Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” (I)
Question 2: I have always striven to make and maintain a good name for myself among others. As such, when carrying out my duty, I have always done my utmost to protect my position and my image as it appears to the brothers and sisters. I have used apparent good behavior in place of carrying out the truth, and I have not regarded such as shameful. In fact, I had thought that what I was doing was correct and was a positive thing. However, through the real environment which God has set for me, and through that which He reveals in His words, I recognized that I was, in fact, truly deceitful. I was, in essence, vying with God for position. When this was revealed to me and I saw the essence of my nature for what it is, I was left in a very negative and confused state. It appears that a person’s essence is predetermined, and I don’t know if I can change. I would like to know how I should go about solving this problem.
Answer: In experiencing the work of God, all people reveal corruption. This is normal, and it may be that a person continues in their corrupt ways for a long time. They may even continue for ten or twenty years without fully solving their problems. What does this show us? That humanity’s corruption runs deep! God tells us that humanity’s corruption runs deep. That’s to say, people lack humanity and almost all who live are demons. Why do we say that almost all who live are demons? If they are indeed all demons how can God save them? Why not simply destroy humanity and be done with it? This is not the way. Although humans may all be demons, not all demons are the same. On the outside, they may live as demons, but the essence of their nature is different. So, how are they different? There are three basic ways: First, those who can be saved hear God’s voice and can accept it as truth. They follow God and truly believe in Him. But as for the demons, they hear God’s voice and know it is truth; they know it is a positive thing, but they do not accept it. They resist and condemn it. Is this not a major difference? It is the biggest difference between those who can be saved and those who cannot. Second, in one’s experience of God’s work, God will pass judgment and chastisement, He will prune and deal with them, He will put them through trials and refine them. If a person can obey and accept such work, and no matter how many times they fail, they still strive to reach higher and do not quit, finally they will be able to put some truth into practice. They will become one who is obedient to God, one whose life disposition has changed; this is one who can be saved. If one dislikes God’s judgment and chastisement and declines to accept it; if they both refuse and resist the way in which God prunes and deals with them; if they complain about trials and refinement and constantly avoid them, then this person has not borne witness to God. Even if this person hears God’s voice and accepts His work, they must be cast out, for they do not accept the truth, they do not obey the truth, they do not strive for truth. Such a person has failed. During their experiences, some people fail time and again but they do not become dispirited, they still wish to strive for truth and pray to God, entreating Him, saying, “God, do not give up on me no matter how corrupt I am. I have failed and fallen many times, but please save me. I will take whichever hardships are required. I will not leave You.” One who prays such, they are one who in the end shall be saved. This shows the behavior of those who can be saved and of those who accept God’s work but do not pursue the truth. They are clearly different, are they not? There is, however, another better form of testimony. That is, no matter how much suffering one goes through in order to receive truth, even sacrificing their life, they will not hesitate. This person truly desires God. They are willing to be obedient to Him unto death and still do not complain. “I believe in God. Regardless of whether or not He gives me position, even if He gives me up to Satan, I still will not complain of Him.” You see, this person is one who has been perfected. This is one who desires God the most, and who loves truth the most. There are some who love truth. But when false leaders and antichrists are the ones in power, they envy such people. They hate them and marginalize them. They worry that such a person will take their position. But such a person does not seek position. “No matter where God sets me down, I will pursue the truth and I will obey His plans.” Eventually the day will come when God’s chosen people see: “This person obeys, he truly obeys God. He has the reality of the truth!” They will raise up such a person. When the time of God arrives, God will surely have a place for him. Such a person, one who has the reality of the truth, will be given a position by God in the end. To use a common phrase, “No matter where it falls, gold will always shine.” Is this not the case? This is how we can deal with the second question.
Question 3: When we practice building a normal relationship with God every day, we cannot persevere because of obstructions from Satan’s corrupt disposition. How can we ensure that we can persevere and continue our practice?
