Have you seen the pitifulness of those who do not understand the truth? (When people don’t understand the truth, they live in self-deception. At the very least they have no idea of their own shortcomings, without the slightest hint of self-knowledge, not to mention other aspects. Those who don’t understand the truth do not have a heart that yearns for the truth, neither do they know which aspects they should get deeper into. They have no principles either in what they do or what they say, there is too much naturalness in them, and nothing they do bears any relation to the truth.) People who don’t understand the truth will also do things, so what do they depend on for their actions? They depend on their ways, their minds and that little bit of cleverness that they possess. When they depend on these things and they make accomplishments and get things done, they get all high and mighty, feeling that they have something to their advantage. However, they have no idea whether or not what they do conforms to God’s will; they don’t get it and they don’t open their eyes. That’s why they are likely to make a fuss with things. Those who don’t understand the truth are like this—when they do something well they get all high and mighty and they brag, and this is called having no sense. If they do something badly then they look for external reasons, and they get negative, thinking: “I must keep a low profile. Is God exposing me?” Is this actually the case? Whether they do something well or not, what they reveal is their corrupt disposition, that they have no sense and what they do has nothing to do with the truth. They are so pitiful. When they do a small good thing or do something right, they puff themselves up and flaunt their seniority; and when they do something wrong and are dealt with, they become quarrelsome, and they find external reasons, blaming this and blaming that, blaming it on the bad environment, complaining that they hadn’t thought it through. They come up with all the external reasons, but they won’t say that they don’t understand the truth or that they haven’t grasped the principles of the truth. People like this have no obedience when performing their duties, much less do they have any loyalty or put their heart into what they do, or fear God or shun evil. They just persist in relying on the ways of man to do things, and ultimately they still don’t understand the truth. Those who don’t understand the truth and who do things arbitrarily, who do external things and make efforts on the outside, do their life dispositions change in the end? Do they have a normal relationship with God? Do their reason, their faith, or other aspects, progress at all? Is there any change? (No, no change.) There is no change at all. Does their obedience to God progress at all? No, it doesn’t, and they don’t make any practical entry into it. And what of their fear of God? It doesn’t progress either. That is, they make no progress and make no change in their life entry. Only they themselves change and become slick, evasive and treacherous, they become even more arrogant and they have many more demonic means. “I made losses doing that thing that way last time, so next time, I’ll do it this way and I won’t make losses. I spoke wrongly in that matter last time, so next time when I come across the same matter I absolutely won’t speak like that. I must package and wrap myself up a little more.” So they summarize these life philosophies and demonic means, and they study a little of Sun Zi’s Art of War, study a little life philosophy and a little of so-and-so’s demonic means—they make effort in all these things. Does their reason become increasingly normal by making effort with these things? Can their feelings of conscience become stronger? Is there a place for God in the hearts of people like this? Do they increasingly have a place for God in their hearts? (There is no place for God in their hearts.) Their actions bear no relation to the truth and no relation to God. This is troublesome! Now, you can discern this kind of person, can’t you?
When someone does something, regardless of whether they are doing their duty or taking care of personal matters, pay attention to what they are thinking. If their thoughts look to follow the way of man, then this person is not seeking the truth and they do not understand the truth. Some people ponder whether or not what they do conforms to God’s will, what God’s requirements are, whether how they do something will sin against God, or offend God’s disposition, or cause interruptions, or cause God to grieve, or cause God to hate them; they ponder whether or not they are acting in a reasonable way, whether or not what they do will harm the interests of God’s family, or bring shame on the name of God, whether or not the way they do something can be considered something a good person does, or it is doing evil, and they consider how God sees it. They always think along these lines. Is this way correct? (Yes.) What expressions are these? These are expressions of seeking the truth and having God in one’s heart. And what do people do who do not have God in their hearts? (They do things relying on their own ability. They just do things, and what they do has nothing to do with God at all, and their impurities and self-will are exceptionally strong.) They don’t just have self-will. When they have their self-will, they don’t examine or reflect on themselves in the slightest. They don’t cut down on their self-will, they just stick fast to their self-will to do things, they do whatever they want, and what they do has nothing to do with God. Isn’t that so dangerous? Do they know when they will do wrong and offend God’s disposition? They can’t control this!
What characteristics do those who don’t seek the truth have in terms of their external dispositions, their lives and the way they conduct themselves? (They act wantonly and brook no restriction.) They act wantonly, they do as they wish and they are a law unto themselves. Any more? (They think themselves better than everyone else.) (They’re incredibly arrogant and debauched.) Their main characteristics are debauchery, having their own way, being unrestrained, being completely irrational in their actions, acting impulsively, and not being calm and being restless. They are unrestrained when no one is pruning them or dealing with them, but when someone prunes and deals with them, what do they express? Some people get negative, some are disobedient, they resist and are quarrelsome, just like wild animals. Have you ever seen a wild zebra pulling a cart? You haven’t, have you? Have you ever seen anyone riding on a zebra’s back? If a zebra pulled a cart or someone rode on its back, what situation would arise? Someone would get hurt, right? When zebras are out in open fields eating grass or running or playing, it’s fine for people to watch them from a distance without disturbing them. They are only to be viewed, and if you tried to ride one or make it pull a cart, you would get hurt and kicked—its wild nature would be exposed. When people who don’t seek the truth don’t act or speak, they look like a human. But the moment they do something, the corrupt disposition they expose is brutal and brutish. How is this sort of person described in God’s words? (“What you are displaying is not the mischievousness of children out of their parents’ sight, but the beastliness that erupts in animals out of reach of their masters’ whips.”) These words describe the disposition that is exposed by this sort of person as brutish, and as being without normal humanity. Are you able to tell these people apart in a crowd? Those who seek the truth and those who do not seek the truth differ in all their expressions and in what they reveal. Obvious expressions of those who do not seek the truth are irrationality, being without conscience, not employing principles of the truth in their actions, acting wildly and wantonly and audacity. Is this not troublesome? Those who do not seek the truth are both pitiful and hateful, they show their ugly faces and they are no benefit to anyone. If they are no benefit to anyone, will God detest them? (Yes.) And are they themselves aware of this? (If this is the type of condition they’re in, they won’t be aware.) Why do I say they are pitiful? It’s because they are this way, but they have no awareness, they still think they’re great even though they don’t have a human likeness, and they still act wildly. Isn’t this so pitiful?
The main thing when discerning people is to discern whether they seek the truth or not. When you are able to discern this, you will be able to discern between all manner of people and, by looking at their external dispositions, you will be able to discern between them. Are you people who seek the truth? (I wasn’t before, but now I am striving forward.) During those years when you didn’t seek the truth, did you have the kinds of expressions that I mentioned earlier? (Yes, I had these kinds of expressions.) And when you had these kinds of expressions, living in that kind of state, was your heart in pain? (Yes, my heart was in pain, but I myself was unaware of it.) It’s pitiful to be unaware, so very pitiful! It is the most pitiful and sad thing when people don’t understand the truth and are not in possession of the reality of the truth. With the truth on hand, they often listen to sermons, but they themselves haven’t gained the truth and they still live under the bonds of Satan. Is this not pitiful? They act and speak irrationally, and they don’t look human at all. It’s so pitiful!
Seeking the truth is so crucial. Are you now aware of this? (Yes.) Being aware is a good thing. What’s frightening is when people are numb, obtuse and unaware. When people are unaware and are unable to seek the truth, this is easier to handle; it is feared that people are aware and still do not seek the truth—what is this called? (It is to knowingly do wrong.) What kind of people knowingly do wrong? Those who knowingly do wrong and who don’t accept the truth at all are hardened people. They are hard-hearted, they are malicious, and they are sick of the truth. Are hard-hearted people capable of fearing God? (No.) They are incapable of fearing God. Are they capable of achieving compatibility with God? (No.) What is the relationship between hard-hearted people and God? It is that these people would sooner die than repent or acknowledge God as the truth, or acknowledge that God is their God, and they want to oppose God to the very end. How do people like this end up? God does not keep such people—this is the end they come to. Those 250 leaders that are recorded in the Bible, were they hardened people? How did they finally end up? (They perished in a crack in the earth.) That was their end. Some people are foolish and ignorant, and no matter how many years they have believed in God, they haven’t realized the importance of seeking the truth and haven’t realized how pitiable they are when they don’t seek the truth or what the consequence is for them. They are too immature and foolish and ignorant and they’re still playing around. This is their pitifulness. This kind of person doesn’t have a love of the truth and they are rendering service. If they are able to stay loyal to performing their duty, can make a good contribution and do not do evil or cause interruptions, and although they haven’t yet begun to seek the truth, they still have a true heart and they can faithfully perform their duty and are willing to put forth their strength, then God will not condemn them. When someone realizes that seeking the truth is important and has already understood this aspect of the truth and understood this aspect of vision, but they still don’t seek the truth, then this is difficult to handle, and it is a mortal sickness! It’s difficult to cure; it cannot be cured. Can this kind of person be saved, who is aware but still does not seek the truth? They cannot be saved, and so their end is determined—they will have been set apart.
The Words Expressed by God in the Last Days Are Man’s Path to Salvation
What does the book The Word Appears in the Flesh express? What does it contain? (Truth and life.) What is the main point? Truth sounds abstract to people. They cannot perceive life either, that is an abstract concept to them. What is most real to people? It is that these words are the path that leads man to salvation. These words that God expresses, all the words He speaks, all the words gathered together into this book, they are the path that leads man to salvation. When you have read these words, when you have gained these words, you can be saved. Is this not important information for people? God has appeared to man, He has come in the flesh and become human, and what has man gained? They are able to see God, they do not need to believe in a vague God anymore, and they do not need to feel their way forward. This is great news and glad tidings. Moreover, people do not need to watch the clouds in the sky and wait for God to give them revelations and they do not need to figure out what exactly God requires them to do, where exactly God is, or how exactly He expresses His will to mankind. People have it easy believing in God, they have welcomed God and by waiting for Him, He has come, and they have begun to truly believe in God. To what extent do people truly believe in God? That is, when God speaks, He tells you directly what His will is. If He tells you to go east, then all you have to do is go east. You don’t need to guess, “Does God want me to go east or west?” You would have been waiting a lifetime for this piece of information or for some words to come in response, and you still wouldn’t have been able to confirm whether you’d done it right or not; you still wouldn’t have been sure in your heart. “God has come in the flesh, appeared to man and spoken face-to-face with man, bringing to an end the age of man’s searching in vagueness.” This tells you some information: You don’t need to search anymore, God has come. When God wants you to do something, He tells you directly. You don’t need to search and you don’t need to fret anymore. Isn’t this a good thing? These words basically tell people two things: that God has become flesh and what He has brought to mankind. After you hear this, you reflect and think, “God becoming flesh is of such great benefit for man. What if God hadn’t come?” If God hadn’t come then you wouldn’t be able to gain this benefit. If God hadn’t come, but instead told you His intention by giving a cough from heaven, would you be able to understand what He meant? With these words having now been said, maybe you are still unable to figure out what they mean and what the purpose is for saying them, but after you have read them and listened to them for a long time, they will imperceptibly have an effect on your heart, and they will enlighten you somewhat. In the course of your experience, you will unknowingly come to think, “It’s great that God has come. If God hadn’t come, how could we understand these things. It’s so great that God has come! God speaks one word, and in an instant our slumbering minds are awakened and we all feel spiritually enlightened. If God didn’t say anything, then man would be as numb as dead wood!” You unknowingly come to appreciate the genuine meaning of those words. To man, “the path to salvation” is a comparatively profound term, and during the course of their experience people have to understand what the truth is, and gradually enter, appreciate and experience these words. Unknowingly, they will come to think: “People can’t live without God’s words, and when people encounter things without God’s words, they have no path to take; God’s words are so crucial!” At first you think that it’s fine to just observe a principle. But sometimes you will feel that the principle is not applicable, that the principle sometimes doesn’t match the situation, and you will unconsciously come to realize, “I must make more effort with the truth, I must understand the truth, and that doesn’t mean just understanding a rule.” You will feel that believing in God is not simple, that it is not sticking to formalities and that it is not some kind of observance—you will feel that there is truth here to be sought out.
