Only by Resolving One's Notions Can One Embark on the Right Track of Belief in God (3) Part Three

What stage is your life entry at now? You have already come to know your views are wrong, but you still rely on your views to live, and you use them to measure God’s work. You use your thoughts and views to pass judgment on the circumstances He puts in place for you, and you treat God’s sovereignty by means of your thoughts and views. Is this in line with the truth principles? Is this not absurd? People only understand a tiny amount of doctrine, yet they wish to evaluate God’s actions. Is this not incredibly arrogant? You now merely acknowledge that God’s words are good and right, and, to look at your outward behavior, you do not do things that obviously go against the truth, much less do you do things that pass judgment on God’s work. You are also able to submit to the work arrangements of God’s house. This is going from being a nonbeliever to a follower of God with the decency of a saint. You go from someone who lives decidedly by Satan’s philosophies, and by Satan’s concepts, laws, and knowledge to someone who, having heard God’s words, feels they are the truth, accepts them, and pursues the truth, becoming someone who can embrace God’s words as their life. It is that sort of process—nothing more. During this period, your behavior and ways of doing things will certainly undergo some changes. No matter how much you change, what manifests in you is, to God, no more than changes in your behavior and methods, changes in your innermost desires and aspirations. It is nothing more than changes in your thoughts and views. You may now be able to offer your life to God when you summon your strength and have the impulse, but you cannot achieve absolute submission to God in a matter you find particularly distasteful. This is the difference between a change in behavior and a change in disposition. Perhaps, your kind heart enables you to lay down your life and everything for God, saying, “I’m ready and willing to give up my life’s blood for God. In this life, I have no regrets and no complaints! I’ve given up on marriage, on worldly prospects, on all glory and riches, and I accept these circumstances that God has laid out. I can withstand all the ridicule and slander of the world.” But the moment God lays out a circumstance that does not fit your notions, you can stand up and clamor against Him and resist Him. This is the difference between a change in behavior and a change in disposition. It is also possible that you can lay down your life for God and give up the people you love most, or the thing you love most, with which your heart can bear least to part—but when you are called to speak to God from the heart, and be an honest person, you find it quite difficult and cannot do it. This is the difference between a change in behavior and a change in disposition. Then again, perhaps you do not crave fleshly comfort in this life, neither eating fine food nor wearing fine clothes, each day working yourself ragged and to exhaustion in your duty. You can withstand all manner of pain brought to you by the flesh, but, if God’s arrangements do not accord with your notions, you cannot understand, and grievances against God and misunderstandings about Him arise in you. Your relationship with God grows increasingly abnormal. You are always resistant and rebellious, unable to submit completely to God. This is the difference between a change in behavior and a change in disposition. You are willing to give up your life for God, so why can you not say an honest word to Him? You are willing to lay aside everything outside of yourself, so why can you not be singularly loyal to the commission God has given you? You are willing to give up your life for God, so when you rely on your feelings to do things and uphold your relations with others, why can you not reflect on yourself? Why can you not take a stand to uphold church work and the interests of God’s house? Is this someone who lives before God? You have already made a vow before God to expend yourself for Him your whole life and to accept whatever suffering comes your way, so why does one instance of dismissal from your duty make you sink so much into negativity that you cannot crawl back out for many days? Why is your heart full of resistance, grievance, misunderstanding, and negativity? What is going on? This shows that your heart loves status the most, and this is connected to your vital weakness. Therefore, when you are dismissed, you fall down and cannot get up. This is sufficient to prove that although your behavior has changed, your life disposition has not. This is the difference between a change in behavior and a change in disposition.

Most people now exhibit some good behavior, but very few are seeking the truth or accepting it, and almost none have true submission. From this perspective, many people are merely experiencing changes in behavior and shifts in their thoughts and views; they have the willingness and aspiration to accept and submit to God’s sovereignty, and harbor no resentment in their hearts. Tell Me, have these people experienced God’s judgment and chastisement? (No.) Unfortunately, the experiential testimonies you’ve previously shared don’t involve God’s judgment and chastisement; they all fall short of God’s requirements. As long as you haven’t yet experienced God’s judgment and chastisement, then your disposition hasn’t begun to change. If your disposition hasn’t begun to change, then the changes you perceive are merely behavioral. Such behavioral changes are attributable to your own cooperation, they’re due in part to your good humanity, and they are the effects of God’s work. Do you really think that God will only go this far in saving people? (No.) Then what will God do next? What is the main work God engages in when saving people? (Judgment and chastisement.) The primary method God uses to save people is judgment and chastisement. But unfortunately, almost no one has yet been able to accept God’s judgment and chastisement. Therefore, God’s work of saving people, of perfecting them, and of changing their dispositions has not yet officially begun. Why hasn’t it officially begun? Because this work of God can’t yet be carried out upon people. Why can’t it be carried out? Because, given people’s current state, stature, and what they are currently capable of, they still fall far short of the standards required by God, so God can’t proceed with His work. Does that mean God will cease His work? No, God is waiting. What is He also doing while waiting? He is purifying the church, cleansing it of disruptors and disturbers, antichrists, evil spirits, evil people, disbelievers, those who do not truly believe in Him, and those who cannot even labor. This is called clearing the field; it is also called winnowing. Is clearing the field God’s main work during this period? No, during this period, God will continue to work on you through the means of prompting with words, watering, nurturing, pruning, correcting, and disciplining you. To what extent? Only once people possess the basic conditions to accept judgment and chastisement will God begin the work of judgment and chastisement. Now tell Me, based on your speculations and judgments, what conditions must people meet before God begins the work of judgment and chastisement? You can see that God does everything in its time. He does not work haphazardly. His management work follows the plan He has made, and He does everything in a step-by-step fashion, not haphazardly. And what of those steps? Each step of work God does on people must take effect, and when He sees it has, He does the next step of work. God knows how His work may take effect, what He must say and do. He does His work according to what people need, not haphazardly. Whatever work will be effective on people, God does it, and whatever is immaterial in terms of effectiveness, God assuredly does not do it. For instance, when there is need of negative object-lessons on which God’s chosen people may develop their discernment, false christs, antichrists, evil spirits, evil people, and disturbers and disruptors will appear in the church, on which others may develop their discernment. If God’s chosen people understand the truth and can discern such people, then those people have rendered their service, and there is no longer value in their existing. At that time, God’s chosen people will rise up to expose and report them, and the church will immediately cleanse them away. All God’s work has its steps, and all those steps are arranged by God on the basis of what man needs in their life and their stature. What do people really need, and why do antichrists and evil people appear in the church? People are generally confused about these matters and don’t understand what’s going on with them. Some people, not understanding God’s work, harbor notions, and even complain, saying, “How can antichrists appear in God’s church? Why doesn’t God attend to this?” Only when they read God’s words stating that these occurrences are intended for people to learn lessons and develop discernment do they have an epiphany and understand God’s intentions. Initially, people lack discernment toward evil people. When the church expels such individuals, people entertain notions; they think those who were expelled made many contributions and were capable of enduring hardship, and think they should not have been expelled. They then become resistant to what God has done. But after a period of experience, people gain an understanding of the truth and develop the ability to discern evil people. Now, when an evil person is expelled, they no longer entertain notions or resist. When they see an evil person committing evil deeds again, they can identify them, and everyone collaborates to report the individual and clear them out before any significant harm has been done. These evil people then no longer have a foothold in God’s house. How is this achieved? How does this discernment come about in people? It is God’s doing. Without God’s work, people couldn’t understand these things. God’s work follows a sequence, and the steps of this sequence are determined by what human life requires. But people themselves are unclear about what they actually need, they are muddleheaded. Therefore, God can only continue His work, arranging numerous lessons for people to learn from, enabling them to enter into the truth reality and achieve the results that He demands. Whether people understand or not, God tirelessly continues His work—this is God’s love. It’s just like how God prunes someone: If they make a mistake, God prunes them; if they make the mistake again, He prunes them again. If they are revealed again, God prunes them once more. He works patiently until the person truly gains understanding, is no longer numb, and becomes as sensitive as if they were touching a live wire when encountering similar situations again, no longer making mistakes. Then that is sufficient, and God will cease His work. When, upon encountering these matters again, you can handle them independently and in accordance with principles, God no longer needs to worry. This proves that you have understood God’s words and God’s truth, have embraced them in your heart, and they have become your life. At that point, God ceases His work. These are the steps of God’s work, and after you’ve experienced them, you will see God’s essence and wisdom; this is undeniable and 100 percent certain.

Just now, it was mentioned that the steps of God’s work are related to people’s dispositional change. God’s work is not about letting people undergo a bit of behavioral change, understand some rules, and have some human likeness, and then declaring that a great success. If that were the case, the work would have already been concluded in the Age of Grace. What does God want? (People’s dispositional change.) Correct, dispositional change is what people who are truly saved should possess. What God wants is not merely a change in people’s behavior, but more importantly, a change in their disposition; this is the standard for being saved. Some behavioral changes were also mentioned just now, such as being able to forsake things and lay down one’s life for God—these are clear behavioral changes. But if there isn’t loyalty to God’s commissions, if one can still act perfunctorily, and there is still deception, this means that there hasn’t yet been a change in disposition. People now are only commendable in behavior; they appear to better match the demeanor of a saint, they behave with more humanity, and they have some dignity and integrity. However, no matter how much someone demonstrates good behavior, if it is not related to practicing the truth, and not lived out from their conscience, reason, and normal humanity, then it has nothing to do with a change in disposition and is not what God wants. Looking at it this way, in terms of your current behavior, no matter how much you abide by the rules, no matter how compliant you are, no matter how you might lay down your life, or how great your aspirations are, have you been able to make God content? Have you met God’s requirements? (No.) Is it that God’s requirements are too high? Some people think, “People are so compliant now, how come they haven’t met God’s requirements yet?” What do you think, is this compliance submission? (No.) That’s right. This compliance now is just having a bit of rationality, all of which is the result of God’s discipline. It is entirely the effect achieved by God’s discipline; it is only after God painstakingly spoke so many words that people’s conscience was awakened, people’s sense of conscience was stirred, and they began to live out some semblance of humanity, have some rules in doing things, know to inquire in whatever they do, and feel a bit of reproach when acting against principles. In short, changes in behavior do not meet the conditions for receiving God’s judgment and chastisement; God does not want people’s behavioral change. So, what does God want? He wants their dispositional change. And just what are the manifestations of dispositional change? To what extent must they change in various aspects to be qualified for God’s judgment and chastisement? They must change to the extent that God can see this person’s performance in all aspects—they especially can perform their duties adequately, and they can accept being pruned, can seek the truth in everything, can follow God when faced with tribulations and trials, and fundamentally can accept and submit to whatever God says; even when others do not supervise them, and when faced with temptations, they can refrain from doing bad things, not committing a bit of evil. In God’s eyes, such people are up to standard; they are qualified to formally receive His judgment and chastisement, which is the further step of God’s work of saving and perfecting them. What kind of signal, what kind of standard, is here—do you know? (What I thought of is, through God’s correction and discipline, a person can gradually recover their conscience and reason and, coupled with some changes in their behavior, they can eventually be able to perform their duties loyally. God might then begin the work of judgment and chastisement on that person.) Do you all agree with this statement? (Yes.) Good, but this is only one condition. Before God carries out the work of judgment and chastisement on someone, God will evaluate this person. How does He evaluate them? God has several standards. First, He observes what attitude they have toward His commissions; that is, what attitude they have toward the duties they should perform, whether they can perform their duties wholeheartedly, to the best of their ability, and with loyalty. In short, He observes whether people can meet the standard for adequate performance of duty—this is the first aspect. This directly relates to the life of believing in God and the daily work people engage in. Why does God set this aspect as a condition, as a standard for evaluation? What is the reason behind it—do you know? When God entrusts a task to someone, the attitude of that person is crucial—it is how He evaluates them. This task is entrusted to them by God; how would a person with conscience treat it as opposed to a person without conscience? How would a rational person treat it as opposed to an irrational one? There is a distinction between these. Conscience and rationality are traits that one’s humanity should possess. Aside from this, having just a bit of a sense of conscience or a bit of rationality is not sufficient. If people recover their conscience and rationality, do they then resemble humans? Have they thus attained the truth reality? No, it’s still not enough; God also observes the path people walk during the period of performing their duty. What kind of path people walk can meet God’s required standard? Firstly, to not commit evil and to have submission while performing duty is the minimum standard. If one is capable of committing evil, this person is completely done for; they are not the type of people God wants to save. Furthermore, in treating God’s commissions, aside from handling them with conscience and rationality, there is a greater need to seek the truth and understand God’s intentions. No matter the circumstances, regardless of whether the matter confronting you aligns with your notions and imaginings, you should maintain an attitude of submission. At this juncture, what God desires is your submissive attitude. If you merely acknowledge that God’s words are all the truth and correct, is that an attitude of submission? Absolutely not. What is the practical side of an attitude of submission? It is this: You must bring yourself to accept God’s words. Although your life entry is shallow, and your stature is insufficient, and your knowledge of the practical side of the truth is not yet deep enough, you are still able to follow God and submit to Him—that is an attitude of submission. Before you can achieve total submission, you must first adopt an attitude of submission, that is, you must accept God’s words, believe they are right, take God’s words as the truth and as the principles of practice, and be able to uphold them as regulations even when you do not have a good grasp of the principles. That is a kind of attitude of submission. Because your disposition now still has not changed, if you want to achieve genuine submission to God, you first must have a mentality of submission and aspire to submit, saying, “I will submit no matter what God does. I do not understand much truth, but I know that when God tells me what to do, I will do it.” God sees this as an attitude of submission. Some people say, “What if I was wrong to submit to God?” Is God capable of being in error? God is truth and righteousness. God does not make errors; there are just many things God does which do not line up with people’s notions. You should say, “No matter whether what God does lines up with my own notions, I will just focus on listening, submitting, accepting, and following God. This is what I should do as a created being.” Even if there are people who judge you as submitting blindly, you should not care. Your heart is sure that God is truth, and that you should submit. This is right, and that is the sort of mentality with which one should submit. Only people possessed of such a mentality can gain the truth. If you do not have a mentality like this, but say, “I don’t suffer others irritating me. No one’s going to fool me. I’m too shrewd and cannot be made to submit to anything! Whatever comes my way, I have to look into it and analyze it. Only when it aligns with my views, and I can accept it, will I submit”—is that an attitude of submission? It is not an attitude of submission; it is a lack of a submissive mentality, with no intention in one’s heart to submit. If you say, “Even if it is God, I’ll still have to look into it. Even kings and queens get the same treatment from me. What You’re saying to me is useless. It’s true that I am a created being, but I’m no dummy—so don’t treat me like one,” then it is over for you; you lack the conditions to accept the truth. Such people lack any rationality. They do not possess normal humanity, so are they not a beast? Without rationality, how can a person achieve submission? To achieve submission, one must first be possessed of a submissive mentality. Only with a mentality of submission can a person have any rationality to speak of. If they do not have a mentality of submission, then they do not have any rationality. People are created beings; how can they see the Creator clearly? All of humanity has not been able to decipher one of God’s ideas for 6,000 years, so how can people instantly understand what God is doing? You cannot understand. There are many things which God has been doing for thousands of years, and which God has already revealed to humanity, but if He did not spell it out for people, they would still not understand. Maybe you understand His words in a literal sense now, but you will only truly understand a little twenty years later. This is how big a gap there is between people and what God demands. In light of this, people should possess rationality and a mentality of submission. People are just ants and maggots, yet they wish to see the Creator clearly. This is a most unreasonable thing. Some people always complain that God does not tell His mysteries to them, and does not explain the truth directly, always making people seek. But saying these things is not right, and is unreasonable. How many of all these words that God has told you do you understand? How many of God’s words can you put into practice? God’s work always happens in steps. If God had told people 2,000 years ago about His work of the last days, would they have understood? In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus became the likeness of sinful flesh, and was a sin offering for all humanity. If He were to tell people at that time, who would understand? And now, people like you understand some conceptual theories, but as for truths like God’s real disposition, God’s intention in loving humanity, and the origin of and plan behind things God did at that time, people will never ever be capable of understanding. This is the mystery of the truth; this is the essence of God. How can people see it clearly? It is completely unreasonable for you to wish to see the Creator clearly. You are too arrogant and overestimate your abilities. People should not wish to see God clearly. It is already good if they can understand some of the truth. As far as you are concerned, understanding a bit of the truth is already a sufficient accomplishment. Therefore, is it rational to have a mentality of submission? This is absolutely a rational thing to do. A mentality and attitude of submission is the minimum of what every created being should possess.

Achieving adequate and loyal performance of one’s duty, and possessing a mentality of submission—how long does this take? Does it require a set number of years? There isn’t a set time frame, and it depends on one’s pursuit, their aspiration, and the degree of their longing for the truth. It also depends on their inherent conscience, reason, caliber, and insight. Upon acquiring an attitude of submission, immediately thereafter, there will be further changes in one’s speech, actions, and behavior. What are these changes? In God’s eyes, you are basically an honest person now. What does being basically an honest person mean? It means that the component of intentional lying in your speech and behavior has diminished; eighty percent of what you say is truthful. Sometimes, due to scumminess, circumstances, or some other reason, you inadvertently lie, and it feels as uncomfortable as having swallowed a dead fly; you feel uneasy for several days. You admit your mistake and repent before God, and afterward, there are changes—your lies become fewer and fewer, and your state improves. In God’s eyes, you are basically an honest person. Some people say, “If someone is basically honest, hasn’t their disposition changed?” Is that the case? No, this is just a change in behavior. In God’s eyes, being able to be an honest person involves more than just a change in conduct and behavior; it also involves essential changes in one’s mentality and views on matters. They no longer have an intention to lie or deceive, and there’s absolutely no falsehood or deception in what they say and do. Their words and deeds become more and more truthful, with more and more honest words. For instance, when asked if you have done something, even if admitting it would lead to getting slapped or being punished, you are still able to tell the truth. Even if admitting it entails bearing significant responsibility, facing death or destruction, you are able to tell the truth and are willing to practice the truth to satisfy God. This indicates that your attitude toward God’s words has become quite firm. No matter when, choosing any one of the standards of practice required by God has become hardly an issue for you; you can naturally attain and put it into practice without the restraints of external circumstances, the guidance of leaders and workers, or the sense of God’s scrutiny beside you. You are able to do these things quite effortlessly on your own. Without the restraints of external circumstances, and not out of fear of God’s discipline, nor fear of the reproach of your conscience, and certainly not out of fear of others’ ridicule or supervision—not because of any of these—you can proactively examine your own behavior, measure its correctness, and evaluate whether it complies with the truth and satisfies God. At that point, you have basically met the standard of being an honest person in God’s eyes. Being basically an honest person is the third basic condition for accepting God’s judgment and chastisement.

We just fellowshipped about the three conditions for accepting God’s judgment and chastisement: The first is performing one’s duty adequately, the second is having an attitude of submission, and the third is basically being an honest person. How is this third condition evaluated? What are the criteria? (One intentionally lies less frequently, and tells the truth more often.) It means being able to tell the truth most of the time; you should all be able to evaluate this one, right? Being an honest person is the third condition for accepting God’s judgment and chastisement. The second is having an attitude of submission, which includes some details, mainly not scrutinizing or analyzing God’s work, but only having a submissive mentality. Furthermore, it entails pursuing being an honest person, reaching a point where your lies decrease, and most of the time you can speak truthfully, expressing your true feelings. The most important aspect here is people’s subjective cooperation, which means making progress actively, and striving to reach for the truth. Having a submissive mentality is a result achieved on the subjective front; being able to become an honest person—being basically honest—is also a subjective matter, and is the result of one’s diligent pursuit. Accepting God’s judgment and chastisement has one more primary condition. I’ll first provide you with a clue, and if you think along the lines of what I’m saying, you’ll be able to grasp it. From the beginning of believing in God to the end, have people made many mistakes in this life? Have there been many acts of rebelliousness against God? (There have been many.) So what should someone do when they make a mistake, or when they are rebellious? (They must have a repentant heart.) Having a repentant heart is a sign of a person with conscience and reason. Having conscience and reason are the minimum qualities a recipient of God’s salvation should possess; those lacking conscience and reason cannot attain God’s salvation. If someone never knows to repent after making mistakes, what kind of thing are they? Can a person who never knows to repent follow God to the end? Can they have real change? (No.) Why not? (Because they lack a repentant heart.) Exactly, and this brings us to the final condition: One must have a repentant heart. While following God, because of their foolishness and ignorance and due to their various corrupt dispositions, people often reveal themselves to be rebellious, and sometimes misunderstand or complain against God. They go astray, and some even form notions about God, become negative and slacken in their work for a time, and lose their faith. Rebellious behaviors arise in every stage of people’s lives. They have God in their hearts and know He is at work when something happens, yet they sometimes cannot get their heads around that fact. Though they are able to submit superficially, they simply cannot accept it deep down. What makes it evident that deep down they cannot accept it? One way this manifests is that, despite knowing everything, they are simply unable to put aside what they have done and come before God to admit to their mistakes and say, “God, I was wrong. I won’t act like that anymore. I will seek Your intentions and do as You’d have me do. I didn’t use to heed You; my stature was small, I was foolish and ignorant, and frequently rebellious. I know that now.” What attitude do people have if they can admit to their mistakes? (They want to make a turnaround.) If people have conscience and reason, and yearn for the truth, yet they never know to self-reflect and make a turnaround after making mistakes, believing instead that the past is past and feeling certain that they are not wrong, then what sort of disposition does this show? What sort of behavior? What is the essence of such behavior? (Being intransigent.) Such people are intransigent and, come what may, that is the path they will follow. God does not like such people. What did Jonah say when he expressed God’s words to the Ninevites? (“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4).) How did the Ninevites react to these words? When they saw that God was going to destroy them, they hastened to take up sackcloth and ashes, confess their sins to Him, and leave the path of evil. This is what it means to repent. If man is able to repent, it presents man with an enormous opportunity. What opportunity is that? It is the opportunity to keep on living. Without real repentance, it would be hard to continue forward, whether in your performance of duty or in your pursuit of salvation. At every stage—whether when God is disciplining or correcting you, or when He is reminding and exhorting you—as long as a conflict has occurred between you and God, yet you do not make a turnaround, and continue to cling to your own ideas, viewpoints, and attitudes, then even though your steps are headed forward, the conflict between you and God, your misunderstandings of Him, your complaints and rebelliousness against Him are not rectified, and your heart does not turn around. Then God, for His part, will eliminate you. Although you have not let go of the duty at hand, and you still keep to your duty and have a bit of loyalty for what God has commissioned, and people see this as acceptable, the dispute between you and God has formed a permanent knot. You have not used the truth to resolve it and gain a true understanding of God’s intentions. As a result, your misunderstanding of God deepens, and you always think that God is in the wrong and you are being treated unjustly. This means you have not made a turnaround. Your rebelliousness, your notions, and your misunderstanding of God still persist, which leads you to have a mentality of non-submission, to be always rebellious and oppose God. Is this kind of person not someone who rebels against God, resists God, and stubbornly refuses to repent? Why does God place such importance on people making a turnaround? With what attitude should a created being regard the Creator? An attitude that acknowledges that the Creator is right, no matter what He does. If you do not acknowledge this, that the Creator is the truth, the way, and the life will be but hollow words to you. If that is the case, can you still attain salvation? You cannot. You would be unqualified; God does not save people like you. There are some who say, “God asks that people have a repentant heart, and that they know to make a turnaround. But there are many things where I haven’t made a turnaround. Do I still have time to do it?” Yes, there is still time. Additionally, some say, “In what things do I have to turn around? Things in the past are gone and forgotten.” So long as your disposition does not change, so long as you do not come to know what in your actions does not accord with the truth and what cannot accord with God, then that knot that exists between you and God has not yet been untied; the matter has not been resolved. This disposition is within you; the idea, viewpoint, and attitude that rebels against God is inside you. As soon as the right circumstances appear, this viewpoint of yours will once again emerge, and your conflict with God will flare up again. Thus, though you may not rectify the past, you must rectify things that will happen in the future. How are they to be rectified? You must make a turnaround and put aside your ideas and intentions. Once you have this intent, yours will naturally also be an attitude of submission. However, to speak a bit more precisely, this refers to people making a turnaround in their attitude toward God, the Creator; it is a recognition and affirmation of the fact that the Creator is the truth, the way, and the life. If you can turn yourself around, this demonstrates that you can put aside those things you think are right, or those things that mankind—which is corrupt—thinks collectively to be right; and, instead, you are acknowledging that God’s words are the truth and positive things. If you can have this attitude, it proves your recognition of the identity of the Creator and of His essence. This is how God views the issue, and He therefore considers man’s turnaround especially important.

There are some who say, “If a person has done nothing wrong, what do they need to turn around for?” Even if you have not done anything wrong at the moment, you must first understand the truth of repentance. This is something you should possess. Once you understand the truth, you will discover that some things you did were inappropriate, and you will uncover problems which have to do with your intentions and mentality—that is, problems with your disposition. These things will float to the surface without you realizing them and make you see that your relationship with God is actually not a simple one between humans and God. God is still God, but you are a created being who does not meet the standard. In those matters in which people have failed to stay in their proper places, and have failed to accomplish what they ought to—that is to say, when they fail in their duty—it will become a knot within them. This is an exceedingly practical problem, and one that has to be resolved. So how to resolve it? What kind of attitude should people have? Before all else, they must be willing to turn themselves around. And how should this willingness to make a turnaround be put into practice? For example, a person is a leader for a couple years, but because they are of low caliber they do not do their job well, cannot see any situation clearly, do not know how to use the truth to solve problems, and cannot do any real work; therefore, they are dismissed. If, after being dismissed, they are able to submit, continue performing their duty, and are willing to turn around, what should they do? First of all, they should understand this, “God was right to do as He did. My caliber is so very poor, and for so long I’ve done no real work and instead only held up the work of the church and the brothers’ and sisters’ life entry. I’m lucky that the house of God did not expel me outright. I’ve really been pretty shameless, hanging onto my position all this time and even believing myself to have done such great work. How unreasonable of me!” To be able to feel self-hatred and a sense of remorse: is it or is it not an expression of the willingness to make a turnaround? If they are able to say this, it means they are willing. If they say in their hearts, “For so long, in my position as leader, I have always striven for the benefits of status; I was always preaching doctrine and equipping myself with doctrine; I did not strive for life entry. Only now that I’ve been replaced do I see just how inadequate and lacking I am. God did the right thing, and I must submit. In the past, I had status, and the brothers and sisters treated me well; they would surround me wherever I went. Now no one takes any notice of me, and I am forsaken; this is my due, it is the retribution I deserve. Moreover, how could a created being have any status before God? No matter how high someone’s status, it is neither the outcome nor the destination; God gives me a commission not so that I can throw my weight around or enjoy my status, but so I can perform my duty, and I should do whatever I can. I should have an attitude of submission toward God’s sovereignty and the arrangements of the house of God. Although submission may be hard, I must submit; God is right to do as He does, and even supposing I had thousands, tens of thousands, of excuses, none of them would be the truth. Submitting to God is the truth!” these are exact expressions of the willingness to turn around. And if one were to possess all of these, how might God appraise such a person? God would say that this is a person of conscience and reason. Is this assessment high? It is not overly high; having conscience and reason alone falls short of the standards of being made perfect by God—but as far as this kind of person is concerned, it’s already no small accomplishment. Being able to submit is precious. After this, how the person seeks to make God change His view of them depends on which road they choose. If they have not truly repented, and because they have no status, they are not loyal in their duty and always perfunctory, then it is completely over for them; they will be eliminated. If they still harbor grievances, complaining, “During my time as a leader, I suffered so much, and even if there were no merits, there was hard work. They say I didn’t do real work, but I did quite a lot. Regardless of whether or not I achieved any results, at least I wasn’t idle. Just because I wasn’t idle, God shouldn’t eliminate me so casually. Even without status, I’m still being made to do this and that—isn’t this toying with me?”—if after being replaced, they don’t have any enthusiasm left to perform any duty, is there any loyalty or submission here? They have no loyalty, no submission, and no willingness to turn around; they have none of these. Isn’t this pitiful? It’s all too pitiful; they believed in vain all these years. Having listened to sermons for so many years, yet not practicing any truth, always lecturing others on words and doctrines, but unable to do anything themselves—this is how they believed in God; they preached quite a lot of doctrine to others, but in the end, they can’t even resolve their own issues. It’s so pitiful! And they still wish to receive God’s judgment and chastisement? After being replaced, they still contend with God and suffer torment, showing no submission whatsoever. Isn’t this just blindly suffering? Your suffering is worthless! Putting aside everything else, and just looking at the fact that you became furious and confrontational when the church removed you from your position—just based on that alone, you’re not worthy to be a human, not worthy to be a created being of God. So just what are you arguing for then? Whatever arguments you have are useless. You’ve believed for so many years, yet you lack even this modicum of submission; where are the fruits of your faith over the years? Pitiful, detestable, disgusting! You were given status and you treated it like an official role; does having status mean your disposition has changed? Isn’t it just God’s grace? God graced you with this commission, yet you took it as an official role—isn’t that disgusting? Are there any officials in the house of God? Among the saints through the ages, none were officials. For two thousand years, people have worshiped Paul, but no one ever said Paul held any official title. Therefore, the term “official” does not hold up; it’s neither a reward nor a commission from God, and you need to let go of it. If you constantly pursue being an official, will God approve of this? Will it allow you to achieve salvation? Definitely not. Just now we mentioned that to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, one must have a willingness to turn around. Is this important? (Yes.) It’s extremely important to have such an attitude! If you wish to establish a relationship of the Savior and the saved between you and the Creator, and you wish for God to save you, you must correct your position, and must ascertain the place and status of God in your heart. What is your position, then? (A created being.) Who is a created being? It’s man, not a beast. At any time, you must remember that you are a created being, an ordinary human, and you mustn’t forget your rightful place. When God gives you a bit of grace, a bit of blessing, you then lose sight of who you are. When, in His humbleness and hiddenness, God shares some heartfelt words to comfort you, He is elevating you; and yet you want to stand on equal footing with God, raising yourself up—what thing would do this? Would a human? (No.) God does not recognize a created being such as you—you can step aside! If God doesn’t recognize you, will He perfect you? You don’t meet the conditions to be made perfect by God. Hasn’t the crux of the discussion been conveyed clearly by this point? Thus, having the willingness to reverse course is very important; it is a state of mind, and, at the same time, it’s an attitude. This attitude is an important principle of practice that one should possess to receive God’s salvation and perfection. Don’t think of yourself as so great, so noble, nor assume that you are absolutely correct and infallible. You are not great, glorious, or correct; you are minuscule, lowly, a created being of mankind corrupted by Satan. You need to accept the Creator’s salvation. You are not already saved, you are not perfect; you must possess this reason.

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