Chapter 41. How to Know Man’s Nature

What are the things of man’s nature? You only know of man’s corruption, disobedience, shortcomings, defects, notions, and intents, but you cannot discover the inner parts of man’s nature—you only know the outer layer, but you cannot discover its origin. Some even think of these surface things as man’s nature, saying, “Look, I understand man’s nature; I recognize my arrogance. Isn’t that man’s nature?” It is not enough to admit it only doctrinally. Arrogance is a thing of man’s nature, and that much is true. What is it to know one’s own nature? How can it be known? From what aspects is it known? Furthermore, how specifically should one’s nature be viewed through the things one has revealed? First of all, you can see a person’s nature through their interests. How? For example, some people particularly love to dance, some especially love singers or movie stars, and some particularly idolize a certain famous people. From looking at these interests, what is the nature of these people? I will give another simple example: Some might really idolize a certain singer, even to the point where they are obsessed with the singer’s every move, every smile, and every word. They fixate on the singer, and even photograph everything the singer wears and imitate it. What does this level of idolization show about a person’s nature? It shows that such a person has only those things in their heart, and not God. All things that this person thinks, loves, and seeks are completely revealed by Satan; they occupy this person’s heart, which is given over to those things. What is the problem here? If something is loved to an extreme, then that thing can become someone’s life and occupy their heart, fully proving that the person is an idol worshiper who does not want God and instead loves the devil. We therefore can conclude that such a person’s nature is one that loves and worships the devil, does not love the truth, and does not want God. Is this a completely correct way of viewing someone’s nature? It is completely correct. This is how a person’s nature is dissected. For example, some people particularly idolize Paul. They like to go out and give speeches and do work, they like to meet together and speak; they like people listening to them, worshiping them, and surrounding them. They like to have status in the minds of others, and they appreciate it when others value their images. Let us analyze their natures from these behaviors: What sort of nature do people with such behaviors possess? If they really behave like this, then it is enough to show that they are arrogant and conceited. They do not worship God at all; they seek a higher status and wish to have authority over others, to possess them, and to have status in their minds. This is a classic image of Satan. The aspects of their natures that stand out are arrogance and conceit, an unwillingness to worship God, and a desire to be worshiped by others. Such behaviors can give you a very clear view into their natures. For example, some people especially love to take advantage at others’ expense and seek after their own interest in everything. Whatever they do must benefit them or they won’t do it. They don’t bother with anything unless it provides advantage, and they have their own ulterior motives for everything. They speak well of whoever benefits them and exalt whoever flatters them. Even when their favorites have problems, they will say their favorites are right and try hard to cover for and defend them. What nature does this sort of person have? Can you see their nature clearly according to these behaviors? They strive to take unfair advantage through their actions and engage in transactional behavior all the time and everywhere, so you can be certain that their nature is one of wholehearted covetousness for profits. They are for themselves in everything. They will not rise early unless there is an associated benefit. They are the most selfish people, insatiable, so their nature is to love money and not love truth. Does that not represent their nature? Some people are captivated by women, always thinking about women in everything they do, chasing women wherever they go. Beautiful women are the object of such a person’s affection and hold a high esteem in his heart. He is willing to give his life for beautiful women. He could give up anything—women are what fill his heart. What is his nature? His nature is to love women and to worship them, so he is a lecher with an evil, greedy nature. Isn’t this his nature? His behaviors reveal a greedy nature—he does not just occasionally transgress or behave just a little worse than ordinary people—and his heart is already completely occupied by these things, which have become his nature, his essence. Thus, these things have become manifestations of his nature.

The ingredients of a person’s nature are constantly revealing themselves. Anything a person does, regardless of what it is, can reveal that person’s nature. People have their own motives and purposes for everything they do, and whether it be providing hospitality, preaching the gospel, or any other kind of work, they can reveal the parts of their nature without any consciousness of it, because one’s nature is his life, and people are driven by their natures for as long as they live. The nature of a person is not revealed just on occasion or by happenstance; rather, it can completely represent the person’s essence, and everything that flows from within the person’s bones and blood is representative of his nature and life. Some people love beautiful women. Others love money. Some particularly love status. Some especially value reputation and their personal image. Some particularly love or worship idols. And some people are especially arrogant and conceited, yielding to no one in their hearts and striving for stature, they like to stand out from others and have authority over them. There is a variety of different natures, and they can differ among people, but their common elements are resistance to and betrayal of God. In that way they are all identical.

