94. The Principles of Using the Truth to Resolve Problems
(1) When faced with the various problems of human corruption, seek the truth. See through to their essence and identify their source, and then use the truth to resolve them;
(2) It is necessary to fellowship on the essence of a problem in accordance with God’s words, so that others may understand the truth and know their own, corrupt essences, giving rise to genuine repentance;
(3) When resolving a problem, its essence must be made transparent through fellowship. Give others a true understanding of the truth, an abhorrence of the flesh, and a vantage on God’s love;
(4) It is necessary to synthesize one’s own experience when leading others to an understanding of the truth and an entry into reality and to galvanize their resolve to pursue the truth, which gives them a path on which to practice.
Relevant Words of God:
The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, and it is a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity. It is a truth that man should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom, and the clearer the truth will become. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and the more strength you will have to triumph over Satan. Much of the truth that you do not understand will be made clear when you practice the word of God. Most people are satisfied to merely understand the text of God’s word and focus on equipping themselves with doctrines rather than on deepening their experience in practice, but is that not the way of the Pharisees? So how can the phrase, “The word of God is life” be real for them? A person’s life cannot grow simply by reading God’s word, but only when the word of God is put into practice. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life and stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice the truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing the truth can it ever be understood.” Today, after reading the word of God, you can merely say that you know God’s word, but you cannot say that you understand it. Some say that the only way to practice the truth is to understand it first, but this is only partially correct, and is certainly not entirely accurate. Before you have knowledge of a truth, you have not experienced that truth. Feeling that you understand something you hear in a sermon is not truly understanding—this is just taking possession of the literal words of the truth, and it is not the same as understanding the true meaning therein. Just having a superficial knowledge of the truth does not mean that you actually understand it or have knowledge about it; the true meaning of the truth comes from having experienced it. Therefore, only when you experience the truth can you understand it, and only then can you grasp the hidden parts of it. Deepening your experience is the only way to grasp the connotations, and to understand the essence of the truth. Therefore, you can go everywhere with the truth, but if there is no truth in you, then do not think of trying to convince even your family members, much less religious people. Without the truth you are like fluttering snowflakes, but with the truth you can be happy and free, and none can attack you. No matter how strong a theory is, it cannot overcome the truth. With the truth, the world itself can be swayed and mountains and seas moved, whereas a lack of the truth can lead to strong city walls being reduced to rubble by maggots. This is an obvious fact.
Excerpted from “Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
To allow people to have a real understanding of the truth, you must link it up with reality and with the work, and solve practical problems according to the truth of God’s words. Only in this way can people understand the truth and enter into reality, and only achieving such a result is really bringing people before God. If all you talk about are spiritual theories, doctrines, and rules, if you only put effort into the literal words, all you can achieve is getting people to say the same things and follow rules, but you won’t be able to guide people to understand the truth. You’ll be particularly unable to have people better understand themselves, and achieve repentance and transformation. If being able to talk about spiritual theories could substitute for people’s entering the reality of the truth, then you would not be needed to lead the churches.
Excerpted from “Without the Truth, One Is Liable to Offend God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Perhaps some people are able to talk of the loftiest theories—but these contain nothing of reality, for these people have not personally experienced them, and therefore have no path to practice. Such people are incapable of taking others onto the right track and will only lead them astray. Is this not harmful to people? At the very least, you must be able to solve people’s present troubles and allow them to achieve entry; only this counts as dedication, and only then will you be qualified to work for God. Do not always speak grandiose, fanciful words, and do not use a bunch of unsuitable practices to bind others into obeying you. Doing so will have no effect and can only increase their confusion. Carrying on like this will produce much doctrine, which will make people loathe you. Such is the shortcoming of man, and it truly is mortifying. So talk more of problems that actually exist. Do not treat other people’s experiences as your own personal property and hold them up for others to admire; you must search for your own, individual way out. This is what each person should put into practice.
If what you fellowship can give people a path to take, then that amounts to your possessing reality. No matter what you say, you must bring people into practice and give them all a path they can follow. Don’t only allow them to have knowledge; more important is having a path to take. For people to believe in God, they must walk the path led by God in His work. That is, the process of believing in God is the process of walking the path led by the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, you must have a path you can walk, no matter what, and you must set foot upon the path of being perfected by God. Do not fall too far behind, and do not concern yourself with too many things. Only if you walk the path led by God without causing interruptions can you receive the work of the Holy Spirit and possess the path of entry. Only this counts as being in line with God’s intentions and fulfilling humanity’s duty.
Excerpted from “Focus More on Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When performing your duty, if you discover a problem, you must resolve it; unresolved problems remain forever and will worsen over time. What do I mean by worsen? I mean that if you do not resolve your problem, then it will affect your state, and it will affect other people as well. As time goes by, your problem will stop you from doing your duty well, understanding the truth, and coming before God. These are all issues, are they not? This is a serious problem, not a minor one. A person’s complaints, resentment, the misconceptions about God, misunderstandings with regard to God’s family, prejudices about others, and estrangement from people—over time, as these things build up and up within, what are their consequences? Do they lead you to the path of entering the reality of the truth, or do they lead you onto the path of evil men? On that path, will you get better and better or worse and worse? (Worse and worse.) How much worse? When these things build up inside people over a long period of time, their faith gradually disappears; when that so-called faith of theirs disappears, so does their enthusiasm. Once their enthusiasm is gone, do they not have less and less energy and willpower to fulfill their duties? They become unable to feel the joy of believing in God, nor are they able to feel His blessings while performing their duties; as such, they cannot find their internal strength, and they become filled with and controlled by complaints, negativity, notions, and misconceptions. When they live within these things, and are enveloped and controlled by them, all they can do when performing their duties is to exert themselves, enduring and going through the motions; in everything they do, they must rely on perseverance and self-restraint. They are unable to see God’s guidance or His blessings. So what comes next? No matter how they do their duties, they are unable to find principles. As they continue, they get more and more befuddled and at a loss for a way forward, and they lose all enthusiasm for fulfilling their duties.
Excerpted from “Having a Human Likeness Requires Fulfilling Your Duty Properly With All Your Heart, Mind, and Soul” in Records of Christ’s Talks
When an issue befalls you, you must have a cool head and a correct approach, and you must make a choice. You should learn to use the truth to resolve the issue. At normal times, what is the use of understanding some truths? It is not to fill your belly, and it is not merely to give you something to say, nor is it to resolve the problems of others. More importantly, its use is to resolve your own problems, your own difficulties—only after you resolve your own difficulties can you resolve the difficulties of others. Why is it said that Peter is a fruit? Because there are things of worth in him, things worth perfecting; he was resolved to seek the truth and was firm of will; he had reason, was willing to suffer hardship, and loved the truth in his heart, and he did not let go of what came to pass. These are all strong points. If you have none of these strong points, it means trouble. You are incapable of experience and have none, and you cannot resolve the difficulties of others. This is because you do not know how to enter. You are confused when things befall you; you feel distressed, weep, become negative, run away, and, no matter what you do, you are unable to handle them correctly.
Excerpted from “Confused People Cannot Be Saved” in Records of Christ’s Talks
When equipping yourself for life, you must focus on eating and drinking God’s words, you must be able to talk of knowledge of God, of your views on human life, and, in particular, of your knowledge of the work done by God during the last days. Since you pursue life, you must equip yourself with these things. When you eat and drink the words of God, you must measure the reality of your own state against them. That is, when you discover your shortcomings in the course of your real experience, you must be capable of finding a path to practice, of turning your back on your incorrect motivations and notions. If you always strive for these things and pour your heart into achieving them, then you will have a path to follow, you will not feel empty, and thus you will be able to maintain a normal state. Only then will you be someone who carries a burden in your own life, who has faith. Why is it that some people, after reading God’s words, are unable to put them into practice? Is it not because they cannot grasp the most crucial things? Is it not because they do not take life seriously? The reason that they cannot grasp the crucial things and have no path to practice is that when they read God’s words, they are unable to relate their own states to them, nor can they master their own states. Some people say: “I read God’s words and relate my state to them, and I know that I am corrupt and of poor caliber, but I am incapable of satisfying God’s will.” You have only seen the very surface; there are many real things that you do not know: how to put aside the enjoyments of the flesh, how to put aside self-righteousness, how to change yourself, how to enter into these things, how to improve your caliber, and from which aspect to begin. You only grasp a few things on the surface, and all that you know is that you are indeed very corrupt. When you meet your brothers and sisters, you talk about how corrupt you are, and it seems that you know yourself and carry a great burden for your life. In fact, your corrupt disposition has not changed, which proves you have not found the path to practice. If you are leading a church, you must be able to grasp the states of the brothers and sisters and point them out. Will it do just to say: “You people are disobedient and backward!”? No, you must speak specifically of how their disobedience and backwardness are manifested. You must speak of their disobedient states, their disobedient behaviors, and their satanic dispositions, and you must speak of these things in such a way that they are utterly convinced of the truth in your words. Use facts and examples to make your points, and say exactly how they can break away from rebellious behavior, and point out the path to practice—this is how to convince people. Only those who do so are capable of leading others; only they possess the reality of truth.
Excerpted from “Practice (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Is your understanding of truth integrated with your own states? In real life, you first have to think of which truths relate to the people, events, and things you have encountered; it is among these truths that you can find God’s will and connect what you have encountered with His will. If you do not know which aspects of the truth relate to the things you have encountered but instead go directly to seek God’s will, this is a blind approach which cannot achieve results. If you want to seek the truth and understand God’s will, first you need to look at what kind of things have happened to you, which aspects of the truth they are related to, and look for the specific truth in the word of God that relates to what you have experienced. Then you look for the path of practice that is right for you in that truth; in this way you can gain an indirect understanding of God’s will. Searching for and practicing the truth is not mechanically applying a doctrine or following a formula. The truth is not formulaic, neither is it a law. It is not dead—it is life itself, it is a living thing, and it is the rule that a created being must follow in life and the rule a human must have in life. This is something that you must, as much as possible, understand through experience. No matter what stage you have arrived at in your experience, you are inseparable from God’s word or the truth, and what you understand of God’s disposition and what you know of what God has and is are all expressed in God’s words; they are inextricably linked with the truth. God’s disposition and what He has and is are, in themselves, the truth; the truth is an authentic manifestation of God’s disposition and what He has and is. It makes what He has and is concrete, and it makes a clear statement of what He has and is; it tells you more straightforwardly what God likes, what He does not like, what He wants you to do and what He does not permit you to do, which people He despises and which people He delights in. Behind the truths that God expresses, people can see His pleasure, anger, sorrow, and happiness, as well as His essence—this is the revealing of His disposition. Aside from knowing what God has and is, and understanding His disposition from His word, what is most important is the need to reach this understanding through practical experience. If a person removes themselves from real life in order to know God, they will not be able to achieve that. Even if there are people who can gain some understanding from the word of God, their understanding is limited to theories and words, and there arises a disparity with what God Himself is really like.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When people have yet to gain the truth, they are always bewildered when something happens to them. They do not know how to make use of the truth or how to deal with it in a way that is in line with God’s intentions. Whether your environment is good or bad, and whether it is a temptation or trial for you, you remain utterly at a loss; you can only respond negatively, and are incapable of resolving the matter with a positive attitude and by using the truth. That is, no matter what environment you find yourself in, you lack the immunity to face up to it. You are incapable of actively using the truth to resolve the problem; even though all you need to do to resolve it and to satisfy God’s will in this matter is to seek the truth immediately, you still fail to achieve this. So, how much of your life and what you do is connected to God? How much does it have to do with the behavior and life that those who believe in God should have? If only 1% of it is connected to God, in appearance and in terms of your heartfelt subjective desires, while the remaining 99% has no connection to the truth, then, as God has said, “[Y]ou have done much that is irrelevant to the truth.” Is this not very frightful and dangerous? Therefore, what are the problems people face? If they were divorced from the environments set out by God, if they did not have any of His deliberate grace, or if God did not create a suitable environment for them to pursue the truth and perform their duties, then they would be liable to leave God at any time or place.
Excerpted from “Six Indicators of Progress in Life” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you want to put the truth into practice, and if you want to understand it, then first you must understand the essence of the difficulties you face and the things that happen around you, what the problems with these issues are, as well as what aspect of the truth these are related to. You must seek these things, and, afterward, you must seek the truth based on your actual difficulties. That way, as you gradually gain experience, you will be able to see the hand of God in everything that happens to you, as well as what He wants to do and the results that He wishes to achieve in you. Perhaps you never feel that anything that happens to you is connected to belief in God and the truth, and simply say to yourself, “I have my own way of dealing with this; I don’t need the truth or the words of God. When I attend gatherings, or when I read the words of God, or when I perform my duty, I’ll check myself against the truth and against God’s words.” If the everyday things that happen in your life—things to do with family, work, marriage, and your future–if you feel these various things have nothing to do with the truth, and you solve them using human methods, if this is the way you experience, then you will never gain the truth; you will never understand just what God wishes to do in you or the results He wishes to achieve.
Excerpted from “The Importance of Pursuing the Truth and the Path of Pursuing It” in Records of Christ’s Talks
People reveal corrupt dispositions. This is a fact. No one can avoid or escape it; they must face this fact. Why is this so? Some say: “I’m always revealing my corrupt disposition. I can never change it. What’s there to do? Is this just the way I am? Does God dislike me, or hate me?” Is such an attitude correct? Is such thinking correct? That people have a corrupt disposition, and that they often reveal their corrupt disposition, does not mean that they are done for, incurable. That people frequently reveal a corrupt disposition proves their life is controlled by the corrupt disposition of Satan, and that their essence is the essence of Satan. People should acknowledge and accept this fact. There is a difference between the substance of human nature and the essence of God. What should they do after acknowledging this fact? When people betray a corrupt disposition; when they indulge in pleasures of the flesh and grow distant from God; or when God works in a way that is at odds with their own ideas, and complaints arise within them, they should make themselves aware at once that this is a problem, and a corrupt disposition; it is rebellion against God, opposition to God; it does not accord with the truth, and is anathema to God. When people realize these things, they should not complain, or become negative and idle, and less should they be upset; instead, they should become capable of more profound self-reflection and self-knowledge. In addition, they should become able to come before God proactively, and must not be passive. They should take it upon themselves to come before God to seek and accept God’s reproach and discipline, and should immediately turn their state around, such that they are able to practice according to the truth and the words of God, and can act according to the principles. In this way, your relationship with God will grow increasingly normal, as will the state within you. You will be able to identify corrupt dispositions, the essence of corruption, and the various ugly states of Satan with increasing clarity. No longer will you utter such foolish and childish words as “it was Satan interfering with me,” or “it was an idea Satan gave me.” Instead, you will have accurate knowledge of corrupt dispositions, of the essence of people’s opposition to God, and of the substance of Satan. You will have a more accurate way of treating these things, and these things will not constrain you. When you have revealed a bit of your corrupt disposition, or transgressed, or have done your duty perfunctorily, or when you often find yourself in a passive, negative state, you will not become weak or lose faith in God and in His salvation. You will not live amid such circumstances, but will face your own corrupt disposition correctly, and be capable of a normal spiritual life, and, when your corrupt disposition is revealed, you will immediately be able to reverse its course, live at once before God, and seek His discipline and reproach. You will not be controlled by your corrupt disposition, nor by the essence of Satan, by your various negative and passive states, but grow faith in the pursuit of truth, in salvation, and in accepting God’s judgment, chastisement, discipline, and reproach. In this way, will people not live freely? This is the path of practicing and gaining the truth, and so, too, is it the path of salvation. Corrupt dispositions have taken root deep within people; the essence and nature of Satan control their thoughts, behavior, and mentality; yet, in the presence of the truth, the work of God, and His salvation, none of this is of concern, and it presents no difficulties. Regardless of people’s corrupt dispositions, or the problems they have, or their constraints, there is a path they can take. There is a way of resolving these things, and there are corresponding truths with which to resolve them. Is there not thus hope for their salvation?
Excerpted from “How to Solve the Problem of Being Careless and Perfunctory When Performing Your Duty” in Records of Christ’s Talks