Chapter 7 Several Other Aspects of the Truths That Are the Minimum That Should Be Understood by New Believers
4. The Saintly Decency Believers of God Should Possess
Relevant Words of God:
Normal humanity includes these aspects: insight, sense, conscience, and character. If you can achieve normality in each of these respects, your humanity is up to standard. You should have the likeness of a normal human being and behave like a believer in God. You don’t have to achieve great heights or engage in diplomacy. You just have to be a normal human being, with a normal person’s sense, be able to see through things, and at least look like a normal human being. That will be enough. … A lot of people see that the age has changed, so they don’t exercise any humility or patience, and they might as well not have any love or saintly decency either. These people are too absurd! Do they have an ounce of normal humanity? Do they have any testimony to speak of? They don’t have any insight and sense whatsoever. Of course, some aspects of people’s practice that are deviant and erroneous need to be corrected. Like people’s rigid spiritual life or appearance of numbness and imbecility of the past—all of these things have to change. Change doesn’t mean letting you be dissolute or indulge in the flesh, saying whatever you want. Speaking carelessly cannot do! Behaving like a normal human being is to speak with coherence. Yes means yes, no means no. Be true to the facts and speak appropriately. Don’t cheat, don’t lie.
from “Improving Caliber Is for Receiving God’s Salvation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In the dispositions of normal people there is no crookedness or deceitfulness, people have a normal relationship with each other, they do not stand alone, and their lives are neither mediocre nor decadent. So, too, is God exalted among all, His words permeate among man, people live in peace with one another and under the care and protection of God, the earth is filled with harmony, without the interference of Satan, and the glory of God holds the utmost importance among man. Such people are like angels: pure, vibrant, never complaining about God, and devoting all their efforts solely to God’s glory on earth.
from “Chapter 16” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Normal humanity which is spoken of is not so supernatural as people imagine, but is able to transcend the bonds of all people, events, and things, transcend the forces of the environment, and is able to draw close to Me and to commune with Me at any place and in any environment.
from “Chapter 55” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You ought to know that God likes an honest man. … Honesty means to give your heart to God; never to play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never hiding the truth; never to do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and never to do that which merely ingratiates yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man.
from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
I have a lot of wishes. I wish you can conduct yourselves in a proper and well-behaved manner, be faithful to fulfill your duty, have truth and humanity, be someone who can give up everything and give up their lives for God, and so forth. All of these hopes stem from your insufficiencies and your corruption and disobedience.
from “Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The people God uses appear from the outside to be irrational and seem to not have proper relationships with others, though they speak with propriety, don’t speak carelessly, and can always keep a quiet heart before God. But it is just this kind of person who is sufficient to be used by the Holy Spirit. This “irrational” person God speaks of looks like they don’t have proper relationships with others, and they don’t have outward love or superficial practices, but when they are communicating spiritual things they can open their heart and selflessly provide others with the illumination and enlightenment they have acquired from their actual experience before God. This is how they express their love for God and satisfy God’s will. When others are all slandering and ridiculing them, they are able to not be controlled by outside people, occurrences, or things, and can still be quiet before God. Such a person seems to have their own unique insights. Regardless of others, their heart never leaves God. When others are chatting cheerfully and humorously, their heart still remains before God, contemplating God’s word or praying in silence to the God in their heart, seeking God’s intentions. They never make the maintenance of their proper relationships with other people the main focus. Such a person seems to have no philosophy of life. On the outside, this person is lively, adorable, and innocent, but also possesses a sense of calmness. This is the likeness of a person God uses.
from “Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People who have the truth are those who, in their real experiences, can stand firm in their testimony, stand firm in their position, stand on the side of God, without ever retreating, and who can have a normal relationship with people who love God, who, when things happen to them, are able to completely obey God, and can obey God unto death. Your practice and revelations in real life are the testimony of God, they are man’s living out and the testimony of God, and this is truly enjoying God’s love; when you have experienced to this point, the due effect will have been achieved. You are possessed of actual living out and your every action is looked upon with admiration by others. Your appearance is unremarkable, but you live out a life of the utmost piety, and when you communicate the words of God, you are guided and enlightened by Him. You are able to speak God’s will through your words, communicate reality, and you understand much about serving in spirit. You are candid in your speech, you are decent and upright, non-confrontational and decorous, able to obey God’s arrangements and stand firm in your testimony when things befall you, and you are calm and composed no matter what you are dealing with. This kind of person has truly seen God’s love. Some people are still young, but they act as someone of middle age; they are mature, possessed of the truth, and admired by others—and these are the people who have testimony, and are the manifestation of God.
