Daily Words of God: Entry Into Life | Excerpt 425
In practice, keeping the commandments should be linked to putting the truth into practice. While keeping the commandments, one must practice the truth. When practicing the truth, one must not violate the principles of the commandments, nor go against the commandments; you must do whatever God requires of you. Keeping the commandments and practicing the truth are interconnected, not contradictory. The more you practice the truth, the more capable you become of keeping the essence of the commandments. The more you practice the truth, the more you will understand God’s word as expressed in the commandments. Practicing the truth and keeping the commandments are not contradictory actions—they are interconnected. In the beginning, only after man kept the commandments could he practice the truth and attain enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, but this is not God’s original intention. God requires you to put your heart into worshiping Him, not merely to behave well. However, you must keep the commandments at least superficially. Gradually, through experience, after gaining a clearer understanding of God, people will stop rebelling against and resisting Him, and will no longer have any doubts about His work. This is the only way people can abide by the essence of the commandments. Therefore, merely keeping the commandments, without practicing the truth, is ineffective, and does not constitute true worship of God, for you have not yet attained real stature. Keeping the commandments without the truth only amounts to adhering rigidly to the rules. In so doing, the commandments would become your law, which would not help you grow in life. On the contrary, they would become your burden, and bind you tightly like the laws of the Old Testament, causing you to lose the Holy Spirit’s presence. Therefore, only by practicing the truth can you effectively keep the commandments, and you keep the commandments in order to practice the truth. In the process of keeping the commandments, you will put even more truths into practice, and when practicing the truth, you will gain an even deeper understanding of what the commandments actually mean. The purpose and meaning behind God’s demand that man keeps the commandments is not just to get him to follow the rules, as he may imagine; rather, it has to do with his entry into life. The extent of your growth in life dictates the degree to which you will be able to keep the commandments. Although the commandments are for man to keep, the essence of the commandments only becomes apparent through man’s life experience. Most people assume that keeping the commandments well means that they are “completely prepared, and all that remains to be done is to get caught up.” This is an extravagant sort of idea, and not in line with God’s will. Those who say such things do not wish to make progress, and they covet the flesh. It is nonsense! It is not in keeping with reality! It is not God’s will merely to practice the truth without actually keeping the commandments. Those who do this are cripples; they are as people who are missing a leg. Simply keeping the commandments as if abiding by rules, yet not possessing the truth—this is not capable of satisfying God’s will, either; like those who are missing an eye, people who do this, too, suffer from a form of disability. It can be said that if you keep the commandments well and gain a clear understanding of the practical God, then you will possess the truth; relatively speaking, you will have gained real stature. If you practice the truth that you should practice, you will also keep the commandments, and these two things do not contradict each other. Practicing the truth and keeping the commandments are two systems, both of which are integral parts of one’s life experience. One’s experience should comprise an integration, not a division, of keeping the commandments and practicing the truth. However, there are both differences and links between these two things.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Keeping the Commandments and Practicing the Truth