How to Enter Into True Obedience so as to Attain Salvation and Be Perfected
Key to Pursuing Salvation and Perfection Is to Possess the Reality of Obeying God
Today I shall fellowship with you about a key issue which relates to the ability of every single person to be perfected; this is a very important topic. It can be said that the purpose of experiencing God’s work is to attain salvation and be perfected. There is a path to follow as well as principles with regards to attaining salvation and being perfected, and this must not be overlooked. What is this path? We often say in fellowship that we must pursue the truth. So how can one achieve results in pursuing the truth? This has to do with the path. What is the mistake most easily made by people when experiencing God’s work? It is following their own wishes. What is most difficult for people with corrupt dispositions to achieve? It is obedience to God. So then what is the sign that shows that one has attained salvation and been perfected? Beyond all doubt it is the ability to obey God. When you can obey God absolutely, then you will be someone who has attained salvation and been perfected—this is beyond all doubt. Those who do not understand spiritual matters do not know what I’m talking about, as though I’m talking doctrine, when in actual fact it is from experience. Everyone can say the words “obey God,” but what do these words mean? How does one obey? This is a crucial point. Say, for example, there is a dispute in the church—how do you practice when you choose to obey God? Say, for example, your leader arranges a duty for you—how do you practice your obedience to God? Or say, for example, the work arrangement from the above is at odds with your own wishes—how then do you enter into obedience to God? No matter what issue you encounter, they all come down to the question of obedience to God. How then do you enter into obedience to God? Those who do not understand spiritual matters have no path to follow, do they? And if you have no path, then isn’t everything you’ve said before about obeying God just doctrine? Isn’t it empty? In what context, what environment is people’s obedience to God real? In many matters, the above has to do things in a certain way, the church has to make certain arrangements and God’s words clearly have certain requirements—what should those who pursue the truth enter into? Most importantly, they must enter into obedience—into practical obedience. If you center yourself on obedience and forge onward in your experience, you can then be successful. If you go by your own wishes in everything, then are you really experiencing God’s work? No, you’re not. You are just rendering service. Following your own wishes means that you are diverging from the right way. In all things, it is incredibly important for you to be able to enter into the reality of obedience to God, and to be able to learn the lesson of obedience to God. Is it easy for you not to follow your own wishes at any time and in any given situation? This is the greatest difficulty in life entry.
People go by their own wishes the majority of the time and everything they say and do is by their own desire; some desires are correct, and some are wrong. Do their correct desires conform to God’s will? No, they don’t. Your desires are your own intentions, and they do not conform to God’s intentions. There are many times when God’s intentions are at odds with your intentions, but you think, “My intentions are fine. God’s intentions are right, of course, but I’ll still follow my own intentions.” This gives rise to a question, and that is: Are you really obedient? If not, then that is proof that your disposition has not changed. Some people come up with reasons, saying: “There is no mistake with my intentions, my requirements or my practice.” There may be no mistake, but you are still not obeying God. Where can the principal expression of the reality of your obedience to God be seen? If you do not obey when God requires something of you, when He arranges something for you or when He requires you to learn a lesson, then you have made a mistake. Let’s take an example. When people eat their meals, don’t they follow their own desires most of the time? And when you follow your own desires to eat your meals, are you not making a mistake? You are certainly not making a mistake, and no one can condemn you for this. But say one day you are no longer in that kind of environment, you can no longer follow your own desires, and you are given different food to eat. Like when you have to eat prison food, for example. Would you be willing to eat it? Even if you’re unwilling to eat it, you have to eat it, as you have no choice. So when you do eat it, is that being obedient? You have no choice. You can’t not eat it, and if you don’t eat it you’ll go hungry. This is not obedience and it is not bearing witness. Say two armies are at war against each other. You are just about to enter the fray when your commander says: “Pull back!” And you say: “Victory is in sight! Why not let me attack?” And he says: “No! You may want to attack, but I’m ordering you to pull back!” Is this lesson in obedience easy to learn? When one is able to obey, then one’s life disposition will have changed; when one cannot obey, then one’s life disposition has not changed. Remember this! Say, for example, you want now to become a leader or a worker, but the church does not permit it—is this easy to obey? You want to do a certain duty but your leader won’t allow you to do it—is this easy to obey? These are times when it is most difficult to obey. This is true with everyone, and I myself have also experienced this. At such time as you really are able to obey the arrangements of God’s family and obey all the arrangements that come from God, then your life entry will become real. When you are still capable of acting against them and become resentful in your heart, then this proves that you still have a problem with your life disposition, and you still have lessons you need to learn. This is a lesson in obedience, and it is the most profound lesson. How many years does it take to learn this lesson? Ordinarily, you can force yourself to obey after three to five years of being pruned and dealt with. People are able to obey reluctantly after going through three to five years of being pruned and dealt with. But to obey voluntarily and willingly takes at least eight to ten years; this is the most profound lesson. The main experience I’ve had all these years has been the lesson in obedience. At such time as you are able to truly obey, you will be able to obey the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, obey the arrangements of God’s family, obey being pruned and dealt with, and accept the correct suggestions of your brothers and sisters, and you will be able to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and will not spare any thought for your own future or destiny. If you can truly enter into these five aspects of obedience, then you will have possessed the reality of the truth; those who have not entered into these five aspects of obedience do not possess the reality of the truth. True reality of the truth is found primarily in obedience, and whether or not someone can be perfected crucially rests with whether or not they are able to obey. Obedience represents dispositional change. If someone is unable to obey in the many matters they encounter, in particular if they cannot obey God’s judgment and chastisement or being pruned and dealt with, then this shows that their life disposition has not changed whatsoever, and that they have not entered into the reality of the truth at all. Therefore, to determine whether or not someone has entered into the truth, you must first see whether or not they possess true obedience. People all appear to act pretty well on the outside—they appear to not resist and not defy, and they do whatever they’re asked to do. But do they possess true obedience within? There is a problem here. Sometimes people appear to obey, but they remain unconvinced in their heart. In their hearts, they still complain and make excuses, and there are many things which their hearts refuse to obey or comply with. This kind of obedience is not real, it is just superficial. The obedience God wants is to obey from one’s heart, and to affirm in one’s heart that “This comes from God so I must obey it. Regardless of whether or not it conforms to my own intentions, I must obey!” Therefore, if someone really can enter into this kind of obedience and put it into practice, then this is a sign of dispositional change as well as a sign of the attainment of salvation. No matter what duty we do, why do we have to learn to obey? Why do we have to learn to seek the truth? It is because we are people. We are not God, and we are not the truth, the way or the life. We must seek and pray in all things and, when we discover the truth, we should accept it and obey it. Within us we must always have a heart that accepts God’s scrutiny and we must have a God-fearing heart. We should always be afraid to make a mistake and displease God, afraid to make mistakes with something the moment we are incautious and not careful or follow our own wishes and thus cause trouble for God’s chosen people or for God’s family. This is very important, and I am always very cautious. This is the state of mind someone who serves God should have. So does this state of mind signify a God-fearing heart? If you really had a God-fearing heart, you would say, “May God protect me, I daren’t say that everything I do conforms to God’s will. If by chance I make a mistake with something and displease God, then I wouldn’t be able to bear it. Because when I make a mistake, or do something really wrong, it doesn’t harm me alone, but it causes harm to God’s chosen people, and this cannot be borne.” Therefore, you must be careful and cautious in all things, accept God’s scrutiny in all things, seek and obey God’s intentions in all things, and say, “No matter who says it, as long as it is by the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit and is of benefit to my practice, then I shall accept and obey it.” Only by practicing in this way can you ensure that you make no mistakes, or that you make less mistakes.
