Why Man Must Pursue the Truth
Recently, we have principally been fellowshiping about some statements relating to moral conduct. One by one, we have analyzed, dissected, and exposed statements on every aspect of moral conduct that have been put forward in traditional culture. This has made people discerning of various statements on moral conduct that are regarded as positive things in traditional culture, and see through to their essence. When a person has a clear understanding of these statements, they will begin to feel sick of them, and be able to reject them. After that, they can gradually let go of these things in real life. By setting aside their approval of, blind faith in, and adherence to traditional culture, they will be able to accept God’s words, and accept into their heart His demands and the truth principles that a person should possess, so that they may supplant traditional culture there. In this way, that person will be able to live out a human likeness, and gain God’s approval. In sum, the goal of dissecting the various statements on moral conduct espoused by mankind’s traditional culture is to give people clear discernment and knowledge of the essence that lies behind these statements on moral conduct, and how Satan uses them to corrupt, beguile, and control mankind. People will thus be able to discern exactly what the truth is and what positive things are. To be precise, after clearly seeing past these statements about moral conduct to their essence, their true nature, and Satan’s trickery, people should be capable of knowing exactly what the truth is. Do not conflate traditional culture and the statements about moral conduct that it instills in people with the truth. These things are not the truth, they cannot replace the truth, and they certainly have nothing to do with the truth. Traditional culture, whatever it may address, and whatever specific statements or requirements it has, only represents Satan’s instruction, indoctrination, deception, and brainwashing of mankind. It represents Satan’s trickery, and Satan’s nature essence. It is completely unrelated to the truth and God’s demands. So, regardless of how good your practice is, in terms of moral conduct, or your implementation of it, or your grasp on it, it does not mean that you are practicing the truth, or that you are a person with humanity and sense, and it certainly does not mean that you are able to satisfy God’s will. No statement or requirement about moral conduct—no matter what kind of person or behavior it targets—has anything to do with God’s demands of man. They have nothing to do with the truth that God requires man to practice, or the principles that man should adhere to. Have you been pondering on this question? Do you see it clearly now? (Yes.)
Without detailed fellowship about and itemized dissection of these various statements of traditional culture, people cannot see that the statements it puts forward are false, deceptive, and invalid. Consequently, in the depths of their hearts, people still view the various statements of traditional culture as part of the creed or rules they should adhere to in how they act and comport themselves. They still treat the behaviors and moral conduct that are regarded as good in traditional culture as the truth and abide by them as such, even conflating them with the truth. Worse still, people preach and promote them as if they were right, as if they were positive things, and even as if they were the truth; they mislead people, disturb people, and they stop them from coming before God to accept the truth. This is a most real problem that can be seen by all. People often take statements on moral conduct that are perceived as good and positive by man as the truth. They will even quote statements and words from traditional culture to fellowship and preach when they are at gatherings and communing about God’s words. This is a very serious problem. This kind of issue or event should not occur in God’s house, but it often does—it is a very common problem. This demonstrates another issue: When people do not understand the real essence of traditional culture and statements on moral conduct, they often treat traditional culture’s statements about moral conduct as positive things with which to replace or supersede the truth. Is this a common occurrence? (Yes.) For example, statements in traditional culture like, “Be kind to others,” “Harmony is a treasure; forbearance is brilliance,” “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings,” “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible,” “The kindness of a drop of water should be repaid with a gushing spring,” and even more popular statements like, “I’d take a bullet for a friend,” and “A loyal subject cannot serve two kings, a good woman cannot marry two husbands,” have already become creeds by which people comport themselves, and the criteria and standards by which a person’s nobility is judged. So, even after hearing much of God’s word and the truth, people still use the statements and theories of traditional culture as standards by which to measure others and view things. What is the issue here? This demonstrates a very serious problem, which is that traditional culture occupies a very important place deep in the heart of man. Does it not demonstrate this? (It does.) All the various ideas that Satan has instilled in people have taken deep root in their hearts. They have prevailed and become mainstream in the lives, environments, and societies of all mankind. So, traditional culture not only occupies an important position in the depths of people’s hearts, but also profoundly influences and controls the principles and attitudes, and the outlooks and methods, with which they view people and things, comport themselves and act. Even after people accept the conquest of God’s words, as well as their exposure, judgment, and chastisement, these ideas of traditional culture still occupy an important place in their spiritual worlds and in the depths of their hearts. This means that they control the direction, goals, principles, attitudes, and perspectives that underlie how they view people and things, how they comport themselves and act. Does this not mean that people have been completely taken captive by Satan? Is this not a fact? (It is.) It is a fact. The way that people live and their goals in life, the views and attitudes with which they approach all things are entirely based on traditional culture, which is encouraged and instilled in them by Satan. Traditional culture occupies the dominant position in people’s lives. It may be said that after coming before God and hearing His words, and even after accepting some correct statements and views from Him, various thoughts from traditional culture still occupy a dominant, important place in their spiritual worlds and in the depths of their hearts. Because of these thoughts, people cannot help but view God and His words and work using the methods, views, and attitudes of traditional culture. They will even judge, analyze, and study God’s words, work, identity, and essence based on them. Is that not the case? (It is.) It is an uncontestable fact. Even when people have been conquered by God’s words and work, by His actions, essence, power and wisdom, traditional culture still occupies an important position in the depths of their hearts, so much so that nothing can supplant it. Naturally, that is also true of God’s words and the truth. Even when people have been conquered by God, His words and the truth cannot displace traditional culture in their hearts. This is very sad and frightening. People cling to traditional culture while following God, while listening to His words, while accepting the truth and various ideas from Him. On the surface, these people appear to be following God, but the various ideas, views, and perspectives that traditional culture and Satan have instilled in them hold an unshakable and irreplaceable position in their hearts. Although people may eat and drink of God’s words every day and pray-read and contemplate them often, the basic views, principles, and methods underlying how they view people and things, as well as how they comport themselves and act, are still based on traditional culture. Therefore, traditional culture affects people by subjecting them to its manipulation, orchestrations, and control in their day-to-day lives. It is as unshakable and inescapable as their own shadows. Why is this? Because people cannot uncover, dissect, or expose, from the depths of their hearts, the various ideas and views that traditional culture and Satan have instilled in them; they cannot recognize, see through, rebel against, or abandon these things; they cannot view people and things, comport themselves, or act in the way God tells them to, or in the way He teaches and instructs. What sort of predicament do most people still live in because of this? One in which they have a desire deep in their hearts to view people and things, to comport themselves and act based on God’s words, to not violate God’s will or go against the truth, yet, defenselessly and involuntarily, they continue to interact with people, conduct themselves, and handle matters according to the methods Satan teaches. At heart, people long for the truth and wish to possess a tremendous desire for God, to view people and things, to comport themselves and act according to God’s words, and to not violate the truth principles, yet things always end up contrary to their wishes. Even after doubling down on their efforts, the result they get is still not what they desire. No matter how people struggle, no matter how much effort they put in, no matter how much they resolve and desire to attain a love for positive things, in the end, the truth they are able to practice and the criteria of the truth they are able to hold to in real life are few and far between. This is what distresses people most, deep in their hearts. What is the reason for this? One reason is none other than that the various ideas and views that traditional culture teaches people still dominate their hearts, and control their words, deeds, ideas, as well as the methods and ways in which they comport themselves and act. Thus, people must undergo a process in order to recognize traditional culture, to dissect and expose it, to discern and see through it, and ultimately, to abandon it forever. It is very important to do this, not something optional. This is because traditional culture already dominates the depths of people’s hearts—it even dominates their whole selves. This means that in their lives, people cannot stop themselves from violating the truth in how they conduct themselves, and how they handle matters, and they cannot help but be controlled and influenced by traditional culture, as they have been until today.
If one wishes to completely accept the truth in their belief in God, and to thoroughly practice and gain it, they must begin by deeply and specifically excavating, uncovering, and knowing the various ideas and views of traditional culture. Obviously, these ideas of traditional culture occupy an important place in the heart of every person, yet different people cling to different aspects of its indoctrination; each person focuses on a different part of it. Some people especially advocate the statement: “I’d take a bullet for a friend.” They are very loyal to their friends, and loyalty is more important to them than anything else. Loyalty is their life. From the day they are born, they live for loyalty. Some people really value kindness. If they receive a kindness from someone, no matter if it is great or small, they take it to heart, and repaying it becomes the most important thing in their lives—it becomes their mission in life. Some people value making a good impression on others; they focus on becoming an honorable, noble, decent kind of person, and making others respect and think highly of them. They want others to speak well of them, they want to have a good reputation, they want to be praised, they want to receive a big thumbs-up from everyone. Each person has a different focus in their pursuit of the various statements of traditional culture and moral conduct. Some value fame and wealth, others value integrity, some value purity, others value repaying kindnesses. Some people value loyalty, others benevolence, and some value propriety—they are respectful and well-mannered to everyone, they always give way and precedence to others—and so on. Everybody has a different focus. So, if you wish to understand how traditional culture has affected you and controls you, if you wish to know how much weight it carries in the depths of your heart, you must analyze what kind of person you are, and what you value. Do you care about “propriety” or “benevolence”? Do you value “trustworthiness” or “forbearance”? Look from different perspectives and at your actual behavior in order to dissect which aspect of traditional culture has had the most profound influence on you, and why you are pursuing traditional culture. Whatever essence of traditional culture you pursue, that is the kind of person you are. Whatever kind of person you are, that is what dominates your life—and whatever dominates your life, that is the thing that you need to recognize, dissect, see through, rebel against, and abandon. After you have uncovered and gained an understanding of it, you can gradually cut yourself off from traditional culture, truly abandon it, and finally, completely break away from it and uproot it from the depths of your heart. Then you will be able to forsake it thoroughly and eradicate it. Once you have done this, traditional culture will no longer play the most important role in your life; instead, God’s words and the truth will slowly take on a leading role in the depths of your heart and become your life. God’s words and the truth will slowly occupy an important place there, and God’s words and God will sit on the throne in your heart and reign as your King. They will occupy every part of you. Will the distress of living not then feel smaller? Will your life not become less and less distressing? (It will.) Will it not be easier for you to view people and things, to comport yourselves and act, wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as your criterion? (Yes.) It will be much easier. I can see that you’re all very busy with your duties every day. Besides reading God’s words, you must also fellowship the truth every day, read, listen, memorize, and write. You spend a lot of time and energy, you pay a great price, you suffer greatly, and perhaps you understand a lot of doctrine. However, when it comes to performing your duty, it’s too bad that you cannot practice the truth and cannot grasp the principles. You have listened to and fellowshiped on various aspects of the truth so many times, but when something befalls you, you do not know how to experience, practice, or utilize God’s words. You do not know how to practice the truth; you still have to seek and discuss it with others. Why does it take so long for God’s words to take root in a person’s heart? Why is it so difficult to understand the truth and act according to the principles through His words? One cannot rule out as a principal cause of this the huge influence that traditional culture exerts on people. It has occupied an important position in people’s hearts for a very long time, and it controls people’s thoughts and minds. Traditional culture gives free rein to man’s corrupt dispositions; they feel at ease revealing them, like a butcher to a knife, like a fish to water. Is this not the case? (It is.) Traditional culture is closely linked to man’s corrupt dispositions. They work together and reinforce one another. When corrupt dispositions meet traditional culture, like fish to water, they are able to show off their full capabilities. Corrupt dispositions love and need traditional culture. So, under the millennia of conditioning of traditional culture, man has been corrupted ever more deeply by Satan, and man’s corrupt dispositions have become more and more severe and inflated. Under its guise and within its packaging, these dispositions not only become ever more severe, but also more and more disguised. Dispositions such as arrogance, deceitfulness, wickedness, intransigence, and being fed up with the truth grow more and more deeply concealed and masked—they are revealed in increasingly cunning ways, making it hard for people to spot them. So, under the conditioning, instruction, beguilement, and control of traditional culture, what has the world of mankind gradually become? It has become a world of demons. People do not live like humans; they have no human likeness or humanity. And yet, people who cling to traditional culture, who have long been indoctrinated, permeated, and possessed by it, have become increasingly convinced of their own greatness, nobility, transcendence. They are incredibly egotistical; none of them thinks that they are insignificant, that they are worthless, that they are just a tiny created being. None of them is willing to be a normal person; they all want to be famous, to be great, to be sages. Under the conditioning of traditional culture, not only do people want to surpass themselves—they want to surpass the whole world and all of humanity. You’ve heard that song that unbelievers sing, “I want to fly higher, fly higher,” and the one that goes, “I am just a little bird, I want to fly, but I can’t fly high.” Are these words not devoid of reason, and bereft of all humanity and sense? Are they not the savage howling of Satan? (They are.) They are the sound of Satan’s mad howling. So, no matter how one looks at it, the poison of traditional culture has long since seeped into the heart of man, and it is not something that can be eliminated overnight. It is not as easy as overcoming a personal defect or bad habit—you must uncover your thoughts, views, and corrupt disposition, and eradicate traditional culture’s poisonous root from your life in accordance with the truth. Then, you need to view people and things, to comport yourself and act according to God’s words and requirements, and to make the truth of His words your life. Only by doing this will you truly be walking the right path in following God and believing in Him.
We have already done much to dissect and expose the topic of traditional culture, and we have fellowshiped about it at length. Regardless of how much we fellowshiped on it, or how long we fellowshiped, the goal remains to resolve the various difficulties that arise while people pursue the truth, or the various difficulties and problems that exist in their life entry. The aim is to remove all the barriers, obstructions and difficulties—among which the various statements, ideas and views of traditional culture are the predominant ones—that stand in the way of people pursuing the truth. As of today, we have essentially completed our fellowship on the topic of traditional culture. Have we finished fellowshiping on topics that relate to the pursuit of the truth, then? (No.) Was our fellowship and dissection of traditional culture related to the pursuit of the truth? (It was.) It was related to the pursuit of the truth. Traditional culture is the biggest difficulty people face on the path to pursuing the truth. Now that we are done fellowshiping about traditional culture—the biggest obstacle to man’s pursuit of the truth—today we will fellowship on the question, “Why must man pursue the truth?” Why must man pursue the truth? Have we fellowshiped on this question before? Why must we fellowship on it? Is it an important question? (It is.) Why is it important? Share your thoughts. (My understanding is that the pursuit of the truth relates directly to man’s salvation. Because we all have severely corrupt dispositions, and have been indoctrinated and deeply poisoned by traditional culture from a young age, we need to pursue the truth, or we won’t be able to discern negative things that come from Satan. We also won’t be able to practice the truth, and we won’t know how to act positively and in line with God’s will. We will have no choice but to act and comport ourselves according to our corrupt dispositions. If this is how one believes in God, in the end, they will still be a living Satan, not someone whom God would save. Therefore, pursuing the truth is very important. Furthermore, our corrupt dispositions can only be cleansed through the pursuit of the truth; it is also the only way to correct our mistaken ideas about how we should view people and things, and comport ourselves and act. It’s only after a person has understood and gained the truth that they can do their duty competently and become a person who submits to God. Otherwise, they will involuntarily follow their corrupt dispositions to do things in their duties that disrupt and disturb the church’s work.) You made two points. What was My question? (Why must man pursue the truth?) Is that a simple question? It sounds like a simple, cause-and-effect question. Do you all share the view that pursuing the truth relates in one way to a person’s salvation, and in another to not creating disruptions or disturbances? (Yes.) When you put it like that, the question does sound quite simple. Is it really that simple? Share your thoughts. (I think that the question of “Why must man pursue the truth?” is simpler to answer from a theoretical perspective, but when it involves actually practicing and entering into reality, it is not simple.) “Why must man pursue the truth?”—how many questions does this encompass? It encompasses questions like what the significance is of pursuing the truth, what the reasons for it are—what else? (The importance of pursuing the truth.) That is correct: It also encompasses the importance of pursuing the truth; it includes these questions. Taking these things into account, is the question, “Why must man pursue the truth?” simple? (It is not.) Ponder the question “Why must man pursue the truth?” again, in light of those things. First look back—what does it mean to pursue the truth? How is it to be defined? (To view people and things, and to comport oneself and act according to God’s words, with the truth as one’s criterion.) Is that right? You are missing the word “wholly.” Read it again. (“To view people and things, and to comport oneself and act, wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as one’s criterion.”) The question “Why must man pursue the truth?” relates to people’s views on people and things, and to their comportment and actions. It is about how people should view things and people, how they should comport themselves and act; and why they should view things and people, as well as comport themselves and act, wholly according to God’s words and with the truth as their criterion. Why they should pursue this way of doing things—is this not the root of this question? Is this not the fundamental question? (It is.) You have now understood the fundamental thrust of the question. Let us go back to the question itself, “Why must man pursue the truth?” This question is not simple. It encompasses the significance and value of pursuing the truth, and there’s something else to it that is of the greatest importance: Based on mankind’s essence and instincts, they need the truth as their life, and so, they must pursue it. Naturally, this also relates to the future and survival of mankind. Simply put, the pursuit of the truth relates to people’s salvation and to changing their corrupt dispositions. Naturally, it also relates to the different things people live out, their outpourings, and their behaviors in their day-to-day lives. If people do not pursue the truth, it can accurately be said that their chances of being saved are zero. If people do not pursue the truth, there is a one hundred percent chance that they are resisting, betraying, and rejecting God. They may resist and betray God at any time and any place, and naturally they may disturb the work of the church and God’s house, or do something that makes a disturbance or disruption at any time and any place, too. These are some of the simplest, most basic reasons people must pursue the truth that can be seen and understood in their daily lives. But today, we are only going to fellowship on some crucial parts of the question, “Why must man pursue the truth?” We have already fellowshiped on the most fundamental aspects of this question, which people have understood and recognized as a matter of doctrine, so today we are not going to fellowship about those basic, simple questions. It will suffice for us to fellowship on several main elements. Why are we fellowshiping on the topic of pursuing the truth? Obviously, there are some more important questions contained within it, questions that people cannot see through to, and do not know of, and do not comprehend, but which require their comprehension and understanding.
Why must man pursue the truth? We will not start with the basic aspects of this that people already grasp and understand, nor from the doctrine that people already know. So, where will we start? We must start at the root of this question, with God’s management plan and God’s will. What does starting at the root of the question mean? It means that we will start with God’s management plan, and God’s creation of mankind. Ever since there were people, ever since a living being—created mankind—received the breath of God, God has planned to gain a group from among their ranks. This group will be able to comprehend, understand, and abide by His words. They will be able to act as stewards for all things, for the myriad of God’s creation, its plants, animals, forests, oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains, creeks, plains, and so forth, in accordance with His words. After God made this plan, He began placing His hopes upon mankind accordingly. He hopes that one day people will be able to act as stewards for this mankind, for all of the things that exist in the world, and the different creatures that live among them, and that they can do so in an orderly way, according to the methods, rules, and laws He has laid out. Though God has already formed this plan and these expectations, His final goal will take a very long time to achieve. It is not something that can be accomplished in ten or twenty years, or in a hundred or two hundred years, and certainly not in one or two thousand years. It will take six thousand years. During this process, mankind needs to experience different periods, ages, eras, and different stages of God’s work. They must experience the stars moving in the skies, the seas running dry and the rocks crumbling, they need to experience dramatic change. From the first and fewest humans, mankind has experienced great highs and lows, and the vicissitudes and shifts of this world, after which people have gradually grown in number and gradually gained experience, and mankind’s agriculture, economy, and ways of living and surviving have gradually changed and given rise to new methods. Only when a certain period and a certain age have been reached can people achieve the level at which God will judge them and chastise them and conquer them, and at which God will express to them the truth, His words, and His will. To reach this level, mankind has experienced great upheaval, as have all of the things in this world. Naturally, dramatic change has also taken place in the skies and the cosmos. This series of changes has occurred and appeared gradually alongside God’s management. It has taken a long time for people to reach the point where they come before God and accept His conquest, judgment, and chastisement, and the provision of His words. But that is fine; God can wait, because that is God’s plan, and that is His wish. God must wait a long time on account of His plan and His wish. He has so far been waiting for what has truly been a very, very long time.
After mankind went through their initial stage of ignorance, delusion, and confusion, God led them into the Age of Law. Though mankind had entered a new age, an age in God’s management plan, though people no longer lived unrestrained, undisciplined lives like flocks of sheep, though they had entered an environment for their lives that had the guidance, instruction, and prescription of the law, people only knew a few simple things that they had been taught, told, or informed of by the law, or that were already known within the ambit of human life: What theft is, for example, or what adultery is, what murder is, how people will be held accountable for murder, how to interact with one’s neighbors, how people will be held accountable for doing this or that. Mankind had come from their initial circumstances, in which they had known nothing and understood nothing, to learning some simple, essential laws of human conduct that God informed them of. After God had proclaimed these laws, the people living under the law knew to follow the rules and abide by the law, and in their minds and inner worlds, the law acted as a restraint and a guide for their conduct, and mankind had an initial likeness of man. These people understood that they should follow some rules and abide by some laws. Regardless of how well they followed them and how strictly they abided by them, in any case, these people had more human likeness than those who came before the law. In terms of their behavior and their lives, they acted and lived to certain standards, and with certain restraints. They were no longer as lost and ignorant as they once were, and no longer so bereft of goals in life. God’s laws, and all the statements that God had declared to them, put down roots in their hearts and occupied a certain position there. Mankind was no longer at a loss for what to do; they no longer lived without goals, direction, or restraint. Despite this, they were still far short of the people of God’s plans and God’s wishes. They were still far from being capable of acting as masters of all things. God still needed to wait and be patient. Though people living under the law knew to worship God, they did so as a mere matter of form. The position and image of God in the depths of their hearts differed completely from God’s true identity and essence. So, they were still not the created humans whom God wanted, and they were still not the people whom God envisioned, who were capable of acting as stewards for all things. In the depths of their hearts, God’s essence, identity, and status were merely those of mankind’s Ruler, and people were just the subjects or beneficiaries of that Ruler, nothing more. So, God still needed to lead these people, who lived under the law and only knew the law, to keep moving forward. These people did not understand anything except the law; they did not know how to act as stewards for all things; they did not know who God was; and they did not know the right way to live. They did not know how to comport themselves and live according to God’s demands, nor did they know how to live more significantly than they did, or what people should pursue in their lives, and so on. People living under the law were completely ignorant of these things. Aside from the law, these people knew nothing about God’s requirements, about the truth, or about God’s words. Because this was so, God had to keep tolerating mankind as they existed under the law. These people were a big step beyond those who had come before them—they at least understood what sin was, and that they should abide by and follow the law, and live under the framework of the law—but they still fell far short of God’s requirements. Nevertheless, God was still eagerly hoping and waiting.
With the development of the ages, with the development of mankind, with the operations of all things, and with the arrangements of God’s hands and His sovereignty, guidance, and leadership, mankind, all things, and the very universe are marching ever forward. Mankind under the law, after being restrained by the law for thousands of years, was no longer able to uphold the law, and followed God’s work into the next age, which God initiated—the Age of Grace. At the arrival of the Age of Grace, God commenced His work premised on the fact that He had sent prophets to foretell it. This phase of work was not as tender or desired as man imagined it to be in their notions, nor did it feel as good as they’d thought; instead, from the outside, everything seemed to be going contrary to prophecy. Out of these conditions emerged a fact that man never would have guessed at: the fact of the flesh into which God had incarnated—the Lord Jesus—being nailed to the cross. All this was beyond what man foresaw. From the outside, all this seemed to be a cruel, bloody occurrence, horrible to behold, yet it was the inception of God’s putting an end to the Age of Law and initiating a new age. This new age is the Age of Grace that all of you now know. The Age of Grace seemed to have come in defiance of God’s prophecies in the Age of Law. Certainly, it also came in the form of God’s incarnate flesh being nailed to the cross. All these events happened so suddenly and so naturally, in conditions that were ripe for them. Such were the means God used to end the old age and usher in a new one—to bring about a new one. Though all that happened at the very beginning of this age was so cruel and bloody, and unimaginable, and even sudden in its arrival, and nothing was as wonderful or tender as man had imagined—though the opening scene of the Age of Grace was horrible to behold and heart-wrenching, what was the one thing in it worth celebrating? The end of the Age of Law meant that God no longer had to abide mankind’s various behaviors under the law; it meant that mankind had taken a great stride forward, in line with God’s work and His plan, into a new age. Of course, it also meant that the days of God’s waiting had been shortened. Mankind entered a new age, a new era, which meant that God’s work had taken a great step forward, and that His desire would gradually come to be realized as His work moved forward. The arrival of the Age of Grace wasn’t so lovely at its beginning, but as God saw it, the mankind that was soon to arise, which was the mankind He wanted, was coming ever closer to His requirements and goals. This was a delightful and laudable thing, something worth celebrating. Though mankind nailed God to the cross, which was to man a sorrowful thing to see, the very moment at which Christ was nailed to the cross meant that God’s next age—the Age of Grace—had come, and, of course, that God’s work in that age was on the verge of its commencement. More than that, it meant that the great work of that instance of God’s incarnation had been accomplished. God would face the people of the world as a victor, with a new name and image, and the contents of His new work would be opened and disclosed to mankind. And meanwhile, for mankind’s part, they would no longer be continuously vexed by frequent violations of the law, nor would they be punished any longer by the law for having violated it. The arrival of the Age of Grace allowed mankind to emerge from God’s previous work and enter a brand-new work environment, with new steps for the work and a new method of work. It allowed mankind a new entry and a new life, and of course, it allowed a relationship to arise between God and man that was one step closer. Because of God’s incarnation, man could come face to face with God. Man heard God’s actual, real voice and words; man saw the manner of His work, as well as His disposition and so on. Man heard this with their own ears and saw it with their own eyes, in every regard; they vividly experienced that God had truly and indeed come among men, that God truly and indeed was face to face with man, that God truly and indeed had come to live among mankind. Though the duration of God’s work in that incarnation wasn’t long, it gave mankind of the time a firm and solid experience of what it truly feels like for man to live together with God. And though those who experienced such things didn’t do so for a long time, God spoke many words in that instance of His incarnation, and those words were quite specific. He did much work, too, and had many people who followed Him. Mankind definitively ended their life under the law of the old age and came to a wholly new age: the Age of Grace.
