God’s Holiness (II) Part One
Good evening everyone! (Good evening Almighty God!) Today, brothers and sisters, let us sing a hymn. Find one that you like and that you have sung regularly before. (We’d like to sing a hymn of God’s word “Pure Love Without Blemish.”)
1. Love is a pure emotion, pure without a blemish. Use your heart, use your heart to love and feel and care. Love doesn’t set conditions or barriers or distance. Use your heart, use your heart to love and feel and care. If you love you don’t deceive, grumble, turn your back, look to get something in return. If you love you’d sacrifice, accept hardship and be one with God in harmony.
2. In love there’s no suspicion, no cunning, no deceit. Use your heart, use your heart to love and feel and care. In love there is no distance and nothing that’s not pure. Use your heart, use your heart to love and feel and care. If you love you don’t deceive, grumble, turn your back, look to get something in return. If you love you’d sacrifice, accept hardship and be one with God in harmony.
3. You would give your family, youth and future you may see, give your marriage up for God; you would give your all for Him. You would give your family, youth and future you may see, give your marriage up for God; you would give your all for Him. Or your love’s no love at all, but deceit, betrayal of God.
4. Love is a pure emotion, pure without a blemish. Use your heart, use your heart to love and feel and care. Love doesn’t set conditions or barriers or distance. Use your heart, use your heart to love and feel and care.
This was a good song to select. Do you like singing this song? (Yes.) What do you feel after singing this song? Are you able to feel this kind of love within yourselves? (Not quite yet.) Which words from within the song move you the deepest? (That would be: In love there are no conditions, no barriers, and no distance. In love there is no suspicion, no deceit, no deal, and no cunning. In love there is no choice and nothing impure. But within myself I still see impurities and I also see where I try to make deals with God, areas where I fall short, so when I think about myself today I really haven’t attained a type of love that is pure and without blemish.) If you haven’t attained a type of love that is pure and without blemish, what type of love do you have? What level of love do you have within yourself? (I am merely at the stage where I am willing to seek and I am yearning.) Based on your own stature and using your own words from your own experiences, what level have you attained? Do you have deceit, do you have complaints? (Yes.) Do you have demands within your heart, are there things that you want and desire from God? (Yes, there are these adulterated things.) In what circumstances do they come out? (When the situation that God has arranged for me doesn’t match up with my ideas of what it should be, or when my desires have not been met, I will show this type of corrupt disposition.) Do you often sing this song? Could you discuss how you understand “pure love without blemish”? And why God defines love this way? (I really like this song myself because I can really see that this love is a complete love. However, I feel quite distant from that standard. Now I am merely at the stage where I am willing to sacrifice certain things and endure some expense in the pursuit of truth, but as soon as something impacts my own future and destiny, I feel conflicted inside. I see that within myself I have little confidence in God.) (I now feel that I am still very far away from attaining true love, but there are some areas where I have been able to make progress toward it, one way I do this is through the strength God’s words give me and another way is that in these situations I cooperate with God through prayer. However, when it involves my views on existence, I feel that sometimes I can’t overcome them.) Have you ever thought about the things that might be blocking you during those times you can’t overcome them? Have you been introspective on these issues? (Yes, I have been introspective and for the most part it’s my own pride and vanity as well as expectations for my future and destiny that are a great obstruction.) When expectations of your future and destiny are a great obstruction, have you ever thought about why it’s such a great hindrance? How could this future and destiny become a hindrance? What do you want from your future and destiny? (I am not fully clear on this issue, sometimes I fall into situations where I feel I don’t have future and destiny or sometimes I even feel that I don’t have a destination in what God has revealed to me. In these times I feel very weak and I feel that this has become my own great hindrance. However, after a period of experience and through prayer, the situation can reach a turning point, but I still often feel disturbed by this issue.) What are you truly referring to when you say “future and destiny”? (It means that when God has arranged some circumstances for me, I feel very far away from His requirements. Sometimes I wonder whether or not God reveals me and I feel that I have no destiny or destination, and I feel very weak.) What are you truly referring to when you say “future and destiny”? Is there something you can point to? Is it a picture or something you imagined or is it something you could actually see? Is it a real thing? (It is destination.) What is destination? What is your future? In each of your hearts you should think, what does the concern you have in your heart about your future and your destiny refer to? (It’s to be saved and to survive, and the hope to gradually become fit for use by God and perform my duty up to the standard through the process of doing my duty. These things are often revealed by God, and I feel that I fall short.) Other brothers and sisters should discuss, how do you understand “pure love without blemish”? (There is nothing impure from the individual and they are not controlled by their future and destiny. Regardless of how God treats them, they are able to fully obey God’s work, as well as obey God’s orchestrations and follow Him to the very end. Only this kind of love for God is pure love without blemish. Only when I compare myself to that do I discover that in the few years that I have believed in God I may have, on the surface, sacrificed certain things or endured some expense, but I have not been able to truly give my heart to God. When God reveals me, I feel as if I have been characterized as someone who can’t be saved, and I dwell in those negative circumstances. I see myself performing my duty, but at the same time trying to make deals with God, and unable to love God with all my heart, and that my destination, my future, and my destiny are always on my mind. I remember the man’s fellowship once said that we should repay God’s love in performing our duty, that love must be truly expressed, and not just empty words. In comparison I feel very far away from this love.)
