The Path to Entering into Reality
Expressions of a Person Not Having the Reality of the Truth
Now we will continue to fellowship about several kinds of real states of not having reality. The first kind is that there is a sort of person who has believed in God for many years, and has acted as a leader and a worker, and is skilled in preaching, so most people greatly admire his words and actions. Does this represent a person having reality? This kind of person doesn’t necessarily have reality. Whether or not a person has reality is not based on how many years he has acted as leader, nor is it based on how much a person spends in casting away everything for God. Rather, it depends on whether a person actually has true obedience, true love, true reverence, and true faith. The second kind is that there are some people who have believed in God for many years, whose caliber is very good, who can preach the word of God, who are especially sensitive in fellowshiping about the truth, and who have the ability to understand. Does this represent a person having reality? This doesn’t represent that a person has reality either. But there are those who worship these people, and say, “That person’s caliber is so good, he understands the truth so quickly, and as soon as the above has finished fellowshiping, he can immediately copy the words. He can differentiate people’s states, and no matter who has difficulties, all it takes is for him to fellowship for a while and the difficulties will be assuaged and even fully resolved.” Does this represent a person having reality? This kind of person doesn’t necessarily have reality either. What is crucial in having reality is to see whether or not he has true knowledge of God. I often say something like this: “This person has acted as a leader for many years, and has the ability to do real work, but how much has he actually borne witness to God? How much knowledge of God does he have? In what way does he bear witness to and exalt God?” There are people who corroborate this by saying that when they’ve heard him preaching he rarely exalts and bears witness to God. Tell me, does this kind of person have reality? He doesn’t have reality. What does it show if a person rarely exalts and bears witness to God? It shows that he understands any kind of doctrine, but just that he doesn’t have any true knowledge of God. Aside from not bearing witness to and exalting God, he can talk about anything. That proves he understands any kind of doctrine, but as soon as you bring up bearing witness to and exalting God he has nothing to say. It proves that he doesn’t have any knowledge of God. What do you think the most crucial and fundamental truth is? It is having true knowledge of God. Oh, he just happens to lack this. He has fully understood those letters and doctrines that are unimportant and non-crucial, but he hasn’t managed to understand the most crucial truth—knowing God. Is this kind of person intelligent or stupid? This kind of person is stupid. This is what’s called ignoring the roots and going after the branches, or abandoning the fundamentals. If a person believes in God but doesn’t pursue to know God, what’s the point of understanding other letters and doctrines? What is it that you are able to speak about? Is it knowledge of God or letters and doctrines? For example, there is now a person who is following the wrong path, and you want to fellowship some truth about this problem, how would you fellowship? If he is on the wrong path, and hasn’t entered onto the path of attaining salvation, then if you wanted to fellowship about the truth to him how would you do so? How would you solve his problem? Would you speak about what the path of attaining salvation is, what path it is that he is following, or where it was that he took a wrong turn? Is it right to talk about these kinds of things? Some say it is right, but it’s actually wrong. It’s just wrong to speak of such things. You should first bear witness to God’s work and bear witness to how God saves people, and then talk about whether he can gain salvation by following the path he is on, whether he will be able to attain the work of the Holy Spirit, and whether it is a path that is praised by God. First you bear witness to God’s work, and then bear witness to the path God asks us to follow, which is the path through which one attains salvation, so that people can see God’s love and salvation, and only then can he follow the right track. Would it be possible to solve this problem if you don’t bear witness to and exalt God? If you merely talk about what road by which one can attain salvation and what road by which one cannot attain salvation, and you don’t bear witness to God’s work, then what you talk about is still doctrine. If you first bear witness to God’s work and then speak about this, then this isn’t doctrine. People can bear witness to God in any matter, and no matter what problem you want to resolve, in all those situations you are capable of bearing witness to God. You can say that the resolution of all problems must rely on bearing witness to and exalting God. Do you need to bear witness to God in order to be an honest person? If you don’t bear witness to God, then it’s just your own behavior when you are being honest. It’s just what is called an honest person from the point of view of human notions, because if you aren’t honest in the presence of God, if you aren’t honest to God, but you are honest to people, then the source of this honesty is wrong. It is the wrong route, so your honesty is not true honesty. So, whatever you are preaching about, you can’t leave out bearing witness to and exalting God. As soon as you leave out God, then whatever you preach will just be empty. If you have God in your heart and you speak clearly about God’s word, will, work, and requirement, only then will you be bearing witness to and exalting God. If in preaching you are able to bear witness to and exalt God, the result is that you allow people to have knowledge of God. Afterward, they will enter onto the correct path through pursuing the truth. Do people like this have reality? This kind of person does have reality, and people would say, “In his work, this person is constantly able to exalt and bear witness to God, and he never leaves out bearing witness to and exalting God no matter what problems he is resolving for brothers and sisters. This person has true knowledge of God, and by way of his bearing witness to and exalting God he has caused knowledge of God to arise in us as well, so each and every day we are carried along onto the right path of believing in God.” This is the third kind of circumstance. People of the sort who are merely able to preach but seldom bear witness to and exalt God don’t have any reality. The fourth kind is that there are some people who have eaten and drunk the word of God for several years and have some knowledge of themselves, and when they are fellowshiping about the truth they never leave out knowledge of themselves. They always acknowledge their own corruption to people, and say that they themselves are devils or that they resist God, but they have no true knowledge of God, and that it isn’t apparent that they have true obedience to God. Do people like this have reality? People like this do not have reality. There are people who say, “Isn’t it reality when you thoroughly and completely know yourself?” But the crucial point is that they haven’t thoroughly known themselves, but merely say what other people are saying, just going through the motions. Do you know what just saying what other people are saying means? When everyone is talking about knowing themselves, it doesn’t look good if he doesn’t talk about it, so he goes through the motions and copies saying something about knowing himself. It’s just like how when religious people are together they thank God, whatever they do they have to thank God beforehand; when new believers hear them all thanking God they follow along and thank God, they all thank God. But are they thanking God from their hearts? Not necessarily. This is called saying what others say, learning how to squawk like a parrot. So whether or not you have the reality is not dependent on what you say on the outside. You have to see if you have true knowledge of and obedience to God, and this is the most crucial. The fifth kind is that there are some people who have suffered a lot of hardship and whose humanity is comparatively mature and seasoned. They don’t do those things that are seen by people as evil, and they have a good reputation within the church. Does this kind of person have reality? This kind of person also doesn’t necessarily have reality. Why is that? When any person reaches fifty or sixty, or after having suffered many setbacks, everyone becomes mature. This is a law of nature, so that means when a person’s humanity matures it doesn’t represent a transformation in his life disposition, nor does it represent that he has reality. Some people came out of prison where they had languished for years, and when people saw them, they exclaimed, “Oh, their faces have aged so much! They look mature and grown.” Does this count as a transformation in the life disposition? Not necessarily, because when a person’s humanity matures it doesn’t represent that their life disposition has transformed. Some people cast everything away for God and work for many years, preach a lot, do a lot of work in the church in service of brothers and sisters, have a humanity which is quite good, and are also mature and seasoned, but they don’t have true obedience to God. When they are faced with being pruned and dealt with, they don’t complain, but in their hearts they resent God and are conflicted. Does this kind of person have reality? He too doesn’t have reality. There are some people who can’t see it. When they see that this person’s humanity is mature and seasoned, that he has suffered a lot of hardship, and that he speaks with substance, they think his life disposition has transformed. Do you know in what respect you can see a transformation in a person’s life disposition? In one respect, it is in their perspective on how they view things. If you see how they look at things, how they look at the world, the corrupt humanity, and each and every kind of matter, if their way of seeing these things is pretty much the same as that of unbelievers, then he’s someone who doesn’t have the truth and reality. In addition, see whether he has true obedience to God, and especially look to see whether he has true obedience to God in various trials. Some people have some obedience in the assignments of God’s family, and whatever duties are assigned to them they will carry them out, whatever work is assigned to them they will do, but this doesn’t represent that a person has true obedience to God. What is it that is best able to represent that a person has true obedience to God? It is a person’s behavior in all kinds of trials. For example, see how he behaves if he’s captured by the great red dragon, or when faced with a trial, or when he’s faced with a catastrophe and his family members die, or when he is dealing with the torment of a serious illness. You can see whether he has true obedience to God by looking at these things, and draw your conclusion from that. From this respect you can see whether or not there is actually a transformation in life disposition. Looking at things like this is quite accurate, and you can say it’s a surefire method that will hit its target every time.