Sermons and Fellowship on God’s Words “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks”
That Which a True Faith in God Must Be Equipped With is that Man Has an Honest Heart
God’s words say: “The most fundamental requirement of man’s belief in God is that he have an honest heart, and that he fully devote himself, and truly obey. What is hardest for man is to provide his whole life in exchange for true belief, through which he can gain the entire truth, and fulfill his duty as a creature of God.” These words are critical. What truths have you discovered from these words? “The most fundamental requirement of man’s belief in God is that he have an honest heart, and that he fully devote himself, and truly obey.” These words speak of a most fundamental problem, that is, what actually constitutes a belief in God, and what should we be equipped with for a true faith in God. A true faith in God first requires “an honest heart,” so what does this “honesty” refer to? If your heart is not honest regarding your faith in God, regardless of how many years you have believed in God, you’ll ultimately have nothing. If your heart is not honest, what kind of person are you in the eyes of God? In the eyes of God, you are not someone who truly believes in God. If you have an honest heart, it means that your heart of faith for God is honest. All those whose hearts are dishonest regarding their faith in God are being dishonest with God, and such people will always fail regardless of how many years they have believed in God. In what ways are “honesty” manifested? You must listen to God’s words, and you must accept God’s words. If you listen to God’s words in a confused manner, without retaining God’s words in your heart, without placing any importance on God’s words, can you be an honest person? If you do not place any importance on God’s words and God’s work, can you be someone who truly believes in God? No, all your faith in God is false because you only recognize God’s work, you only recognize that these are God’s words, but you do not place any importance on them, and you have never treated them with any seriousness. This shows that your heart is dishonest. Another manifestation of a true faith in God is to “fully devote yourself.” What does it refer to? It refers to devoting your whole being to God and letting Him do whatever He wants, not believing in God conditionally or fulfilling your duties when the circumstances are favorable. It means to give yourself entirely to God, to take as your responsibility God’s commission to mankind–that is, the duties that people should fulfill as creatures of God, never leaving God, never abandoning your duties. Such is to “fully devote yourself.” A true faith in God also requires you to “truly obey.” After you have devoted yourself, when you encounter a catastrophe, when you encounter trials, when misfortune befalls your family, when they become sick, when your family members pass away, will you still believe in God? Will you still fulfill your duties? To “truly obey” means regardless of the circumstances that you find yourself in, you always recognize them as God’s orchestrations and God’s permission, you always follow God and fulfill your duties. Such is to “truly obey.” If you seek to believe in God in this way, then you are someone who has true faith in God; if you are unable to seek such a faith in God, and if you are still unable to attain such a result even after you have believed in God until the very end, then your faith in God is fake. You are merely muddling through and trying to fool God, you are an opportunist, and you are being deceptive. Are you willing to pursue in such a way? If you want to walk Peter’s path, then you must pursue the truth in this way, and you must believe in this way. You shall be successful if you believe in this way; and if you do not believe in this way, then you are not someone who has real faith in God. Should you have any demands of God or any extravagant desires when you are fulfilling your duties? If you only perform work and fulfill your duties when you are given status, and you no longer fulfill your duties if you are not given any status, then what is your problem? How can this problem be resolved? If you fulfill your duties only in order to be blessed, to avoid catastrophes, to not die, if you fulfill your duties when no catastrophe comes, and refuse to do so once you encounter a catastrophe, does such fulfillment of duties fit with God’s will? Now you suffer from poverty and encounter difficulties because of your fulfillment of duties, should you blame God? Reflect upon yourself: Do such problems exist within you? Why don’t you think in this way when faced with such practical problems? When you avoid looking at the problems that exist within yourself, when you cover them up and do not allow anyone to touch them or uncover them, who are you trying to deceive? Are you trying to deceive God or are you trying to deceive yourself? If you open yourself up and fellowship all the problems that exist within you, what is the worst that can happen? No one is going to condemn you. If you share them with others, then it proves that you are honest and that you have a kind heart. If you do not share them with others, then it means that you are quite cunning, quite vain and arrogant, that you quite like justifying yourself, and that you care about how others see you. Which person has no impurities in their fulfillment of duties? And how can such impurities be resolved? They can be resolved through seeking truths, through knowing God. The way that God measures people is the truth; the way that God looks at things is the truth, because God is righteous. Subsequently, you will realize that you do not know God, that you’ve been using your own pettiness to measure God’s boundless magnanimity, that you’re always suspicious of God. At such a time, you will feel shame and say things like, “From now on, I can no longer fulfill my duties for myself, because that’s just despicable. I should do them to satisfy God, and if I fail to satisfy God, I should never complain even if I should suffer and be punished to death. That is my just deserts, because I have no sincerity, and I don’t love the truth. So I can never blame God.” When you treat yourself this way, when your heart is set right, then everything is good. The most critical part in this passage of God’s words is contained in these words, “The most fundamental requirement of man’s belief in God is that he have an honest heart, and that he fully devote himself, and truly obey. What is hardest for man is to provide his whole life in exchange for true belief, through which he can gain the entire truth, and fulfill his duty as a