Every day that you live through now is crucial and very important to your destination and your fate, so you must cherish all that you possess and every minute that passes. You must make the most of your time to give yourselves the greatest gains, so that you will not have lived this life in vain. Perhaps you feel confused about why I speak these words. Frankly, I am not pleased by the actions of any of you. For the hopes I have had for you are not merely what you are now. Thus, I can express it this way: You are all at the very brink of danger. Your former cries for salvation and previous aspirations to pursue the truth and seek the light are drawing to an end. This is how you recompense Me in the end, which is something that I have never longed for. I do not wish to speak contrary to the fact, for you have greatly disappointed Me. Perhaps you do not wish to leave the matter at that and do not wish to face reality, yet I must solemnly ask you this question: In all these years, what have your hearts been filled with? To whom are your hearts loyal? Do not say that My question comes too suddenly, and do not ask Me why I pose such a question. You must know this: It is because I know you too well, care for you too much, and devote too much of My heart to what you do, that I reproach and question you repeatedly and bear untold hardship. However, I am repaid with disregard and unbearable resignation. So remiss are you toward Me; how could I know nothing of it? If you believe that this could be possible, it further proves the fact that you do not truly treat Me with kindness. Then I tell you that you are deceiving yourselves. You are all so clever that you know not what you are doing; then what will you use to give Me an account?
The question of most concern to Me is to whom your hearts are loyal. I would also like each of you to organize your thoughts and ask yourself to whom you are loyal and for whom you live. Perhaps you have never given careful consideration to this question, so let Me reveal the answer to you.
All those with memory will confess this fact: Man lives for himself and is loyal to himself. I do not believe that your answer is entirely correct, for you each exist in your respective lives, each are struggling in your own distress. Therefore, what you are loyal to is the people you love and the things that please you, and you are not entirely loyal to yourselves. Because you are each influenced by the people, occurrences, and things around you, you are not truly loyal to yourselves. I speak these words not to commend being loyal to yourselves, but to expose your loyalty to any one thing. For throughout these many years, I have never received loyalty from any of you. You have followed Me these many years, yet have never given Me an iota of loyalty. Rather, you have revolved around the people you love and the things that please you, so much so that they are kept close to your hearts and never forsaken, anytime, anywhere. When you are eager or passionate about any one thing that you love, it is always during the time that you are following Me, or even when you are listening to My words. So I say, you are using the loyalty that I ask of you, to instead be loyal to and cherish the objects of your affections. Though you may sacrifice a thing or two for Me, it does not represent your all, and does not show that it is Me to whom you are truly loyal. You involve yourselves in the undertakings which you are passionate about: Some are loyal to sons and daughters, others to husbands, wives, riches, work, superiors, status, or women. For that which you are loyal to, you have never felt wearied or annoyed; rather, you increasingly long to possess greater quantities and quality of the things to which you are loyal, and you have never despaired. Myself and My words are always pushed to the very last position in terms of things about which you are passionate. And you have no choice but to rank them last; some even leave the last place for something to be loyal to that they have yet to discover. They have never kept any amount of Me in their hearts. Perhaps you will think that I ask too much of you or wrongfully accuse you, but have you ever given thought to the fact that when you are happily spending time with your family, you have never once been loyal to Me? At times like this, does it not pain you? When your hearts are filled with joy receiving payment for your labors, do you not feel disheartened that you have not furnished yourselves with sufficient truth? When have you wept for not having received My approval? You rack your brains and take great pains for your sons and daughters, yet still you are not satisfied, still you believe that you have not been diligent toward them, that you have not devoted all of your effort. But to Me, you have always been remiss and careless, keeping Me only in your memories and not enduring in your hearts. My devotion and efforts forever go unfelt by you, and you have never tried to understand. You merely engage in brief reflection and believe that it will suffice. This manner of “loyalty” is not that which I have long yearned for, but that which has long been an abomination to Me. However, regardless of what I say, you will continue to admit only one or two things and be unable to fully accept it, for you are all very confident, and you always pick and choose what to accept from the words I have spoken. If you are still this way, I do have in reserve methods of countering your self-assuredness, and I shall render it so that you acknowledge all My words are true and not a distortion of the fact.
If I were to now place some riches in front of you and ask you to choose freely, knowing that[a] I would not condemn you, then most would choose the riches and forsake the truth. The better among you would give up the riches and reluctantly choose the truth, while those in between would seize the riches in one hand and the truth in the other. In this way, would your true colors not be self-evident? When choosing between the truth and anything to which you are loyal, you will all make such a decision, and your attitude will remain the same. Is that not so? Are there not many among you who fluctuated between right and wrong? In contests between positive and negative, black and white, you are surely aware of the choices that you made between family and God, children and God, peace and disruption, riches and poverty, status and commonness, being supported and being cast aside, and so on. Between a peaceful family and a broken one, you chose the former, and without any hesitation; between riches and duty, you again chose the former, even lacking the will to return to shore;[b] between luxury and poverty, you chose the former; between sons, daughters, wives, husbands, and Me, you chose the former; and between notion and truth, you once again chose the former. Faced with all manner of your evil deeds, I have nothing short of lost My faith in you. I am absolutely astounded that your hearts are so resistant to being softened. Many years of dedication and effort has apparently brought Me only resignation and your despair of Me. Yet My hopes for you grow with each passing day, for My day has already been completely laid out before every one. However, you continue to seek that which belongs to the darkness and evil, and refuse to loosen your hold. As such, what will be your outcome? Have you given careful thought to this before? If you were asked to choose again, what then would be your position? Would it be the former still? Would what you give Me still be disappointment and wretched sorrow? Would your hearts still be the sole bit of warmth? Would you still be unaware of what to do to comfort My heart? At this moment, what is your choice? Will you submit to My words or be weary of them? My day has been laid out before your very eyes, and what you face is a new life and new starting point. However, I must tell you that this starting point is not the beginning of past new work, but the close of the old. That is, this is the final act. I believe you will all understand what is unusual about this starting point. But one day soon, you will understand the true meaning of this starting point, so let us together walk past it and usher in the next finale! However, what I continue to be uneasy about is that when faced with injustice and justice, you always choose the former. But that is all in your past. I also hope to put out of My mind that which has happened in your past, one thing after the other, though this is very difficult to do. Yet I have very good means of accomplishing it. Let the future replace the past and allow the shadows of your past to be dispelled in exchange for your true self of today. This means I will have to trouble you to make the choice once more and see to whom you are loyal.
a. The original text omits “knowing that.”
b. Return to shore: a Chinese idiom, meaning “turn from one’s evil ways.”