are satisfying God—all of which is the consequence of not eating and drinking God’s words. Which is to say, if you are without the aid of God’s words, and only grope about within reality, then you are fundamentally incapable of finding the path of practice. People such as this simply don’t understand what it means to believe in God, much less do they understand what it means to love God. If, using the enlightenment and guidance of God’s words, you often pray, and explore, and seek, through which you discover that which you ought to put into practice, find opportunities for the work of the Holy Spirit, truly cooperate with God, and are not muddled and confused, then you will have a path in real life, and will truly satisfy God. When you have satisfied God, inside you there will be the guidance of God, and you will be especially blessed by God, which will give you a sense of enjoyment: You will feel especially honored that you have satisfied God, you will feel especially bright inside, and in your heart you will be clear and peaceful, your conscience will be comforted and free from accusations, and you will feel pleasant inside when you see your brothers and sisters. This is what it means to enjoy God’s love, and only this is truly enjoying God. People’s enjoyment of God’s love is attained through experiencing: By experiencing hardship, and experiencing putting the truth into practice, they gain God’s blessings. If you only say that God really loves you, that God has paid a heavy price in people, that He has patiently and kindly spoken so many words, and always saves people, your utterance of these words is only one side of the enjoyment of God. Yet, greater enjoyment—real enjoyment—would be for people to put the truth into practice in their real life, after which they will be peaceful and clear in their hearts, they will feel so moved inside, and that God is so lovable. You will feel that the price you have paid is so worthwhile. Having paid a great price in your efforts, you will be especially bright inside: You will feel that you are truly enjoying God’s love, and understand that God has done the work of salvation in people, that His refinement of people is in order to purify them, and that God tries people in order to test whether they truly love Him. If you always put the truth into practice in this way, then you will gradually develop a clear knowledge of much of God’s work, and at that time you will always feel that God’s words before you are as clear as crystal. If you can clearly understand many truths, you will feel that all matters are easy to put into practice, that you can overcome this issue, and overcome that temptation, and you will see that nothing is a problem for you, which will make you so free and liberated. At this moment you will be enjoying God’s love, and God’s true love will have come upon you. God blesses those who have visions, who have the truth, who have knowledge, and who truly love Him. If people wish to behold God’s love, they must put the truth into practice in real life, they must be willing to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God, and despite the tears in their eyes, they must still be able to satisfy God’s heart. In this way, God will surely bless you, and if you endure hardship such as this, it will be followed by the work of the Holy Spirit. Through the real life, and through experiencing God’s words, people are able to see God’s loveliness, and only if they have tasted God’s love can they truly love Him.
The more you put the truth into practice, the more you are possessed of the truth; the more you put the truth into practice, the more you possess God’s love; and the more you put the truth into practice, the more you are blessed by God. If you always practice in this way, you will gradually see God’s love in you, and you will know God as Peter did: Peter said that God not only has the wisdom to create the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, that He also has the wisdom to do real work in people. Peter said that He is not only worthy of people’s love because of His creation of the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, because of His ability to create man, to save man, to make man perfect, and to bequeath His love to man. So, too, did Peter say that there is much in Him that is worthy of man’s love. Peter said to Jesus: “Are You not deserving of people’s love for much more than creating of the heavens and earth and all things? There is more in You that is lovable, You act and move in real life, Your Spirit touches me inside, You discipline me, You reproach me—these things are even more worthy of people’s love.” If you wish to see and experience God’s love, then you must explore and seek in real life, and must be willing to put aside your own flesh. You must make this resolution. You must be someone with resolve, who is able to satisfy God in all things, without being lazy, or coveting the enjoyments of the flesh, not living for the flesh but living for God. There may be times when you do not satisfy God. That’s because you don’t understand God’s will; the next time, even though it will take more effort, you must satisfy Him, and must not satisfy the flesh. When you experience in this way, you will have come to know God. You will see that God could create the heavens and earth and all things, that He has become flesh so that people can really and actually see Him, and really and actually engage with Him, that He is able to walk among man, that His Spirit can make people perfect in real life, allowing them to see His loveliness and experience His discipline, His chastening, and His blessings. If you always experience in this way, in real life you will be inseparable from God, and if one day your relationship with God ceases to be normal, you will be able to suffer reproach, and capable of feeling remorse. When you have a normal relationship with God, you will never wish to leave God, and if one day God says He will leave you, you will be afraid, and will say that you would rather die than be left by God. As soon as you have these emotions, you will feel that you are incapable of leaving God, and in this way you will have a foundation, and will truly enjoy God’s love.
“Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light,” this is the title of this passage of God’s words. What truth does this title discuss? Those who love God will forever live within His light. If someone does not love God, can he or she forever live within God’s light? No, it is not possible. What does it mean to live within God’s light? God Himself is light, the true light, so to live in the light is to live in the presence of God, to live in the pure light. If someone wants to forever live in God’s light, what kind of person does he or she have to be? He or she has to be someone who loves God. It has been said, “A person who loves God lives forever in God’s light, so if a person sometimes loves God, but sometimes cannot love God, can this person forever live in God’s light?” What does it mean, sometimes to love God, and sometimes not? Can a person who truly loves God have the fault of sometimes loving and sometimes not? This is not a possibility. What kind of person, after all, is someone who really loves God? This question must be communicated clearly. If someone who has believed in God for many years cannot live in God’s light, cannot succeed in living in the presence of God, what kind of person is this? What will the outcome be for this person? Further, is a person who lives in God’s light a person who has been made perfect by God? Has such a person attained the truth? If someone has attained the truth and has been made perfect by God, he or she can live forever in God’s light; if someone has not attained the truth and has not been made perfect by God, he or she cannot live in God’s light. And where does someone live who does not live in God’s light? Is there a pure light besides God’s light? Such a person then is someone living under the domain of Satan, and someone who lives under the domain of Satan is living in darkness. This is how it should be seen in theory, but to look at this from the experience, what kind of situation does someone live in to be living in God’s light? And what kind of situation to live in to be living in darkness under the domain of Satan? This has to be discerned clearly. If someone does not discern clearly, and he or she lives in the flesh every day, lives in the philosophy of Satan, lives in corrupt dispositions, wholly living under the domain of Satan, but still thinks that he or she is living in the presence of God, living in the light, what is the problem? Isn’t it confusing between black and white? Isn’t it distorting the facts? Constantly living a life of drinking and eating one’s fill, following carnal pleasures, doing one’s duty in a perfunctory manner toward God—is this living in God’s light? Constantly living in satanic corrupt dispositions, in trickery and deceit, in lies, cheating God, without any true love for God, with no concern at all for the will of God—is this living in God’s light? Are there many people like this? Yes, there are many. What is the problem with this kind of person’s faith in God? Why can’t this person live in God’s light? Let’s read the word of God, “The substance of most people’s belief in God is religious conviction: They are incapable of loving God, and can only follow God like a robot, unable to truly yearn for God or adore Him. They merely follow Him silently.” What do we see from these sentences? What is true faith in God? The word of God clearly says that true faith is to experience the work of God, to experience the judgment, chastisement, purification and perfection of the word of God, and achieve true knowledge of God and true love—this process is true faith. If your faith cannot achieve true knowledge of God, if it cannot grow a heart that loves God truly, if it cannot achieve care and obedience to God’s will, is that faith true faith in God? That kind of faith is not true faith in God, but rather religious faith. Why is it that most people believe in God for many years but are unable to achieve true love of God and obedience to God? It is because “the substance of most people’s belief in God is religious conviction.” Does the word of God speak incisively? Each phrase goes to the origin of the problem, the crux of the issue, the essence of the question, each phrase goes to the point—this is the power of the word of God, the authority of the word of God. Can humankind discern this? Over the last few thousand years, no one has been able to do so; it is only when we have read the word of God that we suddenly become aware of this and understand a little of its source. What we know and what we see is because the word of God has made it clear; if not for the word of God, humankind would never have known it. Many people ask: “Anyone who has believed in God for many years and is not able to understand the truth, cannot enter the reality of truth, has no love for God at all, and has no knowledge of God at all—is their way of belief in God all wrong?” How to answer this question? “That is right!” Do they have true faith in God? These people do not truly have faith in God, so what is the nature of their faith in God? It is religious faith. What is the characteristic of religious faith? However much they believe, “they are incapable of loving God.” This is the crucial point. With religious faith, no matter how you apply theory, there is one fact, one result: No matter how you believe in religion, in the end you do not have true love of God. For anyone who cannot achieve true love of God, that faith, that way of faith in God, is religious faith. For all those who do not pursue the truth, what is the way of their faith, what is the nature of their faith in God? It is all religious faith. Now as for all those who have religious faith, are they true followers of God? They are not. Then who would define religious faith? How to describe religious faith in common language? Faith that approaches God with the lips while the heart is far from God: this is religious faith. What about this definition? Or another definition: belief in God only in books, not carrying out God’s word through practical experience—this kind of faith is religious faith. Or another: to take the word of God, to take the Scriptures as a school of knowledge to research, to study them, to grasp them, but still not to have true communion with God through real experience, not to have true experience, or to carry out the word of God: this is religious faith. How is this definition? Also quite good. So quite a few definitions of religious faith can be made to explain it. Now how can these good few definitions be determined? In short—they cannot get away from experience. This is proved by the fact of actual experience.
Why do most people who have believed in God for many years lack true love of God? Isn’t this a practical problem? Not to get to know God after believing in Him for many years, not to attain the truth, not to love God in the heart. How have they been believing? Why have they believed in God for so many years with nothing to show? Simply put, they have believed with their mouths, not with their heart, in a confused manner, and that is why, after years of belief, they have achieved such a pitiful result. Is this way of confused belief in God a matter of religious faith? Such people believe for many years in a careless and confusing way, and finally get nowhere. When asked to perform their duty, they can do some work, but when asked how to do their duty effectively, how to do their duty in accordance with God’s will, how they can satisfy God, how they can do their duty in a principled, proper way, they get confused, have nothing to say, and don’t know anything. Do people like this have truth? Not at all. Are these people confused? Absolutely. When a problem arises, someone asks them, “How should it be resolved?” They don’t speak. They are stupefied. You can see they are confused. They have nothing to offer. If you ask them, “How would you select church leaders?” “Whoever acts actively most and most likes to be in the limelight will be elected!” Does this type of person possess the truth? No. Whatever duty they do and whatever responsibility they have, it is all muddled, without principle: this is a faith of confusion! If someone performing his duty is asked, “How should this be done to satisfy God? How can you make God’s chosen people satisfied with the work? How can you achieve results?” “I don’t know.” “Then how have you been doing it all this time?” “It’s all a mess.” Can they gain the truth by performing their duty this way? Can they do it up to standard? They can’t even be called loyal service-doers! How could they love God? This is a practical problem, and it reveals a crucial point. If people lack true knowledge of God, can they attain the love of God? There is no way without true knowledge of God. Let’s draw a conclusion based on this fact. How should we believe in God so as to achieve true love of God? We need to pursue truth, to practice the word of God in experience, to gain understanding of the truth; if we do not experience and practice the word of God, we will never understand the truth. So in our faith in God, if we want to achieve true love of God, we must experience and practice the words of God and achieve understanding of the truth to have true knowledge of God. When there is true knowledge, there is a heart that fears God, there is a heart that loves God, a heart that is obedient to God, and ultimately there is a heart that worships God. Isn’t this when life is obtained?
Why do some people believe in God for many years, yet not only do not have true knowledge of God but have more notions, and more complaints? What is the problem here? Normally, people who believe in God for many years have fewer and fewer notions, and more and more love for God, yet they not only don’t have true knowledge of God, but there are more notions, more contradictions, more complaints—what is the source of this? The main thing here is that this kind of people do not love the truth but in fact are bored with the truth, hate the truth, and so develop notions about God’s work. They believe in God for advantage, they believe for the sake of blessings. But if they believe in God for many years without gaining much blessing, without enjoying much of God’s grace, they fly into a rage. You see some people who believe in God, disasters often befall their family. There seems to be neither grace nor blessing, but there are quite a few disasters: Today they are arrested by the great red dragon; tomorrow they suffer calumny, judgment, derision and abandonment by society; the next day they lose their job; the day after they get sick and do not have the money to pay for treatment. “How is it that believing in God leads us to suffer so many disasters? How come God doesn’t grant grace?” and the complaints start. Out of these actual incidents, they won’t seek the truth, pray to God, feel God’s purpose—they won’t pray like this: “Oh God, why have You brought me to this point? Can You let me understand? I can only obey and bear witness if I understand!” They won’t pray like this, they will constantly complain and be resentful at God, they will not seek the truth, they will not pay heed to God’s will—are these people who love the truth? I think they are people who hate the truth, who are bored with the truth. There is truth in everything God does, and it is all imbued with God’s good intentions, but they don’t accept this, they don’t seek this. In all that God does there is His goodness, His wisdom, His will—isn’t this the truth? This is confirmed by countless facts of experience. When someone begins to believe in God, when things occur that are not in accord with people’s notions, people get notions and misunderstand God, but after experience they see God’s kindness, His purpose in doing this, with the aim to achieve a result, and people are ashamed and full of regret. “I was irrational. Why did I not obey God? Why did I not know to seek the truth? I just followed my own notions and rebelled against God, opposed God; this is really a disposition from Satan, I am really the type of Satan, and should be cursed!” After many failures, people see, “Everything God does, whether or not it accords with what people imagine, it is all love, it is all salvation, it is definitely right, I am totally convinced of this!” This is a conclusion out of the experience of many years. Can people acquire this kind of knowledge in a short time? With people who have a short time of believing in God, when something that happens is not in accordance with what they think, there are often misunderstandings and notions, and this is quite normal. For example, if there is famine, and there is nothing to eat, the adults there hesitate, but when there is no other way, they will make plain congee with some vegetable leaves to get by. But the children don’t want to eat it and say, “Why do you always do this? Other people eat rice, or noodles, why are we having plain congee every day?” They don’t understand. If they have, how will parents not want their children to have good things to eat? But there was no way, there was no rice, no noodles, only plain congee. It is normal for a child not to understand the parents’ intention; but if an adult doesn’t understand, there is a problem.