Someone says, “We are today fellowshiping about various aspects of the truth. But what is the purpose of having to understand all these various aspects of the truth? Exactly what results are to be achieved?” To speak accurately, understanding the truth is done so that one may know God. Why know God? One knows God so that one may obey God and worship God. If someone understands many truths but does not truly obey, then what kind of problem is this? It shows that their life disposition has not changed. And for those without a testimony of change in their life disposition, do they possess the reality of the truth? That is out of the question. So what then is true reality? It is obedience. Only when one is obedient can one be loyal, and only when one is loyal to God can one be obedient—loyalty and obedience are both indispensable. Tell me, when people give beautiful and resounding testimony before God, what is the essence of this testimony? It is loyalty and obedience to God, nothing more. Is the lesson in obedience easy to learn? (No, it isn’t.) Where does the difficulty lie? Is it because of man’s arrogance and self-importance? (Yes.) So what dominates people to make them offer so many reasons, make so many excuses and come up with so many conditions? How does this arise? Is it due to their arrogance and self-importance, thinking of themselves as smart and right? If you believe God’s words to be the truth and you think of the arrangements of God’s family as the truth and as principles to be followed, you can then forsake your flesh and forsake yourself. There is a profound meaning in forsaking oneself—this is a testimony to obedience and it is a sign of dispositional change! “I no longer believe in myself. I don’t think I am so capable, so right or so justified. I think that my ideas seem to look good and smart, but in actual fact they are nothing. They are just empty!” So tell me, are people so smart? Are your arrogance and self-importance, your conceit and self-righteousness and all your many excuses really the truth? Would you dare to make that claim? If you believe that they really are the truth, then you just carry on doing what you’re thinking right, and when you get to the end you will be shamed and defeated; they are not the truth. Therefore, when you can truly forsake yourself and deny yourself, your life dispositions will have begun to change, you will be able to obey God unconditionally, and you will have come to truly know God and truly believe in God. Most of the time, there are some people who have opinions of you, some who make suggestions to you and some who are dissatisfied with you. What does this mean? It means that you definitely have a problem. So what approach should you take to yourself at times like these? Reflect, examine yourself, and do not make excuses. Though you may be somewhat justified in some matters, the main root problem still exists in you, and you certainly have a problem. Your justification is just on the surface and it is unimportant. Your own wishes and arrogance is the root cause. Therefore, whether you are justified or not, no matter how many excuses you can give or how right you think you are, the ability to deny and forsake yourself is a true manifestation of life entry, and such life entry is formidable. So with regards to those who pursue the truth, if you can enter into this reality then you will be able to embark upon the path to be perfected. If you are unable to enter into this reality, then you will have no way to be perfected. If you always think yourself right and always follow your own way, then you can never be perfected, and this is because your arrogance and self-importance have not been resolved. Say one day you have forsaken yourself, and someone says to you: “What about you have you forsaken?” You say: “I have forsaken an idea, a requirement.” And they say: “What requirement, and what idea? I’d like to hear about it.” And when they hear what you have forsaken, they say: “There’s nothing wrong with that. Your thought and your requirement are fine. What are you forsaking them for?” And you say: “Some things that seem fine are still wrong before God. I must forsake them. I must deny myself.” They say: “So why do you have to practice in this way? And why do you have to obey in this way?” You reply: “I have not thoroughly understood the matter, so I choose to obey.” Is this the right way to practice? (Yes.) “I have not thoroughly understood, so I choose to obey. I think that my thought and my requirement are right, but I still deny them and I still forsake them.” What do you think of this practice? Some people cannot accept this practice—it is a formidable practice! Here lies the reality of life entry, and here also is where dispositional change begins! People ordinarily overlook this issue. True obedience means that you can still deny yourself, relinquish yourself and forsake yourself regardless of whether you are right or wrong! This is key! You see this, don’t you?
Why can’t the people in the world of religion accept the true way? It’s because they are arrogant and self-important, right? They persist with their wrong views, they think their views are right, and so they do not accept the true way. In fact, it is the belief that their views are right and correct that brings them to ruin. Are you yourself the truth or is Christ the truth? If you are the truth then you don’t need to believe in Christ. You can just believe in yourself. Isn’t that enough? You are not the truth no matter how right you are, you are not the truth no matter how justified you are, and no matter how well you obey yourself, it does not amount to obeying God. When you obey what you regard as right and good, does this mean you are obeying God? (No.) And when you obey the things that come from God which you regard as bad, when you can forsake the things you regard as good and right, does this mean that you possess a little obedience? (Yes.) Entering into this reality is very difficult, and it can only be achieved after several years of experience. Corrupt mankind’s fatal weakness is their arrogance and self-righteousness. They always think themselves to be right and therefore their principles of action are to put into practice and persevere with the things they regard to be right. What will you do when, one day, God’s requirements, God’s family’s requirements and the opinions of your brothers and sisters are the exact opposite to what you regard to be right? If you still choose the things you regard to be right then, consequently, you will be exposed as someone without the truth and without reality. There are many people now who have been expelled because they are so arrogant and self-righteous that they set themselves against God’s family and against the arrangements, work and requirements of some church leaders and workers. We won’t discuss whether expelling them was or was not reasonable. We only say that they were too arrogant and self-righteous. Regardless of whether what that leader said was right or not, they definitely had no true obedience, and this is for certain. In this matter, whoever can genuinely find some way of entry, who can genuinely grasp some truth and grasp God’s will, then that person will have begun to enter into the reality of the truth. This is what I’ve learned all these years. Tell me, do the things I regard as right and correct conform to the truth? (Yes, they do.) So how should I approach them? It doesn’t matter whether my opinions are right or not. However right they may be, that and obedience are two entirely different things. We won’t discuss now whether you can see things clearly or not, and we won’t discuss whether the path that you fellowship, the path of your practice and the path you’ve chosen are right or wrong. I’m asking you: Are you truly obedient to God? Can you answer this question? Is this an easy question to answer? A lot of people get stuck with this issue and they get confused. Some people say: “My principles of action always accord with the truth, and I will only practice the things I regard to be right, good and correct.” That’s your choice. But can your choice represent your obedience? You don’t fully understand this, do you? If you cannot explain this issue, then this proves that you don’t know how to seek the truth with this aspect. God wants to test people to see whether or not they possess the reality of the truth, but what does He base this on? He doesn’t base it on whether your choices or your requirements conform to doctrine—that is meaningless. If you are required to obey something that does not conform either to your conceptions or your imaginings, would you be able to accept it? Some of you are arrested suddenly while you are spreading the gospel, and immediately after being arrested you are tortured. Does this conform to your imaginings? You say: “I have chosen to expend willingly for God, so how come I can still be arrested?” Sometimes the facts are this cruel, so do you obey? If not, then this will cause trouble for you, you will be a Judas, you will betray God and you will bring ruin upon yourself in an instant. Is there still any room for choice at this time? You must obey and pray at once: “Oh God! I will obey Your arrangements. This is what I should do. I will not act by my own conceptions and imaginings. No matter how You arrange things, it’s all OK, and that’s all there is to it.” When they do their duties, some people are always being constrained by their demonic family members. Then suddenly a disaster sweeps their family all away, and they need to obey. Are they able to obey? God has previously said: “I will allow you to have ample lessons to learn” (“How Should You Walk the Last Leg of the Path” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Learn what? Learn how to obey. If you say: “I won’t learn to obey, I’ll learn doctrine, for that conforms to my conceptions,” that causes trouble and you will be unable to gain the truth. God in the last days suddenly utters His words to judge and chastise man, so tell me, do you accept it? During the two thousand years of the Age of Grace, man was filled with imaginings and conceptions about God. Suddenly God comes in incarnate form, so do you accept Him? If you don’t accept Him, if you defy Him, then you will die. Judgment and chastisement has befallen you—do you accept them? God says that you are the devil Satan, that you are Satan’s progeny. Do you accept this? Everyone must obey. You may first obey, seek the truth and pray to God. Say something befalls you that is most at odds with your conceptions, and you have no choice but to obey, no choice but to pray, and after experiencing this for a period of time, you then think: “This is all truth. Everything God says is right; it’s all fact.” And you then acknowledge that God is the truth. What was your view before this happened? “Are these words the truth? Are they God’s words?” Didn’t you doubt them? Didn’t you contradict them? So how come today they have all become the truth to you? What does this show? It shows that God’s work does not conform to man’s conceptions. And what do you do when it is at odds with your conceptions and imaginings? If you obey, then you shall be blessed by God and shall gain the truth; if you do not obey, if you live by your own conceptions and imaginings and refuse to accept the true way, then you shall ultimately die and perish. Religious people don’t accept it, saying: “I will defy it! I will not accept it!” If you don’t accept it, then in the end you will die. Some in God’s family always contradict me, are always disobedient, and they always harbor conceptions about God. What does this show? Who loses out? They do not accept the truth and they do not accept God’s work. God arranges and orchestrates things in this way, and if you don’t obey then you will be unable to gain the truth. You rely on your own conceptions and imaginings, but your conceptions and imaginings are untenable, they are useless, and they are empty. Now, nothing God’s family does and none of the work God does accords to your conceptions and imaginings. Why does God work this way? He wants to achieve a result. He trains you to be obedient so that you obey Him. Some people say: “So is me being obedient to God the truth?” You will know when you are done obeying. In your belief in God, after you had obeyed God and accepted the truth with regards to many issues with which you had conceptions, you then saw that all those things were the truth, and that God was the truth. At first, you had many conceptions about God, but ultimately, after a period of experience, you saw that: “Christ is the reality of the truth. He is the truth, the way and the life. Christ is the embodiment of God; Christ is God Himself!” You used to have so many conceptions, so how come through your experience you were able to realize that Christ is the truth, the way and the life? And how come you could realize that Christ is God? It proves that God is the truth and that He is the truth no matter how at odds with man’s conceptions His work is. This is an immutable fact. After experiencing this, therefore, you have no choice but to be convinced: Man should obey God, and man has no truth. No matter how right or good my own imaginings are, they are not the truth; that which comes from God, God’s arrangements, God’s words and God’s work are all the truth. And after experiencing this for a long time, can your conceptions remain tenable? Can your thoughts remain tenable? They all collapse, they all fail and they all turn into mistakes. In the end, you realize that God’s work, God’s arrangements and God’s requirements are all the truth, and they convince you in heart and by word. After experiencing God’s work, we start to examine ourselves, and think: “Oh, we were so arrogant and self-righteous before. How come we could harbor so many conceptions about God back then? How come we had so many misunderstandings about God’s work? Now we see that everything people imagine is absurd, that everything God does and says is right, and that it is all the reality of the truth. God is so wonderful! It looks as though no matter how developed or how intelligent man’s brain is, all of man’s imaginings and opinions are absurd!” Have you experienced to this level? When you have experienced to this level, aren’t your arrogance and self-righteousness then partly resolved? Aren’t you thoroughly shamed and defeated? People must ultimately come to a conclusion: “Man’s ideas about any issues are all preposterous and absurd. It’s as though people can never fathom God’s abundance and can never truly know Him. People are forever as babes before God, and are foolish and ignorant. Therefore, God is so honorable and man is so lowly!” So have you come to this conclusion after experiencing God’s work for so many years? If not, then you have not learned the lesson deeply enough, you have not been shamed and defeated enough, and this won’t do. I have failed many times with this aspect and have been shamed and defeated at every turn, and ultimately I have been convinced in heart and by word.
Only When One Can Accept the Supervision, Censure, Pruning and Dealing of Brothers and Sisters Does It Means That One Possesses the Reality of Obedience
In order to be perfected through pursuing the truth, one has to learn how to be obedient, and the lesson in obedience incorporates many aspects. You see this now, right? Is there a relationship between the censure, help, pruning and dealing of brothers and sisters and our own life entry? (Yes, there is.) And so what does one’s approach to the pruning and dealing, the help and the censure of brothers and sisters relate to? It primarily relates to whether or not one can accept the truth and obey the truth, but it also relates to whether or not one has a God-fearing heart. If one is unable to learn how to seek the truth, how to accept the truth, how to practice the truth and how to obey the truth in all things, then one cannot be made perfect. If someone who serves as a leader or a worker cannot accept the censure, help, pruning and dealing of brothers and sisters or accept being reported on by them, then is someone like that really a pursuer of the truth? I have discovered that there are some regional leaders and coordinators, as well as some district leaders who, when a brother or sister makes a report on them or exposes their evil deeds, bear a grudge against them and treat them harshly. They fabricate material and ultimately expel them from the church. This kind of thing happens in all pastoral areas. Tell me, what is the nature of this kind of leader and worker? They are dangerous! If someone reports on their mistake, they will treat them harshly, fabricate material, expel them from the church and then leave the matter at that. This is abominable. If the one who reports on a leader truly is a wicked person, if they not only report on a leader but they hold grudges against and report on anyone who leads them and, what’s more, they distort the facts, twist black into white and fabricate lies, then should someone like this be dealt with? (Yes.) If the leader really does have a problem and the other person’s report on them is entirely accurate and accords with the facts, yet this leader still wants to take revenge and puts pressure on that person until finally that person is expelled, what is the nature of such leaders? They are a false leader or an antichrist, and they are so very malicious! Therefore, when I discover God’s chosen people reporting on the problems of leaders and workers, I do not let it go. I send the report back to their pastoral area and ask the leaders to look into it as soon as possible and to handle it impartially. If the one who was reported is indeed a false leader or an antichrist, then