Since God created mankind, he has begun to do the work. In the beginning, he did a very simple work. Although the work was simple, there was also God’s substance and God’s disposition expressed in it. Now God’s work has been uplifted, and God has done a great many concrete works on everyone who follows him and has expressed a great many words to man. But from beginning to end, God’s original person has been hidden from man. Although he has been incarnated twice, nevertheless from the time recorded in the Bible until now, who has ever seen God’s real person? As far as you know, has anyone ever seen God’s real person? No. No one has ever seen God’s real person, that is, no one has ever seen God’s true image. This is acknowledged by everyone. That is to say, God’s real person, God’s Spirit, has been hidden from all men. Even Adam and Eve God created and also Job, the righteous man God accepted, had never seen God’s real person. Then why has God consciously hidden his real person? Some say, “God is afraid that he may frighten man.” Others say, “God has hidden his real person like this because man is so small and God is so great; man cannot see him and once he sees, he will die.” Still others say, “God has been busy managing his work every day and may not have time to appear to man for him to see.” No matter what you think, I have a conclusion here. What is the conclusion? God simply does not want mankind to see his real person. Here God’s “being hidden from man” is a thing deliberately done by God. That is to say, God has been consciously keeping man from seeing his real person. You all get it, right? Since God has never made his original person manifest to man, then do you think there exists God’s original person? (Yes.) This is for sure! The existence of God’s original person is beyond all doubt. As to how great God’s original person is or what he is like, is it a subject mankind should probe into? No! The answer is in the negative. The topic concerning God’s original person is not a subject for us to probe into. Then what is the subject we should probe into? (God’s disposition.) (God’s work.) Before we fellowship about the main topic, let’s return to the topic we talked about just now: Why has God never made his original person manifest to mankind? Why has God consciously hidden his original person from mankind? There is only one reason. It is: Although the created mankind has experienced God’s work for several thousands of years, none of them knows God’s work and knows God’s disposition and God’s substance; in God’s eyes such a mankind is a mankind hostile to God, and God will not appear to a mankind hostile to him. This is the only reason why God has never made his original person manifest to mankind and why God has consciously hidden his original person from mankind. Now, are you clear about the importance of knowing God’s disposition?
Since God’s management began, he has been doing his work with all his heart and with all his strength. Although he has been hiding his original person, he has been accompanying mankind, working on mankind, expressing his disposition, leading all mankind with his substance, and working on everyone by his power, with his wisdom, and by his authority, so that there has been the Age of the Law, the Age of the Grace, and the Age of the Kingdom of today. Although God’s original person has been hidden from man, God has been making his disposition, what he has and is, and his will for mankind all manifest to man without any reserve for man to see and experience. That is to say, although mankind cannot see or touch God, the disposition of God and the substance of God mankind contacts are exactly the expressions of God Godself. Isn’t that the fact? No matter in what way or position God does his work, it is with his true identity that he treats man, does the work he should do, and speaks the words he should speak. No matter in what position God speaks, whether he speaks to man in the height of the third heaven, in the position of the flesh, or even in the position of an ordinary man, he speaks with all his heart and with all his mind, without any deception or concealment. During his working, he has been expressing his words, expressing his own disposition, and also expressing what he himself has and is, without any reserve! He has been leading mankind with his life and with what he has and is. In this way, under the leading of the “invisible and intangible” God, mankind went through the Age of the Law—the age of mankind’s cradle.
After the Age of the Law, God was incarnated the first time. That incarnation lasted for thirty–three and a half years. Is thirty–three and a half years a long time with a man? (No.) For in general, men all have a lifespan of over thirty years. So thirty–three and a half years is not too long in man’s eyes. But with the incarnated God, the thirty-three and a half years is a long time. He became a man—a common person undertaking God’s work and undertaking God’s commission. This meant that he would undertake the work that an ordinary man could not undertake and at the same time bear the sufferings that an ordinary man could not bear. In the Age of the Grace, from the time he began to work until the time he was crucified, the Lord Jesus underwent many sufferings. Although people of today cannot see that with their own eyes, can’t you feel something about it from the stories recorded in the Bible? No matter how many details there are in the recorded facts, the work God did in that period was filled with hardships and dangers and sufferings. For a corrupt man, thirty–three and a half years is not long at all, and it is nothing to undergo some sufferings; for the holy and spotless God, he had to tolerate the sins of all men and had to eat, stay, and live with sinners, so this suffering was too great. He was the Creator, and he ruled over all things, ruling over everything, but when he came to the world, he had to bear being slaughtered and afflicted by corrupt mankind, and in order to complete his work and save mankind from the abyss of misery, he had to be condemned by men and bear the sins of all men. All these sufferings he underwent are beyond the imagination and understanding of ordinary men. What did his sufferings mean? They meant God’s devotion to mankind, meant the humiliations he suffered and the price he paid for the salvation of mankind, for the redemption of man’s sins, and for the accomplishment of that stage of work, and also meant that mankind would be redeemed from the cross by God. This price was the price of blood, the price of life, which could not be paid by any created being. It was because he had the substance of God and possessed what God has and is that he could bear those sufferings and undertake such a work, which could not be done by any created being in his stead. This is the work God did and the disposition God expressed in the Age of the Grace. Wasn’t there the expression of what God has and is in it? Isn’t it worthy for mankind to know?
In that age, although men did not see God’s original person, they received the sin offering from God and were redeemed by God from the cross. People may not be strange to the work God did in the period of the Age of the Grace, but who is not strange to the disposition God expressed and the will of God in that period? People have only known in various ways about the contents of the works God did in different periods or the stories concerning God which happened while he did these works. These contents and stories are only some information or legends about God at most, and they have nothing to do with God’s disposition and God’s substance. So no matter how many stories about God people have known, it does not mean that they have a deep understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition and substance. Like those in the Age of the Law, the people in the Age of the Grace hardly had any knowledge of God’s disposition and substance, though they had an intimate zero-distance contact with the incarnated God.
When it comes to the Age of the Kingdom, God is incarnated again, and this way is the same as his first incarnation. During this period of his working, God still has been unreservedly expressing his words, doing the work he should do, and expressing what he has and is, and at the same time, he has been continuously bearing with and tolerating man’s disobedience and man’s ignorance. During the period of his working this time, hasn’t God also been continuously manifesting his disposition and expressing his own will? So, from the time mankind began to exist until now, God’s disposition, what God has and is, and God’s will have been open to everyone, and God has never consciously hidden his substance, hidden his disposition, or hidden his will. But no one has cared about what God is doing or what God’s will is, so man has a pitifully little knowledge about God. That is to say, while God has been hiding his original person, he has been accompanying man all the time and been openly expressing his will and his disposition and substance all the time. In some sense, God’s original person has also been open to man, but man’s blindness and disobedience have caused him never to see God’s appearing. So according to the situation now, is it a very easy thing for everyone to know about God’s disposition and know about God Godself? It is not so easy to answer this question, right? If you say it is easy, some people always fail to know God and always fail to have a clear knowledge of God—feeling him obscure and vague, though they are also pursuing to know God; if you say it is not easy, that is also not right! Having experienced God’s work for so long a time, everyone has had true contacts with God in his experience, and surely he has had some responses to God in his heart and spirit and has had collisions with God in his heart and spirit, and he should have some perceptual knowledge of God’s disposition and have gained some knowledge about God. Having followed God until now, people have received so much, but because of various reasons—their poor qualities, their ignorance, their disobedience, and their various intents, they have lost too much. In fact, hasn’t God given people much? Although God has hidden his original person, he has supplied what he has and is and his life all to people. People’s knowledge of God really should not be as it is now. So I think it very necessary to further fellowship with you about the topic of “God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself.” The purpose is so that God’s painstaking care and effort for man over these several thousands of years will not be wasted, and so that man will clearly know about and understand God’s will for mankind. In this way, not only will man be enabled to mount a new step in the realm of knowing God, but the real place of God in man’s heart will be restored, that is, “justice” will be given to God.
To know about God’s disposition and know about God Godself, we have to begin with the little bits. With the little bits of what things should we begin? First, I have found some verses from the Bible. The following are the verses extracted from the Bible. These verses are all related to the subject of “God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself,” which I have specially found to serve as reference material for you to know God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself. Here we will share these verses and see what disposition and what substance God expressed in his former work, which are unknown to man. Although these verses are old, the topic we will fellowship about is something new and is something man does not have and something man has never heard. Some people may feel this is unthinkable: “The story of Adam and Eve is brought up, and also the story of Noah. Aren’t we taking the road back?” No matter what you think, these Bible verses are very useful to the topic to be fellowshipped about today, and they can serve as the teaching material or the first-hand material for this topic. After I fellowship about these verses, you will know my purpose in selecting them. All those who have read the Bible before may have read these several passages but may not truly understand them. Let’s first skim over them before we specifically fellowship about them one by one.
Adam and Eve were the ancestors of mankind. If we speak about the figures in the Bible, we should first speak about these two people. The second is Noah. He was the second ancestor of mankind. Do you see that? Who is the third one? (Abraham.) Do you all know the story of Abraham? Some of you may know it, and some may not be very clear about it. Who is the fourth figure? Who was mentioned in the story of the destruction of Sodom? (Lot.) But here Lot is not mentioned. Who is mentioned? (Abraham.) In this passage of the story about Abraham, what the LORD God said is mainly mentioned. Do you see that? Who is the fifth figure? (Job.) In this stage of God’s work, hasn’t God spoken of the story about Job many times? Then are you very much concerned with this story? Since you are very much concerned with it, have you carefully read it in the Bible? Do you know what Job said and what he did? How many times has the most frequent reader read? Do you often read it? The sisters in Hong Kong, give your answer. (Before, that is, in the Age of the Grace, I read it one or two times.) You have never read it again since then? It is really a pity! I tell you: In this stage of work, God has spoken of Job many times, and there is God’s will in that. But the “many times of speaking of him” have not aroused your attention. This proves a fact: You are not interested in being a good man or in being a man who fears God and shuns evil. For you are only content with having a general idea of the story of Job spoken of by God and content with knowing about the story itself, but never try to concern yourselves with or know about the particulars of Job himself or God’s intention in speaking of Job many times. As you are not even interested in such a man whom God approves, what do you really pay attention to? As you do not even try to concern yourselves with or know about such an important man spoken of by God, what is your attitude toward God’s word? Isn’t this a sad thing? Can’t it prove that most of you are not practical and are not ones who pursue the truth? If you are a pursuer of the truth, you will pay enough attention to the man approved by God and to the story of the man spoken of by God, and no matter whether you can reach and touch it or not, you will immediately go to read and know about it, and then try to follow the example of him and strive to do what you can do. This is a manifestation that one who thirsts for the truth should have. But of you who are present, most have never even read the story of Job. This can really reveal something.
Let’s come back to the topic we talked about just now. In these verses concerning the Old Testament Age of the Law are mainly my extracts of the stories of some figures. They are the stories that most of those who have read the Bible have often heard and well remembered, and the figures in them are very representative. After reading them, you can feel that the works God did on them and the words God spoke to them are what people of today can touch and understand. When you read these stories, when you read these records in the Bible, you can better know how God did his work and how he treated man at that time. But today my purpose in selecting these verses is not for you to know about these stories or the figures in them but for you to see God’s deeds and God’s disposition from the stories of these figures, so that you will know and understand God and see the real aspect of God and bring an end to your imaginations, to your notions about God, and to your vague belief in God. Because when you try to know about God’s disposition and understand and know God Godself without basis, you often feel very helpless and feel that you are powerless and do not know how to start, therefore I have thought out this method in order for you to be better able to know about God and to truly understand God’s will, know God’s disposition, and know God Godself through this method and way, so that you will truly and clearly feel God’s existence and truly and clearly understand God’s will for mankind. Isn’t this beneficial to you? Then, when you again read these stories and verses now, what do you think in your heart? Do you feel that these verses I have selected are unnecessary? I have to stress again what I have just told you: My purpose in asking you to read the stories of these figures is for you to know about how God has been working on men and what God’s attitude toward mankind is. Through what can you know about these? Through the works God did and by linking it with the work God is doing now, you can know about the bits of God. These bits are true and are what you must know and understand as ones who want to know God.
The Church of Almighty God came into being because of the work of the returned Lord Jesus—the end-time Christ, “Almighty God”—in China, and it isn’t established by any person. Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. After reading God’s expression, you will see that God has appeared.