Those reluctant to perform their duties don’t seek the truth or pursue the truth in their performance of duties. When they are dealt with and pruned, they still don’t seek the truth or pray to God properly, and they may feel, “I spent so much effort on this, how come the church still has this attitude toward me? I not only don’t get any praise, but I am also dealt with and pruned. It seems it’s no good to stay in the house of God.” Do people who think like this have self-knowledge? If you really do things well, the practical issues are all be solved, and the outcome of the duties is getting better, will the house of God be able to deal with you? The church continues to communicate the crucial work given by the house of God and the crucial problems which need to be solved, but some people can’t see this. They hear about it but they don’t understand, so when they perform their duties they avoid these crucial jobs, stay clear of the crucial problems, and only do trivial things. Will God be satisfied with this kind of performance of duty? Does it come up to standard? Absolutely not! It’s just go-slow pretense to trick God. If the performance of duties can’t meet God’s will, can’t achieve practical outcomes through using the truth to solve problems, or bear beautiful and resounding testimony for God, yet people still want to gain blessings, isn’t this an extravagant desire? People who always have an extravagant desire of God are stupid and ignorant, and they have no knowledge of God at all.
There are some people now who have had the experience of being dealt with and pruned many times, who have started to have some knowledge, and have started to carry out some introspection. They have been able to see themselves as without redeeming features, without any ability, unable to do any practical work. They now know that everything they understood in the past was just making sense of words, not really the reality of the truth. If these people in reality are pursuers of the truth, they can truly repent and gradually get on the right track of believing in God. It is only people who really experience the work of God, and who experience and carry out the word of God, that can reach the path to knowledge of God. The more people experience the word of God, the more they understand the truth; if people can’t experience and carry out the word of God, they will never understand the truth of the word of God. When people only interpret the literal meaning of God’s word, without knowledge based on experience, isn’t this just phony? Aren’t people who always preach letters and doctrines only being hypocritical? At the moment, God’s people have some discernment and knowledge about what leaders and workers do and say. If any leader or worker only speaks of letters and doctrines, God’s people do not listen, and they are disgusted; but they agree with anyone who can use the truth to solve practical problems, and they cooperate in their work. Now the church election needs to get on the right track, because God’s chosen people make the distinction, they understand the principles of election, and they now know how to elect people according to God’s will; their votes are not governed by fleshly emotions or by personal likes, and by comparison those elected will be more suitable.
God’s words say, “Many people believe in God, but there are very few who love God.” Why is this? It’s because among degenerate humanity those who love the truth and pursue the truth are very few. Actually, they are extremely rare. In His eyes, what kind of person is most beloved of God? Someone who loves the truth and pursues the truth. What kind of believer in God can finally achieve true love of God? This is a person who pursues the truth, because it is only someone who pursues the truth that can achieve true love of God. If a person has believed in God for many years, but cannot achieve true love of God, is this a person who pursues the truth? Absolutely not. For someone with true humanity, with a conscience, with reason, as soon as they begin to believe in God, they will have a feeling of admiration, yearning and adoration for God. This is because after they believe in Him, God is in their heart, the supreme God. Their heart feels that God is the highest, the greatest. God occupies a position in their heart. This kind of person always lives in admiration of God, and the more they communicate about God’s word, the brighter their heart becomes. Finally, when they understand and know the word of God and understand the truth, they will feel how precious is the truth. In all of the word of God, they see what is to be loved in God, they see God’s disposition, and they see the essence of God. Especially when they feel the care and thought hidden in what God does, they are moved by God’s love. In what God has done to humanity, whether judgment, chastisement, suffering, or refinement, they feel that all this comes out of God’s love, and that it is only because God wants to cleanse man, to save man, to perfect man, that He has to make man suffer this. It is like a parent treating an illness: “Good medicine has a bitter taste.” The child has to take the medicine or have an injection, even though it will hurt. So people understand that what God does is all out of love, it is all to save man. God cannot bear to let man suffer too much, but there is no alternative, and if people don’t suffer they won’t have experience or knowledge; if they don’t suffer, people’s disposition can’t be changed, so God reluctantly lets man suffer. Does God have a thoughtful motive in this? If when people appreciate God’s earnest intentions, can they understand the love of God? If people understand that God loves man, that He saves man, and people should accept that they have to go through suffering, then can they blame God at the same time? Can they produce notions against God? No, they can’t. There will be only love in their heart, “I must love God! I must consider God’s will! I must learn to obey God! No matter how difficult it is for me, I must comfort God!” They not only have no notions about God, but also they have no complaints, and they can still be considerate of God’s heart, and develop true love for God and true obedience to Him—only this is a person with conscience and reason. What kind of person has humanity? What are conscience and reason? People can see God’s salvation of man, and can see that God’s allowing man to suffer is of most benefit to man; God has done this because He wants to perfect man, to gain man, to make man be able to win God’s praise, to obtain a beautiful God-given destiny. If people really understand God’s thinking, can they not love God? Can they not obey God? They are able to accept great hardship. If some adversity comes, they would rather lose their life to satisfy God—this is the kind of person who loves truth and the kind of person who really loves God. The more that people love the truth, the more they understand truth, the bigger and the truer is the heart that loves God. This is the situation, and there’s nothing false about it! When some people have been in jail being tortured and they could not stand it any longer and prayed to God, the spirit has left the body, and no matter how much more pain their bodies are subjected to, they no longer feel it for they live in the spirit. It is just when people can’t stand it any longer, that God gives enough grace. As long as all you have to do is truly love God, obey God, and consider God’s will, “No matter how much I have suffered, I must stand witness. Even if Satan wants my life, I must still satisfy God, and obey unto death!” at this point there is no more pain, and it has been reduced. The more you love God the more God loves you, but the more man rebels against God, turns his back on God and resists God, the more distant God is from man. When God distances Himself from man, then man’s suffering is greater, and sometimes it becomes punishment, and man falls into darkness. So in experiencing the work of God, a person’s intentions are very important, and if one learns to seek the truth in all things, to feel God’s will, to have the will to obey God, it is this kind of person who can really love God.
