The Seven Principles of Eating and Drinking God’s Words and of Practicing the Truth
The second principle is that to eat and drink God’s words, one must understand the background of God’s words, and God’s will. Only in this way can one easily comprehend the true meaning within God’s words. Here background mainly refers to one greater background. That is, it refers to the situation that all of corrupt mankind is facing: living under the influence of Satan; the extent of mankind’s corruption and the extent of their being controlled by Satan; also, all of the different forms of Satan, and evil spirits, and filthy demons are among humans corrupting them and deceiving them, and humans are still under the control of every kind of satanic force and nature. This is what this background means. It certainly does not mean an individual’s background or personal situation, but means the background for this entire stage of work. What is the background for God coming and doing His work in the last days? God carried out a stage of work in the Age of Grace, where people all confessed their sins, but because people were corrupted so deeply by Satan they did not know at all the true state of corruption of man, or man’s substance of nature. They could only acknowledge the guilt of their sins and which sins they had committed, and could not at all acknowledge the substance of nature or the root of their sins. Thus, God has to do the work of judgment and chastisement in the last days, and against this background God begins to express words judging and chastising corrupt mankind. Is this not the background of God’s words? What of God’s will? Regardless of what method He uses to speak, whether it is judgment and chastisement, or direct exposure, or trials, refinements and revelations, God’s will is to save mankind, and to help mankind escape corruption, escape Satan’s dark influence, and truly turn toward God. Therefore as soon as you understand the background of God’s words and His will, it is easy to understand God’s good intentions, and it is easy to obey God’s work. In this way it is simple to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and easy to achieve results. Why do people feel some of God’s words are so stern, to the point of finding them hard to accept? Because man’s stature is so small, he does not know God’s words, and he does not know the substance and truth of mankind’s corruption. Thus, he feels God’s words to be excessive, too severe, a slight exaggeration, and a slight overstatement, and in such way he judges God’s words how he likes. One day when he truly understands the truth, and truly sees clearly the corrupt substance of mankind, he will feel that God’s words are not exaggerated in the slightest, that all of God’s words are the truth and conform to reality, and that God’s words are appropriate. You see, man’s stature is so small that sometimes it’s beyond his reach; thus, in obeying God’s work, people most easily have misunderstanding, judgment, and complaints about God. Is this not so? In order to avoid or to solve this problem, so that people do not misunderstand God, do not have conflict, and can obey, is it not necessary to first understand the background of God’s words, and understand His will? Now we have all seen the extent of the darkness of society, and we have also seen the extent of man’s corruption. What does the degree of corruption refer to? People no longer have the likeness of people. When I say they don’t have a person’s likeness, some people will say, “I’m very kindhearted, and I do many good deeds, so how is it I don’t have a person’s likeness?” Don’t all people think in this way? A person’s heart has some good thoughts, good aspirations, good ideas, and good imaginings; does this represent the reality he lives out? It does not represent that he has humanity. When a person says that he can live out normal humanity, that is just an idea, just a desire. God’s words say that people are corrupt to the point of almost having no human likeness; are these words reality or not? Can you completely accept this at present? When you have not the slightest doubt about all that God says, when you acknowledge them 100%, when you absolutely believe that God’s words are real, and are the truth and reality, this proves that you have a lot of experiences, and you can see clearly people’s extent of corruption, their true state of corruption, and their substance of nature. So, corrupt mankind does not have the likeness of man, and all that is left in them are good imaginings, wishes, and thoughts of kindheartedness; none of that which man lives out has the slightest bit of the reality of humanity. To be corrupt to this extent; is this not deeply corrupted? The corruption is so deep; those wanting to be honest people cannot do it, and those wanting to obey God cannot do it. A person has to pursue the truth for many years, and only after many years of experience can they have some likeness of an honest person. If they wish to be obedient to God, they must experience many years; ten years or eight years might be enough for them to put some truths into practice, and for them to obey God and satisfy Him in some matters. However, they are still unable to obey God unto death; they cannot truly love God. Does this not illustrate that people are too corrupted? It illustrates that completely. Starting from belief in God, how many years does man have to pursue to enter the reality of the truth, and how many years does he need to be watered? How many years of the work of the Holy Spirit must he have? Even those people of good quality who pursue the truth must take ten years or eight years; those of poor quality must possibly take twenty or thirty years; at this point, can that be considered deeply corrupt? Is knowing it as such correct? Some people say, “God’s words say that man is so corrupt, so why can’t I see it? Am I not a good person? If you do not believe, then you ask me to do good deeds, I can do it. If you ask me to take money from my own pocket and give to the poor, I can do it. If you ask me to expend for God, I can dedicate myself. If you ask me to cast aside family, home and career, I can cast them aside. Is a person like me still deeply corrupt?” Are these words tenable? Can you do it when you are asked to practice the truth, to obey God, and to be an honest person? You can cast things aside on impulse. When you see that this is the road to being blessed, that God’s work is truly to save people, and that casting aside can really make you attain the truth and attain salvation, then to be blessed you cast things aside. Casting things aside is easy, and doing some good deeds is also easy; one with some humanity can do it. However, for people to practice the truth and to practice obeying God is certainly not easy. For people to live