Words on Other Topics

Excerpt 80

Everyone acknowledges that God rules over human destiny and that a person’s entire life is in God’s hands, but if you could truly experience how every big event in every time and period of a person’s life is arranged under God’s rule and not according to their own plans and arrangements; if you could see that people can’t overcome their own destiny or any suffering they must face; when you’re able to experience these things, this is having true faith. This makes it much more real when you say, “God rules over human destiny, and everything is in God’s hands.” Experiencing God’s sovereignty and His arrangements and design is a subtle thing. It’s something you experience and something you can’t explain if you haven’t gone through, but the more you experience and the more you’ve been through, the better you can explain it. There’s a saying that goes, “By the age of 50, you comprehend your destiny.” What does it mean to say that you comprehend your destiny? People in their twenties have just encountered the world. They’re young and reckless and they know nothing, and they can’t comprehend that this human life is all in the hands of God. They keep wanting to struggle with their fate and keep thinking they have talent and expertise, and they keep striving on their own trying to make a name for themselves and gain wealth and position. They keep trying even when they fail, always trying to get one more shot. Then they look back in their 50s and think, “Man, running around on earth for these thirty something years and doing all of this scrambling about has surely been tough! Not one step of my getting married, building a career, and having kids has happened according to my own plans and calculations—it’s all been fate!” This is understanding your destiny; there’s no more fighting it. Comprehending one’s destiny by the age of 50 is actually just people reaching 50 and learning to make peace with fate after hitting so many setbacks. When people comprehend their destiny, they stop fighting it. As for things like what human life is about, what God’s sovereignty over humanity is about, what exactly people should live for, and how they should live, do people completely understand them? Unbelievers can’t understand these things because they don’t believe in God, and the most they can do is to accept their destiny and understand that it’s useless to resist it. Then they see their children and grandchildren fighting destiny and say, “Let nature take its course, each generation has its own blessings. Just let it be, they’ll stop fighting destiny when they reach 50. This is how it goes from generation to generation. They all fight destiny until they’re older and they can’t any longer. They’ll accept their destiny and learn their lesson. They’ll no longer be so brash and arrogant, and they’ll have settled down more.” This is the most that unbelievers can see, but can they understand the truth? They most certainly can’t because they don’t believe in God and they don’t read His words. How could they understand the truth? Does knowing your destiny at the age of 50 mean that you understand the truth? People believe that “Man’s fate is determined by Heaven.” Does this mean that they submit to the will of Heaven? (It doesn’t.) Just believing in this won’t do. To know these things is simply to not struggle against fate, but it isn’t yet understanding the truth. People must come before God and receive His salvation to understand the truth. They must receive the judgment of His words and receive the truth and the life that’s offered to understand the mystery of it all. Otherwise, people still won’t know what human life is all about, why people live, and why they die, even if they live to 70, 80, or a hundred. People take this short walk on earth and live for several decades without figuring out what human life is about before it’s over. At death, they feel discontented and continue to dwell on this and that, leaving this world with regret in the end and gaining nothing. Wouldn’t it be sad if they were reborn in the next life and kept living like this? (It would.) Each generation of people tragically comes and goes one after the other, the living send off the departed and then are sent off by the next generation. They go on like this in a cycle, living in a daze and understanding nothing. It’s different for you who have accepted God’s work in the last days. You’ve caught up to this precious and rare opportunity of God become flesh to save humanity in the last days. You can receive the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and gain His personal shepherding and leading. You understand many mysteries and much truth, and you can fulfill your duty as created beings. Your corrupt dispositions can be cleansed and changed. You have gained so much, more than the saints of generations past. Is this not the most blessed thing? You are the most blessed of all.

After reading God’s words and experiencing years of their judgment and chastisement, you’ve gradually come to understand the objective of God’s management of humanity and the mystery of His management and salvation of humanity. You’ve understood God’s will and come to know His rule. You’re willing in your heart to obey God, and you’re able to obey Him. Living feels secure and fulfilling. God has you live, you live for God, and you live to fulfill your duty as a created being. This is the meaningful way to live. If people live without accepting or understanding the truth and live only for the flesh, there’s no value in that whatsoever. You are all striving toward the truth now, and you’re living with more and more conscience and sense. You’re more and more of what a human ought to be, and you understand the truth more and more. You know more and more to obey God, and you can bear witness for God as a created being. Living like this will fill your heart with peace and joy, and this is the most meaningful life there is. This is a blessing that only you have gained out of all humanity. In this vast world and all of humankind, God has chosen only the few of you and had you born into this final age and into the nation of the great red dragon. You can receive His commission and fulfill your duty, and you can expend for Him. You are God’s favored and those He has chosen. Is this not the most blessed thing? (It is.) This is such a blessed thing. There are people who believe in God but can’t throw everything aside to fulfill their duty, and this is regrettable. There are people who don’t understand the truth, and even when they fulfill their duty it can only be said that they’re doing service to God. They offer the strength that they have while striking deals with God in their hearts and hoping to gain blessings. When they one day understand the truth, they’ll be able to settle down and fulfill their duty willingly. Your life now and your living every day to bear witness to God and spread God’s kingdom gospel is the way to live that He approves of. To put it plainly, God allows you to live like this, and it’s God who’s given you this opportunity. God has given you this opportunity and had you live, fulfilling your duty and expending for Him, and this is the most meaningful thing. You should feel proud and honored and cherish this opportunity. You’re so young, and for you to fulfill your duty, follow God, and bear witness to Him in the midst of disaster and in such hostile surroundings and conditions—what a rare chance this is! God’s becoming flesh in the last days and expressing so much truth to completely save humanity so that humanity may gain the truth and be purified is the rarest opportunity. There isn’t much time, and it’s gone in the blink of an eye. You should take hold of this opportunity and gain all the truth that you should. This is the greatest blessing, and it’s a blessing greater than that of all the saints of ages past.

Excerpt 83

For all those who have now believed in God for several years, even though they have laid down a foundation, there is a real problem that must be resolved. Most people have some understanding of all aspects of the truth, and they can speak and preach the correct words and doctrines, but they have not experienced the correctness of these words in their real lives. They have not truly experienced what the real meaning and practical side of the truths contained within those words are. To enter the truth reality, you need a suitable environment, the correct people by your side, and suitable people, matters, and things that enable you to grow in life. This way, both these truths and these doctrines that you understand will be confirmed, and will make you gain experience. If a living seed is dropped into fertile soil, but it lacks the sun’s rays and the moisture of rainwater, will the bud that grows from it not wither? (Yes, it will.) Therefore, when you have heard many sermons, many truths, and many of God’s words, and you have already ascertained that this path is the correct one, and the right path in life, what do you need at this time? You need to ask God to arrange a suitable environment for you that is edifying and helpful for your life and can make you grow in life. This environment may not be very comfortable—one’s flesh must endure hardship, and one must renounce and let go of many things. This is something that you have all experienced by now. For example, say that you were persecuted and unable to return home, to see or get in touch with your children or spouse, to meet with your relatives or friends, or to receive any news from them. In the dead of night, you would begin to think about home: “How is my father doing? He’s old, and I have no way to honor him. My mother is in poor health, and I don’t know how she’s doing now.” Wouldn’t you always be thinking about these matters? If your heart is always constrained by such things, what consequences will it bear on the performance of your duty? It is beneficial to your life progress if you do not get mixed up or concern yourself so much with worldly, fleshly matters. Your thinking and worrying will not serve any function; these matters are all in the hands of God, and you cannot change the fates of your family members. You must understand that your top priority as a believer in God is to be considerate of His will, to fulfill your duty, to gain true faith, to enter the reality of God’s words, to grow in life, and to gain the truth. This is what matters most. On the surface, it seems as if people actively forsake the world and their families, but what is actually going on? (It is God who rules over and arranges this.) It is arranged by God; it is He who prevents you from seeing your family. To put it more aptly, God deprives you of them. Aren’t these the most practical words? (They are.) People always say that God rules over and arranges things, so how does He rule over this matter? He brings you out of your home, not letting your family turn into a burden that encumbers you. So, where does He take you? He takes you to an environment where there are no entanglements of the flesh, where you cannot see your loved ones. When you worry about them, and want to do something for them, you cannot, and when you want to offer your filial piety, you cannot. They cannot entangle you anymore. God has moved you away from them, and deprived you of all these entanglements, otherwise you would still be filial to them, render service for them, and slave away for them. Is God moving you away from all these external entanglements a good or bad thing? (A good thing.) It is something good, and there is no need to regret it. Since it is a good thing, what should people do? People should thank God, saying: “God loves me so much!” One cannot overcome the bondage of affection on their own, because people’s hearts are all constrained by affection. They all wish to be united with their family, for their whole family to gather together, with everyone safe, healthy, and happy, and to spend every day like this, without ever separating. But there is a bad side to this. You will devote all of your life’s energy and efforts, your youth, your greatest years, and all the best parts of your life to them; you will give your whole life for the sake of your flesh, family, loved ones, work, fame and fortune, and all kinds of complicated relationships, and you will consequently completely destroy yourself. So, how does God love man? God says: “Don’t destroy yourself in this mud pit. If both of your feet are stuck, you won’t be able to pull yourself out no matter how you exhaust yourself. You don’t have the stature or the bravery, not to mention the faith. I will bring you out Myself.” This is what God does, and He does not discuss it with you. Why doesn’t God ask for people’s opinions? Some people say: “God is the Creator, He does whatever He wants. Humans are like ants and bugs, they are nothing in the eyes of God.” This is how things are, but is that how God treats people? No, it isn’t. God expresses so many truths and gifts them to man, enabling people to be cleansed of their corruption, and to gain a new life from Him. God’s love for man is so great. These are all things that people can see. God has intentions for you, His purpose in bringing you here is to make you embark on the correct path in life, to live out a life of meaning, a path that you would not be able to choose on your own. People’s subjective wish is to spend their lifetime safe and sound, and even if they don’t make a fortune, at least they want to be united with their family forever, and enjoy this kind of familial happiness. They don’t understand how to be considerate of God’s will, nor do they understand how to give thought to their future destinations or to God’s will to save humanity. But God does not make a fuss over their lack of understanding, and He does not need to say too much to them, because they don’t understand, their stature is too small, and any discussion would only reach an impasse. Why would it reach an impasse? Because the great matter of God’s management plan to save humanity is not something that people can understand with just one or two sentences of explanation. Since that is the case, God makes decisions and acts directly, until the day comes when people eventually understand.

