God’s Authority (I) Part One
My last several fellowships were about God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. After hearing these fellowships, do you feel that you have gained an understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition? How great of an understanding and knowledge? Can you put a number to it? Did these fellowships give you a deeper understanding of God? Could it be said that this understanding is a true knowledge of God? Could it be said that this knowledge and understanding of God is a knowledge of the entire substance of God, and all that He has and is? No, obviously not! That is because these fellowships only provided an understanding of part of God’s disposition, and what He has and is—not all of it, or the entirety of it. The fellowships enabled you to understand part of the work once done by God, through which you beheld the disposition of God, and what He has and is, as well as the approach and thinking behind everything that He has done. But this is only a literal, spoken understanding of God, and, in your heart, you remain uncertain about how much of it is real. What mainly determines whether there is any reality to your understanding of such things? It is determined by how much of God’s words and disposition you have truly experienced during your actual experiences, and how much you have been able to see and know during these actual experiences. “The last several fellowships allowed us to understand the things done by God, the thoughts of God, and, moreover, God’s attitude toward mankind and the basis of His actions, as well as the principles of His actions. And so we have come to understand the disposition of God, and have known the entirety of God.” Has anyone said such words? Is it right to say this? It clearly isn’t. And why do I say that it isn’t? God’s disposition, and what He has and is, are expressed in the things that He has done and the words He has spoken. Man is able to behold what God has and is through the work that He has done and the words that He has spoken, but this is only to say that the work and words enable man to understand a part of God’s disposition, and a part of what He has and is. If man wishes to gain a more plentiful and profound understanding of God, then man must experience more of God’s words and work. Although man only gains a partial understanding of God when experiencing part of God’s words or work, does this partial understanding represent God’s true disposition? Does it represent the substance of God? Of course it represents the true disposition of God, and the substance of God, of that there is no doubt. Regardless of the time or place, or in what manner God does His work, or in what form He appears to man, or in what way He expresses His will, all that He reveals and expresses represents God Himself, God’s substance and what He has and is. God carries out His work with what He has and is, and in His true identity; this is absolutely true. Yet, today, people only have a partial understanding of God through His words, and through what they hear when they listen to the preaching, and so to a certain extent, this understanding can only be said to be a theoretical knowledge. In view of your actual states, you can only verify the understanding or knowledge of God that you have heard, seen, or known and understood in your heart today if each of you goes through this in your actual experiences, and comes to know it bit by bit. If I did not fellowship these words with you, would you be able to achieve true knowledge of God solely through your experiences? To do so, I’m afraid, would be very difficult. That is because people must first have the words of God in order to know how to experience. However many of God’s words people eat, such is the number that they can actually experience. God’s words lead the path ahead, and guide man in his experience. In short, for those who have some true experience, these last several fellowships will help them achieve a deeper understanding of the truth, and a more realistic knowledge of God. But for those who don’t have any true experience, or who have only just begun their experience, or have only just begun to touch upon the reality, this is a great test.
The main content of the last several fellowships concerned God’s disposition, God’s work, and God Himself. What did you see in the key and central parts of everything that I spoke of? Through these fellowships, are you able to recognize that He who did the work, and revealed these dispositions, is the unique God Himself, who holds sovereignty over all things? If your answer is yes, then what leads you to such a conclusion? Through what aspects do you reach this conclusion? Can anyone tell Me? I know that the last fellowships affected you deeply, and provided a new start in your heart for your knowledge of God, which is great. But although you have made a great leap in your understanding of God compared to before, your definition of God’s identity has yet to progress beyond the names of Jehovah God of the Age of Law, the Lord Jesus of the Age of Grace, and Almighty God of the Age of Kingdom. Which is to say that, although these fellowships about God’s disposition, God’s work, and God Himself gave you some understanding of the words once spoken by God, and the work once done by God, and the being and possessions once revealed by God, you are incapable of providing a true definition and accurate orientation of the word “God.” Neither do you have a true and accurate orientation and knowledge of the status and identity of God Himself, which is to say, of the status of God among all things and throughout the entire universe. That is because, in the previous fellowships about God Himself and God’s disposition, all the content was based on God’s previous expressions and revelations that are recorded in the Bible. Yet it is difficult for man to discover the being and possessions that are revealed and expressed by God during, or outside of, His management and salvation of mankind. So, even if you understand God’s being and possessions that were revealed in the work He once did, your definition of God’s identity and status is still a long way from that of the unique God, the One who holds sovereignty over all things, and is different from that of the Creator. The last several fellowships made everyone feel the same way: How could man know the thoughts of God? If someone really were to know, then that person would most certainly be God, for only God Himself knows His own thoughts, and only God Himself knows the basis and approach behind everything that He does. It seems rational and logical for you to recognize God’s identity in such a way, but who can tell from the disposition and work of God that this really is the work of God Himself, and not the work of man, work which cannot be done on God’s behalf by man? Who can see that this work falls under the sovereignty of the One who has the substance and power of God? Which is to say, through what characteristics or substance do you recognize that He is God Himself, who has the identity of God, and is the One who holds sovereignty over all things? Have you ever thought about that? If you haven’t, then this proves one fact: The last several fellowships have only given you some understanding of the piece of history in which God did His work, and of God’s approach, manifestation, and revelations during that work. Although such understanding makes each of you recognize beyond doubt that the One who carried out these two stages of work is the God Himself whom you believe in and follow, and the One whom you must always follow, you are still incapable of recognizing that He is the God who has existed since the creation of the world, and who shall exist for eternity, nor are you able to recognize that He is the One who leads and holds sovereignty over all mankind. You’ve surely never thought about this problem. Be it Jehovah or the Lord Jesus, through which aspects of the substance and manifestation are you able to recognize that not only is He the God whom you must follow, but also the One who commands mankind and holds sovereignty over the fate of mankind, who is, moreover, the unique God Himself who holds sovereignty over the heavens and earth and all things? Through which channels do you recognize that the One whom you believe in and follow is God Himself who holds sovereignty over all things? Through which channels do you connect the God you believe in to the God who holds sovereignty over the fate of mankind? What allows you to recognize that the God you believe in is the unique God Himself, who is in heaven and on earth, and among all things? This is the problem that I shall solve in the next section.
The problems that you have never thought about or cannot think of could well be those which are most crucial to knowing God, and in which can be sought truths unfathomable to man. When these problems come upon you, and must be faced by you, and require you to make a choice, if you are unable to fully resolve them because of your foolishness and ignorance, or because your experiences are too superficial and you lack a true knowledge of God, then they shall become the greatest obstacle and the greatest hindrance on the path of your belief in God. And so I feel it is highly necessary to fellowship with you regarding this subject. Do you know what your problem is now? Are you clear about the problems I speak of? Are these the problems that you shall face? Are they the problems that you don’t understand? Are they the problems that have never occurred to you? Are these problems important to you? Are they really problems? This matter is a source of great confusion to you, which shows that you don’t have a true understanding of the God whom you believe in, and that you don’t take Him seriously. Some people say, “I know He is God, and so I follow Him, because His words are the expression of God. That is enough. What more proof is needed? Surely we don’t need to raise doubts about God? Surely we aren’t supposed to test God? Surely we don’t need to question God’s substance and the identity of God Himself?” Regardless of whether you think in this way, I do not put forward such questions in order to make you confused about God, or to make you test Him, much less to give you doubts about God’s identity and substance. Rather, I do so to encourage in you a greater understanding of God’s substance, and a greater certainty and faith about God’s status, so that God may become the only One in the heart of all those who follow God, and so that the original status of God—as the Creator, the Ruler of all things, the unique God Himself—may be restored in the hearts of every creature. This is also the theme I’m going to fellowship about.
Now let us begin to read the following scriptures from the Bible.
1. God Uses Words to Create All Things
1) (Gen 1:3-5) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
2) (Gen 1:6-7) And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
3) (Gen 1:9-11) And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth: and it was so.
4) (Gen 1:14-15) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light on the earth: and it was so.
5) (Gen 1:20-21) And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
6) (Gen 1:24-25) And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps on the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
On the First Day, the Day and Night of Mankind Are Born and Stand Fast Thanks to the Authority of God
Let us look at the first passage: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen 1:3-5). This passage describes God’s first act at the beginning of creation, and the first day that God passed in which there was an evening and a morning. But it was an extraordinary day: God began to prepare the light for all things, and, furthermore, divided the light from the darkness. On this day, God began to speak, and His words and authority existed side-by-side. His authority began to show forth among all things, and His power spread among all things as a result of His words. From this day onward, all things were formed and stood fast because of the words of God, the authority of God, and the power of God, and they began to function thanks to the words of God, the authority of God, and the power of God. When God said the words “Let there be light,” so there was light. God did not embark upon any enterprise; the light had appeared as a result of His words. This was the light that God called day, and which man still depends on for his existence today. By God’s command, its substance and value have never changed, and it has never disappeared. Its existence shows forth the authority and power of God, and proclaims the existence of the Creator, and it confirms, over and over, the identity and status of the Creator. It is not intangible, or illusory, but is a real light that can be seen by man. From that time onward, in this empty world in which “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep,” there was produced the first material thing. This thing came from the words of the mouth of God, and appeared in the first act of the creation of all things because of the authority and utterances of God. Soon after, God ordered the light and the darkness to separate…. Everything changed and was completed because of the words of God…. God called this light “Day,” and the darkness He called “Night.” From that time, the first evening and the first morning were produced in the world God intended to create, and God said that this was the first day. This day was the first day of the Creator’s creation of all things, and was the beginning of the creation of all things, and was the first time that the authority and power of the Creator had been shown forth in this world that He had created.
Through these words, man is able to behold the authority of God, and the authority of God’s words, and the power of God. Because only God is possessed of such power, and so only God has such authority, and because God is possessed of such authority, and so only God has such power. Could any man or object possess such authority and power as this? Is there an answer in your heart? Apart from God, does any created or non-created being possess such authority? Have you ever seen an example of such a thing in any other books or publications? Is there any record that someone created the heavens and earth and all things? It does not appear in any other books or records; these are, of course, the only authoritative and powerful words about God’s magnificent creation of the world, which are recorded in the Bible, and these words speak for the unique authority of God, and the unique identity of God. Can such authority and power be said to symbolize the unique identity of God? Can they be said to be possessed by God, and God alone? Without a doubt, only God Himself possesses such authority and power! This authority and power cannot be possessed or replaced by any created or non-created being! Is this one of the characteristics of the unique God Himself? Have you witnessed it? These words quickly and clearly allow people to understand the fact that God is possessed of unique authority, and unique power, and He is possessed of supreme identity and status. From the fellowship above, can you say that the God you believe in is the unique God Himself?
On the Second Day, God’s Authority Arranges the Waters, and Makes the Firmament, and a Space for the Most Basic Human Survival Appears
Let us read the second passage of the Bible: “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so” (Gen 1:6-7). What changes occurred after God said “Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters”? In the Scriptures it says: “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.” What was the result after God had spoken and done this? The answer lies in the last part of the passage: “and it was so.”
These two short sentences record a magnificent event, and describe a wonderful scene—the tremendous undertaking in which God governed the waters, and created a space in which man could exist….
In this picture, the waters and the firmament appear before the eyes of God in an instant, and they are divided by the authority of God’s words, and separated into an above and below in the manner appointed by God. Which is to say, the firmament created by God not only covered the waters below, but also supported the waters above…. In this, man cannot help but stare, dumb-founded, and gasp in admiration at the splendor of the scene in which the Creator transferred the waters, and commanded the waters, and created the firmament, and at the might of His authority. Through the words of God, and the power of God, and the authority of God, God achieved another great feat. Is this not the might of the Creator’s authority? Let us use the scriptures to explain the deeds of God: God spoke His words, and because of these words of God there was a firmament in the middle of the waters. At the same time, a tremendous change occurred in this space because of these words of God, and it was not change in an ordinary sense, but a kind of substitution in which nothing became something. It was born of the thoughts of the Creator, and became something from nothing because of the words spoken by the Creator, and, furthermore, from this point onward it would exist and stand fast, for the sake of the Creator, and would shift, change, and renew in accordance with the thoughts of the Creator. This passage describes the second act of the Creator in His creation of the whole world. It was another expression of the authority and power of the Creator, and was another pioneering undertaking by the Creator. This day was the second day that the Creator had passed since the foundation of the world, and it was another wonderful day for Him: He walked amongst the light, He brought the firmament, He arranged and governed the waters, and His deeds, His authority, and His power were put to work in the new day….
Was there firmament in the middle of the waters before God spoke His words? Of course not! And what about after God said “Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters”? The things intended by God appeared; there was firmament in the middle of the waters, and the waters separated because God said “and let it divide the waters from the waters.” In this way, following the words of God, two new objects, two newly-born things appeared among all things as a result of the authority and power of God. And how do you feel about the appearance of these two new things? Do you feel the greatness of the Creator’s power? Do you feel the unique and extraordinary force of the Creator? The greatness of such force and power is due to the authority of God, and this authority is a representation of God Himself, and a unique characteristic of God Himself.
Did this passage give you another profound sense of the uniqueness of God? But this is far from enough; the authority and power of the Creator go far beyond this. His uniqueness is not merely because He is possessed of a substance unlike that of any creature, but also because His authority and power are extraordinary, limitless, superlative to all, and stand above all, and, moreover, because His authority and what He has and is can create life, and produce miracles, and can create each and every spectacular and extraordinary minute and second, and at the same time, He is able to govern the life that He creates, and hold sovereignty over the miracles and each and every minute and second that He creates.
On the Third Day, the Words of God Give Birth to the Earth and the Seas, and the Authority of God Causes the World to Brim With Life
Next let us read the first sentence of Genesis 1:9-11: “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear.” What changes occurred after God simply said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear”? And what was there in this space apart from the light and the firmament? In the Scriptures, it is written: “And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.” Which is to say, there was now land and seas in this space, and the land and seas were separated. The appearance of these new things followed the commandment from the mouth of God, “and it was so.” Does the Scripture describe God busying about while He was doing this? Does it describe Him engaging in physical labor? So, how was all this done by God? How did God cause these new things to be produced? Self-evidently, God used words to achieve all of this, to create the entirety of this.
In the three passages above, we have learned of the occurrence of three great events. These three great events appeared, and were brought into being, through the words of God, and it is because of His words that, one after the other, they appeared before the eyes of God. Thus it can be seen that “God speaks, and it will be accomplished; He commands, and it will stand fast” are not hollow words. This substance of God is confirmed the instant that His thoughts are conceived, and when God opens His mouth to speak, His substance is fully reflected.
Let us continue to the final sentence of this passage: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth: and it was so.” While God was speaking, all these things came into being following the thoughts of God, and in an instant, an assortment of delicate little life forms were unsteadily poking their heads up through the soil, and before they had even shaken the bits of dirt from their bodies they were eagerly waving to each other in greeting, nodding and smiling to the world. They thanked the Creator for the life that He bestowed upon them, and announced to the world that they were a part of all things, and that they would each devote their lives to showing forth the authority of the Creator. As the words of God were spoken, the land became lush and green, all sorts of herbs that could be enjoyed by man sprang forth and broke from the ground, and the mountains and plains became thickly populated by trees and forests…. This barren world, in which there had not been any trace of life, was rapidly covered by a profusion of grass, herbs and trees and overflowing with greenery…. The fragrance of grass and the aroma of the soil spread through the air, and an array of plants began to breathe in tandem with the circulation of the air, and began the process of growing. At the same time, thanks to the words of God and following the thoughts of God, all the plants began the perpetual life cycles in which they grow, blossom, bear fruit, and multiply. They began to strictly adhere to their respective life courses, and began to perform their respective roles among all things…. They were all born, and lived, because of the words of the Creator. They would receive the unceasing provision and nourishment of the Creator, and would always tenaciously survive in every corner of the land in order to show forth the authority and power of the Creator, and they would always show forth the life force bestowed upon them by the Creator….
The life of the Creator is extraordinary, His thoughts are extraordinary, and His authority is extraordinary, and so, when His words were uttered, the final result was “and it was so.” Clearly, God does not need to work with His hands when He acts; He merely uses His thoughts to command, and His words to order, and in this way things are achieved. On this day, God gathered the waters together to one place, and let the dry land appear, after which God caused grass to sprout forth from the land, and there grew the herbs yielding seeds, and trees bearing fruit, and God classed them each according to kind, and caused each to contain its own seed. All this was realized according to the thoughts of God and the commands of the words of God, and each appeared, one after the other, in this new world.
When He had yet to commence His work, God already had a picture of what He intended to achieve in His mind, and when God set about achieving these things, which was also when God opened His mouth to speak of the content of this picture, changes in all things began to occur thanks to the authority and power of God. Irrespective of how God did it, or exerted His authority, all was achieved step by step according to God’s plan and because of the words of God, and step by step changes occurred between heaven and earth thanks to the words and authority of God. All of these changes and occurrences showed forth the Creator’s authority, and the extraordinariness and greatness of the power of the Creator’s life. His thoughts are not simple ideas, or an empty picture, but an authority possessed of vitality and extraordinary energy, and they are the power to cause all things to change, recover, renew, and perish. And because of this, all things function because of His thoughts, and, at the same time, are achieved because of the words from His mouth….
Before all things appeared, in the thoughts of God a complete plan had long ago been formed, and a new world had long ago been achieved. Although on the third day there appeared all sorts of plants on the land, God had no reason to halt the steps of His creation of this world; He intended to continue to speak His words, to continue to achieve the creation of every new thing. He would speak, would issue His commands, and would exert His authority and show forth His power, and He prepared everything that He had planned to prepare for all the things and the mankind that He intended to create….