What It Means to Pursue the Truth (15)
At present, disasters are getting worse and worse. Not only is plague continuing to spread, but famine is also upon people. War has broken out in some areas and there is chaos in many countries around the world. There is already widespread disunity. It has been said in the past that, “The flames of war swirl, cannon smoke fills the air, the weather turns warm, the climate shifts, a plague will spread,” and this prediction is already coming true. A plague is spreading and not abating, and unbelievers are living in dire straits. Each day and year is worse than the last, and they have already fallen into disaster. They all want to break free from this suffering and escape the days of disaster. They all hope that the government will rescue them and deliver them from disaster, but the government is like a sandcastle buffeted by waves—powerless and unable to save itself, let alone anyone else. Any day now, the government may collapse and be destroyed; it is inevitable. You have all seen what the unbelievers are going through—they are indeed suffering! How is your life at the moment? Aren’t you much better off than them? (Yes.) How are you better off? (We are still able to read the word of God together and fellowship on the truth. We are still able to do our duty in the house of God and seek life entry. Our hearts are at peace and free from anxiety. We are much better off than the unbelievers.) At the very least, people who believe in God are better off than the unbelievers because they have something to rely on. They believe in the sovereignty of God; they believe that everything is in God’s hands, and they believe in God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Because they have faith and real belief in God, they have something real to rely on, and have a sense of security. People who sincerely believe in God have a feeling of real support in their heart, as well as a sense of security, peace and joy, no matter how dangerous or chaotic the wider environment outside is. Therefore, no matter what situation they experience, no matter how the environment outside changes, no matter what happens, whether there is disaster, war or plague, and regardless of whether it is a major event or a minor issue, a person who sincerely believes in God can devote themselves to performing their duty in the house of God, eating and drinking the word of God, experiencing the work of God, and seeking to obtain the truth because they follow God and shun secular trends. This point remains unchanged. The most important thing and the most important goal that you must seek in your belief in God cannot change, and that is the pursuit of truth, performing one’s duty well and bearing beautiful witness to God. This absolutely cannot change.
No matter how the world changes, no matter how Satan’s forces fight and brawl, and no matter how chaotic this society and world become, essential problems such as Satan’s deception, corruption, bondage, and control of humankind remain unchanged. That is to say, the various heresies and fallacies that Satan instills in people, and all the thoughts and statements that resist God and contradict the laws and regulations of God’s creation of humans and all things, remain unchanged. For one thing, these satanic things have not changed. For another thing, no matter how the state and structure of this world change, the heresies and fallacies that Satan has planted deep in the hearts of people have not been removed. It is not because the world is in a state of chaos, or because Satan is now in bad shape and powerless to control the world that the heresies and fallacies with which Satan deceives and corrupts people have faded from people’s hearts. That is not the case. Satan’s heresies and fallacies still exist in people’s hearts, and no one can dispel them. Right from the start of Satan’s corruption of humankind, Satan’s heresies and fallacies have gradually been planted deep in the hearts and minds of every created human being. These things remain completely unchanged in people’s hearts and minds to this day. Even after God has done many years of work and provided people with a great deal of the truth, people are still unable to identify the various thoughts, views, and sayings that Satan has instilled in them, let alone actively try to identify these things in the absence of influence from environmental factors, or clear them out of their heart. Nor are they able to proactively reject the various thoughts and statements that Satan has instilled in them, even with the provision and guidance of the word of God. Although at first people were passively corrupted by Satan, throughout the process of Satan’s corruption of humankind, people started to live in accordance with Satan’s disposition, and viewed things according to Satan’s thoughts and perspectives. Gradually, people began to cooperate more and more actively with Satan, and became more and more active in rebelling against God, turning away from God, and abandoning God, until in the end, Satan took complete control of them. When Satan’s evil and ridiculous thoughts and views are fully instilled in people, they are completely imprisoned by Satan and become its slaves, or, to be more precise, they become an embodiment of Satan. When this happens, people are completely living out Satan’s disposition. Not only are they living in accordance with Satan’s philosophies and thoughts, but the various notions and views that Satan has instilled in them have been incorporated into their nature. To be more precise, people are not just living out Satan’s image, but they are living as Satan, as the devil. When this happens, people are no longer being passively corrupted, influenced, deceived or controlled by Satan, but rather, they are standing wholly on Satan’s side in opposition to God. When people are corrupted to this extent, you could say they have become an outlet for Satan, and an embodiment of it. In order for God to save a created being who is an outlet for, and embodiment of, Satan, besides providing the truth and revealing people’s various corrupt dispositions and actions which are rebellious against God, it is more important to uncover and dissect the thoughts, views and statements that people hold deep in their hearts which are the same as Satan’s. People and Satan share the same thoughts, views and statements. Satan lives according to these things, and likewise, because people have been deeply corrupted by Satan, they are also naturally living according to these things. It is precisely because people live according to these things and are influenced, swayed and controlled by these views, that even after people understand a part of the truth and know that God is the Creator, they still cannot bow down before Him on the basis of their belief in God, or fully submit to Him, nor can they worship Him with an honest heart. The reason people cannot come to worship God with an honest heart is that, deep in their hearts and minds, they are still possessed and controlled by Satan’s various thoughts and views. This is the reason why once people accept the work of God and are conquered, although they are able to accept the word of God as life, they are still unable to completely give up Satan’s various heresies and fallacies; they still cannot completely break away from the influence of darkness and come to be truly obedient to God, or worship Him. Therefore, if God is to save humankind, for one thing He must express the truth to judge and cleanse people’s corrupt dispositions; make people understand the truth, and come to know God and obey Him; teach people how they should conduct themselves and how they can walk the correct path; and tell people how they should practice the truth, how they can perform their duty well and how they can enter into the truth realities. For another thing, He must expose Satan’s thoughts and views. He must expose and dissect the various heresies and fallacies with which Satan corrupts people, so that people can identify them. Then, people can clear these satanic things from their hearts, become cleansed and reach salvation. This way, people will understand what the truth is, and they will also be able to identify Satan’s disposition, Satan’s nature and its heresies and fallacies. When people acknowledge that God is the Creator and have the faith to follow God, they will be able to see the ugliness of Satan deep within their heart, and truly reject Satan. These people’s hearts can then completely return to God. At the very least, when a person’s heart is starting to return to God but has not yet completely returned, that is, when their heart is not yet possessed by the truth, and has not yet been obtained by God, they will, in the course of their lives, use the word of God to identify, dissect and see through all the statements that Satan instills in people and ultimately come to abandon Satan. In this way, Satan’s place in people’s hearts will become smaller and smaller, until it is completely eradicated. It will be replaced with the word of God, the teachings God gives people, the truth principles God provides, and so on. This life of positivity and truth will gradually take root inside people and occupy a foremost place in their heart, and as a result, God will have dominion over people’s hearts. That is, when the various thoughts, views, heresies and fallacies with which Satan corrupts people are identified and seen through, so that people despise and abandon them, the truth will gradually occupy people’s hearts. It will gradually become people’s lives and they will actively obey and follow God. No matter how God works and leads, people will be able to actively accept the truth and the word of God and submit to the work of God. Furthermore, through this experience, they will actively strive for the truth and gain an understanding of the truth. This is how people develop true faith in God, and as the truth becomes more and more clear to them, their faith will grow and grow. When people have true faith in God, it also creates a fear of God in them. When people fear God, they have a desire to gain God deep in their hearts, and willingly submit to His dominion. They submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and submit to the plans God has for their destiny. They submit to each day and all the special circumstances that God sets out for them. When people have this kind of willingness and thirst, they will also actively accept and submit to the demands God has of them. When the results of this become more and more clear in people, and more and more real, Satan’s statements, thoughts and views will lose their effect in people’s hearts. In other words, Satan’s statements, thoughts and views will have less and less control and influence over people. After a period of struggle, and after a period of people’s active cooperation and resolve to submit to God, they will be able to break free from Satan’s bondage and control. When they reach this point, people will have escaped from Satan’s power. They will completely abandon the statements, thoughts and views that Satan used to deceive them, and their faith in God will become greater and greater. Of course, this effect is dependent on the word and work of God and, even more importantly, on people’s pursuit and cooperation. If a person listens a great deal to the truth and sermons, but still has no awareness of the thoughts and views of Satan and has not come to despise these things, and if the person does not want to actively identify, see through, and abandon these satanic things, instead taking a passive approach or ignoring them, then Satan’s various thoughts and views will still be deeply ingrained in that person. In their daily life and during the path of their whole life, they will still be involuntarily influenced and controlled by Satan’s various thoughts and perspectives, and their views on people and things, and their comportment and actions will still originate from Satan. If all this originates from Satan, then your belief in God is only an acknowledgment of God’s existence, rather than true faith, and you will never truly acknowledge the identity and essence of God. Of course, your heart will not turn toward God of its own accord, and you will not be able to return your heart to God. It can be said that you are not capable of the slightest amount of true devotion to the duty and obligations that God has given you, and cannot truly fear God, let alone be truly obedient to Him. What will be the obvious result if you fail to accomplish these things? You will not be saved. Is this what will happen? (Yes.) This is what will happen. It is clear that the thoughts, views and notions with which Satan corrupts people and plants deep in their hearts, are things which block people from listening to the voice of God, believing the word of God, accepting positive things and certainly from accepting the truth and entering into the truth. These things are superficially different from the corrupt dispositions of human beings. However, the essence of these things is part of Satan’s nature, and they are things with which Satan corrupts human beings. Looking from the outside, there is a clear distinction between Satan’s evil actions which corrupt humankind and Satan’s pretense of doing good, a distinction that is difficult for ordinary people to discern. However, the consequences of Satan deceiving and corrupting people are extremely apparent. It is a clear fact that this has caused all of mainstream society to deny, resist and even be in opposition to God.
The satanic disposition within people is entirely a result of Satan’s deception and corruption of them. Furthermore, the various satanic heresies, fallacies, philosophies and laws which people hold to, as well as their outlook on life and values, are all concrete manifestations of their deception and corruption by Satan. In other words, after Satan has deceived people, and made them turn away from and deny God, it fully instills in them all kinds of satanic thoughts, views, heresies and fallacies. Moreover, Satan openly spreads a great deal of propaganda, including all kinds of notions, views, and statements, which instructs and provokes people on how to deal with everything, and causes them to accept all this into their hearts. As a result, various corrupt satanic dispositions are cultivated within them. This is the method Satan uses to corrupt people. That is, when there is an emptiness deep within people’s souls, when they are not thinking right and when they are an empty vessel, Satan’s various statements enter into their hearts and take up residence there. For example, when statements such as “There has never been any Savior,” “The heavens and earth and all things are created by nature,” “I’d take a bullet for a friend,” “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral,” “Men should be manly,” and so on, are created, people are unconsciously influenced by them. Without any awareness of these evil forces, heresies and fallacies, and without any ability to identify them or any power to resist them, people accept all kinds of thoughts and views from Satan. The process by which people accept these satanic thoughts and views is precisely the process by which people are deceived, provoked, and corrupted. For example, if you are a woman who does not know the correct way a woman should live, and what things she should be doing, then Satan will put forward its heresies and fallacies, such as, “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, stay at home and not go outside,” “Virtue in a woman is to be unskilled,” and so on. You think these sayings sound quite sagacious and good, so you accept them. When these heresies and fallacies are circulating in society and on earth, you will, as a woman, unconsciously take them on and strictly demand yourself to live up to these sayings. Firstly, you will compare yourself with them, believing that since you are a woman, you must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, stay at home, be an unskilled woman of virtue, etc. In the course of this process, you will gradually be provoked, indoctrinated, and influenced by the statements, thoughts and views circulating in society, and eventually reach the point of being assimilated into them. To be more specific, after being deceived by the thoughts and views of Satan, you will be bound and controlled by them, and then deep in your heart, you will unconsciously make demands of yourself and view others according to them. Therefore, in your daily life, these thoughts and statements will form thoughts and views deep in your heart, and then you will adopt these as criteria and a basis for your conduct and behavior. This is how Satan’s various thoughts and views gradually become common practice in society and the community. As this practice becomes more and more prevalent in society, and the population which it provokes and assimilates becomes larger and larger, it becomes a kind of force. When this force has been created, humankind is completely imprisoned and controlled by these thoughts and views, or in other words, they are possessed by them. To be more precise, people have been taken captive by Satan. For example, in Satan’s world, “men should be manly, tough and ambitious,” “men should have far-reaching ambitions, dreams and an indomitable spirit,” “men should cultivate themselves, put their family in order, govern the nation, and bring peace to all,” “men should learn to wield power, take control of the situation, and dominate the world,” “men do not shed tears easily,” and so on. Every man is bound by these requirements, thoughts and views from their inception. Both men and women are restricted and bound by the various sayings of traditional culture. If men do not know how a man should act, or how to establish themselves in their community, society or country, they will unconsciously accept these thoughts and views when they hear them. They will gradually become accustomed to them until they take them as criteria and a basis to make strict demands of themselves. Furthermore, they will put these thoughts and views into practice, experience being such a person in reality, and then set an example by working toward these goals. For example, men must have far-reaching ambitions, do big things and have a big career. They should not have loving relationships nor make supporting their parents or raising children their lifelong responsibility or goal. Rather, they must broaden their horizons, follow their aspirations, learn to take control of the situation, and even seize power to control humankind and women. People have accepted these thoughts and views; they have been practicing and living according to them in their lives, and pursuing the goals they entail. Furthermore, when these thoughts and views have formed and taken root deep in people’s hearts, they will view humanity, society and the whole world through them. When they take root in the heart of a man so deeply that they cannot be uprooted, he will view people and things, comport himself and act according to thoughts and views like “Men should be manly and tough,” etc. This is the origin and root cause of men’s world view and view on life. When men view people and things, comport themselves and act according to the thoughts and views instilled in them by Satan, these thoughts and views spread imperceptibly among people and in society, gradually penetrating deep into the heart of every person—not just men, but women too. When these things penetrate deep into the heart of every person, and have even been instilled in the hearts of young children who are just learning to speak, these thoughts and views have become a common practice in the community and in society. This practice will spread faster and faster, and become more and more widespread until it is well-known by everyone, and is recognized and accepted by them one hundred percent. When things have progressed to this stage, sociologists, politicians and heads of state, or more precisely, the devil kings who follow Satan, will go further to solidify the status these thoughts and statements hold among humankind. They will put these things into writing, and systematically spread and promote these statements widely by using all kinds of circumstantial evidence, favorable conditions, people, events and things, so that these statements proliferate among humankind and form a social climate and a fixed moral code in society. With this moral code, they will control and bind people, at which point Satan’s goal will be achieved. When Satan has achieved this goal, all of humankind, including both men and women, will have been deceived, corrupted, and possessed by these thoughts and views. Do you know what the consequences will be when humankind has been deceived, corrupted, and possessed by Satan’s thoughts and views? Why do you think Satan is putting forward these thoughts, statements, heresies and fallacies? Is it merely to corrupt humankind? Is it only to snatch people away? Who is the target of all this? (God.) Correct, you have to be clear on this. In all the evil things Satan does, and specifically all the things Satan does to deceive, disturb, control, and corrupt humankind, people are just serving objects and tools. They are just vessels Satan uses to exert all its abilities and skills. All the things that Satan does are directed toward God rather than people. It wants to oppose God and people are just vessels or tools it uses to do this. So, why does Satan want to fight against God? Why does it want to corrupt humankind like this? It is because God created humankind and wants to save it. Why does Satan not corrupt animals, plants, or aliens? Because God is not trying to save animals, plants, or aliens, or any creature other than humans. God is trying to save the humans that He created on this earth. He is trying to gain this group of humans on earth. What kind of humans? A group of humans who follow God and are faithful unto death, who are of one heart and one mind with God, and who fear God and shun evil. These are the people that God wants to gain. Before God has done His work to save and gain these people, Satan tries to get in first and corrupt them. Satan says, “God, do You want to save humankind? Then I will corrupt them first. When people are corrupted to the point that they are completely demonic rather than human, You will not be able to save them. You will not be successful, and will fail in the end.” This is Satan’s goal. Let’s go back to the question I asked earlier. When Satan corrupts the human disposition, and also puts forward various heresies and fallacies and all kinds of thoughts and views to deceive, paralyze, and control the human mind and heart, what is its purpose? You can’t answer that; you don’t understand it. Satan is not targeting people when it does all this, even though it is people who it corrupts and controls. Rather, all of it is directed toward God. What is the ultimate goal or result of Satan corrupting people? It is to put people in opposition to God. When people become the complete antithesis of God, and His enemy, Satan believes that its plot and self-serving calculations will have succeeded, and that it will be worshiped and followed by people on earth. Therefore, when Satan’s various thoughts, statements, heresies and fallacies are deeply rooted in people’s hearts, they will no longer believe God exists, or accept His orchestrations and arrangements, or His sovereignty. People will completely deny God and betray Him. Satan thinks that it is enough to corrupt people to the extent that they can deny God. Why? Because at that point, the people that God wants to save will have been completely and utterly taken captive and possessed by Satan, and will have completely and utterly become the antithesis of God. This is Satan’s purpose. Is it true that you have never thought about this before? (Yes.) You do not understand. People think, “Satan corrupts people to capture us, trap us, harm us, let us die, send us to hell and keep us from God’s salvation and the correct path in life. Satan makes us suffer.” This is part of it, but it is only one objective effect which is triggered by everything Satan does, and is not, in fact, the underlying goal. Do you understand now what the underlying goal is? Tell Me, why does Satan deceive, control, and imprison people’s minds? (Everything Satan does is aimed at God, and the underlying goal is to turn all people against God.) What else? (Since God wants to save humankind, Satan wants to corrupt them, and turn them against God, so that they are unable to receive God’s salvation. Satan wants to destroy God’s management plan to save humankind.) Satan instills in people all kinds of heresies and fallacies, and when these misguided thoughts and views, heresies and fallacies are deeply rooted in people’s hearts, they control and imprison their minds. This gives rise to a particular situation. What kind of situation? A situation in which the antithesis of God is fully formed, humankind has become a thoroughly hostile force against God, and Satan is happy. This is the goal that Satan is trying to achieve. What is Satan’s purpose in doing all this? Sum it up in one sentence. (Satan instills in people all kinds of heresies and fallacies, and when these misguided thoughts and views, heresies and fallacies are deeply rooted in people’s hearts, a situation is created where the antithesis of God is fully formed, and humans have become people who resist God. They have become God’s enemies, and Satan has achieved its goal.) This is the answer—isn’t it simple? (Yes, it is.) This is the goal and result that Satan wants to achieve by corrupting mankind.
Do you think that God knows about these things that Satan does to corrupt humankind? (Yes.) Then why does God allow Satan to do this? Use what you understand about the truth to explain it. Isn’t there a saying about this? “God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s trickery.” This is an example of the saying coming true, isn’t it? (Yes.) Also, does the phrase “Satan is the foil and service object in God’s work” apply here? (Yes.) Both sayings are relevant and they can be used to explain the question above. Isn’t that right? (Yes.) That’s the way it is. If someone raises this question, how would you explain it to them? If you just vaguely say, “God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s trickery,” they will be confused and will not understand. Do you know how to explain it in more detail? It’s easy to explain, isn’t it? God allows Satan to do these things that corrupt humankind, not because God is incapable of stopping or attending to them, but for a reason. The reason is that “God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s trickery,” as I said earlier. This is not just a saying or a theory, but an indisputable truth, which can be verified by the fact that God can save man after Satan has corrupted him. What is Satan’s purpose in corrupting human dispositions and instilling in people all kinds of heresies and fallacies to control and imprison their minds? Is the ultimate goal to suppress the work of God and to cause His management plan to vanish into thin air? Is this Satan’s trickery? (Yes.) This is the trickery of Satan. What is God thinking when Satan is performing such tricks? What does God do? What is on His mind? How does His wisdom manifest in all this? God is using Satan’s trickery. Satan has a trick. It says, “I provoke and corrupt people until they are like me. They become little Satans who share my thoughts and views, view people and things, comport themselves, and act according to my satanic standpoint, and are opposed to God. I want to take all of the people God created and make them belong to me, Satan, so that God’s work in people will be futile and in vain. Surely this will cause God’s management plan to vanish into thin air.” Is this Satan’s trick? (Yes.) Then what does God think? And what does He do? God says, “Satan, you spread heresies and fallacies to disturb and deceive people, and do many things to disturb and destroy the work of God. This will only instill some heresies and fallacies in people, so that they live by them and oppose God. Then I will base My words and work on the corruption of humankind, expose the heresies and fallacies that you use to corrupt mankind, judge people’s various corrupt dispositions and allow people to identify the various thoughts and statements you have instilled in them. In this way, not only will people understand the truth and understand God, but they will also be able to detect Satan’s various statements, thoughts and views and also see through Satan’s disposition, essence, and various evil deeds. Using an understanding of the truth as their foundation, people will be able to identify and reject Satan more accurately and with greater strength. On the negative side, people will no longer be deluded by Satan, or be taken captive and swallowed up by it a second time. On the positive side, they will be more able to believe in and confirm the existence of God and His identity, and the fact that He rules sovereign over all creatures and things. After these two things have been achieved, a God-fearing heart will arise in them and they will truly obey God. God will win their hearts or, to be more accurate, God will gain them. When people reach this stage, they will no longer be deceived and used by Satan. Rather, they will be able to thoroughly detect Satan, see through it and reject it from the depths of their hearts. They will confess that they are God’s creations, willingly accept the sovereignty and orchestrations of the Creator, and will thus have completely returned to God.” This is God’s specific arrangement and plan. Of course, it can also be said that this is the thought and idea God has deep in His heart. This is how God thinks, how His ideas work, and how He has orchestrated it. While Satan has been deceiving and corrupting people, God has been methodically arranging all creatures and things, and moving His plan and management forward step by step in an organized fashion, continuously until now. Humankind has been completely corrupted and taken over by Satan. However, it is an indisputable fact that when this mankind who has been saturated and filled with all sorts of Satan’s poisons is called by God and hears His voice, they can still come before God, accept His call, and be willing to receive His judgment and chastisement. Even if God condemns and curses such a mankind for being the ilk of Satan and His enemy, they will never leave Him. Even though people’s thoughts and views are full of things which have been instilled in them by Satan, causing them to view people and things, comport themselves, and act in a way which is still deeply influenced and controlled by Satan’s thoughts and views, their hearts are turning toward God more and more genuinely and urgently. Isn’t this an indisputable fact? (Yes.) Furthermore, in the near future, after God has exposed all the evil deeds of Satan, this mankind who has been deeply corrupted by Satan will be able to completely renounce Satan, say “no” to it and return their hearts to God. They will all be willing to steadfastly follow God according to His sovereignty, orchestrations and arrangements. This is the direction the successful completion of God’s great work takes, isn’t it? (Yes.) Especially after fellowshiping about what it means to pursue the truth, more people will have the resolve to view people and things, comport themselves, and act according to God’s words with the truth as their criterion. Regardless of whether people’s resolve is strong or weak, or whether they have entered into this reality or not—no matter what, the fact that such a mankind who has been deeply corrupted by Satan has the desire and resolve to renounce it, and view people and things, comport themselves, and act according to God’s words with the truth as their criterion, rather than the various thoughts and views that Satan has instilled in them, is, in itself, a sign that God has already won. So Satan has already been humiliated, hasn’t it? (Yes.) Therefore, the saying that “God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s trickery,” is not just empty words, but a practical, objective, and indisputable fact. All the evil Satan is doing has reached the point where it is deceiving and controlling humanity. It believes that it has disturbed and destroyed God’s work and that it is impossible for God to continue with His management plan. Therefore, Satan thinks that it has won. However, Satan cannot slow the pace of God’s management plan to save humankind no matter how reckless it becomes, nor can it thwart the great success of God’s management plan and victory over Satan. Now God’s work has expanded throughout the universe, and God’s word has spread to millions of homes. This is the evidence of God’s great success.
If someone asks you again, “Why does Satan deceive, control, and imprison people’s minds? Why does God allow Satan to do this?” Will you be able to answer these questions? Even if you can’t fully explain it, you can at least share some of your understanding. Why is Satan doing all this? What is the significance of God permitting it to do all this? You should think about these things and there should be an exact answer in your heart. God has been working to save humanity for six thousand years. Some people do not understand this and say, “God has been working for six thousand years? Isn’t that too long?” No matter how long God’s work takes, His actions are all of the greatest significance. It’s not only the duration of His work that is significant; the final results that His work achieves are even more significant. If it were not for the fact that God has been working for six thousand years to save humanity, numbness and dull-wittedness would prevent humankind from knowing God or being fully saved by Him. Would people be able to identify antichrists and recognize their nature essence if they have only experienced the deception and disturbance caused by antichrists once or twice? Would three or five times be enough? I’m afraid not. People must experience it many times until they have thoroughly seen the nature essence of antichrists. Only then can they truly identify and completely renounce antichrists. In particular, if people are exposed to the crazy oppression and cruel persecution from the great red dragon for too short a time, they will not experience it thoroughly, and will soon forget it. As a result, they will not truly hate and reject the great red dragon. The cruel persecution of Satan must be seared into people’s hearts like a brand, so that they can hate it from the depths of their hearts and clearly see its true face. If a person has only been persecuted briefly once or twice, it will be difficult for them to hate Satan and forsake it. Given the opportunity, they will still speak well of Satan and sing its praises. A person must be handed over to Satan many times so that they suffer from its torture and cruelty before they can see Satan’s evil, ugliness, meanness, and brazenness clearly, and completely abandon it. These things must absolutely be experienced for a long period of time. In steelmaking, for example, good steel can’t be produced from a short time in the fire; the steel must be thoroughly tempered to get the best results. That is to say, every stage of God’s work requires a long time; every stage demands a long period of time. It must be done this way; if it is not, a good result cannot be achieved. There will be different degrees of changes deep in the human heart and in the corrupt disposition of humankind due to the influence of the larger circumstances of each era, and each of these changes will be related to the work that God wants to do in people during each stage. The reason why God has become incarnate again in the last days to work on such a large scale and speak so much is that in this last phase, the corrupt disposition, thoughts and views of humankind, and the wider environment and background of society, all fit the background of the work God wants to do in the last days. The trends, customs, patterns, or situations in society, the political situation, or even the political power of satanic nations are all factors of the greater environment. At a time when these factors are in the background, people’s inner landscape and corrupt disposition, that is, the inner state of the whole of humankind is exactly what God needs for His work. This is the most appropriate time for God to roll out His judgment and chastisement to reveal His majesty, righteousness, mercy, and lovingkindness. When all these factors are ripe and fully ready, God begins His work. This is the work that God wants to carry out under the influence of the larger background. It is enough for you to understand this. Some people of good caliber will understand, while others who are not experienced may not understand. In particular, those who cannot understand the political situation and the essence of the trends in society, and who are not mature enough in their thinking, are only satisfied with small spiritual experiences and minor testimonies, and may not understand much about the wider political and social background involved in God’s work. It doesn’t matter how much you can understand these things; they will become clear as you slowly experience more of them because they involve God’s management plan and God’s work, which is a great vision. We will not fellowship more about this topic because you are not ready to go deeper.
Last time we finished fellowshiping on the saying about moral conduct: “Do your best to faithfully handle whatever other people have entrusted to you.” Next, we will fellowship on the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” First of all, we should try to figure out how to dissect the incorrect thoughts and views in this saying about moral conduct, and what Satan’s intention is in making it. There is a Chinese idiom that says, “It is difficult to know a person’s real intentions,” so where do Satan’s real intentions lie? This is what we need to uncover and dissect. “A gentleman’s word is his bond” is another thought and statement that Satan makes among people, and on the outside it seems to be quite noble; it is stirring and powerful. So, what is so impressive about this saying? Is it worth treasuring and taking to heart? Is it worth viewing people and things, comporting oneself and acting according to this thought and view? Does it have any merit? Is it a positive saying? If it is not a positive thing or a correct thought and view, then what is its negative effect on people? What is Satan’s intention when it makes a saying like this and instills this thought and view in people? How should we discern it? If you can discern it, this phrase will be denied and rejected from the depths of your heart, and you will no longer be influenced by it. Even though this phrase will flash through your mind and disturb you deep inside from time to time, if you are able to discern it, you will not be bound or tied up by it. Do you think there is any merit in the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond”? Is this a saying which has a positive effect on people? (No.) Would you like to be a gentleman? Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be a gentleman? Is it better to be a gentleman or a fake gentleman? Is it better to be a gentleman or a villain? Haven’t you thought about these issues? (No.) Although you have not thought about these things, one thing is certain: You often use the word “gentleman,” saying things like, “Better to be a true villain than a fake gentleman,” and “A true gentleman is so generous in spirit that if someone offends him, he doesn’t hold it against them and can forgive them. That is what you call a gentleman!” What does the fact you can say these things prove about you? Does it prove that the gentleman has a certain status in your thoughts and views, and that thoughts and sayings about the gentleman exist in your mind? Could we say this? (Yes.) You approve of and admire those people in society who behave like gentlemen or who are called gentlemen, and you work hard to become a gentleman and be seen as a gentleman, rather than a villain. If someone says, “You are a real villain,” you will be very sad. However, if someone says, “You are a true gentleman,” you will be elated. This is because you feel that if someone has complimented you by calling you a gentleman, your character has been elevated, and your ways and methods of conducting yourself and handling matters have been affirmed. Of course, after you get this kind of affirmation in society, you feel that you have a noble status and are not a low-class or inferior person. The upright gentleman, whether he is a myth or actually exists, occupies a definite place deep in people’s hearts. So, when I asked you whether a gentleman or a villain is better, none of you dared to answer. Why? Because you thought, “How can You ask that? Of course it is better to be a gentleman than a villain. Isn’t a gentleman good, upright, and of high moral character? To say that it’s not good to be a gentleman runs contrary to common sense, doesn’t it? It would go against normal humanity, wouldn’t it? If a gentleman is not good, then what kind of person is good?” So you didn’t dare to answer, isn’t that true? (Yes.) Does this confirm that there is a clear choice between the gentleman and the villain in your heart? Which one do you prefer? (The gentleman.) Then our objective is clear. Let’s focus on identifying and analyzing a gentleman. No one likes a villain, this goes without saying. So what exactly is a gentleman? If you ask, “Is it better to be a gentleman or a villain?” For Me, the answer is clear: Both are bad, because neither the gentleman nor the villain is a positive character. It’s just that people judge the behavior, actions, character and morality of the villain to be relatively poor, and therefore don’t like him. When the base morality and character of the villain are openly on display, people see him as even more villainous. However, a gentleman more often displays his elegant manner of speaking and acting, his good morals and refined character, and people respect and feel enriched by him. As a result, they call him a gentleman. When a gentleman presents himself in this way, he is praised, admired and held in high regard. Therefore, people love a gentleman and dislike a villain. However, what is the basis on which people determine someone to be a gentleman or a villain? (Based on their outward behavior.) People judge a person as noble or lowly based on that person’s behavior, but why do people judge others based on their behavior? The answer is that the caliber most people possess is only capable of reaching this level. They can only see whether a person’s behavior is good or bad; they cannot see that person’s essence clearly. As a result, they are only able to determine whether the person is a gentleman or a villain based on their behavior. So, is this method of discernment correct? (No.) It’s totally incorrect. Is it accurate, then, to see a gentleman as having a refined character and good morals? (No.) That’s right, it’s not accurate. It is inaccurate to interpret gentlemen as being refined in character, moral, dignified and virtuous. Therefore, looking at it now, is the term “gentleman” positive? (No.) It is not positive. A gentleman is not more noble than a villain. So, if someone asks, “Is it better to be a gentleman or a villain?” What is the answer? (Both are bad.) This is accurate. If someone asks why they are both bad, the answer is simple. Both the gentleman and the villain are not positive characters; neither of them is truly a good person. They are full of Satan’s corrupt disposition and poison. They are controlled and poisoned by Satan, and living according to its logic and laws. Therefore, it can be said with certainty that, while a villain is not a good person, a gentleman cannot be a positive person either. Even if a gentleman is seen to be a good person by others, he is simply pretending to be good. He is not an honest person approved by God, much less a person who fears God and shuns evil. It’s just that the gentleman behaves well a little more often and poorly a little less often while the villain behaves poorly a little more often and well a little less often. The gentleman is respected a little more while the villain is despised a little more. This is the only difference between a gentleman and a villain. If people judge them according to their behavior this is the only result they will obtain.