If you are not serious with yourself in life and if you don’t seek the truth, you will think you are living a very enriched life, and living like a man; but when you start to seek the truth, you mull it over: “I don’t live like a man, there is no aim to anything I do, and I’m running around like a headless chicken, trying this and trying that and unable to find my direction.” When you unknowingly come to feel this way, you begin to feel a hunger and a thirst, and will think, “Living this way is no good. It’s exhausting. Living like this is like being one of the walking dead.” Although you believe in God and this is what you sign yourself up for, you are still empty inside, because you haven’t gained the truth. At this time, you unconsciously think, “It’s not a simple matter for man to be saved. I really must read God’s words more and look for the path within God’s words.” You experience many things, and after five or ten years, you come to a conclusion: When someone who believes in God does something without basing it on God’s words, then all before their eyes is pitch black, they have no path to take and they are blind with their eyes wide open. Once they have thoroughly grasped some aspect of the truth of God’s words, then it becomes easy to practice this truth, and it ensures that they are able to conform to God’s will. If there’s some matter with which they do not understand the truth, then they will become confused and will have no path to go. At that time, don’t you think “God’s words are the direction for human survival and they are the path of human life”? It is like when people get to 30 or 40 years of age, they all know how to live and earn money, how to save, how to be frugal and how to plan things: Women have to do laundry and cook, serve all members of the family, both young and old, and keep everything clean, all very ideal and all planned out very well; whereas men have to know how to earn money, how to support their family, how to enrich their family and how to keep their wife and their children well-clothed and well-fed. They can summarize some rules and experience of how to live a life after a few years. But when they believe in God, they realize, “These life experiences are useless. I’ve lived all these years in society thinking I’m a grown-up man (or a grown-up woman), but when I believe in God I realize that I’m nothing, that I know nothing, that I’ve been muddling along all these years, that I don’t understand anything at all about life, and that I don’t know anything at all about matters of the heart or the mind. I’ve wasted my life!” After some years of experience, unknowingly they come to know the importance of God’s words. When someone knows the importance of God’s words, they feel more and more differently toward their opinion of God’s words, about the weight God’s words carry in their heart and the value and significance that God’s words have for them. At this point, little by little within the person there grows a need and a requirement for God’s words, and they don’t just read the words and think about them a little. They accept God’s words within them, digest them inside themselves and turn the words into their direction and aim for both their actions and for them conducting themselves. In this way, don’t they finally appreciate more and more profoundly that God’s words are the path of man’s salvation? Do you have any appreciation of these things now? You have a little, but it’s not very deep and not so strong, right? For example, say you were put somewhere with no air. Wouldn’t there be fear in your heart? (Yes.) Why is that? (We would die.) You all know that you would die. You’ve responded very concisely to this matter. What do you base such a response on? Straight away you know that you would die. Have you experienced it? (I can’t hold my breath for very long at all.) That is to say you already know in your heart the importance of air, that air is crucial for human survival and human life, and that people cannot live without air. Flowers, grass, animals and plants—none of them can live without air. Maybe you are unable to perceive this, but when you are without air for a while you feel uncomfortable and will very quickly suffocate. In your heart you know: “People cannot live without air. If I were to be taken somewhere with no air, I wouldn’t go no matter what.” “Why wouldn’t you go?” “I would die!” You would fear the feeling of being without air. When you are able to realize that God’s words are the root of your life, that they are the foundation of your survival and that they are the one and only thing that is of most value to your salvation, when you have this kind of knowledge of God’s words, you will then know that God’s words are the path for your salvation, just as you know that air is so important to you. When that time is reached, if you are not given God’s words and you are not allowed to read God’s words, you would immediately turn hostile, and say, “No way, I’ll die.” Just as if you were not given air to breathe, you would say, “No way, I’ll die.” At that time, God’s words may have already become your reality and you will be unable to live without them.