First of all we will begin to talk about the things concerning “Adam and Eve.” Let’s read the Bible verses first.
I. Adam and Eve
1. God’s Commandment for Adam
(Gen 2:15-17) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
After hearing this passage concerning “God’s commandment for Adam,” what do you understand? What feeling does this passage give you? Why has this passage concerning “God’s commandment for Adam” been extracted? Do you each have a picture of God and Adam in your heart? You can imagine that. If you were personally on the scene, what kind of God would you think God is in your heart? What feeling does this picture give you? It is a touching and warm picture. Although there is only God and man in it, the close relationship between them is so admirable: God’s love overflows, freely bestowed on man and surrounding man; man, innocent and pure and free from cares and anxieties, lives under God’s eyes happily; God is concerned about man, and man lives under the protection and blessing of God, and what man does and man’s every word and deed are all closely related to God and cannot be independent from God.
It can be said that this was God’s first commandment for man since the creation of mankind. What was there in this commandment? There was God’s will and his worry about mankind in it. It was God’s first commandment and was also God’s first worry about mankind. That is to say, from the moment God created mankind, God had the responsibility for mankind. What was his responsibility? He was to protect man, and he was to watch over man. He hoped that man would believe and obey what he said. This was also God’s first expectation for mankind. With this expectation, God then spoke such a word: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” This simple word represented God’s will, and it also showed that God’s heart was beginning to be concerned about man. Because among all things, only Adam was made in God’s image, only Adam was a living being with God’s breath, and he could walk with God and talk with God, therefore God gave him such a commandment. In this commandment, there was what man could do and what man could not do, which God said very clearly.
From these simple words, we have seen God’s heart. What kind of heart is it? In God’s heart, is there love? Is there concern? God’s love and concern not only can be sensed by man, but can even more be really and truly touched by man in this passage. Isn’t that so? After I have said this, do you feel these few words simple? They are not simple, right? Could you see this before? If God says to you a few such words personally, how will you feel in your heart? If you are one devoid of humanity and your heart is ice-cold, you will have no feeling and will not realize God’s love or try to understand God’s heart; if you are one who has conscience and humanity, your feeling will be different, and you will feel warm, feel cared, feel loved, and feel blissful. Isn’t that so? When you feel these, how will you treat God? Won’t you be attached to God? Won’t you have reverence and love for God in your heart? Won’t your heart draw near to God? This shows how important God’s love for man is! And it is even more important that man can feel and understand God’s love! In fact, in this stage of God’s work, hasn’t God spoken many such words? But among the people today, is there anyone who can understand God’s heart? Can you realize the will of God I have just spoken about? None of you can realize such specific, true, and realistic will of God. So I say that you have no true knowledge and understanding of God. Isn’t that the fact? We will stop here about this passage.
God Created Eve
(Gen 2:18-20) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
(Gen 2:22-23) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her to the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
There is a key sentence in the verses concerning “God created Eve,” and you may underline it: whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Who was the one who gave names to each living creature? It was Adam rather than God. This word tells man a fact: When God created man, he gave him wisdom. That is to say, man’s wisdom was from God. This is beyond doubt. Why? Since God created Adam, had Adam ever been to school? Could he read? When he saw all the living creatures God had created, did he know them? Had God told him what their names were? God certainly had not taught him how to give names to every living creature either. This was a fact! Then how did he know how to give names to these living creatures and what names he should give to them? This had to do with such an issue as what God added to Adam when he was created. The fact proves that when God created man, he added his wisdom to man. This is a key point. You all shall hear it clearly! There is another key point that you should be clear about: After Adam gave names to these living creatures, to God the names of these living creatures were decided. Why do I say so? There was also God’s disposition here, and I have to explain it.
God created man, and he gave man his breath and also gave man some of his wisdom, of his power, and of what he has and is. After God gave man these, man could do something independently and think something independently. If what man thought out or what he did was good in God’s eyes, God would accept it and not interfere in it, and as for the right things man did, God would let them be so. Therefore, what does the word “whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” mean? It means that God did not make any alteration to the name of each living creature and that whatever Adam called it, God said, “Yes,” and God decided what that thing was called. Did God have any objection? No. This is certain! What have you seen here? God has given man wisdom, and if what man does with the wisdom given by God is a positive thing in God’s eyes, it is approved, acknowledged, and accepted by God, and God does not pass any judgment or make any criticism on it. This is something no human being or evil spirit or satan can do. Have you seen the expression of God’s disposition here? With a man, a corrupt man, or satan, would he allow someone else to do something on his behalf under his eyes? Certainly not! Would he contend for this position with another man or another force different from him? Definitely! At that time, if a corrupt man or satan had been with Adam, he would definitely have denied what Adam did. In order to prove that he had independent thinking ability and had his original views, he would have denied all that Adam did, “You say it will be called this, and I will simply not call it this but call it that. You say it will be called Zhang San, and I will simply call it Li Si. I will show you my brilliance.” What nature is this? Isn’t it arrogance? But in God, is there such disposition? Did God have any abnormal and opposing actions toward the thing Adam did? Certainly not! In the expression of God’s disposition, there is not any trace of argument, arrogance, or self-rightness. This was manifested very clearly here. Although it was a very small thing, if you cannot know God’s substance and if in your heart you do not ponder how God did it and what God’s attitude was, then you will fail to know God’s disposition or see the manifestation or expression of God’s disposition. Isn’t that so? Then, do you agree with the explanations I gave just now? With regard to the thing done by Adam, although God did not say to him such words as these in a big way: “You have done a good job and done it rightly. I agree to it!”, he accepted it in his heart, and he highly appreciated and approved it. It was the first thing mankind did for God as God commanded since the creation of the world, and it was done in God’s stead and done on God’s behalf. In God’s eyes, it was out of the wisdom God had bestowed to man. It was good and was positive in the sight of God. What Adam at that time did was the first manifestation of God’s wisdom in mankind, and this manifestation was good in God’s eyes. Here I want to tell you: The reason why God added part of what he has and is and of his wisdom to man is that he wants man to become a living being manifesting him; it is exactly what he has long expected that such a living being can do things on his behalf.
3. (Gen 3:20-21) And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. To Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Let’s look at the third passage. Here it says that the name Adam gave to Eve had meaning, right? This proves that after Adam was made, he had thought, and he understood many things. As to what he understood and how much he understood, we will not study or discuss them now, for they are not the crucial point of the third passage, which I will talk about. Where does the crucial point of the third passage lie? Let’s look at the verse “To Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” If I did not bring up this verse and fellowship about it today, you might never be able to realize what connotation this word has. First, I will give a clue to you. You may stretch your imagination, picturing the garden of Eden: Adam and Eve live in it. When God comes to see them, they hide because they are naked. God cannot see them, so he calls to them. And they say, “We are naked and are afraid to see you.” Because they were naked and were afraid to see God, what did the LORD God do for them? The original text says, “To Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Now do you know of what God made coats for them? God made coats of skins for them. That is to say, the coat God made for man was a leather coat. It was the first coat God made for man. Nowadays, a leather coat is considered as an expensive coat, and not everyone can afford it. If someone asks you, “What was the first coat worn by the ancestor of mankind in the very beginning?”, you can tell him, “A leather coat.” If he asks, “Who made it?”, then you can tell him, “God made it!” Here lies the crucial point: The coat was made by God. Is this worth talking about? At the description I have just given, do you have a picture in your mind? You should have a broad outline of it! My purpose in speaking these words today is not for you to know what the first coat worn by mankind was. Then where does the crucial point of these words lie? The crucial point does not lie in the leather coat. The crucial point I want to talk about is how man should know the disposition and what God has and is, which God expressed when he did this thing.
In the picture “To Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them,” whom do we see God stayed with Adam and Eve as? In the world where there were only two people, whom did God appear as? Did he appear as God? The brothers and sisters from Hong Kong, give your answer. (As their parent.) The brothers and sisters from South Korea, whom do you think God appeared as? (As the head of the family.) The brothers and sisters in Taiwan, give your answer. (As the family of Adam and Eve, as their dear one.) Some think that God appeared as the dear one of Adam and Eve; others say that God appeared as the head of the family; and still others say that he appeared as their parent. These are all very appropriate. But what do I want to say? God created these two people, and he regarded them as his companions, and he, as their only family, took care of their life and their food, clothing, shelter, and travel. Here, God appeared as the parent of Adam and Eve. In this thing God did, men cannot see God’s loftiness, cannot see God’s supremacy, and cannot see God’s mysteriousness and unfathomableness, much less see God’s wrath and majesty, but they only see God’s humbleness and God’s lovingkindness and see God’s concern for man and God’s responsibility and loving care for man. God treated Adam and Eve with the same attitude and in the same way as human parents are concerned about their children and also as human parents tenderly love, look after, and care for their children, true and real and visible and tangible. God did not pose him as one in a lofty position but personally made the coats of skins for mankind and clothed them. Whether the coats were used to cover their shame or protect them against the cold, anyway, God did this thing in person and with his own hands, and it was not that God made the coats by a thought or by performing a sign to cover man’s body as people have imagined, but that he practically did a thing that mankind does not think he could do or should do. Although this thing was simple and men even think that it is not worth mentioning, it causes all those who follow God but have been full of vague imaginations about God to see God’s realness and God’s loveliness and see God’s faithfulness and God’s humbleness. And it causes those arrogant ones who consider themselves lofty and without equal in the world to be ashamed and bow their high-held heads before God’s realness and humbleness. Here, God’s realness and humbleness cause men all the more to see God’s loveliness, and by comparison, the “lofty” god, the “lovely” god, or the “omnipotent” god in men’s heart becomes so small and ugly and so weak as to be unable to withstand a single blow. When you read this word, when you hear this thing, will you despise God because God did such a thing? Some of you probably will, while some others, on the contrary, will think that God is real and God is lovely. It is God’s realness and loveliness that move them. The more they see the real aspect of God, the more they will feel the real existence of God’s love, realize the weightiness of God in man’s heart, and feel that God is beside man all the time.
Speaking of this, we should relate it to the present. Since God could in the beginning do tiny little things like this for the men created by him, and even do something people never dare to think about or expect, can he do such things on people of today? Some answer, “Yes!” Why? Because God’s substance is not performed, God’s loveliness is not performed. God’s substance truly exists, and it is not added to him by others, much less does it change with time, place, and age. In the things done by God which are inconspicuous to man and which man considers very small, and even in a very small thing that man thinks God can never possibly do, God’s realness and God’s loveliness can be truly reflected. God is not hypocritical, and in his disposition and substance there is no pompousness, no pretense, no haughtiness, and no arrogance. He never boasts but with a faithful and truthful attitude, he has been taking good care of, showing concern for, watching over, and leading the man created by him. No matter how much people can realize it, how much they can feel it, and how much they can see it, God has been indeed doing such things. When you know about such substance of God, will it affect your love for God? Will it affect your fear of God? I hope that when you know about the real aspect of God, you will draw nearer to God and will more truly feel God’s love and God’s care for man, and at the same time you will hand over your heart to God and no longer have any suspicion of or doubt about God. God has been doing every single thing silently for mankind and doing everything by his sincerity, by his faithfulness, and with his love. But as to all these done by him, he never has any hesitation or regret about them, never needs man to repay him with anything, and never hopes to get something from man. His only purpose in doing all these is that he can gain man’s true faith and love for him. That is all for the first topic!
Are these subjects helpful to you? How much help are they? (We have gained more understanding and knowledge of God’s love.) (Fellowshipping about them this way enables us to from now on better understand God’s words, understand what God felt and meant when he spoke the words, and understand the state of heart God had then.) After reading these words, does anyone all the more feel the real existence of God and feel that God’s existence is no longer empty or vague? After man has such a feeling, won’t he feel that God is right beside him? Now you may not feel that so obviously, or you may not be able to realize that. But one day when you in your heart truly have a deep feeling about God’s disposition and God’s substance and have a true knowledge of them, you will feel that God is right beside you, but your heart has never received God. This is true!
What do you feel about our fellowshipping in this way? Can you keep up? Do you feel very heavy when we fellowship about the topic of God’s work and God’s disposition in this way? How do you feel? (I feel it is good, and feel excited.) What do you feel good about? Why are you excited? (I feel as if I have come back to the garden of Eden and come back to God’s side.) In fact, the topic of God’s disposition is very strange to everyone, because what you have imagined about it, what you have read about it from books, or what you have heard about it from the fellowships at ordinary times makes you always feel that you are like the blind men trying to size up the elephant, only touching it with your hands but not seeing it with your eyes actually. “The touching of your hands” cannot at all give you a general outline of the knowledge of God, much less give you a clear concept of the knowledge of God; rather, it causes you to have more imaginations, so that you always fail to accurately define what God’s disposition is and what God’s substance is, and these imaginary and uncertain elements, on the contrary, cause you to always have many doubts in your heart. The things you cannot be certain about and yet you want to know always bring contradictions and conflicts in your heart, and sometimes they even cause disturbances in your heart, making you not know what to follow. When you want to pursue God, want to know God, and want to see him clearly but you always fail to get an answer, isn’t this a painful thing to you? Of course, this word only applies to those who want to pursue to fear God and want to pursue to satisfy God. To those who simply pay no attention to these things, it actually matters nothing. For they wish God’s realness and God’s existence were a legend or a dream. In that case, they could have their own way and could lord it over others and exalt themselves over all, and whatever evil things they do, they would not need to worry about any consequences, would not have to be punished, and would not have to bear any responsibility, and even those words God says about the wicked would not be fulfilled in them. This portion of people are not willing to know about God’s disposition, detest knowing about God, and detest knowing about anything related to God. They wish God did not exist. They are hostile to God. And they are the portion of people to be eliminated.
Next, we will talk about the things in the story of Noah that are related to the topic of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself.
From these verses, what do you see God did on Noah? Through the reading of these verses, everyone present may have known something about it: God commanded Noah to make an ark, and then God destroyed the world with a flood; God commanded Noah to make an ark in order to save the eight members of Noah’s family, so that they would be left alive and be the ancestors of the mankind in the next age. Now, read the verses.
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.