To grasp the purpose of God’s work, what effect to be achieved in man, and the will of God toward man, this is what every man who follows God should achieve. Now what all men lack is the knowledge of God’s work. Man neither comprehends nor understands exactly what constitutes the deeds of God in man, all the work of God, and the will of God since the creation of the world. This inadequacy is not merely seen throughout the religious world, but moreover in all believers of God. When the day comes that you truly behold God and realize the wisdom of God; when you behold all the deeds of God and recognize what God is and has; when you behold His abundance, wisdom, wonder, and all His work in man, it is then that you will have attained successful . When God is said to be all-encompassing and greatly abundant, what is meant by all-encompassing? And what is meant by abundance? If this you do not understand, then you cannot be deemed a believer of God. Why do I say that those in the religious world do not and are evildoers, who are of the same kind as the devil? When I say they are evildoers, it is because they do not understand the will of God or see His wisdom. God at no time reveals His work to them; they are blind men, who do not see the deeds of God. They are those forsaken by God and do not possess at all the care and protection of God, much less . Those without the work of God are evildoers and stand in opposition to God. Those who I say are in opposition to God are those who do not know God, those who acknowledge God with empty words yet do not know Him, those who follow God yet do not obey Him, and those who revel in the grace of God yet cannot stand witness to Him. Without an understanding of the purpose of God’s work and the work of God in man, man cannot be in accord with the heart of God, and cannot stand witness to God. The reason that man opposes God stems, on the one hand, from the corrupt disposition of man, and on the other hand, from ignorance of God and lack of understanding of the principles of God’s work and His will toward man. These two aspects merge into a history of man’s resistance to God. Novices in the faith oppose God because such opposition lies within their nature, while the opposition against God of those with many years in the faith results from their ignorance of God, in addition to their corrupt disposition. In the time before God became flesh, the measure of whether a man opposed God was whether he kept the decrees set forth by God in heaven. For instance, in the Age of Law, any who did not keep the laws of Jehovah were those who opposed God; any who stole the offerings to Jehovah, and any who stood against those favored by Jehovah were those who opposed God and those who would be stoned to death; any who did not respect his father and mother, and any who struck or cursed another were those who did not keep the laws. And all who did not keep the laws of Jehovah were those who stood against Him. This was no longer so in the Age of Grace, when any who stood against Jesus were those who stood against God, and any who did not obey the words uttered by Jesus were those who stood against God. In this age, the determination of “opposition to God” became more clearly defined and more real. In the time when God had not become flesh, the measure of whether man opposed God was based on whether man worshiped and looked up to the invisible God in heaven. The definition of “opposition to God” at the time was not so real, for man then could neither see God nor know the image of God or how He worked and spoke. Man had no conceptions of God and believed in God in vagueness, for He had not appeared to man. Therefore, however man believed in God in their imaginations, God did not condemn man or ask much from man, for man could not see God at all. When God becomes flesh and comes to work among men, all behold God and hear His words, and all see the doings of God in the flesh. At that time, all the conceptions of man dissolve into nothing but foam. As for those who see the God appearing in the flesh, all who have obedience in their hearts shall not be condemned, whereas those who purposefully stand against Him shall be deemed an opponent of God. Such men are antichrists and are enemies who willfully stand against God. Those who have conceptions regarding God yet gladly obey will not be condemned. God condemns man on the basis of his intentions and actions, never for his thoughts and ideas. If man was condemned on such basis, then not one would be able to escape from the wrathful hands of God. Those who willfully stand against the incarnate God shall be punished for their disobedience. Their willful opposition to God stems from their conceptions of Him, which result in their disturbance to the work of God. Such men knowingly resist and destroy the work of God. Not merely do they have conceptions of God, but they do that which disturbs His work, and it is for this reason that such manner of men shall be condemned. Those who do not engage in willful disturbance of the work shall not be condemned as sinners, for they are able to intentionally obey and not cause disruption and disturbance. Such men shall not be condemned. However, when men have experienced many years of God’s work, if they still harbor their conceptions of God and remain unable to know the work of the incarnate God, and despite many years of experience, they continue to hold onto many conceptions of God and are still unable to come to know God, then even if they cause no trouble with so many conceptions of God in their hearts, and even if such conceptions do not show up, such men are of no service to the work of God. They are unable to preach the gospel or stand witness to God; such men are good-for-nothings and imbeciles. Because they do not know God and are incapable of casting away their conceptions of God, they are condemned. It can be said like this: It is not uncommon for novices in the faith to have conceptions of God or know nothing of Him, but it is abnormal for those who have believed for many years and experienced much of the work of God to hold such conceptions, and much more so for such men to have no knowledge of God. It is as a result of such abnormal state that such men are condemned. Such abnormal men are good-for-nothings; they are those who most oppose God and who have enjoyed the grace of God in vain. All such men shall be eliminated in the end!
Any who do not understand the purpose of God’s work are those who stand against God, and even more so are those who are aware of the purpose of God’s work yet do not seek to satisfy God. Those who read in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, leading demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of “robust flesh,” how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour? Those who honor themselves before God are the most lowly of men, while those who humble themselves are the most honorable. And those who think themselves to know the work of God and proclaim the work of God to others with great fanfare while their eyes are upon Him—these are the most ignorant of men. Such men are those without the testimony of God, and those who are arrogant and conceited. Those who believe that they have too little knowledge of God despite their actual experience and practical knowledge of God are those most beloved by Him. It is men such as these who truly have testimony and are truly able to be perfected by God. Those who do not understand the will of God are opponents of God; those who understand the will of God yet do not practice the truth are opponents of God; those who eat and drink the words of God yet go against the substance of God’s words are opponents of God; those who have conceptions of the incarnate God and intentionally rebel are opponents of God; those who judge God are opponents of God; and any who is unable to know God and bear witness to Him is an opponent of God. So hear My exhortation: If you truly have the faith to walk this path, then continue following it. If you are unable to refrain from opposition to God, then you best walk away before it is too late. Otherwise, it truly bodes ill rather than well, for your nature is much too corrupt. You do not have the slightest loyalty or obedience, or a heart that thirsts for righteousness and truth. And neither have you the slightest bit of love for God. It could be said that your condition before God is in utter shambles. You are not able to keep what you ought or speak what you ought. You are unable to put into practice that which you ought, and you are unable to perform the function that you ought. You do not have the loyalty, conscience, obedience or resolution that you ought. You have not endured the suffering that you ought to have, and you do not have the faith that you ought. You are completely devoid of any merit; do you have the self-respect to go on living? I urge you that you are better off closing your eyes for eternal rest, thereby sparing God from concern for you and enduring suffering for your sake. You believe in God yet do not know His will; you eat and drink the words of God yet are unable to keep the demands of God. You believe in God yet do not know Him, and live though you have no aim to strive for. You have no values and no purpose. You live as a man yet do not have any conscience, integrity, or the slightest credibility. How can you be considered a man? You believe in God yet deceive Him. Furthermore, you take the money of God and eat of His offerings, yet, in the end, show no consideration for God’s feelings or conscience toward God. Not even the most trivial of God’s demands can you meet. So how can you be considered a man? The food you eat and air you breathe come from God, you enjoy His grace, yet in the end, you do not have the slightest knowledge of God. On the contrary, you have become good-for-nothings that oppose God. Are you not then a beast no better than a dog? Are there any among animals more malicious than you?
Those pastors and elders who stand in the high pulpit teaching man are opponents of God and in alliance with Satan; would not those of you who do not stand in the high pulpit teaching man be even greater opponents of God? Moreover, are you not then in collusion with Satan? Those who do not understand the purpose of God’s work do not know how to be in accord with the heart of God. Certainly, it cannot be true for those who understand the purpose of His work? The work of God is never in error; rather, it is the pursuit of man that is flawed. Are not those degenerates who willfully oppose God more sinister and malicious than those pastors and elders? Many are those who oppose God, and among those many men, there exist various kinds of opposition against God. As there are all manner of believers, so too are there all manner of those who oppose God, each unlike the other. Not one of those who do not clearly recognize the purpose of God’s work can be saved. Regardless of how man may have opposed God in the past, when man comes to understand the purpose of God’s work and dedicates his efforts to satisfying God, his former sins shall be wiped away clean by God. As long as man seeks the truth and practices the truth, God will not keep in mind what he has done. Rather, it is on the basis of man’s practice of the truth that God justifies man. This is the righteousness of God. Before man has seen God or experienced His work, regardless of how man acts toward God, He does not keep it in mind. However, once man has seen God and experienced His work, all deeds and actions of man are written down in the “annals” by God, for man has seen God and lived within His work.
When man has truly seen what God has and is, seen His supremacy, and truly come to know the work of God, and furthermore, when the former disposition of man is changed, then man will have completely cast away his rebellious disposition that opposes God. It can be said that every man has once opposed God and every man has once rebelled against God. However, if you are purposeful in obeying the incarnate God, and thenceforth satisfy God’s heart with your loyalty, practice the truth that you ought, perform your duty as you ought, and keep the regulations that you ought, then you are one who is willing to cast aside your rebelliousness to satisfy God and one who can be perfected by God. Should you refuse to realize your errors and have no heart of repentance; should you persist in your rebellious ways and have not at all a heart to work with God and satisfy God, then such an obstinate fool as you will certainly be punished and shall never be one to be perfected by God. If such, you are the enemy of God this day and tomorrow, and so too will you remain the enemy of God the day after; you will forever be an opponent of God and the enemy of God. How could God let you off? It is the nature of man to oppose God, but man cannot purposefully seek out the “secrets” of opposing God because changing his nature is an insurmountable task. If such is the case, then you had better walk away before it is too late, lest your chastisement in the future become more severe, and lest your brutish nature emerge and become ungovernable until your fleshly body is terminated by God in the end. You believe in God to be blessed; if in the end, only ills befall you, that would not be worthwhile. I exhort you to best construct another plan; any other exercise would be better than your belief in God. Surely there is more than this one path? Would you not go on living all the same without seeking the truth? Why live at odds with God in this manner?
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
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