Chapter 85. Only When One Has the Truth as Life Can One Resist Evil Trends
Young people follow trends a little more quickly, right? (Right.) Young people accept trends a little more quickly than adults. Since they accept trends quickly, they also adapt to evil trends quickly. Their probability of falling into temptation is also greater. Can we say this? (Yes.) Have you experienced this deeply? Tell Me, what kind of experiences have you had? What aspects have you experienced? Let’s take a woman who is quite good-looking as an example. What would people from the previous generation think about this? They would think that beautiful women must not act recklessly, that they must pay particular attention to their reputation and integrity and that they must be people with moral principles and standards. This is a traditional way of thinking, that they must have standards. If someone loses their chastity and their integrity, they would be ruined for a lifetime. It would be over for them. They would no longer be a good person and they should not be this kind of person. Modern people—under the edification and contagion of modern society and modern culture, adding to that the atmosphere and trends in society—what do they think? What is it called when someone grows up well, has a good diploma, is good looking, is beautiful and flirtatious, and possesses certain strengths? (Capital.) This is called capital. It has become capital. Once you see these things as capital, what kind of ideology is this? If you think that these things are a kind of capital, isn’t this a kind of ideological tendency to follow evil trends? (Yes.) When people have this kind of tendency, what does it do to them? (They become arrogant, conceited, and supercilious.) This is one aspect, the aspect concerning disposition. Doesn’t it disturb and destroy your behavior, your approach to marriage, integrity, reputation and your standards as a human being, to the point where you destroy these things? So then what do people do? (They follow worldly trends and betray their morals and conscience.) Betraying one’s morals and conscience is the beginning of degeneration. The trend in the past, or the standard of what it was to be a person was, “A good woman does not marry two husbands.” And what about now? What is the trend now? (To find several men is considered able.) Women who are capable do not marry just one man. They certainly don’t find just one man. They find several. Furthermore, if the men they find are all ordinary-looking or have a vulgar manner, they are not considered to be capable. What kind of men do they need to find to be considered capable? (Those who are rich and powerful.) Yes, those who are rich and powerful. You find a provincial governor, right? I find a man in the central government. If you find a minor department head, I would boast, “Idiot, you are good for nothing! Your tastes are inferior! I’m off to find a mayor.” Don’t women try their hardest? What happens in the end? Do women still have this view “A good woman does not marry two husbands”? (No, they don’t.) People’s reputation and integrity, the standards of being a person and the principle of being a person—do women still hold to these things? (No, they do not.) The day the mayor is shelved, fired, the woman thinks, “He’s dumped! I am still young. I still have this capital, I’ll find another that is even more powerful than the mayor.” So, she searches everywhere and finds another man. Should she marry? She thinks, “I am still young, I can’t marry, it’s not urgent.” Why? (When she is married, she is constrained.) Marriage is a bond, and she can no longer do as she pleases. She has to keep having inappropriate relations, and fooling around with men! “Right now, in this world, who gets married? What age are we living in? Who still gets married? Who wants to be a good wife and a loving mother? Who wants to help their husband and teach their children? I’d be flirty and attractive. I can’t waste the great time of my youth on life’s daily necessities. I can’t waste it on just passing the days.” If she doesn’t get married, then what is she doing looking for a man? Isn’t she just fooling around with men? Fooling around from one day to the next, she no longer has the thoughts and views of a normal and decent person. She no longer has the principles of what it means to be a human being. This is being degenerate, right? (Right.)
How does degeneration begin? (Accepting evil trends.) How does one accept them? Why are people able to accept evil trends and ideologies? Where does the root lie? How can one accept these things? One person goes out somewhere and spends a few days there. When he comes back, he has contracted an infectious disease. Another person also goes out and spends a few days in the exact same place. When he comes back, he is fine. He does not have the same disease. Why does this happen? (He has resistance.) Yes, he has resistance. During an outbreak of influenza, does everyone get infected? (No.) Who gets infected? (Those with weak resistance.) Those with weak resistance will be infected and will contract influenza. The people with strong resistance have immunity. It is not easy for them to be infected, right? What do the people with strong resistance possess? (Immunity.) They possess immunity. What is the immunity in terms of ideology? It is understanding the truth. So, regardless of whether people are young or old, adults or adolescents, after they received a traditional ideology and an education of morals and ethics, would they be able to withstand evil trends? (No, they would not.) The traditional teachings of China, such as Confucianism and Daoism, and even some especially strict methods of domestic discipline, are all deeply rooted in people’s minds. However, can these deeply rooted things influence a person’s behavior and life direction? Can they influence what kind of path someone takes? (No.) When people have these things in their minds, they still cannot endure the seductions, temptations, control, the bonds, and even more so the poison and erosion of the world’s evil trends. They are still influenced by these things, right? (Right.) The facts prove this. Is it that a certain form of traditional culture can’t help people achieve the outcome of being able to withstand these evil trends? Someone said, “China’s traditional culture is too outdated. Since Chinese people have not seen the world, they are like a frog at the bottom of a well. Once they leap out of the well and see the world, they exclaim, ‘Wow, this dazzling world is so great.’ As a result, they throw away their traditional culture. Because of this, they are degenerate.” Is this the case? If someone is born and raised in the Western world, they do not have a traditional cultural education. However, Westerners are freer. Their culture and knowledge are broader and their education is comparatively open-minded. They also have human rights and they can travel to various countries and gain knowledge and experience. After they have gained all this knowledge and experience, some of them say, “Fine, now I have experienced all kinds of things and I have met all kinds of people. It is now easy for me to withstand the temptation and seduction of these evil trends. Therefore I won’t be moved by any normal situation or normal people.” Does what they say hold up? (No, it does not.)
So what exactly are evil trends? And what is their relationship with the traditional cultures of mankind and with the education of the various nations? Are they interrelated? What exactly are evil trends? Do evil trends include traditional culture? (Yes.) Do they include the education in culture and knowledge? (Yes.) Do they include scientific guidance and education? Do they include the education of one’s upbringing and family, and traditional ethnic education? (Yes.) These are all included, aren’t they? So where on earth do these things come from? (Satan.) They come from Satan. If they come from Satan, have you seen it? Have you seen Satan? (No.) If you haven’t seen it, how can you say they come from Satan? How can you say this? (These satanic things result in people becoming corrupt and degenerate.) Think about it. You’re not quite right. You haven’t got right to the point, or got to the root of the matter. (They are passed down from generation to generation.) They are passed down. The more they’re passed down the more evil they get. Does this hold up? (No, it doesn’t.) It clearly doesn’t hold up. Things that are passed down through the generations should be good things, such as traditional culture, morals and ethics, a sense of shame, conscience. These are good things, so how come they become more evil the more they are passed down? Are they somehow skewed as they are being passed down? Are they passed down wrongly? What would be the cause? Have a think about what the cause would be. (It also has to do with people’s natures.) (Following the changes of these trends, people’s natures will advocate these evil things. That is, this human nature essentially belongs to Satan.) Advocating evil—why would they allow evil to grow? Why would they give evil an upgrade? Can you get upgraded computers? (Yes.) How are they upgraded? By people worshiping? (No.) How does it come about? (Through people’s research.) There is a root problem here, so have a think: Who controls evil trends? Satan controls evil trends, right? (Right.) So how do these evil trends come about? Can the sum 1+1=2 corrupt people? (No.) People cannot be corrupted by 1+1=2. Math cannot corrupt people, can it? Can Newtonian theory corrupt people? This is science, so can it corrupt people? Does gravitational force exist? (Yes.) So do people increase their knowledge by knowing about gravitational force, or are they corrupted by it? (Their knowledge is increased.) Can they be corrupted by this knowledge? (No.) So what exactly corrupts people? (Ideological views.) Which views can corrupt people? (The desire to probe into things, to research. People desire to gain a reliable understanding of things and desire to master these things for themselves. They don’t believe in the domination of God and they don’t believe that God has arranged all these things. They just desire ever more to research, to analyze and to distinguish themselves, so they go out of their way to make others worship them.) (These kinds of ideological views, like atheism and materialism, are planted inside people, and so they become unaware of God’s existence and they don’t know what positive things are. They then act entirely in accordance with those things Satan has given them and in accordance with scientific theories. These ideological views will corrupt people. Those things which we come into contact with during our lives, such as the things we are taught by our parents, then afterward the education received after we start school—these things we come into contact with are always the views of Satan, and there is never anything positive in them.) This is the main aspect.
