Words on Seeking and Practicing the Truth (Excerpt 14)

You must seek the truth to resolve any problem that arises, no matter what it is, and by no means disguise yourself or put on a false face for others. Your shortcomings, your deficiencies, your faults, your corrupt dispositions—be completely open about them all, and fellowship about them all. Do not keep them inside. Learning how to open yourself up is the first step toward life entry, and it is the first hurdle, which is the most difficult to overcome. Once you have overcome it, entering the truth is easy. What does taking this step signify? It means that you are opening your heart and showing everything you have, good or bad, positive or negative; baring yourself for others and for God to see; hiding nothing from God, concealing nothing, disguising nothing, free of deceit and trickery, and being likewise open and honest with other people. In this way, you live in the light, and not only will God scrutinize you, but other people will also be able to see that you act with principle and a degree of transparency. You do not need to use any methods to protect your reputation, image, and status, nor do you need to cover up or disguise your mistakes. You do not need to engage in these useless efforts. If you can let these things go, you will be very relaxed, you will live without constraints or pain, and you will live entirely in the light. Learning how to be open when you fellowship is the first step to life entry. Next, you need to learn to dissect your thoughts and actions to see which are wrong and which God does not like, and you need to reverse them immediately and rectify them. What is the purpose of rectifying them? It is to accept and take on board the truth, while getting rid of the things within you that belong to Satan and replacing them with the truth. Before, you did everything according to your deceitful disposition which is lying and deceptive; you felt that you could get nothing done without lying. Now that you understand the truth, and loathe Satan’s ways of doing things, you no longer act that way, you act with a mentality of honesty, purity, and submission. If you hold nothing back, if you do not put on a front, a pretense, or cover things up, if you lay yourself bare to the brothers and sisters, do not hide your innermost ideas and thoughts, but instead allow others to see your honest attitude, then the truth will gradually take root in you, it will blossom and bear fruit, it will yield results, little-by-little. If your heart is increasingly honest, and increasingly oriented toward God, and if you know to protect the interests of God’s house when you perform your duty, and your conscience is troubled when you fail to protect these interests, then this is proof that the truth has had an effect in you, and has become your life. Once the truth has become life in you, when you observe someone who is blasphemous toward God, unfearful of God, and perfunctory while performing their duty, or who disrupts and disturbs church work, you will respond according to the truth principles, and will be able to identify and expose them as necessary. If the truth has not become your life, and you still live within your satanic disposition, then when you discover evil people and devils who cause disruptions and disturbances to the work of the church, you will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear; you will brush them aside, without reproach from your conscience. You will even think that anyone causing disturbances to the work of the church has nothing to do with you. No matter how much the work of the church and the interests of the house of God suffer, you don’t care, intervene, or feel guilty—which makes you someone who has no conscience or reason, a nonbeliever, a laborer. You eat what is of God’s, drink what is of God’s, and enjoy all that comes from God, yet feel that any harm to the interests of the house of God is not related to you—which makes you a traitor who bites the hand that feeds you. If you do not protect the interests of the house of God, are you even human? This is a demon that has insinuated itself into the church. You feign belief in God, pretend to be a chosen one, and you want to freeload in God’s house. You are not living the life of a human being, are more like a fiend than a person, and are clearly one of the nonbelievers. If you are someone who truly believes in God, then even if you have yet to gain the truth and life, at the very least you will speak and act from the side of God; at the very least, you will not stand idly by when you see the interests of the house of God being compromised. When you have the urge to turn a blind eye, you will feel guilty, and ill at ease, and will say to yourself, “I can’t sit here and do nothing, I must stand up and say something, I must take responsibility, I must expose this evil behavior, I must stop it, so that the interests of the house of God are not harmed, and the church life is not disturbed.” If the truth has become your life, then not only will you have this courage and resolve, and will you be capable of understanding the matter completely, but you will also fulfill the responsibility you should bear for God’s work and for the interests of His house, and your duty will thereby be fulfilled. If you could consider your duty as your responsibility and obligation and as God’s commission, and you feel that this is necessary in order to face God and your conscience, would you not then be living out the integrity and dignity of normal humanity? Your deeds and behavior would be the “fearing God and shunning evil” of which He speaks. You would be performing the essence of these words and living out their reality. When the truth becomes a person’s life, they are then able to live out this reality. But if you have not yet entered into this reality, then, when you reveal deceit, deception, or disguise, or when you see the evil forces of antichrists disturbing and disrupting the work of God’s house, you do not feel a thing, and perceive nothing. Even when these things happen under your very nose, you are still able to laugh, and can still eat and sleep with an easy conscience, and you feel not the slightest bit of self-reproach. Out of these two lives you can live out, which do you choose? Is it not self-evident which is the true human likeness, the reality of positive things, and which is the wicked demonic nature, of negative things? When the truth has not become people’s lives, then what they live out is quite pitiful and sad. To be unable to practice the truth, though they want to; to be unable to love God, though they wish to; and to lack the strength to expend themselves for God, though they yearn to do so—they are unable to be in charge—this is the pity and the sorrow of corrupted human beings. To resolve this problem, one must accept and pursue the truth; they must welcome the truth into their heart in order to have a new life. No matter what they do or think, those who are unable to accept the truth are also unable to practice the truth, and even if outwardly they do well, it is still pretense and deception—it is still hypocrisy. Therefore, if you do not pursue the truth, then you will not obtain life, and that is the root of the problem.

Most people wish to pursue and practice the truth, but much of the time they merely have a resolution and the desire to do so; the truth has not become their life. As a result, when they come across evil forces or encounter evil people and bad people committing evil deeds, or false leaders and antichrists doing things in a way that violates principles—thus disturbing the work of the church and harming God’s chosen ones—they lose the courage to stand up and speak out. What does it mean when you have no courage? Does it mean that you are timid or inarticulate? Or is it that you do not understand thoroughly, and therefore do not have the confidence to speak up? Neither; this is primarily the consequence of being restrained by corrupt dispositions. One of the corrupt dispositions you reveal is a deceitful disposition; when something happens to you, the first thing you think of is your own interests, the first thing you consider is the consequences, whether this will be beneficial to you. This is a deceitful disposition, is it not? Another is a selfish and base disposition. You think, “What does a loss to the interests of God’s house have to do with me? I’m not a leader, so why should I care? It’s got nothing to do with me. It’s not my responsibility.” Such thoughts and words are not something that you consciously think, but are produced by your subconscious—which is the corrupt disposition revealed when people encounter an issue. Corrupt dispositions such as this govern the way you think, they bind your hands and feet, and control what you say. In your heart, you want to stand up and speak, but you have misgivings, and even when you do speak out, you beat around the bush, and leave yourself wiggle room, or else you prevaricate and don’t tell the truth. People who are clear-eyed can see this; in truth, you know in your heart that you have not said all you should, that what you have said has had no effect, that you were merely going through the motions, and that the problem has not been solved. You have not fulfilled your responsibility, yet you say overtly that you have fulfilled your responsibility, or that what was happening was unclear to you. Is this true? And is it what you really think? Are you not then completely under the control of your satanic disposition? Even though some of what you say is in line with the facts, in key places and on crucial issues, you lie and deceive people, which proves that you are someone who lies, and who lives by their satanic disposition. Everything you say and think has been processed by your brain, leading to your every utterance being fake, empty, a lie; actually, everything you say is contrary to the facts, for the sake of justifying yourself, for your own benefit, and you feel you have achieved your aims when you have misled people and made them believe. Such is the way you speak; it also represents your disposition. You are wholly controlled by your own satanic disposition. You have no power over what you say and do. Even if you wanted to, you could not tell the truth or say what you really think; even if you wanted to, you could not practice the truth; even if you wanted to, you could not fulfill your responsibilities. Everything you say, do, and practice is a lie, and you’re just perfunctory. You are wholly shackled and controlled by your satanic disposition. You may want to accept and practice the truth, but it’s not up to you. When your satanic dispositions control you, you say and do whatever your satanic disposition tells you to do. You are nothing but a puppet of corrupt flesh, you have become a tool of Satan. Afterward, you feel regret at having once again followed the corrupt flesh and how you could have failed to practice the truth. You think to yourself, “I can’t overcome the flesh on my own and must pray to God. I didn’t stand up to stop those who were disturbing the work of the church, and my conscience is weighing on me. I’ve made up my mind that, when this happens again, I must stand up to and prune those who are committing misdeeds in the performance of their duties and disturbing the work of the church, so that they behave themselves and stop acting recklessly.” After finally mustering the courage to speak up, you get scared and back down as soon as the other person gets angry and bangs on the table. Are you able to be in charge? What use are determination and will? They’re both useless. You must have encountered many incidents such as these: You run into difficulties and go easy on yourself, you feel that you can’t do anything and give yourself up as hopeless, you abandon yourself to despair and decide that there is no hope for you, and that this time, you have been completely eliminated. You admit that you do not pursue the truth, so why do you not repent? Have you practiced the truth? Surely you cannot have understood nothing, after attending sermons for several years. Why don’t you practice the truth at all? You never seek the truth, let alone practice it. You are merely constantly praying, making resolutions, setting aspirations, and pledging in your heart. And what is the outcome? You remain a people pleaser, you are not forthcoming about the problems you encounter, you do not care about evil people when you see them, you do not respond when someone does evil or creates a disturbance, and you remain aloof when you are not affected personally. You think, “I don’t talk about anything that doesn’t concern me. As long as it doesn’t hurt my interests, my vanity, or my image, I disregard everything without exception. I have to be very careful, as the bird that sticks its neck out is the one that gets shot. I’m not going to do anything stupid!” You are totally and unwaveringly controlled by your corrupt dispositions of wickedness, deceitfulness, hardness, and aversion to the truth. They have grown harder for you to bear than the tightening golden headband[a] worn by the Monkey King. Living under the control of corrupt dispositions is so exhausting and excruciating! What do you say to this: If you do not pursue the truth, is it easy to cast off your corruption? Can this problem be resolved? I tell you: If you do not pursue the truth and are muddled in your belief, if you listen to the sermons for so many years without practicing the truth, and if you believe until the end that you can utter a few words and doctrines and deceive others, then you are a religious charlatan through and through, a hypocritical Pharisee, and in this way you will come to an end. This will be your outcome. If you are even worse than this, then there may come an event wherein you fall into temptation, abandon your duty, and become someone who betrays God—in which case you will have fallen behind, and will be eliminated. This is to always be on the edge of a precipice! So right now, nothing is more important than pursuing the truth. Nothing is better than practicing the truth.


a. The Monkey King’s golden headband is a significant item that appears in the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West.” In the story, the golden headband was used to control the Monkey King’s thoughts and actions by painfully tightening around his skull in response to unruly behavior.

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