B. Words on Revealing the Satanic Disposition of Corrupt Mankind and Their Nature Essence
81. The source of man’s opposition and rebelliousness against God is his corruption by Satan. Because of Satan’s corruption, 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 after hearing them. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, man’s 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 opposes and rebels blindly. Man’s disposition is revealed in expressions of his sense, insight, and conscience; because his sense and insight are unsound, and his conscience has grown supremely dull, thus his disposition is rebellious against God. If man’s sense and insight cannot change, then changes in his disposition are out of the question, as is conforming to God’s will. If man’s sense is unsound, then he cannot serve God and is unfit for use by God. “Normal sense” refers to obeying and being faithful to God, to yearning for God, to being absolute 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. Having an aberrant sense is not like this. Since man was corrupted by Satan, he has come up with notions about God, and he has had no loyalty to God or yearning for Him, to say nothing of a conscience toward God. Man deliberately opposes God and passes judgments on Him, and, furthermore, hurls invective at Him behind His back. Man passes judgment on God behind His back, with clear knowledge that He is God; man has no intention of obeying God, and merely makes blind demands and requests of Him. Such people—people who have aberrant sense—are incapable of knowing their own despicable behavior or of regretting their rebelliousness. If people are capable of knowing themselves, then they have regained a little of their sense; the more rebellious against God people who cannot yet know themselves are, the less are they sound of sense.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
82. After several thousand years of corruption, man is numb and dull-witted; he has become 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 such 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, and no matter how pitiable he tries to appear before My eyes, I will never be merciful toward him, for man has no grasp of the difference between black and white, of the difference between truth and non-truth. Man’s sense is so benumbed, yet still he wishes to gain blessings; his humanity is so ignoble yet still he wishes to possess the sovereignty of a king. Who could he be the king of, with sense such as that? How could he with such a humanity sit atop a throne? Man truly has no shame! He is a conceited wretch! For those of you who wish to gain blessings, I suggest you first find a mirror and look at your own ugly reflection—do you have what it takes to be a king? Do you have the face of one who could gain blessings? There has not been the slightest change in your disposition and you have not put any of the truth into practice, yet still you wish for a wonderful tomorrow. You are deluding yourself! Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at “institutes of higher learning.” The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy for living, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the domain of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud. Even when they hear the truth, those who live in darkness give no thought to putting it into practice, nor are they inclined to seek out God even if they have beheld His appearance. How could a mankind so depraved have any chance of salvation? How could a mankind so decadent live in the light?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
83. The revelation of man’s corrupt disposition has its source in nothing more than man’s dulled conscience, his malicious nature, and his unsound sense; if man’s conscience and sense are able to become normal again, then he will become someone fit for use before God. It is simply because man’s conscience has always been numb, and because man’s sense, which has never been sound, is growing ever duller that man is increasingly rebellious toward God, such that he even nailed Jesus to the cross and refuses God’s incarnation in the last days entry into his home, and condemns God’s flesh, and sees God’s flesh as lowly. If man had but a little humanity, he would not be so cruel in his treatment of God’s incarnate flesh; if he had but a little sense, he would not be so vicious in his treatment of the flesh of God incarnate; if he had but a little conscience, he would not “give thanks” to God incarnate in this way. Man lives in the era of God become flesh, yet he is incapable of thanking God for giving him such a good opportunity, and instead curses the coming of God, or completely ignores the fact of God’s incarnation, and is seemingly against it and weary of it. Regardless of how man treats the coming of God, God, in short, has always carried on patiently with His work—even though man has not been the slightest bit welcoming toward Him, and blindly makes requests of Him. 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 has grown 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 think this is no great matter, and still believe that they have expended so much of themselves for God, and that God has given them too little. There are people who, having given Me a bowl of water, hold out their hands and demand I pay them for two bowls of milk, or, having given Me a room for one night, demand I pay rent for several. With such a humanity and such a conscience, how could you still wish to gain life? What contemptible wretches you are!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
84. If I did not expose the ugliness in the depths of your hearts, then each of you would place a crown upon your head and keep all the glory for yourselves. Your arrogant and conceited natures drive you to betray your own consciences, to rebel against and resist Christ, and to reveal your ugliness, thereby bringing to light your intentions, notions, extravagant desires, and eyes full of greed. And yet you continue to prattle on about your lifelong passion for the work of Christ, and repeat again and again the truths long ago spoken by Christ. This is your “faith”—your “faith without impurity.” I have held man to a strict standard throughout. If your loyalty comes with intentions and conditions, then I would rather be without your so-called loyalty, for I abhor those who deceive Me through their intentions and extort Me with conditions. I wish only for man to be absolutely loyal to Me, and to do all things for the sake of—and in order to prove—one word: faith. I despise your use of blandishments to try to make Me rejoice, for I have always treated you with sincerity, and so wish for you to also act with true faith toward Me. When it comes to faith, many may think that they follow God because they have faith, and would not endure such suffering otherwise. So I ask you this: If you believe in God’s existence, why do you not revere Him? If you believe in God’s existence, why is there not the slightest fear of Him in your heart? You accept that Christ is the incarnation of God, so why do you hold Him in contempt? Why do you act irreverently toward Him? Why do you openly judge Him? Why do you always spy upon His movements? Why do you not submit to His arrangements? Why do you not act in accordance with His word? Why do you try to extort and rob Him of His offerings? Why do you speak from the place of Christ? Why do you judge whether His work and His word are correct? Why do you dare blaspheme Him behind His back? Are these and others what constitute your faith?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Are You a True Believer in God?
85. If you use your own notions to measure and delimit God, as if God were an unchanging statue of clay, and if you completely delimit God within the parameters of the Bible and contain Him within a limited scope of work, then this proves that you have condemned God. Because the Jews in the age of the Old Testament took God to be an idol of fixed form that they held in their hearts, as if God could only be called the Messiah, and only He who was called the Messiah could be God, and because humanity served and worshiped God as if He were a (lifeless) clay statue, they nailed the Jesus of that time to the cross, sentencing Him to death—the guiltless Jesus was thus condemned to death. God was innocent of any offense, yet man refused to spare Him, and insisted on sentencing Him to death, and so Jesus was crucified. Man always believes that God is unchanging, and defines Him on the basis of one single book, the Bible, as though man has a perfect understanding of God’s management, as though man holds all that God does in the palm of his hand. People are absurd in the extreme, arrogant in the extreme, and they all have a flair for hyperbole. No matter how great your knowledge of God, I still say that you do not know God, that you are someone who opposes God the most, and that you have condemned God, because you are utterly incapable of obeying the work of God and walking the path of being made perfect by God. Why is God never satisfied with the actions of man? Because man does not know God, because he has too many notions, and because his knowledge of God in no way agrees with reality, but instead monotonously repeats the same theme without variation and uses the same approach for every situation. And so, having come to earth today, God is once more nailed to the cross by man. Cruel mankind! The connivance and intrigue, the snatching and grabbing one from another, the scramble for fame and fortune, the mutual slaughter—when will it ever end? Despite the hundreds of thousands of words God has spoken, no one has come to their senses. People act for the sake of their families, sons and daughters, for their careers, future prospects, position, vainglory, and money, for the sake of food, clothing, and the flesh. But is there anyone whose actions are truly for the sake of God? Even among those who act for the sake of God, there are but few who know God. How many people do not act out of their own interests? How many do not oppress or ostracize others in order to protect their own position? And so, God has been forcibly sentenced to death innumerable times, and countless barbaric judges have condemned God and once more nailed Him to the cross. How many can be called righteous because they truly act for the sake of God?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Wicked Will Surely Be Punished
86. Do many people not oppose God and obstruct the work of the Holy Spirit because they do not know the varied and diverse work of God, and, furthermore, because they possess but a smidgeon of knowledge and doctrine with which to measure the work of the Holy Spirit? Though the experiences of such people are superficial, they are arrogant and indulgent in nature and they regard the work of the Holy Spirit with contempt, ignore the disciplines of the Holy Spirit and, moreover, use their trivial old arguments to “confirm” the work of the Holy Spirit. They also put on an act, and are wholly convinced of their own learning and erudition, and convinced that they are able to travel across the world. Are such people not those who are despised and rejected by the Holy Spirit, and will they not be eliminated by the new age? Are not those who come before God and openly oppose Him ignorant and under-informed little people, who are merely trying to show how brilliant they are? With but a meager knowledge of the Bible, they try to straddle the world’s “academia”; with but a superficial doctrine to teach people, they try to reverse the work of the Holy Spirit and attempt to make it revolve around their own thought process. Short-sighted as they are, they try to behold in one glance 6,000 years of God’s work. These people do not have any sense worth mentioning! In fact, the greater people’s knowledge of God, the slower they are to judge His work. Furthermore, they only talk a little of their knowledge of God’s work today, but they are not rash in their judgments. The less people know of God, the more arrogant and overconfident they are and the more wantonly they proclaim God’s being—yet they only talk of theory, and offer no real evidence. Such people are of no value whatsoever. Those who see the work of the Holy Spirit as a game are frivolous! Those who are not cautious when they encounter the new work of the Holy Spirit, who run their mouths off, are quick to judge, who give free rein to their natural instinct to deny the rightness of the Holy Spirit’s work, and who also insult and blaspheme it—are such disrespectful people not ignorant of the Holy Spirit’s work? Are they not, furthermore, people of great arrogance, people who are inherently proud and ungovernable? Even if a day comes when such people accept the new work of the Holy Spirit, still God will not tolerate them. Not only do they look down upon those who work for God, but they also blaspheme against God Himself. Such foolhardy people will not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come, and they shall forever perish in hell! Such disrespectful, indulgent people are pretending to believe in God, and the more people are like this, the more liable they are to offend God’s administrative decrees. Do not all those arrogant ones who are innately unbridled, and who have never obeyed anyone, all walk upon this path? Do they not oppose God day after day, God who is always new and never old?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
87. Know that you oppose God’s work, or use your own notions to measure the work of today, because you do not know the principles of God’s work, and because you do not take the work of the Holy Spirit seriously enough. Your opposition to God and obstruction of the work of the Holy Spirit is caused by your notions and inherent arrogance. It is not because God’s work is wrong, but because you are naturally too disobedient. After finding their belief in God, some people cannot even say with certainty where man came from, yet they dare to make public speeches appraising the rights and wrongs of the Holy Spirit’s work. They even lecture the apostles who have the Holy Spirit’s new work, passing comment and speaking out of turn; their humanity is too low, and there is not the slightest sense in them. Will the day not come when such people are rejected by the work of the Holy Spirit, and burned by the fires of hell? They do not know the work of God, but instead criticize His work, and also try to instruct God how to work. How can such unreasonable people know God? Man comes to know God during the process of seeking and experiencing; it is not through criticizing at whim that man comes to know God through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The more accurate people’s knowledge of God becomes, the less they oppose Him. In contrast, the less people know of God, the more likely they are to oppose Him. Your notions, your old nature, and your humanity, character and moral outlook are the “capital” with which you resist God, and the more corrupt, degraded and low you become, the more you are the enemy of God. Those who are possessed of strong notions and who have a self-righteous disposition are even more in enmity of God incarnate; such people are the antichrists. If your notions are not rectified, then they will always be against God; you will never be compatible with God, and will always be apart from Him.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
88. Anyone who does not understand the purpose of God’s work is one who opposes Him, and one who has come to understand the purpose of God’s work but still does not seek to satisfy God is even more to be deemed an opponent of God. There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately get in the way of those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of “sound constitution,” but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls? Those who hold themselves in high esteem in God’s presence are the most abject of men, while those who humble themselves are the most honored. And those who think they know the work of God and who are, moreover, capable of proclaiming the work of God to others with great fanfare even as they look directly at Him—these are the most ignorant of men. Such people are without the testimony of God, arrogant and full of conceit. Those who believe that they have too little knowledge of God, despite having actual experience and practical knowledge of Him, are those most beloved by Him. Only such people truly have testimony and are truly capable of being perfected by God. Those who do not understand the will of God are opponents of God; those who understand the will of God and yet do not practice the truth are opponents of God; those who eat and drink the words of God, and yet go against the essence of God’s words, are opponents of God; those who have notions about the incarnate God, and moreover have a mind to engage in rebellion, are opponents of God; those who pass judgment on God are opponents of God; and whoever is unable to know God or to bear witness to Him is an opponent of God. So I urge you: If you really have faith that you can walk this path, then keep on following it. But if you are unable to refrain from opposing God, then you had best walk away before it is too late. Otherwise, the chances of things turning out badly for you run extremely high, because your nature is simply too corrupt. Of loyalty or obedience, or a heart that thirsts for righteousness and truth, or love for God, you have not one jot or iota. It may be said that your situation before God is an utter shambles. You cannot abide by what you ought to abide by, and are unable to say what ought to be said. What you ought to put into practice, you have failed to put into practice; and the function that you ought to fulfill, you have been unable to fulfill. You do not have the loyalty, conscience, obedience, or resolution that you ought. You have not endured the suffering that it behooves you to endure, and you do not have the faith that you ought. Quite simply, you are completely devoid of any merit: Are you not ashamed to go on living? Let Me persuade you that you would be better off closing your eyes in eternal rest, thereby sparing God from worrying on your account and suffering for your sake. You believe in God and yet do not know His will; you eat and drink the words of God and yet are unable to keep to what God demands of man. You believe in God and yet do not know Him, and you stay alive without a goal to strive for, without any values, without any meaning. You live as a human being and yet have no conscience, integrity, or credibility in the slightest degree—can you still call yourselves human beings? You believe in God and yet deceive Him; what is more, you take God’s money and eat up the offerings that are made to Him. And yet, in the end you still fail to show the slightest consideration for God’s feelings or the faintest conscience toward Him. Not even the most trivial of God’s demands can you meet. Can you still call yourselves human beings? Eating the food God provides you and breathing the oxygen He gives you, enjoying His grace, yet, in the end, you do not have the slightest knowledge of God. On the contrary, you have become good-for-nothings that oppose God. Does that not make you a beast even lower than a dog? Among animals, are there any that are more malicious than you?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
89. The biggest problem with man is that he only loves things that he cannot see or touch, things that are supremely mysterious and wondrous, and that are unimaginable by man and unattainable by mere mortals. The more unrealistic these things, the more they are analyzed by people, and people even pursue them heedless of all else, and attempt to obtain them. The more unrealistic they are, the more closely people scrutinize and analyze them, even going so far as to make up their own exhaustive ideas about them. On the contrary, the more realistic things are, the more dismissive people are toward them; they simply look down their noses at them, and are even contemptuous of them. Is this not precisely your attitude toward the realistic work I do today? The more realistic such things are, the more prejudiced you are against them. You do not spare any time to examine them, but simply ignore them; you look down your noses at these realistic, low-standard requirements, and even harbor numerous notions about this God who is most real, and are simply incapable of accepting His reality and normality. In this way, do you not hold to a vague belief? You have an unshakable belief in the vague God of times past, and no interest in the real God of today. Is this not because the God of yesterday and the God of today are from two different eras? Is it not also because the God of yesterday is the exalted God of heaven, whereas the God of today is a tiny human being on earth? Is it not, moreover, because the God worshiped by man is the one produced by his notions, whereas the God of today is of real flesh, produced on earth? When all is said and done, is it not because the God of today is too real that man does not pursue Him? For what the God of today asks of people is precisely that which people are most unwilling to do, and which makes them feel ashamed. Is this not making things difficult for people? Does this not lay bare people’s scars? In this way, many of those who do not pursue reality become the enemies of God incarnate, become antichrists. Is this not an obvious fact? In the past, when God had yet to become flesh, you may have been a religious figure, or a devout believer. After God became flesh, many such devout believers unwittingly became antichrists. Do you know what is going on here? In your belief in God, you do not concentrate on reality or pursue the truth, but instead obsess over falsehoods—is this not the clearest source of your enmity to God incarnate?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God
90. Prior to contact with Christ, you may believe your disposition to have been entirely transformed, that you are a loyal follower of Christ, that no one is more worthy of receiving the blessings of Christ than you—and that, having traveled many roads, done much work, and brought forth much fruit, you will surely be one of those who ultimately receive the crown. Yet there is one truth that you may not know: The corrupt disposition of man and his rebelliousness and resistance are exposed when he sees Christ, and the rebelliousness and resistance exposed at this time are more absolutely and completely exposed than at any other. It is because Christ is the Son of man—a Son of man who possesses normal humanity—that man neither honors nor respects Him. It is because God lives in the flesh that the rebelliousness of man is brought to light so thoroughly and in such vivid detail. So I say that the coming of Christ has unearthed all the rebelliousness of mankind and has thrown the nature of mankind into sharp relief. This is called “luring a tiger down the mountain” and “luring a wolf out of its cave.” Dare you presume to say that you are loyal to God? Dare you presume to say that you show absolute obedience to God? Dare you presume to say that you are not rebellious? Some will say: “Whenever God sets me up in a new environment, I invariably submit without a murmur, and furthermore I entertain no notions about God.” Some will say: “Whatever God tasks me with I do to the best of my ability and am never remiss.” In that case, I ask you this: Can you be compatible with Christ when you live alongside Him? And how long will you be compatible with Him? One day? Two days? One hour? Two hours? Your faith may well be commendable, but you do not have much in the way of steadfastness. Once you are really living with Christ, your self-righteousness and self-importance will be exposed through your words and actions, bit-by-bit, and so too will your overweening desires, your disobedient mindset and discontent naturally be revealed. Finally, your arrogance will become ever greater, until you are as much at odds with Christ as water is with fire, and then your nature will be completely exposed. At that time, your notions can no longer be covered up, your complaints, too, will naturally come out, and your debased humanity will be completely exposed. Even then, however, you still refuse to acknowledge your own rebelliousness, believing instead that a Christ such as this is not easy for man to accept, that He is too exacting of man, and that you would wholly submit if He were a kinder Christ. You believe that your rebelliousness is justified, that you only rebel against Him when He pushes you too far. Never once have you considered that you do not look upon Christ as God, that you lack the intent to obey Him. Rather, you stubbornly insist that Christ work in accordance with your own wishes, and as soon as He does a single thing that is at odds with your own thinking, you believe that He is not God but a man. Are there not many among you who have contended with Him in this way? Who is it, after all, that you believe in? And in what way do you seek?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God
91. You always wish to see Christ, but I urge you not to hold yourselves in such high esteem; anyone may see Christ, but I say no one is fit to see Christ. Because the nature of man brims with evil, arrogance, and rebelliousness, at the moment you see Christ, your nature will destroy you and condemn you to death. Your association with a brother (or a sister) may not show much about you, but it is not so simple when you associate with Christ. At any time, your notions may take root, your arrogance begin to sprout, and your rebelliousness bear figs. How can you with such humanity be fit to associate with Christ? Are you truly able to treat Him as God every moment of every day? Will you truly have the reality of submission to God? You worship the lofty God within your hearts as Jehovah while regarding the visible Christ as a man. Your sense is too inferior and your humanity too debased! You are incapable of always looking upon Christ as God; only occasionally, when it takes your fancy, do you grab hold of Him and worship Him as God. This is why I say you are not believers of God, but a posse of accomplices who fight against Christ. Even men who show kindness to others are repaid, and yet Christ, who has done such work among you, has received neither man’s love nor his recompense and submission. Is this not something heartrending?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God
92. It may be that in all your years of faith in God, you have never cursed anyone or committed a bad deed, yet in your association with Christ, you cannot speak the truth, act honestly, or obey the word of Christ; in that case, I say that you are the most sinister and malicious person in the world. You may be exceptionally amiable and devoted toward your relatives, friends, wife (or husband), sons and daughters, and parents, and never take advantage of others, but if you are incapable of compatibility with Christ, if you are unable to interact in harmony with Him, then even if you expend your all in relief to your neighbors or take meticulous care of your father, mother, and members of your household, I would say that you are still wicked, and moreover one full of cunning tricks. Do not think yourself compatible with Christ simply because you get along with others or do a few good deeds. Do you think that your charitable intent can finagle the blessings of Heaven? Do you think that doing a few good deeds is a substitute for your obedience? Not one of you is able to accept being dealt with and pruned, and you all find it difficult to embrace the normal humanity of Christ, notwithstanding which you are constantly trumpeting your obedience to God. Such faith as yours will bring down a fitting retribution. Stop indulging in fanciful illusions and wishing to see Christ, for you are too little in stature, so much so that you are not even worthy of seeing Him. When you are completely purged of your rebelliousness, and are capable of being in harmony with Christ, at that moment God will naturally appear to you. If you go to see God without having undergone pruning or judgment, then you shall surely become an opponent of God and are destined for destruction. The nature of man is inherently hostile to God, for all men have been subjected to Satan’s most profound corruption. If man tries to associate with God from the midst of his own corruption, it is certain that nothing good can come of this; his actions and words will surely expose his corruption at every turn, and in associating with God his rebelliousness will be revealed in its every aspect. Unknowingly, man comes to oppose Christ, to deceive Christ, and to forsake Christ; when this happens, man will be in an even more precarious state and, should this continue, he shall become the object of punishment.
Some may believe that, if association with God is so dangerous, then it might be wiser to keep God at a distance. What can people like this possibly gain? Can they be loyal to God? Assuredly, association with God is very difficult—but that is because man is corrupted, not because God is unable to associate with him. It would be best for you to dedicate more effort to the truth of knowing the self. Why have you not found favor with God? Why is your disposition abominable to Him? Why does your speech arouse His loathing? As soon as you have demonstrated a bit of loyalty, you sing your own praises, and you demand a reward for a small contribution; you look down upon others when you have shown a modicum of obedience, and become contemptuous of God upon accomplishing some petty task. For receiving God, you ask for money, gifts, and compliments. It makes you heartsore to give a coin or two; when you give ten, you wish for blessings and to be treated with distinction. A humanity such as yours is positively offensive to speak or hear of. Is there anything praiseworthy in your words and actions? Those who perform their duty and those who do not; those who lead and those who follow; those who receive God and those who do not; those who donate and those who do not; those who preach and those who receive the word, and so on: all such men praise themselves. Do you not find this laughable? Knowing full well that you believe in God, you nevertheless cannot be compatible with God. Knowing full well that you are utterly without merit, you persist in boasting all the same. Do you not feel your sense has deteriorated to the point that you no longer have self-control? With sense like this, how are you fit to associate with God? Are you not afraid for yourselves at this juncture? Your disposition has already deteriorated to the point where you are incapable of compatibility with God. This being so, is your faith not laughable? Is your faith not preposterous? How are you going to approach your future? How are you going to choose which path to take?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God
93. Some people do not rejoice in the truth, much less judgment. Instead, they rejoice in power and riches; such people are called power seekers. They search only for those denominations in the world with influence, and they search only for pastors and teachers that come from seminaries. Though they have accepted the way of truth, they are only half-believing; they are incapable of giving all of their hearts and minds, their mouths speak of expending themselves for God, but their eyes are focused on the great pastors and teachers, and they do not spare Christ a second glance. Their hearts are fixated upon fame, fortune, and glory. They think it out of the question that such a meager person could be capable of conquering so many, that one so unremarkable could perfect man. They think it out of the question that these nobodies among the dust and dunghills are the people chosen by God. They believe that if such people were the objects of God’s salvation, then heaven and earth would be turned upside down, and all people would laugh themselves silly. They believe that if God chose such nobodies to be perfected, then those great men would become God Himself. Their perspectives are tainted with unbelief; more than not believing, they are simply preposterous beasts. For they value only status, prestige, and power, and they esteem only large groups and denominations. They have not the slightest regard for those led by Christ; they are simply traitors who have turned their backs on Christ, on truth, and on life.
What you admire is not the humility of Christ, but those false shepherds of prominent standing. You do not adore the loveliness or wisdom of Christ, but those libertines who wallow in the filth of the world. You laugh at the pain of Christ who has no place to lay His head, but you admire those corpses that hunt for offerings and live in debauchery. You are not willing to suffer alongside Christ, but you gladly throw yourself into the arms of those reckless antichrists, though they only supply you with flesh, words, and control. Even now, your heart still turns toward them, toward their reputation, toward their status, toward their influence. And yet you continue to hold an attitude whereby you find the work of Christ hard to swallow and you are unwilling to accept it. This is why I say that you lack the faith to acknowledge Christ. The reason you have followed Him to this day is only because you had no other option. A series of lofty images are forever towering in your heart; you cannot forget their every word and deed, nor their influential words and hands. They are, in your heart, forever supreme and forever heroes. But this is not so for the Christ of today. He is forever insignificant in your heart, and forever undeserving of reverence. For He is far too ordinary, has far too little influence, and is far from lofty.
In any case, I say that all those who do not value the truth are nonbelievers and traitors to the truth. Such men shall never receive the approval of Christ. Have you now identified how much unbelief is within you, and how much betrayal of Christ you have? I exhort you thus: Since you have chosen the way of truth, then you should devote yourself wholeheartedly; do not be ambivalent or half-hearted. You should understand that God does not belong to the world nor any one person, but to all those who truly believe in Him, all those who worship Him, and all those who are devoted and faithful to Him.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Are You a True Believer in God?
94. Many who follow God are only concerned with how to gain blessings or stave off disaster. As soon as God’s work and management are mentioned, they fall silent and lose all interest. They think that understanding such tedious issues will not help their lives to grow or provide any benefit. Consequently, although they have heard about God’s management, they pay it little heed. They do not see it as something precious to be accepted, much less do they receive it as part of their lives. Such people only have one simple aim in following God, and that aim is to receive blessings. Such people cannot be bothered to pay heed to anything else that does not directly involve this aim. To them, there is no goal more legitimate than believing in God to receive blessings—it is the very value of their faith. If something does not contribute to this aim, they remain completely unmoved by it. This is the case with most people who believe in God today. Their aim and intention seem legitimate, because as they believe 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 away from home busying themselves. For the sake of their ultimate goal, they change their own interests, their outlook on life, and even 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 remain persistent and unafraid of death. What power compels them to continue dedicating themselves in this way? Is it their conscience? Is it their great and noble character? Is it their determination to battle the forces of evil to the very end? Is it their faith to bear witness to God without seeking reward? Is it their loyalty in being willing to give up everything to achieve God’s will? Or is it their spirit of devotion to always forgo extravagant personal demands? For someone who has never understood the work of God’s management to still give so much is, quite simply, a 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 reasons why people who never understand God would give so much for Him? In this, we discover a previously unidentified problem: Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is a relationship between a receiver and a giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is akin to the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. There is no affection in such a relationship, only transaction. There is no loving or being loved, only charity and mercy. There is no understanding, only suppressed indignation and deception. There is no intimacy, only an uncrossable chasm. Now that things have gotten to this point, who can reverse such a course? And how many people are capable of truly understanding how dire this relationship has become? I believe that when people immerse themselves in the joy of being blessed, none can imagine how embarrassing and unsightly such a relationship with God is.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management
95. The saddest thing about mankind’s belief in God is that man conducts his own management amidst the work of God and yet pays no heed to 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 plotting how to receive the greatest blessing and the best destination. Even if one understands how pitiable, detestable, and pathetic they are, how many can readily abandon their ideals and hopes? And who are able to halt their own steps and stop from thinking only of themselves? God needs those who will cooperate closely with Him to complete His management. He needs those who will submit to Him by devoting their entire mind and body to the work of His management. He does not need people who hold out their hands to beg from Him every day, much less those who give a little and then wait to be rewarded. God despises those who make a paltry 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 care not about God’s heart, being wholly preoccupied with their own prospects and fate. Those who resent the work of God’s management and lack even the slightest interest in how God saves mankind and His will are only doing what pleases themselves in a way that is detached from the work of God’s management. Their behavior is neither remembered nor approved of by God—much less is it favorably looked upon by God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management
96. My deeds are greater in number than the grains of sand on the beaches, and My wisdom surpasses all the sons of Solomon, yet people merely think of Me as a physician of little account and an unknown teacher of man. So many believe in Me only that I might heal them. So many believe in Me only that I might use My powers to drive unclean spirits out from their bodies, and so many believe in Me simply that they might receive peace and joy from Me. So many believe in Me only to demand from Me greater material wealth. So many believe in Me just to spend this life in peace and to be safe and sound in the world to come. So many believe in Me to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven. So many believe in Me only for temporary comfort, yet 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 once 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, I paid him no heed and felt abhorrence toward him; man departed from Me to instead seek the way of evil medicine and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, everyone disappeared without a trace. Thus, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Do You Know of Faith?
97. 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 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? 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 plow 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 real human life upon you, yet you do not pursue. Are 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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment
98. 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 makes such calculations within their heart, and they make demands of God which bear their motivations, ambitions, and a transactional mentality. This is to say, in his heart man is constantly testing God, constantly devising plans about God, constantly arguing the case for his own individual 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 does not treat God as God. Man 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 the time when man first began to believe in God, he 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 to provide for him. Such is the basic understanding of “belief in God” of all those who believe in God, and such is their deepest understanding of the concept of belief in God. From man’s nature essence 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 and worshiping God. In light of such conditions, man’s essence is obvious. What is this essence? It is that man’s heart is malicious, harbors treachery and deceit, does not love fairness and righteousness and that which is positive, and it is contemptible and greedy. Man’s heart could not be more closed to God; he has not given it to God at all. God has never seen man’s true heart, nor has He ever been worshiped by man. No matter how great the price God pays, or how much work He does, or how much He provides to man, man remains blind and utterly indifferent to it all. Man has never given his heart to God, he only wants to mind his heart himself, to make his own decisions—the subtext of which is that man does not want to follow the way of fearing God and shunning evil, or to obey the sovereignty and arrangements of God, nor does he want to worship God as God. Such is the state of man today.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
99. Whenever destination is mentioned, you treat it with special seriousness; it is, moreover, something that you are all particularly sensitive about. Some people cannot wait to knock their heads against the ground, kowtowing before God in order to obtain a good destination. I can identify with your eagerness, which does not need to be expressed in words. It is no more than that you do not want your flesh to fall into disaster, and still less do you wish to descend into everlasting punishment in the future. You only hope to allow yourselves to live a little more freely, a little more easily. And so you feel particularly agitated whenever destination is mentioned, deeply afraid that, if you are not attentive enough, you may offend God and thus be subject to the retribution you deserve. You have not hesitated to make compromises for the sake of your destination, and even the many of you who were once devious and flippant have suddenly become especially gentle and sincere; your appearance of sincerity chills people to the marrow. Nevertheless, you all have “honest” hearts, and you have consistently opened up to Me the secrets in your hearts without keeping anything back, whether it be grievance, deceit, or devotion. All in all, you have very candidly “confessed” to Me the substantive things that lie within the deepest recesses of your being. Of course, I have never skirted around such things, for to Me they have become all too familiar. You would rather enter the sea of fire for the sake of your final destination than lose a single strand of hair to gain God’s approval. It is not that I am being too dogmatic with you; it is that you are too lacking in a heart of devotion to come face to face with all that I do. You may not understand what I have just said, so let Me provide you with a simple explanation: What you need is not truth and life, nor the principles of how to conduct yourselves, much less My painstaking work. Rather, what you need is everything you possess in the flesh—wealth, status, family, marriage, and so on. You are utterly dismissive of My words and work, so I can sum up your faith in one word: perfunctory. You will go to any lengths to achieve the things to which you are absolutely devoted, but I have discovered that you would not do the same for the sake of matters concerning your belief in God. Rather, you are relatively devoted, and relatively earnest. That is why I say that those who lack a heart of utmost sincerity are failures in their belief in God. Think carefully—are there many failures among you?
You ought to know that success in belief in God is achieved as a result of people’s own actions; when people do not succeed but instead fail, that too is due to their own actions, and no role is played by any other factor. I believe that you would do anything it takes to achieve something that is more difficult and entails more suffering than believing in God, and that you would treat it very seriously, so much so that you would be unwilling to tolerate any errors; these are the kinds of unremitting efforts all of you put into your own lives. You are even capable of deceiving My flesh under circumstances in which you would not deceive any member of your own family. This is your consistent behavior and the principle by which you live. Are you not still projecting a false facade to deceive Me for the sake of your destination, so that your destination may be perfectly beautiful and all that you desire? I am aware that your devotion is but temporary, as is your sincerity. Are not your resolve and the price you pay only for the sake of the present moment and not the future? You want only to exert one final effort to strive to secure a beautiful destination, with the sole aim of making a trade. You do not make this effort to avoid becoming indebted to the truth, and less still for the sake of repaying Me for the price I have paid. In short, you are willing only to employ clever stratagems to get what you want, but not to do open battle for it. Is this not your heartfelt wish? You must not disguise yourselves, nor rack your brains over your destination to the point where you are unable to eat or sleep. Is it not true that your outcome will have already been determined in the end?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. On Destination
100. You have followed Me all these years, yet have never given Me one iota of loyalty. Instead, you have revolved around the people you love and the things that please you—so much so that at all times, and wherever you go, you keep them close to your hearts and have never abandoned them. Whenever you become eager or passionate about any one thing that you love, it happens while you are following Me, or even while you are listening to My words. Therefore, I say you are using the loyalty that I ask of you to instead be loyal to and cherish your “pets.” Though you may sacrifice a thing or two for Me, it does not represent your all, and does not show that it is Me to whom you are truly loyal. You involve yourselves in undertakings about which you are passionate: Some people are loyal to sons and daughters, others to husbands, wives, riches, work, superiors, status, or women. You never feel weary or annoyed toward the things you are loyal to; instead, you grow ever more eager to possess these things in greater quantity, and higher quality, and you never give up. I and My words are always pushed back behind the things you are passionate about. And you have no choice but to rank them last. There are even those who leave this last place for things they are loyal to that they have yet to discover. Never has there been the slightest trace of Me in their hearts. You may think that I ask too much of you or am wrongfully accusing you—but have you ever given any thought to the fact that while you are happily spending time with your family, you have never once been loyal to Me? At times like this, does it not pain you? When your hearts are filled with joy, and you are rewarded for your labors, do you not feel disheartened at not having furnished yourselves with sufficient truth? When have you wept for not having received My approval? You rack your brains and take great pains for the sake of your sons and daughters, yet still you are not satisfied; still you believe that you have not been diligent on their behalf, that you have not done everything you can for them. Toward Me, however, you have always been remiss and careless; I am only in your memories, but I do not endure in your hearts. My devotion and efforts forever go unfelt by you, and you have never had any appreciation of them. You merely engage in brief reflection and believe that this will suffice. Such “loyalty” is not what I have long yearned for, but that which I have long despised.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Whom Are You Loyal?
101. If I were to place some money in front of you right now and give you the freedom to choose—and if I did not condemn you for your choice—then most of you would choose the money and forsake the truth. The better among you would give up the money and choose the truth reluctantly, while those in-between would seize the money in one hand and the truth in the other. Would your true colors thus not become self-evident? When choosing between the truth and anything to which you are loyal, you would all make this choice, and your attitude would remain the same. Is that not so? Are there not many among you who have seesawed between right and wrong? In contests between positive and negative, black and white, you are surely aware of the choices that you have made between family and God, children and God, peace and disruption, riches and poverty, status and ordinariness, being supported and being cast aside, and so on. Between a peaceful family and a broken one, you chose the former, and you did so without any hesitation; between riches and duty, you again chose the former, even lacking the will to return to shore;[a] between luxury and poverty, you chose the former; when choosing between your sons, daughters, wives and husbands, and Me, you chose the former; and between notion and truth, you once again chose the former. Faced with all manner of your evil deeds, I have simply lost faith in you. It simply astounds Me that your hearts are so resistant to being softened. Many years of dedication and effort have apparently brought Me nothing more than your abandonment and despair, but My hopes for you grow with each passing day, for My day has been completely laid bare before everyone. Yet you persist in seeking dark and evil things, and refuse to loosen your grip on them. What, then, will be your outcome? Have you ever given careful consideration to this? If you were asked to choose again, what then would be your position? Would it still be the former? Would you still bring Me disappointment and wretched sorrow? Would your hearts still possess the sole modicum of warmth? Would you still be unaware of what to do to comfort My heart?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Whom Are You Loyal?
102. Each and every day, the deeds and thoughts of each and every person are beheld by the eyes of the One, and, at the same time, are in preparation for their own tomorrow. This is the path that must be walked by all who are living; it is the path that I have predestined for all, and no one can escape it or be made exempt. The words I have spoken are without number, and the work I have done, moreover, is without measure. Every day, I watch as each person naturally carries out all that they are to do in accordance with their inherent nature and the happenings of their nature. Unknowingly, many have already set upon the “right track,” which I have laid to make plain the different kinds of people. These different kinds of people I have long since placed in different environments and, in their respective places, each has expressed their inherent attributes. There is no one to bind them, no one to seduce them. They are free in their entirety and what they express comes naturally. Only one thing keeps them in check: My words. Thus do some people read My words grudgingly, never practicing them, doing so only to avoid death; others, meanwhile, find it difficult to endure the days without My words to guide and supply them, and so they naturally hold My words at all times. As time goes on, they discover the secret of human life, the destination of mankind, and the worth of being human. This is simply how mankind is in the presence of My words, and I merely allow matters to take their course. I do not do any work that forces people to make My words the foundation of their existence. So those who have never had a conscience, and whose existence has never had any value, boldly cast aside My words and do as they wish after quietly observing how things go. They start to detest the truth and all that comes from Me. Moreover, they detest staying in My house. For the sake of their destination, and to escape punishment, these people dwell within My house for a time, even if they are rendering service. However, their intentions and actions never change. This increases their desire for blessings, and increases their desire to enter the kingdom a single time and remain forever thereafter—even to enter the eternal heaven. The more they yearn for My day to come soon, the more they feel that the truth has become an obstacle, a stumbling block in their way. They can hardly wait to step foot in the kingdom to forever enjoy the blessings of the kingdom of heaven—all without needing to pursue the truth or accept judgment and chastisement and, most of all, without needing to grovel within My house and do as I command. These people enter My house not to satisfy their desire to seek the truth, nor to cooperate with My management; their aim is merely to be among those who are not destroyed in the coming age. Hence their hearts have never known what the truth is, or how to accept the truth. This is the reason why such people have never practiced the truth or realized the depth of their corruption, and yet have dwelled in My house as “servants” throughout. They “patiently” await the coming of My day and are tireless as they are tossed about by the manner of My work. But no matter how great their efforts or what price they pay, no one has ever seen them suffer for the truth or give anything for My sake. In their hearts, they are itching to see the day I put an end to the old age and, furthermore, cannot wait to find out how great My power and authority are. That which they have never hastened to do is to change themselves and to pursue the truth. They love that which I am sick of, and are sick of that which I love. They long for that which I hate, but fear losing that which I abhor. They live in this wicked world, never loathing it, and yet deeply afraid that I will destroy it. Amidst their conflicting intentions, they love this world that I abhor, but also yearn for Me to destroy it with all haste, that they may be spared the suffering of destruction and transformed into lords of the next age, before they have strayed from the true way. This is because they do not love the truth and are sick of all that comes from Me. They might become “obedient people” for a short time for the sake of not losing blessings, but their anxiousness to be blessed, and fear of perishing and entering the lake of burning fire, can never be covered up. As My day draws near, their desire steadily grows stronger. And the greater the disaster, the more it renders them helpless, not knowing where to start so as to make Me rejoice and to avoid losing the blessings that they have long yearned for. Such people are eager to take action to serve as the vanguard as soon as My hand begins its work. They think only of surging to the very front line of the troops, deeply afraid that I will not see them. They do and say that which they think to be right, never knowing that their deeds and actions have never been relevant to the truth, and that their deeds merely disrupt and interfere with My plan. They may have put in great effort, and may be true in their will and intention to endure hardships, but nothing they do relates to Me, for I have never seen that their deeds come from good intentions, much less have I seen them place anything upon My altar. Such are the deeds which they have done before Me over these many years.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Ought to Consider Your Deeds
103. Many people hold up God’s words to read day by day, even to the point of carefully committing to memory all the classic passages therein as their most prized possession, and moreover preach God’s words everywhere, providing and aiding others with God’s words. They think that to do this is to bear witness to God, to bear witness to His words, that to do this is to follow God’s way; they think that to do this is to live by God’s words, that to do this is to bring His words into their actual lives, that doing this will enable them to receive God’s commendation, and to be saved and perfected. But, even as they preach the words of God, they never comply with God’s words in practice, or try to bring themselves in line with what is revealed in God’s words. Rather, they use God’s words to gain the adoration and trust of others by trickery, to enter into management on their own, and to embezzle and steal God’s glory. They hope, vainly, to exploit the opportunity afforded by spreading God’s words so as to be awarded God’s working and His commendation. How many years have gone by, but not only have these people been incapable of earning God’s commendation in the process of preaching God’s words, and not only have they been incapable of discovering the way that they should follow in the process of bearing witness to God’s words, and not only have they not aided or provided for themselves in the process of aiding and providing others with God’s words, and not only have they been incapable of knowing God, or awakening in themselves genuine reverence for God, in the process of doing all these things; but, on the contrary, their misunderstandings about God grow ever deeper, their mistrust of Him ever graver, and their imaginings about Him ever more hyperbolic. Supplied and guided by their theories about God’s words, they appear as if completely in their element, as if plying their skills with effortless ease, as if they have found their purpose in life, their mission, and as if they have won new life and been saved, as if, with God’s words rolling crisply off their tongue in recital, they have gained the truth, grasped God’s intentions, and discovered the path to knowing God, as if, in the process of preaching God’s words, they often have come face to face with God. Also, they are often “moved” to bouts of weeping, and, often led by the “God” in God’s words, they appear to be ceaselessly grasping at His earnest solicitude and kind intention, and at the same time to have grasped God’s salvation of man and His management, to have come to know His essence, and to have understood His righteous disposition. Based on this foundation, they seem to believe even more firmly in God’s existence, to be more cognizant of His exalted state, and to feel even more deeply His grandeur and transcendence. Steeped in superficial knowledge of God’s words, it would appear that their faith has grown, their resolve to endure suffering has strengthened, and their knowledge of God has deepened. Little do they know that, until they actually experience God’s words, all their knowledge of God and their ideas about Him come out of their own wishful imaginings and conjecture. Their faith would not hold up under any kind of test from God, their so-called spirituality and stature would simply not hold up under God’s trial or inspection, their resolution is but a castle built upon the sand, and their so-called knowledge of God no more than a figment of their imagination. In fact, these people, who have, as it were, put a lot of effort into God’s words, have never ever realized what is real faith, what is real obedience, what is real caring, or what is real knowledge of God. They take theory, imagination, knowledge, gift, tradition, superstition, and even the moral values of humanity, and make them into “capital” and “weaponry” for believing in God and following Him, even making them into the foundations of their belief in God and their following Him. At the same time, they also take this capital and weaponry and make them into magic talismans through which they know God, for facing and dealing with God’s inspections, trials, chastisement, and judgment. In the end, what they garner still consists of nothing more than conclusions about God that are steeped in religious connotation, in feudal superstition, and in all that is romantic, grotesque, and enigmatic. Their way of knowing and defining God is stamped in the same mold as that of people who believe only in Heaven Above, or the Old Man in the Sky, while God’s realness, His essence, His disposition, His possessions and being, and so forth—all that relates to the real God Himself—are things that their knowledge has failed to grasp, from which their knowledge is completely divorced, and even as far apart as the north and south poles. In this way, although these people live under the provision and nourishment of God’s words, they are nevertheless unable truly to tread the path of fearing God and shunning evil. The true reason for this is that they have never become acquainted with God, neither have they ever had genuine contact or communion with Him, and so it is impossible for them to arrive at mutual understanding with God, or to awaken in themselves genuine belief in, following of, or worship for God. That they should thus regard God’s words, that they should thus regard God—this perspective and attitude has doomed them to return empty-handed from their endeavors, has doomed them to never in all eternity be able to tread the path of fearing God and shunning evil. The goal for which they are aiming, and the direction in which they are going, signifies that they are God’s enemies through eternity, and that through eternity they will never be able to receive salvation.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
104. During the many years of My work, people have gained much, and forsaken much, yet still I say that they do not truly believe in Me. For people merely acknowledge that I am God with their mouths, but they disagree with the truths I speak, and, moreover, do not practice the truths that I ask of them. Which is to say, people acknowledge only the existence of God, but not that of the truth; people acknowledge only the existence of God, but not that of the life; people acknowledge only God’s name, but not His essence. I despise them for their zeal, for they only use nice-sounding words to deceive Me; none of them truly worship Me. Your words contain the temptation of the serpent; further, they are conceited in the extreme, a veritable proclamation by the archangel. What is more, your deeds are tattered and torn to a disgraceful degree; your immoderate desires and covetous intentions are offensive to the ear. You have all become moths in My house, objects to be discarded with loathing. For none of you love the truth; instead, you desire to be blessed, to ascend to heaven, to behold the magnificent vision of Christ wielding His power on earth. But have you ever thought how someone like you, someone so deeply corrupted, who has no idea what God is, could be worthy of following God? How could you ascend to heaven? How could you be worthy of beholding such magnificent scenes, scenes without precedent in their splendor? Your mouths are filled with words of deceit and filth, of betrayal and arrogance. Never have you spoken words of sincerity to Me, no holy words, no words of submission to Me upon experiencing My word. What, in the end, is your faith like? There is nothing but desire and money in your hearts, and nothing but material things in your minds. Every day, you calculate how to get something from Me. Every day, you count how much wealth and how many material things you have gained from Me. Every day, you await ever more blessings to come down upon you so that you may enjoy, in greater quantities and of a higher standard, the things that may be enjoyed. It is not Me who is in your thoughts at each and every moment, nor the truth that comes from Me, but rather your husband or wife, your sons, daughters, and the things you eat and wear. You think of how you can gain ever greater, ever higher enjoyment. But even when you have filled your stomach to bursting, are you still not a corpse? Even when, outwardly, you adorn yourselves in such beautiful apparel, are you not still a walking corpse devoid of life? You toil for the sake of your stomach, until your hair is streaked with gray, yet none of you sacrifice a single hair for My work. You are constantly on the go, taxing your body and racking your brain, for the sake of your own flesh, and for your sons and daughters—yet not one of you shows any worry or concern for My will. What is it that you still hope to gain from Me?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen
105. I have expressed so many words, and have also expressed My will and disposition, yet even so, people are still incapable of knowing Me and believing in Me. Or, it could be said, people are still incapable of obeying Me. Those who live within the Bible, those who live within the law, those who live on the cross, those who live according to doctrine, those who live amid the work I do today—who among them is compatible with Me? You only think of receiving blessings and rewards, but have never spared a thought as to how to actually be compatible with Me, or to how to prevent yourselves from being against Me. I am so disappointed in you, for I have given you so much, yet I have gained so little from you. Your deception, your arrogance, your greed, your extravagant desires, your betrayal, your disobedience—which of these could escape My notice? You are slipshod with Me, you fool Me, you insult Me, you wheedle Me, you exact Me and extort Me for sacrifices—how could such maleficence elude My punishment? All this evildoing is proof of your enmity against Me and is proof of your incompatibility with Me. Each of you believes yourself to be so compatible with Me, but if that were the case, then to whom would such irrefutable evidence apply? You believe yourselves to possess the utmost sincerity and loyalty toward Me. You think that you are so kindhearted, so compassionate, and have devoted so much to Me. You think that you have done more than enough for Me. But have you ever held this up against your actions? I say you are plenty arrogant, plenty greedy, plenty perfunctory; the tricks with which you fool Me are plenty clever, and you have plenty of contemptible intentions and contemptible methods. Your loyalty is too meager, your earnestness too paltry, and your conscience even more lacking. There is too much maliciousness in your hearts, and no one is spared from your malice, not even Me. You shut Me out for the sake of your children, or your husband, or your own self-preservation. Instead of caring about Me, you care about your family, your children, your status, your future, and your own gratification. When have you ever thought of Me as you spoke or acted? On frigid days, your thoughts turn to your children, your husband, your wife, or your parents. On blistering days, I hold no place in your thoughts, either. When you perform your duty, you are thinking of your own interests, of your own personal safety, of the members of your family. What have you ever done that was for Me? When have you ever thought of Me? When have you ever devoted yourself, at any cost, to Me and My work? Where is the evidence of your compatibility with Me? Where is the reality of your loyalty to Me? Where is the reality of your obedience to Me? When have your intentions not been for the sake of gaining My blessings? You fool and deceive Me, you play with the truth, you conceal the existence of the truth, and betray the essence of the truth. What awaits you in the future by going against Me in this way? You merely seek compatibility with a vague God, and merely seek a vague belief, yet you are not compatible with Christ. Will not your maleficence beget the same retribution as that deserved by the wicked? At that time, you will realize that no one who is incompatible with Christ can escape the day of wrath, and you will discover what kind of retribution shall be wrought upon those who are against Christ.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ
106. 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. Hopes, status, and 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 always people are unable to shake off these temptations of Satan. They are living in the midst of sin yet do not believe it to be sin, and still they think: “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 so rotten that their perspectives on believing in God are still unbearably hideous, and even when people speak of their perspectives on belief in God it is simply unbearable to hear. People are all cowardly, incompetent, despicable, and 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. Are not your current thoughts and perspectives just like this? “Since I believe in God I should just be showered with blessings and it should be ensured that my status never slips and that it remains higher than that of nonbelievers.” You have not been harboring that kind of perspective within you for just one or two years, but for many years. Your transactional way of thinking is overdeveloped. Although you have arrived at this step today, you still have not let go of status but struggle constantly to inquire about it, and observe it daily, with a deep fear that one day your status will be lost and your name will be ruined. People have never put aside their desire for ease. … The more you seek in this way, the less you will reap. The greater a person’s desire for status, the more seriously they will have to be dealt with and the more they will have to undergo great refinement. Such people are worthless! They must be dealt with and judged adequately in order for them to thoroughly let go of these things. If you pursue this way until the end, you will reap nothing. Those who do not pursue life cannot be transformed, and those who do not thirst for the truth cannot gain the truth. You do not focus on pursuing personal transformation and entry, but focus instead on extravagant desires and things that constrain your love for God and prevent you from drawing close to Him. Can those things transform you? Can they bring you into the kingdom?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Why Are You Unwilling to Be a Foil?
107. Man lives amid the light, yet he is unaware of the preciousness of the light. He is ignorant of the essence of the light, and the source of the light, and, moreover, to whom the light belongs. When I confer the light among man, I immediately examine the conditions among man: Because of the light, all people are changing and growing, and have left the darkness. I look upon every corner of the universe, and see that the mountains are engulfed in fog, that the waters have frozen in the cold, and that, because of the coming of the light, people look to the East, that they might discover something more precious—yet man remains incapable of discerning a clear direction within the mist. Because the whole world is blanketed by fog, when I look on from among the clouds, there is never a man who discovers My existence. Man is searching on earth for something; he seems to be foraging; he intends, it seems, to await My arrival—yet he does not know My day, and can only look often to the glimmer of light in the East. Among all peoples, I seek those who accord truly with My own heart. I walk among all peoples, and live among all peoples, but man on earth is safe and sound, and so there are none who accord truly with My own heart. People do not know how to care for My will, they cannot see My actions, and they cannot move within the light and be shone on by the light. Although man ever treasures My words, he is incapable of seeing through the deceitful schemes of Satan; because man’s stature is too small, he is unable to do as his heart wishes. Man has never loved Me sincerely. When I exalt him, he feels himself unworthy, but this does not make him try to satisfy Me. He merely holds the “station” I have given him in his hands and scrutinizes it; insensible to My loveliness, he instead persists in engorging himself on the blessings of his station. Is this not the deficiency of man? When the mountains move, could they make a detour for the sake of your station? When the waters flow, could they cease before man’s station? Could the heavens and the earth be reversed by man’s station? I was once merciful toward man, over and over again—yet no one cherishes or treasures this. They merely listened to it as a story, or read it as a novel. Do My words really not touch the heart of man? Do My utterances really have no effect? Could it be that no one believes in My existence? Man does not love himself; instead, he unites with Satan to attack Me, and uses Satan as an “asset” with which to serve Me. I will penetrate all the deceitful schemes of Satan, and stop the people of earth from accepting the deceptions of Satan, so that they do not oppose Me because of its existence.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 22
108. Many people behind My back covet the blessing of status, they gorge themselves on food, they love to sleep and give every care to the flesh, always afraid that there is no way out for the flesh. They do not perform their proper function in the church, but freeload off the church, or else they admonish their brothers and sisters with My words, lording themselves over others from positions of authority. These people keep saying they are doing God’s will and always say they are God’s intimates—is this not absurd? If you have the right intentions, but are unable to serve in accordance with God’s will, then you are being foolish; but if your intentions are not right, and you still say you serve God, then you are someone who opposes God, and you ought to be punished by God! I have no sympathy for such people! In the house of God, they freeload, always coveting the comforts of the flesh, and give no consideration to the interests of God. They always seek what is good for them, and they pay no heed to God’s will. They do not accept the scrutiny of God’s Spirit in anything they do. They are always maneuvering and deceiving their brothers and sisters, and being two-faced, like a fox in a vineyard, always stealing grapes and trampling over the vineyard. Could such people be God’s intimates? Are you fit to receive God’s blessings? You take no burden for your life and the church, are you fit to receive God’s commission? Who would dare trust someone like you? When you serve like this, could God dare to entrust you with a greater task? Would this not cause delays to the work?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will
109. Most people even speak of conditions in their service to God: They do not care whether He is God or man, and they only talk of their own conditions, and only seek to satisfy their own desires. When you cook for Me, you demand a service fee, 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 your warm conscience dictates. Where is your sense? Where is your humanity? Let Me tell you! If you carry on like this, I will cease to work among you. I will not work among a pack of beasts in human attire, I will not suffer thus for such a group of people whose fair faces hide feral hearts, I will not endure for such a pack of animals that has not the slightest possibility of salvation. The day I turn My back on you is the day you die, it is the day that darkness comes upon you, and the day that you are forsaken by the light. Let Me tell you! I will never be benevolent to a group such as yours, a group which is beneath even animals! There are limits to My words and actions, and with your humanity and conscience as they are, I will do no more work, for you are too lacking in conscience, you have caused Me too much pain, and your despicable behavior disgusts Me too much. People who are so lacking in humanity and conscience will never have a chance at salvation; I would never save such heartless and ungrateful people. When My day comes, I will rain down My scorching flames for all eternity upon the children of disobedience that once provoked My fierce wrath, I will impose My everlasting punishment upon those animals that once hurled invective at Me and forsook Me, I will burn for all time with the fires of My anger the sons of disobedience who once ate and lived together with Me but did not believe in Me, who insulted and betrayed Me. I will subject all those who provoked My anger to My punishment, I will rain down the entirety of My anger upon those beasts that once wished to stand beside Me as My equals yet did not worship or obey Me; the rod with which I strike man will fall upon those animals who once enjoyed My care and once enjoyed the mysteries that I spoke, and who once tried to take material enjoyments from Me. I will be forgiving of no person who tries to take My place; I will spare none of those who attempt to wrest food and clothes from Me.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
110. What you see today is merely the sharp sword of My mouth. You have not seen the rod in My hand or the flame with which I burn man, and that is why you are still haughty and intemperate in My presence. That is why you still fight with Me in My home, disputing with your human tongue that which I have spoken with My mouth. Man does not fear Me, and though he continues to cast himself in enmity to Me even today, he remains without any fear. You have the tongue and the teeth of the unrighteous in your mouths. Your words and deeds are like those of the serpent that enticed Eve to sin. You demand from each other an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and you struggle in My presence to wrest position, fame, and profit for yourselves, yet you do not know that I am secretly watching your words and deeds. Before you even come into My presence, I have sounded the very bottom of your hearts. Man always wishes to escape the grasp of My hand and elude the observation of My eyes, but I have never dodged away from his words or deeds. Instead, I purposefully allow those words and deeds to enter My eyes, that I may chastise man’s unrighteousness and execute judgment on his rebellion. Thus, man’s words and deeds in secret remain always before My judgment seat, and My judgment has never left man, for his rebellion is too much. My work is to burn and purify all the words and deeds of man that were uttered and done in the presence of My Spirit. In this way,[b] when I leave the earth, people will still maintain their loyalty to Me, and will still serve Me as My holy servants do in My work, allowing My work on earth to continue until the day it is complete.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Work of Spreading the Gospel Is Also the Work of Saving Man
111. I take pleasure in those who are not suspicious of others, and I like those who readily accept the truth; toward these two kinds of people I show great care, for in My eyes they are honest people. If you are deceitful, then you will be guarded and suspicious toward all people and matters, and thus your faith in Me will be built upon a foundation of suspicion. I could never acknowledge such faith. Lacking true faith, you are even more devoid of true love. And if you are liable to doubt God and speculate about Him at will, then you are, without question, the most deceitful of all people. You speculate whether God can be like man: unpardonably sinful, of petty character, devoid of fairness and reason, lacking a sense of justice, given to vicious tactics, treacherous and cunning, pleased by evil and darkness, and so on. Is not the reason that people have such thoughts because they lack the slightest knowledge of God? Such faith is nothing short of sin! There are even some who believe that the ones who please Me are precisely those who flatter and bootlick, and that those lacking in such skills will be unwelcome in the house of God and will lose their place there. Is this the only knowledge you have acquired after all these years? Is this what you have gained? And your knowledge of Me does not stop at these misunderstandings; even worse is your blasphemy against God’s Spirit and vilification of Heaven. This is why I say that such faith as yours will only cause you to stray further from Me and be in greater opposition against Me. Throughout many years of work, you have seen many truths, but do you know what My ears have heard? How many among you are willing to accept the truth? You all believe you are willing to pay the price for the truth, but how many of you have truly suffered for the truth? There is nothing but unrighteousness in your hearts, which makes you think that everyone, no matter who they are, is equally deceitful and crooked—to the point that you even believe that God incarnate could, like a normal person, be without a kind heart or benevolent love. More than that, you believe that a noble character and a merciful, benevolent nature exist only within the God in heaven. You believe that such a saint does not exist, that only darkness and evil reign on earth, while God is something with which people entrust their longing for the good and beautiful, a legendary figure fabricated by them. In your minds, the God in heaven is very upstanding, righteous, and great, worthy of worship and admiration; this God on earth, meanwhile, is but a substitute, and an instrument, of the God in heaven. You believe this God could not be the equal of the God in heaven, much less be mentioned in the same breath as Him. When it comes to the greatness and honor of God, they belong to the glory of the God in heaven, but when it comes to the nature and the corruption of man, they are attributes in which the God on earth has a part. The God in heaven is eternally lofty, while the God on earth is forever insignificant, weak, and incompetent. The God in heaven is not given to emotion, only righteousness, while the God on earth only has selfish motives and is without any fairness or reason. The God in heaven has not the slightest crookedness and is forever faithful, while the God on earth always has a dishonest side. The God in heaven loves man dearly, while the God on earth shows man inadequate care, even neglecting him entirely. This erroneous knowledge has long been kept within your hearts and may also be perpetuated in the future. You regard all deeds of Christ from the standpoint of the unrighteous and evaluate all His work, as well as His identity and essence, from the perspective of the wicked. You have made a grave mistake and done that which has never been done by those coming before you. That is, you serve only the lofty God in heaven with a crown upon His head, and never attend to the God whom you regard as so insignificant that He is invisible to you. Is this not your sin? Is this not a classic example of your offense against the disposition of God? You worship the God in heaven. You adore lofty images and esteem those distinguished for their eloquence. You are gladly commanded by the God that fills your hands with riches, and crave the God who can fulfill your every desire. The only One you do not worship is this God who is not lofty; the only thing you hate is association with this God whom no man can regard highly. The only thing you are unwilling to do is to serve this God who has never given you a single penny, and the only One who is unable to make you yearn for Him is this unlovely God. This kind of God cannot enable you to broaden your horizons, to feel as if you have found a treasure, much less fulfill what you wish. Why, then, do you follow Him? Have you given thought to questions like this? What you do does not merely offend this Christ; more importantly, it offends the God in heaven. This is not, I think, the purpose of your faith in God!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Know the God on Earth
112. Many people would rather be condemned to hell than speak and act honestly. Little wonder that I have other treatment in store for those who are dishonest. Of course, I know full well how difficult it is for you to be honest. Because you are all so clever, so good at measuring people with your own petty yardstick, this makes My work much simpler. And since you each hug your secrets to your bosom, well then, I shall send you, one by one, into disaster to be “schooled” by fire, so that thereafter you may become dead set on your belief in My words. Ultimately, I shall wrest from your mouth the words “God is a faithful God,” whereupon you shall beat upon your breast and lament, “Devious is the heart of man!” What will be your state of mind at this time? I imagine you will not be as triumphant as you are now. And much less will you be as “profound and abstruse” as you are now. In the presence of God, some people are all prim and proper, they take pains to be “well-behaved,” yet they bare their fangs and brandish their claws in the presence of the Spirit. Would you number such people among the ranks of the honest? If you are a hypocrite, someone who is skilled in “interpersonal relations,” then I say that you are definitely someone who tries to trifle with God. If your words are riddled with excuses and valueless justifications, then I say that you are someone who is loath to put the truth into practice. If you have many confidences that you are reluctant to share, if you are highly averse to laying bare your secrets—your difficulties—before others to seek the way of the light, then I say that you are someone who will not attain salvation easily, and who will not easily emerge from the darkness.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Three Admonitions
113. I deeply understand the deceitfulness that exists within your hearts; most of you follow Me out of curiosity and have come to seek Me out of emptiness. When your third wish is shattered—your wish for a peaceful and happy life—then your curiosity also dissipates. The deceitfulness that exists within each of your hearts is exposed through your words and deeds. To speak frankly, you are just curious about Me, but not afraid of Me; you do not mind your tongues, and even less do you exercise restraint in your behavior. Then what kind of faith do you have, really? Is it genuine? You just use My words to dispel your worries and alleviate your boredom, to fill up the remaining empty spaces in your lives. Who among you has put My words into practice? Who has genuine faith? You keep shouting that God is a God who sees deep into people’s hearts, but how is the God that you shout about in your hearts compatible with Me? Since you are shouting like this, then why do you act that way? Could it be that this is the love you want to repay Me with? There is no small amount of dedication on your lips, but where are your sacrifices, and your good deeds? If it weren’t for your words reaching My ears, how could I hate you so much? If you truly believed in Me, how could you fall into such a state of distress? You have depressed looks on your faces as if you were in Hades standing trial. You have not even a shred of vitality, and you feebly talk about your inner voice; you are even full of complaints and curses. You long ago lost faith in what I do and even your original faith has disappeared, so how can you possibly follow until the end? Since this is so, then how can you be saved?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Words for the Young and the Old
114. Though man believes in God, man’s heart is without God, and he is ignorant of how to love God, nor does he want to love God, for his heart never draws close to God and he always avoids God. As a result, man’s heart is distant from God. So, where is his heart? In fact, man’s heart has not gone anywhere: Instead of giving it to God or revealing it to God to see, he has kept it for himself. This is despite the fact that some people often pray to God and say, “O God, look upon my heart—You know all that I think,” and some even swear to let God look upon them, that they may be punished if they break their oath. Though man allows God to look within his heart, this does not mean that man is capable of obeying the orchestrations and arrangements of God, nor that he has left his fate and prospects and his all under the control of God. Thus, regardless of the oaths you make to God or what you declare to Him, in God’s eyes your heart is still closed to Him, for you only allow God to look upon your heart but do not permit Him to control it. In other words, you have not given your heart to God at all, and only speak nice-sounding words for God to hear; meanwhile, you hide your various deceitful intentions from God, together with your intrigues, scheming, and plans, and you clutch your prospects and fate in your hands, deeply afraid that they will be taken away by God. Thus, God never beholds man’s sincerity toward Him. Though God does observe the depths of man’s heart, and can see what man is thinking and wishes to do in his heart, and can see what things are kept within his heart, man’s heart does not belong to God, and he has not given it over to God’s control. This is to say, God has the right to observe, but He does not have the right to control. In the subjective consciousness of man, man does not want or intend to give himself over to God’s arrangements. Not only has man closed himself off to God, but there are even people who think of ways to wrap up their hearts, using smooth talk and flattery to create a false impression and gain the trust of God, and concealing their true face out of sight from God. Their aim in not allowing God to see is to not allow God to perceive what they really are like. They do not want to give their hearts to God, but to keep them for themselves. The subtext of this is that what man does and what he wants is all planned, calculated, and decided by man himself; he does not require the participation or intervention of God, much less does he need the orchestrations and arrangements of God. Thus, whether in regard to the commands of God, His commission, or the requirements that God makes of man, man’s decisions are based on his own intentions and interests, on his own state and circumstances at the time. Man always uses the knowledge and insights that he is familiar with, and his own intellect, to judge and select the path he should take, and does not allow the interference or control of God. This is the heart of man that God sees.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
115. Many people wish to truly love Me, but because their hearts are not their own, they have no control over themselves; many people truly love Me as they experience the trials given by Me, yet they are incapable of grasping that I really exist, and merely love Me in emptiness, and not because of My actual existence; many people lay their hearts before Me and then pay no attention to their hearts, and thus their hearts are snatched away by Satan whenever it gets the chance, and then they leave Me; many people genuinely love Me when I provide My words, yet do not cherish My words in their spirits, instead casually using them like public property and tossing them back to where they came from whenever they feel like it. Man searches for Me amidst pain, and he looks unto Me among trials. During times of peace he enjoys Me, when in peril he denies Me, when he is busy he forgets Me, and when he is idle he goes through the motions for Me—yet never has anyone loved Me throughout their whole life. I wish for man to be earnest before Me: I do not ask that he give Me anything, but only that all people take Me seriously, that, instead of wheedling Me, they allow Me to bring back the sincerity of man. My enlightenment, illumination, and the cost of My efforts pervade all people, yet so too does the true fact of man’s every action pervade all people, as does their deception of Me. It is as if the ingredients of man’s deception have been with him since the womb, as if he has possessed these special skills of trickery since birth. Furthermore, he has never given the game away; no one has ever seen through to the source of these deceitful skills. As a result, man lives amid deception without realizing it, and it is as if he forgives himself, as if it is the arrangements of God rather than his deliberate deception of Me. Is this not the very source of man’s deception of Me? Is this not his cunning scheme? Never have I been befuddled by the blandishments and chicanery of man, for I figured out his substance long ago. Who knows how much impurity is in his blood, and how much of Satan’s venom is within his marrow? Man grows more accustomed to it with each passing day, such that he does not feel the harm done by Satan, and thus has no interest in finding out the “art of a healthy existence.”
