132. The Principles of Treating Others According to Their Essences
(1) Never view others on the basis of human notions, imaginings, or traditional culture. They should be regarded on the sole basis of God’s word the truth, that being the only way to see clearly the essence of each type of person;
(2) Do not define people on the basis of how they perform in a given moment. Their essences should be judged by how they perform over time, this being the only way to treat others fairly;
(3) People with arrogant, self-righteous dispositions, or those who have committed a transgression but are able to accept the truth, should not be treated as evil. They should be helped lovingly;
(4) So long as someone is confirmed essentially to be an evil person, an evil spirit, an antichrist, or a nonbeliever, that person must be purged or expelled, as enacted by the church;
(5) Deceitful people who frequently reveal erroneous views, who frequently harbor notions of God and are defensive against Him, are counted among nonbelievers. They are to be purged or expelled.
Relevant Words of God:
In God’s words, what principle is mentioned with regard to how people should treat each other? Love what God loves, and hate what God hates. That is, the people God loves, who truly pursue the truth and do God’s will, are the very ones you should love. Those who do not do God’s will, who hate God, who disobey Him, and whom He despises are ones we, too, should despise and reject. This is what God’s word requires. If your parents do not believe in God, then they hate Him; and if they hate Him, then God certainly loathes them. So, if you were told to hate your parents, could you do it? If they resist God and revile Him, then they are certainly people He hates and curses. Under such circumstances, how should you treat your parents if either they obstruct your believing in God, or if they do not? During the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus said, “Who is My mother? And who are My brothers? … For whoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.” This saying already existed back in the Age of Grace, and now God’s words are even more apt: “Love what God loves, and hate what God hates.” These words cut straight to the point, yet people are often unable to appreciate their true meaning.
Excerpted from “Only by Recognizing Your Misguided Views Can You Know Yourself” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Whether you have truth and whether you resist God depend on your essence, not on your appearance or how you might occasionally speak or conduct yourself. Whether or not an individual will be destroyed is determined by one’s essence; it is decided according to the essence revealed by one’s behavior and one’s pursuit of the truth. Among people who are the same as each other in that they are doing work, and who do similar amounts of work, those whose human essences are good and who possess truth are the people who will be allowed to remain, while those whose human essences are evil and who disobey the visible God are those who will be objects of destruction. All of God’s work or words related to humanity’s destination will deal with people appropriately according to each individual’s essence; not the slightest error will occur, and not a single mistake will be made. It is only when people do work that human emotion or meaning enters the mix. The work God does is most appropriate; He absolutely does not bring false claims against any creature. There are currently many people who are unable to perceive humanity’s future destination and who do not believe the words I utter. All those who do not believe, as well as the ones who do not practice truth, are demons!
Nowadays, those who seek and those who do not are two entirely different types of people, whose destinations are also very different. Those who pursue knowledge of the truth and practice the truth are the ones to whom God will bring salvation. Those who do not know the true way are demons and enemies; they are the descendants of the archangel and will be objects of destruction. Even those who are pious believers of a vague God—are they not also demons? People who possess good consciences but do not accept the true way are demons; their essence is one of resistance to God. Those who do not accept the true way are those who resist God, and even if such people endure many hardships, they will still be destroyed. All those who are unwilling to relinquish the world, who cannot bear to part with their parents, and who cannot bear to rid themselves of their own enjoyments of the flesh are disobedient to God, and all will be objects of destruction. Anyone who does not believe in God incarnate is demonic and, moreover, will be destroyed. Those who have faith but do not practice the truth, those who do not believe in God incarnate, and those who do not at all believe in God’s existence will also be objects of destruction. All those who will be allowed to remain are people who have undergone the suffering of refinement and stood firm; these are people who have truly endured trials. Anyone who does not recognize God is an enemy; that is, anyone who does not recognize God incarnate—whether or not they are inside or outside this stream—is an antichrist! Who is Satan, who are demons, and who are God’s enemies if not resisters who do not believe in God? Are they not those people who are disobedient to God? Are they not those who claim to have faith, yet who lack truth? Are they not those who merely seek to obtain blessings while being unable to bear witness for God? You still mingle with those demons today and bear conscience and love toward them, but in this case are you not extending good intentions toward Satan? Are you not associating with demons? If people these days are still unable to distinguish between good and evil, and continue to blindly be loving and merciful without any intention of seeking God’s will or being able in any way to harbor God’s intentions as their own, then their endings will be all the more wretched. Anyone who does not believe in the God in the flesh is an enemy of God. If you can bear conscience and love toward an enemy, do you not lack a sense of righteousness? If you are compatible with those which I detest and with which I disagree, and still bear love or personal feelings toward them, then are you not disobedient? Are you not intentionally resisting God? Does such a person possess truth? If people bear conscience toward enemies, love for demons, and mercy for Satan, then are they not intentionally disrupting God’s work? Those people who believe only in Jesus and do not believe in God incarnate during the last days, as well as those who verbally claim to believe in God incarnate but do evil, are all antichrists, without even mentioning those who do not even believe in God. All these people will be objects of destruction. The standard by which humans judge other humans is based on their behavior; those whose conduct is good are righteous, while those whose conduct is abominable are wicked. The standard by which God judges humans is based on whether their essence submits to Him or not; one who submits to God is a righteous person, while one who does not is an enemy and a wicked person, regardless of whether this person’s behavior is good or bad and regardless of whether their speech is correct or incorrect.
Excerpted from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The majority of people have committed transgressions. For example, some have resisted God, some have rebelled against Him, some have spoken words of complaint against Him, and others have done things that were detrimental to the church or that did damage to God’s house. How should these people be treated? Their outcomes will be determined according to their natures and their consistent behavior. Some people are wicked, some are foolish, some are silly, and some are beasts. Everyone is different. Some wicked people are possessed by evil spirits, while others are the lackeys of the devil Satan. With regard to their natures, some are particularly sinister, some are particularly deceitful, some are especially greedy when it comes to money, and others enjoy being sexually promiscuous. Every person’s behavior is different, so people should all be viewed comprehensively in accordance with their individual natures and behavior. According to the instincts of man’s mortal flesh, whoever a person is, his instinct is to simply have free will; it is simply to be able to think about things—but he does not have the faculty to directly penetrate the spiritual world. It is like when you believe in the true God and would like to accept this stage of His new work, yet no one has come to preach the gospel to you; you only have the work of the Holy Spirit to enlighten you and guide you somewhere: As such, it is impossible for you to know what God will accomplish in the future. People cannot fathom God; they do not have the faculty to do so, nor do they possess faculty to directly comprehend the spiritual world or to thoroughly understand God’s work, much less to serve Him most willingly like an angel. Unless God has conquered and reformed them, or watered them and supplied them with the truths He expresses, people are unable to accept the new work. If God does not do this work, they will not have these things within them, and this is decided by their instinct. Thus, when some people resist or rebel, they incur God’s anger and hatred. However, then, in consideration for their instinct, God treats each case differently and deals with each case separately. Therefore, any work done by God is measured. He knows what to do and how to do it. As for those things people cannot do instinctually, God will certainly not require them to do them. He handles each person according to the environment and context at the time, the actual situation, the person’s actions, and the person’s behavior and expressions. God will never wrong anyone. This is God’s righteousness. For example, Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when she was made to by the serpent, but Jehovah God did not reproach her by saying, “I told you not to eat it, so why do you do it anyway? You should have discernment; you should know that the serpent spoke only to seduce you.” Jehovah God did not say this, nor did He reprimand Eve. Because He created humans, He knows what their instincts are and what those instincts are made of, to what extent people can control themselves, and what people are capable of. When God handles someone, when He adopts an attitude toward someone—whether it is one of disdain or disgust—and when one says certain things in certain situations, God understands that person’s state very well. People always think that God only has divinity; that He is righteous and unoffendable. They assume that He does not have any humanity, does not consider people’s difficulties, and does not put Himself in their shoes; they believe that He will punish people as long as they do not practice in accordance with the truth, and that He will remember if someone resists Him even a little, and will punish that person afterward. This really is not the case. If this is the sort of idea you have of God’s righteousness, work, and attitude toward people, then you are seriously mistaken. The basis that God uses to handle people is unimaginable to man. God is righteous; God has His own principles—and sooner or later, He will cause all humans to be absolutely convinced.
