In God’s word it is said, “Man’s existence is predicated upon the soul’s incarnation, one after another.” Some people say, “I just can’t accept this!” How do you think I ought to reply? Should I say, “You must accept this!” Is this a good reply? No. Then how ought I to reply? I say, “This is God’s word, not mine.” If you only accept God’s name, that Almighty God is God incarnate, but you don’t acknowledge that all of Almighty God’s word is the truth, what wrong have you committed? What will the consequence be? Those who acknowledge that there is a God but fail to acknowledge that God’s word is the truth, can they obey God? Can they put God’s word into practice? Can they obediently follow God’s work? Can a person whose faith consists only in belief in God’s name attain truth and life? This kind of person will not attain anything at all. Only acknowledging God’s name without acknowledging that God’s word is truth—this is the mark of an unbeliever. This is equivalent to when unbelievers acknowledge the existence of the Old Man in the Sky, but do not believe that the Old Man in the Sky has come to the earthly realm, has become man and is speaking and working among humans. Does merely believing in the existence of the Old Man in the Sky constitute faith? This is just a nominal faith in God—at heart, such a person has no faith, they don’t acknowledge that God’s word is truth. I say, there is no need to worry about the fact that you possess certain conceptions and illusions. Every person is a member of the profoundly corrupt human race, including myself. When I was still new in the faith, I had all the same conceptions and illusions that now burden you. All the conceptions and illusions that you now hold, I too once held. How is it that I was able to purify and unburden myself of these things? This is because I was conquered by God’s word: God’s word is really the truth! These things within people are not the truth, they are just man’s conceptions and illusions, fallacies and misunderstandings. By reading God’s word, communing the truth and grasping the truth, all of these human conceptions, illusions, misunderstandings and fallacies are slowly expelled. Such is the process by which this all works. So now many new believers invariably hold certain conceptions and illusions: When they read God’s word they are immediately opposed, and say, “This isn’t right, I understand things in such-and-such way, this is how I think, this is my belief.” When they first read God’s word, they find that it is not in line with their thoughts, conceptions, understanding and belief and so their first reaction is to reject. They say, “God’s word is not right, I don’t accept God’s word. I don’t acknowledge that God’s word is truth.” What is the meaning behind their words? “My conceptions and illusions are the actual truth. My misunderstanding of God is also truth and my comprehension of this matter is utterly correct.” What kind of person is this? Is this not arrogant and conceited? Does this not constitute putting oneself up on a pedestal? Is this not a reflection of Satan’s disposition? If your illusions, conceptions and viewpoints are all the truth, then you might as well come out and say directly that you are the truth and let people believe in you. Do you dare try and testify that you are the truth? When such a person reads God’s word and finds that some aspect of God’s word does not align with his conceptions and illusions, he would deny God’s word before denying his own conceptions and illusions. What kind of problem is this exposing? This exposes the fact that he has a poor disposition, that he is too conceited and arrogant. Isn’t he who dares deny God’s word and openly resists and judges God’s word in clear resistance of God? He is, indeed, in clear resistance. So do new believers in Almighty God display many behaviors that are in resistance of God? The ways in which they resist God are many, indeed.
In experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, people suffer much frustration and failure, their conceptions and illusions are conquered by God’s word and are resolved and, ultimately, their life disposition begins to undergo certain changes. What kind of changes? If someone asks, “What kind of person are you? Are you a good person?” Do you dare say you are a good person? You daren’t say. Why do you dare not say you’re a good person? Why is it that before you dared say you were good and now you don’t dare? Why is it you don’t dare? “After having been chastised and judged a few times, I felt the humiliation of failure and, as a result, I am not as confident in myself now. I don’t dare be so self-righteous, I’ve started to have self-knowledge. I am not the truth: Some aspects of my understanding are fallacious and some are in downright contradiction to the truth. At first, I thought myself to be quite right in certain ways, but after reading God’s word I came to understand that I am quite rebellious and resistant toward God and so I’ve stopped trusting my own feelings.” If after encountering some issue someone asks you to “voice your opinion” and afterward asks, “Do you dare say that your opinion is right?”, you invariably say, “I don’t dare.” They ask, “Then would you ask others to act in accord with your requests?” Again, you say, “I wouldn’t ask them to do so. If you wish to deny my viewpoint, I will obediently follow, I don’t mind.” What kind of change does this represent? Does this not represent that this person’s life disposition has changed to a degree? This indeed represents a change in life disposition. I’ve experienced such a change, and so I don’t dare trust my own beliefs. Ultimately, after you have experienced God’s work and have accepted much of His judgment and chastisement, someone asks: “What do you think of yourself? What kind of person were you before?” You reply, “In the past I was an utter scoundrel.” They ask, “Why would you call yourself a scoundrel? What is it that provokes you to call yourself a scoundrel?” You say, “I’ve suffered the humiliation of so many failures and frustrations; what else could I be but a scoundrel! To put it more elegantly, you could say I used to be a ‘detestable person.’ I hate the old corrupt ‘me’—I hate my old flesh. This is what I mean by ‘scoundrel.’” Should we consider this kind of person stupid or naïve? We should not. This kind of person is being reasonable and rational. Someone asks: “Do you have the reality of truth now?” To which you reply, “It seems I have a bit, but I daren’t say I really do. At most I can say I have more than before.” Is it self-righteous and arrogant to speak in this way? It is not. In fact, it is rational to speak in this way—this is exactly the effect that God is looking for.
In the past, you used to look down on other people when they spoke. You would think: “Are you up to snuff? How cultured are you? How cultivated are you? What kind of mind do you possess? You will have to exceed me in all these things for me to listen to you. If you don’t exceed me—if you’re not better than me—don’t even dream of telling me what to do!” Now, however, even if it is a little child who speaks something in line with the truth to you, you will obediently follow. No matter what kind of appearance or education level a person has, as long as what they say is in accordance with the truth, you will obey and follow. Wouldn’t you say this constitutes a change in life disposition? Some say it does. Why do you say thus? Would average corrupt humans act in this way? No corrupt human would act thus. Corrupt humans all obediently follow those they view as great—they follow those that they worship or those that they fear or presume to be wrathful. When someone with official authority comes by and says something to them, they immediately say, “Yes, yes of course. I’ll obey! I’ll do exactly as you command!” Why do they speak in this way? They speak thus because this person is in a place of high authority. “High-ranking officials crush all inferiors.” Now, however, when someone who grasps the truth comes upon such a situation, they say: “You do not have truth. Even if you were the king of devils I wouldn’t take orders from you. Even if you were the great red dragon armed with army tanks and atomic bombs I would not listen to you. I obey God! Even if you cut my head off I would still obey God!” What kind of change is this? Is this not a change in life disposition? How is such a change achieved? It is achieved through judgment and chastisement. I’ve gone through all of this personally. I, too, was once self-righteous, arrogant and condescending. I thought myself to be better and smarter than others. After putting my faith in God and serving God for so many years, through all of the countless frustrations, all the times I drove up against a wall, and through experiencing God’s dealing and pruning, the judgment and chastisement of His word and all the ensuing pain, I finally metamorphosed into who I am now. I speak not in platitudes, fakery or packaged phrases but with honesty and heart. Useless speech, grand theories, and bureaucratic jargon—I don’t say such things. What do you think is special about the way I speak? Some people say that I speak practically. Do I speak in bureaucratic jargon? Do I use platitudes and packaged phrases? Of course not. Am I an honest person or a crafty person? Do I seem like how the CCP has characterized me? How does the CCP characterize me? They call me a villain, a monster. In reality, is that who I am? I’m a hundred times better than them. I’m not trying to brag, I’m merely speaking in praise of God’s work. I’m an honest person: I never cheat, entrap or harm others. I am sympathetic to those who do not possess the truth. As for those who do not accept the work of God in the last days, I sometimes think to myself: “These people are just like how I used to be before I entered the church. If these people were to accept God’s work in the last days and accumulate ten to twenty years of experience, would they not be just like me? They too could attain the truth. How great that would be! What a pity. These are people of good caliber, why don’t they seek the true way?” Later, I found the answer. These people are not in God’s plan. There’s no hope for them, they weren’t lucky enough to be included. We are just ordinary people, but God exalts us and shows His grace upon us—this is what separates us from others.
Today, all those that come before Almighty God to eat and drink God’s word and seek the truth are extremely smart people. These people are all blessed. As of now, you don’t seem to have grasped much truth. After all, you’ve just entered into the faith. You are more cultivated and more knowledgeable than I and so you won’t need to experience for so many years. I have thirty-odd years of experience, but if you accumulate twenty years of experience you will be no different than me, I dare say. So, though, some have just entered into the faith—in a few years’ time they will be very different, they will have changed and understood some of the truth. This all happens in a brief period. For the first thirty years of one’s life, having just entered into society, one understands almost nothing. From the age of thirty to the age of sixty, one falls into a stable mode of being—one’s fate or path in life is clear. After sixty years old, one is weak and frail and so seeking comes slowly, does it not? So, if one does not accept the true way from the age of thirty to sixty, this is a great pity, is it not? Accepting the true way is truly great. I’ll tell you something real—this is the most real thing I can tell you: After you’ve accepted the true way, no matter how many years you practice, even if it’s just two or three years, and even if you just grasp a little of the truth, have just a little knowledge of God and gain a little bit of life, this will bring you immense contentment, hope and enjoyment. Are you aware of this? What I say is true, do you understand? You understand then? What do you understand? Can you estimate how great the benefits would be from practicing faith for three to five years, gaining a little true knowledge of God, beginning to obey God and fulfilling some of your duties? I’m speaking here of just three to five years—we needn’t speak of eight to ten years—in eight to ten years your attainments would obviously be even greater. After you build the foundation of your faith in the true way, acknowledge the reality of Almighty God, resolve to expend yourself for Him, and to seek and attain the truth, in just three years of experience, your conceptions and illusions will all recede. You’ll have real faith in God and make real expenditures for Him. Through your expenditures you come to experience what it is to be honest. Once you are honest, your love of God becomes real—you are devoid of hypocrisy or craftiness. There is no adulteration to your obedience to God—you don’t obey Him to attain blessings, but only to satisfy God and live a life of meaning. Once you have attained this level of true faith in God, when you meet with some trial or you are afflicted by torment, you never deny, leave or betray God: How great is the comfort you feel! You feel incredibly at peace in your heart: No matter what terrible calamities befall, you feel no fear—you are not afraid of death. How much money would you pay to have this kind of life, to possess this kind of feeling? What is the price of true happiness and joy? Even if you were to become president, you wouldn’t know such joy or peace of mind, right? Regardless of how much money you earn, could you ever buy such faith from God? You couldn’t buy such faith, so such a life is priceless. Why is it that we say that after you’ve attained the truth and have life, even if you’re left without a dollar to your name, even if you’re left starving and homeless, it is all still worthwhile? We say this because the delights of the heart are so very great. How much money would it cost to buy God’s company when disaster strikes? What could you possibly trade in for such a privilege? So, truth is a priceless treasure. Some people just don’t see its value, they have no feeling for it. You say to them: “Just renounce. You see you already grasp some of the truth now, so if you renounce and serve God all the time you will gain much more of the truth!” They reply, “It’s all the same. As I see it, practicing in my free time is enough. I’ll go to the meetings once a week—that’s how I’ll practice faith!” If you just attend one meeting a week, how much of God’s word can you take in? Others serve God and fulfill their duties all day every day. They are together all the time communing truth: How much do you think they’re taking in? Also, just being in the environment of truth influences and molds people very quickly, isn’t it so? Some people fail to see this. You see, there are some who, in meetings and when listening to sermons, can never get enough. Whenever I’m having a chat with someone, or holding a meeting, they want to listen in. The more they listen, the more they gain and the clearer is their grasp of the truth. This kind of person improves quickly, whereas those that only listen once a week progress slowly. Of course, they progress faster than those that don’t listen at all. If you listen to sermons in the old church for a whole year it’s useless, you won’t gain a thing. They preach stale theories that elicit not the slightest change in those that hear them—there is no change at all. You could relate it to washing clothes with clean water: It can’t get out the deep stains. God’s word has the way of the truth. Those who hear it will have their problems resolved. God’s word can expel all of your conceptions, fallacies, illusions and misunderstanding. All of your untoward, false and absurd aspects will be resolved. God’s word cloaks you in the truth, so that, ultimately, your words and thoughts are all in complete alignment with God’s word. In this way you are compatible with God. All of your thoughts, beliefs and understanding are completely in accordance with the truth. This is irrefutable evidence that you have become compatible with Christ. Once you have become compatible with Christ, you will never resist God and there will be a place left for you in the kingdom of heaven. Only as such will you be qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those religious people all full of conceptions, illusions and lavish hopes that still think they can enter into heaven haven’t a clue!
Today’s meeting has come to an end. See you again next time!