It seems that you have often sung this song and have some understanding of it and that there are some connections to your actual experiences. However, almost everyone has different levels of acceptance of each of the phrases in the song “Pure Love Without Blemish.” Some people are willing, some people are seeking to set aside their future, some people are seeking to set aside their families, some people are not seeking to receive anything. Still others are requiring themselves to have no deceit, no complaints, and not rebel against God. Why would God want to suggest this kind of love and require that people love Him this way? Is this a type of love that people can attain? That is to say, are people able to love this way? People may see that they cannot, because they do not at all possess this type of love, and when they do not possess it, and they fundamentally do not know about love, God speaks these words, which are unfamiliar to them. Because people live in this world, live in their corrupt disposition, if people had this type of love or if one could possess this type of love, having no requests and no demands, being willing to devote themselves and willing to endure suffering and give up everything they own, how would someone who possesses this type of love be viewed in the eyes of other people? Wouldn’t that be a perfect person? (Yes.) Does a perfect person like that exist in this world? He doesn’t exist, does he? This type of person absolutely does not exist in this world, unless they were to live in a vacuum, right? Therefore, some people—through their experiences—expend great effort to be like what these words described. They deal with themselves, restrain themselves, and they even constantly forsake themselves: They endure suffering and give up misconceptions they have held. They give up the ways they have been rebellious to God, give up their own desires and wants. But in the end they still can’t meet those requirements. Why does that happen? God says these things to provide a standard for people to follow, so people will know the standard demanded by God for them. But does God ever say that people must achieve this right away? Does God ever say in how much time people have to achieve this? (No.) Does God ever say that people have to love Him this way? Does this passage say that? No, it does not. God is just telling people about the “love” He was referring to. As for people being able to love God this way and treat God this way, what are God’s requirements? It’s not necessary to reach them instantly, or right away because people can’t do that. Have you ever thought about what sort of conditions people need to meet in order to love this way? If people frequently read these words will they gradually have this love? (No.) What are the conditions then? First, how can people be free from suspicions about God? (Only honest people can achieve that.) What about being free from deceit? (They also have to be honest people.) To be one who does not want to make deals with God? That also has to be an honest person. What about having no cunning? What does it refer to in saying there is no choice in love? Are they all referring to being an honest person? There are a lot of details in there; God’s ability to bring up this type of love or God’s ability to define this type of love, to say it this way, what does this confirm? Can we say that God possesses this kind of love? (Yes.) Where do you see this? (In the love God has for man.) Is God’s love for man conditional? (No.) Are there barriers or distance between God and man? (No.) Does God have suspicions about man? (No.) God observes man, understands man, right? (Yes.) Mm, He truly understands man. Is God deceitful toward man? (No.) Since God speaks so perfectly of this love, would His heart or His substance be so perfect? Have people ever defined love in this way? (No.) In what circumstances has man defined love? How does man speak of love? Isn’t it giving or offering? (Yes.) Man’s definition of love is simple, and is lacking in substance.
God’s definition of love and the way God speaks of love are connected to an aspect of His substance, but what aspect of His substance? Last time we fellowshiped about a very important subject, it is a subject people have often discussed and brought up before, and it is a word that often comes up in the course of believing in God, yet it is a word that seems both familiar and strange to people, but why is that? It is a word that comes from the languages of man, among man its definition is both distinct and vague, but what is this word? (Holiness.) Ah, holiness: that was the subject the last time we fellowshiped. We fellowshiped a bit about this subject, but our fellowship was incomplete. Based on the part we did fellowship about last time, did everyone get a new understanding about the substance of God’s holiness? (Yes.) What do you think was the new understanding? That is, what in that understanding or in those words made you feel that your understanding of God’s holiness was different or varied from what I fellowshiped about God’s holiness? Do you remember? Did it leave an impression? (God says what He feels in His heart; it is pure. This is one aspect of holiness.) This is part of it, is there anything else to add? (There is holiness when God is wrathful toward man, it is without blemish.) (I see in God’s authority His perfection, His faithfulness, His wisdom and His dominion over all things. I understand these things.) “Dominion over all things,” that is about God’s authority, now we are talking about God’s holiness. (As for God’s holiness, I understand there is God’s wrath and mercy in His righteous disposition, this left a very strong impression on me. It also brought up that God’s righteous disposition is unique, which in the past I did not have such an understanding of or such a definition for it. But in Your fellowship You discussed that God’s wrath is different from man’s anger. It is something no creation possesses. God’s wrath is a positive thing and it is principled; it is sent forth due to the inherent substance of God. It is because He sees something negative and so God releases His wrath. In God’s mercy, I also see that it is something no creation possesses. Even though man has good deeds or righteous actions that are considered similar to mercy, but they are impure and there is a motive behind them. Some types of so-called mercy are even fake and empty. But I have seen God’s salvation when He shows mercy to people, and this mercy puts man directly on the path to being saved. It puts people on the right track of believing in God so that they receive their beautiful destination and hope. So God’s mercy is possessed in His substance. Therefore, even if God would destroy a city due to His wrath, because He has merciful substance, He could at any time or place show mercy to save and protect the people of that city. This is my understanding.) You have some understanding of God’s righteous disposition.
When I asked you some questions just now, the majority of you recognized that God’s love is so great and so real, but you lack a knowledge of God’s holy substance. On our current topic, I will discuss this area, which is the knowledge of God’s holiness. People often connect God’s righteous disposition with His holiness and they all know and have heard some details about His righteous disposition. Furthermore, many people often combine God’s holiness and righteous disposition in their fellowship, saying that God’s righteous disposition is holy. Everyone is familiar with the word “holy” and it’s a commonly used word, but in regard to the connotations of that word, what expressions of God’s holiness are people able to see? What has God revealed that people can recognize? I am afraid this is something that no one knows. We say that God’s disposition is righteous, but then if you take God’s righteous disposition and say it’s holy, that seems a little vague, a little confusing; why is this? You say God’s disposition is righteous, or you say His righteous disposition is holy, so in your hearts how do you characterize God’s holiness, how do you understand it? That is to say, what has God revealed or what is it about all that God has and is that people would recognize as holy? Have you thought about this before? What I have seen is that people often say commonly used words or have phrases that have been said over and over again, yet they don’t even know what they’re saying. That is just how everyone says it, and they say it habitually, so it becomes a set phrase. However, if they were to investigate and really study the details, they would find that they don’t know what the real meaning is or what it refers to. Just like the word “holy,” no one knows exactly what aspect of God’s substance is being referred to in regard to His holiness. As far as reconciling the word “holy” with God, no one knows and the hearts of the people are confused, and they are broad in how they recognize God is holy. But when you get down to it, how is God holy? Does anyone know? I’m afraid no one is quite clear on the issue. Today we will fellowship on the topic to reconcile the word “holy” with God so that people can see the actual content of the substance of God’s holiness, and this will prevent some people from habitually using the word carelessly and saying things randomly when they don’t know what they mean, or even if they are correct and accurate or not. People have always said it this way; you’ve said it, I’ve said it, and it has become a manner of speaking and people have thereby inadvertently tarnished the word “holy.”
As for the word “holy,” on the surface it seems very easy to understand, right? At the very least people believe the word “holy” means clean, unsoiled, sacred, and pure, just like in the hymn we just sang “Pure Love Without Blemish,” where “holy” and “love” are put together, which is correct; this is part of it, God’s love is part of His substance, but it is not the entirety of it. However, in people’s views, they see the word and tend to associate it with things that they themselves view as pure and clean, or with things they personally think are unsoiled or unblemished. For example, some people say the lotus flower is clean, how did people come to define the lotus flower this way? (“The lotus flower grows in the mud yet blooms unblemished.”) It blooms unblemished from dirty water, so people began to apply the word “holy” to the lotus flower. Some people also viewed love stories others made and the content therein as holy, or they’d view some made-up worthy protagonists as holy. Furthermore, some considered people from the Bible, or others written about in spiritual books—such as saints, apostles, or others who had once followed God while He did His work—as having had spiritual experiences that were holy. These are all things that were conceived of by people and these are conceptions held by people. Why do people hold conceptions like this? There is one reason and it is very simple: It is because people live amongst corrupt disposition and dwell in a world of evil and filth. Everything they see, everything they touch, everything they experience is Satan’s evil and Satan’s corruption as well as the scheming, infighting, and war that occur among the people under the influence of Satan. Therefore, even when God performs His work in people, or even when He speaks to people and His disposition and substance are demonstrated to people, they are not able to see or accept what holiness is. What’s more, this is the reason why people often say God is holy. Because people live among filth and corruption and are under the domain of Satan, they do not see the light and do not know the positive matters or things and furthermore, do not know the truth. Therefore, no one truly knows what holy is. Having said that, are there any holy things or holy people among this corrupt humanity? (No.) We can say with certainty that no, there are not, because only God’s substance is holy.