The Importance of Pursuing the Truth and the Path of Its Pursuit (Part Two)

To know yourself, you must know your own revelations of corruption, your corrupt disposition, your own vital weaknesses, and your nature essence. You must also know, down to the very last detail, 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, when you are in gatherings, when you are eating and drinking of the words of God, or in every single issue you encounter. Through these aspects you must come to know yourself. Of course, to know yourself on a deeper level, you must integrate God’s words; only by knowing yourself based on His words can you achieve results. When accepting the judgment of God’s words, don’t be afraid of suffering or pain, and moreover, don’t be afraid that God’s words will pierce your hearts and expose your ugly states. It is so beneficial to suffer these things. If you believe in God, you should read more of God’s words judging and chastising people, especially those that expose the essence of humankind’s corruption. You should compare them to your practical state more, and you should connect them to yourself more and others less. The types of states God exposes exist in every person, and they can all be found in you. If you don’t believe this, try experiencing it. The more you experience, the more you will know yourself, and the more you will feel that God’s words are very accurate. After reading God’s words, some people are incapable of connecting 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 jezebels 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 God’s words of exposing man are too severe, that they do not conform to reality, so they refuse to accept them. There are even people who say that in some instances, God’s words are inaccurate. Is this the right attitude to have toward God’s words? It is obviously wrong. People all view themselves based on their external behaviors. They are incapable of reflecting upon themselves, and coming to know their corrupt essence, amid the words of God. Here, “jezebels” and “whores” refer to the essence of the corruption, filthiness, and promiscuity of mankind. Whether man or woman, married or not married, everyone has corrupt thoughts 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 a fact? We have to first realize that everything God says is the truth, and in line with the facts, and that no matter how severe His words that judge and expose people are, or how gentle His words of fellowshipping the truth or exhorting people are, whether His words are judgment or blessings, whether they are condemnations or curses, whether they give people a bitter feeling or a sweet one, people must accept them all. Such is the attitude people should have toward God’s words. What sort of attitude is this? Is it a devout attitude, a pious attitude, a patient attitude, or an attitude of embracing suffering? You are somewhat confused. I tell you that it is not any of these. In their faith, people must firmly maintain that God’s words are the truth. Since they are indeed the truth, people should accept them with reason. Whether or not they are able to recognize or admit it, their first attitude toward God’s words should be one of absolute acceptance. If God’s word doesn’t expose one or all of you, who does it expose? And if it is not in order to expose you, why are you asked to accept it? Isn’t this a contradiction? God speaks to the whole of mankind, every sentence uttered by God exposes corrupt mankind, and no one is exempt—which naturally includes you, too. Not a single one of the lines of God’s utterances is about external appearances, or a kind of state, much less about an external regulation or a simple form of behavior in people. They are not like that. If you think every line uttered by God is just exposing 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 the truth. People can sense the profundity of God’s words. How are they profound? God’s every word exposes 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 appearances, they might all seem to be good people. But 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. So, one must not treat God’s words in light of human notions or imaginings, or in light of human hearsay, and certainly not in light of the ruling party’s statements. God’s words alone are the truth; man’s words are all fallacy. After being fellowshipped 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 God’s words judging and exposing people, you at least should not try to reason with God. You should stop complaining about God, saying, “God’s words of exposing and judging people are really severe; 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 should no longer read the word of God by picking and choosing according to your own inclinations. You must accept the truth and the judgment and chastisement of God’s words; only then can your corrupt disposition be cleansed, and only then can you attain salvation.

Although you now know that God’s words are all truth, and you are willing to pursue the truth, you still have your own preferences and choices in dealing with God’s words, and you will still act according to your own will. You are most willing to read God’s words of promise and blessing, and you will particularly remember the words of God’s promise. You will feel comforted reading words such as these, or you will feel a little bit of hope and find that you have yet the strength and motivation to believe in God. But you are unwilling to read God’s words judging and exposing people, because if one always reads God’s words of exposing people and judging and chastising people, then one feels distressed, and the strength to believe in God will fade, so how can one move forward? Nowadays, most people cannot understand God’s words disclosing mysteries. They feel that they are too deep, and that the words of blessing are beyond their reach. When reading God’s words exposing man’s corrupt disposition, they can understand some of them, and even if they manage to connect those words to themselves and admit in their hearts that those words are the facts, they are still unwilling to accept them. You see, how troublesome people are! They know that God’s word is the truth, but they are still unwilling to accept it; they want to obtain blessings, but they still cannot gain them. So how should one eat and drink God’s word properly? First of all, one should read more of God’s words that disclose mysteries. When reading such words, one feels that God is in the third heaven and is lofty, and that one should have a God-fearing heart. Then they pray, “Oh God, You are so great! You are supreme! You have sovereignty over all things, and You can determine my destiny; I am willing to submit to all the things that You have arranged to happen around me.” Praying this way, people will have some fear of God. People are willing to believe in the lofty God, so before eating and drinking God’s word, the first step is to make sure that God is speaking to people from heaven, and people will be willing to read God’s word and will be less prone to having notions. The second step is to find some words of God’s promises and blessings to eat and drink. On seeing God’s words blessing man, people become so excited they begin to weep, saying, “Oh God, You are too lovely! You are so worthy of our worship! We are willing to accept the blessings You have for us, and we are even more willing to accept the promises You have given us. It’s just that we are now small in stature and are not yet grown, we lack the qualifications to receive Your promises and blessings, and beseech You to provide for us more!” How good it is to read the words of God’s blessing! Then they ponder, “What kind of blessings are there, then? God has said that when the time comes, no calamities will befall man, and that man will be freed from the annoyance of eating three meals a day and washing and cleaning—God has spoken of promises such as these.” The more one reads, the more excited one becomes. But no matter how enthusiastic you are, do not forget to pursue the truth. The third step is to read God’s words that expose mankind’s corrupt disposition and essence. When it comes to this, it is not necessary to eat and drink much each time; it is sufficient to eat and drink one or two items at a time. After eating and drinking, first put aside the things that you do not understand, the things that can’t be connected to you, and ponder carefully the things that can be linked to you, and you will slowly come to know your own state. When you have truly recognized your corrupt disposition, and have understood more and more truths, you will be able to see through to your own nature essence unconsciously. Do you think this is good? (It is.) It is like when giving a child medicine: You first give him something tasty to coax him, then, when he’s not paying attention, you give him a mouthful of medicine; if he finds it bitter, you give him two more pieces of candy to coax him, and he will take his medicine. But when he grows up, this is no longer necessary: He drinks the medicine of his own accord, with full knowledge of how bitter it is. This is a matter of stature. If you lack the stature, and you are asked to find in God’s word those words that expose man’s corrupt nature and related truths and compare yourself against them, and if you are made to eat and drink of these words all day long, at length you will tire of them, because your experience does not extend to them and is not up to it. And so, you have to add something similar to a sugar-coating in the middle of it, and those who are small in stature should eat and drink of God’s words in this way. If you are often weak and negative and have no real faith or hope, you should hurry to eat and drink some words on God’s blessings and promises, and find words on God disclosing mysteries to eat and drink. If you feel your strength increasing and your relationship with God getting closer, then you should strike while the iron is hot and find words to eat and drink on chastisement and judgment, and in this way, eating and drinking will take effect more easily, and you will not delay the growth of life. When eating and drinking of God’s words if you are small in stature, you must know how to make adjustments: eating and drinking in such a way as to put yourself in a good frame of mind and grow quickly; eating and drinking of that which is within your reach and setting aside that which is not; and trying to practice and experience what you have understood from eating and drinking. As long as you know how to practice and experience God’s words and the truths that you understand, you will be able to enter the right track of believing in God.

I recall someone once saying something like this: There was a man who made a great effort to study when God would leave the earth. This great effort was not thinking about it day and night; rather, it had been a matter of concern to him from when he began to believe in God. In order to find out an accurate answer, he gathered all the words on God’s departure, such as when God would leave the earth, what signs there would be, and how the people in the church would react. He then pondered over them with great vigor, making a comprehensive analysis and comparing them against each other, one by one and from front to back, as if consulting a reference Bible. Was this not a great effort? How much did this man “care” for God, and how much “love” did he have for God! God’s departure from the earth is a very significant event in God’s work, and when he discovered it, he regarded it as the most important thing—more important than his pursuit of truth to achieve salvation, and more important than seeking any items of truth in God’s words. So, he gathered all those words together and finally found the “answer.” Leaving aside the accuracy of the results of his research, what do you think about the views of this kind of person on the pursuit of faith in God and the way he pursued it? Was the effort he put in necessary? It was pointless to put in such hard work! What has God’s departure from the earth got to do with you? God did not inform you of His coming, so He is not going to let you know when He is leaving. There are many things that God does not let people know, and what is the reason for that? The reason is that there is no need for people to know, and if they do know, it will do them no good and will play no role in their future destinations, so there is no need for people to know. Now that God has become flesh, He knows all the mysteries and all aspects of the truth and all things, and He can tell people, but there are some things that people do not need to know, nor is there any need to tell them. Does it have any bearing on man when God departs from the earth, or when He concludes His work? One can say: None whatsoever! Some people say, “How come it doesn’t matter? What will I do if it’s too late for me to pursue the truth? I have to see how much time is left of God’s day, and I have to be certain of the day before I pursue the truth.” Is such a person foolish? Are they a pursuer of truth? Not at all! If a person truly pursues the truth, they will not care about this, nor will they wish to concern themselves with these things; they think that caring about these things does not help in the pursuit of the truth and is of no significance, so they are not willing to put thought and effort into these boring topics. Some people are ever concerned about when God’s day will come, but is this not a personal agenda? Does your constant concern over when God’s day will come prove that you love God? Can it prove that you are a person who follows God’s will? Can it prove that you bear witness for God? Can it prove that you have contributed to the expansion of the gospel of the kingdom of God? How is your preparation of good deeds going? How much of the truth have you understood? What truth realities have you entered into? These are the things you should be most concerned about. You are always inquiring about God’s news, always wanting to know a bit of gossip, always wanting to grasp a bit of mystery. But this is only a curious heart, and not at all a heart that pursues the truth or a heart that is considerate of God, and much less a heart that fears God. Your pursuit of understanding mysteries has not the slightest relation to the pursuit of the truth. How should these kinds of people be treated? Do you respect them? Do you admire them? Do you envy them? Would you help them seek such mysteries? No, you would certainly look down upon them, saying, “We’re still no good at the pursuit of truth, at knowing ourselves, and at knowing God—we haven’t achieved anything yet—and there are truths of every aspect waiting to be sought out, to be understood, and to be practiced, so there is no need for us to put in the effort to study such mysteries.” In fact, as long as you have God in your heart and the desire to pursue the truth, when the day comes, God will not leave you in ignorance; He will not abandon you. This is the faith and the understanding you must have. If you have this faith and understanding, you will not do anything foolish. If God intended to tell you, would He not say it directly? Would there be any need to beat around the bush? Would there be any need to hide words within words? Would there be any need to be secretive? Not at all. What God intends to let people know is the truth; everything His work, words, and will express is the truth, and He will not hide them from people at all. Therefore, there is no need for you to inquire about the things that God does not want people to know, nor do you need to mull over them, for the amount of effort you put into those things will be in vain, and it will be of absolutely no value, but it will be abhorrent to God. Why will it be abhorrent to God? First of all, you must understand that God has expressed many truths, and truths are expressed in all areas. If you do not seek the truth to fix your own real problems when things happen to you, you are not a lover of the truth: You are a person who is overly curious; a person who likes to split hairs; a person who treats God’s words without proper respect and always in a perfunctory manner. You do not have a place for God in your heart. All you have in your heart are a few things God does not want you to know, such as what His abode—the third heaven—is like and where it really is, what the future kingdom will be like, and when God’s incarnation will leave the earth. That is why I say that God abhors you. Is there any reason for God to abhor you? (There is.) Suppose your children did not study hard all day and did not do the homework they were meant to, but instead mulled over questions such as: “How did my father and mother meet? How did they give birth to me? After I was born, did they like me? How will my family fare in the future? Will we be able to make a fortune?” If they always studied these questions, would you dislike such a child? Would you abhor your children doing this? What would you like your children to do? To learn to read and write well and to study hard. This is your intention for your children, so what is God’s intention for man? How could God not prefer even more that man follow the right path and do proper work? God does not like people to study Him, or to always be secretly observing His every word and action, or to expend meaningless time and effort on Him. Many are those who are always studying when God’s day will come. Are they not doubting and resisting God in their hearts? What is the problem of man neither treasuring nor pursuing the many truths that God expresses? A devout person seeks the truth and feels God’s heart in all things, and after reading God’s words, they can be sure that these words are the truth, and that people should practice and submit to them. Only those who do not believe that God’s word is the truth will study God. These people do not care one bit about their responsibilities and their own duties; they do not pay attention to them at all and do not make any effort or pay any price for them. Instead, they are always concerned about things such as when God will leave the earth, when God will bring down disaster, and how much longer it will be until God’s day, and strange questions such as: “Will God still meet with us after He has left the earth? Will God’s work be like this after He has left the earth? After God has left the earth, how long will He stay in the third heaven? Will He come back? Will there be angels in the future Age of Kingdom? Do angels interact with people?” God abhors people constantly studying these kinds of topics. Then what should man focus on? How to know the incarnate God, how to know God’s work, and how to comprehend every word that God has spoken: These are man’s responsibilities, and they are the first things that man should seek to understand and to enter into. If you do not seek to understand and enter into these truths, then your belief in God is meaningless—an empty slogan with no real content. If you are always surreptitiously pondering things relating to mysteries and to when God leaves the earth, or if you are always talking among yourselves about where God’s flesh was born, what kind of family He was born into, what kind of family background He has, what kind of life He has, how old He is, what kind of education He had, whether He ever believed in God, whether He ever read the Bible, and how long He believed in Jesus, and so on—if you are always studying these things, then you are judging God and blaspheming God’s flesh! God wants you to know His disposition and His essence, so that you may understand His heart, be able to submit to Him, and be able to practice the truth to satisfy Him; He does not let you study Him and discuss Him behind His back. Therefore, since we have accepted God’s incarnation and this stage of God’s work, and we have accepted Christ as our life and our God, we should have a God-fearing heart and treat God’s possessions and being and the flesh in which He has become incarnate with a devout attitude; this is the reason and humanity we should have. If you feel that you do not have any knowledge of God now, then don’t speak of it. Instead, speak of knowing yourself, of how to pursue the truth, and of how to perform your duties well, and equip yourself with these aspects of the truth. One day, when you feel as if you have some real knowledge of God, you can fellowship together. But do not attempt to talk about information concerning God’s incarnate flesh or some unknown mysteries, for you may easily offend God’s disposition, be condemned by God, and become a blasphemer, and the Holy Spirit will forsake you. This is a matter you must see clearly. Can the pursuit of truth be replaced by always studying God and inquiring into gossip? Can it enable you to know God? If you are unable to see these things clearly, are you not a very foolish and ignorant person?

People must understand exactly what the pursuit of the truth is. Why does God express so many truths to save people? Why does God require people to understand so many truths? If one does not understand these truths, can one fix one’s corrupt disposition? Can one know God without understanding these truths? If one does not know God, can one achieve submission to God? Can one worship God? These truths are all related. How can one achieve salvation without understanding these truths? Is it easy to understand these truths? Can one achieve an understanding of the truth without experiencing judgment and chastisement? Can one know oneself without experiencing prunings? Can one have true repentance without knowing oneself? Can one achieve salvation without true repentance? All these truths are truths that should be understood by believers in God, and they are truths that must be understood in order to achieve salvation. If your belief in God has always been confused and you have not been pursuing the truth, then you will have lost the meaning of believing in God.

Autumn, 2007

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