Chapter 113. Only When You Know Yourself Can You Pursue the Truth

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… There is nothing God despises more than the prayers of religious ceremony. Prayers to God are only accepted when they are sincere. If you have nothing sincere to say, then keep quiet; don’t always speak false words and blindly make oaths before God, trying to deceive God, talking about how much you love God, about how much you wish to be loyal to Him. If you are incapable of achieving your desires, if you lack this resolve and stature, do not, under any circumstances, pray thus before God. When people pray before God with this kind of disposition, then at the very least, this is deception. At worst, if you do this often, then you are of utterly contemptible character. If God were to condemn you, it would be called blasphemy! People have no reverence toward God, they know not how to revere God, or how to love and satisfy Him. If the truth is not clear to them, and their disposition is corrupt, God will let it slide. But they bring such character before God, and treat God as the unbelievers treat people, bowing and scraping before Him in prayer, using these words to try and deceive God, and when they are finished, they not only feel no blame, but also have no sense of the seriousness of the problems of their actions. That being the case, is God with them? Can someone who is utterly without the presence of God be enlightened and illuminated? Can they be enlightened with the truth? If they can’t, then they’re in trouble. Have you prayed thus many times? Do you do so often? When people spend too long in the outside world, the stench of society becomes too great, their evil habits too grievous, they are suffused with the venom and lifestyle of Satan, what comes from their mouth are fake words, deceitful words, words that are heartless, or else words that always contain nothing but their own motivations and aims, and seldom have the proper motivations. These are serious problems. When people take these satanic philosophies and ways of living before God, do they not offend God’s disposition? And what will be the consequence of this? On the surface, these prayers are attempts to deceive, to try to fool God, and are incompatible with His will and requirements. Fundamentally speaking, this is caused by human nature; it is not some momentary revelation of corruption.

… If you have the motivations and perspective of a “nice person,” you will always fall down and fail in these matters. So what should you do in such situations? When faced with such things, you must pray to God. Ask that God give you strength, that He allow you to abide by principle, to do what you should do, to handle things according to principle, to stand your ground, and not let harm come to the work of God’s house. If you are able to forsake your own interests, face and perspective of a “nice person,” if you do what you should do with an honest, undivided heart, then you will have defeated Satan, and will have gained this aspect of the truth. …

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Whether you now perform your duties or pursue the initial stages of dispositional change, no matter what corrupt dispositions are exposed in you, you must seek the truth to resolve them. … If, for example, you always try to disguise yourself with pleasant words, if you always desire a place in the hearts of others and to make others look up to you, if you have these intentions, then that means you are being controlled by your disposition. Should you speak these pleasant words? (No.) If you don’t speak them, then do you simply hold them in? If you find a cleverer phrasing, a different phrasing by which other people can’t detect your intentions, this is still a dispositional problem. What disposition? That of evil. Are corrupt dispositions easy to resolve? Doing so involves man’s nature and essence. People have this essence, this root, and it must be dug out bit by bit. It must be dug out from every state, from the intentions in every word you speak. It must be analyzed and understood from the words you speak. When you become ever more clearly aware of doing so and your spirit ever more astute, you can then achieve change. Resolving corrupt dispositions requires care and diligence. You must pay great attention and reflect little by little on your intentions and states. When you constantly reflect on the ways in which you usually speak, the day will arrive when you suddenly realize, ‘This is evil, it is a corrupt disposition, and is not normal humanity.’ From the day you possess this awareness, you will ever more clearly feel the grave severity of this evil disposition. So, what should you do next? Ceaselessly reflect on the intentions that exist in that same way you speak, and through the process of your incessant digging, you will be ever more able to truly and accurately determine that you have this sort of essence and disposition. When the day comes that you can genuinely admit to yourself that you do have an evil disposition, you will finally be able to loathe and detest it. When a man goes from believing that they are a good person, that they act uprightly and justly, that they are endowed with a sense of justice, that they are a man of honor and honesty, to recognizing their nature and essence as being arrogant, hardened, deceitful, hateful of the truth and wicked, only then will they be able to accurately know their place, and to know exactly what they are; true hatred of oneself can never arise through verbal recognition alone. Coming to know oneself is the most difficult thing to do.

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The more capable you are of discovering your own corruption, the more accurate this discovery, and the more you can know your own substance, then the more likely it is you will be saved and the closer you will come to salvation; the more incapable you are of discovering this, the better you think you are, and the more self-satisfied you are, then the further you will be away from the path to salvation, and this is very dangerous. Anyone who spends all day flaunting their accomplishments, saying that they are silver-tongued, reasonable, that they understand the truth and are capable of forsaking things when they practice the truth—anyone who spends all day flaunting these things is of especially small stature. What kind of person has greater hope of salvation, and is capable of walking the path of salvation? Those who truly know their corrupt disposition. The more profound their knowledge, the closer they come to salvation. Knowing your corrupt disposition, knowing that you are nothing, useless, that you are a living Satan—when you truly know your substance, this is not a serious problem. This is something good, not bad. Is there anyone who becomes more negative the more they know themselves, who feel that it’s all over for them, that the judgment and chastisement of God has befallen them, that it is punishment and retribution, that they are not wanted by God and have no hope of salvation—are there people who are under such illusions? In fact, the more people recognize how hopeless they are, the greater the hope for them; they shouldn’t be negative and they shouldn’t give up. Knowing yourself is a good thing—it is the path that must be taken to salvation.

Previous: Chapter 111. How to Discern the Nature and Substance of Paul

Next: Chapter 114. Only by Seeking the Principles of the Truth Can You Perform Your Duty Well

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Preface

These fellowships and words are directed toward the many difficult aspects and areas of putting truth into practice; they are also directed...

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