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 III
These several fellowships have had a great impact on every single person. As of now, people can finally really feel the true existence of God and that God is actually very close to them. Although people have believed in God for many years, they have never truly understood His thoughts and ideas as they do now, neither have they truly experienced His practical deeds as they do now. Whether it’s knowledge or actual practice, most people have learned something new and achieved a higher understanding, and they have realized the error in their own past pursuits, realized the superficiality of their experience and that too much is not in line with God’s will, and realized that what man most lacks is knowledge of God’s disposition. This knowledge on the part of people is a type of emotional knowledge; to rise to the level of rational knowledge requires a gradual deepening and strengthening through their experiences. Before man truly understands God, subjectively it could be said that they do believe in the existence of God in their hearts, but they have no real understanding of specific questions such as what kind of God He actually is, what His will is, what His disposition is, and what His real attitude toward mankind is. This greatly compromises people’s faith in God—their faith simply cannot achieve purity or perfection. Even if you are face to face with
Knowledge of God’s disposition and what He has and is can have a positive impact on humans. It can help them have more confidence in God, and help them achieve true obedience and fear for Him. Then, they are no longer blind followers, or worshiping Him blindly. God does not want fools or those who follow a crowd blindly, but a group of people who have in their hearts a clear understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition and can act as God’s witness, people who would never abandon God because of His loveliness, because of what He has and is, and because of His righteous disposition. As a follower of God, if in your heart there is still a lack of clarity, or there is ambiguousness or confusion about God’s true existence, His disposition, what He has and is, and His plan to save mankind, then your faith cannot gain God’s praise. God does not want this type of person to follow Him, and He does not like this type of person coming before Him. Because this kind of person doesn’t understand God, they cannot give their heart to God—their heart is closed to Him, so their faith in God is full of impurities. Their following of God can only be called blind. People can only gain true belief and be true followers if they have true understanding and knowledge of God, which creates true obedience and fear of Him. Only in this way can they give their heart to God, to open it up to Him. This is what God wants, because everything they do and think can withstand God’s test, and can bear witness to God. Everything I communicate with you regarding God’s disposition, or what He has and is, or His will and His thoughts in everything that He does, and from whichever perspective, from whichever angle I talk about it, it is all to help you be more certain of God’s true existence, and more truly understand and appreciate His love for mankind, and more truly understand and appreciate God’s concern for humans, and His sincere desire to manage and save mankind.
Today we’re first going to summarize God’s thoughts, ideas, and every move since creating humans, and to take a look at what work He carried out from creating the world to the official start of the Age of Grace. We can then discover which of God’s thoughts and ideas are unknown to man, and from there we can clarify the order of God’s plan for management, and thoroughly understand the context in which God created His management work, its source and development process, and also thoroughly understand what results He wants from His management work—that is, the core and the purpose of His management work. To understand these things we need to go back to a distant, still and silent time when there were no humans …
When God arose from His bed, the first thought that He had was this: to create a living person, a real, living human—someone to live with and be His constant companion. This person could listen to Him, and God could confide in and speak with him. Then, for the first time, God grabbed a handful of dirt and used it to create the very first living person that He had imagined, and then gave this living creature a name—Adam. Once God had gained this living and breathing person, how did He feel? For the first time, He felt the joy of having a loved one, a companion. He also felt for the first time the responsibility of being a father and the concern that comes along with it. This living and breathing person brought God happiness and joy; He felt comforted for the first time. This was the first thing God had ever done that was not accomplished with His thoughts or even words, but was done with His own two hands. When this kind of being—a living and breathing person—stood in front of God, made of flesh and blood, with body and form, and able to speak with God, He experienced a kind of joy He had never felt before. He truly felt His responsibility and this living being not only tugged at His heart, but his every little move also touched Him and warmed His heart. So when this living being stood in front of God, it was the first time He had the thought to gain more people like this. This was the series of events that began with this first thought that God had. For God, all of these events were occurring for the first time, but in these first events, no matter what He felt at the time—joy, responsibility, concern—there was no one for Him to share it with. Starting from that moment, God truly felt a loneliness and a sadness that He had never had before. He felt that human beings could not accept or comprehend His love and concern, or His intentions for mankind, so He still felt sorrow and pain in His heart. Although He had done these things for man, man was not aware of it and did not understand. Aside from happiness, the joy and comfort man brought to Him quickly brought with it His first feelings of sorrow and loneliness. These were God’s thoughts and feelings at that time. While God was doing all these things, in His heart He went from joy to sorrow and from sorrow to pain, all mixed with anxiety. All He wanted to do was hasten to let this person, this human race know what was in His heart and understand His intentions sooner. Then, they could become His followers and be in accord with Him. They would no longer listen to God speak but remain speechless; they would no longer be unaware of how to join God in His work; above all, they would no longer be people indifferent to God’s requirements. These first things that God completed are very meaningful and hold great value for His management plan and for human beings today.
After creating all things and humans, God did not rest. He could not wait to carry out His management, nor could He wait to gain the people He so loved among mankind.
Next, not long after God created human beings, we see from the Bible that there was a great flood across the entire world. Noah is mentioned in the record of the flood, and it can be said that Noah was the first person to heed God’s call to work with Him to complete a task of God. Of course, this was also the first time God had called upon a person on the earth to do something according to His command. Once Noah finished building the ark, God flooded the earth for the first time. When God destroyed the earth with the flood, it was the first time since creating them that He felt overcome with disgust in human beings; this is what forced God to make the painful decision to destroy this human race through a flood. After the flood destroyed the earth, God made His first covenant with humans that He would never do this again. The sign of this covenant was a rainbow. This was God’s first covenant with mankind, so the rainbow was the first sign of a covenant given by God; this rainbow is a real, physical thing that exists. It is the very existence of this rainbow that makes God often feel sadness for the previous human race He has lost, and serves as a constant reminder for Him of what happened to them. … God would not slow His pace—He could not wait to take the next step in His management. Subsequently, God selected Abraham as His first choice for His work throughout Israel. This was also the first time God selected such a candidate. God resolved to begin carrying out His work of saving mankind through this person, and to continue His work among this person’s descendants. We can see in the Bible that this is what God did to Abraham. God then made Israel the first chosen land, and began His work of the Age of Law through His chosen people, the Israelites. Once again for the first time, God provided to the Israelites the express rules and laws that mankind should follow, and explained them in detail. This was the first time God had provided human beings with such specific, standard rules for how they should give sacrifices, how they should live, what they should do and not do, which festivals and days they should observe, and principles to follow in everything they did. This was the first time God had given mankind such detailed, standard regulations and principles for their lives.
When I say “the first time,” it means God had never completed work like that before. It’s something that didn’t exist before, and even though God had created mankind and He had created all types of creatures and living things, He had never completed that type of work. All of this work involved God’s management of humans; it all had to do with humans and His salvation and management of humans. After Abraham, God made a choice once again for the first time—He chose Job to be the one under the law who could withstand the temptations of Satan while continuing to fear God and shun evil and stand witness for Him. This was also the first time that God allowed Satan to tempt a person, and the first time He made a bet with Satan. In the end, for the first time, God gained someone who was capable of standing witness for Him while facing Satan—a person who could bear witness for Him and thoroughly shame Satan. Since God had created mankind, this was the first person He had gained who was able to bear witness for Him. Once He had gained this man, God was even more eager to continue His management and take the next step in His work, preparing His next choice and His place of work.
After telling you about all of this, do you have a true understanding of God’s will? God sees this instance of management of mankind, of saving humans, as more important than anything else. He does these things not only with His mind, nor is it only with His words, and He particularly does not do it casually—He does all of these things with a plan, with a goal, with standards, and with His will. It is clear that this work to save mankind holds great significance for both God and man. No matter how difficult the work is, no matter how great the obstacles are, no matter how weak humans are, or how deep mankind’s rebelliousness is, none of this is difficult for God. God makes Himself busy, expending His effort and managing the work He Himself wants to carry out. He is also arranging everything, and ruling all the people and the work He wants to complete—none of this has been done before. It is the first time God has used these methods and paid a great price for this major project of managing and saving mankind. While God is carrying out this work, little by little He is expressing to humans without reservation His hard work, what He has and is, His wisdom and almightiness, and every aspect of His disposition. He unreservedly reveals all of this to mankind bit by bit, revealing and expressing these things as He has never done before. So, in the entire universe, aside from the people who God aims to manage and save, there have never been any creatures so close to God, that have such an intimate relationship with Him. In His heart, the mankind He wants to manage and save is most important, and He values this mankind above all else; even though He has paid a great price for them, and even though He is continually hurt and disobeyed by them, He never gives up on them and continues tirelessly in His work, with no complaints or regrets. This is because He knows that sooner or later, humans will someday awaken to His call and be moved by His words, recognize that He is the Lord of creation, and return to His side …
After hearing all of this today, you may feel that everything that God does is very normal. It seems that humans have always felt some of God’s will for them from His words and from His work, but there is always a certain distance between their feelings or their knowledge and what God is thinking. So, I think it is necessary to communicate with all people about why God created humankind, and the background behind His wish to gain the people He hoped for. It is essential to share this with everyone, so that everyone is clear in their heart. Because God’s every thought and idea, and every phase and every period of His work tie into, and are closely linked to, His entire management work, when you understand God’s thoughts, ideas, and His will in every step of His work, it’s the same as understanding the source of the work of His management plan. It is on this foundation that your understanding of God deepens. Although everything God did when He first created the world that I mentioned previously is merely some information to people now and seems to be irrelevant to the pursuit of truth, over the course of your experience there will be a day when you don’t think it’s something so simple as a couple of pieces of information, nor that it’s something so simple as some mysteries. As your life progresses and when there is a little bit of God’s position in your heart, or when you more thoroughly and deeply understand His will, you will truly understand the importance and the necessity of what I’m talking about today. It doesn’t matter to what extent you have accepted this; it is necessary that you understand and know these things. When God does something, when He carries out His work, no matter if it’s with His ideas or His own hands, no matter if it’s the first time He has done it or if it’s the last—ultimately, God has a plan, and His purpose and His thoughts are in everything He does. These purposes and thoughts represent God’s disposition, and they express what He has and is. These two things—God’s disposition and what He has and is—must be understood by every single person. Once a person understands His disposition and what He has and is, they can gradually understand why God does what He does and why He says what He says. From that, they can then have more faith to follow God, to pursue truth, and to pursue a change in disposition. That is to say, man’s understanding of God and his faith in God are inseparable.
Even though what people hear about or gain understanding of is God’s disposition, what He has and is, what they gain is life that comes from God. Once this life has been wrought into you, your fear of God will become greater and greater, and reaping this harvest occurs very naturally. If you don’t want to understand or know about God’s disposition or His essence, if you don’t even want to ponder over or focus on these things, I can tell you with certainty that the way you are currently pursuing your faith in God can never allow you to satisfy His will or gain His praise. More than that, you can never truly reach salvation—these are the final consequences. When people don’t understand God and do not know His disposition, their hearts can never truly open up to Him. Once they have understood God, they will begin to understand and savor what is in His heart with interest and faith. When you understand and savor what is in God’s heart, your heart will gradually, bit by bit, open up to Him. When your heart opens up to Him, you will feel how shameful and contemptible your exchanges with God, your demands of God, and your own extravagant desires were. When your heart truly opens up to God, you will see that His heart is such an infinite world, and you will enter into a realm you have never experienced before. In this realm there is no deception, there is no craftiness, there is no darkness, and no evil. There is only sincerity and faithfulness; only light and rectitude; only righteousness and kindness. It is full of love and care, full of compassion and tolerance, and through it you feel the happiness and joy of being alive. These things are what He will reveal to you when you open up your heart to God. This infinite world is full of God’s wisdom, and full of His omnipotence; it is also full of His love and His authority. Here you can see every aspect of what God has and is, what brings Him joy, why He worries and why He becomes sad, why He becomes angry…. This is what every single person can see who opens up their heart and allows God to come in. God can only come into your heart if you open it up to Him. You can only see what God has and is, and you can only see His will for you, if He has come into your heart. At that time, you will discover that everything about God is so precious, that what He has and is is so worthy of treasuring. Compared to that, the people that surround you, the objects and events in your life, and even your loved ones, your partner, and the things you love, are hardly worth mentioning. They are so small, and so lowly; you will feel that no material object will ever be able to draw you in again, and they cannot get you to pay any price for them again. In God’s humility you will see His greatness and His supremacy; moreover, in something He had done that you believed to be quite small, you will see His infinite wisdom and His tolerance, and you will see His patience, His forbearance, and His understanding of you. This will produce in you a love for Him. On that day, you will feel that mankind is living in such a filthy world, that the people by your side and the things that happen in your life, and even those you love, their love for you, and their so-called protection or their concern for you are not even worth mentioning—only God is your beloved, and it is only God that you treasure the most. When that day comes, I believe that there will be some people who say:is so great, and His essence is so holy—in God there is no craftiness, no evil, no envy, and no strife, but only righteousness and authenticity, and everything that God has and is should be longed for by humans. Humans should strive for and aspire to it. On what basis is mankind’s ability to achieve this built? It is built on the basis of humans’ understanding of God’s disposition, and their understanding of God’s essence. So understanding God’s disposition and what He has and is, is a lifelong lesson for every person, and it’s a lifelong goal pursued by every person who strives to change their disposition, and strives to know God.