Entry Into Life 6
Daily Words of God Excerpt 556
Only by pursuing the truth can one achieve a change in disposition: This is something people must comprehend and understand thoroughly. If you do not have sufficient understanding of the truth, you will easily slip up and go astray. If you want to grow in life, you must seek the truth in everything. No matter what you are doing, you should seek out how to behave in order to be in line with the truth, and discover what taints exist within you that violate it; you must have a clear understanding of these things. Regardless of what you are doing, you should consider whether or not it has value. You can do things that have meaning, but you must not do things that have no meaning. With regard to things that you could either do or not do, if they can be let go, then you should let them go. Otherwise, if you do these things for some time and later find that you should let them go, then make a swift decision and let them go quickly. This is the principle you should follow in everything you do. Some people raise this question: Why is seeking the truth and putting it into practice so very difficult—as though you were rowing a boat against the current, and would drift backward if you stopped rowing forward? Why is it actually much easier to do evil or meaningless things—as easy as taking a boat downstream? Why is it like that? It is because humanity’s nature is to betray God. Satan’s nature has taken a dominant role within humans, and this is a reactionary force. Humans with a nature that betrays God are, of course, very liable to do things that betray Him, and positive actions are naturally difficult for them to perform. This is decided entirely by humanity’s nature and essence. Once you really understand the truth and begin to love it from within yourself, you will have strength to do things that conform to the truth. This then becomes normal, and even effortless and pleasant, and you feel that doing anything negative would require a great amount of effort. This is because the truth has taken a dominant role in your heart. If you really understand the truth about human life and about what kind of person to be—how to be an aboveboard and straightforward person, an honest person, someone who bears witness for God and serves Him—then you will never again be able to commit evil acts that defy Him, nor will you ever play the role of a false leader, a false worker, or an antichrist. Even if Satan deceives you, or someone evil eggs you on, you will not do it; no matter who tries to coerce you, you still will not act that way. If people gain the truth and the truth becomes their life, they become able to loathe evil and to feel an internal disgust for negative things. It would be difficult for them to commit evil, because their life dispositions have changed and they have been perfected by God.
If you really possess the truth within you, the path you walk will naturally be the correct path. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil, and you will do it despite yourself. For example, if arrogance and conceit existed within you, you would find it impossible to keep from defying God; you would feel compelled to defy Him. You would not do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God and see Him as being of no account; they would cause you to exalt yourself, constantly put yourself on display, and, finally, sit in God’s place and bear testimony for yourself. In the end, you would turn your own ideas, your own thinking, and your own notions into truths to be worshiped. See how much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature! To resolve their evil acts, they must first resolve the problem of their nature. Without a change in disposition, it would not be possible to bring a fundamental resolution to this problem. When you have some understanding of God, when you can see your own corruption and recognize the contemptibility and ugliness of arrogance and conceit, you will then feel disgusted, sickened, and distressed. You will be able to consciously do some things to satisfy God and, in doing this, will feel at ease. You will be able to consciously bear witness for God and, in doing this, will feel enjoyment. You will consciously unmask yourself, exposing your own ugliness, and by doing this, you will feel good inside and feel yourself to be in an improved state of mind. Therefore, the first step of seeking a change in your disposition is to seek to understand God’s words and to enter into the truth. Only by understanding the truth can you attain discernment; only with discernment can you understand things thoroughly; only by understanding things thoroughly can you forsake the flesh and, step by step, be on the right track with your belief in God. This is connected with how resolute people are when pursuing the truth. If someone is truly resolved, then after six months or a year they will begin to be on the right track. Within three or five years, they will see results, and will feel that they are making progress in life. If you believe in God but do not pursue the truth, then you could believe for ten years without experiencing any change. In the end, you will think that this is precisely what it means to believe in God; you will think it is pretty much the same as how you were living in the world previously, and that being alive is meaningless. This truly shows that without the truth, life is empty. You may be able to speak some words of doctrine, but you will still feel uncomforted and uneasy. If people have some knowledge of God, know how to live a meaningful life, and can do some things that satisfy God, then they will feel that this is real life, that only by living in this way will their lives have meaning, and that they have to live this way in order to bring a little satisfaction to God and feel gratified. If they can consciously satisfy God, put the truth into practice, forsake themselves, abandon their own ideas, and be obedient and considerate toward God’s will—if they are able to do all these things consciously—then this is what it means to accurately put the truth into practice, and to genuinely put the truth into practice, and this is very unlike their previous reliance on their imaginations and their sticking to doctrines and rules. In actual fact, it is exhausting to do anything when they do not understand the truth, exhausting to adhere to doctrines and rules, and exhausting to have no goals and to be doing things blindly. Only with the truth can they be free—this is no lie—and with it, they can do things easily and happily. Those who possess this sort of state are people who possess the truth; they are the ones whose dispositions have been transformed.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 557
While seeking entry, every matter must be investigated. All matters must be thoroughly contemplated in accordance with God’s word and the truth so that you know how to handle them in a way that conforms entirely with God’s will. Things that arise from your self-will can then be abandoned. You will know how to do things in accordance with God’s will, and will then go and do them; it will feel as though everything is taking its natural course, and it will seem exceedingly easy. This is how people who have the truth do things. You can then really show others that your disposition has changed, and they will see that you certainly have done some good deeds, that you do things according to principle, and that you do everything right. This is someone who understands the truth and who indeed has some human likeness. Sure enough, the word of God has reaped results in people. Once people truly understand the truth, they can discern their states of being, see to the bottom of complicated matters, and know the appropriate way to practice. If you do not understand the truth, you will not be able to discern your state of being. You will want to rebel against yourself but will have no idea how to do it or what you are rebelling against. You will want to abandon your self-will, but if you think that your self-will conforms to the truth, then how can you abandon it? You might even think that it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and you will therefore refuse to abandon it no matter what. Thus, when people are not in possession of the truth, they are very liable to think that human impurities, good intentions, muddleheaded love and human practices—all of which arise from their self-will—are correct, and that they conform to the truth. How, then, can you rebel against these things? If you do not understand the truth or know what it means to put the truth into practice, and if your eyes are clouded and you have no idea which way to turn and can therefore only do things based on what you think is right, then you will commit certain acts that will be off-track and erroneous. Some of these acts will be in keeping with the rules, some will arise from enthusiasm, and some will have originated with Satan and will cause disturbances. People who do not possess the truth act like this: a little to the left, and then a little to the right; correct one minute, and then deviating the next; with no accuracy at all. Those who do not possess the truth take an absurd view on things. As such, how can they handle matters properly? How can they resolve any problems? Understanding the truth is not an easy thing to do. Being able to comprehend God’s words depends on understanding the truth, and the truth that people are capable of understanding has its limits. Their understanding of God’s words will still be limited even if they believe in Him for their entire lives. Even those who are relatively experienced can, at best, get to where they can stop doing things that obviously resist God, stop doing things that are obviously evil, and stop doing things that do not benefit anyone. It is not possible for them to attain a state that has none of their self-will mixed in. This is because people think normal thoughts, and some of their thinking conforms to God’s words and belongs to an aspect of comprehension that cannot be classified as self-will. However, the key is to discern the parts of self-will that go against God’s words, against the truth, and against enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. You must therefore make an effort to know God’s words, and only by understanding the truth can you have discernment.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 558
To know yourself, you must know your own expressions of corruption, your own vital weaknesses, your disposition, and your nature and essence. You must also know, down to the very last detail, those things that are revealed in your daily life—your motives, your perspectives, and your attitude about every single thing—whether you are at home or out, when you are in gatherings, when you are eating and drinking of the words of God, or in every single issue you encounter. Through these things you must come to know yourself. To know yourself on a deeper level, you must integrate God’s words; only by knowing yourself based on His words can you achieve results. When receiving the judgment of God’s words, we must not fear suffering, nor should we be afraid of pain, and much less should we fear that God’s words will pierce our hearts. We should read more of His utterances about how He judges and chastises us and exposes our corrupt essences. We must read them and hold ourselves up to them more. Do not compare others to them—we must compare ourselves against them. We are not lacking in any single one of these things; we can all square with them. If you do not believe it, go experience it yourself. After reading God’s words, some people are incapable of applying them to themselves; they think that parts of these words are not about them, but are instead about other people. For example, when God exposes people as sluts and whores, some sisters feel that because they have been unerringly faithful to their husbands, such words must not be in reference to them; some sisters feel that since they are unmarried and have never had sex, such words must not be about them, either. Some brothers feel that these words are only aimed at women, and have nothing to do with them; some people believe that such words of God are too unpleasant-sounding, and refuse to accept them. There are even people who say that in some instances, God’s words are wrong. Is this the right attitude to have toward God’s words? People are incapable of reflecting upon themselves based on God’s words. Here, “sluts” and “whores” refer to people’s corruption of promiscuity. Whether man or woman, married or not married, everyone is possessed of the corruption of promiscuity—so how can it have nothing to do with you? God’s words expose people’s corrupt dispositions; whether male or female, one’s level of corruption is the same. Is this not fact? Prior to doing anything else, we have to realize that we must accept every one of the words spoken by God, whether these utterances are pleasant-sounding or not and whether they give us a bitter feeling or a sweet one. Such is the attitude we should have toward God’s words. What sort of attitude is this? Is it a devout attitude, a patient attitude, or an attitude of embracing suffering? I tell you that it is not any of these. In our faith, we must firmly maintain that God’s words are the truth. Since they are indeed the truth, we should accept them rationally. Whether or not we are able to recognize or admit it, our first attitude toward God’s words should be one of absolute acceptance. Every single line of God’s words pertains to a specific state. That is, none of the lines of His utterances are about external appearances, much less about external rules or a simple form of behavior in people. They are not like that. If you see every line uttered by God as being about a simple kind of human behavior or external appearance, then you have no spiritual understanding and you do not understand what the truth is. God’s words are profound. How are they profound? Everything that God says, everything that He reveals, is about people’s corrupt dispositions, and substantive and deep-rooted things within their lives. They are essential things, not external appearances, and particularly not external behaviors. Viewing people from their external appearance, they might all seem to be fine. Why, then, does God say that some people are evil spirits and some are unclean spirits? This is a matter that is not visible to you. Thus, you cannot rely on appearance or what you see from the outside to hold up to God’s words.
Excerpted from “The Importance of Pursuing the Truth and the Path of Pursuing It” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 559
How do you understand human nature? Understanding your nature actually means dissecting the depths of your soul; it involves what is in your life. It is the logic of Satan and the viewpoints of Satan by which you have been living; that is, it is the life of Satan that you have been living by. Only by unearthing the deep-down parts of your soul can you understand your nature. How can these things be unearthed? They cannot be unearthed or dissected through a mere one or two events; many times, after you are finished doing something, you still have not come to an understanding. It could take three or five years before you are able to gain even a tiny bit of realization and understanding. In many situations, you must self-reflect and come to know yourself, and only when you practice digging deep will you see results. As your understanding of the truth grows more and more profound, you will gradually come to know your own nature and essence through self-reflection and self-knowledge. In order to know your nature, you must accomplish a few things. First, you must have a clear understanding of what you like. This does not refer to what you like to eat or wear; rather, it means the kinds of things you enjoy, the things you envy, the things you worship, the things you seek, and the things you pay attention to in your heart. Are you clear on this? What types of things are included in the things you like? They are the things you usually pay attention to, the things you worship, the types of people you enjoy coming into contact with, the type of things you like to do, and the types of people you idolize in your heart. For example, most people like people of great standing, people who are elegant in their speech and deportment, or like those who speak with eloquent flattery or those who put on an act. The aforementioned is about what people they like to interact with. As for the things people enjoy, these include being willing to do certain things that are easy to do, enjoying doing things that others think are good and that would cause people to sing praises and give compliments. In people’s natures, there is a common characteristic of the things they like. That is, they like people, events, and things that others are envious of due to outward appearances, they like people, events, and things that look beautiful and luxurious, and they like people, events and things that make others worship them due to appearances. These things that people are fond of are great, dazzling, gorgeous, and grand. People all worship these things. It can be seen that people do not possess any of the truth, nor do they have the likeness of genuine human beings. There is not the slightest degree of significance in worshiping these things, yet people still like them. … what you like, what you focus on, what you worship, what you envy, and what you think about in your heart every day are all representative of your nature. It is enough to prove that your nature is fond of unrighteousness, and in serious situations, your nature is evil and incurable. You should analyze your nature in this way; that is, examine what you are fond of and what you forsake in your life. You might be good to someone for a time, but this does not prove that you are fond of them. What you are truly fond of is precisely what is in your nature; even if your bones were broken, you would still enjoy it and could never forsake it. This is not easy to change. Take finding a partner, for example. If a woman really fell in love with someone, then no one would be able to stop her. Even if her legs were broken, she would still want to be with him; she would want to marry him even if it meant she had to die. How can this be? It is because no one can change what people have deep inside of themselves. Even if a person died, his soul would still like the same things; these are the things of human nature, and they represent a person’s essence. The things people are fond of contain some unrighteousness. Some are obvious in their fondness for those things, while some are not; some have a strong liking for them, while others do not; some people have self-control, while others cannot control themselves. Some people are liable to sink into the dark things, which proves that they do not possess even a shred of life. If people are able to not be occupied and constrained by those things, it proves that their dispositions have been transformed a little and that they have a little stature. Some people understand some truths and feel that they have life and that they love God. In fact, it is still too early, and undergoing transformation in one’s disposition is not a simple matter. Is one’s nature easy to understand? Even if you understood it a little, it would not be easy to change. This is an area of difficulty for people. Regardless of how people, matters, or things around you may change and regardless of how the world may be turned upside down, if the truth is guiding you from within, if it has taken root within you and God’s words guide your life, your preferences, your experiences and your existence, at that point you will have truly transformed. Now this so-called transformation is just people cooperating a little and having a little bit of enthusiasm and faith, but this cannot be considered transformation and it does not prove that people have life; it is just people’s preferences—nothing more.
In addition to unearthing the things people are fond of in their natures, other aspects pertaining to their natures also need to be unearthed. For example, people’s viewpoints on things, people’s methods and goals in life, people’s life values and views on life, as well as views on all things relating to truth. These are all things deep within people’s souls and they have a direct relationship with the transformation of disposition. What, then, is the life view of corrupt humankind? It can be said to be this: “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” People all live for themselves; to put it more distinctly, they are living for the flesh. They are living just to put food in their mouths. How does this existence differ from that of the animals? There is no value whatsoever in living like this, let alone any meaning. One’s life view is about what you rely on to live in the world, what you live for, and how you live—and these are all things to do with the essence of human nature. Through dissecting people’s natures, you will see that people are all resisting God. They are all devils and there is no genuinely good person. Only by dissecting people’s natures can you truly know the substance and corruption of man and understand what people actually belong to, what people truly lack, what they should be equipped with, and how they should live out a human likeness. Truly dissecting a person’s nature is not easy, and cannot be done without experiencing God’s words or having true experiences.
Excerpted from “What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 560
What things make up a person’s nature? You only know of man’s corruption, disobedience, shortcomings, defects, notions, and intents, and are unable to discover the things within man’s nature. You only know of the outer layer, without being able to discover its origin, and this does not constitute knowledge of man’s nature. Some even think of these surface things as man’s nature, saying, “Look, I understand man’s nature; I recognize my arrogance. Isn’t that man’s nature?” Arrogance is a part of man’s nature, that much is true. However, it is not enough to acknowledge it in a doctrinal sense. What is it to know one’s own nature? How can it be known? From what aspects is it known? Furthermore, how specifically should one’s nature be viewed through the things one reveals? First of all, you can see man’s nature through his interests. For example, some people particularly love to dance, some especially love singers or movie stars, and some particularly idolize certain famous people. From looking at these interests, what is the nature of these people? For example: Some might really idolize a certain singer, even to the point where they are obsessed with the singer’s every move, every smile, and every word. They fixate on the singer, and even photograph everything the singer wears and imitate it. What does this level of idolization show about this person’s nature? It shows that such a person has only those things in his heart, and not God. All the things that this person thinks, loves, and seeks are of Satan; they occupy this person’s heart, which is given over to those things. What is the problem here? If something is loved to an extreme, then that thing can become someone’s life and occupy his heart, fully proving that the person is an idol worshiper who does not want God and instead loves the devil. We therefore can conclude that such a person’s nature is one that loves and worships the devil, does not love the truth, and does not want God. Is this not the correct way to view someone’s nature? It is completely correct. This is how man’s nature is dissected. For example, some people particularly idolize Paul. They like to go out and give speeches and do work, they like to attend gatherings and preach, and they like people listening to them, worshiping them, and revolving around them. They like to have status in the minds of others, and they appreciate it when others value the image they present. Let us analyze their nature from these behaviors: What is their nature? If they really behave like this, then it is enough to show that they are arrogant and conceited. They do not worship God at all; they seek a higher status and wish to have authority over others, to possess them, and to have status in their minds. This is the classic image of Satan. The aspects of their nature that stand out are arrogance and conceit, an unwillingness to worship God, and a desire to be worshiped by others. Such behaviors can give you a very clear view into their nature.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 561
All of mankind has been corrupted by Satan, and man’s nature is to betray God. However, among all the humans who have been corrupted by Satan, there are some who can submit to God’s work and accept the truth; these are the ones who can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of disposition. There are also those who do not focus on seeking the truth. They are satisfied with merely understanding doctrines; they hear good doctrine and keep it, and after understanding it, they can perform their duties—to a point. These people do what they are told and have mediocre humanity. They are willing, to a certain extent, to expend, abandon worldliness, and endure suffering. However, they are not earnest with regard to the truth; they believe it is sufficient that they commit no sin, and are unable ever to understand the essence of the truth. If such people can stand firm in the end, then they can also be spared, but they cannot have their dispositions transformed. If you wish to be purified of corruption and undergo a change in your life disposition, then you must have a love for the truth and the ability to accept the truth. What does it mean to accept the truth? Accepting the truth indicates that no matter what sort of corrupt disposition you have, or which of the great red dragon’s poisons are in your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s words, and submit to these words; you accept them unconditionally, without making any excuses or trying to pick and choose, and you come to know yourself based on what He says. This is what it means to accept God’s words. No matter what He says, no matter how much His utterances might pierce your heart, and no matter what words He uses, you can accept them as long as what He says is the truth, and you can acknowledge them as long as they conform to reality. You can submit to God’s words regardless of how deeply you understand them, and you accept and submit to the light that is revealed by the Holy Spirit and fellowshiped by your brothers and sisters. When such a person has pursued the truth to a certain point, he can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of his disposition. By comparison, Peter’s humanity was about the same as that of the other apostles and his brothers and sisters, but he stood out in his fervent pursuit of the truth; he pondered everything Jesus said in earnest. Jesus asked, “Simon Barjona, do you love Me?” Peter answered honestly, “I only love the Father who is in heaven, yet have not loved the Lord on earth.” Later he understood, thinking, “This is not right; the God on earth is the God in heaven. Is it not the same God both in heaven and on earth? If I only love God in heaven, then my love is not real; I must love God on earth, for only then will my love be real.” Thus, Peter came to understand the true meaning of what Jesus had said by pondering His words. To love God, and for this love to be real, one must love the incarnate God on earth. Loving a vague and invisible God is neither realistic nor practical, whereas loving the practical, visible God is truth. From Jesus’ words, Peter gained the truth and an understanding of God’s will. Clearly, Peter’s belief in God had only been focused on pursuing the truth; ultimately, he achieved a love of the practical God—the God on earth. Peter was especially earnest in his pursuit of the truth. Each time Jesus counseled him, he pondered Jesus’ words in earnest. Perhaps he pondered for months, a year, or even years before the Holy Spirit enlightened him and he understood the meaning of God’s words; in this way, Peter entered the truth, and afterward, his life disposition was transformed and renewed. If a person does not pursue the truth, he will never understand it. You can say the letters and doctrines ten thousand times, but they will still just be letters and doctrines. Some people just say, “Christ is the truth, the way, and the life.” Even if you repeat these words ten thousand times, it will still be useless; you have no understanding of its meaning. Why is it said that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life? Can you articulate the knowledge you have gained about this from experience? Have you entered the reality of the truth, the way, and the life? God has uttered His words so that you can experience them and gain knowledge; merely voicing letters and doctrines is useless. You can only know yourself once you have understood and entered God’s words. If you do not understand God’s words, then you cannot know yourself. You can only discern when you have the truth; without the truth, you cannot discern. You can only fully understand a matter when you have the truth; without the truth, you cannot understand a matter. You can only know yourself when you have the truth; without the truth, you cannot know yourself. Your disposition can only change when you have the truth; without the truth, your disposition cannot change. Only after you have the truth can you serve in accordance with God’s will; without the truth, you cannot serve in accordance with God’s will. Only after you have the truth can you worship God; without the truth, your worship will be nothing more than a performance of religious rites. All of these things hinge on gaining the truth from God’s words.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 562
Coming to a genuine understanding of the actual meaning of God’s words is no simple matter. Do not think this way: “I can interpret the literal meaning of God’s words, and everyone says my interpretation is good, and gives me a thumbs-up, so this means I understand God’s words.” That is not the same as understanding God’s words. If you have gained some light from within God’s utterances, and you have gotten a sense of the true meaning of His words; and if you can express the intention behind His words and what effect they will ultimately achieve, then once you have a clear understanding of all of these things, you can be considered to have some level of understanding of God’s words. Thus, understanding God’s words is not all that simple. Just because you can give a flowery explanation of the literal meaning of God’s words does not mean you understand them. No matter how much you can explain their literal meaning, your explanation is still based on human imagination and way of thinking. It is useless! How can you understand God’s words? The key is to seek the truth from within them; only in that way can you truly understand what He says. Whenever God speaks, He certainly does not speak in mere generalities. Each sentence He utters contains details that are certain to be revealed further in God’s words, and they may be expressed differently. Man cannot fathom the ways in which God expresses the truth. God’s utterances are very profound and cannot be fathomed with human way of thinking. People can discover the entire meaning of every aspect of the truth as long as they make an effort; if you do this, then as you experience them, what details remain will be filled in completely as the Holy Spirit enlightens you, thus giving you an understanding of these concrete states. One part is understanding God’s words and seeking their specific content through reading them. Another part is understanding the implications of God’s words through experiencing them and obtaining enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. It is primarily by these two means that a true understanding of God’s words is achieved. If you interpret His words literally, or through the lens of your own thinking or imagination, then your understanding of God’s words is not real no matter how eloquently you can interpret them. You might even take their meaning out of context and misinterpret them, and doing so is even more troublesome. Thus, the truth is primarily obtained by receiving enlightenment from the Holy Spirit through gaining knowledge of God’s words. Understanding the literal meaning of His words, or being able to explain them, does not count as having gained the truth. If you only needed to interpret the literal meaning of His words, then what would be the point of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment? In that case, you would only need to have a certain level of education, and the uneducated would all be in quite a predicament. God’s work is not something that can be comprehended by the human brain. A true understanding of God’s words relies mainly on having enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; such is the process of gaining the truth.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 563
When it comes to knowing man’s nature, the most important thing is to see it from the perspective of man’s world view, life view, and values. Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their life view and maxims mainly come from Satan’s sayings, such as, “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” The words spoken by those devil kings, great ones, and philosophers of the earth have become man’s very life. In particular, most of the words of Confucius, who is touted by Chinese people to be a “sage,” have become man’s life. There are also the famous proverbs of Buddhism and Taoism, and the oft-quoted classic sayings of various famous figures; these are all outlines of Satan’s philosophies and Satan’s nature. They are also the best illustrations and explanations of Satan’s nature. These poisons that have been infused into the heart of man all come from Satan; not the least bit of them comes from God. Such lies and nonsense are also in direct opposition to God’s word. It is absolutely clear that the realities of all positive things come from God, and all those negative things that poison man come from Satan. Therefore, you can discern a person’s nature and to whom he belongs from his life view and values. Satan corrupts people through the education and influence of national governments and of the famous and great. Their lies and nonsense have become man’s life and nature. “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost” is a well-known satanic saying that has been instilled into everyone, and that has become man’s life. There are other words of philosophies for living that are also like this. Satan uses each nation’s fine traditional culture to educate people, causing mankind to fall into and be engulfed by a boundless abyss of destruction, and in the end people are destroyed by God because they serve Satan and resist God. Imagine asking someone who has been active in society for decades the following question: “Given that you have lived in the world for so long and achieved so much, what are the main famous sayings that you live by?” He might say, “The most important one is, ‘Officials do not strike gift-givers, and those who do not flatter accomplish nothing.’” Are these words not representative of that person’s nature? Unscrupulously using any means to obtain position has become his nature, and being an official is what gives him life. There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their conduct and behavior; they possess almost no truth at all. For example, their philosophies for living, their ways of doing things, and their maxims are all filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. Thus, all things that flow through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan. All of those officials, those who hold power, and those who are accomplished have their own paths and secrets to success. Are such secrets not perfectly representative of their nature? They have done such big things in the world, and no one can see through the schemes and intrigues that lay behind them. This shows just how insidious and venomous their nature is. Mankind has been profoundly corrupted by Satan. Satan’s venom flows through the blood of every person, and it can be seen that man’s nature is corrupt, evil, and reactionary, filled by and immersed in the philosophies of Satan—it is, in its entirety, a nature that betrays God. This is why people resist God and stand in opposition to God. Man’s nature can be known to all if dissected in this way.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 564
The key to self-reflection and knowing yourself is this: The more you feel that in certain areas you have done well or have done the right thing, and the more you think you can satisfy God’s will or are able to boast in certain areas, then the more it is worth it for you to know yourself in those areas and the more it is worth it for you to dig deep into them to see what impurities exist in you, as well as what things in you cannot satisfy God’s will. Let us take Paul as an example. Paul was especially knowledgeable, and he suffered a lot in his preaching work. He was especially adored by many. As a result, after completing much work, he assumed there would be a crown set aside for him. This caused him to go farther and farther down the wrong path, until finally he was punished by God. If, at the time, he had reflected upon himself and dissected himself, then he would not have thought that. In other words, Paul had not focused on seeking the truth in the words of the Lord Jesus; he had only believed in his own notions and imaginings. He had thought that as long as he did a few good things and exhibited good behavior, he would be praised and rewarded by God. In the end, his own notions and imagination blinded his spirit and covered his true face. However, people did not know this, and without God’s bringing this to light, they continued to set Paul as a standard to reach for, an example to live by, and regarded him as the one they longed to be like. Paul became the object of their pursuit and the object of their imitation. This story about Paul serves as a warning for everyone who believes in God, which is that whenever we feel we have done especially well, or believe that we are especially gifted in some respect, or think that we do not need to change or need to be dealt with in some respect, we should strive to reflect on and know ourselves better in that respect; this is crucial. This is because you certainly have not unearthed, paid attention to, or dissected the aspects of yourself which you believe to be good, in order to see whether or not they actually contain anything that resists God. For example, there are people who believe themselves to be extremely kind-hearted. They never hate or harm others, and they always lend a hand to a brother or sister whose family is in need, lest their problem go unsolved; they have great goodwill, and do everything in their power to help everyone they can. What is the result of such helpfulness? They put their own lives on hold, yet are quite pleased with themselves, and extremely satisfied with all they have done. What is more, they take great pride in it, believing all they have done is surely enough to satisfy God’s will, and that they are true believers in God. They see their natural kindness as something to be capitalized on, and, as soon as they regard it as such, they come inevitably to see it as the truth. In reality, all they do is human good. They have not sought the truth in the least, and all their acts are in vain, for they do them in front of man, and not before God, and less still do they practice according to God’s requirements and the truth. None of the things they do is the practice of the truth, and none is the practice of God’s words, much less are they following His will; rather, they use human kindness and good behavior to help others. In summary, they do not seek God’s will in what they do, nor do they act in accordance with His requirements. Therefore, from God’s vantage, the good behavior of man is condemned, and does not merit His remembrance.
Excerpted from “Only by Recognizing Your Misguided Views Can You Know Yourself” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 565
The key to achieving a change in disposition is to know one’s own nature, and this must happen in accordance with revelations from God. Only in God’s word can one know one’s own hideous nature, recognize in one’s own nature Satan’s various poisons, realize that one is foolish and ignorant, and recognize the weak and negative elements in one’s nature. After these are fully known, and you are truly able to hate yourself and forsake the flesh, consistently carry out God’s word, and have the will to absolutely submit to the Holy Spirit and to the word of God, then you will have embarked on the path of Peter. Without the grace of God, and without enlightenment and guidance from the Holy Spirit, it would be difficult to walk this path, because people do not possess truth and are unable to betray themselves. Walking Peter’s path of perfection primarily rests on being resolved, having faith, and relying on God. Furthermore, one must submit to the work of the Holy Spirit; in all things, one cannot do without God’s words. These are the key aspects, none of which can be violated. Getting to know oneself through experience is very difficult; without the work of the Holy Spirit, it is very hard to enter it. To walk the path of Peter, one must concentrate on knowing oneself and on transforming one’s disposition. Paul’s path was not one of seeking life or focusing on self-knowledge; he particularly focused on doing work and its influence and momentum. His motivation was to gain God’s blessings in exchange for his work and suffering, and to receive rewards from God. This motivation was wrong. Paul did not focus on life, nor did he place any importance on achieving a change of disposition; he focused only on rewards. Because he had the wrong goals, the path on which he walked was, of course, also wrong. This was brought about by his arrogant and conceited nature. Clearly, Paul did not possess any truth, nor did he have any conscience or reason. In saving and changing people, God primarily alters their dispositions. The purpose of His words is to achieve in people the outcome of possessing transformed dispositions and the ability to know God, submit to Him, and worship Him in a normal way. This is the purpose of God’s words and of His work. Paul’s way of seeking was in direct violation of, and in conflict with, God’s will; it ran completely counter to it. However, Peter’s way of seeking was completely in accord with God’s will, which is precisely the outcome that God desires to achieve in human beings. Peter’s path is therefore blessed and receives God’s praise. Because the path of Paul is in violation of God’s will, God therefore loathes and curses it. To walk the path of Peter, one must know God’s will. If one is truly able to fully understand His will through His words—which means understanding what God wants to make of man and, ultimately, what outcome He desires to achieve—only then is one able to have an accurate understanding of which path to follow. If you do not fully understand Peter’s path, and merely have a desire to follow it, then you will not be able to embark upon it. In other words, you might know a lot of doctrines, but will ultimately not be able to enter reality. Though you might make a superficial entry, you will be unable to achieve any real outcome.
Excerpted from “To Know Oneself Is Primarily About Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 566
Nowadays, most people have a very superficial understanding of themselves. They have not come to clearly know the things that are part of their nature at all. They only have knowledge of a few of their corrupt states, the things they are likely to do, or a few of their shortcomings, and this makes them believe that they know themselves. If, furthermore, they abide by a few rules, ensure that they do not make mistakes in certain areas, and manage to avoid committing certain transgressions, they then consider themselves to possess reality in their belief in God and assume that they will be saved. This is completely human imagination. If you abide by those things, will you really become able to refrain from committing any transgressions? Will you have attained a true change in disposition? Will you really be living out the likeness of a human being? Can you genuinely satisfy God that way? Absolutely not, this is for sure. Belief in God works only when one has high standards and has attained the truth and some transformation in one’s life disposition. So, if people’s knowledge of themselves is too shallow, they will find it impossible to solve problems, and their life dispositions simply will not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a profound level, which means knowing one’s own nature: what elements are included in that nature, how these things originated, and where they came from. Moreover, are you actually able to hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If you are truly able to see the truth about yourself, then you will start to loathe yourself. When you loathe yourself and then practice God’s word, you will be able to forsake the flesh and have the strength to carry out truth without difficulty. Why do many people follow their fleshly preferences? Because they consider themselves to be pretty good, feeling that their actions are right and justified, that they have no faults, and even that they are entirely in the right, they are therefore capable of acting with the assumption that justice is on their side. When one recognizes what one’s true nature is—how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful—then one is not overly proud of oneself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with oneself as before. Such a person feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, then I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” One then truly sees oneself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time, it becomes easy for one to carry out truth, and one will appear to be somewhat like a human should be. Only when people truly loathe themselves are they able to forsake the flesh. If they do not loathe themselves, they will be unable to forsake the flesh. Truly hating oneself comprises a few things: First, knowing one’s own nature; and second, seeing oneself as needy and pitiful, seeing oneself to be extremely small and insignificant, and seeing one’s own pitiful and dirty soul. When one fully sees what one truly is, and this outcome is achieved, one then truly gains knowledge of oneself, and it can be said that one has come to know oneself fully. Only then can one truly hate oneself, going so far as to curse oneself, and truly feel that one has been corrupted profoundly by Satan such that one does not even resemble a human being. Then, one day, when the threat of death appears, such a person will think, “This is God’s righteous punishment. God is indeed righteous; I really should die!” At this point, he will not lodge a complaint, much less blame God, simply feeling that he is so needy and pitiful, so filthy and corrupt that he should be wiped out by God, and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth. At this point, this person will not resist God, much less betray God. If one does not know oneself, and still considers oneself to be pretty good, then when death comes knocking, this person will think, “I have done so well in my faith. How hard I have sought! I have given so much, I have suffered so much, yet ultimately, God is now asking me to die. I don’t know where God’s righteousness is. Why is He asking me to die? If even a person like me has to die, then who will be saved? Won’t the human race come to an end?” First of all, this person has notions about God. Secondly, this person is complaining, and not showing any submission whatsoever. This is just like Paul: When he was about to die, he did not know himself, and by the time God’s punishment was nigh, it was too late to repent.
Excerpted from “To Know Oneself Is Primarily About Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 567
In summary, taking Peter’s path in one’s faith means to walk the path of pursuing the truth, which is also the path of truly getting to know oneself and changing one’s disposition. Only by walking the path of Peter will one be on the path of being perfected by God. One must be clear on how, exactly, to walk Peter’s path, as well as how to put it into practice. First, one must put aside one’s own intentions, improper pursuits, and even family and all things of one’s own flesh. One must be wholeheartedly devoted; that is, one must completely devote oneself to the word of God, focus on eating and drinking of God’s words, concentrate on the search for the truth and the search for God’s intentions in His words, and try to grasp God’s will in everything. This is the most fundamental and vital method of practice. This was what Peter did after seeing Jesus, and it is only by practicing in this way that one can achieve the best results. Wholehearted devotion to the words of God primarily involves seeking the truth, seeking God’s intentions within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from God’s words. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines, much less was he focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he concentrated on comprehending the truth and grasping God’s will, as well as achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. Peter also attempted to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, as well as man’s corrupt nature and actual shortcoming, thus meeting all aspects of God’s requirements of man in order to satisfy Him. Peter had so many correct practices that abided by the words of God; this was most in line with God’s will, and it was the best way a person could cooperate while experiencing God’s work. When experiencing the hundreds of trials from God, Peter examined himself strictly against every word of God’s judgment of man, every word of God’s revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and strived to fathom the meaning of those words. He tried in earnest to ponder and memorize every word that Jesus said to him, and achieved very good results. Through this manner of practicing, he was able to achieve an understanding of himself from God’s words, and he not only came to understand the various corrupt states of man, but also came to understand man’s essence, nature, and various shortcomings. This is what it means to truly understand oneself. From God’s words, Peter not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but from the things expressed in God’s words—God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, God’s will for His work, His demands of mankind—from these words he came to know God completely. He came to know God’s disposition, and His essence; he came to know and understand what God has and is, as well as God’s loveliness and God’s demands for man. Although God did not speak back then as much as He does today, results in these aspects were nevertheless achieved in Peter. This was a rare and precious thing. Peter went through hundreds of trials, but did not suffer in vain. He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. In addition, he particularly focused on God’s requirements of mankind within His words. In whichever aspects man should satisfy God to be in line with God’s will, Peter was able to put forth great effort in these aspects and achieve full clarity; this was extremely beneficial with regard to his own entry. No matter what God spoke of, as long as those words could become his life and they belonged to the truth, Peter was able to carve them into his heart to ponder and appreciate them frequently. After hearing the words of Jesus, he was able to take them to heart, which shows that he was especially focused on God’s words, and he truly achieved results in the end. That is, he was able to freely put the words of God into practice, accurately practice the truth and be in line with God’s will, act entirely in accordance with God’s intention, and give up his own personal opinions and imaginations. In this way, Peter entered into the reality of God’s words. Peter’s service came in line with God’s will primarily because he had done this.
If one can satisfy God while fulfilling one’s duty, is principled in one’s words and actions, and can enter the reality of all aspects of the truth, then one is a person who becomes perfected by God. It can be said that the work and the words of God have been completely effective for such people, that God’s words have become their life, they have obtained the truth, and they are able to live in accordance with God’s words. After this, the nature of their flesh—that is, the very foundation of their original existence—will shake apart and collapse. After people possess God’s words as their life, they will become new people. If the words of God become their life, if the vision of God’s work, His requirements of humanity, His revelations to humans, and the standards for a true life that God requires them to meet become their life, if they live according to these words and truths, then they are perfected by the words of God. Such people are reborn, and have become new people through God’s words. This is the path by which Peter pursued the truth; it was the path of being perfected, perfected by God’s words, and gaining life from the words of God. The truth expressed by God became his life, and only then did he become a person who obtained the truth.
Excerpted from “How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 568
Until people have experienced God’s work and gained the truth, it is Satan’s nature that takes charge and dominates them from within. What, specifically, does that nature entail? For example, why are you selfish? Why do you protect your own position? Why are your emotions so strong? Why do you like those unrighteous things? Why do you like those evils? What is the basis for your liking such things? Where do these things come from? Why are you so happy to accept them? By now, you all have come to understand that the main reason behind all these things is that they contain Satan’s poison. As for what Satan’s poison is, it can be fully expressed with words. For example, if you ask some evildoers why they act that way, they will answer, “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” This single phrase expresses the very root of the problem. The logic of Satan has become people’s lives. They may do things for this purpose or that, but they are only doing it for themselves. People all think that since it is every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost, they should live for their own sakes, doing everything in their power to secure a good position and what food and clothing they need. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost”—this is the life and the philosophy of man, and it also represents human nature. This statement is precisely Satan’s poison, and when internalized by people, it becomes their nature. Satan’s nature is exposed through these words; they completely represent it. This poison becomes people’s lives as well as the foundation of their existence, and corrupted humanity has been consistently dominated by this poison for thousands of years. Everything Satan does is for itself. It wishes to surpass God, break free of Him, and wield power itself, and to possess all of the things that God has created. Therefore, man’s nature is Satan’s nature. Actually, a lot of people’s mottos can represent and reflect their nature. No matter how people try to disguise themselves, in everything they do and in everything they say, they cannot hide their nature. There are some who never speak the truth and are good at pretending, but once others have interacted with them for a while, their deceitful nature and their utter dishonesty will be found out. In the end, others will come to a certain conclusion: These people never speak a word of truth, and are deceitful people. This statement speaks to their nature; it is the best illustration and evidence of their nature and essence. Their philosophy for living is to not tell anyone the truth, and also to not believe anyone. Man’s satanic nature contains a great deal of philosophy. Sometimes you yourself are not even aware of that and do not understand it, yet every moment of your life is based on it. Moreover, you think that this philosophy is quite correct, reasonable, and not mistaken. This is sufficient to illustrate that Satan’s philosophy has become the nature of people, and they are living in complete accordance with Satan’s philosophy, and do not rebel against it in the slightest. Therefore, they are constantly revealing a satanic nature, and in all regards, they constantly live by satanic philosophy. Satan’s nature is man’s life.
Excerpted from “How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 569
People have an overly superficial understanding of their own nature, and there is a huge discrepancy between this and God’s words of judgment and revelation. This is not a mistake in what God reveals, but rather is humans’ lack of profound understanding of their own nature. People do not have a fundamental or substantive understanding of themselves; instead, they focus on and devote their energy to their actions and outward expressions. Even if someone occasionally said something about understanding himself, it would not be very profound. No one has ever thought that he is this type of person or has this type of nature due to having done this type of thing or having revealed something. God has revealed the nature and substance of humanity, but humans understand that their way of doing things and their way of speaking are flawed and defective; therefore, it is a strenuous task for people to put truth into practice. People think that their mistakes are merely momentary manifestations that are revealed carelessly rather than being revelations of their nature. People that regard themselves this way do not put the truth into practice, because they are not able to accept truth as truth and do not thirst after truth; therefore, when putting truth into practice, they only perfunctorily follow the rules. People do not view their own nature as being too corrupt, and believe that they are not so bad that they should be destroyed or punished. They think that it is not a big deal to lie occasionally, and consider themselves to be much better than they were in the past; in fact, however, they are nowhere close to being up to standard, because people only have some actions that do not outwardly violate truth, when they are not actually putting truth into practice.
Changes in a person’s behavior or conduct do not imply a change in their nature. The reason this is the case is that one’s conduct cannot fundamentally alter their original appearance, nor can it alter their nature. Only after one has come to know their own nature can their practice become profound and something other than adherence to a set of rules. Man’s current practice of the truth is still not up to standard, and cannot achieve fully all the truth requires. People practice only a portion of the truth, and only when they are in certain states and circumstances; they cannot put the truth into practice in all circumstances and all situations. When, on occasion, a person is happy and their state is good, or when they are fellowshiping with the group, and feel more liberated than usual, they may temporarily be able to do some things that accord with the truth; yet when they are in the company of negative people and those who do not pursue the truth, their practice is poorer, and their actions are somewhat inappropriate. This is because people practice the truth without an attitude of perseverance, but instead put it into practice guided by the fleeting influences of emotion or circumstance. It is also because you have not understood your state, nor have you understood your nature, so, at times, you are yet capable of doing things you cannot imagine yourself doing. You only know some of your states, but, as you have not understood your nature, you cannot control what you might do in the future—that is, you have no absolute certainty you will stand firm. There are times when you are in a state and you can put the truth into practice, and you seem to evince some change, yet, in a different environment, you are incapable of putting it into practice. This is out of your control. Sometimes you can practice the truth, and sometimes you cannot. One moment, you understand, and the next, you are confused. Currently, you are doing nothing bad, but perhaps you will in a little while. This proves that corrupt things still exist inside you, and, if you are incapable of true self-knowledge, they will not be easy to resolve. If you cannot attain a thorough understanding of your own corrupt disposition, and are ultimately capable of things that resist God, then you are in danger. If you can attain penetrating insight into your nature and hate it, then you will be able to control yourself, forsake yourself, and put the truth into practice.
Excerpted from “Understanding One’s Nature and Putting the Truth Into Practice” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 570
The purpose of clear fellowship about the truth is to enable people to practice the truth and to change their dispositions; it is not merely to make them understand it. If you understand the truth but do not put it into practice, then fellowshiping about it and your understanding of it will not have any meaning anymore. If you understand the truth but do not put it into practice, you will lose the opportunity to gain it, as well as any chance to be saved. If you have put the truth you understand into practice, then you will gain even more, deeper truths; you will attain God’s salvation, as well as the enlightenment, illumination, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Many are only able to complain that the Holy Spirit never enlightens them, without realizing that they are essentially not putting the truth into practice. Therefore, their conditions will never achieve normality, nor will they ever understand God’s will.
Some people say that practicing the truth cannot solve their problems. Others believe that the truth cannot completely resolve a person’s corrupt disposition. The fact is that people’s problems can all be solved; the key is whether or not they can act in accordance with the truth. The faults that currently plague you are not cancer or incurable diseases. If you can put the truth into practice, then those faults can all be changed, depending on whether you can act in accordance with the truth. If you are walking the path of pursuing the truth, then you are bound to be successful; if, however, you are on the wrong path, then you are done for. For example, some people do their work without ever giving thought to how they could do things in a way that benefits the work of God’s house or whether their methods of doing things conform to God’s will; as a result, they do many things that He despises. If they were to act in line with the truth in everything they did, would they then not be someone who is after God’s heart? Some people know the truth but do not put it into practice, believing that the truth is merely this one thing and nothing more. They believe it cannot purge their own will and resolve their corruption. Is this sort of person not ridiculous? Are such people not absurd? Do they not fancy themselves clever? If people act according to the truth, their corrupt dispositions will be transformed; if, however, they base their faith and service to God on their natural personalities, then none of them will succeed in transforming their dispositions. Some people get caught up in their own concerns all day long, while failing to investigate or practice the truth that is readily available. This way of practicing is very absurd; such people are inherent sufferers, in that they have blessings but do not enjoy them! The path forward is there; all it takes is for you to practice it. If you are resolved to put the truth into practice, then your weaknesses and fatal flaws can be transformed. However, you should always be cautious and prudent and suffer more hardships. Having faith requires prudence. Can you believe in God properly if you adopt such a casual manner?
Excerpted from “Those Who Love the Truth Have a Path Forward” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 571
If from God’s words you do not understand God’s will and the intentions behind His utterances, if you do not understand the aims and results that His words intend to achieve, if you do not understand what His words seek to accomplish and perfect in man, if you do not understand these things, then it proves that you do not yet comprehend the truth. Why does God say what He says? Why does He speak in that tone? Why is He so earnest and sincere in every word He speaks? Why does He choose to use certain words? Do you know? If you cannot say for sure, it means you do not understand God’s will or His intentions, you do not understand the context behind His words. If you do not comprehend this, then how can you gain the truth? Gaining the truth means understanding His will through every word that He says; it means putting God’s words into practice once you have understood them, and allowing God’s words to be lived out by you and become your reality. Only when you have a thorough understanding of the word of God can you really grasp the truth. After merely coming to understand a few letters and doctrines, you think you understand the truth and possess reality. You even say, “God wants us to be honest and we have practiced it.” However, you fail to understand the reason God wants people to be honest, as well as why He wants people to love Him. Actually, God’s purpose in having such requirements of people is to bring about their salvation and perfection.
God expresses the truth for people who thirst for the truth, seek the truth, and love the truth. As for those who concern themselves with letters and doctrines and like to give lengthy, pompous speeches, they will never gain the truth; they are fooling themselves. Such people have an incorrect view of reading God’s words; they twist their necks to read that which is upright—their perspective is all wrong. Some people only know to research the words of God, studying what He says about being blessed and about man’s destination. If God’s words do not fit their notions, they become negative and halt their pursuit. This shows that they are not interested in the truth. As a result, they do not take the truth seriously; they are only capable of accepting the truth of their notions and imagination. Although such people are fervent in their belief in God and try every way they can to do some good deeds and present themselves well to others, they are only doing it in order to have a good destination in the future. Despite the fact that they also engage in church life, eating and drinking of God’s words along with everyone else, they have difficulty in entering the reality of the truth and gaining the truth. There are still others who eat and drink of the words of God, but who merely go through the motions; they think they have gained the truth simply by having come to understand a few letters and doctrines. What fools they are! The word of God is the truth. However, you will not necessarily understand and gain the truth after you read God’s words. If you fail to gain the truth through eating and drinking the words of God, then what you gain will be letters and doctrines. You do not know what it means to gain the truth. You may hold the words of God in the palm of your hand, but after reading them you still fail to understand God’s will, you only acquire some letters and doctrines. First of all, you should realize that the word of God is not so straightforward; the word of God is utterly profound. Without many years of experience, how could you possibly understand the word of God? Even one sentence of God’s words will require your lifetime to fully experience. You read the words of God, but you do not understand God’s will; you do not understand the intentions of His words, their origin, the effect they seek to achieve, or what they seek to accomplish. If you understand none of these things, then how can you understand the truth? You may have read God’s words many times and perhaps you can recite many passages by heart, but you still have not changed at all, nor have you made any progress. Your relationship with God is just as distant and estranged as ever. There are still barriers between you and God, as before, and you still remain doubtful toward Him. Not only do you not understand God, but you give excuses to Him and harbor notions about Him. You resist Him and even blaspheme Him. How could this mean you have gained the truth?
Excerpted from “Only Those With the Reality of the Truth Can Lead” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 572
All the things that arise each day, big or small, that can shake your resolution, occupy your heart, or restrict your ability to do your duty and your forward progress require diligent treatment; they should be examined carefully and their truth sought. These are all things that happen within the realm of experience. Some people quit their duties when negativity befalls them, and are unable to crawl back to their feet after each setback. All these people are fools who do not love the truth, and they would not gain it with even a lifetime of faith. How could such fools follow to the end? If the same thing happens to you ten times, but you gain nothing from it, then you are a mediocre, useless person. Astute people and those of true caliber who understand spiritual matters are seekers of the truth; should something happen to them ten times, then, in perhaps eight of those cases, they would be able to gain some inspiration, learn some lesson, attain some enlightenment, and make some progress. When things befall a fool ten times—one who does not understand spiritual matters—not once will it benefit their life, not once will it change them, and not once will it cause them to understand their nature, and that’s the end for them. Each time something happens to them, they fall down, and each time they fall down, they need someone else to support them and coax them; without support and coaxing, they cannot rise. If, each time something happens, they are in danger of falling, and if, each time, they are in danger of being degraded, is this not the end for them? Are there any other grounds for such useless people to be saved? God’s salvation of mankind is a salvation of those who love the truth, a salvation of the part of them with will and resolve, and the part of them that is their yearning for truth and righteousness in their heart. A person’s resolve is the part of them in their heart that yearns for righteousness, goodness, and truth, and is possessed of conscience. God saves this part of people, and through it, He changes their corrupt disposition, so that they may understand and gain the truth, so that their corruption may be cleansed, and their life disposition may be transformed. If you do not have these things within you, you cannot be saved. If, within you, there is no love for the truth or aspiration for righteousness and light; if, whenever you encounter evil, you have neither the will to cast off evil things nor the resolve to suffer hardship; if, moreover, your conscience is numb; if your faculty for receiving truth is also benumbed, and you are unattuned to the truth and to events that arise; and if you are undiscerning in all matters, and unable to handle or resolve things on your own, then there is no way to be saved. Such a person has nothing to recommend them, nothing worth working on. Their conscience is numb, their mind is muddied, and they do not love the truth, nor yearn for righteousness deep in their heart, and, no matter how clearly or transparently God speaks of the truth, they do not respond, as if they were already dead. Aren’t things over for them? A person with a breath left in them may be saved by artificial respiration, but, if they have already died and their soul has left, artificial respiration will do nothing. If, whenever you encounter a problem, you shrink from it and try to avoid it, this means you have not borne witness; as such, you can never be saved, and you are completely done for. When an issue befalls you, you must have a cool head and a correct approach, and you must make a choice. You should learn to use the truth to resolve the issue. At normal times, what is the use of understanding some truths? It is not to fill your belly, and it is not merely to give you something to say, nor is it to resolve the problems of others. More importantly, its use is to resolve your own problems, your own difficulties—only after you resolve your own difficulties can you resolve the difficulties of others. Why is it said that Peter is a fruit? Because there are things of worth in him, things worth perfecting; he was resolved to seek the truth and was firm of will; he had reason, was willing to suffer hardship, and loved the truth in his heart, and he did not let go of what came to pass. These are all strong points. If you have none of these strong points, it means trouble. You are incapable of experience and have none, and you cannot resolve the difficulties of others. This is because you do not know how to enter. You are confused when things befall you; you feel distressed, weep, become negative, run away, and, no matter what you do, you are unable to handle them correctly.
Excerpted from “Confused People Cannot Be Saved” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 573
No matter what you do, you should first understand why you are doing it, what intention it is that directs you to do this thing, what the significance is in your doing it, what the nature of the matter is, and whether what you are doing is a positive thing or a negative thing. You must have a clear understanding of all these matters; this is quite necessary to be able to act with principle. If you are doing something to fulfill your duty, then you should ponder: How should I do this? How should I fulfill my duty well so that I am not just doing it perfunctorily? You should draw close to God in this matter. Drawing close to God means seeking the truth in this matter, seeking the way to practice, seeking the will of God, and seeking how to satisfy God. This is how to draw close to God in everything you do. It does not involve performing a religious ceremony or an outward action. It is done for the purpose of practicing in accordance with the truth after seeking God’s will. If you always say “Thank God” when you have not done anything, but then when you are doing something, you continue to do it the way you want, then this type of thanks is just an outward action. When fulfilling your duty or working on something, you should always think: How should I fulfill this duty? What is God’s will? It is for you to draw close to God through what you do, and, in doing so, to seek the principles and truth behind your actions as well as God’s will, and not stray from God in anything that you do. Only such a person truly believes in God. These days, whenever people come across things, regardless of what the actual situation is, they think they can do this and that, so they do not have God in their hearts, and they do it according to their own will. Regardless of whether their course of action is suitable or not, or whether it is in accordance with the truth or not, they just stubbornly press on, and act according to their personal intentions. It might usually seem that God is in their hearts, but when they do things, God is not in their hearts. Some people say, “I can’t draw close to God in the things I do. In the past, I was accustomed to performing religious ceremonies, and I tried to draw close to God, but it was to no effect. I could not draw near to Him.” Such people do not have God in their hearts; they only have themselves in their hearts, and they simply cannot put truth into practice in anything they do. Not acting in accordance with truth means doing things according to their own will, and doing things according to their own will means leaving God; that is, they do not have God in their hearts. Human ideas usually look good and right to people, and they appear as though they would not violate the truth very much. People feel that doing things in such a manner would be putting truth into practice; they feel that doing things that way would be submitting to God. Actually, they are not truly seeking God or praying to God about it, and they are not striving to do it well, in accordance with God’s requirements, in order to satisfy His will. They do not possess this true state, nor do they have such a desire. This is the greatest mistake people make in their practice. You believe in God, but you do not keep God in your heart. How is this not a sin? Are you not deceiving yourself? What sort of effects can you reap if you keep believing that way? Moreover, how can the significance of belief be manifested?
Excerpted from “Seeking God’s Will Is for the Sake of Practicing the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 574
When you did a certain thing, God was very dissatisfied. When you were about to do that thing, did you pray to Him? Did you ever ponder, “How would this matter be viewed by God if it were brought before Him? Would He be happy or irritated if He knew about it? Would He detest it?” You did not seek it out, did you? Even if others reminded you, you would still think that the matter was no big deal, and that it did not run against any principles and was not a sin. As a result, this thing you did offended God’s disposition and provoked Him to great anger, even to the point of His despising you. If you had sought and examined, and seen the matter clearly before acting, would you then not have gotten a handle over it? Even though sometimes people are not in a good state, if they solemnly take everything they are planning on doing before God for investigation and seeking, they will not make any major mistakes. When practicing the truth, it is hard for people to avoid making mistakes, but if you know how to do things in accordance with the truth when you do them, yet you do not carry them out in accordance with truth, then the problem is that you have no love for the truth. The disposition of a person without love for the truth will not be changed. If you cannot accurately grasp God’s will, and do not know how to practice, then you should fellowship with others. If no one feels like they can see the matter clearly, then you should carry out the most reasonable solution. However, if you ultimately discover that in carrying it out this way you have made a slight error, then you should quickly correct it, and then God will not count this error as a sin. Because you had the right intentions when putting this matter into practice, and you were practicing in accordance with the truth and simply did not see it clearly, and your actions resulted in some errors, then this was an extenuating circumstance. However, nowadays many people merely rely on their own two hands to work and on their own minds to do this and that, and they seldom give any consideration to these questions: Does practicing this way conform to God’s will? Would God be happy if I did it this way? Would God trust me if I did it this way? Would I be putting the truth into practice if I did it this way? If God hears of this matter, would He be able to say, “You have done this correctly and suitably. Keep it up”? Are you able to carefully examine every matter you encounter? Can you be serious and meticulous about each of them? Or are you able to ponder whether God despises the way you are doing it, how everyone else feels about your methods, and whether you are doing it based on your own will or to satisfy your own desires…? You have to put more thought into it and seek more, and your mistakes will become smaller and smaller. Doing things in this manner will prove that you are a person who genuinely seeks the truth and that you are one who reveres God, because you are doing things in accordance with the direction that the truth requires.
If a believer’s actions are out of touch with the truth, then he is the same as an unbeliever. This is the type of person who does not have God in his heart, and who leaves God, and such a person is like a hired worker in God’s family who does some odd jobs for his master, receives a little compensation, and then leaves. This is simply not a person who believes in God. Previously, there was mention of what you can do to gain God’s approval. Approval from God is the first thing you should think about and work for; it should be the principle and scope of your practice. The reason you should determine whether what you are doing is in line with the truth is that if it is in line with the truth, then it certainly conforms with God’s will. It is not that you should measure whether the matter is right or wrong, or if it accords with everyone else’s tastes, or if it is in line with your own desires; rather, you should determine whether it is in accordance with the truth, and whether or not it benefits the work and interests of the church. If you give consideration to these things, then you will be more and more in line with God’s will when you do things. If you do not consider these aspects, and merely rely on your own will when doing things, then you are guaranteed to do them incorrectly, because the will of man is not the truth and, of course, is incompatible with God. If you wish to be approved by God, then you must practice according to the truth rather than according to your own will. Some people engage in certain private matters in the name of fulfilling their duties. Their brothers and sisters then see this as inappropriate, and reproach them for it, but these people do not accept the blame. They think that because it was a personal matter that did not involve the church’s work, finances, or people, it therefore does not count as violating the scope of the truth, and God should not interfere in this matter. Some things might seem to you to be private matters that do not involve any principle or truth. However, looking at the thing you did, you were being very selfish in that you gave no consideration to the work of God’s family or how what you did would affect it; you were only considering your own benefit. This already involves the propriety of the saints, as well as issues to do with a person’s humanity. Even though what you were doing did not involve the interests of the church, nor did it involve the truth, engaging in a private matter while claiming to be performing your duty is not in line with the truth. Regardless of what you are doing, how big or small a matter is, and whether you are doing it to fulfill your duty in God’s family or for your own private reasons, you must consider whether what you are doing conforms with God’s will, as well as whether it is something that a person with humanity should do. If you seek the truth like that in everything you do, then you are a person who truly believes in God. If you devoutly treat every matter and every truth in this way, then you will be able to achieve changes in your disposition. Some people think that when they are doing something personal, they can just ignore the truth, do it as they wish, and do it in whatever way makes them happy and in whatever manner is advantageous to them. They do not give the slightest consideration to how it might affect God’s family, nor do they consider whether or not what they are doing befits saintly propriety. Finally, once they are finished with the matter, they grow dark inside and feel uncomfortable, though they do not know why. Is this retribution not deserved? If you do things that are not approved by God, then you have offended God. If someone does not love the truth, and frequently does things based on their own will, then they will frequently offend God. Such people are ordinarily not approved by God in what they do, and if they do not repent, then punishment will not be very far off.
Excerpted from “Seeking God’s Will Is for the Sake of Practicing the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 575
Any duty you fulfill involves life entry. Whether your duty is regular or erratic, dull or lively, you must always attain life entry. The duties some people perform are rather monotonous; they do the same thing every day. However, when performing them, the states these people reveal are not all that homogenous. Sometimes, when in a good mood, people are a bit more diligent and do a better job. Other times, due to some unknown influence, their corrupt satanic dispositions stir up mischief in them, causing them to have improper views and be in bad states and bad moods; this results in them performing their duties in a perfunctory manner. People’s internal states are constantly changing; they can change at any place and any time. No matter how your state changes, it is always wrong to act based on your mood. Say you do a bit better when you are in a good mood, and a bit worse when you are in a bad mood—is this a principled way of doing things? Can you satisfactorily fulfill your duty this way? No matter what their mood, people must know to pray and adjust themselves before God, and seek the truth and act with principle; only then can they refrain from being controlled and swayed to and fro by their moods. When fulfilling your duty, you should always examine yourself to see if you are doing things according to principle, if your performance of your duty is up to standard, whether or not you are simply doing it in a perfunctory manner, whether you have tried to shirk your responsibilities, and whether there are any problems with your attitude and the way you think. Once you have self-reflected and these things become clear to you, you will have an easier time fulfilling your duty. No matter what you encounter while performing your duty—negativity and weakness, or being in a bad mood after being dealt with—you should treat it properly, and you must also seek the truth and understand God’s will. By doing these things, you will have a path to practice. If you wish to do a good job in fulfilling your duty, then you must not be affected by your mood. No matter how negative or weak you are feeling, you should practice the truth in everything you do, with absolute strictness, and sticking to the principles. If you do this, then not only will other people approve of you, but God will like you, too. As such, you will be a person who is responsible and who shoulders a burden; you will be a genuinely good person who actually fulfills your duties up to standard and who fully lives out the likeness of a genuine person. Such people are purified and achieve real transformation when fulfilling their duties, and they can be said to be honest in God’s eyes. Only honest people can persevere with practicing the truth and succeed in acting with principle, and can fulfill their duties up to standard. People who act with principle fulfill their duties meticulously when they are in a good mood; they do not work in a perfunctory manner, they are not arrogant and they do not show themselves off to make others think highly of them. When they are in a bad mood, however, they complete their everyday tasks just as earnestly and responsibly, and even if they encounter something that is detrimental to the fulfilment of their duties, or that puts a bit of pressure on them or causes a disruption while they do their duties, they are still able to quiet their hearts before God and pray, saying, “No matter how big a problem I come up against—even if the heavens come tumbling down—as long as God allows me to keep on living, I am determined to do my best to fulfill my duty. Every day I am allowed to live is a day I will work hard at performing my duty so that I am worthy of this duty bestowed upon me by God, as well as this breath He has put in my body. Regardless of how much difficulty I might be in, I will set it all aside, for fulfilling my duty is of the utmost importance!” Those who are not affected by any person, event, thing, or environment, who are not controlled by any mood or external situation, and who put their duties and the commissions with which God has entrusted them first and foremost—they are the people who are loyal to God and who genuinely submit to Him. People like this have attained life entry and have entered the reality of the truth. This is one of the most practical and genuine expressions of living out the truth.
Excerpted from “Life Entry Must Begin With the Experience of Performing One’s Duty” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 576
For some people, no matter what issue they might encounter when performing their duties, they do not seek the truth, and they always act according to their own thoughts, notions, imaginings, and desires. They are constantly satisfying their own selfish desires, and their corrupt dispositions are always in control over their actions. Though they may complete the duties to which they have been assigned, they do not gain any truth. So, what are such people relying on when performing their duties? They are relying neither on the truth nor on God. That bit of truth that they do understand has not taken up sovereignty in their hearts; they are relying on their own gifts and abilities, on whatever knowledge that they have acquired, and on their talents, as well as on their own willpower or good intentions, to complete these duties. This is a different sort of nature, is it not? Though you may sometimes rely on your naturalness, imagination, notions, knowledge, and learning to fulfill your duty, no issues of principle emerge in some of the things you do. On the surface, it looks as though you have not taken the wrong path, but there is one thing that cannot be overlooked: During the process of performing your duty, if your notions, imaginings, and personal desires never change and are never replaced with the truth, and if your actions and deeds are never done in accordance with the principles of the truth, then what will the final outcome be? You will become a service-doer. This is precisely what was written in the Bible: “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:22–23). Why does God call these people who exert effort and who render service, “you that work iniquity”? There is one point we can be sure on, and that is that no matter what duties or work these people do, their motivations, impetus, intentions, and thoughts arise entirely from their selfish desires, are totally based on their own ideas and personal interests, and their considerations and plans completely revolve around their reputation, status, vanity, and future prospects. Deep down, they possess no truth, nor do they act in accordance with the principles of the truth. Thus, what is crucial for you to seek now? (We should seek the truth, and perform our duties in accordance with God’s will and requirements.) What specifically should you do when performing your duties in accordance with God’s requirements? With regard to your intentions and ideas when doing something, you must learn how to discern whether or not they accord with the truth, as well as whether your intentions and ideas are geared toward fulfilling your own selfish desires or the interests of God’s house. If your intentions and ideas accord with the truth, then you can do your duty in line with your thinking; however, if they do not accord with the truth, then you must quickly turn around and abandon that path. That path is not right, and you cannot practice that way; if you continue to walk that path, then you will end up committing evil.
Excerpted from “How to Experience God’s Words in One’s Duties” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 577
There is a fundamental principle of the Lord of creation’s treatment of created beings, which is also the highest principle. How He treats created beings is completely based on His management plan and on His requirements; He does not need to consult any single person, nor does He need to get any single person to agree with Him. Whatever He ought to do and however He ought to treat people, He does, and, no matter what He does or how He treats people, it all accords with the principles by which the Lord of creation works. As a created being, the only thing to do is submit; there should not be any other choice. What does this show? It shows that the Lord of creation will always be the Lord of creation; He has the power and the qualifications to orchestrate and rule over any created being as He pleases, and does not need a reason to do so. This is His authority. There is not one among the beings of creation who, insofar as they are created beings, has the power or is qualified to pass judgment on how the Creator should act or on whether what He does is right or wrong, nor is any created being qualified to choose whether they should be ruled over, orchestrated, or disposed of by the Lord of creation. Likewise, not a single created being has the qualifications to choose how they are ruled over and disposed of by the Lord of creation. This is the highest truth. No matter what the Lord of creation has done to His created beings, and no matter how He has done it, the humans He created should do only one thing: Seek, submit, know, and accept this fact put in place by the Lord of creation. The final result will be that the Lord of creation will have accomplished His management plan and completed His work, having caused His management plan to progress without any obstructions; meanwhile, because the created beings have accepted the Creator’s rule and arrangements, and submitted to His rule and arrangements, they will have gained the truth, understood the Creator’s will, and come to know His disposition. There is yet another principle I must tell you: No matter what the Creator does, no matter how He manifests, and no matter whether what He does is a great deed or a small one, He is still the Creator; whereas all mankind, which He created, regardless of what they have done, and regardless of how talented or favored they might be, remain created beings. As for created humanity, no matter how much grace and how many blessings they have received from the Creator, or how much mercy, lovingkindness, or benevolence, they should not believe themselves to stand apart from the masses, or think they can be on equal footing with God and that they have become highly ranked among created beings. Regardless of how many gifts God has bestowed on you, or how much grace He has given you, or how kindly He has treated you, or whether He has given you a few special talents, none of these are your assets. You are a created being, and you will thus forever be a created being. You must never think, “I am a little darling in the hands of God. He would not raise a hand to me. God’s attitude toward me will always be one of love, care, and gentle caresses, with warm whispers of comfort and encouragement.” To the contrary, in the eyes of the Creator, you are the same as all other created beings; God can use you as He wishes, and can also orchestrate you as He wishes, and He can arrange as He wishes for you to play every role among all sorts of people, events, and things. This is the knowledge people should have, and the good sense that they should possess. If one can understand and accept these words, their relationship with God will grow more normal, and they will establish a most legitimate relationship with Him; if one can understand and accept these words, they will orient their station properly, assume their place there, and uphold their duty.
Excerpted from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can One Know God’s Deeds” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 578
Knowing God must be achieved through reading and understanding God’s words. Some say: “I haven’t seen God incarnate, so how could I know God?” In fact, God’s words are an expression of His disposition. From God’s words, you can see His love and salvation for humans, as well as His method for saving them…. This is because His words are expressed by God Himself, not written by humans. They have been personally expressed by God; God Himself is expressing His own words and His inner voice. Why are they called words from the heart? It is because they are issued from deep down, and express His disposition, His will, His thoughts, His love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and His expectations of mankind…. God’s utterances include harsh words, and gentle and considerate words, as well as some revelatory words that are not in line with human wishes. If you look only at the revelatory words, you might feel that God is rather stern. If you look only at the gentle words, you might feel that God is not very authoritative. You therefore should not take them out of context; rather, look at them from every angle. Sometimes God speaks from a gentle and compassionate perspective, and then people see His love for mankind; sometimes He speaks from a very strict perspective, and then people see the disposition of His that will tolerate no offense. Man is deplorably filthy, and is not worthy of seeing God’s face or of coming before Him. That people are now allowed to come before Him is purely by His grace. God’s wisdom can be seen from the way He works and in the significance of His work. People can still see these things in God’s words, even without any direct contact from Him. When someone who genuinely knows God comes into contact with Christ, his encounter with Christ can correspond with his existing knowledge of God; however, when someone who has only a theoretical understanding encounters God, he cannot see the correlation. This aspect of the truth is the most profound of mysteries; it is difficult to fathom. Sum up God’s words on the mystery of the incarnation, look at them from all angles, and then pray together, ponder, and fellowship further on this aspect of the truth. In doing so, you will be able to gain the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and come to understand. Because humans have no chance of having direct contact with God, they must rely on this kind of experience to feel their way through and enter a little bit at a time in order to attain true knowledge of God.
Excerpted from “How to Know God Incarnate” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Daily Words of God Excerpt 579
What does it mean to know God? It means being able to comprehend His joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness; this is knowing God. You claim that you have seen Him, yet you do not understand His joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness and you do not understand His disposition. You also understand neither His righteousness nor His mercifulness, nor do you know what He likes or what He loathes. This is not knowledge of God. Therefore, some people can follow God but are not necessarily capable of truly believing in Him; herein lies the difference. If you know God, understand Him, and are able to comprehend some of His will, then you can truly believe in Him, truly submit to Him, truly love Him, and truly worship Him. If you do not understand these things, then you are just a follower who runs along and goes with the flow. That cannot be called true submission or true worship. How does true worship come about? Without exception, all who genuinely know God worship and revere Him whenever they see Him; they are all compelled to bow down and worship Him. At present, while God incarnate is at work, the more understanding people have of His disposition and of what He has and is, the more they will treasure these things and the more they will revere Him. Generally, the less understanding people have, the more careless they are, and so they treat God as human. If people really knew and saw God, they would tremble with fear. “He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear”—why did John say this? Though deep down he did not have a very profound understanding, he knew that God is awe-inspiring. How many people these days are capable of revering God? If they do not know His disposition, then how can they revere God? People neither know Christ’s essence nor understand God’s disposition, much less are they able to truly worship God. If they see only the ordinary and normal outward appearance of Christ, yet do not know His essence, then it is easy for them to treat Christ as just an ordinary man. They may adopt an irreverent attitude toward Him and can cheat Him, resist Him, disobey Him, and cast judgment on Him. They can be self-righteous and not take His words seriously; they can even give rise to notions, condemnations, and blasphemy against God. To resolve these issues, one must know Christ’s essence and divinity. This is the main aspect of knowing God; it is what everyone who believes in the practical God must enter and achieve.
Excerpted from “How to Know God Incarnate” in Records of Christ’s Talks