How can one attain a true love of God? On the one hand, it depends on the conscience, while on the other hand, it comes when one searches for the truth. You’ll search for truth when you give consideration to the will of God, and when you search for truth, you’ll become enlightened by God and you will understand why God works like this, why He allows you to experience that pain, and why you must be put through this. You immediately understand; there is no misunderstanding, no complaining. You think God is awesome for doing it this way, that it should be done this way; you don’t choose it, you simply obey. So those who indeed love truth will search for the truth in everything, and will pray to God, and through this prayer, all their problems are solved and the difficulties are no more, and there will be no complaining, and it will not be possible to create conceptions; once you understand the truth and God’s will, you will only obey, be thankful, and give praise. You will satisfy God even through great suffering, and must bear witness even in death. How can such an aspiration come about? It comes about when you pray and seek out the will of God. These are the results of your prayers: You have the will to obey God and willingness to bear hardships. However great the sufferings are, you must bear witness and satisfy God, through which it shows your resolve and the true heart you have to obey God. Can you see whether this confirms someone’s humanity? When a man of conscience and reason prays in this way, his mentality will not be the same; he will become closer to God and can obey. Even when he doesn’t understand God’s will, he will not complain or have conceptions. He says: “It is just common sense that God does nothing wrong; all is arranged by God, and nothing that does not have God’s permit will befall me, and so all that befalls me is by the will of God, and that is absolutely 100% how it is!” So even when he isn’t praying to God or in search of truth, he won’t create conceptions, and he won’t cause rebellion or complaints; this is because he has common sense, because of a basic knowledge of God’s love and the work He does, and has the truth on the vision.
What kind of person directly complains to God whenever something bad happens? It is a person without reason or humanity, someone who doesn’t truly believe in God. This is the absolute truth of it! You will see some people who make complaints when experiencing bad things, where someone says, “Some of you will have to look for work tomorrow,” and their eyes widen: “You’re making us work, but why don’t you make them work? Why do we have to work?” Is this complaining? Are these people obedient? They have no conscience and sense and lack humanity. You should be able to take on all hardships! In the country of the great red dragon, when the great red dragon sends you into prison, you have to comply; so isn’t it a good thing if you do work overseas? Going overseas allows us to witness the customs and practices of people from democratic countries, coming into contact with foreigners, seeing what principles they hold for themselves, how they abide by law, what their thoughts on life and survival are, what advantages they have compared to ours, where their humanity shines through, what aspects we should learn from; aren’t these all lessons that we could learn from? When you go abroad to learn and grow, is it really okay not to work and come into contact with people? You meet your brothers and sisters only in the church and have no understanding of the outside world, but could you stand firm in testimony if you were actually sent out into the world? Exactly what is your stature? Is there foundation for your faith in God? Can you have a life among the unbelievers? Can you learn from contact with the unbelievers? What kind of quality are you made of? These are things you must personally experience, that you must personally do in order to understand. It’s not okay if you don’t do them, and you won’t have insight if you don’t put them into practice. A person with no insight is a person capable of doing ignorant things, and this is a fact.
I did some ignorant things when I started believing in the Lord, doing things out of enthusiastic kindness but not understanding truth. When a preacher spoke to me that he would evangelize this way and then evangelize that way, and seeing him evangelize this way and that, I started evangelizing in the same way, which resulted in me preaching to those evil spirits and those who didn’t believe in the existence of God, and after running into a lot of walls, I realized that it was wrong to evangelize to these people, that I couldn’t preach to them. I did ignorant things while preaching based on my belief in the Lord, and through them I came to understand some truths, and understood to some degree the principles of evangelizing, and so the family of God has these principles and guidelines. These principles and guidelines for evangelizing, are they something that I understood when having entered this stream and experienced God’s work? No. I basically understood some when I was believing in the Lord, and so I had some foundation. If I hadn’t experienced those failures, could I have summarized these principles? These principles were not formed out of thin air. Some of them were found in my experiences of genuine failure, and some were revealed to me by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, allowing me to see clearly, and so I’ve written these into the principles of evangelizing for the family of God. Are these principles for evangelizing ones that an ordinary person can write out? Some say, “These words sound beautiful.” This isn’t about the words sounding pretty, but is rather confirmed by actual experience, that which the Holy Spirit illuminated for people to see and that conforms to the truth and to the will of God. The actual experience and knowledge in accordance with the truth and with the will of God doesn’t just occur out of thin air; it is brought together through the lessons learned from multiple failures. These are things that can be seen and understood now! When it comes to those guidelines for evangelizing, especially the “five preach, five not preach” principles, which denomination can write them out? No denomination can write them out, and only the family of God has these guidelines. So having you go to work is still by the good intention of God, and you can learn many things that you didn’t understand before and learn many unexpected lessons. If you don’t connect with foreigners, how can you know what they are like? Can you understand their thoughts, their concepts, their principles of conduct, their customs? There’s no way you can. I too came in contact with foreigners, and this connection allowed me to understand very many things, and my knowledge grew. I saw that the essence of corruption in all humanity was the same, that none loved the truth, and that it was in the nature of men from all nations to resist God, with the only some differences found in their lifestyles, principles, and concepts. Do you understand these things? There are those who say they do. But in fact, you may not necessarily really understand. You only admit it doctrinally. When I say these to you, you say, “Right, I understand and accept,” but in your heart, you still ponder: “Is this really how this is? It really can’t be! Maybe the truth is better than you think.” It’s normal for you to think this way, and is very objective, because you don’t have the experience, and so you will definitely think like this, but one day, after having experienced many things, what you will say will be in line with what I’ve said, and this will come from experience.
