We’ve already shared quite a bit in fellowship on the topic of the truth. We’ve discussed various aspects of it, and now you have recognized the importance of the truth to each and every person. After so much fellowship, don’t you feel that the truth is the most important thing, and that if you believe in God but do not pursue the truth, nothing will be gained? What kind of response have you had in your hearts? Right now, there are probably some who are ready and have set their determination, saying: “From now on, I will certainly pursue the truth hard, and put great efforts into God’s words, strive to understand more of the truth and put it into practice more.” Is this kind of mentality right or not? Of course it is. Since we’ve shared so much in fellowship, if you haven’t had any type of response, wouldn’t that not be normal? Wouldn’t the fellowship just be in vain? The truth is of utmost importance for every single person, for every single person who pursues and thirsts for the truth. It could be said that it’s the most important thing for everyone who truly believes in God. It is more important than our food, our clothing, our sleep—it is more important than any single thing in our lives. Have you recognized this importance? You certainly have some of this feeling, this recognition in your hearts, and would say: “Even if I don’t eat or sleep, or do anything else, I must pursue the truth. Pursuit of the truth is the most important issue of my life. You could say that it is the most important calling for every single person.” After listening to so much fellowship, it’s likely that every one of you has this foundation in your hearts, and that you have this recognition and feeling as well as this realization. This kind of recognition and feeling is right, it’s accurate. This proves that these things we’ve had fellowship on and what we have understood fit completely with God’s words, with what He wants to do in us, and with His will.
So in the early days of their belief in God, what is people’s attitude? What is their attitude toward the truth? They just don’t pay attention to it at all, for the truth is foreign to them. They absolutely do not understand what it is, and they understand even less of where it is, why they should pursue it, why they should receive it and put it into practice, and why God has to express so much of the truth. Aren’t all of these issues foreign to every single one of us? We have never considered or encountered these issues. God is currently performing a new stage of His work and He has expressed many of His words, and every one of us that believes in God has touched on and encountered all sorts of things related to the truth on our path of pursuing our faith in God. So, we must start to have an understanding of the truth, and we must start to come into contact with it. From the time people are born, to when they grow up, then start working, get married, and start a business, the environment they live in and the environments that they encounter have nothing to do with the truth, much less do they contain the truth. This includes the people, events, and things that people encounter and all the things that happen to people—not a single one of these has anything to do with the truth and there particularly is not a single one of these that people can look upon with the truth. So, the truth is very foreign to every person. It is precisely because none of us have the truth that we must now begin to face the truth and to pursue it—this is essential. If you still haven’t recognized that since believing in God, you absolutely have to pursue the truth and that it is only the truth that can change and perfect you, that can allow you to be saved and truly come in front of God; if you do not recognize that, then you are not interested in the truth and cannot pursue it successfully. Some people say: “In my belief in God, I don’t drag my feet in my church life, performing my duty, spreading the gospel, reading God’s word, or my spiritual life. This is all enough—what truth do I need to pursue! I don’t usually commit sins or resist God; I am not an antichrist and stay far away from the wicked. I don’t need to pursue the truth. I just need some simple, regimented things to guide me, to help me, and that will be fine. I don’t need to go too deeply into pursuing the truth.” Is this perspective right or wrong? (It’s wrong.) What’s wrong with it? (Because only by gaining the truth can one gain everything, be saved by God, and be blessed by Him.) Now some people have some vague awareness of this in their hearts. They have realized how important the truth is to mankind’s salvation. However, can this awareness take root? It depends on how your pursuit is in the future. It’s a good thing that you have this awareness now, that you have recognized pursuing the truth is very important. For example, when you are negative, when you are weak, if you do not have the truth to hold you up, can you become strong? Can you overcome your weakness? Can you recognize and dissect why you are weak and why you are negative? (No.) You certainly can’t! For example, when you perform your duty and muddle through it, if you do not seek the truth, are you able to resolve that aspect of your corruption? Can you be faithful to God? You can’t, right? If people want to understand themselves and resolve their own corruption and arrogance, are they able to achieve resolution if they do not seek the truth? They can’t. People always have notions about God and they use their own notions and imaginations to measure Him. Can this be resolved without the truth? It cannot be resolved that way. So, when we encounter many things, including things in our lives, if we are not equipped with the truth and do not seek the truth, and even more lack understanding of the truth and do not know what the truth or His will that God has expressed are in this aspect, how will we face the things that happen around us? A slightly better person might rely on some words that they grasp during normal times, or some rules or human methods that they have learned to resolve this. Can this replace using the truth to resolve problems? It can’t, right? If we don’t seek the truth, one could say that in everything in our lives, we will have no principles, no paths, particularly no goals or any direction. If that is the case, every single thing we do in our lives will be in resistance to God and will be betrayal of Him. When we are in resistance to and betrayal of God, then what will everything we do be like? Won’t they be cursed by God? Won’t they be disgusted by God? Won’t they be things that God judges and chastises? So, it’s possible that before truly understanding the truth, everyone must be faced with some judgment, chastisement, chastening, and disciplining. These are all for people to gain the truth.
