When you perform your duties, everybody should pray and fellowship together; the duty belongs to everyone as well as to each individual. Each individual, therefore, has a responsibility and an obligation to perform well. This responsibility is not for one alone but for all, so everyone must work hard together and put in extra effort to achieve it. You learn a little, I learn a little; you provide a little, I provide a little—in this way, the outcome of the duty will get better and better. Why do the unbelievers put so much strenuous effort into doing something? It takes them one or two years to compose a melody and half a year to choreograph a dance. They can spend a month or two on a new dance move and still not have it nailed down. So why do they take such pains over what they do? Why are they up against such great resistance? (Because they don’t have any harmonious partnership and just hold to themselves.) Yes, they don’t have any harmonious partnership. Why don’t they have any? (They are arrogant and self-righteous and are unwilling to relinquish themselves.) Being unwilling to relinquish themselves, being arrogant and self-righteous—these are all corrupt dispositions. So is this problem of theirs easily solved? Can anyone solve it? Can those high officials like the national leaders, mayors, and provincial governors solve it? Can those great directors solve this problem? (No, man can’t solve it.) They certainly can’t solve it, can they? Why can’t any of them solve it? (Because they don’t have the truth.) That’s right. They all live in dependence on the flesh, on corruption, on life philosophies and on the nature and essence of Satan, and they live in dependence on means and plots and cunning schemes. They don’t stress seeking the truth, practicing the truth, relinquishing their self-righteousness or themselves, and they don’t stress obeying the truth, so when they do something it takes a lot of strenuous effort. They need to exploit connections and gain entry through the back door. There is too much maneuvering behind closed doors and private business conducted under the table. There are many kinds of dirty deals and shady business. So even with real ability and a genuine talent, you still won’t necessarily be chosen and be able to take the stage. Those with means, who can play at plots and schemes, who can exploit connections and get in with cliques can distinguish themselves. People like this more often than not have no genuine talent. The unbelievers, therefore, expend strenuous efforts in what they do; they are all at odds with each other and they scheme against each other. The vying in those engaged in professions or in academia, or in those in the cultured upper class is even more intense. They cheat each other, harm each other and elbow each other out—these things are all too common. You are at the top of your profession and outstanding at what you do, yet you won’t often be chosen. You don’t know how to suck up to others, saying, “I earn a living through my own true ability.” This gets you nowhere! At the very least you must be a sycophant; secondly you must curry favor with gifts, and your family must be financially sound, and you must have a backer; thirdly, you must sell yourself out. Living in Satan’s world, it is so hard to do anything and you face such resistance. If you don’t seek the truth but live only for the flesh, then you will surely fail.
Why do brothers and sisters in God’s family work together more efficiently than those unbelievers? On the one hand, there is a foundation—everyone comes to God’s family performing their duty with their heart working for the same direction. Another aspect is that they share the same objectives and the same beliefs, their hearts are interlinked. Regardless of whether you come from the North, the South or the Central Plains of China, even though you all speak different dialects, as long as everyone sits together to talk about faith in God and to talk about your own experiences, then very quickly you become familiar with each other; it seems that you have known each other for many years and you feel as if you were of the same family. On the other hand, those in God’s family who play at plots and cunning schemes, who don’t do real work, who toy with different means, those who are self-righteous, arrogant and crafty and those who walk the way of worldly people—can they get anywhere? (No.) No, they can’t get anywhere. This has been proven, hasn’t it? No matter how old you are, what gender you are or how your profession is going, if you say “My profession is going well, so I am self-righteous and I won’t listen to you,” would anyone buy it? How would everyone regard you? Would they hold you in high esteem? (No.) So can this kind of person remain standing? (No.) Some people are smooth talkers and this gives others a good impression of them for a short period of time. After a long time has gone by, will people still like them? What will everyone say? “This person can talk the talk, but their heart is bad! They speak pleasantly but they don’t do any real work or act in a concrete manner. One cannot see what practical experience they have and they don’t love the truth; they just walk the way of worldly people. And why don’t they ever mention belief in God? Why do the principles behind their getting along with other people and doing work seem identical to those of worldly people? This is not like someone who believes in God!” After a while, people will get fed up with them. They will feel that when speaking with this person or working with him, they are unable to obtain any edification or get any help; they feel uneasy in their hearts, they are unable to feel any release in their spirits, so they will gradually distance themselves from him. This kind of person will look at the situation and think, “Not seeking the truth is no good. Neither is it any good to just walk the way of worldly people or employ the methods they use. I must seek the truth!” In this kind of environment, people can unknowingly come to realize that it is no good relying on their petty shrewdness, their minds and the summary of their own experiences, lessons, life philosophies and methods.
So what kind of person do the majority of people like? (Those who seek the truth, who can accept the truth fellowshiped by brothers and sisters, who are able to relinquish themselves and who have the reality of the truth.) What expressions are made by those who have the reality of the truth? Do you know? (They are fairly honest.) They possess honesty, which is one aspect of humanity. What else? (They live out a fairly pious life.) Their appearance is of those who live fairly piously, and who are genuine and decent, which will benefit others. What else? (They do things in a principled way. They can accept being pruned and dealt with by brothers and sisters, they can accept the opinions of others and they can obey.) Doing things in a principled way—this is a somewhat practical expression. What does “doing things in a principled way” involve? What specifically? For example, in relation to the aspect of getting along with others, what is the principle behind how one treats one’s brothers and sisters, whether it be those with status or those without status, ordinary brothers and sisters, or all levels of leadership? You cannot treat your brothers and sisters in the same way as the unbelievers treat others; you must treat them fairly and reasonably. You cannot be close to this one, but not that one; you cannot form cliques or collude with others; you cannot bully someone because you have taken a dislike to them, and fawn on those who are strong—this is what is meant by this principle. You must be principled in the way you deal with other people; you must treat them all fairly. To bring those who you think are pretty good over to your side and exclude those who are hard to approach—isn’t this an unprincipled way of going about things? What method is this? This is the life philosophy of the unbelievers and it is the principle behind how unbelievers treat other people. This method is of a satanic disposition, and it is satanic logic. What should the principle be of the way people treat each other in God’s family? (To fairly treat each and every brother and sister.) How do you treat them fairly? (To help others with a loving heart, to be tolerant and to be patient.) Yes, everyone has small faults and foibles and they all have some things that are characteristic to them; they can all be self-righteous, weak and lacking. You should therefore help others with a loving heart, be tolerant, be forbearing and don’t be too harsh or make a fuss over every tiny detail. If someone is young, or they haven’t believed in God for very long, or they have only recently started to perform their duty, or if they have some special requirements and all you do is obsess over it and not let it go—what is this called? This is called being harsh. You ignore the evil done by those false leaders and antichrists, and yet when you see the small shortcomings and small faults of your brothers and sisters you don’t help them, but instead you exclude them, make a fuss over those things and judge them behind their backs, making more people oppose them, exclude them and ostracize them—what kind of way is this to do things? This is not treating people fairly, but acting based on one’s personal preferences. Being unable to treat people correctly—this is a corrupt satanic disposition and it is a transgression! When people do things, God is watching. However you do things and however you think in your heart, God is watching! If you are to master principles, you must first understand the truth. Once you have understood the truth which tells you how to treat people, you will then know what way to treat people is God’s will; if you don’t understand the truth, then you will certainly not understand God’s will. How you are to treat people is clearly told, clearly shown and pointed out in God’s word; the attitude with which God treats man is the attitude which people should adopt in their treatment of one another. How does God treat each and every person? Some people are of immature stature, or they are young, or have not believed in God for very long. As for some people, the essence of their nature is not bad or malicious, it is only that they are somewhat ignorant or lacking in caliber, or that they have been affected too much by society. They haven’t entered into the reality of the truth and have not yet crossed the threshold, and so it is difficult for them to avoid doing ignorant things or expressing their ignorance. But God doesn’t see these things—He sees only their hearts. If they have resolved to enter into the reality of the truth, they take this correct direction and have this objective, then God watches them, waits for them and gives them the time and the opportunities to allow them to enter. It is not that God knocks them down with one stroke or beats them the moment they make a mistake. God has never treated people like this. This being said, if people treat each other like this, isn’t it their corrupt disposition? It is their corrupt disposition. You must look at how God treats ignorant people, how He treats those with immature stature, how He treats the common expressions of man’s corrupt disposition and how He treats those who are malicious. He has different ways of treating different people and He also has different ways of managing different people’s different conditions. You must understand the truth of these things. Once you have understood these truths, you can then know how to experience them.
Does God only give people one or two years when He works to save them? Or three years or five years? Does He look at whether someone has made major or small transgressions? Does He look at what their strengths are? Does He look at their appearance? Does He look at whether they are high- or low-born? Does He look at their previous faults? Does He look at how old someone is? He doesn’t look at any of these things. Therefore, you must understand: Just as God doesn’t look at these things, you cannot look at these things either. When you see someone who is attractive you trip over yourself to say to them: “You’re pretty good! Let’s get to know each other better and get close to each other. Let’s be best friends.” And when there is someone unattractive, whose words don’t sound pleasant and who cannot communicate well with others, you think to yourself, “Just ignore them. Find someone else to bully them, say bad things to them and stifle them. Who is it that makes them never join us?” What kind of way is this to treat someone? These are all the corrupt dispositions and the malignancy of Satan. So are you willing to live within this kind of corrupt disposition of Satan? Are you willing to be controlled and bound by these corrupt dispositions, and to be put up to doing these things by Satan? (No.) Certainly no one would be willing to do this. In the subjective will of every individual, no one is willing to do anything or perform their duty living within the corrupt disposition of Satan. In people’s subjective wills, they aim for good. But if you don’t understand the truth, don’t seek the truth, aren’t serious about the truth or don’t make any effort with it, you will not be able to enter into the reality of the truth, and then what you live out, the principles you adopt in everything you do, and the words that you say will not conform to the truth. Just as this implies, these things will be completely without the truth. If you don’t understand just one aspect of the truth, then you will be absolutely unable to enter into the reality of the truth; if you cannot enter into the reality of the truth, then you will have no truth. Is there any humanity in those who have no truth? (No.) So what is it that they live out? What they live out is entirely the corrupt disposition of Satan. It is not the case that people become someone who has the truth as soon as they start doing their duty. Doing one’s duty is no more than one method and one channel to take. In the doing of their duties, people use these opportunities to gradually attain an understanding of the truth, an acceptance of the truth and gradually enter into the truth. They then reach a state whereby they get rid of the bonds and control of the corrupt disposition of Satan, and so they become someone who has the truth, someone who has the reality of the truth and they become someone with a normal humanity. Once people become someone with normal humanity, then the performing of their duties, their speaking and acting can be of benefit to others and can satisfy God. Only then can they become standard created beings; only then can they become the standard and qualified mankind created by God. So regarding the performing of your duty, although that which you now expend and bring out in devotion are the various skills that you have learned, it is precisely these knowledge, culture or skills, that which you bring out in devotion and that which you can achieve, provide the channel through which you can understand the truth during this time, and that will allow you to know what it is to perform one’s duty, what it is to come before God, what it is to wholeheartedly expend for God, what it is to throw off your corrupt disposition, and that will allow you to relinquish yourself, not to be self-righteous, and to obey the truth and obey God.
What is vital now for you all to do is to learn to obey that which is right and to obey that which comes from the truth and that which conforms to the truth; in this way, you are walking and practicing toward being obedient to God. Can someone who totally has no understanding of what putting the truth into practice is, or what the principles of doing one’s duty are, perform their duty well? Will they have any difficulties? This hardly needs mentioning, as they will certainly have difficulties. You may perhaps have experienced and realized that, if you don’t possess or haven’t entered into any reality of the truth, then you will find it very difficult to perform your duty in God’s family, will find it very difficult to do your duty well and to do your duty to a level that is up to standard, and you will find it very difficult to remain standing. So do you now have that experience that without the truth it is difficult to take even one step forward? (Yes.) What causes you to experience this most deeply? (Pruning, dealing, trials, refinement, failure and falling down.) How many times have you been through failure? Failure and falling down is not a bad thing, but a good thing, and being exposed is not a bad thing either. Whether you have been through dealing, pruning or have been exposed—whether you have been dealt with and pruned by the above or you have been dealt with by your brothers and sisters—you must remember this at all times: Being exposed doesn’t mean that you are being condemned. Being exposed is a good thing. It is the best opportunity for you to get to know yourself, to undergo a transition in your life experience. Otherwise, you will have no opportunity, nor will you have this condition or context for you to be able to reach an understanding of your own true face. If you can come to know the things inside yourself and every aspect of your being, come to know the things deep within you that are hard to recognize and difficult to unearth, then this is a good thing. It is the best opportunity for you to mend your ways and become a new man; it is the best opportunity for you to obtain new life. Also, you have crossed over the threshold of understanding the truth and entering into the reality of the truth. This is a great thing! If you can grab this opportunity and use this to further seek the truth, to pray more, if you have a conscientious and responsible attitude and, moreover, if you are someone who seeks and loves the truth, then once you have crossed this threshold, you will then be able to take a big step forward!
If you believe in the dominion of God, then you must believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, don’t happen accidentally. It is not that someone doesn’t get on with you or opposes you on purpose; it is actually all arranged and orchestrated by God. What does God orchestrate these things for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings for everyone to see or to expose you; exposing you is not the final aim. The aim is to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you and save you? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off. This is an opportunity for you, you must learn to seize this opportunity and know how to seize it; don’t lock horns and don’t resist. If you are always competing with the people, matters, and things that God has arranged around you, if you are always trying to extricate yourself from them, always feeling dissatisfied, always harboring a disagreeable mentality and always misunderstanding, then you will find it very difficult to enter into the truth. Through obeying, seeking, praying more, retreating to your spirit and coming before God then, unbeknownst to you, a change will happen in your inner condition. During this period, the reality of the truth is being wrought in you, and you will then progress and will see a change in the conditions of your life. When you have this change, and this kind of reality of the truth, then you will have stature, and with stature comes life. If someone always lives in dependence on the corrupt dispositions of Satan, then no matter how much energy they have, how much faith, how much enthusiasm or how much fervor, they still cannot be accounted as having stature, or life. God works on each and every person. Regardless of what method He employs, what form it takes or what tone He uses to speak to people, there is only one final aim, and that is to save you. Before saving you, He needs to change you. But can you change without suffering anything at all? You must suffer a little. This suffering can involve many things. God arouses the people, matters, and things around you to allow you to know yourself, or else He deals with you, prunes you and exposes you directly. It is like someone on an operating table who must undergo some pain—would it be possible for them to feel nothing? If every time God prunes and deals with you and every time He arouses people, matters, and things, for you it stirs up your feelings and gives you a boost, then this is correct, and you will have stature and will enter into the reality of the truth. If every time God prunes or deals with you and every time He arouses your environment you feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever, and feel nothing at all, and if you do not come before God to seek God’s will, do not pray or seek the truth, then you really are so numb! If someone is too numb and their spirit is never aware, then God has no way to work on them and will say: “This person is too numb and has been corrupted too deeply! I have done this, made so much effort, done so many things on him, and yet I still can’t call to his heart and I cannot wake his spirit up. This is so troublesome and difficult!” If God arranges some environments, people, things, and objects for you, or if He prunes and deals with you, and if you learn lessons from it, you learn to come before God, learn to seek the truth and are unknowingly enlightened and illuminated and so attain the truth, and if, in these environments, you experience a change, you reap rewards and you make progress, if you begin to have a little comprehension of God’s will and you cease to complain, meaning that you have stood firm in the midst of the trials of these environments and you have withstood the test, then that’s great, and you have passed this ordeal. How does God regard those who pass this ordeal? God will say they have a true heart, that they can endure this kind of suffering and that their heart loves the truth and wants the truth. If God has this kind of assessment of you, aren’t you then someone with stature? So do you then have life? And how is this life attained? Is it bestowed by God? (Yes.) How does God bestow it? It is God coming personally to give you a bowl of food, feeding it to you and then, after you have eaten, you feel full so that you can stand with strength. You must see and comprehend these things in this way, and this is being obedient to everything that comes from God. You must possess this kind of state of mind and this kind of attitude and you must learn to seek the truth. You mustn’t look for external causes, mustn’t always look for the troubles of others, and you mustn’t always look for faults in others. It can look like that from outside, and some people may have opinions about you or may think about you in a certain way, but you shouldn’t see things that way or from that point of view. You should see things from another point of view. If you see things from that point of view, then you won’t be able to attain anything. If you see things from this point of view then that’s great, your viewpoint and your state of mind will be straightened out and you will then attain the truth. What possible reason could there be to not proceed? Why do you resist? If you don’t resist, then you will attain the truth. If you resist then you won’t attain anything, and you will also hurt God and disappoint Him. How is God disappointed? This amounts to you pushing away the bowl of food that God Himself has brought to you, the bowl of food that He has fed you straight from His mouth. You don’t want it, and you say, “I’m not eating it. I’m not hungry. I don’t need it!” God tries again and again to dissuade you from this course of action, but you still don’t want it, and would rather go hungry. You think that you are full, when really you have nothing at all. This is the situation.
If you wish to enter into the reality of the truth, then you must first start from the drips and drops of life and from the people, events, and things around you. If you can learn lessons from everything that happens around you, from the way you are treated by the people around you, and from the issues and environments you encounter every day, then you will mature and will enter onto the right track. Some people often look for external causes, saying this was caused by this, that happened for that reason and this excuse is why that happened. They say, “I have ample reasons that can explain these things clearly. I am not like that. I’m not that kind of person.” This is far too troublesome. They don’t have an obedient attitude, nor do they have an attitude that seeks for the truth. On the one hand, this kind of person is ignorant. On the other hand, they are stubborn. And moreover, the stature of this kind of person is too small and it is not worth mentioning. They don’t understand what people say, and have no way to communicate with mature people. Others have no way to approach them as if they were mature people, so this kind of person can only progress very slowly. Why can they only progress slowly? It is that they are not capable of seeking the truth, and they don’t seek it. In all things they look to others for causes, reasons and to find fault. Whether in big matters or small matters, they don’t seek for the truth. They would rather ingratiate themselves with other people, and be slick and worldly-wise. They are not willing to attain any truth or to satisfy God. Some people even think “How can God arrange so many people, events, and things? Will God not be dead tired? Is God able to do all this, being so busy?” Is this not man’s conception? Is this not man’s rebellion? On the one hand, their words say that they believe and acknowledge God as being almighty, that everything is within God’s hands, that all matters and all things are within God’s hands and that everything is under God’s dominion. On the other hand, they still don’t believe or acknowledge this fact. Are they not unbelievers? They say, “How can you learn lessons from everything? How come I don’t have that many lessons to learn? Is it that you are too ignorant and that you are following the rules?” What kind of argument is this? This is unbelief! Can unbelievers attain the truth? This type of person will find it very difficult to attain the truth. There are even some who say, “I pray to God about the big things, but I don’t bother God with the small things. God is so busy, administering the entire universe and every individual every day. He must be so tired! I won’t bother God. I’ll sort it out and resolve it myself. It would be good if I could work this out myself and make God satisfied, so I won’t make Him worry about me.” What kind of argument is this? All these are the viewpoints of unbelievers. God administers the entire universe; has God said that He is tired? Has God said that He is too busy to do anything? No, He hasn’t. God dominates all things, and dominates the entire universe with ease, so as for the things that happen every day to every one of His chosen people, it is so easy for God to administer it all. You mustn’t be afraid of bothering God with these things; it is crucial to attain the truth! The more you lean on God and come before Him, the happier, the more gratified, the more comforted God is and the more He enjoys it. The more you leave God, don’t know to be intimate with God, don’t know to get close to God, don’t know to lean on Him and don’t know to seek for Him, the more hurt God is. If you don’t come before God, what hurts Him? Is God hurt because He doesn’t have a companion to talk to? Is He lonely? God pays a price—a painstaking price—for every individual, and they each have His will. God has expectations for everyone, and He entrusts them all with His hope. He freely pays the painstaking price for those people of His own will, and He willingly gives His life and truth to every individual. So God is gratified if anyone is able to understand this aim of His. If you can accept and obey the things He does, and if you can receive all from God, He then feels that the painstaking price has not been paid in vain. This means that, if you have lived up to the care and thought God has invested in you, you have reaped the rewards in every environment, and haven’t disappointed God’s hopes in you, and if what God does on you has had the expected effect and has reached the expected objective, then God’s heart is satisfied. If you never accept what God does on you, but instead always refuse and oppose it, will God’s heart be anxious? God’s heart will be worried and anxious, and He will say, “I have arranged such environments for you and paid such a painstaking price. Why has there been no result? Why has this had no effect on you? Why hasn’t anything been wrought in you?” God can see no result and so He feels hurt. What is the cause of His feeling hurt? It is because you are numb, ignorant, obtuse and stubborn. God takes responsibility for your life and He worries, feels anxious and gets fired up about it. This is why God gets hurt.
Tell Me, who bears the greatest burden for the life of man? (God.) Only God! People are numb and dull-witted; they don’t know or understand it. Their parents or relatives can’t take up this burden, can they? People always say, “I cannot feel it, however much God may love me. Anyway, my mom and dad love me the most.” How do they love you? “They take me to learn dance, they want me to grow up with prospects for my future, to be able to distinguish myself and be a star and they let me become famous! They really love me! They raised me for 20 years, from when I was born up until now, they have spent untold amounts of money on me, lost so many hours of sleep, went without wearing so many nice clothes, and went without eating so many nice things. Their love for me is so great, I can never repay them for it all!” Tell Me, is that love? Your parents inspire you to distinguish yourself, to become famous in the world, have a good job and integrate yourself into this world. Is that a good path to take? That isn’t loving you; it is ruining you. No matter what your parents do, whether it is for themselves or for you, they remorselessly make you distinguish yourself, make you enter wholeheartedly into this world, and make you throw yourself at Satan. Is this love? Until one day you will have degenerated so much as to be beyond the point of return, beyond the ability to free yourself and you will go down into hell. Only then will you know: “That wasn’t my parents loving me. It was them ruining me!” You may perhaps still not have realized this. Some still say, “I still haven’t felt it, however much God may love me. I still think my mom loves me most. My mom is the closest person to me in the world. Isn’t there that song in the world called ‘Mom Is the Best in the World’? This is a name and a fact. It is completely true!” Until the day you feel that those words were false, when you truly have life, when you have entered into life and have attained the truth, you will then say, “My mom is not the one who loves me the most and neither is my father. God loves me the most and He is my dearest loved One, because He gave me life and He is the only One who can provide life to man!” You will only come to a deep understanding of these words when you reach that day when you understand the truth and have completely attained the truth.
Where do you start, if you want to attain the truth? Start from the people, matters and things around you; learn how to learn the lessons and seek the truth within these lessons, seek the truth within the people, matters, and things around you, and seek God’s will; only by doing this can you attain the truth. Some people don’t pay attention to small matters, always thinking, “Why is there never any big thing to deal with? Nothing earth-shaking ever happens. If something earth-shaking happened, then I could attain some great truth! That would be so fantastic!” Is this way of thinking realistic? Is it pragmatic? (No.) It is a little too ambitious and arrogant, right? You can’t attain the truth by this means of pursuit. If you want to attain the truth, you must grasp the principles and study the lessons from the things around you that you consider to be the most inconspicuous.