The essence of most people’s belief in God is religious faith, and they’re unable to love God. These people only follow God like robots, but they aren’t able to put forth a true thirst for God or adore God, and instead only mutely follow God. There are many who believe in God, but very few who love God. They fear God only because they fear disaster, or “admire” God because of His loftiness. These people’s fear and admiration don’t contain even the slightest hint of love or true yearning. People search for details about the truth in what they experience or seek a few inessential mysteries. Most people simply follow, fishing in murky waters for the sole purpose of gaining blessings, and they don’t try to search for the truth, nor sincerely obey God in order to obtain the blessings of God. The careers of all people in believing in God are meaningless and valueless. Each have their own plans and individual pursuits, and they don’t believe in God to love Him, but rather believe in God to obtain blessings. Many people follow their own interests and do whatever they like without ever considering God’s interests or whether they are following God’s will. These people are far from loving God, and in fact they do not even have true faith. The essence of God is not only for people to believe, but even more for them to love. Nonetheless, there are many who believe in God that are unable to discover this “secret.” People not only “don’t dare” to love God, they don’t try to love God. People have never discovered how loveable God is, and have never discovered that God is a God who loves people and a God who allows people to love. God’s loveable qualities are shown in His work, and people can only discover His adorableness through experience, and can only experience God’s adorableness in reality; without real-life experience and observation, it is impossible for anyone to discover God’s adorableness. God has many loveable qualities, but these can’t be discovered unless people come in real contact with Him. This is to say that if God had not become flesh, people would not be able to come in real contact with God. And, without coming in real contact with God, people would be unable to experience His work, and their love for God would be adulterated with too much falseness and supposition. People’s love for the God in heaven is not as real as their love for the God on earth, because people’s understanding of the God in heaven is built on their imaginations, not what they themselves have seen or experienced. When God comes to earth, people are able to see God’s actual deeds and His loveable qualities, and are able to see all God’s real and normal disposition—these allow for an understanding that is thousands of times more real than that of the God in heaven. Regardless of how great people’s love for the God in heaven is, it is not real at all, but rather is full of their own fancies. No matter how small people’s love for the God on earth is, it is real; even if theirs is only a tiny amount of love, it is still real. God uses real works to allow people to understand Him, and gains people’s love through this understanding. Peter is an example of this. If he had not lived together with Jesus, he could not have had such adoration for Jesus; his loyalty to Jesus was based on his contact with Jesus. Since God wants man to love Him, He comes to the world Himself to live together with men, so that they can see and experience the realness of God.
God uses reality and facts to perfect people. God’s words fulfill a part, and it is the work for guidance and path-opening. This is to say that in God’s words you must look for the ways of practice and for the knowledge concerning the visions. Understanding these will allow you to have a vision and path to take in real practice. You’ll be able to gain enlightenment through God’s words, and will understand that this matter came from God and be able to discern amongst many things. After reaching such an understanding, you must immediately enter into this reality and use God’s words to satisfy God in real life. God will guide you in every matter, making it so you have a path to take, and feel that God is very loveable and see that the step-by-step work God has performed on you is all to perfect you. If you want to see God’s love and truly experience God’s love, you must immerse yourself in reality and real life, so that you will see that everything God does is love and salvation, and is done to rid people of their unclean things and refine people of the things within that don’t satisfy God’s heart’s desire. God uses words to provision people, and also provides real-life conditions for people to experience. If people eat and drink enough of God’s words, during the course of their real practice, they will be able to use many of God’s words to solve the difficulties that arise in the course of their lives. This is to say, you must possess God’s words before you can go deep into reality. If you don’t eat and drink of God’s words and don’t have God’s work, you’ll be left without a path to take through real life. If you have never eaten and drunk of God’s words, you’ll be left at a loss when you’re met with problems; you only know about loving God, but have no discernment and have no path to take, being unclear and muddled; sometimes, you mistakenly take satisfying the flesh as satisfying God. These are the results of not eating and drinking of God’s words. Or to put things another way, people who grope about in reality without the aid of God’s words will never find the road to take. These people don’t understand what it means to believe in God, much