What Is the Truth Reality? (Part One)

There are many people who believe in God, but few who pursue the truth. How can you discern whether someone pursues the truth? How can you evaluate whether someone is a person who pursues the truth? Suppose there is a person who has believed in God for seven or eight years. They can speak many words of doctrine, their mouths are full of spiritual vocabulary, they often help others, they seem to be very enthusiastic, they are able to forsake things, and they perform their duties with great vigor. Yet one cannot see them practicing much of the truth, nor are they able to discuss real experiences of life entry, much less can one perceive a change in their life disposition. It can be said with certainty that someone like this does not pursue the truth. If someone genuinely loves the truth, after a period of time, they will be able to talk about their understanding, and at least be able to act according to principles in some things; they will have some experience of life entry, and at the very least they will show some changes in behavior. Those who pursue the truth have a constantly improving spiritual state, their faith in God gradually increases, they have some understanding of what they reveal and of their corrupt dispositions, and they have personal experience of and genuine insight into how God works to save people. These things all become gradually elevated in them. If you see these manifestations in a person, you can know with certainty that this is someone who pursues the truth. People are fairly enthusiastic when they first come to believe in God, but they do not know anything about believing in God. They think that believing in God means being a good person and walking the right path. Later, through eating and drinking God’s words and listening to sermons and fellowship, they are able to discern various matters. They realize that people have corrupt dispositions and that they should seek the truth to resolve them, and that they should accept God’s salvation, and they understand what it means to believe in God. They gradually gain some understanding of God’s work and God’s intention to save mankind. This is accumulated little by little, and they gradually embark upon the right path of belief in God. Their understanding and experience of the truth realities are gradually elevated, and they don’t get stuck on literal interpretations or on the words of doctrine. If a person has believed in God for several years and continues to speak the words of doctrine, often saying some catchphrases about believing in God, and it seems their faith is going quite well, but they cannot talk about life experience or about knowing themselves, and they are unable to discern nonbelievers and evil people, if these problems exist in them, it means that they do not know the work of God, and it can be determined that they have not pursued the truth in the few years that they’ve believed in God. This is a very clear sign.

To measure whether a leader or a worker has the truth reality, first look at whether their fellowship contains true testimony and new light. When you have not seen some people in a few years, their fellowship may feel new and fresh initially because they can speak with a new light after hearing a sermon. However, after you spend two or three days with them, they start speaking again about little experiences and testimonies from their past, about how God saved them and how He bestowed grace and blessings upon them. In less than a week, they repeat those superficial experiences and knowledge that they talked about before. Is this progress? With one look you can see that it is not progress. After believing in God for several years, they are equipped with a lot of words of doctrine and they can say some things that are correct, but when things befall them, they still get confused and cannot handle them. They cannot find the truth principles, nor can they discern people. Is this progress? (No.) This is not progress. Although they have performed their duties for several years, if you ask them whether they have achieved loyalty to God, they themselves do not understand. In any case, they are on time for every gathering and they appear to perform their duties normally. But if you ask them whether they have undergone any genuine transformation, they cannot provide a clear answer. This is a problem. It shows that they do not understand the truth. If they understood the truth, they would be able to see these problems clearly. Some people get some results in their duties, but if you ask them why they perform their duties, they can only say that created beings should perform duties, but they are not clear about the details. If you ask them if they possess principles of practice in the performance of their duties, they cannot gauge this. Would you say that they can perform their duties adequately? (No, they cannot.) This is not progress. Is it not bothersome to make no progress? If you ask them how they approach being pruned while performing their duties, they say that they listen, obey, and do not resist. They had this principle several years ago, and they still have this same principle now, and it has not changed. In any case, they just do what they are told. If you ask them if they’ve gained any understanding from being pruned, if they’ve discovered their own rebellious state and corrupt nature, or if their self-knowledge has become more profound, they do not know or understand any of that. At any rate, they hold to one rule: When faced with being pruned, they must obey, adjust their mentality, not resist or justify themselves, and they must endure and meekly obey. This was their viewpoint before, and it is even more so now. Is this a manifestation of gaining the truth? (No.) In the process of believing in God, these people have not entered into the reality of any aspect of the truth, and they have not grasped the principles of any aspect of the truth firmly. Even though they are told, “When things befall you, you must practice the truth, grasp the truth principles firmly, and not stray from this scope,” they still do not know how to seek the truth principles when things befall them, they are not meticulous, and they muddle their way through. It seems that they hold to the overarching direction, that they are obedient and listen, that they do the work they have at hand well, not perfunctorily, and that they can protect the interests of the church, but do they understand the details of each aspect of the truth? Can they put them into practice? This depends on whether people have true knowledge and experience of each aspect of the truth. They don’t know the relationship between each aspect of the truth, or which aspects of the truth and which state are specifically involved when something happens, or which disposition caused that state. If two people say the same thing, they don’t know the differences between the natures of those two people, nor how to treat them. Is this understanding the truth? This is not understanding the truth. If you have believed in God for three to five years but do not know the practical side of these truths, and if you have believed in God for eight or ten years and you still don’t know it, then you have not gained the truth. What are you lacking now? Most people believe in God like they are holding on to a battle line, thinking that as long as they hold on to the words “belief in God” until the very end, they will succeed. However, they don’t take the initiative to seek or accept the truth; they fail to perform their duties well, to stand firm in their testimony, and to defeat the enemy, Satan; and they have not gained the truth and the life. What a grave mistake! This is how pitiful it is, to have believed in God for many years without any life experiences. When people fall into such a state, they are only keeping busy every day on the surface, holding on to some regulations, not violating the administrative decrees within this scope, and finishing the work they have at hand. This is considered appropriate in the eyes of man, and if you measure this state using the truth, they have not committed a horrible mistake. What do you think of this way of believing? (God does not like it.) This response is just doctrine. From your own perspective, this kind of belief cannot obtain the truth because you never make progress. When, for a period of time, God’s house speaks of truths about knowing God, you focus on knowing God; when it talks about dispositional change, you focus on dispositional change; when it talks about knowing God incarnate, you focus on knowing God incarnate; when it talks about the visions of God’s work, you focus on truths relating to visions; when it speaks of truths about spreading the gospel, you focus on this aspect of the truth. You listen to and understand whatever God’s house says, so when no one preaches sermons to supply you, will you have your own path? Will you still be able to move forward? How will you walk? For example, when people fellowship at gatherings on what submission to God is, you say, “I don’t have very deep experience of this, I just feel that submission to God is crucial.” When people ask you how you practice submission to God, you say, “To submit to God is to think about what it is that God says when things befall you, and to practice according to His words.” When people ask you to fellowship more details, and what to do if you are unable to submit when something befalls you, or what to do when your personal interests are involved, you say, “I haven’t experienced those things yet.” This means you have not yet gained entry. For a while, God’s house speaks on truths about knowing God. When a person asks you if you have made progress in your knowledge of God, you say, “I have made progress. I think that knowing God is the most important thing in belief in God. If people don’t know God, they will always offend God’s disposition, and if people always do this, they will fall into the darkness, only be able to speak superficial words, and they won’t understand any truths, they will be just like unbelievers—they will always do things that go against the truth, and they will always do things that resist God.” That person asks again, “So, how do you know God? When you experience God’s work, God’s sovereignty, and God’s guidance in your daily life, which things do you recognize as God guiding you, and in what things can you clearly feel God’s sovereignty? How do you understand God’s sovereignty? In real life, based on what you sense and feel, what aspect of God’s disposition do you see in His sovereignty?” If you are unable to say anything, it proves that you have no experience. If you say, “There is one thing in which I feel God’s guidance,” this is just having a bit of a feeling, and it does not mean that you have knowledge of God. In fact, in real life, everything is ruled over, arranged, and ordained by God. If people have experienced a lot, they can feel that nothing is simple, and that everything happens so that people can learn lessons, and see God’s sovereignty and His almightiness, and ultimately come to know God’s disposition. Only when you achieve this result will you know how to submit to God in line with His will, then you will completely have a path forward in your practice. With this level of experience, not only does a person’s faith get stronger and stronger, but the most important thing is that they have an understanding of God’s disposition, and they know how to submit to God. This is gaining the truth.

Some people always have deviations in their pursuit of the truth; they always focus on empty talk about some spiritual doctrines and hollow theories in order to show off. What do you think of this kind of pursuit? Regardless of whether you think you are a person who pursues the truth or not, the most crucial question right now is whether you have gained some practical things, namely, practical knowledge? (I have gained some.) What have you gained? Can you evaluate it? (I have gained some understanding and insight into how people are corrupted by Satan, and into this evil world.) You have gained a bit of knowledge. So, can this knowledge change your life direction, your goal in life, and your principles of comportment in your real life? No matter which group of people you live among, can this knowledge or the truths you’ve understood influence your life and your goal in life? If they can’t completely change you, there must at least be some changes and some restraint in what you say and do. Right now, aren’t most of you still stuck at this level in terms of your stature? (Yes.) This requires growth. If your understanding of the truth is too superficial, that’s no good, nor is it any good to only be able to speak a bit of doctrine and to be a bit restrained. You must understand the truth to have a path to practice it and to be able to change your goal in life. If all of the truths you understand and the sermons you have listened to have already been accepted in your heart and can influence your life, change the direction and goal of your comportment, and change your principles of comportment, isn’t this a bit better than the effects achieved by accepting a bit of restraint? Right now, you are stuck at accepting restraints and following regulations—is this the path for actively practicing and entering? Absolutely not. If you remain stuck forever at accepting restraints or following regulations, what will be the consequences? Will you be able to enter into the truth reality? Will you be able to undergo real change? Additionally, while being restrained and following regulations, have you gotten any results in practicing the truth? Not at all. Therefore, focusing on understanding the truth is still the most important thing. Being restrained and following regulations does not mean that you understand the truth, let alone that you are practicing the truth. Being restrained and following regulations for a lifetime will not achieve the effect of understanding the truth and practicing the truth. It is futile! Therefore, no matter how much suffering one endures from being restrained and following regulations, it does not have the slightest value or meaning.

After listening to sermons and understanding the truth, have you experienced any real changes? For example, thinking that your previous pursuits of specious knowledge and theories, and your pursuit of fame, gain, and status is not belief in God, and that rather, it belongs to religious belief, and that pursuing fame, gain, and status is vile, and that if you live and comport yourself like that, you will completely become a demon who should go to hell, and that living like that is too painful. Do you possess this experience and knowledge? What personal experience do you have? That pursuing knowledge and fame, gain, and status is so tiring! You feel that there are too many disputes, that there is too much trouble, and that life is tiring and too painful living among unbelievers. You say, “I can’t live like that. If I live like them, I’ll be in as much pain as they are. I need to break away from their way of life.” Is this your firsthand experience? You have deeply experienced that corrupt mankind does not accept the truth in the slightest, that they all fight, scheme, and try to cheat each other, that they undermine each other in secret, and that they beat each other until blood is shed for just a little profit. You have experienced how none of them want to walk the right path of life, and that instead, they rely on tricks and schemes to do things. What do you feel the most when living in such an environment? You feel that there is no fairness or righteousness in that world, that it is too wicked and too dark, and that people live like demons there. You think if you were to try to be a good person, it would not be easy and you couldn’t achieve it. You feel that if you wanted to adapt to that world, you would also need to become a demon and live like a demon, so that you could blend in with groups of demons and join with social trends; in order to fight for a bite of food and for your own livelihood and survival, you’d have to contend with them and say and do things that go against your will. Living like this each day would be so exhausting, but if you didn’t live like that, people would exclude you, and you would have no way to live. In this kind of living environment, what have you experienced? Pain, torment, and helplessness. You have experienced wickedness, cruelty, and darkness that exists between people, and you cannot see the light of human life. When you came to believe in God and focused on reading God’s words, what did you experience? (I understood the truth in my heart, I felt that it is better to believe in God, and I felt comfort in my heart.) While living in God’s house, you feel blissful, you have God’s blessings, and you can understand many truths; when you are with your brothers and sisters, you can help and support each other, treat each other equally, and live in harmony. Every day, you feel at ease in your heart, and free and liberated. You do not need to worry about being deceived and you are no longer oppressed and mistreated by others. Evildoers are gradually revealed and eliminated, and they become fewer and fewer in number. The house of God is reigned by the truth and by God. God’s chosen people can speak freely without restriction, they have the right to elect, and the right to expose evil people. Those who do not accept the truth and are furthermore capable of doing evil are gradually cleared out. No phenomena exist of people being tormented or suppressed in the house of God. If there is an issue, everyone discusses it. If there is a problem, leaders and workers fellowship on the truth to solve it. People gradually come to understand the truth, and fewer and fewer of those lawless things occur. God’s chosen people can all accept the truth, be restrained by the truth, and make some changes in terms of their words and deeds. If anyone does evil, everyone can clearly see it and reports it. Therefore, there are fewer and fewer evil people in God’s house. Now, you feel more and more that the environment of God’s house is truly good—the brothers and sisters love each other and anyone who has difficulties or deviations can obtain help; anyone who has hardships can have them resolved, and if there are problems that cannot be resolved, people can look to God and lean on Him, and resolve them according to His words. Living in God’s house makes you feel blissful and hopeful, you can see the light, and you can fully enjoy God’s love and salvation. This environment is very beneficial to people’s progress in life. By living in the church, in this environment that has the truth, you can gradually understand the truth, your heart gradually becomes brighter, and you will feel free and liberated. These are results attained by understanding the truth. There is an obvious characteristic of people who have gained the truth: They are relatively free and liberated. They do not need to be restrained, the truth will influence their words and deeds, and it will change their way of life and their life’s direction. When a heart of fear for God emerges within you, and when you have a heart that fears God guiding you, the nature of the things you do will be completely different from what you did before when you adopted self-control and restraint. Under these circumstances, if you were given status, and you had the opportunity and the right conditions to torment others, would you still do it? (No.) Why not? Is it because you don’t plan to torment people, or because you don’t have the ability to torment people? (It’s because my disposition will have changed.) That’s right, you will have a heart of fear for God, and you will have principles and a baseline in your actions. At this point, no matter what temptations you face, you will be able to say from your heart, “Doing this does not please God, and I cannot do things that offend God.” Your stature will naturally reach this step, and you will be able to say such words. Right now, can you accomplish this step so naturally? (Not yet.) This proves that the truth has not yet had an effect within you; it merely restrains your behavior, but it cannot firmly restrain your heart, or change your life’s direction, nor the principles and goal of your comportment.

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