Only in the Practice of the Truth Is There Life Entry (Part One)

Where should a person start when taking the first step into life entry? What does a person need to have in order to achieve life entry? What are the most crucial and important things a person should pursue and gain in order to enter into the truth realities? Have you ever considered these questions? What is life entry? Life entry is a change in a person’s day-to-day life, in their actions, in their life’s direction, and in the goal of their pursuit. Having been foolish and ignorant in the past, and having always acted according to the thoughts, notions, and imaginings of the flesh, a person now, through God’s exposing, watering, and provision, may come to understand that they should act in accord with God’s words. Additionally, this person has undergone a transformation as a result of God’s words, in daily life, with regard to their views and style of conducting themselves, and with regard to their direction and goals in life. This is life entry. What is the basis of life entry? (The words of God.) That’s right. Life entry is inseparable from the words of God; it is inseparable from the truth; every word God speaks is the truth. What is manifested in people who have achieved life entry? (They are able to rely on the words of God to live.) That’s right. They are able to rely on the words of God to live. Their actions, speech, thoughts about problems, viewpoints, stances, and perspectives all rely on the words of God and on the truth. These are manifestations of having attained life entry. So, what is life entry primarily connected to? (God’s words.) It is connected to God’s words and the truth. So, now, could one define a person with life entry as a person who pursues the truth, and a person who truly pursues the truth as a person with life entry? (Yes.) What is the goal of defining things this way? In what direction should we aim our fellowship? (At pursuing the truth.) Pursuing the truth is the main topic I want to fellowship on today. At the present time, you are not too clear on the relationship between life entry and pursuing the truth—it is not very evident to you. I am always fellowshipping on life entry, transforming people’s dispositions, and dissecting Paul’s path. What is the main topic that this all boils down to? It is pursuing the truth. No matter whether I dissect the path Paul followed, or talk about the path to perfection that Peter followed—no matter what I talk about, ultimately, what kind of path is it My goal to make everyone follow? (The path of pursuing the truth.) When people are able to pursue the truth, enter into the truth realities, live according to God’s words, understand God’s will, and do things according to the principles of God’s words, are the goals people pursue, and the paths they follow not clear? (Yes, they are.) Pursuing the truth is a topic which is impossible for people to avoid when they believe in God, seek to transform their disposition, and pursue salvation. Only those who pursue the truth are true believers, and can achieve salvation. Some people have passion and are willing to expend themselves for God, but they are not necessarily people who pursue the truth. Although everyone is willing to pursue the truth, some people are of poor caliber, they lack comprehension ability and cannot grasp the truth. Some people do not have spiritual understanding; no matter how they listen to sermons, they never understand, nor do they understand when they read God’s words. They always comprehend things in a distorted way, and try to apply regulations. These are people who do not have spiritual understanding. There are people in the church who have spiritual understanding, and those who do not have spiritual understanding; there are those with poor caliber who lack comprehension ability, and those of good caliber who have a pure comprehension of God’s words; there are those who pursue the truth, and those who do not. These different types of people all have different states and manifestations, and you must be able to discern between them clearly.

Let’s start by discussing the first type of person—people who do not have spiritual understanding. For example, we fellowship on an aspect of the truth, and after we finish fellowshipping on this aspect of the truth and people’s states, attitudes, intents, and manifestations, there are some people who don’t understand what was said, don’t understand what was fellowshipped on, who can’t compare themselves to it, and don’t know what relationship their behavior and manifestations, their corrupt disposition, and their nature essence have with the truth that was fellowshipped on. They also don’t know what this has to do with the things they pursue in their life, or why this sermon was preached—all they understand from it is doctrine, and they read regulations into it. When someone asks them what they understood, they say, “Although many topics were fellowshipped on today, the main point was the same: If something happens, pray more.” There are others who say, “I understand. God makes people be good, not do bad things, and do lots of good deeds. God likes this.” There are still others who say, “God is telling people they must expend themselves for God, and give a lot of themselves.” Have they understood God’s words? (No.) These people all think they have understood His words, but they are actually fumbling around in the dark, and have latched on to just one sentence from His words. Their understanding is too one-sided, and they don’t understand what God meant at all. For people who don’t understand God’s words, no matter how much God says, all they see are regulations, doctrine, one kind of theory, one kind of perspective, or one kind of saying. When it comes to putting it into practice, how do they put it into practice? For example, when we talk about the truth of submitting to God, after listening they say, “I will do whatever God tells me to do. This is what it means to listen to His words and submit to Him.” Isn’t this overly simplistic? That’s all they can understand. They do not understand what way of practicing God’s words is true submission to Him, how to seek God’s will and achieve submission to God, how to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and how to practice the truth according to God’s words, let alone how to stand on God’s side and protect the church’s work. The more something has to do with truths that are key to submitting to God, the more they are incapable of grasping it. All they know how to do is follow regulations. This is what it means to not have spiritual understanding. Besides following regulations and getting stuck in the rut of their own thinking, people who do not have spiritual understanding are impervious to reason. What is the primary expression of people who do not have spiritual understanding? (Following regulations.) It is following regulations. They often take a sentence or an event and designate it as a regulation or a mode to follow. Do these people, then, treat the truth in the same way? (Yes.) Those who do not have spiritual understanding remember one aspect of the manifestations of the truth that you fellowshipped today; they designate those words and behaviors as regulations that should be practiced, remembering each of them without fail. Then, next time, upon encountering a different situation, if no one fellowships, they will apply those prior methods and regulations indiscriminately, and put them into practice. This is a concrete manifestation of people who do not have spiritual understanding. How do such people feel while they are following regulations? (Tired.) They do not feel tired; if they did, they would stop. They feel they are practicing the truth; they do not feel they are following a set of regulations, nor do they feel they do not have spiritual understanding. Still less do they feel they have not understood the truth, or that they have no understanding of what the truth principles are. On the contrary, they think they have understood the practical side of the truth, as well as the principles of that aspect of the truth; at the same time, they think they have understood God’s will, and that, if they can act in line with their regulations, they will have entered that aspect of the truth reality, satisfied God’s will, and put the truth into practice. Isn’t this what people who do not have spiritual understanding think? (Yes, it is.) Does this way of thinking accord with the standards required by God? Is practicing by following regulations actually a manifestation of pursuing the truth? (No, it’s not.) Why not? (Because when something happens they do not seek the truth, and do not put effort into contemplating the matter; they just cling stubbornly to the way they’ve always done things.) This is how the type of people who do not have spiritual understanding act—they stubbornly cling to old ways, are lazy, do not seek the truth when things happen, and do not think about things or investigate. Also, even if they investigate, are they able to understand what it means? (No.) Why don’t they understand? (Because they do not have spiritual understanding.) Correct. What it boils down to is that people like this do not have spiritual understanding, and will never understand the truth.

