How to Pursue the Truth (4)

Having believed in God for all these years, have you sensed the constant change happening in the people and things around you, and in the situation in the outside world? Particularly in the last few years, have you seen any big changes happening? (Yes.) You’ve seen this. And have you come to any conclusion about it? (God’s work is approaching its end.) That’s right, God’s work is indeed approaching its end, and the people, events, things, and environments all around you are in a constant state of change. For example, there were ten people in this group before, now there are eight. What happened to the other two? One was sent away, and the other was replaced in their duty. All the different kinds of people in the church are constantly undergoing change and are constantly being exposed. At first, some people seem so enthusiastic, but after a while they suddenly become weak and so negative that they cannot go on. The enthusiasm, the fiery energy, and the so-called loyalty they had in the beginning is all gone, their determination to endure suffering is gone, they have no interest in believing in God at all, and they suddenly seem to be completely different people, and no one knows why. Environments are also constantly undergoing change. What changes are happening in people’s environments? In some places, the environment is hostile and the persecution is severe, so people can’t gather together anymore or get in touch with their brothers and sisters; in some places, the environment is somewhat better and safer; in other places, the environment for performing one’s duty and the living conditions are somewhat more advantageous, tranquil, and stable than they were before, and the people there are much better than those who were there before; they all sincerely expend themselves for God, there are more people who are able to endure suffering and pay the price, all work projects progress more smoothly, work progresses more efficiently, and the results and effects seen are more optimistic and satisfactory. Furthermore, the plans, the forms, and the ways and methods in which work projects are carried out are constantly being improved. In short, even though people see all manner of wrong and negative people, events, and things constantly arising, there are of course also all manner of good, right, and positive people, events, and things constantly emerging. When people live in such a social environment, with various positive and negative things constantly alternating and changing around them, in fact, those who ultimately benefit are those who strongly desire God, pursue the truth, and yearn for the truth. They are those who yearn for light and justice, while those who do not pursue the truth, who abandon themselves to vice and feel averse toward the truth are exposed, cast out, and forsaken in relation to different people, events, things, and environments. With all these different environments, people, and events being exposed, and with new environments, people, and events constantly appearing, what is God’s will? Having believed in God all these years, do you have an understanding of this? At the very least, do you feel that God is orchestrating all of this, and that God has always been guiding these things? (Yes.) God’s purpose and meaning in doing all of this is to enable those who follow Him to learn the lessons, grow in insight and experience, and thereby gradually enter into the truth reality. Have you achieved this yourselves? No matter how busy people are with work, or how advantageous or hostile their environment is, their aim in their belief in God is to pursue the truth without change. People must not forget to pursue the truth because they are busy with work, busy with things, or because they want to avoid their hostile environment, or forget that all these situations are arranged by God, or forget that God’s will is for them to learn the lessons in these various situations, to learn how to discern between all manner of people, events, and things, to understand the truth, to grow in insight, and to know God. You should all make an earnest summary of whether you have achieved these things.

Church work has been incredibly busy in recent years, and so the transfer and reassignment, as well as the exposing, casting out, and cleansing away of members in each group has been relatively frequent. In the process of carrying out this work, the transfer of team members has been especially frequent and broad in scope. However, irrespective of how many transfers take place or how much things change, the determination to pursue the truth in those who truly believe in and desire God does not change, their wish to attain salvation does not change, their faith in God does not wane, and they are always developing in a good direction and have continued to persevere in performing their duties up to today. There are those who are even much better than this who, through being constantly reassigned, find their right place, and learn how to seek the principles and perform their duty. Those who do not pursue the truth, however, who have no love for positive things and who feel averse toward the truth, do not perform well. Some people are currently forcing themselves to keep performing their duties, when in fact their inner state is already a complete mess, and they are utterly depressed and negative. They still haven’t left the church, however, and they appear as though they believe in God and they still perform their duties, but in reality their hearts have changed, and they have departed from and abandoned God. Some people get married and return home to live their lives, saying, “I can’t afford to waste my youth. We’re only young once, and I absolutely cannot waste my youth! I believe in my heart that there is a God, but I can’t be as simple-minded as you, sacrificing your youth to pursue the truth. I’m supposed to get married and live my life. Life is short, and we’re only young for a few years. Life is over in the blink of an eye. I just can’t waste my youth here. Before my youth is gone, I can be carefree and live life to the full for a few years.” Some people continue to pursue their dreams of becoming rich; some continue to pursue an official career and realize their dream of being an official or a bureaucrat; some pursue the prosperity of having children, so they take a wife who can bear them sons; some people are hounded for their belief in God, are persecuted for years until they become weak and sick, and then they abandon their duties and return home to live out their remaining years. Everyone’s situation is different. Some people leave of their own accord and have their names delisted, some are nonbelievers who are cleared out, and some do all manner of evil deeds and are expelled. What lies within the bones of all these people? What is their essence? Have you clearly seen it? Do you feel deeply touched every time these people’s stories reach your ears? You may think, “How could they end up like this? How could they fall to such an end? They weren’t like this before, they were wonderful, so how could they change so quickly?” These things cannot be figured out or understood no matter how much you ponder them. You consider it for a while and think, “This person doesn’t love positive things; they are a nonbeliever.” After some time, the things that these people do, their performance, behavior, some of their words and remarks, and their pursuits fade away in your own mind or in people’s consciousness, and afterward you forget these things, and little by little your feelings about them disappear. When such people, events, or things appear again, you again think, “Oh, it’s unthinkable! How could they? They weren’t like this before. I just can’t figure it out.” You feel the same things again and you have the same understanding. Tell Me, is it a shame when these people are exposed and cast out? (No.) Do you not miss these people? (No.) Do you not fight these people’s corner? (No.) Then you must be very ruthless. How come you’re all so unsympathetic? They have left the church; how do you not fight their corner, and have no sympathy or compassion for them? How come you have no pity for them? Are you just incapable of sympathy? Are you ruthless? (No.) Tell Me, is this an appropriate way for God’s house to deal with such people? (Yes.) How is it appropriate? Tell Me. (These people have believed in God for so many years and heard so much truth that for them to behave in such a way now and to betray God and depart from Him shows that they are nonbelievers who are not worth our pity and not worth missing.) So, when they started believing in God, they were filled with enthusiasm, they gave up their homes, their jobs, and they often made offerings and took on risky jobs for God’s house. However you looked at them, they all sincerely expended themselves for God. So how come they have changed now? Is it because God disliked them and used them from the beginning? (No.) God treats everyone fairly and equally and gives opportunities to all. They all lived the church life, ate and drank God’s words, and lived being provided for, watered, and shepherded by God, so how come they changed so much? Their behavior when they first began to believe in God and their behavior at the time they left the church was like they were two people. Has God caused them to lose hope? Has God’s house or God’s deeds caused them to feel bitterly disappointed? Has God, the words God utters, or the work God does hurt their dignity? (No.) So what’s the reason then? Who can explain this? (I think these people came to believe in God dominated by their desire for blessings. They only believed in God to receive blessings. The moment they saw they had no hope of receiving blessings, they departed from God.) Isn’t there a blessing right in front of them? It is not yet time to stop performing their duties, so what are they in such a rush for? How come they can’t even understand this? (God, I think that, when these people first came to believe in God, they relied on their enthusiasm and good intent, and they were able to do some things, but now God’s house is treating all its work more and more seriously. It requires people to do things in line with the truth principles. But these people don’t accept the truth, they run amok doing whatever they please when performing their duties, and they’re often pruned. So, they feel increasingly that they cannot keep on muddling along as they are, until finally they leave God’s house. I think this is one reason.) They cannot keep on muddling along as they are—is this a true thing to say? (Yes.) They cannot keep on muddling along as they are—this is said regarding people who muddle through things. There are some people who come to believe in God who do not muddle through things, who are very earnest, who treat this matter very seriously, so how come they didn’t keep going? (Because, by their very nature, these people do not love the truth. They came to believe in God in order to receive blessings. They see God’s house always talking about the truth, and they feel averse and resistant toward the truth, and they become less and less willing to attend gatherings and listen to sermons, and this is how they get exposed.) This is a kind of situation, and there are many people like this. There are also some people who always perform their duties in a slipshod manner, who never perform their duty well or take responsibility for it whatever duty they do. It’s not that they aren’t capable or that their caliber isn’t up to the task, it’s that they’re disobedient and they don’t do things according to what God’s house requires. They always do things however they want to do them, until finally they cause disruptions and disturbances because they run amok and do whatever they please. They don’t repent no matter how they’re pruned, and so they end up being sent away. These people who are sent away have an incredibly odious disposition and an arrogant humanity. Wherever they go, they want to have the final word, they look down on everyone, and they act like tyrants, until finally they are removed. After some people are replaced and cast out, they feel that nothing goes smoothly for them anywhere they go, and no one values them or pays attention to them anymore. No one regards them highly anymore, they cannot have the final word anymore, they cannot get what they want, and they have no hope of attaining any status, much less of receiving blessings. They feel they have no hope of muddling along in the church anymore, they have no interest for it anymore, and so they choose to leave—there are many people like this.

There are also some people whose reason for leaving is the same as the majority of those who are cast out. No matter how long these people have believed in God for, what they personally experience and see in God’s house is that gatherings in God’s house are about perpetually reading God’s words and fellowshipping on the truth, talking about knowing oneself, practicing the truth, accepting judgment and chastisement, accepting being pruned, performing one’s duty according to the truth principles, talking about dispositional change and casting off one’s corrupt dispositions. Content on the work that God does—whether it is fellowshipped on in the church life, or whether it is a topic covered in sermons and fellowship given by the Above—is all the truth, all God’s words, and all positive. These people, however, don’t accept the truth at all. They originally came to believe in God to receive blessings and to take advantage. Looking at their nature essence, not only do they not love positive things or the truth but, even more seriously, they are extremely repulsed by and hostile toward positive things and the truth. That’s why the more God’s house fellowships on the truth, the more it talks about practicing the truth, the more it talks about pursuing the truth and doing things in accordance with principles, the more uneasy and repulsed these people feel inside, and the less willing they are to listen. Tell Me, what is it that these people like to hear? Do you know? (They like to hear topics about destinations and receiving blessings, and about the work of spreading the gospel reaching unprecedented levels.) These are some things they want to hear. They also like to shout slogans, preach doctrine, and talk about theology, theory, and mysteries. From time to time they talk about when God’s work will come to an end, when the great disasters will befall, what mankind’s future destination will be, how evil forces will be gradually destroyed when the disasters come, how God will perform some signs and wonders, and how the forces and scale of God’s house will be constantly expanding and growing, and about how they will strut around showing off, too. Moreover, the most important thing to them is that they’ll be constantly promoted and put to use in God’s house. In this way, they’ll be able to muddle along in God’s house for a time but, while they’re muddling along, none of the work done by God or God’s house is what they want it to be, and everything they hear and see are matters concerned with the truth. In their hearts, therefore, they are extremely averse to the church life; they’re not interested in it, they feel restless, unable to stay, and they feel tormented by it. Some people find an excuse, a reason, and a pretext and find a way to leave the church, saying, “I will commit an evil act, give vent to some negativity, and do something bad. The church will then clear me out and expel me, so I’d be perfectly justified in leaving the church.” Then there are those who hand in their books of God’s words and pack their stuff and leave when they go out to sort out their foreign entry permits, without even so much as a goodbye. These people are like hooligans and whores, and they don’t do things in the way that normal people do. What virtuous women and normal people think and what they say when around other people are the serious matters of how to live life. How to live a good life, how to enable one’s whole family to eat well, wear decent clothes, and have a good place to live, how to raise their children into adults, and how to get their children to follow the right path—these are the things they think about. Those hooligans and whores, however, never think about these things. If you talk about these proper matters with them, they get aggravated by you, they hate you, and they distance themselves from you. So, what is it that they think about? Is it that they’re always thinking about eating, drinking, and partying? (Yes.) They’re always thinking about eating, drinking, and partying, and about lustful things. When they talk to normal people about these things, normal people don’t respond; normal people are not like them, they share no common language, and they’re not on the same wavelength. The things normal people talk about are not in their hearts, they cannot tolerate them, and they don’t want to listen to them. They think that to live that way is to grievously wrong themselves and to live fettered and without any freedom. They think that to always be beautifully dressed to seduce a member of the opposite sex is an exciting and carefree way to live—to them it is the perfect life! These people who leave the church are envious of the lives of the unbelievers, envious of the pleasures of sin, and they think that to spend their days and to live the way the unbelievers do is the only way they can live an exciting and happy life, and the only way to live without letting themselves down. These nonbelievers, just like hooligans and whores, have no normal humanity and they’re not normal people. If you ask them to do something positive, they absolutely refuse to do it because, deep in their bones and in their nature essence, they do not love positive things and feel averse toward the truth. What things do they do? What do they do in the church, among brothers and sisters, and in the course of performing their duties? They perform their duties in a slipshod manner, they talk high-sounding theory, always shouting slogans but not really doing anything—this is their normal behavior. They never give their all to performing their duty, they’re always slipshod and merely go through the motions, doing things only for others to see, while also jockeying for prestige and profit around other people. These evil people also cause other people to suffer and suppress them, and wherever evil people are, there is no peace and no rest—there is only chaos. With evil people in charge, not only does work not progress efficiently, but it becomes paralyzed; with evil people in control of a church, good people are bullied, the church becomes unbearably chaotic, the faith of God’s chosen people will become lukewarm, and they will become negative and weak. Wherever evil people are, they play a disturbing and destructive role. The most obvious manifestation of evil people is their unwillingness to perform their duties. Even if they perform their duties, they do so in a slipshod manner and never treat them seriously, they also disturb other people in the performance of their duties. There is another point to make, and that is that evil people never read God’s words, never pray, never fellowship on the truth with others, and they’ve never even opened their books of God’s words. Some people make specious arguments on behalf of evil people, saying, “Even though they haven’t read God’s words, they still listen to sermons.” But do they understand them? They simply don’t listen in earnest, they never watch the videos and movies produced by God’s house, they don’t listen to hymns, they don’t listen to experiential testimonies, and they don’t listen to recordings of sermons. At gatherings, they get sleepy, and there are even some who mess around on their phones and watch entertainment programs, and there are also some who watch adult films. Nothing they do all day has anything to do with believing in God or pursuing the truth. As God’s house fellowships on the truth in more and more detail, the repulsion they feel toward the truth and toward positive things becomes increasingly obvious. They feel restless and, within the time limit they can tolerate, they are unable to see and cannot wait for the good destination, good end, and the great disasters they so long for. They cannot wait for these things, so are their hearts not in turmoil? (They are.) What kind of turmoil? Are they not always calculating in their hearts? They are never prepared to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements, submit to the arrangements of God’s house, and give their all in the performance of their duties at any time and in any place. What is their mindset? They are ready, at any time and in any place, to pack their stuff and leave. They have long been ready to leave at any time, to bid farewell to the church and to the brothers and sisters, to make a clean break and sever all ties. The time they leave is when they get to the end of the time limit they are able to tolerate. Isn’t that so? (It is.)

After they are replaced or cast out, some people, regardless of the reason, are still able to persevere in performing their duty to the best of their ability. Some don’t seek the truth at all, and so they decide not to perform their duty anymore. While they were performing their duty, they were already exhibiting repulsion and impatience toward it, always wanting to escape church life and not perform their duty. Because these people aren’t interested in the truth, they don’t enjoy living the church life, and they are unwilling to perform their duty. They look forward only to the arrival of the day of God, so that they can receive blessings; they are not able to keep muddling on as they are, they see the disasters getting greater and greater, and they think that if they don’t seek fleshly pleasures now, they’ll lose the opportunity to do so. So they leave the church without so much as a backward glance, without any reluctance at all. From that point on, they disappear into the vast sea of people and no one in the church hears any more about them—this is how these nonbelievers are exposed and cast out. The more God’s house fellowships on the truth and requires people to practice the truth and enter reality, the more repulsion they feel, and they don’t want to hear it at all. Not only do they not accept these things, but they resist them. They understand the situation very well: They know that people like themselves have no place in God’s house, that they don’t truly expend themselves for God in their faith, that they don’t give everything they have in the performance of their duty, that they’re always slipshod in their duty, and that they feel extreme repulsion and detestation toward the truth; they also know that, sooner or later, they will be cast out, that this will certainly be the outcome. They have long laid their plans, thinking, “In any case, someone like me will certainly not receive blessings, so it’s best if I leave now, enjoy life in the world for a few years, live the good life for a few years and not let myself down.” Don’t they make plans like this? (They do.) With such intents and plans, can people perform their duty well? No, they can’t. Therefore, no matter how many years these people have believed in God for, they feel no reluctance to part with God, God’s house, the church, the brothers and sisters, or the church life. They say they’re leaving one day, and the next day they’re dressed like an unbeliever, dressed to the nines and wearing heavy makeup, immediately dressing, speaking, and acting just like an unbeliever; they dress in outlandish garb, and they don’t look right to you, yet they remain unaware of how they appear to you. How is it that they change so quickly? (It’s because they’ve long laid their plans, and this is how their nature is.) That’s right. They’ve long laid their plans; they haven’t just come up with these plans in the few days prior to them leaving, but rather they determined that they were going to do this long ago. They have been scheming and planning for a long time how they will eat, drink, and party, how they will comport themselves, and how they will live. They don’t like living the church life, or performing their duty, or fellowshipping on the truth, much less do they like listening to sermons and attending gatherings every day. They are sick to death of this kind of church life, and if it wasn’t for receiving blessings and obtaining a good destination and escaping the great disasters, they wouldn’t be able to keep going even for one day—this is their true face. So, how should you handle such people when you come across them again? Will you plead with them with tactful words, or offer them more support and help? Or will you be sad to see them go and use your love to try and change them? How should you approach them? (We should ask them to leave immediately and go to the world of the unbelievers.) Correct, ask them to go back to the world and not bother with them anymore. You say to them, “Think it through, so that you don’t regret your decision later.” They say, “I’ve thought it through, and no matter what difficulty I may face in the future, I won’t turn back and I won’t feel regret.” You say, “So go, then. No one’s stopping you. We all wish you well and hope that you achieve your ideals and realize the dreams you desire. We also hope that when the day comes that you see other people being saved, you feel no jealousy or regret. So long.” Isn’t this a very appropriate thing to say to them? (It is.) So, regarding such people as this, one aspect is that you must see their nature essence clearly, while another aspect is that you must approach them in the appropriate way. If they are nonbelievers, unbelievers, yet they are willing to render service and can be obedient and submit, then even if they don’t pursue the truth, don’t bother them and don’t clear them out. Instead, permit them to continue rendering service, and if you can help them, then help them. If they have no desire even to render service, and they begin to be slipshod and commit evil acts, then we’ve done everything that is called for. If they want to leave, then let them leave, and don’t miss them when they’re gone. They are at the point when they should leave, and such people are not worth your pity, for they are nonbelievers. What is most pitiful is that there are some people who are incredibly foolish, who always hold personal feelings toward those who are sent away, who always miss them, who speak on their behalf, who fight their corner, and who even weep and pray and beseech for them. What do you think about what these people do? (It’s so foolish.) How is it foolish? (Those who leave are nonbelievers, they don’t accept the truth, and they are simply not worth praying for and not worth missing. Only those to whom God gives opportunities and who have hope of being saved are worth the tears and prayers of others. If someone prays for a nonbeliever or a devil, then they’re very foolish and ignorant.) One aspect is that they do not truly believe that there is a God—they are nonbelievers; another aspect is that the nature essence of these people is that of an unbeliever. What is the implied meaning here? It is that they are not people at all, but that their nature essence is that of a devil, of Satan, and that these people are opposed to God. This is how things are regarding their nature essence. Yet there is another aspect, and that is that God selects people, not devils. So, tell Me, are these devils God’s chosen people, and are they selected by God? (No.) They are not God’s chosen people, so if you always have emotional entanglements with these people and are sad to see them go, then doesn’t that make you a fool? Doesn’t that make you opposed to God? If you have no deep feelings toward true brothers and sisters and yet harbor deep feelings for these devils, then what are you? At the very least, you are muddleheaded, you don’t view people according to God’s words, you don’t yet comport yourself with the correct standpoint, and you don’t handle matters with principle. You are a muddleheaded person. If you have feelings for one of these devils, then you will think, “Oh, but he’s such a good person and we have such a good relationship! We get along well together and he helps me so much! When I’m weak, he gives me such comfort, and when I do things wrong, he is tolerant and patient with me. He’s so loving!” He was like this only to you, so what are you? Aren’t you just another ordinary corrupt human being? And how does that person treat the truth, treat God, and treat the duty God’s house entrusts him with? Why don’t you see things from these perspectives? Is it accurate to see things from the perspective of your own personal interests, with your fleshly eyes and feelings? (No.) Clearly it isn’t! And as it is not an accurate way to see things, you should let it go and change the perspective and standpoint from which you regard that person. You should seek to approach and handle that person taking God’s words as your basis—this is the standpoint God’s chosen people should adopt and the attitude they should have. Don’t be a nitwit! Do you think you’re a kind person because you feel pity for others? You’re incredibly foolish, without any principles at all. You’re not treating people according to God’s words; you’re standing on the side of Satan and sympathizing with Satan and devils. Your sympathy is not directed at God’s chosen people or at those whom God wants to save, and it is not directed at true brothers and sisters.

These people who are nonbelievers are never willing to perform their duty and they always perform it however they please. No matter how you fellowship on the truth with them, they don’t accept it, and even if they do understand a little truth, they don’t put it into practice. There is another main manifestation that they exhibit—what is that? It is that they’ve always performed their duty in a slipshod manner, they are always slipshod, and they stubbornly refuse to repent. They are very attentive, earnest, and rigorous in their own affairs, and dare not neglect them at all. They have thought carefully about their food and clothing, their status, reputation, self-respect, fleshly enjoyments, their illnesses, their future, prospects, retirement, and even matters regarding their own death—they’ve got all the bases covered. When it comes to matters concerning performing their duty, however, they are completely inattentive, much less do they pursue the truth. Some people get sleepy and doze off every time they attend a gathering, and they even feel repulsion when they hear My voice. They feel deeply uneasy, they feel restless, they stretch and yawn, scratch their ears and rub their cheeks. They behave like animals. Some people say, “Sermons last a long time at gatherings, and some people can’t sit still for that long.” In actuality, sometimes the gathering has only just begun and they start fidgeting, and they feel repulsion as they listen. That’s why they never listen to sermons or read God’s words. The moment they hear someone fellowshipping on the truth, they feel repulsion, and they’re sick and tired of seeing people listen with rapt attention. What is the nature essence of such people? They wear human skin; on the outside they are human, but if you peel the skin back, they are devils, not humans. God wants many to be saved, for those with humanity to be saved; He doesn’t want devils to be saved. God does not save devils! You must remember this always and not forget it! You must not associate with any of those who wear the skin of a human but whose nature and essence are that of a devil. If you have not severed all ties with such a person, and you try to please them and flatter them, then you will become Satan’s joke, and God will detest you and say, “You blind fool, you cannot understand anyone!” God does not save devils, understand? (Yes.) God does not save devils, nor does He select devils. Devils can never love the truth, nor pursue the truth, much less submit to God—they can never submit to God. They believe in God not because they love His righteousness and fairness, and not so that they can pursue the attainment of salvation. They express repulsion and contempt for Job’s fear of God and shunning of evil, and in their hearts they feel tremendous repulsion and resistance toward the matter of pursuing the truth. If you don’t believe Me, then just look at those around you who have been sent away and exposed and see what it is that lies within their bones, what they talk about when no one else is listening, what they care about, what their attitude is toward their own life, survival, and the people, events, and things around them, as well as what they say and what views they express. From all of these expressions and outpourings, you can see clearly just what they are, why they are able to leave, and why God’s house wants to clear them out. Isn’t this a lesson worth learning? (Yes, it is.) And what is the lesson you’ve learned? What is it that you’ve understood? (We’ve learned how to be discerning and have understood that, deep within these people’s bones, they do not love the truth and feel averse toward the truth. They just muddle along in God’s house, and sooner or later they’ll be cleared out.) If you see things in this way, then it shows that you have learned the lesson.

