What Is the Truth Reality? (Part Two)

You have all now begun focusing on pursuing the truth in your belief in God, so what do you base your conduct on? Conscience, the baseline for human conduct, and morality. How far are these things from the truth? Are conscience, the baseline for human conduct, and morality related to the truth? Far from it. At best, conducting yourself based on conscience can make you a good person, but it falls far short of God’s requirement. God’s requirement is for people to conduct themselves based on the truth and to live by His words. When a person who believes in God can grasp the truth, understand and practice the truth, and restrain themselves according to the principles of the truth, they will have grown up. If they do not pursue the truth, they will never grow up. Some people have begun to pursue the truth, and they have resolve, saying, “I must do my utmost to strive toward the truth and endeavor to practice according to God’s words and the truth, to do things according to the rules, to act with principles and boundaries, and to refrain from doing things that offend God’s disposition or that sin against God, without needing anyone to manage, restrain, or supervise me in order to do so. Although no one is supervising me, if doing something will offend the disposition of God, lacks a heart of fear for God, and will offend God, I absolutely will not do it. Even if I have that idea in my heart, I can restrain myself—I must not carry it out.” This state is active and positive. For example, say that God’s house asks someone to safeguard a precious object, and only a few people know about this. When other people know about this matter, that person is able to take good care of that object, to be concerned about it, and to prevent it from being lost, damaged, stolen, or ruined. At the same time, they are also able to refrain from being greedy and possessive, and in their heart, they thoroughly sanctify this object. Is this not a good person? From the present perspective, it can be said that they are a good person because they have no ideas or thoughts of misappropriating the object. Going one step further, they are able to safeguard this object with utter loyalty to their post, and shoulder this responsibility wholeheartedly and to the best of their ability, and it can be said that they are giving it their whole heart, and doing their job well. But one day things change. Some of the people who knew about this matter are arrested and imprisoned, and some are transferred to different locations. That person is the only one left who knows about this object. Under these circumstances, hasn’t their environment changed? Yes, their environment has changed, and the test has arrived. At first, their heart remains unmoved, and they still seriously and responsibly safeguard the object without any other thoughts. Later, they hear that the people who knew about it have disappeared. Even then, they still think, “I cannot hatch any plans about this object; I must continue to safeguard it well. Even if people don’t know about it, God knows!” Is this not a good person? (At present they still appear to be a good person.) Why is that? Because, when measured by the standards of being a good person, if one can reach this level, they are already very good. But one day, a major crisis occurs in their family, they urgently need money, and they don’t have enough of it on hand. Their environment has changed again, and when the environment changes, the time has come once again for them to be tested. At first, they still consider borrowing money, but after two or three unsuccessful attempts, their heart starts to stir: “Don’t I have a precious object in my possession? Isn’t it foolish for me to go borrow money, when I have some right in front of me? No one knows that I’m safeguarding this object. Besides, this object is just gathering dust here. Isn’t it just right for me to use it? I might as well!” They then have a better, logical thought, “Wasn’t this prepared for me by God? God is showing me grace, thanks be to God!” The more they think about it, the more they feel that this is the appropriate thing to do. After contemplating for two or three days, they feel at peace in their heart, and their conscience does not rebuke them. Finally, they decide, “I’ll just use this money!” What happened? (A change in their thinking began to occur.) How did this change in their thinking come about? (It was caused by the environment.) So, is there a problem with the environment? Did the environment change them? (No.) Then how can we accurately describe this? When their environment changed twice before, why didn’t their heart waver then? (It was not yet a time of extreme poverty and frustration.) Before this point is reached, a person’s true inner thoughts and true dispositions will not be exposed. At that time, can we say that this person is loyal to God? Or that they love the truth? We could say that, because when they safeguarded the offering, they were able to do it with all their heart and strength, without any other ideas or active thoughts. They never hatched any plans about that object—what a great person! However, when their living environment changed and they felt trapped with no way out, their active thoughts emerged, and they began to hatch plans about the offering. In fact, it’s not that they didn’t have these thoughts before, but that they hid them in their heart. Upon encountering a suitable environment, their thoughts naturally surfaced like spring water. In the end, they even found “grounds” for this, saying that it was prepared for them by God. When these “grounds” were found, wasn’t their wicked nature exposed? Where did their loyalty, goodness, and sense of justice go? (They are gone.) So, were their previous manifestations just an act? They were not an act; they were also natural revelations, but they weren’t deep ones. They were the most superficial revelations, they were surface-level phenomena. There are some illusions among the surface-level phenomena of humanity, and sometimes people can’t see through them and are easily misled. For example, some people appear to perform their duties very well for six months or a year, but after one year, they become negative. After two years, they might run away and return to the secular world; some to make money, and some to live their own lives. So, it would be wrong for you to determine that they are a person who sincerely expends for God based on their performance within six months or a year. Their behavior for those six months or a year is actually an illusion, a temporary enthusiasm. When faced with some environments and temptations, their true countenance, and the adulterations in the intentions behind their belief in God are exposed. Isn’t this a fact? They haven’t changed at all. What exactly does God want to change in people? What problems does God want to solve by getting people to accept the truth? (Things within man’s nature.) That’s right, it is the things within man’s nature that must be solved. When nothing has befallen them, people have a fundamental moral baseline and they don’t take advantage of others. Especially the elderly often say, “Don’t covet the possessions of others, and do not part with your own.” That is to say, do not casually give away your own belongings, and do not become greedy or have covetous thoughts toward other people’s belongings. This is just what normal humanity should possess and it falls short of the truth. So, can people achieve this? (They cannot.) People can’t even achieve this, and yet they say not to have covetous thoughts. Seizing other people’s belongings without even waiting for covetous thoughts to arise within oneself—this is the result of the domination of one’s nature. As long as the environment permits, people don’t even need to think about it, they will reveal the wicked nature within them, and their vicious, greedy, and deceitful dispositions. Regarding the person who misappropriated the offering in the example I just mentioned—which of their ideas and manifestations were deceitful? (They seized God’s offering, while claiming that God prepared this and opened up a way out for them.) This is deceitful, it is deceiving oneself as well as others. They tricked themselves and they tried to trick God too. They used these pleasant-sounding words to prevaricate themselves, and to comfort their own conscience so that they could avoid its accusations. Moreover, they fabricated a beautiful lie for themselves, and they wanted to use this lie to fool and trick God. Isn’t this deceitful? (Yes.) It is deceitful. When you are faced with such environments, and your nature gives birth to thoughts and makes you want to do something, first of all, your conscience will take effect inside you, and then the truths that you understand will also take effect, making you realize that thinking in this way will get you nowhere, that it’s despicable and wicked, and that what you think and believe are not the truth. Although you temporarily have the impulse to do this thing, after praying to God, you think, “I cannot do this; it would offend God. It is wicked! Doing this is incompatible with the truth, and wouldn’t it be tricking God? I can never do this. This is something that is sanctified, it belongs to God, and it absolutely must not be touched. Although no one knows about this thing, and only God knows about it, because only God knows about it, I absolutely can’t touch it.” If a person can think in this way, then they have real stature. If they relied on their good intentions and moral baseline, could they restrain themselves? Could they guarantee that they would not steal the offering? (They could not.) What must a person possess in order to achieve this? (They must have fear of God in their heart.) Only the truths that you understand, your knowledge of God, and the fear of God in your heart can restrain your heart and actions, and determine what path you choose and how you conduct yourself in accordance with God’s will. Besides the truth and the words of God, is there a second thing that can help people to achieve this? No, there isn’t. This is the only way; this can enable you to fear God and shun evil. No matter what kind of environments you encounter, whether they’re trials or temptations, they can’t change your loyalty and submission to God. Once you solidify your resolve, it will never change. No matter how difficult an environment you encounter, even if it is an especially big temptation for you, your resolve will remain unchanged, and your principles for doing things will remain unchanged. In this way, you will stand firm in your witness, and you will obtain the truth. God will not test you again with regard to this matter. You will have overcome it and you will have stood firm. Right now, can most people reach this stature? (They cannot.) They still cannot reach it, which proves that the truth has not become their life. Then what things are their life now? Satan’s philosophies for worldly dealings, Satan’s poisons, and some human instincts, that is, to hold on to the baseline of morality and human conduct, as well as some spiritual doctrines and expressions that they acquired after coming to believe in God. Having grasped these things, people always think, “I have obtained the truth. I have understood so much in my belief in God. I have changed and I have gained something.” What is it that they have gained? In fact, it is only surface-level things. It is just having some restraint in their behavior, and their behavior being somewhat more regulated. Additionally, they can ponder in a more positive way in their mind and heart and think more about positive things. Due to the influence of their environment, listening to sermons often, as well as performing their duties, and being in contact with positive things more and more frequently, they are affected in some positive ways. These are the benefits and changes that the environment of the church brings to people. But how big and how numerous are the changes that the truth brings to people? This depends on their pursuit. If you are truly a person who pursues the truth, then you will always gain something in terms of the practical aspects of the truth, and you will gain a little bit and understand a bit at each stage. In their hearts, people understand and have a feeling about whether they have gained something or not. What do most people feel now? That, based on their good intentions, they are often diligently and deliberately doing some good deeds, things that people believe possess conscience and reason, and things that won’t get them accused or criticized by others. Even though they are good deeds, it cannot be said that they are the practice of the truth. Is this not the case? (Yes.) Most people have a fundamental principle for their actions, which is to act according to their conscience. They feel that the truth is too profound, too abstract, and that it seems too distant from people. People don’t understand the truth well and they can’t explain it clearly, so they merely act according to their conscience, and muddle through day after day. Some people don’t even have any of the awareness of conscience, and they don’t act according to the standards of conscience. Some people perform their duties without getting any results at all; they are just freeloading and enjoying God’s grace but not giving anything in return, without any guilt in their hearts. Do these people have conscience and reason? If you ask them, “How do you feel about living like this?” They say, “God’s will is too great, I cannot reach it. In any case, I am a person who sincerely believes in God, and I have not done evil. I feel peace in my heart.” Do people such as this practice the truth? Although they perform their duties, are they sincerely expending themselves for God? From man’s perspective, it seems that they are performing their duties, but they get no results in them at all. Can God approve of them? They might say, “I perform my duties based on my conscience, I’m not idle, I’m not lazy, and I pay a price.” But does this standard of conscience represent that they are practicing the truth? When you have time, you should ponder, come up with a topic to fellowship on together, and see how you should act in order to practice the truth. Don’t just stop at the standard of conscience, or at the standards of being a good person and having good behavior. Don’t be satisfied with being a people pleaser. You need to pursue and enter into the height of the truth. Only in this way can you satisfy God’s will and enter into the truth reality. If you always seek to satisfy your conscience, and think that you’re doing fine so long as you do not breach the moral baseline, then you will always stay within this scope when you do things, and you won’t go beyond this scope, which means that the truth will never have anything to do with you. If your actions and words never have anything to do with the truth, can you still obtain the truth? It will be difficult for you to obtain the truth.

In ancient times, scholars often studied the books “The Analects of Confucius,” “Tao Te Ching,” and “Three Character Classic.” They shook their heads all day long, as if chanting scriptures, with classical sayings always on their lips. After reading a few books and memorizing a few Tang and Song poems, they considered themselves knowledgeable and spent their days lecturing others, thinking themselves very impressive. In their whole lives, they weren’t able to accomplish anything just and conducted themselves based merely on those few books of sages that they had read. They didn’t understand anything, and they couldn’t figure anything out. They muddled through life, achieving nothing. And yet, they still felt pleased with themselves in their hearts, thinking they understood a lot and were superior to all others. There is a phrase called “being holier-than-thou”—it is very correct, and you absolutely must not live in such a state. Some people always feel that they have knowledge and benevolence and righteousness in their hearts. Consequently, they feel all holier-than-thou, and think that they are entirely worthy of being called a good person and a gentleman. Some people especially value loyalty and would take a bullet for their friends. Some people especially value conscience and are able to fulfill the words: “The kindness of a drop of water should be repaid with a gushing spring.” Some people don’t get married, and they cultivate their minds and bodies through self-reflection, and pursue immortality. Some people devote themselves entirely to studying books of sages and pay no attention to outside matters. Are these so-called good people truly good people? They live by their knowledge, and they speak and act with a little conscience, so can these people be considered to have the truth reality? Can they really be guaranteed to not do evil? Some people have good intentions toward others, and frequently offer charity and assistance, so they believe themselves to be great philanthropists. But is it accurate to judge whether a person is good or evil by always relying on the claims of traditional culture? Always using moral standards to evaluate others and show yourself off is being holier-than-thou. Do these holier-than-thou people have the truth? Can they accept and submit to the truth? Certainly not. If they were to gain power and status, could they oppose God and cruelly persecute people who believe in Him? They are more than capable of doing this, which illustrates that they still have malice in their nature, and that their nature is that of Satan. Based on this, it can be determined that those who always live by knowledge and traditional culture are all hypocrites, who can do evil and resist God. Some people have believed in God for several years, yet surprisingly, they have no discernment of traditional culture and knowledge. They cannot thoroughly understand that, in essence, these things are satanic philosophies, logic, and laws, and they are a knowledge and culture that harms people. Do such people have the truth reality? People who cannot see through traditional culture and knowledge, and have no discernment of them, are people who do not understand the truth at all, and who do not possess the slightest truth reality. There are people who think that some kinds of knowledge can also help people to be good and that these kinds of knowledge instruct people to do good deeds. This is very wrong. Knowledge is not the life; it is a kind of regulation, it is in opposition to the truth, and it is a fallacy. No matter how lofty or deep a person’s knowledge is, they can’t even see through mankind’s corrupt essence, or their own nature, or what corrupt mankind is. What is the use of their knowledge then? Isn’t it the most superficial and misleading doctrine? Like Confucianist theory and the “Tao Te Ching”—the words in these so-called classical Chinese sage books are specious, they are devilish words that mislead people, they are hypocritical heresies and fallacies, and they are satanic poisons and logic. Some people worship these things as the truth—are they still believers in God? If you believe in God in your heart and listen to sermons and read God’s words every day, why can’t you understand the truth? Why can’t you make the truth the goal of your pursuit? These people are the most foolish and utterly ignorant people, they are beasts in human clothing, and they are inhuman.

What is the truth? First of all, it must be determined that philosophies for worldly dealings are definitely not the truth, and that the mottos of celebrities and great figures are not the truth. The sayings from Confucianism and Taoism, the good behaviors and actions that are inherited and commonly recognized by corrupt mankind, the things and theories that guide people’s minds, and so on—none of these things are the truth. Is deriving pleasure from helping others the truth? (No.) Deriving pleasure from helping others and being charitable are good acts, and a warm-hearted person is at least kind-hearted and able to take pity on others—why is this not in line with the truth? (There are no principles to how they help people.) Is helping people without principles being a good person? That’s being a people pleaser and trying to be on good terms with everyone. Is showing filial piety toward one’s parents the truth? (No, it’s not.) Being filial to one’s parents is a correct and positive thing, but why do we say that it is not the truth? (Because people do not show filial piety to their parents with principles and they are not able to discern what kind of people their parents truly are.) How a person should treat their parents relates to the truth. If your parents believe in God and treat you well, should you be filial to them? (Yes.) How are you filial? You treat them differently from brothers and sisters. You do everything they say, and if they are old, you must stay by their side to care for them, which stops you from going out to perform your duty. Is it right to do this? (No.) What should you do at such times? This depends on the circumstances. If you are still able to look after them whilst performing your duty near your home, and your parents do not object to your faith in God, then you should fulfill your responsibility as a son or daughter and help your parents with some work. If they are ill, look after them; if something is troubling them, comfort them; if your financial circumstances allow, buy them the nutritional supplements that suit your budget. However, what should you choose to do if you are busy with your duty, there is no one to look after your parents, and they, too, believe in God? What truth should you practice? Since being filial to one’s parents is not the truth, but only a human responsibility and obligation, what then should you do if your obligation conflicts with your duty? (Prioritize my duty; put duty first.) An obligation is not necessarily one’s