50. The Principles of Forsaking Oneself
Relevant Words of God:
The work being done now is to cause people to forsake Satan, their old ancestor. All judgments by the word aim to expose humanity’s corrupt disposition and to enable people to understand the essence of life. These repeated judgments pierce people’s hearts. Each judgment directly relates to their fate and is meant to wound their hearts so that they can let go of all those things and thereby come to know life, know this filthy world, know God’s wisdom and almightiness, and also know mankind, which is corrupted by Satan. The more man receives this kind of chastisement and judgment, the more man’s heart can be wounded and the more his spirit can be awakened. Awakening the spirits of these extremely corrupted and most deeply deceived of people is the goal of this kind of judgment. Man has no spirit, that is, his spirit died long ago and he knows not that there is Heaven, knows not that there is a God, and certainly knows not that he is struggling in the abyss of death; how could he possibly know that he is living in this evil hell on earth? How could he possibly know that this putrid corpse of his has, through Satan’s corruption, fallen into Hades of death? How could he possibly know that everything on earth has long been ruined beyond repair by mankind? And how could he possibly know that the Creator has come to the earth today and is searching for a group of corrupt people whom He can save? Even after man experiences every possible refinement and judgment, his dull consciousness still barely stirs and indeed is virtually unresponsive. How degenerate is humanity! And though this kind of judgment is like the cruel hail that falls from the sky, it is of the greatest benefit to man. If not for judging people like this, there would be no result and it would be absolutely impossible to save people from the abyss of misery. If not for this work, it would be very difficult for people to emerge from Hades, because their hearts long ago died and their spirits long ago were trampled by Satan. Saving you who have sunk to the deepest depths of degeneration requires calling out to you strenuously, judging you strenuously; only then will it be possible to awaken your frozen hearts.
Excerpted from “Only the Perfected Can Live a Meaningful Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People have been so corrupted by Satan that they are not fully aware of their own true states. But to God, Satan’s venom is in every part of their bodies, even their marrow; as a result, the more profound God’s revelations, the more fearful people become, and thus are all people made to know Satan and see Satan in man, for they have been incapable of seeing Satan with their naked eyes. And since all has entered into reality, God exposes man’s nature—which is to say, He exposes the image of Satan—and thus allows man to behold the real, tangible Satan, all the better for them to know the practical God. God allows man to know Him in the flesh, and He gives form to Satan, allowing man to know the real, tangible Satan in the flesh of all people. The various states that are spoken of are all expressions of Satan’s deeds. And so, it may be said that all who are of the flesh are embodiments of Satan’s image. God is incompatible with His enemies—they are hostile to each other, and are two different forces; therefore, demons are forever demons, and God is forever God; they are as incompatible as fire and water, ever as separate as heaven and earth.
Excerpted from “Chapters 22 and 23” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Mankind is none other than My enemy. Mankind is the evil one that opposes and disobeys Me. Mankind is none other than the progeny of the evil one accursed by Me. Mankind is none other than the descendant of the archangel that betrayed Me. Mankind is none other than the legacy of the devil who, spurned by Me long ago, has been My irreconcilable enemy ever since. For the sky above all mankind is turbid and dark, without the slightest impression of clarity, and the human world is plunged into pitchy darkness, so that one living in it cannot even see his outstretched hand before his face or the sun when he lifts up his head. The road beneath his feet, muddy and rife with potholes, meanders tortuously; the whole land is littered with corpses. The dark corners are filled with the remains of the dead, and in the cool and shady corners crowds of demons have taken up residence. And everywhere in the world of men demons come and go in hordes. The progeny of all manner of beasts, covered in filth, are locked in pitched battle, the sound of which strikes terror to the heart. At such times, in such a world, such an “earthly paradise,” where does one go to seek out life’s felicities? Where could one go to find his life’s destination? Mankind, long since trampled under Satan’s feet, has from the first been an actor taking on Satan’s image—more than that, mankind is the embodiment of Satan, and serves as the evidence that bears witness to Satan, loud and clear. How can such a human race, such a bunch of degenerate scum, such offspring of this corrupt human family, bear witness to God? Whence comes My glory? Where can one begin to speak of My testimony? For the enemy that, having corrupted mankind, stands against Me, has already taken mankind—the mankind that I created long ago and that was filled with My glory and My living out—and soiled them. It has snatched away My glory, and all it has imbued man with is poison heavily laced with the ugliness of Satan, and juice from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Excerpted from “What It Means to Be a Real Person” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If people’s knowledge of themselves is too shallow, they will find it impossible to solve problems, and their life dispositions simply will not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a profound level, which means knowing one’s own nature: what elements are included in that nature, how these things originated, and where they came from. Moreover, are you actually able to hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If you are truly able to see the truth about yourself, then you will start to loathe yourself. When you loathe yourself and then practice God’s word, you will be able to forsake the flesh and have the strength to carry out truth without difficulty. Why do many people follow their fleshly preferences? Because they consider themselves to be pretty good, feeling that their actions are right and justified, that they have no faults, and even that they are entirely in the right, they are therefore capable of acting with the assumption that justice is on their side. When one recognizes what one’s true nature is—how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful—then one is not overly proud of oneself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with oneself as before. Such a person feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, then I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” One then truly sees oneself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time, it becomes easy for one to carry out truth, and one will appear to be somewhat like a human should be. Only when people truly loathe themselves are they able to forsake the flesh. If they do not loathe themselves, they will be unable to forsake the flesh. Truly hating oneself comprises a few things: First, knowing one’s own nature; and second, seeing oneself as needy and pitiful, seeing oneself to be extremely small and insignificant, and seeing one’s own pitiful and dirty soul. When one fully sees what one truly is, and this outcome is achieved, one then truly gains knowledge of oneself, and it can be said that one has come to know oneself fully. Only then can one truly hate oneself, going so far as to curse oneself, and truly feel that one has been corrupted profoundly by Satan such that one does not even resemble a human being. Then, one day, when the threat of death appears, such a person will think, “This is God’s righteous punishment. God is indeed righteous; I really should die!” At this point, he will not lodge a complaint, much less blame God, simply feeling that he is so needy and pitiful, so filthy and corrupt that he should be wiped out by God, and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth. At this point, this person will not resist God, much less betray God. If one does not know oneself, and still considers oneself to be pretty good, then when death comes knocking, this person will think, “I have done so well in my faith. How hard I have sought! I have given so much, I have suffered so much, yet ultimately, God is now asking me to die. I don’t know where God’s righteousness is. Why is He asking me to die? If even a person like me has to die, then who will be saved? Won’t the human race come to an end?” First of all, this person has notions about God. Secondly, this person is complaining, and not showing any submission whatsoever. This is just like Paul: When he was about to die, he did not know himself, and by the time God’s punishment was nigh, it was too late to repent.
Excerpted from “To Know Oneself Is Primarily About Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The key to achieving a change in disposition is to know one’s own nature, and this must happen in accordance with revelations from God. Only in God’s word can one know one’s own hideous nature, recognize in one’s own nature Satan’s various poisons, realize that one is foolish and ignorant, and recognize the weak and negative elements in one’s nature. After these are fully known, and you are truly able to hate yourself and forsake the flesh, consistently carry out God’s word, and have the will to absolutely submit to the Holy Spirit and to the word of God, then you will have embarked on the path of Peter. Without the grace of God, and without enlightenment and guidance from the Holy Spirit, it would be difficult to walk this path, because people do not possess truth and are unable to betray themselves.
Excerpted from “To Know Oneself Is Primarily About Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
God’s dealing with people’s external disposition is also one part of His work; dealing with people’s external, abnormal humanity, for example, or their lifestyle and habits, their ways and customs, as well as their external practices and their fervency. But when He asks that people put the truth into practice and change their dispositions, what is primarily being dealt with are the intentions and notions within them. Only dealing with your external disposition is not hard; it’s like asking you not to eat the things you love, which is easy. That which touches upon the notions inside you, however, is not easy to let go of. It requires people to rebel against the flesh, and pay a price, and suffer before God. This is particularly so with people’s intentions. Since people began to believe in God, they have harbored many incorrect intentions. When you are not putting the truth into practice, you feel that all your intentions are correct, but when something happens to you, you will see that there are many incorrect intentions within you. Thus, when God makes people perfect, He causes them to realize that there are many notions within them that are obstructing their knowledge of God. When you recognize that your intentions are wrong, if you are able to stop practicing according to your notions and intentions, and are able to bear testimony to God, and stand firm in your position in all that happens to you, this proves that you have rebelled against the flesh. When you rebel against the flesh, there will inevitably be a battle within you. Satan will try and make people follow it, will try and make them follow the notions of the flesh and uphold the interests of the flesh—but God’s words will enlighten and illuminate people within, and at this time it is up to you whether you follow God or follow Satan. God asks people to put the truth into practice primarily to deal with the things inside them, to deal with their thoughts and notions that are not after God’s heart. The Holy Spirit touches people in their hearts and enlightens and illuminates them. So behind everything that happens is a battle: Every time people put the truth into practice, or put the love of God into practice, there is a great battle, and though all may seem well with their flesh, in the depths of their hearts a life-and-death battle will, in fact, be going on—and only after this intense battle, after a tremendous amount of reflection, can victory or defeat be decided. One does not know whether to laugh or cry. Because many of the intentions within people are wrong, or else because much of God’s work is at odds with their notions, when people put the truth into practice, a great battle is waged behind the scenes. Having put this truth into practice, behind the scenes, people will have shed countless tears of sadness before finally making up their mind to satisfy God. It is because of this battle that people endure suffering and refinement; this is true suffering. When the battle comes upon you, if you are able to truly stand on the side of God, you will be able to satisfy God. While practicing the truth, it is inevitable that one will suffer inside; if, when they put the truth into practice, everything within people were right, then they would not need to be made perfect by God, and there would be no battle, and they would not suffer. It is because there are many things within people that are not fit for use by God, and because there is much of the rebellious disposition of the flesh, that people need to learn the lesson of rebelling against the flesh more profoundly. This is what God calls the suffering that He asked man to undergo with Him. When you encounter difficulties, hurry up and pray to God: “O God! I wish to satisfy You, I wish to endure the final hardship to satisfy Your heart, and regardless of how great the setbacks I encounter, still I must satisfy You. Even if I have to give up my whole life, still I must satisfy You!” With this resolve, when you pray thus, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony. Each time they put the truth into practice, each time they undergo refinement, each time they are tried, and each time God’s work comes upon them, people have to endure extreme pain. All of this is a test for people, and so within all of them there is a battle. This is the actual price that they pay. Reading more of God’s words and running about more is a portion of that price. It is what people ought to do, it is their duty, and the responsibility that they should fulfill, but people must put aside that within them which needs to be put aside. If you do not, then no matter how great your external suffering, no matter how much you run around, all will be in vain! Which is to say, only the changes within you can determine whether your external hardship is of value. When your internal disposition has changed and you have put the truth into practice, then all your external suffering will gain God’s approval; if there has been no change in your internal disposition, then no matter how much suffering you endure or how much you run about on the outside, there will be no approval from God—and hardship that is not confirmed by God is in vain. Thus, whether the price you have paid is approved by God is determined by whether or not there has been a change in you, and by whether or not you put the truth into practice and rebel against your own intentions and notions to attain the satisfaction of God’s will, the knowledge of God, and loyalty to God. No matter how much you run about, if you have never known to rebel against your own intentions, but only to seek external actions and fervency, and never pay any attention to your life, then your hardship will have been in vain. If, in a certain environment, you have something you want to say, but inside you feel that saying it is not right, that saying it does not benefit your brothers and sisters and may hurt them, then you will not say it, preferring to be pained within, for these words are incapable of meeting God’s will. At this time, there will be a battle inside you, but you will be willing to suffer pain and give up that which you love. You will be willing to endure this hardship to satisfy God, and although you will suffer pain inside, you will not pander to the flesh, and God’s heart shall have been satisfied, and so you will also be comforted inside. This is truly paying a price, and is the price desired by God. If you practice in this way, God will surely bless you; if you cannot achieve this, then no matter how much you understand, or how well you can speak, it will all be for nothing! If, on the road to loving God, you are able to stand on the side of God when He does battle with Satan, and you do not turn back to Satan, then you will have achieved the love of God, and you will have stood firm in your testimony.
Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
A problem or state can always be resolved with the truth, no matter what sort of problem or state it is. Regardless of what kind of problem you have, as long as you accept the truth and turn it from theory into your reality and practice it and enter it, then no matter what kind of person you are, you will undergo a transformation and growth. This is absolute; it is most definitely true. The emphasis lies in people’s hearts and their choices, and whether, when encountering a problem, they turn their backs on God or obey Him and submit to His words. It is also about whether people choose to satisfy their physical cravings when faced with something, or whether they can instead forsake their flesh and practice the truth, acting in line with God’s words. The main focus is on these things. As for those people who invariably choose to satisfy their flesh and fulfill their cravings by following their physical likes and desires, they can never experience the meaning or worth of practicing the truth. On the other hand, people who can forsake the flesh, let go of their own plans and desires, who can practice according to the truth and enter the reality of the truth can gradually experience what it means to practice the truth, come to realize the fun and enjoyment of practicing the truth, and can, step by step, gain a sense of the significance of God’s words and what the meaning and value are in God’s requirement that humans behave this way. What is the outcome when people do this? It is that they enjoy positive things more and more, and gain an ever-stronger ability to discern negative things, toward which they also feel more and more hatred, disgust, and disdain. Once people have these states and expressions, their faith in God will grow greater. If they practice like this often, then they will loathe their own corruption, evil, arrogance, selfishness, disobedience, and resistance, and will give rise to hatred, disgust, and antipathy for their nature and essence. Meanwhile, they will also feel dislike for any negative things around them with which they come in contact. They will give rise to these states.
Excerpted from “Only by Seeking the Truth in Everything Can One Enter Its Reality” in Records of Christ’s Talks
When you have some understanding of God, when you can see your own corruption and recognize the contemptibility and ugliness of arrogance and conceit, you will then feel disgusted, sickened, and distressed. You will be able to consciously do some things to satisfy God and, in doing this, will feel at ease. You will be able to consciously bear witness for God and, in doing this, will feel enjoyment. You will consciously unmask yourself, exposing your own ugliness, and by doing this, you will feel good inside and feel yourself to be in an improved state of mind. Therefore, the first step of seeking a change in your disposition is to seek to understand God’s words and to enter into the truth. Only by understanding the truth can you attain discernment; only with discernment can you understand things thoroughly; only by understanding things thoroughly can you forsake the flesh and, step by step, be on the right track with your belief in God. This is connected with how resolute people are when pursuing the truth. If someone is truly resolved, then after six months or a year they will begin to be on the right track. Within three or five years, they will see results, and will feel that they are making progress in life. If you believe in God but do not pursue the truth, then you could believe for ten years without experiencing any change. In the end, you will think that this is precisely what it means to believe in God; you will think it is pretty much the same as how you were living in the world previously, and that being alive is meaningless. This truly shows that without the truth, life is empty. You may be able to speak some words of doctrine, but you will still feel uncomforted and uneasy. If people have some knowledge of God, know how to live a meaningful life, and can do some things that satisfy God, then they will feel that this is real life, that only by living in this way will their lives have meaning, and that they have to live this way in order to bring a little satisfaction to God and feel gratified. If they can consciously satisfy God, put the truth into practice, forsake themselves, abandon their own ideas, and be obedient and considerate toward God’s will—if they are able to do all these things consciously—then this is what it means to accurately put the truth into practice, and to genuinely put the truth into practice, and this is very unlike their previous reliance on their imaginations and their sticking to doctrines and rules. In actual fact, it is exhausting to do anything when they do not understand the truth, exhausting to adhere to doctrines and rules, and exhausting to have no goals and to be doing things blindly. Only with the truth can they be free—this is no lie—and with it, they can do things easily and happily. Those who possess this sort of state are people who possess the truth; they are the ones whose dispositions have been transformed.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks