158. The Principles of Submitting to God’s Word the Truth
(1) It is necessary to know that all God’s words are the truth and should be accepted, no matter whether they accord with human notions. One must not accept and obey them selectively;
(2) One must put those of God’s word the truth they have understood into practice and experience them. Whether one’s understanding of the truth is shallow or profound, they must come to a lucid comprehension through practice and experience;
(3) It is necessary to submit to the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, as well as their dealing and pruning. Only when one has come to know their own corrupt essence will they repent truly;
(4) It is necessary to submit to the authority of God’s words. One should accept and obey the words of anyone who speaks in accord with God’s word the truth, no matter who that person is. God’s words are the highest authority.
Relevant Words of God:
In every age, while working among humans, God bestows some words upon them and tells them of some truths. These truths serve as the way people should adhere to, the way they should walk in, the way that enables them to fear God and shun evil, and the way that people should put into practice and adhere to in their lives and over the course of their life journeys. It is for these reasons that God expresses these utterances to humanity. These words that come from God should be adhered to by people, and to adhere to them is to receive life. If a person does not adhere to them, does not put them into practice, and does not live out God’s words in their life, then this person is not putting the truth into practice. Furthermore, if people are not putting the truth into practice, then they are not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. People who are incapable of satisfying God cannot receive His praise, and such people have no outcome.
Excerpted from “How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All of mankind has been corrupted by Satan, and man’s nature is to betray God. However, among all the humans who have been corrupted by Satan, there are some who can submit to God’s work and accept the truth; these are the ones who can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of disposition. There are also those who do not focus on seeking the truth. They are satisfied with merely understanding doctrines; they hear good doctrine and keep it, and after understanding it, they can perform their duties—to a point. These people do what they are told and have mediocre humanity. They are willing, to a certain extent, to expend, abandon worldliness, and endure suffering. However, they are not earnest with regard to the truth; they believe it is sufficient that they commit no sin, and are unable ever to understand the essence of the truth. If such people can stand firm in the end, then they can also be spared, but they cannot have their dispositions transformed. If you wish to be purified of corruption and undergo a change in your life disposition, then you must have a love for the truth and the ability to accept the truth. What does it mean to accept the truth? Accepting the truth indicates that no matter what sort of corrupt disposition you have, or which of the great red dragon’s poisons are in your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s words, and submit to these words; you accept them unconditionally, without making any excuses or trying to pick and choose, and you come to know yourself based on what He says. This is what it means to accept God’s words. No matter what He says, no matter how much His utterances might pierce your heart, and no matter what words He uses, you can accept them as long as what He says is the truth, and you can acknowledge them as long as they conform to reality. You can submit to God’s words regardless of how deeply you understand them, and you accept and submit to the light that is revealed by the Holy Spirit and fellowshiped by your brothers and sisters. When such a person has pursued the truth to a certain point, he can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of his disposition. Even if those who do not love the truth may be of decent humanity, when it comes to the truth, they are muddleheaded and do not take it seriously. Though they may be capable of a few good deeds, and can expend of themselves for God, and are capable of renunciation, they cannot achieve a change in disposition.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Whatever you do, you must learn to seek and obey the truth in it. So long as you act in accordance with the truth, you are acting correctly. Even if it was a child who proposed it, or the most inconspicuous young brother or young sister, so long as what they say conforms to the truth, then what you are doing will have a good outcome, and it will conform to God’s will. The handling of a matter depends on your impulse and your principles for handling it. If your principles arise from man’s will; if they arise from human thoughts, notions, or imaginings; or if they arise from human emotions and points of view, then your handling of the matter will be wrong, because its source will be wrong. When your views are based on the principles of the truth, and you handle matters in accordance with the truth principles, then you are sure to handle the matter at hand correctly. Sometimes, other people will be unable to accept your handling of the matter at the moment, and, at such times, they may seem to have their own notions, or their hearts will be ill at ease. After a while, however, you will be proven right. Matters that conform to God’s will look better over time; the outcome of matters that do not conform to God’s will, however—matters that accord with man’s will and are man-made—grow worse over time, and will all be proven so. When you act, do not concern yourself with whose way should or should not guide you, and do not make assumptions. First of all, you should seek and pray, and then feel your way forward, and fellowship with everyone together. What is the purpose of fellowship? It enables one to do things in precise accordance with God’s will, and to act in line with God’s will. This is a somewhat grand way of putting it; let us say it enables one to handle affairs in precise accordance with the truth principles —this is somewhat more practical. If you can achieve this, that will do.
Do not argue when an issue comes to pass. First, relinquish your notions, your imaginings, and your assumptions about it. To do so is to have the rationality one should possess. Say there were something I have never done before, and I know you are familiar with this type of thing; what should I do? I know I am a layman; I should solicit your advice, after which I will have a basic concept of the thing—but, in handling it, I must not solely heed your advice, nor may I handle it solely according to my own imaginings. I must seek how to do it in a way that benefits the work of God’s house, as well as in a way that conforms to God’s will. This is rationality.
Excerpted from “The Path to Resolving a Corrupt Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
People’s pursuit of entry into life is based upon the words of God. Previously, it was said that everything is accomplished because of His words, but no one saw this fact. If you enter into experiencing the current step, all will be clear to you, and you will be building a good foundation for future trials. Whatever God says, focus only on entry into His words. When God says He will begin to chastise people, accept His chastisement. When God asks people to die, accept that trial. If you are always living within His newest utterances, God’s words will perfect you in the end. The more you enter into God’s words, the more quickly you will be perfected. Why, in fellowship after fellowship, do I ask you to know and enter into God’s words? Only when you pursue and experience in God’s words, and enter into the reality of His words, does the Holy Spirit have the opportunity to work in you. Therefore, you are all participants in every method by which God works, and whatever the degree of your suffering, in the end you will all receive a “souvenir.” In order to attain your final perfection, you must enter into all of God’s words. The Holy Spirit’s perfection of people is not unilateral; He requires people’s cooperation, He needs everyone to consciously cooperate with Him. Whatever God says, focus only on entry into His words—this will be more beneficial to your life. Everything is for the sake of achieving a change in your disposition. When you enter into God’s words, your heart will be moved by Him, and you will be capable of knowing everything that God wishes to achieve in this step of His work, and you will have the resolution to achieve it. During the time of chastisement, there were those who believed that this was a method of work, and did not believe in God’s words. As a result, they did not undergo refinement, and emerged from the time of chastisement without gaining or understanding anything. There were some who truly entered into these words without a shred of doubt, who said that the words of God are the infallible truth and that humanity should be chastised. They struggled therein for a period of time, letting go of their future and their destiny, and when they emerged, their dispositions had undergone some change, and they had gained a deeper understanding of God. Those who emerged from chastisement all felt the loveliness of God and realized that this step of work embodied God’s great love descending into them, that it was the conquest and salvation of God’s love. They also said that God’s thoughts are always good, and that everything God does in man comes from love, not hate. Those who did not believe in God’s words, who did not look to His words, did not undergo refinement during the time of chastisement, and as a result, the Holy Spirit was not with them, and they gained nothing. For those who entered the time of chastisement, although they did undergo refinement, the Holy Spirit was working hidden inside them, and their life disposition was changed as a result. Some seemed, to all outward appearances, very positive, filled with good cheer all day, but they did not enter into the state of the refinement of God’s words and so did not change at all, which was the consequence of not believing in God’s words. If you do not believe in God’s words, then the Holy Spirit will not work in you. God appears to all those who believe in His words, and those who believe in and accept His words will be able to gain His love!
Excerpted from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
I appear to you in your lives, but you are always unaware of it. You do not even recognize Me. Nearly half of the words I say are in judgment of you, and they only achieve half of the effect that they should, which is to instill deep fear within you. The remaining half consists of words to teach you about life and how to conduct yourselves. However, it would seem that as far as you are concerned these words do not even exist, or as if you were listening to the words of children, words to which you always give a veiled smile, but never act upon. You have never been concerned about these things; it has always primarily been in the name of curiosity that you have observed My actions, with the result that now you have fallen into darkness and cannot see the light, and so you cry piteously in the dark. What I want is your obedience, your unconditional obedience, and even more, I require that you be completely certain of everything I say. You should not adopt an attitude of neglect and in particular you should not treat the things I say selectively, nor be indifferent toward My words and My work, as is your wont. My work is done in your midst and I have bestowed a great many of My words upon you, but if you treat Me in this way, I can only give away to Gentile families that which you have neither gained nor put into practice. Who among all of the created beings is not held by Me in My hands? Most of those among you are of a “ripe old age,” and you do not have the energy to accept this kind of work that I have. You are like a Hanhao bird,[a] just barely getting by, and you have never treated My words seriously. The young people are extremely vain and overindulgent and pay even less mind to My work. They have no interest in feasting on the delicacies of My banquet; they are like a little bird that has flown out of its cage to venture far away into the distance. How can these kinds of young and old people be useful to Me?
Excerpted from “Words for the Young and the Old” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When receiving the judgment of God’s words, we must not fear suffering, nor should we be afraid of pain, and much less should we fear that God’s words will pierce our hearts. We should read more of His utterances about how He judges and chastises us and exposes our corrupt essences. We must read them and hold ourselves up to them more. Do not compare others to them—we must compare ourselves against them. We are not lacking in any single one of these things; we can all square with them. If you do not believe it, go experience it yourself. After reading God’s words, some people are incapable of applying them to themselves; they think that parts of these words are not about them, but are instead about other people. For example, when God exposes people as sluts and whores, some sisters feel that because they have been unerringly faithful to their husbands, such words must not be in reference to them; some sisters feel that since they are unmarried and have never had sex, such words must not be about them, either. Some brothers feel that these words are only aimed at women, and have nothing to do with them; some people believe that such words of God are too unpleasant-sounding, and refuse to accept them. There are even people who say that in some instances, God’s words are wrong. Is this the right attitude to have toward God’s words? People are incapable of reflecting upon themselves based on God’s words. Here, “sluts” and “whores” refer to people’s corruption of promiscuity. Whether man or woman, married or not married, everyone is possessed of the corruption of promiscuity—so how can it have nothing to do with you? God’s words expose people’s corrupt dispositions; whether male or female, one’s level of corruption is the same. Is this not fact? Prior to doing anything else, we have to realize that we must accept every one of the words spoken by God, whether these utterances are pleasant-sounding or not and whether they give us a bitter feeling or a sweet one. Such is the attitude we should have toward God’s words. What sort of attitude is this? Is it a devout attitude, a patient attitude, or an attitude of embracing suffering? I tell you that it is not any of these. In our faith, we must firmly maintain that God’s words are the truth. Since they are indeed the truth, we should accept them rationally. Whether or not we are able to recognize or admit it, our first attitude toward God’s words should be one of absolute acceptance. Every single line of God’s words pertains to a specific state. That is, none of the lines of His utterances are about external appearances, much less about external rules or a simple form of behavior in people. They are not like that. If you see every line uttered by God as being about a simple kind of human behavior or external appearance, then you have no spiritual understanding and you do not understand what the truth is. God’s words are profound. How are they profound? Everything that God says, everything that He reveals, is about people’s corrupt dispositions, and essential and deep-rooted things within their lives. They are essential things, not external appearances, and particularly not external behaviors. Viewing people from their external appearance, they might all seem to be fine. Why, then, does God say that some people are evil spirits and some are unclean spirits? This is a matter that is not visible to you. Thus, you cannot rely on appearance or what you see from the outside to hold up to God’s words. After being fellowshiped to thusly, have you experienced a change in your attitude toward God’s words? No matter how great or small the change, the next time you read such words, you at least will not try to reason with God. You will not say, “God’s words are really hard to listen to; I’m not going to read this page. I’ll just skip over it! Let me search for something to read about blessings and promises, so as to find some comfort.” You must not pick and choose what you read like that.
Excerpted from “The Importance of Pursuing the Truth and the Path of Pursuing It” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Your many years of behavior before Me have given Me an answer without precedent, and the question to this answer is: “What is man’s attitude before the truth and the true God?” The efforts I have devoted to man prove My essence of love for man, and man’s every action before Me proves his essence of loathing toward the truth and opposition to Me. At all times, I am concerned for all who follow Me, yet at no time are those who follow Me able to receive My words; they are not even able to accept My suggestions. This is what saddens Me most of all. No one has ever been able to understand Me and nor, moreover, has anyone ever been able to accept Me, even though My attitude is sincere, and My words are gentle. Everyone tries to do the work I have entrusted to them according to their own ideas; they do not seek My intentions, let alone do they ask what I require of them. They still claim to serve Me loyally, all while they rebel against Me. Many believe that the truths that are unacceptable to them or that they cannot practice are not truths. In such people, My truths become something that is denied and cast aside. At the same time, people recognize Me as God in word, yet also believe Me an outsider who is not the truth, the way, or the life. No one knows this truth: My words are the forever unchanging truth. I am the supply of life for man and the only guide for mankind. The worth and meaning of My words are not determined by whether they are recognized or accepted by mankind, but by the essence of the words themselves. Even if not a single person on this earth can receive My words, the value of My words and their help to mankind are inestimable to any man. Therefore, when faced with the many people who rebel against, refute, or are utterly contemptuous of My words, My stance is only this: Let time and facts be My witness and show that My words are the truth, the way, and the life. Let them show that all I have said is right, that it is that which man should be furnished with and, moreover, that which man should accept. I will let all who follow Me know this fact: Those who cannot fully accept My words, those who cannot practice My words, those who cannot find a purpose in My words, and those who cannot receive salvation because of My words, are those who have been condemned by My words and, moreover, have lost My salvation, and My rod shall never stray from them.
Excerpted from “You Ought to Consider Your Deeds” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
I am an all-consuming fire and I do not tolerate offense. Because humans were all created by Me, whatever I say and do, they must obey, and they may not rebel. People do not have the right to meddle in My work, and much less are they qualified to analyze what is right or wrong in My work and in My words. I am the Lord of creation, and the created beings should achieve everything that I require with a heart of reverence for Me; they should not try to reason with Me, and they especially should not resist. With My authority I govern My people, and all those who are part of My creation should submit to My authority.
Excerpted from “When Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots, You Will Regret All the Evil You Have Done” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The story of the Hanhao bird is very similar to Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper. The Hanhao bird prefers to sleep instead of building a nest while the weather is warm, despite repeated warnings from his neighbor, a magpie. When winter arrives, the bird freezes to death.