What It Means to Pursue the Truth (4) (Part Two)
Within good behaviors, we have raised the examples of being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, being courteous, respecting the old and caring for the young, being amiable, and being approachable. We will now take respecting the old and caring for the young as an example, and fellowship on it in detail. Respecting the old and caring for the young is a very normal occurrence in human life. It can even appear within some animal populations, so, naturally, it should appear even more among humans, who possess conscience and reason. Humans should observe this behavior better, more concretely, and more practically than other species, rather than merely scratching at the surface of it. Humans should be better than other species at adhering to this good behavior of respecting the old and caring for the young, because humans possess conscience and reason, which other species do not. Humans should be able to demonstrate, in their observance of this good behavior, that their humanity is greater than the essence of other species, that it is different. But do humans really do this? (No.) Do educated, knowledgeable people do this? (They don’t, either.) Let us put the common folk aside and talk about the affairs of the elite, and the affairs of the court. At present, several countries are producing a number of palace dramas, exposing many of the tumultuous stories of the royal households. Members of the palace and common folk are alike in that they both place great emphasis on hierarchies of seniority. Those within royal households have had a deeper, more specific education about the good behavior of respecting the old and caring for the young than the common folk, and the younger generations in royal households are better at being deferential and respectful toward their elders than the common folk—there is a great deal of etiquette involved. When it comes to respecting the old and caring for the young, those within royal households have especially high requirements for this aspect of good behavior, which they must follow to the letter. On the surface, they appear to be adhering to traditional culture’s requirement of respecting the old and caring for the young, just as the common people do—and yet, however well or fittingly they do so, however decent and irreproachable they appear to be, behind the facade of this irreproachable behavior are hidden all sorts of transferences of power and jockeying among various forces. Between sons and fathers, grandsons and grandfathers, servants and masters, ministers and monarchs—on the surface, they all seem to be observing that most fundamental criterion for behavior: respecting the old and caring for the young. But because monarchical authority and various other forces are all in the mix, this external behavior serves no function at all. It is completely incapable of affecting what ultimately comes from transference of monarchical power and the jockeying of various forces. Naturally, this kind of good behavior is fundamentally incapable of restraining anyone who covets the throne or has ambitions for power. The common folk uphold the rule of respecting the old and caring for the young, which was passed down to them by their ancestors. They, too, live amid the constraints of this rule. No matter how many interests intersect, or whatever struggles arise when those interests clash, the common folk are still able to live together afterward. But things are different within royal households, because their interests and power disputes are more significant. They fight and fight, and the ultimate outcome is that the winners become kings and the losers become criminals—either one party dies, or the other does. The winners and losers alike all uphold this rule of respecting the old and caring for the young, but because each wields a different amount of power and has different desires and ambitions, or because of the disparities between the strength of each party, some survive in the end, while others are destroyed. What determines this? Is it determined by the rule of respecting the old and caring for the young? (No.) So, what determines it? (Man’s satanic nature.) What do I mean by all this? I mean that these rules, mankind’s novel, so-called good behaviors, can determine nothing at all. The path a person walks is not in the least decided by whether they are well-educated and sensible, amiable, or respectful of the old and caring for the young in terms of their external behavior, it is determined by man’s nature. In brief, God’s house does not promote these statements about good behavior that have arisen among mankind. These behaviors that man sees as good are no more than a kind of good behavior and manifestation; they do not represent the truth, and if someone possesses these good behaviors and manifestations, it does not mean that they are practicing the truth, less still does it mean that they are pursuing the truth.
Since these behaviors, which man holds to be good, do not come from God, nor are they promoted by His house, and even less are they in accordance with His will, and since they are at odds withand the requirements that He puts forward, does God also have some requirements for mankind’s behavior? (He does.) God, too, has put forward some statements about the behavior of believers who follow Him. They are different from the requirements that God has made of man regarding the truth, and they are somewhat simpler, but they do contain some specifics. What requirements does God have for those who follow Him? Possessing saintly decency, for instance—is that not a requirement for man’s behavior? (It is.) There is also not being dissolute, being restrained, not wearing unusual clothes, not smoking or drinking, not hitting or verbally abusing others, as well as not worshiping idols, honoring one’s parents, and so on. These are all behavioral requirements that God has put forward for His followers. They are the most basic requirements and they must not be ignored. God has specific requirements for the behavior of those who follow Him, and they are different from the good behaviors put forward by unbelievers. The good behaviors proposed by unbelievers do no more than make people into higher animals, distinguishing them from other lower animals. Whereas, the requirements that God makes of His followers, differentiate them from unbelievers, from people who do not believe in God. They are not about being different from animals. In the past, there was also talk of “sanctification.” This is a somewhat exaggerated, inaccurate way of putting it, but God has put forward some requirements for His followers regarding their behavior. Tell Me, what are they? (To possess saintly decency, to not be dissolute, to be restrained, to not wear unusual clothes, to not smoke or drink, to not hit or verbally abuse others, to not worship idols, and to honor one’s parents.) What else, besides those? (To not misappropriate others’ possessions, to not steal, to not give false witness, to not commit adultery.) There are those, too. They are parts of the law, they are some requirements that God put forward regarding mankind’s behavior in the very beginning, and they remain real and practical today. God uses these requirements to regulate the behavior of His followers, meaning that these external behaviors are the sign of those who follow God. If you possess these behaviors and manifestations, such that when others look at you, they know that you are a believer in God, then they will at least approve of you and admire you. They will say that you possess saintly decency, that you look like a believer in God, and not like an unbeliever. Some people who come to believe in God remain the same as unbelievers, often smoking, drinking, fighting, and brawling. There are even some who commit adultery and steal. Even their behavior is unrestrained, and does not comply with God’s words, and when an unbeliever sees them, they say, “Are they really a believer in God? Why are they just like people who don’t believe in God, then?” Others do not admire that person or trust them, so when that person tries to spread the gospel, people do not accept it. If someone can do what God requires of man, then they are a lover of positive things, they are kind-hearted, and they possess normal humanity. Such a person can put God’s words into practice right after hearing them, and there is no pretense to what they practice, because they have, at the very least, acted in that way based on their conscience and reason. In what way do God’s specific requirements of man differ from the good behaviors that mankind promotes? (God’s requirements of man are distinctly practical, they can enable people to live out normal humanity, whereas traditional culture only demands some behaviors that are for show, which have no tangible function.) That is right. The good behaviors that traditional culture requires of man are all counterfeit and they are all disguises. They are a sham. Those who abide by them may speak pleasant words, but on the inside, things are completely different. These good behaviors are a mask, an illusion. They are not things that pour forth from the essence of one’s humanity, they are disguises that man dons for the sake of his pride, for his reputation and status. They are a show, a kind of hypocritical approach, something that a person deliberately acts out for others to see. Sometimes people cannot discern whether a person’s behavior is real or fake, but in time, everyone will see that person’s true colors. It is just as it was with the hypocritical Pharisees, who had so many external good behaviors and so many manifestations of their so-called piety, yet when the came to express the truth and do the work of redemption, they condemned Him and crucified Him, because they were sick of the truth and hated it. This shows that people’s good behaviors and external approaches do not represent their nature essence. They are unrelated to people’s nature essence. Whereas, the rules that God demands man to fulfill can be put into practice and really lived out, so long as one truly believes in God and possesses a conscience and reason. You should do these things, no matter whether you are doing so in front of others or behind their backs; no matter what your humanity essence is like, you must fulfill these requirements that God has put forward. Since you follow God, you must restrain yourself and practice according to His words, no matter how severe your corrupt disposition is. After a period of such experience, you will have true entry, and you will have truly changed. That true change is real.
