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(VI) Classic Words on How to Understand Your Own Satanic Nature and Disposition

Classic Words From Almighty God, Christ of the Last Days

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X Classic Words on the Reality of the Truth God’s Chosen People Must Enter Into

(VI) Classic Words on How to Understand Your Own Satanic Nature and Disposition

154. To know yourself, you must know your own corrupt essence, your own vital weaknesses, disposition, and nature, as well as every tiny little bit of those things that are revealed in your daily life—your motives, your perspectives, and your attitude about every single thing, whether you are at home or out, whether you are in a gathering, or when you eat and drink the words of God, or when you encounter a certain issue. You can know yourself from these things.

from “The Importance and the Path of Pursuing the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks

155. Knowing ourselves is to know what things there are in our ideas and viewpoints that oppose God and are not compatible with the truth at all or don’t have the truth. Like getting to know mankind’s arrogance, self-righteousness, or their lies and deception—these are the aspects inside mankind’s corrupt disposition that are easy to know. … However, people’s ideas and viewpoints are not easy to know. These are not as easy to know as the disposition part. These are deep-rooted things. Therefore, even when your behavior and outward conduct have achieved a little change, there are still many things against God in your thinking, notions, viewpoints, and the education of traditional culture you have received that you have not yet dug out. These things are the deep-rooted source of what causes your opposition against God.

from “Knowing Yourself Requires Knowing Your Deep-rooted Thoughts and Views” in Records of Christ’s Talks

156. If you are to understand yourself, you must understand your true situation; the most important thing in understanding your own situation is to have a grasp on your own thoughts and ideas. In every time period, people’s thoughts have been controlled by one major thing; if you can get a hold of your thoughts, you can get a hold of the thing behind them. No one is able to control their thoughts and ideas. Where do these thoughts and ideas come from? What are the motives behind them? How are these thoughts and ideas produced? What are they controlled by? What are the natures of these thoughts and ideas? After your disposition has transformed, your thoughts and ideas, the desires your heart seeks after and your viewpoints on pursuit, which have been produced from the parts that transformed will be different. Those thoughts and ideas that originate from the things in which you have not changed, the things that you don’t understand clearly, and the things which you have not replaced with the experiences of truth are filthy, dirty and ugly. People nowadays who have experienced God’s work for several years have some sense and understanding of these matters. People who have experienced God’s work for a short period of time do not yet understand these matters; they are still unclear. They don’t know where their Achilles’ heel is and in what areas it is easy for them to fall! You don’t currently know what kind of a person you are, and other people can see to some extent what kind of a person you are, which you can’t sense. You can’t clearly distinguish your ordinary thoughts or intents, and you don’t clearly understand what the essence of these matters is. The deeper you understand an aspect, the more you will transform in that aspect; then the things you do will be in accordance with the truth, you will be able to meet God’s requirements, and you will be closer to the will of God. Only by seeking in this way can you obtain results.

from “People Who Always Have Requirements for God Are the Least Reasonable” in Records of Christ’s Talks

157. It actually doesn’t matter which aspect you practice, whether it is being an honest person, or exercising obeying God, or how to get along with brothers and sisters in harmony, or how to enter normal humanity—regardless of which aspect you pursue, each aspect exists and is touched upon in everyday life, but every aspect touches upon the question of knowing yourself. You see, doesn’t being an honest person touch upon the question of knowing yourself? Only when you know that you are deceitful and dishonest will you practice being an honest person; when you know you do not obey God, you will practice obeying God or seek how to obey God. If you don’t know yourself, then it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to be an honest person or obey God—it’s just empty words. This is because man has a corrupt disposition and it’s not that easy to practice any aspect of the truth. Each aspect of the truth is being practiced amid this corrupt disposition. When you practice various aspects of the truth, the things inside your corrupt disposition or the various revelations of your corrupt disposition will surely come out, and they will obstruct you from being an honest person, obstruct you from obeying God, and obstruct you from being patient with or tolerant toward brothers and sisters. If you don’t know, don’t dissect, and don’t dig into them, relying only on your imagination to practice the truth, then this practice of the truth is not a genuine practice of the truth. Therefore, no matter which aspect of the truth you are practicing or no matter what you do, you must first know yourself and understand yourself. This knowledge and understanding of yourself is knowing your every word and action, your every move, or your own thoughts, intentions, notions, and imagination. It’s even knowing your own philosophy of life received from the world, or those toxins received from Satan, or the knowledge and culture learned from school. These are the things you have to dissect.

from “Knowing Yourself Requires Knowing Your Deep-rooted Thoughts and Views” in Records of Christ’s Talks

158. If, no matter when or where, or under what environment, we can know ourselves and can dig into and dissect ourselves, and can treat this as the number one most important thing, then we will certainly gain something and gradually deepen our understanding of ourselves. At the same time, we will also practice the truth, hold more and more of the truth, and the reality of God’s word will become our lives more and more. But if you don’t have any entry in knowing yourself, even if you say you are practicing the truth it will be fake, because there are a lot of phenomena on the surface blinding you. You think your behavior is better, that you are more normal than before, more gentle than before, and more considerate than before, that you are more tolerant, more patient, and more forgiving toward others than before, so you believe you are already a very good, perfect, standard, normal person. But from God’s perspective, you are still very far off from the standard required by God.

from “Knowing Yourself Requires Knowing Your Deep-rooted Thoughts and Views” in Records of Christ’s Talks

159. You must all unite to know yourselves and rebel against the great red dragon. This is My intention. It is not important how much people speak, but rather it is crucial that all My people be able to come together as one, which is the only way to truly bear witness. In the past, everyone said they understood themselves, but I’ve uttered countless words, and how much have you understood of yourselves? The higher one’s position, the harder it is for them to put aside themselves. Furthermore, the greater one’s hopes, the more they will suffer during chastisement. This is My salvation of mankind—do you understand?

from “The Thirty-seventh Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh

160. You must be constantly examining yourself regarding which impure things still exist within you. People’s religious notions, intents, hopes, self-rightness, and arrogance are all unclean things. Compare yourself to all God’s words of revelation, and look into yourself for any religious notions you may hold. Only if you truly recognize them can you cast them off. … If you only pursue the current words of the Holy Spirit you cannot satisfy God’s will. While you pursue the present light of the Holy Spirit, you should recognize which notions and intentions you still hold, what particularly human self-rightness there is, and which behaviors are disobedient to God. And after you have recognized all of these things, you must cast them off.

from “Those Whose Disposition Has Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

161. If a person’s knowledge of himself is too shallow, it will be impossible to solve problems, and his life disposition will absolutely not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a deep level, which means to know one’s own nature, and to know what elements are included in one’s nature, from where the elements arise and how they come about. Moreover, are you able to really hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If a person is truly able to see the truth about himself, then he will start to loathe himself. When you loathe yourself and then practice God’s word, you will be able to forsake the flesh, and have the strength to carry out truth without difficulty.

from “Knowing Oneself Is Mainly Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

162. The things within people’s nature are not like their external behavior and ways of acting, or some of their innermost thoughts, which can be dealt with. The things within people’s nature must be dug out bit-by-bit. What’s more, it is very difficult for people to identify them, and even when people have identified them, they are difficult to change, requiring knowledge of a sufficient depth. Why do I keep dissecting people’s nature? Have you grasped My intention in dissecting people’s nature? Where is their corrupt disposition revealed? In their nature. It is directed by their nature, and all of their corrupt disposition, every one of their thoughts and ideas, each of their motivations—they all relate to their nature. Thus, if people directly root out the source, will their corrupt disposition not be easier to resolve? It will. Although it is impossible to change their nature, people are capable of knowing the revelation of their corrupt disposition, and are able to combine this with the truth to achieve total knowledge, as a result of which their disposition can gradually change. And when their disposition gradually changes, their opposition to God becomes less.

from “People Make Too Many Demands of God” in Records of Christ’s Talks

163. Knowing yourself is: The more you feel you have done well in a certain area, the more you think you have done the right thing in a certain area, the more you think you can satisfy God’s intentions in a certain area, and the more you think you are worthy of boasting in a certain area—the more it is worth for you to know yourself in these areas and the more it is worth for you to dig deep into them to see what impurities there are and what things cannot satisfy God’s intentions. Let’s take Paul as an example. Paul was especially knowledgeable and also held an especially high position in people’s hearts. So what did he think after completing a lot of work? There was already a crown kept for him. If he could have known himself and dissected himself under these circumstances, he would not have said such things. Some of his outward behavior and good conduct, or some things he imagined to be good, had blinded his heart and covered up his true face. But people did not know this, and without God bringing this to light, they still made Paul their goal, their exemplar, regarding him as the one they longed to be like. Paul was the object of their pursuit as well as the object of their imitation. This thing about Paul gives each of us believers today a warning, which is that when we feel we have done especially well, or believe that we are especially gifted in some aspect, or feel we don’t need to change or accept being dealt with in some aspect, we should try to know more of ourselves in that particular regard. This is because you definitely would not dig into areas you already think are good, and would not pay attention to them or dissect them to see whether they contain things that resist God.

