Only in the Practice of the Truth Is There Life Entry

Where should a person start when taking the first step into life entry? What does a person need to have in order to achieve life entry? What are the most crucial and important things a person should pursue and gain in order to enter into the truth realities? Have you ever considered these questions? What is life entry? Life entry is a change in a person’s day-to-day life, in their actions, in their life’s direction, and in the goal of their pursuit. Having been foolish and ignorant in the past, and having always acted according to the thoughts, notions, and imaginings of the flesh, a person now, through God’s revelations, watering, and provision, may come to understand that they should act in accord with God’s words. Additionally, this person has undergone a transformation as a result of God’s words, in daily life, with regard to their views and style of conducting themselves, and with regard to their direction and goals in life. This is life entry. What is the basis of life entry? (The words of God.) That’s right. Life entry is inseparable from the words of God; it is inseparable from the truth; every word God speaks is the truth. What is manifested in people who have achieved life entry? (They are able to rely on the words of God to live.) That’s right. They are able to rely on the words of God to live. Their actions, speech, thoughts about problems, viewpoints, stances, and perspectives all rely on the words of God and on the truth. These are manifestations of having attained life entry. So, what is life entry primarily connected to? (God’s words.) It is connected to God’s words and the truth. So, now, could one define a person with life entry as a person who pursues the truth, and a person who truly pursues the truth as a person with life entry? (Yes.) What is the goal of defining things this way? In what direction should we aim our fellowship? (At pursuing the truth.) Pursuing the truth is the main topic I want to fellowship on today. At the present time, you are not too clear on the relationship between life entry and pursuing the truth—it is not very evident to you. I am always fellowshiping on life entry, transforming people’s dispositions, and dissecting Paul’s path. What is the main topic that this all boils down to? It is pursuing the truth. No matter whether I dissect the path Paul followed, or talk about the path to perfection that Peter followed—no matter what I talk about, ultimately, what kind of path is it My goal to make everyone follow? (The path of pursuing the truth.) When people are able to pursue the truth, enter into the truth realities, live according to God’s words, understand God’s will, and do things according to the principles of God’s words, are the goals people pursue, and the paths they follow not clear? (Yes, they are.) Pursuing the truth is a topic which is impossible for people to avoid when they believe in God, seek to transform their disposition, and pursue salvation. Only those who pursue the truth are true believers, and can achieve salvation. Some people have passion and are willing to expend themselves for God, but they are not necessarily people who pursue the truth. Although everyone is willing to pursue the truth, some people are of poor caliber, they lack comprehension ability and cannot grasp the truth. Some people do not understand spiritual matters; no matter how they listen to sermons, they never understand, nor do they understand when they read God’s words. They always interpret things in a distorted way, and try to apply rules. These are people who do not understand spiritual matters. There are people in the church who understand spiritual matters, and those who do not understand spiritual matters; there are those with poor caliber who lack comprehension ability, and those of good caliber who have a pure understanding of God’s words; there are those who pursue the truth, and those who do not. These different types of people all have different states and manifestations, and you must be able to discern between them clearly.

Let’s start by discussing the first type of person—people who do not understand spiritual matters. For example, we fellowship on an aspect of the truth, and after we finish fellowshiping on this aspect of the truth and people’s states, attitudes, intents, and manifestations, there are some people who don’t understand what was said, don’t understand what was fellowshiped on, who can’t compare themselves to it, and don’t know what relationship their behavior and manifestations, their corrupt disposition, and their nature essence have with the truth that was fellowshiped on. They also don’t know what this has to do with the things they pursue in their life, or why this sermon was preached—all they understand from it is doctrine, and they read rules into it. When someone asks them what they understood, they say, “Although many topics were fellowshiped on today, the main point was the same: If something happens, pray more.” There are others who say, “I understand. God makes people be good, not do bad things, and do lots of good deeds. God likes this.” There are still others who say, “God is telling people they must expend themselves for God, and give a lot of themselves.” Have they understood God’s words? (No.) These people all think they have understood His words, but they are actually fumbling around in the dark, and have latched on to just one sentence from His words. Their understanding is too one-sided, and they don’t understand what God meant at all. For people who don’t understand God’s words, no matter how much God says, all they see are rules, doctrine, one kind of theory, one kind of perspective, or one kind of saying. When it comes to putting it into practice, how do they put it into practice? For example, when we talk about the truth of submitting to God, after listening they say, “I will do whatever God tells me to do. This is what it means to listen to His words and submit to Him.” Isn’t this overly simplistic? That’s all they can understand. They do not understand what way of practicing God’s words is true submission to Him, how to seek God’s will and achieve submission to God, how to submit to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and how to practice the truth according to God’s words, let alone how to stand on God’s side and protect the church’s work. The more something has to do with truths that are key to submitting to God, the more they are incapable of grasping it. All they know how to do is obey rules. This is what it means to not understand spiritual matters. Besides obeying rules and getting stuck in the rut of their own thinking, people who do not understand spiritual matters are impervious to reason. What is the primary expression of people who do not understand spiritual matters? (Obeying rules.) It is obeying rules. They often take a sentence or an event and designate it as a rule or a mode to follow. Do these people, then, treat the truth in the same way? (Yes.) Those who do not understand spiritual matters remember one aspect of the manifestations of the truth that you fellowshiped today; they designate those words and behaviors as rules that should be practiced, remembering each of them without fail. Then, next time, upon encountering a different situation, if no one fellowships, they will apply those prior methods and rules indiscriminately, and put them into practice. This is a concrete manifestation of people who do not understand spiritual matters. How do such people feel while they are obeying rules? (Tired.) They do not feel tired; if they did, they would stop. They feel they are practicing the truth; they do not feel they are obeying a set of rules, nor do they feel they do not understand spiritual matters. Still less do they feel they have not understood the truth, or that they have no understanding of what the truth principles are. On the contrary, they think they have understood the practical side of the truth, as well as the principles of that aspect of the truth; at the same time, they think they have understood God’s will, and that, if they can act in line with their rules, they will have entered that aspect of the truth reality, satisfied God’s will, and put the truth into practice. Isn’t this what people who do not understand spiritual matters think? (Yes, it is.) Does this way of thinking accord with the standards required by God? Is practicing by obeying rules actually a manifestation of pursuing the truth? (No, it’s not.) Why not? (Because when something happens they do not seek the truth, and do not put effort into contemplating the matter; they just cling stubbornly to the way they’ve always done things.) This is how the type of people who do not understand spiritual matters act—they stubbornly cling to old ways, are lazy, do not seek the truth when things happen, and do not think about things or investigate. Also, even if they investigate, are they able to understand what it means? (No.) Why don’t they understand? (Because they do not understand spiritual matters.) Correct. What it boils down to is that people like this do not understand spiritual matters, and will never understand the truth.

Actually, in their hearts, people who do not understand spiritual matters are willing to pursue the truth, but they go about it in the wrong way. To be precise, they rely mainly on obeying rules, coloring within the lines, and adhering to doctrine, or applying other people’s ways of doing things, and mimicking their words. So, what is the essence of this sort of person? Why do they treat obeying rules as practicing the truth, and think that practicing in this way is pursuing the truth? Why does this problem occur? There is a root—can you see it? (They treat their views, notions, and imaginings as the truth. They do not understand God’s words, and have not truly grasped God’s will.) This is part of it. What else? (They are arrogant and self-righteous, and when something happens they do not seek the truth. They treat the things they think are right as the truth.) This is the way some people who do not understand spiritual matters are, but this is not the root of the problem. What made people like this manifest themselves this way? People who do not understand spiritual matters and like to obey the rules listen to sermons very earnestly, especially when it concerns their practice. For example, how to perform their duties, and how to do the things they should do well. They pay attention, but the central problem is that they cannot draw comparisons between their state and what they hear in the sermon. For example, if it talks about people’s rebelliousness, after they listen, they think, “Rebellious? Not me! If people are not allowed to be rebellious, then if I come across a situation like this in the future, I shouldn’t speak up. I should just bear it, and read people’s tone and expressions. I will look at what people around me say, and how they do things, and follow suit. Then, I won’t be rebellious, right?” After they listen to a sermon, the conclusions they draw are just a bunch of their own logic and methods of practice. They have no response to all the states exposed in the sermon, and cannot draw any comparisons with themselves. Their minds are muddled. What do I mean by “muddled”? They do not know what the sermon is actually talking about. Inside, they think, “What is being fellowshiped on? Why is it not put in plainer terms? Today this stuff is being fellowshiped on, and tomorrow it will be some other stuff.” From their perspective, practicing the truth is easy: Just do what you are asked to do. So far as all the states and corrupt dispositions that are exposed in the sermon, they cannot compare them with themselves. They are hazy and draw a blank when it comes to what thoughts, ideas, and various corrupt dispositions people reveal in each sort of circumstance during the process of life entry. They can’t distinguish between the details, nor draw comparisons with themselves. How do people who can’t draw comparisons with themselves feel after listening to the truth? (They think it is talking about other people, and that it has nothing to do with themselves.) That’s right. This is the main feature; they cannot draw comparisons with themselves. When they see words which reveal people’s corrupt states, they think it is talking only about other people. They can admit it when average problems or common problems people have are revealed, but when it comes to words pertaining to corrupt dispositions or people’s essences, they categorically do not accept it; they will not admit it under any circumstances—it is as though admitting it would mean they were condemned. This is the problem all people who do not understand spiritual matters have in common. When they are faced with God’s exposure of every kind of state and manifestation people have, and every way their nature essence reveals itself, they do not accept any of it, nor do they compare themselves with it or reflect. Instead, they frequently take these words and problems and project them onto other people, thinking it has nothing to do with themselves. Not only do people like this not accept the truth, but they do not have normal thought processes, their words are evasive and circle around, and the question they answer is not the one you asked. For example, if you ask them whether they have eaten yet, they say they do not want water; if you ask them if they feel sleepy, they say they are not thirsty. They are frequently in this kind of muddled state, and mixed-up frame of mind. This is how people who do not understand spiritual matters manifest themselves. There are people who do not understand spiritual matters in every church. Although they have problems in common with each other, there are also subtle differences. Are there any people who completely lack any understanding of spiritual matters? (Yes.) People who have believed in God for under three years are very fuzzy on matters like believing in God, life entry, pursuing the truth, pursuing the transformation of their dispositions, and being perfected. They rely on just passion to perform their duty, doing this or that for God, and are at the stage of putting in effort and service. They do not understand matters to do with life entry, and they have absolutely no concept of life entry and pursuing the truth. They just like to do things which are visible on the outside, and lean into their passion to do it. These are people who completely lack any understanding of spiritual matters. Can someone who completely lacks any understanding of spiritual matters at this stage be labeled as someone who does not pursue the truth? (No.) They haven’t believed in God for a long enough time, so they cannot be labeled yet. Because they are still in the passionate stage, they do not understand anything about the aims of God’s management plan, people’s path to salvation, or the different paths each type of person follows, so their lack of understanding of spiritual matters is forgivable; this is a normal thing. However, as for those who already understand what life entry is, and have already begun to be acquainted with all the truths pertaining to life entry and the transformation of dispositions, are there any among them who completely lack any understanding of spiritual matters? (Yes, there are.) They still exist. Even if someone who completely lacks any understanding of spiritual matters is willing in their heart to pursue the truth, they cannot achieve it, so it can be said with certainty that there is no way people who completely lack any understanding of spiritual matters are people who pursue the truth, and absolutely no way their manifestations will be that of a person who pursues the truth.

What are the different ways people who understand spiritual matters and those who do not understand spiritual matters manifest themselves? People who do not understand spiritual matters are fundamentally unaware and ignorant of the truths God has fellowshiped on, as well as the states, context, and indications of His words, and they cannot compare themselves to it. Those who understand spiritual matters are the exact opposite. For example, if I fellowship on people’s rebelliousness, and that within rebelliousness there is intransigence, selfishness, and stubborn foolishness, as well as misunderstandings about God, and resistance and opposition toward Him, when I talk about states pertaining to this topic, no matter whether I give an example, talk about an aspect of the truth, touch on a state that exists in your heart, or fellowship on topics about the truth principles, if you truly understand what you hear, then you are a person who understands spiritual matters. If you understand what you hear and are able to put it into practice, then you are a person who practices the truth. When people who understand spiritual matters hear God’s words, they are capable of pure comprehension, and can even understand the truth. No matter what God talks about, they are able to keep up, and are able to draw comparisons between their state and God’s words, and can find a path to practice. This is the manifestation of having spiritual understanding. After people who understand spiritual matters read God’s words, their heart is brightened and they gain something from it. Their spirit is particularly free, and they feel there is a path they can follow. Therefore, every time they listen to a sermon they gain something from it, and every time they read God’s words, they are enriched. This is how spiritual understanding manifests itself. No matter what God fellowships, after those who understand spiritual matters hear it, images will surface in their minds, and when God reveals people’s states, they can draw comparisons. When He talks about misunderstandings about God, they apply it to their state, and realize, “This demand of mine, and these imaginings I have are actually misunderstandings about God.” They have made the connection. When He talks about resistance and opposition toward God, if they have these same emotions, live in the same states, and have these dispositions and essences inside, they can draw a comparison between them. What sort of things can they use to draw comparisons? Thoughts, ideas, or the actions and behaviors they display; these can all be used to draw comparisons. When people can understand what God is saying, and understand what exactly He’s talking about, and know what behavior, revelations, manifestations, states, and essences of theirs match the states God has exposed, and which are talked about in sermons, then they have manifested spiritual understanding. Can you tell whether or not you understand spiritual matters? (Sometimes I understand, and sometimes I don’t.) This can be remedied, but if you do not understand at all, then it spells trouble. If you know what God’s words are talking about most of the time, even if you cannot draw any comparisons with yourself, but you know you have states of this sort, or have noticed them in other people, and know this aspect of the truth, and how you should enter in, then it already counts as understanding spiritual matters. However, is this sort of person able to manifest spiritual understanding every time they hear a sermon? No, sometimes they understand spiritual matters, and sometimes they don’t. Because life entry touches on many aspects of the truth. There are some truths you understand and have entered into, and others which you don’t understand and have not yet entered into. There are some truths you have not encountered at all, and have not even heard of. Now you have heard it, but it’s hard to say whether or not you can understand it, and you may even have notions or misunderstandings about it. However, this is normal. If there are some aspects of the truth you understand, then those are aspects in which you have spiritual understanding; if there are some aspects of the truth you do not understand, then those are aspects in which you do not have spiritual understanding; if there are some aspects of the truth you have never heard of and which are still quite foreign to you, or which you even have notions about, then those are aspects in which you are even more lacking in spiritual understanding. You must go through a period of experience until you understand the truth before you attain spiritual understanding in those aspects. For example, some people have misunderstandings about God, but they still think, “I haven’t misunderstood God; I have never misunderstood God. I couldn’t love God more! So how could I misunderstand Him?” These are the words people who do not understand spiritual matters speak. If you say, “People often misunderstand God, but they can’t control it; the misunderstandings crop up at any time and any place. However, as of this time, I am seemingly unaware of any aspects in which I have misunderstood God, or have been in contradiction with Him. I need to go through things with a fine-toothed comb, have experiences, and pray to God and ask Him to orchestrate situations to reveal these things to me.” This is ideal. This is the wish you should have in mind—you must keep on striving to improve. If someone says, “I have never misunderstood God. This is talking about other people,” the fact that they could say something so absurd shows they do not understand spiritual matters. What dispositions do people who do not understand spiritual matters primarily reveal? Arrogance and stubborn foolishness. What is stubborn foolishness? It means you are both foolish and stubborn. How does it manifest itself in concrete terms? (They are unaware of corrupt dispositions everyone else can see, and think they do not have these dispositions. They are also particularly self-righteous, and think they are completely in the right.) Not only do they think they don’t have this aspect of corruption, they also think they’re doing well. They are controlled on the inside by their arrogant disposition, and think that they would never do something like that. No matter what other people say, so long as they themselves have not realized, seen, or experienced something, they think there is no need to reflect and understand, or accept it. This is stubborn foolishness. What’s another way to describe stubborn foolishness? It is when you are impervious to reason. Are there any other terms? (Stupidity.) Yes, stubborn foolishness is largely connected to stupidity—they are both foolish and stubborn. For example, other people say, “You should be careful. Always drinking cold water can slow digestion and give you a stomachache.” And they respond, “My body is in excellent health. There’s nothing wrong with me. You’re worrying about nothing.” Is this not stubborn foolishness? (Yes.) They appear very stubborn and foolish because they have not experienced something, yet they are so self-righteous. Why do I say they are stubborn and foolish? Because they have no experience, yet dare contradict what someone with experience says. They do not confirm the accuracy of these words or learn a lesson from them; instead, they think they are so right, and do not accept what other people say. This is stubborn and foolish, as well as arrogant and self-righteous. In his life entry, Peter was able to learn from others’ failures. What do God’s words say? (God says Peter “assimilated what was good from times gone by, and rejected what was bad” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Know Reality).) Stubborn and foolish people cannot even accept things that happen right in front of their eyes, and they do not learn from it. People see this as being stupid, but it is actually a problem with their disposition—it is caused by an arrogant disposition.

Let us return to the topic of how those who understand spiritual matters manifest themselves, and how those who do not understand spiritual matters manifest themselves. What did I say just now was the main way in which those who understand spiritual matters manifest themselves? Tell Me. (Those who understand spiritual matters can understand which human states God’s words are exposing, and draw comparisons with their own thoughts, ideas, actions, and behavior in their daily lives. They can understand what God is saying.) You hit most of the main points. When people who understand spiritual matters read God’s revelatory words, they are able to draw comparisons with themselves, and know what truths God’s words are talking about, what people should enter into, what human dispositions His words are exposing, and what human states and manifestations His words are exposing. They are able to hold themselves up for comparison to all these things, and be aware of them. This is how spiritual understanding manifests itself. Earlier, when I was fellowshiping about how people who understand spiritual matters manifest themselves, we raised a question, which was whether people who understand spiritual matters have spiritual understanding in all matters. Do they? (No. In some matters, they are able to compare themselves to the states God’s words expose, and so they manifest spiritual understanding; whereas in matters which they have not yet experienced they are unable to draw comparisons with themselves, so they do not have spiritual understanding.) If they have not yet experienced something and are unable to draw comparisons with themselves, then they do not have spiritual understanding. What if, then, there are things which they have experienced, but they do not understand the truths contained therein, and so they do not accept them, or do not acknowledge them as truth—does that count as having spiritual understanding? (No.) This is not having spiritual understanding, either. What if they do not understand that the things they hear are the truth—does this count as having spiritual understanding? (No.) Do any of you manifest yourselves in these ways? For example, when it comes to truths about obedience, some people say, “We must be obedient in this matter. People have nothing to brag about, and it is their duty and obligation to be obedient.” After hearing this, you think to yourself, “What sort of truth is this? Be obedient in this matter too? The way I see it, there is no need to be obedient here!” Do you not lack spiritual understanding in this matter? (Yes.) Actually, this has nothing to do with how deep or shallow your experiences are; it is purely a question of whether or not you have spiritual understanding. I’ll give an example. When Job was tested, what did he say? (“Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21).) After people hear him say this, can they understand the truth therein? (No.) So do people have a spiritual understanding of this matter? (No.) No, they do not. Every person is capable of experiencing the two matters of God giving and taking away, are they not? (Yes.) You have already experienced them, but you do not understand the truth contained therein, so do you have a spiritual understanding of these matters? (No.) No, you do not. What truth is contained in the words Job spoke? (That God is sovereign and rules over all.) It is that God is sovereign over all matters and all things, and the decision to give or take away lies with Him. So, what should people practice? (Obedience.) That is correct. They should obey, accept, and praise God’s sovereignty. When people understand these words and the truth that is contained within them, then they have a spiritual understanding of this matter. If people do not understand the truth contained within these words, then they do not have a spiritual understanding of this matter. At this point in time, do you have a spiritual understanding of Job’s words? (No.) If what you understand is doctrine, you say, “Job had a good experience. God said that Job was a righteous person, so everything he did must certainly have been in line with the truth, and able to satisfy God’s will.” You understand the doctrine. So, when will this doctrine become your truth reality? (When God actually orchestrates circumstances wherein things are taken away from me, and I am able to thank and praise God, obey God, and not complain, and thereby practice this aspect of the truth.) You are able to practice it, but is your practice that of following rules and copying others, or a true understanding deep in your heart of God’s sovereignty? There is a difference here, is there not? Which one is entering into the truth reality? There are many people now who, having seen the example Job set, are able to say the same things Job did, but when they say these things, are they just copying him, or are their words, like Job’s, spoken upon realizing, after several decades of experience, the truth and fact that God is sovereign over humankind? Which of these is the truth reality? (That which comes from experience is reality.) Only things that you feel and understand through experience are the truth reality; copying things that other people say is not reality. The phrase Job spoke had an aspect of reality to it, but when the same phrase is spoken by people who copy his words, it becomes a slogan they use to dress themselves up and disguise themselves as spiritual people. These people are religious frauds. Some people who are chosen to become leaders in the church and who have responsibility and status often fellowship with brothers and sisters on those words that Job spoke: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.” How do the people listening feel? What they feel is, “These words are from God. They were brought forth through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and God’s guidance. They are extremely real.” Less than a year later, those leaders are dismissed for not doing real work, for delaying the life entry of God’s chosen ones, and for delaying the progress of the church’s work, and afterward they become negative and complain. People like this speak the same words Job did, but have not experienced the things Job did, and do not have a deep understanding, experience, or comprehension of these words. Therefore, when they speak, are they copying or speaking with sincerity? (They are copying.) When it comes down to what they think deep inside, when they speak, their words include their personal feelings, and are sincere. They have a wish, which is that when God gives them things, they are always able to praise Him and thank Him for the blessings and gifts He has bestowed on them, and that when God takes things away from them, they absolutely will not complain, but will be able to praise God like Job did, and thank God for His guidance and sovereignty. However, this is just a wish, and it is not yet something they have experienced. When their position and title are gone, and they are just a regular believer, do they walk the talk? (No.) I can’t say that they do not walk the talk at all; that depends on what type of person they are. People who pursue the truth use these words to evaluate their own behavior, and use them as the guide for their experience, and are able to draw comparisons with themselves, and find a path of practice in them. They are not too upset or negative, and are able to perform their duty normally. By contrast, people who do not pursue the truth and who instead recite slogans are in trouble; they manifest themselves differently. What are the most obvious ways you have seen people of this type reveal themselves? (After being dismissed, some leaders do not try to know themselves, and do not submit. They think that their dismissal was unfair, and become negative and complain. The next time there is an election they struggle to regain power, and ultimately become an antichrist and are expelled.) This is the most severe case. What other manifestations are there? (Some people just work at a regular job after being dismissed, and do not perform a duty.) What sort of person is this? Why did they boast and recite slogans before? They were reciting things for others to hear, and used these slogans, doctrine, and pleasant-sounding words to embellish themselves, win people over, and make people revere them. That was their goal. What other manifestations are there? (Before they are dismissed, some leaders and workers outwardly appear to pursue hard, and say, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away,” but after they are dismissed, they are negative and cannot pick themselves up, and even lash out and get mad at people, thinking that what they expended and gave of themselves before was all in vain, as though God’s house owes them.) People who say these things and act this way have a severe problem. First of all, one must discern the nature of them saying these things. They do not pursue the truth; they copy Job’s words; they fabricate a beautiful crown for their head, and pass themselves off as spiritual people in order to show off and deceive people. Is this not a manifestation of toying with the truth, and of blaspheming against God? Tell Me, which type of people, when they lose their reputation, self-interest, and status, have a particularly big reaction, nosedive into negativity, stop doing their duty, make a bad situation worse by writing themselves off as a lost cause, and even stop believing? (People with poor humanity, and evil people.) That’s right. People with poor humanity and evil people certainly are not people who pursue the truth, but if people with good humanity do not pursue the truth, will they also manifest themselves this way? They certainly will. Besides evil people manifesting themselves in this way, there is another situation which is directly connected to what people pursue and the path they walk on. Even if on the surface it seems like people who do not love the truth have some humanity, no good will come of it, and they all have evil essences, are capable of violating the truth and resisting God, and if they have status, they are capable of doing evil. There is another, most severe, problem, which is that people like this are particularly keen on pursuing status. If they are not allowed to have status, or are not allowed to be a leader, it is as though their life is being taken away. Can they accept it? When they have status, no matter how much they suffer or how much mistreatment they endure, they are willing. However, one cannot say they are people who pursue the truth just because they are willing, or because they endure suffering and pay a price. That would be wrong. What they pursue is reputation, self-interest, and status; what they pursue are the benefits of status. In what way is this similar to Paul? (He pursued a crown.) That’s correct. He pursued a crown, and it was the crown of righteousness. This is what people like Paul pursue—they treat the pursuit of a crown as a proper pursuit, and as the pursuit of the truth. After this, will you have some discernment regarding people of this sort? (Yes.) Suppose that a person lashes out and gets mad at people after being dismissed and losing their status, and doesn’t pay any attention to or talk to brothers and sisters they see, and when they are asked to spread the gospel, they say, “I will not spread the gospel. I will not serve you! You think of me when you need me, but just kick me to the side and dismiss me when you don’t. I’m not that stupid!” What kind of words are these? Are they easy to discern? How are they a believer? They are not any sort of true believer, or any sort of good person. Which type of people have the biggest reaction after being dismissed? (People who pursue reputation, self-interest, and status.) Just now, you said that people of this type have poor humanity, or that they do not pursue the truth or life entry. Is that related to the essence of this problem? (No.) What you say seems to make some sense, but it has no connection to the essence of this problem. It is not the essence of this problem. Just now, you said that the reason why some people complain and write themselves off after being dismissed is because they have poor humanity. Why do I say this is doctrine? It is because some people have fairly good humanity, and sincerely give of themselves and expend themselves, it is just that they do not pursue the truth, and always pursue reputation and status. As a result, when they are ultimately dismissed they have a huge reaction. This shows that the ways they manifest themselves are not just problems of poor humanity, but problems with their disposition—their disposition is so severely corrupted! Some people sum it up in one phrase, and say, “This person does not pursue the truth. That is the reason.” This statement is too broad. There are many ways in which not pursuing the truth can manifest itself: Complaining, not being devoted to performing your duty, etc. are all examples. One cannot explain every problem with the single phrase “they don’t pursue the truth.” This is overly broad and not concrete. It is an explanation based on doctrine.

Now I will fellowship on how a lack of spiritual understanding manifests itself. What attitude do those who do not understand spiritual matters have toward the truth? How do they approach their own state, manifestations, and the corruption they reveal? Are they capable of possessing the manifestations of a person who pursues the truth? (No.) What is the biggest problem here? (They do not understand which human states or manifestations God’s words are exposing, and are unable to use these things to draw comparisons with themselves.) It is mainly that they cannot draw comparisons with themselves. Can they be said to understand the truth if they are unable to draw comparisons with themselves? (No.) You are talking about one thing, but they always talk about something completely opposite to it; they are always at odds with you and debate with you. There is no common focus in the issue that you and them are debating, and it is not the same matter, but they still think they are quite justified. This is how those who do not understand spiritual matters manifest themselves. People who do not understand spiritual matters cannot understand the truth. Are they capable of pursuing the truth? (No.) This is troublesome. If they are not capable of pursuing the truth, then can they have life entry? (No.) Those who do not pursue the truth can’t possibly have life entry; this is an absolute. If a person has believed in God for several years but does not understand the truth at all, then are they a person who pursues the truth? They certainly are not. Some people say, “That’s not always the case. Although some people do not understand the truth, they are very passionate, and forsake everything to expend themselves for God. How could they not be someone who pursues the truth?” Is this view correct? When evaluating whether a person pursues the truth, one can’t just look at whether they forsake everything to expend themselves for God. The main thing one must look at is what their heart puts importance on. If what their heart puts importance on is practicing the truth, entering into the truth, and gaining the truth, and they are effective in life entry, then they are someone who pursues the truth. If they forsake and expend themselves in order to obtain a crown and reward, and they have forsaken and expended themselves for many years, suffered much, but have not been able to understand the truth or enter into reality, and have not been able to understand God, then is their forsaking and expending actually pursuit of the truth? It is apparent that they are not someone who pursues the truth, because their forsaking and expending has not resulted in them understanding the truth or entering into the truth realities. Therefore, the fact that they forsake and expend does not mean they pursue the truth. People like this are just like Paul. Paul spent half his life preaching and working on behalf of the Lord, but he did not gain the truth, nor did he gain the Lord. So, can you say that Paul was someone who pursued the truth? When it comes to whether a person pursues the truth, it is crucial that one looks at whether the goal they are pursuing, and their intent, put importance on gaining the truth. If they actually do put importance on putting effort into the truth, and have been effective at things like practicing the truth and entering into reality, only then are they someone who pursues the truth. Everyone who truly pursues the truth is capable of practicing the truth, and only those who practice the truth are those with life entry. If someone says they are a person who pursues the truth, but they do not practice the truth, then would you say this person has life entry? They certainly do not. How could someone who doesn’t practice the truth have life entry? This is absolutely impossible. If they think they are someone who pursues the truth and has life entry, then you should ask them, “What is the proof of your life entry?” It is not enough to just take their word for it. If there is no proof, what they say holds no water. If you say you are someone who pursues the truth, how many truths do you understand? How many truths have you put into practice? Which aspects of the truth realities have you entered into? Can you talk about your experiential testimony? If you cannot talk about your experiential testimony, then you are tricking and misleading people by saying you are a person who pursues the truth. Why do I say that Paul was not someone who pursued the truth? It’s because the letters Paul wrote did not contain any testimonies of life experience at all; he wasn’t able to talk about a true understanding of God, let alone talk about love or obedience to the Lord Jesus. He didn’t even have an understanding of his own corrupt disposition. He just said that he was the worst sinner. He said this based on the fact that he was punished for resisting the Lord Jesus. By saying he was the worst sinner, he was simply admitting the fact that he had sinned by fanatically resisting the Lord Jesus. Does this mean he truly understood his own corrupt disposition and essence? (No.) That’s why I say that when it comes to what constitutes pursuing the truth, and what sort of person has life entry, it should be determined based on whether they understand the truth and practice the truth, rather than just on what they themselves say. Do you understand what I am saying, now? Why are we fellowshiping in such detail? Is it necessary? (Yes.) Why is it necessary? I am fellowshiping in this way in order to dissect your fallacious views, fix things you wrongly think are right, help you find a way out, let go of the things you wrongly think are right, and then enter the path of true pursuit of the truth. Then people will truly have life entry, and be capable of achieving true pursuit of the truth. People who do not understand spiritual matters do not understand matters of life entry or transforming dispositions. They think they have already transformed many aspects of themselves, and have achieved life entry. For example, they have changed some bad habits: They do not eat too much, sleep too much, are not lazy, and are more industrious than before, so they think this means they have life entry. There are other people who think about how they used to always scold people, but now they don’t; they are able to say nice things and constructive things to people, and are sometimes able to help people. Because they can do these things, they think they are already practicing the truth and have gone through a transformation. Some people think they have life entry because they can forgo the pursuit of reputation, self-interest, status, and physical pleasures. This is a problem common to all people. They have practiced what they understand, what they think is right and good according to their notions, and they have already tackled many bad habits and problematic traits of the flesh, or have changed the regimen of their lifestyle on account of believing in God and pursuing the truth. At the same time, they have forsaken many fleshly benefits, forsaken their family and work, and abandoned their marriage and the secular world. They think they have transformed and are saved, and say, “Could I let all this go if I didn’t believe in God? Could I have such a big transformation?” Is this not the biggest misunderstanding believers make? (Yes, it is.) Regardless of whether people understand spiritual matters or not, they all have this misunderstanding. Why do I say this is a misunderstanding? Why do I say a serious problem exists here? It’s mainly because people believe in God but do not understand His will, meaning they do not understand what exactly God demands of people. Instead, they think according to human notions and imaginings, believing that being able to let go of their family, work, feelings, the secular world, the entanglements of the flesh, and even their property, means that they have life entry. This is a misunderstanding. Actually, God’s will is that when people believe in God, they must fix their corrupt disposition, fix their problem of resisting God, and resolve the root of the sins they commit. To do this, people must understand the truth and understand God’s disposition before they are able to cast off their corrupt disposition and achieve true obedience to God. This is what God demands of people, and also the work He does of saving people. People know nothing of God’s work; they do not see the goal and effect He wants to accomplish through this work, so they replace the truth with human notions and imaginings, and take people’s pursuits and what they are capable of accomplishing as God’s will and what He demands of people. This is the misunderstanding people have when believing in God. These things they are capable of accomplishing only demonstrate their passion, and when they forsake things they are actually looking to make a transaction with God—it is done in exchange for a reward and a crown. They think transactions such as this are really worth it and that they’re scoring a deal. That’s the reason why they forsake everything. Forsaking things does not mean they have the truth realities, nor does it mean they are able to obey God. While they forsake and expend, do they really understand the truth? (No, they don’t.) If they do not understand the truth, is their forsaking and expending tainted? Most certainly. Then what exactly are they pursuing by expending and suffering like this? People like this have never cared about what the truth is, or what God’s demands are; they always think these things have nothing to do with them. In their hearts, whatever they think is right, whatever they think is good, and whatever they think is life entry, that is what they practice, and after practicing it, they think God has commemorated it. They treat these things as chips to trade and capital. Are these manifestations of pursuing the truth? (No.) This is a misunderstanding made by people who do not pursue the truth. It is one of the ways people who misunderstand life entry interpret things. So, how does one evaluate and prove that these things are not manifestations of them pursuing the truth, and that they do not have life entry? What facts can be used to verify that these things they say are wrong? (They act without the truth principles.) This is part of it. They act based on what they imagine. From the outside, they look like true believers; they are able to forsake things and expend themselves, but they are unprincipled in their actions. Why are they unprincipled? Because they do not pursue the truth. The perspectives from which they view things are still the same notions and imaginings they started with. There is one biggest problem people like this have: Do they submit to the environments God orchestrates? Do they understand why God orchestrated these environments? (No.) Is this enough to prove they do not have true life entry? (Yes.) They have made many changes to their bad habits and problematic traits, and have made many sacrifices. Ultimately, when they are tested, not only do they not understand God’s will, but they are still capable of complaining and cannot submit. What problem is this? It is that they do not have life entry. People who do not have life entry do not have the truth realities, isn’t that right? (Yes.) When things happen, they rely completely on their own notions, imaginings, and natural preferences. When you truly get serious with them and ask them to obey, they are not obedient at all; they just rely on human reasons, excuses, and imaginings, and look for all sorts of ways to defend themselves, and accomplish their goal of disobedience to God, and denial of God’s work. There are even some people who are so extreme that they are not only unable to obey, but still try and think up all the ways to prove their own notions and imaginings are correct, that the methods and paths they think of are right, and that God’s actions and orchestrations are not necessarily right. This reveals that they have no life entry; everything they do and all they give of themselves or change about themselves are not life entry, they are just evil habits which no longer exist. The personal habits, regimen, and way of their life have changed a bit, and some people’s tempers may even have changed; they speak more gently and in a more cultured way, and their outward behavior may be more standard, but when they do things they have no truth reality, and never do things according to God’s words or the truth; it is all their own personal imaginings and wishes. They have no real understanding of God; they only know how to talk about a bit of spiritual theory, and have gotten stuck in human notions, imaginings, and feelings. What do you think, are these people pitiful? (Yes.) And are there many people like this? (Yes.) How do you know there are a lot? (Because I am one of them.) This strikes a chord with you, right? Then talk about your experiences in this regard. (I’ll share an experience. A brother pointed out my shortcomings in front of a lot of other brothers and sisters, and at the time I felt humiliated. In order to regain my pride, I tried to defend and justify myself. I did not accept the brother’s comments.) You were influenced by your pride. Why are people always influenced by pride? Because people with dignity all have thin skins, is that it? (No.) Actually, people do this because they want to maintain a perfect image in other people’s eyes. They care about their status, and want to present themselves in a particularly perfect way, free of flaws. They want to leave a perfect impression in people’s minds, and not let people see the truth about how they really are. This is the consequence of an arrogant disposition. Is this problem now resolved? (Not yet. I still reveal it often.) If a person is able to reflect on themselves and recognize their own corrupt disposition, then it will be easy to change. If they do not reflect on themselves, are unable to recognize their own corrupt disposition, and are numb to their problems and have no awareness, then it will be difficult to change. If they already have awareness, and feel that their arrogant disposition is severe, that their pursuits are askew, and that they are still far from pursuing the truth, but when they are pruned and dealt with, they are negative for a few days, and always look for ways to regain pride in every situation, then can a person like this change? It’s hard for them to change. So, how should they resolve this problem? By just accepting the truth and reflecting on themselves they still have hope of fixing the problem. If they cannot accept the truth, then they have no way of fixing the problem. The key is that people must have the resolve and wish to pursue the truth. When they have a heart which thirsts greatly for the truth, they will be able to love the truth and accept it, and they will have the strength to practice the truth and forsake the flesh. Only by accepting the truth can people thoroughly fix the problem of a corrupt disposition, and once their corrupt disposition has been fixed, they will be able to practice the truth, and then they will have life entry.

Those people who do not understand spiritual matters, and who always misinterpret the truth and life entry think that pursuing the truth is easy, that all it is is changing a few bad habits or problematic traits, or occasionally giving up things which are in their own interest, that so long as they do not do evil, and persevere in their faith until the end, they have gained life, and can exchange these things for God’s rewards and blessings. Are people who base their belief in God on views like these people who pursue the truth? (No.) Are people who do not pursue the truth able to have life entry? (No.) There are many people who are not clear at all on what life entry is all about. They think one has life entry just by putting in some effort, doing one’s duty, changing some bad habits and problematic traits, doing as one is told, and obeying a bit. They see life entry in an overly simplistic way. By believing in God this way, will they transform their life disposition? (No, they are just changing themselves on the outside, their essence hasn’t changed.) You have changed a bit now, but are there changes to your outward behavior, or are there some changes to your life disposition? Have you found a way out of your incorrect views about life entry, and started to gain life entry? Are you able to evaluate which parts of yourselves have changed, and which parts have not? If you were given a duty to perform and were originally incapable of obeying, to what extent are you able to obey now? For example, you are a brother, and if you were asked to make meals and wash the dishes for the other brothers and sisters every day, would you obey? (I think so.) Perhaps you could in the short term, but if you are asked to do this duty long term would you obey? (I could obey on occasion, but as time went on I might not be able to.) This means that you have not obeyed. What is causing people to not obey? (It’s because people have traditional notions in their hearts. They think men should work outside the home, and women should handle domestic work, that cooking is a woman’s job and a man loses face by cooking. That’s why it’s not easy to obey.) That’s right. There is sexual discrimination when it comes to the division of labor. Men think, “We men should be out there making a living. Things like cooking and washing should be done by women. We shouldn’t be made to do it.” But now these are special circumstances, and you are being asked to do it, so what do you do? What hang-ups must you get over before you can obey? This is the crux of the issue. You must get over your sexual discrimination. There is no work that must be done by men, and no work that must be done by women. Do not divide up labor this way. The duty people perform should not be determined according to their sex. You can divide labor this way in your own home and daily life, but now this has to do with your duty, so how should you interpret it? You should receive this duty from God and accept it, and change the incorrect views you have inside. You should say, “It is true that I am a man, but I am a member of the church and a created being in God’s eyes. I will do whatever the church assigns me to do; things are not divided according to sex.” First, you should let go of your incorrect views, then accept your duty. Is accepting your duty true obedience? (No.) In the days that follow, if someone says your food is too salty, or does not have enough flavor, or says you didn’t make something well and they do not want to eat it, or tells you to make something new, will you be able to accept it? At that point, you will feel uncomfortable, and you will think, “I am a self-respecting man, and I’ve already stooped to making meals for all these brothers and sisters, yet they still point out all these problems. I have no pride left at all.” At this point, you don’t want to obey, do you? (No.) This is a difficulty. Whenever you cannot obey, it is caused by a corrupt disposition revealing itself and causing trouble, and making you unable to practice the truth and obey God. At this point, your heart will be conflicted—your thoughts are controlling you and making you think you have lost face, and you are upset inside. What should you do at this point? (Seek the truth.) How do you seek the truth? You must pray, “God, no matter what other people ask of me, I will treat it as my duty. No matter who it is I am outwardly serving or doing things for, I will accept it all from God. This is my duty and I should obey; I do not need my pride. In God’s house, duties are not divided into high-level and low-level, high-status and low-status, duties for men, duties for women, duties for the elderly, and duties for the young. There are just duties which are done well and duties which are not, those done with devotion, and those which are not.” After you have let go of your pride, status, position, and dignity, have you completely let go of yourself? (No.) You will still have a reaction. Sometimes, people will disrespect you, think you are stupid, and treat you as inferior, saying “A man who is that happy cooking won’t amount to anything! I would never do that.” They will lead you in the wrong direction, instill incorrect ideas and notions in you, and influence your practice. They see positive things like you placing importance on life entry, being a normal person, and being devoted to your duty as a form of humiliation, and therefore they treat you as inferior and judge you. If you cannot take it, you will immediately fall into negativity and think that this duty always makes you lose face in front of others, and makes people treat you as inferior and order you around. Then you won’t obey again, right? When no one treats you as inferior or judges you, you think you are already able to obey, already have life entry, have some truth reality, and have some stature. Is this way of thinking correct? Then why, when someone judges you and your stature is challenged, do you become negative and think, “How much longer do I need to keep cooking before this is over? This person always looks down on me. It’s not right of them to look down on me, and I can’t accept it!”? Trouble has come up again. When you can’t accept it, do you also complain at the same time, and say, “How could the leader assign this sort of duty to me? Why did they pick me in particular instead of picking someone else? Do I look easy to bully? People bully me, the leader doesn’t look favorably upon me, and God does not protect me”? Your rebellious disposition has reared its head again. What is the problem here? Could it be that your stature is too small? You can’t even withstand this small affront, and it makes you complain and become negative. Is this what it is to have truth realities? You do not have any truth realities. There is a very simple method to solve this problem: In your heart, you must think, “No matter who looks down on me or looks at me with disdain, I should do my duty. I cannot abandon God’s commission. I am not doing it for other people, nor am I doing it so that others think something of me—what use is it for others to think something of me? I must fulfill my duty in order to satisfy God.” This is how you should think in your heart. Now when you cook, don’t you feel self-assured? Is the problem solved, then? Actually, it is not completely resolved. Ultimately, you are in a constant state of conflict, constantly falling into weakness and negativity and then pulling yourself back up; you are constantly being tempered. You have examined every state, and you are unwilling to always be living in such a taxing manner. You do not want these difficulties to always plague you, disturb you, or control you. You want to fulfill your duty easily and simply. So how do you accomplish this? You must constantly seek the truth, constantly stick to your conviction, and practicing according to God’s words is always the right thing to do. You say, “No one can disturb me. This is my duty; this is the commission God gave me; this is my responsibility and my obligation. No matter who makes fun of me, gaslights me, or tempts me, it is of no avail. It is my honor to be able to perform my duty, and if I can handle it, all the glory goes to God. If I cannot handle it, then I have shamed myself. Whoever makes a joke of me and looks down on this duty is not someone who pursues the truth.” Is this not fact? (It is.) This is fact. When Job was tested, Satan disturbed and tempted him, but did Job doubt? (No.) Because the truth, God’s words, and God’s way were in his heart. When faced with circumstances and tests, whether you are able to uphold the truth and uphold the commission God gave you depends on the extent to which you know, comprehend, and accept the truth. Some people are always doubtful of the truth, and can’t get to a place of certainty about it, or with regard to their duty, they are never sure how they should be doing something, and whether it’s the right way to do it. They are never able to stick with things that are right; they are always disturbed by some people, events, or things, and when bad people, evil people, demons, or Satans sidle up to them and say things which tempt or disturb them, they become weak and are deceived. Doesn’t this mean they are small in stature? (Yes.) Is small stature easy to fix? In theory, it is. It depends on whether you can be sure the road you are on is one led by God. When you perform your duty, you should practice the truth and accept God’s commission. This is crucial. The only thing to fear is that in your heart you have a biased view of your duty, and think your duty makes you lose face and amount to nothing. When you have biased views and others disturb you on top of that, it becomes even more troublesome. When your heart is all mixed up you cannot perform your duty well. When Job was tested, there were many people around him who disturbed him. What was it his wife said? (“Curse God, and die” (Job 2:9).) By which she meant, “Don’t believe. If what you believed in was actually God, why would these things happen to you?” What did Job say? (“You speak as one of the foolish women speaks” (Job 2:10).) Job condemned his wife, because he was already certain that God was the true God, that God did this, that it was His sovereignty, and that it was the work of God’s hands. Job was so certain, so once people today understand the truth, why can’t they stick to the true way and stand firm in their testimony? It is because people’s hearts are too tainted; not only do they not understand the truth, but they are not people who love the truth or seek the truth. Therefore, no matter how many words and doctrines people can talk about or how many resounding slogans they can spout, ultimately, they cannot stand firm. As soon as someone in the church says something slightly different, or someone says things which are disturbing or deceitful, or which condemn and humiliate, they think they are being mocked and humiliated, and are completely destroyed. If people manifest themselves in this way, are constantly conflicted inside, and constantly adjusting their views, but at the same time, are also constantly accepting God’s sovereignty and arrangements, continuing to understand the truth, gradually entering different facets of the truth, entering into all the truths, and are ultimately able to avoid being disturbed, affected, or controlled by any sort of person, event, or thing, and firmly believe that the truth principles they practice are correct, then they have transformed their disposition.

