Life Entry Begins With the Performance of Duty (Part Two)
In order to do your duty to an acceptable standard, you must first have the proper mentality. When your corrupt disposition pours forth, you must also adjust your own state. When you are able to treat your duty correctly, when you have shaken off the constraints and influences of all kinds of people, events, or things, when you can completely submit to God, then you will be able to do your duty well. The secret to doing this is to always put your duty and responsibilities first. In the process of doing your duty, you must always examine yourself: “Do I have a perfunctory attitude toward doing my duty? What things disturb me and cause me to be perfunctory in doing my duty? Am I doing my duty with all my heart and strength? Will acting this way enable God to trust me? Have I completely submitted my heart to God? Is doing my duty this way in accordance with principles? Will doing my duty this way achieve the best results?” You should often reflect on these questions. When you discover problems, you should actively seek the truth, and find the relevant words of God to solve them. Thus, you will be able to do your duty well, and you will have peace and joy in your heart. If problems frequently arise as you do your duty, most of them come from problems with your intentions—they are the problems of a corrupt disposition. When a person’s corrupt disposition pours forth, they will have problems in their heart and their state will be abnormal, which will directly influence their ability to do their duty. Problems that influence one’s ability to do their duty are big, serious problems; they can directly influence their relationship with God. For example, some people develop notions and misunderstandings about God when disasters befall their families. Some people become negative when they bear hardships in their duties, no one sees it or praises them. Some people do not do their duty well, always being perfunctory, and they complain against God when they are pruned and dealt with. Some people are unwilling to do their duty because they are always considering an escape route. These problems all directly influence a normal relationship with God. These are all problems of a corrupt disposition. They all stem from the fact that people do not know God, that they always scheme for and consider themselves, which prevents them from thinking about the will of God or submitting to God’s plans. This produces all kinds of negative feelings. This is just how people who do not pursue the truth are. When little problems come upon them, they become negative and weak, they vent frustration over doing their duty, they disobey and resist God, and they want to give up on their responsibilities and betray God. All these things are the various consequences produced by the constraints of a corrupt disposition. A person who loves the truth is able to set aside their own life, future, and destiny, and they only want to pursue and obtain the truth. They think that there is not enough time, they fear that they will be unable to do their duty, and that they will not be able to be perfected, so they are able to cast everything aside. Their mentality is just to turn to and submit to God. They are undaunted by any difficulties, and if they feel negative or weak, they resolve it naturally by reading a few passages from the words of God. People who do not pursue the truth are troubled, and no matter how you fellowship about the truth with them, they are unable to fully resolve their problems. Even if they momentarily come around and are able to accept the truth, they will nevertheless go back on it later, so it is very difficult to handle this kind of person. It is not that they do not understand anything of the truth, it is that they do not treasure or accept the truth in their heart. In the end, this leads to them being unable to set aside their own will, selfishness, future, destiny, and destination, which then always arise to disturb them. If a person is able to accept the truth, then as they understand the truth, all those things that belong to a corrupt disposition will naturally disappear, and they will have life entry and stature; they will no longer be an ignorant child. When a person has stature, they will grow more and more able to understand things, more and more able to discern between all kinds of people, and they will not be constrained by any person, event, or thing. They will not be influenced by anything anyone says or does. They will not be subject to interference from the evil forces of Satan, or to the deception and disturbances of false leaders and antichrists. If this happens, will a person’s stature not gradually grow? The more a person understands the truth, the faster their life will progress, and it will be easy for them to successfully do their duty and enter into the reality of the truth. When you have life entry and your life is gradually growing, your state will become increasingly normal. The people, events, and things that were once able to disturb and constrain you will no longer be a problem for you. You will have no more difficulties in doing your duty, and your relationship with God will become increasingly normal. When you know how to rely on God, when you know how to seek God’s will, when you know your own place, when you know what you should and should not do, and which matters do and do not require you to take responsibility, will your state not become increasingly normal? Living like this will not make you tired, will it? Not only will you not be tired, you will feel especially relaxed and happy. Will your heart not be filled with light as a result? Your mentality will be normal, the outpourings of your corrupt disposition will decrease, and you will be able to live in the presence of God, to live out normal humanity. When people see your mental outlook, they will think that there has been a great change in you. They will be willing to fellowship with you, will feel peace and joy in their hearts, and will also be benefited. As your stature grows, your speech and actions will become more proper and principled. When you see people who are weak and negative, you will be able to give them substantial help—not constraining or lecturing them, but rather using your own real experiences to help and benefit them. This way, you will not just be exerting yourself in the house of God, you will be a useful person, able to take responsibility on yourself, and able to do more meaningful things in the house of God. Is this not the kind of person God likes? If you are a person God likes, will everyone not also like you? (They will.) Why is God pleased by this kind of person? Because they are able to do practical things before Him, they are not prone to flattery, they deal in practical matters, and they are able to help and lead others by speaking about their true experiences. They are able to help others solve any problem, and when there are difficulties in the work of the church, they are able to lead the way forward, actively solving problems. This is what it means to loyally do their duty. They are able to help their brothers and sisters solve their problems, which proves that they have life entry. The fact that they can do so many practical things proves that they practice the truth, and that they live in the presence of God. Because they have the reality of the truth, they are also able to lead others to enter into the reality of the truth. If you do not possess the reality of the truth or have true experiences, then can you lead others into the presence of God? If you do not live in the presence of God yourself, then you cannot lead others into His presence. If you just exert yourself as you do your duty, without seeking the principles of the truth at all, and are unwilling to satisfy God, then you are not living in the presence of God. Are those who do not live in the presence of God able to accept His scrutiny? Are they able to withstand God’s tests? Are they able to stand firm in the midst of trials? (No, they are not able to.) Can this kind of person bear testimony to God? Can they testify of Him? (No, they cannot.) What kind of person is unable to testify of God? Are they someone who truly believes in God? At the very least, they have not yet entered into the reality of the truth of, and they still exist outside God’s words. Someone who has believed in God for many years without any life entry, who cannot speak about their experiential testimony, much less testify of God, who cannot successfully spread the gospel to anyone—they are unworthy to be called a witness of God. So, someone who is of immature stature and has no life entry can never testify of God. The unspoken implication is that this kind of person does not live in the presence of God. If you do not live in the presence of God, do not have life entry, and are not a witness of God, then will He acknowledge you as one of His followers? He will not. God has given you an opportunity to do your duty, and you are willing to do it, but through your behavior He has seen that you cannot testify of Him, even after believing in Him for so long. Not only do you not have true experiential knowledge, you also live according to your notions and imagination, you have no reality of the truth, and you do not live in the presence of God. If He gives you a trial, you cannot endure it; if He prunes and deals with you, you cannot bear it; if He judges and chastises you, then you give up on your responsibilities and get into a bad mood, and He will think: “This person is like a tiger no one dares to touch! Wherever I go to do My work or speak, this kind of person is unworthy to follow, unworthy to be with Me.” Why would He say this? Because this kind of person does not understand the truth, they do not have a pure understanding, they do not have true experiences, and they do not understand God’s will. If they do not understand God’s will, can they be compatible with Him? If they do not understand His will, can they comprehend it? Can they accept the truth? It is hard to say, and these are all unknowns. So, if this kind of person were with God, then they would have misgivings about Him in everything, and they would not comprehend Him, which would then give rise to all kinds of misunderstandings, complaints, and judgments about God at every turn. In the end, this would give rise to rebellion. Could God want someone who rebels against Him? Could God allow them to become His follower? He could not. If you want God to approve you as one of His followers, then you must first focus on life entry. You must start by understanding yourself, being able to cast off your corrupt disposition, achieving the ability to hold to your duty, and doing your duty according to God’s requirements—that is first. Focusing on life entry is for the sake of doing your duty well, which is what this is all fundamentally about. You should start pursuing life entry from doing your duty, and from life entry, you should understand and obtain the truth one drop at a time, until you reach a point where you have stature, where your life gradually grows and you have real experiences with the truth. Then you should master all kinds of principles of practice, so that you are able to do your duty without being constrained or disturbed by any person, event, or thing. In this way, you will gradually live in God’s presence. You will not be disturbed by any kind of person, event, or thing, and you will have experience with the truth. As your experience becomes more abundant, you will be more able to testify of God, and as you are more able to testify of God, you will gradually become a useful person. When you become a useful person, you will be able to do your duty to an acceptable standard in the house of God, you will be able to stand in the place of a created being and submit to God’s arrangements and orchestrations, and you will be able to stand firm. Only this kind of person is an acceptable created being who has God’s praise. Then you will be worthy of all God has given you.
What is the key to entering into the reality of the truth? You must learn how to practice the truth and how to handle matters in a principled way. What use is it to always swear oaths and express your will? If you always swear oaths and express your will, but are still unable to practice the truth, then it is of no use at all. The most crucial, most real thing is to achieve life entry in the process of doing your duty, through seeking the truth to resolve the various problems which appear as you do your duty, and to reverse your mistaken attitudes toward your duty. What does it mean to have life entry? Having life entry means that you have experience with and knowledge of the truth, and are able to practice it correctly. Do you all have life entry right now? Are you able to testify of God? Are you not still stuck on doctrine the majority of the time? Are you not stopping at the doctrine, without really having knowledge of or experience with the truth? If you cannot attain true experiences and knowledge of the truth, then you cannot testify of God. The majority of the time your knowledge is perceptual. You are ambivalent, feeling as if one thing and another are both right; when God says one thing, it’s as if it’s the truth to you, and when He says something else, it’s also the truth. You feel as if all the words of God are the truth, and you say amen to them and praise them, but you cannot hold yourself up to them for comparison. When you do things, you are still confused, and you do not know which truths to use to solve your problems. Are the majority of you not in this state? Although you understand much and can speak much about doctrine, you cannot use it in your real lives. You still do not know how to practice the truth, nor do you know how to apply God’s words in your real lives, and no matter what befalls you, you do not know how to seek the truth to resolve your problems. This is because your stature is too small. When you know how to experience, practice, and apply God’s words in your real lives, and when you know how to seek the truth to solve problems after something befalls you, then your lives will grow. Knowing how to practice the truth is a sign that your life is growing. Someday, when you are able to solve problems with the truth, when you have some knowledge of God, when you can, through sharing your true knowledge of God, testify of His work, His holy and righteous disposition, and His omnipotence and wisdom, then you will be able to truly testify of God, and you will be qualified to be used by God. If you understand a lot and are able to talk about doctrine all day long, but you cannot resolve anything related to your own problems or do not know how to solve them, then that proves that the things you understand are not the truth, they are just the letter of doctrine. Even if you speak some doctrine very realistically, in reality, this is just perceptual knowledge, which has not yet achieved rationality. Although people are edified after listening to you, having the same feelings as you, and your knowledge is even able to achieve some results in them, you are not able to speak on it too clearly, nor are you able to totally solve problems. This proves that the doctrines you have talked about are merely perceptual knowledge. You cannot say that they are the reality of the truth, much less that you have entered into the reality of the truth. Now how do you resolve the problem of talking about the letter of doctrine? It requires you to reflect on the various kinds of corruption that are revealed in you as you do your duty, to reflect on the origins of every problem you encounter, and then to seek the truth, and to use God’s words to thoroughly resolve the corrupt disposition you have revealed. Whether what pours forth from you is arrogance and self-righteousness or twistedness and deceitfulness, whether selfishness and meanness or perfunctoriness and lying to God, you must reflect on these corrupt dispositions until you see them clearly. This way, you will know what problems exist as you do your duty, and how far away you are from achieving salvation. Only when you can clearly see your own corrupt disposition will you be able to know where the difficulties and obstacles in doing your duty lie. Only then will you be able to resolve problems at their source. For example, say you do not take responsibility for doing your duty, instead always acting perfunctorily, causing losses in your work, but you care about your face, so you are unwilling to openly fellowship about your state and difficulties, or to practice self-dissection and self-knowledge, instead always looking for excuses to deal with things perfunctorily. How should you solve this problem? You must pray to God and self-reflect, saying: “O God, if I speak like that, it is only to protect my own face. It’s my corrupt disposition talking. I should not speak like that. I must open myself up, lay myself bare, and speak the true thoughts of my heart out loud. I would rather suffer shame and loss of face than satisfy my own vanity. I only want to satisfy God.” This way, by forsaking yourself and speaking the true thoughts of your heart out loud, you are practicing being an honest person, and moreover, you are not acting according to your own will or protecting your own face. You are able to put God’s words into practice, to practice the truth according to the will of God, to earnestly do your duty, and to completely fulfill your responsibilities. Thus, not only are you practicing the truth and doing your duty well, you are also upholding the interests of the house of God, and God’s heart is satisfied. This is a just and honorable way to live, worthy to be brought before both God and men. This is so wonderful! Practicing this way is a bit difficult, but if your efforts and practice are aimed in this direction, then even if you fail a time or two, you will certainly be successful. And what does success mean to you? It means that when you practice the truth, you are able to take this step that frees you from the bonds of Satan, a step that allows you to forsake yourself. It means that you are able to put aside vanity and prestige, to stop seeking your own profit, and to stop doing selfish and mean things. When you put this into practice, you show people that you are someone who loves the truth, who yearns for the truth, someone who yearns for righteousness and light. This is the result you achieve by practicing the truth. At the same time, you also bring shame upon Satan. Satan corrupted you, it made you look out for yourself, it made you selfish, it made you think of your own prestige. But now, these satanic things can no longer bind you, you have broken free of them, you are no longer controlled by vanity, prestige, or your own personal interests, and you practice the truth, so Satan is utterly humiliated, and there is nothing it can do. Then are you not victorious? When you are victorious, do you not stand firm in your testimony to God? Do you not fight the good fight? When you have fought the good fight, you have peace and joy, and a sense of ease in your heart. If you often have a sense of accusation in your life, if your heart can find no rest, if you are without peace or joy, and are often beset by worry and anxiety about all kinds of things, what does this demonstrate? Merely that you do not practice the truth, do not stand firm in your testimony to God. When you live amid the disposition of Satan, you are liable to often fail to practice the truth, to turn your back on the truth, to be selfish and vile; you only uphold your image, your name and status, and your interests. Always living for yourself brings you great pain. You have so many selfish desires, entanglements, fetters, misgivings, and vexations that you do not have the least peace or joy. To live for the sake of corrupted flesh is to suffer excessively. Those who pursue the truth are different. The more they understand the truth, the more free and liberated they become; the more they practice the truth, the more they have peace and joy. When they obtain the truth, they will live completely in the light, enjoy God’s blessings, and have no pain at all.