God says: “Many people believe in God, but there are very few who love God.” Is the reason for this clear now? It’s because man has been deeply corrupted by Satan, most people do not love truth, and instead have a love of evil. They love indulging in the fleshly pleasures and in lustful desires. They fulfill the flesh and go in search of those things that benefit the flesh and that bring satisfaction to it. They do not pursue the truth of knowing God in the least or seek to know and understand God’s will, which leads to the tragic result of people who believe in God for years being unable to actually love God. All that God expresses is truth; people see it and acknowledge God is the truth. But once something God does doesn’t align with the conceptions of man, people immediately rebel against God and distance themselves from God, coming up with judgments about God, refuting all the truths expressed by God, as if God has never expressed truth. Seeing an aspect of God’s work that doesn’t align with human conceptions, there is constant judging, constant slander, and they keep it in heart and never let it go. What problem is this? God gives man all good things, but man is ungrateful. If God does one thing “bad” for them, they become angry and turn their backs on Him right away. Aren’t humans unreasonable? Sometimes God uses such things to reveal what is in people, and so they are revealed. God has spoken so many words, and man reads but just doesn’t understand. God’s words state so clearly the matters which are easy to bring man’s notions and judgment about God, and man just doesn’t understand God’s word.
Why are there some things that God allows to exist, that He allows to come upon people? This is a case of the good intentions of God. But what are those intentions? Simply, it is revelation of people through things that happen! In the word of God, does it not say, “bring the tiger down the mountain” and “bring the wolf out of its den”? If the actions of God created conformity of people’s notions, then would it be possible to produce such fruits? Of course not. Everything that God allows to come upon people is touched by His wisdom, and is to bring revelation to man, but the essence and disposition of God is holy and unable to be stained by any man; the name of God cannot be defamed no matter how hard Satan tries. And why is that? For those people who resist God, there will be the day that disaster comes upon their head, and they will be heard from no more. Wouldn’t you say something like that could happen in the blink of an eye? And in God’s eyes, decades pass like seconds. Human life is over in a second. Moses once said, “For all our days are passed away in your wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.” It’s a shame that life is over as soon as it starts! Gone in an instant. In God’s eyes, man’s life is over in the blink of an eye. How could you even have notions toward God? This part of what God has and is which can now be seen from the practical, incarnate God, compared to all that He has and is, are nothing but a drop in the ocean! Ultimately, in eternity you will see what God has and is. Do you know what the four living beings from Revelation do every day? They glorify God at every moment! Who can describe the glory of God in its completeness? Who can speak of it clearly? His glory is just too great, too vast, and too unfathomable! To just keep praising God is enough, but there are no words that are fit to express His greatness. And thus, God is not afraid of your defilement of Him, nor is He worried about what you think of Him, nor is He concerned with you discrediting Him, as all these people will pass in an instant. If in eternity you see the spiritual body of God, “Oh! He is so holy and so righteous that there is no way to describe it!” If in the incarnate God you can see God’s possessions and being, and can speak of some words that are with reality, then can you speak it when you have entered eternity? It’s not worth mentioning and you cannot say a word. And so, people see the spiritual body of God in eternity shining brighter than the noonday sun and they are afraid to open their eyes, because people are unworthy to see God! At that time, when you have a further knowledge of God, what would you say? You will say, “I was so ignorant and benighted! I even had my own conceptions and imaginations of God in the mortal world. I was so lowly and wretched!” You will live in a state of extreme repentance. So when you see God’s real person in eternity, could you have your own notions about Him? No! If you just kept on praising God continuously it would never be enough! Some say, “How could I not see all that the spiritual body of God has and is in God’s incarnate flesh? If in God’s incarnate flesh I see He speaks and does things as the spiritual body of God speaks and acts, how could I then have notions about God?” Is this a correct mindset or the incorrect? Who is worthy of seeing the real person of God? Man is unworthy! The moment man sees the spiritual body of God he dies. He is not able to live. God is not conceited, and He doesn’t show off His greatness. God came to mankind clothed in common flesh to bring His word to the people, which is the greatest grace and blessings He brings to all. There are those who say, “The man used by the Holy Spirit is short in stature, and extremely plain! Why couldn’t he be a little taller? That might make me want to worship him more.” What kind of talk is this? In this case, wouldn’t it be ruining you? Is the man used by God for you to worship? God knows that man’s corrupt nature which always wants to worship earthly idols, so to avoid the issue, God’s incarnate flesh, and the man used by God are quite plain, which solved the problem. If the fleshes worn by God incarnate and the man used by God were lofty in stature, appearances are noble and dignified, which is liked, admired and envied by all, and then what would be the consequences? All depraved humans would have faith in God, not only those who love the truth and yearn for God. So, God’s incarnate flesh and the man used by God are not tall, and are very plain, and are looked down upon. God just comes in such flesh and uses such a man to do His work and to cooperate with His work. Is this not the wisdom of God? Can you understand when it’s put to you like this? Can you wrap your head around it? Do you see what I’m saying?
Being devoid of arrogance is the main characteristic we see in God incarnate, which I cannot be. I was just like you: I had the same corruption. I was also arrogant and self-important, selfish, twisted, cunning and having lies—I also had all kinds of corrupt dispositions. I hear you say, “Sometimes we unwittingly lie.” I also used to lie sometimes without realizing it. But from the moment I began believing in the Lord Jesus, I practiced being an honest man, and so I have, in part, enjoyed the fruits of this; the effect of going through the judgment and chastisement in this step is obvious, and after putting this into practice for a number of years, there are certain fruits. In addition, my life is plain and simple, I don’t enjoy any extravagance. There are those who ask, “You can’t learn to enjoy the good life?” It’s not that I can’t learn, it’s that I’m not interested! And when you’re not interested you just naturally fail to learn. I’m unwilling to enjoy the earthly creature comforts; I’m just that kind of person. So, have you developed conceptions of God yet? “How could God use a rough man? Why is his life so simple?” Can we find a basis for this in the Bible? This touches on the pursuit of truth. In the Bible, there was a rationale behind God’s demand for the Israelites and those who would be chosen to enter the land of Canaan. God loathes those who delight in the physical pleasures and creature comforts. No man who focuses on physical pleasures will ever gain the truth. If you see someone who has a special fondness for wearing fine clothing, accessorizing and dressing up, then you can be sure that God would not use them; let’s just say there is someone who eats with gluttonous voracity, you can be guaranteed that God will not use them, and say there is someone who is a lover of fine wine and meat, you can be guaranteed that God will not use them. Of all the people who crave physical pleasure, not a one among them is a lover of truth, and not a one will receive the blessings of God. Whether or not you can accept this now is immaterial, you must always remember this; there will come a day when the truth of this will be borne out. From this you should understand the mind of God, and what kind of people God really likes and what kind of people He blesses, gradually you will come to understand. So what can you see from this kind of person that God uses? From this person’s character, and his manner of speaking, you can find some clues, and understand the mind of God in terms of whom God likes, whom He blesses, whom He saves, and whom He perfects. These mysteries can be revealed and these questions can be answered.