When God takes some of His chosen people out of the adverse environment of mainland China, His good intentions are in this, which everyone can now see. In regard to this matter, people must often show gratitude and thank God for showing them grace. You have emerged from that family environment, broken away from all the complicated interpersonal relationships of the flesh, and extricated yourself from all worldly and fleshly entanglements. God has brought you out of a complex snare and into His presence and into His house. God says: “It is peaceful here, this place is very good, and it is well-suited for your growth. This is where God’s words and guidance are, and where the truth reigns. God’s will to save humanity lies here, and the work of salvation is centered here. So, grow to your heart’s content here.” God brings you into this kind of environment, an environment that may not contain the comfort of your loved ones, where your children are not around to care for you when you get sick, and where there is no one for you to confide in. When you are by yourself, and you think about the suffering and difficulties of your flesh and everything you will face in the future, in those times, you will feel alone. Why will you feel alone? One objective reason is that people are too small in stature. What is the subjective reason? (People do not completely let go of their fleshly loved ones.) That’s right, it is that people are unable to let go of them. People who live in the flesh take as pleasures the various relationships and family bonds of the flesh. They believe that people can’t live without their loved ones. Why is it that you do not think of how you came into the world of man? You came alone, originally without relations to others. God brings people here one by one; when you came, you were, in fact, alone. You did not feel alone at that time, so why do you feel alone when God brings you here now? You think that you are missing a partner that you can confide in, whether it be your children, your parents, or your other half—your husband or wife—and so, you feel alone. Then, when you feel alone, why don’t you think of God? Is God not a companion to man? (Yes, He is.) When you feel the most suffering and sadness, who can truly comfort you? Who can truly resolve your difficulties? (God can.) Only God can truly resolve people’s difficulties. If you are sick, and your children are by your side, pouring you drinks, and waiting on you, you will feel quite happy, but in time your children will get fed up and no one will be willing to wait on you. In times like those you will feel truly alone! So now, when you think that you have no partner, is that really true? It is actually not, since God is always keeping you company! God does not leave people; He is someone they can rely on and find shelter in at all times, and their only confidant. So, no matter what difficulties and suffering befall you, no matter what grievances, or matters of negativity and weakness you are confronted with, if you come before God and pray at once, His words will give you comfort, and resolve your difficulties and all your different problems. In an environment like this, your loneliness will become the basic condition for experiencing God’s words and gaining the truth. As you experience, you will slowly come to think: “I am still living a good life after leaving my parents, a fulfilling life after leaving my husband, and a peaceful and joyous life after leaving my children. I am no longer empty. I will no longer rely on people, I will rely on God instead. He will provide for me and help me at all times. Although I cannot touch Him or see Him, I know that He is by my side at all times, and in all places. As long as I pray to Him, as long as I call on Him, He will move me, and make me understand His will and see the proper path.” At that time, He will truly become your God, and all of your problems will be resolved.

Excerpt 87

If, right now, you have yet to find the feeling and the principles of being a saint, this proves that your life entry is too shallow, and that you have not yet understood the truth. In your ordinary behavior and conduct, and the environment in which you live each day, you should savor and ponder carefully, fellowship with each other, encourage each other, give each other reminders, help and care for each other, and support and provide for each other. There must be principles to how brothers and sisters interact. Do not always focus on others’ faults, instead you must examine yourself frequently, and then proactively admit to other people what things you have done that caused interference or harm to them, and learn to open yourself up and fellowship. In this way, you can achieve mutual understanding. What’s more, no matter what befalls you, you should view things based on the words of God. If people are able to understand the truth principles and find a path of practice, they will become of one heart and mind, and the relationship between the brothers and sisters will be normal, they will not be as indifferent, cold, and cruel as the unbelievers, and they will shed their mentality of mutual suspicion and wariness. The brothers and sisters will become more intimate with each other; they will be able to support and love each other; there will be goodwill in their hearts, and they will be capable of tolerance and compassion toward each other, and they will support and help one another, instead of alienating each other, being envious of each other, measuring themselves against one another, and secretly competing and being defiant toward each other. How can people perform their duties well if they are like the unbelievers? Not only will this impact their life entry, it will also harm and affect others. For example, you might get angry when people look at you the wrong way, or when they say something that is out of line with your will, and when someone does something that stops you from distinguishing yourself, you might resent them, and feel uncomfortable and unhappy, and always think of how to restore your reputation. Women and young people are particularly incapable of overcoming this. They always obsess over minor disputes and disagreements, are prone to being willful, and live in a state of negativity. They are not willing to pray to God or eat and drink the word of God, which in turn affects their life entry. When people live by their corrupt dispositions, it is very hard for them to be at peace before God, and it is very difficult for them to practice the truth and live by God’s words. To live before God, you must first learn how to reflect on and know yourself, and truly pray to God, and then you must learn how to get on with the brothers and sisters. You must be tolerant of each other, lenient with each other, and be able to see what others’ strengths and merits are—you must learn to accept others’ opinions and things that are right. Don’t indulge yourself, don’t have ambitions and desires and always think you’re better than other people, and then think of yourself as some great figure, forcing other people to do what you say, to obey you, to look up to you, to exalt you—this is deviant. If an individual’s arrogant disposition is not resolved, and this is coupled with swelling ambitions and desires, it can easily lead to deviancy. Hence, those who cannot accept the truth and fail to self-reflect and know themselves are in great danger. They always harbor ambitions, always aspire to be great people and supermen—this is deviancy, this is extreme arrogance. They have lost all sense, they are not normal people, they are deviant people, and they are demons. Dominated by arrogant dispositions, they look down on others in their hearts, regarding them as very insignificant and ignorant. They fail to recognize the strengths of others but can infinitely magnify others’ shortcomings; they despise them in their hearts, and they declare and belittle these shortcomings at every turn, hurting and upsetting others, and eventually causing other people to obey and listen to them, or to fear and hide from them. When a relationship like this emerges or exists between people, is this what you want to see? Can you accept it? (No.) For instance, suppose that you are a bit taller and better looking than others, which causes some people to admire you. As a result, you feel quite pleased with yourself and subsequently look down on those who are shorter and less good-looking. What kind of disposition is revealed in this? Some people look at those who are not as good-looking, who are a bit shorter, and who are a bit more foolish and not so quick-witted, with a contemptuous gaze, and even utter sarcastic words to mock them. Is it appropriate to treat people this way? Is this a manifestation of normal humanity? Definitely not. So, what is the most correct way to deal with such a situation? (To not ridicule others for their shortcomings, and to respect others.) This is a principle. It appears that you have some understanding of this. So how does God treat people? God does not care what people look like, whether they’re tall or short. Instead, He looks at whether their hearts are kind, whether they love the truth, and whether they love and obey Him. This is what God bases His behavior toward people on. If people can also do this, they will be able to treat others fairly, and in accordance with the truth principles. First of all, we must understand the will of God, and know how God behaves toward men, then we too will have a principle and path for how to behave toward people. Generally, people all have a bit of vanity. When they receive a couple of words of praise, they feel a bit pleased with themselves, they hum a tune and walk with their heads held high. This is a revelation of Satan’s disposition. If they also judge and look down on others, what kind of disposition is this? It’s a vicious, arrogant, and evil disposition. If people fail to recognize and see the ugliness of living by their corrupt dispositions, it’s difficult for them to shed these corrupt dispositions, and they can’t live out true human likeness.

Excerpt 89

During God’s salvation of man, what baseline does He give people, regardless of how rebellious they are, or how deeply corrupt their dispositions are? That is, under what circumstances does God abandon people and cast them out? What is the lowest standard that you must reach for God to keep you and not cast you out? This is something that all of God’s chosen people must be clear about. Firstly, not denying God—this is the most basic condition. There is practical content within what it means to not deny God. It is not just acknowledging that there is an Old Man in the Sky, or that God has become flesh, or that God’s name is Almighty God. This is not enough, this does not meet the standard for believing in God. At the very least, you must recognize that God incarnate is the practical God; you must not doubt or judge; you must be able to submit even if you have notions—this is the standard for belief in God. Only by reaching this standard will God acknowledge you as a person who believes in Him. God has at least three baselines for people. Firstly, they must acknowledge Him, believe in Him, and follow Him. They must be sincere believers in God, they must fulfill their duties to the best of their abilities, and they must not do evil or cause disturbances. This is the first baseline. Secondly, in the course of following God, they must, at the very least, not abandon their duties. They must obey and submit when performing their duties, achieve average results in them, and, at least, render service to an acceptable standard. This is the second baseline. Thirdly, their humanity must be up to standard. They must be considered good people, or, at the very least, people with conscience and reason. They should be able to basically get along with most of God’s chosen people, and not be a rotten apple. People like this are, at the very least, not bad or wicked people. This is the third baseline. If someone cannot accept the truth, and refuses to perform a duty no matter what, then they are not a true believer in God—at the very least, their humanity is not up to standard. This means that they have sunk below the baseline and must be cast out. All those with bad humanity, who cannot accept the slightest bit of the truth, who cause disturbances and disruptions, and do not play a positive role in the church, may be classified as wicked people. Someone who cannot get along with most other people is a rotten apple, a wicked person, and even more so, they are someone who has sunk below the baseline and should be cast out. Those wicked people and antichrists may perform duties, but they just cause disruptions, disturbances, destruction, and do evil—could God want people like this? Are they doing their duties? (They are not.) In God’s eyes, their actions have broken through the baseline. They are incapable of fulfilling their duties, and the harm they cause outweighs whatever duties they perform, so they must be removed from the church. Is this not the principle by which people are treated in the house of God? Was anybody ever cleared out because they were momentarily in a bad state, and felt negative and weak? Was anybody ever made to stop performing their duty because they were occasionally a little careless and didn’t perform it well? Was anybody ever cleared out because they achieved poor results in their duty, or because they revealed some bad thoughts or ideas? Was anybody ever cleared out because they had small stature, and notions and doubts about God arose in them? (No.) Then, what is the principle of God’s house for clearing people out? Which people are cleared out and made to stop performing their duties? (Those whose service does more harm than good, and who consistently cause disruptions and disturbances.) This type of person is not worthy of performing a duty. This does not mean that someone is biased against them or restricting and clearing them out due to personal spite; it means that they do not get any results in their duty, and they cause disruptions and disturbances. They are cleared out because they are truly unworthy of performing a duty. This completely accords with the truth principles. The principles by which the house of God handles and treats people are all fair. God’s house does not try to catch people slipping up, make mountains out of molehills, or create big fusses over nothing. You must believe that God’s house is ruled by the truth. Of course, some people who have been cleared out may still have hope for salvation if they can accept the truth and sincerely repent to God. But those nonbelievers and wicked people who cannot accept even a bit of the truth, who lack conscience and reason, will be cast out forever after they are exposed. This is God’s righteousness.

Excerpt 90

Why does God require that people know Him? Why does He require people to know themselves? What is the purpose of knowing oneself? What is the desired result? And what is the purpose of knowing God? What effect is to be achieved in people by having them know God? Are these questions you’ve considered? God uses various means to get people to know themselves. He has prepared all manner of environments for people to expose their corruption, and to get them to know themselves progressively through experience. Whether it’s the revelation of God’s words or His judgment and chastisement, do you understand what the ultimate purpose of God doing this work is? God’s ultimate purpose in doing His work this way is to allow every person who experiences His work to know what man is. And what does this entail, this “knowing what man is”? It entails letting man know his identity and his status, his duty and his responsibility. It means letting you know what it means to be human, letting you understand who you are. This is God’s ultimate goal in getting people to know themselves. So why does God have people know Him? This is the special grace He bestows upon mankind, because by knowing God, man can understand many truths and see through many mysteries. People gain so much by knowing God. When people know God, they learn how to live in the most meaningful way, so getting people to pursue knowledge of God is God’s greatest love, His greatest blessing. And God avails of many ways to get people to know Him, the most primary one being the judgment and chastisement, guidance, and provision of His words. Of course, He also makes people know His disposition through judgment and chastisement—this is a shortcut for knowing God. What is the ultimate result achieved by people seeing and knowing the disposition of God? It is making people know who God is, what His essence is, what His identity and status are, what His possessions and being are, and what His disposition is. It is making every person see clearly that they are created beings, that only God is the Creator, and how created beings ought to submit to the Creator. By knowing all this, man’s path in life becomes completely elucidated. When people truly know themselves, can they not then gradually let go of their extravagant desires and various unjust intentions? (Yes.) So can they then reach the point where they are able to let go completely? This depends on the individual. A person can only truly let go of their extravagant desires and various demands of God when, through His work, they attain a knowledge of God and acquire an accurate knowledge and definition of His essence, identity, and status. Only this type of person can, like Peter, express their heartfelt wish and desire to love God from the bottom of their heart, and put love of God into practice. Thus, knowing God and knowing oneself—neither can be dispensed with. You say you want to love God, but can you know how to love Him if you do not understand Him? What parts of Him are lovable? What are His most lovable aspects? If you do not know this, you cannot love Him. You will be incapable of loving Him, even if you want to, and you may even find notions about Him and rebelliousness involuntarily arising in you, leading to negativity. Will this kind of person receive God’s approval? They will not. When someone does not know God and nevertheless says they love Him, this so-called “love” is all empty theory evoked by human logic and reasoning. It does not arise from a knowledge of God, and it doesn’t hold up at all with God. Do you now see what I’m saying about these two matters? (Yes.) Then why weren’t you able to say it just now? This proves that your knowledge of yourself in practical experience is muddled, and that you don’t have true knowledge of God. Do you know what the issue here is? (We have not found the correct path of practice. We cannot enter concurrently from the two aspects of knowing God and knowing ourselves. We focus only on entering from a single aspect, thus limiting the growth of our life.) Since this is the state you are now in, how is your stature? Is it not immature? Are you not very far from God’s requirement and standard in terms of knowing yourself? At the very least, you still cannot let go of your personal desires and intentions. Can your submission to God accord with the truth? Are you able to know whether God has any status in your heart? There are many people who even now still question whether God’s incarnation is human or God; they have a foot in both camps, one moment believing in the God on earth, the next believing in a vague God up in the sky. And there are some who even question God’s essence, who say, “How can the incarnated God and the God in the sky be the same God? If He really is God, why doesn’t He display miracles and signs?” This shows that you have a severe lack of spiritual understanding. Such is your stature that despite God saying so much you still don’t understand it. Now you only acknowledge that God has become flesh, you only acknowledge the truth expressed by God incarnate; but you don’t have much of any knowledge when it comes to God’s essence, identity, and status. You could say that in your hearts this knowledge amounts to zero, does it not? (It does.) And this can be proven in fact: Before I fellowshiped on such aspects of the truth as God’s essence or God’s will, you thought your knowledge of God was profound, and you thought your belief in God was steadfast and unwavering. But when I fellowshiped with you about such truths as God Himself, God’s disposition, and God’s essence, these words and contents provoked a strong reaction in your hearts. This reaction was intense, and it made it difficult for you to accept, creating a great conflict with the God you had imagined in your hearts. Is this not a fact? (It is.) So, when I say some things that you haven’t heard before, you find it impossible to accept at first, as if you can’t understand what it is I’m saying. This proves that your stature is too small, so much that you cannot even understand God’s words or measure up to them. You will need several more years of experience before you can understand.

Excerpt 91

God’s assessment of Job is recorded in the Old Testament: “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil” (Job 1:8). In the last days, God not only bore witness to the fact that Peter truly loved Him, but also to the fact that Job was a person who had true faith in Him, and God requires that His chosen people must at least have the faith of Job if they are to follow Him to the end. In your imaginings, and within the scope of the limited texts that you understand, what kind of person was Job? Was he a good person? (Yes.) In what ways was this primarily manifested? Firstly, he was a man who feared God, and he never did evil. This is the primary manifestation and mark of a good person. Furthermore, he was principled in his conduct, and principled in how he treated his children and family. He did not try to cover up his children’s faults, and he prayed to God and entrusted his children to Him, which showed people that his attitude toward his children was completely correct and in accordance with God’s will. What do you think it would be like, as children, to have a father like that? Wouldn’t it make you feel happy? But what were Job’s friends like? When Job was faced with trials and tribulations, how did his friends treat him? None of them could understand him, and moreover they judged him: “You offended God, and He has cursed you. Look at where your belief in God has gotten you. How pitiful!” Even Job’s wife said, “Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). During this time of extreme suffering, that was how Job’s friends and wife treated him, which caused him immense harm and pain. But there were very few people who understood Job—this is true. When we read Job’s story now, we feel that it is, in fact, people like Job who are the most reliable and trustworthy, and that this kind of person is a truly good person. They will never deceive or harm you, and they’ll always adhere to principles in the way that they treat you. If you are a correct person, they won’t condemn you or say nasty things about you just because you do one bad thing or because other people speak ill of you. They won’t go against the facts and speak in a crooked way to falsely accuse people. They won’t let affections or preferences guide their speech. Over time, you’ll see: “Now this is a good person. Whenever we encounter a bit of difficulty, we just cast aside our duties, but they never forsake the name of God, no matter how great the trials and tribulations they face. No wonder God likes this kind of person. If I had a person like this by my side, no matter what sickness or tribulations befell me, they would be able to continue helping, assisting, caring for, and tolerating me just as before. This kind of person is wonderful. Even if they were to sometimes get on my nerves or if we didn’t always get along, I’d much rather have them by my side than one of those Satans and devils!” Typically, Satans and devils will outwardly say, “You’re so great. I love you and care about you so much,” but as soon as you encounter some trouble, they’ll ignore you, and that’s when you’ll realize what a good person is, and what a reliable person is. Only those who are trustworthy, and fear God and shun evil, are truly good people, and good people are so precious. It would be wonderful if you had a dozen people like Job by your side—but now you have none! At this time, you’ll feel just how rare a good person is. Everyone needs a good person like this. Everyone likes righteous and benevolent people, people with kind hearts who act in a principled manner, who have a sense of justice, who fear God and shun evil, and who are worthy of trust.

When you are beset by tribulations and illness, when your heart suffers the most, what kind of person do you need by your side? Do you need someone who speaks false and honeyed words? Do you need someone who judges, condemns, and criticizes you? (No.) What kind of person do you need the most then? You need a person who can show sympathy for your difficulties and console you, who can listen to you talk about the pain in your heart and then help you to emerge from your negativity, weakness, and suffering. This person can help you—they won’t laugh at you or kick you when you’re down, and they won’t turn a blind eye to your difficulties. That is, if you need them to comfort you, and you have difficulties, times of weakness, and private problems, you can share these things with them, and they won’t spread them around behind your back, mock you, ridicule you, or make a mess of your personal affairs. They can approach your difficulties, weakness, negativity, and the weak parts of your humanity correctly. Isn’t it principled to approach these things correctly? Aren’t these manifestations of a good person? This kind of person can understand you, tolerate you, and care for you. They can support you, provide for you, and help you to pull yourself out of your pain and weakness. They provide such great assistance to you. A person like this is exceedingly precious. This is a good person! Say that someone ignores you, and even ridicules and mocks you when he sees that you have a problem. You want to confide in him about something, but then you think to yourself, “I can’t tell him. If I do, there could be repercussions. He might go and talk about my personal affairs behind my back. Then everyone would laugh at me, and who knows what stories he’d make up to slander me.” Would you dare talk to someone like that? You’d have no idea exactly what he’d be capable of doing. Not only might he not help or support you, he could make a mess of your personal affairs, and deceive and harm you. Would you dare confide in him? At this time, you’d realize just how important, valuable, and precious good people are, and that there is more value in being a good person than in being any other kind of person. Even your parents might not truly understand your difficulties and needs when you are suffering and in pain, and they won’t be able to console you. There are some children who work hard and take on jobs outside the home—in particular, some women have to curry favor with their bosses or even sell their bodies to make a bit of money—and their parents never ask about how hard it is for their children to work outside the home or how difficult it is for them to make money. They even complain if their children don’t bring a lot of money home, and compare them to others. How does this make their children feel? (Sad, dejected.) Their hearts sink. They feel the world is such a dark place, and that even their own parents are this way, and wonder how they’re going to go on living. That’s why you must be a good person. Everyone needs a good person. And how do good people come about? Do they just fall out of the sky? Do they sprout from the ground? Is there some animal out of which they evolve? Are they products of the education of high-ranking schools? Or products of ascetic religious cultivation? No, none of these explanations are correct, all of them are absolutely impossible. One can only become a good person by following God, practicing the truth, and accepting God’s salvation. Good people do not arise through the sudden transformation of corrupt humans—people must believe in God and receive His salvation, they must pursue the truth, obtain the work of the Holy Spirit, and be made perfect in order to become good people. Everyone needs a good person by their side as a friend and confidant. Tell Me, does God need them too? (Yes.) God needs good people, and people need good people too. What effect will understanding this matter have on you? You must have this resolve and this desire to strive to become a good person. If you say, “Being a good person is difficult and tiring, but I must have the resolve to strive toward becoming one. People desperately need good people, and I also need good people. So I’ll become a good person myself first, and assist and support others, endeavoring to help God gain more good people,” then this is correct. If everyone strives to be a good person, then there will be hope for humankind. You might say, “Humanity is so corrupt and evil. It’s no use if only a couple believers in God are good people. They’ll still be pushed around because there are too many wicked people.” This is a foolish thing to say. You believe in God to attain salvation. If you become a good and righteous person, God will bless you. No matter how evil and corrupt humans are, God has ways of dealing with them. People do not need to worry themselves about this. You only have to focus on pursuing the truth and attaining God’s salvation. This is what accords with His will. Only eight people were ultimately saved when Noah made the ark. All those who did not believe God’s words and did not walk the right path were destroyed in the end by God’s flood. This is a recognized fact. Why is it that you cannot recognize God’s omnipotence? Why can you not recognize that God is a righteous God? When God concludes His work, no matter how many people attain salvation, this age must come to an end. The great disasters must descend, and God will resolve all of these problems. You pursue the truth and become a righteous person for your own sake—it benefits you, and it benefits others. Some people say, “The good do not get what they deserve,” but this is incorrect. Those who pursue the truth will ultimately have their place in the kingdom of heaven, and no matter how much the wicked prosper on earth, they will all ultimately be destroyed and cast down into hell. So, both the good and the evil get their just deserts, do they not? What does it say in the Bible? “My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).

The things that Job did which are recorded in the Book of Job actually take up very little space, they are very simple, and there aren’t very many of them. But you should be able to seek out clues within Job’s actions, and find Job’s principles and path of practice for being a good person. First of all, what was Job’s principle regarding his treatment of his children and those closest to him? It was to not depend on his affections, but to adhere to principles. He was not going to sin against God because of the things that happened. This was the first criterion of his fearing God and shunning evil—it began with his treatment of his own family members. Secondly, there was his treatment of his assets. Job knew that, although his assets were mere worldly possessions, they came from God and were that which God had bestowed upon him and with which God had blessed him. People should manage and look after these things carefully and well. Looking after them well does not mean greedily possessing or enjoying them, and it does not mean living for these things; it means thanking God for them, seeing the orchestrations of God’s hands and His sovereignty within them, and knowing God through these things. When people know God, they are then able to obey His sovereignty, and this really is the most crucial criterion for being a good person. If you can adhere to principles when dealing with others, but you are unable to obey God, then are you really being a good person? No, you aren’t. Furthermore, in his treatment of God’s sovereignty and arrangements, Job was able to submit to all of God’s sovereignty and arrangements. God’s arrangements include His deprivation and His trials. Sometimes God deprives, sometimes He tests. What do His trials include? Sometimes He may make you ill, or cause some adverse circumstances to occur within your family, or He may cause you to encounter some difficulties, be pruned and dealt with, and be chastened, disciplined, judged, and chastised by Him in the course of performing your duty. These are all God’s arrangements—and how should you approach them? If you cannot submit to them, and you constantly want to escape from them, then you are not experiencing God’s work. Additionally, people must be loyal in how they approach their duties. They must demonstrate their loyalty. What does loyalty mean here? It means offering up all they are capable of and all they possess. That is loyalty! This is the standard for being a good person. If among you now there were just one person like Job—no need for more, just one—then you’d have a pillar among you. When something befell you, they would serve as your role model at all times. You’d only have to do as they did, and over time you’d change. You’d keep improving, from your thoughts to your actions, from seeking the truth to practicing it. Your state would rise straight up, moving in a positive direction, allowing you to embark on the right path of belief in God. After experiencing God’s work for some number of years in this way, you too would be able to fear God and shun evil like Job, and become a perfect person.

Excerpt 93

What do those who do not understand the truth rely on when they do things? They rely on human methods, human intellect, and a little human ingenuity. When things get done and completed using these, people become arrogant. They feel they have capital and can brag and flaunt their seniority. This is called lacking reason. In fact, they do not know whether what they have done is actually in accordance with God’s will or not. They do not understand, they lack insight. Thus, when something befalls them, such people tend to split hairs. When they make mistakes doing their duty and are dealt with, they look for external reasons, blaming this and blaming that. They blame poor circumstances, they blame themselves for not thinking things through at the time. They only look for external reasons; they do not acknowledge that they do not understand the truth, or that they have not grasped the truth principles. Their hearts are negative and filled with misunderstanding of God, and they believe that God has exposed them. Is this really the case? In doing their duty they reveal their corrupt dispositions. They do things without any principles and without any relation to the truth. How pitiful they are. Such people do their duty without obedience; they cannot be said to have any loyalty or devotion, and fearing God and shunning evil is even more out of the question. They constantly rely on human methods to do things, and only act and exert effort externally, but ultimately they still fail to understand the truth. Are there changes in the life dispositions of these people? Are their relationships with God normal? Is there any improvement in their obedience to and fear of God? (No.) There is no improvement in their lives. There is no change in their corrupt dispositions. They only become more cunning and more devious, using more deceitful means and even growing more arrogant. No matter what they are faced with, they still live by Satan’s philosophy, constantly summing up their experiences and lessons learned, noting where they have fallen and failed, and what lessons they should learn in order to avoid falling and failing again. They always summarize their experiences and lessons like this, not seeking the truth at all. Can one throw off their corrupt disposition while living by Satan’s philosophy? If their corrupt disposition cannot be thrown off, can they attain salvation? Failure to understand these matters is dangerous, with no way of entering the right track of believing in God. After so many years of believing in God in such a muddle-headed manner, can they obtain the truth? Can their conscience and reason become ever more normal? Can they live out a normal humanity? (No.) Summarizing experiences and lessons like this and changing one’s behavior might reduce mistakes, but does it count as practicing the truth? (No.) Can this person enter into the truth reality? (No.) Does such a person have a place in their heart for God? (No.) Those who act without regard for the truth, or for God, are nonbelievers who are unable to attain God’s salvation! Can you discern people like this?

