In the Age of Kingdom, God uses the word to usher in a new age, to change the means of His work, and to do the work for the entire age. This is the principle by which God works in the Age of Word. He became flesh to speak from different perspectives, enabling man to truly see God, who is the Word appearing in the flesh, and His wisdom and wonder. Such work is done to better achieve the goals of conquering man, perfecting man, and eliminating man. This is the true meaning of using the word to work in the Age of Word. Through the word, man comes to know the work of God, the disposition of God, the essence of man, and what man ought to enter into. Through the word, all the work God wishes to do in the Age of Word is accomplished. Through the word, man is revealed, eliminated, and tried. Man has seen the word, heard the word, and become aware of the existence of the word. As a result, man believes in the existence of God; man believes the almightiness and wisdom of God, as well as God’s heart of love for man and His desire to save man. Though the word “word” is simple and ordinary, the word from the mouth of God become flesh shakes the entire universe; His word transforms the heart of man, the notions and the old disposition of man, and the old appearance of the entire world. Through the ages, only the God of this day works in such a manner, and only He speaks and saves man thus. Thereafter, man lives under the guidance of the word, shepherded and supplied by the word; they live in the world of the word, live within the curses and blessings of God’s word, and even more live under the judgment and chastisement of the word. These words and this work are all for the sake of man’s salvation, achieving God’s will, and changing the original appearance of the world of old creation. God created the world with the word, leads men throughout the universe with the word, conquers and saves them with the word. Finally, He shall use the word to bring the entire world of old to an end. Only then is the management plan wholly complete. Throughout the Age of Kingdom, God uses the word to do His work and achieve the results of His work; He does not work wonders or perform miracles; He merely does His work through the word. Because of the word, man is nourished and supplied; because of the word, man gains knowledge and true experience. Man in the Age of Word has truly received exceptional blessings. Man suffers no pain of the flesh and simply enjoys the bountiful supply of the word of God; they need not seek or journey forth, and at ease they see the appearance of God, hear Him speak personally, receive His supply, and see Him personally do His work. Man in ages past was unable to enjoy such things, and these are blessings that they could never receive.
God is determined to make man complete. Whichever perspective from which He speaks, it is all for the sake of perfecting these people. Words spoken from the perspective of the Spirit are difficult for man to understand, and man is unable to find a path to practice, for man has a limited ability to receive. The work of God achieves different effects, and each step of the work has His purpose. Moreover, He must speak from different perspectives to perfect man. If He uttered His voice from the perspective of the Spirit alone, this stage of God’s work could not be completed. From His tone of voice, you can see He is determined to make this group of people complete. As one who wishes to be perfected by God, what is the first step you must take? You must first come to know the work of God. As new means are used and the age has changed from one to the other, the means by which God works have also changed, as has the way God speaks. Now, not only have the means of His work changed, so has the age. It was formerly the Age of Kingdom, a stage of work in which to love God. Now, it is the Age of Millennial Kingdom—the Age of Word—that is, an age in which God uses many ways of speaking to perfect man and speaks from different perspectives to supply man. As soon as the times passed into the Age of Millennial Kingdom, God began to use the word to make man perfect, enabling man to enter into the reality of life and leading man onto the right track. Man has experienced so many steps of His work and has seen that the work of God does not remain unchanging. Rather, it is constantly evolving and deepening. After such a long time of experience, the work has turned and changed again and again, but whatever the changes, it never deviates from God’s objective of working man. Even through ten thousand changes, its original purpose never changes, and it never deviates from truth or life. Changes in the means by which work is done are merely a change in the format of work and perspective of speaking, not a change in the central objective of His work. Changes in tone of voice and means of work are made to achieve an effect. A change in tone of voice does not mean a change in the purpose or principle of work. The essence of man believing in God is to seek life. If you believe in God yet do not seek life or truth or knowledge of God, then there is no belief in God! Is it realistic that you still seek to enter the kingdom to be king? Only achievement of true love for God through seeking life is reality; the pursuit and practice of truth are all reality. Experience the words of God while reading His words; in this way, you will grasp the knowledge of God through real experience. This is a true pursuit.
In the Age of Millennial Kingdom, whether you have entered into this new age is determined by whether you have entered into the reality of God’s words and whether His words serve as the reality of your life. The word of God is made known to all so that, in the end, all men will live in the world of the word and the word of God will enlighten and illuminate every man within. If during this period of time, you are hasty and careless in reading the word of God, and you have no interest in His word, it shows that there is something wrong with your state. If you are unable to enter into the Age of Word, then the Holy Spirit does not work in you; if you have entered into this age, He will do His work. What can you do at the moment, the beginning of this Age of Word, to gain the work of the Holy Spirit? In this age, God will make it a reality among you that every man lives out the word of God, is able to put truth into practice, and loves God earnestly; that all men use the word of God as a foundation and their reality and have hearts of reverence for God; and that, through the practice of the word of God, man can then rule together with God. It is this work that God will achieve. Can you go without reading the word of God? There are many now who feel that they cannot go even a day or two without reading the word of God. They must read His word every day, and if time does not permit, listening to His word suffices. This is the feeling that the Holy Spirit gives man and how He begins to move man. That is, He governs man through words so that man can enter into the reality of the word of God. If you feel darkness and thirst after just one day without eating and drinking of the word of God, and you find it unacceptable, this shows that you have been moved by the Holy Spirit, and He has not turned away from you. You are then one who is in this stream. However, if you have no perception or feel no thirst after a day or two without eating and drinking of the word of God, and you do not feel moved, this shows that the Holy Spirit has turned away from you. This means, then, the state within you is not right; you have not entered into the Age of Word, and you are one who has fallen behind. God uses the word to govern man; you feel good if you eat and drink of the word of God, and if you do not, you will have no way to follow. The word of God becomes the food of man and the force that drives him. The Bible said that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” This is the work that God will accomplish this day. He will realize this truth in you. How is it that man in the past could go many days without reading the word of God but continue to eat and work? And why is this not the case now? In this age, God primarily uses the word to govern all. Through the word of God, man is judged and perfected, then finally taken into the kingdom. Only the word of God can supply the life of man, and only the word of God can give man light and the way of practice, particularly in the Age of Kingdom. As long as you daily eat and drink of His word and do not leave the reality of the word of God, God shall be able to make you perfect.
One cannot be in a rush to achieve success when seeking life; growth in life does not happen in just a day or two. The work of God is normal and practical, and it must undergo a necessary process. It took Jesus become flesh a process of 33.5 years to complete His work of crucifixion, not to mention the life of man! It is also no easy task to make a normal man who manifests God. This is particularly so for the people of the nation of the great red dragon. They are of poor caliber and require a long period of God’s word and work. So do not be in a hurry to see results. You must be proactive in eating and drinking of God’s words, and put more effort on the words of God. After reading His words, you must be able to put them into practice in reality, and in the words of God, you then gain knowledge, insight, discernment, and wisdom. Through this, you will change without realizing it. If you are able to take as your principles the eating and drinking of the word of God, reading His word, coming to know it, experiencing it, and practicing it, you will grow without realizing it. Some say that he is unable to put the word of God into practice even after reading it! What is your hurry? When you reach a certain stature, you will be able to put His word into practice. Would a four- or five-year-old child say that he is unable to support or honor his parents? You should know now what your stature is, put into practice what you can, and do not be one who disrupts the management of God. Simply eat and drink of God’s words and going forward, take that as your principle. Do not worry yet about whether God can make you complete. Do not delve into that yet. Simply eat and drink of God’s words as you come across them, and it is assured that God will be able to make you complete. However, there is a principle by which you must eat and drink of His word. Do not do so blindly. Rather, seek out the words that you should come to know, that is, those that are related to vision. Another aspect that you must seek out is those of actual practice, that is, those about what you ought to enter into. One aspect is about knowledge, and the other relates to entering. Once you find out both, that is, when you grasp what to know and what to practice, you will know how to eat and drink of the word of God.
Going forward, talking about the word of God is the principle by which you speak. When you come together, you should fellowship about the word of God and use that as your topic; talk about what you know of the word of God, how you put His word into practice, and how the Holy Spirit works. If you fellowship about the word of God, the Holy Spirit will illuminate you. Man too must cooperate if this is to become a world of the word of God. If you do not enter into this, God cannot do His work. If you do not talk about His word, He cannot illuminate you. Whenever you are free, talk about the word of God. Do not talk idly! Let your life be filled with the word of God; then you are a devout believer. Even if your fellowship is superficial, that is all right. Without the superficial, there would be no depth. There is a process that must be undergone. Through your exercise, you gain insight into the illumination of the Holy Spirit upon you, and how to effectively eat and drink of the word of God. After a period of such exploration, you will enter into the reality of the word of God. Only if you have the resolution to cooperate will you receive the work of the Holy Spirit.
There are two aspects to the principle for eating and drinking of the word of God: One relates to knowledge, and the other entering. Which words should you come to know? You should come to know the words related to vision (that is to say, which age God has now entered into, what God wishes to achieve now, what incarnation is, and so on. These are all related to vision). What is the way that man should enter into? This refers to the words of God that man should practice and enter into. Those are the two aspects of eating and drinking of the word of God. From now, eat and drink of the word of God in this way. If you have a clear understanding of the words concerning vision, then there is no need to read more. Of primary importance is to eat and drink more of the words on entering, such as how to turn your heart toward God, how to quiet your heart before God, and how to forsake the flesh. That is what you should put into practice. Without knowing how to eat and drink of the word of God, true fellowship is not possible. Once you know how to eat and drink of His word, and you have grasped what is key, fellowship will become free. Whatever issues are raised, you are able to fellowship about them and grasp the reality. Fellowshiping about the word of God without reality means you are unable to grasp what is key, and this shows that you do not know how to eat and drink of His word. Some feel weariness when reading the word of God. Such a state is not normal. Indeed, what is normal is to never become tired of reading God’s word, always thirst for it, and always think the word of God is good. This is how one who has really entered eats and drinks of the word of God. When you feel that the word of God is truly practical and is exactly what man should enter into; when you feel that His word is greatly helpful and beneficial to man, and that it is the supply of man’s life, this feeling is given to you by the Holy Spirit, through your being moved by the Holy Spirit. This proves that the Holy Spirit is working in you and God has not turned away from you. Seeing that God is always speaking, some become tired of His words and think that it is of no consequence whether or not they read His words. That is not a normal state. Their hearts do not thirst to enter into reality, and such men neither thirst for nor place importance on being perfected. Whenever you find you do not thirst for the word of God, it shows that your state is not normal. In the past, whether God turned away from you was determined by whether you were at peace within and experienced enjoyment. Now the key is whether you thirst for the word of God, whether His word is your reality, whether you are faithful, and whether you are able to do what you can do for God. In other words, man is judged by the reality of the word of God. God directs His word to all people. If you are willing to read it, He will enlighten you, but if you are not, He will not. God enlightens those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and those who seek Him. Some say that God did not enlighten them even after they read His word. How were the words read? If you read His word like viewing flowers on horseback and placed no importance on reality, how could God enlighten you? How could one who does not treasure the word of God be perfected by Him? If you do not treasure the word of God, then you will have neither truth nor reality. If you treasure His word, then you will be able to practice truth; it is then that you will have reality. So you must eat and drink of the word of God whatever the situation, whether you are busy or not, whether the circumstances are adverse or not, and whether you are being tried or not. All in all, the word of God is the foundation of man’s existence. None can turn away from His word and must eat of His word as if they are the three meals of the day. Could it be such a simple matter to be perfected and gained by God? Whether or not you understand at present or whether you have insight into the work of God, you must eat and drink more of the word of God. This is entering in a proactive way. After reading the word of God, hasten to put into practice what you can enter into, and set aside for the moment what you cannot. There may be much of the word of God that you cannot understand in the beginning, but after two or three months, perhaps even a year, you will. Why is this? This is because God cannot make man complete in a day or two. Most of the time, when you read His word, you may not understand at the moment. At that point, it may seem like nothing more than text; only through a period of experience are you able to understand. God has spoken much, so you should do your utmost to eat and drink of His word. Without realizing it, you will come to understand and the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man, it is often without man’s awareness. He enlightens and guides you when you thirst and seek. The principle by which the Holy Spirit works is centered on the word of God of which you eat and drink. All those who place no importance on the word of God and always have another attitude toward His word, one of carelessness and the belief that it makes no difference whether they read His word, are those without reality. Neither the work of the Holy Spirit nor enlightenment by Him can be seen in them. Such people are merely coasting along, and are pretenders without true qualifications, like Mr. Nanguo of the parable.[a]
Without the word of God as your reality, you have no real stature. When the time comes to be tried, you will certainly fall, and then will your true stature be shown. But at that time, those who regularly seek to enter into reality shall understand the purpose of God’s work. One who is possessed of conscience and thirsts for God should take practical action to repay God for His love. Those without reality cannot stand firm in the face of even trivial matters. There is simply a difference between those with a real stature and those without. Why is it that both eat and drink of the word of God, but some are able to stand firm in a trial while others flee from it? The obvious difference is that they lack a real stature; they do not have the word of God as their reality, and His word has not taken root within them. As soon as they are tried, there is no way for them. Why, then, can others stand firm in this respect? That is because they have great vision, or the word of God has become their experience within and what they have seen in reality has become the foundation of their existence. So they are able to stand firm through trials. This is real stature, and this is life too. Some may also read the word of God but then never put it into practice or are not earnest about it. Those who are not earnest place no importance on practice. Those without the word of God as their reality are those without real stature. Such people cannot stand firm through trials.
When God speaks, you should immediately receive His words to eat of them. No matter how much you understand, hold onto the point of view that you just focus on eating of, coming to know, and practicing His word. This is something you should do. Don’t worry about how great your stature may become; simply focus on eating of His word. This is how man should cooperate. Your spiritual life is mainly to enter into the reality where you eat and drink of God’s words and put them into practice. You should focus on nothing else. Church leaders should be able to lead all brothers and sisters in knowing how to eat and drink of God’s words. This is the responsibility of all church leaders. Be they young or old, all should regard the eating and drinking of God’s words with importance and keep His words in their hearts. If you enter into this reality, you will have entered the Age of Kingdom. Nowadays, most feel that they cannot live without eating and drinking of the word of God, and whatever the time, they feel that His word is novel. Then does man begin to set upon the right track. God uses the word to work and supply man. When all yearn and thirst for the word of God, they will enter into a world of His word.
God has spoken a great deal. How much do you have knowledge of? How much have you entered into? If a church leader has not led brothers and sisters into the reality of the word of God, they have been derelict in their duty and failed to fulfill their responsibilities! Whatever the depth of your eating and drinking, or however much you can receive, you must know how to eat and drink of His word; you must regard His word with importance and understand the importance and necessity of such eating and drinking. God has spoken so much. If you do not eat and drink of His word, nor do you seek or put His word into practice, you cannot be considered to believe in God. Since you believe in God, you must eat and drink of His word, experience His word, and live out His word. Only this is belief in God! If you say you believe in God yet cannot speak out any of His words or put them into practice, you are not considered to believe in God. This is “seeking bread to satisfy hunger.” Speaking only of trivial testimony, useless matters, and superficial matters, and not having even the slightest bit of reality do not constitute belief in God. As such,[b] you have not grasped the right way of believing in God. Why must you eat and drink more of God’s words? Is it considered belief if you do not eat and drink of His words and seek only to ascend to heaven? What is the first step for one who believes in God? By what path does God perfect man? Can you be perfected without eating and drinking of the word of God? Can you be considered a person of the kingdom without the word of God as your reality? What exactly is belief in God? Believers in God should be possessed of good behavior externally, at the very least, and of utmost importance is to have the word of God. No matter what, you can never turn away from His word. Your knowledge of God and fulfillment of His will are all achieved through His word. All nations, sects, denominations, and sectors will be conquered through the word in the future. God will speak directly, and all people will hold the word of God in their hands; through this will people be perfected. The word of God pervades throughout: People speak of God’s word and practice according to God’s word, while kept within is still the word of God. Both within and without, they are steeped in the word of God, and thus are they perfected. Those who fulfill the will of God and are able to bear witness to Him are those who have the word of God as reality.
Entering into the Age of Word, that is, the Age of Millennial Kingdom, is the work that is being completed now. From now, practice fellowshiping about the word of God. Only through eating and drinking of His word and experiencing it can you exhibit the word of God. Only through your words of experience can others be convinced by you. If you do not have the word of God, none would be convinced! All those used by God are able to speak the word of God. If you cannot, this shows that the Holy Spirit has not worked in you and you have not been perfected. This is the importance of the word of God. Do you have a heart that thirsts for the word of God? Those who thirst for the word of God thirst for truth, and only such men are blessed by God. In the future, there are many more words that God will say to all denominations and all sects. He first speaks and utters His voice among you and makes you complete before moving on to speak and utter His voice to the Gentiles and conquer them. Through the word, all will be sincerely and utterly convinced. Through the word of God and His revelations, the corrupt disposition of man has diminished. All have the appearance of man, and man’s rebellious disposition has so too lessened. The word works upon man with authority and conquers man within the light of God. The work that God will do in the present age, as well as the turning points of His work can all be found within His word. If you do not read His word, you will understand nothing. Through your own eating and drinking of His word, fellowshiping with brothers and sisters, and your actual experiences, your knowledge of the word of God will become comprehensive. Only thus can you truly live it out in reality.
a. The original text omits “of the parable.”
b. The original text omits “As such.”