20. The Principles That Must Be Observed in Life Entry
Relevant Words of God:
What is life entry? Life entry is a change in a person’s 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, based in 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.) It is primarily related to God’s words and to the truth. Life entry is inseparable from the words of God; it is inseparable from the truth. What is manifested in people who have achieved life entry? 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 expressions of having attained life entry.
Excerpted from “Only in the Pursuit of the Truth Is There Life Entry” in Records of Christ’s Talks
In your entry into life, at the very least you must pour your heart into the words of God, and be able to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words; your heart must yearn for God, you must pursue profound entry into the truth, and the objectives required by God. When you are possessed of this strength, then it shows that you have been touched by God, and your heart has begun to turn to God.
The first step of entry into life is to completely pour your heart into the words of God, and the second step is to accept being touched by the Holy Spirit. What is the effect to be achieved by accepting being touched by the Holy Spirit? It is to be able to yearn for, seek, and explore a more profound truth, and to be capable of cooperating with God in a positive manner. Today, you cooperate with God, which is to say there is an objective to your pursuit, to your prayers, and to your communion of God’s words, and you perform your duty in accordance with God’s requirements—only this is cooperating with God. If you only speak of letting God act, but do not take any action, neither praying nor seeking, then could this be called cooperation? If you have no trace of cooperation in you, and are bereft of training for entry that has an objective, then you are not cooperating. Some people say: “Everything depends on the predestination of God, it is all done by God Himself; if God did not do it, then how could man?” God’s work is normal, and not the slightest bit supernatural, and it is only through your active seeking that the Holy Spirit works, for God does not force man—you must give God the opportunity to work, and if you do not pursue or enter, and if there is not the slightest yearning in your heart, then God has no chance of working. By what path can you seek to be touched by God? Through prayer, and coming closer to God. But most importantly, remember, it must be upon the foundation of the words spoken by God. When you are often touched by God, you are not enslaved by the flesh: Husband, wife, children, and money—they are all incapable of shackling you, and you wish only to pursue the truth and to live before God. At this time, you will be someone who lives in the realm of freedom.
Excerpted from “Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What is the main thing one should understand when seeking to attain life entry? It is that in all the words spoken by God, regardless of what aspect they refer to, you should find out what His requirements and standards are for people, and from within them, seek out a path of practice. You should use them to check your conduct and perspective in life, and also check all your states and expressions against them. More importantly, you should check against these standards to determine how you should do things, how you should satisfy God’s will in the course of performing your duties, and how you can act in complete accordance with God’s requirements. Be a person with the reality of the truth; do not be someone who just arms yourself with words and doctrines and religious theories. Do not feign spirituality; do not be a fake spiritual person. You must concentrate on practicing and on using God’s words to compare and reflect upon your own states, and then change the viewpoint and attitude with which you treat every sort of situation. Ultimately, you will be able to revere God in every situation, and you will no longer act rashly or follow your own ideas, do things according to your desires, or live within a corrupt disposition. Instead, all of your actions and words will be based on God’s utterances and in accordance with the truth; as such, you will gradually give rise to reverence for God. A God-fearing heart is produced while pursuing the truth; it does not come from restraint. All restraint gives rise to is one type of behavior, but that is a kind of external constraint. Genuine reverence for God comes from—over the course of believing in God—understanding the truth, practicing in accordance with the truth, gradually reducing one’s corrupt disposition more and more, and improving one’s states bit by bit so that one can frequently come before God; this is the sort of process that gives rise to genuine reverence. When that happens, you will know what it means to revere God and how it feels, and then you will realize what sort of attitude, what kind of state, and what sort of disposition people should possess before they are truly God-fearing and are showing reverence of God.
