19. Seeing That I Was Sick of the Truth
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, then the Holy Spirit will work in you. When you love the truth; when you pray to and depend on God, reflect on yourself and try to know yourself no matter what persecution or tribulation befalls you; when you actively seek the truth to resolve problems that you discover in yourself, you will be able to perform your duty adequately. In this way, you will be capable of standing firm in your testimony. When people love the truth, all of these manifestations come naturally to them. They occur voluntarily, gladly, and without coercion, without any extra conditions attached. If people can follow God in this way, they will ultimately gain the truth and the life, they will enter into the truth reality, and they will live out the image of man. … Whatever your reason for believing in God, God will ultimately determine your outcome based on whether you have gained the truth. If you have not gained the truth, then none of the justifications or excuses you make will hold water. Try to reason as you like, tie yourself in knots as you please—will God care? Will God converse with you? Will He debate and confer with you? Will He consult you? What is the answer? No. He absolutely will not. No matter how strong your reasoning is, it won’t stand up. You must not misunderstand God’s intentions, and think that if you offer all sorts of reasons and excuses then you do not need to pursue the truth. God wants you to be able to seek the truth in all environments and in every matter that befalls you, and finally achieve entry into the truth reality and gain 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 them. These are precisely the lessons you should learn in pursuing the truth. If you always look for excuses to get out of, to evade, to refuse, or to resist these circumstances, then God will give up on you. There is no point in reasoning, or being intractable or difficult—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 I. What It Means to Pursue the Truth (1)). I saw in God’s word that to resolve a corrupt disposition and enter into the truth reality 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 truth principles. 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: “Some people are able to admit that they are devils, Satans, and the offspring of the great red dragon, and they speak very prettily about their self-knowledge. But when they reveal a corrupt disposition and someone exposes them, deals with them, and prunes them, they will try with all their might to justify themselves and they will not accept the truth at all. What is the issue here? In this, these people are exposed utterly. They speak so prettily when they talk about knowing themselves, so why is it that when faced with being pruned and dealt with, they cannot accept the truth? There is a problem here. Is this sort of thing not quite common? Is it easy to discern? It is, in fact. There are quite a few people who admit that they are devils and Satans when they speak of their self-knowledge, but do not repent or change afterward. So, is the self-knowledge they speak of true or false? Do they have sincere knowledge of themselves, or is it just a ruse meant to trick others? The answer is self-evident. Therefore, to see whether a person has true self-knowledge, you should not merely listen to them talk about it—you should look at the attitude they have toward being pruned and dealt with, and whether they can accept the truth. That is the most crucial thing. Whoever does not accept being pruned and dealt with has an essence of not accepting the truth, of refusing to accept it, and their disposition is sick of the truth. That is beyond doubt. Some people do not permit others to deal with them, no matter how much corruption they have revealed—no one may prune or deal with them. They are allowed to talk about their own self-knowledge, in any way that they please, but if someone else exposes them, criticizes them, or deals with them, no matter how objective or in accordance with the facts it is, they will not accept it. No matter what kind of outpouring of a corrupt disposition another person exposes in them, they will be extremely antagonistic and keep giving specious justifications for themselves, without even the slightest bit of true submission. If such people do not pursue the truth, there will be trouble” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. What It Means to Pursue the Truth (1)). “The chief manifestation of being sick of the truth is not just an aversion when people hear the truth. It also includes unwillingness to practice the truth, shrinking back when the time comes to practice the truth, as if the truth has nothing to do with them. When some people fellowship during gatherings, they seem very animated, they like repeating words and doctrines and making lofty statements to mislead and win others over. They seem full of energy and in high spirits as they do this, and they go on and on endlessly. Others, meanwhile, spend all day from morning to night busy with matters of faith, reading God’s words, praying, listening to hymns, taking notes, as if they cannot be apart from God for even a moment. From dawn till dusk, they busy themselves with the performance of their duty. Do these people really love the truth? Do they not have the disposition of being sick of the truth? When can their true state be seen? (When the time comes to practice the truth, they run away, and they are not willing to accept being pruned and dealt with.) 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? The answer is neither of these. They are governed by their nature. This is a problem of disposition. In their hearts, these people know full well that God’s words are the truth, that they are positive, and that practicing the truth can bring about changes in people’s dispositions and make them able to fulfill God’s will—but they do not accept them or put them into practice. This is being sick of the truth” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Knowledge of the Six Kinds of Corrupt Dispositions 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, no matter 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 truth principles. 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 God-fearing heart. 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 sufficiently 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 how people expose or dissect them, they do their utmost to deny it. Whether their denial is deliberate or not, in short, in one regard these behaviors expose the antichrists’ nature 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 irresponsibility. They lack all conscience and reason. Doesn’t the antichrists’ shirking of responsibility demonstrate these issues? In one regard, shirking responsibility proves their nature essence 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 disturbance and evildoing, they feel no self-recrimination and could never be upset 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 reason, 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 saddened 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 reason” (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 truth reality, 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 avoid being 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; 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 face it with a mentality of submission, then it does not matter how many expressions there are of your corrupt disposition, or what transgressions you have previously committed—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 accordance 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 display 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 such 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 truth reality” (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 comprehension ability 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 truth principles, 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 the truth of God’s word.
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!