People determine whether someone is a gentleman or a villain based on their behavior. They may say, “This person is a gentleman because he has done a lot of things for the benefit of everyone. Everyone thinks so. Therefore, he is a gentleman and a person of high moral character.” If everyone says a person is a gentleman, does that make that person a good person and a positive character? (No.) Why not? Because all people are corrupt, have corrupt dispositions and do not have the truth principles. So, no matter who says a person is a gentleman, the statement comes from Satan, and from a corrupt person. People’s standard of evaluation is not correct, and therefore the result it gives is not correct either. God never speaks in terms of gentlemen or villains. He does not require people to be a true gentleman rather than a fake gentleman, nor does He ever say, “You are all villains. I don’t want a villain, I want a gentleman.” Does God say this? (No.) He does not. God never assesses or determines whether a person is good or bad by their words and actions. Rather, He evaluates and determines that according to their essence. What does this mean? Firstly, it means that people are judged according to the quality of their humanity, and whether they have a conscience and sense. Secondly, they are judged on their attitude toward the truth and toward God. This is how God evaluates and determines whether a person is superior or inferior. Therefore, there is no such thing as a gentleman or a villain in God’s words. In the church, among people God saves, He does not require them to be gentlemen, or promote the idea of being a gentleman, and He does not ask people to criticize villains. God’s house definitely does not judge who is of high moral character according to traditional cultural sayings about moral conduct. It does not promote and foster anyone who is a gentleman, and clear out and cast out anyone who is a villain. The house of God promotes, fosters, clears out or casts out people according to its own principles. It does not view people according to standards and sayings about moral conduct, promoting anyone who is a gentleman and rejecting anyone who is a villain. Rather, it handles all people according to the word of God and the truth. What do you think of some people in the church who are always trying to be gentlemen? (They are no good.) Some new believers always judge people according to the standard of a gentleman or villain. When they see church leaders pruning and dealing with people who are causing disruptions and disturbances, they say, “This leader is no gentleman! When a brother or sister makes a small mistake, he latches on to it and will not let it go. A gentleman would not care about this. A gentleman would be tolerant, forgiving, and even appeasing—he would be much more accepting! This leader is so hard on people. He is obviously a villain!” These people say that those who defend the interests of God’s house are not gentlemen. They say that those who work seriously, meticulously and responsibly are villains. What do you think about people who view others this way? Are they viewing people according to the truth or the word of God? (No.) They do not see people according to the truth and the word of God. Moreover, they take the thoughts, views, methods and means by which Satan evaluates people, and spread and release them in the church. These things are clearly the thoughts and views of unbelievers and nonbelievers. If you are not discerning, and think that a gentleman is a good person with high moral character, and someone who is a pillar in the church, you may be deluded by him. Because you have the same thoughts and views as he does, when someone makes statements or sayings about gentlemen, you will certainly be drawn in and misled without knowing it. However, if you are discerning about such things, you will reject such sayings and not be misled by them. Instead, you will insist on evaluating people and things, and judging right and wrong, according to the word of God and the truth principles. Then you will see people and things accurately, and act in accordance with God’s will. Those nonbelievers who do not pursue the truth, and those who are not discerning and not willing to abide by the rules of God’s house, often bring up thoughts and statements which come from Satan and are commonplace among unbelievers, to mislead the brothers and sisters and disturb their understanding of the truth. If people are not discerning, while they may not be misled or disturbed by those people, they will often be controlled by their statements, and shrink from acting or speaking out. They will not dare to uphold the truth principles, and will not dare to insist on acting according to the requirements of God’s word, let alone dare to defend the interests of God’s house. Is this caused by a lack of discernment of Satan’s thoughts and statements? (Yes.) This is obviously the reason. The terms “gentleman” and “villain” are not valid in the church. The unbelievers are good at pretending and living behind masks. They advocate being a gentleman rather than a villain, and they adopt these disguises in their lives. They use these things to establish themselves among people, trick other people into giving them prestige and a good reputation, and obtain fame and fortune. In the house of God, all these things must be cast out and outlawed. They must not be allowed to spread in the house of God or among God’s chosen people, nor should these things be given the opportunity to disturb and mislead God’s chosen people. This is because all these things come from Satan, have no basis in the word of God, and are definitely not the truth principles that people should observe with regard to how they view people and things, comport themselves and act. Therefore, “gentleman,” “fake gentleman,” and “villain” are not the correct terms to define the essence of a person. Have I explained the term “gentleman” clearly? (Yes.)
Let’s take another look at the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond” to see what it really means. The literal meaning of this phrase is that a gentleman must take his words seriously. As the saying goes, a person is only as good as their word; a gentleman must mean what he says and follow through on his promises. Therefore, in order to become a gentleman of high moral character, who is well liked and highly regarded, a person must act according to the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” That is, a gentleman must be trustworthy. He must take responsibility for what he says and promises, and make sure to follow through. He cannot go back on his word or fail to make good on his promises to others. A person who often fails to make good on his promises to others is not a gentleman or a good person, but rather, a villain. This is how the phrase “A gentleman’s word is his bond” can be interpreted. It mainly emphasizes the gentleman’s words and actions in terms of morality and trustworthiness. Firstly, let Me ask, what does the “word” in “a gentleman’s word” mean? It means two things: a promise he makes, or a pledge to do something. As I said earlier, gentlemen are not good people, but ordinary people who are deeply corrupted by Satan. So, in terms of people’s essence, what are the main ways people manifest themselves in the things that they promise? Speaking arrogantly, exaggerating, speaking highly of themselves, saying things about themselves that are not true, saying things which do not match the facts, lying, speaking harshly and venting. All of these things can be found in the things people say and promise. So, after a person says these things, you ask them to keep their promise, honor what they said, and not go back on their word, and if they follow through, you think they are a gentleman and a good person. Isn’t that absurd? If the things that corrupt people say every day are carefully investigated and checked, you will find that they are one hundred percent lies, empty words, or half-truths. Not one word is accurate, true or factual. Instead, their statements distort the facts, confuse black and white, and some of them even harbor evil intentions or satanic tricks. If all these words are to be honored, it will cause a lot of chaos. Let’s not talk about what would happen in a large group of people, let’s just talk about if there is a so-called gentleman in a family, who is constantly making indiscriminate remarks, and spouting a lot of meaningless theories and arrogant, erroneous, sinister and vicious words. If he takes his words seriously and his word is his bond, what will be the consequences? How chaotic will this family become? This is just like the devil king of the country of the great red dragon. No matter how absurd or evil its policies are, it still puts them forward, and those under it carry out and implement the policies to a tee—no one dares to oppose or stop them, which leads to national chaos. Furthermore, various disasters are approaching, and preparation for war has begun. The whole country is plunged into utter confusion. If a devil leader reigns in a country or nation for a long time, then the people of that country will be in serious trouble. How chaotic will things get? If people carry out and implement all of the unreasonable drivel, fallacies and lies that devil kings issue, will anything good for humankind come from it? Humankind will only become more and more chaotic, dark and evil. Fortunately, “A gentleman’s word is his bond” is nothing more than empty words; it is just a rhetoric, Satan is not able to actualize it, and is not able to achieve what it says. Thus, there is still a bit of order in the world and people are still relatively stable. If this were not the case, every corner of the human world, everywhere where there are “gentlemen,” would be in chaos. This is one of the things which is wrong with the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” From the perspective of people’s essence, we can see that their statements, the things they say, and their promises are unreliable. Another thing that is wrong with it, is that humankind is controlled by the thought and view “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” They think, “We must honor our word and do what we say we are going to do because this is how to be a gentleman.” This thought and view dominates people’s thinking and it becomes the standard by which they view, judge and characterize a person. Is this appropriate and accurate? (No, it’s not accurate.) Why is it inaccurate? Firstly, because what people say is of little value and is just empty words, lies and exaggerations. Secondly, it is unfair to use this thought and view to control people and require them to honor their word. People often use “A gentleman’s word is his bond” to measure a person’s superiority or inferiority. Without realizing it, people often worry about how to honor their promises and are controlled by this. If they can’t honor their promises they are subjected to discrimination and rebuke from others, and it is hard for them to establish themselves in the community if they can’t follow through on something trivial. This is unfair to these people and inhumane. Due to their corrupt dispositions, people speak according to their preferences, saying whatever they want to say; they don’t care how absurd or contrary to the facts their statements are. This is what corrupt people are like. It is natural for everything to act according to its own disposition: A chicken must learn how to cluck, a dog must learn how to bark and a wolf must learn how to howl. If something was not human, and yet was strictly required to say and do human things, it would find it very difficult. People have the corrupt disposition of Satan, a disposition that is arrogant and deceitful, so it is natural for them to lie, exaggerate and speak empty words. If you understand the truth and can see through people, this should all seem normal and ordinary to you. You should not use the misguided thought and perspective that “A gentleman’s word is his bond” to view people and things, and to judge and characterize whether or not people are good or trustworthy. This method of assessment is not correct, and should not be adopted. What is the correct method? People have a corrupt disposition, so it is normal for them to exaggerate and say things that do not reflect their actual situation. You must handle this correctly. You should not ask a person to honor their promises according to the standards of a gentleman, and you should certainly not bind others or yourself with the thought and view that “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” This is not right. What’s more, to judge a person’s humanity and moral character by whether or not they are a gentleman is a fundamental mistake, and not the right approach. Its basis is wrong and is not in accordance with the word of God or the truth. Therefore, no matter what kind of thoughts and views the secular world uses to judge a person, and no matter whether the secular world advocates being a gentleman or a villain, in God’s house, the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond,” is not promoted, it is not recommended that anyone be a gentleman and you are certainly not required to act according to the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” Even if you strictly require yourself to be a gentleman, and embody the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond,” then what? You may do this very well and become a humble gentleman who keeps his promises and never fails to make good on his word. However, if you never view people and things, comport yourself and act according to God’s words, or follow the truth principles, then you are a total nonbeliever. Even if many people agree with you and support you, say that you are a gentleman, that you never fail to make good on your word and that you take your promises seriously, so what? Does this mean that you understand the truth? Does it mean that you follow the way of God? No matter how well and appropriately you follow the saying about moral conduct “A gentleman’s word is his bond,” if you do not understand God’s word, and do not observe and act according to the truth principles, then you will not receive God’s approval.
Having just identified and dissected errors with the thought and view that “A gentleman’s word is his bond,” let’s look at what God requires of people in terms of their words and actions. What kind of person does God require people to be? (An honest person.) That’s right. Be honest, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t be deceitful, and don’t play tricks. Seek the word of God and the truth principles when you act. It’s just these few things; it’s very simple. If you speak dishonestly, correct yourself. If you exaggerate, lie or speak above your station, reflect and become aware of it, and seek the truth to resolve it. You must say things which reflect your actual situation, the understanding in your heart and the facts. In addition, if you can do the things that you have promised others, then do them. If you can’t, then tell them immediately. Say, “I’m sorry, I can’t do it. I don’t have the ability, and I won’t be able to do a good job. I don’t want to hold you up, so you had better ask someone else to help.” You do not need to always stick to your word, you can back out of your promises. Just be an honest person. Be honest in what you say and do, rather than trying to falsify or deceive, and seek the truth principles in all situations. It is that simple; it’s so easy. Is there any part of what God asks people to do that makes them pretend? Has He ever asked too much of people, for them to do more than they can bear or are capable of? (No.) If people do not have what it takes in terms of caliber, comprehension ability, physical energy or strength, God tells them it is enough that they do what they are capable of, try their best and give it their all. You say, “I’ve given it everything I have, but I still can’t meet God’s requirements. That’s all I can do but I don’t know if God is satisfied.” Actually, by doing this you have already fulfilled God’s requirements. God does not give people a load too heavy for them to bear. If you can carry one hundred pounds, God certainly will not give you a load heavier than one hundred pounds. He will not put pressure on you. This is how God is with everyone. And you will not be controlled by anything—any person or any thought and view. You are free. When something happens, you have the right to choose. You can choose to practice according to the word of God, you can choose to practice according to your personal desires, or, of course, you can choose to cling to the thoughts and views that Satan has instilled in you. You are free to choose any of these options, but you have to take responsibility for whatever choice you make. God only shows you the way; He does not force you to do, or not do, something. After God has shown you the way, the choice is yours. You have full human rights, including the absolute right to choose. You can choose the truth, your human desires, or, of course, Satan’s thoughts and views. No matter which one you choose, the final result will be yours to bear; no one else will shoulder it for you. When you make a choice, God will not interfere in any way, nor will He do anything to force you. You may choose as you wish, no matter what that choice is. In the end, God will not heap praise on you, give you a big advantage, put a pleasant feeling in your heart, or make you feel extremely noble just because you chose the right path and the truth. He will not do that. God will also not immediately discipline or curse you if you choose your human desires, or immediately rain disaster down upon you as punishment even if you act recklessly according to the thoughts and views that Satan has instilled in you. While you are choosing, everything proceeds naturally, and after you choose, everything continues to proceed naturally. God just observes, watches it all play out, and looks at the cause, process and result. Of course, in the end, when people are judged and their end is determined, God will categorize the path you have taken based on all of your personal choices, look at this path as a whole to see what kind of person you really are, and from this, determine what kind of end you should have. That is God’s method. Do you understand? (Yes.) When God is doing His work, He never lets a statement, saying, thought or view become a trend among people which would confine and control their thoughts in order to make them involuntarily do what God wants them to do. This is not God’s way of working. God gives people complete freedom and the right to choose, and they enjoy full human rights and the absolute right to choose. In every situation people encounter, they can choose to accept and use Satan’s thoughts and views to discern and judge the constitution of a particular thing, or they can choose to do so according to the word of God and the truth principles. Is this a fact? (Yes.) God does not force people; what God does is fair for everyone. Those who love the truth and positive things eventually walk the path of pursuing the truth, gain the truth, have a God-fearing heart, can truly submit to God and will be saved because they love the truth and positive things. As for those who do not love the truth, and who always act recklessly according to their own will, they are fed up with the truth and do not accept it in any way. They are just afraid of God’s chastisement and judgment, and are afraid they will be punished, so they reluctantly do a bit of work in God’s house for show, perform a little service and exhibit some good behavior. However, they never accept the truth or follow God’s way, and are not on the path of pursuing and practicing the truth. As a result, they will never understand the truth or enter into the truth reality, and will therefore miss the opportunity to be saved. The majority of these people are service-doers. Even if they do no evil, don’t cause disruptions or disturbances, and are not cast out or cleared out from God’s house like antichrists and the wicked, ultimately, they will just barely manage to get the title of “service-doer,” and it is unclear whether they will be spared. There is another group of people who belong to Satan and stubbornly hold on to all its thoughts and views. These people would rather die than accept the truth or go along with the truth and the word of God. They are even at odds with all positive things and with God. Because they disrupt and disturb the church’s work, do many evil things and play the role of Satan to the full extent, some of these people are ultimately cleared out from the church, and some are expelled or have their names struck off the register. Even if there are some who avoid having their names struck off or being expelled, God ultimately must cast them out. They lose the opportunity to be saved because they simply do not accept the truth and God’s salvation, and they will eventually be destroyed with Satan when the world is destroyed. You see, God works in such a free and liberating way that everything takes its course naturally. God works in people to guide, enlighten and help them, and sometimes to remind, comfort and exhort them. This is the side of God’s disposition that shows abundant mercy. As God shows His mercy, people enjoy the abundance of God’s grace and blessings, and enjoy full freedom and liberation without any feeling of being controlled or bound, and certainly without any feeling of being confined by any statement, thought or view. At the same time that God does this work, He also restrains people with the administrative regulations and various systems of the church, and prunes, deals with, judges and chastises their corruption and disobedience. He even disciplines and chastens some of them, or exposes and rebukes them with His words, as well as doing other work. However, while people enjoy all this, they also enjoy God’s abundant mercy and deep anger. When the other side of God’s righteous disposition—deep anger—is revealed to people, they still feel free and liberated, not controlled, bound, or confined. When people experience any aspect of God’s righteous disposition and it works in them, they will in fact feel the love of God. The results achieved in them will be positive, they will gain from it, and will of course be the greatest beneficiaries. God works in this way, never forcing, coercing, suppressing or binding people, but making them feel liberated, free, relaxed and happy. No matter whether people enjoy God’s mercy and lovingkindness or His righteousness and majesty, ultimately, they gain the truth from God, understand the meaning and value of life, the path they should tread and the direction and goal of being human. They gain so much! People live under the power of Satan, and are bound, confined, and crippled by the various false thoughts and views which it instills in them. This is unbearable, but they are powerless to break free. When people come to God, God’s attitude toward them will always remain the same, no matter what kind of attitude they have toward Him. This is because God’s disposition and essence do not change. He always expresses the truth, and in so doing, reveals His disposition and essence. This is how He works in people. They fully enjoy God’s lovingkindness and mercy, as well as His righteousness and majesty, and people who live in this environment are blessed. If, in an environment such as this, people are unable to pursue, love and ultimately gain the truth, miss the opportunity to be saved, and some are even punished and destroyed like Satan, there is only one reason for it, and it is a fact. What do you think it is? People will walk a certain path and have a certain end according to their nature. The time when each person’s end is ultimately determined, will be the time when they are grouped according to their type. If a person loves the truth and positive things, when God ultimately speaks and works, they will return to God and follow the path of pursuing the truth no matter how many negative things Satan has instilled in them. However, if a person does not love the truth and is sick of it, this disposition of theirs will remain unchanged and will direct them, no matter how much God speaks, how sincere His words are, how much work He does, and how amazing His signs and wonders are. Wicked people are even more extreme. They are not just sick of the truth, but have an essence which is evil and hates the truth. They are opposed to God and belong in the camp of Satan. Even if they believe in God, they will eventually return to Satan. These three types of people have all experienced Satan’s corruption, and have been deceived and imprisoned by Satan’s various statements, thoughts and views. So, why can some people ultimately be saved and others not? It mainly comes down to the path that people follow and whether or not they love the truth. It is related to these two things. Why, then, are some people capable of loving the truth and others not? Why can some people follow the path of pursuing the truth, while others cannot, and some even openly quarrel with God and publicly denigrate the truth? What is going on here? Is this determined by their nature essence? (Yes.) They have all experienced Satan’s corruption, but every person’s essence is different. Tell Me, does God do His work with wisdom? Is God able to see through mankind? (Yes.) Then why does God give people the right to choose freely? Why doesn’t God forcibly indoctrinate everyone? It is because God wants to classify each person according to their type and He wants to expose all of them. God does not do useless work; there are principles behind all the work God does, and the work He does in a person is based on what type of person they are. How is a person’s category revealed? On what basis are they divided into different categories? This is based on the things people like and the path they follow. Isn’t that right? (Yes.) God classifies people according to what they like and the path they take, determines whether or not they can be saved based on their category, and works in them according to whether or not they can be saved. It is like how some people like to eat sweet food, some spicy, some salty and some sour. If these different types of food are laid out on the table, there is no need to tell people what to eat and what not to eat. Those who like to eat spicy foods will eat something spicy, those who like to eat sweets will eat something sweet and those who like to eat salty foods will eat something salty. They can be allowed to choose freely. People who believe in God have the right to choose whether or not they love the truth and what path they will take, but it is not up to them to decide whether they will be saved or not and what their end will ultimately be. Do you see that there are principles behind God’s work? (Yes.) There are principles behind His work, and one of the greatest principles is to let people be categorized according to their pursuits and path, and to let everything play out naturally. People always fail to understand this, and ask, “It’s always said that God has authority, but where is it? Why doesn’t God do a little forcible indoctrination to show His authority?” That’s not how God’s authority is manifested; that’s not how God makes His authority visible to people.
Are you now able to discern the saying about moral conduct “A gentleman’s word is his bond”? Do you also understand what God requires of people? (Yes.) What is your understanding? (God requires that people are honest.) God’s requirements of people are very simple. He requires that people are honest, handle matters that come up according to the truth principles, do not pretend, do not just focus on superficial behavior, but rather focus on doing things according to the principles. If the path you take is correct, and the principles by which you pursue how to comport yourself are correct and conform to the truth of God’s words, that is enough. Isn’t that simple? (It is.) Satan does not possess or accept the truth, so it deceives people with sayings that people think are good and right, and makes them try to be gentlemen who behave well, rather than villains who do bad things. People are quickly misled by Satan because these things are in line with people’s notions and preferences, and they can easily accept them. Satan makes people do things which only appear to be good. It does not matter how bad a thing you have done behind the scenes, how corrupt your disposition is, or whether you are evil or not; as long as you have disguised your outward appearance according to the sayings and requirements set by Satan, and others call you a good person, then you are a good person. These requirements and standards clearly encourage people to be deceitful and bad, to wear a mask and prevent them from walking the right path. Therefore, can we say that every thought and view Satan instills in people is leading them down one wrong path after another? (Yes.) The work that God wants to do today is to allow people to discern Satan’s various heresies and fallacies, see through and reject it, and then to pull people back from their various wayward paths onto the right path, so that they might view people and things, comport themselves and act according to the principles. None of these principles come from people, but are the truth principles. When people understand these truth principles, and are able to practice them and enter into their reality, the words and life of God will gradually be wrought into these people. If people take God’s words as their life, they will no longer be misled by Satan and walk the wrong path, Satan’s path, and the path of no return. These people will not betray God no matter how Satan deceives and corrupts them. No matter how the world changes, and no matter what time comes, their life will not decay or perish because these people have God’s words as their life, and because their life will not decay or perish, they will coexist with this kind of life and live on forever. Is this a good thing? (Yes.) When people are saved they are richly blessed!
What is the single most important thing for you right now? It is to be equipped with more of the truth. Only when you are better equipped with the truth, and have heard, experienced and understood more, will you be able to view people and things, comport yourself and act according to God’s words, and know exactly what the truth principles are. Only then will you not go astray, and not replace the words of God and the truth principles with human will and the thoughts and views that Satan has instilled in you. Is that not the case? (It is.) Therefore, one of the most important and urgent things you should do now, is to be equipped with the truth and understand more of God’s words. You must apply yourself to God’s words. God’s words include many things, and there are many items of truth. You must equip yourself with all of these truths without delay. If you don’t equip yourself, you won’t be able to use God’s words as a foundation when something happens, and will just deal with the matter according to your own will. As a result, you will violate the principles, and your transgressions will remain with you as a stain. If you do not know how to seek the truth when something happens, and only handle it according to your own will and to achieve your own goals, and if you rely on your own will and have impurities but do not know how to reflect on yourself and become self-aware, nor know how to compare yourself to God’s words, then you will not know yourself, and will not be able to truly repent. If you do not truly repent, how will God see you? This means you have an intransigent disposition and are sick of the truth, which will leave another stain, and is another serious transgression. Is it beneficial to you to accumulate many stains and transgressions? (No.) No, it’s not. So how can transgressions be resolved? Previously, I expressed a chapter called “Transgressions Will Lead Man to Hell.” This means that transgressions are directly related to a person’s end. What is going on with people who always commit transgressions? Some of them say, “It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t mean to do anything evil at the time.” Is this a good excuse? If you didn’t mean it, was it not a transgression? Do you not need to reflect and repent? It wasn’t intentional, but wasn’t it still a transgression? You didn’t do it on purpose, but you offended God’s disposition and administrative decrees, isn’t that true? (Yes.) This is a fact, and so it was a transgression. It’s no use giving excuses. You say, “I’m young. I don’t have much education, and I don’t have much experience in society. I didn’t know that it was wrong—no one told me.” Or you say, “The situation was too dangerous. I did it in the heat of the moment.” Are these good reasons? None of these are good reasons. If you have the opportunity to act according to your own will, you also have the opportunity to seek the truth, and should use the truth as a principle for your actions. So why did you choose to act according to your will when you had the opportunity to seek the truth? One reason is that your understanding of the truth is too shallow, and you usually do not put importance on pursuing the truth and equipping yourself with God’s words. There is another reason and situation which is also true: You usually do things without God or God’s words in your heart. God’s words have never reigned over your heart. You are used to being willful, and you habitually think you are in the right, habitually reign over every matter, and habitually do things according to your own preferences. You only go through the process and formalities of praying to God. God’s words have no place in your heart and cannot rule over it, and God has no place in your heart and cannot rule over it. It is natural for you to be in charge in everything you do, and as a result, you violate the truth principles. Is this a transgression? It is certain—this is a transgression. Then why are you making excuses? There is no valid excuse. A transgression is a transgression. If you commit many transgressions, harm the interests of the house of God and the work of the church, and eventually enrage God’s disposition, then your chance of salvation will be cut off. This is an accurate interpretation of “Transgressions Will Lead Man to Hell”; it is a fact. It is caused by people’s corrupt dispositions, which produce all kinds of behavior, which in turn constitute the path that people take. This incorrect path causes people to commit all kinds of transgressions at important and critical moments while they are doing their duty. If you have committed too many transgressions and they accumulate, then your chance of salvation is gone. Why do people always commit transgressions? The fundamental reason is that they are never, or rarely, equipped with God’s words, and they seldom do anything based on God’s words or the truth principles—in the end they always commit a transgression. When people transgress, they always forgive themselves and give reasons and excuses, like, “I didn’t mean to do it. I had good intentions. It was because the situation was urgent. It was because of this person. It was because of all kinds of objective reasons. …” No matter what the reason, if you don’t pursue the truth, and don’t act according to God’s words with the truth as your criterion, you will be liable to transgress and resist God. This is an undeniable fact. According to this fact, your end will turn out as I mentioned before: “Transgressions Will Lead Man to Hell.” This will be your ending. Do you understand? (Yes, I understand.)
The disposition of some people is so intransigent, and they are so unscrupulous, that they always think wishfully, “A little transgression is nothing. God does not punish people. He is merciful and loving, and is forgiving and patient with people. The day of God is still far away. I will pursue these truths He has issued later when I have the opportunity. Although God spoke these words in a sincere and urgent tone, there will still be plenty of opportunities for us to believe in God and be saved.” They are always dismissive, never have a sense of urgency, do not have a tremendous desire for God, or a thirst for the truth. They always have an intransigent heart, and always completely ignore the truth and the demands of God’s words. If they do their duty with this kind of attitude and in this state, what will ultimately happen? They will constantly commit transgressions and acquire stains! It is dangerous for a person to constantly acquire stains and commit transgressions, yet not treat it seriously, and be so unconcerned about it. Just because God does not condemn you now does not mean that He will not condemn you in the future. In short, a person who lives in such a state is in danger. They do not treasure God’s words, the opportunity to be saved, or the opportunity to do their duty, and much less every circumstance that God has orchestrated for them. They are always slack and unconcerned, and do everything in a careless, lax and absent-minded manner. This kind of person is in danger. Some people still feel good about themselves, thinking, “When I do things, God is with me, I have God’s enlightenment and guidance, sometimes I have God’s discipline, and He is with me in my prayers!” God’s grace is abundant—certainly enough for you to enjoy—you can take all you want and never use it up, but so what? God’s grace does not represent the truth, and your enjoyment of God’s grace does not mean that you have the truth. God has compassion for every person, but God’s compassion is not over-lenient. God has compassion for human life and for every created being. However, this does not mean that He has no principles in His work, that He does not have a righteous disposition, and that the standards He requires of people and with which He evaluates them will change. Do you understand? (Yes.) You feel that God has never been angry with you, that God is always gentle and considerate to you, and that He cares, loves, and cherishes you immensely. You feel God’s warmth, God’s provision, God’s help, and even God’s favoritism and graciousness. You feel that God loves you the most, and that even if He abandons others He will never abandon you. So you are filled with self-confidence, and feel as though you are justified in not pursuing the truth, not suffering and paying a price while doing your duty, and not seeking a change in disposition. God will certainly not abandon you. Is this strong confidence of yours based on God’s words? If one day you really can’t feel God’s presence, you will have panic in your heart and think, “Could it be that God has forsaken me?” It should be clear to you what your end will be. People who do not pursue the truth and are too self-righteous will absolutely not end up well. God’s goal in loving and cherishing people, having compassion on people, bestowing grace on people, or even treating a certain proportion of people favorably or graciously, as well as the substance of these actions, is definitely not to coddle or indulge you, or to lead you down the wrong path or lead you astray, or to make you turn your back on the truth or the true way. God’s purpose in doing all this is to support you in walking the right path, to make you have a heart which has a tremendous desire for Him, to increase your faith in Him, and then to develop a genuine God-fearing heart. If you always want to enjoy God’s coddling and be His pet, then I say you are wrong. You are not God’s pet, and His graciousness or favoritism for you is definitely not coddling or indulgence. God’s purpose in doing all this is to enable you to treasure God’s words, to accept the truth, and to be strengthened by His graciousness and blessings, so that you will have the will and perseverance to walk the path of pursuing the truth, and to walk the right path in life. Of course, it can be said with certainty that when God issues these truths, you have been provided for, you have gained life, and you have enjoyed His love. If you can thank God for His graciousness, stand firmly in your proper place, be more equipped with God’s words, treasure His words more, seek the truth principles when doing your duty, and strive to view people and things, comport yourself and act according to God’s words, then you have not failed Him. However, if you take advantage of God’s graciousness and favoritism toward you, disregard His compassion toward you, insist on doing things your own way, and act willfully and recklessly, never equip yourself with God’s words, don’t have the will to strive for the truth, or don’t view people and things, comport yourself and act according to God’s words with the truth as your criterion, except to enjoy God’s grace and feel good about yourself, then, when you fall short of God’s expectations—that is, when you repeatedly disappoint God, sooner or later, God’s grace, compassion and lovingkindness toward you will be exhausted. The day those things are exhausted, is the day God takes away all of His grace. When you don’t even feel the presence of God, you will know what you really feel inside. There will be darkness inside you. You will feel downcast and uneasy, worried and empty. You will feel that the future is uncertain. You will be frightened and in a constant state of anxiety. This is a very terrible thing. Therefore, people must learn to cherish all that God has given them, to cherish the duty they should perform, and at the same time, know how to reciprocate. In fact, God’s request that you reciprocate is not about how much of a contribution you make on behalf of Him, or how resounding your testimony is unto Him. What God wants is for you to walk the right path, the path that He requires you to walk. God’s grace is sufficient for people to enjoy. He is not miserly about bestowing this grace upon people, nor will He regret bestowing this grace upon people. If God blesses and is gracious toward a person, it is always done willingly. It is part of His essence, disposition and identity that He does this. He never regrets or is remorseful about giving these things to people. However, let’s say people do not know good from bad or how to appreciate favors. They always let God down and disappoint Him again and again. No matter how high a price God has paid or how long He has waited, people still ignore Him and do not understand His good intentions. People only seek to enjoy God’s grace—the more the better. No matter how much of God’s grace and blessings they enjoy, they do not know to return God’s love, or return their heart to God and follow Him. Do you think God will be satisfied if people treat Him in this way? (No.) What kind of true attitude should a person have in order to make God satisfied? People must repent, have practical manifestations, and perform their duty well. They must not hold on to various justifications and excuses. God’s grace, forgiveness, and compassion for humankind are not capital with which to indulge yourself, or excuses to indulge yourself. No matter what God does, or what kind of effort, price or thought He invests in people, He only has one ultimate purpose. That is, He hopes people will turn to, and walk, the right path. What is the right path? It is to pursue and become more equipped with the truth. If the path people walk is in accordance with God’s words, with the truth as its criterion, then the price God invests in people and all the expectations He has for them will be reciprocated. Do you think God places high demands on people? (No.) God does not place high demands on people, and He has enough patience and love to wait for people to return. When you turn to God, He will not simply bestow some grace and blessings on you, but will provide for you, support and guide you in the truth, in life, and on the path you are walking. God will do even greater work in you. That is what He is looking forward to. Before doing this work, God tirelessly guides people, supports them, and bestows grace and blessings upon them. All of this was not God’s original intention, nor is it something He particularly wants to do. However, He has no choice but to oblige Himself to pay any price for people, and to do this work at all costs. What God ultimately wants after doing all this work is to see that people can turn back. If people understand His intentions and thinking, and why He really wants to do this, then people will recognize His loveliness, have some stature and have grown up. When people begin to be meticulous and work hard at each truth that God has provided for them, and begin to enter into the reality of each truth, God is pleased. Then, He no longer has to do the simple work of being with people, and comforting, prompting, and exhorting them. Rather, He can provide more for them in terms of the truth, in life, and on the path that they are walking. He can do greater and more concrete work on people. Why does God prefer to do this kind of work? It is because while doing such work, He sees hope in people, sees their future and sees that people are united with Him in heart and mind. This is an immeasurably great thing for both people and God, and something that He has been looking forward to for a long time. When a person takes the path of pursuing the truth, they will gradually have more strength and real stature with which to fight Satan, and stand firm in their witness to God, and God will have more hope of seeing one more created human being stand up and fight for Him against Satan. This is the glory of God. As people grow in stature, become stronger and stronger, bear witness more and more and become increasingly fearful of, and obedient to, God, it means that there is hope that God will gain a group of overcomers and be glorified through and among the people. Is this a good thing? (Yes.) This is what God is looking forward to, and His hope and expectation for you. He has been waiting for this for a long time. If people understand and are able to be considerate of God’s heart, they will work at what He asks of them, and pay the price for what He asks of them. They will make every effort to cooperate with what God wants to do, fulfill His wishes, and comfort His heart. However, if you do not want to do this, then God will not force you. You say, “Why don’t I want this? Why don’t I want to do what God requires? Why do I feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and unwilling to obey when I think about meeting God’s requirements?” You don’t have to meet God’s requirements; it is voluntary. You have the right to choose, and you are free. God does not force people. I am just telling you this so that you may fully understand the reality of what God wants to accomplish, the responsibility you bear and what God expects of you. Is this clear? (Yes.) It’s good that it’s clear. If it’s clear, then people’s hearts will be aware. They will know inside what to work on next, what to do and what price they must pay; they will have direction.
Today, I fellowshiped the saying about moral conduct, “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” Having fellowshiped previously several other sayings about moral conduct that are promoted by Satan, it makes this saying a bit easier to discern. No matter which saying about moral conduct it is, Satan basically wants to use a kind of statement to bind and restrict human behavior, and then form a trend in society. By creating this trend, it wants to deceive, control and imprison the minds of all humanity, and thereby turn all humanity against God. After people are against God, Satan wants to see that God has no way to act on people or do work. This is the goal Satan wants to achieve, and this is the essence of all these things that Satan does. Regardless of which aspect of behavior they represent, or which thoughts and views, these sayings about moral conduct that Satan promotes are, in any case, irrelevant to the truth, and they are also contrary to the truth. How should people deal with these sayings about moral conduct which Satan promotes? A very simple and basic principle is that any statement that comes from Satan is something that we should expose, dissect, see through, and reject. Since they come from Satan, if our hearts see through them, we can condemn and reject them. We cannot allow Satan’s things to exist in the church and deceive, corrupt, and disturb God’s chosen people. The goal must be achieved whereby God’s chosen people reject Satan, and not even a hint of Satan’s heresies and fallacies can be seen in them. Instead of these heresies and fallacies, God’s words and the truth should reign over the hearts of God’s chosen people, and become their lives. This sort of humankind is the sort God wants to gain. Let us end today’s fellowship here.
July 9, 2022