from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
A person who truly believes in God will, at a minimum, carry out these five aspects of spiritual life every day: read God’s word, pray to God, have fellowship on the truth, sing hymns and praises, and seek the truth in everything. If you also have a life of gatherings, you will have greater enjoyment. If a person possesses a general ability to receive, meaning they can fathom God’s intentions after reading God’s words on their own, they can understand the truth, and know how to act in accordance with the truth, then it can be said that such a person will succeed in their faith. If a person doesn’t have this kind of spiritual life or if their spiritual life is extremely improper, only existing very occasionally, then that person is a confused believer. Confused believers cannot achieve good results from performing their duty. Believing in God without living a spiritual life is merely paying lip service to faith; for people like that, there is no God in their hearts, much less any fear of God. How could such people possibly have the likeness of a proper human being?
There are ten points to note for practice and entering in when it comes to the way a proper person should be:
1. Follow etiquette, know the rules, and respect the old and care for the young.
2. Lead an appropriate lifestyle that is beneficial to yourself and to others.
3. Dress in a dignified and upright manner; strange or fancy clothing is prohibited.
4. Don’t, for whatever reason, ask to borrow money from brothers or sisters, and don’t casually use other people’s belongings.
5. Contact with the opposite sex must have boundaries; actions need to be dignified and upright.
6. Don’t argue with people; learn to listen to others patiently.
7. Maintain good hygiene, but in light of actual conditions.
8. Have proper interactions and relationships with others, learn to respect and be considerate toward people, and love each other.
9. Do what you can to help those in need; don’t ask for or accept items from other people.
10. Don’t let others serve you; don’t have others do work you should be doing yourself.
The above ten rules should be the minimum that all believers follow in their lives; anyone who breaks these rules is of poor character. These could be called the rules of God’s household, and those who frequently violate them will certainly be cast aside.
All those who pursue the truth also need to model themselves after the ten positive character traits of ancient saints. Those who regularly practice and uphold these will surely reap great personal reward. They are extremely beneficial for mankind.
The ten principles to conform with saintly decency:
1. Conduct spiritual devotionals every morning by pray-reading God’s word for around half an hour.
2. Seek God’s intentions in all things every day so that you may more accurately put the truth into practice.
3. Have fellowship with all you come in contact with, learning from each other’s strengths and making up for each other’s weaknesses so that you may both progress.
4. Have an optimistic attitude toward life, frequently sing hymns and praises, and give thanks for God’s grace.
5. Don’t be entangled by the secular world; draw close to God in your heart regularly and don’t meddle in others’ affairs.
6. Hold wisdom in your heart and stay away from evil and dangerous places.
7. Don’t argue with people, have fellowship on the truth, and get along well with others.
8. Be happy to do all you can to assist others, alleviate their concerns, and help them resolve their difficulties in the entry of belief in God.
9. Learn how to obey others, don’t control or force people; let people gain some benefit in all matters.
10. Frequently worship God within your heart; let Him hold sovereignty in all things and satisfy Him in everything.
The above ten principles for life and the ten ways to conform to saintly decency are all things people are capable of doing. They can be put into practice as long as they are understood, and the occasional transgression is not difficult to resolve. Of course, certain individuals with very poor humanity are the exception.
from The Fellowship From the Above
Proper humanity mainly refers to having conscience, reason, character, and dignity. Conscience and reason include showing forbearance, having patience toward others, being honest, having wisdom in your interactions, and having genuine love for brothers and sisters. These are the five characteristics that should be possessed within proper humanity.
The first characteristic is having a heart of forbearance. No matter what faults we see in our brothers and sisters we should treat them correctly, expressing tolerance and understanding. We should not exclude them or lash out against them. When we see flaws or corruption revealed in other people, we should keep in mind that this is the period of God’s work of salvation, so it is normal for God’s chosen people to reveal corruption, and we should be understanding. Apart from that, we need to look at our own corruption; we are not necessarily revealing less corruption than others. We should treat others’ revelations of corruption exactly how we treat our own. This is how we can have forbearance for others. If you cannot be tolerant of others it means there is a problem with your reason; it also shows that you don’t understand the truth and you don’t know God’s work. What does it mean to not know God’s work? It’s not recognizing that God’s work has not yet come to a close and that man is still living within the period of God’s work of salvation—we have not been made complete. Therefore, every person will inevitably reveal corruption. Everyone is now properly pursuing the truth, understanding their own corruption, and experiencing God’s word. Everybody is within the period of entering into the truth and has not yet fully obtained the truth. It is only when people acquire the truth that their life disposition will begin to change. When people comprehend this point they will have the reason of a proper person, and then they will also treat others reasonably. If people are lacking reason, they won’t treat anyone reasonably.
The second characteristic is to practice patience toward others. Simply being forbearing is not enough; you must also be patient. Sometimes you can just be forbearing and understanding, but inevitably, a particular brother or sister will do something that might hurt or offend you. Under these circumstances man’s corrupt disposition is prone to flare up, because we all like to fight and defend our own pride, and we’re all selfish and vain. So if someone says something that hurts you or does something that you feel is offensive, you should be patient. Patience is also included within the scope of reason. People will only develop patience if they have reason. But how can we be patient? If you want to have patience toward others, you first need to achieve understanding of them, meaning no matter who says something that hurts you, you should first recognize this: “His words have hurt me. What he said seemed to be exposing my shortcomings and appeared to be targeting me. If his words are targeting me, what does he mean by them? Is he trying to do me harm? Does he see me as his enemy? Does he hate me? Is he exacting revenge against me? I have not offended him, so the answer to these questions cannot be yes.” Since that’s the case, then no matter what this brother or sister said, he or she had no intentions to hurt you or treat you as their enemy. That is certain. When they said these words they were simply expressing what a normal person thinks, they were fellowshiping on the truth, discussing knowledge, exposing people’s corruption, or acknowledging their own corrupt state; they were certainly not intentionally targeting any specific individual. First you offer understanding, then your anger can dissipate, and then you can achieve patience. Some will ask: “If someone consciously attacks me and targets me, and intentionally says these things to achieve some purpose, then how can I be patient?” This is how you should be patient: “Even if someone intentionally attacks me, I should still be patient. This is because they are my brother or sister and not my enemy, and certainly not the devil, Satan. It is inevitable that brothers and sisters will reveal some corruption and have certain intentions in their hearts. This is normal. I should understand, empathize, and be patient.” You should think of it this way, then pray to God and say: “God, someone just hurt my pride. I can’t accept the loss of face; I always want to lose my temper and lash out at them. This really is a revelation of corruption. I used to think I had love for others, but now that someone’s words have stabbed me in the heart I can’t take it. I want to strike back. I want revenge. Where is my love? Isn’t this all just hate? I still have hate in my heart! God, the way You have mercy on us and forgive us for our transgressions is how we should have mercy on others. We shouldn’t hold grudges against others. God, please protect me, don’t let my nature flare up. I wish to obey You and live within Your love. In everything we do, we disobey and resist Christ and God far too much, but Christ is still patient with us. God is carrying out this stage of His work with extreme patience and love. How much suffering, humiliation and slander did Christ have to endure? If Christ could be patient, then the tiny bit of patience we need to have is nothing! Our patience is so incredibly lacking compared to that of Christ….” Once you pray in this way you will feel that you’re too corrupt, too insignificant, too lacking in stature, and that is when your fury will be extinguished. That is how you can achieve patience.
The third characteristic is treating people with honesty. Being honest to people means no matter what we do, whether it is helping others or ministering to our brothers and sisters or having fellowship on the truth, we have to speak from the heart. Further, if you haven’t done it, don’t preach about it. Whenever brothers and sisters need our help, we should help them. Whatever duty we need to fulfill, we should fulfill. Be real, don’t be false or pretentious. … Of course, being an honest person requires a bit of wisdom when dealing with certain individuals. If you see that a person is not reliable because their corruption is too deep, if you cannot see into them and don’t know what they might do, then you need to employ wisdom and refrain from telling them everything. Being an honest person requires principles. Don’t blindly speak of things you shouldn’t be speaking of. Furthermore, being an honest person requires speaking with reason and propriety. Some people insist on practicing honesty and opening their heart to someone regardless of how busy they may be. How is that the practice of being an honest person? Isn’t it being foolish? Being an honest person is not being a fool. It’s about being smart, simple and open, and undeceiving. You have to be proper and sensible. Honesty is built upon the foundation of sense. This is what it means to be honest when dealing with people, and to be an honest person. Of course, the most important thing about being an honest person is being honest to God. Wouldn’t it be a big problem if you were an honest person only in front of other people, but you weren’t honest before God and deceived Him? If you seek to be honest people before God, then you will naturally become honest before others. If you can’t do it before God, then you really can’t do it before others. No matter what aspect of the truth or what positive thing you are entering into, you must first do it before God. Once you have achieved results before God, you’ll naturally be able to live it out before others. Don’t strain yourself to do this or that before others, but then freely do whatever you want before God. That won’t do. The most important thing is doing it before God, who tests mankind and searches their hearts. If you can pass this test before God, you truly possess reality. If you cannot pass this test before God, you do not possess reality—this is a principle of practicing the truth.
The fourth characteristic is having wisdom in your interactions. Some people say: “Does getting along with brothers and sisters require wisdom?” Yes, it does, because employing wisdom is even more beneficial for your brothers and sisters. Some will ask: “Isn’t employing wisdom with brothers and sisters being cunning?” Wisdom is not cunning. Rather, it is the polar opposite of cunning. Employing wisdom means paying attention to the way you talk to brothers and sisters when their stature is small, in case they won’t be able to accept what you say. Also, for those with small stature, particularly those who do not possess the truth, who reveal some corruption and have some corrupt dispositions, if you are too simple and open and tell them everything, it may be easy for them to get something on you or to exploit you. So, you must more or less take some precautions and have some technique when speaking. However, being cautious with people doesn’t mean not helping them or not having love for them—it just means not immediately telling them some of the important things about God’s household, and simply communicating the truth to them. If they need spiritual assistance in life, if they require the sustenance of the truth, we have to do everything in our ability to satisfy them in this regard. But if they are inquiring about this and that about God’s household, or this and that about the leaders and workers, then there’s no need to tell them. If you tell them, they are likely to leak this information and this will impact the work of God’s household. In other words, if it is something they shouldn’t know or something they have no need to know, then don’t let them know about it. If it is something they ought to know, then do all you can to inform them, concretely and without reservation. So what are the things they ought to know? The pursuit of truth is what people should know: What truths they should be equipped with, what aspects of the truth they should understand, what duties they should fulfill, what duties they are suited to fulfill, how they should fulfill those duties, how to live out proper humanity, how to live the life of the church—these are all things people should know. On the other hand, the rules and principles of God’s household, the work of the church, and the situations of your brothers and sisters cannot be casually disclosed to outsiders or non-believers in your family. This is the principle that must be abided by when we employ wisdom. For example, you should never talk about the names of your leaders or where they live. If you do talk about these things, you never know when this information might reach the ears of nonbelievers, and it could become a major issue if that then gets passed on to some evil spies or secret agents. This requires wisdom, and this is why I say possessing wisdom is critical. Moreover, when you are being simple and open, there are certain private things that you cannot tell just anyone. You have to judge the stature of your brothers and sisters to see if, after you tell them, they might be ungodly and joke about what you say, creating problems for you after it’s spread around, doing harm to your integrity. This is why being simple and open also requires wisdom. That’s the fourth must-have standard for proper humanity—having wisdom in your interactions.
The fifth characteristic is to have genuine love for brothers and sisters who truly believe in God. This involves a bit of care, actual assistance and a spirit of service. We should particularly have more fellowship with those brothers and sisters who pursue the truth, and provide them with more sustenance. It doesn’t matter if they’re new believers or if they’ve believed for several years. There is one particular principle of church life: Take particular care with those who pursue the truth. Fellowship with them more, give them more sustenance, and water them more so that they may be given a hand up as quickly as possible, allowing them to grow in their lives as soon as they can. For those who don’t pursue the truth, if it becomes obvious that they don’t love the truth after a period of watering, then there is no need to expend too much effort on them. It is not necessary because you have already done everything humanly possible. It is enough that you have fulfilled your responsibility. … You need to see who you should focus your work on. Will God perfect those who don’t pursue the truth? If the Holy Spirit won’t, then why should people keep going at it blindly? You don’t understand the work of the Holy Spirit yet are always so self-assured—isn’t that human stupidity and ignorance? So, provide more assistance for brothers and sisters who genuinely pursue the truth, because they are the objects of God’s salvation and His predestined chosen ones. If we often fellowship on the truth with these people with one heart and mind and support and give sustenance to each other, in the end we will all attain salvation. You are betraying God’s will if you don’t join with these people. … Those within the church who possess proper humanity should place themselves among those who pursue the truth, interact harmoniously with them, and through the pursuit of the truth gradually expend themselves for God with one heart and mind. That way, those who pursue the truth will be saved and you will also be saved, because the Holy Spirit works among those in pursuit of the truth. …
The fellowship we have just had is on the five aspects that must be equipped within proper humanity. If you possess all five of these characteristics, you will be able to interact harmoniously with your brothers and sisters, find your place within the church, and fulfill your duty to the best of your ability.
from “How to Build Church Life and the Meaning of Building Church Life” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life I