123. The Principles of Discerning Whether or Not One Is in Possession of the Reality of the Truth
1. Whether or not they have true knowledge of God, and whether or not they can see through the essence of problems according to God’s words so as to use the truth to resolve these problems;
2. Whether or not they can practice the truth and be devoted to God in their duties, whether or not they can exalt God, bear witness for God and lead people into the reality of the truth;
3. Whether or not they truly accept the judgment and chastisement, and the pruning and dealing of God’s words, and whether or not they truly obey and worship God;
4. Whether or not their view on things, their outlook on life and their values have transformed, whether or not they are an honest person, and whether or not they have changed their life disposition.
Relevant Words of God:
When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines and he was even less focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he was focused on understanding the truth and grasping God’s will, and achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness….but from the things expressed in God’s word—God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, God’s will for His work, His demands of mankind—from these words he came to know God completely. He came to know God’s disposition, and His essence; he came to know and understand what God has and is, God’s loveliness and God’s demands for man. Even though at that time God did not speak as much as He does today, fruit was borne in Peter in these aspects. This was a rare and precious thing. Peter went through hundreds of trials but did not suffer in vain. He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. …He was especially focused on God’s words, and he truly achieved results in the end. That is, he was able to freely put the words of God into practice, accurately practice the truth and be in line with God’s will, act entirely in accordance with God’s intention, and give up his own personal opinions and imaginations. In this way he entered into the reality of God’s words.
from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you are leading a church, when you point out the state of brothers and sisters in the church, you may say: “Nowhere is more backward than here; you people are disobedient!” As for in what regard they’re disobedient and backward, you must speak of their manifestations—of their disobedient state and disobedient behavior—and make them utterly convinced. You must talk of facts and give examples to explain the issue, and you must also be able to speak of how to actually separate oneself from this rebellious behavior, and must point out the path to practice. Only then will you win them over! If you only say, “I don’t wish to visit this place; none are more backward than you, you’re too rebellious,” then, when you speak in this way, after listening none of them will have a path—and so how will you lead people? You must speak of their actual state and actual manifestations; only then will you have a path to practice, and only then will you have reality.
from “Practice (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
It is always through the process of doing his duty that man is gradually changed, and it is through this process that he demonstrates his loyalty. As such, the more you are able to do your duty, the more truths you shall receive, and so too shall your expression become more real. Those who merely go through the motions in doing their duty and do not seek the truth shall be eliminated in the end, for such men do not do their duty in the practice of truth, and do not practice truth in the fulfillment of their duty. Such men are those who remain unchanged and will be cursed. Not only are their expressions impure, but what they express is nothing but wickedness.
from “The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and allow them to go deeper into the truth. The work he does can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people release and freedom. Moreover, they can gradually grow in life, go progressively deeper into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short; his work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules; what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to the actual needs of the people. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality or into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to stand by a few worthless rules. This kind of guidance can only lead people astray.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Being able to blatantly explain God’s words does not mean that you are in possession of reality—things are not as simple as you may have imagined. Whether you are in possession of reality or not is not based on what you say, rather, it is based on what you live out. When God’s words become your life and your natural expression, only this counts as reality, and only this counts as you possessing understanding and real stature. … I am most disgusted by those who only speak of theories and have no reality. They make the loudest cries when carrying out their work, yet they fall apart as soon as they are faced with reality. Doesn’t it show that these people have no reality? No matter how ferocious the wind and waves, if you can remain standing without a shred of doubt entering your mind, and you can stand firm and not be in a state of denial even when there is no one else left, then this counts as you having true understanding and you truly being in possession of reality. … To have reality is not something that can be faked, and neither is it something that you can attain from your knowledge of it. It is based on your true stature, and it is based on whether you are able to withstand all trials. Do you understand now?
… Training a group of good soldiers of the kingdom is not the same as training men who can only talk about reality or men who only boast, but it is training men who can live out God’s words at all times, who are unyielding regardless of the setbacks that they face, and who live in accordance with God’s words at all times, and do not go back to the world. This is the reality that God talks about, and this is God’s requirement of men.
from “Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Having Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
As soon as God becomes the life within people, they become unable to leave God. Is this not the deed of God? There is no greater testimony! God has worked to a certain point; He has said for people to do service, and be chastised, or to die, and people have not backed away, which shows that they have been conquered by God. People who have the truth are those who, in their real experiences, can stand firm in their testimony, stand firm in their position, stand on the side of God, without ever retreating, and who can have a normal relationship with people who love God, who, when things happen to them, are able to completely obey God, and can obey God unto death.
from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Paul sought only superficial reputation and status. He sought to show off himself before man, and did not seek to make any deeper progress in life entry. What he cared about was doctrine, not reality. … The path walked by Paul is the path of failure, and he represents all those who only submit and expend themselves superficially, and do not genuinely love God. Paul represents all those who do not possess the truth. In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and lack in his life, none of which could alter his love of God. Is this not the ultimate love of God? Is this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Whether in chastisement, judgment, or tribulation, you are always capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love of God.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. When he has a life goal and comports himself according to the truth; when he absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word; when he feels assured and brightened deep in his soul; when his heart is free of darkness; and when he lives completely freely and unrestrained in God’s presence—only then does he live a true human life and become a person possessing truth. Besides, all the truths you have are from God’s word and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things—God Most High—approves of you, as a real man living the true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval? Such is a person who has the truth.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
One day when your experiences are such that your life has reached a certain point, you will pray to God, eat and drink the words of God, and will be unable to leave God inside, and even if you wanted to, you would not be able to forget Him. God will have become your life; you can forget the world, you can forget your wife and children, but you’ll have trouble forgetting God—that is impossible, this is your true life, and your true love for God. When people’s love of God has reached a certain point, nothing they love is equal to their love of God, He is their number one love, and in this way they are able to give up everything else, and are willing to accept all dealing and pruning from God. When you have achieved a love of God that surpasses all else, you will live in reality, and in God’s love.
from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People can behave well, but that does not necessarily mean they are possessed of the truth. People’s fervor can only make them abide by doctrine and follow regulation; people who are without the truth have no way of resolving substantive problems, and doctrine cannot stand in for the truth. Those who have changed their dispositions are different. They have truth within, they are discerning on all issues, they know how to act in accordance with God’s will, how to act in accordance with the principles of the truth, how to act to satisfy God, and they understand the nature of the corruption they reveal. When their own ideas and conceptions are revealed, they are able to be discerning and forsake the flesh. This is how a change in disposition is expressed. The main thing about a change in disposition is that they have both truth and clarity, and when carrying things out, they put the truth into practice with relative accuracy and their corruption is not revealed as often. Generally, someone whose disposition has changed appears to be quite reasonable and discerning, and as a result of their understanding of truth, self-righteousness and arrogance are not revealed as much. They are able to see everything clearly, so they do not become arrogant after gaining this clarity. They are able to have a measured grasp on what man’s place is, how to behave reasonably, how to be dutiful, what to say and what not to say, and what to say and what to do to which people. This is why it is said that these kinds of people are relatively reasonable. Those who change their dispositions truly live out the likeness of a human, and they have truth; they are not subject to the influence of others. Those who have had a change in disposition are steadier, they do not blow hot and cold, and no matter what situation they are in, they know how to do their duty properly and how to do things to satisfy God. Those whose dispositions have changed are not focused on what to do to make themselves look good on a superficial level—they have internal clarity on what to do to satisfy God. Therefore, from the outside they may not seem so enthusiastic or like they have done anything very great, but everything they do is meaningful, is valuable, and has practical results. Those whose dispositions have changed are certain to possess a lot of truth—this can be confirmed by their perspectives on things and their principles in their actions. Those who do not possess truth absolutely have not had a change in disposition….
from “The Difference Between External Changes and Changes in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks