127. The Principles of Distinguishing Between Positive and Negative Things
1. Whether it comes with God’s work and arises from within God’s words and the truth, or whether it comes from Satan and evil spirits, or has been processed and disguised by them;
2. Whether it is something which God requires people to seek to have, and which conforms to God’s words and the truth, or whether it pertains to world trends and is something which worldly people pursue;
3. Whether it edifies people, benefits them and enables them to be positive, or whether it corrupts people, ruins them and causes them to become negative and perish;
4. Whether it restores people’s normal humanity and enables them to obey God and worship God, or whether it causes them to be degenerate and decadent, and walk toward death.
Relevant Words of God:
The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity, a truth that man should be equipped with.
from “Practice the Truth Once You Understand It” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their life maxims are mainly those words that come from Satan like, “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” The words of those fiends, great ones, and philosophers of the earth have become their life. Most of the words of Confucius, who is held up by Chinese people as a “sage,” especially have become man’s life. There are also the famous sayings of Buddhism and Taoism and the classic sayings frequently spoken by famous figures; these are all outlines of Satan’s philosophy and Satan’s nature. They are also the best illustration and explanation of Satan’s nature. These poisons that have been infused into the heart of humankind all come from Satan; not the least bit of them comes from God. These lies and nonsense are also precisely in opposition to God’s word. It is completely clear that the realities of all positive things come from God, and all those negative things that poison man come from Satan. … Satan corrupts people through the education and influence of the national governments and the famous and great. Their lies and nonsense have become man’s life and nature. “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost” is a well-known satanic saying that has been instilled into everyone and become the human life. There are some other words of life philosophy that are also like this. Satan educates people through each nation’s fine traditional culture and causes humanity to fall into and be engulfed in an expansive abyss of destruction, and in the end people are destroyed by God because they serve Satan and resist God. Imagine asking someone who has been active in society for decades the following question, “You have lived in the world for so long and achieved so much; what famous sayings do you live by?” They will say, “The most important one is ‘Those who give gifts to officials are not struck by them, and those who do not flatter accomplish nothing.’” Isn’t such speech representative of his nature? His nature is not to spare any means for obtaining position; being an official is what gives him life. There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives and in their conduct and dealings with others—they are almost without a shred of truth—for example, their life philosophies, their maxims for success, or their ways of doing things. Every person is filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. So, what flows through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan. Every person who achieves worldly success has his path and secret to success, so isn’t that secret better representative of his nature? You can see that these guys’ nature is too cunning; they are such high officials and have done such great things in the world—they are so cunning. Their nature is so insidious and venomous—they are capable of anything. Man has been corrupted too deeply by Satan. Satan’s venom flows through the blood of every person, and man’s nature is visibly corrupt, evil, and reactionary, filled by and immersed in the philosophies of Satan—it is completely a nature rebellious against God. … Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. When he has a life goal and comports himself according to the truth; when he absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word; when he feels assured and brightened deep in his soul; when his heart is free of darkness; and when he lives completely freely and unrestrained in God’s presence—only then does he live a true human life and become a person possessing truth. Besides, all the truths you have are from God’s word and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things—God Most High—approves of you, as a real man living the true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval? Such is a person who has the truth. In the current world under Satan’s domain, throughout the thousands of years of human history, who has obtained life? Nobody. Why is that? They are all people who have resisted God. Everything by which they have lived their lives and survived comes from Satan and was accepted from Satan and is precisely in opposition to God’s word. So, they are beings who resist God, who suffer His cursing, and they have no life to speak of. Even though they want to “leave a lasting reputation,” “have their names passed down for a hundred generations,” “enjoy eternal glory,” and “have an everlasting name,” this is all nonsense. In fact, they were cursed by God early on, never to be reincarnated. The words of the famous, whatever they are, fundamentally do not hold with God, and all are punished in the eighteenth level of hell after they die. Only God is the truth. God controls the heavens and earth and everything in them and has dominion over all. Not to believe in God, not to submit to God is to be unable to obtain truth. If you live according to God’s word, you will feel a clarity, stability, and incomparable sweetness in the depths of your heart; you will have truly obtained life.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The things that arise from God cause you to become ever clearer about visions, and they cause you to get closer and closer to God, earnestly sharing love with brothers and sisters; you are capable of showing consideration toward God’s burden, and your God-loving heart does not abate; there is a road ahead for you to walk. The things that arise from Satan cause you to lose visions and all you had before is gone; you become estranged from God, you have no love for brothers and sisters and you have a hateful heart. You become desperate, you no longer wish to live the church life, and your God-loving heart is no more. This is Satan’s work and is also the consequence brought about by the work of evil spirits.
from “The Twenty-second Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of the Holy Spirit is a form of proactive guidance and positive enlightenment. It does not allow people to be passive. It brings them solace, gives them faith and resolve and it enables them to pursue being made perfect by God. When the Holy Spirit works, people are able to actively enter; they are not passive or forced, but are proactive. When the Holy Spirit works, people are glad and willing, and they are willing to obey, and happy to humble themselves, and even though they are pained and fragile inside, they have the resolve to cooperate, they suffer gladly, they are able to obey, and they are untainted by human will, untainted by the thinking of man, and are certainly untainted by human desires and motivations. When people experience the work of the Holy Spirit, they are especially holy inside. Those who are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit live out the love of God, the love of their brothers and sisters, and delight in the things that delight God, and loathe the things that God loathes. People who are touched by the work of the Holy Spirit have normal humanity, and they are possessed of humanity and constantly pursue the truth. When the Holy Spirit works within people, their conditions become better and better, and their humanity becomes more and more normal, and though some of their cooperation may be foolish, their motivations are right, their entry is positive, they do not try to interrupt, and there is no malevolence within them. … in their everyday lives, people are in a positive state and have a normal spiritual life, then they are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit. In such a state, when they eat and drink the words of God they have faith, when they pray they are inspired, when something happens to them they aren’t passive, and as it is happening to them they are able to see the lessons that God requires them to learn, and they are not passive, or weak, and although they have real difficulties, they are willing to obey all the arrangements of God.
What work comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions in people are vague and abstract, and they are without normal humanity, the motivations behind their actions are wrong, and although they wish to love God, there are always accusations within them, and these accusations and thoughts are always interfering within them, constraining the growth of their life, and stopping them from having normal conditions before God. Which is to say, as soon as there is the work of Satan within people, their hearts can’t be at peace before God, they don’t know what to do with themselves, the sight of an assembly makes them want to run away, and they are unable to close their eyes when others pray. The work of evil spirits wrecks the normal relationship between man and God, and upsets people’s previous visions and the path that their life has entered upon, in their hearts they can never draw close to God, things always happen that cause disruption to them and enshackle them, and their hearts cannot find peace, leaving no strength to their love of God, and making their spirits sink downward. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The work of Satan is manifested in the following: being unable to stand your ground and stand witness, causing you to become someone who is at fault before God, and who has no faithfulness toward God. At the interference from Satan, you lose the love and loyalty toward God within you, you are stripped of a normal relationship with God, you do not pursue the truth, or the improvement of yourself, you regress, and become passive, you indulge yourself, you give free rein to the spread of sin, and are not hateful of sin; furthermore, the interference of Satan makes you dissolute, it causes God’s touch to disappear within you, and makes you complain about God and oppose Him, leading you to question God, and there is even the risk of you leaving God. All this is of the work of Satan.
from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
All positive things come from God, and they have been brought by Christ. What are all the positive things that Christ has brought? One’s belief in God, love of God, obedience to God, worship of God, prayer to God, putting the truth into practice, accepting God’s judgment and chastisement, receiving His salvation, being made perfect, walking the true path of life, being an honest person, performing good deeds, and being faithful, all these have been brought by Christ. Positive things are all the truth, and the truth is the essence of positive things. We have received so many truths from Christ and known so many positive things through Him. We human beings should possess all these things, and enter into them, because once we have entered into these truths and we are living out the reality of these positive things, we will have then become a newly-created mankind, a mankind that is after God’s heart. Now we see that Christ is the truth, and that all these positive things have been brought by Christ.
from “How to Know That Christ Is the Truth, the Way, and the Life?” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (II)
All that God asks people to pursue and possess are positive things. All things which conform with the truth in God’s words are positive things. Positive things all come from God and from God’s words. All that God hates and condemns are negative things. All those things which go against God’s words and the truth and have a God-resisting, God-denying and God-betraying essence and can corrupt mankind are negative things. All that which Satan and the kings of devils love, advocate or ask people to pursue and do are negative things. All negative things come from Satan.
from “A Fundamental Change in Viewpoints Is a Sign of Truly Understanding the Truth” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life
The reality of positive things is the truth. If you really do understand the truth you should understand what a positive thing is. Whatever truths you really understand thoroughly, that you understand in essence, you will have understanding of those corresponding positive things. What positive things are there? It can be put this way: All of the truths that we should enter into are positive things. Is faith in God a positive thing? In such an evil, licentious age, everyone is following along after Satan. They are worshiping idols and money, but we believe in God. Is that a positive thing? It is. … Is being devoted to God a positive thing? It is. … Obeying God is a positive thing. … There are many positive things. In this evil, corrupt age, is overcoming Satan and standing witness a positive thing? People are so corrupt and evil, and they must possess proper humanity. Is normal humanity a positive thing? People all serve Satan, demons, and money. We want to serve God, which is what God requires of us; is this a positive thing? Currently, evil humanity pays no mind to conscience or reason, so is it a positive thing for God to require us to possess normal humanity, to have reason and conscience? God requires us to fulfill our duty as creatures, so is fulfilling our duty a positive thing? Is being an honest person a positive thing? Is an authentic life a positive thing? Is exalting and bearing witness to God a positive thing? Is forsaking and cursing the great red dragon a positive thing? Is hating the enemy a positive thing? Is it a positive thing to provide offerings, make donations, and give alms in the house of God and to do other good deeds? All of these are positive things. In addition, what God has and is, God’s righteous disposition, His majesty and wrath, His mercy and love, His judgment and chastisement—all of these are positive things. In addition, the work of the Holy Spirit, following and bearing witness to Christ are all positive things and they are all truths that God requires us to enter into. All truths that God requires us to enter into are positive things; they are all the reality of the truth and they are all things that we should possess in our humanity. These truths should become our lives and the foundation of our survival. When we have these truths as our lives, we become people made anew by God, people who have been perfected by God, who are in accord with His will. If we gain all of the truths required by God, then our humanity will become normal. We will possess both humanity and the truth—this will allow us to achieve perfect harmony with God’s will.
from “How One Should Seek the Truth” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)
God is love, and evil spirits are hate-this is clear to you, yes? All that evil spirits do is in order to devour and corrupt man, and all that the Holy Spirit does is for the love and salvation of man. The effects of the work of the Holy Spirit are to purify people, to save them from their corruption, to allow them to know themselves and to know Satan, to be able to rebel against Satan, to be able to pursue the truth, and to ultimately live out the likeness of man. Evil spirits corrupt, defile, and bind people, they plunge them ever deeper into sin, and bring ever greater pain to their lives, and so when evil spirits work in people, they're finished; ultimately, they are devoured by Satan, which is the outcome of the work of evil spirits. The effect of the work of the Holy Spirit is to eventually save people, to make them live out a real life, be completely free and liberated, and receive God's blessings. Look: Evil spirits bring man to darkness, they take him to the abyss; the Holy Spirit takes man from darkness, into the light, and into freedom. The work of the Holy Spirit enlightens and guides people, He gives them opportunities, and when they are weak and have committed transgressions He brings them solace. He allows people to know themselves, allows them to pursue the truth, and He does not force people to do things, but lets them choose their path themselves, and ultimately takes them into the light. Evil spirits force people to do things and order them about. Everything they say is false and bewitches people, deceives them, and binds them; evil spirits do not give people freedom, they do not allow them to choose, they force them on the road to ruin, and ultimately plunge them deeper and deeper into sin, leading them to death. Look at those evil people, those wicked types of people: They drag others into the gutter, they pull them into crimes, and wrench them into gambling dens. Ultimately, after they have ravaged the people's families and taken their lives, they are happy, their work is done, and they have achieved their aim. Are they not demons? Whereas those who are truly good and revere God lead people closer to God, and lead them to the belief in God, to the understanding of the truth, to the pursuit of a real life, and ultimately make them live out the likeness of man. How clear the contrast between these positive and negative things!
from “Knowing the Work of the Holy Spirit Is of the Utmost Importance to Man’s Salvation” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (II)