Actually, in their hearts, people who do not have spiritual understanding are willing to pursue the truth, but they go about it in the wrong way. To be precise, they rely mainly on following regulations, coloring within the lines, and adhering to doctrine, or applying other people’s ways of doing things, and mimicking their words. So, what is the essence of this sort of person? Why do they treat following regulations as practicing the truth, and think that practicing in this way is pursuing the truth? Why does this problem occur? There is a root—can you see it? (They treat their views, notions, and imaginings as the truth. They do not understand God’s words, and have not truly grasped God’s will.) This is part of it. What else? (They are arrogant and self-righteous, and when something happens they do not seek the truth. They treat the things they think are right as the truth.) This is the way some people who do not have spiritual understanding are, but this is not the root of the problem. What made people like this manifest themselves this way? People who do not have spiritual understanding and like to follow the regulations listen to sermons very earnestly, especially when it concerns their practice. For example, how to perform their duties, and how to do the things they should do well. They pay attention, but the central problem is that they cannot draw comparisons between their state and what they hear in the sermon. For example, if it talks about people’s rebelliousness, after they listen, they think, “Rebellious? Not me! If people are not allowed to be rebellious, then if I come across a situation like this in the future, I shouldn’t speak up. I should just bear it, and read people’s tone and expressions. I will look at what people around me say, and how they do things, and follow suit. Then, I won’t be rebellious, right?” After they listen to a sermon, the conclusions they draw are just a bunch of their own logic and methods of practice. They have no response to all the states exposed in the sermon, and cannot draw any comparisons with themselves. Their minds are muddled. What do I mean by “muddled”? They do not know what the sermon is actually talking about. Inside, they think, “What is being fellowshipped on? Why is it not put in plainer terms? Today this stuff is being fellowshipped on, and tomorrow it will be some other stuff.” From their perspective, practicing the truth is easy: Just do what you are asked to do. So far as all the states and corrupt dispositions that are exposed in the sermon, they cannot compare them with themselves. They are hazy and draw a blank when it comes to what thoughts, ideas, and various corrupt dispositions people reveal in each sort of circumstance during the process of life entry. They can’t distinguish between the details, nor draw comparisons with themselves. How do people who can’t draw comparisons with themselves feel after listening to the truth? (They think it is talking about other people, and that it has nothing to do with themselves.) That’s right. This is the main feature; they cannot draw comparisons with themselves. When they see words which expose people’s corrupt states, they think it is talking only about other people. They can admit it when average problems or common problems people have are exposed, but when it comes to words pertaining to corrupt dispositions or people’s essences, they categorically do not accept it; they will not admit it under any circumstances—it is as though admitting it would mean they were condemned. This is the problem all people who do not have spiritual understanding have in common. When they are faced with God’s exposure of every kind of state and manifestation people have, and every way their nature essence reveals itself, they do not accept any of it, nor do they compare themselves with it or reflect. Instead, they frequently take these words and problems and project them onto other people, thinking it has nothing to do with themselves. Not only do people like this not accept the truth, but they do not have normal thought processes, their words are evasive and circle around, and the question they answer is not the one you asked. For example, if you ask them whether they have eaten yet, they say they do not want water; if you ask them if they feel sleepy, they say they are not thirsty. They are frequently in this kind of muddled state, and mixed-up frame of mind. This is how people who do not have spiritual understanding manifest themselves. There are people who do not have spiritual understanding in every church. Although they have problems in common with each other, there are also subtle differences. Are there any people who completely lack spiritual understanding? (Yes.) People who have believed in God for under three years are very fuzzy on matters like believing in God, life entry, pursuing the truth, pursuing the transformation of their dispositions, and being perfected. They rely on just passion to do their duty, doing this or that for God, and are at the stage of putting in effort and laboring. They do not understand matters to do with life entry, and they have absolutely no concept of life entry and pursuing the truth. They just like to do things which are visible on the outside, and lean into their passion to do it. These are people who completely lack spiritual understanding. Can someone who completely lacks spiritual understanding at this stage be labeled as someone who does not pursue the truth? (No.) They haven’t believed in God for a long enough time, so they cannot be labeled yet. Because they are still in the passionate stage, they do not understand anything about the aims of God’s management plan, people’s path to salvation, or the different paths each type of person follows, so their lack of spiritual understanding is forgivable; this is a normal thing. However, as for those who already understand what life entry is, and have already begun to be acquainted with all the truths pertaining to life entry and the transformation of dispositions, are there any among them who completely lack spiritual understanding? (Yes, there are.) They still exist. Even if someone who completely lacks spiritual understanding is willing in their heart to pursue the truth, they cannot achieve it, so it can be said with certainty that there is no way people who completely lack spiritual understanding are people who pursue the truth, and absolutely no way their manifestations will be that of a person who pursues the truth.

What are the different ways people who have spiritual understanding and those who do not have spiritual understanding manifest themselves? People who do not have spiritual understanding are fundamentally unaware and ignorant of the truths God has fellowshipped on, as well as the states, context, and indications of His words, and they cannot compare themselves to it. Those who have spiritual understanding are the exact opposite. For example, if I fellowship on people’s rebelliousness, and that within rebelliousness there is intransigence, selfishness, and stubborn foolishness, as well as misunderstandings about God, and resistance and opposition toward Him, when I talk about states pertaining to this topic, no matter whether I give an example, talk about an aspect of the truth, touch on a state that exists in your heart, or fellowship on topics about the truth principles, if you truly understand what you hear, then you are a person who has spiritual understanding. If you understand what you hear and are able to put it into practice, then you are a person who practices the truth. When people who have spiritual understanding hear God’s words, they are capable of pure comprehension, and can even understand the truth. No matter what God talks about, they are able to keep up, and are able to draw comparisons between their state and God’s words, and can find a path to practice. This is the manifestation of having spiritual understanding. After people who have spiritual understanding read God’s words, their heart is brightened and they gain something from it. Their spirit is particularly free, and they feel there is a path they can follow. Therefore, every time they listen to a sermon they gain something from it, and every time they read God’s words, they are enriched. This is how spiritual understanding manifests itself. No matter what God fellowships, after those who have spiritual understanding hear it, images will surface in their minds, and when God exposes people’s states, they can draw comparisons. When He talks about misunderstandings about God, they apply it to their state, and realize, “This demand of mine, and these imaginings I have are actually misunderstandings about God.” They have made the connection. When He talks about resistance and opposition toward God, if they have these same emotions, live in the same states, and have these dispositions and essences inside, they can draw a comparison between them. What sort of things can they use to draw comparisons? Thoughts, ideas, or the actions and behaviors they display; these can all be used to draw comparisons. When people can understand what God is saying, and understand what exactly He’s talking about, and know what behavior, revelations, manifestations, states, and essences of theirs match the states God has exposed, and which are talked about in sermons, then they have manifested spiritual understanding. Can you tell whether or not you have spiritual understanding? (Sometimes I have, and sometimes I don’t.) This can be remedied, but if you do not have any at all, then it spells trouble. If you know what God’s words are talking about most of the time, even if you cannot draw any comparisons with yourself, but you know you have states of this sort, or have noticed them in other people, and know this aspect of the truth, and how you should enter in, then it already counts as having spiritual understanding. However, is this sort of person able to manifest spiritual understanding every time they hear a sermon? No, sometimes they have spiritual understanding, and sometimes they don’t. Because life entry touches on many aspects of the truth. There are some truths you understand and have entered into, and others which you don’t understand and have not yet entered into. There are some truths you have not encountered at all, and have not even heard of. Now you have heard it, but it’s hard to say whether or not you can comprehend it, and you may even have notions or misunderstandings about it. However, this is normal. If there are some aspects of the truth you understand, then those are aspects in which you have spiritual understanding; if there are some aspects of the truth you do not understand, then those are aspects in which you do not have spiritual understanding; if there are some aspects of the truth you have never heard of and which are still quite foreign to you, or which you even have notions about, then those are aspects in which you are even more lacking in spiritual understanding. You must go through a period of experience until you understand the truth before you attain spiritual understanding in those aspects. For example, some people have misunderstandings about God, but they still think, “I haven’t misunderstood God; I have never misunderstood God. I couldn’t love God more! So how could I misunderstand Him?” These are the words people who do not have spiritual understanding speak. If you say, “People often misunderstand God, but they can’t control it; the misunderstandings crop up at any time and any place. However, as of this time, I am seemingly unaware of any aspects in which I have misunderstood God, or have been in contradiction with Him. I need to go through things with a fine-toothed comb, have experiences, and pray to God and ask Him to orchestrate situations to reveal these things to me.” This is ideal. This is the wish you should have in mind—you must keep on striving to improve. If someone says, “I have never misunderstood God. This is talking about other people,” the fact that they could say something so absurd shows they do not have spiritual understanding. What dispositions do people who do not have spiritual understanding primarily reveal? Arrogance and stubborn foolishness. What is stubborn foolishness? It means you are both foolish and stubborn. How does it manifest itself in concrete terms? (They are unaware of corrupt dispositions everyone else can see, and think they do not have these dispositions. They are also particularly self-righteous, and think they are completely in the right.) Not only do they think they don’t have this aspect of corruption, they also think they’re doing well. They are controlled on the inside by their arrogant disposition, and think that they would never do something like that. No matter what other people say, so long as they themselves have not realized, seen, or experienced something, they think there is no need to reflect and understand, or accept it. This is stubborn foolishness. What’s another way to describe stubborn foolishness? It is when you are impervious to reason. Are there any other terms? (Stupidity.) Yes, stubborn foolishness is largely connected to stupidity—they are both foolish and stubborn. For example, other people say, “You should be careful. Always drinking cold water can slow digestion and give you a stomachache.” And they respond, “My body is in excellent health. There’s nothing wrong with me. You’re worrying about nothing.” Is this not stubborn foolishness? (Yes.) They appear very stubborn and foolish because they have not experienced something, yet they are so self-righteous. Why do I say they are stubborn and foolish? Because they have no experience, yet dare contradict what someone with experience says. They do not confirm the accuracy of these words or learn a lesson from them; instead, they think they are so right, and do not accept what other people say. This is stubborn and foolish, as well as arrogant and self-righteous. In his life entry, Peter was able to learn from others’ failures. What do God’s words say? (God says Peter “assimilated what was good from times gone by, and rejected what was bad” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Know Reality).) Stubborn and foolish people cannot even accept things that happen right in front of their eyes, and they do not learn from it. People see this as being stupid, but it is actually a problem with their disposition—it is caused by an arrogant disposition.

