What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
Discussing Church Life and Real Life
People feel that they are only able to transform during their church life, and that transformation is not possible outside of church life, that they are unable to achieve transformation in their . Can you recognize what the issue is? We used to talk about bringing God into real life, and this is the path for those believing in God to enter into the reality of . In fact, church life is only a limited way to perfect men. The primary environment for perfecting men remains to be real life. This is the actual practice and actual training that I talked about, which allows men to achieve a life of normal humanity and to live out the likeness of a real man during everyday life. One must first learn to be cultured in order to elevate his own cultural quality, to be able to understand God’s words, to have the capability to understand. On the other hand, one must be equipped with the basic knowledge required to live as a man, so as to achieve the insight and sense of normal humanity, because men have almost none in regard to these areas. Furthermore, one must also come to savor God’s words through church life, and gradually come to have a clear understanding of the truth.
Why do we say that, in believing in God, one must bring God into real life? Not only could the church life transform man, but more importantly, man should enter into reality in real life. You used to always talk about your spiritual state and spiritual matters, while neglecting training in many things, as well as neglecting your entry into them. You wrote every day, you listened every day, and you read every day. You prayed when you were cooking: “Oh God! May You become my life within me. How should I pass this day? Please bless me, enlighten me. If You must enlighten me today, please let me achieve such understanding in this moment, so that I can have Your words as my life.” You prayed when you were eating dinner: “Oh God! You have bestowed on us this meal. I wish that You would bless us, Amen. Please allow us to rely on You for our lives. May You be with us. Amen.” After you have finished your dinner, when you were washing the dishes, you started rambling again: “Oh God, I am this bowl. After this bowl has been used, it has become like us, corrupted by Satan, and now it must be washed with water, and You are the water, Your words are the living water that provides for my life.” After having said that, when it was time for bed, you started rambling again: “Oh God! You have blessed me and guided me through the day. I am truly grateful to You….” This was how you passed your day and entered into your slumber. Most people lived like this every day, and even until now, they have not paid attention to entry in real life, they only focus on paying lip service in their prayers. This is the life of men from before, this is the old lives of men. Most people are like this, without any actual training, and they have very few actual transformations. They only pay lip service in their prayers, approaching God through their words, lacking transformations in understanding. Let us take the simplest example, tidying your home. You see that your home is messy, so you sit there and : “Oh God! Look at the corruption that Satan has wrought on this home. Oh God! I praise and thank You. I am just as dirty as this home, and without Your salvation and enlightenment, I would not have realized this fact.” You only sit there and ramble on, praying for a long time, then you act as if nothing has happened, behaving like a rambling old woman. You live your spiritual life this way, without any true entry into reality, doing so many superficial things. In the practice of entry into reality, it involves men’s real life, it involves men’s difficulties in reality, and that is how men can be transformed. Without real life, men cannot be transformed, and what then is the use of paying lip service in their prayers? Without understanding the nature of men, everything is a waste of time, and without a path for practice, everything is a waste of effort! Proper prayers can maintain the normal condition within man, but they cannot completely transform man. Man is able to understand his own arrogance, conceit, hubris, or to understand his corrupt disposition, such things are not achieved through prayers, but they are discovered through savoring God’s words, they are attained through enlightenment by the in real life. People nowadays are all able to speak well, and they have heard the loftiest way, loftier than any others through the ages, yet very little of it is actually implemented in their real life. That is to say, in their real life, there is no God, and it is lacking the life of a new man after being transformed. There is no living out the truth in real life, there is no bringing God into real life. Men’s life is lived as if they are the sons of hell. Is this not an obvious deviation?
In order to restore the likeness of a normal man, that is, to return man to normal humanity, you cannot achieve this by merely pleasing God with your words. You are harming yourself by doing so, and it gives no benefits for your entry and transformation. Therefore, to attain transformation, men must practice little by little, enter slowly, seek and explore bit by bit, enter from the positive, and live a practical life of truth, a life of the saints. From now on, it involves real matters, real things, real environments, allowing men to practice within reality. It does not require men to pay any lip service, instead it requires practice in real environments. Men come to realize that they have poor quality, and then they have the proper eating and drinking of God’s words, proper entry, and proper practice; this is how men obtain reality, and this is how entry may occur even more rapidly. To transform men, there must be some practicality, men must practice with real matters, real things, and real environments. By merely relying on church life, is it possible to achieve true practice? Could man enter into reality? No. If man is unable to enter into real life, then he is unable to transform his old ways of doing things and living life. It is not entirely due to the laziness of man or his strong dependency, but rather it is because man simply does not have the ability to live, and moreover, he has no understanding of the standard of the likeness of a normal man that God requires. In the past, men were always talking, speaking, fellowshiping, and they even became “orators”; yet none of them were seeking transformations in life disposition, they only continued to seek profound theories. Therefore, today you must start changing this religious life of believing in God. You must enter and practice by targeting one thing, one matter, one person. You must do things with focus, only then can you attain results. To transform men, it must begin with their substance. The work must be targeted on men’s substance, on men’s life, on the laziness, dependency, and slavishness of men, and only in this way can men be transformed.
Even though the church life can produce results in some areas, the key remains that real life can transform men, and the old nature of men cannot be transformed without real life. Let us take the work of Sabbath during the Age of Grace. When Jesus abolished the laws from before and established the commandments of the new age, He has spoken through examples of real life. When Jesus led His disciples through the wheat field on a Sunday, when the disciples got hungry and they plucked and ate ears of grain, the unbelievers saw this and said that they did not observe the . They also said that people were not allowed to save the calves that had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath, saying that no work might be performed during the Sabbath, and Jesus used these incidents to gradually promulgate the commandments of the new age. At the time, He used many practical matters to make men understand and transform. This is the principle by which the Holy Spirit performs His work, and only through this way could men transform. When lacking practical matters, where men only gain understanding in theory, where they are only able to accept such understandings in their mind, this is not an effective way to transform men. Speaking of acquiring wisdom and insight through practice, how could this be achieved? Could man acquire wisdom and insight simply from listening, reading, and advancing his knowledge? How does this lead to the acquisition of wisdom and insight? Man must strive to understand and experience through real life. Therefore, it will not work without practice, it will not work outside of real life. Man must pay attention to different aspects, and have entry in multiple aspects: cultural quality, expressiveness, how to look at things, how to discern, ability to understand God’s words, the common sense and rules of humanity, and other things relating to humanity that man must be equipped with. After understanding has been attained, man must focus on entry, and only then will transformation be attained. If man has attained understanding yet neglected practice, how can transformation occur? Now, man has understood much, but he does not live out reality, thus man could have only little substantive understanding of God’s words. You have only been slightly enlightened, you have received a little illumination from the Holy Spirit, yet you have no entry in real life, or you might not even care about entry, thereby you will only have little transformation. After such a long time, men have understood much, they are able to talk much about their knowledge of theories, but their external disposition remains the same, their original quality lingers, without any elevation. If this is the case, when will you finally enter?
Church life is only a kind of life where men gather to savor God’s words, and it takes up only a small sliver of a man’s life. If a man’s real life can also be like his church life, including a proper spiritual life, properly savoring God’s words, praying and being close to God properly, living a real life where everything is carried out in accordance with God’s will, living a real life where everything is carried out in accordance with the truth, living a real life of practicing prayers and being quiet before God, of practicing the singing of hymns and dancing, such a life will bring man into a life of God’s words. Most people only focus on the few hours during their church life, without giving care to their life outside those hours, as if it is of no concern to them. There are also many people who only enter into the life of saints when eating and drinking God’s words, singing hymns or praying, and then they revert to their old selves outside those times. Such lives cannot transform men, and they will not allow men to know God. In believing in God, if man desires transformation in his own disposition, then he must not detach himself from real life. In real life, you must know yourself, forsake yourself, practice the truth, as well as learn the principles, common sense and rules of self-conduct, in all things, before you are able to achieve gradual transformation. If you only focus on the knowledge in theories, only live among religious ceremonies, without going deep into reality, without entering into real life, then you will never enter into reality, you will never know yourself, the truth, and God, and you will always be blind and ignorant. The purpose of God’s working man is not to allow him to live a normal human life only several hours out of the entire day of his life, while living in his flesh for the rest of the time. And it is not to transform man’s knowledge of theories. Rather, it is to change the old disposition of man, to change all of man’s old life, to change all of man’s outdated thinking and his mental outlook. Focusing only on church life will not change man’s old habit of life, or change the old way that man has lived for a long time. No matter what, man must not become detached from real life. God asks that people live out normal humanity in real life, not just in church life; that they live out the truth in real life, not just in church life; that they fulfill their functions in real life, not just in church life. If you want to enter reality, you must turn everything toward real life. If believers in God cannot enter into real life and know themselves or live out normal humanity in real life, they will become failures. Those who disobey God are all people who cannot enter into real life. They are all people who speak of humanity but live out the nature of demons. They are all people who speak of the truth but live out doctrines instead. Those who cannot live out the truth in real life are those who believe in God but are detested and rejected by Him. You have to practice your entry in real life, know your own deficiencies, disobedience and ignorance, and know your abnormal humanity and weaknesses. That way, all your knowledge will be integrated into your actual situation and difficulties. Only this kind of knowledge is real and can make you truly grasp your own situation and achieve your dispositional change.
Now that the perfecting of men has formally begun, one must enter into real life. Therefore, to achieve transformation, one must start from the entry into real life, and transform little by little. If you avoid man’s normal life and only talk about spiritual matters, then things become dry and flat, they become unrealistic, and how could man transform? You are told to enter into real life to practice, in order to establish a foundation for entering into real experience. This is one of the things that man should do. The work of the Holy Spirit is mainly guidance, while the rest depends on the practice and entry of men, and everyone may attain entry into real life through various paths, such that they can bring God into real life, and live out a real normal humanity. This is what a meaningful life should be.