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

At the present time, when you perform your duties, is it still possible for you to be constrained by every sort of person, event, and thing? Are you able to stick to the truth and do things in accordance with the principles? (No.) Then what difficulties do you usually have? (Sometimes, when I see other people doing things which harm the interests of God’s house, I point it out, but when I see they do not accept it, or that they have a bad attitude, I am afraid of starting an argument, so I compromise.) Is compromising right or wrong? (It’s wrong, but I’m afraid that if I press the matter an argument will break out and destroy the peace, and people will not have a good impression of me.) If you wish to avoid arguments, is compromise the only way? In what situations can you compromise? If it has to do with small matters, such as your own self-interest or your pride, then there is no need to argue about it. You can choose to be tolerant or to compromise. But with matters that can affect the church’s work and harm the interests of the house of God, you must stick to the principles. If you do not observe this tenet, then you are not being loyal to God. If you choose to compromise and abandon the truth principles in order to save face or preserve your interpersonal relationships, is this not selfish and base of you? Is it not a sign of being irresponsible in your duty and disloyal to God? (It is.) So, if a time comes during the course of your duty when everyone is in disagreement, how should you practice? Is arguing about it with all your might going to solve the problem? (No.) Then how should you resolve the problem? In this situation, a person who understands the truth should come forward to resolve the issue, first laying the issue on the table and letting both sides say their piece. Then, everybody is to seek the truth together, and after praying to God, the relevant truth in God’s words is to be brought out to fellowship on. After they have fellowshipped on the truth principles and gained clarity, both sides will be able to submit. They must learn to submit to the truth. If most people are able to submit to the truth, but there are a few who do not submit to the truth, or whom one cannot get to see reason, then they are people who do not accept the truth, and their natures are those of evil people, and God’s chosen people will easily discern them. This is the best way to resolve the issue of arguments in the church. Using the truth to resolve problems is an important principle, and one cannot make unprincipled compromises. If, in order to preserve your personal relationships, pride, and self-interest, you are able to sacrifice the interests of the house of God, you are compromising with Satan. This is unprincipled, and disloyal to God. If each person fights to save their own face and puts emphasis on their own reasons, is this the attitude of seeking the truth? Is this the attitude one should have in their duty? (No.) For a person to achieve loyalty in their duty, they should not fight over reputation or self-interest, they should let God have the authority, and let the truth be their master; the interests of the house of God are first and foremost, and effective work is first and foremost. Isn’t this principle correct? (Yes.) If you are all able to adhere to this principle, what is left to argue with people about? There will be no arguments. Those who always protect their own interests and do not practice the truth at all are not good people, and those who always sell out the interests of God’s house in order to garner favor from others are even worse. All these people are nonbelievers, and people who betray God. If a person gets into conflicts and debates with others in order to protect the interests of the house of God and the effectiveness of the church’s work, and their attitude is a bit unyielding, would you say that is a problem? (No.) Because their intent is right; it is to protect the interests of God’s house. This is a person who stands on God’s side and sticks to the truth principles, a person in whom God delights. Having a strong, resolute attitude when protecting the interests of the house of God is a sign of a firm stance and sticking to the principles, and God approves of it. People may feel there is a problem with this attitude, but it is not a big one; it does not have to do with the revelation of a corrupt disposition. Remember, sticking to the truth principles is what is most important.

Life entry is the most crucial thing. What is life entry connected to, primarily? (Pursuing the truth.) That’s right. It is primarily connected to pursuing the truth. Only people who pursue the truth have life entry. If people want to have life entry, then it concerns practicing the truth. How should one discern whether a person pursues the truth? What type of person does not pursue the truth? Do you know? The first type I talked about was people who do not have spiritual understanding. What is the essence of people who do not have spiritual understanding? (After reading words from God which expose people’s corrupt dispositions, they are unable to draw a connection between God’s words and their own states and manifestations; they think God is talking about other people.) It is mainly that they are unable to compare themselves to God’s words, but do they know this? (No.) People who do not have spiritual understanding are incapable of realizing these things. Their hearts are still sunny; they think they understand many of God’s words, but in fact, to them every word is just a regulation. They think, “If God makes me do something, I will do it. If He makes me forsake something, I will forsake it; if He makes me expend myself, then I will do so. By submitting to God this way, I am saved.” After believing in this way for several years, they think they have capital, just like how Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). No matter how you put it, Paul lacked spiritual understanding. It’s a real pity. It’s already troublesome when he did not have spiritual understanding, but on top of that, he did not pursue the truth. He treated all of his own doctrine, slogans, imaginings, notions, knowledge, and philosophies as though they were the truth, and used them as a foundation from which to expand his own pursuits. As a result, no matter what he did, he was not living out the truth realities, and no matter what he did, it was not in line with God’s will. This problem of his was severe! Paul takes the cake when it comes to lacking spiritual understanding, isn’t that right? (Yes.) Do people who do not have spiritual understanding love the truth? Absolutely not, because people who do not have spiritual understanding are incapable of grasping the truth, and if they do not grasp the truth, there is no way they can love the truth. How do people who do not have spiritual understanding manifest themselves? The primary manifestation is that no matter how people fellowship with them on God’s words, they still do not understand, and no matter how clearly people fellowship with them on the truth, they are still incapable of grasping it. This is directly connected to being of too low a caliber. Can people who do not have spiritual understanding pursue the truth? They couldn’t even if they wanted to. People who do not have spiritual understanding cannot understand what God is talking about, do not know what states God exposes, and cannot draw comparisons with themselves. They treat all of God’s words as regulations, phrases, slogans, and doctrine, and never know that God’s words are the truth. What is the problem here? It is that their caliber is too low, they possess no comprehension ability at all, and are manifesting a lack of spiritual understanding.

