Performing your duty in the house of God is entirely different from non-believers doing things. What are the differences? Brothers and sisters are spiritually linked when they’re together. They feel tranquil and at peace when they have fellowship on the truth. They have fellowship together with honest hearts, help each other, and lay themselves bare. Or, they engage in seeking for each other’s difficulties, strive to achieve unity both externally and internally, and they don’t hang onto the things that are on their minds. Do not hold on to your selfish little motives—move in one direction toward your common goal and achieve unity. Do not harbor your own intentions, and do not be opportunistic or engage in trickery. That way the Holy Spirit will do His work, and you will be efficient in the things you do. Most people can’t fully see this; they don’t experience or seek the path of gaining the Holy Spirit’s work through these methods, so they cannot feel the ways the Holy Spirit works or His enlightenment. Isn’t this what’s different from working amongst non-believers, interacting with them, and working alongside them? (Yes.) What is it that non-believers seek? What are their rules of the game, their principles for doing things, and their ways of handling matters? The principles and the methods of handling things of non-believers are to hold tight to their own thinking, and everyone has their own intentions. Even between the closest of friends each has their individual intentions. They don’t funnel their efforts in the same direction, even if they are good buddies. Once it has to do with their own interest or their face, position, or their name, they each go to their own corner. They work for themselves, hold on to their secrets, and everyone has their own individual intentions. That way, it’s really difficult for them to do things right or to get very far in what they do. Why is it that when a group works on something, they work on it for a while, but in the end it falls apart? They are not successful in things, and they don’t last long. They work on it for a while, but then they can’t work on; they continue at it for a while, but then they can’t continue on. This is one of the difficulties of human nature. If you also do things that way, then you won’t do them for long either.
If you want to properly fulfill your duties together and achieve satisfying God’s will, the primary thing is that you must learn how to coordinate harmoniously. When in coordination, you should think: What can be called harmonious? Are the words I’m speaking to him harmonious? Are the things I’m thinking to myself harmonious with him? Is the way I’m doing things harmonious with my brothers and sisters? Think about how to be harmonious. At times, harmoniousness is forbearance and tolerance, but it also includes standing your ground, upholding principles, not just being a peacemaker or a “good guy,” or taking the middle path. It particularly isn’t ingratiating yourself to someone. These are the principles. If you seek out these several principles, without even realizing it, the things you do will be done in His will, and you will live out the principles of the truth—that is achieving unity. In their interactions with each other, if people rely on life philosophies, their notions, intentions, desires, selfishness, and their own capabilities, gifts, specialties, abilities, cleverness, and minds, there is no way to achieve unity in front of God. Why is that? They are doing things living within a corrupt satanic disposition, and there is no way to achieve unity. What is the ultimate consequence of being unable to achieve unity? God does not do His work. When He doesn’t do His work and people rely on their little abilities, cleverness, specialties, and the little bit of knowledge and skills they’ve gained, people have a very difficult time being fully put to use in the house of God, and they find it very difficult to act in accordance with God’s will. Why is it that it is difficult to be fully put to use? It is because you never gain a grasp on the principles of putting the truth into practice or the principles of doing something; that is, you never grasp the essence of the principles of the duty you’re performing, you never grasp the root of it, and you don’t know how to act in accordance with God’s will, or what to do that is what He wants or will bring Him joy. If you cannot understand the essence in these things, carrying out your duty that way will be a failure.
For example, there are two people who at times have a dispute over a matter of principle. They have different viewpoints and they develop different opinions. What can be done in that case? Is that an issue that occurs frequently? This is a normal phenomenon. It’s because there are differences between everyone’s minds, calibers, insights, ages, and experiences. In addition, it’s impossible that the things in two people’s brains will be the same, so it’s a very common phenomenon that they develop different opinions and different views. This is extremely commonplace and you shouldn’t make a fuss over it. What is the critical issue? When you encounter this kind of thing, how should you coordinate? How should you seek to achieve unity in front of God, and have a unified opinion? What is the goal of having a unified opinion? It’s seeking the principles of the truth regarding this matter and not acting according to your intentions or according to someone else’s intentions, but seeking the intentions of God together. Is that the way? It is the way. Only when you seek out what God’s intentions are and what the principles that God requires are will you be able to achieve unity. Otherwise, if it went your way and the other person was unsatisfied, could unity be achieved? If things went their way, you would feel displeased and frustrated. You can’t see it clearly and you can’t let go of it. “How is doing things this way? Is it suitable?” You’re not at ease internally, and you feel that if you don’t fight for it, you won’t be able to account for things in front of God, but if you do fight for it, you’ll feel, “Is this just putting myself forward for my own sake? Is this struggling for my own face, for my own status?” Either way, you feel it’s not suitable. Neither this nor that feels right. In that kind of situation you should seek the truth. You should seek what the principle is, and what the standard God requires is. Once you find the standard that God requires, you have fellowship with that person. After he hears it, he says, “Yes, my opinion was flawed.” You ponder it and think, “Mine wasn’t that great either. His idea was better and it came close to the standard that God requires. That’s fine—I don’t have anything else to say. My opinion was a little erroneous, a bit superficial. I’ll put it aside, let go of it. I’ll obey. His idea was better. If there’s a little added to it and it’s adjusted a bit, it’s basically fine. We should go forward based on that, and in the future I should learn some things from him, from that method of his.” See, haven’t you been shown favor? He gave a bit, and then didn’t you gain from it? You enjoyed something ready-made. That’s called God’s grace, and you have been shown favor. What do you think counts as gaining something? Is it really only when you figure out something and think, “Oh, this is the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit” that it is being shown favor? Someone else has an opinion, or some light to share with you in fellowship; or something is put into practice, or something is done according to their principle, and after that when you see it, you think it’s not bad. Isn’t that gaining something? It is. Brothers and sisters coordinating with each other is a process of complementing each other. You use your strengths to make up for his shortcomings, and he uses his strengths to make up for your shortcomings. This is called learning from each other, and harmonious coordination. It is only through harmonious coordination that people can gain blessings in front of God. This way things will become smoother and smoother, brighter and brighter, and you will be more and more at ease. If you are always frustrated, and you’re never convinced by what others say and others don’t want to hear what you have to say, either; if you save them some face but they don’t do the same for you, and then you feel like you can’t get through it; if they say something but you don’t give them an easy exit, and they remember it in their heart, and the next time an issue occurs they don’t give you an easy exit, what is this called? Is it called complementing each other and coordinating harmoniously? It’s called strife, and living based on your tempers and your corrupt dispositions. It will not gain God’s blessing—He does not love that.
What is harmonious coordination? You do your thing and I do mine. You finish yours and I finish mine. We each do our own thing, and there’s no silent understanding between us, no communication, and no fellowship. We haven’t reached any kind of mutual understanding; we just know in our hearts, “I’m performing my duty and you’re performing yours. You carry out yours and I carry out mine. What you do is no concern of mine, and what I do is no concern of yours. We don’t interfere or fight with each other, and we don’t bother or influence each other.” Is that harmonious coordination? From the outside, it seems that there aren’t any disputes between the two people, that there aren’t any complaints. It seems that they don’t interfere with each other, or control or restrict each other. However, in spirit there is no harmonious coordination. In spirit there is no silent understanding or mutual care. It’s just each person putting effort into their own thing, and exerting their own effort without any coordination. Is this a good way of doing things? (No.) It’s not a good way to do things. It seems that no one is managing the other person, no one listens to or guides the other person, and no one is a helper for another person. It seems to be rational, but deep inside of people they have a corrupt disposition. Do you know what disposition that is? This is something you can’t fully see, right? They all want to strive to be at the forefront, and they are without any love, care, or help for others. Is there any harmonious coordination in that? (No.) Without coordination, you are fighting a solitary battle, and many of the things you do won’t be so perfect, so complete. This kind of human state isn’t what God wants to see—it does not bring Him joy.
There are some people who sometimes have the following problem. Give some thought to what that’s about. Some people like doing things privately. They don’t discuss it with anyone or talk to anyone about it. Once they’ve thought it out, they just do it. It’s only once they’ve started doing it that everyone knows: “This is happening today—why didn’t we know about that?” What do those people believe? “I’m the head, I’m the leader and you are my pupils. You have to go along with me, and you must do things however I have you do them.” When they do something they don’t say a word to others about it; there’s no transparency. They’re always quietly, privately making an effort, quietly doing things. They are just like the great red dragon that maintains single-party dominance, and wants to pull the wool over people’s eyes and control others. They always see others as insignificant, and so worthless. They always want to be the only one who has the final say in things, and they don’t check in with others or communicate with them, and they never seek out other people’s opinions. How is this way of doing things? Is there any normal humanity in this? Doesn’t it contain a bit of the nature of the great red dragon? (Yes.) What nature of the great red dragon is that? (Being autocratic.) See, you’ve matched it up, then? Can this issue occur in you? (It can.) When you do things this way, are you aware of it? If you’re aware of it then there’s a remedy, but if you’re not, that’s troublesome. What can be done if you’re not aware of it? You need a kind of preventive measure. You can say: “I have this fault. I’m letting you know ahead of time, and telling you that if I do things this way please don’t take issue with it, but be tolerant. This is a fault that I have—I just naturally like to lead others. I have that propensity. I know that it’s not very good, but I’m working on overcoming it and I hope that you can be forgiving of me. When this kind of issue is encountered, just endure this. I’m changing slowly and you should cooperate with me so that we can work to achieve harmonious coordination.” How about doing that? (It’s no good.) What’s no good about it? (Saying that isn’t reasonable.) How is it not reasonable? (They didn’t say that they would have others oversee them, or, “I have this issue, let me know if you see it so that I can make a change as soon as possible and transform this aspect.”) Then what did they do? (They wanted other people to cooperate with their corrupt disposition: “I have this issue, so be tolerant of it.” They’re giving free rein to the expression of their own corrupt disposition and they don’t want to turn it around, to transform it as quickly as possible.) A person who does things like this doesn’t plan to put the truth into practice, right? They clearly know it’s a problem but they do not change it and do not seek the truth, and would have others cooperate with them. What sort of way of doing things is that? Doesn’t this contain a bit of the methods of an antichrist? It’s perilous! Could you walk that path? (If we didn’t put the truth into practice we could also walk that path.) Then how can this issue be resolved? Is saying that to others a way of opening up and revealing themselves? (It’s not.) It’s not—speaking that way is entirely intimidating others, giving them an ultimatum. “I tell you, I’m formidable. I don’t pay any mind to most people, and for most things what I say goes. No one else can even think of negotiating with me. If you want to try negotiating with me, you can just bug off. There’s no room for negotiation. I have this fault, and since I’m the one doing it, I have the final say. No one should consider coordinating with me. You want to coordinate with me, but you’re not up to the task!” Is that opening up? It’s not opening up. This method is a representation of Satan. It’s not merely an issue of a corrupt disposition.
So what should a person do who truly wants to put the truth into practice? They know that they have this kind of issue, but it’s not something that can be changed in a day or two. They want to seek the truth and put it into practice, and to find a proper path of practice so that this problem of theirs, this corrupt disposition, can gradually change and can be gradually cast off. What should they do? What should be the first thing they do? (Open up and reveal that aspect of their corruption.) That is the first step. And how should they open up? What should their attitude and state be like? If they say, “I don’t have a good temperament, so don’t provoke me,” is that opening up? And if they say, “For the most part at home, if I didn’t have the final say in something, I would keep on making a fuss until everyone listened to me. I have that kind of temperament—what can be done? You need to have tolerance. I can’t do anything about it. I have greater capabilities—what can I do? In general, people with greater capabilities have a stronger temperament,” is this an okay attitude? (It’s not.) Then what would be okay? Saying, “For the most part at home, if I wanted to have porridge my mother wouldn’t dare give me rice. If I wanted to have steamed stuffed buns, she wouldn’t dare give me steamed rolls. I’ve had this temperament since I was little. What I say goes. I pursue perfection, and my own ego. This has been much better since believing in God. In day-to-day things I’m able to hold back and restrain myself, but I still pursue perfection, and if something isn’t perfect it’s not okay at all. It just doesn’t work for me.” Is this opening up? What is this called? This is called showing off themselves, telling others how formidable they are, right? In general, what do gangsters or people in the mob first reveal when they meet others? (They say something fierce.) They say something fierce, and then they take their jacket off. What do they reveal? (Their muscles.) They reveal their muscles. What that means is: “See, these muscles of mine are hard as a rock. They can really move—come on and try a punch.” When you punch them it’s just like punching a rock, and you are flung back really far. What that means is: “Do you dare to mess with me? If you do, let’s fight.” Isn’t that the true face of Satan? (Yes.) That is the face of Satan. Their opening up is different from that of others. They always open up in a way that threatens others and intimidates them, scares them; they always want to suppress them. This is called the face of Satan! This isn’t the opening up that is done through normal humanity.
How should opening up through normal humanity be done? What kind of opening up is truly opening up and revealing yourself, and putting the truth into practice? What kind of tone, what kind of attitude, and saying what things is opening up? (Before opening ourselves up, we really need to have some understanding of that nature of ours, and to despise ourselves. Opening up to our brothers and sisters is wanting to practice the truth by means of opening up. It’s seeing that these corrupt dispositions within ourselves are disgusting to God, and seeing that ugly face of ours. It’s a desire to have fellowship on it from within so that our brothers and sisters are not deluded, and it’s also wanting to apologize to them, wanting to no longer rely on that in our life. The attitude is one of truly wanting to repent—it’s a state of being ashamed and sorrowful.) It’s expressing your hate and disgust for yourself from the bottom of your heart, not justifying or confessing anything for your own sake when you open up. For example, a person’s disposition isn’t good, and they always say “I don’t have a good temperament.” Is this a kind of justification? Not having a good disposition is just that. When they do something unreasonable or something that hurts everyone else, that’s an issue with their disposition, with their humanity. There are some people who often say something like: “For a little while I don’t keep a lid on my temper, and it flares up. Yesterday I had a bit too much spicy food and today my temper is kind of flaring up. Sorry everyone.” They never recognize the issue from its essence. One aspect is recognizing an issue from its essence, and dissecting and opening up yourself. You must have a heart of honesty and sincerity from deep within you; you must have an attitude of sincerity and speak out about the problems in your own disposition that you are able to recognize. Another aspect is that if you feel that that disposition is very serious, you should tell everyone: “If I present this issue, I’d like everyone to deal with me, remind me. You can be hard on me. If I can’t take it, then ignore me. You can all police me together. If I display this problem, then remind me with some words so that I don’t go down the wrong path. I sincerely hope that everyone will monitor me and help me. If it’s serious, everyone should attack me and deal with me.” How about this attitude? (It’s good.) After they said these words with this attitude, they think about it and feel upset, and think: “What if everyone comes together to attack me? Wouldn’t that be bullying? Can I handle it?” Are you afraid of that? You can’t be afraid of that. There’s no need to have that kind of concern. If you have that kind of resolve and that kind of desire, are you afraid of people dealing with you?
What do these words of Mine mean? It’s not so that people don’t get along with each other, but it’s to say that people must first have a certain attitude for a change in disposition. After having that attitude, they must be able to seek out a proper path of practice, and then not be afraid of how their image, their feelings, or their face might suffer. Most of the time, once you’ve broken through the barrier of wanting to save face, you feel that it doesn’t matter, that everyone is the same, and you feel: “This time it’s me, and next time it will be you. We all cycle through this.” What kind of situation should be created in the church? When there’s an issue, the only focus is on the issue, and not the person. Once everyone is done arguing, they’ve argued until they’re red in the face but there’s no estrangement in their hearts. It’s all for the sake of a change in disposition and to practice the truth, to achieve satisfying God’s will. There is no enmity. Everyone is in the period of becoming saved, everyone is the same, and their corrupt dispositions are the same, so no one should make a fuss over anyone else—what was said too harshly, or what was said too fiercely, or sometimes someone doesn’t have a great attitude. No one should make a fuss over it. If you still aren’t clear, if you still can’t figure it out, there’s one last thing, which is: We believe in one God, and we follow the same God. No matter what divergences there are and no matter what different opinions or what estrangements there are, we are united in front of God. Afterward, you pray in front of God, and you think about it: “The God that they are praying to is the same God that I am praying to, and vice versa. Why can’t I get over it?” When you think about it carefully this way, can’t you get over it? After all is said and done, what is the end goal? The goal is to coordinate harmoniously, to be able to seek to fulfill God’s will in all things, to achieve unity—unity in principle and in goals, and unity in the motives and the sources in doing things. It’s easy to talk about this, but doing it isn’t that simple. Why is that? (Because people have corrupt dispositions and satanic nature.) That’s right. That’s the source. It’s not because people have a temper, or because they have different personalities. It’s not because of differences in age or because they came from different families. It’s because of people’s corrupt dispositions. That’s the root of it. So, how can the corrupt disposition really be resolved? (Putting the truth into practice.) If everyone puts the truth into practice and handles things based on the principles of the truth, they are able to achieve harmonious coordination and achieve unity in front of God. This is the goal.
I hope that in what you do, you become better and better, that you understand the truth more and more, and have more and more progress. Sum up the lessons of those who have failed, and summarize when you are coordinating in service together—what can be done to coordinate better and to gain blessings? How should you coordinate so that you can meet God’s will in all things? When you encounter an issue, whether you have conflict or whether it’s easy and relaxed to achieve harmony and unity, no matter what the process of your experience is, in the end there should be an outcome. What is that outcome? It is that after experiencing that thing, there will be a harvest, there will be progress in every person’s heart. Whether you have seen something within a positive thing or a negative thing, it can allow you to take a step forward through experiencing that thing. It can allow you to take a huge step. This is wonderful, and then you have not undergone that issue in vain.
“Accept things from God”—how can these words be interpreted? How do you put these words into practice? (By believing that the environment has been set up by God, and by first obeying Him.) That is putting them into practice. The words “accept things from God” are the truth, but if you’re not able to put them into practice, then they just become doctrine. As for how you should treat them, and how you should find the path and the principles of practice in the words “accept things from God,” this is what you should do. You say that someone offended you, stepped on your toes, or pushed you aside, and you’re going to find a way to confront him, pit yourself against him, fight with him, and in the end you’ll rely on tactics and formidableness, on your ability to defeat him, to shame him. Is that okay? What is that? Is that putting the truth into practice? This is temper, and revealing a corrupt disposition. As believers in God, we can’t do that. Behaving that way hurts God. There is no bearing witness; it shames God! If non-believers do that and you also do that, then what difference is there between you? They do that—they conduct themselves that way. Their methods and ways of doing things and of conducting themselves are like that. They rely on their temper, tactics, their corrupt disposition, artifice, ferocity, and malice in all things. If you also do things that way, then there’s nothing different about you. So what should you do? How can you stand witness? What should a person who follows God do? Isn’t this something you should think about? If he’s oppressing you and he’s not fair to you, what should you do? (First come in front of God to pray and seek.) You must first come in front of God and not rely on your temper. You must quiet your heart. In fact, frequently this kind of thing is clear. You give it some thought: “God has said that all things and events are in His hands. All of this is within His orchestration—I believe that this is not incidental. Even though he has a corrupt disposition and he’s bullying me now, he’s giving me a hard time, I believe that everything is in God’s hands. I will accept this thing from God and treat it properly. I will pray to God and not confront him. I won’t pay any attention to him, take him seriously, or lower myself to his level. I’ll perform my duty as I should, and give thanks for God dealing with me and pruning me, for arranging this kind of environment to deal with my corruption and temper.” When you have this kind of practice, often Satan will just retreat in shame. But if you depend on your temper, if you face off with him with your fists, a small thing will become a large thing, and a large thing will become a bad thing. Why is it called a bad thing? You are a Christian; you are a follower of God. When Satan tempts you, when it provokes your temper, what weapon do you use to face this issue? You use whatever you have at your disposal,[a] or your corrupt disposition to face off with him. Satan is happy then, and is hoping to reel you in, and you stupidly allow yourself to be reeled in. Then Satan is just thrilled. It has occupied your heart, and has stolen away your time and your thoughts. You cannot come in front of God. You have a belly full of bile, full of grievances and resentment. At that time is the truth useful? It’s not useful anymore. When people’s temper goes straight to their brains, which is just like the saying that their “blood is boiling,” when people are too angry, their hair bristles and can make the hat they wear stand up—it can get to that point. That’s temper. What is the consequence of people’s temper? It’s falling into Satan’s web. What is Satan’s web? It’s that your heart has been entangled by this dispute, by this issue and all you can think is, “I’ll show him.” During the day you can’t get any food down, and at night you can’t sleep. Your brain is fully occupied by it and you’re always thinking of that look in his eyes when he looks at you, and considering what he really thinks of you, and how you should deal with him in return. People only have a certain amount of energy, and if the little bit of thought, will, and wishes that you have to expend for God are occupied by these things, then can you come before God in your heart? To come in front of God, people need to be at peace—they need to have a heart of peace, devoutness, honesty, sincerity, obedience, and reverence for God. Without that kind of heart people cannot come in front of God. This is God’s requirement of mankind. If you cannot achieve that, then you can be led around on a leash by Satan anytime, anywhere. Then you are truly a loser, and you do not bear any witness. That is pathetic! Once you fall into the web of disputes, your life will become exhausting, and coming in front of God will become difficult.
People live their lives every day, and perform their duty, singing, dancing, making music, writing, or spreading the gospel, and they don’t know what they will encounter that day. That is unknown, but we don’t fear the unknown. Why is that? Because we have God. We have God in our hearts. We have something to lean on. So, no matter what issues we encounter, we’re not afraid; we have something to lean on and we have motivation. We’re not like non-believers—they are helpless, they’re constantly running around, and they’re constantly afraid of what might happen. They don’t want to get into a car accident, they don’t want to provoke a lawsuit or a quarrel, they don’t want to offend their boss, colleagues, relatives, or people who are useful to them, they don’t want to run into any disasters…. They are wound up tightly in their hearts every day; they are afraid of these things every day. Why is that? It’s because they don’t have God. Without God they seem pathetic, helpless, and with nothing to lean on. We’re different. We don’t need to fear those things; God is supreme, He is our Lord, we can lean on Him, He is our Rock. We need not fear those things; God has already told us the principles of what we should practice when we encounter an issue. We live our lives in the light, in peace. But you must seek and you must enter in in the following way. You say: “In the past I encountered a lot of issues and failed in all of them, but over the last year or two my stature has grown a bit. I still hit some bumps in the road in performing my duty, but my practice is different. Before, I always had to argue over things, fight for my face, find an easy exit, and get the upper hand. But now, the things I want are different—I don’t want those things anymore. I feel that none of that is important, so what is more important? When encountering an issue, that I am able to satisfy God, that I am able to come in front of God in my heart, pursue peace and the joy from God, and what is more important is gaining the truth in the course of my experience.” See, your feelings of happiness become more and more apparent. The value and the significance of your life is more apparent. What is most important in your coordination in the fulfilling of your duty? What’s most important is that at any moment you are able to come in front of God. No matter who offends you or steps on your toes, or who carelessly says something that hurts your feelings, you should be able to approach it properly. Don’t make a fuss, throw a temper tantrum, or be willful. That way you will perform your duty better and better.
a. The original text reads “You use a real knife, a real gun.”