142. The Principles of How to Treat Natural and Man-Made Disasters
(1) Whatever natural or man-made disaster occurs, it does so with God’s permission. All are expressions of God’s righteous disposition. One should reflect on themselves and repent truly;
(2) All corrupt mankind has a satanic nature, often resisting God and provoking His wrath. It is natural that people should often be faced with both natural and man-made disasters;
(3) Amid disasters and trials, one should pray to God and rely on Him. Follow Job’s example, neither blaming God nor forsaking Him. Rather, one should seek the truth and stand firm in their testimony;
(4) God sends disaster to destroy satanic, wicked mankind. If one has sympathy for the devil Satan, they are resisting and betraying God, and, even were their whole family to be destroyed, they should praise God.
Relevant Words of God:
My final work is not only for the sake of punishing man, but also for the sake of arranging the destination of man. Moreover, it is so that all people may acknowledge My deeds and actions. I want each and every person to see that all I have done is right, and that all I have done is an expression of My disposition. It is not man’s doing, much less nature, that brought forth mankind, but I, who nourish every living being in creation. Without My existence, mankind will only perish and suffer the scourge of calamity. No human being will ever again see the beauteous sun and moon, or the verdant world; mankind shall encounter only the frigid night and the inexorable valley of the shadow of death. I am mankind’s only salvation. I am mankind’s only hope and, even more, I am He on whom the existence of all mankind rests. Without Me, mankind will immediately come to a standstill. Without Me, mankind will suffer catastrophe and be trampled underfoot by all manner of ghosts, though no one takes heed of Me. I have done work that can be done by no other, and hope only that man can repay Me with some good deeds. Though but a few have been able to repay Me, I will still conclude My journey in the human world and begin the next step of My unfolding work, because all My rushing to and fro in man’s midst these many years has been fruitful, and I am very pleased. What I care about is not the number of people, but rather their good deeds. In any case, I hope that you prepare a sufficiency of good deeds for your own destination. Then will I be satisfied; otherwise, none of you can escape the disaster that will befall you. The disaster originates with Me and is of course orchestrated by Me. If you cannot appear as good in My eyes, then you will not escape suffering the disaster.
Excerpted from “Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
My mercy is expressed toward those who love Me and deny themselves. The punishment visited upon the wicked, meanwhile, is precisely proof of My righteous disposition and, even more, testimony to My wrath. When disaster comes, all who oppose Me will weep as they fall victim to famine and plague. Those who have committed all manner of wickedness, but who have followed Me for many years, will not escape paying for their sins; they too, will be plunged into disaster, the like of which has seldom been seen throughout millions of years, and they will live in a constant state of panic and fear. And those of My followers who have shown loyalty to Me will rejoice and applaud My might. They will experience ineffable contentment and live amid joy such as I have never before bestowed upon mankind. For I treasure the good deeds of man and abhor their evil deeds. Since I first began to lead mankind, I have been eagerly hoping to gain a group of people who are of the same mind with Me. Those who are not of the same mind with Me, meanwhile, I never forget; I always loathe them in My heart, awaiting the chance to bring retribution upon them, which I shall relish to see. Now My day has finally come, and I need no longer wait!
Excerpted from “Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In the vast expanse of the world, countless changes have occurred, oceans silting into fields, fields flooding into oceans, over and over. Except for He who rules over all things in the universe, no one is able to lead and guide this human race. There is no mighty one to labor or make preparations for this human race, still less is there anyone who can lead this human race toward the destination of light and liberate it from earthly injustices. God laments the future of mankind, He grieves at the fall of mankind, and is pained that mankind is marching, step by step, toward decay and the path of no return. A mankind that has broken the heart of God and renounced Him to seek the evil one: Has anyone ever given thought to the direction in which such a mankind might be headed? It is precisely for this reason why no one senses the wrath of God, why no one seeks a way to please God or tries to draw closer to God, and what is more, why no one seeks to comprehend God’s grief and pain. Even after hearing the voice of God, man continues on his own path, persists in straying from God, evading God’s grace and care, and shunning His truth, preferring to sell himself to Satan, the enemy of God. And who has given any thought—should man persist in his obduracy—to how God will act toward this humanity that has dismissed Him without a backward glance? No one knows that the reason for God’s repeated reminders and exhortations is because He has prepared in His hands a calamity like never before, one that will be unbearable to the flesh and soul of man. This calamity is not merely a punishment of the flesh, but also of the soul. You need to know this: When God’s plan falls through, and when His reminders and exhortations beget no response, what kind of rage will He unleash? It will be like nothing that has ever been experienced or heard by any created being. And so I say, this calamity is without precedent, and will never be repeated. For God’s plan is to create mankind only this once, and to save mankind only this once. This is the first time, and it is also the last. Therefore, no one can comprehend the painstaking intentions and fervent anticipation with which God saves mankind this time.
Excerpted from “God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All manner of disasters will befall, one after another; all nations and places will experience calamities: Plague, famine, flood, drought, and earthquakes are everywhere. These disasters are not just happening in one or two places, nor will they be over within a day or two; rather, instead they will expand across a greater and greater area, and become more and more severe. During this time, all manner of insect plagues will arise one after another, and the phenomenon of cannibalism will occur everywhere. This is My judgment upon all nations and peoples. My sons! You must not suffer the pain or hardship of disasters. It is My wish that you will soon come of age and, as quickly as possible, take up the burden that lies on My shoulders. Why do you not understand My will? The work ahead will grow more and more strenuous. Are you so hard-hearted as to leave Me with My hands full, having to work so arduously on My own? I will put it more plainly: Those whose lives mature will enter refuge, and not suffer pain or hardship; those whose lives do not mature must suffer pain and harm. My words are clear enough, are they not?
Excerpted from “Chapter 65” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Everything God does is planned with precision. When He sees a thing or a situation occurring, in His eyes there is a standard to measure it with, and this standard determines whether He launches a plan to deal with it or what approach to take in dealing with this thing or situation. He is not indifferent or lacking in feelings toward everything. It is actually the complete opposite. There is a verse here stating what God said to Noah: “The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” When God said this, did He mean He was destroying only humans? No! God said He was going to destroy all living things of flesh. Why did God want destruction? There is another revelation of God’s disposition here; in God’s eyes, there is a limit to His patience toward man’s corruption, toward the filthiness, violence, and disobedience of all flesh. What is His limit? It is as God said: “God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.” What does the phrase “for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth” mean? It means any living things, including those who followed God, those who called on the name of God, those who once made burnt offerings to God, those who verbally acknowledged God and even praised God—once their behavior was full of corruption and reached God’s eyes, He would have to destroy them. That was God’s limit. So to what extent did God remain patient with man and the corruption of all flesh? To the extent that all people, whether followers of God or unbelievers, were not walking the right path. To the extent that man was not just morally corrupt and full of evil, but where there was no one who believed in God’s existence, let alone anyone who believed that the world is ruled by God and that God can bring people light and the right path. To the extent that man despised God’s existence and did not permit God to exist. Once man’s corruption reached this point, God could stand it no longer. What would replace it? The coming of God’s wrath and God’s punishment.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Genesis 19:24–25 says, “Then Jehovah rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground.” These two verses tell of the method by which God destroyed this city as well as the things God destroyed. First, the Bible recounts that God burned the city with fire, and that the extent of this fire was enough to destroy all the people and all that which grew on the ground. That is to say, the fire, which fell from heaven, not only destroyed the city, it also destroyed all the people and living things inside it, until not a single trace remained. After the city was destroyed, the land was left bereft of living things; there was no more life, nor any signs of life at all. The city had become a wasteland, an empty place filled with deathly silence. There would be no more evil deeds committed against God in this place, no more slaughter or blood spilled.
Why did God want to burn this city so thoroughly? What can you see here? Could God really bear to watch mankind and nature, His own creations, be destroyed like this? If you can discern Jehovah God’s anger from the fire that was cast down from heaven, then it is not difficult to see how great His rage was, judging by the targets of His destruction and the degree to which this city was annihilated. When God despises a city, He will deliver His punishment upon it. When God is disgusted with a city, He will issue repeated warnings to inform people of His anger. However, when God decides to put an end to and destroy a city—that is, when His wrath and majesty have been offended—He will deliver no further punishments or warnings. Instead, He will directly destroy it. He will make it utterly disappear. This is God’s righteous disposition.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Recall the scene in the Bible when God wrought destruction upon Sodom and think also of how Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt. Think back to how the people of Nineveh repented their sins in sackcloth and ashes and recall what followed after the Jews nailed Jesus to the cross 2,000 years ago. The Jews were expelled from Israel and fled to countries around the world. Many were killed, and the entire Jewish nation was subjected to unprecedented destruction. They had nailed God to the cross—committed a heinous sin—and provoked the disposition of God. They were made to pay for what they did and were made to bear all the consequences of their actions. They condemned God, rejected God, and so they had but one fate: to be punished by God. This was the bitter consequence and disaster that their rulers brought upon their country and nation.
