Words on Seeking and Practicing the Truth

Excerpt 10

There are many people who, as soon as their duty gets busy, become incapable of experiencing, and are unable to maintain a normal state, and as a result, are constantly asking for a gathering, and for the truth to be fellowshipped to them. What is going on here? They do not understand the truth, they lack a foundation in the true way, such people are driven by zeal when they perform their duty, and cannot endure for long. When people do not understand the truth, there is no principle to anything they do. If it is arranged for them to do something, they make a mess of it, they are careless in what they do, they do not seek principles, and there is no submission in their hearts—which proves that they do not love the truth and are incapable of experiencing God’s work. No matter what you do, you should first understand why you are doing it, what intention it is that directs you to do this thing, what the significance is in your doing it, what the nature of the matter is, and whether what you are doing is a positive thing or a negative thing. You must have a clear understanding of all these matters; this is quite necessary for you to be able to act with principle. If you are doing something which can be classified as doing your duty, then you should ponder: How should I fulfill my duty well so that I am not just doing it perfunctorily? You should pray and draw close to God in this matter. Praying to God is in order to seek the truth, the way to practice, the intention of God, and how to satisfy God. Prayer is in order to achieve these effects. Praying to God, drawing close to God, and reading God’s words are not religious ceremonies or outward actions. It is done for the purpose of practicing in accordance with the truth after seeking God’s will. If you always say “thanks be to God” when you haven’t done anything, and you might seem very spiritual and insightful, but if, when the time comes to act, you still do as you want, without seeking the truth at all, then this “thanks be to God” is nothing more than a mantra, it is false spirituality. When doing your duty, you should always think: “How should I do this duty? What is God’s will?” Praying to God and drawing close to God in order to seek principles and truths for your actions, seeking the will of God in your heart, and not departing from God’s words or the truth principles in anything you do—only this is someone who truly believes in God; all this is unattainable to people who do not love the truth. There are many people who follow their own ideas no matter what they do, and consider things in highly simplistic terms, and do not seek the truth, either. There is a total absence of principle, and in their hearts they give no thought to how to act according to what God asks, or in a way that satisfies God, and they know only to mulishly follow their own will. God has no place in such people’s hearts. Some people say, “I only pray to God when I encounter difficulty, but still it doesn’t feel like this has any effect—so generally when things happen to me now I don’t pray to God, because praying to God is of no use.” God is utterly absent from the hearts of such people. They do not seek the truth no matter what they are doing at ordinary times; they only follow their own ideas. So are there principles to their actions? Definitely not. They see everything in simple terms. Even when people fellowship the truth principles to them, they are not able to accept them, because there have never been any principles to their actions, God has no place in their hearts, and there is no one but them in their hearts. They feel their intentions are good, that they are not committing evil, that they cannot be considered in violation of the truth, they think that acting according to their own intentions should be practicing the truth, that acting thus is submitting to God. In fact, they are not truly seeking or praying to God in this matter, but acting on impulse, according to their own zealous intentions, they are not performing their duty as God asks, they do not have a heart of submission to God, they are absent of this wish. This is the greatest mistake in people’s practice. If you believe in God yet He is not in your heart, are you not trying to deceive God? And what effect can such faith in God have? Just what can you gain? And what is the point of such faith in God?

How should you reflect on yourself, and try to know yourself, when you have done something that violates the truth principles and is displeasing to God? When you were about to do that thing, did you pray to Him? Did you ever consider, “Is doing things in this way in line with the truth? How would this matter be viewed by God if it were brought before Him? Would He be happy or irritated if He knew about it? Would He hate or detest it?” You did not seek it out, did you? Even if others reminded you, you would still think that the matter was no big deal, and that it did not run against any principles and was not a sin. As a result, you offended God’s disposition and provoked Him to anger, even to the point of His hating you. This is produced by people’s rebelliousness. Therefore, you should seek the truth in all things. This is what you must follow. If you can earnestly come before God to pray beforehand, and then seek the truth according to God’s words, you will not go wrong. You may have some deviations in your practice of the truth, but this is hard to avoid, and you will be able to practice correctly after you gain some experience. However, if you know how to act in accordance with the truth, yet don’t practice it, the problem is your dislike of the truth. Those who do not love the truth will never seek it, no matter what may happen to them. Only those who love the truth have God-fearing hearts, and when things happen that they don’t understand, they are able to seek the truth. If you can’t grasp God’s will and don’t know how to practice, then you should fellowship with some people who understand the truth. If you can’t find those who understand the truth, you should find a few people who have a pure understanding to pray to God together with one mind and one heart, seek from God, await God’s time, and wait for God to open a way for you. As long as you all yearn for the truth, seek the truth, and fellowship on the truth together, the time may come when one of you comes up with a good solution. If you all find the solution suitable and a good way, then this may have been due to the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. If you then continue to fellowship together to come up with a more accurate path of practice, it will certainly be in line with the truth principles. In your practice, if you discover your way of practice is still somewhat unsuitable, then you need to quickly correct it. If you err slightly, God will not condemn you, because your intentions in what you do are right, and you are practicing according to the truth. You are simply a little confused about the principles and have made an error in your practice, which is excusable. But when most people do things, they do them on the basis of how they imagine them to be done. They don’t use God’s words as a basis to contemplate how to practice according to the truth or how to gain God’s approval. Instead, they only think about how to benefit themselves, how to make others look up to them, and how to make others admire them. They do things entirely based on their own ideas and purely to satisfy themselves, which is troublesome. Such people will never do things in accordance with the truth, and God will always loathe them. If you are truly someone with conscience and reason, then no matter what happens, you should be able to come before God to pray and seek, be able to seriously examine the motives and adulteration in your actions, be able to determine what is appropriate to do according to God’s words and requirements, and repeatedly weigh and contemplate what actions please God, what actions disgust God, and what actions earn God’s approval. You must go over these matters time and again in your mind until you clearly understand them. If you know that you have your own motives for doing something, then you must reflect on what your motives are, whether it is to satisfy yourself or to satisfy God, whether it is beneficial to yourself or to God’s chosen people, and what consequences it will cause…. If you seek and contemplate more like this in your prayers, and ask yourself more questions to seek the truth, then the deviations in your actions will become smaller and smaller. Only those who can seek the truth in this way are people who are considerate of God’s will and who fear God, because you are seeking in accordance with the requirements of God’s words and with a submissive heart, and the conclusions you reach from seeking this way will be in line with the truth principles.

If a believer’s actions are out of touch with the truth, then they are the same as an unbeliever. This is the type of person who does not have God in their heart, and who strays from God, and such a person is like a hired worker in God’s house who does some odd jobs for their master, receives a little compensation, and then leaves. This is simply not a person who believes in God. What to do to gain God’s approval is the first thing you should examine and work for when you do things; it should be the principle and scope of your actions. The reason you should determine whether what you are doing is in line with the truth is that if it is in line with the truth, then it certainly conforms with God’s will. It is not that you should measure whether the matter is right or wrong, or if it accords with everyone else’s tastes, or if it is in line with your own desires; rather, you should determine whether it is in accordance with the truth, and whether or not it benefits the work and interests of the church. If you give consideration to these things, then you will be more and more in line with God’s will when you do things. If you do not consider these aspects, and merely rely on your own will when doing things, then you are guaranteed to do them incorrectly, because the will of man is not the truth and, of course, is incompatible with God. If you wish to be approved by God, then you must practice according to the truth rather than according to your own will. Some people engage in certain private matters in the name of doing their duties. Their brothers and sisters then see this as inappropriate, and reproach them for it, but these people do not accept the blame. They think that it was a personal matter that did not involve the church’s work, finances, or people, and it was not evildoing, therefore people should not interfere. Some things might seem to you to be private matters that do not involve any principle or truth. However, looking at the thing you did, you were very selfish. You gave no consideration to the work of the church or the interests of God’s house, nor to whether this would be satisfactory to God; you were only considering your own benefit. This already involves the propriety of the saints, as well as a person’s humanity. Even though what you were doing did not involve the interests of the church, nor did it involve the truth, engaging in a private matter while claiming to be performing your duty is not in line with the truth. Regardless of what you are doing, how big or small a matter is, and whether it is your duty in God’s family or your own private affair, you must consider whether what you are doing conforms with God’s will, as well as whether it is something that a person with humanity should do. If you seek the truth like that in everything you do, then you are a person who truly believes in God. If you seriously treat every matter and every truth in this way, then you will be able to achieve changes in your disposition. There are those who think, “Having me practice the truth when I perform my duty is fair enough, but when I’m taking care of my private affairs, I don’t care what the truth has to say—I’ll do what I like, whatever it takes to benefit myself.” In these words, you can see that they are no lovers of the truth. There are no principles to what they do. They will do whatever is of benefit to them, without even considering the effect it will have on God’s house. As a result, when they have done something, God is not present in them, and they feel dark and upset, and do not know what is going on. Is this not their just desert? If you do not practice the truth in your actions and dishonor God, then you are sinning against Him. If someone does not love the truth and frequently acts according to their own will, then they will frequently offend God. He will spurn them, and set them off to the side. What such a person does often fails to meet with God’s approval, and if they know no repentance, then punishment is not far off.

Excerpt 11

In order to do anything well, it is necessary to seek out the truth principle. One should think single-mindedly of how to do something well while doing it, and it is necessary to quiet oneself to pray and seek before God. Before doing something, it is necessary to fellowship with others, and if there is no one to fellowship with, one must contemplate and pray on one’s own, and seek for the way to do this thing well. This is what it is to quiet oneself before God. You do not need to think of nothing to be quiet before God; you must act and contemplate at the same time, seeking the appropriate way to handle this matter with an attitude of seeking and waiting in your heart. If you have not the slightest idea about the matter, find someone to ask and inquire with. What attitude should you have during this period of inquiry? You should, in fact, be seeking and waiting, watching for how God works. The Holy Spirit does not enlighten and guide you as if He were turning on a light that illuminates your heart all at once. God invariably uses a person or an event to prompt you, and make you understand. There are many ways of seeking beyond kneeling gravely down to pray and staying there for hours; doing that delays all other matters. At times, one might ponder a matter while walking along; at times, when a matter arises, one might hurry to fellowship about it as a group; at times, one might seek from the Above; at times, one might read God’s words by oneself; if the matter is urgent, one might rush to understand the reality of the situation, then seek the truth, handling the matter according to the principles, while praying and seeking in one’s heart. This is the way you must do things—the mature way! If you grow nervous, panic, and become overwhelmed whenever something comes up, then your stature is too small, you have not experienced anything before, and you need to experience things and train yourself in order for your stature to grow. You must learn several ways of seeking: When you are busy with duty, seek according to how busy you are; when you have time, seek and wait according to the circumstances of having time. There are different ways. If there is time enough to wait, then wait a while. You cannot be hasty in big matters; the consequences of making a mistake in haste would be unthinkable. To achieve the best results, you must wait, watching what happens next, or to see whether you will be prompted by someone with knowledge of the situation. These are all ways to seek. God does not use a single method to enlighten people; neither in His words alone does He enlighten you, nor does He always have those around you give you guidance. How does God enlighten you about matters outside your expertise, things which you have never come across before? He sometimes enlightens you through various people, events, and things, in which case you must seek out an expert or someone who understands the field to advise you. You should hurry to find whoever understands the field, get a few pointers from them, then do the thing according to principles, and God will guide you while you do it. Yet you must understand a bit about the professional skills or specialty at hand, and have some concept of it; it is upon this foundation that God will enlighten you as to what you should do.

Whatever one does, one can think, design, plan, consult, and inquire about it from several sources to determine a possible path, but success is still dependent on God. The saying, “Man proposes, God disposes,” is true. It is incredible that unbelievers have summarized this saying through experience, and if a believer of God cannot see this clearly, they have been too ignorant and have not understood any of the truth. People must believe firmly in their hearts that God holds sovereignty over all things, and that what man wants to do will be blessed if it is in accordance with God’s will. You must possess this rule in your heart, know that God is sovereign over all, and that it is not man who has the final say. Therefore, no matter what one does, one must first pray to God to see if one’s heart is moved, then seek the truth to see if that course of action is in accordance with the truth and if it is possible. If this cannot be determined right away, you must wait. Do not be in a hurry to act. Wait until you have understood the matter thoroughly, until you feel that the time is ripe, that there is no need to wait any longer and you should do it, and that there is enough certainty in your heart to do it—then you can act. If you have not been able to gain a thorough understanding of the matter, are not interested in it after waiting for a few days, and you are not certain that it will succeed, this proves that this matter stemmed from man’s will, and that God has not allowed it, so you should give up on it quickly. When something comes from God, you will always feel faith in it, and that faith will not diminish no matter what situations arise. Ultimately, your heart will gain more and more clarity, as if you have seen the matter clearly. This is how it is when something has come from God. God makes people wait, and this means waiting for revelation from God, after which the matter becomes clear to you, so this waiting is necessary. However, with regard to the ways in which you should cooperate, you must act and inquire, and in the process of inquiry, God may tell you the facts through a person or an event. If you do not inquire, and you are confused and uncertain in your heart, you will not know what the facts are. But if you inquire, you will discover the facts, and it will be God who makes them known to you. Aren’t God’s actions practical? God guides and enlightens you through people, events, and things, and He directs you to understand and gain insight into matters in the process of your experience, pointing out to you how to act. God doesn’t give you a statement, a thought, or an idea out of thin air, God does not do that. When you have inquired and all of the facts about the situation have been revealed, you will know why you had such thoughts and feelings before, you will understand this in your heart. Doesn’t this outcome arise as soon as you’ve finished inquiring? When it comes to how you should act, God will not get involved in this; you will already know how to act. This is how God works and guides people, in a way that is both wonderful and practical, that is not in the least bit supernatural. Lazy people always want this to happen through supernatural means, they want God to directly tell them what to do, they want to take a shortcut and get God to do it for them, and they do not proactively search or seek, and they do not cooperate at all, so their wishes come to nothing. Devout people, truth-loving people, live before God in all things and quiet their hearts before God. When something befalls them, and they don’t know what to do, they are able to pray to God and seek from God and see what God wishes. They have a seeking heart, and so God guides them in this matter. And when the result is revealed at the end, they can then see the orchestrations of God’s hand. It is not an empty phrase to say that God holds sovereignty over all things. Therefore, by experiencing more of such matters, you will come to know that God is not a fiction, that He is not a myth, and that He is not hollow. God will be right there beside you; you will be able to feel His existence, feel His guidance, and feel the orchestrations and arrangements of His hand. In this way, you will perceive more and more God’s realness and practicality. However, if you are unable to experience in this way, you will never be able to feel these things. You will think, “Is there a God or not? Where is He? I’ve believed in God for so many years and everyone says that He exists, so how come I haven’t seen Him? They all say He saves man, so how come I haven’t felt how God works on people?” You will never feel these things, so you will never feel at ease in your heart. Only by feeling them for yourself will you be able to verify that what others say and experience is accomplished by God. God’s work is wondrous and hard to fathom, yet it is also practical; you must grasp these two aspects. That it is wondrous and hard to fathom means that everything God does is wise, and is unreachable by man; it is determined by God’s identity and His essence. Yet there is another aspect, which is that God’s actions are incredibly practical. What does this “practical” mean? It means that man can grasp God’s actions, that man’s thinking, mind, thoughts, intelligence, as well as the instincts and caliber man possesses can grasp God’s actions—God’s actions are not supernatural or hollow. When you do something correctly, God will let you know it is correct, and you will have it confirmed; when you do something wrong, God will gradually make you understand, He will enlighten you, and make you know you have done this wrong, and know that it is a revelation of your corrupt disposition, and you will then feel indebted to God. This is what “practical” means.

Excerpt 12

It is very important to seek the truth when encountering matters. If you seek the truth, you will not only be able to solve the problem, but you will also be able to practice and gain the truth. If you do not seek the truth, but insist on your own reasoning and always act according to your own opinion, then not only will you fail to solve the problem of your own corruption, but you will also knowingly sin, and this is the path to resisting God. For example, suppose you are pruned in the performance of your duties, and you do not seek the truth but stubbornly emphasize your own reason. You might think, “I’ve done my work, and I haven’t done anything obviously bad, but not only am I pruned for just a few mistakes, I’m also exposed and disrespected, which shows a dislike of me. Where is God’s love? Why can’t I see it? It’s said that God loves people, so how is it that God loves others but doesn’t love me?” All the grievances come pouring out. Can people in such a state gain the truth? They cannot. When problems arise in your relationship with God, and instead of resolving them, turning yourself around, and setting aside your fallacious views and bigoted ideas, you stubbornly resist God, then this can only result in God abandoning you, and in you also turning your back on Him. You will be full of grievances against God, doubting and denying His sovereignty and unwilling to submit to His arrangements. Worse still, you will deny that God is truth and righteousness, and this is the most serious form of resisting God. But if you seek the truth in all things, you will have understood God’s will, and you will have gained a path you can tread. In so doing, you will not only confirm that the God in whom you believe is the truth, the way, the life, and love; you will also confirm that everything God does is right, that His testing and refinement of man is right and is for the purpose of man’s salvation and purification. You will attain knowledge of God’s righteousness and holiness, and at the same time you will know God’s work and see the greatness of His love. What a great reward that is! Can you reap such a reward without seeking the truth, always approaching God and His work based on your own notions and imaginings? Certainly not. Because man is so deeply corrupted by Satan, all his acts and deeds and all that he reveals are of the disposition of Satan, and they are all contrary to the truth and hostile to God. Man is not fit to enjoy God’s great love. Yet God is still so concerned with man, conferring grace unto him each day, and arranging for him all manner of people, events, and things to test and refine him, so that he can have a change. God reveals man by means of every sort of environment, having him reflect and know himself and understand the truth and gain life. God loves man so much, and His love is so real that man can see it and touch it. If you have experienced all this, you can feel that all God does is for the sake of man’s salvation, and that this is the truest love. Were it not for God doing such practical work, none could say how far man would have fallen! Yet there are many people who do not see God’s true love, who still pursue fame, gain and status, who strive to be head and shoulders above the rest, who wish always to ensnare and control others. Are they not setting themselves up in rivalry to God? If they continue down that path, the consequences will be unthinkable! God, with His work of judgment, exposes man’s corruption so that he may know it. He puts a stop to man’s erroneous pursuits. God does an excellent job! Though what God does reveals man and judges him, it also saves him. This is true love. When you have realized this for yourself, will you not then have gained this aspect of the truth? When a person has realized this for themselves and reached this understanding, and when they have understood these truths, do they still have complaints toward God? No—they are all gone. They can then willingly and unswervingly submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. The next time a trial or a refinement occurs, or they are pruned, they will quickly realize that what God is doing is right, and that God is revealing them and saving them. They will soon be able to accept and submit, submitting to God without stressing their own reason, free of notions and complaints. If people can submit to this extent, it is through having experienced many refinements, perfected by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Excerpt 13

There are now many people who focus on pursuing the truth and are able to seek the truth when things befall them. If you wish to resolve the wrong motives and abnormal states inside you, you must seek the truth to do so. To begin with, you must learn to open yourself up in fellowship based on God’s words. Of course, you should choose the right recipient for open fellowship—at the least, you should choose someone who loves and accepts the truth, someone whose humanity is better than most, who is relatively honest and upright. It would of course be better if you could choose someone who understands the truth, from whose fellowship you may come away having been helped. Finding this sort of person with whom to open yourself up in fellowship and resolve your difficulties can be effective. If you choose the wrong person, someone who does not love the truth, but merely has a gift or talent, they will mock and despise you, and they will degrade you. This would not be to your benefit. In one regard, opening up and unveiling oneself is the approach one should take in coming before God and praying to Him; it is also how one should fellowship about the truth to others. Do not keep things bottled up, thinking, “I have motives and difficulties. My inner state is no good—it’s negative. I won’t tell anyone. I’ll just hold it in.” If you are always holding things in without resolving them, you will grow ever more negative, and your state will sink ever further. You will be unwilling to pray to God. This is a hard thing to reverse. And so, no matter what your state is, regardless of whether you are negative, or in difficulty, regardless of your own personal motivations or plans, no matter what you have come to know or realize through examination, you must learn to open up and fellowship, and as you fellowship, the Holy Spirit works. And how does the Holy Spirit work? He enlightens and illuminates you and allows you to see the severity of the problem, He makes you aware of the root and essence of the problem, then makes you understand the truth and His will, little by little, and lets you see the path of practice and enter the truth reality. When a person can fellowship openly, this means that they have an honest attitude toward the truth. Whether a person is honest is measured by their attitude toward the truth. When an honest person encounters difficulties, no matter how negative or weak they are, they will always pray to God and seek out others with whom to fellowship, trying to find a solution, and seeking how to fix their problem or difficulty, so as to satisfy God’s will. They are not looking for someone to complain to because of any inner discomfort: They are looking for a solution to the difficulty of entering into the truth reality and coming out of it. Hiding unresolved negative and bad things in one’s heart will directly affect the performance of one’s duty and one’s life entry. Not being pure and open toward God but instead always harboring deceitfulness in one’s heart is very dangerous. Deceitful people are good at putting on a false face, whatever befalls them, and they will not fellowship no matter what notions or dissatisfactions they may feel. They look normal on the outside, but in reality their hearts are so overloaded with negativity that they can barely get up, and you would not be able to tell. Even if you fellowship with them, they will not tell you the truth. They will not tell anyone just how full of complaints, misunderstandings, and notions they are; they always keep a very tight lid on things, fearing that others will think less of them and reject them once they work them out. Although they perform their duties, they do not have life entry and do not seek the truth principle in anything that they do; outwardly, they appear lukewarm, with neither the vigor to move forward nor yet falling behind, and this presages a crisis. In the hearts of those who do not pursue the truth, there is a sickness; the sickness is in their hearts, and they fear being exposed to the light. They keep everything tightly wrapped, never daring to open up to others; there is no circulation of life, leading to the sickness in their hearts becoming a malignant tumor, and in this way, they become endangered. If people cannot be pure and open in accepting the truth, and if they cannot solve their problems through fellowship on the truth, then such people cannot perform their duties properly, and sooner or later they must be revealed and cast out.

Excerpt 14

You must seek the truth to resolve any problem that arises, no matter what it is, and by no means disguise yourself or put on a false face for others. Your shortcomings, your deficiencies, your faults, your corrupt dispositions—be completely open about them all, and fellowship about them all. Do not keep them inside. Learning how to open yourself up is the first step toward life entry, and it is the first hurdle, which is the most difficult to overcome. Once you have overcome it, entering the truth is easy. What does taking this step signify? It means that you are opening your heart and showing everything you have, good or bad, positive or negative; baring yourself for others and for God to see; hiding nothing from God, concealing nothing, disguising nothing, free of deceit and trickery, and being likewise open and honest with other people. In this way, you live in the light, and not only will God scrutinize you, but other people will also be able to see that you act with principle and a degree of transparency. You do not need to use any methods to protect your reputation, image, and status, nor do you need to cover up or disguise your mistakes. You do not need to engage in these useless efforts. If you can let these things go, you will be very relaxed, you will live without constraints or pain, and you will live entirely in the light. Learning how to be open when you fellowship is the first step to life entry. Next, you need to learn to dissect your thoughts and actions to see which are wrong and which God does not like, and you need to reverse them immediately and rectify them. What is the purpose of rectifying them? It is to accept and take on board the truth, while getting rid of the things within you that belong to Satan and replacing them with the truth. Before, you did everything according to your deceitful disposition which is lying and deceptive; you felt that you could get nothing done without lying. Now that you understand the truth, and loathe Satan’s ways of doing things, you no longer act that way, you act with a mentality of honesty, purity, and submission. If you hold nothing back, if you do not put on a front, a pretense, or cover things up, if you lay yourself bare to the brothers and sisters, do not hide your innermost ideas and thoughts, but instead allow others to see your honest attitude, then the truth will gradually take root in you, it will blossom and bear fruit, it will yield results, little-by-little. If your heart is increasingly honest, and increasingly oriented toward God, and if you know to protect the interests of God’s house when you perform your duty, and your conscience is troubled when you fail to protect these interests, then this is proof that the truth has had an effect in you, and has become your life. Once the truth has become life in you, when you observe someone who is blasphemous toward God, unfearful of God, and perfunctory while performing their duty, or who disrupts and disturbs church work, you will respond according to the truth principles, and will be able to identify and expose them as necessary. If the truth has not become your life, and you still live within your satanic disposition, then when you discover evil people and devils who cause disruptions and disturbances to the work of the church, you will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear; you will brush them aside, without reproach from your conscience. You will even think that anyone causing disturbances to the work of the church has nothing to do with you. No matter how much the work of the church and the interests of the house of God suffer, you don’t care, intervene, or feel guilty—which makes you someone who has no conscience or reason, a nonbeliever, a service-doer. You eat what is of God’s, drink what is of God’s, and enjoy all that comes from God, yet feel that any harm to the interests of the house of God is not related to you—which makes you a traitor who bites the hand that feeds you. If you do not protect the interests of the house of God, are you even human? This is a demon that has insinuated itself into the church. You feign belief in God, pretend to be a chosen one, and you want to freeload in God’s house. You are not living the life of a human being, are more like a fiend than a person, and are clearly one of the nonbelievers. If you are someone who truly believes in God, then even if you have yet to gain the truth and life, at the very least you will speak and act from the side of God; at the very least, you will not stand idly by when you see the interests of the house of God being compromised. When you have the urge to turn a blind eye, you will feel guilty, and ill at ease, and will say to yourself, “I can’t sit here and do nothing, I must stand up and say something, I must take responsibility, I must expose this evil behavior, I must stop it, so that the interests of the house of God are not harmed, and the church life is not disturbed.” If the truth has become your life, then not only will you have this courage and resolve, and will you be capable of understanding the matter completely, but you will also fulfill the responsibility you should bear for God’s work and for the interests of His house, and your duty will thereby be fulfilled. If you could consider your duty as your responsibility and obligation and as God’s commission, and you feel that this is necessary in order to face God and your conscience, would you not then be living out the integrity and dignity of normal humanity? Your deeds and behavior would be the “fearing God and shunning evil” of which He speaks. You would be performing the essence of these words and living out their reality. When the truth becomes a person’s life, they are then able to live out this reality. But if you have not yet entered into this reality, then, when you reveal deceit, deception, or disguise, or when you see the evil forces of antichrists disturbing and disrupting the work of God’s house, you do not feel a thing, and perceive nothing. Even when these things happen under your very nose, you are still able to laugh, and can still eat and sleep with an easy conscience, and you feel not the slightest bit of self-reproach. Out of these two lives you can live out, which do you choose? Is it not self-evident which is the true human likeness, the reality of positive things, and which is the wicked demonic nature, of negative things? When the truth has not become people’s lives, then what they live out is quite pitiful and sad. To be unable to practice the truth, though they want to; to be unable to love God, though they wish to; and to lack the strength to expend themselves for God, though they yearn to do so—they are unable to be in charge—this is the pity and the sorrow of corrupted human beings. To resolve this problem, one must accept and pursue the truth; they must welcome the truth into their heart in order to have a new life. No matter what they do or think, those who are unable to accept the truth are also unable to practice the truth, and even if outwardly they do well, it is still pretense and deception—it is still hypocrisy. Therefore, if you do not pursue the truth, then you will not obtain life, and that is the root of the problem.

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 evil people 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 deceitful 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 deceitful disposition, is it not? Another is a selfish and base 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 misled 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. You have no power over what you say and do. Even if you wanted to, you could not tell the truth or say what you really think; even if you wanted to, you could not practice the truth; even if you wanted to, you could not fulfill your responsibilities. Everything you say, do, and practice is a lie, and you’re just perfunctory. You are wholly shackled and controlled by your satanic disposition. You may want to accept and practice the truth, but it’s not up to you. When your satanic dispositions control you, you say and do whatever your satanic disposition tells you to do. You are nothing but a puppet of corrupt flesh, you have become a tool of Satan. Afterward, you feel regret at having once again followed the corrupt flesh and how you could have failed to practice the truth. You think to yourself, “I can’t overcome the flesh on my own and must pray to God. I didn’t stand up to stop those who were disturbing the work of the church, and my conscience is weighing on me. I’ve made up my mind that, when this happens again, I must stand up to and prune those who are committing misdeeds in the performance of their duties and disturbing the work of the church, so that they behave themselves and stop acting recklessly.” After finally mustering the courage to speak up, you get scared and back down as soon as the other person gets angry and bangs on the table. Are you able to be in charge? What use are determination and will? They’re both useless. You must have encountered many incidents such as these: You run into difficulties and go easy on yourself, you feel that you can’t do anything and give yourself up as hopeless, you abandon yourself to despair and decide that there is no hope for you, and that this time, you have been completely cast out. You admit that you do not pursue the truth, so why do you not repent? Have you practiced the truth? Surely you cannot have understood nothing, after attending sermons for several years. Why don’t you practice the truth at all? You never seek the truth, let alone practice it. You are merely constantly praying, making resolutions, setting aspirations, and pledging in your heart. And what is the outcome? You remain a people pleaser, you are not forthcoming about the problems you encounter, you do not care about evil people when you see them, you do not respond when someone does evil or creates a disturbance, and you remain aloof when you are not affected personally. You think, “I don’t talk about anything that doesn’t concern me. As long as it doesn’t hurt my interests, my vanity, or my image, I disregard everything without exception. I have to be very careful, as the bird that sticks its neck out is the one that gets shot. I’m not going to do anything stupid!” You are totally and unwaveringly controlled by your corrupt dispositions of wickedness, deceitfulness, hardness, and aversion to the truth. They have grown harder for you to bear than the tightening golden headband[a] worn by the Monkey King. Living under the control of corrupt dispositions is so exhausting and excruciating! What do you say to this: If you do not pursue the truth, is it easy to cast off your corruption? Can this problem be resolved? I tell you: If you do not pursue the truth and are muddled in your belief, if you listen to the sermons for so many years without practicing the truth, and if you believe until the end that you can utter a few words and doctrines and deceive others, then you are a religious charlatan through and through, a hypocritical Pharisee, and in this way you will come to an end. This will be your outcome. If you are even worse than this, then there may come an event wherein you fall into temptation, abandon your duty, and become someone who betrays God—in which case you will have fallen behind, and will be cast out. This is to always be on the edge of a precipice! So right now, nothing is more important than pursuing the truth. Nothing is better than practicing the truth.


a. The Monkey King’s golden headband is a significant item that appears in the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West.” In the story, the golden headband was used to control the Monkey King’s thoughts and actions by painfully tightening around his skull in response to unruly behavior.

Excerpt 15

If people have a heart which loves the truth, they will have the strength to pursue the truth, and can work hard at practicing the truth. They can abandon that which should be abandoned, and let go of that which should be let go of. In particular, things that pertain to your own fame, gain, and status should be let go of. If you do not let them go, it means you do not love the truth and do not have the strength to pursue the truth. 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 submit to 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 revealed 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 people. If you never practice the truth, and if your transgressions grow ever more numerous, then your outcome 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 outcome is that you will go to hell—you will be punished. Do you think this is a trivial matter? If you have not been punished, you will have no sense of how terrifying this is. When the day comes where you really do face calamity, and you are faced with death, it will be too late for regrets. If, in your faith in God, you do not accept the truth, and if you have believed in God for years but there has been no change in you, the ultimate consequence is that you will be cast out and abandoned. Everyone has transgressions. The key is to be able to seek the truth in order to fix those transgressions, and this will ensure that there are fewer and fewer of them. No matter when, if ever you reveal your corrupt disposition, and you are always able to pray to and rely on God, seek the truth in order to fix it, and purify your corrupt disposition, then you will not have done evil. This is how believers should fix the problem of a corrupt disposition, and this is how to experience God’s work. If you never pray to God and never seek the truth when events befall you, or if you understand the truth but do not put it into practice, what will the ultimate result be? It is self-evident. As cunning and as smooth a talker as you may be, can you escape the scrutiny of the eye of God? Can you evade the orchestrations of the hand of God? It is impossible. Wise people must come before God and repent, looking to Him, relying on Him, fixing their corrupt dispositions, and practicing the truth. Then you will have overcome the flesh, and overcome the temptations of Satan. Even if you fail several times, you must persevere. When you persevere against all odds, there will come a time when you succeed, and you will gain God’s grace, His mercy, and His blessing, and you will be able to walk the path of pursuing the truth, perform your duties well, and satisfy God.

When events befall you, how often do you choose to practice the truth and maintain God’s work? (Not often. Most of the time I choose to maintain my own image or self-interest, and I realize it afterward, but it is not easy to rebel against myself. If there is someone who fellowships with me on the truth, it gives me some strength, and I can rebel against myself somewhat. But when there is no one to fellowship with me on the truth, I become distant from God and always live in this state.) It is hard to rebel against the flesh, and even harder to practice the truth, because you have a satanic nature that hinders you, and a corrupt disposition that disturbs you, and these cannot be fixed without understanding the truth. How much time a day can you spend quietly in the presence of God? How many days can you go without reading God’s words before feeling spiritually parched? (I feel that I cannot go a day without reading God’s words. I have to read a passage of God’s words in the morning and then meditate on it. This makes me feel closer to God. If there’s one day where I’m just busily rushing around working, neither eating and drinking the words of God, nor praying very much, I feel very far from God.) If you can sense that it will not do for you to be distant from God, then there is still hope for you. If you are a believer and want to obtain the truth, you cannot be passive and always wait for someone to fellowship with you on the truth. You must learn to actively eat and drink the words of God, pray to God, and seek the truth. If you wait until your spirit is dark and you cannot feel God before eating and drinking His words and praying to Him, then you can only maintain the status quo. While it is good to maintain a nominal “faith,” there will be no growth in your life, and when your spirit has become parched and numb, and you have become too distant from God, you will be in danger. One temptation befalls you, and you topple over; you are all too easily captured by Satan. If you have no experience at all, understand no truths, focus neither on reading the words of God nor on listening to sermons, and lack a normal spiritual life, then it will be difficult for you to grow in stature, and your progress will certainly be too slow. What are the reasons for this slow progress? What are its consequences? You must get clear on these things. No matter the manner in which God exposes people’s corruption, they should submit to it and accept it. They should reflect on themselves and compare themselves with God’s words, so that they may achieve self-knowledge and gradually understand the truth. This is what is most pleasing to God, and the Holy Spirit will certainly work in them, and they will certainly understand God’s will. You must keep God’s words and the truth in your heart at all times, so that when you encounter a problem in real life, you can link and compare it to God’s words and the truth. Then, the problem will be easy to solve. For example, everyone wants a healthy body with no illness; that is something everyone aspires to, but how should you practice this in your daily life? First of all, you must have a regular routine, not eat things that are unhealthy or taboo, and get an appropriate amount of exercise. When these methods are combined, and everything you practice revolves around the goal of physical health, you will gradually see results. After a few years, you will be healthier than others, and have gotten good results. How did you get those results? It is because your actions and goals were in alignment, and your practice and theory were in alignment. It is the same with believing in God. If you seek to be a person who loves the truth and practices the truth, and to be a person of changed disposition, then when events befall you, you must link them to the goals you are pursuing and to the truths involved. Whatever the goals you pursue may be, as long as they are what God requires of man, they are the direction and goal that must be pursued as a believer. For example, following the way of God: fearing God and shunning evil. Once you have this direction, this goal, you must have a way to put it into practice immediately afterward. When I say “follow the way of God,” what does the “way of God” refer to? It means fearing God and shunning evil. And what is fearing God and shunning evil? When you give your appraisal of someone, for example—this relates to fearing God and shunning evil. How do you appraise them? (We must be honest, just, and fair, and our words must not be based on our feelings.) When you say exactly what you think, and exactly what you have seen, you are being honest. First of all, the practice of being honest aligns with following the way of God. This is what God teaches people; this is the way of God. What is the way of God? Fearing God and shunning evil. Is being honest not part of fearing God and shunning evil? And is it not following the way of God? (Yes, it is.) If you are not honest, then what you have seen and what you think is not the same as what comes out of your mouth. Someone asks you, “What is your opinion of that person? Is he responsible in the church’s work?” and you reply, “He’s great. He is more responsible than I am, his caliber is better than mine, and his humanity is good, too. He is mature and stable.” But is this what you are thinking in your heart? What you actually see is that although this person does have caliber, he is unreliable, rather deceitful, and very calculating. This is what you’re really thinking in your mind, but when the time comes to speak, it occurs to you that, “I can’t tell the truth. I mustn’t offend anyone,” so you quickly say something else, and choose nice things to say about him, but nothing you say is what you really think; it is all lies and all fake. Does this indicate that you follow the way of God? No. You have taken the way of Satan, the way of demons. What is the way of God? It is the truth, it is the basis according to which people should comport themselves, and it is the way of fearing God and shunning evil. Although you are speaking to another person, God is also listening; He is watching your heart, and scrutinizing it. People listen to what you say, but God scrutinizes your heart. Are people capable of scrutinizing the hearts of man? At best, people can see that you are not telling the truth; they can see what’s on the surface, but only God can see into the depths of your heart. Only God can see what you are thinking, what you are planning, and what little schemes, treacherous ways, and active thoughts you have within your heart. When God sees that you are not telling the truth, what is His opinion and evaluation of you? That you have not followed God’s way in this matter because you did not tell the truth. If you were practicing according to God’s requirements, you should have told the truth: “He’s a person of caliber, but he’s unreliable.” Regardless of whether your evaluation was accurate, it would have been honest and come from the heart, and it is the viewpoint and position you should have expressed. But you did not—so were you following the way of God? (No.) If you do not tell the truth, what use is it for you to stress that you are following God’s way and satisfying God? Does God heed the slogans you shout? Does God look at how you shout, how hard you shout, and how great your will is? Does He look at how many times you shout? These are not the things He looks at. God looks at whether you practice the truth, and at the choices you make and how you practice the truth when events befall you. If you choose to maintain relationships, maintain your own self-interest and image, everything is about self-preservation, and God sees that this is the viewpoint and attitude you take when an event befalls you, then He will make an appraisal of you: He will say you are not someone who follows His way. You say you want to pursue the truth and follow the way of God, so why do you not put it into practice when events befall you? The words you speak may be from the heart, and they may convey your will and wishes, or it could be that your heart is moved, and you are crying out sincere words as you weep bitterly, but does speaking sincerely mean you are practicing the truth? Does it mean you have true testimony? Not necessarily. If you are a pursuer of the truth, you will be able to practice the truth; if you are not a lover of the truth, then you will just say things that are pleasing to the ear, and that will be the end of it. The Pharisees were the best at preaching doctrine and chanting slogans. They often stood at street corners and cried out, “Oh, mighty God!” or “Worshipful God!” To others, they looked particularly pious, and did not do anything against the law, but did God approve of them? He did not. How did He condemn them? By giving them a title: the hypocritical Pharisees. In former times, the Pharisees were a respected class in Israel, so why has the name now become a label? This is because the Pharisees have become representative of a type of person. What are the characteristics of this type of person? They are skilled at being false, at ornament, at pretending; they affect great nobility, holiness, uprightness, and transparent decency, and the slogans they shout sound good, but as it turns out, they do not practice the truth in the least. What good behavior do they have? They read scripture and preach; they teach others to uphold the law and regulations, and not resist God. This is all good behavior. Everything they say sounds good, yet, when others’ backs are turned, they secretly steal offerings. The Lord Jesus said they “strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24). This means that all their behavior seems good on the surface—they chant slogans ostentatiously, they speak lofty theories, and their words sound pleasant, yet their deeds are a disordered mess, and are entirely resistant to God. Their outward behaviors are all pretense, all fraudulent; in their hearts, they have not the slightest love for the truth, nor for positive things. They are averse to the truth, positive things, and all that comes from God. What do they love? Do they love fairness and righteousness? (No.) How can you tell they do not love these things? (The Lord Jesus spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, which they not only refused to accept, but also condemned.) If they did not condemn it, would it be possible to tell? No. The Lord Jesus’ appearance and work revealed all the Pharisees, and it was only by their condemnation and resistance to the Lord Jesus that others could see their hypocrisy. Had it not been for the Lord Jesus’ appearance and work, no one would have been discerning toward the Pharisees, and if people just looked at the Pharisees’ outward conduct, it would even make them envious. Was it not insincere and deceitful of the Pharisees to use false good behavior to gain people’s trust? Can such deceitful people love the truth? They absolutely cannot. What was the purpose behind their displays of good conduct? For one thing, it was to dupe people. For another, it was to mislead and win people over, so that people thought highly of them and venerated them. And finally, they wanted to be rewarded. What a scam it was! Were these skillful tricks? Did such people love fairness and righteousness? They certainly did not. What they loved was status, fame and gain, and what they wanted was a reward and a crown. They never practiced the words that God taught people, and they never lived out the truth realities in the slightest. They were all about disguising themselves with good conduct, and duping and winning people over with their hypocritical ways to secure their own status and reputation, which they then used to fish for capital and make a living. Is that not despicable? From all this conduct of theirs, you can see that, in their essence, they did not love the truth, as they never practiced it. What is something that shows they did not practice the truth? The greatest thing of all: that the Lord Jesus came to do the work of redemption, and that all the words the Lord Jesus spoke are the truth and have authority. How did the Pharisees react to this? Although they acknowledged that the words of the Lord Jesus had authority and power, not only did they not accept them, but they also condemned and blasphemed them. What was that about? It was because they did not love the truth, and in their hearts, they were averse to and hated the truth. They acknowledged that the Lord Jesus was right in everything He said, that His words had authority and power, that He was not wrong in any way, and that they had no leverage against Him. But they wanted to condemn the Lord Jesus, so they discussed and conspired, and said, “Crucify Him. It is either Him or us,” and this is how the Pharisees defied the Lord Jesus. At that time no one understood the truth, and no one was able to recognize the Lord Jesus as God incarnate. From a human point of view, though, the Lord Jesus expressed many truths, cast out demons, and healed the sick. He performed many miracles, fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish, did numerous good deeds, and bestowed so much grace on people. There are so few good and righteous people like this, so why did the Pharisees want to condemn the Lord Jesus? Why were they so intent on crucifying Him? That they preferred to release a criminal rather than the Lord Jesus shows how evil and malicious the Pharisees of the religious world were. They were so wicked! The difference between the evil countenances the Pharisees betrayed, and their feigned, outward benevolence was so great, that many people could not discern which was true and which was false, but the appearance and work of the Lord Jesus revealed them all. The Pharisees usually disguised themselves so well and outwardly appeared so godly, that no one would have imagined they could so cruelly resist and persecute the Lord Jesus. If the facts had not been revealed, no one would have been able to see through them. God incarnate’s expression of the truth is so revealing about man!

Excerpt 16

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

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

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

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

Excerpt 17

People think practicing the truth is difficult, but then why are some people able to practice it? It all depends on whether the person loves the truth. Some people say that those who practice the truth are people with good humanity. This statement is correct. Some people have good humanity and are able to practice some truth. However, some people’s humanity is lacking, and it is difficult for them to practice the truth, which means they have to suffer somewhat in order to do so. Tell Me, does a person who does not practice the truth seek the truth in his actions? He does not seek it at all. He comes up with his own intentions and thinks that carrying them out will be good and in his own interest, so he acts according to these intentions of his. The reason he does not seek the truth is because there is something wrong with his heart, his heart is not right. He does not seek, does not examine, nor does he pray before God; he just stubbornly acts according to his own wishes. This type of person simply holds no love for the truth. Though he harbors no love for the truth, he may do certain things in keeping with principles and things that do not violate principles. However, such a lack of violation does not mean that he has sought God’s will. It may only be said to be purely coincidental. Some people do certain things in a confused and haphazard fashion without seeking, but they are able to examine themselves after the fact. If they discover that doing such things is incompatible with the truth, they will refrain from doing so the next time. This may be considered having some measure of love for the truth. This kind of individual is capable of undergoing a degree of change. Those without love for the truth will neither seek it in the moment, nor will they examine themselves afterward. They never scrutinize whether the things they do are right or wrong in the end, thus they always violate principles and the truth. Even if they do something that does not violate principles, it is not aligned with the truth, and this so-called non-violation of principles is simply a matter of approach. So what state is this type of person in when they act according to their own wishes? They are not acting in a dazed and muddleheaded state, and it wasn’t as if they were unclear as to whether acting in this way was really in line with the truth or not. This is not the circumstance under which they find themselves, rather they stubbornly persist in acting according to their own wishes; they have set their mind to acting in that way, with absolutely no intention of seeking the truth. If they truly seek God’s will, before they fully come to understand God’s will, they will consider the following course of action: “I will first go ahead and do it this way. If it aligns with the truth, then I will carry on this way; if it does not conform to the truth, I will hurry and fix it and stop acting in such a manner.” If they are able to seek the truth in this manner, they will be able to change in the future. Without this intention, they will be unable to change. A person who has a heart is only able to make a mistake once when undertaking a course of action, twice at the very most—once or twice, not three or four times, this is normal reason. If they are able to commit the same mistake three or four times, this proves that they have no love for the truth, nor do they seek the truth. This kind of person is definitely not an individual with humanity. If after making a mistake once or twice, they have no reaction in their heart, no stirring of their conscience, then they will commit the same mistake three or four times, and this kind of person is simply unable to change; this is just who they are—completely irredeemable. If after making a mistake once, they feel there is something wrong with what they have done, and they very much hate themselves for it and feel guilt in their heart; if they have this kind of state, they will act better when engaged in similar matters again, and gradually they will no longer commit the same kind of mistake. Even should they wish to in their heart, they will not act on it. This is one aspect of change. Perhaps you will say: “My corrupt disposition cannot change.” Is it true that it cannot change? It’s just that you do not wish to change. If you are willing to practice the truth, would you still be unable to change? People who say this lack willpower. They are all contemptible wretches. They are unwilling to endure suffering. They do not wish to practice the truth; instead they say that the truth cannot change them. Is not such a person highly deceitful? It is that they are unable to practice the truth, their humanity is flawed, and yet they never know their own nature. They often doubt whether or not the work of God can make man complete. Such a person never intends to give their heart to God, never plans to endure hardship. The only reason why they stay here is merely on the off-chance that they may gain good fortune in the future. This sort of person is bereft of humanity. If they were a person with humanity, even when the Holy Spirit is not obviously working upon them, and they have little understanding of the truth, could they engage in wrongful deeds? A person with humanity, regardless of whether or not the Holy Spirit is working upon them, will be unable to undertake wrongful deeds. Some people without humanity can only perform certain good deeds under the condition that the Holy Spirit is working upon them. Without the Holy Spirit working upon them, their nature is exposed. Who can always have the Holy Spirit working on them? Some among the unbelievers have good humanity, they also do not have the Holy Spirit working upon them, yet they do not engage in any particularly wicked acts. If you believe in God, how can you engage in wicked acts? This demonstrates the problem of human nature. Without the Holy Spirit working upon them, people’s nature is exposed. With the Holy Spirit working on them, the Holy Spirit will move them, granting people enlightenment and illumination, furnishing them with a burst of strength, so they are able to perform some good deeds. In this case, this is not a matter of their nature being good, but rather a matter of the results achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit. But without the Holy Spirit working on them, people like to follow their own wishes, which leads to them unknowingly doing some bad things. Only then is their true nature revealed.

How can people’s nature be resolved? It starts with understanding the essence of human nature, which one must dissect according to God’s words to see if it is positive or negative and if it is resisting God or submitting to God. One must do this until they realize their nature essence, and then they can truly hate themselves and rebel against their flesh. At the same time, one must understand the will and demands of God. What is your goal in the pursuit of the truth? You must achieve changes in your life disposition. Once your disposition changes, you will gain the truth. With your current stature, how can you stop yourself from doing evil, resisting God, or doing things that violate the truth? You have to consider these matters if you want to change. To counter the problem of having a bad nature, you must grasp which corrupt dispositions you have and what you are capable of doing. You have to grasp which measures to take and how to put them into practice to control your bad nature. This is the key issue. When there is confusion in your mind or darkness in your soul, you must know how to seek the truth to resolve it, how to fulfill your duties properly, and how to take the right path. You must establish a principle for yourself. This depends on the will of an individual and whether or not they are a person that wants God. There is a person who often loses his temper. He made a plaque, and on it, wrote the words, “Bridle Your Temper.” Then, he hung it on the wall of his study as a means of restraining himself and as a warning to himself. Maybe this is of some use, but can it fully resolve the problem? Absolutely not. Despite this, people should restrain themselves. At the forefront is the need to resolve the problem of their corrupt disposition. In order to resolve problems with their nature, they must begin by getting to know themselves. Only by seeing the essence of their corrupt disposition clearly can they hate themselves and rebel against the flesh. Rebelling against the flesh also requires having principles. Can one rebel against the flesh if they are muddleheaded? As soon as they encounter a problem, they give in to the flesh. Some people may stop in their tracks at the sight of a beautiful woman; in which case you must establish a motto for yourself. When a beautiful woman comes up to you, should you leave or what are you to do? What should you do if she reaches out to hold your hand? If you have no principles, facing such a situation will cause you to stumble. What should you do if you find yourself blinded by greed at the sight of money and wealth? You should specifically put your mind to this problem, and focus on training yourself to resolve it, and in time, you will gradually be able to rebel against the flesh. In the matter of resolving a corrupt nature, there is a principle which is quite crucial, and that is that you should bring all your issues before God and examine yourself. In addition, every evening, you must examine your conditions from that day and scrutinize your own behavior: Which of your acts were done in accordance with the truth, and which were in violation of principles? This is yet another principle. These two points are most vital. Regarding the first, you must reflect on yourself when your corruption is revealed. Regarding the second, you must reflect on yourself and seek the truth after the fact. A third point is that you have to be clear about what it means to practice the truth and act with principle. If you can truly understand these matters, then you can do things correctly. If you adhere to these three principles, you can restrain yourself, preventing you from revealing or manifesting your corrupt nature. These are the basic principles for resolving your nature. With these principles in place, if you try to work toward the truth and stay within a normal state even when the Holy Spirit does not work on you or if you go a long stretch of time without anybody providing you with fellowship, then you are a person who loves the truth and rebels against the flesh. Those who always depend on others to fellowship the truth and prune them are slaves. Such people have a handicap and are unable to live independently. Those who act without principles will act recklessly and lose control of themselves if they are not pruned or fellowshipped with for some time. How can such a person reassure God? So, you must abide by these three principles to solve the problem of nature. This will keep you from committing major transgressions and ensure that you do not resist or betray God.

Excerpt 18

Many people have mentioned the same problem: After listening to a fellowship given by the Above, they feel clear and energized and are no longer negative. However, this condition only lasts for ten or so days and it becomes abnormal again, and they lack energy. They do not know how to keep going and what to do. What is this problem? What is its root? Have you ever thought about it? Some say the root is that people do not focus on the truth. Then how come you have a normal state after listening to fellowship? Why is it that you feel especially happy and free after hearing the truth? Some say it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Then why does the Holy Spirit no longer work after ten or so days? Some say it is because they are no longer striving to be better and have become lazy. Then why does the Holy Spirit still not work on people who strive to be better? Are you not also striving to be better? Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit work? The reasons that people give are not in line with reality. The problem is that no matter whether the Holy Spirit works or not, man’s cooperation cannot be ignored. When a person who loves the truth becomes able to understand the truth clearly, they will always maintain a normal state, regardless of whether it is a period in which the Holy Spirit is working. On the other hand, when someone does not love the truth, even if they understand the truth particularly clearly and even if the Holy Spirit is working significantly, the truth they can practice will still be limited. They will only be able to practice a little of the truth in the short time they are happy. Most of the time, they will still act according to their personal preferences, and will often reveal their corrupt dispositions. So, whether a person’s condition is normal and whether they can practice the truth does not entirely depend on the work of the Holy Spirit. It also does not completely depend on whether the truth is clear to the person. It depends on whether the person loves the truth and is willing to practice the truth. Normally, a person hears sermons and fellowship and, for a time, their state is quite normal. This is the result of coming to understand the truth; the truth makes you aware of your own corrupt nature, your heart is happy and set free, and your conditions take a turn for the better. But after a time, you might suddenly be confronted by something that you don’t know how to experience, your heart becomes darker than before and you unwittingly put the truth to the back of your mind; you don’t try to seek God’s will in your actions, you act on everything of your own accord, and you do not intend to practice the truth at all. As time passes, you lose the truth you once understood. You constantly reveal your own corrupt disposition, you don’t seek God’s will when you encounter things, and even when you draw close to God, you are just going through the motions. The moment you realize that, your heart has grown distant from God, and you have already resisted God in many things and even uttered some blasphemies against God. This is very troubling. There is still redemption for those who have not traveled too far down this path, but for those who have gone so far as to blaspheme God and pit themselves against God, vying for position, and for food and clothes, there is no redemption. The aim of fellowshipping the truth clearly is to enable people to understand and practice the truth and achieve changes in their dispositions. It is not simply to bring light and a little happiness to their hearts once they understand the truth. If you understand the truth but do not practice the truth, then there is no point in fellowshipping and understanding the truth. What is the problem when people understand the truth but do not put it into practice? This is proof that they do not love the truth, that in their hearts, they do not accept the truth, in which case they will miss out on God’s blessings and the opportunity for salvation. In whether or not people are able to attain salvation, what’s crucial is whether they are able to accept and practice the truth. If you have put into practice all of the truths you understand, you will receive the enlightenment, illumination and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and will be able to enter the truth reality, and will achieve a deeper understanding of the truth, and will gain the truth, and will gain God’s salvation. Some people are incapable of practicing the truth, they are always complaining that the Holy Spirit does not enlighten or illuminate them, that God does not give them strength. This is wrong; this is misunderstanding God. The enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit is built on the foundation of people’s cooperation. People must be sincere, and willing to practice the truth, and whether their understanding is profound or superficial, they must be able to put the truth into practice. Only then will they be enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. If people understand the truth but do not put it into practice—if they just wait for the Holy Spirit to act and force them to put it into practice—are they not being extremely passive? God never forces people to do anything. If people understand the truth but are unwilling to put it into practice, this shows that they do not love the truth, or that their state is abnormal and there is some kind of blockage. But if people are able to pray to God, God will act, too; only if they are unwilling to practice the truth and also do not pray to God will the Holy Spirit have no means of working in them. In fact, no matter what kind of difficulty people have, it can always be solved; what’s key is whether or not they are able to practice according to the truth. Today, the problems of corruption in you are not a cancer, they are not some incurable disease. If you can resolve to practice the truth, you will receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and it will be possible for these corrupt dispositions to change. It all depends on if you can resolve to practice the truth, this is what’s key. If you practice the truth, if you walk the path of pursuing the truth, then you will be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and can definitely be saved. If the path you walk is the wrong one, then you shall lose the work of the Holy Spirit, one wrong step will beget another, and it will all be over for you, and no matter how many years you continue believing for, you will not be able to attain salvation. For example, when they are working, some people never think about how to do the work in a way that benefits God’s house and is in line with God’s will—with the result that they do much that is selfish and vile, that is detestable and hateful to God; and in doing so, they have been revealed and cast out. If, in all things, people are able to seek the truth and practice according to the truth, then they have already entered onto the right track of faith in God, and so have hope of becoming someone who is in line with God’s will. Some people understand the truth but do not put it into practice. Instead, they believe that the truth is nothing more than this, and is incapable of resolving their own inclinations and corrupt dispositions. Are such people not laughable? Are they not ridiculous? Are they not know-it-alls? If people are able to act according to the truth, then their corrupt dispositions can change. If their belief and service to God is according to their own natural personality, then not a single one of them will be able to achieve changes in their dispositions. There are some people who spend all day stewing in the grief of their own wrong choices. Given a ready-made truth, they do not give it any thought or try to put it into practice, but insist on choosing their own path. What an absurd way of behaving this is; truly, they can’t even enjoy blessings when they have them, and are destined to have a hard lot in life. Practicing the truth is that simple; whether you practice or not is all that matters. If you are someone who has resolved to practice the truth, then your negativity, weakness and corrupt disposition will gradually be resolved and changed; this depends on whether or not your heart loves the truth, whether or not you are able to accept the truth, whether or not you can suffer and pay a price in order to gain the truth. If you truly love the truth, you will be able to suffer all kinds of pain in order to gain the truth, whether this is being vilified, judged, or rejected by people. You should bear this all with patience and tolerance; and God will bless and protect you, He will not abandon or neglect you—this is absolute. If you pray to God with a God-fearing heart, depend on God and look up to God, there will be nothing you cannot get through. You may have a corrupt disposition, and you may transgress, but if you have a God-fearing heart, and if you scrupulously walk the path of pursuing the truth, then you will unquestionably be able to stand firm, and will unquestionably be led and protected by God.

There are some people who equip themselves with truths only in order to work and preach, to provide for others, not to resolve their own problems, never mind putting them into practice. Their fellowship may be of pure understanding and in line with the truth, but they do not measure themselves up to it, nor do they practice or experience it. What is the problem here? Have they truly accepted the truth as their life? No, they have not. The doctrine one preaches, however pure it may be, does not mean that one is possessed of the truth reality. To be equipped with the truth, one must first have entered it oneself, and put it into practice when they understand it. If one does not focus on their own entry, but is out to show off by preaching the truth to others, their intention is wrong. There are many false leaders who work like this, incessantly fellowshipping with others about the truths they understand, providing for new believers, teaching people to practice the truth, to perform their duties well, not to be negative. These words are all well and good—loving, even—but why do their speakers not practice the truth? Why do they have no life entry? What is going on here, really? Does a person like this actually love the truth? It is hard to say. This was how the Pharisees of Israel expounded the Bible to others, yet they could not keep God’s commandments themselves. When the Lord Jesus appeared and worked, they heard God’s voice but resisted the Lord. They crucified the Lord Jesus and were cursed by God. Therefore, all people who do not accept or practice the truth will be condemned by God. How wretched they are! If the words and doctrines they preach can help others, why can it not help them? We would do well to call such a person a hypocrite who has no reality. They provide others with the literal meaning of the truth, they have others practice it, but they do not practice the least bit of it themselves. Is such a person not shameless? They do not have the truth reality, yet in preaching the words and doctrines to others, they pretend to. Is this not deliberately misleading and harming people? If such a person were revealed and cast out, they would have only themselves to blame. They would be unworthy of pity. Can someone who only preaches words and doctrines, but does not practice the truth, achieve true change? Are they not cheating others and harming themselves? The pursuit of the truth is all about practice. The purpose of practicing the truth is to resolve one’s corrupt dispositions and live out true human likeness, but they do not recognize their corrupt dispositions or use the truth to resolve their difficulties. No matter how they water, provide for, or support others, they will never achieve actual results because they have no path to life entry or change their disposition. If fellowshipping about the truth does not resolve people’s difficulties or problems, then aren’t they just speaking words and doctrines that are pleasing to the ear but useless? If you want to achieve a change in your disposition, you must first focus on practicing and experiencing the words of God. No matter which aspects of the truth you understand, you have to focus on putting them into practice. Only in your practicing of the truth will you discover problems, and in particular, you will be able to recognize when your corrupt dispositions are revealed. If you can seek the truth to resolve these problems, you will enter the truth reality, and your life disposition will change. You will then have a path when you discuss practicing the truth, and you will be able to resolve problems when you fellowship about the truth. This shows that if you are willing to practice the truth, you will possess the truth reality. If you are willing to practice the truth, you will be qualified to provide for others. In turn, God will praise you, and people will approve of you.

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Next: Words on Knowing God’s Work and Disposition

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