less understand what it means to love God. Through the enlightenment and guidance of God’s words, you often pray, grope, seek, and discover what to practice, find opportunities for the Holy Spirit to work, truly cooperate with God, and do not be one of those lost in confusion. Only in this way will you have a path to take in real life, and only in this way will you be able to truly satisfy God. When you satisfy God, you’ll have God’s guidance within, and God will bestow upon you special blessings, giving you a feeling of enjoyment, so that you’ll feel tremendously honored that you have satisfied God this time. Inside, you’ll be very brightened, clear and peaceful, your conscience will be comforted and free of guilt, and the sight of the brothers and sisters will fill you with ease and gladness. This is what it means to enjoy God’s love, and only this is truly enjoying God. People’s enjoyment of God’s love is attained through experience. After hardship and the practice of truth come God’s blessings. If you merely say that God really loves you, that God really did pay a great price for men and that He has earnestly and patiently said so much for their salvation, this is only one part of what it means to enjoy God. A greater amount of real enjoyment comes through practicing the truth in real life. After you do this, you’ll feel peaceful and bright, you’ll be very moved and feel that God is incredibly loveable, and you’ll feel that the price you’ve paid is more than worthwhile. After you’ve paid a price with your hard work, you’ll feel very brightened within. You will feel that you’ve truly enjoyed God’s love, and you will understand that God has worked on men for their salvation and that God’s refining of men is in order to cleanse them and trying of men in order to test whether they have true love. By always practicing the truth in this way, you’ll gradually gain a clear understanding of much of God’s work, and with this will come an ever-present feeling that God’s words are as clear as day to you. When you come to understand much truth, you will feel that it is easy to act in all manner of matters, and that this matter can be overcome, as can that temptation. You’ll see that nothing is difficult for you and you’ll feel incredibly free and released. When this happens, you will enjoy God’s love. This is truly the love of God coming down upon you. God bestows His blessings on those people with vision, truth, understanding and a true love for God. To see God’s love, you must practice the truth in your real life and must have a heart that satisfies God even if you have to suffer or forsake what you love. You must also be willing to satisfy God’s heart even when you shed tears. Then God will certainly bestow His blessings on you; after this kind of hardship is borne, the Holy Spirit will work on you. God’s adorableness will be seen through your real life and your experience of God’s word. Only through experiencing God’s love can you truly love God.
The more you practice the truth, the more you possess the truth; the more you practice the truth, the more you have God’s love; the more you practice the truth, the more you have God’s blessing. If you always act in this manner, you will gradually see God’s love on you. This is similar with Peter’s understanding of God. He said that not only does God have the wisdom to create the heavens and earth and all things, but also the wisdom to perform real work on people. He said that God not only is worthy of love for His creations, but even more so for being able to create people, save people, perfect people, and give love to people. God is worthy of people’s love in so many ways. He said to Jesus: “You are worthy of people’s love; can it only be because You created the heavens and earth and all things? There is more of You to love than just this. Your actions and doings in real life, the moving of Your Spirit inside of me, Your discipline of me, Your reproach of me—it is these things that are even more worthy of people’s love.” If you want to see and experience God’s love, then you must grope and search in real life, and be willing to set aside your own flesh. You must establish this resolution and be a resolution-driven person. You should satisfy God in everything, not be indolent or covet fleshly enjoyment, and not live for the flesh, but for God. If there is ever a time when you don’t satisfy God, perhaps it is because you didn’t understand God’s heart’s desire. At the next opportunity, you must satisfy God, not the flesh, even if it means putting in a bit of hard work. It is through this sort of an experiential process that you gain an understanding of God. You’ll see that God was able to create the heavens and earth and all things, and that His incarnation allows people to really and truly see Him, and through it He comes into real contact with people. You’ll also see His ability to walk in the midst of people, and the fact that His Spirit is able to perfect people in real life, allowing them to see His loveable qualities and experience His discipline, His chastening, and His blessings. If you always experience in this way, you won’t be able to leave God during real life. If one day your relationship with God is abnormal, you’ll feel reproached and repent. When you have a normal relationship with God, you’re never willing to leave God. If God were one day to say He wanted to abandon you, you would be afraid and say that you’d rather die than have God abandon you. Once you have this kind of feeling, you’ll feel that there’s no way to leave God, and in this way you’ll have the foundation and truly bask in God’s love.
People often say that they let God be their life, yet they haven’t reached that stage now, and they only say that God is their life, that as He guides them every day and they eat and drink of His words and pray to Him every day, He becomes their life. People who say these words have too shallow an understanding. Many people do not have a foundation within yet; God’s words have been planted inside of them, but have yet to sprout, and certainly haven’t born fruit. What stage have you arrived at? You feel you can’t leave God because God has forced you to arrive at the stage where you are now. One day when you reach a level, you will not be able to leave God even if He asks you to, you will have the perpetual feeling that God not being inside you is unacceptable, and you can do without your husband or wife, children, family, parents, or the enjoyments of the flesh, but you cannot do without God. If you don’t have God, it’s as if your life has been snatched away, and you can’t live without God. When you reach this point, you’ve succeeded in believing in God; God has become your life and your foundation for survival, and you won’t be able to leave God. When you reach this stage, then you’ve really enjoyed God’s love. When your relations with God become intimate to a point where God is your life and God is your love, then at that time you’ll pray to God and say: “God! It’s now impossible for me to leave You. You are my life, and I can do without everything else, but without You there’s no way for me to continue living.” This is your true stature and your real life. Some people have been forced to walk to this day, whether or not they are willing, and are left with a lasting feeling that they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. You must continue until you feel[a] God is your life and that if God is taken away, your life has been snatched away; until you feel[b] that God is your life and you have no way to leave God. In this way you have really experienced God, and if at such a point you try to love God, this will be true love, a singular, pure love. One day when your life has reached a point, in your praying to God and eating and drinking of His words, you will be unable to leave God inside, and cannot forget Him even if you want. God will become your life, and although it will be possible to forget the world, forget your wife or your children, if you are made to forget God this will be difficult, and this will be impossible—this is your true life, and this is true love for God. When you reach a stage in your love for God where nothing surpasses your love for God, and loving God is first and foremost, you will be capable of forsaking everything, and will be willing to accept all of God’s dealing and pruning. If you really love God more than you love everything else, then you will be living in reality, and living in God’s love.
Once God becomes people’s life within, they can’t leave Him; isn’t this the deed of God? This is the most powerful witness! God’s work reaches a level where people do not back out even when God asks them to do service for Him, or chastises them, or asks them to die. This shows they have been conquered by God. In the course of real experience, people who are able to stand witness, who are able to stay the course and stand on God’s side, who never retreat, who are able to have normal relationships with those that love God, who obey God completely when faced with problems and even obey unto death, have the truth. Your practices and expressions in real life are God’s witness. They’re man’s living out and also God’s witness. In this way, you’ll truly enjoy God’s love; when you reach this stage, you have born fruits. You have real living out and your every action inspires others’ admiration; others see that you have very godly living out even if your dress is quite average, you fellowship about God’s words with God’s guidance and enlightenment, you can speak out God’s will and communicate reality, you understand many matters about service in the spirit, you are natural in speech and decent in behavior, neither creating disputes nor acting wildly, you can obey God’s arrangements when problems are encountered and are able to stand witness, you handle matters calmly, properly and without hurry. Such are the people who really see God’s love. There are those who are young in age, but whose behavior makes it seem as if they are middle-aged. They look mature and are in possession of the truth, and they are admired by others. Such people bear witness, and are the manifestation of God. This is to say, if you reach a place where you gain some insight into God internally, your external disposition will stabilize. Many people do not practice the truth, and cannot stand witness. God’s love is not on these people, and they lack God’s witness. God most hates this kind of people. They eat and drink of God’s words, but express Satan and allow God’s words to be uglified by Satan. God’s love cannot be seen on such people, and all that they express is Satan. If your heart is always at peace in front of God, if you are always able to carefully observe people, affairs and objects around you, and are able to care for God’s burdens, and always have a heart that fears God, then God will constantly enlighten you from within. In church there is a class of people, who are “supervisors.” They take time out of their days to look for other people’s faults, and thereby follow and imitate them. These people lack the ability to discern, aren’t disgusted by sin, and don’t hate the things of Satan, nor are they repelled by them. These people are full of the things of Satan, and in the end God leaves them completely. You should always have a fear of God in front of God, speak and act with propriety, never willing to resist God, grieve God or let His work on you go in vain, never willing to waste the hardships you’ve suffered and your former practices, willing to redouble your efforts on the road ahead and increase your love for God to even greater heights. Such are the people who possess the vision as their foundation and who seek improvement.
Those who believe in God with a heart that fears God, and who experience God’s words with the same heart, are the kind of people on whom God’s salvation and love can be seen. This kind of person can bear witness to God. This kind of person lives out the truth, and bears witness to the truth, the being of God, and the disposition of God, and he lives in God’s love and sees God’s love. To love God people need to experience God’s adorableness and see God’s adorableness. It is only this that inspires people to love God and expend themselves for Him faithfully. God will not let people love Him through words or imagination. He doesn’t force people to love Him, but rather lets people have voluntary love. He lets people see His adorableness from His work and from His words, after which a love for Him is issued inside them. It is in this way that people are able to bear true witness to God. People love God not because other people encourage them to, or because of a strong one-time feeling, but because people have seen God’s loveable qualities, have seen that God has so many qualities worthy of loving, and have seen God’s salvation, God’s wisdom and God’s wonderful deeds. True praises for God spring from these, as does a true thirst for God and a passionate feeling that without God there is no way for life to continue. People who are truly witnesses to God are able to bear resounding witness to Him because their witness is based upon a true understanding and true thirst for God. This is not witness based upon an impulsive feeling, but is bearing witness based upon an understanding of God and an understanding of God’s disposition. Because they have an understanding of God, they feel they must bear witness to God and must help all people with a thirst for God understand God and know God’s adorableness and God’s realness. This witness is as voluntary as people’s love for God. It is based in reality, and has real meaning and value. It is not passive, empty and meaningless. The reason it is said that people who truly love God have the most value and meaning in their lives, that these are the true believers in God, is because these people are able to live in God’s light, and are able to live for God’s work and God’s management. These people don’t live in the darkness, but rather live in the light; these people don’t live a meaningless life, but live in a life blessed by God. Only those who love God are able to bear witness to God, and only those who love God serve as God’s witnesses and receive God’s blessings and promises. People that love God are the intimates of God, are those who God loves, and are those who are able to share in blessings together with God. It is these people that are able to live forever, and it is only these people that live forever in God’s care and keeping. God is for people to love, and is worthy of all people loving, and yet not everyone is able to love God, nor is everyone able to bear witness for God or able to share in God’s reign. People that truly love God are able to bear witness to God and are the people that are able to give their utmost for God’s work. Therefore, these people can walk anywhere on earth without anyone daring to oppose them, and can reign on earth and govern all the people of God. These people come together from places the world over. They speak different languages and have different skin colors, but they have a shared meaning in life and a shared love for God. They all bear the same witness, and are people with a shared resolution and aspiration. Those who love God walk freely throughout the world, and God’s witnesses move unchallenged throughout the entire universe. These are the people that God loves and blesses, and these people will live forever in God’s light.
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The original text omits “you feel.”
b. The original text omits “you feel.”
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.