Chapter 64. You Can Obtain Truth After Turning Your True Heart Over to God
1. Liberation and Freedom Are Achieved Only After Setting Aside Your Own Intent and Desires
As leaders, do not be envious of other’s talents, and you will thus be qualified, fulfill your responsibility, and fully express your devotion. Some people are always afraid that others will steal their limelight and surpass them, obtaining recognition while they themselves are neglected. This leads them to attack and exclude others. Is this not a case of being jealous of people more capable than themselves? Is such behavior not selfish and contemptible? What kind of disposition is this? It is malicious! Thinking only of oneself, satisfying only one’s own desires, showing no consideration for the duties of others, and thinking only about one’s own interests and not the interests of God’s house—people like this have a bad disposition, and God has no love for them. If you are truly capable of being considerate of God’s will, then you will be able to treat other people fairly. If you give someone your recommendation, and that person is cultivated into someone of talent, thereby bringing one more talented person into God’s house, will you not then have done your work well? Will you not then have been loyal in performing your duty? This is a good deed before God, and is the sort of conscience and reason humans should possess. Those who are capable of putting the truth into practice can accept God’s scrutiny in their actions. When you accept God’s scrutiny, your heart is set right. If you only ever do things for others to see and do not accept God’s scrutiny, do you have God in your heart? People like this are without a God-fearing heart. Don’t always do things for your own sake, don’t always consider your own interests, and don’t consider your own status, face or reputation. Give no consideration to people’s interests. You must first consider the interests of God’s house and make that your first priority; you should be considerate of God’s will. Start by contemplating whether or not you have been impure in your fulfilling of your duty, whether you have done your utmost to be loyal, complete your responsibilities, and given your all, and whether or not you have wholeheartedly given thought to your duty and the work of God’s house. You need to think of these things. Consider these things frequently, and you will have an easy time performing your duty well. Only when your caliber is poor, your experience is shallow, or you are not well versed with your tasks, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and the results may not be very good, but you have applied all your strength. When you are not thinking of your own selfish desires or considering your own interests in the things you do, and instead are giving constant consideration to the work of God’s house, thinking of the interests of God’s house, and performing your duty well, then you will be accumulating good deeds before God. Those who have these good deeds are those who possess the reality of the truth, and thus they have testimony. If you always live according to the flesh, always satisfying your own selfish desires, then such a person does not possess the reality of the truth. This is the marker of someone who brings God shame. You say, “I haven’t done anything; how have I brought God shame?” In your thoughts and ideas, in the intentions, goals and motives behind your actions, and in the consequences of what you’ve done—in every way you are satisfying Satan, being its laughingstock, and letting it get something on you. You do not remotely possess the testimony that you should as a Christian. You dishonor God’s name in all things and you do not possess genuine testimony. Will God remember the things you have done? In the end, what conclusion will God draw about your acts and the duty you performed? Doesn’t something have to come of that, some sort of statement? In the Bible, the Lord Jesus says, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” Why did the Lord Jesus say this? Why have those who heal the sick and cast out devils in the Lord’s name, who travel to preach in the Lord’s name, become evildoers? Who are these evildoers? Are they those who do not believe in God? They all believe in God and follow God. They also give things up for God, expend themselves for God, and perform their duty. However, in performing their duty they lack devotion and testimony, so it has become doing evil. This is why the Lord Jesus says, “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.”
What is the standard by which a person’s deeds are evaluated as good or evil? It depends on whether or not you, in your thoughts, expressions, and actions, possess the testimony of putting the truth into practice and of living out the reality of truth. If you do not have this reality or do not live this out, then you are without a doubt an evildoer. How does God see evildoers? Your thoughts and external acts do not bear testimony for God, nor do they put Satan to shame or defeat Satan; instead, they shame God, and are riddled with marks that cause God to be ashamed. You are not testifying of God, not expending yourself for God, nor are you fulfilling your responsibility and obligations toward God; instead, you are acting for your own sake. What is the implication of “for your own sake”? For Satan. Therefore, in the end, God will say, “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” In God’s eyes, you have not done good deeds; rather, your behavior has turned evil. You will not be rewarded; God will not remember you. Is this not completely in vain? For each of you fulfilling your duty, no matter how profoundly you understand the truth, if you wish to enter the reality of the truth, then the simplest way to practice is to think of the interests of God’s house in everything you do, and to let go of your selfish desires, your individual intent, motives, face, and status. Put the interests of God’s house first—this is the least that you should do. If a person performing their duty cannot do even this much, then how can they be said to be performing their duty? This is not performing one’s duty. You should first consider the interests of God’s house, consider God’s own interests, and consider His work, and put these things considerations first and foremost; only after that can you think about the stability of your status or how others see you. Do you not feel that it gets a little easier when you divide it into these steps and make some compromises? If you do this for a while, you will come to feel that satisfying God is not a difficult matter. In addition, if you can fulfill your responsibilities, perform your obligations and duties, set aside your selfish desires, set aside your own intents and motives, have consideration for God’s will, and put the interests of God and His house first, then after a while of this type of experience, you will feel that this is a good way to live: It is living straightforwardly and honestly, without being a base person or a good-for-nothing, and living justly and honorably rather than being narrow-minded or mean. You will feel that this is how a person should live and act. Gradually, the desire within your heart to gratify your own interests will decrease. There are some who have believed in God for a long time yet have not entered deeply into the lessons of pursuing truth, putting truth into practice, and entering into the reality of truth. They also do not have much depth of learning through practice, so their experience is not deep. They do not have any genuine experience. They have not truly learned through practice. And they cannot give a genuine testimony. Now I’ll tell you a simple practice: First set aside your own intent, set aside your own interests, set aside your selfish desires. After you have done this for a while, your condition within you will be transformed without your awareness of it. As soon as your condition transforms, you will change from a vague and obscure condition of equivocating between limited interest in believing in God and not being averse to believing into a different sort of condition, one that feels that believing in God is good, that being a good person is good, that feels an impetus toward being a good person, that is interested in becoming a good person, that feels living in this way is meaningful, and which through so living feels satisfaction, certainty, peace, and enjoyment within the heart. Changing into this sort of condition is a great result. This result has an aspect of human cooperation and also an aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit.
