What It Means to Pursue the Truth (13) Part Three

As for the matter of a country’s fate, should people understand how God views it, and how people should view it correctly? (Yes.) People should understand precisely what standpoint they should adopt when regarding this matter, so as to rid themselves of the erosive effects and influence that the idea “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” has on them. Let’s look first at whether the fate of a country can be swayed by any one person, any force, or any ethnic group. Who decides the fate of a country? (It is determined by God.) That’s right, this root cause must be understood. The fate of a country is closely related to God’s sovereignty, and has no relation to anyone else. No force, idea, or person can change the destiny of a country. What does the destiny of a country include? The prosperity and decline of the country. Whether the country is developed or backward, and regardless of its geographical location, how much territory it spans, its size, and all of its resources—how many resources are on the ground, underground and in the air—who the ruler of the country is, what kind of people make up the ruling hierarchy, what the ruler’s guiding political principles and method of governance are, whether they recognize God, obey Him, and their attitude toward God, and so on—all these things have a bearing on the country’s fate. These things are not determined by any one person, let alone by any force. No one person or power has the final say, and neither does Satan. So who does have the final say? Only God has the final say. Humans don’t understand these things, and neither does Satan, but it is defiant. It constantly wants to take charge of humans and dominate them, so it constantly uses some stirring and deceptive ideas and opinions to promote things like moral conduct and social mores, and make people accept these ideas, thereby exploiting people to serve the rulers, and keep the rulers in power. But in fact, no matter what Satan does, the fate of a country has no relation to Satan, nor any relation to how vigorously, profoundly, and broadly these ideas of traditional culture are disseminated. The living conditions and form of existence of any country in any period—whether it is wealthy or poor, backward or developed, as well as its ranking among the many countries in the world—all this has no relation whatsoever to the strength of the rulers’ governance, nor to the substance of these thinkers’ ideas, or the vigor with which they disseminate them. A country’s fate is only related to God’s sovereignty and the period when God manages all of humankind. In whichever period God needs to do whatever work, and rule over and orchestrate whichever things, and lead all of society in whichever direction, and bring about whatever form of society—during that period, some special protagonists will appear, and some great and special things will happen. For example, war, or the annexation of some countries’ land by other countries, or the appearance of some special, emerging technologies, or even the movement of all the earth’s oceans and continental plates, and so on—these things are all subject to the sovereignty and arrangements of God’s hand. It is also possible that the appearance of an unremarkable person will lead the entire human race into taking a huge step forward. It is equally possible that the occurrence of a very unremarkable, insignificant event may trigger a mass migration of humankind, or it may be that under the effects of an insignificant event, all of humankind will undergo a major transformation, or there will be varying degrees of changes in terms of the economy, military affairs, business, or medical treatment, and so on. These changes influence the fate of any country on earth, and also the prosperity and decline of any country. That is why the destiny, rise, and fall of any country, whether it be powerful or weak, are all related to God’s management among humankind and to His sovereignty. Why, then, does God want to do things this way? His intentions are at the root of everything. In short, the survival, rise, and fall of any country or nation has no relation whatsoever to any race, any power, any ruling class, any mode or method of governance, or any individual person. They are only related to the sovereignty of the Creator, and they are also related to the period during which the Creator manages mankind, and to the next step that the Creator will take in managing and leading humankind. Therefore, whatever God does influences the destiny of any country, nation, race, group, or individual person. From this point of view, it can be said that the destinies of any individual person, race, nation, and country are actually linked and closely bound up with each other, and there is an inseparable relationship between them. However, the relationship between these things is not brought about due to the idea and view that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” but rather, it is brought about due to the sovereignty of the Creator. It is precisely because the destinies of these things are under the sovereignty of the only true God, the Creator, that there is an inseparable relationship between them. This is the root cause and essence of a country’s fate.