Someone who enters into society from school, who gets a job with some company, someone who leaves school—what are their living habits normally like? Or in what way do they do things, in what way do they work, normally? That is to say, what principles do they employ to be a person? (Honest and well-behaved, they work earnestly and keep their feet on the ground.) The majority are rather under an illusion, and they have this kind of illusion toward society, saying, “So long as I work hard, promotion is guaranteed. I am truly skilled, so I’m not afraid of anything! I graduated from a well-known college and I am skilled in a specialty. What have I to fear? Nothing. I don’t need to flatter my boss, nor do I need to adopt any special method, climb anyone else’s steps or stand on anyone else’s shoulders. I am so diligent and conscientious and I work hard. Whatever my boss asks me to do, I do. Whatever question my boss asks me, I answer.” Is this principle correct? Is it workable in society? (No, it isn’t.) When you come to know that it isn’t workable, would you adopt another method? If you cannot pass this way, would you look for another path? (Yes.) What would the goal be? What goal would you want to reach? (To distinguish oneself.) To live on is real. What’s the point in distinguishing oneself? Distinguishing oneself comes later, in the next step. First, one has to survive between the cracks. And while they are surviving between the cracks, what method do they employ? (They adapt to society.) (They adapt to these evil laws.) They adapt to the evil laws of living. Which laws? Which rules of the game? (Boot licking.) (Taking advantage of opportunities.) Observing speech and behavior. Find out from others which kind of wine your boss likes to drink, observe what brand of cigarettes they like to smoke. You can’t ask them, you must observe it. Find out behind their back what places they like to go to, do your homework, and see what way of talking your boss likes. Can all this be more or less figured out within a few years? (Yes.) Is figuring all this out done intentionally, or unintentionally? (Intentionally.) Yes, intentionally. This is known as adapting, adapting to evil trends. After going on like this for several years, have you changed? (Yes.) Have you matured? Or have you regressed? What have you become? You have become snobbish, shameless, and with no perception of conscience. Right? What else? You are able to lick boots, be worldly-wise and just act casually in any situation. Any more? Your heart becomes more and more ruthless. During this process, how do you get this way? Will being this way bring rewards in a few years’ time? Your wages increase, your boss likes you, you get promoted, and you get a better title; you gain great rewards, right? So how do these rewards come about? Legitimately? When you first leave school and get a job, you work diligently and conscientiously, and you are an honest and well-behaved person, so do you gain these things by acting according to this principle? (No.) So by using what means? Through what method do you gain these things? By improper means, right? By using improper means. So when you use these improper means very skillfully, do these things become your own? So then have your principles of being a person and your life direction all changed? (Yes.) So what is your objective? What objective is your next step? “Ruthlessness is the mark of a great man.” Is that so? What else? What is the next step after “Ruthlessness is the mark of a great man”? “Every man for himself and ...” (The devil take the hindmost.) That’s right. (Stopping at nothing, and becoming more fearsome so they are no longer human.) What other sayings do the unbelievers have? (“No respect for law and order.”) What other ones are there? (“Man will do anything to get rich.”) Any more? (“Enjoy things while one can.”) Numbed, aren’t they? Not only are they degenerate, but they are also numbed.
When people think this way their hearts become more and more ruthless, and they have less and less conscience, humanity and consciousness, and they become more and more numb. They become more and more numb and so their principle of being a person also changes into something else. So how do these ideologies and these principles, standards and objectives of being a person come about? How do people get them? At this point these things have already become their life, and are they not already degenerate when it reaches such a level? (Yes.) Is it that they are somewhat degenerate, and then it stops there? Or can they become even more degenerate? (They will become more and more degenerate.) Yes, they will become more and more degenerate. And how do they degenerate to such an extent? What is the cause? How does it happen? Is it brought about by any person? Or is it brought about by their work environment being too dark? (They are corrupted by evil trends.) So how do these evil trends come about? Who controls them? (Satan.) We see this very clearly—Satan controls all this. What decides whether people within an environment are good people or bad people? What decides this? What decides whether these people walk the right path or walk the evil path? (Whoever has the power, and whoever has the mastery.) That’s right, it depends on whoever has the mastery and whoever has the power. Do you agree with these words? (Yes.) Discuss these words, and now that you agree with this, every one of you shares your ideas: Why are these words correct? (People who live in this society but who don’t believe in God will become more and more degenerate and evil. Today, we believe in God and we come before God to eat and drink His words, and so we have a goal, a direction and a principle for living. We can live out a normal humanity.) (Satan has power over this world, therefore the things people accept are all the various poisons that come from Satan. So then people gradually become like Satan. If people lived today in an environment of the truth, then the things they accept would all be positive, they would be the reality of positive things from God, and people would increasingly live out a human likeness.) Who can add to this? (I’ll add a little. Before people believe in God, they indeed perceive that they become more and more corrupt within this environment. After they believe in God, however, through eating and drinking the words of God, they have discernment toward these things, and are then able to know which things are positive, and which negative. If people don’t believe in God and have no discernment toward these things, because their nature is evil, they will like these things and will only become ever worse. But after they believe in God, because they accept the truth and have discernment, they can abandon these things little by little through experiencing God’s work.) You’ve pretty much covered it. If people don’t understand the truth, before the human life inside them understands the truth, it can only accept and accommodate these things. So within an environment, whatever this environment instills in you, you then become; whatever it instills in you, you then obtain; however it controls you and leads you, in the end you become that kind of person. A man can become someone who is degenerate, evil, and bad in the extreme, and these things are what are brought to him by his environment. So who is the manipulator who controls this environment? What is its nature? These things are its nature, and we see this clearly. So what do people sometimes think? “A clear conscience laughs at false accusation; whatever it makes me do, I shall not do.” Or some people say, “I don’t buy that. I’ll just oppose this environment and remold it, change it.” It’s okay for one year, fine for two years, after three years you may waver a little, and after four years? (You are following it.) And when you reach five years? You’ve adapted, right? And when you reach six years? (You become one of them.) You become one of them, and you can no longer leave. People try to drag you out, and you say, “What are you doing, dragging me out? It’s great here.” You have thoroughly become one of them. When someone becomes one of them, what do they change into? (They become just like Satan.) (They associate with Satan.) They become Satan, become the devil, the same as a living ghost, the same as Satan—one and the same. You become like this, and you don’t know when the change began, you’re unclear about it. You’re unclear on how this change has happened. Anyway, you have become who you are today. You don’t know how on earth you came to be this way, you’re unclear about why you took this path in the beginning, unclear about why you have now become like this; in short, you came to be this way in a state of confusion. This is the process of Satan’s corruption of man, and it is the method it uses, and people are therefore corrupted and degenerated in this way. So if someone understood the truth right from the start, if they had the reality of the truth as their life, how would they live in this kind of environment? (They would live relying on God’s words.) Is it easy to live relying on God’s words? (It’s a battle.) To what extent is it a battle? (Sometimes one hovers between life and death; one can only gain strength by leaning on God and praying to Him.) Are there people who start off with perseverance, but in the end do not hold to it consistently, and end up making a compromise? Are there situations like this? (Yes.) What happens in this situation? They compromise—at first they are unyielding and they take vows and they swear. But as the years go by, their vows become useless. (Within people there is no love for the truth or a yearning for positive things. They have no resolution or stamina.) So has the truth become your life within? (No.) This is the case. What you said is not what happens. Whether someone perseveres with something or gives up halfway is not a matter of the outward stamina or resolution; it is a life issue. (Truth has not become their life.) Yes, truth has not become your life. That is, it has not become your own reality, and has not become a part of your life.
Satan corrupts people while they are unaware. Every day, every year, people unknowingly learn some survival skills and unknowingly accept some ideologies. Because they have seen and experienced some things, unknowingly their ideologies undergo a transformation, they undergo different kinds of transformations. We’re not talking about what you become after you believe in God and gain the truth. When you have suffered some loss in the world of the unbelievers and you see you have come upon a dead end, don’t you need to think of a way to avoid suffering loss again next time and also to be able to benefit? (Yes.) Doesn’t this kind of thing happen often? Hasn’t it happened to every single person? (Yes.) This can happen at any time and in any place, so Satan’s corruption of man is something that you cannot guard against. You say you have no contact with the unbelievers, but you still need to live. You survive in this corrupt world and you live amidst this corrupt humanity, so you have to have dealings with them, do things with them, live together with them, breathe the same air, receive the same sunshine and drink the same water; you cannot avoid these things. Sometimes, although you have suffered no loss, you see something through them, or something that happens during your business together or during your dealings with them changes how you think and causes your thoughts to enter into a different realm. Yesterday you prayed to God and said: “Oh God, I must expend my entire life for You. To You I give all the time I have left. If I cannot expend the rest of my life for You, then I pray that You curse me.” Is this resolution correct? (Yes, it is correct.) The resolution is correct, but is it real? (It’s real.) Is this oath real? (It’s real.) They’re both sincere, but they do not pass the test with one issue. You have experienced this deeply, haven’t you? (Yes.) It is particularly painful for people and it is hard to endure. When something happens to you, it causes you to suffer loss in your vital interests or in your first-hand experiences. Your interests suffer a loss, or else it involves your future destination and your life or your existence. When these are involved, modern ideologies enter your head and you think: “I’m now in my thirties. If I live to be 60 then I still have around 30 years. If I live to be 80 then I still have around 50 years. Do I live a whole lifetime in this way? That person is living so comfortably while I live so miserably. Why is this?” Your resolution is shaken, right? Modern ideologies have come along, so is your resolution steadfast? (No.) Your resolution is not steadfast. Has your stamina been tested? Has it been challenged? The more you think about it, the more restless you become and the more distressed you are. You think: “If the rest of my life is lived like this then I won’t have experienced anything in this life, lacking too much knowledge. Do I live my life like this? It can’t be like this, can it? I have expended so much and paid such a price. Has God been watching? Has God accepted it? I don’t know whether I can be saved in the end. That person is living so comfortably, that person is living their cosy life, going off to Germany, then off to France. I’ve never been anywhere. Even visiting different provinces in China would be fine. This life is so miserable!” You nurse grievances, don’t you? You don’t feel right in your heart and you feel worse as you think about it more and more, over and over; do you still have the strength to believe in God? (No.) Where has that oath gone? What has become of that oath? (It’s become a lie.) It’s become empty words, right? (Yes.) A cannonball is placed into a cannon and with a bang it goes off. “It made such a loud noise, but why didn’t the cannonball come firing out?” It was a blank. After someone makes an oath, they encounter something that brings forth modern ideologies, so they fail the test, they do not pass the trial, and what does that oath become? (It becomes a lie, empty words.) It becomes a blank shot, doesn’t it? So you must learn the lesson, and when you next feels resolute you must not say oaths arbitrarily. What if God, by some chance, went according to your oaths? You must be careful and give yourself room to maneuver. If God really went according to your oaths, wouldn’t you be on the losing end? If you don’t say oaths then you are not restricted by them, and the path ahead will be much broader. What do you think of this idea? (It’s unacceptable.) Some people quite agree with it, saying: “This idea is great. We need not have worries in the backs of our minds. From now on we will make less oaths and make more resolutions.”
Sometimes people’s statures have not reached that level and they will be more or less affected by their environment, or their states or the things they run into. They will have modern ideologies, their hearts will be slightly shaken, their resolution slightly diluted and they will feel a little swayed; is this a problem? There are two types of situation: one that is dangerous and one that can be considered normal. What type of situation can be considered normal human weakness? (When someone encounters something, they become a little negative, a little passive, but they can go in search of the truth and pray, and can seek out God’s words to eat and drink, then they are able to turn themselves around, can enter normally and can practice the truth normally.) This is considered normal weakness, right? Everyone can be weak and this is normal weakness. But if you are so weak that you throw your hands up and walk away, you call it quits and abandon your duties, then the way you live and your life direction will change, and this is no longer a question of weakness. You’re not thinking of betraying God, but your heart wants to abandon God, to betray Him. You’re in dangerous territory here, not weakness! When people are weak they don’t act badly and their hearts just feel a little sad. No matter how sad they feel, they do not change toward God or toward their duties, and the extent of their loyalty does not change. They don’t throw up their handsand walk away—this is normal weakness. That which isn’t normal, however, is deeper than this, and it isn’t weakness. It is that one’s heart changes, right? Its nature is different; one’s heart wants to change. What do I mean by “it wants to change”? (It wants to betray God and leave Him.) It wants to betray God and leave Him. In what specific ways? (Stopping doing one’s duty and running off into the world.) So serious? Do they go to such an extent? (They are slipshod in work.) Yes, they begin to be slipshod in work. (They collapse into negativity.) They collapse. This is the course they take. They don’t just think about it, the course they take is clearly shown. If they just run off into the world then it means they are thoroughly no longer a believer. That isn’t a type of condition, is it? They are slipshod. Someone says to them: “You shouldn’t do this in this way!” And they reply, “Okay, fine, I’m pretty much doing it right. I know.” Then as soon as that person turns their back, they say “Humph, why can’t I do it this way? So what if I do it this way!” They have become confrontational and they no longer have any standards of conscience. Do they do their duty? (Yes.) How do they do it? (They go through the motions, are slipshod about it and they don’t act according to their conscience.) They are without loyalty and they don’t take their duties seriously. Although they haven’t completely washed their hands of it, they do their duty only nominally and they work in a slipshod manner. Someone asks them, “Are you working?” “Yes, I’m working.” “How’s it going?” “See for yourself.” “When will it be finished?” “Who knows? It’ll be finished when it’s finished!” What kind of attitude is this? (A slipshod attitude.) They are slipshod and they no longer have a shred of reverence for God. This is a sorry state to be in, isn’t it? (Yes.) Before someone gains the truth, they can become weak and negative at any time or in any place. So what kind of outcome—which is even more serious—can happen to people with this weakness and negativity? Do you know? (They can become estranged from God.) (They can betray God.) Becoming estranged from God, betraying Him, abandoning Him. What else? (Denying God.) (And misunderstanding God.) (Writing oneself off as hopeless and acting recklessly.) And writing oneself off as hopeless and acting recklessly. Any others? (Rejoining Satan’s camp, and once again living completely within the deceptions of Satan.)
Sometimes things that look bad on the outside are not necessarily bad, and are actually good things. For example, you want to go out one day but you eat something that gives you a bad stomach, so you don’t go out, and as it happens a plague descends outside. Is this bad stomach a good thing or a bad thing? (A good thing.) How many days does it take an ordinary person with only a touch of a bad stomach, from eating spoiled food, to get over it? (Two or three days.) You must have three days of diarrhea, you cannot sleep well at night, your stomach hurts all the time, you alternate between needing the toilet and vomiting, and no matter what you take, don’t you still need to go through a process of recovery? In severe cases, how long will it take? (A week.) One week, and those with a weak constitution may take a fortnight and recover slowly, right? You can’t eat very much and what you do eat isn’t absorbed very well, so it could take ten days or a fortnight. You are kept at home for ten days or a fortnight, and you are perhaps unaware of any big events happening outside your door. When you are better, you go outside and look, and you say, “Ah! How have so many people died? What has happened?” What has happened? God has acted and He has used this method to protect you. Is this method something that people expect normally? (No, it isn’t.) People don’t expect it. So when God does many things on you that you do not expect, you are unable to obey. What is your first reaction? Because you don’t expect it, you can’t understand it and you can’t accept it. Your first reaction is to resist and reject it, and you misunderstand, saying, “What’s up with that? I work well at my duties and yet something like this has happened to me. Doesn’t God know that I’m doing my duty? My work is so busy, how can He do this to me?” You’re loyal and God doesn’t understand you, is that it? Is this a barrier between you and God? (Yes.) This is how your misunderstanding arises. If you took a different attitude, and said, “I don’t understand why God has done this or why He has arranged this, but it must certainly contain God’s good intention. To cause me such distress, what kind of good intention could God have? I don’t know and I don’t understand. But God can do no wrong, so I shall obey and I shall wait.” So you wait, a fortnight passes by, you go outside and look, and you say, “Ah! How have so many people died? How is it that I’m still alive?” You think it over, about how you’ve passed the last fortnight: “Ah, God has protected me. God has done this to protect my life and to keep me from this kind of disaster. He has placed a small obstruction in my path.” Is this obstruction God’s good intention? (Yes.) It’s God’s good intention. Is it God’s love? (Yes.) God protects you in this way! So you don’t understand God and are always misunderstanding, and when you speak irresponsibly in situations that you don’t understand, what mistake are you making? (Judging God.) By judging God and defying God you really wound His heart. You see God’s good intention as an evil intention, you see His love as hatred, you complain about Him in your heart and you don’t understand Him. Does this wound God’s heart? (Yes.) Are there many instances like this? (Yes, many.) There are so many instances like this. This is one aspect.
