How to Pursue the Truth (20) Part One

The diverse topics we are fellowshipping about involve practical matters of daily life. After listening to this content, don’t you feel that the truth is not empty, that it isn’t a slogan, a kind of theory, or especially a kind of knowledge? What is the truth related to? (It is related to our real life.) Truth is related to real life, to various events happening in real life. It touches upon all aspects of human life, on various issues people encounter in daily life, and it especially relates to the goals people pursue and the paths they take. None of these truths are empty, and they are certainly not dispensable; they are all essential for people to have. In daily life, when it comes to certain practical issues, if you can approach, resolve, and handle these things based on the truth principles we fellowship about, then you are entering into the truth reality. If in your daily life, you stick to your original thoughts and viewpoints toward these issues involving the truth and do not change, if you approach these issues from your own human perspective, and the principles and basis for how you view these things have nothing to do with the truth, then obviously you are not someone who is entering into the truth reality, nor are you someone who pursues the truth. No matter what aspect of the truth we are fellowshipping about, the topics involved are all about correcting and reversing the erroneous thoughts, viewpoints, notions, and imaginings people have in diverse matters, so that they might have correct thoughts and viewpoints on the various matters they come into contact with in daily life, and that they might view these things that happen in real life from the correct perspectives and standpoints, then use the truth as their criterion to resolve and handle them. Listening to sermons is not about being equipped with doctrine or knowledge, it’s not about broadening one’s horizons or gaining insight—it’s about understanding the truth. The purpose of understanding the truth is not to enrich one’s thoughts or spirit, or to enrich one’s humanity, but to enable people not to break away from real life while on the path of believing in God, and, whenever they encounter various things in daily life, to view people and things, comport themselves, and act with God’s words as their basis and the truth as their criterion. If you have been listening to sermons for this many years and have made progress in the areas of doctrine and knowledge, and you feel spiritually enriched and your thoughts have become more elevated, but when you encounter many things in daily life, you still cannot view these issues from the right perspective, nor can you persist in practicing, viewing people and things, comporting yourself, and acting according to the truth principles, then clearly, you are not someone who pursues the truth, nor someone who is entering into the truth reality. More seriously, you have not yet reached the point of submitting to the truth, submitting to God, or fearing Him. Of course, it can be very clearly confirmed that you have not embarked on the path to salvation. Isn’t that so? (Yes.)

Based on your real stature and circumstances right now, in what aspects do you feel that you have entered into the truth reality? In what aspects do you have hope for salvation? In which areas have you yet to enter into the truth reality but fall far short of the standard for salvation? Can you measure this? (In situations where antichrists and evil people disturb the work of the church, causing harm to the interests of God’s house, I lack a sense of justice and genuine loyalty to God. I am unable to stand up and defend the interests of God’s house, and I do not have a testimony in these crucial matters. In this respect, I am clearly falling far short of the standard for salvation.) This is a real problem. Let everyone discuss it further. Apart from recognizing your stature involving issues of discerning and rejecting antichrists, in other respects, what things have you encountered in your daily life that make you feel that you haven’t entered into the reality, that you cannot practice according to the truth principles, and although you understand doctrine, you still lack clarity in the truth, you lack a clear path, and you don’t know how to align with God’s intentions, or how to abide by the principles? (After doing my duty for so many years, I thought I could leave my family, abandon my career, and let go to some extent of my feelings toward my parents and relatives. However, occasionally I have met with certain real-life situations that made me realize that there are still feelings inside of me, and I want to be by my parents’ side taking care of and being filial to them. If I am unable to do this, I feel that I owe them. Through listening to God’s recent fellowship about parents not being our creditors, I realized that I don’t understand this aspect of the truth, and I haven’t submitted