What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Today we are communicating an important topic. This is a topic that has been discussed since the commencement of God’s work until now, and is of vital significance to every single person. In other words, this is an issue that everyone will come into contact with throughout the process of their belief in God and an issue that must be touched upon. It’s a crucial, unavoidable issue mankind cannot separate itself from. Speaking of importance, what is the most important thing for every believer in God? Some people think the most important thing is understanding God’s will; some believe it is most important to eat and drink more of; some feel the most important thing is to know themselves; others are of the opinion that the most important thing is knowing how to find salvation through God, how to follow God, and how to fulfill God’s will. We will put all of these issues aside for today. So what are we discussing then? We are discussing a topic about God. Is this the most important topic to every person? What is the content of a topic about God? Of course, this topic certainly cannot be separated from God’s disposition, God’s essence, and God’s work. So today, let’s discuss “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself.”
From the time man started believing in God, they have been in touch with topics such as God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. When it comes to God’s work, some people will say: “God’s work is done on us; we experience it every day, so we are not unfamiliar with it.” Speaking of God’s disposition, some people will say: “God’s disposition is a topic we study, explore, and focus on our entire lives, so we should be familiar with it.” As for God Himself, some people will say: “God Himself is who we follow, who we have faith in, and the One we pursue, so we are also not uninformed about Him.” God has never stopped His work since creation, throughout which He has continued to express His disposition and used various ways to express His word. At the same time, He has never stopped expressing Himself and His essence to mankind, expressing His will toward man and what He requires from man. So from a literal perspective, these topics should not be foreign to anyone. For people who follow God today, however, God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself are actually all very unknown to them. Why is that the case? As man experiences God’s work, they are also coming into contact with God, making them feel as though they understand God’s disposition or know a part of what it is like. Accordingly, man does not think he is a stranger to God’s work or God’s disposition. Rather, man thinks he is very familiar with God and understands a lot about God. But based on the current situation, many people’s understanding of God is restricted to what they’ve read in books, limited to the scope of personal experiences, restrained by their imaginations, and above all, confined to facts they can see with their own eyes. All of this is very far off from the true God Himself. So just how far is this “far”? Perhaps man is not sure himself, or perhaps man has a bit of a sense, a bit of an inkling—but when it comes to God Himself, man’s understanding of Him is much too far off from the essence of the true God Himself. This is why we necessarily have to use a topic like “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself” to systematically and specifically communicate this information.
In fact, God’s disposition is open to everyone and is not hidden, because God has never consciously avoided any person and has never consciously sought to conceal Himself so that people will not be able to know Him or understand Him. God’s disposition has always been open and has always been facing each person in a frank manner. During God’s management, God does His work, facing everyone; and His work is done on every single person. As He does this work, He is continuously revealing His disposition, continuously using His essence and what He has and is to guide and provide for each single person. In every age and on every stage, regardless of whether the circumstances are good or bad, God’s disposition is always open to each individual, and His possessions and being are always open to each individual, in the same way that His life is constantly and unceasingly providing for mankind and supporting mankind. Despite all of this, God’s disposition remains hidden to some. Why is that so? It is because even though these people live within God’s work and follow God, they have never sought to understand God or wanted to get to know God, let alone get closer to God. For these people, understanding God’s disposition means their end is coming; it means they are about to be judged and convicted by God’s disposition. Therefore, these people have never desired to understand God or His disposition, and don’t covet a deeper understanding or knowledge of God’s will. They don’t intend to comprehend God’s will through conscious cooperation—they just forever enjoy and never tire of doing the things they want to do; believe in the God they want to believe in; believe in the God that exists only in their imaginations, the God that exists only in their conceptions; and believe in a God that cannot be separated from them in their daily lives. When it comes to the true God Himself, they are completely dismissive, with no desire to understand Him, to pay heed to Him, and have even less intention of growing closer to Him. They are only using the words God expresses to gloss over themselves, to package themselves. For them, that already makes them successful believers and people with faith in God inside their hearts. In their hearts, they are guided by their imaginations, their conceptions, and even their personal definitions of God. The true God Himself, on the other hand, has absolutely nothing to do with them. Because once they understand the true God Himself, understand God’s true disposition, and understand what God has and is, this means that their actions, their faith, and their pursuits will be condemned. That is why they are not willing to understand God’s essence, and why they are reluctant and unwilling to actively seek orto better understand God, better know God’s will, and better understand God’s disposition. They would rather God be something made up, hollow and elusive. They would rather God be someone who is exactly as they have imagined Him, someone who can be at their beck and call, inexhaustible in supply and always available. When they want to enjoy God’s grace, they ask God to be that grace. When they need , they ask God to be that blessing. When they are faced with adversity, they ask God to embolden them, to be their safety net. These people’s knowledge of God is stuck within the ambit of grace and blessing. Their understanding of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God is also restricted to their imaginations and merely letters and doctrines. But there are some people who are eager to understand God’s disposition, want to genuinely see God Himself, and truly understand God’s disposition and what He has and is. These people are in pursuit of the reality of truth and God’s salvation, and seek to receive God’s conquest, salvation, and perfection. These people use their hearts to read , use their hearts to appreciate every situation and every person, happening, or thing God has arranged for them, and pray and seek with sincerity. What they want most is to know God’s will and to understand God’s true disposition and essence. This is so they will no longer offend God, and through their experiences, will be able to see more of God’s loveliness and His true side. It is also so that a genuinely real God will exist inside their hearts, and so that God will have a place in their hearts, such that they will no longer be living among imaginations, conceptions, or elusiveness. For these people, the reason they have a pressing desire to understand God’s disposition and His essence is because God’s disposition and essence are things mankind could need at any moment in their experiences, things that supply life throughout their lifetimes. Once they understand God’s disposition, they will be able to better revere God, better cooperate with God’s work, and be more considerate toward God’s will and do their duty to the best of their abilities. These are the two types of people when it comes to their attitudes toward God’s disposition. The first don’t want to understand God’s disposition. Even though they say they want to understand God’s disposition, get to know God Himself, see what God has and is, and genuinely appreciate God’s will, deep down inside they would rather that God does not exist. It is because this type of people consistently disobey and resist God; they fight God for position in their own hearts and often suspect or even deny God’s existence. They don’t want to let God’s disposition or let the real God Himself occupy their hearts. They only want to satisfy their own desires, imaginations, and ambitions. So, these people may believe in God, follow God, and can also give up their families and jobs for Him, but they don’t put an end to their evil ways. Some even steal or squander offerings, or curse God in private, while others might use their positions to repeatedly testify about themselves, aggrandize themselves, and compete with God for people and status. They use various methods and measures to make people worship them, constantly trying to win people over and control them. Some even intentionally mislead people into thinking that they are God so they can be treated like God. They would never tell people they have been corrupted, that they are also corrupt and arrogant, and not to worship them, and that no matter how well they do, it is all due to God’s exaltation and what they ought to be doing anyway. Why don’t they say these things? Because they are deeply afraid of losing their place in people’s hearts. This is why such people never exalt God and never bear witness to God, as they have never tried to understand God. Can they know God without understanding Him? Impossible! Thus, while the words in the topic “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself” may be simple, their meaning is different to everyone. For someone who often disobeys God, resists God, and is hostile toward God, it means condemnation; whereas for someone who seeks the reality of the truth and often comes before God to seek God’s will, it is undoubtedly like a fish to water. So among you, when some hear talk of God’s disposition and God’s work, they start to get a headache, their hearts grow full of resistance, and they become extremely uncomfortable. But there are others among you who think: This topic is exactly what I need, because this topic is so beneficial to me. It’s a part that cannot be missing in my life experience; it is the crux of the crux, the foundation of faith in God, and something mankind cannot afford to abandon. For all of you, this topic might seem both near and far, unknown yet familiar. But no matter what, this is a topic that everyone sitting here must listen to, must know, and must understand. No matter how you deal with it, no matter how you look upon it or how you receive it, the importance of this topic cannot be ignored.
God has been doing His work since creating mankind. At the start, the work was very simple, but even so, it still contained expressions of God’s essence and disposition. While God’s work has now been elevated, with Him putting an enormous amount of concrete work into every person who follows Him and expressing a significant amount of His word, from the beginning until now, God’s person has been hidden from mankind. Although He has been incarnated twice, from the time of the biblical accounts to modern days, who has ever seen God’s real person? Based on your understanding, has anyone ever seen God’s real person? No. No one has seen God’s real person, meaning no one has ever seen God’s true self. This is something everybody is in consensus with. That is to say, God’s real person, or God’s Spirit, is concealed from all of humanity, including Adam and Eve, whom He created, and including the righteous Job, whom He had accepted. Even they did not see God’s real person. But why does God knowingly mask His real person? Some people say: “God’s afraid of scaring people.” Others say: “God hides His real person because man is too small and God is too big; humans are not allowed to see Him, or else they will die.” There are also those who say: “God is busy managing His work every day, He might not have the time to appear to let people see Him.” No matter what you believe, I have a conclusion here. What is that conclusion? It’s that God doesn’t even want people to see His real person. Being hidden from humanity is something God does deliberately. In other words, it is God’s intent for people to not see His real person. This should be clear to all by now. If God has never shown His person to anyone, then do you think God’s person exists? (He exists.) Of course He does. The existence of God’s person is indisputable. But as for how big God’s person is or what He looks like, are these questions mankind should investigate? No. The answer is negative. If God’s person is not a topic we should be exploring, then what is a question we should look into? (God’s disposition.) (God’s work.) Before we begin communicating the official topic, however, let’s return to what we were discussing just then: Why has God never shown His person to mankind? Why does God intentionally hide His person from mankind? There is only one reason, and that is: Although the created man has been through thousands of years of God’s work, there isn’t a single person who knows God’s work, God’s disposition, and God’s essence. Such people, in God’s eyes, are in opposition to Him, and God would not show Himself to people who are hostile toward Him. This is the sole reason God has never shown mankind His person and why He deliberately shields His person from them. Are you now clear on the importance of knowing God’s disposition?
Since the existence of God’s management, He has always been fully dedicated to carrying out His work. Despite veiling His person from them, He has always been by man’s side, doing work on them, expressing His disposition, guiding all of humanity with His essence, and doing His work on every single person through His might, His wisdom, and His authority, thus bringing the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and now the Age of Kingdom into being. Though God conceals His person from man, His disposition, His being and possessions, and His will toward mankind, are unreservedly revealed to man for man to see and to experience. In other words, though human beings cannot see or touch God, the disposition and essence of God that humanity has been in contact with are absolutely expressions of God Himself. Isn’t that the truth? Regardless of in what method or from what angle God does His work, He always treats people to His true identity, doing what He is supposed to do and saying what He is supposed to say. No matter what position God speaks from—He could be standing in the third heaven, or standing in the flesh, or even as an ordinary person—He always speaks to man with all His heart and all His mind, without any deception or concealment. When He carries out His work, God expresses His word and His disposition, and expresses what He has and is, without any reservation whatsoever. He guides mankind with His life and His being and possessions. This is how man lived through the Age of Law—the cradle era of humanity—under the guidance of the unseeable and untouchable God.
God became flesh for the first time after the Age of Law, an incarnation that lasted thirty-three and a half years. For a human being, is thirty-three and a half years a long time? (Not long.) Since the lifespan of a human being is usually much longer than thirty-something years, this is not a very long time for man. But for, these thirty-three and a half years is very long. He became a person—an ordinary person who bore God’s work and commission. This meant that He had to take on work an ordinary person cannot handle, while also endure suffering that ordinary people cannot withstand. The amount of suffering endured by the Lord during the Age of Grace, from the start of His work to when He was nailed to the cross, may not be something the people of today could have witnessed in person, but can you at least appreciate a bit of it through the stories in the ? Irrespective of how many details there are in these recorded facts, all in all, God’s work during this period was full of hardship and suffering. For a corrupted human, thirty-three and a half years is not a long time; a little suffering is no big deal. But for the holy, unblemished God, who has to bear all of mankind’s sins, and eat, sleep, and live with sinners, this pain is too great. He is the , the Master of all things and the Ruler of everything, yet when He came to the world He had to endure the oppression and cruelty of corrupted humans. In order to complete His work and rescue humanity from misery, He had to be condemned by man, and bear the sins of all mankind. The extent of the suffering He went through cannot possibly be fathomed or appreciated by ordinary people. What does this suffering represent? It represents God’s devotion to humankind. It stands for the humiliation He suffered and the price He paid for man’s salvation, to redeem their sins, and to complete this stage of His work. It also means man would be redeemed from the cross by God. This is a price paid in blood, in life, a price created beings cannot afford. It is because He has God’s essence and is equipped with what God has and is that He can bear this kind of suffering and this type of work. This is something no created being can do in His stead. This is the work of God during the Age of Grace and a revelation of His disposition. Does this reveal anything about what God has and is? Is it worth mankind getting to know?
In that age, though man did not see God’s person, they received God’s sin offering and were redeemed from the cross by God. Mankind may not be unfamiliar with the work God did during the Age of Grace, but is anyone familiar with the disposition and will expressed by God during this period? Man merely knows the content of God’s work during different ages through various channels, or knows of stories related to God that took place at the same time God was carrying out His work. These details and stories are at most just some information or legends about God, and have nothing to do with God’s disposition and essence. So no matter how many stories people know about God, it doesn’t mean that they have a deep understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition or His essence. Like it was in the Age of Law, though people from the Age of Grace had experienced an up-close and intimate contact with God in the flesh, their knowledge of God’s disposition and God’s essence was virtually non-existent.
In the Age of Kingdom, God became flesh again, in the same way He did the first time. During this period of work, God still unreservedly expresses His word, does the work He should be doing, and expresses what He has and is. At the same time, He continues to endure and tolerate man’s disobedience and ignorance. Doesn’t God continuously reveal His disposition and express His will during this period of work too? Therefore, from the creation of man until now, God’s disposition, His being and possessions, and His will, have always been open to every person. God has never deliberately hidden His essence, His disposition, or His will. It’s just that mankind doesn’t care about what God is doing, what His will is—that’s why man’s understanding of God is so pitiful. In other words, while God conceals His person, He is also standing by mankind at every moment, openly projecting His will, disposition, and essence at all times. In a sense, God’s person is also open to people, but due to man’s blindness and disobedience, they are always unable to see God’s appearance. So if that is the case, then shouldn’t understanding God’s disposition and God Himself be easy for everyone? That is a very difficult question to answer, right? You can say it’s easy, but while some people seek to know God, they can’t really get to know Him or get a clear understanding of Him—it’s always hazy and vague. But if you say it’s not easy, that’s not correct either. Having been the subject of God’s work for so long, everyone should, through their experiences, have had genuine dealings with God. They should at least have sensed God to some extent in their hearts or previously collided with God on a spiritual level, and so they should at least have some emotional awareness of God’s disposition or gained some understanding of Him. From the time man began to follow God until now, mankind has received far too much, but due to all sorts of reasons—man’s poor caliber, ignorance, rebelliousness, and various intentions—mankind has also lost too much of it. Has God not already given mankind enough? Though God hides His person from humans, He supplies them with what He has and is, and even His life; humanity’s knowledge of God should not only be what it is now. That is why I think it is necessary to further fellowship with you about the topic of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. The purpose is so that the thousands of years of care and thought God has poured into man does not end up in vain, and so that mankind can genuinely understand and appreciate God’s will toward them. It is so people can move forward onto a new step in their knowledge of God. It will also return God to His rightful place in people’s hearts, that is, to do Him justice.