Some people idolize those of tall and rugged stature, those who are handsome and dashing, so would people like this have some kind of notions toward God’s incarnate flesh and the man used by God? They will most certainly have notions. Upright and honest people who are pure and open-hearted will not form their own notions of God’s incarnate flesh and the man used by God. They say, “The flesh that God wore and the man He was willing to use was all part of His perfect plan.” They apply this rule, and that’s all there is to it. People don’t understand why God came in such a flesh, or why He uses such a man, and therein lies a mystery! This is not only the wisdom of God, but also God’s will; though no one would seek the truth like this. But is there not a mystery hidden behind every star in the sky? Every star has a relationship with the things in the world: In one way it is to make a mark, and in another way, it is to send a message, it has a dual function. Things such as these are not simple; they are mysteries! But because people do not understand, and cannot grasp such things, they pay them no heed. And so, in the process of knowing God, you need much more than just faith in Him, there’s actually much more left to seek after, wouldn’t you say? There are mysteries hidden in the word of God. If you understand them literally, do you think you really understand their true meaning? Truly grasping these mysteries is not easy at all. If you truly understand them, you will find that there is something more buried deep inside, something more than just the literal meaning. The word of God is filled with profound wisdom; it is incisive and penetrating. It is necessary to first make known the simplest and most easily comprehensible things, to explain those first, which is the most basic way to help you achieve the effect, and along the way you can gradually comprehend what is deeper and more profound.
The word of God talks about, “… they only ‘revere’ God because they fear catastrophe,” but is this real reverence for God? No, it’s not reverence for God, it’s just plain, ordinary fear. But what would one have to fear? God has the power to send down disaster; the moment God is angered, in a single word disaster strikes. Sometimes God says the word, and disaster descends in a split second, or sometimes twenty or thirty years later the disaster comes to pass, or perhaps forty or fifty years later it comes to pass. The prediction comes true at the predetermined time, and it will never be even one second late! This is the power of God and this is His authority. You know when God was going to destroy Sodom, with a single word disaster came, and Sodom was burned to the ground. Lot’s wife turned around and immediately became a pillar of salt. It was just that fast. It wasn’t that she turned around and became a pillar of salt days later—it was instantaneous. Take the words of our Lord Jesus recorded in the Four Gospels, “Lazarus, come forth.” How long was it before Lazarus showed himself? The Lord Jesus bade him come out and he came out at once! The results were immediate! If it had been two days later that he came out, nobody present would have sat there waiting for even a few hours, they would have left the scene and gone home, and nobody would have seen hide nor hair of them, right? But it wasn’t that, it was the very moment God spoke, the very instant that He got results—visible results. There was the fig tree that wouldn’t bear fruit, and the Lord Jesus spoke, “Let no fruit grow on you henceforward for ever.” And that tree withered and died at once. Such is the authority of God. So what is real reverence of God like? To really see the authority and the power of God, to really see His holiness, His majesty and His righteousness must not be offended against, and only the reverence that is produced against this backdrop can truly be called reverence for Him. Most people are subject to discipline in their life experience, but God ignores those who do not truly believe in Him—they have no discipline. Everyone who is disciplined truly knows the omnipotence of God; and God truly knows their deeds in secret, their hearts and their minds! Sometimes people rebel against God, they are indifferent to it, consider it as immaterial and then suddenly, punishment comes upon their head with a “bang!” They are disciplined and this scares them: “It is true that God searches man’s heart, and He examines all things, this is absolutely correct! The disposition of God does not allow offense, which is just as it should be! I’ve seen and experienced it. From this one small matter, God truly has graced me. With this discipline, I know what His authority is; simply with one of His thought, God has disciplined me, and broadened my mind, He has shown me whether His disposition allows offense.” Just like when an adult raises a hand in a slap-like gesture, it gets the kid’s attention, and the child grasps it, “Oh! He didn’t hit me and put that hand down! If He really had hit me, I don’t think I could have taken it and I would have definitely suffered a lot!” And so it produces fear. Sometimes you just have to stamp your foot a little, he’ll understand, “I will be in trouble!” He’ll have true fear. And so it is with the discipline of God, but what is the fruit of it? Well, it produces in the heart of man a true reverence of God, and makes man see the omnipotence of God. Whatever man thinks, however his disobedient heart is, and whatever intentions he has inside, God is perfectly aware. If He punishes you, the punishment that comes your way will fall upon you. It’s absolutely true. You may be disciplined at anytime or anyplace on account of anything. For example, let’s say you’re mowing your lawn one day and God lets a blade of grass cut your hand as if it were a real blade; but after that, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t make out why it can cut you; but nevertheless, to discipline you, God made a blade of grass sharp as a real blade. Or He might allow you to choke on a bite of food. When you’re eating normally you would never choke on your food, but at that time you choke there for a bit; if God wants you to gasp for air then you’ll gasp for air at once; if God wants you to feel uncomfortable then you’ll immediately feel uncomfortable; if God wants to cut off your breath then you will instantly die: but all happens in accordance with the progression of the mind of God. You cannot hear the voice of God, yet things occur in the manner orchestrated by Him—is this not the authority of God? In all the silence and stillness you are blinded, but His disposition and His majesty and anger come upon you through His discipline. You may not be able to see God, but you are well aware of His presence, “Such is the discipline of God. His disposition allows no offense!” “Who told you that? Did God tell you?” “No, I just picked up on it, I can feel it, God doesn’t have to tell me; I just know it.” That’s just how we experience the work of God. Accidents befall you out of the clear blue sky, and you sometimes have that uneasy feeling, and the ominous feeling tells you, “Affliction will come upon you because you have not been doing well recently, you’ve been very disobedient and should to be disciplined.” Some things like this will just come your way; is this not God hiding His face from man? Is this not His anger with man? So, what produces in the heart of man a reverence for God? On one hand, it’s an understanding of some truths of the word of God, and some knowledge of God; on the other hand, it comes in part through punitive discipline, which lets you truly see the omnipotence of God and His authority, especially the fact that the disposition of God does not allow offense. When you rebel against God, or directly resist Him, or directly offend Him, you will feel God immediately hides His face from you, and you immediately get an ominous feeling in the gut, and before you know it, wham, disaster is upon you! Then in your heart it’s clear as a bell, you just know “I have offended God, and I can’t blame anyone but myself.” It is experiences such as these that give rise to a reverence for God. So now you see where reverence for God originates!