Are you able to see how devils and Satan in the spiritual realm feel averse toward the truth and hate the truth? Are you able to see how devils and Satan defy God and blaspheme against God? Are you able to see what words, sayings, and methods devils and Satan use to attack God? Are you able to see what God allows devils and Satan to do, how they do it, and what their attitude is? (No.) You can’t see these things. Therefore, whatever God says is merely an imagining or a picture in your heart; it is not fact. Because you haven’t seen these things yourself, all you can do is rely on your imagination and imagine such a tableau or imagine some kind of deed. However, when you encounter these living devils and Satans wearing human skin, you practically come into contact with the speech and actions of devils and Satans, as well as the facts and evidence of their judging, attacking, defying, and blaspheming of God—you will see with absolute clarity their disposition which is averse to the truth and which hates the truth. These devils and Satans wearing human skin attack God in just the same way as devils and Satan in the spiritual realm attack God; they are completely the same, only the devils and Satans wearing human skin have adopted a different form to attack God—yet their essence remains the same. They wear human skin and change into humans but still they come to judge, attack, defy, and blaspheme against God. The way in which these devils and Satans in the flesh and nonbelievers judge, attack, and defy God, and how they pull down His work and disrupt church work is exactly the way in which devils and Satan in the spiritual realm do all these things. Therefore, when you see how devils and Satans in the world defy God, you are seeing how devils and Satan in the spiritual realm defy God—there is no difference at all. They come from the same source and possess the same nature essence, and that’s why they do the same things. Regardless of what form they take, they all do the same things. These devils and Satans wearing human skin, therefore, defy God and attack God, and exhibit extreme repulsion and resistance toward the truth, because of their nature, and because they cannot help it. Why do I say that they cannot help it? They appear to be human, living together with other humans, eating three square meals a day, studying human education and knowledge, with the same life skills and ways of living that other humans have; however, their inner spirit is not the same as that of other humans, nor is their essence. So, it is the essence, root, and source behind the views they hold and the things they are capable of that dictate what these people are. If they attack God and blaspheme against God, then they are devils, and not humans. In human skin, however good-sounding or correct the things they say are, their nature essence is that of devils. Devils can say things that sound good to mislead people, yet they don’t accept the truth at all, much less do they put it into practice—this is absolutely the case. Look at those evil people and antichrists and at those who defy and betray God—are they not this type of person? They are all capable of saying things which sound good, but they’re not capable of doing anything practical. They can show some respect and say good-sounding things to people with status and power, especially their immediate superiors, but when they come before God, they don’t even show the bare minimum of respect for the incarnate God. If you ask them to handle some matter for God, they really don’t want to, and even if they do it, they do it in a slipshod way. Why are they capable of treating God in this way? Is it the truth that has let them down? Has God let them down? Has God interacted with them before? The answer to these questions is no, and God has never even met them. So how come these people harbor this kind of attitude toward God and the truth? There is one reason, and that is that their nature essence is inherently in opposition to God. That’s why they cannot help but ridicule and blaspheme against God, and despise, judge, and attack God in their hearts, even doing so completely unscrupulously—this is decided by their nature essence. They do these things with hardly any effort, with the words spilling from their mouths, without consideration, unmindfully, these things just naturally pouring out. They can show respect to other people, to people with status and to ordinary people, but they utterly despise God and the truth. What are they? (Devils.) That’s right, they are devils, not humans, regardless of their age. Some people say, “Perhaps they’re just young and they don’t understand things.” You think they’re young and they don’t understand things, but when they go into the world and society and they see older people, they always address them properly. It’s only when they see God that they don’t address Him, saying instead, “Hey,” or “You there,” or just “You.” They don’t address God. They know to respect the old and care for the young in society, and they are civilized and polite. When they come before God, however, they’re not able to do these things and don’t understand how to honor Him. So, what are they? (Devils.) They’re devils, typical devils! They’re able to show respect and be polite to prestigious people in society, to those with status, to those they admire, and even to those from whom they can derive some benefit; it’s just that when they come before God, they show no respect or politeness at all, but instead they immediately resist, openly despising Him, and treating Him with a contemptuous attitude. What are they? They’re devils, typical devils! These nonbelievers, these people who infiltrate their way into God’s house and are then cleared out and struck off, are all this kind of person, one hundred percent. They resist and treat God contemptuously in this way, and when it comes to the duty that God requires people to perform, they even more so pay no heed to it. Regardless of their status in society, how educated they are, or what their age or gender is, their nature essence is the same. When they’re in the world and they encounter an official who asks them to do something, they can’t grovel on the ground and kowtow fast enough. They’re happy and willing to be the official’s slaves and will try to flatter them in the best way they can think of. If they get a handshake or an embrace from a celebrity or a president, they feel honored, and perhaps will never again wash their hands or change their clothes for as long as they live. They feel that these celebrities and great people are higher and greater even than God, and that’s why in their hearts they’re capable of despising God. No matter what God says or what work He does, these people don’t consider it worth mentioning. Not only do they consider it not worth mentioning, they also constantly want to get to work on God’s words and change them, add their own meaning to them, make them entirely accord with what they think—these are all people with problems with their nature essence. Tell Me, is it appropriate to allow these people who are of devils, or these people with the nature essence of devils, to remain in God’s house? (No, it isn’t.) No, it isn’t. They’re not the same as God’s chosen people: God’s chosen people belong to God, whereas these people belong to the devils and Satan.

What kind of people must gather together for them to be called a church? What kind of people are wanted in God’s house, and to what kind of people does God’s house belong? Tell Me. (People who truly believe in God and pursue the truth.) This is a little too severe. From where I’m standing, the lowest limit and minimum standard must be people who are willing to render service. They may have no love for the truth but that doesn’t mean they feel averse toward the truth, they do what God’s house asks them to do without question, and they are obedient and are able to submit. When it comes to the conditions for pursuing the truth, some people may think themselves to be lacking in caliber, they don’t enjoy doing it and are not that interested. They might think that it’s acceptable to listen to a sermon every now and then, and sometimes when they listen to a sermon, they fall asleep, and when they wake they wonder, “What was I just listening to? I’ve forgotten. I’d best get to work. It’s enough for me to just do my work.” They’re not unruly or disruptive, and they work hard at whatever work is arranged for them. They have a real air of sincerity about them and they’re like old workhorses—their owner just tells them to work, and whether it’s turning a millstone, pulling a plow, working in the fields, or pulling a cart, they always have a real air of sincerity about them and can complete tasks without causing any trouble. What is it that they think? “I’m told that I’m a service-doer, so I’ll render service. I’m not worth anything, I’m a lowly nobody. By rendering service for God, He exalts me, and I do not feel wronged at all.” You see, this is the attitude they have. So, people like this should be kept in God’s house. Even though they may have some faults, deficiencies, and bad habits, or they may be lacking in caliber or foolish, I can tolerate and include all these people; it is not a problem, and I give opportunities to these people. What opportunities? Do I give them the opportunity to render service or to attain salvation? Both, of course. As created beings, they’re willing to render service to God, to render service in God’s house, and it is their right to do so. Moreover, with this desire they have, they should be given the opportunity to attain salvation. Yet there are some who say, “But they don’t seek to attain salvation!” If they don’t seek to attain salvation, then that is their business, but at the very least, these people can be shown special favor and given the opportunity to attain salvation, and they have the chance to be saved. What do I mean by “they have the chance”? I mean that their caliber is lacking, they are a bit foolish, they can’t take on very big or important work in the performance of their duties but just do an ordinary duty, they don’t play a very important role in God’s house, they don’t take on any important jobs while God is expanding His work, and they make no great contribution; however, because they have this desire to be willing to render service to God, they are shown special favor and given the chance to be saved—this is the special favor they are granted. God gives many opportunities to every single person. Does God treat people fairly? (Yes.) Because no matter how weak they are, how lacking their caliber is, how foolish they are, they are members of the ordinary and corrupt human race; they just personally don’t pursue the truth very actively, but they’re still right as people. In the end, whether they’re able to gain the truth or attain salvation, as far as God is concerned, He bestows kindness on them and shows them special favor, for these people are made from a completely different mold from those nonbelievers and those devils who oppose God, and they have a different essence. Those people are devils and the enemies of God, whereas these people, despite seeking only to render service and settling for rendering service, have no resistance to God in their hearts. They will never actively attack God, judge God, or blaspheme against God and they harbor a positive and right attitude toward God, that is, they’re willing to render service to God, whether they’re able to attain salvation or not. Then there are some who are a little better than this, and who, during their time rendering service, are able to put some truths into practice as much as they’re able, who actively and positively seek some of the truth principles, and who strive to not go against the principles. This is the desire and the attitude they possess, and so God bestows kindness upon them. God does not treat them unfairly, He just doesn’t give up on them and always gives them opportunities. By the time God’s work comes to an end, if they’ve achieved submission to God and can escape the influence of Satan, then God will lead them into the kingdom—this is the destination they ought to have. God wants to save these people and He will not give up on them; as to how God will do this and fulfill these words, one day you will know. What is God’s attitude toward devils and Satans? (He feels averse toward them.) His attitude is that He feels averse toward them. Needless to say, He feels averse toward them. God uses devils and Satans to render service at the appropriate time and place, in the appropriate situation, and with the appropriate things, and once they have rendered service, they are kicked out without any consideration. Their nature essence which does not pursue the truth and which is averse to the truth is constantly being exposed in all manner of situations. God does not bestow kindness upon them, for God absolutely detests them and is extremely disgusted with them. These foolish people with poor calibers, some of which may even be muddled, however, are willing to render service to God, and they harbor the attitude and the determination of “wishing to render service to God and never regretting it.” In day-to-day life, therefore, God will always forgive their foolishness and tolerate their weakness, as well as protect them and watch over them. What do I mean when I say that God will protect them and watch over them? I mean that God will enlighten them regarding the literal meanings of the few truths they are able to comprehend and allow them to understand the truths they are able to comprehend; God is with them, bestowing peace and joy upon them, and when they encounter temptation, God will arrange suitable environments for them to protect them from it. What are the main temptations? There are many temptations: Marriage, improper relationships between males and females, money, status, fame and profit, reputation, as well as a good job and a good pay package, and so on—these are all temptations. And in what other ways does God protect people? He cures you of sickness to prevent you from suffering, He keeps you from being snared and attacked by evil people, and so on. Moreover, when you encounter some difficulties or some things that appear calamitous, God will arrange some people, events, and things to protect you from these calamities and difficulties, enabling you to smoothly render service to God in His house as you wish until the end—isn’t this a good thing? (Yes, it is.) So, to be able to have everything go smoothly and for everything to go as you wish, what does this come from? (God’s protection.) Correct, it comes from God’s protection, from God watching over you, and from God’s kindness. Those people who are of devils, however, cannot help but do devilish things. They make mistakes in everything they do, and they all harbor evil intentions. It’s normal for them to often fall into temptation; it’s exactly what they need, like a great rock that falls suddenly from the sky, hitting them on the head, crushing them, and then they’re dead. The people who are willing to render service to God will encounter these things, too, but with God’s miraculous protection, this disaster doesn’t befall them, it passes them by, and in their hearts, they say, “God is protecting me, it’s not my time to die!” God is keeping you alive as you are still useful to Him. God gave you your life, and since you’re willing to render service to Him and offer yourself up to Him, why would God not protect you? God will surely protect you. Does God want much from people? (No.) These people who are willing to render service to God actually aren’t very talented and their caliber isn’t that great; they have a limited comprehension of the truth, to the point where they can only understand some words and doctrines and learn to speak like other people do. They simply aren’t able to grasp the truth principles, however, nor can they reach to pursuing the truth or attaining salvation. Their submission to God merely involves doing what they’re told by God’s house, and there is no way they can submit to the truth, that’s all. And so, because they are only ordinary corrupt human beings, and because they’re willing to render service to God, God does not discard them. Therefore, those people who are cleansed away are certainly nothing good. If you really are good people, if you really are people who have been selected by God, if you really have an attitude of submission to God, the desire and attitude to be willing to render service to God and never regret it, then God will absolutely never discard you, but instead will show you kindness. This will be a blessing to you, and God wants people like this. God wants people like this—they don’t pursue the truth and are unable to understand the truth because their caliber is lacking, yet they’re willing to render service to God. The other kind of people God wants are those who wish to pursue the truth, who love the truth, who love fairness and righteousness and positive things, who wish to submit to the truth, and who, once they have understood and comprehended the truth, once they have come to know and grasp the truth, are then able to obey, submit, and practice in accordance with the truth. Furthermore, these people have the determination to pursue the truth and attain salvation, and they have never doubted God. These people are, of course, those whom God loves and wishes to save. Are you able to meet this standard, however? And what will you do if you’re not able to meet it? At the very least, your attitude toward God and the truth must not be that of the devils and Satan, you must at least draw close to God’s standard of approval and must be willing to render service to God. If you consistently set yourself in opposition to God, act contrary to God, and if you’re always attacking God and blaspheming against Him in your heart, then you will find yourself in a troublesome and dangerous situation. You should be clear in your heart about what attitude you hold toward God, and you should categorize yourself according to the different types of people I’ve been talking about here.

Pursuing the truth is very important, but that doesn’t mean that if people don’t pursue the truth, then they cannot make it to the end of the road; that is not for definite. All people are created beings, and as long as they are not devils or Satans, then they will not actively attack God, or actively attack and blaspheme against God in clear awareness. Therefore, God is fair and reasonable to ordinary corrupt mankind, and He gives them all the chance to attain salvation. While man experiences attaining salvation, God is kind to them, He protects them, and looks after them. So, what is God’s attitude toward those people who are devils and Satans? They see God as their enemy and continually judge, attack, and blaspheme against God, destroy His work, and never know to repent. If they interact with other people, they will have some they get along well with, but only when they come before God, they don’t get along with Him at all, not for one minute or one second; they cannot work with God or coexist with Him or reach a consensus with Him on anything, and this shows that they are standard devils and Satans. God absolutely does not tolerate such people, and God’s house absolutely does not keep such people. When one is discovered, they are cleared out; when a pair is discovered, they are cleared out; however many are exposed, that is how many are removed—the day they are exposed is the day they’re finished. You see, when good people are promoted and put to some important use, that is when they are perfected, blessed, and they reap the greatest harvest; when evil people and devils are promoted and put to use, they are naturally exposed and cast out, and their last day has arrived. Think of those around you who were exposed, cast out or cleared out recently or early on, and those who finally had their names delisted. It was when they reached the peak of their “career” in God’s house that they were cast out, their last day had arrived, and a giant period mark was written against their life of faith in God. The nonbelievers come and go in the church and can’t find a suitable place for themselves, nor can they perform any duty. The moment they commit some evil act, they are exposed, and their last day has arrived. Devils like to do big things and make a name for themselves, and the day they are reveling the most in glory is their final day. Why do I say this? Do you know? This is how things are. It is when they are reveling the most in glory that they are the most complacent, and isn’t it when they are the most complacent that they are most likely to forget themselves? (Yes.) When they have no success and no glory, these devils keep their heads down. But just because I say they keep their heads down, that doesn’t mean they’re able to practice the truth, only that they do things very carefully and cautiously, always with a guarded heart and not a God-fearing heart. The moment they see an opportunity, or they find themselves with some power and status, able to command the wind and rain to do their bidding, they become complacent and forget themselves, thinking, “My time has come. It is now time for me to put forth my abilities and strengths and bring my capabilities into play!” And they jump into action. What is the motivation behind their actions and what is the source of their actions? Where do the motivation and source of their actions spring from? They spring from devils, from Satan, and from their wild ambitions and desires. Under such circumstances, can the things they do accord with the principles of the truth? Can they have a God-fearing heart while they do things? Can they handle matters in accordance with what God’s house requires? The answer to all these questions is no, they can’t. And what are the consequences? (They cause disruptions and disturbances.) That’s right, the consequences are that they cause severe disruptions and disturbances, and even cause severe disturbances and losses to God’s house and to church work. So then, in line with the principles of how to handle people in God’s house, how should people who bring about such consequences to the work of the church be handled? If the matter is a minor one, they should be replaced, and if the matter is a serious one, then they should be cleared out. When someone is promoted and put to some important use, or they are arranged to do some work, God’s house will always clearly fellowship with them on the principles of doing work. Many principles and details are told to that person, and it is only when they have understood and comprehended, and they have written it all down, that the handover is considered complete. When they should do some work and perform their duty, however, they set to it with their devil’s claws exposed and the devil they truly are begins to appear. They don’t do things in line with the principles required by God’s house at all, but instead do things completely as they themselves want, doing things however they like, however they wish. No one can control them, and they don’t listen to anyone, thinking, “God’s house, God, and the truth can all stand aside! Here, I’m calling the shots!” This is how devils do things, and it is the attitude devils have toward duty and toward the truth. If you have such an attitude toward the truth, then you will be exposed. If you take the work of God’s house and your duty as trifling matters and you don’t do things according to the principles God’s house has enjoined you to follow, then you will not be treated courteously. God’s house has principles with which it handles people; those who should be dismissed from their post are dismissed, and those who should be cleared out are cleared out, and that’s all there is to say about it. Isn’t that so? Isn’t this what God’s house does? And isn’t this how those devils are revealed? And isn’t this their motivation for doing things, the source of their actions, and the way they do things? (Yes.) By handling them in this way, is God’s house treating them unjustly? (No.) Is it an appropriate way to handle them? (Yes.) It really is so appropriate! A normal person accepts their duty, receives a promotion, and is put to some important use. They carry out their work according to their own abilities and caliber and, to a greater or lesser extent, in accordance with the work principles they understand, or which God’s house has enjoined them to follow. Despite the fact that they often reveal corrupt dispositions, this does not impact the normal performance of their duty. No matter what difficulties they encounter, what incorrect state they find themselves in, or what disruption they endure, in the end they will achieve some positive results in the performance of their duty, and these results are acceptable to all. Those nonbelievers, however, regardless of how long they have been performing their duty for, never achieve any positive results. They always do bad things and try to ruin things, and this not only affects church work, but it also harms the church’s interests, creating a foul atmosphere around their work and making a mess of it. If one devil disrupts and ruins some work, there must be many people behind the scenes doing the work over again from scratch, wasting the human and financial resources of God’s house, and making many of God’s chosen people wrathful. Once the devil has been removed, the work of the church immediately takes on a bright new look, and the results of the work are different. The devil that caused disruptions and disturbances is banned, people come to have a free and liberated mentality, work efficiency is increased, and everyone performs their duties normally. Therefore, these people who are of devils and Satan appear to be people from the outside and, regardless of how old they are or how educated, so long as they are evil people, then they can perform evil acts, and they play the role of devils and Satan corrupting and disturbing people. For example, you’re making a pot of chicken soup which everyone is looking forward to eating, when suddenly a fly lands in the soup. Tell Me, can this chicken soup still be eaten? There’s nothing for it, you just have to tip it away, and two or three hours of work is wasted. You then have to wash the pot several times, and even after you’ve washed it, it still doesn’t seem clean to you, and you’re left feeling a trace of disgust. What disturbed you? (The fly.) Although the fly is very small, its defiled essence is so disgusting. These people who are of devils are like flies. They find their way into the church and cause severe disruption to the normal order of church life, and they disturb the normal progression of church work. So, do you now have a clear understanding of these people who are of devils? Trying to get them to render some service and perform their duty well is harder than trying to get a cow to climb a tree; it’s like trying to get a duck to sit on a perch. The hardest thing is trying to get devils and Satans to practice the truth, as is trying to get nonbelievers to loyally perform their duty. This is just how things are. If you come across people who are of Satan and nonbelievers, and you need to ask them to help you do something temporarily, then that’s fine. But if you arrange for them to perform some duty or do some work, then you’re being blind and you’re being played for a fool. Especially if you ask them to do some important work, then you’re being even more foolish. If you really can’t find anyone suitable to help you with something and so you ask them for help, then it’s fine to ask them to do something, but you must keep an eye on them and not brush the matter aside. People like that are totally unreliable; because they are not human, but are devils, they are totally unreliable. So now, glance around at the people in charge of teams or team leaders, and at those who perform key duties and important work and see if they are such things as these devils. If you can replace them, then replace them as soon as you can; if you can’t replace them as there is no one suitable there to take their place, then keep a close watch on them, supervise and follow them closely. You must not give devils and Satans the chance to cause disturbances. A devil will always be a devil, they have no humanity, and they have no conscience and reason—you must remember this always! Nonbelievers are all of devils and Satan, and you must not believe them! Let’s stop fellowshipping on this topic here.

When we fellowshipped on how to pursue the truth before, we talked about two things. What was the first one? (Letting go.) One of them was letting go. What about the other one? (Dedicating.) Dedicating. We talked about the first one, “letting go,” three times. What did we fellowship on last time? (Last time, God dissected the reasons why the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry arise in people from the perspective of the difficulties they face, and their attitude toward God’s work and the truth.) There are many reasons why the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry can arise, but in general they are caused by the objective reason that people do not understand the truth. This is one reason. There is another reason, and that is the primary reason that people do not pursue the truth. When people don’t understand or pursue the truth, and they have no true faith in God, then they don’t truly submit, and that’s why all manner of negative emotions naturally arise in them. In day-to-day life, because of the practical difficulties people experience in their lives and all the different problems they encounter in their thinking, they end up feeling all manner of negative emotions in their objective environments. In particular, the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry which we spoke about last time, all arise because people face all kinds of difficulties and problems related to their fleshly lives. Because when people encounter these problems they don’t seek the truth or believe what God says, much less do they seek the truth they should understand and practice in God’s words, which would allow them to let go of their wrong views, their wrong thoughts and views about these matters, as well as let go of their incorrect ways of handling and approaching these things, the days go by, time passes, and the various difficulties that people face in daily life generate all manner of thoughts that disturb and constrain them deep within their hearts. Unbeknownst to them, these thoughts cause feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry to arise concerning their fleshly lives and all the different issues they face. In fact, when people haven’t yet come before God or they have no understanding of the truth, these issues will cause feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry to arise in every single person to a varying degree—it is unavoidable. For those who live in the flesh, anything that happens to them will cause a certain disturbance and impact to their lives and their thoughts. When this disturbance and impact become more than they can endure and bear, or when their instincts, abilities, and social status are insufficient to hold them up or to solve or dispel these difficulties, distress, anxiety, and worry will naturally arise deep in their hearts and gather there, and these feelings will become their normal state. Fretting about various things such as one’s future prospects, food, drink, and marriage, one’s future survival or health, one’s old age, and one’s status and reputation in society is a condition shared by all mankind upon the basis of man not understanding the truth and not believing in God. However, once people come to believe in God, when they understand a little truth, their resolve to pursue the truth will keep getting stronger. In this way, the practical difficulties and problems they encounter will gradually diminish, and the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry will gradually weaken and abate—this is very natural. This is because, after people have read many of God’s words and come to understand some truth in their belief in God, they will always weigh up and approach the essence, the origin, and the source of the issues they encounter throughout their lives in accordance with God’s words. In the final analysis, they will ultimately come to understand that their fate and all these things they experience in their lives are in God’s hands, and so will understand from a general perspective that all of this is under the sovereignty of God, and none of it is up to them. Therefore, the simplest thing for people to do is to submit—submit to the arrangements and sovereignty of Heaven. They shouldn’t struggle against their fate, but instead, when they encounter any matter, they should always positively and actively seek God’s will and from there find the most appropriate way to resolve the issue—this is a most basic thing people should understand. That is to say, after people come to believe in God, because of the truths they understand and because they basically submit to God, their distress, anxiety, and worry gradually abate. This means that these emotions will not be able to vex them so grievously anymore, or make them feel confused, or bewildered, or that their future is bleak and uncertain, thereby often causing them to feel distressed, anxious, and worried about these things. On the contrary, because they have come to believe in God and understand some truth, and to have some discernment and understanding of all manner of things in life, or to have a more appropriate way to handle these things, their negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry will gradually abate. However, although you have believed in God for many years and have listened to many sermons, your negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry have still not been eliminated or weakened—that is to say, your attitude concerning how you viewed people and things and comported yourself and acted, and your thoughts and views, and the way you handled things before you came to believe in God have not changed—meaning that after you came to believe in God, you didn’t accept the truth or gain the truth or use the truth to resolve these issues after reading God’s words and listening to sermons, thereby resolving these negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. If you never seek the truth to resolve these negative emotions, doesn’t this show that you have a problem? (Yes.) What problem does it show? You have been a believer in God for many years and still feel that your future looks totally bleak and gloomy. You still often feel empty and helpless in your heart, and you still often feel lost and that you have no way forward. You don’t know where your life is headed, and you still feel like you are groping in the fog, without a path, without a direction to move forward. What does this mean? At the very least it means that you haven’t gained the truth, right? And if you haven’t gained the truth, what is it you’ve been doing all these years? Have you been pursuing the truth? (No.) If, while you’ve been giving things up, expending yourself, and performing your duties, you haven’t been pursuing the truth and haven’t been using the truth to resolve practical problems, what have you been doing all this time? (Idling and muddling along.) There are many people who perform their duty in a slipshod way, and these people are actually rendering service. Service-doers settle for being able to perform their duties, pay some price, and suffer a little, but they don’t pursue the truth. That’s why, after believing in God for many years, they haven’t changed at all. These people are actually service-doers and, if we say what used to be said, we can say they are engaging in religious activities. Take a look at those religious activities in the religious world—on Sundays people go to worship and hold gatherings, and ordinarily they pray in the mornings, say grace, give thanks for everything, bless people with their prayers, and when they see other people they say, “God blesses you, God protects you.” When they see a likely candidate, they preach the gospel and read a passage from the Bible to them. The better ones go clean the church, and when a preacher comes, they enthusiastically put them up in their homes; when they encounter elderly people with difficulties in their lives, they help them out, and take pleasure in helping them. Are these not all religious activities? Eating Easter eggs at Easter, celebrating Christmas and singing Christmas hymns—these are the activities they engage in. Your activities now are done somewhat more frequently than those done by religious people. Many of you leave your homes and perform your duties full-time. You perform your spiritual devotions in the morning, some church work in the daytime, you go to regular gatherings and read God’s words, and before you go to bed in the evening, you pray to God and ask Him to protect you, to grant you a sound night’s sleep and to keep bad dreams away, and then you do it all again the next day. Your everyday lives are exceptionally regular, yet they are exceptionally insipid and dull. You gain nothing and understand nothing for a long time, and you never reflect on or recognize these most basic of negative emotions, nor have you ever unearthed them or resolved them. In your free time, or when you encounter something that isn’t to your liking in your duty, or you get a message from home saying your parents are unwell, or something unfortunate happens back home, you no longer feel like performing your duty and you become weak for several days. While you are feeling weak, those negative emotions that have been collecting inside you for a long time burst forth again. You think about them day and night, and they follow you like shadows. There are even some who have the thoughts and views they harbored before they believed in God suddenly burst forth again when they’re feeling weak and negative, and they think, “Maybe it would have been better if I had gone to college, if I had studied some major, and found a good job—I could even have gotten married by now. My classmate so-and-so seemed like nothing special when we were at school together, but after school they went to college. They were promoted after they got a job, and now they have the perfect happy home life. They have a car and a house, and they live a wonderful life.” When they think these things and slide into these negative states, all manner of negative emotions burst forth all at once. They think of home, of their mothers, they pine for how things used to be, and good things, bad things, hurtful things, happy things, and unforgettable things all flood their minds, and as they think of all these things, they become sorrowful, and tears roll from their eyes. What does all this show? It shows that the way you used to live and the way you used to conduct your life can arise from time to time and disturb your current life and the state of your life right now. These things can even dominate the way you live your life now and your life attitude, as well as your views on things. They constantly disturb and dominate your life. This is not intentional on your part, but rather it is a case of you naturally becoming mired in these negative emotions. You may think now that you don’t have these emotions, but only because the right time and environment have not arrived. As soon as the right time and environment arrive, then at any time and place you can slide into just these same emotions. Now, when you slide into these emotions, you are in danger, in danger of falling back into your original way of living at any time and place and falling under the domination of your original thoughts and views—this is very dangerous. This danger can strip you of your chance and hope to attain salvation at any time and place, and at any time and place it can carry you away from the path of faith in God. Therefore, regardless of how strong your resolve and desire to perform your duty is now, or how profound and lofty you think the truths are that you understand, or how great your stature is, as long as your thoughts do not change, as long as your outlook on life does not change, as long as the way you live your life does not change, and as long as your desire for what you want in life does not change—all of which are under the direction of these emotions—then you will be in danger at all times and in all places; when you can be devoured, overwhelmed, and carried off by these thoughts and views at any time and place, then you are in danger. Therefore, don’t make light of these negative emotions. At any moment and in any place, they can strip you of your chance to attain salvation and destroy your chance to be saved, and this is not a small matter.

All of man’s negative emotions are caused by their various wrong thoughts, wrong views, wrong ways of living, and wrong satanic life philosophies. There are also some things that happen in your real lives, in particular, at times when you’re unable to clearly comprehend the essence of these things, you can very easily become frightened and hemmed in by how these things appear, and can very easily slip into confusion, thereby falling back into old ways of living; you will unconsciously protect yourself, abandon God, abandon the truth, and use your own methods and the ways you believe to be the most traditional and reliable to seek a way out, search for how to live, and look for the hope to go on living. Although, on the surface, these negative emotions present as just emotions, and if we describe these emotions in words, then they seem understated when taken literally and are not so serious, some people cling tightly to these negative emotions and won’t let them go, as though clinging to a straw that will save their lives, and they are tightly bound and fettered by these things. In fact, their being bound by these negative emotions is really caused by the various ways upon which man relies for their survival, as well as their various thoughts and views that dominate them, and their various attitudes toward life and living. Therefore, even though the feelings of depression, distress, anxiety, worry, inferiority, hatred, anger and so on are all negative, people still think these things can be relied upon, and only when they slip down into these emotions do they feel secure, and feel that they’ve found themselves and that they exist. In actuality, that people become mired in these emotions moves in the opposite direction from and strays far from the truth, as well as from the correct ways of thinking, the correct thoughts and views, and the correct attitude toward and views on things which God tells them to have. No matter what negative emotion you are experiencing, the more deeply you sink into it, the more bound by it you will be; the more bound by it you are, the more you will feel the need to protect yourself; the more you feel the need to protect yourself, the more you will hope to be stronger and to be more capable and competent to win opportunities to live and find various ways of living to surmount the world, claim victory over all the difficulties you face in the world, and overcome all of life’s difficulties and hardships. The more you slip down into these emotions, the more you actually want to control or resolve all the difficulties you come across in life. Isn’t that so? (Yes, it is.) So then, how do these thoughts of man arise? Let’s take marriage as an example. You feel distressed, anxious, and worried about marriage, but what exactly is the issue behind all of this? What are you worried about? Where does this worry come from? It comes from you not knowing that this marriage is arranged and ruled by fate, and that it is arranged and ruled by Heaven. Not knowing this, you always want to decide things for yourself, to plan, propose, and plot, thinking repeatedly such things as: “What kind of partner should I look for? How tall should they be? What should they look like? What kind of personality should they have? How educated should they be? What kind of family should they come from?” The more thorough your plans, the more you fret, isn’t that so? The higher your requirements get and the more requirements you have, the more you fret, right? And the harder it becomes to find a partner, yes? (Yes.) When you don’t know if someone is suitable for you or not, the greater your difficulties become, and the greater your difficulties become, the more severe your feelings of distress and anxiety become, right? The more severe your feelings of distress and anxiety become, the more these emotions get you into a tangle. So, how do you resolve this problem? Say you understand the essence of marriage, and that you understand the correct way forward and direction to go—what then is the correct approach to take to marriage? You say, “Marriage is a great event in life, and no matter what people choose, it has all been predestined long ago. God long ago ordained and arranged who your spouse would be and what they’d be like. People mustn’t be too hasty or rely on their imaginations, much less on their preferences. Relying on one’s imaginations and preferences and being too hasty are all manifestations of ignorance and do not accord with reality. People mustn’t allow their fancies to run wild, and all imagining is at odds with reality. The most practical thing to do is to let things take their natural course and await the person whom God has arranged for you.” So, with this theory and this practical understanding as your foundation, how should you practice regarding this matter? You should have faith, await God’s time, and await God’s arrangement. If God arranges a suitable partner for you in this life, then they will appear at the right time, in the right place, and in the right environment. It will happen when conditions are ripe, and all you have to do is be the one who cooperates with this matter at such a time, and in such a place and environment. The only thing you can do is wait—wait for this time, wait for this place, wait for this environment, wait for this person to appear, wait for all of this to take place, being neither active nor passive, but rather just waiting for all these things to happen and arrive. What do I mean by “wait”? I mean having a submissive attitude, being neither active nor passive; this attitude is a seeking and submissive attitude, without importunity. Once you have adopted this kind of attitude, will you still feel distressed, anxious, and worried about marriage? (No.) Your individual plans, imaginings, wishes, predilections, and all your ignorant thinking that is at odds with the facts disappear. Your heart is then calm, and you feel no more negative emotions about the matter of marriage. You feel relaxed, liberated, and free regarding this matter, and you let things take their natural course. Once you come to have the correct attitude, everything you do and everything you express becomes rational and appropriate. The emotions that are manifested from within your normal humanity naturally cannot be distress, anxiety, and worry, but rather they are peaceful and stable. The emotions are not depressing or radical—you just wait. Your only way of practice and attitude regarding this matter in your heart is to wait and to submit: “I wish to submit to all that God arranges for me. I have no personal requirements or plans.” Haven’t you then let go of these negative emotions? And isn’t it so that these emotions will not arise? Even if you did feel them, wouldn’t you then gradually let them go? So, what kind of process is the process of letting go of these negative emotions? Is it a manifestation of pursuing the truth? It shows that you are both pursuing and practicing the truth. The end result achieved through pursuing the truth is that of practicing the truth—it is implemented through practicing the truth. When you attain the level of practicing the truth, your distress, anxiety, and worry will no longer follow you like shadows; they will have been thoroughly removed from your innermost heart. Is the process of removing these emotions the process of letting go? (Yes.) Practicing the truth is this simple. Is it easy? Practicing the truth is a transformation of thoughts and views and, even more so, it is a transformation of one’s attitude toward things. To let go of a simple negative emotion, one must practice and achieve these processes. First undergo a transformation of one’s thoughts and views, then a transformation of one’s attitude to practice, before then undergoing a transformation of the way one practices, one’s principles of practice, and one’s path of practice. Won’t you then have let that negative emotion go? It’s this simple. The ultimate result you achieve through “letting go” is that you are no longer disturbed, perplexed, and controlled by this negative emotion, and at the same time you are no longer haunted by all manner of negative thoughts and views caused by this negative emotion. In this way, you will live feeling relaxed, free, and liberated. Of course, feeling relaxed, free, and liberated are just human feelings—the real benefit people truly gain is that they come to understand the truth. The basis of man’s existence is the truth and the words of God. If people rely on their imaginings to live within various negative emotions for self-protection, if they rely on themselves and rely on their own abilities, means, and methods to safeguard themselves, and they walk their own path, then they will have strayed from the truth and from God, and will naturally come to live under the power of Satan. Therefore, when you’re faced with these same difficulties and situations, you should have understanding in your heart, and will naturally think, “I don’t need to worry about these things. There’s no point in worrying. People who are intelligent and wise will rely on God and will entrust all these things to God, submit to His sovereignty, await all the things God arranges, and await the time, place, person, or thing that God arranges. What man should and can do is only to cooperate and submit—this is the most sensible choice.” Of course, if you don’t do this and practice in this way, then everything that God arranges will still happen in the end—no person, no event, and no situation can be changed by the will of man. The distress, anxiety, and worry of man are just a meaningless sacrifice, and they are just the foolish thoughts and ignorant manifestations of man. No matter how profound or severe your feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry, or how thoroughly you think over a matter, it is all useless in the end and must be discarded. The final facts and results cannot be changed by the will of man. Man must live under the sovereignty and arrangements of God in the end; no one can change these things, and no one can break free of all these things. Isn’t that so? (Yes.)

Let’s talk now about sickness. When it comes to this old flesh of man’s, it doesn’t matter what sickness people get, whether they can get better, or to what degree they suffer, none of it is up to them—it is all in God’s hands. If, when you get sick, you submit to God’s orchestrations, and you’re willing to endure and accept this fact, then you will still have this illness; if you don’t accept this fact, you still won’t be able to get rid of this sickness—this is a fact. You can face your sickness positively for a day, or face it negatively for a day. That is, regardless of your attitude, you cannot change the fact that you are sick. What choice do intelligent people make? And what choice do foolish people make? Foolish people will choose to live in feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry. They will even become mired in these feelings and will not wish to climb back out. They listen to no advice they’re given, and wonder, “Oh, how did I get this sickness? Was it caused by tiredness? Was it caused by worry? Or was it caused by inhibition?” Every day, they wonder how they got sick and when it started, thinking, “Why didn’t I notice it? How could I be so stupid and perform my duty so honestly? Other people get a physical checkup every year, and at least have their blood pressure tested and have an X-ray taken. How did I not realize that I should go have a physical checkup? Other people live so carefully. How come I live so obtusely? I got this sickness and didn’t even know it. Oh, I must get treatment for this sickness! What treatment can I get?” They then go online and search for how they got this illness, what caused it, how to treat it with Chinese medicine, how to treat it with Western medicine, and what folk remedies there are—they search for all these things. Afterward, they take Chinese medicine and then Western medicine at home, always feeling serious, anxious, and impatient about having gotten sick, and over time, they stop performing their duty, they fling their faith in God away, they stop believing, and they think only of how to cure their sickness; their duty is now curing their sickness. They are consumed by their sickness, they feel distressed every day about having gotten sick, and when they see anyone, they say, “Oh, I got this sickness in this way. Let what is happening to me be a lesson to you, and when you get sick you must go and get checked out and get treatment. Taking care of your health is most important. You must be savvy, and you mustn’t live too obtusely.” They say these things to everyone they come across. By getting sick, they have this experience and learn this lesson. Once they’re sick, they’re careful when eating and careful when walking along, and they learn how to take care of their own health. In the end, they reach a conclusion: “People have to rely on themselves to take care of their own health. I haven’t paid much attention to looking after my health these last few years, and the moment I took my eye off the ball, I got this illness. Luckily, I caught it early. If I’d found it later, I’d be done for. It would be so unlucky to get sick and die at a young age. I haven’t yet been able to enjoy life, there are so many good things to eat that I haven’t yet eaten, and so many fun places I haven’t yet been to!” They get sick and draw this conclusion. They get sick but don’t die, and they believe themselves to be clever and that they caught the sickness in time. They never say that this is all down to God’s sovereignty and predestined by Him, and that if someone is not supposed to die, then no matter how severely they’re struck with sickness, they still cannot die, and that if someone is supposed to die, then they will die even without getting sick—they don’t understand this. They believe their sickness has made them clever, when in fact they go too far with their “cleverness” and they are too foolish. When people who pursue the truth encounter sickness, will they become mired in feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry? (No.) What approach will they take toward sickness? (First, they are able to submit, and then, while they are sick, they seek to understand God’s will and reflect on what corrupt dispositions they have.) Can these few words resolve the problem? If all they do is reflect, will they not still need to treat their sickness? (They will also seek treatment.) Yes, if it’s a sickness that should be treated, a major illness, or an illness that could get worse if you don’t seek treatment for it, then it must be treated—this is what intelligent people do. When foolish people are not sick, they always worry, “Oh, could I be sick? And if I am sick, will it get worse? Will I get that sickness? And if I do get that sickness, will I die a premature death? Will it be very painful when I die? Will I live a happy life? If I get that sickness, then should I make arrangements for my death and enjoy life as soon as possible?” Foolish people will often feel distressed, anxious, and worried about things like this. They never seek the truth or seek the truths they should understand in this matter. Intelligent people, however, have some understanding of and insight into this matter either when someone else gets sick or when they themselves are not yet sick. So, what understanding and insight should they have? First of all, will sickness pass someone by because they feel distressed, anxious, and worried? (No.) Tell Me, is it not already fated when someone will get sick with some illness, what their health will be like at a certain age, and whether they will contract some major or serious illness? It is, and that’s for certain, let Me tell you. We won’t discuss now how God predestines things for you; people’s appearance, facial features, body shape and their date of birth are clearly known to all. Those unbelieving diviners, astrologers, and those who can read the stars and people’s palms, can tell from people’s palms, faces, and birth dates when they will have a disaster, and when they will encounter some misfortune—these things have already been determined. So, when someone gets sick, it may seem as though it has been caused by exhaustion, feelings of anger, or because they live poorly and lack nutrition—it may seem like this on the surface. This situation applies to everyone, so why do some people in the same age group get this illness, while others don’t? Is it fated to be like this? (Yes.) In layman’s terms, it is fated. How do we say it in words that accord with the truth? All this comes under the sovereignty and arrangements of God. Therefore, irrespective of what your food, drink, accommodation, and living environment are like, they have nothing to do with when you will get sick or what sickness will afflict you. People who don’t believe in God always look for reasons from an objective standpoint and always emphasize the causes of the sickness, saying, “You have to exercise more, and eat more vegetables and less meat.” Is that truly the case? People who never eat any meat can still get high blood pressure and diabetes just the same, and vegetarians can still have high cholesterol. Medical science has not provided an accurate or reasonable explanation for these things. Let Me tell you, all the different foods God has created for man are foods which man is supposed to eat; just don’t eat them to excess, but instead eat them in moderation. It is necessary to learn how to take care of your health, but always wanting to study how to prevent illness is wrong. As we just said, what someone’s health will be like at a certain age and whether they will contract a major illness is all arranged by God. Unbelievers don’t believe in God and they go looking for someone to see these things in palms, in birth dates, and in faces, and they believe these things. You believe in God and often listen to sermons and fellowships on the truth, so if you don’t believe this, then you are nothing but a nonbeliever. If you truly believe that everything is in God’s hands, then you should believe that these things—serious illnesses, major illnesses, minor illnesses, and health—all fall under the sovereignty and arrangements of God. The emergence of a serious illness and what someone’s health will be like at a certain age are not things that happen by accident, and to understand this is to have a positive and accurate understanding. Does this accord with the truth? (Yes.) It accords with the truth, it is the truth, you should accept this, and your attitude and views on this matter should be transformed. And what is resolved once these things are transformed? Are your feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry not resolved? At the very least, your negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry about sickness are resolved in theory. Because your understanding has transformed your thoughts and views, it therefore resolves your negative emotions. This is one aspect: Whether or not someone will get sick, what serious illness they will get, and what their health will be like at each stage of life cannot be changed by the will of man, but rather are all predestined by God. Some people say, “So is it okay if I don’t want to get sick? Is it okay if I want to ask God to take sickness from me? Is it okay if I want to ask God to steer me clear of this disaster and misfortune?” What do you think? Are these things okay? (No.) You say this with such certainty, but no one is able to understand these things clearly. Perhaps someone is loyally performing their duty and has the determination to pursue the truth, and they are so very important for some work in God’s house, and God perhaps takes this serious illness that affects their duty, their work, and their physical energy and strength away from them, as God will take responsibility for His work. But is there such a person as this? Who is like this? You don’t know, do you? There are perhaps people like this. If there really were people like this, then wouldn’t God be able to take away their illness or misfortune with just one word? Wouldn’t God be able to do it with just a thought? God’s thought would be: “This person will encounter an illness in a particular month at this age. They are now so busy with their work, so they will not get this sickness. They do not need to experience this sickness. Let it pass them by.” There is no reason why this shouldn’t happen, and it would require only a word from God, right? But who could receive such a blessing? Whosoever truly possesses such determination and loyalty and can truly serve this function in God’s work, that is for whom it is possible to receive such a blessing. This isn’t the topic we need to talk about, so we won’t talk about it right now. We’re talking about sickness; this is something most people will experience during their lifetime. Therefore, the kind of sickness that will afflict people’s bodies at what time or at what age and what their health will be like are all things arranged by God and people cannot decide these things for themselves; just like the time when someone is born, they are not able to decide it for themselves. So, is it not foolish to feel distressed, anxious, and worried about things you cannot decide for yourself? (Yes.) People should set about resolving the things they can resolve themselves, and for those things they cannot do themselves, they should wait for God; people should submit silently and ask God to protect them—this is the mindset people should have. When illness really does strike and death really is near, then people should submit and not complain or rebel against God or say things that blaspheme against God or things that attack Him. Instead, people should stand as created beings and experience and appreciate all that comes from God—they should not try to choose things for themselves. This should be a special experience that enriches your life, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, right? Therefore, when it comes to illness, people should first resolve their wrong thoughts and views concerning the origin of the illness, and then they will no longer worry about this; moreover, people have no right to control known or unknown things, nor are they capable of controlling them, as all these things are under the sovereignty of God. The attitude and principle of practice people should have are to wait and submit. From understanding to practice, all should be done in line with the truth principles—this is to pursue the truth.

Some people are always worrying about their illness, saying, “Will I be able to endure it if my illness gets worse? If my condition deteriorates, will it take my life? Will I need to have an operation? And if I have an operation, will I die on the operating table? I have submitted. Will God take my life because of this illness?” What’s the point in thinking these things? If you can’t help but think these things, then you should pray to God. It’s no good relying on yourself, you will certainly be unable to endure it. No one wants to have to endure sickness, and no one beams with smiles, feels overjoyed and celebrates when they get sick. There is no one like this because that is not normal humanity. When normal people get sick, they will always suffer and feel down, and they have a limit to what they can endure. There’s one thing to note, however: If people always thought to depend on their own strength when sick to rid themselves of their sickness and escape it, what would the end result be? As well as their sickness, wouldn’t they suffer and feel down even more? That’s why the more people find themselves enveloped in sickness, the more they should seek the truth, and the more they should seek the way to practice to be in accordance with God’s will. The more people are enveloped in sickness, the more they should come before God and know their own corruption and the unreasonable demands they make of God. The more enveloped in sickness you are, the more your true submission is tested. Therefore, when you are sick, your ability to continue to submit to God’s orchestrations and rebel against your own complaints and unreasonable demands shows that you are someone who truly pursues the truth and truly submits to God, that you bear testimony, that your loyalty and submission to God are real and can pass the test, and that your loyalty and submission to God are not just slogans and doctrine. This is what people ought to practice when they get sick. When you get sick, it is to reveal all your unreasonable demands and your unrealistic imaginings and notions about God, and it is also to test your faith in God and submission to Him. If you pass the test with these things, then you have true testimony and real evidence of your faith in God, your loyalty to God, and your submission to Him. This is what God wants, and it is what a created being should possess and live out. Are these things not all positive? (They are.) These are all things which people should pursue. Moreover, if God allows you to get sick, can He not also take your sickness from you at any time and place? (He can.) God can take your sickness from you at any time and place, so can He not also cause your sickness to persist in you and never leave you? (He can.) And if God causes this same sickness to never leave you, can you still perform your duty? Can you keep your faith in God? Is this not a test? (It is.) If you get sick and then recover after several months, then your faith in God, and your loyalty and submission to Him are not tested, and you have no testimony. It’s easy to endure sickness for a few months, but if your sickness persists for two or three years, and your faith and your wish to be submissive and loyal to God do not change, but instead grow more real, does this not show that you have grown in life? Do you not reap this harvest? (Yes.) So, while someone who truly pursues the truth is sick, they undergo and personally experience the myriad benefits brought by their sickness. They do not anxiously try to escape their sickness or worry what the outcome will be if their sickness drags on, what problems it will cause, whether it will get worse, or whether they will die—they don’t worry about such things. As well as not worrying about such things, they are able to enter positively, and to have true faith in God, and be truly submissive and loyal to Him. By practicing in this way, they come to have testimony, and this also greatly benefits their life entry and dispositional change, and it builds a solid foundation for their attainment of salvation. How wonderful that is! Furthermore, sickness can be major or it can be minor, but whether major or minor it always refines people. Having undergone some illness, people do not lose their faith in God, they are submissive and do not complain, their behavior is basically acceptable, and they then reap some harvest after the sickness is gone and feel very pleased—this is what happens when people encounter an ordinary illness. They are not sick for long and are able to endure it, and the sickness basically falls within the scope of that which they can endure. There are some illnesses, however, which, despite getting better after receiving treatment for a while, come back again and get worse. This happens time after time, until finally the illness reaches such a degree that it can no longer be treated, and all the means available to modern medicine are of no avail. What degree does the illness reach? It reaches the degree whereby the afflicted person can die anywhere and at any moment. What does this signify? It signifies that that person’s life is limited. It’s not a time when they are not sick and death is distant and there is no sense of it, but rather the person senses that the day of their death is nigh, and they are facing death. Facing death heralds the arrival of the hardest, most crucial time in a person’s life. So what do you do? Those who feel distressed, anxious, and worried will feel constantly anxious, distressed, and worried about their death, until finally the hardest moment in their life arrives and the thing they are anxious, distressed, and worried about finally becomes a fact. The more they fear death, the closer death comes and the less they want to face death so soon, and yet death unexpectedly makes a surprise attack on them. What are they to do? Do they try to flee death, reject death, oppose death, complain about it, or do they try to make a bargain with God? Which of these methods will work? None of them will work, and their distress and anxiety are useless. What is the saddest thing when they reach the moment of their death? They used to love eating red braised pork, but over the last few years they haven’t eaten it very much, and have suffered tremendously and are at the end of their life. They think of red braised pork and want to eat it again, but their health is not up to it, and they cannot eat it, it’s too greasy. They used to love making themselves look attractive and getting dressed up. Now they’re about to die, and all they can do is gaze upon their closet full of nice clothes, unable to wear any of them. How sad death is! Death is the most painful thing of all, and when they think of it, it feels like a knife twisting in their heart and all the bones throughout their entire body turn to jelly. When they think of death, they feel grieved and want to cry, they want to weep, and they do cry, they do weep, and they feel hurt that they are about to face death. They think, “Why do I not want to die? Why do I fear death so much? Before, when I wasn’t seriously ill, I didn’t think death was scary. Who won’t face death? Who doesn’t die? Let me die then! Thinking about it now, that isn’t such an easy thing to say, and when death really does come, it’s not such an easy thing to solve. Why do I feel so sad?” Do you feel sad when you think of death? Whenever you think of death you feel sad and pained, and this thing which causes you the most anxiety and worry finally arrives. Therefore, the more you think like this, the more afraid you feel, the more helpless you feel, and the more you suffer. Your heart is without comfort, and you don’t want to die. Who can solve this matter of death? No one can, and you certainly can’t solve it yourself. You don’t want to die, so what can you do? You must still die, and no one can escape death. Death hems people in; in their hearts, they don’t want to die, but all they ever think about is death, and isn’t this a case of dying before they’re even dead? Can they really die? Who dares say for sure when they will die or in what year they will die? Who can know these things? Some people say, “I’ve had my fortune read and I know the year, the month, and the day of my death, and what my death will be like.” Do you dare say this for sure? (No.) You cannot know this for sure. You don’t know when you will die—this is secondary. The crucial matter is what attitude you will adopt when your sickness really does bring you close to death. This is a question you should ponder and think about. Will you face death with an attitude of submission, or will you approach death with an attitude of resistance, rejection, or unwillingness? What attitude should you have? (An attitude of submission.) This submission is not achievable and practicable by just saying it. How can you achieve this submission? What understanding do you need to have before you can achieve willing submission? This isn’t simple, is it? (No, it isn’t.) So, say what is in your hearts. (If I got seriously ill, I would think that, even if I really did die, it would all be under the sovereignty of God and arranged by Him. Man is corrupted so deeply that if I were to die, it would be by God’s righteousness. It’s not that I absolutely must live; man is not qualified to make such a demand of God. Besides this, I think that now that I believe in God, no matter what happens, I have seen the right path in life and understood so many truths that, even if I was to die soon, it would all be worth it.) Is this the right way to think? Does this constitute a certain supporting theory? (It does.) Who else will speak? (God, if one day I really encounter an illness and may perhaps die, then there’s no way to avoid death anyway. This is God’s predestination and sovereignty, and no matter how much I fret or worry, it’s no use. I should spend the little time I have left focusing on how I can perform my duty well. Even if I really do die, then I will have no regrets. To be able to submit to God and to God’s arrangements at the very end is much better than living in fear and terror.) What do you think of this understanding? Isn’t this a little better? (Yes.) That’s right, this is how you should regard the matter of death. Everyone must face death in this life, that is, death is what everyone must face at the end of their journey. However, there are many different attributes to death. One of these is, at the time predestined by God, you have completed your mission and God draws a line under your fleshly life, and your fleshly life comes to an end, though this doesn’t mean that your life is over. When a person is without flesh, their life is over—is that the case? (No.) The form in which your life exists after death depends on how you treated God’s work and words while you were alive—this is very important. The form in which you exist after death, or whether you will exist or not, will depend upon your attitude toward God and toward the truth while you are alive. If while you are alive, when you face death and all manner of illnesses, your attitude toward the truth is one of rebelliousness, opposition, and feeling averse toward the truth, then when it comes time for your fleshly life to be over, in what way will you exist after death? You will certainly exist in some other way, and your life will certainly not continue. Conversely, if while you are alive, when you have awareness in the flesh, your attitude toward the truth and toward God is one of submission and loyalty and you have true faith, then even though your fleshly life comes to an end, your life will go on to exist in a different form in another world. This is one explanation of death. There is something else to note, and that is that the matter of death has the same nature as other matters. It is not up to people to choose for themselves, much less can it be changed by the will of man. Death is the same as any other important event in life: It is entirely under the predestination and sovereignty of the Creator. If someone were to beg for death, they may not necessarily die; if they were to beg to live, they may not necessarily live. All this is under the sovereignty and predestination of God, and it is changed and decided by the authority of God, by God’s righteous disposition, and by God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Therefore, say you contract a serious illness, a potentially fatal serious illness, you will not necessarily die—who decides whether you will die or not? (God.) God decides. And since God decides and people cannot decide such a thing, what are people feeling anxious and distressed about? It’s like who your parents are, and when and where you are born—these things cannot be chosen by you, either. The wisest choice in these matters is to let things take their natural course, to submit, and not to choose, not to expend any thought or energy on this matter, and not to feel distressed, anxious, or worried about it. Since people are not able to choose for themselves, expending so much energy and thought on this matter is foolish and unwise. What people ought to do when facing the tremendously important matter of death is not get distressed, or fret over it, or fear it, but what? People should wait, yes? (Yes.) Right? Does waiting mean waiting for death? Waiting to die when facing death? Is that right? (No, people should face it positively and submit.) That’s right, it doesn’t mean waiting for death. Do not be petrified of death, and do not use all your energy thinking about death. Do not think all day long, “Will I die? When will I die? What will I do after I die?” Just don’t think about it. Some people say, “Why not think about it? Why not think about it when I’m about to die?” Because it is not known whether you will die or not, and it is not known whether God will allow you to die—these things are unknown. Specifically, it is unknown when you will die, where you will die, what time you will die, or how your body will feel when you die. By racking your brains thinking about and pondering things you don’t know and feeling anxious and worried about them, doesn’t that make you foolish? Since it makes you foolish, you shouldn’t rack your brains over these things.

