How to Pursue the Truth (21) Part Four

In terms of what politics is, this subject matter has more or less been fellowshipped about, so it should be pretty clear how to stay away from politics. How do you stay away from politics? First, let’s talk about how to stay away from politics, and then we’ll discuss why you must do so. We’ve just discussed what politics is. What is politics? First and foremost, it is participating in power struggles—this is equivalent to participating in politics. We are all ordinary people, so let’s not talk about people like presidents, party chairmen, or those who occupy positions in high-level national political groups. Instead, let’s talk about something that ordinary people can relate to, like the party branch secretary in a government agency. Is the party branch secretary a political figure? Holding a party position within a government agency makes one a prominent political figure. So, how do you stay away from politics? What does staying away mean? (Not engaging with these political figures.) Not engaging with them? But you can’t really avoid them in your workplace. If you avoid them, they might come and find fault with you, saying, “Why aren’t you talking to me? Why are you hiding from me? Do you not like me, the party branch secretary? If you have any opinions about me, doesn’t that mean there’s an issue with your thought process? Let’s have a talk.” They’ll want to have “tea” with you. Is that tea enjoyable? Do you dare attend? For example, the party branch secretary approaches you and asks, “Hey, Xiao Zhang, how long have you been working here?” And you say, “A good number of years, about five.” Then they reply, “You seem like a nice fellow. Have you joined the party?” How would you respond? What’s the appropriate answer in order to distance yourself from politics? (Just say, “I don’t meet the criteria to become a party member at the moment.”) That’s wise. Is this statement true? (No.) It’s actually just a way of brushing them off. You think, “You sly fox, you old devil, what does it matter to you whether I join the party or not? You want me to join the party. Well, what does the party count for anyway?” That’s what you’re thinking, but you can’t say that to the old devil. Instead, you need to make your outward demeanor seem polite. You say, “Oh, you old party member, you don’t understand the struggles we young people face. We have limited experience and have yet to see results in our work, so we’re not qualified to join the party. The party is sacred; we can’t just join without good reason. I’ve been considering the idea of joining the party….” Just answer him in a few words. Do you want to join the party in your heart? (No.) Even if they offer you preferential terms, and after joining you receive a promotion or an official position, you’re not interested, right? The basic conditions for holding office and having a career as an official are that you must first join the organization, join the party, or get close to the party. You have to get close to the party before you can hold office or move up. To stay away from politics, the first step is to distance yourself from political parties. Some people may ask, “Does that mean only staying away from the Communist Party?” No, it means staying away from all kinds of parties. What does a party represent? It represents a political force. A group that takes the political manifesto, program, and goals of the party as its aim is called a party. Regardless of the aim and program of a party, their only goal is to form a force, and to use their force and strength to wrestle for more force and power in the political arena and landscape. This is the purpose of a political party’s existence. The purpose of any party’s existence is not for the benefit of the people, but for force and power. In other words, it is for the sake of holding power and having a force of their own. Isn’t that the case? (Yes.) Therefore, the first step to staying away from politics is to not formally join any political party. Some people may ask, “What if I used to be a member of such-and-such party?” That is a little difficult. If you are willing to quit the party, that would be best, and you formally cut ties with them. If you are unwilling to quit the party or if it’s troublesome to quit, then you should consider what to do on your own. In any case, whether formally or in spirit, you should stay away from the first major issue involving politics, which is staying away from parties. Once you distance yourself from parties, you become an independent individual. You will not be swept along by any political force, nor will you work for any political force. Not joining any party is the most fundamental specific path that should be practiced in order to stay away from politics. Additionally, when it comes to any political force, such as the party branch secretary, director, or personnel officer of a government office, the principle for dealing with them is to keep your distance. For example, if the party branch secretary says to you, “Xiao Zhang, do you have a moment? Let’s have dinner together after work. The weekend starts tomorrow, let’s go play basketball together,” you can say, “Oh, as luck would have it, my child’s sick. He ran a fever yesterday. Because of work, I didn’t have time to take him to see a doctor. I have to take him to the hospital tomorrow.” On a different occasion, the secretary says, “Xiao Zhang, it’s been a while since we caught up. Let’s have a little heart-to-heart, what do you say?” What’s his aim? He wants to groom you as his successor. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you need to contemplate what he’s really after. If you have figured it out, you need to hurry up and be evasive with them, saying, “Oh, yesterday my mother said she wasn’t feeling well and wanted me to take her to the hospital. Isn’t that an unlucky coincidence?” Time and again you push him away, and when the secretary sees this, he’ll think, “Every time I invite him, something comes up, every time I get close to him, something happens; he doesn’t know how to appreciate favors, I’ll find someone else!” He can look for anyone he wants, but you won’t get close to him regardless. Usually, you’re quite friendly with him, but when he wants to groom or promote you, you find excuses to avoid him, and you lose your enthusiasm so that he can’t figure out what you’re thinking. In fact, in your heart you know as clear as crystal, “I won’t get close to you, devil! I have God in my heart, and God tells me to stay away from politics. You are a political person, and I’m going to stay away from you. You want to promote me to an official position and use my talents to be of service to you, but I won’t even give you a chance! Even if I’m just sweeping the floor and taking out the trash in this government office, I won’t become an official! I just earn enough money to support myself, I won’t serve you!” But in reality, you have to say this instead, “You leaders have the nation in your hearts, you handle countless affairs, and serve the people, caring for commoners! We, the ordinary people, have little awareness, and care only about our own stomachs; we aren’t in the same ballpark, and we can’t do what you leaders do.” You always act dumb in front of him, so that he can’t figure out what you’re thinking. Even if you have talents, you don’t show them. Only at critical moments, you demonstrate them a little bit, and he sees you’re really talented. You usually make a few small mistakes to make him think that you aren’t all that capable, but he still can’t do without you at work. This is called wisdom. You toy with the devil, utilize him to render service, and earn his money, but you don’t get close to him, and despise him in your heart, isn’t that right? This is what it means to not get close. Can you do it? (Yes.) At noon, the leader drives his small sedan and looks everywhere for a well-known restaurant to eat. He calls to you, “Xiao Zhang, let’s go out and eat something; what do you want to eat today?” You say, “I haven’t had fried bean-sauce noodles for several days, and I haven’t had steamed buns for a long time; that’s what I want to eat. I’m going home for lunch, do you want some?” You answer him like this, and when he hears it, he says, “Eat what? That’s pig slop, people don’t eat that stuff!” He doesn’t want to eat anything you tell him, and he thinks to himself, “This guy is just like what they say—he who is born a fool can’t be cured. Who eats steamed buns and fried bean-sauce noodles these days? Officials eat much better than that!” These officials go to restaurants and spend public funds, they enjoy the glory and splendor of being an official, and only eat lavish meals: A single meal costs over a thousand yuan. They eat monkey brains and hedgehog skin. These fiends and devils eat anything, there’s nothing they can’t eat or drink. What are you thinking in your heart? “I won’t take any part in your sins, I’ll stay away from you, you brood of devils, you wretches who eat human flesh and drink human blood! I’d rather go back and eat fried bean-sauce noodles and steamed buns than enjoy your extravagant lifestyle. Even if I have to eat coarse rations, I still won’t get anywhere near you; I won’t get caught up in your wickedness or have any part in your sins. Eating human flesh and drinking human blood is what devils do, not humans. What will be the ultimate outcome? You will definitely go to hell and face punishment! I make concessions and compromises and earn a living under your power, but my goal is to sustain my livelihood, follow God, and do my duty. I’m not trying to get promoted or get involved in politics; I detest you from the bottom of my heart!” So, however the leader coaxes you to enjoy a big meal, you don’t go. Over the weekend, if they invite you to sing karaoke, to be surrounded by beautiful women, and to drink fine wine; if they invite you to a teahouse for relaxation or entertainment, or to see a drag show, will you go or won’t you? If you want to get close to the organization or to the party, then you’ll have to go to these places. But at this moment, you say, “I practice God’s words, I stay away from politics, I won’t participate in any of these, I won’t take part in their sins.” The next day, when they gather together, they talk about how beautiful Miss So-and-so is, how she’s the belle of the ball, how talented she is at singing, how delicious the wine from a certain era in France is, where to go for entertainment, where to soak in the hot springs…. They talk about these things—do you envy them? Are you jealous? You have to put on headphones, plug your ears; don’t listen to these devils speaking devilish words, stay away from them, keep your heart calm, don’t take part in the sins of sinners, stay away from their filthy lives, and don’t be caught up in their wickedness. Your purpose is to stay away from politics. Those who seek advancement, who want to get close to the organization, and wish to be promoted: Their purpose in living like that is actually to participate in politics, to walk right into politics, with the aim of obtaining a position in political circles and live a life befitting neither a human nor a fiend. However, you are exactly the opposite of them. You must stay away from such a filthy life. The purpose of staying away from this kind of life is to neither desire nor care about any political prospects. Your future is to pursue the truth and attain salvation. Therefore, you should be clear in your heart that everything you are doing now is meaningful and valuable; it is for the pursuit of the truth, for the sake of attaining salvation. It is not a meaningless sacrifice, nor are you acting in an atypical fashion. Even more, you are not alone. So, the ultimate purpose of staying away from these sinful lives is actually to separate yourself from these people, to distance yourself from what they call politics. This is the second principle of staying away from politics—do not get close.

Not getting close to politicians is the minimum that should be done, and in addition it is not to participate. For example, if there is an opportunity to be promoted to a section chief, director, or bureau head, everyone is eager to show themselves, improve their performance, give gifts to leaders, pull strings, explore avenues, and try every means to let leaders and superiors see their talents, abilities, and value, and even their value to be taken advantage of. They would rather be flatterers, would rather toady up to leaders and superiors and do anything they ask them to do, even if they don’t want to do it. Some people give money, and some even offer their bodies to participate in political struggles. In these struggles, some people network with leaders, others give leaders a lot of money and gifts, and some people offer their bodies to leaders, with the ultimate goal of being promoted or mentored by these leaders and taking the path of politics. As a believer in God, if you know that these practices involve participating in politics, then you should stay away. First, do not give gifts or network for the sake of your own political prospects or an official position. Also, do not actively reveal your strengths to leaders, and certainly do not go to any extreme measures to compete for their notice. Let others compete without you. Every time the boss nominates you, say, “I’m going to sit out on this one, I’m not qualified.” You have only to say that you’re not qualified and let others go ahead; there are plenty of people who’ll come forward to compete. When the boss says, “Xiao Zhang, it’s your turn this time,” say, “I am not yet qualified, boss, please excuse me. I am not capable. Let Xiao Li go first, and if Xiao Li is not capable, then let Xiao Wang go. Let them do it.” The boss will say, “Are you stupid? If they take it on, you won’t receive any of the benefits: You won’t get a house, or any bonuses or salary increases.” Then you say, “If I don’t get anything, then I don’t get anything. I have enough to eat and enough spending money, so rest assured, sir. If you are still not reassured, then just give me a little more in bonuses at the end of the year.” Don’t participate in their struggle. Whoever wants to compete, let them do so. You don’t resort to any means, use up any energy, or pay any price. You don’t spend a penny, say a word, do anything extra, or go the extra mile for promotion. Even if you have the conditions, connections, and a suitable base of people, you still don’t participate. This is called truly letting go, truly staying away. Those worldly people look at you with constant pity and keep saying, “You’re stupid, you’re simple-minded!” But you say, “Say whatever you want about me; I still won’t participate.” People ask, “Why won’t you participate?” You say, “I earn enough money to spend. I am not qualified. You are all better than me, so you go.” Are you able to refrain from participating? (Yes.) Of course, if you have the opportunity to be promoted to deputy section chief or deputy director, you can turn it down, but if you’re offered the positions of bureau head or provincial governor, can you do the same? It may not be easy: The higher the position, the more enticing it becomes, and the greater its authority, the greater the temptation, because when you have more authority, you receive better treatment, your words become more influential, and your physical enjoyment grows. You see, the mayor, the governor, and the president all have their own official residences. All their expenses, whether going out or at home, are covered by the state. Therefore, the more you interact with the upper classes, the greater their temptation toward you becomes, and the more opportunities you have to interact with them, the harder it becomes to give up these opportunities. In order to avoid temptation, you work at the grassroots level, not setting foot in upper class circles. You refrain from stepping into these circles with either foot. This is called staying away. Nothing you say or do has anything to do with politics; it’s all about staying away from these things. Whoever successfully gets elected as a high-ranking official in each particular contest, whoever comes to wield great power, you don’t envy them, you’re not hurt, and you don’t regret it, because in yet another temptation or in the circumstance orchestrated by God, you have practiced the principle of staying away from politics that God requires. You have satisfied God’s requirement, and in the face of Satan, you are victorious; in the face of God, you are an overcomer, and God approves of you. Some people say, “If God approves of me, will He make my salary go up a bit?” No, God’s approval and recognition of you as an overcomer means that you are one step closer to salvation, and God looks on you with more and more favor—this is a great honor. Is it easy to refrain from participating in political affairs? Whoever enjoys competition, let them compete. Whoever likes to speak up for such affairs, let them do so. Whoever loves to busy themselves with them, let them be busy. In any case, you don’t care, nor do you bother yourself with these things, because you’re not seeking advancement and you have no goals for an official career. This is the third principle of staying away from politics—not participating.

