Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “What Do You Know of Faith?”
Now let’s begin our meeting. We’ll first read a piece of God’s word “What Do You Know of Faith?”
“In man exists only the uncertain word of faith, yet man knows not what constitutes faith, much less why he has faith. Man understands too little and man himself is too lacking; he merely has faith in Me mindlessly and ignorantly. Though he knows not what faith is nor why he has faith in Me, he continues to do so obsessively. What I ask of man is not merely for him to obsessively call upon Me in this way or to believe in Me in a desultory fashion. For the work I do is for man to see Me and come to know Me, not for man to be impressed and look at Me in a new light because of My work. I previously manifested many signs and wonders and performed many miracles. The Israelites at the time showed Me great admiration and greatly revered My exceptional ability to heal the sick and exorcise demons. At the time, the Jews thought My healing powers to be masterly and extraordinary. For My many such deeds, they all regarded Me with respect; they felt great admiration for all of My powers. So any who saw Me perform miracles followed Me closely, such that thousands surrounded Me to watch Me heal the sick. I manifested so many signs and wonders, yet man merely regarded Me as a masterly physician; I also spoke many words of teaching to those people at the time, yet they merely regarded Me as a teacher superior to his disciples! Even to this day, after men have seen the historical records of My work, their interpretation continues to be that I am a great physician who heals the sick and a teacher to the ignorant. And they have determined Me to be the merciful Lord Jesus Christ. Those who interpret scripture may have surpassed My skills in healing, or may even be disciples who have now surpassed their teacher, yet such men of great renown, whose names are known around the world, regard Me so lowly as a mere physician! My deeds are greater in number than the grains of sand on the beaches, and My wisdom greater than that of all those sons of Solomon, yet men merely think of Me as a physician of little account and an unknown teacher of man! How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, yet I heeded him not and moreover felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain. The Jews believed in Me for My grace, and followed Me wherever I went. These ignorant men of limited knowledge and experience only sought to see the signs and wonders I manifested. They regarded Me as the head of the house of the Jews who could perform the greatest miracles. Therefore, when I exorcised demons from men, they talked amongst themselves in great confusion, saying that I am Elijah, that I am Moses, that I am the most ancient of all prophets, that I am the greatest of all physicians. Apart from Myself saying that I am the life, the way, and the truth, none could know My being or My identity. Apart from Myself saying that heaven is the place where My Father lives, none knew that I am the Son of God, and God Himself. Apart from Myself saying that I shall bring redemption to all mankind and ransom mankind, none knew that I am the Redeemer of mankind; men only knew Me as a benevolent and compassionate man. And apart from Myself being able to explain all there is of Me, none knew Me, and none believed that I am the Son of the living God. Man only has such manner of faith in Me, and fools Me in this way. How can man bear Me witness when he holds such views of Me?
Man has faith in Me but cannot bear witness for Me, and before I have made Myself known, man cannot testify for Me. Man sees only that I surpass creatures and all holy men, and sees that the work I do cannot be done by men. Therefore, from the Jews to the men of present day, any who has seen My glorious deeds is simply filled with a curiosity toward Me, yet not the mouth of a single creature could bear Me witness. Only My Father bore witness for Me; He made a path for Me among all creatures. Otherwise, no matter how I worked, man would never know that I am the Lord of creation, for man knows only to take, and does not have faith in Me because of My work. Man knows Me only because I am innocent and in no part a sinner, because I can explain numerous mysteries, because I am above the multitude, or because man has profited much from Me. Yet few are those who believe I am the Lord of creation. This is why I say that man knows not why he has faith in Me; he knows not the purpose or significance of having faith in Me. The reality of man is lacking, such that he is very nearly unworthy to bear Me witness. You have too little true faith and have gained too little, so you have too little testimony. Moreover, you understand too little and lack too much, such that you are almost not fit to bear witness to My deeds. Your resolution is indeed considerable, but are you certain that you will be able to successfully testify to the substance of God? What you have experienced and seen surpasses that of the former saints and prophets, but are you able to provide testimony greater than the words of these former saints and prophets? That which I bestow upon you now surpasses Moses and is greater than David, so likewise I ask that your testimony surpass that of Moses and that your words be greater than that of David. I give you a hundredfold, so likewise I ask you to repay Me the same. You must know I am the One who bestows life unto mankind, and it is you who receive life from Me and must bear witness for Me. This is your duty, which I send down upon you and which you ought to do for Me. I have bestowed all My glory unto you, and bestowed unto you the life that the chosen people, the Israelites, never received. By right, you ought to bear witness for Me, and devote to Me your youth and lay down your life. Whomsoever I bestow My glory unto shall bear Me witness and give his life for Me. This has long been predestined. It is your good fortune that I bestow My glory upon you, and your duty is to testify to My glory. If you believe in Me only to gain fortune, then My work would not have much significance, and you would not be fulfilling your duty. The Israelites saw only My mercy, love, and greatness, and the Jews witnessed only My patience and redemption. They saw only very little of the work of My Spirit; it may be such that their level of understanding was merely one ten thousandth of that which you have heard and seen. What you have seen exceeds even that of the chief priests among them. This day, the truth you have understood surpasses theirs; what you have seen this day exceeds that seen in the Age of Law, as well as the Age of Grace, and what you have experienced surpasses even that of Moses and Elijah. For what the Israelites understood was only the law of Jehovah and what they saw was only the sight of Jehovah’s back; what the Jews understood was only the redemption of Jesus, what they received was only the grace bestowed by Jesus, and what they saw was only the image of Jesus within the house of the Jews. What you see this day is the glory of Jehovah, the redemption of Jesus and all My deeds of this day. You have also heard the words of My Spirit, appreciated My wisdom, come to know My wonder, and learned of My disposition. I have also told you all of My management plan. What you have seen is not merely a loving and merciful God, but One that is filled with righteousness. You have seen My wondrous work and known that I am filled with fierce anger and majesty. Furthermore, you have known that I once brought down My raging fury upon the house of Israel, and this day, it has come to you. You have understood more of My mysteries in heaven than Isaiah as well as John; you know more of My loveliness and venerableness than all the saints of previous generations. What you have received is not merely My truth, My way, My life, but the vision and revelation greater than that of John. You have understood many more mysteries and have also seen My true countenance; you have accepted more of My judgment and known more of My righteous disposition. So, though you were born in the last days, your understanding is that of the former and the past; you have also experienced what is of this day, and such was accomplished by My hand. What I ask of you is not unreasonable, for I have given you too much and much have you seen from Me. Therefore, I ask you to bear witness for Me as former saints have done, and this is My heart’s only desire.
It had been My Father who bore witness for Me, but I seek to receive greater glory and for words of testimony to come from the mouths of creation. So I give My all to you for the purpose of having you fulfill your duty and bringing to a conclusion My work among man. You ought to understand why you have faith in Me. If you follow Me merely to be My apprentice or My patient, or to become one of My saints in heaven, then your efforts will be for naught. To follow Me in such a manner is simply a waste of effort; to have such manner of faith in Me is merely whiling away your days and squandering your youth. And in the end, you will receive nothing. Is this not a labor in vain? I have long departed from among the Jews and am no longer a physician of man or the medicine for man. I am no longer a beast of burden for man to drive or butcher at will; rather I have come among men to judge and chastise man, and for man to know Me. You should know that I once did the work of redemption; I was once Jesus, but I could not remain Jesus forever, much as I was once Jehovah but later became Jesus. I am the God of mankind, the Lord of creation, but I cannot forever remain Jesus or forever remain Jehovah. I have been what man considered a physician, but it cannot be said that God is merely a physician for mankind. So if you hold views of old in your faith in Me, then you will attain nothing. No matter how you praise Me this day: “How loving God is of man; He heals me and gives me blessings, peace, and joy. How good God is to man; if we just have faith in Him, then we need not worry for money and wealth…,” I still cannot interrupt My original work. If you believe in Me this day, you will receive only My glory and be worthy to bear Me witness, and everything else will be secondary. This you must clearly know.
