3. How one should put God’s words into practice in order to enter truth reality
Relevant Words of God:
God does not require of people the mere ability to talk about reality; that would be too easy, would it not? Why, then, does God speak of entry into life? Why does He talk about transformation? If people are capable only of empty talk about reality, then can they achieve a transformation in their disposition? The good soldiers of the kingdom are not trained to be a group of people who can only talk about reality or boast; rather, they are trained to live out God’s words at all times, to remain unyielding no matter what setbacks they face, and to live constantly in accordance with God’s words and not to return to the world. This is the reality of which God speaks; this is God’s requirement of man. Thus, do not regard the reality spoken of by God as being overly simple. Mere enlightenment from the Holy Spirit does not equal the possession of reality. Such is not the stature of man—it is the grace of God, to which man contributes nothing. Each person must endure Peter’s sufferings, and, even more, possess Peter’s glory, which they live out after they have gained the work of God. Only this can be called reality. Do not think that you possess reality just because you can talk about it; that is a fallacy. Such thoughts do not accord with God’s will and have no actual significance. Do not say such things in the future—extinguish such sayings! All those with a false understanding of God’s words are unbelievers. They do not have any real knowledge, much less any real stature; they are ignorant people who lack reality. In other words, all those who live outside of the essence of God’s words are unbelievers. Those deemed unbelievers by people are beasts in the eyes of God, and those deemed unbelievers by God are people who do not have God’s words as their life. It can therefore be said that those who do not possess the reality of God’s words and who fail to live His words out are unbelievers. God’s intention is to cause everyone to live out the reality of His words—not merely to have everyone talk about reality, but, more than that, to enable everyone to live out the reality of His words.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Possessing Reality
What is the most important thing in practicing the truth? Is it not that you must first grasp the principles? What are the principles? The principles are the practical side of the truth. When you read a sentence of God’s words, you think it is the truth, but you do not grasp the principles within it; you feel the sentence is correct, but you do not know in what way it is practical, or what state it is meant to address. You cannot grasp its principles or its path of practice. To you, this truth you perceive is merely doctrine. However, once you grasp the truth reality of that sentence, as well as what God’s requirements are—if you truly understand these things, and are able to pay the price and put them into practice—then you will gain that truth. As you gain that truth, little by little, your corrupt disposition is resolved, and that truth is worked into you. When you are able to put the reality of the truth into practice, and when your performance of your duty, your every action, and your conduct as a person are based in the principles of practice of this truth, are you not then changed? Above all, you have become someone who is in possession of truth reality. Is someone who is in possession of truth reality not the same as someone who acts with principles? And is someone who acts with principles not the same as someone who is in possession of the truth? Is someone who is in possession of the truth not also able to conform to God’s will? That is how these things relate.
Whichever aspect of the truth reality you have heard, if you hold yourself up against it, implement these words in your own life, and incorporate them into your own practice, then you will definitely gain something, and you are bound to change. If you simply stuff these words into your belly and memorize them in your brain, then you will never change. Whilst listening to the sermons, you should ponder thusly: “What sort of state are these words referring to? What aspect of essence are they referring to? In what matters should I apply this aspect of the truth? Whenever I do something related to this aspect of the truth, am I practicing in accordance with it? And when I’m putting it into practice, is my state in keeping with these words? If not, then should I seek, fellowship, or wait?” Do you practice in this manner in your lives? If you do not, then your life is without God and without the truth. You live according to letters and doctrines or according to your own interests, confidence, and enthusiasm. Those who do not possess the truth as reality are those who have no reality, and people who do not have God’s words as their reality are people who have not entered His words. Do you understand what I am saying? It is best if you are, but regardless of what your understanding of them is, and of how much you have comprehended of what you have heard, the crucial thing is that you are able to introduce what you have grasped into your life and put it into practice. Only then will your stature be able to grow, and only then will changes occur in your disposition.