So, looking at it from the perspective of the majority of the population, what viewpoint should one hold as regards the fate of one’s country? First of all, one should look at how much the country does to safeguard the majority of the population and keep them satisfied. If the majority of the population live well, have freedom and the right to speak freely, if all the policies promulgated by the state government are very rational and people regard them as fair and reasonable, if the human rights of ordinary people can be safeguarded, and if people are not stripped of their right to life, then people will naturally come to depend on this country, feel happy living there, and love it from the bottom of their hearts. Then, everyone will be responsible toward the fate of this country, and people will be genuinely willing to fulfill their responsibility to this country, and they will want it to exist forever because it benefits their lives and everything about them. If this country cannot safeguard the lives of ordinary people, and does not give them the human rights they deserve, and they don’t even have freedom of speech, and if those who speak their mind are subject to restrictions and crackdowns, and people are even forbidden to speak or discuss what they want, and if, when people are subject to bullying, humiliation, and persecution, the country doesn’t care, and if there is no freedom whatsoever, and people are deprived of their basic human rights and right to life, and if those who believe in and follow God are even suppressed and persecuted so that they are unable to return home, and if believers are killed with impunity, then this country is a country of devils, a country of Satan, and it is not a real country. In that case, should everyone still be responsible for its fate? If people already loathe and hate this country in their hearts, then even if they admit responsibility for it in theory, they will be unwilling to fulfill this responsibility. If a powerful enemy comes to invade this country, most people will even harbor hopes of the country’s imminent collapse, so that they can lead happy lives. Therefore, whether everyone is responsible for a country’s fate depends on how its government treats the people. The crux is whether it has the public’s support—it is mainly determined based on this aspect. The other aspect, fundamentally speaking, is that behind anything that happens to any country, there are a number of reasons and factors that cause this thing to happen, and it is not something that can be influenced by an ordinary or insignificant person. Therefore, when it comes to a country’s fate, no individual person or any ethnic group has the final say, or the power to interfere. Is this not a fact? (Yes.) Let us say, for example, that the ruling class of your country wants to expand its territory and seize prime land, infrastructure, and resources of a neighboring country. After making the decision, the ruling class begins to prepare military forces, raise funds, stockpile all sorts of supplies, and discuss when to launch the land expansion. Do common folk have the right to know about all this? You don’t even have the right to know. All you know is that in recent years state taxation has increased, levies and fees imposed under various pretexts have increased, and the national debt has increased. Your only obligation is to pay taxes. As for what will happen to the country and what the rulers will do, does that have anything at all to do with you? Until the moment when the country decides to go to war, which country and which lands it will invade, and how it will invade them, are things that only the ruling class knows, and not even the soldiers who will be sent into battle know. They don’t even have the right to know. They have to fight wherever the ruler points. As for why they are fighting, how long to fight for, whether they can win or not, and when they can go home, they just don’t know, they don’t know anything at all. Some people’s own children are sent to war, but they as parents don’t even get to know that. Worse still, when their children are killed they don’t even get to find out. Not until the ashes are brought back do they find out that their children are dead. So tell Me, does your country’s fate, and the things that your country will do, and what decisions it will make, have any relation to you as an ordinary person? Does the country tell you, an ordinary person, about these things? Do you have the right to participate in the decision-making? You don’t even have the right to know, let alone the right to participate in the decision-making. No matter what your country is to you, does how it develops, what direction it is headed in, and how it is governed have any relation to you? It has no relation to you. Why is that? Because you are an ordinary person, and all these things are only related to the rulers. The final say belongs to the rulers and the ruling class, and those with vested interests, but it has no relation whatsoever to you as an ordinary person. So, you should have a little self-awareness. Don’t do irrational things; there is no need to give up your life or put yourself in harm’s way for a ruler. Let us suppose that the country’s rulers are dictators, and that the power is in the hands of devils who don’t attend to their proper duties, and who spend all day indulging in drinking and debauchery, living extravagantly, and doing nothing for the people. The country falls into debt and chaos, and the rulers are corrupt and incompetent, resulting in it being invaded by a foreign enemy. Only then do the rulers think of the common people, calling on them and saying: “‘Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.’ If the country perishes, a life of hardship awaits you all. Presently the country is in trouble, and invaders have entered our borders. In order to protect the country, hurry to the battlefield, the time has come when the country needs you!” You mull it over, thinking, “That’s right, ‘Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.’ The country finally needs me for once, so as I have this responsibility, I should give up my life to protect the country. Our country cannot change hands, without this ruler in power we are done for!” Is it foolish to think this way? The rulers of these dictatorships deny and oppose God, eat, drink and enjoy themselves all day long, behave recklessly, ride roughshod over common people, and harm and brutalize the masses. If you rush bravely and dauntlessly to protect rulers like these, serving as cannon fodder for them on the battlefield and throwing your life away for them, then you are decidedly foolish, and pledging blind allegiance! Why do I say you are decidedly foolish? Who exactly are the soldiers on the battlefield fighting for? For whom are they throwing their lives away? For whom are they serving as cannon fodder? And if you of all people, a weak and feeble commoner, go into battle, then it is just a show of foolhardiness and a waste of a life. If war comes, you should pray to God and ask Him to protect you so that you can flee to a place of safety, rather than making a pointless sacrifice and resisting. What is pointless sacrifice defined as? Foolhardiness. The country will naturally have those people who are willing to uphold the spirit of “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” to protect the rulers and put their lives on the line for them. The country’s fate has a great impact on the interests and survival of such people, so let them look after the country’s affairs. You are an ordinary person, you have no power to protect the country, and these things have no relation to you. Exactly what kind of country is worth defending? If it is a country with free and democratic systems, and the ruler actually does things for the people and can guarantee them a normal life, then such a country is worth defending and protecting. The common people feel that protecting such a country is tantamount to protecting their own home, which is an unshirkable responsibility, so they are willing to work for the country and fulfill their responsibility. But if devils or Satan rule over this country, and the rulers are wicked and incompetent to such an extent that the reign of these demon kings runs out of steam and they should step down, God will raise up a powerful country to invade. This is a signal from Heaven to human beings, telling them that this regime’s rulers should step down, and that they are not worthy of having such power, or dominating this land, or making the people of this country provide for them, because they have done nothing whatsoever to provide for the well-being of the country’s population, and neither has their reign benefited the common people in any way or brought any happiness to their lives. They have only tormented the common people, harmed them, and tortured and abused them. Therefore, such rulers should step down and give up their positions. If this regime is replaced by a democratic system with virtuous people in power, this will fulfill the hopes and expectations of the population, and it will also be in accordance with the will of Heaven. Those who comply with the ways of Heaven will prosper, while those who resist Heaven will perish. As an ordinary citizen, if you are constantly misled by the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” and always idolize and follow the ruling class, then you will surely die an early death and are likely to become a sacrificial victim and funerary object of the ruling class. If you pursue the truth, avoid being deceived by Satan and can escape its influence and keep your life, you have the hope of seeing a positive country emerge, and seeing sage masters and wise rulers assume power, and seeing the establishment of a good social system, and you will have the good fortune to live a happy life. Is this not the choice of a smart person? Do not think that whoever invades are enemies or devils; that is wrong. If you always regard the rulers as supreme and above all others, and treat them as the eternal masters of this land no matter how many bad things they do, or how much they resist God and brutalize believers, that is a grave mistake. Think about it, once those feudal ruling dynasties of the past were eradicated, and human beings lived under a variety of relatively democratic social systems, they became somewhat freer and happier, their lives were materially better off than before, and humankind’s breadth of vision, insight, and views on various things became more advanced than before. If people were all backward in their thinking, and constantly believed that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” and kept wanting to revive old traditions, restore the rule of emperors, and return to a feudal system, could humankind have developed as far as it has? Would their habitat be like it is now? It certainly wouldn’t. Therefore, when the country is in trouble, if the country’s laws stipulate that you must fulfill your civic duties and perform military service, then you should perform military service in accordance with the law. If you need to go into battle during your military service, then you should likewise fulfill your responsibility, because this is what you must do by law. You can’t break the law, and you must abide by it. If the law does not require it, then you are free to choose. If the country you reside in recognizes God, follows Him, worships Him, and has His blessings, then it should be defended. If the country you reside in resists and persecutes God, and arrests and oppresses Christians, then such a country is a satanic country ruled by devils. By constantly resisting God with deranged fury, it has already offended God’s disposition, and been cursed by Him. When such a country faces invasion by a foreign enemy, and is beset by troubles inside and outside its borders, it is a time of widespread indignation, discontent, and resentment among God and humankind. Is this not the time when God wants to raise up an environment to destroy this country? This is when God starts to act. God has heard people’s prayers, and the time has come for Him to redress the wrongs done to God’s chosen people. This is a good thing, and it is also good news. The time when God is about to obliterate the devils and Satan is also the time for God’s chosen people to get extremely excited and go around spreading the news. At this time, you must not risk your life for the ruling class. You should use your wisdom to cast off the constraints imposed by the ruling class, hurriedly flee for your life and save yourself as a matter of urgency. Some people say: “If I run away will I be a deserter? Is that not selfish?” You could also not be a deserter, and just guard your home and wait for the invaders to bomb and occupy it, and see what the outcome is then. The fact is that when any major event of national importance occurs, ordinary people do not have the right to choose for themselves. Everyone can only passively wait, watch, and put up with the inevitable results of this event. Is this not a fact? (Yes.) This is indeed a fact. In any case, fleeing is the wisest course of action. It is your responsibility to protect your own life and the safety of your family. If everyone was required to be responsible for their country’s fate, and that got them all killed, and all that remained of the country was an expanse of land, would the essence of the country still exist? “Country” would just be an empty word, would it not? In the eyes of dictators, human lives are the least valuable thing compared with their ambitions and desires, their acts of aggression, and any of their decisions and actions, but in the eyes of God, human lives are the most important thing. Let those who are willing to be cannon fodder for dictators and uphold the spirit of the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” make contributions and sacrifices for the rulers. Those who follow God have no obligation to make any sacrifices for a country of Satan. You could also put it like this—let the dutiful offspring of Satan and those who follow it make sacrifices for Satan’s rule and for its ambitions and desires. It is right to let them be cannon fodder. No one forced them to have such great ambitions and desires. They just like following rulers, and are intent on pledging loyalty to devils, even if it kills them. In the end, they become sacrificial victims and funerary ornaments of Satan, which is what they deserve.

When any country invades another country, or when some unequal transaction with another country leads to war, ultimately the victims are the common people, everyone who lives in this land. It is a fact that some wars could be avoided if one of the parties was able to compromise, let go of their ambitions, desires, and power, and think about the survival of the common people. Many wars are actually caused by rulers clinging onto their own reign, not wanting to let go of or lose the power in their hands, but rather doggedly adhering to their beliefs, clinging onto power, and sticking to their own interests. Once war breaks out it is the common folk, the ordinary people, who are the victims. They are scattered far and wide in times of war, and are the least capable of resisting all this. Do these rulers consider the common people? Imagine if there was a ruler who said, “If I hold fast to my own beliefs and my own theories, I may end up starting a war, and the victims will be the ordinary people. Even if I win, this land will be destroyed by weapons and ammunition, and the homes people live in will be destroyed, so the people who reside in this land will not have happy lives in future. In order to protect the common people, I will step down, disarm, surrender, and compromise,” and thereafter, war was avoided. Is there such a ruler? (No.) In fact, common people don’t want to fight, nor do they want to participate in rivalry or contests between political forces. They are all passively sent to the battlefield and to the chopping block by the ruler. All these people who are sent to the battlefield, whether they die or survive, ultimately serve to keep the ruler in power. So is the ruler the ultimate beneficiary? (Yes.) What can common people gain from war? Common people can only be devastated by it, and suffer the destruction of their homes and that of the habitat they depend on. Some lose their families, and even more are displaced and made homeless, with no prospect of returning. And yet, the ruler grandly claims that the war was launched to protect people’s homes and their survival. Does this claim hold water? Is it not disingenuous claptrap? In the end, it is the common folk, the people, who bear all the evil consequences of this, and the biggest beneficiary is the ruler. They can continue ruling over the people, ruling over the land, keep hold of the power in their hands, and continue standing in the ruler’s place giving orders, while ordinary people live in dire straits with no future and no hope. Some people think this idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is absolutely correct. Looking at it now, is it correct? (No, it’s not correct.) There is not a bit of correctness in this saying. Whether looking at it from the perspective of Satan’s motives in instilling this idea in people, or the schemes, desires, and ambitions of rulers at various stages throughout the history of human development, or any fact concerning a country’s fate, the occurrence of these events cannot be controlled by any ordinary person, individual, or ethnic group. In the end, the victims are the unsuspecting masses and common folk, whereas those who benefit most are the country’s ruling class, the rulers at the very top. When the country is in trouble, they send the common people to the frontline to be used as cannon fodder. When the country is not in trouble, the common people are the hand that feeds them. They exploit the common people, bleeding them dry and living off them, compelling the people to provide for them, and ultimately even instilling in people the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” and forcing them to accept it. Whoever doesn’t accept it is labeled as unpatriotic. The message these rulers are conveying is: “The purpose of my rule is for you to lead happy lives. Without my rule, you would not be able to survive, so you must do as I say, be obedient citizens, and always be ready to dedicate yourselves and sacrifice yourselves for your country’s fate.” Who is the country? Who is synonymous with the country? The rulers are synonymous with the country. By instilling in people this idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” in one sense, they are compelling people to fulfill their responsibilities without choice, hesitation, or any objection. In another sense, they are telling people that the fate of the country and the question of whether its rulers stay in power or are deposed are of great importance to the population, so they must take great care to defend both the country and its rulers, in order to guarantee their normal existence. Is this actually the case? (No.) Quite obviously this is not the case. Rulers who cannot obey God, do His will, or work for the sake of common people will not win popular support, and will not be good rulers. If, rather than acting for the sake of common people, the rulers only pursue their own interests, ride roughshod over people, and squeeze sweat and blood out of them like parasites, then such rulers are Satan and devils, and do not deserve the people’s support, no matter how powerful they are. If the country didn’t have such rulers, would it exist? Would the people’s lives exist? They would exist all the same, and the people might even lead better lives. If people clearly see the essence of the question of what their obligations and responsibilities to their country should be, then no matter which country they live in, they should have correct views on the major issues in that country, and on issues concerning politics and that country’s fate. When these correct views come about, you will be able to make the right choice in matters involving the country’s fate. On the matter of a country’s fate, do you basically understand the truth that people should understand? (Yes.)

I have fellowshiped a great deal about the saying on moral conduct “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.” As regards the concept of country, the influence of the term “country” on people in society, what responsibilities people should have toward their country and nation when it comes to that country’s fate, what choices they should make, and what God requires of humankind in this matter, did I fellowship clearly on all of this? (Yes.) Then here ends our fellowship for today.

June 11, 2022

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