Now do you truly know why you believe in Me? Do you truly know the purpose and significance of My work? Do you truly know your duty? Do you truly know My testimony? If you merely believe in Me, yet neither My glory nor My testimony can be seen in you, then I have long ago cast you away. As for those who know it all, they are even more thorns in My eye, and in My house, they are merely stumbling blocks. They are tares to be completely winnowed out in My work, without the slightest function and without any weight; I have long abhorred them. As for those without testimony, My anger is perpetually upon them, and My rod never strays from them. I have long ago turned them over to the hands of the evil one, and they have not any of My blessings. Upon that day, their punishment will be far sorer than that of foolish women. Now I am only doing the work that is My duty to do; I will bind all the wheat in bundles, together along with those tares. This is My work now. These tares shall all be winnowed out in the time of My winnowing, then the grains of wheat shall be gathered into the storehouse, and those tares that have been winnowed out shall be placed in the fire to be burned to dust. My work now is merely to bind all men into bundles, that is, to completely conquer them. Then shall I begin winnowing to reveal the end of all men. So you ought to know how you should satisfy Me now and how you ought to set upon the right track in your faith in Me. What I seek is your loyalty and obedience now, your love and testimony now. Even if you do not know at this moment what testimony is or what love is, you should bring to Me your all, and turn over to Me the only treasures you have: your loyalty and obedience. You should know, the testament to My defeat of Satan lies within the loyalty and obedience of man, as does the testament to My complete conquest of man. The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness for Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end. Before I begin the next step of My work, how will you bear witness for Me? How will you be loyal and obedient to Me? Do you devote all your loyalty to your function or will you simply give up? Would you rather submit to My every arrangement (be it death or destruction) or flee midway to avoid My chastisement? I chastise you so that you will bear Me witness, and be loyal and obedient to Me. Also, the chastisement at present is to unfold the next step of My work and to allow the work to come to progress unimpeded. Hence I exhort you to be wise and treat not your life or the significance of your existence as worthless sand. Can you know exactly what My work to come will be? Do you know how I will work in days to come and how My work will unfold? You should know the significance of your experience of My work, and furthermore, the significance of your faith in Me. I have done so much; how could I give up halfway as you imagine? I have done such extensive work; how could I destroy it? Indeed, I have come to bring this age to an end. This is true, but moreover you must know that I am to begin a new age, to begin new work, and, most of all, to spread the gospel of the kingdom. So you should know that the work now is only to begin an age, and to lay the foundation for spreading the gospel and bringing the age to an end in time to come. My work is not so simple as you think, nor is it as worthless or meaningless as you may believe. Therefore, I tell you as before: You ought to give your life to My work, and moreover, you ought to devote yourself to My glory. Further, your bearing Me witness is that which I have long awaited, and even more so have I yearned for you to spread My gospel. You ought to understand what is in My heart.”
“What Do You Know of Faith?” This phrase represents the subject of God’s word that we will be looking at today. Just what does it mean to have faith in God? Why do we need to have faith in God? Perhaps each of you have your own perspective. It does not matter what your perspectives or thoughts are when it comes to this subject. The key is whether or not your faith is able to achieve God’s intentions and commands. When it comes to God’s words on the matter of “What Do You Know of Faith,” is this not a very important truth? What are your reasons for having faith? What is the objective of your faith? What result are you looking to achieve? This is God’s intention. This is also the problem that God’s work in the last days is looking to resolve. This is why God’s expression of these words is full of meaning. Very rich in meaning. In every stage of God’s work, how exactly the people’s faith in God is like and whether or not it is in accordance with God’s intentions, this is all made clear by these words. We all have our own reflections after seeing this. We see just how pitiful the faith of the people in the religious world really is. Now, can our faith actually fulfill God’s intentions? This depends on how we seek Him. God has expressed His truth to us. After we have read God’s words, we can say that we have a bit of understanding. However, does our faith actually possess this understanding of God? Can it bear witness for God? This is the problem that we face. This is the problem that we must resolve.
There are many people who have finished reading the truth that God has expressed in the last days. It seems like they understand a bit of the truth. They can even say, “Wow, I have obtained a lot.” However, are they able to bear witness for God? This is the issue. A lot of people feel perplexed and they say, “What does it mean to bear witness for God? We understand so much and we have obtained so much. Why can we not bear witness for God?” Let’s fellowship about it. Now, you say you understand a lot and that you have obtained a lot. What does bearing witness for God mean to you? What kind of witness have you borne? Is it easy to answer this question? Perhaps a lot of people, after hearing this, will not know how to respond. They will say, “Bear witness for God? From our perspective, bearing witness for God is being able to communicate the truth. It means being able to speak of a real understanding of God. It is being able to spread the gospel in order to bear witness for God. It is being able to obtain people. Isn’t this bearing witness for God?” Would you say that this is bearing witness for God? A lot of people can’t see this clearly. We don’t deny that there are some people who can give testimony, witness God’s work and communicate an understanding of witnessing what God has and is. Yet, can this witnessing be described as beautiful and vibrant? This is one issue. Another issue is, God does the work of cleansing and perfecting man. What result is He trying to achieve in the end? God is infusing us with all of His truth so that it becomes a part of our life. In the end, we will have been saved and be able to receive His promise. Is this it? “God’s objective is to save us so that we can receive His promise. Thus, we can enjoy God’s blessings.” Is it this simple? If you can’t understand this matter, then you don’t understand God’s intentions. From this piece of God’s word, we can understand one thing a little more clearly. God does His work through us. What is His objective? The objective is so that we can bear good witness for God. Now, why does God require this from us? God says, “for I have given you too much and much have you seen from Me. Therefore, I ask you to bear witness for Me as former saints have done, and this is My heart’s only desire.” These are God’s words. They have been spoken clearly. With these words, God explicitly makes clear His intentions and His expectations of us.
In the past, it seemed that people believed in the Lord Jesus just in order to obtain eternal life. They had some understanding about the Lord Jesus, “Jesus is the Lord of mercy, He is the Redeemer. It is the Lord Jesus that has forgiven our sins. It is the Lord Jesus that has saved us from Satan’s sin.” They acknowledged that Jesus is the Redeemer and He is the Son of God. Is this kind of faith in accordance with God’s intentions? This kind of faith is far lacking. However, at that stage, God didn’t ask too much of man because man did not have any understanding. They had just been redeemed from Satan’s domain. They couldn’t cast off their sin, they lived in the midst of sin every day. Every day they prayed to God. If they were not admitting to sin, they were begging. They were like children. That is why God did not ask too much from those that believed in the Lord. In the last days, Almighty God does the work of judgment. He has revealed all the mysteries as well as His management plan to rescue humanity. In the end, God clearly expresses why He needs to save man, what His desires for man are, and what His intentions are. If He has said all these and we still don’t understand God’s intentions, if we still can’t bear witness for God, then what is the problem? Is this not a deliberate sin? Is this not disgraceful? A lot of people say, “We have gained a lot. We understand a great deal of the truth.” Then why do you not fulfill your duties well? If you don’t fulfill your duties well, then are you actually bearing witness? Those that don’t fulfill their duty well, do they faithfully bear witness? These kinds of people believe that they understand many truths and have obtained a lot from believing in Almighty God. If this is the case, then why do they not fulfill their duties well? Why do they not put the truth into practice in fulfilling their duties? Why do they not fulfill their duties according to the principles? Why do they not love God and satisfy God’s heart when they fulfill their duties? What kind of issue is this? There are many people who have believed in Almighty God for many years, yet they don’t fulfill their duties. What kind of problem is this? If they don’t even fulfill their duties, how can they be expected to bear witness? They are completely unable to bear witness! On the other hand, even faithful service-doers can bear witness a little. They say, “Why do I have a faithful heart and am willing to serve? It is because God loves me. God has given me too much. If I am not willing to serve, then I do not have a conscience. If I am willing to serve but do not have a faithful heart, then I am not worthy to be called a man! I can’t ask for anything. I would be satisfied if I could repay God’s love with my faithful service.” Isn’t this witnessing? This is witnessing. If someone really doesn’t fulfill any of his duties, then can he bear witness? He absolutely has borne no witness. Some people will ask, “What does it mean to bear witness for God? Can it be that fulfilling one’s duties is bearing witness for God?” We will now fellowship about just what it means to bear witness for God.
Bearing witness for God, in practice, is taking our understanding of the truth that we experienced, our understanding of God and giving it to those that do not understand God. This is one aspect of bearing witness. Additionally, bearing witness, in and of itself, has another meaning. That is, we must live out the reality of the truth. We must make ourselves a bright and resounding testimony to God. Once we are able to live out the truth we understand, the result is that we will truly obey God and truly worship God. Therefore, bearing witness for God can accurately be summed up with two main points. Firstly, we must bear witness for God by spreading the gospel, communicating the truth and our understanding of God. Secondly, we must perform well our duty as God’s creation, and live out the reality of the truth of God’s words, in order to glorify God, satisfy God and thoroughly put Satan to shame. These two aspects are the most important. If you have these two aspects of witnessing, then your faith in God will include a beautiful and vibrant witnessing. If you only have one of them, for example, all you can do is bear witness to God by spreading the gospel, but you can’t live out the truth and God’s word, that is, you cannot fulfill your duties, can your witness be considered beautiful and vibrant? No, it can’t. So, if you can perform your duties well as God’s creation, truly live out the reality of the truth of God’s word, you can glorify and satisfy God in this way, then you can beautifully and vibrantly bear witness. Can you accept this? So what exactly is bearing witness for God? Is it clear now? Some people say, “According to what you just said, bearing witness is simple. We will just do all that we can to fulfill our duty and in this way, we are bearing witness.” Do these words make sense? Externally, it seems like what this person is saying is okay. However, adequately fulfilling your duties is not only dependent on your diligence. Is it enough if you only focus on fulfilling your duties? If all you do is work hard, is that enough? If you do not seek the truth, will you be able to fulfill your duties well? If you do not have true obedience to God, will you be able to fulfill your duties well? If you do not have a heart that loves God, that is considerate of God, are you able to fulfill your duties well? If you do not understand the truth and know God, then you can’t fulfill your duties well. Some people will also say, “My caliber is average, my understanding of the truth is shallow. However, I am able to obey the plans that God has arranged. What God’s family wants me to do, I will do. Whatever duty I am asked to fulfill, I will fulfill. I will do all this without any complaint.” Would this be considered fulfilling duties well? If you are like this, when an antichrist comes to deceive you, you will not be able to differentiate. You will follow the antichrist and do whatever the antichrist tells you to do. Is this kind of person able to fulfill their duties well? This person cannot. This person would also disturb the work of God’s family. If the antichrist starts disseminating his notions on the work of God, this person would listen, become negative and arbitrarily and rashly fulfill his duties. He can’t handle the disturbance and will end up being resigned to his backwardness. Is this adequately fulfilling one’s duties? If you fulfill your duties in this way, you are not devoted to God, you do not revere Him, you do not have any obedience. Fulfilling your duties in this way is considered resisting God. That is why it is said that fulfilling your duties involves principled action and living out the reality of the truth. You must have an understanding of the truth, and you must be able to put the truth into practice. Only in this way would your duties be fulfilled adequately. Only then will it have value. Only then will you have real results. Only then, will it become a form of real witnessing. Now, someone has said, “Does bearing witness for God only involve fulfilling one’s duty? If I do not fulfill my duties, then I cannot bear witness for God?” These are good questions to ask. Let’s say you do not fulfill your duties. When you encounter a trial, you pray to God and seek out God’s intentions. You stand your ground and you do not retreat. This is another form of bearing witness. If you do not fall during a trial, and you stand your ground, this indicates that God has mercy for you. However, if you are unable to fulfill your duties during normal circumstances, are you devoted to God? Are you obedient to God? Have you fulfilled God’s requests? It does not matter how well you handle your trials, if you are unable to fulfill your duties, this is, in essence, an extreme debt to God. I will give you an example. Suppose someone says she shows respect for her parents. However, she is busy with her own work and no matter what goes on with her parents, she never puts them first. At most, she just takes out a bit of money and gives it to them. Is this really respect? Of course not. You say you believe in God, yet you cannot even do the most basic things. You cannot complete the most basic request—fulfilling your duties as a creature. Yet, you say that you can bear witness in other areas. Would this witnessing be considered beautiful and vibrant? Do you think you can obtain God’s praises with this kind of witnessing? Are these matters important enough for you to seek the truth in them?
I know there are some people who do not fulfill their duties, and they have their own notions about my words “fulfilling one’s duties is the best way to witness.” They cannot fully accept. However, whether or not you accept, I still have to say these things. I still have to communicate and witness in this way. If you can accept this, then it is your good fortune. That means that you are smart. If you cannot accept this, it does not mean that what I am trying to communicate is not correct. I can guarantee that what I am communicating is in accordance with the words of God. I am witnessing God’s intentions, God’s requirements for man. Some people, they do not fulfill their duties but it does not mean that their character is corrupt. It also doesn’t mean that they are not seeking. We acknowledge that man has weakness. When man is in a harsh environment, there is weakness. However, no matter what is said, you are still afraid of the environment and you have a bit of cowardice. No matter what is said, your faith is too small, you cannot cast away everything. This is reality, nobody can deny this. God’s requirements for man is in accordance with man’s stature. God does not force man. If your stature is small, God will not ask too much of you. However, we must continue to seek the truth. We cannot believe in God for many years and still have a small stature. If you have believed in God for over a decade and still use your small stature as an excuse for not fulfilling your duties, can this be justified? This is unjustifiable. We will not debate these things. You must pray to God, seek and feel out God’s intentions on your own. Seek the truth, and you will be fine.
You cannot rely on your imagination to fulfill your duties, thinking, “I must go overseas to fulfill my duty. If I do not go overseas then I have not fulfilled my duties.” For example, we spread the gospel to our friends and family in a harsh environment. Are we able to do this? If you are afraid of spreading the gospel even to your friends and family, to the point where you hide the books of God’s word and do not read them, if your belief in God has been reduced to nothing more than praying to God when you encounter issues, does this kind of person have a faithful heart that is real? Isn’t this person’s faith just too pitiful? Some people say, “I am waiting for the collapse of the great red dragon. When there are no more persecutions and tribulations, I will faithfully believe. When my strength has grown, I will not lose it to anyone.” What use are these words? If the great red dragon collapses and right at that time a great disaster arrives, God will have already left the earth. What use will your strength be? It would be useless, the chance to bear witness would have already passed. At the time the great red dragon collapses, others will stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to God’s victory. You, on the other hand, when the great red dragon is ruling savagely, are hiding in a cave. You are like an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand. What kind of witnessing would you do then? When the great red dragon collapses, would you have the guts to stand out? You would have been humiliated and embarrassed. You cannot stand out. You cannot witness. Isn’t this the case? That is why witnessing has certain background requirements! Let me share a few proverbs with you: “Real gold fears no fire,” and “Adversity reveals a true heart.” This is real. When you interact with others, there is a saying that comes to mind: “Just as distance determines the stamina of a horse, so does time reveal a person’s true heart.” Under what conditions does someone’s true faith reveal itself? It reveals itself in harsh environments, when the great red dragon is frantically persecuting and suppressing God’s chosen people, that is when those with true faith reveal themselves. Look at the situation of the religious world right now. The great red dragon is persecuting house churches and snatching Christians, where are they? They are hiding. The great red dragon is persecuting Christians and cruelly suppressing the Church of Almighty God and they are on the side watching the commotion. They obey the party that is in power, their hearts do not obey the Lord. They believe that you are persecuted by the ruling Party and that is because you are not obeying God. If you dare oppose the political power, then you are sentencing yourself to chastisement. Can these kinds of believers obtain the Lord’s praises? They cannot. What about the Christians in the Church of Almighty God? In the midst of the great red dragon savagely resisting and condemning God, they take a stand in this harsh environment. They cast aside their family, they cast aside the world to follow God and fulfill their duties. In the course of fulfilling their duties, they have encountered countless dangers yet they, under God’s protection, still stand firm. They will persevere to the end, all the way until God’s work has concluded and the great disaster has fallen. They will then have a truly resounding kind of witnessing. Right now, there are still some people who are waiting for the collapse of the great red dragon before they start witnessing and fulfilling their duties. What kind of people are they? They are more or less unbelievers. They are more or less religious people, right?
The article of God’s words that we just read mentioned the concept of “faith.” Just what is real faith? During the Age of Law, how was the faith of the people like? During the Age of Grace, how did people believe in the Lord Jesus? What did they call the Lord Jesus? God has allowed all these facts to be exposed into the open. Do you understand God’s intentions? They let us know how people believed in God and what their understanding of God was like during the Age of Law. During the Age of Grace, many people believed in the Lord. They understood and treated the Lord Jesus in this way. Many people called the Lord Jesus merciful Lord Jesus. Many people also called the Lord Jesus “teacher,” or “sir” and there were people who even called Him the “great prophet” or the “great physician.” This is how they witnessed the Lord Jesus during the Age of Grace. This is how they understood and addressed the Lord Jesus after believing for so many years. Do you think that this made the Lord very disappointed? If you have believed in God for many years and you do not have a real understanding of God and then you say such ignorant things, can you say that your witnessing is real? Not only were they lacking in genuine witnessing, but what were these muddled words that they were saying? They brought dishonor to God! That is why if believers in God are not able to achieve a real understanding of God and fulfill their duties, then not only would they not be able to bear witness, they also dishonor God. They bring shame to God and make themselves a laughingstock to Satan. Now, would God bless this kind of person? They would not receive any blessings. They are not qualified to receive God’s inheritance! So, if past generations of believers believed to the very end and still did not have any real understanding of God and all they could do was call God the Lord of redemption, the great doctor, teacher, the Lord Jesus of love and mercy, could this kind of person gain God’s approval? Why can’t they be approved by God? Because they do not have the slightest understanding of God. Can the people who do not have the slightest understanding of God bear a true witness? They can’t. That is why no matter how many years people in the Age of Grace believe in the Lord, if they do not understand the Lord, then they cannot gain the Lord’s approval. They will be eliminated. What does the Lord say to those that get eliminated? “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). In other words, the Lord does not acknowledge that such a person believes in Him, He does not acknowledge that they are His people. Some people say, “He does not have any understanding of God, he does not fulfill his duties and as a result, God eliminates him. If someone similarly does not have an understanding of the Lord but passionately puts in effort to work for Him, can he gain the Lord’s approval?” He cannot. This is because if he does not understand the Lord, all that he does is not for the Lord, but rather it is done for himself. Paul’s situation is similar. Paul toiled only for the crown of righteousness, he did not do work out of a love for the Lord or to satisfy the Lord. Moreover he did not carry out the Lord’s will. As a result, no matter how much he toiled, what price he paid, none of what he did could bear witness for the Lord. It only bore witness for himself. It was only for gaining blessing for himself and as such, all that he did was futile. So, now that we’ve touched upon this, what exactly is witnessing? “Witnessing is toiling, it is paying a good price, a real price, even a price of blood, this is witnessing.” Are these words correct? Why are these words incorrect? Can you clarify? There are some people who are afraid of me asking, “For what reason?” They are afraid of being asked, “For what reason?” Yet, I still ask, “For what reason?” So, what do I mean by this? It is to help you seek the truth. If I do not ask, then you would be unable to seek the truth. If I do not ask you this, and you can understand the truth, then I would not ask. Would you say that it’s okay if I do not ask? To ask is to seek reality. To ask is to get to the bottom of things. To ask is to seek the truth. That is why when I ask this, those that love the truth will start to ponder and they say, “Oh, right, for what reason? Let me think clearly about this. I need to read over some of God’s words. I need to put some effort into pondering over this carefully. This situation, the root of this, ‘for what reason,’ I must answer this carefully.” By making a bit of effort in this way, you might be able to obtain some results. If you can obtain some results, then my questioning has played a role. Your thoughts on this matter have not been in vain either, am I right?
If someone does not have a real understanding of God, then does what they do have any value? It won’t have much value at all, and what they do cannot be called authentic witnessing. If someone does everything they can to seek the truth as they are fulfilling their duties, gradually, they will achieve an understanding of God’s disposition and God’s salvation. What kind of results will they reap? Their intentions for fulfilling their duties will become more and more pure and in line with God’s will. The day that they can suffer faithfully to fulfill their duties, then the fulfillment of their duties will become a bright witness. You can see that when someone starts to fulfill their duties, they rely on their enthusiasm. They have cast away and abandoned everything else and they start to make an effort for God. Before, they would earn money to feed their families eight hours a day. Now, each day, for 8 to 10 hours, they fulfill their duties as one of God’s creations in order to obey and satisfy God. This is how they fulfill their duties. In the beginning, they would encounter all sorts of trials and temptations. They start getting negative and weak. They encounter failures and they fall down. However, they use God’s words as support and fuel to get back up. Their negativity is transformed into perseverance. Their perfunctoriness turns into faithfulness. At this point, the state, quality and substance of their fulfillment of their duty has improved, has it not? They say, “The first year I started fulfilling my duties, I relied on my enthusiasm. The second year, I experienced some dealing and pruning. Afterward, I started to understand the truth. I could see that before, I had fallen short of God’s grace. I had no conscience. Now I can finally see God’s loveliness! For the lovely God, for the sake of His love for me, I must fulfill my duties. If I do not fulfill my duties, I will be too ashamed to live, I would be inhuman.” Oh, why does it seem like this person has changed in the second year of fulfilling duties? Why is it different when compared with the first year? What is this situation? You have God’s blessing if you fulfill your duties in this way. It prepares you to encounter dealing and pruning and refinement and trials. Afterward, the Holy Spirit will enlighten you to understand God’s words, understand the truth. Your heart will change each day. The more it changes, the more of an understanding you will have of God. The more it changes, the more you will care for God. The more it changes, the more you will love God and obey God. Along with the continuous transformation in your life disposition, you will start to develop devotion and obedience to God as you fulfill your duties. You will learn to be considerate of God’s intentions. You will be able to seek the truth when you encounter issues. When you understand the truth, you will also be able to put it into practice. In this way, the results of fulfilling your duties will get better and better. The way you fulfill your duties will become more principled. Fulfilling your duties reveals your devotion and obedience to God. It lets others see that you are truly considerate of God’s intentions. It also lets others see that you are someone who truly loves God. You do not have to say, “God, I must love you. If I do not love you, I am not a human being.” As you fulfill your duties, will other people be able to see these words emanating from inside your heart? Even if your mouth does not say it, will they be able to see it? Of course. You can see what is inside some people’s hearts. They go through real labor and action to attain these things. People can see this. “The way he fulfills his duty is different from us. When we do things, we do things half-heartedly. Look, he does not do things half-heartedly. He maintains his principles and is not controlled by others. Oh, what is going on in this person’s heart? Ah, let me investigate. This person, his heart loves God. I can see it. This person is devoted to God. No matter what duties this person fulfills, he seeks the truth. This person’s heart is one with God’s. No matter what, he stands by God’s side.” If this person obeys God by fulfilling his duties in this manner, loves God, satisfies God, people can see this. Is this not authentic witnessing? This is witnessing!
Would you say that it is possible for people to live out the image of someone who loves God? Is it possible to express one’s obedience and devotion to God through fulfilling one’s duties? Yes, this is real. This is not empty reasoning! We see how some people respect their parents. How do they respect them? They do not say things that are pleasant to hear such as, “Mama, I love you. Papa, I love you.” Instead they show their love through concrete action. They do the things that matter. They understand what their parents want in their hearts, what their needs and desires are. When their mother or father is in need, they will be there to make sure their needs are satisfied. If they know what to do for their parents, would you say they would know what to do for God? As long as you have a heart that loves God, you will be able to do it, wouldn’t you say this is the case? Someone said, “If I show my devotion and obedience to God in the course of fulfilling my duties, or if I let others see that I have a heart that loves God, I am afraid that there will be some people who will ridicule, dishonor, attack or criticize me.” What kind of issue is this? Their love for God is not real, it is not strong enough. Would a heart that truly loves God be constrained by these things? If a person criticizes, speaks sarcastically about, attacks or rejects a believer with a heart that truly loves God, what kind of person is this? They are indeed satanic demons! “If I do things based on my love for God and desire to satisfy God, yet I still encounter Satan’s ridicule and mockery, then it is even more urgent that I humiliate Satan.” This is what it means to have a heart that truly loves God! We cannot be constrained by satanic demons, right? When real brothers and sisters, God’s chosen people, see this, they say, “Oh, this person loves God more than we do, this person is more obedient to God than we are. Look at how much stronger this person’s devotion to God is compared to ours. We simply go through the motions. I feel ashamed! We must quickly catch up, we cannot be inferior. If he loves God, then I will also love God. If he is obedient and devoted, then I will also be obedient and devoted.” This is what true brothers and sisters should say, this is what a person with a conscience should say! We can see clearly now. Those who criticize and attack believers who are devoted to God, suffer and pay the price while fulfilling their duties are satanic demons. How should we deal with these people? Abandon them, point them out: “Satanic demons have come out. Their true nature has been revealed.” You can see that satanic demons are jealous of those who put into practice their love for God and obey God. These demons say critical things about these believers, they attack them, exclude them and become their enemies. We must get rid of these satanic demons, let them return to the world. The world is where they live, it is their nest. It is better that they return to the world. They should not stay in the church. Their lives are not worthy for the church. God’s family wields the power of the truth. How can we let satanic demons constrain and affect people from believing in God, loving God, and obeying God? Are you clear on these things? If you see these things clearly, then just focus on seeking the truth. Do not be afraid of our enemies. Do not be afraid of the demons’ ridicule and mockery. Whoever attacks those that truly obey and love God, the church leaders and workers must stand up to them, expose Satan’s schemes, and crush the satanic demons under their feet. Is it right to do this? Look at the satanic demons frantically tyrannizing the world. It is impossible for them to stand up in God’s family. They wouldn’t stand a chance. If one pops up, expel him. If one pops up, take care of him according to principles. The church leaders and workers should support, encourage and protect those that put the truth into practice and love and obey God. If evil people show up and judge and convict those that put the truth into practice, how should we address them? Expose them. After they are exposed, thoroughly discredit them so that everyone else can discern who they are. Let them turn into a rat that crosses the street, chased by everyone. Afterward, get rid of them. This is the proper way to deal with them, make sure you understand!
When God’s chosen people bear witness for Him, that is the most honorable situation! Before, people also felt, “I can believe in the practical God, this is a great honor.” What do you think of these words? Is it perfect? This person’s stature was too small. Now, what should be said? To be able to witness the practical God is man’s greatest honor. What about these words? Someone said, “It’s a pity that even though I have believed in God for many years, I still cannot bear witness for Him. My life has been in vain!” Some people have started to lament in this way. “I have believed for 20, 30 years. I do not know what it means to bear witness for God. All I know is that I believe in order to be blessed and enter the kingdom of heaven.” What do you think of this kind of faith? Does this faith make you feel sick? What do God’s words tell us of this kind of faith? “Their views of belief in God, if spoken out, are practically intolerable to ears.” What is the meaning of “intolerable to ears”? This means they are unable to stand before God. They bring shame to God. God does not accept this! It dishonors God, it is unbearable to listen to. It is not the words of a human being. It is extremely selfish and despicable! God wants to bestow blessings on you. Yet, you are not considerate of God’s desires in the slightest. You are unable to bear witness for God. Even if God bestows you with blessings, His heart will be discomforted and feel imbalanced. Are you not a burden on God? Are you not? God would not do this anyways, so these requests are truly unbearable to listen to. They disgust God! This point of view about faith in God is incorrect. You cannot bear witness for God! If you have these contemptible thoughts and can say these contemptible words, then your faith must truly be pitiful. Your faith is not congruent with God’s requests.
Now that we have finished talking about all this, just what is the objective of your faith? Can you say something that is pleasant to hear? Once God hears this, He would think, “These words are correct, these are the words of a true believer.” These results would be fine. Tell me. Do you have anything to say? This is not a simple matter. These words should not be purely theoretical. They should be based on your experience and understanding. If you do not have experience, then you would not be able to say something that is pleasant to hear, unless you copy someone else’s words. Today, everyone here acknowledges that we have received so much from Almighty God’s work in the last days. Now, what can we do when we have received so much? Some people are happy and jump for joy because they have received so much. They have joyful dreams and wake up in the middle of the night, “This is great, my faith is correct. Look at my aunts, they still believe in Lord Jesus. How silly. I am so much smarter than they are.” What do you think of these words? Well, you cannot say that these words are incorrect. However, when you are happy, are you able to be attentive to God’s desires? Will you say, “I still have not been able to adequately bear witness for God. I have fallen short of God”? Or will you only be happy and celebrate for yourself? Isn’t this selfish and contemptible? That is why when you see the pitiful situation of those in the religious world that believe in Lord Jesus, you should think to yourself, “God loves me so much. God loves me this much, now what have I done for God? Have I adequately fulfilled my duties? I have not fulfilled my duties well. I am not worthy to receive God’s great salvation! I have fallen short of God.” Once you have reached this point, you feel that you are indebted to God. As a result, you develop a resolve to improve, “I must fulfill more of my duties. I must fulfill all the duties that I am able to fulfill. I must give my best effort to fulfill my duties so that I can repay God’s love!” If you have this kind of resolve, then your faith has met the standard. It is very important to fulfill your duties! Why is fulfilling your duties important? Fulfilling your duties, in essence, is bearing witness for God! When non-believers see you, they will exclaim, “Why are these people different in the way they believe in God? They are different from those that believe in the Lord. They toil for God every day without expecting any kind of reward. Yet, their strength is so great. What is this? How can this be explained? Why can I not understand this? This is a mystery. Since the creation of the world, I have not seen people like this.” Once they understand, they say, “Oh, they have faith because they understand these truths. They have an understanding of God. That is why they place fulfilling duties as one of God’s creations above all else. They believe that fulfilling their duties is repaying God’s love. As a result, they are bearing witness for God. Moreover, they believe that you absolutely must fulfill your duties as one of God’s creations in order to satisfy God. Otherwise, you are not worthy to be called a human being. This is their life perspective and value system.” Now, is this way of fulfilling duties witnessing? It has become a form of witnessing. Afterward, they investigate a little more and then they say, “The Chinese Communist Party has persecuted, repressed and harmed them. Yet they still have this kind of faith. They still show devotion to God through the fulfillment of their duties. Oh, these people are not ordinary people. The Chinese Communist Party cruelly and savagely suppress them, yet they have not fallen down. They still stand firm with resolve. These people’s fulfillment of their duties is truly witnessing. They are truly bearing witness for God!” Many brothers and sisters have experienced such severe dealing and pruning. Some have even caused other brothers and sisters to hate, loathe and abandon them. Yet, they have not fallen. Instead, relentlessly, they reflect upon themselves. They acknowledge that all they do is improper and they pray to God and try to feel out His desires. They are truly repentant. They do not become negative nor fall down. Moreover, they do not write themselves off. Despite all this, they are still able to stand up and diligently fulfill their duties. Have these people experienced a change in their life dispositions? They have truly gone through a change. That is why fulfilling one’s duty is experiencing God’s work. Fulfilling one’s duty is receiving God’s cleansing, salvation and perfection! Who has not felt negative after encountering judgment and chastisement, refinement and trials, or dealing and pruning? Who has not experienced weakness? We have all complained at one point or another, but God takes pity on us. He supports and guides us in secret. He does not abandon us. Can you see from this how much God loves us? Can you see how much He blesses us? Can you see how real His blessing is? Many people can see this. They say, “If I rely on myself, I cannot stay standing! I do not have any conscience or reason. I am also inattentive to God’s heart. The only reason why I have been able to follow God until now is because of God’s grace and mercy! I have nothing left to say.”
What can you see from these experiences? Who can tell me what the key point is? What have you seen in these past couple of years that you have been part of God’s family fulfilling your duties? What is your most solid and true understanding of God? Can you tell me? God has said the following, “If you truly expend yourself for Me, I will surely greatly bless you.” If you can cast away your family and the world, fulfill your duties and follow God, then you are truly expending yourself for Him. Are you able to see that God has greatly blessed those that truly expend themselves for Him? God has greatly blessed them. What does God mean when He says “greatly bless”? It means that He will specifically bestow His blessings upon an individual. Do you understand God’s desires? You can see that the people who are fulfilling their duties are toiling very hard, but each of their faces is glowing with color. Is this not God’s blessing? Each day, they smile more and more. They are no longer distressed or anxious. Moreover, they do not cry anymore. Is this not God’s blessing? Additionally, in the depth of their heart, they have an increasingly normal relationship with God. It is like they are getting closer and closer with God. It is almost like they are face to face with God. Although they cannot see God’s countenance, it is clear that they can feel God protecting them. They can feel that, no matter what happens, He is with them and blesses them. He helps them on their way. He uses all kinds of methods to guide His chosen people forward. From here, they can see God’s hand, His arm, and His deeds. They can see God’s Spirit personally influences things around them.
Some religious people ask, “Have you really seen God? Do you really believe in God?” These people will say, “We believe in God, the one true God who created the heavens and the earth and all that lies in between. He is the Creator, this is absolutely true! No matter what anyone says, we cannot be swayed. This is our true faith.” Once you have this kind of faith, then the fulfillment of your duty will have met the standard and become what is known as witnessing. What does fulfilling your duty and a solid faith have in common? They are very much related. So, how is fulfilling your duty related to having a solid faith? What level has the fulfillment of your duty reached, and is it after God’s heart? Does this have a direct relationship with whether your faith is after God’s heart? As your faith grows, the ability to fulfill your duty improves continuously. Once your faith is in congruence with God’s requirements, so shall the fulfillment of your duty. If your faith is not up to standard, then the fulfillment of your duty will also be sub par. Whatever level your faith is at, the fulfillment of your duty will also be at that level as well. They are one and the same! The quality and results of our performing duties is the same as the degree to which we understand God. Whatever level our understanding of God reaches, our faith will also be at that level. What level did Job’s faith reach? Is the level of his faith equivalent to his ability to bear witness? How was Job’s witness like? “… Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). This verse is quite powerful. The average person would not be able to utter this verse. Job’s faith had reached this level. That is why his witnessing had also reached the same level. What do I mean when I say this? I mean that we must have a true faith in God. What is a true faith alluding at? It is indicating that you must have a true understanding as well. If your faith always stops short at the boundary of acknowledging God, then your faith is not up to par. If your faith is not up to par, then the things you do are not bearing witness. If your faith is up to standard, then your witnessing would definitely be up to standard as well. The greater your faith is, the greater your witnessing will also be. There will be no difference at all.
In this article of God’s words, God uses the people’s understanding of the Lord Jesus during the Age of Grace as an example. What is God’s intention? Listening to the people’s description and assessment of the Lord Jesus, God felt disappointed and disillusioned! The Lord Jesus communicated so much and did so many things, yet in the end, they achieved this level kind of witnessing. It can’t be justified. The people who believe in the Lord during the Age of Grace, when they face Almighty God’s work during the last days, when they encounter the truths Almighty God expresses today, they are still able to say so many judgmental things. Is this not doing evil? This is doing evil! Are they worthy enough to be called Christians? God has said this once before: We believe in God. These people also say they believe in God. When we get together with them, there is a feeling of disgrace. They say that they are also Christians, but when I hear this, I feel disgusted. I would not even look at them. They are not worthy to be called Christians. This is what God meant. When I say this, perhaps there are some people who are aware of what I am saying, “Even though today, we believe in Almighty God, if we do not have a true understanding of God, then wouldn’t Almighty God also have this kind of attitude toward us?” Wouldn’t you say this is the case? This is the case. Do some people still wonder whether they can see God? Fulfill your duty properly first. Once you fulfill your duty appropriately, perhaps God will be willing to see you. Without any truth, the fulfillment of your duty is not up to standard. If you cannot fulfill your duty up to standard, then is your moral character up to standard? If there is not one good thing about the way you fulfill your duty, it does not matter how great other people say your moral character is, you are foolish and ignorant. Isn’t this the case? Even if you do not understand the truth, you must have a common language with God. You must be able to say something in line with the truth. You must be able to communicate a true understanding. Once God starts questioning you, or communicating something to you, your expression and tone will be correct and devout. It will also have a normal humanity and sense to it. God will be satisfied and say that this person is in touch with Him. This person can talk with Him. Most people, once they come in contact with God, they cannot communicate with Him. Their expression and tone are incorrect. “This person is not right. This person is a demon, an unbeliever. He has nothing.” God does not like them. Whether or not your faith is up to standard, would you say that this is important? Whether or not a person’s faith is up to standard is related to whether or not the fulfillment of their duty is up to standard. It is connected to whether or not they belong to God and whether or not they can obtain God’s approval. Therefore, whether or not a person’s faith is up to standard is extremely important. If those that believe in Jesus only acknowledge that Jesus is the greatest physician, is this up to standard? It is way below standard. If they only call Jesus the merciful Savior, is this up to standard? If they only call Jesus the Son of God, is this up to standard? If they only call Jesus the greatest of prophets, is this up to standard? This is definitely not up to standard. If you believe in the Lord Jesus, first, you must acknowledge that the Lord Jesus is God Himself. Second, you must acknowledge the Lord Jesus is the truth, the way and the life. If you can acknowledge these two things, then your faith is up to standard. If someone can witness in this way, would you say that they can adequately fulfill their duty and be faithful to the Lord Jesus? Of course they can. If they can truly acknowledge that Jesus is the truth, the way, the life and the Savior, then they truly obey Him. They have reverence in their hearts and can adequately fulfill their duty. Now, if you look at things this way, are a person’s faith and a person’s actions related? Are a person’s faith and the fulfillment of their duty related? Are a person’s faith and the authenticity of their witnessing related? They are all related. Now, if a person can fulfill their duty but does not seek the truth, is their faith up to standard? They are unable to have a true faith. If you do not seek the truth, no matter what you do, you will not be able to fulfill your duty adequately. If you are unable to fulfill your duty, then you do not have any reality of the truth!
Now, just what is “the reality of the truth”? Does it have anything to do with man fulfilling his duty? Have you seen this clearly? Where is man’s reality of the truth expressed? The key thing is that it is expressed through the fulfillment of his duty. Whether or not you can obey God can be seen in the fulfillment of your duty. Whether or not you can love God can be seen in the fulfillment of your duty. Whether or not you have the reality of the truth, whether or not you can witness for God, all these things can be seen in the fulfillment of your duty. In the end, man’s faith, all that man does is determined and examined based on the fulfillment of his duty. Someone said, “I do not fulfill my duty, yet I am a person that obeys God.” Is this statement correct? Someone said, “I do not fulfill my duty, but I keep the true way and I have not abandoned God.” Is this statement correct? Another person said, “I have not fulfilled my duty, yet I am devoted to God. In the end, I have not left God.” Is this statement correct? It does not matter what people say, there are a lot of these kinds of people. If your faith is built upon these kinds of perspectives, in the end, will you be able to obtain God’s approval? Would you say that this is uncertain? If you base your notions and imaginings on an uncertainty, a gamble, in the end, will you be able to obtain God’s approval? Will you be able to enter the kingdom? Isn’t this course of action absurd? A true faith is based on God’s words! Do not base it on your own notions and imaginings. In the end, relying on your own notions and imaginings puts you on a shortcut to hell. The Pharisees relied on their own notions and imaginings and opposed the Lord Jesus. The result was they opened wide the gates of hell and fell in. In the last days, many religious leaders followed their own notions and imaginings and they resisted and opposed Almighty God. They nailed God to the cross again. The result is they have opened wide the gates of hell and fallen in. As you can see, relying on your own notions and imaginings to do things is a very dangerous matter, is it not? Some people think that it must be very simple. They say, “I believe in Almighty God, I am certain that Almighty God is God incarnate. All the words He expresses are God’s words. It is God’s voice. It is the truth. I will be unflinching in this situation. That is why I will guard the name of Almighty God. I will not sin, I will not commit adultery. I will also not steal the offerings. Moreover, I will not fight others for power. I will persevere to the very end, and I’m sure I can enter the kingdom.” Are these words tenable? If this person really has not committed these three sins and they never forsake the name of Almighty God, are they able to enter the kingdom? Now, does the way they say things represent their faith? These words represent their faith. This is how they believe, this is the type of faith that they have. This kind of faith is absolutely not up to standard.
What proof is there for genuine faith? What kinds of words can provide the most suitable expression? We just read God’s words. God reviewed one after the other the knowledge that people who believed in the Lord in the Age of Grace had of the Lord, their ideas and views of the Lord Jesus. What they said left God chilled and dismayed. This was sufficient to prove that their faith in the Lord was below standard. So, for today is our faith in Almighty God really up to standard? How do you see Almighty God? Someone said, “Almighty God is the Christ of the last days, and is God incarnate.” Is going with just these two sayings enough? No. How would you say it? Someone asks, “What kind of God is this Almighty God you believe in?” How you answer them involves the witness you bear. What kind of witness are you bearing, really? If your witness is true knowledge of God, then these words of yours are a true witness. If your words lack knowledge of God, then you are not bearing witness. If what you say is not testimony, then is the duty you perform that of witnessing? This is not witnessing. Some say, “We have left our families and professions to follow God, to fulfill our duty to God. If that isn’t bearing witness, then what is?” That is making many years of effort, and doing many years of service. Why would I say this? Because you do not know God, just this one phrase. Because you lack knowledge of God, your intention in fulfilling your duty is wrong. It is for receiving blessings, for obtaining a reward, so your performing this duty is not up to standard. You are not witnessing God, but rather have an intention and objective to make a transaction. Some people cannot see through this matter. “I put no small amount of effort into performing my duty. I sweated as much as you did. I paid as high a price as you did. How is it that yours is performance of duty, but mine is just doing service? Is this fair?” When the time comes, not a few people will think this way. Not to mention that there will be many thereafter. Are there any now? Then I will now have you say for yourselves, if you think, “I am adequately performing my duty,” if you have such confidence, raise your hand. Would you? If you say that all of the effort you are making is simply doing service, if you really think that, raise your hand. So tell me, why do you say that when you perform your duty it is doing service? Some say, “There are many times where I do not understand the truth, and don’t follow God’s will and the principle to do my duty, so it just counts as doing service.” It’s merely because you don’t understand the truth and the principles of performing your duty, and then you say it’s doing service. Can you use this talk to persuade yourself? What you say needs to be able to be built on thorough conviction. Is there any other explanation? One that can make your heart follow it? Has anyone said this: “I am not sincerely spending effort for God. I am just trying to obtain blessings. Actually, in my pursuit, I have not arrived at genuine knowledge of God’s love and salvation. I don’t have a heart for truly loving God, so what I have spent and paid is simply for obtaining blessings. Based on this fact, I can conclude that my fulfilling duties is just doing service.” If this is how someone puts it, then this says everything about how his doing his duty is in essence doing service.
So, how would you say this problem should be solved? You say, “I don’t want to be a service-doer. I just want to be someone truly obedient to God, to do the duty as part of creation, as a qualified creature, to be a true person.” To transform your service into true performance of your duty, how can this be brought about? Do you know the way? Some people say, “Then just pursue the truth. Gradually arrive at knowledge of God. Isn’t my performance of duty naturally qualified?” Many people agree with what I am saying. To solve this problem, you must recognize that with the intent to receive blessings, your spending for God is just doing service. Loyally performing one’s duty is done willingly, and willingly performing one’s own duty as a member of creation to satisfy the Creator is heaven’s law and earth’s principle. He has this kind of knowledge, and his performance of duty is not a transaction. It is not performing his duty in order to obtain blessings. Rather, it is to do the duty of a member of creation, and to satisfy the Creator. “I would not willingly perform my duty otherwise. If I did my duty otherwise, I would be inhuman, unworthy of life, thus I am happy and in high spirits to do my duty this way!” Only people with this kind of knowledge are truly human, truly part of creation!
Would you say that people who love God have something to do with people of normal humanity? People of normal humanity have reason and conscience. Once they understand the truth, they can arrive at knowledge of God. These kinds of people naturally develops a heart that loves God, submits to God, and reveres God. Thus his performance of duty is definitely up to standard. You see people are all loyally doing their duty, happy to do their duty. One day when the trials arrive, and death arrives, threatening your life, what would you be able to say? What is in your heart? If you do not feel regret at that time, you may say, “I won’t have regrets even after I die. In the end, I have done a bit of the duty of a member of creation. All things considered, I can count as having been what a person should be, having been a real person. However God treats me is righteous. I only blame myself for being so disobedient and resistant to God in the past.” How would it be to say this kind of thing? Can achieving satisfactory performance of duty be done with just talk? It’s not what you say; it’s what you do. You merely loyally perform your duty and it’s insufficient, so in the end it must be proved through a test. What test did Abraham undergo? God was not very demanding of him. “I gave you one son. Present him as a sacrifice to Me, and I will approve you.” He did make such an offering, so God blessed him. For Job, he always feared God and shunned evil, but then God took everything of his away. For this, he stood witness. God appeared to him, spoke to him, and blessed him. Peter’s love for God was genuine. When it came time to a trial, he was seized, and in the end he was nailed upside down to the cross, bearing witness. These people were all confirmed through tests. They were people who knew God, feared God and shunned evil, and genuinely believed in God. Thus, God’s blessing and His promise are not given casually. We must be tested! Has your testimony and performance of duty been tested? If not, that is unacceptable. One day the time will come, and we will see!
In this article of God’s words, there’s this passage: “Now I am only doing the work that is My duty to do; I will bind all the wheat in bundles, together along with those tares. This is My work now. These tares shall all be winnowed out in the time of My winnowing, then the grains of wheat shall be gathered into the storehouse, and those tares that have been winnowed out shall be placed in the fire to be burned to dust. My work now is merely to bind all men into bundles, that is, to completely conquer them. Then shall I begin winnowing to reveal the end of all men. So you ought to know how you should satisfy Me now and how you ought to set upon the right track in your faith in Me. What I seek is your loyalty and obedience now, your love and testimony now. Even if you do not know at this moment what testimony is or what love is, you should bring to Me your all, and turn over to Me the only treasures you have: your loyalty and obedience. You should know, the testament to My defeat of Satan lies within the loyalty and obedience of man, as does the testament to My complete conquest of man. The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness for Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end. Before I begin the next step of My work, how will you bear witness for Me? How will you be loyal and obedient to Me? Do you devote all your loyalty to your function or will you simply give up? Would you rather submit to My every arrangement (be it death or destruction) or flee midway to avoid My chastisement? I chastise you so that you will bear Me witness, and be loyal and obedient to Me. Also, the chastisement at present is to unfold the next step of My work and to allow the work to come to progress unimpeded. Hence I exhort you to be wise and treat not your life or the significance of your existence as worthless sand. Can you know exactly what My work to come will be? Do you know how I will work in days to come and how My work will unfold? You should know the significance of your experience of My work, and furthermore, the significance of your faith in Me. I have done so much; how could I give up halfway as you imagine? I have done such extensive work; how could I destroy it? Indeed, I have come to bring this age to an end. This is true, but moreover you must know that I am to begin a new age, to begin new work, and, most of all, to spread the gospel of the kingdom. So you should know that the work now is only to begin an age, and to lay the foundation for spreading the gospel and bringing the age to an end in time to come. My work is not so simple as you think, nor is it as worthless or meaningless as you may believe. Therefore, I tell you as before: You ought to give your life to My work, and moreover, you ought to devote yourself to My glory. Further, your bearing Me witness is that which I have long awaited, and even more so have I yearned for you to spread My gospel. You ought to understand what is in My heart.”
This passage expresses very earnestly and clearly what God demands of mankind, and what God’s purpose is. How should we care for God’s heart? Isn’t this what people should ponder? People nowadays have some understanding of the work of God, but can we see God’s next step and how He then goes on? The work of God is proceeding step by step, and it is extensive; no one can fully see through it. Since we cannot see through it, what should we do? To honestly obey God’s arrangement, and do your duty well according to the requirements of God. You just need to see God’s guidance in the performance of your duty, how God cleanses you, and ultimately perfects you, until you grasp the truth, obtain life, until you can do your duty well for God. In short, God makes us complete in order to lay a foundation for the next step of His work. Formerly many of those preaching the gospel saw what God had entrusted, knowing how we should accept what God has entrusted to us, and complete our own mission, so then what will God do next? Formerly we spoke of the great disasters to come, destroying the old age, and God will surely do this in the next step—is this all? Some say, “I don’t think of those things. I wish God would destroy the great red dragon, and get revenge for me.” What about this? Does it have any significance? Well, it’s all right for a small child to say this, but an adult should not say it. Some say, “I look forward to family reunion. If the great red dragon isn’t destroyed, how can my reunion with my parents realize?” You just think this way. Have you ever thought of God’s will? Can you do anything for God? Now we all see clearly a fact that if we do not have the truth when we perform our duties, then it is truly difficult to achieve results, and it seems that if people don’t strive for truth, it really won’t be easy to do their duty up to the standard. Doing one’s duty up to the standard is really not a simple thing. Is this clear? After perceiving this, what do we do? Some people say, “How come I can’t do anything right? I’m really hopeless. How come I didn’t feel that I was hopeless until now? Oh, seeking the truth is so crucial! For a person without truth, good caliber and brain, no matter how superior, are of no use, they’re just like an empty shell”—can’t you see this point clearly? So conscientiously seeking the truth is of the utmost priority, and it’s extremely important to strive to achieve being perfected by God and attaining the truth in doing our duty.
Now is the key moment to expand the gospel of the kingdom. If people continue without arming themselves well with the truth, there will be no value in their doing duty. By the time the great red dragon collapses, if you do not genuinely bear witness, then you’ll just have exerted yourself, it will be no more than exertion, just having done service. At this time, if people seek the truth hard, the expansion of the gospel will be increasingly effective, it will attract more and more people, the performance of duty will be increasingly good, increasingly effective, and some will say: “The number of hits on my video have shot up rapidly, more and more people are watching it, and these people are looking into the true way because they have seen this video.” Some people sing, and the songs are sung better and better, they move people, moving them to tears. As soon as they hear the song they understand God’s word, and as soon as they hear the word of God sung, they get to know God, just as if they are coming face to face with God. Isn’t this testimony? Some people, when they see God’s chosen people dance, their hearts are happy, and they want to get up and dance too, to praise God, so this dance reaches the standard of doing one’s duty and it moves people so much! The scripts some people write move the audience, and as soon as the audience sees the film, “Oh, this is the true way, this is true testimony!” Look, when your duty is done with such effect, you can bear witness to God, glorify God, and take people before God, isn’t this doing one’s duty up to the standard? By fulfilling one’s duty up to the standard, you are able to achieve the results of bearing witness to God and glorifying God, able to bring people into God’s presence, get them to look into the true way, and accept God’s work through films and all sorts of videos. If these duties that we fulfill actually are able to achieve these results, achieve glorifying God, then aren’t the duties we’ve fulfilled beautifully resonant testimony? If the duties we’ve fulfilled are beautifully resonant testimony, then our belief measures up fully, and we deserve to win God’s approval, and receive God’s inheritance. So then, is seeking truth now important? It is all too important! Some people run into difficulties carrying out their duties: “The demands for carrying out duty are too high, and I don’t understand them at all. How can I fulfill these?” He says, “This is too hard, I have never studied that at all, but you still want me to do my duty well. Isn’t this pushing me beyond my ability?” How about that? It’s true, some people have this feeling, but we should not forget the word of God, that all things impossible for humankind can be done by God. God is the almighty God, and the name of the God in whom we believe is Almighty God.
When Noah made the ark, had he been apprenticed? Noah had never studied at a shipbuilding academy, he had never read a manual, he just relied on God. He prayed to God, and God made him understand. “The ark is to be built in this way. God seems to give instruction, specifying the measurements.” At the time these words were carved into his mind, and he remembered them. And inside it seemed that the more he considered it, the clearer it was, increasingly clear, and eventually the outline of the ark appeared. As it appeared, he had the plan in his mind, “I have the ark in my mind, I know how to do it. All right, I’ll start doing it.” So he started doing it. Wasn’t this the guidance of God? At that time God had just finished telling Noah, “You must build an ark, and when you have finished building the ark I will send down a disaster, a great flood, and destroy the earth.” And Noah considered, “Building an ark is something I have not studied. I don’t know how to build an ark; I don’t even know what shape an ark should be.” At that time wasn’t Noah in this situation? Do we hear that Noah was dissatisfied with God? Did he say, “You have made it so hard for me, something completely impossible in fact? I, Noah, am virtually a farmer, how could I build an ark, I haven’t read a manual!” Noah didn’t say this, but what did he think? “This is a revelation from God! A revelation from God makes me build an ark, and certainly God will guide me, God will enlighten and illuminate me, God will make my mind produce the plans for an ark, and the way to do it; I will pray to God, rely on God. It is true, God is almighty.” Noah certainly would have prayed like this. He prayed: “Oh God, I have never built an ark, nor do I have that kind of knowledge. I am powerless, but You are the almighty God, and since You have told me to build the ark, You must guide me and You must instruct me.” And in this prayer, his heart immediately felt, “So it is, God is omnipotent, God will certainly guide me, say no more. Isn’t it pointless to pray for help again? Why is my faith so weak?” He blamed himself in his heart, and afterward said, “It’s all right, it’s settled. God has directed this and God will confirm His guidance, as long as I cooperate it will be fine.” He considered how big this ark should be, how it should be made, and thought it over, thinking it all over for some time: The more he thought about it, the more sense everything made, and the more he thought about it, the clearer it all became. Wasn’t this God’s guidance? All of it is God’s guidance, and now haven’t you seen it with your own eyes? There is no one of in the world who has studied and acquired all of the knowledge, and who then has come to the church and done everything. No one. It has depended on the brothers and sisters to pray to God, and the Holy Spirit then enlightened us, so that when we began there were some flaws here and there, but these were continually corrected, continually corrected, continually changed, and the more things changed the better they got. People grope for changes, they have practical experiences, they do things increasingly well, until finally they enter the right track, and isn’t this from experience? God guides in this way, not at all supernatural, still especially true to life, and the results come out of this. Unbelievers all say that this is a miracle! Now can’t God’s almightiness be seen in experience? This is done by moving forward step by step. Don’t we all have some knowledge of God through this experience? No one says, “We haven’t learned any of this. We can’t do it. We won’t do it. Let’s go home!” No one says that, for in our hearts we believe: “All this is the guidance of God, God truly is almighty. It does seem that reliance on God will absolutely not be wrong, anything can be successful!” People have this confidence. Hasn’t this confidence come out of experience? According to the gradual deepening of our experience, we see what God has done. We see that God has accomplished all things, and we not only know about God, but our faith in God also continues to grow, and finally we achieve genuine knowledge of God, and at that time fulfilling our duty will become a bright and resounding testimony. You see doing one’s duty gradually transformed from its beginnings in rebellion and perfunctory performance, into obedience and complete loyalty. Isn’t this the process? Some people carry out their duties missing home, “I want to go home.” Then they pray several times before deciding, “I can’t go home. If I were to go home and by some chance when someone else were perfected by God, but I was pulled down, that would be a big loss, and I can’t miss the opportunity to be perfected by God!” So he or she doesn’t go. So when a man forsakes everything for God, in doing his duty he certainly gains more and more, and this is worth a hundred or a thousand times more than the value of what he forsakes. We gain greatly! So now some see it, “I have done my duty for these several years and made quite a lot of progress, understood a lot of the truth, and my stature has grown by a large margin compared to when I was at home! Now to think back to when I was at home, I didn’t understand anything then, I hadn’t seen life, but now I understand many things, and have seen the world, widened my knowledge, and most important, increased my knowledge of God considerably, and come to understand some principles of the truth. These benefits I have received and the life of truth I have gained—how much money could they be bought for? How many things could be exchanged for them? This is priceless treasure!”