—“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Entering into the truth reality is not a simple matter. The key is to focus on seeking the truth and putting the truth into practice. You have to hold these things in your heart every day. Regardless of what problems you face, do not always protect your own interests; rather, learn to seek the truth and self-reflect. No matter what corruptions are revealed in you, you cannot let them go unchecked; it is best if you can reflect upon and recognize your corrupt essence. If, in everyday situations, your thoughts dwell on how to resolve your corrupt disposition, how to practice the truth, and what the truth principles are, then you are capable of learning how to use the truth to resolve your problems in accordance with God’s words. In doing so, you will gradually enter reality. If your mind is filled with thoughts of how to attain a higher position, or what to do in front of others to get them to admire you, then you are on the wrong path. It means you are doing things for Satan; you are rendering service. If your mind is filled with thoughts of how to change so that you will be more and more like a human, be in line with God’s intentions, be capable of submitting to Him and revering Him, and show restraint and accept His scrutiny in everything you do, then your condition will get better and better. This is what it means to be one who lives before God. As such, there are two paths: One merely emphasizes behavior, fulfilling one’s own ambitions, desires, intents, and plans; this is living before Satan and living under its domain. The other path emphasizes how to satisfy God’s will, enter truth reality, submit to God, and have no misconceptions or disobedience toward Him, so that one reveres God and performs one’s duty well. This is what it means to live before God.
—“Only by Practicing the Truth Can One Possess Normal Humanity” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
People who truly expend themselves for God lay out their entire being before Him; they genuinely submit to all of His utterances, and are able to put His words into practice. They make God’s words the foundation of their existence, and they are able to search earnestly within God’s words to find out which parts to practice. Such are people who truly live before God. If what you do is beneficial for your life, and through the eating and drinking of His words you can meet your inner needs and inadequacies so that your life disposition is transformed, then this will satisfy God’s will. If you act in accordance with God’s requirements, and if you do not satisfy the flesh but instead satisfy His will, then in this you will have entered the reality of His words. When talking about entering the reality of God’s words more realistically, it means you can perform your duty and meet God’s requirements. Only these sorts of practical actions can be called entering the reality of His words. If you are able to enter this reality, then you will possess the truth. This is the beginning of entering reality; you must first undertake this training, and only then will you be able to enter even deeper realities.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality
Since people began to believe in God, they have harbored many incorrect intentions. When you are not putting the truth into practice, you feel that all your intentions are correct, but when something happens to you, you will see that there are many incorrect intentions within you. Thus, when God makes people perfect, He causes them to realize that there are many notions within them that are obstructing their knowledge of God. When you recognize that your intentions are wrong, if you are able to stop practicing according to your notions and intentions, and are able to bear testimony to God, and stand firm in your position in all that happens to you, this proves that you have rebelled against the flesh. When you rebel against the flesh, there will inevitably be a battle within you. Satan will try and make people follow it, will try and make them follow the notions of the flesh and uphold the interests of the flesh—but God’s words will enlighten and illuminate people within, and at this time it is up to you whether you follow God or follow Satan. God asks people to put the truth into practice primarily to deal with the things inside them, to deal with their thoughts and notions that are not after God’s heart. The Holy Spirit touches people in their hearts and enlightens and illuminates them. So behind everything that happens is a battle: Every time people put the truth into practice, or put the love of God into practice, there is a great battle, and though all may seem well with their flesh, in the depths of their hearts a life-and-death battle will, in fact, be going on—and only after this intense battle, after a tremendous amount of reflection, can victory or defeat be decided. One does not know whether to laugh or cry. Because many of the intentions within people are wrong, or else because much of God’s work is at odds with their notions, when people put the truth into practice, a great battle is waged behind the scenes. Having put this truth into practice, behind the scenes, people will have shed countless tears of sadness before finally making up their mind to satisfy God. It is because of this battle that people endure suffering and refinement; this is true suffering. When the battle comes upon you, if you are able to truly stand on the side of God, you will be able to satisfy God. While practicing the truth, it is inevitable that one will suffer inside; if, when they put the truth into practice, everything within people were right, then they would not need to be made perfect by God, and there would be no battle, and they would not suffer. It is because there are many things within people that are not fit for use by God, and because there is much of the rebellious disposition of the flesh, that people need to learn the lesson of rebelling against the flesh more profoundly. This is what God calls the suffering that He asked man to undergo with Him. When you encounter difficulties, hurry up and pray to God: “O God! I wish to satisfy You, I wish to endure the final hardship to satisfy Your heart, and regardless of how great the setbacks I encounter, still I must satisfy You. Even if I have to give up my whole life, still I must satisfy You!” With this resolve, when you pray thus, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony. Each time they put the truth into practice, each time they undergo refinement, each time they are tried, and each time God’s work comes upon them, people have to endure extreme pain. All of this is a test for people, and so within all of them there is a battle. This