Excerpted from “God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
After God said to Satan, “All that he has is in your power; only on himself put not forth your hand,” Satan departed, soon after which Job came under sudden and fierce attacks: First, his oxen and donkeys were plundered and some of his servants killed; next, his sheep and some more servants were consumed in fire; after that, his camels were taken and even more of his servants were murdered; finally, his sons’ and daughters’ lives were taken away. This string of attacks was the torment suffered by Job during the first temptation. As commanded by God, during these attacks Satan only targeted Job’s property and his children, and did not harm Job himself. Nevertheless, Job was instantly transformed from a rich man possessed of great wealth to someone who had nothing. No one could have withstood this astonishing surprise blow or properly reacted to it, yet Job demonstrated his extraordinary side. The Scriptures provide the following account: “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped.” This was Job’s first reaction after hearing that he had lost his children and all of his property. Above all, he did not appear surprised, or panic-stricken, much less did he express anger or hate. You see, then, that in his heart he had already recognized that these disasters were not an accident, or born from the hand of man, much less were they the arrival of retribution or punishment. Instead, the trials of Jehovah had come upon him; it was Jehovah who wished to take his property and children. Job was very calm and clear-headed then. His perfect and upright humanity enabled him to rationally and naturally make accurate judgments and decisions about the disasters that had befallen him, and in consequence, he behaved with unusual calm: “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped.” “Rent his mantle” means that he was unclothed, and possessed of nothing; “shaved his head” means he had returned before God as a newborn infant; “fell down on the ground, and worshipped” means he had come into the world naked, and still without anything today, he was returned to God as if a newborn baby. Job’s attitude toward all that befell him could not have been achieved by any creature of God. His faith in Jehovah went beyond the realm of belief; this was his fear of God, his obedience to God; he was not only able to give thanks to God for giving to him, but also for taking from him. Furthermore, he was able to take it upon himself to return to God all that he owned, including his life.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Although Job had never seen God or heard the words of God with his own ears, God had a place in Job’s heart. What was Job’s attitude toward God? It was, as previously referred to, “blessed be the name of Jehovah.” His blessing of God’s name was unconditional, irrespective of context, and bound to no reason. We see that Job had given his heart to God, allowing it to be controlled by God; all that he thought, all that he decided, and all that he planned in his heart was laid open to God and not closed off from God. His heart did not stand in opposition to God, and he had never asked God to do anything for him or give him anything, and he did not harbor extravagant desires that he would gain anything from his worship of God. Job did not talk of trades with God, and made no requests or demands of God. His praising of God’s name was because of the great power and authority of God in ruling all things, and it was not dependent on whether he gained blessings or was struck by disaster. He believed that regardless of whether God blesses people or brings disaster upon them, God’s power and authority will not change, and thus, regardless of a person’s circumstances, God’s name should be praised. That man is blessed by God is because of God’s sovereignty, and when disaster befalls man, so, too, it is because of God’s sovereignty. God’s power and authority rule over and arrange everything about man; the vagaries of man’s fortune are the manifestation of God’s power and authority, and regardless of one’s viewpoint, God’s name should be praised. This is what Job experienced and came to know during the years of his life.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
As part of the creation, on what basis do you make demands on God? Man is not qualified to make demands on God. To make a demand of God is the most unreasonable thing. God will do what He wants, and God also has the right not to do it this way. He has a right to handle these things on His own; His own disposition is righteous. Righteousness is by no means fair or reasonable; it is not egalitarianism or a matter of allocating to you what you deserve according to how much work you have completed, or paying you for whatever work you have done, or giving you your due according to what effort you expend. This is not righteousness. Suppose God had eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him: God would have been righteous then, too. Why is this called righteousness? If something matches people’s notions, it is much easier for them to say God is righteous; however, if they do not see it as matching their notions—if it is something that they are unable to understand—then it would be very strenuous for them to say that God is righteous. Suppose God eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him. God is righteous here, too. Why say that He is righteous? Saying that God is righteous in doing this, why say such a thing? Righteousness is such a thing that if something matches people’s conceptions, people say God is righteous, which is much easier, but if people do not see it as matching their conceptions, if it is something that people are unable to understand, that would require a great effort of people to explain that as righteousness. If He had eliminated Job at that time, people would not say that God was righteous. Even if there were people who said He was, they would say unwillingly: “Jehovah God is all right….” In fact if people are eliminated by God, whether or not they have been corrupted, ought God to explain the reasons for elimination to people? Should He explain to people His basis for eliminating them? There would be no need, right? Need it be based on preserving useful persons, and eliminating a useless person? It need not. In God’s eyes a corrupted person can be dealt with as He pleases. However it is done is appropriate; all is in His plan. If unpleasant to His eyes, you are useless after bearing witness and are eliminated, is this righteous? It is righteousness. Though in reality this is not easy to understand, you must have an understanding in principle. Tell Me, is God’s destruction of Satan righteous? If He had spared Satan? Perhaps you dare not say? God’s essence is righteousness. Though it is not easy to understand what God does, all that He does is righteous; it is simply that people do not understand. When God gave Peter to Satan, how did Peter respond? “Mankind is unable to fathom what You do, but all of what You do contains Your good will; there is righteousness in all of it. How can I not utter praise for Your wise deeds?” Now you should notice that God does not eliminate Satan right away, so that man is able to see how Satan has corrupted people, and how God has saved people. Only after man is able to see the extent of Satan’s corruption of man, how Satan’s list of crimes reaches the heavens does God ultimately eliminate Satan, so that people can see that therein is God’s righteousness and His disposition. Everything that God does is righteous. Though it might be unfathomable to you, you should not make judgment as you please. If something He does appears to you as unreasonable, or if you have any notions about it, and then you say that He is not righteous, then you are being most unreasonable. Just now I raised a few negative examples for you to differentiate, and you don’t dare to speak. You see that Peter found some things incomprehensible, yet he was sure that God’s wisdom was present and that God’s good will was in them. Humans are unable to fathom everything; there are so many things they cannot grasp. To know God’s disposition really is not easy.
Excerpted from “How to Understand the Righteous Disposition of God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Nowadays, those who seek and those who do not are two entirely different types of people, whose destinations are also very different. Those who pursue knowledge of the truth and practice the truth are the ones to whom God will bring salvation. Those who do not know the true way are demons and enemies; they are the descendants of the archangel and will be objects of destruction. Even those who are pious believers of a vague God—are they not also demons? People who possess good consciences but do not accept the true way are demons; their essence is one of resistance to God. Those who do not accept the true way are those who resist God, and even if such people endure many hardships, they will still be destroyed. All those who are unwilling to relinquish the world, who cannot bear to part with their parents, and who cannot bear to rid themselves of their own enjoyments of the flesh are disobedient to God, and all will be objects of destruction. Anyone who does not believe in God incarnate is demonic and, moreover, will be destroyed. Those who have faith but do not practice the truth, those who do not believe in God incarnate, and those who do not at all believe in God’s existence will also be objects of destruction. All those who will be allowed to remain are people who have undergone the suffering of refinement and stood firm; these are people who have truly endured trials. Anyone who does not recognize God is an enemy; that is, anyone who does not recognize God incarnate—whether or not they are inside or outside this stream—is an antichrist! Who is Satan, who are demons, and who are God’s enemies if not resisters who do not believe in God? Are they not those people who are disobedient to God? Are they not those who claim to have faith, yet who lack truth? Are they not those who merely seek to obtain blessings while being unable to bear witness for God? You still mingle with those demons today and bear conscience and love toward them, but in this case are you not extending good intentions toward Satan? Are you not associating with demons? If people these days are still unable to distinguish between good and evil, and continue to blindly be loving and merciful without any intention of seeking God’s will or being able in any way to harbor God’s intentions as their own, then their endings will be all the more wretched. Anyone who does not believe in the God in the flesh is an enemy of God. If you can bear conscience and love toward an enemy, do you not lack a sense of righteousness? If you are compatible with those which I detest and with which I disagree, and still bear love or personal feelings toward them, then are you not disobedient? Are you not intentionally resisting God? Does such a person possess truth? If people bear conscience toward enemies, love for demons, and mercy for Satan, then are they not intentionally disrupting God’s work? Those people who believe only in Jesus and do not believe in God incarnate during the last days, as well as those who verbally claim to believe in God incarnate but do evil, are all antichrists, without even mentioning those who do not even believe in God. All these people will be objects of destruction.
Excerpted from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh