Only Those Who Understand the Truth Understand Spiritual Matters
We will begin by fellowshiping on the ways in which people who do not understand spiritual matters make themselves known. What stands out most about them? It is that no matter how many years they believe in God, or how they appear to pursue the truth, their lives never grow and they have absolutely no path of practice for life entry. People who do not understand spiritual matters do not reflect on and try to know themselves no matter what corrupt disposition they display. In fact, they don’t even know what a corrupt disposition is. They are not aware of the disposition which they reveal and display, no matter how arrogant it is. No matter how much they lie and play tricks, they do not have the slightest sense of it. No matter how much they rebel against God and resist Him, they do not know that this is a mistake. They are just like the unbelievers, acting as they please and doing evil without scruples, thinking they are in the right, and not accepting criticism or exhortation from anyone. Although they often listen to sermons and attend gatherings, they absolutely do not know what obedience is, or what rebelliousness and opposition are, nor what it is to reject the orchestrations and arrangements of God. They do not know of the goodness that stems from human intentions, or what it is to practice in accordance with the truth and submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God. They know nothing of these nuanced differences. They do not know if they have been loyal or have been careless and perfunctory in performing their duty, or what corrupt dispositions they have revealed and what their intentions are, or whether the path they walk is the right one. They do not know if the perspective of their practice is correct, or what kinds of behavior are beloved or despised by God. They know none of these things. People who have no spiritual understanding at all do not understand spiritual matters in life. They just stick to reading God’s words and leading a normal spiritual life. When performing their duty, they do not loaf or cause trouble, nor do they deliberately do things that cause disruptions or disturbances. They do as they are told and stick by simple rules. But when it comes to details, to the states involved in life entry, to various perspectives and attitudes, they have a complete disregard. When you fellowship truths that relate to resolving notions, they think they don’t have any, that all their notions have already been resolved and what you are fellowshiping has nothing to do with them. They do not know what the notions of which you speak refer to, or what truth reality there is in what you say. When you speak of knowing oneself, they say, “Man is rebellious and arrogant, isn’t he? Well, if he simply weren’t rebellious, wouldn’t that be enough? When an issue befalls him, if he didn’t show off, if he were a bit more modest and weren’t pompous—wouldn’t that be enough?” When you speak of obedience, they say, “What’s so important about obedience? Just don’t do anything evil. What’s so difficult about that?” When you talk about forsaking the flesh, disciplining one’s body, casting off corruption, and practicing the truth, they say, “There’s no need for forsaking the flesh or practicing the truth; I’ll just be a good person.” That’s how simple their thinking is. Can such a person ultimately obtain the truth? (No.) What is their attitude toward the truth? (They don’t recognize God’s words as the truth, so they don’t accept them, thinking that they don’t have the corrupt disposition that God’s words reveal.) That’s right, they think, “I don’t have much of man’s corrupt disposition that God reveals, and even if I did have any corrupt disposition it would be very minor, just some transitory thoughts, no big deal. Isn’t this just a requirement to be obedient? I’ll listen to whatever you say, and I’ll do whatever you tell me to do. Isn’t that obedience?” Is it that simple? Some people are so simple-minded that when they see someone who is being negative, they say, “Just love God, why are you crying, why are you being negative?” These people do not understand spiritual matters. What does it mean to lack an understanding of spiritual matters? It means that, no matter what God says or what truths He speaks, these people just see these things as theories. They do not understand the substance of these issues, nor do they understand what problems God’s fellowship of these truths is meant to solve. They do not understand how these truths are related to people’s life entry and the road they are walking on, or how they are related to the corrupt dispositions that people reveal, or how they are related to people living out the human likeness and their attainment of salvation. They don’t understand any of these things. They are not clear and do not understand what these words of God, these truths, have to do with the revelation and expression of people’s corruption and their practice and entry. All they hear is “obedience, devotion” and “don’t be careless or perfunctory, or disrupt and disturb.” In the end, they sum everything up in one sentence “I don’t remember anything else, but I know that I should do whatever God demands. I’m even willing to render service. What else is there to say?” They don’t know that apart from doing service, there are many corrupt things in people that need to be resolved, such as ambitions, desires, preferences, notions, imaginings, as well as people’s erroneous views and Satan’s philosophy of dealing with the world. God’s words demand that people resolve all of these things and replace them with the truth. His purpose in issuing these truths is to make you understand the truth and accept it into your heart, then go on to use them in real life to resolve your problems and difficulties, such that you make these truths your reality, and they are lived out and revealed in you. What you will then reveal will no longer be