The other aspect concerns the question: Why does God often discipline people? People say that man is impure, that they have been tainted too much within and that their ambitions and desires are too strong, so God must needs do things to obstruct them. So what is the outcome that God wants to achieve by doing things to obstruct you, or giving you a small admonishment? (To make people cast off these corruptions and these impurities.) Yes, God makes you examine yourself, makes you cast off these things and know these things; He makes you lean on Him and come before Him. You mustn’t rely on yourself and do things blindly. And why does God make you lean on Him? Is it different from doing things by relying on man? As long as things get done then that’s fine. What’s the difference here? (Once we begin to lean on God we can then know Him, and can perceive His faithfulness.) And relying on man? (We can’t do anything.) You can still do some things by relying on man. You take the back door, give some gifts to people, and by doing so haven’t you achieved some things? Isn’t that right? So is there anything that can’t be achieved by giving gifts? (There is.) And where does the discretionary power lie? (With God.) This is the key point and it is the truth. Whether you rely on man or lean on God, in the end God will make you see that He dominates all things. In some matter, regardless of how great your desires are, what your intentions are or how you plan to act, none of that is important. What is important? The important thing is God’s will. Is your will important? What does your will amount to? God decides all of this, and what His will is and how He plans and arranges this matter are the most important things. If God planned to send you abroad, would you being rejected for a visa three times obstruct His plans? (No.) The current environment isn’t good; most people can’t leave the country, or migrate abroad, visas are rejected, and this is the environment. You see this and you say, “Ah, it’s not good. It’s over for me. I have no hope. I can’t go, I can’t get a visa.” What mistake have you made? (Not believing in God’s domination.) Not believing in God’s domination? Do you know how God dominates things? Has God concluded that you must get a visa? (No.) So what mistake have you made? You make blind conclusions, don’t you? Has God said that you are allowed to have a visa, or not allowed to have a visa? You haven’t grasped God’s will, and you say: “Ah, what a bad thing to happen. I can’t get a visa. It’s over, I can’t go abroad!” If someone tells you to try and get a visa tomorrow, how do you feel then? “In any case, I won’t get a visa, but I may as well go and try. I’ll have to go through the motions anyway if I go, and I’m sure I won’t get a visa. So many people have had their visas rejected, so what chance do I have?” You’ve already made your conclusion, haven’t you? You’ve made up your mind. Why have you made up your mind? Because you don’t have the true belief, and you have no true knowledge of God. So at what point does your knowledge and your true belief remain? If you don’t act taking God’s will into account, whose will are you taking into account? You are taking the will of Satan into account. You see the environment clearly, but you do not see God’s hand. Those things that you have decided you cannot do you believe to be impossible, hopeless. But can those things be done that God has decided can be done? (Yes.) How do you know? (Nothing is difficult for God.) People often have this way of understanding something after the fact, that is, they seem to know all about something after it has happened. What is that saying? (The benefits of hindsight.) Yes, the benefits of hindsight. In actual fact, when you go to get a visa you brace yourself, you go through the process and afterward you think, “That immigration officer didn’t look as though they wanted to give me a visa, so I’m sure not to get one. It’s impossible! Others haven’t got visas either. I have no superhuman powers, no one in power who can help me, and I didn’t give anyone any money, so I don’t think they’re going to give me a visa.” Then a few days later you get the notification, “Visa approved.” “Huh? Visa approved! I thought that God would let me get a visa.” What are you like? You’re false, aren’t you? Actually you said long before in your heart, “I know I won’t get a visa” and then once the visa is granted you say, “I knew I’d get a visa.” How can you say all these things? Isn’t it sickening? (Yes.) Being this kind of person makes people sick. Don’t say things like this and don’t be this kind of person. How should you act like a person? (Obey God’s orchestration and arrangements.) There is nothing God cannot do, but if God obstructs something then that becomes something that cannot be done, that shouldn’t be done. God obstructs the things that shouldn’t be done and He won’t allow them to be done. Is this one aspect of expression of the true belief in God? (Yes.) This is the true belief. Is the true belief the true faith? (Yes.) You must believe that God is capable of doing this, and say: “This environment looks bad, what can be done? Yet I still feel very calm inside, with no obstructions. I don’t know God’s will, I can’t grasp it, nor am I able to realize it. Now that His arrangements are so made and events have so developed, I shall go, and if my visa is approved I shall thank God, and if it is not approved then there is God’s good intention. Either way I shall thank God. In a word—obedience.” This is an expression of the true belief. When you have the true belief in God, you can then have true obedience. What do you think of this kind of belief? (It’s good.) You go twice to get visas, but your inner state is different both times: One time you go with the true belief while the other time you go in a state of rejection and conflict; your states of mind are completely different. Externally, you’re doing the same thing both times, so no problems there. Which one is at fault? Which one has a problem? Which is a serious problem? Conflicted, doubtful, using external events to measure God’s domination, and using external environments and the external forces of people to determine God’s domination. Isn’t this the mistake? (Yes.) Making this mistake is the rebelliousness of man.