What It Means to Pursue the Truth (16)

We have been primarily fellowshipping on and dissecting the essence of the various sayings concerning moral conduct, and dissecting the impact various sayings have on people. These various sayings concerning moral conduct mainly represent the differing degrees of effects traditional Chinese culture has on people, effects that persist to this day. Which saying concerning moral conduct did we fellowship on and expose at our last gathering? (Last time, God fellowshipped on and exposed the saying “A gentleman’s word is his bond.”) When we fellowship on sayings concerning moral conduct, we hit upon the issue of the general environment: No matter how the times change, or how our social environment changes, or how the political situation in any country changes, the corruption Satan engenders in mankind, in people’s thoughts and moral conduct, and in their innermost hearts through the various heresies and fallacies concerning moral conduct found in traditional culture becomes increasingly obvious. The impact on mankind caused by the perniciousness of traditional culture has not diminished due to the changing times and changes in living environment, and many people still cite and promote various sayings derived from traditional culture, revering it as Chinese traditional studies and as scripture. It is evident that Satan has planted the various sayings regarding moral conduct deep inside people’s hearts and corrupted people to the extreme. Why does Satan corrupt people? What is its ultimate goal in corrupting people? Is it aimed at mankind or at God? (God.) This is something you must understand in order to know Satan’s essence, and to know the root cause and process of Satan’s corruption of mankind. How are people’s thoughts corrupted by Satan? Why do people harbor such God-opposing things within their innermost hearts? Why do people harbor these things that run contrary to the truth? How did people get like this? Mankind was created by God, so why do people resist and rebel against God at every turn just as Satan does? What is the root cause? Can these questions be answered by what we discussed before? (Yes.) Think back and think about what we fellowshipped on last time. (God first fellowshipped on our current conditions. Even though we eat and drink God’s words, we basically have no discernment when it comes to the heresies and fallacies and the thoughts and views Satan instills in us, and we can become the mouthpieces and lackeys of Satan at any time and in any place. God also fellowshipped on why Satan uses these heresies and fallacies to mislead and corrupt people. Although it corrupts and harms people, Satan’s true objective is aimed at God. It wants to pull down and destroy God’s management plan. Because God’s management plan ultimately aims to save and perfect a group of people so they can be of one heart and mind with God, Satan tries to disrupt and obstruct these people from following God, from being made complete by God, and from being gained by God. God sees through Satan’s cunning schemes but does not stop Satan. Rather God uses Satan as a service object and a foil, for the wisdom of God is built upon the cunning schemes of Satan, and He does the work of cleansing and salvation on these people who have been corrupted by Satan. God reveals and dissects the various sayings of traditional culture to enable us to see clearly that Satan uses these heresies and fallacies to mislead and corrupt people. God does this so that we can learn discernment and not just understand doctrinally that these heresies and fallacies are negative, but rather we can understand clearly what Satan’s cunning schemes are within these sayings. Once we have understood them clearly, we can then compare ourselves with them, reflect on ourselves in the light of God’s words, examine what satanic thoughts and ideas we have, what cunning schemes of Satan there are in the intent of our actions, and which satanic dispositions we reveal. This is what it is to truly know ourselves, and not just remain at the level of doctrinal understanding and simple discernment.) One of the ways in which Satan corrupts people is to corrupt their thoughts and hearts; it injects all manner of satanic thoughts, ideas, heresies and fallacies into people’s hearts and minds. Among them are the various sayings concerning moral conduct which represent the crème de la crème of traditional Chinese culture—they are classic representations of traditional Chinese culture. These thoughts and views of traditional culture basically represent the thoughts of Satan, the essence of Satan, and they represent the things of Satan’s nature which defy God. What is the final consequence of Satan using these things to corrupt people? (It sets people against God.) The consequence is that people are set against God. And what do people become? (They become the mouthpieces and lackeys of Satan. They become living Satans.) People become the mouthpieces of Satan, the embodiment of Satan, and corrupted mankind comes to represent Satan. The intents, purposes, thoughts, and ideas carried in the words corrupted mankind speaks and the corrupt dispositions they reveal are those which are expressed and revealed by Satan. This entirely verifies that mankind’s rules for living and their various thoughts and views by which they conduct themselves and interact with others all hail from Satan and all represent Satan’s nature essence; it entirely verifies that corrupted mankind alive is the embodiment of Satan, the progeny of Satan, and of a kind with Satan; it entirely verifies that corrupted mankind alive is a living Satan, a living devil, and that mankind, which has become the embodiment of Satan, is the representative of Satan. Whether mankind is Satan’s progeny or the embodiment of Satan, in any case it is of a kind with Satan, and to God, a mankind like this is a mankind which denies and betrays God, it is the enemy of God, and the opposing force to God. A mankind like this is no longer the blank-slate-minded, ignorant created mankind it was in the beginning. Mankind lives under Satan’s influence and is full of satanic corrupt dispositions, and what is it that mankind, which lives in this kind of state and condition, needs? It needs the salvation of God. Now it is the time when God uses words to save people. What is the context within which God saves people? It is that Satan’s corruption of mankind has reached the most profound and severe level; it has completely turned people into the embodiment and mouthpieces of Satan, and people have become the enemies of God and have come to be in opposition to God. Within this context, God has begun His work to save mankind. This is the real situation regarding Satan’s corruption of people, and it is the actual context to God expressing the truth and performing the work of judgment to save man in the last days. What are the benefits of knowing these actualities? It enables people to know their own essence, to know Satan’s essence, to know the means by which Satan corrupts people, and to know Satan’s wickedness; it also enables people to know the purpose of God’s management plan, as well as to know the almightiness, the authority, the wisdom, and the power of God He reveals in His work to save mankind. Besides having to recognize what Satan’s essence and wickedness and corrupted mankind’s nature essence are like, what is important is that people must know God’s work, God’s disposition, and God’s essence. Knowing God’s essence primarily involves knowing God’s almightiness, authority, wisdom, and power—it mainly involves knowing these aspects of His essence.

From the perspective of the context of God working to save mankind, this mankind which God wishes to save is not a mankind He has only just created, but rather it is a mankind which Satan has been corrupting for several thousand years. Man’s innermost hearts are not blank slates, nor are man’s thoughts or dispositions, but rather they have long been deeply corrupted by Satan. Those which God saves are created beings which have been deeply corrupted, seduced, controlled, manipulated, and trampled upon by Satan. As far as people are concerned, to remove or change the things of Satan and the satanic dispositions within this created mankind is incredibly difficult, or even impossible. That is to say, as far as people are concerned, to change their thoughts and views, to cleanse the things of Satan deep within their hearts, and to change their corrupt dispositions are all impossible tasks; it is just like that saying, “A leopard can’t change its spots.” Yet it is precisely in this context and with this created mankind that God wants to perform the work of saving mankind. In His work, God does not display any signs and wonders, nor does He openly show His real person, much less perform any work that may appear authoritative and powerful to people. Which is to say that in the last days, during the time in which God incarnate saves man, God does not display any signs and wonders, He does not perform any work that goes beyond the boundaries of practicality or reality, and He does not perform any deeds which surpass fleshly humanity. God does not perform such supernatural works, but rather He uses words to provide for people’s lives and to expose people and cleanse them of their corruption. Because He is only using words to perform this work, to man it looks even more so like an impossible task, and in most people’s eyes it even looks like a playful matter. People believe that by drawing upon utterances, utterances spoken in various ways, from various standpoints, and about various things, to provide for them and enable them to attain salvation, God is engaged in an impossible task. Satan in particular is even less convinced that this is something God is entirely capable of, that God has the power, the authority, and the wisdom to accomplish this work. It is evident that, in the eyes of created humans, God speaking His utterances and performing His work to save man is an impossible task. However, regardless of how things will go in the future, right now, that which is spoken of in God’s words, “God is as good as His word, and His word will be accomplished, and that which He accomplishes lasts forever,” has already been accomplished in those who follow Him, that is, most people have already had a foretaste of this. Judging from the way God works, from God performing the work of saving mankind only through the provision of words, the nutriment of words, the revelation of words, the chastisement and judgment of words, the chastening of words, the warning and prompting of words, and other ways, it is evident that God’s words do not just carry the simple meaning of words that can be understood by human notions. Apart from the fundamental saying that God’s words are the truth, what people are even more able to see, and which is factually evident, is that God’s words carry life and God’s words are life, that they can provide for the living of corrupted mankind and provide everything corrupted mankind needs for life. In terms of power and authority, God’s words can change mankind’s living conditions, change mankind’s thoughts and views, change man’s heart that has been deeply corrupted by Satan and, even more so, they can change the path and life direction mankind has chosen, and even change mankind’s outlook on life and values. As long as you accept and submit to God’s words and, we can even say, as long as you love and pursue God’s words, then no matter what your caliber is like, or what the goal of your pursuit is, or how great your determination to pursue is, or how great your faith is, God’s words can definitely change you, enable your outlook on life and your values to change, enable your thoughts and your views on people and things to change, and ultimately enable your life disposition to change. Even though most people are of poor caliber and have no determination to pursue the truth, and they are even unwilling to pursue the truth, regardless of their circumstances, so long as they have heard God’s words, they come to have in their subconscious to a greater or lesser extent some correct views and perceptions from God’s teachings concerning Satan, the world, and mankind. They come to have in their subconscious a yearning and a thirst to differing degrees concerning positive things, concerning the truth principles and the correct direction and goals in life which God requires people to have. These phenomena which occur in and amongst people—whether they are what people want or not, whether they accord with people’s notions or not, whether they meet God’s requirements and standards or not, and so on—all these effects on people and all these phenomena show that not only can God’s words provide for people’s lives and provide them with what they need but, more importantly, God’s words cannot be changed by any force. Why do I say this? Because God’s words carry authority, and the authority of God’s words cannot be transcended by any worldly theory, philosophy, or knowledge, or any argument, thought, or view—this is the practical meaning of God’s words carrying authority, and this is clearly exhibited in all those who follow God. God’s words carry authority and can change mankind’s hearts and thoughts. More importantly, they can cleanse and dispel the corrupt dispositions Satan has planted deep inside people’s innermost hearts—this is the power of God’s words. There is, of course, something else, which is that people ought to know God’s wisdom. God’s wisdom pours out in every bit of His work. Not only within and between the lines of the words God utters, but also in the way God speaks, the things He says, the standpoints He takes in His utterances, and even in the tone of His speech, God’s wisdom can be seen in all. In what aspects is God’s wisdom manifested? One aspect is that God’s wisdom can be seen in every word He speaks, and in the manifold ways He speaks is His wisdom displayed; another aspect is that God’s wisdom can be seen in all the various ways He works in people, and it can be seen also in those who follow God whom He leads. So of course, we can say that God’s wisdom pours out in His words, and also that it pours out in His work. Besides God’s wisdom being visible to people in His words, people can also come to have a deep appreciation for it in the different environments and situations of the various issues they encounter. God’s words allow people to receive the corresponding provision at any time and place. God can help you at any time and place, support you and provide for you at any time and place, enable you to leave behind your negative state at any time and place, and make you strong and no longer weak. At any time and place, God can change your ideas and the way you think, enable you to let go of things you believe to be right and the things of Satan, cast off your corrupt dispositions, repent to God, act and practice in accordance with God’s requirements and God’s words. This is one aspect. Furthermore, God works in many different ways in all those who follow Him, who love God’s words and love the truth. Sometimes He bestows grace, and sometimes He bestows light and revelation. Of course, sometimes God will chasten and discipline people to get them to mend their ways, to get them to feel self-reproach in their innermost hearts, to feel truly indebted to God, to feel remorse, to repent, and thereby to relinquish the evil they do and no longer rebel against God, no longer act as they wish or follow Satan, but rather practice in accordance with the path God has shown them. God’s work is accomplished in man. To be precise, the work of the Holy Spirit is accomplished in man, and the Holy Spirit works in the majority of people in different ways. Of course, regardless of the way in which the Holy Spirit works, everyone can experience the different ways the Holy Spirit works to a greater or lesser extent. From this we can see that the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s work, whether they are performed in many ways or in one, can both enable people to appreciate that God’s work is a help to man and what man needs at all times and in all places. The Holy Spirit can work and provide for people at all times and in all places. He is not restricted by space, geographic location, or time, nor does He throw people’s normal life routines into disorder or disturb people’s thoughts, much less does He destroy any rule God has prescribed for mankind. The Holy Spirit just quietly works on every single person, using words to clearly notify, teach, enlighten, and guide them, while also using different methods to work on them, enabling them to naturally and unknowingly come to live under the provision of God’s words. Of course, in the wake of God’s work and the work of the Holy Spirit, people’s dispositions are changed and their thoughts are transformed without them being aware of it, and their faith in God gradually increases. In all these effects that are achieved in people, it must be said that these are done by the power of God’s words and the wisdom of God’s work. As far as those who now follow God are concerned, God uses His words to work and to lead and provide for them, and everyone has the right and the opportunity to enjoy these things. If those who followed God grew to be ten times, twenty times, or even a hundred times greater than the number who follow Him now, God would still be able to take care of them just the same, and He would still be able to complete this work. The effects that are achieved can never be altered, and this is the wisdom of God.

God’s words express all aspects of the truth and provide what is needed by all mankind. God uses all kinds of different working methods from different standpoints on people at different times and in different environments, to guide them without them being aware of it and to achieve different results on each person. Even if you now think, “I don’t understand much about God’s work and I’m still very weak now. I still have such little faith in God and my knowledge of God has not increased, either. My current attitude toward performing my duty seems to be lukewarm like it was before, and I feel like I haven’t progressed very far,” one thing is for certain: No matter how weak you are, or how far you feel you are from meeting God’s requirements, God’s words and work have already taken hold of your heart. Even if you’re not too interested in pursuing the truth, even if you still don’t regard the significance of attaining salvation as very important, the truth of God’s words and the content of the words God utters give you hope, and in your innermost heart you come to have expectations regarding God’s work and the facts God wants to accomplish. Regardless of how great your faith is now, or how your stature is, you surely have hope. What does this show? God’s words are what mankind needs, they provide what mankind needs, they have already taken hold of your heart, and you have unknowingly come to have a certain acceptance of God’s words in your innermost heart. Of course, these facts are directed toward those who are not very interested in the truth, and who have a relatively vague and unclear understanding of God’s work and salvation. For those who truly believe in God and can pursue the truth, this is not the only result that is achieved, but rather they can also come to know God and bear testimony for God. From these facts and indications, we can see that God’s utterances and work are imbued with the power, authority, and wisdom of God. This also verifies something else: Mankind was created by God, and although they can do without sunlight, without water, and without air, they cannot do without God, they cannot do without God’s words, and they cannot do without God’s provision. Only the guidance, provision, and shepherding of God and all the truths God expresses can give mankind hope and light, as well as goals and direction for its survival—these are things people have seen. By exposing and dissecting the true situation of Satan corrupting mankind in terms of moral conduct, people should be able to see what kind of context God works within to save people. Besides recognizing what the true situation of the context within which God works are like, people should even more so understand how difficult God’s work of saving mankind is, and through understanding how difficult this is, they should come to know the power, the authority, and the wisdom of God. In His work of saving mankind, God did not rush to save mankind when Satan first began to corrupt it. He did not rush to save mankind four thousand years ago, or six thousand years ago. Rather, He did things as they were meant to be done: Through mankind being seduced by the serpent and corrupted by Satan, it became steeped in sin, and the earth was destroyed by flood. God then used the law to gradually lead mankind and, as Satan’s corruption of man grew gradually deeper, God performed the work of redeeming mankind by taking upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh and being crucified. Now, in the last days, when mankind has been corrupted by Satan so much that people have been terribly ravaged by it and have become entirely the representation of Satan, God formally and openly expresses His words to mankind, and He expresses what is in His heart, His views and attitudes regarding all manner of people, events, and things, and all the truths mankind needs. Against this kind of background, God begins formally to provide that which mankind needs—He does not provide mankind with all the truths in a situation where mankind is totally ignorant. It is precisely when mankind has been deeply corrupted by Satan and when people believe there is no way they can be saved that God comes, speaks His words, performs His work, walks among man and expresses the words He wishes to express, while using only the provision of words to accomplish the facts He wishes to accomplish. No relatively capable person among created mankind dares take up the challenge to do this work, as people believe it to be a considerably difficult work, a work that is impossible to accomplish. Yet it is in precisely this context that God launches this work of His six-thousand-year management plan, a work which uses words to accomplish all things. This is a huge undertaking, an unprecedented work, more so it is an epoch-making work, and a long-protracted work. No matter how much someone says or what they say or what the essence of their words is, no one is capable of accomplishing the deeds their words aim to achieve. Only the words of God can be fulfilled, and only the words of God can be accomplished in accordance with what God requires and the plans of His thought—this is also God’s authority. Shouldn’t people understand these things? (Yes, they should.) So, what is the significance of understanding these things? Who will speak? (One aspect is that people can come to have some understanding of the wisdom of God’s work and understand that God’s work is not performed on those ignorant people who haven’t been corrupted by Satan. Instead, God uses Satan in His service and performs the work of salvation on those who have been deeply corrupted by Satan. People believe this work to be very difficult, yet God’s words really do have an effect on people. Moreover, normally in the course of our experiences, we are often constrained by our corrupt dispositions and cannot help but reveal corruption, we become unable to practice the truth, and sometimes we can become so negative that we lose our faith. However, after we hear God’s fellowship, we come to have faith in God’s words and understand that our corrupt dispositions can change so long as we love and accept the truth and that our corrupt dispositions are not immutable. If someone does not love or accept the truth in their essence, then they will be unable to change their corrupt dispositions.) What you say is entirely appropriate and accurate.

God’s words can accomplish all things and change all things. At the same time, people should be able to see that God’s words have another effect on them—all things must pass away, only God’s words will never pass away, and just like God Himself, God’s words will live forever. What do we see from this? (We see God’s authority.) We see God’s authority, God’s wisdom, and we see the power displayed in His words. Because God’s words represent His life, essence, and disposition, they will live forever just as God will. What does this tell you? It tells you that God’s words are so important to mankind. No matter what you obtain, it’s not a real treasure. Whether you receive a gold ingot or a rare and precious jewel of the world, they’re not real treasures. Even if you get the elixir of life, it’s not worth a dime. Even if you succeed in practicing self-cultivation and fly up to heaven, you will not necessarily live forever, and that is because you are a created being, everything is predestined by God, and no one can escape God’s sovereignty. All things must pass away, only God’s words will never pass away, and just like God Himself, God’s words will live forever. What’s the use of knowing these words? If you don’t pursue the truth and have no love for the truth or for God’s fairness and righteousness, you may not be interested in these words or this fact. If, however, you love God’s fairness and righteousness, you love the truth, and you love positive things, then you will develop a deep interest in these words and thereby will etch this fact and these words deep within your heart. What are these words? All things must pass away, only God’s words will never pass away, and just like God Himself, God’s words will live forever. You must keep these words in your hearts and contemplate them in your spare time. These words are so very important. Tell Me, what do you gain from them? (God, I understand something. God’s words say, “All things must pass away, only God’s words will never pass away.” Sometimes things change in the outside world, and when we encounter such circumstances, our state will change and our determination to follow God will change as well. It becomes difficult for us to avoid feeling negative and weak, but when we think of these words of God and of the promises God made to us in the beginning, and that God said He wants to gain a group of people who are of one heart and mind with Him, strength and faith flood our hearts. We are no longer affected by circumstances in the outside world, and we have faith to follow God and perform our duties.) These words give you a path of practice—what kind of path of practice? It is not to pursue or cherish anything in the material world; these things are empty. All such things as fame, gain, position, material enjoyments before your eyes, the beauty of women, and the identity and status of men are transitory, gone in the blink of an eye, and it is pointless to cherish these things. What do I mean by saying it is pointless? I mean that these things can only satisfy the momentary needs, predilections and desires of your flesh, or your moods and affections, and so on, yet they cannot satisfy your spiritual needs. When your spirit feels hungry, thirsty, and empty, nothing in the material world can satisfy your spiritual needs or fill the emptiness in your innermost heart, and that is why pursuing these things is pointless. So, what can satisfy you and fill the emptiness in your innermost heart? When you read God’s words and understand the truth, then your innermost heart is replenished and enjoys peace and joy, and your heart feels satisfied and at ease. If you continue to pursue in this way, then when God’s words become your life, no one can take your life from you and no one can destroy it. When no one can take your life from you or destroy it, what will you then feel? You will no longer feel empty, you will no longer feel lost, fearful, or uneasy living in this world, for you will have God’s words within you, guiding you, providing for you, enabling you to live with purpose and direction. You will live every day with a sense of meaning and value. This is what people really feel. So how is this positive result which people really feel achieved? (It’s achieved in people by God’s words when they put His words into practice.) That’s right, once people accept God’s words as their life, this result is achieved in them; their life is changed, the way they live is changed, their views on people and things are different, the way they see people and things is different, and so their pursuit is different. They no longer pursue those fleshly enjoyments, material rewards, or fame, gain, and position. Pursuing the things of one’s fleshly predilections can only make one feel increasingly dull, empty, uneasy and in pain. Once God’s words have occupied one’s heart, however, the truth becomes their life within them, their inner essence and life are changed, and so they feel differently. Their feelings and predilections, their various emotions, their goals in life, the direction of their pursuit, and their rules for living are all completely different. Their pursuit is changed, they can pursue the truth and seek to know God, and they become able to live in accordance with the way God requires them to live. People who achieve this do not face decay, death, and destruction, but rather they come to have genuine life, a life that is not subject to decay. What do I mean when I say it is not subject to decay? I mean that this life within these people will not disappear, it will not fall away, it will not fade, and it will not deteriorate, and they will not face destruction as they did before. In this way, do their current state of existence and the prospects for their survival not change? It’s clear that their prospects for survival undergo a change. What is the reason why human life fades, withers, decays, has an end, and gets destroyed? It happens because people don’t have the words of God as their life, and whether someone lives a hundred years, or two hundred years, or three hundred years, or a thousand years, their rules for living, their outlook on life, and the meaning of their life will not change. So, what do people who live like this actually live for? They live entirely for the purpose of satisfying their flesh. What is pursued by the flesh of man? Such things as wealth, fame, gain, and material enjoyments, and it is precisely these things which, in God’s eyes, run contrary to the truth, and which God detests. There is therefore a time limit on God permitting people to pursue and enjoy these things. One life of man can last sixty- or seventy-odd, eighty- or ninety-odd years and then it ends, and for every end there is a new round of rebirth, and this is how the lifespan of man comes about. If God didn’t predetermine this time limit, wouldn’t people get sick of living after being alive for a long time? When people are in their twenties, every day they feel that things are fresh, beautiful, and happy; when they get to their forties, they feel that eating three meals a day and going to sleep at night is a boring way to live; by the time they get to their sixties, they feel as though they understand everything, and they have enjoyed some blessings, suffered some hardships, and they feel that nothing is interesting anymore. They set about their work every day when the sun comes up and rest when the sun goes down, and the day is gone in the blink of an eye. Their every bodily function begins to decline, completely different from when they were in their twenties—this is when their end is near. When someone’s end is near, that doesn’t mean that their soul will end. It means that their flesh will soon come to an end. Ordinarily, people die when they get into their sixties, seventies or eighties, and those with a long lifespan can live to be over a hundred at most. There is a saying which goes “A person who’s lived too long grows tired of living—they’ve had enough of life.” When someone lives too long, they get sick of life, they don’t want to live anymore, and life becomes meaningless to them. Why do they feel that life is meaningless? There is a true situation here, and that is that people live in their flesh eating three meals a day and doing their daily chores, every day exactly the same as the day before, doing the same things, living the same life, and when they reach a certain point, people know these things through and through. They feel they’ve seen everything they should see, tasted everything they should taste, and experienced everything they should experience. They feel that this is just how life is, and they have nothing to hope for, nothing to look forward to, and that their life is empty and they will soon meet their end. Is this not the case? (It is.) This is how things are.

We just talked about the words “All things must pass away, only God’s words will never pass away, and just like God Himself, God’s words will live forever.” These words tell people the fact that God’s words are so very important to mankind, and they also tell people their goals and direction of practice, and that no pursuit of anything can be a substitute for man gaining even one line of God’s words. This is because all things must pass away, and all things must fade, wither, and weaken over time, and only God’s words alone will never pass away. Therefore, if you gain God’s words and enter the reality of God’s words, meaning that you understand the truth and enter the truth reality, then you come to have value because of God’s words and the truth, and your essence becomes different to how it was before. Some people say, “So what if my essence is different?” I do not mean different in the ordinary sense, but rather it becomes tremendously different, for you come to have God’s words as your life, and just like God’s words you will not pass away, just like God you will have eternal life, and you will have an eternal after, future, and destination. So now, by looking at what will happen in the future, are God’s words not important to man? (Yes, they are.) They are crucial! How should you pursue once you have understood that God’s words are important? What should you pursue that has value and meaning? Should you pursue exerting more effort, suffering more, paying a greater price, and running around more in the performance of your duty? Or should you study professional skills more, equip yourself with more doctrine and preach more? (None of those things.) Then what is most useful for you to pursue? You all know the answer, it’s as clear as crystal to you: The attainment of God’s words is the most valuable and meaningful pursuit. “All things must pass away, only God’s words will never pass away, and just like God Himself, God’s words will live forever.” Remember these words in your heart and you should not forget or discard them at any time. When you feel negative and weak, when you feel you have no hope, when tribulations come your way, when you are replaced in your duty, when you are pruned, when you suffer setbacks and failures, and when you are reprimanded and condemned; or else when you are riding on the crest of your success, when people hold you in high esteem and praise you wherever you go, and so on; at any time and in any situation, you must always think of these words and allow them to bring you before God and seek the provision of God’s words for you in this very moment, allow God’s words to help free you from your tribulations, resolve your difficulties, resolve the confusion in your innermost heart, turn you back from the wrong path you follow, and resolve your transgressions, your intransigence, your rebelliousness, and so on, and allow God’s words to solve every problem you face. These words are so useful to you! When you forget what your own responsibilities and duties are, when you forget what principles you should be keeping, when you forget what standpoint and perspective you should be taking and your own identity and status, think of these words. These words will bring you before God, they will bring you into God’s words, they will bring you to understand what God’s will is in this very moment, and they will bring you to take the correct standpoint, view, and perspective to regard yourself, to regard others, and to regard the events and environments you encounter. In this way, under the guidance of God and under the provision, enlightenment, and help of God’s words, no problem can stump you, and no problem can obstruct you from pursuing the truth and stop your onward steps. Isn’t this the path of practice? (It is.) The lesson you should learn now is not to grumble, complain, and adhere to rules, or to go looking for man’s approaches when you encounter issues, but rather to come before God and seek the truth, seek God’s help, allow God’s words to provide for you and resolve your every difficulty—this is the lesson you should learn. We will end our fellowship here on the topic of understanding God’s launching the most important work of His management plan against the backdrop of Satan’s profound corruption of mankind; in the end, it all comes down to God’s words. However we fellowship, I hope in the end that people can enter the truth reality of God’s words and not just settle for knowing how to preach words and doctrines, or study theological theory or engage in religious ceremonies every day. Entering the reality of God’s words is the most pressing lesson of life entry that people must learn.

We will now fellowship on another practical problem concerning the various sayings on moral conduct. The various sayings on moral conduct we fellowshipped on before were basically exposed by using traditional Chinese culture as a demonstration, exposing these manifold satanic sayings in the innermost hearts of corrupted mankind. Some people say, “Seeing as traditional Chinese culture is used to demonstrate these sayings on moral conduct, we’re not Chinese, so can’t we just not accept these words You’re fellowshipping? Do we really need to know these various sayings on moral conduct from Satan’s corruption of mankind?” Is this a right thing to say? (No.) Very clearly, this is wrong. Satan’s corruption of mankind does not distinguish between race or time, but rather it corrupts mankind without making any distinction of race or time or religious background. Therefore, if you are a member of the Chinese race, whether you are Han Chinese or a member of a minority ethnic group such as Mongolian, Hui, Miao, Yi, and so on, you have, without exception, been subjected to the indoctrination and inculcation of all manner of sayings on moral conduct that have come from Satan. That is to say, you have likewise, without exception, been subjected to Satan’s corruption of mankind in terms of your thinking. To say it precisely, your thinking, your innermost soul and innermost heart have likewise been deeply corrupted and processed by Satan. Even if you’re not Chinese—if you’re Japanese, Korean, German, or any nationality—whether you’re Asian, European, African, or American, whether your skin is yellow, black, brown, or white, whatever your ethnicity and whatever race you belong to, as long as you are a created being, then you have been deeply corrupted by Satan without exception. Besides possessing satanic corrupt dispositions, you have, without exception, been injected with satanic thoughts and views by Satan, and your heart has of course also been deeply corrupted by Satan. It is only that, for people in different countries and of different races, Satan uses different methods to instill the same things in them. These things may differ in the saying of them, there may be some difference there, but the final result of corrupting people is always the same and largely identical with only minor differences. They all cause people to disguise their appearance through their behavior and, through a number of specious, unrealistic, or even unethical sayings that run contrary to humanity, they demand that people act in a certain way and behave in a certain way in terms of their moral character, and demand how people should conduct themselves and do certain things. Even though there are differences between these sayings, and even though they arise at different times and hail from different corners, different regions, and different areas, and they are originated from different people, yet the final consequence is always that they control people’s thoughts and hearts, they confine people’s thoughts and hearts, and they pump people’s thinking full of views and notions that carry the poisons and the nature essence of Satan. They cause people’s innermost hearts to be filled with Satan’s views, its wicked essence, and its wicked notions. Ultimately, regardless of ethnicity or race, and regardless of tribe or time period, man has all been misled and trampled on by Satan and corrupted by Satan in their thoughts and innermost hearts to varying degrees. In the end, regardless of what corner of the world the people upon whom Satan performs this work of corruption are in, or what race they are, or what time period they have lived in, the consequence is always to make mankind the unmitigated progeny, mouthpiece, and embodiment of Satan, and to make man the unmitigated living Satans both great and small, both visible and tangible. Of course, such a mankind as this also becomes the unmitigated enemy of God and opposition to God. Therefore, no matter what kind of people are now listening to sermons or how many people there are, there is one undeniable fact: All of mankind lies within the clutches of the evil one—this is a fact. If we say this another way, it means that while all of mankind is being deeply corrupted by Satan, the thoughts and hearts of all of mankind are also entirely held under the control and confinement of Satan—this is undeniable. So, any noble race and any people with a nationality belonging to a powerful country have all, without exception, been deeply corrupted by Satan, and are profoundly manipulated, controlled, and confined by Satan. As long as you are a member of the human race, as long as you live beneath the sun, as long as you are a human who breathes air, drinks water, and eats grains, then being corrupted by Satan has been unavoidable and, without exception, you have been corrupted by Satan in your thoughts, in your heart, in your dispositions, and in your essence. To say it more accurately, as long as you are a created human being and as long as you have been corrupted by Satan, then you are the enemy of God. As long as you have been corrupted by Satan, as long as you were in the past or are now controlled and confined by Satan, then you are an object for God to save, and this is beyond question. As long as you are a human being who has been corrupted by Satan, then without exception you possess Satan’s disposition and thinking and possess a heart that has been filled and occupied by the poisons of Satan. Therefore, recognizing and discerning the various different thoughts, views, and the manifold sayings on moral conduct that come from Satan is not a task only for Chinese people, or something that Chinese people hold the monopoly for. On the contrary, it is a lesson which every single one of God’s chosen people whom He has selected ought to learn and a reality they should enter into. Every single one of God’s chosen people, without exception, should recognize and discern all the myriad fallacious and evil thoughts and views that come from Satan. Don’t think that just because you were born into a wealthy family, a family with a prominent position, that you can have a sense of superiority, believing yourself uncorrupted by Satan, and that just because you have an honorable identity, that your soul must be noble too—this is a distorted understanding. Or perhaps you believe that you have a noble lineage, and that the color of your skin demonstrates that you have an honorable identity, position, and worth, and so you mistakenly believe that your essence, your thinking, and your heart are more noble and elevated than others. If so, then I say that this understanding you have is foolish and unrealistic, because the mankind God is talking about is not divided by nationality, race, or religion. Regardless of what kind of social circumstances or religious situation you live in, and regardless of what race you were born into, or whether your position in society is lowly or noble, or whether you enjoy high prestige among other people or not, and so on, you cannot use any of these things as excuses to not accept these words of God or to not accept the fact that Satan corrupts mankind. As long as you are a human being, then the words “human being” should have the attributive word “corrupted” before them. To say it precisely, as long as you are a human being, then you must necessarily be a corrupted human being, and this is beyond all doubt. Furthermore, we can say that as long as you are a corrupt human being, then the things within your natural thinking and which are held within your innermost heart come from Satan and have all been profoundly processed and corrupted by Satan—you should accept this fact. You inherently have nothing whatsoever related to the truth, nothing that has anything whatsoever to do with God’s words or God’s life, but on the contrary you are misled, corrupted, and controlled by Satan. Your mind is filled with the thoughts, philosophies, logic, and rules for living of Satan, and everything within your mind comes from Satan. What does this fact tell people? No one should use any excuse to reject God’s salvation, or selectively accept God’s words. As a corrupted human being, you should accept God’s words without any choice. This is your responsibility, and it is also what you need. If someone has been born in a wealthy and powerful nation and they live in superior social circumstances, or they’re born into a prestigious family and have received higher education, and so they believe themselves to be different from everyone else and nobler than others of God’s chosen people, and so wish to place themselves above all others of God’s chosen people, then this is absurd thinking, it is foolish thinking, and it can even be said to be foolish in the extreme. No matter how special your identity, position, or worth is, or how much loftier your identity, position, or social circumstances are than those of ordinary people, you will always be a created being before God. God doesn’t look at where you came from or your circumstances at birth, He doesn’t look at your nationality or race, and He doesn’t look at your worth, prestige, or achievements in society or in the world. God looks only at whether you accept His words, whether you take His words as the truth, and whether you can view people and things and comport yourself and act according to His words. If you truly regard yourself as just one among ordinary created beings under the dominion of God, then you should let go of your social circumstances, your racial background, your national background, and religious background and come before God as an ordinary created being, accept His words without any labels or background, and by so doing your identity and status will be set aright. If you wish to accept God’s words with this correct identity and status, then the first thing you should understand is what man’s essence is, and the first thing you should accept is that the essence of man has been deeply corrupted by Satan, and that the things which fill and occupy man’s thoughts and their innermost hearts all come from Satan. Since people wish to accept God’s words and accept the truth as life, they should first unearth, reflect on, and come to know all the things in their thinking and innermost hearts which do not accord with the truth and which are hostile to it. Only when these things are clearly recognized, thoroughly understood, and thoroughly dissected can people relinquish them at the right time and in the right environment, thereby enabling their innermost hearts to undergo a total change. When they have expelled all the things of Satan and accepted God’s words and the truth, they will become new people. Only when the perspective, views, and standpoint by which people view other people and things undergo a complete change can they truly and accurately view people and things according to God’s words. They then become relatively pure people, unsullied. People now cannot yet achieve this. Though they may understand a little of the truth in their hearts, they are still sullied by all manner of absurd views and wrong and preposterous things. They accept half of God’s words and the truth and repudiate the other half; they selectively accept a little, accept a little to varying degrees, yet their hearts always leave room for the thoughts and logic of Satan and the specious things Satan instills in them, always keeping these things within their hearts. These things within people affect their minds, their judgment, and the perspective and views by which they view people and things, and this has a tremendous impact on the extent to which they accept the truth.

The corruption and misleading of mankind caused by the various sayings on moral conduct Satan instills in people using traditional culture are extensive. This is not something limited only to Chinese people, but rather it reaches throughout all of mankind, into every corner and every time period. It affects and controls generation after generation of people, and affects and controls people of different races, nationalities and religions. Once people have understood this, the attributive word that goes with “traditional culture” is not only “Chinese”; it can be said that the traditional culture of any nation or race comes from Satan and arises from the corruption of Satan. For example, there is traditional Japanese culture, traditional Korean culture, traditional Indian culture, traditional Filipino culture, traditional Vietnamese culture, traditional African culture, the traditional culture of white people, as well as the traditional cultures of Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, and other traditional cultures that have arisen out of religions. All these traditional cultures run contrary to the truth and have a profound effect on people’s views, standpoints, and perspectives concerning how they view people and things and comport themselves and act. They are just like hot brands that leave deep imprints on people’s innermost thoughts and hearts. They hold sway over people’s lives, people’s rules for living, the paths they follow in life and the direction and goals of their conduct; they even hold sway over the goals people pursue. These things severely disturb and impact the attitude with which people regard positive things, God’s words, the truth, and God. Of course, they also severely impact and disturb people’s standpoints and views concerning how they view people and things and how they comport themselves and act, meaning that they have a severe impact on people accepting and practicing the truth. And what is the consequence in the end? (People lose their chance to attain salvation.) That’s right, what is impacted finally is the crucial matter of people attaining salvation. Is this not a serious consequence? (Yes.) This is such a serious consequence! How someone sees things, what kind of perspective they take to see things, what views they take and what notions they harbor to see things are all decided based on their corrupt dispositions and on the things present in their thinking. If the things present in their thinking are positive, then they will view people and things from the correct perspective; if the things present in their thinking are negative and passive and have come from Satan, then they will necessarily view people and things from incorrect and absurd perspectives, standpoints, and views, and ultimately this will have an impact on the path they follow. If the standpoints, views, and perspectives by which you view people and things are wrong, then the goals and direction of your pursuit are also wrong, as is the path you follow in your conduct. If you continue with these wrong things, then you will have absolutely no chance of attaining salvation, as the path you follow is wrong. If the perspectives, standpoints, thoughts and views by which you view people and things are correct, then the results that arise will also be correct, they will pertain to positive things, and will not run contrary to the truth. When man views people and things from perspectives that are in accordance with the truth, then the path they choose will also be right, as will their goals and direction, and they will have hope of attaining salvation in the end. However, because people now are occupied and controlled by Satan, the perspectives, standpoints, and views by which they view people and things are wrong, which causes their pursuit and the path they follow to also be wrong. For example, when people work and pay the price for the sake of fame and gain, for face, and for status, is this path wrong? (Yes.) How does it come about that people embark upon such a wrong path? Is it not because the perspectives, views, and starting point from which they regard this kind of thing are wrong? (It is.) This causes people to embark upon the wrong path. And if people keep following such a wrong path, will they be able to attain salvation in the end? No, they won’t. If you view people and things and comport yourself and act in accordance with some thought or view instilled in you by Satan, then the path you walk will necessarily be the path of ruin. It will absolutely not be the path to salvation, because it is precisely opposite and contrary to the path to salvation. If people follow along this wrong path, they destroy their own chance to attain salvation, it is completely gone, and they can never walk the path to salvation. However, if you pursue with the correct view, and you view people and things and comport yourself and act according to God’s words, then the principles of practice which arise will be positive, your path will be positive, and because you are starting from the right place, the path you ultimately follow will also be right. If you follow along such a path as this, then you will certainly be able to attain salvation. This aspect of the truth is somewhat profound and most of you probably don’t understand it. You have no appreciation of it, and you, as yet, don’t possess this aspect of the truth reality. You don’t know whether you view people and things and comport yourselves and act based on wrong views or right views—you don’t yet have this experience. Right now, you know only to act, to exert your strength, to make an effort, and to pay a price, whereas you haven’t even begun to examine what affects and controls the views and thoughts in your innermost hearts. This topic is therefore somewhat far from you, and we will stop talking about it here.

We just talked about the essence of sayings on moral conduct, and the extent to which it relates is not limited only to the Chinese mainland, but rather to all of mankind. This is because all of mankind lies within the clutches of the evil one, and every human being has been deeply corrupted by Satan and is under Satan’s control. There is a factual basis for saying this. It is not only the people of the Chinese mainland who have been corrupted by Satan, but all of mankind has been corrupted by Satan, and all human beings lie within the clutches of the evil one. That mankind has been deeply corrupted by Satan can be seen to some extent by all. We have been fellowshipping for some time now on Satan’s instilling the various sayings on moral conduct into people’s thoughts, using this method to mislead, control, and confine people, and thereby achieving its purpose of corrupting people. This fact is not limited to Chinese people, but is present in all people of different races, different nationalities, and different ethnicities. All human beings have been deeply corrupted by Satan, including all races and ethnicities; the manifold specious things which are difficult to discern that Satan instills in people using traditional culture, and even sayings which seem to people to be relatively positive and in accord with their morals, thinking and tastes, are actually all part of Satan’s corruption of mankind. That is to say, all human beings have been corrupted by Satan in this way, and all human beings of any ethnicity, race, or nationality, born in any place, or in any region or land of planet earth, have been deeply misled, controlled, and corrupted by Satan in both mind and heart. No matter where or when you were born, or which ethnicity or nation you were born into, you have without exception been misled and corrupted by the sayings of traditional culture Satan has instilled in you. Therefore, you should not think that just because we are only dissecting traditional Chinese culture that your own nation or ethnicity is without a satanic cultural background, that you are better than Chinese people, nor should you have a feeling of superiority whereby you feel more honorable and noble than Chinese people. This feeling of superiority is a misconception, it is wrong, it is absurd, and we can even go so far as to say it is foolish. As long as corrupted mankind is mentioned, you must not exclude yourself from it; as long as corrupted mankind is mentioned, you are a part of it. Of course, as long as it’s said that you are a corrupted human being, then your innermost heart is filled with thoughts dominated by traditional culture which Satan instills in you, and this is an indisputable fact, a fact that is forever immutable. You must understand this fact clearly—it is beyond question and must not be doubted. We will finish our fellowship on this topic here.

Last time, we fellowshipped on the topic “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” This is a saying Satan uses to corrupt people in terms of moral conduct. The advocacy of this saying has a significant impact on people’s thinking and it, like other sayings on moral conduct, is absurd and does not conform to the facts. No matter what someone says, as long as they do it, then other people think them to have a noble morality and honorable character, and this is both preposterous and laughable. This saying is just the same as other sayings on moral conduct in that they are all preposterous and laughable heresies and fallacies. They can all be referred to like this and can also be defined as being absurd in the extreme and unable to withstand scrutiny. Let’s look today at the saying on moral conduct of “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” Before formally fellowshipping on it, have you ever contemplated how to explain this saying? How can its essence be dissected? What poisons does it hold within it? What are the thoughts Satan wishes to instill in people through this saying? What is Satan’s malicious intent? What aspect of human beings does Satan corrupt using this saying? Have you ever contemplated these things? The saying “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied” can be simply explained as not going along with bad people and being able to protect oneself from bad influences. Whether someone else assesses someone as having grown like a lily from the mud unsullied, or whether that someone wants to grow like a lily from the mud unsullied, what kind of person are they, generally speaking? They claim to be very incorruptible, upright, open and aboveboard, that they are gentlemen with noble moral character, but they see this age, this world, this mankind, and even this country, this imperial court, and this officialdom as not like this. Do these people not usually look at things cynically and feel dissatisfied with reality? They often feel that they have high aspirations but were born at the wrong time, that they have talent but cannot use it. They believe that, whether in officialdom or in society, there are always base people blocking their way, that they have grand, strategic minds, they are stellar individuals, yet no one recognizes their talent or ever lets them handle important tasks. They’re dissatisfied with reality and become cynical, and they say they will “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” that they will protect themselves from bad influences and be spotless. To put it bluntly, people like this see themselves as pure and lofty and they are dissatisfied with reality. They don’t necessarily have any true talent or real ability, and the perspectives with which they view people and things and comport themselves and act are not necessarily correct or practical and, of course, they cannot necessarily achieve anything, either. And yet they believe themselves to be set apart from ordinary people, and are always sighing, “All the world is turbid, I alone am pure; all the people are drunk, I alone am sober,” as though disillusioned with the mortal world and often seeing the evil and darkness of the world. To be precise, people like this are cynical. They detest the political and commercial sectors, and they detest literary, artistic, and educational circles. They detest intellectuals’ perspectives on their pursuits, and they look down on farmers and on those with religious beliefs. What kind of people are these? Are they not a kind apart? Are they not abnormal in some way? These people have no real ability or learning. If you ask them to do some practical work, they won’t necessarily be equal to the task. They enjoy grumbling, and in their spare time they publish articles and poetry collections to disclose matters of politics, government, society, and individuals of a certain group during a certain period of time. They criticize this today and that tomorrow, they speak eloquently, but get into a mess when they do anything. In the end, they don’t fit in with anyone, they can’t accomplish anything anywhere, and they’re not equal to their job. They mistakenly believe, “I’m so talented! Ordinary people can’t attain to the realm of my thought!” They feel dejected, troubled, and depressed in their hearts. In their free time, they wander around, and whenever they go to some place of historical interest, they holler, “I’m a thwarted genius! I’m a stellar individual, but few there are who can recognize true talent! I have high aspirations, it’s just a shame I was born at the wrong time and am down on my luck!” They always believe themselves to be ambitious and full of learning but can never stand out from the crowd or be placed in a high position by anyone in power, and so they become cynical and dissatisfied, they look down on everyone, until ultimately they wind up all alone. Isn’t that pitiful? To put it bluntly, people like this are a mad bunch of people who are pompous, extremely aloof, and dissatisfied with reality, and they always feel unsuccessful. Actually, these people are nothing, they cannot accomplish anything, they do everything badly, and when they learn a little knowledge, they show off by talking endlessly about it. In ancient times, such people recited poetry, wrote odes, and showed off their literary skills, with a pedantic look about them. Nowadays, people like this have many more opportunities to show off. They can make their own media, post comments on blogs, and so on. In some countries with relatively free social systems, they frequently expose the dark side of various industries, such as the dark and evil aspects of the literary, artistic, commercial, political, and cultural sectors. All day, they criticize this and belittle that, believing themselves so very talented. The origin of their doing all these things is their belief that everything about them is good and right, and that they have reached greatness, glory, and correctness. To be precise, they protect themselves from bad influences and “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” They believe they see everything clearly, that they can understand everything. They use veiled criticism against anyone who does anything, and they look upon them with scorn and disdain. They always have something to say about whatever anyone does, and they criticize and belittle them. In reality, they have no idea what they themselves are, they’ve never known what perspective and standpoint to take that are correct and proper when they say things. They just know how to be loose-tongued and clever-tongued. Are there many people like this in society? (Yes.) What are these people? To say it precisely, they are a mad bunch of people who are pompous and who see themselves as pure and lofty. There’ve been many people like this throughout history, right? (Yes.) How should you describe and define these people? Are they not idealists? To be precise, these people are idealists. They are unwilling to live in the current real living environment, and their heads are constantly in the clouds, filled with ethereal, empty, invisible and intangible things. They live in a non-existent and ethereal world—these people are called idealists. So, what perspective do they take to rate other people? They take the moral high ground, and their starting point for rating other people is, “I can see your evil and dark side clearly and expose it. Being able to expose the bad and evil things you do proves that I am not like you.” The underlying meaning here is, “I ‘grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.’ You have all been contaminated by this evil trend; you are not good people.” Is this not them seeing themselves as pure and lofty? Is this not them overrating themselves and being pompous? Is this not a disguised attempt to elevate themselves under the guise of criticizing reality, exposing the dark side of society, and being dissatisfied with reality? (It is.) So, how do we define such people? There is a folk saying that goes, “I’ve met shameless people before, but I’ve never met anyone as shameless as you.” Doesn’t this describe these people? (It does.) They are shameless. They have mouths that talk only about right and wrong, and eyes that see only the shortcomings and flaws of others. With their clever mouths, they publicly expose others’ shortcomings and flaws, and through doing so they express their own views and show other people how they protect themselves from bad influences, and how unique, and noble they are. Are they really noble? Are they really unique? They’re just the same as everyone else. No matter what methods other people use to pursue fame and gain, their methods are obvious. These people, however, assume dignified airs, and their exposure and criticism of others serve as topics and springboards by which they elevate and promote themselves, and they use these means to become famous and influential. Are they not also pursuing fame and gain? Aren’t their goals just the same? Are the results not just the same? They just use different means and methods, that’s all. It’s just like insulting someone using polite language and insulting them using coarse language, the insulting nature is still just the same. Other people become famous in one way, and these people become famous in another way—the final result is the same, as is the intent, the purpose, and the motivation, so there is no difference at all.

As for those people in society who proclaim themselves to “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” we have defined them as idealists. The characteristics of such people are that they are exceptionally aloof, they think they’re better than anyone else, they regard everyone else as unsatisfactory, and ultimately they conclude that, “You are all mired in the mud and mired in evil trends. I have surpassed you, and I ‘grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.’” This is their pomposity, and this is how dissatisfied with reality they are, as though they themselves are so very holy and clean. In fact, because they are not as capable as others and don’t have the means other people have, because they are always seeking to stand out from the crowd but never get their wish, because they are always pursuing ideal, ethereal, and empty things but are never satisfied and can never bring these things into reality, and because they have no desire to face reality, or to let go of their ideals, and so, in terms of form, they have no alternative but to stay away from official, political, artistic and literary, and cultural circles. Because they’re not welcome in such circles, cannot be accepted, cannot achieve their ambitions, and their ideals and aspirations cannot be realized, in the end they proclaim themselves to “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” and say that they swim against the current, that they have a noble moral character, and they use such sayings to console themselves. Do you now know how to discern such people by us fellowshipping on them in this way? What exactly are these people in essence? They’re nothing, yet they’re still pompous. Is this an accurate assessment? (Yes.) People like this have so many ideals, but not one of them can be realized, nor do any of them conform to reality. These things they think of are all vacuous and unrealistic. All day long, these people do no proper work, knowing only to recite poetry and compose odes, criticizing this, belittling that—this is them not doing any proper work, right? Their essence can be seen from their behavior: They have no real talent or learning, their thoughts and views on reality and life are all vacuous, vague, and unrealistic, and that’s why they can follow the fallacy of “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” They strive to be like this, hoping that more people will be like this, too—this is fallacious. If people are like this, then what can they achieve? To be precise, people like this are without a genuine goal or direction in life, without true belief, without true choice in life, and without the correct path of practice. All day long, their thoughts are wild and unrestrained, they entertain all sorts of outlandish ideas, their minds are filled with chaotic, empty, and unrealistic things, none of which are realistic, and these people are in fact a kind apart from mankind. Their thinking is both vacuous and incredibly absurd and extreme. Regardless of what group of people they are in, or whether they are upper class, middle class, or lower class in society, they never get along with others and can never be accepted by people. Why is this? It’s because their thinking, their pursuits, and the perspectives by which they view people and things are extreme and of a different kind. To be polite, these people are idealists, but to be precise, they are mentally ill and mentally abnormal. Tell Me, can mentally ill people get along well with normal people? Not only can they not get along well with their friends and work colleagues, but they can’t even get along well with their own families. When these people put forward their views and statements, other people feel awkward and averse, and they don’t want to hear them at all. These statements hold no water and don’t work in real life. In real life, the difficulties people face can arise within themselves, they can arise out of people’s objective environments, or they can involve the main daily necessities of life—how should these things be faced, handled, and resolved? In terms of minor difficulties, there are those which involve the main daily necessities of life, while in terms of major difficulties, there are those which relate to people’s outlook on life, their rules for living, the path they follow, and their beliefs, and it is these problems which are the most real. Yet these idealists always want to detach themselves from these problems and never want to live in real-life situations. Their views, perspectives, and starting point from which they view people and things are not based on these real problems, but are rather wild and unconstrained. You never know what they’re thinking, as though they think the thoughts of aliens, things people here on earth have never heard before, things which sound abnormal to them. Who wants to hear someone saying abnormal things? When people first meet this person and hear them speak, they may feel that what they’re saying is really fresh and new, more insightful and cleverer than what ordinary people say. But after a while, they realize that it’s all just nonsense, so no one pays attention to that person anymore, they pay no heed to them, and nothing they say enters either their ears or their hearts. Is that person able to perceive it when other people adopt such an attitude toward them? They become aware of it as time passes, and in their heart they think, “No one likes me, what’s up with that? Why don’t they like me? Sigh, I’m a stellar individual, but few there are who can recognize true talent!” You see, they are always pompous, always believing themselves to be talented, clever, and capable, when in fact they’re nothing. No matter what group of people they find themselves in, the final result and end for them is always rejection. This is caused by them following the saying “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” If you have ever wanted to be like this, then I tell you to stop right there, as these people are not normal. If your thinking and the reason of your humanity are normal, then you should do what you ought to do and what you can do, and not seek to be one of those who “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” These people are a degenerate and different kind of human being, and they are not normal.

Once we’ve finished dissecting the essence of people who “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” let’s talk about the problems of dissatisfaction with reality and cynicism which we mentioned when we exposed these people. Some people believe, “We believe in God so we should understand the dark side of society and the evil trends in society, and not follow them. We also have to understand politics, the wickedness of mankind, the various common practices of mankind, and all the dark and evil things of mankind that are present at different times, in different corners of the world, and among different races and groups. By doing this, we will develop discernment.” Is this what God requires of man? Before we fellowship on this topic, some of you may have made this your pursuit, but now I tell you clearly, this is not something you must do, and it is not what God requires of you. You are not required to understand this world, this society, and humankind, or this political, commercial, literary, or religious sector, or any common practice that hails from society, or the operating method of any group or force in society, and so on—this is not a lesson you need to learn. You don’t need to be dissatisfied with reality, and you don’t need to protect yourself from bad influences. This is not the standpoint or perspective you should take, and it is not the view you should adopt. God has chosen you and allowed you to believe in and follow Him; He does not ask you to be anti-mankind, anti-society, anti-politics, or anti-state, nor does He ask you to oppose any group, race, or religion. He just simply asks you to follow Him and reject Satan, to come before Him and accept and submit to His words, to follow His way, and to fear Him and shun evil. God has never asked that you be anti-mankind, anti-society, or anti-state. To be more precise, God has never asked you to oppose a certain government, a certain social or political system, or a certain political policy—God has never asked you to do any such thing. Some people say, “All of mankind rejects us, opposes us, and persecutes us. Is it wrong for us to rise up and oppose them and fight against them? They are all against us, so why can’t we be against them?” No matter how you think or act personally, or what kind of views you hold personally concerning society, the world, and national political systems, that is your own business and it has nothing to do with the way God asks you to follow, nor anything to do with God’s teachings or requirements. Some people say, “Since You say these things have nothing to do with God’s teachings, that they are not what God requires of us and not what God asks us to do, why then does God expose Satan, social trends, the dark side of society, and even religion?” God exposes these things only so that you can understand them, as these things God exposes are related to people’s corrupt dispositions and to the God-defying views and notions people have. Therefore, in this kind of situation, we must necessarily fellowship on such topics and use such examples, the purpose being to allow people to be able to more accurately and practically know the satanic dispositions revealed by corrupt mankind, and to discern all the different fallacious thoughts and views and God-defying notions which Satan instills in them, and that’s all. This is not done so that people can personally oppose politics, oppose society, and oppose mankind. God never asked people to be dissatisfied with reality, to be cynical, or to protect themselves from bad influences. Some people say, “Even though God never asked me to be like this, I only believe in God because I’m cynical and dissatisfied with reality, because I feel that there is fairness and righteousness in God’s house and that the truth holds sway here, and because I am treated fairly here.” That’s your business and it has nothing to do with what God requires. Of course, everyone comes to believe in God for different reasons: Some people believe in God to gain blessings, some to escape the disasters, some to have their sickness cured, some to have a good destination in the future; and then there are some who are dissatisfied with reality, dissatisfied with the world, dissatisfied with society, or have been treated unfairly in society, and so come to God’s house seeking comfort and shelter. Everyone’s views on belief in God and their original intent or motivation for their belief in God are different. There are also those who are without these things in their hearts, who just want to believe in God and feel that believing in God is a good thing. In any case, when those people who are cynical and dissatisfied with reality come to believe in God, God doesn’t commend them or treat them kindly just because they are gifted or talented in some small way. This is because they do not accept the truth, they are exceedingly arrogant, self-righteous, and contemptuous of others, and people like this find it incredibly difficult to accept the truth. You should harbor no hope for such people, nor should you be such people yourselves. I tell you only to be honest, to pursue the truth, to submit to God’s words, and to fear God and shun evil. Therefore, never believe that just because you are dissatisfied with society and understand it clearly, or that because you previously engaged in some special industry and have a deeper understanding of that industry’s dark side, that you have capital and stature in your belief in God, that God loves you, that you meet God’s required standards, or that you are a qualified created being. If you do believe such a thing, then I say you are wrong, the views by which you are measuring the situation are wrong, the perspective from which you are seeing things is wrong, and the standpoint you are taking is wrong. Why do I say this? I say it because the standpoint you are taking and the perspective and views by which you view people and things are not based on God’s words and do not have the truth as their criterion. If you always take the perspective of worldly people and feel dissatisfied with reality and cynical, then you will detest them, you will want to fight and struggle against them, to reason with them and debate with them about what is right and what is wrong; you will want to change mankind, change society, and even change the political system of a country. There are even some people who will want to expose the dark side of their nation’s political elite, believing that by doing so they are rejecting Satan and practicing the truth. This is all wrong. No matter how many things go on within the spheres of the political elite, within business circles, or within artistic and literary circles, none of it has anything whatsoever to do with your pursuit of the truth. No matter how much you know about such things, it’s all useless, and it doesn’t demonstrate that you know Satan’s essence or that you can reject Satan in your innermost heart. No matter how much you know or understand such things, and no matter how specific, how true, or how accurate your understanding is, this does not demonstrate that you are practicing the truth, that you are knowing yourself, or that you are dissecting the satanic thoughts and views within yourself, nor does this demonstrate that you love God’s words and the truth, much less does it demonstrate that you fear God. Don’t think that just because you understand a little about society, or you know the insider rules of an industry or some hearsay most people don’t know about, that because you are cynical and dissatisfied with society and you have the courage to expose society’s dark side, that you are a noble and honorable person, a cut above the rest, and that you “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” God doesn’t want people like that.

Before they came to believe in God, some people were timid and hesitant, not daring to expose society’s dark side, not having the courage to do it. Now that they believe in God, they feel that they have God emboldening them and backing them up, and so they’re not afraid anymore to expose such things. There are even some who go abroad to democratic countries and dare to expose some of the evil doings of the demon that is the CCP. These people then feel they understand the truth, that they have stature and have faith in God. These are all wrong thoughts and views, and it is pointless for them to pursue these things. Whether you’re dissatisfied with reality and cynical, whether you’re a cut above the rest of society, and whether you’re someone who “grows like a lily from the mud unsullied,” none of it matters to God; He does not look at such things. What does God look at? God first looks at whether or not you recognize the thoughts and views that come from Satan in your innermost heart and, once you’ve recognized them, whether you expose them and are open about them to others, and whether you reject them once you understand them clearly. Moreover, God looks at whether or not you consciously pursue the truth in real life, whether you consciously seek the truth principles in how you view people and things and conduct yourself and act, and what exactly your attitude toward the truth is. This is something you must be clear about in your heart. Some people enjoy discussing the past and present, speaking profusely and forcefully about historical court intrigues, outlining in great detail what great events happened in which period within political spheres, what the substantive issues were, and who played a part at key moments, and so on and so forth. They then think they have stature, that they’re upright and have a strong sense of justice, saying, “You see, I’m so dissatisfied with society. My gaze penetrates the darkness of officialdom, and I understand it so profoundly and thoroughly!” What’s the use in saying such things? Who are you trying to butter up? God? Are you showing off how intellectual you are and that you know about so many things? Saying these things is useless. I’ve never looked at any worthless trash online, nor have I ever been interested in any kind of news or tidings. Why don’t I look at these things? Because it’s aggravating and disgusting. Some people believe that once they come to believe in God, they must have a sense of justice, and they often pass comment on and are full of hot air about famous people, celebrities, and politicians, and they bring these people’s private lives to light, hoping to open up everyone’s eyes. They feel like they’re jacks of all trades, wise guys, that they know all secrets, and that they’re so very clever, knowledgeable, and upright. What’s the use in knowing such things? Does it show that you’re practicing the truth? Does it show that you’ve understood the truth? Does it show that you have stature? (No.) You can’t stop talking about those things in society, but can you say anything about how to do the things right before your eyes and the duty you’re supposed to do in conformity with truth principles? You cannot; you have nothing to say. No matter how much you know about those things in society, it doesn’t demonstrate that you understand the truth or that you have real stature. Don’t think that just because you can see through fake news and fallacies that you have stature, that you have renounced the world and rejected Satan, that you no longer fall in with Satan, and that you have faith in God and are loyal to Him—these are all fallacious views, and none of them represent life at all. If you think, “Is it not the case that the more dissatisfied with reality I am, the more I expose the great red dragon, the more I hate the great red dragon, the more I hate the world and the more cynical I am, the happier God is and the more He likes me?” then you’re wrong. The more you pursue those things and the more you follow that path, the less God likes you and the more He feels averse toward you. Why is it that the more you pursue those worldly things the less God likes you? It’s because you are not following the right path and not doing proper work. So, when you have some time, you can read God’s words more, listen to hymns, listen to life experiential testimonies of your brothers and sisters, and everyone can contemplate and fellowship on God’s words together. Don’t ask about tittle-tattle that has nothing to do with your life entry or your pursuit of salvation. That is done by people with nothing better to do. The way society develops, what course the world will take, how filthy and evil humankind is and how dark politics is—have these things anything to do with you? Would you attain salvation if society and the world weren’t dark, evil, and filthy? (No.) Those things have nothing to do with you whatsoever. Whether or not you can attain salvation is related only to how much of the truth you accept and understand, how much of the truth reality you enter into, and it’s related to how well you perform your duty—it’s related only to these few things. Don’t frequently pass comment on famous people and celebrities, exposing celebrities’ disgraceful and dirty behavior to pass the time, showing off how clever you are and how you are a cut above the rest. Those are stupid things to do; don’t be someone like that. That is someone who doesn’t do any proper work and doesn’t walk the right path.

As for the essence of the saying on moral conduct, “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” we’ve pretty much now fellowshipped about it and dissected it. Moreover, haven’t we now fellowshipped clearly on the attitude and views for how one conducts oneself posited by this saying, as well as what God’s requirements and attitude are? (We have.) Do you also now understand the path people should follow? (We do.) Is the cynicism we’re talking about here a positive thing? Is dissatisfaction with reality a positive thing? Is protecting yourself from bad influences a positive thing? (No.) None of these are positive things. We can say with certainty that these are not foundations for you to comport yourself and act upon, they should not become foundations for you to comport yourself and act upon, much less should they become principles for you to comport yourself and act upon. Therefore, these are things you should let go of and reject. You should clearly discern and entirely relinquish these sayings and theories which come from traditional culture, and you should not take these specious things as the truth or confuse them with the truth. This is because, no matter how many years these things have been circulating among humankind, or how deep their roots go among humankind, they cannot stand for a moment before the truth. They are simply not positive things and simply do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the truth. These things have no positive effect on people at all; not only can they not lead people and bring them to the correct path but, on the contrary, they lead people onto one wrong path after another, making people more aloof and shameless, less self-aware and reasonable, and making God detest them and feel disgusted by them. If you let go of these things, let go of these notions, let go of these thoughts and views, these methods and foundations on how to view people and things and comport yourself and act which come from Satan, and come before God and view people and things and comport yourself and act wholly according to God’s words, then these things will have no effect on you. As for the issue of being dissatisfied with reality and feeling cynical, God doesn’t need you to put in effort trying to understand or learn about what darkness lurks in society. You only need to know wholly and in essence that the world and humankind have been corrupted by Satan and that they lie in the clutches of the evil one. Whether it is social trends, customs, traditional culture, knowledge, education—on any level, regarding any aspect, or in any industry—it is all filled with Satan’s thoughts and views and its heresies and fallacies. No matter which country, ethnicity, or which group of people or organization in society, neither the truth nor God’s words hold sway over them; of course, it’s even less likely that fairness or righteousness can be seen among them. This is certain, and as long as you simply know this, then that’s enough. Apart from this, the most important thing is to quiet your heart and further equip yourself with God’s words, and to recognize within yourself the heresies and fallacies, thoughts and views that come from Satan. Only with genuine understanding of these things can you truly see through them; only when you truly see through them can you genuinely reject them and let them go; and only when you have genuinely let them go can you have unmitigated acceptance of and submission to the truth. In this way, the path you follow will be the right one, and it will be illuminated. Your goal will also be the right one, and your attainment of salvation in the end will be an indisputable fact. That’s why you absolutely must not allow the heresies, fallacies, thoughts, and views which Satan instills in you to muddle your thoughts and cloud your eyes; you must not be cynical and dissatisfied with reality and in this way become numb and deceive both yourself and others. Instead, you must pursue the truth, gain the truth as your life, live out the likeness of a true human being, and perform your duty well. This is your proper job, and it is the path you should now follow. As for the state of society, the country, or any industry, those things have nothing to do with you. Why is that? Because they have no effect on your pursuit of the truth, they bear no relation to your pursuit of the truth, no relation to your end, and no relation to your attainment of salvation. Understand? (Yes.) Once you’ve understood this, you should be clear on how to pursue the truth and gain life.

July 14, 2022

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