Chapter 100. Obeying God Is a Basic Lesson of Gaining the Truth
In the belief in God, it is very important to know yourself; entry into life begins with knowing yourself. If you reveal some corruption, doing certain things that lack insight, or that are loathed by and hurtful to God, then after these things occur, you must reflect upon yourself. And how must you reflect in order to be putting the truth into practice? People who put the truth into practice think: “When this happened, it exposed me. There is still corruption in me, and I must obey God’s exposure of me; it is good that God has exposed me, it has come at just the right time. On the surface, none of the others have fellowshiped with me. They saw my fault but didn’t point anything out. It could be that they’re very nice, or afraid of offending me. I don’t care about that, that’s their business. What must I do in order to give account before God? What should I do in order to do what God asks of me? What should I do to be someone who puts the truth into practice?” What attitude is this? This is the attitude of putting the truth into practice, obeying God, and loving the truth. This is the attitude of walking the right path. When something happens to people who don’t walk the right path, they look for external reasons, saying, “He’s not right, he’s not good, and he hasn’t believed in God for very long. He’s prejudiced toward me, he doesn’t care about me, and he’s never looked after me. I’ve naturally been sloppy, I’ve naturally been stupid, and I’ve always been easily bullied by others.” They come up with all kinds of reasons. What’s the point in looking for such reasons? Can it take the place of putting the truth into practice? Can it take the place of obeying God? It cannot. And so, regardless of what the reason is—even if you have suffered a great injustice—it all, ultimately, comes down to this: God looks at your attitude concerning the practice of the truth. What’s the use in your complaining? You may complain about God for a hundred years, you may have a belly full of grievances, and you may take your reasons to any law court and have a hundred percent chance of winning—but so what? Have you gained the truth? Have you received God’s approval before God? God says, “Get out of here. You are not someone who puts the truth into practice. Hurry up and get out of here. I’m sick of you.” Won’t it be all over for you? With just a few words—“I’m sick of you”—does God not expose you and reach a verdict about you? And why does God reach a verdict about you? Because you don’t accept the truth or God’s orchestrations and dominion, because you always look for outside reasons, and always try to lay the blame on others—and God sees that you are deaf to all words, that your flesh and natural self are too grievous, and your disposition too arrogant, that you cannot be tamed. What was the use in your hearing all those truths? Is the truth something to be shouted by you? Is it some slogan? The truth is not simply standardizing your behavior, or making you shout out slogans, or providing you with spiritual support—it’s not these things. It is making you live by the truth when something happens to you, it is giving you a path to walk, making you know which way to act is the right way when something happens to you, and how to act in order to satisfy God’s will. When you understand this, your actions will no longer be directed by your natural self, by your corruption, by Satan’s teachings, by the things that Satan has taught you, and you will not live according to satanic logic and life philosophies. Instead, you will live according to the truths that you understand, and this “living” will mean putting the truth into practice. Only then will you be able to satisfy God’s will. (We must have the attitude of obeying the truth and putting the truth into practice.) Yes—before anything else, you must have this attitude. You say: “I really don’t understand, I’m really stupid, my stature is really small, and I haven’t believed in God for very long at all.” God says: “You’re right—these are objective reasons, but have you heard the truth?” “I have.” “So do you understand what it means to obey?” “I know.” “Since you know, you can be condemned.” “Do you know what the attitude of obedience to the truth is? What is obedience to the truth? How should you obey the truth? How should you obey God’s orchestrations? And what is the attitude you should have?” “I understand all of this.” Once you understand, is that it? If you understand, then you should put this into practice. When something happens to you, you must use it; if you don’t, is it still the truth? If you don’t use it, it is but a doctrine, it is a slogan; it is only the truth when you use it, and only then can it become your life. When something happens to you, your naturalness is exposed, and you say: “This isn’t right, that’s wrong.” Other people are wrong, could it be that you are not at fault and have no corruption? What’s more serious, the corruption or the error? The corruption is more serious.
How can corruption be solved? The first hurdle in solving corruption is to see whether you are able to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and whether you can submit to all of the environments that God sets out for you. Sometimes, they fit with your conceptions, and you feel that you’re being unjustifiable, that you ought to obey. Sometimes, they are not what you expected—and what should you do then? You put a lot of energy into running about, and you’re really happy, you’re really proud of what you’re doing. “See how well I’m doing, how much I love God. I work from dawn till dusk, I’ve suffered a lot,” you say. When you’re suddenly given two smacks across the mouth—when you’re dealt with—are you able to accept it? (It’s not easy to accept.) If this were easy to accept, there would be no need for you to put the truth into practice. What should you do when you can’t accept it? There are several principles of practice. The first is this: “I have my own reasoning, and my own ideas, but I won’t speak of them for the moment—I’ll listen, I’ll first accept it, and put aside my own things.” This is what it means to cover your mouth. When you still don’t completely understand, you first listen, and after listening, you feel this is a little at odds with your conceptions, and difficult to accept—yet you give it some thought: “What is the rationality of a created being?” It is to obey the truth, to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, to obey that which comes from God, and to obey the arrangements of the above and the house of God. What does the house of God ask you to do? For example, you say, “I like blue, but the house of God wants green—so which one should it be?” (What the house of God wants.) Why? These are the principles of practice. What are the principles of practice? First, obey. This is what created beings should do. And the people who do not wish to do this say, “You say green, but I’ve done blue. What you want is unreasonable—first listen to what I have to say about the principles and reasons behind why I did blue.” What is this? (This is not obeying, not putting the truth into practice.) When people are incapable of obedience, many times this is because they have their own reasons, excuses, and justifications. When they have such reasons, it is very difficult for them to submit. So what should you do when you have reasons? (Deny myself.) What do you do if you’re incapable of denying yourself? You must first put these things aside, and say, “I’ll first put mine to one side. I’ll put it in second place, I’ll put it on hold, and put yours first. I’ll first do as you say, I’ll practice as you say for a while, and if it really is better than what I was doing, then I’ll do completely as you say.” In this way, your obedience will become more and more pure. But what is it called when you’re at loggerheads from the very start? This is disobedience. This is nothing more than the flesh, your natural self, your corrupt disposition.