Let us now look at a selfish person. Selfishness can be said to be an element of a man’s nature; everyone has this element in them. Some people are extremely selfish, and such an extreme degree represents their nature. Everyone is somewhat selfish, but there is a difference. When associating with others, some people can watch out and care for them, be concerned about them, and be considerate of them in everything they do. Other people are not like this; consider one who is especially selfish when hosting brothers and sisters: Her own family eats the best food possible, but when brothers and sisters come she gives them small servings of inferior food. When there are good things she puts them in front of her children, husband, or her family. When brothers and sisters come she lets them sleep on the floor, but when her own relatives come she makes the most comfortable arrangements for them, with everything in order. This sort of person does not consider others in the least. It is good enough that they allow others to stay when they come, and so when others fall ill or have some other difficulty they do not even think about it, behaving as though they do not notice. They do not care for or feel concern for others in the least. They only care for themselves and their relatives. This selfish nature of theirs determines that they are unwilling to care for others. They feel that caring for others is a loss to them and a bother. Maybe some people will rationalize, saying, “A selfish person does not know how to care for others.” Then why are they so good to their own relatives, and why do they fully consider their needs? How do they know what they themselves lack and what is appropriate to wear or eat at a certain time? Why can’t they be like that for others? Actually, they understand all this, but they’re selfish, and that is determined by their nature. There are some women who have transgressed for a time in the past, but that doesn’t make them promiscuous. An evil person is one who habitually messes around wherever they go, who knows no shame and has no code of ethics and morals—such a one has a promiscuous nature. They are always revealing their nature regardless of what they are doing or on what they are working. They are of this nature, and they cannot restrain themselves. These things are what fill their heart. There is no reason for them not to engage in these things. Even if they go for a time not doing such things, it’s because the environment does not permit it or there is a lack of suitable people. This is how things of one’s nature are; they cannot be controlled. Some people especially love beauty and pay special attention to what they wear, changing their outfits multiple times a day. Whenever a woman like this sees someone with nice makeup or a nice outfit on, she loses sleep if she cannot obtain these things herself. She feels she must obtain those things even if she has to borrow money, and will pay any other price she needs to get them, and if she cannot, then she will not have the heart to believe in God; she will lack the desire to attend meetings, and will not be able to absorb God’s words when reading them. Those objects have already occupied her mind; they are what she thinks about all day long. This sort of person is extremely vain, much more so than most people. This vanity is an element of their nature; it is something within their bones. Such a person’s nature is one of vanity. Matters of nature are not things done only in a moment of weakness but are persistent throughout life. Everything a person does carries his scent, carries the elements of his nature. Even if those elements are not apparent at times, they are present within him. For example, when a deceitful person speaks honestly in one instance, there is actually still speech within his speech and the deceitfulness is mixed in. A deceitful person will play his tricks on anybody, including his relatives—even his own children. No matter how forthright you are with him, he will play games with you. This is the true face of his nature—he is of this nature. It is difficult to change and he is like that all the time. Honest people may sometimes say something sly and deceitful, but such a person is usually relatively honest; he handles affairs directly and does not take unfair advantage of others in his dealings with them. When he speaks with others, he does not say things intentionally to test them; he can open up his heart and communicate with others, and everyone says he is quite honest. There are times when he speaks with some deceitfulness; that is simply a manifestation of a corrupt disposition and does not represent his nature, because he is not a deceitful person. When it comes to a person’s nature you must understand what are elements of that nature and what is the corrupt disposition; you must be able to distinguish clearly between the two. Now, try analyzing your own nature. Some will say, “Sometimes I speak harshly” or “I am uncultured and not well-behaved” or “Sometimes there are impurities when I perform my duties,” but they do not talk about what their nature is like or whether their humanity is good. In this way, they cannot know their own nature. You cannot always cover up or be shy. You must dig deeply within yourselves. If you can’t dig it out you will not come to know your nature, and if you do not know your nature you will not be able to change. You must be particularly strict about how you come to know yourselves; you cannot deceive yourselves or be perfunctory or fool yourselves.

Understanding your own nature is basically understanding what kind of person you really are. The kind of person you are is what kind of nature you have. For example, saying that someone is such-and-such a person is most descriptive of his nature. The type of nature he has determines the type of person he is. A person’s life is only his nature. How do you see what a person’s nature is like? You must come into contact with him more and observe more what kind of person he is. Whatever is most prominent about him and representative of his essence and characteristics can be said to be his nature and essence. The character of a man’s essence is the character of his nature. When it comes to seeing what kind of person someone really is, looking at them this way is more accurate. Whatever the essence of a man, that is his nature. A man is the type of person determined by his nature. For example, if the most prominent feature of a person is that he particularly loves money, then his nature is money-loving, summarized in two words. If a person’s most prominent feature is a love of women—he’s always womanizing—then he loves evil and has an evil nature. Some people most love to eat. If you can give such a person a few drinks and some meat or order him some good food, he will act in your favor; so this person has a gluttonous nature, like a pig. Every person has his fatal flaw, which exerts its influence over every moment of a person’s life and is insinuated into everything about that person and becomes the object of everything he does. That thing represents the person’s nature. And you can say that his nature is his area of greatest weakness. His fatal flaw is his nature. Some people seem to have a good humanity and don’t exhibit any major flaws on the surface, but their outstanding trait is fragility. They have no life goals or aspirations and just muddle through life. They fall away if you say just a few hurtful things, and they become negative at any time because of one thing or another, to the point that they no longer want to believe. Such people’s unique trait is fragility, and their nature is that of a helpless coward. Some people are extremely sentimental. What they say and do every day and their conduct is lived in a world of emotion. They feel affection for this person and that person and every day they must pay back favors and return good feelings; everything they do is lived in the emotional realm. How heavy such a person’s sentiment is! When her non-believing husband dies she still will cry for three days. Others want to bury him, but she still says, “No, he’s my husband.” She even has feelings for a dead person—her emotions are too acute. You could say that emotions are her fatal flaw, her greatest weakness that can completely bring her to her doom and ruin her. Overly intense emotions mean that she is without truth and acts without principle. She only shows consideration for the flesh and is a foolish and muddled person. Her nature is one of attaching particular weight to feelings. If you want to seek a change in your disposition, then you must first know your nature. “Rivers and mountains change easily, but altering one’s nature is difficult.” If one’s nature is too bad, then one will never change, and God will not save that person. Do not assume that nature can be changed. What does a transformation in disposition refer to? It happens when a lover of truth, while experiencing God’s work, accepts the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and undergoes all manner of suffering and refinement. Such a person is cleansed of the satanic poisons within, and completely breaks free of his corrupt dispositions, so that he can obey God’s words and all of His orchestrations and arrangements, never again to rebel against Him or resist Him. This is a transformation in disposition. If a person’s nature is very bad, if he is an evil person, then God will not save him, and the Holy Spirit will be unable to work within him. Put another way, it is like a doctor curing a patient: A person who contracts pneumonia can be treated, but one who contracts lung cancer cannot be saved. A transformation in disposition means that a person, because he loves and can accept the truth, finally comes to know his disobedient nature that is in opposition to God; he understands that the human corruption is too deep and recognizes man’s absurdness and deceitfulness. He recognizes man’s poorness and pitifulness, and finally understands man’s nature and essence. Knowing all this, he can deny and forsake himself completely, live by God’s word, and practice the truth in everything. This is someone who knows God; this is someone whose disposition has transformed.

