13. How to Discern the Essence of People’s Various Notions About God
I. How to Discern People’s Notions and Judgments About God’s Demands
God’s demands of man are what corrupt mankind must fulfill to be saved. The process by which corrupt mankind strives to satisfy God’s demands is a process of entering into the truth, and it is also the process of receiving salvation. If corrupt mankind is unable to achieve God’s demands throughout the process of experiencing God’s work, then they are unsaved people and will be discarded. It is only when corrupt mankind has accepted the truth and their outlook on things has been truly changed that a fundamental change can occur in their thoughts and behavior. At that time, they will be fully able to fulfill all the demands that God has for them. We may put it this way, when man can perform their duties easily in keeping with God’s demands, and when they are able to obey God and act in accordance with God’s word in everything that they come across, then they will be completely saved. People of conscience and reason do not feel that there is anything particularly difficult about putting the truth into practice, and those who truly love God feel that it is even less difficult to achieve the demands of God. God’s demands can be completely achieved by normal men; all who feel that it is not so difficult to achieve God’s demands are people with normal humanity. During the period that God works to save man, people all feel that God’s demands are too difficult to achieve, and even if they exert all their strength it still seems difficult to meet God’s demands. This is because of the great extent of mankind’s corruption, and so they feel it very difficult to obey God, and in particular those people whose humanity is very bad feel it to be even more difficult in the early period of their faith in God. There is nothing strange about this. The greater man’s corruption is, the further they are distanced from God’s demands, and besides, they don’t pursue the truth and are bound by their satanic nature, which altogether make them unable to fulfill God’s demands. If corrupt mankind could easily achieve God’s demands, then it would mean that the extent of their corruption is not that great. Because the nature of corrupt mankind is venomous, their disposition is wildly arrogant and they don’t possess normal conscience and reason, corrupt mankind has already become ones that resist God like Satan and they are all evil ones that are antagonistic to God. How can such a corrupt mankind be willing to show consideration for God’s will? And how can they pay the price for practicing the truth? This is not possible. So, the salvation of greatly corrupted mankind is no easy thing.
In experiencing the work of God, all those who place emphasis on pursuing the truth are interested in positive things and become willing to put the truth into practice. However, because their life disposition has not changed, they have little understanding of the truth and the way that they look at things has also not changed, they often develop notions and make arbitrary judgments about the work of God. This is all created as a result of man’s corruption being too great. If a man who has experienced several years of God’s work doesn’t have a clear understanding of every aspect of the truth, still cannot see through many things, and is unable to discern the essence of things, then he will often misconstrue the words of God, misunderstand God’s will and be unable to precisely understand God’s meaning, deviations will frequently occur in his communication of the truth and at times he will have notions in his heart. This is a natural thing. The facts provide sufficient evidence that mankind without the truth is a mankind that resists God, and is a mankind that has no means of being compatible with God. For example, when the above demands that those who are in accord with the three principles be selected as leaders, everyone feels it far too difficult to meet. They complain to God and say, “God’s demand is too great. The requirements from the above do not accord with the actual situation.” There are even some who say that the above doesn’t understand the real circumstances. What is this problem? Are the demands from the above really excessive? Does the above not understand the true situation? Why are they able to say such things? The main reason is that they do not grasp the principle and meaning of the three requirements from the above, and they do not understand God’s heart. The three principles demanded from the above are the standards for the selection of leaders and workers. Only those who are in accord with the three principles may be selected, used, and cultivated while those who are not in accord with the three principles cannot be selected, used, and cultivated. The meaning here is profound and people are unable to fathom it. The demand from the above that people should act in keeping with the principles is not emphasizing that one must have fully met the three standards before he is able to be promoted and used. Meeting the three standards refers to the fact that a right person is able to achieve the three standards after having undergone a period of training and cultivation. Such a demand from the above primarily means to select right people; in the words of the worldly people, it is selecting the promising ones, who are completely possible to be cultivated to be such people. It is certainly not a demand that at the time of their selection they have already matured into such kind of people.
Some people have taken these three principles to be standards by which to measure the candidates. Is this not a misunderstanding of God’s intention? It seems that they still cannot grasp the relationship between the good horse and the good judge of horses. It is not a simple matter to be able to recognize good horses that could cover half a thousand kilometers a day. A man without a good judgment is only able to determine this by allowing every horse to run half a thousand kilometers. However, a good judge of horses does not need to do this. After he watches and closely examines the horses with his eyes, he is able to separate out the good horses. This really is a kind of capability. The three standards of God’s family for the selection of leaders and workers are like the principles by which a good judge of horses recognizes good horses. These three principles make it easier to distinguish the promising candidates. There are not many assets, but without the three standards for selecting leaders and workers, things will be even more troublesome. If all sorts of people like crafty persons, crowd-pleasers, gifted ones, those who can speak in tongues, smooth-talkers, and toadies are selected, then how can God’s work be developed? How can God’s will be carried out? In such circumstances, the above sets the three standards for selecting leaders and workers and the problem is thus resolved. Of course, selecting assets in keeping with the three principles is really the same as selecting good horses, and it is no easy task; even if you try hard, you will still be unable to find a number of suitable ones. All the leaders and workers of God’s family are in a real fix and complain incessantly. They really have no other option but to promote those who are close to the three standards and those who are relatively good. Although this takes much effort, the outcome differs greatly. The majority of people selected in this way are the ones who are able to submit to God’s work and achieve salvation and who are at least able to stand firm in all manner of trials. If the above established a standard or principle that allows people to select leaders and workers easily, then the result would certainly not be satisfactory, or else it would be quite terrible. Because people are by nature lazy, they do not want to make the effort or do things in an earnest manner. If the above set a standard that complies with their will, then they would have no notions whatsoever and would also say that the above is really good and understanding. Then what would the consequences be of selecting leaders and workers in this way? It is something we may well imagine. Therefore, it is better for the above to set higher and more rigorous standards for selecting leaders and workers when considering the working results. If standards were set on the basis of the wishes of the majority, then the work of God’s family would be unable to be carried out and in this way the work of God’s salvation and perfection of man would come to nothing. Therefore, the work of God’s family cannot be in accordance with people’s will or wishes. People are all gluttonous and lazy, prefer leisure to labor. They feel good if they don’t need to exert any effort in performing their duties. If there is some difficulty and they need to expend a little effort, they will complain incessantly as if they were being ill-treated. It can be seen that they do not have any devotion at all. They do not go about things responsibly and muddling through things has become their nature; they are not faithful people willing to endure hardship in order to satisfy God. If things were done according to the likes and standards of corrupt mankind, then God’s work of saving man would be spoiled and come to nothing. Because corrupt mankind does not have the truth and only has corruption, if the work of God’s family complied with the will of man and conformed with man’s conceptions and imaginings, then would it not go along with worldly trends? This will only result in more and more evil and darkness.
