Shiji Xining City, Qinghai Province
Many people among us have made a solemn vow before God: “In the future, no matter how God treats me, or what trial comes upon me, I will never betray God.” And we firmly believe in our hearts that since we have followed God for such a long time and have eaten and drunk so many words of God, we will never betray God no matter who betrays God.
That we have such a state shows that we do not know our nature of betrayal. God says: “As man’s soul is completely in satan’s hand, there is no doubt that man’s flesh is occupied by satan. How can such a flesh and such a mankind not resist God? And how can he innately be in harmony with God? Satan was cast into the air by me for betraying me. Then how can mankind not be affected? This is why man betrays by nature.” “…betrayal is not just a kind of outward immoral act, but even more a kind of thing that contradicts the truth. Such a thing is the very root of man’s resisting me and disobeying me. So I draw such a conclusion: Betrayal is man’s nature, and this nature is the natural enemy of every man’s being compatible with me.” God’s words clearly tell us that we betray God and are hostile to God by nature, betrayal is our inherent nature, and what comes out of us are all things of contradicting the truth, in which there is no element of being in harmony with God. We all know that satan betrayed God, so after people were corrupted by satan, they had the same nature of betraying God as satan—rejecting God, not worshipping God, not obeying God, and always wanting to live independently without God. And for thousands of years, people have been badly contaminated by the society, have been influenced by feudal ethics, and have been educated in “institutions of higher learning.” Such things as various backward thoughts, mean outlooks on life and values, and various contemptible philosophies of life and debased customs and ways of living are all severely invading and harassing people’s hearts, so that their thoughts and viewpoints have been completely assimilated by satan and their hearts are filled with evil, reactionary, and rebellious things. They do not like positive things nor yearn for light, righteousness, and goodness, but only set their hearts on bustling and rushing about for the flesh and live completely by the logic infused into them by satan. So even today, none of the things that we think, love, yearn for, or seek and preserve in our hearts is what God likes, is a positive thing, or is in conformity with the truth. In other words, every corrupt person has the same nature as satan, and every viewpoint of ours coincides with satan’s. So it is natural that we can betray God, and we can betray God at any time and in any place. As it is said in the fellowship from above: “After mankind have been corrupted by satan, their nature, with satanic poisons increasing in them day by day, has changed into an nature of resisting God and betraying God. Just as satan resists God and betrays God, so also mankind resist God and betray God. Just as satan attempts to be on an equal footing with God, to govern mankind, and to control everything, so also corrupt mankind resist God and betray God and do their utmost to banish the coming of God, chasing after, persecuting, condemning, and rejecting the Christ who has been incarnated twice, and vainly hoping to control their own destiny and to create their own paradise with their own hands. … Man’s nature of betraying God is filled with satanic poisons, and what flow out of man’s bones and blood are all satanic poisons such as arrogance and self-conceit, being devoid of conscience, lawlessness, willfulness and recklessness, superciliousness, scorn for Heaven, worship of satan, blind belief in science, hatred for the truth, love of evil, tiredness of purity, confusion between right and wrong, hankering for sinful lust, escape from restrictions, acting against Heaven, surrender to depravity, advocacy of evil, cursing Heaven, complaining against heaven and earth, being impervious to reason, and so on. So how can such a mankind filled with evil and corruptions not resist God or betray God?” From these we readily see that our nature is the nature of betraying God.
Let us examine and check our various kinds of manifestations in the real life, and then we will become clearer. For example, although we believe in God, we do not love the truth. We are filled with fleshly desires, always pondering how to let our flesh enjoy better and higher things, and we have no desire to pursue while clearly knowing it is the truth. Although we are willing to pursue to live out a meaningful life, we still admire the luxurious material life in the world. With our lips we say that it is a decadent and rotten life, but in our hearts we expect that one day we can also have everything we want and live with an easy grace. Although we call upon God’s name with our mouth, we have no God in our hearts. In doing the work, we never seek God’s intention nor do things according to the principles, but act our own way according to our own notions and imaginations. Although we acknowledge that God’s word is the truth, we treat God’s word with disdain. If the words are to our liking, we practice them; if the words are not to our liking, we give them up. Although we clearly know that God’s high standard and strict requirements are most beneficial to our life, nevertheless, when God’s family makes a little stricter requirement of us, we feel restrained and uneasy and want to pursue our so-called freedom and release. Although we do not want to judge God, nevertheless, once God does something not in conformity with our notions, we will judge and form a fixed view of it. Besides, although we know that what God does today is the work of judging, chastising, refining, and making people perfect, nevertheless, when encountering circumstances not to our liking, we always choose to avoid, and do not want to obey God’s manipulation and arrangement, but want to control ourselves. When encountering trials or disciplines, we become passive and weak and complain that if we did not believe in God, we would not be in such a plight today. When encountering dealing and pruning in our work, we want to leave God and make an achievement in the world with our hands so that we do not need to bear this “grievance” anymore. And so on. These states and manifestations are sufficient to prove that we betray God by nature. It is not a matter of whether we are willing to do it or not or whether we acknowledge it or not, nor is it what we can suppress by ourselves; rather, it is what we were born with and is something in our bones and blood.
In the fellowship from above, it says: “When God judges man and chastises man’s corruption, he, in all aspects, exposes man’s nature of betraying God and exposes the ridiculousness and absurdness of man’s viewpoints on things, so that man can truly know the extent to which mankind have been corrupted by satan and clearly see what exactly the substance of man’s nature is. If mankind do not know their nature of betraying God, it will be very difficult for them to have true repentance. This is one of the main aspects in which the Holy Spirit works. Most people are able to know the substance of their nature and to clearly see their own ugly corrupt image from God’s word. And only at this point do they have a sense of urgency to pursue the truth and pursue to be saved by God. Without the exposing of God’s word, no one would confess that he has been corrupted so deeply. But rather, everyone would feel at ease and justified with the thought that he will surely receive a reward from God because he can expend himself for God, and he would never know that he is an archcriminal resisting God, that what he truly needs is the salvation of God, and that what he needs to gain is the truth and the transformation of his life nature.” “We must understand that man has the nature of betrayal and can betray God at any time. Some betrayed God in the trial of the service-doer; some betrayed God in the trial of the times of chastisement; some betrayed God because of their marriage and family; some betrayed God because they could not bear the suffering of being imprisoned; some stay at God’s family for the time being, for they are not clear about their destination now, and once their outcomes are revealed, they will immediately betray God and leave God. If most people know that they are service-doers, they will at least become passive and utter complaints. Even if they dare not leave, they will think of betraying God in their hearts. It can be seen that everyone’s nature of betrayal is deeply rooted within him and has not been resolved yet. Once the situation changes, it will break out. Man can betray God at any time. This is the true fact.” From these two passages, we see that knowing our nature of betrayal is very crucial. It directly relates to our knowing the substance of our nature and relates to our pursuing the truth and being saved by God. Only when we know our nature of betrayal and see that we are essentially hostile to God, will we feel that we need God’s salvation and God’s purification and will we accept God’s chastisement and judgment honestly and sincerely. Only when we know our nature of betrayal, will we see that we have been corrupted by satan too deeply and too miserably and feel that only pursuing the truth and pursuing to be saved by God is most realistic; then we will drop all our extravagant desires to gain blessings and profits for our flesh and spare no effort to pursue the truth and pursue to be saved by God. Only when we know our nature of betrayal, will we see clearly that every fleshly thing that we like and pursue is from satan, and that we laboriously pursue these dark things completely because of the affliction and fooling from satan; then we will hate satan, hate ourselves, and have the will to forsake the flesh and practice the truth. Only when we know our nature of betrayal, will we see that we are in great danger and can rebel against righteousness and stay away from God at any time; then we can have a fear of God before him and will not be as puffed off or presumptuous as before when doing things. If we do not know our nature of betrayal, we will still boast about ourselves and be contented with ourselves, thinking that since we have followed God for many years and have had much seniority, we will be saved with security, or thinking that since we have expended some, we will receive a reward and will be kept in trials. Thus, we will not pursue the truth or pursue the transformation of our disposition. If we do not know our nature of betrayal, we will feel that it is safe as long as we have the will and have taken an oath; then we will not guard against our fatal corruptions and not even know what we die of. If we do not know our nature of betrayal, we cannot possibly follow God to the end. Maybe at some time we will betray God and disappear in the sea of the world, just as God says, “Every person has an anti-bone at the back of his head. He will change any day.” If we do not know our nature of betrayal, we will not see how deeply and miserably we have been corrupted by satan and how much we need God’s salvation. In this case, we cannot practice the truth according to God’s requirements, cannot gain transformation in our life disposition, and will never attain harmony with God. Thus it can be seen that knowing our nature of betrayal is so important to our pursuing the truth and being saved by God.
Many examples of betraying God which have happened around us are the best illustrations. These people had thought that the time was not far distant when their good dreams would come true because they had followed God for many years and did not leave God, and they had also made a solemn vow before God: “No matter who betrays you, I will not betray you.” But in the trials that came upon them later, they betrayed God in spite of themselves. Some lost their faith to seek the truth when they met frustrations in their marriages; some left God because they could not drop their families and emotions; some, in order for their flesh to enjoy better and higher things, left God and went back to the world to make money. Some people thought that since they did not betray even when they were arrested and imprisoned in the Age of the Grace, they could never become Judas today. But when the facts befell them, because they could not bear the cruel torture by the great red dragon, they acted as Judas and became shameless traitors. Some people thought that since they had been certain about this stage of God’s work, on no account would they betray God. But when they saw that God’s family did something that was contrary to their expectations, they could not reason it out and thus could not continue their belief. Some people thought that since they had followed God for such a long time, they had already had a foundation, so no trial or refining that came upon them would be difficult. But when misfortunes befell their family members, they were full of complaints and left God. And so on. From their failures we can see that it was just because they did not know their nature of betrayal that they fell and failed in spite of themselves.
Then let us look at our own states: Because we do not know our nature of betrayal, we are still living in our imaginations and notions, comforting ourselves and deceiving ourselves and others. For example, the above repeatedly fellowships that pursuing the truth is very crucial, but we only listen to it as an official jargon and do not put it into practice, thinking that it is enough for us to follow in this way and have the guarantee of upholding testimony and not leaving God when encountering trials. As to the eleven requirements that God makes of us in “Betrayal (2),” we do not equip ourselves with the relevant truths to resolve these betrayals, but instead, we think: “God has clearly told us about these things. If they really come upon us in the future, we will in no way betray God because we know they are arranged by God.” Actually, these are all our imaginations. If we do not know or resolve our nature of betrayal, we will do things that resist God and disobey God in spite of ourselves. We can even do so at ordinary times, not to mention when we encounter greater trials in the future. For example, in doing the work, we are also willing to do things according to the work arrangements, but without knowing it, we again regard our own will as better and thus do things according to our own ways. In our experiences, we are also willing to obey God in everything, but when unpleasant things fall upon us, we unconsciously utter complaints. In performing our duties, we do not want to take the path of “Zhenxin,” but we do things perfunctorily and deceivingly and practice deception in spite of ourselves time after time. We do not want to exhibit ourselves, but when in a suitable situation, we will unconsciously display ourselves and testify ourselves. We can always do these things, and even we ourselves feel it is inconceivable. How come we understand the truth but cannot put it into practice and always involuntarily do the things that we are unwilling to do? To put it plainly, aren’t all these caused by our nature of betrayal? From these we see that if we do not know our nature of betrayal, we cannot know ourselves and cannot see how many grams or how many liangs our stature weighs, and we can hardly stand firm in any circumstance and will involuntarily betray God and resist God. If we do not know our nature of betrayal, we will not see that we are pitiful and in danger and may fall any moment. Then, we will not guard against our nature of betrayal nor pursue the truth to redeem these betrayals. In that case, we are bound to take the path of the failures while believing in God and will eventually become ones to be punished.
Now, various disasters have risen all over the world, and the day for God to punish the great red dragon is not far distant. We are going to face the tests of the greater and severer trials. No matter how many years we have followed God and no matter how much seniority we have had, none of these can guarantee our outcomes. Now, only if we know our nature of betrayal, equip ourselves with the relevant truths in advance according to our deficiencies, often examine the states of betraying God that are hidden within us, pay attention to resolving them with the truths, warn ourselves by the lessons of the failures, and walk every step carefully and cautiously, can we be kept by God and stand firm in the future trials.
Then, how can we have the true knowledge of our nature of betrayal? In the man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers, it says: “To know man’s true self after he has been corrupted by satan, we must quiet ourselves before God and read the words by which God exposes man’s true self for hundreds of times and according to our actual states. Then we will easily know it thoroughly. If we first quiet ourselves before God to pray to God more and humble ourselves and then read more of God’s word, we will become obedient. In this way, we will soon see our true self clearly, and then we will become more submissive and more convinced.” From this we see that to know our nature of betrayal, we should mainly accept the judgment and exposing of God’s word, from which to know our true self after we have been corrupted by satan and know our corrupt substance of resisting God and betraying God. In eating and drinking the words by which God exposes man, firstly, we must realize that God’s word is the truth expressed to all mankind, and what God exposes are not the corruptions of a certain kind of people, but the real situation that every one of us has and is the truth of the matter. Secondly, we must understand that we are corrupt people. In eating and drinking God’s word, we should pray more and seek more, read it repeatedly, ponder over it carefully, examine ourselves strictly according to it, and see how the states exposed by God’s word are manifested on us. If we always spend effort on God’s word in this way, we will gradually see clearly our true self after we have been corrupted by satan. For example, since God says that we are the embodiment of satan, we ought to know what the manifestations of satan are and why God says that we are the embodiment of satan. Through eating and drinking and pondering over the relevant words of God and fellowships, we know that the main manifestations of satan are denying God, resisting God, betraying God, being arrogant and conceited, always wanting to compete with God to see who is superior, and wishing to occupy others. At this point, we can look for these manifestations on ourselves: Although we believe in God today, we still deny God’s existence and oppose and reject God in adversity. As long as what God does is not to our liking, we will have complaints within us. As long as the circumstances God arranges for us are not in conformity with our notions, we will resist and refuse. When others do not listen to us in working, we will become impatient and angry and will lecture and rebuke them. When we meet some difficulties or encounter some blows, we will complain that if we did not believe in God, we would not endure such sufferings. And so on. From these we see that we have no place for God in our hearts at all. Satan denies God, resists God, and betrays God, and we also deny that God governs and manipulates everything and also disobey God and reject God. Satan always wants to occupy people, and we also want to break away from God’s sovereignty and control ourselves and also want to hold a place in the hearts of other people. After we realize these, we will acknowledge from the bottom of our hearts that the exposing of God’s words is completely correct. We are indeed the embodiment of satan, and the substance of our nature is betraying God and resisting God.
Furthermore, we should often dissect ourselves and examine ourselves, dissecting ourselves from the things that we pursue, yearn for, and like. For example, in our hearts we always pursue good food, fine clothes, and good fleshly enjoyment and pursue to have money, power, and position. What we yearn for is to enjoy the flesh while following God. From these we see that no matter when, what we pursue and yearn for are the things outside the truth and are the things loathed by God, and see that we betray God by nature. What’s more, when we are passive, when encountering dealing and pruning, when in sufferings and trials, and when the surrounding circumstances are not to our liking, let us see what our attitudes will be, what our reactions will be, and what we will express. For example, when we are passive and weak, we do not want to believe in God, feeling that it is meaningless to believe in God and it is not easy to walk the path of belief in God. When encountering the temptations of money, fame and gain, the fleshly enjoyments, and so on, we feel too restrained by our believing in God and feel that we do not live a free and released life like unbelievers. When illnesses come upon us, we want to die to free ourselves from them and destroy our own future to oppose God. From these ideas and thoughts, it can be seen that we are the offspring of satan and can deny God and betray God at any time and in any place.
In addition, we must realize that knowing the nature of betrayal is the deepest lesson in our knowing ourselves, and it needs us to experience more sufferings and refining and receive more working and exposing of the Holy Spirit before we can have the true knowledge of our nature of betrayal. Because we have been corrupted by satan too deeply, we are arrogant by nature and do not easily yield to the facts, and it is even harder for us to accept the truth. Without various kinds of sufferings and refining or without being exposed by the fact, we will never truly know ourselves. Therefore, in knowing our nature of betrayal, we need to endure more sufferings and should pray more to God to inspire and lead us. Only thus can we gain the knowledge of our nature of betrayal.
In conclusion, to truly know our nature of betrayal, we not only need to pay enough attention to it in our ordinary experiences, but also need to sum up the lessons of the failures and warn us by them and see how many states and manifestations similar to theirs exist in us, from which to know our nature of betrayal. After that, we also need to equip ourselves with the relevant truths in light of the states and manifestations of betrayal within us to resolve them one by one and nip the symptoms of betrayal in the bud. Thus, as time goes on, we will gain some true knowledge of our nature of betrayal, and our acts of betraying God will become less and less.