How to Know Man's Nature (Part Two)

How do you understand man’s nature? The most important thing is to discern it from the perspective of man’s worldview, life view, and values. Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their life view and maxims mainly come from Satan’s sayings, such as “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “Man dies for wealth as birds do for food,” and other such fallacies. All these words spoken by those devil kings, great ones, and philosophers have become man’s very life. In particular, most of the words of Confucius, who is touted by Chinese people as a “sage,” have become man’s life. There are also the famous proverbs of Buddhism and Taoism, and the oft-quoted classic sayings of various famous figures. These are all summations of Satan’s philosophies and Satan’s nature. They are also the best illustrations and explanations of Satan’s nature. These poisons that have been infused into the heart of man all come from Satan, and not the least bit of them comes from God. Such devilish words are also in direct opposition to God’s word. It is absolutely clear that the realities of all positive things come from God, and all negative things that poison man come from Satan. Therefore, you can discern a person’s nature and to whom they belong by looking at their life view and values. Satan corrupts people through the education and influence of national governments and of the famous and great. Their devilish words have become man’s life and nature. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost” is a well-known satanic saying that has been instilled into everyone, and this has become man’s life. There are other words of philosophies for worldly dealings that are also like this. Satan uses each nation’s traditional culture to educate, mislead, and corrupt people, causing mankind to fall into and be engulfed by a boundless abyss of destruction, and in the end, people are destroyed by God because they serve Satan and resist God. Some people have served as public officials in society for decades. Imagine asking them the following question: “You’ve done so well in this capacity, what are the main famous sayings that you live by?” They might say, “The one thing I understand is this: ‘Officials do not make things difficult for those who bear gifts, and those who do not flatter accomplish nothing.’” This is the satanic philosophy their career is based on. Are these words not representative of such people’s nature? Unscrupulously using any means to obtain position has become their nature, officialdom and career success are their goals. There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, conduct, and behavior. For example, their philosophies for worldly dealings, their ways of doing things, and their maxims are all filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and these all come from Satan. Thus, all things that flow through people’s bones and blood are of Satan. All of those officials, those who hold power, and those who are accomplished have their own paths and secrets to success. Are such secrets not perfectly representative of their nature? They have done such big things in the world, and no one can see through the schemes and intrigues that lay behind them. This shows just how insidious and venomous their nature is. Mankind has been profoundly corrupted by Satan. Satan’s venom flows through the blood of every person, and it can be said that man’s nature is corrupt, wicked, antagonistic, and in opposition to God, filled by and immersed in the philosophies and poisons of Satan. It has become, entirely, the nature essence of Satan. This is why people resist God and stand in opposition to God. Man can easily come to know themselves if their nature can be dissected in this way.

When people have a genuine understanding of God’s disposition, when they can see that God’s disposition is real, that it is truly holy, and truly righteous, and when they can praise God’s holiness and righteousness from their hearts, then they will truly know God, and they will have gained the truth. Only when people know God do they live in the light. The direct effect of truly knowing God is being able to truly love and submit to God. In people who truly know God, understand the truth, and gain the truth, there is a real change in their worldview and outlook on life, following which, a real change also occurs in their life disposition. When people have the correct life goals, are able to pursue the truth, and comport themselves according to the truth, when they submit absolutely to God and live by His words, when they feel peaceful and illuminated to the depths of their hearts, when their hearts are free of darkness, and when they can live entirely free and unrestrained in God’s presence, only then do they lead genuine human lives, and only then have they become those who possess the truth and humanity. In addition, all the truths that you have understood and gained have come from God’s words and from God Himself. Only when you gain the approval of God Most High—the Creator, and He says that you are a qualified created being who lives out a human likeness, will your life be most meaningful. Having God’s approval means that you have obtained the truth, and that you are someone who possesses the truth and humanity. In today’s world that is dominated by Satan, and for at least thousands of years of history, who among all of humanity has obtained a true human life? No one. Because people have been profoundly corrupted by Satan, and live by the philosophies of Satan, and everything they do is antagonistic to God, and their every utterance and theory is born of the corruption of Satan, and in direct antipathy to God’s words, they are thus precisely the kind of people who oppose God. If they do not accept God’s salvation, they shall be plunged into perdition and destruction, with no life to speak of at all. They pursue fame and gain, try to be some great or renowned individual, and hope to “have their names passed down for generations to come,” and to be “famous throughout all history.” These are devilish words, and utterly untenable. Every great or renowned figure is, in fact, the ilk of Satan, and has long been plunged into the eighteenth level of hell for punishment, never to be reincarnated. When corrupt mankind venerates these people, and accepts their devilish words and their fallacies, corrupt mankind becomes the victim of devils and Satan. Created beings should worship the Creator. This is perfectly natural and justified, for only God is the truth. God controls the heavens and earth and everything, and rules over all. To not believe in God and to not submit to God is to be unable to obtain the truth. If you live in accordance with God’s words, then in the depths of your heart, you will feel brightened and at ease, and you will also enjoy an incomparable sweetness. When this happens, you will have truly obtained life. No matter how great the achievements of the world’s scientists, as soon as they near death, they will feel empty-handed and that they have gained nothing. Even Einstein and Newton, these elevated intellectuals, felt empty. This was because they did not have the truth, and because they didn’t have a true understanding of God. Though they believed in God, they only believed in His existence, but they did not pursue the truth. They just wanted to rely on science and research to discover and prove that there is a God. As a result, they each conducted a lifetime of research without gaining anything at all, and although they believed in God all their lives, they never gained the truth. They only sought scientific knowledge, but they did not seek to know God. They did not gain the truth, nor did they gain true life. The path you are walking today is not the path they walked. What you seek is to know God, how to submit to Him, how to worship Him, and how to live out a meaningful life. This is all completely different from what they sought. Although they were people who believed in God, they did not gain the truth. Now, God incarnate has told you of every aspect of the truth and bestowed upon you the way of truth and life. It would be foolish of you not to pursue the truth.

Now, your understanding of the truth is inadequate. You can only speak empty theory. You still feel lacking and unsure about any work that you take on. This shows your life entry has been too superficial, and that you have not yet gained the truth. When you truly understand the truth and enter into the reality of God’s word, you will have energy, an inexhaustible energy that fills your body. At that time, you will feel ever brighter inside, and the path will become even brighter the farther you walk on it. These days, most people who believe in God have not yet embarked on the right track and have not come to understand the truth, so they still feel empty inside, that life is suffering, and that they do not have the energy to do their duties. This is how God’s believers are before they have a vision in their hearts. People have not obtained truth and do not yet know God, so they do not yet feel much pleasure. You, especially, have all suffered persecution and experienced difficulty in returning home. When you suffer, you also have thoughts of death and an unwillingness to live. These are weaknesses of the flesh. Some people even think, “Belief in God should be pleasurable. In the Age of Grace, the Holy Spirit bestowed peace and joy upon people. Now there is too little peace and joy, and pleasure like there was during the Age of Grace does not exist. Believing in God today is extremely vexing.” You only know that the pleasure of the flesh is better than anything else. You do not know what work God is doing today. God has to allow your flesh to suffer in order to transform your disposition. Even though your flesh suffers, you have God’s word and you have God’s blessing. You cannot die even if you want to. Can you resign yourself to not knowing God and not obtaining the truth? Now, for the most part, it is just that people have not yet obtained the truth, and they do not have life. They are in the midst of seeking salvation, so they must suffer a little in this process. Today, everyone in the world is undergoing trials, even God is suffering, so is it appropriate for you not to suffer? Without refinement through great disasters there cannot be genuine faith, and truth and life cannot be obtained. Not having trials and refinement would not do. Just look at Peter—he ultimately underwent seven years of trials (after he was fifty-three years old). He experienced hundreds of trials throughout those seven years. He had to go through one of these trials every few days, and only after undergoing all manner of trials did he obtain life and experience a transformation in his disposition. When you truly obtain the truth and come to know God, you will feel that you should be living for God. If you do not live for God, then you will be sorry; you will live out the rest of your days in bitter regret and extreme remorse. You can’t die yet. You must clench your fists and resolutely continue to live. You must live a life for God. When people have truth within them, they have this resolve and never again desire to die. When death threatens you, you will say, “Oh God, I am unwilling to die. I still do not know You. I still have not repaid Your love. I cannot die until I come to know You well.” Are you at this point now? Not yet, are you? Some people face the pain of family, some face the pain of marriage, and some suffer from persecution, lacking even a place to live. No matter where they go, it is someone else’s home, and they feel pain in their hearts. Isn’t the pain that you are experiencing right now the pain that God has suffered? You are suffering with God, and God accompanies humans in suffering. You all have a part in Christ’s tribulation, kingdom, and endurance today, and you will gain glory in the end! This suffering is meaningful. Isn’t that how it is? You cannot be devoid of this will. You must understand the meaning of suffering today and why you suffer so much. You must seek the truth and reach an understanding of God’s intention, and then you will have the will to suffer. If you don’t understand God’s intention, and you merely think about suffering, then the more you think about it, the more uncomfortable it becomes and the more negative you feel, like your path of life is coming to an end. You will begin to suffer the torment of death. If you put your heart and all your effort into the truth, and you are able to understand the truth, then your heart will be brightened, and you will experience enjoyment. You will find peace and joy within your heart in life, and when illness strikes or death looms, you will say, “I haven’t obtained the truth yet, so I can’t die. I must expend well for God, testify to God well, and repay God’s love. How I die in the end doesn’t matter, because I will have lived a satisfactory life. No matter what, I can’t die yet. I must persist and live on.” You must now have clarity in this matter, and you must understand the truth from these things. When people have the truth, they have strength. When they have the truth, they possess an inexhaustible energy that fills their body. When they have the truth, they have determination. Without the truth, people are as soft as rotten vegetables; when they possess the truth, they become as hard as steel. No matter how bitter things are, they will not feel bitter at all. What do you think your little suffering amounts to? God incarnate is still suffering! You are people who have been corrupted by Satan and whose nature is to betray God. You have unknowingly done many things that rebelled against and resisted God, and you deserve judgment and chastisement. Just as people who are sick are to be cured, is it appropriate for them to fear suffering? You have corrupt dispositions, so do you think you can change your disposition and gain the life without any pain at all? Your suffering is caused by your corrupt dispositions. It is deserved and must be endured. It is neither innocent nor imposed by God. The suffering you currently endure is little more than running about and working hard in your duty. Sometimes you find your corrupt disposition has not changed at all, and so you undergo some refinement. Sometimes you don’t understand God’s word or the words are painful to read, and so you suffer a little from the refinement in God’s word. Or, perhaps, you do your actual work badly and keep making mistakes in your duty, you experience guilt and self-hatred for not being able to do your job, and this causes you some suffering. Perhaps you see others making progress and feel your own progress to be too slow, that it takes you too long to make progress in comprehending God’s word, that there is too little light, and these matters cause you some suffering. Sometimes you feel threatened by your hostile environment because of the great red dragon’s arrests and persecution, and so you always feel scared, restless, and live in fear, and this causes you some suffering. Besides this suffering, what other suffering have you experienced? You are not made to do heavy physical labor, nor do you have superiors or bosses that beat and scold you, and no one treats you as slaves. You suffer no such hardships. In fact, these hardships you endure are not really hardships. Think about it. Isn’t this the case? You must understand what is the significance of renouncing your family to expend for God, and why you are doing it. If you do it to pursue the truth and life, and at the same time to fulfill your duty and repay God’s love, this is completely just. It is a positive thing, it is perfectly natural and justified, and you will never regret it. No matter what happens with your family, you can let it go. If you clearly understand this significance, you will have no regrets, and you will not be negative. If you are not genuinely expending yourself for God, and are just exerting yourself to gain blessings, then this is meaningless. Once you have seen into this matter, the problem is resolved, and you will have no need to worry about your family. Everything is in God’s hands. By now, you have all experienced some trials. Some people have gained some truths, but some people have just understood some doctrines but have not gained any truths. Some have good caliber and so have relatively deep comprehension, and some who have poor caliber have relatively shallow comprehension. Whether your comprehension is deep or shallow, as long as you understand some truths and are able to stand firm in your witness when you are suffering through a trial, then your suffering has meaning and value. If you can’t accept things from God, and you always approach things with human notions and imaginings, then no matter how much you suffer, you will never have true experiential testimony. Your suffering will have no value, because you have not gained the truth.

You should seek God’s intentions in all things, and you must seek the truth in all things. For example, how do you seek the truth in matters such as food, clothing, and personal matters in life? Are there truths to seek in these things? Some people say, “Whether you believe in God or not, happiness is being well fed and well clothed. Without that, all is misery.” Is that in line with the truth? There are many people leading lives of plenty, with nice food and clothing, who are greedy for pleasures of the flesh. They won’t easily accept the truth or put it into practice, much less give up everything to expend themselves for God. That kind of person won’t gain God’s approval, and ultimately, they will all fall into the disasters, weeping and gnashing their teeth. Can that kind of person have any happiness worth mentioning? Plenty of people were born into families of laborers or farmers and have suffered quite a bit since childhood. If they’re able to understand the truth, they’re likely to accept it and put it into practice, and they are able to forsake things and expend themselves for God, without fear of suffering. They are able to fulfill their loyalty to God’s commission, and some even go so far as to give their very lives for God. That kind of person is appreciated in the house of God. Many people are very focused on pleasures of the flesh. Would you say that having nice food and clothing is actually important? Absolutely not. If someone is genuinely able to know God and gain the truth, then in everything that person does, they bear testimony to God and satisfy God. No matter how badly such a person eats or dresses, there is still value in their life, and they can gain God’s approval. Isn’t this the most meaningful thing? Neither eating well nor wearing nice clothes guarantees that you will be blessed. You will still be cursed if you rebel against God or take the wrong path, whereas a person who dresses shabbily and eats poorly but who has gained the truth will be blessed by God all the same. Therefore, there is truth to seek in how you should regard the matters of food and clothing, and there is even more truth to seek in how you should treat the performance of your duty. How you regard God’s commissions is extremely important, and this is a very serious matter. If you cannot complete what God has entrusted to people, then you are not fit to live in His presence and you should be punished. It is perfectly natural and justified that humans should complete whatever commissions God entrusts to them. This is man’s supreme responsibility, and is just as important as their very lives. If you do not take God’s commissions seriously, then you are betraying Him in the most grievous way. In this, you are more lamentable than Judas, and should be cursed. People must gain a thorough understanding of how to treat what God entrusts to them and, at the very least, they must comprehend that the commissions He entrusts to humanity are exaltations and special favors from God, and that they are most glorious things. Everything else can be abandoned. Even if a person must sacrifice their own life, they must still fulfill God’s commission. See, is there not truth to be sought here? Achieving change in your disposition is intimately linked to seeking the truth! If you understand the truth of why people live, and of how you should view life, then will your view of life not be changed? There is even more truth to be sought here. What truth can be found in loving God? Why must humans love Him? What is the significance of loving Him? If a person has a clear understanding of the truth of loving God, and they can love Him in the depths of their heart and have a little God-loving heart, then they have a genuine life and are among the most blessed. Those who seek the truth in all things make the fastest progress in life, and can achieve a transformation of disposition. It is precisely those who seek truth in all things whom God loves. If a person relies on notions and doctrines or follows regulations in all things, then they will not make progress. They will never gain the truth, and sooner or later they will be eliminated. God detests this kind of person most of all.

Spring, 1999

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