If people could see this point clearly, then they would understand God’s kind intentions in doing His work and realize that the arrangements from the above are fair and reasonable, and they would not harbor notions or complain. Let us give it some more thought: If all of God’s work was done according to the conceptions and imaginings of man, and everything God does complied with the conceptions of man, then would it not be the work of man? If it was done that way, would it be able to achieve the effect of saving man? If God worked in that way, would He be able to change man and obtain man? Does the work that conforms with the conceptions of man contain the truth? Everything that Satan does complies with the conceptions of man, and all that the religious world does also conforms with man’s conceptions, and is favored and applauded by everyone, but what are the results? Is not mankind still increasingly evil, and the religious world more and more dark? Corrupt mankind has all become demons, and most of the people of the religious world are following the antichrists, acting as scoundrels who resist and judge God, the underlings of Satan’s forces! Mankind doesn’t feel repulsion for the great red dragon nor do they hate it, and they have never dissected or opposed the evil deeds of the great red dragon. Corrupt mankind is the degenerate who stands on Satan’s side and hates God! How could this not be hurtful to God? The root cause why man always has notions with regard to God’s work is man’s satanic nature. Man can understand whatever Satan does, and even if they know that it is evil, they can forgive and make no judgment upon it. But man treats what God does quite differently. They often have notions about and make judgments on it, and resist and condemn it. Is this fair to God? Why does man hate God so much? Why does man not hate Satan? Why does man dare not expose and dissect the great red dragon? Why does man not have genuine hatred of the great red dragon? Why does man in his heart worship demons? This is very closely connected to the nature and essence of corrupt mankind. Mankind is the descendant of Satan, and there is nothing false about that! It is extremely important that we know the nature and essence of mankind! This is the truth that we must know thoroughly to achieve salvation through faith in God.
II. How to Discern People’s Notions and Judgments About Meeting in Classified Groupings
When God’s family implements meeting in classified groupings, most people have these notions: If people are classified into different groups to have meetings, how can those who don’t pursue the truth change? Won’t it be the end for the backward people? The lazy people say, “Meeting like this is OK, why bother to classify people into different groups? It’s too much trouble! Isn’t this making trouble for us?” There are even those who say that God’s family lacks love. Most people have notions about meeting in classified groupings, and they complain, as if God’s family had made a mistake and was not as wise as they are. They are expressing corruption. Those who do not have the truth cannot see anything clearly; no matter what God’s family does, they will have notions. With regard to the matter of meeting in classified groupings, the way people see it is: Only if good people, bad people, those that are pursuing actively and those who are not pursuing meet together will people be able to change and make progress. This kind of thinking is mistaken. Whether or not a person loves the truth is determined by his nature. Others’ exhortation and help is only effective with those who are comparatively pursuing. With regard to those who do not love the truth, and whose nature is very bad, no matter how you exhort and help them, it will serve no purpose. Look at those who have been evicted from God’s family. There are some among them who have believed in God for many years and who are even workers, but throughout they have never pursued the truth and have only been following along to obtain blessings. There is no change whatsoever that can be seen in them. They have heard so much preaching and attended so many meetings, but how is it that they have not obtained the truth? So, those who do not pursue the truth can’t be lifted up by any one, and those who have a vicious nature, even if they attend the meeting every day, they cannot change. This is a fact that no one can deny.
There are those who do not appear to pursue the truth but by the essence of their nature they have a heart that loves the truth. If such people are watered and supported by good persons, they are able to stand firm. Some people have very bad nature and do not love the truth, and they are particularly arrogant and conceited, obeying no one; the majority of such people are not able to be saved. People who don’t submit to anyone’s leading and do not pursue the truth can only be put in group B, with the aim of making them do self-reflection and know their own corruption, so as to repent and mend their ways. What can be wrong with this? If we place people of this category into group A, then it will bring trouble to those who pursue the truth, and for many people this could be disastrous, and a disturbance. It is unfair, out of so-called love, to place someone who always disturbs the church and who does not love the truth amongst those who pursue the truth, and this will bring trouble and obstruction to those people who are able to be saved. Therefore, God’s family places those people who do not pursue the truth, are particularly arrogant and conceited as well as reasonless, and can disrupt others into group B. This is advantageous for God’s chosen people and for themselves as well. It is beneficial to both sides. How can you say that God’s family lacks love? The harmful outcome of intermingling good people with bad people, those who pursue the truth with those who do not pursue the truth is: There will always be interruptions and disruption during the meeting which will actually influence the results of the meeting; this will disturb good people and those who pursue the truth. Not only are bad people and those who do not pursue the truth not able to be changed but good persons and those who pursue the truth are held up. Meeting in the way of messing together does not benefit the majority and can hardly bring good results. Due to the disturbance of these people of Satan’s ilk, the leaders and workers of the church feel powerless and helpless, their burdens are so enormous and the pressure leaves them gasping for air. The implementing of having people meet in classified groupings will resolve all these difficulties. In this way, those who truly believe in God and those who are pursuing comparatively hard can enter into the truth more quickly and progress more rapidly. Those who do not pursue the truth will reflect on themselves, see how pitiful they are, and feel ashamed. This will urge them to repent and make a fresh start. If they are placed among good people to make up the number, then this will do a great harm to all those who pursue the truth. Besides, it will make them even more arrogant and conceited; not only will they be unaware of themselves, but they will also feel good about themselves and will disturb and demolish God’s work more severely. This is a fact. Those who are experienced have got a taste of it. Can you say that it is a lack of love for God’s family to isolate those whose humanity is very bad and who do not pursue the truth by adopting the mode of meeting in classified groupings? If anyone feels that this is not loving, please use your love to help these people to repent and mend their ways. Let’s see whether or not your love can soften these incorrigibles. If people don’t pursue the truth, and do not accept the truth, whatever way of meeting will not help them. We can only isolate them and not allow them to continue disturbing others. This is good enough for them! Can’t you see this clearly? The work of the church should be done in keeping with actual circumstances and it is most important to test whether or not good results can be achieved. We cannot obey rules, or be held back by man’s conceptions. The most important thing is how we should practice to lead God’s chosen people onto the right track of faith in God and allow those who sincerely believe in God to understand the truth and enter into reality. To achieve this aim, we should not be bound by any rules and regulations. Only working in this way complies with God’s will.