God also says, “… or else they ‘admire’ God because He is high and mighty—but in their reverence and admiration there is no love or true yearning.” If there is no love or yearning in man’s reverence, if there is only dread, just the fear of disaster alone, then is this real reverence? No. What is there in real reverence for God? Not only is it fear, but also love, yearning, obedience and worship of Him. This is real reverence. Only a heart with such reverence for God can truly shun from evil, only a heart with such reverence for God can stand witness to Him, or glorify God; without a heart that reveres God, it’s not possible to bear a resounding testimony or attain the fruits of shaming Satan and glorifying God. So do not let a heart that fears God be mistaken as a heart that reveres God. Fear is not reverence, but fear coupled with a true love of God, a real desire for the truth and obedience to God—this is reverence. Without going through God’s judgment and chastisement, without being pruned, dealt with, or disciplined, would it be possible to create in the heart reverence for God? Without going through the scrutiny, discipline and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, would it be possible to revere God? No, that’s impossible. People have to go through much work of the Holy Spirit to attain some knowledge of God and have reverence for Him within the heart! What have you experienced through the work of the Holy Spirit? What have you seen? “I’ve seen that God is truly almighty!” What else have you seen? “The Holy Spirit searches the heart of man, so that whatever man thinks, however rebellious he is, however resistant he is, the Holy Spirit knows it all.” Seeing that God examines the heart is no simple matter. So what else have you seen from experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit? “I acknowledge that God’s disposition allows no offense, and the moment He is offended He will bring His anger upon man, He will not let man off, and He will discipline man. God sometimes uses the environment, or the things that come to make you see that you have been disciplined and God does not like you; it will be as if He has given you to Satan, you will have a sense of foreboding, and feel as if you are about to run into calamity, or that you may even die. But when you are scared, the fear will make a disciplined person out of you.” People ask what you’ve experienced from the work of the Holy Spirit? “The work of the Holy Spirit sometimes gives people a feeling that God is especially lovable and amiable. It’s as if in a certain way, God possesses unlimited tolerance and patience toward man; sometimes He searches man’s heart; sometimes He deliberately hides and does not reveal Himself to man, but in secret He is always there supporting you, guiding you, and will never be far from you. The work of the Holy Spirit makes me see the love of God is so real, that God uses a variety of means to save people, to lead people, to perfect people, and give them a knowledge of Him.” If you have really undergone this, then you’ll understand how God saves man and perfects man in His work. And after going through the work of the Holy Spirit, you will say, “Oh! God is truly Almighty! He works all things which do service together to perfect those who love God. He will cause every kind of environmental factor to spring up around you to expose you, to cleanse you, to discipline you, to deal with you, to save you and to change you—this is the omnipotence of God.” Is this experience and feeling attained by man’s going through the work of God? If what you have gained through experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit is so rich, and if you have such extensive knowledge of God, would you not thus be on the path to perfection? If you experience the work of the Holy Spirit to an extent such as this, then when you read God’s word, the more you read, the clearer and more lucid it will all become to you. The more you know about the work of God from personal experience, the more you understand the word of God; so you can fellowship about God’s words throughout a whole meeting; even two or three meetings will also be alright; whatever you communicate is practical. Is this not the fruit of the work of the Holy Spirit? Thus, in experiencing the work of God, if you personally taste more of the work of the Holy Spirit, you will know God naturally, and understand a great deal of the word of God. How is this attained? Mainly through experience, through experiencing the work of God, that is, through experiencing the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, seeking the truth in all things, practicing and experiencing the word of God, and then fellowshiping about the truth in all things. Through these experiences, you will see more and more of the truth; as the truth is understood, when you read the word of God, the effect will be completely different from when you didn’t have these experiences. Before undergoing the work of God, you read His words and they seem to be just words. You won’t know how to understand His words to be as alive. You may understand the approximate meaning, the literal meaning, but relatively speaking, they will all just be words on a page. But after your experience, you will see these words as alive—the practical words of God—you will see everything can be confirmed in experience. So as you again communicate God’s words, the effect will be different, “I have some experience in these words, I’ve experienced them, I have a knowledge of them.” Before fellowshiping about God’s words, if you had an experience, a feeling, and a knowledge, then these words would have almost become your reality. When you have some experience, and knowledge of the words of God, is fellowshiping about them difficult? No, it’s not. I’ll give you an example. It’s like when you read a cookbook, what you see is written language, it tells you all the hows and whys, and the nuts and bolts of how to cook. But after you learn cooking for several years, you will understand how to cook, you will really know how to make food. So then when you look back at the cookbook again, you’ll get a completely different feeling from before, “Oh, I know how to do all this. What it says is like what I know. Yep, that’s exactly how I cook that dish. That’s just what it’s all about! It’s all exactly like that!” The words in the cookbook become the language of your actual experience. So, the next time you explain to someone how to cook and how to put it into real practice, it will be much easier. There are many different ways to explain how to cook something, and they are all just fine. Why? Because what is explained in the book matches your actual experience. You’ve been through it all before. It’s all fact rather than just words on a page.
Some ask, “How is it so simple for you to communicate God’s words? Why can’t I communicate like you do?” What is the problem here? Where is the difference? It’s a matter of experience. Wait for your faith to grow another ten or twenty years, and when you’ve experienced as much, you’ll fellowship the words of God like I do. There won’t be difference. Some can communicate some reality in communicating God’s words, although their way of speaking differs from mine; some are shallower, some aren’t rich enough, some tend to be one-sided. Don’t rush him, give him another ten to twenty years, and he’ll fellowship just like me, and maybe communicate some areas more clearly than me, that’s entirely possible. Those God perfects aren’t identical in each aspect of their experience. The Holy Spirit works in accordance with everyone’s needs, and everyone is slightly different. Don’t think ill of how I deal harshly with certain individuals, because actually, those individuals gain more when I do so. That’s how we walk the path, and how we gain experience. I have also experienced much of God’s pruning and dealings, and taken one step at a time to where I am today. Some say, “You have been dealt with by God in the past, subsequently you deal with us now. You are taking it out on us!” True, except that I’m not taking it out on you. Behind the act of dealing with you is God’s love. I’ve been so frequently dealt with, judged, and chastised, and now you are going through the process. It’s the same. It’s possible that my dealing with you has been guided and arranged by the Holy Spirit. In short, it’s not a bad thing for you to be pruned and dealt with. Could we instead say that God’s love has descended upon you? Do you dare to say that? Whoever dares to say that truly has faith. He truly has experience. Whoever doesn’t dare say that has too little experience and doesn’t understand God’s will. Pruning and dealing are God’s love and salvation. That’s 100 percent true. Can there be any doubt left about that? You should say, “Exactly!” You have to say it with certainty, “Exactly!” Be unambiguous about it. If you say, “Yes”, that’s admitting it reluctantly. You don’t have full penetration, there’s still uncertainty and doubt. Can you experience deeply with only reluctant admission and acceptance? Can there be genuine understanding of God’s will? There always is a gap, isn’t there? Then do you dare say “This is the descending of God’s love” without the slightest doubt? If you dare to say that, it’s faith, and you’ll have to experience until a day when you see it’s fact. Is it not a good thing to be pruned and dealt with?! Each time I was pruned and dealt with, I became more disciplined. Slowly I became much more disciplined. This is the truth! Sometimes I was arrogant and self-righteous. Sometimes I believed I was someone special. But when I was pruned and dealt with, instantly I became disciplined and humbled. This is how I got through every experience. It will not do without being dealt with. Unbelievers have a saying, “Three days without a beating, and a child scales the roof to rip off the tiles.” Is this accurate? This is how we experience God’s work. Constant beatings bring about final understanding, brings about human likeness, brings about submission, and brings about love for God. Among constant beatings, unknowingly, we are perfected. Isn’t that how God perfects us? The primary way is beatings, pruning and dealing mean beatings, so primarily it is through pruning and dealing with people. God’s words about judgment and chastisement don’t bring about obvious effectiveness in spiritual devotion; they are all realized, fulfilled, and accomplished through pruning and dealing with people. So, these are all matters about experience. When you have experienced much, have an understanding about God, have fear for God, and have real submission, that’s when you can truly distance yourself from evil. When people are submissive, they can be distanced from evil. When they aren’t submissive, they can’t be distanced from evil, and when people can’t shun evil, they are trapped in it.
What words are more practical to convey the experience of submission to God and distancing from evil? Every time one is submissive to the truth, practically speaking he is distancing himself from evil. Is this a practical way to put it? Every time somebody accepts the truth, he departs from temptations, mistakes, and errors. These temptations, mistakes, and errors are evil! Every time someone accepts the truth he accepts God’s salvation, he is detached from errors, absurdity, and evil deeds. So accepting the truth and being submissive to the truth is direct testimony to departing from evil. Practicing the truth is how you depart from evil. Whenever you accept the truth and are submissive to the truth, departure from evil is achieved, realized, and accomplished. For example, in an election, you might begin by thinking, “Whoever is good to me, is caring toward me, and gets along well with me will get my vote.” But then someone else might say, “This person works well outwardly, but he lacks the truth. He only uses emotional appeals and appears to treat others kindly, but he can’t provide people with real help. But that candidate over there may sound cold, but he has love toward others, when people err, he can adhere to principles, can prune people, he benefits other people’s growth in life, so you should vote for him.” “That’s right! You’ve helped me understand; this person only works well and seems caring on the surface, but he lacks the truth; he doesn’t help those who are wrong and deviate in their practice, and can’t even pinpoint those things, but always plays the nice guy. I’m not going to vote for him, I’ll vote for whoever insists on the principle of truth.” Does it mean that you are distanced from evil when you act according to the principle of truth? You are distanced from evil when you depart from voting bias, voting mistakes that arise based on emotions, and the temptation of voting for “the nice guy.” When you practice the truth, you are distanced from evil. So, how do you achieve departure from evil? Practicing the truth and insisting on principles. Insisting on principles and practicing the truth are in turn achieved by prayers, the seeking of truth, and the loving help of brothers and sisters and their fellowship on the truth. Therefore, people with a heart fearful of God will think, “I can’t act evil, I have to work in accordance with principles and the truth. When I vote, I will vote in accordance with principles and the truth. When I perform real work, I will do it in accordance with principles and the truth. When I do my duty, I will do it in accordance with principles and the truth.” With a heart fearful of God, you will consider the need to practice and submit to the truth, the need to insist on principles in doing your duty, and the need to do things that satisfy God. Such practice does much to reduce the commission of evil deeds. Some people could have done many bad things, evil deeds in the past because they did not practice the truth, but instead let their own emotions, will, and preferences guide them. But today, all of those things have been avoided, resolved, and corrected by seeking and practicing the truth. Are such individuals fearful of God and distanced from evil? Such individuals are in fear of God and distanced from evil, because they have understood much about truth, have hearts fearful of God, have grown in spiritual stature, and practice the truth, so they are distanced from evil. The more clearly one understands the truth, and the more precise his principles are, the further away he is from evil. And eventually, as he gets further and further away from evil, his deeds become closer to and conform more to God’s will and the truth. Being far from the truth means not living within the light. But if you are close to the truth, live out the truth, and practice the truth, you are already living within the light. There, evil and darkness shall be especially far from you. Is it possible for people in this situation to sin again, perform evil deeds again, and resist God again? When Satan uses all its forms of luring, tempting, drawing, and deceiving, and sees that a person already has the truth, has been made complete by God, has been occupied by the truth, and can no longer be corrupted, it will have no choice but to give up, release its hold on you, and can no longer accuse you. Has such a person been fully gained by God? He has been fully gained by God. A practical way of explaining this matter is: He has been occupied by the truth, he has been occupied by God’s words, he has the truth as his life, God has worked the truth and His words into him to become his life, he has been made complete by God. It is not that the life of God Himself holds power in his heart, but that God’s words and the truth have occupied his heart. This, too, is being occupied by God, and gained by God.
“Those who love God will forever live within His light.” But how is this attained? This is about experiencing the work of God, continuously seeking the truth in all things, experiencing God’s words, reaching a state when people understand more and more of the truth, and know more and more of God. That is when people find fear of God in their hearts, love God, and thirst for God. That is when the truth in God’s words takes root inside people, and becomes people’s life. People can live based on the truth, which is not just shunning evil, but living within God’s light—this means already living within the light. Those who live within the light are real humans created by God. They are people who are after God’s heart. They are the highest quality products and gems produced by the six-thousand-year management plan operated by God in His salvation of mankind. The eventual effect of God’s management plan in His salvation of mankind is that individuals can love God. Those who love God live forever within the light of God. What’s their duty afterward? What promises are given? They will be priests in the kingdom, and reign together with God. Today Satan reigns in this world, corrupt humankind reigns, but in the next era God shall reign, and people who love God shall reign, be priests, and be kings on earth. So, “those who love God will forever live within His light” means that people who love God shall be used by God to reign on earth. The next age—the Age of Millennium Kingdom, shall bear the best testament that people who love God will live forever within His light, and this saying shall be fulfilled. How will someone who loves God live forever within His light? Today he has the work of the Holy Spirit, and is watched over and cared for by God, so Satan cannot harm him. During the Age of Millennium Kingdom, those who love God will begin to reign. God once said, “Those who love God can walk freely throughout the world, those who testify to God can travel across the universe.” Slowly, you will see how this saying is fulfilled. How will people travel across the universe? Humans will become a spiritual body, like extraterrestrial beings!