they must be dealt with. If they are a false leader then they will be replaced, and if they are an antichrist then they will be expelled, and that’s all there is to it. There is nothing good about the majority of leaders and workers who oppress those who make reports or who make suggestions. They are without fairness, they are so unfair to others, and their hearts are so malicious! Tell me, is this an appropriate way to distinguish false leaders and antichrists? (Yes.) If a leader or worker does not accept being supervised by God’s chosen people, then they are definitely a false leader or a false worker; if they also do evil and oppress those who report on them, then they are certainly wicked and are an antichrist. How does one distinguish an antichrist? Firstly, they don’t do any practical work and they are without the work of the Holy Spirit; secondly, they are capable of oppressing God’s chosen people and they do all manner of evil—this is an antichrist. How does one distinguish a false leader? They are without the work of the Holy Spirit and they are unable to do practical work—this is a false leader. Tell me, are those who are capable of oppressing and punishing God’s chosen people worthy to serve God? Are they qualified to serve God? Can God use wicked people to serve Him? If He uses people like this to lead His chosen people, would they be able to bear witness to God’s righteousness? The next stage of work for God’s family is to thoroughly purge false leaders and antichrists. The antichrists who do all manner of evil will be brought to account. When an antichrist is found, they must not be shown any leniency. God’s chosen people must write report letters on them and the antichrists must be dealt with. Not one must be left! The one I hate most is the great red dragon, but what I hate most in God’s family are the antichrists. No leniency is to be shown to antichrists! How dare they oppress and punish God’s chosen people! What despicable creatures! The work God entrusts to leaders and workers is to water, supply, care for and support His chosen people, and yet they make every effort to oppress God’s chosen people. Aren’t they trying to act in discord with God? Aren’t they wicked wolves who have gotten into the flock?
Should those who serve as leaders and workers accept the supervision of God’s chosen people? There is no reason for you not to accept the supervision of God’s chosen people, for you are a member of corrupt mankind and are not established by God Himself. If someone was established by God Himself, with the Holy Spirit bearing witness to them, with God taking responsibility for them and trusting them, then that person must have already been made perfect by God. If someone has not been made perfect by God, but has only been elected by God’s chosen people or by leaders and workers to serve God, then it is appropriate for them to accept the supervision of leaders and workers or of God’s chosen people. If they do not accept supervision, then God will have no way to do His work of perfecting them. An acceptance of the supervision of God’s chosen people is something normal people should possess within their sense and conscience, and if you do not have this principle in your pursuit of the truth, then you will have no way to be perfected. Perhaps someone will say: “I accept the supervision of God’s chosen people, but I do not accept supervision from a handful of wicked people.” Is this a tenable thing to say? (No.) Why not? (Some wicked people are able to discern problems.) And if a wicked person discovered a problem and hit the point, would you accept it? You must accept this. You must accept anything that is correct and which accords with facts. Only by practicing in this way can you be called someone who obeys God. If you obey the truth, this is how to practice with principle. The principle of obeying the truth is: No matter who raises a suggestion, a criticism or gives censure, as long as it is correct then you must submit to it and accept the truth—this is the principle of obedience. If you do not accept this principle and you do not put it into practice, then you are not a pursuer of the truth and you have no way to be perfected by God. This is a fact. Tell me, is it possible for one to be perfected by God without following these principles of practice? Without following these principles of practice one cannot enter into the reality of the truth, one cannot obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and neither can one be perfected by God. What is the consequence if you do not follow these principles of practice? You will become brasher and brasher, act more and more wantonly, and become more and more opinionated and, in the end, you will have no change in your life disposition at all despite having believed in God for many years, and you will be exposed and weeded out. And wouldn’t you be destroying yourself by being this way? This may cause so much trouble for you. One day, there will be no more time for regret. When God’s work is concluded, if you have not changed, God’s chosen people will not endorse you, much less will the Holy Spirit bear witness to you, and so won’t you then be finished? With God’s praise, you will be able to stand firm; without God’s praise, then no matter how much you rely on your own capabilities, it will be no use. As for those pastors in the world of religion, they are so smug and complacent. But no matter how smug and complacent they are or how arrogant and self-righteous they are, God still pays them no mind, and the Holy Spirit won’t use them. At God’s time punishment and disasters will befall them, and when it comes time to die they will be submissive and will sue for pardon. When they suffer from a serious disease and the doctors at the hospital declare it to be terminal, they will burst into tears and examine themselves, but what will be the use? It will all be over! There is little time left, the disasters grow greater and greater, and when God departs the earth, what use will it be if you repent at that time? You will say: “I regret it. How I wish that I pursued the truth in service to God back then. How I wish that I accepted all the supervision of my brothers and sisters and that I could listen when my brothers and sisters came up with correct suggestions.” But it will be useless no matter what you say. The Holy Spirit will no longer work on you.
How does it benefit us to accept the supervision, the suggestions and the censure of our brothers and sisters? Think about it and reflect on it. There are so many benefits. It can enable us to know our shortcomings, know whether the path we follow is right or wrong, whether we are doing something correctly or not, exactly what our stature is and whether the things we do conform to the truth or not. Aren’t all these things revealed through the supervision, criticism and the pointing out of errors by our brothers and sisters? (Yes.) It enables us to know whether the things we do conform to the truth and conform to God’s will. Were it not for the censure of brothers and sisters, we would always think ourselves to be right and think that we make no mistakes. People like this can most easily live in complacency and become more arrogant and self-righteous. When we are censured by brothers and sisters and we discover a shortcoming within ourselves, what do we think? “This really is at odds with the truth, this really is wrong and this really is at odds with God’s will. I must put it right. I’m grateful to my brothers and sisters for pointing it out, otherwise I’d still be thinking I was doing it right and that there were no problems with it.” You see, when brothers and sisters censure us, they allow us to gain self-knowledge. Tell me, when brothers and sisters point out our shortcomings and mistakes to us, does it help us to enter into the reality of the truth? Does it benefit our serving God? Does it provide a safeguard and a protection for us? It is a safeguard for us, it keeps us from making mistakes and it is entirely beneficial for us. It causes no harm, no injury at all. It is just purely beneficial. We must understand this matter thoroughly. When someone like this is supervising us—they criticize and point them out to us after discovering our mistakes and shortcomings—is this a good thing or a bad thing? (A good thing.) Should we shun this kind of person? Having someone like this supervising us is good for our life entry. If we didn’t have someone like this supervising us, we would be in big trouble. There are principles to accepting supervision, and there is truth to be sought here. At one end of the scale, it is a good thing for an individual to be supervised; at the other end of the scale, it is a good thing for a ruling political party to be supervised by the opposition. Is the great red dragon supervised by anyone? It has no opposition party to supervise it, it has no respect for law and order, and it does anything bad that you can think of. Now, the CCP is facing censure from the whole world, and has become a pariah nation. A high-level official in the CCP has now said: “With the CCP in power, the government is in the hands of a criminal organization.” Many have begun to voluntarily resign their positions and call it a day, saying, “I can no longer work for a criminal organization.” This is the consequence of not accepting supervision. Since the CCP came to power, it has never accepted any supervision from another party, instead labeling any party or individuals that tried to supervise it as a “counterrevolutionary group” or “counterrevolutionaries,” and in the end cracking down on them and sending them to the firing squad. What are things like now? The CCP has arrived at an impasse, right? In nations where there is an opposition party supervising the ruling party, the government is relatively long-lasting and has no big problems. You understand this, right? If a leader or a worker does not accept supervision and censure from God’s chosen people, then this is very dangerous. This means that they are already following the path of the great red dragon who creates a dictatorship and alone has the final say. Previously, there were some antichrists in God’s family who were expelled. Why were they expelled? They were dictatorial, they alone had the final say and they had no respect for law and order, so they were treated as antichrists and thus were expelled. Any who set up independent kingdoms, take power for themselves, act as the master of all things and alone have the final say will ultimately bring themselves to ruin, and there will be no happy outcome for them. Therefore, those who serve as leaders and workers in God’s family must all learn how to discuss things whenever an issue arises, and when important matters arise they must make group decisions. Any important decision that you’ve made will be filed in an historical archive, and if you’ve done some things wrong, then sooner or later you will be held accountable. If you dare to make this guarantee and say “During my time as a leader, every important matter has been decided by several people all in discussion together. There has not been one thing whereby I have made the final decision on my own,” then this is a somewhat sensible way to do things.
Tell me, between practicing the truth and not practicing the truth by doing things arbitrarily according to your own desire, which one brings comfort and enjoyment to your heart? (Practicing the truth.) One thing that brings these feelings is practicing the truth, while another is doing some practical work that benefits God’s chosen people. Moreover, you are able to accept the supervision and censure of others to ensure that you do not make mistakes. In this way, your heart will be comforted and it will have enjoyment. If you hold power as a dictator, if you alone have the final say, you don’t allow anyone to supervise you or censure you and you do whatever you want, even if you make no mistake and do no evil, do you feel peace in your heart? Do you feel enjoyment? It is not the case that you can feel enjoyment just by doing things right. You have not accepted anyone’s supervision, and in many things you still don’t discuss with others—your disposition has not changed. Without the testimony of dispositional change, your heart will not be at peace. If your disposition changes, and if in all things you can discuss with others and make joint decisions, solicit the suggestions of others, accept being supervised by everybody else and submit to others’ suggestions no matter who makes them, then your heart will feel great peace and great joy. You will feel: “I now have some human likeness, my actions have some sense to them and I am somewhat principled in handling matters. Wow! This really is God’s salvation! Having experienced God’s work till now, I am finally living out some reality and at last I have some human likeness!” This is a great comfort and a great feeling of enjoyment. When one day God’s work is concluded, you will say with strong conviction: “I am saved. God has shown me great kindness. I really have undergone some change. And after I underwent some change, I really haven’t done anything that could displease God, and I really haven’t done anything bad, and I really haven’t done anything that could give me a guilty conscience. It is because I understand some truth, and thus I now handle matters with principle, I am no longer dictatorial, no longer do I decide things all by myself and no longer do I constrain others that those who are in contact with me all feel liberated and free and they treat me as a close confidant. This is such a great feeling of peace and joy, and I feel such enjoyment.” Tell me, is it good when people live out a human likeness? Their hearts are happy and at peace, they feel no reproach from their conscience and so they feel no pain—this is bliss. Now, do you know what bliss is? When you are able to practice the truth, obey God and have a normal humanity, are able to live peacefully together with others, open your heart to anyone, have a heart-to-heart with anyone, be an honest person, love others and are able not to do anything that may cause a guilty conscience, your heart is then at peace and it is joyful—this is bliss! Those who attain bliss don’t feel much pain, even if they are lonely, because they haven’t done any evil and they owe others nothing. If you truly have humanity, and brothers and sisters all wish to open their hearts to you, are all very nice to you, all seek help from you when they have an issue, then tell me, would you be happy? Would you feel joy? Your heart would feel unparalleled joy. You would feel such enjoyment. You think, “Because I have a human likeness my brothers and sisters all get along with me. If I make a mistake, I will tell them about it, and I will rebuke myself.” And they say: “No need to reproach yourself. We’ve made that small mistake many times, and we haven’t reproached ourselves about it. Wow! You really are a pursuer of the truth, you really are a good person and you really have attained God’s salvation.” And what enjoyment and comfort you will feel then! If your brothers and sisters all guard themselves against you, if they don’t open their hearts to you and they never share with you what’s on their minds, then tell me, would you feel pained? (Yes.) When those who know you well, your family and those closest to you do not believe a word you said, are averse to you and believe you to be without a human likeness, they would all ignore you. If other people treated you like an animal, if they didn’t respect you, if they hated you in their hearts, then you would live in even more pain! When you live out normal humanity, when you live out a true human likeness, when you live out the sense a human is supposed to have, and when you live out human obedience and dignity, everyone will respect you, love you, admire you, and be willing to open their hearts to you and regard you as a friend—and this is bliss. When you have attained this bliss, is that not a happy life? It is a happy life. If you can also complete God’s commissions properly, be devoted, carry out God’s will and become someone who fears God and shuns evil, then you will be living out a meaningful life; regardless of whether you have any status or not, this is the most meaningful life.