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Questions & Answers
Question 1: Brother, how can we speak true words, speak the words in our heart, and speak of our true condition? At times when you asked about our condition, I spoke proudly, and felt I was speaking what was in my heart, but once you began to analyze it, or as you taught us how to speak of our conditions, I realized that all I said was false. I spoke in haste and with scant attention to detail, I didn’t say what I felt in my heart. I’m very confused, because I seem unable to discern the words that are truly in my heart, and unable to speak honestly on my true condition or what is in my heart. Please fellowship about this question.
Answer: What does it mean to speak the truth and what is in your heart? What are falsehood and lies? Where truth and lies are concerned, people’s discernment is always based on the principle of “I believe this is true, so if I speak it, it’s the truth, and if I speak what I believe to be false, it’s a lie.” Such a man judges what is true and false by the standards of his own heart. He discerns truth and lies to the degree he understands them, by standards he judges to be right. There is a fact we all acknowledge, which is that when people do not understand the truth, their notions, imaginations, and judgment are always mistaken. Do we all acknowledge this fact? As an example, look at how the unbelievers refuse to accept the work of God. They don’t understand the truth. All truth comes from God and God’s word, which they do not read, so they don’t understand the truth. They don’t understand the truth, then by what standards do they judge truth, lies, right, and wrong? Their own notions and imaginations. If we further say anyone who doesn’t understand the truth has mistaken notions and imaginations, all without basis, are we correct? We are correct. For example, how do the unbelievers know a good person from a bad person? The unbelievers think anyone who doesn’t do wicked deeds, who isn’t a murderer, arsonist, thief, or robber is good, and that all who do wicked deeds, murderers, arsonists, thieves, and robbers, are evil. This is how their standards of right, wrong, good, and evil are decided. Are their standards correct? Do they conform to the truth? No. Why don’t they conform to the truth? The essence of people’s natures is the same, they all have been deeply corrupted by Satan and have satanic natures. All people have a satanic nature, but their outward actions, choices, and the bottom line in their conduct are different. Consider that people all have greed, but some people are only greedy for some things and not others. Some are content with embezzling a million, and some are not content despite embezzling a hundred million. Both have the same desire to be officials, but one obeys heaven and leaves it to destiny, and the other stages a revolution to take the position by force. So, the unbelievers also have their own different principles and methods. Some say they won’t steal ordinary people’s money, only the government’s and the country’s; some act like bandits, who protect their neighbors rather than rob them, instead only stealing from corrupt officials and ministers; some thugs fight in the name of righteousness and try to do good works for ordinary people. They are all different. So how can we tell the difference between good and bad people? What is the standard? Do we judge by their behaviors and their bottom line and principles in their conduct, or do we judge them purely based on their actions, without looking at their nature? Some say we should judge by their nature. That’s right. Without the truth, we can only examine outward conduct to determine who is good and bad. Some kill with guns, but others do not kill with guns. Instead they speak of peace until the key moment, when they drop an atomic bomb. Which is the more bloodthirsty devil? How are we to discern between them?! Someone is outwardly virtuous, known for being especially good to ordinary people, giving his coats to the cold and bringing meals to the hungry, but if that same official enforces Communist Party’s policy, he will throw Christians in prison to freeze and starve to death. Is this a good official or a bad official? An official who appears to care for people, but whose eyes are full of rage at God and whose mouth is full of curses for God, what kind of an official is that? How should we evaluate this? Everyone has a different viewpoint and way of looking at things. The unbelievers call him a good official, but we Christians say, “Look at his attitude toward the truth and God. He is an evil demon! And this demon is skilled at disguise, cunning, and a master of deceit. How much more potent is the poison in his heart!” We cannot see the essence of the problem without the truth. Before people gain the truth, their notions are incorrect, and their views are mistaken and go against fact. God’s word has been expressed, the truth has come, so how does God evaluate people? Only God’s word contains the truth concerning who is good, righteous, and evil in God’s heart, and if you try to make the determination by the notions, imaginations, and standards of man, rather than using God’s words, your effort will end in humiliating failure. If you choose someone and say, “This man is my king,” and one day he ruins you, you will know your mistake in the end, but by then it’s too late. There is no chance to repent and no going back! The Pharisees worshiped their chief priests and scribes, “We would rather have our chief priests and scribes than follow Jesus.” In the end, they all went to hell, it was only in hell after they died that they understood, “This isn’t heaven, I thought I could get into heaven by keeping the law.” In the end, they all died in hell.