duty. Choosing to perform one’s duty is practicing the truth, whereas fulfilling an obligation is not. If you have this condition, you may fulfill this responsibility or obligation, but if the current environment does not allow it, what should you do? You should say, “I must do my duty—that is practicing the truth. Being filial to my parents is living by my conscience and it falls short of the practice of the truth.” So, you should prioritize your duty and uphold it. If you have no duty now, and don’t work far from home, and live close to your parents, then find ways to take care of them. Do your best to help them live a little better and lessen their suffering. But this also depends on what kind of people your parents are. What should you do if your parents are of poor humanity, if they constantly hinder you from believing in God, and if they keep dragging you away from believing in God and performing your duty? What is the truth that you should practice? (Rejection.) At this time, you must reject them. You have fulfilled your obligation. Your parents don’t believe in God, so you have no obligation to show filial respect to them. If they believe in God, then they are family, your parents. If they do not, then you are walking different paths: They believe in Satan and worship the devil king, and they walk the path of Satan; they are people who are walking different paths to those who believe in God. You are no longer a family. They regard believers in God as their adversaries and enemies, so you have no more obligation to take care of them and must cut them off completely. Which is the truth: being filial to one’s parents or performing one’s duty? Of course, performing one’s duty is the truth. Performing one’s duty in God’s house is not simply about fulfilling one’s obligation and doing what one is supposed to do. It is about performing the duty of a created being. Herein is God’s commission; it is your obligation, your responsibility. This is a true responsibility, which is to fulfill your responsibility and obligation before the Creator. This is the Creator’s requirement of people, and it is the great matter of life. But showing filial respect to one’s parents is merely the responsibility and obligation of a son or daughter. It is certainly not commissioned by God, and less still does it accord with God’s requirement. Therefore, between showing filial respect to one’s parents and performing one’s duty, there is no doubt that performing one’s duty, and that alone, is practicing the truth. Performing one’s duty as a created being is the truth, and it is a bounden duty. Showing filial respect to one’s parents is about being filial to people. It does not mean that one is performing their duty, nor does it mean that they are practicing the truth. After fellowshipping about these things in this way, you should be able to differentiate these things on your own, and know what is the truth and what is not the truth. Have a think now about what other things people esteem that are regarded as the truth? (The term “positive energy” is often used in society; this is also a negative thing and not the truth.) Most of the terms that unbelievers speak about are devilish things. From what background did the term “positive energy” emerge? These popular sayings, strange theories, or buzzwords that emerge in society all have a background. Do you know the background from which this buzzword emerged? In China, the social climate is becoming increasingly wicked, and people advocate for wickedness. No matter what the devils say or do, people follow. Although some people cannot stand this and comment on it, it is of no use, and no one responds. In China, wickedness has become a trend, and no group of people can stop this wicked trend. Everyone feels that the country’s morals are declining more with each passing day. Evil demons hold all the power, and completely control the country and its people. The devils do whatever they want, and no one can stop them. In order to fool the public, those in power have done many specious things to mislead and deceive people, even claiming that these actions all belong to positive energy. This is the background from which “positive energy” emerged. What do unbelievers mean by “positive energy”? It’s what they call uprightness or a kind of good behavior. In actuality, can this positive energy have an effect in society? Can it resolve the inundation of wicked trends? Can it stop the tendency of wicked trends to develop? It cannot; it cannot change anything. Why can’t it change anything? The term “positive energy” sounds very powerful, so why can’t it change anything or solve any problems? It can’t even change or solve the problem of children being addicted to the internet all day long. In the past, there was still a bit of affection and a bit of conscience and reason between people, and there was still a bit of propriety between neighbors, but now it is different. Human relationships have become fickle and inconstant, and people are all like strangers to each other. People don’t even care when they see accidents befall their neighbors, nor do they dare to get involved when they see someone calling for help. What is the problem here? Is it because there is no positive energy that people become like this? Could it be that there was positive energy in society before? No, it was just the same. “Positive energy” is just a pleasant-sounding term, there is nothing practical in it. It is an empty theory that is completely ineffective.

Tell Me, who’s worse: people in the past or people today? (People are worse now.) How do you measure that? Your point of view is that people today are hard-hearted, and lacking in familial love and genuine friendships, that no one cares about loyalty or conscience, and that people always say, “How much is conscience worth?” “What about conscience? Making money comes first!” You think that people have lost their consciences, and that it’s normal now for people to shortchange others when selling goods and earn dirty money, and that everyone swindles and defrauds each other. By contrast, you believe that skilled merchants in ancient times had principles in selling goods, that they sold their goods at fixed prices, were honest with all their customers, both young and old, and did not deceive anyone. Therefore, you think that people in the past were much better than people are now. So, what is this “better” referring to? It’s actually based on conscience and the behaviors they live out. If you measure people based on this, people in the past were better than people are now. People in the past were simpler and more guileless, and they had a sense of conscience and shame. They had a baseline for their conduct and at least didn’t do anything too lacking in conscience, nor did they do anything to make people criticize them behind their backs or that would give them a bad name. People today don’t care about those things; they don’t have a sense of shame. They only want to make money and a name for themselves. That’s why it’s said that people today are thoroughly bad. So, how did the thoroughly bad people of today develop this way? Haven’t they just multiplied from generation to generation, from ancient times to the present? People today are no different from people in ancient times. Their DNA has not changed and neither has their appearance. It’s just that the living conditions are better than in ancient times. Today, people learn more complex things and are proficient in more fields, their knowledge is higher than that of ancient people, they possess more skills than ancient people did, and they have the capital of arrogance. If we look at it from this perspective, is it accurate to say that people today are worse than people in the past? How can we evaluate whether this statement is accurate and in line with the truth? Let’s expound on it like this: If you watch historical dramas, whether they are about the imperial court, Jianghu,[a] or the lives of ordinary people, the plots will be filled with conflict. This is the true side of humanity. Humans fight each other for power and for their own desires in life-or-death struggles. In this, human nature is exposed very thoroughly and vividly and it is exactly like Satan. So, is it true that all those things you see happening now have only occurred in one time period? Do people fight so fiercely in certain places on earth because there’s bad feng shui there, and because unclean demons swarm there? Or is it that those people have bad genes, making them aggressive by nature? (Neither.) Then how do these conflicts come about? They’re all fought for the sake of power, status, and self-interest. No matter the social stratum, from high to low, people have always been constantly fighting and competing, fighting until they’re exhausted, and competing within an inch of their lives. What can we see from these phenomena? Judging from these microcosms of the development of all of human history and from the perspective of historical facts, the nature of mankind has never changed. As long as people live under Satan’s power, the content of life that plays out in each era and each stage remains the same, as does its essence. This is because the goals, causes, and roots of human conflicts are always the same—they are all fought for the sake of power, status, and ultimately, for self-interest. All means of conflict stem from one source—the nature and disposition of Satan. Why have the means and methods of human conflict remained unchanged? This is entirely due to human nature. People rack their brains and look for every means to fight and harm each other, defrauding, deceiving, and cheating one another—they use all kinds of deceitful means. Whether in major political struggles or in conflicts among humble families, they are always fighting for their own interests. This is the true face of humanity, the true colors of mankind. The mankind that has developed to the present is still the same mankind and it is still the same Satan that corrupts mankind. Even though the external environment is gradually changing, this doesn’t mean that human nature has changed. Although the methods and means of human conflicts may have slightly changed, the fighting nature of man and the starting point of these conflicts have not changed at all. Man still has one nature, and there is still one goal and one source of these conflicts—these things haven’t changed at all. You said that people in the past were better. In what way were they better? They were restrained a bit by traditional culture, so they were more or less capable of doing some good deeds. Now mankind has developed to this day, and no matter how high the quality of life is, how much knowledge and education people acquire, or the breadth of their experience, human nature has not changed. Moreover, with the development of society, revelations of human nature are becoming increasingly wicked, blatant, and unscrupulous. No matter how many words God speaks or how many truths He expresses, people ignore them. People don’t love the truth at all, instead they have become even more averse to the truth, and feel even more hatred for it. Are there any people who do good things in society now? (Yes, but fewer than before.) Then, can you say that these people are good, and that they haven’t become bad? (No.) Surely they are not living in a vacuum? What kind of good things do they do? They are merely good behaviors and good intentions. If you talk to them about matters of believing in God, such as believing in God in order to be a good person and to worship God, observe their reactions. If they hear that people will end up being persecuted by the government if they believe in God, they will treat you as an enemy and ridicule you. If you are being pursued and persecuted, and you try to hide at their homes for a bit, they will report you and hand you over to the government. They will take a victim of a car accident to the hospital to save their life, yet they will also send a good person who believes in God into the hands of evil demons, to be abused or even persecuted to death. How do you explain this? Which behavior reflects their nature? The latter is their nature. They save other people, and they also place other people in deadly situations. Are such people humans or demons? If there is just one day where a person does not cast off their satanic nature, they will be capable of doing evil and resisting God. As long as they can resist God, they are not a good person. Is this statement right? (Yes.) What is right about it? (What they practice is not the truth. No matter how good their external actions and behavior are, their nature is still hostile to God.) Their nature is hostile to God. This statement is true. How do we explain this statement? Why do we say that someone who is hostile to God is not a good person? (God is a symbol of all positive things. If someone can be hostile to God, then what’s inside them is all negative.) In theory, that’s how it is, and that statement is true. No matter how good or pious someone may appear on the outside, no matter how much they derive pleasure from helping others or how kind they are to others, if they feel aversion and antipathy when they hear positive things, and if they cannot accept the truth when they hear it and feel averse to it, then what kind of person are they? They are not a good person. People who are enemies of positive things and the truth are not good people. In general, you can say that. Of course, there are many details within this. Let Me give you an example, and then you will understand why this statement is the truth. For example, some people abandon their families because they believe in God and perform their duties. They become famous because of this and the government frequently searches their house, harasses their parents, and even threatens their parents to hand them over. All their neighbors talk about them, saying, “This person has no conscience. They don’t care for their elderly parents. Not only are they unfilial, but they also cause so much trouble for their parents. They are an unfilial child!” Are any of these words in line with the truth? (No.) But aren’t all these words considered right in the eyes of the unbelievers? Among unbelievers, they think this is the most legitimate and reasonable way of looking at it, and that it is in line with human ethics, and in accordance with the standards of human conduct. No matter how much content is included in these standards, such as how to show filial respect to parents, how to take care of them in their old age and arrange their funerals, or how much to repay them, and regardless of whether these standards accord with the truth or not, in the eyes of unbelievers, they are positive things, they are positive energy, they are right, and they are considered irreproachable within all groups of people. Among unbelievers, these are the standards for people to live by, and you have to do these things to be an adequately good person in their hearts. Before you believed in God and understood the truth, didn’t you also firmly believe that such conduct was being a good person? (Yes.) Moreover, you also used these things to evaluate yourself and restrain yourself, and you required yourself to be this kind of person. If you wanted to be a good person, you must have surely included these things in your standards of conduct: how to be filial to your parents, how to make them feel less worried, how to bring them honor and credit, and how to bring glory to your ancestors. These were the standards of conduct in your heart and the direction of your conduct. However, after you listened to God’s words and His sermons, your viewpoint began to change, and you understood that you have to forsake everything to perform your duty as a created being, and that God requires people to conduct themselves this way. Before you were certain that performing your duty as a created being was the truth, you thought you should be filial to your parents, but you also felt you should perform your duty as a created being, and you felt conflicted inside. Through the continuous watering and shepherding of God’s words, you gradually came to understand the truth, and it was then that you realized that performing your duty as a created being is perfectly natural and justified. Up until this day, many people have been able to accept the truth and completely abandon the standards of conduct from man’s traditional notions and imaginings. When you completely let go of these things, you are no longer constrained by words of judgment and condemnation from unbelievers when you follow God and perform your duty as a created being, and you could cast them off easily. So, why have those old, traditional notions disappeared from your heart? Could it be that you have become bad? Has your heart hardened and your conscience disappeared? (No.) In fact, your conscience hasn’t changed, you are still the same person, and your personality, preferences, and standards of conscience and morals haven’t changed. So, why don’t you feel sad or pained when unbelievers say those words of judgment and condemnation, and instead feel peace and joy in your heart? This is quite a transformation, how have you become like this? (Through eating and drinking God’s words, and coming to understand some truths, I have gained the correct standards of evaluation, and been able to discern that their words are just fallacies.) Unbelievers spread rumors about us, saying, “After these people start believing in God, they don’t take care of their families, they have no love for their families, and they are particularly cold—they become like cold-blooded animals.” It may seem that way on the outside, but it’s not the reality. There is an essential problem here that blind people have no way of seeing. Could it really be that the truth makes people cold-hearted after they begin believing in God? (No.) So, what is really going on? (Those believers’ perspectives on things have changed; they have understood the truth and gained discernment.) This is a result achieved through eating and drinking God’s words. How is this result achieved? What changed your perspective on things? When did it begin to change? It is God’s words that change people’s perspectives, changing all their perspectives on life and various matters, making them different from those of unbelievers.

In the past, people always acted on their consciences and used them to measure others. People constantly had to pass the test of conscience, they always felt that gossip was a frightening thing, and were afraid of being laughed at or of gaining a bad reputation, or of being called “without a conscience, a bad person.” So, they had to reluctantly say and do some things to cope with the environment. How should these things be measured now? (By the truth principles.) How were things back then, when people’s lives were bound by the notions and fallacies of unbelievers? By way of example, since you were small, your parents kept indoctrinating you with such words as: “When you grow up, you must make us proud; you must bring honor to our family!” What have these words been to you? An encouragement, or a restraint? A positive influence, or a kind of negative control? The fact is that they are a kind of control. Your parents set a goal for you based on some statement or theory that people think is right and good, making you live your life in service of that goal, and you end up losing your freedom. Why do you end up losing your freedom and falling under its control? Because people think that bringing honor to their family is a good thing that should be done. If you don’t share that thought or aspire to do things that bring honor to your family, you are seen as a foolish waste of space, a good-for-nothing loser, and people will look down on you. In order to be successful, you must study hard, gain ever more skills, and bring honor to your family name. That way, people won’t bully you in the future. Are all the things you do for the sake of this goal not, in effect, shackles that bind you? (They are.) Since pursuing success and bringing honor to the family is what your parents demand, and since they are acting in your best interests so that you live a good life and do your family proud, it is only natural that you would aspire to such a lifestyle. But effectively, these things are troubles and shackles of a sort. When people do not understand the truth, they think that these things are positive, the truth, the right way, and therefore, they take them for granted and abide by them or obey them, and they absolutely comply with these words and requirements that come from their parents. If you live by these words, working hard and dedicating your youth and your whole life to them, and finally you get to the top, live a good life, and do your family proud, you may be brilliant to other people, but inside, you are increasingly hollow. You don’t know what the point of life is, or what destination the future holds, or what kind of path people should take in life. You haven’t understood or gained anything at all about those mysteries of life whose answers you yearn for, and want to know, and want to understand. Have you not effectively been ruined by your parents’ good intentions? Have your youth and your whole life not been ruined by your parents’ demands, which, in their words, are “in your best interests”? (They have.) So, are your parents right or wrong to make demands that are “in your best interests”? It may be that your parents genuinely think that they are acting in your best interests, but are they people who understand the truth? Do they have the truth? (They do not.) Many people spend their whole lives hanging on their parents’ words, “You must make us proud, you must bring honor to the family”—words that inspire them, and that influence them throughout their lives. When the parents say, “It’s in your best interests,” this becomes the impulse behind a person’s life, providing a direction and goal to work toward. As a result, no matter how glamorous that person’s life, no matter how dignified and successful it is, their life is actually ruined. Is that not so? (It is.) Does this mean that if someone doesn’t live according to their parents’ demands, they are not ruined? No; they also have a goal of their own. What goal is that? It is still the same, namely to “live a good life and do their parents proud,” not because their parents have told them to, but because they have accepted this goal from elsewhere. They still want to live by these words, and do their family proud, and get to the top, and become an honorable, dignified person. Their goal hasn’t changed; they still dedicate their whole life, and live their whole life, trying to achieve these things. So, when people do not understand the truth, and accept many so-called correct doctrines, correct statements, and correct views that prevail in society, they turn those correct things into the direction, foundation, and motivation for their own life’s efforts. In the end, people live uncompromisingly and unreservedly for the sake of these goals, struggling through life until they die, at which point, some are still unwilling to see the truth. What pitiful lives people lead! However, once you understand the truth, do you not then gradually leave behind these so-called correct things, correct teachings, and correct statements, as well as your parents’ expectations of you? Once you gradually leave behind these so-called correct things, and the standard by which you measure things is no longer based on the statements of traditional culture, are you not then no longer bound by those statements? And if you are not bound by these things, do you live freely? You may not then be completely free, but at least the shackles will have been loosened. In their belief in God people still have a lot of notions, imaginings, intentions, and impurities, as well as their philosophies for worldly dealings, deceitful thoughts, corrupt natures, and so on. When these things are resolved, and people are able to live entirely by the truth, they will live before God and be truly liberated and free.


a. Jianghu is a Chinese term that refers to the fantastical world of martial artists and criminals in ancient China.

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