Word of God | "How to Know Man's Nature" | Excerpt 561
189 |November 1, 2020
All of mankind has been corrupted by Satan, and man’s nature is to betray God. However, among all the humans who have been corrupted by Satan, there are some who can submit to God’s work and accept the truth; these are the ones who can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of disposition. There are also those who do not focus on seeking the truth. They are satisfied with merely understanding doctrines; they hear good doctrine and keep it, and after understanding it, they can perform their duties—to a point. These people do what they are told and have mediocre humanity. They are willing, to a certain extent, to expend, abandon worldliness, and endure suffering. However, they are not earnest with regard to the truth; they believe it is sufficient that they commit no sin, and are unable ever to understand the essence of the truth. If such people can stand firm in the end, then they can also be spared, but they cannot have their dispositions transformed. If you wish to be purified of corruption and undergo a change in your life disposition, then you must have a love for the truth and the ability to accept the truth. What does it mean to accept the truth? Accepting the truth indicates that no matter what sort of corrupt disposition you have, or which of the great red dragon’s poisons are in your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s words, and submit to these words; you accept them unconditionally, without making any excuses or trying to pick and choose, and you come to know yourself based on what He says. This is what it means to accept God’s words. No matter what He says, no matter how much His utterances might pierce your heart, and no matter what words He uses, you can accept them as long as what He says is the truth, and you can acknowledge them as long as they conform to reality. You can submit to God’s words regardless of how deeply you understand them, and you accept and submit to the light that is revealed by the Holy Spirit and fellowshiped by your brothers and sisters. When such a person has pursued the truth to a certain point, he can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of his disposition. Even if those who do not love the truth may be of decent humanity, when it comes to the truth, they are muddleheaded and do not take it seriously. Though they may be capable of a few good deeds, and can expend of themselves for God, and are capable of renunciation, they cannot achieve a change in disposition. By comparison, Peter’s humanity was about the same as that of the other apostles and his brothers and sisters, but he stood out in his fervent pursuit of the truth; he pondered everything Jesus said in earnest. Jesus asked, “Simon Barjona, do you love Me?” Peter answered honestly, “I only love the Father who is in heaven, yet have not loved the Lord on earth.” Later he understood, thinking, “This is not right; the God on earth is the God in heaven. Is it not the same God both in heaven and on earth? If I only love God in heaven, then my love is not real; I must love God on earth, for only then will my love be real.” Thus, Peter came to understand the true meaning of what Jesus had said by pondering His words. To love God, and for this love to be real, one must love the incarnate God on earth. Loving a vague and invisible God is neither realistic nor practical, whereas loving the practical, visible God is truth. From Jesus’ words, Peter gained the truth and an understanding of God’s will. Clearly, Peter’s belief in God had only been focused on pursuing the truth; ultimately, he achieved a love of the practical God—the God on earth. Peter was especially earnest in his pursuit of the truth. Each time Jesus counseled him, he pondered Jesus’ words in earnest. Perhaps he pondered for months, a year, or even years before the Holy Spirit enlightened him and he understood the meaning of God’s words; in this way, Peter entered the truth, and afterward, his life disposition was transformed and renewed. If a person does not pursue the truth, he will never understand it. You can say the letters and doctrines ten thousand times, but they will still just be letters and doctrines. Some people just say, “Christ is the truth, the way, and the life.” Even if you repeat these words ten thousand times, it will still be useless; you have no understanding of its meaning. Why is it said that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life? Can you articulate the knowledge you have gained about this from experience? Have you entered the reality of the truth, the way, and the life? God has uttered His words so that you can experience them and gain knowledge; merely voicing letters and doctrines is useless. You can only know yourself once you have understood and entered God’s words. If you do not understand God’s words, then you cannot know yourself. You can only discern when you have the truth; without the truth, you cannot discern. You can only fully understand a matter when you have the truth; without the truth, you cannot understand a matter. You can only know yourself when you have the truth; without the truth, you cannot know yourself. Your disposition can only change when you have the truth; without the truth, your disposition cannot change. Only after you have the truth can you serve in accordance with God’s will; without the truth, you cannot serve in accordance with God’s will. Only after you have the truth can you worship God; without the truth, your worship will be nothing more than a performance of religious rites. All of these things hinge on gaining the truth from God’s words.
Excerpted from Records of Christ’s Talks