Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “How to Know the God on Earth” (II)
How to Know the God on Earth
All of you are glad to receive rewards before God and to become the object of His favor in His eyes. This is everyone’s wish after he begins to have faith in God, for man wholeheartedly strives for higher things and no one is willing to fall behind others. This is the way of man. Precisely for this reason, many among you are constantly trying to curry the favor of the God in heaven, yet in truth, your loyalty and candor to God are far less than your loyalty and candor to yourselves. Why do I say this? Because I do not acknowledge your loyalty to God at all, and I further deny the existence of the God that exists in your hearts. That is to say, the God that you worship, the vague God that you admire, does not exist at all. The reason I can say this so definitively is that you are too far away from the true God. The reason why you have loyalty is due to the existence of an idol within your hearts, and as for Me, the God who appears as neither great nor small in your eyes, all you do is acknowledge Me with words. When I speak of your great distance from God, I am referring to how far away you are from the true God, while the vague God seems to be near at hand. When I say “not great,” it is in reference to how the God that you believe in this day appears to merely be a man without great abilities; a man that is not very lofty. And when I say “not small,” this means that, although this man cannot summon the wind and command the rain, He is nonetheless able to call upon the Spirit of God to do work that shakes the heavens and earth, leaving man completely confounded. Outwardly, you all appear to be very obedient to this Christ on earth, yet in substance you neither have faith in Him nor love Him. What I mean is that the one you truly have faith in is that vague God in your feelings, and the one you truly love is the God you yearn for night and day, yet have never seen in person. As for this Christ, your faith is merely fractional, and your love for Him is nothing. Faith means belief and trust; love means adoration and admiration in the heart, never parting. Yet your faith in and love of the Christ of today fall far short of this. When it comes to faith, how do you have faith in Him? When it comes to love, in what way do you love Him? You have simply no understanding of His disposition, still less do you know His substance, so how do you have faith in Him? Where is the reality of your faith in Him? How do you love Him? Where is the reality of your love for Him?
Many have followed Me without hesitation to this day, and over these few years, you have all suffered much fatigue. I have thoroughly grasped the innate character and habits of each of you, and it has been supremely arduous to interact with you. The pity is that though I have got hold of much information about you, you have not the slightest understanding of Me. No wonder people say you got swindled by a man in a moment of confusion. Indeed, you understand nothing of My disposition, and much less can you fathom what is in My mind. Now your misunderstandings toward Me are an added insult to injury, and your faith in Me remains a confused faith. As opposed to saying that you have faith in Me, it would be more apt to say that you are all trying to curry My favor and fawn over Me. Your motives are very simple—whosoever can reward me I shall follow, and whosoever can enable me to escape the great disasters I shall believe in, whether he be God or any certain God. None of this is of any concern to me. There are many such men among you, and this condition is very serious. If, one day, a test is made to see how many among you have faith in Christ because you have insight into His substance, then I’m afraid that not one of you will be able to do as I wish. So it wouldn’t hurt for every one of you to consider this question: The God in which you have faith is vastly different from Me, and this being so, what then is the essence of your faith in God? The more you believe in your so-called God, the further away you stray from Me. What, then, is at the core of this issue? I am sure none of you have ever considered this issue, but has the gravity of this issue occurred to you? Have you given thought to the consequences of continuing with this form of belief?
Now, the problems set before you are many, and none of you are adept at coming up with solutions. Should this continue, the only ones who stand to lose are yourselves. I will help you recognize the problems, but it rests on you to find the solutions.
I very much appreciate those who harbor no suspicion about others and I also very much like those who readily accept the truth; to these two kinds of men I show great care, for in My eyes they are honest men. If you are very deceitful, then you will have a guarded heart and thoughts of suspicion regarding all matters and all men. For this reason, your faith in Me is built upon a foundation of suspicion. This manner of faith is one I shall never acknowledge. Lacking genuine faith, you will be even further from real love. And if you are able to doubt God and speculate about Him at will, then you are beyond doubt the most deceitful of men. You speculate whether God can be like man: unpardonably sinful, of petty character, devoid of fairness and reason, lacking a sense of justice, given to vicious, underhanded, and cunning tactics, as well as being pleased by evil and darkness, and so on. Is not the reason that man has such thoughts because man has not the slightest knowledge of God? This manner of faith is nothing short of sin! Moreover, there are even some who believe that the ones that please Me are none other than flatterers and sycophants, and that those lacking in these skills will be unwelcome and will lose their place in the house of God. Is this all the knowledge you have gleaned these many years? Is this what you have gained? And your knowledge of Me does not stop at these misunderstandings; even worse is your blasphemy against God’s Spirit and vilification of Heaven. This is why I say that such manner of faith as yours will only cause you to stray further from Me and be in greater opposition against Me. Throughout many years of work, you have seen many truths, but do you know what My ears have heard? How many among you are willing to accept the truth? You all believe that you are willing to pay the price for the truth, but how many have truly suffered for the truth? All that exists in your hearts is iniquity, and hence you believe that anyone, no matter who he may be, is deceitful and crooked. You even believe that God incarnate would, just like a normal man, be without a kind heart or a benevolent love. Even more, you believe that a noble character and a merciful, benevolent nature exist only within the God in heaven. And you believe that such a saint does not exist, and that only darkness and evil reign on earth, while God is something in which man lodges his longing for the good and beautiful, a legendary figure fabricated by man. In your minds, the God in heaven is very upright, righteous, and great, worthy of worship and admiration, but this God on earth is merely a substitute and instrument of the God in heaven. You believe this God cannot be equivalent to the God in heaven, much less be mentioned in the same breath as Him. When it comes to the greatness and honor of God, they belong to the glory of the God in heaven, but when it comes to the nature and the corruption of man, they are attributes in which the God on earth has a part. The God in heaven is forever lofty, while the God on earth is forever insignificant, weak, and incompetent. The God in heaven is not given to emotion, only righteousness, while the God on earth only has selfish motives and is without any fairness or reason. The God in heaven has not the slightest crookedness and is forever faithful, while the God on earth always has a dishonest side. The God in heaven loves man dearly, while the God on earth shows man inadequate care, even neglecting him entirely. This erroneous knowledge has long been kept within your hearts and may also be perpetuated onward in the future. You regard all deeds of Christ from the standpoint of the unrighteous and evaluate all His work, as well as His identity and substance, from the perspective of the wicked. You have made a grave mistake and done that which has never been done by those coming before you. That is, you only serve the lofty God in heaven with a crown upon His head and never attend to the God you regard as so insignificant as to be invisible to you. Is this not your sin? Is this not a classic example of your offense against the disposition of God? You worship the God in heaven. You adore lofty images and esteem those distinguished for their eloquence. You are gladly commanded by the God that fills your hands with riches, and greatly pine for the God who can fulfill your every desire. The only One you do not worship is this God who is not lofty; the only thing you hate is association with this God whom no man can regard highly. The only thing you are unwilling to do is to serve this God who has never given you a single penny, and the only One who is unable to make you yearn for Him is this unlovely God. This kind of God cannot enable you to broaden your horizons, to feel as if you have found a treasure, much less fulfill what you wish. Why, then, do you follow Him? Have you given thought to questions like this? What you do does not merely offend this Christ; even more importantly, it offends the God in heaven. This is not, I think, the purpose of your faith in God!
You desire greatly for God to delight in you, yet you are very far away from God. What is the matter here? You accept only His words, but not His dealing or His pruning; even less are you able to accept His every arrangement, to have complete faith in Him. What, then, is the matter here? In the final analysis, your faith is an empty eggshell that can never give rise to a chick. For your faith has not brought you the truth or gained you life, but has instead brought you an illusory sense of sustenance and hope. Your purpose in believing in God is for the sake of this hope and sense of sustenance rather than for the truth and life. Therefore, I say that the course of your faith in God is none other than trying to curry the favor of God through servility and shamelessness, and can in no way be deemed a true faith. How can a chick appear from faith such as this? In other words, what fruit can this manner of faith bear? The purpose of your faith in God is to use God in order to fulfill your aims. Is this not further a fact of your offense against the disposition of God? You believe in the existence of the God in heaven but deny that of the God on earth. However, I do not approve your views. I commend only those men who keep their feet on the ground and serve the God on earth, but never those who never acknowledge the Christ who is on earth. No matter how loyal such men are to the God in heaven, in the end they will not escape My hand that punishes the wicked. These men are the wicked; they are the wicked ones who oppose God and have never gladly obeyed Christ. Of course, their number includes all those who do not know and, further, do not acknowledge Christ. Do you believe that you can act as you please toward Christ as long as you are loyal to the God in heaven? Wrong! Your ignorance of Christ is ignorance of the God in heaven. No matter how loyal you are to the God in heaven, it is merely empty talk and pretense, for the God on earth is not only instrumental in man receiving the truth and more profound knowledge, but even more instrumental in the condemnation of man and afterward in seizing the facts to punish the wicked. Have you understood the beneficial and harmful outcomes here? Have you experienced them? I wish for you one day soon to understand this truth: To know God, you must know not only the God in heaven but, even more importantly, the God on earth. Do not get your priorities confused or allow the secondary to supersede the principal. Only in this way can you truly build a good relationship with God, become closer to God, and bring your heart closer to Him. If you have been of the faith for many years and have long associated with Me, yet remain distant from Me, then I say it must be that you often offend the disposition of God, and your end will be very difficult to reckon. If the many years of association with Me have not only failed to change you into a person who has humanity and the truth, but rather ingrained your evil ways into your nature, and you not only have twice as many delusions of grandeur as before but your misunderstandings of Me have also multiplied, such that you come to regard Me as your little sidekick, then I say that your affliction is no longer skin deep but has penetrated into your very bones. All that remains is for you to wait for your funeral arrangements to be made. You need not beseech Me then to be your God, for you have committed a sin deserving of death, an unforgivable sin. Even if I could have mercy on you, the God in heaven will insist on taking your life, for your offense against the disposition of God is no ordinary problem, but one of a very grave nature. When the time comes, do not blame Me for not having informed you beforehand. It all comes back to this: When you associate with the Christ—the God on earth—as an ordinary man, that is, when you believe that this God is nothing but a man, it is then that you shall perish. This is My only admonishment to you all.
This passage of the word of God, “How to Know the God on Earth,” is of great importance to us. Wherein does its importance lie? The Christ we believe in is the God on earth, and if we didn’t know how to recognize the God on earth, then it is hard to say whether our belief in the incarnate God is up to standard and whether it will succeed. So, this question of “How to Know the God on Earth” is extremely important. In believing in the God on earth, one must solve this question. What we are now faced with is the crucial question of “How to Know the God on Earth.” If we don’t understand this aspect of the truth, what problems will be involved? Will it involve our success or failure in believing in God? Will it involve our destination? There are some people who cannot see through this, and they ask whether it can really be so important. You tell me, is it that important? There are many facts which can prove this point. For example, there are some antichrists who have been expelled, and what kind of problem is this? Do antichrists have genuine faith in God? Do they have genuine obedience to God? They don’t. So, it is here that they fail, and their faith in God is not up to the standard. Just because their faith is not up to the standard, they do not have genuine obedience to the practical God. They do not have genuine obedience, but they should not do evil deeds. They do many different evil things and dare to resist God, and they vie with God for position. They want to control the chosen people of God, and in this they have committed a mortal sin. There are people who say, “We are not antichrists. How can we be defeated if we believe in God?” You are not now an antichrist, but do you have genuine faith in God? Do you possess true love for the practical God? If you don’t possess these two kinds of things, then even if you have never done all kinds of evil things, are you able to receive God’s approval? Will you be able to attain a happy destination? You will not be able to, and this is for certain. When I put it in this way, isn’t knowing the God on earth a crucial problem? This has become a crucial problem. It is the reality of the truth that we must enter into in following God, and the reality of truth that we must possess. We must have knowledge of the God on earth. If we have genuine knowledge of Christ, then our faith in God will meet the standard. If we have genuine knowledge of God, we will be able to attain genuine obedience to God. Moreover, we will be able to worship the practical God. So, what is the key point in whether one’s faith in God and obedience to God are up to the standard? The key point is whether one has knowledge of the practical God on earth.
There are many people who believe in the incarnate God. After believing for a number of years, they ask, “What have I obtained by believing in God? First, I have not gained the truth; second, I have also not received God’s blessing; third, I still have no idea if I will live or die when the great calamity arrives.” What kind of problem is this? It comes about because you do not have genuine knowledge of the God on earth. If you truly have genuine knowledge of the God on earth, then your faith is up to standard, you have obedience, and you have developed a loving heart; haven’t these already been achieved? Haven’t you already gained the truth and the life? Haven’t you already received God’s approval? If you are equipped with these three kinds of realities, then you are guaranteed to survive the great calamity and you will certainly enter the kingdom of heaven. No one can deny this. Now the key is that if we believe in the practical God but do not pursue the truth nor seek
how to know the God on earth, this is the fatal point! There are many people who, from when they first believe in God until they have believed for ten or twenty years, have not improved in knowledge of God during the entire time. Actually, their own notions have increased quite a lot, and their misunderstandings of God have accumulated quite a lot. What is the problem here? Having believed for ten or twenty years with unresolved notions and persistent misunderstandings, what is the problem here? Do people like these people pursue the truth? They are not people who pursue the truth. As for those who pursue the truth, notions and misunderstandings about God ever diminish while they become increasingly assured about God’s essence and have more knowledge of it. Their love of God always increases, and their obedience always becomes more practical. Only people who are able to attain this kind of result are those who pursue the truth. There are some people who retain notions about God from beginning to end, and totally fail to resolve this. The more they are in contact with God, the more they think, “Isn’t this just a man, completely human in nature, and why have I not seen any divinity? How come I haven’t seen any of what God has and is?” What is the problem here? This is a person who does not have the spiritual understanding. Can Christ’s divinity be written on His face? If the day should come that we were to see the practical God, then once we looked closely, we would be shocked to see that His face, hands, and arms were all covered in written words spelling out what God has and is, and this alone is God! Is there such a God? Everyone knows there isn’t. So, what does the practical God of your imagination have to be like to finally convince you completely? Imagine it for a moment. First, this person has to be able to transform into other forms. He can come and go freely without being limited by space. Once He speaks, it is like a peal of thunder shaking the heavens and earth. Once He speaks, results ensue. Once He judges people, they at once show their true colors. Some people immediately turn into snakes, some into dogs or foxes. Once He convicts someone, wherever that person is, he will immediately die. That alone is God! Aren’t there people who imagine this? There are many people who imagine this. If God truly acted in this way, then who would still have notions? There wouldn’t be anyone with notions. So why does God not act in that way? If God wanted to act in that way, would it be easy or not? It would be easy. At one time, the Lord Jesus acted in that way, performing miracles: He cursed the fig tree and it died; He summoned the dead back to life and they arose; He made five loaves and two fish be enough to feed five thousand people; He caused the sea to calm, and with one word, the matter was accomplished. People do not have notions about this kind of practical God, but is this beneficial for people in knowing God? Everyone says it is not beneficial. Why does it not benefit man in knowing God? There are no more notions, but can merely manifesting miracles cause a person to know God? If something like that could cause a person to know God, then in the Age of Law when the prophets all manifested miracles, the people of Israel would all have long since known God. No matter how many miracles have been manifested, people cannot know God. So, what work can God do to cause people to attain knowledge of God? Have you considered this question? For example, God today is clothed in an ordinary physical body, and completely lives in normal humanity; is it easy for people to know God? When you have time, you should try to figure out these practical problems, and by trying to figure them out perhaps you will be able to receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit or be able to understand God’s intention. By trying repeatedly to figure it out, you will feel that there is some significance in God’s acting in this way, and that God’s acting in this way is practical and beneficial for changing people’s dispositions, for fighting back against people’s notions, and for people to know God. When a person is unable to see divinity in Christ’s humanity, what kind of mentality might he form? People who do not pursue the truth might say, “Isn’t this just a man? Isn’t this just the son of a Nazarene carpenter? Isn’t this just Jesus of Nazareth?” Unbelievers talk this way. As for people who believe in God, they hold the same view in the beginning, but later they change their mind, “Not so, God’s words of judgment have come forth as ‘How to Know the God on Earth,’ and however man looks upon God up in heaven, so he should look upon God on earth.” Once these words of judgment come forth, they’ll say, “Oh, believing in this way is not right; one will fail in believing in this way, so we should change it into another path and see in what way it is suitable to believe.” So, what does a person do when he’s at the end of his rope? He should seek the truth and pray to God. What should he say when he prays to God? “God, I see You are just an ordinary person on the outside, without any difference from normal people. How can’t I tell if there are any traces of God in You? How am I unable to see what God has and is or God’s disposition in You? I wish for the Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide me.” How is this prayer? Everyone thinks it is good. There are some people who always think it would be good if Christ in normal humanity often showed His divinity. For example, while Christ is speaking, He suddenly says, “Oh, why is it raining again?” We may think, “Ah, people don’t know what time it will rain, God incarnate also doesn’t know in normal humanity.” While it is raining, and God says, “Stop! Come out, sun!” When everyone looks outside, they say, “Oh! The sun came out as soon as He commanded it to come out! Oh, He has normal humanity, but also divinity. We’ve seen that He possesses both, so in that case the God we believe in is true, for He has divinity. In this miracle and these words, I have seen divinity.” If the practical God were possessed of this kind of divinity, would it be good? If His divinity were to appear often for us to see and know, would this way be good? Some people say it would not be good. In that case, people would not have notions, so how would it not be good? Some people say it would not reveal people’s corruption and notions, and people would not know God. The miraculous aspect of divinity is not what the true divinity of God has and is, which can be seen in the words: “As He spoke, it was, and as He commanded, it stood.” “He is as good as His word, and His word shall be accomplished, and that which is accomplished lasts forever.” As soon as God’s words are spoken, no matter how much they do not accord with people’s notions, you read these words and experience these words until the day when you feel these words truly are the truth and the mystery. The more you experience them, the truer and the more mysterious they are. They are unfathomably deep! The more you experience, the more you will feel this is the voice of God. And in the end, there will be a day when you see, “These words have been completely fulfilled, completely accomplished.” This is what divinity has and is. The most important thing is whether you are able to see the might of the word of God. In knowing the incarnate God, first, know the voice of God which He issues forth; second, know His work and the disposition of God that He makes known; third, know God’s wisdom and almightiness. All this comes forth in the physical body, and all the words of God which He issues are what God has and is. They all represent God’s disposition. On one hand, His word delivers what God has and is, God’s disposition, and God’s almightiness and wisdom. In addition, everything delivered in His words comes from God with authority and capability. In the end, each sentence will be fulfilled. In God’s word you know God’s disposition, know what God has and is, and in the end you will completely receive confirmation in Christ, saying, “Christ is God; He is the truth, the way, and the life.”
Now, when people believe in the God on earth, they have a bias, that they cannot accept Christ’s normal humanity. They say, “Your words are one hundred percent the voice of God, and delivered by God. They are all the truth, they are all what God has and is, and of this I have no doubt. But why must You unfortunately have normal humanity? Won’t it work for You not to have humanity? It would be much better if You had only divinity!” People cannot accept this humanity. Don’t people have this kind of notion? Once they see Christ’s humanity, they exclaim, “He’s a man!” They are unable to see His divinity. How would someone who has spiritual understanding look upon Him? They can see it; they can see what divinity has and is in Christ’s humanity. Isn’t this a very capable person? They are able to see God’s disposition in normal humanity, and are also able to see what God has and is, and can see God’s wisdom. They will find, “Actually, what divinity has and is has been lived out in portion through normal humanity, so we can see it.” For example, God spoke in normal humanity, “We must leave the country and go abroad.” When I pondered over this, I thought, “Oh, this is normal humanity, all people want to leave the country.” But unconsciously I came to realize, “If a person wants to leave the country, can he leave? Ordinarily, he cannot leave. In human opinion, he is unable to, especially when I am wanted by the Communist Government, how can I leave? When I get to customs, won’t I be arrested? I can’t leave!” But when I pondered it some more, I thought, “Oh, God does not joke around, so if God says we must leave the country, this is God’s intention. It is something God wants to be done, so I should obey! Even if I am arrested when I get to customs, I will obey.” With this action of obedience, the matter is accomplished. When divinity works, sometimes it is done in normal humanity, and it’s still difficult for you to distinguish it, isn’t that right? Sometimes when I do something, if at the moment I don’t know what to do and it seems that the time has not come, I am in no hurry and wait for God’s time. Afterward, when I communicate this matter to God, God says a few words and in an instant, I understand. So when the crucial moment comes, it is God who takes the reins, and once God points out with one common word of normal humanity, we will understand and will have a path to take. Look, what Christ shows on the outside is all humanity, but we should pay attention to these words in humanity because they all represent God’s will. Inside, they hold what God has and is.
Sometimes, when I hear attacks and condemnations from Satan the devil, I become angry. I feel so angry that I clench my teeth and stamp my feet. But God, on hearing this negative propaganda, dismisses it with a smile. How can we understand this? To God, what are these attacks by Satan? Aren’t they just trivia? From God’s attitude toward Satan’s negative propaganda, we can see God’s contempt of it; God does not take to heart what Satan says or does. However, we humans find it hard to do such a thing, and on hearing Satan’s lies we become filled with rage. This is one of the most pronounced differences between God and man. God’s wisdom is greater than all the heavens, His tolerance vaster than all the oceans. Often, you will see that Christ’s outer appearance is that of a normal man, yet He reveals His divinity to us. Is this a good way to understanding Christ? Some say it is quite practical. Don’t assume that God’s divinity must be revealed in a supernatural way. It is often revealed in normal humanity, during relaxed conversation. Outwardly He speaks in a tone of someone with normal humanity, the words He expresses contain truth, wisdom, and what God has and is. Eventually, after some contemplation, I realized that on the outside it looks like I am leading the church, I am working, preaching, shepherding and nurturing, but in fact when I am faced with something big, something important, it is God who is steering the ship. At the key moments, it is He who is directing everything. As I’m carrying out my work, I sometimes cannot fathom how to do it properly or when to do it. There are lots of specific issues involved and it also touches upon principles and wisdom. But God grasps these with precision. So, when it comes to important matters, God is there, behind the scenes, steering us in the right direction. Understand? God works in the background. He doesn’t put on a serious demeanor, calling a meeting and expressing His words in person. But in normal humanity, during relaxed conversation, during gossip or chats about general things, He gradually reveals the truth; and this is how I come to understand. Doesn’t this show the being of God’s divinity? It does. God’s divinity is often hidden behind His normal humanity and is expressed through His normal humanity. Through chatting, through speaking to others, He points things out; and so, people come to understand. This is something which is hard for people to recognize. Often, when God makes things clear with the words of humanity, people will understand. From the outside, they can see God commenting on everyday things: the temperature, the weather, what people are like these days, the state of different countries; and sometimes they see that there is wisdom and truth in these words. So, don’t assume that One who appears to speak with normal humanity isn’t God but a man. Don’t assume He is just a normal person based on mere appearance. This is a mistake, a profound mistake.
When God just started His work, when He began to utter His words, He would often chat with and converse with people, and during the exchange, He sometimes left. What would He go to do? He would go to write something, and then after some time, He would finish expressing a piece of His words. Sometimes, when God chatted with us, as He spoke, He would reveal His truth. People would realize that it was important, and they would call out, “Quick! Quick! Remember this. This is the truth pertaining to the vision.” Along with God’s communication with those listening, the truth was also expressed. So, the truth was expressed through His normal humanity, it was expressed through common activities in accordance with the situation at that time. And when this truth was expressed to people, it wasn’t done so in a solemn and austere manner. Sometimes, it was expressed naturally, through causal, relaxed conversation. The practical God works practically. This is the absolute truth. To work and speak, and to express the truth in normal humanity, is this not the practical God? The practical God is a God with humanity. His outer appearance is that of a man and He speaks as a normal man would; He works as a normal man would. You cannot see the divinity within Him, but when He expresses the truth, all which He reveals is God’s disposition and is God’s wisdom. These things have all been proven: God works in normal humanity. So, there are many people who, when contacting God, reject His humanity. When they come across His humanity they always try to deny His divinity. What problem is this? It seems they do not understand God incarnate taking on the form of a normal man. “Why did He take on the form of a normal person?” Can you now see why it was that God took on the form of a normal person? What aspect of the truth is this? The truth with regard to God incarnate talks about this. Christ needs to have a normal humanity, and God needs to take on human form so as to become God incarnate. If He did not have normal humanity, then He would not have been God incarnate, and the whole meaning of God incarnate would have been lost. According to human thinking, God incarnate must have a spiritual body. On the outside, He has the appearance of a man, but He is still in a spiritual body; only then could He be God incarnate. This is total fallacy. We can see that, in the book of John, the apostle understood this issue: “And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist” (1Jn 4:3). No matter how much truth God incarnate expresses, no matter how great His work, no matter how great His achievements, if a person does not accept that this is the work of God, then is he not an antichrist? If man can never accept God’s normal humanity, then to put it bluntly, he is an antichrist. Does this stand up to scrutiny? While God’s house may neither condemn you nor cast you out, we can say that, despite your belief, in the end you will have gained nothing, and God will not recognize you. If people say they believe in the practical God, Christ, but constantly question His divinity, constantly harbor notions about Him, constantly fail to truly obey Him, fail to truly love Him, and what is more, fail to truly worship Him, what is this problem? Such people believe in God incarnate in name only. In reality, they believe in the vague God. Can such people who believe in this way gain God’s approval? What kind of faith is this? This is called confused faith. This comes from thoughts such as, “I must force myself into accepting the truth of God being incarnated. I must force myself to accept that all which God incarnate expresses is God’s voice and all truth. But I still harbor doubts about God incarnate. It seems that He was half Christ and half human, and that is not really God. Only a God with a spiritual body is the true God.” These people only half believe in God incarnate, they believe about 50%. They half believe in the vague God. Can someone with this kind of belief, this half belief, love the practical God? Can he obey the practical God? He cannot. This kind of belief is very problematic; I’m afraid it is not up to standard! Why does man always want to believe in a lofty God, a God in heaven? Does this have anything to do with man’s arrogance? Arrogance and over-ambition are related to man’s disposition. That is why a seemingly insignificant, ordinary person, who came to express God’s words within normal humanity, who came to do God’s work, could not be accepted by man. It seems as if this God is not worthy of his faith, not worthy of his love, not worthy of his obedience. Is this not Satan’s disposition? However, is a corrupt man fit to believe in God incarnate, regardless of what form He may take or how common and ordinary His humanity may seem? Some say he is unworthy. So, who is it that is unworthy, God or man? Of course, it is man. There are some who, when you try to make them acknowledge their belief in the incarnate Almighty God, cannot do so. They cannot acknowledge it in front of others, for they fear they will be embarrassed, they fear they will be belittled, looked down upon. Doesn’t this sound like Satan’s disposition?
More than twenty years ago, I and a few others visited an old sister at her home. The sister in her eighties was sitting on her bed and her grandchildren were also at home. When the old sister saw that God had come to visit her she threw herself to the floor where she prostrated herself before Him. Seeing that the old lady bowed on the floor, her granddaughter tried to stop her. She said, “Granny, what are you doing?” She did not want her grandmother to prostrate herself so. What she tried to say was, “Why are you bowing down to this person?” Her grandmother replied, “Don’t worry yourself with it!” This old sister’s grandchildren did not believe. They were unbelievers. But the old sister didn’t care. When she saw God, she simply prostrated herself before Him. What can we learn from this situation? We will not speak of the situations in which one should or shouldn’t prostrate themselves before God, or the principles behind such things. Instead, let us speak of whether or not it is easy for one to prostrate himself before God. Ordinarily, would one who has notions prostrate himself? One who has notions could not do it. An eighty-year-old prostrating herself doesn’t adhere to man’s conceptions. Wasn’t the old sister a very pure-hearted person? She knew that, “This is God incarnate, God incarnate is here. He’s the same as the Lord Jesus. We must prostrate ourselves before Him, for it would be wrong not to do so and we would find no peace!” Some people prostrate themselves out of embarrassment. They see others kneeling, and they slowly, forcefully, drop one leg to the floor, followed eventually with the other. Some people kneel down and check to see if the floor is dirty. Then they rest their knees on something so that they don’t become muddied. Some people look to see if there is someone whom they are acquainted with around them, to see who is watching. There are many different ways in which people prostrate or kneel. Is there truth to be sought in prostrating oneself before God? What truth is there? In what way do you recognize God on earth? For if you do not recognize Him, then you will not prostrate yourself. Can you prostrate yourself before God? Those who can, raise your hand. Raising your hand is easy, but bending your knees to kneel is not, isn’t it? If I come before you, can you prostrate yourself? None of you will, will you? But if you prostrate yourselves when you see me, then you will be able to prostrate yourselves before God. Can you accept it when I put it in this way? If you don’t believe it, then think of this. If someone saved you, if you became sick and a doctor cured you, you would find it easy, simple even, to kneel down and thank him. So, isn’t the nurturing and leadership which I offer you more important than the doctor curing your illness? It is. So why don’t you kneel? Is it easy to do so? I am not asking you to prostrate yourselves. I am simply asking what you think about this matter, because there is truth to be sought in this. If you can prostrate yourselves before this person who is worthy of your respect, who supplies you with truth and who nurtures and leads you, will it still be difficult for you to prostrate yourselves before your Creator, before God who expresses truth to you and provides you with life? There are some who do not dare bear witness to God or accept God in front of others. Their faith is hopeless, is it not? Some people might ask them, “Which God do you believe in?” and they can only respond by saying, “Which God?” and then pointing to the heavens with their finger. They dare not admit to belief in Almighty God. Can such a person prostrate themselves before God? They cannot. Their knees respond only to gold, that is what they kneel to. They do not kneel before God. Is this a person who worships the practical God? This is not one who worships God.
Today, we will not discuss prostration. We will speak of the heart. There is truth to be sought in whether or not one can worship God, whether or not one can worship the practical God. It may be that, as you prostrate yourselves before God, He is talking cheerfully, and He ignores you. Would you stand up from your kneeling position, saying, “You are ignoring me, so I will no longer kneel. I’m getting up. I’m off to have fun as well”? This is problematic. This is not sincerity on your part! If you are sincere, you would say, “You are ignoring me. It is in Your right to do so. But kneeling before the practical God, it is my duty. I cannot relinquish my duty. No matter how You treat me, whether You face me or not, whether You ignore me or not, I do not mind. I only mind that in my heart I kneel before the practical God.” The more God ignores you, the clearer it demonstrates your sincerity. Isn’t this the truth? “No matter how God treats me, I will worship God, the practical God, which is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle, because it was He who created me. I was created by Him.” This is sincere belief in God. God’s intrinsic identity as God has been made real in the flesh; He is the Creator, the one true God in heaven, who rules over everything. Now, He has become Christ, a seemingly insignificant man who people look down on. And how must we treat Him? Should we, according to His flesh or His intrinsic identity, worship Him and obey Him? This process shows people for what they really are. So, how do you treat the practical God? If you do not recognize His intrinsic identity as God, you will treat Him with contempt, look down on Him, have notions about Him, and you will question Him. However, if you recognize His intrinsic identity, then naturally you will revere Him, obey Him and even worship Him. So, does how to treat the practical God on earth reveal people for who they really are? You’ll find there are some people who still cannot forsake fleshly things. They say, “I believe in the practical God. I read His words and I acknowledge Him on my lips. That’s all I need to do. Obeying God, loving God, worshiping God—these things have nothing to do with me, they are only relevant to God in heaven.” Are there people who believe in such a way? Why do people with such beliefs believe in this way? Because they do not know God on earth. They do not know of His intrinsic identity or status as God. As a result, such people do not give much thought to God on earth and they do not treat Him sincerely. If you ask them, “How long have you believed? What have you forsaken for God? How have you expended yourself for Him?” they can only reply, “I have not. The way I believe is pretty good. If God were to bestow wealth on me, then I would cast aside everything. If God were to guarantee that my family would all live well, then I would cast aside everything, expend myself for Him. Currently, God has not done these things. So, I only have faith in Him with lips and that is enough.” There really are people like this, aren’t there? There are many people who are not sincere about God, whose faith is not great, and whose faith is muddled and confused. As such, if you try to make them put themselves out for God, it is an almost impossible task. And if you were to ask them to risk their lives for Him, much less would they do it, they would flatly refuse. If you don’t believe this, then you send such a person to perform a dangerous task by saying, “Go, do your duty,” and he will reply, “Oh. This looks dangerous. I might have to give up my life? I have a family to take care of, I cannot go!” What is the problem that they have? Someone says, “Carrying out this kind of duty could get me caught at any time. I would have to go to prison. I’m not doing it! I don’t have the stature to go to prison for God. Expending myself for God so that my family suffers, lacks food and goes hungry, that’s not okay. I must go out and make money for them instead.” Does this person have true faith in God? He does not. He is not willing to suffer in the slightest. “I believe in God on the basis of maintaining my own comfort and safety. I expend myself a little as my capacity allows, which is good enough. However, if I have to do something which will make me suffer, then I won’t do it! Who is it that would try to make me carry out such a duty? Don’t even think about it! There’s no way I’ll do it.” Does this person have true faith in God? He does not. He is confused. If your faith is muddled and confused, how will God deal with you? He’ll treat you according to your muddled faith. You will receive no blessing and reward, for you did not put yourself out for Him. Kindness will be rewarded with kindness, and evil with evil. If you have done few good deeds, then what do you expect to get in return? You are not worthy of anything. Some people make expenditures for God, who are subsequently seized by the great red dragon and imprisoned. In prison, they are tortured to death. Their family is thus ruined. But true believers continue to believe, continue to do their duty. Some people don’t understand. They say, “Are these people fools?” Are we all fools? No, we aren’t. Am I a fool? Can a person with average caliber communicate truth like this? Such a person cannot. We are not fools. We know why we do this, and why we do that. We know in our hearts. God has predestined that we, these people, are born during the last days to receive His salvation. What we receive is greater even than what the saints throughout history have received, and so God says that we are the luckiest. The kings of earth cannot compare to us. To put it simply, we are far smarter and more intelligent than they are. They will end up being in the lake of fire and brimstone. You tell me, are they smart or are they foolish? Those who, in the end, enter the kingdom of heaven, are the smart and intelligent ones!
When believing in God on earth, it is crucial that your faith is not confused and muddled. If you harbor notions and do not overcome them, in the end you will not be compatible with God; your notions will spell the end of you. What is the true meaning of faith in God on earth? It is the belief in Christ of the last days to a level at which you can truly obey Him, truly love Him, and truly be compatible with Him. This is what it is to be accepted by God. To be one with Christ, to truly obey Him and worship Him; this is true testimony to faith in God. If you have faith to the end but do not witness Him in this way, if your testament to God does not come from true obedience, does not come from the sincere fulfillment of your duty, and does not come from a true love for God, then God will neither commend you nor recognize you. Your faith will be in vain. If you claim to believe but God does not recognize you, then what will He say of you? Just like Jesus said to His followers during the Age of Grace: “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:22-23). When people asked the Lord why He did not rapture them and allow them entry to the kingdom of heaven, He replied like this, “You had nothing to do with Me, I do not accept that you believe in Me.” This is what He meant. Now, when you read these words, do you understand them more clearly? Some people still speculate, “If we are saved once, then we will be saved for eternity. We can rely on God’s grace for salvation, rely on His grace to enter the heavenly kingdom.” What are you relying on? Can you rely on such a thing? Is it easy to do so? You cannot rely on this. Why not? First, you cannot enter heaven by yourself. You simply cannot. Second, if the Lord does not recognize you, then He will not take you there. And then, isn’t the only fate left open to you that of hell? So, you cannot rely on His grace to enter heaven. No matter what you think, you cannot. In the Bible, who spoke of “relying on grace for salvation”? It was Paul. The Lord Jesus did not say such things. You have fallen for Paul’s trick, have you not? Don’t the followers in the Age of Grace all try to rely on His grace for their salvation? They try to pester the Lord, hoping to gain His favor. But they can’t see the Lord, and the Lord ignores them. Some people say, “We should ascend to the third heaven and litigate with the Lord. Why is it that His words have not come true?” Do you think your arguments will stand? Do you think your arguments are logical? They are not. The followers during the Age of Grace are foolish virgins. They are incredibly stupid.
God does not recognize those who are confused in their faith. This is a real issue. The God of the last days has spoken clearly on this. If man cannot purge himself of his notions about God, then his fate will not be favorable. Here, there is one key issue. God said, “In order to help you better practice the truth, that is, to better put My words into practice, I think it is these issues that you must first come to know. Otherwise, your faith will remain vague, hypocritical, and filled with the trappings of religion” (from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). What issues does this refer to? “Your faith will remain vague, hypocritical, and filled with the trappings of religion.” If a person’s faith is influenced by such things, then it is problematic. Their fate will be a bad one. “Will remain vague” means to have no understanding of the practical God, to see Him only from His outer appearance and fail to see His divine essence. Such a person is one whose blindness prevents him from knowing God. One who looks only at His humanity and fails to see His divine essence, cannot see that in the flesh, as a normal human, there exists what God’s divinity has and is; he cannot see the work that the practical God carried out, that the disposition He reveals is that of God in heaven and that His wisdom and omniscience is also that of God in heaven. If you cannot link what the practical God has and is and the truth which He expresses to God in heaven, then you will never be able to know God on earth. There are some people who pray to Almighty God, their head raised to the heavens. But they do not pray to Christ and they do not pray to the practical God. They do not treat the practical God as though He is God. Some say, “I treat the word of God as divine words, and with regard to this man who walks the earth, this man who expresses God’s words, I treat Him as a man.” Is this someone who knows God? He is not. Now, why does God make us experience His words, to eat and drink them? What is His purpose? It is to allow us to know the practical God. When you can see the extent to which the practical God reveals the disposition of God in heaven, reveals what He has and is, reveals His omniscience, reveals His power; when you know all of these things, then you will see that Christ truly is the practical God! He is worthy of admiration, worthy of love. No matter how ordinary His humanity may seem, you have now seen that He is the practical God and you revere Him, obey Him and worship Him as you do God in heaven. And you’ll see how your soul changes, you’ll see how the Holy Spirit inspires you, how He enlightens you. The more you believe, obey and put the truth into practice in this way, the more you will receive God’s blessings, the more you will be worked upon by the Holy Spirit. Do you believe these words? You all believe them, I know. If you always try to reason with God, people may think what you say, from the outside at least, makes sense, but it does not mean it is the truth. You can speak your reasons all day and, from the outside, it might seem to make sense, but the outside is only one aspect. Why don’t you feel at peace on the inside? Why are you becoming more and more filled with fear? Why is a sense of guilt growing within you? Eventually, someone might say to you, “You’re good at reasoning, you’re logical. But do you obey God? Are you one who obeys God?” You wouldn’t be able to answer. It is not a question that’s easy to deal with. Someone might say, “Your reasoning is good. You’re talented and brave. But are you one who obeys God? Do you have the truth? Is what you’re doing correct? Do you revere God in your heart?” When reflecting on these questions, you’ll be stuck. Afterward, will you still be able to reason in such a way? “I’ll not speak anymore. I’m a damn fool. I contradicted God. I was disobedient to Him.” You’ll regret it. You’ll want to beat yourself for it. When you try to reason like this, what does God say of you? “Oh, so you are not one who obeys God. Today, I have seen who you truly are. Very well. Speak your words. I will ignore you! You do not treat Me as a God, and so I will not treat you as one who believes in God.” God will ignore you. He will cast you aside.
No matter what God incarnate does, no matter how He treats you, no matter if He expels you and isolates you, if He condemns you, judges you or even curses you, He is still God incarnate. Regardless if He adheres to your notions, He is still God and you cannot deny His divine essence. Isn’t what I’m saying the truth? You all know that it is. If, one day, God came across a group of people and said that they were all good for nothing, would He not still be God? If one day God came across a crowd of people who believed in Him and He said that none of them would be saved because they lacked humanity, would He not still be God? If God said that this person was good, and he pursued the truth while the others didn’t, they might react by saying, “Don’t we pursue the truth? You’re so biased toward him!” If God says such things, isn’t He still God? In truth, no matter how He regards these people, no matter what He thinks of things, no matter if He condemns these people or denies them, He is still God. If what He does adheres not to man’s conceptions; if what He says lacks love, or does not appear to represent God, He is still God. He is God incarnate, and no one can deny this. Some people say, “How can it be that no one can deny it? I don’t believe!” Even if you don’t believe it, He is still God. If all the people in the religious world didn’t believe in Him, He would still be God. Can you accept these words? You all say yes. Why can you accept them? How do you understand them? Some say, because when Judaism rejected the Lord Jesus, He was still God. This is one reason. It is a fact. But what else? Some say, it isn’t about whether or not man can accept these things, God’s essence is divine. The most important thing is, whether or not man accepts God does not matter. What God says is, shall be; what He says is not, should not be, even if man says it should be. What man says is a lie, it will not stand. The key thing is that the incarnate Almighty God has expressed the truth and done great things. He is the Creator and that which He does and that which He speaks is truth and fact, and no one can deny it. The rules on the development of the earth and all things do not change according to man’s will, but rather God’s will; they change according to God’s words. Therefore, if all of humanity were to deny all that which God does, it would be in vain, for there is no denying it! For example, during Noah’s days, he and his family bore witness that God would destroy humanity. People said, “We don’t believe it, none of us believe it. You can build your ark. Go on and build it!” No one paid any attention to it. And what was the reality in the end? The flood came and humanity was destroyed. They were killed and only Noah’s family remained. So, it doesn’t matter how many countries are filled with unbelievers, it doesn’t matter how many they are or how many of them are famous. Whatever they say is useless, meaningless. If God speaks, then it is truth. Even if heaven and earth pass away, not a stroke of God’s words shall pass away. His words will never change. Most importantly, what God does is accepted by God. If man denies God’s work, it is in vain. So, God bore witness to God incarnate—Almighty God. He came to carry out judgment in the last days and He has expressed all the truth. But you don’t accept it. When asked, “Are these the words of man or of God?” you may say, “I don’t know!” If you don’t know then you are doomed, you will perish! Some say, “I’m not dead yet.” There is no need to rush. The time of God will come. All has been decided by Him. All has been arranged by Him. All will take place at exactly the time He has arranged for it. But do you refuse to accept Him? If you do not accept then you will die. It is like in the time of Noah when all those who did not get on to the ark due to their unbelief in Noah’s testimony died in the flood. Disaster is merciless. Therefore, the most crucial thing you must look at is who it is that does or says things. If you do not recognize that God incarnate is God, then you must at least know God’s status. What is God’s status? He is the Creator. And where does Christ come from? He is the Creator in human form. He is the one true God creating heaven and earth and all things, who has put on the body of a man. To put it simply, He is the incarnation of the God in heaven, who has come among people.
Christ is God. He is the Creator. Can man deny His words and His actions? No one can deny them. You may deny them, saying, “The power of the atheists is great. The governments of the world do not believe in Almighty God. Their numbers are in the billions. They are powerful. They are hundreds if not thousands of times more than us!” Does it matter how powerful they become? It does not. When the flood comes, in one disaster they are gone. No matter how populous humanity becomes, they are still tiny. One strike and they are done for. Can you see this for what it is now? In the age when the flood destroyed the earth, Noah bore witness to God and to His words. So, he told others that God would destroy the earth in a flood. But they replied, “A flood will destroy the earth? There is not enough water for such a thing! If it rains heavily, we will retreat to the mountains. The waters will not flood such places. It’s impossible!” And what happened in the end? Forty days of storms. The highest mountain was immersed by three meters under the water and humanity was destroyed. Man can’t even stand up to one such attack, can they? Don’t look at man’s nuclear weapons. One disaster and they’re done. There are animals that could stand up to such disasters better than man could! The age of a person doesn’t matter. When people hear disaster is on its way, they ask, “What can we do?” Some of them cry. What can be done? If you do not believe in God, then you will perish. Can you see the severity of the situation? God has come and expressed His words to you but you ignore it, and you still think you can live? In simple terms, we say you will get what you deserve. Some people, when they see that disaster is coming, will say, “Almighty God! Save me!” God will ask, “Do you accept Almighty God? Do you practice the truth? Have you carried out kind deeds? What qualifies you to ask Me for help? Nothing. Save you? Do you sincerely believe in God? What have you cast aside for God? What expenditures have you made for Him? Do you truly believe in God?” If you have done these things, then you need not say anything. God will save you. If you are not one who does these things, then no amount of shouting and pleading will make a difference. God will not listen; He will not even bat an eyelid. So, man must be honest in their belief and obedience to God.
How can one believe in God properly? One must pursue the truth, and he must know God on earth. If, in the end, you still harbor notions about God, and you are not compatible with Him, then your faith is in vain. You must come to believe sincerely. What does it mean to come to believe sincerely? It means you must achieve true faith. “I harbor no notions about Almighty God. Almighty God is the Creator who came to us as God incarnate. He is the one true God in human form. This is the truth! He has normal humanity, but I do not question His divinity for I have no notions about God. As such, I sincerely love, obey and worship Him.” When your faith reaches this level, it qualifies. These days, there are many people who say they believe in the practical God, but when God comes they do not prostrate themselves, they do not bear witness to Him, and they do not try to understand Him. They do not even try to carry out their duty. Without these aspects of the reality of the truth, does your faith qualify? It does not. It is in vain! Although you say you believe in the practical God in your heart, God does not accept it. Sometimes, God will say to me, “When I see certain people I am disgusted. They sicken Me. I will never look upon such people. They are unbelievers without the decency of saints, and have no reality of the truth. I loathe the sight of them!” God does not contact these people. He ignores them. What can we learn from these words which God has spoken? There are many whom God cannot stand, whom He does not recognize. If such people do not pursue the truth, then their faith will be in vain. This is God’s disposition. It is the same as what the Lord Jesus said in the Age of Grace. So, how to go about knowing the God on earth is not such a simple thing! If your faith is vague, if it is tainted by religious belief, if you put only 30% of faith in God on earth but 70% of faith in God in heaven, as God said, “Your faith will remain vague, hypocritical, and very colored by religion,” then you are doomed.
God said, “If you do not understand the disposition of God, then it will be impossible for you to do the work you should do for Him.” What requirements are there for doing the things you should do for God? You must understand God’s disposition. Without understanding God’s disposition, you can’t do what you ought to do for God because you have your own notions and are unable to realize what you are supposed to do. “If you do not know the substance of God, then it will be impossible for you to show Him reverence and fear….” How are reverence and fear produced? They are obtained through understanding the substance of God. If you don’t understand the substance of God, then you will never be able to have reverence and fear for God. “… but instead only heedless perfunctoriness and prevarication.” Heedless means muddling through as if it’s just a game, being perfunctory; it is exerting a little bit of effort to fulfill your duties, and then being done with it. Can this kind of faith satisfy God? It can’t. There are two points with this. One is that only by understanding God’s disposition will you be able to testify of God. There are some things that God requires people to do, things that people should do for God, but if they don’t understand God’s disposition, they can’t see, and they can’t do those things God requires of them. If they truly saw God’s disposition, then they would be able to do some things that are unexpected and that do not conform to the notions of man but are still matters of utmost significance. What are we talking about here? One is understanding God’s disposition, and the other is understanding the substance of God. These are the two most important aspects to understand about the God on earth. When will you be able to fully regard Him as the God in heaven? Isn’t this a key matter? “The God in heaven has truly come down to earth. How is it that the more faith I have, the more I see this incarnate God is the God in heaven? How is it that the more faith I have, the more I see that He has the disposition and substance of the God in heaven? Gee whiz! It looks as though only now do I clearly understand what incarnation really is. This is what incarnation is!” If you believe to this degree, it doesn’t matter how normal Christ’s humanity is; even if He chats or gossips with you, you would always say: “Although God’s humanity is normal on the outside, His substance on the inside is completely divinity.” Your heart believes to a certain degree, and you speak some words from your heart: “No matter how God expresses His humanity, I don’t have any notion now. The more He expresses a normal humanity, the more I feel He is lovely and wise. And the more I truly feel that God is humble and hidden.” In the past, there was a saying in China, something like “genius often lies concealed.” On the outside, Christ speaks cheerfully and wittily in normal humanity, but the truly meaningful things on the inside are not exposed. The average person can’t see it! Christ shows forth a very ordinary humanity, and people see Him as naive and innocent as if He isn’t very knowledgeable or sophisticated, as if He is a very simple person. But you shouldn’t underestimate this simple person. If He speaks a sentence or writes an article, it would be enough for people to read for a thousand years. No one would be able to write like that! He has a very ordinary and normal humanity, but when He utters His voice, divine speech will come forth, and people will immediately become dumbfounded. Some people say: “Who spoke these words?” “That One, the incarnate God.” “Him? He is not that old, how could He have written this?” Should God’s incarnation be judged by age? Look at Simeon: When the Lord Jesus was just born and was still an infant, he prostrated himself before Him saying, “Lord, I have finally seen You.” You see, he called the newborn Jesus “Lord.” Does incarnation depend on age? No! Why did the Lord Jesus only start His work at age 30? That stage of the work required maturity of humanity: Being crucified is not an easy thing, and could not occur without a mature humanity, He couldn’t have borne the burden before then. But for this stage of the work, merely speaking is sufficient. There is no crucifixion at this stage, therefore, He can start His work at any age, either in His teenage years or in His twenties. Do you dare look down on this God? If He became angry one day and wrote His words down to express Himself, heaven and earth would tremble, the whole state of the world would change, and calamities would befall everyone. God can express words as He pleases. “He means what He says, and what He means shall be accomplished, and what He accomplishes shall last forever.” Don’t view Christ as an ordinary person because of the humanity He expresses, because mysteries and divinity are hidden within, and His depth cannot be measured! Are you able to measure me? All say I can’t be measured. You even can’t fathom how a person who understands some truths speaks and does things. So then, are you able to measure God? Of course you are unable to measure Him, it is impossible to measure Him! The divinity within God is hidden and the depth of it cannot be measured. You don’t know what God is going to do on what day, what He will say, and what things He will do; His depth cannot be measured! Therefore, is it acceptable that people do not have reverence for God in their hearts? Without an attitude of reverence for God, it is very easy to resist God. What does it indicate when people do not have hearts that revere God? It means people don’t understand God. Without understanding the substance of God, people will not have reverence and fear, and they will not fear and tremble while serving God. Therefore, there are two key aspects in understanding the God on earth. Which two aspects? Understanding God’s disposition and understanding God’s substance. These two aspects are the most important.
What are the main aspects in understanding God’s disposition? The notions and imaginings that exist regarding God’s disposition, the things that people lack, the things that people do not have—these are the things that everyone must understand. What are the most notable and obvious notions that people have regarding God’s disposition? It is that they think that God always has pity and benevolence toward mankind, and that God will never become angry with mankind and destroy it. This is jumping to conclusions about God. What issues does this rigid way of thinking expose? It exposes that mankind does not have a true understanding of God’s disposition and that people are too one-sided and define God’s disposition—God’s true disposition—based on the pity and affection that the Lord Jesus expressed. Isn’t defining God kind of a resistance to God? This is evidence of not understanding God. The most important thing in understanding God is understanding God’s disposition and substance. God’s disposition involves the aspects of how He treats this corrupt mankind, how He saves mankind, how He treats Satan the devil, and how He treats those evil people who resist Him. It also involves how He views this wicked world, how He treats the people of this world, what kind of attitude He has, what actions He ultimately adopts for this mankind, how He handles mankind, what kind of people will ultimately make up the kingdom of Christ, which people He will bring into the kingdom of Christ—all these things involve God’s disposition. Which people have the work of the Holy Spirit, which people don’t have the work of the Holy Spirit and are eliminated, which people God sets aside and treats like unbelievers, which people are doomed to be punished by God, which people will be destroyed like ordinary unbelievers, which people in the group which God will ultimately obtain will become priests, which people are the people of God, which people are service-doers—all these arrangements are determined by principles that involve the disposition of God. Upon what principles does God decide these arrangements for people? Why are some people able to be God’s people? Why are some people unable to be God’s people, and they can only survive as service-doers? Why are some people who believe in God eliminated, regarded as unbelievers, and destroyed? What are these decisions based on? They are based on God’s disposition. These things all touch upon the disposition of God, and people must understand this. If they don’t understand it, then they will certainly have trouble. What kind of trouble? If you don’t understand, then will you be able to truly submit to God? If you don’t understand, will you have reverence toward God? Look, without reverence and without submission, will you be qualified to be God’s people? Can you become God’s people? If you don’t revere God and submit to Him, then God will not acknowledge you and will say you are an evil-doer, and say “Leave My presence.” What does “Leave My presence” mean? It means: I don’t need you here, there is no place in My kingdom for you. Go to the place where you belong, down to hell! This is what it means. Is God’s disposition involved here? God sets the final destinations of all kinds of people based on His disposition. Does not what kind of person God delights in, blesses, detests, despises, or curses involve God’s disposition? If you believe in God but don’t understand His disposition, then are you able to testify for God? Certainly not. When God needs you to step forward bravely, you do not step forward; when God needs you to stand up, you do not stand; when God needs you to acknowledge Him, you don’t dare acknowledge Him; when God needs you to fulfill your duties, you’re not able to give up your worldly life. What do all of these issues indicate? You don’t understand God’s disposition. Suppose God says: “Will you go?” You say: “I won’t go.” “I ask you again, will you go?” You say: “I won’t go!” “Alright, I won’t ask you again. You will have no relationship with Me.” Is God’s disposition in this? Suppose God asks you, “You fulfill your duties for Me, but do you have devotion?” You reply: “I don’t want to have devotion.” “Why don’t you want to have devotion?” And you reply: “There is too much suffering with devotion. I don’t want to suffer.” “You really aren’t willing to suffer?” And you insist: “I’m really not willing.” So God finally says: “Alright, I don’t know you. I do not recognize you.” Why is it that a lot of people occasionally don’t have the work of the Holy Spirit for a period of time in their experiences? “Why have I not been enlightened during this time while reading the word of God? Ah, now I understand: During this time, my heart is distanced from God as if God is not in my heart. How can this be?” Does this not involve God’s disposition? It all involves His disposition. God is angry with you, He hides His face from you. Because you do not put the truth into practice, you don’t eat and drink the words of God and you don’t pray, God is far from you. Some people don’t feel this. There are many minute changes in the relationship between man and God. This is all related to God’s disposition.
Some people believe in God and ponder questions like: “That classmate of mine became wealthy and lives a comfortable life. Look at his house, look at him, I have never seen a house decorated so well before. We are the same age and studied for the same number of years; why is he better off than me?” Upon pondering this, does God hear it? God hears this and says, “Ah, your heart is running away, you want to return to the world, the smoke-and-mirrors world of illusions. Wealth and position are like shadows in the smoke. You put your hand to the plow and look back. Go on, go after it!” God starts to ignore you. Is God’s disposition in this? Is a heart without reverence for God able to understand this? It can’t understand anything. What things can people do without understanding God’s disposition? When they see others enjoying physical pleasures, they have envy and jealousy and want to distance themselves from God. When they learn that someone has been arrested and sent to prison, they get timid and afraid, saying, “I can’t continue to fulfill my duties to God.” When they see those people who enjoy the pleasures of life, wear fine clothing, they desire to follow the trend of the world. What does this indicate? People who are not fond of the truth do not put their heart in believing in God; they don’t see that this evil world will soon be destroyed; they don’t see that calamities will soon fall on this mankind. Therefore, they feel no urgency. They say: “‘Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck.’ I don’t understand, why are those who are pregnant unfortunate?” They don’t understand how this could be, they don’t understand God’s words, they don’t seek the truth, they don’t understand God’s intentions or God’s requirements of people. Therefore, even though they believe in God, their hearts are still drifting around the material world. Are there people like this? All admit there are. You see, we fellowship like this about the importance and urgency of pursuing the truth, but some people still don’t care. What are they thinking? “I can give up my worldly life, I can fulfill my duties, that is enough.” Enough for what? Are you fulfilling your duties? Who are you trying to deceive? Who are you fulfilling your duties for? You are deceiving yourself and your service is not up to standard. Are you testifying for God in fulfilling your duties? Are you able to attain the fruits of testifying for God? What is the value in the duties you fulfill? It is not even worth mentioning. What have you done that is of value? How many positive results are you able to attain by testifying for God? Don’t think: “I can give up, I can fulfill my duties, so whatever I do is in accordance with God’s will.” That is wrong! Fulfilling your duties up to standard is the only way to truly fulfill your duties well; fulfilling your duties up to standard is the only way to have a beautiful, resounding testimony; fulfilling your duties up to standard is the only way to show that you truly submit to God and have devotion in fulfilling your duties. If you do not fulfill your duties up to standard, that means you haven’t obtained the reality of the truth. You think that God will remember you for exerting yourself. What is there to remember? You must be serious and realistic. Don’t be muddled and wishy-washy. God cannot be deceived: He searches the heart and examines the mind. If you deceive me in fulfilling your duties, I don’t see, and I don’t know, but are you able to deceive God? Are you able to cheat God? You cannot deceive Him. On the one hand, God is incarnate; and on the other hand, He is Spirit, and His Spirit is not restrained by the flesh and searches the heart and examines the mind. I’ll give you an example: You say that God’s Spirit is materialized in the flesh, but is He able to come out of the flesh? Some people might not be able to see through this. What do they say? “When we pray to God in China, the Holy Spirit works here, and when the church in the United States prays to God, the Holy Spirit works in the United States. Then when the church in South Korea prays to God at the same time, the Holy Spirit works in South Korea too. Ah, the Holy Spirit can work in multiple countries at the same time; so how large is the scope of His work? Did God not say that the Spirit is materialized in the flesh? How could it be that God’s Spirit also works in churches all over the world at the same time? Is God’s Spirit completely in the flesh or not? Or is it that there is the incarnation and also the Spirit of God permeating everywhere at the same time?” Is this a mystery? Some people ponder this question: “God took on the flesh, and His Spirit is materialized in the flesh; so afterward, the Holy Spirit does not work through the prayers throughout the world.” “Why?” “The Spirit of God is materialized in the flesh, and merely works in the flesh and speaks in the flesh, the Spirit doesn’t do anything else.” Is this correct? Some people say: “When God has been incarnated on earth, there is definitely no God in the third heaven.” Other people say: “When God has become flesh in China, other places all over the world do not have the work of the Holy Spirit, and only the church which God’s Spirit and God’s flesh are in, has the work of the Holy Spirit.” Is this correct? These views are all incorrect. Why are they incorrect? God is Spirit in essence, and the Spirit permeates everywhere. At the same time the Spirit can be incarnated in the flesh and be present everywhere. You can’t say that God is merely in heaven and not on earth. This involves the substance of God. Upon understanding the substance of God, people will develop reverence and fear of God. If you don’t understand the substance of God, then you will think that when God is incarnated, He is only in the flesh, and that God is not anywhere else. This is completely absurd thinking, it is a notion of man. If people do not understand the substance of God, then they will produce various absurd notions. God is in heaven and on earth; He lives among man and in the hearts of man. He is incarnate and meanwhile is able to permeate everywhere. This is all determined by the substance of God. God is incarnate, is able to examine everything, permeate everywhere, and is able to simultaneously work in all nations. This is the proper understanding. Because God is Spirit, people are not able to measure Him. People’s minds are insufficient and their notions cannot be used to perceive God or measure God.
