How God Decides Men’s Outcomes and the Standard by Which God Decides Men’s Outcomes
Before you have any opinion or conclusion, you should first know what God’s attitude toward you is and what God’s heart thinks; then you can conclude whether what you think is right or wrong. God has never decided a person’s outcome by time, nor has God ever decided a person’s outcome by how much he has suffered. Then by what standard does God decide a person’s outcome? It fits man’s notion the most to decide a person’s outcome by time. Also, those who have offered up a lot, spent a lot, expended a lot, and suffered a lot, as you often see, are all regarded in your notion as ones who can receive God’s salvation. What such people manifest and live out is precisely the standard in man’s notion by which God decides a person’s outcome. No matter what you think, instances of which I will not list one by one, in a word, as long as it is not the standard in God’s mind, it is man’s imagination and is man’s notion. If you hold on to your notion and imagination blindly, what will the result be? Obviously, the result will only be that you are detested and rejected by God. This is because you always put on the airs of a veteran before God, compete against God, and argue with God, but do not truly try to know God’s mind, God’s will, or God’s attitude toward mankind. By doing so, you are magnifying yourself, not magnifying God, and you are believing in yourself, not believing in God. God does not want such a person, nor will God save such a person. If you can drop such a viewpoint, correct your former erroneous viewpoint, and do according to God’s requirement, from now on you practice the way of fearing God and shunning evil and magnify God in every aspect, and you do not draw conclusions about yourself or about God according to your own imaginations, opinions, or thoughts, but in everything try to seek God’s will, know and understand God’s attitude toward mankind, and satisfy God according to God’s standard, then it will be very good! It means that you are about to get on the way of fearing God and shunning evil.
Since God does not take the viewpoints conceived by men this or that way as the standard to decide men’s outcomes, by what standard does God decide men’s outcomes? God decides men’s outcomes by trials. There are two criteria in deciding men’s outcomes by trials: The first is the times of trying them, and the second is the result of trying them. God decides men’s outcomes just by these two indices. Now let’s talk about these two criteria in detail.
First, when you encounter God’s trial (Note: To you, this trial may be very small, unworthy of mention), God will make you realize clearly God’s hand has fallen upon you and God has arranged such a circumstance for you. When your stature is small, God arranges some trials to test you which are in accordance with your stature and which you can understand and withstand. Test what in you? Test your attitude toward God. Is this attitude very important? Of course! And it is particularly important! This attitude is the result God wants, so man’s attitude is the most important to God. Otherwise, God will not spend efforts to do such a work on man. For God wants to, through trials, see your attitude toward God, see whether you are taking the right way, and see whether you are fearing God and shunning evil. So, no matter whether you understand much truth or little at the time, God’s trials will come upon you. As you understand more truth, God will continue to arrange trials for you accordingly. When you encounter trials again, God will see whether there is an improvement in your viewpoint and thought and your attitude toward God in this period. Some people say, “How come God always wants to see men’s attitudes? Hasn’t God seen men practice the truth like that? Why does God still want to see men’s attitudes?” These are foolish words! Since God can do so, there must be God’s will in it. God is at men’s side all the time watching men’s every word and deed, every act and move, and even every thought and idea. As for everything that happens in men: men’s good deeds, men’s faults, men’s transgressions, and men’s disobediences and betrayals, God will write them down one by one and take them as the evidence by which to decide men’s outcomes. As God’s work is uplifted step by step, and you hear more and more truths and receive more and more positive things, positive messages, and reality of the truths, God’s requirements for you will also be uplifted. At the same time God will arrange severer trials for you in order to test whether there is any improvement in your attitude toward God in this period. Of course, at this time the viewpoints God requires of you will be in accordance with the reality of the truths you understand.
As your stature is gradually uplifted, God’s required standard for you will also be uplifted gradually. When you are immature, God gives you a very low standard; when you grow somewhat bigger in your stature, God will give you a somewhat higher standard. However, when you have understood all the truths, what will God do? God will bring greater trials upon you. In greater trials, what God wants to gain and what God wants to see are your deeper knowledge of God and your true fear of God. At this time God’s requirement for you will be higher and “harsher” than when your stature is small. (Note: To man, it is harsh; as a matter of fact, to God, it is very reasonable.) During the period God tries man, what fact does God want to accomplish? God keeps requiring man to give his heart to God. Some people may say, “How to give? I have been performing duty, I have left my family and given up my career, and I have been spending. Aren’t all these the manifestations of having given the heart to God? What else should I do to give my heart to God? Could my doing in such ways not mean that I have given my heart to God? What is the specific requirement of God?” This requirement is very simple. Actually in the trials of different periods, some people have given their hearts to God in varying degrees, but most people have never given their hearts to God. When God tries you, He wants to see whether your heart is toward God or toward your flesh and toward Satan; when God tries you, He wants to see whether you stand on the opposite side of God or stand on the ground of being compatible with God, and whether your heart is on God’s side. When you encounter trials at the time of being immature, though your faith is very small and because you have a limited understanding of the truths, you cannot know accurately what to do to satisfy God’s heart’s desire, yet if you can pray to God genuinely, be willing to give your heart to God and let God be the sovereign, and be willing to offer up to God the things you regard as the most precious, this means that you have given your heart to God. As you hear more and more messages and understand more and more truths, you gradually grow in your stature. God’s required standard for you then will not be the standard given when you are immature, but one higher than it. When man can give his heart to God little by little, man’s heart will gradually draw near to God; when man can truly come near to God, man will more and more have a heart of fearing God. What God wants is just such a heart.
When God wants to gain a person’s heart, God will give him many trials. During these trials, if God cannot gain his heart or see any attitude of his, that is, God cannot see his practice and manifestation of fearing God or his attitude and resolution of shunning evil, then God, after trying him many times, will withdraw His patience for this person and will no longer tolerate him, try him, or work on him. Then what does this mean to his outcome? It means that he will have no outcome. Though he may not do any evil, may not do any disrupting or disturbing things, and may not resist God openly, his heart is hidden from God and he never shows any definite attitude toward or viewpoint about God, and God cannot clearly see that his heart is given to God or that he is pursuing to fear God and shun evil. With such a person, God will no longer show patience to him, no longer pay any price for him, no longer show mercy to him, and no longer do any work on him. Thus his life of believing in God will have come to an end. This is because in the many trials given by God to him, God has not received the result He wants. So, in some people I have never seen that they have the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. How has this been seen? During so many years of believing in God, this kind of person has run around vigorously on the outside, and though he has spent much time reading the book, done a lot of things, taken about ten books of notes, and known a large amount of letters and doctrines, yet no growth can be seen in him, nor can it be seen that he has any viewpoint about God or any definite attitude toward God. That is to say, in him you cannot see his heart. His heart is wrapped all the time, and his heart is closed—closed to God, so God has never seen his true heart or his true fear of God, much less how he walks in God’s ways. So far God has not gained this kind of person. Can God gain him in the future? No! Will God demand what He cannot gain? No! So now what is God’s attitude toward this kind of person? (Detesting and rejecting. Ignoring.) Ignoring! God ignores this kind of person, and detests and rejects him. You memorize this word very quickly and very accurately. So you understand very well!
Some people, when first following God, are immature and ignorant, and they do not understand God’s will or know what believing in God is all about, so they believe in God and follow God in some man-made wrong ways. When trials come upon them, they do not have any realization, and they are very numb toward God’s enlightenment and guidance and do not know what it means to give their heart to God and what it means to stand in the trials. To such people God will give a period of time, during which God will let them understand what God’s trial is and what God’s will is and then give their viewpoints. God is still waiting for the people in such a phase. Toward those who have some viewpoints but are still wavering, who want to give their heart to God but feel reluctant, and who have practiced some basic truths but who, when encountering severe trials, avoid them and want to give up, what is God’s attitude? God still has some expectation for them. What the result will be depends on their attitude and manifestation. If they do not strive upward actively, then what will God do? God will give them up. This is because before God gives you up, you have already given yourself up. Then you cannot blame God for giving you up. Right? Is this fair or not? (Fair.)
Men’s Various Embarrassments Brought About by a Practical Problem
There is another kind of people who have the most miserable outcome. They are the kind of people I am most unwilling to mention. The reason why they are said to be miserable is not that they are punished by God, or that God’s requirement for them is so harsh that they have a miserable outcome, but that they bring it upon themselves. As the saying goes, “Self do, self have.” What kind of people are they? This kind of people do not take the right way and have their outcome revealed before the due time. In God’s eyes, such people are the ones He loathes the most. In human terms, such people are most miserable. At the beginning of their following God, they were very zealous and paid much price; they had a very positive view as to the prospect of God’s work and were full of imaginations about their own future; and they had a great faith in God, believing that God could make man complete and bring man a pleasant destination. However, for certain reasons, they ran away during God’s working. What does this “ran away” mean? It means that they did not give notice but disappeared quietly, leaving without saying good-bye. Although such people said with their mouths that they believed in God, they had not laid a foundation on the way of believing in God, so they could leave God no matter how long they had believed. Some of them went to do business, some went to live their own lives, some went to make a big fortune, some went to get married and have children…. Among these people, some are pricked by conscience and want to come back. Now they lead a very miserable life. They have wandered in the world for years and suffered a lot; they feel it so miserable to live in the world and feel they cannot live without God; they want to come back to God’s family to receive comfort, receive peace and joy, and continue to believe in God so that they can escape the disasters or can be saved and receive a pleasant destination. This is because they believe that God’s great love is infinite and measureless and God’s grace is unfailing and inexhaustible, and that no matter what they were like before, God should forgive them and tolerate their past. They claim repeatedly that they want to come back to perform duty. Some of them even give the church some money or things, wishing to come back again to God’s family by this means. What is God’s attitude toward such people? How should God decide their outcome? You may give your answers. (I thought that God would receive such people, but after listening to the fellowship just now, I think God probably will not receive them.) Give your reason. (Such people come before God only trying to get the outcome of not dying, not to believe in God genuinely. They know that God’s work is about to end, so they come back, vainly hoping to gain blessings.) You mean that they are not sincere in believing in God, so God will not receive them, right? (Yes.) (My understanding is that such people are opportunists. They do not come to believe in God sincerely.) They do not come to believe in God, and they are opportunists. This word is well said too! “Opportunists,” this kind of people are hated by everyone. They sail with the wind and seek nothing but profit. Of course, they should be hated! Do other brothers and sisters have any viewpoint? (God will not receive them, because now God’s work is about to end and it is the time to decide men’s outcomes. At this time they want to come back, and their purpose is not really to pursue the truth. Rather, it is because they see the befalling of the disasters or are influenced by certain external factors that they want to come back. If they really had a heart of pursuing the truth, they would have never run away halfway.) Do you have any different viewpoints? (God will not receive them. Actually God has given them opportunities, but they have a disregarding attitude toward God all the time. No matter what intent such people have, even if they truly repent, God will not receive them again. This is because God has already given them many opportunities, but their attitude has been made clear: They were determined to leave God. So now when they want to come back, God will not receive them.) (I also agree that God will not receive such people, because if a person has seen the true way and experienced God’s work for so long a time, and yet he still can return to the world and return to the embrace of Satan, it means a great betrayal against God. Although God’s substance is mercy and love, we should consider at what kind of people that is directed. If they want to come before God to seek for comfort and for sustenance, then they are not genuine believers in God at all. God’s mercy toward such people only goes thus far.) God’s substance is mercy. Why does He give no more mercy to such people? If He gives them a little mercy, won’t they have an opportunity? In the past people often said: God wants all men to be saved and not one to perish; if one of the hundred sheep is lost, God will leave the ninety-nine and go after the lost one. Now for such people, considering that they truly believe in God, shouldn’t God receive them and give them a second opportunity? Actually it is not difficult to answer this question. It is very simple! If you truly knew about God and you had a true knowledge of God, you would not need to give much explanation or make many guesses, right? All that you have said is somewhat relevant, but it is still at some distance from God’s attitude.
Just now some of you have expressed a definite viewpoint, believing that it is impossible for God to receive such people. Others have a rather indefinite viewpoint, believing that God may receive them, and again God may not; this attitude is rather moderate. Still others have the viewpoint that they hope God will receive them; this attitude is ambiguous. Those who have a definite attitude believe that God’s work has ended by now, so it is unnecessary for God to tolerate such people, and that God will not receive them again. Those who are rather moderate believe that it depends: If they cannot leave God in their heart, and they are still genuine believers in God and are pursuers of the truth, God should not remember their past weaknesses and faults but forgive them and give them another opportunity, letting them come back to God’s family and receive God’s salvation; if they run away again, it will not be an injustice to them for God to abandon them then. Other people hope that God can receive them. They are not quite certain whether God will receive them or not. If they believe that God should receive them, but God does not receive them, their viewpoint seems to be somewhat incompatible with God’s; if they believe that God should not receive them, but God says that He loves man timelessly and is willing to give them another opportunity, then won’t their ignorance be exposed? Anyway, every one of you has a viewpoint. Your viewpoint is a kind of knowledge in your mind and is also an expression of the level of your understanding the truth and God’s will. It can be said so, can’t it? You have your viewpoints on this thing. Very good! But as to whether your viewpoints are right, this is still questionable now. Aren’t you all a little anxious about it? “What is right? I am not clear. I do not know what God thinks about it. God has not told me, so how can I know what God thinks? God’s attitude toward man is love! According to God’s former attitude, God should receive them. But what God’s attitude is now I am not clear, so I can only say that God may receive them, and again He may not.” Isn’t this very ridiculous? You have really been stumped. If you do not have a correct viewpoint on this thing, how will you handle it if there is really such a person in your church? If you handle it improperly, you may offend God. Isn’t this a very dangerous thing?
As for the matter brought up just now, why do I ask your opinions about it? I want to test your viewpoints and test how much knowledge you actually have of God, how much you know about God’s will, and how much you know about God’s attitude. What are the answers? The answers are the viewpoints you have given. Some of you are very conservative, and some answered based on guesswork and imagination. What does “guesswork” mean? It means that you cannot figure out what God actually thinks, so you just guess groundlessly in your heart that God should think this way or that way. Actually you do not know whether it is right or wrong, and then you just speak out such an ambiguous viewpoint. In the face of the fact, what can you see? When following God, man seldom pays attention to God’s will and seldom gives heed to God’s mind and God’s attitude toward mankind. Man does not know God’s mind, so when you are asked a question concerning God’s will and God’s disposition, you are at a loss, you feel uncertain, and you either guess or bet. What attitude is this? It proves a fact: Most people, while believing in God, treat God as air, as if He exists and yet does not exist. Why do I say so? Because whenever you encounter a thing, you do not know God’s will. Why do you not know? It is not that you do not know now, but that from beginning to end you never know what God’s attitude toward this thing is. Since you cannot see it clearly and do not know God’s attitude, have you pondered over it? Have you sought? Have you fellowshipped about it? No! This proves a fact: The god you believe in has nothing to do with the true God. You, who believe in God, only ponder your own will, only ponder your leaders’ will, and only ponder the superficial and doctrinal meaning of God’s word, but do not truly try to know and seek God’s will at all. Isn’t that so? This thing is very terrible in substance! In these many years I have observed many people’s belief in God. What do they believe in God as? Some of them believe in God as air. They have no answer to the question as to whether there is a God, because they cannot feel or realize whether God exists or not, let alone have a clear seeing and knowledge. In their subconscious they think that God does not exist. Others believe in God as a man, that is, they believe that God cannot do whatever is impossible with them and that God should think in the way they think. They define God as “an invisible and intangible man.” Still others believe in God as a puppet. They think that God does not have pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, and God is just a clay idol. Whatever happens, God does not have His attitude, His viewpoint, or His thought but lets them orchestrate Him at will. They can believe in Him as they please. If they want Him to be great, He will be great, and if they want Him to be small, He will be small. When they commit sins and need God’s mercy, need God’s tolerance, and need God’s love, God should show mercy to them. These people have imagined a god in their mind and brain and ask this god to supply their needs and satisfy all their desires. No matter when and where, no matter what they do, they treat God and believe in God according to such imaginations. With some people, even after provoking God’s disposition, they still think that God will save them. This is because they believe that God’s love is infinite and measureless, God’s disposition is righteous, and no matter how people offend God, He will not remember it, and that their fault, their transgression, or their disobedience is a momentary expression of their disposition, and God will give them an opportunity and tolerate and be patient with them and God will still love them as before, so they still have a great hope of being saved. Actually, no matter how people believe in God, as long as they are not pursuing the truth, God takes a denying attitude toward them. This is because while you believe in God, you may treat the book of God’s word as the most valuable treasure, reading it every day and looking at it every day, but you put the true God aside and treat God as air or treat God as a man, and some people simply treat God as a puppet. Why do I say so? Because I see that no matter whether you encounter things or meet any circumstances, the things that exist in your subconscious and the things that come from within you never have anything to do with God’s word or with the pursuit of the truth. You only know what you are thinking and what your viewpoints are, and then you impose your own thoughts and your own viewpoints on God, regarding them as God’s viewpoints, and hold on to them as standard. Thus, as time passes, you become more and more distant from God.
in A Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
Eastern Lightning | The Church of Almighty God came into being because of the work of the returned Lord Jesus—the end-time Christ, “Almighty God”—in China, and it isn’t established by any person. Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. After reading God’s word, you will see that God has appeared.