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 21
116. Humans are all creatures who lack self-knowledge, and they are unable to know themselves. Nevertheless, they know everyone else like the backs of their hands, as though everything others have done and said has first been “inspected” by them, right in front of them, and received their approval before being done. As a result, it is as if they have even taken full measure of everyone else, right down to their psychological states. Human beings are all like this. Even though they have entered into the Age of Kingdom today, their nature remains unchanged. They still do what I do in front of Me, whereas behind My back they begin to get up to their own unique “business.” However, afterward, when they come before Me, they are like completely different people, apparently calm and undaunted, with composed visages and a steady pulse. Is this not precisely what makes humans so despicable? So many people wear two completely different faces—one while in front of Me, and another when behind My back. So many of them act like newborn lambs when before Me, but when behind My back, they turn into fierce tigers and later act like little birds flitting merrily about the hills. So many show purpose and resolve to My face. So many come before Me seeking My words with thirst and longing, but when behind My back, they grow sick of them and renounce them, as though My utterances were an encumbrance. So many times, upon seeing the human race corrupted by My enemy, I have given up placing My hopes in humans. So many times, upon seeing them come before Me, tearfully seeking pardon, I have nevertheless, due to their lack of self-respect and stubborn incorrigibility, closed My eyes to their actions in anger, even when their hearts are genuine and their intentions sincere. So many times, I have seen people confident enough to cooperate with Me, who, when before Me, seem to be in My embrace, tasting of its warmth. So many times, having witnessed the innocence, liveliness, and adorability of My chosen people, how could I not take great pleasure on account of these things? Human beings know not how to enjoy their predestined blessings in My hands, for they do not understand what exactly is meant by both “blessings” and “suffering.” For this reason, humans are far from sincere in their seeking of Me. If tomorrow did not exist, then which of you standing before Me would be as pure as the driven snow and as unblemished as jade? Could it be that your love for Me is just something that can be exchanged for a delicious meal, a classy suit of clothing, or a high office with handsome emoluments? Can it be exchanged for the love that others have for you? Could it actually be that undergoing trials will spur people into abandoning their love for Me? Will suffering and tribulations cause them to complain about My arrangements? No one has ever truly appreciated the sharp sword that is in My mouth: They know only its superficial meaning without truly grasping what it entails. If human beings were genuinely able to see the sharpness of My sword, they would go scurrying like rats into their holes. Because of their numbness, humans understand nothing of the true meaning of My words, and so they have no clue as to how formidable My utterances are or just how much they reveal of human nature and how much of their own corruption has been judged by those words. For this reason, as a result of their half-baked ideas about what I say, most people have adopted a lukewarm attitude.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 15
117. Throughout the ages, many have departed from this world in disappointment, and with reluctance, and many have come into it with hope and faith. I have arranged for many to come, and have sent many away. Countless people have passed through My hands. Many spirits have been cast into Hades, many have lived in the flesh, and many have died and been reborn on earth. Yet never have any of them had the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of the kingdom today. I have given man so much, yet he has gained little, for the onslaught of Satan’s forces has left him unable to enjoy all of My riches. He has only had the good fortune to look upon them, but has never been able to fully enjoy them. Man has never discovered the treasure house in his body to receive the riches of heaven, and so he has lost the blessings that I have bestowed upon him. Is man’s spirit not the very faculty that connects him to My Spirit? Why has man never engaged Me with his spirit? Why does he draw near to Me in the flesh, yet is incapable of doing so in spirit? Is My true face a face of the flesh? Why does man not know My essence? Has there really never been any trace of Me in the spirit of man? Have I completely disappeared from the spirit of man? If man does not enter into the spiritual realm, how can he grasp My intentions? In the eyes of man, is there that which can directly penetrate the spiritual realm? Many are the times that I have called out to man with My Spirit, yet man acts as if he has been pricked by Me, regarding Me from a distance, in great fear that I will lead him into another world. Many are the times that I have inquired in the spirit of man, yet he remains utterly oblivious, profoundly afraid that I will enter into his home and seize the opportunity to strip him of all his belongings. Thus, he shuts Me outside, leaving Me faced with nothing but a cold, tightly-closed door. Many are the times that man has fallen and I have saved him, yet after waking he immediately leaves Me and, untouched by My love, shoots Me a guarded look; never have I warmed the heart of man. Man is an emotionless, cold-blooded animal. Even though he is warmed by My embrace, never has he been deeply moved by it. Man is like a mountain savage. Never has he treasured all of My cherishment of mankind. He is unwilling to approach Me, preferring to dwell among the mountains, where he endures the threat of wild beasts—yet still he is unwilling to take refuge in Me. I do not compel any man: I merely do My work. The day will come when man swims to My side from amid the mighty ocean, so that he might enjoy all the riches on earth and leave behind the risk of being swallowed by the sea.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 20
118. Your faith is very beautiful; you say that you are willing to expend your entire lifetimes on behalf of My work, and that you are willing to sacrifice your lives for it, but your dispositions have not changed much. You just speak arrogantly, despite the fact that your actual behavior is very wretched. It is as though people’s tongues and lips are in heaven but their legs are way down on earth, and as a result, their words and deeds and their reputations are still in tatters and ruins. Your reputations have been destroyed, your manner is depraved, your way of speaking is lowly, and your lives are despicable; even the entirety of your humanity has sunk into base lowliness. You are narrow-minded toward others, and you haggle over every little thing. You quarrel over your own reputations and status, even to the point that you are willing to descend into hell and into the lake of fire. Your current words and deeds are sufficient for Me to determine that you are sinful. Your attitudes toward My work are enough for Me to determine that you are unrighteous ones, and all of your dispositions are sufficient to point out that you are filthy souls that are full of abominations. Your manifestations and what you reveal are adequate to say that you are people who have drunk your fill of the blood of unclean spirits. When entering the kingdom is mentioned, you do not reveal your feelings. Do you believe that the way you are now is sufficient for you to walk through the gate to My kingdom of heaven? Do you believe that you can obtain entry into the holy land of My work and words, without your own words and deeds first being tested by Me? Who can pull the wool over My eyes? How could your despicable, lowly behaviors and conversations escape My sight? Your lives have been determined by Me to be lives of drinking the blood and eating the flesh of those unclean spirits because you imitate them in front of Me every day. Before Me, your behavior has been particularly bad, so how could I not find you disgusting? Your words contain the impurities of unclean spirits: You wheedle, conceal, and flatter just like those who engage in sorcery and like those who are treacherous and drink the blood of the unrighteous. All of man’s expressions are extremely unrighteous, so how can all people be placed in the holy land where the righteous are? Do you think that that despicable behavior of yours can distinguish you as being holy compared to those unrighteous ones? Your serpent-like tongue will eventually ruin this flesh of yours that wreaks destruction and carries out abominations, and those hands of yours that are covered with the blood of unclean spirits will also eventually pull your soul into hell. Why, then, do you not leap at this chance to cleanse your filth-covered hands? And why do you not take advantage of this opportunity to cut out that tongue of yours that speaks unrighteous words? Could it be that you are willing to suffer in the flames of hell for the sake of your hands, tongue, and lips? I keep watch over everyone’s heart with both eyes, because long before I created mankind, I had grasped their hearts within My hands. I had long ago seen through people’s hearts, so how could their thoughts escape My view? How could it not be too late for them to escape being burned by My Spirit?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Are All So Base in Character!
119. Your lips are kinder than doves, but your heart is more sinister than that serpent of old. Your lips are as pretty even as Lebanese women, yet your heart is not kinder than theirs, and it certainly cannot compare to the beauty of the Canaanites. Your heart is so treacherous! The things I loathe are only the lips of the unrighteous and their hearts, and My requirements of people are not at all higher than what I expect of the saints; it is just that I feel repugnance for the evil deeds of the unrighteous, and I hope that they may be able to cast off their filthiness and escape from their current predicament so that they can stand out from those unrighteous ones and live with and be holy with those who are righteous. You are in the same circumstances as I, yet you are covered with filth; you do not even contain the smallest bit of the original likeness of the humans who were created in the beginning. Moreover, because every day you imitate the likenesses of those unclean spirits, doing what they do and saying what they say, all parts of you—even your tongues and lips—are soaked in their foul water, to the point that you are entirely covered with such stains, and not a single part of you can be used for My work. It is so heartbreaking! You live in such a world of horses and cattle, yet you actually do not feel troubled; you are full of joy and live freely and easily. You are swimming around in that foul water, yet you do not actually realize that you have fallen into such a predicament. Every day, you consort with unclean spirits and interact with “excrement.” Your lives are quite vulgar, yet you are not actually aware that you absolutely do not exist in the human world and that you are not in control of yourself. Do you not know that your life was long ago trampled by those unclean spirits, or that your character was long ago sullied by foul water? Do you think you are living in an earthly paradise, and that you are in the midst of happiness? Do you not know that you have lived a life alongside unclean spirits, and that you have coexisted with everything that they have prepared for you? How could the way you live have any meaning? How could your life have any value? You have been running around for your parents, parents of unclean spirits, yet you actually have no idea that the ones entrapping you are those parents of unclean spirits who gave birth to you and raised you. Moreover, you are not aware that all your filth was actually given to you by them; all you know is that they can bring you “enjoyment,” they do not chastise you, nor do they judge you, and they especially do not curse you. They have never erupted in rage at you, but treat you with affection and kindness. Their words nourish your heart and captivate you so that you become disoriented and, without realizing it, you are sucked in and willing to be of service to them, becoming their outlet and servant. You have no complaints at all, but are willing to work for them like dogs, like horses; you are deceived by them. For this reason, you have absolutely no reactions to the work that I do. No wonder you always want to secretly slip through My fingers, and no wonder you always want to use sweet words to deceitfully extract favor from Me. As it turns out, you already had another plan, another arrangement. You can see a bit of My actions as the Almighty, but you do not have the least knowledge of My judgment and chastisement. You have no idea when My chastisement began; you only know how to cheat Me—yet you do not know that I will not tolerate any violation from man. Since you have already made resolutions to serve Me, I will not let you go. I am a God who hates evil, and I am a God who is jealous of humanity. Since you have already placed your words upon the altar, I will not tolerate your running off before My very eyes, nor will I tolerate your serving two masters. Did you think that you could have a second love after having placed your words upon My altar and before My eyes? How could I allow people to make a fool of Me in such a way? Did you think that you could casually make vows and oaths to Me with your tongue? How could you swear oaths by My throne, the throne of I who am Most High? Did you think that your oaths had already passed away? Let Me tell you: Even though your flesh might pass away, your oaths cannot. In the end, I will condemn you based upon your oaths. However, you believe that you can deal with Me by placing your words before Me, and that your hearts can serve unclean spirits and evil spirits. How could My wrath tolerate those dog-like, pig-like people who cheat Me? I must carry out My administrative decrees, and wrest back from the hands of unclean spirits all of those stuffy, “pious” ones who have faith in Me so that they might “wait on” Me in a disciplined fashion, be My oxen, be My horses, and be at the mercy of My slaughtering. I will have you pick up your previous determination and serve Me once again. I will not tolerate any creation that cheats Me. Did you think that you could just wantonly make requests and lie in front of Me? Did you think that I had not heard or seen your words and deeds? How could your words and deeds not have been in My view? How could I ever allow people to deceive Me like that?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Are All So Base in Character!
120. I have been among you, associating with you for several springs and falls; I have lived among you for a long time, and have lived with you. How much of your despicable behavior has slipped away right in front of My eyes? Those heartfelt words of yours are constantly echoing in My ears; millions and millions of your aspirations have been laid upon My altar—too many even to be counted. However, as for your dedication and what you expend, you give not even one iota. You do not place even a tiny drop of sincerity upon My altar. Where are the fruits of your belief in Me? You have received endless grace from Me, and you have seen endless mysteries from heaven; I have even shown you the flames of heaven, but I have not had the heart to burn you. Nevertheless, how much have you given Me in return? How much are you willing to give to Me? With the food I have given to you in hand, you turn around and offer it to Me, even going so far as to say that it was something you got in return for the sweat of your own hard work and that you are offering Me all that you own. How can you not know that your “contributions” to Me are all just things that have been stolen from My altar? Moreover, now you are offering them to Me, are you not cheating Me? How can you not know that what I enjoy today are all the offerings upon My altar, and not what you have earned from your hard work and then offered up to Me? You actually dare to cheat Me this way, so how can I pardon you? How can you expect Me to endure this any longer? I have given everything to you. I have opened everything up to you, provided for your needs, and opened your eyes, yet you cheat Me like this, ignoring your consciences. I have selflessly bestowed everything upon you so that even though you suffer, you still have gained from Me everything that I have brought from heaven. In spite of this, you have no dedication at all, and even if you have made a tiny contribution, you try to “settle accounts” with Me afterward. Will your contribution not amount to nothing? What you have given to Me is a mere grain of sand, yet what you have asked of Me is a ton of gold. Are you not simply being unreasonable? I work amongst you. There is absolutely no trace of the ten percent that I should be given, let alone any additional sacrifices. Furthermore, that ten percent contributed by those who are devout is seized by the wicked. Are you not all scattered from Me? Are you not all antagonistic toward Me? Are you not all wrecking My altar? How could such people be seen as treasures in My eyes? Are they not the swine and dogs that I loathe? How could I refer to your evildoing as a treasure?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Are All So Base in Character!
121. There are many ways that you do not understand, many matters of which you have no knowledge. You are so ignorant; I know full well your stature and your shortcomings. Therefore, though there are many words you are incapable of understanding, I am still willing to tell you all these truths that you have never been receptive to before, because I keep worrying whether, in your current stature, you are able to stand firm in your testimony to Me. It is not that I think little of you; you are all beasts that have yet to undergo My formal training, and I absolutely cannot see how much glory is within you. Though I have expended much energy working on you, the positive elements in you seem practically nonexistent, and the negative elements can be counted on one’s fingers and serve only as testimonies that bring shame on Satan. Just about everything else in you is Satan’s poison. You look to Me like you are beyond salvation. As matters stand, I look at your various expressions and demeanors, and finally, I know your true stature. This is why I am always fretting over you: Left to live life on their own, would humans really be better off than or comparable to how they are today? Does your infantile stature not make you anxious? Can you truly be like the chosen people of Israel—loyal to Me, and to Me alone, at all times? What is revealed in you is not the mischievousness of children who have strayed from their parents, but the beastliness that bursts forth from animals that are out of reach of their masters’ whips. You should know your nature, which is also the weakness that you all share; it is an ailment common to you all. Thus, My only exhortation to you today is to stand firm in your testimony to Me. Do not, under any circumstances, allow the old ailment to flare up again. Bearing testimony is what’s most important—it is the heart of My work. You should accept My words just as Mary accepted Jehovah’s revelation that came to her in a dream: by believing, and then obeying. Only this qualifies as being chaste. For you are the ones who hear My words the most, the ones most blessed by Me. I have given you all My valuable possessions, I have bestowed everything upon you, yet you are of such vastly different status to the people of Israel; you are simply worlds apart. But compared to them, you have received so much more; while they desperately await My appearance, you pass pleasant days with Me, sharing My bounty. Given this difference, what gives you the right to squawk and squabble with Me and demand your share of My possessions? Have you not gained much? I give you so much, but what you give Me in return is just heartrending sadness and anxiety, irrepressible resentment and discontent. You are so repugnant—yet you are also pitiable, so I have no choice but to swallow all My resentment and voice My objections to you again and again. Over thousands of years of work, I have never remonstrated with mankind because I have discovered that, throughout humanity’s development, it is only the “hoaxes” among you that have become the most renowned, like precious inheritances left to you by famous ancestors of ancient times. How I hate those subhuman swine and dogs. You are too lacking in conscience! You are of too base a character! Your hearts are too hardened! If I had taken such words and work to the Israelites, I would have gained glory long ago. But among you this is unattainable; among you, there is only cruel neglect, your cold shoulder, and your excuses. You are too unfeeling, and utterly worthless!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Is Your Understanding of God?
