Chapter 26. How to Transition Into the New Age
Today, let us fellowship another issue: How people should live and experience as they enter the new age. In other words, how people should transition into the new age. What main aspects of this issue will we talk about? We’ll chiefly discuss how people should believe in God, and how they should turn their prior views about faith in God into present views about faith in God. God does not scrutinize whether your previous views about the belief in God were right or wrong. You should face reality—how to believe today, and how to pursue today. If you continue to pursue according to how you used to believe, still believing in God according to the views you used to have, then you have not entered into the new age. First, let Me use a representative saying to explain this issue. Which saying? During the Age of Grace, it was said, “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” Do you know of these words? Have you heard them before? You all know these words. What are the substantive connotations of these words? Why, at that time, were these words used to make people pursue? The work of the Age of Grace was giving people grace, allowing them to enjoy God’s grace, to enjoy peace and joy, and material blessings and benefits. What’s more, if one person believed in God, their whole family would be blessed with these things. What does this mean? During the Age of Grace, Jesus’ work was that of limitless forgiveness and tolerance toward man. You had but to believe in God for your whole family to receive blessings. And how would this be said today? Plainly put, “When one person believes in God, their whole family benefits from the association.” That’s how this would be said today. Before, people said, “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” On earth, their whole family was blessed, and when the time came for them to die, the whole family must be saved. Is that what people used to say? It represented one age. In that age, this is how it was done. “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” What this meant was that when someone believed in Jesus, their whole family would benefit from this association—they would all get peace and joy. In the work of the Age of Grace God pardoned people for their sins. He ushered in tolerance and forgiveness toward man, and the forgiveness given to man was limitless, as was the tolerance. Because the work that Jesus came to do was being a sin offering for man, His tolerance toward man was limitless. He didn’t care what your life, entry, or caliber was like, and the various aspects of normal humanity that people possessed were not particularly important—you just needed to believe. It was very simple. But today, if one person believes in God, will their whole family be blessed? No. And why not? Why does God not do such work today? Some people say: “Now is not the Age of Grace. It not being the Age of Grace, how could God casually dispense His grace to people? Whoever believes is blessed, and whoever doesn’t, isn’t.” These words are half right, but in substance it is because that work is not done in this age; today, people must have loyalty, they must have sincerity, they must have worship, obedience, and fear—they must have these things. Those who believe in God are able to understand the truth, accept the truth, and gain the truth. And those who don’t believe in God are incapable of such things. Their substance is opposition to God, and rejection of God. In substance, they are atheists. Thus, “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed” is no longer carried out. Whosoever believes is able to gain the truth, and whosoever believes has the chance to testify to God and know God. Those who don’t, can’t. In the previous age, people were allowed to ask things from God. But today, they must give everything to God. Why did God do such work? Because, during that age, people were still sinners, and had yet to be forgiven or redeemed, they were given enough grace for them to enjoy. Because of this grace, people had belief toward God, and only then could they be forgiven for their sins. They were forgiven because of this belief. But today, people have already been redeemed, they have already been forgiven for their sins, and so what is required now is changes in their disposition. They are required to pursue the truth, and to know God. Thus, God does not do that work, He does not carry out “When one person believes in God, their whole family is blessed.” Are you able to understand this? Some people believe in God so that their family may be blessed, saying, “Aw, my family has never been at peace, we’re always fighting, we’ve always got problems, people in my family are always being struck down by illness. I believe in God for us.” If you say that, then your view is wrong.
