What It Means to Pursue the Truth (15) Part Two

Last time we finished fellowshiping on the saying about moral conduct: “Do your best to faithfully handle whatever other people have entrusted to you.” Next, we will fellowship on the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” First of all, we should try to figure out how to dissect the incorrect thoughts and views in this saying about moral conduct, and what Satan’s intention is in making it. There is a Chinese idiom that says, “It is difficult to know a person’s real intentions,” so where do Satan’s real intentions lie? This is what we need to uncover and dissect. “A gentleman’s word is his bond” is another thought and statement that Satan makes among people, and on the outside it seems to be quite noble; it is stirring and powerful. So, what is so impressive about this saying? Is it worth treasuring and taking to heart? Is it worth viewing people and things, comporting oneself and acting according to this thought and view? Does it have any merit? Is it a positive saying? If it is not a positive thing or a correct thought and view, then what is its negative effect on people? What is Satan’s intention when it makes a saying like this and instills this thought and view in people? How should we discern it? If you can discern it, this phrase will be denied and rejected from the depths of your heart, and you will no longer be influenced by it. Even though this phrase will flash through your mind and disturb you deep inside from time to time, if you are able to discern it, you will not be bound or tied up by it. Do you think there is any merit in the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond”? Is this a saying which has a positive effect on people? (No.) Would you like to be a gentleman? Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be a gentleman? Is it better to be a gentleman or a fake gentleman? Is it better to be a gentleman or a villain? Haven’t you thought about these issues? (No.) Although you have not thought about these things, one thing is certain: You often use the word “gentleman,” saying things like, “Better to be a true villain than a fake gentleman,” and “A true gentleman is so generous in spirit that if someone offends him, he doesn’t hold it against them and can forgive them. That is what you call a gentleman!” What does the fact you can say these things prove about you? Does it prove that the gentleman has a certain status in your thoughts and views, and that thoughts and sayings about the gentleman exist in your mind? Could we say this? (Yes.) You approve of and admire those people in society who behave like gentlemen or who are called gentlemen, and you work hard to become a gentleman and be seen as a gentleman, rather than a villain. If someone says, “You are a real villain,” you will be very sad. However, if someone says, “You are a true gentleman,” you will be elated. This is because you feel that if someone has complimented you by calling you a gentleman, your character has been elevated, and your ways and methods of conducting yourself and handling matters have been affirmed. Of course, after you get this kind of affirmation in society, you feel that you have a noble status and are not a low-class or inferior person. The upright gentleman, whether he is a myth or actually exists, occupies a definite place deep in people’s hearts. So, when I asked you whether a gentleman or a villain is better, none of you dared to answer. Why? Because you thought, “How can You ask that? Of course it is better to be a gentleman than a villain. Isn’t a gentleman good, upright, and of high moral character? To say that it’s not good to be a gentleman runs contrary to common sense, doesn’t it? It would go against normal humanity, wouldn’t it? If a gentleman is not good, then what kind of person is good?” So you didn’t dare to answer, isn’t that true? (Yes.) Does this confirm that there is a clear choice between the gentleman and the villain in your heart? Which one do you prefer? (The gentleman.) Then our objective is clear. Let’s focus on identifying and analyzing a gentleman. No one likes a villain, this goes without saying. So what exactly is a gentleman? If you ask, “Is it better to be a gentleman or a villain?” For Me, the answer is clear: Both are bad, because neither the gentleman nor the villain is a positive character. It’s just that people judge the behavior, actions, character and morality of the villain to be relatively poor, and therefore don’t like him. When the base morality and character of the villain are openly on display, people see him as even more villainous. However, a gentleman more often displays his elegant manner of speaking and acting, his good morals and refined character, and people respect and feel enriched by him. As a result, they call him a gentleman. When a gentleman presents himself in this way, he is praised, admired and held in high regard. Therefore, people love a gentleman and dislike a villain. However, what is the basis on which people determine someone to be a gentleman or a villain? (Based on their outward behavior.) People judge a person as noble or lowly based on that person’s behavior, but why do people judge others based on their behavior? The answer is that the caliber most people possess is only capable of reaching this level. They can only see whether a person’s behavior is good