Excerpted from “Only Those Who Practice the Truth Are God-Fearing” in Records of Christ’s Talks
In pursuing life, you must pay attention to two things: first, understanding the truth within God’s words; second, understanding yourself within God’s words. These two things are most fundamental. There is no life or truth outside of God’s words. If you do not seek the truth within God’s words, where, then, can you go to seek it? Where is there truth in the world? All of the world’s books are compiled of the devil Satan’s theories, are they not? They do not contain even one iota of truth! The most important parts of understanding the truth in God’s words are understanding God within His words, understanding human life within His words, and understanding all aspects of the truth within His words, such as the true understanding of oneself and discovering the meaning of human existence within God’s words. All truth is within God’s words. You cannot enter into the truth unless it is done through the words of God. The main outcome you must attain is to know what it is to possess understanding and knowledge of God’s words. With a real understanding of God’s words, you can then understand the truth. This is the most fundamental thing.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
In pursuit of life entry, one must examine one’s own words and deeds, thoughts and ideas with every matter encountered in one’s everyday life, and grasp one’s own states; following that, one must check them against the truth, seek the truth, and enter the reality of the truths one understands. During the course of entering the reality of the truth, one must grasp one’s own states, and come frequently before God to pray to Him and beseech Him. One must also fellowship often with brothers and sisters with an open heart, seek the path of entry into the reality of the truth, and seek the principles of the truth. Ultimately, one will come to know what dispositions one reveals in everyday life, whether or not God takes joy in them, whether or not the path one practices is accurate, whether or not one has checked the states found within oneself through self-examination against God’s words, whether or not they checked them accurately, whether or not they accord with God’s words, and whether or not one has truly made an achievement and made a positive entry regarding the states which accord with God’s words. When you frequently live within these states, within these conditions, gradually, you will come to have a basic comprehension toward some truths and toward your practical states.
Excerpted from “Knowing One’s Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The key to achieving growth in life in one’s faith in God is knowing what work God does in your experience, beholding the loveliness of God, and understanding the will of God, such that you defer to all of God’s arrangements, have God’s words wrought into you so that they become your life, and thereby satisfy God. If your faith is a foolish faith, if you pay no heed to spiritual matters and to changes in your life disposition, if you exert no effort toward the truth, will you be able to grasp God’s will? If you do not understand what God asks, then you will be incapable of experiencing, and will thus have no path to practice. What you must pay attention to as you experience God’s words is the effect they produce in you, so that you may come to know God from His words. If you only know to read God’s words, but do not know how to experience them, does this not show that you are ignorant of spiritual matters? Right now, most people are incapable of experiencing God’s words, and thus they do not know the work of God. Is this not a failing in their practice? If they carry on like this, at what point will they be capable of experiencing things in their rich fullness and achieving growth in their lives? Does this not amount merely to empty talk? There are many among you who focus on theory, who know nothing of spiritual matters, and yet still wish to be put to great use by God and to be blessed by God. This is totally unrealistic! Thus, you must put an end to this failing, so that you may all enter onto the right track in your spiritual lives, have real experiences, and truly enter into the reality of God’s words.
Excerpted from “How to Enter Into a Normal State” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You are all willing to pursue growing up in your lives and love of God, so have you rid yourselves of your superficial ways? If you only rid yourself of superficial ways and refrain from disruptive and boastful behavior, is that really pursuing growing up in your life? If you rid yourself of all superficial behavior but do not enter into God’s words, this shows that you are not actively making progress. What is the root cause of superficial behavior? Are your actions for the sake of growing up in your life? Are you seeking to pass as one of God’s people? Whatever it is that you focus upon is that which you will live out; if you are focused on superficial behavior, then your heart will often be cast outward and you will have no way to pursue growing up in your life. God requires a change in disposition, but you are always pursuing outward things; this type of person is incapable of changing their disposition! In the process of reaching maturity in life, everyone must follow a route: They must accept the judgment, the chastisement, and the perfecting of God’s words. If you do not have God’s words but you only rely on your own confidence and will, everything you do is based only on zeal. That is, if you want growth in your life you must eat, drink, and understand more of God’s words. All those who are perfected by His words are able to live them out; those who do not undergo the refinement of His words, who do not undergo the judgment of His words, cannot be fit for His use. So, to what degree do you live out His words? Only if you eat and drink God’s words and are able to compare them to your own state of life, and find a path of practice in light of the issues I have brought up, will your practice be correct and in keeping with God’s will. Only someone with this kind of practice has the will to love God.
Excerpted from “Genuine Love for God Is Spontaneous” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, and it is a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity. It is a truth that man should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom, and the clearer the truth will become. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and the more strength you will have to triumph over Satan. Much of the truth that you do not understand will be made clear when you practice the word of God. Most people are satisfied to merely understand the text of God’s word and focus on equipping themselves with doctrines rather than on deepening their experience in practice, but is that not the way of the Pharisees? So how can the phrase, “The word of God is life” be real for them? A person’s life cannot grow simply by reading God’s word, but only when the word of God is put into practice. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life and stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice the truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing the truth can it ever be understood.”
Excerpted from “Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Pursuit of life is not something that can be rushed; growth of life does not happen in just a day or two. The work of God is normal and practical, and there is a process that it necessarily undergoes. It took the incarnate Jesus thirty-three and a half years to complete His work of crucifixion—so what of purifying man and transforming his life, work of the utmost difficulty? It is no easy task to make a normal man who manifests God. This is particularly so for the people who are born in the nation of the great red dragon, who are of poor caliber and require a long period of God’s words and work. So do not be impatient to see results. You must be proactive in eating and drinking God’s words, and put more effort into the words of God. When you are finished reading His words, you must be able to put them into actual practice, growing in knowledge, insight, discernment, and wisdom in the words of God. Through this, you will change without realizing it. If you are able to take as your principle the eating and drinking of God’s words, reading them, coming to know them, experiencing them, and practicing them, you will come to maturity without realizing it. There are those who say that they are unable to put the words of God into practice even after reading them. What is your hurry? When you reach a certain stature, you will be able to put His words into practice. Would a four- or five-year-old child say that they are unable to support or honor their parents? You should know how great your current stature is. Put into practice what you are able to put into practice, and avoid being someone who disrupts the management of God. Just eat and drink God’s words, and take that as your principle from now on. Do not worry, for the time being, about whether God can make you complete. Do not delve into that yet. Just eat and drink God’s words as they come to you, and God will be certain to make you complete. However, there is a principle by which you must eat and drink His words. Do not do so blindly. In eating and drinking the words of God, on the one hand, seek out the words that you should come to know—that is, those that relate to visions—and on the other, seek out that which you should put into actual practice—that is, what you should enter into. One aspect has to do with knowledge, and the other with entering. Once you have grasped both—when you have grasped what you should know and what you should practice—you will know how to eat and drink the words of God.
Excerpted from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What is the most crucial starting point for life entry? Hold onto your duty—that comes first. It all starts from doing your duty. Your life entry starts with performing your duty, and through life entry, bit-by-bit you begin to understand the truth, and to gain the truth. You come to have stature, your life gradually grows, you come to have real experiences of the truth, and subsequently grasp various principles of practice, and are not constrained or disturbed by any person, thing, or object; in this way, you gradually start to live before God. If you are not disturbed by any person, matter, or thing, and are able to experience the truth, then, as your experiences become richer, you will become more able to testify to God. When you are more able to testify to God, you will gradually become someone useful; when you become someone useful, you will have a place in the house of God, you will stand firm, and you will become a good person, a genuine person. You will then be worthy of all that God bestows upon you.
Excerpted from “Life Entry Must Begin With the Experience of Performing One’s Duty” in Records of Christ’s Talks
What is key to life entry? Is there any use in always expressing your own will, in always making oaths and resolving to do things? That is unrealistic. Right now, the most practical issue is attaining life entry through addressing how to approach and accomplish your duty as you carry it out. What is another way of referring to having life entry? Experiencing the truth. It is through this path that life entry is attained. Have you achieved life entry? Are you capable of testifying to God? (No.) Is it the case that for the most part, you are still stuck on doctrine, and have no true knowledge or experience of the truth? If you are unable to truly know and experience the truth, then you will be unable to bear testimony to God. Most of the time, your knowledge of God is perceptual: You sense that God’s words are right, and so say Amen and agree—but you cannot apply these things to yourself, you still get confused when you do things, and you do not know which truth to use to solve your problems. Is this not the state you reside in most of the time? You understand much, and have grasped much, but you have yet to put these things into practice or apply them. Once you have applied and experienced the truths you understand, your life will grow; this is the standard, the hallmark. And one day, when you gain understanding of a certain aspect of the truth, and you are able to speak some of this understanding to testify to God’s will, to testify to God’s disposition, and to your knowledge of God, at such a time, you will be God’s witness. If there is much you understand and you can preach doctrine for hours, but are incapable of solving your own problems and are ignorant of how to solve them, what is it that you understand? (Words and doctrines.) Some of it is not just words and doctrines. Most is perceptual knowledge: You sense that these words are right, you identify with what other people say, but you do not know how to experience it or how to apply these things to yourself—this is perceptual knowledge. How can this problem be solved? You must go back to your duty. Bit-by-bit, examine and come to grips with the various kinds of corruption and your own myriad states that you reveal as you perform your duty, and then steadily address each of them one by one. You must get to grips with the various states you reveal—your self-righteousness, craftiness, the way you always hold something back, or are perfunctory and slapdash—and identify your own corrupt disposition through them. Will you know what to do once you have identified your own corrupt disposition? For example, what should be done when, in a certain matter, you show yourself to be selfish, thinking only of your own prestige? First, you must let go all thoughts of prestige: “If I said that, it would be to protect my prestige. There would be a motivation behind saying that, I would be being selfish and mean. That is my corrupt disposition, I must not say things like that. I must lay myself bare, show my true colors, say what I’m really thinking in my heart. I’d rather lose my prestige and not try to protect it, and not satisfy my own vanity.” And thus, by forsaking yourself, and speaking aloud your deepest thoughts, in one regard you become honest, and in another, you stop acting on your own ideas and looking out for your own prestige. You are able to practice the truth, and perform your duty better, and are able to take responsibility for your duty. What you lose is prestige, but what you uphold are the interests of the house of God, and the truth. Living thus is just and righteous, worthy of being brought before people and God. This is wonderful! Practicing in this way may be a little hard, but if your efforts and what you practice are aimed in this direction, you might fail two or three times, but perhaps on the fifth attempt, you could be successful. And what does success mean to you? It means that when you practice the truth, you are able to take that step that frees you from the bonds of Satan, a step that allows you to forsake yourself, to put aside your own vanity, prestige and interests, and stop being selfish and mean. So what do you see from this? When you do this, you show people that you are someone who loves the truth, who yearns for the truth, who yearns for righteousness and light. At the same time, you also bring shame upon Satan. Satan corrupted you, it made you look out for yourself, it made you selfish, it made you think of your own prestige. But now, these satanic things can no longer bind you, you have broken free of them, you are no longer controlled by vanity, prestige, or your own personal interests, and you practice the truth, and so Satan is humiliated. And are you not victorious when Satan is humiliated? Do you not stand firm in your testimony to God? Do you not fight the good fight? When you have fought the good fight, there is peace, joy, and a sense of ease in your heart. What does it show when people live always with a feeling of incrimination, when their hearts are unmoored, without joy or peace, when they are often saddened and distressed by all kinds of things? It shows that they rarely practice the truth, that they often turn their backs on the truth, and live in corrupt satanic dispositions that are selfish and vile. It shows that they look out for their own prestige, reputation, status, and interests, and they do not have the truth. Their suffering is therefore great, their worries many, and their fetters numerous.
