Paying Attention to What Is Irrelevant to the Truth One Can Never Gain the Truth
Let’s read several passages of God’s words from Christ Is the Truth, the Way, and the Life.
635. Man’s escape from the influence of darkness is based on My words, and if man cannot practice in accordance with My words, they will not escape from the bondage of the influence of darkness. To live in the correct state is to live under the guidance of God’s words, to live in the state of being loyal to God, to live in the state of seeking the truth, to live in the reality of sincerely expending for God, to live in the state of genuinely loving God. Those who live in these states and within this reality will gradually transform as they enter more deeply into the truth, and they will transform with the deepening of the work, until eventually they will certainly be gained by God, and they will come to genuinely love God.
Excerpted from “Escape From the Influence of Darkness and You Will Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
636. What I want are people like Peter, people who pursue being made perfect. Today’s truth is given to those who yearn for and seek it. This salvation is granted to those who yearn to be saved by God, and is not only meant to be gained by you, but is also so that you can be gained by God. You gain God in order that God can gain you. Today I have spoken these words to you, and you have heard them, and you should practice according to these words. In the end, when you put these words into practice will be when I have gained you through these words; at the same time, you will have also gained these words, which is to say, you will have gained this supreme salvation. Once you are made clean, you will have become a real human being.
Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
629. Man’s flesh is of Satan, it is full of rebellious dispositions, it is deplorably filthy, and it is something unclean. People covet the enjoyment of the flesh too much and there are too many manifestations of the flesh; this is why God despises man’s flesh to a certain extent. When people cast off the filthy, corrupt things of Satan, they gain God’s salvation. But if they still do not divest themselves of filth and corruption, then they are still living under the domain of Satan. People’s conniving, deceitfulness, and crookedness are all things of Satan. Saving you is allowing you to escape from these things. God’s work cannot be wrong; it is all done in order to save people from darkness. When you have believed to a certain point and can divest yourself of the corruption of the flesh, and are no longer enshackled by this corruption, will you not have been saved? When you live under Satan’s domain you are incapable of manifesting God, you are something filthy, and cannot receive God’s inheritance. Once you have been cleansed and made perfect, you will be holy, you will be a proper person, and you will be blessed by God and delightful to God.
Excerpted from “Practice (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
630. Man lives amid the flesh, which means he lives in a human hell, and without God’s judgment and chastisement, man is as filthy as Satan. How could man be holy? Peter believed that chastisement and judgment by God was man’s best protection and greatest grace. Only through chastisement and judgment by God could man awaken, and hate the flesh, and hate Satan. God’s strict discipline frees man from the influence of Satan, it frees him from his own little world, and allows him to live in the light of God’s presence. There is not better salvation than chastisement and judgment!
Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
631. In his life, if man wishes to be cleansed and achieve changes in his disposition, if he wishes to live out a life of meaning, and fulfill his duty as a creature, then he must accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and must not allow God’s discipline and God’s smiting to depart from him, so he can free himself from the manipulation and influence of Satan and live in the light of God. Know that God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and that there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man.
Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Why are lots of people unable to forsake enjoyment and love of the flesh? Why can’t they give it up? Well, for example, when some people see unbelievers wearing nice clothes, enjoying their lives, they can’t get it out of their minds. They say: “Look at these movie stars. Look at what they wear, what they eat, how they enjoy themselves. I’m so jealous! When will I be able to enjoy those luxuries?” Isn’t this lusting over the flesh? They see one of their brothers or sisters wearing good clothing and nice accessories, and they think: “They believe in God. I believe in God too. They wear such good clothes. How are they able to do that? Why can’t I?” Some people even think: “How can that person have a family like that? How can their family be so rich? Why is my family so poor? Why can’t I enjoy good things? Isn’t God unfair?” Some people cling to carnal pleasures to the point where if they can’t wear a certain piece of nice clothing or some nice accessory, they have no appetite, they can’t sleep well, and they’re unsatisfied. It restrains them to do their duty. They get stuck on these problems. What really is the problem here? We must discern all things that involve lusting after the flesh. Are these really positive things? Are they the truth? Do we not need to answer this question? Well, tell me, eating good food, wearing nice clothes, living in good homes, driving fancy cars, wearing fancy watches, are these positive things? Are they the truth? No, they are not. Why are they not positive things? Why are they not the truth? Because God never said any of this. God never said that if you live in a nice house, wear nice clothes, wear a fancy watch or drive an expensive car, you’re blessed by Him and a person who loves Him. Well, then did God ever say people who enjoy these things can receive His inheritance and enter heavenly kingdom? No. He never said that. That’s for sure. Therefore, we say with confidence that lusting over the flesh, enjoying these fleshly pleasures is not positive. That is not the truth and it is not pleasing to God. Whether God loves someone or blesses them is not based on how well they enjoy the flesh. Whether men receive God’s blessing is not based on their enjoyment of the flesh.
Well then, what does God use to determine whether to approve of or bless someone? Specifically, He bases it on whether people have the reality of the truth, whether they do the will of God, whether they fulfill their duty satisfactorily. The most fundamental requirement is whether they have been honest people, as God requires. These are the basic criteria. If people meet these conditions, they will receive God’s approval and His blessing. Therefore, we can determine that if a person fulfills these requirements, they will receive God’s approval and blessing, even if they enjoy little pleasures of the flesh, do not wear good clothes or fancy watches and do not drive expensive cars or live in a mansion or villa. Why is this? Because this person is doing exactly what God requires of him. Whoever meets God’s demands on mankind will receive His blessing and approval. This is plainly evident. So, is it right to be jealous of someone who wears nice clothes and fancy watches, drives fancy cars and lives in a mansion? It is definitely wrong. If a person with envy in his heart who desires to enjoy these pleasures, what kind of person is that? That is a person who enjoys the flesh, a person who lives in the flesh. That is a person who lives by the flesh, someone who is completely of the flesh. A person of the flesh, are they not living under Satan’s domain? They are surely living under Satan’s domain. They certainly are not living in God’s presence; they’re not living in God’s light, and they’re definitely not living inside God’s words. Well, can man of flesh love the truth? They cannot love the truth. They see the truth as meaningless, less valuable than the pleasures of the flesh. For example, if you were faced with two choices: wearing a nice watch or being an honest man, which would you choose? Would you choose to be an honest man and not wear the watch, or would you choose to wear the fancy watch and forsake being an honest man? Some people say: “Is that even a question? I’d choose the truth. Being an honest person is in keeping with God’s word. It is the truth. I would rather be poor and not wear a fancy watch, as long as I could be an honest person.” Are these people who love the truth? When there’s no temptation, they may say, “I would choose the truth.” “I would choose to do my duty.” “I would choose to be an honest person.” “I would choose to pursue the truth.” However, as soon as they see that watch, that house, that car, when that temptation is really there, they make the opposite choice. As soon as temptation arrives, they lose their determination to pursue the truth. They choose to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. When they see the fancy watch, the nice clothes, the expensive car, their eyes go green with envy. What’s the problem here? They are people of the flesh who belong to Satan.
Some people are able to say pleasant things when there’s no temptation. You see them and think, “That’s a person that pursues the truth. No doubt about it!” However, when the church leader wears nice clothing or a nice watch, their eyes start to wander. They become ill at ease. Their temperature rises, and they start to fidget. They say: “I believe in God too. Why do you get to wear such a nice watch? Why can’t I wear a watch like that? Why do you get to wear such nice clothes? Why can’t I wear clothes like that? Why can’t I have things like that? It’s not fair. If you wear those clothes, everyone should be able to wear them. Why do you get to wear them?” He becomes ill at ease. His blood starts to boil. Why is this? He is exposing his true intentions and all the emotions that are bottled up inside his heart. When everyone’s eating bad food. He looks at them and doesn’t have a problem with it. He doesn’t think anything of it. “Everyone’s suffering. It is what it is,” he thinks. However, if he then spots someone eating chicken, a chicken leg, his blood starts to boil. What kind of person is that? That is not a person that loves the truth. That is a person that loves flesh who has been exposed. When people really encounter these situations, they act differently. Like when he sees a leader suddenly wearing a fancy Swiss watch. He says: “What kind of watch is that? Why does this watch look so nice? I have to take a closer look at it.” When someone else says, “Read God’s word.” He puts the book of God’s word in front of his face. As he faces toward the book, but his eyes wander toward the watch. Why is he looking at the watch? Why are his eyes green with envy? What does this all mean? This person is too interested in pleasures of the flesh. His eyes are too sensitive. Most people don’t pay attention to what watch someone is wearing, but he is focused on it. When he looks at women, he first looks at their neck to see whether they’re wearing a necklace. He looks at their ears to see what earrings they’re wearing, and he looks at their hands to see what other jewelry they’re wearing. When he looks at men, he looks at their wrists and examines their watches. Aren’t people like this a little evil? These are people who lust after flesh. Can people who lust after the flesh also focus on the truth? If you refocus him on the truth, he becomes cold and uninterested. If you direct him toward pleasures of the flesh, he livens up, his eyes light up. What’s the problem here? People that cling to pleasures of the flesh too much are unable to pursue the truth. Their heart isn’t in it!
In pursuing the truth some take such an attitude: “If everyone practices the truth, I will too. If anyone doesn’t practice the truth, then I won’t either. If my leaders practice the truth, then I will as well. If the leaders do not practice the truth, then I won’t either.” What kind of person is this? This is not a person who is truly pursuing the truth. He does not love the truth. He’s influenced by others. He goes with the trend. If you really love the truth, your attitude would be: “Even if my parents don’t practice the truth, I will disown them. I won’t be restrained by them.” You’d say, “If you hate the truth, then you’re not my parents. At most, I will just fulfill my duty of the flesh to some extent and give you a bit of money, but I won’t let you influence me because you hate the truth. I must accept the truth. I must turn my back on you.” If your parents hate the truth and are against God, then they are devils of Satan! If you love the truth to this extent, if you’re principled, you’ll forsake anyone who hates the truth and is against God. You’ll oppose them and draw a clear line from them. So if there are false leaders or antichrists, will you be controlled? No. It won’t restrain you. Therefore, people in the church who really pursue the truth won’t be controlled by anything. These people are the ones who have really defeated Satan and broken away from Satan’s influence. These are the ones who belong to God and not to the flesh. This is clearly evident! Now, if a few of the people around you in the church do not practice the truth, if they talk behind your back about this and that, or if they gossip and tell you that this person said that and that person thinks this about you, will that affect you? How will you respond? You will reject these things and hate these things, “Stay away from these banal people. Nothing good will come from fraternizing with them. It’s meaningless.”
Eating good food, like chicken legs, is that the truth? Is that a positive thing? No, that is not. Well then, should you eat it? Spiritual men cannot eat it. They should give the chicken legs to the dogs or smash them underfoot and grind them into the earth. That is true spirituality. Is that correct? You can’t tell. Well then, is that not fake spirituality? I said that on purpose to gauge your reaction. Apparently there are some people who can’t tell. Well then, what should you do with the chicken leg? Occasionally eating meat under certain circumstances is OK. It tastes good, in any case, but don’t be a picky eater. If you just have to eat meat when circumstances do not permit, as if you’ll die if you don’t eat it, that’s not good. We should treat different foods properly and be sure to avoid only eating the foods we like. You shouldn’t just say, “I only like meat. I only like savory food. I only like fried food. I don’t like that.” That’s a mistake. That’s not in keeping with God’s will. When circumstances permit and God has prepared it for us, we’ll eat it. If God has not prepared it for us, if we will not find it under normal circumstances, then we should not be affected by it. We should not become negative or weak or lose the will to live just because we cannot eat meat. God has given us vegetables, so we should eat vegetables. If God gives us bad food to eat, we should eat that and thank Him just the same instead of complaining. This is the right way to do it.
The way you should treat food is: Eat all the different kinds of food that God has prepared for you, normally, as you should. It’s a mistake to favor some foods over others, using taste as the main criteria. That’s indulging in the pleasure of food. We should eat the food that is most beneficial to our bodies and overall health. This is the principle you should use when it comes to your diet. This is the rule that a person of normal humanity should follow when it comes to food. Do not be partial to some kinds of food. Don’t be a picky eater. Don’t eat too much meat and greasy food. That’s no good. Also, you can’t eat too much of any one thing. The point is, have a healthy, balanced diet. That’s the principle you should use when it comes to eating. If you only eat meat, and won’t eat without meat, well, is that normal humanity? People who lust over the flesh, who eat only for taste, they will suffer illnesses. One day when they get sick, they will know the harm. That’s called retribution. Therefore, when it comes to diet, you should take the attitude of normal humanity. You should make choices according to your health. Every kind of vegetable is rich in nutrients. Don’t overlook vegetables. They’re much more nutritious than meat. They contain vitamins, a complete profile of trace minerals. All kinds of vegetables are good. Don’t fall in love with meat. Nothing good comes from being a meat-lover. You’re bound to fall ill in the end. Don’t fall in love with alcohol, especially the hard stuff. Don’t drink it at all, or drink as little as possible. Alcohol can seriously damage the liver. Drinking lots of liquor can lead to Hepatitis A or cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol is not good for you. When drinking red wine, select wines with low alcohol contents. In short, drink as little alcohol as you can. Eating less meat is good. Eat more vegetables and grains. This is how people that are concerned with nutrition eat. Do you understand? Are meat lovers good? No, they’re greedy! Those who enjoy the flesh the most are the ones who love to eat meat. Meat-lovers have no promise. There is no way they can pursue the truth or be saved. The greediest people are the most carnal; the laziest people are the most carnal; those people who love to have fun are the most carnal. These are the types of people who can’t endure any hardships. The people that can endure hardships are precious. They can achieve any goal they set out to do. They can endure any kind of hardships, no matter what it may be. These people represent the best that humanity has to offer. What kind of people are the ones who enjoy the flesh most? The greediest people, the laziest people, the ones who love to have fun. The ones who love to have fun? What does that mean? It means people that love to play video games. These people won’t amount to anything. They’ll be eliminated. The people I resent and hate the most, and the people God resents and hates the most are twenty somethings and thirty somethings who have nothing better to do than play games. Video games are the devil’s playthings. They love those kinds of things. Do you think that stuff is the truth? Do you think that stuff is positive thing? Some people play games for hours without eating or sleeping. They are devils who will never accomplish anything. Those people will be eliminated. They are the dregs of humanity, worthless creatures who won’t attend to their proper duties. With those who perform duties in God’s house at the moment, do some of them play games secretly when they have some free time? These people should be isolated. If they do not repent, there’s no need for them to perform duties. Leaders and workers at all levels should start implementing this. People that perform different duties who play games often and have nothing better to do should be isolated. We have no need for them. No one who enjoys the flesh can be saved. Why is that? These people don’t have the desire to improve. They don’t have the will to endure suffering. They don’t love the truth. They love negative things. They love evil things. That’s a problem. That’s the main reason why they do not pursue the truth. We must clearly discern this fact. Why don’t they pursue the truth? Because their love of the flesh is too strong. These people are worthless. Aren’t those who can’t bear any hardships worthless people? Aren’t those who cannot accept any truth degenerates? They’re all degenerates! What does it mean by “degenerate”? People who cannot accept any modicum of truth. People who cannot be reformed. These people are degenerates. They cannot be saved.
Some people may say they like the truth. They can clearly discern those whose actions are wrong or do not accord with the truth, they offer clear explanations and may even seem to have a bit of insight. And they can also discern those obvious false leaders and antichrists, but as soon as they themselves are being dealt and pruned, they get angry, start complaining, and refuse to accept it. Their sophistry and worthless explanations have no bounds. What kind of people are these? Do they love the truth? No, this is their true self showing up. They maintain their old ways and try to establish their own image. They want to act superior, and are egocentric at heart. They expect people to obey them. Aren’t these the most arrogant and self-righteous people of all? Their satanic disposition is too strong. What is the core essence of Satan’s disposition and nature? It is being arrogant, conceited, self-important, self-righteous, and considering oneself to be the most honorable. When these dispositions are far too prominent in some people, if they are not leaders, then who will they be? If they are not leaders, they are hypocrites who walk the path of the antichrist. As soon as such a man becomes a leader he’ll turn into an antichrist. Some people can’t discern this. They say: “Before he’s been picked as a leader, he gave good sermons. He seemed to have the truth in what he said, he seemed to speak with discernment and insight, he seemed to have a higher view than others.” When it comes to other people, when it comes to the outside world, he understands, he can discern, he has insight. He can discern others correctly and identify their problems in keeping with the truth. How can he turn into an antichrist after he is selected as a leader? Many people fail to see through this. Who wants to say why this is? This is because this person’s satanic disposition is too strong. He’s too arrogant, self-centered and considering himself the most honorable. He wants everyone else to obey him, worship him and follow him! People with this disposition will become antichrists as soon as they are selected as leaders! It’s an absolute certainty! What is the other main expression of an antichrist, besides extreme arrogance, self-righteousness and considering himself the most honorable? They never practice the truth. They have no self-awareness. Before antichrists assume a position of leadership, they don’t gain any entry into the truth. They never practice the truth. They don’t know themselves at all. Do you think that when they become leaders, when they become workers, they will start to do the practical work for God’s house? Without practicing the truth themselves, can they really do practical work for God’s house? Hasn’t the answer revealed itself already? You see, antichrists can discern others, they can see others very well, but when it comes to themselves, they’re finished. First, they have no self-awareness. Second, they don’t practice the truth. Their sermons and words are all demands and discernment of others; they themselves do not enter into them and have no true knowledge of themselves. Therefore, after they become leaders, they still fail to gain any entry. Without entering themselves, can they do real work in consideration of God’s will? Doing actual work and practicing the truth are the same thing. How can people who do not practice the truth themselves do real work? They can’t, because the real work they’re supposed to do is to practice the truth. If they don’t practice the truth themselves, they can’t do real work. Antichrists don’t practice the truth when they’re not in positions of leadership. So, after they become leaders, they’re unable to perform any practical work. It’s as simple as that.
What do people who want to practice the truth need to have in order to really practice it? The most important thing is to have normal human conscience and reason. Normal human conscience and reason are those that constitute part of normal humanity. Having conscience and reason means that you have awareness; you know what to do to have a clear conscience and be after God’s heart. You fully understand that. If you betray your conscience, you won’t be at ease. Therefore, when you are confronted with things, you see them for what they are, you understand, you know how to act. What compels people to be this way? Conscience. What is included within the concept of the “compelling conscience”? Positive intent. What does conscience represent, exactly? Conscience represents a person’s spirit. It represents a person’s positive intent. Conscience compels a person to go practice the truth, do good deeds, fulfill their responsibilities, and perform their duties. What word do unbelievers use to refer to this responsibility, this duty? Obligation. Actually, when we say “obligation,” it is not appropriate, we should say “responsibility” or “duty.” All people who are able to practice the truth have a conscience and have reason; they have normal humanity. That is an accurate statement. If someone understands the truth but never practices the truth, do they have a conscience and reason? If someone never practices the truth, yet he is devoid of blame or sorrow, and remains “as stable, peaceful, and calm” as usual, what kind of person is that? A person without a conscience. How can we use spiritual terminology to refer to these people? A man without spirit. Such a person is devoid of spirit. Colloquially, we can call this person someone “without a conscience.” Using spiritual terminology, we can call this person “devoid of spirit.” What kinds of people are devoid of spirit? “Beasts,” “unbelievers” and “immoral animals in human attire” are a few terms that seem appropriate. Unbelievers are devoid of spirit. They are immoral animals in human attire. The harshest title, beasts, is also the most fitting! Calling someone who is devoid of spirit a beast, does that amount to insulting them? It’s not insulting them. It accords with the facts. It’s the same as saying to a pig, “Hey pig! You’re a beast!” It’s the same as saying to a dog, “Hey dog! You’re a beast! Why don’t you understand human speech?” Well, calling a dog, pig, horse or cow a beast—is that just cursing them out too? No. Why not? Because they are beasts. If you don’t call them out for what they are, it does not correspond to the facts. If you were talking to a horse, could you say: “Hey, man! Why don’t you understand human speech?”? Is that acceptable? If it isn’t, then why not? Treating a beast as a person, is that not elevating the beasts to a place they do not belong?
When we first started to read God’s words, when we saw how God judged humanity and human sins, there would sometimes be certain conceptions behind them. Why we had conceptions? We couldn’t see through to the truth of the matter. After experiencing God’s work for a few years, we understand that “Humans really are as corrupted as beasts. They lack humanity, conscience and reason. The words they say, the things they do, the likeness they live out are no different than those of the beasts.” So now when we read God’s words about “beasts,” “devils,” “Satan,” “seeds of Satan,” and “a lack of humanity,” we have no conceptions; we feel that His words are apt and He speaks the absolute truth, so we are utterly convinced by His judgment and chastisement. Are these facts the results achieved by experiencing God’s work? When religious people suddenly hear the words of God, they feel the same way as we just did and cannot accept them. But after they experience God’s work for a few years, things change. They would say, “Everything God says is the truth, the absolute fact. He is able to convince us of this!” Not only do they have no notions, but they’re also completely convinced of God’s truth. When they reach this point, they all acknowledge that “God’s words are the truth. Everything God says is factual and real. Whatever God says, regardless of whether humans understand or know it, it’s all the truth. This is certain, beyond any doubt.” They are completely convinced by God’s word and work. Are these not people who have been conquered by God’s word? After being conquered, they can pursue the truth; they can acknowledge that everything God says are facts, are the truth. They have no notions about God’s work and much less of an inclination to rebel. Even if they cannot be obedient, they acknowledge their own corruption, rebellion, that they’re inhuman. They do not question whether God’s words are the truth. After they are conquered by God’s words, the people that truly love the truth will start to enter the reality of the truth. They will start to focus on practicing the truth and experiencing God’s words. They will begin to focus on pursuing the truth and obtaining the truth. When they have pursued the truth to the point at which they can understand some truth, what should they say then? “Now I can discern positive things from negative things. I now know what positive things and realities of the truth one must possess in order to have normal humanity. Now I can discern that people focus on many things that have nothing to do with the truth.”
The people that don’t love the truth focus mainly on negative things, and partially on things that have nothing to do with the truth. They focus on very few positive things. Now, according to the principle of pursuing the truth, if people focus on things that have nothing to do with the truth, can they enter into the reality of the truth? There are many people who say, “I haven’t pursued negative things. I haven’t done evil deeds. I haven’t done the things that false leaders, antichrists or wicked men do. I haven’t focused on them or meddled in them or fraternized with those people. Well, am I not a person who pursues the truth?” What do you have to say about this? These people look good on the surface. They say, “I can discern false leaders and antichrists. While doing my duty, I won’t be restrained by false leaders or antichrists. If they say the wrong thing or try to lead me on the wrong path, I won’t follow them. I have the discernment. I reject them. When they do much evil, I expose them!” Are these people pursuing the truth? Can you tell? Some of you are confused and can’t tell! Actually, most of the things you focus on have nothing to do with the truth. Some of these things that have nothing to do with the truth are not evil, but they are not positive things. Then, what are these things, the things that he focuses on that have nothing to do with the truth? Can you cite an example? Which things have nothing to do with the truth, that is to say, the things which you may focus on your whole life while not obtaining the truth, the things that are not evil, but will also not help you obtain the truth? Can you cite a few examples? Shouldn’t we dissect these things? Many people live in these things, these things that have nothing to do with the truth. They grab onto these things to experience and focus on them. As a result, no matter how long they live in this stuff, they never enter the reality of the truth. Their lives never develop or grow. Is this not a fact? The most prominent and visible matter which has nothing to do with the truth is following rules. You can follow rules for 100 years and not obtain the truth. You can be tangled up in rules for 100 years and not understand the truth. Is this so? This is the first kind of thing that has nothing to do with the truth.
The second kind of thing that has nothing to do with the truth is becoming entwined in conceptions, rights and wrongs. Continually discussing right and wrong. Doing this is right; doing that is wrong. This is appropriate; that is inappropriate. You’re always getting stuck on these types of questions. You cannot master the principles of the truth. You do not know which action is right and which is wrong. Acting according to human conceptions, imaginings and practices and doing right does not necessarily mean you’re acting on principle. If you do wrong it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve sinned. It’s just as the word of God says, “You will not be reproached if you do something wrong today, nor will you be rewarded if you do something good tomorrow. These are human matters, and have not the slightest connection to the work of the Holy Spirit—this is not at all within the scope of My work.” It’s useless to get caught up in these things; they have nothing to do with the truth. You can struggle with these things for 100 years and not obtain the truth. This is the second type of thing that has nothing to do with the truth. If we come across something that really does betray our principles, we should identify it, dissect it and analyze it. This is useful. As to things that do not betray our principles, it only concerns individual issues, and there’s no right or wrong. What kinds of people struggle with these things? Most of them are of low caliber. People that cannot understand the truth purely or cling to their own absurd interpretations are the types of people that struggle with these matters. Of course, not all people are like this. Some people are new believers. They’ve only kept the faith for one or two years and don’t understand the truth. They think they’re pursuing the truth seriously. These people aren’t erroneous. If they have been believers for a long time, say seven or eight years, maybe ten years, and they’re still clinging to these things, then maybe they’re kind of erroneous and lacking in the spiritual understanding. If people continue to cling to things that have nothing to do with the truth without letting go, if they treat it as pursuing the truth and solving the problems, can they achieve their goals? Well, do these sorts of people have principles in doing things? They do not have principles. Therefore, these are people who have deviated in their experience, but we can be sure that none of the people who cling to these things that have nothing to do with the truth is a wicked person. These people are not wicked. Most of them are striving for the truth, but they cannot receive the truth purely, or they’re new believers who do not understand the truth. Still, they’re striving to pursue and focus on the truth; they’re just not on the right track yet. It is only that they have deviated in their experience and their practice. Do you understand?
The third type of thing that has nothing to do with the truth is trivialities, minor external matters, things that do not involve principles of the truth. Some people eat meat. Some people wear nice clothing. Some people wear gold and silver jewelry. Someone sees this and says, “This is a problem. You’re lusting after the flesh. You’re under Satan’s dominion!” He blindly puts labels on people. He makes a mountain out of a molehill. Doesn’t this have nothing to do with the truth? Do not pursue this matter. For example, if someone eats some dumplings, drinks some cold water, then has diarrhea, you tell them “This is God’s punishment!” Is that correct? Some people suddenly fall ill from an infectious disease. You say, “This is God’s punishment! His curse has descended upon you!” Can you say it that way? It’s not that clear. Don’t set rules like that. If something is transparent and it is what it is, if you can verify it from a variety of perspectives, then you can say it this way. If you’re only looking at it from one perspective, then you can’t say that. You can’t be too quick to pass judgment like that. For example, a person wears the same amount of clothes as someone else and suddenly gets sick. Someone calls this “God’s discipline.” They just throw that label out there. “Why is this God’s discipline? What are you basing this on?” “You’re wearing the same amount of clothes as someone else, so why didn’t they catch a cold? Why are you the one that caught the cold? This is God’s discipline.” Is this claim valid? Is it just tantamount to baseless labeling? Is this passing judgment? This is just an assertion that cannot be verified because everyone’s immune system is different; their ages are different; they have different levels of physical fitness. You can’t just make blind assertions like that. Someone suddenly gets a rare illness, and people say, “It’s God’s punishment.” Is it appropriate to just put that label on it? Don’t just make sweeping judgments like that. Some things may appear to be the case, but that does not necessarily mean they are so. Do not apply rules. Do not argue over these things that have nothing to do with the truth. If you can’t see it for what it is, don’t just spout nonsense. People who get stuck on these matters should not blindly define themselves. If you pray and seek guidance, you may find the answer later. A lot of things appear to be true, but that doesn’t make them true. Doctors don’t just base their diagnoses on one symptom. They have to consider all the relevant factors before coming to a conclusion. What is the third type of thing that has nothing to do with the truth? (Minor things.) These are the main types of things that have nothing to do with the truth. There are also trivial things like what clothes you wear, what food you eat, what you do for fun. You see someone who’s enjoying themselves and you say, “Wow! Blessed are they!” You see someone who is dirt poor and you think, “God has cursed this person!” Is it fair to react this way? No. You shouldn’t speak this way. Everything is part of God’s beautiful intentions, His plan. We can’t understand it. After you’ve experienced and understood much of the truth, maybe you can really understand many more things. However, there are still some things that people will never ever understand. There are some things that even now I don’t dare say I understand, that I can’t accurately say they are this way or that way. I may have some insight about it, but I’m not even willing to come out definitively on that, let alone a further understanding of it. Avoid speaking nonsense. This will avoid regret.
How should we treat things that have nothing to do with the truth? This is a key issue. Now you see that things that have nothing to do with the truth can be divided into three categories, three aspects. Now let’s generalize these three aspects of matters. How many of them are there altogether? How many can you think? How should we deal with them after generalizing? What should we do about this? What type of attitude should we use to respond to it? This is the key problem. Some issues have truths within them that can be found. Some issues are meaningless and not worth attention. We can even say these things have no truth or mysteries to be found. Give them up. You could focus on them until the end of time, and it wouldn’t mean a thing. We must grasp the principles to treat these issues which do not involve the truth. Food, clothing and shelter have nothing to do with the truth. Why is that? Eating well does not mean you have God’s blessing and definitely doesn’t mean you are practicing the truth. Not eating well does not mean God hates you; it definitely does not mean you live under Satan’s domain and in no way, shape or form does it mean you cannot be saved. How well you live and what you wear has nothing to do with whether you obtain the truth or what your ultimate destination is. Now, should we be affected by these things? Some people say, “If I can’t wear that nice outfit, I’m not motivated to pursue the truth or do my duty. As soon as I’m able to wear clothes like that, I guarantee I’ll be motivated to do my duty and pursue the truth.” What is the problem here? If you let that kind of person wear those fancy clothes, will they really do their duty well? You can’t trust their word. They’re just bragging and lying. This is Satan’s trick. The ends justify the means. Some people say: “If you give me a position and let me lead, I promise I’ll pursue the truth and do my work well.” Can we take these words seriously? Will they do their duty well as soon as they get in a position of leadership? At that point, will they suddenly be able to pursue the truth? Do people like that exist? Do we need to conduct a test of that? Whether people can do their jobs or do their duties properly is determined by their character and stature. Some people have good character but lack the required truth and stature, so they cannot achieve that. For some people, if they have a good character, they can do their duty, work hard and pursue the truth. If they understand the truth, but lack a good character, then they still can’t achieve that. On the one hand, you must possess good humanity. On the other hand, you must also understand some truth. This is the only way you’ll be able to fulfill your duty and do actual work. This is because doing your duty properly is not as easy as people think. It’s not as if you can do a good job when gaining a position. Before they’re in power, so many leaders say, “If only I was the leader, I’d be better than so-and-so.” Then when they become leaders, what happens? They’re not any better than anyone else. It’s hard to see where they are better than others. Doesn’t this occur far too often? So, should people be blinded by the superficial speech of those? Do not be fooled. You must know that talking a big game is the characteristic of Satan’s nature.
As for those things that do not involve the truth, some of them should be rejected, ignored, not taken seriously. They are meaningless. For some other things, you still need to seek the truth to solve them, you must act on principle and treat things correctly. Isn’t this important? If someone gets entangled with right and wrong, they should seek the truth and use the principle of the truth to deal with them. We can choose not to pursue these types of people and things, but what is the stature of that type of person? Why does he live in a state of arguing rights and wrongs? What’s his character? Is he a person who likes to sow discord? Is he a person who loves the truth? We must see clearly his nature and determine what kind of person he is. Seeing clearly this issue means you see through this person. At that point, solving the problem is easy. We then know how to deal with this type of person. Now, what if we remain focused on these things that have nothing to do with the truth? What is the solution to that problem? We must treat this according to the principles of the truth. We must reject what should be rejected and pursue the truth to solve that which must be solved. Isn’t this a good way to go about it? This will save us a lot of trouble and put us back on the proper path to pursuing the truth. Now we have discerned the things that do not involve the truth. We have a basic understanding of this. Person A tells you, “Person B has been talking about you.” Plugging your ears and refusing to listen, is that a good response? No, you should listen, but then discern them and decide what the correct solution is. You should say, “Oh, Person B misunderstands. He’s looking at external things. That’s normal, but he’s being a bit biased and following rules.” If that’s the case, should we hate this person? Do not hate this person. Treat them properly. What they’re focused on does not involve the truth, but you must seek and use the truth to resolve the issue. If you solve the problem with the truth and take an appropriate attitude, a correct position, you’ll be able to stand firm. If they pursue those things having nothing to do with the truth, if they get involved in meaningless arguments and provoke trouble, but then you also do the same thing, haven’t you just fallen into the same pit? If you live in the enjoyment of the flesh and argue over it, then you’re just the same as they are, who don’t have the truth and focus on things that have nothing to do with the truth. Things not involved with the truth are like children fighting or arguing over games. If you argue with your brothers and sisters for ages, until you are red in the face, without any resolution, someone will ask you, “How long have you believed in God?” “Ten years,” you answer. You’re a ten-year-old child who never grew up! You’ve believed in God for ten years, yet you still fret over these meaningless things. Have you really obtained the reality of the truth? Do these types of people have any hope? Some people are too small in stature. They argue over these things that have nothing to do with the truth. They’re compelled to fight it out to the bitter end. They have to prove that they’re right. They have to win the argument. What kinds of people are they? Is this a positive person or a negative person? A negative person, how can we describe such a person in unbelievers’ terms? What kind of person is this? Are they not a shrieking shrew? Are they not an unreasonable rogue? Are they not a contentious, petty person? Are they not a shameless person? All of these titles are appropriate. Some people have these things on their minds every day. As soon as they see a leader has arrived, they say, “You’re a righteous and honest man. You should give me a solution, give me a ruling.” What ruling do you want? We’re talking about knowing ourselves. Who is supposed to give you the ruling for that in the church? You are not a person who pursues the truth. Any rationalizations are meaningless. If you really do have any conscience or reason, why don’t you focus on pursuing the truth? Why are you arguing with people over this stuff? Why are you incapable of forsaking the flesh? Why don’t you practice God’s word, pursue the truth and live in the light? Why can’t you be a righteous person? You are not a moral creature. Is this explanation correct? If you want a ruling, I’ll give you a ruling. Neither of you is a good person. If either one of you were, you wouldn’t be standing here. Don’t fret over these matters. It’s meaningless. He said you were wrong. If you really understand the truth, even though you were wronged, you have to be tolerant. Having tolerance will increase your magnanimity. If you encounter things that test your patience, if you encounter misunderstandings, but you’re able to hold it in, you will grow in stature and your emotional stability will increase. If you don’t experience these things, then you won’t be made perfect. Isn’t that right? If he is right, in accordance with the truth, then you should seek the truth, know yourself, reflect on your own problems and then use the truth to solve them. This will be beneficial to yourself. This is God’s plan; this is God’s blessing. When this sort of thing comes around, you’ll have learned your lessons, you’ll have grown in stature. That’s the only way you’ll get God’s blessing. Why struggle with these things? Arguing does not mean you have stature, and it does not mean you’re obeying the truth. If you continue to struggle with this, that just proves that you’re not acting in accordance with God’s will. You are in the wrong as well. He’s not right, and you’re not right either. If you were right, would you still argue with him? You would have accepted the truth earlier.
How should we pursue positive things? Focus on entering the truth. Ignore things that have nothing to do with the truth. Never allow yourself to get caught up in that stuff. Don’t get tangled up in matters of right and wrong or love and hate. Here’s what you should be focused on, “Am I pursuing the truth today in everything I encounter? Am I using the truth to solve problems? Am I acting according to principles? Am I evaluating things according to the words of God? Am I fulfilling my responsibilities and obligations?” After you reflect on yourself like this a few times, when you encounter these types of things again, you’ll know how to practice the truth, act on principle, what kind of person to be, how to deal with and solve problems, etc. When you achieve these things, you are in accordance with God’s will, have obtained the reality of truth and are living in God’s words. That is to say, you are a person that practices the truth because you can do things on principle and use the truth to solve problems. If you focus on always living in God’s words, do everything according to principles, discern everything and use the truth to solve problems, these are all positive things. These are all ways to practice and enter into the truth every day, to focus on pursuing the truth, to focus on living in God’s words, to focus on practicing the truth and acting according to principles. If you always focus on these things, you will subconsciously live out the reality of truth and live out the reality of God’s words. In this way, you will live in front of God, in the light. Then, what are positive things, exactly? Which things are related to the truth? What are the main aspects of things related to the truth? They are all related to the truth of God’s words. They are all critical things related to performing one’s duties. They are all related to the principles of the truth. They are all related to God’s demands for humans. These kinds of things are related to the truth and things that God’s elect should focus on. Now you’re clear on which things have to do with the truth! One aspect has to do with the truth of God’s words. One aspect has to do with performing one’s duties. One aspect has to do with what kind of person one should be. One aspect has to do with acting according to principles. One aspect has to do with fighting against Satan. These are all things that are related to the truth. Now these things must be treated according to principles. We must search for the truth according to God’s words. We must understand the truth according to God’s demands and live according to His words. These kinds of people will be made perfect and are qualified to inherit God’s promises. If people do not focus on these things that are related to the truth and focus on things not related to the truth instead, then what kind of people are they? They do not love the truth or pursue the truth.
If a leader or a worker wears a nice watch and you see it, would you be affected by that? If you are affected by it, what problem is this? It shows that you can still be affected by external things. Then do you have the truth in your heart? People without the truth are always focused on pleasures of the flesh. If someone else is enjoying the flesh, they can’t stand it; they need to have a piece of the pie; they need to do it like them. “If you enjoy something, I will enjoy it too. Otherwise, I won’t pursue the truth or do my duty.” Are these people followers of God? They do not follow God. They always follow other people. They do whatever other people do. They want whatever anyone else has; they focus on what everyone else focuses on. Are these people followers of God? Then, let’s take another situation. If a leader wears a nice watch, well, is that a problem? It’s not a problem. He has the means to wear such a watch. His family is well off and has always worn nice clothes. God uses this to expose man. He allows some of His elect to live luxurious lifestyles and some to live poor lifestyles. This is God’s plan; it is good for everyone. God uses this to expose people. He uses it to teach them a lesson, to teach them how to forsake things and how to betray the flesh. The fact that God allows some people to dress nicely, have good temperaments and look nice makes those without good looks who do not love the truth jealous and negative. They suffer from it, are tempered and reflect on themselves and by so doing, get to know themselves better. Eventually they are able to remove themselves from the bonds of the flesh and defeat the flesh. These are things that God’s elect should learn. God plans these things and allows them to exist; it is good for everyone; it can teach everyone a lesson. People who don’t learn anything from this, who do not pursue the truth and just imitate others instead will be exposed. They do not love the truth and are not pursuing it.
Take, for example, a person from a poor family doing his duty together with someone born into a rich family. At first, when he sees what the rich person eats and wears and how luxurious his life is, the poor person is affected by it. Then, later, the poor person pursues the truth, prays to God, reflects on himself, learns some lessons and gets to know himself. After that, he is no longer affected by what the rich person eats, wears, etc. He does not eat well or wear well, but he continues to do his duty, loyally and effectively; he continues to pursue the truth and obey God. Tell me, who does God praise? Those who pursue the truth, right? In this regard, they are made perfect. God planned for a rich person to be together with a poor person in order to make which person perfect? Some people say, “Then, people born into rich families like us are unlucky. We cannot be made perfect!” This isn’t true either, because the truth does not play favorites and God does not play favorites. If the sons and daughters of rich families pursue the truth, God will make them perfect as well. When rich people are together with poor people, what should they learn? Some of them think, “See how happy I am! I have obtained God’s blessing, so my family is wealthy. That’s why I can wear nice clothing and accessories and even look better than you do. As for you, you’re from a poor family. You don’t eat good food or wear good clothes or even look as good as I do. I look down on you, I despise you!” What kind of person is this? Is this a person that loves the truth? Rich people like this are not in accordance with God’s will. He should see that person’s strengths. What do I mean when I say that? He should say, “That person is from a poor family. He isn’t able to eat well, live in a nice house or wear nice clothes. However, he’s still so loyal to God, and he still pursues the truth. Look at me. I wear such nice clothes and accessories, yet he’s unfazed by it. He doesn’t seem interested in that stuff. This is his strength and my weakness. This is reason that normal humanity should have. Why don’t I have it?” Is this not a lesson that they should learn? In addition, they must ponder about this: “If we were to switch places, that is, if I was born into a poor family, ate the food they ate and wore the clothes they wore, would I believe in God? Would I be able to sacrifice for God? Would I be able to do my duty and be faithful to God? It’s hard to say! Then, in that case, he is much better than me. He is above me; he is much stronger than me. I cannot compare to him. I enjoy all these luxuries and wear such nice clothing, yet I do not do my duty as loyally as he does; I do not pursue the truth as well as he does. If I had to endure hardships like this, I fear I’d have become negative and backed down long ago. I am not of the same stature as he is. I am of a much lesser quality.” When he realizes this, he feels ashamed; he admires the brothers and sisters from poor families. “Their character is much greater than mine, much stronger than mine. They have the normal humanity that I lack! If it wasn’t for so much of God’s grace that God has bestowed upon me, would I be able to follow Him to this day? Could I still do my duty that way? It’s hard to say!” Isn’t this something we should reflect on? Which person is really the most precious? Which person has the most strength? Which person is in accordance with God’s will? Is it the rich person or the poor person? God doesn’t care what kind of clothes you wear, whether you’re good-looking or not or how luxurious of a lifestyle you have. God looks at how willing you are to endure hardship for Him, how willing you are to obey Him, how much you love the truth and how much you love God. God looks at whether people have the truth. See which good-looking person always has the work of the Holy Spirit and which not-so-good-looking person never has the work of the Holy Spirit. Does that really happen? What does this illustrate? What determines whether or not the Holy Spirit works on man? What determines whether God loves someone or not? Whether God loves you or blesses you or whether the Holy Spirit works on you or not are not determined by your outer appearance. These things are determined by what’s in your heart, whether you really love the truth and whether or not you practice the truth. This is God’s will. If God’s elect understand this, should they focus on things that have nothing to do with the truth? If you have to vote for a leader or a worker, what would you base your choice on? Should you base it on how well they dress, how good they look, how tall they are or how old they are? What should you base it on? You must act on principle in order to be in accordance with God’s will. If you always focus on outward appearances and things that have nothing to do with the truth, God will hate you; He won’t welcome you. If you’re always focused on what to eat or wear or different luxuries, well, don’t these things have nothing to do with the truth? Say it with me: Constantly focusing on what you eat, what you wear and life’s luxuries—these are all things that have nothing to do with the truth. Do you all understand? Why am I telling you to repeat it again? What does that mean? It is very important to see through to the truth of these things and truly understand them, because most people are restrained by these things.
Nowadays, the people who do their duties are mostly young people. More than half of them are 20-30 years old, while less than half are 40-50 years old. Young people are particularly focused on what they eat, what they wear, luxuries, etc. This is a common ailment among corrupt people. Therefore, it is important and practical to communicate about these things. We have talked before about emotions and the dangers of living by emotions. We’ve spoken a lot about it. Then, are people that live in the flesh also people that live by emotions? Are people of the flesh also people of emotion? All of these things are linked. They’re all of the same nature. They are the two important aspects of the satanic nature. Not living by emotion is also not living by the flesh. Living by the flesh is mainly living by emotion. Is this a true statement? Pretty much. It definitely is true. You can say those two things are the same thing, or at least that they’re very similar.
Can you ask a detailed question? Anything having to do with practicing the truth or the topics we’ve discussed today is OK. You can also ask some questions regarding the path and principles of practice.
Question 1: The constraints of face, fame, and status make it hard to practice the truth. After a few rounds of judgment and chastisement I am still constrained by nature and still can’t make much progress. How should I solve this problem?
Answer: We do not know how to break free of the constraints of face, vanity and status. We do not know how to solve this problem. Problems like this are problems of nature. They’re like people who like to enjoy the lusts of the flesh. If you try to quit doing it, just like that, will it work? No, no one can do that. Is this true? How can we solve this problem? We can’t think about pulling it out by the roots. That won’t work. Then what should we do? During the implementation of the truth, we should seize on a few principles and act on them. That way, these things will not constrain us. This is the best way to solve this problem. This is a way forward. Then what, specifically, should we do? If we don’t discuss this in more detail and all you hear is me saying this, it still won’t work and you won’t be able to practice the truth. Specifically, when you implement the truth, you must pay attention to “Why am I being constrained by vanity, status or face?” You must see through this first. This is the first problem. Now we will put this thing in front of God and His words. Let’s take a look at it, dissect it and understand it. If you do not understand it, you won’t know what your “affliction” is.
Why are people constrained by vanity, status and face? People are being poisoned by Satan’s venom, so they will be constrained by these things. What does Satan’s philosophy say about this? “Men can’t live without face, trees can’t live without bark.” Men are prideful creatures, so being disgraced is quite a humiliating thing, one which makes them afraid to even show their faces. However, what is it that truly embarrasses someone and leaves them without any face? Someone says “it’s not having the truth.” No, it’s the ugly, horrible deeds that humans commit, is it not? For example, someone hits you for doing a good thing. Is that humiliating? Probably not, because you didn’t do anything foolish or wrong. If you steal something from someone else or steal a lot of money and are caught, is this humiliating? This is deeply humiliating, to the point where you won’t want to show your face. That’s how shameful it is! Then, if we did not do these shameful things, why would we lose face? Why would we feel humiliated? Therefore, as long as we do good deeds, even if we are slandered, judged or persecuted by wicked people, will we feel humiliated? No, we’ll be righteous and our hearts will be free of fear. We will feel glorious. Those who suffer persecution for the sake of righteousness are blessed. We Christians get arrested because of our faith or because we’re doing our duty. They make us walk through the streets with signs talking about our faith in God. We are given scarlet letters. Our hearts are firm, God blesses us, and we are not ashamed. If someone sees you and says, “Why were you arrested?” you should hold your head up high and proudly proclaim, “Because I believe in God!” When others see your pride and utter lack of shame, they will think to themselves, “He didn’t do anything wrong. Believing in God isn’t wrong. This government is evil, arresting people who believe in God!” They will not see you as a criminal. Then what would you have to do to make yourself afraid to show your face in public? If you actually do commit a crime and someone says, “Why were you arrested?” You reply, “I stole money, and they arrested me.” They’ll say, “You stole money! That’s wrong!” Everyone hates thieves. You’ll become a cockroach scurrying through the kitchen. Everyone will want to squash you. You won’t even be able to lift your head and look people in the eyes. If you say you fooled around with ten or twenty women, that is shameful. You are a barbarian! You see, we Christians, no matter how the great red dragon chases us, puts a bounty on our heads or arrests us—aren’t we still at peace in our hearts? We will have clear consciences, so we won’t feel at fault. We walk on the right path, so we’re bold, without shame. I think there’s a different feeling about this. It’s different, right? Then what is the real problem of being constrained by reputation or position? It depends on the situation. For example, if you are judged and chastised, if God exposes your corrupt essence and nature, you will feel ashamed in front of God. You’ll think, “How could I rebel against God so much? How am I this deeply corrupt? I am not a real person!” However, when you think about it, if you feel ashamed in front of God, what about when you stand in front of humans? Humans are all corrupt. The entire human race is like that. Therefore, you will not feel ashamed. If a person becomes an antichrist and their evil deeds are revealed, can they show their face among men? Do they feel the same way they do when they’re judged and chastised by God’s word? No. It’s different. Let’s look at another case. Suppose someone did some evil in defiance of God. Then, God’s house revealed their actions, pruned and dealt with them and dissected them. Some people wouldn’t be able to take it and would rebel, complain and try to make excuses for themselves. What is the problem here? It is arrogance and a refusal to accept the truth. It is pride and sophistry. It is irrational and unreasonable. Similarly, is there any difference in paying too much attention to face, vanity and position? Yes, it’s different. If he is a person who pursues the truth, his focus is different. He is able to forsake face, vanity and status. Though he’s unhappy, he’s able to endure suffering and obey without rebelling or resisting. For some people, face and vanity are extremely important. Even if others act in accordance with the truth, they don’t accept or obey it. These people’s natures truly are too satanic. They are too in love with status, fame and vanity. They focus on them too much; they even think they’re more important than the truth. In their hearts, status, face and vanity are above the truth and above everything else. If these kinds of people are pruned and dealt with and if their face or vanity is affected, they feel particularly aggrieved. It’s very hard for them to bear. Isn’t this so? This illuminates the problem. If people can accept and obey the truth, are vanity, face and status easy to set aside? If you have the truth and principles, it will be easy for you to set these things aside. If you do not have the truth or principles, you see status, vanity and fame as more precious than anything else, even more precious than life. If you lose your status, fame and vanity, you say “I’d rather not have my life. I’d rather not live! I’d rather die!” Can these people set those things aside? No, they cannot. I’ve been a leader for all these years and thought about this problem for a long time, many times. What did I think about? If God did not let me be a leader or worker, what would I do? Would I still be able to follow God and do my duty? If God made me do other duties, could I still be loyal to Him? If I did not lead anyone or do any duty, would I be able to live the church life, believe in God and pursue the truth normally as God’s elect do? The answer I’ve come up with is: It probably would be. It wouldn’t be a huge problem. I would get used to it in a few days. Someone says, “That’s what you think. Does that mean it will happen?” This is a great question! I don’t think it will be a problem. In fact, I base that conclusion on my own experience. They ask, “What experience?” I was seriously judged and chastised by God. That’s just how I got here from within my brothers and sisters. At that time, some abandoned me. They looked at me askew. I kept my feelings inside instead of saying anything. I said, “This is as it should be. I should be judged!” Later, God let me continue working. He said, “You must lead the church and work as you did before. You must do what must be done.” I said, “OK. Then I shall do it.” It was a piece of cake. As soon as I started, some brothers and sisters said, “You’re the leader again! I didn’t give you face before and I judged you.” I didn’t care. I didn’t bother with these things. I didn’t retaliate against any person. The people I promoted were not people I knew or my friends. Many people that I knew have been eliminated. Those people had been good to me, but they didn’t get selected, which was not my fault. I can’t treat people based on emotions. That’s how I got here. Therefore, I just said, “It should be OK.” It wasn’t based on my imagination.
Then how should we solve the problem you just mentioned? Focus on the truth. Learn how to obey the truth. Vanity and face aren’t positive things; they aren’t the reality of truth. There’s no point in focusing on them. You can give them up. Being shamed isn’t a problem. You just have to focus on the truth. No matter what embarrassments you face, they will pass; they are temporary hardships, not eternal torments. As long as you deal with them correctly, you’ll be OK. If you learn how to obey God and the truth, you’ll be able to set aside any vanity, fame or status! If you don’t believe me, make me a normal follower like other brothers and sisters and I shall be a normal follower. If I am told I don’t need to give sermons anymore, then I won’t give sermons anymore. I won’t say a word. If other people give sermons, I’ll listen. If they speak correctly with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, I will accept it. If they speak empty words and doctrines, I won’t say anything. I will let it go by. If I am told, “Don’t say anything,” then I won’t say anything. I promise I won’t disturb and that everything I do will be in accordance with the truth and principles. Is this easy to do? Very easy! Are those that have suffered the same as those that haven’t suffered? If you cannot set aside your status and reputation, fundamentally, the best way to solve this problem is to endure more suffering. If you haven’t endured enough suffering, you won’t be able to put these things aside. I didn’t forsake them back then, either. It was hard for me too. But it became easier when I suffered more. Someone says, “Do we have to pursue the truth?” If you can pursue the truth, you’ll definitely be able to forsake them more quickly. This doesn’t even need to be said! Even if you don’t pursue the truth, enough suffering will allow you to eventually put them aside. Time will run its course eventually. Is this an easy problem to solve? Focus on the principles of the truth. Learn to obey the truth and then see status, reputation, vanity and face for what they are. What is that? Worthless things. Why do you need to keep clinging to them? They aren’t worth anything. If you can endure some humiliation and suffer some persecution for the sake of righteousness, then you should feel proud. When you are able to do some real work and perform your actual duties, you’ll feel like status and reputation are not that important; you’ll know that doing your duty is the most important thing. You’ll know that living out a valuable, meaningful life is more important and more precious than anything else. Which is more important, your position or your duty? If you do your duty well, you have humanity. If you have a position but do not do your duty well, you’re a devil. No one who loves status is a good person. They are worthy of being trampled underfoot.
When a person who is of good caliber is faced with a situation, he is able to accurately recognize it and see it clearly, his knowledge is close to God’s words or in accordance with God’s words, and he will make a convincing speaker. What do we call these qualities? We call them thoughtfulness and insightfulness. If a person of good caliber loves the truth, he will be easily made perfect by God, and gain the truth. If a person of good caliber often read God’s words and listens to sermons and fellowship, he will start resenting external things that are not related to the truth, and he will feel these things meaningless. He thinks to himself, “Don’t worry about these useless things!” He thinks, values, and pursues things that are related to the truth; he ignores and detests people and things that are pointless. Does this person hold any weight? Yes, it means this person is starting to use his mind to think. To put this in plain English: This person knows what he needs to accomplish, and he will have a bright future. Those people, who struggle with daily pettiness that is unrelated to the truth, are mindless. They gossip and argue pointlessly about triviality. Only aimless and inexperienced people will live a life like this. Will these people ever gain the truth? Will we ever have a future with these feckless people? Living with these people is like living with pigs or dogs, which is meaningless and can never gain us the truth. Is it good for us to place so much importance on sexuality? No. It’s pointless to constantly talk about who is involved with whom, which two have a romantic relationship, or who is pursuing whom. Romantic movies are also meaningless. People who like such things only focus on matters that do not relate to the truth, they are aimless and without a future, and they will be eliminated. Why do we even need to be involved with such things? Will it influence our pursuit of truth when we talk about more of them? They will interfere with our pursuit of the truth, with us thinking about real work, and with us fulfilling our duties. The most useless people are those who play video games on their computers and phones all day long. Listen up: Leaders and workers of all levels should find these people out. Their duties need to be stopped right away. They don’t care about the things related to the truth; instead, they indulge in their desires of the flesh. They are not deserving of their duty. They are wasteful degenerates. They need to be eliminated right away for good. These people who don’t perform their duties and who are always playing games on their phones are not worthy of anything. They need to be got rid of right away. They will never pursue the truth; nor will they ever have a future. Even people who do not play games might have trouble walking on the right path—let alone those people who do play games. Anyone who frequently plays video games will never pursue the truth. If they wanted to pursue the truth, they would be doing it already. These people should never be given another opportunity; they need to be abandoned, and they need to be eliminated, and it has to happen now. Do you hear me? Some people lack truths and principles, and are unable to comprehend words. God’s house has spoken the truth concerning external things several times, yet these people are still acting against God’s will, are they not disturbing as the devil? One only needs to be told once about the truth on outward things. If one cannot remember after being told multiple times and still disturbs, he needs to be eliminated and forbidden from performing his duty. If you have an insufficient grasp and a shallow understanding of the truth, that is okay. Anything that relates to the truth must be experienced, not merely be talked about. If you first accept part of this to experience, then some time later, you will understand the truth deeper, which is entirely normal. We only need to be told once about the truth on outward things. If one does not get it after being communicated to on multiple occasions, he is heartless. He simply does not understand humanity. There is nothing good about these people, and this type of people anger me the most.
Let’s read a passage of God’s words in Christ Is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. “Man lives amid the flesh, which means he lives in a human hell.” How true this is. What is the meaning of “man lives amid the flesh”? It is to live in the desires and lusts of the flesh. Those people who only pay attention to carnal enjoyment, people who only view things in terms of conceptions and imagination are people who live amid the flesh, people who belong to the flesh. People who belong to the flesh live in a human hell, isn’t this a fact? Someone says, “Such people don’t live in hell.” What does it refer to by saying they live in a human hell? To live within corrupted dispositions, within a corrupt flesh, is to live in hell. What is most important about living in hell, what is essential, is being without the presence of God, without God’s blessing. It is people living in darkness. All people living in darkness belong to those living in a human hell. Even if they are alive for the present, they will go to hell when they die. It says here: “… which means he lives in a human hell,” so if they live in a human hell, won’t they be in hell when they die? If in this human world you live in the true light, live before God, and live in God’s words, then truly you are a person living in the heavenly kingdom. Therefore, if people who believe in God at present are people completely of the flesh, living completely in their flesh, acting and viewing things according to fleshly desire and enjoyment, then they are over and without the least reality of the truth. There are quite a few people like this in God’s house. Look at which person talks and acts usually without paying attention to things that have something to do with the truth, things that are positive, then that’s a person who belongs to the flesh and lives in hell. He or she is not a person living before God, not living in God’s words. Such a person’s hopes of being saved are nil. Especially those people are always gaming, constantly gaming on their cellphones so that they forget to eat or sleep. It’s these people who are living in hell and will be destroyed. I am not exaggerating. I’m telling you the truth when I say people like these certainly cannot be saved, and their belief is all for nothing!
“[W]ithout God’s judgment and chastisement, man is as filthy as Satan. How could man be holy?” This is for certain. Therefore, the human race, as deeply corrupted as it is at present, must experience judgment and chastisement if they hope to be saved. This is the most important. This is God’s blessing. Judgment and chastisement are God’s blessing, God’s only means of saving humankind. Besides judgment and chastisement, there is no other way. Don’t listen to the ignorant nonsense in the religious community: “If you believe in the Lord Jesus, believe in the name of the Lord Jesus, your name will be recorded in the book of life, and have a share in the kingdom of heaven.” That is absurd, devilish talk, talk that deludes people. There’s no such thing. Listen and understand this! Don’t be deluded!
“Peter believed that chastisement and judgment by God was man’s best protection and greatest grace.” Was this view that Peter had the same as our view in the present? If we understand this clearly also, then we put an equal sign between our experience and Peter’s experience. Why is our viewpoint the same as Peter’s? When we had just started to believe we had no such viewpoint, we couldn’t reach it, and we didn’t have this understanding. Now, after several years, we have such an understanding. If we truly have such knowledge, then when we sometimes face being dealt with and pruned, sometimes feel frustrated, encounter God’s discipline, or sometimes fall into darkness and receive a penalty, is this God’s grace and protecting? Is this God’s blessing? If you truly see this clearly, then you have the same understanding as Peter’s, you truly have Peter’s understanding, and Peter’s stature. If you don’t see this clearly, you don’t have Peter’s stature, still less his understanding. “Peter believed that chastisement and judgment by God was man’s best protection and greatest grace.” This is something he learned from experience, not words that he just casually spoke up. If you truly have such understanding, are you obedient when you face judgment and chastisement? If you truly see it as God’s grace and blessing, are you able to praise God? If you say, “I can’t praise Him. I have complaints and resistance!” then you do not have Peter’s stature, you do not have Peter’s understanding, nor do you have Peter’s reality!
“Only through chastisement and judgment by God could man awaken, and hate the flesh, and hate Satan.” People’s detesting the flesh and detesting Satan is produced through the results achieved by God’s judgment and chastisement. If you have not experienced God’s judgment and chastisement, even if you want to detest the flesh, that’s just imagination, and you cannot hate it. “God’s strict discipline frees man from the influence of Satan, it frees him from his own little world.” What is the phrase “strict discipline” referring to? Strict dealing, pruning, judgment and chastisement, and sometimes punishment. For example, sometimes you want to do something, but you don’t pray to God, just follow the flesh, until finally you’re blocked, run up against a wall, and you lose, which makes you feel devastated, like a bolt from the blue. That is God’s strict discipline. You feel it is the penalty and God is angry. So then what is the result that is attained by making you have such sensations? It makes you rid yourself of Satan’s influence. Once disciplined, it is easy for one to rid himself of Satan’s influence, easy to cast it off, and at this time easy to be obedient, because he fears God. And it is just at that time that discarding the flesh is easy. He or she can attain breaking free of Satan’s influence. This is what the strict discipline attains. If there is no strict discipline, then even if you exhaust yourself struggling, you still could not break free or quit. Isn’t this a fact? Once we put it this way, is God’s strict discipline after all His grace and blessing, or is it loathing and cursing? This time, can you truly understand? Can you still misunderstand God? Do you have complaints? So why do I sometimes speak sternly to you? Is what I say in accordance with God’s words and from the Holy Spirit? How should you treat it? You should learn to obey absolutely without complaints. Because you are obeying what comes from God, not me, a person. Understand? What should you say when you are obeying? “I am not doing that way out of obedience to man, but out of obedience to God.” Is this what you should declare? If you declare it you are still not obedient, are you? I once disciplined a person who said to me, “I obey God, not man.” Look at how those words come out filled with complaints, and that’s not real obedience. True obedience means believing it firmly: “This is from God. I obey, obey absolutely.” He or she is obedient. Is it good for people to face something like this, or is it a bad thing? Is it a blessing or a curse? It is a blessing. Why do I say it is a blessing? It is because only with this discipline from God can people rid themselves of Satan’s influence, forsake the flesh, reject the flesh, and cast off the control by the flesh, free themselves from their own little world. Only by getting rid of being governed by the flesh, can these God’s words be realized, “[I]t frees him from his own little world, and allows him to live in the light of God’s presence.” Some people can never discard their flesh. What is the sign of being unable to discard one’s flesh? Living in one’s own little world. Once a person is living in their own little world, what do they pay attention to? Pleasures of the flesh: what to eat, what to wear, finances, profits, and emotions, including emotions for relatives, friends, acquaintances, and family members. That is the little world. If they can’t break free from this little world, they cannot enter the realm of the truth of God’s words. Such people have not broken free of Satan’s influence. People all believe in God: look at how someone who has experienced judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning treats everyone equally with the same fairness, no matter whether they are spouses or brothers and sisters in the church. Some people say what sounds good in church, but when they get home to their husband or wife what they say is not the same as what they say in church. Is that freeing oneself from one’s own little world? They haven’t freed themselves from it, and just still live in the flesh, in their emotions. To say one thing in one’s flesh and emotions, then go to church to take the official line, is hypocrisy, isn’t it? People who live in the light say the same things behind others’ backs as they do to the faces of people in the church life. Now they are truly people living in the light. What are the situations of people who live in the light? It says here: “[I]t frees him from his own little world, and allows him to live in the light of God’s presence.” “To live in the light of God’s presence” is living in God’s words. That is called living in the light. These are the people who are granted salvation. Have you freed yourself from your own little world? Have you taken yourself out of the limits of your flesh? Isn’t this something people should reflect on? If you are always paying attention to things that have nothing to do with the truth, aren’t you living in your own little world? Aren’t you someone living in the flesh? These people are the people living in a human hell, living in darkness, and living under the influence of Satan; they cannot be saved. Therefore, Peter believed, “There is not better salvation than chastisement and judgment!” So how can someone discard those things that have nothing to do with the truth and free themselves from their own little world? The best way is to accept the judgment and chastisement in God’s words, attain understanding the truth, detest the flesh, detest Satan, and finally free oneself of control by one’s own flesh, free oneself from one’s own little world, and live in the light of God’s countenance. This is the way to attain salvation.