What It Means to Pursue the Truth (13) Part One

In the last gathering we mainly fellowshiped on and dissected the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” in traditional culture. The traditional cultural sayings and theories which Satan uses to indoctrinate people are not correct, and neither are the high-sounding words that it makes people abide by. On the contrary, they have the effect of confusing and misleading people, and confining their thinking. By educating, indoctrinating, and influencing the masses with these erroneous ideas and views in traditional culture, the ultimate aim is to reassure them into submitting to the dominion of the ruling class, and even serving the rulers with the loyalty of those who love their country and party, and who are determined to protect their home and safeguard the state. This suffices to show that the national government popularizes traditional cultural education in order to facilitate the rulers’ control over humankind and over all the various ethnic groups, and to further increase the stability of the rulers’ regime and the harmony and stability of society under their control. No matter how the ruling class propagates, promotes, and popularizes traditional cultural education, in general, these sayings on moral conduct have deluded and misled people, and severely disrupted their ability to differentiate truth from lies, good from evil, right from wrong, and positive things from negative things. It can also be said that these sayings on moral conduct completely invert black and white, mix the truth with lies, and delude the general public, causing people to be deceived by these opinions from traditional culture, within a context in which they do not know what is right and what is wrong, what is truth and what are lies, what things are positive and what things are negative, what comes from God, and what comes from Satan. The way in which traditional culture defines all sorts of things and categorizes all kinds of people as good or bad, kind or evil has disturbed, confused and misled human beings, even confining people’s thoughts within the various sayings on moral conduct that traditional culture advocates, so that they are unable to extricate themselves. As a result, many people willingly pledge allegiance to devil kings, showing blind devotion to the very end and honoring that pledge until death. This situation has continued until the present, and yet few people have come to their senses. Although nowadays many people who believe in God can recognize the truth, there are many stumbling blocks to their accepting it and putting it into practice. It can be said that these stumbling blocks mainly come from the ideas and views of traditional culture, which have long since taken root in their hearts. People learned them first and they remain dominant, already controlling people’s thoughts, which creates so many stumbling blocks and so much resistance to people accepting the truth and submitting to God’s work. This is one aspect. Another aspect is because people have corrupt dispositions, which are partly caused by the way that traditional culture deludes and corrupts people. Traditional culture has severely impacted and interfered with people’s views on how to measure good and evil, truth and lies, and caused people to have many mistaken notions, ideas, and views. This has led to people being unable to positively accept things that are positive, beautiful and good, the laws of all things created by God, and the fact that God rules over all things. Instead, people are full of notions and all kinds of vague and unrealistic ideas. These are the consequences of the various ideas that Satan instills in people. From another perspective, all the various sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture are false sayings that corrupt people’s thinking, disturb their minds, and damage their normal thought processes, severely impacting people’s acceptance of positive things and the truth, and also seriously affecting people’s pure comprehension and understanding of the laws and rules of all things created by God.

In one respect, the various sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture have disturbed the correct ways of thinking with which people distinguish right from wrong, as well as disrupting their free will. Moreover, having accepted these various sayings about moral conduct, humans have become hypocritical and fake. They are good at pretending—even to the extent of calling a deer a horse, inverting black and white, and treating negative, ugly, and evil things as positive, beautiful, and good things, and vice versa—and they have already reached the stage of venerating evil. Throughout human society, regardless of which period or dynasty, the things that humans advocate and revere are basically these sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture. Under the severe impact of these sayings on moral conduct, that is to say, under the progressively more profound and thorough indoctrination of these sayings on moral conduct from traditional culture, people unconsciously adopt these sayings as the capital of existence and laws of existence. People just wholly accept them without discernment, treating them as positive things, and as a guiding ideology and criteria for how they should deal with others, view people and things, and comport themselves and act. People treat them as supreme laws for making their way in society, or achieving fame and prestige, or becoming esteemed and revered. Take any group within any society or nation, in any period—the people they esteem, revere, and proclaim as the very best of the human race are nothing more than what humans call moral exemplars. No matter what kind of life such people lead behind the scenes, no matter what the intentions and motives of their actions and what their humanity essence is like, no matter how they really conduct themselves and deal with others, and no matter what the essence of the person wrapped under their cloak of beautiful and good moral conduct is like, no one cares about these things, nor tries to investigate further. As long as they are loyal, patriotic, and show allegiance to the rulers, the people idolize them and sing their praises, and even emulate them as heroes, because everyone takes a person’s outward moral conduct as the basis for gaging whether they are kind or evil, good or bad, and for measuring their reputation. Although the Bible clearly documents the stories of a number of ancient saints and sages such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, and Peter, and the stories of many prophets and so on, and although many people are familiar with such stories, there is still no country, nation, or group that widely promotes the humanity and moral character of these ancient saints and sages—or the examples of them worshiping God, or even their God-fearing hearts that they revealed—whether in society, throughout the nation, or among people. Not one country, nation, or group does this. Even countries where Christianity is the state religion, or countries with predominantly religious populations, still do not call attention to and revere the human character of these ancient saints and sages, or their stories of fearing and obeying God, as documented in the Bible. What issue does this indicate? Corrupt humankind has fallen to the point where people are sick of the truth, sick of positive things, and venerate evil. If God did not personally speak and work among people, clearly telling people what is positive and what is negative, what is right and what is wrong, what is beautiful and good, and what is ugly, and so on, then humankind would never be able to distinguish between good and evil, and would not be able to distinguish positive things from negative things. Ever since the beginning of the human race, and even in the course of human development, these deeds and historical records of God’s appearances and work have been passed down to this day in some countries and ethnic groups in Europe and the Americas. However, humans are still unable to distinguish between positive and negative things, or between beautiful, good things and ugly, evil things. Not only are humans incapable of distinguishing, but they also actively and willingly accept all kinds of claims from Satan, such as sayings about moral conduct, as well as Satan’s wrong definitions and concepts of various people, matters, and things. What does this show? Could it show that humankind simply does not have the instinct to autonomously accept positive things, nor the instinct to distinguish between positive and negative things, good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies? (Yes.) Among humankind, two kinds of things prevail at the same time, one of which comes from Satan, while the other comes from God. But in the end, throughout human society and the entire history of humankind’s development, the words spoken by God, and all the positive things that He teaches and elucidates to humankind cannot be revered by the entire human race, and cannot even become the mainstream among humankind, nor bring about correct thoughts in people, nor guide them to live normally among all the things created by God. People unconsciously exist under the guidance of Satan’s various remarks, ideas, and concepts, and live under the guidance of these erroneous views. In living this way, they do so not passively, but actively. Despite what God has done, His accomplishments in creating and ruling over all things, and the many words left behind by God’s work in some countries, as well as the definitions of various people, matters, and things that have been passed down to the present day, human beings still unconsciously live under the various ideas and views that Satan instills in people. These various ideas and views instilled and advocated by Satan are the mainstream ideas and views throughout human society, even in countries where Christianity is widespread. Whereas, no matter how many positive statements, positive ideas and views, and positive definitions of people, matters, and things God leaves to humankind by doing His work, they only exist in certain corners, or worse still, are just retained by a very small number of people in minority ethnic groups, and only linger on the lips of some people, but cannot be actively accepted by humans as positive things to guide and lead them through life. Judging from the comparison of these two kinds of things, and from the different attitudes of humankind toward the negative things from Satan and toward the various positive things from God, the entire human race lies under the hands of the evil one. This is a fact, and can be affirmed with certainty. This fact primarily means that people’s thoughts, ways of thinking, and ways of dealing with people, matters, and things are all controlled, swayed, and manipulated by the various ideas and views of Satan, and even confined by them. Throughout the history of human development, no matter in what stage or period—whether it be a relatively backward era, or the economically developed era of the present day—and whatever the region, nationality, or group of people, humankind’s modes of existence, foundations of existence, and views for how to deal with people, matters, and things are all based on the various ideas instilled in people by Satan, rather than on the words of God. This is a very lamentable thing. God comes to do His work and save humankind in a situation in which humans have been so profoundly corrupted by Satan, and in which their thoughts and viewpoints, as well as their ways of looking at all kinds of people, matters, and things, and their ways of living and dealing with the world, have been completely confined by the ideas of Satan. One can imagine how tough and difficult God’s work of saving humankind is within such a context. What kind of context is this? The context in which He comes to do His work is one in which people’s hearts and minds have long since been completely imbued with and confined by satanic philosophies and poison. He does not come to do His work within a context in which people do not have any ideologies, or any views on people, matters, and things, but within a context in which people have ways of looking at various people, matters, and things, and in which these ways of looking, thinking, and living have been seriously confused and misguided by Satan. That is to say, God comes to do work and save humankind within a context in which humans have wholly accepted Satan’s ideas and views, and are filled, imbued, bound, and controlled by satanic ideas. This is the kind of people God is saving, which shows just how difficult His work is. God wants such people who have been imbued with and confined by satanic ideas to come to recognize anew and distinguish between positive and negative things, beauty and ugliness, right and wrong, truth and evil fallacy, and finally reach the point where they can detest and reject all the various ideas and fallacies instilled by Satan from the bottom of their hearts, and thereby accept all the correct views and correct ways of living that come from God. This is the specific meaning of God’s salvation of humankind.