Let us return to the topic of how those who have spiritual understanding manifest themselves, and how those who do not have spiritual understanding manifest themselves. What did I say just now was the main way in which those who have spiritual understanding manifest themselves? Tell Me. (Those who have spiritual understanding can understand which human states God’s words are exposing, and draw comparisons with their own thoughts, ideas, actions, and behavior in their daily lives. They can understand what God is saying.) You hit most of the main points. When people who have spiritual understanding read God’s revelatory words, they are able to draw comparisons with themselves, and know what truths God’s words are talking about, what people should enter into, what human dispositions His words are exposing, and what human states and manifestations His words are exposing. They are able to hold themselves up for comparison to all these things, and be aware of them. This is how spiritual understanding manifests itself. Earlier, when I was fellowshipping about how people who have spiritual understanding manifest themselves, we raised a question, which was whether they have spiritual understanding in all matters. Do they? (No. In some matters, they are able to compare themselves to the states God’s words expose, and so they manifest spiritual understanding; whereas in matters which they have not yet experienced they are unable to draw comparisons with themselves, so they do not have spiritual understanding.) If they have not yet experienced something and are unable to draw comparisons with themselves, then they do not have spiritual understanding. What if, then, there are things which they have experienced, but they do not understand the truths contained therein, and so they do not accept them, or do not acknowledge them as truth—does that count as having spiritual understanding? (No.) This is not having spiritual understanding, either. What if they do not understand that the things they hear are the truth—does this count as having spiritual understanding? (No.) Do any of you manifest yourselves in these ways? For example, when it comes to truths about submission, some people say, “We must be submissive in this matter. People have nothing to brag about, and it is their duty and obligation to be submissive.” After hearing this, you think to yourself, “What sort of truth is this? Be submissive in this matter too? The way I see it, there is no need to be submissive here!” Do you not lack spiritual understanding in this matter? (Yes.) Actually, this has nothing to do with how deep or shallow your experiences are; it is purely a question of whether or not you have spiritual understanding. I’ll give an example. When Job was tested, what did he say? (“Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21).) After people hear him say this, can they understand the truth therein? (No.) So do people have spiritual understanding of this matter? (No.) No, they do not. Every person is capable of experiencing the two matters of God giving and taking away, are they not? (Yes.) You have already experienced them, but you do not understand the truth contained therein, so do you have spiritual understanding of these matters? (No.) No, you do not. What truth is contained in the words Job spoke? (That God is sovereign and rules over all.) It is that God is sovereign over all matters and all things, and the decision to give or take away lies with Him. So, what should people practice? (Submission.) That is correct. They should submit, accept, and praise God’s sovereignty. When people understand these words and the truth that is contained within them, then they have spiritual understanding of this matter. If people do not understand the truth contained within these words, then they do not have spiritual understanding of this matter. At this point in time, do you have spiritual understanding of Job’s words? (No.) If what you understand is doctrine, you say, “Job had a good experience. God said that Job was a righteous person, so everything he did must certainly have been in line with the truth, and able to satisfy God’s will.” You understand the doctrine. So, when will this doctrine become your truth reality? (When God actually orchestrates circumstances wherein things are taken away from me, and I am able to thank and praise God, submit to God, and not complain, and thereby practice this aspect of the truth.) You are able to practice it, but is your practice that of following regulations and copying others, or a true understanding deep in your heart of God’s sovereignty? There is a difference here, is there not? Which one is entering into the truth reality? There are many people now who, having seen the example Job set, are able to say the same things Job did, but when they say these things, are they just copying him, or are their words, like Job’s, spoken upon realizing, after several decades of experience, the truth and fact that God is sovereign over humankind? Which of these is the truth reality? (That which comes from experience is reality.) Only things that you feel and understand through experience are the truth reality; copying things that other people say is not reality. The phrase Job spoke had an aspect of reality to it, but when the same phrase is spoken by people who copy his words, it becomes a slogan they use to dress themselves up and disguise themselves as spiritual people. These people are religious frauds. Some people who are chosen to become leaders in the church and who have responsibility and status often fellowship with brothers and sisters on those words that Job spoke: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.” How do the people listening feel? What they feel is, “These words are from God. They were brought forth through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and God’s guidance. They are extremely practical.” Less than a year later, those leaders are dismissed for not doing real work, for delaying the life entry of God’s chosen ones, and for delaying the progress of the church’s work, and afterward they become negative and complain. People like this speak the same words Job did, but have not experienced the things Job did, and do not have a deep understanding, experience, or comprehension of these words. Therefore, when they speak, are they copying or speaking with sincerity? (They are copying.) When it comes down to what they think deep inside, when they speak, their words include their personal feelings, and are sincere. They have a wish, which is that when God gives them things, they are always able to praise Him and thank Him for the blessings and gifts He has bestowed on them, and that when God takes things away from them, they absolutely will not complain, but will be able to praise God like Job did, and thank God for His guidance and sovereignty. However, this is just a wish, and it is not yet something they have experienced. When their position and title are gone, and they are just a regular believer, do they walk the talk? (No.) I can’t say that they do not walk the talk at all; that depends on what type of person they are. People who pursue the truth use these words to evaluate their own behavior, and use them as the guide for their experience, and are able to draw comparisons with themselves, and find a path of practice in them. They are not too upset or negative, and are able to perform their duty normally. By contrast, people who do not pursue the truth and who instead recite slogans are in trouble; they manifest themselves differently. What are the most obvious ways you have seen people of this type reveal themselves? (After being dismissed, some leaders do not try to know themselves, and do not submit. They think that their dismissal was unfair, and become negative and complain. The next time there is an election they struggle to regain power, and ultimately become an antichrist and are expelled.) This is the most severe case. What other manifestations are there? (Some people just work at a regular job after being dismissed, and do not perform a duty.) What sort of person is this? Why did they boast and recite slogans before? They were reciting things for others to hear, and used these slogans, doctrine, and pleasant-sounding words to embellish themselves, win people over, and make people revere them. That was their goal. What other manifestations are there? (Before they are dismissed, some leaders and workers outwardly appear to pursue hard, and say, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away,” but after they are dismissed, they are negative and cannot pick themselves up, and even lash out and get mad at people, thinking that what they expended and gave of themselves before was all in vain, as though God’s house owes them.) People who say these things and act this way have a severe problem. First of all, one must discern the nature of them saying these things. They do not pursue the truth; they copy Job’s words; they fabricate a beautiful crown for their head, and pass themselves off as spiritual people in order to show off and mislead people. Is this not a manifestation of toying with the truth, and of blaspheming against God? Tell Me, which type of people, when they lose their fame, gain, and status, have a particularly big reaction, nosedive into negativity, stop doing their duty, make a bad situation worse by writing themselves off as a lost cause, and even stop believing? (People with poor humanity, and evil people.) That’s right. People with poor humanity and evil people certainly are not people who pursue the truth, but if people with good humanity do not pursue the truth, will they also manifest themselves this way? They certainly will. Besides evil people manifesting themselves in this way, there is another situation which is directly connected to what people pursue and the path they walk on. Even if on the surface it seems like people who do not love the truth have some humanity, no good will come of it, and they all have evil essences, are capable of violating the truth and resisting God, and if they have status, they are capable of doing evil. There is another, most severe, problem, which is that people like this are particularly keen on pursuing status. If they are not allowed to have status, or are not allowed to be a leader, it is as though their life is being taken away. Can they accept it? When they have status, no matter how much they suffer or how much mistreatment they endure, they are willing. However, one cannot say they are people who pursue the truth just because they are willing, or because they endure suffering and pay a price. That would be wrong. What they pursue is fame, gain, and status; what they pursue are the benefits of status. In what way is this similar to Paul? (He pursued a crown.) That’s correct. He pursued a crown, and it was the crown of righteousness. This is what people like Paul pursue—they treat the pursuit of a crown as a proper pursuit, and as the pursuit of the truth. After this, will you have some discernment regarding people of this sort? (Yes.) Suppose that a person lashes out and gets mad at people after being dismissed and losing their status, and doesn’t pay any attention to or talk to brothers and sisters they see, and when they are asked to spread the gospel, they say, “I will not spread the gospel. I will not render service for you! You think of me when you need me, but just kick me to the side and dismiss me when you don’t. I’m not that stupid!” What kind of words are these? Are they easy to discern? How are they a believer? They are not any sort of true believer, or any sort of good person. Which type of people have the biggest reaction after being dismissed? (People who pursue fame, gain, and status.) Just now, you said that people of this type have poor humanity, or that they do not pursue the truth or life entry. Is that related to the essence of this problem? (No.) What you say seems to make some sense, but it has no connection to the essence of this problem. It is not the essence of this problem. Just now, you said that the reason why some people complain and write themselves off after being dismissed is because they have poor humanity. Why do I say this is doctrine? It is because some people have fairly good humanity, and sincerely give of themselves and expend themselves, it is just that they do not pursue the truth, and always pursue reputation and status. As a result, when they are ultimately dismissed they have a huge reaction. This shows that the ways they manifest themselves are not just problems of poor humanity, but problems with their disposition—their disposition is so severely corrupted! Some people sum it up in one phrase, and say, “This person does not pursue the truth. That is the reason.” This statement is too broad. There are many ways in which not pursuing the truth can manifest itself: Complaining, not performing your duty loyally, etc. are all examples. One cannot explain every problem with the single phrase “they don’t pursue the truth.” This is overly broad and not concrete. It is an explanation based on doctrine.

Now I will fellowship on how a lack of spiritual understanding manifests itself. What attitude do those who do not have spiritual understanding have toward the truth? How do they approach their own state, manifestations, and the corruption they reveal? Are they capable of possessing the manifestations of a person who pursues the truth? (No.) What is the biggest problem here? (They do not understand which human states or manifestations God’s words are exposing, and are unable to use these things to draw comparisons with themselves.) It is mainly that they cannot draw comparisons with themselves. Can they be said to understand the truth if they are unable to draw comparisons with themselves? (No.) You are talking about one thing, but they always talk about something completely opposite to it; they are always at odds with you and debate with you. There is no common focus in the issue that you and them are debating, and it is not the same matter, but they still think they are quite justified. This is how those who do not have spiritual understanding manifest themselves. People who do not have spiritual understanding cannot understand the truth. Are they capable of pursuing the truth? (No.) This is troublesome. If they are not capable of pursuing the truth, then can they have life entry? (No.) Those who do not pursue the truth can’t possibly have life entry; this is an absolute. If a person has believed in God for several years but does not understand the truth at all, then are they a person who pursues the truth? They certainly are not. Some people say, “That’s not always the case. Although some people do not understand the truth, they are very passionate, and forsake everything to expend themselves for God. How could they not be someone who pursues the truth?” Is this view correct? When evaluating whether a person pursues the truth, one can’t just look at whether they forsake everything to expend themselves for God. The main thing one must look at is what their heart puts importance on. If what their heart puts importance on is practicing the truth, entering into the truth, and gaining the truth, and they are effective in life entry, then they are someone who pursues the truth. If they forsake and expend themselves in order to obtain a crown and reward, and they have forsaken and expended themselves for many years, suffered much, but have not been able to understand the truth or enter into reality, and have not been able to understand God, then is their forsaking and expending actually pursuit of the truth? It is apparent that they are not someone who pursues the truth, because their forsaking and expending has not resulted in them understanding the truth or entering into the truth realities. Therefore, the fact that they forsake and expend does not mean they pursue the truth. People like this are just like Paul. Paul spent half his life preaching and working on behalf of the Lord, but he did not gain the truth, nor did he gain the Lord. So, can you say that Paul was someone who pursued the truth? When it comes to whether a person pursues the truth, it is crucial that one looks at whether the goal they are pursuing, and their intent, put importance on gaining the truth. If they actually do put importance on putting effort into the truth, and have been effective at things like practicing the truth and entering into reality, only then are they someone who pursues the truth. Everyone who truly pursues the truth is capable of practicing the truth, and only those who practice the truth are those with life entry. If someone says they are a person who pursues the truth, but they do not practice the truth, then would you say this person has life entry? They certainly do not. How could someone who doesn’t practice the truth have life entry? This is absolutely impossible. If they think they are someone who pursues the truth and has life entry, then you should ask them, “What is the proof of your life entry?” It is not enough to just take their word for it. If there is no proof, what they say holds no water. If you say you are someone who pursues the truth, how many truths do you understand? How many truths have you put into practice? Which aspects of the truth realities have you entered into? Can you talk about your experiential testimony? If you cannot talk about your experiential testimony, then you are tricking and misleading people by saying you are a person who pursues the truth. Why do I say that Paul was not someone who pursued the truth? It’s because the letters Paul wrote did not contain any testimonies of life experience at all; he wasn’t able to talk about a true understanding of God, let alone talk about love or submission to the Lord Jesus. He didn’t even have an understanding of his own corrupt disposition. He just said that he was the worst sinner. He said this based on the fact that he was punished for resisting the Lord Jesus. By saying he was the worst sinner, he was simply admitting the fact that he had sinned by fanatically resisting the Lord Jesus. Does this mean he truly understood his own corrupt disposition and essence? (No.) That’s why I say that when it comes to what constitutes pursuing the truth, and what sort of person has life entry, it should be determined based on whether they understand the truth and practice the truth, rather than just on what they themselves say. Do you understand what I am saying, now? Why are we fellowshipping in such detail? Is it necessary? (Yes.) Why is it necessary? I am fellowshipping in this way in order to dissect your fallacious views, fix things you wrongly think are right, help you find a way out, let go of the things you wrongly think are right, and then enter the path of true pursuit of the truth. Then people will truly have life entry, and be capable of achieving true pursuit of the truth. People who do not have spiritual understanding do not understand matters of life entry or transforming dispositions. They think they have already transformed many aspects of themselves, and have achieved life entry. For example, they have changed some bad habits: They do not eat too much, sleep too much, are not lazy, and are more industrious than before, so they think this means they have life entry. There are other people who think about how they used to always scold people, but now they don’t; they are able to say nice things and constructive things to people, and are sometimes able to help people. Because they can do these things, they think they are already practicing the truth and have gone through a transformation. Some people think they have life entry because they can forgo the pursuit of fame, gain, status, and physical pleasures. This is a problem common to all people. They have practiced what they understand, what they think is right and good according to their notions, and they have already tackled many bad habits and problematic traits of the flesh, or have changed the regimen of their lifestyle on account of believing in God and pursuing the truth. At the same time, they have forsaken many fleshly benefits, forsaken their family and work, and abandoned their marriage and the secular world. They think they have transformed and are saved, and say, “Could I let all this go if I didn’t believe in God? Could I have such a big transformation?” Is this not the biggest misunderstanding believers make? (Yes, it is.) Regardless of whether people have spiritual understanding or not, they all have this misunderstanding. Why do I say this is a misunderstanding? Why do I say a serious problem exists here? It’s mainly because people believe in God but do not understand His will, meaning they do not understand what exactly God demands of people. Instead, they think according to human notions and imaginings, believing that being able to let go of their family, work, feelings, the secular world, the entanglements of the flesh, and even their property, means that they have life entry. This is a misunderstanding. Actually, God’s will is that when people believe in God, they must fix their corrupt disposition, fix their problem of resisting God, and resolve the root of the sins they commit. To do this, people must understand the truth and understand God’s disposition before they are able to cast off their corrupt disposition and achieve true submission to God. This is what God demands of people, and also the work He does of saving people. People know nothing of God’s work; they do not see the goal and effect He wants to accomplish through this work, so they replace the truth with human notions and imaginings, and take people’s pursuits and what they are capable of accomplishing as God’s will and what He demands of people. This is the misunderstanding people have when believing in God. These things they are capable of accomplishing only demonstrate their passion, and when they forsake things they are actually looking to make a transaction with God—it is done in exchange for a reward and a crown. They think transactions such as this are really worth it and that they’re scoring a deal. That’s the reason why they forsake everything. Forsaking things does not mean they have the truth realities, nor does it mean they are able to submit to God. While they forsake and expend, do they really understand the truth? (No, they don’t.) If they do not understand the truth, is their forsaking and expending tainted? Most certainly. Then what exactly are they pursuing by expending and suffering like this? People like this have never cared about what the truth is, or what God’s demands are; they always think these things have nothing to do with them. In their hearts, whatever they think is right, whatever they think is good, and whatever they think is life entry, that is what they practice, and after practicing it, they think God has commemorated it. They treat these things as chips to trade and capital. Are these manifestations of pursuing the truth? (No.) This is a misunderstanding made by people who do not pursue the truth. It is one of the ways people who misunderstand life entry interpret things. So, how does one evaluate and prove that these things are not manifestations of them pursuing the truth, and that they do not have life entry? What facts can be used to verify that these things they say are wrong? (They act without the truth principles.) This is part of it. They act based on what they imagine. From the outside, they look like true believers; they are able to forsake things and expend themselves, but they are unprincipled in their actions. Why are they unprincipled? Because they do not pursue the truth. The perspectives from which they view things are still the same notions and imaginings they started with. There is one biggest problem people like this have: Do they submit to the environments God orchestrates? Do they understand why God orchestrated these environments? (No.) Is this enough to prove they do not have true life entry? (Yes.) They have made many changes to their bad habits and problematic traits, and have made many sacrifices. Ultimately, when they are tested, not only do they not understand God’s will, but they are still capable of complaining and cannot submit. What problem is this? It is that they do not have life entry. People who do not have life entry do not have the truth realities, isn’t that right? (Yes.) When things happen, they rely completely on their own notions, imaginings, and natural preferences. When you truly get serious with them and ask them to submit, they are not submissive at all; they just rely on human reasons, excuses, and imaginings, and look for all sorts of ways to defend themselves, and accomplish their goal of non-submission to God, and denial of God’s work. There are even some people who are so extreme that they are not only unable to submit, but still try and think up all the ways to prove their own notions and imaginings are correct, that the methods and paths they think of are right, and that God’s actions and orchestrations are not necessarily right. This reveals that they have no life entry; everything they do and all they give of themselves or change about themselves are not life entry, they are just evil habits which no longer exist. The personal habits, regimen, and way of their life have changed a bit, and some people’s tempers may even have changed; they speak more gently and in a more cultured way, and their outward behavior may be more standard, but when they do things they have no truth reality, and never do things according to God’s words or the truth; it is all their own personal imaginings and wishes. They have no real understanding of God; they only know how to talk about a bit of spiritual theory, and have gotten stuck in human notions, imaginings, and feelings. What do you think, are these people pitiful? (Yes.) And are there many people like this? (Yes.) How do you know there are a lot? (Because I am one of them.) This strikes a chord with you, right? Then talk about your experiences in this regard. (I’ll share an experience. A brother pointed out my shortcomings in front of a lot of other brothers and sisters, and at the time I felt humiliated. In order to regain my pride, I tried to defend and justify myself. I did not accept the brother’s comments.) You were constrained by your pride. Why are people always constrained by pride? Because people with dignity all have thin skins, is that it? (No.) Actually, people do this because they want to maintain a perfect image in other people’s eyes. They care about their status, and want to present themselves in a particularly perfect way, free of flaws. They want to leave a perfect impression in people’s minds, and not let people see the truth about how they really are. This is the consequence of an arrogant disposition. Is this problem now resolved? (Not yet. I still reveal it often.) If a person is able to reflect on themselves and recognize their own corrupt disposition, then it will be easy to change. If they do not reflect on themselves, are unable to recognize their own corrupt disposition, and are numb to their problems and have no awareness, then it will be difficult to change. If they already have awareness, and feel that their arrogant disposition is severe, that their pursuits are askew, and that they are still far from pursuing the truth, but when they are pruned, they are negative for a few days, and always look for ways to regain pride in every situation, then can a person like this change? It’s hard for them to change. So, how should they resolve this problem? By just accepting the truth and reflecting on themselves they still have hope of fixing the problem. If they cannot accept the truth, then they have no way of fixing the problem. The key is that people must have the resolve and wish to pursue the truth. When they have a heart which thirsts greatly for the truth, they will be able to love the truth and accept it, and they will have the strength to practice the truth and rebel against the flesh. Only by accepting the truth can people thoroughly fix the problem of a corrupt disposition, and once their corrupt disposition has been fixed, they will be able to practice the truth, and then they will have life entry.

Those people who do not have spiritual understanding, and who always misinterpret the truth and life entry think that pursuing the truth is easy, that all it is is changing a few bad habits or problematic traits, or occasionally giving up things which are in their own interest, that so long as they do not do evil, and persevere in their faith until the end, they have gained life, and can exchange these things for God’s rewards and blessings. Are people who base their belief in God on views like these people who pursue the truth? (No.) Are people who do not pursue the truth able to have life entry? (No.) There are many people who are not clear at all on what life entry is all about. They think one has life entry just by putting in some effort, doing some duties, changing some bad habits and problematic traits, doing as one is told, and submitting a bit. They see life entry in an overly simplistic way. By believing in God this way, will they transform their life disposition? (No, they are just changing themselves on the outside, their essence hasn’t changed.) You have changed a bit now, but are there changes to your outward behavior, or are there some changes to your life disposition? Have you found a way out of your incorrect views about life entry, and started to gain life entry? Are you able to evaluate which parts of yourselves have changed, and which parts have not? If you were given a duty to perform and were originally incapable of submitting, to what extent are you able to submit now? For example, you are a brother, and if you were asked to make meals and wash the dishes for the other brothers and sisters every day, would you submit? (I think so.) Perhaps you could in the short term, but if you are asked to do this duty long term would you submit? (I could submit on occasion, but as time went on I might not be able to.) This means that you have not submitted. What is causing people to not submit? (It’s because people have traditional notions in their hearts. They think men should work outside the home, and women should handle domestic work, that cooking is a woman’s job and a man loses face by cooking. That’s why it’s not easy to submit.) That’s right. There is sexual discrimination when it comes to the division of labor. Men think, “We men should be out there making a living. Things like cooking and washing should be done by women. We shouldn’t be made to do it.” But now these are special circumstances, and you are being asked to do it, so what do you do? What hang-ups must you get over before you can submit? This is the crux of the issue. You must get over your sexual discrimination. There is no work that must be done by men, and no work that must be done by women. Do not divide up labor this way. The duty people perform should not be determined according to their sex. You can divide labor this way in your own home and daily life, but now this has to do with your duty, so how should you interpret it? You should receive this duty from God and accept it, and change the incorrect views you have inside. You should say, “It is true that I am a man, but I am a member of the church and a created being in God’s eyes. I will do whatever the church assigns me to do; things are not divided according to sex.” First, you should let go of your incorrect views, then accept your duty. Is accepting your duty true submission? (No.) In the days that follow, if someone says your food is too salty, or does not have enough flavor, or says you didn’t make something well and they do not want to eat it, or tells you to make something new, will you be able to accept it? At that point, you will feel uncomfortable, and you will think, “I am a self-respecting man, and I’ve already stooped to making meals for all these brothers and sisters, yet they still point out all these problems. I have no pride left at all.” At this point, you don’t want to submit, do you? (No.) This is a difficulty. Whenever you cannot submit, it is caused by a corrupt disposition revealing itself and causing trouble, and making you unable to practice the truth and submit to God. At this point, your heart will be conflicted—your thoughts are controlling you and making you think you have lost face, and you are upset inside. What should you do at this point? (Seek the truth.) How do you seek the truth? You must pray, “God, no matter what other people ask of me, I will treat it as my duty. No matter who it is I am outwardly serving or doing things for, I will accept it all from God. This is my duty and I should submit; I do not need my pride. In God’s house, duties are not divided into high-level and low-level, high-status and low-status, duties for men, duties for women, duties for the elderly, and duties for the young. There are just duties which are done well and duties which are not, those done with loyalty, and those which are not.” After you have let go of your pride, status, position, and dignity, have you completely let go of yourself? (No.) You will still have a reaction. Sometimes, people will disrespect you, think you are stupid, and treat you as inferior, saying “A man who is that happy cooking won’t amount to anything! I would never do that.” They will lead you in the wrong direction, instill incorrect ideas and notions in you, and influence your practice. They see positive things like you placing importance on life entry, being a normal person, and being loyal to your duty as a form of humiliation, and therefore they treat you as inferior and judge you. If you cannot take it, you will immediately fall into negativity and think that this duty always makes you lose face in front of others, and makes people treat you as inferior and order you around. Then you won’t submit again, right? When no one treats you as inferior or judges you, you think you are already able to submit, already have life entry, have some truth reality, and have some stature. Is this way of thinking correct? Then why, when someone judges you and your stature is challenged, do you become negative and think, “How much longer do I need to keep cooking before this is over? This person always looks down on me. It’s not right of them to look down on me, and I can’t accept it!”? Trouble has come up again. When you can’t accept it, do you also complain at the same time, and say, “How could the leader assign this sort of duty to me? Why did they pick me in particular instead of picking someone else? Do I look easy to bully? People bully me, the leader doesn’t look favorably upon me, and God does not protect me”? Your rebellious disposition has reared its head again. What is the problem here? Could it be that your stature is too small? You can’t even withstand this small affront, and it makes you become negative and complain. Is this what it is to have truth realities? You do not have any truth realities. There is a very simple method to solve this problem: In your heart, you must think, “No matter who looks down on me or looks at me with disdain, I should do my duty. I cannot abandon God’s commission. I am not doing it for other people, nor am I doing it so that others think something of me—what use is it for others to think something of me? I must fulfill my duty in order to satisfy God.” This is how you should think in your heart. Now when you cook, don’t you feel self-assured? Is the problem solved, then? Actually, it is not completely resolved. Ultimately, you are in a constant state of conflict, constantly falling into weakness and negativity and then pulling yourself back up; you are constantly being tempered. You have examined every state, and you are unwilling to always be living in such a taxing manner. You do not want these difficulties to always plague you, disturb you, or constrain you. You want to fulfill your duty easily and simply. So how do you accomplish this? You must constantly seek the truth, constantly stick to your conviction, and practicing according to God’s words is always the right thing to do. You say, “No one can disturb me. This is my duty; this is the commission God gave me; this is my responsibility and my obligation. No matter who makes fun of me, gaslights me, or tempts me, it is of no avail. It is my honor to be able to perform my duty, and if I can handle it, all the glory goes to God. If I cannot handle it, then I have shamed myself. Whoever makes a joke of me and looks down on this duty is not someone who pursues the truth.” Is this not fact? (It is.) This is fact. When Job was tested, Satan disturbed and tempted him, but did Job doubt? (No.) Because the truth, God’s words, and God’s way were in his heart. When faced with circumstances and tests, whether you are able to uphold the truth and uphold the commission God gave you depends on the extent to which you know, comprehend, and accept the truth. Some people are always doubtful of the truth, and can’t get to a place of certainty about it, or with regard to their duty, they are never sure how they should be doing something, and whether it’s the right way to do it. They are never able to stick with things that are right; they are always disturbed by some people, events, and things, and when bad people, evil people, demons, or Satans sidle up to them and say things which tempt or disturb them, they become weak and are misled. Doesn’t this mean they are small in stature? (Yes.) Is small stature easy to fix? In theory, it is. It depends on whether you can be sure the road you are on is one led by God. When you perform your duty, you should practice the truth and accept God’s commission. This is crucial. The only thing to fear is that in your heart you have a biased view of your duty, and think your duty makes you lose face and amount to nothing. When you have biased views and others disturb you on top of that, it becomes even more troublesome. When your heart is all mixed up you cannot perform your duty well. When Job was tested, there were many people around him who disturbed him. What was it his wife said? (“Curse God, and die” (Job 2:9).) By which she meant, “Don’t believe. If what you believed in was actually God, why would these things happen to you?” What did Job say? (“You speak as one of the foolish women speaks” (Job 2:10).) Job condemned his wife, because he was already certain that God was the true God, that God did this, that it was His sovereignty, and that it was the work of God’s hands. Job was so certain, so once people today understand the truth, why can’t they stick to the true way and stand firm in their testimony? It is because people’s hearts are too tainted; not only do they not understand the truth, but they are not people who love the truth or seek the truth. Therefore, no matter how many words and doctrines people can talk about or how many resounding slogans they can spout, ultimately, they cannot stand firm. As soon as someone in the church says something slightly different, or someone says things which are disturbing or misleading, or which condemn and humiliate, they think they are being mocked and humiliated, and are completely destroyed. If people manifest themselves in this way, are constantly conflicted inside, and constantly adjusting their views, but at the same time, are also constantly accepting God’s sovereignty and arrangements, continuing to understand the truth, gradually entering different facets of the truth, entering into all the truths, and are ultimately able to avoid being disturbed, affected, or controlled by any sort of person, event, and thing, and firmly believe that the truth principles they practice are correct, then they have transformed their disposition.

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