At the present time, when you perform your duties, is it still possible for you to be controlled by every sort of person, event, or thing? Are you able to stick to the truth and do things in accordance with the principles? (No.) Then what difficulties do you usually have? (Sometimes, when I see other people doing things which harm the interests of God’s house, I point it out, but when I see they do not accept it, or that they have a bad attitude, I am afraid of starting an argument, so I compromise.) Is compromising right or wrong? (It’s wrong, but I’m afraid that if I press the matter an argument will break out and destroy the peace, and people will not have a good impression of me.) If you wish to avoid arguments, is compromise the only way? In what situations can you compromise? If it has to do with small matters, such as your own self-interest or your pride, then there is no need to argue about it. You can choose to be tolerant or to compromise. But with matters that can affect the church’s work and harm the interests of the house of God, you must stick to the principles. If you do not observe this tenet, then you are not being loyal to God. If you choose to compromise and abandon the truth principles in order to save face or preserve your interpersonal relationships, is this not selfish and base of you? Is it not a sign of being irresponsible in your duty and disloyal to God? (It is.) So, if a time comes during the course of your duty when everyone is in disagreement, how should you practice? Is arguing about it with all your might going to solve the problem? (No.) Then how should you resolve the problem? In this situation, a person who understands the truth should come forward to resolve the issue, first laying the issue on the table and letting both sides say their piece. Then, everybody is to seek the truth together, and after praying to God, the relevant truth in God’s words is to be brought out to fellowship on. After they have fellowshiped on the truth principles and gained clarity, both sides will be able to submit. They must learn to submit to the truth. If most people are able to submit to the truth, but there are a few who do not submit to the truth, or whom one cannot get to see reason, then they are people who do not accept the truth, and their natures are those of evil people, and God’s chosen people will easily discern them. This is the best way to resolve the issue of arguments in the church. Using the truth to resolve problems is an important principle, and one cannot make unprincipled compromises. If, in order to preserve your personal relationships, pride, and self-interest, you are able to sacrifice the interests of the house of God, you are compromising with Satan. This is unprincipled, and disloyal to God. If each person fights to save their own face and puts emphasis on their own reasons, is this the attitude of seeking the truth? Is this the attitude one should have in their duty? (No.) For a person to achieve devotion in their duty, they should not fight over reputation or self-interest, they should let God have the authority, and let the truth be their master; the interests of the house of God are first and foremost, and effective work is first and foremost. Isn’t this principle correct? (Yes.) If you are all able to adhere to this principle, what is left to argue with people about? There will be no arguments. Those who always protect their own interests and do not practice the truth at all are not good people, and those who always sell out the interests of God’s house in order to garner favor from others are even worse. All these people are nonbelievers, and people who betray God. If a person gets into conflicts and debates with others in order to protect the interests of the house of God and the effectiveness of the church’s work, and their attitude is a bit unyielding, would you say that is a problem? (No.) Because their intent is right; it is to protect the interests of God’s house. This is a person who stands on God’s side and sticks to the truth principles, a person in whom God delights. Having a strong, resolute attitude when protecting the interests of the house of God is a sign of a firm stance and sticking to the principles, and God approves of it. People may feel there is a problem with this attitude, but it is not a big one; it does not have to do with the revelation of a corrupt disposition. Remember, sticking to the truth principles is what is most important.

Life entry is the most crucial thing. What is life entry connected to, primarily? (Pursuing the truth.) That’s right. It is primarily connected to pursuing the truth. Only people who pursue the truth have life entry. If people want to have life entry, then it concerns practicing the truth. How should one discern whether a person pursues the truth? What type of person does not pursue the truth? Do you know? The first type I talked about was people who do not understand spiritual matters. What is the essence of people who do not understand spiritual matters? (After reading words from God which expose people’s corrupt dispositions, they are unable to draw a connection between God’s words and their own states and manifestations; they think God is talking about other people.) It is mainly that they are unable to compare themselves to God’s words, but do they know this? (No.) People who do not understand spiritual matters are incapable of realizing these things. Their hearts are still sunny; they think they understand many of God’s words, but in fact, to them every word is just a rule. They think, “If God makes me do something, I will do it. If He makes me forsake something, I will forsake it; if He makes me expend myself, then I will do so. By obeying God this way, I am saved.” After believing in this way for several years, they think they have capital, just like how Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). No matter how you put it, Paul lacked spiritual understanding. It’s a real pity. It’s already troublesome when he did not understand spiritual matters, but on top of that, he did not pursue the truth. He treated all of his own doctrine, slogans, imaginings, notions, knowledge, and philosophies as though they were the truth, and used them as a foundation from which to expand his own pursuits. As a result, no matter what he did, he was not living out the truth realities, and no matter what he did, it was not in line with God’s will. This problem of his was severe! Paul takes the cake when it comes to lacking spiritual understanding, isn’t that right? (Yes.) Do people who do not understand spiritual matters love the truth? Absolutely not, because people who do not understand spiritual matters are incapable of grasping the truth, and if they do not grasp the truth, there is no way they can love the truth. How do people who do not understand spiritual matters manifest themselves? The primary manifestation is that no matter how people fellowship with them on God’s words, they still do not understand, and no matter how clearly people fellowship with them on the truth, they are still incapable of grasping it. This is directly connected to being of too low a caliber. Can people who do not understand spiritual matters pursue the truth? They couldn’t even if they wanted to. People who do not understand spiritual matters cannot understand what God is talking about, do not know what states God exposes, and cannot draw comparisons with themselves. They treat all of God’s words as rules, phrases, slogans, and doctrine, and never know that God’s words are the truth. What is the problem here? It is that their caliber is too low, they possess no comprehension ability at all, and are manifesting a lack of spiritual understanding.

The second type is people who understand spiritual matters. People who understand spiritual matters can understand the truth, draw comparisons with themselves when they eat and drink God’s words, and understand what God’s words are exposing, what truths are in God’s words, and what God demands. Is the ability to understand equivalent to having entry? (No.) Then when I say they can understand, to what is it referring? What is it addressing? (They can draw comparisons between God’s words and themselves.) The ability to draw comparisons with themselves is part of it. They admit man’s corrupt dispositions and every kind of state that God exposes. So, are they capable of knowing what God demands? They should know to a certain degree—know God’s demands, know what principles are spoken of in God’s words, and what His will is. They are clear on these things and understand them; that’s why they are called people who understand spiritual matters. When people who understand spiritual matters eat and drink God’s words, they are able to draw comparisons with themselves, understand what God’s words are referring to and what His demands are. This shows that this type of person possesses the caliber and ability to comprehend the truth. So, does possessing this caliber and ability necessarily mean they have life entry? (No.) There are several different scenarios. Some people can understand God’s words, and possess the caliber and ability to comprehend His words, but have never drawn comparisons with themselves. They just draw comparisons between God’s words and other people, look for flaws in other people, hold their shortcomings over them, nitpick their states, and try to read their minds, as though they were a detector. When they have nothing else to do, they muse over what other people think, try to detect what people are thinking in their hearts, what thoughts and ideas are in their hearts, what their intent is, what their aim is, what their motivation is, what they hope for, and what corrupt dispositions they reveal while doing things. What is their goal in detecting these things? To draw comparisons between God’s words and other people, then solve their problems. For example, the environment in which “Mr. Smith” lives, what his family background is like, how many years he has believed in God, what issues he usually has, what weaknesses he has when pursuing the transformation of his disposition, what difficulties he often has when things happen, in what situations it is easy for him to become negative, how well he performs his duty, how he approaches God’s words, and whether his spiritual life is normal—they have a clear grasp on all these things. They are very intelligent, but unfortunately they don’t apply their intelligence in the right places. They solve other people’s problems, but do not practice the truth themselves. This type of person is often a leader or worker, or someone with some amount of responsibility. Is this method of pursuit that this type of person has problematic? (Yes.) This method of pursuit is problematic, and severely so. How severely? We should fellowship on this. This type of person understands spiritual matters, can understand God’s words, and knows how to draw comparisons with God’s words, but they have never drawn comparisons between God’s words and themselves; instead, they draw comparisons between God’s words and other people. What is their goal in drawing comparisons with other people? (To show off.) That’s right. They show off to satisfy their desires and ambitions, to make their status more secure, and to make them more capable of capturing people’s hearts. The fact that they could do this is connected to their nature, and directly connected to what they are pursuing when believing in God. If one were to judge by the fact that they put their whole heart into things and do their job to the full extent, and the fact that they are able to grasp all the various states that other people have very well, could one say that they are people who pursue the truth? Not necessarily. Then how can one tell whether someone is a person who pursues the truth? If they are particularly responsible when it comes to brothers’ and sisters’ life entry, put a lot of heart and work into things, do their work very well, often seek the truth with regard to every sort of state brothers and sisters have, and then resolve the problems, by being able to perform their duty like this, are they a qualified leader? Judging from these manifestations and revelations of theirs, can one be sure they are someone who pursues the truth? (Not necessarily.) Why? (They can solve other people’s problems, but have never drawn comparisons between God’s words and themselves.) If they have never solved their own problems, then how do they solve other people’s problems? (They rely on words and doctrines to solve them.) They understand some words and doctrines, have some smarts, have a good memory, react quickly to things, and as soon as they have heard a sermon, they are able to immediately go and show it off to others. Judging from these things, do they have entry? (No.) Resolving other people’s difficulties but never resolving their own difficulties is not a manifestation of pursuing the truth. They just use doctrine and God’s words, or all sorts of tactics and methods, to persuade and convince other people; they use the words and doctrines they understand, or imitate and copy words of life experience to help people out of hardship. They use these methods to resolve other people’s difficulties rather than using what they have personally gone through and their actual experiences to resolve them. This proves that this person is not someone who pursues the truth. What is it they provide to other people? (Doctrine.) Why do we say it’s doctrine? Because it does not come from their own experiences, it is not something they have actually gone through, and is not their true understanding. What is it they are actually watering others with? Doctrine, phrases, and words which persuade and console people. They also use human methods, tactics and smarts, and no matter what, they think that answering people’s questions is solving problems, and that this is doing work. Judging from their manifestations, from the things they provide to others, the way they work, and the path they pursue, is this person someone who pursues the truth? (No.) They are not someone who pursues the truth. Isn’t using the truth to resolve problems when they themselves have no entry a bit disingenuous? (Yes.) It is disingenuous; it is hypocritical, and it deceives others. So, can people like this perform their duties well? (No.) Why not? Because they do not pursue the truth, and there is a direct connection between performing one’s duty well and understanding the truth. For example, one must understand the truth to water the church; one must understand the truth to resolve problems; one must also understand the truth to handle problems; understanding the truth is even more necessary in order to have discernment over people. Every facet of the church’s work has to do with the truth; if one does not understand the truth, they will not do the church’s essential work well, and will only do an okay job on general tasks. Therefore, if a leader does not pursue the truth, no matter how busy they are, how much legwork they do, or how much they suffer, they will not do a good job, and will be unable to fulfill their duty to the full extent of the job and responsibilities. When they work, they run around from place to place without cause, seeing where there are problems and then fixing them in a simplistic way. When someone has some sort of difficulty, they fellowship a bit of doctrine, and when someone is negative and weak, they encourage them and exhort them; these are the things they do. They think that if they keep their eye on the people they lead, so long as everyone is busy and not idle, they are doing their work well, and that if they can go around everywhere inspecting and directing work, not have anyone report or expose them, be able to preach and speak wherever they go, and have everything go smoothly without any hinderance, that they are fulfilling their responsibilities and duty. This is doing the work from the place of status, not using the truth to solve problems in a practical sense. They put importance on doing work, and while putting importance on working, they may not do anything for their status—all they do is single-mindedly use doctrine and slogans to exhort this person or encourage that person, single-mindedly busying themselves with this work. They think that so long as they are not idle, it is okay. The first thing is that they cannot slack off, the second is that they must be industrious, and the third is that they must be able to withstand suffering. They bustle about all day—if there is a problem somewhere it must be fixed at the earliest opportunity, and they must always ask around if anyone has any problems. They think that doing this is pursuing the truth. In actuality, does having these manifestations necessarily mean they pursue the truth? Does it necessarily mean they have life entry? This is still a matter of question. This is the first manifestation of people who understand spiritual matters but do not pursue the truth.

The second manifestation of people who understand spiritual matters but do not pursue the truth, is being able to understand God’s words, understand the practical side of what His words are saying, and being able to draw comparisons between it and themselves, but never putting it into practice. This type of person does not do things according to God’s words, or according to the truth principles, nor do they restrain themselves. When something happens, they just want to make people submit to them and listen to them, but they themselves do not want to submit to the truth. They treat practicing the truth and submitting to the truth as other people’s responsibility, obligation, and duty, and as something which other people should do. They treat themselves as though they were set apart. No matter how much they understand, or how many of God’s words they can link to themselves, they think everything God says is directed at other people and has nothing to do with themselves. So, what is it they do? They are very busy too. They go to church and see who has a criticism about them, then make note of it. Then, they wrack their brains to think of ways to “fix” it. They say, “Let’s open ourselves up and fellowship. Whatever you think inside, whatever opinions you have about me, and whatever criticisms you have about me, just let me know and I will do my best to change and do things differently.” What is their goal in changing? To make other people like them. Besides this, they see who has a criticism about them, and who does not submit to them, and then find relevant passages of God’s words to “fix” it. They say, “God is the master when the house of God elects leaders and workers. In the house of God, the truth is the authority. Whoever the brothers and sisters elect as leader, that is what God wished, and you should submit to it. You are not submitting to me, but to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to the truth. If you do not submit, you will be punished!” After listening, some people know the leader is misinterpreting God’s words, and twisting the facts to deceive people, and do not listen. When the leader sees these people are not quite submitting to them, they think, “You’re refusing to submit to me, aren’t you? I have other ways of dealing with you. I’m going to take off the kid gloves.” The leader says to the people who do not submit to them, “Have you finished the task I gave you?” And the people say, “There is just a little bit left to do before it is finished. It won’t cause any delays.” The leader says, “How is there being a little bit left not a delay? In God’s eyes, a little bit is a lot. This is a manifestation of disloyalty. You call this doing your duty?” Actually, is this really what the leader wants to say? What goal do they have in their heart? They want to force the other people into submission, defeat them, and take them down a peg, but they cannot say so explicitly. If they did, the brothers and sisters would see through them and expose them, so they must find an upstanding reason and excuse for doing things; they must suppress people in a “respectable and reasonable” manner, so that after they have suppressed people it is not apparent to others, makes the people in question submit, and achieves the leader’s goal of strengthening their stance and solidifying their status. What disposition is this? (They are insidious and scheming.) They are insidious, scheming, venomous, and do things for the sake of status. They pay no heed to things which do not concern their status, and do not put any heart into them, but when it comes to things which affect their status, reputation, self-interest, pride, and their position in the church, they latch on to these things and don’t let them go, and start to get serious. When fellowshiping on the truth in their usual gatherings, they will sometimes know themselves, draw comparisons between God’s words and themselves, and expose their own corrupt disposition, but there is an objective behind it, an intent: It is all to make others look up to them, envy them, and revere them, and to solidify their status. They have ambitions and an objective. If it is not for the sake of their status, they do not say a word; if it is not for the sake of securing their status, then they do nothing—everything they do is for the sake of their status. They will break their back for the sake of their status, but if it is for the sake of the church’s work, when they discover problems they will not resolve them, when other people report problems they will not address them, and they will not lift a finger to attend to anything; they see other people busy performing their duties, but they do nothing at all. What sort of person is this? (A base and vile person who lives only for reputation, self-interest, and status.) Is someone who just lives for status someone who pursues the truth? Are they capable of pursuing the truth? (No.) It’s hard to say. If they have a little bit of an awareness of conscience, have a sense of shame, have dignity and character, and are able to accept the truth after experiencing some chastisement and judgment, experiencing being pruned and dealt with, or being tested and refined, then it is possible they can turn things around. However, if they are numb, dull-witted, intransigent, and do not accept the truth at all, then no matter how much they understand, is it of any use? (No.) No matter how much they understand it will not be able to move their heart. No matter how busy they seem on the outside, how much time they spend running about the streets, how much they sacrifice, give up, and expend, can the kind of people who only ever speak and act for the sake of status be considered those who pursue the truth? Absolutely not. For status, they will pay any price. For status, they will suffer any hardship. For status, they will stop at nothing. They try to find dirt on others, frame them, or give them a hard time, trampling other people underfoot. They don’t even fear the risk of punishment and retribution; they act for the sake of status without any thought of the consequences. What do people such as this pursue? (Status.) Where is the similarity with Paul? (The pursuit of the crown.) They pursue the crown of righteousness, they pursue status, reputation, and self-interest, and treat the pursuit of status, reputation, and self-interest as legitimate pursuit, rather than pursuing the truth. What is the foremost characteristic of such people? It is that in all respects, they act for the sake of status, reputation, and self-interest. This type of person, who does things for the sake of reputation, self-interest, and status, is the most adept at deceiving others. When you first meet them, you cannot see through them. You see that the doctrine they speak sounds good, what they say seems practical, the work they arrange is very fitting, and they seem to have some caliber, and you admire them quite a bit. This type of person is also willing to pay a price when performing their duty. They work hard every day but never complain about being tired. They don’t have a single ounce of fragility. When other people are weak, they are not. They also do not lust after comforts of the flesh, and are not picky eaters. When their host family prepares something special for them, they refuse it and do not eat it. They only eat everyday foods. Whoever sees people like this admires them. So, how can one discern whether they are doing things for the sake of status? First, one must look at whether they are a person who pursues the truth. Where will this be evident? (Their intent and starting point when doing things.) This is part of it. It will mainly be evident in the goal they are pursuing. If it is for the sake of gaining the truth, they will put importance on reading God’s words often, understanding the truth and knowing themselves through God’s words. If they fellowship often on knowing themselves, they will be able to see that they lack too many things, do not have the truth, and will naturally strive to pursue the truth. The more people know themselves, the more they are able to pursue the truth. Those who always say and do things for the sake of status are obviously not people who pursue the truth. When they are pruned and dealt with they do not accept it—they are very afraid of their reputation being damaged. So, are they able to accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement and reflect on themselves? Can they truly understand deviations in their own experience? If they do not have any of these manifestations, then one can be certain that they are not people who pursue the truth. Tell Me, what other manifestations do people have who do not love the truth and who pursue status? (When others give them criticism, they do not accept it, and instead get defensive, justify themselves, and give reasons. They speak in order to maintain their pride and preserve their status. If someone does not support them, they attack and judge them.) When people attack and judge others, and speak and defend themselves for the sake of their own pride and status, the intent and goal behind their actions is obviously wrong, and they are living entirely for status. Can the sort of people who say and do everything for the sake of status have consideration for God’s will? Can they accept the truth? Absolutely not. They think if they have consideration for God’s will they must practice the truth, and if they practice the truth they must suffer and pay a price. Then, they will lose the enjoyment that comes with status, and will be unable to enjoy the benefits of status. Therefore, they choose to just pursue reputation, self-interest, and status, and pursue getting rewards. In what other ways do people who pursue status manifest themselves? What other things do they do? (If they see some talented individuals around them who are more given to pursuing the truth, and who are worthy of nurturing, and who brothers and sisters are more inclined to support, then out of fear that these people will stand up and replace them, and threaten their status, they think of ways to suppress these talented individuals, and find all sorts of reasons and excuses to put them down. The most common way, is to label them as overly arrogant, self-righteous, and as always constraining others, and make people believe these things are true, and not let the house of God promote or nurture these individuals.) This is the most common manifestation. Is there anything you want to add? (They always like to testify for themselves and show off. They always talk about some wonderful thing about themselves; they never talk about their ugly side, and if they do something bad, they don’t reflect on or dissect their actions.) They always talk about how they suffer and pay a price, how God guides them, and show the work they’ve done. This is also part of the way protecting and solidifying status manifests. People who pursue status and do things for the sake of status have another—most salient—trait, which is no matter what happens, they have to have the final say. They pursue status because they want to have the final say. They want to be the one who calls the shots, and the only person with authority. No matter the situation, everyone must listen to them, and no matter who has an issue, they must come to them to seek and ask for direction. What they want to enjoy are these benefits of status. No matter the situation, they have to have the final say. No matter whether what they say is right or wrong, even if it is wrong, they still have to have the final say, and must make others listen and submit to them. This is a severe problem. No matter the situation, they must have the final say; no matter whether or not it is a situation they understand, they have to stick their finger in it and have the final say. No matter what issue the leaders and workers are fellowshiping, they must make the decision, and there is no leeway for others to talk. No matter what solution they suggest, they must make everyone accept it, and if others don’t accept it, they get angry and deal with them. If anyone has criticisms or opinions, even if it is right and in line with the truth, they have to think of all sorts of ways to object to it. They are particularly good at sophistry, will persuade the other person with smooth words, and ultimately make them do things their way. They have to have the final say in everything. They never negotiate with their co-workers or partners; they are not democratic. This is sufficient to prove that they are overly arrogant and self-righteous, cannot accept the truth at all, and do not submit to the truth at all. If something big happens, or something which is crucial, and they are able to let everyone make an assessment and voice their opinion, and ultimately settle on a method of practice as per the majority opinion, and ensure it will not harm the work of the house of God, and that it will benefit the work as a whole—if this is their attitude, then they are someone who protects the work of the house of God, and someone who can accept the truth, because there are principles behind doing things this way. However, would people who pursue status do things this way? (No.) How would they do things? If something happened, they wouldn’t care what advice other people had. They would already have had a solution or decision in mind long before people shared their advice. In their hearts, they would have already decided that was what they would do. At this point, no matter what people said, they wouldn’t give it the time of day. Even if someone reprimanded them, they wouldn’t care at all. They give no consideration to the truth principles, whether it benefits the church’s work, or whether the brothers and sisters can accept it. These things are not within the realm of their consideration. What is it they consider? They have to have the final say; they want to be the decision maker in this matter; this matter must be done their way; they must look at whether this matter is beneficial to their status or not. This is the perspective from which they view matters. Is this someone who pursues the truth? (No.) When people who do not pursue the truth do things, they always give consideration to their own status, reputation, and self-interest; they always give consideration to how it benefits them. This is their starting point for doing things.

Some people understand spiritual matters but do not pursue the truth. There are indeed some people like this. As for their major manifestations, the first kind is doing things for the sake of doing them; they like to work and cannot sit still. So long as they are busy doing something they are happy, have a sense of accomplishment, and feel real. The second kind of manifestation is doing things for the sake of status. People of this type have particularly strong ambitions and desires. They always want to control and win people over, and always desire to replace God. Desiring to replace God—which of Paul’s pursuits does this relate to? (His pursuit of becoming Christ.) Their aim in pursuing status is not simply being someone who is a cut above the rest, someone with status whom others venerate. Their ultimate goal is to be able to win people over and control them, to make others venerate them and treat them like God, and make everyone follow them, submit to them, and believe in them. What does this all imply? That they would become the God in people’s hearts. This is not pursuit of the truth, but rather pursuit of Satan. The pursuit of status is obviously not pursuit of the truth, and neither is the pursuit of work or reputation pursuit of the truth. What other manifestations are there? (They pursue blessings.) That’s right. They pay a price, expend themselves, suffer, and can forsake their self-interest in all sorts of matters, but they do this in order to be blessed. They only manifest themselves this way for the sake of being blessed and having a good destination. This is not pursuit of the truth either. This is the third way people who understand spiritual matters but do not pursue the truth manifest themselves. Just like Paul, they do things and suffer in order to be blessed and for the sake of their destination, sparing no cost whatsoever. Their aim in doing things is clear: Whatever is the most important and essential for receiving blessings, that is what they focus exclusively on doing. So long as they get approval and support from the brothers and sisters, it is alright. They focus solely on how everyone sees them, how the Above sees them, and whether they are in God’s heart. So long as it is certain that they will be blessed and rewarded, it’s alright. However, they never use the truth to evaluate what they do, and never give up the desire to be blessed; they do not submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. If they do something poorly and are dealt with, if the Above is not pleased with them, and they see there is no hope of being blessed or perhaps receiving a good destination, they will become negative and give up, not wanting to do their duty. There are even some who simply don’t want to believe; they think there is no point in believing in God. The three methods of pursuit above are all paths that those who do not pursue the truth follow. There are a good number of people of this type in every church, and all of them are people who do not love the truth. No matter what duty they perform, they always connect it to their own self-interest, receiving blessings, and being rewarded, and never connect it to their life entry, understanding the truth, or transforming their disposition. No matter how many years they have believed in God, or how many years they have performed duties, they have never pursued self-knowledge, never pursued life entry, and never pursued loving God or submitting to God. Whatever it is they are doing, they do not seek the truth. No matter what corruption they reveal, they do not draw connections between it and the truth in God’s words. Whatever they are doing, their intentions are selfish and base, all aimed at securing blessings and personal gain. No matter how they are dealt with they do not reflect on themselves, and continue to think they are correct. People of this type are rarely negative. They are not afraid of any amount of suffering if it means they will be blessed and enter the kingdom. They indeed have perseverance, but it is very hard for them to accept the truth. They’d rather die than self-reflect and gain knowledge of themselves, and they think they’re doing pretty good. People who understand spiritual matters but do not pursue the truth have another manifestation: Some people have listened to many sermons, but are not interested in the truths God expresses, or words of His which expose people’s various states. Even if they understand these things, they are not interested. So, why do they still believe in God if they are not interested? They definitely have a sort of vague and unrealistic thought in their heart. They say, “I don’t know what the God on earth is capable of doing. I can’t tell. It seems like He is mainly able to fellowship on the truth. I don’t quite understand these so-called truths, but either way, the things He says are quite good, and make people follow the right path. However, I can’t tell whether or not He is actually God.” Since they doubt God so much, why do they stay in the house of God instead of leaving? It is because they have a vague view and fantasy in their heart. They think, “If I continue to kill time here, I might ultimately escape death, and eventually enter heaven and receive great blessings.” So, while others pursue a change in disposition and accept being dealt with and pruned, they are there praying to the God in heaven, saying, “Oh God, lead me through these difficulties, and make me able to accept being dealt with and pruned. I am willing to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements.” You hear that the words they pray are not wrong, but they never admit to having a corrupt disposition or being wrong. In their heart, they only acknowledge the God in heaven. As for the God on earth—God incarnate—and God’s words of judgment, they do not pay them any heed, as if these things have nothing to do with them. This is how simple and empty their belief in God is. No matter how others talk about the corrupt disposition of humans and the need to pursue a change in disposition, they muse, “How is it that you are all so corrupted and I’m not?” They think they are perfect and flawless, and do not have a corrupt disposition. Sometimes, they are prejudiced or look down on others, but they consider this normal, thinking it’s just a bad thought and that it will go away if they suppress it. Or, when they see other people rebel against God, they think, “I have never rebelled against God. The love I have for Him in my heart has never wavered.” They just say these few sentences and don’t reflect on themselves or know how to act in line with the principles. Are people like this people who pursue the truth? (No.) Then why do they still think so well of themselves, and think that this way of believing in God is not bad? What’s going on here? It shows they do not love the truth. According to people’s notions, what kind of people are they? In what ways do they manifest themselves? They are eloquent, shrewd, quick to learn, and have a strong ability to understand things. They understand what you are saying as soon as the words come out of your mouth, and they are particularly quick to understand doctrine. However, no matter what they understand, the direction and aim of their pursuit of receiving blessings remain unchanged. Moreover, they treat the truths they understand as theological theories, or as a sort of dogma or teachings. They do not think they are the truth, and therefore they do not practice or experience them, let alone apply them to their life. They only accept and preach the doctrines they like and which conform to their notions and imaginings, thinking they have gained something. Being able to preach doctrines and impress many people is the biggest thing they gain from believing in God. As to whether they practice the truth or have any self-knowledge, they think these are trivial matters of little importance, and that being able to preach spiritual doctrines, answer questions, and make other people admire them are the most crucial and what qualifies them to enjoy the benefits of status. Therefore, they pay no attention to practicing the truth, they do not reflect on themselves, and are only satisfied with being able to preach lofty sermons. This problem is relatively severe, even more severe than it is in those who do not understand spiritual matters, because they know clearly that it is the truth but do not practice or experience it. This is someone who is sick of the truth and toys with the truth. Isn’t the nature of this problem very serious?

Now, you are able to discern people who understand spiritual matters but do not pursue the truth, right? Do you manifest yourselves like this type of person in any way? (Yes, mainly in that I do things for the sake of status.) Saying things for the sake of status and doing things for the sake of status—everything revolves around status; this is troublesome. Is it possible to pursue the truth like this? What are the manifestations of doing things for the sake of status? Primarily, it involves focusing on one’s own face, image, and dignity, as well as the status one holds in the hearts of others—whether others look up to and venerate them. Whatever they do, they only pay attention to these aspects, never exalting or testifying for God. For example, when someone who does not pursue the truth meets a new believer, they think in their heart, “You’ve only believed in God for a few years, you don’t understand anything,” and look down on them. If the new believer wants to seek the truth, they will first consider the new believer’s appearance, the way they speak, and whether they like them. If the new believer is of poor caliber, they won’t be willing to fellowship on the truth; they’ll just offer a few words of encouragement and leave it at that. What is the problem here? (They think they have been a believer for many years and have capital, so they throw their seniority around.) This capital is a manifestation of asserting their status. Having the capital, they feel entitled to speak from a position of status—a status self-bestowed, not given to them by others. Are such people who work and talk in this way those who pursue the truth? (No.) Do you manifest yourselves this way? You say, “I’ve believed in God for ten years. Isn’t partnering me up with someone who has only believed for two years an insult to me? I don’t even want to talk to them. Even one word would exhaust me. They don’t understand anything!” This stems from being dominated by an arrogant disposition. If you did not have a heart which values status, did not rank people according to experience or seniority, and did not think you have capital, then would you treat someone this way? Clearly, due to having a corrupt disposition inside you, the manifestations of the way you treat people don’t benefit others, which exposes your corrupt disposition, your pursuits, and what lies deep within your heart. There is another manifestation of acting for the sake of status. For example, some people have acquired professional knowledge or are experts in a certain field. However, when discussing this field, if others speak first, they get upset and think, “How can you speak without reason? You wouldn’t know greatness if it were right in front of you!” They say, “I majored in this subject in university and dedicated all my research to these issues. After graduation, I worked in this field for several years. I’ve abandoned this profession for over ten years since believing in God, but I can remember everything about it with my eyes closed. I don’t like talking about it, it seems as though I’m showing off.” What do you think of these words? These words are those of secular academics, and are said based on satanic philosophies, making them appear knowledgeable and earning everyone’s approval. They claimed they did not want to show off, but that’s exactly what they’re doing, just in a more skillful manner. They mentioned the capital they have, like the number of years they studied this profession and what they gained, using this method to send a message that they are an expert in that field. Does being an expert in a field mean you necessarily understand the field? Is this the approach you must take if you are an expert doing work in the house of God? (No.) Then what should you do? (Seek the truth; discuss and seek together with the brothers and sisters.) Everyone should seek together. You say, “I need to be honest. I worked in this profession for several years and know a little something about it, but I don’t know the principles behind how the house of God makes use of this profession. I don’t know if the knowledge I have is useful to the house of God—we can discuss it together. I’ll tell you a bit about the basics of this field.” This is a rational way of speaking. Although they are knowledgeable about the profession, they are humble and not prideful. They are not faking it; they truly want to do a good job, and share what they have learned and what they know with everyone, not holding anything back. They are doing this fully for the sake of performing their duty well, regardless of how others see or treat them. They are performing their duty fully for the sake of satisfying God, and for the sake of gaining the truth and living out a human likeness. Therefore, in every aspect of the performance of their duty, they consider the interests of the house of God and give mind to brothers’ and sisters’ life entry. No matter what they do, they fellowship with everyone first, then discuss it collectively to reach a consensus, letting the brothers and sisters contribute ideas and effort, all united in completing the task well. What do you think of this approach? Only people who pursue the truth would do it this way. Though they believe in God all the same, those who pursue the truth and those who do not manifest themselves in different ways. Which sort of person is disgusting? (People who don’t pursue the truth are disgusting.) There’s no need to show off if you know a bit about some profession, and there is no need to belittle or constrain others if you know a bit about the profession either. Some people get up on their high horse when they become a leader or a worker, they walk and talk with a pretentious demeanor, even putting on official airs. This way of doing things is even more disgusting. Even if you have some status there is no need to flaunt it or be haughty. You should act responsibly to lead the brothers and sisters to perform their duties well. This is your responsibility and what you should accomplish. Moreover, if you have humanity and are loyal, you must take responsibility when doing things. How should you take responsibility? By fellowshiping clearly on areas that people don’t understand, areas where people are prone to make mistakes or be deceived, and rectifying any mistakes and deviations that arise, you ensure that everyone can do things using the right method, so they no longer make mistakes or are constrained by others. This way, you will have fulfilled your responsibility. This is being responsible and loyal in your duty. Once you have achieved this, could other people still say you pursue status? No, they couldn’t. The principles you practice are already correct, as is your path. These are the manifestations of those who pursue the truth; this is how those who pursue the truth should practice. The opposite is nothing but a myriad of disgraceful behavior. Wanting to show off and be highly regarded, but also wanting to hold back and hide what they know, fearing that if others know these things they won’t be able to showcase themselves or be highly regarded anymore—that is so rebellious! They disregard the interests of the house of God, and even stand by and watch, chuckling to themselves, “If I don’t speak, let’s see if anyone can explain this matter clearly! Even if I say something, I won’t say everything. I’ll disclose a little bit today, and a little bit tomorrow, and still won’t tell you the truth. I’ll let you ponder it on your own. It’s not so easy to get something out of me! If I tell you all that I understand, making you understand it, then I will have nothing left, and you will be better than me. How will you view me then?” What sort of creature would think like this? This person is venomous! They are nothing good. Are they an honest person? (No.) Have any of you done this? (I have. Especially after I had spread the gospel for a longer period of time and gotten some results, I felt like I had some assets and capital. When other people asked if I knew of any good methods or had any good experience to share, I refused. I lived by Satan’s poisonous saying, “Once a student knows everything the master knows, the master will lose his livelihood.” I was afraid others would surpass me, and then I’d lose my status.) Being afraid of other people stealing your thunder is not an easy thing to overcome. Reputation and self-interest are goals people spend their whole lives fighting for, but they are also two daggers in the heart—they will cost you your life!

Some people who have done things which benefit the church’s work and the brothers and sisters think they have made a contribution and have some status within the church. Every time they are in front of others, they mention these good things they did, so that everyone has a completely new perception and understanding of them—an understanding of their capital and status, and an understanding of their reputation and place within the church. Why do they do this? (To show off and flaunt it.) And what is the point of flaunting it? To establish themselves. And what can they do by establishing themselves? (Make other people look up to them.) Make people look up to them, talk them up, and revere them. After obtaining these things, how do they feel inside? (They enjoy it.) They enjoy the benefits of status. Do you also pursue these things? What causes these thoughts, ideas, and ways of thinking that people have? What gives rise to them? What is their source? Their source is man’s corrupt disposition. It is man’s corrupt disposition that causes people to reveal themselves this way, and gives rise to these sorts of pursuits. Some people often feel superior in the house of God. In what ways? What causes them to feel superior in these ways? For example, some people know how to speak a foreign language, and they think it means they have a gift and are skilled, and that if the house of God did not have them, it would probably be really difficult to expand its work. As a result, they want to make people look up to them everywhere they go. What method do people of this type employ when they meet others? In their heart, they assign all sorts of different ranks to people who perform different duties in the house of God. The leaders are at the top, people who have special talents come second, then come people who have average talents, and at the bottom are those who perform all sorts of supporting duties. Some people treat the ability to perform important duties and special duties as capital, and treat it as having truth realities. What is the problem here? Isn’t this absurd? Performing some special duties makes them arrogant and haughty, and they look down on everyone. When they meet someone, the first thing they always do is ask what duty they perform. If the person performs an average duty, they look down on them, and think this person isn’t worthy of their attention. When this person wants to fellowship with them, they are agreeable to it on the surface, but inside they think, “You want to fellowship with me? You’re just a nobody. Look at the duty you perform—how are you worthy of talking to me?” If the duty the person performs is more important than theirs, they flatter them and envy them. When they see leaders or workers, they are obsequious and flatter them. Are they principled in the way they treat people? (No. They treat people according to the duty they perform, and according to the various different ranks they assign.) They rank people according to their experience and seniority, and according to their talents and gifts. What fact is revealed by how they rank people this way? It reveals a person’s pursuits, a person’s life entry, a person’s nature essence, and the quality of their humanity. When some people see a superior leader, they nod their head and bow slightly, and are polite. When they see someone who has some abilities, who is gifted, who is skilled at speaking, who has performed important duties in God’s house, or who the Above has promoted and views as important, they speak in an especially polite manner. When they see someone of low caliber or who performs an average duty, they look down on them and treat them as though they were invisible—the way they treat them is different. What are they thinking inside? “Someone like you is still low class even though you believe in God, yet you still want to talk as though you’re on the same level as me, and fellowship with me about life entry and being an honest person. You’re not fit to do so!” What disposition is this? Arrogance, viciousness, and evilness. Are there many people of this type in the church? (Yes.) Are you this type of person? (Yes.) Treating people differently based on who they are—none of these things are the manifestations of people who pursue the truth. What are they pursuing? (They’re pursuing status.) People’s behavior, revelations, and usual manifestations can show all the thoughts, views, intents, and pursuits they have, as well as the path they are on. What you reveal, and what you regularly manifest, is what you pursue—your pursuit is exposed. Even though people of this type understand spiritual matters, can understand God’s words, draw connections with His words, and compare His words to their own states, whatever happens they do not seek the truth, and do not approach it using the truth of God’s words as their principles. Rather, they approach it and act based on their own notions, imaginings, intents, objectives, and desires, as well as their own preferences. Can people like this enter into the truth realities? (No.) Their heart still harbors the principles and methods that people who don’t believe have for dealing with the world; they still rank people according to their experience and seniority, and assign all sorts of different ranks to the people in God’s house. They do not use the truth to evaluate people, but rather evaluate people using the views and standards of those who do not believe. Is this the pursuit of the truth? (No.) Although they seem like someone who understands the truth when they speak and preach, can any bit of truth reality be seen in how they perform their duties? (No.) Then, are these people who have life entry? (No.) There are too many corrupt things inside of them, and they fall too short of the mark with regard to fulfilling the requirements for salvation. If they always treat these things as capital, then how many of God’s words that they understand can they put into practice? Does their heart actually contain the truth, or God’s words? To them, how do life entry and transforming their disposition weigh? What is it, exactly, that has taken root in their heart? It is certainly all satanic philosophies and things inherited from man, as well as their notions and imaginings about belief in God. If these things take root too deeply in people’s hearts, it will be extremely difficult for them to accept the truth. They always consider how the Above views them, whether the Above appreciates them, whether they are in God’s heart, and whether God knows them. They view other people the same way: They look at whether the Above appreciates them, and whether God is pleased with them—they treat people differently based on who they are. When their heart always places importance on these things, how much of an effect can the truth have on them? What are people who always live in these states and live in these philosophies for dealing with the world actually pursuing? Can they enter the truth realities? (No.) Then what do they live their lives according to? (They live according to satanic philosophies for dealing with the world.) They live according to satanic philosophies, yet think they have knowledge, are learned and wise, and feel quite a lot of enjoyment inside. What do they see the house of God as? (As a society.) They see it as a society. They have not yet abandoned this view. So, how do they fix these issues? It is not just a matter of people reading God’s words and being able to acknowledge the facts God revealed. They must also experience being pruned and dealt with, and go through trials and refinement. They also need to know their nature essence, see the essence of capital, gifts, knowledge, and qualifications clearly, let go of these things, accept the truths in God’s words, and live according to the truth. Only then can the problem of a corrupt nature be fixed.

Pursuing the truth is not an easy matter. People must learn to see things according to God’s words. In the past, people had many wrong views. If they do not seek the truth, they will not realize them, and will still carry on like before, thinking they are right, and being arrogant and self-righteous, where even if you deal with them they still will not admit their mistake. It is very hard to change the perspective from which people who do not pursue the truth view things. For example, when some people see that there is a person in the church who used to lead a company, feelings of respect and admiration arise in their hearts. They envy, admire, look up to, and even revere people like this. This person has status in their hearts. What should be done in this situation? You should discern this person and treat them in accordance with the truth principles, and see whether they are someone who loves the truth and pursues the truth, and whether they are someone worthy of respect. If, after interacting with them and discerning them, you discover they are not this sort of person, you will not look up to that person in your heart anymore, and will not hold them in high esteem. You should treat them and interact with them in a regular way. What does it mean to treat them in a regular way? It means being able to treat them correctly. People’s hearts are full of their own preferences, wishes, and pursuits, and their values display themselves in many minute behaviors. If there is someone they revere, when they talk about them, their words will be especially tactful and polite, and they will refer to them in a particularly respectful manner. What does this indicate? That this person has status in their heart, and they look up to this person. Besides this, there are other things they say. They often say, “This person used to be an official. If they come to the house of God and are treated as a regular person, it would not be befitting.” In their mind, they think God’s house does not put importance on talented individuals. Such an elite personage was able to humble themselves and come into God’s house, be a believer and perform a duty, yet no one looked up to them or promoted them, and the Above did not make a special point of introducing them to the brothers and sisters. You ask them how this person’s duties are going, and they say, “This person used to own a company, and had several thousand people under them. Doing this little bit of work is nothing to them. There is no one in God’s house who is of higher caliber than them. They are an elite. There are no elites in God’s house.” What kind of talk is this? They think the secular world has elites, but the house of God does not. People in the house of God have the truth—do people in the secular world have the truth? You say the secular world has elites, so why don’t you believe in the elites? Why have you come here to believe in God? You have notions about God, and should hurry on back to the secular world. Doesn’t the fact they are capable of saying things like this mean it is Satan’s voice? It is Satan’s voice. They believe in God and come into God’s house, but exalt Satan. They have nearly said, “If a certain famous person believes in God, they will be the one who is of the highest caliber. If they cannot be perfected, then there’s no hope for the rest of us. In their eyes, we are nothing.” In their heart and in their eyes, people who believe in God are not as good as the famous people, entrepreneurs, and officials in the secular world. Only those people are elites, and those who carry weight. When you read between the lines of what they say, are they someone who pursues the truth? (No.) No matter how many sermons they listen to, their views and thoughts, their opinions of the world, and their opinions and views of famous people and elites don’t change. Have they gained the truth? Do they have life entry? (No.) What is this person? (A nonbeliever.) They are a nonbeliever. They are a Judas and a traitor! In their mind, God is not the most high and the truth is not the most high. Rather, worldly power, prestige, reputation, and self-interest are the most high. This person is a traitor. These are the thoughts and views of Judas. They are the thoughts and logic of Satan. Even though these people can understand the truth, their thoughts and views will not change. What they pursue is reputation, status, and power. When you are around someone like this, the expression they have when talking to you isn’t right, and it gives you a certain feeling: that this person is hard to get close to, and the average person is invisible to them. That’s why they are capable of having so many notions about God. No matter how many truths God can express, there is always a barrier in their heart between them and God. They think the normal humanity of God incarnate is ordinary, and not at all great or mighty. That’s why they are capable of revering knowledge and gifts, and idolizing great personages. When arrogant, self-important, and conceited people like this who are filled with a satanic disposition see Christ who has normal humanity and is full of truth, how can they bow down and worship Him? Inside, they think, “You are God. You only have the truth. You don’t have knowledge. I have gifts; my knowledge is more advanced than Yours; my talents are more advanced than Yours; my ability to handle things is stronger than Yours, and I am better at speaking with the outside world than You.” When they do some work in the church, have some capital, or make some contribution, they think even less of God. Is this a person who pursues the truth? (No.) People who do not pursue the truth exhibit a myriad of ugly behavior, and do not have an ounce of reason. So these people often get caught up in the outward phenomena of people, events, and things—one moment they think God is right, one moment they think He is wrong; one moment they think there is a God, one moment they think there is no God; one moment they think God is the One who is sovereign over the heavens and earth and all things, one moment they doubt that God is sovereign over the heavens and earth and all things. Their heart is always conflicted and battling. Although the second type of person understands spiritual matters and understands the truth in the most shallow sense of its meaning—which is that of mere words and doctrine, which still counts as having some comprehension abilities—while they are able to understand some truths, they never put them into practice. What are their manifestations? The pursuit of work, the pursuit of being blessed, the pursuit of satisfying their own vague faith and spiritual sustenance, and the pursuit of reputation and status. This is the second type of person.

The third type are people who understand spiritual matters and pursue the truth. People who understand spiritual matters can understand what God’s words are saying, take the various states revealed in God’s words and draw comparisons with themselves, and recognize what is problematic about their state. However, being able to draw comparisons does not mean you are someone who pursues the truth. If, after drawing comparisons with yourself, you practice and enter in, only then are you someone who pursues the truth. If people can understand God’s words, and use the principles of God’s words that they understand as a foundation on which to truly enter in, how do people like this manifest themselves in terms of pursuing the truth? For one thing, they can accept God’s commission, and perform their duty well. For another, they can seek the truth when facing the circumstances God arranged, and achieve obedience. Another aspect is that they put importance on examining every aspect of their states and revelations in their daily life, and are then able to draw comparisons with themselves according to God’s words, resolve problems, and are able to get to the point where they are principled in the way they approach every sort of matter, and have a path to practice in every sort of matter. For example, the last time I fellowshiped and dissected Paul’s seven major sins, you must be able to draw comparisons with yourselves, truly understand it, and practice and enter in. Drawing comparisons and life entry are intricately connected to each other. Being able to draw comparisons with yourself is the gateway to life entry. How you enter after going through the gateway will depend on whether you understand this aspect of the truth. When you understand an aspect of the truth, you can enter into an aspect of reality, and when you understand two aspects of the truth, you can enter into two aspects of reality. If you just understand the doctrine and do not have the principles of entry, then you will be unable to enter into reality. Therefore, it is key that you first understand a lot of truths. How can you understand them? You must read a lot of God’s words, ponder His words, draw connections between them and your real life and the duties you perform, find principles for practice, and find a path to practice. Then, it will be easy to enter into reality. If some real problems exist, you must compare them to relevant passages of God’s words, and resolve them. If you have notions or misunderstandings about God, then it is even more necessary to draw comparisons with God’s words, be able to discern in what way these notions or misunderstandings are actually wrong, and what nature of problems they are. You must be able to dissect these problems, then seek the corresponding truths to fix them. This is the path to life entry. Paul did so much work, but did he have a path to life entry? Absolutely not. What was the first of Paul’s seven major sins? He treated the pursuit of a crown and the pursuit of blessings as appropriate objectives. In what way is treating the pursuit of blessings as an objective wrong? It flies completely in the face of the truth, and is not congruent with God’s will to save people. Since being blessed is not an appropriate objective for people to pursue, what is an appropriate objective? The pursuit of the truth, the pursuit of changes in disposition, and being able to obey all of God’s orchestrations and arrangements: these are the objectives that people should pursue. Say, for example, being pruned and dealt with causes you to have notions and misunderstandings, and you become incapable of obedience. Why can’t you obey? Because you feel that your destination or your dream of being blessed has been challenged. You become negative and upset, and try to get out of doing your duty. What is the reason for this? There is a problem with your pursuit. So how should this be solved? It is imperative that you immediately abandon these mistaken ideas, and that you immediately seek the truth to solve the problem of your corrupt disposition. You should say to yourself, “I must not quit, I must still do the duty that a creature of God ought to, and put aside my desire to be blessed.” When you relinquish the desire to be blessed and you walk the path of pursuing the truth, a weight is lifted off your shoulders. And will you still be capable of negativity? Even though there are still times when you are negative, you don’t let this constrain you, and in your heart, you keep praying and fighting, changing the objective of your pursuit from the pursuit of being blessed and having a destination, to the pursuit of the truth, and you think to yourself, “The pursuit of the truth is the duty of a creature of God. To understand certain truths today—there is no greater harvest, this is the greatest blessing of all. Even if God does not want me, and I do not have a good destination, and my hopes of being blessed are shattered, I shall still do my duty properly, I am obligated to. Whatever the reason, it will not impact my performance of my duty, it will not affect my accomplishment of God’s commission; this is the principle by which I conduct myself.” And in this, have you not transcended the shackles of the flesh? Some may say, “Well, what if I’m still negative?” Then seek the truth again to resolve it. However many times you fall into negativity, if you just keep on seeking the truth to resolve it, and keep on striving for the truth, you will slowly emerge from your negativity. And one day, you will feel that you do not have the desire to gain blessings and are not constrained by your destination and outcome, and that you are easier and freer living without these things. You will feel that the life you had before, whose every day you lived for the purpose of gaining blessings and your destination, was exhausting. Every day, speaking, working, and racking your brains for the sake of gaining blessings—and what would that have gained you, in the end? What is the value of such a life? You did not pursue the truth, but wasted all your best days on insignificant things. In the end, you did not gain any truth, and you were unable to speak of any experiential testimony. You made a fool of yourself, utterly disgraced and failed. And what is the cause of this, really? It is that your intent to gain blessings was too strong, that your outcome and destination occupied your heart and bound you too tightly. Yet when the day comes on which you emerge from the bondage of your prospects and destiny, you will be able to leave everything behind and follow God. When will you be able to let go of those things completely? As your life entry ceaselessly deepens, you will achieve a change in your disposition, and that is when you will be able to let go of them completely. Some say, “I can let go of those things whenever I want.” Is this consistent with natural law? (No.) Others say, “I figured all this out overnight. I’m a simple person, not complicated or fragile like the rest of you. You’re so ambitious, which shows you’re more deeply corrupted than I am.” Is that the situation? It is not. All humankind has the same corrupted nature, undifferentiated in depth. The only difference between them lies in whether or not they have humanity, and in what kind of person they are. Those who love and accept the truth are capable of a relatively deep, clear knowledge of their own corrupt disposition, and others mistakenly think that such people are deeply corrupt. Those who do not love or accept the truth are always thinking that they have no corruption, that with a few more good behaviors, they will be holy people. This viewpoint is obviously invalid—it is not, in fact, that their corruption is shallow, but that they do not understand the truth and have no clear knowledge of the essence and truth of their corruption. In brief, to believe in God, one must accept the truth, practice the truth, enter reality, and achieve changes in their life disposition before they can alter the incorrect direction and path of their pursuit, and before they can completely resolve the problem of pursuing blessings and walking the path of the antichrists. In this way, one can be saved and perfected by God. All the truths that God expresses to judge and purify man work toward this end.

Now, are there any among you who still have the desire to be God? (No.) Is the reason you don’t have this desire because you do not dare to, or because you don’t have hope or the appropriate background and environment? It’s hard to say. Firstly, it’s certain that there is no one who wishes to actively pursue being God. However, if, in special circumstances, there were people who revered you, exalted you, often complimented and commended you, you had status in their eyes, and they unconsciously established you as a sort of perfect and mighty image—although they did not testify that you were God, and they knew that you were human, they still revered you, obeyed you, and treated you as though you were God—how would you feel inside? Would you not feel exceptional enjoyment and satisfaction? (Yes.) This is enough to prove that you still have this desire. Everyone who has a corrupt disposition has the desire to be God. It is just that when no one treats you like God, you feel you are not qualified. When you feel that you are qualified, the environment is right, and the conditions are sufficient, you will elevate yourself to that position. Or, maybe you won’t elevate yourself, but when other people single-mindedly elevate you, will you still be modest? You’d accept the elevation “without reservation.” What is going on here? Satan’s nature has entrenched itself deep inside people, and remains unresolved—people never want to be people, they always want to be God. Can a person be God just by wishing it? Satan always wanted to be God, and what happened to it? It was cast down from heaven to earth. Such was Satan’s fate for wanting to be God. Tell Me, how do I feel about My own identity, status, and essence? You certainly do not know. I don’t feel anything; everything is very normal. God incarnate is especially real and normal. There is nothing supernatural about Him, He has no particular feelings. You know what you think; you know what you like; you know which family you were born into, how old you are, and how much education you’ve received; you know how you look. But is it normal to know what your inner essence is, or is it normal to not know? (It is normal to not know.) It is normal to not have any feelings about this. Having feelings about it would be supernatural. It would not be of the flesh, and would not be normal humanity. Supernaturality is abnormal. Those who always express themselves in abnormal ways and have abnormal feelings are evil spirits, not mortal beings. Some people ask Me if I know who I am. Tell Me, would I know? Should I know? I have the logic, and ways of thinking of normal humanity. I have normal thoughts, and a normal routine life of the flesh. I have the conscience, rationality, and judgment of normal humanity, and I have the principles of self-comportment, handling matters, and interacting with others of normal humanity. These things are all clear. As far as how to do things, how to treat different people, how to help people, and which people to help, I have all of these principles. Living in normal humanity and doing the things I should is normal humanity. There is nothing supernatural about it. God does not do supernatural things. It is normal that I do not know. If I did, it would spell trouble. Why would it spell trouble? If I knew, I would have a burden; there are too many matters that would be implicated, and they would be at odds with each other. The part that knows is not of the flesh or the material world; it is supernatural, and is at odds with the matters of this world. Just like how some people can see things that happen in the spiritual realm. They live in the flesh and in the material world, yet see a non-human, immaterial world. They can see two worlds, and can say some strange things. This is not normal. This will influence other people’s thoughts and work. Apart from this, for people who believe in God and pursue the truth, it is still necessary for them to know something about matters of the spiritual realm. There are many things people have no way of knowing, but not knowing is actually no loss; knowing or not knowing are both fine. God has already delimited the range of things that mortal beings can understand, know, and feel. God does not speak one sentence less of what you need to know—He tells you everything, and does not leave your knowledge lacking. However, He thoroughly seals off what you do not need to know. He will not tell you, and will not unsettle your thoughts and mind. Another aspect is that, to mortal beings, matters of the spiritual realm are a sort of mystery, strange phenomena, or matters of a different world. In their hearts, people want to know a bit about them, but what can you do with such knowledge? Can you verify it? Can you be a part of it? Many matters of the spiritual realm are secret and cannot be revealed before their time. This is something nobody can take part in—knowing a limited amount is sufficient. God is sovereign over this world and this human race, and there are too many mysteries. What we should understand are God’s words and truths, and His will; we should enter into the truth realities, achieve submission to all of God’s sovereignty that people can access, understand and recognize it, and then become able to fear God, acknowledge God as your Creator, acknowledge the fact that God is sovereign over all, finally becoming able to utter those words that Job said: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). What must people experience to achieve this result? They must experience judgment and chastisement, being dealt with and pruned, tested and refined, and experience every sort of circumstance that God arranges, and through which, know God’s deeds, know His disposition, understand the essence of the Creator, and be able to draw comparisons between themselves and the words of God they have read or the sermons they have heard. Ultimately, no matter how God treats them, whether He takes away or gives, they achieve a fair and accurate understanding of God’s deeds, and obey and accept them in a manner befitting the rationality of created beings. This is what God aims to accomplish.

Let’s return to our topic of fellowship for today. The manifestations of people who pursue the truth, and the manifestations of people who do not pursue the truth are basically these three types. I have made a detailed distinction between these three types of people: The first type are people who do not understand spiritual matters; the second type are people who understand spiritual matters but do not pursue the truth; and the third type are people who understand spiritual matters and pursue the truth. Of these three types of people, which one has hope of entering the truth realities and can achieve salvation? (The third type.) Which type of person has hope of entering the truth realities, meaning they can develop and change into a person who has the truth realities? (The second type.) In this case, has the first type of person effectively been sentenced to death? Can people who do not understand spiritual matters turn into people who do understand spiritual matters, or who half understand? There is a bit of hope for those who do not understand to become those who half understand; this is somewhat better than not understanding spiritual matters at all. Of these three types of people, which has a greater hope of being saved? (The third type.) What about the second type of person? (It depends on their personal pursuit. If they are able to truly turn things around, repent, and pursue the truth, then they can have hope of being saved.) Let Me be frank with you. You are still not completely clear on the second type of person. Although the second type of person understands spiritual matters, they are all people who do not pursue the truth, and this is critical. Regardless of whether they understand spiritual matters or not, so long as they do not pursue the truth, they absolutely cannot achieve salvation. The thing I want to emphasize here is the first type of people, those who do not understand spiritual matters. Say that they do not understand spiritual matters but they have good humanity, and they expend themselves for God willingly, heed whatever God says, and have a submissive heart—it’s just that they do not have comprehension ability when it comes to the truth—but they can understand some of God’s words and check themselves against them, and then practice and enter into them. Such people have hope of being saved. They can come gradually to understand spiritual matters by undergoing such an experience for a while. The more intently they read the words of God, the more the Holy Spirit enlightens them; they are able to compare whatever they understand of God’s words with their own states, accept being dealt with and pruned by God, His judgment and chastisement, and trials and refinement, pay the price for this, and, in the end, achieve some corresponding changes in their disposition. Such people also count as those who pursue the truth. Since they’re considered to be those who pursue the truth, do they then have hope of being saved? (Yes.) They do—thus, such people cannot be consigned to death. On the contrary, it is hard to say what the outcome will be for the sort of people who can understand the truth and hold themselves up against it for comparison, yet never enter it. What is the root of this problem? (Their attitude toward the truth.) It is their attitude toward the truth, which is one of irreverence and disdain. What does “disdain” mean? It means not accepting the truth; it means looking down on the truth. It means not acknowledging the words of God as the truth, and not regarding them seriously. No matter how much they understand of what they hear, they do not practice the truth; and, no matter the extent to which they hold themselves up against it for comparison, even if they know what sort of people they are, they still do not repent. Although they know that the most crucial aspect of believing in God is practicing the truth, the word “practice” is irrelevant to such people. Such people are not easily saved.

Now, how should we define pursuing the truth? What exactly is pursuing the truth? Who can tell Me? (Being able to accept God’s words, use God’s words to reflect on oneself and draw comparisons with oneself, and also having life entry. Only this counts as pursuing the truth.) That’s right. Only by being able to accept the truth and practice the truth is someone a person who pursues the truth. If they do not accept God’s words and cannot reflect on themselves, then they will not have life entry, and are not a person who pursues the truth. Therefore, there is a direct relationship between pursuing the truth and life entry. If a person is able to speak a lot of words and doctrines, but has never practiced the truth, does not have true faith in God, and even if they clearly know something is God’s sovereignty and arrangements and comes from God, they do not submit, and they resist, judge, and keep rebelling, and they still live according to satanic philosophies, and do things according to their own preferences, then they are not someone who pursues the truth. Some people can understand spiritual matters and understand God’s words, but do not love the truth, so they do not practice the truth—such people are not those who pursue the truth. Some people are willing to pursue the truth, but their caliber is too poor, and they fall short of the truth. As a result, they believe in God for many years but cannot understand the truth. Are people like this those who pursue the truth? No. What major manifestations do people who do not pursue the truth have? The foremost manifestations are that they do not read God’s words, and are not willing to pray to God, let alone fellowship on the truth, and are even unwilling to attend gatherings or listen to sermons. When they listen to sermons, they feel as though every word is directed at them, and is exposing them, which makes them feel pinned and uncomfortable. So, whenever it’s time to listen to a sermon, they just want to sleep or engage in idle talk. There are a good number of people like this. They only believe in God in order to be blessed, not in order to accept the truth, gain the truth, shed their corruption, live out a human likeness, or attain salvation from God. The root of the problem is primarily that they do not love the truth and are not interested in the truth. They believe in God only to gain blessings. This is the sole focus of their yearning. For the sake of obtaining blessings, they can render service and give things up, but they cannot accept the truth and are not interested in the truth. They think it is enough to understand doctrines, that doing fewer evil deeds means they have changed, and that rendering service, giving things up, and suffering on top of that qualifies them to be blessed. This is their view of belief in God. Therefore, no matter how many years they believe, no matter how much doctrine they understand and can preach, and no matter how many words that align with the truth come out of their mouths, they are never able to practice the truth, the dispositions they reveal remain willful, indulgent, and unbridled, they protect their own pride and interests at every turn, they are especially selfish and base, and even when they are reprimanded, pruned, or dealt with, they cannot accept it, and do not have an ounce of obedience. Such people do as they please; they do not confer with others before taking action, and even if they do confer with others, it’s only when they have no other choice and just for the sake of formality—they speak indirectly, beating around the bush, and in the end still make others do as they say. What disposition is revealed in this way of doing things? (Deceitfulness.) This is not just deceitfulness; there is something even more severe. No matter how pleasing their words sound when advising others, explaining that these are the arrangements of God’s house and making other people submit, when it comes to themselves, this is not how they perform. Instead, they are intransigent and rebellious, do not obey, and are incapable of submitting to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Apart from this, how do they manifest themselves when interacting with others? They act in accordance with philosophies for dealing with the world, looking for an advantage at every turn and protecting their personal relationships. People of this type have a disposition which is particularly treacherous. What does this treachery boil down to? It boils down to evil. It usually isn’t easy for people to recognize evil dispositions. When people with evil dispositions speak with others, there is always an element of temptation and probing for information. They do not say things straight out, and even if they open themselves up, their aim is just to make you speak your heart—they never disclose anything real about themselves. Some people say, “How can You say they never disclose anything real about themselves? They are always fellowshiping with people regarding the corrupt disposition they reveal.” What does that bit of fellowshiping count for? They do not tell anyone what they truly think inside. Also, they use all sorts of tactics and methods, or all sorts of turns of phrase to vigorously cover up and disguise who they are, presenting a false image to people. If some people get to know what they are really like, and know the bad things they did, they just pretend and say a few words of remorse, adopting misleading methods to make people believe they have repented and changed. If they do something bad again and expose their bad deeds, letting people see that they are actually an evil person, they will rack their brain and think of every way they can to cover this fact up and make people still treat them as a brother or sister. What disposition is this? It is an evil one. Not only do people who have this sort of evil disposition not accept the truth in any way, but they are skilled at pretending, and always come up with a clever defense or justification for themselves. They are hypocritical Pharisees. What this type of person fears most is people fellowshiping on the truth, people opening their hearts up to know and dissect themselves, or people exposing the true facts of a matter and thereby exposing them. Whenever someone is fellowshiping on the truth, they get particularly annoyed and do not want to listen; their hearts resist it and are put off by it. This completely exposes their ugly aspect of being fed up with the truth. Besides understanding the truth but not practicing it, this type of person has another problem, which is that they have an attitude of resistance and disdain toward positive things and correct views, especially toward words which are aligned with the truth. When it comes to any positive thing or any words that are aligned with the truth, so long as it’s not what they consider good or not spoken by them but by someone else, they will not accept it. What disposition is this? Foolishness, intransigence, and stupidity. How should you evaluate whether a person pursues the truth? The primary thing to look at is what they reveal and manifest in their ordinary performance of their duties and their actions. From this, you can see a person’s disposition. From their disposition, you can see whether they have achieved any change or gained any life entry. If someone reveals nothing but corrupt dispositions when they act and has none of the truth realities at all, they are definitely not someone who pursues the truth. Do those who do not pursue the truth have life entry? No, they certainly do not. The things they do every day, their running around, expending, suffering, the price they pay—no matter what it is they do, it is all just rendering service, and they are service-doers. No matter how many years a person has believed in God, what matters most is whether they love the truth. What a person loves and pursues can be seen from what they like to do the most. If most of the things a person does conform to the truth principles and God’s requirements, then they are one who loves and pursues the truth. If they can practice the truth, and the things they do every day are in the performance of their duty, then they have life entry, and possess the truth realities. Their actions may be inappropriate in certain matters, or they may not grasp the truth principles accurately or they may have stubborn biases in this regard, or sometimes they may be arrogant and self-righteous, insist on their own ways, and fail to accept the truth, but if later they are able to repent and practice the truth, this proves without a doubt that they have life entry and pursue the truth. If what someone reveals in the course of performing their duty is nothing but corrupt dispositions, a mouth full of lies, pridefulness, indulgence, overwhelming haughtiness, that they are a law unto themselves, and that they do whatever they like, and so on, and if, no matter how many years they have believed in God or how many sermons they have heard, there isn’t the slightest change in these corrupt dispositions in the end, then this is certainly not someone who pursues the truth. There are many people who have believed in God for many years, who are not outwardly evildoers and even have some good behaviors. They believe in God quite passionately, but their life dispositions do not change at all, and they don’t have even a little experiential testimony to share. Aren’t such people pitiful? After so many years of belief in God, they can’t speak of even the slightest experiential testimony. This is purely a service-doer. They truly are pitiful! In short, to evaluate whether a person pursues the truth and has life entry, you must look at their disposition and essence as revealed and expressed by them, and see if there is any change in their disposition. Always speaking words and doctrines, and engaging in disguise and deception, cannot be sustained for long. They only harm themselves, without deceiving others. Those who do not accept the truth and do not pursue the truth will sooner or later be exposed and cast out. Only those who accept and practice the truth can gain life entry and have a change in disposition.

I have finished fellowshiping on what life entry is, what pursuing the truth is, and all the different manifestations of people who pursue the truth. People should hold these things up for comparison against themselves, and when they understand the truth, they need to put it into practice. What is the biggest difficulty for the majority of people who believe in God? It is that they understand the truth, but don’t practice it. Although they can compare themselves to God’s words after reading them, and are able to gain some knowledge of themselves, why can’t they put the truth into practice? The majority of people cannot find the reason. For example, all people have arrogant dispositions—they are all particularly arrogant and self-righteous. The majority of people are capable of recognizing this, but can they avoid revealing their arrogance? This isn’t easy to achieve. Although they are able to compare themselves to God’s words when they read them, they acknowledge they have an arrogant disposition, and they have a path to practice, the difficult thing is that whenever they do something they frequently have their own preferences, intents, and goals, and they cannot see that these are all connected to their corrupt disposition. They need to learn to be discerning about these things, and must understand the truth, fix what should be fixed, and let go of what should be let go. That is, they should no longer do things for the sake of their intents, desires, pride, status, and interests. They should halt the course of their evildoing, and refrain from saying another sentence or performing another deed for their own interests. If you do this, you will already have gained a heart of repentance, and will have started to transform on your negative side. If you take even more initiative, and apart from not speaking for your own sake, you are also able to dissect yourself, letting the brothers and sisters see the manifestation of your arrogant disposition so they can learn from it, gain some lessons, benefit from it, and find a path of practice, that would be even better. What is the difficult thing? The difficult thing is to let go of all your intents, aims, ambitions, desires, and interests, to not do things for your own sake, and to not busy yourself or rush about for your own sake. Paul said he had finished his course. For whom was he running this course? (He ran it so he could be blessed and obtain a crown.) But Paul lacked this understanding. He likely still thought he was running the course for God and to complete God’s commission, certainly not for his own sake. That’s why he dared to show off and testify for himself in such a boastful and unabashed way. He was obviously defending and explaining himself. At the same time, this is also the best proof that he was testifying that for him to live was Christ. He was blatantly testifying for himself and resisting the truth; he was blaspheming the truth. There are many people now who revere Paul, whose hearts are filled with ambitions and desires, who all want to testify for themselves: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). By doing this, are they not giving free rein to their desires and ambitions, letting them continuously inflate, revealing them in every situation for them to be realized? If you cannot overcome your desires, then it is completely over for you; you will be unable to enter the truth realities. What is the crux of this issue? (We must rebel against our intents.) Rebelling against your intents is a passive way of practice. You must also be able to actively expose them, just like exposing other people. If you said something like, “I will tell you the truth about myself: I have very excessive ambitions, and I desire to win you over. Right now I am opening myself up to all of you. I am willing to rebel against the flesh; I will not be Satan’s accomplice. My aim in exposing myself this way is to let you see my true face clearly, so you will not revere me”—what effect would this way of practicing have? Everyone would certainly admire you. Wouldn’t this be much better than the reverence and high esteem you would get in exchange for using all sorts of base tactics? (Yes.) At least this is positive. Although everyone would have some admiration for you, would they look up to you? Perhaps some might, but you must find ways to make them abandon this behavior. Always expose yourself, saying, “I am also rebellious, and my rebelliousness is more severe than yours. I am also deceitful and wicked. When I spoke that time, I had an aim in mind, which was to make you look up to me and not look down on me.” After everyone hears this, not only will they not look down on you in their hearts, but they will respect you all the more. This is an aboveboard way of practicing. Only people who love the truth will do this; people who do not love the truth are incapable of doing this no matter what. If, in your heart, you think that doing this is really good and a great privilege, that it pleases God, and you aspire to act this way; if you have a strong desire in your heart, believing that you should do so and that this is the sort of person you should be—a person who is aboveboard, honest, and where no lie can be found in what they say, a person who thoroughly forsakes their corrupt disposition and Satan—only then will you be the sort of person who truly lives in the light. And if you are drawn toward and love being this sort of person, then you will be able to love the truth, enter the truth, and let go of those things which are of Satan. But if you are still interested in your intents, aims, ambitions, desires, and interests, and still have a lingering fondness for pursuing knowledge, reputation, interest, and status, then these things still have a place in your heart. You say, “Let me take it easy until I have the appropriate stature, then we’ll see.” This is called indulging yourself, and being unable to completely forsake yourself. By indulging yourself like this, your life entry is slowed, and not only have your issues of craving fleshly pleasures and craving the benefits of status not been resolved, but they have become increasingly stubborn. So, can the things in your heart that belong to Satan be thoroughly cleansed? Can your life experience still deepen, and your life continue to grow? Can you still achieve being perfected by God? You have already fallen into fleshly pleasures, and the benefits of status have bound you tight—can you still break free of them? You do not want to break free; slowly, you become someone who misleads people. That will be troublesome, and your sin will be severe. Why did things end the way they did for Paul? It is because he didn’t pursue the truth at all. He always pursued his ideals and yearnings, and wanted to control God’s chosen people so that they all followed him, and did as he did. He also wanted to use hard work and paying a price as leverage to make a deal with God, and obtain rewards and a crown. Ultimately, he was punished by God. If the path someone follows is exactly the same as Paul’s path, then they are beyond help and are completely finished. Anyone who is the same type of person as Paul is an antichrist who will not repent no matter what. If you only have some of the states Paul had, but the goal you pursue is slightly different than Paul’s, then you must immediately repent, and perhaps you will make it in time. If you do as Paul did, revere Paul, and are exactly the same as Paul, then not only are you a nonbeliever, but you want to be God and be Christ. Isn’t this wanting to be on equal footing with God? In your heart, you worship a vague God in heaven; you want to be on equal footing with Christ, and even treat your gifts and knowledge as life, and treat improper pursuits as proper ones. The goals you pursue, and the manner of your pursuit are getting closer and closer to what Paul’s were, and match Paul’s pursuits more and more perfectly. This spells trouble for you; you are completely hopeless, and you cannot be saved. You must do as Peter did and follow the path of pursuing the truth, thoroughly rebel against the flesh, and rebel against those things which are of Satan, and only then will you have hope of being saved. Do you have a path to receiving salvation now? (Constantly exposing ourselves and letting go of ourselves.) First, you must let go of your personal intents, aims, ambitions, and desires. Regardless of whether you pursue actively, or you pursue in a negative and passive way, you must let go of these things and learn to submit. This is of the utmost importance. If you decide to act in a certain way when something befalls you, you must first evaluate what you are acting this way for. If it is for pride and status, then stop right there, and slow the steps you are taking toward action. You must pray: “God, I am not willing to do this. I want to rebel against it, but I lack the strength. Please grant me the strength, protect me, and stop my evildoing in its tracks.” Then, without realizing it, you will have the strength. Sometimes people’s ability to overcome sin, rebel against the flesh, and rebel against their corrupt disposition comes from their wish and will, and their aspiration to love the truth. At times, it requires God’s work, and requires relying on God—people cannot leave God. Sometimes you understand the truth, you have a path to follow, and you think you can live independently, but when you are faced with new circumstances, you don’t know how to practice—you must pray to God and rely on Him. People’s lives are full of ups and downs. It can be said that people can never be without God. No matter how many truths they understand, they cannot leave Him. No matter how many moments of negativity they have, or how many moments of passivity, they ultimately cannot leave God’s leadership and guidance. The more times you obey God, the more your truth realities will increase. As your truth realities increase, this implies that your life entry becomes deeper and deeper. As your life entry becomes deeper, this means that your disposition is changing more and more. When your disposition has transformed a lot, it means you have gained stature. Your stature is representative of your life entry. When you have stature, you can overcome the control and bondage that your corrupt disposition has over you, your ability to overcome sin will grow stronger, and your heart will have strength. You will not just have an affective wish, hope, and aspiration; you will not linger at this level. Rather, you will ascend, and grow into an adult, becoming someone who has the truth and humanity. This is the path of pursuing the truth, and it is also the result of pursuing the truth. Can you see the direction? Can you see hope? (Yes.) That is a good thing.

Life entry is a process that never ends. You must experience a lifetime in order to gain from it and undergo change. Even if you walk the path of pursuing the truth, if you still crave fleshly pleasures and the benefits of status, you will stumble and fail all the same. Now your path is correct, and you have found your direction. You’ve already clearly discerned those things that are incorrect, passive, contrary, and negative. There is a boundary between you and these things. As far as positive things, you have also understood and gained quite a lot from them, and can already comprehend and accept quite a lot of them. What remains after gaining discernment over these wrong, evil, and negative things and actions, is to thoroughly banish these things from your heart, thoroughly abandon them and forsake them, and then practice according to the principles of the truth. This way, you will have life entry. Life entry is actually not hard; it just depends on whether you truly love the truth. If you truly love the truth, these negative things will not be able to defeat you. You may be passive and weak for a time, but will still be able to continue moving forward. If you do not love the truth, or you do not love the truth that strongly, just focusing on outward formalities, expending a little of yourself and giving a bit of yourself, being able to rise early and sleep late to perform your duty; if you just linger at the stage of rendering service, not wanting to attain an understanding of the truth or enter reality, merely content to expend yourself for God and commit no more major transgressions, and you stagnate and do not move forward, what will the consequences of all this be? You absolutely will not receive God’s approval. If you want your pursuit of the truth to be successful, and truly want to gain life, it is no simple matter. You must let go of your own interests and abandon all improper pursuits, like pursuing reputation, interest, and status, pursuing blessings, or pursuing a crown or rewards. All of these must be let go of. If you truly love the truth and enjoy pondering God’s words, then life entry will not be a difficult matter for you. So long as you understand the truth, you naturally will have a path, and will not have much difficulty.

June 21, 2018

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