All of mankind has been corrupted by Satan, and man’s nature is to betray God. But, among mankind, which has been corrupted by Satan, there are some who can submit to God’s work and accept truth; such can obtain truth and achieve the transformation of their disposition. There are those who do not earnestly seek after truth yet follow along in belief. They do what they are told and have decent humanity. They are willing, to a certain extent, to spend, abandon worldliness, and endure suffering. Such a person will be able to stand and receive salvation, but his disposition will not be transformed. This is because he does not earnestly pursue truth, and he is satisfied with merely understanding doctrines. He hears the doctrine, thinks it’s good and keeps it, and after understanding the doctrine he performs his duty, to a point. He can act in whatever way is proper for him to act. However, he is not earnest with regard to the truth; his heart is clouded, and he is unable ever to understand the essence of the truth. Such a person can also receive salvation and be spared, but he cannot have his disposition transformed. Gaining the purification of corruptness and obtaining the transformation of disposition require a love of the truth and the ability to accept truth. How do you accept truth? Accepting the truth means that no matter what sort of corrupt disposition you have or which venom of the great red dragon has poisoned your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s word and submit to God’s word; you accept it unconditionally, without reason or choice, and you know yourself according to God’s word. This is what it means to accept God’s word. No matter what God says, no matter how much they might pierce your heart, no matter what words He uses, you can accept it as long as it is the truth, and you can acknowledge it as long as it conforms to reality. You can submit to God’s word regardless of how deeply you understand it, and you accept and submit to the light of enlightenment from the Holy Spirit that is communicated by the brothers and sisters. When such a person’s pursuit of truth has reached a certain point, he can obtain truth and achieve the transformation of his disposition. A person who does not love the truth might be of good humanity, but he is careless about the truth and does not seek it earnestly; he can do some good works, spend for God, and give up some things for God, yet he cannot obtain the transformation of disposition. By comparison, Peter’s humanity was about the same as that of the other apostles or brothers and sisters, but he stood out in his fervent seeking after the truth, and he diligently pondered everything Jesus said. Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonah, love you me?” He answered directly, “I only love the Father which is in heaven and have not loved the Lord on the earth.” Later he understood: “This is not right. The God on earth is the God in heaven. Is it not the same God both in heaven and on earth? My only loving the God in heaven is not yet real. I must love the God on earth, for only then is my love real.” He understood what Jesus had said through pondering the word of God. What is the real meaning of it? To love God one must love the incarnate God on earth for the love to be real. Loving a vague and invisible God is not realistic or practical. Loving the actual, visible God is truth. Peter obtained truth from within Jesus’ words and understood God’s will. Clearly Peter’s belief in God only focused on a pursuit of the truth, and he finally achieved a love of the practical God, the God on earth. Peter was especially earnest in his pursuit of truth. Each time Jesus counseled him, he pondered Jesus’ words diligently. Maybe he pondered for months, a year, or years before the Holy Spirit enlightened him and he understood the meaning of God’s word. In this way, he entered into the truth, and after he entered into the truth his life disposition was transformed and renewed. If a person does not pursue truth, he will never understand it. You can say the words of truth ten thousand times and they are still just letters and doctrines. Some people will only say, “Christ is the truth, the way, and the life.” Your repeating this, even ten thousand times, is useless; you do not understand its meaning. Why do you say that Christ is the truth and the way and the life? Can you articulate your understanding of it that you gained through experience? Have you entered into the reality of the truth and the way and the life? God’s word is given for you to experience and to know; merely saying the words is useless. When you have understood and entered into God’s word, then you can know yourself. If you do not understand God’s word, then you cannot know yourself. You can only discern when you have truth; without truth you cannot discern. You can only fully understand a matter when you have truth; without truth you cannot understand a matter. You can only know yourself when you have truth; without truth you cannot know yourself. Your disposition can only transform when you have truth; without truth your disposition cannot transform. Only after you have truth can you serve God’s will; without truth you cannot serve God’s will. Only after you have truth can you worship God; without truth your worship will only be the performance of religious rites. All of these depend on obtaining truth from God’s word.