How is truth pursued in doing our duty? Do you know how the pursuit of truth is carried out? Seek the truth in all things. Whatever difficulty you face, you should seek the truth and act according to principle. You should communicate the principle of truth. When you communicate together, you’ll find a way to work according to this principle. When the difficulty is resolved, everyone will say, “Oh, I feel so assured.” Where does this feeling of peace and assurance come from? Can it be bought with money? No, it comes only through putting truth into practice. In carrying out the truth, in doing things according to principle, the mind is particularly at peace and particularly at ease: “I used not to know what happiness was. This is what happiness is.” And so it is. This peaceful, assured feeling is so good to have; it is a blessing from God, something that God gives us to enjoy. God says, “You put the truth into practice, and I give you a feeling of peace and assurance. I let you enjoy it. When you bear witness for Me and have true testimony, I make your heart happier and you enjoy it more.” Surely this is true happiness in life! So now with many people, the more they loyally perform their duty the more they enjoy it. They don’t feel tired, they feel at peace and assured. When I dealt strictly with a person, someone else saw it and thought, “Oh, he was dealt with harshly, and he can still be obedient. How come I can’t be obedient? Look at his stature, he really can be obedient.” The person suffered a lot from this, thinking it over and reflecting, “What did I do wrong? How was it that I didn’t practice the truth? I was really confused, how could I have done that?” He prayed to God, prayed always, and then he understood: “Although people understand some of the truth, their life disposition has not actually changed much. So they can still rebel against God, they can still go against the truth, and they still do what they like. I understand, I don’t have a testimony of change in my life disposition. For a while I thought I had changed a little. My approach to things actually had changed a little, so my life disposition had definitely also changed. Through all this dealing, this big blow, I have realized I haven’t really changed. I still have to submissively and honestly accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and still have to keep my feet on the ground and pursue the truth, so that I can perform my duty adequately!” With this effort, and with a period of experience, he saw some results, “This time when I did my duty, I felt it not hard to practice the truth; this time when I faced difficulty in doing my duty, I was able to seek the truth, and able to forsake the flesh. I didn’t depend on my own notions and imaginations, and I didn’t have faith in myself. I obeyed the truth, and I followed people who said what was right.” In this, his mind experienced the peace and pleasure given by God, His assurance and comfort. “Oh, my life has grown. This time I forsook my flesh and practiced the truth, and this has brought me greater peace and pleasure. This has been an experience of growth in life. It wasn’t easy, but worthwhile! This way of dealing with me was the judgment and chastisement of God; it was the greater love of God, a love that is more real. God loves me so much, He has not rejected me. He has not put me aside, uncaring!” He went on with his experience like this. After a few years, obeying God has become easy for him, and it feels painful to go against God. Obeying God is happiness, it is peace, while not obeying God means pain. So it is that there will tend to be an increasing obedience to God and a decrease in rebellion against God. Isn’t this an improvement in life? And when it gets to this stage, has his life disposition changed? It has changed indeed, as he practices the truth more and rarely acts willfully according to his physical desires. This is the evidence of change in his life disposition. Does this person in doing his duty still include his own personal plans? Is there some sort of a deal, or an intention to receive blessings? No. All of it is completely to satisfy God, to love God, to fulfill the duty of a creation of God. Isn’t everything he does, the duty that he performs, a true testimony? If the devil there wants to make an accusation, God will say: “Who are you accusing? Can’t you see how well this person is doing his duty in this way? He is loyally doing his duty for Me, he is doing his duty to be as a person should be, surely you can’t deny that?” The devil Satan ponders: “It’s truly the case. Whatever this person says, I can see that it is entirely for God.” Finally, Satan says, “I don’t dare to accuse this person, and even if I do accuse him it will fail, and I will be shamed, so I won’t accuse him.” Or maybe this person will escape being tested. If the devil finds that what he says secretly reveals his personal intention, and he is getting personal benefit, doing a deal with God, then the devil still dares to accuse him. If the devil still dares to accuse him, then he will be tested again. Is this true or not?
Now we see clearly, what it is after all to bear witness for God. Can witness be expressed in words? To express it in words is to bear witness; if you do not have words to express yourself but your heart prays to God, it is still testimony. What you do, the duty you perform, is in itself testimony also. These three points form one line, they all have an equal sign, and doesn’t this make up your bright and resounding witness? Yes, it does. So what is bearing witness to God actually? Is it clear now? Can you express this in the right words? Some people have the right idea in their mind but they can’t put it into words. They are afraid it might come out as dogma, cant or exaggeration that might displease God. So they think, “I simply transform it into practical action and faithfully perform my duty, expressing myself through doing my duty.” This is better, isn’t it? If we do our duty to God and bear witness, then why does disaster or tribulation come sometimes? What should we think about this? Does this disaster or this tribulation come from God? It comes from God, God has allowed it, but sometimes there is an accusation from Satan. If this trial comes, if this kind of test comes to clarify this matter, what should we do? At this time God will observe what we do, what we say, and how we pray, so will Satan, to see whether we are loyal to God and whether we belong to God. There will be a dispute about it in the spiritual realm, is this not the case? Wasn’t Job’s case a polemic in the spiritual world? God said, “Job is a man who fears God and shuns evil, he is a blameless man.” Satan disagreed, “No, I see this differently in such and such a way.” As soon as God heard this accusation, He said, “He is in your domain, you can test him, I allow it, but you cannot have his life.” In the spiritual world there was this matter, and in the material world and in the world of man, Job’s trials began. So whatever comes on us, comes among us, it is presided, arranged, and permitted by God. How should we look at such things? God had no work of the last days at the time of Job, and He had not made known so many truths, so Job was part of the age of faith in the vague God. Job faced trials without being able to guess at God’s purpose. Yet he was still able to stand in witness. In that age, Job’s testimony was the highest. That was not simple. But now we can say that we are in a different age to that of Job, we have so many truths that God has made known, and God has revealed so many real situations and mysteries, whether in the world of humankind or the spiritual world, and God has spoken of the background of the spiritual war. If the testimony we give cannot be higher than the testimony of Job, that will be not right. So today if we face some trials and tribulations, how will you see them? This is the time that most reveals people. When normally you face something, God is not serious with you. But look at the time when Job was under trial: God was already watching him beforehand, as if He had set up cameras and tape recorder, waiting for Job to speak, to see how he would bear witness and what he would say. Satan was also looking, to see if it could win the bet. When a trial comes upon man, it reveals him most. The whole spiritual world is watching! Some people think: God may be in heaven looking, He does not notice or care about ordinary things. Maybe He takes a look by chance, it doesn’t matter. We can do whatever we want to do, eat whatever we want to eat, say whatever we want to say. Do people like this have fear of God? They really don’t. You take the things of the spiritual world simply. Doesn’t God observe the unseemly things done behind people’s back? He observes everything. So the things you do behind people’s backs, the thoughts you have in your mind, the things you say to people secretly—all of these are involved in your witness. Listen carefully, and understand!