C. On Understanding the Truth and Entering Reality
433. Now is the Age of Kingdom. Whether you have entered into this new age depends on whether you have entered into the reality of God’s words, on whether His words have become the reality of your life. The words of God are made known to every person so that, in the end, all people will live in the world of God’s words, and His words will enlighten and illuminate each person from within. If, during this time, you are careless in reading the words of God, and have no interest in His words, then this shows that your state is wrong. If you are unable to enter into the Age of Word, then the Holy Spirit does not work in you; if you have entered into this age, He will do His work. What can you do at the onset of the Age of Word in order to gain the work of the Holy Spirit? In this age, and among you, God shall accomplish the following fact: that every person shall live out the words of God, shall be able to put truth into practice, and shall love God earnestly; that all people shall use the words of God as a foundation and as their reality, and shall have hearts that revere God; and that, through practicing the words of God, man shall then wield kingly power together with God. This is the work to be achieved by God. … God uses words to govern people; you feel good if you eat and drink the words of God, and if you do not, you have no path to follow. The words of God become people’s food, and the force that drives them. The Bible says that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Today, God will bring this work to completion, and He shall accomplish this fact in you. How is it that in the past, people could go many days without reading the words of God and yet be able to eat and work as usual, but this is not the case today? In this age, God chiefly uses words to govern all. Through the words of God, man is judged and perfected, then finally taken into the kingdom. Only the words of God can supply the life of man, and only the words of God can give man light and a path for practice, particularly in the Age of Kingdom. As long as you do not stray from the reality of God’s words, eating and drinking His words each day, God will be able to make you perfect.
Excerpted from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
434. The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, and it is a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity. It is a truth that man should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom, and the clearer the truth will become. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and the more strength you will have to triumph over Satan. Much of the truth that you do not understand will be made clear when you practice the word of God. Most people are satisfied to merely understand the text of God’s word and focus on equipping themselves with doctrines rather than on deepening their experience in practice, but is that not the way of the Pharisees? So how can the phrase, “The word of God is life” be real for them? A person’s life cannot grow simply by reading God’s word, but only when the word of God is put into practice. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life and stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice the truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing the truth can it ever be understood.” Today, after reading the word of God, you can merely say that you know God’s word, but you cannot say that you understand it. Some say that the only way to practice the truth is to understand it first, but this is only partially correct, and is certainly not entirely accurate. Before you have knowledge of a truth, you have not experienced that truth. Feeling that you understand something you hear in a sermon is not truly understanding—this is just taking possession of the literal words of the truth, and it is not the same as understanding the true meaning therein. Just having a superficial knowledge of the truth does not mean that you actually understand it or have knowledge about it; the true meaning of the truth comes from having experienced it. Therefore, only when you experience the truth can you understand it, and only then can you grasp the hidden parts of it. Deepening your experience is the only way to grasp the connotations, and to understand the essence of the truth. Therefore, you can go everywhere with the truth, but if there is no truth in you, then do not think of trying to convince even your family members, much less religious people. Without the truth you are like fluttering snowflakes, but with the truth you can be happy and free, and none can attack you. No matter how strong a theory is, it cannot overcome the truth. With the truth, the world itself can be swayed and mountains and seas moved, whereas a lack of the truth can lead to strong city walls being reduced to rubble by maggots. This is an obvious fact.
Excerpted from “Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
435. Coming to a genuine understanding of the actual meaning of God’s words is no simple matter. Do not think this way: “I can interpret the literal meaning of God’s words, and everyone says my interpretation is good, and gives me a thumbs-up, so this means I understand God’s words.” That is not the same as understanding God’s words. If you have gained some light from within God’s utterances, and you have gotten a sense of the true meaning of His words; and if you can express the intention behind His words and what effect they will ultimately achieve, then once you have a clear understanding of all of these things, you can be considered to have some level of understanding of God’s words. Thus, understanding God’s words is not all that simple. Just because you can give a flowery explanation of the literal meaning of God’s words does not mean you understand them. No matter how much you can explain their literal meaning, your explanation is still based on human imagination and way of thinking. It is useless! How can you understand God’s words? The key is to seek the truth from within them; only in that way can you truly understand what He says. Whenever God speaks, He certainly does not speak in mere generalities. Each sentence He utters contains details that are certain to be revealed further in God’s words, and they may be expressed differently. Man cannot fathom the ways in which God expresses the truth. God’s utterances are very profound and cannot be fathomed with human way of thinking. People can discover the entire meaning of every aspect of the truth as long as they make an effort; if you do this, then as you experience them, what details remain will be filled in completely as the Holy Spirit enlightens you, thus giving you an understanding of these concrete states. One part is understanding God’s words and seeking their specific content through reading them. Another part is understanding the implications of God’s words through experiencing them and obtaining enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. It is primarily by these two means that a true understanding of God’s words is achieved. If you interpret His words literally, or through the lens of your own thinking or imagination, then your understanding of God’s words is not real no matter how eloquently you can interpret them. You might even take their meaning out of context and misinterpret them, and doing so is even more troublesome. Thus, the truth is primarily obtained by receiving enlightenment from the Holy Spirit through gaining knowledge of God’s words. Understanding the literal meaning of His words, or being able to explain them, does not count as having gained the truth. If you only needed to interpret the literal meaning of His words, then what would be the point of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment? In that case, you would only need to have a certain level of education, and the uneducated would all be in quite a predicament. God’s work is not something that can be comprehended by the human brain. A true understanding of God’s words relies mainly on having enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; such is the process of gaining the truth.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
436. If from God’s words you do not understand God’s will and the intentions behind His utterances, if you do not understand the aims and results that His words intend to achieve, if you do not understand what His words seek to accomplish and perfect in man, if you do not understand these things, then it proves that you do not yet comprehend the truth. Why does God say what He says? Why does He speak in that tone? Why is He so earnest and sincere in every word He speaks? Why does He choose to use certain words? Do you know? If you cannot say for sure, it means you do not understand God’s will or His intentions, you do not understand the context behind His words. If you do not comprehend this, then how can you gain the truth? Gaining the truth means understanding God’s meaning through every word that He says; it means you are able to put God’s words into practice once you have understood them, so that God’s words can be lived out by you and become your reality. Only when you have a thorough understanding of the word of God can you really grasp the truth. After merely coming to understand a few letters and doctrines, you think you understand the truth and possess reality. You even say, “God wants us to be honest and we have practiced it.” However, you fail to understand the reason God wants people to be honest, as well as why He wants people to love Him. Actually, God’s purpose in having such requirements of people is to bring about their salvation and perfection.
God expresses the truth for people who thirst for the truth, seek the truth, and love the truth. As for those who concern themselves with letters and doctrines and like to give lengthy, pompous speeches, they will never gain the truth; they are fooling themselves. Such people have an incorrect view of reading God’s words; they twist their necks to read that which is upright—their perspective is all wrong. Some people only know to research the words of God, studying what He says about being blessed and about man’s destination. If God’s words do not fit their notions, they become negative and halt their pursuit. This shows that they are not interested in the truth. As a result, they do not take the truth seriously; they are only capable of accepting the truth of their notions and imagination. Although such people are fervent in their belief in God and try every way they can to do some good deeds and present themselves well to others, they are only doing it in order to have a good destination in the future. Despite the fact that they also engage in church life, eating and drinking of God’s words along with everyone else, they have difficulty in entering the reality of the truth and gaining the truth. There are still others who eat and drink of the words of God, but who merely go through the motions; they think they have gained the truth simply by having come to understand a few letters and doctrines. What fools they are! The word of God is the truth. However, you will not necessarily understand and gain the truth after you read God’s words. If you fail to gain the truth through eating and drinking the words of God, then what you gain will be letters and doctrines. You do not know what it means to gain the truth. You may hold the words of God in the palm of your hand, but after reading them you still fail to understand God’s will, you only acquire some letters and doctrines. First of all, you should realize that the word of God is not so straightforward; the word of God is utterly profound. Without many years of experience, how could you possibly understand the word of God? Even one sentence of God’s words will require your lifetime to fully experience. You read the words of God, but you do not understand God’s will; you do not understand the intentions of His words, their origin, the effect they seek to achieve, or what they seek to accomplish. If you understand none of these things, then how can you understand the truth? You may have read God’s words many times and perhaps you can recite many passages by heart, but you still have not changed at all, nor have you made any progress. Your relationship with God is just as distant and estranged as ever. There are still barriers between you and God, as before, and you still remain doubtful toward Him. Not only do you not understand God, but you give excuses to Him and harbor notions about Him. You resist Him and even blaspheme Him. How could this mean you have gained the truth?
Excerpted from “Only Those with the Reality of the Truth Can Lead” in Records of Christ’s Talks
437. Is your understanding of truth integrated with your own states? In real life, you first have to think of which truths relate to the people, events, and things you have encountered; it is among these truths that you can find God’s will and connect what you have encountered with His will. If you do not know which aspects of the truth relate to the things you have encountered but instead go directly to seek God’s will, this is a blind approach which cannot achieve results. If you want to seek the truth and understand God’s will, first you need to look at what kind of things have happened to you, which aspects of the truth they are related to, and look for the specific truth in the word of God that relates to what you have experienced. Then you look for the path of practice that is right for you in that truth; in this way you can gain an indirect understanding of God’s will. Searching for and practicing the truth is not mechanically applying a doctrine or following a formula. The truth is not formulaic, neither is it a law. It is not dead—it is life itself, it is a living thing, and it is the rule that a created being must follow in life and the rule a human must have in life. This is something that you must, as much as possible, understand through experience. No matter what stage you have arrived at in your experience, you are inseparable from God’s word or the truth, and what you understand of God’s disposition and what you know of what God has and is are all expressed in God’s words; they are inextricably linked with the truth. God’s disposition and what He has and is are, in themselves, the truth; the truth is an authentic manifestation of God’s disposition and what He has and is. It makes what He has and is concrete, and it makes a clear statement of what He has and is; it tells you more straightforwardly what God likes, what He does not like, what He wants you to do and what He does not permit you to do, which people He despises and which people He delights in. Behind the truths that God expresses, people can see His pleasure, anger, sorrow, and happiness, as well as His essence—this is the revealing of His disposition. Aside from knowing what God has and is, and understanding His disposition from His word, what is most important is the need to reach this understanding through practical experience. If a person removes themselves from real life in order to know God, they will not be able to achieve that. Even if there are people who can gain some understanding from the word of God, their understanding is limited to theories and words, and there arises a disparity with what God Himself is really like.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
438. While seeking entry, every matter must be investigated. All matters must be thoroughly contemplated in accordance with God’s word and the truth so that you know how to handle them in a way that conforms entirely with God’s will. Things that arise from your self-will can then be abandoned. You will know how to do things in accordance with God’s will, and will then go and do them; it will feel as though everything is taking its natural course, and it will seem exceedingly easy. This is how people who have the truth do things. You can then really show others that your disposition has changed, and they will see that you certainly have done some good deeds, that you do things according to principle, and that you do everything right. This is someone who understands the truth and who indeed has some human likeness. Sure enough, the word of God has reaped results in people. Once people truly understand the truth, they can discern their states of being, see to the bottom of complicated matters, and know the appropriate way to practice. If you do not understand the truth, you will not be able to discern your state of being. You will want to rebel against yourself but will have no idea how to do it or what you are rebelling against. You will want to abandon your self-will, but if you think that your self-will conforms to the truth, then how can you abandon it? You might even think that it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and you will therefore refuse to abandon it no matter what. Thus, when people are not in possession of the truth, they are very liable to think that whatever arises from their self-will, their human impurities and good intentions, their humans’ muddleheaded love and human practices are correct, and that they conform to the truth. How, then, can you rebel against these things? If you do not understand the truth or know what it means to put the truth into practice, and if your eyes are clouded and you have no idea which way to turn and can therefore only do things based on what you think is right, then you will commit certain acts that will be off-track and erroneous. Some of these acts will be in keeping with the rules, some will arise from enthusiasm, and some will have originated with Satan and will cause disturbances. People who do not possess the truth act like this: a little to the left, and then a little to the right; correct one minute, and then deviating the next; with no accuracy at all. Those who do not possess the truth take an absurd view on things. As such, how can they handle matters properly? How can they resolve any problems? Understanding the truth is not an easy thing to do. Being able to comprehend God’s words depends on understanding the truth, and the truth that people are capable of understanding has its limits. Their understanding of God’s words will still be limited even if they believe in Him for their entire lives. Even those who are relatively experienced can, at best, get to where they can stop doing things that obviously resist God, stop doing things that are obviously evil, and stop doing things that do not benefit anyone. It is not possible for them to attain a state that has none of their self-will mixed in. This is because people think normal thoughts, and some of their thinking conforms to God’s words and belongs to an aspect of comprehension that cannot be classified as self-will. However, the key is to discern the parts of self-will that go against God’s words, against the truth, and against enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. You must therefore make an effort to know God’s words, and only by understanding the truth can you have discernment.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
439. If you have read a lot of God’s word but only understand the meaning of the text and lack direct knowledge of God’s word through your practical experiences, then you will not know God’s word. As far as you are concerned, God’s word is not life, but just lifeless letters. And if you only live in observance of lifeless letters, then you cannot grasp the essence of God’s word, nor will you understand His will. Only when you experience His word in your actual experiences will the spiritual meaning of God’s word open itself to you, and it is only through experience that you can grasp the spiritual meaning of many truths and unlock the mysteries of God’s word. If you do not put it into practice, then no matter how clear His word, all that you have grasped are empty letters and doctrines, which have become religious regulations to you. Is this not what the Pharisees did? If you practice and experience God’s word, it becomes practical to you; if you do not seek to practice it, then God’s word to you is little more than the legend of the third heaven. In fact, the process of believing in God is the process of you experiencing His word as well as being gained by Him, or to put it more clearly, to believe in God is to have the knowledge and understanding of His word and to experience and live out His word; such is the reality behind your belief in God. If you believe in God and hope for eternal life without seeking to practice the word of God as something you have within you, then you are foolish. This would be like going to a feast and only looking at the food and learning the delicious things by heart without actually tasting any of it. Would such a person not be a fool?
Excerpted from “Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
440. At its core, your goal is to let God’s word take effect within you. In other words, it is to have a true understanding of God’s word in your practice of it. Perhaps your ability to comprehend God’s word is poor, but when you practice the word of God, He can remedy this flaw, so not only must you know many truths, but you must also practice them. This is the greatest focus that cannot be ignored. Jesus endured many humiliations and much suffering in His thirty-three and a half years. He suffered so greatly simply because He practiced the truth, did the will of God in all things, and only cared for God’s will. This was suffering that He would not have undergone had He known the truth without practicing it. If Jesus had followed the teachings of the Jews and followed the Pharisees, then He would not have suffered. You can learn from Jesus’ deeds that the effectiveness of God’s work on man comes from man’s cooperation, and this is something you must recognize. Would Jesus have suffered as He did on the cross if He had not practiced the truth? Could He have prayed such a sorrowful prayer if He had not acted in accordance with God’s will? Therefore, you should suffer for the sake of practicing the truth; this is the kind of suffering a person should undergo.
Excerpted from “Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
441. Since people began to believe in God, they have harbored many incorrect intentions. When you are not putting the truth into practice, you feel that all your intentions are correct, but when something happens to you, you will see that there are many incorrect intentions within you. Thus, when God makes people perfect, He causes them to realize that there are many notions within them that are obstructing their knowledge of God. When you recognize that your intentions are wrong, if you are able to stop practicing according to your notions and intentions, and are able to bear testimony to God, and stand firm in your position in all that happens to you, this proves that you have rebelled against the flesh. When you rebel against the flesh, there will inevitably be a battle within you. Satan will try and make people follow it, will try and make them follow the notions of the flesh and uphold the interests of the flesh—but God’s words will enlighten and illuminate people within, and at this time it is up to you whether you follow God or follow Satan. God asks people to put the truth into practice primarily to deal with the things inside them, to deal with their thoughts and notions that are not after God’s heart. The Holy Spirit touches people in their hearts and enlightens and illuminates them. So behind everything that happens is a battle: Every time people put the truth into practice, or put the love of God into practice, there is a great battle, and though all may seem well with their flesh, in the depths of their hearts a life-and-death battle will, in fact, be going on—and only after this intense battle, after a tremendous amount of reflection, can victory or defeat be decided. One does not know whether to laugh or cry. Because many of the intentions within people are wrong, or else because much of God’s work is at odds with their notions, when people put the truth into practice, a great battle is waged behind the scenes. Having put this truth into practice, behind the scenes, people will have shed countless tears of sadness before finally making up their mind to satisfy God. It is because of this battle that people endure suffering and refinement; this is true suffering. When the battle comes upon you, if you are able to truly stand on the side of God, you will be able to satisfy God. While practicing the truth, it is inevitable that one will suffer inside; if, when they put the truth into practice, everything within people were right, then they would not need to be made perfect by God, and there would be no battle, and they would not suffer. It is because there are many things within people that are not fit for use by God, and because there is much of the rebellious disposition of the flesh, that people need to learn the lesson of rebelling against the flesh more profoundly. This is what God calls the suffering that He asked man to undergo with Him. When you encounter difficulties, hurry up and pray to God: “O God! I wish to satisfy You, I wish to endure the final hardship to satisfy Your heart, and regardless of how great the setbacks I encounter, still I must satisfy You. Even if I have to give up my whole life, still I must satisfy You!” With this resolve, when you pray thus, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony. Each time they put the truth into practice, each time they undergo refinement, each time they are tried, and each time God’s work comes upon them, people have to endure extreme pain. All of this is a test for people, and so within all of them there is a battle. This is the actual price that they pay. Reading more of God’s words and running about more is a portion of that price. It is what people ought to do, it is their duty, and the responsibility that they should fulfill, but people must put aside that within them which needs to be put aside. If you do not, then no matter how great your external suffering, no matter how much you run around, all will be in vain! Which is to say, only the changes within you can determine whether your external hardship is of value. When your internal disposition has changed and you have put the truth into practice, then all your external suffering will gain God’s approval; if there has been no change in your internal disposition, then no matter how much suffering you endure or how much you run about on the outside, there will be no approval from God—and hardship that is not confirmed by God is in vain. Thus, whether the price you have paid is approved by God is determined by whether or not there has been a change in you, and by whether or not you put the truth into practice and rebel against your own intentions and notions to attain the satisfaction of God’s will, the knowledge of God, and loyalty to God. No matter how much you run about, if you have never known to rebel against your own intentions, but only to seek external actions and fervency, and never pay any attention to your life, then your hardship will have been in vain.
Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
442. People’s Beliefs Cannot Take the Place of the Truth
Some people are able to bear hardships, can pay the price, are outwardly very well-behaved, are quite well-respected, and enjoy the admiration of others. Would you say that this kind of outward behavior can be regarded as putting the truth into practice? Could one determine that such people are satisfying God’s will? Why is it that time and time again people see such individuals and think that they are satisfying God, walking the path of putting the truth into practice, and keeping to God’s way? Why do some people think this way? There is only one explanation for it. What explanation is that? It is that for a great many people, certain questions—such as what it means to put the truth into practice, what it means to satisfy God, and what it means to genuinely possess the reality of the truth—are not very clear. Thus, there are some people who are often deceived by those who outwardly seem spiritual, noble, lofty, and great. As for people who can speak eloquently of letters and doctrines, and whose speech and actions seem worthy of admiration, those who are deceived by them have never looked at the essence of their actions, the principles behind their deeds, or what their goals are. Moreover, they have never looked at whether these people truly submit to God, nor have they ever determined whether or not these people genuinely fear God and shun evil. They have never discerned the essence of the humanity of these people. Rather, beginning with the first step of getting acquainted with them, they have, little by little, come to admire and venerate these people, and in the end, these people become their idols. Furthermore, in some people’s minds, the idols whom they worship—and who they believe can abandon their families and jobs, and who seem superficially able to pay the price—are the ones who are truly satisfying God and who can really attain good outcomes and good destinations. In their minds, these idols are the ones whom God praises. What causes them to believe such a thing? What is the essence of this issue? What are the consequences it can lead to? Let us first discuss the matter of its essence.
Essentially, these issues regarding people’s viewpoints, their methods of practice, which principles of practice they choose to adopt, and what they each tend to focus on have nothing to do with God’s demands of humankind. Whether people focus on shallow matters or profound issues, or on letters and doctrines or reality, they do not adhere to that which they should adhere to most, nor do they know that which they most should know. The reason for this is that people do not like the truth at all; as such, they are not willing to put time and effort into seeking out and putting into practice the principles of practice found in God’s utterances. Instead, they prefer to use shortcuts, summing up what they understand and know to be good practice and good behavior; this summary then becomes their own goal to pursue, which they take as truth to be practiced. The direct consequence of this is that people use human good behavior as a substitute for putting the truth into practice, which also satisfies their desire to curry favor with God. This gives them capital with which to contend with the truth, which they also use to reason and compete with God. At the same time, people also unscrupulously put God aside, placing the idols they admire in His stead. There is only one root cause which makes people have such ignorant actions and viewpoints, or one-sided opinions and practices—and today I will tell you about it: The reason is that, although people may follow God, pray to Him every day, and read His utterances every day, they do not actually understand His will. Herein lies the root of the problem. If someone understood God’s heart and knew what He likes, what He loathes, what He wants, what He rejects, what kind of person He loves, what kind of person He dislikes, what kind of standard He uses when making demands of people, and what kind of approach He takes for perfecting them, then could that person still have their own personal opinions? Could people like this simply go and worship someone else? Could an ordinary human become their idol? People who understand God’s will possess a slightly more rational viewpoint than that. They are not going to arbitrarily idolize a corrupted person, nor will they, while walking the path of putting the truth into practice, believe that blindly adhering to a few simple rules or principles is tantamount to putting the truth into practice.
Excerpted from “How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
443. If you can devote your heart, body, and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate of His will—not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your own personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household, taking God’s word as the principle and foundation in everything—then by doing so, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will then be a person before God who receives His praise. The people God likes are those who are absolute toward Him; they are the ones who can be devoted solely to Him. Those whom God loathes are the ones who are half-hearted toward Him and who rebel against Him. He loathes those who believe in Him and always want to enjoy Him while yet being unable to completely expend themselves for His sake. He loathes those who say they love Him but who rebel against Him in their hearts; He loathes those who use eloquent, flowery words to engage in deception. Those who are not genuinely dedicated to God or who have not truly submitted before Him are treacherous and overly arrogant by nature. Those who cannot be genuinely submissive in front of the normal, practical God are even more arrogant, and they especially are the dutiful progeny of the archangel. People who truly expend themselves for God lay out their entire being before Him; they genuinely submit to all of His utterances, and are able to put His words into practice. They make God’s words the foundation of their existence, and they are able to search earnestly within God’s words to find out which parts to practice. Such are people who truly live before God. If what you do is beneficial for your life, and through the eating and drinking of His words you can meet your inner needs and inadequacies so that your life disposition is transformed, then this will satisfy God’s will. If you act in accordance with God’s requirements, and if you do not satisfy the flesh but instead satisfy His will, then in this you will have entered the reality of His words. When talking about entering the reality of God’s words more realistically, it means you can perform your duty and meet God’s requirements. Only these sorts of practical actions can be called entering the reality of His words. If you are able to enter this reality, then you will possess the truth. This is the beginning of entering reality; you must first undertake this training, and only then will you be able to enter even deeper realities.
Excerpted from “Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
444. To enter into reality, one must turn everything toward real life. If, in believing in God, people cannot come to know themselves through entry into real life, and if they cannot live out normal humanity in real life, then they will become failures. Those who disobey God are all people who cannot enter into real life. They are all people who speak of humanity, but live out the nature of demons. They are all people who speak of the truth, but live out doctrines instead. Those who cannot live out the truth in real life are those who believe in God, but are detested and rejected by Him. You have to practice your entry in real life, know your own deficiencies, disobedience, and ignorance, and know your abnormal humanity and weaknesses. That way, your knowledge will be integrated into your actual condition and difficulties. Only this kind of knowledge is real and can allow you to truly grasp your own condition and achieve dispositional transformation.
Excerpted from “Discussing Church Life and Real Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
445. The good soldiers of the kingdom are not trained to be a group of people who can only talk about reality or boast; rather, they are trained to live out God’s words at all times, to remain unyielding no matter what setbacks they face, and to live constantly in accordance with God’s words and not to return to the world. This is the reality of which God speaks; this is God’s requirement of man. Thus, do not regard the reality spoken of by God as being overly simple. Mere enlightenment from the Holy Spirit does not equal the possession of reality. Such is not the stature of man—it is the grace of God, to which man contributes nothing. Each person must endure Peter’s sufferings, and, even more, possess Peter’s glory, which they live out after they have gained the work of God. Only this can be called reality. Do not think that you possess reality just because you can talk about it; that is a fallacy. Such thoughts do not accord with God’s will and have no actual significance. Do not say such things in the future—extinguish such sayings! All those with a false understanding of God’s words are unbelievers. They do not have any real knowledge, much less any real stature; they are ignorant people who lack reality. In other words, all those who live outside of the essence of God’s words are unbelievers. Those deemed unbelievers by people are beasts in the eyes of God, and those deemed unbelievers by God are people who do not have God’s words as their life. It can therefore be said that those who do not possess the reality of God’s words and who fail to live His words out are unbelievers. God’s intention is to cause everyone to live out the reality of His words—not merely to have everyone talk about reality, but, more than that, to enable everyone to live out the reality of His words.
Excerpted from “Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Possessing Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
446. God is a practical God: All of His work is practical, all of the words He speaks are practical, and all of the truths He expresses are practical. Everything that is not His words is vacuous, non-existent, and unsound. Today, the Holy Spirit is to guide people into the words of God. If people are to pursue entry into reality, then they must seek reality, and know reality, after which they must experience reality, and live out reality. The more that people know reality, the more they are able to discern whether the words of others are real; the more people know reality, the fewer notions they have; the more people experience reality, the more they know the deeds of the God of reality, and the easier it is for them to break free from their corrupt, satanic dispositions; the more reality people have, the more they know God and the more they detest the flesh and love the truth; and the more reality people have, the closer they come to the standards of God’s requirements. People who are gained by God are those who are possessed of reality, who know reality, and who have come to know God’s real deeds through experiencing reality. The more you cooperate with God in a practical way and discipline your body, the more you will acquire the work of the Holy Spirit, the more you will gain reality, and the more you will be enlightened by God, and thus the greater your knowledge of God’s real deeds will become. If you are able to live in the present light of the Holy Spirit, then the present path to practice will become clearer to you, and you will be more able to separate yourself from the religious notions and old practices of the past. Today reality is the focus: The more reality people have, the clearer their knowledge of the truth, and the greater their understanding of God’s will. Reality can overcome all letters and doctrines, it can overcome all theory and expertise, and the more reality people focus on, the more they truly love God, and hunger and thirst for His words. If you always focus on reality, then your philosophy for living, religious notions, and natural character will naturally be expunged following the work of God. Those who do not pursue reality, and have no knowledge of reality, are likely to pursue that which is supernatural, and they will be easily tricked. The Holy Spirit has no means of working in such people, and so they feel vacant, and that their lives have no meaning.
