How to Pursue the Truth (15) Part Four

Some people say, “If these traditions and superstitions belong to certain traditional thoughts and superstitions outside of Christianity, then we should criticize and let go of them. But when it comes to certain thoughts, viewpoints, traditions, or superstitions of orthodox religions, do people not need to let go of them? Shouldn’t they be considered as a holiday or a lifestyle to commemorate and uphold in our daily lives?” (No, we should let go of both because they are not from God.) For example, the biggest holiday that comes from Christianity is Christmas—do you know anything about it? Nowadays, some major cities in the East also celebrate Christmas, plan Christmas parties, and celebrate Christmas Eve. In addition to Christmas, there are also Easter and Passover, which are both major religious holidays. Some holidays involve eating turkey and barbecue, while others involve eating candy canes, which are red and white, symbolizing the precious blood of the Lord Jesus as a sin offering for people, making them holy. The red represents the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, the white represents holiness, and people eat this type of candy. There is also the tradition of eating Easter eggs during Easter. These holidays are all related to Christianity. There are also certain Christian icons, such as the images of Mary, Jesus, and the cross. These things have evolved out of Christianity and, in My opinion, they are also a kind of tradition. Behind these traditions, there must be some superstitions involved. Regardless of the content of these superstitious sayings, in short, as long as they do not involve the truth, the path that people take, or God’s requirements for created beings, they have nothing to do with what you should enter into now, and you should let go of them. They shouldn’t be considered sacred and inviolable, of course there is also no need to despise them—just treat them correctly. Do these holidays have anything to do with us? (No.) They have nothing to do with us. A foreigner once asked Me, “Do you celebrate Christmas?” I said, “No.” “Then do you celebrate Chinese New Year? Spring Festival?” I said, “No.” “Then what holidays do you celebrate?” I said, “We don’t have holidays. Every day is the same for us. We eat whatever we want on any given day, not because of holidays. I don’t have traditions.” He asked, “Why?” I said, “No reason. This way of life is very free, without any constraints. We live without any formalities, just following the rules, eating, resting, working, and moving according to the time and measure given by God, naturally and freely, without any formalities.” Of course, when it comes to a special religious item, the cross, some people believe that it is sacred. Is the cross sacred? Can it be described as sacred? Is the image of Mary sacred? (No, it is not sacred.) Is the image of Jesus sacred? You don’t very much dare to say it. Why is the image of Jesus not sacred? Because it was painted by humans, it is not the true likeness of God and has nothing to do with God. It is just a painting. Not to mention the image of Mary. No one knows what Jesus looks like, so they just draw Him blindly, and when the painting is finished, they ask you to worship facing it. Wouldn’t you be foolish to worship that? God is the One you should worship. You shouldn’t make a formal show of bowing down to some idol, portrait or picture; it’s not about bowing before an object. You should worship God and look up to Him in your heart. People should prostrate themselves before the words of God and His real person, not before the cross or the images of Mary or Jesus, which are all idols. The cross is just a symbol of the second step in God’s work. It has nothing to do with God’s disposition, essence, or requirements for mankind. It does not represent God’s image, let alone His essence. Therefore, wearing a cross does not represent your fear of God, or that you have an amulet of protection. I have never represented the cross. I don’t have any cross symbols in My home, none of these things. So, when it comes to not celebrating Christmas and Easter, people may easily let these things go, but if it involves religious aspects such as the cross, the images of Mary and Jesus, or even the Bible, when you tell them to throw away a cross or an image of Mary or Jesus, they’ll think, “Oh, that is so irreverent, so irreverent. Quickly, ask God for forgiveness, for forgiveness….” People feel that there will be consequences. Of course, you don’t need to deliberately do anything destructive to these objects, nor do you need to have any respect for them. They are just objects and have nothing to do with God’s essence or identity. This is something you ought to know. Of course, when it comes to the Christmas and Easter holidays designated by humans, these have nothing to do with God’s identity or essence, His work, or His requirements for people. Even if you celebrate a hundred or ten thousand Christmases, no matter how many lifetimes you celebrate Christmas or Easter, this is not a substitute for understanding the truth. You don’t have to admire these things and say, “I must travel to the West. In the West I can celebrate Christmas. Christmas is sacred. Christmas is a day to commemorate God’s work. It is also a day that we should commemorate. We should be solemn on that day. Easter is more so a day that attracts everyone’s attention. It is a day to commemorate the resurrection of God incarnate from the dead. We should rejoice together, celebrate and congratulate one another on such a day, commemorating this day forever.” These are all human imaginings, God does not need them. If God needed people to commemorate these days, He would tell you the exact year, month, day, hour, minute, and second. If He hasn’t told you the exact year, month, and day, this communicates to you that God does not need people to commemorate these days. If you do commemorate them, you will violate God’s restrictions and He will not like it. God doesn’t like it but you insist on doing this, and claim that you are worshiping God. Then God becomes even more disgusted with you, and you deserve to die. Do you understand? (I understand.) If you want to celebrate these holidays now, God will not pay attention to you, and sooner or later you will pay the price and bear the responsibility for your wrong actions. Therefore, I tell you, it is more important for you to truly understand one of God’s words and follow His words than to prostrate yourself and bow your head however many times before the cross. No matter how many times you do this, it is useless and does not mean that you are following God’s way, accepting His words, or doing things according to the principles that He requires. God will not remember it. So, if you feel that the cross is particularly sacred, from this day forth, you should let go of this thought and viewpoint and throw your cherished cross out of the depths of your heart. It does not represent God, and worshiping it does not mean you are devout. Treasuring it, cherishing it, or even carrying it on your shoulders all day does not mean you are worshiping God. The cross was just a tool used in one step of God’s work, and it has no connection to God’s essence, disposition, or identity. If you insist on worshiping the cross as if it were God, this is what God detests. Not only will you not receive God’s remembrance, but you will be spurned by Him. If you insist on it and say, “I won’t listen to You. The cross is sacred and inviolable in my eyes. I don’t believe or accept Your words that the cross is not important and doesn’t represent God,” then you can act as you see fit and see what it will ultimately get you. God has long since come down from the cross. It was the most inconspicuous tool used in one step of God’s work. It is merely an object and has no value in the eyes of God to be kept. Of course, there is no need for you to cherish, love, or even look up to or respect it. This is all unnecessary. The Bible is also highly cherished in people’s hearts. Although they do not read the Bible anymore, it still holds a definite place in their hearts. They still cannot completely let go of their views on the Bible which were passed down through their family or ancestors. For example, sometimes when you put the Bible aside, you may think, “Oh, what am I doing? That is the Bible. People should cherish it! The Bible is sacred and should not be treated so indifferently as if it were just an ordinary book. It’s gathered so much dust and no one has bothered to clean it. The book corners are bent and no one has straightened them.” People should let go of this sort of thought and viewpoint of treating the Bible as if it were something sacred and inviolable.

These traditions and superstitions from family that we have just discussed, as well as various thoughts, viewpoints, and lifestyles related to religion, as well as objects about which people are superstitious, or that they admire or cherish, all instill certain incorrect lifestyles, thoughts, and viewpoints into people, and intangibly mislead them in their lives, their livelihoods, and survival. In daily life, this resulting misdirection will unknowingly disrupt people in their attempts to accept correct things, positive thoughts, and positive matters, and they will then unknowingly do certain foolish, irrational, and childish things. Precisely because of this, it is necessary for individuals to have an accurate view, and accurate thoughts and viewpoints on these matters. If something involves the truth and aligns with it, you need to accept, practice and submit to it as a principle to follow for your life and survival. However, if it does not involve the truth and is merely tradition or superstition, or it merely comes from religion, then you should let go of it. Lastly, the subject matter we fellowshipped about today is distinctive in that these things related to traditions, superstitions, and religion, regardless of whether you acknowledge them or not, have experienced them or not, or how great your recognition of them is, in short, there are certain sayings in tradition and superstition that exist in terms of the objective facts and, to some extent, affect and disturb the daily lives of humankind. So how should you view this matter? Some people say, “You have to believe in it. If you don’t follow what it says, there will be consequences—what will you do then?” Do you know the biggest difference between believers and nonbelievers? (The biggest difference is that believers trust that everything is in God’s hands, while nonbelievers always try to change their fate by themselves.) Another point is that believers have God’s presence and protection, so these various superstitious phenomena which exist in real life will not affect them. But nonbelievers, because they lack God’s protection and do not believe in either His protection or sovereignty, are controlled by various unclean demons and evil spirits in their daily lives. Therefore, they have to pay attention to taboos in everything they do. Where do these taboos come from? Are they from God? (No, they are not.) Why do they have to abstain from these things? How do they know they should abstain from them? It is because certain people have experienced these things, gained certain experiences and lessons from them, and then spread them out among people. These experiences and lessons are then widely circulated, creating a kind of trend among people, and everyone starts to live and act accordingly. How did this trend come about? If you don’t follow the rules set by evil spirits and unclean demons, they will disturb you, disrupt, and upset your normal life, forcing you to believe in the existence of these taboos and that there will be consequences if you violate them. Over thousands of years, people have accumulated these experiences in their daily lives, passing them on from one generation to the next, and have come to know that there is an invisible force controlling them in the background, and they must listen to it. For example, if you don’t set off firecrackers during the Chinese New Year, your business will not go smoothly this year. Another example is that if you light the first incense stick during the New Year, everything will go smoothly for your entire year. These experiences tell people that they must believe in these superstitions and these sayings that come from folk culture, and generation after generation, people live like this. What do these phenomena tell people? They tell people that these prohibitions and taboos are all experiences that people have accumulated in life over time, and that they are things people have to do, things they must do because there are certain invisible forces controlling everything behind the scenes. In the end, from generation to generation, people follow these rules. People who do not believe in God must follow these superstitions and traditions in order to live relatively smooth lives in social groups. They live seeking peace, ease, and joy. So why don’t people who believe in God have to follow these superstitions and traditions? (Because they are protected by God.) They are protected by God. People who believe in God follow Him, and God brings these people into His presence and His house. Without God’s permission, Satan dare not harm you. Even if you don’t abide by its rules, it won’t dare touch you. However, for those who do not believe in God and do not follow Him, Satan can manipulate them at will. Satan’s way of manipulating people is to establish various sayings and strange rules for you to follow. If you don’t follow them, it will punish you. For example, if you don’t worship the kitchen god on the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month, won’t there be consequences? (Yes.) There will be consequences, and unbelievers dare not skip this ritual. On that day, they also have to eat sesame candy to seal the kitchen god’s mouth and prevent him from telling on them in heaven. How did these rules and superstitious sayings come about? It is Satan who does certain things that are passed down through oral tradition. At the root, they originate from Satan and various unclean demons, evil spirits, and demon leaders. They establish these rules and control people using these superstitious sayings and rules, making people listen to them. If you don’t listen to them, they hit you with something fierce—they punish you. Some people don’t believe in these superstitious sayings, and their homes are always a mess. When they go to a Buddhist temple to have their fortune told, they’re told, “My goodness, you’ve violated such-and-such taboo. You need to break soil underneath your house, adjust the chimney, change the furnishings in your house, and put a talisman on the lintel of the door. Then those little demons won’t dare come around.” It is actually a bigger demon that has subdued the little one, so the little demon won’t bother you anymore. In this way, life becomes much more peaceful. At first, this person didn’t believe it, but now when they see it, they say, “Oh my, there really was a little demon causing so much trouble!” They have no choice but to believe in it. Those who do not believe in God and try to get by and survive in this world are completely controlled by the evil ones, without the right or any room to choose for themselves—they have to believe. On the other hand, those of you who believe in God, if you persist in these superstitious or traditional thoughts, viewpoints, or things of religion, if you celebrate their festivals, believe in their sayings, and continue their traditions, ways of life, and attitudes toward life, and the source of your joy in life is based on these sayings, then you are telling God using a kind of silent language, “I don’t believe in Your orchestrations, nor do I want to accept them,” and you are also telling evil spirits, unclean demons, and Satan using a silent language, “Come on, I believe in your sayings, and I am willing to cooperate with you.” Because in terms of the various attitudes you uphold, and your thoughts, viewpoints, and practices, you do not accept the truth, but rather conform to the thoughts and viewpoints of evil spirits, unclean demons, and Satan, and you are carrying out their thoughts and viewpoints as you comport yourself and act, you are therefore living under their power. Since you are willing to live under their power, making dumplings when you go out and eating noodles when you come home, and having to eat rice cakes and fish during the Chinese New Year, then just go along with them. You don’t need to believe in God, and you don’t need to proclaim that you believe in God. Everywhere you go and in everything you do, you follow the way of life and thoughts and viewpoints that Satan has instilled in you, you view people and things, comport yourself and act, and live and survive according to religious notions, and what you do has nothing to do with what God has taught you, it has nothing to do with the truth. So you are truly a follower of Satan. Since you follow Satan in your heart, why are you still sitting here? Why are you still listening to the sermon? Isn’t this engaging in deception? Isn’t this blasphemy against God? Since you are so obsessed with the traditions, superstitions and religious notions instilled by Satan, are tangled up in them, and still have lingering ties with them, you should not believe in God anymore. You should stay at the Buddhist temple, burn incense, kowtow, draw lots, and chant scripture. You should not remain in God’s house, you are not worthy of listening to God’s words or accepting God’s guidance. Therefore, since you proclaim that you are a follower of God, you should let go of these family traditions, superstitions, and religious notions. Even your basic ways of life: As long as they involve tradition and superstition, you should let go and not hold on to them. What God detests the most is human tradition, festival days, customs, and certain rules for living that come from folk culture and from family, behind which there are certain interpretations. For example, certain people have to place a mirror on the door lintel when building a house, saying it is used to ward off evil spirits. You believe in God, yet you still fear demons? You believe in God, so how are demons still able to harass you so easily? Are you really a true believer in God? During the Chinese New Year, if some child says something unlucky like “if I die” or “if my mom dies,” they quickly follow up by saying, “Pah, pah, pah, a child’s words can’t break taboo, a child’s words can’t break taboo.” They’re scared to death, afraid that their words will come true. What are you afraid of? Even if it does come true, could you not accept this reality? Could you resist it? Shouldn’t you accept it from God? There are no taboos with God, only things that do or do not align with the truth. As a believer in God, you should not adhere to any taboos, but instead handle these matters according to God’s words and the truth principles.

Today’s fellowship involves topics related to how families condition traditions, superstitions, and religion into people. Although we may not know much about these topics, it is enough to tell you through fellowship what kind of attitude you should uphold, and how you should approach them according to God’s words and the principles. At the very least, the practice you should uphold is to let go of that which is related to these topics, and to not hold them in your heart or maintain them as a normal way of life. What you should do most is let go and not be disturbed or bound by them. You should not judge your life and death, fortune and calamity based on them, and of course you certainly should not face or choose your future path based on them. If you see a black cat when you go out, and you say, “Is today going to be unfortunate? Will something unlucky happen?” how’s this viewpoint? (It’s not correct.) What can a cat do to you? Even if there are superstitious sayings about it, these have nothing to do with you, so there’s no need to be afraid. Don’t even be afraid of a black tiger, let alone a black cat. Everything is in God’s hands, and you should not fear Satan or any evil spirits, not to mention a black cat. If you have no taboos in your heart, only pursue the truth, and believe that everything is in God’s hands, even if there are certain sayings about it or it may bring you misfortune, you don’t need to worry. For example, one day you suddenly hear an owl hooting at your bedside. In Chinese folklore, it is said, “Don’t be afraid of the owl’s hoot, be afraid of the owl’s laughter.” This owl is both hooting and laughing, which scares you to death and affects you a little in your heart. But consider for a minute, “What is meant to happen will happen, and what is not meant to happen, God will not allow. I am in God’s hands, and so is everything else. I am not afraid or affected by this. I will live as I should, pursue the truth, practice God’s words, and submit to all of God’s orchestrations. This can never change!” When nothing can disturb you, then that is correct. If one day you have a bad dream, you lose your teeth, your hair falls out, you break a bowl, see yourself dead, and every other bad thing happens simultaneously in one dream, none of these scenes being good omens for you—how will you react? Will you feel depressed? Will you be upset? Will you be affected? In the past, you might have felt upset for a month or two, and finally nothing happened, so you could breathe a sigh of relief. But now, you are only slightly disturbed, and as soon as you think that everything is in God’s hands, your heart quickly calms down. You come before God with a submissive attitude, and this is correct. Even if these bad omens really lead to something bad happening, there is a way to resolve it. How can you resolve it? Aren’t bad things also in God’s hands? Without God’s permission, Satan and the devils cannot harm even one hair on your body. Especially in matters involving life and death, it is not up to it to decide. Without God’s permission, these big and small matters will not take place. So, no matter what bad phenomena you witness in a dream one night, or anything unusual you may feel in your body, don’t worry, don’t feel uneasy, and certainly don’t consider avoiding, rejecting, or resisting. Don’t try to use human methods like voodoo dolls, holding séances, drawing lots, fortune telling, or seeking information online to avoid these risks. There’s no need for any of that. It is possible that your dream indicates that something bad really will happen, such as going bankrupt, your stocks falling, your business being taken over by others, being arrested by the government during a gathering, being reported while spreading the gospel, and so on. So what? Everything is in God’s hands; don’t be afraid. Don’t be concerned, don’t grieve, and don’t fear any bad things that have not yet happened, and of course don’t resist or oppose the occurrence of any bad things. Do what a created being should do, fulfill your responsibilities and obligations as a created being, and take the position and perspective that a created being should have—this is the attitude that everyone should have when facing things; that is, accepting and submitting, leaving things up to His orchestrations without complaints. In this way, any religious, traditional, or superstitious sayings or consequences will not be a problem for you, and will not cause any disturbance; you will truly come out from under Satan’s power and from the influence of darkness, not being controlled by the influence of darkness or by any thoughts of Satan. Your thoughts, your soul, your whole being will be conquered and gained by God’s words. Isn’t this freedom? (Yes.) This is complete freedom, living in liberation and freedom, and having the likeness of a human. How great is that!

The content involved in today’s fellowship is basically this. As for certain taboos in the habits of daily life, for example, what food not to eat when experiencing certain illnesses, and some people can’t eat spicy food because they tend to have excessive internal heat, these do not involve how one comports themselves or any thoughts and viewpoints, much less do they involve the path one takes. These are not within the scope of our fellowship. The subject matter of our fellowship involving family conditioning has to do with people’s thoughts and viewpoints, their normal way of life and rules for living, as well as their thoughts, viewpoints, positions, and perspectives toward various things. By resolving these incorrect thoughts, viewpoints and attitudes in every respect, the next thing for individuals to enter into is to seek and accept correct thoughts, viewpoints, attitudes, and perspectives toward things. Alright, that’s all for the fellowship on today’s topic. Goodbye!

March 25, 2023

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