or bad; they cannot see that person’s essence clearly. As a result, they are only able to determine whether the person is a gentleman or a villain based on their behavior. So, is this method of discernment correct? (No.) It’s totally incorrect. Is it accurate, then, to see a gentleman as having a refined character and good morals? (No.) That’s right, it’s not accurate. It is inaccurate to interpret gentlemen as being refined in character, moral, dignified and virtuous. Therefore, looking at it now, is the term “gentleman” positive? (No.) It is not positive. A gentleman is not more noble than a villain. So, if someone asks, “Is it better to be a gentleman or a villain?” What is the answer? (Both are bad.) This is accurate. If someone asks why they are both bad, the answer is simple. Both the gentleman and the villain are not positive characters; neither of them is truly a good person. They are full of Satan’s corrupt disposition and poison. They are controlled and poisoned by Satan, and living according to its logic and laws. Therefore, it can be said with certainty that, while a villain is not a good person, a gentleman cannot be a positive person either. Even if a gentleman is seen to be a good person by others, he is simply pretending to be good. He is not an honest person approved by God, much less a person who fears God and shuns evil. It’s just that the gentleman behaves well a little more often and poorly a little less often while the villain behaves poorly a little more often and well a little less often. The gentleman is respected a little more while the villain is despised a little more. This is the only difference between a gentleman and a villain. If people judge them according to their behavior this is the only result they will obtain.

People determine whether someone is a gentleman or a villain based on their behavior. They may say, “This person is a gentleman because he has done a lot of things for the benefit of everyone. Everyone thinks so. Therefore, he is a gentleman and a person of high moral character.” If everyone says a person is a gentleman, does that make that person a good person and a positive character? (No.) Why not? Because all people are corrupt, have corrupt dispositions and do not have the truth principles. So, no matter who says a person is a gentleman, the statement comes from Satan, and from a corrupt person. People’s standard of evaluation is not correct, and therefore the result it gives is not correct either. God never speaks in terms of gentlemen or villains. He does not require people to be a true gentleman rather than a fake gentleman, nor does He ever say, “You are all villains. I don’t want a villain, I want a gentleman.” Does God say this? (No.) He does not. God never assesses or determines whether a person is good or bad by their words and actions. Rather, He evaluates and determines that according to their essence. What does this mean? Firstly, it means that people are judged according to the quality of their humanity, and whether they have a conscience and sense. Secondly, they are judged on their attitude toward the truth and toward God. This is how God evaluates and determines whether a person is superior or inferior. Therefore, there is no such thing as a gentleman or a villain in God’s words. In the church, among people God saves, He does not require them to be gentlemen, or promote the idea of being a gentleman, and He does not ask people to criticize villains. God’s house definitely does not judge who is of high moral character according to traditional cultural sayings about moral conduct. It does not promote and foster anyone who is a gentleman, and clear out and cast out anyone who is a villain. The house of God promotes, fosters, clears out or casts out people according to its own principles. It does not view people according to standards and sayings about moral conduct, promoting anyone who is a gentleman and rejecting anyone who is a villain. Rather, it handles all people according to the word of God and the truth. What do you think of some people in the church who are always trying to be gentlemen? (They are no good.) Some new believers always judge people according to the standard of a gentleman or villain. When they see church leaders pruning and dealing with people who are causing disruptions and disturbances, they say, “This leader is no gentleman! When a brother or sister makes a small mistake, he latches on to it and will not let it go. A gentleman would not care about this. A gentleman would be tolerant, forgiving, and even appeasing—he would be much more accepting! This leader is so hard on people. He is obviously a villain!” These people say that those who defend the interests of God’s house are not gentlemen. They say that those who work seriously, meticulously and responsibly are villains. What do you think about people who view others this way? Are they viewing people according to the truth or the word of God? (No.) They do not see people according to the truth and the word of God. Moreover, they take the thoughts, views, methods and means by which Satan evaluates people, and spread and release them in the church. These things are clearly the thoughts and views of unbelievers and nonbelievers. If you are not discerning, and think that a gentleman is a good person with high moral character, and someone who is a pillar in the church, you may be deluded by him. Because you have the same thoughts and views as he does, when someone makes statements or sayings about gentlemen, you will certainly be drawn in and misled without knowing it. However, if you are discerning about such things, you will reject such sayings and not be misled by them. Instead, you will insist on evaluating people and things, and judging right and wrong, according to the word of God and the truth principles. Then you will see people and things accurately, and act in accordance with God’s will. Those nonbelievers who do not pursue the truth, and those who are not discerning and not willing to abide by the rules of God’s house, often bring up thoughts and statements which come from Satan and are commonplace among unbelievers, to mislead the brothers and sisters and disturb their understanding of the truth. If people are not discerning, while they may not be misled or disturbed by those people, they will often be controlled by their statements, and shrink from acting or speaking out. They will not dare to uphold the truth principles, and will not dare to insist on acting according to the requirements of God’s word, let alone dare to defend the interests of God’s house. Is this caused by a lack of discernment of Satan’s thoughts and statements? (Yes.) This is obviously the reason. The terms “gentleman” and “villain” are not valid in the church. The unbelievers are good at pretending and living behind masks. They advocate being a gentleman rather than a villain, and they adopt these disguises in their lives. They use these things to establish themselves among people, trick other people into giving them prestige and a good reputation, and obtain fame and fortune. In the house of God, all these things must be cast out and outlawed. They must not be allowed to spread in the house of God or among God’s chosen people, nor should these things be given the opportunity to disturb and mislead God’s chosen people. This is because all these things come from Satan, have no basis in the word of God, and are definitely not the truth principles that people should observe with regard to how they view people and things, comport themselves and act. Therefore, “gentleman,” “fake gentleman,” and “villain” are not the correct terms to define the essence of a person. Have I explained the term “gentleman” clearly? (Yes.)

Let’s take another look at the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond” to see what it really means. The literal meaning of this phrase is that a gentleman must take his words seriously. As the saying goes, a person is only as good as their word; a gentleman must mean what he says and follow through on his promises. Therefore, in order to become a gentleman of high moral character, who is well liked and highly regarded, a person must act according to the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” That is, a gentleman must be trustworthy. He must take responsibility for what he says and promises, and make sure to follow through. He cannot go back on his word or fail to make good on his promises to others. A person who often fails to make good on his promises to others is not a gentleman or a good person, but rather, a villain. This is how the phrase “A gentleman’s word is his bond” can be interpreted. It mainly emphasizes the gentleman’s words and actions in terms of morality and trustworthiness. Firstly, let Me ask, what does the “word” in “a gentleman’s word” mean? It means two things: a promise he makes, or a pledge to do something. As I said earlier, gentlemen are not good people, but ordinary people who are deeply corrupted by Satan. So, in terms of people’s essence, what are the main ways people manifest themselves in the things that they promise? Speaking arrogantly, exaggerating, speaking highly of themselves, saying things about themselves that are not true, saying things which do not match the facts, lying, speaking harshly and venting. All of these things can be found in the things people say and promise. So, after a person says these things, you ask them to keep their promise, honor what they said, and not go back on their word, and if they follow through, you think they are a gentleman and a good person. Isn’t that absurd? If the things that corrupt people say every day are carefully investigated and checked, you will find that they are one hundred percent lies, empty words, or half-truths. Not one word is accurate, true or factual. Instead, their statements distort the facts, confuse black and white, and some of them even harbor evil intentions or satanic tricks. If all these words are to be honored, it will cause a lot of chaos. Let’s not talk about what would happen in a large group of people, let’s just talk about if there is a so-called gentleman in a family, who is constantly making indiscriminate remarks, and spouting a lot of meaningless theories and arrogant, erroneous, sinister and vicious words. If he takes his words seriously and his word is his bond, what will be the consequences? How chaotic will this family become? This is just like the devil king of the country of the great red dragon. No matter how absurd or evil its policies are, it still puts them forward, and those under it carry out and implement the policies to a tee—no one dares to oppose or stop them, which leads to national chaos. Furthermore, various disasters are approaching, and preparation for war has begun. The whole country is plunged into utter confusion. If a devil leader reigns in a country or nation for a long time, then the people of that country will be in serious trouble. How chaotic will things get? If people carry out and implement all of the unreasonable drivel, fallacies and lies that devil kings issue, will anything good for humankind come from it? Humankind will only become more and more chaotic, dark and evil. Fortunately, “A gentleman’s word is his bond” is nothing more than empty words; it is just a rhetoric, Satan is not able to actualize it, and is not able to achieve what it says. Thus, there is still a bit of order in the world and people are still relatively stable. If this were not the case, every corner of the human world, everywhere where there are “gentlemen,” would be in chaos. This is one of the things which is wrong with the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” From the perspective of people’s essence, we can see that their statements, the things they say, and their promises are unreliable. Another thing that is wrong with it, is that humankind is controlled by the thought and view “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” They think, “We must honor our word and do what we say we are going to do because this is how to be a gentleman.” This thought and view dominates people’s thinking and it becomes the standard by which they view, judge and characterize a person. Is this appropriate and accurate? (No, it’s not accurate.) Why is it inaccurate? Firstly, because what people say is of little value and is just empty words, lies and exaggerations. Secondly, it is unfair to use this thought and view to control people and require them to honor their word. People often use “A gentleman’s word is his bond” to measure a person’s superiority or inferiority. Without realizing it, people often worry about how to honor their promises and are controlled by this. If they can’t honor their promises they are subjected to discrimination and rebuke from others, and it is hard for them to establish themselves in the community if they can’t follow through on something trivial. This is unfair to these people and inhumane. Due to their corrupt dispositions, people speak according to their preferences, saying whatever they want to say; they don’t care how absurd or contrary to the facts their statements are. This is what corrupt people are like. It is natural for everything to act according to its own disposition: A chicken must learn how to cluck, a dog must learn how to bark and a wolf must learn how to howl. If something was not human, and yet was strictly required to say and do human things, it would find it very difficult. People have the corrupt disposition of Satan, a disposition that is arrogant and deceitful, so it is natural for them to lie, exaggerate and speak empty words. If you understand the truth and can see through people, this should all seem normal and ordinary to you. You should not use the misguided thought and perspective that “A gentleman’s word is his bond” to view people and things, and to judge and characterize whether or not people are good or trustworthy. This method of assessment is not correct, and should not be adopted. What is the correct method? People have a corrupt disposition, so it is normal for them to exaggerate and say things that do not reflect their actual situation. You must handle this correctly. You should not ask a person to honor their promises according to the standards of a gentleman, and you should certainly not bind others or yourself with the thought and view that “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” This is not right. What’s more, to judge a person’s humanity and moral character by whether or not they are a gentleman is a fundamental mistake, and not the right approach. Its basis is wrong and is not in accordance with the word of God or the truth. Therefore, no matter what kind of thoughts and views the secular world uses to judge a person, and no matter whether the secular world advocates being a gentleman or a villain, in God’s house, the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond,” is not promoted, it is not recommended that anyone be a gentleman and you are certainly not required to act according to the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” Even if you strictly require yourself to be a gentleman, and embody the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond,” then what? You may do this very well and become a humble gentleman who keeps his promises and never fails to make good on his word. However, if you never view people and things, comport yourself and act according to God’s words, or follow the truth principles, then you are a total nonbeliever. Even if many people agree with you and support you, say that you are a gentleman, that you never fail to make good on your word and that you take your promises seriously, so what? Does this mean that you understand the truth? Does it mean that you follow the way of God? No matter how well and appropriately you follow the saying about moral conduct “A gentleman’s word is his bond,” if you do not understand God’s word, and do not observe and act according to the truth principles, then you will not receive God’s approval.

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