15. How to resolve the problem of selfishness and despicableness

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

Until people have experienced God’s work and understood the truth, it is Satan’s nature that takes charge and dominates them from within. What, specifically, does that nature entail? For example, why are you selfish? Why do you protect your own position? Why do you have such strong emotions? Why do you enjoy those unrighteous things? Why do you like those evils? What is the basis for your fondness for such things? Where do these things come from? Why are you so happy to accept them? By now, you have all come to understand that the main reason behind all these things is that Satan’s poison is within man. So what is Satan’s poison? How can it be expressed? For example, if you ask, “How should people live? What should people live for?” people will answer, “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” This single phrase expresses the very root of the problem. Satan’s philosophy and logic have become people’s lives. No matter what people pursue, they do so for themselves—and so they live only for themselves. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost”—this is the life philosophy of man, and it also represents human nature. These words have already become the nature of corrupt mankind and they are the true portrait of corrupt mankind’s satanic nature. This satanic nature has already become the basis for corrupt mankind’s existence. For several thousand years, corrupt mankind has lived by this venom of Satan, right up to the present day. Everything that Satan does is for the sake of its own appetite, ambitions, and aims. It wishes to surpass God, to break free of God, and to seize control of all things created by God. Today, such is the extent that people have been corrupted by Satan: They all have satanic natures, they all try to deny and oppose God, and they want to control their own fates and try to oppose the orchestrations and arrangements of God. Their ambitions and appetites are exactly the same as Satan’s. Therefore, man’s nature is Satan’s nature.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter

Selfishness can be said to be an element of a person’s nature. Everyone has this element within them. Some people are horribly selfish, selfish to the extreme, and in all things, they only consider themselves, seek nothing but personal gain, and they have not even the slightest consideration for others. That selfishness represents their nature. Everyone is somewhat selfish, but there is a difference. When associating with others, some people can watch out and care for others, they can be concerned about others, and consider others in everything they do. However, some other people are not like this. These people are especially selfish and always petty when hosting brothers and sisters. They give their own family the best food with the largest servings and they only give the brothers and sisters the smaller servings of the less appetizing food. When their own relatives come, they arrange for them to be very comfortable. However, when brothers and sisters come over, they are made to sleep on the floor. They think it is good enough that they allow brothers and sisters to stay over on visits. When brothers and sisters fall ill or have some other difficulty, such a person doesn’t even give them any thought, behaving as though they do not notice. Such people do not care about or feel concern for others in the least. They only care for themselves and their relatives. This selfish nature of theirs is what determines their unwillingness to care for others. They feel that caring for others involves suffering losses and is a lot of trouble. Some people might say, “A selfish person does not know how to be considerate of others.” That is incorrect. If they don’t know how to be considerate, why, then, are selfish people so good to their own relatives and show full consideration for their needs? Why do they know what they themselves lack and what is appropriate to wear or eat at a certain time? Why are they unable to be like that for others? In reality, they understand everything, but they are selfish and despicable. This is determined by their nature.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature

Regardless of what happens to them, or what they’re dealing with, people always protect their own interests and worry about their own flesh, and they always look for reasons or excuses that serve them. They don’t seek or accept the truth in the slightest, and everything they do is in order to defend their own flesh and plotting for the sake of their own prospects. They all solicit grace from God, wanting to gain whatever advantages they can. Why do people make so many demands of God? This proves that people are greedy by nature, and that before God, they are not possessed of any sense at all. In everything people do—whether they are praying or fellowshiping or preaching—their pursuits, thoughts, and aspirations, these things are all demands of God and attempts to solicit things from Him, they are all done by people in the hope of gaining something from God. Some people say that “this is human nature,” which is correct! In addition, people making too many demands of God and having too many extravagant desires proves that people are truly lacking in conscience and sense. They are all demanding and soliciting things for their own sakes, or trying to argue and find excuses for themselves—they do all of this for themselves. In many things, it can be seen that what people do is totally devoid of sense, which is full proof that the satanic logic of “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost” has already become man’s nature.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. People Make Too Many Demands of God

Some people really love to take advantage of things unfairly at the expense of others, and these people seek to fulfill their own interests in all matters. Whatever they do must benefit them, or else they will not do it. They do not bother with anything unless it gives them some advantage, and there are always ulterior motives behind their actions. They speak well of anyone who benefits them, and they promote anyone who flatters them. Even when their favorite people have problems, they will say those people are correct and try hard to defend them and cover for them. What nature do such people have? You can completely see their nature clearly from these behaviors. They strive to take unfair advantages through their actions, constantly engaging in transactional behavior in every situation, and you can be certain that their nature is one of wholeheartedly coveting profit. They are out for themselves in everything they do. They will not rise early unless it benefits them to do so. They are the most selfish of people, and they are utterly insatiable. Their nature is demonstrated through their love of profit and lack of any love for the truth.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature

Some are unwilling to coordinate with others in service to God, even when they have been called upon; these are lazy people who wish only to revel in comfort. The more you are asked to serve in coordination with others, the more experience you will gain. Due to having more burdens and experiences, you will gain more opportunities to be perfected. Therefore, if you can serve God with sincerity, then you will be mindful of God’s burden; as such, you will have more opportunities to be perfected by God. It is just such a group of people that is currently being perfected. The more the Holy Spirit touches you, the more time you will devote to being mindful of God’s burden, the more you will be perfected by God, and the more you will be gained by Him—until, in the end, you will become a person whom God uses. At present, there are some who carry no burdens for the church. These people are slack and sloppy, and only care about their own flesh. Such people are extremely selfish, and they are also blind. If you cannot see this matter clearly, you will not carry any burden. The more mindful you are of God’s will, the greater the burden He will entrust to you. The selfish are unwilling to suffer such things; they are unwilling to pay the price, and, as a result, they will miss opportunities to be perfected by God. Are they not doing themselves harm? If you are someone who is mindful of God’s will, then you will develop a true burden for the church. In fact, instead of calling this a burden you bear for the church, it would be better to call it a burden you bear for your own life’s sake, because the purpose of this burden you develop for the church is to have you use such experiences to be perfected by God. Therefore, whoever carries the greatest burden for the church, whoever carries a burden for life entry—they will be the ones who are perfected by God. Have you seen this clearly? If the church you are with is scattered like sand, but you are neither worried nor anxious, and you even turn a blind eye when your brothers and sisters are not normally eating and drinking of God’s words, then you are not carrying any burdens. Such people are not the kind in whom God delights. The kind of people in whom God delights hunger and thirst for righteousness and are mindful of God’s will. Thus, you should become mindful of God’s burden, here and now; you should not wait for God to reveal His righteous disposition to all humanity before growing mindful of God’s burden. Would it not be too late by then? Now is a good opportunity to be perfected by God. If you allow this chance to slip through your fingers, you will regret it for the rest of your life, just as Moses was unable to enter the good land of Canaan and regretted it for the rest of his life, dying with remorse. Once God has revealed His righteous disposition to all peoples, you will be filled with regret. Even if God does not chastise you, you will chastise yourself out of your own remorse. Some are not convinced by this, but if you do not believe it, just wait and see. There are some people whose sole purpose is to fulfill these words. Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the sake of these words?

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Be Mindful of God’s Will in Order to Attain Perfection

Selfish and mean people are perfunctory in their actions and stand aloof from anything that does not concern them personally. They do not consider the interests of God’s house, nor do they show consideration for God’s will. They take on no burden of performing their duties or testifying for God, and they have no sense of responsibility. What is it that they think about whenever they do something? Their first consideration is, “Will God know if I do this? Is it visible to other people? If other people don’t see that I expend all this effort and work industriously, and if God doesn’t see it either, then there is no use for my expending such effort or suffering for this.” Is this not extremely selfish? It is also a base sort of intent. When they think and act in this way, is their conscience playing any role? Is their conscience accused in this? No, their conscience is not playing any role, and it is not accused. There are some people who do not take any responsibility regardless of the duty they are performing. They don’t promptly report problems they discover to their superiors, either. When they see people being disruptive and disturbing, they turn a blind eye. When they see wicked people committing evil, they don’t try to stop them. They don’t protect the interests of the house of God, or consider what their duty and responsibility is. When they perform their duty, people like this don’t do any real work; they are people-pleasers who are greedy for comfort; they speak and act only for their own vanity, face, status, and interests, and are only willing to devote their time and effort to things that benefit them. The actions and intents of someone like that are clear to everyone: They pop out whenever there is an opportunity to show their face or to enjoy some blessing. But, when there is not an opportunity to show their face, or as soon as there is a time of suffering, they vanish from sight like a tortoise retracting its head. Does this kind of person have conscience and reason? (No.) Does a person without conscience and reason who behaves in this way feel self-reproach? Such people have no sense of self-reproach; the conscience of this kind of person serves no purpose. They have never felt reproach from their conscience, so can they feel the reproach or discipline of the Holy Spirit? No, they cannot.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth

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 wicked 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 crafty 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 crafty disposition, is it not? Another is a selfish and mean 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 deluded 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.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

Unbelievers have a certain kind of corrupt disposition. When they teach other people a piece of professional knowledge or a skill, they think, “Once a student knows everything the master knows, the master will lose his livelihood. If I teach everything I know to others, then no one will look up to me or admire me anymore and I will have lost all my status as a teacher. This will not do. I can’t teach them everything I know, I must hold something back. I’ll teach them only eighty percent of what I know and keep the rest up my sleeve; this is the only way to show that my skills are superior to those of others.” What sort of disposition is this? It is deceitfulness. When teaching others, assisting them, or sharing with them something you studied, what attitude should you take? (I should spare no effort and hold nothing back.) How does one hold nothing back? If you say, “I don’t hold anything back when it comes to the things that I’ve learned, and I have no problem telling all of you about them. I am of a higher caliber than you anyway, and I can still comprehend more elevated things”—that is still holding back and it is quite calculating. Or if you say, “I’ll teach you all the basic things I’ve learned, it’s no big deal. I still have higher knowledge, and even if you learn all of this, you still won’t be as advanced as me”—that’s still holding something back. If a person is too selfish, they will be without God’s blessing. People should learn to be considerate of God’s will. You must contribute the most important and essential things that you have grasped to God’s house, so that God’s chosen ones can learn them and master them—that is the only way to attain God’s blessing, and He will bestow upon you even more things. As it is said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Devote all of your talents and gifts to God, displaying them in the performance of your duty so that everyone can benefit, and achieve results in their duties. If you contribute your gifts and talents in their entirety, they will be beneficial to all those who fulfill that duty, and to the work of the church. Do not just tell everyone some simple things and then think that you’ve done quite well or that you have not held anything back—this will not do. You only teach a few theories or things that people can understand literally, but the essence and important points are beyond the grasp of a novice. You only give an overview, without elaborating or going into detail, all the while still thinking to yourself, “Well, anyway, I’ve told you, and I haven’t intentionally held anything back. If you don’t understand, it’s because your caliber is too poor, so don’t blame me. We’ll just have to see how God leads you now.” Such deliberation contains deceit, does it not? Is it not selfish and ignoble? Why can’t you teach people everything in your heart and everything you understand? Why do you withhold knowledge instead? This is a problem with your intentions and your disposition. When most people are first introduced to some specific aspect of professional knowledge, they can only comprehend its literal meaning; it takes a period of practice before the main points and essence can be grasped. If you have already mastered these finer points, you should tell them to others directly; do not make them take such a roundabout path and spend so much time groping around. This is your responsibility; it is what you should do. You will only not be withholding anything, and not be selfish, if you tell them what you believe to be the main points and essence. When you teach skills to others, communicate with them about your profession, or fellowship about life entry, if you cannot resolve the selfish and despicable aspects of your corrupt dispositions, you won’t be able to perform your duties well, in which case, you are not someone who possesses humanity, or conscience and reason, or who practices the truth. You must seek the truth to resolve your corrupt dispositions, and reach the point where you are devoid of selfish motives, and only consider God’s will. In this way, you will have the truth reality. It is too tiring if people do not pursue the truth and live by satanic dispositions like the unbelievers. Competition is rife among unbelievers. Mastering the essence of a skill or a profession is no simple matter, and once someone else finds out about it, and masters it themselves, your livelihood will be at risk. In order to protect that livelihood, people are driven to act in this way—they must be cautious at all times. What they’ve mastered is their most valuable currency, it’s their livelihood, their capital, their lifeblood, and they mustn’t let anyone else in on it. But you believe in God—if you think this way and act this way in God’s house, there is nothing to distinguish you from an unbeliever. If you do not accept the truth at all, and continue to live according to satanic philosophies, then you are not someone who truly believes in God. If you always have selfish motives and are petty-minded while performing your duty, you will not receive God’s blessing.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

Some people always fear that others are better than they are or above them, that other people will be recognized while they get overlooked, and this leads them to attack and exclude others. Is this not a case of being envious of people with talent? Is that not selfish and contemptible? What kind of disposition is this? It is maliciousness! Those who only think about their own interests, who only satisfy their own selfish desires, without thinking about others or considering the interests of God’s house, have a bad disposition, and God has no love for them. If you are truly capable of showing consideration for God’s will, you will be able to treat other people fairly. If you recommend a good person and allow them to undergo training and fulfill a duty, thereby adding a person of talent to God’s house, will that not make your work easier? Will you not then be showing devotion in your duty? That is a good deed before God; it is the minimum conscience and sense that those who serve as leaders should possess. Those who are capable of putting the truth into practice can accept God’s scrutiny in the things they do. When you accept God’s scrutiny, your heart will be set straight. If you only ever do things for others to see, and always want to gain others’ praise and admiration, and you do not accept God’s scrutiny, then is God still in your heart? Such people have no God-fearing hearts. Do not always do things for your own sake and do not constantly consider your own interests; do not consider the interests of man, and give no thought to your own pride, reputation, and status. You must first consider the interests of God’s house, and make them your priority. You should be considerate of God’s will and begin by contemplating whether or not there have been impurities in the performance of your duty, whether you have been devoted, fulfilled your responsibilities, and given it your all, as well as whether or not you have been wholeheartedly thinking about your duty and the work of the church. You must consider these things. If you think about them frequently and figure them out, it will be easier for you to perform your duty well. If you are of poor caliber, if your experience is shallow, or if you are not proficient in your professional work, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and you may not get good results—but you will have done your best. You do not satisfy your own selfish desires or preferences. Instead, you give constant consideration to the work of the church and the interests of the house of God. Though you may not achieve good results in your duty, your heart will have been set straight; if, on top of this, you can seek the truth to solve the problems in your duty, you will be up to standard in the performance of your duty, and, at the same time, you will be able to enter into the truth reality. This is what it means to possess testimony.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Freedom and Liberation Can Be Gained Only by Casting Off One’s Corrupt Disposition

Antichrists have no conscience, sense, or humanity. Not only do they lack any shame, but they have another hallmark, too: They are uncommonly selfish and vile. The literal sense of their “selfishness and vileness” is not hard to grasp: They are blind to anything but their own interests. Anything concerning their own interests gets their full attention, and they will suffer for it, pay a price, engross themselves in it, devote themselves to it. Anything not related to their own interests they will turn a blind eye to and take no notice of; others can do as they please—they don’t care if anyone is being disruptive or disturbing, and to them, this has nothing to do with them. Put tactfully, they mind their own business. But it is more accurate to say that this kind of person is vile, sordid, wretched; we define them as “selfish and vile.” How does the selfishness and vileness of the antichrists manifest itself? In anything that benefits their status or reputation, they make effort to do or say whatever is necessary, and they willingly endure any suffering. But where work arranged by God’s house is concerned, or where work that benefits the life growth of God’s chosen people is concerned, they utterly ignore it. Even when evildoers disrupt, disturb, and commit all kinds of evil, thereby seriously affecting the work of the church, they remain impassive and unconcerned, as if this has nothing to do with them. And if someone discovers and reports an evildoer’s wicked deeds, they say they saw nothing and feign ignorance. But if someone reports them and exposes that they don’t do practical work and only pursue reputation and status, they see red. Meetings are hurriedly convened to discuss how to respond, investigations are held into who went behind their back, who the ringleader was, who was involved. They will not eat or sleep until they have gotten to the bottom of it and the matter has been completely put to rest; sometimes they are only happy once they’ve taken down everyone involved in reporting them. This is the manifestation of selfishness and vileness, is it not? Are they doing church work? They are acting for the sake of their own power and status, pure and simple. They are running their own operation. Regardless of what work they undertake, the kind of person who is an antichrist never gives any thought to the interests of the house of God. They only consider whether their own interests will be affected, only think about the little bit of work in front of them that benefits them. For them, the primary work of the church is just something they do in their spare time. They don’t take it seriously at all. They only move when they’re prodded into action, only do what they like to do, and only do work that is for the sake of maintaining their own status and power. In their eyes, any work arranged by God’s house, the work of spreading the gospel, and the life entry of God’s chosen people are not important. No matter what difficulties other people have in their work, what issues they have identified and reported to them, how sincere their words are, the antichrists pay no heed, they do not get involved, it’s as if this has nothing to do with them. No matter how major the problems emerging in the church’s work are, they are utterly indifferent. Even when the problem is right in front of them, they only address it perfunctorily. Only when they are directly dealt with by the Above and ordered to sort out a problem will they grudgingly do a little real work and give the Above something to see; soon after, they will continue with their own business. Toward the work of the church, toward the important things of the wider context, they are disinterested, oblivious. They even ignore the problems they discover, and they give perfunctory answers or use their words to brush you off when asked about problems, only addressing them with great reluctance. This is the manifestation of selfishness and vileness, is it not? What’s more, no matter what duty antichrists are performing, all they think about is whether it will raise their profile; as long as it will boost their reputation, they rack their brains to come up with a way to learn how to do it, to carry it out; all they care about is whether it will set them apart. No matter what they do or think, they are only concerned with their own fame and status. No matter what duty they are performing, they only compete over who is higher or lower, who wins and who loses, who has the bigger reputation. They only care about how many people worship and look up to them, how many people obey them, and how many followers they have. They never fellowship the truth or solve real problems. They never consider how to do things according to principle when performing their duty, nor do they reflect on whether they have been faithful, have fulfilled their responsibilities, whether there have been deviations or oversights in their work, or if any problems exist, much less do they give thought to what God asks, and what the will of God is. They pay not the slightest attention to all these things. They only put their head down and do things for the sake of status and prestige, to satisfy their own ambitions and wants. This is the manifestation of selfishness and vileness, is it not? This fully exposes how their hearts brim with their own ambitions, wants, and senseless demands; everything they do is governed by their ambitions and wants. No matter what they do, the motivation and starting point is their own ambitions, wants, and senseless demands. This is the archetypal manifestation of selfishness and vileness.

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus Four: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and the Essence of Their Disposition (Part One)

The essence of the antichrists’ selfishness and vileness is obvious; their manifestations of this kind are particularly prominent. The church entrusts them with a piece of work, and if it brings renown and benefits, and lets them show their face, they are very interested, and willing to accept it. If it is work that is thankless or involves offending people, or won’t allow them to show their face or it is of no benefit to their status or reputation, they have no interest, and will not accept it, as if this work has nothing to do with them, and is not the work they ought to be doing. When they encounter difficulties, there is no chance that they will seek the truth to solve them, much less try to see the bigger picture and give any consideration to the work of the church. For example, within the scope of the work of God’s house, based on overall work needs, there may be some personnel transfers. If a few people are transferred from a church, what would be the sensible way for that church’s leaders to treat the issue? What is the problem if they are concerned only with their own church’s interests, rather than the overall interests, and if they are absolutely unwilling to transfer people? Why, as a church leader, are they unable to submit to the overall arrangements of God’s house? Is such a person considerate of God’s will? Are they attentive to the work’s big picture? If they do not think of the work of God’s house as a whole, but only of their own church’s interests, are they not very selfish and contemptible? Church leaders should unconditionally submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and to the centralized arrangements and coordination of God’s house. This is what accords with the truth principles. When required by the work of God’s house, no matter who they are, everyone should submit to the coordination and arrangements of God’s house, and absolutely should not be controlled by any individual leader or worker as if they belong to them or are subject to their decisions. The obedience of God’s chosen ones to the centralized arrangements of the house of God is perfectly natural and justified, and may not be defied by anyone. Unless an individual leader or worker makes an irrational transferal that is not in accordance with principle—in which case this may be disobeyed—all of God’s chosen ones should obey, and no leader or worker has the right or any reason to try to control anyone. Would you say there is any work that is not the work of the house of God? Is there any work that does not involve the expansion of God’s kingdom gospel? It is all the work of God’s house, each work is equal, and there is no “yours” and “mine.” If the transferal is in line with principle and based on the requirements of church work, then these people should go where they are needed most. And yet, what is the antichrists’ response when faced with this kind of situation? They find various pretexts and excuses to keep these suitable people by their side, and they only offer two ordinary people, and then find some pretext to turn the screws on you, either saying how work is so busy, or that they’re short-handed, people are hard to find, and if these two are transferred, work will take a hit. And they ask you what they are supposed to do, and make you feel that having people transferred would mean you owe them. Is this not the way the devil operates? This is how the unbelievers do things. Are people who always try and protect their own interests in the church—are they good people? Are they people who act according to principle? Absolutely not. They are unbelievers and nonbelievers. And is this not selfish and vile? If someone of good caliber is transferred from under the antichrist to perform another duty, in their heart the antichrist doggedly resists and rejects it—they want to call it quits, and have no enthusiasm for being a leader or group head. What problem is this? Why do they have no obedience toward the arrangements of the church? They think the transferal of their “right hand man” will impact the productivity and progress of their work, and that their status and reputation will be affected as a result, which will force them to work harder and suffer more to guarantee productivity—which is the last thing they want to do. They have grown used to comfort, and don’t want to work harder or suffer more, and so they don’t want to let the person go. If the house of God insists on the transfer, they make a big fuss and even refuse to do their own work. Is this not selfish and vile? God’s chosen ones should be centrally allocated by the house of God. This has nothing to do with any leader, team head, or individual. Everyone must act according to principle; this is the rule of God’s house. When antichrists do not act according to the principles of God’s house, when they constantly scheme for the sake of their own status and interests, and make brothers and sisters of good caliber serve them in order to consolidate their power and status, is this not selfish and vile? Outwardly, keeping people of good caliber by their side and not allowing them to be transferred by the house of God appears as if they are thinking of church work, but in fact they are only thinking of their own power and status, and not about the work of the church at all. They are afraid that they will do the church work poorly, be replaced, and lose their status. When antichrists give no thought to the wider work of God’s house, think only of their own status, protect their own status with no compunction for the cost to the interests of the house of God, and defend their own status and interests to the detriment of the church’s work, this is selfish and vile. When faced with such a situation, at the very least one must think with their conscience: “These people are all of the house of God, they are not my personal property. I, too, am a member of the house of God. What right do I have to stop the house of God from transferring people? I should consider the overall interests of the house of God, instead of just concentrating on the work within the scope of my own responsibilities.” Such are the thoughts that should be found in people who are possessed of conscience and sense, and the sense that should be possessed by those who believe in God. God’s house engages in the work of the whole and the churches are engaged in the work of parts. Therefore, when God’s house has an especial need from the church, what’s most important for leaders and workers is to obey the arrangements of God’s house. False leaders and antichrists are not possessed of such conscience and sense. They are all selfish, they only think of themselves, and they do not think of the work of the church. They only consider the benefits before their very eyes, they do not consider the wider work of God’s house, and so they are absolutely incapable of obeying the arrangements of God’s house. They are extremely selfish and vile! In the house of God, they are even bold enough to be obstructive, and even dare to dig their heels in; these are the people most lacking in humanity, they are evil people. That is the kind of people the antichrists are. They always treat the church’s work, and the brothers and sisters, and even all the assets of God’s house that fall within their scope of responsibility, as their own private property. It is up to them how these things are distributed, transferred, and used, and the house of God is not allowed to interfere. Once they are in their hands, it is as if they are in the possession of Satan, no one is allowed to touch them. They’re the big shots, the head honchos, and whoever goes to their territory has to obey their orders and arrangements, and take their cue from them. This is the manifestation of the selfishness and vileness within the antichrist’s character. They do not follow principle in the slightest, they give no consideration to the interests of the house of God, and only think of their own interests and status—which are all hallmarks of the selfishness and vileness of antichrists.

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus Four: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and the Essence of Their Disposition (Part One)

Whether what pours forth from you is arrogance and self-righteousness or twistedness and deceitfulness, whether selfishness and meanness or perfunctoriness and lying to God, you must reflect on these corrupt dispositions until you see them clearly. This way, you will know what problems exist as you do your duty, and how far away you are from achieving salvation. Only when you can clearly see your own corrupt disposition will you be able to know where the difficulties and obstacles in doing your duty lie. Only then will you be able to resolve problems at their source. For example, say you do not take responsibility for doing your duty, instead always acting perfunctorily, causing losses in your work, but you care about your face, so you are unwilling to openly fellowship about your state and difficulties, or to practice self-dissection and self-knowledge, instead always looking for excuses to deal with things perfunctorily. How should you solve this problem? You must pray to God and self-reflect, saying: “O God, if I speak like that, it is only to protect my own face. It’s my corrupt disposition talking. I should not speak like that. I must open myself up, lay myself bare, and speak the true thoughts of my heart out loud. I would rather suffer shame and loss of face than satisfy my own vanity. I only want to satisfy God.” This way, by forsaking yourself and speaking the true thoughts of your heart out loud, you are practicing being an honest person, and moreover, you are not acting according to your own will or protecting your own face. You are able to put God’s words into practice, to practice the truth according to the will of God, to earnestly do your duty, and to completely fulfill your responsibilities. Thus, not only are you practicing the truth and doing your duty well, you are also upholding the interests of the house of God, and God’s heart is satisfied. This is a just and honorable way to live, worthy to be brought before both God and men. This is so wonderful! Practicing this way is a bit difficult, but if your efforts and practice are aimed in this direction, then even if you fail a time or two, you will certainly be successful. And what does success mean to you? It means that when you practice the truth, you are able to take this step that frees you from the bonds of Satan, a step that allows you to forsake yourself. It means that you are able to put aside vanity and prestige, to stop seeking your own profit, and to stop doing selfish and mean things. When you put this into practice, you show people that you are someone who loves the truth, who yearns for the truth, someone who yearns for righteousness and light. This is the result you achieve by practicing the truth. At the same time, you also bring shame upon Satan. Satan corrupted you, it made you look out for yourself, it made you selfish, it made you think of your own prestige. But now, these satanic things can no longer bind you, you have broken free of them, you are no longer controlled by vanity, prestige, or your own personal interests, and you practice the truth, so Satan is utterly humiliated, and there is nothing it can do. Then are you not victorious? When you are victorious, do you not stand firm in your testimony to God? Do you not fight the good fight? When you have fought the good fight, you have peace and joy, and a sense of ease in your heart. If you often have a sense of accusation in your life, if your heart can find no rest, if you are without peace or joy, and are often beset by worry and anxiety about all kinds of things, what does this demonstrate? Merely that you do not practice the truth, do not stand firm in your testimony to God. When you live amid the disposition of Satan, you are liable to often fail to practice the truth, to turn your back on the truth, to be selfish and vile; you only uphold your image, your name and status, and your interests. Always living for yourself brings you great pain. You have so many selfish desires, entanglements, fetters, misgivings, and vexations that you do not have the least peace or joy. To live for the sake of corrupted flesh is to suffer excessively. Those who pursue the truth are different. The more they understand the truth, the more free and liberated they become; the more they practice the truth, the more they have peace and joy. When they obtain the truth, they will live completely in the light, enjoy God’s blessings, and have no pain at all.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Life Entry Begins With the Performance of Duty

When things happen to you, you must seek the truth, and practice the truth. If, at those times when you need to practice the truth, you always have a selfish heart and cannot let go of your own self-interest, you will be unable to put the truth into practice. If you never seek or practice the truth in any circumstance, you are not a person who loves the truth. No matter how many years you have believed in God, you will not obtain the truth. Some people are always pursuing fame, gain, and self-interest. Whatever work the church arranges for them, they always deliberate, thinking, “Will this benefit me? If it will, I’ll do it; if it won’t, then I won’t.” A person like this does not practice the truth—so can they perform their duty well? They most certainly cannot. Even if you have not done evil, you are still not a person who practices the truth. If you do not pursue the truth, do not love positive things, and whatever befalls you, you only care about your own reputation and status, your own self-interest, and what is good for you, then you are a person who is only driven by self-interest, and who is selfish and base. A person like this believes in God in order to gain something good or of benefit to them, not to obtain the truth or God’s salvation. Therefore, people of this sort are nonbelievers. People who truly believe in God are those who can seek and practice the truth, as they recognize in their hearts that Christ is the truth, and that they should listen to God’s words and believe in God as He demands. If you wish to practice the truth when something happens to you, but consider your own reputation and status, and consider your own face, then doing so will be difficult. In a situation such as this, through prayer, seeking, and reflecting on themselves and becoming self-aware, those who love the truth will be able to let go of what is in their own self-interest or good for them, practice the truth, and obey God. Such people are those who truly believe in God and love the truth. And what is the consequence when people always think of their own self-interest, when they are always trying to protect their own pride and vanity, when they reveal a corrupt disposition yet do not seek the truth to fix it? It is that they have no life entry, it is that they lack true experiential testimony. And this is dangerous, is it not? If you never practice the truth, if you have no experiential testimony, then in due course you will be exposed and cast out. What use do people without experiential testimony have in the house of God? They are bound to do any duty poorly, and be unable to do anything properly. Are they not just garbage? If people never practice the truth after years of believing in God, they are nonbelievers; they are evil. If you never practice the truth, and if your transgressions grow ever more numerous, then your end is set. It is clear to see that all your transgressions, the mistaken path you walk, and your refusal to repent all add up to a multitude of evil deeds; and so your end is that you will go to hell—you will be punished.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

For all who perform a duty, no matter how profound or shallow their understanding of the truth is, the simplest way to practice entering into the truth reality is to think of the interests of God’s house in everything, and to let go of one’s selfish desires, personal intents, motives, pride, and status. Put the interests of God’s house first—this is the least one should do. If a person who performs a duty cannot even do this much, then how can they be said to be performing their duty? That is not performing one’s duty. You should first think of the interests of God’s house, be considerate of God’s will, and consider the work of the church. Put these things first and foremost; only after that can you think about the stability of your status or how others regard you. Do you not feel that this becomes a little easier when you divide it into two steps and make some compromises? If you practice like this for a while, you will come to feel that satisfying God is not such a difficult thing. Furthermore, you should be able to fulfill your responsibilities, perform your obligations and duty, and set aside your selfish desires, intents, and motives; you should have consideration for God’s will, and put the interests of God’s house, the work of the church, and the duty that you are supposed to perform first. After experiencing this for a while, you will feel that this is a good way to comport yourself. It is living straightforwardly and honestly, and not being a base, vile person; it is living justly and honorably rather than being despicable, base, and a good-for-nothing. You will feel that this is how a person should act and the image that they should live out. Gradually, your desire to satisfy your own interests will lessen.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Freedom and Liberation Can Be Gained Only by Casting Off One’s Corrupt Disposition

Whether or not people’s corrupt dispositions of selfishness, meanness, deceitfulness, and lies can be resolved depends on whether or not they are able to accept the truth. Those who are able to accept the truth all hate their corrupt dispositions, they hate selfishness and meanness, and their deceitfulness and lies. They are unwilling to let these things contaminate or constrain them. As long as those who love the truth come to know their own corrupt dispositions, then it is easy for them to cast aside this negative garbage and rubbish. Those who do not love the truth treat these negative things as treasures. They love their own profit too much, they are unwilling to forsake the flesh, and they are too intransigent. As a result, they are never able to understand what God’s will is, nor are they able to submit to Him. It is because people do not love or accept the truth that they believe in God for so many years in such a muddleheaded way. When the time comes for them to bear testimony, their tongues are tied, and they are not able to say anything. People have listened to sermons about the truth for many years, and God’s disposition is always made known to them, so those who pursue the truth should already understand it, but those who do not love the truth are not willing to open themselves up before God. Their hearts are unwilling to give up on the preferences of the flesh, so they dare not practice simply opening themselves up to God. They just want to freely enjoy the grace God gives men, but they do not want to practice the truth to satisfy God. God says: “If you want to obtain My grace, if you want to obtain these truths, there is only one condition—you must give up your own profit, and give Me your true heart.” People are unable to meet even this one condition, and yet they still want to demand God’s grace, to demand peace and joy, and they want to obtain the truth; but they do not want to give their true hearts to God, so what kind of people are they? Are they not of Satan’s kind? Can they do both at the same time? In truth, they cannot. Whether or not you understand God’s will, His disposition is always openly made known to people. If a person never accepts the truth, or if they understand the truth without putting it into practice, then it is because they are too intransigent and they have not given their heart to God. Thus, they are never able to obtain the truth, nor are they able to come to know God’s disposition. This is not because God treats people unfairly. People often quote God as saying: “God treats who He will with grace,” but they do not understand the meaning of this phrase. On the contrary, they misunderstand God. They think that grace comes from God, that He gives it to who He will, and that He is good to who He will. Is this the case? Is this not human notions and imaginings? God treats people based on their essence. When people are able to be mindful of God’s will and accept the truth, then they are blessed by God. If people do not accept the truth and resist God, then the result is different.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth

What does God see when He looks at people? He sees their hearts. Everything that people say and do is controlled by their hearts. If your heart is honest, then you will have good humanity. You will be able to gradually understand the truth, you will be able to satisfy God’s requirements to a certain degree, and you will be able to take God’s will into consideration. If your heart is too deceitful, closed off, and intransigent, if you are selfish, do not have good humanity, and are always stuck in notions, imagining how God should act, if when you encounter something that does not fit your notions, you misunderstand God and never comprehend His will, then will you be able to obtain the truth? No, you will not. In the end, when you cannot obtain the truth, will you blame yourself, others, or God, saying that God is not fair? (We will blame ourselves.) That’s right, you will blame yourself. So what should someone like this do in order to obtain the truth? They must seek the truth and put it into practice, and they must behave and practice in specific ways. If they understand without practicing, they still cannot obtain the truth. When selfishness and schemes for your own profit appear in you, and you realize it, you should pray to God and seek the truth in order to address this. The first thing you should be aware of is that in essence, acting in this way is a violation of the truth principles, it is harmful to the work of the church, it is selfish and despicable behavior, it is not what people of conscience and reason ought to be doing. You should put aside your own interests and selfishness, and should think of the work of the church—that is what God wills. After praying and reflecting on yourself, if you truly realize that acting thus is selfish and despicable, putting aside your own selfishness will be easy. When you put aside your selfishness and schemes for profit, you will feel grounded, you will be at peace, joyous, and will feel that a person of conscience and reason should think of the church’s work, that they should not fixate on their personal interests, which would be so selfish, despicable, and devoid of conscience or reason. Acting selflessly, thinking of the work of the church, and doing things exclusively to satisfy God is righteous and honorable, and will bring value to your existence. Living this way on earth, you are being open and honest, you are living out normal humanity, and the true image of man, and not only do you have a clear conscience, but are also worthy of all the things bestowed upon you by God. The more you live like this, the more grounded you will feel, the more peaceful and joyous you will be, and the brighter you will feel. As such, will you not have set foot upon the right track of faith in God?

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth

Related Experiential Testimonies

Lessons Learned From Subdividing Churches

A Disgrace From My Past

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