You see Peter’s treatment of Christ as God, how he sought the truth and sought to know the word of the Lord Jesus; how he completely submitted to the word of the Lord Jesus, and in the end knew the Lord Jesus was the real God. Thereby he was able to truly love the Lord Jesus. On the other hand, how did Peter attend to his parents? He came to see his parents in truth as the devil Satan, as demons which stood in opposition to God. He had already seen that they were the real form of the demons, because they opposed God. Someone may say, “How were Peter’s parents in opposition to God?” How did they oppose God? Peter’s parents objected to him following the Lord Jesus, objected to Peter expending himself for the Lord Jesus, and they hoped Peter would grow into an outstanding man who would do honor to them, to the devil Satan. Peter saw clearly that his parents were devils standing against God, so he drew a clear boundary separating them. If one day the parents of a person like Peter were destroyed by God, would he complain against God? Of course he would not. He saw them as devils who opposed God, and saw accurately. When Job was faced with a trial, his wife said these words to him: “Curse God, and die!” He said, “You ignorant and stubborn woman!” Perhaps in his heart he still thought the words, “You devil!” Was she not a devil revealed? Some people show their true nature to be that of a devil, that is, Satan. What consequences may arise if one does not recognize these people? Can one draw a clear boundary line between himself and them? Can one truly betray these devils? If one cannot overcome these, then it is very easy for him to be led astray, restrained, and disturbed by devils, as well as for him to be influenced in his following of God and in fulfilling his duty and bearing witness.
Here it is mentioned how Peter searched; God’s word says: “He paid close attention not only to eating and drinking My words, but even more to grasping My intentions, and was constantly prudent and cautious in his thoughts, so that he was always keenly astute in his spirit, and hence was able to please Me in everything he did.” This man Peter was delicately sensitive in spirit, placed great importance on eating and drinking the word of God and on grasping God’s intention. The more a person grasps God’s intention, the more one understands God’s intention and what God requires from people, and the more one has ways of practice and knows how to make God content. People who do not place importance on grasping God’s intention are always confused, muddled, completely blind, and without any path in their spirits. Can such a person act in accordance with God’s intention? He cannot act in accordance with God’s intention, and this is absolutely certain. So, a person who seeks the truth must meet a minimum of conditions. First, he must be tender toward the matters of the spirit. Second, he must place importance on eating and drinking the word of God. Third, he must place importance on grasping God’s intention. If one has these three things, he will have a path for seeking the truth, and his search for the truth will bear fruit and be successful. When his search for the truth is successful, he will then be able to know much of the word of God, and after he has finished reading the word of God, this will become a real knowledge of God. Having a true knowledge of God is a result reached through knowing much of the word of God. If you truly are a person who seeks the truth, how should you carry this out? Further, up to now how much of the word of God do you have real knowledge of, so as to say “This word is what my life is, and is a life precept for me, and I hold these words in my heart”? Which words of God are a precept for your life, having become a tenet you hold close to inspire you and a compass for your life? Is this matter important or not? If you are a person who seeks the truth, you must often reflect on yourself and honestly critique yourself in your mind, saying, “How much of the word of God do I truly understand? After reading so much of the word of God, I consider myself truly to know and understand these phrases from the word of God. In my knowledge of God, I have only these results, and in believing in God I have these achievements.” If you have truly known many important phrases from the word of God, truly known many dozens of important sentences from the word of God, or known many hundreds of the most important phrases from the word of God, have you not obtained more and more truth? Does your knowledge of God become more and more abundant? If your knowledge of God is abundant beyond compare, then does the life you have gained become richer and richer? The growth of life is such a process.
If a person knows much of the word of God, is able to explicate the true experience of bearing witness, can communicate God’s words in connection with the facts of the material world, with people, matters, and things, then he has true knowledge of the word of God. Once you know much of the word of God, then you have understanding of God, and when you say you are a person who knows God’s work, that is in keeping with reality and completely consistent. If you do not have true knowledge of even one word of God, then if you still say you know God’s work, this is just empty chatter without any basis. What is the main foundation for knowing the word of God? You must be able to communicate the truth in order to bear witness, and to gather people, matters, and things to discuss it. For whatever God’s word indicates, you put forward two examples, and once you explain the examples clearly and people hear it, they will say, “Your understanding like this is so pure. Before, I had not known this. Your understanding like this truly is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is completely correct. I must also have knowledge like this!” After receiving benefit, God’s chosen people are completely convinced! Now, has this kind of person obtained a treasure? He has obtained life. Those words of God that he knows, have formed part of his life, have become a compass for his life, and have become a foundation for his life and existence. Is this or is it not obtaining a treasure? Having obtained a treasure, you have not believed in vain. If someone asks you about it, say: “Believing in God, you have obtained such a treasure. How much suffering have you endured?” “My family has been cast aside, I am without livelihood, am forsaken and maligned by the people of the world, and even up to now there are many people insulting me behind my back!” That person will say, “However much they insult you, and however much they hate you is worth it, because you have obtained the truth, and obtained life.” Now we the group of people are forsaken by the world, and have many relatives, friends, and acquaintances insulting us behind our backs, slandering us and judging us behind our backs, even to the point that the government is arresting us and making plans to seize us. If we truly are able to obtain some truth, or know some God’s words, then these torments are not suffered in vain. They are worth it. When you have completely endured all these tribulations—the world forsakes you, and relatives slander and judge you, and the government arrests you—if in believing in God you have not sought the truth and merely done some service without obtaining any truth and life, have you suffered loss? You have suffered loss! It is out of balance! Torments have been suffered and you still have not obtained the truth. How did this happen? Having suffered so many torments, we cannot have suffered them in vain. We must obtain a bit of truth as a recompense! Without a husband or a wife, without sons or daughters, if you do not obtain truth is it worthwhile or not? Are you foolish or not? If you are able to bear witness, say, “I have no spouse, no sons or daughters, no family, but I have obtained the truth. It is worth it!” These words are spoken in an imposing manner, with a courageous spirit, which people admire! Are you able to do it? Once you speak of this suffering you let out gleaming tears. Once you speak of obtaining the truth, you hang your head in despair. Is this a male child, an overcomer? You have suffered all kinds of torment, just that you have not obtained the truth, so in the end are you smart or stupid? Some people say, “I also want to obtain the truth; how is it that I am not able to obtain it?” Does this question hold water? What kind of talk is this? Can the truth be partial to anyone? Do you truly want to obtain the truth? What price have you paid that you say you have not obtained it? This kind of talk makes no sense! When you talk like this, it would seem that God and the truth are unfair to people. Why, after all, have you cast aside your family and given up your livelihood? If it is not for the sake of attaining the truth, then all that you have abandoned and expended and all the hardships you have endured are all meaningless. Do you understand this matter?
Some people say, “I have had faith all my life, but I still have no real knowledge of God.” How have you believed all your life? You have not entered the correct path of faith in God, and have not attended to your duties properly. Why do you not exert yourself in the way of the truth? Is attaining the truth really so difficult? Is understanding the truth really so difficult? Tell me, is understanding the truth difficult or not? The word of God was spoken so plainly and clearly, and afterward there is the man used by the Holy Spirit to communicate these practical words; if you have some caliber, then when you combine the man’s fellowship with God’s words, you should be able to understand the truth! Further, as to people’s caliber, the caliber of common people is sufficient, and it is easy for people to understand the truth. Some people are energetic and have a good caliber and high level of education, so why do they not use it to do the right things? If you use it to do the right things, then in searching for the truth for three years you will have obtained quite a lot, and you can know much of God’s word—not just one or two sentences, but you will be able to know dozens of crucial phrases of the word of God and the classic words of God. You will be able to give examples in explanation and to talk about real experience. It is not a simple thing to be able to know several dozen phrases of the word of God, and that is enough to prove you do not believe in vain, but rather that you have obtained something. Of course, after we know several dozen phrases in believing in God, we will certainly have true faith, and this result will have been reached; if you then come to know the words regarding God’s disposition, and the words that express God’s disposition, you will have knowledge of God’s disposition and will be able to produce a heart that reveres God. Once a person has a heart that reveres God, then this person’s life can be said to have reached maturity. Once a person has a heart that reveres God, then the fulfillment of his duty will be able to meet what is required, and he cannot do evil because he fears making an offense against God. No matter what befalls him, he is able to ponder it carefully: “How can I not sin against God? How can I please God?” Once he has pondered this, then even without knowing it he has departed far from evil. Who among people with any brains or caliber is not able to weigh the benefits and shortcomings? They all can completely weigh the benefits and shortcomings, consider things in their entirety, and find a choice that is suitable for themselves and a path that is suitable for their heart’s desires. If a person has really understood some truth, he also has a heart that reveres God, and it can be said that his faith in God has achieved success and his faith has met the standard. If one can become a Christian who fears God and shuns evil, he is surely among the people of the heavenly kingdom. This is the exemplary standard of what God said with respect to the faith of Job. Understand this! What exactly does it mean to say that one is equipped with the faith of Job? It is having reached what Job accomplished—fearing God and shunning evil. God calls this kind of person a perfect man, and if you reach this criterion, you are then of the same ilk as Job. When this is done, you have been made complete as a person of the heavenly kingdom. Once you have been made perfect as a person of the heavenly kingdom, because you are a person who fears God and shuns evil, then think about whether all the suffering you have endured was worth it. It was worth it! Even a little more suffering would be worth it, because you have gained life. Any suffering you endure is worth it! The suffering you have endured before is worth it, and the suffering you will endure later is also worth it. Even if you die, it is worth it; your soul will be raised up to the heavenly kingdom, this is for certain!