out the reality of God’s words is even less easy. Some people say, “Is obeying God really that hard? If God has a requirement for me right now, then I’ll do it straight away.” Does doing this count as obeying God? Obeying God is not doing some external deeds for God, but rather it is putting the truth into practice and becoming a person that obeys God, and it requires you to have your life disposition changed. This is not easy. … Some people today have the work of the Holy Spirit and practice the truth, and fulfill their duties very well, but tomorrow when they encounter a dissatisfactory environment, they become negative and handle things perfunctorily. Do you think that this is a person who practices the truth? Thus, there are some who practice the truth against a certain background: When they are happy, in a good mood, when they have the work of the Holy Spirit, when they have communion with good people, they can make it. After they do it, they think they are practicing the truth, but tomorrow they meet a different environment and they fail, they become passive, they complain, and they have regret. Do you think that this is man’s true state? People who are corrupted by Satan are capricious in this way in their deeds. When their mood is good they are one way, and when their mood is bad they are another. Today when they are happy they can do it, and tomorrow when they are not happy, they can’t do it. Tomorrow the leadership is good and they can do it, and the day after tomorrow the leadership is not good and they can’t do it. In the end there will come a day when their faith in God fails, and they will regret the price that they have paid and the suffering they have undergone. They will blame God, and betray God, and they will do anything; is this normal humanity? Is this kind of person not deeply corrupted? Can this kind of person easily be saved? Some people can blame God and cease to have faith in God over the smallest matter; do you believe it? Some people might believe in God for one year, and one day when they go out to meetings, to work and fulfill their duties, all of the money in their home is stolen by thieves. When they come home what do they say? “I’ve believed in God and expended for God, why didn’t He protect me? God is not faithful, I don’t believe in Him anymore.” God is putting you to trial, and this matter has exposed you; you do not have true faith in God. Could it be that God cannot keep your house well? Thus, all matters occur with God’s permission. Those few satanic demons say, “This guy has money, he believes in God and he’s not at home right now, so let’s take advantage of this opportunity and steal the money from his house, nobody will find out.” Does God know about this or not? God knows, but what does He think? This person should receive some trials, so He allows Satan to do this without stopping it. After this trial comes to you, what happens? You are passive and weak. And afterward the words of God will come to you, “Can it be that you only believe in God to protect your property? Do you have such little faith in God? I give you a trial and you no longer believe in My almightiness?” If you have faith in God, and think, “Ah! God is trying me, to see whether or not I have true faith in Him; I must still have faith,” then things will be alright. If you experience things step-by-step like this, in the end you will grow up in life. You will have true faith in God, in the end you will have a heart that loves and obeys God, will worship God, and will become a person who worships God. This is God’s work of saving people. God’s work is to bring people, step-by-step like this, before God; to make the truth and God’s words the reality of people’s lives. Would you say that this work of God is easy? During this process of the salvation of man, from beginning to believe in God up until having changes in one’s life disposition, a person must experience many times losing heart, failure, complaining, blaming God, and even betraying God; in the end, God never leaves them. The Holy Spirit still finds the opportunities to work, to guide them, to enlighten and lead them, and to arrange for all kinds of people and things to do service for them. In the end this person is truly brought before God, and they understand the truth and attain life. How much painstaking energy and cost does God expend on one person? The Holy Spirit arranges so many different people and things in order for them to attain salvation and live out the likeness of a real man; is this not God’s devotion and efforts? Is this not a painstaking price of God? God arranges for so many people and things to do service in order to save one person. The Holy Spirit has guided you for so many years and has never left you, guiding you in the light and aiding you in the darkness, relieving you of worries and helping to solve your problems, and carefully arranging all kinds of Satan’s temptations. Is this not God’s painstaking price? So how can some people not see? Their spiritual eyes are not open. You have a detailed understanding of your parents’ nurture, which started from the day that you were born until you grew to adulthood, and yet you have a very simple view of God’s work; this is not fair to God. How many arrangements, how much guiding, and how much enlightenment and illumination would you say God does through the Holy Spirit in order to save one person? How many environments are arranged? How many years of work does it take before a person can be brought before God to know God and be obtained by God? Here how much of God’s toiling and careful thought can people understand? Can the fact that saving one person is so hard not prove mankind is so deeply corrupted by Satan? Can it not explain that it is not easy for God to save people? You only think about how it was not easy for your parents to raise you to adulthood, but is it easy for God to save you so that you become a person with true humanity? Is it easy for God to say so many words? And is it easy to arrange for so many leaders and workers to communicate the truth and supply life? Is it easy to arrange for so many service-doers to do service in order for you to grow up in life? So, God’s work project of saving people is too big; in this way you have true knowledge of God’s words. Every word that God speaks has a background, has God’s will, has God’s requirements, and has God’s painstaking and meticulous care within it. None of this is simple, they are not simple words, because people are so difficult to manage, so there are many things included here. When you are eating and drinking God’s words, if you really think of God’s will, the background of God’s words, and what God’s requirements are of man, you will very easily understand God’s words. Your heart is right, so the Holy Spirit will enlighten and illuminate you; is this the case? It is like when an adult takes a child to school, and on the way they say: “Child, at school you must study culture and knowledge well, and after you grow up you will have a good job and a good future.” On the surface, aren’t these words very simple? What is contained here? Is it not the expectation of the parents? Is there not here the painstaking price of the parents? What do some parents say? “As long as my child is willing to study, I would pay an arm and a leg, so that they can go to university.” What is contained here? Here is contained the meticulous care of the parents. So, you say, what do those words that God says to save people contain? They even more so contain God’s painstaking price. Parents pay a painstaking price for their sons and daughters; they will do anything for their children’s futures, without complaint or regret. Is this not a parent’s love for their children? And can creations understand the Creator’s love for them? That is thousands of times greater than the love of parents. Parents see only what is before their eyes and are corrupt people; they only make you read books, they do not know that as you read more you will be corrupted by Satan to a point. They do not care or understand what the outcome is for you, they don’t know what path it is. But God saves us from the darkness and brings us into the light. He saves us from being completely corrupted and having no human likeness and becoming like filthy demons, and allows us to become a true person, a person with the truth and with humanity. Are you clear here on how God spends so much painstaking price for us? How much can we see? How much is actually there? If you understand all of this, when eating and drinking God’s words, you will have a pure understanding of God’s words. Do not take God’s words as the most common words that you read casually. Behind God’s words are many things that you need to understand: What is God’s will? Why does God speak these words? What is the big background? Where is God’s will? In speaking these words, what result does God wish to achieve? What is His goal? Should these things not be considered? Should we not try to figure them out? Do not finish reading one word and say, “I understand, I’m so cultured, I can read ten lines at a glance and understand as soon as I look.” You are reading God’s words too simplistically. I have been reading them for so many years and still don’t completely understand them; you can read ten lines at a glance and totally understand? All of what I understand is just a drop in the ocean, not even worth mentioning.
The third principle is that you must know your own true state of corruption and substance of nature in God’s words, and see your own shortcomings and the extent of your wretchedness. Of course, I mean that you must do so when you eat and drink some of God’s words, especially God’s words of judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, and revealing people. There are some words that bear testimony to what God has and is, yet you cannot practice in this way. Some are words of comfort, some are words of vision, some are words that bear testimony to the purpose of God’s work; you needn’t follow this principle. However, there are also some words that bear testimony to God’s disposition. Although there is no judgment and chastisement here, when compared with God’s disposition, people find themselves poor and pitiable, with nothing. When people’s lives are compared with God’s life and God’s disposition, people are not even people anymore; they are animals, and they are worthless. At this time, they also see their poverty, wretchedness, and shortcomings.
The fourth principle is that when eating and drinking God’s words, you must pay attention to understanding God’s requirements of people, namely what God’s will is, how people should put it into practice, and what people should possess. Regardless of whether they are words of judgment and chastisement, or words that witness the work of God, always contained within them are God’s requirements of people, that is, the will of God. Without God’s requirements or God’s will, would God still then have a need to speak these words to mankind? Thus, all words that God speaks to mankind contain within them God’s requirements. Some people say: “God bears testimony to the purpose of God’s three-stage work, and bears testimony to God’s management plan; what does this have to do with me?” Here are the requirements of people; they are required to know God’s three-stage work. Why are people required to know the three-stage work? God’s disposition, all that God has, and what He is cannot be expressed completely in a single stage of work; three steps must be taken. Thus, this is God’s requirement of people, so that you know what the purpose of God’s work is. In this way, you will know God’s disposition; one aspect is mercy and love, and another aspect is righteousness, majesty, wrath, and judgment. Most important is to make you see that all God displays for mankind, which He has created, is love and salvation. You are required to know God, know God’s disposition, and know God’s love; is this not God’s will? Within God’s words are God’s requirements of people, that is, God’s will. Being that God’s requirements and God’s will are contained within His words, are not the issues of how people should practice them, and what people should possess, perfectly obvious? This is naturally the case. What should you possess? How should you practice? What should you know? What should you obtain? If, when reading God’s words, you do not have this sense, this basic quality, then you have no way of understanding God’s words. You must be aware that God’s words contain His requirements of people; He does not say words that contain no requirements, and He does not speak of things or say words that are not meaningful. God is not like people in the way that they talk without thinking, talk irresponsibly, talk uselessly, talk pointlessly and go in circles, and talk nonsense; all that God says is meaningful. Why are God’s words mainly in this one book? Because people’s energy is so limited, He cannot say too much. Everything He says has a use, and is the most refined speech. If God’s words were as detailed as the sermons communicated by people, then those words would become a very thick book, and would people have the time to read it? So God just says some things briefly, and doesn’t need to expound very clearly about them; it is enough that you can intuitively grasp them, and understand them in spirit, that you have awareness of them in spirit, and are able to clearly ponder what they are. Thus, for God’s words you need the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. You need the Holy Spirit to enlighten you, and you will be straightened out.
The fifth principle is that when eating and drinking God’s words, you must know God’s disposition and what God has and is, which is represented by God’s words; namely, you should have some knowledge of God. Since God’s words represent God’s disposition, what God has and is, what result should you achieve through eating and drinking God’s words? From God’s words you should come to know God’s disposition, and know all that God has and all that He is. The words of people carry no weight. Satan’s words are all lies, falsities and the words that corrupt people, and the words of mankind after being corrupted by Satan are mixed with falsehoods and lies. Moreover, mankind is without the truth. Their words that do not conform to reality are so many, with so much adulteration, and so much error; is this not the case? But, all of God’s words are the truth; can you have any doubt? If you doubt, then you are a deceitful person. If you don’t accept God’s words, or if you doubt that God’s words are the truth, then you are Satan. If you can even doubt the Creator, should the entire universe still exist? God created the entire universe, God’s almightiness and wisdom is great beyond people’s ability to measure. God’s words are the truth, and only the Creator possesses the truth. He can create. Tell me, how great is His wisdom, and how mighty His ability? This is immeasurable. Tell me, can water stay up in the air without falling down? If an iron ball stays in the air without falling, what does that mean? Scientists carried out experiments and two iron balls hit the ground at the same time, what does that mean? Is that the truth? This occurs as such on earth, but on other planets this is not the case. Do you know how heavy the entire earth is? It is floating in the universe, while water does not flow downward, nor disperse. The earth is three parts mountains, six parts water, and one part fields; how does it all stay together, and not drop downward? Do scientists have the truth? They cannot solve this mystery, yet the reality exists. At present some people on earth have discovered a marvelous thing; water flows upward; can it be? So, there are also some marvels that violate earth’s laws. Just like how astronauts float in space, how do they not fall? In an empty space their hand must always hold things, and if they don’t then they float away; what is happening here? How is it that there they weigh nothing? People have weight on earth, one hundred and something pounds; in space they weigh nothing, less than a feather. You see, which is the truth? Is the Creator the truth? Earth’s laws do not exist in space. Do not think that earth’s laws are the truth, and that to conform to earth’s laws is to conform to the truth; this is wrong! You are too short-sighted. If you go to space and see, travel in a circle and come back, you will be confused; you do not know what the truth is, and what laws are. Is this not the case? So, is God the truth or not? No matter what, you must believe that God is the truth, then you will have reason. If you don’t believe that God is the truth and you keep thinking that you have the truth, and that scientists have the truth, then this is the number-one error, and you have no knowledge. Some people raise the issue of how you understand which aspect of God’s words represents His disposition when eating and drinking God’s words. Do these seven principles not all include the words “eating and drinking God’s words”? The scope of God’s words here is very broad. The “eating and drinking God’s words” mentioned here is limited to eating and drinking a portion of God’s words, meaning to grasp and gain those things within this portion of God’s words, not within all of God’s words. Do you understand? It is just like in the fifth principle: When eating and drinking God’s words, you must know God’s disposition and what God has and is, which is represented by God’s words. The scope of these words of God mainly refers to what? It refers to those words that bear testimony to God’s own work, God’s own disposition, and all that God has and all that He is. It is a portion of God’s words, or more than half of God’s words; it is certainly not all of God’s words. It refers to a portion; understand? … In the fifth principle, when eating and drinking God’s words, you must know God’s disposition, all that God has, and all that He is, which is represented by God’s words. In God’s words, what is most important to pursue? Knowing God is the most important: knowing God’s disposition, knowing all that God has and all that He is. After eating and drinking all of God’s words, you attain true knowledge of God; this is the end goal of eating and drinking God’s words. If, after eating and drinking God’s words for years, you attain true knowledge of God, will you reach salvation? Will your corruption be solved? Will you have changes in life disposition? All will be solved in a single sweep. So, in God’s words, if you truly obtain the truth, and truly gain knowledge of God, then all problems will be solved. In the end, what you will live out will be true life; it will be the likeness of a true man. This absolutely can’t be wrong.
The sixth principle is that when eating and drinking God’s words, you must seek to understand what the truth in His words is, and you must also understand what the significance of the truth is to corrupt mankind. All of God’s words contain the truth, and all of God’s words are the truth. Tell me, which of God’s words is not the truth? All have the truth hidden within. If you really understand this matter, then you have truly achieved results in reading God’s words, and you truly have the ability to comprehend. Especially when you read God’s word after believing in God for a few years, you know straight away that God is the truth, and that the Creator is so almighty, and the first sense that you should possess is to believe that all of God’s words are the truth. You should be first certain of this point, without doubt. If you doubt God’s words, if you always want to scrutinize God’s words, then you are too senseless, and too arrogant and self-righteous. Tell me, what could corrupt mankind have in their brains? Could they have the truth? Could they have a standard for judging the truth? Corrupt mankind are creations; what ability do creations possess? They are nothing. After a few days without food they can’t survive; tell me, what ability do they have? If you are flung into the air and then fall, you immediately die and stop breathing. If you are sleeping at night and an earthquake strikes, you die without knowing; you die without even knowing how you die. If a bacterial disease breaks out and you get an illness beyond cure, you will just die. What ability do you have? Creations are nothing in God’s eyes. People study knowledge for so many years, yet they still don’t come near to touching on the truth; what is that bit of knowledge worth? Tell me, the most knowledgeable scientist with thirty years of learning, can he save his own life? Can he cure his own disease? So, tell me, what on earth is the value of his knowledge? At best he can make a living, and slightly better he can speak clearly and logically so that people can think highly of him, and that’s it. He doesn’t know when he will die or how he will die; what ability do people have? Only God is the truth; God is so almighty, He can create all living things. Tell me, how great is this wisdom alone? All of mankind, even aliens, cannot figure out even one single thing of God’s creation. Corrupt mankind knows how to do magic and perform sleight of hand, yet still does not dare let people come close, for an adept person might see through it and ruin the trick. God creates all living things; even a mosquito created by God cannot be figured out by people. If mankind could figure it out, they could also manufacture a kind of mosquito to specifically eat that kind of mosquito, which would be very good; yet they cannot figure this out. Mankind cannot fathom any kind of life, or anything that lives; is this not the reality? Tell me, have doctors completely figured out the structure of the human body, human life, and blood inside the human body? They do not understand fully any kind of virus or pathogen, otherwise they would be able to cure them straight away. Is this not so? Therefore, when mankind faces some disaster, they are helpless. They can’t figure out a kind of epidemic though they have studied it for many years. Were it not for the wisdom that God gives them, they would not be able to cure that disease. Tell me, is mankind the truth? Does mankind have the truth? Mankind has no truth at all; so what are they so arrogant about? They eat and drink God’s words yet still always scrutinize His words, they have no sense! Can the words of the Creator be wrong? They are absolutely the truth; believing it purely and simply, you will be never wrong. First ascertain that all God’s words are the truth, then read His words, and in this way it will be easier for you to seek and find what the truth is and where the truth is. People come before God and start to scrutinize His words; is this not the ugly face of Satan? So, you tell me, when the Holy Spirit sees such a demonic Satan scrutinizing God’s words, is the Holy Spirit not disgusted? If the Holy Spirit is disgusted with you can He still enlighten you? Can He still do work in such a person? God is disgusted with this kind of person; you just don’t believe that God’s words are the truth, and you still foolishly scrutinize them. The more you scrutinize them, the less God will enlighten and illuminate you, the further from you He becomes, and in the end the more shamed and defeated you are. A religious pastor does not know how to eat or drink God’s words, they just specialize in scrutinizing God’s word; and what results come from his study? The book of theoretical theology he writes through research is all about empty words and tedious doctrines; in fact, it is incompatible with God and His will, and ultimately it disgusts God. The minimum level of reason that one should possess before God is: “God! I am a corrupt man, I don’t know the truth, I don’t have the truth, and within me there is only corruption. Yet, I acknowledge that all of God’s words are the truth, and it’s simply that I’m a person of poor caliber who doesn’t understand.” This is called having sense; this is called speaking sensibly. If you can speak sensible words, and you have reason, then God won’t be disgusted by you anymore. God will say, “What you say is true, good! I will enlighten you, so that you understand.” Is it not quite easy for God to make you understand the truth? He enlightens you a little bit, and you understand; a little bit of a hint, and you understand; a little bit of a reminder, and you understand; as soon as the Holy Spirit works inside of you, you suddenly understand. You don’t even know what is happening, and yet you understand and feel as if you are awakening from a deep dream. This is what you feel like when the Holy Spirit enlightens and illuminates you. I have much experience in this matter—as I talk, I understand something within, I have some insight. With more insight comes more understanding, so I speak more. The Holy Spirit works in this way. So your attitude must be right before God. The correct attitude is to admit that you yourself are stupid and ignorant, that you yourself are nothing. First, acknowledge and believe that God’s words are absolutely the truth, that they are all the truth. Regardless of whether you understand or not, or whether you know them or not, you must first affirm that God’s words are the truth, and then seek the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. In this way, it will be easier to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, you must understand the significance of the truth for corrupt mankind. God’s words reveal this kind of truth; what good is it for corrupt mankind? What is the significance for the later survival of corrupt mankind? What are the results achieved by mankind in obtaining this kind of truth? This is what it means—do you understand?
