Words on Seeking and Practicing the Truth (Excerpt 16)

The purpose of people understanding and practicing the truth is for them to live out the truth, to live out human likeness, and to make the truths they understand and are able to put into practice their life. What does it mean to make them one’s life? It means that they become the foundation and source of one’s actions, life, comportment, and existence—they change the way one lives. What did people live by before? Whether they had conviction or not, they lived by relying on satanic dispositions, and they did not live by the words of God or the truth. Is that the way in which a created being should live? (No.) What does God ask of man? (That people live by His words.) Living by God’s words—is this not the goal that people who truly believe in Him should have? (Yes.) A created being should have the form of living by relying on God’s words. In the eyes of God, such people are true created beings. Thus, you must regularly ponder which of your words, which of your actions, and which of the principles of your behavior, the aims of your existence, and the ways in which you deal with the world are compatible with the truth principles, compatible with what God asks of man, and which of them bear no relation to the words and requirements of God. If you often contemplate these things, you will gradually achieve entry. If you do not ponder these things, then there is no use merely making superficial efforts; going through the motions, following regulations, and engaging in ceremony will ultimately bring you nothing. So just what is faith in God? Faith in God is actually the process of attaining God’s salvation and it is the process of changing from a human being corrupted by Satan, to what is, in the eyes of God, a true created being. If someone remains reliant on their satanic disposition and nature to live, are they a qualified created being in God’s eyes? (No.) You say you believe in God, you acknowledge God, you acknowledge God’s sovereignty and acknowledge that God gives you everything, but do you live out God’s words? Do you live in accordance with God’s requirements? Do you follow the way of God? Is a created being such as you able to come before God? Are you able to live together with God? Do you have a God-fearing heart? Is what you live out and the path you walk compatible with God? (No.) So what is the meaning of your faith in God? Have you entered onto the right track? Your faith in God is in form and word alone. You believe in and acknowledge the name of God, and you acknowledge that God is your Creator and Sovereign, but you have not accepted in essence God’s sovereignty or God’s orchestrations, and you cannot be wholly compatible with God. That is, the meaning of your faith in God has not entirely been realized. Although you believe in God, you have not cast off your corruption and attained salvation, and you have not entered into the truth reality that you should have entered into in your faith in God. This is a mistake. Looking at it this way, faith in God is not a simple thing.

Now, do you feel in your hearts that it is important to understand God’s word and to practice the truth? (We do.) You all know that it is important to practice the truth, yet doing so is not a simple matter but is beset with difficulties. How can this be fixed? You must come before God in prayer every time difficulties befall you, and you must seek the truth in God’s words, so that you can fix your own difficulties, fix your own weaknesses and the difficulties of the external environment, and achieve the practice of the truth. In experiencing this, you will have the hope of obtaining God’s approval. If you have understood the truth more and are also able to practice the truth, then you can become one who follows God’s way, and in so doing, your faith will meet with God’s approval. If you say that you acknowledge God’s name, and you believe that He has sovereignty over all things and is the Creator, but there is not a single drop in your life that relates to the truth, to God’s requirements, or to what a created being should do, then will your outcome not ultimately be a troubled one? Can one who has nothing to do with these things come to God? You say you can come to God, but does God approve of such faith as yours? He does not, and what does that mean? It means that God neither acknowledges nor needs a created being such as you. If God does not acknowledge and does not approve of your faith, then can He approve of you as a person? (He cannot.) This is the end: God will not save you, and your outcome will have been decided! Is this the outcome you want for yourselves? (It is not.) What kind of outcome do you want? (To meet with God’s approval.) To be approved by God, what must you first understand? What must you first enter into? First of all, you must know what it pleases God for people to do and what it displeases Him for people to do. Sum up these things first, so that you have a clear understanding of them; then, when you do things, you will know how to act. It is as simple as that. Is it easy to sum up such things? It is very easy. Of those who did evil and were eliminated in the past, sum up the things they did that God loathes, sum up the lessons taught by their failures, and do not do any of those bad things. Then, sum up the good behavior of those of whom God approved, and do more of those things. In this way, you will be able to achieve God’s approval. You have to work out what to do and practice to be most in accordance with God’s intentions, and you have to understand in your heart which people and things God loathes the most, and which people and things God is pleased with the most. You must know how to distinguish between these, and it is best to classify and sum up them so as to have a clear understanding of them. The most important thing is to have this standard and boundary in your heart. With this principle, this standard, this boundary, you will have principles for doing things, and you will be able to do things according to principles. If you do not have this principle and standard, then you will have no certainty when doing things, and you will not be able to tell which things you do are evil, and which are good. You might feel that something is not evil, but in God’s eyes, it is; or you might feel that something is good, while in God’s eyes, it is evil. If you do all these things, is that not troublesome? If you willfully and endlessly do things of which God does not approve, and you only do a few things of which God approves but think you have done very many, are you not being muddled? If most of the things you do are considered evil in God’s eyes, can He still approve of you? (He cannot.) Knowing that God does not approve of something, should you do it after all, or should you not? (I should not.) Is your doing this thing an evil deed or a good deed? (An evil deed.) What is it called if you recognize that it is an evil deed and subsequently never do it again? Abandoning the violence in your hands, which is a manifestation of true repentance. If you know that you have done evil and are certain that God does not approve of it, then you should have a repentant heart. If you do not reflect on yourself and instead defend and rationalize your evildoing, then you are in trouble: You will surely be eliminated, and you will no longer be qualified to do your duty. So what is the principle to be mastered and the path to be taken, in doing one’s duty? With what intents should one proceed, in order to meet with God’s approval? (Seek the truth and grasp God’s intentions in all things.) Everyone knows this, but knowing it, can it be put into practice? Once you have understood it, can you put it into practice? (We cannot.) Then what can you do? You must pray to and rely on God, you must suffer for the truth and set aside your ambitions, desires, intents, and comforts of the flesh. If you do not set them aside but still want to obtain the truth, are you not indulging in fantasies? Some people want to both understand and obtain the truth; they want to expend themselves for God, but they cannot let go of anything. They cannot let go of their futures, they cannot let go of the comforts of the flesh, they cannot let go of their family togetherness, their children and their parents, nor can they let go of their intents, their objectives, or their desires. No matter what befalls them, they always put themselves, their own affairs, and their own selfish desires first, and put the truth last; satisfying the interests of the flesh and their satanic, corrupt dispositions takes first place, and practicing God’s word and satisfying God is secondary and takes last place. Can such people meet with God’s approval? Can they ever enter into the truth reality, or satisfy God’s intentions? (They never can.) Is it following the way of God if, to all appearances, you have done your duty and have not been idle, but your corrupt disposition has not been fixed in the least? (It is not.) You all understand these things, but when it comes to putting the truth into practice, it’s hard work. Your suffering and paying the price must be spent on practicing the truth, not on abiding by regulations and following processes. It is worth it no matter how much you suffer for the truth, and the suffering you endure for practicing the truth to satisfy God’s intentions is acceptable to Him and approved of by Him.

What are the problems before you now? One is that you do not understand the details of many a truth, and you have no standard in your hearts with which to distinguish them; further, it is difficult to practice the truths that you do understand. Suppose that practicing the truth is difficult at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it becomes; the more you practice it, the less your corrupt disposition prevails; the truth increasingly gains the upper hand, as does the will to practice the truth; your state becomes more and more normal; and the selfish desires of the flesh and your human ideas become less and less dominant. This is normal, and there is hope that you will obtain God’s approval. But suppose you have been practicing the truth for a long time, yet your interests, selfish desires, intents, and corrupt disposition still take the lead in every aspect and detail of your life. Practicing the truth is still such hard work for you, and even though you are doing your duty, most of what you are doing is unrelated to the practice of the truth. Do you not think this troublesome? It certainly will be! No matter which church you are in or what your surroundings are like, these things are not important. What matters is whether your state of pursuing the truth is getting better and better, whether your relationship with God is getting more and more normal, whether your conscience, reason, and humanity are becoming more normal, and whether your loyalty and submission to God are increasing. If the positive things in you are increasing and prevailing, there is hope that you will obtain the truth. If there has never been any sign of these positive things in you, then you have not made a shred of progress, and there has been not a single change to your disposition. How can you have life entry if you do not practice the truth at all? Some people say, “I’ve practiced it and exerted myself. How is it that I see no results?” What does this lack of results mean? It means that you have not practiced the truth. No matter how many times you tried to practice it, the ultimate consequence is that you are still overcome by your corrupt disposition and satanic nature, which means that you have not been using the truth reality and God’s word to overcome your satanic, corrupt disposition. Can it be put that way? (It can.) Then are you an overcomer or a failure? (A failure.) This is being a failure, not an overcomer. When you practice the truth, there is a battle in your heart. You cannot set aside your intents, but you understand what the truth says and what God’s requirements are. In the process of battling, you set the truth aside; you do not practice it. Ultimately, you satisfy your own selfish desires, reveal your corrupt disposition, and what you live out is your satanic nature, without practicing the truth. So what is the final consequence? (To have failed.) Suppose the battle is not won in the end, and you live according to your satanic disposition as before: You choose not to practice according to God’s words, your personal interests come first, you satisfy your desires and selfishness but do not satisfy God, and you do not stand on the side of the truth. This means you are a failure from head to toe, and this is the consequence of one type of battle. What is the consequence of another type of battle? When events befall them, people have their internal battles, too. They feel ill at ease, pained, and weak, even their dignity and character are challenged, and their vanity cannot be satisfied. Moreover, they face being pruned, or they are looked down upon by others, or they are humiliated, losing both their dignity and their character. But when faced with this kind of situation, they can pray to God, and having done so, their hearts are strengthened, and they see these things clearly by seeking the truth. They will practice the truth with remarkable strength, firm in their resolve. “I want neither an image, nor status, nor vanity. Even if I am looked down upon and misunderstood by others, at present I choose to satisfy God and choose to practice the truth, so that God approves of me and is pleased with me in this matter, and so that I do not hurt God’s heart.” They will finally set aside their image and vanity, their intents, their ambitions and selfishness, and then stand on the side of God, of truth, and of justice. After practicing the truth, their hearts are satisfied, at peace, and full of joy. They feel God’s blessing and feel that it is good to practice the truth; by practicing the truth, their hearts gain satisfaction and nourishment, and they feel that they are living like human beings, rather than being controlled and held captive by their satanic and corrupt dispositions. Having borne witness to God and stood firm in the testimony and position that a created being should, they feel peace of mind, enjoyment, and happiness in their hearts. This is another type of consequence. How is a consequence such as this? (It is good.) But is this “good” easy to achieve? (It is not.) This “good” has to be won through a process of battle, and it is possible that, in battle, people may fail once or twice. But failure brings with it lessons: It makes people feel the weight on their conscience of not practicing the truth, that they are indebted to God, and that their hearts endure suffering and pain. When faced with such circumstances later on, people will unconsciously become better and better at overcoming their satanic, corrupt dispositions; gradually, they will absolutely choose to practice the truth to satisfy God’s heart. This is the normal process of overcoming a satanic, corrupt disposition and of practicing the truth to satisfy God’s intentions.

Now, do you find it difficult to practice the truth? Or is it difficult to do as you please, not practicing the truth? (Practicing the truth is difficult.) How about doing as you please? (That is easy.) This reveals your real stature: None of you have changed a bit, and you are still unable to practice the truth. How pitiful is such a stature! You all feel that practicing the truth is hard and doing as you please is easy, which proves that you are still unable to practice the truth. For you, it has become natural to follow the preferences of the flesh; you have become accustomed to it as though it were a rule, and you therefore feel that practicing the truth is too difficult: You are in constant fear of suffering damage to your self-respect and status, so you do not practice the truth, but instead act according to your own ideas. With a single thought, one becomes a coward, a failure held captive by one’s satanic, corrupt disposition, and loses one’s testimony and God’s approval. That is how easy it is. But is it just as easy to become one who practices the truth and bears witness to God? There needs to be a process to this. When one accepts the truth, there is always a battle in one’s mind, with things falling this way one moment, and the other way the next. There is a constant inner battle, and in the end, that battle reaches a conclusion: Those who love the truth practice it, bear witness, and become overcomers; those who do not love the truth have too much self-will, are too lacking in humanity, are low of character and contemptible—people such as these choose to satisfy their own selfishness and desires, and are completely controlled by their satanic, corrupt disposition. When things happen to you in your daily lives, do you triumph over your satanic, corrupt disposition? Or are you held captive and controlled by it? What kind of state are you in, most of the time? Based on this, you can gauge whether or not you are a person who practices the truth. If you can overcome your satanic, corrupt disposition most of the time and become one who bears witness, then you are one who practices and loves the truth. If most of the time you satisfy your own selfish desires, and you are unable to overcome your satanic, corrupt disposition and stand on the side of the truth, to practice the truth and satisfy God, then you are one who neither practices the truth nor has truth reality. It is obvious that those who do not have truth reality are those who believe in God but have no life entry. So measure yourselves: Do you stand on the side of the flesh, most of the time? Or do you stand on the side of the truth? Small things that do not involve the truth do not count, but when major things happen that require you to choose, do you stand on the side of the truth, or do you stand on the side of the flesh? (At first, we stand on the side of the flesh; but after a battle, we stand on the side of the truth, once we have understood some of the truth through prayer and seeking.) It is accurate to say that one can stand on the side of the truth once one has understood the truth, but to rebel against the flesh does not necessarily mean that you are practicing the truth. It is not that you are practicing the truth by rebelling against the flesh and not doing what you want; rather, it is that, to practice the truth, you must abide by and practice the principles of the truth. So, what are your usual situations? (What we call rebelling against the flesh is not really practicing the truth; it is actually exercising self-control.) This seems to be the case for most people, does it not? (It does.) Then what state are you in, as of now? Are you yet to enter into the truth realities? (We are.) To believe in God without life entry means you have not yet entered into the truth reality; that is the state you inhabit, so there are many things you cannot distinguish. Why is it that you cannot distinguish them? It is because you have only understood some words and doctrines, but you have not yet understood the truth and entered into reality, so you have no knowledge of many of the states under discussion. You have no experience of them yet, so you cannot explain them clearly. That is how it is. Whatever it is, you have to experience it for yourself, and having experienced it, you will know what the details are. Your feelings, thoughts, and the process of your experience will all have details, and these details are things of reality. Without them, you have only a surface-level knowledge, so you repeat it like a parrot. A surface-level knowledge means you have stopped at a literal understanding, have not yet made it your own, and are still far from entering into truth reality. Can it be put this way? (It can.) You must practice according to today’s fellowship, and you must learn to ponder. To practice the truth, you must also ponder, and in pondering while practicing and practicing while pondering, you will understand the details of the truth more and more, your knowledge of the truth will become deeper and deeper, and in this way, you can truly experience what the truth reality is. Only once you have learned and experienced it can you possess the truth reality.

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