The fourth principle of staying away from politics is not taking sides. “Taking sides” is a kind of jargon used by political people, and it is a common phenomenon in the political world to take sides. When you participate in politics, you must make your position clear, whether you stand with Party A or Party B. As soon as you get involved in politics, you have to take sides. If you don’t get involved, you don’t need to take sides, or you can say that you don’t take sides. If you remain neutral and don’t pay attention to their disputes or to why the two sides are fighting, then you are not taking sides. Whether you support Party A or Party B, there is no result or answer from you. You say, “I don’t stand on either side, I abstain. I have a good relationship with both A and B, but I do not get close to either of them. I don’t participate in any of their fights.” These people are puzzled: Are you on Party A or Party B after all? They always try to win you over, but no one can. The end result is that they understand that you don’t take sides with any party. Finally, your immediate superior says, “You slippery fellow, why didn’t you support me at such a critical moment?” You say, “Boss, I don’t dare aspire to such an honor, I don’t have the same intellectual depth, nor am I very competent at my job; I’m afraid of disappointing you. Boss, please spare me, I’m just an insignificant person who bends down to pick up a nickel; I’m just an ordinary person, I dare not take sides. Please go easy on me and let me off, I will definitely have your back next time.” In reality, you are just blowing him off. You haven’t offended him, and he can’t do anything about it. They can fight and argue however they want, it has nothing to do with you, you’re an outsider. Why do I say that you are an outsider? You’re not pursuing an official career, officialdom, rising to prominence, bringing glory to your ancestors, or setting foot in politics. You’re not pursuing political prospects; your goal is to stay away from an official career and from these political figures. So, you deliberately choose not to take sides, not to choose Party A or Party B, and who takes what side has nothing to do with you. Whenever someone tries to persuade you, you just laugh it off and act the fool, saying, “I don’t know who is right, you are all my good friends, I will be happy no matter who wins.” They say, “You’re a real slippery fellow!” And you say, “I’m not slippery, I’m just stupid; you guys are the experts!” You pretend to be confused with them. Is it okay not to take sides? Don’t be naive, don’t go along with those trying to take advantage of you. No matter at what level of politics, the water is always muddy—you can’t see the bottom. It’s not like a clear spring where you can see the bottom; it is muddy water, a quagmire. If a leader treats you well, you get close to him and take his side, but you don’t know whether this will bring you good or ill. You can’t figure out what his future will be, whether he will end up in chains or rise to prominence. Those people are all crocodiles in a swamp, there are big ones and small ones. As an insignificant person, you won’t be able to tell whether every word they say is true or false, who they treat well and who they don’t, and what the purpose of their daily actions is—you simply can’t tell. Therefore, if you want to protect yourself, the most straightforward and highest principle is to not take sides. If they are good to you, be enthusiastic with them; if they are not, still be enthusiastic with them, but just don’t take their side. When something comes up, just laugh it off and pretend to be confused; when they ask you anything, say that you don’t know, you’re not clear, or you haven’t seen it before. Can you respond in this way? (Yes, now I can.) Is it appropriate to apply these principles in the church? (It is not appropriate.) These tricks are only suitable for places where devils reside, not to use in the midst of brothers and sisters. This is wisdom. In places where devils reside, you have to be as wise as snakes; you cannot be foolish, you must be wise. Whoever pulls you toward them, don’t go and stand on their side. Whoever creates conflict with you or dislikes you, do not oppose them or stand against them. Make them believe that you are not against them. These things constitute wisdom. Do not compete with any political forces, don’t get close to any of them, and don’t collude with or show goodwill to any of them. This is wisdom, this is not taking sides. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) Have you learned how to do this? (Yes.) At critical times, you have to pretend to be deaf and dumb, to be crazy and foolish, and let them see you as an ignorant fool. If they tell you to do something, do it, accept their advice without questioning, and let them see how obedient you are. Obedient to what extent? Like a sycophant, always listening, never talking out of turn, never inquiring about news of the boss, or about information regarding so-and-so—be especially obedient. But you should never expose your true thoughts to them; once you expose your true thoughts and intentions, they will punish you and teach you a lesson. If you’re not on their side, you can’t let them in on it—even if you reject them you can’t let them find out. Why should you do this? Because in their eyes, if you are not their friend, then you are their opponent. Once you become an opponent in their eyes, you will be the one they aim to punish: They will treat you as the nail in their eye, the thorn in their side, and they will have to punish you. So, you must use wisdom and pretend to be foolish. Don’t show your abilities; if you express your thoughts, viewpoints, positions, or attitudes toward anything, then you are foolish. Understood? (Understood.) In the face of Satans and devils, especially when you get close to a group in the political world, you have to be extra careful, protect yourself, don’t think yourself clever or act smart, don’t parade around, don’t try to prove your worth—you have to be low-key. If you want to ensure your survival in such a complex environment, and you also want to believe in God, do your duty, pursue the truth, and attain salvation, then the first thing you ought to do is protect yourself. One of the ways to protect yourself is to not provoke any political forces and not become the target of their attacks or punishment—this is how you can stay a bit safer. If you always refuse to listen to them, obey them, or get close to them, they will dislike you and want to punish you. On the other hand, if they see that you have talent and the ability to work, and if they see that you are profitable to them, and that if you take over for them, you won’t expose their secrets or damage their future reputation, then they will want to be your mentor. Is it a good thing for them to mentor you? (No.) If they have their eye on you and want to mentor you, then tell Me, isn’t it the same as being possessed by an evil spirit? (Yes.) If they have their eye on you, you’re in trouble. So, before they get you in their sights, you can’t let them take a fancy to you; you have to pretend to be foolish, as if you can’t do anything terribly well. Do a passable job on most things. Though they may be dissatisfied with this, they won’t be able to pick out any faults with you or find reasons to get rid of you. That is sufficient, and it achieves the desired effect. If you do things too well, if everything is done smoothly and they are especially satisfied with you and think highly of you, that is not good. In one respect, they will see you as a threat to their political trajectory, and in another, they may want to mentor you, neither of which is good for you. So, in order to establish yourself in this society, besides avoiding and staying away from various forces, there is something even more important, which is to competently handle the relationships and affairs regarding various forces or your immediate superior. For example, if you show off too much, if you want to prove yourself too much, or if you do things without any wisdom, you may be caught in a dilemma where you are unable to push anything away or have to do what you don’t want to. What can be done about this? Therefore, this matter is difficult to work through. You need to pray to God frequently, be quiet before Him, let God guide you, give you wisdom, give you the words to say, guide you in what you should do, and help you know how to work through the situation, so that you can protect yourself and be safeguarded by God in such complex circles. Only when you have received God’s safeguarding and are able to protect yourself, can you then have the basic conditions to be still before God, eat and drink God’s words, ponder over them, and pursue the truth. Do you understand these things? (Yes, I understand.) This is the principle of not taking sides.

There is another principle of staying away from politics, that is, not making one’s position known. Whether it involves political viewpoints, attitudes, or trends, or the intention and purpose of leaders, their expressions, their thoughts, or whether they are right or wrong, you should not make your position known. When the boss asks you, “Do you agree with what I just said? What is your stance?” You say, “What did you say? My ears are not working right, I didn’t hear you.” The boss gets angry after hearing this and stops talking to you. In your heart, you think, “Great, I didn’t want to say anything anyway!” You should pretend to be deaf and dumb, and you shouldn’t always be making your position known, or showing how smart you are, saying, “Boss, I have some opinions, I have some ideas.” If you always raise your hand and take a stance, that’s just foolish. You shouldn’t speak up when you have opinions concerning the boss, and when you have opinions about such-and-such co-worker or see your boss doing something wrong, don’t make a sound. Now, what if the leader asks you about these things, what do you say? “You did a great job with this, you’re on another level as us little workers. You really are considerate!” You ought to praise them, speak to them in such flattering tones that they begin to feel euphoric, and when you see that you’ve achieved your aim, then stop praising them, because you’ve nearly made yourself sick. Regardless of the policies, opinions, work for implementation from above that your boss is saying, or their attitude toward anything, you act dumb and say a few ambiguous sentences. When the boss hears you, they’ll say, “This fellow has always been confused, so it’s normal that they’re confused about this matter too.” Okay, you’ve succeeded in getting by under false pretenses. No matter what the boss says, you should never make your position known. If you are sharing a meal with the boss and they want you to state your position on something, you say, “Oh, look at how much rice I ate; my blood sugar is high and my head feels a bit dizzy, so I didn’t hear too clearly what you just said. Hey boss, can we discuss it again next time?” Just be vague with them. If the boss sends someone to find out your views about them, the party committee, or national policies, should you express any views? (No.) Your public attitude should be that you have no views, but what about your true attitude? Even if you have views, don’t tell them: This is called tricking a ghost. There is an allegorical saying, “Putting plastic flowers on someone’s tomb—tricking a ghost,” isn’t that right? When facing major issues of right and wrong, although you have attitudes and viewpoints, you should not express them. Why? These things do not involve faith in God, they do not involve the truth, they are all matters of the devils’ world, and have nothing to do with us believers. It doesn’t matter what our attitudes are, what matters is that these things have nothing to do with us; though we may have an attitude, in reality it is an understanding and discernment of their essence; our attitude and our principle of practice is to stay away from them, reject them, and reject their influence and control. As for other people’s attitudes, they have nothing to do with us; this is a matter of the devils’ world and has nothing to do with believers in God. These things do not involve the pursuit of truth, nor do they involve salvation, let alone any attitude of God toward you; so, you don’t need to have any attitude, nor do you need to express any attitude. You may simply laugh it off and say, “Boss, my thought process is shallow, and my mind is muddy; I’ve studied politics for such a long time, but I’ve never experienced any political revolution in my thoughts, so as an ordinary person I still can’t work out the policies from above or your meaning. I ask for your forgiveness.” This is a sufficient answer. Is this tricking the ghost? (Yes.) Or you can also say, “The boss’s eyes are bright, and the people’s eyes are clear, but I’m the only one whose eyes have a confused look in them: I am unable to see or understand anything! I’m not a party member, so I don’t have party spirit. I can’t understand these things. Talk to us, boss, you have priority over us. Whatever you say, we’ll listen and carry it out. That’s good enough for me.” Isn’t this simple? Does it achieve the principle of not making one’s position known? (Yes, it does.) This going through the motions and not making your position clear allows you to protect yourself. Does the boss know what you mean by it? They don’t. They think you’re just an idiot, thinking, “This fellow doesn’t seek advancement. With such favorable conditions, most people would have already been promoted to a higher position, maybe even mayor. This fellow could be a provincial governor, but they just don’t want to advance, they keep playing dumb, and don’t get close to the organization—they’re a typical fool!” What would you think in your heart? “In your eyes, I’m a fool. But in God’s eyes, I’m a harmless dove. I’m more valuable than you. You old devil, you hold an official position and participate in a bit of politics, and you think that makes you superior. In my eyes, you’re no better than a little locust!” Can you say that? (No, we can’t.) You can’t say that. Be careful because the walls have ears; you can talk to your dog at home and leave it at that. There are very few people in this world whom you can trust or confide in; so, when facing major issues of principle, whether in political circles or in any social group, you should learn not to make your position known, especially when it involves politics, power, or taking sides. You must certainly not make your position clear. If you do, it’s like setting yourself over the flame to roast. What’s it like to be set over the flame to roast? If you want to find out, just take a stance and see. Isn’t that how it is? (Yes.) Is it possible not to make your position known? It depends on what you pursue in your heart. If you are genuinely pursuing an official career, if you want to become an official, not only will you take a stance, but you’ll also express your position clearly, and do it in front of your boss, as well as making the climb upward—if that’s the case, you’ll wind up a pretty poor excuse for a person. You are not staying away from politics; you are participating in it. If you participate in politics, then just go ahead and get out. Don’t stay in God’s house. You are a disbeliever, you belong to the world, to devils, not to God’s house—you are not among God’s chosen people. Even though you are staying in God’s house, you snuck into it, you wanted to grab a bite to eat, to receive a blessing—someone like this is not welcome here. But, on the other hand, if you have excellent personal qualifications and are in a position to have many opportunities to become an official and begin a career, yet you can still avoid getting close, participating, taking sides, and taking a stance, then you’re able to achieve staying away from politics. Do you remember these principles? Are they doable? (Yes, they are.) You see, everyone in political circles who always wants to showcase themselves, to stand out, as well as those who wish to express their viewpoints and attitudes, with a particularly strong desire to express themselves—all have but one goal: They want to hold an official position. To put it nicely, they want to participate in politics; but in actuality, they just want to hold office, have authority, and enjoy a good life through their position. They want to use their position to achieve various personal goals and increase their prestige. Isn’t that the case? (Yes, it is.) Some people don’t have very good caliber themselves; they’re flawed. Yet, they still want to become officials and participate in politics. As a result, they rely on their efforts and climb upward at any cost; they toady up to their superiors, and act as personal henchmen to government officials. Eventually, they achieve their goal of participating in politics and realize their dream of having an official career.

Concerning staying away from politics, we have fellowshipped about five principles. The first principle is not joining any party. You see, the rulers of any country all belong to a political party, not to mention the leaders of authoritarian countries, who also belong to a political party. Therefore, the first principle of staying away from politics is to not join any party. Wasn’t I just saying that? (Yes.) So, what is the second principle? (Not getting close to them.) Don’t get close to them or to political circles. What is the third principle? (Not participating.) That’s right, not participating in any of their activities, movements, or ideological discussions, that is, not taking part among them. What is the fourth principle? (Not taking sides.) Don’t take sides, let them argue about who is right and wrong; in short, you don’t take sides. What is the fifth principle? (Not making one’s position known.) Not making one’s position known. Someone says, “If you don’t make your position known, aren’t you just being a nuisance?” You say, “I don’t have an opinion, I’m just an ordinary person, I don’t have much education, my thought process isn’t all that grand—what kind of opinion can I have? I’m just an average citizen, leave me alone.” You never have an opinion at any time. When you’re called upon to take a stance, you pretend to snore, to be asleep, and when people see that you are not interested in progress, they won’t ask you to make your opinion known, which works out perfectly, doesn’t it? How many principles is this in total? (Five.) If you follow these five principles, you can stay away from politics and not be influenced, affected, or held up by any political forces. Whether dealing with political circles at the top or the bottom, if you put these five principles into practice, you will be able to stay away from politics. This is a topic that applies to one’s professional career. Of course, even if you have no profession, these principles remain the same, unchanged. Even if you are unemployed, you should still practice these principles to stay away from politics—the principles do not change. So why should you stay away from politics? What is politics? It is a struggle, a power game. Politics is both conspiracy and strategy. What else is politics? Politics is also those movements or activities stirred up by various forces. You see, you can’t even explain what politics is, yet the great red dragon accuses people in the church of getting involved in politics. Isn’t this absurd? Isn’t it easy to find fault when they want to? (Yes.) This is clearly a false accusation. Some fools and muddleheaded people, after listening to the devilish words of the great red dragon, come under its constraint and dare not apply discernment either to it or to Satan. Whenever the topic of discerning the great red dragon or Satan comes up, they hide in a corner and dare not open their mouths; they just clear their throats or pretend to be confused. What are they pretending for? They don’t need to pretend: They don’t even understand what politics is, so how can they participate in politics? Can a muddleheaded person like them participate in politics? Therefore, for most ordinary people, staying away from politics is achievable in reality. We’ve just emphasized one point in principle, which is not to do anything foolish, to avoid getting involved in politics unknowingly, being swept along into politics without even knowing it, and ultimately becoming a scapegoat or a sacrificial object without understanding what happened. So, the reason why we fellowship about these principles, in one respect is to let you know that your intelligence is simply not enough to comprehend the real essence of politics. In another, if you practice these principles, you will be able to better protect yourself and avoid being taken advantage of in any situation, or in situations where you are unaware or ignorant. By simply adhering to these principles, you can ensure your own relative safety in any group. Therefore, these principles are not only your amulet of protection but also principles that God admonishes you to follow in the area of politics. By following these principles, you can enjoy the benefits brought to you by the truth, and one might also say that you are safeguarded by God. If you feel that God’s safeguarding is vague and empty, and you cannot see or feel it, then you can choose to practice these five principles. This way, you can truly experience God’s safeguarding, which is a more real kind of safeguarding. It is not only using God’s words to protect yourself but also protecting yourself by practicing God’s words and adhering to the truth principles that God has revealed to you. In any case, the ultimate goal is achieved, and you are able through staying away from politics to keep yourself safe from evil groups of people, avoid various temptations and crises, and thus quiet your body and mind before God in a state of calm, peace, and safety, so that you can pursue the truth. However, if you are foolish and don’t know how to follow the principles taught by God, and you try to stand out and showcase yourself randomly, often acting without wisdom and getting tangled up in various disputes and conflicts that stem from politics and groups; if you often fall into various traps and temptations, and your daily life is swept along and disturbed by these things, and you spend all your time handling and addressing these struggles involving disputes and disturbances, then it could be said that your heart will never come before God, and you will never truly be quiet before Him. If you cannot achieve this little bit, then there is no hope for you to figure out God’s words, to deepen or understand the truth, to practice the truth, and embark on the path of pursuing the truth to be saved. If you are ensnared by these things, it is equivalent to being ensnared by the devil. If you do not have the principles to handle these matters, your ultimate end will be swallowed up by these things. Your daily life, your heart, and your life will be entangled in these disputes and struggles. All you’ll think about is how to get rid of these things, how to fight and argue with those people, and how to prove your innocence and demand justice. As a result, the more you get caught up in these affairs, the more you want to quickly prove your innocence, demand justice, and get an explanation, and the more chaotic and complicated your heart will become. The more complicated your external environment is, the more complicated your inner being will become, and the more chaotic your external environment is, the more chaotic your inner being will become. In this way, you will be completely finished, you will be controlled and taken captive by Satan. If you still want to pursue the truth and be saved, it will be impossible! You will be completely worthless, beyond redemption. By then, you will say, “I regret it all. The political circle of Satan is nothing but a quagmire! If I had known, I would have listened to God’s words.” I told you a long time ago, but you didn’t believe Me. You insisted on getting an explanation from them, on getting a fair word, a word of praise and recognition from their mouths. You refused to abide by the principles and criteria that God told you, so you deserve to be dragged along by them until you die. In the end, Satan will be destroyed, and you will be destroyed with it, becoming its funeral offering. You deserve it! Who made you follow Satan? Who made you seek an explanation from Satan? Who made you be so foolish? God gave you wisdom, but you didn’t apply it. He gave you principles, but you didn’t abide by them. You insisted on going your own way, on fighting against those people with your own mind, talents, and gifts. Can you defeat the devil? Moreover, fighting against the devil is not what God entrusted you with. What God has entrusted you with is to follow His way, not to fight against the devil. It is of no value for you to fight against it. God does not commemorate this. Even if you defeat it, you won’t attain salvation. Do you understand now? Therefore, in the industry and circle of politics, you must remember these principles that people ought to follow. Perhaps those of you who are currently doing your duty full time may find these words unrealistic and relatively distant from you. But at the very least, they allow you to know what politics is, how you should treat politics, how to view those who live in political circles or pursue political prospects, and how to help them address their problems if they believe in God. These are the most basic things you should know. Once you fully understand and accept these principles, you will be able to help them, and when you encounter such people, you will be able to handle and resolve their issues using the corresponding principles. Well, let’s stop our fellowship here regarding the topic of staying away from politics. Goodbye!

June 18, 2023

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