The lesson of obedience is the most difficult, but it is also the most easy. What’s difficult about it? (People have their own opinions.) People have their own opinions. They are self-righteous and arrogant. That people have their own opinions isn’t a problem—who doesn’t have their own opinions? Everyone has a brain, a heart, they’re all educated, and they all have their own opinions. Where’s the problem? The problem is their corrupt disposition. If you didn’t have a corrupt disposition, then no matter how many opinions you had you’d be able to obey—and so this wouldn’t be a problem. As such, if people are possessed of such rationality that they say, “I am able to obey in all things. I don’t try and talk reason, I’ll say nothing of my own opinions, or else I won’t reach a verdict using my own opinions, I won’t try and reach a verdict about this matter. I shall say nothing of reasons,” they will find it easy to obey. Not reaching a verdict is a manifestation of people not being self-righteous, and not insisting is a manifestation of people having rationality; if, on top of this, you are able to obey, you will be able to achieve putting the truth into practice. What is the first principle of obeying God? (Not reaching a verdict, not insisting.) Not reaching a verdict or insisting is the premise for you being able to obey. In this way, it will be easy for you to obey, and thus you will achieve putting the truth into practice. And so, before obeying, you must prepare two things. You must have thought it through, you must ponder this: “How should I act and what should I do in order to have an attitude of putting the truth into practice?” This isn’t difficult, yet it’s not easy. Where does the problem lie? In your corrupt disposition. And so, no matter what your mentality or state is during the times when you obey, the problem is your corrupt disposition. If you can resolve the several sides of your corrupt disposition—self-righteousness, arrogance, disobedience, absurdity, bigotry, and hardness—obedience will be easy. How can these different forms of corrupt disposition be resolved? When you have these ideas, you must pray, and think: “What should I do? What I should do is obey God’s arrangements. I should put the truth into practice, and act according to the principles of the truth. I mustn’t stand out, I mustn’t be my own master, I mustn’t make my own decisions and reach a verdict by myself.” If you abide by these two principles, using them to weigh things up when the time comes to act, your rationality will be normal. Or else, when you are being dealt with, you have a think and say to yourself, “What I should do is not try and reach a verdict; I am not the one who makes decisions, or the one who reaches verdicts. I must not insist; when I try and talk reason, I am insisting.” What does it mean to insist? It means to be at loggerheads. “You say one, I say two.” Is this a manifestation of obedience? What does it mean to not reach a verdict? Before anyone else has said anything, you reach a verdict. What disposition is this? This is an arrogant disposition. If you say, “I’ve reached a verdict, but am I really sure? Am I certain? I can’t even reach a verdict about the things I’m certain about. I must seek.” When you seek before you have reached a verdict, you discover that your verdict is wrong; at the same time, you are somewhat dealt with. It is fortunate you haven’t reached a verdict, and at this time your attitude is much gentler, much softer, and so you won’t be at loggerheads, you won’t reveal that aspect of your corrupt disposition. It’s solved, and you have eradicated it within, you’ve dispelled it, and so it is very easy for you to obey, it doesn’t take any effort, there’s no difficulty involved—and even if you do find it a little hard you’ve dispelled it within, and then it’s solved. As soon as people see you, they say: “When you were dealt with and pruned, how did you not cry, make a fuss, or become negative? How did you do what you had to?” You reply: “I solved it.” They ask you: “How did you solve it?” “I have a path.” What path? With these few principles, you solved a certain aspect of your corrupt disposition. If, in all things, you make your own decisions, if you always try to talk reason, and insist, then you’re in trouble. When you cling to these things, each will make you reveal one aspect of your corrupt disposition, and when one aspect of your corrupt disposition is revealed, will you still be able to search for the truth? Even if you do search for the truth, you’ll just be going through the motions. If there’s contention between the truth you search for and your verdict, which one do you choose? Is it easy for you to obey the truth? It takes a lot of effort for you to obey; you are incapable of obeying when you are asked to, and so you’ll rebel, try and talk reason, saying “I’m clearly right, yet you still ask me to obey.” In addition to being incapable of obeying, you also resist. Are you not in big trouble? This is serious.
Obeying—it’s such a simple lesson, but what do people regard it as? “Go and pour me a cup of water.” You didn’t pour tea. They say, “Go and pour me a cup of tea.” You didn’t pour me something alcoholic. They say, “Go and pour me something alcoholic.” You didn’t pour me vinegar. You say: “This is obedience, it’s that simple.” Is this the case? There are many issues with the details of your state. Within people, there are many problems, conceptions, imaginings, as well as a little of their own capital—they graduated from university, they were the top student, they have social status and money—various feelings of superiority emerge, so they are in great trouble: They become a porcupine with big spines, but there’s not actually anything in them, they’re not capable of achieving anything. This leads to them having many problems, conceptions, imaginings, arrogance and self-righteousness, attempts to talk reason, and misunderstandings every time something happens to them. It is even the case that after being dealt with, or when they hit a wall, they become negative, and when someone next to them says something ironically, or when they’re taken in, they’re deceived, or they’re influenced by the words of unbelievers, these are all problems with them. When people have solved all these problems, it is easy for them to obey God. And as soon as people are able to obey God, gaining the truth before God follows as a matter of course. And so, if you wish to put the truth into practice, the first hurdle is obeying the orchestrations and arrangements of God. So what do God’s orchestrations and arrangements include? God raises up the people, things, and matters around you. Sometimes, the people, things, and matters around you deal with you, sometimes they tempt you, sometimes they test you, sometimes they disturb you, and sometimes they release negativity upon you. When you have resolved these, you will have some immunity. What is the first step to people coming before God and gaining the truth? First, learn the lesson of obedience. Obedience to God is the most basic lesson for people coming before God and gaining each truth; people must obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements. What do God’s orchestrations and arrangements include? I just spoke of one: God raises up the surrounding environment, people, things, and matters. How do you react when faced with an environment? What is most fundamental? Accepting what comes from God. What does it mean to accept what comes from God? Is complaining or opposing accepting what comes from God? Is trying to reason and finding fault accepting what comes from God? (No.) So how does accepting what comes from God mean according to the truth? (First, learn to obey.) It all comes back to obedience! First, you must obey. Don’t go on about this argument or that reason, don’t try and infer who is wrong, don’t always try and analyze, saying, “Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who made the greater transgression? Who made the smaller one?” Is this the attitude of accepting what comes from God? Is it the attitude of obedience? None of this is the attitude of obedience to God, none of it is the attitude of accepting what comes from God, it is not the attitude of accepting God’s dominion and arrangements. This is the first aspect of principles of practice in obedience to God. What is the first aspect? Generally, when I speak about an issue, when I say a lot, some people can’t keep up. If you are to understand the truth, you must have some clue in your mind, your heart must be without confusion. If not, you won’t be clear about the relationship of various aspects of the truth, you won’t know what it means to put the truth into practice, and you will be incapable of understanding the truth. Each truth isn’t logic; each aspect is interrelated.
Where did I just get to? How you see God’s raising up of the people, things, and matters around you; with what viewpoints you regard it, and what your attitude toward it is. What attitudes did I just mention? (Obedience and searching.) There was one other, what was it? It’s only been a while and you’ve already forgotten, which means the truth has not taken root in your hearts. Why hasn’t it taken root? (There wasn’t any truth in us to start with.) Yes, that’s it. There isn’t any truth in you, the truth has yet to become your life, and it has not taken root within you. If you only try to remember those sayings and terms, you won’t be able to. If a time comes when these things become your reality, and you say, “Today, when that happened to me, I accepted what came from God, I practiced thus, and when I did, I reaped the results,” then this matter will have had a profound influence on you, and you will never forget the words “accept what comes from God.” These words will not be some technical term; they will have become your reality, because you put it into practice thus, and apply it thus. What is the first principle of obeying God? (How you approach God’s raising up of the people, things, and matters around you.) How should this be approached? (Accepting what comes from God, not analyzing whether what’s right or wrong.) “Accepting what comes from God”—what details did I say about this? (First, obey; don’t focus on what’s right or wrong, or try to talk reason.) Don’t analyze what’s right or wrong, don’t try to talk reason, don’t try to find fault in others, don’t try to scrutinize people or things, don’t analyze objective reasons, and don’t use the brain of man to analyze and study the matter. It includes all of that. This is what it means to accept what comes from God: to first obey. What does obeying mean in colloquial terms? The unbelievers say, “When this happens to you, don’t get angry, don’t fly off the handle.” They have a technical term for this, what is it? The unbelievers call it “cold treatment.” Cold treatment is an interpersonal principle. What should those who believe in God do? (Accept what comes from God.) “Accept what comes from God”—those are just words. How can this be put into practice? You must first come before God to pray and search, and thus you will begin to put this into practice. How should you pray? “O God, You have set this environment for me.” What do these words mean? In your heart, you have an attitude of acceptance in which you say, This environment was arranged for me by God, its arrangement is aimed at my corrupt disposition. You say, “O God, today I encountered this environment, I don’t know what Your intentions are. I ask You to enlighten and guide me, allowing me to understand Your will and enabling me to act according to Your will, not rebelling or opposing, being able to put the truth into practice, handling things according to principle, not revealing my corrupt disposition, and practicing according to the truth.” What should you do after praying? You sit down and have a think: “What did Zhang say that day? Li gave me a dirty look, and Wang’s tone was pretty harsh….” What of this attitude? Once again, this is attempting to scrutinize people or things, this is not the attitude of accepting what comes from God. Once you have the attitude of accepting what comes from God, what should be your second step? Read God’s words and listen to fellowship. “What was God’s will when this happened to me? That’s wrong, Zhang gave me a dirty look.” You’ve lingered in this, you’ve retreated, you’re vacillating. What is this because of? There is a corrupt disposition within you. You don’t need to pay it any attention; is ignoring it all that’s needed? (No. We must find the source problem, we must find the problem in ourselves.) You must find the problem in yourselves. “There’s something wrong with me, but right now I still don’t know what it is. I must read God’s words and listen to fellowships.” In three or five days, or eight or ten, you’ll search for sermons, fellowships, words of God, hymns, and videos about this, and concerning this problem you’ll search for what God does in such environments. Searching in this way, you put in a lot of effort, and each day in your thoughts, you deliberate and ponder this matter; it fills your thoughts. One day, you encounter a brother or sister who says many things, and who grasps something that’s key. When you hear them, you say to yourself, “When that happened to me, was God not testing me? I really do have this fatal weakness!” You’ve found the source. “And so, since God is testing me, and I’ve found the source and know God’s intentions, how should I practice?” You don’t know. It certainly has come from God, that is correct. This vision has already become the foundation, it is firm and unshakable, and you know God’s intentions: God is testing you. But you give it some more thought, “God’s testing me? That’s not right, Zhang was wrong to talk in that tone.” Your corrupt disposition emerges once more, once again you scrutinize people or things, still you don’t want to obey. You’re clearly aware that God is testing you, yet you still look for problems in others, and try and find fault in them, in order to exonerate yourself and find comfort. A corrupt disposition is like a kind of bacteria: If you don’t completely eradicate it, it will always show up again, it will always appear again. So what can you do about this? You must still pray: “O God, discipline me, I’m too willful and arrogant, I’m too fleshly, I’m disobedient.” As soon as you ask God to discipline you, you start to feel a little anxious, “What if God really does discipline me?” “No, I must pray, I must set my resolve, I must allow God to discipline me. I don’t fear being disciplined; even if He causes me to become ill or makes me die, I must obey.” Once you’ve finished praying thus, you become strong inside, you’re different. What do you feel? “I’ve believed in God all these years, but this is the first time I’ve felt God’s test. I feel that God’s hand has come upon me, I feel God so close to me.” Inside, you’re moved: “God is so close to me, He guides me with His own hand, and He has personally arranged this test for me to train me, to purify me, to allow me to learn a lesson from this and gain the truth. God loves me so much!” Isn’t this the enlightenment and illumination of God? At this time, don’t you have stature? With this knowledge, you feel great quietude. “Since this is God testing me, what should my attitude be? What should I do in order to satisfy God?” Very quickly, you start to obey, and no longer try to reason. “If I do not obey, if I always try to reason, and if I always look for causes, try to find fault, and analyze what is right and wrong, in other people or objective environments, I am not a human being, I’m an animal—I’m worse than a dog or pig.” In your heart, there is reproach, and you feel ill at ease. “I must hurry up and obey God; God is beside me, God is leading me thus. It has often said that this has always been God’s good intention, and today I have tasted this. God loves me so much. God is not asking me to scrutinize people or things. God is making me learn a lesson from this, He is making me change; this is God’s love for me, His judgment and chastisement of me, as well as His provision and guidance of me. God loves me so much, and this love is so real.” You have been moved. Why have you been moved? (We have understood God’s will.) You have understood God’s will, you have appreciated it, and this understanding didn’t come from some flash of inspiration; you sensed it after constantly searching for those days. After sensing this, could you still disobey God? You’re still disobedient. You have living thoughts, you have corrupt disposition, and it has roots! You think, “God’s testing me? Could He make me die? If God is really disciplining me, could He give me a serious illness? I’m scared!” Where does this fear come from? You don’t trust in God’s dominion and arrangements, don’t wish to allow God to carry out such orchestrations, and you say to yourself, “What if I really die? I just don’t know!” Has your trust and faith in God yet to reach one hundred percent? At such times, how much faith in God do people have? Zero! If they want to break free from God’s hand, then their rebellion against God is one hundred percent. Even though they’ve come this far, they still want to run away, they’re still unwilling. What should you do at times like these? At such times, you mustn’t say, “I am able to obey, I am a little moved, I have felt God’s grace, and felt His concern for me—that will do, that’s enough for me.” This is not OK. You must keep going forward, you must continue searching. “Where did Job’s faith come from? To what extent was he able to obey? Where does my fear come from? Why am I so afraid? What am I afraid of? What does my fear stem from? I do not trust in God, I do not trust that there is no greater happiness than to be in God’s hands, that I am safest in God’s hands, that God is my shelter. I am deceitful and evil! This is the level of my knowledge. God’s words clearly said that I was being tested; the test was not to take my life, it was not to trample over me, it was not to corrupt me—it was merely a test, and was to cleanse my corrupt disposition. Even so, I am incapable of truly believing in God, I am unable to fully trust in God and give myself over into His hands. I am evil, I am guilty of the most heinous sin! I am unfit for such worry and concern from God.” What do you do? You must pray, and deal with your fear and disobedience toward God. What is it called when your understanding of the truth has reached this level, yet you still don’t trust in God, still don’t dare to give yourself to God’s hands? This is rebelling. Because of deception, because of arrogance, because of suspicion, and because of wickedness, you don’t trust in God—and this is where the fear comes from. What does this fear mean? It means you’re mistrustful. “If God really did do that, where would He lead me? Could He lead me to hell? My life isn’t bad, could He cause me to die before my time?” This is what you fear, this is where your fear comes from: your mistrust in God. In this, do you still need to equip yourself with the truth? Although you have felt God’s concern and grace, and already enjoy a sense of peace and happiness given to you by God, and already feel at ease, you are still unwilling to give yourself into God’s hands, you are still afraid. Is this disobedience? And what is this disobedience tainted with? What is this disobedience driven by? (Deception, arrogance.) Deception and arrogance. Is there something demonic here?
How can this problem be solved? You must equip yourself with the truth, you must continue going forward, continue searching. When you’re searching for the truth, what level must you reach in order to be up to standard? Do you know? Your obedience to God must be examined: What level must this obedience reach for it to be said that you are dependable, that your enterprise has passed the test, has stood up to examination, is up to standard? The problem we’re talking about now is: When you’re clearly aware that the environment that has befallen you is God’s test, yet you are unwilling to give yourself into God’s hands, you still feel you can’t rely on God, you mistrust God, and you don’t dare to depend on God, and instead have fear—when things have gotten to this point—what truths must you equip yourself with? How must you carry on, how far must you go to achieve pure and complete obedience, to walk the way of fearing God and shunning evil? Do you know? This relates to the truth of obedience. At such times, you don’t actually have any knowledge of God, yet you must possess a certain stature, and a certain attitude. What truths and visions do you have within you that allow you to reach the level of obedience to the very end? What I just said is what truths people should equip themselves with when they mistrust God, in order to be without the slightest doubt, speculation, misunderstanding, and opposition toward God, and capable of absolute obedience, and what truths people should equip themselves with to be able to solve these problems, be without the slightest contamination, not make their own demands or choices, and be capable of absoluteness. Today, you might be in a good mood and have recently listened to many sermons, and when something happens to you, you are able to obey. Such obedience is relative. If during this time no one has watered you, what truths should you equip yourself with, what stature should you possess, and what level should you reach to be capable of absolute obedience? In your hearts, you’re still not clear about this, yes? Keep thinking: In what you put into practice next, what should you equip yourself with to achieve obedience that is more and more pure and absolute? You must possess certain truths. These truths are your stature, and the basis and footing by which you can achieve obedience—and if you rely and depend on these truths, you will be able to achieve absolute obedience. (Pursuing the knowledge of God.) Knowing God is one aspect. In addition, there must be some cooperation and practice from you yourself. Peter once said something, do you remember what it is? (Regardless of what God orchestrates…) You don’t remember the original words. It seems that few of you have experienced this. So try and experience these words; you will gradually attain absolute obedience. As I just said, when you’ve experienced to this extent and keep going onward, your rebellion against and mistrust of God is difficult to solve; which truths must you equip yourselves with? I just mentioned one—what were the original words of Peter? (“Even if God were playing with humans like they were toys, how would humans be able to complain?”) This concerns obedience. What must you pursue before all else? Regardless of God’s attitude toward you, you must pursue to have an attitude of obedience toward God and the truth, you should possess this kind of attitude. Pay no heed to how God sees you and what attitude and tone He has toward you, whether He hates you, whether He wishes to expose you. Before anything else, solve your own problems and issues. Is what Peter said easy for most people to achieve? (No, it’s not.) What level had he attained, which truths did he possess, and what had he experienced, in order to say such words? (He trusted that regardless of how God treated him, it was all love.) That’s not what he said in these words. He said that even if God considered him a toy; what he said was toy, but what you’re saying is that “regardless of how God treated him.” You’re considering yourself a person, a created being, one of those who follow God, a part of the family of God. Is there any difference? There’s a disparity! Where’s the disparity between a toy and a person? What thing is a toy? Toys aren’t anything, they are worthless. You can call them an animal or a plaything, they’re what they are. People have their thoughts, they have brains, they can speak, they have language, they have arms and legs, they can do things, they are able to engage in the activities of normal people. In comparing people and toys, is there a difference in their value and status? If you see yourself as a person, and not a toy, then when you are before God, do you make demands of how God is toward you? What standards do you demand of God? (To treat me as a person.) How do you demand God to act toward you to be treating you as a person? (I ask that God think highly of me.) “Think highly” is a little vague and empty. What is the very least that you ask of God? When you enter the room, I give you a kick, and you think, “You don’t treat me like a person!” If I hadn’t kicked you, what would you demand of Me when we meet? At the very least, you want Me to greet you, saying “Oh, hello,” and then talking to you. And if I didn’t talk to you? If I treated you like a dog? Would this make you uncomfortable? You’d think to yourself, “You don’t see me as a person; how could You think me a dog?” Is there a difference here? Treating you as a person and treating you as a toy: in attitude and behavior, there is a difference. How must I act toward you for you to be treated like a person? Respecting you, talking to you as if consulting with you, being mindful of your feelings, giving you enough space and freedom, maintaining your dignity and pride, making you look like a person, giving you a certain amount of rights and autonomy in all things when you are in front of, or among other people. Is it these forms of treatment? This is what it means to be a person, this is being treated as a person. How are toys treated? (Not like any of those, they’re not treated as important.) (They’re kicked about.) (They’re played with for a while then tossed to one side.) This shows the contrast between the two. Is there a difference between these two forms of treatment? So in most people’s imagination, or in terms of what they feel or understand, what are the ways of treating a toy? Without any respect, nor any need to protect its rights; not giving it any right, not giving it any autonomy. Is there a need to consult with it when something’s done? There’s no use in consulting it. In whatever’s done, is there a need to be considerate of its sense of pride? There’s no need to think; this relates to rights, and is the positive aspect. There is also the negative aspect: When you’re happy, you’re good to it, but when you’re not happy, you kick it—this is how people treat a toy.
If God were to treat people like toys, what would they feel? Would they still feel that God is lovable? (No.) But Peter was able to praise God because of this, so what truths did he have to possess in order to achieve that? In fact, God hadn’t treated people like that, yet when Peter’s understanding had reached this level, he thought to himself: If God treats me like that, I should obey. If He treats me like a toy, I will be willing and happy. Peter was able to attain willingness, and what did this willingness point to? (Leaving himself at the mercy of God’s orchestrations.) What does it mean to leave oneself at the mercy of God’s orchestrations? (Absolute obedience.) This is the truth of obedience. Being given into the hands of Satan—is this something that’s done to toys? If God doesn’t want you, He doesn’t want you; you are given over to Satan, allowing Satan to tempt you and tease you. What was Peter’s attitude? Did he have any complaints? Did he complain about God? Did he curse God? Did he take refuge in Satan? (No.) This is obedience. And with no complaints or any of those manifestations, did he not solve his corruption? He was completely compatible with God. There was no question of betrayal: “No matter where God places me, God will be in my heart. Regardless of where He puts me, I belong to God; even if He turned me to ash, I would still belong to God, and would not take refuge in Satan.” This is the level he reached. Is this something that’s easy to say? But it’s very difficult to do. Doing this requires you to equip yourself with many realities of the truth, and if you keep equipping yourself, to the point where you possess the truth, where you do not need to have the complete knowledge of God or for God to reveal anything to you before you have this obedience, then it will be enough. You won’t make demands of God, saying, “You must treat me in such and such a way, You must give me a standard, You must give me something reasonable, and what You say must be in total accordance with the truth, and what ought to be said by the Creator.” You will say: “I don’t ask for this. You can treat me however You like; You can pull my hair, tread on me. You can treat me however You want. If You give me to Satan, if You don’t want me anymore, You’ll still be my God, I’ll still be Your created being, and I will not reject You.” Thus, Peter was able to say, “Even if God were playing with humans like they were toys, how would humans be able to complain?” These words are really important for you, they’re so important! If you frequently think about these words, and have a true knowledge and appreciation of them, it will be much easier for you to obey God. Right now, this is where people lack rationality. For example, when people haven’t done anything, when they haven’t performed any service, they think to themselves, “I still don’t have any capital. I’m not qualified to try and reason and contend with God, to ask for grace and blessings, to ask for a destination.” When you do something, when you give a little service, you think to yourself “I have capital,” and then you’re in trouble. Could it be acceptable not to equip yourself with the truth? You don’t equip yourself with the truth, and spend all day saying, “I obey God, I am a created being, this is the rationality I ought to possess.” You shout these slogans loud and clear, but when something happens to you, even when you clearly know that it was orchestrated by God, you still can’t accept it, you still can’t obey. Why is this so? People are disobedient, their corrupt disposition has yet to be resolved, and they are still one hundred percent capable of rebelling. This is fact. When people have not sufficiently equipped themselves with the truth, such is the patheticness of how they live. Could it be that only those who disobey God, who are incapable of obeying God, and incapable of accepting God’s orchestrations and arrangements, are the ones who do not trust in God? Isn’t it true that those who believe in God are also incapable of accepting this? Some people say: “They scrutinize people or things, they’re self-righteous, arrogant, they lock horns when something happens, they always look for a reason, they don’t trust in the existence of God, and they don’t trust in the arrangements and orchestrations of God.” Conversely, if they trust that these are the orchestrations and arrangements of God, trust that this is an environment set out for them by God, that God wishes to purify them, and from amidst this God shall allow them to gain the truth, would they be able to obey? Would they be capable of not rebelling against God? Would they not disobey God? Would they be able to accept what comes from God? They would not, yes? Why not? People lack this aspect of truth, they are not equipped with such truths. (It seems that we have yet to take in this aspect of the truth.) This proves that your stature is too small; thus, God does not dare test you. If He were to test you, all your hair would stand on end. You can shout slogans, you can identify other people’s problems, but you still don’t know, you’re still not clear about, what you yourselves are like inside.
Obedience to the orchestrations and arrangements of God is the greatest of all lessons for each of those who follow God, as well as the most basic. How much you have entered into this aspect of the truth is how large your stature is. Your level of obedience to God is how much stature you have, and the extent to which you are equipped with the truth; they are relative to each other. Which truths must you equip yourself with to achieve absolute obedience? What did I just say? If all you understand is words of doctrine, you’ll always have to think back. But if it is your own real experiences, there’ll be no need for you to think; the words will come as soon as you open your mouth. Think back: What truths must you possess to achieve absolute obedience? Not making any demands of God—this is a truth. But how should you apply this truth? When you make demands of God, you should use this truth to weigh things up: What are you asking of God? Is what you ask for in harmony with the truth, is it rational? Where do these things come from? Are they something you imagined, or are they thoughts sent by Satan? In fact, they’re neither. They are produced by your corrupt dispositions. You must dissect them, and allow God to expose them, to expose these irrational demands. You must strive to be like Peter: “Peter said that God considered mankind a toy to be given to Satan. Where did these words come from? When did God consider man a toy? God has been good to me, He’s graced me; He is not that kind of God, He has the utmost love for man. How could He treat man as a toy? These words are not the truth, they are nonsense. They are the misunderstanding of God, not the knowledge of God. But how did Peter’s words come about?” Peter had experienced so much that he put aside all his personal demands, considerations, and desires. He did not demand that God do this or that. He did not have his own opinions. He completely surrendered himself: “God, do as You wish, be it testing me, chastening me, judging and chastising me, raising up an environment to deal with and prune me, trying me, putting me in the lion’s den, or the wolf’s lair; everything You do is right, I shall obey You no matter what You do, and I am capable of obeying. Everything You do is the truth, and I have no complaints, nor any choice.” Is this absoluteness? So people sometimes think to themselves, “It is said that everything God does is the truth, so why didn’t I discover any truth when God did that? It looks as if there are also times when God is at odds with the truth; God, too, can be wrong. But in any case, He is still God, so I’ll obey!” Is this absoluteness? What obedience is this? This is not obedience, and these words are a long way off what Peter said about being able to obey even when God treated man as a toy. When He considers you a toy, He doesn’t need to try to reason with you, He doesn’t need to be fair and reasonable. If He were to treat you as a toy, what need would there be to be reasonable? Must He lay things out for you, telling you why He acted thus in certain matters, explaining the facts to you, presenting the reasons to you, with you acting accordingly only once you understand? Is this what He’d do for a toy? This is giving you full human rights and freedom, full respect, and treating you as a person. As such, you wouldn’t be a toy. So what is a toy? (Something that has no autonomy or rights.) Does it only lack rights? Where must you apply these words? Say, for example, in some matter you spend a lot of time searching but still don’t understand God’s will, or else you have believed for over twenty years, yet still don’t understand what’s going on. In such circumstances, do you obey? Should you obey? In this, you must obey. And what is the basis of this obedience? It is those words of Peter. If your pursuit is always thus, “All that God does is right, all that God does is in harmony with the truth, and all that God does is good for man,” do these words give a verdict on God? These words are the truth, but how do you react when what God does is at odds with these words? Do you cease to obey? At such times, what should you put into practice? You should stand firm in the place of a created being. Regardless of the time, no matter whether God appears to you or not—regardless of whether He hides or appears, whether you are able to sense Him or not—what is your responsibility and obligation? What is your duty? Is it related to this? You say, “If I can see that this matter is in harmony with the truth, I will obey; if I can’t, if I don’t know where God is, I’ll wait a while, I’ll wait until I’ve beheld the arrival of God, and then I’ll obey.” Is this obedience? This is not. Does this relate to the duty of a created being? What is the duty of a created being? (To stand in the place of a created being and obey God.) You’ve found the root. Is the problem not solved? Standing in the place of a created being and obeying the Creator, your God, is what every created being should hold to. There are many truths that you don’t understand, that you are unaware of, in which you have no grasp of God’s will. There are certain prophecies that you are ignorant of, for example. As a result, do you not acknowledge that these are God’s words? “I cannot deny that those words shall always be the words of God. There is truth here; even when I don’t understand them, these are still the words of God.” When God’s words have not been fulfilled, are they not the words of God? Are they not the truth? “If they have not been fulfilled, they might not be the words of God. They could be tainted.” How about this attitude? Once again, you’re being disobedient. You must have rationality. What is rationality? And what is the basis of possessing rationality? Standing in the place of a created being and obeying the Creator, your God, is the truth, the truth that will never change.
Back to obedience: Does obedience to God need to be based on whether you understand and comprehend God’s will, on whether God makes His will clear to you? (No.) So what is it based on? On the truth of obedience. What is the truth of obedience? (Standing in the place of a created being and obeying the Creator.) This is the truth of obedience. So is there any need for you to analyze right and wrong? For example, is it right or wrong to buy a dog? Is it right or wrong to buy two dogs? Is it right to not buy a dog, but purchase a flock of sheep? God did all of this, they’re all right. What is your responsibility and obligation? You must watch over the sheep, and do a good job of keeping watch. You say, “If You bought a dog, the dog could keep watch over the sheep. I’d feed the sheep and the dog—that would be my duty. If You didn’t buy a dog, but bought a flock of sheep, who would watch over the sheep? God didn’t tell me, so this is my duty; I must watch over the sheep.” You mustn’t complain, and say, “God bought a flock of sheep, but why didn’t He buy a sheepdog? God made a mistake, He didn’t think of this, He miscalculated.” Is this putting the truth into practice? (No.) What is the attitude of putting the truth into practice? Performing your duty properly. God bought a flock of sheep, but did not buy a sheepdog, He said nothing. What is your duty? (To watch over the sheep and take them out to pasture.) When you take them out to pasture, you have found your place. Is this reasonable? When you take them out to the pasture, you have to brave the wind and the rain, and there are wolves. What do you do if you’re scared? What do you do if there’s a risk of being eaten by wolves? “Even if I become food for wolves, I still have to perform my duty properly.” Is this not holding to your duty? How do you achieve holding to your duty? You must be obedient—only then can you perform your duty properly, only then can you hold to your duty. If you are to hold to your duty and achieve absolute obedience, is there a need to think whether what God does is right or wrong? Is there a need for God to have to clarify, explain, and expound the truth for you to be able to obey? No, you need only put the truth of obedience into practice.
Some people are argumentative, and have many faults, and they say, “Is God not the truth? Is God not the Creator? How could I not understand certain things He does? How could God not explain to me? And if He doesn’t explain to me, how can I put this into practice? Is my inability to obey not because I can’t accept it inside? If I can’t accept it, I have no strength to obey.” Isn’t this disobedience? Your disobedience has come forth once more. How could you not have strength? Does obedience require strength? It does not. It simply requires rationality: “As long as it comes from God, I shall obey. When God’s words are fulfilled, I obey, I am happy, and I praise God. When God’s words have not been fulfilled, I don’t listen to what anyone says; God’s words are God’s words, and they do not become the words of man because they have not been fulfilled. I obey, and I say nothing. He shall always be my God.” This is standing firm in the place of a created being. When you have this rationality, when you possess these truths, is it troubling when you sense that, in the eyes of God, people are toys and ants? Do you feel inferior? (No.) So do you feel inferior now? (No.) Why don’t you feel inferior now? “God considers me a person, I still have a place before God—I am glorified, God lifts me up.” Thus, you do not feel inferior. What would you do if God did not lift you up, and always belittled you? You’d feel discomfort. This discomfort is a problem, and it must be solved. In many cases, people’s discomfort is because the problem in them is too great and they always make demands of God, saying, “You have to treat me like a human being, You have to respect me, and think highly of me, You have to be considerate of me, You have to sympathize with my weakness, and You must be tolerant of me; I am small in stature, I have no knowledge, and I have not done this work before.” A whole heap of reasons. Today, now that we’ve fellowshiped the truth of obedience, are these reasons still reasons? None of these reasons are reasons; your responsibility, obligation, and duty is to obey. In many cases, when you encounter difficulties, it is hard to obey. What should you do? You should pray. Sometimes, when you pray you’re still incapable of obeying. What should you do? (Eat and drink the words of God.) You must use the truth to solve these difficulties. How long must people experience from when people feel they are lifted up before God, and are noble, to when they feel they are a lowly toy that is good for nothing in God’s eyes, and they feel indifferent, feel nothing, still are able to obey, and still are happy? This is not a matter of how long you experience. It depends on whether you are able to use the truth to solve the problems, on what you pursue. Say everyone’s there listening to the sermons, and someone enters the room and takes a seat in a prominent position. He feels very pleased with himself, and when the lights go on, he says, “I have a part.” If he is asked to sit outside listening, he feels out of sorts, and says “Isn’t He looking down on me? Am I not a visiting pupil? Doesn’t He view me as a nobody? Why am I a second-class citizen?” In his heart, he always feels discomfort. Won’t you gain the truth wherever you sit? If you’re always discomfited, if you can never overcome this hurdle, then you must be tried!
