Today we will fellowship about a very important topic. It is a topic we have been talking about from the beginning of God’s working until now, and it is very important to everyone. That is to say, this topic is an issue everyone can contact and must contact in the course of his believing in God, and it is a very important and unavoidable issue man cannot be apart from. Speaking of being important, what is most important to every believer in God? Some think it is most important to understand God’s will; some think it is most important to eat and drink more of God’s word; others think it is most important to know the self; and still others think it is most important to know how to be saved by God, how to follow God, and how to be able to satisfy God’s heart’s desire. Today we will lay aside all these topics and not talk about them. What will we talk about? We will talk about a topic concerning “God.” Isn’t this topic most important to everyone? What are the contents of the topic concerning “God”? Of course, this topic cannot be apart from God’s disposition, God’s substance, and God’s work. Then, today we will talk about “God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself.”
From the time people began to believe in God, they have contacted the topic of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself. When God’s work is mentioned, some may say, “God’s work is done on us, and we are experiencing it every day. We are not strange to it.” When God’s disposition is mentioned, some may say, “God’s disposition is a subject we have been studying, probing into, and paying attention to all our life, and to us, it is not strange either.” As for God Godself, some may say, “God Godself is the One we follow and believe in, and he is also the One we pursue after; to us, he is not strange either.” Since the creation of the world, God has never stopped his work. During his work, he has been expressing his disposition and expressing his words in various ways, and at the same time, he has been constantly expressing himself and expressing his substance to mankind and expressing his will and requirements for mankind. Therefore, these subjects are not strange to anyone according to the letter. In fact, to those who follow God now, God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself are all very strange. Why do I say so? It is because when people are experiencing God’s work, they are also having dealings with God, and they feel that they have understood God’s disposition and known part of God’s disposition, and so none of them feels that he is strange to God’s work or to God’s disposition. People feel that they are very familiar with God and know a lot about God. But judging from the present situation, many people’s knowledge about God is only limited to the books, to the scope of their experience, to their imagination, and even more, to the facts they have seen with their eyes, and it is far from being in conformity with the true God Godself. Speaking of “far,” how far exactly is it? You may not be clear about it in your heart, or you may have some consciousness of it or a little feeling about it. But as far as God Godself is concerned, what people have known about him falls far short of the substance of the true God Godself. So, it is very necessary for us to raise the topic of “God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself” and have a systematic and specific fellowship about it.
In fact, God’s disposition is open rather than hidden to everyone. This is because God has never consciously avoided anyone nor ever consciously concealed himself to keep man from knowing him or understanding him, but instead, his disposition has been always open, facing everyone plainly at all times. In God’s management, God has been doing his work, facing everyone, and moreover, his work is done on everyone. While doing the work, he has been continuously expressing his disposition and continuously leading and supplying everyone with his substance and with what he has and is. In every age and every period, whether in favorable or adverse environments, God’s disposition is open to everyone and what he has and is is also open to everyone, just as his life supplies and sustains man unfailingly. But to some people, God’s disposition is hidden. Why do I say so? It is because although this kind of people are living in God’s work and although they are following God, they never try to understand God or want to know God, much less want to draw near to God. To them, once they know about God’s disposition, it will mean that their end has come and that they are judged and condemned by God’s disposition. So, this kind of people never want to know about God or know about God’s disposition or want to deeply know about God’s will or understand God’s will. They do not want to comprehend God’s will through conscious cooperation, but are just joyfully and tirelessly doing the things they want to do and believing in the god they are willing to believe in, believing in the imaginary god in their heart, the god in their notions, and believing in a god that “follows them like a shadow” in their daily life. For the true God Godself, they do not spare a glance, and they do not want to understand him or want to take notice of him, much less want to draw near to him, but instead they whitewash themselves and package themselves with the words expressed by God. Thus, they feel that they have succeeded in believing in God and have believed in God to the point of having God in their heart. In their heart, their imaginations, their notions, and their conclusions about God are leading them, while the true God Godself has nothing to do with them. Because once they know about the true God Godself, know about the true disposition of God, and know about what God has and is, it will mean that their doings, their belief, and their pursuit are condemned, therefore they are very unwilling to know about God’s substance and are very unwilling and reluctant to seek or pray on their own initiative so as to better know about God, know God’s will, and know about God’s disposition. They wish God were something fabricated, empty, and vague, and wish God were exactly the same God in their imagination, who can be ordered about by them and is inexhaustible in supply and always available for use. When they want to enjoy God’s grace, they ask God to be their grace; when they need blessings, they ask God to be their blessings; when they encounter an adverse environment, they ask God to boost their courage and be their rear guard. These people’s knowledge of God just remains in the scopes of grace and blessing, and their knowledge about God’s work, God’s disposition, and God is just limited to their imaginations and doctrines and letters. But there are a portion of people who are eager to know about God’s disposition, to see God Godself truly and clearly, and to know about God’s disposition and what God has and is truly and practically. This portion of people pursue the reality of the truth, pursue to be saved by God, and pursue to receive God’s conquering, salvation, and perfection of them. These people read God’s word with their heart, try to understand with their heart every environment God sets and the people, matters, and things God arranges for them every time, and pray and seek with a sincere heart. They want to know God’s will the most and want to know about the true disposition and substance of God the most, so that they will no longer offend God but will see more of God’s loveliness and the real aspect of God in their experience, so that there will be a true and real God in their heart, and so that God will have a place in their heart and they will no longer live in their imaginations and notions or live in vagueness. The reason why these people are eager to know about God’s disposition and know about God’s substance is that to them God’s disposition and God’s substance are what man needs at all times in his experience and are man’s life supply throughout his life. Once they know about God’s disposition, they will be able to fear God more and be able to cooperate with God’s work better, care for God’s will better, and perform their duty well. These are the two kinds of people’s attitudes toward God’s disposition. One kind of people do not want to know about God’s disposition. Although they say with their mouth that they want to know about God’s disposition, want to know God Godself, want to see what God has and is, and want to really and truly understand God’s will, in their heart they wish God did not exist. For these people always disobey and resist God, always contend with God for position in their heart, and often doubt and even deny God’s existence in their heart. They do not want God’s disposition or the true God Godself to occupy their heart, but only want to satisfy their own desires and only want to satisfy their own imaginations and their own ambitions. So, although this portion of people believe in God and although they follow God and can leave their families and give up their careers, they constantly do evil deeds. Some of them even steal offerings, some squander offerings, others even curse God privately, and still others take the advantage of their position to constantly testify themselves and exalt themselves, contend with God for people and for position, and have people adore them in every way and by every means, always trying to win others’ hearts and control them. Some even deliberately have others mistake them for God and thus treat them as God. They never say to others that they are corrupt men and they also have corruptions and arrogance and should not be adored and that no matter how well they do, it is of God’s uplifting and is what they should do. Why do they not say so? Because they deeply fear that they will lose their place in others’ hearts. So such people never exalt God or testify God. The reason why they do not exalt God or testify God is that they never try to know God. As they do not try to know God, can they gain knowledge of God? Impossible! So, although the several words in the topic of “God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Godself” are simple, they mean different things to different people. To those who often disobey God, resist God, and are hostile to God, they are condemnation; to those who pursue the reality of the truth and can often come before God to seek God’s will, no doubt they make them feel just like fish in water. So, when some among you hear that we will talk about God’s disposition and God’s work, their heads swim with a “buzz,” and they are full of resistance in their hearts, feeling terribly bad! But others, after hearing it, feel that this topic is exactly what they need, because it is of great benefit to them and is an indispensable part in their experience of life, is the key of keys, and is the foundation for man’s believing in God, which man cannot be apart from. Although this topic is both near and far and both strange and familiar to everyone, anyway it is that which everyone present must listen to and must know and understand. No matter how you treat this topic, how you regard it, and how you comprehend it, its significance cannot be neglected.
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.
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.
- God Would Destroy the World with a Flood, and He Commanded Noah to Make an Ark
(Gen 6: 9-14) These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth. And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.
(Gen 6:18-22) But with you will I establish my covenant; and you shall come into the ark, you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shall you bring into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come to you, to keep them alive. And take you to you of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to you; and it shall be for food for you, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Through the reading of these passages, do you get a general idea of the man Noah? What kind of man was Noah? The text says: “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations.” According to the understanding of the people today, what kind of man was a “just man” in that time? A “just man” should be a perfect man. Do you know this perfect man was a perfect man in men’s eyes or a perfect man in God’s eyes? No doubt, this “perfect man” was a perfect man in God’s eyes rather than in men’s eyes. This is certain! For men were blind and could not see that, and only God searched the whole earth and searched everyone, and only God knew that Noah was a perfect man. So God launched his plan of destroying the world with a flood at the very moment when Noah was called.
When it came to that time, God wanted to call Noah to do a very important thing. Why did God want to do it? Because God had a plan in his heart then, and his plan was to destroy the world with a flood. Why did he want to destroy the world? Here it says: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” What have you seen from the word “The earth was filled with violence”? When the world and mankind were corrupt to the utmost, there was a phenomenon on the earth, that is, “the earth was filled with violence.” To put it in modern language, “being filled with violence” means that everything was in a muddle. In man’s eyes, all walks of life were in disorder, very chaotic, and not easy to manage. In God’s eyes, the mankind in that world was too corrupt. To what extent were they corrupt? They were corrupt to such an extent that God could no longer bear to see them and could no longer be patient with them and to such an extent that God was determined to destroy them. When God was determined to destroy the world, God planned to find a man to make an ark. Then God chose Noah to do such a thing, that is, he commanded Noah to make an ark. Why did he choose Noah? Noah was a just man in God’s eyes, and moreover, he would do everything just as God commanded him, that is to say, whatever God told him, he would do it. God wanted to find such a man to cooperate with his work, accomplish his commission, and accomplish the work he would do on earth. Then besides Noah, was there any other man in that time who could accomplish such a work? Certainly not! Noah was the only possible man for it, the only possible man who could accomplish God’s commission, so God chose him. However, are the scope and the standard of God’s salvation of man in that time the same as those of today? The answer is that certainly there is a difference between them! Why do I ask this? Although in that time only Noah was a just man in God’s eyes, which implies that his children and his wife were not just men, God left them alive because of Noah. God did not make requirements of them according to what he requires of man now. Rather, he left all the eight members of Noah’s family alive. They were blessed by God because of Noah’s righteousness. Without Noah, none of them could possibly accomplish that commission of God, so Noah was the only man who should be left alive when the world was destroyed that time, while others were just favored specially. It can be seen that in that time when God had not formally carried out his management work, the principle and the standard by which God treated man and made requirements of man were comparatively “lenient.” In the eyes of the people today, God treating the eight members of Noah’s family in that way, he seems to be not “just and fair.” As far as the great many works God does on the people today and the great many words God speaks to them are concerned, God’s “treatment” of the eight members of Noah’s family was only a principle of working God adopted under the background of his work at that time. In comparison, who of the people today and the eight members of Noah’s family have gained more from God?
Although the matter of Noah being called is a simple fact, the crucial points we will talk about, the disposition of God, the will of God, and the substance of God in the record of this passage, are not simple. To know about these aspects of God, we should first know about what kind of man God wanted to call. Through knowing about what kind of man God wanted to call, we can know about God’s disposition, God’s will, and God’s substance. This is most important. Then in God’s eyes what kind of man was the man God wanted to call? This man had to be a man who could listen to his word and could do according to what he commanded him, and this man had also to be a man who had a sense of responsibility and a man who could fulfill God’s word as his bounden responsibility and duty. Then did such a man have to be one who knows God? No. In that time, Noah had not heard so many teachings of God or experienced any of God’s works, so he had very little knowledge of God. Although it is recorded here that Noah walked with God, had he ever seen God’s original person? It can be said with certainty: No! For in that time, only the messengers of God came to man. Although they could speak and do things on God’s behalf, they only conveyed God’s will and God’s intention. God’s original person did not appear to man personally. In this passage, what we mainly see are the things Noah was to do and what God commanded him. Then, what is God’s substance expressed here? God does everything according to a careful plan, and when he sees a thing or a phenomenon happening, he has a standard to judge it by. This standard determines whether or not he will begin planning to deal with such a thing or phenomenon or how he will treat it. He is not indifferent to or with no feeling toward anything, but just the contrary. Here there is a word God said to Noah: “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” In this word of God, did God say that he would only destroy men? No! God said that he would destroy all living things of all flesh. Why would God destroy them? Here there was again the expression of God’s disposition: In God’s eyes, in his treatment of the corruption of mankind and the filthiness, violence, and disobedience of all fleshly men, there was a limit to his patience. What was the limit? It was what God said: “God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.” What does the word “all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth” mean? It means that all the living things, including those who followed God, those who called upon the name of God with their mouth, those who had ever offered burnt offerings to God, and those who confessed God and even praised God with their mouth, once they had completely corrupted their ways and that had reached God’s eyes, God would destroy them. This was God’s limit. That is to say, to what extent could God be patient with mankind and with the corruption of all flesh? To the extent that none of the people, whether the followers of God or the unbelievers, went the right way, to the extent that not only was this mankind morally corrupt and full of evil, but there was no one who believed in the existence of God, much less was there anyone who believed that the world is ruled over by God and it is God who can bring the light and the right way to man, and to the extent that mankind hated the existence of God and did not allow God to exist. Once mankind’s corruption reached this degree, God would not be patient with them anymore. What would replace this? God’s wrath and God’s punishment were about to come upon them. Wasn’t this part of the expression of God’s disposition? In the present age, is there anyone who is a just man in God’s eyes? Is there anyone who is a perfect man in God’s eyes? Isn’t this age an age in which all flesh has corrupted his way on the earth in God’s eyes? In this age, except for those whom God intends to make complete, the human beings who can follow God and receive God’s salvation, aren’t all fleshly men already challenging the limit of God’s patience? In this world, the things that happen around you every day and everything you see with your eyes, hear with your ears, or experience personally, aren’t they all filled with violence? In God’s eyes, shouldn’t such a world and such an age be ended? Although the background of the present age is completely different from that of Noah’s time, God’s feeling and God’s anger toward the corruption of mankind are the same as those of that time. God can be patient because of his work, but as far as all kinds of situations and conditions are concerned, this world should have long been destroyed in God’s eyes, for it is much worse than the world destroyed by the flood. However, what is the difference? This is also a thing that saddens God’s heart the most. Maybe none of you can realize it.
When the world would be destroyed with a flood, God could call Noah to make an ark and do some preparatory works for God before the destruction of the world by a flood. God could call a man—Noah—to do the series of things for God. But in the present age, God has no one to call. Why is this? Maybe everyone present knows and is clear about the reason. Is it necessary for me to make this thing clear? If I speak of it, that may somewhat hurt your face and make everyone upset. Some say, “Although we are not just men, nor are we perfect men in God’s eyes, if God commands us to do a certain thing, we will be equal to it. This is because before, when it was said that the great disasters would come, we began to prepare food and the things needed in the disasters. Wasn’t all that done according to God’s requirement? Weren’t we very cooperative with God’s work? Then can’t we compare with Noah in doing these things? Isn’t our doing so true obedience? Isn’t our doing so acting according to what God has commanded us? Haven’t we also done according to God’s word because of believing it? Then why is God still grieved? And why does he say that he can find no one to call?” Is there any difference between the doings and behavior of these people and Noah’s? What is the difference? (It is out of our own will that today we have prepared those foods for disasters.) (Our doings and behavior all fall short of righteousness, while Noah was a just man in God’s eyes.) This word is somewhat relevant. There is a substantive difference between the things Noah did and the things people today did. When Noah did the things according to what God commanded him, he did not know what God’s will was or know what God would accomplish. God only gave him a charge, commanding him what he should do, without much explanation, and he just did according to it. He did not guess God’s intention secretly, and he did not have resistance against or have a double heart toward God, but he just did according to what God commanded him with a pure and simple heart, and whatever God told him to do, he did it. Obeying and listening to God’s word was the conviction behind his doing things. He was just so straightforward and so simple toward God’s commission. His substance—the substance of his action—was obedience, without suspicion or resistance, much less consideration of his personal interests or his personal gain or loss. Moreover, when God said he would destroy the world with a flood, he did not ask when or sound God out, much less ask how God would actually destroy the world. He just did according to what God commanded him. After God told him how to make the ark and of what it was to be made, he did everything according to what God commanded him. Furthermore, after God told him, he acted at once. He did according to God’s commandment with an attitude of satisfying God. Was his purpose for him himself to escape the disaster? No. Did he ever ask God how long it was to the destruction of the world? No. Then did he ask God or did he know how long it would take to make the ark? No, he didn’t know either. He just obeyed, listened, and did what he was told to do with simplicity. The people today, however, are different: When God’s word conveys a small hint or when they sense the slightest sign of something, they immediately take action themselves to prepare food, drink, and the things to use for themselves in the future in all desperation and at all cost, and they even make ready the route to flee for their life when the disasters befall. The more interesting thing is that man’s head is of much “use” at crucial moments. Under a situation in which God has not given any commandment, people have made proper arrangements themselves for the things that may happen to them in the future, which can be described with one word—“perfect.” As to what God says, what God’s will is, and what God wants, no one cares about them or tries to comprehend them. Isn’t this the greatest difference between the people today and Noah?
In the record of the story of Noah, you have also seen some of God’s disposition, haven’t you? With God, there is a limit to his being patient with the corruption, filthiness, and violence of mankind. When his patience has been taxed to the limit, he will not be patient anymore, but begin his new management and new plan and begin to do what he wants to do to manifest his deeds and manifest another aspect of his disposition. This “doing” of his is not for the purpose of revealing that he does not tolerate man’s offense, that he is full of authority and wrath, or that he can destroy mankind, but means that his disposition and his holy substance will no longer allow or tolerate such a mankind to live before him or live under his authority. Therefore, when the whole mankind is at enmity with him and when there is no one he can save on the whole earth, he will no longer be patient with such a mankind, but will unhesitatingly carry out his plan—destroying such a mankind. Such an action of God is determined by his disposition, and it is an inevitable result and is also the consequence each created being living under God’s authority must take. Hence, isn’t God very eager to fulfill his plan and save the human beings he wants to save in the present age? Against such a background, what does God care about the most? It is not how those who simply do not follow him or who always oppose him treat him or resist him, or how mankind slanders him. Rather, he only cares about whether those who follow him, the objects of his salvation in his management plan, have been made complete by him and whether they have come up to his satisfaction. To those other than his followers, he only gives small “punishments” every now and then to show his wrath, such as tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and so on. At the same time, he does his utmost to keep and watch over those who follow him and who are about to be saved by him. This is God’s disposition: On the one hand, God can show extremely great patience and tolerance to the human beings he will make complete and can wait for them to the utmost; on the other hand, God hates and loathes bitterly the brood of satan that do not follow him and are hostile to him. Although he does not care whether the brood of satan will follow him or whether they can worship him, he is hating them while being patient in his heart, and he is waiting for the step of his management plan to come while deciding the outcome of the brood of satan.
Let’s then take a look at the next passage.
2. God’s Blessing to Noah After the Flood
(Gen 9: 1-6) And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, and on every fowl of the air, on all that moves on the earth, and on all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
What do you see in this passage? Why have I selected this passage? Why haven’t I selected the passages concerning the life of Noah and his family in the ark? Because they do not have much to do with the subject we want to talk about today. What we are concerned about is God’s disposition. If you want to know about those things, you can read them in the Bible. We will not talk about them here. Today we will mainly talk about the subject concerning how to know God’s deeds.
After Noah received God’s commandment and made the ark, he passed through the days when God destroyed the world with the flood, and the eight members of his family all survived. Except for the eight members of Noah’s family, all human beings were destroyed, and all the living things on the earth were also destroyed. To Noah God gave the blessing. God spoke some words to Noah and his sons, and those words were the things God wanted to bestow to him and were also God’s blessing to him. That was the blessing and promise God gave to a man who could listen to his word and receive his commandment, and that was also the way in which God gave a reward to a man. That is to say, regardless of whether Noah was a perfect man or a just man in the eyes of God and regardless of how much knowledge of God he had, he and his three sons listened to God’s word, cooperated with God’s work, and did what they should do as God had instructed them, and thus preserved for God the mankind and all the living creatures after the destruction of the world by the flood, making a very great contribution to the next step of God’s management plan. It was because of all these deeds of his that God blessed him. To the people today, what Noah did may not at all be worth mentioning, and some will even think: “Noah actually did not do anything; it was God who had decided to leave him, so he certainly could be left. His survival could not be accredited to him. That was what God had intended to accomplish, for man was the passive party.” But God does not think so in his heart. In God’s eyes, whether a man is great or small, as long as he can listen to God’s word, obey God’s commandment and commission, cooperate with God’s work, and cooperate with God’s will and God’s plan, so that God’s will and God’s plan can be carried out smoothly and fulfilled, such a deed is worthy for God to remember and worthy for God to bless. God treasures such a man, cherishes such a deed of his, and cherishes his kindness and his heart for God. This is God’s attitude. So, why did God bless Noah? It was because God treats such a deed and obedience of a man in this way.
Concerning the matter of God blessing Noah, some may say, “When a man has listened to God’s word and satisfied God, God should bless him. Isn’t this a matter of course?” Can it be said so? Some say, “No.” Why can’t it be said so? Some say, “Man is not worthy to enjoy God’s blessing.” This word is not completely right! For when a man has received God’s commission, God has a standard as to how to judge whether the man’s deed is good or bad, whether he has obedience or not, whether he satisfies God’s heart’s desire or not, and whether his doings are up to the standard or not. What God pays attention to is man’s heart rather than his outward behavior. It is not that no matter how he does it, as long as he has done it, God should bless him. This is man’s misunderstanding of God. God does not only look at the result of the thing, but pays much attention to how the man’s heart is like and how his attitude is like in the course of the development of the thing. He looks at whether there is obedience, consideration, and a desire to satisfy God in the man’s heart. How much knowledge did Noah of that time have of God? Did he understand as many doctrines as you do now? In the truths concerning the concept of God and the knowledge of God, did he receive as much watering and shepherding as you do? No! But there is a fact that is undeniable: The concept of God and the attitude toward God the people today have in their consciousness, in their mind, and even in the depth of their heart are vague and equivocal, and it can even be said that a portion of people hold a denying attitude toward the existence of God. Noah, however, believed in his heart and in his consciousness that God really and truly existed and he did not have any doubt about it. So his obedience to God was without any mixture and could withstand the test, his heart was pure and was open to God, and he did not need so much knowledge in doctrine to convince himself to listen to God’s word and follow God’s plan or need so many facts to prove the existence of God so that he could accept God’s commission and could do whatever God commanded him. This is the difference between Noah and the people today in substance, and this is precisely a real interpretation of a perfect man in God’s eyes. What God wants is such a man as Noah, and what God approves is such a man. Such a man is the very one God blesses. What revelation do you receive here? Man looks at the outward appearance of a man, but God looks at the heart and the substance of a man. God does not tolerate man’s being perfunctory toward him or doubting him in the slightest, nor does he tolerate man’s suspecting him or tempting him in any way. Therefore, although the people today are face to face with God’s word and they can even be said to be face to face with God, yet because of the things in the depth of their heart, because of the existence of their corrupt substance, and because of their hostile attitude toward God, they are hindered from truly believing in God and are impeded from obeying God. Thus, it is hard for them to receive a blessing like that God gave to Noah.
3) God Established a Covenant with Men with a Rainbow as Its Token
(Gen 9:11-13) And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Next, let’s take a look at the verses concerning “God established a covenant with men with a rainbow as its Token.”
Most people know what a rainbow is and have heard something of the story about the rainbow. As to the story about the rainbow in the Bible, some believe it; others regard it as a legend; and still others simply do not believe it. No matter what, all the things related to the rainbow that happened throughout the story were the things God did and the things that happened in the course of God’s managing mankind. These things are recorded in the Bible exactly as they happened. Although how God’s heart felt at that time and what God’s intention was in speaking these words are not told in these records, much less can anyone realize how God felt when he spoke these words, yet the mind God had in the whole course of doing this thing is expressed among the words and between the lines, and it seems that God’s mind at that time is all revealed on paper vividly through each and every of these words of God.
God’s mind is what mankind should care about and know the most, because God’s mind has everything to do with man’s knowledge about God, and man’s knowledge about God is an indispensable link in his entering into life. Then what was God’s mind while these things happened?
The God-created mankind, a mankind who had originally been very good in God’s eyes and very close to God, was cut off by a flood after they disobeyed God. Such a mankind disappeared in a twinkling; was God grieved over that? Of course, he was grieved! What was the expression of his grief? What is the account of it in the Bible? It is as recorded in this verse: I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. In this simple word God’s mind was revealed: He was deeply grieved over this destruction of the world; in human terms, he was very sad. We may picture it: After the world was destroyed by the flood, what did the earth which had originally been full of life look like? What did the earth which had originally been full of human beings look like? It was desolate, no living things existed, and water was everywhere, on which things were floating about messily. Was such a scene God’s original intention in creating the world? Certainly not! God’s original intention was to see that the whole earth would be full of life and see that the mankind created by him would worship him, and at least it was not that only one man, Noah, would worship him, and only one man, Noah, could be called by him to accomplish his commission. At the moment when mankind disappeared, what God saw was not what he had originally intended to see but just the opposite. How could God’s heart not be grieved? So, when he was manifesting his disposition and expressing his feelings, he made a decision. What was the decision? He would establish a covenant with men with a bow in the cloud (Note: it was the rainbow we see), promising that he would not destroy mankind any more with a flood, and at the same time telling men that God had destroyed the world with a flood and letting men forever remember why God had done such a thing.
Was that destruction of the world what God desired? It was certainly not what God desired! As for the miserable condition on the earth after the destruction of the world, we can imagine a little about it, but how the scene God saw at that time was like is far beyond our imagination. It can be said that of the people today or the people then, none can imagine or understand how God felt in his heart when he saw that scene, when he saw the world after the destruction of it by the flood. Mankind’s disobedience had forced God to do so, but God’s heart was hurt because of that destruction of the world by a flood. This fact no one understood, and no one could feel it. So God established a covenant with men, that is, by an oath, he told men to remember that God had done such a thing and told men that God would never again destroy the world in such a way in the future. In this covenant, we see God’s heart and see that when God destroyed that mankind, God’s heart was in agony. To put it in human language, when God destroyed mankind and when God saw mankind disappear, God’s heart was weeping tears and dripping blood. Isn’t this all can be said? Although these words are words mankind uses to describe man’s feeling, yet because human language is too short, I think it is not wrong or exaggerated to describe God’s heart and God’s feeling with such words, and at least they can make you understand vividly and properly how God’s heart felt at that time. When you see a rainbow again, what will you think about? At least you will think that God once sorrowed over his destruction of the world with a flood, and think that although God hated that world and hated that mankind, yet when he destroyed the mankind he had made with his own hands, he felt pain in his heart, felt it hard to give them up, felt he had no other choice, and felt it hard to do that. The only comfort to him was the eight members of Noah’s family. It was because of Noah’s cooperation that the painstaking effort and price he had expended in creating all things had not been wasted after all. It was the only thing that could appease his wound while he was grieved. From then on, God placed his expectations for mankind all on the eight members of Noah’s family, and he hoped that they would live under his blessing rather than in his curse, hoped that they would never again see God’s destruction of the world with a flood, and hoped that they would not be destroyed.
What aspect of God’s disposition should we know about here? God hated mankind because mankind had been at enmity with God. But in God’s heart, his care, concern, and mercy for mankind had never changed, and even though he had destroyed mankind, such a heart of his remained unchanged. When mankind was full of corruption and disobeyed God to a degree, God had to destroy this mankind because of his disposition and his substance and according to his principle. However, because of his substance, God still had pity on mankind, and he even tried every way to redeem mankind so that mankind could continue to survive. Yet men stood in opposition to God, and they continued to disobey God and refused to accept God’s salvation, that is, they refused to accept God’s kindness. No matter how God called and warned them and no matter how God supplied and helped them and how God tolerated them, they did not understand, feel grateful to, or pay attention to God. When God was sorrowful, he still remembered to show men the utmost tolerance and wait for men to turn back. When the limit had been reached, he would do what he should do without any hesitation. That is to say, from the moment God planned to destroy mankind to the moment God’s work of destroying mankind formally began, there was a period of time, a course. This course was given for mankind to turn back, and it was the last opportunity God gave to men. So, what did God do in the period before the destruction of mankind? God did a great many works of warning and exhortation. No matter how grieved or sad God was in his heart, what he did on mankind was constantly showing concern for them, taking care of them, and showing abundant mercy to them. Then what have we seen here? No doubt, we have seen that God’s love for mankind is true, and it is not on the lips but is real and practical and can be touched and experienced, and in it there is no hypocrisy, no mixture, no deception, and no pretension. God has never used any deceptive means or created a false impression for mankind to see that he is lovely, and God has never given false testimony for man to see his loveliness or given it to advertise his loveliness and holiness. Then aren’t these aspects of God’s disposition worthy for man to love? Aren’t they worthy for man to worship? Aren’t they worthy for man to treasure? Speaking of which, I’d like to ask you now: After hearing these words, do you think that God’s greatness is an empty phrase on a sheet of paper? Do you think that God’s loveliness is an empty word? No, certainly not! God’s supremacy, God’s greatness, God’s holiness, God’s tolerance, God’s love, and so on, all these elements and components of God’s disposition and substance have been manifested in each work done by God and expressed in God’s will for mankind, and they have also been manifested to everyone and expressed on everyone. Whether you have felt it or not, God has been taking every care of everyone, and has been warming the heart of everyone and arousing the spirit of everyone in various ways and with his sincere heart and with his wisdom. Such a fact is beyond all doubt. No matter how many people are present, every one of you has different experiences of and feelings about God’s tolerance and patience and God’s loveliness. These experiences of God and these feelings or knowledge about God, all these positive things are received from God anyway. So, through everyone’s experiences and knowledge of God, plus our interpretation of these Bible passages today, do you have a more true and proper knowledge of God?
After reading this story and knowing about some disposition God expressed in this thing, what new knowledge of God do you have? Can it enable you to have a deeper knowledge about God and God’s heart? Now, when you read the story of Noah again, don’t you have a different feeling? According to your opinion, wouldn’t it be unnecessary to fellowship about these Bible verses? Now when we have fellowshipped about them like this, do you feel it necessary to fellowship these words? It is necessary, isn’t it? Although what we have read are stories, they are the authentic records of the works God once did. My intention is not for you to know about the details of these stories or the details of this figure or for you to study this figure, much less for you to turn back to study the Bible. Are you clear? Then are these stories helpful to you in knowing God? In this story, what new knowledge about God have you gained? The brothers and sisters from the church in Hong Kong, give your answer. (I have seen that God’s love is what none of us corrupt human beings possesses.) The brothers and sisters from the church in South Korea, give your answer. (God’s love for man is true. In God’s love for man there is God’s disposition, God’s greatness, holiness, and supremacy, and God’s tolerance. Through such stories we can better realize them. They are all God’s disposition and are worthy for us to understand in a deeper way.) (From what was fellowshipped just now, on the one hand, I have seen God’s righteous and holy disposition, and on the other hand, I have seen God’s concern for mankind and God’s mercy for man, and seen that in everything done by God and in God’s every thought and idea were expressed God’s love and concern for man.) (My former knowledge is that God destroyed the world with a flood because mankind had become evil to a degree, as if it was because God loathed such a mankind that he destroyed them. Today, when talking about the story of Noah, God says that God’s heart was bleeding. Only then do I know that actually God was not willing to give up that mankind, and it was because mankind was too disobedient that God had no alternative but to destroy them, and that God was actually very sad in his heart at that time. From this I see that in God’s disposition there is God’s care and his concern for mankind. This is what I could not realize before. Before, I thought that it was because mankind was too evil that God destroyed them. I only had such a superficial knowledge.) Very good! Go on. (After listening, I have much feeling. I have read the Bible before, but I have never been able to gain such knowledge of God as I have gained today through God directly dissecting all these. God led us to read the Bible like this, so that I have known that before man was corrupted, God’s substance was love for mankind and care for mankind, and after mankind was corrupted, even when it comes to today in the end time, God’s love and care have not changed although he has righteous disposition. Thus it can be seen that God’s love has been there from the creation of the world until today, and whether man has been corrupted or not, this substance never changes.) (Today I have seen that God’s substance will not change with time or working place, and I have also seen that whatever God did, whether it was his creation of the world or his destruction of the world after mankind’s corruption, had significance, and there was God’s disposition in it. So I have seen that God’s love is boundless and immeasurable, and I have also seen the care and the mercy God had for mankind when he destroyed the world, as spoken of by other brothers and sisters just now.) (These are indeed things I have not realized before. Today, after listening, I feel that God is truly faithful, trustworthy, and reliable, and indeed exists, and I can truly realize in my heart that God’s disposition and God’s love are just so practical and real. This is what I feel today after listening.) Very good! It can be seen that you all have taken what you listened to into your heart.
In all the Bible verses, including all the Bible stories we have fellowshipped about today, have you noticed a fact: Did God ever express his mind or express his love and care for mankind with his own words? Is there such a record that God conveyed how he was concerned about and loved mankind in plain words? No! Right? Many of you have read the Bible or books apart from the Bible. Has anyone ever read such words? The answer is definite: No! That is, in the records of the Bible, including the words of God or the accounts of the works of God, God never expressed his state of mind or expressed his love and care for mankind in his own way in any age or any period, and God never expressed his state of mind or his feelings by speaking or by any action. Isn’t that a fact? Why do I say so? Why do I speak of this thing? Because here there is also God’s loveliness and God’s disposition.
God created mankind, and he treats mankind as his nearest relation, as his dearest one spoken of by mankind, rather than a plaything, whether mankind has been corrupted or mankind can follow him. Although God said that he is the Creator and mankind is the created being, and this word sounds as if there is some difference between them in rank, in fact, all that God has done for mankind is far beyond this relationship. God loves mankind, takes care of mankind, and shows concern for mankind, and he also unfailingly supplies mankind; in his heart he has never felt that these are extra things or felt that these are things doing great credit to him, nor has he ever felt that he has made a great contribution to mankind because of saving mankind, supplying mankind, and bestowing everything to mankind. He just supplies mankind silently and quietly like this in his own way and with his own substance and with what he has and is. No matter how much supply and help man has received from him, he does not have any thought or action of taking credit from man. This is determined by God’s substance, and this is precisely a true expression of God’s disposition. Therefore, whether in the Bible or in any other books, we have not found that God was expressing his mind or ever found that God was expressing or explaining to man why he did so and why he took such care of mankind in order for man to feel deeply grateful for his kindness and praise him. Even when he is sad and when he feels extremely grieved, he does not forget his responsibility for mankind or forget to show concern for mankind, but just silently endures such “sadness” and “grief” himself. Contrary to that, he has always been supplying mankind like this. Even though mankind often has some manifestations of praising God or testifying God, this is not what God has demanded from man, because God has never intended to exchange any kindness to man for man’s gratitude for him or man’s repayment of him. However, those who can fear God and shun evil and who can truly follow God, those who can listen to his word and be faithful to him, and those who can obey him often receive his blessings. Such blessings are given by God without any reserve, and moreover, the blessings they receive from God are often beyond their imagination and beyond what they can get in return by what they have done or by the price they have paid. When they enjoy God’s blessings, is there anyone among them who pays attention to what God is doing? Is there anyone who cares about how God feels in his heart? Is there anyone who tries to understand the grief God suffers? Accurately speaking, there is no one! Can mankind, including Noah, understand God’s grief at that moment? Can they understand why God established that covenant? They can’t! Man cannot understand God’s grief, not because man cannot feel “God’s grief” or because there is a distance or a difference in position between God and man, but because man simply does not care about any feeling of God. Man thinks that God is independent and he does not need man’s care, understanding, or consideration; that because God is God, he does not have grief and does not have pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, and he will not be sad or sorrowful or even shed tears; that because he is God, he does not need any expression in emotion or need any consolation in emotion, and even if he needs such things in a certain situation, he can manage on his own and does not need man’s “help,” but on the contrary, the “weak and small” man needs God’s comfort, supply, and encouragement, and even needs to be consoled in emotion at any time and in any place. In the depth of man’s heart is hidden such a thing as this: Man is the “weak,” and man needs God’s nurture in every way, man should receive every “care” from God, and man should demand from God anything he should get; God is the “strong,” and he possesses “everything,” and he should be man’s guardian and blesser, and because he is already God, he has “far-reaching supernatural power” and does not need to get anything from man.
Because man disregards any expression of God, man can never feel God’s sorrow, God’s suffering, or God’s joy. But all the manifestations of man are in God’s eyes and are known by God like the back of his hand. At anytime and anywhere God supplies everyone’s needs, and observes the change of everyone’s mind and thus comforts and exhorts everyone and guides and enlightens everyone. With regard to all these God does on man and all the price he pays for man, can man from the Bible or from all God’s present words find a passage which clearly says that God wants to demand something from man? No! On the contrary, no matter how man disregards God’s mind, God still leads man again and again and supplies and helps man again and again for man to walk in God’s ways, so that man can receive from God the pleasant destination God has prepared for man. God will bestow what he has and is, his grace, his mercy, and all his rewards without any reserve to those who love and follow him. However, he never shows the grief he suffers or his mind to man; moreover, God never blames anyone for being not considerate of him or not trying to know about his will, and he just endures all these silently and waits for the day man can understand.
Why have I said these words here? What have you seen from these words? In God’s substance and disposition there is something that man most easily ignores. Moreover, it is something that no man possesses, including the great men and the good men in man’s eyes or the “god” in man’s imagination; only God possesses it. What is it? It is God’s selflessness. Speaking of selflessness, you may think that you are also very selfless, because in treating your children, you have never bargained with them or been narrow-minded toward them. Or you think that you are also selfless toward your parents. No matter what you think, at least you have a concept of the word “selfless” and think that the word “selfless” is positive and it is very noble to be a selfless man, and if you can be selfless, you feel yourself very great. But no one can see God’s selflessness from all things, from people, matters, and things, or from God’s work. Why is this? It is because man is too selfish! Why do I say so? Man lives in the physical world; although you follow God, you never see or realize how God supplies you, how God loves you, and how God is concerned about you. What do you see? What you see is the one who has a blood relationship with you and who loves or is fond of you, what you see are the things advantageous to your flesh, and what you care about are the people you like and the things you like. This is man’s so-called selflessness. However, such a “selfless” man has never tried to care about God who bestows life to him. Man’s “selflessness,” compared with God’s, becomes selfish and base. The “selflessness” in man’s mind is empty and impractical, is with mixture, is incompatible with God, and has nothing to do with God. Man’s “selflessness” is for man himself, while God’s “selflessness” is a true expression of God’s substance. It is precisely because of God’s selflessness that man receives unfailing supply from God. Today you may not have very deep feelings on the topic I am talking about and you only agree with a nod, but when you try to understand God’s heart in your heart, unconsciously you will discover this: In this world, among the people, matters, and things you can feel, only God’s selflessness is true and is real and practical, because only God’s love for you is unconditional and unblemished, and except for God’s selflessness, the so-called selflessness of anyone is hypocritical and superficial, and it is not genuine but with purposes, intents, and dealings and cannot stand the test, and it can even be said to be dirty and base. Do you agree with this word?
I know that these subjects are very strange to you, and a period of their sinking in is required before you can truly understand them. The more you feel they are strange issues and the more you feel they are strange subjects, the more it proves that they are the subjects you lack in your hearts. If I never spoke about these subjects, could any of you know something of them? I think you would never be able to know. This is certain. No matter how much you can understand or know them, these subjects I am talking about are what man lacks the most and are what man should know the most. These subjects are very important to everyone, and they are the most valuable treasures and are also life, and are things necessary for you to walk the way ahead of you. If you do not have these words as a guide, do not have the knowledge of God’s disposition, and do not have the knowledge of God’s substance, you will always have a question mark against God in your heart. As you know nothing about God, how can you believe in God successfully? As you simply do not know God’s pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, do not know God’s will, and do not know God’s mind, not knowing what God is thinking about and not knowing over what things God grieves or at what things God rejoices, how can you possibly care for God’s heart?
Whenever God is grieved, what God faces are a group of human beings who simply take no notice of him and are human beings who follow him and claim to love him but who do not pay any attention to any of his feelings. How could his heart not be grieved? In God’s work and management, although God works on and speaks to everyone with sincerity and he is face to face with man without any reserve or hiding at all, on the contrary, everyone who follows him is closed to him, and no one is willing to draw near to him on his own initiative or to know about his heart or pay attention to his feelings on his own initiative, and even those who want to be the “bosom friends of God” also do not want to draw near to him, to care for his heart, or to know about him. When God rejoices or when he is happy, no one shares his joy with him; when God is misunderstood, no one comforts his sorrowful heart; and when his heart feels hurt, no one wants to listen to his pouring out. In the several thousand years of God’s work and management, there has not been anyone who knows about God’s pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy or anyone who understands or feels God’s pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy, much less anyone who keeps God company sharing his pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy with him. God is lonely, God is lonely! God is lonely not only because corrupt mankind stands in opposition to him, but even more because those who pursue to be spiritual, pursue to know God, and pursue to understand God and even those who are willing to spend their whole life for him do not know his mind and do not know about his disposition, not knowing about his pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy.
At the end of the story of Noah, we see that God expressed his heart of that very moment in an “extraordinary way.” This way was very unusual, and it was God establishing a covenant with men. In this way God proclaimed that the destruction of the world by the flood had ended then. Outwardly, the matter of “establishing a covenant” was a very common thing, and it was nothing other than to restrict both parties from breaking the rules in doing things by the words so as to achieve the purpose of protecting the interests of both parties. In form, it was a very common thing, but as far as God’s intention in doing this thing and its significance were concerned, it was a true expression of God’s disposition and God’s mind. If you put aside and neglect this word and if I do not tell you the truth of the matter, then mankind will indeed never know God’s mind in it. In your imagination, when God established the covenant, he might be smiling or he might be looking serious. No matter what most common look God had in man’s imagination, there is no one who can see God’s heart or see God’s sorrow, much less is there anyone who can see God’s loneliness. There was no one who could be trusted by God or was worthy for God to trust to be one to whom God could express his mind and pour out his sorrow, so God had no alternative but to do such an action. Outwardly, God did an easy thing to say good-bye to the former mankind, settle up the past things, and put a perfect end to the destruction of the world by the flood, but he hid his sorrow then deep in the depth of his heart. When God had no one to pour out his heart, he established a covenant with men and told men that he would no more destroy the world with a flood and that when the bow appeared, it was to remind men that there had happened such a thing and warn men not to do evil things. Under a situation in which God was so sorrowful, he did not forget man but still showed such concern for man. Wasn’t that God’s love and selflessness? However, when a man feels pain, what will he think about? Isn’t that the time he needs God most? At such a moment, he always wants to pull God over and let God comfort him. No matter when, God will not let man down, and God will help him to come out of his difficult situation and live in the light. Even though God has been supplying man like this, in man’s heart God is no more than man’s reassurance and comforting agent. When God is sorrowful and when God’s heart is wounded, it is undoubtedly an extravagant desire to God that there is a created being or any man to keep him company or to comfort him. Because man has never paid any attention to God’s feelings, God has never demanded or extravagantly hoped that someone will comfort him; he only expressed his heart in his own way. In man’s eyes, it is nothing for God to undergo some suffering. But when you truly want to know about God and when you can truly realize God’s thoughtful kind intention in doing everything, you will be able to feel God’s greatness and feel God’s selflessness. Although God established the covenant with men with a rainbow, God never told anyone why he had done so and why he had established the covenant, that is, he never told anyone his true mind. This was because no one could understand how deep God’s love is for the mankind he created with his own hands or realize in what agony his heart was when he destroyed mankind. Therefore, even if he had told man his feelings, man could not have borne this “trust.” Being sorrowful, he still continued his next step of work. God always bestows the best aspect and the best things all to man, while he himself endures all sufferings silently. However, God never voices these sufferings openly, but endures them and waits silently. God’s endurance does not mean that he is unfeeling, numb, or at the end of his resources, nor is it a manifestation of being cowardly, but rather, it means that God’s love and substance are originally selfless, and it is a natural expression of his substance and disposition and is also a true reflection of the identity of God—the true Creator.
Speaking of this, some people may misunderstand my meaning: You describe God’s heart in such a detailed and emotional way; do you intend to let man sympathize with God? Do I have such an intent? (No!) The only purpose I want to achieve by speaking these words is so that you will know more about God, knowing about the bits of God, knowing about God’s pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy, and knowing that God’s substance and God’s disposition are expressed in his work truly and practically and bit by bit and that they are not something described by man with empty words, with letters and doctrines, or by his imaginations. That is to say, God and God’s substance exist practically, and they are not pictures, not imaginations, and not things conceived by man, much less things fabricated by man. Now, have you realized this? If you have, the words I speak today have achieved the result.
Today we have talked about three subjects. I think that everyone has gained a great deal in the fellowship about these three subjects. I can say with certainty that the mind of God I have told about or the disposition and substance of God I have spoken about in these three subjects have overturned people’s imagination about and knowledge of God, even overturned all people’s belief in God, and all the more overturned the image of the god admired by everyone in his heart. Anyway, I hope that the dispositions of God you have known from the verses of these three parts are all helpful to you, and I also hope that you will ponder over them again carefully after you go back. That’s all for today. See you again!