to the truth or to God.) Who else would like to keep going? Do you not encounter difficulties in your daily life? Or do you live in a vacuum and never face any problems? Do you encounter difficulties when doing your duties? Are you ever perfunctory? (Yes.) Do you ever indulge in fleshly ease and comfort? Do you work for fame and status? Do you often worry or feel anxious about your prospects and alternatives? (Yes.) Then how do you handle these situations when you face them? Are you able to use the truth to resolve them? You hold on to a backup plan when you are promoted, and you worry about your prospects and destination, misunderstand and blame God, or flaunt your qualifications when being let go from your position—do you have these problems? (Yes.) How do you handle and resolve these situations when you meet with them? Do you follow your selfish desires, or can you uphold the truth principles, rebel against the flesh, and rebel against your corrupt disposition in order to practice the truth? (God, whenever I encounter these situations, I doctrinally understand that I shouldn’t act according to the preferences of my flesh or my corrupt disposition. Sometimes my conscience is stirred and feels a sense of reproach, and I make some changes in my behavior. But it’s not because my viewpoints on these matters have changed, or I am able to practice the truth. Sometimes, if my selfish desires are relatively strong, and I feel that this difficulty is too great, then even if I get a burst of energy, I still can’t practice it. At that point, I will follow my corrupt disposition, and not even the outward good behavior remains.) What kind of situation is this? Do you end up practicing the truth and standing firm in your testimony, or do you fail? (I fail.) Do you reflect afterward and feel remorse? Can you make improvements when facing similar situations again? (After failing, I will feel a bit of unease in my conscience, and when I eat and drink God’s words I can relate them to myself, but the next time I encounter these situations, the same corrupt disposition still reveals itself. There’s relatively little progress in this aspect.) Don’t most people find themselves in this state? How do you view this matter? Whenever they meet with similar situations, in the ways that people handle them, apart from their behavior improving due to the effect of their consciences, or their behavior sometimes being relatively noble and sometimes relatively base according to their situations and states at the time, and according to their differing moods—aside from these, their practice has nothing to do with the truth. What is the problem with this? Does it represent a person’s stature? What kind of stature is it? Is it a small stature, or is it weakness, a deficiency in their humanity, or a manifestation of not practicing the truth? What is it? (A small stature.) When one’s stature is small, they cannot practice the truth, and because they cannot practice the truth, their stature is small. How small is it? It means that you haven’t yet obtained the truth in this matter. What does it mean that you haven’t yet obtained the truth? It means that God’s words have not yet become your life; God’s words are still a kind of text, a doctrine, or an argument to you. They have not yet been wrought into you or become your life. Consequently, these so-called truths that you understand are merely a kind of doctrine or slogan. Why do I say this? Because you can’t turn this doctrine into your reality. When you face things in daily life, you don’t handle them according to the truth; you still handle them according to Satan’s corrupt disposition and under the influence of conscience. So obviously, at the very least, you don’t have the truth in this matter, and you haven’t obtained life. Not obtaining life means not having life; not having life means that in this matter, you haven’t been saved at all, and you are still living under Satan’s power. No matter whether what is practiced under the influence of conscience is good behavior or a kind of manifestation, it does not represent life; it is merely a manifestation of normal humanity. If this manifestation has the influence of conscience thrown in, at best, it is a kind of good behavior. If conscience is not the leading factor, but rather one’s corrupt disposition is, then this behavior cannot be regarded as good behavior; it is the corrupt disposition revealed. So, in which matters have you already made the truth a reality, and obtained life? In which matters have you not yet gained the truth and made it your life, and not yet made the truth your reality? In other words, in which matters are you living out God’s words and taking them as your criteria, and in which matters have you still not done so? Calculate how many there are. If you have calculated them all, yet unfortunately there isn’t a single matter in which you acted or lived out based on God’s words, but instead acted according to your hotheadedness, to your notions, to the preferences or desires of the flesh, or to your corrupt disposition, then what will be the final result? The result will be bad, will it not? (Yes.) As of today, you have listened to sermons for many years, forsaking your family, abandoning your career, suffering hardship, and paying the price. If this is the result, is it something to be happy and celebrate or something to be sad and worried about? (Sad and worried.) A person who doesn’t make the truth a reality, who doesn’t make God’s words their life, what kind of person is that? Isn’t it a person who lives under the complete control of Satan’s corrupt disposition, who is unable to see the hope of salvation? (Yes.) Have you ever thought about these questions when you normally read God’s words and examine yourselves? Most people haven’t, right? Most people just think, “I started believing in God at the age of seventeen, and now I’m forty-seven. I’ve believed in God for so many years, and I’ve been hunted several times, but God has kept me safe and helped me to escape. I’ve lived in caves and grass huts, gone days and nights without eating, and spent so many hours without sleep. I’ve endured so much suffering and run so many miles, all for the sake of performing my duty, doing my job, and completing my assignment. My hope for salvation is so great, I’ve already begun walking the path of salvation. I’m so lucky! Thanks truly be to God. This is His grace! I was worthless in the eyes of the secular world, no one thought much of me, and I never considered myself anyone special, but because of God’s raising up, because He lifted me—the needy—out of the dung heap, I was put on the path of salvation, allowing me the honor to do my duty in His house. He elevated me and He loves me! Now I understand so much truth and have worked for so many years. Receiving my reward in the future is a definite thing. Who could take that away?” If these were the only things you could think of when you examine yourselves, wouldn’t that be troublesome? (Yes.) Tell Me, you’ve believed in God for so many years, you’ve suffered so much, traveled so far, and done so much work. Why after this much believing have some people now been moved to Group B? Why do many leaders and workers now have to repay offerings and carry the burden of debts? What’s going on? Haven’t they already been saved? Don’t they already have the truth and haven’t they obtained life? Some people considered themselves to be the pillars and cornerstones of God’s house, to be rare talents here. How are things now? If this many years of suffering and paying the price had resulted in them receiving life and having the truth reality, in them submitting to God’s words, having true fear of God, and loyally doing duties, would these people have been dismissed or moved to Group B? Would they have been burdened with debt or received a major demerit? Would these problems have happened? This is quite embarrassing, isn’t it? (Yes.) Have you ever thought about what the issue is? How much suffering a person can endure or how much of a price they pay for their belief in God is not a sign of salvation or of entering into the truth reality, nor is it a sign that they have life. Then, what is a sign of having life and the truth reality? Broadly speaking, it’s whether a person can practice the truth and handle matters according to principles; specifically, it’s whether a person views people and things, comports themselves and acts with the truth principles, whether they can act according to the truth principles. If, in your performance of duties, you can overcome your own self, endure suffering, and pay the price in everything you do, but unfortunately you are unable to achieve the most crucial point, that is, you cannot uphold the truth principles; if no matter what you do, you always consider your own interests, always seek a way out for yourself, always want to preserve yourself; and if you never uphold the truth principles, and God’s words to you are mere doctrine, then don’t even talk about whether you are valuable, or whether your life has worth or not; at the most basic point, you do not have life. A person without life is the most pitiable. To believe in God and yet not enter into the truth reality, to not obtain life, is the most pitiful kind of person and the most lamentable thing. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) I don’t ask that you are able to practice according to the truth principles in everything, but at the very least, in the performance of your significant duties and in important matters in your daily life involving principles, you should be able to act according to the truth principles. You must at the very least achieve this standard in order to see the hope of salvation in yourself. But as for right now, you haven’t even risen to the most fundamental requirement, you haven’t achieved any of it. This is a very lamentable and deeply concerning matter.

In the first three years that they believe in God, people are happy and joyful. Every day they think about receiving blessings and having a wonderful destination. They believe that external good behaviors, such as suffering for God, running around and helping others more, doing more good deeds, and offering up more money, are things that believers in God ought to do. After believing in God for three to five years, although they understand some doctrines, people still believe in God according to their notions and imaginings. They live according to good behaviors, their consciences, and good humanity, rather than living according to the truth principles, or making God’s words their life and the criterion by which they view people and things, and comport themselves and act. What path are such people following? Is it not the path that Paul followed? (It is.) Do you not currently find yourself in this state? If you find yourself in this state most of the time, then is listening to so many sermons useful? Regardless of which kind of sermons you listen to, you are not listening in order to understand the truth, or to view people and things, and comport yourself and act based on the truth principles in your daily life, instead you are listening for the sake of enriching your spiritual world and your human experiences. In that case, there is no need for you to listen to them, is there? Some people say, “Not listening to sermons won’t do. If I don’t listen to sermons, I lack enthusiasm in my belief in God, and I don’t have enthusiasm or motivation when it comes to performing my duty. By listening to sermons every now and then, I have a bit of enthusiasm in my belief, I feel a bit more fulfilled and enriched, and then when I encounter any difficulties or negativity in my duty, I have some motivation, and I don’t become negative most of the time.” Is listening to sermons done for the sake of achieving this effect? Most people who have listened to sermons over the years don’t leave the church, no matter how they are pruned, disciplined, or chastened. Achieving this effect has a certain relationship with listening to sermons, but what I want to see is not merely that the dwindling fire in your heart is reignited after you listen to each sermon. It’s not just about that. Mere enthusiasm is useless. Enthusiasm shouldn’t be used for doing evil or for violating the truth principles. Enthusiasm is for making you pursue the truth with more of a goal and direction—you should strive toward the truth principles and practice them. So, can listening to sermons achieve this effect? After each sermon, it is like there is a fire in your heart, it is like you have been charged with electricity or pumped full of air. You feel replete with enthusiasm again, you know which area you should push toward next, without ever slacking or being negative, and seldom being weak. However, these manifestations are not the conditions for attaining salvation. There are several conditions for attaining salvation: Firstly, you must be willing to read God’s words and listen to sermons; secondly, and this is also the most important condition, no matter what big or small matters you encounter in your daily life, especially matters related to performing your duty and to the major work of God’s house, you must be able to seek the truth principles, rather than acting based on your own ideas, doing whatever you wish, or being arbitrary and reckless. The purpose of Me tirelessly fellowshipping with you about the truth and explaining the principles of various matters like this is not to make you do the impossible or to force you beyond your capabilities, and it isn’t merely to make you enthusiastic. Rather, it’s to make you understand God’s intentions more accurately, to understand the principles and basis for doing various things, and how people should act in order to satisfy God’s intentions, not acting based on their corrupt dispositions, thoughts and viewpoints, and knowledge when faced with matters, but replacing these things with the truth principles. This is one of the principal ways God saves people. It’s so that you can take God’s words as your basis and principles in everything you encounter, and so that His words reign in every matter. In other words, it is so that you are able to handle and resolve every matter based on God’s words, rather than relying on human intellect and preferences, or approaching them according to human tastes, ambitions, and desires. Through this manner of preaching and fellowshipping about the truth, God’s words and the truth are wrought into people, enabling them to have life where the truth is their reality. This is the mark of salvation. No matter what things you face, you should put more effort into the truth principles and God’s words. This is the kind of person who pursues salvation and is wise. Those who always put effort into outward behaviors, formalities, doctrines, and slogans, are foolish people. They are not those who pursue salvation. You have never considered things like this before, or rarely considered them, so when it comes to these matters of practicing the truth principles, your mind is basically blank. You don’t think that this matter is important, so whenever you face situations that involve the truth principles, especially when it comes to certain major situations, when you face antichrists or evil people disrupting and disturbing the church’s work, you are always very passive. You don’t know how to handle these matters, and you approach them based on your own selfish motives and feelings. You are unable to stand up to defend the work of the church, and ultimately, you always end up failing, and carelessly and hastily wrapping up the matter. If no investigations are made into these matters, you will be able to muddle your way through. If investigations are conducted to find out who is responsible, you might be removed from your position or reassigned to a different duty; or worse, you might be relegated to Group B, or some people might even be cleared out. Are these outcomes that you wish to see? (No.) If one day you really are removed from your position or made to stop doing your duty, or in a more severe case, if you are sent to an ordinary church or Group B, will you reflect on yourself? “Did I believe in God just to end up here? Did I give up my job, my prospects, my family, and forsake so much just to be put in Group B or cleared out? Did I believe in God in order to oppose Him? Surely that shouldn’t be the purpose of my faith in God? What am I believing in God for, then? Shouldn’t I ponder this? Setting aside believing in God in order to satisfy His intentions for now, at the very least, I should obtain the life and enter into the truth reality. At the very least, I should be able to sense which aspect of God’s words and the truth has become my life. I should be able to rely on the truth to live, and to triumph over Satan and over my own corrupt dispositions, and I should be able to rebel against my own flesh and abandon my own notions. When things befall me, I should absolutely uphold the truth principles. I shouldn’t act according to my corrupt dispositions, I should be able to smoothly and naturally act according to God’s words, without any difficulties or obstacles. I should sense deeply that God’s words and the truth have already been wrought into me, become my life, and become a part of my humanity. This is an enjoyable thing, and it is something worth celebrating.” Do you normally feel this way? When you take stock of the suffering you’ve endured and the prices you’ve paid in your belief in God over the years, you will feel wonderful in your heart, you will feel that there is hope for your salvation, and that you have tasted the sweetness of understanding the truth and expending yourself for God. Have you felt or experienced such things? If you haven’t, what should you do? (Start pursuing the truth seriously from now on.) Start pursuing it seriously from now on—but how should you pursue it? You need to reflect upon the matters in which you often rebel against God. God has arranged circumstances for you again and again in order to teach you a lesson, to change you through these matters, to work His words into you, to make you enter into an aspect of the truth reality, and to stop you from living according to Satan’s corrupt disposition in those matters, and for you to instead live according to God’s words, for His words to be wrought into you and become your life. But you often rebel against God in these matters, neither submitting to God nor accepting the truth, not taking His words as principles that you should follow, and not living out His words. This hurts God, and time and time again, you lose your opportunity for salvation. So, how should you turn yourself around? Starting today, in matters which you can recognize through reflection and clearly sense, you should submit to God’s orchestration, accept His words as the truth reality, accept His words as the life, and change the way you live. When you encounter situations like this, you should rebel against your flesh and your preferences, and act according to the truth principles. Isn’t this the path of practice? (It is.) If you merely intend to earnestly pursue in the future, but lack a specific path of practice, that’s no good. If you have this specific path of practice and are willing to rebel against your flesh and start anew like this, then there is still hope for you. If you are not willing to practice in this way and instead stick to the same old paths, sticking to old ideas, and living by your corrupt dispositions, then there’s nothing more for us to say. If you’re content just being a service-doer, then what more is there to say? The matter of salvation has nothing to do with you, and you’re not interested in it, so there’s nothing more to discuss. If you really are willing to pursue the truth and salvation, then the first step is to begin with breaking away from your corrupt dispositions, from your various fallacious thoughts, notions, and actions. Accept the environments that God has arranged for you in your daily life, embrace His scrutiny, testing, chastisement, and judgment, strive to gradually practice according to the truth principles when things befall you, and progressively turn God’s words into the principles and criterion for how you comport yourself and act in your daily life, and into your life. This is what should be manifested in a pursuer of the truth, and it’s what should be manifested in a person pursuing salvation. It sounds easy, the steps are simple, and there is no lengthy exposition, but putting it into practice isn’t so easy. This is because there are too many corrupt things within people: their pettiness, little schemes, selfishness, and baseness, their corrupt dispositions, and all kinds of tricks. On top of this, some people possess knowledge, they have learned some philosophies for worldly dealings and manipulative tactics in society, and they possess some shortcomings and flaws in terms of their humanity. For example, some people are gluttonous and lazy, others are glib-tongued, some have a severely scummy nature, others are vain, or rash and impulsive in their actions, along with many other faults. There are many deficiencies and problems that people need to overcome in terms of their humanity. However, if you wish to attain salvation, if you wish to practice and experience God’s words, and gain the truth and the life, you must read God’s words more, attain an understanding of the truth, be able to practice and submit to His words, and start off by practicing the truth and upholding the truth principles. These are just a few simple sentences, yet people do not know how to practice or experience them. Regardless of your caliber or education, and regardless of your age or years of faith, in any case, if you’re on the right path of practicing the truth, with the correct goals and direction, and if what you pursue and exert is all for the sake of practicing the truth, what you ultimately gain will undoubtedly be the truth reality and God’s words becoming your life. First determine your goal, then gradually practice according to this path, and in the end, you will certainly gain something. Do you believe this? (Yes.)

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