The second type is people who have spiritual understanding. People who have spiritual understanding can understand the truth, draw comparisons with themselves when they eat and drink God’s words, and understand what God’s words are exposing, what truths are in God’s words, and what God demands. Is the ability to understand equivalent to having entry? (No.) Then when I say they can understand, to what is it referring? What is it addressing? (They can draw comparisons between God’s words and themselves.) The ability to draw comparisons with themselves is part of it. They admit man’s corrupt dispositions and every kind of state that God exposes. So, are they capable of knowing what God demands? They should know to a certain degree—know God’s demands, know what principles are spoken of in God’s words, and what His will is. They are clear on these things and understand them; that’s why they are called people who have spiritual understanding. When people who have spiritual understanding eat and drink God’s words, they are able to draw comparisons with themselves, understand what God’s words are referring to and what His demands are. This shows that this type of person possesses the caliber and ability to comprehend the truth. So, does possessing this caliber and ability necessarily mean they have life entry? (No.) There are several different scenarios. Some people can understand God’s words, and possess the caliber and ability to comprehend His words, but have never drawn comparisons with themselves. They just draw comparisons between God’s words and other people, look for flaws in other people, hold their shortcomings over them, nitpick their states, and try to read their minds, as though they were a detector. When they have nothing else to do, they muse over what other people think, try to detect what people are thinking in their hearts, what thoughts and ideas are in their hearts, what their intent is, what their aim is, what their motivation is, what they hope for, and what corrupt dispositions they reveal while doing things. What is their goal in detecting these things? To draw comparisons between God’s words and other people, then solve their problems. For example, the environment in which “Mr. Smith” lives, what his family background is like, how many years he has believed in God, what issues he usually has, what weaknesses he has when pursuing the transformation of his disposition, what difficulties he often has when things happen, in what situations it is easy for him to become negative, how well he performs his duty, how he approaches God’s words, and whether his spiritual life is normal—they have a clear grasp on all these things. They are very intelligent, but unfortunately they don’t apply their intelligence in the right places. They solve other people’s problems, but do not practice the truth themselves. This type of person is often a leader or worker, or someone with some amount of responsibility. Is this method of pursuit that this type of person has problematic? (Yes.) This method of pursuit is problematic, and severely so. How severely? We should fellowship on this. This type of person has spiritual understanding, can understand God’s words, and knows how to draw comparisons with God’s words, but they have never drawn comparisons between God’s words and themselves; instead, they draw comparisons between God’s words and other people. What is their goal in drawing comparisons with other people? (To show off.) That’s right. They show off to satisfy their desires and ambitions, to make their status more secure, and to make them more capable of capturing people’s hearts. The fact that they could do this is connected to their nature, and directly connected to what they are pursuing when believing in God. If one were to judge by the fact that they put their whole heart into things and do their job to the full extent, and the fact that they are able to grasp all the various states that other people have very well, could one say that they are people who pursue the truth? Not necessarily. Then how can one tell whether someone is a person who pursues the truth? If they are particularly responsible when it comes to brothers’ and sisters’ life entry, put a lot of heart and work into things, do their work very well, often seek the truth with regard to every sort of state brothers and sisters have, and then resolve the problems, by being able to perform their duty like this, are they a qualified leader? Judging from these manifestations and revelations of theirs, can one be sure they are someone who pursues the truth? (Not necessarily.) Why? (They can solve other people’s problems, but have never drawn comparisons between God’s words and themselves.) If they have never solved their own problems, then how do they solve other people’s problems? (They rely on words and doctrines to solve them.) They understand some words and doctrines, have some smarts, have a good memory, react quickly to things, and as soon as they have heard a sermon, they are able to immediately go and show it off to others. Judging from these things, do they have entry? (No.) Resolving other people’s difficulties but never resolving their own difficulties is not a manifestation of pursuing the truth. They just use doctrine and God’s words, or all sorts of tactics and methods, to persuade and convince other people; they use the words and doctrines they understand, or imitate and copy words of life experience to help people out of hardship. They use these methods to resolve other people’s difficulties rather than using what they have personally gone through and their actual experiences to resolve them. This proves that this person is not someone who pursues the truth. What is it they provide to other people? (Doctrine.) Why do we say it’s doctrine? Because it does not come from their own experiences, it is not something they have actually gone through, and is not their true understanding. What is it they are actually watering others with? Doctrine, phrases, and words which persuade and console people. They also use human methods, tactics and smarts, and no matter what, they think that answering people’s questions is solving problems, and that this is doing work. Judging from their manifestations, from the things they provide to others, the way they work, and the path they pursue, is this person someone who pursues the truth? (No.) They are not someone who pursues the truth. Isn’t using the truth to resolve problems when they themselves have no entry a bit disingenuous? (Yes.) It is disingenuous; it is hypocritical, and it deceives others. So, can people like this perform their duties well? (No.) Why not? Because they do not pursue the truth, and there is a direct connection between performing one’s duty well and understanding the truth. For example, one must understand the truth to water the church; one must understand the truth to resolve problems; one must also understand the truth to handle problems; understanding the truth is even more necessary in order to have discernment over people. Every facet of the church’s work has to do with the truth; if one does not understand the truth, they will not do the church’s essential work well, and will only do an okay job on general tasks. Therefore, if a leader does not pursue the truth, no matter how busy they are, how much legwork they do, or how much they suffer, they will not do a good job, and will be unable to fulfill their duty to the full extent of the job and responsibilities. When they work, they run around from place to place without cause, seeing where there are problems and then fixing them in a simplistic way. When someone has some sort of difficulty, they fellowship a bit of doctrine, and when someone is negative and weak, they encourage them and exhort them; these are the things they do. They think that if they keep their eye on the people they lead, so long as everyone is busy and not idle, they are doing their work well, and that if they can go around everywhere inspecting and directing work, not have anyone report or expose them, be able to preach and speak wherever they go, and have everything go smoothly without any hinderance, that they are fulfilling their responsibilities and duty. This is doing the work from the place of status, not using the truth to solve problems in a practical sense. They put importance on doing work, and while putting importance on working, they may not do anything for their status—all they do is single-mindedly use doctrine and slogans to exhort this person or encourage that person, single-mindedly busying themselves with this work. They think that so long as they are not idle, it is okay. The first thing is that they cannot slack off, the second is that they must be industrious, and the third is that they must be able to withstand suffering. They bustle about all day—if there is a problem somewhere it must be fixed at the earliest opportunity, and they must always ask around if anyone has any problems. They think that doing this is pursuing the truth. In actuality, does having these manifestations necessarily mean they pursue the truth? Does it necessarily mean they have life entry? This is still a matter of question. This is the first manifestation of people who have spiritual understanding but do not pursue the truth.

The second manifestation of people who have spiritual understanding but do not pursue the truth, is being able to understand God’s words, understand the practical side of what His words are saying, and being able to draw comparisons between it and themselves, but never putting it into practice. This type of person does not do things according to God’s words, or according to the truth principles, nor do they restrain themselves. When something happens, they just want to make people submit to them and listen to them, but they themselves do not want to submit to the truth. They treat practicing the truth and submitting to the truth as other people’s responsibility, obligation, and duty, and as something which other people should do. They treat themselves as though they were set apart. No matter how much they understand, or how many of God’s words they can link to themselves, they think everything God says is directed at other people and has nothing to do with themselves. So, what is it they do? They are very busy too. They go to church and see who has a criticism about them, then make note of it. Then, they wrack their brains to think of ways to “fix” it. They say, “Let’s open ourselves up and fellowship. Whatever you think inside, whatever opinions you have about me, and whatever criticisms you have about me, just let me know and I will do my best to change and do things differently.” What is their goal in changing? To make other people like them. Besides this, they see who has a criticism about them, and who does not submit to them, and then find relevant passages of God’s words to “fix” it. They say, “God is the master when the house of God elects leaders and workers. In the house of God, the truth is the authority. Whoever the brothers and sisters elect as leader, that is what God wished, and you should submit to it. You are not submitting to me, but to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to the truth. If you do not submit, you will be punished!” After listening, some people know the leader is misinterpreting God’s words, and twisting the facts to mislead people, and do not listen. When the leader sees these people are not quite submitting to them, they think, “You’re refusing to submit to me, aren’t you? I have other ways of dealing with you. I’m going to take off the kid gloves.” The leader says to the people who do not submit to them, “Have you finished the task I gave you?” And the people say, “There is just a little bit left to do before it is finished. It won’t cause any delays.” The leader says, “How is there being a little bit left not a delay? In God’s eyes, a little bit is a lot. This is a manifestation of disloyalty. You call this doing your duty?” Actually, is this really what the leader wants to say? What goal do they have in their heart? They want to force the other people into submission, defeat them, and take them down a peg, but they cannot say so explicitly. If they did, the brothers and sisters would see through them and expose them, so they must find an upstanding reason and excuse for doing things; they must suppress people in a “respectable and reasonable” manner, so that after they have suppressed people it is not apparent to others, makes the people in question obey, and achieves the leader’s goal of strengthening their stance and solidifying their status. What disposition is this? (They are insidious and scheming.) They are insidious, scheming, venomous, and do things for the sake of status. They pay no heed to things which do not concern their status, and do not put any heart into them, but when it comes to things which affect their fame, gain, status, pride, and their position in the church, they latch on to these things and don’t let them go, and start to get serious. When fellowshipping on the truth in their usual gatherings, they will sometimes know themselves, draw comparisons between God’s words and themselves, and expose their own corrupt disposition, but there is an objective behind it, an intent: It is all to make others look up to them, envy them, and revere them, and to solidify their status. They have ambitions and an objective. If it is not for the sake of their status, they do not say a word; if it is not for the sake of securing their status, then they do nothing—everything they do is for the sake of their status. They will break their back for the sake of their status, but if it is for the sake of the church’s work, when they discover problems they will not resolve them, when other people report problems they will not address them, and they will not lift a finger to attend to anything; they see other people busy performing their duties, but they do nothing at all. What sort of person is this? (A base and vile person who lives only for fame, gain, and status.) Is someone who just lives for status someone who pursues the truth? Are they capable of pursuing the truth? (No.) It’s hard to say. If they have a little bit of an awareness of conscience, have a sense of shame, have dignity and character, and are able to accept the truth after experiencing some chastisement and judgment, experiencing being pruned, or being tested and refined, then it is possible they can turn things around. However, if they are numb, dull-witted, intransigent, and do not accept the truth at all, then no matter how much they understand, is it of any use? (No.) No matter how much they understand it will not be able to move their heart. No matter how busy they seem on the outside, how much time they spend running about the streets, how much they sacrifice, give up, and expend, can the kind of people who only ever speak and act for the sake of status be considered those who pursue the truth? Absolutely not. For status, they will pay any price. For status, they will suffer any hardship. For status, they will stop at nothing. They try to find dirt on others, frame them, or give them a hard time, trampling other people underfoot. They don’t even fear the risk of punishment and retribution; they act for the sake of status without any thought of the consequences. What do people such as this pursue? (Status.) Where is the similarity with Paul? (The pursuit of the crown.) They pursue the crown of righteousness, they pursue status, fame, and gain, and treat the pursuit of status, fame, and gain as legitimate pursuit, rather than pursuing the truth. What is the foremost characteristic of such people? It is that in all respects, they act for the sake of status, fame, and gain. This type of person, who does things for the sake of fame, gain, and status, is the most adept at misleading others. When you first meet them, you cannot see through them. You see that the doctrine they speak sounds good, what they say seems practical, the work they arrange is very fitting, and they seem to have some caliber, and you admire them quite a bit. This type of person is also willing to pay a price when performing their duty. They work hard every day but never complain about being tired. They don’t have a single ounce of fragility. When other people are weak, they are not. They also do not lust after comforts of the flesh, and are not picky eaters. When their host family prepares something special for them, they refuse it and do not eat it. They only eat everyday foods. Whoever sees people like this admires them. So, how can one discern whether they are doing things for the sake of status? First, one must look at whether they are a person who pursues the truth. Where will this be evident? (Their intent and starting point when doing things.) This is part of it. It will mainly be evident in the goal they are pursuing. If it is for the sake of gaining the truth, they will put importance on reading God’s words often, understanding the truth and knowing themselves through God’s words. If they fellowship often on knowing themselves, they will be able to see that they lack too many things, do not have the truth, and will naturally strive to pursue the truth. The more people know themselves, the more they are able to pursue the truth. Those who always say and do things for the sake of status are obviously not people who pursue the truth. When they are pruned they do not accept it—they are very afraid of their reputation being damaged. So, are they able to accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement and reflect on themselves? Can they truly understand deviations in their own experience? If they do not have any of these manifestations, then one can be certain that they are not people who pursue the truth. Tell Me, what other manifestations do people have who do not love the truth and who pursue status? (When others give them criticism, they do not accept it, and instead get defensive, justify themselves, and give reasons. They speak in order to maintain their pride and preserve their status. If someone does not support them, they attack and judge them.) When people attack and judge others, and speak and defend themselves for the sake of their own pride and status, the intent and goal behind their actions is obviously wrong, and they are living entirely for status. Can the sort of people who say and do everything for the sake of status have consideration for God’s will? Can they accept the truth? Absolutely not. They think if they have consideration for God’s will they must practice the truth, and if they practice the truth they must suffer and pay a price. Then, they will lose the enjoyment that comes with status, and will be unable to enjoy the benefits of status. Therefore, they choose to just pursue fame, gain, and status, and pursue getting rewards. In what other ways do people who pursue status manifest themselves? What other things do they do? (If they see some talented individuals around them who are more given to pursuing the truth, and who are worthy of nurturing, and who brothers and sisters are more inclined to support, then out of fear that these people will stand up and replace them, and threaten their status, they think of ways to suppress these talented individuals, and find all sorts of reasons and excuses to put them down. The most common way, is to label them as overly arrogant, self-righteous, and as always constraining others, and make people believe these things are true, and not let the house of God promote or nurture these individuals.) This is the most common manifestation. Is there anything you want to add? (They always like to testify for themselves and show off. They always talk about some wonderful thing about themselves; they never talk about their ugly side, and if they do something bad, they don’t reflect on or dissect their actions.) They always talk about how they suffer and pay a price, how God guides them, and show the work they’ve done. This is also part of the way protecting and solidifying status manifests. People who pursue status and do things for the sake of status have another—most salient—trait, which is no matter what happens, they have to have the final say. They pursue status because they want to