is the actual price that they pay. Reading more of God’s words and running about more is a portion of that price. It is what people ought to do, it is their duty, and the responsibility that they should fulfill, but people must put aside that within them which needs to be put aside. If you do not, then no matter how great your external suffering, no matter how much you run around, all will be in vain! Which is to say, only the changes within you can determine whether your external hardship is of value. When your internal disposition has changed and you have put the truth into practice, then all your external suffering will gain God’s approval; if there has been no change in your internal disposition, then no matter how much suffering you endure or how much you run about on the outside, there will be no approval from God—and hardship that is not confirmed by God is in vain. Thus, whether the price you have paid is approved by God is determined by whether or not there has been a change in you, and by whether or not you put the truth into practice and rebel against your own intentions and notions to attain the satisfaction of God’s will, the knowledge of God, and loyalty to God. No matter how much you run about, if you have never known to rebel against your own intentions, but only to seek external actions and fervency, and never pay any attention to your life, then your hardship will have been in vain. If, in a certain environment, you have something you want to say, but inside you feel that saying it is not right, that saying it does not benefit your brothers and sisters and may hurt them, then you will not say it, preferring to be pained within, for these words are incapable of meeting God’s will. At this time, there will be a battle inside you, but you will be willing to suffer pain and give up that which you love. You will be willing to endure this hardship to satisfy God, and although you will suffer pain inside, you will not pander to the flesh, and God’s heart shall have been satisfied, and so you will also be comforted inside. This is truly paying a price, and is the price desired by God. If you practice in this way, God will surely bless you; if you cannot achieve this, then no matter how much you understand, or how well you can speak, it will all be for nothing! If, on the road to loving God, you are able to stand on the side of God when He does battle with Satan, and you do not turn back to Satan, then you will have achieved the love of God, and you will have stood firm in your testimony.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God
In summary, taking Peter’s path in one’s faith means to walk the path of pursuing the truth, which is also the path of truly getting to know oneself and changing one’s disposition. Only by walking the path of Peter will one be on the path of being perfected by God. One must be clear on how, exactly, to walk Peter’s path, as well as how to put it into practice. First, one must put aside one’s own intentions, improper pursuits, and even family and all things of one’s own flesh. One must be wholeheartedly devoted; that is, one must completely devote oneself to the word of God, focus on eating and drinking of God’s words, concentrate on the search for the truth and the search for God’s intentions in His words, and try to grasp God’s will in everything. This is the most fundamental and vital method of practice. This was what Peter did after seeing Jesus, and it is only by practicing in this way that one can achieve the best results. Wholehearted devotion to the words of God primarily involves seeking the truth, seeking God’s intentions within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from God’s words. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines, much less was he focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he concentrated on comprehending the truth and grasping God’s will, as well as achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. Peter also attempted to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, as well as man’s corrupt nature and actual shortcoming, thus meeting all aspects of God’s requirements of man in order to satisfy Him. Peter had so many correct practices that abided by the words of God; this was most in line with God’s will, and it was the best way a person could cooperate while experiencing God’s work. When experiencing the hundreds of trials from God, Peter examined himself strictly against every word of God’s judgment of man, every word of God’s revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and strived to fathom the meaning of those words. He tried in earnest to ponder and memorize every word that Jesus said to him, and achieved very good results. Through this manner of practicing, he was able to achieve an understanding of himself from God’s words, and he not only came to understand the various corrupt states of man, but also came to understand man’s essence, nature, and various shortcomings. This is what it means to truly understand oneself. From God’s words, Peter not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but from the things expressed in God’s words—God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, God’s will for His work, His demands of mankind—from these words he came to know God completely. He came to know God’s disposition, and His essence; he came to know and understand what God has and is, as well as God’s loveliness and God’s demands for man. Although God did not speak back then as much as He does today, results in these aspects were nevertheless achieved in Peter. This was a rare and precious thing. Peter went through hundreds of trials, but did not suffer in vain. He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. In addition, he particularly focused on God’s requirements of mankind within His words. In whichever aspects man should satisfy God to be in line with God’s will, Peter was able to put forth great effort in these aspects and achieve full clarity; this was extremely beneficial with regard to his own entry. No matter what God spoke of, as long as those words could become life and are the truth, Peter was able to carve them into his heart to ponder and appreciate them frequently. After hearing the words of Jesus, he was able to take them to heart, which shows that he was especially focused on God’s words, and he truly achieved results in the end. That is, he was able to freely put the words of God into practice, accurately practice the truth and be in line with God’s will, act entirely in accordance with God’s intention, and give up his own personal opinions and imaginations. In this way, Peter entered into the reality of God’s words.
—“How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days