“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36).
God’s Word “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word”
There are two aspects to the principle for eating and drinking of the word of God: One relates to knowledge, and the other entering. Which words should you come to know? You should come to know the words related to vision (that is to say, which age God has now entered into, what God wishes to achieve now, what [a] is, and so on. These are all related to vision). What is the way that man should enter into? This refers to the words of God that man should practice and enter into. Those are the two aspects of eating and drinking of the word of God. From now, eat and drink of the word of God in this way. If you have a clear understanding of the words concerning vision, then there is no need to read more. Of primary importance is to eat and drink more of the words on entering, such as how to turn your heart toward God, how to quiet your heart before God, and how to forsake the flesh. That is what you should put into practice. Without knowing how to eat and drink of the word of God, true fellowship is not possible. Once you know how to eat and drink of His word, and you have grasped what is key, fellowship will become free. Whatever issues are raised, you are able to fellowship about them and grasp the reality. Fellowshiping about the word of God without reality means you are unable to grasp what is key, and this shows that you do not know how to eat and drink of His word. Some feel weariness when reading the word of God. Such a state is not normal. Indeed, what is normal is to never become tired of reading God’s word, always thirst for it, and always think the word of God is good. This is how one who has really entered eats and drinks of the word of God. When you feel that the word of God is truly practical and is exactly what man should enter into; when you feel that His word is greatly helpful and beneficial to man, and that it is the supply of man’s life, this feeling is given to you by the Holy Spirit, through your being moved by the Holy Spirit. This proves that the Holy Spirit is working in you and God has not turned away from you. Seeing that God is always speaking, some become tired of His words and think that it is of no consequence whether or not they read His words. That is not a normal state. Their hearts do not thirst to enter into reality, and such men neither thirst for nor place importance on being perfected. Whenever you find you do not thirst for the word of God, it shows that your state is not normal. In the past, whether God turned away from you was determined by whether you were at peace within and experienced enjoyment. Now the key is whether you thirst for the word of God, whether His word is your reality, whether you are faithful, and whether you are able to do what you can do for God. In other words, man is judged by the reality of the word of God. God directs His word to all people. If you are willing to read it, He will enlighten you, but if you are not, He will not. God enlightens those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and those who seek Him. Some say that God did not enlighten them even after they read His word. How were the words read? If you skimmed through briefly and placed no importance on reality, how could God enlighten you? How could one who does not treasure the word of God be perfected by Him? If you do not treasure the word of God, then you will have neither truth nor reality. If you treasure His word, then you will be able to practice truth; it is then that you will have reality. So you must eat and drink of the word of God whatever the situation, whether you are busy or not, whether the circumstances are adverse or not, and whether you are being tried or not. All in all, the word of God is the foundation of man’s existence. None can turn away from His word and must eat of His word as if they are the three meals of the day. Could it be such a simple matter to be perfected and gained by God? Whether or not you understand at present or whether you have insight into the work of God, you must eat and drink more of the word of God. This is entering in a proactive way. After reading the word of God, hasten to put into practice what you can enter into, and set aside for the moment what you cannot. There may be much of the word of God that you cannot understand in the beginning, but after two or three months, perhaps even a year, you will. Why is this? This is because God cannot make man complete in a day or two. Most of the time, when you read His word, you may not understand at the moment. At that point, it may seem like nothing more than text; only through a period of experience are you able to understand. God has spoken much, so you should do your utmost to eat and drink of His word. Without realizing it, you will come to understand and the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man, it is often without man’s awareness. He enlightens and guides you when you thirst and seek. The principle by which the Holy Spirit works is centered on the word of God of which you eat and drink. All those who place no importance on the word of God and always have another attitude toward His word, one of carelessness and the belief that it makes no difference whether they read His word, are those without reality. Neither the work of the Holy Spirit nor enlightenment by Him can be seen in them. Such people are merely coasting along, and are pretenders without true qualifications, like Mr. Nanguo of the parable.
Without the word of God as your reality, you have no real stature. When the time comes to be tried, you will certainly fall, and then will your true stature be shown. But at that time, those who regularly seek to enter into reality shall understand the purpose of God’s work. One who is conscientious and thirsts for God should take practical action to repay God for His love. Those without reality cannot stand firm in the face of even trivial matters. There is simply a difference between those with a real stature and those without. Why is it that both eat and drink of the word of God, but some are able to stand firm in a trial while others flee from it? The obvious difference is that they lack a real stature; they do not have the word of God as their reality, and His word has not taken root within them. As soon as they are tried, there is no way for them. Why, then, can others stand firm in this respect? That is because they have great vision, or the word of God has become their experience within and what they have seen in reality has become the foundation of their existence. So they are able to stand firm through trials. This is real stature, and this is life too. Some may also read the word of God but then never put it into practice or are not earnest about it. Those who are not earnest place no importance on practice. Those without the word of God as their reality are those without real stature. Such people cannot stand firm through trials.
When God speaks, you should immediately receive His words to eat of them. No matter how much you understand, hold onto the point of view that you just focus on eating of, coming to know, and practicing His word. This is something you should do. Don’t worry about how great your stature may become; simply focus on eating of His word. This is how man should cooperate. Your spiritual life is mainly to enter into the reality where you eat and drink of God’s words and put them into practice. You should focus on nothing else. Church leaders should be able to lead all brothers and sisters in knowing how to eat and drink of God’s words. This is the responsibility of all church leaders. Be they young or old, all should regard the eating and drinking of God’s words with importance and keep His words in their hearts. If you enter into this reality, you will have entered the Age of Kingdom. Nowadays, most feel that they cannot live without eating and drinking of the word of God, and whatever the time, they feel that His word is novel. Then does man begin to set upon the right track. God uses the word to work and supply man. When all yearn and thirst for the word of God, they will enter into a world of His word.
God has spoken a great deal. How much do you have knowledge of? How much have you entered into? If a church leader has not led brothers and sisters into the reality of the word of God, they have been derelict in their duty and failed to fulfill their responsibilities! Whatever the depth of your eating and drinking, or however much you can receive, you must know how to eat and drink of His word; you must regard His word with importance and understand the importance and necessity of such eating and drinking. God has spoken so much. If you do not eat and drink of His word, nor do you seek or put His word into practice, you cannot be considered to believe in God. Since you believe in God, you must eat and drink of His word, experience His word, and live out His word. Only this is belief in God! If you say you believe in God yet cannot speak out any of His words or put them into practice, you are not considered to believe in God. This is “seeking bread to satisfy hunger.” Speaking only of trivial testimony, useless matters, and superficial matters, and not having even the slightest bit of reality do not constitute belief in God. As such,[b] you have not grasped the right way of believing in God. Why must you eat and drink more of God’s words? Is it considered belief if you do not eat and drink of His words and seek only to ascend to heaven? What is the first step for one who believes in God? By what path does God perfect man? Can you be perfected without eating and drinking of the word of God? Can you be considered a person of the kingdom without the word of God as your reality? What exactly is belief in God? Believers in God should be possessed of good behavior externally, at the very least, and of utmost importance is to have the word of God. No matter what, you can never turn away from His word. Your knowledge of God and fulfillment of His will are all achieved through His word. All nations, sects, denominations, and sectors will be conquered through the word in the future. God will speak directly, and all people will hold the word of God in their hands; through this will people be perfected. The word of God pervades throughout: People speak of God’s word and practice according to God’s word, while kept within is still the word of God. Both within and without, they are steeped in the word of God, and thus are they perfected. Those who fulfill the will of God and are able to bear witness to Him are those who have the word of God as reality.
When you enter into the Age of Word, you will be in the Age of Millennial Kingdom. This is the work that is being achieved now. From now, practice fellowshiping about the word of God. Only through eating and drinking of His word and experiencing it can you exhibit the word of God. Only through your words of experience can others be convinced by you. If you do not have the word of God, none would be convinced! All those used by God are able to speak the word of God. If you cannot, this shows that the Holy Spirit has not worked in you and you have not been perfected. This is the importance of the word of God. Do you have a heart that thirsts for the word of God? Those who thirst for the word of God thirst for truth, and only such men are blessed by God. In the future, there are many more words that God will say to all denominations and all sects. He first speaks and utters His voice among you and makes you complete before moving on to speak and utter His voice to the Gentiles and conquer them. Through the word, all will be sincerely and utterly convinced. Through the word of God and His revelations, the corrupt disposition of man has diminished. All have the appearance of man, and man’s rebellious disposition has so too lessened. The word works upon man with authority and conquers man within the light of God. The work that God will do in the present age, as well as the turning points of His work can all be found within His word. If you do not read His word, you will understand nothing. Through your own eating and drinking of His word, fellowshiping with brothers and sisters, and your actual experiences, your knowledge of the word of God will become comprehensive. Only thus can you truly live it out in reality.
a. The original text omits “of the parable.”
b. The original text omits “As such.”
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
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