Chapter 70. Nothing Brings Greater Happiness Than Gaining God and Gaining the Truth
People say they will contribute this and that, but a few words are not enough, you truly have to forsake! Being truly able to forsake when it is time to forsake—that’s what the true reality is. When the crucial moment truly arrives and you are asked to forsake—to give up this and that—not being able to forgo these things is unacceptable; you’re still not serious about God. If, the more it is at a crucial moment, the more you are able to obey, and surrender your own interests and your vanity and pride, then this will be remembered by God, these are good deeds. Regardless of what people do, which is more important—their vanity and pride, or the glory of God? (The glory of God.) Which are more important—your responsibilities, or your own interests? (Responsibilities.) Yes, your responsibilities are what’s most important, and you are duty-bound to them. This is not some slogan; if this is what you think in your heart, and you try and put this into practice, then will you have entered a little of reality? At the very least, you possess that aspect of reality. When faced with such things, your own ephemeral subjective desires and your vanity and pride will cease to be problems, they’ll stop standing in your way, and you’ll give first place to your own duty, the will of God, testimony to God, and your own responsibilities—you’ll put them all in first place. This is a great testimony, and it brings shame upon Satan. How does Satan look upon this? What does Satan think when it sees all this? If you practically do this—if you really take practical actions to bear testimony to God and turn your back on Satan, and don’t just say slogans—then there is no better way to bring shame upon Satan and testify to God. Using every means to testify to God, and every means to show Satan your determination to turn your back on it and forsake it—that’s good!
During this time, although you have left your homes, left your parents, left your loved ones, and endured some suffering, in your heart you have been brought comfort, and fulfilled, and sated, and have made greater and greater progress in your life. No matter what, you have not wasted or misused this time, it has been so fulfilling! This year has been more valuable than your previous ten or twenty years of life. Think about it: Out in the world, doing business, getting married and having kids, starting a family and starting a job, becoming famous, making a career for yourself—which of these has greater value than this? None of them are more valuable or meaningful than this. No matter how positive you feel the path you walk in the world is, no matter how much of a just cause you feel it is among mankind, no matter how well you do it, how much praise it garners, and how great your achievements, the path that you walk takes you further and further from God, and makes you turn your back on God. Look at the duty you perform today; whether it be great or small, remarkable or not, you are walking upon the right path, and drawing ever closer to God. You have come out and performed your duty, and during this time the environment has been good, the life of the church has been normal, you have busily performed your duty, in your heart you have been fulfilled, and you have unconsciously grown. And how do you feel after you’ve grown? Do you feel more mature than before? You are able to bear a burden, and although you are not able to carry out the various aspects of your duty by yourself, concerning your entry into life, you feel that you have greater and greater responsibilities and obligations on the path of the belief in God; you have an increasing sense of responsibility, and an increasing desire to be considerate of God’s will, and you draw ever closer to God, yes? (Yes.) And do these feelings come from nothing? Did you possess this resolve two years ago? You might have, but it may have only been a wish, a kind of slogan, and not as palpable as today. Today it’s more real, and at the very least you have grasped some of the principles of performing your duty, you understand the reality of some truths, and are aware of your own deficiencies and faults—you have made great progress. Does God mistreat people when they perform their duty? He does not. It is not that by giving you some nice food to eat and some warm clothes to wear He doesn’t mistreat you; the most important thing God gives man is that He bestows His life and the truth unto you, so that you may gain the truth from Him, and gain the provision of life, after which the life in your heart grows and changes, it grows up bit-by-bit, and, step-by-step, you are becoming a person who God wants and who is after His own heart. Is walking upon this path something happy? (Yes.)
Most of you in this generation are only children. Many only children have a feeling of superiority, and think “Everything belongs to me, no one can fight for it or take it from me, it’s all mine!” You have been born in this era and you feel that, in all respects, life is materially very rich. What kind of feeling is that? It is merely a feeling of happiness in the flesh. And what is the difference compared to the happiness of the heart? Let’s see if you are capable of experiences that are more true, and more practical. Have a think. (Material things are temporary. As soon as they disappear, people’s lives are still vacant.) You all have a sense of this, yes? Can the various material things enjoyed by people’s flesh bring them comfort in their hearts? What can their feeling of superiority in life and material abundance bring? (Depravity.) They make people depraved, and make them lose their way. To put it bluntly, these things make people not know good from bad, they cause them to get more and more carried away, they cause them to indulge in comfort more and more. There are even those who lose the ability to provide for themselves in life, who don’t know how to take care of themselves and are unable to live independently. They also make people increasingly greedy; once they’ve got something they want something else, and this goes on and on, without end. In sum, those superior living conditions and material abundance bring people nothing but depravity—they bring nothing good. The better you are toward the flesh, the greater the flesh’s rapacity; it is appropriate for the flesh to suffer. After suffering some hardship, people set foot upon the right path, and are diligent in their duties; if they don’t suffer, they revel in comfort, and they grow up in a nest of riches, then they will achieve nothing. They can’t possibly gain the truth, nor will they ever see reason, and as time goes on, the outcome for people can only be that they become more and more depraved. Are there many such examples? (Yes.) Many famous singers and film stars were pretty hardworking before they became famous, they were driven and committed, and devoted to their careers—but as soon as they became famous, when they had earned lots of money and grown wealthy, what was the outcome? Many took drugs and killed themselves, many only lived short lives. And what was the cause? They had too much material enjoyment, their lives were too comfortable, and not knowing how to find greater enjoyment or stimulation, they took drugs, in search of greater excitement and euphoria. And after taking drugs, as time went on they were unable to give them up. Some suffered overdoses and died; some, not knowing how to free themselves from the drugs, ultimately found a way out—suicide. There are many such examples. Are they limited to the West? Are there many in the East, too? (Yes.) There are so many examples like this. See, they’re all typical examples. No matter how well you eat, how nice your house is, how good your clothes are, how comfortable your life is, or how many of your desires have been fulfilled, this is all empty. After that, you look for death—the final outcome is death. Would you say that the happiness pursued by unbelievers is true happiness? Actually, it isn’t. It is what people imagine happiness to be, and it is a depraved method, a path that makes people depraved. People’s pursuit of this is not the objective that normal humanity ought to have, it is not the value in living. What was planted by Satan has caused people to make this their objective. Satan has used this means to benumb people, to corrupt, attract, entice, and beguile them, making them think that this is happiness, making them chase that goal. People think that this is happiness, that only when they gain this will they be happy, and so, regardless of how much effort it takes, they chase that goal—and the result is, once they’ve achieved it, they still feel that they haven’t gained true happiness, yes? (Yes.) This proves that this is not the right path, that it is the path to death.
And why do those who believe in God not walk upon this path? And what is the happiness felt by believers in God like? What are the differences? Look at how, when they believe in God, most people stop pursuing wealth, they stop pursuing success, or a career, or becoming famous in the world. Instead, they live in obscurity, they live simple lives, and have no great demands toward their quality of life. There are even those who are satisfied with nothing more than being warm and well-fed. In a world such as this, they actually choose a path such as this; is it because they are incapable of earning great wealth? Would you say that the brothers and sisters of God’s house, these believers, do not possess the ability to earn great wealth? (No.) No. And so what do you see? After these people begin believing in God, to a greater or lesser extent, in the depths of their hearts they feel that nothing brings them greater happiness than following God, and that this happiness cannot be replaced by anything in the material world. There are even those who have tried; the years they spent toiling in the outside world were tiring and hard, they earned a little money, and enjoyed themselves, but what’s the result? They lived without dignity, and lived in a way that became more and more exhausting, and said to themselves, “It would be better to die than live like this!” They had already seen through these things. It is not that they only began believing in God when they had no other option, but that they had truly felt that nothing brings greater comfort to their hearts, and there is no greater thing in life, than following God, walking the path of pursuing the truth, and expending for and devoting one’s life to God; that nothing brings greater happiness than gaining God and gaining the truth, nothing makes people’s hearts more steadfast. They had already felt this happiness, and it was not something they had imagined.
