47. The Principles of Denying Oneself and Forsaking the Flesh
1. You must affirm God’s words as the truth, and know that only because all of corrupt mankind possess satanic natures do they have arrogance, self-importance and defiance of God;
2. The more something is believed to be impossible and the more it is at odds with people’s conceptions and imagination, the more you should seek the truth, deny yourself and obey God;
3. By pursuing the truth you should reach a knowledge of the truth of your own corruption and the essence of your nature, be able to deny yourself and forsake the flesh, and never again believe yourself;
4. You must seek the truth in all things, and abandon your assertions and opinions. Only by forsaking the flesh and practicing the truth can you live out a true human likeness.
Relevant Words of God:
My words are the forever unchanging truth. I am the supply of life for man and the only guide for mankind. The worth and meaning of My words are not determined by whether they are recognized or accepted by mankind, but by the substance of the words themselves. Even if not a single person on this earth can receive My words, the value of My words and their help to mankind are inestimable by any man. Therefore, when faced with the many men who rebel against, refute, or are utterly contemptuous of My words, My stance is only this: Let time and facts be My witness and show that My words are the truth, the way, and the life. Let them show that all I have said is right, and is that which man should be furnished with, and, moreover, that which man should accept.
from “You Ought to Consider Your Deeds” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God is the source of all that is just, good, and beautiful, while man is he who succeeds to and makes manifest all ugliness and evil. God will never alter His substance of righteousness and beauty, yet man is perfectly capable, at any time and in any situation, of betraying righteousness and straying far from God.
from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man’s nature is completely different to My essence; this is because man’s corrupt nature entirely originates from Satan and man’s nature has been processed and corrupted by Satan. That is, man survives under the influence of its evil and ugliness. Man does not grow up in a world of truth or a holy environment, and moreover does not live in the light. Therefore, it is not possible for the truth to be innately possessed within each person’s nature, and moreover they cannot be born with a God-fearing, God-obeying essence. On the contrary, they are possessed of a nature that resists God, disobeys God, and has no love for the truth. This nature is the problem I want to talk about—betrayal. Betrayal is the source of each person’s resistance of God. This is a problem that exists only in man and not in Me.
from “A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you really have the truth within you, the path you walk will naturally be the correct path. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil and you would not be able to help yourself. For example, if you have arrogance and conceit inside you, it will be impossible to not defy God, but instead you would be made to defy Him. You wouldn’t do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God, it would make you see God as being of no account, it would make you exalt yourself, it would make you constantly put yourself on display and finally it would make you sit in God’s place and bear witness for yourself. In the end you would make your own ideas, your own thinking and your own conceptions into truths to be worshiped. See how much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature!
from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Nevertheless, I must tell you that often the work of God greatly exceeds man’s expectations and is difficult for the minds of men to accept. For men are merely maggots upon the earth, while God is the supreme One that fills the universe; the mind of man is akin to a pit of foul water that gives rise only to maggots, whereas each stage of the work directed by the thoughts of God is the distillation of God’s wisdom. Man constantly wishes to contend with God, to which I say it is self-evident who will suffer loss in the end.
from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Put aside your view of “impossible”! The more that people believe something is impossible, the more likely it is to occur, for the wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and conception. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought; the more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God.
from “The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Regardless of whether or not everything God does seems meaningful or appropriate to you, whether it is agreeable to your conceptions, and regardless of whether it makes sense to you or whether it conforms to your imaginations, you must always obey and must have a reverent, submissive heart toward all that God does. After all, isn’t practice such as this in conformity with the truth? Isn’t it the manifestation and practice of love?
from “Providing the Truth Is the Real Way to Lead Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The transformation in disposition spoken of in the house of God means that a person, because he loves and can accept the truth, finally comes to know his disobedient and God-resisting nature; he understands that the corruption of man is too deep and understands man’s absurdness and deceitfulness. He knows man’s poorness and pitifulness, and finally understands man’s nature and essence. Knowing all this, he can deny and forsake himself completely, live by God’s word, and practice the truth in everything. Such a person knows God and has his disposition transformed.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If a person’s knowledge of himself is too shallow, it will be impossible to solve problems, and his life disposition will absolutely not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a deep level, which means to know one’s own nature, and to know what elements are included in one’s nature, from where the elements arise and how they come about. Moreover, are you able to really hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If a person is truly able to see the truth about himself, then he will start to loathe himself. When you loathe yourself and then practice God’s word, you will be able to forsake the flesh, and have the strength to carry out truth without difficulty. Why were people formerly able to follow the flesh? Because they considered themselves to be pretty good. They felt right and justified, having no faults, indeed entirely correct. They therefore could act with the assumption that justice was on their side. When one recognizes what his true nature is, how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful, then he is not too proud of himself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with himself as he was before. He feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” He truly sees himself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time it is easy for him to carry out truth, and he looks more like a human being. Only when a person truly loathes himself is he able to forsake the flesh. If one does not loathe himself, he will be unable to forsake the flesh. Hating oneself comprises a few things: first, knowing one’s own nature; second, seeing oneself as needy and pitiful, seeing oneself to be so small and insignificant, and seeing one’s own pitiful soul, one’s dirty soul. When one fully sees what he truly is and this outcome is achieved, he then really knows himself, and we can say that he has come to know himself fully. Only then can he truly hate himself, going so far as to curse himself, truly feeling that he has been corrupted too deeply by Satan, such that he no longer resembles a human being. Then one day, when the threat of imminent death appears, he feels, “Oh! It’s God’s righteous punishment. God is indeed righteous. I really should die!” At this point, he will not lodge a complaint, much less blame God, simply feeling that he is too pitiful, too filthy and corrupt, that he should be wiped out by God and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth, and so he will not resist, much less betray, nor will he complain against God.
from “Knowing Oneself Is Mainly Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
To seek to grow in life you must seek the truth in everything. No matter what issue may arise, you must seek to face it in a way that conforms to the truth, because if you face it in a way that is not entirely pure, then you are going against the truth. Whatever you do, you must always consider its value. You can do those things that have meaning and must not do those things that have no meaning. With regard to things that you can either do or not do, if it can be let go, then let it go. Or if you do these things for some time and should then let them go, then let them go quickly, making a swift decision. This is the principle you should follow when doing anything.
from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
God was very dissatisfied with something in particular you did. Have you pondered within while doing this thing: “How would this matter be viewed by God if it is brought before Him? Would God be happy or irritated if He knows about this matter? Would God detest it?” You didn’t seek it out, did you? Even if others reminded you, you would still think that this matter was no big deal and that it didn’t violate principles and that it wasn’t a sin. As a result, you ruined it and have provoked God to great anger even to the point of despising you. Think things through so you won’t regret them; this is what you must comply with. If you sought and examined the matter thoroughly before acting, then would you not have a handle over the matter? Even though sometimes people’s states are not good, if they solemnly inspect and seek everything that needs to be done in God’s presence, then there wouldn’t be any big mistakes. It is hard for people to avoid mistakes in putting truth into practice. If you know how to do things in accordance with truth when you do them, but you don’t carry them out in accordance with truth, then the problem is that you are not fond of truth. A person who is not fond of truth will not be changed in disposition. If you cannot accurately grasp the will of God and don’t know how to practice, then you should communicate with others. If no one feels like they can see the matter clearly, then you should carry out the most reasonable solution; but if you ultimately discover that there is an error in carrying it out this way, then you should quickly correct it, and God will not count the error as a sin. Because your intent was right at the time of putting this matter into practice, and you were practicing in accordance with truth, only you didn’t see it clearly, and there were some errors in your actions; this is an extenuating circumstance. However, now many people merely rely on their own two hands to work and rely on their own minds to do this and that, and they seldom ponder: Does practicing this way conform to God’s will? Would God be happy if I do it this way? Would God trust me if I do it this way? Would I be putting truth into practice if I do it this way? If God hears this, would He be able to say, “This matter is done correctly and suitably. Keep it up”? Are you able to seriously examine everything like this? Are you able to be meticulous in everything? Or are you able to ponder if God despises the way you are doing it, how everyone else feels about the way you are doing it, whether you are doing it based on your own will, or to satisfy your own desires…? You have to put much thought into it, ask many questions, and seek more, and the errors will become smaller and smaller. Doing things this way proves that you are a person who genuinely seeks truth and that you are a person who reveres God, because you are doing things in accordance with the direction required by truth.
… No matter what you are doing, no matter how big the matter is, and regardless of whether you are fulfilling your duty in God’s family, or whether it is your private matter, you must consider whether this matter conforms with God’s will, whether this matter is something a person with humanity should do, and whether or not what you are doing would make God happy. You need to think about these things. If you do this, then you are a person who seeks the truth and a person who truly believes in God. If you devoutly treat every matter and every truth this way, then you will be able to transform your disposition. Some people think that they are doing something personal, and it is a private matter, so they do it as they wish. They ignore the truth and do it in whatever way makes them happy, and in whatever way is advantageous to them; they don’t give the slightest amount of consideration to how it affects God’s family and they don’t consider whether or not it is in accordance with the order of the saints. Finally, when they are finished with the matter, they are dark inside and uncomfortable; they are uncomfortable but they don’t know how it happened. Is this not a worthy retribution? If you do things that are not approved by God, then you have offended God. If people are not fond of truth, and frequently do things based on their own will, then they will frequently offend God. This kind of person is usually not approved by God in what they do and if they do not repent, then they will not be far from punishment.
from “Seeking God’s Will and Putting Truth Into Practice to the Greatest Extent Possible” in Records of Christ’s Talks