To Fulfill One’s Duty Well, Understanding the Truth Is Most Crucial
In order to satisfactorily perform one’s duty, the most important thing is to make a great effort for the truth. Only by grasping the truth principles can people act in accordance with these principles. In addition, people need to learn about various areas of expertise and specialized skills related to their duties, and it is essential to learn some simple and practical techniques. Some people have a bit of technical expertise, but they don’t know how to apply this to their duties. When they do things, their hearts are never clear on the matter. They don’t know which way of doing things is correct, complies with the truth principles, and can benefit others, or which way is incorrect and violates the principles. Their minds are in a confused state. To them, it seems that this way is correct, but other ways seem feasible too. They are never sure how to act appropriately and do not know how to practice so as to follow the correct path. What does this prove? (They don’t understand the truth.) These people do not understand the truth, and they are in a state of ambiguity concerning their inner state and their understanding and assessment standards for many things. When they are not engaged in something, they feel that they understand everything and that everything is easy for them. When they actually encounter a real-life situation, however, they don’t know what to make of it, how to deal with it, or the right way to proceed. Only then do they feel that they have nothing and understand nothing of the truth. The doctrines they discoursed on previously are useless. They have no choice but to seek from other people and discuss the situation with them. This is what happens when people who don’t understand the truth encounter a situation—they are at a loss, full of anxiety, feel that it’s wrong to do this and incorrect to do that, and cannot find the correct path. Only then do they see that, without the truth, it really is difficult to take a single step! What are such people most in need of at this time? Is it satanic philosophy and knowledge, or an understanding of the truth? The most crucial thing is to understand the truth. If you don’t understand the truth, even if you finish a job, you will feel uncertain about it. You will not know if you did it properly or what the result will be after the job is completed. You cannot measure these things. Why can’t you measure them? Why is your heart always full of uncertainty? It is because, when you do things, you are not sure if you do them in a way that really and truly accords with principles, if what you are practicing are principles, and whether or not your practice conforms with the truth. You cannot verify this. If you achieve some little result in performing your duty, you will feel that you are very capable and have gained some capital, becoming complacent. However, if there is no obvious result or it does not meet the standards of principles, you will immediately become negative and think, “When will God enlighten me? Why does God always enlighten others, while I receive no inspiration, no enlightenment, and no illumination?” Sometimes you may feel that you have done things with correct intentions and made a great deal of effort, so you hope that God will happily accept, approve, and affirm your effort. At the same time, however, you also fear that God will say you acted incorrectly and not approve of it. Does this not show a concern for gain and loss? When you see that you are small in stature, too rebellious and arrogant, and that you become complacent whenever you achieve the slightest thing, you will feel that you are too corrupt, you are a devil, Satan, and unworthy of God’s salvation. Then, after making some further small achievements, you will think that you are not so bad after all, that you have some ability and can achieve some results, and so you should be rewarded. Does this show a concern for gain and loss? What gives rise to this state of worrying about gain and loss? It is directly related to a lack of understanding of the truth. When people do not understand the truth, it produces many states and many manifestations. The main thing is that people often live in a state of concern about gain and loss. This is their normal state. Because you don’t understand the truth, you can’t measure your own capabilities; you don’t know what you can and cannot do. Because you don’t understand the truth, you don’t know what principles and standards to follow when performing your duty, or the result to aim for. You also don’t know what the goal and direction of life is. You don’t know why God is angry with you, why God commends you, or why God is lenient with you—you don’t know any of these things. You don’t know where you should stand, and you can’t measure whether what you have done has fulfilled your duty as a created being and whether you have performed satisfactorily. Sometimes you do things timidly, and other times you are bold and frenzied. Your state is always unstable. How does a person’s state become unstable? Ultimately, this is related to a lack of understanding of the truth. When people don’t understand the truth, they handle things without principles. They are highly erratic when they do things, and unfailingly deviate in one way or another. When not doing anything, they seem to understand everything and they speak well on doctrine—but when something happens and they are asked to sort it out, to apply all of the truths they understand to real life, they have no path, they don’t know what principle to use, and they say to themselves, “I understand that I must perform my duty faithfully, I must be honest, I must not have notions or misunderstandings about God, I must be obedient to God—but how should I actually handle this?” They keep thinking it over and trying to apply rules, and end up with no idea of what rules to apply. Do you think that someone who has to search through a book of God’s words when something happens to them is someone who understands the truth? This is not truly understanding the truth. Such people merely understand a few doctrines, but have not yet grasped the reality of these truths. This shows that what they usually say, and what they believe they understand, are nothing but doctrines. If you understand the truth, if you possess the truth reality, then when something happens to you, you will know how to act in accordance with God’s will, and how to act within the bounds of principle. If all you understand is doctrine—and not the truth—then when something really does happen to you, if you rely on doctrine and follow rules, you will have no way through. You won’t be able to find the principle and won’t be able to find a path to practice. Which is to say, it might seem as if you understand an aspect of the truth, as if you understand the meaning of those words of the truth, and as if you understand a little of God’s will and what God asks—as if you know all of this—but when something happens to you, you are unable to put the truth into practice, you blindly apply rules and make a mess of things. Is this not shameful? When something happens to people who truly understand the truth, they are able to find the principles to practice, they have a path of practice, and can put the truth principles into practice. As for those people who can only spout words and doctrines, it seems as if they understand the truth, but when the time comes to act, they get all muddled up. This proves that people who spout words and doctrines absolutely do not understand the truth. People who spout words and doctrines are trying to delude others, they are deceivers. They are deceiving both themselves and others—which means they are harming themselves as well as others!
Is what you understand now more truths, or more doctrines? (More doctrines.) What is the cause of this? (It is the result of not pursuing the truth.) (A lack of effort to go and ponder the truth.) It has something to do with all of these things, but the reasons you gave are all subjective. There is also an objective reason, which is related to people’s caliber. Some people have listened to sermons for more than a decade but cannot distinguish truth from doctrine, nor can they discern the difference between obeying rules and practicing the truth. They listen to sermons earnestly and work carefully to make discernments, but they just cannot tell the difference. They feel that the fellowships everyone does are all about the same, that is, they are all pretty good, and they are all quite practical. After listening to them, they can’t tell what is doctrine and what is truth. Is this a problem of caliber? (Yes.) Can your caliber rise to the level of the truth reality? Every time leaders and workers fellowship at gatherings or associate and interact with you at other times, can you tell how much of what they say is the truth reality and how much is doctrine? (Yes.) If you can tell, it proves that you have some discernment, and you are not completely incapable of discernment. If you can tell the difference, it proves that your caliber is not bad. People’s calibers are divided into several grades: poor, average, good, and exceptionally good. These are essentially the four grades. Those with even worse than poor caliber cannot grasp the truth; they have no caliber at all. They can’t understand anything they hear and do not act with thought, logic, or principles in anything they do. In their heads, it is all a tangled mess. They are muddled people, what we might colloquially call brutes. If their caliber is extremely poor, they are intellectually disabled. They lack the sense of normal people. These are people we might call stupid, half-crazy, or half-baked.
People with extremely poor caliber are intellectually disabled—we needn’t discuss them any further. Let’s talk about how poor caliber shows itself. Some people have believed in God for many years but still don’t understand the truth. They can’t even perform the basic duty of spreading the gospel, they can’t fellowship on the truth, and they can’t give testimony. These are manifestations of poor caliber. What are other manifestations of poor caliber? After listening to sermons for many years, people with poor caliber feel that all of them are the same—they are all about the same things. They can’t clearly differentiate between the details of various truths, let alone tell the difference between truth and doctrine. They can’t even speak the simplest words and doctrines, let alone understand the truth. Do such people have the worst caliber of all? For such people, no matter how they listen to sermons or how many years they have listened to sermons, they cannot make sense of them, and they don’t understand what the truth is or what it means to know oneself. No matter how long they have believed in God or how many sermons they have listened to, in the end, they still cannot practice the truth. They can only obey a few rules and remember a few things they consider important—anything more, and they can’t remember it. Why is this? Because their caliber is poor, they can’t rise to the truth, and can’t comprehend too many things. At the very most, they can understand some superficial doctrines. This is the furthest they can go. Such people are often quite arrogant and talk themselves up. Some people will say, “I believed in the Lord when I was still in my mother’s womb. I became holy a long time ago, and have long been baptized and cleansed.” Some of them have accepted God’s new work for three, five, or even ten years, yet they still repeat the same thing. Isn’t this a sign of poor caliber? Some people say, “You say I don’t know myself—you’re the ones who don’t know yourselves. I became holy long ago.” People who say this are those most lacking in spiritual understanding, those with the worst caliber. Can you still fellowship on the truth with such people? You cannot. No matter how much you talk, they will not understand what the truth is, what it is to practice the truth, what it is to obey God, what life entry is, and what it is to change one’s disposition. They can’t understand these things or reach this level. In their belief in God, they are attentive to following some rules, such as withdrawing from worldly affairs, renouncing the world, having no dealings with devils, not doing evil, committing fewer sins, holding fast to God’s name, not betraying God, and praying and relying on God in all things—just these matters. They basically remain confined to the formalities of religious belief. After hearing so many of God’s words and sermons on the truth, they don’t understand what they hear. The more they listen, the more confused they feel, so they don’t take any of it in. If you ask them what God asks of people in this stage of work, they can’t tell you. They can only say a few simple things about doctrines. This means that their caliber is extremely poor and they cannot understand God’s words.
What are the manifestations of people with average caliber? The main manifestation is that they do not have the ability to comprehend God’s words. After listening to sermons, they only understand some words and doctrines, but they cannot discover any new light. When things befall them, they still cannot handle them, nor can they practice the truth. They can only spout some empty doctrines and follow rules. When listening to sermons, they seem to understand, but when things befall them, they will still follow rules and act according to their own will. And they always upbraid others by spouting words and doctrines. After believing in God for many years, they understand many doctrines, and when fellowshiping with others, they can talk a bit more about knowing themselves. They can express their meaning in a complete and concrete way and can have normal conversations with people. However, they still don’t understand what the truth is or what reality is. They think that the doctrines they talk about are the truth reality, and cannot make out what other people say about their experiences involving the truth reality, their own understanding, or paths of practice. These people of average caliber feel that there is no difference between truth and doctrine. No matter how many sermons they listen to, they cannot make out the truths they should practice and the truths they must possess in order to be saved. They also do not know to understand themselves, and do not know what truths they should practice to shed their corrupt dispositions. In their real lives, they can only follow rules, follow religious rituals, persistently attend gatherings, persistently preach doctrines to others, and persistently exert some effort to perform their duties. However, for the truths that involve changes in disposition, knowledge of their own corrupt disposition, or life entry, they do not enter into or go deeper into them. This is what it means to possess average caliber. People of average caliber can only reach this level. There are people who have believed in God for 20 or 30 years and still only talk about doctrines. Have you ever come into contact with people who have believed in God for more than a decade, yet all they do is spout doctrines? (Yes.) People of this sort have average caliber.
What are the manifestations of people with good caliber? No matter how long they have believed in God, after listening to a sermon, they will be able to tell that it is different from what the Bible says and that it is completely different from what is taught in religion. They can tell that it goes deeper, is more detailed, and is absolutely practical. Therefore, after they accept God’s new work, they start to focus on practicing the truth and entering into reality. In their real lives, they train themselves in how to practice and experience God’s words. For example, God says, “You must be honest people.” In the very beginning, these people only observe this as a rule, and speak whatever’s on their minds. Gradually, in the process of listening to sermons and in their real experience, they continuously summarize what they have learned and, in the end, they experience and understand what the truth of being an honest person really is and what life really is. They have the ability to apply the words spoken by God and the truths they understand from listening to sermons to their real lives and make them their own reality. With real experience, their life experience gradually deepens. When these people listen to sermons or read God’s words, they can comprehend the truth they contain. What is meant by truth here? It is not an empty doctrine, not a turn of phrase, not a theory about a certain thing. Rather, it involves the difficulties encountered in real life and the various corrupt states one reveals. People with good caliber can identify these states and hold them up for comparison against God’s words and revelations. Then, they will know how to practice according to God’s words. This is what is meant by good caliber. Where is good caliber mainly reflected? The ability to understand what is being said in sermons, comprehend the relationship between these words and one’s real state, comprehend what effect these words will have on oneself, and link these words to oneself—this is good caliber. In addition to being able to comprehend these words and link these words to themselves, people with good caliber can also grasp the principles of practice in real life and apply these principles to every difficulty or situation they encounter in their real lives. This is what it means to have insight. Only those who have such insight truly possess good caliber.
When people of average caliber reveal some of their corrupt disposition, they can’t clearly discern their own state or the essence of the problem. They only judge them by matching them up against the doctrines they understand. They cannot see through to the essence of the problem or recognize the root of this essence and the aspect that involves the truth. When faced with some situation, after being dealt with and pruned, after dissecting it and analyzing it, they gain a deep impression and some understanding of the situation itself. However, when faced with a different state or circumstance, they once again will not understand it, will not know what to do, and will not find the principles to follow. This is what having average caliber means. As for those with good caliber, why do we say they have good caliber? When faced with a situation, people with good caliber may not immediately have a path of practice, but they can find a path by listening to sermons or seeking God’s words. Then, they will know how to approach the situation. Will they know what to do the next time they encounter a similar situation? (Yes.) Why is that? (They don’t just follow rules. They can ponder a situation to find a path, and then apply what they have learned to similar situations.) Correct, they’ve found the principle and they understand this aspect of truth. Once they understand the truth, then they know the states, revelations, and corrupt dispositions of people to which this aspect of the truth refers, as well as the matters, the circumstances they encounter in their lives, and so on, that it involves. They are clear on the principles of doing such things, and when they encounter similar things in the future, they know how to practice according to the truth principles. This is what it is to genuinely understand the truth. Therefore, because some people can understand the truth, because they have the caliber to understand the truth, they are able to become team leaders or church leaders. However, some others can only understand at the level of doctrine, so they cannot be team leaders because they are unable to grasp the principles or handle oversight. Asking you to serve as a team leader is asking you to assume leadership and handle oversight. What must you use to handle oversight? Not doctrine, slogans, knowledge, or notions. It is asking you to use the truth principles to handle oversight. This is the most basic and the highest principle by which anything is done in God’s house. If your caliber is average or poor and you can’t understand the truth, how can you handle oversight? How can you bear this responsibility? You are not up to this job, this duty. Some people are selected as team leaders, but they don’t understand the truth and can’t accomplish anything at all. They are not worthy to be called team leaders and should be replaced. Some people are selected as team leaders and, because they can understand something of the truth principles, they can take charge of the work and solve some practical problems. This is what makes someone qualified for the work and suitable to be a team leader. Some people cannot shoulder the work or perform their duties well. What is the main reason for this? For a minority of such people, it is because they are of poor humanity. For the majority, however, the reason is their low caliber. This is the cause of their not being able to do their jobs or perform their duties well. Whether it is understanding the truth or learning a profession or specialized skill, people of good caliber are able to grasp the principles they contain, to get to the root of things, and to identify their reality and essence. In this way, in everything they do, every job they are engaged in, they make the right judgments and determine the correct standards and principles. This is what good caliber is. People of good caliber are able to handle oversight of the various work of the house of God. Those of average or poor caliber are incapable of such work. This is by no means a case of the house of God favoring or looking down on some people, or treating people differently—it is just that many people cannot handle oversight because of their caliber. Why can’t they handle oversight? What is the root cause? It is that they do not understand the truth. And why don’t they understand the truth? It is because their caliber is average, or even very poor. This is why the truth is beyond them and they are unable to understand the truth when they hear it. Some people may not understand the truth because they do not listen attentively, or it could be that they are young and have as yet no conception of faith in God, and it is of no great interest to them. However, these are not the main reason. The main reason is that their caliber is insufficient. For people of inferior caliber, no matter what their duty is or how long they have been doing the work, no matter how many sermons they hear or how you fellowship on the truth with them, they still cannot get their head around it. They drag out the performance of their duty, make a complete mess of things, and achieve nothing. For some people who serve as team leaders and handle oversight of some of the work, when they first assume responsibility for the work, they do not grasp the principles. After several failures, they come to understand the truth and grasp the principles by seeking and asking questions. Then, based on these principles, they can handle oversight and shoulder the work on their own. This is what it means to have caliber. For other people, you can tell them all the principles and even describe in detail how to implement them, and they will seem to understand what you tell them, but they still can’t grasp the principles when they do things. Instead, they rely on their own ideas and imaginings, even believing this to be right. However, they cannot clearly say and don’t actually know whether they do things in accordance with the principles. If the Above asks them questions, they become flustered and do not know what to say. They only feel assured when the Above handles oversight and provides guidance. This indicates their caliber is very poor. With such poor caliber, they cannot satisfy the requirements of God or live up to the truth principles, let alone perform their duties in a satisfactory manner.
Just a moment ago, I mentioned that there is another level above good caliber, which is very good caliber. After people with very good caliber come to believe in God, they read God’s words and, in their experience, gradually go through, feel, and understand what the various states mentioned in God’s words refer to. Even when they receive very little provision or help, they can find the path of practice in God’s words, set requirements for themselves according to the principles, directions, and standards as told by God’s words, and avoid deviations and fallacies. They can understand the truth, and come to know themselves and know God, by eating and drinking God’s words themselves. This is the highest caliber, and such people have the greatest insight. Tell Me, are there people like this among humans? Maybe you cannot find people like this among the humans of today, but can you think about anyone like this in the Bible? (Yes, Job and Peter.) Job and Peter are both of this sort. They are among the human beings with the highest caliber. Leaving aside their humanity, character, and faith in God, in terms of caliber, they are the two people with the highest caliber. What is the basis for saying this? (Job never read God’s words, yet he came to know God, fearing God and shunning evil.) God never spoke to Job, so where did his experience and knowledge come from? Job made observations and discoveries in his life, then savored them carefully, which created certain impressions in his heart, and brought him some enlightenment and illumination. He comprehended the truths bit by bit, and after comprehending them, he practiced in accordance with his comprehension and his understanding of the truth, gradually coming to fear God and shun evil. “Fearing God and shunning evil” is what people should observe and practice. It is the highest way that people should follow. In the eyes of later generations, it seems that Job put this dictum into practice quite easily. You think that it was simple and easy because you do not know or have not experienced the practical side of these words. How did Job come by this dictum? He obtained it through his own practical experience. In people’s eyes, the words “fear God and shun evil” should serve as a motto; they should follow and practice it as a truth principle—this is correct. But Job didn’t focus on how to say it; he only focused on how to act. So how did he arrive at the principle he put into action? (Through the experience of his everyday life.) How was he able to follow this principle in his actions? (Through his experiences in life, he came to have knowledge of God.) He saw God’s deeds and the work God did on people in his normal life. Through these experiences, he developed fear of God, genuine faith in God, true admiration, and true obedience and trust. This is how his fear of God was produced. He was not born knowing to fear God. Fear of God is the summary of his practices and behavior after he had believed in God and followed God for many years. We could say it was the essence of his behavior, knowledge, and principles of action. His demeanor, what he revealed, and how he behaved before God, as well as his deepest intentions and principles of action—the essence of all these manifestations was that he feared God. This is how God defined him. Job was able to do these things, but it was not because God said a lot of words to him or supplied him with a great deal of truth, after which he gradually achieved fear of God through his own comprehension. In that age, God did not say any clear words to him. What Job could see was, at most, God’s messengers; and what he could hear at most were the legends or stories about God passed down from his ancestors. This was all he could know. However, relying only on this information, Job gradually learned more things and more practical things from living his life. Gradually, his faith in God grew stronger and stronger, and true fear of God was also produced in him. After these two things were produced in him, Job’s true stature and his true caliber became apparent. What can we see from Job? We can see that there are many truths—truths related to God’s will, knowing God, God’s requirements for humankind, and humankind’s salvation—which people can actually come to comprehend bit by bit in their everyday lives, as long as they possess normal human thinking and caliber. Job is an example of this. He was able to comprehend some practical things. What did he comprehend? His highest motto, which was confirmed when he experienced his trials; this was also his highest understanding. What is this motto, this highest understanding? (“Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21).) Within the present human race, in terms of this issue, is there anyone with the same true understanding as Job? Is there anyone who can attain the understanding of Job? (No.) What people understand now is only a doctrine. These words arose out of Job’s experience. Later generations can say these words, but they don’t have an understanding of them in their hearts. Job didn’t have this understanding at first either, but these words came from him and arose out of his firsthand experience. Job had this reality. No matter how much later generations have parroted and imitated Job, they only understand a doctrine. Why do I say that it is only a doctrine? First, it’s because people can’t put it into practice. Second, people simply don’t have the experiences Job had, and don’t have the knowledge gained from these experiences, so their knowledge is empty. No matter how much you say it or how loudly you shout—“Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah. I willingly submit to all of God’s orchestrations and arrangements”—when things befall you in life, can you acknowledge in your heart that it is the work of God? If God deprives and destroys, can you still bless the name of God in your heart? This is difficult for you. Why is it so hard for you to do this? It is because you don’t know God’s original intention in doing this, and you also do not recognize His sovereignty. You can’t understand these two things. You cannot apprehend God’s will, nor can you understand the position that a created being should hold, the submission a created being should have, or the actions a created being should take. You cannot do any of this. Thus, when you recite the words of Job, they imperceptibly become empty, nothing more than ornamental and stylish words. Therefore, although you and Job both spoke the same words, Job’s understanding and comprehension of these words in his heart was different from yours, and he spoke these words within a different emotional context than you. These are two completely different states of mind. Job didn’t ordinarily say these words. Rather, when God deprived him of everything, he prostrated himself on the ground and praised God’s deeds. You, however, often preach these words, but how would you behave in the face of God’s deprivation? Would you be able to kneel down and pray? You would not be able to submit. Even if externally you say, “I should submit. This was done by God, and we humans have no ability and can’t resist, so I will let things play out,” is this true obedience? Leaving aside the nature of your negative, rebellious, and resistant emotions, is there any difference between your attitude and that of Job? (Yes.) There is an immense difference. This is the difference between having and not having the truth reality. This is the obvious difference between things that one has experienced and comprehended becoming the natural revelation of one’s life, and merely understanding doctrines without having reality. When not confronted by anything, people will preach Job’s words, but when things happen to them, many people cannot say Job’s words. This shows that they only understand doctrines. These words have not become their life and do not guide their thoughts and attitude when things happen to them. However, when things befall people who have these words as their life, it is clear to see that these words are not only a motto they preach in everyday life, but also their true attitude toward people, matters, and things. Even more, it is their true attitude toward God. These words are the embodiment of their lives, not just some slogan they shout. This highlights the difference between understanding the truth and not understanding the truth.
