Words on Knowing Oneself (Excerpt 48)

Of those who believe in God, what kind of person is least likely to be saved, and what kind of nature is most likely to lead to destruction? Do you see this clearly? Whether one is a leader or a follower, what is man’s common nature? The common element within human nature is betrayal of God; every single person is capable of betraying God. What is betrayal of God? What are its manifestations? Is it only those who stop believing in God who betray Him? People must understand what man’s essence is, and grasp the root of it. Your temper tantrums, flaws, bad habits, or lack of upbringing are all superficial aspects. If you always cling to these trivial things, recklessly applying regulations and failing to grasp what is essential, leaving the things inherent in your nature and your corrupt disposition unresolved, you will ultimately still go astray and end up resisting God. People can betray God anytime and anywhere—this is a serious problem. Perhaps for a while, you might have a bit of a God-loving heart, enthusiastically expend yourself, and perform your duties with a bit of loyalty; or you might have perfectly normal reason and a conscience during this period, but people are unstable and fickle, capable of resisting and betraying God at any moment and anywhere due to a single incident. For example, someone could possess perfectly normal reason, have the work of the Holy Spirit, practical experience, a burden, and loyalty in performing their duty, but just when their faith is particularly strong, God’s house expels an antichrist whom they worship, and they start to have notions. They immediately become negative, lose their enthusiasm for their work, perform their duty perfunctorily, no longer wish to pray, and complain, “Why pray? If someone that good can be expelled, who can be saved? God shouldn’t treat people like this!” What is the nature of their words? Just one incident doesn’t align with their desires and they pass judgment on God. Isn’t this a manifestation of betraying God? People can stray from God anytime and anywhere; upon encountering some situation, they might conceive notions and judge and condemn God—isn’t this a manifestation of betraying God? This is a big deal. You might now think you don’t have any notions about God and can submit to Him, but if you do something wrong and suddenly face being sternly pruned, would you still be able to submit? Could you seek the truth for a resolution? If you cannot submit or seek the truth to resolve the problem of your rebelliousness, then there’s still a chance you could betray God. You may not have actually said “I no longer believe in God,” but your heart has already betrayed Him at that moment. You must see clearly what exactly human nature is. Is the essence of this nature betrayal? Very few are able to see man’s nature essence clearly. Of course, some people have a little conscience and relatively good humanity, while others have no humanity, but regardless of whether someone’s humanity is good or evil, or whether their caliber is good or poor, the common factor is that they can all betray God. Human nature is essentially that of betraying God. You used to think, “Since humans corrupted by Satan betray God by nature, there’s nothing I can do about it but change gradually.” Do you still think this way now? Then tell Me, can someone betray God without being corrupted? People can still betray God without being corrupted. When God created humans He gave them free will. Humans are particularly fragile; they do not possess the innate desire to draw close to God and say, “God is our Creator, and we are created beings.” There is no such concept in people. They naturally lack the truth, nor is there anything related to the worship of God within them. God gave humans free will, allowing them to think, but people don’t accept the truth, don’t know God at all, and don’t understand how to submit to and worship Him. These things do not exist in humans, so even without being corrupted you are still able to betray God. Why say you’re able to betray God? When Satan comes to tempt you, you follow Satan and betray God. You are created by God but do not follow Him, following Satan instead—doesn’t this make you a traitor? A traitor is by definition someone who betrays. Do you fully understand the essence of this? Therefore, people can betray God anytime and anywhere. People will only not betray God when they live completely in God’s kingdom and in His light, when all that is of Satan has been destroyed, and when there is no longer anything to tempt or entice them to sin. If there is still something which entices people to sin, then they will still be able to betray God. Humans, therefore, are worthless things. You might think that just because you can spout some words and doctrines that you understand some truths and cannot betray God, that you should at least be considered—if not as gold or silver—as bronze or iron, more valuable than earthenware, but you overestimate yourself. Do you know what humans really are? People can betray God anytime and anywhere, they are not worth a single penny; just as God said: Humans are beasts, worthless wretches. But in their hearts, people don’t think this way. They think, “I don’t think I’m a worthless wretch! Why can’t I see through this matter? How come I haven’t experienced it? My belief in God is sincere; I have faith, so I can’t betray God. God’s words are all truth, but I just can’t understand the phrase, ‘People can betray God anytime and anywhere.’ I’ve already seen God’s love; I could never betray Him at any time.” This is really what people think in their hearts, but God’s words are facts, they are not spoken out of thin air. Every matter is made evident to you, convincing you wholeheartedly; only in this way will you be able to recognize your corruption and resolve the problem of betrayal. In the kingdom, there will be no betrayal; when people live under God’s dominion and not under Satan’s control, they are truly free. Then, there will be no need to worry about betraying God; such concern would be unnecessary, superfluous. In the future, it can be declared that you no longer have anything within you that would betray God, but for now, this is not the case. Because people have corrupt dispositions, they can betray God anytime. It’s not that the presence of certain circumstances leads to betrayal, and without certain circumstances or coercion you won’t betray God—even without coercion, you can still betray Him. This is a problem of man’s corrupt essence, a problem of man’s nature. Even if you aren’t thinking or doing anything now, the reality of your nature truly does exist, and cannot be eradicated by anyone. Since you have the nature of betraying God within you; He is not in your heart; in the depths of your heart, there is no place for God and no presence of the truth; thus, you can betray God anytime and anywhere. Angels are different; while they don’t have God’s disposition or essence, they are able to completely submit to God because they were created by Him specifically for His service, to carry out His commands everywhere. They belong entirely to God. As for humans, God intended for them to live on the earth, not equipping them with the faculty to worship Him. Thus, humans can betray and resist God. This proves that humans can be used and contested by anyone; they have no sovereignty of their own. Humans are such beings, utterly devoid of dignity and worthless!

God exposes man’s betraying nature so people can have a true understanding of this matter and of themselves. People can start to change and try to find paths of practice from this aspect, understanding in which things they can betray God and what corrupt dispositions they have that can lead to betraying God. Once you reach a point where you do not rebel against God in many aspects, and do not betray Him in most aspects, when you come to the end of your life’s journey, to the moment when God’s work is finished, you will no longer need to worry about whether you will betray God in the future. Why do I say this? Before people were corrupted by Satan, they could betray God when enticed by Satan. When Satan is destroyed, won’t people stop betraying God? That time has not yet come. People still have Satan’s corrupt disposition within them, able to betray God anytime and anywhere. Once you have experienced life to a certain stage, where you have discarded all those wrong views, notions, and imaginings about resisting and betraying God; you have understood the truth, with many positive things in your heart; you can control yourself and master your own actions; and you no longer betray God in most situations, then when Satan is destroyed, you will be completely changed. The current stage of work is to solve man’s betrayal and rebellion. Future mankind will not betray God because Satan will have been dealt with. There will no longer be the matter of Satan misleading and corrupting mankind; this matter will then be unrelated to mankind. Now, people are asked to understand man’s betraying nature, which is an issue of the utmost significance. This is where you should start from. What belongs to the nature of betraying God? What constitutes the revelations of betrayal? How should people reflect and understand? How should they practice and enter? All of this must be understood and seen clearly. So long as the nature of betrayal still exists within someone, they can betray God anytime and anywhere. Even if they don’t openly deny or sell out God, they can still do many things which people would not consider betrayal, but which in essence are. This means that people have no autonomy; Satan has occupied them first. If you could betray God without being corrupted, how much more can you do so now that you are full of Satan’s corrupt disposition? Aren’t you even more capable of betraying God anytime and anywhere? The current task is to get rid of those corrupt dispositions, reducing the things that make you betray God, giving you more chances to be perfected and accepted by God in His presence. As you experience more of God’s work in various matters, you’ll be able to gain some truths and be perfected to some extent. If Satan and demons still come to tempt you, or evil spirits come to mislead and disturb you, you’ll be able to execute some discernment, and thus act less in ways which betray God. This is something that is developed inside people over time. When humans were first created, they didn’t know to worship or submit to God, nor did they know what it was to betray Him. When Satan came to entice them, they followed it and betrayed God, becoming traitors, because they were unable to distinguish good and evil, and didn’t have the faculty to worship God—even less did they understand that God is the Creator of mankind, and how they should worship Him. Now, God saves people by working truths about knowing Him—including His essence, disposition, almightiness, practicality, and so on—into them so that they become their life, granting them autonomy and enabling them to live according to the truth. The deeper you experience God’s words and their judgment and chastisement, the deeper you’ll understand your own corrupt disposition, and this will give you the resolve to submit to, love, and satisfy God. The more you know God, then the more of your corrupt dispositions you can cast off, and within you there will be fewer things which betray God and more things which are compatible with Him, thus completely overcoming and triumphing over Satan. With the truth, people gain autonomy and are no longer misled or constrained by Satan, living a true human life. Some people ask: “If man has a corrupt nature within them and can betray God anytime and anywhere, then how can God still say He has made man complete?” Being made complete means that through experiencing God’s work, people come to know God and their own nature, understanding how to worship God and submit to God. They can discern between the work of God and the work of man, recognize the difference between the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of evil spirits, and understand how Satan and demons resist God, how mankind resists God, what a created being is, and who the Creator is. All these are added to people through God’s work after they are created. So, the final completed humans are more substantial and valuable than those who were not corrupted initially, as God has added something to them, wrought something inside them. Hence, the final completed humans have more autonomy than Adam and Eve had, with a better understanding of the truth about worshiping and submitting to God, and how to conduct themselves. Adam and Eve didn’t know these things. When tempted by the serpent, they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and then realized their shame, yet still did not know how to worship God. From then on, mankind became increasingly more corrupt until now. This is quite a profound matter; none can clearly understand it. Due to the instincts of human flesh, people can betray God at any time and in any place, but ultimately, God will make man complete and bring them into the next age. This is something people find hard to understand; it can only be slowly experienced. Once the truth is understood, it will naturally become clear.

Why is it required for people to know God? It’s because without knowing God, people will resist Him. If someone doesn’t understand the truth, they’re liable to be misled and used by Satan and evil spirits. They won’t be able to escape Satan’s influence, thus failing to achieve salvation. But if someone understands the truth, they will then have true knowledge of God, be able to truly submit to Him, testify to Him, and be gained by Him. Satan won’t be able to mislead or exploit such a person, even if it wanted to; this is what it means to be completely free of Satan’s influence and to have achieved salvation, and this is the significance of God’s requirement that people know Him. If you know God, then you can be saved by Him; without knowing God, you cannot achieve salvation. If someone doesn’t understand God’s intentions and doesn’t pursue the truth at all, living instead by their satanic disposition, and not practicing the truth even if they understand some of it, still knowingly transgressing, then they are truly irredeemable. Which state are you in now? As long as you have a shred of hope now, then whether or not God remembers your past transgressions, what mentality should you maintain? “I must pursue a change in my disposition, pursue knowledge of God, never again be fooled by Satan, and never again do anything that would bring shame to God’s name.” People now are so profoundly corrupted and lack any worth. What key areas determine whether they can be saved and whether they have any hope? The key is, after listening to a sermon, whether or not you can comprehend the truth, whether or not you can put the truth into practice, and whether or not you can change. These are the key areas. If you only feel remorse, and when it comes time to do things you just do whatever you want, in the same old ways, not only not seeking the truth, still clinging to old views, methods, and regulations, and not only not reflecting on and trying to know yourself, but instead getting worse and worse, and still insisting on walking your old path, then you will be without hope, and should be written off. With greater knowledge of God and deeper knowledge of yourself, you will be better able to stop yourself from committing evil and sinning. The more thorough your knowledge of your nature, the better you can protect yourself, and after summarizing your experiences and lessons, you won’t fail again. In actual fact, everyone has some blemishes; it is just that God doesn’t hold them accountable for these. Everyone has them, it is just a matter of degree; some can be spoken of, others cannot. Some people do things that others know about, while some people do things without anyone knowing about it. Everyone has transgressions and blemishes in them, and they all reveal certain corrupt dispositions, like arrogance or self-righteousness; they have all had some deviations in their work or occasionally been rebellious. These are all understandable; they are unavoidable for corrupt mankind. But once people understand the truth, they should be able to avoid this and transgress no more; there’s no need for them to be troubled by past transgressions anymore. What’s key is whether people repent, whether they have truly changed. Those who repent and change are the ones who are saved, while those who remain unrepentant and unchanged throughout must be eliminated. If, after understanding the truth, people still knowingly transgress, if they are steadfastly unrepentant, utterly unchanged, no matter how they are pruned or warned, then such people are beyond salvation.

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