Chapter 68. Only by Putting the Truth Into Practice Can You Cast off the Binds of a Corrupt Disposition
What is entry into life? It is when a person understands the truth, they are able to put it into practice and enter into the reality of the truth. Once the reality of the truth becomes their life, they will no longer be subject to the constraints of people, events, or things. If your original personality, corrupt disposition, and the knowledge you have gained make up your internal life, you will never become strong. If you don’t become strong, what kind of state will you be stuck in? Won’t you always be stuck in a negative state? You passively obey the environment. If you refuse to perform your duty, you’re afraid of being eliminated, and you’re afraid God won’t like you. So you perform your duty and prepare some good deeds passively and reluctantly. You are basically being pulled, dragged along, or driven. Very little of it is positive or active, so the results of your duty are not satisfactory. As people cannot ever give their heart to God, they are subject to the constraints and entanglement of many people, events, and things, and they always fall into a negative state. These kinds of people live in a really tiring way—they’re not free, they can’t feel any release. After a while, they don’t have the resolve to continue on. Some people say, “I have determination and I am not afraid. I’m young and unafraid—I am energetic.” Does that matter? None of that matters. How long can that bit of human drive be sustained? Even if you had the energy of a bull, a lion, or a tiger it would be no use. It’s not the life that a normal person should have. It’s a person’s momentary enthusiasm and whim. People have corrupt dispositions. Whether it’s an old person or a young person, they all have a spurt of energy; for a time, they are enthusiastic, and they have temporary impulses. This is hot-bloodedness, not the natural revelation of life with the reality of the truth. If people rely on hot-bloodedness in their lives, can they perform their duty well? Can they satisfy God? They can’t! So, people must have entry into life—they must enter into the reality of the truth. Some people say: “Why is entering into the reality of the truth so difficult for me? Why are there always so many entanglements in my heart?” What should you do? Does it work to rely on yourself? Some people say: “I have perseverance and determination. I am determined, and I can go up against all difficulties. I am not afraid of difficulties. I welcome them—I am not afraid of anything. I am strong and brave!” Is this useful or not? This actually is something that can sustain people for a time, but their corrupt dispositions are deeply entrenched within and can’t change. Besides, they cannot enter into the reality of the truth, they cannot use the truth as a replacement, and they cannot turn the truth into their own life. These things in people that are from hot-bloodedness—can they be long-lasting? They cannot. You must come before God frequently, open your heart to Him and pray to Him about your difficulties, and you must speak the truth—this is one aspect. Another is that when you are actually performing your duty and in your life, you must seek out a way to behave that is in accordance with the truth, and to not live in that kind of negative state. You must throw off that kind of state. You must seek on this matter, seek out those who understand the truth. You may say: “There’s always a certain idea in my heart and I’m always constrained by it. This isn’t right. Do you think my way of practicing is correct? I’ve been practicing this for a period of time and it seems I haven’t had any results. I’m still unable to free myself from these constraints.” When you seek, when you speak with an open heart, people who understand it and have had that kind of experience will say: “I’ve experienced the state that you’re in, and this is how I came out of it….” And you will gain a ray of light from their communication and a bit of edification. You will have a path of practice, and you should then practice based on their method. As soon as you practice that way, you will have a sweet feeling, you will receive confirmation, and your internal state will gradually improve. This is good—this is the correct path. This direction, this goal is right. This is the fruit achieved by seeking.
Can you currently seek the truth? Aside from mastering some principles of the professional aspects, are you able to seek the truth in your life entry, in improving different kinds of states, and in changing your own corrupt disposition? If you are dealt with because of some issue, will you still be constrained by this, and think: “I was dealt with so harshly; is this to eliminate me?” People enter into the truth slowly, but negativity and passivity appear quickly. When people encounter an environment, see a look from someone else, hear a few words, hear about something, undesirable things appear at every corner. Isn’t this a natural revelation of a corrupt disposition? All of this is a natural revelation of that. What does this show? It shows that human lives don’t contain a component of the truth. Things that people naturally reveal, that have not been processed—no matter if it’s something that you think in your head or say with your mouth, your intention, or something that you plan to do, and no matter if it’s intentional or unconscious—are all related to corrupt dispositions. From the things revealed by people, it can be seen that corrupt disposition is the source of mankind’s life. It is the source of the natural expression of life from corrupt people. There is not even a little bit of the reality of the truth, of normal humanity, or normal sense. Now you are able to dissect yourself. If you pay attention, you’ll know if your thoughts and intentions are correct or not, if they’re in line with the truth or not. You can basically see that. Once you understand it, will you be able to resolve it? Or will you let it go unchecked? You might think: “I want to think this way. It’s beneficial for me. I’ll think this way and other people can mind their own business. I’m not saying or doing anything, so can’t I just think it?” What kind of behavior is this? They clearly know it’s not right, but they don’t deal with it, give it up, or forsake it, but they continue to think and act that way, to indulge it and give it free rein. This is a lack of love for the truth!
When someone is not performing their duty and no one is strict with them, they’ll think that believing in God is just like this: They can just read God’s word and live the church life. It’s good enough if they don’t generally do bad things like non-believers do, and they are not debauched, and in the end maybe they’ll have some good fortune and will be able to remain. They take chances this way in their belief in God. They don’t appear to make any major mistakes, but they have no entry into life, and they don’t have any reality of the truth. When they are performing their duty and someone is strict with them, they find faults and problems everywhere, and then they become negative and think: “It’s not okay to not have the truth! If I’m not careful I’ll be dealt with. If I say the wrong thing I’ll be dealt with; if I do the wrong thing I’ll be dealt with. If I don’t understand the principles and do something at will, I’ll be dealt with too. I have to walk on eggshells at every turn. I can’t overstep any bounds, and I can’t stick my neck out.” Then when there’s some issue, they rush to hide and are cautious in everything. But they overlook one thing: They don’t pursue the truth, they don’t pursue their entry into life and have no life entry. They are satisfied by just performing their duty well, doing their tasks well, finishing their work, sleeping late at night and getting up early in the morning. Sometimes they’re busy and they’re fine without eating—they can endure and withstand hardships, but they don’t have entry into life, and they are cautious at every turn. Is this state correct or not? Is this someone who pursues the truth? Would you say that in the end, this kind of person will be able to understand a lot of the truth and enter into the reality of the truth? And if they continue pursuing in this way, will they be able to gain the truth in the end? (No.) So are there a lot of people like this in your midst? Are you frequently in this kind of state? (Yes.) Always being in this kind of state, always compromising, always being the good guy, always putting your head in the sand, not reaching out too far—from the outside, you don’t seem to overstep your bounds. You stay in your own place, do the work for your position, and the work is done pretty well. You do whatever you’re told. There don’t seem to be any major issues, you don’t do anything bad, and you do nothing that can be condemned. After a period of time like this, will you be able to perform your duty well? Have you realized that this kind of state is really dangerous, and that you can offend God at any time and any place? This kind of thinking, this kind of state, these things frequently revealed by people, these thoughts of people trying to be the nice guy—within these, there is not a heart of reverence for God. It’s just baseless fright and horror—is this a heart of reverence for God? They’ve thrown their entire self into performing their duty, resigned from their job, have left their family, and are here, have they given their heart to God? Is their heart on guard against God? Is that a good state or not? Is this a normal state of entering into the reality of the truth? (No.) If this kind of state continues to develop, is that frightening? If this kind of state continues on, can they gain the truth and life? Can they enter into the reality of the truth? (They can’t.) Then what can be done? Have you experienced that sometimes you realize this problem, your heart pounds for a moment and you think: “Why do I always think this way? This is really frightening! This is opposing God, refusing the truth, and guarding against God”? Doesn’t the state of guarding against God seem a little bit like the state of guarding against bad people? “God is not to be trifled with! He can judge or chastise people at any time, at any place. If you anger Him, He will punish you! At the least He’ll deal with and prune you, if He’s heavy-handed He’ll punish you, have you get sick, make you miserable.” Don’t these kinds of misunderstandings exist in people? Is this a heart of reverence for God? Is this kind of state frightening? When people have this type of state, have this kind of heart toward God, have these kinds of thoughts and have this sort of attitude toward God, are they seeing God as God? (No.) Then what is God to them? At the least, they are not accepting God’s righteous disposition. They are not accepting this fact. They might think: “It’s true that God has mercy and lovingkindness, but He also has wrath! When His wrath comes upon people it can be terrible. He can kill someone at any time, and He can destroy anyone He wants. His wrath doesn’t allow for people’s offenses—stay far away from God!” When people have this kind of attitude and this kind of thinking, are they able to fully and genuinely come before God? (No.) Then is there a distance between the person and God? Aren’t there a lot of things in between? Then what things block people from coming in front of God? What kinds of things lead to people having an attitude of denial, denying the truth, denying God’s provisions for people’s lives and His salvation of mankind? What kinds of things block you from coming before God and practicing the truth? Think about it: What kinds of things that are within people block them from genuinely coming before God, from giving their body and mind over to God for Him to manage, for Him to rule? What things create people’s fear and misunderstandings of God? (Guarding against God, suspicion, and distrust.) So if someone has a corrupt disposition, has the philosophy and thinking of Satan, if their heart is full of deceitfulness and they guard against, are suspicious of, and misunderstand God at every turn, if these adulterations are inside of them, can they truly have trust in God? Can they accept God’s words as their life? Some people say: “I’m eating and drinking the words of God and singing hymns every day. His words move me and then I pray. I accept God’s words, I acknowledge them and treasure them like the truth. I read His words every day and I also frequently recite them and pray quietly in my heart. When I sing hymns and read God’s words, I feel very moved, but they haven’t become my life. When I encounter something, these words aren’t useful.” Why is that? People don’t love the truth, they just treat the truth as just words to be chanted. They do not hold themselves up to it or put it into practice, this is a problem. It’s very difficult for them to enter into the reality of the truth. If they are never able to enter into the reality of the truth, they will always have misunderstandings toward God and there will always be a barrier between them and God. Have all of you experienced those things in between? You say: “I don’t want to guard against God. I want to genuinely put my trust in God, but as soon as I encounter an issue I want to get my guard up, to package myself. What can I do?” If this problem is not resolved, it’s very difficult for you to enter into the reality of the truth and to give your heart to God. Have you experienced this? How can it be resolved?
Would you say that seeking the truth is boring? Is it as complex and difficult as pursuing a field of study? (No.) What kind of process is it to understand and seek an aspect of the truth in the pursuit of the truth? Is it as difficult as studying a major? In fact, whether you love the truth or not, in and of itself pursuing the truth is not difficult. It is much less taxing than researching the atomic bomb or nuclear weapons, and also much less taxing than researching a field of science or researching a type of bacteria. It’s easier than your day-to-day life. Why is that? The reality of the truth is what a normal person should live out, should have. It is related to people’s normal humanity. So it is not separate from people’s thoughts and ideas, from their thinking, from their behavior in daily life. The truth is not a theory. It’s not an academic discipline; it’s not a major. It is not empty. The truth is related to the life of normal humanity. It can correct all kinds of your bad tendencies and habits, bad and negative thoughts. It can change your satanic disposition and all sorts of things in you that belong to Satan, become your life, and allow you to become proper and have humanity. It will change you so that your thinking and your heart are proper, you possess reason, and you are proper in every aspect. With the truth as your life, what you live out and every aspect of what is revealed in your humanity will become normal. So, pursuing the truth and putting it into practice is not a profound thing; it is not a thing of great difficulty. It looks like you still haven’t found the path. If you had found the path, you would feel that pursuing the truth is a straightforward thing. What are the manifestations of someone who lacks the truth and life? Without the truth, people will naturally be subject to the constraints and bonds of their satanic nature; they’ll naturally reveal a disposition that is arrogant and conceited, selfish and contemptible, reckless, and autocratic. They will be prone to bragging, being deceitful and treacherous, suspicious of others, and prone to attacking and judging others; they will always assess people through their prejudices and motives. They will always rely on their own preferences in their words and actions, and when they encounter setbacks or failures will become negative. Sometimes they’ll be supremely arrogant, and at times they’ll be so negative that they practically burrow into the ground. They go to extremes and are never normal. When they’re not baring their fangs, they’re putting on a pathetic face. You’ve come to a halt here: You’re willing to suffer and to pay a price; your resolution and determination are complete, but you don’t have the reality of the truth. What is the expression of someone having the reality of the truth? I’ll tell you a few major indications. When people have the reality of the truth, on one aspect, they’ve understood some truth. What else? There’s a hallmark of a change in disposition: It’s being able to obey things that are correct and in line with the truth. No matter who brings up an idea—whether they are young or old, whether they get along with you or there are grudges between you, no matter if your relationship is good or bad, you know each other or not, you’re familiar with each other or not—if they say something that is correct, in line with the truth, is beneficial to the work of God’s family, you are able to take it in and accept it. You are not impacted by any other factors. Isn’t this an aspect of that expression? First, you are able to accept the truth and things that are correct and in line with the truth. Second, when you encounter an issue you are able to seek the truth. There is something that no one has heard of before. It’s something new. You are able to seek, to see how it should be handled and practiced to be in line with the truth, in line with the principles of the truth, and to achieve God’s requirements. Another aspect is being able to be considerate of God’s heart. How can you be considerate of His heart? When you perform a certain duty, you have to grasp the relevant principles, understand God’s will and what kind of results need to be achieved, and abide by these principles. You also have to fulfill your responsibilities and be faithful. If you don’t know how to be considerate of God’s heart on this matter, but in order to achieve this and satisfy His heart, you must seek this out. Compare these three things to your practice and practical life, look for what principles of practice there are, what details they each include, and how they should be practiced. When putting them into practice there are also a lot of states and details.