Today it can be said that for the great majority of those who believe in God, regardless of whether the truths they understand are many or few, profound or superficial, and regardless of whether or not they have already entered into the reality of the truth, no matter what their circumstances, one thing is clear: If you don’t let them believe in God, and make them return to the world, they won’t do it no matter what, they won’t do it even if you beat them to death. If someone said to them “The world will give you a mountain of gold,” they might give it some thought and reply, “A mountain of gold might be quite good,” but then they’d think about it again and say: “No, a mountain of gold does not bring as much happiness as staying before God, expending for God, and performing my duty in the house of God. A mountain of gold isn’t happiness; at the time I’d be quite pleased, but later on I’d feel great pain. No matter what, there is no way I could take that path. It took great difficulty to find God, and if I go back now, where will I look for Him in the future? This is a precious opportunity!” Seeing God and embracing God is like grasping the opportunity of a lifetime. What does someone who is drowning feel when they grab a life ring? (They don’t let go of it—they hold on for dear life.) That’s the feeling. When they’re holding on to the life ring, what are they thinking in their hearts? “I don’t have to die, I can finally keep living! Having been on the verge of death, there’s hope that I might live. I won’t let go of this hope even if I need to use all my strength; no matter how much it hurts, or how hard or tough it is, I won’t let this life ring slip away, I’ll keep holding on to it until my last breath.” When people feel the hope of living, would you say that they feel happiness? (Yes.) That’s right.
Today, when you sit somewhere thinking, praying, or doing spiritual devotions, are there often times when you have this feeling of being touched, and being happy? (Yes.) It is right for you to feel this—this is what God gives to those who perform their duty. After they start believing in God, people gain some truths, and the happiness these truths bring is sufficient to replace the happiness brought to people by material things, enjoyment and comfort. The more you gain those things, the less satisfied you are, and the less you are able to tell good from bad. With the truth, the clearer people’s understanding of it, and the more truths they gain, the more they know to thank God and be grateful, and the more they feel sated within their hearts. Yes or no? (Yes.) What do material things bring to people? (Emptiness.) They bring emptiness and depravity. People can’t tell good from bad and they develop more and more desires. Why is it said that the longer people do business, the more duplicitous they become? Not because they don’t earn much; when they first started out, they were satisfied with earning one yuan: “That’s enough!” they’d say. But two years later, they’d say: “How is one yuan enough? I’ll only be happy with earning 10 yuan in one go!” And a few years after that, they don’t even think 10 yuan is enough, and say “I have to earn 20 yuan!” After earning 20 yuan they slowly lose their sense of satisfaction, and say: “I’m going to earn 100 yuan for this, or even 1,000 yuan!” They become more and more greedy. Everything slowly becomes meaningless to them. They only want money, they cheat their family, relatives, and friends, they become darker and darker. Is this not a law of most of those who do business? (Yes.) Would you say that money can save people? Would you say that money can satisfy people’s greedy desires? (No.) It can’t—it is incapable of solving these problems of man. So why are those who believe in God able to put such things aside? And how are they able to do it? Is it the case that they achieve through daily prayer and temperance? (No.) (They have seen through.) How do they see through? (Partly because they have some experience of these things, and partly because God has revealed these things, and so they have slowly come to understand.) That’s right. You’ve understood, and you are able to put these things aside, which proves that you have already accepted the truth, and have said “Amen” to God’s words—to the things that God has said to man and His requirements of man—from the depths of your heart; you have accepted them, and they have become your reality. And, now, is this reality your life? It is. See how you have unconsciously gained life whilst performing your duty. But you don’t feel anything about it, and you think to yourself, “My stature still seems pretty small, there’s still a lot I don’t understand.” In fact, God’s life has already been wrought into you. It’s just that you still feel you’re a long way off: “Do I possess the truth? I don’t dare say. Wouldn’t it be a little arrogant and boastful for me to say that?” You dare not say it—but, in fact, without you knowing it, you have already come to possess the truth. The life is something very natural. There’s no need for you to feel it, but in fact you are growing, and have changed. And so, at the same time as accepting the life and truth of God, people’s hearts unconsciously draw closer to God—and is when you draw closer to God the time when God has gained you? Think about this in detail—are you blessed? (Yes.) You are really blessed, how blessed you are to have been born during the last days! When you allow God’s words to be wrought into you, so that you have the life of God within you, and have God’s words and the truth as your real life, is there value to your living? (Yes.) Without realizing it, do you become noble? Do you gradually come to live with dignity? Yesterday, you remained ignorant of this, but today you have discovered a great secret: Within you, you already use the truth as your real life, which is what God wants. The little life within your spirit has already sprouted, it has already begun to grow. It is not like how the immortal breath has been blown into you, and might disappear whenever being blown away. This is life, it is the fruit borne by life, and it cannot be replaced by anything else. When, in the future, you unconsciously experience some of God’s discipline, chastening, judgment, and chastisement, and are capable of acceptance and obedience, you will unconsciously make more and more progress in knowing God and in the truths—and in this, will you not grow up, bit by bit? And do you not yearn for that day?
God expresses the truth and uses the truth to let people gain the life that comes from Him. Today, according to the facts, has it already been achieved? Has it already been realized and accomplished? (Yes.) Before, people thought “Oh, it’s so hard, it’s not easy,” but, today, does it seem easy? As long as you have faith, and as long as you cooperate positively and proactively, then God’s words and life will become your life without you realizing it, and in this way, in your life you will unconsciously come to have elements of the truth expressed by God, and you will have this reality and will live out in this way. During this process, will you unconsciously achieve harmony with God? Having gained the life from God, you will unconsciously become compatible with God. And that being the case, do people have a hope of becoming someone who completely satisfies God and is beloved by God? (Yes.) This is not a problem anymore, there’s no difficulty to it anymore. And so can what God spoke of—making a group of people who will bear testimony to Him, and making a group of overcomers—can this be achieved? Were you a little unclear about this before, did you feel it was somewhat vague and confusing? And did you think that it could be accomplished? Was it possible? Could these words alone change people? Some people have always questioned this. Looked at today, is this something difficult for God? To God, there is nothing that is difficult; every one of God’s words shall be fulfilled, they shall all be accomplished. In particular, God’s words that He shall bestow the truth unto people such that it becomes their life, and will make people complete and save them, will surely be accomplished before long. Today, there has already been an effect in these people—is this not fact? (Yes.) What’s going on here? Is this a good thing? It is something joyous, something worthy of celebration, it is something major! When you have some free time, reflect a little, seek a little, have a ponder, have a think about what you have gained from God, what you yourself have received, during these years and days: God’s salvation in people is truly vast. When you feel this, you will feel true happiness within your heart, you will be without worries or anxiety, you will be able to make positive progress, you will not regress into negativity, and you will not shrink back. The times when you are a bit weak and short-tempered, or have some deficiencies or difficulties, will not be a problem for you, they will not stand in your way, they will be incapable of hindering your normal entry into life. For you, there will be no difficulty, and if you pray or spend some time communing, you’ll be able to solve them. And so will your stature not gradually grow? Well then, when you have some free time, or else when you do spiritual devotions, you must often think about God’s salvation and what you have gained from God. You must ruminate on these things, and ask yourself: “What have I accomplished during these several years of believing in God? How has it gone for me under God’s care and protection? How has my stature grown under God’s guidance?” When you have time, you must look back upon these things, knowing to be grateful in your heart, and to be thankful to God.
In the Bible are the words “Rejoice ever more. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks” (1Ts 5:16-18). Rejoicing ever more, is this easy to achieve? This must be put into practice, you must make it into reality. Praying without ceasing—this is a source of, and path to, rejoicing ever more, and in this you will be able to give thanks in every thing. When you have joy and know thankfulness, when you know that all God does is good, and know how much grace you have gained from God, and how many blessings you have gained from Him, then you will know to be thankful to God. Only when you have a heart such as this, and knowledge such as this, will you be able to truly obey God, have love for God in your heart, be satisfied, and know to obey all of the environments arranged by God. You’ve remembered these words, yes? Some words are but little words, yet they are indispensable to the process by which people’s lives grow. It is not the case that people can be saved and sated by abstruse doctrine and great messages; if people are able to put these small words into practice, and do so often, then they can make you change, they can transform you, they can turn your states around, and make you strong, you won’t be timid, you won’t retreat, they will turn you into someone with confidence. What were those several words? (Rejoice ever more. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.)
Are people who always cry when something happens to them good? What kind of state is this? First and foremost, in their hearts there is no joy—do people who are often joyous like to cry? And what is in the hearts of those who have no joy? Sorrow, sadness, pain, grievances, complaints, incomprehension—these negative elements are suppressed within them, and so when something happens to them they cry for days and days, whenever they think about it they cry. What should such people do? In their free time, they should repeat these words to themselves: “Rejoice ever more. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.” When you know to give thanks in every thing, you will grow up and cease to be a child. Those who often cry are pained by everything, they can’t solve anything, they are unable to let go, they have no way of letting go, they don’t know what to do, they don’t know to come before God. Is this an adult or a child? (A child.) So are you, today, an adult or a child? (A child.) Are you more often a child or an adult? (A child.) So these words are pretty fitting for you. Have you memorized them? (We have.) Are they good? (They’re good.) We won’t look at which part of the Bible they come from. These words are practical, and in the process by which people’s lives grow, they are practices that are indispensable, and the most practical. They are the states that people should possess, the path to practice that they should possess, and they are an attitude of obedience to God. Above all they are an attitude, and when you have this attitude you are blessed by God and accepted by God, and at the same time the states within you—the negative, depraved, and rebellious states–these negative things will become fewer and fewer, and the states will take a better and better direction. You understand, yes?
Entry into life doesn’t happen overnight, but it is something that must be present in people’s hearts at every moment, for it is your life, it involves your life, and should be remembered in your heart, with you wherever you go. Thus, it is not the case that speaking a great or abstruse message, or crying slogans will make people enter into life or make them change; sometimes, there are a few little words—words that seem unremarkable to you—which can surely make you smarter and wiser, and can make you accepted and approved of by God. So I tell you this: If you wish to enter into the reality of the truth, and wish to have a good starting point for your entry into life, do not focus on doctrine, and do not focus on being someone who cries slogans. Admiring anyone who speaks a profound message, or is a good orator, and coveting whoever has an imposing manner when they speak the message—is this the right view? Is it right to pursue this goal? (No.) And so what is right? What kind of person should you pursue to be? (Unassuming, grounded, and practical in one’s behavior and actions.) That’s right. Being practical in your behavior and actions, not departing from prayer in all you do, often coming before God, not straying from God—these are the fundaments of the fundaments! No matter how great our lives, how great our statures, how much of the reality of the truth we have entered, in our hearts we cannot leave God, we cannot stray from God. You say: “I won’t go too far from God, but let me wander a while, OK?” What words are these? This isn’t a matter of near or far—if you are without God in your heart, then you have already strayed far from God; it is not a matter of real distance. And what is the outcome when people stray far from God? (We live in Satan’s net.) What else? (We lose our peace and joy, we plunge into darkness, and lose our present happiness.) These are all external things. When people stray from God, they can fall captive to Satan at any time. And after that, what will be revealed in their words and actions? (The corrupt disposition of Satan.) At this time, people will likely make mistakes, they will reveal their rebelliousness, and will interrupt; at any time, there is the risk that they will be used and taken captive by Satan—how frightful that is! Thus, not straying from God in your heart and being able to come before God at all times is an attitude of reverence toward God, and only when you possess this attitude can God protect you from taking the wrong path.