Having knowledge of practicality and being able to clearly see God’s work—all of this is seen in His words. It is only in God’s words that you can gain enlightenment, so you should equip yourself with His words more. Share your understanding from God’s words in fellowship, and through your fellowship others can gain enlightenment and it can lead people onto the path—this path is practical. Before God sets up an environment for you, every single one of you must first equip yourselves with His words. This is something that everyone should do—it is an urgent priority. The first thing to do is to be able to eat and drink His words. For the things that you are unable to do, seek out a path of practice from His words, and look in His words for any issues you don’t understand or any difficulties you have. Make God’s words your supply, allow them to help you resolve practical difficulties and practical problems, and allow His words to become your help in life—this requires you to put effort into it. Results must be achieved from eating and drinking the word of God. You must be able to quiet your heart in front of Him, and to practice in accordance with His words when you encounter issues. When you have not encountered any issues, just eat and drink. Sometimes you can pray and think of God’s love, have fellowship on your understanding of His words, and have fellowship on the enlightenment and illumination you experience inside and the reaction you have when reading them, and you can lead people onto the path—this is practical. The goal of doing this is to allow God’s words to become your practical supply.
Over the course of a day, how many hours do you spend truly in front of God? How much of your day is given to God? How much is given to the flesh? If your heart is always facing Him, this is the first step on the right track toward being perfected by God. You can devote your heart and body and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate to His will. Not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household. In everything you can take God’s word as the principle, as the foundation. That way, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will be someone who gains God’s praise before Him. Those who God likes are people who are absolute toward Him, people who are devoted to Him and none other. Those who He loathes are people who are half-hearted about Him, and who rebel against Him. He loathes those who believe in Him and always want to enjoy Him, but cannot completely expend themselves for Him. He loathes those who say they love Him but who rebel against Him in their hearts. He loathes those who use flowery words to engage in deception. Those who do not have genuine dedication to God or genuine obedience to Him are treacherous people; they are naturally too arrogant. Those who cannot be genuinely obedient in front of the normal, practical God are even more arrogant, and they in particular are the dutiful progeny of the archangel. Those who truly expend themselves for God place their whole beings in front of Him. They genuinely obey all of His utterances, and they are able to put His words into practice. They make God’s words the foundation of their existence, and they are able to genuinely seek the portions of practice in God’s word. This is someone who truly lives in front of God. If what you do is beneficial for your life and satisfies God’s will, and through eating and drinking His words, you can meet your inner needs and inadequacies so that your life disposition is transformed, then this will satisfy God’s will. If you act according to God’s requirements, if you do not satisfy the flesh but satisfy His will, this is entering into the reality of His words. When talking about more realistically entering into the reality of God’s words, it means you can perform your duty and satisfy God’s requirements. Only these kinds of practical actions can be called entering into the reality of His words. If you are able to enter into this reality, then you have the truth. This is the beginning of entering into reality; you must first carry out this training and only after that will you be able to enter into deeper realities. Think of how to keep the commandments and how to be loyal in front of God. Do not always think of when you will be able to enter the kingdom—if your disposition does not change whatever you think of will be useless! To enter into the reality of God’s words, you must first be able to make your ideas and thoughts all for God—this is the barest necessity. There are many people who are currently in the midst of trials; they do not understand God’s work. But I tell you—if you don’t understand it, you’d better not make judgments about it. Perhaps there will be one day when the truth will all come to light and then you will know it. Not making judgments would be beneficial for you, but you cannot just passively wait. You must seek to actively enter in—only this is a person who has practical entry.
Because of their rebelliousness, people are always developing notions about the practical God. This requires all people to learn how to be obedient because the practical God is an enormous trial for mankind. If you cannot stand firm, then everything is finished; if you do not have an understanding of the practicality of the practical God, you will not be able to be perfected by God. A critical step in whether or not people can be perfected is understanding the practicality of God. The practicality of God incarnate come to earth is a trial for each and every person. If you are able to stand firm in this aspect then you are someone who knows God, and you are someone who truly loves Him. If you can’t stand firm in this aspect, if you only believe in the Spirit and you cannot have faith in the practicality of God, then no matter how great your faith in God is, it is useless. If you cannot believe in the visible God, can you believe in God’s Spirit? Aren’t you trying to fool God? You are not obedient to the visible and tangible God, so are you able to obey the Spirit? A spirit is invisible and intangible, so when you say that you obey God’s Spirit, aren’t you just speaking nonsense? The key to keeping the commandments is having an understanding of the practical God. Once you have an understanding of the practical God, you will be able to keep the commandments. Keeping the commandments includes two components: One is maintaining steadfast belief in[a] the essence of His Spirit and being able to accept the examination of the Spirit in front of Him. Another is being able to have a genuine understanding of the incarnate flesh, and achieving genuine obedience. Whether it’s in front of the flesh or in front of the Spirit, a heart of obedience to and fear of God should always be kept. Only this kind of person is qualified to be perfected. If you have an understanding of the practicality of the practical God, that is standing firm in this trial, and then nothing will be too much.
Some people say that the commandments are easy to keep, that you just need to come in front of God, speak frankly and devoutly without gesticulating, and this is keeping the commandments. Is that right? So you do some things behind the scenes that resist God—does this count as keeping the commandments? You must fully understand the issue of keeping the commandments. This is linked to whether or not you understand the practical God; if you have an understanding of practicality, and do not stumble and fall in this trial, this counts as you having strong testimony. Bearing a resounding witness for God is mainly related to whether you have an understanding of the practical God or not, and whether or not you are able to obey in front of this person who is not only ordinary, but normal, and even obey until the death. If you truly bear a witness for God through this obedience, that means you have been obtained by God. Being able to obey to the death, and being free of complaints in front of Him, not making judgments, not slandering, not having notions, and not having any other intentions—this way God will gain glory. Obedience in front of a regular person who is looked down upon by man and being able to obey to the death without any notions—this is true testimony. The reality that God requires people to enter into is that you are able to obey His words, able to put His words into practice, able to bow down in front of the practical God and know your own corruption, able to open up your heart in front of Him, and in the end be gained by Him through these words of His. God gains glory when these words conquer you and make you fully obedient to Him; through this He shames Satan and completes His work. When you don’t have any notions of the practicality of God incarnate, that is, when you stand firm in this trial, then you bear a good witness. If there is a day when you have full understanding of the practical God and you can obey until the death like Peter, you will be gained by God, and be perfected by Him. What God does that is not in line with your notions is a trial for you. If it were in line with your notions, it wouldn’t require you to suffer or be refined. It is because His work is so practical and that it isn’t in line with your notions that it requires you to let go of your notions. This is why it’s a trial for you. It is because of God’s practicality that all people are in the midst of trials; His work is practical, not supernatural. By fully understanding His practical words, His practical utterances without any notions, and being able to genuinely love Him more the more practical His work is, you will be gained by Him. The group of people that God will gain are those who know God, that is, who know His practicality, and even more they are those who are able to obey God’s practical work.
During God’s time in the flesh, the obedience He requires of people is not what people imagine—to not make judgments or resist. Rather, He requires that people make His words their principle for life and the foundation of their survival, that they absolutely put the essence of His words into practice, and that they absolutely satisfy His will. One aspect of requiring people to obey God incarnate refers to putting His words into practice, and another aspect refers to being able to obey His normalcy and practicality. These must be both absolute. Those who can achieve both of these aspects are all those who have a heart of genuine love for God. They are all people who have been gained by God, and they all love God as they love their own life. God incarnate bears normal and practical humanity in His work. This way, His exterior shell of both normal and practical humanity becomes an enormous trial for people; it becomes their greatest difficulty. However, God’s normalcy and practicality cannot be avoided. He tried everything to find a solution but in the end He could not rid Himself of the exterior shell of His normal humanity because, after all, He is God become flesh, not the God of the Spirit in heaven. He is not the God that people cannot see, but the God wearing the shell of one of creation. In this, ridding Himself of the shell of His normal humanity would by no means be easy. So no matter what, He still does the work that He wants to do from the perspective of the flesh. This work is the expression of the normal and practical God, so how could it be okay for people to not obey? What on earth can people do about the actions of God? He does whatever He wants to do; whatever He’s happy with is how it is. If people do not obey, what other sound plans can they have? Up until now, it is still just obedience that can save people; there are no other clever ideas. If God wants to test people, what can they do about it? But all of this is not the idea of God in heaven; it is the idea of God incarnate. He wants to do this, so no person can change it. God in heaven does not interfere with what He does, so shouldn’t people obey Him even more? Although He is both practical and normal, He is completely the God become flesh. Based on His own ideas, He does whatever He wants to. God in heaven has handed over all tasks to Him; you must obey whatever He does. Although He has humanity and He is very normal, all of this is what He has deliberately arranged, so how can people look at Him, eyes wide with disapproval? He wants to be normal, so He is normal. He wants to live within humanity, so He lives within humanity. He wants to live within divinity, so He lives within divinity. People can see it however they want. God will always be God and people will always be people. His essence cannot be denied because of some minor detail, nor can He be pushed outside of the “person” of God because of one little thing. People have the freedom of human beings, and God has the dignity of God; these do not interfere with each other. People can condemn or understand God as they wish. Can’t they tolerate God being a little more casual? Do not be so serious—everyone should have tolerance for each other, then wouldn’t everything be settled? Would there still be any estrangement? If one can’t tolerate such a small thing, how can they even think of being a magnanimous person, a true man? It’s not God giving mankind a hard time, but mankind giving God a hard time. They are always handling things by making mountains out of molehills—they really do make something out of nothing, and it is so unnecessary! When God works within normal and practical humanity, what He does is not the work of mankind, but the work of God. However, people do not see the essence of His work—they always see the exterior shell of His humanity. They have not seen such great work, but they insist on seeing God’s ordinary and normal humanity and they will not let go of it. How can this be called obeying God? God in heaven has now “turned into” God on earth, and God on earth is now God in heaven. It doesn’t matter if Their external appearances are the same or what Their work is like. Overall, He who does God’s own work is God Himself. You must obey whether you want to or not—this is not something that you get to choose! God must be obeyed by people, and people must absolutely obey God without the slightest bit of pretense.
The group of people that God incarnate wants to gain today is those who conform to His will. People need only obey His work, not always concern themselves with the ideas of God in heaven, live within vagueness, or make things difficult for God in the flesh. Those who are able to obey Him are those who absolutely listen to His words and obey His arrangements. These people pay no mind at all to what God in heaven is really like or what kind of work God in heaven is currently doing in mankind, but they fully give their hearts to God on earth and they place their entire beings in front of Him. They never consider their own safety, and they never make a fuss over the normalcy and practicality of God in the flesh. Those who obey God in the flesh can be perfected by Him. Those who believe in God in heaven will gain nothing. This is because it is not God in heaven, but it is God on earth that bestows the promises and blessings upon people. People should not always magnify God in heaven and see God on earth as an average person. This is unfair. God in heaven is great and wonderful with marvelous wisdom, but this doesn’t exist at all. God on earth is very average and insignificant; He is also very normal. He does not have an extraordinary mind or earth-shattering acts. He just works and speaks in a very normal and practical way. While He does not speak through thunder or summon the wind and the rain, He truly is the incarnation of God in heaven, and He truly is the God living amongst humans. People must not magnify the one that they are able to understand and that corresponds to their own imaginations as God, or see the One they cannot accept and absolutely cannot imagine as lowly. All of this is people’s rebelliousness; it is all the source of mankind’s resistance to God.
a. The original text omits “steadfast belief in.”