There is a bad condition within man: depression, negativity, or weakness; or fragility; or good-for-nothingness; or persistent base intent; or always being in the thrall of worrying about face, selfish desires, and one’s own benefit; or low self-worth. There are some negative conditions in which you are always in thrall to these things. When you live within these vexing conditions, it’s very difficult for you to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. If you have difficulty obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit, then positive things within you will be few. When there are few positive things within you, it’s difficult for you to obtain truth. People always rely on deliberate repression—they restrain themselves in this way or that way—and they cannot free themselves from those negative or adverse conditions. Part of this is due to people, when they cannot find a path of practice that suits them. Another reason, and this is a major one, is that people always fall into these negative, sinking, degenerate conditions, and the Holy Spirit does not work—even if He occasionally gives you enlightenment, He does not do major work. So, it takes a person great effort to do anything, and it’s difficult to see and understand something; it’s difficult to obtain enlightenment and illumination and have light. For there are too many negative, adverse, and sinking things within you that have occupied all the space within you. So, if you cannot obtain enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, cannot obtain the work of the Holy Spirit, you cannot get out of these conditions. There is no way to transform these negative conditions of yours; the Holy Spirit does not work, and you cannot find a path forward. Because of these two different reasons, it is difficult for you to enter into a positive, normal condition. Even though you can endure a lot and work hard in the performance of your duties, even though you have expended great effort, given up home and occupation, not keeping anything, your inner condition has not yet truly changed. There are too many entanglements holding you captive from practicing truth, from entering into the reality of truth. Personal notions, personal imaginations, and personal knowledge, life philosophy and some negative personal things: selfish desires and interests, concerns about face, and disputes with others—all of these various things fill the space within you. Even though you’re young, who among you is simple-minded? Every time I make a move or a sound—say something, cough, shift My seat a little—a flurry of thoughts bubbles up in your heads. Why is that? Are you simple? None of you is simple; I have never underestimated you. People have nothing positive. Their heads are full of negative and adverse thoughts; this is a fact that people cannot deny. People’s hearts have been filled and occupied by things of Satan. If you do not extirpate these things, if you cannot free yourself of these conditions, if you cannot become as a real little child—lively, lovable, innocent, guileless, authentic, pure—and come into God’s presence, then it will be very difficult for you to obtain truth.
You now have one worthwhile thing: your resolve to endure suffering and your faith. This alone has saved you. If you did not have this, you would be done for. Some people do not have the resolve to endure suffering or the spirit and impetus to expend for and devote their lives to God, so they have no enthusiasm in performing their duty. Some people perform their duty for a time, but as soon as they see they are not interested in it they leave. They go to look for a partner, seek wealth, get married, or work. Such a one feels that there is no effect from expending his time here. He does not have the faith to continue to do so, and he thinks that staying here is a waste of youth, a waste of the best time of life, a waste of his life. Luckily, now most of you are not bound by these things and have already come out of that state. However, the notions, imaginations, knowledge, personal intent, and personal desires that fill your heads remain unchanged from their original form. So as soon as you hear that God’s house will cultivate a variety of talent, as soon as it touches upon position, face, or reputation, everyone’s heart leaps in anticipation, and each of you always wants to stand out, be famous, and be recognized. Everyone is unwilling to yield, always instead wishing to contend—even though contending is embarrassing and not allowed in God’s house. However, without contention, you still are not content. When you see someone stand out, you feel jealous, hatred, and that it is unfair. “Why can’t I stand out? Why is it always that person who gets to stand out, and it’s never my turn?” You then feel some resentment. You try to repress it, but you cannot, so you pray. After you are finished praying, you feel better for a little while, but later on, when you encounter this matter again, you cannot overcome it. Is this not a case of immature stature? Is not a person’s falling into such states a trap? These are the shackles of Satan’s corrupt nature that bind humans. If a person has cast off these corrupt dispositions, is he then free and liberated? Ponder this: What kind of changes must a person make if he wants to refrain from falling into these conditions and free himself of the vexations of these things? What must a person obtain before he can free himself of the bonds of these things, and be able truly to be free and liberated? On one hand, a person must see through things: These fame and fortune and positions are tools and methods for Satan to corrupt people, to entrap them, to harm them, and to cause their degeneration. You must first see this clearly in theory. Then, you must learn to give up these things and set them aside. Setting aside these things is very difficult for anybody, whether they are young or old or new or long-time believers. Don’t think that the difficulty for those who are the quiet type is any less than for those talkative extroverts. It is difficult for everybody. Nobody can overcome this. The internal condition of every person is the same; these things are nothing less than what Satan uses to corrupt people, what is built into humankind. So, the corrupt nature of all people is the same; only the way it is expressed varies. Some people say not a word but have thoughts in their hearts. Some people reveal it when they speak. Some people struggle. Some contend. Some neither struggle nor contend, but secretly cause mischief. Some complain and grumble in secret, throwing things. The ways in which they manifest themselves differ, but their natures are all the same, without any difference, and most people’s natures are filled with these things. If you are always focusing on these things, always struggling for these things, if your heart is fully occupied with these things, if you always harbor them and never want to put them aside, then you are being controlled by and bound by these things. You have become a slave, and you cannot give them up. You must learn to let go and set aside these things, to yield, to recommend others, and to allow them to stand out. Do not struggle furiously or rush to take advantage the moment you encounter an opportunity to stand out or obtain glory. You must learn to back off, but must not delay the performing of your duty. Be a person who works in quiet obscurity, and who does not show off to others while performing your duty. The more you let go and set aside, the more peaceful you will become, and the more space will open up within your heart and the more your state will improve. The more you struggle and compete, the darker your state will be. If you do not believe it, try it and see! If you want to turn this sort of state around, and not be controlled by these things, then you must first set them aside and give them up. Otherwise, the more you struggle, the more darkness will surround you, and the more jealousy and hatred you will feel, and your desire to obtain will only grow stronger. The stronger your desire to obtain, the less capable you will be to do so, and as you obtain less, your hatred will increase. As your hatred increases, you will grow darker inside. The darker you are inside, the more poorly you will perform your duty; the more poorly you perform your duty, the less useful you will be. This is an interlinked, vicious cycle. You cannot perform your duty well in such a state, so, gradually, you will be eliminated.
For the Holy Spirit to work within a person and effect a positive change in his condition requires of that person a high degree of transformation, letting go, suffering, and also abandonment, so that the person can gradually come around. If you do not perform your duty well, but always seek honor and compete for position, face, reputation, and your own interests, then while living in such a state, do you want to do service? You can serve if you want to, but it’s possible that you will be exposed before your service ends. Exposing you happens instantaneously. As soon as you are exposed, the question is no longer whether your state can be improved; rather, it is likely that your outcome will already have been determined—and that will be a problem for you. People usually transgress and reveal their corrupt dispositions. They commit a few small mistakes, whether it’s satisfying selfish personal desires, speaking with an ulterior motive, or cheating. If they haven’t made a major mess of things, offended God’s disposition, or interrupted and disturbed God’s work—if they haven’t done one of these—then they are all pardonable. But, can they still be turned around if their acts result in disaster or great evil? It’s like a husband and wife living together. They have some minor friction between them. Occasionally they say things that hurt each other. But, as long as they are both willing to endure, and to compromise, they can still make it together. However, if one of them has an affair, refuses to turn back, and leaves the other powerless to rectify the situation, then can such a marriage survive? Your partner has given up hope in you, does not love you anymore. You are not in his heart. Any amount of endurance or compromise is useless and ineffective. If the two come to this point, they have to divorce. Even if the two live under the same roof, the marriage now exists in name only, and there is no difference between their divorcing or not divorcing. So, if you as a believer get to that point as you perform your duty—that is to say you have missed many opportunities, your heart is always hard, you never repent, you never turn back, you persist in your actions and pursuits no matter how many chances God gives you, not giving up your own intent, goals, or method of seeking—if you get to that point, then sooner or later there will come a day where, in some small matter or with some utterance of speech or in some most ordinary environment, you will be exposed. So, if a person cannot obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and cannot obtain truth, if he is continuously bound and controlled by all sorts of intents and corrupt satanic disposition, and if he cannot get out from living in these selfish desires, intents, and personal desires, then this person is in great danger, and it is only a matter of time before he stumbles, and only a matter of time before he is exposed. Perhaps now you have not stumbled, but that does not mean that you won’t stumble in the future. Or it could be that now you can still perform your duty, that you can have that small aspiration and desire to expend yourself, that you can have that bit of resolve to be perfected and resolve to expend and suffer for God; however, this cannot replace your entry into the reality of truth and does not mean that you cannot stumble in the future. Nor does it mean that you cannot be weak in the future. What do you say: Under what condition is a person really safe and secure? Some say, “Believing in God in His presence—that is like walking on eggshells! It’s like living on a knife’s edge!” Others say, “Believing in God is like that saying of the unbelievers, ‘Being in the king’s company is like being near a tiger.’ It’s so awful! If you say or do one thing wrong, then you will be eliminated; you will be cast to hell and destroyed!” Are such sayings correct? Where does the saying, “Being in the king’s company is like being near a tiger,” tend to be used? And what does “walking on eggshells” refer to? What does “living on a knife’s edge” mean? You should all know what they mean literally; they all indicate great danger. It is like a person taming a lion or tiger: Every day is like walking on eggshells or living on a knife’s edge; this is the sort of situation to which those sayings refer. That ferocious nature of tigers and lions may flare up at any moment. They are cold-blooded animals that have no affection for humans, no matter how many years they might have associated with them. If they want to eat you, they will eat you; if they want to harm you, they will harm you. Thus, is it correct to use such phrases to describe what it is like to believe in God? Do you not sometimes think in the following way? “Believing in God really is like walking on eggshells; that anger of His can flare out in an instant. He could be infuriated at any time, and He could remove someone from their position at any time. Whomever God dislikes will be exposed and eliminated.” Is this the case? (No.) It looks like you have had experience with this and understand it, so you should not be deceived. This is a fallacy; it is an absolutely absurd thing to say.
Regardless of whether people are deceitful, ingenuous, or cowardly, their intents and desires are all about the same. As long as you can free yourselves from these, and you can transform these conditions, at the least you will be able to perform your current duty well. If you are always performing your duty with your own intents and out of your personal motives and desires, then it is very difficult to perform your duty well, and very difficult to perform it in a way consistent with God’s intention; in this there is both deception and an attitude of going through the motions—it is too much trouble, and there are too many impurities. But don’t worry about these. First, resolve your intents and desires, and then your internal condition will gradually improve. First adjust your condition, improve it, and the positive things within you will increase, and your condition will change for the better. In this way, the impurities in the performance of your duty will decrease, your heart will be increasingly pure and simple, and you will perform your duty well out of a desire to perform it well. This way, it will be difficult for the corrupting things of Satan, like ideological perspectives and philosophies, to control you, and you will be more and more liberated, more and more relaxed and cheerful. Imagine a person carrying burdens on his back: a kettle, a cooking pot, a spatula, and ladle, and also carrying two bags and dragging along two kids. The clanging together of the utensils as he walks provides an accompaniment for the kids’ calling out for their mom or dad. What sort of feeling does his setting off like this give you? He’s encumbered, not free at all, and his body is not relaxed. When they get to the destination and he can finally remove these things, then how will he feel? His body will suddenly feel lighter and he’ll be surprised by how easy it has always been to move without those burdens! This is the feeling of a person who obtains liberation and the feeling of a person who obtains freedom. On the day when you truly obtain freedom and liberation, write about it in your journal or devotional notes. Write everything: what loads you set aside every day, what intents you let go of, in which areas you forsake your own intents and motives, what feelings your heart has as you do so. Write what enlightenment you obtain and how your condition is improved. Write this all down. In a day when you completely obtain liberation and freedom and no longer have any sort of burden nor bondage, you will become a free person—you will become a person like Job. Why could Job so easily utter those words? Was it a matter of a single day? It was not a matter of a single day. It was the result of day after day, year after year of refinement, and letting go, bit by bit. The more you set aside the more relaxed you will be—the more set aside the more relaxed. You will become free and liberated. In the day when you become free and liberated, you will feel that the things you have forsaken are entanglements, and the things you have truly obtained are most precious to you. You will feel that those are the most valuable things and most worthy of your treasuring. Those things you liked—material pleasures, fame and fortune, status, money, face, and the honor of others—will seem worthless to you. Those things caused you great suffering, and you will want them no more. You won’t want them even if they are given to you. You don’t need them! You are not there yet; now you are unable to cast off these things. Your life is so tiring, with no way forward or back; you aren’t willing not to compete, but when you compete you feel it’s wrong. You stagger through life, a little toward the right and then a little toward the left, walking with your feet uneven. That is precisely the sorry condition and pathetic look of a person corrupted by Satan. He keeps a cool exterior while his heart roils and storms inside all day over some trivial matter. This kind of person is so shrewd and subtle! He seems so experienced for one of such young age, and there is a depth to him; people cannot see through his exterior. He is entirely “street smart.” Do you think that God cannot observe or know what people cannot see through the exterior? (He can.) Do you really believe this? (Yes.) You may just be saying yes to say yes, but keep gaining experience and one day you will understand that man basically has just those simplistic things. It could be that you do not yet think that those things are entanglements. It’s like a simpleton who comes into town carrying several bags of luggage and then catches a bus. After he squeezes onto the bus with all his stuff, with some difficulty, the ticket-taker tells him, “Comrade, put your bags down. You don’t need to carry them on the bus; that’s too tiring.” He replies, “No. Thanks. I am heavy enough alone for the bus to take. Wouldn’t it be more difficult for the bus to take my luggage, too? Let the bus save some energy!” What do the people who hear this think? Is this not a simpleton? Those who often take the bus hurry to place their belongings on the luggage rack as soon as they board, or else drop it on the floor, so that they can relax for a little while. That is a smart person. The simpleton does not understand this principle, and he continues to carry his luggage even after boarding. Are there people like this? There should be. This is an analogy.
Right now, performing your duty is the greatest opportunity you have. You can experience how to cast off your corrupt disposition, how to obtain God’s guidance, and how to loyally perform your duty. You can learn how to satisfy God’s will, how to achieve a deception-free performance of duty, how to fulfill your personal responsibility, and how to turn your heart over to God. You can experience knowing God’s actions and seeing God’s actions through performing your duty. This is such a great opportunity! Someday, after your conditions have changed and are not like today, then you will not be sad when you are told that you may not compete for position or be jealous of others or compete for face, and you will not think, “This is too difficult! How can You control every aspect of my life?” Instead, when this is brought up, you will say, “There is no need to continue explaining; none of us competes for these things. We all yield and are not controlled by these things. They are nothing; they’re all trifles, all things that unbelievers do. How could we not have attained this stature after believing in God for so long? Whoever is most suitable is chosen, fairly and rationally.” That is right, and everyone can perform their duty like normal.
2. Only Honest Hearts Can Obtain Truth
What kinds of trials are you able to endure now? Do you dare say that you already have a foundation? Can you remain standing when you face testing? Can you be victorious over, for example, tests of environment, tests of status or reputation, marital tests, or financial tests? (We can be victorious over some of them.) There are several levels of testing; over which level can you be victorious? Maybe you don’t fear when you hear about someone’s arrest, and maybe you don’t fear when you see someone else arrested, or when you see someone else cruelly tortured, but when you yourself are arrested, when you personally face this sort of environment, can you remain standing? Is this not a great test? For example, you know someone of decent humanity with enthusiastic faith in God, who has given up his home and occupation and suffered much. One day he is suddenly arrested and sentenced, and later you get word that he was beaten to death. Is this a test for you? How would you feel about it in the midst of such a test? How would you get through it? Would you seek truth in the face of such an event? How do you seek truth, and how do you ensure that you can stand through this test, understand God’s intention, and obtain truth through this test? Have you thought about these things? Is it easy to be victorious over such a test? Is this not a special event? How do you get through special events or events that go against ordinary conventions? How can you smoothly pass through this sort of test without any complaint, without any sort of conception about God’s work? Is this not something with which you should be equipped for the pursuit of truth? Then, at what level of stature are you now? Over what level of test are you able to be victorious? Do you confidently know within your heart? If you do not, then it’s difficult to answer those questions. Just now you said, “We can be victorious over some of them.” This is muddled speaking. You must be clear about your level of stature and what truths you have been equipped with. You must know over what tests you can be victorious and which trials you can accept. You must know which truths you should have to face which trials and which truths you should pursue in order to be a person who satisfies God. You must be well aware of these things. When some matters and things confront you that are routine, that people often encounter, that are often spoken of, and which a person’s thought is prepared for, you can be victorious over those that accord relatively strongly with the conceptions and imagination of man. But, if you encounter some event that does not conform to your notions and imaginings, then how do you get through it? How should you equip yourself with truth, and what types of truth should you be equipped with in order to smoothly pass through that event? Is this something that should be sought? What are some of the common tests you experience? Position, reputation, relations with the opposite sex—basically they are all these common ones. For these commonly experienced tests, at your current stature, through which of these tests can you master yourselves and perform your duty well, without doing anything in violation of truth, without doing anything interrupting or disruptive, without doing anything in resistance or disobedience to God, without doing anything that hurts God’s heart? Is there a path of practice for this? On one hand, be introspective and examine yourself and see whether there is anything within you that resists God. Additionally, you also must often seek truth and see whether your actions accord with truth, God’s intention, and God’s requirements. You must see whether your actions show consideration for God’s intention and whether they put truth into practice. You must achieve both of these aspects: You must achieve entry into both the active and passive aspects. In this way, a person can perform his duty well.
Some say, “Most of the time when I face tests, I don’t know how to seek answers, and when I seek them I do not find them.” There are others who say, “There have been many times where I’ve prayed, and sought, and waited, but with no results. I don’t know how to do it. I search God’s word, but there is too much of it, and I don’t know what parts are relevant or how I should practice.” Here is a most basic standard, one that can serve as a last-ditch survival effort when you encounter many things that you do not know how to handle. It is the most basic minimal standard to which you should hold, and it’s a principle of practice. Do you know what it is? According to what does everyone act? (According to conscience.) They should act according to conscience. You speak quite accurately. It appears you have some experience. So, how much influence does conscience exert within a person? How great a role his conscience can have when he does not understand truth depends on what his humanity is like. If this person does things without understanding truth but does not act according to conscience so that you can’t see any area in which what he does shows consideration for God’s intention nor can you see any reverence for God in him—if you can’t see these, then does this person have a conscience? This person is not a person with a conscience. Does such a person have humanity? (No.) Then what kind of person is this? The standard saying and precise definition is that this kind of person does not have humanity and has fallen below the minimum standard of humankind. He has no conscience, and he does things neither according to reason nor according to conscience. Some people do not understand many truths, they don’t know what is the right thing to do, and have not mastered principles. What is to be done, then? The lowest standard is that one ought to act according to conscience. How does one act according to conscience? The particulars of following conscience are that when a person acts, he must do so relying on a true heart and live up to God’s having given this life and opportunity for obtaining salvation. Is this not the function of conscience? Once you have this most basic foundation you will have obtained protection, and won’t you then not so easily do things to disobey God or shirk your responsibility? Then you will not so easily just go through the motions or be perfunctory, and you will not so easily fall to scheming for your own position, fame, gain, and future—this is the role of conscience. The most fundamental and important components of one’s humanity are conscience and reason. What kind of person is one who lacks conscience and does not have the reason of normal humanity? Generally speaking, he is a person who lacks humanity or a person of bad humanity. If we speak specifically, how does this person manifest corrupt humanity such that people say he does not have humanity? Let’s analyze the characteristics of this kind of person. What kinds of characteristics do all such people have? What specific manifestations do they present? Such people are perfunctory in their actions and stand aloof from anything that does not concern them personally. They do not consider the interests of God’s house, nor do they show consideration for God’s will. They take on no burden of testifying for God or performing their duties, and possess no sense of responsibility. What is it that he thinks about? His first consideration is, “Will God know if I do this? Is it visible to other people? If other people don’t see that I do this, that I expend all this effort and behave truly, and if God also does not see it, then there is no use for my expending such effort or suffering for this.” Is this not selfishness? At the same time, it is also a very base sort of intent. When he thinks and acts in this way, is conscience playing any role? Is there any part of conscience in this? There is no role or part of conscience. There are even people who, upon seeing a problem, remain silent. They see that others are creating interruptions and disturbances, yet do nothing to stop them. They do not consider the interests of God’s house in the least, nor do they at all think about their own duties or responsibilities with which they are bound. They speak, act, stand out, put forth effort, and expend energy only for their own vanity, face, position, interests, and honor. The actions and intents of someone like that are clear to everyone: He pops out whenever there is an opportunity for honor or to enjoy some blessing. But, when there is not an opportunity for honor, or as soon as there is a time of suffering, he pulls his head into his shell like a craven tortoise. Does this kind of person have the conscience and reason? Does a person without conscience and reason who behaves in this way feel self-reproach? The conscience of this kind of person serves no purpose, and he has never felt self-reproach. So, can he feel the reproach or discipline of the Holy Spirit?
The work of the Holy Spirit has its principles, and it is conditional. In what kind of person does the Holy Spirit typically work? What must a person possess to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit? In one’s faith, one must clearly understand that at the very least one must have a conscience and an honest heart. Only once you have an honest heart—as well as the conscience and reason that humanity must contain–can the Holy Spirit work on you. People always say, “God looks deeply into the heart, He observes everything. People look on the appearance but God looks on the heart.” But, people never know why some people never obtain enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, why they can never obtain grace, why they never have joy, why they are always negative and depressed and can never become positive. Take a look at their conditions. This is certain to be the case for every such person: They do not have a functioning conscience and do not have honest hearts. Those people who always have peace and joy, who are always active and improving in performing their duty, who always gain something, who always have understanding, who always will have gained something after a period of time—does this type of person simply imagine the things he gains? Are they studied from a book? They’re not. The work of the Holy Spirit is primary. Have you figured out a pattern of how the Holy Spirit works? The Holy Spirit usually works on those whose hearts are honest, and He works when people get into trouble and are seeking truth. God will not pay heed to those who have no shred of human reason or conscience. When a person’s heart is especially honest, he will be moved, have entry, and things will go smoothly for him when he acts. Since you have this feeling, do you not know in what kind of person the Holy Spirit works? If someone is very honest but for some period of time his heart is turned away from God and he does not desire to improve, and he falls into a negative condition and does not come out of it and does not cooperate—then the Holy Spirit does not work in him during the occasional darkening of his condition or his temporary degeneration; how then can someone without a consciousness of humanity be worked in by the Holy Spirit? It is even more impossible. What, then, should these people do? They must genuinely repent. First, your heart must open up to God, and you must seek truth from God; once you understand the truth, you can practice it. You can then submit to God’s arrangement and allow God to take charge of you. Only in this way will you be praised by God. You must first set aside your own pride and vanity, and forgo your own interests. After that, put your entire body and soul into your duty and into the work of testifying for God. You must first surrender yourself, open your heart to God, and set aside the things that you love and treasure. If you continue to hold on to those things while making requests of God, will you be able to gain the work of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit is conditional, and God is a God who hates evil and who is holy. If people always hold on to these things, constantly closing themselves off to God and rejecting God’s work and guidance, then God will stop working on them. God is not required to work within every person, and will not force you to do this or that. He does not coerce you. The work of evil spirits is to force humans to do this and that. The Holy Spirit works especially gently; He moves you, and you do not feel it. You simply feel as though you have unconsciously come to understand or realize something. So, those without human reason or conscience must genuinely repent, or else the Holy Spirit will not work on them.
What are the behavioral manifestations of turning over one’s heart? What are specific actions involved? It is that you set aside these things that can bind you: face, reputation, and status. You set aside all these things that can hinder your coming into God’s presence. You are not carrying a burden but rather come into God’s presence with two empty hands to accept your duty and allow God to work in you and guide you. If you have this true heart, then as soon as God sees it, the Holy Spirit will work. First you must have this sort of genuine repentance and these kinds of acts. Your heart must start to act, and you must start to act. You can’t say, “I will do this, and God will do what He will—in any case, I am doing this.” What kind of attitude is that? What kind of condition is that? (Passive resistance.) This is resistance. This is disobedience. Did you think that God must save you? That you cannot be missed? Is this the case? Why was God’s work transferred to the Gentile nations and why it is not with Israel anymore; do you know? Those with conscience and reason have nothing to boast of; they only have a bit of conscience, a bit of the most basic part of humanity. They cannot live in a complacent condition but must pray often and examine whether their acts are of a heart that reveres God and whether their acts satisfy God’s intention and accord with truth. Regardless of how good your humanity, regardless of how good reason and conscience you have, a person’s pursuit of truth in God’s presence is endless. A person’s merely having conscience is far from sufficient; God’s will can only be satisfied through your possessing truth. There are some people of good humanity who have a little bit of conscience, but it is not enough. What are they to do? They must examine themselves in all respects. Some say, “I am a nice man, and moderation is my goal and the principle by which I do everything in my life.” On the surface, it seems they have good humanity, that they have sound reason in all areas. Most times they do not speak up and do not express their point of view. What is this kind of person like? A person’s never speaking or expressing any point of view does not represent that he has reason. On the contrary, people say that you, this type of person, are quite good at pretending, that you conceal your intentions, and that you are quite shrewd. Can you be open to God if you are not open to other people? If you have nothing bare or open to other people, then are you a person who has turned over your true heart to God? Certainly not.
When enlightening you to understand something, sometimes the Holy Spirit works very quickly, while at other times, the Holy Spirit makes you go through an experience for a time before gradually allowing you to comprehend it. It is not that He does not allow you to experience anything and only lets you understand a few dry words. By what principles does the Holy Spirit work? The Holy Spirit works by the principle of arranging your environment and arranging people, events, and things to allow you to mature among them and to gradually understand truth in the course of experiencing them. He does not give you a few simple words—inspiring you, or enlightening you, or providing you with a little light—nor does He simply give you a few dry words and doctrines. Rather, He allows you to learn, and gradually to grow through experiencing different events, environments, and different people, events, and things. He causes you gradually to understand truth through this process of growth. Therefore, the Holy Spirit works by a very natural principle; He works in complete accordance with the natural pattern of human development, without employing any compulsion whatsoever. According to the principle and scope of the Holy Spirit’s work, if a person does not have the least bit of human reason and conscience that he should, then can he obtain the work of the Holy Spirit? Can he obtain God’s guidance and enlightenment? What do I mean by this? People always say that they seek truth, that they are understanding more truth, but they have overlooked something. They think: “Whether my humanity is good or bad, whether or not I have conscience, whether or not I surrender my heart to God, I’ll just seek after truth more.” Seek after it how? “Listen more, write more, read more, and then perform my duty more, exert more effort, and suffer more, and it will be all right.” Such a person has not realized and does not know the most basic of basics. Now do you understand? What is the least that a person should possess if he wants to understand and obtain truth? (Conscience and reason.) How do you simply say what it is to have conscience and reason? It is that at the very least a person must possess an honest heart.
What are the manifestations of having an honest heart? What I just said about a person having a good humanity, a sincere heart, having conscience and reason—these are not some abstract and vague things that cannot be seen or touched. You can discover anywhere in daily life that these are all things of reality. Say a person is great; is that something you can see? You can’t see it. Say a person is perfect; is that something you can see? You can’t see it or touch it; you can’t even imagine what it is to be perfect or great. But, if someone is supposedly selfish, can you see the person’s acts, and can they correspond to the description? If someone is supposedly honest with a sincere heart, is this the behavior that you can see? If someone is supposedly deceitful, crooked, base, can you see these? Even if you close your eyes, you can comprehend whether the person’s humanity is inferior or superior through what he says and how he acts. So, “good or bad humanity” is not an empty phrase. Descriptions like “selfish and base,” “crooked and deceitful,” or “arrogant and opinionated” are all things that you can grasp through real life when you come into contact with a person; these are the negative elements of humanity. So, then, can the positive elements of humanity that people should possess—honesty, a love of truth—be perceived during everyday life? Can you then see and distinguish whether a person has the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, whether he can obtain God’s guidance, and whether or not the Holy Spirit works within him? How can these be distinguished? You can prove the quality of a person’s humanity by using the two standards of what he lives out and the essence of how he acts. When you come into contact with a person, how do you judge what he is like, distinguish whether he is a lover of truth, whether he can accept truth, and whether he can obtain truth? You have to look first at the quality of his humanity. If the person’s mouth is full of sweet-sounding words and he has a honeyed tongue but does not act honestly—when it comes time to act, to really act, he only thinks about himself and never thinks of others—what kind of humanity is this? (Selfishness and baseness. He has no humanity.) Is it easy for a person without humanity to obtain truth? It is difficult for him to obtain truth. As soon as there comes a time of suffering or paying some price, he thinks, “You guys go ahead first with this suffering and paying the price. Go ahead, and when the results are basically achieved I will come.” What kind of humanity is this? These behaviors are known collectively as “not having humanity.” Every person has corrupt disposition, but some people have a working conscience and feel self-reproach when they encounter a certain event, so they do not behave that way. Even though they do not consciously say, “I am pursuing truth and must be a good person,” they have a working conscience, and think, “I can’t behave that way. I must be worthy of God’s grace and choosing me.” So, then, is such a person putting truth into practice when his conscience works like this? Actually, he is not necessarily putting truth into practice, but he is on the path of putting truth into practice, which is right, and it is then easy for him to obtain truth. This is the most basic foundation of a person’s obtaining truth. Some people move forward when they face an event, and some shrink back. Some hide when they face danger, and some protect others, rushing forward themselves. When they face an event, some people endure and yield, and others contend and compete. This is how you can see the quality of someone’s humanity. Aren’t there differences in humanity?
