Chapter 20: The Path Walked by Believers in God Determines Their Ending and Destination
We Must First Resolve the Problem of Being a Person to Succeed at Believing in God
Many believers in God even today do not clearly understand the most crucial point of experiencing God’s work and God’s words, which is also the foremost principle of how people should practice. Many people might say, “Isn’t it enough that I am someone who pursues the truth and focuses on understanding the truth?” Others might say, “I only focus on performing my duties well. As long as I do that, I can achieve salvation.” Still others say, “I focus only on being an honest person, having true obedience to God, having a heart that fears God and shuns evil. If I do these, I can achieve salvation.” Are such statements correct? We could say all of them are correct. The sayings are correct, but it’s hard to apply them accurately to practice. You might not grasp the key point. So, what is the key point? Some people say, “As long as I focus on listening to fellowship on the truth, as long as I listen attentively to the above’s fellowship on the truth, understand it, and accept it into my heart, won’t my practice allow me to achieve knowledge of God?” How is this statement? Also correct, but where is the key point? You might not be able to see clearly how you should practice. I’ll give you an example. Do you think certain false leaders and antichrists are willing to pursue the truth? (Yes.) Are they willing to be honest people? (Yes.) Are they willing to obey God? (Yes.) If they are willing, why aren’t they able to do it? Where is the problem? It’s trouble if they are not able to do it. What kind of trouble? They can’t receive the work of the Holy Spirit, this is one, and it’s one that is invisible to people; but also, all that they forsake, all that they expend, and all their labor and suffering are futile. These people also work very hard, also forsake their homes and careers, some have been arrested or have homes to which they can’t return, so why didn’t they gain God’s approval, and were instead eliminated? Because they failed at being a person. If you fail at being a person, isn’t that failing at believing in God? Some people lack penetration into this matter, the fact that failing at being a person is failing at believing in God and succeeding at being a person is succeeding at believing in God. What do you think of this topic? Do you think it’s a practical topic? Some people don’t quite understand, and ask, “How is this such a key point? Why don’t I think it’s such a key point? How is this related to pursuing the truth?” Do you think being a person is related with pursuing the truth? (Yes.) Is being a person related to what path you walk? (Yes.) Where is this relationship? Being a person is related to the path you walk, pursuing the truth, and your success or failure in believing in God. Is being a person really so crucial? A great many people may not have contemplated this question. What does “failure at being a person” refer to, and how is it expressed? I’ll tell you now in detail. Failure at being a person is primarily failing to become an honest person, failing to become someone obedient to God, failing to become someone who loyally performs his or her duties, failing to become someone considerate of God’s will, and failing to become someone who genuinely loves God. It is failure at all of these things. If someone fails to become all of these things, what is he? A deceitful person, someone who performs his duties without loyalty and often muddles his way through; he is someone who does not practice the truth at all and cannot truly obey God; or he is someone who often does wicked deeds, disrupts and disturbs God’s work, he is the bad apple among the bunch, and he disrupts and tears down the work of God’s house to the point that God’s chosen people eventually loathe and reject him. So, are these expressions of failure at being a person? Based on these expressions, if someone fails at being a person, no matter how many years he believes in God, how much he forsakes, or how much he suffers, will such people ever attain salvation? (No.) Are they targets for elimination? (Yes.) This is why someone who fails at being a person has failed at believing in God. What problems must one resolve to succeed at believing in God? We must succeed at being a person! What does it mean to “succeed at being a person”? There are details to consider. This isn’t just an empty theory! In detail, it means that someone succeeds at being an honest person, lives out the true likeness of a man, has love for other people, treats other people according to principles, doesn’t muddle through while performing his duties, can practice the truth as he performs his duty, that he is loyal to God, and that he is qualified to perform his duties. Also, it means that in the church, he is someone who safeguards God’s work, stands on God’s side, is considerate of God’s will, and is a confidant of God’s chosen people. With these expressions, can we say that someone has succeeded in being a person? (Yes.) If someone achieves these expressions in the making of themselves, is he someone who can attain salvation? He is definitely someone who has attained salvation or been perfected. Looked at this way, we know that to attain salvation through our belief in God, we first must choose the correct path. This is very important. We must choose the path of Peter, and must never choose the path of Paul. What problems must we resolve to walk the path of Peter? First, we must resolve the problem of being a person. You must determine what kind of person you will be. If you choose to be the wrong kind of person, then “walking the path of Peter” are merely empty words. If you make the correct choice in how to be a person, if you say, “I will be an honest person,” what are the expressions of that? “I must give my heart to God.” Then what are the expressions of giving your heart to God? “I must stand on God’s side in all things, be considerate of God’s will, be of one heart with God, safeguard the interests of God’s house and God’s work in all things, perform my duty well, and repay God’s love.” If you can achieve these things, have you not also succeeded at being a person? These are the primary aspects of being a person. If you lack practice and entry in these aspects of being a person, and lack these expressions, then you have definitely failed at being a person!
There is an important question within how to be a person. What is it? It is critical to decide whether you will be a positive or negative person. Some say, “I will walk the path of Peter.” What kind of person was Peter? (Positive.) Which expressions did Peter possess? What path did Peter walk? The path of pursuing the truth and the path of love for God. He was considerate of God’s will, stood with God, and took God’s heart as his own in all things, so Peter was able to worry about the things that worried God, think about the things God thought about, do what God demanded, and everywhere do things to repay God’s love and satisfy God. These were the specific expressions of Peter’s path. The Lord Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, love you Me?” (John 21:16). From that time onward, Peter knew, “This is what the Lord demands of me, the Lord has raised a new requirement for me, so I am duty-bound to satisfy God,” after which he began to pursue love of God. Those who can love God are the best people, aren’t they? We could also say that they are the noblest, or in worldly terms, we could call them the most holy, or perhaps the greatest. We don’t often use the term “great” anymore, but those who love God are indeed great. The most holy people are those who love God. When people love God, they can do things ordinary people can’t do, think things ordinary people can’t think, can become someone highly consistent with God and finally can be at one with God’s will. It is entirely correct to say that being at one with God’s will and being compatible with God are achieved through love of God. If people don’t love God, they can never achieve these things. Now let us look at those who walk the path of the antichrist, the path of Paul. Does even one of them genuinely love God? Of all those in the church who do wicked deeds and disturb the work of God, does a single person genuinely love God? (No.) What does this fact tell us? Those who do not love the truth can never love God, and those who do not pursue the truth can never love God, isn’t this a fact? (Yes.) Based on this, we can say with certainty that all negative people in the church, no matter whether they speak, do things, or interact with other people, play negative and destructive roles, which is to say that everywhere and in every way they disturb and disrupt God’s work and church life. Can these people, no matter how many years they believe in God, ever attain salvation? (No.) Why can’t they attain salvation? Because they are not people who fear God and there is no place for God in their hearts. In their hearts there is only personal reputation and status, and they want nothing but to make others worship and support them. In the church, these people want to hold power, rise above others, and control God’s chosen people. So, are they not the embodiment of the evildoer? What kind of eyes do we see on their faces? Are they the eyes of a benevolent person? No, they are evil, ferocious eyes. What does it mean to be an “ill-intentioned visitor”? The phrase refers precisely to those eyes, when those eyes look upon you, they give you a bad feeling, the feeling that the moment he becomes angry or enraged, people feel that a demon has come, that a demon has shown its true colors. Aren’t there many such people in the church? (Yes.) Then what path do these people walk? Is it the path of pursuing the truth? Absolutely not. If someone truly walks the path of pursuing the truth, the performance of his duties, his actions, his expressions, his words, and his contacts and association with people will all affect others positively, in a good way. If someone, in a church, or no matter where else, plays no positive role at all, if everything he does has a negative effect, if all he does is disruptive and ruinous, then he is a negative person. Do negative people belong to God or Satan? (Satan.) Are such people’s hearts turned to God? No, because such people never pray, confess, or truly repent after they do evil. Such people feel proud and justified after doing evil, argue to protect themselves, and never admit wrongdoing, which makes them capable of excessive wickedness and unrepentant to the end. To succeed at being a person, what must we practice first? At the very least, you must ensure that most people, that people in the church, see you as having a positive effect and playing a good role. If you play a positive role, you are walking the correct path, you are one of the group that genuinely believe in God and pursue the truth, and you are one of God’s chosen people who stand on God’s side, which means you are someone who can attain salvation. Anyone who goes against and plays an opposite role to those in the church who genuinely pursue the truth, expend for God, and play a positive role are subjects for elimination. This is why, in the church, all those who play a positive role and have a positive effect are those among God’s chosen people who stand on God’s side and genuinely believe in God. Those who go against and resist positive people, who have a negative effect and play negative roles are in Satan’s camp and work for the forces of evil, and if such people never repent and cannot stand on God’s side, they are without doubt targets for elimination.
Isn’t the problem we just discussed the problem of being a person? Isn’t how one acts as a person critical? It is all too critical, and what is it most important to practice first in being a person? Choosing the path you walk. If you walk the path of Peter, whose side should you stand on? God’s side. How should we practice standing on God’s side? Some people aren’t clear on the answer to this question. Which side is the side of God? (The side of truth.) And also? (The side of work arrangements.) What does the side of work arrangements refer to? You must obey the man used by the Holy Spirit. You must listen to what he says and obey his work arrangements. When you stand on the side of the man used by the Holy Spirit and obey the work arrangements of the man used by the Holy Spirit, you are standing on the side of God, which is also standing on the side of Christ, the practical God. If you judge, deny, or resist the man used by the Holy Spirit, and later say you believe in Almighty God, isn’t this deceitful? If God wants to use this person, but you oppose him, play his antagonist, and then say you believe in Almighty God, aren’t you actually resisting Almighty God? Just as in the Age of Law, if you claimed to believe in Jehovah God but resisted Moses, your claim to believe in Jehovah God was empty, and in reality you resisted Jehovah God. Isn’t that the case? If you contended with Moses for power and status, were you not, accurately contending with God for power and status? What again are God’s three admonishments? (Do not test God, do not contend for status with God, and do not compete with God.) Isn’t one of these violated here? (Yes.) Which one? (Do not contend for status with God.) Which of these admonishments do false leaders and antichrists violate? Isn’t it this one? Isn’t anyone who judges or resists the man used by the Holy Spirit contending for status with God? Doing this offends God’s disposition. When a man offends God’s disposition, what is the role he plays in God’s house? A negative or a positive role? Anyone who plays the role of an antichrist plays a negative role, and all those who are negative people will eventually be punished and eliminated. Are those in the church who play a positive role, fulfill their duties loyally, safeguard the work of God’s house, love the truth, pursue the truth, and strive for righteousness in the majority or the minority? (The minority.) There are certain people in the church who stand in opposition to this group, and those in opposition are full of jealousy and loathing for them. They contend for status and superiority with this group. Which kind of people are these in opposition? Evildoers. Do the evildoers in the church play a positive or negative role? (A negative role.) This, then, tells us that there are two camps in every church, one made up of those who pursue the truth, and one made up of evildoers who loathe the truth. Between these two camps are a portion of people who simply hold themselves aloft and refuse to care. They offend neither camp, standing neither with those who pursue the truth nor on the side of the evildoers. They are the centrists, people who don’t get involved with anyone, who only believe in God and go to meetings and do not pursue the truth. What role do such people play? They play the role of bystanders. Does someone who plays the role of bystander walk the path of Peter? (No.) In name, they believe in God, but they do not pursue or accept the truth. Their belief in God is only to gain blessings and ensure that their destination is not death. They are simply trying their luck. They do not forsake everything or pay a price, nor do they bear suffering. They simply gain what they can, make no issue of what they cannot gain, and simply believe in this manner. Will they ever attain salvation with such an attitude? Most certainly not, because they are walking the wrong path. They haven’t truly entered into the right track of belief in God. Aren’t there many such people in the church? (Yes.) What proportion of people are they? Some say two thirds, some say one third, but it isn’t a small proportion. Is the role they play a positive role? What is the correct name for the role they play? Bystanders, centrists. They try to be inoffensive, “I won’t stand on the side of God’s chosen people who pursue the truth, nor will I stand with the evildoers who despise the truth. I won’t stand with the enemies of those who pursue the truth, I will take a third-person position.” Is there love for God in such people’s hearts? Are they people who stand on God’s side? When the evildoers and antichrists in the church cause disturbances, when evil spirits work, they stand by and watch. They never step up to stop or banish these evildoers, which means that such people have not escaped the influence of Satan, and they are not people who will attain salvation. They have not truly turned their hearts to God and have not truly given their hearts to God. Are these people who fear God and shun evil? (No.) They are people who absolutely will not gain salvation. In the words of man, they are bystanders in God’s work, essentially cheerleaders for God’s work. What does “cheerleaders” mean? They do nothing but inflate the church’s membership. If, for example, there are ten people who pursue the truth in a church alongside twenty cheerleaders, then the church has thirty members. People hear that number and think, “My, that’s a lot.” Actually, only ten people genuinely pursue the truth, but other twenty don’t, so all they do is inflate the number. Such people believe in God only as wooden props. Isn’t this a problem? On the day that God announces man’s final destination, and these people are not among the saved, how will they feel? Won’t they be anxious and distraught? But there is no helping it then. Why didn’t they stand on God’s side? Why didn’t they pursue the truth? Why weren’t they honest people who love God like Peter? Why didn’t they give their hearts to God? If they had known this day would come, would they have acted thus? What role do you think those in the church play who form cliques and cabals, who engage in factional struggles and contend for power and status, and who try to rise above others? (A negative role.) Do those who play a negative role have any hope of salvation? (None.) This poses quite a problem!
Today, most people want to know their own destination, are concerned about their destination, and every day think to themselves, “Will I actually attain salvation? Will I be one of those who remain? I truly believe in God, after so many trials I haven’t fallen away, I still follow Him! I take such huge risks to believe in God! I have escaped arrest by the great red dragon several times! Given the suffering I’ve born and the price I’ve paid, I should be able to attain salvation, but will I really be able to or not?” How can we determine the answer to this question? Based on what we just fellowshiped, you need only look at whether you are a positive or negative force in the church, at what role you play. Isn’t this a crucial question? Doesn’t this help us determine the answer more accurately? This is a very accurate way to determine the answer. This gives you a lead to follow. So, is this a suitable principle by which to determine whether you will attain salvation? And if you want to determine whether someone else will attain salvation, is this also a suitable principle? (Yes.) This is a very good principle! Simply look at what role you play in the church, whether you play a positive role or a negative role, which is critical! Do not neglect this question, because it is a very accurate determinant. Isn’t what I’m saying a very good reminder for people? And for just who should it serve as a reminder? The bystanders, the centrists. These people are very cunning. They live by satanic philosophies and never offend anyone. No matter how the two sides fight with each other, they say, “I won’t take part. I am a centrist, so I offend no one, I simply believe in God and that’s that!” From the outside, these people don’t appear to be evildoers, they don’t commit wickedness and can be called simple-minded people in the church, they seem to be good people, so why can’t they attain salvation? Some people can’t see this question clearly, but we must draw the question mark on this question very clearly, we must answer it clearly, and we must see it clearly. If you don’t answer it, if you truly belong to this middle group, and in the end you are not saved, won’t you say it’s a great pity? Why, then, won’t this group of people attain salvation? (Because they stand on Satan’s side.) They do not stand on God’s side, they haven’t given their hearts to God, and they do not accept and obey the truth. What does it mean when someone hasn’t done these things? That he has no principles and does not uphold the principles of the truth. Doesn’t this mean he hates the truth, loathes the truth, and toys with the truth? Isn’t it trampling upon the truth? A person’s attitude toward God is expressed in his attitude toward the truth, and the way he treats the truth is the way he treats God. Such people do not appear to be evildoers on the outside, and don’t seem to do wicked deeds, but they have contempt for the truth, trample upon the truth, and toy with the truth, and in their hearts, they consider God an enemy and stand in opposition to God, which is why such people still live under the domain of Satan. They have not turned their hearts to God, and they still live by satanic philosophies. They are still bound by satanic philosophies, logic, and principles. These are still their lives, their natures, and they are still people who live under Satan’s domain, which means they cannot attain salvation, because God does not admit such people. Regardless of whether such people don’t appear to do evil or speak words that resist God from the outside, their hearts are shut off from turning to God and isolated from God. They belong to Satan. This is the true reason the centrists and bystanders in the church cannot attain salvation.
What must you do to attain salvation through pursuing the truth? Do not walk the path of the antichrist. There are two aspects in which we must practice to avoid the path of the antichrist. First, we must pursue and accept the truth. Second, we must be in accord with those who pursue the truth, and not resist or oppose those who pursue the truth. If you oppose, contend for status, contend for reputation, contend for power, or contend for superiority with those who pursue the truth, you are objectively disturbing and disrupting the church life and God’s work, and impacting the life entry of God’s chosen people, which is why we absolutely must practice these two aspects as we walk the path of pursuing the truth. If you make enemies of those who pursue the truth, if you always speak and act for contending for power and status, if you cajole, attack, deceive, or use certain people to contend for power and achieve your individual goals, you become someone who does excessive wickedness, which is doing evil! Judging someone is evil, attacking those who pursue the truth is evil, contending for power and profit, which disrupts the church life, is also evil, and if you only speak for your own status and reputation while never testifying God, you are still someone who resists God, and these are also evil deeds. All things done to contend for power and profit are evil deeds, and this is a fact. Those who fear God stay far away from evil deeds, which include what? All actions not in accord with the truth, especially judging, suppressing, excluding, and attacking others, as well as forming cliques and cabals. These are the most classic evil behaviors. At what are these evil behaviors targeted? Are evil behaviors ever targeted at material things? All evil things done by people are targeted at other people. No one commits evil acts targeted at money, clothes, houses, or desks and tables. What evil acts does an evildoer target at people? “I don’t like you, so I will judge you, defame you, exclude you, and attack you.” Isn’t this doing evil? “I don’t think you are fit to be a leader, I’m more suitable as a leader, so I will attack you, judge you, and exclude you.” Isn’t this doing evil? And there’s another type, “You are a leader, and I have no private grudges or debts against you, but you are a leader, I cannot be, so I hate you, and so I will speak against you, judge you, attack you, and fabricate rumors about you.” Isn’t this doing evil? “Because I dislike hearing about the things you say and do, because they annoy me, because I loathe you, I will begin to judge you, attack you, and exclude you.” Isn’t this doing evil? All evil acts are targeted at people. If you can commit so many evil acts targeted at people, what does this prove? That you have a satanic nature, that your satanic disposition is vicious, and that you openly and directly oppose people face-to-face! Isn’t this vicious in the extreme? Do not the harmful elements and evildoers in the church all target people with their evil acts? Anyone who enjoys abusing, mistreating, suppressing, excluding, mocking, making sarcastic remarks about, insulting, or commenting on others is an evildoer. How do you think evildoers look? Some have twisted mouths, the corners of their mouths hang down, their mouths are crooked, while others have crooked noses, and still others have slanted eyes, and yet others have cross-grained features, and yet more some are of ferocious countenance, and others still have vicious eyes. Aren’t these the vicious faces of man? And they are never vicious to animals, only to people! There are some people who look quite pleasing, but who are devils in disposition! So looking merely at whether someone’s appearance is pleasing isn’t enough. Sometimes this disposition can be seen in their face. Isn’t it terrifying when people look ferocious? When that ferocious face acts, it’s as if the devil stands before you! So, now do you have a path for how to evaluate, reflect upon, and determine what kind of person can attain salvation? (Yes.) What is it based on? It is based on what role a person plays in the church. If you play a positive role, you are assured to be someone who can attain salvation. If you play a negative role, you are assured to be someone who will be eliminated. If you are an excessive evildoer, you will be the subject of punishment. This is an unquestionable fact.
… Which aspects should those who pursue the truth focus upon on the positive side? Where should their primary focus be? On being a person, being an honest person, which is to turn your heart over to God. Believers in God should first and foremost make proper their relationship with God, and then turn their hearts over to God. What is the specific expression of turning one’s heart over to God? Purely opening up to God. What does “purely opening up” refer to? Fellowshiping and communicating on all matters with God, telling everything to God, praying to God, not attempting to be your own master, and not doing this or that behind God’s back. It means seeking God, seeking the truth, seeking what is in accord with God’s will, and seeking what will satisfy God. When you open up to God to this degree, it proves that your heart is turned to God, that it has returned to God, that finally you have given your heart over to God, that you completely obey God, and that you listen to all of God’s arrangements. What effect is achieved when your association with God reaches this degree? Without knowing it, you become an honest person before God. One becomes such an honest person like this not by overtly attempting to “not tell lies and not deceive others” in your external behavior. Doing this is useless, because it is “treating the symptoms but not the root cause.” How should you do if you want to “treat the root cause”? You need to communicate and be in touch with God in your heart, establish a normal relationship with God, devote yourself entirely to practicing association with God, accepting the truth, and maintaining that normal relationship with God, think of God at all times, and never be apart from God. What change does doing this bring about? Your heart becomes more and more honest, more and more pure, more and more able to seek the truth, rely on God, and turn to God, you live before God in all things, and you become someone obedient to God. Gradually, your heart learns to love God, and finally, you live in the light, and by relying on God’s words. Isn’t this the path of “treating the root cause”? Some people say, “I try to overcome my mouth. I slap my mouth once if I tell one lie, twice if I tell two lies, three times if I tell three lies, and four times if I tell four lies. My mouth is swollen, but I still haven’t resolved my lies, and in the end I can’t speak at all, yet I still tell lies in my heart!” You see? Is this a path to resolve the problem of becoming an honest person? Doing this is useless. “Treating the root cause” begins with being close with God in your heart, achieving walking with God in your associations with God, and living in the light. People who do this are unknowingly changed when they come before God. They are illuminated by God, worked upon and touched by the Holy Spirit, perfected by the truth, and finally, a change occurs in their heart, upon which a change in their disposition follows. Ignore feelings like, “Oh no, today I spoke arrogantly again,” “today I was insolent again,” and “today I was self-righteous again.” Spare these words, because they are useless. If you have a bad relationship with God, you will always be self-righteous. If you never pray, never open up your heart to God, never learn to obey God, and never practice living before God, you will always be arrogant. Treat the root cause first, and resolve the problem beginning with your heart. Also, if you play a positive role in the church, even if you are slightly arrogant and self-righteous, you aren’t a bad person with a bad heart, who would condemn you? Who would criticize you? No one. People will say, “This person is sometimes arrogant, but is obedient to God,” “This person is sometimes self-righteous, but is well-intentioned,” or “Sometimes this person exposes insolence, but he is of one heart with God, and he obeys God.” In this way, aren’t your problems gradually resolved? Never mind that a person is sometimes arrogant or self-righteous, or that his words are sometimes very unpleasant. But he walks the correct path in life, he plays a positive role, and he is someone who has the work of the Holy Spirit, then worry not, because his corruption will grow less over time. He may appear to be sometimes insolent, arrogant, and self-righteous, but he is clean and purified to God. Perhaps to man he is flawed and impure, but to God, he is someone who will attain salvation, and all will be well if you don’t forget this fact. Now are you clear on the way to pursue life entry and achieve dispositional change? (Yes.) Do you have a path? (Yes.) Are you able to practice it? (Yes.) First walk the correct path, stand on God’s side, and play a positive role. These are your most important tasks. When you play a positive role, it doesn’t matter that at times you expose corruption. This doesn’t impact whether you will attain salvation. Do not fixate on external corruption, but you should focus on how much knowledge of God you have, how your relationship with God is, whether or not you are of one heart with God, whether you are considerate of God’s will in all things, and whether or not you safeguard God’s work. If you try to be the correct person, a positive person, and you have the work of the Holy Spirit, all of your trifling problems will slowly be resolved, and you need not concern yourself with them. Now do you have a path? Today God’s work saves people, and your own effort is of no use. Your attempts and efforts to control yourself in whatever way will do you no good. Simply follow your path, and the road will appear before you!