Work and Entry (1)
Ever since people began to tread the right track of life, there have been many things about which they remain unclear. They are still in a complete muddle about God’s work, and about much work they should do. This is due, on the one hand, to the deviation in their experience and the limitations in their capacity to receive; on the other, it is because God’s work has not yet brought people to this stage. So, everyone is ambiguous about most spiritual matters. Not only are you unclear about what you should enter into; you are even more ignorant about God’s work. This is more than simply a matter of the shortcomings in you: It is a great flaw belonging to all those in the religious world. Herein lies the key to why people do not know God, and so this flaw is a common defect shared by all those who seek after Him. Not a single person has ever known God, or has ever seen His true face. It is because of this that God’s work becomes as arduous as moving a mountain or draining the sea. How many people have sacrificed their lives for God’s work; how many have been cast out on account of His work; how many, for the sake of His work, have been tormented to death; how many, their eyes filled with tears of love for God, have died unjustly; how many have met with cruel and inhumane persecution…? That these tragedies come to pass—is it not all due to people’s lack of knowledge about God? How could someone who does not know God have the face to come before Him? How could someone who believes in God and yet persecutes Him have the face to come before Him? These are not solely the inadequacies of those within the religious world, but rather are common to both you and them. People believe in God without knowing Him; it is for this reason alone that they do not revere God in their hearts, and do not fear Him in their hearts. There are even those who, with great pomp and circumstance, do the work that they envision by themselves within this stream, and go about doing God’s work according to their own demands and immoderate desires. Many people act wildly, holding God in no esteem but following their own will. Are these not perfect embodiments of people’s selfish hearts? Do these not manifest the overabundant element of deception people have? People may indeed be supremely intelligent, but how can their gifts take the place of God’s work? People may indeed care for God’s burden, but they cannot act too selfishly. Are people’s deeds really divine? Can anyone be positively assured? To bear witness to God, to inherit His glory—this is God making an exception and lifting up people; how could they be worthy? God’s work has only just begun, His words have only just begun to be spoken. At this point, people feel good about themselves; wouldn’t that simply be courting humiliation? They understand far too little. Even the most gifted theoretician, the most silver-tongued orator, cannot describe all of God’s abundance—how much the less can you? You had best not set your own worth higher than the heavens, but rather see yourselves as lower than the least of those rational people who seek to love God. This is the path by which you shall enter: to see yourselves as shorter than all others by a span. Why deem yourselves so high? Why place yourselves in such high estimation? On the long journey of life, you have taken but the few first steps. All you see is God’s arm, not the whole of God. It behooves you to see more of God’s work, to discover more of what you should enter into, because you have changed too little.
In working man and transforming his disposition, God’s work never ceases, because they are lacking in too many ways and they fall far short of the standards set by Him. And so it can be said that, in the eyes of God, you will eternally be newborn babes, bearing very few of the elements that please Him, because you are nothing but creatures in God’s hands. If one falls into complacency, would he not be loathed by God? To say that you are able to satisfy God today is to speak from the limited perspective of your fleshly body; if you were really to be matched against God, you would forever be defeated in the arena. Man’s flesh has never once known victory. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit is it possible for man to have redeeming features. In truth, out of the myriad things in God’s creation, man is the lowest. Though he is the master of all things, man is the only one among them that is subject to Satan’s trickery, the only one that falls prey in endless ways to its corruption. Man has never had sovereignty over himself. Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless that they simply have no inclination to take notice of God’s work. If people have no inclination to take notice of God’s work, their experience is doomed forever to remain fragmented and incomplete, and their entry will forever be an empty space. In the several thousand years since God came into the world, any number of men with lofty ideals have been used by God to work for Him over any number of years; but those who know His work are so few as to be almost non-existent. For this reason, untold numbers of people assume the role of resisting God at the same time that they work for Him, because, rather than doing His work, they actually do human work in a position conferred by God. Can this be called work? How can they enter in? Humanity has taken God’s grace and buried it. Because of this, over generations past those who do His work have little entry. They simply do not speak about knowing God’s work, because they understand too little of God’s wisdom. It can be said that, though there are many who serve God, they have failed to see how exalted He is, and this is why all have set themselves up as God for others to worship.
For so many years God has remained hidden within creation; has observed through so many springs and autumns from behind a veiling mist; has looked down from the third heaven for so many days and nights; has walked among men for so many months and years. He has sat above all men quietly waiting through so many cold winters. Never once has He shown Himself openly to anyone, nor made a single sound, departing without a sign and just as silently returning. Who can know His true face? He has never once spoken to man, never once appeared to man. How easy is it for people to do God’s work? Little do they realize that to know Him is of all things the most difficult. Today God has spoken to man, but man has never known Him, because his entry in life is too limited and shallow. Seen from His perspective, people are wholly unfit to appear before God. They have too little understanding of God and are too far estranged from Him. Moreover, the hearts with which they believe in God are too complicated, and they simply do not hold the image of God in their innermost hearts. As a result, God’s painstaking effort, and His work, like pieces of gold buried beneath the sand, cannot emit a glint of light. To God, the caliber, motives, and views of these people are loathsome in the extreme. Impoverished in their capacity to receive, unfeeling to the point of insensibility, debased and degenerate, excessively servile, weak and without willpower, they must be led as cattle and horses are led. As for their entry in spirit, or entry in God’s work, they pay not the slightest heed, possessing not one jot of determination to suffer for the sake of the truth. For this kind of person to be made complete by God will not be easy. Thus it is vital that you set about your entry from this angle—that through your work and your entry you approach getting to know God’s work.
1. “Working man” means “saving man.”