The seventh principle is that you must understand the principle of practice for entering into the truth, as well as which realities of truth you should enter. In God’s words, regardless of whether it is God’s words directly revealing the truth, or whether it is the truths you seek and find, just finding the truth isn’t the end. How should one practice and enter into this truth? This problem should be solved. To practice and enter into the truth, should you not first find out what the principles of practicing the truth are? How should you determine the principles of practicing the truth? They are determined according to several aspects of the reality of truth, according to how you practice the truth to gain results, and how you can practice the truth without the slightest bit of deviation. In this way, you can determine the principles of practicing the truth. Take practicing being an honest person for example. What are the principles of practice of being an honest person? The first principle is to speak the truth, and absolutely not speak lies. To speak the truth, you must speak absolutely according to reality; if you speak based on this principle, you will be speaking the truth. What does speaking the truth symbolize? Only true speech can conform to facts, and speaking according to facts ensures that you are speaking the truth. This establishes a pattern of speaking the truth; it establishes a foundation, and a framework. In this way, if you speak according to this principle, there is a guarantee that you are speaking the truth; is this not a principle of practice? For instance, the second principle of fulfilling one’s duty is taking satisfying God as the principle, without being perfunctory or deceiving God. Take satisfying God as the principle; who do you satisfy by being perfunctory and slipshod? Doing that satisfies the flesh and meets the desires of the flesh. Now take satisfying God as a principle and a standard, and when you practice this principle you no longer dare to satisfy the flesh. You first deny the flesh and you practice forsaking it, forsaking the flesh in order to satisfy God. In this way, the problem of being perfunctory and slipshod is solved and limited through this principle. Is this not a principle? Take praying to God and asking to be without deceit in heart, for example. First I shall establish a principle for you: Prayer to God must be done according to God’s words; pray within God’s words, have communion with God within God’s words, and seek the truth within God’s words. By praying to God in this way, you won’t have any of those religious practices. What are religious practices? They are saying empty words to God, preaching doctrines and justifying oneself, and on the surface extolling and praising, yet actually not saying a single word of truth. If you commune with God within God’s words and seek and pray to God, in this way religious prayer, speaking falsehoods, and saying words that deceive God will all be solved and limited. Is this not a principle? What effect does this principle have? It makes you avoid making mistakes, avoid taking your own path, and avoid following the flesh. Do you understand these words? After the principle has been established, you will then practice the truth according to the principles of truth; that is the most precise practice of the truth. This way, you practice the truth and enter the reality of truth, and that is the true likeness of man. When you practice the truth in this way, people look at what you do and know straight away that a person does this, and that this person is a real person. What is the reality of this real person? It is the truth; when they practice the truth, people admire them. When this person speaks and acts, they are distinctive and chivalrous, with a gallant and dignified manner and with the likeness of man. From their actions, people see the likeness of man in them, and they see a true person’s image; tell me, is what they practice the truth or not? If they didn’t practice the truth, could they make people admire them like this? Sometimes, after people practice the truth, others see the rage they express toward their enemies, and they say they have a sense of justice, that they are impartial, and they are good. Is this not the likeness of man? Is this not a true person’s image? If you practice the truth, you have the likeness of man. If you don’t practice the truth, then you don’t have the likeness of man. If you do evil, then you are the devil Satan.
Let’s continue fellowshiping on the seven principles of practicing the truth. Some truths have only one principle and that is enough; some truths possess this one and that is right, and some possess that one and that is right. So why do I summarize seven principles? Because the truths are not the same, furthermore the backgrounds and environments in which to practice the truth are not the same, and sometimes the complexity of circumstances is not the same. Thus, there must be seven principles of practice. Now let’s look at the first principle. Because some people don’t necessarily understand the truth perfectly clearly and are in the process of experiencing it, sometimes there is some deviation. What deviation? Sticking to the rules, and relying on one’s own ideas; that is, relying on the ideas that one reaches oneself, relying on one’s own thoughts, and relying on one’s own opinions in one’s actions. By acting this way, it’s easy to make errors. Therefore, this principle has been established: You must understand God’s will in the light of His words. This principle solves the problems of making errors, of sticking to the rules, of human prejudices, and of misunderstandings. You must follow God’s words, not your imagination. For example, you think that what you imagine stems from the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, but you must have God’s words as a basis, as well as establish things on a foundation of understanding God’s will. You mustn’t blindly apply the letters of God’s word into actions! In this way, you will be able to practice the truth without mistakes. Is this not a principle? Now we move on to the second principle. Some people do not apply the truth to their actions; they practice blindly, with the result that they sometimes cause interruptions. Thus, when practicing the truth, you must take the upholding of God’s work as your principle, and do not speak of matters that lead people to misunderstanding; this is beneficial to upholding God’s work. This is the second principle: You must uphold God’s work. If you think that you’ve done something correctly, and that what you’ve said is true and real talk, yet the result is that you disrupt God’s work, that you are not upholding God’s work, and that you are in fact causing destruction and disturbances, is this practicing the truth? This is not practicing the truth, this is disrupting and disturbing God’s work. For example, there is a family who lives an easy, comfortable life, and you go to their house and say: “Today I will be honest with you all, your man has another woman.” The woman would say, “Why do you say this?” And you say, “I’m an honest person! I have to tell the truth, I can’t tell lies.” Just because you are being an honest person, you would break up this family. Is your practice of this principle correct or not? You have violated the principle; you are blindly following the rules and messing things up. You still say that you are an honest person; are you not fooling about? Would an honest person act this way? You are an honest person and yet break up other people’s families. Tell me, should there be principles for being an honest person? An honest person cannot blindly follow the rules; to practice the truth, one must have principles. For example, a new believer might say, “Hey, why won’t you all tell me where you live? Why do you not tell me your real names? You’re all dishonest!” He doesn’t understand, so you say, “Okay, I’ll be an honest person and tell you my name, where I live, my leader’s name, and where he lives.” Is this the principle of being an honest person? Why isn’t it? It is likely to cause trouble, and brings about an adverse environment. If you practice the truth here and are honest, but you bring about that kind of adverse environment, you get others into trouble, this kind of principle of being honest is not correct. It does not protect people, but in fact harms people. If when practicing the truth you follow the rules but do not adhere to principles, does this not easily disrupt and disturb God’s work? Now you understand the importance of understanding the principles of practice. The third principle is that your actions must benefit God’s chosen people. There are some things that aren’t necessarily wrong, but are harmful for God’s chosen people. Say for example, there is a man with a sore stomach, and you give him something cold to eat, which has nutritional value. No matter how nutritious this cold food is, should you give it to him or not? It is not appropriate for him to eat it, so you mustn’t blindly follow rules! After you have made his stomach sick, you still say, “What I gave you to eat was nutritious, it was good for you, I’m doing a good deed! I’m only trying to be compassionate.” It is not wrong to act from compassion, but what you did caused harm to another; so, was there a principle to your compassion? There was no principle, and that’s all there is to it. Some people have small stature and there are some things they cannot endure. Those things that you shouldn’t talk about, you simply mustn’t say. For example, there is a person who is extremely timid, who has just started to believe in God. If you say to him that believing in God is very dangerous, then the moment he hears this he will say, “Then I won’t believe any longer,” and walk out the door. You think that this is being an honest person, and that what you are saying is the truth, but is this not harming people? He is timid, so what on earth are you doing saying these things? Is speaking like this beneficial for God’s chosen people? Using speaking honestly as your excuse will not do; you may only practice if it is beneficial for God’s chosen people. If it has no benefit, then no matter how honest or truthful your speech, it is not OK; is this not so? For example, if a sister takes a fancy to a brother, and really wants to be in a relationship with him, and this brother has a family and a wife, tell me, how should you talk to her? You first hint to her, and let her figure out that he has a family, and a wife and children, and that perhaps she should find someone else. Speaking like this is beneficial. If this brother is unfaithful, and says, “I have no wife, I have no children, I’m not married,” then the sister will believe him, and insist on marrying him. What should you say? “He is deceiving you. He has a wife, his wife is called such and such, his home is in such-and-such a village.” Is speaking like this appropriate? Speaking like this benefits her. Some words are true, but as long as they do not benefit people then it’s best not to say them. Some things aren’t entirely truthful, but to say them has benefit for people; gentiles explain these as “white lies.” Sometimes we have to speak with some wisdom; firstly, this isn’t a lie, and secondly, it is being very wise, and this is the better way. We are certainly not advocating telling white lies, we absolutely don’t accept that. Any white lie is Satan’s deceitfulness and Satan’s excuse; we speak with wisdom. The fourth principle is that of only seeking results according to the environment and background. It’s like spreading the gospel; you communicate the truth with someone in all seriousness, and communicate God’s work, and that person simply doesn’t listen to your communication. Mankind’s corruption runs too deep; he is not interested in the truth. Tell me, should you speak with wisdom to him? Sometimes you have to speak with some wisdom. There are some ways that are not so appropriate, yet are often effective, and there are some ways that look appropriate yet are often ineffective. Have you not had this kind of difficulty? Therefore, sometimes do not follow the rules, but seek results according only to the environment and background of that moment. Is this not a principle? For example, God’s family restricts the use of despicable measures, and yet there are some measures that aren’t despicable, but also aren’t so decent, and have a slightly duplicitous nature. If you use these measures then someone will accept the gospel; if you don’t use these measures, and instead use an upstanding method, then that person won’t accept the gospel. Tell me, what should you do in this situation? If you think they are a good person, then whatever way you can think of to obtain them, as long as it isn’t a crime, or entrapment, or a despicable measure, and as long as it achieves results, you can use it flexibly. No one is investigating this; it is neither right nor wrong. If you don’t obtain anyone, and what you have used is despicable measures and people accuse you, then you will reap what you sow, and that is foolishness. It rests with whether you have brains and wisdom or not. Some matters are flexible, and some are not. If it breaks the law, or risks your life or is dangerous, then you cannot do it. Some matters carry no risk, it is just that they require some trickery, although not a despicable level of trickery. You can have a flexible mastery of these matters and God’s family will not take it too seriously. Thus, some matters do not count as crime, nor do they count as illegal. Seek only results; do you understand? The fifth principle is that of grasping the several aspects of the reality of truth. A truth has several aspects of the reality of truth and they must all be grasped. If you grasp only one or two aspects, then they are just the rules; at the very least you must grasp more than half, for only that is practicing the truth. For example, with regards to the truth of being an honest person, you must grasp four or five aspects of reality. With regards to the truth of obeying God, you must grasp four or five aspects of the principles of practice; only that can be called true practice of the truth, and only that meets the standard of practicing the truth. Is it okay to grasp too little of reality? For example, just speaking the truth and not telling lies when being an honest person—isn’t there still some deviation between this and the reality of the truth? Their heart must also contain no crookedness or deceit, no lying or cheating, yet their eyes are always lying, and their heart always contains deceit. More than half of reality is in the heart; is this not the case? Therefore, you must grasp the several aspects of the reality of truth. You must grasp the main aspects, losing a secondary aspect is okay. If you do not grasp the main aspects, if you only grasp the most minor and simple aspect of practice, and the most superficial reality, and do not grasp the deepest and most core reality, then you are not practicing the truth up to standard. For example, a student wants to study well, and his study must be up to standard in most subjects in six classes. If you are a good student then you must be up to standard in at least five subjects, and if you are only up to standard in one subject and the other subjects are all below standard, then can your grade be regarded as good? Would this count as truly graduating? This is not up to standard. Thus, to possess the reality of truth, it is no great matter if you ignore one secondary aspect of reality, but you must possess and put into practice the main aspects of reality. Only this is enough to meet the standard of practicing the truth. The sixth principle is that there are some truths to practice that you yourself do not grasp clearly—are you ultimately practicing the truth or not? You don’t know whether there is deviation or not. There is such a principle here: to practice in a way that is felt to be suitable by all those who pursue the truth—is this not key? Let others confirm; if several people who understand the truth confirm that this is suitable and accurate, in your heart you will feel confident and know how things are. Sometimes you need to ask others: “Hey, is doing it like this suitable or not?” They say, “It looks suitable to me, but I don’t understand it clearly, I don’t dare to guarantee it 100%,” so you don’t feel confident in your heart. You keep looking for people who have more experience than you to ask. If they say, “It counts as practicing the truth. This reality of truth is mainly this aspect, and you have done it. Even though there is some deviation, that is not the main thing,” in your heart you will feel confident and you will think that the person has explained it clearly. Sometimes you do not fathom things clearly, because the degrees of depth to which you enter truths are all different. Your entry into some truths is a little deeper, and your entry into some truths is a little shallower. Under these circumstances of having no confidence in your heart, you can ask those people who understand the truth to confirm things a little; this is a principle. The seventh principle is the most important one, that your conscience is without accusation. “I am doing this out of my conscience, and I will never regret it.” This is enough. Furthermore, this principle guarantees that you are a person who practices the truth. If your conscience cannot confirm it, if your conscience does not feel right, or feels like you owe something, or is uneasy, then perhaps what you are practicing is not the truth. If your conscience cannot confirm it, then it’s no good. What does it show when your conscience cannot confirm something and there are accusations within? You are contrary to your own convictions, your conscience doesn’t acknowledge that this is righteous and just, and doesn’t acknowledge that this is the truth. Your actions are tainted and are done with a certain purpose in mind. It is like a person who does not willingly fulfill their duty; are they then really fulfilling their duty? Is not their fulfilling duty practicing the truth? If in your heart you think, “I’m afraid I will regret this, I think that my practice is wrong,” then it’s no good. Your conscience is accusatory and not at ease; how is this practicing the truth? Even if you do it correctly, you are not doing it willingly. It is appropriate to say this much of the seven principles of practicing the truth.