God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III

Next, let’s take a look at the last sentence in this passage of scripture: “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” Is there a practical side to this sentence? Can you see the practical side of this? Every single thing that God says comes from His heart, so why did He say this? How do you understand it? You may understand the meaning of this sentence now, but at the time not many people did because mankind had just come out of the Age of Law. For them, coming out from the Sabbath was a very difficult thing to do, not to mention understanding what a true Sabbath is.

The sentence “the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” tells people that God’s everything is immaterial, and although God can provide all of your material needs, once all of your material needs have been met, can the satisfaction from these things replace your pursuit of truth? That is clearly not possible! God’s disposition and what He has and is that we have fellowshiped about are both the truth. It cannot be measured with the heavy price of material objects nor can its value be quantified with money, because it is not a material object, and it supplies the needs of each and every person’s heart. For every person, the value of these intangible truths should be greater than the value of any material things you think are nice, right? This statement is something you need to linger over. The key point of what I’ve said is that what God has and is and God’s everything are the most important things for every single person and they cannot be replaced by any material object. I’ll give you an example: When you’re hungry, you need food. This food can be relatively good or relatively lacking, but as long as you have your fill, that unpleasant feeling of being hungry will no longer be there—it will be gone. You can sit there in peace, and your body will be at rest. People’s hunger can be resolved with food, but when you’re following God and feel that you have no understanding of Him, how can you resolve the emptiness in your heart? Can it be resolved with food? Or when you’re following God and don’t understand His will, what can you use to make up for that hunger in your heart? In the process of your experience of salvation through God, while pursuing a change in your disposition, if you don’t understand His will or don’t know what the truth is, if you don’t understand God’s disposition, don’t you feel very uneasy? Don’t you feel a strong hunger and thirst in your heart? Don’t these feelings prevent you from feeling peace in your heart? So how can you make up for that hunger in your heart—is there a way to resolve it? Some people go shopping, some find their friends to confide in, some people sleep their fill, others read more of God’s words, or they work harder and expend more effort to fulfill their duties. Can these things resolve your actual difficulties? All of you fully understand these kinds of practices. When you feel powerless, when you feel a strong desire to gain enlightenment from God to allow you to know the reality of truth and His will, what do you need most? What you need isn’t a full meal, and it’s not a few kind words. More than that, it’s not the transient comfort and satisfaction of the flesh—what you need is for God to directly, clearly tell you what you should do and how you should do it, to clearly tell you what the truth is. After you’ve understood this, even if it’s just a tiny bit, don’t you feel more satisfied in your heart than if you had eaten a good meal? When your heart is satisfied, doesn’t your heart, your whole person, gain true peace? Through this analogy and analysis, do you understand now why I wanted to share with you this sentence, “the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day”? Its meaning is that what comes from God, what He has and is, and His everything are greater than any other thing, including the thing or the person you once believed you treasured most. That is to say, if a person cannot have words from the mouth of God or they do not understand His will, they cannot gain peace. In your future experiences, you will understand why I wanted you to see this passage today—this is very important. Everything that God does is truth and life. The truth for mankind is something that they cannot lack in their lives, that they can never do without; you could also say that it’s the greatest thing. Although you can’t look at it or touch it, its importance to you cannot be ignored; it is the only thing that can bring peace to your heart.

Is your understanding of truth integrated with your own states? In real life, you first have to think of which truths relate to the people, things, and objects you have encountered; it is among these truths that you can find God’s will and connect what you have encountered with His will. If you don’t know which aspects of the truth relate to the things you’ve encountered but go to directly seek God’s will, this approach is fairly blind and cannot achieve results. If you want to seek the truth and understand God’s will, first you need to look at what kind of things have come upon you, which aspects of the truth they are related to, and look for truth in the word of God that relates to what you have experienced. Then you look for the path of practice right for you in that truth; this way you can gain an indirect understanding of God’s will. Searching for and practicing the truth is not mechanically applying a doctrine or following a formula. The truth is not formulaic, neither is it a law. It’s not dead—it’s life, it’s a living thing, and it’s the rule that a creature must follow and the rule a human must have in their life. This is something that you must understand more from experience. No matter what stage you have arrived at in your experience, you are inseparable from God’s word or the truth, and what you understand of God’s disposition and what you know of what God has and is are all expressed in God’s words; they are inextricably linked with the truth. God’s disposition and what He has and is themselves are the truth; the truth is an authentic manifestation of God’s disposition and what He has and is. It makes what God has and is concrete and expressly states it; it tells you more straightforwardly what God likes, what He doesn’t like, what He wants you to do and what He does not permit you to do, what people He despises and what people He delights in. Behind the truths that God expresses people can see His pleasure, anger, sorrow, and happiness, as well as His essence—this is the revealing of His disposition. Aside from knowing what God has and is, and understanding His disposition from His word, what is most important is the need to reach this understanding through practical experience. If a person removes themselves from real life in order to know God, they will not be able to achieve that. Even if there are people who can gain some understanding from the word of God, it is limited to theories and words, and there is a disparity with what God is really like.

What we’re communicating about now is all within the scope of the stories recorded in the Bible. Through these stories, and through analyzing these things that happened, people can understand His disposition and what He has and is that He has expressed, allowing them to know every aspect of God more broadly, more deeply, more comprehensively, and more thoroughly. So, is the only way to know every aspect of God through these stories? No, it’s not! For what God says and the work He does in the Age of Kingdom can better help people know His disposition, and know it more fully. However, I think it’s a bit easier to know God’s disposition and to understand what He has and is through some examples or stories recorded in the Bible that people are familiar with. If I take the words of judgment and chastisement and the truths that God expresses today to get you to know Him word for word, you’ll feel it’s too dull and too tedious, and some people will even feel that God’s words seem to be formulaic. But if we take these Bible stories as examples to help people know God’s disposition, they won’t find it boring. You could say that in the course of explaining these examples, the details of what was in God’s heart at the time—His mood or sentiment, or His thoughts and ideas—have been told to people in human language, and the goal of all this is to allow them to appreciate, to feel that what God has and is is not a formula. It is not a legend, or something that people can’t see or touch. It is something that truly exists that people can feel, and can appreciate. This is the ultimate goal. You could say that people living in this age are blessed. They can draw on Bible stories to gain a broader understanding of God’s previous work; they can see His disposition through the work that He has done. And they can understand God’s will for mankind through these dispositions that He has expressed, understand the concrete manifestations of His holiness and His care for humans in order to reach a more detailed and deeper knowledge of God’s disposition. I believe that all of you can feel this!

Within the scope of the work that the Lord Jesus completed in the Age of Grace, you can see another aspect of what God has and is. It was expressed through His flesh, and it was made possible for people to see and appreciate through His humanity. In the Son of man, people saw how God in the flesh lived out His humanity, and they saw God’s divinity expressed through the flesh. These two types of expression allowed people to see a very real God, and allowed them to form a different concept of God. However, in the period of time between the creation of the world and the end of the Age of Law, that is, before the Age of Grace, what was seen, heard, and experienced by the people was only God’s divine aspect. It was what God did and said in an intangible realm, and the things that He expressed from His real person that could not be seen or touched. Often, these things made people feel that God was so great, and that they could not get close to Him. The impression God usually gave people was that He flickered in and out, and people even felt that every single one of His thoughts and ideas was so mysterious and so elusive that there was no way to reach them, much less even attempt to understand and appreciate them. For people, everything about God was very distant—so distant that people could not see it, could not touch it. It seemed He was up in the sky, and it seemed He didn’t exist at all. So for people, understanding God’s heart and mind or any of His thinking was unachievable, and even unreachable. Even though God performed some concrete work in the Age of Law, and He also issued some specific words and expressed some specific dispositions to allow people to appreciate and to see some real knowledge of Him, yet in the end, that was God’s expression of what He has and is in an intangible realm, and what people understood, what they knew was still of the divine aspect of what He has and is. Mankind could not gain a concrete concept from this expression of[a] what He has and is, and their impression of God was still stuck within the scope of “a Spirit that is hard to get close to, that flickers in and out.” Because God didn’t use a specific object or an image in the material realm to appear to people, they still couldn’t define Him using human language. In people’s hearts and minds, they always wanted to use their own language to establish a standard for God, to make Him tangible and humanize Him, such as how tall He is, how big He is, what He looks like, what He particularly likes and what His specific personality is. Actually, in His heart God knew that people thought this way. He was very clear on people’s needs, and of course He also knew what He should do, so He carried out His work in a different way in the Age of Grace. This way was both divine and humanized. In the period of time that the Lord Jesus was working, people could see that God had many human expressions. For example, He could dance, He could attend weddings, He could commune with people, speak with them, and discuss things with them. In addition to that, the Lord Jesus also completed a lot of work that represented His divinity, and of course all of this work was an expression and a revealing of God’s disposition. During this time, when God’s divinity was realized in an ordinary flesh that people could see and touch, they no longer felt that He was flickering in and out, that they could not get close to Him. On the contrary, they could try to grasp the will of God or understand His divinity through the every movement, the words, and the work of the Son of man. The incarnate Son of man expressed God’s divinity through His humanity and conveyed the will of God to mankind. And through the expression of God’s will and disposition, He also revealed to people the God that cannot be seen or touched in the spiritual realm. What people saw was God Himself, tangible and with flesh and bones. So the incarnate Son of man made things such as God’s own identity, status, image, disposition, and what He has and is concrete and humanized. Even though the external appearance of the Son of man had some limitations regarding the image of God, His essence and what He has and is were entirely able to represent God’s own identity and status—there were merely some differences in the form of expression. No matter whether it’s the Son of man’s humanity or His divinity, we cannot deny that He represented God’s own identity and status. During this time, however, God worked through the flesh, spoke from the perspective of the flesh, and stood in front of mankind with the identity and status of the Son of man, and this gave people the opportunity to encounter and experience the true words and work of God among mankind. It also allowed people insight into His divinity and His greatness in the midst of humility, as well as to gain a preliminary understanding and a preliminary definition of the authenticity and the reality of God. Even though the work completed by the Lord Jesus, His ways of working, and the perspective from which He spoke differed from God’s real person in the spiritual realm, everything about Him truly represented God Himself that humans had never seen before—this cannot be denied! That is to say, no matter in what form God appears, no matter from which perspective He speaks, or in what image He faces mankind, God represents nothing but Himself. He cannot represent any human—He cannot represent any corrupt human. God is God Himself, and this cannot be denied.

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