20. What is an unbeliever?
Relevant Words of God:
I say that all those who do not esteem the truth are all unbelievers and traitors of the truth. Such men shall never receive the approval of Christ.
from “Are You a True Believer of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All those with a false understanding of God’s words are unbelievers. They do not have any real knowledge, much less any real stature; they are ignorant people without reality. That is, all those who live outside of the substance of God’s words are unbelievers. Those deemed unbelievers by men are beasts in the eyes of God, and those deemed unbelievers by God are those who do not have God’s words as their life.
from “Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Having Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There are some people whose belief has never been acknowledged in God’s heart. In other words, God does not recognize that these people are His followers, because God does not praise their belief. For these people, regardless of how many years they have followed God, their ideas and views have never changed. They are like the non-believers, adhering to the non-believers’ principles and manner of doing things, adhering to their laws of survival and belief. They never accepted the word of God as their life, never believed that God’s word is truth, never intended on accepting God’s salvation, and never recognized God as their God. They regard believing in God as some kind of amateur hobby, treating God merely as spiritual sustenance, so they don’t think it’s worth it to try and understand God’s disposition, or God’s essence. You could say that all that which corresponds to the true God has nothing to do with these people. They’re not interested, and they can’t be bothered to respond. This is because deep in their hearts there’s an intense voice that’s always telling them: God is invisible and untouchable, and God doesn’t exist. They believe that trying to understand this kind of God would not be worth their efforts; it would be fooling themselves. They just acknowledge God in words, and don’t take any real stand. They also don’t do anything in practical terms, thinking that they’re pretty clever. How does God look upon these people? He views them as non-believers. Some people ask: “Can non-believers read God’s word? Can they do their duty? Can they say these words: ‘I’ll live for God’?” What man often sees are the surface displays of people, not their essence. Yet God doesn’t look at these surface displays; He only sees their inner essence. Thus, God has this kind of attitude, this kind of definition, toward these people.
from “How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result of His Work” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some people do not rejoice in the truth, much less judgment. Rather, they rejoice in power and riches; such people are deemed to be snobs. They exclusively seek out those sects in the world with influence and those pastors and teachers coming from seminaries. Despite having accepted the way of truth, they remain skeptical and are unable to devote themselves fully. They speak of sacrificing for God, but their eyes are focused on the great pastors and teachers, and Christ is brushed aside. Their hearts are filled with fame, fortune, and glory. They do not believe at all that such a meager man is capable of conquering so many, that one so unremarkable is capable of perfecting people. They do not believe at all that these nobodies among the dust and dunghills are the people chosen by God. They believe that if such people were the objects of God’s salvation, then heaven and earth would be turned upside down and all men would laugh their heads off. They believe that if God chose such nobodies to be perfected, then those great men would become God Himself. Their perspectives are tainted with unbelief; indeed, far from unbelief, they are preposterous beasts. For they only value position, prestige, and power; what they hold in high regard are large groups and sects. They have no regard at all for those led by Christ; they are simply traitors who have turned their backs on Christ, on truth, and on life.
from “Are You a True Believer of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
Within God’s family, everyone is a person that believes in God. However, there is one kind of person, even though they claim that they believe in God, inside their hearts, they are suspicious about the existence of God, the fact that God created all that is, God’s rule over all that is, God’s incarnation, and God’s word, the truth. One aspect is that they are unable to confirm whether or not these things are true. Another aspect is that they are suspicious. They believe that these things are not possible. What do they believe in their hearts? They believe in all the things that exist in the material world. They believe everything that their eyes can see and they believe everything that their hands can touch. They have a suspicious attitude toward anything that their eyes cannot see, to the point that they even do not believe it. This kind of person only believes in the name of God. In reality, they are just nonbelievers. I have heard that within western religion, 25% of pastors, that is basically 1 out of every 4 pastors, do not believe that the Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and they are suspicious about the Bible. Amongst the western pastors, there are this many that are nonbelievers. Especially when it comes to the second incarnation of God, if you say that God has come, they become even more oppositional. They believe that this is heresy. They believe that God only exists in heaven and that God will never work amongst humans. As a result, whoever says that God has come, they will be accused by the majority of western people as heretics. Wouldn’t you say that these kinds of people are nonbelievers? This is an example of a nonbeliever. Nonbelievers do not believe in the work of the Holy Spirit. They say, “This is something that is thought of by man. Man’s heart can be momentarily inspired, and sometimes we become enlightened. This has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit’s work.” They do not believe in the work of the Holy Spirit. Also, they do not believe that God’s words were spoken by God. They say, “These words were spoken by man. Who has heard God say these words? How could God say these things? This was spoken by man.” All those who do not believe in the incarnation of God, the Holy Spirit’s work and that the words expressed by God are God’s words are nonbelievers. Regardless of how much they say that they believe in God, they are nonbelievers. Do you now know what is a nonbeliever? A nonbeliever is suspicious of the incarnation of God, does not believe in the Holy Spirit’s work and even does not believe that the words of God were expressed by God or the Spirit of God. This kind of person is a nonbeliever. A nonbeliever is not someone who claims that they do not believe in God. They say that they believe in God with their mouths, but their hearts do not believe. This is what it means to be a nonbeliever. It can also be said that they are imposters.
from “How to Discern All Kinds of People” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (III)
If you only believe in God while at church gatherings, acknowledging that this or that is good about God, but you do not want the word of God in your everyday life and you are detached and separate from the word of God in your real life, then it can be said that you do not have God in your life, that there is no place for God in your heart. It is because there is no place for God in your heart that you do not want God in your everyday life and you are separate from the word of God. God is God and people are people. You still live the way that you lived before, which is the way that unbelievers live. If you rely on the same things that unbelievers rely on to do things and get by, then you are an unbeliever. There are people who say: “Am I not a believer in God, do I not go to meetings?” Then you only use your mouth to believe in God at meetings and use your mouth to get close to God rather than using your heart and integrity to worship God. If you only use your mouth to believe in God and do not use your heart to believe in God, then you have no reality, you have not entered the reality of God’s words. You are not living in God’s words, you are not experiencing God’s words, you have not accepted God’s words, so you are a person outside of the word of God. People outside of the word of God are, in God’s eyes, not real believers in God, they are hypocrites. They are unbelievers; they pretend to believe in God, yet they deceive God.
from “How One Should Enter Reality” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)
The essence of Pharisees was hypocrisy. They believed in God but didn’t love the truth or seek life. They only believed in a vague God up in heaven and their own notions and imaginations, but they didn’t believe in or acknowledge Christ incarnate. Strictly speaking, they were all unbelievers. Their believing in God was researching theology and treating faith in God as a form of knowledge to conduct research. Their livelihoods depended on researching the Bible and theology. In their hearts, the Bible was their livelihood. They thought the better they were at explaining biblical knowledge and theological theory, the more there would be people who worshiped them and the higher and more firmly they could stand on the podium, and the more stable their status would be. It was precisely because the Pharisees were people who only lived for their status and livelihood, and were people who were fed up with and despised the truth, that when the Lord Jesus became flesh and came to work, they stubbornly held on to their own notions and imaginations and biblical knowledge for the sake of protecting their own status and livelihood, stopping at nothing to resist and condemn the Lord Jesus and oppose God. …
In religion, many people believe in God under the control of Pharisees, fully following them and listening to them. Like them, they only study the Bible and theology, only paying attention to understanding biblical knowledge and theological theory, and never focusing on seeking the truth or practicing the Lord’s words. Like the Pharisees, they only believe in a vague God up in heaven, but don’t believe in Christ incarnate of the last days—Almighty God. No matter how authoritative and powerful the truths expressed by Almighty God, they still stubbornly hold on to their notions and imaginations, and follow pastors and elders in resisting and condemning Almighty God. Needless to say, they are the same type of people as the Pharisees, and are walking the God-resisting path of the Pharisees. Even if they are not following the Pharisees, they are still the same type of people as the Pharisees and are also the descendants of the Pharisees because their nature and essence are the same. They are all unbelievers who only believe in themselves but don’t love the truth! They are antichrists who hate the truth and oppose Christ!
from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom
All who hold a suspicious attitude toward the practical God incarnate and do not have true obedience are non-believers. God has said, if belief in God is not one hundred percent, then it is one hundred percent betrayal of Him. This is how God sees the belief of people. We must see things based on God’s word, and should not measure people’s faith according to human conceptions. Human conceptions are not the standard for measuring truth. In God’s house, there certainly are some people who do not have true belief in God. They are always measuring God with conceptions, and are always studying God. Their irresolute way of following will not meet God’s requirements. At any time, they may be eliminated by the work of God that does not match human conceptions, and thus they will become people who have betrayed God. Non-believers within God’s house are evident in the following several situations:
The first situation is that they hold conceptions and suspicions of God, follow irresolutely, and do not truly expend themselves for God. These kinds of people have no way to resolve their conceptions about God because they cannot accept truth. They are therefore inevitably of two minds toward God, and they have no true obedience to God. They are simply followers going along with the group.
The second situation is that they do not understand the work of the Holy Spirit, being unable to differentiate between the use of the Holy Spirit and the work of divinity. Their hearts suspect God and worship men. These kinds of people are spiritually blocked and are especially absurd. They are even less able to differentiate, and do not have true belief in God. They even frequently worship other people and become idolatrous.
The third situation is that they do not understand the word of God all along because they do not pursue truth. They always use human conceptions and imagination to measure God. They are especially harsh toward the flesh that God wears, have high standards and strict demands, and fetter God with various rules and rationales. These kinds of people do not have true obedience toward God; they are so irrational. They cannot accept the normal flesh God takes on, and are not able to see God as God.
The fourth situation is that they still believe in a vague God. The God to whom they pray is a vague God, and their hearts follow the God that is vague. Their behavior in all respects abides by human conceptions. They put the practical God aside, and do not manage all things according to the demands and arrangements of the practical God. Their obedience of the practical God is too conditional.
In fact, all people who hold an attitude of suspicion toward God are people who are spiritually blocked and who do not understand the spirit. They do not understand the true essence of the incarnation, and they don’t know what the work of the Holy Spirit is. Even less do they comprehend the distinction between the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and the work of divinity. They are fettered by human conceptions and are bound by words and doctrines, unable to accept truth. Their belief in God becomes increasingly strenuous, and following God becomes more and more of a strain. In their worship and following of people, however, they don’t apply conceptions in the least, and are especially loyal. People who hold attitudes of suspicion toward God are all the most ridiculous and absurd people, and they will certainly be eliminated by God. All people of this non-believer category will never attain God’s salvation even though they may follow along until the end.
from The Fellowship From the Above