from “Knowing Yourself Requires Knowing Your Deep-rooted Thoughts and Views” in Records of Christ’s Talks

164. Your every move, everything you do, the direction you’re doing it in, what your goals are—your ideas and viewpoints have actually already determined your actions and what you’re going to do. Some people have disguised their exterior quite well and don’t do so, or they conceal it quite well, package it up quite well and don’t do so. From the outside they seem quite good and you can’t see any flaws that resist God, and they don’t say anything that resists God, but the things that are deep-rooted in man’s mind are loathed and hated by God. This is what God wants to expose and what we should understand. But what do people often think? That we don’t say anything that resists God, we’re very pure and sensible, and there’s not much to nitpick about our behavior, and the fulfillment of our duty seems from the outside to be very suitable and very appropriate. In other words, there are no problems that can be nitpicked. Then what do we still need to know about ourselves? Do we still need to know ourselves? That’s why I say: The more you feel you are good in a certain area, the more it is worth for you to know yourself in that regard and the more you should get to know yourself and seek the truth. That’s the source of these words.

from “Knowing Yourself Requires Knowing Your Deep-rooted Thoughts and Views” in Records of Christ’s Talks

165. Every single thing that exists in our hearts opposes God. This includes the things we think are good, even things we already think are positive. We have listed these things as the truth, as normal humanity, and as positive things, but from God’s perspective, these are things that He loathes. … Hence, we must know ourselves, from our ideas and viewpoints and our actions to the culture and education we have received. Each thing is worth digging deep into and deeply dissecting. Some are from social environments, some are from families, some are from schools, and some are from books, while some are also from our imaginations and notions. These things are the most frightening because they bind and control our words and actions, control our minds, and control our motives, intentions and goals of doing things. If we don’t dig these things out, we will never fully accept God’s words into us, and we will never accept God’s requirements without reservation and put them into practice. As long as there are your own ideas and viewpoints and things you think are right inside you, you will never fully and unreservedly accept God’s words and practice them in their original form. You will surely process them in your heart and then practice them. You do things in this way and you also help other people in this way, adding a bit of mankind’s things and a bit of God’s things. Then you think: Okay, I’ve practiced the truth. I understand, I have everything. Isn’t mankind’s situation pitiful? Isn’t it scary?

from “Knowing Yourself Requires Knowing Your Deep-rooted Thoughts and Views” in Records of Christ’s Talks

166. Where do you begin in transforming your disposition? Do you know? It starts from understanding your own nature. This is the key. … So how to understand? Understanding is actually analyzing the depth of the soul; it is what is in your life. It is the logic of Satan and the many viewpoints of Satan that you had been originally living by, that is, the life of Satan that you have been living by. Only by uncovering the deep things of your soul can you understand your nature. How do you uncover them? By merely doing things, many people will not be able to uncover and analyze them. Often times, after you are done doing something, you don’t come to an understanding. Perhaps three or five years later you will have an awakening, and have some understanding. Now, in order to understand your nature, you must incorporate several aspects: First, you must be clear on what you like in your heart. That doesn’t mean the things you like to eat or wear, but rather it means the kinds of things you like, the things you envy, the things you worship, the things you seek, and the things you pay attention to. … There is an overall characteristic of the things people like in their natures. That is, they like things and people that other people are envious of because of their outer appearances, they like things and people that look beautiful and luxurious, and that make other people worship them because of their outer appearances. These are the things that people like. The things that people are fond of are great, dazzling, gorgeous, and grand. People all worship these things, and it can be seen that people do not have any of the truth, and do not have the likeness of a real man. There is not the slightest degree of significance in worshiping these things, but people like these things.

from “What You Should Know About Transforming Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

167. What is it to understand one’s own nature? How can it be known? From what aspects is it known? Further, how should the things revealed from these different aspects be viewed concretely? See one’s nature through his or her interests. How? For example, some people particularly love to dance. Some especially love singers or movie stars. Some people particularly worship a certain personality. From looking at these interests, what is the nature of these people? I’ll give another simple example: Some people really idolize a certain singer, and to what extent? To the point where they are very interested in the singer’s every move, every smile, every word, and every act. They fixate on the singer, even photographing everything the singer wears and imitating it. What does this level of idolization show about a person’s nature? It shows that such a person has only those things in his heart, and not God. The things his heart thinks, loves, and seeks are all things revealed by Satan; they occupy his heart, and his heart is given over to them. What is the problem here? So, if something is loved to an extreme, then that thing can become someone’s life and occupy his heart, fully proving that the person is an idol worshiper who does not want God in his heart but loves the devil. So, we conclude that his nature is one that loves and worships the devil, does not love truth, and does not want God. Is this a correct way to view his nature? It is completely correct! This is how a man’s nature is dissected. For example, some people particularly idolize Paul: They like to give speeches and work outside. They like to meet together and speak; they like when people listen to them, worship them, surround them. They like to have stature in the minds of others and appreciate when others value their image. What do we discover about a man’s nature from this kind of behavior? … If he really behaves in this way, then that is enough to show that he is arrogant and conceited. He does not worship God at all; he seeks high status, and he wants to have authority over others, to possess them, to have stature in their minds. This is a classic image of Satan. What stands out about his nature is arrogance and conceit, unwillingness to worship God, and a desire for the worship of others. Is this not his nature? You can see clearly into his nature from these behaviors.

from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

168. When it comes to recognizing man’s nature, the most important thing is to look at a person’s nature from the perspective of his world view, view of life, and values. Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their way of life and guiding maxims are mainly those words that come from Satan like, “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” The words of those fiends, great ones, and philosophers of the earth have become their life. Most of the words of Confucius, who is held up by Chinese people as a “sage,” especially have become man’s life. There are also the famous sayings of Buddhism and Taoism and the classic sayings frequently spoken by famous figures; these are all outlines of Satan’s philosophy and Satan’s nature. They are also the best illustration and explanation of Satan’s nature. These poisons that have been infused into the heart of humankind all come from Satan; not the least bit of them comes from God. These lies and nonsense are also precisely in opposition to God’s word. It is completely clear that the realities of all positive things come from God, and all those negative things that poison man come from Satan. So, you can discern a man’s nature and to whom he belongs from his view of life and values. … Imagine asking someone who has been active in society for decades the following question, “You have lived in the world for so long and achieved so much; what famous sayings do you live by?” “The most important one is ‘Those who give gifts to officials are not struck by them, and those who do not flatter accomplish nothing.’” Isn’t such speech representative of his nature? His nature is not to spare any means for obtaining position; being an official is what gives him life. There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their doings, and in their conduct and dealings with others—they are almost without a shred of truth—for example, their life philosophies, their maxims for success, or their ways of doing things. Every person is filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. So, what flows through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan. Every person who achieves worldly success has his path and secret to success, so isn’t that secret better representative of his nature? You can see that these guys’ nature is too cunning; they are such high officials and have done such great things in the world—they are so cunning! Their nature is so insidious and venomous—they are capable of anything. Man has been corrupted too deeply by Satan. Satan’s venom flows through the blood of every person, and man’s nature is visibly corrupt, evil, and reactionary, filled by and immersed in the philosophies of Satan—it is completely a nature rebellious against God. Man’s nature can be known to all if dissected in this way.

from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

169. What you like, what you focus on, what you worship, what you envy, and what you think about in your heart every day all represent your nature. It is enough to prove that your nature is fond of injustice, and in serious situations, your nature is evil and incurable. You should analyze your nature this way, that is, look at what you are fond of and what you forsake in your life. Perhaps you are temporarily good to someone, but this doesn’t prove that you are fond of him. What you are truly fond of is precisely what is in your nature; even if your bones were broken, you would still like it and could never forsake it. This is not easy to change. … In addition to uncovering the things people are fond of in their natures, other aspects pertaining to their natures also need to be uncovered; for example, people’s viewpoints on things, people’s methods and goals in life, people’s life values and views on life, as well as views on all things relating to truth. These are all the things deep within one’s soul and they have a direct relationship with the transformation of disposition.

from “What You Should Know About Transforming Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

170. In fact, many people’s mottos can represent and reflect their nature. No matter how man disguises it, in everything he does and everything he says, he cannot hide his nature. There are some people who never speak the truth and are good at pretending, but after others have interacted with them for a while, their deceitful nature and their complete dishonesty will be found out. Time will tell all. After knowing them for a time, their nature will be discovered. In the end a conclusion will be drawn: He never speaks a word of truth, and he is a deceitful man. This statement is the truth of his nature; it is the witness and illustration of it. Therefore, his philosophy of life is to not tell anyone the truth, and also to not believe anyone. Does this not represent his nature? Man’s satanic nature has a great deal of philosophy contained within it. Sometimes you yourself are not clear, but you are living based on that every moment. You think that it’s very correct, very reasonable, and not mistaken. Satan’s philosophy becomes man’s truth, and people live in complete accordance with its philosophy without the slightest contradiction. Therefore, man is always and everywhere revealing Satan’s nature in life, and is always living by a satanic philosophy. Satan’s nature is man’s life. As for what nature is, this can be fully expressed by summarizing it with words. In man’s nature there is arrogance and the pursuit of being outstanding and unique; there is also mercenary greed with no regard for life; there is deceitfulness, crookedness, and cheating people at every turn; and there is unbearable wickedness and filth. This is a summary of man’s nature. Therefore, if you are able to come to know many things in the nature of man, then you have an understanding of your own nature. If you have not discovered anything in your own nature, then you do not have any understanding of it.

from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks

171. The inner parts of a person’s nature constantly reveal themselves, every moment. Anything a person does, regardless of what it is, can reveal that person’s nature. People have their own purposes for everything they do, whether it be providing hospitality, preaching the gospel, or any other kind of work, and they can reveal the parts of their nature without any consciousness of it. Because one’s nature is his life, and people are driven by their natures for as long as they live. The nature of a person is not revealed just on occasion or by happenstance; rather, it can completely represent the person’s essence, and everything that flows from within the person’s bones and blood is representative of his nature and life. Some people love beautiful women. Others love money. Some particularly love status. Some especially value reputation and their personal image. Some particularly love or worship idols. And some people are especially arrogant and conceited, yielding to no one in their hearts and striving for stature, they like to stand out from others and have authority over them. There is a variety of different natures, and they can differ among people, but their common elements are resistance to and betrayal of God. In that way they are all identical.

from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

172. Matters of nature are not things done only in a moment of weakness but are persistent throughout life. Everything a person does carries his scent, carries the elements of his nature. Even if those elements are not apparent at times, they are present within him. For example, when a deceitful person speaks honestly in one instance, there is actually still speech within his speech and the deceitfulness is mixed in. A deceitful person plies his tricks on anybody, including his relatives—even his children. No matter how forthright you are with him, he will seek to play games with you. This is the true face of his nature, and he is of this nature. It is difficult to change and he is like that all the time. Honest people may sometimes say something sly and deceitful, but such a person is usually honest and does things honestly without taking unfair advantage of others in his dealings with them. When he speaks with others, he does not say things intentionally to test them; he is still fairly honest and can open up his heart and communicate with others. Everyone says he is an honest person, but there are still times when he speaks with some deceitfulness. That is simply the manifestation of the corrupt disposition and does not represent his nature because he is not that type of person. When it comes to a person’s nature you must understand what are elements of that nature and what is the corrupt disposition; you must be able to distinguish clearly between the two. Now, try analyzing your own nature. Some will say, “Sometimes I speak harshly” or “I am uncultured.” If such a one only says he fails to follow the rules or sometimes has impure motives when performing his duties but does not speak of his nature or whether his humanity is good, then he cannot know his own nature. You cannot always cover up or be shy. You must dig deeply within yourself. If you can’t dig it out you will not come to know your nature, and if you do not know your nature you will not be able to change. You must be particularly strict about how you come to know yourself; you cannot deceive yourself or be perfunctory or fool yourself. … Every person has his fatal flaw, which exerts its influence over every moment of a person’s life and is insinuated into everything about that person and becomes the object of everything he does. That thing represents the person’s nature. And you can say that his nature is his area of greatest weakness. His fatal flaw is his nature.

from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

173. There is always a huge discrepancy between the way people understand their own natures and the way God has revealed human nature. This is not a mistake in what God reveals, but rather it is mankind’s profound lack of understanding of his nature. People do not have a fundamental or substantial understanding of themselves, but rather they focus on and devote their energy to their actions and outward expressions. Even if someone occasionally said something about understanding himself, it wouldn’t be very profound. No one has ever thought that they are this type of person or have this type of nature for doing this type of thing or revealing something in a certain aspect. God has revealed the nature and substance of man, but man understands that their way of doing things and way of speaking is flawed and defective; therefore it is a strenuous task for people to put truth into practice. People think that their mistakes are merely momentary manifestations, which are revealed if they are not careful, rather than being revelations of their nature. People that understand themselves in this way are not able to put truth into practice, because they are not able to accept truth as truth and do not thirst after truth; therefore, when putting truth into practice, they perfunctorily follow the rules. People do not view their own natures as being too corrupt, and believe that they do not reach the level of being destroyed or punished. They think that it is not a big deal to lie occasionally, and they are much better than before; but in fact, according to the standards, there is a big difference, because people only have some practices that outwardly don’t violate truth, but in fact they are not putting truth into practice.

from “Understanding Nature and Putting Truth Into Practice” in Records of Christ’s Talks

174. Why were people formerly able to follow the flesh? Because they considered themselves to be pretty good. They felt right and justified, having no faults, indeed entirely correct. They therefore could act with the assumption that justice was on their side. When one recognizes what his true nature is, how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful, then he is not too proud of himself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with himself as he was before. He feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” He truly sees himself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time it is easy for him to carry out truth, and he looks more like a human being. Only when a person truly loathes himself is he able to forsake the flesh. If one does not loathe himself, he will be unable to forsake the flesh. Hating oneself comprises a few things: first, knowing one’s own nature; second, seeing oneself as needy and pitiful, seeing oneself to be so small and insignificant, and seeing one’s own pitiful soul, one’s dirty soul. When one fully sees what he truly is and this outcome is achieved, he then really knows himself, and we can say that he has come to know himself fully. Only then can he truly hate himself, going so far as to curse himself, truly feeling that he has been corrupted too deeply by Satan, such that he no longer resembles a human being. Then one day, when the threat of imminent death appears, he feels, “Oh! It’s God’s righteous punishment. God is indeed righteous. I really should die!” At this point, he will not lodge a complaint, much less blame God, simply feeling that he is too pitiful, too filthy and corrupt, that he should be wiped out by God and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth, and so he will not resist, much less betray, nor will he complain against God. If he does not know himself, and still considers himself to be pretty good, when death threatens him, he feels, “I have believed in God so well. How I have sought! I have given so much, I have suffered so, and ultimately God asks me to die. I don’t know where God’s righteousness is. Why is God asking me to die? If a person like me dies, who will be saved? Won’t the human race come to an end?” First he has notions about God. Second, he has a complaint; there is no submission whatsoever. For instance, when Paul was about to die, he did not know himself. When punishment from God arrived, it was too late to repent.

from “Knowing Oneself Is Mainly Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

175. Peter sought within the refinement of God’s words and within the various trials that God provided for him to come to know himself, to see what he revealed. In the end when he truly came to understand himself, he realized man is so corrupt, and is worthless and unworthy of serving God, and that man is not worthy of living in front of God. He fell down in front of God. In the end he felt: “Knowing God is the most precious thing! If I could not know God, my death would be such a shame. I feel that knowing God is the most important, most meaningful thing. If man does not know God then he does not deserve to live—then there is no life.” When Peter’s experience had reached this point, he was fairly knowledgeable of his own nature. He understood it fairly well, and although he would not have been able to use language to explain it thoroughly in terms of mankind’s current thinking, he did reach this realm. Therefore, pursuit of the path of life to be perfected by God is to more deeply understand one’s own nature within the words of God and to understand the things contained in one’s nature. To summarize it with words, to thoroughly understand one’s old life—the life of the old satanic nature—this is to have achieved the result required by God. If your knowledge has not reached this point but you say you understand yourself and that you have gained life, isn’t this just bragging? You don’t know yourself, and you don’t know what you are in front of God, whether you have really achieved the standard of a human being, or how many elements of Satan you still contain. You are unclear about who you belong to and you don’t even have self-knowledge—then how can you have reason in front of God?

from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks

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