19. Seeing That I Was Sick of the Truth
By Allison, USA
One day, I found that a newcomer who just joined the church had already missed two gatherings, so I asked the group leader why this was, but the group leader didn’t reply. Later, I saw that the newcomer had started coming to gatherings again, so I didn’t ask the group leader for the reason. I thought, “As long as the newcomer attends gatherings regularly, that’s fine. I’m so busy with my duty right now, and looking into the details would take a lot of time and effort. I’ll ask about it again when I have time.” As a result, I forgot about the matter. Later, at another gathering, I noticed that this newcomer left halfway through. I asked the group leader why, but she still didn’t answer me, and I never got to the bottom of the matter. I also didn’t go to the newcomer to ask if she was having any states or difficulties. After a while, I noticed again that this newcomer hadn’t attended several gatherings in a row. This is when I started to worry. I quickly contacted the newcomer, but she wasn’t replying. I worried that the newcomer would leave the church, so I quickly contacted the group leader to see if she could get in touch with the newcomer, but the group leader told me, “This newcomer never approved my friend request, so I can’t get in touch.” I felt a little regret at this point. If I had looked into this earlier, I could have thought of ways to remedy it, but it was too late now. It was all my fault for not following up. I read through the chat records with the newcomer, hoping to know more about her situation. I realized that after saying a few words of greeting to her, I never talked to her about anything else. I didn’t know anything about her. I realized the hope of getting this newcomer back was slim. The reason all this had happened was because I was muddling through. But at the time, I didn’t seriously reflect on myself. I just thought about it briefly, admitting that I was a little careless, and moved on.
It didn’t take long for the supervisor to ask me about this newcomer, and about why she had left the church. That made me very nervous. I thought, “Uh-oh, I’m about to be exposed. Once the supervisor finds out what really happened, she will definitely say I muddled through my duty and wasn’t reliable. What would I do if I was dismissed?” Sure enough, the supervisor pointed out my problem after learning about the situation, saying I was just going through the motions and that I didn’t care or try to learn about the newcomer’s state. When I heard this, I quickly tried to justify myself, “The newcomer didn’t respond to my greeting, so I couldn’t continue the conversation.” The supervisor dealt with me, saying, “It’s not that you couldn’t continue the conversation, it’s that you didn’t care about the newcomer at all.” I worried that if I admitted to muddling through, I would have to take responsibility, so I quickly explained, “The group leader was mainly responsible for that newcomer. I thought she was in touch with the newcomer, so I didn’t ask about the newcomer’s situation in time. I asked the group leader, but she didn’t reply in time.” I showed the messages I sent to the group leader to the supervisor to prove that I actually cared about the newcomer. I also showed the supervisor the messages I sent to the newcomer later to prove that after I discovered she wasn’t coming to gatherings regularly, I tried to get in touch with her in a timely manner, but she hadn’t answered me. I even found a reason to say I couldn’t reach the newcomer by phone because the gospel preacher hadn’t provided the newcomer’s phone number. I gave many objective reasons, incessantly shifting the blame, hoping the supervisor would think there was a reason for the problem, that it wasn’t my fault, or at least others shared the blame, and that it wasn’t all mine. Seeing that I wasn’t admitting my problems and was shirking responsibility, the supervisor dealt with me by saying, “This newcomer has been to several gatherings, which clearly shows she yearns for the truth, but you didn’t ask about her state and difficulties in time, and now you are shirking responsibility by saying you couldn’t contact her because you didn’t have her number. This is pretty unreasonable!” I realized the supervisor saw my problems clearly and I couldn’t avoid taking responsibility. I was worried, and thought, “What will the supervisor think of me? Will she say I don’t do any practical work? Will I be dismissed?” I was very anxious, and I couldn’t calm myself. After that, I went over everything that led to this in my mind, and I realized I wasn’t being an honest person in this matter or accepting pruning and being dealt with. I clearly hadn’t done my duty properly, I had muddled through, and yet I was still playing tricks and making excuses to justify myself. I even tried to blame the gospel preacher for not providing the phone number. I was refusing to admit the fact that I had muddled through my duty, and I didn’t reflect on myself. Thinking of my behavior made me very uncomfortable. Although I ate and drank of God’s word every day, when an actual situation came upon me, and when I was pruned and dealt with, I still lived by my corrupt dispositions and didn’t accept the truth. I felt my corruption was too deep, and I decided it would be difficult for me to change, so I felt a little negative.
Later, I read a passage of God’s words. “Pursuing the truth is voluntary; if you love the truth, the Holy Spirit works. When, in your heart, you love the truth—when, no matter what persecution or tribulation befalls you, you pray to God and depend on God, and reflect on yourself, and try to know yourself—when, if you discover a problem, you actively seek the truth for a resolution—then you will be capable of standing firm in your testimony. These manifestations are all a natural product of people loving the truth, and they all occur voluntarily, gladly, and without coercion, and so, too, are they utterly unconditional. If people can follow God in this way, what they gain in the end is the truth and the life, what they enter is the reality of the truth, and what they live out is the image of man. … Whatever your reasons for believing in God, God will ultimately determine your end according to whether you have gained the truth. If you have not gained the truth, then none of the reasons or excuses you come out with will hold water; God does not care about your reasons. Try to reason as you like; tie yourself in knots as you please—does God care? Would God converse with you? Would He debate and confer with you? Would He consult with you? What is the answer? No. He absolutely would not. Your reason is invalid, however sound it is. You must not misunderstand God’s will, thinking you can offer all sorts of reasons and excuses for not pursuing the truth. God would have you seek the truth in all environments and in every matter that comes your way, eventually achieving entry into the reality of the truth and gaining the truth. Regardless of what circumstances God has arranged for you, what people and events you encounter, and what environment you find yourself in, you should pray to God and seek the truth in order to face. They are precisely the lessons you should learn in pursuing the truth. If you look always to give excuses, to be evasive, to refuse, to resist, then God will give up on you. It will be useless for you to be intractable, or difficult, or to give your reasoning. If God does not concern Himself with you, you will lose your chance at salvation” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth. What It Is to Pursue the Truth (1)). I saw in God’s word that to resolve a corrupt disposition and enter into the reality of truth is not difficult. The key is in how people choose and whether they seek and practice the truth. No matter what the situation, be it pruning and being dealt with, or failures and setbacks, people must be able to reflect to know themselves and actively seek the truth. Once you understand a little, put it into practice, and act according to the principles of truth. Do this, and you will see growth and change. However, when you are pruned and dealt with, if you always evade, refuse, and make excuses, you will not only fail to gain the truth, you will also be despised and rejected by God. Looking at myself again, when I was pruned and dealt with, I didn’t accept, obey, honestly own up, reflect on my problem, or actively seek the truth to resolve my corrupt disposition. Instead, I delimited myself, became negative, and opposed it. Was I not being unreasonable? This wasn’t an attitude of accepting the truth! When I recognized this, I didn’t want to live in a negative state and delimit myself. I wanted to seek the truth to resolve my problems. I began to reflect and wondered why I usually spoke so pleasingly, but when I was being pruned and dealt with, I didn’t accept it, and became negative and defiant. What disposition did I reveal?
In my seeking, I read two passages of God’s word. “There are people who may be able to admit that they are devils, Satan, offspring of the great red dragon, who speak quite prettily about their knowledge of themselves, but when they reveal their corrupt disposition, and someone exposes them, deals with them, and prunes them, they try with all their might to justify themselves and do not accept the truth in the least. What is the issue here? In this, a person is exposed utterly. They speak so prettily when they talk about knowing themselves, so why is it that when faced with pruning and being dealt with, they cannot accept the truth? There is a problem here. Is this sort of thing not quite common? Is it easy to identify? It is, in fact. There are quite a few people who admit they are devils and Satan when they speak of their self-knowledge, but they do not repent or change afterward. So, is such talk of self-knowledge true or false? Is theirs sincere knowledge, or is it a ruse meant to trick others? The answer is self-evident. Therefore, to tell whether a person knows themselves sincerely, you should not merely listen to their talk of that knowledge—you should look to their attitude and to whether they can accept the truth when they are faced with pruning and being dealt with. That is what is most crucial. Whoever does not accept being dealt with and pruned has an essence of not accepting the truth, of refusal to accept it. Their disposition is one of being fed up with the truth. This is beyond a doubt. Some people, no matter how much corruption they have revealed, do not allow others to deal with them. No one may prune them or deal with them. They are fine speaking about their own self-knowledge and will say anything at all, but if someone else exposes them or criticizes them or deals with them, however objectively or factually, they do not accept it. Whatever aspect of their revealed corrupt disposition is exposed, they are extremely antagonistic and insist on giving specious justifications for themselves, without even a bit of true submission. If such people do not pursue the truth, they’ll be in trouble” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth. What It Is to Pursue the Truth (1)). “The main ways in which being fed up with the truth manifests are not just feelings of aversion to the truth when one hears it; they also include an unwillingness to practice the truth. When it is time to put the truth into practice, such a person withdraws, and the truth has nothing to do with them. When some people fellowship during gatherings, they seem very animated, they like repeating words of doctrines and making lofty statements to deceive others and win them over; it makes them look good, and feel good, and they go on and on endlessly. And then there are those who are busy all day with matters of faith: reading God’s words, praying, listening to hymns, taking notes, as if they cannot be apart from God even for a moment. From daybreak until the dark of night, they are busy performing their duties. Do these people really love the truth, then? Do they have no disposition that is sick of it? When is it that one can see their true state? (When the time comes to practice the truth, they shrink from it, and when they are met with being dealt with and pruned, they are unwilling to accept it.) Could this be because they don’t understand what they hear or is it because they don’t understand the truth that they are unwilling to accept it? Neither—they are governed by their nature, and the problem is dispositional. In their hearts, they know quite well that God’s words are the truth and positive things, that practicing the truth can bring about a change in one’s disposition and bring a person to satisfy God’s will, but they simply do not accept them or practice them. That is what it is to be fed up with the truth” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Knowledge of the Six Kinds of Corrupt Disposition Is True Self-Knowledge). From God’s word, I saw that people have a disposition of being sick of the truth, in which case, they manifest a refusal to accept the truth, a refusal to be pruned or dealt with, and a refusal to practice the truth. I reflected on myself and realized that though I ate and drank of God’s words and performed my duty every day, and during gatherings, I could admit I had corrupt dispositions in accordance with God’s words, I belonged to Satan, was a child of the great red dragon, and so on. Outwardly, I seemed to accept the truth, but when I was pruned and dealt with for muddling through my duty, I tried to justify myself, shift the blame, and did not admit my own corruption. I realized I was not someone who accepts or practices the truth at all, and that I exposed the satanic disposition of being sick of the truth in everything. I knew that as a waterer, the minimum requirement is to be responsible and patient. Newcomers still haven’t put down roots on the true way, and they are like newborn babies, and they are very fragile in life. If they don’t come to gatherings, we have to look into their states, and find a way to water and support them quickly. I understood these principles, but when it came time to practice, suffer, and pay the price, I didn’t want to do it. I clearly knew the truth but didn’t practice it. Except for the few times I greeted this newcomer, I didn’t offer any watering or support. When I found out that she wasn’t attending gatherings regularly, I didn’t become anxious, think about how I could quickly contact her, or come to understand her problems and difficulties. I was negligent and irresponsible, which caused her to leave the church. Even then, I didn’t reflect on myself. When the supervisor pointed out my problems, I tried every means to make excuses for my muddling through, hoping to pin the responsibility on the group leader and gospel preacher. How was this an attitude of accepting and obeying the truth? All I exposed was a disposition of being sick of the truth!
I continued to seek the truth and read another passage of God’s word: “Regardless of the circumstances that cause someone to be dealt with or pruned, what is the most crucial attitude to have toward it? First, you must accept it, no matter who is dealing with you, for what reason, whether it comes across as harsh, or what the tone and wording, you should accept it. Then, you should recognize what you have done wrong, what corrupt disposition you have exposed, and whether you acted in accordance with the principles of truth. When you are pruned and dealt with, first and foremost, this is the attitude you should have. And are antichrists possessed of such an attitude? They are not; from start to finish, the attitude they exude is one of resistance and aversion. With an attitude like that, can they be quiet before God and modestly accept pruning and being dealt with? That cannot be. So, what will they do, then? First of all, they will vigorously argue and offer justifications, defending and arguing against the wrongs they have done and the corrupt disposition they have revealed, in hopes of winning people’s understanding and forgiveness, so that they need not take any responsibility or accept words that deal with them and prune them. What is the attitude they evince when faced with being dealt with and pruned? ‘I haven’t sinned. I’ve done nothing wrong. If I made a mistake, there was a reason for it; if I made a mistake, I didn’t do so on purpose, I shouldn’t have to take responsibility for it. Who doesn’t make a few mistakes?’ They seize on these statements and phrases, clinging tightly to them and not letting go, but they do not seek the truth, nor do they acknowledge the mistake they have made or the corrupt disposition they have revealed—and they certainly do not admit what their intent and goal were in doing evil. … No matter how the facts bring their corrupt disposition to light, they do not acknowledge or accept it, but go on with their defiance and resistance. Whatever others say, they do not accept it or acknowledge it, but think, ‘Let’s see who can outtalk whom; let’s see whose mouth is quicker.’ This is one sort of attitude with which antichrists regard being dealt with and pruned” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Eight)). From what God’s word revealed, I saw that when normal people are pruned and dealt with, they can receive it from God, accept and obey, reflect on themselves, and achieve genuine repentance and change. Even if they can’t accept it at the moment, afterward, through continuous seeking and reflection, they can learn lessons from being pruned and dealt with. But an antichrist is sick of and loathes truth by nature. When they are pruned and dealt with, they never reflect on themselves. They only display an attitude of resistance, rejection, and hatred. Reflecting on my behavior, I clearly muddled through and didn’t support the newcomer in time, causing her to leave the church. This was already a transgression. Anyone with any conscience or reason would feel miserable and guilty, and reflect on their problems, and not say anything more on the matter. But not only did I not feel indebted, I also didn’t admit my own problems. I was faced with such an obvious fact, and yet I still tried to knowingly shirk responsibility, saying at first that the newcomer wasn’t answering me, and then that the group leader was irresponsible, and finally, I blamed the gospel preacher, hoping to rid myself of any responsibility and gain the supervisor’s understanding. Faced with what God revealed and being pruned and dealt with, I didn’t reflect on myself at all. Instead, I resisted, opposed, and found various excuses to justify and defend myself, because I didn’t want to take responsibility. In what way did I have any humanity or reason? I saw that what I exposed were dispositions of stubbornness and sickness of the truth. I had no fear of God. I saw that after believing in God for so many years, my disposition had not changed at all, and I felt miserable.
Later, I read a passage of God’s words that gave me more knowledge of my problem of not accepting being dealt with and pruned. Almighty God says, “Antichrists’ archetypal attitude toward dealing and pruning is to vehemently refuse to accept or admit it. No matter how much evil they do or how much harm they do to the work of God’s house and the life entry of God’s chosen people, they do not feel the slightest remorse or that they owe anything. From this point of view, do the antichrists have humanity? Absolutely not. They cause all sorts of damage to God’s chosen people and bring harm to the work of the church—God’s chosen people can see this as clear as day, and they can see antichrists’ succession of evil deeds. And yet the antichrists do not accept or acknowledge this fact; they stubbornly refuse to admit that they are in error or that they are responsible. Is this not an indication that they are sick of the truth? Such is the extent to which antichrists are sick of the truth. No matter how much wickedness they commit, they refuse to admit it, and they remain unyielding to the end. This proves that antichrists never take the work of God’s house seriously or accept the truth. They haven’t come to believe in God; they are minions of Satan, come to disturb and disrupt the work of God’s house. In antichrists’ hearts there are only reputation and status. They believe that if they were to acknowledge their error, then they would have to accept responsibility, and then their status and reputation would be severely compromised. As a result, they resist with the attitude of ‘deny until you die.’ No matter what revelations or analysis people make, they do their utmost to deny them. Whether their denial is deliberate or not, in short, in one regard this exposes the antichrists’ nature and essence of being sick of and hating the truth. In another regard, it shows how much the antichrists treasure their own status, reputation, and interests. What, meanwhile, is their attitude toward the work and interests of the church? It is one of contempt and denial of responsibility. They lack all conscience and reason. Doesn’t the antichrists’ shirking of responsibility demonstrate these issues? In one regard, shirking responsibility proves their essence and nature of being sick of and hating the truth, while in another regard, it shows their lack of conscience, reason, and humanity. No matter how much the brothers’ and sisters’ life entry is harmed by their interference and evildoing, they feel no self-recrimination and could never be troubled by this. What sort of creature is this? Even admission to part of their mistake would count as them having a bit of conscience and sense, but the antichrists do not even have that slight amount of humanity. So what would you say they are? The essence of antichrists is the devil. No matter how much damage they do to the interests of the house of God, they do not see it. They are not remotely troubled by it in their hearts, nor do they reproach themselves, much less feel indebted. This is absolutely not what should be seen in normal people. This is the devil, and the devil is devoid of any conscience or sense” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)). From God’s word, I saw that antichrists don’t accept being dealt with or pruned because of their nature of being sick of and loathing the truth, and also because they especially treasure their own interests. Once anything touches on and harms their reputation or status, they do all they can to justify themselves and find reasons to shift the responsibility. Even when their actions harm the interests of the church or the spiritual lives of the brothers and sisters, they feel no reproach or remorse. If they are found to be doing these things, they stubbornly refuse to own up out of fear that admitting responsibility will damage their reputation and status. I saw that antichrists are particularly selfish and despicable, have no humanity, and are essentially devils. When I saw the word “devil,” I felt awful, because my behavior and the dispositions I exposed were the same as an antichrist. I had clearly made a mistake and harmed the church’s work, but I still didn’t admit it. When I was pruned and dealt with, I justified myself and tried to shift the responsibility. It’s not such a smooth process for new believers to accept the gospel—it requires a number of people to pay a price, and to provide watering and sustenance to bring them before God. God is especially responsible for everyone. Out of a hundred sheep, if He loses just one, He will leave the ninety-nine others to find His lost sheep, and He deeply cherishes every person’s life. But when I was responsible for watering newcomers, I treated it carelessly. When I saw that the newcomer wasn’t attending gatherings, I didn’t worry or care. Sometimes I went through the motions of asking, and in following up on the group leader’s work, I muddled through and was irresponsible. When I saw that she didn’t reply to me several times, I didn’t urgently ask why, I also didn’t look into whether she had any problems or difficulties. I treated the newcomer with a careless and irresponsible attitude and didn’t take her life seriously at all. But even then, I still didn’t feel remorse or guilt, and I didn’t try to remedy the matter. When the supervisor pointed out that I muddled through and was irresponsible, I tried my best to argue and justify myself, and looked for reasons to shirk responsibility, because I feared taking responsibility if I admitted my problems, that I would give the supervisor a bad impression, and that I would be dismissed. From start to end, I never considered the work of the church, and I never considered whether the newcomer’s life would suffer loss. I only considered whether my own interests would be harmed, and whether I could maintain my image and status. I was especially selfish and despicable, and all I protected were my personal interests. I truly had no humanity, and God detested me. Then, I came before God and prayed, saying, “God, I muddled through in my duty, caused dire consequences, and didn’t admit it. What I considered wasn’t the life entry of God’s chosen people, but my own reputation and status. I truly have no humanity! God, I wish to repent.”
Later, I read more of God’s words, and found a path of practice. Almighty God says, “Gaining the truth is not difficult, nor is entering into the reality of the truth, but if people are always fed up with the truth, are they able to gain it? They cannot. So you must always come in front of God, examine your internal states of being fed up with the truth, see what displays of being fed up with the truth you have, and what ways of doing things are being fed up with the truth, and in which things you have an attitude of being fed up with the truth—you must often reflect on these things” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). “If you want to follow God and perform your duty well, you must first come not to be impulsive when things do not go your way. Calm down first and be quiet before God, and in your heart, pray to Him and seek from Him. Do not be headstrong; come to submit first. Only with such a mindset can you bring better resolutions to problems. If you can persevere in living before God, and whatever befalls you, you are able to pray to Him and seek from Him, and to face that thing with a mentality of submission, then it does not matter how many expressions there are of your corrupt disposition, nor do your past transgressions matter—they can be resolved so long as you seek the truth. No matter what trials befall you, you will be able to stand firm. As long as you have the right mentality, are able to accept the truth, and obey God in accord with His requirements, then you are entirely capable of putting the truth into practice. Though you may be a little rebellious and resistant at times, and sometimes offer defensive reasoning and are unable to submit, if you can pray to God and turn your rebellious state around, then you can accept the truth. Having done so, reflect on why it was that rebelliousness and resistance arose in you. Find the reason, then seek the truth to resolve it, and that aspect of your corrupt disposition can be purified. After several recoveries from such stumbles and falls, until you can put the truth into practice, your corrupt disposition will gradually be cast off. And then, the truth will reign inside you and become your life, and there will be no further obstacles to your practice of the truth. You will become able to truly submit to God, and you will live out the reality of the truth” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). From God’s word, I understood that to resolve the disposition of being sick of the truth, I must often reflect on myself, and examine whether my statements, practices, intentions, attitudes, and opinions show sickness of the truth. When things happen, no matter if they are in line with what I want, I must first calm myself and not resist. If I can’t accept what others say and find myself wanting to look for reasons to justify myself, I need to come before God, pray and seek the truth more, look at what God’s word says, and reflect on myself using God’s word, or seek fellowship with brothers and sisters who understand the truth. This way, I can gradually accept the truth and enter into its realities, and only then, bit by bit, will I be able to cast off my corrupt disposition. Once I understood the path of practice, I resolved to change.
Knowing that not looking into the situation of this newcomer in time was already a transgression, I hurried to turn things around. I checked to see if I had failed to water any newcomers properly I was responsible for. As I was chatting with a newcomer, I found that she didn’t quite understand the truth regarding the Lord’s return and the three stages of God’s work. I asked my leader whether the gospel preacher should fellowship with her, but the leader told me to fellowship with her. Although I knew that quickly resolving newcomers’ problems was my responsibility, I was still very resistant. I wanted to argue back, and I didn’t want to obey. I felt that this had happened because the gospel preacher hadn’t fellowshiped clearly, so why was I responsible for this matter? With so many newcomers, I didn’t have enough time, so it should be the gospel preacher who fellowshiped with her. Then I realized my state was incorrect. In fact, what my leader said was appropriate. The suggestion was correct, so why couldn’t I accept it? Why did I still want to argue back so much? Why couldn’t I obey? So, I prayed to God, asking Him to guide me in submitting, not considering my carnal interests, and being responsible for the newcomer’s life. It occurred to me that everyone’s ability to receive is different. Some people hear a gospel preacher’s fellowship and understand it at the time, but it isn’t as clear in some aspects later. This requires waterers to fellowship and fill in the gaps. This is harmonious cooperation. As a waterer, I must resolve problems when I find them. I shouldn’t be picky, do what’s easy, or leave hard problems to others, and I shouldn’t only strive to save trouble and be at ease. I shouldn’t insist on conditions or make excuses in my duty. If I am assigned a newcomer, it is my responsibility to water them properly, ensure they understand the truth, and lay a foundation on the true way. This is my duty. This is genuinely practicing the truth, and real change. Thinking this, my heart felt brightened. I hurried to find this newcomer and fellowship with her on her problem. As I practiced like this, not only did I feel no resistance, I was quite happy. I understood that practicing the truth is not an outward action. Instead, it means accepting God’s words from the heart, practicing the principles of truth, and using God’s word as criteria for how we see people and matters, act, and behave. This way, our mistaken intentions and views, and our corrupt dispositions will unconsciously be replaced by God’s word and the truth.
After that experience, I gained some understanding of my satanic disposition of being stubborn and sick of the truth. I also saw the importance of seeking the truth and acting according to principle in all things. This was entirely the fruit of reading God’s words. Thank God!