When someone does something, regardless of whether they are doing their duty or taking care of personal matters, pay attention to where their focus is directed. If they’re focusing on philosophies for living, this shows that they do not love or pursue the truth. If a person strives toward the truth no matter what befalls them, if they always reach toward the truth in their contemplation, thinking: “Would doing this conform with God’s will? What are God’s requirements? Is doing this sinning against God? Would it offend His disposition? Would it hurt God? Would God loathe it? Is there sense in doing this? Would it disturb or disrupt the church’s work? Would it harm the interests of God’s house? Would it bring shame upon God’s name? Is it practicing the truth? Is it doing evil? What would God think of it?” if they are always pondering on these questions, what is this a sign of? (It is a sign that they are seeking and pursuing the truth.) That’s right. It is a sign that they are seeking the truth, and that God is in their heart. How do those who do not have God in their hearts deal with what befalls them? (They act based on their own intellect and gifts, having nothing to do with God at all, and their actions are especially mixed with their own intentions.) Not only do they mix in their own intentions, but when they act according to their own intentions, they do not examine or reflect upon themselves at all. They make no concessions, sticking stubbornly to their own ways. They do things however they please, do not pray to God, and do not seek the truth. They have nothing to do with God. Is it not easy for such people to do wrong and offend God’s disposition? Is this not incredibly dangerous? What characteristics do people who do not pursue the truth exhibit in their daily lives, both in terms of how they conduct themselves and the dispositions they reveal? (They act rashly and without restraint, look down on others, are especially arrogant and dissolute, and make decisions unilaterally.) Mainly it is these things: They are arrogant, conceited, wantonly rash, dissolute, and unrestrained; they act without reason, doing things however they please, and are always wild and rascally. Without being pruned and dealt with, they bare their teeth. When faced with being pruned and dealt with, they are negative, antagonistic, defiant, and rebellious, and their demonic nature is completely exposed. When these people who do not pursue the truth do not do or say anything, they appear to be regular people. But as soon as they do something, their corrupt disposition emerges and it is barbaric and beastly. In the words of God, how are such people described? (“What is revealed in you is not the mischievousness of children who have strayed from their parents, but the beastliness that bursts forth from animals that are out of reach of their masters’ whips” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Is Your Understanding of God?).) The dispositions such people reveal can be described as beastly, and they are devoid of normal humanity. If there are such people in a crowd, will you be able to tell them apart? (A little bit.) Those who seek the truth and those who do not are entirely different in how they behave and what they reveal. The clear manifestations of those who do not seek the truth are a lack of reason, a lack of conscience, and acting without regard for the truth principles. They act wantonly and recklessly, and are audacious to the extreme. Those who do not pursue the truth are both pitiful and detestable. They make fools of themselves, bringing no benefit to other people. If they bring no benefit to others, then would God not abhor them? (Yes.) Do they themselves have any awareness of this? (No.) Why do I say they are pitiful? It is because they are like this yet do not even realize it themselves. They lack any semblance of human likeness yet still think they are fine, and still dare to act with impulsive recklessness. Is that not just pitiful? In discerning people, the main thing is to discern whether or not they practice the truth, seek the truth, and accept the truth. This is how you accurately discern them, and see clearly all categories of people.

Are you those who pursue the truth? (We did not pursue it before, but now we are striving for it.) In the past few years, when you did not pursue the truth, did you exhibit the behaviors I just mentioned? (Yes, we did.) When you exhibited those behaviors, did it not pain your heart to live in a state like that? (Yes, we were suffering, but we did not realize it.) It is so pitiful not to realize this! When one does not understand the truth and has no truth reality, that is most pitiful and lamentable. Holding on to these truths, often listening to sermons, yet not obtaining anything and still living within the binds of Satan, acting and speaking without reason, obviously devoid of humanity—it is so pitiful! Thus, pursuing the truth is of utmost importance! You realize this now, don’t you? (Yes, we do.) It is good that you realize this. What’s worrisome is when people are apathetic and obtuse, and unable to realize it. If one does not pursue the truth and is not aware of it, that’s not such a big problem. What’s most concerning is that one does realize it but nevertheless does not pursue the truth, and is completely unrepentant. This is a deliberate transgression. Those who knowingly transgress and absolutely refuse to accept the truth, are in their hearts intransigent and malicious, and are sick of the truth. Can those who are intransigent be God-fearing? If they do not fear God, can they attain compatibility with God? (No.) What attitudes do those with intransigent hearts have toward God? They are resistant, disobedient, and unrepentant, and they absolutely do not acknowledge that God is the truth. They do not accept the truth and oppose God to the end! What is the end of such people? (They will be punished by God and destroyed.) God does not save those people. Were the 250 leaders mentioned in the Bible intransigent and rebellious people? What became of them in the end? (They were swallowed up by the earth.) That is the outcome. No matter how long someone believes in God, if they do not know the importance of pursuing the truth, if they do not understand the abhorrence and consequences of being sick of the truth, then what will their outcome be? They shall certainly be cast out. New believers are foolish and ignorant, not yet knowing how to carry out proper tasks or the correct path to walk. That is the pitiable aspect of people. If you have believed in God for several years and can do your duty, yet do not pursue the truth, that is merely rendering service. If you can do your duty faithfully, willingly render service, do no evil, and cause no disruptions or disturbances, then even if you have not yet pursued the truth, because you can do your duty faithfully, God will still not condemn you. But should one understand some of the truth, and realize the importance of pursuing the truth, and yet still not pursue the truth, then salvation shall not be easy for them. At best, they could remain as a devoted service-doer. As for those who are unwilling to render service, compete for power and profit, and disturb the church’s life and work, their outcome is sealed. They have already fallen into disaster and are awaiting death. They should prepare for what is to come!

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