The transition into the new age is the entry into today’s Age of Kingdom. There must be changes in every aspect—in your views, your faith, your motivations, your lifestyle, and the manner in which you experience. If change only happens in one regard, if you say, “I believe in the practical God,” then the name will have changed, but there will have been no change in substance. In other words, there must be change in every regard—in your pursuit, in your knowledge, and in your views. Only if you try and pursue upon this foundation will your belief be pure and true. So why, today, are some people always negative? Why, today, are there those who believe that faith in God has no meaning, that it is not as enlivening and meaningful as before? Because their viewpoint has not changed. It is the same viewpoint they had when they believed in Jesus. They focus on gaining grace, or expending themselves more, or running around more, on gifts, on superficial actions and words, on zeal—and so they are always negative. Outwardly, these people appear to believe in God. But in fact, the substance of their belief has not changed, they have not come around. Right? As the work of the Holy Spirit changes, so must people. So if there is no transformation in your entry, your lifestyle, the manner in which you experience, the attitude with which you believe in God, and your motivations and views concerning the belief in God, this proves that you are not turning and changing with the work of the Holy Spirit. If people are to have new entry, and new changes and knowledge, then they must enter and change in every detail—in their every action, their every thought, their every motivation, and the perspective with which they do and see things. If they don’t change these details, if the change doesn’t go beyond what comes out of their mouths, if there is only a little change in their behavior, this does not count as coming around. You must be capable of turning and changing in your psychological consciousness and views, your lifestyle, and even in the tiniest detail. Once you have completely stripped yourself of the things of before, once they have been wiped clean away, this will prove that you have come around. Try examining yourselves: In which things have you yet to turn yourself around, which are still the old sayings and ways of looking at things, which things have you yet to dig out, and which things are the things of before, things that are deeply embedded? Before you try digging them out, there don’t seem to be any of these things, but when you start digging, you’ll find lots and lots of them—yes? Why, today, are there those who are always incapable of keeping pace? It is because many things are standing in their way. They have no knowledge or acceptance of the new things. Why do the people of today have conceptions about God? When I do something, they have conceptions. When I say something, they have conceptions. When I do something else, they also have conceptions. They can’t accept this or that. On the one hand, the source of this relates to people’s arrogant nature and rebelliousness; on the other, there is an objective reason that they have yet to turn themselves around in these aspects. In terms of the things that are deeply embedded in you, what was previously said about the belief in Jesus or Jehovah still exists in you, it is still rooted in you. Thus, as soon as you encountered the new work of God, you accepted the new way, but there were some sayings and ways of doings things, and new things, that you are unable to accept. You are unable to accept the things that eliminated or took the place of what came before. Why are you unable to accept these things? Because, in your mind, you still clung to the old things, you still couldn’t let them go—which led to your opposition to these things. If you do not have the things of before in you, you are able to accept those of today; if there are still the things of before, and you are unable to put them aside, particularly the things that has taken a solid form, then you are most likely to be hostile to the work of today.
Have a go at digging out and reflecting on which of the old practices, old means of knowing, old ways of seeing, and old viewpoints remain deeply rooted inside you. Let Me give you a simple example: After reading the books of God, some who haven’t met God or heard the words of God say: “These words are good, they are the words of judgment.” Yet after encountering God, as soon as they see Him they say: “Goodness, His words are really harsh! Why is He always telling people off when He speaks? Why does He always use such a strong tone? And He’s so blunt—who can accept Him? We believers in Jesus aren’t like that. We all speak softly, we’re in harmony with each other—none of us speaks like Him. I can’t accept such a God, I can’t tolerate a God like that! If His words were as gentle and earnest as Jesus’, if He were amiable and kindly toward people, like an old mother, then I could accept Him. I can’t accept someone like this, I simply can’t accept Him, there’s just no way I can engage with Him.” You acknowledge that this is the true way, that these words are spoken by God incarnate—so why, when you come into contact with Him, do you have conceptions about some of the tones He uses and some of the things He does and says, and why can’t you let these conceptions go? What does this prove? Something has taken form within you; your view of God has taken form, it has taken shape, within you. If you try and apply this to the God of today, you will, of course, be unable to. The work of one age is different from that of another. As such, the disposition expressed by God is also different, what He reveals is different. Don’t try and apply rules—if you do, you will surely die and be condemned. It is fair to say that your conceptions, your views, your way of knowing and seeing, your motivations—they are all at odds with the God of today. Thus, they are in enmity to Him, and untenable. Let Me put it like this: People have corrupt dispositions, they rebel and oppose, they have their own thoughts—and what are their thoughts governed by? By their motivations, by the things contained in their own individualism, by the viewpoints and perspectives with which they see things. These are what their thoughts are governed by, and so your thoughts don’t come from the Holy Spirit, they have not emerged from a foundation of the truth. Why do I say that your viewpoint is a conception, that it is something of you yourself, something of man? That it is something that belongs to the flesh? Because your thoughts are not governed by the truth, and have not emerged from contemplation based on the truth. In some people, they have come from contemplation based on the Bible, which is even more erroneous. This is not to say that the Bible is wrong, but that if you try to apply the things of before to today, this is assuredly wrong. There is, assuredly, no way of applying them. It’s like when people tried to square Jehovah with Jesus during the Age of Grace—were they able to? No. And if you tried to square the Jesus of the past with the God of today? Could you? No. Why is it that today, when God does a new step of work, there is formed among man a great horde, a great gang—or maybe an even greater number of people—that is in enmity to God? What forms this gang of hostile forces? Why do such things come about? Because, although people say they accept God’s new work, regardless of whether they do or not, once the image of and sayings of God of times past, and the viewpoints of faith in God of times past, have taken form within them, people are unwilling to put them aside. They can’t bear to put them aside, they can’t bear to let them go. They still have the utmost love for them, after which they become self-righteous, incredibly arrogant, self-important, they think very highly of themselves, and they make a comparison with the God of today, they compare such things to the work of today, they compare them to the truths of today. Would you say there is any comparison? Don’t try and impose one on the other. If you are really straightforward, really liberated, then you can accept whatever you see God do. You must have the following mentality: Today, I have accepted the new way. Having accepted the new way, there are some things that I don’t understand. I’ll take my time in experiencing and coming to know them, I’ll pursue bit by bit, like an ant gnawing on a bone. Bit by bit, I’ll gnaw through them, and I’ll understand them. There are endless mysteries in God’s work. They are profound and unfathomable. They are ungraspable to man. After experiencing His work for one or two years, you’ll have a little knowledge. After experiencing for three or four years, you’ll have a little more knowledge. You’ll grow and change bit by bit. Bit by bit, those things will be altered. Bit by bit, they’ll be removed. There can only be knowledge of the new things if the old things are removed. At the moment, the old things are still deeply rooted in you, they haven’t been dug out at all. Dare you be so casual in your conceptions? Dare you be so casual in your views? Dare you express your own opinions so casually? This is the irrationality of man. Why do I say that man’s arrogance knows no bounds? Because of this. Those things within people are nothing good, they have no value. Yet people dare to casually disclose them—are they not especially irrational? Thus, although some people have accepted the new way, and they acknowledge it, nodding their heads, and read the books of God, they have not actually put aside the old things within them. Why, in the work of leaders in some areas, are they able to accomplish and execute the nice-sounding things, but they won’t execute what doesn’t sound nice, or the things they can’t do or are unwilling to do? Why do such situations appear? It’s because people are incapable of putting aside the things inside them, and the more that the things of before take form in them, the more severely they oppose—is this so? Why is it that today, for some religious leaders and heads, the higher their status, and the more people they are in charge of, the less likely they are to accept the new way? What is this because of? They are unable to put aside the things of times past. People don’t treat the things of God as belonging to God, as the truth, as the life, as on high; instead, they treat their own things as the truth, as the true way. Is this not a great mistake? With this being the case, where can you go to search for the truth? If you consider your own things as the truth, what other truths can you gain? Can you still search? Can you still yearn for the truth?
Some people say: “Humph, I’ve accepted the true way. You need not concern Yourself with me—I’ll read God’s books on my own, and in a year I’ll have grown.” I guarantee you are incapable of growing. If you are not exposed, if those things within you are not brought to light, you’ll have no way of changing. Are you capable of knowing those things by yourself? You are not—knowing them isn’t easy. When people read martial arts novels, they have no problems understanding them, and memorize them very quickly. After reading the book and shutting it, they are able to describe it to someone else. This is different. Matters of life are unlike anything else—they are extremely profound. You, too, have read some books from the world, some novels. So today, compare them to the books of the words of God. You’ve been reading the words of God for many years yet there are still some things that you can’t understand, that remain impenetrable to you, yes? These things take an entire lifetime to experience. If you spend your whole life experiencing them, often putting effort into them, always thinking about them, probing and digging them out in minute detail, meticulously experiencing them, then you will constantly acquire a knowledge of them. It’s not a case of experiencing for one or two years, and saying “I’m done experiencing these words, I’ve attained this.” That’s beyond you. Are people complex inside? People’s conceptions hinder their entry into the truth and their knowledge of God. People’s motivations hinder changes in their disposition, they stop them in putting the truth into practice, and the viewpoints and perspectives from which people act and speak obstruct their knowledge of the truth. If you are able to stand on the side of the truth in what you say and do, on the side of what the new age requires you to pursue and achieve, then it will be easy for you to change, and this will show that you have entered onto the right track. And if you are not on this side? Then I say that you’ve still a long way to go! Despite having heard all these sermons, and experienced all this work, you’ve still a long way to go! Matters of the truth are matters of life. Why are they called the truth? Because they are immutable. Nowhere are they not fitting, in no one are they not fitting. They are all the truth, and no one can refute them, they are irrefutable by any language or practice, and they are the most high, and the most profound.
Let Me ask you this: Suppose you say, “I believe in the practical God; I’ll just pray, pursue, and sing at home. If You ask me to sing, I’ll sing. If You ask me to pray, I’ll pray. I’ll follow whichever step of work God does.” If you don’t examine your own viewpoints and motivations, nor try and reflect upon which corrupt dispositions and extravagant desires are still within you, if you don’t examine those things, don’t dig them out, can you change? You can’t, yes? I dare say that today, the viewpoint of many of you believers in God is still “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed,” yes? Some people say: “That’s not true. You’re being unfair on me.” Let Me explain these words to you. You say this is not the case, and I say it is. Why do I say, “it is”? There are some that believe in God who, when nothing has happened in their family, don’t complain, and keep crying out, “Ah, God is good. God is good and man is bad.” But when something happens, when something happens to their husband (or wife), or to their child, who falls ill and has to go to hospital, or breaks his or her leg, or doesn’t get into university, or if they become entangled in some other matter that grips their heart, and harms their flesh, and they feel pain, then they’d probably smack the table and curse God, saying: “Ugh, what have I got from my belief in God? You don’t bless me! You’re supposed to bless me and all my people. And who do all my people include? My son, my husband (or wife), my whole family, including my mother and father—they all count. If these things hadn’t happened, wouldn’t I be able to pursue You without any problems?” They give reasons! They believe they have ample reasons, and they think these reasons are legitimate, that they ought to speak them. When nothing had happened, they had no complaints. But in the event that something happens—if someone sues their family and they have to pay reparations, and they owe them money, or else if something happens to their husband, or something happens in their family, or they themselves fall ill, out come their complaints—and they come quickly! For example, when someone sends you a message saying your husband is in the hospital somewhere, or that something has happened to your wife somewhere, your heart skips a beat: “Oh God, how could You do this?” Words such as these come out. How many things do these words contain? “Ugh God, why did You not protect them? How worried I am, can’t You be a bit considerate toward me, can’t You spare me some thought?” Is this what happens? When nothing goes wrong, everyone seems to cry: “Ah, God is so good! God is high and mighty!” But when something happens, your face grows dark. Not a single one of you says, “God is good! I don’t care what they’re like—if the demon dies, that’s good!” Who dares say such things? You dare not say such things! What if they were to come true after you said them? “I can’t let that happen; who would I depend on if that really came to pass? We can’t lose any members of our family. Our family’s better off together, we can’t lose anyone!” You couldn’t bear it. Take people in the countryside: Never mind when something happens to them or their families, even when something happens to their old cow, they complain about God. Yes? If people are able to not complain about God whenever something happens to their family, when some disaster befalls them, or when they have some problem, if they are able to let it go, and not allow it to hold up their own pursuit, entry, obedience to God, and praise of God, then this will prove that your belief of God is especially pure. If you always have the viewpoint of “When a person believes in God, their whole family is blessed,” then you’re wrong. If this is always your viewpoint, then I say that your belief shall never be good. Because the unbelievers in your family never rest, because they’re always doing things, and everything they do causes trouble, and their meddling also leaves you no rest, and thus your belief is poor. Yes? Look at those unbelievers today, who spend all their time rushing about. Sooner or later, something’s going to happen to them. Even if nothing happens to them now, will they be able to escape when the catastrophe befalls them in the future? They will not. If your belief is poor, you won’t be able to escape, either—you’ll be in the same situation as they are. If your belief is good, you’ll say: “If they can’t escape, that’s their fault! I’m prepared for this. If a day comes when that happens, I’ll make up my mind to ignore them, and I’ll dig a pit for them.” If your heart is truly thus, then it is especially pure, showing that it truly faces God. At the moment, you just need to start preparing for this. There’s no need for you to say these words or do such things. Right now, many things still occupy your heart—and so what do you believe in that viewpoint of yours? “My husband (or wife) should be blessed, my son should be blessed, my old cow should be blessed, my little chickens should be blessed, my house should be blessed. Other people suffer an earthquake; don’t let my family suffer an earthquake. Where will I live if my family’s house collapses? How could I believe in God?” You give reasons! And so if people’s hearts face none but God and God alone, and if they are only for God, then their hearts will be especially pure and straightforward, and when that time comes, they will suffer very little hardship. Why do you suffer hardship now? Why do you suffer so much hardship? You spend all your time running about on behalf of your son or daughter, hurrying about, rushing here and there, saying this and that—you put a lot of effort into these things. If all you did was purely for the sake of the church, I dare say you wouldn’t be so terribly busy and tired, you wouldn’t be crippled by exhaustion. Yes? Precisely because you want to believe in God, and family matters take up 80% of your time, and church matters 20% at most, this 100% has placed a heavy burden on you, and you are unable to bear it. Because you have so many family matters to attend to, and so many of your own matters to attend to, when all this becomes unbearable to you, you begin to complain about God. How much have you actually given to God? A little bit, nothing worth mentioning! Most of your rushing about is for the sake of matters concerning your family and your own flesh, so how can you complain about God? In the future, you must not complain about God ever again. If you do, your mouth must be smacked. Is this what people are like? Actually, most of what they do is for the sake of their own flesh. Whosoever believes in God can gain the truth, and has the chance to know God. Nothing is more important than this, it is more important than your marriage. Right now you’re not being asked to do or say very much. Before all else, cut down your motivations, viewpoints, your knowledge, and the things you wish for in your hearts. Before, in those corporations of the world, did they not cut down the number of divisions and staff? Today, you must cut down your motivations, put them aside, one by one. Today, begin to enter into this regard, begin to train yourselves in this regard.
Now that I’ve said all this, are you aware of what problems I’ve been talking about? How people can cross into the new age, in what areas they should change, from what aspects they should enter. Today is the start of this entry. Before, people had some entry, but remained unacceptable in many regards. Why do you always have conceptions? When you read the books of God, you’re able to accept them, but when something really happens to you, why are you always hostile and rebellious? Why do you always have opinions within? Why are you never able to obey? There are many things of the flesh in people. Listening today, it seems to you, “There aren’t, there really aren’t.” Are there really not? “There really aren’t, not at all.” When the fact arrives, this is out of your control; those things naturally emerge. In the future, remember to prepare a notebook of your conceptions. When the fact happens, record your conceptions and what you’re thinking, dig out the things in you—it will be beneficial. You must have the courage to face this fact and expose yourself. That you dare expose yourself proves you are willing to accept the truth, to put aside your conceptions, and to obey. You must rebel against yourself. Don’t keep rebelling against God—that’s wrong. Do not be antagonistic. Asked to keep a notebook of your conceptions, you keep endless records, noting down the big things, the little things, the many things, the few things, the trifling things—but there’s no need. Note down the things that are key, and at the source. After noting them down, compare them against the facts; when you’re doing something and your conceptions emerge once more, you should think a little; you must take certain measures, you must have certain paths to practice, paths that correspond to practice. Only then will you be capable of entry. You always say you know yourself, but when your conceptions emerge you ignore them. When they’re gone, you don’t acknowledge them. Ordinarily, when people are in a good state, when they don’t have conceptions, when they have not been dealt with, when they have not encountered adversity, they don’t have any conceptions or views; they can’t recall the conceptions they used to have, they think themselves very good, they think they really don’t have any conceptions—and when their conceptions come forth, they become hostile to God. And after such a time has passed, they once again feel they have no conceptions, and think they’re really good. And so, such is their situation; they are never able to know themselves. Yes? You always forget your conceptions! It is not OK to never take these things seriously. If you wish to enter, you must take them seriously; you must seize the opportunity, and not let anything pass you by. After you’ve made a note of those things, you can lay them bare and fellowship. And after fellowshiping, you will be able to enter. After digging them out, examine yourself in everything you do: “Have I shed my conceptions in this area? Have I put them aside? Has there been a change?” Bit by bit, you will naturally change. Would you say such entry is hard? Does it take a lot of effort? It does! Some people say: “My family are very dear to me, they’re my flesh and blood. None of us could let go of each other.” You can’t let them go—but slowly, bit by bit, you will. In some things, you must have willpower to exercise self-restraint, letting them go bit by bit. You have a perfunctory knowledge of superficial things—arrogance, self-righteousness, self-importance, rebelliousness, and these things you speak of are doctrine. You must focus on the facts: You have certain perspectives on certain things; you will only have true knowledge if you are able to bring to light the motivations within you in these matters, only then will you be able to make a comparison. Don’t merely say, “I’m very arrogant and rebellious, I oppose God.” That’s not enough, that is not knowing yourself. You must consider your motivation and the source of your substance. You must resolve these things. It is not OK to merely know from your actions; you must solve the source, and grasp what’s key. If some things are revealed over a certain period, you must summarize these things and then fellowship about them. For example, after listening today, you will have gained knowledge of yourself. Inside, you’ll think to yourself, “Ah, I’m really not a good person.” Then, after some time has passed, that will go, and you’ll say to yourself, “Aren’t I pretty good? I’m quite a good person!” These things have to be pointed out to you again. You can’t always let God lead you by the nose. You yourself must have entry in this area. After a certain period of time, have a go at summing up and reflecting on yourself: What things did I do wrong, in a manner at odds with the truth; what did I say that was wrong, which of my motivations were bad, what dispositions did I reveal? If you always enter thus, making strict demands of yourself, then your knowledge in these aspects will slowly increase. If you put it all together, you’ll be able to see that you are indeed not good. If a day comes when you truly have such knowledge of yourself, you couldn’t be arrogant even if you were asked to. What is crucial right now? After these things have been pointed out to people, they understand them and are aware of them—but they still don’t know themselves. Some people say: “How could I not know myself? I know in what matters I’m arrogant.” You’re aware of in what matters you’re arrogant; how is it you’re not aware that your disposition is arrogant? Why, during a certain period, do you still want to be promoted, why do you still keep wanting to do this and that? Those arrogant things are still inside you! You must start by changing your motivations in doing things, your viewpoints, and your ways of seeing things. Do you acknowledge that much of what you say contains thorns, that there is arrogance in the tone of your speech? (Yes.) Your words also contain motivations. In your words are represented your own viewpoints and motivations; these can be found in what you say. Some people usually have a certain expression in their face when they’re not being arrogant. But when they are being arrogant, their eyes narrow, their mouth contorts, they bare their teeth, they scrunch their nose up, and their hair stands on end. They look different, and that ugly face is the ugly face of Satan being revealed. People have motivations in them; these deceitful people always speak under their breath, they always whisper, they always look askance when they speak. This shows that they have motivations, that there are things within them. Others speak softly, furtively. There are things in their words, but they don’t give anything away. Such people are even more insidious.
Before, people were satisfied with this: I am blessed, and so God is satisfied with me. My family is at peace, none of us have any indemnity or debts, and I’m successful in all I do. God surely likes me. If that’s all it takes to satisfy you, then I think that you’ll pursue nothing more right up to your death. Don’t be satisfied with how successful or good your external life is. Do not be satisfied with that—you shouldn’t care about such things, they don’t matter. Today, when God works man and saves man, He is saving man from the things within them, the things that are deeply embedded within them; He is digging these things out from their source, from their substance, and from their nature. Why do I always speak of people’s viewpoints and motivations? In this, I am beginning from the things that are deeply embedded, the things at the source. God does not care about what you do, He does not care about your exterior, or what kind of family you have, what kind of husband you have, nor does He care about what you look like, whether you’re tall or short, whether you have a job, or where you were born—He doesn’t care about these things. What’s key is what sort of substance you have; God’s work begins from your substance and your source. So don’t be satisfied with “My family has been very successful. We kept many ducks, and none of them died. God has greatly blessed us. My family had many cows, we sold them for a lot of money; God has greatly blessed us. My family has built many houses, none of them has ever had any problems, nor do we owe any debts, the houses are really nice—God has blessed us.” Don’t look at these external things, don’t focus on them, don’t pursue them. Don’t be taken over by these things, don’t be satisfied with them. To be satisfied with them proves there is a problem with your own views on the belief in God—that they’re too low, too far-off. You must focus on your disposition. Your disposition, your humanity, your motivations, your views—you must start with these areas. In this way, when you encounter those who have just accepted God’s work in the last days or those who haven’t accepted it, they can see from your exterior that you’ve changed, that what you pursue really is different. They say: “In our belief in God, we pursue getting more money, status, for our children to get into university, for our daughter to find a good partner, for my husband to become an official—that’s what we ask for. How come you don’t ask for this? You seem to regard this a shit, as worthless. How do you believe in God?” So you commune with them how you experience, and what corrupt dispositions people have. When they meet you, they sense that you’re able to provide life, that you don’t preach an external message, that you don’t preach the external message that coaxes or exhorts people. You are able to provide life, the truth, you are able to speak of life, and of knowing oneself, and this proves that you truly are of the new age, that you truly are a new person.
Today, what do many people talk about when they’re sitting together? “Back when I used to believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit would do great things wherever I went to work. When I spread the gospel, many people would be willing to listen to me, and when I prayed for someone, their incurable illness was cured—it was up to me!” That’s what they say. How backward! Are these words not backward? Are there many who are liable to say such things? Aren’t there still many of them? There are some who don’t say this in front of your face, but say it secretly when you’re gone. People who say that are especially backward. It’s like how people today ride in cars, but they’re still sitting on a donkey cart, thinking to themselves, “When I traveled by donkey cart back then, it was the best there was!” What’s a top official doing riding on a donkey cart? You’re so backward—who would listen to your words? These words are so infantile, yes? Don’t treat people like idiots. Others speak of how blessed they were when they believed in Jesus, and how many people they converted. “Now I only eat one bowl of food every three days. I pray to God to stop me being hungry, to make me need less food, so I can eat and drink more of God’s words.” What’s the use in saying this? How backward! Will other people not laugh at you? They’ll all laugh at you. If, when you’re together in the future, you talk about life, about changes in disposition, about knowing oneself, and about the things of substance, and if you don’t talk about trivial things, then you’ll be doing alright. At the moment, you are incapable of providing life; if you were asked to support someone, you’d only be able to hold them by the arm as they walked. If they could already walk, they’d have no use for you. You can only act as their crutch. You are unable to provide for them within, your words are incapable of being their food, they can’t eat the words you say—and even when they do, these words are of no use. Is this bad? When you serve and provide to people, all you’re doing is coaxing them: “Obey, don’t rebel against God, don’t oppose God. We’re all bad; in the future, we must listen to the words of God.” After you’ve said this, the other person says: “Yes, that’s right, I must listen to the words of God.” After you go, they remain collapsed there, and can’t get up. And so you’re just a crutch, you can’t be food, and that’s unacceptable—it proves that you yourself have yet to enter. People have certain problems or corrupt dispositions, and you can’t grasp the source, or what’s key. Because you still don’t have any knowledge of yourself, in your own territory you’re incapable of any provision of life. You can only exhort people, telling them to listen properly. All you can do is coax children. You can’t solve any real problems. This proves that you yourselves have yet to enter the reality of the truth, have yet to gain the true way—yes? Every time I say a lot, I tell you of these things of substance, these crucial things. After I speak of these things, if you have a true knowledge, you will be able to fellowship with people lower down. Right now, most people are able to preach, but that’s all they can do. Why do I call it preaching? Preaching means talking of theology, standing on a stage, reading from a book—that’s what preaching is. It can’t provide life. Thus, you are especially lousy. Your viewpoint has still not changed, nor have your knowledge and motivations. You ask others to change, but you have no path, and you’re incapable of providing to them. Having no path, you are only able to exhort. You can only reprimand people and glare at them, with no result—yes? In the end, these people remain unenthusiastic. They still have no knowledge, the work you’ve done has had no effect. Consider this group of the people in your area; what they know, what knowledge they have of themselves, depends on you, their leader. If you are the head of the several sisters who work with you, they too will reprimand people, and have no knowledge of themselves. This proves that you, too, are finished, that you’re nothing good, that you, too, don’t know yourself. Have you ever considered this? All you know is this: “Humph, this gives me power, I have status, I’m like an official. I can lecture people.” All you care about is status, reputation, how to reprimand people, how to preach, how to be funny, to make people laugh, how to make people listen to you, establish a foundation for your status, gain influence in your group, have a good reputation, shore up the foundation of your status. All you care about is preaching in a loud voice, saying a lot, speaking well. This proves that you have taken the wrong path.
When people enter the new age from the old age, this doesn’t just involve changes in their words and actions; they are required to have higher entry, to pay a greater price, and to make more sacrifices; in fact, they’re not being asked to make sacrifices, but to suffer; they must suffer great hardship in these things, and only then will they change, changing from inside out. For example, some people liked reading the Scriptures in the work of the previous age. Today, when they’re told not to read the Scriptures, they think: “Some of the words of the Scriptures are OK, they’re pretty good—when I get the chance I must still take a look at the Scriptures! God says that some of the Scriptures are the words of man, but how come I’ve never felt that? It doesn’t seem like they are to me.” In addition, it is now said that with passion alone, some people’s dispositions won’t change, and such people will be incapable of gaining God’s approval. Previously, anyone who was passionate and enthusiastic would have a life that was high, and if someone’s life was high, they would be higher up the rankings, and would be a better believer. Today, now that this is no longer spoken of, there are those who feel that it seems like God is being unfair on such people. Previously, I dealt with some people, and afterward there were those who didn’t agree with what I did and tried to stick up for them: “Ugh, they paid a price, they suffered all that hardship, they worked hard to wait on You, they suffered a lot for You, and they’d believed in God for all those years, working hard without any recognition. How could You treat them like that?” Some people wouldn’t come around. Is it hard to have knowledge in such things? People look at people’s external actions, and God looks at their substance. There’s a great difference. You look at, superficially, how meticulous they are, how devout, how articulate they are, how much running about they do, how much of a price they’re able to pay. You look at these things. Why don’t you talk about how many conceptions they have, how self-righteous they are, how arrogant—why don’t you look at these things? And so, your view of things is too old, too backward. Some people say: “I did all that work, but He didn’t compliment me at all. I’m so hardworking, when I was there I didn’t return home for two or three months—yet instead of complimenting me, He dealt with me. I did one thing badly and He dealt with me. He said I’d done it badly, and sternly dealt with me.” Today, God does not look at what price people have paid. What price have you paid? What capital do you have? The price you’ve paid, your capital, and how much you’ve suffered don’t matter; God looks at your substance.
During the previous age, what was the principle behind when people were used? Whoever could sing and dance, or was oldest and unmarried, had pride of place. Anyone who was forty or fifty and hadn’t married yet was number one. The more they were like this, the better their reputation. We don’t care about that. We look at man’s substance, because the key to believing in God is what a person’s substance is like, and whether they are able to worship God. God cares about man’s substance: Regardless of how much you contribute, or expend, no matter how great the price you pay, if you don’t accept the true way of the last days, and don’t know God incarnate when He truly comes, what is your substance? Is it opposition? This depends on if your viewpoints and motivations are compatible with God. If it were measured by capital, then you would all have to step down and return home. Among those old people in the local churches and house churches of before, the more toothless they were, the more hard of hearing, the whiter their hair, the more bald their head, the more qualified they would be. These things have no use. Those people have no use, their substance is unacceptable, they’re incapable of working, so would using them not hold up God’s work? In those places, there are many such people—and people like you wouldn’t make the grade. At the beginning, using people took such effort! Young people of good caliber were selected, but many disagreed with this. What do you think? If there’s an 80-year-old who’s never married, you believe her a chaste virgin. Each day she cooks food for the other brothers and sisters, rushing and hurrying about, expending her whole life for God. But she always goes on about her capital, she’s always incredibly arrogant. She’s nothing but a demon! What has she contributed? What has she expended? We won’t focus on this—there’s no use! We praise whoever is the most sincere, whoever is the most willing to obey God, whoever is possessed of the most truth. Is there any point in looking at their exterior? Some external things might have changed, but many things inside them have not, and the time will come when these things are exposed. And so, you must know these things, and must dig them out. There are still many things in people! Their nature is, of course, arrogant, and rebellious. This is one of the biggest problems, and it lies at the very source. In addition, there are also some corrupt dispositions in people. And so, if you wish to know yourself, if you wish for your disposition to change, there must be a path; know from which aspect to enter, from which aspect to know and get started—this makes things a lot easier. You must have a path; you cannot be without a path.