How to Pursue the Truth (21)
The topic of fellowship during this period has been quite broad. How much can you remember? How much are you able to grasp? (After God has finished fellowshiping, we can remember some of it a little bit. For other parts of it, we are able to have a slight impression due to currently experiencing similar circumstances. And for other parts, having never experienced such situations, we aren’t able to remember much.) When you encounter circumstances, do you have any impression of the things that were fellowshiped about? (A bit. When faced with similar circumstances, I can recall this aspect of the truth God fellowshiped about, a corresponding sentence or two of His words, and afterward I search for these words of God to eat and drink, and I feel like I have some direction.) Have you grasped the principles? (In this regard, I am lacking quite a bit. I still can’t quite grasp the principles; I can only just relate to God’s words, and have a bit of understanding.) Do you know what understanding the truth and having the ability to receive the truth primarily refers to? When someone lacks the ability to receive the truth, isn’t it often said that “This person doesn’t understand the truth,” or “They haven’t grasped this aspect of the truth principles”? Don’t you often say something like that? (Yes.) When it is said that someone understands the truth and has the ability to receive it, what does this refer to? Does it refer to understanding doctrine with respect to the truth? (No. My interpretation is that after listening to God’s fellowship, if this person has the ability to receive the truth, they can relate it to and acquire knowledge about themselves, and find the principles for practicing the truth.) Understanding the truth and having the ability to receive it primarily refers to a person being able to understand the truth principles. That is, when a certain truth is fellowshiped about, no matter what the specific details and content are, how many examples are listed, or how many matters or states are discussed—within all of this lies a truth principle. If you can understand and grasp this truth principle, then you have the ability to receive the truth. What does having the ability to receive the truth refer to? It means being able to understand the truth principles, and, when faced with matters, being able to view people and things, and comport oneself and act based on the truth principles. This is what is called having the ability to receive the truth. Some people, no matter how the truth is fellowshiped about with them, how many examples are given, how many states are discussed, or how specific the discussion is, still don’t know what truth is being discussed here, and they are not able to view people and things, comport themselves, and act based on the truth principles. That is, they can’t relate to it or apply it. Even though they can talk about some words and doctrines for several hours, discussing these clearly and logically, it is a pity that they are unable to apply God’s words, that they can’t apply the truth principles to addressing or handling problems. This is not understanding the truth principles or having the ability to receive the truth. No matter how many doctrines they talk about, it’s useless. The truth principles are the specific practice criteria for every matter and every category of thing related to the truth. Since they are specific practice criteria, they are surely God’s will. They are the standards that God requires of you in specific matters, and the specific path of practice you should take. These are the truth principles. They are not only God’s will but the standards God requires of people. Suppose you’ve grasped the truth principles, then you have the ability to receive the truth. If you have the ability to receive the truth, when faced with matters, you will practice based on the truth principles. You’ll be able to proceed in line with God’s will, and you’ll be able to meet God’s requirements. Conversely, if you don’t understand the truth principles—that is, if you lack the ability to receive the truth—then whatever you do will not be based on the truth principles or on God’s words. Your actions lack a basis and criteria, that is, you have no definite standards. Therefore, you cannot meet God’s requirements. To assess whether someone is capable of doing real work, look at whether they have the ability to receive the truth. If they do, they can solve real problems. If they don’t have it, no matter how much doctrine they can spew out, it’s all useless. One who likes discussing words and doctrines but doesn’t address real issues is a textbook Pharisee. No matter how many countless passages of God’s words you can memorize, it is of no use. The Pharisees could recite scriptures fluently, then they went to street corners to pray; everything they did was in order to be seen by people, to show themselves off, not to address real problems. Such people concentrate on collecting every kind of spiritual, universally praised and accepted, profound, and esoteric knowledge, doctrine, words, and slogans, and proclaim these everywhere. They even display some good behavior on the surface, deceiving people with it so that they might admire and worship them. But when it comes to real issues, apart from upholding statutes and quoting some words and doctrines, they cannot address any real problems. Regarding people’s inner states or essences, and how to treat and address these matters, they fail to comprehend anything or understand any truth. They can only speak emptily about some words and doctrines. This is what is called a textbook Pharisee. The reason Pharisees can merely discuss words and doctrines, but can’t address any real issues, is because they do not understand the truth, and they cannot comprehend the essence of the issue from beginning to end. So when it comes time to address issues, they resort to speaking falsehoods and promulgating ludicrous viewpoints. They are unable to see through any person or the essence of any matter. Consequently, they are unable to resolve any issues. They lack the slightest comprehension ability. Regardless of how many sermons they’ve heard or how much doctrine they’ve discussed, they don’t understand what the truth principle or God’s will is. Despite being poor and pathetic, they still believe that they understand the truth and pride themselves as spiritual people. Isn’t this pitiful? (It is.) It is pitiful and nauseating. They can discuss so many words and doctrines, and even follow certain rules, yet they can’t resolve any concrete issues. They will just resort to mimicking how others might speak, saying, “Oh, something happened here. Look at how convoluted, bizarre, and unusual the development of this affair played out. Oh, that person has no conscience and reason, their humanity is bad and they have no self-awareness. Whenever something happens to them they behave recklessly.” You ask them, “Given this behavior, how would you treat or deal with this person? Based on what principles would you handle them? What is the essence of their behavior? Is this type of person an antichrist, or following an antichrist’s path? Are they a false leader, or is it simply that their humanity is bad, or their foundation of faith is shallow?” But they say, “This is hard to read.” They don’t know how to resolve it, and when faced with various matters, they only look at surface phenomena and conditions. When it specifically comes to certain individual behaviors, manifestations, words, and actions, they can only describe or enumerate them, or they may make some simple and preliminary determinations, but they can’t comprehend the essence of the issue. They don’t know how to treat or handle such people; how to fellowship about the truth in order to make them reflect, know themselves, and relate themselves to God’s words; how to help them in their life entry, or how to appropriately place these people when it comes to administration and personnel. They can only talk about various behaviors and conditions of this or that category of people. When you ask them, “Have you handled these people?” they reply, “Not yet, I’m still observing them.” This is the outcome. Doesn’t this indicate a lack of problem-solving ability? (Yes.) Doesn’t a lack of problem-solving ability indicate an inability to receive the truth? (Yes.) Without the ability to receive the truth, aren’t these people unable to understand the truth principles? It is not because they haven’t heard enough sermons that they do not understand the truth principles; it is because they lack the ability to receive the truth—they don’t possess that quality. Then why can they usually speak and discourse so eloquently? Because they’ve heard a lot and experienced a lot, and they’ve committed all these doctrines to their memory, naturally they are able to discuss some words and doctrines. Especially those who’ve served as leaders or workers for several years: They’ve honed themselves through regular practice, they can discuss and talk about various words and doctrines, and they speak particularly smoothly, as if delivering speeches and essays. But this does not mean they have stature or reality, nor does it mean they understand the truth principles. You must be good at discernment and must not be misled by such people. When you see someone who is able to speak continually for a day or two during gatherings without repeating themselves, you’re so impressed by them that you’re in awe; doesn’t this show a lack of discernment? Doesn’t it show that you do not understand the truth? (Yes.) This shows that you do not understand the truth. If you understood the truth, you would be able to discern whether any of the content of their speech contained specific principles of practice to address certain states or problems. Suppose you listen carefully and find there isn’t a single sentence addressing people’s actual states or problems, that what they are saying is just a bunch of slogans, a bunch of words, a bunch of doctrines devoid of principles, specific solutions, and concrete paths of practice, and even if they speak for two or three days, it’s all hollow doctrine. And suppose it seems beneficial and fruitful at the time you hear it, but upon reflection you think, “How do I resolve this issue? They didn’t seem to address it just now,” and when you ask them again, they just spew a bunch of doctrine, which still leaves you not knowing how to proceed. Isn’t this being fooled and deceived? (Yes.) Although you still don’t know how to proceed, you still admire and look up to them: That is being fooled and deceived. Aren’t you often tricked in this way? (Yes.) Then, as leaders and workers, aren’t you often deceiving others in this way? (Yes.) Now do you have a bit more understanding of what it means to have the ability to receive the truth and what the truth principles are? (I understand them a bit more.) What are the truth principles? (The truth principles are certain criteria for practice when actually encountering matters; they contain God’s will as well as certain standards and paths that should be put into practice. If one grasps the truth principles, they have the ability to receive the truth.) Having the ability to receive the truth allows one to grasp the truth principles. This is the relationship between the two. It’s not that when you understand the truth principles, you have the ability to receive the truth. Rather, when you have the ability to receive the truth, you can understand the truth principles. Isn’t that how it works? (Yes.) So, do most of you have the ability to receive the truth? Can you understand the truth principles contained within all the subject matter I fellowship about each time? If you can understand them, then you possess the ability to receive the truth, and you have spiritual understanding. If, after listening, you only remember certain things, certain specific behaviors or ways of doing things involving certain people or categories of people discussed during fellowship, but you don’t understand what the truth principles being fellowshiped about here really are, and when facing matters you don’t know how to relate them to the specific facts fellowshiped about, or how to act based on the truth principles, then you do not have spiritual understanding. Not having spiritual understanding means to lack the ability to receive the truth. No matter how many sermons you hear, you don’t understand the truth principles, and when matters arise you feel bewildered; you can only see surface-level conditions, manifestations, and the like. You can’t see the essence of the problem, and you can’t find paths of practice or the way to address issues. This signifies a lack of understanding of the true principles and an inability to receive the truth. People like this do not have spiritual understanding. Take your time to ponder and delve into these issues, and you’ll come to conclusions. If you never ponder on these issues, if your head is muddled, then you don’t have a genuine understanding.
Let’s keep fellowshiping about the content we have been fellowshiping about continually during this time. At the previous gathering, we discussed the fourth part of letting go of people’s pursuits, ideals, and desires—the specific content of the part “careers.” Regarding the specific content included in “careers,” the correct understanding people should have about careers, or the specific paths of practice and criteria of practice God requires of people with respect to careers, we have listed four points. What are these four points? (1. Not engaging in charity; 2. Being content with food and clothing; 3. Staying away from various social forces; 4. Staying away from politics.) We have discussed two of these four points. The first point is not engaging in charity, and the second is being content with food and clothing. Doesn’t the specific wording of each of these four points constitute the concrete principles of practice for letting go of careers? (Yes.) These four specific principles of practice constitute the standards God requires of humankind with respect to letting go of careers. Of course, the standards God requires of humankind are the truth principles of letting go of careers, and they are the specific paths of practice when people face these matters; that is, by doing what you ought to do within this scope, you achieve God’s requirements, but if you go beyond this scope, you go against the principles, against the truth, and against God’s requirements. With respect to the topic of careers, we have fellowshiped about two principles of practice: The first is not engaging in charity, and the second is being content with food and clothing. Concerning the first point of not engaging in charity, we have provided certain specific examples and discussed some special situations. What issues are primarily involved in this topic? It pertains to what people should do when choosing a profession or with respect to careers. At the very least, the first point is to not engage in matters related to charity; it is enough to only be involved in careers related to one’s own life or livelihood. If there is a charitable organization where you are employed and work only because you applied to a job posting, this is not the same as you being engaged in charity—it is a special situation. You can be employed here and receive wages, but you are just a worker, nothing more than an employee receiving a salary. As for what the charitable organization engages in, whether foundations, social welfare, adopting orphaned children or animals, aiding people in disaster-stricken or impoverished areas, admitting refugees, and so on, these principal endeavors have nothing to do with you. You are not the primary person responsible, and you are not to contribute your time and energy to this charitable cause. This is a different matter altogether. You are not doing charity; you are employed by a charitable organization. Aren’t they different by nature? (Yes.) Their natures are different, and this special situation has not violated the principle. Apart from this, whether it’s a small-scale or large-scale charity, regardless of what domain the charity work is in, it has nothing to do with you. It is not something God requires you to do. You are not violating the truth by not doing it, and even if you do it, God does not commemorate it. Since you aim to pursue the truth and salvation, you shouldn’t invest your energy and time in matters that have no connection to salvation, pursuing the truth, or submitting to God, because doing charity has no value or meaning. Why does doing this have no value or meaning? Regardless of whom you save or help, it can’t change anything. It can’t alter anyone’s destiny or resolve problems with their destiny, and you helping people on occasion is not truly saving them. Consequently, in the end, such endeavors are futile and devoid of any value or meaning. For example, some people adopt wolves: They start with one or two and eventually raise hundreds or thousands. They take this as their career, investing all their savings, involving their entire family, and devoting all their energy in later years. The whole of their energy and their lives revolve around this one thing, and the final result, despite successfully saving and protecting the wolves, is that they have wasted considerable time and years on this matter. They don’t have extra time and energy to pursue the truth and fulfill their duties. Therefore, compared to fulfilling duties and receiving salvation, any undertaking, even if it is recognized by many people and praised by society, is not as important as people pursuing salvation, the truth, and fulfilling their duties. It is not as meaningful or valuable as pursuing these. There is another important matter: If you are chosen by God, and you are one of His chosen people, God will absolutely never entrust you with carrying out a career in charity that may be recognized by the world or society. God will absolutely never entrust such matters to you to do. If you are one of God’s chosen people, what is God’s greatest hope for you? It is for you to fulfill your duty as a created being, to be able to pursue the truth and return before God, and to be able to receive salvation and remain. This is what most satisfies God’s will, what best satisfies His will, rather than performing actions that people in this world or society consider significant, meaningful, or lustrous. If you are a chosen person of God, what He entrusts to you is the duty you should fulfill, exclusively relating to God’s work and the work of the church. Anything beyond the work of the church and God’s management is not your concern. No matter what you do, even if you believe it is good and are willing to do it, it holds no value, it is not worth commemorating, and God does not commemorate it. Whether it becomes a timeless legacy, is remembered forever, or receives the praise of contemporary people, all that is unimportant. Regardless of how many people acknowledge it, that does not mean that what you do is commended by God or receives His commemoration. It does not mean that what you do is meaningful or valuable. The opinions and evaluations of this world and this society do not represent God’s evaluation of you. Therefore, when it comes to careers, you shouldn’t waste your limited time and precious energy on meaningless endeavors. Instead, focus your energy and time on your duty given to you by God, and on matters of pursuing the truth and salvation. This is what truly holds value and meaning. Living this way will make your life a valuable and meaningful one. Some people adopt thousands of dogs, and every day is centered on tending to and living for these dogs they adopted. They barely have enough time to eat and sleep, let alone wash their clothes or talk to people. The tasks they take on go beyond the scope of their abilities. They lead exhausting, pitiable lives. Isn’t this foolish? (Yes.) You are not a savior, do not try to become one. Any idea of wanting to save the world, change the world, or use your own strength to alter the current state or this world is foolish. Of course, such attempts are even more foolish, and the eventual consequences will only put you in a terrible state, make you exhausted, give you untold misery, and make you not know whether you should laugh or cry. People do not have that much energy, nor are their capacity and abilities great enough to change anything. The little energy and time you possess should be offered and spent fulfilling your duty as a created being. More importantly of course, it should be spent and dedicated to pursuing the truth to attain salvation and submission to God. Apart from these things, any other endeavors are meaningless. A career is something that must be done as a part of a person’s physical life. It doesn’t qualify as meaningful; it’s merely necessary for physical life and survival. In order to live and survive, you must engage in an occupation; this occupation is merely a job that allows you to support yourself. Whether this occupation takes place in the lower or upper strata of society, it is simply a way to maintain a livelihood; its nobility and significance are out of the question. Furthermore, regardless of its significance, God’s requirement for humankind is this: If you wish to pursue the truth and walk the path of salvation, then the standard for choosing an occupation to maintain a livelihood is being content with food and clothing. Don’t use up excessive amounts of energy and time running around and busying yourself for your own food, clothing, shelter, and transportation—it’s enough to achieve basic necessities. When your stomach is full and your body is warm and covered; when you achieve these basic conditions for survival, you should fulfill your duty as a created being, offer your precious energy and time to your duty, to what God has entrusted to you, and offer your heart. The most crucial point is that while fulfilling your duty, you must also put effort into the truth, pursue the truth and walk the path of pursuing the truth—don’t just drift along. This is the principle. God doesn’t require you to exert all your strength just to survive and keep living. He doesn’t need you to live a glamorous life and glorify Him through it, nor does He require you to accomplish any great deeds in this world, perform any miracles, contribute anything to humankind, provide assistance to any number of people, or resolve the employment problems of any number of people. It’s unnecessary for you to have a grand career, to become famous worldwide, and then use these things to glorify God’s name, proclaiming to the world, “I am a Christian, I believe in Almighty God.” God only hopes that you can be an ordinary person and a common individual in this world. You don’t need to perform any miracles; you don’t need to excel in various professions or fields, or become a famous person or a great figure. You don’t need to be someone who garners people’s admiration or respect, nor do you need to have any successes or accolades in various areas. There’s certainly no need for you to make any contributions in various professions in order to glorify God. God’s requirement for you is simply to live your life well, to have basic necessities, not to go hungry, to dress warmly in winter and suitably in summer. As long as your life is normal and you have the ability to survive, that’s enough—that is God’s requirement for you. Regardless of what gifts, talents, or special abilities you have, God doesn’t wish for you to use them to gain worldly success. Instead, He wants you to apply whatever gifts or qualities you have to fulfilling your duty, to that which He entrusts to you, and to the pursuit of the truth, ultimately attaining salvation. This is the most important thing, and God doesn’t require anything beyond that. If you live well, God won’t say you’re someone who glorifies Him. If your life is ordinary and you’re in the lower class of society, this isn’t an affront to God. If your family is relatively poor, but you meet God’s standard of being content with food and clothing, this is not an affront to Him either. As you live and survive, the goal of your pursuit is to be content with food and clothing, to have basic necessities and live normally, being able to maintain your daily meals, and covering your daily expenses—that is enough. When you’re content, God is also satisfied—this is what God asks of people. He doesn’t ask you to be some rich, famous, or lofty person, nor does He let you be a beggar. Beggars don’t do any work; all day they beg for food, look pathetic, eat people’s leftovers, dress in tattered clothes, wear clothes with patches in them or even drape a burlap sack over themselves—their quality of life is especially low. God doesn’t demand that you live like a beggar. In matters regarding physical life, God doesn’t require you to glorify Him, nor does He define certain situations as dishonoring to Him. God won’t judge a person based on whether they’re struggling or living in abundance. Instead, He evaluates you based on how you practice and whether you satisfy God’s requirements in regard to the pursuit of the truth and the principles that God requires of you. Have you understood and grasped these two principles of practice related to careers? The first principle is not engaging in charity, and the second principle is being content with food and clothing. Both of these principles are easy to understand.
In the church, there are some individuals who still firmly believe that doing charity is a good thing. They think, “Wherever there’s a need, we ought to lend a helping hand. As for me personally, I have donated clothes and some money, and I even go to disaster-stricken areas and volunteer.” How do you evaluate this matter? Should it be stopped or interfered with? (It should not be interfered with.) There are also those who say, “When I see someone begging, especially children who are hungry, I feel pity for them.” They quickly bring such people into their homes, make them some good food, and then they send them off with some clothes and nice things, and even go visit them on occasion. They are willing to perform these acts of kindness and comport themselves in this way, believing that this way of comporting oneself upholds justice, and that by doing so, they will be commemorated by God and become the most lovely people in the world. Regarding people like this, does the church stop or interfere with them? (It does not interfere.) We share the sermons that ought to be shared with them, and explain God’s will and the truth principles to them. If, after understanding and having a knowledge of everything, they still insist on doing things their own way, acting according to their own will, we don’t intervene. Every individual must take responsibility for their own words and actions, and people are themselves accountable for the ultimate outcome and how God labels them. Others need not bear that responsibility, they need not foot the bill. If we encounter people like this who understand everything but still insist on doing charity, we won’t correct their thoughts and viewpoints, nor will we interfere, and we certainly won’t condemn them. There are still some people who, after believing in God, pursue worldly things, riches, positions in government, or a career. Do we interfere with them? (We do not interfere.) Fellowship with them about the relevant truths so that they understand, and after you finish fellowshiping, they can choose for themselves. It’s up to them to decide what course to follow. What they choose, what they want to do, and how they do it—we do not intervene in these matters. Our responsibility is to fellowship with them about God’s will and the truth principles. If they understand and comprehend, you may ask them, “So, what should your next step be? When will you start spreading the gospel?” Then they say, “Wait a bit, I have a shipment of goods to bring in, I have some business and a project that I need to take over, something I can make a lot of money on once it’s complete. Let’s circle back about spreading the gospel later.” And you say, “How long should I wait?” Then they answer, “Maybe two or three years.” Well, bye-bye then. You don’t need to bother with such people anymore. This is how it can be addressed, isn’t that easy? (It is easy.) This is what’s called knowing the true way and deliberately sinning anyway. Such people will not have a sin offering. God doesn’t stop or interfere with people like this; even in that moment, He does not evaluate them in any way. He lets them choose freely. You also need to learn this principle. Regardless of how much they can understand, in short, our responsibility is to clearly convey God’s will to them. What they choose after that, what their next steps should be, is their own affair and their freedom. No one should interfere, and there’s no need to explain the pros and cons in order to press them. Is this an appropriate approach? (It is appropriate.) If it is appropriate, then it should be done like this. Don’t go against principles and don’t force them against their will. These are the first two principles of letting go of one’s career; these two are relatively easy to understand and readily comprehensible.
Regarding the topic of letting go of careers, what is the third principle that God requires people to practice? It is staying away from various social forces. This one is a bit harder to understand, isn’t it? (Yes.) Although it might be a bit harder to understand, this is also one of the principles. It is a principle that people should faithfully observe in order to survive in this society. It is also an attitude, approach, and manner of survival that people must possess to survive in this society, and of course it may accurately be said that it is a kind of wisdom for surviving in society. Staying away from various social forces might appear on the surface to be an issue that is distant from each individual, but in fact, these various social forces are hidden around everyone. They are intangible forces, intangible entities that exist around everyone. When you choose an occupation, regardless of which social class this occupation belongs to, it is shrouded by the considerable force of the related occupation. Whether you engage in a high-end or low-end occupation, there are related groups of people within that occupation. If, within society, these groups have certain years of experience, certain qualifications, or certain social foundations, then they unquestionably form an intangible force. For example, the profession of teaching might not be considered a high-end occupation, but it isn’t low-end either. It’s somewhat higher than such occupations as farming or various kinds of manual labor, but somewhat lower than the truly high-end professions in society. Within this occupation, apart from the simple work you engage in, there are many other people flooding the industry. So, in this industry, people are differentiated by their seniority and depth of experience. The upper levels of this profession constitute a class that controls things like personnel, trends, policies, regulations, and rules; it forms a corresponding force within the profession. For instance, in the profession of teaching, who is the leader, the top boss who leads and controls the profession, and who controls your livelihood and salary? In some countries, there might be a teachers’ union; in China, it’s the education bureau and the Ministry of Education. These institutions represent the domain of forces corresponding to the teaching profession in society. Similarly, for farmers, who is their immediate superior? It might be a team leader, a village chief, or the head of a township, and now there are even agricultural management committees being introduced. Isn’t this the domain of forces corresponding to this profession? (Yes.) These different domains of forces may be said to affect and control your thoughts, your words and actions, and even your faith and the path you take in life. They don’t just control your livelihood; they control everything about you. Especially in the country of the great red dragon, unbelievers are always holding ideological seminars, reporting on their thoughts, and checking if there are any problems with their thoughts, if they include any anti-party, anti-state, or anti-human elements. Regardless of which profession you engage in, whether it’s a more traditional occupation or a more modern one, there will exist various corresponding forces present in the professional sphere around you. Some of the forces are your immediate superiors, those directly responsible for issuing your salary and living expenses. Others might be intangible forces. For example, suppose you are an inconspicuous employee in a workplace; there will be various forces at play within your professional sphere. Some cozy up to the manager and are always orbiting them—this is one kind of force. Then there is the group of a force that stays close to the CEO and dedicates themselves to handling matters for the CEO. Another group might be close to the director of the marketing department. All these various forces exist. What is the purpose of these forces? How do these forces come into existence? It’s each individual taking what they want, as well as taking sides and sucking up to those in power in order to achieve their own purposes and survive, which then leads to the formation of various forces. Some forces advocate one approach, while others advocate a different approach. Some forces might tend to do things by the book and follow workplace norms, while others might act more despicably, disregarding both the law and professional ethics. Living in an environment where these various forces intermingle, how should you choose? How should you survive? Should you draw near to the party organization, or to a manager or CEO? Should you cozy up to a director or section chief, or should you align yourself with a bureau head or factory director? (None of them.) However, in order to survive, people often abandon their dignity, their principles of conduct, and especially their boundaries for how they comport themselves. Within the complex landscape of these forces, people will unconsciously choose to take sides, to follow the tide, and to align themselves with various forces. They look for a force that will accept and protect them, or they look for a force that may be easier for them to accept, one they can control, and they draw near to or even assimilate into it. Isn’t this human instinct? (It is.) Isn’t it a type of survival skill or method? (Yes.) Whether it’s an inherent instinct or a skill for people to adapt to this society and to various groups, is this a principle of practice that one should possess for conducting themselves? (No.) Some people might say, “Even though you’re saying right now that it isn’t, when you truly find yourself in that situation, in real life you will choose to take sides and seek refuge with any force that benefits you and allows you to survive. And deep down, you might even feel that people must rely on these forces to live, that they cannot live independently, because living independently makes them vulnerable to bullying. You can’t always remain independent and aloof; you must learn to yield and stay close to various forces. You must be observant, toady up to people, and put on a show as the occasion demands. You must follow the tide, be good at flattery, gauge trends, and have a sharp intuition. You need to find out and become familiar with what your leaders like and dislike, their temperaments and personalities, their family backgrounds, what kind of things they like to hear, their ages, their birthdays, their preferred brands of suits, shoes, and leather bags, their preferred restaurants, car brands, computer and phone brands, what types of software they like installed on their computers, what kinds of entertainment they enjoy in their leisure time, whom they prefer to associate with, and what topics they discuss.” For the sake of survival, you will unconsciously and naturally draw near to them, integrate with them, be excessively accommodating and do things you’re reluctant to do, and say things you’re unwilling to say in order to satisfy your leaders and colleagues, and to make yourself maneuver with great skill and control everything at your workplace, ensuring that your life and survival are secure. Regardless of whether your actions violate ethics and the boundaries of self-conduct, or even if it means abandoning your dignity, you don’t care. But it is precisely this indifference which marks the beginning of your decline, and it is a sign that you are beyond help. Therefore, on the surface, one cannot reproach people who have no choice but to draw near to various social forces for the sake of their life and survival. However, the behaviors people exhibit, the choices they make, and the paths they choose to take, distort their humanity and character. At the same time, as people draw near or integrate into various forces, they learn continually to employ various schemes and strategies to please and satisfy these forces, to improve their own lives and make their survival conditions more favorable. The more they do this, the more energy and time they need to maintain this current state and these relationships. Therefore, within your limited time and days, every word you speak, every action you take, and every day you live through don’t just lack meaning; they are rotted through. What does it mean that they are rotten? It means that every day makes you more depraved, to the point where you neither resemble human nor ghost. Against this backdrop, you lack a tranquil heart to come before God, and of course, you also lack ample time to fulfill your duty. You can’t possibly invest your whole body and mind into fulfilling your duty, and at the same time you can’t possibly invest your body and mind into pursuing the truth. Thus, your prospects of salvation are bleak, your hopes dim. Because you’ve invested in various social forces, chosen to draw close to them, and opted to integrate with them and accept them, the consequences of this choice are that you must dedicate your whole body and mind to maintaining this current state, whiling your days away. You feel physically and mentally exhausted, as if you’re spending each day in the meat grinder, and yet because of your choices, you must continue like this day after day. Within that complex environment of various forces, when you become integrated with them, every word that they say, the trends contained therein, as well as forthcoming matters, the behaviors of each individual and their innermost thoughts, and especially what your immediate superiors, the highest level of these forces, are thinking—all these things are what you must appraise and gather information about in a timely manner. You can’t afford to slack off or neglect it. What they’re thinking, what actions they’re taking behind the scenes, what plans and intentions they have, even what they are planning and calculating for each individual, what they are deciding for them and the attitudes they have toward them—if you wish to know these things like the back of your hand, then you must have an understanding deep within your heart of that state of affairs. If you want to understand them deeply, you must dedicate all your energy to studying and mastering these things. You must dine with them, chat with them, call them on the phone, interact more with them at work, and even draw near to them during the holidays and keep tabs on their movements. As a result, regardless of what your days are like, whether they’re full of joy or pain, even if you had a heart to fulfill your duty and pursue the truth, would you be able to find time to calm yourself enough to perform your duty with your whole body and mind? (We wouldn’t.) In this kind of condition, your belief in God and the fulfillment of your duty would be nothing more than a kind of hobby you do in your spare time. Regardless of your requirements and desire for your faith in God, in your current condition, believing in God and fulfilling your duty are probably only the last items on your list of desires. As for pursuing the truth and receiving salvation, you might not dare to think about them, or you might not even be able to think about them—isn’t that right? (Yes.) Therefore, for any of you, regardless of the work environment you find yourself in, if you wish to draw near to or integrate with various forces, or if you already have drawn near to and integrated with them, no matter your reasons or excuses, the ultimate consequence can only be that your hope for salvation evaporates into thin air. The most direct loss of this is that you’ll scarcely find time to read God’s words or fulfill your duty. Of course, it’s impossible for you to keep a calm heart before God or pray sincerely to God—you will be unable to achieve even this bare minimum. Because the environment you find yourself in is overly complicated with people and events, once you’ve been assimilated into various forces, it’s akin to stepping into a quagmire—once you’re in, it’s not easy to pull yourself back out. What is meant by it’s not easy to pull yourself out? It means that once you step into the domain of various forces, you’ll find yourself unable to escape the various matters tangled up in these forces, and all kinds of disputes that arise from them. You’ll find yourself constantly entangled by different people and events, and you won’t be able to avoid them even if you try, because you’ve already become one of them. So, every event that occurs within the domain of these forces is connected to you and will involve you, unless a certain situation arises; that is, you remain indifferent here to the benefits and drawbacks as well as the disputes, and you observe everything from the perspective of a bystander. In that case, it’s possible that you will stay clear of these various disputes or any potential misfortunes. However, as soon as you integrate with these forces, as soon as you draw near to them, as soon as you wholeheartedly go participate in every event that takes place among them, you’ll undoubtedly become trapped. You won’t be able to remain an observer; you can only be a participant. And as a participant, you will fall victim to the domain of these forces.
Some people say, “No matter in which area of occupation or in which group you exist, being pushed around by others is not a big deal—what’s crucial is whether or not you can survive. If you don’t align yourself with organizations or various forces, having nobody to back you up in society or within different groups, you won’t be able to get by.” Is this really how things are? (It’s not like that.) In various social groups, the purpose behind people cozying up to different forces is to “find shade under a big tree,” to find forces that will back them up. This is people’s most basic demand. Aside from that, people wish to take advantage of these forces to rise through the ranks, to achieve their own goal of seeking benefits or power. If, in your professional sphere, you are simply making a living and are content with just having food and clothing, then you don’t need to draw near to any forces. If you do draw near to them, it means it is not only to make a living and satisfy the basic needs of food and clothing—you certainly have other intentions, either for fame or for profit. Is there anybody who says, “Besides making a living, I also want to prove myself”? Is this necessary? (It isn’t necessary.) Once you’ve earned your money, are able to secure three meals a day, and have clothes to wear, that’s enough—what’s the point of striving for pride? For whom are you striving? Is it for your country, your ancestors, your parents, or for yourself? Tell Me, is it more important to strive for pride or to be content with food and clothing? (Being content with food and clothing is more important.) Striving for pride is a disposition filled with impetuousness; whatever you do is for the sake of this pride. It’s an abstract, empty concept. The most pragmatic thing is to earn money so that you can maintain a livelihood. You should think about it like this: “No matter the situation, no matter who sides with whom, or who gets close to what level of leader or official, none of it matters. Whoever gets promoted or demoted, gets a raise, or uses whatever means to become a high-ranking official, it’s all irrelevant. I’m just working to put food on the table. Whatever any of you are striving for has nothing to do with me. In any case, I put in my eight hours a day, I get paid what I deserve, and as long as I can support myself and my family, I’m content. That’s all there is to it; this is the little I ask for.” Do what is required of your job and do it well, and receive your salary and any bonuses with a clear conscience—that is enough. Is this attitude toward survival and one’s occupation correct? (Yes.) How is it correct? (Because they live with an attitude that is in accordance with what God requires. First, it means not doing one’s job in a perfunctory manner and being able to do the work of one’s profession well. Second, it means not seeking refuge or currying favor with any forces; maintaining the needs of a normal life is sufficient. This is in line with God’s words.) Of course this is in line with God’s words. Does God require this of you in order to protect you? (Yes.) To protect you from what? (From being harmed by Satan. Otherwise, once we’re entangled in such disputes, life becomes very painful, and furthermore we won’t have much time left for believing in God and fulfilling our duties.) This is one aspect. What, primarily, is the other aspect? When you get involved with various forces, the ultimate result is that you yourself will be ruined. It’s really not worth it! First, you won’t be able to protect yourself. Second, you will not uphold and promote justice. Third, you will collude with various forces, compounding your sins. Therefore, getting close to these forces has no benefits whatsoever. Even if you do get a raise or a promotion by cozying up to various forces, how many lies will you have to join them in telling? How many bad deeds will you have to do behind the scenes? How many people will you have to punish behind closed doors? In this society, why do all kinds of people and various industries need to have these forces? It is because this society lacks fairness and justice. People can only protect themselves by relying on various forces to take action, and can only secure their place by relying on them to speak and act. Is there fairness here? (No.) There is no fairness in this; everything is based on these forces. Whoever has the greater force gets the last say, while those with no force or a lesser force have no say. Even the creation of laws works like this: If you have considerable force, the laws you create can be enacted and enforced. If you do not have much force, none of the laws and regulations you propose make it through, and they are unable to enter national legislation. This is true in any group of people: If you have considerable force, you can fight for your own interests and maximize them; if you do not have force, your interests might be stripped away from you or seized. The purpose behind the formation of various forces is to control situations using those same forces, even overriding public opinion, the law, and human morals. They can transcend the law, morality, and humanity—they can transcend everything. The greater one’s force is, the greater their influence will be, and the more opportunity they will have to do as they please, to dictate matters. Is this fairness? (No.) There’s no fairness. Power and force represent their identity and indicate the share of benefits they can obtain. If you are in a social group and all you want is to maintain your livelihood and have food and clothing, and your pursuit is not for status or reputation, or to satisfy your own desires, then it would appear quite unnecessary for you to draw near to various forces. If you want to devote all your time to performing your duties, if you want to walk the path of pursuing the truth and ultimately attain salvation, but you also wish to cozy up to various forces, these two things contradict each other. They cannot complement each other because they are diametrically opposed, they’re as incompatible as water and oil. Drawing near to various forces won’t have any effect on assisting your belief in God or your pursuit of the truth. It won’t help you identify Satan’s hideous face more clearly, nor will it give you more say or let you believe in God without being rejected by the world and persecuted by the government. Some people live in a small village but hold grand designs in their hearts. They think, “I was born in the countryside. I’m a farmer. Although I get mistreated, I can still get by planting some grain and vegetables, and raising some chickens, cattle, and sheep. If I believe in God and pursue the truth, these conditions are quite good; I have the basic conditions I need for survival. But why do I always feel like something is missing from living and surviving in this society and among these people?” What’s missing? They don’t have a powerful backing. See how it is with people choosing a house: They always prefer one with a big mountain behind it. They consider that mountain their backing, and it makes them feel secure living there. If the house had a cliff behind it, they wouldn’t feel safe living there, as if they were going to plummet down the cliffside at any moment. Similarly, living in a village, if one doesn’t establish a relationship with someone who has a reputation and status, and pay them a visit every so often to win them over, they will always feel somewhat isolated living in that village and will constantly be at risk of getting pushed around and not being able to make ends meet. That’s why they’re always wanting to cozy up to the village chief. Is this a good idea? (No.) Especially when it comes to believing in God, in some countries where they face government persecution, some people say, “If we preach the gospel to the village chief and he doesn’t believe, but his mother, grandmother, wife, or daughter believe, won’t that be getting close to the chief? If a brother or sister of our church has a prominent position in the village or is a relative of the village chief, won’t the church have a firm footing there? Won’t it have status? Won’t our brothers and sisters who believe in God be able to eat and farm in the village without it being a problem? Not only this, but when the great red dragon or the United Front Work Department comes to investigate, there will be someone backing us up. That would be great!” You’re always wanting to be close to some organization or some group of forces to ensure that you don’t find yourself in any dangerous circumstances, to make sure that you can believe in God safely and free from persecution—how great is that! At the same time, mingling with influential people makes you feel like someone with influence, doesn’t it? It’s a wonderful thought, but does the village chief even want you to get close to him? Is the village chief someone you can take advantage of? Will the village chief allow you to exploit him? You, an ordinary person, want to get close to the organization or the village chief, and you think simply preaching the gospel will do the trick? Don’t you need to offer some decent gifts or accomplish some substantial tasks to get close to the village chief? What experience do you have? Is getting close to the village chief easy? Even getting close to his pet dog would be difficult! And giving a gift directly to the village chief wouldn’t work; you’d need to get close to his wife, his mother, his aunt, or his grandmother, starting from relatively easier targets. Why get close to the village chief’s grandmother? The village chief has a closer relationship with her, so you start with her, and through his grandmother, an elder in the family who can put in a good word for you, you gradually get closer to the village chief. This is what’s called the “indirect approach,” isn’t it? If you give a gift directly to the village chief, he might ask, “Who are you?” And you’ll reply, “I’m so-and-so from the Li family in the east part of the village.” “Which Li family? Why don’t I know them?” If he doesn’t even recognize you, will it be easy to get close to him? (No, it will not.) And if you give him a gift, what kind of gift will catch his attention? Gold bars, gold ingots—do you have any of those? Sea cucumbers—does he even want those? He’ll see whether your sea cucumbers are imported or domestic; he has plenty of those things himself. You tighten your purse strings and spend your days frugally in order to buy it, not daring to eat it—or even touch it—yourself. You give it to him and he doesn’t even glance at it. You give him a belt, and he says, “This is domestic, isn’t it?” You say, “It’s cowhide.” And he says, “Who even wears cowhide belts nowadays? Nobody wears them. People wear genuine leather belts with European brand logos or ones with diamonds embedded. Do you have those?” You say, “What do those look like? I’ve never seen them.” He says, “If you’ve never seen them, don’t bother coming here. Are you trying to give this belt to a beggar?” Can you get in the good graces of such a person? You think you’ve got a clever little plan, that you’ve got it all worked out, but he simply looks down on your gifts. He looks down on your gifts, and yet you insist on cozying up to him. Is this appropriate? Even if he does think highly of your gifts, is it appropriate to cozy up to him? (It’s not appropriate.) Just to have something to eat, just to have a powerful backer in the village, you’d be willing to do such degrading things. Don’t you find this shameful? (Yes.) Going after the chief’s grandmother, going after his wife and his sister-in-law, availing of all sorts of slapdash methods, giving gifts and trying to get close. Others tell you, “You giving these gifts is useless; it’s you yourself the chief has his eyes set on.” Would you still try to get close then? No gift you could give would be suitable. The chief won’t give them a second glance, thinking them all beneath him. Worst of all, you’d have to throw yourself into the bargain. Would you still try to get close to him? (No.) Will you still look for this kind of backer? What kind of a character is the village chief? Is he someone who lets you casually get close to him? (No.) Even if you did establish a relationship with him and got close to him, what then? Can he control your fate, or help you attain salvation? Or when it comes time to face real persecution and situations, when God allows and orchestrates these situations, can you avoid facing them? Does the village chief have the final say in this? (No.) In the grand scheme of things orchestrated by God, there isn’t any force that has the final say, let alone the village chief—no force is even worth mentioning in this regard. Therefore, being in this world, whether you are in a village, a county, a city, or any country, even down to any industry you’re engaged in within any country, all the various forces that exist cannot exercise sovereignty over your fate nor can they change your fate. No single force is the master of your fate, let alone the sovereign of your fate, nor does it frame your destiny. On the contrary, once you integrate into the various forces existing in society, that’s when calamity comes to you and your misfortune starts. The closer you get to them, the more danger you are in; the more you integrate with them, the harder it becomes to extricate yourself. Not only do these various forces not bring you any benefits, but as you integrate with them they repeatedly ravage and trample you, twisting your spirit and mind, making you lose your peace, so that you no longer believe in the existence of fairness and justice in this world. They will ruin your most beautiful desire to pursue the truth and salvation. So, to survive in this society, regardless of your social class, environment, or group, or in whatever industry you find yourself, seeking a force to rely on, to act as your own protective umbrella, is an erroneous and extreme thought and view. If you’re only trying to survive, you should stay far away from these forces. Even if these forces are just defending your legitimate human rights, that is not a reason or excuse for you to get involved with them. Regardless of the status of these various forces’ survival in society, what their advancement goals are, or the direction of their actions, in short, as someone who believes in God, as someone who pursues the truth, you should not become one of them, nor should you become an advocate within these various forces. Instead, you should distance yourself from them, steer clear of them, avoid the various disputes that entangle them, avoid the various game rules they set, and also avoid the harmful things and harmful words they require one to do and say within the scope of one’s profession or within the scope of these forces. You shouldn’t become one of them, and you certainly shouldn’t become one of their accomplices. This is God’s requirement for you within the various industries and professions where different forces exist: to stay away from and steer clear of them, to not become their sacrificial pawn, to not become their object of exploitation, and to not become their lackey or mouthpiece.
Of course, in this society, apart from one’s immediate supervisors in various industries and professions, and apart from civil organizations, there are also certain illicit social groups that people should avoid—do not get involved with these people or associate with them in any way. For example, those who practice usury. Some people lack capital for their business, and they are unable to secure a normal loan, but there’s a way for them to facilitate the flow of capital, that is, through usurious lending. Usurious lending not only involves high interest rates but also carries significant risks. Some people, in order to earn a lot of money and avoid their business going bankrupt, finally resort to this step: Usurious lending. Are those who practice usury law-abiding figures in society? (No, they’re not.) They are an illegal social organization, and they should be avoided at all times. Regardless of the situation your survival or current state of affairs brings you to, you should never consider this path, but stay far away from and avoid it. No matter what problems arise in your life and livelihood, don’t even think about them or consider taking this path. Isn’t this group of people similar to the party organization? The so-called law-abiding society and the underworld have certain similarities between them. Don’t think they can provide your livelihood with a way out or a turning point; this is wishful thinking. Once you choose to make this move, once you go down this road, you will have a worse life ahead. Of course, there’s another kind of so-called social organization we don’t want to name which you must never get close to, especially when you encounter certain special and thorny problems, when you face special environments, or when you find yourself in particularly dangerous circumstances. Don’t think about using extreme means to protect yourself, to get out of danger, and to escape difficulties. In such situations, it’s better to be trapped by them than to ever associate with those kinds of people or get involved with them in any way. Why would you do this? Is this what it is called having integrity? Is this the kind of integrity that Christians should have? (It is not the kind of integrity Christians should have.) Then what is it? (It’s just not right to get close to them.) Why isn’t it right? (Getting close to them will lead to a worse life ahead, and greater danger in the future.) Is it merely to escape future danger? Then why don’t you break out of your immediate danger first? Why can’t you get close to these forces? In the Bible, when He was tempted, how did the Lord Jesus respond to Satan? (The Lord Jesus said, “Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10).) The One whom people should worship is God, and He is the only One people should serve. At the same time, the One for whom people should live is God alone. If God permits your life to be taken away, what should you do? (Submit.) You should submit to God and praise Him. The name of God should be exalted, and people should submit to God without seeking their own lives. However, if God intends for you to live, who can take your life away? No one can take it away. So, no matter what circumstances or dangers you face, even in the face of death, if there’s a force that can save you from death, then this force isn’t a proper one but belongs to Satan. What should you say? “Go away Satan! I would rather die than have any association with you!” Is this not a matter of principle? (It is.) “It is impossible for me to live because of your forces, nor shall I die because God has forsaken me. Everything is in God’s hands. I cannot possibly rely on any force and make concessions in order to keep living.” This is the principle that people should uphold. If you find yourself in a dilemma, and someone says there’s a force in society that can save you; if this force may succeed in saving you, but it would bring disgrace upon you, upon Christians, upon the church, and upon God’s house; if it would discredit God’s house, how would you respond? Would you accept or refuse? (Refuse.) You should refuse. In principle, we don’t rely on any forces to survive. So, regardless of the circumstances or the perilous situations we face, the most fundamental thing, apart from submitting to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, is that we shouldn’t even entertain the idea of using various extreme means to escape dangerous predicaments. Once people have fulfilled the responsibilities and put forth the effort they ought to, the rest should be left to God’s orchestration. If someone said there is an illegal social organization able to save you, would you agree? (I would disagree.) Why would you disagree? Don’t you want to live? Don’t you want to escape your predicament quickly? Even when trying to escape your predicament and stay alive, you must have principles for self-comportment. You need to know what you should and should not do. You ought to be clear in your heart and not lose your principles.
Regarding the matter of staying away from various social forces, aside from the different forces people encounter in their lives, there are also various forces that frequently appear in society: One should stay away from these as well. Whether in life or at work, avoid having any connection or interaction with them. Handle your own life and work, and at the same time don’t be intimidated by the formidable appearance of these forces. While rejecting and distancing yourself from them in your heart, exercise wisdom in handling your relationship with them and keep your distance from them. This is what you should do. Be clear in your heart that you’re only doing this job for your next meal, for your livelihood. Your purpose is simple, to have food and clothing, not to fight them for any particular outcome. Even if they say things to you or speak harshly; even if you are in a country where religious beliefs come under persecution, where Christianity is under persecution, and some people mock your belief, make sarcastic remarks, or spread rumors about it, you can only endure. Protect yourself, remain calm before God, pray frequently to Him, come into His presence regularly, and don’t let the outward enormity or fierceness of these forces intimidate you. Apart from practicing discernment toward them deep in your heart, you must also stay far away from them. Guard your words, be careful how you step, maintain a peaceful coexistence and use wisdom in your dealings with them. Aren’t these the principles of practice you should follow? (Yes.) Of course, whether you want to stay away from them, refuse them, or even despise them in your heart, you should be wise about how you appear on the outside. You shouldn’t let them sense it or see it. Be clear in your heart that you’re only working to make a living, and living among them is a last resort. First, try to stay away from them. When they’re collectively participating in any illegal behavior, you should stay away from and avoid them, and don’t have any share in their crimes. At the same time, protect yourself, and don’t let yourself fall into the awkward situation of being jointly attacked or framed. Is this easy to accomplish? Some people who are young and naive might find it difficult when they first enter this complex social environment. Or perhaps some individuals lack qualities or adaptability, and aren’t very skilled at handling interpersonal relationships, adding some difficulty to this. But in any case, one thing is clear: It is enough for you to use your personal capabilities to finish the work of the task at hand. Don’t offend anyone; don’t be too exacting toward anyone who lacks faith, moral boundaries, conscience, and reason. Do not, because of a single word or incident, preach high principles to them or talk about matters such as faith in God, how to comport oneself, or conscience and human nature. It’s not necessary; save your good advice for those who understand. Don’t even use human speech with those who are no better than beasts, let alone talk about things involving the truth. This is a foolish course of action. If they are a powerful force, then in the way you approach them, while distancing yourself and rejecting them in your heart, outwardly, you should maintain a friendly and harmonious demeanor toward them. Strive to achieve the result of sustaining your own livelihood with food and clothing—that is enough. In such a complex living environment where various forces intertwine, God doesn’t need you to take part in anything to prove that you’re someone who follows God, who pursues the truth, or who is a good and honest person. Instead, He wants you to be harmless as doves and wise as serpents, at every moment to come before God, to calm yourself before Him and pray, to let God protect you, and to accomplish the goal of protecting yourself. What is the specific outcome you should achieve? It should be to avoid being swindled by wicked people, to avoid being entangled by diverse forces, and to not become their punching bag, their sacrificial pawn, their scapegoat, or the butt of their jokes. When they find out you believe in God, they’ll laugh at you, saying, “Look, they are a religious believer,” or “See that religious person, their God is like this or that; they’re praying to their God again, and they say that the money they make is given to them by God.” Therefore, don’t engage in faith-related discussions with them. Don’t give them any leverage. You don’t need to invest any of your energy in socializing with them, maintaining a relationship with them, getting them to say how good you are, how good a person you are, or to win their approval. You don’t need these things. Take care of official business in a principled manner; you are an ordinary employee, just another member of the industry. God doesn’t require you to spread His words among them, to fellowship about His truth to them. He asks you to distance yourself from them, to protect yourself, to not get trapped in their quagmire or in any temptations, and especially to not be embroiled in various disputes, in the chaos of their making, in their schemes and traps, or in complicated situations. At all times you should be aware of your purpose in this profession: It’s not about advancement, rising to the top, becoming a person of means, or showcasing your value to society. It’s not about doing anything to impress your leaders or superiors. Your purpose is to earn your daily bread, to earn your livelihood, to be able to survive in this world and this society, and then to have the time and conditions to fulfill your duty, pursue the truth, and attain salvation. Hence, in any workplace, you don’t need to strive for opportunities for advancement, further education, studies abroad, the high opinion of your superiors, or even the attention of leaders higher up. You don’t need any of that. If you’re trying to survive, to sustain your livelihood, then those things can be relinquished from your life. You need only to protect yourself within the scope of your profession—that is enough. God doesn’t ask you to do much. The principle you ought to observe is to distance yourself from various forces, to avoid placing yourself in the meat grinder or wrecking yourself in a relatively simple environment where you can sustain your livelihood. This is a foolish course of action. You are clearly able to sustain your livelihood through the simplest work methods, yet you are often willing to join in disputes, dip your toes or participate in matters unrelated to your profession and livelihood, which as a result cause you to fall into various complex human affairs, into the complex entanglements and conflicts of various social forces. So you can’t blame God for arranging your circumstances; you have only yourself to blame, your downfall is of your own doing. You frequently say that you are too busy and exhausted at work, and that you lack the time for gathering and fulfilling your duty. No matter the reasons, if you find yourself in such circumstances, you’ll soon be cast out by God’s house. Your hope of salvation will disappear. That was the path you yourself took, the path you chose, and this is the outcome you’ll ultimately receive. If in your environment you practice according to the principles fellowshiped about by God, you protect yourself well, and you can come before God with a quiet heart, then even while balancing work and the fulfillment of your duty, you will still have a chance at salvation. But the precondition for this is that you must distance yourself from various forces in society, calm your heart, and at the same time, within the scope of your abilities and limited means, be able to fulfill your duty and walk the path of pursuing the truth. That way, no matter how challenging your family environment may be, or how limited your individual means, under God’s preservation, blessings, and guidance, you will ultimately advance step by step along the path of pursuing the truth. Then your hope of salvation will grow stronger. Perhaps due to your personal pursuit, efforts, and paying the price, you will eventually attain salvation. However, some might give up halfway. They see that this life is too monotonous, that they have become isolated by the world, that their lives are solitary and alone, and they feel they have nothing to do if they aren’t mixed up in various disputes, and that they are unable to find their own worth or see their worth and their future. So, they abandon the principles God required of them, opting not to be alone or silent, but to blend in with various forces in society. They quibble over every little detail, join in struggles and entanglements, and quarrel and fight with them. They fall into various disputes, feeling their life has become full, valuable, and happy—they are no longer lonely. What is it that such people have chosen? They’ve chosen the path of neglecting their duties and not pursuing the truth. This is the end: When this point of the road has been reached, there is no longer any hope for salvation. Isn’t that the case? Quite a few people, even after hearing these words, feel good about them and don’t find it too challenging to put them into action. However, having practiced them for a while, they think, “Isn’t living like this too exhausting? People often see me as unconventional, I have no friends, no companions; it’s too lonely, too isolating, and my daily life feels dull. I feel that it’s not really a good or happy life.” They then return once again to their previous life, and such people are cast out. Their hope of salvation disappears. They cannot endure loneliness, nor can they tolerate the hardship of being ridiculed and isolated for living according to God’s requirements in the midst of this group of people. Instead, they enjoy living among various forces fighting against each other, and they assimilate into different forces, get caught up in them, quarrel with them, and struggle against them. Such people, it can be said, do not belong to the chosen ones of God. Even if they feel good after hearing these sermons, they still choose to integrate into various social forces rather than distancing themselves from them. Needless to say, such people are definitely not those for whom salvation is intended. However, if you choose the path of distancing yourself from various forces in society, and under the condition of sustaining your livelihood you fulfill your duty as a created being, then at the very least, based on this choice, you have a hope for salvation. You possess the basic prerequisites; consequently, this hope for salvation exists.
There used to be someone in the church who somehow became acquainted with a white person whose father was a member of parliament. Actually, being a member of parliament isn’t that great an office, but this guy felt that it was such an honor to be on speaking terms with an overseas parliament member’s son. He thought he was a person with status. Later on, he showed this parliament member’s son around, introducing him to whomever they saw, saying, “This is the parliament member’s son.” I asked, “The parliament member’s son? What level of parliament member is his father? What can he do for you?” He replied, “His dad is a parliament member!” I said, “Does his dad being a parliament member have anything to do with you? You’re not a parliament member, so what’s with the showing off?” That guy was so pleased with himself. Just because he had established a connection with the parliament member’s son, he acted conceited wherever he went, and ignored familiar faces when he saw them on the street. People asked, “Why don’t you greet us?” He responded, “I’m walking with the parliament member’s son!” Can you believe how vain he was? Is this a nonbeliever or isn’t it? (It is.) What’s the ultimate outcome for such people in God’s house? (They will be cast out.) This person must be cleared out of the church, for he is a nonbeliever and an opportunist. Whoever seems to have rank and force, he attaches himself to that person, and if he sees that there is force in God’s house, he attaches himself to it. As a result, after staying in God’s house for a time, he realizes there’s no way to make money here, so he finds a job delivering takeout. But that job doesn’t make him feel dignified enough, and later he curries favor with the parliament member’s son, thinking he has status now and doesn’t need to deliver takeout anymore. Tell Me, isn’t this foolish? Isn’t there a portion of people like this in the church? (Yes.) Some people feel proud just because they know someone with rank or force. They think they have value and are different from the rest. Some people have a small official position and a little force to go with it, yet they believe they are different from others in the church and should have the final say. Aren’t these people nonbelievers? (Yes.) Then there are those who lack real influence, but they brag all the time, saying, “I know the president!” or, “I know the friend of the president’s secretary’s cousin!” You see, they make such convoluted associations and still have the audacity to say such things. Why are they so thick-skinned? Their story is so convoluted that no one knows who they’re really talking about, and others are too uninterested to listen, because they don’t care about these things. Only these individuals consider such matters to be the most important, the most significant, and the most impressive. Some people often say they are acquainted with ministers, directors or high officials. Some even go so far as to claim, “I know people on both sides, in law-abiding society and in the underworld; I walk both paths as easily as if on flat ground.” Others might say, “I know the county chief’s sister-in-law.” And there are those who assert, “I know the mayor’s mother’s friend from church.” They use these as bragging rights. What’s the use of knowing these people? Can they help you achieve anything? Even if you’re a mayor, a director, a provincial governor, or even the governor’s mother or father, does your status have any application in the church? (It doesn’t.) Are mayors, governors, and such not part of the human race? Can they become greater than God? Isn’t the fact that these nonbelievers value such forces disgusting? (It is disgusting.) Some people even claim to know the police chief, and others say, “I used to be a community police officer and a station chief at the local station,” while others say, “I used to be a neighborhood office director and wore the red armband.” How do you feel when you hear them talk about these so-called forces? Some nonbelievers, those who don’t pursue the truth and are believers in name only, are so stupid they do not know if what those people are saying is true or not, so they take it as factual and hold them in high esteem. But for those who pursue the truth, what do they think in their hearts when they hear these things? What is their evaluation of those people? At first glance they can tell that they’re a nonbeliever, that all they talk about is various worldly forces and matters, and that they’ve come into God’s house to show these things off. Don’t even talk about the fact that they know the distant relatives of some official or celebrity; even if they are one themselves, in the house of God, they are worth nothing, their titles and positions are worth nothing, so what are they showing off? Do they possess the truth? Are they fulfilling their duty according to principles? They’re nothing, yet they have the gall to show off! Isn’t this shameless? Isn’t it nauseating? (It is.) How nauseating is it? Having contacts on both sides of the law is something they’ll even brag about—are people who brag about this stupid? Aren’t they foolish? (Yes.) They’re not even afraid of getting themselves into trouble. Associating with both sides of the law: Isn’t someone like this a thug? Thugs and slick operators are not valued in the house of God; they belong to the nonbelievers and should be expelled! Yet they still use this as bragging rights. Isn’t this dim-witted? Is this something to be proud of? They even boast about it! Some people wear large gold chains on their wrists and, when they’re drunk, show them off to people, saying, “My ancestors were tomb raiders, and their skills in this have been passed down in my family for generations. Look at this big chain on my wrist, I found it in some grand tomb late one night on such-and-such date and took it for myself. How about that? Impressive, huh?” Some people hear this and report them, and they’re arrested without even realizing what law they’ve broken. People ask them, “Is that gold chain on your wrist from this era? It’s an artifact!” They stupidly incriminate themselves. Don’t boast blindly about things that never happened; be careful you don’t attract the police and get into trouble. It’s easy to get into trouble boasting about things; if you play with fire you’re likely to get burned, and you’ll end up destroying yourself—that’s your own doing. You don’t even know what to say, you can’t make heads or tails of it—isn’t this dim-witted? (Yes.) If you boast about being able to eat twenty buns in one sitting, that’s fine; it’s not a matter of breaking principle. At most, people will just think you’re foolish and won’t take you seriously, but it’s not against the law. The principle of staying away from various social forces is essentially about needing to have wisdom in every corner of society and in whatever group you find yourself. It’s like what God said during the Age of Grace, “Be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Protect yourself well; as long as you can sustain your livelihood, that’s enough. Don’t make an attempt or have delusions about taking advantage of social forces to establish yourself in society, becoming part of them, gaining their recognition and admittance. These are foolish ideas and decadent thoughts. Humans’ perspectives should be corrected. No matter the social environment or community they find themselves in, if they follow God’s way, it will lead to being rejected by society or by humanity. But as long as God gives you breath, you won’t be left without a way to survive. You must have that kind of confidence. People’s lives do not depend on various forces to ensure their safety, livelihoods, future, or everything they own. They rely on a single word from God, on His ordainment, guidance, and protection—this confidence is a must for you. Therefore, to survive in society, your fundamental means of survival should be to choose a profession to sustain your livelihood, rather than relying on any kind of force. Relying on a profession to support oneself: This principle is that people, under God’s guidance and ordainment, enjoy everything that God has given them, including material possessions and money—not relying on alms or distribution from various social forces to satisfy their individual livelihood. The material things and money you rely on every day you survive, much like the breath you take, all come from God, are given by Him, and no one can take away what God has given you. Material things, anything external to your body, like your breath, aren’t granted to you by anyone else’s alms-giving, and of course, no one can take them away. If God has given them to you, no one can take them away. We can see this fact in Job’s experiences, and you should have this confidence. With this genuine confidence, you’ll have the foundational basis and motivation to uphold the principle of staying away from various social forces. Then, on this foundation, your body and mind can be calm before God, you can come before Him and offer your body, mind, and spirit, fulfill your duty, pursue the truth, and obtain the beautiful result of salvation. You should possess this knowledge and understand these truths. Therefore, while the phrase “stay away from various social forces” might sound easy, when facing matters you must weigh your decisions based on various principles and real situations. In short, the ultimate goal is not to simply distance yourself and break away from them, but to use the method and path of practice of staying away from various social forces to achieve being calm before God, to offer your body and mind to Him, and to come before God, embark on the path of pursuing the truth and ultimately attain hope for salvation and the realization of your desires. Consequently, to achieve this final salvation, you must follow the principle of staying away from various social forces. This is a necessary path, one of the crucial paths to attaining salvation. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) The principle of staying away from various social forces has been fellowshiped about clearly. Is there anything about this principle that remains unclear for you? When it comes to certain special situations, do you know how to approach them? If joining a certain force is merely a formality or a necessity of a certain profession, does this go against the principle of staying away from various social forces? If it’s only a necessity or formality within your profession, then it’s acceptable. The forces we speak of have no relation to this, to superficial organizations or groups; here we are discussing forces. What does “forces” refer to? It refers to authorities, strength in groups, and the strength with which these things operate or even run amok in society, isn’t that so? (Yes.) If you’ve understood this principle of practice, let’s move on to fellowshiping about the next one.
The fourth principle is to stay away from politics. Politics is a sensitive topic. Thirty years ago, discussing certain such-and-such leaders, policies, or current political affairs, even within the church, would draw criticism from a number of people. Many would find an excuse to leave as soon as politics were brought up, and dared not to discuss such topics, saying, “Bringing up politics means you are against the party and the nation; you’re a counter-revolutionary and you’ll get arrested. If it weren’t for the sake of fellow brothers and sisters, I would report you.” Back then, people were particularly sensitive about politics. Is it still the same now? If politics are discussed or exposed within the church, if the great red dragon and Satan are revealed, or topics that seem political are brought up, do most people still hold this attitude? Hasn’t there been some change? (Yes.) In past gatherings, when we talked about things like which demon was opposing God or persecuting Christians, some people would cough, as if something was stuck in their throat, and they would go outside to clear their throats. After a while, they would listen for a bit and think to themselves, “Oh, the counter-revolutionary talk has stopped,” and they would come back. But when they came back and saw that you were still discussing it, they would start coughing again and leave. I wondered, why do they keep coughing? We were discussing how to discern Satan, and revealing its essence and its vile face. Is this a political discussion? (No.) Some foolish people, those so-called spiritual people who lack spiritual understanding, strongly resisted these topics. They couldn’t differentiate between the truth and actual political involvement or understand what the Communist Party meant by “counter-revolutionaries.” They were ignorant, brainwashed by the Communist Party, and afraid that they themselves might also be considered counter-revolutionaries. They didn’t dare discuss or mention the topic of exposing the great red dragon. Is exposing the great red dragon participating in politics? Is renouncing the great red dragon counter-revolutionary? (No, it isn’t.) Right now you dare to say it’s not, but would you dare to say the same thing in mainland China? Are those who follow God political criminals who act against the party and the state? (No.) Why do you say no? What is a political criminal? Have you participated in politics? (We have not.) If you haven’t participated in politics, then how did you become a political criminal? (The label is applied by the great red dragon.) If you participate in theft, you’re a thief. If you participate in murder, you’re a murderer. If you participate in a robbery, you’re a robber. On what basis are these charges established? It’s when you engage in these criminal activities that the charges are established, and you become the perpetrator of that criminal behavior. But if you didn’t participate, this crime and this charge have nothing to do with you. If you don’t follow Satan or the party, if you oppose the Communist Party, oppose the great red dragon, and hate the great red dragon, and if you follow God, are you participating in politics? (No.) Then if they convict you of being a counter-revolutionary or a political criminal, does that charge hold? (No, it doesn’t.) It doesn’t hold; that is absurd. It’s like a farmer who doesn’t have a profession, who just farms a bit of land, harvests crops, and goes to the market to sell them. Then someone with a red sleeve badge sees him and says, “Hey, do you have a work permit? Do you have a health certificate?” The farmer says, “Where would I get a work permit? I don’t have a profession, I’m not employed, why would I need a work permit?” The farmer doesn’t have a position or profession, yet he’s asked for his work permit just to sell something—isn’t that absurd? When you believe in God and follow Him, the great red dragon accuses you of participating in politics. Which article of the national constitution did you help formulate? Which political movement did you help plan? What level of government official are you? Did you participate in internal dissension at any level of government? Which national congress meetings or state conferences did you participate in? (None.) You don’t even have access to information, let alone participating in politics, yet in the end you have been convicted as a political criminal—isn’t this a trumped-up charge? Tell Me, isn’t this country absurd? (Yes, it is.) Some people are still stupid. They think, “Oh no, being convicted as a political criminal or counter-revolutionary is a huge disgrace to believers in God!” Isn’t that foolish? There are even some people who, having been convicted as counter-revolutionaries or political criminals for believing in God and sentenced to 15 or 20 years in prison, upon their release feel that it is a disgraceful affair. They think they can’t show their face to anyone, including classmates, friends, and family. Especially when people are pointing fingers and whispering behind their backs, they feel they’ve done something shameful. Isn’t that foolish? (Yes.) This era rejects you, and the great red dragon persecutes you—are they righteous? If all of humanity rises up to persecute you, does that mean the truth isn’t the truth anymore? The truth is always the truth, no matter how many people rise to oppose it. The essence of the truth remains unchanged, just as the evil essence of Satan remains unchanged. Even if nobody recognizes or accepts the truth, it is still the truth, and this fact will never change. Should all of humanity rise up against God and refuse to accept His words, it would show that humanity is still evil. Satan’s force of evil cannot become righteousness just because there are many people or great forces behind it. A lie repeated ten thousand times becomes the truth; that is Satan’s fallacy, Satan’s logic, not the truth. If believers experience rejection from the whole world, and persecution and defamation from the great red dragon, should they feel ashamed? (No.) They should not feel ashamed. When you suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake, it proves that this world is truly wicked, and it confirms God’s words: The entire world lies in the power of the evil one. When you are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, no matter how proper your path and righteous your actions may be, no one will stand up and applaud you. Instead, for any dirty deals that people in this world make, as long as they package them up and promote them, when they’re presented to the public, they become positive things. Those people are the evil ones; their deeds are all dirty tricks.
Let’s continue fellowshiping about this matter of staying away from politics. What is politics? You need to know what politics is before you can understand how to distance yourself from it. What is politics? At its most basic level, it involves a desire to hold office and to have a career as an official. This is one area of politics. Politics means holding office and having a career as an official. From high-ranking to low-ranking officials, from small department heads and section chiefs in government offices, to party branch secretaries and party committee secretaries, to directors, bureau chiefs, ministers, and heads at various levels—all of these fall under the category of politics. What does politics refer to? The most straightforward way to put it is that it is force and authority, it is a symbol for a type of authority in society. This is one facet of politics. What else falls under politics? (God, isn’t politics also about the struggle to seize, establish, or consolidate the political power of the state?) Personnel conflicts and power struggles all belong to politics. What else is there? The schemes, strategies, and methods used in these struggles, as well as various elections, campaigns, and publicity efforts related to politics and power—all these fall under politics. This is the most straightforward understanding of politics that we can have. Drawing closer to the organization and to the party, and striving for progress—isn’t this what politics are to ordinary people? They call this “A small person who can see the big picture.” You see, although their position is lowly, they have a broad perspective. So they get close to the organization and to the party, striving for progress. They start by joining the Communist Youth League, then the Communist Party. Gradually, they draw closer to the party, listening to the party’s instructions, following its guiding policies, and orientation. They strictly adhere to the guidelines indicated by the party, implementing them and fully embodying the qualities of a party member. They speak and act for the party, safeguard the party’s interests, its rule, its status, and its image in the minds of the people. They safeguard everything for the party. Isn’t this all a part of politics? (Yes.) You safeguard the organization, that organization being the party. Regardless of which political party or which organization formed by the party it is, as soon as you start participating, you’re taking part in politics. Have any of you participated? (No.) Then you can rest assured; you aren’t a political criminal, neither do you have the qualifications to call yourself one. At the very least, a political criminal would have to go overseas and establish a human rights organization or group, engage in various human rights activities, oppose the current government’s policies and rule, as well as various actions taken by the government. Additionally, they need to establish regulations, systems, rules, and a constitution, along with various clauses that members of the organization must adhere to. It must be organized and disciplined, with leaders up high and working members below, forming a complete and systematic organizational structure from top to bottom. Only then can it be called a political group, and only activities conducted within that political group can be considered participating in politics. Have any of you participated in this? If not, do you have any intention of participating, or do you plan to join a political party and at least hold a position like a legislator or an advisor? Is there anyone who fits this description? If you have such plans, it means you’re already involved in politics; even if you haven’t participated yet, you already have the intention to do so. But if you don’t have such an intention, that’s quite good. Does participating in election voting as a citizen count as being involved in politics? If a country’s system is based on freedom and democracy, and citizens have the right to vote, does casting a vote for candidate so-and-so count as participating in politics? (No, it doesn’t.) It doesn’t, this is the policy and system of that country, where people have the right to vote. This doesn’t count as participating in politics. You’re just expressing your personal preference by selecting a certain person, but you aren’t getting involved in their political power struggle. No political activities have any relation to you. You’re simply casting a vote for so-and-so as a citizen of that country. This action is just a straightforward exercise of your citizen’s rights and isn’t a form of political activity or behavior.
In terms of what politics is, this subject matter has more or less been fellowshiped about, so it should be pretty clear how to stay away from politics. How do you stay away from politics? First, let’s talk about how to stay away from politics, and then we’ll discuss why you must do so. We’ve just discussed what politics is. What is politics? First and foremost, it is participating in power struggles—this is equivalent to participating in politics. We are all ordinary people, so let’s not talk about people like presidents, party chairmen, or those who occupy positions in high-level national political groups. Instead, let’s talk about something that ordinary people can relate to, like the party branch secretary in a government agency. Is the party branch secretary a political figure? Holding a party position within a government agency makes one a prominent political figure. So, how do you stay away from politics? What does staying away mean? (Not engaging with these political figures.) Not engaging with them? But you can’t really avoid them in your workplace. If you avoid them, they might come and find fault with you, saying, “Why aren’t you talking to me? Why are you hiding from me? Do you not like me, the party branch secretary? If you have any opinions about me, doesn’t that mean there’s an issue with your thought process? Let’s have a talk.” They’ll want to have “tea” with you. Is that tea enjoyable? Do you dare attend? For example, the party branch secretary approaches you and asks, “Hey, Xiao Zhang, how long have you been working here?” And you say, “A good number of years, about five.” Then they reply, “You seem like a nice fellow. Have you joined the party?” How would you respond? What’s the appropriate answer in order to distance yourself from politics? (Just say, “I don’t meet the criteria to become a party member at the moment.”) That’s wise. Is this statement true? (No.) It’s actually just a way of brushing them off. You think, “You sly fox, you old devil, what does it matter to you whether I join the party or not? You want me to join the party. Well, what does the party count for anyway?” That’s what you’re thinking, but you can’t say that to the old devil. Instead, you need to make your outward demeanor seem polite. You say, “Oh, you old party member, you don’t understand the struggles we young people face. We have limited experience and have yet to see results in our work, so we’re not qualified to join the party. The party is sacred; we can’t just join without good reason. I’ve been considering the idea of joining the party….” Just answer him in a few words. Do you want to join the party in your heart? (No.) Even if they offer you preferential terms, and after joining you receive a promotion or an official position, you’re not interested, right? The basic conditions for holding office and having a career as an official are that you must first join the organization, join the party, or get close to the party. You have to get close to the party before you can hold office or move up. To stay away from politics, the first step is to distance yourself from political parties. Some people may ask, “Does that mean only staying away from the Communist Party?” No, it means staying away from all kinds of parties. What does a party represent? It represents a political force. A group that takes the political manifesto, program, and goals of the party as its aim is called a party. Regardless of the aim and program of a party, their only goal is to form a force, and to use their force and strength to wrestle for more force and power in the political arena and landscape. This is the purpose of a political party’s existence. The purpose of any party’s existence is not for the benefit of the people, but for force and power. In other words, it is for the sake of holding power and having a force of their own. Isn’t that the case? (Yes.) Therefore, the first step to staying away from politics is to not formally join any political party. Some people may ask, “What if I used to be a member of such-and-such party?” That is a little difficult. If you are willing to quit the party, that would be best, and you formally cut ties with them. If you are unwilling to quit the party or if it’s troublesome to quit, then you should consider what to do on your own. In any case, whether formally or in spirit, you should stay away from the first major issue involving politics, which is staying away from parties. Once you distance yourself from parties, you become an independent individual. You will not be swept along by any political force, nor will you work for any political force. Not joining any party is the most fundamental specific path that should be practiced in order to stay away from politics. Additionally, when it comes to any political force, such as the party branch secretary, director, or personnel officer of a government office, the principle for dealing with them is to keep your distance. For example, if the party branch secretary says to you, “Xiao Zhang, do you have a moment? Let’s have dinner together after work. The weekend starts tomorrow, let’s go play basketball together,” you can say, “Oh, as luck would have it, my child’s sick. He ran a fever yesterday. Because of work, I didn’t have time to take him to see a doctor. I have to take him to the hospital tomorrow.” On a different occasion, the secretary says, “Xiao Zhang, it’s been a while since we caught up. Let’s have a little heart-to-heart, what do you say?” What’s his aim? He wants to groom you as his successor. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you need to contemplate what he’s really after. If you have figured it out, you need to hurry up and be evasive with them, saying, “Oh, yesterday my mother said she wasn’t feeling well and wanted me to take her to the hospital. Isn’t that an unlucky coincidence?” Time and again you push him away, and when the secretary sees this, he’ll think, “Every time I invite him, something comes up, every time I get close to him, something happens; he doesn’t know how to appreciate favors, I’ll find someone else!” He can look for anyone he wants, but you won’t get close to him regardless. Usually, you’re quite friendly with him, but when he wants to groom or promote you, you find excuses to avoid him, and you lose your enthusiasm so that he can’t figure out what you’re thinking. In fact, in your heart you know as clear as crystal, “I won’t get close to you, devil! I have God in my heart, and God tells me to stay away from politics. You are a political person, and I’m going to stay away from you. You want to promote me to an official position and use my talents to be of service to you, but I won’t even give you a chance! Even if I’m just sweeping the floor and taking out the trash in this government office, I won’t become an official! I just earn enough money to support myself, I won’t serve you!” But in reality, you have to say this instead, “You leaders have the nation in your hearts, you handle countless affairs, and serve the people, caring for commoners! We, the ordinary people, have little awareness, and care only about our own stomachs; we aren’t in the same ballpark, and we can’t do what you leaders do.” You always act dumb in front of him, so that he can’t figure out what you’re thinking. Even if you have talents, you don’t show them. Only at critical moments, you demonstrate them a little bit, and he sees you’re really talented. You usually make a few small mistakes to make him think that you aren’t all that capable, but he still can’t do without you at work. This is called wisdom. You toy with the devil Satan, utilize him to render service, and earn his money, but you don’t get close to him, and despise him in your heart, isn’t that right? This is what it means to not get close. Can you do it? (Yes.) At noon, the leader drives his small sedan and looks everywhere for a well-known restaurant to eat. He calls to you, “Xiao Zhang, let’s go out and eat something; what do you want to eat today?” You say, “I haven’t had fried bean-sauce noodles for several days, and I haven’t had steamed buns for a long time; that’s what I want to eat. I’m going home for lunch, do you want some?” You answer him like this, and when he hears it, he says, “Eat what? That’s pig slop, people don’t eat that stuff!” He doesn’t want to eat anything you tell him, and he thinks to himself, “This guy is just like what they say—he who is born a fool can’t be cured. Who eats steamed buns and fried bean-sauce noodles these days? Officials eat much better than that!” These officials go to restaurants and spend public funds, they enjoy the glory and splendor of being an official, and only eat lavish meals: A single meal costs over a thousand yuan. They eat monkey brains and hedgehog skin. These fiends and devils eat anything, there’s nothing they can’t eat or drink. What are you thinking in your heart? “I won’t take any part in your sins, I’ll stay away from you, you brood of devils, you wretches who eat human flesh and drink human blood! I’d rather go back and eat fried bean-sauce noodles and steamed buns than enjoy your extravagant lifestyle. Even if I have to eat coarse rations, I still won’t get anywhere near you; I won’t get caught up in your wickedness or have any part in your sins. Eating human flesh and drinking human blood is what devils do, not humans. What will be the ultimate outcome? You will definitely go to hell and face punishment! I make concessions and compromises and earn a living under your power, but my goal is to sustain my livelihood, follow God, and fulfill my duty. I’m not trying to get promoted or get involved in politics; I detest you from the bottom of my heart!” So, however the leader coaxes you to enjoy a big meal, you don’t go. Over the weekend, if they invite you to sing karaoke, to be surrounded by beautiful women, and to drink fine wine; if they invite you to a teahouse for relaxation or entertainment, or to see a drag show, will you go or won’t you? If you want to get close to the organization or to the party, then you’ll have to go to these places. But at this moment, you say, “I practice God’s words, I stay away from politics, I won’t participate in any of these, I won’t take part in their sins.” The next day, when they gather together, they talk about how beautiful Miss So-and-so is, how she’s the belle of the ball, how talented she is at singing, how delicious the wine from a certain era in France is, where to go for entertainment, where to soak in the hot springs…. They talk about these things—do you envy them? Are you jealous? You have to put on headphones, plug your ears; don’t listen to these devils talking nonsense, stay away from them, keep your heart calm, don’t take part in the sins of sinners, stay away from their filthy lives, and don’t be caught up in their wickedness. Your purpose is to stay away from politics. Those who seek advancement, who want to get close to the organization, and wish to be promoted: Their purpose in living like that is actually to participate in politics, to walk right into politics, with the aim of obtaining a position in political circles and live a life befitting neither a human nor a fiend. However, you are exactly the opposite of them. You must stay away from such a filthy life. The purpose of staying away from this kind of life is to neither desire nor care about any political prospects. Your future is to pursue the truth and attain salvation. Therefore, you should be clear in your heart that everything you are doing now is meaningful and valuable; it is for the pursuit of the truth, for the sake of attaining salvation. It is not a meaningless sacrifice, nor are you acting in an atypical fashion. Even more, you are not alone. So, the ultimate purpose of staying away from these sinful lives is actually to separate yourself from these people, to distance yourself from what they call politics. This is the second principle of staying away from politics—do not get close.
Not getting close to politicians is the minimum that should be done, and in addition it is not to participate. For example, if there is an opportunity to be promoted to a section chief, director, or bureau head, everyone is eager to show themselves, improve their performance, give gifts to leaders, pull strings, explore avenues, and try every means to let leaders and superiors see their talents, abilities, and value, and even their value to be taken advantage of. They would rather be flatterers, would rather toady up to leaders and superiors and do anything they ask them to do, even if they don’t want to do it. Some people give money, and some even offer their bodies to participate in political struggles. In these struggles, some people network with leaders, others give leaders a lot of money and gifts, and some people offer their bodies to leaders, with the ultimate goal of being promoted or mentored by these leaders and taking the path of politics. As a believer in God, if you know that these practices involve participating in politics, then you should stay away. First, do not give gifts or network for the sake of your own political prospects or an official position. Also, do not actively reveal your strengths to leaders, and certainly do not go to any extreme measures to compete for their notice. Let others compete without you. Every time the boss nominates you, say, “I’m going to sit out on this one, I’m not qualified.” You have only to say that you’re not qualified and let others go ahead; there are plenty of people who’ll come forward to compete. When the boss says, “Xiao Zhang, it’s your turn this time,” say, “I am not yet qualified, boss, please excuse me. I am not capable. Let Xiao Li go first, and if Xiao Li is not capable, then let Xiao Wang go. Let them do it.” The boss will say, “Are you stupid? If they take it on, you won’t receive any of the benefits: You won’t get a house, or any bonuses or salary increases.” Then you say, “If I don’t get anything, then I don’t get anything. I have enough to eat and enough spending money, so rest assured, sir. If you are still not reassured, then just give me a little more in bonuses at the end of the year.” Don’t participate in their struggle. Whoever wants to compete, let them do so. You don’t resort to any means, use up any energy, or pay any price. You don’t spend a penny, say a word, do anything extra, or go the extra mile for promotion. Even if you have the conditions, connections, and a suitable base of people, you still don’t participate. This is called truly letting go, truly staying away. Those worldly people look at you with constant pity and keep saying, “You’re stupid, you’re simple-minded!” But you say, “Say whatever you want about me; I still won’t participate.” People ask, “Why won’t you participate?” You say, “I earn enough money to spend. I am not qualified. You are all better than me, so you go.” Are you able to refrain from participating? (Yes.) Of course, if you have the opportunity to be promoted to deputy section chief or deputy director, you can turn it down, but if you’re offered the positions of bureau head or provincial governor, can you do the same? It may not be easy: The higher the position, the more enticing it becomes, and the greater its authority, the greater the temptation, because when you have more authority, you receive better treatment, your words become more influential, and your physical enjoyment grows. You see, the mayor, the governor, and the president all have their own official residences. All their expenses, whether going out or at home, are covered by the state. Therefore, the more you interact with the upper classes, the greater their temptation toward you becomes, and the more opportunities you have to interact with them, the harder it becomes to give up these opportunities. In order to avoid temptation, you work at the grassroots level, not setting foot in upper class circles. You refrain from stepping into these circles with either foot. This is called staying away. Nothing you say or do has anything to do with politics; it’s all about staying away from these things. Whoever successfully gets elected as a high-ranking official in each particular contest, whoever comes to wield great power, you don’t envy them, you’re not hurt, and you don’t regret it, because in yet another test or circumstance orchestrated by God, you have practiced the principle of staying away from politics that God requires. You have satisfied God’s requirement, and in the face of Satan, you are victorious; in the face of God, you are an overcomer, and God approves of you. Some people say, “If God approves of me, will He make my salary go up a bit?” No, God’s approval and recognition of you as an overcomer means that you are one step closer to salvation, and God looks on you with more and more favor—this is a great honor. Is it easy to refrain from participating in political affairs? Whoever enjoys competition, let them compete. Whoever likes to speak up for such affairs, let them do so. Whoever loves to busy themselves with them, let them be busy. In any case, you don’t care, nor do you bother yourself with these things, because you’re not seeking advancement and you have no goals for an official career. This is the third principle of staying away from politics—not participating.
The fourth principle of staying away from politics is not taking sides. “Taking sides” is a kind of jargon used by political people, and it is a common phenomenon in the political world to take sides. When you participate in politics, you must make your position clear, whether you stand with Party A or Party B. As soon as you get involved in politics, you have to take sides. If you don’t get involved, you don’t need to take sides, or you can say that you don’t take sides. If you remain neutral and don’t pay attention to their disputes or to why the two sides are fighting, then you are not taking sides. Whether you support Party A or Party B, there is no result or answer from you. You say, “I don’t stand on either side, I abstain. I have a good relationship with both A and B, but I do not get close to either of them. I don’t participate in any of their fights.” These people are puzzled: Are you on Party A or Party B after all? They always try to win you over, but no one can. The end result is that they understand that you don’t take sides with any party. Finally, your immediate superior says, “You slippery fellow, why didn’t you support me at such a critical moment?” You say, “Boss, I don’t dare aspire to such an honor, I don’t have the same intellectual depth, nor am I very competent at my job; I’m afraid of disappointing you. Boss, please spare me, I’m just an insignificant person who bends down to pick up a nickel; I’m just an ordinary person, I dare not take sides. Please go easy on me and let me off, I will definitely have your back next time.” In reality, you are just blowing him off. You haven’t offended him, and he can’t do anything about it. They can fight and argue however they want, it has nothing to do with you, you’re an outsider. Why do I say that you are an outsider? You’re not pursuing an official career, officialdom, rising to prominence, bringing glory to your ancestors, or setting foot in politics. You’re not pursuing political prospects; your goal is to stay away from an official career and from these political figures. So, you deliberately choose not to take sides, not to choose Party A or Party B, and who takes what side has nothing to do with you. Whenever someone tries to persuade you, you just laugh it off and act the fool, saying, “I don’t know who is right, you are all my good friends, I will be happy no matter who wins.” They say, “You’re a real slippery fellow!” And you say, “I’m not slippery, I’m just stupid; you guys are the experts!” You pretend to be confused with them. Is it okay not to take sides? Don’t be naive, don’t go along with those trying to take advantage of you. No matter at what level of politics, the water is always muddy—you can’t see the bottom. It’s not like a clear spring where you can see the bottom; it is muddy water, a quagmire. If a leader treats you well, you get close to him and take his side, but you don’t know whether this will bring you good or ill. You can’t figure out what his future will be, whether he will end up in chains or rise to prominence. Those people are all crocodiles in a swamp, there are big ones and small ones. As an insignificant person, you won’t be able to tell whether every word they say is true or false, who they treat well and who they don’t, and what the purpose of their daily actions is—you simply can’t tell. Therefore, if you want to protect yourself, the most straightforward and highest principle is to not take sides. If they are good to you, be enthusiastic with them; if they are not, still be enthusiastic with them, but just don’t take their side. When something comes up, just laugh it off and pretend to be confused; when they ask you anything, say that you don’t know, you’re not clear, or you haven’t seen it before. Can you respond in this way? (Yes, now I can.) Is it appropriate to apply these principles in the church? (It is not appropriate.) These tricks are only suitable for places where devils reside, not to use in the midst of brothers and sisters. This is wisdom. In places where devils reside, you have to be as wise as snakes; you cannot be foolish, you must be wise. Whoever pulls you toward them, don’t go and stand on their side. Whoever creates conflict with you or dislikes you, do not oppose them or stand against them. Make them believe that you are not against them. These things constitute wisdom. Do not compete with any political forces, don’t get close to any of them, and don’t collude with or show goodwill to any of them. This is wisdom, this is not taking sides. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) Have you learned how to do this? (Yes.) At critical times, you have to pretend to be deaf and dumb, to be crazy and foolish, and let them see you as an ignorant fool. If they tell you to do something, do it, accept their advice without questioning, and let them see how obedient you are. Obedient to what extent? Like a sycophant, always listening, never talking out of turn, never inquiring about news of the boss, or about information regarding so-and-so—be especially obedient. But you should never expose your true thoughts to them; once you expose your true thoughts and intentions, they will punish you and teach you a lesson. If you’re not on their side, you can’t let them in on it—even if you reject them you can’t let them find out. Why should you do this? Because in their eyes, if you are not their friend, then you are their opponent. Once you become an opponent in their eyes, you will be the one they aim to punish: They will treat you as the nail in their eye, the thorn in their side, and they will have to punish you. So, you must use wisdom and pretend to be foolish. Don’t show your abilities; if you express your thoughts, viewpoints, positions, or attitudes toward anything, then you are foolish. Understood? (Understood.) In the face of Satans and devils, especially when you get close to a group in the political world, you have to be extra careful, protect yourself, don’t think yourself clever or act smart, don’t parade around, don’t try to prove your worth—you have to be low-key. If you want to ensure your survival in such a complex environment, and you also want to believe in God, fulfill your duty, pursue the truth, and attain salvation, then the first thing you ought to do is protect yourself. One of the ways to protect yourself is to not provoke any political forces and not become the target of their attacks or punishment—this is how you can stay a bit safer. If you always refuse to listen to them, obey them, or get close to them, they will dislike you and want to punish you. On the other hand, if they see that you have talent and the ability to work, and if they see that you are profitable to them, and that if you take over for them, you won’t expose their secrets or damage their future reputation, then they will want to be your mentor. Is it a good thing for them to mentor you? (No.) If they have their eye on you and want to mentor you, then tell Me, isn’t it the same as being possessed by an evil spirit? (Yes.) If they have their eye on you, you’re in trouble. So, before they get you in their sights, you can’t let them take a fancy to you; you have to pretend to be foolish, as if you can’t do anything terribly well. Do a passable job on most things. Though they may be dissatisfied with this, they won’t be able to pick out any faults with you or find reasons to get rid of you. That is sufficient, and it achieves the desired effect. If you do things too well, if everything is done smoothly and they are especially satisfied with you and think highly of you, that is not good. In one respect, they will see you as a threat to their political trajectory, and in another, they may want to mentor you, neither of which is good for you. So, in order to establish yourself in this society, besides avoiding and staying away from various forces, there is something even more important, which is to competently handle the relationships and affairs regarding various forces or your immediate superior. For example, if you show off too much, if you want to prove yourself too much, or if you do things without any wisdom, you may be caught in a dilemma where you are unable to push anything away or have to do what you don’t want to. What can be done about this? Therefore, this matter is difficult to work through. You need to pray to God frequently, be quiet before Him, let God guide you, give you wisdom, give you the words to say, guide you in what you should do, and help you know how to work through the situation, so that you can protect yourself and be safeguarded by God in such complex circles. Only when you have received God’s safeguarding and are able to protect yourself, can you then have the basic conditions to be still before God, eat and drink God’s words, ponder over them, and pursue the truth. Do you understand these things? (Yes, I understand.) This is the principle of not taking sides.
There is another principle of staying away from politics, that is, not making one’s position known. Whether it involves political viewpoints, attitudes, or trends, or the intention and purpose of leaders, their expressions, their thoughts, or whether they are right or wrong, you should not make your position known. When the boss asks you, “Do you agree with what I just said? What is your stance?” You say, “What did you say? My ears are not working right, I didn’t hear you.” The boss gets angry after hearing this and stops talking to you. In your heart, you think, “Great, I didn’t want to say anything anyway!” You should pretend to be deaf and dumb, and you shouldn’t always be making your position known, or showing how smart you are, saying, “Boss, I have some opinions, I have some ideas.” If you always raise your hand and take a stance, that’s just foolish. You shouldn’t speak up when you have opinions concerning the boss, and when you have opinions about such-and-such co-worker or see your boss doing something wrong, don’t make a sound. Now, what if the leader asks you about these things, what do you say? “You did a great job with this, you’re on another level as us little workers. You really are considerate!” You ought to praise them, speak to them in such flattering tones that they begin to feel euphoric, and when you see that you’ve achieved your aim, then stop praising them, because you’ve nearly made yourself sick. Regardless of the policies, opinions, work for implementation from above that your boss is saying, or their attitude toward anything, you act dumb and say a few ambiguous sentences. When the boss hears you, they’ll say, “This fellow has always been confused, so it’s normal that they’re confused about this matter too.” Okay, you’ve succeeded in getting by under false pretenses. No matter what the boss says, you should never make your position known. If you are sharing a meal with the boss and they want you to state your position on something, you say, “Oh, look at how much rice I ate; my blood sugar is high and my head feels a bit dizzy, so I didn’t hear too clearly what you just said. Hey boss, can we discuss it again next time?” Just be vague with them. If the boss sends someone to find out your views about them, the party committee, or national policies, should you express any views? (No.) Your public attitude should be that you have no views, but what about your true attitude? Even if you have views, don’t tell them: This is called tricking a ghost. There is an allegorical saying, “Putting plastic flowers on someone’s tomb—tricking a ghost,” isn’t that right? When facing major issues of right and wrong, although you have attitudes and viewpoints, you should not express them. Why? These things do not involve faith in God, they do not involve the truth, they are all matters of the devils’ world, and have nothing to do with us believers. It doesn’t matter what our attitudes are, what matters is that these things have nothing to do with us; though we may have an attitude, in reality it is an understanding and discernment of their essence; our attitude and our principle of practice is to stay away from them, reject them, and reject their influence and control. As for other people’s attitudes, they have nothing to do with us; this is a matter of the devils’ world and has nothing to do with believers in God. These things do not involve the pursuit of truth, nor do they involve salvation, let alone any attitude of God toward you; so, you don’t need to have any attitude, nor do you need to express any attitude. You may simply laugh it off and say, “Boss, my thought process is shallow, and my mind is muddy; I’ve studied politics for such a long time, but I’ve never experienced any political revolution in my thoughts, so as an ordinary person I still can’t work out the policies from above or your meaning. I ask for your forgiveness.” This is a sufficient answer. Is this tricking the ghost? (Yes.) Or you can also say, “The boss’s eyes are bright, and the people’s eyes are clear, but I’m the only one whose eyes have a confused look in them: I am unable to see or understand anything! I’m not a party member, so I don’t have party spirit. I can’t understand these things. Talk to us, boss, you have priority over us. Whatever you say, we’ll listen and carry it out. That’s good enough for me.” Isn’t this simple? Does it achieve the principle of not making one’s position known? (Yes, it does.) This going through the motions and not making your position clear allows you to protect yourself. Does the boss know what you mean by it? They don’t. They think you’re just an idiot, thinking, “This fellow doesn’t seek advancement. With such favorable conditions, most people would have already been promoted to a higher position, maybe even mayor. This fellow could be a provincial governor, but they just don’t want to advance, they keep playing dumb, and don’t get close to the organization—they’re a typical fool!” What would you think in your heart? “In your eyes, I’m a fool. But in God’s eyes, I’m a harmless dove. I’m more valuable than you. You old devil, you hold an official position and participate in a bit of politics, and you think that makes you superior. In my eyes, you’re no better than a little locust!” Can you say that? (No, we can’t.) You can’t say that. Be careful because the walls have ears; you can talk to your dog at home and leave it at that. There are very few people in this world whom you can trust or confide in; so, when facing major issues of principle, whether in political circles or in any social group, you should learn not to make your position known, especially when it involves politics, power, or taking sides. You must certainly not make your position clear. If you do, it’s like setting yourself over the flame to roast. What’s it like to be set over the flame to roast? If you want to find out, just take a stance and see. Isn’t that how it is? (Yes.) Is it possible not to make your position known? It depends on what you pursue in your heart. If you are genuinely pursuing an official career, if you want to become an official, not only will you take a stance, but you’ll also express your position clearly, and do it in front of your boss, as well as making the climb upward—if that’s the case, you’ll wind up a pretty poor excuse for a person. You are not staying away from politics; you are participating in it. If you participate in politics, then just go ahead and get out. Don’t stay in God’s house. You are a nonbeliever, you belong to the world, to the devil, not to God’s house—you are not among God’s chosen people. Even though you are staying in God’s house, you snuck into it, you wanted to grab a bite to eat, to receive a blessing—someone like this is not welcome here. But, on the other hand, if you have excellent personal qualifications and are in a position to have many opportunities to become an official and begin a career, yet you can still avoid getting close, participating, taking sides, and taking a stance, then you’re able to achieve staying away from politics. Do you remember these principles? Are they doable? (Yes, they are.) You see, everyone in political circles who always wants to showcase themselves, to stand out, as well as those who wish to express their viewpoints and attitudes, with a particularly strong desire to express themselves—all have but one goal: They want to hold an official position. To put it nicely, they want to participate in politics; but in actuality, they just want to hold office, have authority, and enjoy a good life through their position. They want to use their position to achieve various personal goals and increase their prestige. Isn’t that the case? (Yes, it is.) Some people don’t have very good qualities themselves; they’re flawed. Yet, they still want to become officials and participate in politics. As a result, they rely on their efforts and climb upward at any cost; they toady up to their superiors, and act as personal henchmen to government officials. Eventually, they achieve their goal of participating in politics and realize their dream of having an official career.
Concerning staying away from politics, we have fellowshiped about five principles. The first principle is not joining any party. You see, the rulers of any country all belong to a political party, not to mention the leaders of authoritarian countries, who also belong to a political party. Therefore, the first principle of staying away from politics is to not join any party. Wasn’t I just saying that? (Yes.) So, what is the second principle? (Not getting close to them.) Don’t get close to them or to political circles. What is the third principle? (Not participating.) That’s right, not participating in any of their activities, movements, or ideological discussions, that is, not taking part among them. What is the fourth principle? (Not taking sides.) Don’t take sides, let them argue about who is right and wrong; in short, you don’t take sides. What is the fifth principle? (Not making one’s position known.) Not making one’s position known. Someone says, “If you don’t make your position known, aren’t you just being a nuisance?” You say, “I don’t have an opinion, I’m just an ordinary person, I don’t have much education, my thought process isn’t all that grand—what kind of opinion can I have? I’m just an average citizen, leave me alone.” You never have an opinion at any time. When you’re called upon to take a stance, you pretend to snore, to be asleep, and when people see that you are not interested in progress, they won’t ask you to make your opinion known, which works out perfectly, doesn’t it? How many principles is this in total? (Five.) If you follow these five principles, you can stay away from politics and not be influenced, affected, or held up by any political forces. Whether dealing with political circles at the top or the bottom, if you put these five principles into practice, you will be able to stay away from politics. This is a topic that applies to one’s professional career. Of course, even if you have no profession, these principles remain the same, unchanged. Even if you are unemployed, you should still practice these principles to stay away from politics—the principles do not change. So why should you stay away from politics? What is politics? It is a struggle, a power game. Politics is both conspiracy and strategy. What else is politics? Politics is also those movements or activities stirred up by various forces. You see, you can’t even explain what politics is, yet the great red dragon accuses people in the church of getting involved in politics. Isn’t this absurd? Isn’t it easy to find fault when they want to? (Yes.) This is clearly a false accusation. Some fools and idiots, after listening to the nonsense of the great red dragon, come under its constraint and dare not apply discernment either to it or to Satan. Whenever the topic of discerning the great red dragon or Satan comes up, they hide in a corner and dare not open their mouths; they just clear their throats or pretend to be confused. What are they pretending for? They don’t need to pretend: They don’t even understand what politics is, so how can they participate in politics? Can an idiot like them participate in politics? Therefore, for most ordinary people, staying away from politics is achievable in reality. We’ve just emphasized one point in principle, which is not to do anything foolish, to avoid getting involved in politics unknowingly, being swept along into politics without even knowing it, and ultimately becoming a scapegoat or a sacrificial object without understanding what happened. So, the reason why we fellowship about these principles, in one respect is to let you know that your intelligence is simply not enough to comprehend the real essence of politics. In another, if you practice these principles, you will be able to better protect yourself and avoid being taken advantage of in any situation, or in situations where you are unaware or ignorant. By simply adhering to these principles, you can ensure your own relative safety in any group. Therefore, these principles are not only your amulet of protection but also principles that God admonishes you to follow in the area of politics. By following these principles, you can enjoy the benefits brought to you by the truth, and one might also say that you are safeguarded by God. If you feel that God’s safeguarding is vague and empty, and you cannot see or feel it, then you can choose to practice these five principles. This way, you can truly experience God’s safeguarding, which is a more real kind of safeguarding. It is not only using God’s words to protect yourself but also protecting yourself by practicing God’s words and adhering to the truth principles that God has revealed to you. In any case, the ultimate goal is achieved, and you are able through staying away from politics to keep yourself safe from evil groups of people, avoid various temptations and crises, and thus quiet your body and mind before God in a state of calm, peace, and safety, so that you can pursue the truth. However, if you are foolish and don’t know how to follow the principles taught by God, and you try to stand out and showcase yourself randomly, often acting without wisdom and getting tangled up in various disputes and conflicts that stem from politics and groups; if you often fall into various traps and temptations, and your daily life is swept along and disturbed by these things, and you spend all your time handling and addressing these struggles involving disputes and disturbances, then it could be said that your heart will never come before God, and you will never truly be quiet before Him. If you cannot achieve this little bit, then there is no hope for you to figure out God’s words, to deepen or understand the truth, to practice the truth, and embark on the path of pursuing the truth to be saved. If you are ensnared by these things, it is equivalent to being ensnared by the devil. If you do not have the principles to handle these matters, your ultimate end will be swallowed up by these things. Your daily life, your heart, and your life will be entangled in these disputes and struggles. All you’ll think about is how to get rid of these things, how to fight and argue with those people, and how to prove your innocence and demand justice. As a result, the more you get caught up in these affairs, the more you want to quickly prove your innocence, demand justice, and get an explanation, and the more chaotic and complicated your heart will become. The more complicated your external environment is, the more complicated your inner being will become, and the more chaotic your external environment is, the more chaotic your inner being will become. In this way, you will be completely finished, you will be controlled and taken captive by Satan. If you still want to pursue the truth and be saved, it will be impossible! You will be completely worthless, beyond redemption. By then, you will say, “I regret it all. The political circle of Satan is nothing but a quagmire! If I had known, I would have listened to God’s words.” I told you a long time ago, but you didn’t believe Me. You insisted on getting an explanation from them, on getting a fair word, a word of praise and recognition from their mouths. You refused to abide by the principles and criteria that God told you, so you deserve to be dragged along by them until you die. In the end, Satan will be destroyed, and you will be destroyed with it, becoming its funeral offering. You deserve it! Who made you follow Satan? Who made you seek an explanation from Satan? Who made you be so foolish? God gave you wisdom, but you didn’t apply it. He gave you principles, but you didn’t abide by them. You insisted on going your own way, on fighting against those people with your own mind, talents, and gifts. Can you defeat the devil? Moreover, fighting against the devil is not what God entrusted you with. What God has entrusted you with is to follow His way, not to fight against the devil. It is of no value for you to fight against it. God does not commemorate this. Even if you defeat it, you won’t attain salvation. Do you understand now? Therefore, in the industry and circle of politics, you must remember these principles that people ought to follow. Perhaps those of you who are currently fulfilling your duty full time may find these words unrealistic and relatively distant from you. But at the very least, they allow you to know what politics is, how you should treat politics, how to view those who live in political circles or pursue political prospects, and how to help them address their problems if they believe in God. These are the most basic things you should know. Once you fully understand and accept these principles, you will be able to help them, and when you encounter such people, you will be able to handle and resolve their issues using the corresponding principles. Well, let’s stop our fellowship here regarding the topic of staying away from politics. Goodbye!
June 18, 2023