Some will say, “What really is obtaining the truth from God’s word?” You cannot obtain the truth just by spouting doctrines; if you only fellowship on these literal things, what use is it? You must grasp the meaning of God’s word, figure out its root and the outcomes it intends to achieve. God’s word contains truth, meaning, and light. There are many things contained within His word; you can’t just explain its literal meaning. I’ll give an example. God says, “You must be honest people; do not be deceivers.” What do these words actually mean? Someone may say, “Isn’t it just telling people to be honest and not be deceitful?” If somebody else asks, “What else does it mean?” that person will continue, “It’s just being an honest person, not a deceitful one. It’s just those two things.” “What really is being an honest person? What kind of person is an honest person? What are the manifestations of an honest person, and what are the manifestations of a deceitful person?” “A deceitful person is someone who equivocates. Someone who does not equivocate and who speaks the undiluted truth is an honest person.” No matter how much you inquire, you will only get this much out of him; man’s thinking is too simplistic. What does God’s word say about honest people? First, an honest person is not suspicious of others. Second, an honest person can accept the truth. He mainly meets these two conditions. What does God mean by this? Why does God say this? You should understand the intrinsic meaning of an honest person in God’s word, what exactly it is talking about—get an accurate understanding of this definition. What other behaviors an honest person exhibits within God’s words, what a deceitful person is, and what kind of behaviors a deceitful person exhibits—if you weigh all of this based on the manifestations God has spoken of, you will understand what an honest person is and what a deceitful person is, as well as how deceitful people treat God’s word, God, and other people. This way you will come to a true understanding of God’s word and know how great the difference is between who people believe to be honest or deceitful people, and what is said about that in God’s word. You see in God’s word, “You must be honest people; do not be deceivers.” There are a lot more details to this. When you truly understand the meaning of God’s word, then you know what an honest person is, and what a deceitful person is. When you put it into practice, you will know what to do that is definitely the behavior of an honest person, and then you will have the path to practice, ensuring you can meet God’s standards. If you really understand these words and put them into practice, then you can obtain God’s approval. If you do not understand these words, then you cannot become an honest person, and you will absolutely not obtain God’s approval.

Coming to a real understanding of the actual meaning in God’s word is no simple matter. Don’t think this way: I can interpret the literal meaning of God’s words, and everyone says it’s good and gives me a thumbs-up, so it counts as understanding God’s word. That is not the same as understanding God’s word. If you have gained some light from within God’s word and you have gotten a sense of the true significance of God’s word, if you can express the intention of God’s word and what they will ultimately achieve, once this is all clear that counts as having some level of understanding of God’s word. So, understanding God’s word is not quite so simple. Just because you can give a flowery explanation of the letter of God’s word does not mean you understand it. No matter how much you can explain the letter of God’s word it is still man’s imagination and way of thinking—it’s useless! How should God’s word be understood? The key is to understand His word from within His word. Whenever God speaks He certainly does not speak in mere generalities. Within each sentence there is detailed content which is certain to be revealed further in God’s word, and it may be expressed in a different way. Man cannot comprehend the ways in which God expresses truth. God’s word is very profound and cannot be penetrated with man’s way of thinking. People can discover the complete meaning of every aspect of truth as long as they make an effort, and the remaining details are filled in completely as the Holy Spirit enlightens your understanding of the concrete situations through experience. One part is understanding God’s word through His word, finding the specific content of His word. Another part is understanding the implications of God’s word through experiencing it and obtaining enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. It is primarily through these two ways that a true understanding of God’s word is achieved. If you interpret this literally or from your own thinking or imagination, then your understanding is not real no matter how eloquently you can interpret. It’s possible that you may even take meaning out of context and misinterpret God’s word, and that’s even more troublesome. So, the truth is primarily obtained by receiving enlightenment from the Holy Spirit through knowing God’s word. Understanding the literal meaning of His word or being able to explain it does not count as having gained the truth. If you only needed to interpret the letter of His word, then what would be the point of enlightenment from the Holy Spirit? In that case you would need to have certain level of education, and the uneducated would be in quite a predicament. God’s work is not something that can be comprehended by the human brain. A true understanding of God’s word depends mainly on enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; such is the process of gaining the truth.

When it comes to knowing the nature of humans, the most important thing is to know it from the perspective of their world view, views of life, and values. Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their views of life and maxims mainly come from Satan’s sayings, such as, “Everyone for himself, and the devil take the hindmost.” The words spoken by those king devils, great ones, and philosophers of the earth have become their life. In particular, most of the words of Confucius, who is touted by Chinese people to be a “sage,” have become people’s life. There are also the famous proverbs of Buddhism and Taoism, and the oft-quoted classic sayings of various famous figures; these are all outlines of Satan’s philosophy and Satan’s nature. They are also the best illustrations and explanations of Satan’s nature. These poisons that have been infused into the human heart all come from Satan; not the least bit of them comes from God. Such lies and nonsense are also in direct opposition to God’s word. It is absolutely clear that the realities of all positive things come from God, and all those negative things that poison humans come from Satan. Therefore, you can discern a person’s nature and to whom he belongs from his views of life and values. Satan corrupts people through the education and influence of the national governments and the famous and great. Their nonsense has become man’s life and nature. “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost” is a well-known satanic saying that has been instilled into everyone and has become people’s lives. There are other words of life philosophy that are also like this. Satan uses each nation’s fine traditional culture to educate people, causing humanity to fall into and be engulfed in a boundless abyss of destruction, and in the end people are destroyed by God because they serve Satan and resist God. Imagine asking someone who has been active in society for decades the following question, “You have lived in the world for so long and achieved so much; what famous sayings do you live by?” “The most important one is ‘Those who give gifts to officials are not struck by them, and those who do not flatter accomplish nothing.’” Isn’t such speech representative of his nature? His nature is not to spare any means for obtaining position; being an official is what gives him life. There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their handling things, and in their conduct and dealings with others—they are almost without a shred of truth—for example, their life philosophies, their ways of doing things, and their maxims are filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. So, what flows through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan. All of those officials, those who are in power, and those who achieve success have their own path and secret to success, so is that secret not perfectly representative of their nature? They have done such big things in the world, and no one can see through the schemes that lay behind those things. This shows that their nature is so insidious and venomous. Mankind has been profoundly corrupted by Satan. Satan’s venom flows through the blood of every person, and it can be seen that human nature is corrupt, evil, and reactionary, filled by and immersed in the philosophies of Satan—it is, in its entirety, a nature that betrays God. This is why people resist God and stand in opposition to God. Man’s nature can be known to all if dissected in this way.

If people have a genuine understanding of God’s disposition, and can give heartfelt praise to His holiness and righteousness, then they truly know God and possess the truth; only then do they live in the light. Only once people’s view of the world and of life changes do they transform fundamentally. When one has a life goal and comports oneself according to the truth, when one absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word, when one feels peaceful and brightened deep in one’s soul, when one’s heart is free of darkness, and when one lives completely freely and unrestrainedly in God’s presence—only then does one live a true human life and become a person who possesses the truth. Besides, all the truths you possess are from God’s word and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things—God Most High—approves of you, as a real person living a true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval? Such is a person who has the truth. In today’s world under Satan’s domain, throughout the thousands of years of history, who among all of humanity has obtained life? Nobody. This is because humans are all people who have resisted God. Everything by which they have lived their lives and survived comes from Satan and was accepted from Satan, and is precisely in opposition to God’s word. Thus, they are beings who resist God and who suffer God’s curses, and they have no life to speak of. Even though they want to “leave a lasting reputation,” “have their names passed down for a hundred generations,” “enjoy eternal glory,” and “have an everlasting name,” this is all nonsense. In fact, they were cursed by God early on, never to be reincarnated. The words of the famous, whatever they are, fundamentally do not hold with God, and all are punished in the eighteenth level of hell after they die. Only God is the truth. God controls the heavens and earth and everything in them, and has dominion over all. Not to believe in God and not to submit to God is to be unable to obtain truth. If you live according to God’s word, you will have clarity of mind, and feel at ease, as well as have an incomparable sweetness in the depths of your heart; then you will have truly obtained life. No matter how great the scientific achievements of scientists in the world, when they near death they feel empty-handed; they have obtained nothing. Even Einstein and Newton, with so much knowledge, felt empty, and that’s because they did not have truth. Newton and Galileo, in particular, both believed in God and were Christians; they were persecuted by Catholicism, but they did not seek truth. They only knew it was good to worship God. They merely studied science and discovered that there really is a God, and they believed in God to the end, ending up with a one hundred percent conviction that God exists and a one hundred percent conviction that He created the heavens and earth and all things. They only sought scientific knowledge and did not seek to know God. They did not obtain truth, and they did not obtain true life. The path you walk today is not their path. What you seek is to know God, how to submit to God, how to worship God, how to live out a meaningful life—completely different from what they sought. Now, the incarnate God has told you of every aspect of truth and bestowed upon you the way of truth and life. It would be foolish for you not to seek truth.

Now you feel like you still fall far short, that there is too little truth within you, that you do not feel enriched within. This is because your entering in has been too superficial, and you do not yet have very deep experience. When you truly understand God’s word and enter into God’s word you will have energy, an energy that fills your body and cannot be fully expended. At that time, you’ll feel more and more bright inside, and the path will be brighter the farther you walk it. These days, most people who believe in God have not yet entered the right track and have not come to understand the truth, so they still feel empty inside, and feel suffering in life, and they do not have the strength to fulfill their duties. This is how God’s believers are before they have a vision in their hearts. Such people have not obtained truth and do not yet know God, so do not yet feel much internal pleasure. You, especially, have all suffered persecution and experienced difficulty in returning home; you suffer, and also have thoughts of death and an unwillingness to live. These are weaknesses of the flesh. Some people even think: Believing in God should be enjoyable. In the Age of Grace, the Holy Spirit still bestowed peace and joy upon people. Now there is too little peace and joy; pleasure like there was during the Age of Grace does not exist. Believing in God today is extremely vexing. You only know that the pleasure of the flesh is better than anything else. You do not know what God is doing today. God has to allow your flesh to suffer in order to transform your disposition. Even though your flesh suffers, you have God’s word and you have God’s blessing. You cannot die even if you want to: Can you resign yourself to not knowing God and not obtaining truth if you die? Now, mainly, it is just that people have not yet obtained truth, and they do not have life. Now people are in the midst of the process of seeking salvation, so they must suffer some during this period. Today everyone throughout the world is tried: God is still suffering—is it right that you do not suffer? Without refinement through great disasters there cannot be genuine faith, and truth and life will not be obtained. Not having trials and refinement would not do. Peter was ultimately tried for seven years (after he was fifty-three years old). He experienced hundreds of trials throughout those seven years; he had to go through one every several days, and only after undergoing all manner of trials did he obtain life and experience a transformation in his disposition. Thus, when you truly obtain the truth and come to know God, you will feel that you should be living for God. If you do not live for God, then you will be sorry; you will live out the rest of your days in bitter regret and extreme remorse. You can’t die yet. You must clench your fists and resolutely continue to live; you must live a life for God. When people have truth within them then they have this resolve and never again desire to die; when death threatens you, you will say, “O God, I am unwilling to die; I still do not know You. I still have not repaid Your love. I must die only after coming to know You well.” Have you reached this level? You haven’t yet, right? Some people suffer familial hardship, and some suffer marital hardship; some suffer persecution, and do not even have a place to rest their feet. No matter where they go, they can only stay at the homes of others, and so they suffer in their hearts. Is not the suffering you encounter now the very same suffering of God? You are suffering along with God, and God is suffering along with people. Today you all have a part in Christ’s tribulation, kingdom, and patience, and in the end you will obtain glory. This kind of suffering is meaningful, but you absolutely must be resolved. You must understand the significance of today’s suffering and why you must suffer so. Seek a little truth from this, and understand a little of God’s intention, and you will then possess the resolve to endure suffering. If you do not understand God’s intention, and merely ruminate on your suffering, then the more you think about it, the more distressed you feel, and then you will be in trouble and begin to suffer the torment of death. If you understand truth, you will say, “I have not yet obtained truth. I must properly expend myself for God. I must bear good witness of God. I must repay God’s love. After that, it doesn’t matter how I die. Then I will have lived a satisfactory life. Regardless of who else is dying, I will not die now; I must tenaciously continue to live.” Thus, now all these things must be seen clearly, and truth must be understood from them. When people have truth, they have strength. When they have truth, they are filled with inexhaustible energy. When they have truth, they have will. Without truth, they are like the limp dregs of tofu. With truth, they are firm and emboldened, and they do not feel their suffering as suffering, no matter how much they endure. What does this suffering of yours amount to? God incarnate is still suffering. You are people corrupted by Satan with a nature that rebels against God. You have all unconsciously done many things that disobey God, in resistance to God. You should be judged and you should be chastised. A sick person cannot fear suffering when they are treated, so is it possible for you, who have corruption and wish for your dispositions to be transformed and to gain life, not to suffer a little? Your suffering should be borne and must be borne; you are not without blame for it, much less was it forced on you. Your current suffering amounts to nothing more than the hardship of rushing about and a little tiredness from work. Sometimes you feel grief in your hearts as you discover that your corruption never changes, and you are somewhat tormented by your corrupt nature. Sometimes there is a part of God’s words you can never understand, or your hearts are pierced while you read God’s words, and you feel pained while undergoing some refining in God’s words. Otherwise, you do your work poorly and always make mistakes, blaming yourselves and hating that you cannot fight through it and that you cannot do the work. You suffer in all these ways. Sometimes you see others progress, and feel that your own progression is too slow, that you receive God’s words too slowly, and that the light comes too little. You suffer some in these ways. Sometimes your environment threatens you, putting your mind in a state of anxiety, keeping you from rest, and forcing you to live in fear, and thus, you suffer a little. What other suffering is there besides these kinds? You are not made to do any heavy labor, nor do you have superiors or bosses beating you and cursing you; no one is enslaving you. You are not suffering any of those things, are you? The hardships you suffer really are not actual hardship. Think about that for a minute: Is this not the case? You must understand the significance of your expending yourselves for God, as well as why you want to do this. If it is to pursue truth, to pursue life, and to fulfill your duties and repay God’s love, then that is completely righteous—a positive thing—and it is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle. In that case, you will never have regrets, and you will not become negative.