Having entered the new age, mankind no longer lived under the restraints of the law, but under new requirements and new words of God. Because of God’s new words and new requirements, mankind developed a new life whose form was different, a life of belief in God whose form and content were different. This life came one step closer than the previous life under the law to meeting the standards of God’s requirements of man. God laid out new commandments for mankind, and He laid out new behavioral standards for mankind that were more accurate and more tuned toward mankind as they were then, as well as criteria and principles for man’s views on people and things, and for their comportment and actions. The words He spoke then weren’t as specific as the ones now, nor was there such a great volume of them as there is now, yet to man then, who had just come out from beneath the law, those words and requirements were enough. Given the stature of people of the time and what they were equipped with, these were the only things they could achieve and attain. For example, God told people to be humble, to be patient, to be tolerant, to take up the cross, and so on; these were all more specific requirements God made of man in the wake of the law, ones that touched on how humanity is to be lived out. Beyond that, man, who had lived beneath the law, enjoyed a plentiful and steady-flowing stream of grace, blessings, and other such things from God because of the arrival of the Age of Grace. Mankind in that age was living in a veritable bed of roses. Everyone was happy, and everyone was an apple of God’s eye, a babe in His palm. They had to keep the commandments, and to have a few good behaviors besides, ones that lined up with man’s notions and imaginings, but for mankind, the enjoyment of God’s grace was there in greater measure. People were healed of diseases caused by demon-possession, for instance, and the foul demons and evil spirits in them were driven out. When people were in trouble or need, God would make exceptions for them and display signs and wonders, so that they would be healed of their various maladies, and their flesh would be sated, and they would be fed and clothed. There was so much grace and so many blessings for man to enjoy in that age. Apart from simply adhering to the commandments, mankind was, at the very most, to be patient, tolerant, loving, and so on. Man had no inkling of anything more that involved the truth or God’s requirements of man. Because man was wholly intent on enjoying grace and God’s blessings, and because of the Lord Jesus’ promise of the time to man, man began habitually to enjoy God’s grace, with no end in sight. Mankind thought that if they believed in God, they should enjoy God’s grace, that that was their rightful share. They didn’t know, though, to worship the Lord of creation, or to assume the status of a created being, and to perform the duty of a created being, and to be a good created being. Nor did they know how to submit to God, or how to be loyal to Him, or how to accept His words and use them as the basis for their views on people and things, and their comportment and actions. Man was quite ignorant of any such things. And in addition to enjoying God’s grace as a matter of course, man wanted to enter heaven after death, as a matter of course, and there enjoy good blessings together with the Lord. What’s more, the mankind that lived in the Age of Grace, which lived amid grace and blessings, mistakenly believed that God is just a merciful, loving God, that His essence is mercy and lovingkindness, and nothing else. To them, mercy and lovingkindness were emblematic of God’s identity, status, and essence; what the truth, the way, and the life meant to them was God’s grace and blessings, or perhaps a way of simply taking up the cross and walking the path of the cross. This was all there was in the Age of Grace to people’s knowledge of God and orientation toward Him, as well as their orientation toward and knowledge of mankind and people themselves. So, to turn to causes and get to the root: What was it, exactly, that led to these circumstances? No one is to blame. You can’t blame God for not working or not speaking more concretely or more thoroughly, and you can’t push the responsibility off onto man, either. Why? Man is created mankind, a created being. They emerged from the law and came to the Age of Grace. However many years of experience man may have had of God’s work as it progresses, that which God bestowed on man, that which He did, was what man could obtain and what they could know. But outside of that, with what hadn’t been done by God, what He hadn’t said, and what He hadn’t revealed, mankind had no ability to understand or know that. But to look at the objective circumstances and the bigger picture, when mankind, which had progressed for thousands of years, had come to the Age of Grace, their understanding could only go as far as that, and God could only do such work as He was doing. This is because what mankind, which had emerged from the Age of Law, needed was not to be chastised or judged, nor to be conquered, much less to be made perfect. There was only one thing mankind needed at that time. What was it? A sin offering, the precious blood of God. The precious blood of God—that sin offering was the only thing mankind needed as they emerged from the Age of Law. So, in that era, because of mankind’s needs and actual circumstances, the work God was then to do was to offer up the precious blood of His own incarnation as a sin offering. That was the only way to redeem the mankind of the Age of Law. With His precious blood as the price and as the sin offering, God expunged mankind’s sin. And it was not until their sin was expunged that man had the standing to come sinless before God, and accept His grace and His continued guidance. God’s precious blood was offered to mankind, and as it was offered up for mankind, mankind could be redeemed. What could mankind, which had just been redeemed, have understood? What did mankind, which had just been redeemed, need? Mankind would not have possessed the ability to accept it if they had immediately been conquered, judged, and chastised. They did not have such a capacity for acceptance, nor were their conditions such that they could have understood all this. So, in addition to God’s sin offering, as well as His grace, blessings, tolerance, patience, mercy, and lovingkindness, mankind, as they were at that time, could accept no more than a few simple requirements that God made of man’s behavior. Those, and no more. And as for all the truths that touch more deeply on man’s salvation—which wrong ideas and views mankind has; what corrupt dispositions they have; what essences of rebelliousness against God they have; what the essence is of the traditional culture that mankind upholds, as we have recently fellowshiped about; how Satan corrupts mankind; and so on—mankind at the time couldn’t have understood anything at all. In such circumstances as those, God could only admonish and make requirements of mankind in the simplest ways, in the most straightforward ways, with the most rudimentary requirements for comportment. Therefore, mankind in the Age of Grace could enjoy only grace and enjoy without limit the precious blood of God as a sin offering. In the Age of Grace, however, the greatest thing had already been accomplished. And what was that? It was that mankind, which God was to save, had had their sin forgiven by the precious blood of God. This is a thing worthy of celebration; it was the greatest thing God did in the Age of Grace. Though man’s sin was forgiven, and man would no longer come before God in the likeness of sinful flesh or as a sinner, having instead been forgiven of their sins by the sin offering and now qualified to come before God, man’s relationship with God had not yet reached that of a created being with the Creator. It was not yet that of created mankind with the Creator. Mankind under grace was still far, far away from the role God requires of them, that of being the master and steward of all things. So, God had to wait; He had to be patient. What did it mean, for God to wait? It meant that mankind then was to continue living amid God’s grace, amid God’s various modes of work of the Age of Grace. God wants to save much more than a handful of mankind, or one race; His salvation is far from limited to a single race or those within a single denomination. So, the Age of Grace was to be undergone for thousands of years, just as the Age of Law had been. Mankind needed to keep living in the new age led by God, year after year, generation after generation. How many eras man must undergo in this way—how many shifts in the stars, how many seas going dry and rocks wasting away, how many oceans giving way to fertile land, and they must undergo the different changes of mankind in various periods, and different changes taking place in the myriad things of the earth. And as they experienced all this, God’s words, His work, and the fact of the Lord Jesus’ redemption of mankind in the Age of Grace spread to the ends of the earth, throughout the streets and alleys, into every corner, until they were known to every household. And that is when that age—the Age of Grace, which came after the Age of Law—was meant to come to a close. The work God did in this period was not merely to wait silently; as He waited, He did work on the mankind of the Age of Grace in different ways. He continued His grace-based work, bestowing grace and blessings on the mankind of this age, so that His actions, His work, His speech, and the facts He worked and His will in the Age of Grace would reach the ears of every person whom He would choose. He enabled every person whom He would choose to be availed of His sin offering, so that they would no longer come before Him in the likeness of sinful flesh, as sinners. And though man’s relationship with God was no longer that of never having seen Him, as in the Age of Law, but a step beyond that, as a relationship between believers and the Lord, between Christians and Christ, still, such a relationship is not the relationship that God ultimately wants between mankind and God, between created beings and the Creator. Their relationship then was clearly still quite far from the relationship between created beings and the Lord of creation, but compared to the relationship between mankind and God in the Age of Law, it represents a great advancement. This was cause for joy and celebration. But be that as it may, God still needed to lead mankind; He needed to lead mankind, whose heart’s deep places were full of notions about God, and imaginings, and requests, and demands, and rebelliousness and resistance, forward. Why? Because such a mankind may have known about enjoying God’s grace, and they may have known that God is merciful and loving, but beyond that, they did not know the first thing about God’s true identity, status, and essence. Because such a mankind has undergone Satan’s corruption, though they enjoyed God’s grace, their essence and the various notions and thoughts in the pit of their heart remained counter to God and in opposition to Him. Man didn’t know how to submit to God or how to perform the duty of a created being, much less how to be a satisfactory created being. Even less than that, of course, was there anyone who knows how to worship the Lord of creation. Were the myriad things of the world handed over to corrupt mankind, corrupted as they were to such a degree, it would be the same as handing them over to Satan. The consequences would have been entirely the same, with nothing to distinguish them. So, God still needed to continue His work, to continue leading mankind into the next stage of work that He would do. That stage was something God awaited for a long time, something He looked forward to for a long time, and something He paid for with His prior patience for a long time.
Now, at last, that mankind has enjoyed God’s sufficient and abundant grace, this world and this mankind, as seen from any angle, have come to a level at which God will do His true work of saving mankind. They have come to the time when God will conquer and chastise and judge mankind, when He will express many truths to perfect mankind, and to gain a group from mankind who can be stewards of all things among those things. This time having come, God no longer needs to be patient, nor to continue leading mankind of the Age of Grace to live in grace. No longer does He need to keep providing for mankind of the Age of Grace, or shepherding them, or watching over them, or preserving them; no longer does He need tirelessly and unconditionally to provision mankind with grace and blessings; no longer does He need to be unconditionally patient with mankind in grace, as they greedily and shamelessly solicit His grace without worshiping Him at all. What God will do instead of this is express His will, His disposition, the true voice of His heart, and His essence. During this time, God, while providing mankind with the manifold truths and words they need, is also pouring forth and expressing His true disposition—a righteous disposition. And in expressing His righteous disposition, it is not as though He vacantly offers a few phrases of judgment and condemnation and is done with it; instead, He uses facts to expose mankind’s corruption, their essence, and their satanic hideousness. He exposes mankind’s rebelliousness, resistance, and rejection against Him, as well as their various notions about Him and betrayals of Him. In this period, more of what He expresses is beyond the mercy and lovingkindness He extends to mankind: It is the hatred, revulsion, aversion, and condemnation He has for mankind. This abrupt, one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn or change in God’s disposition and station catches mankind unprepared and makes them incapable of acceptance. God expresses His disposition and His words with all the sudden force of a lightning bolt. Of course, He also provides mankind with all they need with immense patience and tolerance. In different ways and from different angles, God speaks and expresses His disposition to mankind in ways that are the most fitting, proper, concrete, and direct ones with which to treat created beings, from the perspective of His stance as the Creator. Such are the ways, of speech and work alike, for which God has been longing in wait for six thousand years. Six thousand years of longing; six thousand years of waiting—these speak to God’s six thousand years of patience, containing His six thousand years of anticipation. Mankind is still the mankind created by God, but having come through six thousand years of ceaseless, star-shuffling, sea-swallowing change, they are no longer the mankind as created by God at the beginning, with that same essence. Therefore, as God begins to work on this day, the mankind He now sees, though what He expected, is also abhorred by Him, and is, of course, too tragic for God to behold. I spoke of three things here; do you remember them? Such a mankind, though they are what God expected, are also abhorred by Him. What was the other thing? (They are too tragic for God to behold.) They are also too tragic for God to behold. These three things are all there in man, at the same time. What was it that God expected? That such a mankind, after having experienced the law and then redemption, would walk at last unto today, on a foundation of understanding some fundamental laws and commandments that man should uphold, and no longer be a simple mankind with a blank at the pit of their heart, as Adam and Eve were. Instead, they would have a measure of new things in their heart. Those things are what God expected that mankind would possess. Yet at once, mankind is a mankind that God abhors, as well. So, what, then, is it that God abhors? Do you not all know? (Man’s rebelliousness and resistance.) Mankind is filled with Satan’s corrupt disposition, living a ghastly life, neither quite as man nor as demon. Mankind is no longer merely so simple as to be unable to withstand the serpent’s enticement. Though mankind has their own thoughts and views, their own definite opinions, and their own ways of regarding the myriad of events and things, there is nothing at all of what God wants in mankind’s views on people and things, or in their comportment and actions. Mankind can think and hold views, and they have their grounds, means, and attitudes for their actions, but all this of which they are possessed has its origins in Satan’s corruption. It is all based on Satan’s views and philosophies. When man comes before God, there is no trace of submission in their heart toward God, nor any sincerity. Man is saturated with Satan’s toxins and filled with its education and thoughts, and its corrupt disposition. What does this indicate? God must speak a lot of words and do a great deal of work for man in order to change their mode of existence and attitude toward God—and more specifically, of course, in order to change their ways and criteria for their views on people and things, and their comportment and actions. Before all this has taken effect, mankind is an object of abhorrence in God’s eyes. What is it that God needs when He saves an object of His abhorrence? Is there joy in His heart? Is there happiness? Is there solace? (No.) There is no solace at all, nor any happiness. His heart is filled with loathing. The only thing God will do in such circumstances, apart from speaking, speaking tirelessly, is exercise patience. This is the second element of what God feels toward such a mankind as is seen through His eyes—abhorrence. The third element is that they are too tragic to behold. In light of God’s original intent in creating mankind, God’s relationship with man is that of parent and child, of family. This dimension of the relationship may not be like mankind’s blood relations, but to God, it exceeds mankind’s fleshly blood relations. The mankind that God initially created is entirely different in likeness from the mankind He sees in the last days. In the beginning, man was of a simple and juvenile likeness, and though they were ignorant, their heart was pure and clean. One could see in their eyes the clarity and transparency deep in their heart. They didn’t have the assorted corrupt dispositions that man has now; they had no intransigence, arrogance, wickedness, or deceit, and they certainly didn’t have the disposition of being sick of the truth. From man’s speech and acts, from their eyes, from their face, one could see that that mankind was the one God created in the beginning and the one He favored. But in the end, as God again regards mankind, man’s heart is no longer so clear in its depths, and their eyes are no longer so clear. Man’s heart is filled with Satan’s corrupt disposition, and when they meet with God, their face, speech, and acts are detestable to Him. However, there is a fact none can deny, and it is because of this fact that God says such a mankind is too tragic to behold in His eyes. What fact is that? It is this, which none can deny: God created this mankind, which has come once more before Him, with His own hand, but they are no longer the mankind they were at the beginning. From man’s eyes to their thoughts, and down to the pit of their heart, they are filled with resistance and betrayal against God; from man’s eyes to their thoughts, and down to the pit of their heart, nothing less than Satan’s disposition pours forth from them. Man’s satanic dispositions of intransigence, arrogance, deceit, wickedness, and being sick of the truth pour forth, undisguisedly and naturally, from their gaze and their expressions alike. Even when faced with God’s words or face to face with God, man’s corrupt, satanic disposition, and their essence, which is corrupted by Satan, pour forth in this way, undisguised. There’s only one phrase that can capture what the emergence of this fact makes God feel, and that is “too tragic to behold.” The mankind that has come unto today and unto this era has reached the level of God’s requirements for the third and final stage of His work, that of the salvation of mankind, as much in terms of man’s greater environment as in terms of each particular aspect of the situations and conditions in which people find themselves—yet even as God is full of anticipation for this mankind, He is full of hatred for them, too. God, of course, still feels they are too tragic to behold as He sees instance after instance of mankind’s corruption. Yet what is worthy of celebration is that God no longer needs to engage in pointless patience and pointless waiting on man’s behalf. What He needs to do is the work for which He has waited for six thousand years, that He has anticipated for six thousand years, and that He has looked forward to for six thousand years: that of expressing His words, His disposition, and every truth. Of course, this also means that among this mankind that God has chosen, there will arise the group of people that God has long awaited, those who will be the stewards of all things and become the masters of all things. To look at the situation as a whole, everything has strayed so far from what was expected; everything has been so painful and sad. But what most merits God’s happiness is that due to the passage of time and the different age, the days of mankind’s subjection to Satan’s corruption are already through. Mankind has been through the baptism of the law and God’s redemption; finally, they have come to the final step of the work God will do: the stage in which mankind is saved as the end result of their acceptance of God’s chastisement and judgment and of His conquest. To mankind, this is without a doubt great news, and to God, it is certainly a thing that has been a long time coming. This, as seen from any angle, is the advent of all mankind’s greatest era. As seen from any angle, be it that of mankind’s corruption, or the trends of the world, or social structures, or mankind’s politics, or the resources of the whole world, or that of the current disasters, mankind’s outcome is near—this mankind has come to the end of the line. Yet this is the most climactic time in God’s work, the time that most merits man’s remembrance and celebration, and of course, it is also the advent of the most important and critical time, the time in which mankind’s fate is decided, in the six thousand years of God’s work on His management plan. Therefore, whatever has happened to mankind, and however long God has waited and exercised patience, it has all been worth it.
Let us return to the topic we set out to discuss, “Why Man Must Pursue the Truth.” God’s management plan is split into three stages of work among mankind. He has already finished the prior two stages. To look at those stages up until the present, whether it be the law or the commandments, their utility for man was nothing more than having them uphold the law, the commandments, God’s name, the faith in the recesses of their heart, a few good behaviors, and a few good tenets. Man fundamentally fails to live up to the standard of God’s requirement, that of being the steward of all things and becoming the master of all things. Is that not so? They fundamentally fail to live up to that. If man, who has been through the law and the Age of Grace, were made to do what God requires them to do, they would only be able to engage with all things by means of the law or of the grace and blessings bestowed on them in the Age of Grace. This falls far short of God’s requirement that man should be the steward of all things, and mankind falls far short of accomplishing the things God requires them to do and the responsibility and duty He requires them to fulfill. Man just cannot meet or live up to the standard of God’s requirement that they should be the masters of all things and the masters of the next age. Therefore, in the final stage of His work, God expresses to man and tells them all the truths mankind needs and the principles of practice they need, in all their aspects, so that man may know what the standards of God’s requirements are, how they should engage with all things, how they should regard all things, how they should be stewards of all things, what the mode of their existence should be, and in what manner they should live before God, as true created beings under the dominion of the Creator. Once man has understood these things, they also know what God’s requirements for them are; once they have fulfilled these things, they will also have fulfilled the standards of God’s requirements of them. Given that the law, commandments, and simple criteria for behavior are no substitute for the truth, God expresses a great many words and truths in the last days that have to do with man’s practice, their comportment and actions, and their views on people and things. God tells man how to view people and things, and how to comport themselves and act. What does it mean that God tells man all of this? It means that God requires you to view people and things, and to comport yourself and act according to all these truths, and thereby to live in the world. Whatever sort of duty you perform and whatever sort of commission you accept from God, His requirements of you don’t change. Once you have understood God’s requirements, you are to practice, perform your duty, and accomplish God’s commission of you according to His requirements as you understand them, regardless of whether He is beside you or scrutinizing you. It is only in this way that you may truly become a master of all things in whom God is assured, and who is qualified, and who is worthy of His commission. Does this not touch on the topic of why man must pursue the truth? (It does.) Do you understand now? These are the facts that God will bring about. So, pursuing the truth isn’t simply about casting off one’s corrupt disposition and not resisting God. There is a greater significance and a greater value in the pursuit of the truth we are talking about. Truly, it involves man’s destination and their fate. Do you understand? (Yes.) Why must man pursue the truth? In a small sense, this is addressed by those most basic doctrines that man understands. In a grand sense, the foremost reason is that, to God, pursuing the truth involves His management, His expectations of mankind, and the hopes that He entrusts to mankind. This is one part of God’s management plan. It can be seen in this that whoever you are and however long you have believed in God, if you do not pursue the truth or love it, you will inevitably end up as one who is to be cast out. This is plain as day. God does three stages of work; He has had a management plan since He created mankind, and He has gone on to effect each of its stages, one by one, in mankind, and to lead mankind, step by step, to the present. How great the heartfelt care and the price He has paid forth, and how long He has endured, toward the ultimate goal of working the truths He expresses and every facet of the criteria of His requirements, which He tells mankind, on man, turning those into man’s life and reality. As God sees it, this is such an important matter. God places such weight on it. God has expressed so many words, and before He did, He did a great deal of preparatory work. If in the end, you do not pursue or enter these words now that He has expressed them, how will God view you? What sort of designation will God assign you? This is plain as day. So, every person, no matter your caliber, or age, or the number of years you have believed in God, should put your efforts toward the path of pursuing the truth. You shouldn’t emphasize any objective rationales; you should pursue the truth unconditionally. Don’t idle your days away. If you seek and put your efforts toward the pursuit of the truth as the great matter of your life, it may be that the truth you gain and can reach in your pursuit is not what you’d have wished for. But if God says He will give you a destination depending on your attitude in your pursuit and your sincerity, then how wonderful that will be! Don’t focus on what your destination or outcome will be for now. What will happen and what the future holds, whether you will be able to avoid disaster and not die—don’t think of these things or ask after them. Concentrate only on pursuing the truth in God’s words and His requirements, on performing your duty well, on satisfying God’s will, on not proving unworthy of God’s six thousand years of waiting, His six thousand years of anticipation. Give God some comfort; let Him see some hope for you, and let His wishes be realized in you. Tell Me, would God mistreat you if you did so? Of course not! And even if the end results aren’t as one would have wished, how should they treat that fact, as a created being? They should submit in all things to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, without any personal agenda. Is this not the perspective created beings should take? (It is.) That’s the right mindset. We’ll conclude our fellowship on the main thrust of why man must pursue the truth with that.
Our fellowship just now mainly looked at why man must pursue the truth in terms of God’s management plan, from God’s perspective. As seen from the other side, it’s somewhat simpler. In terms of man themselves, from man’s perspective, why must man pursue the truth? Most simply, if man’s pursuit, were they to live under the law and not understand the truth, were no more than upholding the law, what would ultimately come of it? The only thing that could ultimately come of that would be man’s condemnation by the law, for their inability to uphold the law. And on from that to the Age of Grace: In that age, man did understand much, and they gained much new information from God about man—guidelines and commandments for human comportment. Man profited nicely, in terms of doctrine. However, man yet hoped they would be availed of more of God’s protection, favor, blessings, and grace, without having understood the truth; man’s viewpoint was still one of making requests of God, and as they made those requests, their pursuit was still aimed and directed toward the life of the flesh, and the comforts of the flesh, and better fleshly living. The aim of their pursuit was still in contradiction to the truth and ran against it. Man still fell short of being able to pursue the truth, and they couldn’t enter such a real life as that in which the truth stands as the ground for one’s existence. These are the realities of man’s life, as lived on a foundation of having understood all the laws or the commandments and strictures of the Age of Grace, on a foundation of not yet having understood the truth. When these are the realities of man’s life, they will often lose their direction without realizing it. It’s just as people say: “I’m confused and at a loss.” In such conditions of uninterrupted confusion, man will often sink into a void, their ends frayed, not knowing why man lives or what the future will be, much less how they should face the various people, events, and things that real life visits on them, or what the correct mode is that they should use to face them. There are even many followers of God, believers, who, even as they uphold the commandments and enjoy a great deal of God’s grace and blessings, pursue status, wealth, a promising future, distinction among their peers, rosy marriages, domestic fulfillment and fortune—and in today’s society, they pursue enjoyment of the flesh, and life, and ease; they pursue luxurious mansions and cars; they pursue global travel, probing the mysteries and future of mankind. Mankind, in their acceptance of the regulations and restrictions of a host of laws and behavioral criteria, remains unable to cast off their propensity to probe the future, and the mysteries of mankind, and every matter beyond mankind’s ken. And as people do so, they often feel emptied, depressed, aggrieved, annoyed, unsettled, and afraid, so much so that with many things that befall them, they are hard-pressed to control their hotheadedness and emotions. There are some people who lapse into low spirits, depression, repression, and so on, when they encounter any agitating conditions, such as rough conditions at work, or domestic rifts, domestic upsets, marital upsets, or society’s discrimination. There are even some people who plunge into extremities of feeling; there are even some who choose to end their own lives by extreme means. Of course, there are others who choose withdrawal and loneliness. And what has this given rise to in society? Recluses, male and female; clinical depression; and so on. There’s no lack of these phenomena in the lives of Christians, either; they happen often. When all is said and done, the cause of this, at its root, is that mankind doesn’t understand what the truth is, nor where man comes from and where they are going, nor why man is alive and how they ought to live. When facing any of the manifold sorts of people, events, and things they encounter, they don’t know how to handle, resolve, cast off, or see into and penetrate all these things, so that they can live happily and at ease, under the sovereignty and arrangements of the Creator. Mankind doesn’t have this ability. Without God’s expression of the truth, and without His having told man how they should view people and things, and comport themselves and act, humans rely on their own efforts, the knowledge they’ve acquired, and the life skills they’ve grasped, and those rules of the game they’ve understood, as well as rules for comportment or philosophies for living. They rely on their experience of human life and their exposure to it, and even on the things they’ve learned from books—but still, when faced with all the difficulties real life visits upon them, they’re impotent. For those who live their lives in such conditions, reading the Bible is of no avail. Even praying to the Lord Jesus is of no avail, much less praying to Jehovah. Reading what the prophets of old foretold can’t resolve any of their problems, either. So, some people travel the globe; they go exploring the moon and Mars, or they seek out prophets who can foretell the future and converse with them. But people’s hearts remain unsettled, joyless, and uncomforted once they’ve done these things. The direction and aim of their advancement still feel so elusive to them, and so empty. On the whole, mankind’s life remains so hollow. Because such is the status quo of mankind’s life, they invent many ways to entertain themselves: modern video games, for example, and bungee jumping, and the surfing, mountaineering, and skydiving that Westerners enjoy, and the various dramas, songs, and dances the Chinese like, and the ladyboy shows of Southeast Asia. People even watch things that satisfy their spiritual worlds and carnal lusts. Yet whatever their amusements, whatever they watch, people’s deepest hearts remain bewildered as to the future. However many times someone’s been around the world, or even if they’ve been to the moon and Mars, once they’re back and settled in a bit, they’re altogether enervated, quite as they were before. If anything, they’ll be even sadder and more unsettled for having gone than if they hadn’t. Mankind thinks the reason that they’re so hollow, so powerless, and so bewildered and shaken, that they’re desirous of exploring what’s to come and isn’t known, is that people don’t know how to entertain themselves, that they don’t know how to live. They think it’s because people don’t know how to enjoy life or enjoy the moment; their interests and hobbies are simplistic, they think—not expansive enough. Yet however many interests people foster, however many entertainments they’ve partaken in, however many places they’ve been around the world, mankind still feels that how they live and the direction and goal of their existence are not as they would wish. In brief, what people feel in general is hollowness and boredom. Some people wish to savor all the world’s gourmet delicacies because of this hollowness and boredom; wherever they go, they’re set on eating. Others are set on having fun wherever they go, and they have their fun, and eat, and amuse themselves, all to their heart’s content—yet once they’ve eaten and drunk and made merry, they’re emptier than before. What’s to be done about this? Why is this feeling impossible to shake off? When people are at an impasse, some of them start using drugs, consuming opium, taking ecstasy, and stimulating themselves with all sorts of material things. And what’s the result? Do any of these methods have any effect when it comes to resolving man’s hollowness? Can any of them resolve problems at their roots? (No.) Why is it that they can’t? It’s because humans live by their feelings. They don’t understand the truth or know what gives rise to mankind’s problems of hollowness, unease, bewilderment, and so forth, nor do they know by what means to resolve them. They think that if fleshly enjoyment is taken care of and the world of their carnal spirit has been sated and filled, the hollow feeling in their spirit will be gone. Is that how it works? The fact is that it’s not. If you come away from these sermons having accepted them as doctrine, but don’t pursue or practice them at all, and if you don’t take these words of God as the basis and criterion for your views on people and things, and for your comportment and actions, your mode of existence and view on life will never change. And if those things don’t change, it means that your life, its style, and value of its existence will never change. And what does it mean if the style and value of your life’s existence will never change? It means that one day, sooner or later, the doctrines you understand will seem to you as pillars of the spirit; sooner or later, they’ll be catchphrases and theories to you, things with which you’ll plug up that feeling of hollowness in your interior world, when the situation calls for it. If the direction and goal of your pursuit don’t change, you’ll be the same as those people who haven’t heard any of God’s words. The direction and goal of your pursuit will still be a search for entertainment, for fleshly solace. You’ll still try to resolve your hollowness and bewilderment by traveling the world and probing into mysteries. There’s no doubt that you’ll then be walking the same path as those people. They feel hollow after they’ve tasted the world’s delicacies and enjoyed its grand luxuries, and so will you. You may hold to the true way and God’s words, but if you don’t pursue or practice them, you’ll end up as they do, often feeling hollow, shaken, resentful, and repressed, without true happiness, without true joy, without true freedom, and more, without true peace. And then, in the end, your outcome will be the same as theirs.
What does God look at, when it comes to man’s outcome? He doesn’t look at how many of His words you’ve read or how many sermons you’ve listened to. God doesn’t look at these things. He looks at how many truths you’ve gained in your pursuit, at how many truths you can practice; He looks at whether you take His words as the basis and the truth as the criterion for your views on people and things, and for your comportment and actions, in your life—at whether you have such experience and testimony. If there is no such testimony in your day-to-day life and in the course of your following God, and none of these things are at all substantiated, then God will regard you the same as He does unbelievers. Is such regard from Him the end of the story? No; it’s far from the case that God would regard you as such and leave it at that. Instead, He will thereby decide your outcome. God sets your outcome by reason of the path you walk; He sets your outcome based on how you perform in the array of your pursuit and goal, your attitude toward the truth, and whether you have set foot on the path of pursuing the truth. Why is that how He sets it? When someone who simply doesn’t pursue the truth has read God’s words and heard a great many of them, yet still can’t take His words as the criterion for their views on people and things, as well as their comportment and actions, that person won’t just not be able to be saved in the end. Here’s the most important thing: What could become of such a person if they were to remain? Could they become a master of all things? Could they be a steward of all things in God’s stead? Are they worthy of commission? Of trust? If God handed all things over to you, would you do as mankind does now, indiscriminately killing the living beings God created, indiscriminately dissipating the myriad that God created, indiscriminately defiling the myriad that God has bestowed on mankind? Of course you would! So, if God were to hand this world and all things off to you, what would all things ultimately be faced with? They would have no true steward; they would be defiled and dissipated to nothing by Satan-corrupted mankind. Ultimately, all things, the living beings among all things, and Satan-corrupted mankind would meet the same fate: They would be destroyed by God. This is something God doesn’t hope to see. So, if such a person has heard many words of God and only understood a great many doctrines within His words, yet is still unable to take on the duty of a master of all things or to view people and things, and comport themselves and act, according to God’s words, God will certainly not entrust any affair to them, because they’re unfit. God doesn’t wish to see all things, which He painstakingly created, dissipated and defiled to nothing by Satan-corrupted mankind for a second time, nor does He wish to see the mankind He has managed for six thousand years destroyed at the hands of such humans. The only thing He wants to see is the continued existence of all the things of His painstaking creation under the stewardship of the group of people that gains His salvation, under God’s care, protection, and leadership, living on in accordance with the order of all things and with the laws that God commands. What sort of people are they, then, who can bear such a heavy onus? There’s only one sort, and that sort is they, whom I speak of, who pursue the truth, those being the sort of people who can view people and things, and comport themselves and act, in rigorous accordance with God’s words and with the truth as their criterion. Such people are worthy of trust. Their mode of existence has emerged entirely from the modes of the mankind that Satan has corrupted; in the goal and mode of their pursuit, in their views on people and things, and in their comportment and actions, they are able to accord wholly with God’s words, and wholly able to take the truth as their criterion. Such people are the ones who are truly fit to continue living on, and who are fit to have all things passed into their hands by God. It is these people who can bear so heavy an onus as God’s commission. God will assuredly not hand all things off to the sort of person that doesn’t pursue the truth. Assuredly, He won’t hand all things off to people who just don’t listen to His words, and He assuredly won’t entrust any task to such people. They can’t even perform their own duties well, much less God’s commission. If God were to entrust all things to them, they would have no loyalty at all, nor would they act according to His words. They’d work a bit when they were happy, and when they weren’t, they’d go off eating, drinking, and being merry. Often, they’d be hollow and uneasy and at loose ends at heart, without any loyalty to God’s commission. Such people are assuredly not those whom God wants. So, if you understand God’s will, and know the deficiencies of corrupt mankind, as well as what sort of path corrupt mankind should take, you should begin by pursuing the truth. Listen to God’s words, and start off in the direction of viewing people and things, and comporting yourself and acting, wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as your criterion. Orient yourself toward this goal, toward this direction, and the day will come, sooner or later, on which God remembers and accepts your expenditure and payment. Then, there will be value in your being alive; God will approve of you, and you will no longer be an ordinary person. You aren’t being asked to persist as long as Noah did in building the ark, but you must at least persist for this lifetime. Will you live to be one hundred and twenty years old? No one knows, but suffice it to say, that isn’t the lifespan of modern mankind. Pursuing the truth now is much easier than it was to build the ark. How difficult the ark was to build, and there were no modern tools then—it was done entirely with human strength, in an unfavorable environment, no less. It took a long time, with few to help. It is much easier for you to pursue the truth now than it was to build the ark. Your large-scale environment and the small-scale conditions of your life put you at such an advantage and grant you such convenience, as far as pursuing the truth is concerned.
Today’s fellowship on “Why Man Must Pursue the Truth” has mainly covered two aspects of the topic. One was simple fellowship from God’s perspective, about His management plan, His wishes, and His yearning; the other was an analysis of the problems in people themselves, from their own perspective, which served to explain the necessity and importance of pursuing the truth. In terms of either of those angles, pursuing the truth is of utmost importance for man, and of critical urgency. The pursuit of the truth, as seen from any vantage, is the path and goal in life that every follower of God, everyone who has heard His words, should choose. The pursuit of the truth should not be held as a sort of ideal or wish, nor should the statements made about it be taken as a sort of spiritual comfort; rather, one must take the words God speaks and His requirements for man and, quite pragmatically, turn them into the principles and basis for their practice in real life, so that the goal of their life and the mode of their existence may change, which, of course, also makes one’s life more worthwhile. In this way, as you pursue the truth, the road you walk and your choice will be right, on the smaller scale—and on the grand scale, you will ultimately be shed of your corrupt disposition because you pursue the truth, and you will be saved. Those who will be saved are not, as God sees them, merely the apples of His eye or treasures in His hand, and less still are they merely the simple mainstays of His kingdom. The blessing to come to you, a member of the future humanity, is great indeed, of a sort never seen before and never to be seen again; good things will come to you, one after the next, in a way your mind can’t conceive. In any case, what’s now to be done first is to establish the goal of pursuing the truth. Establishing this goal isn’t meant to resolve the hollowness of your spiritual world, nor is it meant to resolve the repression and indignation, or the uncertainty and bewilderment, in the pit of your heart. That’s not what it’s for. Instead, it’s meant to serve as a real and genuine goal toward which one may comport themselves and act. It’s as simple as that. That’s simple, don’t you think? You don’t dare say so, but the fact is, it’s quite simple—it comes down to whether a person has the resolve to pursue the truth. If you truly do have that resolve, what truth is there that has no specific path of practice? They all have paths, don’t they? (They do.) To have a specific basis for the practice of the truth, in any of its realms, and to have specific principles of practice for any project in the work—this end is achievable by those who truly have resolve. Some may say, “I still don’t know how to practice when I encounter issues.” That’s because you fail to seek. If you sought, you’d have a path. There’s a saying, isn’t there? It goes, “Seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Have you sought? Have you knocked? Have you contemplated the truth as you read God’s words? If you put effort into that contemplation, you’ll be able to understand all. All the truth is in God’s words; it just needs you to read it and contemplate it. Do not be idle; pay earnest attention. With problems you can’t resolve yourself, you must pray to God, and you’ll need to seek the truth for a while, and sometimes, you’ll need to be patient and wait for God, in His time. If God arranges an environment for you, and in it, He reveals all, and enlightens a passage of His words for you, bringing clarity to your heart, and you have specific principles for practice, will you not thus have understood? So, the pursuit of the truth isn’t such an abstract thing, nor is it so hard. Be it from your daily life, or from your duty, or from the work of the church, or from your interactions with others, as seen from any angle, you may seek the truth to point out the direction and criteria for practice. It’s not hard at all. It is much easier for man to believe in God now than it was in the past, because there are just so many words of God, and you listen to so many sermons, and there’s so much fellowship on every aspect of the truth. If someone understands spiritual matters and has caliber, they’ll have understood already. It’s only those who lack spiritual understanding and are of terrible caliber who always say they don’t understand this or that and can never see through things. They get befuddled as soon as something befalls them; fellowship on the truth clears it up, but a while later, they get befuddled again. This is all because they while their days away without a care in the world. They’re just too lazy, and they do not seek. Things will be easy to understand if you are to seek and read more of the pertinent words of God, as all those words are in common language that’s easily understood. Any normal person can understand them, save the mentally deficient. These words state many matters clearly and tell you everything. Unless you don’t see the pursuit of the truth as a big deal, if you truly long at heart to gain the truth and take its pursuit as the most important thing in life, then nothing can impede you or keep you from understanding and practicing the truth.
The simplest precept in pursuing the truth is that you must accept all things from God and submit in all things. That’s part of it. The other part is that with your duty and what’s yours to do, and bigger than that, with the commission given by God and your obligation, as well as important work that’s outside your duty but needs you to do it, work that’s arranged for you and that you are called by name to do—you should pay the price, however difficult it may be. Even if you need to apply yourself to the fullest, even if persecution should loom, and even if it should put your life at risk, you’re not to begrudge the cost, but to offer up your loyalty and obey unto death. This is how the pursuit of the truth manifests in reality, its real expenditure and its real practice. Is it hard? (No.) I like people who say it’s not hard, because they have hearts that long to pursue the truth, that are determined and faithful—there’s strength in their hearts, so nothing that befalls them is difficult. But if people lack confidence, if they doubt themselves, as people often say, then it’s all over for them. If a person is as useless as a pile of mud, unmotivated to do anything productive, but they liven up when it comes to eating, drinking, and making merry, and if they become negative when faced with difficulties, and they lack enthusiasm, without even a modicum of motivation, when it comes to fellowshiping about the truth, what sort of person are they? They’re someone who doesn’t love the truth. Had man been required to pursue the truth in the Age of Grace or the Age of Law, that would have been something of a challenge for them. It wouldn’t have been easy, because mankind’s conditions then were different, and so were the standards of God’s requirements of them. So, in ages past, there weren’t many people who were capable of heeding God’s words and submitting to Him, except for such prominent people as Noah, Abraham, Job, and Peter. But God didn’t blame the people of those two ages, because He hadn’t told people how to reach the standards of salvation. In this stage of the work in the last age, God clearly tells people every aspect of the truths they are to practice. If people still don’t practice them and still can’t meet God’s requirements, that’s not God’s fault; it’s an issue of man not loving the truth and being sick of it. So, to have people pursue the truth in this, the time of pursuing the truth, isn’t a challenge for them—indeed, it’s something they’re capable of. In one regard, this is because all is conducive to it; in another, it’s that people’s conditions and foundation are sufficient for them to pursue the truth. If someone fails to gain the truth in the end, it’s because their issues are just too severe. Such a person deserves whatever punishment they suffer, whatever outcome they get, whatever death they die. They merit no pity. To God, there are no such terms as pity or compassion for people. He determines the outcome someone should have based on His requirements of man, His dispositions, and the order and rules He has established; and as a given performance yields a given outcome, a person’s present life and life to come are thereby decided. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter how many will survive in the end, or how many will be punished. God doesn’t care about that. What have you understood in these words? What information do they convey to you? Do you know? Let Me see whether you’re smart and resourceful enough to answer. If you can’t, I’d evaluate you with a single word—stupid. Why do I say you’re stupid? I’ll tell you. I said that God doesn’t care how many people will survive, or how many meet destruction and punishment in the end. What does this tell you? It tells you that God hasn’t ordained a set number of people. You can struggle for it, but whoever ultimately survives or is punished, be it you, another, or any group, isn’t part of a headcount that God has already set. God works and speaks as He does now. He treats every person fairly and gives every person ample opportunity. He gives you ample opportunity, and ample grace, and an ample measure of His words, and His work, and His mercy and tolerance. He is fair to every person. If you can pursue the truth, and are on the path of following God, and can accept the truth, however many hardships you endure or challenges you face, and if your corrupt disposition is cleansed, you will be saved. If you can bear witness for God and become a worthy created being, a worthy master of all things, you’ll survive. If you’ll survive, it won’t be because you have a good lot; rather, it will be on account of your own expenditures and efforts, and your own pursuit. It will be what you deserve and are entitled to. You won’t need God to give you anything extra. God doesn’t give you supplemental guidance and training; He doesn’t say supplemental words to you or do you special favors. He doesn’t do these things. It’s survival of the fittest, just as in nature. Each animal bears its offspring, in whatever number they’re born and die, according to the order and rules that God has set. Those that can survive, do, and those that can’t live, die, and then give birth anew. However many of them can survive after that, that’s how many there are. In a bad year, not a single one survives; in a good year, more do. All things maintain a balance, in the end. So, how does God treat mankind, which He created? God’s attitude is the same. He thus fairly gives every person their opportunity, and thus speaks to every person, publicly and uncompensated. He is gracious to every person, and lifts every person up; He leads, looks after, and guards every person. If in the end, you survive by pursuing the truth, and you meet the standards of God’s requirements, you will have succeeded. Yet if you’re always muddle-headedly whiling your days away, thinking yourself ill-fated, prone always to overreaching, not knowing what to do, living always by your feelings, without pursuing the truth or walking the correct way, you’ll gain nothing in the end. If you wish always to muddle through your days, ignoring the work God does in you, not caring in the least that He leads you, or that He gives you opportunities, and discipline, and enlightenment, and support, He’ll see that you’re a benumbed fool, and He’ll ignore you. God will work on you on the day when you pursue the truth. He doesn’t remember your transgressions. If you don’t pursue the truth, God won’t force you or drag you along. If you pursue, you will gain; if you don’t, you won’t. People can pursue the truth or not as they please. It’s theirs to decide. When God’s work comes to its end, He will ask for your answer sheet, and measure you with the standards of the truth. If you have no testimony at all, you must be cast out; you won’t be able to survive. You’ll say, “I’ve performed so many duties and done so much service. I’ve expended a lot, and paid a lot!” And God will say, “But did you pursue the truth?” You’ll think it over, and it will seem that in your twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years of believing in God, you hadn’t pursued the truth. God will say, “You yourself say that you haven’t pursued the truth. Off with you, then. Go where you please.” You’ll say, “Doesn’t God think it’s a pity to have saved one fewer person than He should have, to be short of one master of all things?” At this point, would God still take pity? God has been patient long enough; He has waited long enough. His expectations for you will have run their course; He’ll have lost His hope in you, and will no longer pay you mind. He won’t shed a single tear for you, or have any more pain and suffering on your account. Why is that? Because the outcome of all things will have run its course, and God’s work will reach its end, and His management plan will come to its close, and He will rest. God will not be happy for any person, nor will He be pained, or weep, or cry for any person. Of course, neither will He rejoice and be glad that any person survives, or that any person is able to become a master of all things. Why is this? God has spent too much, for too long, on this humanity, and He needs to rest. He needs to close the book on the six thousand years of His management plan and will no longer pay it any mind, or plan anything, or say any words or do any work on man. He’ll hand over the future work and the days to come to the masters of the next age. What is it I’m telling you, then? It’s this: As you now know how many people will remain in the end and who will be able to, every one of you can strive toward that—and the only path for doing so is the pursuit of the truth. Don’t while your days away; it won’t do to be muddle-headed. If there comes a day when God no longer remembers anything you paid and no longer cares what path you walk, nor what your outcome will be, then on that day, your outcome will truly be set. What is it you must do now? You must take advantage of the present, while God’s heart still toils for mankind, while He’s still making plans for mankind, while He still sorrows and frets over every human movement and gesture. People must make their choice, as soon as possible. Establish the goal and direction of your pursuit; don’t wait until the days of God’s rest have come to make your plans. If you don’t feel true ruefulness, regret, grief, and lamentation until then, it will all have come too late. No one will be able to save you, nor will God. This is because when the time comes, the moment in which God’s plan truly ends, and He has made the last mark and is closing the book on His plan, He will work no longer. God needs rest; He needs to savor the fruits born of His six-thousand-year management plan and enjoy the stewardship of all things, for Him, of the humans who remain. What God wants to enjoy is the sight of the humans who remain managing all things according to the rules and regulations He has established, in meticulous accordance with the order He created for the seasons, and all things, and mankind, without violating anything He wills or anything He desires. God wants to enjoy His rest; He wants to enjoy His comfort, without further worry about mankind or work for their sake. Do you understand this? (Yes.) That day will soon be here. If we were talking about human longevity in the time of Adam and Eve, people might still have centuries left to them, and the remaining time would be quite long. Look at how long it took Noah to build the ark. I think there are just a scant few people today who will live to more than one hundred, and even if you do live to ninety or one hundred, how many decades are left to you? There aren’t many. Even if you’re twenty today and may live to be ninety, so you’ll live seventy more years, that’s still less time than it took Noah to build the ark. To God, six thousand years is a blink of an eye, and what to man is sixty years, eighty years, or a hundred years is, to God, a few seconds—a few minutes, at most; a blink of the eye. Even people who don’t walk the correct path or pursue the truth often say, “Life is short: In a blink of the eye, we’re old; in the blink of an eye, the house is filled with children and grandchildren; in the blink of an eye, our lives have run their course.” So what if you do pursue the truth? For you, time is even more pressing. People who don’t pursue the truth and live in a world of hollowness while their days away, and they all feel time goes by quite fast. What if you do pursue the truth? Any environment, any person, event, or thing of God’s arrangement is an adequate thing for you to experience for a while—and only after a long time will you gain just that little bit of knowledge, insight, and experience. It isn’t easy. When you truly do have that knowledge and experience, it will come to you: “Goodness! Man doesn’t gain much from a lifetime of pursuing the truth!” There are many people now writing essays of their experiential testimony, and I see that some who have believed in God for twenty or thirty years just write about their failures and falls from ten or twenty years ago. They wish to write about something recent and their present life entry, but have none. Their experience is pitifully scant. In writing essays of experiential testimony, some people must look back at their past failures and falls, and those with poor memories need others’ help to recall them. That little bit is all they’ve gained in their ten, twenty, even thirty years of belief in God, and it’s hard work to write it down. Some essays are even disjointed, their disjointed parts forced fancifully together. These don’t even count as life experience, in fact; they have nothing to do with life. That’s how pitiful man is, when he doesn’t pursue the truth. Isn’t that so? (It is.) That’s how it is. I hope that none of you get to that day when God’s work has ended, and you, penitent with Him, fall to your knees and say, “I know myself now! I know how to pursue the truth now!” Too late! God will pay you no mind; He won’t care any longer whether you’re someone who pursues the truth, or what sort of corrupt disposition you have, or what sort of attitude you have toward Him, nor will He care how deeply you’ve been corrupted by Satan or what sort of person you are. When that happens, won’t you be frozen to the core? (Yes.) Imagine it now: If that moment truly came, would you be sad? (Yes.) Why would you be sad? The implication is that you’d never get another chance. You’d never hear God’s words again, and God would never again fret over you; you’d never again be someone of concern to Him, or a being of His creation. You’d have no relationship at all with Him. How fearful to think of it. If you can picture that now, yet the day truly does come when you reach such a point, will you not be dumbstruck? It will be just as the Bible tells: When that time comes, people will pound their chests and backs, wailing, gnashing their teeth, with such crying as might be their death. And crying to death will be useless—it will all be too late! God will be your God no longer, and you will no longer be a being of God’s creation. You will have no relationship with Him; He will not want you. How you are will have nothing more to do with God. You will no longer be in His heart, and He won’t worry for you anymore. Will you not then have reached the end of your path of belief in God? (Yes.) That’s why, if you’re able to picture that there may be a time when God detests and rejects you, you should cherish the present. God may chastise you, or judge you, or deal with and prune you; He may even curse you and scold you roundly. All of this is worth cherishing: God at least still acknowledges you as a being of His creation, and at least still has expectations for you, and you’re at least still in His heart, and He is still willing to scold you and curse you, it means that in His heart, He still worries for you. This worry is not something someone can trade their life for. Now, don’t be stupid! Do you understand? (Yes.) If you do, you’re not truly stupid; you’re faking it, no? I do hope you’re not truly stupid. If you’ve understood these things, don’t while your days away. The pursuit of the truth is a great matter of human life. No other matter is as important as pursuing the truth, and no other matter surpasses gaining the truth in value. Has it been easy, to follow God up until today? Hurry, and make your pursuit of the truth a matter of import! This stage of work in the last days is the most important stage of work God does on people in His six-thousand-year management plan. The pursuit of the truth is the highest expectation God places on His chosen people. He hopes that people walk the correct path, which is the pursuit of the truth. Don’t let God down, don’t disappoint Him, and don’t make Him remove you from His heart when the final moment comes, and no longer worry for you. He wouldn’t even have hate for you. Don’t let it come to that. Do you understand? (Yes.)
What has been the topic of our fellowship today? (Why man must pursue the truth.) Why man must pursue the truth—it’s a bit of a heavy topic, isn’t it? Why is it heavy? Because it’s important. For every person’s future, for every person’s life, and for the way in which every person will exist in the next age, it’s of the utmost importance. So, I hope you’ll listen to today’s talk on the topic a couple times more, to deepen its impression on you a bit. Regardless of whether you pursued the truth in the past, and regardless of whether you’re willing to pursue the truth, strive, from today’s fellowship on the subject of “Why Man Must Pursue the Truth” and onward, to set your resolve and steel your will toward choosing to pursue the truth. It’s the best choice. Can you do that? (Yes.) Great. We fellowshiped today about why man must pursue the truth. Our next topic for fellowship is how to pursue the truth. Now that I’ve told you what it is, give it some contemplation and see what knowledge you have about the topic in your heart. Preview it a bit first. This concludes today’s fellowship.
September 3, 2022