When it is not concerned with putting the truth into practice, people feel that they are doing just fine. But when it does require them to practice the truth, their corrupt disposition will come out and act as a barrier, and they find that there are difficulties everywhere. As an example, is speaking something honest putting the truth into practice? What kind of difficulties do you have when speaking the truth? What barriers do you have? What kinds of things can control you, restrain you, and not allow you to tell the truth? Image, status, and vanity. Also, you look at who the other person is, and think: “If they lash out at me, I won’t open up to them. I’ll find someone who won’t lash out at me, who is decent.” You have your choice—this is really a pain! Are people simple in their mind? Even though people’s brains aren’t large, their “output” is pretty significant. Sometimes the things that come out are reasonable, and sometimes there’s no reason to them. These are corrupt dispositions. Corrupt dispositions bind you, constrain you, and control you at every turn; they bring obstacles and difficulties when you practice the truth and serve God. That’s why life feels so tiring. It looks like people are free, but the truth is that they are firmly bound by satanic corrupt dispositions without any freedom of choice. It’s difficult for them to take a single step, to live their life. It’s frequently taxing for them to speak the truth or do something practical. And it’s even more taxing to perform their duty well; exercising discernment over people and things, and being faithful are also very taxing. Sometimes they want to expose a bad or evil person, but they can’t see them entirely accurately. They feel there’s something off about false leaders and antichrists but they can’t quite articulate it. When associating with others, opening up their heart to them is even more taxing. Putting the truth into practice and bearing witness to God present layers and layers of difficulty—they are too taxing. Aren’t these people living within the cage of Satan’s corrupt dispositions? Isn’t living this way living under Satan’s domain? Isn’t it living under its dark influence? (Yes.) Then how can it be escaped? Aside from putting the truth into practice and having entry into life, is there another way? Do some people believe that if you study more of the Three Character Classic or the Tao Te Ching then you can change, or that you can change with good behavior, or by studying some psychology? Many people believe that being a good person is actually easy, it’s just speaking less and doing more, having a good heart and not meaning harm, that this ensures that you will prosper wherever you go, that people will like you, and that being that kind of person is good enough. They don’t even want to pursue the truth but are just satisfied with being a good person. They think that pursuing the truth and serving God are too complicated; that requires understanding many truths, and who can accomplish that? They just want to take the easy road—be a good person and perform a bit of their duty, and that will be fine. Is this tenable? Is it really that easy to be a good person? In the world, plenty of good people speak in a very lofty way, and even though on the outside it seems they haven’t done any great evil, in their hearts they are deceitful and slippery. They are particularly able to see which way the wind blows and they are smooth and worldly in their words. As I see it, that’s a false good person, an insincere person—that’s a hypocrite. All those who stick to a happy medium are the most sinister. They don’t offend anyone, they are people-pleasers, they go along with things, and no one can see through them. That is a living Satan!
Would you say that people are difficult to deal with? Do you think that living this way is tiring? (It’s tiring.) Then have you thought of a way to change? How can you change? Where does your breakthrough start from? Don’t say putting the truth into practice, understanding the truth, or entering into the reality of the truth—these are empty words. These are larger doctrines. Don’t talk about the larger framework, the outline. Start from a small detail. (Being an honest person.) This is a specific practice. To be a little more specific: It’s being an open person, someone who doesn’t tuck or hide themselves away, who doesn’t lie or speak indirectly, who is a direct person, who has a sense of justice and speaks openly and honestly. This is the first thing that needs to be done—you need to be someone who can tell the truth. When someone asks: “Who did that?” You know who did that, but you have a good relationship with them and you don’t want to offend them, so you say: “It seems that … oh … I’m not really sure, maybe it was someone else.” “So who really did that?” “It wasn’t me.” “Do you know who did it or not?” “Do I know or not? I don’t really know, I guess I don’t know! So do you know or not? Who was it?” Isn’t this deceitfulness? You don’t give an account of the truth in your heart, you don’t speak out on it but you hide it in your heart. What does “hiding it in your heart” mean? It means you don’t want to offend others. Interpersonal relationships and not offending others take first place. Practicing the truth and telling the truth take a backseat—they come last. When you’re absolutely forced and have no choice and someone says: “If you know and you don’t tell the truth, you’ll be dismissed. You won’t be able to perform your duty here anymore,” you think it over: “They won’t let me perform my duty; this has to do with my own personal benefit. My relationship with that person and my duty, which one is more important to me? It’s my own duty that is more important. So this time I’ll tell the truth.” So you think and think, and say: “It may have had something to do with Brother Zhang’s family.” “Was it his mother?” “No, it wasn’t.” “Then was it Brother Zhang or not?” “Ask him; I’m not too clear on it.” You’re again beating around the bush. So deceitful! Just one true statement is so difficult, so tiring! How many twists and turns did you take? Countless. Something is on the tip of your tongue but you don’t say it, you just swallow it. Your mouth fails you. What is it controlled by? This is being subject to the control of Satan. Satan has sealed up your mouth and doesn’t allow you to speak. What is a corrupt disposition? A corrupt disposition is Satan’s disposition. If people live by their corrupt dispositions, they are living Satans! Always deflecting things, not speaking directly—all of you have had this problem. Most of you would rather offend and deceive God to protect relationships with other people, to protect your own status and reputation among others. Is this loving the truth? Is this a display of loving God? What kind of expression is this? Looking someone in the eye and being deceitful—the nerve of that! Generally, you feel: “I really love and fear God. Every time I think of God, I feel that He is lofty and great; He is unfathomable. He loves mankind; His love makes people feel that the ice in their hearts has been warmed.” But when you encounter an issue, you don’t speak the truth. Just saying two words of the truth is that taxing. In order to avoid saying that name, how much nonsense did you say? How many twists and turns did you take to protect your own reputation and image? How many brain cells did that kill? Living that way is very tiring for people, isn’t it? If people want to live in a way that’s not tiring, they must start from being an honest person and speaking the truth. Someone is asked: “What time did you get up this morning?” He had been a little lazy and didn’t get up until 8. He thinks to himself: “Getting up at 8 doesn’t sound good, I got up a little bit late.” So he says he got up at 7:56. It makes you feel that he was getting up at 7-something. For such a small thing he wasn’t direct, he beat around the bush and played a game to deceive you. Isn’t this deceitfulness? Isn’t this lying? He thinks: “I lied to them. What can I do? It’s not a big deal, 7:56 is basically 8:00. They can figure it out themselves! It’s basically 8:00. It doesn’t count as a lie.” Lies on top of lies, mistakes on top of mistakes. This person is so much trouble—this is Satan’s trickery! People in the world who sell things—they say a 100 dollar item $99.90. When people see that it is not quite a hundred, they will feel it’s not expensive and are willing to be fooled. This is a marketing ploy and a psychological attack; this is called trickery. Living in Satan’s domain, in the world of Satan, there are traps, lies and smokescreens everywhere. If you live in the house of God, you believe in God, and you come before God but you still live in that same old way, is your belief in God meaningful and valuable? If the goals and principles of your life and the way you live haven’t changed, all you have on unbelievers is your acknowledgment of God, and if from the outside you seem to follow God, but your life disposition hasn’t changed one bit, then in the end, you will not be saved. Isn’t this an empty belief, and empty joy?
Go ahead and sum up these three points later. Dissect yourselves and hold yourselves up to them. No matter how the truth is fellowshipped, people who love the truth, who are willing to put the truth into practice, who have humanity and a conscience will be able to change and gain the truth. Those with no conscience and no humanity, who don’t love the truth will not!