Now you all undergo some hardships of trials. Some of you possess some truth; some none. Some receive it this way; others receive it that way. No matter how you receive it, as long as there is truth within you and you receive it the right way, your suffering will have meaning and value, you will have determination, and you can make it to the end. If you don’t receive the truth but only man’s notions and imaginations, then your suffering has no value because you have not obtained truth. You should seek God’s will in all things and must seek truth in all things. How do you seek truth in the matters of eating and wearing clothes and the matters of personal life? Is there truth to seek within these things? Some say, “Whatever You say, eating well is good; dressing well is good. Eating or dressing poorly is a loss.” Is there truth in this view? There is not! Is it really important in one’s life to eat well and dress well? Absolutely not. Put another way, if someone really can know God and possess the truth, then everything that person does is bearing testimony to God and satisfying God. No matter how awfully such a person eats or dresses, there is value in his living, and he obtains God’s approval—is that not the most meaningful thing? Wearing what kind of clothes is absolutely not of primary importance. You won’t necessarily be blessed for wearing nice clothes: You will still be cursed for taking the wrong path. And, a person wearing shabby clothes who possesses truth will be blessed by God all the same. So, there is truth to seek in how you should treat eating and dressing. And there is even more truth to seek in how you should treat performing your duty. How you treat God’s commission is a very serious matter! If you cannot complete what God entrusts to you, then you are not fit to live in His presence and should be punished. It is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle for humans to complete what God entrusts to them; this is their highest responsibility, as important as their lives. If you do not take God’s commission seriously, then you are betraying God in the most grievous way; this is more lamentable than Judas and makes you deserve to be cursed. People must gain a thorough understanding of how to view what God entrusts to them and, at the very least, must comprehend that God commissions humanity: This is an exaltation and special favor from God, a most glorious thing. Everything else can be abandoned—even if one has to sacrifice his life, he must still fulfill God’s commission. If you understand the truth of why people live and how to view life, then will your view of life not be changed? What truths are there in loving God? Why must humans love God? What is the significance of loving God? If one has a clear understanding of the truth of loving God, and can love God in his heart—if his heart can love God a little—then one has a true life and is the most blessed. There is even more truth in this to be sought. What truths are there in loving God? Why must man love God? What is the significance of loving God? If a man is clear about the truth of loving God and can love God in his heart—if his heart can love God a little—then he has a true life and is the most blessed. Those who seek truth in all things progress in life the fastest and can achieve the transformation of disposition. Those who seek truth in all things are precisely those who are loved of God. If a person relies on notions and doctrines or obeys rules in all things, then he will not progress, he will never have truth, and sooner or later he will be eliminated—God most despises this kind of person.

Previous: Chapter 40. What You Should Know About Transforming Your Disposition

Next: Chapter 42. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition

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Preface

These fellowships and words are directed toward the many difficult aspects and areas of putting truth into practice; they are also directed...

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