1. The source of man’s opposition and rebelliousness against God is his corruption by Satan. Because he has been corrupted by Satan, man’s conscience has grown numb, he is immoral, his thoughts are degenerate, and he has a backward mental outlook. Before he was corrupted by Satan, man naturally followed God and obeyed His words. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, his original sense, conscience, and humanity grew dull and were impaired by Satan. Thus, he has lost his obedience and love toward God. Man’s sense has become aberrant, his disposition has become the same as that of an animal, and his rebelliousness toward God is ever more frequent and grievous. Yet man still neither knows nor recognizes this, and merely blindly opposes and rebels. … “Normal sense” refers to obeying and being faithful to God, to yearning for God, to being unequivocal toward God, and to having a conscience toward God. It refers to being of one heart and mind toward God, and not deliberately opposing God. Those who are of an aberrant sense are not like this. Since man was corrupted by Satan, he has produced conceptions about God, and he has had no loyalty or yearning for God, to say nothing of a conscience toward God. Man deliberately opposes and passes judgments on God, and, furthermore, hurls invective at Him behind His back. Man clearly knows He is God, yet still passes judgments on Him behind His back, has no intention of obeying Him, and merely makes blind demands and requests of God.
from “To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
2. Such as the corruption of human thought and morality, and a lack of proper upbringing; feudal superstitions that have seriously taken hold of the heart of man; depraved and decadent lifestyles that have lodged many ills in the deepest corners of the human heart; a superficial grasp of cultural literacy, with almost ninety-eight percent of the people lacking education in cultural literacy and, what is more, very few receiving higher levels of cultural education, so that people basically have no idea what is meant by God or the Spirit, but have only a vague and unclear image of God acquired from feudal superstitions; pernicious influences that thousands of years of “the lofty spirit of nationalism” have left deep in the human heart as well as the feudal thinking by which people are bound and chained, without an iota of freedom, with no will to aspire or persevere, no desire to make progress, remaining instead passive and regressive, entrenched in a slave mentality. And so on. These objective factors have imparted an indelibly filthy and ugly cast to the ideological outlook, ideals, morality, and disposition of humanity. Humans, it would seem, are living in a terrorist world of darkness, which none among them seeks to transcend, and none among them thinks of moving on to an ideal world; rather, they are content with their lot in life, to spend their days bearing and raising children, striving, sweating, going about their chores, dreaming of a comfortable and happy family, of conjugal affection, of filial children, of joy in their twilight years as they peacefully live out their lives…. For tens, thousands, tens of thousands of years until now, people have been squandering their time in this way, with no one creating a perfect life, all intent only on mutual slaughter in this dark world, on the race for fame and fortune, and on intriguing against one another. Who has ever sought after God’s will? Has anyone ever heeded the work of God? All the parts of humanity occupied by the influence of darkness have long since become human nature, and so it is quite difficult to carry out the work of God, and people have even less heart to pay attention to what God has entrusted to them today.
from “Work and Entry (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
3. In truth, out of the myriad things in God’s creation, man is the lowest. Though he is the master of all things, man is the only one among them that is subject to Satan’s trickery, the only one that falls prey in endless ways to its corruption. Man has never had sovereignty over himself. Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless that they simply have no inclination to take notice of God’s work. …
… To God, the caliber, motives, and views of these people are loathsome in the extreme. Impoverished in their capacity to receive, unfeeling to the point of insensibility, debased and degenerate, excessively servile, weak and without willpower, they must be led as cattle and horses are led. As for their entry in spirit, or entry in God’s work, they pay not the slightest heed, possessing not one jot of determination to suffer for the sake of the truth. For this kind of person to be made complete by God will not be easy.
from “Work and Entry (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
4. Man’s disposition has become supremely vicious, his sense has grown supremely dull, and his conscience has been completely trampled by the evil one and long ago ceased to be the original conscience of man. Man is not only ungrateful to God incarnate for bestowing so much life and grace upon mankind, but has even become resentful toward God for giving him the truth; it is because man has not the slightest interest in the truth that he is resentful toward God. Not only is man unable to lay down his life for God incarnate, but he also tries to extract favors from Him, and claims an interest that is dozens of times greater than what man has given to God. People of such conscience and sense take all this as a given, and still believe that they have expended so much for God, and that God has given them too little. There are people who have given Me a bowl of water yet held out their hands and demanded the equivalent of[a] two bowls of milk, or have given Me a room for one night but tried to charge Me many times more in accommodation fees. With such a humanity, and such a conscience, how could you still wish to gain life? What contemptible wretches you are! … Most people even speak of conditions in their service to God: They do not care whether He is God or a man, and they only talk of their own conditions, and only pursue the achievement of their own desires. When you cook for Me, you demand chef’s fees, when you run for Me, you ask for running fees, when you work for Me you demand work fees, when you wash My clothes you demand laundry fees, when you provide for the church you demand recuperation costs, when you speak you demand speaker’s fees, when you give out books you demand distribution fees, and when you write you demand writing fees. Those I have dealt with even demand recompense from Me, while those who have been sent home demand reparations for the damage to their name; those who are unmarried demand a dowry, or compensation for their lost youth, those who kill a chicken demand butcher’s fees, those who fry food demand frying fees, and those who make soup demand payment for that, too…. This is your lofty and mighty humanity, and these are the actions dictated by your warm conscience. Where is your sense? Where is your humanity?
from “To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
5. After several thousand years of corruption, man has become numb and dull-witted, a demon that opposes God, to the extent that man’s rebelliousness toward God has been documented in the books of history, and even man himself is incapable of giving a full account of his rebellious behavior—for man has been profoundly corrupted by Satan, and has been led astray by Satan that he knows not where to turn. Even today, man still betrays God: When man sees God, he betrays Him, and when he cannot see God, so too does he betray Him. There are even those who, having witnessed God’s curses and God’s wrath, still betray Him. And so I say that man’s sense has lost its original function, and that man’s conscience, too, has lost its original function. The man that I look upon is a beast in human attire, he is a venomous snake….
from “To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
6. In your seeking, you have too many individual notions, hopes, and futures. The current work is in order to deal with your desire for status and your extravagant desires. The hopes, the desire for[b] status, and the notions are all classic representations of satanic disposition. The reason that these things exist in people’s hearts is entirely because Satan’s poison is always corroding people’s thoughts, and people are always unable to shake off these temptations from Satan. They are living in the midst of sin yet do not believe it to be sin, and they still believe: “We believe in God, so He must bestow blessings on us and arrange everything for us appropriately. We believe in God, so we must be superior to others, and we must have more status and more of a future than anyone else. Since we believe in God, He must give us limitless blessings. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be called believing in God.” For many years, the thoughts that people have relied upon for their survival have been corroding their hearts to the point that they have become treacherous, cowardly, and despicable. Not only do they lack willpower and resolve, but they have also become greedy, arrogant, and willful. They are utterly lacking any resolve that transcends the self, and even more, they don’t have a bit of courage to shake off the strictures of these dark influences. People’s thoughts and lives are rotten, their perspectives on believing in God are still unbearably ugly, and even when people speak of their perspectives on belief in God it is simply unbearable to hear. People are all cowardly, incompetent, despicable, as well as fragile. They do not feel disgust for the forces of darkness, and they do not feel love for the light and the truth; instead, they do their utmost to expel them.
from “Why Aren’t You Willing to Be a Foil?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
7. Most people believe in God for the sake of their future destination, or for temporary enjoyment. For those who have not undergone any dealing, belief in God is for the sake of entering into heaven, in order to gain rewards. It is not in order to be made perfect, or to perform the duty of a creature of God. Which is to say that most people do not believe in God in order to fulfill their responsibility, or to complete their duty. Rarely do people believe in God in order to lead meaningful lives, nor are there those who believe that since man is alive, he should love God because it is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle to do so, and is the natural vocation of man. In this way, although different people each pursue their own goals, the aim of their pursuit and the motivation behind it are all alike, and, what’s more, for most of them the objects of their worship are much the same. Over the last several thousand years, many believers have died, and many have died and been born again. It is not just one or two people who seek after God, nor even one or two thousand, yet the pursuit of most of these people is for the sake of their own prospects or their glorious hopes for the future. Those who are devoted to Christ are few and far between. Many devout believers have still died ensnared in their own nets, and the number of people who have achieved success, moreover, is pifflingly small.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
8. People’s belief in God seeks to make God give them a suitable destination and give them all the grace under the sun, to make God their servant, to make God maintain a peaceful, friendly relationship with them, and for there never to be any conflict between them. That is, their belief in God requires God to promise to fulfill all their demands, to bestow on them anything they pray for, just as it says in the Bible “I will listen to all your prayers.” They require God to not judge anyone or deal with anyone, as God is always the kind Savior Jesus, who keeps a good relationship with people at all times and in all places. The way they believe is like this: They always shamelessly ask God for things, and God just bestows everything blindly on them, whether they are rebellious or obedient. People just continually demand “payment” from God and God must pay without any resistance, and pay double, whether God has gotten anything from them or not. He can only be at their mercy; He cannot arbitrarily orchestrate people, much less can He reveal His wisdom and righteous disposition that have been hidden for many years as He wishes to people, without their permission. They just confess their sins to God and God just absolves them, and cannot get sick of it, and this goes on forever. They just order God about and He just obeys, as it is recorded in the Bible “God did not come to be served by man, but to serve. He came to be man’s servant.” Haven’t you always believed in this way?
from “You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will for the Salvation of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
9. How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, yet I acknowledged him not and felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain.
from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
10. The substance of most people’s belief in God is religious conviction: They are incapable of loving God, and can only follow God like a robot, unable to truly yearn for God or adore Him. They merely follow Him silently. Many people believe in God, but there are very few who love God; they only revere God because they fear catastrophe, or else they admire God because He is high and mighty—but in their reverence and admiration there is no love or true yearning. In their experiences they seek the minutiae of the truth, or else some insignificant mysteries. Most people merely follow, they fish in murky waters only to receive blessings; they do not seek the truth, nor do they truly obey God in order to receive God’s blessings. The life of all people’s belief in God is meaningless, it is without value, and in it are their personal considerations and pursuits; they do not believe in God in order to love God, but for the sake of being blessed. Many people act as they please, they do whatever they want, and never consider the interests of God, or whether what they do is in accordance with the will of God. Such people can’t even achieve true belief, let alone the love of God.
from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
11. You hope that your faith in God will not entail any challenges or tribulations, or the slightest hardship. You always pursue those things that are worthless, and you attach no value to life, instead putting your own extravagant thoughts before the truth. You are so worthless! You live like a pig—what difference is there between you, and pigs and dogs? Are those who do not pursue the truth, and instead love the flesh, not all beasts? Are those dead ones without spirits not all the walking corpses? How many words have been spoken among you? Has only a little work been done among you? How much have I provided among you? And so why have you not gained it? What do you have to complain of? Is it not the case that you have gained nothing because you are too in love with the flesh? And is it not because your thoughts are too extravagant? Is it not because you are too stupid? If you are incapable of gaining these blessings, can you blame God for not saving you? What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God—for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh—do you have a heart, do you have a spirit? Are you not a beast? I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God? I bestow the real human life upon you, yet you do not pursue. Aren’t you no different from a pig or a dog? Pigs do not pursue the life of man, they do not pursue being cleansed, and they do not understand what life is. Each day, after eating their fill, they simply sleep. I have given you the true way, yet you have not gained it: You are empty-handed. Are you willing to continue in this life, the life of a pig? What is the significance of such people being alive? Your life is contemptible and ignoble, you live amid filth and licentiousness, and you do not pursue any goals; is your life not the most ignoble of all? Do you have the gall to look upon God? If you continue to experience in this way, will you not acquire nothing? The true way has been given to you, but whether or not you can ultimately gain it depends on your own personal pursuit.
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
12. When it comes to inevitable family incidents (children falling ill, husbands going into hospital, poor crop yields, persecution of family members, and so on), you can’t even make it through these things that often happen in day-to-day life. When such things happen, you’re thrown into a panic, you don’t know what to do—and most of the time, you complain about God. You complain that God’s words tricked you, that God’s work has messed you around. Do you not have such thoughts? Do you think such things happen among you only rarely? You spend every day living amid such events. You don’t give the slightest thought to the success of your faith in God, and how to satisfy God’s will. Your true stature is too small, even smaller than a little chick’s. When your husband’s business loses money you complain about God, when you find yourself in an environment without God’s protection you still complain about God, you complain even when one of your chicks dies or an old cow in the pen falls ill, you complain when it’s time for your son to start a family but your family doesn’t have enough money, and when the church’s workers eat a couple of meals at your home but the church doesn’t reimburse you or no one sends you any vegetables, you also complain. Your belly is stuffed full of complaints, and you sometimes don’t go to assemblies or eat and drink the words of God because of this, you likely become negative for a great length of time. Nothing that happens to you today bears any relation to your prospects or fate; these things would also happen if you didn’t believe in God, yet today you pass responsibility for them to God, and insist on saying that God has eliminated you. What of your belief in God, have you truly offered up your life? If you suffered the same trials as Job, none among you who follow God today would be able to stand firm, you’d all fall down. And there is, quite simply, a world of difference between you and Peter. Today, if half your assets were seized you’d dare to deny the existence of God; if your son or daughter were taken from you, you’d run the streets crying foul; if your life reached a dead end, you’d try and take it up with God, asking why I said so many words in the beginning to scare you. There’s nothing you would not dare to do at such times.
from “Practice (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
13. Many of those who follow God are only concerned with how to gain blessings or avoid disaster. At the mention of the work and management of God, they fall silent and lose all interest. They believe that knowing such tedious questions will not grow their lives or be of any benefit, and so although they have heard messages about the management of God, they treat them casually. And they do not see them as something precious to be accepted, much less do they receive them as part of their lives. Such people have one very simple aim in following God: to gain blessing, and they are too lazy to attend to anything that doesn’t involve this aim. For them, believing in God to gain blessings is the most legitimate of goals and the very value of their faith. They are unaffected by anything that cannot achieve this objective. Such is the case with most of those who believe in God today. Their aim and motivation seem legitimate, because at the same time as believing in God, they also expend for God, dedicate themselves to God, and perform their duty. They give up their youth, forsake family and career, and even spend years busying about away from home. For the sake of their ultimate goal, they change their interests, alter their outlook on life, and even change the direction they seek, yet they cannot change the aim of their belief in God. They run about for the management of their own ideals; no matter how far the road is, and no matter how many hardships and obstacles there are along the way, they stick to their guns and remain fearless of death. What power makes them continue to dedicate themselves in this way? Is it their conscience? Is it their great and noble character? Is it their determination to do battle with the forces of evil to the very end? Is it their faith in which they bear witness to God without seeking recompense? Is it their loyalty for which they are willing to give up everything to achieve the will of God? Or is it their spirit of devotion in which they’ve always forgone personal extravagant demands? For people who have never known the work of God’s management to give so much is, quite simply, a wondrous miracle! For the moment, let us not discuss how much these people have given. Their behavior, however, is highly worthy of our analysis. Apart from the benefits that are so closely associated with them, could there be any other reason for these people who never understand God to give so much to Him? In this, we discover a previously unidentified problem: Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is the relationship between the receiver and giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is like the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. In a relationship like this, there is no affection, only a deal; there is no loving and being loved, only charity and mercy; there is no understanding, only resignation and deception; there is no intimacy, only a gulf that cannot be bridged.
from “Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst the Management of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
14. The saddest thing about mankind’s belief in God is that man conducts his own management amidst the work of God and is heedless of God’s management. Man’s biggest failure lies in how, at the same time as seeking to submit to God and worship Him, man is constructing his own ideal destination and calculating how to receive the greatest blessing and the best destination. Even if people understand how pitiable, hateful, and pathetic they are, how many are there who could readily abandon their ideals and hopes? And who is able to halt their own steps and stop thinking only of themselves? God needs those who will cooperate closely with Him and complete His management. He requires those who will devote their mind and body to the work of His management in order to submit to Him; He does not need people who will hold out their hands and beg from Him every day, much less does He need those who give a little and then wait to be repaid the favor. God despises those who make a small contribution and then rest on their laurels. He hates those cold-blooded people who resent the work of His management and only want to talk about going to heaven and gaining blessings. He has an even greater loathing for those who take advantage of the opportunity presented by the work He does in saving mankind. That’s because these people have never cared about what God wishes to achieve and acquire through the work of His management. They are only concerned with how they can use the opportunity provided by the work of God to gain blessings. They are uncaring of God’s heart, being wholly preoccupied with their own future and fate.
from “Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst the Management of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
15. In people’s life experiences, they often think to themselves, I’ve given up my family and career for God, and what has He given me? I must add it up, and confirm it—have I received any blessings recently? I’ve given a lot during this time, I’ve run and run, and have suffered much—has God given me any promises in return? Has He remembered my good deeds? What will my end be? Can I receive God’s blessings? … Every person constantly, and often makes such calculations within their heart, and they make demands of God which bear their motivations, and ambitions, and deals. Which is to say, in his heart man is constantly putting God to test, constantly devising plans about God, and constantly arguing the case for his end with God, and trying to extract a statement from God, seeing whether or not God can give him what he wants. At the same time as pursuing God, man doesn’t treat God like God. He has always tried to make deals with God, ceaselessly making demands of Him, and even pressing Him at every step, trying to take a mile after being given an inch. At the same time as trying to make deals with God, man also argues with Him, and there are even people who, when trials befall them or they find themselves in certain situations, often become weak, passive and slack in their work, and full of complaints about God. From when he first began to believe in God, man has considered God to be a cornucopia, a Swiss Army knife, and he has considered himself to be God’s greatest creditor, as if trying to get blessings and promises from God were his inherent right and obligation, while God’s responsibility were to protect and care for man and provide for him. Such is the basic understanding of “belief in God” of all those who believe in God, and their deepest understanding of the concept of belief in God. From the substance of man’s nature to his subjective pursuit, there is nothing that relates to the fear of God. Man’s aim in believing in God could not possibly have anything to do with the worship of God. That is to say, man has never considered nor understood that belief in God requires fearing God, and worshiping God. In light of such conditions, man’s substance is obvious. And what is this substance? It is that man’s heart is malicious, it harbors treachery and deceit, it does not love fairness and righteousness, or that which is positive, and it is contemptible and greedy. Man’s heart couldn’t be more closed to God; he hasn’t given it to God at all. God has never seen man’s true heart, nor has He ever been worshiped by man.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh