Entry Into Life VI
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 aligns with the truth, and whether it has value and meaning. You can do things that align with the truth, but you cannot do things that do not. 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? And yet, 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 an antagonistic 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 find it easy to do things that conform to the truth. You will do your duty and practice the truth normally—even effortlessly and joyously, and you will 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 truths about human life, then you have a path to follow in regard to what kind of person to be, how to be an aboveboard and straightforward person, an honest person, and someone who bears witness for God and serves Him. And once you understand these truths, 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, in your heart, you truly understand the truth, then you will know how to practice the truth and obey God, and will naturally embark on the path of pursuing the truth. If the path you walk is the right one, and in line with God’s will, then the work of the Holy Spirit will not leave you—in which case there will be less and less chance of you betraying God. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil, and you will do it despite yourself. For example, if you have an arrogant and conceited disposition, then being told not to oppose God makes no difference, you can’t help yourself, it is beyond your control. 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; they would make you scorn others, they would leave no one in your heart but yourself; they would rob you of God’s place in your heart, and ultimately cause you to sit in the place of God and demand that people submit to you, and make you venerate your own thoughts, ideas, and notions as the truth. So much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature! To resolve the problem of doing evil, they must first resolve 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 read the word of God, exalt God, bear witness for God, and, in your heart, you 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. 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 truly know yourself; only once you truly know yourself can you forsake the flesh and thus put the truth into practice, gradually leading you toward obedience to God, and step by step, you will 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 people believe in God but do not pursue the truth, and never focus on practicing the truth, then they could believe for ten or twenty years without experiencing any change. And in the end, they will think that that’s what faith in God is; they will think it is pretty much the same as how they were living in the secular world previously, and that being alive is meaningless. This truly shows that without the truth, life is empty. They may be able to speak some words of doctrine, but they 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 to 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 satisfaction to God, repay God, and feel at ease. 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. It’s not like before, merely relying on imaginings and following rules, and thinking that this is practicing the truth. In fact, relying on imaginings and following rules is very tiring, not understanding the truth and doing things without principles is also very tiring, and blindly doing things without goals is even more tiring. When you understand the truth, you will not be constrained by anyone or anything, and you will truly have freedom and release. You will act in a principled way, and be relaxed and happy, and you will not feel that this takes too much effort or causes too much suffering. If you have this kind of state, you have the truth and humanity, and you are someone whose disposition has changed.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition
Daily Words of God Excerpt 557
In the process of life experience, no matter what happens, you must learn to seek the truth, and ponder the matter thoroughly according to God’s words and the truth. When you know how to do things that are completely in line with God’s will, you will be able to let go of the things that come from your own will. Once you know how to act in accordance with God’s will, you should simply do these things, as if going with the natural flow. Doing things this way feels very relaxed and easy, and this is how people who understand the truth do things. If you can show people that you are truly effective when you perform your duty, and that there are principles to how you do things, that your life disposition has indeed changed, that you have done many good things for God’s chosen ones, then you are someone who understands the truth, and certainly have the image of man; and sure enough, there is an effect when you eat and drink the words of God. Once someone genuinely understands the truth, they will be able to discern their various states, they will be able to see complex matters clearly, and so they will know how to practice appropriately. If a person does not understand the truth and cannot discern their own state, then if they want to forsake themselves, they will not know what or how to forsake. If they want to abandon their own will, they will not know what is wrong with their own will, they will think their own will is in line with the truth, and may even regard their own will as the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. How will such a person abandon their own will? They won’t be able to, and much less will they be able to forsake the flesh. Therefore, when you don’t understand the truth, you can easily mistake things that come from your own will, things that align with human notions, kindness, love, suffering, and paying a price as being correct and in line with the truth. How, then, could you forsake these human things? You don’t understand the truth, and you don’t know what it means to practice the truth. You are completely in the dark and you can’t possibly know what to do, so you can only do what you think is good, and as a result, you make deviations in some things. Some of these are because of following rules, some because of enthusiasm, and some because of the disruption of Satan. This is how people who don’t understand the truth are. They are highly erratic when they do things, and unfailingly deviant, without any accuracy at all. People who don’t understand the truth see things in an absurd way, just like the unbelievers. How could they possibly practice the truth? How could they possibly solve problems? Understanding the truth is not a simple matter. No matter how high or low one’s caliber is, even after a lifetime of experience, the amount of truth that they can understand is limited, and the amount of God’s word they can understand is also limited. People who are relatively more experienced are people who understand some truths, and at most they can stop doing things that resist God, and stop doing obviously evil things. It’s impossible for them to act without the adulteration of their own intentions. Because human beings have normal thinking and their thoughts may not always conform to God’s word, adulteration from their own will is inevitable. What is important is to have discernment of all the things that come from one’s own will and go against God’s word, the truth, and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. This requires you to work hard to understand God’s word; only when you understand the truth will you have discernment, and only then can you ensure that you will not do evil.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition
Daily Words of God Excerpt 558
To know yourself, you must know your own expressions of corruption, your corrupt disposition, your own vital weaknesses, 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 aspects you must come to know yourself. Of course, 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 accepting the judgment of God’s words, don’t be afraid of suffering or pain, and moreover, don’t be afraid that God’s words will pierce your hearts and expose your ugly state. It is beneficial to suffer these things. If you believe in God, you should read more of God’s words judging and chastising people, especially those that reveal the essence of humankind’s corruption, you should compare them to your practical state more, and you should apply them to yourself more and others less. The types of states God reveals exist in every person, and they can all be applied to you. If you don’t believe this, try experiencing it. The more you experience, the more you will know yourself, and the more you will feel that God’s words are very accurate. 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 God’s words of revelation are too severe, that they do not conform to reality, so they 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? It is obviously wrong. People all view themselves based on their external behaviors. They are incapable of reflecting upon themselves, and coming to know their corrupt essence, amid the words of God. Here, “sluts” and “whores” refer to the essence of the corruption, filthiness, and promiscuity of mankind. Whether man or woman, married or not married, everyone has corrupt thoughts 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 everything God says is the truth, and in line with fact, and that no matter how severe His words that judge and expose people are, or how gentle the words of fellowshiping the truth or exhorting people are, whether these words are judgment or blessings, whether they are condemnations or curses, whether they give people a bitter feeling or a sweet one, people must accept them all. Such is the attitude people should have toward God’s words. What sort of attitude is this? Is it a devout attitude, a pious attitude, a patient attitude, or an attitude of embracing suffering? You are somewhat confused. I tell you that it is not any of these. In their faith, people must firmly maintain that God’s words are the truth. Since they are indeed the truth, people should accept them rationally. Whether or not they are able to recognize or admit it, their first attitude toward God’s words should be one of absolute acceptance. If God’s word doesn’t expose you, who does it expose? And if it is not in order to expose you, why are you asked to accept it? Isn’t this a contradiction? God speaks to the whole of mankind, every sentence uttered by God exposes corrupt mankind, and no one is exempt—which naturally includes you, too. Not a single one of the lines of God’s utterances is about external appearances, or a kind of state, much less about external rules or a simple form of behavior in people. They are not like that. If you think every line uttered by God is just revealing 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 the truth. People can sense the profundity of God’s words. How are they profound? God’s every word exposes people’s corrupt dispositions, and essential and deep-rooted things within their lives. They are essential things, not external appearances, and particularly not external behaviors. Viewing people from their external appearances, they might all seem to be good people. But 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. So, one must not treat God’s words in light of human notions or imaginings, or in light of human hearsay, and certainly not in light of the ruling party’s statements. God’s words alone are the truth; man’s words are all fallacy. After being fellowshiped to thusly, have you experienced a change in your attitude toward God’s words? No matter how great or small the change, the next time you read God’s words judging and revealing people, you at least should not try to reason with God. You should stop complaining about God, saying, “God’s words of revelation and judgment are really severe; I’m not going to read this page. I’ll just skip over it. Let me search for something to read about blessings and promises, so as to find some comfort.” You should no longer read the word of God by picking and choosing according to your own inclinations. You must accept the truth and the judgment and chastisement of God’s words; only then can your corrupt disposition be cleansed, only then can you attain salvation.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Importance of Pursuing the Truth and the Path of Its Pursuit
Daily Words of God Excerpt 559
How do you understand human nature? Understanding your nature actually means dissecting the things within your soul—the things within your life, and all the logic and philosophies of Satan you have been living by—which is the life of Satan that you have been living by. Only by unearthing the deep-down things within 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. So, in many situations you must self-reflect and come to know yourself. You must dig deep and thoroughly dissect yourself, based in God’s words, in order to see any 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, the types of people you enjoy coming into contact with, and the types of people you admire and 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 very beautiful and luxurious, and they like people, events and things that make others worship them. 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. These things that people like seem especially good to those who do not believe in God, and they are all things that people are especially willing to pursue. … The things that people pursue and yearn for belong to worldly trends, these things are of Satan and the devils, they are detested by God, and devoid of any truth. From the things that people are inclined to yearn for are revealed their nature and essence. People’s preferences can be seen in the way they dress: Some people are willing to wear attention-grabbing, colorful clothing, or bizarre outfits. They will wear accessories no one else has worn before, and they love things that can attract the opposite sex. That they wear these clothes and accessories shows the preference they have for these things in their lives and deep within their hearts. The things they like are not dignified or decent. They are not things a normal person should pursue. In their like of them, there is unrighteousness. Their outlook is precisely the same as that of worldly people. One cannot see any part of this that coheres with the truth. Therefore, 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. Your predilection for worldly things 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: 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, people seek out people of the same type as themselves. 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 is deep within people’s bones, deep within their hearts. Even if a person died, their 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 and evil things, which proves that they do not possess life. Some people are able to overcome the temptations of the flesh and not be occupied and constrained by those things, which proves that they have a little stature and that their dispositions have been transformed a little. 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 a person’s nature and essence easy to understand? Even if someone understands a little bit, they must go through many twists and turns to achieve that understanding, and even with a little bit of understanding, change is not easy. These are all the difficulties people face, and people cannot know themselves without the will to pursue the truth. 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 people’s so-called transformation is just cooperating a little, being able to reluctantly accept pruning and dealing, proactively performing their duties, and having a little bit of enthusiasm and faith, but this cannot be considered dispositional transformation and it does not prove that people have life; it is just people’s preferences and inclinations—nothing more.
To reach an understanding of natures, in addition to unearthing the things people are fond of in their natures, several of the most important 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 frankly, 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 corruption and essence 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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition
Daily Words of God Excerpt 560
How to know one’s nature? What things make up a person’s nature? You only know of man’s shortcomings, defects, intents, notions, negativity, and disobedience, 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 people admit to their deficiencies and negativity, saying, “I understand my nature; you see that I acknowledge my arrogance. Isn’t that knowing my 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? How specifically should one’s nature be perceived from the things one reveals? First of all, you can see man’s nature through their interests. For example, some people particularly adore famous and eminent people, some especially love singers or movie stars, and some particularly like to play games. From these preferences, we can see what the nature of these people is. Here’s a simple example: Some might really idolize a certain singer. To what extent do they idolize them? To the extent that they are obsessed with this singer’s every move, every smile, every word. They fixate on the singer, and even photograph everything this singer wears and imitate it. What issue does this level of idolization toward a person show? It shows that such a person has only those unbeliever things in their heart, and that they do not have the truth, they do not have positive things, and much less do they have God in their heart. 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. Can you say what their essence and nature is? If something is loved to an extreme, then that thing can become someone’s life and occupy their 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. For example, some people especially love to take unfair advantage at the expense of others, and these people seek to fulfill their own interests in everything. Whatever they do must benefit them, or else they will not do it. They do not bother with anything unless it gives them some advantage, and there are ulterior motives behind all their actions. They speak well of anyone who benefits them and exalt anyone who flatters them. Even when their favorites have problems, they will say those people are correct and try hard to cover for and defend them. What nature do such people have? You can completely see their nature clearly from these behaviors. They strive to take unfair advantage through their actions, constantly engaging in transactional behavior in every situation, and you can be certain that their nature is one of wholeheartedly coveting profit. They are out for themselves in everything they do. They will not rise early unless it benefits them to do so; they are the most selfish of people, utterly insatiable. Their nature is demonstrated by their love of profit and lack of any love for the truth. Some men are captivated by women, always fooling around with them wherever they go. Beautiful women are the objects of such people’s affections and hold the highest esteem in their hearts. They are willing to give their lives, and sacrifice everything, for beautiful women; women are what fill their hearts. What is the nature of these men? Their nature is to love beautiful women, and to worship them, and to love evil; they are lechers with an evil, greedy nature. Why do we say this is their nature? Their actions reveal a greedy nature; these behaviors are not merely occasional transgressions, nor are such people only a little worse than ordinary people, rather, they have grown to be completely occupied by these things, which have become their very nature and essence. Thus, these things have become manifestations of their nature. The ingredients of a person’s nature are constantly revealing themselves. Anything a person does, regardless of what it is, can reveal that person’s nature. People have their own motives and purposes for everything they do, and whether it be providing hospitality, preaching the gospel, or any other kind of work, they can reveal the parts of their nature without any consciousness of it, because one’s nature is their life, and people are driven by their natures for as long as they live. The nature of a person is not revealed just on occasion or by happenstance; rather, it can completely represent the person’s essence. Everything that flows from within people’s bones and blood is all representative of their nature and life. Some people love beautiful women. Others love money. Some particularly love status. Some especially value reputation and their personal image. Some particularly love or worship idols. And some people are especially arrogant and conceited, yielding to no one in their hearts and striving for status, they like to stand out from others and have authority over them. There is a variety of different natures, and they can differ among people, but their common elements are resistance to and betrayal of God. In that way they are all identical.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature
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. Some people do not pursue the truth, and instead just go with the flow. They will obey and do whatever you tell them to do, they can forsake and expend, and they can endure any suffering. Such people have a little conscience and reason, and they have a hope of being saved and surviving, but their disposition cannot change, because they do not pursue the truth, and are only satisfied with understanding doctrine. They do not say or do things that violate conscience, they can sincerely perform their duties, and they can accept fellowship on the truth regarding any problem. However, they do not make a serious effort to seek the truth, their minds are confused, and they can never understand the essence of the truth. It is impossible for their dispositions to change. 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—Satan’s poisons—are in your nature, when God’s words reveal these things, you should admit and obey, you can’t make a different choice, and you should know yourself according to God’s words. This means being able to accept God’s words and accept the truth. No matter what He says, no matter how severe His utterances are, 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, they can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of their disposition. Even if people who don’t love the truth have a bit of humanity, can do some good deeds, and can forsake and expend for God, they are confused about the truth and don’t seriously seek the truth, so their life disposition never changes. You can see that Peter had similar humanity to the other disciples, but he stood out in his fervent pursuit of the truth; regardless of what Jesus said, he pondered it 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 the word of God from what Jesus had asked. 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 essence 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, they 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 their 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 understand the truth; without understanding the truth, you cannot discern. You can only see matters clearly when you understand the truth; without understanding the truth, you cannot see matters clearly. You can only know yourself when you understand the truth; without understanding the truth, you cannot know yourself. Your disposition can only change when you have gained the truth; without the truth, your disposition cannot change. Only after you have gained the truth can you serve in accordance with God’s will; without gaining the truth, you cannot serve in accordance with God’s will. Only after you have gained the truth can you worship God; without understanding the truth, even if you worship Him, it will be nothing more than a performance of religious rites. Without the truth, nothing you do is real; by gaining the truth, everything you do is real. All of these things hinge on gaining the truth from God’s words.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature
Daily Words of God Excerpt 562
Coming to a genuine understanding 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—if 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. God never speaks words that are empty. 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 easily fathomed with human way of thinking. People can discover roughly the entire meaning of every aspect of the truths as long as they make an effort; if you do this, then as you experience them, details will be filled in as the Holy Spirit enlightens you. One part is pondering and understanding God’s words and seeking their specific content through reading them. Another part is understanding the meaning of God’s words through experiencing them and obtaining enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Through constant progress in these two aspects, you can come to understand God’s word. If you interpret it on a literal, textual level or from your own thinking and imaginings, then even if you explain it floridly and eloquently, you still don’t really understand the truth, and it is all still based on human thinking and imaginings. It is not gained from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. People are liable to interpret God’s words based on their notions and imaginings, and they may even misinterpret God’s words out of context, making it easy for them to misunderstand and judge God, and this is troublesome. Therefore, the truth is mainly gained through understanding God’s words and being enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Being able to understand and explain the literal, textual meaning does not mean you have gained the truth. If understanding the literal, textual meaning of God’s word meant you understood the truth, then you would only need to have a little education and knowledge, so why would you need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit? Is God’s work something that the human mind can comprehend? Therefore, understanding the truth is not based on human notions or imaginings. You need the enlightenment, illumination, and guidance of the Holy Spirit to have real experience and knowledge. This is the process of understanding and gaining the truth, and it is also a necessary condition.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature
Daily Words of God Excerpt 563
How do you understand man’s nature? The most important thing is to discern 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 “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “Man dies for wealth as birds do for food,” and other such fallacies. All these words spoken by those devil kings, great ones, and philosophers 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 summations 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 devilish words 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 they belong from their life view and values. Satan corrupts people through the education and influence of national governments and of the famous and great. Their devilish words have become man’s life and nature. “Every man 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 traditional culture to educate, deceive, and corrupt 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. Some people have served as public officials in society for decades. Imagine asking them the following question: “You’ve done so well in this capacity, what are the main famous sayings that you live by?” They might say, “The one thing I understand is this: ‘Officials do not make things difficult for those who bear gifts, and those who do not flatter accomplish nothing.’” This is the satanic philosophy their career is based on. Are these words not representative of such people’s nature? Unscrupulously using any means to obtain position has become their nature, officialdom and career success are their goal. There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their conduct and behavior. 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 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 said that man’s nature is corrupt, evil, antagonistic, and in opposition to God, filled by and immersed in the philosophies and poisons of Satan—it has become, entirely, the nature and essence of Satan. This is why people resist God and stand in opposition to God. Man can easily come to know themselves if their nature can be dissected in this way.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature
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 some good things and exhibited some good behaviors, he would be praised and rewarded by God. In the end, his own notions and imaginings blinded his spirit and covered the truth of his corruption. But people were not able to discern this, they had no knowledge of these matters, and so before God had brought this to light, they had always set Paul as a standard to reach for, an example to live by, and regarded him as the one they longed to be like and as the idol of their pursuit. Paul’s case is a warning to every one of God’s chosen people. Especially when we who follow God can suffer and pay the price in our duties and as we serve God, we feel that we are faithful and love God, so at times like this, we should reflect on ourselves and understand ourselves even more concerning the path we are taking, which is very necessary. This is because what you think is good is what you will determine to be correct, and you will not doubt it, reflect on it, or analyze whether there is anything in it 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. Yet they never focus on practicing the truth, and they have no life entry. 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 that in all they have done, there is nothing that went against the truth, and that 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 do so, they come inevitably to see it as the truth. In reality, all they do is human good. They do not practice the truth at all, for they do this in front of man, and not before God, and less still do they practice according to God’s requirements and the truth. Therefore, all their acts are in vain. 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. God does not praise this kind of good behavior of man; to God, it is to be condemned, and does not merit His remembrance.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Recognizing One’s Own Misguided Views Can One Truly Transform
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, consistently pursue the truth while performing your duties, achieve a change in your disposition, and become a person who truly loves 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 futile. 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: He focused on life, and on changes in disposition, which is precisely the outcome that God desires to achieve in human beings with His work. 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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
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 the corrupt states they expose, 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. This first requires dedication to knowing oneself. 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 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 believing it to be strenuous. 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 in practicing 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 loathing oneself is not a simple matter. There are several things that must be found in them: 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 cast out and destroyed by God, and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth. Therefore, this person will not complain against or 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 I have 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 all too late.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 567
To be precise, 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 nature, essence, and actual shortcoming, thus easily meeting God’s requirements 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 and revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and strived to accurately 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 and shortcomings of man, but also came to understand man’s essence and nature. This is what it means to truly understand oneself. From God’s words, Peter not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but saw God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, His will for His work, and His demands of mankind. From these words he truly came to know God. 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 life entry. No matter what God spoke of, as long as those words could become life and are 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 imaginings. 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 is perfected by God. It can be said that the work and the words of God have been completely effective for them, 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 people’s lives, if the vision of God’s work, His revelations and requirements of humanity, and the standards for human life that God requires people to meet become their life, if people 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 is the path of being perfected. He was perfected by God’s words, and gained 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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter
Daily Words of God Excerpt 568
Until people have experienced God’s work and understood 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 do you have such strong emotions? Why do you enjoy those unrighteous things? Why do you like those evils? What is the basis for your fondness for such things? Where do these things come from? Why are you so happy to accept them? By now, you have all come to understand that the main reason behind all these things is that Satan’s poison is within man. So what is Satan’s poison? How can it be expressed? For example, if you ask, “How should people live? What should people live for?” people will answer, “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” This single phrase expresses the very root of the problem. Satan’s philosophy and logic has become people’s lives. No matter what people pursue after, they do it for themselves—and so they live only for themselves. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost”—this is the life philosophy of man, and it also represents human nature. These words have already become the nature of corrupt mankind, the true portrait of corrupt mankind’s satanic nature, and this satanic nature has already become the basis for corrupt mankind’s existence; for several thousand years, corrupt mankind has lived by this venom of Satan, right up to the present day. Everything that Satan does is for the sake of its own appetite, ambitions, and aims; it wishes to surpass God, to break free of God, and to seize control of all things created by God. Today, such is the extent that people have been corrupted by Satan: They all have satanic natures, they all try to deny and oppose God, they want to control their own fates and try to oppose the orchestrations and arrangements of God—their ambitions and appetites are exactly the same as Satan’s. Therefore, man’s nature is Satan’s nature. In fact, many people’s mottos and wise sayings represent human nature and reflect the essence of human corruption. The things that people choose are their own preferences, and they all represent people’s dispositions and pursuits. In every word a person says, and everything they do, no matter how disguised it is, they cannot cover up their nature. For example, the Pharisees usually preached quite nicely, but when they heard the sermons and truths expressed by Jesus, rather than accepting them, they condemned them. This exposes the Pharisees’ nature and essence of being sick of and hating the truth. Some people speak quite prettily and are good at disguising themselves, but after others associate with them for a while, the others find that their nature is deeply cunning and dishonest. After a long time of associating with them, everyone else discovers their essence and nature. In the end, the others draw the following conclusion: They never speak a word of truth, and are deceitful. This statement represents such people’s nature; it is the best illustration and proof of their nature and essence. Their philosophy of life is to not tell anyone the truth, as well as to not trust anyone. Man’s satanic nature contains a great deal of satanic philosophies and poisons. Sometimes you yourself are not even aware of them, and do not understand them; nevertheless, every moment of your life is based on these things. Moreover, you think that these philosophies are quite correct and reasonable, and not at all mistaken. This suffices to show that Satan’s philosophies have become people’s nature, and that they are living in complete accordance with them, thinking this way of living to be good, and without any sense of repentance at all. Therefore, they are constantly revealing their satanic nature, and in all aspects, they continue to live by Satan’s philosophies. Satan’s nature is humanity’s life, and it is humanity’s nature and essence.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter
Daily Words of God Excerpt 569
You are now somewhat able to recognize the corrupt disposition you reveal. Once which corrupt things you are still liable to reveal and what things you are still liable to do that are at odds with the truth become clear to you, cleansing your corrupt disposition will be easy. Why, in many matters, can people not get a hold of themselves? Because at all times, and in every regard, they are being controlled by their corrupt dispositions, which constrain and interfere with them in all things. When they are not in trouble, and have not fallen down or become negative, some people invariably feel themselves to have stature, and think nothing of it when someone wicked, a false leader, or an antichrist, is exposed and cast out. They are even apt to boast to everyone that, “Anyone else could fall down, but not me. Anyone else might not love God, but I do.” They think that they can stand firm in their testimony in any situation or context. And the result? A day comes when they are tested and they whine about God. Is this not failing, is it not falling down? Nothing exposes people more than when they are tested. God surveys man’s innermost heart, and people must not brag at any time. Whatever they brag about, that is where they will sooner or later fall down. Seeing others falling down and failing in a certain context, they think nothing of it, and even think that they themselves can do no wrong, that they will be able to stand firm—but they, too, end up falling down and failing in the same context. How can this be? It is because people do not thoroughly understand their nature and essence; their knowledge of the problems with their own nature and essence is still insufficiently deep, so putting the truth into practice is very strenuous for them. For example, some people are very deceitful, dishonest in word and deed, yet if you ask them in what regard their corrupt disposition is most severe, they will say, “I am a little deceitful.” They will merely say they are a little deceitful, but they do not say that their nature itself is deceit, and they do not say that they are a deceitful person. Their knowledge of their own corrupt state is not that deep, and they do not look at it as something as serious, nor as thoroughly, as others. Others see that this person is so deceitful and so crooked, that there is fraud in their every word, that their words and actions are never honest—but they cannot see so deeply into themselves. Any knowledge they happen to have is merely superficial. Whenever they speak and act, they reveal something in their nature, yet they are unaware of this. They believe that their acting thus is not the revelation of corruption, they think that they have already put the truth into practice—but to people watching, this person is quite treacherous and crafty, their words and actions are very dishonest. That is to say, people have an overly superficial understanding of their own nature, and there is a huge discrepancy between this and God’s words that judge and expose them. 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 essential 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 themselves, it would not be very profound. No one has ever thought that they are a certain type of person or have a certain type of nature due to having done a certain type of thing or having revealed a certain thing. God has revealed the nature and essence 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 the truth into practice. People think that their mistakes are merely momentary manifestations that are revealed carelessly rather than being revelations of their nature. When people think in this way, it is very difficult for them to truly know themselves, and very difficult for them to understand and practice the truth. Because they do not know the truth and do not thirst after the truth, when putting the 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. Yet according to God’s standards, people’s corruption is too deep, they are still far from the standard of salvation, because people only have some actions that do not outwardly violate the truth, whereas in fact do not practice the truth and are not obedient to God.
Changes in a person’s behavior or conduct do not imply a change in their nature. The reason this is the case is that changes in one’s conduct cannot fundamentally alter their original appearance, much less can it alter their nature. Only when people understand the truth, and have knowledge of their own nature and essence and are able to put the truth into practice, can their practice become profound and something other than adherence to a set of rules. The way people practice the truth today 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 can they put a little of the truth into practice; it is not the case that they are able to 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 others and they have a path to practice in their heart, for the time being, they are able to do some things that are in line with the truth. But when they live with people who are negative and who do not pursue the truth, they are influenced by these people, and in their heart they lose the path, and are incapable of practicing the truth. This shows that their stature is too small, that they still do not really understand the truth. There are some individuals who, if they are guided and led by the right people, are able to put the truth into practice; but if they are duped and disturbed by a false leader or an antichrist, not only are they incapable of practicing the truth, but are also liable to be duped into following other people. Such people are still at risk, are they not? People like this, with this kind of stature, could not possibly be able to practice the truth in all matters and contexts. Even if they do practice the truth, it would only be when they are in a good frame of mind, or guided by others; without someone good to lead them, there would be times when they would still be apt to do things that violate the truth, when they would still stray from God’s words. And what is this because of? It is because you only know a few of your states, and have no knowledge of your own nature and essence, and have yet to attain the stature of renouncing the flesh and practicing the truth; as such, you have no control over what you will do in the future, and cannot guarantee that you will be able to stand firm in any situation or test. 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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 570
The aim of fellowshiping the truth clearly is to enable people to understand and practice the truth and achieve changes in their dispositions. It is not simply to bring light and a little happiness to their hearts once they understand the truth. If you understand the truth but do not practice the truth, then there is no point in fellowshiping and understanding the truth. What is the problem when people understand the truth but do not put it into practice? This is proof that they do not love the truth, that in their hearts, they do not accept the truth, in which case they will miss out on God’s blessings and the opportunity for salvation. In whether or not people are able to attain salvation, what’s crucial is whether they are able to accept and practice the truth. If you have put into practice all of the truths you understand, you will receive the enlightenment, illumination and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and will be able to enter the reality of the truth, and will achieve a deeper understanding of the truth, and will gain the truth, and will gain God’s salvation. Some people are incapable of practicing the truth, they are always complaining that the Holy Spirit does not enlighten or illuminate them, that God does not give them strength. This is wrong; this is misunderstanding God. The enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit is built on the foundation of people’s cooperation. People must be sincere, and willing to practice the truth, and whether their understanding is profound or superficial, they must be able to put the truth into practice. Only then will they be enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. If people understand the truth but do not put it into practice—if they just wait for the Holy Spirit to act and force them to put it into practice—are they not being extremely passive? God never forces people to do anything. If people understand the truth but are unwilling to put it into practice, this shows that they do not love the truth, or that their state is abnormal and there is some kind of blockage. But if people are able to pray to God, God will act, too; only if they are unwilling to practice the truth and also do not pray to God will the Holy Spirit have no means of working in them. In fact, no matter what kind of difficulty people have, it can always be solved; what’s key is whether or not they are able to practice according to the truth. Today, the problems of corruption in you are not a cancer, they are not some incurable disease. If you can resolve to practice the truth, you will receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and it will be possible for these corrupt dispositions to change. It all depends on if you can resolve to practice the truth, this is what’s key. If you practice the truth, if you walk the path of pursuing the truth, then you will be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and can definitely be saved. If the path you walk is the wrong one, then you shall lose the work of the Holy Spirit, one wrong step will beget another, and it will all be over for you, and no matter how many years you continue believing for, you will not be able to attain salvation. For example, when they are working, some people never think about how to do the work in a way that benefits God’s house and is in line with God’s will—with the result that they do much that is selfish and vile, that is despicable and hateful to God; and in doing so, they have been revealed and cast out. If, in all things, people are able to seek the truth and practice according to the truth, then they have already entered onto the right track of faith in God, and so have hope of becoming someone who is in line with God’s will. Some people understand the truth but do not put it into practice. Instead, they believe that the truth is nothing more than this, and is incapable of resolving their own inclinations and corrupt dispositions. Are such people not laughable? Are they not ridiculous? Are they not know-it-alls? If people are able to act according to the truth, then their corrupt dispositions can change. If their belief and service to God is according to their own natural personality, then not a single one of them will be able to achieve changes in their dispositions. There are some people who spend all day stewing in the grief of their own wrong choices. Given a ready-made truth, they do not give it any thought or try to put it into practice, but insist on choosing their own path. What an absurd way of behaving this is; truly, they do not know a good thing when they see it, and are destined to have a hard lot in life. Practicing the truth is that simple; whether you practice or not is all that matters. If you are someone who has resolved to practice the truth, then your negativity, weakness and corrupt disposition will gradually be resolved and changed; this depends on whether or not your heart loves the truth, whether or not you are able to accept the truth, whether or not you can suffer and pay a price in order to gain the truth. If you truly love the truth, you will be able to suffer all kinds of pain in order to gain the truth, whether this is being vilified, judged, or deserted by people. You should bear this all with patience and tolerance; and God will bless and protect you, He will not abandon or neglect you—this is absolute. If you pray to God with a heart that fears Him, depend on God and look up to God, there will be nothing you cannot get through. You may have a corrupt disposition, and you may transgress, but if you have a heart that fears God, and if you scrupulously walk the path of pursuing the truth, then you will unquestionably be able to stand firm, and will unquestionably be led and protected by God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 571
If you wish to achieve understanding of the truth, it is crucial that you know how to eat and drink God’s words. If you read God’s words too little, don’t read them in earnest, and don’t contemplate them with your heart, then you won’t be able to understand the truth. All you will be able to understand is a little bit of doctrine, and so it will be very difficult for you to understand God’s will and God’s purpose in His words. If you do not understand the aims and results that God’s 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. If you do not understand the context behind His words, then how can you understand or practice the truth? To gain the truth, you must first understand what God means in every word that He utters, and then put into practice what you have grasped, causing God’s words to be lived out in you, and to become your reality. By doing so you will enter into the reality of the truth. 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. This is self-deception. You don’t even understand why God requires people to practice the truth. This proves that you don’t understand God’s will, and that you still don’t understand the truth. In fact, God makes this requirement of people to purify and save them, so that people can cast off their corrupt dispositions, and become ones who obey and know God. This is the goal God wants to achieve by requiring people to practice the truth.
God expresses the truth for people who love the truth, thirst for the truth, and seek 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. Their perspective of the truth and God’s words is wrong, they twist their necks to read that which is upright—their perspective is all wrong. Some people prefer to study God’s words. They always study how God’s words talk about destination or about how to be blessed. They are most interested in these kinds of words. If God’s words do not conform to their notions and do not satisfy their desire for blessings, they will become negative, no longer pursue the truth, and not want to expend for God. 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 that conforms to their notions and imaginings. 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 God’s words, they will not practice the truth or gain it. There are some people who eat and drink 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, one will not necessarily understand and gain the truth after they 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. If you do not know how to practice the truth or how to act according to the principles, then you remain without the reality of the truth. You may read God’s words often, but afterward, you still fail to understand God’s will, and acquire only some letters and doctrines. How to eat and drink God’s words in order to understand the truth? First of all, you should realize that the word of God is not so straightforward; the word of God is utterly profound. Even one sentence of God’s words requires a lifetime to experience. Without several years of experience, how could you possibly understand the word of God? If, when reading God’s words, you do not understand God’s will, and do not understand the intentions of His words, their origin, the effect they seek to achieve, or what they seek to accomplish, then does it mean that you understand the truth? You may have read God’s words many times and perhaps you can recite many passages by heart, but you cannot practice the truth and have not changed at all, and your relationship with God is just as distant and estranged as ever. When encountering something that is at odds with your notions, you remain doubtful toward Him, and you do not understand Him, but reason with Him and harbor notions about Him and misunderstandings of Him, resisting Him and even blaspheming Him. What kind of disposition is this? This disposition is one of arrogance, of being fed up with the truth. How can people who are so arrogant and so sick of the truth accept or practice it? Such people will absolutely never be able to gain the truth or God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 572
It has been said “He that follows to the end shall be saved,” but is this easy to put into practice? It is not, and many who are hunted down and persecuted by the great red dragon become too timid and afraid to follow God. Why did they fall down? Because they lack genuine faith. Some people can accept the truth, pray to God, rely on God, and they stand firm in trials and tribulations, while others cannot follow to the end. At some point during trials and tribulations, they will fall, lose their testimony, and be unable to pick themselves up and carry on. 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; you should examine them carefully and seek the truth. These are all problems that must be solved as you experience. Some people become negative, complain, and quit their duties when they run into difficulties, and they 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 enlightenment, learn some lesson, understand some truth, 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 know their ugly face, in which case it is over 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 hearts. 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 in the face of whatever befalls you, you are unable to seek the truth to resolve problems and are constantly negative, then there is no way for you to be saved. Such a person has nothing to recommend them, nothing that is worth God 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 have not the slightest reaction; it is as if their heart is already dead. Are things not 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, when confronted with problems and difficulties, a person shrinks back and avoids them, they do not seek the truth at all, and they choose to be negative and slack in their work, then they are revealed for what they really are. Such people have no experience or testimony at all. They are just freeloaders, dead weight, they are useless in God’s house, and they are utterly doomed. Only those who can seek the truth to solve problems are people with stature, and only they can stand firm in testimony. When you encounter problems and difficulties, you must face them with a cool head, and react to them in the right way, and you must make a choice. You should learn to use the truth to solve problems. Whether the truths that you ordinarily understand are profound or shallow, you should make use of them. Truths are not merely words that come out of your mouth when something happens to you, nor are they used expressly to solve the problems of others; instead, they are to be used to solve the problems and difficulties you have. That is what’s most important. And only when you solve your own problems will you be able to solve those of others. Why is it said that Peter is a fruit? Because there are things of worth in him, things worth perfecting. He sought the truth in all things, had resolve, and was firm of will; he had reason, was willing to suffer hardship, and loved the truth in his heart; he did not let go of what came to pass, and he was able to learn lessons from all things. These are all strong points. If you have none of these strong points, it means trouble. It will not be easy for you to gain the truth and be saved. If you don’t know how to experience or don’t have experience, you won’t be able to solve other people’s difficulties. Because you are incapable of practicing and experiencing God’s words, and have no idea what to do when things happen to you, and get upset—burst into tears—when you encounter problems, and become negative and run away when you suffer some minor setback, and are forever incapable of reacting in the right way—because of all this, it is not possible for you to enter life. How can you provide for others without life entry? To provide for people’s lives, you must fellowship the truth clearly and be able to fellowship the principles of practice clearly in order to solve problems. For someone who has heart and spirit, you need only say a little, and they’ll get it. But only understanding a little of the truth will not do. They must also have the path and principles of practice. Only this will help them to practice the truth. Even when people understand spiritual things, and it only takes a few words for them to understand them, if they don’t practice the truth there will be no entry into life. If they can’t accept the truth, then it’s all over for them, and they will never be able to enter the realities of the truth. You can hold some people’s hand as you teach them, and they will seem to understand at the time, but as soon as you let go, they become confused again. This is not someone who understands spiritual matters. If, no matter what problems you encounter, you are negative and weak, you have no testimony at all, and you don’t cooperate with what you should do and what you should cooperate with, this proves that you do not have God in your heart, and you are not a person who loves the truth. Never mind how the work of the Holy Spirit moves people, merely by experiencing God’s work for many years, listening to so many truths, having a little conscience, and relying on self-restraint, people should at least be able to meet the minimum standards and not be rebuked by their consciences. People should not be as numb and weak as they now are, and it is simply unthinkable that they are in this state. Perhaps you have gone through the last few years in a daze, not pursuing the truth whatsoever or making any progress at all. If this isn’t the case, how could you still be so numb and dull? When you are this way, it is entirely due to your own foolishness and ignorance, and you cannot blame anyone else. The truth is not partial to certain people over others. If you don’t accept the truth, and you don’t seek the truth to solve problems, how can you change? Some people feel that their caliber is too low and that they lack the ability to receive, so they delimit themselves, and they feel that no matter how much they pursue, they will not be able to meet God’s requirements. They think that no matter how hard they try, it’s useless, and that’s all there is to it, so they are always negative, and as a result, even after years of believing in God, they haven’t gained any truth. If, without doing the hard work to pursue the truth, you say that your caliber is too poor, you give up on yourself, and you always live in a negative state, and as a result, you don’t understand the truth that you should understand or practice the truth within your ability, then aren’t you the one hindering yourself? If you always say that your caliber isn’t good enough, isn’t this evading and shirking responsibility? If you can suffer, pay a price, and gain the work of the Holy Spirit, then you will inevitably be able to understand some truths and enter into some realities. If you don’t look to or rely on God, and you give up on yourself without putting in any effort or paying a price, and simply surrender, then you are useless, and lack the slightest conscience and reason. No matter whether your caliber is poor or outstanding, if you have a bit of conscience and reason, you should properly complete what you ought to do and your mission; being a deserter is a terrible thing and a betrayal of God. This is irredeemable. Pursuing the truth requires a firm will, and people who are too negative or weak will accomplish nothing. They will not be able to believe in God unto the end, and, if they wish to obtain the truth and achieve a change of disposition, they have less hope still. Only those who are resolved and pursue the truth can obtain it and be perfected by God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 573
There are many people who, as soon as their duty gets busy, become incapable of experiencing, and are unable to maintain a normal state, and as a result, are constantly asking for an assembly, and for the truth to be fellowshiped to them. What is going on here? They do not understand the truth, they lack a foundation in the true way, such people are driven by zeal when they perform their duty, and cannot endure for long. When people do not understand the truth, there is no principle to anything they do. If it is arranged for them to do something, they make a mess of it, they neither take any care in what they do, nor look for a principle, there is no obedience in their hearts—which proves that they do not love the truth and are incapable of experiencing God’s work. 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 fulfill my duty well so that I am not just doing it perfunctorily? You should pray and draw close to God in this matter. Praying to God is in order to seek the truth, the way to practice, the intention of God, and how to satisfy God. Prayer is in order to achieve these effects. Praying to God, drawing close to God, and reading God’s words are not religious ceremony or outward actions. It is done for the purpose of practicing in accordance with the truth after seeking God’s will. If you always say “thanks be to God” when you haven’t done anything, and you might seem very spiritual and insightful, but if, when the time comes to act, you still do as you want, without searching for the truth at all, then this “thanks be to God” is nothing more than a mantra, it is false spirituality. When fulfilling your duty, you should always think: “How should I fulfill this duty? What is God’s will?” Praying to God and drawing close to God in order to seek principles and truths for your actions, seeking the will of God in your heart, and not departing from God’s words or the principles of the truth in anything you do—only this is someone who truly believes in God; all this is unattainable to people who do not love the truth. There are many people who follow their own ideas no matter what they do, and consider things in highly simplistic terms, and do not seek the truth, either. There is a total absence of principle, and in their hearts they give no thought to how to act according to what God asks, or in a way that satisfies God, and they know only to mulishly follow their own will. God has no place in such people’s hearts. Some people say, “I only pray to God when I encounter difficulty, but still it doesn’t feel like this has any effect—so generally when things happen to me now I don’t pray to God, because praying to God is of no use.” God is utterly absent from the hearts of such people. They do not seek the truth no matter what they are doing; they only follow their own ideas. So are there principles to their actions? Definitely not. They see everything in simple terms. Even when people fellowship the principles of the truth to them, they are not able to accept them, because there have never been any principles to their actions, God has no place in their hearts, and there is no one but them in their hearts. They feel their intentions are good, that they are not committing evil, that they cannot be considered in violation of the truth, they think that acting according to their own intentions should be practicing the truth, that acting thus is obeying God. In fact, they are not truly seeking or praying to God in this matter, but acting on impulse, according to their own zealous intentions, they are not performing their duty as God asks, they do not have a heart of obedience to God, they are absent of this wish. This is the greatest mistake in people’s practice. If you believe in God yet He is not in your heart, are you not trying to deceive God? And what effect can such faith in God have? Just what can you gain? And what is the point of such faith in God?
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 574
How should you reflect on yourself, and try to know yourself, when you have done something that violates the principles of the truth and is displeasing to God? When you were about to do that thing, did you pray to Him? Did you ever consider, “Is doing things in this way in line with the truth? 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 or be disgusted by 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, you offended God’s disposition and provoked Him to anger, even to the point of His despising you. This is produced by people’s rebelliousness. Therefore, you should seek the truth in all things. This is what you must follow. If you can earnestly come before God to pray beforehand, and then seek the truth according to God’s words, you will not go wrong. You may have some deviations in your practice of the truth, but this is hard to avoid, and you will be able to practice correctly after you gain some experience. However, if you know how to act in accordance with the truth, yet don’t practice it, the problem is your dislike of the truth. Those who do not love the truth will never seek it, no matter what may happen to them. Only those who love the truth have hearts that fear God, and when things happen that they don’t understand, they are able to seek the truth. If you can’t grasp God’s will and don’t know how to practice, then you should fellowship with some people who understand the truth. If you can’t find those who understand the truth, you should find a few people who have a pure understanding to pray to God together with one mind and one heart, seek from God, await God’s time, and wait for God to open a way for you. As long as you all yearn for the truth, seek the truth, and fellowship on the truth together, the time may come when one of you comes up with a good solution. If you all find the solution suitable and it is a good way, then this may have been due to the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. If you then continue to fellowship together to come up with a more accurate path of practice, it will certainly be in line with the principles of truth. In your practice, if you discover your way of practice is still somewhat unsuitable, then you need to quickly correct it. If you err slightly, God will not condemn you, because your intentions in what you do are right, and you are practicing according to the truth. You are simply a little confused about the principles and have made an error in your practice, which is excusable. But when most people do things, they do them on the basis of how they imagine them to be done. They don’t use God’s words as a basis to contemplate how to practice according to the truth or how to gain God’s approval. Instead, they only think about how to benefit themselves, how to make others look up to them, and how to make others admire them. They do things entirely based on their own ideas and purely to satisfy themselves, which is troublesome. Such people will never do things in accordance with the truth, and God will always hate them. If you are truly someone with conscience and reason, then no matter what happens, you should be able to come before God to pray and seek, be able to seriously examine the motives and adulteration in your actions, be able to determine what is appropriate to do according to God’s words and requirements, and repeatedly weigh and contemplate what actions please God, what actions disgust God, and what actions earn God’s approval. You must go over these matters time and again in your mind until you clearly understand them. If you know that you have your own motives for doing something, then you must reflect on what your motives are, whether it is to satisfy yourself or to satisfy God, whether it is beneficial to yourself or to God’s chosen people, and what consequences it will cause…. If you seek and contemplate more like this in your prayers, and ask yourself more questions to seek the truth, then the deviations in your actions will become smaller and smaller. Only those who can seek the truth in this way are people who are considerate of God’s will and who fear God, because you are seeking in accordance with the requirements of God’s words and with an obedient heart, and the conclusions you reach from seeking this way will be in line with the principles of truth.
If a believer’s actions are out of touch with the truth, then they are the same as an unbeliever. This is the type of person who does not have God in their heart, and who strays from God, and such a person is like a hired worker in God’s house who does some odd jobs for their master, receives a little compensation, and then leaves. This is simply not a person who believes in God. What to do to gain God’s approval is the first thing you should think about and work for when you do things; 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 it was a personal matter that did not involve the church’s work, finances, or people, and it was not evildoing, therefore people should not interfere. 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 very selfish. You gave no consideration to the work of the church or the interests of God’s house, nor to whether this would be satisfactory to God; you were only considering your own benefit. This already involves the propriety of the saints, as well as 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 it is your duty in God’s family or your own private affair, 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. There are those who think, “Having me practice the truth when I perform my duty is fair enough, but when I’m taking care of my private affairs, I don’t care what the truth has to say—I’ll do what I like, whatever it takes to benefit myself.” In these words, you can see that they are no lovers of the truth. There are no principles to what they do. They will do whatever is of benefit to them, without even considering the effect it will have on God’s house. As a result, when they have done something, God is not present in them, and they feel dark and sad, and do not know what is going on. Is this not their just desert? If you do not practice the truth in your actions and dishonor God, then you are sinning against Him. If someone does not love the truth and frequently acts according to their own will, then they will frequently offend God. He will detest and reject them, and set them off to the side. What such a person does often fails to meet with God’s approval, and if they know no repentance, then punishment is not far off.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 575
Any duty you fulfill involves life entry. Whether your duty is rather 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? Will this allow you to perform your duty to an acceptable standard? No matter what their mood, people must know to pray before God and seek the truth; only in this way 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 fulfillment 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 I am alive, I am determined to do my best to fulfill my duty. Every day I live is a day in which I must perform my duty well, 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 genuine and practical expressions of living out the truth.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Life Entry Begins With the Performance of Duty
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. They may appear to have always performed their duties, but because they have never accepted the truth, and are incapable of doing things according to the principles of the truth, they will ultimately fail to gain the truth and life, and will become a service-doer worthy of the name. 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 talents, on whatever knowledge that they have acquired as well as on their own willpower or good intentions, to perform these duties. And with this being the case, will they be able to perform their duties to an acceptable standard? When people rely on their natural state, notions, imaginings, expertise, and learning to perform their duties, although it may appear as if they are performing their duties and not committing evil, they are not practicing the truth, and have not done anything that is satisfactory to God. There is also another problem that cannot be ignored: 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 principle of the truth, then what will the final outcome be? You will have no entry into life, you will become a service-doer, thus fulfilling the words of the Lord Jesus: “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” (Matthew 7:22–23). Why does God call these people who exert effort and who render service evildoers? 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, and they are wholly in order to protect their own interests and prospects, and in order to satisfy their own pride, vanity and status. It is all centered around these considerations and calculations, there is no truth in their hearts, they do not have a heart that fears and obeys God—this is the root of the problem. What, today, is it crucial for you to pursue? In all things, you must seek the truth, and you must perform your duty properly according to the will of God and what God asks. If you do, you shall receive God’s praise. So what, specifically, is involved in performing your duty according to what God asks? In all you do, you must learn to pray to God, you must reflect on what motivations you have, what thoughts you have, and whether these motivations and thoughts are in line with the truth; if they are not, they should be put aside, after which you should act according to the principles of the truth, and accept God’s scrutiny. This will ensure that you put the truth into practice. If you have your own motivations and aims, and are well aware that they violate the truth and are at odds with God’s will, yet still do not pray to God and seek the truth for a solution, then this is dangerous, it is easy for you to commit evil and do things that oppose God. If you commit evil one or two times and repent, then you still have hope of salvation. If you keep committing evil—if you commit all manner of wicked deeds—and still do not repent, then you’re in trouble: God shall cast you to one side or abandon you, which means you are at risk of being cast out; people who commit all manner of wicked deeds will surely be punished and cast out.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 577
People must understand that there is a fundamental principle of the Lord of creation’s treatment of created beings, which is also the highest principle. How the Lord of creation treats created beings is completely based on His management plan and on His work 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 of the truth, and the principles by which the Lord of creation works. As a created being, the only thing to do is to submit to the Creator; one should not make any choice of one’s own. This is reason that created beings ought to have, and if a person does not have it, then they are not fit to be called a person. People must understand 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 has the right or is qualified to pass judgment on whether what the Lord of creation does is right or wrong, or how He should act. No creature is entitled to choose whether to accept the rule and arrangements of the Creator; and no creature is entitled to make demands of how the Creator rules over and arranges their fate. 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 everything 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 gifted 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. God will not ever cast me aside, 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 any 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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Understanding the Truth Can One Know God’s Deeds
Daily Words of God Excerpt 578
Knowing God must be through reading God’s words, and practicing and experiencing God’s words, as well as experiencing many trials, refinements, pruning and dealing; only then is it possible to have a true knowledge of God’s work and God’s disposition. Some say: “I haven’t seen God incarnate, so how should 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 heart’s voice, which can also be called the words from His heart. Why are they called the words from His heart? It is because they are issued from deep down, and express His disposition, His will, His ideas and 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 compassionate perspective, and then people see His love for mankind; sometimes He speaks from a very strict perspective, and then people see that His disposition tolerates no offense, that man is deplorably filthy, and is not worthy of seeing God’s face or of coming before Him, and that they 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 with Him. When someone who genuinely knows God comes into contact with Christ, their encounter with Christ can correspond with their existing knowledge of God; however, when someone who has only a theoretical understanding encounters Christ, they cannot see the correlation. The truth of God’s incarnation is the most profound of mysteries; it is difficult for man to fathom. Draw together 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 if they are to ultimately attain true knowledge of God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
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, and thus know His disposition—this is what it is to truly know 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. Some people are able to follow God, but do not necessarily truly believe in God. To truly believe in God is to obey God. Those who do not truly obey God do not truly believe in God—this is where the difference lies. When you have followed God for several years, and have knowledge and understanding of God, when you have some understanding and grasp of God’s will, when you are aware of God’s painstaking intention in saving man: that is when you truly believe in God, truly obey God, truly love God, and truly worship God. If you believe in God but do not pursue the knowledge of God, and have no understanding of God’s will, God’s disposition, and God’s work, then you are just a follower who runs after God and follows whatever the majority does. That cannot be called true submission, much less true worship. How does true worship come about? Without exception, all who see God and genuinely know God worship and revere 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 of God 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 and bow down on the ground. “He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear” (Matthew 3:11)—why did John say this? Though deep down he did not have a very profound knowledge of God, 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? If people neither know Christ’s essence nor understand God’s disposition, they will be even less able to truly worship the real 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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three