122. Think back on the past: When has My gaze been angry, and My voice stern, toward you? When have I split hairs with you? When have I reprimanded you unreasonably? When have I reprimanded you to your face? Is it not for the sake of My work that I call on My Father to keep you from every temptation? Why do you treat Me like this? Have I ever used My authority to strike down your flesh? Why do you repay Me thus? After blowing hot and cold toward Me, you are neither hot nor cold, and then you try to wheedle Me and hide things from Me, and your mouths are full of the spit of the unrighteous. Do you think your tongues can cheat My Spirit? Do you think that your tongues can escape My wrath? Do you think your tongues may pass judgment on the deeds of Me, Jehovah, however they wish? Am I the God whom man passes judgment on? Could I allow a little maggot to blaspheme Me thus? How could I place such sons of disobedience among My eternal blessings? Your words and actions have long since exposed and condemned you. When I stretched out the heavens and created all things, I did not allow any creature to participate as they pleased, much less did I allow any thing to disrupt My work and My management however it wished. I tolerated no man or object; how could I spare those who are cruel and inhumane toward Me? How could I forgive those who rebel against My words? How could I spare those who disobey Me? Is the destiny of man not in the hands of Me, the Almighty? How could I consider your unrighteousness and disobedience holy? How could your sins defile My holiness? I am not defiled by the impurity of the unrighteous, nor do I enjoy the offerings of the unrighteous. If you were loyal toward Me, Jehovah, could you take for yourself the sacrifices at My altar? Could you use your venomous tongue to blaspheme My holy name? Could you rebel against My words in this way? Could you treat My glory and holy name as a tool with which to serve Satan, the evil one? My life is provided for the enjoyment of the holy ones. How could I allow you to play with My life however you wish, and use it as a tool for conflict among yourselves? How could you be so heartless, and so lacking in the way of the good, in how you are toward Me? Do you not know I have already written your evil doings in these words of life? How could you escape the day of wrath when I chastise Egypt? How could I allow you to oppose and defy Me in this way, time and time again? I tell you plainly, when the day comes, your chastisement will be more unbearable than that of Egypt! How can you escape My day of wrath?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. No One Who Is of the Flesh Can Escape the Day of Wrath
123. Man fails to gain God not because God has emotion, or because God is unwilling to be gained by man, but because man does not want to gain God, and because man does not seek God urgently. How could one of those who truly seek God be cursed by God? How could one of sound sense and sensitive conscience be cursed by God? How could one who truly worships and serves God be consumed by the fires of His wrath? How could one who is happy to obey God be kicked out of God’s house? How could one who could not love God enough live in God’s punishment? How could someone who is happy to forsake everything for God be left with nothing? Man is unwilling to pursue God, unwilling to expend his possessions for God, and unwilling to devote a lifetime’s effort to God; instead, he says that God has gone too far, that too much about God is at odds with man’s notions. With a humanity like this, even if you were unstinting in your efforts you would still be unable to gain God’s approval, to say nothing of the fact that you do not seek God. Do you not know that you are the defective goods of mankind? Do you not know that no humanity is lowlier than yours? Do you not know what others call you to honor you? Those who truly love God call you the father of the wolf, the mother of the wolf, the son of the wolf, and the grandson of the wolf; you are the descendants of the wolf, the people of the wolf, and you should know your own identity and never forget it. Do not think that you are some superior figure: You are the most vicious group of non-humans among mankind. Do you not know any of this? Do you know how much of a risk I have taken by working among you? If your sense cannot become normal again, and your conscience cannot work normally, then you will never cast off the name of “wolf,” you will never escape the day of curse and will never escape the day of your punishment. You were born inferior, a thing without any worth. You are by nature a pack of hungry wolves, a pile of debris and rubbish, and, unlike you, I do not work upon you in order to gain favors, but because of the need of work. If you carry on being rebellious in this way, then I will stop My work, and will never work upon you again; on the contrary, I will transfer My work to another group that pleases Me, and in this way will leave you forever, because I am unwilling to look upon those who are in enmity to Me. So then, do you wish to be compatible with Me, or in enmity against Me?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
124. As you walk the path of today, what is the most suitable kind of pursuit? In your pursuit, what kind of person should you see yourself as? It behooves you to get to know how you should approach all that befalls you today, be it trials or hardships, or merciless chastisement and cursing. Faced with all of these things, you should reflect carefully on them in every case. Why do I say this? I say it because the things that befall you today are, after all, trials of brief duration that occur over and over again; perhaps as far as you are concerned, they are not especially taxing to the spirit, and so you let things drift along their natural course, and do not regard them as a precious asset in the pursuit of progress. How thoughtless you are! So much so that you think of this precious asset as though it were a cloud floating before your eyes, and you do not treasure these harsh blows that rain down time and again—blows that are brief and that seem to you of little weight—but rather look upon them with cold detachment, not taking them to heart, and treat them merely as a chance blow. You are so arrogant! Toward these ferocious attacks, attacks akin to storms, that come time and time again, you show only flippant disregard; sometimes you even go so far as to give a cold smile, revealing an expression of total indifference—for you have never once thought to yourself why you keep suffering such “misfortunes.” Could it be that I am grossly unfair to man? Do I make it My business to find fault with you? Even though the problems with your mentality may not be as serious as I have described, you have, through your outward composure, long since painted a perfect portrait of your inner world. There is no need for Me to tell you that the only thing hidden in the depths of your heart is crude invective and faint traces of sadness that are barely discernible to others. Because you feel it so unfair to have suffered such trials, you curse; and because these trials make you feel the desolation of the world, you are filled with melancholy. Far from viewing these repeated blows and acts of discipline as the very best protection, you see them as the senseless trouble-making of Heaven, or else as fitting retribution upon you. You are so ignorant! You mercilessly confine the good times in the darkness; time after time, you view wonderful trials and acts of discipline as attacks from your enemies. You do not know how to adapt to your environment, and you are even less willing to try to do so, for you are unwilling to gain anything from this repeated—and, to you, cruel—chastisement. You make no attempt either to search or to explore, and, simply resigning yourself to your fate, go wherever it leads you. What may seem to you to be savage acts of chastening have not changed your heart, nor have they taken over your heart; instead, they stab you in the heart. You see this “cruel chastisement” only as your enemy in this life, and so you have gained nothing. You are so self-righteous! Seldom do you believe that you suffer such trials on account of your own contemptibility; instead, you regard yourself as unfortunate, saying moreover that I am always finding fault with you. And now that things have arrived at this pass, how much do you really know about what I say and do? Do not think that you are a natural-born prodigy, only slightly lower than the heavens but infinitely higher than the earth. You are far from being smarter than anyone else—and, it could even be said that it is simply adorable how much sillier you are than any of the people on earth who are possessed of reason, for you think too highly of yourself, and have never had a sense of inferiority, as if you can see through My actions down to the tiniest detail. In point of fact, you are someone who is fundamentally lacking in reason, because you have no idea of what I intend to do, and you are even less aware of what I am doing now. And so I say that you are not even the equal of an old farmer toiling on the land, a farmer who has not the faintest perception of human life and yet puts all his reliance on the blessings of Heaven as he cultivates the land. You do not spare a second’s thought to your life, you know nothing of renown, and still less do you have any self-knowledge. You are so “above it all”!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Do Not Learn and Remain Ignorant: Are They Not Beasts?
125. Some adorn themselves beautifully, but superficially: The sisters adorn themselves as prettily as flowers, and the brothers dress like princes or rich young dandies. They care only about external things, like the things they eat and wear; inside, they are destitute and have not the slightest knowledge of God. What meaning can there be in this? And then there are some who are dressed like poor beggars—they really look like East Asian slaves! Do you really not understand what I ask of you? Commune among yourselves: What have you actually gained? You have believed in God for all these years, and yet this is all that you have reaped—are you not embarrassed? Are you not ashamed? You have been pursuing on the true way for all these years, yet today your stature is still lower than a sparrow’s! Look at the young ladies among you, pretty as pictures in your clothes and makeup, comparing yourselves to one another—and what do you compare? Your pleasure? Your demands? Do you think I have come to recruit models? You have no shame! Where is your life? Is what you pursue not just your own extravagant desire? You think you are so beautiful, but though you might be dressed in all manner of finery, are you not in truth a wriggling maggot, born in a dung heap? Today, you are fortunate to enjoy these heavenly blessings not because of your pretty face, but because God is making an exception by raising you up. Is it still unclear to you where you came from? At the mention of life, you shut your mouth and say nothing, as dumb as a statue, yet still you have the gall to dress yourself up! Still you are inclined to apply blush and powder to your face! And look at the dandies among you, wayward men who spend the whole day sauntering about, unruly, with nonchalant expressions on their faces. Is this how a person should behave? What does each among you, man or woman, devote your attention to all day? Do you know upon whom you depend to feed yourselves? Look at your clothing, look at what you have reaped in your hands, rub your belly—what have you profited from the price of blood and sweat that you have paid over all these years of faith? You still think to go sightseeing, you still think to embellish your stinking flesh—worthless pursuits! You are asked to be a person of normality, yet now you are not simply abnormal, you are aberrant. How can such a person have the audacity to come before Me? With a humanity such as this, parading your charms and flaunting your flesh, living always within the lusts of the flesh—are you not a descendant of filthy demons and evil spirits? I will not allow such a filthy demon to remain in existence for long! And do not suppose I do not know what you think in your heart. You might keep your lust and your flesh under tight control, but how could I not know the thoughts you harbor in your heart? How could I not know all that your eyes desire? Do you young ladies not make yourselves so pretty in order to parade your flesh? What benefit are men to you? Can they truly save you from the sea of affliction? As for the dandies among you, you all dress to make yourselves seem gentlemanly and distinguished, but is this not a ruse designed to bring attention to your dashing looks? Who are you doing this for? What benefit are women to you? Are they not the source of your sin? You men and women, I have said many words to you, yet you have complied with but a few of them. Your ears are hard of hearing, your eyes have grown dim, and your hearts are hard to the point that there is nothing but lust in your bodies, such that you are ensnared in it, unable to escape. Who wants to go anywhere near you maggots, you who squirm in the filth and grime? Do not forget that you are nothing more than those whom I have raised from the dung heap, that you were not originally possessed of normal humanity. What I ask of you is the normal humanity that you did not originally possess, not that you parade your lust or give free rein to your rancid flesh, which has been trained by the devil for so many years. When you dress yourselves so, do you not fear that you will become more deeply ensnared? Do you not know that you were originally of sin? Do you not know that your bodies are filled so full with lust that it even seeps from your clothing, revealing your states as unbearably ugly and filthy demons? Is it not the case that you know this more clearly than anyone? Your hearts, your eyes, your lips—have they not all been defiled by filthy demons? Are these parts of you not filthy? Do you think that as long as you do not act, then you are the most holy? Do you think that dressing up in beautiful clothes can conceal your sordid souls? That will not work! I advise you to be more realistic: Do not be fraudulent and fake, and do not parade yourselves. You flaunt your lust to each other, but all you will receive in return is everlasting suffering and ruthless chastening! What need have you to bat your eyes at each other and indulge in romance? Is this the measure of your integrity, the extent of your uprightness? I loathe those among you who engage in evil medicine and sorcery; I loathe the young men and women among you who love their own flesh. You had better restrain yourselves, because you are now required to possess normal humanity, and you are not allowed to flaunt your lust—yet you take every opportunity you can, for your flesh is too plentiful, and your lust too great!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (7)
126. Those who think only of their flesh and who enjoy comfort; those who seem to believe but who do not really believe; those who engage in evil medicine and sorcery; those who are promiscuous, tattered and ragged; those who steal sacrifices to Jehovah and His possessions; those who love bribes; those who dream idly of ascending to heaven; those who are arrogant and conceited, who strive only for personal fame and fortune; those who spread impertinent words; those who blaspheme God Himself; those who do nothing but make judgments against and slander God Himself; those who form cliques and seek independence; those who exalt themselves above God; those frivolous young, middle-aged and older men and women who are ensnared in licentiousness; those men and women who enjoy personal fame and fortune and pursue personal status among others; those unrepentant people who are trapped in sin—are they not, all of them, beyond salvation? Licentiousness, sinfulness, evil medicine, sorcery, profanity, and impertinent words all run riot among you; and truth and the words of life are trampled in your midst, and the holy language is defiled among you. You Gentiles, bloated with filth and disobedience! What will your final outcome be? How can those who love the flesh, who commit sorcery of the flesh, and who are ensnared in licentious sin have the audacity to continue living! Do you not know that people such as you are maggots beyond salvation? What entitles you to demand this and that? To date, there has not been the slightest change in those who do not love the truth and only love the flesh—how can such people be saved? Those who do not love the way of life, who do not exalt God and bear testimony to Him, who scheme for the sake of their own status, who extol themselves—are they not still the same, even today? What is the value in saving them? Whether you can be saved does not depend on how great your seniority or how many years you have been working, and much less does it depend on how many credentials you have built up. Rather, it depends on whether your pursuit has borne fruit. You ought to know that those who are saved are the “trees” that bear fruit, not the trees with lush foliage and abundant flowers that yet yield no fruit. Even if you have spent many years wandering the streets, what does that matter? Where is your testimony? Your reverence for God is far less than your love for yourself and your lustful desires—is this kind of person not a degenerate? How could they be a specimen and model for salvation? Your nature is incorrigible, you are too rebellious, you are beyond salvation! Are such people not those that will be eliminated? Is the time when My work is finished not the time of the arrival of your last day? I have done so much work and spoken so many words among you—how much of it has truly entered your ears? How much of it have you ever obeyed? When My work ends, that will be the time when you stop opposing Me, when you stop standing against Me. As I work, you act against Me constantly; you never comply with My words. I do My work, and you do your own “work,” making your own little kingdom. You are nothing but a pack of foxes and dogs, doing everything in opposition to Me! You are constantly trying to bring those who offer you their undivided love into your embrace—where is your reverence? Everything you do is deceitful! You have no obedience or reverence, and everything you do is deceitful and blasphemous! Can such people be saved? Men who are sexually immoral and lascivious always want to draw coquettish harlots to them for their own enjoyment. I absolutely will not save such sexually immoral demons. I hate you filthy demons, and your lasciviousness and coquettishness will plunge you into hell. What have you to say for yourselves? You filthy demons and evil spirits are repulsive! You are disgusting! How could such trash be saved? Can they who are ensnared in sin still be saved? Today, this truth, this way, and this life do not attract you; rather, you are attracted to sinfulness; to money; to standing, fame and gain; to the enjoyments of the flesh; to the handsomeness of men and charms of women. What qualifies you to enter My kingdom? Your image is even greater than God’s, your status even higher than God’s, to say nothing of your prestige among men—you have become an idol that people worship. Have you not become the archangel? When people’s outcomes are revealed, which is also when the work of salvation will draw near its end, many of those among you will be corpses beyond salvation and must be eliminated.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (7)