Right now, in which state do you all mostly live? Do you live in a positive state or a negative state most of the time? (We live in a negative state most of the time.) For someone who always lives in a negative state to persist in doing their duty without giving up on their responsibilities is not a simple thing! You all are often passive, but you do not know how to resolve this. Sometimes, it takes a great deal of effort for you to resolve your passive states, and when things do not go your way, you once again become passive. You always roll around in your passivity, and you could not stand even if you wanted to; you cannot do any duty well, and you are so incompetent that no one can help you. Is living like this not tiring? (It is.) Then how do you fully deal with the problem of passivity? You absolutely must understand some of the truth. The amount of doctrine you can speak about will not solve your problems. Once a person truly understands the truth, and once they are able to solve any passivity or difficulties they encounter, it will then not be so taxing for them to perform their duty. Only by obtaining the truth can someone be free and liberated. Right now, the thing you all lack most is the truth, but obtaining the truth is not something that can be done overnight. You must have a true knowledge of the work of God, and be able to clearly see people’s corrupt dispositions. This requires time, and you must seek the truth in order to understand it. You can all feel the pain of living in a corrupt disposition, you have a deep understanding of it. Have you experienced the peace and happiness that are produced in your heart after you understand the truth, when you are able to practice the truth and observe the principles of the truth? Do you have many such experiences? If these experiences are truly abundant, that means you completely possess the reality of the truth. You will have the feeling of living in the light and in God’s presence. If you occasionally enjoy a little of God’s enlightenment, you will be very pleased. If you occasionally rely on God instead of people, and God gives you a little light, a way forward that you had not thought of, and the matter is dealt with, you will be very pleased. It is not enough to frequently have these little experiences; you must still continue to put effort toward the truth. On one hand, you must understand the truth about visions, have a perfectly clear understanding of the work of God, and truly have a knowledge of the disposition of God. This way, when you again encounter difficulties as you do your duty, at the very least it will not give rise to notions, nor will it give rise to disobedience. This is one aspect of things. Additionally, you must put forth effort toward life entry. The truths which must be practiced and entered into must be summarized, like coming to know yourself, being an honest person, learning to submit to God, how to rely on God, how to loyally do your duty, how to discern between all kinds of people, how you should treat Satan, what wisdom you ought to possess, etc. Only by experiencing and entering into these different aspects of the truth can you fear God and shun evil, and become a perfect person. So how many aspects of the reality of the truth have you entered into now? Which aspects of the reality of the truth have you not yet entered into? You must keep track of this score in your heart. When you have entered into many truths related to practice, then your life will have already grown, and you will truly have stature. When your stature has grown to a certain level, then you will be able to enter onto the road of being perfected by God, and you will have true stature. This is not a matter which can be rushed—you cannot eat an elephant in a single bite. Right now, what is the most crucial and important thing you need to resolve? It is that you must do your duty well, and have life entry as you do your duty. This is the key. You cannot merely expend effort—you must put your heart into it. God does not want you to sell out your labor as you do the duty of a created being, rather He wants you to offer Him your sincerity. As you do your duty, you must have life entry. Only once you have life entry will you have life, only when you have life can you grow, and only those who have life have the truth.
August 10, 2015