Whatever matter people find themselves dealing with, they should always approach it with an active, positive attitude, and this is even more true when it comes to the matter of death. Having an active, positive attitude does not mean going along with death, waiting for death, or positively and actively pursuing death. If it doesn’t mean pursuing death, going along with death, or waiting for death, what does it mean? (Submitting.) Submission is a kind of attitude toward the matter of death, and letting go of death and not thinking about it is the best way to handle it. Some people say, “Why not think about it? If I don’t think it through, will I be able to overcome it? If I don’t think it through, will I be able to let it go?” Yes, you will. And why is that? Tell Me, when your parents had you, was it your idea to be born? The way you look, your age, the industry you work in, the fact of your sitting here now, and how you feel right now—did you think all of this into being? You didn’t think all of this into being, it has come about through the passing of the days and months and through you living your normal life from day to day, one day following another, until you have reached where you are now, and this is very natural. Death is just the same. Without being aware of it, you grow to become an adult, to become middle-aged, to become elderly, to get into your last years, and then death comes—don’t think about it. You cannot avoid the things you don’t think about by not thinking about them, nor will they come early by thinking about them; they cannot be changed by the will of man, right? Don’t think about them. What do I mean when I say, “Don’t think about them”? Because if this thing really is about to happen in the near future, then always thinking about it will feel like an invisible pressure on you. This pressure will make you afraid of life and living, you will be without an active and positive attitude, and instead you will become even more depressed. Because a person facing death has no interest in or positive attitude toward anything, they feel only depressed. They’re going to die, it’s all over, there’s no longer any meaning in pursuing anything or doing anything, they no longer have any prospects or motivation, and everything they do is in preparation for death and heading in the direction of death, so what meaning is there to anything they do? Therefore, everything they do carries elements of and a nature of negativity and death. So, can you not think about death? Is that easy to achieve? If this matter is simply a result of your own mental reasoning and imagination, then you have given yourself a false alarm, you scare yourself, and it simply is not going to happen in the near future, so what are you thinking about it for? This makes it even more unnecessary. What is supposed to happen will always happen; what is not supposed to happen will not happen no matter how you think about it. Fearing it is useless, as is worrying about it. Death cannot be avoided by worrying about it, nor will it pass you by just because you fear it. Therefore, one aspect is that you should let go of the matter of death from within your heart and don’t think anything of it; you should entrust it to God, as though death has nothing to do with you. It is something God arranges, so allow God to arrange it—doesn’t it then become simple? Another aspect is that you should have an active and positive attitude toward death. Tell Me, who among the billions of people all across the world is so blessed to hear so many of God’s words, to understand so many of the truths of life, and understand so many mysteries? Who among them can personally receive God’s guidance, God’s provision, His care and protection? Who is so blessed? Very few. Therefore, you few being able to live in God’s house today, receive His salvation, and receive His provision, makes it all worth it even if you were to die right now. You are so very blessed, isn’t that right? (Yes.) Looking at it from this perspective, people should not be scared stiff by the matter of death, nor should they be constrained by it. Even though you haven’t enjoyed any of the glory and wealth of the world, yet you have received the pity of the Creator and heard so many of God’s words—isn’t this blissful? (It is.) No matter how many years you live in this life, it’s all worth it and you have no regrets, because you have been constantly performing your duty in God’s work, you have understood the truth, understood the mysteries of life, and understood the path and goals you should pursue in life—you have gained so much! You have lived a worthwhile life! Even if you can’t explain it very clearly, you are able to practice some truths and possess some reality, and that proves that you have gained some life provision and understood some truths from God’s work. You have gained so much—a true abundance—and that is such a great blessing! Since the beginning of human history, no one throughout all the ages has enjoyed this blessing, yet you are enjoying it. Are you willing to die now? With such a willingness, your attitude toward death would be truly submissive, yes? (Yes.) One aspect is that people should have true understanding, they should cooperate positively and actively, and truly submit, and they should have the correct attitude toward death. In this way, aren’t people’s feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry about death greatly lessened? (They are.) They are greatly lessened. Some people say, “I’ve just now finished listening to this fellowship, but it doesn’t feel as though these feelings have lessened very much. Maybe it takes some time. In particular, older people and those who have a sickness think about death a lot.” People know their own difficulties. When some people have been sick for a long time, they sum it all up and think, “I’ve believed in God all these years and people who got the same illness as I have died long ago. If they were reincarnated, they might be in their twenties or thirties by now. I have lived for so many years by the grace of God, all freely given. If I didn’t believe in God, I would be long dead by now. When I went to the hospital for a check-up, the doctors were startled. What a great advantage and blessing I have! If I had died 20 years ago, then I wouldn’t have heard these truths and sermons and wouldn’t have understood them; if I’d died like that, I would’ve gained nothing. Even if I lived a long life, it would all have been empty and a wasted life. Now, I have lived all these extra years and been favored so much. I haven’t thought about death all these years, and I don’t fear it.” If people are always afraid of death, then they will always think about all the questions to do with death. If people are not afraid to die and are not terrified of death, then it shows that they have suffered more than enough and are no longer terrified of death. Some people say, “If someone isn’t terrified of death, does that mean that they are seeking death?” No, that’s not right. Seeking death is a kind of negative attitude, an evasive attitude, whereas what I said before about not thinking about death is an objective, positive attitude; that is, looking upon death with indifference, not seeing it as so important, not thinking of it as such a sorrowful, anxiety-provoking event; not worrying about it anymore, not being concerned about it anymore, not being fettered by death, leaving it far behind you—people who can do this have some personal knowledge and experience of death. If someone is always bound up and constrained by sickness and death, is always mired in the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, is unable to perform their duty normally or live normally, then they should listen to experiential testimony concerning death more, see how those who are able to look upon death with indifference experience it and understand death in their experience, and then they will be able to gain something precious.

Death is not an easy problem to solve, and it is man’s greatest difficulty. If someone says to you, “Your corrupt dispositions are so deep and your humanity is not good, either. If you don’t earnestly pursue the truth and you do many evil things in the future, then you will go down to hell and be punished!” you may feel upset for a while afterward. You may ponder it, and feel a lot better after getting a night’s sleep, and then you don’t feel so upset. However, if you get sick with a mortal sickness, and you don’t have long left to live, then that is not something that can be solved with a night’s sleep, and it cannot be let go of so easily. You are required to be tempered in this matter for a time. Those who genuinely pursue the truth can leave the matter behind them, seek the truth in everything, and use the truth to resolve it—there is no problem they cannot solve. If people use the ways of man, however, then they will ultimately only be able to feel constantly distressed, anxious, and worried about death. When things are unsolvable, they take extreme measures to try to solve them. Some people take a depressed and negative approach, saying, “So I’ll just die then. Who’s afraid of death? After death, I’ll just be reincarnated and live again!” Can you verify this? You’re just looking for some words of comfort, and that doesn’t solve the problem. All things and everything, visible or invisible, material or immaterial, are controlled and ruled in the hands of the Creator. No one can control their own destiny and the only attitude man should have, whether toward sickness or death, is that of understanding, acceptance, and submission; people should not rely on their imaginings or notions, they should not seek a way out of these things, and even less so should they reject or resist them. If you blindly try to resolve the issues of sickness and death using your own methods, then the longer you live, the more you will suffer, the more depressed you will become, and the more trapped you will feel. In the end, you will still have to walk the path of death, and your end will truly be the same as your death—you will die indeed. If you can actively seek the truth and, whether with regard to understanding the sickness God has arranged for you or facing death, you can positively and actively seek the truth, seek the Creator’s orchestrations, sovereignty and arrangements regarding this kind of major event, and achieve true submission, then this is in accord with God’s will. If you rely on the strength and methods of man to cope with all these things, and you try hard to resolve them or escape them, then even if you don’t die and you temporarily manage to avoid the difficulty of death, because you don’t harbor true understanding, acceptance and submission toward God and the truth, leading you to not bear testimony in this matter, then the final result will be that when you encounter this same issue again, it will still be a major test for you. You will still have the possibility of betraying God and falling, and this will undoubtedly be a dangerous thing for you. Therefore, if you really are now facing sickness or death, then let Me tell you, it’s better to take advantage of this practical situation right now to seek the truth and resolve this matter from the root, instead of waiting for death to truly come only to be caught off guard, to feel lost, perplexed, and helpless, thereby causing you to do things that you will regret for as long as your life lasts. If you do things that you regret and feel remorse over, then this could lead you to perish. Therefore, no matter what the issue is, you should always begin your entry with the understanding you should have on the matter and with the truths you should understand. If you constantly feel distressed, anxious, and worried about such things as sickness and you live enveloped within these kinds of negative emotions, then you should start seeking the truth right now and resolve these problems as soon as you can.

Negative emotions like distress, anxiety, and worry have the same nature as various other kinds of negative emotions. They are all kinds of negative emotions that arise in people because they don’t understand the truth and live shackled by their manifold satanic corrupt dispositions, or else they live beleaguered and impacted by all kinds of satanic thoughts. These negative emotions cause people to live perpetually with all manner of incorrect thoughts and views as well as to be constantly controlled by all manner of incorrect thoughts and views, which affect and obstruct their pursuit of the truth. Of course, these kinds of negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry disrupt people’s lives, direct their lives, affect their pursuit of the truth, and keep them from pursuing the truth. Therefore, although these negative emotions are emotions in a simple sense, their function must not be underestimated; the effect they have on people and the consequences they bring about to people’s pursuit and the path they walk are perilous. In any case, when someone often has all manner of negative emotions bubbling up to disturb them, they should immediately discover and dissect why these negative emotions often arise, and why they are often vexed by these negative emotions. Also, in a certain special environment, these negative emotions will vex that person constantly and greatly disturb their pursuit of the truth—these are things that people ought to understand. Once they have understood these things, the next thing for them to do is think about how to seek and understand the truth in this matter, strive not to keep being vexed and affected by those incorrect thoughts and views, and replace them with the truth principles taught to them by God. Once they have understood the truth principles, the next step is for them to practice in accordance with the truth principles God has taught them. While they do this, all their negative emotions will gradually emerge to disturb them, only to be gradually resolved and rebelled against one by one, until, without them being aware of it, they will leave all these negative emotions behind them. So, what does the resolution of the various negative emotions rely upon? It relies upon people’s dissection and understanding of them, it relies upon people’s acceptance of the truth and, even more so, it relies upon people’s pursuit and practice of the truth. Isn’t that so? (It is.) As people gradually pursue and practice the truth, all their various negative emotions are gradually resolved and let go. So, looking at it now, which do you think are easier to let go and resolve, these various negative emotions or corrupt dispositions? (Negative emotions are easier to resolve.) You think negative emotions are easier to resolve? It varies from person to person. One is not harder or easier than the other, it just depends on the person. In any case, beginning with fellowshipping on letting go of negative emotions, we have added some content to people’s pursuit of dispositional change, and that is letting go of the various negative emotions. Letting go of negative emotions is primarily done to resolve some incorrect thoughts and views, whereas resolving one’s corrupt dispositions requires an understanding of the essence of corrupt dispositions. Tell Me, which is easier, resolving negative emotions or resolving corrupt dispositions? In fact, neither problem is easy to solve. If you are truly determined and can seek the truth, then whichever problem you attempt to solve will not be a problem at all. However, if you do not pursue the truth and are unable to sense just how serious these two problems are, then it won’t be easy no matter which problem you try to solve. When it comes to these negative, adverse things, you need to accept the truth, practice the truth, and submit to the truth in order to resolve them, and replace them with positive things. This is always the process, and it always requires people to rebel against negative things, and accept positive and active things, and things which accord with the truth. One aspect is to work on your thoughts and views, and one is to work on your dispositions; one is to resolve your thoughts and views, and one is to resolve your corrupt dispositions. Of course, these two things sometimes emerge together and involve each other. In any case, letting go of negative emotions is something people should practice when pursuing the truth. Right, let’s end today’s fellowship here.

October 29, 2022

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