What is the truth? Truth can give people eternal life, light, and a good end, it can alter everything about a person, it can purify, change, and perfect people, it can be people’s life and change their destiny. Finally, when the truth becomes a person’s life, he gains the way of eternal life, he truly belongs to God, and he is truly compatible with God, which are the fruits of his understanding of the truth. If you don’t understand the truth, you will rely on man’s notions, imaginations, and theology, so you will never be compatible with God, and even if you have no desire to resist God, you will be unable to avoid doing it. Even if you have done nothing wrong, your mistaken viewpoints and methods mean you already resist God and that your path is incompatible with God’s, which pushes you further and further from God, which gradually causes you to form notions, judgment, and accusations about God. You’ll finally bring disaster upon yourself by resisting God. This is the result of a mistaken viewpoint. When you first see these viewpoints and words, you think, “That’s right! That’s also a good idea! If I do things this way, if I live according to these words, maybe God will approve of me as well.” Thus, you unknowingly step onto the path of making an enemy of God. This is how intellectuals are destroyed. They believe knowledge can change their destinies. In the end, the various viewpoints, understanding, and ways of man have become their lives, and they live out their lives according to the knowledge and ways in books. They believe, “The road I walk is correct, and the things I’m learning are wonderful! They’re not evil or immoral, they’re perfectly acceptable, and publicly recognized, otherwise why would they be in textbooks and universities? This is correct as well!” If you preach the gospel to them and bear testimony to God and the truth, they will measure it by the knowledge they learned, and say that it is not the truth and the knowledge they worship is their truth; they refuse to accept God, so the intellectuals are deceived and bound by knowledge and ruined. What ruins he who does not pursue the truth? His conceptions, imagination, and judgment sentence him to death. In his notions and imagination, he thinks, “In my faith in God, I only need to follow God to the end, never depart from His name, and never leave His church, and I’m sure to gain salvation.” Such a notion can send him to his death without him ever understanding how it happened. Another idea some might imagine, “In my faith in God, I need only avoid fornication, not steal offerings, and avoid struggling for position; if I am elected as a leader I will do my job, but I won’t fight for position; I need only keep these three rules, I need only avoid committing these three sins, and I am guaranteed to survive.” Is this the truth? If you manage to keep those three rules, if you avoid committing those three sins, are you guaranteed to survive? There exists an even greater sin than these, your satanic nature remains and you still resist God, so you deserve death. You are a wrong person; although you keep these three conditions well, the cunning disposition, deception, pretense, hypocrisy and the sins of the Pharisees you show are graver still, I say graver than even the sins of murderers, because you deceive and harm too many other people. Is that not the case?
Some people say, “In my faith in God, I do whatever I’m told, I obey all of God’s arrangements and perform whatever duties my leaders arrange for me. I obey everything, and this is how I will follow Him to the end, so I’m guaranteed to survive.” Is this the truth? It is an imaginary notion. If you do not pursue truth, and if you cannot understand much of the truth, none can assure your survival, because no matter how well you observe these regulations, it is not the standard by which God judges. If one man commits no sin and does whatever he is told, but understands nothing of the truth, while another commits many transgressions, but in the end comes to understand the truth, know God, change his life disposition, which of them will gain salvation? He who has changed his life disposition, right? If that is so, how should we follow God and experience God’s work? Which path is correct? Which path will allow us to be perfected by God? Pursuing the truth and achieving dispositional change. So, you should be honest and listen to God’s words. You should believe in the manner God asks. God said He would eliminate those who do not pursue the truth. This is accurate. Do not say, “If I keep my rules and do not sin, I will not be eliminated.” This is mistaken, and it is not the truth. Some then say, “It’s all about the same, everyone is right, my idea is good too!” A good idea is not the truth. Why? Because keeping three rules does not make you a good person. You sin in your heart every day, you maintain conceptions about God and you judge God and resist God, what good are your three rules? You believe that if you keep so many things hidden away inside, God will see you as holy? You are mistaken, you have no truth, and your heart is impure.