Peter experienced hundreds of tests. Must you, too, experience hundreds of tests? As of today, how many have you experienced? If not hundreds, how about one hundred? (No.) You’re still a long way off, then. All you see is that he experienced hundreds of tests and was made perfect, so if you haven’t even experienced a single test, or haven’t experienced one hundred tests, you’ve a long way to go before you’re made perfect. Is this something you must prepare for and put some effort into? How should you put effort into it? You must put effort into the reality of the truth; don’t be muddleheaded, don’t joke around, don’t spend the whole day handling the affairs. There’s nothing wrong with carrying out the affairs—when there’s a lot to do, you have to, they can’t not be done, and someone has to do them—but whilst you do these things, you must try and understand the truth. And whilst trying to understand, you must ask from God. What should you ask? You must pray for this in your heart each day, silently praying, being quiet before God and allowing Him to act. Do you think God would strike you dead with one blow? You must have faith that He would not. He would not allow a three-year-old child to carry the burden of a twenty-year-old person, He would never do that. You must be sure of this in your heart, but you must beseech God, you must have this desire, this resolve, this intention; only then will God act. If you’re always afraid, if you always hide, if you never bring this up, God will never act. It’s like when your child says to you, “Mum, Dad, you go off to work, I’ll stay at home on my own.” In your mind you think about this, “Is a five-year-old child capable of minding the house? I can’t bring myself to let him—what if he’s kidnapped by someone bad?” You worry, but it touches you that your child has such intention, it brings comfort to your heart, and you say to yourself, “My child is a good child, he does the right thing.” Your heart is comforted. When your child is 13 or 14, he says, “Mum, Dad, you go off to work, I’ll feed the chickens and look after the dog at home.” At the same time as feeling comforted, you’re willing to give him a little responsibility. But would you let him go out to the fields to do some work? You don’t think he could; if he got it wrong, he’d ruin the crop. When he gets to 16 or 17 and says, “Mum, Dad, what do you want to eat for lunch? I’ll make it for you,” what do you feel? “My child has grown up, he understands things, and he thinks of his parents.” It warms your heart. So now that your child is able to cook for you, do you say, “Go out and work. Go and earn two or three hundred bucks a day for your Mom.” Can you bring yourself to say that? (No.) It would be beyond them. There’s no way you’d do that. This is how parents feel toward their children. And what about how God feels toward man? He feels the same. He works in you based on your stature; all you need concern yourself with is unreservedly and boldly beseeching God. God would never torment you or exhaust you so much that you died, He would not make you shoulder a burden that is beyond your stature—you must have faith in this.
To pursue being made perfect, achieve the satisfaction of God, and be up to standard as a creature of God, people must have resolve. What resolve must they have? The resolve to pursue being made perfect, and to pursue being someone who has the truth. If you are without this resolve, and are merely satisfied with this, “I’m busy, I’m responsible for this work, I do service, I listen to the sermons, people appreciate me wherever I go,” then you’re finished, you have no promise. How many truths do you understand? At talk of the truth, or when there are fellowships and sermons, you drift off, but when there is talk of worldly matters, or of things that require physical effort, your eyes light up. This is someone who does service. There are some people whose eyes light up at the mention of the truth, who say, “I must note this down, I lack this, and that, I’ve got a long way to go before I can obey God. I’m so filthy inside, my stature is so small, I’m too weak, there are too many things in me that are disobedient to God—no wonder God is dissatisfied with me. I’m so far off, there’s nothing in me that is compatible with God, there’s so much that I misunderstand about God. When will I be able to satisfy God’s will?” They perform their duty, but it doesn’t stop them from thinking about such things, and they often come before God to silently pray: “O God, I ask You to test me, I ask You to expose me, to make me understand the truth, to make me capable of gaining the reality of the truth, and able to know You. I ask You to discipline me, and to chastise and judge me.” They are burdened by these things, which are always on their minds. As they think about them, God starts to work, and when God works, do they not receive special favor? Why was Peter tested hundreds of times? Because he pursued, and so he did not fear being tested by God; he trusted that God purifies people when He tests them, and trusted that this path would make people perfect, that only this was the right way. For this, he beseeched, and practiced, and expended, and sacrificed himself—and only then did God act. Did God grab him and not let go, did He single him out? When God singles someone out, does He have an aim? Is there a principle? (Yes. They must be someone who pursues the truth.) That’s for sure—they must pursue. Why weren’t other people tested hundreds of times? They did not pursue this. They did not ask God for this, nor did they pray to Him for it, or beseech Him for it. If people didn’t pray for this, God wouldn’t do it to them; He wouldn’t force this on them. That God wishes to make you perfect is something good, and you, too, feel that it is good. But if you always hide, will God force this on you? Some people say, “How terrible it would be to meet Christ. If I always met with Christ, He would see my faults, then what would I do if I was always dealt with and pruned? I must avoid Him. If I’m always with Him and He sees through me, won’t it all be over for me? I won’t be able to hide ever again. And when judgment and chastisement befall me, will I not lose my destination? I must avoid Him.” The unbelievers often say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and those people think, “If I always hide, if I stay away from Christ, He’ll always think of me as perfect, He’ll believe that I have great faith and zeal, and that I pursue the truth; if I’m always in front of Him, and if one day He gets sick of me, and starts to hate me, won’t it all be over for me?” Is this the case? There are those who have such motives. What do you say, does God put pressure on people like this? (No.) And so, what you pursue, what your resolve is, is what God makes perfect. If you do not pursue, if you avoid God, and stay away from Him, and have ulterior motives, what do God’s words say of how God treats such people? (“Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine” (Mat 7:6).) If you don’t love the truth and you hide from God, do you think God will stick by you? God does not put pressure on such people, He does not work on them. But for those who pursue the truth, God asks that they be like Peter, like Job, like Abraham, and walk the right path of human life that God requires of man, that they walk the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and ultimately gain the truth, and achieve being made perfect. These are the kind of people God wishes to gain. But if you do not pursue, will God try and force you to? God never forces people. The Holy Spirit will not keep trying to move you, He will not seize you and not let you go. It is not the case that He must make you perfect, it won’t end until He does, and you can’t escape. To be honest, God would never do that. This is God’s attitude. God merely hopes and wishes; He has this desire: He hopes to have more people like Job, Peter, and Abraham, He hopes that in the end, when His work finishes, He shall gain more people like this—but how many He has will come naturally. This is the real side of God’s work. He does not put pressure on people, and does not dictate that there shall be ten, twenty, a hundred, two thousand, or ten thousand; He works literally, He literally walks among man—this is how He speaks and works. He does every aspect of work that relates to the truth, work that is good for man, and He always works thus, working within right people. Ultimately, those who possess resolve, who pursue the truth, and achieve being made perfect shall be blessed, they shall be gained by God—and in this, is God not impartial to all? God is righteous. God selected and predestined all those who would follow Him during the last days, this was done by God. He predestined a home for people, He predestined when they would be born, the environment they would grow up in, their gifts, talents, caliber, the environment they would live in—He predestined all of this. But what ultimately allows people to see the side of God that is most righteous? All of this was predestined by God, but those who ultimately gain a destination and remain are those who pursue themselves, and that is based on the path that they walk. Is this God’s righteousness?
Everyone can see the practical side of God’s incarnation, and all have seen that God treats every person fairly and reasonably. That’s the kind of ordinary person He is. When they see a person such as this, some people have conceptions and say, “He looks too small, too unremarkable, I don’t believe, there’s no way I can believe,” or else they are doubtful as they follow. After meeting Christ, some say, “The incarnate God is real, but no matter how real or small He is, He is still God, and I shall treat Him as God. Thus I shall practice and accept the words from His mouth as the truth, and as the words of the Creator. I shall follow Him.” Ultimately, these people are made perfect and gain the truth. What kind of people ultimately gain the truth? (Those who pursue the truth.) God waters, provides, shepherds, and works in each one of you equally, the Holy Spirit touches you, and I, too, speak, fellowship, provide, and frequently hold assembly with you. Are these not all the same? God hasn’t made an exception for anyone by keeping supervising them, or putting them in a particular situation, allowing them to gain extra illumination or enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, or showing them certain signs and wonders. He’s done none of this. In the Age of Grace, in order to forgive man’s sins and make man walk the path of repentance, God displayed many signs and wonders. Everything God does in this stage is the provision of the truth. Regardless of how much you suffer, if, ultimately, you gain the truth, you are one of those who will be made perfect and who shall remain; if, ultimately, you are unable to gain the truth, there’s no use looking for a reason. You might say, “God has not displayed any signs or wonders, and I can’t believe,” “God has given people too little basis for belief, and I can’t believe,” or “God is too practical, too small, and I can’t believe.” The truth has been provided to you just like everyone else; why have some people been made perfect, but you have been eliminated? Why have you not gained the truth? This is God’s judgment of you, it is because you do not pursue the truth, yes? Thus, in this final stage, God only does the work of words. He literally uses words to work man, and does not display the signs and wonders. If you want to see the signs and wonders, go back two thousand years ago and watch the signs and wonders of the Lord Jesus during that age. Don’t believe in this stage of God’s work; if you believe in this stage, don’t wish for those things—God does not work thus. Is this reasonable? It is fair and reasonable. When you pursue the truth, God does not treat you unfairly. If you do not pursue the truth, and only pursue service, if you are able to serve to the very end, God will allow you to remain and you shall also be graced. But if you can’t serve to the very end, you shall be eliminated. What is elimination? Destruction! This is fair and reasonable, it doesn’t involve any preferential treatment. All is based on the words of God, and on the truth.
So viewed now, is what path people walk of crucial importance? What path you pursue walking, what kind of person you pursue being, how you pursue, what you desire, what you ask for from God, and your attitude toward God and His words when before Him are of great importance. Can showing the signs and wonders make people perfect? Say you’re involved in a car crash and God saves you, can this make you perfect? (No.) If you die and come back to life, can this make you perfect? Even if you’re sleeping for more than twenty hours and go to the kingdom of heaven, can this make you perfect? (No.) This cannot replace the truth. And so, in the final stage, when God’s management work comes to an end, God uses words to make people perfect and to expose them; this is God’s righteousness. When you are made perfect through God’s words, no one will have anything to say when you remain, as this is the kind of person God wants. God’s words have provided so much; if, ultimately, you do not gain them, who’s to blame? What’s to blame is the path you walk, right? Now do you understand? Is the path that people walk important? (It is.) Why is it important? It determines people’s destination. So don’t keep studying questions like, “Have the prophecies been fulfilled? Has God ever displayed signs or wonders? When will God depart from earth? Will I see it when God leaves earth?” There’s no use in studying such things—they have no connection to your destination and your being made perfect. So what does have a connection to you? The path you walk is connected to whether or not you are made perfect. What is the most basic truth in whether you are made perfect? It is obedience to God. In your life, you must pursue obedience to God. Did I not just speak of every aspect of the truth of pursuing obedience to God? Why, in your life, must you pursue obedience to God? What does the process of pursuing obedience to God solve? It solves the source of one’s corrupt disposition. Why must people’s corrupt disposition be solved? Their corrupt disposition is in enmity to God, it is the corrupt disposition of Satan, and the substance of Satan; in substance, they are Satan, they are evil demons. When you pursue obedience to God, this problem is solved. This is essential! If your corrupt disposition remains, and if there remains a bit of it that has not been resolved, then you stand in opposition to God, and you are the enemy of God, and are incapable of obeying God. The extent to which you resolve your corrupt disposition is the extent of your obedience to God; however much you resolve your corrupt disposition is how much obedience to God you are capable of.
This time, we’ve said nothing of knowing God. Knowing God is gradually achieved during the course of solving your corrupt disposition and pursuing being made perfect to achieve obedience to God. Pursuing the knowledge of God alone is a profound lesson, so we haven’t spoken of it. What we’re talking about today is a topic that is intimately connected to people’s practice, their lives, and their pursuit, that is closely related to people’s path. During the course of pursuing solving your corrupt disposition, you will gradually come to understand God, and will gradually come to understand God’s will; when you’re able to understand God’s will, shall you have some knowledge of God? You will know part of God. And during the course of your obedience to God, why are you able to obey? You have come to understand God’s heart, you have understood God’s will, you have understood what standard and principles God asks of you, and what the aim is. And is there some knowledge in this understanding? This is incidental, it’s gradual, and it follows as a matter of course. Pursuing the knowledge of God alone would be very difficult. If you said, “I won’t do anything, I’ll spend the whole day pursuing the knowledge of God. Where do flowers come from? They were created by God. So what genes do flowers have? What vitamins do they contain? What amino acids do they contain?” would you be able to know God through this? This has no use, it’s empty. If you said, “Why do lambs kneel when they drink milk? And why don’t cows kneel when they drink milk? I’ll study this, and through this I shall know God,” could you achieve the knowledge of God? There’s no use in understanding such things—this knowledge is superficial. It’s enough to know that all things are made by God, that this is miraculous. What is the fundamental problem? The fundamental problem is pursuing the truth and solving one’s corrupt disposition to achieve obedience to God—and during the course of their pursuit, people will actually achieve a gradual understanding of many issues of detail.