Let us do a quick summary: What kind of requirements does God have for people’s behavior? People must remain principled and restrained, and they must live with dignity, such that others respect them, without any pretense. These are God’s behavioral requirements of man. This means that one must practice in this way and possess this kind of reality, regardless of whether they are in the presence of others or not, or what environment they are in, or whomever they are faced with. Normal humans should possess these realities; it is the least one should do in terms of their comportment. Say, for example, that somebody speaks very loudly, but they do not verbally abuse others or use foul language, and what they say is truthful and accurate, and it does not attack other people. Even if that person calls someone bad or says that someone is no good, it is factual. Though their external words and actions do not accord with the requirements of being amiable or being gentle and refined that unbelievers have put forward, the content of what they say, and the principles and basis for their speech allow them to live with dignity and integrity. That’s what it means to be principled. They do not speak blithely about things they do not know, nor do they arbitrarily evaluate people who they cannot perceive clearly. Though they do not seem very gentle on the surface, and they do not meet the behavioral standard of being cultured and rule-abiding that unbelievers speak of, because they fear God at heart, and they are restrained in word and deed, what they live out far surpasses the behaviors of being well-educated and sensible, gentle and refined, and courteous, that mankind speaks of. Is this not a manifestation of being restrained and principled? (It is.) In any case, if you look closely at the requirements of good behavior that God puts forward for His believers, which of them is not a concrete rule about what people should practically live out? Which of them asks people to disguise themselves? None of them, right? If you have any doubts, you may raise them. For example, some may say, “When God says not to hit or verbally abuse other people, it feels a little false, because there are people right now who sometimes verbally abuse others, and God doesn’t condemn them.” When God says not to verbally abuse other people, what does “verbal abuse” refer to? (When a person vents their emotions due to their corrupt disposition.) Venting one’s emotions, speaking in obscenities—that is what verbal abuse is. If what is said about a person is unpleasant, but it is consistent with their corrupt essence, then that is not verbal abuse. For example, someone might have disrupted and disturbed the work of the church and done a lot of evil, and you say to them, “You’ve done so much evil. You’re a scoundrel—you’re not human!” Does that count as verbal abuse? Or as an outpouring of a corrupt disposition? Or as venting one’s emotions? Or as not possessing saintly decency? (It is in line with the facts, so it does not count as verbal abuse.) That is right, it does not count. It is in accordance with the facts—these are true words, spoken truly, and nothing is concealed or hidden. It may not line up with being well-educated and sensible or gentle and refined, but it does line up with the facts. The scolded person will compare themselves to those words and examine themselves, and they will see they were scolded because they did something wrong and committed so much evil. They will hate themselves, thinking, “I really am a good-for-nothing! Only a jerk would have done what I did—I’m not a human being! It was right and good of them to scold me like that!” After accepting it, they will gain a bit of knowledge about their nature essence, and after a period of experience and exposure, they will truly repent. In the future, they will then know to seek the principles while performing their duty. Did being scolded not wake them up? Is there not then a difference between such scolding and the “verbal abuse” in God’s requirement that people do not verbally abuse others? (There is.) What is the difference? What does the “verbal abuse” in God’s requirement that people do not verbally abuse others mean? One aspect of this is that if the content and words are obscene, that is not good. God does not wish to hear any foul language from the mouths of His followers. He does not like to hear those words. But if some unpleasant words are used while revealing the facts, exceptions are made for such cases. That is not verbal abuse. Another aspect is: what is the essence of the behavior of verbal abuse? Is it not an outpouring of hot-headedness? If a problem can be explained clearly and transparently through normal fellowship, exhortation, and communication, why verbally abuse the person instead? Doing so is not good, it is inappropriate. If compared to those positive approaches, verbal abuse is not a normal course to take. It is venting one’s emotions and exposing one’s hot-headedness, and God does not wish for people to use venting their emotions or pouring forth hot-headedness as a way of handling any kind of matter. When humans pour forth hot-headedness and vent their emotions, the behavior they often display is that of using language to verbally abuse and attack. They will say whatever is most unpleasant, and they will say whatever will hurt the other party and relieve their own anger. And when they are through, not only will they have sullied and hurt the other party—they will have sullied and hurt themselves, too. This is not the attitude or method that followers of God should adopt in handling things. Moreover, corrupted humans always have a mentality of revenge, of venting their emotions and dissatisfaction, of pouring forth their hot-headedness. They want to verbally abuse others at every turn, and when things come up, both big and small, the behavior that they immediately demonstrate is that of verbal abuse. Even when they know that such behavior will not resolve an issue, they do it anyway. Is that not a satanic behavior? They will even do it when they are alone in their homes, when no one can hear them. Is that not venting one’s emotions? Is that not revealing one’s hot-headedness? (It is.) Revealing one’s hot-headedness and venting one’s emotions, generally speaking, means using one’s hot-headedness as a way to approach and handle something; it means facing all matters with a hot-headed attitude, and one behavior and manifestation of that is verbal abuse. Since that is the essence of verbal abuse, is it not a good thing that God requires man not to do that? (It is.) Is it not reasonable of God to require man not to verbally abuse others? Does it not benefit man? (It does.) Ultimately, the goal of God’s requirement that man should not hit or verbally abuse others is to have people exercise restraint, and keep them from always living amid their emotions and hot-headedness. No matter what they say when they verbally abuse someone, the thing that pours forth from those who live amid their emotions and hot-headedness is a corrupt disposition. What corrupt disposition is that? At the very least, a disposition of viciousness and arrogance. Is it God’s will for any problem to be resolved by pouring forth a corrupt disposition? (No.) God does not wish for His followers to use such methods to approach any of the things that happen around them, the implication being that God does not like it when people approach everything that happens around them by means of hitting others and verbally abusing them. You cannot resolve any problems by verbally abusing people, and doing so impacts your ability to act according to the principles. At the very least, it is not a positive behavior, nor is it a behavior that those with normal humanity ought to possess. That is why God put forward a requirement of those who follow Him that they do not hit or verbally abuse others. Within “verbal abuse,” there are emotions and hot-headedness. “Emotions”—what does that refer to, in particular? It includes hatred and curses, wishing others ill, hoping that others will get their just deserts according to one’s wishes, and that others will come to a bad end. Emotions specifically encompass negative things like these. What, then, does “hot-headedness” mean? It means venting one’s emotions using extreme, passive, negative, and evil methods, and wishing for the things and people that one does not like to disappear, or to meet with disaster, so that one may rejoice in their misfortune, as they wished to. That is hot-headedness. What does hot-headedness encompass? Hatred, animosity, and curses, as well as some ill will—all these are things encompassed by hot-headedness. Are any of them positive? (No.) What condition is someone in when they live amid these emotions and hot-headedness? Are they not about to turn into a mad demon? The more you verbally abuse people, the angrier you get, and the crueler you become, and the more you wish to verbally abuse others, and in the end, you will want to reach out and hit someone. And when you hit someone, you will want to mortally wound them, to take their life, which means: “I’ll destroy you! I’ll kill you!” One little emotion—a negative emotion—leads to the inflation and eruption of one’s hot-headedness, and, in the end, it causes people to wish for the loss and destruction of a life. Is that something those with normal humanity ought to have and possess? (No, it is not.) What is this the face of? (It is the face of the devil.) It is the devil betraying its true appearance. It is the same face that a demon has, when it is about to devour a person. Its demonic nature rises to the surface, and it cannot be controlled. That is what it means to be a mad demon. And how mad do these people become? They turn into a demon that wishes to devour man’s flesh and his soul. The most severe consequence of verbal abuse is that it may flip a simple matter one hundred and eighty degrees, and lead to someone’s death. Many issues begin with a bit of friction between two people, which leads to them shouting at and verbally abusing each other, then to striking at one another, which is followed by the urge to kill, which then becomes a matter of fact—one of them is killed, and the other is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Both parties lose in the end. This is the ultimate result. They are done with their verbal abuse, they are done venting their emotions, they have revealed all of their hot-headedness, and they have both gone to hell. That is the result. Such are the consequences that come to man from the venting of his emotions and the inflation and eruption of his hot-headedness. This is not a good result, it is an evil one. You see, this is the sort of outcome that man faces as a result of the behavior caused by a simple, negative emotion. People do not want to see such an outcome, nor are they willing to face it themselves, but because people live amid all manner of bad emotions, and because they are entangled and controlled by hot-headedness, which often expands and bursts forth, such consequences are what ultimately arise. Tell Me, is verbal abuse a simple behavior? The verbal abuse that people engage in during their daily lives may not yield such an evil result—that is, such an evil result will not necessarily ensue from all incidents of verbal abuse. Yet this is the essence of verbal abuse. It is the venting of one’s emotions and the inflation and eruption of one’s hot-headedness. Therefore, God’s requirement of mankind to not verbally abuse others is assuredly of benefit to man—it benefits him in a hundred ways and harms him in none—and at the same time, this is part of the significance of God putting forward this requirement for mankind. The requirement of not verbally abusing others may not rise to the level of practicing or pursuing the truth, but this kind of requirement should still be observed by man.
Can people fulfill God’s requirement that they must not verbally abuse one another by relying on self-restraint alone? When people get angry, a lot of the time they are unable to restrain themselves. So, how can people fulfill this requirement of not verbally abusing each other? When you are about to verbally abuse someone, particularly when you are unable to restrain yourself, you should hurry to pray. If you pray for a while and earnestly supplicate to God, your anger will likely wane. At that time, you will be able to effectively restrain yourself, and control your emotions and hot-headedness. For example, sometimes people may say something that makes you feel insulted, or they may judge you behind your back, or they might knowingly or unknowingly hurt you, or they may take advantage of you a little, steal something from you, or even hurt your vital interests. When these things befall you, you will think: “He hurt me, so I hate him, I want to shout abuse at him, I want to get my revenge on him, I even want to hit him. I want to play a dirty trick behind his back to teach him a lesson.” Is this not all brought about by bad emotions? The consequence brought about by bad emotions is that you will wish to do these things. The more you think about it, the more enraged you will become, and the more you will think that this person is bullying you, and that your dignity and character have been insulted. You will feel uncomfortable inside, and you will want to get revenge. Is this not the hot-headed impulsiveness that these negative emotions have brought about in you? (It is.) What kind of behavior is this desire of yours to take revenge? Are you not about to pour forth hot-headedness? At times like these, you must quiet yourself; first of all, you must pray to God, restrain yourself, ponder and seek the truth, and act wisely. That is the only way to avoid a situation where you become agitated, and where hatred, emotions, and hot-headedness arise within you. Some may say: “If two people work together all day, then there’s no way to avoid this kind of situation.” Even if you cannot avoid this situation, you must not retaliate, you must be restrained. How can you restrain yourself? First of all, you must think to yourself: “If I were to retaliate, it would definitely not please God, so I can’t do that. Hatred, revenge, and loathing are all things that God dislikes.” God dislikes these things, but you still want to do them, and you cannot control yourself. How should you resolve this? Naturally, you must rely on God; if you do not pray to God, you will not be able to resolve this. Moreover, if your stature is too small, and you are too hot-headed, and you really cannot restrain your emotions and hot-headedness, and you wish to get revenge, you still absolutely must not open your mouth to verbally abuse that person. You can leave wherever it is that you are, and allow someone else to intervene and resolve the situation. You should pray to God quietly and recite a few relevant phrases of God’s words. Pray to God in this way, and your hot-headedness will slowly disappear. You will realize that verbally abusing people cannot resolve problems, and that it would be a revelation of corruption, and that it could only bring shame to God. Will praying in this way not resolve your problem? What do you think of this solution? (It’s good.) That is all for My fellowship on the behavioral regulation put forward by God: “Do not hit or verbally abuse others.”
I just fellowshiped on the good behaviors that God asks people to uphold, what were they? (To possess saintly decency, to not be dissolute, to be restrained, to not wear unusual clothes, to not hit or verbally abuse others, to not smoke or drink, to not worship idols, to honor one’s parents, to not steal, to not misappropriate others’ possessions, to not commit adultery, and to not give false witness.) Yes, these are all correct. Tell Me, are the requirements put forward in the law, like those about not stealing and not taking advantage of others, still tenable now? Are they still effective? (They are still tenable and effective.) Then, what about the commandments from the Age of Grace? (They are still tenable, too.) So, why did God put forward these specific requirements? What aspect of man’s practice do these specific requirements touch on? If God did not put forward these requirements, would people understand these things? (They would not.) People would not understand them. These specific requirements that God put forward to regulate man’s behavior are, in fact, all related to the living out of normal humanity. The point of putting forward these specific requirements was to enable people to accurately discern and identify positive and negative things, as well as what is right and what is wrong; it was to teach people that adultery is a negative thing, that it is shameful, loathed by God, disdained by man, and that people should restrain themselves in this matter, that they should not commit this act, or make mistakes in this regard; it was also to teach people that behaviors like taking advantage of others, stealing, and so on are all negative things, and that people should not do them. If you like doing these things, and you have done these things, then you are not a good person. How can one differentiate between a person with good humanity and a person with bad humanity, or between a positive figure and a negative figure? First of all, you must confirm this—people can only be accurately discerned, and positive and negative figures can only be differentiated based on God’s words. People can only be discerned and perceived clearly based on the requirements and standards that God has put forward to regulate man’s behavior. I will give an example: If a person has sticky fingers, and likes to steal from other people, how is their humanity? (Bad.) Stealing is a serious evil deed, so those who steal are evil people. Other people all guard against them, and distance themselves from them, and regard them as thieves. In people’s minds, thieves are negative characters, stealing is a negative thing, and it is a sinful behavior. Is this not then confirmed? Here is another example: Say that there is an adulterer, and some people do not know whether that is a positive or negative thing—the only way for them to measure this accurately is according to God’s words, as only God’s words are the truth. Regardless of what new claims legal systems and morality now make about the act of adultery, they are not the truth. The words spoken by God, “do not commit adultery,” are the truth, and the truth will never pass away. From the moment that God put forward the requirement, “do not commit adultery,” everyone should have begun spurning and distancing themselves from adulterers. People like that do not have humanity, and, at the very least, if you measure them from the perspective of humanity, they are not good people. Any person who engages in this kind of behavior, and possesses this kind of humanity is shameful, they are loathed by man, they are looked down upon and spurned within groups, and they are rejected by the masses. Based on God’s words, we can confirm that committing adultery is a negative thing, and that people who do so are negative figures. No matter how evil the trends of society become, adultery and fornication are negative things, and people who engage in them are negative figures. This is absolutely certain, and you must see through to this; you must not be misled or seduced by society’s evil trends. In addition to these, there are some more specific requirements: God tells people to not worship idols, to honor one’s parents, to not hit or verbally abuse others, to possess saintly decency, and so on. These specific requirements are all standards by which God regulates man’s behavior. In other words, before God supplied people with the truth, He taught them which acts are right and positive, and which are wrong and negative, He told them how to be a good person and which good behaviors they must possess in order to be a person of normal humanity, as well as what things they must and must not do as a person with normal humanity, so that they can make the right choices. All of these demands that regulate man’s behavior are things that every normal person should truly live out, and the basis upon which every person actually faces and handles everything that they encounter. For example, say you see that another person has something nice, and you want to take it for yourself, but then you think: “God says that it’s wrong to steal from other people, He said that we must not steal or take advantage of others, so I won’t steal from them.” Has the behavior of stealing not then been restrained? And at the same time as being restrained, has your behavior not been regulated? Before God put forward these requirements, when people saw something nice in another person’s possession, they would want to take it for themselves. They did not think that doing so was wrong or shameful, or that God loathed it, or that it was a negative thing, or that it was even a sin; they did not know these things, they did not possess these concepts. After God put forward the requirement, “do not steal,” people were endowed with a mental boundary when it came to doing these kinds of things, and through this boundary they learned that there is a difference between stealing and not stealing. Stealing is equivalent to doing something negative, to doing something bad or evil, and it is shameful. Not stealing is adhering to the morality of humanity, and there is humanity in it. God’s demands regarding man’s behavior not only resolve people’s negative behaviors and approaches, at the same time, they regulate man’s behavior, and enable people to live with normal humanity, to possess normal behaviors and manifestations, and to at least look like people, like normal people. Tell Me, are these requirements that God has put forward to regulate man’s behavior not very meaningful? (They are.) They are meaningful. However, these specific requirements that regulate man’s behavior are still quite far removed from the truths that God is expressing now, and they cannot be elevated to the level of the truth. This is because, long ago, during the Age of Law, these requirements were just laws that regulated man’s behavior, they were God using the most simple and straightforward language to tell people what things they should and should not do, and creating some rules for them. In the Age of Grace, these requirements were just commandments, and in the present day, it may only be said that they are criteria for measuring one’s own behavior, and for evaluating things. Though these criteria cannot be elevated to the level of the truth, and there is a certain distance between them and the truth, they are an essential precondition for man’s pursuit and practice of the truth. When a person holds to these rules, to these laws and commandments, to these requirements and behavioral criteria that God has established to regulate man’s behavior, it can be said that they possess the basic preconditions for practicing and pursuing the truth. If a person smokes and drinks alcohol, if their behavior is dissolute, and they commit adultery, and take advantage of other people, and often steal, and you were to say, “This person loves the truth, and they can certainly practice it and attain salvation,” would that statement hold water? (It would not.) Why would it not hold water? (That person is not capable of fulfilling even the most basic of God’s requirements, they could not possibly practice the truth, and if one were to say that they loved the truth, that would be a lie.) That is right. This person does not even have the most basic level of self-restraint. The implication of this is that they do not have even the most basic degree of conscience and reason that a person ought to possess. In other words, this person does not possess the conscience and reason of normal humanity. What does not possessing conscience and reason mean? It means that this person has heard the words that God has spoken, and the requirements that God has put forward for man, and the rules that God has established, and they have not taken them seriously at all. God says that stealing from other people is bad, and that people should not steal, and this person wonders: “Why are people not allowed to steal? I’m so poor, how could I live if I didn’t steal? Could I get rich if I didn’t steal things or take advantage of other people?” Do they not lack the conscience and reason of normal humanity? (They do.) They are unable to hold to the demands that God created to restrain man’s behavior, so they are not a person who possesses normal humanity. If one were to say that a person who does not possess normal humanity loves the truth, would that be possible? (It would not.) They do not love positive things, and though God says that people must not steal or commit adultery, they are unable to meet these requirements, and they are fed up with these words of God—so are they capable of loving the truth? The truth is much higher than these behavioral criteria—can they attain it? (No.) The truth is not a simple behavioral criterion, it is not merely a matter of people thinking of the truth when they are sinning or being arbitrary and reckless, and then being restrained, and no longer sinning or acting arbitrarily and recklessly. The truth does not merely restrain people’s behavior in this simple way—the truth can become a person’s life, and it can dominate everything about a person. When people accept the truth as their life, this is achieved by them experiencing God’s work, coming to know the truth, and practicing the truth. When people accept the truth, a struggle will arise within them, and it is likely that their corrupt dispositions will pour forth. When people are able to use the truth to resolve their corrupt dispositions, the truth can become their life, and the principle by which they comport themselves and live. This is something that only people who love the truth and possess humanity can achieve. Can those who do not love the truth and who lack humanity rise to this level? (No.) That is right, even if they may wish to, they cannot.
If we look at these requirements that God has created to regulate man’s behavior, of all of the words that God has spoken, and of all of the specific stipulations that He has put forward, are any of them redundant? (No.) Are they meaningful? Do they have value? (Yes.) Should people abide by them? (Yes.) That is right, people should abide by them. And at the same time as abiding by them, people should discard the statements that traditional culture has indoctrinated them with, like being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, and so on. They should comply with each of the requirements that God has put forward to regulate man’s behavior, and comport themselves in strict accordance with God’s words. They should live out normal humanity by closely following all of the requirements that God has put forward, and naturally, they should also evaluate people and things, comport themselves and act in strict accordance with these requirements. Though these requirements do fall short of the standards of the truth, they are all God’s words, and because they are God’s words, they can have a positive and active guiding effect on people. How did I define the pursuit of the truth? To view people and things, and to comport oneself and act, wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as one’s criterion. God’s words encompass a great range of things. Sometimes one phrase of His words represents an element of the truth. Sometimes it takes several phrases, or a passage to lay out one element of the truth. Sometimes a whole chapter is needed to express an element of the truth. The truth seems simple, but in actuality, it is not simple at all. To describe the truth in broader terms, God is the truth. All of God’s words are the truth, God’s words are voluminous and they cover a lot of content, and they are all expressions of the truth. For example, the laws and commandments that God has laid out, as well as the behavioral requirements that God has put forward in this new era, are all God’s words. Though some of these words do not rise to the level of the truth, and though they do not qualify as the truth, they are positive things. Though they are only words that restrain man’s behavior, people must still hold to them. People must, at the very least, possess these kinds of behaviors, and they must not fall short of these standards. Therefore, a person’s views on people and things, and their comportment and actions must be based on these words of God. People should abide by them because they are God’s words; everyone should view people and things, and comport themselves and act according to God’s words, because they are God’s words. Is that not right? (It is.) I have said something like this before: God means what He has spoken, and His words will be accomplished, and that which His words accomplish lasts forever, which means that God’s words will never pass away. Why do they not pass away? Because no matter how many words God speaks, and no matter when it is that God speaks them, they are all the truth, and they never pass away. Even when the world enters a new age, God’s words will not change, and they will not pass away. Why do I say that God’s words do not pass away? Because God’s words are the truth, and whatever is the truth will never change. So, all of the laws and commandments that God has put forward and spoken, and all of the specific requirements that He has put forward regarding man’s behavior will never pass away. Every requirement in God’s words is beneficial to created mankind, they all regulate man’s behavior, and they are edifying and valuable with regard to the living out of normal humanity and to how people should comport themselves. All of these words can change people, and make them live out true human likeness. By contrast, if people deny these words of God, and deny the requirements that God has made of mankind, and instead, they abide by those statements about good behavior that man has put forward, then they are in great danger. Not only will they not become increasingly possessed of humanity and reason, they will become increasingly deceitful and false, and they will become more and more capable of trickery, and the humanity that they live out will contain more and more trickery. Not only will they trick other people, they will try to trick God, too.