15. The Principles of Making Oaths to God
(1) It is necessary to understand that God’s scrutiny of man extends even into his innermost heart. All is subject to His scrutiny. The only oaths and vows to God with significance are those made with the intent of satisfying Him;
(2) In making oaths and vows to God, a heart that fears Him and submits to Him is indispensable; with such a heart, one is motivated to incline themselves toward justice and stand firm in their testimony;
(3) Oaths and vows to God are made in service of life entry. One can never exploit God by making false oaths to achieve their own ends;
(4) Having made an oath or vow to God, it is necessary to uphold it and strive to honor it. Not to do so is a dereliction of responsibility; it is a lie designed to exploit and deceive God.
Relevant Words of God:
Since you have already made resolutions to serve Me, I will not let you go. I am a God who hates evil, and I am a God who is jealous of humanity. Since you have already placed your words upon the altar, I will not tolerate your running off before My very eyes, nor will I tolerate your serving two masters. Did you think that you could have a second love after having placed your words upon My altar and before My eyes? How could I allow people to make a fool of Me in such a way? Did you think that you could casually make vows and oaths to Me with your tongue? How could you swear oaths by My throne, the throne of I who am Most High? Did you think that your oaths had already passed away? Let Me tell you: Even though your flesh might pass away, your oaths cannot. In the end, I will condemn you based upon your oaths. However, you believe that you can deal with Me by placing your words before Me, and that your hearts can serve unclean spirits and evil spirits. How could My wrath tolerate those dog-like, pig-like people who cheat Me? I must carry out My administrative decrees, and wrest back from the hands of unclean spirits all of those stuffy, “pious” ones who have faith in Me so that they might “wait on” Me in a disciplined fashion, be My oxen, be My horses, and be at the mercy of My slaughtering. I will have you pick up your previous determination and serve Me once again. I will not tolerate any creation that cheats Me. Did you think that you could just wantonly make requests and lie in front of Me? Did you think that I had not heard or seen your words and deeds? How could your words and deeds not have been in My view? How could I ever allow people to deceive Me like that?
Excerpted from “You Are All So Base in Character!” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Who among you has made resolutions in front of Me and not discarded them afterward? Who has made long-term resolutions before Me instead of frequently setting their minds on things? Always, humans make resolutions before Me in times of ease, and then write them all off in times of adversity; then, later, they pick their resolve back up and set it before Me. Am I so disrespectable that I would casually accept this junk that humanity has picked up from the garbage heap? Few humans hold fast to their resolutions, few are chaste, and few offer things that are most precious to them in sacrifice to Me. Are all of you not the same? If you are unable to keep to your duties as members of My people in the kingdom, then you will be detested and rejected by Me!
Excerpted from “Chapter 14” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There is nothing God despises more than the prayers of religious ceremony. Prayers to God are only accepted when they are sincere. If you have nothing sincere to say, then keep quiet; do not always speak false words and blindly make oaths before God, trying to deceive Him, talking about how much you love Him, about how much you wish to be loyal to Him. If you are incapable of achieving your desires, if you lack this resolve and stature, do not, under any circumstances, pray thus before God. That is ridicule. Ridicule means making fun of someone, trifling with them. When people pray before God with this kind of disposition, then at the very least, this is deception. At worst, if you do this often, then you are of utterly contemptible character. If God were to condemn you, it would be called blasphemy! People have no reverence toward God, they do not know how to revere God, or how to love and satisfy Him. If the truth is not clear to them, or their disposition is corrupt, God will let it slide. But they bring such character before God, and treat God as the unbelievers treat other people. Moreover, they solemnly kneel before Him in prayer, using these words to try and wheedle God, and when they are finished, they not only feel no self-reproach, but also have no sense of the seriousness of their actions. That being the case, is God with them? Can someone who is utterly without the presence of God be enlightened and illuminated? Can they be enlightened with the truth? (No, they can’t.) Then they are in trouble.
Excerpted from “Only When You Know Yourself Can You Pursue the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
You must lay your heart before God at all times, when you pray, when you speak and fellowship with your brothers and sisters, and when you perform your duty and go about your business. When you fulfill your function, God is with you, and so long as your intent is correct and is for the work of God’s house, He will accept all that you do; you should sincerely devote yourself to fulfilling your function. When you pray, if you have love for God in your heart and seek God’s care, protection and scrutiny, if these things are your intent, your prayers will be effective. For example, when you pray at meetings, if you open your heart and pray to God and tell Him what is in your heart without speaking falsehoods, then your prayers will surely be effective. If you earnestly love God in your heart, then make an oath to God: “God, who is in the heavens and on earth and among all things, I swear to You: May Your Spirit examine all that I do and protect and care for me at all times, and make it possible for all that I do to stand in Your presence. Should my heart ever cease to love You or should it ever betray You, then chastise and curse me severely. Do not pardon me in either this world or the next!” Do you dare make such an oath? If you do not, this shows you are timid, and that you still love yourself. Do you have this resolve? If this is truly your resolve, you should make this oath. If you have the resolve to make such an oath, then God will fulfill your resolve. When you swear an oath to God, He listens. God determines whether you are sinful or righteous by the measure of your prayer and your practice. This now is the process of perfecting you, and if you truly have faith in being perfected, then you will bring all that you do before God and accept His scrutiny; if you do something outrageously rebellious or if you betray God, then He will bring your oath to fruition, and thus no matter what happens to you, be it perdition or chastisement, this is your own doing. You made the oath, so you should abide by it. If you make an oath, but do not abide by it, you will suffer perdition. Since yours was the oath, God will bring your oath to fruition. Some are afraid after they pray, and lament, “All is over! My chance of debauchery is gone; my chance to do wicked things is gone; my chance to indulge my worldly cravings is gone!” These people still love worldliness and sin, and they are certain to suffer perdition.
Excerpted from “God Perfects Those Who Are After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Say someone writes an oath promising to take good care of the offerings made to God: What would someone with sense and humanity write? With what sort of tone and wording should they write, in order to stand in their proper station and express their attitude? This no simple matter—people of discernment can tell. Look at people who are abnormal: Satan, antichrists, go-getters—they have a certain tone in their speech. The first thing John Doe says, for example, is, “If I, John Doe, were to covet one penny of the offerings made to God, may I be cursed to a terrible death—hit by a car when I step out the door….” What kind of tone is this? It begins with the word “I.” It is most immoderate; the impetus behind their tone and their style is evident in the text. Is this not an immoderate oath? What is an oath like this? (It is a slogan.) This is what is known as being false, as being a hypocrite. Such an arrogant oath—what is there to be arrogant about? You are making an oath to God; a normal person would be restrained, standing in their proper station and speaking their inmost words to God. They would not be pompous and haughty. What is the disposition of people who are so arrogant even when they make an oath? And is their oath true or false? That is hard to say. What they mean is, “Do you not believe me? Are you afraid I’m trying to take advantage of the house of God, afraid that I’ll steal the offerings made to God? You use me but don’t trust me, and even make me swear an oath. Well, I’ll swear an oath—watch me!” What attitude is this? This is what it means to be arrogant, to be unscrupulous; they dare to bluster at God and use an oath to disguise their evil intent. Is this revering God? There is not the least piety in this. Such people are Satan and antichrists; antichrists say such things. What disposition is it that blusters so when swearing an oath? Can such people be saved? Have you ever encountered such people? You cannot discern the behaviors, outpourings, or dispositions of such people, can you? Some of you think these people are clearheaded and honest, that they understand spiritual things and are faithful to God. Is this not a lack of discernment? When you find no fault in such vile behavior and disposition as are evident in the literal meaning and in the wording of their oath, does this not mean you understand too little of the truth? It seems all you understand is doctrine. The more detailed and practical something is, the less you can discern it for what it is; the more doctrinal something is, the better you are at expressing it, intoning your fill of empty slogans. Have you ever written such an oath? (Yes.) In essence, there is no difference. Swearing an oath is not like rushing into battle, ready to die a hero’s death; oaths do not require this sort of fighting spirit. Think carefully when you make an oath to God: You must understand why you are writing it, to whom you are swearing and making this guarantee. God wants a certain attitude from people, not a fighting spirit. Your fighting spirit is arrogance and bluster; it is a manifestation of the arrogant, satanic disposition. It is not piety, and is not what ought to be manifested by a created being, much less does it reflect the status of a created being.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (2)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
In this stage of God’s work, during the last days, He allows people to swear oaths. This is a matter of extreme significance. Some people cannot fathom this; they have just memorized a certain line from the Bible that says swearing oaths is forbidden—so how, they wonder, are people now suddenly allowed to do that? It is quite normal for people to think this way. Because they have no experience with God’s work, despite having been reading the Bible for a few years, they of course cannot comprehend that work. The Bible’s instruction not to swear oaths refers to not swearing false oaths, because God hates such oaths; swearing oaths before Him today, though, is based in God’s righteousness and is an expression of our resolve. It is also a motivation for us to incline toward justice. This kind of oath is meaningful, and can have a positive effect on our practice of the truth to meet with God’s satisfaction, and it is completely in line with His will. Humans have corrupt dispositions and are liable to be constrained by the flesh and fall behind into negativity. However, they are also afraid of being punished and suffering misfortune; this is their Achilles’ heel. Therefore, the effects of swearing oaths in one’s practice are especially good; after swearing an oath, one does not dare be neglectful or negative anymore. Instead, people can do their utmost to seek progress to satisfy God. They are scared of doing anything that is not in line with God’s will and that would bring down His punishment according to their oaths; as such, swearing oaths becomes the biggest impetus behind a person’s practice of the truth, entry into truth reality, and dispositional transformation. Therefore, you cannot generalize about swearing oaths. Also, the oaths people make can be divided into positive ones and negative ones. Positive oaths are positive things, and can have an enhancing effect on a person’s pursuit of the truth and attaining God’s satisfaction—so what do you have to lose? If people have notions about this kind of oath-swearing, it shows that they are not very receptive at all. Truly not being afraid of swearing oaths shows that a person has great resolve, has faith, is determined, and can satisfy God. All those who are too afraid to swear oaths are lazy and craven, and have no love for the truth and do not genuinely love God; they are fraidy-cats. Such people will accomplish nothing and have no prospects. Only those who actually dare to swear oaths to fulfill their duties properly and complete God’s commissions, and to follow His will, to satisfy Him, and to love Him are people who have resolve and are pursuing the truth. This is a recreation of the style of Peter; if these humans also have a spirit of perseverance, they are bound to succeed.
Excerpted from The Fellowship from the Above