What It Means to Pursue the Truth (12)

What did I fellowship about at the last gathering, can anyone tell us? (Last time God fellowshiped about two aspects. One aspect was that when some particular incidents occur in the church in different periods or different stages—for example, some people are arrested by the great red dragon, some leaders and workers are replaced, some people get sick, and some people face life-and-death issues—these incidents do not happen by chance, and we need to seek the truth about them. God also communicated some paths of practice. When facing these circumstances, we should abide by two things: The first is to assume the proper place of a created being; the second is to have a sincere and obedient heart—whether facing judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, or grace and blessings, we should accept all these things from God. In addition, God’s fellowship dissected a saying about moral conduct in traditional culture, which is that “One should never be corrupted by wealth, changed by poverty, or bent by force.”) The main topic of the last fellowship was also the problems with sayings on moral conduct. I have fellowshiped on this topic for a long time, exposing some common sayings, requirements and definitions of moral conduct in traditional culture. Having fellowshiped on these topics, do you have any new understanding and new definitions of these sayings about moral conduct? Have you discerned these statements for what they are and seen their essence clearly? Can you let go of these things from deep within your heart, abandon them, stop confusing them with the truth, and stop regarding them as positive things, and pursuing them as truths, and abiding by them? Particularly when encountering some matters in daily life that relate to sayings on moral conduct, is there an awareness inside you, and can you thoughtfully reflect on whether you are still influenced by these sayings on moral conduct? Are you bound, fettered, and controlled by these things? Inwardly can you still use sayings on moral conduct to constrain yourself and influence your speech and deportment, as well as your attitude toward things? Share your thoughts. (Before God fellowshiped on and dissected traditional culture, I wasn’t aware that these ideas and views about moral conduct were wrong, or what kind of harm they would do to me, but now I have some awareness.) It is a good thing that you have some awareness. Of course, after a while, you should be able to recognize the mistakes of these sayings about moral conduct. From a subjective point of view, you should also be able to forsake them and stop regarding them as positive things, but from an objective point of view, you still need to carefully perceive, unearth, and discern such sayings about moral conduct in daily life, in order that you can see straight through them and forsake them. Being aware from a subjective point of view does not mean that you can forsake these mistaken ideas and views of traditional culture in your daily life. When encountering such things, you may suddenly feel that these sayings are reasonable, and be unable to forsake them completely. In such cases, you must seek the truth in your experiences, carefully dissect these mistaken views of traditional culture according to God’s words, and reach the point where you can see clearly that the essence of those sayings from traditional culture is contrary to the truth, unrealistic, deceptive, and harmful to people. Only in this way can the toxin of these fallacious views be purged from your heart once and for all. You have now realized the flaws of the various sayings of traditional culture in terms of doctrine, and this is good, but it is only the start. As for whether the toxic influence of traditional culture can be completely eradicated in future, it depends on how people pursue the truth.

No matter what the saying about moral conduct is, it is a kind of ideological viewpoint on moral conduct that is advocated by humankind. We previously revealed the essence of quite a few of the various sayings about moral conduct, but in addition to the aspects that we fellowshiped on previously, certainly there are still some more sayings about moral conduct that should be revealed, so as to achieve a deeper understanding and discernment of the myriad sayings about moral conduct advocated by human beings. This is something that you should do. Regarding the saying on moral conduct “One should never be corrupted by wealth, changed by poverty, or bent by force” that we fellowshiped on last time, judging by the meaning of this sentence, it is mainly aimed at men. It is a requirement for men, and it is also a standard for what humankind calls “manly, virile men.” We exposed and dissected this standard concerning men. In addition to this requirement toward men, there is also the saying “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral,” which we fellowshiped on previously, and which was put forward with regard to women. From both of these sayings it can be clearly seen that the traditional culture of humankind not only puts forward unrealistic, inhumane requirements for women that do not tally with human nature, but also does not spare men, by advancing claims and demands with regard to them that are immoral, inhumane, and which run contrary to human nature, thereby depriving not only women of their human rights, but men too. From this point of view, it seems fair to be impartial, by neither going easy on women, nor sparing men. However, judging from the requirements and standards of traditional culture toward women and men, it is clear that there are serious problems in this approach. Although on the one hand, traditional culture puts forward standards of moral conduct for women and, on the other hand, also sets criteria of conduct for manly, virile men, judging by these requirements and standards there is clearly a lack of fairness. Can that not be said? (Yes.) These requirements and standards for women’s moral conduct severely restrict women’s freedom, shackling not only women’s thoughts, but also their feet, by requiring them to stay at home and live a secluded life, never leaving the house and having minimal contact with the outside world. Besides admonishing women to be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, they even impose strict regulations on women’s scope of action and ambit of life, by requiring them not to appear in public, not to travel far, and not to undertake any career, let alone to have any big ambitions, desires and ideals, and even going so far as to put forward a more inhumane claim—that virtue in a woman is to be unskilled. How do you feel on hearing this? Is this claim that “Virtue in a woman is to be unskilled” actually true? How can virtue in a woman be to have no skills? What exactly is this word “virtue”? Does it mean lacking in virtue, or being virtuous? If all women without skills are regarded as being virtuous, then do all women with skills lack virtue and have no morals? Is this a judgment and condemnation of skilled women? Is this a serious deprivation of women’s human rights? Is it an insult to women’s dignity? (Yes.) Not only does it ignore the existence of women, but it also disregards their existence, which is unfair to women and immoral. So, what do you think of this saying “Virtue in a woman is to be unskilled”? Is it inhumane? (Yes.) How should the word “inhumane” be interpreted? Is it lacking virtue? (Yes.) This is seriously lacking virtue. To use a Chinese saying, it is lacking eight lifetimes of virtue. This kind of claim is decidedly inhumane! People who trumpet the claim that “Virtue in a woman is to be unskilled” harbor ulterior motives and purposes: They do not want women to be skilled, and they do not want women to participate in the work of society and stand on an equal footing with men. They only want women to be tools in the service of men, meekly waiting on men at home and doing nothing else—they think this is what “virtuous” means. They long to define women as useless, and deny their value, turning them into nothing more than slaves to men, and making them serve men forever, without ever allowing them to stand on an equal footing with men and enjoy equal treatment. Does this viewpoint come from normal human thinking, or from Satan? (Satan.) That’s right, it must come from Satan. No matter what instinctive or physical weaknesses women have, none of this is a problem and it should not become an excuse or reason for men to slander women, insult women’s dignity, and deprive women of their freedom or human rights. In God’s eyes, these weaknesses and innate vulnerabilities that people associate with women are not a problem. And why is that? Because women were created by God, these things that people think of as weaknesses and problems come precisely from God. They were created and preordained by Him, and are not actually flaws or problems. These things that seem to be weaknesses and flaws in the eyes of humans and Satan are essentially natural and positive things, and they also conform to the natural laws formulated by God when He created humankind. Only Satan can denigrate the living things created by God in this way, by regarding things that do not conform to human notions as flaws, weaknesses, and problems to do with instinctive inadequacies, and making a fuss over them, and using them to slander, mock, denigrate, and ostracize people, and to deprive women of their right to exist, their right to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations among humankind, and also to deprive them of their right to display their skills and special talents among humankind. For example, terms such as “shrinking violet” or “girly” are often used in society to describe women and to devalue them as worthless. What other such words are there? “Sissy,” “long-haired but short-sighted,” “big-breasted bimbo” and so on, are all terms that insult women. As you can tell, these terms are used to insult women by referring to their distinctive traits or appellations associated with the female sex. Clearly, society and the human race view women from a completely different perspective to that of men, a perspective that is also unequal. Is this not unfair? This is not speaking or viewing matters from a foundation of equality between men and women, but rather, it is looking upon women with contempt from a perspective of male supremacy, and of complete inequality between men and women. Therefore, in society or among human beings, many terms have emerged that refer to distinctive female traits and appellations for women in order to describe various problems to do with people, events, and things. For example, the expressions “shrinking violet,” “girly,” “sissy” and also “long-haired but short-sighted,” “big-breasted bimbo” that we mentioned just now are used by people not only to describe women and target women, but also to mock, demean, and expose people, events, and things that they despise, using terms associated with female traits and the female gender. It’s just like when describing someone as devoid of humanity, one might say that this person has a wolf’s heart and a dog’s lungs, because people think that neither a wolf’s heart nor a dog’s lungs are nice things, so they put both these things together to describe just how vile someone who has lost their humanity is. Similarly, because human beings despise women and disregard their existence, they use some terms associated with women in order to describe people, events, and things that they despise. This is clearly a denigration of the female sex. Is this not so? (Yes.) In any case, the way in which the human race and society regard and define women is unfair and contrary to the facts. In short, the attitude of humankind toward women can be described in two words, namely “denigrating” and “repressive.” Women are not allowed to stand up and do things, nor to fulfill any social obligations and responsibilities, let alone to play any role in society. In summary, women are not allowed to go out of the home to participate in any work in society—this is depriving women of their rights. Women are not allowed to imagine freely, nor to speak freely, let alone to act freely, and they are not allowed to do any of the things they should be doing. Is this not persecution of women? (Yes.) The persecution of women by traditional culture is evident from the requirements for moral conduct that are placed on them. Looking at the various requirements placed on women by the family, society, and community, the persecution of women officially began when communities first formed and people created clear divisions between genders. When did it reach its apogee? The persecution of women reached its apogee following the gradual emergence of various sayings and requirements on moral conduct in traditional culture. Because there are written regulations and explicit sayings, these written regulations and explicit sayings in society have shaped public opinion and also formed a kind of force. This public opinion and this force have already become a kind of inexorable cage and shackles for women, who can only accept their fate, because living among humankind and in different eras of society, women can only endure injustice and suffer insults, abase themselves, and become slaves to society and even to men. To this day, those long-standing and ancient ideas and sayings advanced on the subject of moral conduct still deeply influence modern human society, including men, and of course women. Women unwittingly and unknowingly use these sayings about moral conduct and the opinions of society at large to constrain themselves, and of course they are also subconsciously struggling to break free from these shackles and cages. However, because people do not have any resistance to this powerful force of public opinion in society—or to be more precise, humans cannot see clearly the essence of the various sayings in traditional culture, nor see through them—they are unable to break free and step out of these shackles and cages, even though they long to do so. On a subjective level, it is because people cannot see these problems clearly; on an objective level, it is because people understand neither the truth, nor precisely what the Creator’s meaning was in creating people, or why He created male and female instincts. Therefore, both men and women live and subsist within this vast framework of social morality, and no matter how hard they struggle inside this vast social environment, they still cannot escape the fetters of sayings on moral conduct in traditional culture, sayings which have become invisible shackles in each person’s mind.

Those sayings that persecute women in traditional culture are like invisible shackles, not only for women, but of course for men too. Why do I say that? Because having been born in the midst of humankind, and as equally important members of this society, men are similarly inculcated and influenced by these traditional cultures of morality. These things are also deeply rooted in every man’s mind, and all men are unconsciously influenced and fettered by traditional culture. For example, men also firmly believe in expressions such as “shrinking violet,” “virtue in a woman is to be unskilled,” “women must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral,” and “women should be chaste,” and are as deeply confined by these things of traditional culture as women are. On the one hand, these sayings that persecute women are of great benefit and help in enhancing the status of men, and from this it can be seen that, in society, men have been greatly assisted by public opinion in this regard. Therefore, they readily accept these opinions and expressions that persecute women. On the other hand, men are also deluded and influenced by these things of traditional culture of morality, so it can also be said that men are—besides women—the other victims of the tide of traditional culture. There are some who say: “Society at large advocates the supremacy of men’s rights, so why say that men are also victims?” This must be viewed from the perspective that humankind is tempted, misled, deluded, benumbed, and confined by traditional culture of morality. Women have been deeply harmed by ideas on morality in traditional culture, and men have likewise also been profoundly deluded and suffered a great deal. What does “deluded” mean in another sense? It means that people do not have a correct viewpoint from which to assess men and define women. Regardless of from which angle they look at these things, it is all based on traditional culture, not the truths expressed by God or the various rules and laws formulated by God for humankind, nor is it based on the positive things that He has revealed to humankind. From this point of view, men are also victims who have been tempted, misled, deluded, benumbed, and confined by traditional culture. Men should therefore not think of women as abjectly pitiful just because the latter have no status in this society, and should not be complacent just because their social status is higher than that of women. Don’t rejoice too soon; actually men are also very pitiful. If you compare them with women, they are equally pitiful. Why do I say they are all equally pitiful? Let’s take another look at society’s and humankind’s definition and assessment of men, and at some of the responsibilities that are assigned to them. In light of humankind’s requirement on men that we fellowshiped about last time—“One should never be corrupted by wealth, changed by poverty, or bent by force”—the ultimate goal of this requirement is to define men as manly, virile men, which is a standard designation for men. Once this designation “manly, virile man” is placed on a man’s shoulders, he is bound to live up to the title, and if he does want to live up to it, he must make many pointless sacrifices and do many things in a way that goes against normal humanity. For example, if you are a man and you want society to recognize you as a manly, virile man, then you can’t have any weakness, you can’t be timid in any way, you must have a strong will, you can’t complain that you are tired, you can’t cry, or show any human weakness, you can’t even be sad, and you can’t slack off. At all times you must have a twinkle in your eyes, a determined and fearless look, and you must be able to bristle with anger at your enemies, in order to live up to the title of being a “manly, virile man.” That is to say, you must pluck up your courage and straighten your spine in this life. You cannot be a mediocre, ordinary, common, or unremarkable person. You must go beyond mere mortals and be a superhuman possessed of extraordinary willpower and extraordinary perseverance, endurance, and tenacity, in order to be worthy of being labeled a “manly, virile man.” This is just one of the requirements of traditional culture toward men. That is to say, men can go around drinking, whoring, and gambling, but they must be stronger than women and have super-strong willpower. Whatever befalls you, you must not yield, flinch, or say “no,” and must not show timidity, fear, or cowardice. You must hide and cover up these manifestations of normal humanity, and must not reveal them in any way, nor let anyone see them, not even your own parents, your closest relatives, or the people you love most. Why is that? Because you want to be a manly, virile man. Another characteristic of manly, virile men is that no person, event or thing can thwart their resolve. Whenever a man wants to do something—when he has any aspirations, ideals, or wishes, such as to serve his country, to show loyalty to his friends, or to take a bullet for them, or whatever career he wants to do, or whatever ambition he has, no matter whether right or wrong—no one can hold him back, and neither his love for women, nor kinship, family, or social responsibilities can change his resolve, nor make him give up his aspirations, ideals, and wishes. No one can change his resolve, the goals he aspires to achieve, or the path he wants to take. At the same time, he should also require himself not to relax at any moment. As soon as he relaxes, slackens up, and wants to get back to fulfilling his family responsibilities, being a good son to his parents, taking care of his children, and being a normal person, and gives up his ideals, aspirations, the path he wants to take, and the goals he wants to achieve, he will no longer be a manly, virile man. And if he isn’t a manly, virile man, what is he? He becomes a big softie, a good-for-nothing, which are characteristics despised by the whole of society, and of course also despised by himself. Once a man realizes that there are problems and shortcomings in his actions and conduct that do not meet the standard for being a manly, virile man, he will inwardly despise himself, and feel that he has no place in this society, no outlet for his abilities, and that he cannot be called a manly, virile man, or even just a man. Another characteristic of manly, virile men is that they cannot be bent by force, which is a kind of spirit that makes it impossible for them to be subdued by any power, violence, threats, or the like. No matter what power, violence, threat, or even mortal danger they encounter, such men are unafraid of death and can overcome a succession of adversities. They are not to be held to ransom or cowed into submission, they will not yield to any force just to survive, and they will not stoop to compromise. Once they succumb to power or any kind of force for the sake of some responsibility, obligation or other reason, even if they survive and keep their life, they will feel revulsion for their behavior because of the traditional culture of morality that they idolize. The spirit of Bushido in Japan is a bit like this. Once you fail or are shamed, you feel that you must commit suicide by self-disembowelment. Is life that easy to come by? People only live once. If even a minor failure or setback prompts thoughts of death, is this caused by the influence of traditional culture? (Yes.) When a problem befalls them and they cannot make a swift decision, or make a choice that meets the requirements of traditional culture, or prove their dignity and character, or prove that they are a manly, virile man, they will seek death and commit suicide. The reason why men can hold these ideas and views is because of the severe impact of traditional culture, and the way that it confines their thinking. If they were not influenced by the ideas and views of traditional culture, there would not be so many men committing suicide or disemboweling themselves. As regards the definition of a manly, virile man, men very affirmatively and assuredly accept these ideas and views of traditional culture, and regard them as positive things by which to measure and restrain themselves, and also measure and restrain other men. Judging by men’s thoughts and views, ideals, goals, and the paths they choose, this all proves that all men are deeply influenced and poisoned by traditional culture. The many stories of heroic exploits and beautiful legends are a true portrait of how traditional culture is deeply rooted in people’s minds. From this point of view, are men poisoned by traditional culture just as deeply as women are? Traditional culture merely places different standards of requirements on men and women, insulting, denigrating, restricting, and controlling women without restraint while vigorously urging, enticing, instigating, and inciting men to not be cowards or common, ordinary people. The requirement for men is that everything they do must be different from women, surpass them, be above them, and tower over them. They must control society, control the human race, control the trends and direction of society, and control everything in society. Men must even be all-powerful in society, with the power to control society and human beings, and this power also includes ruling over and controlling women. This is what men should pursue, and this is also the heroic manner of a manly, virile man.

In the present era, many countries have become democratic societies in which the rights and interests of women and children are somewhat guaranteed, and the influence and constraints of these ideas and views of traditional culture on people are no longer so obvious. After all, many women have made headway in society, and their involvement in many fields and many occupations is increasing. However, because the ideas of traditional culture have long been deeply rooted in the minds of human beings—not only in the minds of women, but also in those of men—both men and women unconsciously adopt the perspective and vantage point of traditional culture when thinking about and approaching various things. Of course, they also undertake various careers and jobs under the guidance of ideas and views of traditional culture. In today’s society, although equality between men and women has improved somewhat, the idea of male superiority in traditional culture still dominates people’s minds, and in most countries, education is fundamentally based on these core ideas of traditional culture. Therefore, although in this society, human beings seldom use these sayings of traditional culture to talk about various issues, they are still imprisoned within the ideological framework of traditional culture. What kind of terms does modern society have for praising a woman? For example, “masculine woman” and “powerful woman.” Are these respectful or derogatory forms of address? There are women who say: “Someone called me a masculine woman, which I thought was very flattering. How about that? I’ve assimilated into male society and my status has been enhanced. Although I’m a woman, by adding the word ‘masculine’ I become a masculine woman, then I can be someone who is equal to men, which is kind of an honor!” This is a kind of recognition and acceptance of this woman by a community or a group in human society, which is an extremely honorable thing, is it not? If a woman is described as a masculine woman, it proves that this woman is very capable, the same as men, rather than inferior to them, and her career, talents, and even her social status, her IQ and the means by which she gains a footing in society are enough to be compared with men. The way I see it, for most women the designation “masculine woman” is a reward from society, a kind of recognition of social status that modern society gives to women. Do any women want to be masculine women? Although this designation is unpleasant, whatever the circumstances, calling a woman masculine is certainly praising her for being very competent and capable, and is giving her the thumbs-up in the eyes of men. As regards designations for men, people still hold to traditional notions, which never change. For example, some men are not career-minded and don’t pursue power or status, but accept their current situation, and are content with their ordinary job and life, and care greatly for their family. What kind of names does this society give to such men? Are such men described as good-for-nothings? (Yes.) Some men are very thorough and fastidious in going about their business, taking things step-by-step and with great caution. What do some people call them? “A bit girly” or a “shrinking violet.” You see, men are not insulted using dirty words, but rather using expressions associated with women. If people want to elevate the female sex, they use terms like “masculine woman” and “powerful woman” to enhance a woman’s status and affirm their competence, whereas terms such as “shrinking violet” are used to denigrate men and rebuke them for not being manly. Is this not a widespread phenomenon in society? (Yes.) These sayings that have arisen in modern society prove a problem, which is that although traditional culture already seems far removed from modern life, and very far from people’s minds, and although people are now addicted to the Internet or various electronic devices, or obsessed with all sorts of modern lifestyles, and even if people live extremely comfortably in modern living environments, or have human rights and freedoms, this is only a facade; the fact is that much of the poison of traditional culture remains in their minds. Although people have gained some physical freedoms, and some of their overriding views on people and things seem to have changed, and they seem to have gained a certain degree of freedom in their thinking, and they seem to have acquired new insights in this modern society thanks to the rapid circulation of news and the advanced information technology, and they know about and have seen many things in the outside world, human beings still live in the shadow of the myriad sayings on moral conduct advocated by traditional culture. Even if there are some people who say, “I’m the most untraditional person there is, I’m very modern, I’m a modernist,” and they have a gold ring through their nose, a string of studs in their ear, and their clothes are very avant-garde and trendy, their views toward people and things, as well as their views of how they should comport themselves and act, are still inseparable from traditional culture. Why can’t people do without traditional culture? Because their hearts and minds have been immersed in traditional culture and imprisoned by it. Everything that is produced in the innermost depths of their soul, and even the ideas that flash momentarily through their minds, stems from the indoctrination and inculcation of traditional culture, and is all produced within this immense framework of traditional culture, rather than separate from its influence. Do these facts prove that human beings are already imprisoned by traditional culture? (Yes.) Human beings are already imprisoned by traditional culture. No matter whether or not you are well-read or highly educated, as long as you live among human beings, you will inevitably be inculcated and influenced by humankind’s traditional culture of morality, because the things of traditional culture exert a kind of invisible force and power that exist everywhere, not only in schools and in people’s textbooks, but especially in their families, and of course in every corner of society. In this way, people are unknowingly indoctrinated, influenced, deluded, and misled by these things. Human beings therefore live under the bonds, fetters, and control of traditional culture, and cannot hide or escape from it even if they wanted to. They are living in this kind of social environment. This is the current state of affairs, and these are also the facts.

Looking at it based on the sayings of moral conduct and their essence that we fellowshiped on last time, such sayings in traditional culture conceal the corrupt dispositions and essence of humankind, and of course they also conceal the fact that Satan corrupts humankind. The definitions of men and women in traditional culture that we have fellowshiped on today clearly illustrate another essential aspect of sayings on moral conduct. What essence is that? These sayings about moral conduct not only confuse, mislead, and confine people’s thinking, but of course they also instill people with the wrong concepts and views about various people, matters, and things. This is a fact, and another essential aspect of the sayings on moral conduct that are advocated by Satan. How can this assertion be proved? Are not the definitions of men and women in the sayings about moral conduct that we fellowshiped on just now sufficient to illustrate this point? (Yes.) They are indeed sufficient to illustrate this point. Sayings about moral conduct only talk about right and wrong behavior, and good and bad practices, and only talk superficially about good and bad, right and wrong. They don’t let people know what is positive and negative, good and bad, right and wrong when it comes to people, matters, and things. The things they make people abide by are not correct criteria or principles for conduct and behavior that accord with humanity or that are beneficial to people. Regardless of whether these sayings on moral conduct violate the natural laws of humanity, or whether people are willing to abide by them or not, they compel people to cling rigidly to dogma without distinguishing between right and wrong, good and bad. If you fail to abide by them, society will revile and condemn you, and you will even revile yourself. Is this a true portrait of how traditional culture confines human thinking? This is precisely a true reflection of how traditional culture confines human thinking. Once traditional culture gives rise to new sayings, requirements, and rules, or shapes public opinion, or establishes a trend or convention in society, then you will inevitably be carried along by this trend or convention, and not dare to say “no” or refuse, let alone raise any doubts and different opinions. You can only commit to it, otherwise you will be scorned and castigated by society, and even reviled by public opinion and condemned by humankind. What are the consequences of being reviled and condemned? You will no longer be able to face being around people, because you will have no dignity, because you cannot adhere to social ethics, you have no morals, and you do not have the moral conduct that traditional culture demands, and so you will have no social standing. What are the consequences of having no social standing? That you will not be worthy of living in this society, and all facets of your human rights will be stripped away, even to the point that your right to live, your right to speak, and your right to perform your obligations will be curbed and restricted. This is how traditional culture impacts on and threatens humankind. Everyone is its victim, and of course everyone is also its enforcer. You fall victim to these public opinions, you naturally also fall victim to all the various people in society, and at the same time you also fall victim to your own acceptance of traditional culture. In the final analysis, you fall victim to these things of traditional culture. Do these things in traditional culture have a big impact on humankind? (Yes.) For example, if a woman is the subject of rumors that she is not virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, and that she is not a good woman, then whenever she subsequently goes to start a new job or join any group, as soon as people become aware of the stories about her, and listen to the gossipmongers and judge her, she will not be regarded as a good woman in anyone’s eyes. Once this situation arises, it will be difficult for her to make her way or survive in society. Some people even have no alternative but to conceal their identity and relocate to a different city or environment. Is public opinion powerful? (Yes.) This invisible force can ruin and ravage anyone and trample them underfoot. For example, if you believe in God, it is obviously difficult for you to survive in the social environment of China. Why is it so hard to survive? Because once you believe in God, perform your duty and expend yourself for Him, sometimes you inevitably won’t get round to caring for your family, and those unbelieving devils will spread rumors that you are “not leading a normal life,” “abandoning your family,” “running off with someone,” and so on and so forth. Although these claims don’t accord with the facts, and are all speculation and false rumors, once you are the subject of these accusations, you will be in a very difficult predicament. Whenever you go shopping, people will give you funny looks, and mutter and pass comments behind your back, saying, “This person is religious, lacks womanly virtue, leads an indecent life, and spends all day running off to places. This is a woman who doesn’t focus her energies on leading a normal life. What is she doing running off everywhere? Women should follow the Confucian code of the three obediences and four virtues, and obey their husbands and educate their children.” How would you feel on hearing that? Would you be very angry? What business is it of theirs that you believe in God and perform your duty? It’s none of their business at all, and yet they can treat it like an after-dinner conversation topic, and pass comments and gossip about it like it’s important business. Is this not a phenomenon in society? Is this not a phenomenon that can be seen everywhere? For example, you have a colleague who used to get on well with you, but when they heard that you believe in God, they spread all sorts of gossip about you behind your back, so now many people give you a wide berth, and are no longer on good terms with you. Although you have the same attitude to your work as before, as soon as most people hear this gossip, are you still going to find it easy to make your way in this job? (No, it won’t be easy.) Will people’s attitudes toward you be different from before? (Yes.) What will they all talk about? “This woman doesn’t focus her energies on leading a normal life. What is she doing believing in religion?” and “Why do men believe in religion? Only losers believe in religion! That’s something women do, whereas manly, virile men should focus on their career!” Has anyone said these things? (Yes.) Where do these words come from? What business is it of theirs that you believe in God? People are free to believe what they want, and others have no right to interfere. So why can they talk about you? Why do they indiscriminately criticize you once you start believing in God? To some extent, the frame of reference for their remarks is inevitably based on the ideas and views of traditional culture, and on the national government’s attitude toward faith. Although on the surface they are talking about you, the fact is that they are indiscriminately criticizing you, telling tales, and wantonly condemning you. In any case, the basis for people’s remarks and judgments, as well as for their views and attitudes toward your faith, is influenced to a significant degree by traditional culture and atheistic ideology. Because in addition to teaching people how to be a woman and how to be a man, what are the essential ideas of traditional culture? That there is no Heaven and no God. In other words, these are atheistic ideas and views. Therefore, they reject people with faith, especially those who believe in the true God. If you engage in superstitious activities, belong to some cult, or engage in any religious activities, they might disregard you. If you are superstitious they may still associate with you, but as soon as you start believing in God, reading His words every day, spreading the gospel, performing your duty, and following God, they will become incompatible with you. What is the source of their incompatibility with you? To be exact, one aspect is because they are unbelievers and all follow Satan and belong to Satan; the other aspect is that they look at things according to the ideas and views of traditional culture, and according to the policies and laws of the great red dragon—these are objective facts. Whenever they see people, events, and things that do not conform to the ideas of traditional culture, and whenever they see that believers are the targets of state suppression and are being rounded up, they despise them, indiscriminately criticize, judge and condemn them, and cooperate with the government to monitor and report on people who believe in God. What is the basis for them doing this? It is mainly based on traditional culture, atheistic ideology, and the sinister policies of the great red dragon. For example, they judge people who believe in God, saying: “This is a woman who doesn’t focus her energies on leading a normal life. What is she doing running off everywhere?” and “This is a man who doesn’t pursue a proper career. What is he doing believing in religion? Proper men have far-reaching ambitions. Manly, virile men should focus on their careers!” Think about it, aren’t all these banal statements clearly derived from traditional culture? (Yes.) They are all derived from traditional culture. These banal and mundane people don’t pursue any beliefs, but only pursue eating, drinking and carnal pleasures. Their minds are not only filled with evil trends, but are also deeply bound and confined by these things of traditional culture, whose influence they live under without realizing it, so it’s natural for them to adopt these viewpoints when dealing with anyone and anything. This is something that can happen in any corner of modern society, and is quite normal. This is how things are in a world controlled by Satan, and in an era of evil and fornication.

Sayings about moral conduct not only instill wrong concepts and views in people, but also encourage and incite them to follow some extreme thoughts and adopt some extreme behaviors in particular contexts and circumstances. For example, as mentioned earlier, “I’d take a bullet for a friend” is the kind of requirement that Satan puts forward on the pretext of regulating people’s moral conduct when it comes to dealing with their friends. Obviously, sayings on this aspect of moral conduct are intended to make people have irrational and unreasonable thoughts and views when dealing with their friends, and even prompt them to carelessly give up their lives for their friends. This is an extreme and excessive requirement that Satan places on human beings in regard to moral conduct. The fact is that there are some other sayings about moral conduct which are similar to “I’d take a bullet for a friend,” and which likewise require people to adopt extreme behaviors. These are all inhumane and irrational sayings. At the same time as instilling people with the ideas and views of traditional culture, Satan also requires people to abide by these irrational thoughts and inhumane sayings, and also makes them rigidly adhere to these ideas and practices. It could be said that this is tantamount to toying with and ruining humankind! What sayings are they? For example, the two sayings “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and “The silkworms of spring weave till they die, and candles burn out till their tears run dry” tell people—in a more explicit way than “I’d take a bullet for a friend”—not to cherish life, and that life should be squandered in this way. When people are required to give up their lives, they shouldn’t cherish life too much, but must instead adhere to the sayings “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and “The silkworms of spring weave till they die, and candles burn out till their tears run dry.” You more or less all understand the literal meaning of these two sayings on moral conduct, but what exactly are they proclaiming and instigating? For whom should you “bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day”? For whom should “the silkworms of spring weave till they die, and candles burn out till their tears run dry”? People should question and reflect on themselves: Is it meaningful to do what these sayings suggest? Such sayings first delude and benumb your mind, disturbing your vision, then strip away your human rights, guiding you in the wrong direction, giving you the wrong definitions and viewpoints, and thereafter compelling you to give up your youth and life for this country, society, and nation, or for a career or for love. In this way, humans unwittingly give up their lives to Satan in a muddled, dazed state, and furthermore they do so willingly and without complaints or regrets. Only at the very moment when they give up their lives do they understand everything, and feel cheated that they are doing it for pointless reasons, but it’s too late, and there is no time left for regrets. Thus, they spend their lives being deluded, fooled, destroyed, ruined, and trampled underfoot by Satan, and in the end, the most precious thing they have—life—is also taken away. This is the consequence of human beings being educated with sayings on moral conduct in traditional culture, and it fully proves what a wretched fate awaits those who live under the dominion of Satan and are deceived and fooled by it. What words are there to describe the various tactics Satan uses in treating humankind? To start with, there is “benumb,” “delude,” and what else? Tell Me some. (Fool, ruin, trample on, ravage.) There is also “incite,” “entice,” “demand one’s life,” and finally, “toy with people and devour them.” This is the result of Satan’s corruption of people. People live under Satan’s dominion and according to satanic dispositions. Were it not for God expressing the truth and doing the work of judgment and chastisement to save people, wouldn’t all of humankind be devastated, devoured and destroyed by Satan?

What things in traditional culture does humankind proclaim? What does “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” mean? The main requirement of this saying is that whenever people do things, they should be sincere and diligent, give their all, and do their utmost until they die. Who exactly are people serving by doing this? Of course it is society, their native land, and the nation. So who wields control over this society, this native land, and this nation? Undoubtedly it is Satan and devil kings. So what are the aims that Satan and the devil kings want to achieve in using traditional culture to delude people? One is to make the country powerful and the nation prosperous, and another is to make people bring honor to their ancestors and be remembered for generations to come. That way, people will feel that there is no greater honor than to do all these things, and they will be grateful to the devil kings, and willing to give up their lives for the nation, for society, and for the motherland. In reality, all they are doing is serving Satan and the devil kings, and serving the dominant positions of Satan and the devil kings, and giving up their precious life for them. If, rather than telling people to perform their duty as a created being with all their heart, mind, and strength, and live out the likeness of a human being, the sayings of traditional culture instead ask people to die for the sake of the country, for devil kings, or for some other cause, then they are deluding people. On the surface, they tell people to do their part for the country and the nation, using words that are high-sounding and plausible, but the fact is that they compel people to dedicate a lifetime of effort, and even sacrifice their life, in order to serve the dominant positions of Satan and devil kings. Is this not deluding, fooling, and harming people? The various sayings advanced by traditional culture do not demand of people how they should live out normal humanity in real life, nor how to fulfill their responsibilities and duties, but rather, they demand of people what kind of moral conduct they should display within the framework of society at large, that is to say, under Satan’s dominion. Likewise, the saying on moral conduct “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” is also a tenet put forward to compel human beings to be loyal to society, to the nation, and especially to their native land. This kind of tenet requires people to bend themselves to serving the nation, their native land, and society, and to strive to do their utmost until their dying day. Only those who are assiduous and give their all until their dying day are considered noble, virtuous, and worthy of being revered and commemorated by future generations. The first part of this saying, “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost,” means to be assiduous and give your all. Is there any problem with this phrase? If we look at it from the perspective of human instinct and the scope of what humanity can accomplish, there are no major issues with this phrase. It requires people to be diligent and give their all when doing things or undertaking a cause. There is basically nothing wrong with this attitude, which is relatively in line with the standard of normal humanity, and people should have this kind of attitude when doing things. This is a relatively positive thing. That is to say, when doing something, you just need to be assiduous, give your all, fulfill your responsibilities and obligations, and live up to your conscience. For any person with normal humanity, conscience and sense, there is nothing more normal than this, and it is not an excessive demand. But what is excessive? It is the part that requires people not to stop “until their dying day.” There is a problem with the phrase “until your dying day,” which is that, not only must you be assiduous and give your all, but you must also offer up your life, and can only stop if you die, otherwise you cannot stop. It means you must sacrifice your life and a lifetime of effort. You cannot have selfish motives, and you cannot give up as long as you live. If you give up halfway rather than persevering until death, then this is not considered to be good moral conduct. This is a standard for measuring people’s moral conduct in traditional culture. If, in doing something, a person was already assiduous and gave it their all within the scope of what they could achieve and for as long as they were willing to do it, but just didn’t keep doing it until death, and gave up halfway and chose to undertake another cause or to rest and take care of themselves in their later years, this is not “bending to a task and striving to do your utmost until your dying day,” so this person is not possessed of good moral conduct. How is that as a standard? Is it right or wrong? (Wrong.) Obviously, this standard does not accord with the instincts of normal humanity and the rights that normal people are entitled to. It doesn’t just require people to be assiduous, to give their all, and nothing more, but rather, it compels people to keep going and not stop until they die—this is what it demands of people. No matter how assiduous you are, or how much you strive to give your all when doing something, as soon as you give up halfway because you are unwilling to continue, then you are not someone with good moral conduct; whereas, if you exert an average level of diligence and don’t give your all, but keep going until death, then you are a person of good moral conduct. Is this a standard for measuring people’s moral conduct in traditional culture? (Yes.) This is indeed a standard for measuring people’s moral conduct in traditional culture. Looking at it in this way, does the requirement “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” meet the needs of normal humanity? Is this fair and humane as far as people are concerned? (No, it is unfair and inhumane.) Why do you say that? (It is not a requirement that is put forward within the scope of normal humanity, it is something that people are unwilling to choose, and it also goes against conscience and sense.) The main meaning of this standard is that it requires people to give up personal choices, and personal desires and ideals. If your qualities and talents can be put to serve society, the human race, the nation, your native land, and the rulers, then you should obey unconditionally, and you should have no other choices. You should give up your life to society, to the nation, to your native land, and even to the rulers, until you die. There can be no alternatives to the cause you must undertake in this life—you cannot have any other choices. You can only live for the sake of the nation, the human race, society, your native land, and even the rulers. You can only serve them, and you must not have any personal aspirations, let alone selfish motives. You must not only give up your youth and devote your energy, but you must also give up your life, and that is the only way you can be a person of good moral conduct. What does humankind call such good moral conduct? Greater righteousness. What, then, is another way to express “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day”? How about the saying “Great chivalrous heroes do their part for their country and people,” which is commonly heard? It states that so-called great chivalrous heroes must do their part for their country and their people. Must they do it for their family, parents, wives and children, brothers and sisters? Must they do it to fulfill their responsibilities and duties as a person? No. Rather, they must be loyal to and devote themselves to the country and the nation. This is another way of saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day.” Being assiduous and giving your all, which the requirement “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” talks about, is just a saying that people can accept, and which is used to induce people to willingly “do their utmost until their dying day.” Who is the object of this lifelong dedication? (The country and the nation.) So who represents the country and the nation? (The rulers.) That’s right, it’s the rulers. No one person or independent group can represent the country and the nation. Only the rulers can be called the spokespeople for the country and the nation. On the surface, the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” doesn’t tell people that they must assiduously do their part for the country, the nation, and the rulers, and give their all until they die. Nevertheless, the fact is that it compels people to dedicate their lives to rulers and devil kings until they die. This saying is not targeted at just any nonentity in society or among humankind; it is targeted at all those people who can make great contributions to society, to the human race, to their native land, to the nation, and especially to the rulers. In any dynasty, in any era, and in any nation, there are always some people with special gifts, abilities, and talents who are “appropriated” by society, and exploited and revered by rulers. Because of their special talents and abilities, and because they can put their talents and strengths to good use within society, the nation, their native land and the dominion of the rulers, in the eyes of these rulers they are often regarded as the kind of person who can assist them to rule humankind more effectively, and to better stabilize society and pacify public sentiment. This kind of person is often exploited by rulers, who hope that such people have no “lesser self” but only a “greater self,” and that they can put their chivalrous spirit to good use and become great chivalrous heroes who have only the country and the people in their hearts, and that they can constantly worry about the country and the people, and even that they can bend to the task and strive to do their utmost until their dying day. If they can really do this, if they can assiduously serve the country and the people with all their strength, and are even willing to do it until death, then they undoubtedly become a capable aide to some ruler, and are even recognized as the pride of the nation or society, or even of the entire human race, during a certain era. Whenever there is such a group of people in society during a certain era, or there is a handful of righteous loyalists who are feted as great chivalrous heroes, and who can bend themselves to the task of serving society, humankind, their native land, the nation, and the ruler, striving to do their utmost until their dying day, then this era is considered by humankind to be a glorious era of history.

How many great chivalrous heroes in Chinese history were able to bend to the task of serving their country and people, and strove to do their utmost until their dying day? Can you name some of them? (Qu Yuan, Zhuge Liang, Yue Fei, and so on.) In Chinese history, there are really a handful of famous figures who were able to worry about the country and the people, bend to the task of serving their country and nation and ensuring the survival of the people, and strive to do their utmost until their dying day. In every era of history, in China and beyond, whether in the political arena or among the general population, there are people—be they politicians or roving knights—who adhere to such traditional cultural sayings as “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day.” Such people are able to scrupulously abide by the requirement “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and are also able to rigorously adhere to this idea of serving the country and the people, and worrying about the country and the people. They are able to adhere to such sayings on moral conduct, and strictly require themselves to do these things. Of course, they do it for their fame, so that people remember them in the future. That’s one aspect. The other aspect, it has to be said, is that these behaviors emerge as a result of such people being inculcated and influenced by the ideas of traditional culture. So are these requirements that traditional culture places on people appropriate from the perspective of humanity? (No.) Why are they not appropriate? No matter how much ability a person has, or how gifted, talented, or knowledgeable they are, their identity and instinct are those of a human being, and it is impossible for them to go beyond this scope. They are just a bit more gifted and have a bit more quality than others, and rise above the average person in terms of their viewpoints on things, and have more diverse and flexible ways of doing things, and are more efficient, and achieve better results—that’s all. But no matter how efficient they are, or how good their results, they are still nothing more than common people in terms of their identity and status. Why do I say that they are still common people? Because a person who lives in the flesh, no matter how sharp their mind, or how gifted or high-caliber they are, only ever follows the laws of survival of created human beings, and nothing more than this. Take dogs, for example. However tall, short, fat or thin they are, or whatever breed they are, or however old they are, whenever they come into contact with any other dog, they usually distinguish that dog’s sex, personality, and attitude toward them by smelling its scent. This method of communication is dogs’ survival instinct, and it is also one of the laws and rules for dogs’ survival, which are formulated by God. Similarly, people also survive within the laws formulated by God. No matter how sharp-witted or knowledgeable you are, no matter how high-caliber or talented you are, no matter how able you are, or how great your endeavors, every day you must have six to eight hours’ sleep, and eat three square meals. You will feel hungry if you miss a meal, and thirsty if you don’t drink enough. You must also exercise regularly to stay healthy. As you get older, your vision will become blurry and all sorts of ailments may befall you. This is the normal, natural law of birth, aging, illness and death, and it is ordained by God. No one can break this law, nor escape it. Based on this, no matter how capable you are, and irrespective of your caliber and talent, you are still a common person. Even if you could put on wings and fly two circles around the sky, in the end you must still come back down to earth and walk around on two legs, and rest when tired, eat when hungry, and drink when thirsty. This is human instinct, and this instinct is what God has ordained for you. You can never change it, nor can you escape it. No matter how great your abilities, you cannot violate this law, and you cannot go beyond this scope. Therefore, no matter how capable people are, their identity and status as people do not change, and neither do their identity and status as created beings. Even if you can make contributions to humankind that are just that little bit special and outstanding, you are still a human being, and whenever you encounter danger, you will still feel fearful and panicked, go weak at the knees, and even lose control over your bodily functions. Why might you behave like this? Because you are human. Since you are human, you have these behaviors that human beings ought to have. These are the laws of nature, and no one can escape them. Just because you have made many outstanding contributions, it certainly doesn’t mean that you become superhuman, or extraordinary, or cease to be a normal person. All of that is impossible. Therefore, even supposing you can bend to the task of serving the country and nation, and strive to do your utmost until your dying day, because you live within the scope of normal humanity you will have to bear a very great pressure deep down in your heart! You require yourself to worry about the country and the people all day long, and to make room for the whole population and country in your heart, in the belief that the size of the stage is determined by the size of your heart—but is that the case? (No.) A person will never become different from ordinary people solely by thinking outside the box, nor will they be different from or superior to ordinary people, or be permitted to violate the rules of normal humanity and the laws of survival just because they have special gifts or talents, or because they have made outstanding contributions to the human race. Therefore, this requirement placed on humankind to “bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” is very inhumane. Even if a person has greater talent and ideas than ordinary people, or better foresight and judgment, or is better than ordinary people at dealing with matters, or better at viewing and reading people—or no matter how they are better than ordinary people—they live in the flesh and must still follow the laws and rules of survival of normal humanity. Since they must abide by the laws and rules of survival of normal humanity, is it not inhumane to make unrealistic demands on them, which do not conform to humanity? Is it not trampling on their humanity in a way? (Yes.) Some people say: “With these gifts and talents that Heaven has given me, I am extraordinary, and no ordinary person. I should keep everything under heaven in my heart—the people, the nation, my native land, and the world.” Let Me tell you that keeping these things in your heart is an extra burden, imposed on you by the ruling class and Satan, so by doing this you are putting yourself on the path of doom. If you want to keep the world, the people, the nation, your native land, and the ideals and desires of the rulers in your heart, then you will die an early death. If you keep these things in your heart, it is like perching on a powder keg and sitting on a sack of explosives. It is a very dangerous thing to do, and totally meaningless. When you hold these things in your heart, you make demands on yourself, by thinking “I must bend to the task and strive to do my utmost until my dying day. I must contribute to the great cause of the nation and humankind, and I must give up my life to the human race.” Having such great and lofty ambitions will only lead you to a premature end, an unnatural death, or total ruin. Think about it, how many of those famous historical figures who kept the world in their hearts died a happy death? Some committed suicide by throwing themselves into the river, some were executed by rulers, some were beheaded on the guillotine, and some were throttled to death with rope. Is it possible for human beings to keep the world in their hearts? Are the great causes of one’s native land, the prosperity of the nation, the destiny of the country, and the fate of humankind things that one can carry on their shoulders and make room for in their heart? If you can make room in your heart for your parents and children, your nearest and dearest, your own responsibilities and the mission entrusted to you by Heaven, then you are already doing very well, and are already fulfilling your responsibilities. You needn’t worry yourself about the country and the people, and you don’t need to be a great chivalrous hero. Who are those people who always want to keep the world, the nation, and their native land in their hearts? They are all overambitious people who overestimate their abilities. Is your heart really so big? Are you not being overambitious? Where exactly does your ambition come from? What can you do once you keep these things in your heart? Whose destiny can you manipulate and control? You can’t even control your own destiny, and yet you want to keep the world, the nation, and humankind in your heart. Is this not the ambition of Satan? So, for those who regard themselves as able people, scrupulously abiding by the requirement to “bend to the task and strive to do their utmost until their dying day” is following the path to ruin, it is seeking death! Whoever wants to worry about the country and the people, and bend to the task of serving the people and their native land, and strive to do their utmost until their dying day, is heading for their doom. Are these people lovable? (No, they are not lovable.) Not only are these people not lovable, but they are even a bit pathetic and laughable, and really foolish to the extreme!

As a person, you must fulfill your obligations and responsibilities within the family, properly play your role and fulfill your responsibilities in any social or ethnic group, abide by the laws and regulations of society, and act rationally, rather than say high-sounding things. Doing what people can and should do—this is what is appropriate. As for the family, society, country, and people, you don’t need to bend to the task of serving them and strive to do your utmost until your dying day. You only need to do your duty in God’s family with all your heart, mind, and strength, and nothing more. How then should you do your duty? It is enough to follow God’s words and abide by the truth principles as required by God. You don’t need to keep God’s will, His chosen people, His management plan, His three-stage work, and His work of saving humankind in your heart all day long. It’s not necessary to hold these things in your heart. Why isn’t it necessary? Because you are an ordinary person, a nonentity, and because you are a created being in God’s hands, the stance you should adopt and the responsibility you should bear is to honestly perform your duty, accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements, submit to all that God orchestrates, and that is enough. Is this requirement excessive? (No, it isn’t.) Does God ask you to sacrifice your life? (No.) God does not require you to sacrifice your life, whereas this saying on moral conduct requires that “as long as you have even the smallest modicum of ability, heart, and chivalrous spirit, then you should step forward and bend to the task of serving your native land, and serving the nation. Give up your life, abandon your family and relatives, abandon your responsibilities. Place yourself in the midst of this society, among this human race, and take on the great cause of the nation, the great cause of reviving the country, and the great cause of saving all humankind, until you die.” Is this an extreme requirement? (Yes.) Once humans accept extreme ideas such as these, they believe themselves to be lofty. Particularly in the case of some people with special talents and especially big ambitions and desires, they seek to go down in history, and be remembered for generations to come, and require themselves to undertake some cause in this life, so they especially value and venerate the views of traditional culture. Just like the sayings “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day,” and “Death may be weightier than Mount Tai, or lighter than a feather,” which are put forward by traditional culture, such people are determined to be weightier than Mount Tai. What is meant by the saying “Death may be weightier than Mount Tai”? It’s not about dying for insignificant gains, nor is it for the sake of leading the life of an ordinary person, or fulfilling the duty of a created being, or following the laws of nature. Rather, it’s about dying for the great cause of humankind, for the revival of the nation, for the prosperity of the country, and for the development of society, and to steer the course of humankind. These unrealistic thoughts of humans have thrust them into the eye of the storm. Is this any way for people to live happily? (No.) They will not live happily. Once people live in the eye of the storm, they think and act differently from ordinary people, and also chase after different things. They want to enact their ambitious plans, accomplish major undertakings and great exploits, and achieve big things with a wave of their arm. Gradually some people get into politics, because only the political arena can satisfy their desires and ambitions. Some people say: “The political arena is too murky, I won’t get involved in politics, but I still have this desire to contribute something to the just cause of humankind.” So they join a nonpolitical organization. Some others say: “I won’t join a nonpolitical organization. I’ll be a lone hero, putting my expertise to best use by robbing the rich to help the poor, and specializing in killing corrupt officials, local tyrants, evil gentry, wicked police, bandits and bullies, and helping the common people and the poor.” No matter which path they take, they do it under the influence of traditional culture, and none are the right path. No matter how much people’s expressions accord with social trends and popular tastes, they are inevitably influenced by traditional culture, because humankind always regards expressions such as “worry about the country and the people,” “keep everything under heaven in one’s heart,” “great chivalrous heroes,” and “the just cause of one’s native land” as goals to pursue and devote themselves to, bending to the task and striving to do their utmost until their dying day. This is the reality of the situation. Has anyone ever said, “What I want in life is to become a farmer, bending to the task and striving to do my utmost until my dying day”? Has anyone ever said, “I’ll herd cattle and sheep for the rest of my life, bending to the task and striving to do my utmost until my dying day”? Has anyone used this saying in these circumstances? (No.) People use the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” with a kind of ambition and unrealistic desire, using this pleasant-sounding rhetoric to conceal the desires and ambitions inside themselves. Of course, the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” has also spawned such unrealistic and perverted thoughts and practices as worrying about the country and the people, and having everything under heaven in one’s heart, which have harmed a significant number of idealists and visionaries.

Now that we have dissected the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and fellowshiped extensively on it, do you understand everything that was said? (Yes.) In summary, we can now be certain that this saying is not positive, and has no positive or practical meaning. So what kind of effect does it have on people? Is this saying deadly? Does it demand people’s lives? Is it appropriate to call it a “deadly saying”? (Yes.) The fact is that it takes your life away. It uses nice-sounding words to make you feel how great and glorious it is to be able to spend your life bending to a task and striving to do your utmost until your dying day, and what a big-hearted person that makes you. Having such a big heart means you no longer have room for thoughts of firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, tea, and other such trappings of domesticity, let alone taking care of your wife and children, or longing for a warm bed. How can it be okay for a big-hearted person to do without a few special things? Is it too mundane for you to only have room in your heart for things like firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea? You must make room in there for things that the average person cannot, such as the nation, the great enterprises of your native land, the destiny of humankind, and so on—this is “when Heaven is about to confer great responsibility on a person.” Once people get this kind of idea, they will aspire even more to bend to the task and strive to do their utmost until their dying day, using this saying about moral conduct to constantly spur themselves on, and thinking, “I must bend to the task of serving the destiny of my native land and humankind, and strive to do my utmost until my dying day, this is my lifelong endeavor and aspiration.” But it turns out that they are not able to shoulder the great cause of their native land and nation, and become so tired that they vomit blood—bending to the task and striving to do their utmost ultimately causes their death. Such people don’t know how people should live, or what humanity is, or what human feelings are, or what love is, or what hate is, and even cry so hard worrying about the country and the people that they run out of tears, and until their dying breath they still cannot let go of the great undertaking of their native land and nation. Is “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” a deadly saying that demands people’s lives? Don’t such people die a pitiful death? (Yes.) Even at the point of death, such people refuse to abandon their hollow thoughts and ideals, and in the end they die with grievances and hatred inside them. Why do I say that they die with grievances and hatred inside them? Because they can’t let go of the nation, their native land, the fate of humankind, and the mission entrusted to them by the rulers. They think, “Alas, my life is too short. If only I could live a few thousand years more, I would see where the future of humankind is headed.” They spend their lifetime holding everything under heaven in their hearts, and in the end they still can’t let go of it. Even at the point of death, they don’t know what their own identity is, or what they should or shouldn’t do. The fact is that they are ordinary people, and ought to lead the lives of ordinary people, but they have accepted the deception of Satan and the poison of traditional culture, and regard themselves as the world’s saviors. Is that not pitiful? (Yes.) It is pitiful in the extreme! Tell Me, if Qu Yuan hadn’t been influenced by this traditional idea of the greater righteousness of the nation, would he have committed suicide by throwing himself into a river? Would he have taken such extreme action by ending his own life? (No.) He most certainly would not have. He was a victim of traditional culture, who rashly ended his life before he had lived it to the end. If he had not been influenced by these things, and hadn’t worried about the country and the people, and had instead focused on living his own life, would he have been able to reach old age and die naturally? Could he have died a normal death? If he hadn’t aspired to bend to a task and strive to do his utmost until his dying day, could he have been happier, freer, and more at peace in life? (Yes.) That is why “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” is a deadly saying that demands people’s lives. Once a person is infected with this kind of thinking, they start spending all day agonizing over the country and the people and end up worrying themselves to death, without however being able to change the current state of affairs. Is their life not robbed by this idea and view of bending to a task and striving to do their utmost until their dying day? Such ideas and views are indeed deadly and demand people’s lives. Why do I say that? Who can make room in their heart for the fate of a country or nation? Who can shoulder such a burden? Is this not overestimating one’s abilities? Why do people tend to overestimate their abilities? Do some people bring it all upon themselves? Is it that they are willing to do this on their own initiative? The fact is that they are victims, but of what? (The ideas and views that Satan instills in people.) That’s right, they are victims of Satan. Satan instills these ideas in people, telling them that “you must hold everything under heaven in your hearts, keep the populace in your hearts, worry about the country and the people, be a knight-errant, a righteous person who robs the rich to help the poor, and contribute to the destiny of humankind, bending to the task and striving to do your utmost until your dying day, rather than leading an unremarkable life. Why fulfill family and social responsibilities? It’s not worth mentioning those things, the people who do them are just like ants. You are not an ant, and neither should you be a sparrow. Rather, you should be an eagle, and must spread your wings and soar, and have great aspirations.” Such incitement and instigation confuses people into thinking, “That’s exactly right! I can’t be a sparrow, I must be an eagle soaring high.” However, they cannot fly high, no matter how hard they try, and finally they drop down dead from exhaustion, having ruined themselves of their own making. The fact is that you are nothing. You are not a sparrow, nor are you an eagle. So what are you? (A created being.) That’s right, you are an ordinary person, an ordinary created being. It’s okay to skip one of your three meals a day, but it’s not okay to go without eating for days on end. You will get old, you will get sick, you will die, you are just an ordinary person. People with a bit of talent and ability can become overwhelmingly arrogant, and after being encouraged, enticed, egged on, and deluded in this way by Satan, they are confused into actually thinking that they are the saviors of the world. They waltz in and sit at the Savior’s place, and bend to the task of serving the country and the nation and strive to do their utmost until their dying day, and they think nothing of humankind’s mission, responsibilities, obligations, or life, which is the most precious thing that God bestows on people. Consequently, they feel that life is not important or precious, that the cause of their native land is the most precious thing, that they must hold everything under heaven in their heart, and worry about the country and the people, that by doing so they will have the most precious of characters and the noblest of morals, and that all people should live like this. Satan instills these thoughts in people, deluding them and encouraging them to cast off their identities as created beings and ordinary people, and to do some things that do not correspond with reality. What is the outcome of this? They drive themselves along the path to their doom, and unwittingly go to extremes. What does “go to extremes” mean? It means straying further and further from God’s requirements for human beings, and from the instincts that God preordained for humankind. Eventually such people reach a dead end, which is the path to their own doom.

Regarding how people should live, what are God’s requirements toward humankind? The fact is that they are very simple. They are to assume the proper place of a created being and to perform the duty that a person should perform. God didn’t ask you to be superhuman or an eminent person, nor did He give you wings to fly in the sky. He only gave you two hands and two legs that allow you to walk on the ground one step at a time, and to run when necessary. The internal organs that God created for you digest and absorb food, and provide nutrition for your whole body, so you must stick to a routine of having three meals a day. God has given you free will, the intellect of normal humanity, and the conscience and sense that a human being should possess. If you use these things well and correctly, follow the laws for survival of the physical body, properly look after your health, steadfastly do what God asks of you, and achieve what God requires you to achieve, then that is enough, and it is also very simple. Has God asked you to bend to the task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day? Has He asked you to torment yourself? (No.) God does not require such things. People should not torment themselves, but should have some common sense and properly cater to the body’s various needs. Drink water when you are thirsty, supplement your diet when hungry, rest when tired, exercise after sitting down for a long time, go to the doctor when you are sick, stick to your three meals a day, and maintain the life of normal humanity. Of course, you should also keep up your normal duties. If your duties involve some specialist knowledge that you don’t understand, you should go study and practice it. This is normal life. The various principles of practice that God puts forward for people are all things that the intellect of normal humanity can grasp, things that people can understand and accept, and which do not exceed the scope of normal humanity in the slightest. They are all within humans’ scope of attainment, and in no way overstep the bounds of what is proper. God does not require people to be superhuman or eminent people, whereas sayings about moral conduct compel people to aspire to be superhuman or eminent people. Not only must they take on the great cause of their country and nation, but they are also required to bend to the task and strive to do their utmost until their dying day. This compels them to give up their lives, which runs completely counter to God’s requirements. What is God’s attitude toward people’s lives? God keeps people safe in every situation, and guards them from falling into temptation and other dangerous predicaments, and protects their lives. What is God’s aim in doing this? It is to make people lead good lives. What is the purpose of making people lead good lives? He does not compel you to be superhuman, nor to hold everything under heaven in your heart, nor to worry about the country and the people, and much less to take His place in ruling over all things, orchestrating all things, and ruling over humankind. Rather, He requires you to assume the proper place of a created being, to fulfill the duties of a created being, to perform the duties that people should perform, and to do what people should do. There are many things which you should do, and they do not include ruling over the destiny of humankind, holding everything under heaven in your heart, or holding humankind, your native land, the church, God’s will, or His great undertaking of saving humankind in your heart. These things are not included. So what do the things that you should do include? They include the commission that God entrusts to you, the duties God gives you, and every requirement that God’s house places on you in every period. Is this not simple? Is it not easy to do? It is very simple and easy to do. But people always misunderstand God and think that He doesn’t take them seriously. There are those who think, “People who come to believe in God shouldn’t see themselves as being so important, they shouldn’t be preoccupied with their physical body, and should suffer more, and not go to bed too early at night, because God may be unhappy if they go to bed too early. They should get up early and go to bed late, and toil through the night performing their duty. Even if they don’t produce results, they must still stay up until two or three o’clock in the morning.” As a result, such people drive themselves into the ground until they are so exhausted that even walking takes a supreme effort, and yet they say that performing their duties is what makes them exhausted. Is this not caused by people’s foolishness and ignorance? There are others who think, “God is not happy when we wear clothes that are a bit special and nice, nor is He happy that we eat meat and nice food every day. In God’s house, we can only bend to our task and strive to do our utmost until our dying day,” and they feel that as believers in God, they must fulfill their duty until death, otherwise God will not spare them. Is that actually the case? (No.) God requires people to fulfill their duty with responsibility and loyalty, but He doesn’t compel them to be hard on their bodies, and much less does He ask them to be careless and perfunctory, or to while away the time. I see that some leaders and workers arrange people to perform their duties in this way, not demanding efficiency but only squandering people’s time and energy. The fact is that they are wasting people’s lives. In the end, in the long run, some people develop health problems, and back trouble, and their knees hurt, and they feel dizzy whenever they look at a computer screen. How can this be? Who caused this? (They caused it themselves.) God’s house demands that everyone rests by no later than 10 p.m., but some people don’t go to bed until 11 or 12 p.m., which impacts on other people’s rest. Some people even reproach those who take normal rest, for coveting life’s comforts. This is wrong. How can you do a good job if your body is not well rested? What does God say about this? How does God’s house regulate this? Everything should be done according to God’s words and the stipulations of God’s house, and only this is correct. Some people have absurd understandings, always going to extremes, and even controlling others. This is not in line with the truth principles. Some people are just absurd fools with no discernment whatsoever, and they think that to perform their duties, they must stay up late, even when they are not busy with work, not allowing themselves to sleep when they are tired, not permitting themselves to tell anyone if they are ill, and even worse, not allowing themselves to see a doctor, which they regard as a waste of time that delays the performance of their duty. Is this point of view correct? Why do believers still come up with such absurd views after hearing so many sermons? How are the work arrangements of God’s house regulated? You must rest punctually by 10 p.m., and get up at 6 a.m., and you must ensure that you get eight hours’ sleep. In addition, it is even repeatedly emphasized that you should look after your health by exercising after work, and stick to a healthy diet and routine, so as to avoid health issues while performing your duty. But some people just don’t get it, they can’t adhere to principles or abide by rules, and stay up late needlessly and eat the wrong kind of things. Once they make themselves ill, they are unable to perform their duty, and by then it’s pointless having regrets. I heard recently that some people have fallen ill. Is this not caused by them doing their duty without adhering to the principles and acting recklessly? It’s true that you do your duty earnestly, but you cannot violate the natural laws of your body. If you do violate them, you will make yourself ill. You absolutely must have a general understanding of how to look after your health. You should exercise when appropriate, and eat at regular times. You can’t binge or drink too much, and you can’t be a picky eater or have an unhealthy diet. In addition, you need to regulate your mood, pay attention to living before God and practicing the truth, and act according to the principles. That way, you will have peace and joy in your heart, and won’t feel hollow or depressed. In particular, if people cast off corrupt dispositions and live out normal humanity, then their state of mind will be completely normal and their body will be healthy. I have never told you to go to bed late and get up early, or to work more than ten hours a day. It is all because people do not behave according to the rules and do not abide by the arrangements of God’s house. Ultimately, people are so ignorant that they take their health for granted. I saw that in some places, people were always performing their duties indoors, and weren’t going out to get some sun or stay active, so I made arrangements for people to find them some fitness equipment and told them to exercise once or twice a week, which corresponds to a healthy routine. People who don’t do proper exercise will naturally become ill, and this also affects their normal lives. Once I make such arrangements, do I need to check up on who is exercising and how frequently? (No.) I don’t need to, I have fulfilled My responsibility, I have made My point, and told you with all sincerity what you should do, without a word of a lie, and you just need to do as instructed. But people don’t take it in, they think they are young and healthy, so they don’t take My words seriously. If you don’t value your own health, it’s unnecessary for Me to concern Myself with it—just don’t blame others when you fall ill. People don’t pay attention to doing exercise. One aspect is because they have some wrong ideas and views. The other is that they also have a fatal problem, which is laziness. If people have a minor physical ailment, all they need do is pay attention to looking after their health and be more active. But some people would rather go and get an injection or take medication once they fall ill, than do exercise and look after their health. This is caused by laziness. People are lazy and unwilling to exercise, so there is no point saying anything to them. In the end, they can’t blame others when they fall ill; they know deep down what the real reason is. Everyone should do a normal amount of exercise every day. Every day I have to do at least one or two hours’ walking and some necessary exercises. This helps not only to strengthen My constitution, but also to prevent illness and make Me feel better physically. Exercise is not just only about preventing illness, it is also a normal physical need. In this matter, God’s requirement for human beings is that they have a modicum of insight. Don’t be ignorant, and don’t be hard on your body, but follow its natural laws. Don’t abuse your flesh, but don’t be overly preoccupied by it either. Is this principle easy to grasp? (Yes.) It’s actually very easy to grasp, the crux is whether people put it into practice. What is another of people’s fatal weaknesses? It is that they are always letting their imagination run away with them, thinking, “If I believe in God, I won’t get sick, I won’t grow old, and of course, I certainly won’t die.” This is utter nonsense. God does not do these supernatural things. He saves people, makes promises to them, and asks them to pursue and understand the truth, cast off their corrupt dispositions, attain His salvation, and enter the beautiful destination of humankind. But God has never promised people that they will not fall ill or grow old, nor has He promised people that they will not die. And of course, God has certainly not placed any requirement on people that they should “bend themselves to a task and strive to do their utmost until their dying day.” When it comes to doing one’s duty and the church’s work, and what hardships to endure, what to forsake, what to expend, and what to let go of, people should act according to the principles. When dealing with one’s own physical life and bodily needs, people should have some common sense, and should not violate the normal needs of their body, let alone the laws and rules that God has established for people. Of course, this is also the bare minimum of common sense that people should possess. If people don’t even know how to deal with the needs and laws of their physical body, and don’t have any common sense whatsoever, but only rely on imaginings and notions, and even have some extreme ideas and adopt some extreme methods for treating their physical body, then such people have an absurd understanding. What kind of truth can people with this kind of caliber comprehend? There is a question mark here. How does God require people to treat their physical body? When God created people, He established rules for them, so He requires you to treat your physical body according to such rules. This is the requirement and standard that God sets for people. Don’t rely on notions, and don’t rely on imaginings. Do you understand?

Under the inculcation and influence of this saying on moral conduct, “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day,” people don’t know how to treat their physical body or how to lead a normal life. This is one aspect. The other aspect is that people don’t know how to deal with their death, nor how to live in a way that is meaningful. Let us look, then, at God’s attitude toward dealing with the death of people. No matter what the aspect of the duty being performed, God’s aim is for people, in the process of doing their duty, to understand the truth, to put it into practice, to cast aside their corrupt dispositions, to live out the likeness of a normal person, and to reach the standard for attaining salvation, rather than rushing headlong toward death. Some people get a serious illness or cancer and think, “This is God asking me to die and give up my life, so I will obey!” In fact, God did not say that, nor did such an idea occur to Him. This is nothing more than people’s misunderstanding. So what does God mean? Everyone lives a certain number of years, but their lifespans are different. Everyone dies when God determines it, at the right time and place. This is all ordained by God. He makes it happen according to the time He ordained for that person’s lifespan and the place and manner of their death, rather than letting anyone die due to some arbitrary matter. God regards a person’s life as very important, and He also regards a person’s death and the ending of their physical life as very important. All of this is ordained by God. Looking at it from this point of view, whether God requires people to perform their duties or to follow Him, He doesn’t ask people to rush headlong toward death. What does this mean? It means that God doesn’t require you to be prepared to give up your life at any time for the sake of performing your duty or expending for God, or for the sake of His commission. You don’t need to make such preparations, you don’t need to have such a mindset, and you certainly don’t need to plan or think that way, because God doesn’t need your life. Why do I say that? It goes without saying that your life belongs to God, it was He who bestowed it, so what would He want it back for? Is your life valuable? From God’s perspective, it is not a question of whether or not it is valuable, but only what role you play in God’s management plan. As far as your life is concerned, if God wanted to take it away, He could do it at any time, at any place and at any minute. Therefore, any person’s life is important to themselves, and is important to their duties, obligations and responsibilities, and also to God’s commission. Of course, it is also important to their role in God’s overall management plan. Although it is important, God doesn’t need to take your life away. Why? When your life is taken away, you become a dead person, and have no further use. Only when you are alive, living among the human race that God rules over, can you play the role that you are meant to play in this life, and fulfill the responsibilities and obligations that you are meant to fulfill, and the duties that God requires you to perform in this life. Only when you exist in this form can your life have value and realize its value. So, do not casually utter such phrases as “dying for God” or “giving up my life for God’s work,” and don’t repeat them, or keep them in your mind or deep in your heart; it is unnecessary. When a person constantly wants to die for God, and to offer themselves and give up their life for their duty, this is the most contemptible, unworthy, and despicable thing. Why? If your life is over, and you no longer live in this fleshly form, how can you fulfill your duty as a created being? If everyone is dead, who will be left for God to save through His work? If there are no human beings who need saving, how will God’s management plan be carried out? Would God’s work of saving humankind still exist? Could it still continue? Looking at it from these aspects, is it not an important matter for people to take good care of their bodies and lead healthy lives? Is this not worth it? It most certainly is worth it, and people should do this. As for those stupid people who casually say, “If the worst came to the worst, I’d die for God,” and who can carelessly make light of dying, and give up their lives, and abuse their bodies, what kind of people are these? Are they disobedient people? (Yes.) These are the most disobedient people, and should be despised and scorned. When someone is able to casually say that they would die for God, it could be said that they casually think about ending their own life, giving up their duty, giving up the commission that God has entrusted to them, and preventing God’s words from being fulfilled in them. Is this not a foolish way of doing things? You may casually and readily give up your life and say that you want to offer it to God, but does God need you to offer it? Your life itself belongs to God, and God can take it away at any time, so what use is there in offering it to Him? If you don’t offer it but God needs it, will He ask you nicely for it? Will He need to talk it over with you? No, He won’t. But what would God want your life for? Once God takes your life back, you will no longer be able to perform your duty, and a person will be missing from God’s management plan. Would He be happy and satisfied about that? Who truly would be happy and satisfied? (Satan.) If you give up your life, what can you gain from doing that? And what can God gain by taking your life away? If you miss the opportunity to be saved, is it a gain or a loss for God? (A loss.) For God it is not a gain, but a loss. God allows you, as a created being, to have the life and assume the place of a created being in order to perform the duty of a created being and, by so doing, to be able to enter into the truth reality, obey God, understand His will and know Him, do His will, cooperate with Him in accomplishing His work of saving humankind, and follow Him to the very end. This is righteousness, and this is the value and meaning of your life’s existence. If your life exists for this, and you live healthily for this, then this is the most meaningful thing, and as far as God is concerned, this is true dedication and cooperation—for Him this is the most satisfying thing. What God wants to see is a creature living in the flesh cast off their corrupt disposition amidst His chastisement and judgment, reject the myriad of fallacious ideas instilled in them by Satan, and be able to accept the truths and requirements from God, fully submit to the Creator’s authority, fulfill the duty that a created being should perform, and be able to become a true created being. This is what God wants to see, and this is the value and meaning of human life’s existence. Therefore, for any created being, death is not the ultimate destination. The value and meaning of human life’s existence are not to die, but to live for God, to exist for God and for one’s own duty, to exist in order to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a created being, to obey God’s will, and to humiliate Satan. This is the value of a created being’s existence, and also the meaning of its life.

As regards God’s requirements toward people, the way God treats people’s life and death is completely different from that described in the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” in traditional culture. Satan constantly wants people to die. It feels uncomfortable seeing people alive, and is constantly figuring out how to claim their lives. Once people accept the fallacious ideas of traditional culture from Satan, all they want is to sacrifice their lives for their country and nation, or for their career, for love, or for their family. They constantly hold their own lives in contempt, are ready to die and lay down their lives anywhere and at any time, and do not regard the life given to them by God as the most precious thing and as something that should be cherished. Unable to fulfill their duties and obligations during their lifetime, while they still possess the life that God has given them, they instead accept Satan’s fallacies and nonsense, ever intent on bending to their task and striving to do their utmost until their dying day, and readying themselves to die for God at any time. The fact is that if you really do die, then you do it not for God, but for Satan, and you will not be remembered by God. Because only the living can glorify God and bear witness to Him, and only the living can assume the proper place of created beings and fulfill their duties, and thereby leave behind no regrets, and be able to humiliate Satan, and bear witness to the wondrous deeds and sovereignty of the Creator—only the living can do these things. If you don’t even have life, all of this ceases to exist. Is this not so? (Yes.) Therefore, by putting forward the saying on moral conduct, “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day,” Satan is unquestionably toying with and trampling on human life. Satan does not respect human life, but instead plays games with it, making people accept ideas such as “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day.” They live by such ideas, and don’t cherish life or regard their own life as precious, so that they casually give up their life, that most precious of things which God gives to people. This is a treacherous and immoral thing. As long as the deadline God ordained for you has not been reached, you should not speak lightly of giving up your life, no matter when. As long as you still have breath in you, don’t give up, don’t abandon your duty, and don’t abandon God’s entrustment and commission to you. Because the life of any created being exists only for the Creator, and only for His sovereignty, orchestration, and arrangements, and also only exists and realizes its value for the Creator’s testimony and His work of saving humankind. You can see that God’s view of human life is completely different from that of Satan. So, who truly cherishes human life? (God.) Only God, whereas people themselves do not know to cherish their own lives. Only God cherishes human life. Although human beings are not lovable or worthy of love, and are full of filth, rebelliousness, and the many kinds of absurd ideas and views instilled by Satan, and although they idolize and follow Satan, even to the point of opposing God, nevertheless, because human beings are created by God, and He bestows them with breath and life, only He cherishes human life, only He loves people, and only He continuously cares for and cherishes humankind. God cherishes human beings—not their physical bodies, but their lives, because only human beings who have been given life by God can ultimately become created beings that truly worship Him and bear witness to Him. God has work, commissions, and expectations for people, these created beings. Therefore, God cherishes and treasures their lives. This is the truth. Do you understand? (Yes.) So, once people come to understand the will of God the Creator, shouldn’t there be principles for how they should treat the life of their physical body, and deal with the laws and needs by which it survives? What are these principles based on? They are based on God’s words. What are the principles for practicing them? On the passive side, people must abandon the many kinds of fallacious views instilled in them by Satan, expose and recognize the fallacies of Satan’s views—such as the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day”—which benumb, harm, and confine people, and abandon these views; in addition, on the active side, they must understand precisely what God the Creator’s requirements are for humankind, and make God’s words the foundation of everything they do. In this way, people will be able to practice correctly without deviations, and truly pursue the truth. What is pursuing the truth? (To view people and things, and to comport oneself and act, wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as the criterion.) To sum it up in these words is correct.

Today we have mainly fellowshiped about how to deal with death, as well as how to deal with life. Satan tramples on, ravages, and takes away people’s lives. It confuses and benumbs people by instilling in them the wrong kinds of ideas and views, and makes people treat the most precious thing they have—their life—with contempt, thereby disrupting and destroying God’s work. Tell Me, if all the people in the entire world wanted to die, and could do so casually, wouldn’t society fall into chaos? Would it then be difficult for human beings to survive and exist? (Yes.) So, what is God’s attitude toward human life? He cherishes it. God cherishes and treasures human life. What path of practice should people gain from these words of God? During their lifetime, while they still have life and breath, which are the most precious things given by God, people should properly pursue and understand the truth, and fulfill their duties as created beings according to God’s requirements and principles, without leaving behind any regrets, so that one day they may assume the place of created beings and bear witness to and worship the Creator. In so doing, they will give value and meaning to their life, by living not for Satan, but rather for God’s sovereignty, His work, and His testimony. People’s lives have value and meaning when they can testify about God’s deeds and work. But it cannot be said that human life has then reached its most glorious time. It is not quite right to say this, because that time has not yet been reached. Once you have truly understood the truth, gained the truth, gained knowledge of God, and can assume the place of a created being to worship God, and testify about God, about the sovereignty of the Creator, His deeds, and about His essence and identity, then the value of your life will have reached its peak and its fullest extent. The purpose and significance of saying all of this is to make you understand the value and meaning of life’s existence, and how you should treat your own life, so that you choose the path you should walk based on this. This is the only way to be in accordance with God’s will.

June 4, 2022

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Chapter 18

All of God’s words contain part of His disposition. God’s disposition cannot be fully expressed in words, which suffices to show just how...


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