After believing in God, weren’t there some things you frequently experienced that left you bewildered and at a loss? You felt that you couldn’t understand God’s will, you didn’t know what to do, and no matter how you racked your brains, you couldn’t do anything? And when you wanted to seek out fellowship, you didn’t know what topic it was, and you wanted to search for answers in God’s word but were looking aimlessly without any target? Wasn’t that frequently the case? This is the presentation of not having the truth that new believers display in all sorts of things—they are frequently like that. So, when gathered together and some people are asked to raise some questions, they bring up matters and questions that appear to be unrelated to the truth. This shows that in each of their lives, people absolutely do not have any truth to put into practice, they do not have any truth to seek, and they particularly do not have truth to act as their principle in life as well as their principle and goal of practice. Isn’t this a difficulty that all people have? If in some aspect, in some matter you were putting into practice, you had already mastered the principles of the truth and understood the essence of the truth, would you still feel puzzled? (No.) You definitely wouldn’t! Even if you felt a little confused it would be because your understanding of the truth was too shallow or you didn’t have very deep experience with it, and you felt that you couldn’t understand God’s will; your corruption has not been resolved and you are in pain. Isn’t that right? What are you confused about now? What’s currently your greatest difficulty regarding the truth? Isn’t it that you’re afraid that if a question about the truth is raised, that if a topic related to the truth is brought up for fellowship, that you will speak doctrines and sayings, but not reality? And aren’t you even more afraid that you will become confused by the things you face? (Yes.) This is because we are absolutely without truth in our hearts. If we had the truth, this wouldn’t be such a headache. So some people put this principle into practice: As soon as they encounter something, they rush to look through God’s words to find a passage. They don’t quite understand it, but their compromise is to understand it based on the literal meaning and keep to the rules, then be done with it. They feel that it’s good enough, they pray, and then feel at peace and at ease. They ask their brothers and sisters and none of them have greater ideas on it, so they think: “Fine, I’ll practice it this way. It should certainly be good enough.” This isn’t okay either. This is really far off from the standard of the truth and from the essence of the truth. It is too far from God’s will, and it is not the principle of practicing the truth.
If you want to put the truth into practice and understand it, first you must understand the essence of the difficulties you yourself face and the things that happen around you, what the problem is, and what aspect of the truth it is related to. You must seek this out. After that, seek the truth based on the real difficulties of yours. That way you gradually experience this, and you will be able to see the hand of God, what He wants to do, and the results He wants in you in everything that happens around you. If you feel that none of things that happen around you have anything to do with your belief in God or the truth, and you think: “I can handle it; I don’t need the truth or God’s word. Once there’s a gathering or I’m reading God’s word, or when I’m performing my duty, I’ll hold it up to the truth and to God’s word”; if you feel that the things that usually occur in your life—things in your family, work, marriage, and future prospects, all the things that happen around you—are not related to the truth, and you use human means to resolve them; if you experience things this way, then you will never gain the truth, and you will never understand what God actually wants to achieve in you and gain in you. Pursuing the truth is a lengthy process. There is a simple side of it, and there is also a complex side. The simple side is to first look at all the things that happen around us, to start from each and every thing, and then you will see more and more how much truth should be gained and should be pursued in your belief in God, that there is so much in every aspect of it. It’s not that only those who are performing their duty, serving God, or acting as a leader need to practice according to the truth in all things, and that the followers below don’t need to. That is not the case. If that were the case, everything that God said and all of the words that He has expressed would be useless. They would have little meaning.
Do you currently have a path in your pursuit of the truth? Do you have some clue? What do you have to resolve first? First you must eat and drink God’s word more, you must listen more, you must seek more. You must eat until you are full, drink until you are sated, until you are growing quickly and you have stature, and then you will be able to do some things, you will be able to withstand some trials and temptations. At that time, you will feel that you truly have gained and understood some of the truth, and you will feel that God’s words truly are what mankind needs, what mankind should obtain, and that it really is the unmatched, life-giving truth in the world. Right now, you don’t have experience; you have only felt that you have a little bit of a heart of longing, that God’s word is profound and that within His words, there are too many things that we cannot achieve and that we do not understand. You just have this heart of longing, this drive, but as for whether or not you can gain the truth, this depends on how you put it into practice and pursue it in the future.
If God only expressed some simple truths in the last stage of His work, none that were too deep; if He didn’t speak too many truths, much less speak much of judging and exposing people, or say anything that’s profound; if He expressed just one small portion, just a bit based on what people were able to accept and were capable of understanding with their brains; if He only spoke some words about blessings, some innocuous things, could mankind be saved in the end? I’ll give you an example. Suppose God said: “All of you are too deeply corrupted—none of you have the truth, and none of you are devoted to Me. Your essence and nature have already changed to be of a living Satan. You are hostile to Me, and you do not love the truth,” and then He told people: “You go figure it out!” Right after that, suppose He said that He blesses those who love the truth, and that those who are devoted to Him are able to satisfy His will and they will be able to walk the path until the end; suppose He said that He blesses a certain kind of person, and He will allow a certain type of person to gain what He has promised. If God only said these things, just simply told this to everyone, would our hearts be moved? Would we have the will to strive to be better? What would people feel? “We basically know these things that God has said. It’s just these things. We’re not that corrupt—good enough! It’s just that we are a bit morally degenerate outside, the quality of our humanity is a bit lacking, or there are some lifestyle habits that are somewhat worldly—we’ve been corrupted by Satan, but we are not too resistant to God. If we made use of some little strategies or put just a tiny bit more effort in, we’d be able to satisfy God’s will. It’s very simple, and this is easy to achieve.” People wouldn’t take pursuing the truth seriously, and they wouldn’t put effort into it or suffer for the sake of it. So what would they believe? That believing in God is simple, that it’s easy, and that pursuing the truth is an easy, relaxing thing. Is that what it’s actually like? It’s not! Every single thing that God says, every topic, and every kind of truth that He expresses are of practical use to every single one of us. They all have their practical side, their authentic side. No matter whether or not people today are able to see it, experience it, or feel it, it truly does exist. Once you’ve had three to five years of experience, you will feel the authenticity of the things that God is saying today, and that these words that God has expressed are so wonderful. If God were still coddling us like in the Age of Grace, saying that we’re the little lambs in His bosom, that we’re the lost little sheep and He’d leave ninety-nine to go find that lost one, then we would think, “I am that one—how much He loves me! God’s mercy and love truly is great. He loves us so deeply!” If people always believed God to be this way, if they always saw Him this way, they would not genuinely go search for Him or come in front of Him to revere Him. They would still have their original attitude toward God, which was like Satan’s, the devil’s. They would still have a cavalier attitude toward God as well as the truth. If that were the case, people would never understand what the truth is or what believing in and following God really is, or what seeking and gaining the truth is. This is true.
If God didn’t express these things, and if He didn’t chastise and judge every single person or use these harsh words on everyone, then what would we believe? We would believe that we believe in God, so we have reached attainment, and we need only wait for the rapture and to enter the kingdom and reign as kings. Some people are already prepared, and say: “Someone like me could at the very least be the one watching the gate in the kingdom.” Some people say: “Such as I am, I don’t require too much. It would be fine if I sweep the streets in the kingdom.” Or, “Someone like me should be a captain of hundreds.” These are the original intentions of every one of us believers at the beginning, as well as the ideals and hopes of everyone who believes in God. So after saying all of this, He has completely revealed mankind’s conceptions and imaginations as well as their extravagant desires and thoughts. There is not a single thing in people’s thinking that is compatible with God. There is not a single thing in what people long for and in what they want to achieve that is compatible with the truth. They are entirely incompatible with the truth. Isn’t that how it is? Once we believe in God, we are faced with His judgment and chastisement and His words that are not in line with our own notions. We are also faced with God’s work and ways which are not in line with our notions and imaginations. So, many people have accepted this stage of His work but they are not willing to truly face God’s work and what He requires mankind to achieve. There are a lot of people who, when pursuing the truth is mentioned, suddenly have no verve and become drowsy. As soon as pursuing the truth or having fellowship on the truth is brought up, they nod off—they lack the desire and the energy to listen to it. But as soon as blessings, promises, and mysteries come up, they’re suddenly full of energy again. Why is this? This is because at the bottom of man’s heart, they do not love the truth. They resent that pursuing the truth is too much hassle and there are too many trivialities; it’s troublesome and requires too much thought and suffering, and to pay too great of a price. If pursuing the truth were as simple as reading a primary school language textbook or nursery rhymes, then there are probably some people who would be interested in it because it’s simple, easy, and there’s no need to pay a price or expend too much. But as it is, it’s exactly the opposite. Pursuing the truth isn’t that easy or simple. Some people take a lot of notes, but once they go back home and take a closer look, they think: “It’s too much of a hassle. It would be really troublesome to sum these things up one by one; it’ll be a lot of work. I’ll put this aside for now and see about it after I get some sleep.” When they wake up, they consider it: “What is the truth, anyway? Why should I pursue the truth? What’s the significance of pursuing the truth?” They think and think, “It seems to be meaningless.” This changes just in the amount of time that they sleep. Some people chat for a bit with non-believers, or spend a day with them, and when they go home and pray to God, God is no longer in their hearts. Pursuing the truth, a change in disposition, being saved by God—there’s none of this! This is people’s stature being too small. It fully proves that people do not have the truth, and they do not have God in their hearts. Without God in their hearts, people cannot possibly have the truth. Without the truth in their hearts, without understanding the essence of the truth, without ever having experienced it, they will never understand the truth and they cannot possibly have God in their hearts.
Some people say: “Why am I constrained after being held back by some small thing? Why don’t I have the desire to believe anymore? Why is it that when some particular thing happens to me or there’s some kind of trouble, some difficulty, I don’t feel energetic in my belief in God? Why is it that sometimes I don’t feel interested in gatherings? Why doesn’t reading the word of God draw me in? Why is it that as soon as someone talks about matters of non-believers, I suddenly feel energized? What’s going on with this?” What would you say it is? (Man doesn’t love the truth.) From man’s nature and essence, we can see that they don’t love the truth. So if man doesn’t love the truth, do they genuinely believe in God in their heart? Can their heart have a place for God? Is God in their heart? No—this is certain. If your heart doesn’t have God and doesn’t have a place for God, this shows that your heart does not contain the truth, you do not understand any truth, and you won’t put any truth into practice. So as soon as putting the truth into practice or pondering the word of God is mentioned, people lose their vigor, and there’s nothing they can do. If one were to tell them they could earn some money, that they have a good way to make a lot of money and they could make one hundred thousand or eighty thousand in a month, they would come up with any solution to overcome every difficulty to do that. They wouldn’t be afraid of failure, and they would try again after failing. Why is that? Because it’s personal benefit that is drawing them in and tugging at their heart. Their heart has been occupied by their personal interests—they take first place. Personal benefit and money are extremely important to them, so they will do everything under the sun and rack their brains for any possible way to achieve their desires, their goals. They’ll even pay any price. So if you treat pursuit of the truth as the single greatest matter of your life, I believe that you will not find yourself without a path. You won’t lack the time, and you particularly won’t have many difficulties that can bar you from practicing and seeking the truth. Do you have this resolution? Do you have this drive? Parents will do everything to satisfy their children, so if they tell their parents that they want to go to university, which requires quite a bit of money, but those parents don’t have that much, what will they do? They’ll go over the place to borrow money, to get the money together somehow, and then find some way to get enough for their children to go to university. If they are unable to borrow the money, some people will think of a solution on their own—they’ll do some small business, or find a job. No matter how much they have to suffer, they’ll find a way to get enough money, meet their children’s needs, so that they can go to university, so that they can become cultivated people and have a good future. If you really have the will to pursue the truth, I think that there shouldn’t be any kind of difficulty that would be able to stop any of you unless you were cognitively impaired, you had some kind of innate neurological defect or had an issue with your thinking, or you were not very bright or were an idiot. Unless you have that kind of innate impairment, you should be able to achieve that which normal people are able to achieve in their thinking, and no difficulty should be too much. For pursuit of the truth isn’t something that we can gain through human means, so what is it? We are just cooperating. The Holy Spirit will help and guide us, and will provide for us and enlighten us at all times. He will allow us to get through every difficulty and understand the things we don’t understand as long as we have the will and the heart to pursue. With God, all things are possible that humans cannot achieve. Humans are nothing—if God doesn’t do it, no matter how much effort or how great the energy that people put into something, it will be useless.
During the Age of Grace, people also believed in God and followed Him, but their goal was to get into heaven and they didn’t speak of pursuing the truth, nor did they speak of being saved. They just followed the rules, went to church, read the Bible, maintained their vague hopes, and felt that was pretty much good enough, and that they would go to heaven after death. This stage of His work is not that simple. Everything that God does is practical and requires us to pay a real price and truly go seek and experience it. Only this way can we gain from God the words and the truth expressed by Him. If people still believed as in the Age of Grace and gathered together, went to church, read the Bible, and then awaited the rapture and ascension to heaven, how arrogant that would be—they would all be waiting to get to the third heaven. This is what people are like: No one praises them, and neither does God. He’s just given people some rules and principles to abide by, and one promise. Then, people feel that they’re good enough, they should go to heaven, they should be raptured. People don’t recognize what they themselves are—they just scramble for something better, something higher. They overestimate themselves. No one thinks that they are an object of destruction, and they particularly don’t believe that they are of Satan’s kind. They all believe that since God saved them, they must be good enough. This is an erroneous perspective.
When people first become believers and they come into the house of God, they are dissented and intolerant in various aspects. They have an aversion to everyone and think they’re better than everyone, and they are even this way toward God. Don’t put too much stock in the fact that they’ve accepted Christ—this isn’t equivalent to being able to accept His words, and it is not equivalent to being able to accept all that He does. They merely accept this stage of God’s work and God incarnate in name only, but that does not mean they are free of notions, imaginations, and conflict regarding what God does. When people who have just accepted see God or even His words, they say that this or that isn’t correct. Some people are very excited, very enthusiastic, and they feel very honored when they see Christ. They feel that they do not live in vain. But since people do not have the truth and do not know God, what are they like? They have notions about how God speaks, how He handles something, and even what He eats or wears. They have notions about the attitude He has toward someone, and they even have notions, views, or thoughts about an expression or a gesture of His. What is this about? It’s that the God in people’s imaginations is entirely different from the true God. Adding to that is people’s corrupt dispositions and the existence of an arrogant nature. They cannot hold it in. They cannot possibly refrain from resisting God; they cannot possibly be without notions about or views on God. But those with many years of experience who have gotten through that and have come out of it—how do they understand and deal with those things? They can recognize that in the principles of everything that God does, every word He says, and every issue that He handles, there is truth that can be sought, and people should not have their own notions—they especially should not hold resistance or antagonism in their hearts. After several years of experience, people can treat these things correctly and they have some truth inside of them to act as their life. They have some relevant truth to act as their principle of practice in these aspects and will no longer do foolish things. Those who have just converted, who do not have experience are prone to stumble and go amiss in these aspects. They are also prone to do some foolish and reckless things. Are you full of imaginations about God as well? Do you feel now that believing in God incarnate is too difficult? Do you say: “It used to be really simple for us to believe in God. Absolutely no one was serious with us, and no one required us to do so much. If we didn’t make it to gatherings no one cared, and no one cared how we believed, whether our understanding was pure, or if we pursued the truth or not. It’s too much trouble now. It’s too difficult”? Would you think this way? If you believed according to the old ways, it would be over. You couldn’t possibly have a good outcome.[a]
Faith in God cannot rely on imaginations, and it cannot rely on notions, and particularly not interest. If you believe in God because of a momentary interest or impulse, then you must calm down and consider whether or not you want to continue on and if you truly want to pursue the truth. Consider if you truly are a person who genuinely believes in God, if you have already determined to take this path and pursue the truth. Give it some more careful thought. This is because the God we believe in now is God incarnate. God incarnate is God come down to earth from heaven, who has truly become a person, someone who looks exactly like a human being. He is Christ, not a simple person. God has done this stage of work very practically, and He has expressed many of His words, done a lot of work, and selected many people very practically. God has expanded His work and His gospel practically. Every actual piece of His work proves that as God works man, He also requires mankind to actually enter in, to pursue, and to actually experience His words. Only this way can people truly gain the truth. This is what God wants to do. From the time that you first accepted until now, you have probably experienced a number of things. It doesn’t matter if you believe them to be supernatural, or things that can be seen with the naked eye, or something that is attainable through people’s own thinking. In sum, every single thing is something that God has actually done. They are things that He has done in us, among us, and around us so that we are able to see and touch them. So, pursuit of the truth is a practical issue, and it’s also a practical lesson. It’s not that we can rely on imaginations, thinking, our own notions, or our little bit of knowledge to easily achieve understanding of the truth, or putting the truth into practice. It’s not that simple. We must actually pay a price and truly experience, seek, ponder, have fellowship, and expend effort in our lives. Only this way will we be able to have entry and reap rewards bit by bit in God’s words and the truth. One day when you comprehend what the truth is and what its essence is and you know that these things uttered by God incarnate are the actual and true principles of life as well as the goal and direction of life that are necessary for every single thing that will happen in our lives, you will realize: Everything that God does is so meaningful! God incarnate is incredibly important and valuable for us. Every single thing that God says, every part, every stage of His work, His every utterance and action, His every gesture and movement, His ideas, and His perspectives and thoughts are all for the sake of mankind’s salvation. They are all to save man. Not a single one is empty—they are realistic and practical. So whether you are coming from the Age of Grace or from a life of not believing in God, you must no longer dream dreams or rely on your imaginations; you must no longer live within your own idealism or fantasies. God’s actual work requires us to actually experience and pay a price. Only this way can what we experience be what we need to gain in our hearts, and only this is what is necessary for our lives. It is what we most need to gain in the course of our belief in God. Once you gain it in your heart, it means that God has a place in your heart. It is what God wants to do in your heart. When you have understood and experienced the truth, you know what the truth is about, it has taken root in your heart, and you have had actual experience of the truth, then God’s words truly become your life within your heart. Is this a practical process? It is practical!
What do we have to do for this process? First, we must enter into God’s words, know what God’s words intend to do in us, the range of what they intend to do, and what they primarily intend to do. There are two major aspects. First, God would have us know ourselves. Second, He would have us know God. Just these two things. To know yourself, you must know your own corrupt essence, your own vital weaknesses, disposition, and nature, as well as every tiny little bit of those things that are revealed in your daily life—your motives, your perspectives, and your attitude about every single thing, whether you are at home or out, whether you are in a gathering, or when you eat and drink the words of God, or when you encounter a certain issue. You can know yourself from these things. Of course, to know yourself more deeply you must integrate God’s words. We must not fear suffering or pain, and we particularly must not fear that God’s words will pierce our hearts. We should read more of His words regarding judgment and chastisement, and exposure of our corrupt essences. We must read it and hold ourselves up to it more. Don’t compare others to it—compare yourself to it. We present every single one of these things—we all match up to these. If you don’t believe it, go experience it yourself. Some people say: “I’m not convinced. There is a line in God’s words that says people are whores, prostitutes. Who is this about?” A brother says: “That’s certainly not about me. I’m not a woman, so I couldn’t possibly be a whore or a prostitute.” And a sister says: “I haven’t even gotten married. I’m single and I’ve never done that kind of thing. I particularly haven’t had any untoward thoughts about men.” Some sisters say: “I’m unwaveringly loyal to my husband; I’ve never thought of being with anyone else. Particularly because I believe in God, I must keep my chastity and I cannot dishonor the name of God. So, these words don’t apply to me.” And some other sisters say: “These kinds of words of God sound so terrible. I won’t accept them. Speaking this way is putting people down, and it’s not in line with reality. I can’t accept it.” Some other people say: “Since God has said this and there are inaccurate portions, I don’t believe anymore.” Is this a correct attitude? It’s clearly, certainly, absolutely not correct, for we simply cannot have this attitude toward God’s words. We must first know that it doesn’t matter if any of His words are easy on the ear, if they’re bitter, sweet, sour, or spicy—we must accept all of them. This should be our primary attitude. What kind of attitude is this? An attitude of godliness? Of devoutness? Or, what kind? Is it an attitude of forbearance, or of suffering? You seem a little puzzled. I’ll tell you, it’s none of those. We should see God’s words as the truth in how we treat Him. Since they are the truth, we should accept them with reason. Whether or not we are able to recognize or acknowledge it, our first attitude should be one of acceptance. We should accept God’s words without exception. If God’s words aren’t about you, or some other person, who are they about? If they weren’t about you, how would He have you accept them? Isn’t this contradictory? Isn’t it? (It’s not contradictory.) Your answers are all very accurate, it’s just that you don’t know what it’s all about. It’s not contradictory, but when I have you explain it, you can’t explain it clearly. Every single line of God’s words pertains to a state. Every part of His words is not about external appearances, and it’s particularly not about external rules or a simple type of behavior for people. It’s not like that. If you see everything in God’s words as being about a kind of behavior, a simple kind of human behavior or an external appearance, you do not have spiritual understanding and you do not understand the truth. God’s words are profound. How are they profound? Everything that He says, that He reveals is people’s corrupt disposition, and substantial and deep-rooted things within their lives. They are essential things, not external appearances and particularly not external behaviors. From the outside, everyone is probably quite good, but why does God say that some people are evil spirits, and some people are unclean spirits? This is something that you cannot see. So, you cannot rely on appearances or what you see from the outside to hold up to God’s words. After this kind of fellowship from Me, won’t there be a little bit of a shift in your attitude toward God’s words? Won’t there be some change? It doesn’t matter how great of a shift there is. Overall, it’s certain that when you run into these kinds of words in the future, at the very least you won’t bicker with God, saying: “These words of God sound so terrible. I won’t read this page—I’ll just go past it! I’ll find something about blessings or promises to read. That will comfort my heart!” You won’t be like that. You won’t pick and choose.
Right now your stature is small, and you probably rely on your own ideas and preferences regarding God’s words. You’re willing to look for His words about blessings—some words like “My firstborn sons” or “My son,” or His promises for the future. When you read this these kinds of words, you feel at ease, comfortable, or feel that there’s some hope. You feel a bit energetic and driven in your belief in God. If people always read those kinds of words of exposure, of judgment and chastisement, they will no longer have the energy for faith in God. They feel deflated. How can they continue forward when they feel deflated? For most people now, if you have them read something about mysteries they can’t understand it—they feel it’s too deep. If they read something about blessings, they feel it’s out of reach. If they read something revealing a corrupt disposition, that’s kind of close to home and they can understand some of it and hold themselves up to it a little bit on the surface. However, people are somewhat unwilling to accept it. You see, people are so troublesome! This is what you should accept, but you’re unwilling to accept it, and yet you fail to attain the things that you are capable of accepting. So, we should separate God’s words into a few categories now, and eat and drink them in an appropriate order. First, every time you eat and drink His words you should first read a passage that reveals mysteries, and you will feel that God is high up in the third heaven, that the God you believe in is so lofty, that He is not so paltry, and that you should keep a heart of reverence for Him. After that, you pray: “Oh God! You are so great! You are supreme! You are the Ruler of all things. You can decide my fate; I am willing to obey Your arrangements and Your orchestrations. I am even more willing to obey all things that occur in my life that come from You.” This way, won’t you feel in your heart that God is lofty? When people pray this way, they have some reverence for God, for they are willing to believe in a lofty God. So, before eating and drinking God’s words, the first step is to place God in heaven. The second step is to look for some words about blessings and promises to eat and drink. Is this right? Some people nodded: “Yes! Ah, that’s right! We need this aspect of the truth!” As soon as they read God’s words about blessing mankind, people are agitated to the point of tears. “Oh God, You are so lovely! You are more than worthy of our worship! You really are so lovely! We are willing to accept Your blessings for us and we are even more willing to accept Your promises to us. It’s just that right now our stature is childlike, we have not grown up in our lives, and we are not qualified to accept Your promises or blessings. We beg You to provide for us more.” It truly is wonderful to read the words of blessings! So what kind of blessings are there? God said when the time comes, all of those disasters certainly will not come upon you; when the time comes people can break away from these irritating three meals a day, the washing and cleaning—there are these kinds of promises. The more they read, the more and more energized they are. But no matter how energized you are, do not forget to pursue the truth. And what should be read for the third step? (Words that reveal mankind’s corruption.) You know this step. You should read words that are God revealing mankind’s corrupt dispositions and corrupt essences. Each time you eat and drink words that reveal mankind’s corrupt essences, it’s not necessary to eat and drink too much—one or two items is enough. After you’re done eating and drinking, put aside those things that you don’t understand or that you can’t hold yourself up to. For the things that you can hold yourself up to, write them down, and this way you will, bit by bit, slowly come to master more and more. You will come to know your own nature and essence. Would you say that this is a good way? It’s very good, right? It seems that right now, you still have needs regarding God’s promises and the words about mysteries, that you still long for that. For example, when you give medicine to a small child, first you have to call them over, give them a piece of candy, something good to eat to coax them, and then when they’re not paying attention, quickly administer a mouthful of medicine. By the time they know what’s going on, it’s already in their belly, and they think it over: “It’s so bitter! Mom, what did you make me eat? How can it be so bitter?!” Before they have a chance to react, stuff another piece of candy in their mouth and coax them a bit more. The kid feels it’s still sweet. Children are easy to coax. You can coax them with two pieces of candy and get them to take their medicine. But once they’ve grown up, that’s no longer necessary. Even though they are well aware that it’s bitter, they still need to drink it themselves. This is an issue of the state of their stature. If you don’t have that stature and you go looking through God’s words yourself and you find the words and the truth related to God revealing mankind’s nature to hold up to yourself, if you are asked to eat and drink this all day, you’ll become sick of it and you’ll be annoyed because your experience can’t match it. So some things like sugar-coated, tasty items need to be sandwiched in. If in the future you eat and drink words regarding judgment and chastisement, or revealing of mankind’s essence and feel it’s really tiring, you’re not willing to eat and drink it, you’re not interested, then you should immediately seek out words regarding God’s blessings and promises or words about mysteries to eat and drink. Then when you eat and drink it and feel energized and that your relationship with God is a bit closer, hurry to strike while the iron is hot, and seek out words related to judgment and chastisement. If you eat and drink and once again you’re not interested, hurry to once again look for His words about blessings. … This way, bit by bit, step by step, you will get on the right path. You are able to eat and drink this way, right? You all know about God’s words regarding His blessings and promises, right? You’re probably very clear on these.
I remember a brother who said what follows. He said there was another brother who put a lot of effort into researching when God would depart the earth. And a lot of effort doesn’t mean thinking about it night and day, but being concerned about it from the time he started to believe in God. He searched in God’s words and collected everything related to God’s departure from the earth. He thought and thought: When will God actually leave? He couldn’t figure it out. Of course this wasn’t an effort of just one or two days; it must have been two or three years. He looked everywhere; he looked comprehensively as if it were a cross-reference Bible, checking every chapter from beginning to end—it was so much effort! In order to study when God will leave the earth, to find an accurate answer, he gathered together all of the relevant text—at the time that God will leave, spring warmth will have arrived and flowers will be blooming, what other signs there will be such as earthquakes or epidemics, what the people will be like, or how the people of the church will react. Wouldn’t that have to be a lot of work? This person really “cares” about and “loves” God so much; how great his “love” for God is! God’s departure from the earth is a major event in His work—this was discovered by that brother. He treated it as if it were the most important event. He believed that it was even more important than his own pursuit of the truth and his own salvation, and that it was more important than looking for any type of truth in God’s words, which is why he put all of that text together and found an answer in the end. Was that answer accurate? (It wasn’t. No one can fathom the work of God.) Then wasn’t his effort in vain? For now let’s not discuss whether the outcome of his research was accurate or not; let’s first talk about his perspective on and methods of pursuit. What do you think of that kind of method of pursuit, that kind of hard work? How about the effort he put forth? Was it necessary? (No.) His hard work was useless! What does God’s departure from the earth have to do with you? God didn’t notify you when He came to earth, so He wouldn’t possibly let you know when He leaves, either. Would God have people find out when He’s leaving? He wouldn’t. There are a lot of things that God doesn’t let people know. What’s the reason for that? It’s because people don’t need to know, and if they do find out it won’t do them any good or be useful for their future destination. So, there’s no need to let you know.
Now God has become flesh—what mystery does He not know? What thing is there that God does not know? What is there that He can’t say to us? God could tell us everything, but there’s no need to let us know, and no need to tell us. When God goes back, when and where He departs, and the date He concludes His work—do these have anything to do with us? You could say that they have nothing to do with us. Some people say: “How can it not have anything to do with us? I have to see how much time is left before the day of God. I must know the right day before pursuing. What if I don’t have enough time to pursue the truth?!” Isn’t that kind of person muddle-headed? Is it someone who pursues the truth? Not at all! If you really want to pursue the truth, you won’t pay any mind to all of those things. You won’t be willing to care about them; you will believe that being concerned with these things has no bearing on and is of no help to your pursuit of the truth. So you won’t be willing to expend the mental energy or the effort on these boring topics. Some others say: “If you’re not concerned at all about the day of God, isn’t this not loving Him?” What kind of love for God is that! If you care about when God will depart the earth, if you know all of that, does it prove that you love Him? Is that really love? What kind of love is that? It isn’t love! It’s always wanting to pry into news about God, it’s wanting to know about gossip and mysteries. It’s nothing more than a heart of curiosity—it isn’t a heart of pursuing the truth at all, and it particularly isn’t a heart of love for God, caring about Him, or a heart of reverence for Him. These are all things that that kind of person doesn’t have at all, that he has no relationship with. So if you run into someone like that who is expending that kind of effort, how would you deal with him? Would you respect him? Admire him? Envy him? Would you help him search for this kind of mystery? You wouldn’t. You would certainly disdain him. You would say: “Our current pursuit of the truth, our salvation, knowing ourselves and knowing God are still up in the air. Every single aspect of the truth is out there waiting for us to go seek it out, pursue it, put it into practice, and to understand it. So we’re not willing to make those kinds of meaningless sacrifices, to expend that kind of unnecessary effort to have a look at those mysteries, to research when God will really leave, how many pestilences there will be, how many people will run off and what God will be like at that time. There’s no need for that kind of effort.” As long as you have God in your heart and a heart of pursuing God, when that day really does come God cannot fail to let you know. When that day comes, God will not cast you aside. This faith and this knowledge are things that you must have. If you have this faith and this knowledge, you will not do foolish things. If God had the intention of telling you, wouldn’t He say it directly? Would He need to speak in circles? Would He need to hide things between the lines of what He says, or tuck it away? He absolutely would not need to. What God intends for people to know is the truth, all of His work and words, and His will. He would definitely not hide them. So, there is no need for you to inquire about the things that God has no thought to have you know. There is no need to ponder them, put your effort into looking for them, or try to check them or link them up. It’s no use! This effort is absolutely meaningless and worthless. God actually loathes it. And why does He loathe it? First, God is disgusted when you don’t seek out the words He has uttered. He says you are not one who seeks the truth, but you are an inquisitive person who likes to split hairs, and you are someone with a casual attitude toward God’s words. You are a person who is always half-hearted toward His words, who does not love the truth. Your heart does not have a place for God, and the things in your heart are just some things that God is not willing for you to know, such as what God’s third heaven is like, where it really is, what the future kingdom will be like, when God incarnate will depart the earth—all these kinds of things. This is why God is disgusted by you. Does God’s disgust make sense? (Yes.) Suppose your son or daughter didn’t study hard and didn’t do the homework that they should, they didn’t stick to the things that they should and didn’t do the things that they should, and they were always thinking: How did my parents meet? What was their courtship like? How did my dad fall in love with my mom? How did my mom give her hand in marriage to my dad? How did they give birth to me? After having me, did they like me? Does our family really have a good life? Will we be rich in the future? … If they were always looking into these questions, wouldn’t that disgust you? Wouldn’t that kind of child irritate you? If your child constantly asked you: “Mom, how much money do we have? Do we have enough money to pay our bills for the next month?” wouldn’t you feel irritated? Wouldn’t you hate your child acting like this? What would you want your child to do? Learn well, learn to read, study hard. Even your will would be so, to say nothing of God’s heart!
God doesn’t like people studying Him, and He doesn’t like people putting meaningless effort into Him, always sneaking a peek at Him, observing Him and His every movement, observing His every word and action. And they pay no mind to what they should do, to their own duty and the matters within the scope of their duty. They don’t focus on that at all or put effort into it, nor do they pay a price for it. They are just concerned with when God will leave, when He will mete out disaster, how long it is until the day of God—these kinds of things. “Will God meet with us after He departs the earth?” “After He leaves, will His work be as it is now?” “After His departure, how long will He stay in the third heaven? Will He come again? Will He be face to face with man again?” “Will there be angels in the future age of the Kingdom? Will the angels interact with humans?” There are all these sorts of odd questions. God loathes these. Are you all able to understand what I’m saying? (We understand.) Okay, you understand. This is pretty easy to understand. As for how we should know God incarnate and God’s work, how to understand everything He says, this falls within the scope of our duties. It is the first thing that we should pursue. If you put this aside, your belief in God is meaningless. Your belief in God is just empty words without any real content. If you are always secretly thinking about mysteries and about when God will depart, or if you are always discussing these things amongst yourselves, such as where God in the flesh was born, what kind of family He was born into, what His fleshly life is like, how old He is in the flesh, or what kind of education He has, if He believed in God, if He has read the Bible or not, how long He believed in Jesus, and what His family’s background is; if you are constantly researching these things, then you are making judgments of God, and blaspheming His flesh. You are blaspheming God incarnate! God would have you know His disposition and His essence, and then achieve understanding of His heart, be able to obey Him, and be able to put the truth into practice to satisfy Him. He would not have you study Him or talk about Him behind His back. So, since we have accepted God in the flesh, and since we have accepted this stage of God’s work as well as Christ as our lives and as our God, we should treat what God has and is and God incarnate with an attitude of reverence and godliness. This is the sense and the humanity that we should possess. Suppose you say: “We don’t have any understanding now, so how should we handle it then?” If you don’t have any understanding then don’t open your mouths. Don’t talk about any of it—so what should you talk about? Knowing yourselves, how to be able to pursue the truth, how to be able to perform your duties well—for being equipped with the truth, you should equip yourselves with these things. And then one day, if you say: “It seems that we have some knowledge of God,” then you can join in fellowship together. When we have some authentic knowledge we can have fellowship, but as for news or information about God in the flesh, or some mysteries that people believe to be unknown, it’s best to avoid these topics. If your discussions go south you will become those who are condemned by God, who blaspheme God. The Holy Spirit will depart from you. This is something that you must see clearly.
a. The original text reads “You couldn’t possibly have an outcome.”