creature of God.” These words talk about another most fundamental issue, that is, how can a person’s heart be honest? What does “an honest heart” refer to? We often say things such as “a sincere belief in God.” A sincere belief in God means that a person’s heart has no suspicion toward God, and regardless of what God says, what God does, or what God’s orchestrations or decisions are, he will submit to them all, and accept them all. This is the true meaning of “an honest heart.” What are the manifestations of those who do not have an honest heart of faith in God? Such people do not care about what God says. They always want to be blessed, have their imaginary pursuit, and ulterior motives, want to use God but not obey God, and they only believe in God in order to satisfy their own fleshly interests. Such people’s faith in God is dishonest. If someone has real faith, they’ll say, “I believe in God in all things. I believe in whatever God says; I believe in whatever God does; I believe in whatever God has decided to be my outcome. Regardless of God’s orchestrations for me, I believe that God is righteous, I believe that God truly loves mankind, that everything God does is to save mankind. Whatever He does is beneficial to mankind and is to save and perfect us.” They have such a heart that isn’t doubtful about God. This is honesty. We can say that such people will walk a successful path, while those not equipped with an honest heart will not walk a successful path. How come only an honest person can walk a successful path? Because he or she is able to submit to God and believe in whatever God says or demands. Furthermore, when God reveals man’s corruption, intentions, deceit, and nature, those with an honest heart are able to accept and understand them all. After they have understood, they are able to forsake these things. They are able to pursue ways to satisfy God, they are able to pursue ways to forsake the flesh and ways to submit to God and thereby attain a transformation in disposition. Therefore an honest person enters into truths quickly. Those who are dishonest in their faith in God do not love truths, they do not submit to God, therefore they cannot walk the correct path. We always hear someone say things like this: “Why is it so difficult for me to love God? Why is it so difficult to obey God? Why is it so difficult to be an honest person?” What is your understanding of all those who say such things? What kind of person feels that it is difficult to practice truths and obey God? Only those cunning people, selfish and despicable people, those people who do not love truths, those people with wicked and malicious humanity. Only such people find it particularly difficult to practice truths. Let me ask you this: What kind of person feels that it is easy to practice truths? It is easy for an honest person with a kind heart to practice truths, and it is no effort at all for them to do so. They feel no difficulty in doing so. Now, look at another fact: What kind of person truly loves God? Only an honest person truly loves God. Those true believers who are honest in their faith in God submit to whatever God says, and they accept whatever God says. So long as they are God’s words, even when such words do not fit with their old conceptions, they are able to immediately put down their own conceptions and deny themselves, firmly believing that God’s words are the truth. They accept God’s words without choice. Such people have honest hearts that believe in God. If a person’s heart is honest toward God in their faith, then it is easy for them to accept the truths, enter into truths, practice truths, and walk the path to success. If a person’s heart is cunning then it is troublesome for them. It will not be easy for them to accept or to understand truths. They will always believe that their feelings are right, always clinging to their own viewpoints, always contradicting God, and ultimately becoming someone who opposes God. What is the result of an inability to accept truths? No truths are gained, no life is gained, and such a person shall continue to belong with Satan, with their old flesh, and eventually be eliminated and be cursed by God. Let us continue to read God’s words: “… he fully devote himself, and truly obey.” This is something that an honest person can do. You see, some people are now willing to completely devote themselves to God; they are willing to expend themselves for God for the rest of their lives. Even if they suffer poverty, they feel they must satisfy God. It is OK as long as they have the bare necessities; they don’t lust after enjoyments of the flesh. Such people have kind and honest hearts, this is absolutely the case. Some might say: “This is a tainted way of expending oneself for God, because they devote themselves to God and submit to God with the intention of being blessed. How do you explain that?” It is commendable that they are able to truly devote themselves and submit. Their desire for transactions and to be blessed will be easily resolved after they spend more time seeking. Now, those who entirely devote themselves, who are able to truly submit to God, who are able to leave behind their family and the world, you cannot say that all of them aim only to be blessed, and that they have mistaken intentions. Saying such things is wrong. Most people are honest, and while they may not be totally pure, it is still easier for an honest person to accept truths. It is also easier for them to break away from their impurities, conceptions, intentions, and transactions. This is absolutely true. For example, when a cunning person experiences God’s work, they never accept the truths, never submit to God, and never truly devote themselves to God or expend themselves for God. Tell me, how long will it take for God to perfect someone like this? Can such a person be easily perfected? No, they cannot be easily perfected. For those who truly devote themselves to God, who can absolutely submit to God, even if they might reveal some corruptions, even if they might have some corrupt dispositions, or even if their transactions, motives and intentions might exist in their expending themselves for God, they can be easily perfected by God. Because they are quick to accept truths, because it is easy for them to accept truths, it is relatively easy for them to break away from their corrupt dispositions, the various poisons of Satan within them, or their cunning desires for transactions. They are able to devote themselves to God and to entirely expend themselves for Him. Such things are significant abandonments. They are not easily achieved by ordinary people. Since such people are able to do such things, if they can then accept truths, then it is easy for them to break away from their corrupt dispositions. For these people, as long as they have the quality to understand truths, as long as they are equipped with the resolve to truly submit to God, it is guaranteed that they shall quickly gain truths and enter into reality. This is absolutely the case. Those who never devote themselves, are never willing to expend themselves for God, never want to fulfill any duties, are the most troublesome people in the church. Because they are all too selfish and despicable, their transactional mindset is unbreakable, and they are unwilling to suffer any loss. It is even more difficult for such people to forsake their own flesh, forsake their own points of view, forsake their own pursuits, or forsake their own preferences. If they cannot even break away from external things, how can they abandon those things rooted in their hearts? Therefore, now most of those who are actually fulfilling their duties in God’s house can attain salvation and they can easily enter into the truths. Those who have never fulfilled any duties after many years of believing in God, when will they ever enter into the truth? No one knows. It is still unknown whether they can ever attain salvation, for there is no sincerity to be found within them. Aren’t those who have never fulfilled any duties after they have joined God’s house for many years the most selfish and despicable of people? Don’t they have the strongest inclination for personal gains? They always desire to enjoy God’s grace and the charity of other people, but they never have any thoughts to help others. What do you call such action, other than being selfish and despicable? How can such people practice truths? In their minds, by practicing truths they are suffering such disadvantages that it is not worth their time. If you ask them to leave everything behind in order to expend themselves for God, they feel that they are severely being taken advantage of. That’s how they think, isn’t it? All of this is crystal clear. “The most fundamental requirement of man’s belief in God is that he have an honest heart.” This honest heart is so critical, and this is what it means to “sincerely believe in God.” If a person can sincerely believe in God, then he or she can submit to God’s work, can leave behind everything, is willing to expend themselves for God, and can easily accept truths. Therefore, those who sincerely believe in God are willing to put in the effort for the pursuit of truths and so shall gain truths. We can now see that everything in a person’s faith in God relates back to their ability to have an honest heart. Regarding “Why is it so difficult to practice truths? Why is it so difficult to love God?” have we now found the answers to these questions? The key is whether or not a person’s heart is able to be honest. If a person’s heart toward God is honest and sincere, then they can do anything. They can even die for God. Let us continue looking at this passage: “This is what is unattainable by those who fail, and is even more unattainable by those who cannot find Christ.” God said that those who fail are unable to attain such things. Why are those who fail unable to attain such things? Because their hearts are not honest, because their heart of faith in God is not real. That is the difference. If your heart toward God is not honest, if you are insincere, how can you find Christ? What is your basis for finding Christ? Your heart must be honest, this is critical. How can your heart be honest? What must an honest heart possess? “Once I discover where the Holy Spirit is performing work, I must go there to properly experience such work, and I must go there to look at how the Holy Spirit performs work. Once I discover that someone’s words contain truths, I must properly seek out and study such truths. For wherever there are truths, there is the appearance of Christ. Since Christ expresses the truths, since He is the Expresser of truths, truths originate from Christ.” If, when you read a passage, you find it thought-provoking, and if you find all that it says fits with the facts and thoroughly explains the root of all problems then why don’t you seek out who has expressed all this? If you have such sincerity in seeking truths, then how could you not find Christ?
The Key to Adequately Fulfill One’s Duty Is to Pursue Truths and Resolve the Impure Intentions in One’s Faith in God
We shall read God’s words here: “Most people believe in God for the sake of their future destination, or for temporary enjoyment. For those who have not undergone any dealing, belief in God is for the sake of entering into heaven, in order to gain rewards. It is not in order to be made perfect, or to perform the duty of a creature of God. Which is to say that most people do not believe in God in order to fulfill their responsibility, or to complete their duty. Rarely do people believe in God in order to lead meaningful lives, nor are there those who believe that since man is alive, he should love God because it is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle to do so, and is the natural vocation of man.” Let us read another passage of God’s words: “The most fundamental requirement of man’s belief in God is that he have an honest heart, and that he fully devote himself, and truly obey. What is hardest for man is to provide his whole life in exchange for true belief, through which he can gain the entire truth, and fulfill his duty as a creature of God.” Let us read another passage of God’s words: “Peter’s work was the performance of the duty of a creature of God. He did not work in the role of an apostle, but during the course of his pursuit of a love of God. The course of Paul’s work also contained his personal pursuit: His pursuit was for the sake of nothing more than his hopes for the future, and his desire for a good destination. He did not accept refinement during his work, nor did he accept pruning and dealing. He believed that as long as the work he did satisfied God’s desire, and all that he did was pleasing to God, then a reward ultimately awaited him. There were no personal experiences in his work—it was all for its own sake, and not carried out amid the pursuit of change. Everything in his work was a transaction, it contained none of the duty or submission of a creature of God. During the course of his work, there occurred no change in Paul’s old disposition. His work was merely of service to others, and was incapable of bringing about changes in his disposition.” Let us read another passage of God’s words: “The quantity of their work did not determine whether they were made perfect; the pursuit of one was in order to receive rewards, and that of the other was in order to achieve an ultimate love of God, and fulfill his duty as a creature of God, to the extent that he could live out a lovely image in order to satisfy God’s desire. Externally they were different, and so too were their substances different. You cannot determine who of them was made perfect based on how much work they did. Peter sought to live out the image of one who loves God, to be someone who obeyed God, to be someone who accepted dealing and pruning, and to be someone who fulfilled his duty as a creature of God. He was able to devote himself to God, to put the entirety of himself in the hands of God, and obey Him until death. That was what he resolved to do and, furthermore, that was what he achieved. This is the fundamental reason why finally his end was different to that of Paul.” These passages of God’s words speak about a key issue, that is, what to properly perform the duty of a creature of God really means. Paul’s work was to gain rewards and be crowned. Because his intentions and goals were wrong, therefore the work that he did was not to perform the duty of a creature of God. Here, we have also discovered another key issue: What actually is the real duty of a creature of God? What must a creature of God be equipped with so that he can truly perform his duty? Now, the majority of people who believe in God are willing to perform their duty, but whether or not the duty that you perform is the path to success, whether or not you can attain perfection, that is critical. The key to whether or not a man can attain perfection through his performance of duty depends on the intentions in his performance of duty as well as that which he is being dominated by. If your performance of duty is in order to become blessed, to gain rewards, to be crowned, or such that you shall not die and that you might remain in the future, then tell me, those who perform their duties under the domination of such intentions, can the duty that they perform satisfy God? If a person is always being dominated by the intention to become blessed when performing his duty, can such performance of duty be done willingly? Can such performance of duty be a loyalty to God? Can it satisfy God? Then, what is the nature of such performance of duty? Isn’t it transactional? If you harbor the intention of making a deal with God when performing your duty, then the duty that you perform can never satisfy God. This is a matter of principle. Some might say: “I believe in God in order to be blessed, in order to gain rewards, or to have a good destination. It is not easy to get rid of such intentions. If now I must perform my duty to fulfill my responsibilities as a creature of God, then I cannot do it, then I no longer have any motivation.” If that is the case, you are performing your duty in order to be blessed, and can you attain perfection by performing your duty in this way? Can you live a meaningful life? Can your life disposition be transformed? Isn’t someone like this rebelling against God, resisting God? If he is someone who resists God, then he is not someone who is compatible with Christ. If he is not someone compatible with Christ, then is this person still an adequate creature of God? This is a serious matter, for this is a matter of principle. If a person is not an adequate creature of God, then nothing that this person does shall be acceptable to God. Therefore, here we come upon a most fundamental requirement, that is, a person must pursue truths in the performance of his duty. What is the result to be attained through the pursuit of truths? What is the objective of pursuing truths? It is to attain a knowledge of God, to transform our intentions and our mistaken views, to rid ourselves of the Satan’s poison inside of us, such that we can have the attitude that a normal creature of God should be equipped with when performing our duty, for only then can we satisfy God’s will in our performance of duty. If you pursue truths, then you should look at that which God expects of us, look at what kind of people who please God, what kind of people is acceptable to God in their performance of duty. If you can comprehend God’s will, then you should know how men should perform their duty. If you do not pursue the truths, you will never understand the will of the Creator, what kind of people that He praises, and what kind of people that He despises. If you cannot comprehend God’s will, then a heart that resists God, a heart of making deals when performing your duty, a heart of extravagant desires toward God, these corrupt things will never go away, that is, your issue of corruption will never be resolved. Then, some might say: “Right now, I am performing my duty in order to be blessed, it is to gain rewards. Then, should I still perform my duty?” You can now see clearly, that if you have an intention to be blessed, and if you perform your duty from a point of view of making deals, then how should you pursue the truths to resolve these corrupt things? First, we should understand why a creature of God must perform its duty, for this is critical. We, as the creatures of God, must understand the will of the Creator: What expectations does the Creator have of mankind? Why must mankind perform its duty? God does not expect animals to perform their duty, God expects mankind to fulfill its duty. If you feel that you are a creature of God, that you are a man created by God, that you are a living being of God, then how should you fulfill your own responsibilities and your duty? That is, how should you live your life to satisfy the Creator? As humankind and creatures of God, we must first understand God’s will. Let us use an example of the child of a family. Shouldn’t this child live his life according to his parents’ wishes when he grows up? How should he treat his parents? This is a basic issue of life. Similarly, we must have a higher principle and standard in our faith in God. That is, how should a creature of God perform his own duty? You must have clarity regarding your mission. If you live your life without knowing your mission, then your life is without meaning, then your life is empty. Therefore, when a man believes in God and has found God, it is as if a creature of God has returned to the embrace of the Creator. You must first understand the expectations that the Creator has of mankind, the duty that we must perform. This is the most basic that a man must be equipped with when living his life. Isn’t this a most meaningful thing? It is too meaningful for a man to perform his duty when living his life. If a man fails to perform his duty, or if he is being punished and dies in a catastrophe due to his sins or his violation of God’s disposition, is such a life meaningful? Isn’t this the most painful and regrettable thing? If we know the Creator’s will, if we know God’s commission for us, the mission that we must accomplish, then we will give all of our effort to accomplish these things with the intention of satisfying our Creator, then we will have such a peace of mind, we will feel such enjoyment, such steadiness. The better we perform our duty, the more joy, peace and enjoyment we feel within our heart. Isn’t that the case? Therefore, how can we properly perform our duty? Without a doubt, we must pursue truths, we must first gain all the truths. The more truths you understand, the better your performance of duty. That is, the more you understand the truths, the more results you have in performing your duty. When performing his duty as a creature of God, if a person only has an honest heart but he does not understand the truths, then is there result in his performance of duty? There certainly will not be any result. Some people have discovered their own lacking when preaching the gospel, and they say: “Alas, how come I am lacking so much? I am unable to fellowship about any area of the truths with clarity. Before I started preaching, I thought that I had some things. Now that I have started preaching, I have discovered that I have nothing inside, I am unable to say anything with clarity.” This is the way by which those without the truths are performing their duty. They are unable, even if they have the desire to perform their duty well. Only by pursuing the truths can we properly perform our duty. For a person to pursue the truths, what issue must he first resolve? He must first resolve the intention and his point of view of making deals when performing his duty. Man should not have any ulterior motives, he should have a heart that intends to satisfy the Creator and perform his duty. This is the responsibility that a creature of God should fulfill, this is heaven’s law and earth’s principle. If a person still has an ulterior motive when performing his duty, isn’t that despicable? Isn’t that shameless? Can such a person be an adequate creature of God? Therefore, if you do not pursue the truths, how can the corrupt disposition inside of you be cleansed? How can you get rid of Satan’s poison and schemes from inside of you? This is the issue that must be resolved first during pursuing truths, this is also the first result to be accomplished when pursuing truths, to allow all of us to have a heart that satisfies the Creator so that we can fulfill responsibility, to perform our own duty without asking in return. This is heaven’s law and earth’s principle. Some people, in their performance of duty, on top of wanting to be blessed, they also want the church to satisfy them. If the church is unable to satisfy them in any respect, they would muddle through when performing their duty. Are such people adequate in their performance of duty? You should never have extravagant desires for God. Then, some might say: “If I am to properly perform my duty, then I cannot make a living.” Some mighty say: “If I am to properly perform my duty, then my family will be facing difficulties.” Your family difficulties, your inability to make a living, these are the chips in your dealings with God, these are also your excuses for not properly performing your duty. To make a deal even before performing your duty, that is not right, such a person has no sense. Then, some might say: “I still want to perform my duty, but I am unable because I have no path in life.” Right now, we do not care about the issue of whether you are able to perform your duty, but rather, the key is whether or not you, as a person, is right. If you, as a person, is not right, then even if you are given a path in life, you still will not properly perform your duty. If you, as a person, is right, then even if you are not given a path in life, you can still properly perform your duty, and if your brothers and sisters can see you like that, they will also help you, the church also will not simply stand by and not take any responsibilities. The key is the intentions that you harbor. If you do not resolve your intentions, even if the church has given you a path in life, can you properly perform your duty? Can you satisfy God? Therefore, what is the sense and conscience that a creature of God should be equipped with in the presence of God? You have enjoyed so much of God’s grace, yet you do not have any intention of repaying God’s love, you even want to make deals when performing your duty. Such a person doesn’t have any sense or conscience, he is an inadequate creature of God. Did Paul have such things in his performance of duty? In his letters, there are the words which he referenced from the law of Moses: “You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn” (Deu 25:4). What he meant was that the ox cannot be even restricted by man when it wants to eat some corn on the field, not to mention us people who work for God. Even more so, God must supply us with what we need for our lives. He thought that such a request is a matter of course. These words spoken by Paul were incorrect, these are obviously words spoken by someone with no sense. Some people left behind the best job that pays very well, they would rather live a poor life, to feel contentment simply by having something to eat and clothes on their back, in order to perform their duty through the reliance on their confidence. They feel that, “It is enough to have the brothers and sisters host me, I have no other requests.” Performance of duty like this is much superior to the way that Paul performed his duty, at least they have not made any deals. Some might ask: “If I leave everything behind to perform my duty, will the church take care of my life?” This is another matter. Whether or not you have any extravagant desires of God in your performance of duty is the fundamental issue that must be resolved. The adequate creatures of God do not make deals, they do not have any ulterior motives or extravagant desires when performing their duty. All that they have is the ultimate love for God, everything is to satisfy the Creator. This is the path that Peter has walked, and this is the path to success when believing in God. Some might say: “I still do not have the truths right now, I am unable to love God.” It is the reality, that you might not be able to love God in the beginning. No one is born being able to love God. The ultimate love of God is attained through the pursuit of truths. If you do not pursue the truths, you will never be able to love God. If you have been pursuing truths for several years, when you come to love the truths more and more, in the end you will achieve a real love for God. How is a man’s love for God generated? That is because he is equipped with many truths, he has a real understanding of God, this is how his love of God is generated. If a man does not pursue the truths, if he has never had a real understanding of God, can such a man have a heart that loves God? Those without the truths can never love God. Some might even say, “Even now, I am unable to love God,” or, “How come it’s so difficult to love God? How come it is so easy to love another person?” What issue is this? Before you have a true love for God, you definitely are not someone who loves the truths. If you do not love the truths, then you also do not love positive things. Can such a person love a God that has truths and righteousness? If you cannot even love a good man who is equipped with the truths, how can you love God? If you even look down at the most honest and good person who has the truths, if you even despise such a person, it shows that you are someone who has never loved positive things, therefore it is impossible for you to love God. If you quite worship the negative people, if you quite worship those with fame and status, can someone like that love the truths? If a person particularly likes those with fame, with status, with knowledge, such a person absolutely does not love the truths, he is certainly very much repulsed by the positive things, very keen on the negative things, and quite interested in them. What are the behaviors of someone who loves the truths? He would love God’s words, and once he looks at God’s words, he feels that: “Oh, God’s words are so right. God’s words are the truths. The more I read God’s words, the more I see them as the truths. If I can accept God’s words into my heart, then I am guaranteed to walk the true path of life. If I can have God’s words as my life, then I am guaranteed to live the most meaningful life. God’s words are too beautiful, they are truly positive things, I have the utmost admiration for them.” Such a person, because of his love of the truths, he also loves the positive things; because of his love of the truths, he is willing to walk the right path, to walk the true path of life; because of his love of the truths, he loves to acquaint himself with those who pursue the truths; because of his love of the truths, he is willing to pray to God, he is willing to be near God, he is willing to follow God; in particular, those who love the truths, because of their understanding of God through God’s words, they have a longing for, an admiration of, and a pursuit of God’s life, all that God has and is, and God’s disposition. They can see all that God has and is and God’s life are so beautiful, so righteous, so holy, and he has utmost admiration for these things, he longs to gain the truths, to live out the image of the truths. Such a person, because he has a real understanding of God, therefore he feels more and more that God is too lovable, that it is the most meaningful life to live out all that God has and is, to live out the reality of God’s life. To pursue the truths to such a degree, tell me, doesn’t he have a heart of loving God inside? Once he attains having a true knowledge of God while pursuing the truths, inside of him he has generated a heart that loves God. The more he understands God, the more he has the resolve to pursue the truths, the more he has the willingness to spend for God, even to be obedient unto his death. The path that Peter walked was such a path. Therefore, if a man pursues the truths, he shall attain perfection; if he pursues the truths, he will achieve certain results, his heart will love God, and he will be able to submit to God. Once his pursuit of the truths has reached a certain degree, when he has gained all the truths, then all that he does will be truly performing the duty of a creature of God, because he himself is an adequate creature of God. This is the path of success that Peter has walked.
There are several key words in this passage of God’s words, such as “a qualified creature of God who performed his duty,” “to perform the duty of a creature of God,” “fulfill their responsibility.” There is one more, which is “a qualified creature of God.” These terminologies are all being used on Peter, therefore we can see that the path of success that Peter had walked was to attain such a level, to achieve such a result. If the path that you walk never achieved such a result, then the duty that you have performed has not fulfilled your duty as the creature of God, you as a person has never become a qualified creature of God, and that is enough to show that the path you have walked is not a path of success, but a path of failure. In walking Peter’s path of success, what is the most fundamental implementation? The most fundamental is the pursuit of truths. If you do not pursue the truths, all this is merely empty words; without pursuing the truths, can you qualify in the performance of your duty? Without pursuing the truths, can your life disposition be transformed? Without pursuing the truths, can you have a heart that loves God? Without pursuing the truths, can you attain an obedience to God? Therefore, if you do not pursue the truths, then you cannot become a qualified creature of God; if you are not a qualified creature of God, then everything that you do are not fulfilling your duty as a creature of God. Therefore, pursuing the truths is the most fundamental. Whether or not your pursuit of the truths can succeed depends on your personal resolve. While for others, after their pursuit of three years they were able to be cleansed, they were able to formally fulfill their duty as a creature of God, it took you five years of pursuit to attain the same result, to be rid of your corruption. How is a person like that? However, he is also someone who pursues the truths, and regardless, while he took two years longer than others, he eventually attained the same result. If you have pursued the truths for ten years yet still have no transformation, then it is an issue. While others are able to qualify in performing their duty as a creature of God after a pursuit of three to five years, yet you still have not been cleansed after pursuing for ten years, your performance of duty is still for the sake of rewards and in order to be crowned, you are still striving for a result of not dying. Is someone like this a person who pursues the truths? Pursuing for ten years yet still has no transformation, what kind of a pursuit of truths is this? Such a person’s pursuit of the truths is a pretense, he is only paying lip service to his pursuit. All those who, when performing their duty, worry that they might suffer poverty, who worry that they cannot feed themselves, who worry that their efforts are in vain without any reward, have such people understood the truths? They have no truths, and it is difficult for those without truths to perform their duty. They are always faced with difficulties, for they have a hundred reasons for not wanting to perform their duty. Why do some people always worry about being taken advantage of when performing their duty? That is because, when men live in this world, the more they live, the more they become selfish; the more they live, the more they become despicable. They always feel that they are being taken advantage of when performing duty. Some people were quite enthusiastic in their performance of duty in the beginning, but after several days, they become discouraged when they do not see any rewards, and refuse to perform work. Do such people have the truths? Unable to pay even a little price for performing their duty, can such people have a heart that loves God? Can they have a heart that satisfies the Creator? Such people do not sincerely believe in God, the price that they have paid in their life is no proof that they have a sincere belief in God. What does a sincere faith entail? A sincere faith is to be able to take on the role of a creature of God and fulfill its own responsibility, to do all things for loving God, with the objective to satisfy the Creator, and perform the duty well in a satisfactory way. Only this is to adequately perform one’s duty. Only those people are qualified creatures of God. If you are performing your duty while God’s house is not taking responsibility for your everyday life, would you refuse to perform work? For some people, whether or not they perform their duty is based on whether God’s house is rewarding them, whether or not God’s house is giving them a path in life. This is how they determine whether or not they would perform their duty. “I shall perform my duty if you give me a path in life; otherwise, sorry, I no longer believe. I must have something to eat and some clothes to wear. I must make some money to take care of myself.” If someone truly has a heart that loves God, what would he do? While he needs to have a life of the flesh, but “I must fulfill my duty even if I have to use my leisure time, I must fulfill my duty with all of my available time, while I must also use my own labor to maintain my own life.” Such a person has a heart that loves God, and no difficulties can stop him. Those with a heart that loves God do not make deals, they do not care about the reward, they do not care about how much the church is giving him or helping him. Their only wish is to satisfy God. Some people look at how God’s house treats them when performing their duty, “If those from above treat me well, then I will properly perform my duty. If those from above do not treat me well, then performing my duty is to have me do service, then I shall muddle through.” Also, when performing their duty, some people look at “How the brothers and sisters are treating me. If they do not understand me, if they do not appreciate me, if they are even being cold to me, then I am no longer performing my duty.” There are also some people who, when performing their duty, want to probe God’s opinions, “Can You really bless me, God? Can You first give me a guarantee? If You can guarantee that I shall not die, if You can allow me to become blessed and enter the kingdom, then I will perform my duty for You. However, if You cannot guarantee that, then I will not perform my duty, because I am worried that I shall become a service-doer after I have performed my duty, I am worried that I am wasting my effort by performing my duty. I am not going to be taken advantage of.” Tell me, how is someone like that? Is he someone who sincerely believes in God? His faith in God is not sincere, it has too many adulterations, it is filled with deal-making with God, it is all for the sake of becoming blessed. Now, all of us should reflect upon ourselves: In your performance of duty, what extravagant desires do you still harbor, or what revelations of corruption do you still have? What are the reasons that you are unable to perform your duty? Why are you unable to fulfill your duty? In what areas are you lacking truths when performing your duty? What issues of corruption are still unresolved? We must carefully reflect upon these questions, otherwise it is impossible for us to become a qualified creature of God when fulfilling our duty in the future, and we will be unable to walk Peter’s path of success.
Do you know how to implement the pursuit of the truths? That is, to accept and practice God’s words. We should accept whatever attitude that God wants us to take when performing our duty. We should have the attitude of satisfying God, everything we do in performing our duty should be to satisfy God. This is the principle, this is the criterion. To satisfy God in performing our duty, this is the highest criterion, the highest principle. The performance of duty is not for any purpose other than to have the intention of satisfying the Creator. That shall be sufficient. To put it simply, we are fulfilling our responsibilities as the creature of God, we are performing our duty as human, this is the heaven’s law and earth’s principle. If a man does not have the desire to satisfy the wishes of the Creator, then he will not be motivated in performing his duty, he also will not have any criteria, any objectives. If you cannot see that you are created by God, that you are a creature of God, if you do not know of the existence of the Creator, if you cannot even see His sovereignty and arrangements, then it is impossible for you to fulfill the duty that you should, for the performance of duty relies on confidence, and this is the witness of confidence. If a man has no true confidence, he will never fulfill his duty even if he has believed in God for his entire life. Let us now look at God’s words, “What is hardest for man is to provide his whole life in exchange for true belief,” “… to provide his whole life in exchange for true belief.” This is God’s expectations of us. Some people are only able to do one single thing to prove their belief, while others are able to dedicate everything that they do in their life to prove that they believe in God. Such a faith is very valuable, such a faith is very real. What are the primary representations of those with the most confidence? That is, they are able to fulfill their duty as the creature of God. Their entire life of believing in God is to perform their duty as a creature of God, they are exchanging their entire life for a true faith. These are the people that truly believe in God. A performance of duty like this can satisfy the desires of the Creator, and it can gain the praises of God. God says, “This is a qualified creature of God, for his entire life has been spent on performing his duty.” Therefore, ever since you started believing in God, how much duty have you actually performed? How many years have you been performing it? You must use your entire life to prove it, in exchange for a true faith. Some people are no longer motivated after performing their duty for just several days, they become deflated. Some people, after performing their duty for several years, because they do not see any reward, they become deflated, and they retreated. However, there are also some people who, without any reward from God, are able to perform their duty for their entire life, until the day that they die. Tell me, isn’t such people’s confidence tremendous? This confidence is tremendous, this is real confidence. Even while you have no understanding of any truths, yet you are using the pursuit of your entire life to prove a belief. In this case, can your belief gain the praises of God? This is such an apt explanation of what a true faith in God is. Therefore, whether or not a person is able to perform his duty, whether or not he is able to fulfill his duty, is sufficient to reveal whether or not he has a true faith in God. Some people spend their entire life performing their duty without expecting any compensation or reward. Their goal is certainly not to be rewarded. You ask them: “Why are you performing your duty?” and they say: “Because I am a creature of God, because I am human, therefore I must fulfill my responsibilities. It is the heaven’s law and earth’s principle.” Such a person spends his entire life to prove that he has a true faith in God, he exchanged his entire life for a faith. This is not an insignificant price that he has paid. In general, it is too easy to reveal people with time, for time can prove anything. Therefore, he has persisted in performing his duty his entire life, without any negativity, without any doubt, without once being discouraged, and without any complaints. Such is a person who truly believes in God, he is equipped with a true faith, he has completely lived out this faith, and it has been verified by his performance of duty. This is an authentic belief in God, and such a belief is too real. What is a true path of success? Now, it is critical whether or not we have the truths. If you have the truths, then your resolve will be different; your life, your disposition, your life view, your values will be different; you will be able to perform your duty, and you can walk the right path. If you do not have the truths, then you cannot walk the right path. If you have the truths now, you can walk the path of success, you can attain a transformation in life disposition during performing your duty, and you can achieve absolute obedience in God, thereby accomplishing the ultimate love of God. Eventually the duty that you perform will be praised by God more and more, with better and better results. The witness that you have lived out will become more and more practical, until eventually you will become someone praised by God. Therefore, without the truths, you do not have a so-called path of success, you have no path, you have no life. It is the most fundamental to have truths. What is the key to walking the path of success? It depends on the pursuit of the truths. Only by understanding the truths can a person clearly see the path of success, and only then can he walk the path of success. If a person has no truths, he is unable to walk the path of success even if it is apparent to him. Now, many people know what the path of success is. If you ask him to tell you what it is, he can give you a very good explanation. However, it is an entirely different matter whether or not he can walk such a path. Are you now walking the path of success? Are you now expressly fulfilling your responsibilities as a creature of God and beginning to perform your duty? You still have not begun, have you? Because men do not have any realization regarding the fulfillment of their duty, they have not yet gained the truths in this area, therefore they have yet to begin walking this path. Only after you have gained real knowledge in performing your duty, understood the truths, understood the will of Creator, can you know the meaning of performing your duty, can you be equipped with the resolve and confidence in performing your duty. When you have the confidence to perform duty for your entire life, only then are the things that you do those things that a qualified creature of God should be doing, only then are you truly fulfilling your duty. If you do not have the confidence to perform your duty, if you harbor the intention of making deals when performing your duty, then you are doing service, then you are not fulfilling your duty. Whether or not someone’s performance of duty can satisfy God involves his confidence, it involves the humanity of that person. Whether or not someone has the truths, whether or not someone has any sense in the presence of God, whether or not he has a heart that loves God, whether or not he has the resolve to submit, these things determine whether or not a person’s performance of duty will have result. If you do not have a heart that satisfies God in your performance of duty, then without a doubt you must have been muddling through in some way, and in fact there are still untapped potential in your performance of duty. You can achieve even better results if you will only pay a higher price, if you will only endure a little more sufferings. Because you are unwilling to endure sufferings, because you are only willing to endure up to this level of suffering, because you are satisfied with yourself. While in the end you might be satisfied with yourself, but have you satisfied God? Have you achieved results? You are not looking for this anymore. You do not want to satisfy God, you do not want to perform your duty and achieve results, you are done after you have performed your duty to a certain level. Isn’t this muddling through? This is muddling through. In order to perform our duty up to the standard, in order to satisfy God’s will, we must pursue the truths. The more that a person pursues the truths, the more he is able to attain a heart that loves God, the more he can attain a heart that satisfies God. There are two principles when performing our duty, one is to have a heart that loves God, another criterion is to satisfy God. These are the results achieved through the pursuit of truths. If you are equipped with these two criteria, if your pursuit of the truths has achieved such results, then you have performed your duty up to the standard.