have the final say. They want to be the one who calls the shots, and the only person with authority. No matter the situation, everyone must listen to them, and no matter who has an issue, they must come to them to seek and ask for direction. What they want to enjoy are these benefits of status. No matter the situation, they have to have the final say. No matter whether what they say is right or wrong, even if it is wrong, they still have to have the final say, and must make others listen and obey them. This is a severe problem. No matter the situation, they must have the final say; no matter whether or not it is a situation they understand, they have to stick their finger in it and have the final say. No matter what issue the leaders and workers are fellowshipping, they must make the decision, and there is no leeway for others to talk. No matter what solution they suggest, they must make everyone accept it, and if others don’t accept it, they get angry and prune them. If anyone has criticisms or opinions, even if it is right and in line with the truth, they have to think of all sorts of ways to object to it. They are particularly good at sophistry, will persuade the other person with smooth words, and ultimately make them do things their way. They have to have the final say in everything. They never negotiate with their co-workers or partners; they are not democratic. This is sufficient to prove that they are overly arrogant and self-righteous, cannot accept the truth at all, and do not submit to the truth at all. If something big happens, or something which is crucial, and they are able to let everyone make an assessment and voice their opinion, and ultimately settle on a method of practice as per the majority opinion, and ensure it will not harm the work of the house of God, and that it will benefit the work as a whole—if this is their attitude, then they are someone who protects the work of the house of God, and someone who can accept the truth, because there are principles behind doing things this way. However, would people who pursue status do things this way? (No.) How would they do things? If something happened, they wouldn’t care what advice other people had. They would already have had a solution or decision in mind long before people shared their advice. In their hearts, they would have already decided that was what they would do. At this point, no matter what people said, they wouldn’t give it the time of day. Even if someone reprimanded them, they wouldn’t care at all. They give no consideration to the truth principles, whether it benefits the church’s work, or whether the brothers and sisters can accept it. These things are not within the realm of their consideration. What is it they consider? They have to have the final say; they want to be the decision maker in this matter; this matter must be done their way; they must look at whether this matter is beneficial to their status or not. This is the perspective from which they view matters. Is this someone who pursues the truth? (No.) When people who do not pursue the truth do things, they always give consideration to their own status, fame, and gain; they always give consideration to how it benefits them. This is their starting point for doing things.

Some people have spiritual understanding but do not pursue the truth. There are indeed some people like this. As for their major manifestations, the first kind is doing things for the sake of doing them; they like to work and cannot sit still. So long as they are busy doing something they are happy, have a sense of accomplishment, and feel real. The second kind of manifestation is doing things for the sake of status. People of this type have particularly strong ambitions and desires. They always want to control and win people over, and always desire to replace God. Desiring to replace God—which of Paul’s pursuits does this relate to? (His pursuit of becoming Christ.) Their aim in pursuing status is not simply being someone who is a cut above the rest, someone with status whom others venerate. Their ultimate goal is to be able to win people over and control them, to make others venerate them and treat them like God, and make everyone follow them, submit to them, and believe in them. What does this all imply? That they would become the God in people’s hearts. This is not pursuit of the truth, but rather pursuit of Satan. The pursuit of status is obviously not pursuit of the truth, and neither is the pursuit of work or reputation pursuit of the truth. What other manifestations are there? (They pursue blessings.) That’s right. They pay a price, expend themselves, suffer, and can forsake their self-interest in all sorts of matters, but they do this in order to be blessed. They only manifest themselves this way for the sake of being blessed and having a good destination. This is not pursuit of the truth either. This is the third way people who have spiritual understanding but do not pursue the truth manifest themselves. Just like Paul, they do things and suffer in order to be blessed and for the sake of their destination, sparing no cost whatsoever. Their aim in doing things is clear: Whatever is the most important and essential for receiving blessings, that is what they focus exclusively on doing. So long as they get approval and support from the brothers and sisters, it is alright. They focus solely on how everyone sees them, how the Above sees them, and whether they are in God’s heart. So long as it is certain that they will be blessed and rewarded, it’s alright. However, they never use the truth to evaluate what they do, and never give up the desire to be blessed; they do not submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. If they do something poorly and are pruned, if the Above is not pleased with them, and they see there is no hope of being blessed or perhaps receiving a good destination, they will become negative and give up, not wanting to do their duty. There are even some who simply don’t want to believe; they think there is no point in believing in God. The three methods of pursuit above are all paths that those who do not pursue the truth follow. There are a good number of people of this type in every church, and all of them are people who do not love the truth. No matter what duty they perform, they always connect it to their own self-interest, receiving blessings, and being rewarded, and never connect it to their life entry, understanding the truth, or transforming their disposition. No matter how many years they have believed in God, or how many years they have performed duties, they have never pursued self-knowledge, never pursued life entry, and never pursued loving God or submitting to God. Whatever it is they are doing, they do not seek the truth. No matter what corruption they reveal, they do not draw connections between it and the truth in God’s words. Whatever they are doing, their intentions are selfish and base, all aimed at securing blessings and personal gain. No matter how they are pruned they do not reflect on themselves, and continue to think they are correct. People of this type are rarely negative. They are not afraid of any amount of suffering if it means they will be blessed and enter the kingdom. They indeed have perseverance, but it is very hard for them to accept the truth. They’d rather die than self-reflect and gain knowledge of themselves, and they think they’re doing pretty good. People who have spiritual understanding but do not pursue the truth have another manifestation: Some people have listened to many sermons, but are not interested in the truths God expresses, or words of His which expose people’s various states. Even if they understand these things, they are not interested. So, why do they still believe in God if they are not interested? They definitely have a sort of vague and unrealistic thought in their heart. They say, “I don’t know what the God on earth is capable of doing. I can’t tell. It seems like He is mainly able to fellowship on the truth. I don’t quite understand these so-called truths, but either way, the things He says are quite good, and make people follow the right path. However, I can’t tell whether or not He is actually God.” Since they doubt God so much, why do they stay in the house of God instead of leaving? It is because they have a vague view and fantasy in their heart. They think, “If I continue to kill time here, I might ultimately escape death, and eventually enter heaven and receive great blessings.” So, while others pursue a change in disposition and accept being pruned, they are there praying to the God in heaven, saying, “Oh God, lead me through these difficulties, and make me able to accept being pruned. I am willing to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements.” You hear that the words they pray are not wrong, but they never admit to having a corrupt disposition or being wrong. In their heart, they only acknowledge the God in heaven. As for the God on earth—God incarnate—and God’s words of judgment, they do not pay them any heed, as if these things have nothing to do with them. This is how simple and empty their belief in God is. No matter how others talk about the corrupt disposition of humans and the need to pursue a change in disposition, they muse, “How is it that you are all so corrupted and I’m not?” They think they are perfect and flawless, and do not have a corrupt disposition. Sometimes, they are prejudiced or look down on others, but they consider this normal, thinking it’s just a bad thought and that it will go away if they suppress it. Or, when they see other people rebel against God, they think, “I have never rebelled against God. The love I have for Him in my heart has never wavered.” They just say these few sentences and don’t reflect on themselves or know how to act in line with the principles. Are people like this people who pursue the truth? (No.) Then why do they still think so well of themselves, and think that this way of believing in God is not bad? What’s going on here? It shows they do not love the truth. According to people’s notions, what kind of people are they? In what ways do they manifest themselves? They are eloquent, shrewd, quick to learn, and have a strong ability to understand things. They understand what you are saying as soon as the words come out of your mouth, and they are particularly quick to understand doctrine. However, no matter what they understand, the direction and aim of their pursuit of receiving blessings remain unchanged. Moreover, they treat the truths they understand as theological theories, or as a sort of dogma or teachings. They do not think they are the truth, and therefore they do not practice or experience them, let alone apply them to their life. They only accept and preach the doctrines they like and which conform to their notions and imaginings, thinking they have gained something. Being able to preach doctrines and impress many people is the biggest thing they gain from believing in God. As to whether they practice the truth or have any self-knowledge, they think these are trivial matters of little importance, and that being able to preach spiritual doctrines, answer questions, and make other people admire them are the most crucial and what qualifies them to enjoy the benefits of status. Therefore, they pay no attention to practicing the truth, they do not reflect on themselves, and are only satisfied with being able to preach lofty sermons. This problem is relatively severe, even more severe than it is in those who do not have spiritual understanding, because they know clearly that it is the truth but do not practice or experience it. This is someone who is averse to the truth and toys with the truth. Isn’t the nature of this problem very serious?

Now, you are able to discern people who have spiritual understanding but do not pursue the truth, right? Do you manifest yourselves like this type of person in any way? (Yes, mainly in that I do things for the sake of status.) Saying things for the sake of status and doing things for the sake of status—everything revolves around status; this is troublesome. Is it possible to pursue the truth like this? What are the manifestations of doing things for the sake of status? Primarily, it involves focusing on one’s own face, image, and dignity, as well as the status one holds in the hearts of others—whether others look up to and venerate them. Whatever they do, they only pay attention to these aspects, never exalting or testifying for God. For example, when someone who does not pursue the truth meets a new believer, they think in their heart, “You’ve only believed in God for a few years, you don’t understand anything,” and look down on them. If the new believer wants to seek the truth, they will first consider the new believer’s appearance, the way they speak, and whether they like them. If the new believer is of poor caliber, they won’t be willing to fellowship on the truth; they’ll just offer a few words of encouragement and leave it at that. What is the problem here? (They think they have been a believer for many years and have capital, so they throw their seniority around.) This capital is a manifestation of asserting their status. Having the capital, they feel entitled to speak from a position of status—a status self-bestowed, not given to them by others. Are such people who work and talk in this way those who pursue the truth? (No.) Do you manifest yourselves this way? You say, “I’ve believed in God for ten years. Isn’t partnering me up with someone who has only believed for two years an insult to me? I don’t even want to talk to them. Even one word would exhaust me. They don’t understand anything!” This stems from being dominated by an arrogant disposition. If you did not have a heart which values status, did not rank people according to experience or seniority, and did not think you have capital, then would you treat someone this way? Clearly, due to having a corrupt disposition inside you, the manifestations of the way you treat people don’t benefit others, which exposes your corrupt disposition, your pursuits, and what lies deep within your heart. There is another manifestation of acting for the sake of status. For example, some people have acquired professional knowledge or are experts in a certain field. However, when discussing this field, if others speak first, they get upset and think, “How can you speak without reason? You wouldn’t know greatness if it were right in front of you!” They say, “I majored in this subject in university and dedicated all my research to these issues. After graduation, I worked in this field for several years. I’ve abandoned this profession for over ten years since believing in God, but I can remember everything about it with my eyes closed. I don’t like talking about it, it seems as though I’m showing off.” What do you think of these words? These words are those of secular academics, and are said based on satanic philosophies, making them appear knowledgeable and earning everyone’s approval. They claimed they did not want to show off, but that’s exactly what they’re doing, just in a more skillful manner. They mentioned the capital they have, like the number of years they studied this profession and what they gained, using this method to send a message that they are an expert in that field. Does being an expert in a field mean you necessarily understand the field? Is this the approach you must take if you are an expert doing work in the house of God? (No.) Then what should you do? (Seek the truth; discuss and seek together with the brothers and sisters.) Everyone should seek together. You say, “I need to be honest. I worked in this profession for several years and know a little something about it, but I don’t know the principles behind how the house of God makes use of this profession. I don’t know if the knowledge I have is useful to the house of God—we can discuss it together. I’ll tell you a bit about the basics of this field.” This is a rational way of speaking. Although they are knowledgeable about the profession, they are humble and not prideful. They are not faking it; they truly want to do a good job, and share what they have learned and what they know with everyone, not holding anything back. They are doing this fully for the sake of performing their duty well, regardless of how others see or treat them. They are performing their duty fully for the sake of satisfying God, and for the sake of gaining the truth and living out a human likeness. Therefore, in every aspect of the performance of their duty, they consider the interests of the house of God and give mind to brothers’ and sisters’ life entry. No matter what they do, they fellowship with everyone first, then discuss it collectively to reach a consensus, letting the brothers and sisters contribute ideas and effort, all united in completing the task well. What do you think of this approach? Only people who pursue the truth would do it this way. Though they believe in God all the same, those who pursue the truth and those who do not manifest themselves in different ways. Which sort of person is disgusting? (People who don’t pursue the truth are disgusting.) There’s no need to show off if you know a bit about some profession, and there is no need to belittle or constrain others if you know a bit about the profession either. Some people get up on their high horse when they become a leader or a worker, they walk and talk with a pretentious demeanor, even putting on official airs. This way of doing things is even more disgusting. Even if you have some status there is no need to flaunt it or be haughty. You should act responsibly to lead the brothers and sisters to perform their duties well. This is your responsibility and what you should accomplish. Moreover, if you have humanity and are loyal, you must take responsibility when doing things. How should you take responsibility? By fellowshipping clearly on areas that people don’t understand, areas where people are prone to make mistakes or be misled, and rectifying any mistakes and deviations that arise, you ensure that everyone can do things using the right method, so they no longer make mistakes or are constrained by others. This way, you will have fulfilled your responsibility. This is being responsible and loyal in your duty. Once you have achieved this, could other people still say you pursue status? No, they couldn’t. The principles you practice are already correct, as is your path. These are the manifestations of those who pursue the truth; this is how those who pursue the truth should practice. The opposite is nothing but a myriad of disgraceful behavior. Wanting to show off and be highly regarded, but also wanting to hold back and hide what they know, fearing that if others know these things they won’t be able to showcase themselves or be highly regarded anymore—that is so rebellious! They disregard the interests of the house of God, and even stand by and watch, chuckling to themselves, “If I don’t speak, let’s see if anyone can explain this matter clearly! Even if I say something, I won’t say everything. I’ll disclose a little bit today, and a little bit tomorrow, and still won’t tell you the truth. I’ll let you ponder it on your own. It’s not so easy to get something out of me! If I tell you all that I understand, making you understand it, then I will have nothing left, and you will be better than me. How will you view me then?” What sort of creature would think like this? This person is venomous! They are nothing good. Are they an honest person? (No.) Have any of you done this? (I have. Especially after I had spread the gospel for a longer period of time and gotten some results, I felt like I had some assets and capital. When other people asked if I knew of any good methods or had any good experience to share, I refused. I lived by Satan’s poisonous saying, “Once a student knows everything the master knows, the master will lose his livelihood.” I was afraid others would surpass me, and then I’d lose my status.) Being afraid of other people stealing your thunder is not an easy thing to overcome. Reputation and self-interest are goals people spend their whole lives fighting for, but they are also two daggers in the heart—they will cost you your life!

Some people who have done things which benefit the church’s work and the brothers and sisters think they have made a contribution and have some status within the church. Every time they are in front of others, they mention these good things they did, so that everyone has a completely new perception and understanding of them—an understanding of their capital and status, and an understanding of their reputation and place within the church. Why do they do this? (To show off and flaunt it.) And what is the point of flaunting it? To establish themselves. And what can they do by establishing themselves? (Make other people look up to them.) Make people look up to them, talk them up, and revere them. After obtaining these things, how do they feel inside? (They enjoy it.) They enjoy the benefits of status. Do you also pursue these things? What causes these thoughts, ideas, and ways of thinking that people have? What gives rise to them? What is their source? Their source is man’s corrupt disposition. It is man’s corrupt disposition that causes people to reveal themselves this way, and gives rise to these sorts of pursuits. Some people often feel superior in the house of God. In what ways? What causes them to feel superior in these ways? For example, some people know how to speak a foreign language, and they think it means they have a gift and are skilled, and that if the house of God did not have them, it would probably be really difficult to expand its work. As a result, they want to make people look up to them everywhere they go. What method do people of this type employ when they meet others? In their heart, they assign all sorts of different ranks to people who perform different duties in the house of God. The leaders are at the top, people who have special talents come second, then come people who have average talents, and at the bottom are those who perform all sorts of supporting duties. Some people treat the ability to perform important duties and special duties as capital, and treat it as having truth realities. What is the problem here? Isn’t this absurd? Performing some special duties makes them arrogant and haughty, and they look down on everyone. When they meet someone, the first thing they always do is ask what duty they perform. If the person performs an average duty, they look down on them, and think this person isn’t worthy of their attention. When this person wants to fellowship with them, they are agreeable to it on the surface, but inside they think, “You want to fellowship with me? You’re just a nobody. Look at the duty you perform—how are you worthy of talking to me?” If the duty the person performs is more important than theirs, they flatter them and envy them. When they see leaders or workers, they are obsequious and flatter them. Are they principled in the way they treat people? (No. They treat people according to the duty they perform, and according to the various different ranks they assign.) They rank people according to their experience and seniority, and according to their talents and gifts. What fact is revealed by how they rank people this way? It reveals a person’s pursuits, a person’s life entry, a person’s nature essence, and the quality of their humanity. When some people see a superior leader, they nod their head and bow slightly, and are polite. When they see someone who has some abilities, who is gifted, who is skilled at speaking, who has performed important duties in God’s house, or who the Above has promoted and views as important, they speak in an especially polite manner. When they see someone of low caliber or who performs an average duty, they look down on them and treat them as though they were invisible—the way they treat them is different. What are they thinking inside? “Someone like you is still low class even though you believe in God, yet you still want to talk as though you’re on the same level as me, and fellowship with me about life entry and being an honest person. You’re not fit to do so!” What disposition is this? Arrogance, viciousness, and wickedness. Are there many people of this type in the church? (Yes.) Are you this type of person? (Yes.) Treating people differently based on who they are—none of these things are the manifestations of people who pursue the truth. What are they pursuing? (They’re pursuing status.) People’s behavior, revelations, and usual manifestations can show all the thoughts, views, intents, and pursuits they have, as well as the path they are on. What you reveal, and what you regularly manifest, is what you pursue—your pursuit is exposed. Even though people of this type have spiritual understanding, can understand God’s words, draw connections with His words, and compare His words to their own states, whatever happens they do not seek the truth, and do not approach it using the truth of God’s words as their principles. Rather, they approach it and act based on their own notions, imaginings, intents, objectives, and desires, as well as their own preferences. Can people like this enter into the truth realities? (No.) Their heart still harbors the principles and methods that people who don’t believe have for dealing with the world; they still rank people according to their experience and seniority, and assign all sorts of different ranks to the people in God’s house. They do not use the truth to evaluate people, but rather evaluate people using the views and standards of those who do not believe. Is this the pursuit of the truth? (No.) Although they seem like someone who understands the truth when they speak and preach, can any bit of truth reality be seen in how they perform their duties? (No.) Then, are these people who have life entry? (No.) There are too many corrupt things inside of them, and they fall too short of the mark with regard to fulfilling the requirements for salvation. If they always treat these things as capital, then how many of God’s words that they understand can they put into practice? Does their heart actually contain the truth, or God’s words? To them, how do life entry and transforming their disposition weigh? What is it, exactly, that has taken root in their heart? It is certainly all satanic philosophies and things inherited from man, as well as their notions and imaginings about belief in God. If these things take root too deeply in people’s hearts, it will be extremely difficult for them to accept the truth. They always consider how the Above views them, whether the Above appreciates them, whether they are in God’s heart, and whether God knows them. They view other people the same way: They look at whether the Above appreciates them, and whether God is pleased with them—they treat people differently based on who they are. When their heart always places importance on these things, how much of an effect can the truth have on them? What are people who always live in these states and live in these philosophies for worldly dealings actually pursuing? Can they enter the truth realities? (No.) Then what do they live their lives according to? (They live according to satanic philosophies for worldly dealings.) They live according to satanic philosophies, yet think they have knowledge, are learned and wise, and feel quite a lot of enjoyment inside. What do they see the house of God as? (As a society.) They see it as a society. They have not yet abandoned this view. So, how do they fix these issues? It is not just a matter of people reading God’s words and being able to acknowledge the facts God exposed. They must also experience pruning, trials, and refinement. They also need to know their nature essence, see the essence of capital, gifts, knowledge, and qualifications clearly, let go of these things, accept the truths in God’s words, and live according to the truth. Only then can the problem of a corrupt nature be fixed.

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