Excerpted from “Life Entry Must Begin With the Experience of Performing One’s Duty” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you want to grow in life, you must seek the truth in everything. No matter what you are doing, you should seek out how to behave in order to be in line with the truth, and discover what taints exist within you that violate it; you must have a clear understanding of these things. Regardless of what you are doing, you should consider whether or not it has value. You can do things that have meaning, but you must not do things that have no meaning. With regard to things that you could either do or not do, if they can be let go, then you should let them go. Otherwise, if you do these things for some time and later find that you should let them go, then make a swift decision and let them go quickly. This is the principle you should follow in everything you do. Some people raise this question: Why is seeking the truth and putting it into practice so very difficult—as though you were rowing a boat against the current, and would drift backward if you stopped rowing forward? Why is it actually much easier to do evil or meaningless things—as easy as taking a boat downstream? Why is it like that? It is because humanity’s nature is to betray God. Satan’s nature has taken a dominant role within humans, and this is a reactionary force. Humans with a nature that betrays God are, of course, very liable to do things that betray Him, and positive actions are naturally difficult for them to perform. This is decided entirely by humanity’s nature and essence. Once you really understand the truth and begin to love it from within yourself, you will have strength to do things that conform to the truth. This then becomes normal, and even effortless and pleasant, and you feel that doing anything negative would require a great amount of effort. This is because the truth has taken a dominant role in your heart. If you really understand the truth about human life and about what kind of person to be—how to be an aboveboard and straightforward person, an honest person, someone who bears witness for God and serves Him—then you will never again be able to commit evil acts that defy Him, nor will you ever play the role of a false leader, a false worker, or an antichrist. Even if Satan deceives you, or someone evil eggs you on, you will not do it; no matter who tries to coerce you, you still will not act that way. If people gain the truth and the truth becomes their life, they become able to loathe evil and to feel an internal disgust for negative things. It would be difficult for them to commit evil, because their life dispositions have changed and they have been perfected by God.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
People often speak of letting God be their life, but their experience has not yet come to that point. You are merely saying that God is your life, that He guides you every day, that you eat and drink His words each day, and that you pray to Him each day, so He has become your life. The knowledge of those who say this is quite superficial. In many people there is no foundation; God’s words have been planted within them, but they have yet to sprout, much less have they borne any fruit. Today, to what extent have you experienced? Only now, after God has forced you to come this far, do you feel that you cannot leave God. One day, when your experience has reached a certain point, if God were to make you leave, you would not be able to. You will always feel that you cannot be without God inside you; you can be without a husband, wife, or children, without a family, without a mother or father, without the enjoyments of the flesh, but you cannot be without God. Being without God would be like losing your life; you would not be able to live without God. When you have experienced to this point, you will have hit the mark in your faith in God, and in this way, God will have become your life, He will have become the foundation of your existence. You will never again be able to leave God. When you have experienced to this extent, you will have truly enjoyed God’s love, and when you have a close enough relationship with God, He will be your life, your love, and at that time you will pray to God and say: “O God! I cannot leave You. You are my life. I can go without everything else—but without You, I cannot go on living.” This is people’s true stature; it is the real life. Some people have been forced to come as far as they have today: They have to go on whether they want to or not, and they always feel as if they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You must experience such that God is your life, such that if God were taken away from your heart, it would be like losing your life; God must be your life, and you must be incapable of leaving Him. In this way, you will have actually experienced God, and at this time, when you love God, you will truly love God, and it will be a singular, pure love. One day, when your experiences are such that your life has reached a certain point, when you pray to God, and eat and drink the words of God, you will be unable to leave God inside, nor will you be able to forget Him even if you wanted to. God will have become your life; you can forget the world, you can forget your wife, husband, or children, but you will have trouble forgetting God—to do so would be impossible, this is your true life and your true love for God. When people’s love of God has reached a certain point, their love for nothing else is equal to their love of God; their love for God comes first. In this way you are able to give up everything else, and are willing to accept all dealing and pruning from God. When you have achieved a love of God that surpasses all else, you will live in reality and in God’s love.
Excerpted from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh