The Differences Between Speaking the Words and Phrases of Doctrine and the Truth Reality

Excerpt 67

What is the reality of the truth? What does it refer to? It refers to the practicing of the truth. When people understand the truth and can put it into practice, the truth will become their reality, it will become their life. When people live according to the truth, they have the reality of the truth. People do not have the reality of the truth if they only speak words and phrases of doctrine and cannot put the truth into practice. When they speak words and phrases of doctrine, it may seem as though they understand the truth, but they cannot practice it at all, which proves that they do not have the reality of the truth. So how should people enter the reality of the truth? They must apply the words of God in their real life, and through the process of experiencing and practicing God’s words they will gain knowledge of the truth—not something perceptual, but rather actual experience and real knowledge—and be able to act according to principles. This means that they have entered the reality of the truth. So which truths have you experienced and gained real knowledge of? Have you had the feeling that the truth has become your life? When you take a passage of God’s words, no matter which aspect of the truth they address, you can hold yourself up to them for comparison and they coincide perfectly with your states, and you feel extremely moved, as though God’s words have touched the innermost depths of your heart, and you feel that His words are totally correct, and you fully accept them, and not only do you gain knowledge of your own states, but you also know how to practice in accordance with His will. By drinking and eating of God’s words in this way, you gain benefits, you become enlightened and illuminated, you gain provision, and your states are turned around. You think that God’s words are great, and are very happy and satisfied, feeling that you have gained knowledge of God’s words, that you understand what this passage of God’s words means, and that you know how to experience them and put them into practice. Do you feel this way often? (Yes.) So once you had this feeling, did you feel that you had gained the truth from this passage of God’s words? (No.) Since you did not, it means that this feeling was only a perceptual response, a temporary stirring of the heart. Gaining some reward and some entry does not represent understanding the truth and entering into the reality of the truth. It is only an initial experience, only an understanding of the truth’s literal meaning. To go from understanding the truth to entering into the reality of the truth is a complicated process that takes a considerable amount of time. In going from understanding words and phrases of doctrine to truly understanding the truth, it takes more than just one, two, or even a handful of experiences to achieve results. You may gain a little reward from a single experience, but it takes many experiences to reap the true reward, and achieve the result of understanding the truth. It is like reflecting on a problem; reflecting once brings a glimmer of light, but reflecting many times will yield greater rewards, and enable you to see the matter clearly. If you spend a few years reflecting on the problem, then you will fully understand it. So, if you want to gain knowledge of God’s words and understand the truth, it is not as simple as just having several experiences. Have you undergone these kinds of experiences yourselves? Everyone probably has a few times. When people first start to experience God’s words there is a glimmer of light, but their knowledge is still superficial. It is similar to understanding doctrine, only that their knowledge feels a bit more practical, and cannot be explained clearly in one or two sentences. Their fellowship makes others feel that their knowledge is a bit more practical than words and phrases of doctrine. If their experiences become deeper and they can speak about some details, then their knowledge will feel more practical still. If people continue to have experiences after that for a period of time and can speak with true knowledge of God’s words, then their knowledge will be elevated from the perceptual to the rational. This is true understanding of the truth. When people go on to further experience God’s words and put them into practice, they will be able to grasp the principles of the truth, and know how to practice the truth. This is what it means to enter into the reality of the truth. At this time, when they give testimony of their experiences, those who listen will feel that it is practical, and they will praise it profusely. When one reaches this level, God’s words will become their life reality, and it is only this kind of person who can be said to have gained the truth. This is the simplified process of experiencing God’s words and gaining the truth, which is something that cannot be achieved without at least several years or even more than 10 years of effort. When one begins to experience and practice God’s words, they imagine that it will be quite simple, but when something befalls them, they do not know how to confront or handle it, and all sorts of difficulties arise. Their notions and imaginings will create obstructions, their corrupt dispositions will create disturbances, and when they encounter setbacks and failures they will stop knowing how to experience. People with corrupt dispositions are especially fragile and easily become negative, and when they are attacked, slandered and judged, it is easy for them to collapse and be unable to get back up. If these problems can be resolved by seeking the truth, if one can rely on God to stand firm, then they can embark on the path of pursuing the truth. If one is not interested in the truth and does not treat the truth as something precious to be experienced and gained, then they do not have strength in their practice of the truth, and they will collapse and become stuck at the first sign of difficulties. This type of person is a coward, and it is not easy for them to gain the truth. God’s words are the truth, a new life that He has gifted to people, and what is the purpose of accepting the truth? It is to gain the truth and life, to experience the truth as if it is one’s own life. Before the truth becomes one’s life, the purpose of accepting the truth is mainly to resolve corrupt dispositions. Which corrupt dispositions can this resolve? It mainly resolves things such as rebelliousness, notions and imaginings, arrogance, conceit, selfishness, despicableness, crookedness, deceitfulness, being careless, perfunctory, and irresponsible, and lacking conscience and reason. And what is the final result that is reached from this? It is that one can be an honest person who submits to God, who exalts Him as great, who worships Him, who is loyal to and truly loves Him, and who will submit to Him until death. This kind of person is entirely living out the semblance of a real human, they have become a person who has the truth and humanity. This is the highest realm that one can reach in the pursuit of the truth.

So how can people eat, drink and experience the words of God in order to resolve their corrupt dispositions? This is not a simple matter. Corrupt dispositions are a problem that truly exists, and they are often naturally revealed in people’s real lives. No matter what befalls people, and no matter what they do, their corrupt dispositions will always be revealed. For example, no matter what people say or do, most of the time they have certain intentions and aims. Those with discerning eyes can sense whether the way that people speak and act is true or false, as well as the things that are concealed within their words and actions, and the traps that lie within them. So are these things revealed naturally? Can people keep them hidden? Even if people do not say or do anything, when something befalls them, they still have a reaction. These things are revealed firstly from their expression, and then even more so through their words and actions. Those with discerning eyes will always notice, and only fools and idiots cannot distinguish it. It could be said that it is normal for people to reveal their corruption, that this is a real problem that exists for everyone. What is the purpose of God speaking so many truths in His work during the last days? He speaks these truths to resolve people’s corrupt dispositions and the root causes of their sins, to save people from Satan’s corruption, to help people attain salvation and break away from Satan’s influence, and especially to bestow people with the life, the truth, and the way. If people believe in God but do not accept the truth, they cannot be cleansed of their corrupt disposition, and thus cannot attain salvation. So, those who truly believe in God will put effort into practicing and experiencing His words, will self-reflect and try to know themselves when their corrupt disposition is revealed, and will seek the truth of God’s words to resolve this corrupt disposition. Those who love the truth focus on self-reflection and trying to know themselves in their reading of God’s words, and they feel that His words are just like a mirror that reveals their own corruption and ugliness. This way, through God’s words they come to accept His judgment and chastisement, and they gradually resolve their corrupt disposition. When they see that their corrupt disposition is revealed less, when they truly submit to God, they will feel that practicing the truth is much easier, and there are no more difficulties. At this time, they will see a true change in themselves, and true praise for God will develop in their heart: “Almighty God has saved me from the bondage and constraints of my corrupt disposition and saved me from Satan’s influence.” This is the result that is achieved from experiencing the judgment and chastisement in God’s words. If people cannot experience the judgment and chastisement in God’s words, they cannot be cleansed of their corrupt dispositions or break away from Satan’s influence. There are many people who do not love the truth, and even though they read God’s words and listen to sermons, afterward they speak only words and phrases of doctrine, and as a result they do not resolve any of their corrupt dispositions despite believing in God for many years. These people are still the same old Satans and devils that they always have been. They thought that as long as they spread God’s words, as long as they recited a few of God’s words and fellowshiped with others on His words, as long as they could speak many words and phrases of doctrine, and as long as they could understand doctrine and learn self-control, they would resolve their corrupt dispositions. As a result, after believing in God for many years there is still no change at all in their life dispositions, they cannot speak about experiential testimony and so they are dumbfounded. After many years of believing in God they are empty-handed and have not gained any truth, having lived in vain and wasted time for all these years. Now there are many false leaders and workers who are like this, only focusing on doing work and giving sermons rather than putting effort into practicing and experiencing God’s words. So are they on the path of pursuing the truth? Absolutely not.

What is the most important reality for those who believe in God? It is practicing the truth. What is the most important part of practicing the truth? Is it not that one must first have a grasp of the principles? What, then, are principles? They are the practical side of the truth, the standard that can guarantee results. Principles are as simple as this. When taken literally, you think that every sentence of God’s words is the truth, but you don’t know how to practice the truth, it is because you don’t understand the principles of the truth. You think that God’s words are totally correct, that they are the truth, but you don’t know what the practical side of the truth is, or the states that it targets, what the principles are here, and what the path to practice is—you cannot grasp or understand this. It proves that you only understand doctrine and not the truth. If you can truly sense that you only understand doctrine, then what should you do? You must seek the truth. First, get an accurate feel for the reality of the truth, see which aspects of the reality stand out the most, and how you should practice in order to enter this reality. By seeking and probing in this way you will find the path. Once you have a hold of the principles and are living out this reality, you will have gained the truth, which is the achievement that comes from pursuing the truth. If you can grasp the principles of many truths and put some of them into practice, then you have the truth reality, and you have gained the life. No matter what aspect of the truth you seek, once you have grasped where the reality of the truth in God’s words lies and what His requirements are, once you truly understand, and can pay the price and put it into practice, then you have gained this truth. While you are gaining this truth, your corrupt disposition will be resolved little by little, and this truth will work its way inside you. If you can put the reality of the truth into practice, and perform your duty and every action and comport yourself according to the principles of practice of this truth, then doesn’t that mean you have changed? What kind of person have you become? You have become someone who has the truth reality. Is someone who has the truth reality someone whose actions are principled? Has someone whose actions are principled gained the truth? Is someone who has gained the truth living out normal humanity? Does someone who is living out normal humanity have the truth and have humanity? People who have the truth and have humanity are in accordance with God’s will, and people who are in accordance with God’s will are the type of people whom He wants to gain. This is the experience of believing in and being gained by God, and this is also the process of gaining the truth by starting from eating and drinking His words, as well as the process of attaining salvation. This path is the path of pursuing the truth, and the path of being made perfect by God.

Excerpt 68

Do you now understand what obtaining the truth and entering into the truth reality depend on? They depend on seeking the truth and practicing the truth—just those two things, simple as that. Although the truth expressed by God is recorded in written form, the truth reality is not in writing, much less understandable or comprehensible to man from its written words. So, what must be done to understand the truth? Understanding and gaining the truth is mainly done by practicing and experiencing God’s words, experiencing His work, and seeking the truth and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The reality of the truth is realized through people practicing and undergoing the truth; it is something that comes from experience, something man lives out. The truth is not an empty theory, nor a simple, pleasant phrase. It is language rich with life power; it is eternal maxims of life; it is the most practical, precious thing that can accompany one in life, for one’s entire lifetime. What is the truth? The truth is the foundation of existence in man’s life, the principles for practice in conducting oneself and dealing with things. The truth gives one direction and purpose in life; it enables one to live out the likeness of a genuine person, and to live before God in obedience and worship of Him. That is why people can’t live without the truth. So, what do you now rely on to live? Which thoughts and viewpoints do you have? What is your direction and purpose in doing things? If you have the truth reality, your life has principles, direction, and purpose. If you do not, your life has no principles, direction, or purpose. You are undoubtedly living by Satan’s philosophy, by those things of traditional culture. That is how the unbelievers live. Can you see through this matter? To resolve this problem, one must seek and accept the truth. Is it easy to obtain the truth? (It is, if we rely on God.) While relying on God, one must also rely on oneself. You must have this confidence, this will, and this requirement in your heart, saying, “I don’t want to live amid corrupt satanic dispositions. I don’t want to be controlled and duped by them, and thereby be made into a complete fool, to God’s disgust. That way I would be unworthy to live before God.” You must have this feeling in your heart. Then, when things happen to you, if you apply the truths that you can understand and are within your grasp to your real life, and are able to put it into practice in every matter, will the truth not thus become your reality? And when the truth has become your reality, will you still worry that your life will not grow? How can you determine whether a person possesses the truth reality? It can be seen from what they say. A person who only speaks words of doctrine does not possess the truth reality, and certainly will not practice the truth, so what they say is empty and unrealistic. The words of someone with the truth reality can solve people’s problems. They can see clearly the essence of problems. With just a few simple words, a problem that has been bothering you for many years can be solved; you will understand the truth and God’s will, things will no longer be difficult for you, you will no longer feel bound and constrained, and you will gain freedom and release. Is what such a person says the truth reality? It is the truth reality. If you don’t understand your problem no matter what a person says, and nothing they say solves the root cause of it, then what they say is words of doctrine. Can words of doctrine supply and help people? Words of doctrine cannot supply or help people and cannot solve people’s practical difficulties. The more words of doctrine are spoken, the more they annoy the listener. People who understand the truth speak differently. With a few words, they can point out the root cause of the problem or the origin of the sickness. Even a single sentence can awaken people and locate the key issues. This is using words that possess the truth realities to solve people’s difficulties and point out the path of practice.

In the last days, God incarnate has come. What is it that man ought most to gain, given that they believe in the practical God? It is the truth, the life; nothing besides this is significant. When Christ came, what He brought was the truth, the life; He came to provide people with life. So, how does one go about believing in the practical God? What must one do to obtain the truth and the life? God has expressed so many truths. All those who hunger and thirst for righteousness should eat and drink their fill of the words of God. All God’s words are the truth, and His words are rich and abundant; there are precious things everywhere and treasures all around. Enjoying the abundance of the beautiful land of Canaan, those who love the truth are abloom with joy at heart. There is truth and light in every sentence of God’s words of which they eat and drink, they are all precious. People who do not love the truth frown from woe; they sit at a feast and suffer from famine, showing their piteousness. The gains of those who are able to seek the truth will keep growing, and those who cannot do so will come to a dead end. What is now of greatest concern is learning to seek the truth in everything, to reach an understanding of the truth, to practice the truth, and to be able to truly submit to God. That’s what it is to believe in God. To believe in the practical God is to obtain the truth and the life. What is the truth used for? Is it used to enrich people’s spiritual world? Is it meant to give people a good education? (No.) So, what problem of man’s does the truth resolve? The truth is there to resolve man’s corrupt disposition, to resolve man’s sinful nature, to make people live before God, and to have them live out a normal humanity. Some people do not understand what the truth is. They always feel that the truth is profound and abstract, and that the truth is a mystery. They do not understand that the truth is something for people to practice, something for people to apply. Some people have believed in God for ten or twenty years and still do not understand exactly what the truth is. Has this kind of person obtained the truth? (No.) Aren’t those who have not obtained the truth pitiful? Very much so—just as sung in that hymn, they’re “sitting at a feast and suffering from famine.” Gaining the truth is not difficult, nor is entering into the truth reality, but if people are always fed up with the truth, are they able to gain it? They cannot. So you must always come in front of God, examine your internal states of being fed up with the truth, see what displays of being fed up with the truth you have, and what ways of doing things are being fed up with the truth, and in which things you have an attitude of being fed up with the truth—you must often reflect on these things. For instance, someone admonishes you by saying, “You can’t do your duty just by relying on your own will—you should reflect on and know yourself,” and you get angry and retort, “How I do my duty is no good, but how you do yours is fine? What’s wrong with how I do my duty? God knows my heart!” What kind of attitude is this? One of accepting the truth? (No.) One must first have an attitude of accepting the truth when things happen to them. Not having this kind of attitude is like not having a vessel to receive a treasure, thus leaving you unable to obtain the truth. If a person can’t obtain the truth, their belief in God is in vain! The purpose of believing in God is to obtain the truth. If one cannot obtain the truth, then their belief in God has failed. What is it to obtain the truth? It is when the truth becomes your reality, when it has become your life. That’s what it is to obtain the truth—that’s what it means to believe in God! What does God say His words for? What does God express those truths for? So that people may accept the truth, such that corruption is made pure; so that people may obtain the truth, such that the truth becomes their life. Why would God express so many truths otherwise? In order to compete with the Bible? In order to establish a “University of the Truth” and train a group of people? No to both. It is meant instead to save mankind completely, to have people understand the truth and ultimately obtain it. You understand now, don’t you? What is most important in believing in God? (Obtaining the truth and entering into the truth reality.) From here, it comes down to how you enter into the truth reality, and whether or not you can.

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