God says, “If you do not understand the disposition of God, then it will be impossible for you to do the work you should do for Him.” If man does not understand God’s disposition, he will wantonly do or not do anything. He knows better as soon as he understands the disposition of God, “I wouldn’t dare. God’s fury is fearsome. God examines man’s thoughts and detests evil. God detests those who resist and defy Him. God blesses the man who obeys Him, and God blesses the honest man.” You see, when you understand God’s disposition, you will feel it easy to practice some truths. It will no longer be difficult. What you were unable to do or figure out before, you can do now because you know that God examines man’s heart. Some people say this to God, “Oh, God, I love You so. I dream of You every day. Everything that I do is for You. I have given up everything for You, and I have suffered for You. Everything is for You.” God said, “Whom are you trying to fool? Do you know God’s disposition?” You are playing with words in front of God. Are you deceiving God? Are you toying with God? From what I see, you are taunting death. Once you know the disposition of God, you won’t dare to play with words in front of God or deceive God. You won’t dare to say this is for God and that is for God. You keep saying everything you do is for God because you don’t understand God’s disposition. Whom are you trying to cheat? You are doing it for yourself! You are gratifying your own desire in God’s name. You are a hypocrite. You are Satan’s advocate in disguise. You deserve to be cursed. Whom are you trying to cheat? Do you think that God does not examine man’s heart and mind? Do you believe that God does not see through your tricks? Man wouldn’t dare to do a lot of things once he understands God’s disposition. He will know what he should and should not do. He will become more honest and prudent. He will know how to serve God and how to perform his duty. What happens when he doesn’t understand God’s disposition? He plays tricks on God. He acts with pettiness. He says one thing and does the other. He pays lip service and goes back on his word. He is a deceptive flatterer. He always deceives God but believes that God does not know. How can we do away with our various behaviors that deceive and resist God? We need to get rid of them by understanding God’s disposition. If you don’t understand God’s disposition, you will never be able to free yourself from these things no matter how hard you try. You will be doing these things compulsively without fear and scruple. When you understand God’s disposition, you will envision God’s anger with you. You will know the scourge and trouble you invite by doing these things: The Holy Spirit will stop working on you; God will turn His face away from you. You will say, “I wouldn’t dare to do it, no matter how much money I were given.”
How do we rid ourselves of corrupt disposition? Understand God’s disposition. In addition, understanding God’s disposition begets fear of God. If you can fear God and shun evil, this means you’ve got cleansed. You want to be cleansed and freed from corrupt disposition without fearing God? That’s wishful thinking! Of the mass who believes in God, how many of them have rid themselves of corruption? Even a single act of lying, deceit or pettiness is not easy to be cast away. Some people would even need to take a lifetime to rid themselves of the lies, the simple corruption. Do you hear any lie when I speak? I have chattered with all of you who perform different duties. Do you perceive any falsehood in what I say? No affectation. No lies. But some people don’t believe. They say, “You don’t lie at all? Are you for real?” I tell you then. To Satan’s kind, something cannot be frankly spoken. When they ask, “Where do you live? What is your name?” I cannot tell them for a conscious reason. I answer them with wisdom. Other than this, there is another circumstance when I am not fully aware of. I assume what I say is correct but it actually is off the point. What I say is not absolutely without impurity, without facade, without omission and without being watered down. Not that I deliberately embellish or try to reach certain selfish goals. Just that I haven’t seen it through. People may ask, “Is this person okay?” I answered, “He seems quite decent to me. I don’t see anything wrong with him. My guess is about right.” In less than a few months, he turns out to be too deceitful and false. You see, what I said was inaccurate, right? What did that kind of inaccuracy signify? It was a lack of discernment on my part. I was judging from the appearance without taking the time to observe. Was it a lie when I said it? No, it wasn’t. In addition, not telling the truth to Satan’s kind by acting wisely with them, does that constitute a lie? It isn’t either. It is mainly about these two aspects. You will know it after I make it clear. There are other things that do not pan out after I say it because of my shallow understanding of the truth, or my failing in attaining or discerning certain things in normal humanity, does it constitute a lie? Is it something normal? About the lies that you tell, do they fall under the two categories I mentioned? You all say no. Then the lies you tell are actually lies. Am I right? Are these kinds of veritable, authentic lies easy to be cast away? You all say no. They are unavoidable without a heart of fearing God.
God says, “Although understanding God’s disposition is indeed important and knowing God’s substance must not be slighted, no one has ever thoroughly examined or delved into these issues. It is plain to see that you have all dismissed the administrative decrees I have promulgated. If you do not understand the disposition of God, then you will easily offend His disposition. Such an offense is tantamount to enraging God Himself, and the ultimate fruit of your action becomes a transgression against the administrative decrees” (“It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). What does it mean by “the ultimate fruit of your action becomes a transgression against the administrative decrees”? If man doesn’t understand God’s disposition, doesn’t know God’s essence, he is bound to offend God’s administrative decrees. Offending God’s administrative decrees is offending God Himself. What does offending God Himself mean? It means actually resisting God, actually offending God. This will lead to your elimination, God’s anger and punishment against you. Did the antichrists commit these kinds of mistakes? They offended God. When God was infuriated, “He must be expelled. Away!” That’s the end of it. Some people were directly expelled by God out of anger. Others were exposed by the church for their evil and expelled according to the work arrangement, which was similar in nature to God’s anger. They belong to the same category. These kinds of people are expelled for offending God’s administrative decrees.
You see, some people always have the thoughts of cursing God in their hearts. Do the thoughts of cursing God stem from their hearts or from certain spirits? There is a distinction between them. Moreover, there is another situation. Their thoughts of cursing God come forth in a certain background. If a man has some notions about certain words or deeds of God’s, and the thoughts of cursing God emerge, that is the problem of his humanity. It is his resentment of God. If his thoughts of cursing God are something that emerges unconsciously and without any background, that is the result of some spirit acting which has nothing to do with him. There are differences here, don’t generalize. Someone generates notions about God because he has been severely dealt with in God’s house, meaning that “When I was dealt with like that, I don’t feel any love from God. There is no love in God’s work, you see. God only wants to condemn and eliminate man. He doesn’t come to save man; He comes to punish man.” He engenders such a concept, so he is discontent at heart. When he generates thoughts of resisting God, cursing God, aren’t these offenses to God’s disposition? When a man harbors some grievances, pain, misunderstandings, or disgruntlement, his heart should be right, saying, “When I have disgruntlement, I seek the truth, I pray to God.” He prays to God to seek the truth. He has a heart that obeys and fears God. He doesn’t say anything to resist or judge God. “I do not utter sinful words in my mouth. When thoughts occupy my heart, I seek answers in the truth. I pray to God. I don’t pay any mind to those grumblings and thoughts.” Once you pray to seek the truth and refrain from uttering judgmental and incriminating words against God, Satan will be humiliated. It can do nothing to you.
Therefore, how does one eradicate the problem of offending God’s administrative decrees? Understand the disposition and essence of God from His word. For example, the essence of God is Spirit. God is in heaven and on earth. God lives among men and in their hearts. Don’t delimit God. Understand that the essence of God is Spirit. He can become incarnate and at the same time permeates everywhere. God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. This is within the scope of God’s essence. You should have knowledge of this. When you see God incarnate, you may wonder in your heart, “Ah? There are times when God wants to understand some of the church’s situations through man. Even God does not know. Doesn’t God examine man’s hearts and minds? Isn’t God omnipresent? Why doesn’t Christ know about certain things?” You will then feel that some truth can be found here. It may occur to you that, “Oh! I remember. The Lord Jesus prayed to the heavenly Father on occasions. The Lord Jesus prayed to God when He was about to be crucified, ‘O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will’ (Mat 26:39). He did not pursue His own will, but the will of the Father. Oh! The Lord Jesus prayed too. There was something that even the Lord Jesus couldn’t see clearly. He prayed to God the Father. What is this all about?” Finally, it is from the words of Almighty God that we see the answer: God’s flesh doesn’t know, but His Spirit does. When we talk about omnipresence and examining man’s hearts and minds, we refer to His Spirit, not His flesh. Isn’t the contradiction now settled? Why does it say in the Bible, “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Mat 24:36)? What does “Father” refer to? It refers to the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. What does “nor the Son” refer to? It means that even Christ, the incarnation of God, doesn’t know. And mankind as a whole doesn’t know. Nor do the angels. Only the Spirit of God knows. As it is said, why doesn’t the Son know? Isn’t He the incarnation of God? This involves the difference between His humanity and His divinity. Why is His humanity called “normal humanity”? He must don normal humanity. What is the significance of “donning normal humanity”? First, it is to conceal. When the non-believers come and ask, “Did God come?” someone answers, “I don’t know. Do you see God among us?” They look around. All they see are men. There is no God. So they leave. They don’t admit that Christ is the incarnation of God. Only those who believe like us know who is the incarnation of God. Only we can see that the One who expresses the word of God and does the work of God is the incarnation of God.
God incarnate possesses both divinity and humanity. This humanity is the same as our normal humanity. What we don’t know He doesn’t know either. Whatever we possess and know, so does He. But don’t forget that He also has the essence of divinity. Just as He speaks and works in normal humanity, you don’t know when His divinity will be shown with the humanity. Isn’t this the difference between God and us? For example, when we fellowship, we speak according to our experience and knowledge. After a while, God speaks about our problems. In God’s words, we realize, “What God fellowships, we don’t have at all, do we? Where does this fellowship of God come from? None of us can reach it. No one can see or discover this truth. When God speaks in normal humanity, He speaks the language of the common man. How does He express the truth of divinity?” This is the essence of Christ. He possesses the divinity. Especially when He speaks and fellowships the truth in His work, the divinity will be revealed at any time. This way, isn’t the difference between God and man thus revealed? You see, when I speak to you, the Holy Spirit enlightens me, making me a cut above you. But when God appears, I am dumbfounded. As soon as God speaks, what I say doesn’t measure up to that of the divinity. When God comes and fellowships with us, I am just an ordinary listener. There is nothing for me to say. God is the authority of words. When the word of God is spoken, I am just the same as you. I don’t measure up. Isn’t this the difference between the divinity and the humanity? So you see Christ has normal humanity outwardly. When talking about the mundane things, the way He usually speaks is the same as man. When it comes to fellowshiping the truth, speaking about mysterious things and major events, the word of God is extraordinary. No one can see the difference when He doesn’t speak. People are dumbfounded when He does. “We are not able to say these words. These words are great. They are magnificent!” You see that we all write witness articles. God takes a look when we finish, “What is this writing about? It is of little value.” Then God utters a piece of His words to us. What happens after we read it? Overawed! What is it about? This is God. The flesh donned by God is different from ours. So in many cases, when man sees that God does not speak, he thinks that God is a man, an ordinary person. Once God starts to speak, divine language flows, and man is dumbfounded. Therefore, when those arrogant people see God come and hear God speak, they lower their heads. They don’t say anything. They are ashamed and have no notions anymore. “God is God and man is man.” It is not the same. Judging by appearance alone, “He is just an ordinary man, medium height and built, nothing special.” Nothing special? When God starts to speak, people are stunned, “He really is God! He really is God! Men really don’t know how to say it. They can’t reach it. We are not able to say it even when we are worked to death.” The entire mankind put together is not capable of uttering a single word of God’s. Is that what it is all about? You all say yes. Does being content with this knowledge count as knowing God? Knowing the disposition of God is most important. That is the proof of knowing God. It is not the same as keeping saying, “He really is God, He really is God!” Just saying it is useless. It doesn’t mean you have knowledge. The knowledge of those who really know God is far beyond the purview of His normal humanity. It is beyond the restrictions of His normal humanity. They say, “Don’t go by the ordinary outlook of God with normal humanity. Everything is different when He speaks. God’s divinity is shown when He fellowships the truth. So does the difference between God and man. You can’t tell the difference when He speaks about mundane things. It seems the difference is slight. When, however, what He says involves the truth, people are dumbfounded.” They are completely dumbfounded and conquered. “I am convinced. He really is God incarnate!” Doesn’t this mean conquest by God? Don’t be anxious. If you don’t understand the disposition of God, you can still resist God, still generate notions. When you are conquered and utterly convinced by God, it does not mean you have truly known God; as long as you lack true knowledge of God’s disposition, you will still resist God, still generate notions about God, and pass judgment on God. Some people even want to bet against God. “This time I caught Your mistakes. I am correct this time, guaranteed.” The result is, not after too long when the truth is being fellowshiped, they are lowering their heads again. They are surely wrong again. You can’t win when you bet against God. No matter how strong are the notions you have, you will be humiliated in the end. I used to fellowship these words ten or twenty years ago. I said if you bet against God, you were bound to lose. Why do I say this? I had this experience before. I was defeated and humiliated. So don’t bet against God. Don’t keep generating notions about God and not let go. Quite often, God works like that in divinity. He deliberately exposes you. You won’t have anything to say! Whatever He does is right. Even if He exposes you deliberately, He is still God. Even if He deliberately toys with you, He is still God. It is useless to condemn Him. Your condemnation is not the truth. Ultimately, you condemn yourself when you condemn God. You judge yourself when you judge God. Without obedience to God, you’re resisting God. Your judgment and condemnation of God are ultimately the evidence for your own condemnation. Do you understand? Take a thousand steps back. Even if God treats you like an animal and toys with you like a plaything, do you feel God is right or wrong? Can you say God does not love man? Can you say God is not God? Your word won’t stand! God can treat us any way He wants. This word hits the nail on the head.
Nevertheless, even though this matter was sorted out, could it replace man’s pursuit of the truth? The ultimate solution still requires results to be achieved in the pursuit of the truth and the knowledge of God’s disposition. This is most critical. To eradicate man’s notions, disobedience and resistance, the knowledge of God’s disposition is indispensable. Is it acceptable to put it this way? I have given people some rules. Although these rules, or formulas, are recognized as correct by you, when you accept them as correct, it does not mean you have knowledge of God’s disposition. If it does not mean you know God, the help you get from these rules is very limited. It cannot fundamentally solve the problem. Do you understand? Overtly, many things that God does are inconsistent with man’s notions. Even so, these people can still love this God, truly obey this God, and worship this God. This is the most resounding testimony. On the other hand, if the heavenly God descended on earth and everyone worshiped Him, that would not be a resounding testimony. In that case, even Satan would kneel and prostrate itself in worship, what testimony would that be? Therefore, if, no matter how this God incarnate contradicts with man’s notions, we still worship Him, obey Him, and fear Him, and we still bear witness to Him, then Satan will be utterly humiliated. If you only obey Christ, worship Christ, and have love for Christ when everything about Him is consistent with the notions of man, does this qualify as good testimony? Why not? Someone says that everyone could obey if that were the case. The problem is, such petty testimony is worthless, isn’t it? If God was completely supernatural, if He conformed to the notions and imaginings of man, even the great red dragon would fall prostrate and believe. What would be the merit of your belief? What testimony would you call it? You think that you could set aside everything. If those officials of the great red dragon saw the arrival of the true God, they would ditch their official ministries, even resign their presidencies. Their testimonies would be louder than yours. Your testimonies wouldn’t be noteworthy. Therefore, although this practical God we believe in is insignificant and ordinary from the outside, and all those high officials, intellectuals and scholars refuse to believe, we are blessed because we are the only group that follows Him. Although Christ is inconsistent with the notions and imaginings of man in so many ways, we can obey Him, bear witness to Him, prostrate ourselves before Him, and truly love Him. This way, Satan is thoroughly humiliated. This is the most resounding testimony of all!
Regardless of how inconsistent God is with the notions of man, if man can truly obey and worship Him, treat Him as God and love Him above all, this will be the most resounding testimony. When God slaps you, you say, “It serves me well. I deserve it, I should be cursed.” When God kicks you, you can still kneel and fall prostrate in worship of God, “I am indebted to You. It’s my fault. I deserved to be kicked. I should be cursed.” How do you see this obedience? Is this a true testimony? It is indeed. Someone says, “As long as God gives rise to no notions within me, I will obey, worship, and love Him.” Is there such a God to be found? Can God work like that, accommodate man like that? Impossible. Why doesn’t God do that? God could not perfect man, gain man and reveal man if He worked like that. That’s why God does not do that. Despite all kinds of human notions and imaginings, God chooses to assume a flesh that specifically counters the notions of people in order to save them, to perfect them, to gain them. This is the wisdom and omnipotence of God. Therefore many people always complain about God, “Why do You assume such an ordinary flesh, God? Why don’t You assume a magnificent flesh? God, the humanity of the flesh You assume is too common. Why couldn’t it be a little supernatural, with some signs and wonders? Could You assume a flesh with a normal humanity consistent with man’s notions? If all Your wishes could come true as You spoke, we would be so keen in believing in You without any notion.” If that were the case, there wouldn’t be any place for you. Even the devil Satan would be a better believer than you. Is there anyone who demands God like this? Are there a lot of such people? There are many. All new believers are like this. How do you think I knew that? Some people say, “This is your own experience.” It is the part of the story. The most important thing is, the group of people who first saw God had all thought like this. They all went through this. I am not the only one. So I dare to conclude that all new believers are like this. So is this the right conclusion? It is right. With sufficient experience, is it easy to minister to those new believers? I know all about how they think. I can enumerate them with my eyes closed to make you convinced. Some people who support new believers say, “I don’t know what to talk about.” I say, “You don’t know because you have no experience. You will know when you have more experiences.” It means that when you understand a lot of truth in the words of God, when you have knowledge of God, your notions, rebellion and resistance to God will become less and less, you will finally become truly obedient. Without true knowledge, there is no true obedience. Without true knowledge, there is no great faith. Without true knowledge, there is no true love. It is even more difficult to finally fear God and shun evil. These are the results attainable only by truly knowing God’s disposition.
Sometimes when you read the utterance of God, are you afraid? Some people don’t feel a shed of fear when they read God’s word, and they don’t seem to care, don’t pay any mind to it. Such people do not have a God-fearing heart. If you paid close attention to reading God’s word, you would feel God’s disposition, His fearsome wrath, and you would be filled with awe. You could feel it in God’s word, feel God’s wrath. You could feel the actual existence of God’s disposition. If you don’t have this feeling in reading God’s words, you are stuck with the literal meaning without pondering the real meaning. You are studying God’s words. God says, “Now you should realize that understanding God’s disposition comes with knowing His substance, and that along with understanding God’s disposition comes understanding the administrative decrees. Certainly, many of the administrative decrees touch upon the disposition of God, but His disposition has not been expressed in its entirety within them. Hence you need to go one step further in developing your understanding of God’s disposition” (from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It can be said that every word of God contains the essence of His disposition. And His disposition is not limited in His administrative decrees. God’s disposition is in His every word. So it can be said that the word of God is the expression of His disposition. Can you accept the way it is said? You all say yes. There are some words with God’s mercy and love. There are some words representing God’s righteousness, some words about God’s anger, God’s wrath. God’s disposition is included therein. This is the right way to look at God’s word. Therefore, by believing in the practical God, eating and drinking God’s word, pondering God’s intention in His word and tasting God’s disposition in experience, you will gradually understand the truth. Once you understand some truth, you will know something about God’s disposition. Then you will know how to conform to God’s will. You will know whether your doings can easily resist God, whether they’re resistance to God, whether you’re dealing with God perfunctorily, how should you obey God, and how should you give beautiful resounding testimony. You can distinguish these practices, the causes and intentions of your actions. You know what constitutes resisting God, dealing with God perfunctorily, rebelling against God, and what constitutes openly resisting God, what the disposition of resisting God face to face refers to. When you can distinguish the differences between these things, you will really know the disposition of God. For instance, when someone says he did something and said something, you know for sure what God’s attitude to him is, how God’s disposal of him is, and what situation he is in now. As you can realize this, you have grasped the knowledge of God’s disposition. When you see someone brandishing the name of God, imposing as someone who loves God, you know he is finished when you hear that. This person does not have the work of the Holy Spirit. He is eliminated by God. Why do you dare to draw such a conclusion? What is it based upon? According to your understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition, you know what situation this person is under. You can discern the affairs, situations and outcomes of others. This shows that you have knowledge of God’s disposition. Do you know the way of practice yourself as to what to do, how to obey and perform your duty? Definitely so. You certainly know the principles. When you can discern people’s affairs, you certainly have already known about them. Without knowing the way and the principle, you certainly can’t discern the affairs of others. You are able to discern the affairs of others because of your own experience and knowledge. According to God’s word, according to the truth, you can see everything clearly. So you put it that way. If you have experience and knowledge of God’s disposition, you can discern the affairs of others, and resolve the problems and difficulties of all kinds of people by communicating the truth. Does someone like that have the reality of the truth? How did he attain the reality of the truth? He understood the truth, disposed of his expression of corruption, and received some cleansing from experiencing God’s work. So he can discern the affairs of others and support others, help others resolve their problems by communicating the truth. If he had no experience, no entry into reality, no knowledge of God, could he communicate the truth? Could he discern the affairs of others? Could he resolve problems for others? The answer is “no” to each account.
There are many people with good caliber and eloquence. Why are they unable to preach the sermon? Why are they unable to be the leaders? Is it because their caliber is not sufficient, or because their characters are not good enough? None of the above. The reason is they lack experience. If they had that level of experience, they would really have understood the truth and resolved many of their own problems. When a lot of their own lies, their own corruptions, their own rebellion, and their own notions have been cleansed and resolved, they would be qualified to lead others. So, when you see some people talk, you say, “Wow! How do you see these things so clearly? How do you discern that kind of people so well?” They are able to do it because they have rich experiences and knowledge. They speak so accurately on these affairs based on their concrete experiences. No matter how they speak, it is so practical. No matter how they speak, people are willing to listen. Would they be able to do it merely with talents and eloquence? Man’s work during the Age of Grace depended on his talents and eloquence. Paul was famous for it. During the Age of Kingdom, man’s work depends on his experiences and the reality of the truth he has. If you have neither eloquence nor education, but your experience is deep and thorough, then your speech will be most practical and people will be willing to listen. Am I right? I see many people with talents, eloquence and pretty high education level in God’s house, what do they lack? Their experiences are too shallow. Nothing can be done about it. There is no shortcut for experience. Seniority of service is necessary. There is no way around it. Some people are much more eloquent than me, their education level is also higher than mine, but the problems are, their experiences are too shallow, their belief in God is too immature, perhaps for three to five years, or seven to eight years. It is too short. One needs at least over ten years, which would make him average. Twenty years would be just right, and thirty years would make him an old-timer. You see, I don’t have much talent or eloquence, but most people cannot speak out the words I say, am I right? You should redouble your efforts. Your future is very promising. After believing for about ten years, I see most of you will not be much below me. Some of you will be even better than me. So be patient, don’t rush. Just keep on practicing. You are talented as of now. Can you make it without experience or performing your duty? No. You need practice. Perform your duty and keep pursuing the truth while practicing every day. After performing your duty and pursuing the truth for ten years or so, your sermon will be effective, and you will be able to resolve problems at work. You won’t succeed until you practice. Or else, you will still be a rookie after a lifetime. You need long experiences in the battlefield to be a general.
Let’s talk about preaching and working. You will be facing any situation imaginable. You are young; you are in your early twenties. There are brothers and sisters in their fifties and sixties or seventies and eighties. Do you have any sermon to preach to them? Do you know how to handle them? You look at them and think, “Oops, they are seniors of all ages. The experiences of these people are bound to be deeper than mine and their understanding of the truth is clearer. Aren’t I showing off in front of the masters?” The more you ponder, the more paralyzed you feel. Finally, you become speechless. You are unable to preach. What do you do now? You have to deal with it properly. You begin by saying, “Most of the brothers and sisters here are my seniors and certainly more experienced than me. Since my experiences are certainly much shallower than yours, let us communicate today by sharing our experiences and knowledge with each other. We will serve and benefit each other by speaking from our own level. Without question, I am no match to you in terms of experience, but I must communicate even with my light experience. I need to offer something for the benefits of others in order to bear witness for God.” It is objective to say so. Then when you present your experience, everyone will think, “He is pretty down to earth. Certain things he speaks about, we have experienced, and others, we haven’t. He is quite experienced for his age.” When you get to deeper topics, they will look at you differently. The atmosphere is more relaxed when you put it this way. If you have something solid to offer, what are you afraid of? If not, you are done. If you want to preach out of thin air and expect others to be convinced and receptive, you are wasting your time. When you have something to draw on, things will be different. You communicate with others by sharing your experiences and testimonies. Their perception of you will not be the same when you finish. They will be more responsive. During the Age of Grace, I was gifted by the work of the Holy Spirit. I was enlightened and illuminated. At that time, I was enthusiastic, but not without corruption. I always wanted to show off myself for people to see. “What do you think if I give you a sermon?” I had this element of ostentation inside. Everyone cheered when I finished, “Hooray!” The atmosphere was warm. Each of their faces was glowing with color. Some people were sweating. But all I spoke about was the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit without anything that I had entered into. It was purely bestowment. This way, I was guided by the Holy Spirit step by step to act along with Him. I was also expressing corruption. I was arrogant and always wanted to advertise myself. My desire for work was surging. But sometimes the Holy Spirit enlightened and illuminated me to see that, and I prayed to God in contrition. At this stage, Almighty God appeared. A torrent of words of judgment and chastisement poured over my head like a bucket of ice water. A chill penetrated my bones. I fell prostrate several times. Hence judgment and chastisement began. I often exhibited arrogance during the Age of Grace, but God neither punished nor disciplined me. He just let me see it. What did I admit in the end? “What I spoke and communicated about was the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. I had no entry into it. I did not practice it.” That was essentially my confession. I believed that I was modest enough, good enough, and humble enough. There wasn’t any practice or entry on my part. I knew nothing about what the reality of the truth really was. Having experienced this step of God’s judgment and chastisement, I fell prostrate. I was drowned in tears. After all these years, I have undergone some changes indeed. I have gained a lot. Wasn’t it the grace of God, the blessing of God? So many years went by like this. What I received was not only the work of the Holy Spirit. The light of the Holy Spirit’s work was limited. It was mainly from the experience of God’s judgment and chastisement that I learned what the truth is, what reality is, what truly loving God is, and what obedience to God is. By understanding the reality of these truths, I felt assured at heart with just a tiny bit of entry, and felt I had gained a lot. My knowledge of God was practical, not an act of “monkey see, monkey do” or “parroting.” Despite the practical feeling, it was still limited knowledge. Despite certain reality being not quite profound, I felt that I had gained a lot. Can the religious community catch on to what I say? Can some new believers catch on to it? They can’t. They say, “I understand the superficial meanings of these words. I know.” In fact, their knowledge lacks experience, their understanding and comprehension lack the depth of those with experience, right? Those who have experienced it feel the depth in what I said. Those without experience seem to understand it somewhat, but their understanding is quite shallow. Understanding with experience is one thing, and understanding without is another.
Knowing the disposition of God is not a simple matter. How many times have you fallen prostrate when you have seen your own corruptions and your own satanic nature? Overtly, no sin was committed. But detailed dissection showed the behaviors you revealed were all Satan’s disposition, absolutely and exactly. Can you sum up 30, 50 or 100 articles of Satan’s disposition? Generally speaking, it is “Satan’s disposition.” What does Satan’s disposition specifically refer to? Does Satan’s disposition refer to homicide and arson? No, those are crimes. Overtly, Satan’s disposition is not a criminal act, but in essence it belongs to Satan. It is a negative thing. Take the word “idolize” for example, is it positive or negative? It is a negative thing. Worshiping man or worshiping Satan is a negative thing. For example, is “arrogant” positive or negative? It is a negative thing. Take “opinionated” for example, what is it? It is negative also. What about “self-confidence?” On the surface, we understand it as positive. In fact, it has its negative attributes. It is both positive and negative. What about “ostentation,” “showing-off,” “transaction,” “bargaining,” and “reasoning”? These are all negative things. There are many details in Satan’s disposition. If you could sum them up in a hundred articles, you would be more admirable. Finally, when you can discern Satan’s disposition in your every action, expression, intention, and idea, you will be so awesome. The more exactly you can discern it, the more you can rid yourself of it, and the better are the cleansing effects of your experience of God’s work. If you do not discern it exactly, you won’t be able to tell the details. For example, how many kinds of lies are there? How many kinds of lies are real lies? In the general concept of man, there is only one kind, that is, anything that is not factual is a lie. Actually, how many types of lies are there? There are at least five categories. They are all lies. Not only are inconsistencies with the fact lies. The more exactly you differentiate among lies, the faster you can escape from and rid yourself of them. If you can only recognize one category of them, then you can only escape from one kind, and not the rest of them. Are you considered to be free of lies? No. The reason is, you still have many lies. It is just that you don’t recognize them. What you don’t recognize cannot be ruled out as lies. Therefore, for one to be cleansed, he must understand much truth and must have discernment. What are the types of corrupt dispositions? What are the behaviors of resisting God? What is true obedience? What is being externally obedient but internally disobedient? What is called deception? There are differences among all these. They are not the same. If you understand the truth, you will understand everything when you look at these details. Then you can find the way to check yourself against them and reflect on yourself. When you can distinguish your every move and behavior very clearly, you are well on your way to being cleansed. Many things are revealed and condemned by God’s word. But they are considered normal humanity by you, not sins. In this way, can you have a change in your satanic dispositions? Is it easy to get rid of them? No, it isn’t. As for your notions, rebellion, resistance and obedience in front of God, are you able to discern them? What kinds of manifestations do they have? Do you have 10 per cent of love for God? To what extent do you fear God? How much do you fear Him? If you only pay lip service in your belief in God without true compatibility with Him and you do not know if you will defy Him, resist Him, or deny Him under certain special circumstances, if you cannot distinguish these things, the danger of betraying God still exists. Not only the danger of betraying God, the danger of resisting God also exists. You may resist God at any time. Resisting God is not a direct confrontation with God. It may be a certain idea of yours, a wrong way of understanding or an erroneous practice, which is inherently against and contradictory to the truth. This is resisting God. Contradicting the truth is resisting God. Defying the truth is still resisting God. Overtly, you are not saying anything defiant to God, but what you do is contradictory to the truth, which is obviously inconsistent with the truth and obviously contradictory to the truth. This is resisting God. Is there any adulteration in obeying God? Obedience with adulterations is not true obedience. Can you tell them apart? If you can’t, then there are still adulterations in your obedience. If there are adulterations in all your obedience, you are in trouble. Your obedience is not recognized by God. God says that you are not obeying Him. You are obeying your interests and desire for blessing. You see, isn’t it denied? It doesn’t stand. It is not testimony. God does not recognize it. Does it work without understanding the truth? To believe in God without understanding the truth is to believe in vain. To believe in God without knowing God is to believe in vain. What you call spiritual comfort and emotional support are useless. Not knowing God is vanity. It is the same as not believing. Believing in God without understanding the truth is utterly impractical. You believe for nothing! You see, once a man understands the truth and knows God, he can see many things clearly and thoroughly. This clarity and thoroughness make his speech reasonable and convincing to others. It proves he has the reality of the truth. He gains more than us. What we don’t have is what we lack.
You see, many people nowadays want to perform their duties well. They do their best but things don’t turn out well. When they write an essay, it doesn’t turn out well. When they write a song, not well. When they perform some tasks, not well. When they handle some affairs, not well. What is the problem? Without the truth, you cannot discern things clearly, correct? With the truth, you see everything clearly. With the truth, you can understand anything by analogy. With the truth, even uncultured people can write essays. With the truth, even people with stammer can communicate the truth. With the truth, even people who don’t know how to perform tasks can perform well and find the way. With the truth, even people who are not capable can succeed. Do you think I know politics? I have never participated in politics but I understand political affairs. With the truth, one can understand everything. Do I know the law? Yes. What is the law? Rules. It serves the rulers and protects their political powers. It is not for the betterment of people’s livelihood. This is the bias of the law. It only exists to protect the benefits of the ruling class, the benefits of the officials, because the law is formulated by them. Naturally, it is beneficial to them. It is not formulated by the people. Do you understand? Yes. Is it good to understand the truth? Understanding the truth makes one look at death differently—with faith. “Life and death are in God’s hands. If it is not your time, you won’t die. If it is your time, there is no escape. Just go with the flow, calmly face everything. It is just that relaxing.” You see, he can look at life and death calmly. A doctor knows medical practice, but when he is diagnosed with cancer, he is frightened to death. Even doctors can’t escape this trap. People who believe in God are not afraid. They are much better than doctors because they have the truth. It is really not the same. The truth can change us. The truth can perfect us. The truth is our life. It can be our life. Therefore, in order to know the God on earth, one must pursue the truth. To be compatible with the God on earth one must know a lot of truth. This way, he naturally will not resist God. He will agree with God when talking with God. He will have a lot in common when speaking with God. It will be easy for him to obey and worship God. So pursuing the truth is too important!