The practice of meeting in classified groupings has already been verified as effective and generally meets with the approval of the believers. The facts have confirmed that such implementation completely accords with God’s will. Some people judge that God’s family has no love. Their viewpoint is absurd. What is true love after all? If they really have love, why can they not love God? Why can they not be considerate of God’s will? Why can they not lead those who pursue the truth onto the right track of belief in God? All those who don’t have a heart that truly loves God do not have love. People are full of Satan’s dispositions within, and are tied and bound by Satan’s nature. Within them they only have a heart that is considerate of the flesh, a heart that loves and pities Satan and a false love that is full of emotions. Man’s love is all controlled by his emotions, it is all produced from the fleshly lust and preferences, and it all comes from their satanic nature. Therefore, it is all false love, a pretend love, a deceitful love. When some people see that God’s family dismisses Satans and purges demons, they say that God’s family has no love. When they see that God’s family isolates bad people by classifying believers into different meeting groups, they judge God’s family as lacking love. Such type of people really confuses right and wrong, and overturns black and white, and they preposterously talk about love. They truly have no shame! You love Satans and demons; do you also want God’s chosen people to love Satans and demons with you? You use your absurd viewpoints to measure the work of God’s family; don’t you think that you are extremely arrogant and conceited, and totally without reason? Does the above really not understand the situation in the churches below? Is the above not able to see through the essence of mankind’s corruption? Is the above not able to see clearly which type of people is able to receive God’s salvation, and which type of people should be excluded? Does the above not have enough experiences or insight? Is the above not able to lead people as well as you? You understand some doctrines and can mouth some empty words; do you think you can use these to deceive people? Do you not know that only those who do not have the truth can be so stupid? The truly intelligent person believes that the above understands the truth more than he and understands God’s will better than he. He believes that the work of the above is all under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and that it all comes from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, regardless of whether or not it is in accord with his own conceptions, he is able to obey and moreover, in his experience he seeks out God’s will and seeks the truth in order to resolve his problems. However, the arrogant and stupid people cannot do this. Those who do not have the truth can only follow trends, observe rules and regulations, and they take rules and regulations and man’s conceptions to be the truth and hold onto them forever without change. Is acting in this way consistent with the principles of the work of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t it exactly the practice of the religious pastors and all kinds of antichrists? Such old-fashioned practice has been phased out by God’s family a long time ago, but these stupid people still obsessively hold onto the rules and regulations of religion and simply cannot see the way of work by which the Holy Spirit leads people. How can such people see the ever-renewed beauty of the Age of the Kingdom?
The ability of some people to judge that God’s family lacks love comes entirely from their satanic nature. Such people do not possess the truth in the slightest, and they cheat and confuse people with satanic false and feigned love. Is this not Satan’s crafty scheming? Everyone knows that believers in God lay emphasis on love. This kind of person dons the mask of love to judge the work of God’s family, believing that as soon as he speaks in this way everyone will consider him as a person who has love and will worship him, and follow him. He simply doesn’t know who he is. Is he able to save people? Can he bring the truth to people by stressing false love? Can he cause people to have a genuine change this way? People in the religions always talk about love, but in fact they harbor malicious intent, a heart of the antichrist. We ought to calm down a little and must understand this: Only the truth can save man, and change man. False love is only able to delude people, and ruin people. Paying attention to the truth is the most practical, and people who depart from the truth to only speak of love are deceivers. Only those who have obtained the truth are ones who genuinely love God, and you can only have love and have everything if you have the truth. Only those who truly love God are fit to speak of love, and those who do not love God certainly all love Satan, and worship demons. All who do not bear witness to God and always talk about love are deceivers, and are all false leaders, and false workers.
Only those people who exalt God and bear witness to God in all things are ones who truly love God, and only those who truly love God are fit to speak of love; only those people who are able to be considerate of God’s will in all things truly love God; only those who can truly obey God and who are able to satisfy God are ones who truly love God. Those who truly love God all pay attention to the truth and reality; those who do not focus on the truth and reality but prattle on about love are deceivers and hypocrites. Everyone ought to know: Only those who truly love God have love. The love for man and Satan cannot save or change people, and it is false love. Do you not see through it? People who cannot distinguish between true and false love are people who do not have the truth in the slightest. They are impoverished, pitiful, blind people. Like the people of religion, they are all ones who have not been saved.
III. How to Discern the Notions and Judgments About the Punishment for Stealing the Offerings
In every age of God’s work, there are representative examples of punishing the evil, and even the Age of Grace is no exception. God didn’t forgive Judas, the wicked man who had directly betrayed Jesus. How much more ought those whose circumstances of stealing God’s offerings are serious to receive God’s punishment in the Age of Kingdom? This is decided by God’s righteous disposition. A number of people have notions about and pass judgment on God’s family punishing those wicked persons, saying, “This is the way of man and it lacks love. God could not possibly act in this way.” Moreover, some people inquire about what kind of punishment is to be given to those whose circumstances of stealing God’s offerings are serious. They try to probe into the truth. They really are ill-intentioned! Is adopting a lenient and dismissive attitude toward all who steal God’s offerings in accord with God’s will? Such absurd people do not have the slightest knowledge of God’s disposition, and they judge the work of God’s family based only on their own conceptions and imagination. They are too arrogant and ridiculously stupid.
In the Age of Law, God commanded that those who broke certain regulations be stoned to death. He did not let go of those who resisted and judged Moses either, and through the words from the mouth of Moses He opened up the earth to swallow those two hundred and fifty leaders. It is clear that God’s disposition does not tolerate any offense. To pass judgment on Moses was essentially to protest against God, because Moses was the one whom God established as the leader of the Israelites. To disobey Moses was to disobey God, and to oppose Moses was to oppose God; there can be no doubt about this at all. In the Age of Kingdom God’s disposition has been completely revealed to man. God is not simply merciful and loving, but most importantly God’s disposition is righteous, majestic, and wrathful. Righteousness is foremost in God’s disposition and this is God’s inherent disposition. In the Age of Grace, Judas stole the Lord’s money. It led to his betrayal of Jesus, and he received punishment of death in the end. From this it can be seen that God loathes the most those who steal offerings. In the Age of Kingdom God is tolerant enough toward corrupt mankind, and this can be seen from the price God has paid and the suffering God has endured in His incarnation. Man’s resistance, judgment and even blasphemy against God are so serious, and according to the sins of man, they should be condemned to death and be immediately done away with. However, God has not treated man in accordance with the transgressions they have committed, and they have seen little of God’s righteous wrath befalling them. For this reason, they believe that God’s disposition is still merciful and loving, but this is a grave error. When God carries out His work during the last days, He is determined to make complete and perfect a group of people, and for the sake of this group of people He endures humiliation, slander, and judgments from man with enormous patience. Once God has made complete this group of people, His wrath will begin to erupt. At that time, all evildoers will be hard-pressed to escape His punishment. However, as that day has not come, people are unconcerned and careless, as if God would not do that. In fact, God’s patience has already reached its limit and His anger is ready to erupt. When God’s day comes, a great many people will be punished. During the period that the kingdom gospel spreads throughout the nation, we have seen with our own eyes that at least more than ten thousand wicked people have suffered punishment. After God has completed His work on the Chinese mainland, He will punish more evil persons. At that time, those who have betrayed God, those who are antagonistic to God and those who have done all sorts of evil things, will be dumbfounded and only resign themselves to being punished, awaiting death with their eyes closed.
When we look through the history of God’s work, we can see that in each age of His work, God issues laws and commandments. Whoever violates His laws and commandments will receive punishment and disciplining. In particular, during the Age of Kingdom, all administrative decrees and commandments proclaimed by God are the criteria and principles for the judgment and chastisement of mankind. Some people transgress against them once or twice, but if they repent and can pursue the truth, God will still have pity on them. If they remain unrepentant, then they will be convicted and punished in accordance with God’s administrative decrees. This is completely true. God is trustworthy, God is as good as His word and His word shall become true. Man’s embezzlement and theft of God’s offerings is a matter that particularly offends God’s disposition. We may say that it is not excessive however God’s family deals with those who steal offerings because such kind of people are destined to be punished and they absolutely cannot receive God’s salvation. Some people fail to see the nature of this matter clearly, and they even judge that God’s family’s punishment of those who steal offerings is wrong and God’s family is unloving, as in their view punishment of such people is mistaken. For whom are they speaking? Is it only reasonable to allow them to steal all of God’s offerings so that the work of God’s family would have no means to be carried out? Is this love? We can see how absurd their conceptions are! There are also some who defend the stealers of offerings. Such people really harbor evil intentions. Acting in this way is opening the door for Satan and is defending the people like Judas. This is totally antagonizing God! Some people even demand an explanation from God’s family: What sort of punishment exactly is to be imposed on those who steal offerings? Such people are dubious and detestable. They are challenging God’s family! Well, I tell you: For those who steal God’s offerings of more than 10,000 yuan and evoke God’s chosen people’s anger, they can be dealt with in whatever way in accordance with the laws and commandments, and any punishment will not be excessive. As for those who steal God’s offerings of less than 10,000 yuan, if they can make timely restitution and are remorseful of their sin, they should be given a demerit. Moreover, they should never be promoted or used. The state has its laws and Heaven has its rules. Even more so, ought not God’s family to have laws? When the realization of Christ’s kingdom formally comes, there will be complete laws laid down to restrain people’s behavior and offenders against the laws will be punished according to the laws. This is only right and proper.
Now is the period of the great red dragon’s reign, and God’s family has only set down simple rules of punishment. Ought God’s family not to do this? Those who have notions with regard to this are truly blind. Although they have read the Scripture for a number of years, and have undergone several years of God’s work in the last days, they are unable to see the fact that God’s family has existing laws. Such people are too ignorant! Do you think that it is reasonable for the world to have laws, but it is unreasonable for God’s family to have laws? Do you think that the nations of the world can punish people but God’s family cannot punish the evildoers? Whose logic is this? Do you not know that the first set of laws in the world, the law of Moses, came from God? Since God’s family had laws in the Age of Law, ought not God’s family to have laws in the Age of Kingdom? Do you now still not know that God’s disposition is righteousness, majesty, and wrath? Do you still not know that God will destroy this wicked age? Some people are wildly arrogant and conceited and always hold onto their notions. They think that God’s family is easily fooled, and they can treat God’s family however they wish. Such thinking is mistaken. God’s family has the truth, but it also has laws, commandments, and punitive regulations to safeguard the implementation of the truth, which are part of the reality of the kingdom in which Christ holds power. In the future when Christ’s kingdom has taken shape, the laws of God’s family will gradually be sound and perfect and be on the right course, but this is to happen in the future which we won’t discuss for the time being. Right now we are forging ahead to the day of the realization of the kingdom. Come the day when God will make complete this group of people, the kingdom will then commence to expand greatly, and Christ’s kingdom will appear on earth. This group of people who are now being trained and perfected will be the pillars and cornerstones of the kingdom. The significance of God making complete a group of people in mainland China is so profoundly far-reaching, yet people have still not seen it clearly. People always whine incessantly as they do their work, and always complain when they encounter hardships, but they don’t know how to care for God’s will. Aren’t they very ignorant and devoid of all reason?
Punishing those whose circumstances of stealing God’s offerings are serious is completely in accord with God’s will. God has never dealt leniently with this type of evil person, and this is God’s disposition. People should know that clearly. Only if they truly know God’s disposition will people not develop notions with regard to God’s punishment of evil persons. People are able to have notions about the matter of God’s family punishing the evil; what does this show? Is God’s punishment of the evil after all correct or not? Is it correct or not for God’s family to punish those who steal offerings? Everyone should take a stand on this, and they should have knowledge of it.
IV. How to Discern the Notions and Judgments About the Rumors Against Jesus
Man’s belief in God ought to be based on God’s essence and reality, and should not be based upon their imagination and conceptions. God is real and practical. He is the Creator, and is the Master of all things. He can also become flesh to personally judge and chastise man and undertake the work of saving and perfecting man. This is the practical side of God. People should properly treat and know this fact. The essence of God is divinity, and man has no way of grasping or imagining it, for God is omnipotent and man can simply not fathom Him. Corrupt mankind does not desire to seek the truth, nor do they wish to obey the work of God, and they always want to substitute the God whom they have faith in with the God in their conceptions and imagination. This is completely absurd. Having carried out several thousand years of scientific research, until now mankind has achieved no results in researching God’s existence, God’s sovereignty and God’s work. How can man arrive at a knowledge of God by relying on scientific research and imagination in their treatment of God? As far as corrupt mankind is concerned, the most basic sense they ought to have is that they must experience God’s work in an obedient and conscientious manner, understanding God’s will by seeking the truth, accepting and obeying God’s word, not obeying the heresies and fallacies of men, and acting in accordance with whatever God says and having faith in whatever God does. By experiencing God’s work in this way, they can ultimately arrive at knowledge of God and see clearly that God is really and truly Master of all things, that God is saving and perfecting man in a practical manner, and even more can see that God is the Creator, that He has led man all along, and that He has provided for mankind while at the same time saving mankind.
Although mankind has been corrupted by Satan, God doesn’t cast mankind aside, and He is still saving mankind. God has been incarnated twice to enter deep into the tiger’s den to save mankind, and this is a fact that people can observe. However, Satan is unwilling to be defeated and does its utmost to disturb and thwart God’s chosen people receiving God’s work. It has fabricated many rumors with regard to the incarnate God, maliciously slandering and defaming Him to deceive mankind. These are the tricks and ruses consistently used by Satan and it has been so from the beginning of the time of Jesus. Now we have heard a rumor that Jesus married and had children, which has made some who believe in Jesus develop notions and doubts, and debates have raged over whether Jesus was a man or God. How should we understand this question? In fact, the question is quite simple. Because Jesus was God incarnate, He became the Son of man. The Son of man is a normal man, an ordinary man, but He had the identity and essence of God, was able to do God’s work and to express God’s voice. This explains that Jesus was a man as well as God. Jesus was a man as He had the external appearance of humanity; Jesus was God because He had the intrinsic essence of divinity. So, that Jesus was God and also man is an entirely accurate thing to say. With regard to God incarnate, He is man as well as God. If we speak of the Spirit of God, we can only say that He is God and we cannot say that He is man. Why does mankind not know Him? Because mankind does not have the truth and always defines God based on their own imagination. According to the logic of humans, God cannot be a man, and a man cannot be God. This is because mankind does not know God incarnate, and has never experienced this. As far as a human being is concerned, we can say that a man cannot be God, but regarding God incarnate we can say that He is a man as well as God, which is completely in accord with reality. Because mankind does not understand the truth, they are unable to know this point.
In respect of the rumor that Jesus had married and had children, regardless of whether it is true or false, it should be understood in this way: Jesus was God incarnate, and He redeemed mankind by being nailed to the cross; this is a fact that is universally acknowledged. We believe that Jesus is God incarnate, that He is the Savior of mankind. This is enough. Our faith in Him has nothing to do with whether or not He married and had children. Even if He did marry and have children, that was not a mistake as He had completed the work of redeeming mankind and had accomplished God’s will. As to whether or not Jesus married and had children, that was Jesus’ own affair in which mankind has no right to interfere. Further, the matter of marrying and having children was ordained for humans by God. Jesus was God incarnate as the Son of man, and He had normal humanity. Even if He did marry and have children, this was in no way a mistake. Since mankind themselves marry and have children, why would they make it an offense for Jesus to do so? God has not said in the Bible that Jesus would not be Jesus if He were to marry and have children, so what reason does mankind have not to allow Jesus to marry and have children? Is this not absurd? We believe in Jesus to receive His salvation, and that has nothing to do with Jesus’ family matters. We are mankind that has been corrupted by Satan, and we need God’s salvation, so there should be no supplementary conditions to receiving God’s salvation.
Isn’t it absurd if a sinner who deserves perdition receives salvation even with strings attached? It is even more absurd that some develop notions regarding this matter. We may make an assumption. If Jesus married and had children, would He not be able to undertake His work of redemption? Must there be supplementary conditions to Jesus doing work of redemption? Even if there were supplementary conditions, these should not be decided by man; this is a matter for God which has nothing whatsoever to do with mankind. Corrupt mankind ought to have sense, and should not delimit and pass judgment on God’s work in accordance with their conceptions and imagination. However God works is a matter for God, to be decided by God, and it is of no use even if man wants to interfere in it.
In believing in God, one should strive for salvation and should not interfere in God’s work. As for the things that he doesn’t understand, one may verify them through experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit, or seek through prayer. Man’s imagination and judgment are weak and unreliable, and we may say that they are unsound. One’s imagination and judgment may incidentally be effective in solving riddles or gambling. They have no use whatsoever if they are applied to God’s work. If man were able to know God through imagination, then they would not need to undergo God’s work. For man to be saved in believing in God lies completely in their submission and obedience, and in the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. Man’s imagination and verdict are most despised by God. A person’s fondness for passing verdict or judgment on others makes them hateful and infuriated. If people pass judgment and verdict on God, is God not infuriated? People are inaccurate in their verdict on others because they follow different paths and the principles behind how they conduct themselves are different. Therefore, if people’s verdict on others is not necessarily accurate, then their verdict on God is even more inaccurate. If people cannot even accurately conjecture about others and yet want to conjecture correctly about God, is this not being wildly arrogant and too senseless? With regard to whether or not Jesus married and had children, mankind should not draw conclusions, nor should they interfere, because corrupt mankind belongs to Satan and follows Satan, and they are all the accomplices and underlings of Satan, and are not qualified to interfere in matters of God. Whether or not Jesus married and had children is Jesus’ own affair, and man has no right to interfere. Regardless of whether the matter is true or false, the reality is that if Jesus married and had children He remained to be Jesus, and if He did not marry or have children, He was still Jesus. This is a fact that no man can deny. Jesus’ work of redemption has nothing to do with His marrying or having children, because you cannot draw a conclusion that if Jesus had married and had children, He would not have been able to carry out the work of redemption. In fact, He had already accomplished the work of redemption and all of mankind had long received God’s salvation. Why then should people be concerned that the work of redemption would have failed if He had married and had children? Is this not ridiculous? The proper thing for corrupt mankind to do is that they should be concerned about whether or not they are able to be saved. Corrupt mankind always wants to get a hold on God to condemn Him, and this exposes their satanic nature. It is conclusive evidence of mankind’s hostility toward God, and completely exposes the ugly satanic face of corrupt mankind.
Corrupt mankind should possess such sense before God: No matter how God works, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, regardless of whether or not it accords with their conceptions, God’s essence cannot change, and God is still God. Corrupt mankind cannot deny God, nor can they alter their own corrupt essence. Corrupt mankind before God is forever dust and muck. How can they use their corrupt wicked heart to measure God’s heart of holiness and righteousness? God came into flesh during the last days to personally save and perfect man, undertaking a stage of significant and profound work, which includes many things that don’t accord with man’s conceptions but which is full of God’s wisdom. If man looks at things relying on their conceptions and imagination, it is easy for them to be eliminated and to forfeit their own lives. Just as God’s word says: “I lay in Zion a big stone. To believers, this stone is the foundation of their construction. To those that do not believe, this is a rock that stumbles them. To the sons of the devil, this is the stone that crushes them to death” (Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning). Having experienced God’s work up till the present day, we have seen that God’s work is full of wisdom, everything God does contains His good purpose, and it is all in order to reveal people, save people, perfect people, and eliminate people. The reason why some people have been eliminated is because of their own notions and imagination. The main reason why some people are able to be saved and be made perfect is because they can seek the truth and try to find out God’s will in things that they cannot fully grasp and in things that they have notions about. Even if they cannot fully understand them, they are able to obey God’s work. After several years of experience they eventually understand the truth, and sigh with emotion: God is so wise! All that God does is the truth, is righteousness. In man there is only absurdity and corruption, while in God there is not the slightest absurdity or corruption. God is eternally the truth; God is eternally holy and righteous.
Many preposterous people in treating God display many absurdities. They delimit God and even get a hold on God unyieldingly, like a judge finds the evidence of a criminal and must convict him. Such people are precisely ones of Satan’s ilk, and are true antichrists. They exert all effort to cover up, camouflage, and speak in defense of their own transgressions, but in dealing with others, once they get something against them they would cruelly attack them and wouldn’t let them go. This kind of person is extremely vicious, and they ought to be punished and cursed. Corrupt mankind is even able to give way to their feelings with regard to their own flesh and blood, and be very tolerant and forgiving of them. In dealing with God, however, they are very strict and exercise “righteousness,” without a hint of human feeling, and they are cruelly heartless like the autumn wind sweeping up fallen leaves. The old saying puts it well: “One can evade a tiger that wants to eat him but he cannot evade a man who wants to murder him.” It is evident that the viciousness of mankind has reached an extreme of unparalleled cruelty. God has given man such great grace, and so much love, yet man does not in the slightest take this to their heart, and as soon as they grasp God’s “faults” they are entirely unforgiving and must nail Him to the cross. This is the attitude of corrupt mankind in dealing with God. It is obvious that corrupt mankind and God are truly irreconcilable. It is no wonder that many people tenaciously harbor notions with regard to God. They can even have pity upon and show charity to men but they treat God with unfeeling cruelty. We can see that mankind has been so corrupted by Satan as to no longer have the slightest likeness of a man.
How is it possible for such a corrupt mankind not to have notions about the rumors against Jesus? How could they not convict Him in their hearts? Some people no longer believe because they have heard the rumors about Jesus, some leaders and workers become passive and weaken when they hear of the rumors about Jesus, and some people even say, “Had I known earlier that Jesus married and had children, I wouldn’t have believed in Him then.” These people certainly have no genuine faith in God, and even less have genuine knowledge of God. A rumor can knock them down and bring them into Hell. Who is to blame for this? Their faith is really problematic. Who do they believe in after all? I think that they only believe in themselves, and that they definitely do not believe in God. Is the above mistaken in requiring that the knowledge of rumors about Jesus be communicated? If a believer in God cannot know even this thing properly, and cannot pass this test, then they are too pitiful! Even if such people do not leave, they are good for nothing, and they will gain nothing, because such people are too stupid and ignorant, too ludicrous and absurd, and far too devoid of sense! Corrupt mankind, like Satan, has long become bitter enemies of God. On the one hand they believe in God and look forward to receiving God’s blessings, while on the other hand they continue to oppose God, as if they have to wage a relentless struggle for superiority with God. Why does the corrupt mankind resist God so viciously? Mankind enjoys everything that God has bestowed upon them, but why do they repay grace with enmity? Why do they have no conscience and sense toward God? The great red dragon fights with heaven, fights with the earth, and fights with God, and people have had their fill of its persecution. Why do people not fight with Satan, fight with the great red dragon? Why must they insist on endlessly fighting with God? Do they think that it is easy to bully God? Corrupt people bully the weak and fear the strong, and always believe that God is merciful and compassionate and can be trifled with. They are so blind and ungrateful! If you judge a man, he will not forgive you; how can God forgive you if you judge and attack Him? Do you not know that God is the God of righteousness? God has love and compassion, and even more so He has majesty and wrath. God will give retribution to every man in accordance with his actions! At that time corrupt mankind will know that God’s disposition of righteousness tolerates no offense.
V. How to Discern People’s Notions and Judgments About God’s Day
When people have experienced several years of God’s work, have fulfilled some duties and suffered some hardship, they believe that they have capital and are perfectly justified to look forward to the coming of God’s day and enjoying blessings from God so that they may escape all manner of disasters that destroy mankind. In accordance with man’s notions and imagination, as long as one has faith in Almighty God for several years he will be qualified to be saved into the kingdom. Therefore, the majority of people are confidently anticipating the coming of God’s day, just as the believers in the Age of Grace are all looking forward to being raised up to heaven to enjoy blessings together with the Lord when He comes again. Thus we can see that people’s extravagant desire is so great, so absurd. The majority of people do not have a clear knowledge of what God’s day is about, and therefore they inevitably harbor many illusions about it. To put it precisely, God’s day is the day when the group of people who have accepted God’s work of the last days are made complete and gained by God and God publicly appears before all nations and all peoples. The arrival of this day marks the successful completion of God’s work on mainland China and from this time God will formally commence judgment and chastisement of entire mankind, which is to say that great disasters and calamities will start to come down in their entirety, just as God has said: “I will watch over the whole earth, and, appearing in the East of the world with righteousness, majesty, wrath, and chastisement, I will reveal Myself to the myriad hosts of humanity!” (“The Twenty-sixth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “When God chastises the people of the entire universe, when all manner of catastrophes strike…” (“Interpretation of the Twenty-sixth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “When I formally open the scroll is when people throughout the universe are chastised, when people all over the world are subjected to trials, and it is the climax of My work; all people live in a land without light, and all people live amid the threat of their environment” (“The Twenty-ninth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). This is the meaning of God’s day. When God’s day comes, the trials of all people on earth will formally commence, and what all nations and all peoples will see is the approach of great catastrophes. The next step of God’s work of salvation will proceed in great calamities and God’s chosen people of China will begin to undergo all manner of trials and refinements.
Now believers in God should be clear that the essence of the work of God incarnate is to wage war with Satan. No matter how corrupt mankind judges and resists God, or how Satan disturbs and destroys His work, God will make complete and obtain this group of people. It is only then that God will obtain glory. God’s day is an important marker of God obtaining glory. If this group of people were not made complete by God, there would be no God’s day but merely be the day of extermination of mankind. Now we have all seen clearly that God’s chosen people have begun to enter onto the right track and that God has completely triumphed over Satan. Therefore, the coming of God’s day is irresistible and God’s day is just around the corner. When God’s day comes, there will not be the believers to be raised up to heaven to enjoy blessings as man imagined, even less will there be the believers to be raised up straight into the kingdom to avoid being struck by calamities. People will only see disasters growing all the time and trials becoming increasingly severe. They have nowhere to flee for their lives, and there is no way out for them. They can only beseech God, pray to God, go and seek refuge with God. It is in these disasters and trials that God will perfect His chosen people. This is true.
Now people still cannot see the danger of clinging to the world and the flesh, and they refuse to come to their senses. At that time they will have no way to continue clinging on to the world and sensual pleasures, and will no longer be entangled by the secular world. Instead, they will all live amid catastrophes in a constant state of anxiety, and only know to pray to God, to seek God, fervently wishing that God would bestow His grace upon them as soon as possible so that they may make good their escape from death. This is the mentality and expectation of all men. However, those who have already been saved through experiencing God’s work will have comfort in their hearts, because God’s grace accompanies them and even more they are protected by God. Now is the period of God working in the flesh and from the outside the surroundings seem relatively peaceful. Therefore, people pay virtually no heed to God’s salvation, and do not treasure it. Some people even think of escaping from it and pay no attention whatsoever to God’s earnest solicitude and kind intention. We can see that corrupt mankind is exceedingly wicked and they must be dealt with through trials and catastrophes. The arrival of God’s day is the complete opposite of man’s imagination and expectation. Although God will appear publicly to bear witness to His name and His work, those who are able to see His appearance are few, and this is a far cry from the circumstance during the time God in the flesh interacts and lives together with man. When God’s day comes, all the saved ones who pursue the truth will of course be delighted and joyful, because they share in God’s saving grace. Their spirits obtain comfort and they no longer fear the attacks of catastrophes. Those who do not pursue the truth, who often resist God and judge God’s work will wail and gnash their teeth as if they have seen their end, and they will shed bitterly remorseful and pitiful tears. We may put it like this, the coming of God’s day will be a welcome event that will bring immense gratification to those who have already been saved, while for those who do not pursue the truth, who are reluctant to part from the world, who often judge God, and who blaspheme God and even betray God, that will be the day when disaster strikes them.
When God’s day comes, they will be thoroughly disgraced and defeated, and they will begin to be punished. God’s wrath will descend upon them and they will receive severe punishment. Such is God’s work: There must be some people who are made complete by God and then begin to enjoy God’s blessings and rewards, and it is also inevitable that a section of people will be eliminated and suffer God’s punishment and cursing because they have resisted God, judged God, and blasphemed God. In this we can see God’s disposition of righteousness. God will reward and bless those who sincerely love God; those who oppose God and are irreconcilable with God to the death will receive God’s punishment and cursing. We may see that God’s day has a double significance, and that it is absolutely nothing like man imagines it to be: All those who believe in God will receive blessings and salvation, none of them will be condemned or be punished. God’s word is evidence of this, and the relevant part of the word of God is as follows:
“All those who, during the time of God’s salvation of man, are unable to achieve a change in their disposition, all those who are unable to obey God completely, will all become objects for punishment.”
from “You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will for the Salvation of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“My mercy is expressed upon those who love Me and deny themselves. And the punishment visited upon the wicked is precisely proof of My righteous disposition and, even more, testimony to My wrath. When disaster comes, famine and plague will befall all those who oppose Me and they will weep. Those who have committed all manner of wickedness, but who have followed Me for many years, will not escape indictment; they too, falling into disaster, the like of which has seldom been seen throughout the ages, will come to live in a constant state of panic and fear.”
from “Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“Toward such a person as you My righteous disposition is one of chastisement and judgment, it is one of righteous retribution, and it is the righteous punishment of all evildoers; all those who do not walk in My way will surely be punished, even if they follow to the very end. This is the righteousness of God.”
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“It is as it is with those among you—anyone who verbally recognizes God incarnate yet cannot practice the truth of obedience to God incarnate will ultimately be eliminated and destroyed….”
from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some words have been communicated in the past with regard to God’s day but because people’s stature is small, and their understanding is limited, many of them still pay attention to when God’s day will come for them to enjoy blessing, with the result that when God’s family arranges its annual work, they develop notions with regard to the work of God’s family and say that what God’s family says is not accurate but a lie. In fact, it is all very true if God’s family says that a particular year is a crucial year, and which year is most important for pursuit of the truth or most important for getting onto the right track. The aim is to make God’s chosen people put all their efforts into pursuing the truth to achieve salvation. In reality, no man can know precisely in which year God’s day will definitely be. When I make the work arrangements, it is only based on the real condition of God’s chosen people, and in my heart I certainly do not know in which year or on which day will God’s day fall. However, I only know that the day is really very near, and it really cannot be ignored. If people do not enter onto the right track of faith in God within the next year or two, then they are in danger of being eliminated. Because God has already spoken in this way: “Today, the things you don’t understand are being reversed, and the path of positive entry is being revealed to you, after which this stage of work shall end, and you shall begin to walk the path that you humans ought to. At that time, My work shall finish, and from that point onward you shall meet with Me no more” (“Practice (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words we can affirm that when God’s work is completed will be when the great red dragon falls from power, and that is as God has said: “The time of domestic strife is precisely when God departs the earth.” Don’t you see that the great red dragon is in constant danger of falling from power? Now God’s work has already reached its peak and God’s chosen people have begun to enter onto the right track. Those who ought to have been sorted out have more or less been sorted out. When God’s work is completed, another section of people who throughout have remained unrepentant and are still disruptive will be cleared out and then God’s day will arrive. Therefore, now is the most crucial period. I hope that brothers and sisters can see clearly that suffering a little hardship for the pursuit of the truth over these few years will very much be worth it. I have also been subjected to much hardship in undergoing God’s work, but that is insignificant compared to the hardship that God has suffered. I understand the feelings of brothers and sisters and how much oppression and suffering we must endure in fulfilling our duties under the rule of the great red dragon. Besides, in pursuing the truth to achieve dispositional change we will also have to suffer much pain from judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, and trials and refinements. Without the work of the Holy Spirit and the comfort of God’s word, it really would not be easy for us to move ahead. Therefore, we ought to see that this is God’s grace, and it is also God’s blessing. God in all innocence endures man’s slander, humiliation, resistance, and condemnation and accompanies us as we suffer hardship, waiting until we, this group of people, have been made complete by God. We are not alone in suffering hardship as God is together with us as a companion. Such comfort is already sufficient. When God has made us complete, we will be able within our hearts to feel that we have already received the greatest salvation, our spirits will no longer be bound up by the flesh and Satan. We will see that everything that God has done is the truth, that every word that God has spoken is the truth. Within our hearts we will no longer have notions and judgments, and we are completely of one heart with God. At that time we will only praise God, thank God, live within God’s love and suffer no more.
While people’s hearts are still filthy and corrupt and they are still able to have notions and judgments regarding God, they are not qualified to anticipate the coming of God’s day, and they should only pursue the truth rationally and accept God’s judgment and chastisement to resolve their corruption, and only then will they be after God’s heart. Some people who do not wish to fulfill their duties are reluctant to leave the world and want to flee from God’s family; however, they impatiently look forward to the coming of God’s day. I wonder what drives them to look forward to God’s day. What is their aim in anticipating the coming of God’s day? What can they obtain when God’s day arrives? I don’t know if they have a clear understanding of these questions. People with wisdom and reason ought to be like this: The more they see that God’s day is nearing, the greater efforts they make to pursue the truth and prepare good deeds for their own sake. In this way, when God’s day comes, they will have a glimmer of hope that they may be able to receive God’s salvation. If a person has believed in God for many years but possessed none of the truth and gained no change in their life disposition, nor prepared adequate good deeds, yet they still often look forward to the coming of God’s day, what is the point of this? Will they not bring humiliation upon themselves? These people are probably rather mentally unbalanced.
All those who look forward to God’s day ought to be clear-headed and think more about what God’s day is exactly about, which people will receive blessings with the arrival of God’s day, and which people will suffer disasters. Once they have thought clearly about these things, they will then know how they should deal with God’s day, and they will know what they themselves are lacking, with what they ought to equip themselves, which problems are still to be resolved, how they ought to resolve them, and what good deeds they should prepare. Only if these problems have been resolved as soon as possible will their hearts feel a little more steady and sure. At this time, if they look forward to God’s day, they will no longer be afraid. One must not see himself as being very good, nor should he have too high an estimate of himself. People’s real stature will be revealed with the coming of the great catastrophes. What man believes or thinks will not count, nor will they hold up. The only reliable criterion is to measure oneself in accordance with God’s words, and in keeping with God’s standards. In the matter of salvation no one can deceive God, because God is the truth, God is also righteousness, and God is the Master of all things; they only have hope of attaining salvation if they obey God’s work honestly.
Now that God’s day is before our eyes, people should be trembling with fear and trepidation when God’s day is mentioned. Some people don’t wish to mention God’s day, as if God’s family has hurt them. Such people really cannot be reasoned with! God’s family coaxes you along and pulls you along; is God’s family entrapping you, harming you, or cheating you? If you do not believe the word of God, God’s family won’t force you. You can return to the world to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh, and then see what awaits you in the end! Each person’s path depends on their own choices. Everyone has the right to choose to believe in God or not to believe. In this matter no one can coerce them. Whether a person will receive blessings or suffer disasters in believing in God depends on how he walks his own path. Does anyone doubt this point?
July 9, 2007