Answer: Sometimes, praying to God relies on the perseverance of one’s will. Sometimes, under special circumstances or when being obstructed by your corrupt disposition, you can take a rest from building a normal relationship with God for one or two days and then wait for the opportunity to continue your practice. You cannot, though, stray far from God simply because of one failure. Your heart must be clear. It must understand. Do not be confused. Today, you are weak. You are not close to God. Tomorrow, you are weak. You are not close to Him. After a few days, such weakness passes, but you are still not close to God. What is the problem? You do not want God in your heart. It is acceptable to feel weak or fail in a single moment. But later if you are not close to God, if you do not read His words and do not attend meetings, then you are one who does not want God. Such a person has problems in their heart. Aside from this, what is it that gives us perseverance? When one who believes in God has a foundation on which to build, they will have some knowledge of God; they will have tasted the sweetness of the work of the Holy Spirit and gained some comfort from this. As such, carrying out prayers and being obedient to Him will become much easier. Such a person has tasted the sweetness. They have grasped the basics. From now on persevering will be simpler. In the beginning, when a person has not tasted the sweetness, when their corrupt disposition is very serious; when their corrupt disposition has not been in the slightest bit resolved, or has only been resolved to a very small degree, then such a person will find it harder to persevere. However, after such a person is pruned and dealt with, after they are judged, chastised and then put through trials and refined, some main aspects of their corrupt disposition will be somewhat transformed, then their corrupt disposition will not hold them back too much when they continue to move forward, and it will not pose a great threat. Understand? If a person’s corrupt disposition is not remedied in the slightest, then it is a huge task to get things started. At this stage, first, one must ensure that they regularly attend meetings. Second, one must ensure they regularly listen to sermons. Third, one must find a person who understands the truth with whom they can communicate. With this support, even if your corrupt disposition is serious, you would be able to control it. Without such support, without assistance from some brothers and sisters who understand the truth, without participation in church life and without listening to sermons, then the difficulties are great. Is that clear? Let me give you an example. Let’s say that there is a person who has just found their faith. Their corrupt disposition remains in its original state. They are deceitful, full of lies; they have not experienced any pruning and dealing. They are arrogant and conceited, of course, and also superficial and vain. They have no experience of being dealt with. Is this person’s disposition seriously corrupt? And just how serious is it? If anyone were to speak an unpleasant word to this person, they would be very likely to betray God and stop believing. If they encounter some unpleasant dealing and pruning, it is difficult for them to accept it. It is very likely for them to betray God and lose their faith. Not to mention should some disaster befall this person’s family, then any little upset could cause them to lose faith. Such a person, when they have just found their faith, is at their weakest. Just like a newly born baby, the first six months are very precarious, but after that things are much better. After six months of nurture, the infant is stronger, his immunity is greater. So it is that, when one starts to have faith and is just beginning to establish a normal relationship with God, there are many difficulties. It is not easy to bring up the issue of a person’s corrupt disposition. When you speak to them, you must tread carefully, try not to upset them and try not to be too harsh. There are some people for whom you can communicate hundreds of truths and they will accept them all. However, if just one point does not adhere to their views, then they will turn and run. People ask them, “Why did you leave?” And they will say, “It was because of this one point.” There are some who, when I tell them that there is reincarnation, they say, “I do not accept that. Though other preaching is correct, I’m not listening. I don’t believe it!” There are some who, on hearing me reveal that a religious pastor is an antichrist, say, “No, I don’t accept it. This way is not right. Ordinary people all have love in their hearts. Religious pastors serve God; how can you try to reveal them as different? I don’t believe it! This way is definitely wrong. Even if what you tell me, except this, is all correct, I will not listen.” Is it easy for such a person to receive God’s salvation? Such a person’s corrupt disposition is fixed and unmoving; you cannot touch it. It’s like playing with fire. One slip up and you’re finished. Such a person will not give in to you. But you see, if this person continues to listen to sermons, after six months to a year of listening, they will have started to build a foundation. Once the foundation develops, if you were to deal with this person then they would be OK, they would continue to believe. If a false leader treated them badly, treated them without love, it would not bother them; they would continue to believe. If an antichrist hurt them, in the end it still would be of no bother. If the great red dragon tried to confuse them, or a religious pastor tried to confuse them, they would have discernment. They would see through it. At this stage, a person has a foundation. Now, regular matters cannot cause them to fail; when they have reached this stage, it is good. Now that they have reached this level, when they hear fellowship and sermons of God’s house they will think, “Oh, this way is bright! Carrying on along this path is right. OK, I will carry on along it.” Now, there should not be too many difficulties, unless of course something serious happens. If the love of their life dies, they would somewhat complain against God; but if this trial had not befallen them then they would not fail. Some of our sisters, their husbands passed but they did not crumble, they continued to expend their efforts for God. They did not let such a thing control them, they did not allow it to drag them down. Their faith is great. There are some brothers whose wife passes and they do not re-marry; they save themselves the angst. They let themselves remain single; food and clothing are all they need. They do not busy themselves with matters of the flesh. Not only do they not fall from the way, they grow stronger. This is what it means to have a foundation. Once a person has the foundation, when, in pursuit of truth they are put through a trial, or meet with adversity, it is easy for them to stand up to it. Such a person’s relationship with God is becoming ever more normal. Every day they continue to carry out the truth, they persevere. It is now so easy for them. They can do it. At any time or any place, they can pray to God.
Question 4: How can we increase our love of truth in our heart?
Answer: Increasing one’s love of truth is part of the process of growing one’s stature. As one’s understanding of the truth increases, their stature too begins to grow and their love for the truth becomes more real. The greater one’s understanding of the truth, the greater their love of truth will be. Those who do not understand the truth have only a very small amount of love for truth in their heart, a very small amount indeed. But which kind of person loves truth? Let’s look at an example: Imagine an unbeliever, one who does not believe in God but is a good person. What conditions would make him accept God? Which type of person is most likely to believe in God? Which type of person should we focus on when spreading the gospel? Those who have a sense of justice in their hearts. How will it present itself? It is like this: If a person with a sense of justice in their heart is witness to evil, they will be disgusted by it. They will hate evil, and they will love fairness. Those who do things well, do things properly and fairly; they will approve them and like them. Those who do evil are the ones they will hate. They can see if someone is on the right path and if one walks the path of evil. They can recognize those who are dignified and upstanding, they can even more recognize those who have a sense of justice. They’re of clear and sober mind. They’re sharp and keen in spirit. There are some who do not have faith but who say, “This world is so evil, so dark. Look at politics around the world; it consists mainly of evil people. There are few of kind heart doing what is right.” This person has seen things for what they are. Some also say, “Those in the Chinese Communist Party are not good people. They are not on the right path; they are not a normal ruling party. They are a party of evil!” They have recognized this and they say, “This society and the people in it are too evil, too dark. Demons hold the power; humanity will never prosper. Disasters will become more and more serious.” What kind of a person is one who has such a point of view? They are one who has some love for justice; they have a love for that which is positive and for that which is fair and righteous; they take interest in matters they know to be positive. Is this not true? So, if you communicate the truth to this person, communicate God’s words, as he listens he will recognize them as correct; as he listens more often, he will come to understand: “Oh, this must be the true way! This is the true way! This is not one of those common religions with their superficial teachings about being a good person. This is the true way! This is the path to a bright life. This is the way to knowing God. This is the way to eternal life!” So as, through experience, he understands more clearly God’s words and His truth, he will realize that the truth is so precious. He will see the urgency of receiving truth. He will see that with faith in God, the pursuit of other things is meaningless. A pursuit of truth and a pursuit of knowing God are most meaningful. Reputation, status and vanity are all meaningless. Truth is precious. Truth is life. While in this world, there is Satan’s logic and Satan’s philosophy, it is “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” If Satan’s logic penetrates your heart, you act upon it in society, all the time thinking: “It seems right. Wonderful! It’s so true!” Then, without realizing it you will have taken on the philosophy and logic of Satan! You will be filled by it, fattened up with it by Satan. Because of this, you will find it hard to accept the truth; you are destined for destruction. So how is a love for truth developed? Read God’s words. Experience God’s words. The more you know God’s words, the more precious you will see the truth to be. The more clearly you know the truth, the more precious you will see the truth to be. The more you see the truth as precious, the greater will be the love of truth in your heart. To what extent? To the extent that you will see all else as dirt. You’ll see that only obtaining truth is precious; only obtaining Christ is precious. That is the extent. This is how a love of truth is cultivated in one’s heart, how the love of truth is increased. Understand?