No matter in what period of humanity, or what stage of development society has reached, or what the rulers’ method of governance is—be it a feudal dictatorship or a democratic social system—none of these things change the fact that the various ideological theories and sayings about moral conduct advocated by Satan are rife in human society. From feudal society right through to modern society, although the scope, guiding principles and modes of governance of rulers change time and again, and the numbers of the various ethnic groups, races, and different faith communities are also constantly changing, the poison of the various sayings in traditional culture that Satan instills in people is still rife and spreading, deeply taking root in people’s thoughts and the innermost depths of their soul, controlling their modes of existence, and swaying their thoughts and views on people, matters, and things. Of course, this poison also severely affects people’s attitudes toward God, and seriously corrodes humankind’s willingness and yearning to accept the truth and the Creator’s salvation. Therefore, the representative sayings about moral conduct that derive from traditional culture have always controlled people’s thinking throughout the human race, and their dominant position and role among humankind have never changed in any period or social context. No matter in which period a ruler reigns, or whether they are diligent or backward-looking, or whether their method of governance is democratic or dictatorial, none of this can stem or eradicate the confusion and control exerted over human beings by the ideas and views of traditional culture. Whatever the historical period, or in whichever ethnic group, or however much human faith has progressed or undergone changes, and no matter how much humans have progressed and changed in terms of their thinking about life and social trends, the influence that sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture have on human thinking has never changed, and their effect on people has never lost its potency. From this point of view, sayings about moral conduct have confined people’s thinking too deeply, severely impacting not only the relationship between human beings, but also people’s attitudes toward the truth, and seriously affecting and damaging the relationship between created human beings and the Creator. Of course, it can also be said that Satan uses the ideas of traditional culture to tempt, delude, benumb, and confine the human race that God created, and uses these methods to snatch human beings away from God. The more widely that ideas on moral conduct in traditional culture are disseminated among humankind, and the deeper they take root in people’s hearts, the farther humans will be from God, and the more remote the hope of their salvation. Think about it, before Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent into eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they believed that Jehovah God was their Lord and their Father. But when the serpent tempted Eve by saying, “Has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1), and “You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4–5), Adam and Eve yielded to the serpent’s temptation, and their relationship with God quickly changed. What kind of change occurred? They no longer came before God naked, but looked for objects to cover and conceal themselves with, and avoided the light of God’s presence; when God sought them out, they hid from Him and no longer talked to Him face to face as before. This change that occurred in Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was not because they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but because the words spoken by the serpent—Satan—instilled a wrong kind of thinking in people, tempting and misleading them to doubt God, to stray from Him, and to hide from Him. Thus, people no longer wanted to behold the light of God’s presence head-on, and didn’t want to come before Him completely uncovered, and an estrangement was created between people and God. How did this estrangement come about? Not because of changes in the environment, or because of the passage of time, but because people’s hearts changed. How did people’s hearts change? People themselves didn’t take the initiative to change. Rather, it was because of the words spoken by the serpent, which sowed discord in people’s relationship with God, alienating them from God and making them avoid the light of God’s presence, shun His care, and doubt His words. What were the consequences of such a change? People were no longer what they used to be, their hearts and thoughts were no longer so pure, and they no longer regarded God as God and as the One who was closest to them, but instead doubted and feared Him, and thus strayed from Him and developed a mentality of wanting to hide from God and stay away from Him, and this was the beginning of the fall of humankind. The beginning of the fall of humankind stemmed from the words Satan uttered, words that were poisonous, tempting, and misleading. The thoughts instilled in people by these words caused them to doubt, misunderstand, and be suspicious of God, estranging them from Him so that not only were they no longer willing to face God, but they also wanted to hide from God, and even no longer believed what He said. What did God say about this? God said: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16–17). Whereas, Satan said that people who ate fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil would not necessarily die. Because of the deceptive words spoken by Satan, people began to doubt and deny God’s words, that is, people hatched opinions about God in their hearts, and they were no longer as pure as before. Because of these opinions and doubts that people had, they no longer believed in God’s words, and stopped believing that God is the Creator and that there is an inevitable relationship between people and God, and even ceased to believe that God can protect and care for people. From the moment they stopped believing these things, people were no longer willing to accept God’s care and protection, and of course were no longer willing to accept any word from God’s mouth. The fall of humankind began as a result of the tempting words of Satan, and started from an idea and view that Satan instilled in people. Of course, it also started as a result of Satan tempting, misleading, and deceiving people. This idea and view that Satan instilled in people made them stop believing in God or His words, and also made them doubt God, misunderstand Him, suspect Him, hide from Him, stray from Him, deny what He said, deny His very identity, and even deny that people come from God. This is how Satan tempts and corrupts people step by step, disrupting and damaging their relationship with God, and also hindering humans from coming before God and accepting any words from His mouth. Satan is constantly disrupting people’s willingness to seek the truth and accept God’s words. Powerless to resist Satan’s various remarks, people are unconsciously eroded by them and imbued with them, and finally degenerate to the point of becoming enemies and antagonists of God. This is fundamentally the impact and harm that sayings on moral conduct have on humankind. Of course, by fellowshiping on these things we are also analyzing them from the root, so that people can gain a fundamental understanding of how Satan corrupts humankind and what methods it uses. Satan’s primary tactics for corrupting humankind are to target people’s thoughts and views, destroy the relationship between people and God, and gradually wrest them away from God step by step. Initially, upon hearing God’s words, people believed them to be correct, and wanted to act and practice in accordance with them. It is in this situation that Satan used all kinds of ideas and words to corrode and disintegrate, little by little, the only bit of faith, resolve, and aspiration that people had, along with the few faintly positive things and positive wishes they held onto, replacing them with its own sayings, and its definitions, opinions, and notions of various things. In this way, people are unwittingly controlled by Satan’s ideas, and become its captives and slaves. Is this not the case? (It is.) In the history of humankind, the more deeply and concretely humans accept Satan’s ideas, so the relationship between humankind and God becomes increasingly distant, and so the message that “human beings are created beings and God is the Creator” becomes increasingly remote from people, and is no longer believed and acknowledged by as many people. Instead, this message is regarded as a myth and a legend, a non-existent fact, and an evil fallacy, and is even condemned as heresy by some people in today’s society. It must be said that this is all the result and impact of the various evil fallacies of Satan that are widely disseminated among humankind. It must also be said that throughout the history of human development, under the guise of doing such positive things as teaching people, regulating their words and actions, and so on, Satan has dragged humankind step by step into the abyss of sin and death, taking humankind far from the light of God’s presence, far from His care and protection, and far from His salvation. The Old Testament of the Bible records accounts of God’s messengers coming to talk to people and live among them, but such things have ceased to exist in the past 2,000 years. The reason for this is that, among the entire human race, there is no longer anyone like the ancient saints and sages recorded in the Bible—such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, or Peter—and the entire human race has been imbued with and bound by Satan’s ideas and remarks. This is the truth of the matter.

What we have just fellowshiped on is one aspect of the essence of sayings on moral conduct in traditional culture, and it also marks, proves, and symbolizes Satan’s corruption of humankind. Looking at it from the essence of these issues, all human beings without exception—whether they be young children or elderly seniors, or whatever social class they live in, or whatever social background they come from—are confined by the various remarks of Satan, even without distinction of depth, and live entirely within a mode of existence that is imbued with satanic ideas. Of course, what is the undeniable fact? That Satan is corrupting people. What it corrupts is not the various organs of humans, but rather their thoughts. Corrupting the thoughts of humans turns all of humankind against God, so that the human beings He created cannot worship Him, and instead use all kinds of ideas and views from Satan to rebel against God, and to resist, betray, and reject Him. This is Satan’s ambition and cunning scheme, and of course it is Satan’s true face, and this is how Satan corrupts humankind. However, no matter how many thousands of years Satan has corrupted humankind for, or how many facts point to Satan’s corruption of humankind, or how erroneous and absurd the various ideas and views with which it corrupts humankind, and how deeply human thoughts are confined by them—in short, regardless of all this, when God comes to do His work of saving people, and when He expresses the truth, even if people live within such a context, God can still wrest them back from Satan’s power, and can still conquer them. And of course, God can still make people understand the truth in His chastisement and judgment, know the essence and truth of their corruption, cast off their satanic dispositions, obey Him, fear Him and shun evil. This is the final result that will inevitably be achieved, and also a trend in which God’s 6,000-year management plan certainly comes to fruition, and in which God appears to all countries and peoples with His glorification. Just as God’s words say, “God is as good as His word, and His word will be accomplished, and that which He accomplishes lasts forever.” This sentence is true. Do you believe that? (Yes.) This is a fact that will certainly come to pass. Because the last stage of God’s work is the work of providing the truth and life to humankind. In the short space of just over thirty years, a considerable number of people have come before God, been conquered by Him, and now follow Him with unshakable resolve. They don’t want any benefits from Satan, they are willing to accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and His salvation, and are all willing to reassume their places as created beings and accept the sovereignty and arrangements of the Creator. Isn’t this a sign of God’s plan coming to fruition? (Yes.) This is an established fact and also a fact that has already come to pass, and of course it is something that is happening now and which has already happened. No matter how Satan corrupts humankind, or whatever methods it uses, God will always have ways of wresting humans back from Satan’s power, saving them, bringing them back before Him, and restoring the relationship between humankind and the Creator. This is God’s omnipotence and authority, and whether you believe it or not, that day will come sooner or later.

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