Now let us consider Peter. Why do we say that Peter is of good caliber? It is because Peter could comprehend the truth expressed by the Lord Jesus and understand the words of the Lord Jesus. The era in which Peter lived was the Age of Grace. The way of redemption taught by the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace was higher than the way in the Age of Law. It involved some basic truths about man’s life entry, and also some initial truths about changing human disposition. For example, it involved obeying God, submitting to God’s sovereignty and orchestrations, as well as how people should respond when they reveal some of their corrupt dispositions. Although these matters were not discussed in an extensive and systematic manner, they were mentioned. Of course, they were discussed much more than in Job’s time, but significantly less than today. Although there are no words recorded in the Bible about such aspects of the truth as changing human disposition, the attitude of humans toward God, the essence of the corruption deep in people’s hearts, or the revelation of one’s corrupt disposition, the Lord Jesus definitely spoke on these things to some extent. It is just that people could not rise to this level, and so these words were not recorded. For instance, the Lord Jesus said this to Peter: “Truly I say to you, That this night, before the cock crow, you shall deny Me thrice” (Matthew 26:34). To this, Peter responded: “Though I should die with You, yet will I not deny You” (Matthew 26:35). What kind of words are these? (They are words of arrogance that indicate a lack of self-knowledge.) They are arrogant words spoken by someone who does not know himself. So this has to do with knowing oneself. What did Peter realize after the rooster crowed? (That he spoke boastfully of himself.) When he realized this, did he feel something in his heart? (Yes.) After this happened, what was his first reaction? (Remorse, his heart was full of guilt.) His first reaction was guilt and remorse. He said, “What the Lord said was true. What I said about loving the Lord was just a wish, an ideal, and a sort of slogan. I don’t possess such stature.” Faced with the circumstance of the Lord Jesus’ arrest, Peter was cowardly and afraid. Someone asked him, “Is that your Lord? Don’t you know Him?” And what was Peter thinking to himself then? “Yes, I know Him, but if I admit it, they’ll arrest me too.” Because of his cowardice and fear of suffering, and because he was afraid to be arrested with the Lord Jesus, he did not admit to knowing Him. His timidity won out over his faith. Was his faith genuine or false, then? (False.) At this time, he realized that when he earlier said “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both into prison, and to death,” these words were wishful thinking. They were not his genuine faith, but just empty words, a slogan, and doctrine. He possessed no true stature. When did he realize that he had no true stature? (When the facts were revealed.) It was only when confronted with the facts and when he felt guilty and remorseful that he realized, “As it turns out, my faith and stature are very small, just as the Lord said. What the Lord said was correct. What I said to the Lord was only boastfulness. That was not genuine faith, but a momentary impulse. When confronted with something, I was cowardly, unwilling to suffer, had my own selfish ideas, made my own choices, did not obey, and did not have a heart that truly loved the Lord. Such was the meagerness of my faith, such was the size of my stature.” His remorse made these thoughts arise in him, didn’t it? His remorse shows that he already had knowledge of himself and an accurate measure of his stature, state, and faith. The New Testament only records that Peter denied the Lord three times, but it does not record Peter’s experiential testimony of how he was remorseful, turned himself around, and changed. In fact, Peter wrote letters about this, but the editors of the Bible did not choose to include them. This is an obvious problem, which shows that the leaders of the church at that time all paid attention to how to preach and testify, but none of them understood life experience. They all focused on how those apostles preached and worked, and how they suffered, not knowing that the most crucial thing is people’s life entry, as well as people’s understanding of the truth and knowledge of God. Those who edited the Bible recorded what happened to Peter in overly simplified and general terms, but they recorded the events of Paul’s life in particular detail and volume. This shows that these people were biased. They didn’t understand what the truth was, nor what it meant to bear witness for God. They worshiped Paul, so they chose more of Paul’s letters, while only selecting a few of Peter’s. By editing the Bible in this way, they committed an error of principle, which caused those who believed in the Lord to worship and imitate Paul for two thousand years. This led the entire religious world to go down the path of resisting God, becoming a religious kingdom under the control of antichrists. They ignored the excellent testimony of Peter, only recording two of Peter’s letters—the first and second epistles of Peter. But as to how Peter actually experienced what happened to him, how God enlightened him, what Jesus said when He appeared to him, how Peter accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, dealing with and pruning, trials and refinements, how he was finally willingly crucified upside down, how Peter got to this point, how he achieved such a change in his life disposition, and how he attained such faith and obedience—there is no record of this process of experience. This is not how it should be at all. It’s such a pity that these most valuable things were not recorded!
From Peter’s three denials of the Lord as recorded in the four Gospels to Peter’s ultimate upside-down crucifixion for God, what do people see when they put these two events together? Peter went from denying the Lord three times to finally being crucified upside down for God. Wasn’t there a difficult process here, a process worthy of exploration? What was this process? (The process of man’s life entry and change in disposition.) That’s right, the change in human disposition is a life journey of being able to forsake and expend oneself for God and willingly submit to all of God’s orchestrations. Life experience is exactly this process. It is absolutely not a dramatization. From the very beginning when Peter dared not admit that he was a follower of the Lord Jesus, to the end when he had courage and faith, willing to be crucified upside down for God, and rose to this level. What a process of transformation he underwent in his faith, his disposition, and his obedience! There was certainly a process of growth. Modern people don’t need to know exactly what sort of growth process this was because the words spoken today are the truths that those who experience God’s work must understand. Today, God has already made these things clear to people and supplied them with these truths. So what was Peter’s experience like? After the Lord Jesus left, no one told him in clear terms what he should experience so as to achieve obedience to God. In that age when clear words from God were not available to him, he ultimately achieved a stature and faith of willing obedience without any complaints or personal choices. Tell Me, what truths did he gain in the end? And how did he gain them? It was through prayer, seeking, and then gradually experiencing and groping. Of course, during this time, Peter received God’s enlightenment and illumination, and God’s special grace and guidance. Apart from such things, he could only gain insight through his own efforts. During this process, Peter’s knowledge of himself, of God’s will, and of all aspects of truth that people should enter into gradually transitioned from murkiness to clarity, then to accuracy, and then to a practical and definite path of practice. This process stretched all the way to the end, when he was able to obey absolutely without any deviation. He dared to practice this way only after he obtained confirmation in his heart. Where did this confirmation come from? Through groping as well as through prayer and seeking. He allowed the Holy Spirit to act and allowed God to act. There was no hindrance or discipline. He had the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, peace, and joy, and at the same time possessed God’s support, blessing, and guidance. This is how he received confirmation. After receiving confirmation, he continued to boldly go forward to seek, grope, and practice. After going through such a complicated process, Peter gradually came to a precise understanding of the aspects of human nature, self-knowledge, and disposition, as well as the various states that man’s corrupt disposition produces in various environments. After grasping this, he set to work on these things to seek the corresponding paths of practice. In the end, he resolved each of the states that resulted from various corrupt dispositions in different environments. How did he solve them? He solved them bit by bit by using the truths and principles revealed by God. Of course, he experienced many trials and refinements during this time. To what extent did God test and refine him? In the end, he grasped God’s will and understood that God wants people to learn the lesson of obedience. So then, to what extent did God work on Peter to make him realize that people should practice obedience? We previously mentioned something Peter said. Do you remember what it was? (“If God treated me like a toy, how could I not be ready and willing?”) That’s right, that’s the one. In the process of experiencing and undergoing God’s work or guidance, Peter unconsciously developed this feeling: “Doesn’t God treat people like toys?” But this is certainly not what motivates God’s actions. People rely on their human perspective, thinking, and knowledge to assess this matter and feel that God casually plays with people as if they were toys. One day He says to do this, and tomorrow He tells them to do that. Unconsciously, you start to feel, “Oh, God has said so many things. What is He even trying to do?” People feel confused and a little overwhelmed. They don’t know what choices to make. God used this method to test Peter. What was the final result of this test? (Peter achieved obedience unto death.) He achieved obedience. This was the result that God wanted, and God saw it. What words that Peter spoke show us that he had become obedient and grown in stature? What did Peter say? How did Peter accept and view all that God had done and God’s attitude of treating man as a toy? What was Peter’s attitude? (He said: “How could I not be ready and willing?”) Yes, that was Peter’s attitude. Those were his exact words. People who have no experience of God’s trials and refinements would never say these words because they don’t understand the narrative of the story here and have never experienced it. As they have not experienced it, they definitely are not clear on this matter. If they are not clear on this matter, how could they say this so casually? These words are something a human could never think up. Peter was able to say this because he had experienced so many trials and refinements. God deprived him of many things, but also gave much to him at the same time. After giving, He took away once again. After taking things from him, God made Peter learn to obey and then gave to him once more. From man’s point of view, many of the things God does seem capricious, which gives people the illusion that God treats people as toys, does not respect people, and does not treat people as human beings. People think that they live without dignity, like toys; they think that God does not give them the right to make free choices, and that God can say whatever He wants. When He gives something to you, He says, “You deserve this reward for what you have done. This is the blessing of God.” When He takes things away, He just has something else to say. In this process, what should people do? It is not for you to judge God as being right or wrong, it is not for you to identify the nature of God’s actions, and it is certainly not for you to give your life greater dignity in this process. This is not the choice you should make. This role is not yours. So what is your role? Through experience, you should learn to understand God’s will. If you cannot understand God’s will and cannot meet God’s requirements, your only option is to obey. Under such circumstances, would it be easy for you to obey? (No.) It is not easy to obey. This is a lesson you should learn. If it were easy for you to obey, you wouldn’t need to learn lessons, you wouldn’t need to be dealt with and pruned, and undergo trials and refinements. It is because it is difficult for you to obey God that He constantly tests you, willfully playing with you as if you were a toy. On the day it becomes easy for you to obey God, when your obedience to God comes without difficulty or hindrance, when you can obey willingly and joyfully, without your own choices, intentions, or preferences, then God will not treat you as a toy and you will do exactly as you should. If, one day, you say, “God treats me as a toy and I live without dignity. I don’t agree to this and I won’t obey,” that may be the day when God abandons you. What if your stature has reached the level where you say “Although God’s will is not easy to grasp and God always hides from me, everything God does is right. No matter what God does, I will willingly obey. Even if I cannot obey, I must still adopt this attitude and make no complaints or choices of my own. This is because I am a created being. My duty is to obey, and this is a clear obligation I cannot escape. God is the Creator, and whatever God does is right. I should not entertain any notions or imaginings about what God does. This is not proper for a created being. For what God has given me, I thank God. For what God did not give me or gave me and then took away, I also thank God. The actions of God are all beneficial to me; even if I cannot see the benefit, the thing I should do is still obey”? Aren’t these words to the same effect as those of Peter when he said “How could I not be ready and willing”? Only those who possess such stature truly understand the truth.
Next, let us fellowship on the caliber of people. When measuring whether or not a person possesses caliber, look at whether they are able to grasp the will and attitude of God when things happen to them in daily life, as well as the position they should take and the principles they should follow, and the attitude they should have. If you are able to grasp all these things, then you have caliber. If what you grasp has nothing to do with all that God orchestrates for you in your real life, then you either have no caliber or are of poor caliber. How did the true stature of Peter and Job come about, and how did they ultimately gain what they gained and reap what they reaped from their faith in God? In no way did they enjoy what you do today. You always have someone to fellowship on the truth, provide for you, support you, and help you. There is always someone to help you check things. They had none of this. Most of the truths they understood were gained from what they had realized, what they had experienced, what they had gradually figured out and gone through in their daily lives. This is what it means to be of high caliber. When people are not possessed of such caliber, and do not have this sort of attitude toward the truth and salvation, they will not seek the truth nor be attentive to practicing the truth in everything. As a result, they are unable to obtain the truth. After hearing the stories of Job and Peter, most people envy them. However, after envying them for a time, they don’t take the matter seriously. They feel that they also can say the classic words of Job and Peter when things happen to them, so they think these things are simple. As we consider them now, these things are not simple.
In the New Testament, apart from the four Gospels, Paul’s epistles take up the most space. During the same period, Paul and Peter probably did about the same work, but Paul’s reputation was much greater than Peter’s. What can we see from these two situations? We can see the path these two men walked. Many lines from Paul’s epistles were adopted as mottos by later generations, and everyone used Paul’s famous sayings to motivate themselves. As a result, they all ended up on the wrong path, and many even went down the path of the antichrists. In contrast, Peter rarely made a public show of himself. Basically, he wrote no books, propounded no profound and enigmatic doctrines, and gave no high-sounding slogans or theories to teach and help the brothers and sisters of that time, nor did he give lofty theories to influence future generations. He simply sought to love and satisfy God in a practical and grounded manner. This is the difference between the paths the two of them took. In the end, Paul took the path of the antichrists and perished, while Peter took the path of the pursuit of the truth and loving God and was made perfect. By considering the paths they took, you can see what kind of people God wants, what kind of people God dislikes, the outpourings and manifestations of the people God dislikes, what kind of path these people walk, what sort of relationship they have with God, and what things they are attentive to. Would you say Paul had caliber? Which class did Paul’s caliber belong to? (It was very good.) You have heard so many sermons but still do not understand. Could Paul’s caliber be considered very good? (No, it was poor.) Why was Paul’s caliber poor? (He did not know himself and couldn’t understand God’s words.) It was because he did not understand the truth. He, too, had heard the sermons given by the Lord Jesus, and during the period he worked there was, of course, the work of the Holy Spirit. So how was it that, when he did all that work, wrote all those epistles, and traveled to all those churches, he still understood nothing of the truth and preached nothing but doctrine? What sort of caliber was that? A poor caliber. What’s more, Paul persecuted the Lord Jesus and arrested His disciples, after which the Lord Jesus struck him down with a great light from heaven. How did Paul approach and understand this great event that befell him? His mode of understanding was different from Peter’s. He thought, “The Lord Jesus struck me down, I have sinned, so I must work harder to make up for this, and once my merits have balanced out my demerits, I shall be rewarded.” Did he know himself? He did not. He did not say, “I opposed the Lord Jesus because of my malicious nature, my nature of an antichrist. I opposed the Lord Jesus—there’s nothing good about me!” Did he possess such knowledge of himself? (No.) And how did he record this event in his epistles? What was his view of it? (He felt he was called by God to do work.) He believed that God had called upon him by shining a great light on him, and that God would start to make great use of him. Not having the slightest knowledge of himself, he believed that this was the most powerful proof that he would be rewarded and crowned, as well as the greatest capital that he could use to gain rewards and a crown. In addition, deep in his heart, he felt the prick of a thorn. What was this thorn? It was a disease that God gave him as a punishment for his mad resistance to the Lord Jesus. How did he deal with this matter? He always had a sickness in his heart and thought, “This was the greatest mistake of my life. I don’t know whether God can forgive it. Fortunately, the Lord Jesus saved my life and entrusted me to spread the gospel. This is a good opportunity to redeem myself. I should spread the gospel with all my strength, and maybe not only will my sins be forgiven, but I can also receive a crown and rewards. That would be wonderful!” However, he could never get rid of this thorn, which caused consternation in his heart. He always felt uneasy about it. “How can I make up for this egregious mistake? How can I cancel it out, so it doesn’t affect my prospects or the crown I hope to receive? I must do more work for the Lord, pay a greater price, write more epistles, and spend more time running about, battling Satan, and bearing beautiful testimony.” That is how he approached it. Did he have any regrets? (No.) He had not the slightest regret, much less any knowledge of himself. He had neither of these things. This shows that there was a problem with Paul’s caliber and that he did not have the capacity to understand the truth. Partly because of his humanity and what he pursued, and partly because of his caliber, he could not grasp these things, nor did he realize, “Man has been too deeply corrupted by Satan. Man’s nature is too wicked, too evil. Man’s nature is the nature of Satan and the antichrists. This is at the root of God’s redemption of mankind. Man is in need of God’s redemption. So how should man come before God to accept His redemption?” He never said such things. He did not understand at all why he had resisted and condemned Jesus. Although he admitted that he was the chief culprit, he didn’t reflect on the matter at all. He just ruminated on how he could offset such serious sins, how he could atone for his sins, make up for his sins by meritorious deeds, and finally still attain the crown and rewards that he expected. No matter what happened to him, he couldn’t understand the truth or God’s will from the things that occurred to him. He didn’t understand God’s will at all. As for receiving the truth, Paul was the worst person, so we can say that Paul’s caliber was the worst.
Can people with very poor caliber understand the truth? (No.) Can people who cannot understand the truth be saved? (No.) People who want to be saved must be of a satisfactory caliber. They must be at least of average caliber, and cannot be too poor in caliber. They must attain an understanding of the truth. Regardless of the extent to which they can comprehend the truth, they must at least come to know themselves on the basis of their understanding of truth and know how to practice the truth. In this way they can be saved. Why do I say that in this way they can be saved? When you can link the things that come your way in your daily life with the truth and can view and treat things based on God’s words, then you will be able to bring God’s words into your real life and, on this foundation, you will be able to accept the judgments of God’s words, being pruned and dealt with by His words, and the trials and refinements in His words. Otherwise, if you don’t understand the truth, you won’t even be qualified to accept the judgments, trials, and refinements of His words. Before accepting God’s judgment and chastisement, you must at least understand some truths, have an attitude of obedience to God, and have changed in some ways. You must also know with what attitude, mentality, and perspective you should deal with the acts of God. All of these things involve the truth. It is not the case that people can use simple religious slogans, religious ceremonies, and rules to casually deal with this and relate to the truth. Nor is it the case that simply doing some good deeds involves the practice of the truth. It’s not that simple. With regard to what you know, what you experience, and what happens around you, you must know in your heart the principles you should abide by. Only in this way are you involved with the truth. In addition, the way you treat the things God has you do, the way you treat the manner and attitude in which God treats you, as well as the attitude and perspective you adopt, must involve the truth. Only in this way can you have life entry. Otherwise, God will not be able to do any work on you. Do you understand? (We understand.) Look at those people in religions who abide by rules, talk about doctrines, and pretend to be good. Their actions look good from the outside, but why does God never work on them? It’s because the things they do and all their good deeds don’t involve the truth. They have only changed their behavior, but this doesn’t involve a change in their disposition. It’s because they don’t measure up to God’s requirements and standards. It is as if a child who just graduated from elementary school wanted to go straight to university. Is it possible? It is absolutely impossible because they are not qualified. Therefore, whether we are talking about the path people walk or their humanity and caliber, people should at least meet the conditions necessary for salvation. Specifically, they must understand the truth, shed their corrupt dispositions, and be able to truly obey God.
How do we measure people’s caliber? The appropriate way to do this is by looking at their attitude toward the truth and whether or not they can comprehend the truth. Some people can learn some specializations very quickly, but when they hear the truth, they become confused and they doze off. In their hearts, they become muddled, nothing they hear goes in, nor do they understand what they are hearing—that is what poor caliber is. With some people, when you tell them they are of poor caliber, they disagree. They think that being highly educated and knowledgeable means they are of good caliber. Does a good education demonstrate high caliber? It does not. How should people’s caliber be measured? It should be measured based on the degree to which they understand God’s words and the truth. This is the most accurate way of doing it. Some people are silver-tongued, quick-witted, and especially skilled at handling other people—but when they listen to sermons, they are never able to understand anything, and when they read God’s words, they do not comprehend them. When they talk about their experiential testimony, they always speak words and doctrines, revealing themselves to be mere amateurs, and giving others the sense that they have no spiritual understanding. These are people of poor caliber. So, are such people competent to do work for the house of God? (No.) Why? (They lack the truth principles.) Right, this is something you should understand by now. Another way to say doing work for the house of God is performing one’s duty. When it comes to performing one’s duty, this involves the truth, the work of God, principles of conduct, and ways and methods for treating all kinds of people. These issues all have a bearing on whether or not people can perform their duties in an effective and satisfactory manner. Do these issues related to performing one’s duty involve the truth? If they involve the truth, yet you do not understand the truth and only rely on your petty cleverness, will you be able to solve problems and perform your duty properly? (No.) No. Even if nothing goes awry in certain matters, it may be that those things have nothing to do with the truth, and are purely external things. However, you must still possess principles when doing external things, and handle them in a way that everyone regards as appropriate. Suppose that you are asked to handle something in accordance with the principles all by yourself, and while you are doing this, an unexpected situation arises, and you don’t know how to deal with it. You think that you should proceed according to your experience, but acting exactly as experience taught you just disrupts and disturbs the thing you’re doing, messing it all up. Isn’t this an error? What is the cause of it? It is because you do not have a pure comprehension, you do not understand the truth, and you do not have a grasp of the principles. Whenever you encounter matters that involve the truth and the principles, you are not able to deal with them, and your own will bursts forth. As a result, you harm the work of the church and the interests of the house of God, and you embarrass yourself. Is it effective to deal with problems based on human experience and methods? (No.) Why is it not effective? It is because human experience and methods are not the truth, and God’s chosen people will not accept them. If you always handle problems using human experience and methods, doesn’t that just mean you think yourself to be smarter than you really are? Isn’t that arrogant and self-righteous? Some people even argue, “It’s not that I don’t understand the truth regarding this matter—I understand it in my heart. It is just that I didn’t think on it enough. If I put in more effort and consider the matter more carefully, I can handle it well. In the past, when interacting and handling things with unbelievers, I had to use certain methods and means. However, the house of God does not allow these approaches, so I didn’t know what to do. I just dealt with the matter in my own way, so it’s no surprise that I made a little mistake.” Do these people know themselves? (No.) Why don’t they know themselves? Doesn’t this have something to do with the truth? They don’t seek the truth in this matter, but think up ways to cover for their mistake. They think that they have only made a mistake and been negligent in terms of their behavior. They don’t think that their error involves the truth, or that it arose due to their lack of understanding of the truth and the fact they act based on their corrupt dispositions. This is what it means to be of poor caliber. When things happen, these people are always looking for reasons and excuses. They think that they have simply made a mistake. In their first reaction, they don’t know that they must seek the truth. In their second reaction, they still don’t know that they must seek the truth. And in their third reaction, they still don’t know that they need to seek the truth and know themselves. This is what it means to have very poor caliber. No matter how you guide them, expose them and fellowship with them, they still won’t realize what truth principles they have violated and what truths they should put into practice. No matter how you guide them, they will never be aware of these things. They lack even the slightest ability to comprehend the truth. This is what it means to be of poor caliber. No matter how clearly you fellowship on the truth, they will not realize that it is the truth. They will use their own reasons and excuses, or say it was just a mistake or an error, in order to cover up the facts. They will not admit in the slightest that they have violated the truth or revealed their corrupt dispositions. No matter what mistakes they have made, what corrupt dispositions they have revealed, or how many corrupt states they have produced, they will never realize what the corrupt dispositions they have revealed actually are, let alone what their corrupt essence is. Nor do they know how to seek the truth or how to know themselves in this matter. They know nothing of these things. They are spiritually numb and don’t have the slightest feeling about these things. This is a manifestation of poor caliber.
Let’s bring in some examples to fellowship a bit about how to measure a person’s caliber. For example, I said that some people procrastinate and are perfunctory in doing things. After hearing this, people of good caliber will immediately realize that this state is something they also experience, and that they often experience such a state and attitude when they don’t feel well physically or when they are negative or lazy. In addition, some images will float through their minds of times they procrastinated or acted in a perfunctory way in some tasks. They will compare themselves against God’s words and admit that what God reveals is the reality of man’s corruption and that it relates to man’s corrupt dispositions. They will likewise admit that God’s words are the truth and comprehend them in a pure manner, without misunderstandings or their own notions. This is what it means to be of good caliber. Upon hearing these words, their first reaction will be to measure themselves against them. They will realize that this is a state they also experience, and they will link these words of God to their own states and daily lives. Then, they will engage in self-reflection, take a clear look at this state of theirs, and accept that God’s words are the truth. This is how people of good caliber react when they hear God’s words. For a person of average caliber, you can’t just say “procrastinate” and “perfunctory.” You must directly point out their issues by exposing their manifestations, and combining this with the things they do, saying, “You are often muddle-headed and you don’t take things seriously. You are just being perfunctory by doing your duty like this. How can you not sense this? How many times have I said this to you? This is called being perfunctory and procrastinating.” Point out their problems like this. After hearing this, they will reflect on how they procrastinated and acted in a perfunctory way. After they truly reflect on this and come to know it, they will admit their mistakes and be able to correct them. However, what they recognize is a fixed thing, a fixed state. They can only accept and admit what you say if it aligns with their own imaginings. This is what we call average caliber. Working on people of average caliber requires effort, and only by speaking from a basis of facts can you fully convince them. What is the state of people who possess poor caliber? How should they be approached? People of poor caliber are simple-minded and a few cards short of a full deck. They can’t see through any of the situations they encounter, and they don’t seek the truth. If people don’t tell them things in a clear and direct manner, they cannot figure them out on their own. So, when talking to people of poor caliber you must speak more clearly and directly, and you must also give examples. You must speak on the basis of facts, and repeat yourself over and over again. This is the only way your words can have some effect. You have to speak like this: “You are procrastinating and being perfunctory by performing your duty like this!” What will their first reaction be? “I have? I’ve procrastinated? As soon as I wake up in the morning, I start thinking about things related to my duty, and I get those things done first. When I go out, I also think about how to do those things well. I don’t procrastinate or act in a perfunctory way. I put a lot of effort into these things!” Their first reaction will be to deny what you have said. They have no awareness and, fundamentally, they don’t realize that they are performing their duties in a perfunctory way and procrastinating. You will have to then explain to them what the manifestations of procrastination and being perfunctory are, and speak in a way that really convinces them before they will accept your words. It is not easy for them to admit that they have not done well or that they have made mistakes in external matters. If something involves the truth, the principles of practice, or the disposition of God, it is even more difficult for people of poor caliber. They won’t understand anything you say, and the more you talk, the more confused and in the dark they’ll feel, and they won’t want to listen anymore. These are people of extremely low caliber; this is a manifestation of their inability to reach the truth. For people of poor caliber, no matter how you fellowship on the truth, it’s of no use. No matter how you try to talk to them, they can’t understand. At the very most they can understand some doctrines and rules. Therefore, it’s not necessary to fellowship on the truth in great detail with people of poor caliber. Just tell them what to do in a simple manner, and if they can stick to that, that’s quite good. People of extremely poor caliber lack any comprehension ability, to the extent that they will never be able to understand the truth, and they certainly cannot be required to reach the level of acting according to principles. If something happens right in front of these people and you spell it all out for them, they still won’t be able to link it to themselves. This is what we call poor caliber. For example, when it comes to lying, see how people of good caliber react. When people of good caliber hear others talk about how they dealt with and solved the states of lying and deception, speaking about their states of lying and giving examples, they will reflect on themselves and compare what they heard with their own states. After this, they will be able to recognize situations in which they told lies and what intentions they had while acting in that way. Based on revelations in their daily lives, through examining their intentions, motives, and thoughts, people of good caliber will be able to discover which of their words were lies and which contained deceit. When they listen to other people’s experiential testimonies, they can benefit and gain something. Even if you only talk about a few principles, they will understand and learn to apply them. Then, they will take these words as the truth principles, making them their own reality and, little by little, change themselves. After a person of average caliber hears other people’s experiential testimonies, they will be able to see how these testimonies relate to their own obvious manifestations, but they will not be able to link the testimonies to their less obvious manifestations or those in the depths of their hearts that haven’t been expressed. In addition, their comprehension of the truth principles is also a bit shallower, like doctrines. Their level of comprehension is much worse than that of people of good caliber. As for people of poor quality, when listening to the testimonies of others, no matter how those other people carefully dissect which things are lies and empty words and which things are deceitful states, they will not be able to link this to themselves, and they will not be able to reflect on or come to know themselves. Not only do these people fail to recognize their own lying and deceitful states, but they even think themselves to be very honest people who cannot tell lies. Even if others lie and deceive them, they cannot discern this and they are easily fooled. They are even less able to understand the truth principles fellowshiped on by others. They lack the slightest comprehension ability. This is a manifestation of poor caliber.
Of the three types of people we just mentioned, which one can achieve a change in disposition? Which kind of person can enter into the truth reality? (People of good caliber.) People of good caliber can enter into the truth reality a bit faster and deeper. People of average caliber enter more slowly and superficially. People of poor caliber can’t enter at all. This is the difference. Can you see how people differ from one another? (Yes.) Where are their differences? Their differences lie in their caliber and their attitude toward the truth. People who love the truth and are of good caliber enter the truth reality quickly and are able to gain life. People of average caliber are obstinate and numb. Their entry into the truth is slow, and their life progress is also slow. People of poor caliber are not just foolish and arrogant, but they are also stupid, with vacant and dull faces; they are numb in their spirits, slow to react, and slow to understand the truth. Such people are devoid of life, for they do not understand the truth, and do nothing but talk about doctrines, shout slogans, and follow the rules. Since they do not understand the truth, they cannot enter the truth reality. Is there life within those who cannot enter the truth reality? They are devoid of life. When things happen to people who are devoid of life, they follow their own will and blindly act, going off on a detour in one direction sometimes, and in another direction at other times, lacking a precise path of practice, and always feeling hesitant and helpless. They make a pathetic sight. Over the years, I have constantly heard some people say that they do not know what to do when things happen to them. How can that still be after they have listened to so many sermons? Their expressions show that they really are at a loss. Their faces are vacant and dull. Some people say, “How can I be called numb? I’m very sensitive to what’s popular in the world. I know how to use all kinds of computers, cell phones, and game consoles. You are dumb and don’t know how to use them. How can your caliber be so poor?” But their little bit of cleverness is just a skill, a bit of smarts—it does not count as caliber. If you ask them to listen to a sermon or to fellowship on the truth, these people are exposed: In their spirits, they are awfully numb. How numb are they? They have believed in God for years, but they still are not certain if they will be saved and cannot gauge this, nor are they clear about what type of person they are. If you ask them what they think of their caliber, they will say, “My caliber is a bit worse than good caliber, but a lot better than average caliber.” That shows how poor their caliber is. Is this not a bit stupid? When people are of really poor caliber, they reveal this kind of stupidity. No matter what it is, if something involves the truth or the principles, they will understand nothing of it and not be able to rise to its level. This is what it means to be of poor caliber.
Now that we have fellowshiped on these things, will you be able to measure what is good caliber and what is poor caliber? If you can understand what good caliber is and what poor caliber is, and clearly see your own caliber and your nature essence, it will help you know yourself. Once you have a clear idea of your own place, you will have a bit of sense and know your own measure. You will not be liable to become arrogant and you will be more steadfast and at ease when doing your duty. You will not set your sights too high and you will be able to attend to your proper work. When people don’t know themselves, it causes a lot of trouble. What sort of trouble? Even though their caliber is clearly average, they always think they have good caliber, better than others. They always have impulses in their hearts and always want to serve as leaders and lead others. They always have such things in their hearts, so will this affect the performance of their duties? They are constantly disturbed by these things, their hearts are not at ease, and they cannot calm down. Not only can’t they perform their duties well, but they also do some foolish, embarrassing things, and some senseless things that disgust God. They have such serious problems—is it okay if they remain unresolved? Definitely not, these people must seek the truth to solve them. First of all, they must pray to God and reflect on why they have such thoughts, why they are so ambitious, and where these things come from. If they only think over these things in a simple manner, will they be able to penetrate to the essence of the problems? Absolutely not. They must pray to God and read God’s words to find the root of the problems—only then will it be easy for them to solve. Their ambitions and desires can only be eradicated when they’ve resolved their corrupt dispositions. In this way, they will be able to perform their duties in a down-to-earth manner, and be much more dutiful; they will no longer swagger around so much, believe that they are better than everyone else, or act so superior, and they will not feel themselves to be different from others. These corrupt dispositions will not bother them anymore, and they will become much more mature. At the very least, they will possess dignified and upright saintly decency. Only in this way can they be sure to live before God. When people believe in God and come to God’s house, they should at least possess conscience and sense in order for them to accept the truth. If they are like unbelievers, like untamed wild animals, they will not be able to come before God. Some people say, “What is so difficult about coming before God? I often come before God.” It is not a simple thing to come before God. You must have a correct attitude and a God-obeying heart in order to be joyfully accepted by God. If people who are like beasts come before God, God will certainly hate them and be disgusted by them. Therefore, coming before God is not something that can be achieved by people’s wishful thinking, it is not as though God will acknowledge that you have come before Him just because you wish to do so. The right to make a decision in this matter is in the hands of God. You will have only come before God when God acknowledges you. Only when you have the right intentions, seek the truth, and pray to God frequently can you receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Only then have you truly come before God. If God says you are an ignorant commoner, an untamed wild animal, will He pay you any mind? (No.) God will not pay you any mind, He will only give you surface-level things, like a bit of grace and a few blessings. In the real sense, you won’t be able to truly get close to God or come before Him at all. So, before God recognizes you as His follower, you have to make some changes to reach the point where God recognizes you as a member of His house. Only then will God begin to test your duty and test your every word and deed, your every thought and idea, only then will God start to work on you. Before stepping through the door of God’s house, some of people’s behaviors and manifestations, the revelations of their humanity, their practices, their thoughts and ideas, and their attitudes toward God are disgusting and repulsive to God. Will God take the hands of people whom He finds disgusting and repulsive and lead them through the door of His house? (He will not.) Then why do some people like this feel so pleased and so happy? Where does this feeling come from? From pretense. Isn’t this a bit lacking in sense? (Yes.) God—the Creator—absolutely has standards for choosing His followers. It is not enough for people to just believe. God likes honest people, and God blesses people who sincerely expend themselves for Him. God uses those who can exalt and testify to Him. God’s standards for people are different from the standards of man. When you choose a friend to associate with, you have to consider their character, whether they suit your tastes, what kind of personality they have, whether they share common hobbies with you, and their appearance. Even you have standards when choosing people, so what about God? Some people say, “What standard does God use to select people? Is it that difficult to approach God? Is it so difficult for people to come before God and enter the door of God’s house?” In fact, it is not difficult, the bar is not high, but there are standards. First, people must at least have a pious attitude and know their place. In addition, they must approach God with an honest and pure heart. Also, they must comport themselves with saintly decency in all they do and say, and, at the very least, they must possess some good words and deeds, manners, and upbringing. If you don’t even meet these basic conditions, to be honest with you, God won’t pay you any mind at all. Do you know what is going on here? When it comes to some people who believe in God, look at what they do, what they manifest, and what they reveal. Why do they disgust and repulse God so much? It is because these people have no humanity, no conscience and sense, and they don’t even have the most basic and fundamental saintly decency. People like this want God to lead them by the hand through the door of His house, but that is impossible. Only fools would spread the gospel to people like these who lack humanity. Some people wear heavy makeup and revealing clothes in their daily lives. They dress in an even more alluring way than the dancing girls among the unbelievers. In their private lives and their conduct, you cannot see how they are any different from unbelievers. When they are among the brothers and sisters, they clearly look like unbelievers and nonbelievers. Such people may appear like true believers on the outside; they may have renounced things, they may be able to perform their duties, and some of them may not retreat when faced with persecution and tribulations, but can such people accept the truth? Can they accept God’s judgment and chastisement? Based on the things they live out, are they dignified and upright people? Are they honest people? Are they people who love the truth? Are they people who sincerely expend themselves for God? Does God want people such as these? Absolutely not. These are unbelievers who have snuck their way into God’s house. They are outside the door of God’s house and have not yet passed through. The things they do for God’s house are help and labor—these are friends of the church, but not part of God’s house. God does not want unbelievers or wild animals. There are also some people who, on the basis of their many years of belief in God, the bit of capital they possess, and the important duties they have fulfilled in the past, throw their weight around in the house of God, wanting to control the church and have all the authority. These people’s attitudes toward God and the truth are disgusting to God. Based on their essence and the things contained in the depths of their hearts, God doesn’t acknowledge such people as members of His house. Since God does not acknowledge such people as members of His house, why does God allow them to work in His house? God allows them to help out or do temporary work. In the process of helping out and doing temporary work, if they really have conscience and sense, if they can listen, obey, and accept the truth, and if they have saintly decency and something of a God-fearing heart, and do things with a sincere heart, if they pass these tests, God will lead them into His house, and they will become members of the house of God. At this time, the work they do and what God entrusts to them will become their duties. What people do outside the door of God’s house is not fulfilling a duty, it is working for and helping the house of God, and these people are service-doers.
Now, can you measure whether you are a member of God’s house? If you judge by the length of time you have believed in God, then you should be a member, but is this an accurate method of measurement? (No.) What is the basis you should use for measurement? It is based on whether you have any internal reaction when you hear the truth, whether you feel guilty, reprimanded, and disciplined deep in your heart when you violate the truth or resist and rebel against God. Some people are disciplined in the form of developing mouth sores after they speak judgmental words; others act in a careless and perfunctory manner, not taking things seriously, so God subjects them to illness. When these things are mentioned, if these people feel remorse deep inside and can repent—if they display these manifestations—then they are members of the house of God. God treats these people as members of God’s house, of His own family. He chastens, disciplines, reprimands, deals with, and prunes them—this is what it is to be a member of God’s house. When your attitude toward God changes and you can repent, God will also change His attitude toward you. When you’ve entered into life, and your views on things and the direction of your life have undergone some changes, and the faith and fear of God you hold in the depths of your heart have gradually grown and transformed, you will have become part of the house of God. Some people have believed in God for many years, but they have not done much to benefit God’s house. In fact, they have done quite a few bad things. They have lied and cheated, done things in a careless and perfunctory manner, acted arbitrarily and unilaterally, stolen offerings, sown discord, caused disruptions and disturbances, and wrecked the work of the church. They have committed many wrongdoings, but have never felt reproach. Their hearts feel no remorse, and they haven’t the slightest sense of guilt. These are people who stand outside the door of God’s house. People of this sort always live outside the door of God’s house. They follow no principles in what they do and are not interested in God’s words or the truth. They focus solely on performing tasks, running about, exerting themselves, making a great show of themselves and accumulating personal capital. They act carelessly and perfunctorily when it comes to the work of the church and doing their duties; they lie to and deceive God, and even confuse and control the brothers and sisters. They do not feel the slightest reprimand or remorse, and they do not feel God’s discipline either. These people are not members of God’s house. On the outside, this type of person shows a lot of enthusiasm for running about and expending themselves; they have much faith and are willing to expend themselves. It seems that they love the truth, love God, and are willing to practice the truth. However, as soon as they listen to sermons, they doze off, can’t sit still, and feel repelled. In their hearts, they think, “Isn’t fellowshiping on these things just pointing out people’s states, telling people to know themselves, then getting them to understand a little truth and finally achieve obedience? I understand all of this, so why does it have to be fellowshiped again?” These people don’t love the truth at all, and even like this, they feel no reproach and receive no discipline, as if they lack hearts at all. These people are all outside the house of God. They are unbelievers. From the time they first accepted God’s work until today, they have never truly acknowledged that they are created beings and that God is their Creator. They do not accept the truth in the least and do not willingly perform their duties. However, because they have a bit of shrewd intelligence and some enthusiasm, coupled with their ambition, they focus on running all over and doing work to gain people’s admiration, all so that they can carve out a position for themselves in God’s house. They think, “By doing these tasks and running about like this, I have established prestige and gained credibility in various places. I’ve secured my position in the church, and wherever I go, brothers and sisters look up to me. Having such a reputation among brothers and sisters is enough; this means I have life. As for how God defines it, there’s no need to be scrupulous about it.” What type of people are these? Strictly speaking, they are nonbelievers. What is the basis for saying this? The basis is their attitude toward the truth and toward God. They never repented, never came to know themselves, and never knew what it is to obey God. Instead, they do whatever they want, engaging in personal management in the name of fulfilling their duties, and satisfying their own desires and preferences. They have believed in God for so many years and listened to so many sermons, but they have no concept of the truth, and they have no concept that believing in God requires one to practice the truth. After listening to so many sermons, they still haven’t understood what the way is actually about. From the bottom of their hearts, they do not feel that man is extremely corrupt and in need of God’s salvation. They also don’t have genuine desire and yearning for the truth and God from the bottom of their hearts. Isn’t this problematic? (Yes.) It’s very problematic. To them, God, truth, and salvation are just rhetoric, merely a kind of argument or slogan. That is very problematic.
What do you see as the most obvious difference between Paul and Peter? Paul worked for many years, traveling, expending himself, making contributions, and enduring a lot of suffering, but the path he walked did not involve the truth, did not involve obedience to God, did not involve dispositional change, and it certainly did not involve being saved. Therefore, no matter how high Paul’s reputation is, no matter how much his writings have influenced future generations, he was not someone who truly loved the Lord Jesus. He had no genuine understanding of the Lord Jesus, he did not acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the one true God, but only recognized the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, as an ordinary person. As a result, he had no true obedience to the Lord Jesus; he just did everything he could to spread the gospel and win people over, establish churches, and personally shepherd them in the hope of gaining God’s approval, but God searched deep in Paul’s heart and did not approve of him. Peter, in contrast, did things quietly, and his heart was always filled with what the Lord Jesus had said to him. He pursued loving and understanding God according to the requirements of the Lord Jesus. During this time, he had accepted being reprimanded, dealt with, pruned, and even rebuked by God. What were the words God used to rebuke Peter? (“Get you behind Me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23).) Right, “Get you behind Me, Satan.” God spoke such words, but these words did not determine Peter’s end, they were merely a rebuke. Did God rebuke Paul during his work? (No.) In one respect, looking at subjective factors, God didn’t rebuke him. In another respect, from the perspective of objective factors, Paul didn’t accept the truth, didn’t seek the truth, and did not seek the way of receiving salvation at all, so he could not receive or experience these things. The work that God did on him was to make use of his service—if he could render service until the end without committing any great evils, he could remain as a service-doer; if he committed any great evil, however, the outcome would be different. That’s the difference. Peter, on the other hand, received much discipline, chastening, and reprimand from God. From the outside, it would seem that Peter did not conform to God’s will, making God displeased, but from the perspective of God’s will, such a person was exactly one whom He wanted and who pleased Him. That is why God continuously chastened and pruned him, so that little by little he grew, entered into the truth, and came to understand God’s will, ultimately achieving true obedience and true change. This was God’s love and God’s salvation.
Now, is it clear in your heart whether you are a member of the house of God? Have you truly entered the house of God? Based on what I just fellowshiped, can you measure this? Can you be sure that you have entered the door of God’s house and are a member of the house of God? (We are sure.) It is a good thing that you can be sure. This is proof that your belief in God already has a foundation, and that you have taken root in God’s house. Those who lack a foundation are outside the house of God, and God does not acknowledge them. What if you testify for God and tell others that you are a follower of God and a member of The Church of Almighty God, but God says that He does not know you? That would be a problem, right? Would this be a blessing or a curse for people? It is not a good sign. Therefore, if you want to gain God’s approval and say that you are a true believer in God, you must do some things that benefit the work of God’s house, prepare some good deeds, direct your heart toward God, and have a heart that exalts God as great. Only then will God acknowledge you. First, you have to change the errors in your views, attitudes, and practices with respect to God and the truth, as well as the wrong path you’ve taken. These things must be changed. This is the foundation. Then you have to accept all the truths expressed by God and fulfill your duties as God requires. When these things are achieved, God will be satisfied and He will acknowledge you as His follower. Second, you must gradually let God acknowledge you as a true created being, one that is up to standard. If you are still outside the house of God and God has not yet acknowledged you as a member of His house, but you say that you want to be saved, isn’t that just a fool’s dream? Now you have experienced some chastening and discipline, have God’s grace and blessings, and your faith in God has a foundation. This is a good thing. The next step is to be able to achieve life entry based on an understanding of the truth, to turn these truths into your own life and live them out, to apply them in performing your duty and in all the things God has entrusted to you. Then, you will have hope for salvation. Most of you are not of poor caliber, you can all be considered average in caliber. There is hope for salvation, but you all have some shortcomings and flaws in your humanity. Some of you are lazy, some talk big, some are arrogant, and some are a bit dull, numb, and intransigent. These are matters of disposition. For some problems of humanity and disposition, you must seek the truth through experience, reflect on yourselves, and accept being pruned and dealt with in order to realize progressive change and achieve experience and depth in regard to your acceptance and understanding of the truth. In this way, you will grow in life little by little. With life, one has hope. Without life, there is no hope. Do you possess life now? Do you have understanding and experience of the truth in your heart? How much and to what extent do you obey God? You must be clear on these things in your heart. If you are not clear but muddle-headed, it will be difficult to have life growth.
In the church, there are those who think that making a big effort or doing a few risky things means they have accrued merit. In fact, according to their actions they are indeed worthy of commendation, but their disposition and attitude toward the truth are loathsome and repugnant. They have no love for the truth, but are sick of the truth. This alone makes them abhorrent. Such people are worthless. When God sees that people are of poor caliber, that they have certain failings, and have corrupt dispositions or an essence that opposes Him, He is not repulsed by them, and does not keep them away from Him. That is not God’s will, and it is not His attitude toward man. God does not hate people’s poor caliber, He does not hate their foolishness, and He does not hate that they have corrupt dispositions. What is it that God most loathes in people? It is when they are sick of the truth. If you are sick of the truth, then because of that alone, God will never find delight in you. This is set in stone. If you are sick of the truth, if you do not love the truth, if your attitude toward the truth is uncaring, contemptuous, and arrogant, or even repulsed, resistant, and rejective—if this is how you behave—then God despises you utterly, and you are dead in the water, beyond saving. If you really do love the truth in your heart, yet are of somewhat low caliber and lacking in insight, and a bit foolish; if you often make mistakes, but do not intend to do evil, and have simply done a few foolish things; if you are willing at heart to hear God’s fellowship on the truth, and you long at heart for the truth; if the attitude you take in your treatment of the truth and God’s words is one of sincerity and longing, and you can treasure and cherish God’s words—this is enough. God likes such people. Even though you may be a bit foolish at times, God still likes you. God loves your heart, which longs for the truth, and He loves your sincere attitude toward the truth. So, God has mercy on you and is always granting grace to you. He does not consider your poor caliber or your foolishness, nor does He consider your transgressions. Because your attitude toward the truth is sincere and eager, and your heart is true, then—considering the trueness of your heart and this attitude of yours—He shall be ever merciful toward you, and the Holy Spirit shall work on you, and you shall have hope of salvation. On the other hand, if you are hard of heart and self-indulgent, if you are sick of the truth, never heedful of God’s words and everything that involves the truth, and antagonistic and scornful from the depths of your heart, then what is God’s attitude toward you? Disgust, revulsion, and unceasing wrath. What two characteristics are evident in God’s righteous disposition? Abundant mercy and profound wrath. The “abundant” in “abundant mercy” means that God’s mercy is tolerant, patient, forbearing, and that it is the greatest love—that is what “abundant” means. Because people are foolish and of poor caliber, this is how God has to act. If you love the truth but are foolish and of poor caliber, God’s attitude is of abundant mercy toward you. What does mercy include? Patience and tolerance: God is tolerant and patient toward your ignorance, He gives you sufficient faith and tolerance to support you, to provide for you and help you, so that you may understand the truth bit by bit and gradually mature. Upon what foundation is this built? It is built upon the foundation of one’s love and yearning for the truth, and their sincere attitude toward God, His words, and the truth. These are the fundamental behaviors that should be manifested in people. But if someone is sick of the truth in their heart, is averse to it, or even hates the truth, if they never take the truth seriously, and always talk about their accomplishments, how they have worked, how much experience they have, what they have gone through, how God esteems them and has entrusted them with great tasks—if they only talk about these things, their qualifications, achievements, and their talents, always showing off, and never fellowship on the truth, bear testimony to God, or fellowship on understanding gained from the experience of God’s work or their knowledge of God, are they not sick of the truth? This is how being sick of the truth and not loving the truth is manifested. Some people say, “How can they listen to sermons if they don’t love the truth?” Does everyone who listens to sermons love the truth? Some people just go through the motions. They are forced to put on an act in front of others, fearing that if they do not participate in the life of the church, the house of God will not acknowledge their faith. How does God define this attitude toward the truth? God says that they do not love the truth, that they are sick of the truth. Within their disposition, there is one thing that is most fatal, even more fatal than arrogance and deceitfulness, and that is being sick of the truth. God sees this. Given the righteous disposition of God, how does He treat such people? He is wrathful toward them. If God is wrathful toward someone, sometimes He reprimands them, or disciplines and punishes them. If they do not deliberately oppose God, He will be tolerant, wait, and observe. Because of the situation or other objective reasons, God may make use of this nonbeliever to render service to Him. But as soon as the environment allows, and the time is right, such people will be kicked out of the house of God, for they are not even fit to render service. Such is the wrath of God. Why is God so profoundly wrathful? This expresses God’s extreme hatred for those who are sick of the truth. God’s deep anger indicates that He has defined the outcome and destination of such people who are sick of the truth. Where does God class these people? God classes them in the camp of Satan. Because He is wrathful toward them and detests them, God shuts the door on them, He does not permit them to set foot in the house of God, and does not give them the chance to be saved. This is one manifestation of God’s wrath. God also puts them on the same level as Satan, as filthy demons and evil spirits, as the nonbelievers, and when the time is right, He shall cast them out. Is this not one way of handling them? (Yes.) Such is the wrath of God. And what awaits them once they have been cast out? Can they ever again enjoy God’s grace and blessings and the salvation of God? (No.) People in the Age of Grace often said something like this: “God wants every person to be saved and does not want anyone to suffer perdition.” Most people can understand the meaning of these words. It is the emotion and attitude of God in saving corrupt mankind. But how does God save mankind? Does He save all of mankind or only a part of it? Which part does God save and which people does He abandon? Most people can’t penetrate to the heart of this matter. They can only talk to people about doctrines. “God wants every person to be saved and does not want anyone to suffer perdition.” There are too many people who say this, but they don’t understand God’s will at all. In fact, God’s will is to save only those who love the truth and who can accept His salvation. Those who are sick of the truth and refuse to accept God’s salvation are those who deny and resist God. God not only will not save them, but He will ultimately destroy these people. Although those who believe in God know that His love is infinite, vast beyond compare, and mighty, God is unwilling to give this grace and love to those who are sick of the truth. God will not give His love and salvation to these people for nothing. This is God’s attitude. Those who are sick of the truth and do not accept God’s salvation are like a beggar looking for food—no matter whom they beg for food, in their hearts, they not only lack respect for their benefactors, but also mock and hate them. They would even rather snatch their benefactors’ belongings for themselves. Would the benefactors be willing to give food to such a beggar? Certainly not, because they are not truly pitiable, but rather too detestable. What is the benefactor’s attitude toward such a person? They would rather give food to a dog than give it to a beggar such as this. This is how they truly feel. What kind of people, do you think, are those who are sick of the truth? Are they those who resist and oppose God? They might not openly resist God, but their nature essence is to deny and resist God, which is tantamount to openly telling God, “I do not like hearing what You say, I do not accept it, and because I do not accept that Your words are the truth, I do not believe in You. I believe in whoever is profitable and beneficial to me.” Is this the attitude of unbelievers? If this is your attitude toward the truth, are you not being openly hostile to God? And if you are openly hostile to God, will God save you? He won’t. Such is the reason for God’s wrath toward all who deny and resist God. The essence of people like this, people who detest the truth, is the essence of hostility to God. God does not treat people who have such an essence as people. In His eyes, they are enemies and devils. He would never save them. In the end, they shall be plunged into disaster and destroyed. What do you say—if a beggar eats their benefactor’s food and scolds, ridicules, mocks, and even attacks their benefactor, will the benefactor hate them? Most definitely. What is the reason for this hatred? (Not only is the beggar not grateful to their benefactor for giving them food, but instead they mock, ridicule, and attack the benefactor. Such a person has absolutely no conscience or reason, and no humanity either.) What attitude should the benefactor have toward this beggar? The benefactor should take back the things they originally gave to the beggar, and then kick them out. They ought rather to feed these things to dogs or wild animals than give them to this beggar. This is the consequence that the beggar has brought upon themselves. There is a reason why God is so profoundly wrathful toward one person or one type of person. This reason is not determined by the preference of God, but by that person’s attitude toward the truth. When a person is sick of the truth, this is undoubtedly fatal to their attaining salvation. This is not something that can or cannot be forgiven, it is not a form of behavior, or something that is fleetingly revealed in them. It is the nature essence of a person, and God is most fed up with such people. If you occasionally reveal a corrupt manifestation of being sick of the truth, you must reflect, based on God’s words, on whether these revelations are due to an aversion to the truth or from a lack of understanding of the truth. This requires a search, and it requires God’s enlightenment and help. If your nature essence is such that you are sick of the truth, and you never accept the truth, and are particularly averse and hostile to it, then there is trouble. You are assuredly an evil person, and God will not save you.
What is the difference between unbelievers and those who believe in God? Is it just a difference in religious conviction? No. Unbelievers do not acknowledge God, and in particular, they cannot accept the truth expressed by God. This proves that unbelievers are all sick of the truth and they hate the truth. Is it a fact, for instance, that man was created by God? Is it the truth? (Yes.) Then, what is the attitude of people who believe in God when they hear this? They acknowledge and believe this absolutely. They embrace this fact, this truth, as the foundation of their faith in God—this is what accepting the truth is. It means accepting, from the depths of our hearts, the fact of man’s creation by God, gladly being a creature of God, willingly accepting the guidance and sovereignty of God, and acknowledging that God is our God. And what is the attitude of those who do not believe in God when they hear “Man was created by God”? (They do not accept or acknowledge it.) Besides not acknowledging it, what is their reaction? They will even mock you, doing all they can to try to use this against you, ridicule and make fun of you, look upon you with contempt, and heap scorn upon these words and this fact. They may even adopt an attitude of mockery, sarcasm, contempt, and hostility toward all those who acknowledge these words. Is this not being sick of the truth? (Yes.) Do you hate them when you see such people? What do you think? You consider, “Man was created by God. That is a fact. It’s indisputably true. You don’t accept this, you don’t recognize your origins, you are truly ungrateful, you are unconscionable and treacherous. You truly are the ilk of Satan!” Is that what you think? (Yes.) And why do you think like this? Do you think this way just because they don’t like this statement? (No.) And what causes such an averse mentality to arise in you? (It is because of their attitude toward the truth.) Your anger would not be so great if they respected these words as ordinary words, as a theory or religious conviction. But when you see repulsion, antagonism, and scorn arising in them, when you see them coming out with words, attitudes, and dispositions that denigrate this statement of the truth, you get angry. Is that how it is? Though some people do not believe in God, they respect other people’s faith, and do not try to tear down the matters of faith spoken of by others. You do not have any aversion or hatred toward them, you can still make friends with them and live in peace with them. You will not become enemies. In fact, there are a small number of unbelievers who you can get along with. Although they cannot accept the true way and become members of God’s house, you can still get along and have dealings with them. At least they have a conscience and reason. They don’t scheme against you and will not stab you in the back, so you can associate with them. Toward those who try to tear down the truth—who are sick of the truth—you feel anger in your heart. Could you be friends with them? (No.) Apart from not being friends with them, what else do you think of them? If you were asked to choose how you would treat them, how would you treat them? You would say, “Man was created by God. That is a fact, that is the truth, and what a great and hallowed thing that is! Not only do you not accept this, you also try to tear it down—you truly have no conscience! If God gave me the power, I would damn you, I would smite you, I would turn you to ash!” Is that your sentiment? (Yes.) This is a sense of justice. But when you see that they are demons, the sensible thing would be to ignore them, to stay away from them. When they speak to you, it’s fine to just play along. This is the wise thing to do. Deep down, though, you know you are on a different path than such people. They could never have faith in God, they will absolutely never accept the truth. Even if they did believe in God, He would not want them. They deny and resist God, they are beasts, they are devils, they do not follow the same path as us. Those who have genuine faith in God are unwilling to come into contact with devils. They’re alright when they don’t see any devils, but when they do, they immediately resist them. Their hearts will only feel at peace if they never see any devils. Some people always talk about the affairs of God’s house to unbelieving devils. These are the most stupid people. They don’t distinguish between insiders and outsiders, they are bumbling fools who understand nothing at all. Can God save people who are capable of such absurdities? Absolutely not. People who always have dealings with devils are nonbelievers. They are definitely not of the house of God, and sooner or later, they will have to return to Satan. Some people cannot discern who is a brother and a sister and who is an unbeliever. They are the most muddle-headed people. They tell nonbelievers and devils about the affairs of the house of God. This is like throwing pearls to pigs and giving dogs what is sacred. Those nonbelievers and devils are like pigs and dogs, they are classed among the brutes. If you discuss with them the affairs of God’s house, you will appear foolish. After they hear it, they will casually slander the house of God and the truth. If you do this, you will fail God and owe a debt to God. The affairs of the house of God must never be discussed with nonbelievers and devils. People are annoyed, resistant, and unwilling to come into contact with those who don’t like the truth, are sick of the truth, or slander the truth, so how do you think God feels? God’s disposition, God’s essence, what God has and is, God’s life, and God’s essence as revealed by Him are all truths. A person who is sick of the truth is, without a doubt, a person who opposes God and an enemy of God. This is more than a matter of incompatibility with God. For people such as these, God’s anger is immense.
You all have something of a foundation now, and you can be counted as members of God’s house. You must pursue the truth diligently, and in the process of performing your duties, constantly examine your own words and deeds, examine your various states, and strive to gain some changes in your disposition. This is a valuable thing. Then, you will truly be able to come before God. At the very least, you must make God accept you. If you can’t reach the level of Job and lack the qualifications that would lead God to personally wager with Satan to test you, at least you can live in the light of God by your actions and conduct, and God will care for and protect you, and acknowledge you as one of His followers and a member of His house. Why is this? Because ever since you acknowledged and believed in God, you have constantly sought how to follow God’s way. Because God is satisfied with your behavior and your sincerity, He has led you into His house to receive training, to be pruned and dealt with, and to accept His salvation. What a great blessing! Starting as a person outside of God’s house who knew nothing about God or the truth, you accepted God’s first test, and after passing it, God personally led you into His house, brought you before Him, entrusted you with a commission, arranged duties for you to perform, and let you perform some human duties within God’s management plan. Although it is some inconspicuous work, after all, you have God’s care and protection and you have received a promise from God. This blessing is sufficiently great. We’ll put aside being crowned and rewarded in the next life, and just speak of what people can enjoy in this life—the truths you hear, the grace, mercy, care, and protection of God that you enjoy, even the various sorts of discipline and chastening God gives to you, and the provision of all these truths that God gives to man—tell Me, how much are you receiving? In the end, in addition to understanding these truths, God will also completely save you from the camp of Satan, so that you change into a person who knows God, possesses the truth as your life, and is useful in God’s house. Is this blessing not a big one? (It is big.) This is God’s promise. After God brings you into His house, He tells you, “You are blessed. By entering the church, you have the hope of being saved.” Maybe you don’t know what’s going on, but in fact, God’s promise has already been given to you. At the same time, God is doing all these things to fulfill this promise—supplying the truth, pruning and dealing with you, giving you duties, and entrusting you with commissions—so that your life will grow little by little, and you will become a person who obeys and worships God. Have people now received this promise? There is still a way to go before the day of its achievement and fulfillment. In fact, some of you have already received it, and some of you have the determination but have not yet received it. It depends on whether you have the determination to grasp this promise and are able to fulfill it. Everything that God does is given to people step by step, at the proper time, and in the proper measure. There are never any mistakes, so you don’t have to worry about being foolish, of poor caliber, young, or having only believed in God for a short time. Don’t let these objective reasons affect your life entry. No matter what God says, first, it allows people to accurately know and measure their actual stature and caliber and come to know their own measure. Second, in the positive aspect, it gives people a deeper understanding of the truth and allows them to enter into the truth reality and perform their duties well so as to satisfy God’s will. These are the purposes of God’s words. To achieve these things is actually very simple. As long as you have a heart that loves the truth, there’s no difficulty. What is the greatest difficulty for humans? It is that you are sick of the truth and don’t love the truth at all. This is the greatest difficulty. It involves a problem of nature. If you don’t truly repent, it may spell trouble. If you are sick of the truth, and you always slander the truth and hold it in contempt, if you have this sort of nature, you will not easily change. Even if you change, it remains to be seen whether God’s attitude has changed. If what you do can change God’s attitude, then you still have hope of being saved. If you can’t change God’s attitude, and deep down in God’s heart, He has long been fed up with your essence, then you have no hope of salvation. Therefore, you have to examine yourselves. If you are in a state where you are sick of the truth and resist the truth, this is very dangerous. If you often produce such a state, often fall into such a state, or if you are fundamentally this sort of person, this is even more of a problem. If you are occasionally in the state of being sick of the truth, first, it may be due to your small stature; second, man’s corrupt disposition itself contains this sort of essence, which inevitably gives rise to this state. However, this state does not represent your essence. Sometimes, a fleeting emotion may produce a state that causes you to be sick of the truth. This is only temporary. It is not caused by the essence of your disposition that is sick of the truth. If it is a temporary state, it can be reversed, but how do you reverse it? You have to immediately come before God to seek the truth in this aspect and become able to acknowledge the truth, submit to the truth, and obey God. Then this state is resolved. If you don’t resolve it and let it go on and on, you are in danger. For example, some people say: “Anyway, I am of poor caliber and cannot understand the truth, so I will stop pursuing it, and I don’t have to obey God either. How could God give me this caliber? God is not righteous!” You deny the righteousness of God. Isn’t that being sick of the truth? It is the attitude of being sick of the truth and a manifestation of being sick of the truth. There is a context to the occurrence of this manifestation, so it is necessary to solve the context and root cause of this state. Once the root cause is solved, your state will disappear along with it. Some states are like a symptom, such as a cough, which may be caused by a cold or pneumonia. If you cure the cold or pneumonia, the cough will also get better. When the root cause is resolved, the symptoms disappear. But some states of being sick of the truth are not a symptom, but a tumor. The root cause of the disease is inside. You may not be able to find any symptoms by looking on the outside, but once the disease occurs, it is fatal. This is a very serious problem. Such people never accept or acknowledge the truth, or even constantly slander the truth like the unbelievers. Even if the words never leave their lips, they keep on slandering, rejecting, and refuting the truth in their hearts. No matter which truth—whether it is knowing oneself, acknowledging one’s corrupt disposition, accepting the truth, obeying God, not doing things in a perfunctory and careless manner, or being an honest person—they do not accept, admit, or pay attention to any aspect of the truth, or even refute and slander all aspects of the truth. This is the disposition of being sick of the truth, it is a sort of essence. What kind of ending does this essence lead to? Being rejected and cast out by God, and then perishing. The consequences are very serious.
Did today’s fellowship on these things help you? (Yes. I know what is good caliber and bad caliber, I have some real understanding of my own caliber, and I can accurately measure myself when things happen to me. I will not be arrogant and self-righteous, but perform my duty in a down-to-earth manner.) No matter what aspect of truth we fellowship on, it will be helpful to your life entry. If you can take these words and incorporate them in your daily lives, then what I have said has not been in vain. Every time you come to understand a little bit of the truth, you will be more accurate in doing things, and your path will open up a bit wider. If you know few truths and you don’t have a clear understanding of your actual stature and caliber, you will always be inaccurate in doing things, always overestimate yourself and evaluate yourself too highly, and do things based on notions and imaginings but without knowing, thinking instead you are acting based on the truth. You will regard these notions and imaginings as truth principles. The deviation in the things you do will be extremely great. If these human notions, imaginings, knowledge, and learning are dominant in people’s hearts, they will not seek the truth. If the truth becomes what is second, third, or even last in your heart, then what holds power over you? It is your satanic disposition and human notions, philosophies, knowledge, and learning. These things are sovereign over you, so the work God does on you will not be effective. If God’s words and the truth have not become your life within you, then you are still far from being saved. You have not stepped onto the path of salvation. Do you think God’s heart is not anxious? How much mercy does God have to show you to put you on the path of salvation? If you can escape from traditional culture and knowledge and satanic philosophy, learn to measure all these things with the truth based on God’s words, use truth principles as standards for monitoring things, and perform your duties well, then you will truly become a person with the truth reality, a person with the ability to live independently. At present, you are not at this level, you still have a way to go. You just have a little life, and you still have to live by God’s mercy, love, and tolerance. This means your stature is too small. If you were given a task, would you be able to complete it independently? Could you do the job well? If you make a mess of things, this is resisting God and dishonoring God. If you get halfway through your job, but then go off to have some fun, doesn’t that show you to be a bit unstable? It shows that you are not a reliable worker and that you do not do your job properly. You will always need people to watch over and supervise you if you are to do your duty. Some people in their 30s and 40s still have this moral character. It’s all over for them. They will accomplish nothing in their lives. If you are in your 20s and have only believed in God for two or three years, you can be forgiven for being a person of small stature. Instability, unreliability, always having to be looked after, guarded, reminded, exhorted, and guided by God, always needing to enjoy these graces of God, living by relying on these graces, and being unable to do without any of these things, this is being too small in stature. You are in this condition now. If things are not completely spelled out for you, you will sometimes make a mistake and make a mess out of your work. If any little thing is not explained to you, you will go astray, which is a constant worry for others. On the outside, you are all adults, but in fact, you do not have much life in your spirits. Although you have the will and sincerity to perform your duties, and you also have some genuine faith, you understand too little about the truth. In doing your duty, you are completely reliant on God’s grace, blessings, guidance, and reminders to move forward. Anything less and it won’t go right. So, which aspect of God’s righteous disposition is manifested in you? His abundant mercy, and of course this is the principle of God’s work. Why have you still not enjoyed God’s trials and refinements? It is because you do not possess such stature. You are too small in stature, you understand too little of the truth, you can’t penetrate to the core of anything, you get confused when you encounter difficulties, you don’t know where to start, you always cause people to worry, and, no matter what duty you perform, other people have to teach you to do it step by step, requiring too much effort on the part of others. Everything must be spelled out for you and repeated more than once, otherwise, it won’t go well. Ordinary things have to be said two or three times, but after a while, you will forget and it has to be repeated several more times. What sort of person is this? This is a muddle-headed person who doesn’t put their heart or their mind into what they do, and who is unqualified to render any service. Can such people understand the truth? It is definitely not easy for them to understand the truth because their caliber is so poor and they cannot rise to the level of the truth. Some people are small in stature, but they can learn something after going through it once, twice, or three times. If they can receive, understand, and grasp the truth after hearing fellowship on the truth, they are people of caliber. It is not a big problem to have caliber but to be of small stature. This is only related to the depth of such people’s experience, and is directly related to the depth of their understanding of the truth. After more experience and a deeper understanding of the truth, their stature will naturally grow.
March 2, 2019