All of you set out your resolve and swear in God’s presence: I give my life to God; I spend for God my whole life and seek nothing for myself. But, people with bad humanity always contend, always struggle, are never yielding and never forbearing. Is it easy for someone who has never acted according to conscience to obtain truth? To be made perfect by God? (No.) Then, for what type of person is it easy to be made perfect by God and to obtain truth? Have you felt this? (People with good humanity.) There must be a standard for “good humanity.” It is not taking the path of moderation. Not sticking to principles, not displeasing anyone, flattering everyone, being smooth, slick and worldly-wise, and making everyone feel good—these are not the standard. So what is the standard? The standard is that they have a sincere heart toward God, man, and events, they can bear responsibilities, and this is evident for all to see, and for all to feel. Moreover, God searches their hearts and knows them, each and every one. Some people always hold themselves up as examples of good humanity, saying they’ve never done anything bad, never stolen others’ things, and never coveted other people’s things, so much so that, when there is a dispute over interests, they’ll let others benefit at their own expense, preferring for themselves to suffer loss, and when they see wicked people doing evil deeds they don’t expose them and they have no principles whatsoever, and everyone else thinks they’re good people. Yet, when they perform their duty in God’s house, they are wily and slippery, always scheming for themselves, without one thing in which they’re capable of thinking of the interests of God’s house, without one thing in which they treat as urgent the things God treats as urgent or thinks as God thinks, and in nothing can they set aside their own interests so as to perform their duty. They have never abandoned their own interests. This is not good humanity. Pay no attention to what such a one says; you must see what he lives out, see what he reveals, see what his attitude is when he performs his duties, and what his internal condition is and what he loves. If his love of his own fame and fortune exceeds his devotion to God, if his love of his own fame and fortune exceeds God’s interests, if his love of his own fame and fortune exceeds the consideration he shows for God, then he is not a person with humanity. His behavior can be seen by others and can be seen by God, so it is very difficult for such a person to obtain truth. Do you now understand what kind of person can obtain truth? You all pursue truth. You meet together and perform your duties together. Your time at performing your duties is all about the same. You have believed in God for about the same amount of time and have all read nearly the same amount of God’s word. You have all been through about the same amount of suffering, and you share roughly equal resolve. The vows you made in the beginning are basically the same, and your ages are about the same. You are people of similar caliber. It is only your humanity that differs among you. For what sort of person is it easy to obtain truth? (A person with a true heart toward God, who is honest and who has humanity, conscience, and reason.) This is very important; this is certain.
Now that you understand that, ponder this: Does obtaining truth have anything to do with a person’s caliber, education, birth background, age, or family environment? Does it have anything to do with a person’s talents? With the skills he has mastered? With his appearance? Aren’t these things completely unrelated to obtaining truth? They are fundamentally unrelated. Some people are of poor caliber but they are honest and consistently down-to-earth in their actions; they appear to do things quite clumsily, and yet they find a trick to what they are doing, and the results are quite good. Nobody could have imagined it, and they think it’s unbelievable, “He is of poor caliber; how can he achieve such results?” Some people then become jealous, but is there any point to such jealousy? It’s useless. Who has the final word in this? All of this is in God’s hands; you must see this point clearly. All things and matters are in God’s hands; you must believe this. God bestows grace on man and allows him to understand truth, without regard to a person’s appearance or to whether he can make himself up or speak well, and without regard to how educated or talented he is. Some say, “I am clumsy of speech; look at how eloquent others are, like doves. I am so ugly, and I’m not tall. Aren’t I just done for?” What is the nature of this way of thinking? What is the internal condition of someone who has this point of view? Is it not a misunderstanding of God? Is it not an ignorance of God’s intention? Somebody with such a viewpoint is disobedient and does not understand God’s intention. He thinks the people whom God perfects and saves, whom He enlightens and guides are those of good appearance, who can speak well, who are educated and knowledgeable, all geniuses. He thinks they are those who can write and paint, and sing and dance. Does this not slander God? He misunderstands God’s heart too much! People always say that God is righteous, that He sees the innermost heart, and yet as soon as they face some event they misunderstand God. Do you understand a little more now? What does God look at in a person? God looks at a person’s heart. All of a person’s behavior is controlled by his heart. If your heart is honest, then you have good humanity and can gradually understand truth, and when you understand a certain amount of truth you can satisfy God’s requirements and be considerate of God’s intention. If your heart is too deceitful, closed, hard, and selfish, then you do not have good humanity, and what is this kind of person like? He conceives and imagines that God is such and such a way, but when he faces reality he misunderstands God and fails to ever understand God’s intention. So, can he obtain truth? (He cannot obtain truth.) In the end when he cannot obtain truth, will he blame himself or others, or will he complain about God saying that God is not fair? (He will blame himself.) Then, what should this sort of person do? He must engage in specific behaviors and specific practices. When you reveal yourself to be selfish, you realize this, and ponder, “What should I do to stop being selfish? Okay, I’ll begin by setting my own interests aside.” As you are setting them aside little by little, the longer this goes on, the more at ease with it you will feel, and the more you set your interests aside, the more you will feel that in doing so, you are being a straightforward, upright person, that such behavior makes you worthy of the word “person,” that living this way on earth is an open and honest way to be, and that conducting yourself this way you are being a genuine person worthy of the life God has given you and worthy of all the things bestowed upon you by God. The more you live like this, the more at ease and brightened you will feel. As such, you’ll have set foot upon the right track, no?
Can a person’s selfishness, baseness, deceit, and arrogance be set aside? They can in fact be set aside, but people are unwilling to walk this path. They value their own interests too highly and are too hardened, never understanding God’s intention and being always muddleheaded. Is it that God is keeping them in the dark? It’s not that God is concealing anything from them. It’s not that God keeps them from seeing Him. God is always open toward people, but people do not come into God’s presence and open themselves to Him and yet still want to freely take the grace He bestows. God says, “If you want to take these graces and obtain these truths, that’s okay. There is only one condition: Set aside your personal interests and turn your true heart over to Me.” It is this condition to which nobody can attain. People still want to demand grace, peace, and joy, and obtain truth from God. What kind of person is this? Is this not a person of Satan’s ilk? Is there really a way someone can have it both ways? In fact there is not. God is always leading everyone, regardless of whether you admit or accept that He is doing so; it’s just that you do not turn your hearts over to God, and you are too hardened, so you cannot obtain anything—it’s actually not that God is biased toward you. People often say that God will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, but they don’t understand what that actually means when they hear it and actually misunderstand it. People think God favors whomever He pleases and gives grace to whomever He pleases, that grace is from God, and He gives it to whomever He is willing to give it. Is this the case? Unless they have a correct view of this and really compare it with reality, people will feel like it should be the case, and, according to the conception and imagination of man, it should be the case. In fact, however, God is fair to everyone and gives equally; it’s just that there is a portion of people whose hearts are too hard, who do not come into God’s presence, who are willing to build their own fine life and future with their own two hands and who want to control their own futures and do not want to allow God to exert control. They are thus not wise and do not say: “In reality all is in God’s hands. I may as well turn myself over to God and doing so is justifiable and I can gain more.” They do not have this reason and always act foolishly. Such a fool always thinks he is so smart, thinking, “Some people have given up their families, keeping nothing, and in the end turned their true hearts over to God, but what have they obtained? See how clever I am: I am better at calculating than others. I don’t reveal myself to anyone. They don’t even know what it is I’m planning! I’ll keep up this way with a foot on each side, giving nothing up and delaying nothing, and in the end I will obtain salvation, too. How foolish he is! He sticks stubbornly to his ways, and without even knowing what God will do in the future, he has given up everything and has not even left himself a way back. How foolish he is!” Who is actually the foolish one? The person who thinks like this is foolish! This is a case of differences in humanity.
What sort of person does God approve of? What sort of person does God want? People who sincerely spend for God. In fact, God does not want much from you. He does not want to deprive you of your personal interests; rather, He gives you opportunities to practice, and put all your abilities to use. A person’s sincere heart is what God wants. Regardless of where you perform your duty and what abilities you have, He lets you realize them all and gives you the greatest space in which to show your personal abilities and talents, and in the end God wants to let you obtain truth within every environment and in the midst of every duty, to let you understand God’s intention and live like a person. He does not want to deprive you of anything but rather wants you to accomplish the most you can in everything. People are always narrow-minded and think, “I’ve studied vocal performance in the world, so isn’t my path of vocal performance now cut short because of my performing my duty?” Has it in fact been cut short? Even if it has, how much of a loss is that? In reality, though, not only has it not been cut short, but it has been displayed and applied even more regularly; is this not a great opportunity? You have space for the development of your personal hobbies and talents; additionally, during this time you are performing the duty of a created being, can obtain truth, and get on the correct life path. This is such a happy thing and such a great blessing! There’s no loss no matter how you calculate it. When you distance yourself from the land of evil and corruption, when you separate yourself from wicked groups, at the very least your thought, spirit, and heart will no longer continue to be abused and corrupted. When you come to a clean place and come into God’s presence, is this not a great blessing? As people are reincarnated over and over across the generations, how many opportunities are there like this? Is it not only those who have been born in the last days who have this opportunity? This is a great thing! Secretly rejoice; this is not a situation of coming to grief or loss. As a created being among all things in the universe and billions of people on this earth, how many people can have an opportunity like this, to bear testimony of the actions of the Lord of creation as a created being by giving themselves over to the fulfilling of their duty and responsibility? Who can have such an opportunity? Are there many of these people? What is the proportion of them? Are there one in ten thousand? No, there are even fewer! Especially you use the knowledge you have studied in order to perform your duty—this is so meaningful! Isn’t this such a great blessing? You are not testifying of a person, and you are not engaged in some mere cause. The One you serve is the Lord of creation—how wonderful this is! During this period you have also been watered and have such a good environment and opportunity. If you do not obtain some practical benefits and do not obtain truth, then would you not regret it for the rest of your life? You would regret it for the next half of your life, and you’d be laughed at, for speaking of this is embarrassing. So, you must seize this opportunity and not let it pass by. Perform well during the period of your performance of duty. Obtaining truth is the most valuable thing and the most meaningful part of life! Among all creation there is not a single person or a single group of people more blessed than you here. For what do those others live? They live for reincarnation, for the excitement of this earth. For what do you live? For your duty, for performing your duty as a created being. Is it not valuable to live this way? Extremely valuable! So, you cannot look lightly on the duty that you perform.