Excerpted from “On What Basis Does God Treat People?” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
There are in human nature certain characteristics that all people have in common: these you must get to know. That all people are capable of betraying God is a shared characteristic, but everyone has their own particular Achilles’ heel. Some people like this, some people like that, some people hold this in esteem, and some people hold that in esteem. These are the differences in people’s natures. Some people are able to bear up under a great deal of suffering, some grow negative and begin to complain after a little suffering and have difficulty bearing up. Why is it that, faced with the same event, everyone reacts differently? It is because the things in their natures are different. The corrupt dispositions of some people are more severe in their manifestation, while those of others are more mild; however, they are essentially the same. This is a shared characteristic. The way that a person’s nature is decides what kind of person they are. Even though they have characteristics in common with others, they may not be the same kind of people. Why do I say they are not the same kind of people? Because this thing which is in their nature may not be all that obvious or that intense. For example, lust is a shared human characteristic. Everyone has it. Moreover, this area is very difficult to overcome. However, it is especially intense for some people. When faced with this issue, they are unable to overcome it, and then they can run off with other people or lead them to run off. It may be said that these people are evil in their nature. Some people are a little weak in facing this issue, or they are a little susceptible to lustful passion, but they wouldn’t do shameful things, they would be able to control themselves and shun these acts. In that case, you cannot say that these people are evil in their nature. As long as there is flesh, there will always be lustful passion. Some people indulge in their lusts and do whatever they want in wanton. But some people are not like this at all. They are able to pursue the truth and base their actions on the truth, and are able to forsake the flesh. Even though they do have lusts of the flesh, they behave differently. This is where people differ from each other. Some people covet money; when they see money and nice things, they desire to have them, and their possessive desire is exceptionally strong. The nature of these people is greedy and avaricious. When they see something, they become greedy; they even dare spend and steal the church’s money, even to the tune of tens of thousands of yuan; the more money there is, the more they dare to do it; they simply do not fear God. This is a greedy nature. Some people are pricked by their conscience if they spend 10 or 20 yuan of the church. They hurry to kneel down in God’s presence to pray, and with tears of remorse, ask God to forgive them. Everyone has weaknesses: You can’t say that this is an avaricious person—it is merely a case of a corrupt disposition showing itself. Some people love to judge others. They will say: “This guy spent a few yuan of the church’s money, but he still didn’t come to pray in God’s presence. Next time, he’ll go on to spend dozens more. This is a greedy man!” It is not right to talk like this. So long as people have corrupt dispositions, they are bound to have normal weaknesses. Some human weaknesses also constitute part of their corrupt dispositions, but there is a difference between a corrupt disposition and that kind of nature. You can’t lump it all together or arbitrarily judge people. Judging others does the greatest harm to others. If you can’t distinguish or see things clearly, then avoid making baseless assertions so as not to hurt people. It is unprincipled to speak and act without understanding the truth and it brings no benefit either to others or to oneself.
Excerpted from “One Must Understand That There Are Similarities and Differences Among People’s Natures” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Although natural revelations did occur after Peter began to follow Jesus, in nature he was, from the very beginning, someone who was willing to submit to the Holy Spirit and seek after Christ. His obedience to the Holy Spirit was pure: He did not seek fame and fortune, but was instead motivated by obedience to the truth. Though there were three times when Peter denied knowing Christ, and though he tempted the Lord Jesus, such slight human weakness bore no relation to his nature, it did not affect his future pursuit, and it cannot sufficiently prove that his temptation was the act of an antichrist. Normal human weakness is something shared by all people in the world—do you expect Peter to be any different? Do people not hold certain views about Peter because he made several foolish mistakes? And do people not so adore Paul because of all the work he did, and all the epistles he wrote? How could man be capable of seeing through to the substance of man? Surely those who truly have sense can see something of such insignificance? Though the many years of painful experiences of Peter are not recorded in the Bible, this does not prove that Peter did not have real experiences, or that Peter was not made perfect. How can the work of God be fully fathomed by man? The records in the Bible were not personally selected by Jesus, but compiled by later generations. That being so, was all that was recorded in the Bible not chosen according to the ideas of man? Moreover, the ends of Peter and Paul are not expressly stated in the epistles, so man judges Peter and Paul according to his own perceptions, and according to his own preferences. And because Paul did so much work, because his “contributions” were so great, he won the trust of the masses. Does not man concentrate only on superficialities? How could man be capable of seeing through to the substance of man? Not to mention, given that Paul has been an object of worship for thousands of years, who would dare to rashly deny his work? Peter was just a fisherman, so how could his contribution be as great as that of Paul? In terms of the contributions they made, Paul should have been rewarded before Peter, and he should have been the one who was better qualified to gain God’s approval. Who could have imagined that, in His treatment of Paul, God merely made him work through his gifts, whereas God made Peter perfect. It is by no means the case that the Lord Jesus had made plans for Peter and Paul from the very beginning: They were, rather, made perfect or put to work according to their inherent natures. And so, what people see are merely the outward contributions of man, whereas what God sees is man’s substance, as well as the path that man pursues from the beginning, and the motivation behind man’s pursuit. People measure a man according to their notions, and according to their own perceptions, yet the final end of a man is not determined according to his externalities.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those among brothers and sisters who are always giving vent to their negativity are lackeys of Satan, and they disturb the church. Such people must one day be expelled and eliminated. In their belief in God, if people do not have a heart of reverence for God, if they do not have a heart of obedience toward God, then not only will they be unable to do any work for Him, but on the contrary will become those who disturb His work and who defy Him. Believing in God but not obeying or revering Him, and instead resisting Him, is the greatest disgrace for a believer. If believers are just as casual and unrestrained in their speech and conduct as unbelievers are, then they are even more evil than unbelievers; they are archetypal demons. Those who give vent to their poisonous, malicious talk within the church, who spread rumors, foment disharmony, and form cliques among the brothers and sisters—they should have been expelled from the church. Yet because now is a different era of God’s work, these people are restricted, for they face certain elimination. All who have been corrupted by Satan have corrupt dispositions. Some have nothing more than corrupt dispositions, while others are different: Not only do they have corrupt satanic dispositions, but their nature is also extremely malicious. Not only do their words and actions reveal their corrupt, satanic dispositions; these people are, moreover, the genuine devil Satan. Their behavior interrupts and disturbs God’s work, it impairs the brothers’ and sisters’ entry into life, and it damages the normal life of the church. Sooner or later, these wolves in sheep’s clothing must be cleared out; an unsparing attitude, an attitude of rejection, should be adopted toward these lackeys of Satan. Only this is standing on the side of God, and those who fail to do so are wallowing in the mire with Satan.
Excerpted from “A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There is a sort of person who can treat anyone with love, helpfulness, and tolerance, yet with God alone, they are irreconcilable, and they are His sworn enemy. When they encounter something that touches on the truth, that touches on what God says and requires, they are not merely unable to accept it, creating difficulties and casting doubt on it at every turn, and spreading notions, but they also do many things that are detrimental to the work of God’s house, such that, when something touches on their own interests, they are even capable of rising up and raising an outcry against God. What sort of person is this? (One who hates God.) Hatred of God is an aspect of the nature of all people, and all have this essence; yet, in some people, it is not so severe. Why, then, does this sort of person hate God so much? They are God’s enemy; they are devils—to speak plainly, they are living demons! Are there such living demons among the people whom God saves? (No.) Therefore, if you accurately identify some in the church as living demons of this sort, you must purge them from the place immediately. If a person behaves quite well in general but has only a momentary lapse in their state, or if their stature is too small to understand the truth, and they cause a minor interruption or disturbance, yet this behavior is not consistent, and they are not such a person by nature, then they may be retained. There are some who are strong in one regard, despite their somewhat poor humanity: They are willing to render service and are even ready to suffer; it is just that they tolerate no offense and will pit themselves against anyone who offends them, but when not being offended, they are quite normal. They also have not profited at anyone else’s expense. Such people may also be retained, and, though it may not be said that they will necessarily be saved, they may at least render service, and whether they can serve unto the end depends on their personal pursuit. Yet, if such a person is a living demon and an enemy of God, they can never be saved. This is a certainty, and they must be purged from the church. Some are purged to give them a chance to repent, to teach them a lesson; others are purged because their natures have been seen for what they are, and they cannot be saved. Everyone is different. Some who have been purged, despite their depressed and dark state, have not let go of their duty, and continue to perform it—they are not of a state with people who do not do their duty at all, and the paths they take are not the same.
Excerpted from “The Attitude Man Should Have Toward God” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Among the churches, there are those who think that toiling a little or doing something risky means they have accrued merit, and according to their actions they are indeed worthy of commendation. But their disposition and attitude toward the truth are loathsome; they have no love for the truth, and that alone makes them abhorrent. Such people are worthless. When God sees that people are of poor caliber, that they have certain failings, and have corrupt dispositions or an essence that opposes Him, He is not repulsed by them, and does not keep them away from Him. That is not God’s will, and it is not His attitude toward man. God does not hate people’s poor caliber, He does not hate their foolishness, and He does not hate that they have corrupt dispositions. What God really hates is when people loathe the truth. If you detest the truth, then because of that alone, God will never find delight in you. This is set in stone. If you detest the truth, if you do not love the truth, if you are uncaring, contemptuous, proud, and you are even repulsed, resistant and you reject it when God expresses the truth, then such manifestations will cause you to be despised by God, and you will not be saved. If you love the truth, then even if your caliber is a little poor, you have not believed in God for very long, you often make mistakes, and you do stupid things, if you love it when God fellowships the truth, if your attitude toward the truth and God’s words is honest, if it is sincere and eager, if you treasure and cherish the truth, then God will be merciful toward you. God is unfazed by your ignorance and poor caliber, for your attitude toward the truth is sincere and eager, and your heart is true; your heart and attitude are what God values, and He shall be ever merciful toward you—and so you have hope of salvation. On the other hand, if you are hard of heart and self-indulgent, if you detest the truth, and do not love all of God’s words and everything that involves the truth, are never heedful of it, and are antagonistic and scornful from the depths of your heart, then what is God’s attitude toward you? Disgust, revulsion, and unceasing wrath. What two characteristics are evident in God’s righteous disposition? Abundant mercy and profound wrath. The “abundant” in “abundant mercy” means that God’s mercy is tolerant, patient, forbearing, and that it is the greatest love—that is what “abundant” means. Because some people are foolish and of poor caliber, this is how God has to act. You love the truth but are foolish and of poor caliber, God’s attitude can only be one of abundant mercy toward you. Mercy includes patience and tolerance: God is tolerant and patient toward your ignorance, He gives you sufficient faith and tolerance to support you, provide for you, and help you, so that you may understand the truth bit by bit and gradually grow up. Upon what foundation is this built? Upon the attitude of someone who loves and yearns for the truth, who is sincere toward God, His words, and the truth. These are the fundamental behaviors that should be manifested in people. But if someone hates the truth, if they detest the truth, if they reject it, and are averse to it, if they never fellowship on the truth with anyone, and speak only of how they have worked, how much experience they have, of all they have gone through, of how God looks highly upon them and has entrusted them with great tasks—if they only talk of such capital and achievements and of their own talents, and use these things to show off, and never fellowship on the truth, bear testimony to God, or fellowship their understanding and experiences connected to the truth or their knowledge of God, are they not averse to the truth? This is the manifestation of not loving the truth. Some people say, “How can they listen to sermons if they do not love the truth?” Does everyone who listens to sermons love the truth? Some people just go through the motions, they are forced to put on an act in front of others, fearing that if they do not participate in the life of the church, the house of God will not acknowledge their faith. How does God define such attitudes toward the truth? God says that they do not love the truth, that they detest the truth. There is one thing in their disposition that is most crucial to whether they live or die, more crucial than even arrogance and deceitfulness: It is detestation of the truth. God sees this. Given the righteous disposition of God, how does He treat such people? He is wrathful toward them. When God is wrathful toward someone, He reprimands them, or disciplines and punishes them. If they do not deliberately oppose God, He will, for the time being, be tolerant and observant, and will, for the time being, because of the situation or other objective reasons, make use of this nonbeliever to render service to Him. But as soon as the environment allows, and the time is right, these people will be kicked out of the house of God, for they are not even fit to render service. Such is the wrath of God. Why is God so profoundly wrathful? Because God has defined the end and categorization of such people who detest the truth. God classes them in the camp of Satan, and because He is wrathful toward them, and detests them, God shuts the door on them, He does not permit them to set foot in the house of God, and does not give them the chance to be saved. This is one manifestation of God’s wrath. God also puts them on the same level as Satan, as filthy demons and evil spirits, as the nonbelievers, and when the time is right, He shall eliminate them. Is this not one way of handling them? Such is the wrath of God. And what awaits them once they have been eliminated? Never again will they enjoy God’s grace and blessings and the salvation of God.
In the Age of Grace, it was said that God wants every person to be saved and does not want anyone to suffer perdition. Such is God’s attitude and sentiment toward saving mankind, who was corrupted by Satan. It is God’s wish, but in fact, many people do not accept God’s salvation; they belong to Satan and shall not be saved. These words show God’s attitude toward the whole of mankind: His love is without limit, it is incomparably vast, it is mighty. But to those who detest the truth, He is unwilling to freely give His love and salvation, nor will He ever do so. This is the attitude of God. What is detesting the truth tantamount to? Is it setting yourself against God? Is it being openly hostile to God? It is tantamount to openly telling God, “I don’t enjoy listening to what You have to say. If I don’t like it, then it’s not the truth, and I will not take it as the truth. It will only be the truth when I acknowledge it and like it.” When you have that attitude toward the truth, is this not being openly hostile to God? If you are openly hostile to God, will God save you? No. This is the very reason for God’s wrath. The essence of the kind of people who detest the truth is one of hostility to God. God does not treat people of this essence as people; He treats them as enemies, as demons, and will never save them. This is the manifestation of God’s wrath. … There is a reason why God is so profoundly wrathful toward one person or one type of person. This reason is not determined by the inclination of God, but by that person’s attitude toward the truth. A person’s detesting the truth is fatal to their attaining salvation; this is not a sin that can or cannot be forgiven, it is not a form of behavior, or something that is fleetingly revealed in them; it is the nature essence of a person, and God detests such people most of all. If this is what is occasionally revealed in you, reflect on whether this is because you do not understand the truth, and you need to search, and you need God’s enlightenment and help, or whether it is because you are averse to the truth from the bottom of your heart. If that is your nature essence, if you have never loved the truth, and the truth breeds aversion and disgust in your heart, if you scorn it, then you are in trouble.
Excerpted from “Understanding the Truth Is Crucial to Fulfilling One’s Duty Properly” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days