How to Pursue the Truth (20) Part Two

What we are fellowshipping about at this stage is letting go of people’s pursuits, ideals, and desires. At our last gathering, we fellowshipped about letting go of certain burdens that come from one’s family. With regard to the topic of burdens that come from one’s family, we first fellowshipped about expectations that parents harbor, then about the expectations that parents have for their offspring. All of these are things that people should let go of in the process of pursuing the truth, aren’t they? (Yes.) With regard to letting go of people’s pursuits, ideals, and desires, we listed four items in total. The first item is interests and hobbies, the second is marriage, and the third is family—we’ve fellowshipped about these three already. What is the last, remaining item? (Careers.) The fourth item is careers; we should fellowship about this item. Have any of you pondered on this topic before? If you have, you can talk about it first. (I used to think that someone’s success or failure in their career reflects their success or failure as a person. I thought that if someone lacks dedication in their career or makes a mess of their career, it signifies that they have failed as a person.) Now, when it comes to the issue of letting go of careers, what should be let go of? (People should let go of their ambitions and desires regarding their careers.) That’s one way to view it. What things can you think to let go of when it comes to “careers” within the topic of letting go of people’s pursuits, ideals, and desires? Shouldn’t you resolve the various troubles that a career brings upon you in the process of pursuing the truth? (In the past, when I was in the secular world, I used to believe that I needed to be successful in my career, that I needed to achieve some recognition. As a result, I desperately pursued my career, wanting to distinguish myself. Even after I came to believe in God, I still wanted to stand out in God’s house, to make others look up to me. This issue became a significant obstacle to my life entry.) What you understand by career is essentially an individual pursuit; it also touches on the path that one takes. So, in our fellowship on “careers” under the topic of letting go of people’s pursuits, ideals, and desires, I won’t mention any content that touches on people’s pursuits for now. We will primarily speak about the literal meaning of “career.” What does “career” refer to? It is the work or labor that people engage in to provide for their families while living in the world. This topic falls within the scope of “careers” under the topic of letting go of people’s pursuits, ideals, and desires, that we wish to fellowship on. It is the scope and principles for engaging in a job in order to provide for one’s family, and for selecting an occupation in society, while believing in God and pursuing the truth. Naturally, this will more or less touch on part of the content about people’s pursuits and on God’s requirements for the work that a believer engages in. It can also be said to relate to the thoughts and viewpoints that a believer should have toward various jobs and careers in the world. The topics that touch on careers are quite extensive; we will sort them into categories, and by doing so help people to understand what standards and requirements God has for the careers engaged in by believers and pursuers of the truth, as well as what thoughts and viewpoints God requires believers and pursuers of the truth to have as they engage in or approach occupations. This will enable people to let go of the pursuits and desires related to careers that exist within their notions and wishes. At the same time, this will also rectify the incorrect viewpoints people have about the occupations they engage in or the careers they pursue in the world. We will separate the content on careers that people should let go of into four major items: The first item that people need to understand is to not engage in charity; the second item is to be content with food and clothing; the third item is to stay away from various social forces; the fourth item is to stay away from politics. We will fellowship about issues related to letting go of careers based on the content of these four items. Have a think, does the content of these four items have any relevance to what you’ve been fellowshipping about? (It does not.) What have you been fellowshipping about? (Personal pursuits.) What you’ve been fellowshipping about doesn’t involve the truth principles, it just relates to a bit of small, personal pursuits. These four points we’re fellowshipping about involve various principles within the topic of careers. If people understand these various principles, it will be easy for them to let go of what they ought to let go of in relation to careers during the process of pursuing the truth. It will be easy for them to let go of these things because they comprehend these aspects of the truth. However, if you don’t understand these truths, it will be very hard for you to let go of these things. Let’s fellowship on these four principles for letting go of careers, one by one.

First, do not engage in charity. What does it mean to not engage in charity? It’s easy to understand the literal meaning of the words. You all more or less have some conception of the matter of charity, do you not? For example, orphanages, shelters, and such and such charitable organizations in society—these are all organizations and designations related to charity work. So, when it comes to the careers that people engage in, God’s first requirement is that they do not engage in charity. What does this mean? It means that people shouldn’t do things involving charity or be engaged in any industry related to charity. Isn’t this easy to understand? As a person who believes in God, who lives in a physical body, who has a family and a life, and needs money to support yourself and your family, you need to engage in an occupation. No matter what type of occupation you engage in, God’s first requirement for people is to not engage in charity. You should not do charity because you believe in God, or do charity for the sake of your own physical livelihood. That work is not the occupation you should engage in. It’s not an occupation entrusted to you by God, and it is certainly not a duty entrusted to you by God. Things like charity are not relevant to believers in God or to those pursuing the truth. Conversely, one could say that if you engage in charity, God will not commemorate it. Even if you do it well, to satisfaction, and you gain the recognition of society and even of the brothers and sisters, God will not recognize or commemorate it. God won’t commemorate you, or ultimately bless you, or make an exception and allow you to attain salvation, or give you a wonderful destination because you once engaged in charity, because you were once a great philanthropist, helped many people, did numerous good deeds, benefited many people, or even saved many lives. That is, engaging in charity work is not a necessary condition for salvation. Then what do matters of charity include? In reality, to a greater or lesser extent, everyone has one or two things in their minds that can definitively be considered to be a kind of charity work. For example, adopting stray dogs. Because some countries do not have strict pet control, or due to poor economic conditions, you often see stray dogs on the streets or in certain areas. What is meant by “stray dogs”? It means that some people can’t afford to keep their dogs or don’t want to, so they abandon them, or maybe the dogs got lost for some reason, and now they wander the streets. You might think, “I believe in God, so I should adopt these animals, because doing good deeds is God’s intention, it is something that brings glory to God’s name, and it’s a responsibility that believers in God should take up. It’s an obligation that can’t be shirked.” So, when you see stray dogs or cats, you take them home and adopt them, living frugally in order to buy them food. Some people even invest their salaries and living expenses into this, and they ultimately adopt more and more dogs and cats, and need to rent a house. In doing so, the money for their own living expenses becomes increasingly insufficient, and their salary doesn’t cover it anymore, so they have no other option but to borrow money. But no matter how tough things get, they feel that this is an obligation they cannot shirk, a responsibility they cannot cast aside, and that they should regard it as a good deed and do it accordingly. They think that they’re practicing the truth and upholding the principles. They spend a large amount of money, energy, and time adopting these stray cats and dogs in order to engage in the work of charity, and they feel very at ease and accomplished in their hearts, they feel really good about themselves, and some people even think, “This is glorifying to God, I am adopting creatures that God has made—this is an immeasurably good deed, and God will surely commemorate it.” Are these thoughts correct? (They are not correct.) God has not entrusted you with this task. It is neither your obligation nor your responsibility. If you come across stray cats or dogs and you take a liking to them, adopting one or two is fine. However, if you treat adopting stray animals as a form of charity work, believing that charity is something that a believer in God should do, then you are greatly mistaken. This is a distorted understanding and comprehension.

There are also people who, believing in their own capacity for survival, use the little extra money they have to relieve the poor around them. They offer them clothing, food, daily necessities, and even money, considering it a kind of obligation they should fulfill. They may even bring some poor people into their homes, share the gospel with them, and offer money for them to spend. These poor people agree to believe in God, and afterward, they supply them with food and shelter, thinking that they are fulfilling their own duty and obligation. There are also people who notice that certain orphans in society have not yet been adopted. They have a little extra spending money, so they go and help these orphans, establishing welfare homes and orphanages, and adopting the orphans. After adopting them, they provide for their food, shelter, and education, and even raise them to adulthood. Not only do they continue doing this, they also pass it on to the next generation. They believe that this is an immeasurably good deed, something that must be blessed, and an action worthy of God’s commemoration. Even during periods of spreading the gospel, some people see potential recipients of the gospel from impoverished areas who have religious convictions and feel compelled to help them and give them alms. But spreading the gospel is spreading the gospel, it isn’t charity work or providing assistance. The purpose of sharing the gospel is to bring those who can understand God’s words and accept the truth, that is God’s sheep, into His house, into His presence, giving them an opportunity for salvation. It’s not about aiding impoverished people so they can have something to eat and wear, so they can have the life of a normal person and not starve. Therefore, from any perspective and in any regard, whether it’s giving aid to pets or animals, or assisting impoverished individuals or those who can’t meet their basic needs, this matter of engaging in charity is not what God requires as part of the duty, responsibility, or obligation a person should fulfill. It is unrelated to people believing in God and practicing the truth. If people have a kind heart and are willing to do this, or occasionally come across particular people who need assistance, they can do it if they are able. However, you shouldn’t see this as a task entrusted to you by God. If you have the ability and the conditions, you can help on occasion, but this merely represents you personally, not God’s house, and certainly not God’s requirements. Of course, doing this doesn’t mean you’ve satisfied God’s intentions, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are practicing the truth. It simply represents your personal conduct. If you do it on occasion, God won’t convict you for it, but He won’t commemorate it either—that’s all. If you turn it into a career, opening nursing homes, welfare homes, orphanages, animal shelters, or even stepping forward during times of disaster and raising funds from the brothers and sisters in the church or from the community to donate to disaster-stricken areas or people, how well do you think you’re doing? Furthermore, some people, when certain places experience earthquakes, floods, or other natural or man-made disasters, approach the church to solicit donations from the brothers and sisters. Worse still, some even use offerings to assist these disaster-stricken places and people. They believe that this is the obligation of every believer, and an obligation that the church, as a social community organization, should fulfill. They consider this a just cause, not only demanding contributions from the brothers and sisters but also urging the church to allocate offerings to aid these disaster-stricken areas. What do you think of this? (It is bad.) Is it merely bad? Discuss the nature of this matter. (Offerings are meant for spreading the gospel, for expanding the work of the gospel. They are not meant for disaster relief or assisting the poor.) (Disaster relief is unrelated to the truth; doing it doesn’t signify that the truth is being practiced, and it certainly doesn’t bear witness to a change in disposition.) Some people believe that since everyone lives on the same planet, the inhabitants of earth form one big family, and when one party is in trouble, others should band together to provide support. They think they should fully make it so people in a disaster area feel the warmth of their fellow human beings, and experience warmth and assistance from the church. They consider this an immeasurably good deed, an act that honors God, and a wonderful opportunity to bear witness to God. Some people, when you require that they stick to the principles while doing duties and align their practices with God’s words and work arrangements, feel unenthusiastic and unmotivated. They don’t contemplate these things in their heart. But as for devoting offerings to provide aid to the people of impoverished or backward nations, buying them equipment for the performance of duties, and helping them to lead a life of sufficient food and clothing, they become particularly enthusiastic and eager to get to work, wanting to do more and more. Why are they so enthusiastic? Because they wish to become great philanthropists. As soon as a great philanthropist is mentioned, they begin to feel especially noble. They feel particularly honored to sacrifice their efforts for the sake of these poor people’s lives and exercise their own light and warmth. They feel extremely excited about it, and consequently some people are especially willing to engage in these activities. But what’s the purpose behind this remarkable willingness to do these things? Is it really to honor God? Does God need this kind of honor? Does God need this kind of testimony? Can it be that God’s name will suffer humiliation if you don’t give money or provide assistance? Will God lose His glory? Is it possible that God will be glorified when you do this? Will He be satisfied? Is this the case? (No, it isn’t.) Then what’s the deal? Why are these people so willing to do this? Is their intention to satisfy their own vanity? (Yes.) It’s to get a thumb’s-up from those they’ve helped, to be commended for their generosity, magnanimity, and wealth. Some people always have a heroic spirit: They wish to be saviors. Why don’t you save yourself? Do you know what kind of thing you are? If you have the ability to save others, why can’t you save yourself? If you’re so generous, why not sell yourself and give the money to those people to help them? Why use offerings? If you have this ability, you should stop eating and drinking, or eat only one meal a day, and use the money you save to help those people, to let them eat well and dress warm. Why do you misuse God’s offerings? Is this not being generous at the expense of God’s house? (Yes.) Being generous at the expense of God’s house, earning the title of “great philanthropist” from others, satisfying your own vain desire to be needed by others—is this not shameless? (Yes.) Since this is a shameless affair, should it or should it not be carried out? (It should not.) The nature of God’s house expanding the gospel is not to do charity; it is about seeking out sheep who can understand God’s words, bringing these people back into God’s presence, accepting God’s chastisement and judgment, and receiving God’s salvation. This is cooperating with God’s management plan for saving humankind, not engaging in charity, not offering assistance or preaching the gospel wherever there’s poverty. That is doing charity work under the guise of spreading the gospel, in order to ensure these people are well-fed and well-clothed, use modern technology, and enjoy a modern life—can these actions save people? Such actions cannot achieve the purpose of spreading the gospel and saving people. Spreading the gospel is not engaging in charity; it’s about winning hearts, bringing people before God, enabling them to accept the truth and God’s salvation—it’s not about providing relief. Due to the needs of work in the church, some individuals abandon their work and family to focus full-time on their duties, and God’s house provides them with living expenses. But this is not relief, neither is it engaging in the work of charity. When God’s house spreads the gospel and establishes the church, it does not set up welfare institutions or shelters. It’s not about using these benefits or funds to buy people off or let them into God’s house to bum food and drink. God’s house does not support parasites or beggars, nor does it accommodate vagrants or orphans, nor does it provide relief for people who have nothing to eat. If someone can’t afford to eat, it’s because they’re lazy or incapable. It’s their own fault, and it has nothing to do with us spreading the gospel. We spread the gospel in order to win over people, to win over those who can understand God’s words and accept the truth, not to see who’s poor, who’s pitiable, who’s oppressed, or who has no one to turn to, so that we can take them in or help them. Spreading the gospel has its own principles and standards, and there are requirements and standards for potential recipients of the gospel. It’s not about seeking beggars. Therefore, if you regard spreading the gospel as a charitable endeavor, you’re mistaken. Or if you believe that when you’re doing this duty of spreading the gospel and engaging in this work, you’re engaging in charity, that’s even more wrong. This direction, as well as the starting point, are both inherently wrong. If anyone holds such a viewpoint or applies such a direction to their actions, they should quickly correct and shift their point of view. God never pities the poor or those oppressed at the bottom of society. Who does God have compassion for? At the very least, it must be someone who believes in God, someone who can accept the truth. If you don’t follow God, and you resist and blaspheme God, will God have compassion on you? This is impossible. Therefore, people should not mistakenly think, “God is a compassionate God. He pities those who are oppressed, who are unpopular, who are put down, who are marginalized and have no one to turn to in society. God pities them all, and God lets them enter into His house.” This is wrong! This is your notion and imagining. God has never said or done things like that. It is merely your own wishful thinking, your ideas of human kindness, which are unrelated to the truth. Look at the people whom God chose and brought into His house. Regardless of their social class, did God pity or feel sorry for anyone because they had nothing to eat, and bring them into His house? Not a single one. On the contrary, those people who were chosen by God, no matter their social class—even if they were farmers—there are no instances of them being unable to eat, and no beggars among them. This is a testament to God’s blessings. If God has chosen you, and you are one of God’s chosen people, He will not let you become so destitute that you can’t afford to eat, or get to the point where you have to beg for food. Instead, God will provide you with clothing and food in abundance. Some people who believe in God always carry certain misconceptions with them. What do they think? “The majority of believers in God come from the lowest levels of society, and some might even be beggars.” Is that the case? (No, it’s not.) There are even people spreading rumors that I used to be a beggar. I said, “Well then, did I ever put on sackcloth or carry a staff? If you say that I used to be a beggar, how come I didn’t know about it?” I’m the one we’re talking about, yet even I don’t know; this is completely nonsensical! When God said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head,” what does it mean? Is God saying that He became a beggar? Is He saying that He was unsupported and couldn’t afford to eat? (No, He’s not.) He isn’t. Then what does this statement mean? It means that the world and humankind had abandoned God; it shows that there was no place for God, and God came to save humankind, yet they did not accept Him. No one was willing to receive God. This statement points to the ugly side of corrupt humankind and reflects the suffering that God incarnate endured in the human world. When God said this, some people think, “God likes beggars, and we are much better off than beggars, so our status is more elevated in God’s eyes.” Consequently, they are willing to help beggars. This is a complete misunderstanding on the part of humans, it belongs to people’s fallacious thoughts and viewpoints. It has absolutely no relation to God’s essence, His disposition, or His compassion and love.

Some people say, “You talk about letting go of the ‘career’ within the topic of letting go of people’s pursuits, ideals, and desires, and You tell people not to do charity. But why do You always emphasize treating animals well and not harming them? What is the meaning of this? Dogs and cats are even kept in God’s house, and it isn’t allowed for people to harm them.” Tell Me, is there a difference between this and doing charity? Are they the same thing? (No, they’re not.) What’s going on here? (Not harming various types of animals is an expression of normal humanity.) This is an expression of normal humanity. Then what should the practice and manifestation of normal humanity be? (Since one chooses to keep them, they have to fulfill their responsibility.) Fulfilling one’s responsibility—is there anything more specific? (They have to take care of them.) That’s a specific action. What principles should be followed? This involves the truth. Let Me explain, and you listen and see if it involves the truth. Caring for the creatures God has created is an expression of normal humanity. More concretely, it means fulfilling your responsibility toward them and taking good care of them. Since you have chosen to keep them, you must fulfill your responsibility. Pets are meant to be kept and cared for by humans. They are unlike wild animals that don’t need you to take care of them. The greatest respect and care you can show wild animals is to avoid intentionally destroying their habitat and to not hunt or kill them. As for the domestic fowl, livestock, or pets that people can keep in their homes, since you choose to keep them, you should fulfill your responsibility. That is, based on your circumstances, accompany them for a bit if you have time, and if you’re busy, just ensure that they are fed and comfortable. In essence, you should cherish them. What does it mean to cherish them? Respect the life God has created and care for the creatures He created. Cherish them, care for them: this isn’t charity, this is treating them properly. Is this a principle? (Yes.) This isn’t engaging in charity. What does charity refer to? It’s not about fulfilling a responsibility or cherishing life. It’s about going beyond the scope of your capacity and energy and making this thing into a career. This has nothing to do with raising pets. If someone can’t even muster basic love or responsibility for the pets they keep, what kind of person are they? Do they possess humanity? (They do not possess humanity.) At the very least, this person lacks humanity. In reality, dogs and cats don’t place very high demands on people. Regardless of how deeply you love them or whether you like them or not, at the very least, you should be responsible for taking care of them, you should feed them on time, and avoid mistreating them—that’s enough. Depending on your economic situation, whatever food or living situation you can afford you should provide to them. That’s it. Their survival conditions do not demand a lot. You should just refrain from mistreating them. If people can’t even muster this little bit of love, it shows how lacking their humanity is. What does mistreatment entail? Hitting and scolding them for no reason, not feeding them when they need to be fed, not walking them when they need a walk, and not taking care of them when they’re sick. If you’re unhappy or in a bad mood, you take your anger out on them by hitting and scolding them. You treat them in a way that isn’t human. That’s mistreatment. If you avoid mistreatment and can simply fulfill your responsibility, that’s enough. If you don’t even have this bit of compassion to fulfill your responsibility, then you shouldn’t keep a pet. You should release it, find someone who likes it and let them take care of it, give it a chance to live. Some people who keep dogs aren’t even able to refrain from mistreating them. They keep dogs with the sole purpose of venting their frustrations, using these dogs as an outlet when they’re in a bad mood or their spirits are low and they need to let off steam. They don’t dare to hit or scold another person, they fear the consequences and liabilities they’ll have to bear. They happen to have a pet at home, a dog, and so they vent their frustrations on the dog, because after all it doesn’t understand and won’t dare resist. Such people lack humanity. There are also people who keep dogs and cats but can’t fulfill their responsibilities. If you don’t like it, then don’t keep a pet. But if you choose to keep it, you have to fulfill your responsibility. It has its own life and emotional needs. It needs water when it’s thirsty and food when it’s hungry. It also needs to be close to people and to be comforted by them. If you’re in a bad mood and you say, “I don’t have time to pay attention to you, go away!”—that’s not good treatment for a pet. Is there conscience or reason in this? (No.) Some people say, “How long has it been since you last bathed your dog and cat? They’re so dirty!” “Humph, bathe them? I don’t even know who’s going to bathe me. When it’s been days since I last bathed no one seems to care!” Is this humane, or does it reflect any human sensibility? (No.) Regardless of whether they’re in a good mood or not, when a cat or dog rubs up against them and is affectionate to them, they just kick it away with their foot, saying, “Go away, pest! Just like a debt-collector, there’s always trouble when you are around. You only want something to eat or drink. I’m in no mood to play with you!” If you don’t even have a little bit of compassion, then you shouldn’t keep any pets. You should release them straight away. That cat or dog is suffering because of you! You’re too selfish and don’t deserve to have pets. Whenever you keep a cat or a dog, their food and water depend on your care. You should understand this principle. Why are you competing with animals? You say, “I have no one to give me a bath, who’s going to bathe me?” Who’s going to bathe you? You’re a human. You should bathe yourself. You can take care of yourself, but the cats and dogs need your care because you’re raising them, and because you’re raising them, you have an obligation to take care of them. If you can’t even fulfill this obligation, then you don’t deserve to keep them. What need is there to compete with them? You even say, “I take care of you, but who is taking care of me? When you’re in low spirits, you come to me for comfort. When I’m feeling down, who comforts me?” Aren’t you a human? Humans should self-regulate and self-adjust. Cats and dogs are much simpler: They can’t self-regulate, so they need humans to comfort them. This is the distinction between how you treat animals and doing charity. What is the principle for how you treat animals? Cherish life, respect life, and do not mistreat them. In dealing with all things God has created, keep to their natural laws, treat various creatures created by God correctly in accordance with the laws He has set, maintain proper relationships with all kinds of creatures, and don’t destroy or squander their habitats. These are the principles for respecting and cherishing life. However, the principles for respecting and cherishing life are not about doing charity. This is a principle from among the universal laws set by God that every created being should adhere to. But following this principle does not equate to performing acts of charity.

But some people ask, “Why doesn’t God let us do charity with respect to a career? If He doesn’t let us do charity, then what should be done in society about those people or living things that need assistance? Who will come to their aid?” Does it have anything to do with you who comes to their aid? (It has nothing to do with us.) Aren’t you a member of humanity? Does it have anything to do with you? (No, it’s not the mission of humans.) Exactly, it’s not your mission, nor is it what God has entrusted to you. What is your mission? To fulfill the duty of a created being, listen to God’s words, submit to God’s words, accept the truth to attain salvation, do what God tells you to do, and stay away from the things God tells you not to do. Who will take care of matters related to charity? Who will take care of them is not your concern. In any case, you are not required to take care of or worry about them. Whether it’s the government or various community organizations that handle matters of charity, this is not our topic of concern. In short, those who believe in God and pursue the truth should take following God’s way and His will as their criteria, goal of practice, and direction. This is something people should understand, and it’s an eternal truth that will never change. Of course, occasionally doing something to assist others is not a career; it’s an occasional action, and God doesn’t hold it against you. Some people ask, “Doesn’t God commemorate such things?” God does not commemorate them. If you once gave money to a beggar or to someone without the fare to get home, or assisted a homeless person; if you occasionally did something like this, or even just a few times in your lifetime, then in the eyes of God, does He commemorate such things? No, God doesn’t commemorate them. How then does God appraise these actions? God does not commemorate or condemn them—He does not appraise them. Why? They have nothing to do with pursuing the truth. These are personal actions that have no relevance to following God’s way or carrying out His will. If you are personally willing to do them, if you do something good out of a momentary burst of goodwill or temporary prodding of your conscience, or if you do something good in a moment of enthusiasm or impulse, whether you regret it later or not, whether you receive a reward or not, it has no relevance to following God’s way or carrying out His will. God does not commemorate it, neither does He condemn you for it. What does it mean that God doesn’t commemorate it? It means God won’t exempt you from His chastisement and judgment over the course of your salvation because you once did this thing, neither will He make an exception and let you become saved because you did some good or charitable deeds. What does it mean that God doesn’t condemn you for it? It means that these good deeds you did have nothing to do with the truth, they only represent your own good behavior, they do not go against God’s administrative decrees, nor do they infringe upon anyone’s interests. Of course, they don’t humiliate the name of God either, let alone glorify His name. They do not violate God’s requirements, nor do they involve going against God’s intentions, and they certainly don’t involve rebelling against God. Consequently, God will not condemn you for them, they merely represent a kind of personal good deed. Although such good deeds may gain praise from the world and recognition from society, in God’s eyes, they have no connection to the truth. God does not commemorate them, nor does He condemn one for them, which means that before God these actions do not amount to much. However, there is one possibility, that is, if you save someone, and provide them financial assistance or some form of material aid, or even offer them emotional help, and you enable that evil person to succeed in their efforts, allowing them to commit more crimes and pose a threat to society and humanity, resulting in certain losses, then that would be a different matter altogether. In the case of an ordinary charitable act, God’s viewpoint is that He neither commemorates nor condemns it. But the fact that He neither commemorates nor condemns it doesn’t mean that God supports or encourages you to engage in charity work. Regardless, it is still hoped that you won’t invest your energy, time, and money into matters completely unrelated to salvation or to practicing the truth and doing your duty, because you have more important things to do. Your time, energy, and life are not meant for charity work, and they’re not meant to showcase your personal character and charisma through a career of charity. Especially for those who open factories, manage schools, or run a business with the purpose of providing basic needs for more impoverished people or helping them realize their ideals, they do these things to assist the poor. If you choose to assist the poor through these methods, it will undoubtedly consume a significant amount of your time and energy. You’ll end up spending and using up a significant chunk of time and energy in your life on this cause, and consequently you will have little time to pursue the truth; you may even have no time to pursue the truth, and you certainly won’t have the opportunity to do your own duty. Instead, you’ll squander your energy on people, events, and things unrelated to the truth or church work. This is foolish behavior. This foolish behavior boils down to some people always wanting to change human destiny and the world through their own good intentions and a few limited abilities. They wish to change human destiny through their own efforts and goodwill. This is a foolish endeavor. Since it is a foolish endeavor, do not undertake it. Of course, the premise for not undertaking it is that you are someone who pursues the truth, that you wish to pursue the truth and salvation. If you say, “I’m not interested in salvation, and pursuing the truth isn’t that important to me,” then you can do as you like. Regarding the matter of charity, if it is your ideal and pursuit, if you believe that it is how your value is expressed, that charity is the only thing that can convey the value of your life, then by all means, go ahead. You can use whatever skills and abilities you have, no one is restraining you. The premise we are fellowshipping about here for not engaging in charitable affairs is that, since you wish to pursue the truth and salvation, you should let go of the ideal and desire to do charity. Don’t pursue it as your life’s ideal and desire. Do not engage in this affair on a personal level, and God’s house will not engage in it either. Of course, there is one situation in God’s house, that is, caring for the home lives of certain impoverished brothers and sisters. This comes with a premise. I think all of you are aware of this premise: It isn’t charity, it’s a work arrangement internal to God’s house with respect to the lives of brothers and sisters. It’s unrelated to engaging in charity. In God’s house, apart from not engaging in charity, there is also no involvement in any of society’s charitable activities; for example, God’s house does not build schools, open factories, or run businesses. If anyone opens factories, builds schools, runs a business, or participates in any commercial activities in the name of securing economic resources for the normal operation of church work, all of this goes against the administrative decrees of God’s house and should be checked. So, what is the financial source for the operation of the work of God’s house? Do you know? It comes from the donations of brothers and sisters, from offerings to sustain the normal operation of the work. What does this imply? The money donated by brothers and sisters, their donations to God, are offerings, and what is the use of an offering? It is to safeguard the normal operation of the church’s work. Of course, there are various expenses associated with this normal operation, and these expenses should be managed according to the principles and should not violate these principles. Consequently, when the work of the church involves financial issues, and some leaders and workers squander offerings and cause significant losses to those offerings, God’s house will impose severe punishment for them. Why will there be severe punishment? Why does no one who squanders offerings get away with it? (Because God’s offerings are given by brothers and sisters to God, and only God may enjoy them. In another respect, these offerings are meant to maintain the proper operation of the work of God’s house. If leaders or workers squander the offerings, it will directly lead to the work of God’s house being impacted and suffering loss. This disrupts and disturbs the work of God’s house, so the house of God must impose severe punishment.) Tell Me, should God’s house impose severe punishment? (Yes.) Why should it do so? Why must it impose severe punishment? (Squandering offerings is behavior belonging to antichrists. A person’s attitude toward offerings is reflective of their attitude toward God. If this person can squander offerings, it indicates that they are entirely without a God-fearing heart.) What you have said is indeed one aspect. Today, let’s fellowship for a bit about this matter of why severe punishment is necessary for those who squander offerings.

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