Excerpted from “How to Know Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
447. The more you put the truth into practice, the more you are possessed of the truth; the more you put the truth into practice, the more you possess God’s love; and the more you put the truth into practice, the more you are blessed by God. If you always practice in this way, God’s love for you will gradually enable you to see, just as Peter came to know God: Peter said that God not only has the wisdom to create the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, that He also has the wisdom to do real work in people. Peter said that He is not only worthy of people’s love because of His creation of the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, because of His ability to create man, to save man, to make man perfect, and to bequeath His love to man. So, too, did Peter say that there is much in Him that is worthy of man’s love. Peter said to Jesus: “Is creating the heavens and earth and all things the only reason You deserve people’s love? There is more in You that is lovable. You act and move in real life, Your Spirit touches me inside, You discipline me, You reproach me—these things are even more worthy of people’s love.” If you wish to see and experience God’s love, then you must explore and seek in real life and must be willing to put aside your own flesh. You must make this resolution. You must be someone with resolve who is able to satisfy God in all things, without being lazy or coveting the enjoyments of the flesh, not living for the flesh but living for God. There may be times when you do not satisfy God. That is because you do not understand God’s will; the next time, even though it will take more effort, you must satisfy Him and must not satisfy the flesh. When you experience in this way, you will have come to know God. You will see that God can create the heavens and earth and all things, that He has become flesh so that people can actually see Him and actually engage with Him; you will see that He is able to walk among man, and that His Spirit can make people perfect in real life, allowing them to see His loveliness and experience His discipline, His chastening, and His blessings. If you always experience in this way, in real life you will be inseparable from God, and if one day your relationship with God ceases to be normal, you will be able to suffer reproach and to feel remorse. When you have a normal relationship with God, you will never wish to leave God, and if one day God says He will leave you, you will be afraid, and will say that you would rather die than be left by God. As soon as you have these emotions, you will feel that you are incapable of leaving God, and in this way, you will have a foundation, and will truly enjoy God’s love.
Excerpted from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
448. Many people can talk a bit about practice and they can talk about their personal impressions, but the majority of it is the illumination gained from the words of others. It does not at all include anything from their own personal practices, nor does it include what they see from their experiences. I have dissected this issue earlier; do not think that I know nothing. You are merely a paper tiger, yet you speak of conquering Satan, of bearing victorious testimonies, and of living out God’s image? This is all nonsense! Do you think that all the words spoken by God today are for you to admire? Your mouth speaks of forsaking your old self and putting truth into practice, yet your hands are carrying out other deeds and your heart is plotting other schemes—what kind of a person are you? Why are your heart and your hands not one and the same? So much preaching has become empty words; is this not heart-breaking? If you are unable to put God’s word into practice, it proves that you have not yet entered into the way that the Holy Spirit works, you have not yet had the work of the Holy Spirit in you, and you have not yet had His guidance. If you say that you are only able to understand the word of God but are unable to put it into practice, then you are a person who does not love the truth. God does not come to save this kind of person. Jesus suffered enormous agony when He was crucified in order to save the sinners, to save the poor, and to save all those humble people. His crucifixion served as a sin offering. If you cannot practice God’s word, then you should leave as soon as you can; do not linger in God’s house as a freeloader. Many people even find it difficult to stop themselves from doing things that clearly resist God. Are they not asking for death? How can they speak of entering God’s kingdom? Would they have the audacity to see God’s face? Eating food that God provides you with, doing crooked things that oppose God, being malicious, insidious, and scheming, even while God allows you to enjoy the blessings He has bestowed upon you—do you not feel them burning your hands when you receive them? Do you not feel your face turning red? Having done something in opposition to God, having carried out schemes to “go rogue,” do you not feel frightened? If you feel nothing, how can you speak of any future? There was already no future for you long ago, so what greater expectations can you still have? If you say something shameless yet feel no reproach, and your heart has no awareness, then does it not mean that you have already been abandoned by God? Speaking and acting indulgently and unrestrainedly has become your nature; how can you ever be perfected by God like this? Would you be able to walk the world over? Who would be convinced by you? Those who know your true nature would keep their distance. Is this not God’s punishment? All in all, if there is only talk and no practice, there is no growth. Though the Holy Spirit may be working on you while you speak, if you do not practice, the Holy Spirit shall stop working. If you continue to go on like this, how can there be any talk of the future or giving your entire being to God’s work? You can only speak of offering your entire being, yet you have not given your true love to God. All He receives from you is verbal devotion; He is not given your intention to practice the truth. Could this be your actual stature? If you were to continue on like this, when would you be perfected by God? Do you not feel anxious over your dark and gloomy future? Do you not feel that God has lost hope in you? Do you not know that God desires to perfect more and newer people? Could old things hold their own? You are not paying attention to God’s words today: Are you waiting for tomorrow?
Excerpted from “A Person Who Attains Salvation Is One Who Is Willing to Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
449. God’s requirements of people are not all that high. If they put in even a little bit of effort, they would receive a “pass grade.” Actually, understanding, knowing, and comprehending the truth is more complicated than practicing the truth. Knowing and comprehending the truth comes after practicing the truth; these are the steps and method by which the Holy Spirit works. How can you not obey? Can you gain the work of the Holy Spirit by doing things your way? Does the Holy Spirit work at your pleasure, or based on your deficiencies according to God’s words? It is pointless if you cannot see this clearly. Why is it that most people have spent much effort reading God’s words, but merely have knowledge and cannot say anything about a real path afterward? Do you think that possessing knowledge amounts to possessing the truth? Is that not a confused point of view? You are able to speak as much knowledge as there is sand on a beach, yet none of it contains any real path. Are you not trying to fool people by doing this? Are you not making an empty show, with no substance to back it up? All such behavior is harmful to people! The higher the theory and the more it is devoid of reality, the more it is incapable of taking people into reality; the higher the theory, the more it makes you defy and oppose God. Do not treat the loftiest theories like precious treasure; they are pernicious and serve no purpose! Perhaps some people are able to talk of the loftiest theories—but these contain nothing of reality, for these people have not personally experienced them, and therefore have no path to practice. Such people are incapable of taking others onto the right track and will only lead them astray. Is this not harmful to people? At the very least, you must be able to solve people’s present troubles and allow them to achieve entry; only this counts as dedication, and only then will you be qualified to work for God. Do not always speak grandiose, fanciful words, and do not use a bunch of unsuitable practices to bind others into obeying you. Doing so will have no effect and can only increase their confusion. Carrying on like this will produce much doctrine, which will make people loathe you. Such is the shortcoming of man, and it truly is mortifying. So talk more of problems that actually exist. Do not treat other people’s experiences as your own personal property and hold them up for others to admire; you must search for your own, individual way out. This is what each person should put into practice.
Excerpted from “Focus More on Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
450. In their faith in God, people’s greatest fault is that they believe in word only, and God is utterly absent from their everyday lives. All people, indeed, believe in the existence of God, yet God is not a part of their everyday lives. People’s mouths speak many prayers to God, but God has little place in their hearts, and so God tries them again and again. It is because people are impure that God has no alternative but to try them, so that they may feel ashamed and come to know themselves in the midst of these trials. If not, humanity would turn into the descendants of the archangel, and become increasingly corrupt. In the process of their faith in God, each person casts off many of their personal intentions and objectives under God’s ceaseless cleansing. If not, God would have no way of using anyone, and no way of doing in people the work that He ought. God first cleanses people, and through this process, they may come to know themselves and God may change them. Only then does God work His life into them, and only thus can their hearts be fully turned to God. And so I say, believing in God is not as simple as people say. As God sees it, if you only have knowledge but do not have His word as life, and if you are limited only to your own knowledge but cannot practice the truth or live out the word of God, then this is proof still that you do not have a heart that loves God, and it shows that your heart does not belong to God. One can come to know God by believing in Him: This is the final goal, and the goal of man’s pursuit. You must put effort into living out the words of God so that they may come to fruition in your practice. If you have only doctrinal knowledge, then your faith in God will come to naught. Only if you then also practice and live out His word can your faith be considered complete and in accord with God’s will. On this road, many people can speak of much knowledge, but at their time of death, their eyes brim with tears, and they hate themselves for having wasted a lifetime and lived to a ripe old age for naught. They merely understand doctrines, but cannot put the truth into practice or bear witness to God; instead, they simply run hither and thither, busy as a bee, and only on the brink of death do they finally see that they lack true testimony, that they do not know God at all. And is this not too late? Why do you not seize the day and pursue the truth that you love? Why wait until tomorrow? If in life you do not suffer for the truth or seek to gain it, can it be that you wish to feel regret in your dying hour? If so, then why believe in God? In truth, there are many matters in which people, if they put in just the slightest exertion, can put the truth into practice and thereby satisfy God. It is only because people’s hearts are ever possessed by demons that they cannot act for the sake of God, and constantly rush about for the sake of their flesh, with nothing to show for it in the end. For this reason, people are constantly afflicted by troubles and difficulties. Are these not the torments of Satan? Is this not the corruption of the flesh? You should not try to fool God by flapping your lips. Rather, you must take tangible action. Do not deceive yourself—what would be the point of that? What can you gain by living for the sake of your flesh and struggling for profit and fame?
Excerpted from “You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh