15. Looking at People’s Perspective on Belief in God From Their Notions About God
Every corrupt person develops many corrupt dispositions from their satanic nature, but why do we say that the nature of man is a nature that betrays God? This is because once the nature of man is corrupted by Satan his nature is completely transformed into a satanic nature. However corrupt and evil Satan is, mankind too is just as corrupt and evil; however Satan resists and betrays God, mankind too resists and betrays God, and especially for people who have faith in God, although they have enjoyed many graces from God, they are still able to resist and betray God. Even when it is clear to them that it is the work of God and the word of God, they still judge God’s work, condemn God’s work, and even blaspheme the word of God; even when it is clear to them that it is Christ incarnate, they still are able to develop many notions, and even deny that Christ is the incarnation of God; even when it is clear to them that God incarnate has the outward appearance of normal humanity, they are still able to develop notions about God and barriers to God, and they are even unable to tolerate Christ’s normal humanity. From the many notions that man is able to develop about God, it is entirely possible to see that the nature of man is a nature that resists God, that the corrupt human race is the embodiment of Satan and the descendants of Satan. From the various notions that man develops about God it is entirely possible to clearly see man’s satanic nature. It’s just like the words that God has spoken in the past: “When you truly live with Christ, your self-rightness and self-importance will be slowly exposed by your words and actions, and so shall your excessive desires and disobedience and discontent be spontaneously revealed. Finally, your arrogance will become ever greater, and when you become as incompatible with Christ as water is with fire, then your nature will be entirely exposed. At that time, your notions can no longer be veiled. Your complaints, too, will spontaneously be expressed, and your vile humanity will be entirely exposed. …
You always wish to see Christ, but I exhort you not to exalt yourselves so; everyone may see Christ, but I say none are fit to see Christ. Because the nature of man is filled with evil, arrogance, and rebellion, when you see Christ, your nature will ruin you and condemn you to death. Your association with a brother (or a sister) may not show much about you, but it is not so simple when you associate with Christ. At any time, your conceptions may take root, your arrogance bud, and your rebellion bear figs.”
Through experience we can find out the various notions that man develops about God through his corrupt nature:
1. When man sees that God’s humanity is extremely normal, he will develop notions and say: “There is no hint of the divine. He is a completely average person.” This is a notion that everyone has; it illustrates that man does not have the least bit of knowledge about the substance of Christ.
2. When man meets with Christ, he can only see Christ’s normal humanity and not the substance of Christ, and he will develop notions and say: “He is an ordinary person; how is He like God?”
3. When Christ is pruning and dealing with man, man will develop notions and say: “How can God treat me in this way? Is this really what God is like?”
4. When Christ is being amiable toward man, man will develop notions within himself and say: “This isn’t a bad way for God to treat me. God ought to be this way.”
5. When God is judging man and exposing man’s corruption, man will feel pain in the depths of his heart, then he will have notions about God, he will feel that God is not kind and not approachable, and he will develop passivity.
6. When man sees that the things Christ enjoys are slightly better than those of average people, then he will develop notions and say: “Christ doesn’t endure any suffering. He is as happy as can be.”
7. When man sees that the body of Christ has an ailment, he will develop notions and say: “He is God; how can He get sick?” Man isn’t the least bit aware that Christ is experiencing the suffering of the world.
8. When people see Christ give things to other people, they will again give rise to notions and say: “Why is Christ not impartial? How come He gives to others but not to me?”
9. Whenever man sees that Christ is a little better to one person, this will give rise to notions and he will say: “What’s so good about this person? How come You are not good to me?”
10. When man sees that Christ is hunted down by satanic demons and that He must wander in many places, he will develop notions and say: “Why is He not able to protect Himself, although He is God?”
11. When man sees that Christ is resting and not carrying out work, he will develop notions and say: “Look at Christ living it up, all day long with nothing to do!”
12. When man sees Christ being cold to them, this will give rise to notions and he will say: “Christ does not have any love for man.”
13. When man discovers that there is some aspect of the world that Christ is not aware of, this will give rise to notions and he will say: “Christ is not all-knowing. Does He not possess the substance of God?”
And so on. There are many other notions that need not be explained in detail. In short, man will develop notions about all of Christ’s actions and behaviors. No matter what Christ does, it will be difficult for some people to avoid developing notions. Whether or not you acknowledge that you have many notions about Christ, it can be said with certainty that, on the inside, all men have a nature that resists God and betrays God. This is something that no one can deny. If you’ve never discovered that you have notions, that just shows that you have never been in contact with and associated with Christ. If you truly had ever been in contact and associated with Christ for a period of time, then the notions you have inside would all have been revealed, not even one missed. But the difference would be this: For people who love the truth more, since they have some understanding of the truth of incarnation, even though they give rise to notions, they do not reach the point of turning passive, not performing their duty, or running away. If it is someone who does not love the truth, then you could not imagine the degree of danger. They might deny Christ, deny the true way and betray God. There are many people who long to see the face of God. This kind of frame of mind is understandable, but you must be equipped with and understand some truths before you can be qualified to see the face of Christ. Don’t say with certainty that if you saw Christ you wouldn’t give rise to notions, because you do not have a very deep understanding about the nature of man’s corruption. At best you just have some knowledge of your transgression of resisting God. As for your nature being revealed bit by bit, you do not have the ability to dissect with the truth, so, people who have rarely experienced pruning and dealing are definitely not people who have knowledge of themselves yet. Every man has done many things that resist God or that betray the truth, but if they’ve never experienced pruning and dealing, then there are some which they are unaware of. The exposure and judgment and dealing and pruning of the word of God is what man needs the most. If man only relies on himself to read the word of God, and does not have the special work of the Holy Spirit, if he just relies on his own brain, then he will not be able to have knowledge of it. Peter was only perfected through the work of the Holy Spirit on top of his own pursuits.
From the many notions that man develops about God we can see that man already does not have the form of a human because of his being corrupted by Satan. It is to such an extent that all of man’s perspectives on faith in God are incorrect, or even absurd, which gives rise to all kinds of notions. By dissecting man’s notions about God, there are many notions that show that man is extremely insensible. In other words, man is very unreasonable, man is extremely jealous of others, man has extravagant requirements, he has no reason, and he is too arrogant and self-conceited, to the point where he even wants to be equal to Christ. Man pursues and fancies the supernatural, he hopes for a supernatural God. The development of these notions is enough to show that mankind pursues evil and does not love the truth. Christ really has no way to be together with man. No matter how Christ does something, people will always develop notions. From this we can see that no one possesses the kind of conscience and reason that normal humanity ought to possess. How are people so able to worship idols in their hearts? How are people able to be docile and obedient and have no biases about the people that they love in their hearts? Why is it that people think that whatever those in the higher echelons of society possess are the things that they ought to possess, that this is how it should be, and why can’t they feel this way about Christ? Could it be that all the things Christ enjoys are things that should not be attained, or things that He does not deserve? If not, how else could man develop so many notions? How can this problem actually be explained? Every person must reflect upon themselves! Could it be that God incarnate ought to act like a beggar and completely rely on begging to seek survival and count on man’s mercy and charity? Who delimits this? The work of Christ saves billions of people; could it be that His contribution to mankind is not as big as that of any scientist or great figure? Could it be that the flesh of Christ is not deserving of enjoying good things? Are these things delimited by man or by God? Think back to when Jesus was nailed to the cross. At that time the Roman soldiers drew straws to see how Jesus’ clothes would be divided up. It is clear that the clothes were of higher quality at the time, otherwise why would they draw straws to see how to split them up? What were the pains that Jesus suffered? How many people are aware of this? People that truly have some conscience and reason ought to not develop notions about what the flesh of God enjoys. Actually, do the things that God enjoys belong to God Himself or are they from the charity of mankind? Let me ask: Are the things you enjoy things you deserve to obtain, or things that are bestowed upon you by God? You don’t have any notions about all the things you enjoy, so why do you have notions about the things that Christ enjoys? What is the issue here? From this it is entirely possible to see that: Mankind truly is deeply corrupt, without a bit of conscience or reason, and not only do they not have knowledge of the work of God, but they don’t even have knowledge of God ruling over mankind, leading mankind, providing for mankind, and of all the riches that He bestows upon mankind. So it’s no wonder that God says that no man possesses the faith that Job had. How was Job able to stand witness? Because he truly understood that everything he possessed was completely bestowed upon him by God. If God did not give grace to man, then it would be of no use however hard man labored; if rain did not fall from the sky, then no matter how hard he labored, man would not harvest crops; if God did not provide for and protect the human race, then they would have destroyed themselves a long time ago. Job had this true knowledge of God, so when he went through trials, no matter how his friends and wife sneered at him and complained to him, he never denied that all he possessed was bestowed upon him by God, and he always felt that God ought to be praised. Today’s followers of Christ really do not have this faith that Job possessed, they are able to speak about this doctrine, but they don’t have true knowledge of God. So, whenever they experience trials they are unable to stand firm.
Nowadays, I don’t know how many people think that the money of the house of God is for the public use of our church, and that it does not belong to God. As a result, there are some people who are dissatisfied with how this money is arranged by the above to carry out work, and they develop notions about it, even to the point where they make up rumors to deceive people. Let me ask: Do brothers and sisters give offerings to God or to the church? If you give offerings to God, then what you give belongs to God, and however He arranges it is up to Him. Does He really need you to worry about it? However He uses it is up to Him, does He need you to interfere? Does He need you to offer advice on whether or not the way He is using these things is appropriate? Could it be that you have a share of responsibility in God’s work? Should you also receive this money? If you were able to express the truth, the way and the life of Christ, then people would give offerings to you as well. So what is the true significance of people giving offerings to God? Actually, this share is what God ought to have. God takes out one-tenth of the 100% he gives to people, so man ought to return God His share. Christ is enjoying the share that heaven preordained for Him. Actually, the share that every person ought to give as an offering is a share that God had already given to them, and by returning this share to God man can receive from the top down the riches that God has bestowed upon him. Could it be that you don’t understand this truth? God’s share ought to be given to God. Can you really say that God’s share ought to belong to man? Can you really say that this is man giving charity to God? Man is truly without conscience or reason, he is extremely brazen, his greed is great, so much so that he would even dare to try to make a profit on God. Man truly is avaricious and insatiable. If you give him an inch, he will want a mile. Is this kind of person deserving of eating and drinking the word of God? Are they deserving of staying in the house of God? I remember one time I gave a new believer a call by a cell phone, and this person developed notions, saying: “He uses a cell phone; whose money is he using?” And afterward this person stopped believing. After I knew about this event, I discovered a problem: This person was really insensible, so then how could he be able to accept the truth? Even if he didn’t depart, he wouldn’t have received salvation.
From man’s various notions about God, we can discover many incorrect perspectives that man has about faith in God. What gives rise to these incorrect perspectives about faith in God? Without doubt they arise from man’s notions and from man’s imagination, but even more so they arise from man’s corrupt nature, which runs completely against the truth. Man’s perspective of looking at things represents his ideas and motivations, and it represents man’s evil nature. Man’s notions and his perspectives of looking at things really are quite evil and absurd. If man’s perspective on his faith in God is incorrect, this will inevitably give rise to various notions about God, which will make it difficult for him not to fall one day, and perhaps he may even fall so far that he sinks into the bottomless pit. Below we will take several examples: Some people see cars in the house of God and this makes them develop notions, making them say: “The people above take the hard-earned money from the brothers and sisters of the church for their own pleasures.” Why can they say such things? Can you discover their evil nature within this? Some people see workers from above using cell phones and pagers and they again get notions, and they say: “Whose money are these people actually spending?” What controls these people to be motivated to think in this way and say these things? Could their perspective on their faith in God correct? Some people see some of the workers from above wearing nicer clothes, and this makes them develop notions about the house of God. They say: “Whose hard-earned money is being used for the things these people eat, drink and enjoy? Where are they getting this money?” In their eyes, workers in the house of God all come from poverty and don’t have enough money to wear nice things, so if they are wearing nice things, that certainly means that they spent the church’s money to buy them. However, if they are given by well-to-do brothers and sisters from the church, what would be your interpretation then? If their own families have money, what then would you say? This is really using your own small-mindedness to judge others. Since you yourself are evil, everyone else appears evil to you as well. Do you not know that those who pursue the truth will change somewhat after experiencing the work of God? There’s no way they all can be as bad as you imagine, certainly, they are much better than you think.
I remember there used to be an event: A person in the house of God served as a district leader, and then later on when the leadership was being adjusted, this person was for some reason or another dismissed, and from that point on this person no longer had faith. I’ve thought about this matter: Could it be that this person only believed in God in order to serve as a leader? If he believed in God in order to pursue salvation, then how could he possibly retreat because he was no longer allowed to serve as a leader? It’s clear that this person’s perspective of his faith in God was impure. It appears he only believed in God to be a leader, it appears that he thought that only by being a leader could he attain God’s salvation. Otherwise, how could he retreat? Apart from this, there is no other way to explain this problem. This type of people are great in number, it seems as though their objective for believing in God is to serve as a leader. Whether or not they attain salvation is secondary. If they are not allowed to serve as a leader, even if they don’t retreat, they will not possess enthusiasm, and they will be even less willing to pursue the truth. Do you all think that this perspective on faith in God is correct? In their heart they simply don’t have true obedience to God, and they absolutely don’t treat pursuing the truth as the most fundamental thing. Even though these kinds of people serve as leaders, if they are not ones who pursue the truth, then could they change their disposition? Nowadays some people who serve as leaders are this type of person. Their lust for power is very strong, their thirst for position is very great. If they were to lose their position, then they might be in danger of betraying God, so, when they still haven’t gained the truth and before they change their disposition, what are they actually capable of doing for God’s house? Are they really able to guide people into the reality of the word of God? Their own perspective on faith in God is incorrect, so how could they correct the erroneous perspectives of others? This is a practical problem.
Man’s various notions about God are enough to illustrate that man does not really understand the truth of incarnation, nor does man have true knowledge of Christ’s substance. So, man is always looking at issues from the surface appearance of things, he cannot look at issues through seeing the substance of things. Man develops all kinds of notions and misunderstanding about God; this too is a manifestation of man not understanding the truth. How many notions man has toward God leads to how much he will rebel against and resist God. The more notions he has about God, the greater the risk is that he will betray God. There are many people who have a lot of notions about God, and perhaps it will be from some small things that they will fall and leave God. For some people they will start not believing in God after seeing some worker in the house of God doing something that does not conform to the truth; some people get fed up and leave God after seeing the house of God’s constant emphasis on the truth and constant emphasis on pursuing change in one’s disposition; some people develop notions about God and leave God when they see that God’s work this time around is completely for changing people’s disposition, and that it does not bestow more grace on people; some people leave God when they see that the house of God doesn’t give any advantages to them and this makes them feel that the house of God is without love; some people leave God because they see that something in the house of God does not conform to their imagination; some people leave God because they see that church leaders do not conform to their wishes; and so on and so forth. Why is it that these people are able to leave God because of these trivial matters? This can only mean that they do not truly believe in God, that their intentions and perspectives on faith in God are very preposterous, to the extent that they will not stand firm. These preposterous and absurd people might as well return to their homes and believe in themselves, for what they do certainly conforms to their wishes. They are absolutely not people who seek the truth, and they certainly bring extravagant desires with them when they come to believe in God, because they readily leave God when their desires are not fulfilled. If they truly believed in God, if they were people who truly sought the truth, then they certainly would pay attention to the work of Christ, they certainly would pay attention to the word of Christ, and they would not be controlled by any person, thing or object in the house of God. No matter what mistakes are made and who makes them, none of it would affect or shake their true faith in Christ; no matter what happens, they would hold strong and follow Christ to the end. If someone who believes in God is truly able to see that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life, then they will never yield despite all setbacks and follow Christ to the end. If someone has believed in the practical God for several years but cannot see that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life, then they will not develop true faith and obedience.
Whether or not one’s perspective on faith in God is correct will decide whether or not they are able to stand firm, it will decide whether or not they are able to gain the truth and salvation. Of course, one’s perspective on faith in God can be changed by pursuing the truth. New believers inevitably have many preposterous perspectives on faith in God, but if they are willing to pursue the truth and willing to enjoy the word of God, then it is entirely possible for them to change their perspectives on faith in God. If they do not pursue the truth, then they will certainly not be able to accept the truth, and in that case, all their preposterous perspectives on faith in God will never change, and they will become a most dangerous person, capable of betraying God and leaving God at any time. The first effect to be achieved by experiencing the work of God is that it changes a person’s past perspective on faith in God. If a person’s perspective on faith in God is pure, if it conforms to the will of God, then no danger will exist for that person, and even if all kinds of trials befall them they will not betray God. If you want to stand firm in the house of God, if you want to ultimately attain God’s salvation, then you must focus on pursuing the truth and accepting the truth, so as to change your previous preposterous perspective on faith in God. This is the most important thing. You can see a person’s perspective on faith in God by looking at the various notions they develop about God. These notions are all enough to show that a person’s perspective on faith in God is incorrect. Some of these viewpoints are evil and preposterous, and they all come from man’s imagination and extravagant desires. How can these problems actually be solved? Obviously, you must rely on enjoying the word of God and receiving the truth to solve these problems. More specifically, you must be equipped with the truth of the incarnation to attain knowledge of the substance of Christ and to properly treat the normal humanity of Christ; you must pursue knowledge of God’s disposition and God’s substance to be certain about Christ being the practical God incarnate; you must rely on being equipped with the truths that God requires man to be equipped with in order to attain the conscience and reason of normal humanity, to live like a real human, and to finally be at peace with Christ; you must rely on enjoying all the words of God in order to change the pitiableness of your foolishness, ignorance, blindness, poverty, and backwardness. If the corrupt human race does not pursue the truth in this way, it will be very difficult to achieve changes. If man’s perspective on faith in God doesn’t change, then he will never enter onto the right track of faith in God; if man’s perspective on faith in God doesn’t change, then he will never be equipped with the faith that Job was equipped with; if man’s perspective on faith in God doesn’t change, then he will always be in danger, he will be in danger of betraying God and sinking into perdition anytime and anywhere. Especially when people are just starting to believe in God, they must examine their previous preposterous perspectives on faith in God and find the appropriate words of God for comparison and analysis, so that they can take a look at how God asks man to believe in Him and obey Him, and so that they can know which truths man must be equipped with in order to truly believe. These are the issues that ought to first be solved by all people who just started believing in God. If you cannot put this into practice, then you will not be able to escape from the brink of danger, and you will be even less able to achieve the goal of God’s salvation.