arrogance, ambition, desires, notions, imaginings, learnings, philosophies, or other such corrupt things, but the reality of the truth. People who have no spiritual understanding do not understand this. Having listened to years of sermons, they think, “Why is it that every sermon is more or less the same? Years of sermonizing about knowing oneself—isn’t it just a matter of recognizing one’s vital weaknesses and corruption?” Others say today’s sermons are deeper and more detailed than before, but those without spiritual understanding fail to notice that. This is the sign of such a person. Some people are of a high enough caliber but do not pursue the truth, so they will never achieve spiritual understanding. Other people are too low in caliber to understand the truth, so the more they hear about the details of each truth, the more confused they become, without ever having a proper path of practice. Regardless of how many years these low-caliber people keep their faith, they are only able to abide by the rules or put in a bit of effort, and those of them with a bit of conscience and reason may have some devotion when performing their duties. They avoid being careless or perfunctory, guarantee that they won’t commit obvious sins, and also prepare some good deeds. With some things, they’re capable of a simple sort of submission, doing what they are asked to do and letting go of what they aren’t, accepting some small disciplines, and, at the very least, doing things according to the standard of their conscience. They do not offend God directly and don’t do things which clearly resist God, but they aren’t able to achieve deeper obedience. Much less are they up to things like the trials and testimonies of Job. They do not understand the words and testimonies of Job. They do not know what the words, “God gave, and God has taken away,” really mean, and they are definitely unable to see that what happened to Job was a result of God’s deprivation. If they come to face such a trial, they will surely argue with God and complain a lot, for these people do not understand the truth at all. A person who truly understands the truth can see clearly people’s corrupt states that God reveals. They can see more or less clearly what God has done, can understand whatever issues they face correctly, and do not indiscriminately talk about, determine, or define what they do not understand. People who truly understand the truth can discern the difference between truth and falsehood, and can discern whether a person’s state is normal or not. Then, they can understand their own revelations of corruption within reality and within the context of real life, and can accept the truth to resolve their own corrupt disposition. They can understand God’s intentions in the environment that He has set up, and they can apply the truth to solve real problems in accordance with God’s words. This is what a person who understands spiritual matters can achieve.
What is the degree of a person’s life entry related to? It is related to the degree to which a person understands the truth. What does the degree to which a person understands the truth refer to? What is understanding the truth? It is knowing which aspect of reality God’s words are referring to, what problems in people they are aiming to solve, which aspect of people’s corrupt disposition they are addressing, what the principles of this aspect of the truth are, what the relationship between this and other truths is, and what the standards of God’s requirements are for this aspect of the truth. To understand all this is to understand the truth. For example, to understand the truth of obedience, you first have to understand what obedience is, how to truly be obedient and what standard of obedience God requires of people. This is the reality of obedience, the truth of obedience. It is not just about understanding the concept, definition, and theory of obedience, but also about understanding the principles of practicing obedience; knowing how to apply these principles; knowing what is in line with the truth principles and what violates them when applying them; and being able to discern between correct practice and erroneous ways of doing things. This is what can prove that you really understand the truth. If you can apply this aspect of the truth in yourself, you will be able to live out and fulfill these truths, and then you will be able to measure others by these truths; if you achieve these results, you will have gained the reality of entering into this aspect of the truth, and then you will be a person who understands spiritual matters. Whether a person understands spiritual matters is not determined by how fast they understand the truth, but, rather, whether or not they understand God’s words. If it seems that you understand God’s words at the moment you hear them, but then you don’t understand them when faced with a problem, then you do not understand spiritual matters. However, if you feel that you understand them at the time, though not completely, and then, after some period of experience, when you are faced with a problem, you see through it and can understand this aspect of the truth, then you have an understanding of spiritual matters. This understanding doesn’t relate to how much a person understands in literal or doctrinal terms—it has to do with a person’s caliber, as well as their pursuit and the path they take. An antichrist may appear to have some brains and gifts, and they can speak well, but they don’t know anything about the spiritual matters in life. They can imitate some of the original words from a sermon as soon as they’ve finished listening to it and can grasp the key points, and people might think that they have understood. However, the things they say are incompatible with the situations they face, they cannot integrate them or apply the things they talk about. In fact, listening to the words which they fellowship, it seems as if they understand the relevant aspect of the truth and can grasp the principles, so they should know how to deal with things. However, when faced with an issue, they do not practice the truth, but rather trot out another theoretical statement. This is self-contradictory, and it proves that they do not understand the truth, and that the things they preach are all just doctrine and theory. You hear them preaching doctrine as though they were quite lucid about it, but in fact they do not understand spiritual matters. They do not understand the truth or pursue the truth. For example, when they are in a difficult situation and become negative and you fellowship the truth with them, they say, “Don’t fellowship with me, I know everything.” In fact, they don’t know. If they really did know, then they wouldn’t be so negative and unreasonable. When you hear them preach their unreasonable and false logic, you know that they do not understand anything about the truth and that they do not understand spiritual matters. Once they are faced with something that does not fit in with their notions, they complain against God, misunderstand God, and even spread their notions. By listening to what they preach and those things which they spread, and by looking at what is in their hearts, you know that they do not understand the truth at all. Now, by discerning whether or not people understand spiritual matters, it has been revealed that most people do not understand the truth. They are able to preach words and doctrines very well most of the time. In particular, those people who have believed in God for many years and love to preach words and doctrines feel that they have more capital. However, it is revealed that they do not understand spiritual matters at all and that they are just useless people. They are not the slightest bit useful to the house of God. How can this kind of person achieve salvation?
What exactly does it mean to lack spiritual understanding? In short, it means not being able to understand the spiritual matters in life, not being able to understand things of the spiritual realm, and therefore not being able to understand the truth, naturally. If you observe those who lack spiritual understanding speaking and expressing their views, you will discover that they do not understand the truth. Some people can speak well and it seems as if they believe in God with great vigor and faith, so why do they lack spiritual understanding? You can see that they always do their duty with a lot of energy. They are always enthusiastic, are seldom negative, and they are able to suffer and pay the price. However, they do not understand the truth and have no principles when they do things. These are people who do not understand spiritual matters. People who have an understanding of spiritual matters do things according to principles. Whether by virtue of their conscience or the truth they understand, when they are faced with an issue, they know how it should be managed according to principles. They do not do things blindly or abide by rules. These are the obvious characteristics of people who understand spiritual matters. However, those who lack a spiritual understanding do not have the truth principles in the things they do. Most of the time they just apply rules blindly. Sometimes they rely on their experience, sometimes on their gift, and some of them rely on their conscience, enthusiasm or natural goodness. Whatever someone has spiritual understanding about, that is what they are smart and wise about. They know to seek the truth, and they know who speaks in accordance with the principles. That’s someone who understands spiritual matters the most. If they can practice the truth after they have gained an understanding of it, then they have the hope of receiving salvation from God. Why is it said that some people who have believed in God for many years are still doing service? This is because they don’t understand the truth. There are two main reasons for not understanding the truth. The first is that people lack an understanding of spiritual matters, which makes it impossible for them to understand the truth. The second is that they are sick of the truth and don’t love the truth, so they can’t understand the truth. There are many people who believe in God and do things out of enthusiasm, goodwill, or experience. They hold on to these things as the truth, do a lot of good things and they are able to continue doing this for their whole lives. But can they do things in this way and reach an understanding of the truth? Absolutely not. Even if they do a lifetime of good things, they will not be able to understand the truth. So, surely a person who does not understand the truth, but can do many good things, is a good person, right? This is not certain, because the most obvious consequence of not understanding the truth is that people can do evil and resist God, and they can follow Satan and evil spirits in judging and condemning God, as well as resisting God’s work. This is because people who do not understand the truth are most easily deceived and used by Satan. Some who do not understand the truth may do a lot of good things yet also be capable of doing evil and resisting God. Therefore, doing good things for your whole life doesn’t necessarily make you a truly good person or mean you’re practicing the truth. You have to look at the nature of those good things and determine whether or not they are in accordance with the truth and belong to the truth reality. If you can’t see these substantive issues clearly, and you still do things based on enthusiasm, goodwill, and experience, is this walking in God’s way? Absolutely not, this is relying entirely on one’s conscience as the standard as well as their good intentions to do things. It is doing things according to their notions and imaginings. Such people lack spiritual understanding. They are people who do not understand the truth. People who cannot see these issues clearly are also people who do not understand spiritual matters.
Look around, can you tell if there are many people in the church who understand spiritual matters and can understand the truth? (I used to think that the people who lacked a spiritual understanding were those who had absurd understanding or were numb and dull-witted, while most people who did their duty understood spiritual matters. Now, after listening to God’s fellowship, I realize that only those who can understand the truth really understand spiritual matters. They are in the minority, while the majority of people lack a spiritual understanding.) Currently, those who understand spiritual matters and the truth are in the minority, and those who do not understand spiritual matters or the truth are in the majority. For instance, how should people comprehend and know the truth of obedience? Most people think that obedience means to do what they are told and not resist or rebel when facing an issue. To them, this is obedience. People don’t understand any of the details of why God has people obey Him, what the meaning of obedience is, what the principle of obedience is, how a person should obey, and what the corruptions within people that need to be resolved when they practice obedience are; they just follow the rules. They think, “Obedience means that if you’re told to cook, don’t sweep the floor, and if you’re told to sweep the floor, don’t clean the glass. If you’re told to do something, just do it. It’s that simple. Don’t be concerned with what’s in your heart, because God doesn’t look at these things.” In fact, God has people resolve their rebelliousness and corruption at the same time that they obey Him so that they may attain true obedience. This is the truth of obedience. How much do people ultimately come to understand and know? They understand that everything God asks people to do is something they ought to do. In this is God’s will, and people should obey Him unconditionally. If a person can come to know this much, they understand the truth of obedience and can practice obedience to God and satisfy Him. However, most people don’t know what obedience to God is; they only know how to follow rules. As a result, they can’t achieve obedience to God, because they don’t understand God’s intentions or the truth of obedience. These are people who do not understand spiritual matters. People who lack an understanding of spiritual matters cannot understand the truth of obedience, so it is hard for them to put it into practice. They cannot find the way or the principles of practice. People who do not have an understanding of spiritual matters are not spiritually enlightened. No matter how the truth is fellowshiped to them, they do not understand it. They do not know that practicing the truth of obedience is the process of life entry. Life entry is when a person dissects and comes to know the intentions, notions, preferences, and choices they reveal in the process of accepting and practicing the truth, so that they may understand their own rebellious state, realize that they are someone who is rebelling against and resisting God, and that they absolutely cannot achieve compatibility with Him. When people have understood this, it is easy for them to practice the truth. This is only the beginning of practicing the truth of obedience. In the process that starts with your reflecting on and understanding your own corrupt disposition up to the point where you resolve your corrupt disposition, your rebelliousness, your extravagant wishes for God, your preferences, considerations, and ambitions, you will discover your own corruption over and over again, know the areas in which you are not compatible with God and understand your own nature essence. You will also come to the realization that it is not easy for people to obey God, that it may be easy to understand the doctrine of obeying God and to say you will be obedient to God, but it is not so easy to carry this out. And what is God’s purpose in requiring obedience? Is it just to expose people? What is the truth in God’s demand for obedience? The process where people obey God is one by which God cleanses people. That is, God uses the truth of obedience to cleanse and restrain people and to guide them to come before God and know themselves, to understand their own rebelliousness, their own corrupt disposition, and their own nature that resists God. This is what it means to understand one’s own essence. What is the final result that is achieved? People can understand the ugliness of the depths of their corruption, know what they really are, realize what they should do, and where they should stand as created beings, they have true obedience to God, and they no longer make unreasonable demands. This is the intended result that is achieved. This is what it means to enter into the reality of the truth. Are these not the details of what it means to know oneself? Are these not the detailed issues involved in obeying God? Do people think of these details when they hear the truth of obedience? No, people cannot. Can they achieve true obedience to God if they do not fully understand these details? If people cannot achieve obedience to God, can they perform their duties well as created beings? It is impossible. Recognizing these details about oneself is beyond crucial; it is the most basic lesson to achieve salvation. When you obey to the very end, you don’t research what God says, you don’t have your own personal opinions, and you don’t say “I think,” “I wonder,” “I plan to do this and that,” or “I should do this and that.” You don’t have all these considerations, desires, and ambitions that start with the “I.” You are able to accept what God says to the letter and practice in accordance with His words. This is what it means to obey the commands of God and follow His way. In this way, God’s process of cleansing you has come to an end. Your corruption has been cleansed, and your true identity as a created being has been restored. This is what it means to find your place and stand firmly in it. Without these considerations, decisions, and desires which start with “I” to disturb you, it is easy for you to practice obedience. Some people say, “God is always asking for obedience, but that doesn’t make sense! Don’t I have to stand up for myself? Isn’t my complaint reasonable and sensible?” Is this obedience? Does such a person understand the truth of obedience? They do not understand the truth of obedience, do not know the meaning of obedience, what their obligations and responsibilities are, nor do they know their duty or where they should stand. Sometimes God’s words that expose people are pretty harsh. When people listen to them, they feel distressed and uncomfortable. They feel pain inside, with their dignity and integrity even being damaged. They think, “God has no love, sympathy, leniency, compassion, tolerance, or forgiveness for people. He is too harsh!” All people value their dignity and integrity, and they find it extremely hard to accept it if these things are damaged. As a result, they cannot be obedient even if they wanted to. In their heart, they think, “God demands too much of people. He is making a fool of me and tormenting me, isn’t He?” However, this is not correct. God’s request that people obey Him is not intended to compel anyone to obey Him, much less force anyone to obey Him. God’s request comes with conditions. It is addressed to those who have conscience and reason and can accept the truth and to those who understand the truth. If you don’t understand the truth and do not have conscience and reason, you are not able to fulfill God’s requirements. In fact, all the truths that God expresses are issued to those who love the truth and can accept it. God does not require anything from those who do not love the truth and accept it. Do you see anyone who does not practice the truth receiving immediate discipline or punishment? This does not happen to a single person. God’s will is to hope that all people can accept, understand, and reach for the truth. This is His will. If a person sees God’s words and feels that He is demanding that they do something, then they have misunderstood. Therefore, when you read God’s words, you have to understand His will, target audience, and meaning. Do not make careless commentary on His words. If you are always giving your own excuses and being disobedient, what will God think of you? God will say that you are not cleansed, not a person who obeys God, and that you have not lived out the reality of obedience to God. Therefore, the obedience that you speak of is just a doctrine and will forever be a theory. If people often have notions in their heart when they encounter various people, matters, things, and environments that have been arranged by God, they are likely to reason with and fight back against God. This type of person does not possess the truth reality of obedience, and, for these people, obedience is just doctrine and empty words. In what context can people like this be obedient to a small degree? They have to be in a suitable environment which is in line with their notions. They also have to be in a good mood. Only then can they practice the truth of obedience. So does this mean that they possess the reality of obedience to God? No, because their obedience is too limited. It has to conform to their notions and meet their conditions in order for them to be obedient. Situations like this are few and far between. Then what does true obedience look like? As long as a person acknowledges that it is the truth, then they do not put forward excuses or conditions and can be obedient regardless of whether or not it suits the tastes or notions of man. They will obey without arguing back even if they were made to die. This is called being obedient unto death. This is the obedience of Peter. How many people can have obedience like this? Almost none. Believers in God must understand what the truth is. The truth is the way that should be followed by people in all places and in all eras. It is the way that all should follow. Regardless of whether people are able or willing, the truth is the way that all of humanity—corrupted humanity and that which is uncorrupted by Satan alike, today’s humanity and tomorrow’s alike—should follow. And why is this so? Because the truth is the right way, the reality of all positive things, which all created beings should carry out. What should you do when the truth conflicts with your thoughts, views, or disposition? You should choose to obey. This is the truth of obedience. What is the truth of obedience? And what is the practical side of this truth of obedience to God? Regardless of whether you want to practice the truth or not, whether you think it is right or wrong, whatever your point of view may be, and regardless of how you view God’s words and God’s demands, you should accept, obey, and practice them. This is obedience, as well as the truth of obedience. People cannot put the truth into practice because they have corrupt dispositions. It is not the case that if someone cannot practice the truth, then it is not the truth or that it becomes empty words. This belief is mistaken and absurd. Some wonder, “If one person can’t practice the truth, it may be the truth, but if no one is capable of practicing it, isn’t it then not the truth?” Is this question correct? (No.) This is logical reasoning. The fact is that the essence of the truth never changes. Even if you cannot put it into practice, the truth is still the way that people should follow and the correct path. You can’t say that the truth is incorrect if one person is unable to put it into practice no matter how hard they try. The truth is still correct if ten thousand people cannot put it into practice. Even if no one can put it into practice, the truth is still correct. The truth never changes. Only the truth can enable humankind to live normally, to live before God, and to receive His approval and blessing. This is the truth and is the result that can be achieved by accepting the truth. Where does the truth come from? The truth comes from God. It is expressed by Him. His words are the truth. The truth is the word of God and the word of God is the truth. If people recognize the truth and are willing to accept it, what problems must people resolve in order to be obedient? They must resolve all of their corrupt dispositions, as well as their personal choices, considerations, plans, and so on. Can these things be laid aside immediately after you have recognized them? (No.) It is in the process of seeking or practicing the truth of obedience, through praying for God to arrange environments and raise up people, matters, and things, through praying for His chastening and discipline, His chastisement and judgment, His trials and refinement that people gradually resolve these things and are purified—and it is only when one is purified that they can achieve absolute obedience. If you have obedience in the process of trying to resolve these problems, they can be resolved. If you do not, then they will never be resolved. Ultimately, only when all of these problems are resolved and you are purified, will you be someone who is obedient to God. Why do I say this? Do you understand the relationship here? When you have obedience, this aspect of the truth can be worked into you and become your reality. When you live out this aspect of reality, your problems in this area will be resolved. This is how it is.
What is the accurate way to measure whether a person understands spiritual matters? Is it enough only to look at whether they can understand the literal meaning of God’s words? (No.) What exactly does it mean to understand spiritual matters? It is when a person can understand God’s words, and when they can understand and comprehend sermons and fellowship implicitly, and they can understand the words of sermons and fellowship without further explanation even if they were not related clearly. Even if the meaning of sermons and fellowship isn’t completely spelled out, this person can still work it out and know what it means. This type of person is one who understands spiritual matters. Those who can’t understand God’s words or understand sermons and fellowship, who are always misunderstanding these things and feeling that there are inconsistencies within these things—these kinds of people do not understand spiritual matters. For people who lack spiritual understanding, they will not be able to fully understand the truth, even if you fellowship about it clearly with them. For them, being able to understand doctrines and follow rules is good enough. Therefore, it is not easy for a person who does not understand spiritual matters to understand the truth. However, if someone who has spiritual understanding does not pursue or understand the truth, then they are essentially no different from someone who lacks spiritual understanding. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to understand the truth. Whether or not a person understands spiritual matters, they should reach for the truth. The more thoroughly they understand the truth, the more they will benefit. Not only will they be able to see matters clearly, but they will also be able to choose the correct path. Therefore, if a person wants to pursue the truth, in one respect, they must hunger for God’s words, put effort into His words, and learn to contemplate them, pray-read them, fellowship on them, and seek within them. And what is the most important thing? They must practice and experience God’s words. Only when you have practiced and experienced these words, and God’s words have become your reality, can you truly understand what His words are referring to and exactly what truths they contain. When you have understood the truth, you will naturally understand spiritual matters. But attaining spiritual understanding is not the goal. What is? The goal is to practice the truth and understand the truth. If someone has a way forward when they practice God’s words, and knows how to proceed, and, having practiced His words, can understand the truths in it, and knows the relationships and principles of practice in it, then that is someone with spiritual understanding who has achieved the effects of understanding the truth. Whether one has spiritual understanding is connected to whether they can understand and gain the truth, so for believers in God, whether or not one understands spiritual matters is an issue of great significance, one that directly affects one’s ability to understand the truth. For example, God requires obedience of man, but what exactly is man to obey? What is the object of obedience? (The truth and God’s word.) Obey the truth and God’s word. In more tangible terms, this means to obey God’s requirements for people; to submit to the real-life environments, people, matters, and things God arranges for people; and to obey God’s requirements of people in their various duties. Let us go further still: What else is contained within the reality of obedience? (Submitting to the work arrangements of the Above.) That is part of it. What else? (Obedience in every duty that God’s house arranges for us.) Duties are a very important matter for believers in God, and whether one can perform their duty well is related to whether they possess the truth reality. There is another part to it: the standard of conduct God requires of people. This is very important as well. What does one’s conduct entail? It entails how one treats their brothers and sisters, how they treat wealth, and how they treat their prospects, marriage, affections, and fleshly enjoyment. Seeking the truth in all these various matters, acting according to God’s requirements, doing things according to the principles of the truth, and adhering to the principles of the truth in how one practices and lives—all of this is obedience. All of this is the reality of obedience. For example, some people believe how one treats one’s brothers and sisters is unrelated to the truth of obedience. Is this view right? It is related to how one conducts oneself. Is it a principle of human conduct to always bully a brother or sister whom you don’t like, always speaking to them harshly? (No.) How does God require people to treat others? (He asks that we treat people fairly.) What does fairness mean? It means treating people according to the truth principles, not according to their appearance, status, how knowledgeable they are, or one’s own preferences or feelings toward them. Then why is it fair to treat people according to the truth principles? There are many who do not understand this, and they need to understand the truth in order to do so. Is fairness as understood by unbelievers true fairness? Absolutely not. Only with God can there be righteousness and fairness. Only in the requirements the Creator has of His creations is there fairness, can God’s righteousness be revealed. Therefore, fairness can only come from treating people according to the truth principles. What should you require of people in the church and how should you treat them? Whatever duty they can perform is what should be arranged for them to perform—and if they are incapable of performing a duty, and even cause disturbances, then, if they merit being cleared out, they should be cleared out, even if they have a good relationship with you. This is fairness, this is what is included in the principles of treating others fairly. This has to do with the principles of conduct. One aspect of the truth of obedience involves performing one’s duty. Another entails how people obey and treat the issue when disaster and illness strike, and how they stand firm in their testimony. Beyond that, there is the aspect of people’s conduct. Most importantly, they must strive to be an honest person and must have conscience and reason. They must also live, and feed, clothe, shelter themselves, and get around as a normal person. In terms of quality of life, what is God’s requirement for people? (We should be content with food and clothing.) That was God’s requirement for people in the Age of Grace. What are God’s requirements for people in the present age? God has requirements for people’s food, clothing, shelter, and means of transportation; for their speech and deportment; and for their manner of dress. He does not ask you to be ascetic, nor would He have you indulge in fleshly comfort. Laziness, indulging in fleshly comfort, and pleasure-seeking are not God’s requirements. What are the standards of God’s requirements? He requires you to be fully devoted, conscientious, responsible in your duties, that you suffer and pay a price, that you work diligently and not be lazy. God also has standards of His requirements for your attitudes toward wealth, the world, evil trends, and the attitude with which you should treat unbelievers related to you, and there is truth to be found in all of these requirements. Each of these large categories has inside it truths people should practice and obey. Some people indulge in comfort, and enjoy eating, drinking, and having fun. They love to indulge their fleshly desires and follow trends. When they see how people in society are having fun, they want to join in, and their hearts are always with the outside world. Can they perform their duty well? (No.) Some people, when they see unbelievers in their pretty clothes, find what they wear as believers in God too plain, and always worrying about being looked down upon, they will get themselves all worked up. Others see other young couples living in their own little worlds, and they feel lonely and isolated by themselves. They are always pained by these matters, and they do not seek the truth, nor do they come before God. Can they perform their duty well? (No.) Unremarkable though these things are, and though they seem not to involve evident truths, they are related to the most basic truths of God’s requirements for man. If a person cannot overcome and subdue these problems, and if those things are always a disturbance within them and impairing their belief in God and their performance of their duty, then it will be quite hard for them to embark on the right track of belief in God.
Every aspect of the truth, from the most basic to those that run a bit deeper, is the truth. There is no distinction between surface-level and profound truth; the distinction is in what truths people should practice under what circumstances. Some truths have to do with people’s duties; some have to do with their daily lives, for instance, with their daily habits, rules, and preferences; and some have to do with the environments, people, matters, and things God arranges for man. No matter what the problem is, regardless of whether it has to do with daily life or duty, and no matter how big or small the matter is that the problem touches upon, if you can treat it seriously, seek the truth, act according to the truth principles, and practice according to the truth principles, then you are pursuing the truth. Some people listen to the sermons for a few years and rather than focusing on practicing the truth, they only focus on listening to the sermons that they have not heard before. They always want to hear some of the language and mysteries of the third heaven, and are always preaching lofty sermons to others. When they see that these people don’t understand it, they are quite pleased with themselves. This is beyond irrational. What is the use of talking about those empty things? If what you preach does not relate to man’s duty, to the states and corrupt dispositions that are revealed in man’s daily lives; if it is disconnected from people’s lives, their entry, and their duty; if it has no relation to the states that manifest and are revealed in their daily lives; then what you preach is nothing but doctrine and empty words, not the truth. There are many people who think they understand the truth after listening to a great number of sermons. They summarize from these sermons some doctrines and rules, often preaching to people and fellowshiping with them, but they do not know how to deal with problems or difficulties when they arise. So why is it that the doctrine they understand is not able to solve any real problems? This proves that they still do not understand the truth. Some people have been preaching words and doctrines for many years, but when they are asked to fellowship about the truth and solve problems, they are unable to do so. When they are asked to write about their experiential testimonies, they are unable to do so, and when someone encounters something and seeks them out for help, they cannot give it. What sort of person is this? Such people do not understand the truth, nor do they understand spiritual matters. How pitiful! Big talk and loud chants; a focus on knowledge and doctrine and theology, on furnishing oneself with what others do not have, on learning what others have not heard before; or a focus on committing things to memory and winning the worship and admiration of others—can spiritual understanding be achieved with these things? (No.) And can those who cannot attain spiritual understanding understand the truth? (No.) Therefore, spiritual understanding is related to understanding the truth. No matter how many years someone has believed in God, nothing is more revealing of whether they have spiritual understanding better than whether they understand the truth. Those with spiritual understanding can easily understand God’s word, and they can easily understand the truth when they hear sermons. People who can understand the truth are people with spiritual understanding, and as long as those with spiritual understanding pursue the truth, they will easily enter the truth reality.
October 5, 2020