127. Humans are worthless wretches, for they do not treasure themselves. If they do not even love themselves, trampling on themselves instead, then does this not show their worthlessness? Humanity is like an immoral woman who plays games with herself and gives herself willingly to others to be violated. Even so, people still do not recognize just how lowly they are. They find pleasure in working for others or in talking with others, putting themselves under the control of others; is this not precisely the filthiness of humankind? Although I have not experienced a life among humanity, and have not truly experienced human life, I have gained a very clear understanding of every move, every action, every word, and every deed that humans make. I am even able to expose humans to their deepest shame, to the point that they no longer dare to reveal their own connivery or give way to their lust. Like snails that retreat into their shells, they no longer dare to expose their own ugly state. Because humans do not know themselves, their greatest flaw is a willingness to parade their charms before others, showing off their ugly countenances; this is a thing that God detests most. This is because the relations between people are abnormal, and there is a lack of normal interpersonal relationships between people, much less normal relationships between them and God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 14
128. Until people have experienced God’s work and gained the truth, it is Satan’s nature that takes charge and dominates them from within. What, specifically, does that nature entail? For example, why are you selfish? Why do you protect your own position? Why do you have such strong emotions? Why do you enjoy those unrighteous things? Why do you like those evils? What is the basis for your fondness for such things? Where do these things come from? Why are you so happy to accept them? By now, you have all come to understand that the main reason behind all these things is that Satan’s poison is within you. As for what Satan’s poison is, it can be fully expressed with words. For example, if you ask some evildoers why they committed evil, they will answer, “Because it’s every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost.” This single phrase expresses the very root of the problem. Satan’s logic has become people’s lives. They may do things for this purpose or that, but they are only doing it for themselves. Everyone thinks that since it is every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost, people should live for their own sakes, and do everything in their power to secure a good position for the sake of food and fine clothing. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost”—this is the life and the philosophy of man, and it also represents human nature. These words of Satan are precisely the poison of Satan, and when people internalize it, it becomes their nature. Satan’s nature is exposed through these words; they represent it completely. This poison becomes people’s lives as well as the foundation of their existence, and corrupted humanity has been consistently dominated by this poison for thousands of years. Everything Satan does is for itself. It wishes to surpass God, break free of Him, and wield power itself, and to possess all of God’s creations. Therefore, man’s nature is Satan’s nature. In fact, a lot of people’s mottos can represent and reflect their nature. No matter how people try to disguise themselves, in everything they do and in everything they say, they cannot hide who they are. There are some who never speak the truth and are good at pretending, but once others have interacted with them for a while, their deceitful nature and complete dishonesty are found out. In the end, others draw the following conclusion: That person never speaks a word of truth, and is deceitful. This statement represents such a person’s nature; it is the best illustration and proof of their nature essence. Their philosophy of life is to not tell anyone the truth, as well as to not trust anyone. Man’s satanic nature contains a great deal of this philosophy. Sometimes you yourself are not even aware of that, and do not understand it; nevertheless, every moment of your life is based on it. Moreover, you think that this philosophy is quite correct and reasonable, and not at all mistaken. This suffices to show that Satan’s philosophy has become people’s nature, and that they are living in complete accordance with it, without rebelling against it in the slightest. Therefore, they are constantly revealing their satanic nature, and in all aspects, they continue to live by Satan’s philosophy. Satan’s nature is humanity’s life.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter
129. Man’s nature is quite different from My essence, for man’s corrupt nature originates entirely from Satan; man’s nature has been processed and corrupted by Satan. That is, man lives under the influence of its evil and ugliness. Man does not grow in a world of truth or a holy environment, and still less does man live in the light. Therefore, it is not possible for anyone to possess truth within their nature from the moment of birth, and less can anyone be born with an essence that fears and obeys God. On the contrary, people are possessed of a nature that resists God, disobeys God, and has no love for the truth. This nature is the problem I want to discuss—betrayal.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)
130. Behavior that cannot obey Me absolutely is betrayal. Behavior that cannot be loyal to Me is betrayal. Defrauding Me and using lies to deceive Me is betrayal. Harboring many notions and spreading them everywhere is betrayal. Being unable to uphold My testimonies and interests is betrayal. Offering false smiles when far from Me in heart is betrayal. These are all acts of betrayal of which you have always been capable, and they are commonplace among you. None of you may think of this as a problem, but that is not what I think. I cannot treat a person’s betrayal of Me as a trifling matter, and I certainly cannot ignore it. Now, when I am at work among you, you behave in this way—if the day comes when there is no one to watch over you, will you not be as bandits who have declared themselves kings? When that happens and you cause a catastrophe, who will be there to clean up after you? You think some acts of betrayal are mere occasional incidents, not your persistent behavior, and do not merit being discussed with such severity, in a way that injures your pride. If you truly think so, then you lack sense. To think so is to be a specimen and archetype of rebellion. Man’s nature is his life; it is a principle on which he relies to survive, and he cannot change it. The nature of betrayal is the same—if you can do something to betray a relative or friend, it proves that it is part of your life and a nature with which you were born. This is something nobody can deny.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (1)
131. Anyone can use their own words and actions to represent their true countenance. This true countenance is, of course, their nature. If you are someone who speaks in a tortuous way, then you have a tortuous nature. If your nature is cunning, then you act in a sly way, and you make it very easy for others to be tricked by you. If your nature is sinister, your words might be pleasant to hear, but your actions cannot conceal your sinister tricks. If your nature is lazy, then all you say is meant to shirk responsibility for your perfunctoriness and laziness, and your actions will be slow and perfunctory, and quite adept at concealing the truth. If your nature is empathetic, then your words will be reasonable, and your actions, too, will conform well with the truth. If your nature is loyal, then your words are certainly sincere and the way you act is grounded, free of anything that might make your master uneasy. If your nature is lustful or greedy for money, then your heart will often be filled by these things, and you will unwittingly commit deviant, immoral acts that people will not forget lightly and that will disgust people. Just as I have said, if you have a nature of betrayal, then you can hardly extricate yourself from it. Do not trust to luck that if you have not wronged others, then you do not have a nature of betrayal. If that is what you think then, truly, you are revolting. All My words, each time I speak, are targeted at all people, not just one person or one type of person. Just because you have not betrayed Me in one matter does not prove that you cannot betray Me in another matter. In seeking the truth, some people lose their confidence during setbacks in their marriage. Some people forsake their obligation to be loyal to Me during a family breakdown. Some people abandon Me to seek a moment of joy and excitement. Some people would rather fall into a dark ravine than live in the light and gain the delight of the work of the Holy Spirit. Some people ignore the advice of friends for the sake of satisfying their lust for wealth, and even now cannot acknowledge their mistake and change their course. Some people live only temporarily under My name in order to receive My protection, while others devote only a little to Me under duress because they cling to life and fear death. Are not these and other immoral and, moreover, undignified actions just behaviors with which people have long betrayed Me deep in their hearts? Of course, I know people do not plan in advance to betray Me; their betrayal is a natural revelation of their nature. Nobody wants to betray Me, and nobody is happy because they have done something to betray Me. On the contrary, they are trembling with fear, are they not? So, are you thinking of how to redeem these betrayals, and how to change the current situation?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (1)
132. You were separated out from mud and, no matter what, you were of that stuff which was picked out from among the dregs, filthy and hated by God. You belonged to Satan and were once trampled upon and tainted by it. That is why it is said that you were separated out from mud, and, far from being holy, you are instead nonhuman things that have long been the object of Satan’s trickery. This is the most appropriate assessment of you. You need to know that you were originally impurities found in stagnant water and mud, as opposed to desirable catches like fish and shrimp, for nothing that provides enjoyment can be derived from you. To put it bluntly, you are the most debased beasts of a low society, worse than pigs and dogs. Frankly speaking, to address you in such terms is neither overstatement nor hyperbole; rather, it simplifies the issue. To address you in such terms could even be said to be a way of paying you respect. Your insight, speech, behavior as men, and every aspect of your life, including your status in the mud, are sufficient to prove that your identity is “out of the ordinary.”
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Man’s Inherent Identity and His Worth: What Are They Really Like?
133. Mankind is none other than My enemy. Mankind is the evil one that opposes and disobeys Me. Mankind is none other than the progeny of the evil one accursed by Me. Mankind is none other than the descendant of the archangel that betrayed Me. Mankind is none other than the legacy of the devil who, spurned by Me long ago, has been My irreconcilable enemy ever since. For the sky above all mankind is turbid and dark, without the slightest impression of clarity, and the human world is plunged into pitchy darkness, so that one living in it cannot even see his outstretched hand before his face or the sun when he lifts up his head. The road beneath his feet, muddy and rife with potholes, meanders tortuously; the whole land is littered with corpses. The dark corners are filled with the remains of the dead, and in the cool and shady corners crowds of demons have taken up residence. And everywhere in the world of men demons come and go in hordes. The progeny of all manner of beasts, covered in filth, are locked in pitched battle, the sound of which strikes terror to the heart. At such times, in such a world, such an “earthly paradise,” where does one go to seek out life’s felicities? Where could one go to find his life’s destination? Mankind, long since trampled under Satan’s feet, has from the first been an actor taking on Satan’s image—more than that, mankind is the embodiment of Satan, and serves as the evidence that bears witness to Satan, loud and clear. How can such a human race, such a bunch of degenerate scum, such offspring of this corrupt human family, bear witness to God? Whence comes My glory? Where can one begin to speak of My testimony? For the enemy that, having corrupted mankind, stands against Me, has already taken mankind—the mankind that I created long ago and that was filled with My glory and My living out—and soiled them. It has snatched away My glory, and all it has imbued man with is poison heavily laced with the ugliness of Satan, and juice from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What It Means to Be a Real Person
134. Your many years of behavior before Me have given Me an answer without precedent, and the question to this answer is: “What is man’s attitude before the truth and the true God?” The efforts I have devoted to man prove My essence of love for man, and man’s every action before Me proves his essence of loathing toward the truth and opposition to Me. At all times, I am concerned for all who follow Me, yet at no time are those who follow Me able to receive My words; they are not even able to accept My suggestions. This is what saddens Me most of all. No one has ever been able to understand Me and nor, moreover, has anyone ever been able to accept Me, even though My attitude is sincere, and My words are gentle. Everyone tries to do the work I have entrusted to them according to their own ideas; they do not seek My intentions, let alone do they ask what I require of them. They still claim to serve Me loyally, all while they rebel against Me. Many believe that the truths that are unacceptable to them or that they cannot practice are not truths. In such people, My truths become something that is denied and cast aside. At the same time, people recognize Me as God in word, yet also believe Me an outsider who is not the truth, the way, or the life. No one knows this truth: My words are the forever unchanging truth. I am the supply of life for man and the only guide for mankind. The worth and meaning of My words are not determined by whether they are recognized or accepted by mankind, but by the essence of the words themselves. Even if not a single person on this earth can receive My words, the value of My words and their help to mankind are inestimable to any man. Therefore, when faced with the many people who rebel against, refute, or are utterly contemptuous of My words, My stance is only this: Let time and facts be My witness and show that My words are the truth, the way, and the life. Let them show that all I have said is right, that it is that which man should be furnished with and, moreover, that which man should accept. I will let all who follow Me know this fact: Those who cannot fully accept My words, those who cannot practice My words, those who cannot find a purpose in My words, and those who cannot receive salvation because of My words, are those who have been condemned by My words and, moreover, have lost My salvation, and My rod shall never stray from them.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Ought to Consider Your Deeds
a. Return to shore: a Chinese idiom, meaning “turn from one’s evil ways.”
b. The original text does not contain the phrase “In this way.”