Knowing God IV

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 120

Understanding God’s Authority From the Macro- and Micro-Perspectives

God’s authority is unique. It is the characteristic expression of, and the special essence of, the identity of God Himself, such as is not possessed by any created or non-created being; only the Creator possesses this kind of authority. That is to say, only the Creator—God the Unique—is expressed in this way and has this essence. So, why should we talk about God’s authority? How is the authority of God Himself different from “authority” as man conceives of it in his mind? What is special about it? Why is it particularly significant to talk about it here? Each of you must carefully consider this issue. For most people, “God’s authority” is a vague idea, one that requires a great deal of effort to understand, and any discussion of it is likely to be abstract. Therefore, there will invariably be a gap between the knowledge of God’s authority that man is capable of possessing and the essence of God’s authority. To bridge this gap, everyone must gradually come to know God’s authority through the people, events, things, and various phenomena that are within the reach of humans and within their capacity to understand in their real lives. Though the phrase “God’s authority” may seem unfathomable, God’s authority is not at all abstract. He is present with man through every minute of man’s life, leading him through every day. So, in real life, every person will necessarily see and experience the most tangible aspect of God’s authority. This tangible aspect is proof enough that God’s authority truly exists, and it fully allows one to recognize and to comprehend the fact that God possesses such authority.

God created everything, and having created it, He has dominion over all things. In addition to having dominion over all things, He is in control of everything. What does this mean, the idea that “God is in control of everything”? How can it be explained? How does it apply to real life? How can understanding the fact that God is in control of everything lead to an understanding of His authority? From the very phrase, “God is in control of everything,” we should see that what God controls is not a portion of planets nor a portion of creation, much less a portion of mankind, but everything: from the massive to the microscopic, from the visible to the invisible, from the stars of the cosmos to the living things on earth, as well as microorganisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye and beings that exist in other forms. This is the precise definition of the “everything” that God is “in control of”; it is the scope of His authority, the extent of His sovereignty and rule.

Before this humanity came into being, the cosmos—all the planets and all the stars in the heavens—already existed. On the macro level, these heavenly bodies have been orbiting regularly, under God’s control, for their entire existence, however many years that has been. What planet goes where at what particular time; what planet performs what task, and when; what planet revolves along what orbit, and when it disappears or is replaced—all these things proceed without the slightest error. The positions of the planets and the distances between them all follow strict patterns, all of which can be described by precise data; the paths along which they travel, the speed and patterns of their orbits, the times when they are in various positions—all of these can be quantified precisely and described by special laws. For eons the planets have followed these laws, without the slightest deviation. No power can change or disrupt their orbits or the patterns they follow. Because the special laws that govern their motion and the precise data that describe them are predestined by the Creator’s authority, they obey these laws of their own accord, under the Creator’s sovereignty and control. On the macro level, it is not hard for man to discover some patterns, some data, and some strange and unexplainable laws or phenomena. Though humanity does not admit that God exists nor accept the fact that the Creator made and has dominion over everything, and moreover does not recognize the existence of the Creator’s authority, human scientists, astronomers, and physicists are nonetheless finding more and more that the existence of all things in the universe, and the principles and patterns that dictate their movements, are all governed and controlled by a vast and invisible dark energy. This fact compels man to confront and acknowledge that there is a Mighty One in the midst of these patterns of movement, orchestrating everything. His power is extraordinary, and though no one can see His true face, He governs and controls everything at every moment. No man or force can reach beyond His sovereignty. Faced with this fact, man must recognize that the laws governing the existence of all things cannot be controlled by humans, cannot be changed by anyone; he must also admit that human beings cannot fully understand these laws, and they are not naturally occurring, but are dictated by a Sovereign. These are all expressions of the authority of God that mankind can perceive on a macro level.

On the micro level, all the mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, and landmasses that man may behold on earth, all the seasons that he experiences, all the things that inhabit the earth, including plants, animals, microorganisms, and humans, are subject to God’s sovereignty and control. Under God’s sovereignty and control, all things come into being or disappear in accordance with His thoughts; laws arise that govern their existence, and they grow and multiply in keeping with them. No human being or thing is above these laws. Why is this? The only answer is this: It is because of God’s authority. Or, to put it another way, it is because of God’s thoughts and God’s words; because of the personal actions of God Himself. This means that it is God’s authority and God’s mind that give rise to these laws, which shift and change according to His thoughts, and these shifts and changes all occur or fade away for the sake of His plan. Take epidemics, for example. They break out without warning. No one knows their origins or the exact reasons why they happen, and whenever an epidemic reaches a certain place, those who are doomed cannot escape calamity. Human science understands epidemics to be caused by the spread of vicious or harmful microbes, and their speed, range, and method of transmission cannot be predicted or controlled by human science. Though people resist epidemics by every means possible, they cannot control which people or animals are inevitably affected when epidemics break out. The only thing human beings can do is try to prevent them, resist them, and research them. But no one knows the root causes that explain the beginning or ending of any individual epidemic, and no one can control them. Faced with the rise and spread of an epidemic, the first measure humans take is to develop a vaccine, but often the epidemic dies out on its own before the vaccine is ready. Why do epidemics die out? Some say the germs have been brought under control, while others say they die out because of the change of seasons…. As to whether these wild speculations are tenable, science can offer no explanation and can give no precise answer. Humanity must not only reckon with these speculations, but also with mankind’s lack of understanding and fear of epidemics. No one knows, in the final analysis, why epidemics begin or why they end. Because humanity has faith only in science, relies entirely upon it, and does not recognize the Creator’s authority or accept His sovereignty, they will never obtain an answer.

Under God’s sovereignty, all things are born, live, and perish because of His authority and His management. Some things come and go quietly, and man cannot tell where they came from or grasp the patterns they follow, much less understand the reasons why they come and go. Though man can see, with his own eyes, all that comes to pass among all things, and can hear it with his ears, and can experience it with his body; though it all has a bearing on man, and though man subconsciously grasps the relative unusualness, regularity, or even strangeness of the various phenomena, he still knows nothing about what lies behind them, which is the Creator’s will and mind. There are many stories behind these phenomena, many hidden truths. Because man has wandered far from the Creator and because he does not accept the fact that the Creator’s authority governs all things, he will never know and comprehend everything that happens under the sovereignty of the Creator’s authority. For the most part, God’s control and sovereignty exceed the bounds of human imagination, of human knowledge, of human understanding, and of what human science can achieve; it is beyond the ken of created humanity. Some people say, “Since you have not witnessed God’s sovereignty yourself, how can you believe everything is subject to His authority?” Seeing is not always believing, and neither is it always recognizing and understanding. So, where does belief come from? I can say with certainty that belief comes from the degree and depth of people’s apprehension of, and experience of, the reality and root causes of things. If you believe that God exists, but you cannot recognize, much less perceive, the fact of God’s control and God’s sovereignty over all things, then in your heart you will never admit that God has this kind of authority and that God’s authority is unique. You will never truly accept the Creator to be your Lord and your God.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 121

The Fate of Humanity and the Fate of the Universe Are Inseparable From the Creator’s Sovereignty

You are all adults. Some of you are middle-aged; some have entered old age. You have gone from not believing in God to believing in Him, and from beginning to believe in God to accepting His word and experiencing His work. How much knowledge do you have of God’s sovereignty? What insights have you gained into human fate? Can one achieve everything one desires in life? How many things over the few decades of your existence have you been able to accomplish in the way you wished? How many things have happened that you never anticipated? How many things come as pleasant surprises? How many things do people still wait on in the expectation that they will bear fruit—unconsciously awaiting the right moment, awaiting the will of Heaven? How many things make people feel helpless and thwarted? Everyone is full of hopes about their fate, anticipating that everything in their life will go as they wish, that they will not want for food or clothing, that their fortunes will rise spectacularly. Nobody wants a life that is poor and downtrodden, full of hardships and beset by calamities. But people cannot foresee or control these things. Perhaps for some, the past is just a jumble of experiences; they never learn what the will of Heaven is, and nor do they care what it is. They live out their lives unthinkingly, like animals, day by day, not caring about the fate of humanity or why humans are alive or how they ought to live. Such people reach old age having gained no understanding of human fate, and until the moment they die they have no idea what life is about. Such people are dead; they are beings without spirit; they are beasts. Although people live within creation and derive enjoyment from the many ways in which the world satisfies their material needs, and though they see this material world constantly advancing, yet their own experience—what their hearts and their spirits feel and experience—has nothing to do with material things, and nothing material is a substitute for experience. Experience is a recognition deep in one’s heart, something that cannot be seen with the naked eye. This recognition lies in one’s understanding of, and one’s perception of, human life and human fate. And it often leads one to the apprehension that an unseen Master is arranging all things, orchestrating everything for man. In the midst of all this, one cannot but accept fate’s arrangements and orchestrations; one cannot but accept the path ahead that the Creator has laid out, the Creator’s sovereignty over one’s fate. This is an undisputed fact. No matter what insight and attitude one holds about fate, no one can change this fact.

Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted? People cannot foresee all these occurrences, much less control how these situations develop. In life, these unforeseeable events happen all the time; they are an everyday occurrence. These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns they follow, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that the process of each event’s occurrence, each event’s ineluctable nature, cannot be shifted by human will. Every occurrence conveys an admonition from the Creator to mankind, and it also sends the message that human beings cannot control their own fates. Every event is a rebuttal to humanity’s wild, futile ambition and desire to take its fate into its own hands. They are like powerful slaps about humanity’s face, one after another, forcing people to reconsider who, in the end, governs and controls their fate. And as their ambitions and desires are repeatedly thwarted and shattered, humans naturally arrive at an unconscious acceptance of what fate has in store—an acceptance of reality, of the will of Heaven and the Creator’s sovereignty. From these daily vicissitudes to the fates of entire human lives, there is nothing that does not reveal the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty; there is nothing that does not send the message that “the Creator’s authority cannot be exceeded,” that does not convey this eternal truth that “the Creator’s authority is supreme.”

The fates of humanity and of the universe are intimately entwined with the Creator’s sovereignty, inseparably tied to the Creator’s orchestrations; in the end, they are inseparable from the Creator’s authority. In the laws of all things, man comes to understand the Creator’s orchestrations and His sovereignty; in the rules of survival of all things, he comes to perceive the Creator’s governance; in the fates of all things, he comes to infer the ways the Creator exercises His sovereignty and control over them; and in the life cycles of human beings and all things, man truly comes to experience the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements for all things and living beings, to witness how those orchestrations and arrangements supersede all earthly laws, rules, and institutions, all other powers and forces. This being so, humanity is compelled to recognize that the Creator’s sovereignty cannot be violated by any created being, that no force can usurp upon or alter the events and things predestined by the Creator. It is under these divine laws and rules that humans and all things live and propagate, generation after generation. Is this not the true embodiment of the Creator’s authority? Though man sees, in the objective laws, the Creator’s sovereignty and His ordination for all events and all things, how many people are able to grasp the principle of the Creator’s sovereignty over the universe? How many people can truly know, recognize, accept, and submit to the Creator’s sovereignty over and arrangement of their own fate? Who, having believed in the fact of the Creator’s sovereignty over all things, will truly believe and recognize that the Creator also dictates the fates of the lives of men? Who can truly comprehend the fact that man’s fate rests in the Creator’s palm? What sort of attitude should humanity take toward the Creator’s sovereignty, when confronted with the fact that He governs and controls the fate of humanity? That is a decision that every human being who is now confronted with this fact must make for themselves.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 122

The Six Junctures in a Human Life (Selected passages)

In the course of one’s life, every person arrives at a series of critical junctures. These are the most fundamental, and the most important, steps that determine a person’s fate in life. What follows is a brief description of these waymarkers that every person must pass in the course of their life.

The First Juncture: Birth

Where a person is born, what family they are born into, one’s gender, appearance, and time of birth—these are the details of the first juncture of a person’s life.

No one may choose certain details of this juncture; they are all predestined long in advance by the Creator. They are not influenced by the external environment in any way, and no manmade factors can change these facts, which are predetermined by the Creator. For a person to be born means that the Creator has already fulfilled the first step of the fate He has arranged for that person. Because He has predetermined all of these details long in advance, no one has the power to alter any of them. Regardless of a person’s subsequent fate, the conditions of one’s birth are predestined, and remain as they are; they are not in any way influenced by one’s fate in life, and nor do they in any way affect the Creator’s sovereignty over one’s fate in life.

1) A New Life Is Born Out of the Creator’s Plans

Which details of the first juncture—the place of one’s birth, one’s family, one’s gender, one’s physical appearance, the time of one’s birth—is a person able to choose? Obviously, one’s birth is a passive event. One is born involuntarily, in a certain place, at a certain time, into a certain family, with a certain physical appearance; one involuntarily becomes a member of a certain household, a branch of a certain family tree. One has no choice at this first life juncture, but rather is born into an environment that is fixed according to the Creator’s plans, into a specific family, with a specific gender and appearance, and at a specific time that is intimately linked with the course of a person’s life. What can a person do at this critical juncture? All told, one has no choice about any single one of these details concerning one’s birth. Were it not for the Creator’s predestination and His guidance, a life newly born into this world would not know where to go or where to stay, would have no relations, belong nowhere, and have no real home. But because of the Creator’s meticulous arrangements, this new life has a place to stay, parents, a place it belongs, and relatives, and hence that life sets out on the course of its journey. Throughout this process, the materialization of this new life is determined by the Creator’s plans, and everything it will come to possess is bestowed upon it by the Creator. From a free-floating body with nothing to its name, it gradually becomes a flesh-and-blood, visible, tangible human being, one of God’s creations, who thinks, breathes, and senses warm and cold; who can participate in all the usual activities of a created being in the material world; and who will undergo all the things a created human being must experience in life. The predetermination of a person’s birth by the Creator means that He will bestow upon that person all things necessary for survival; and, likewise, the fact that a person is born means they will receive all things necessary for survival from the Creator, and from that point on, they will live in another form, provided for by the Creator and subject to the Creator’s sovereignty.

2) Why Different Human Beings Are Born Under Different Circumstances

People often like to imagine that if they were reborn, it would be into an illustrious family; if they were women, they would look like Snow White and be loved by everybody, and if they were men, they would be Prince Charming, wanting for nothing, with the whole world at their beck and call. There are often those who labor under many illusions about their birth and are very dissatisfied with it, resenting their family, their appearance, their gender, even the time of their birth. Yet people never understand why they are born into a particular family or why they look a certain way. They do not know that regardless of where they are born or how they look, they are to play various roles and fulfill different missions in the Creator’s management, and this purpose will never change. In the Creator’s eyes, the place one is born, one’s gender, and one’s physical appearance are all temporary things. They are a series of minuscule jots, tiny symbols in each phase of His management of the whole mankind. And a person’s real destination and outcome are not determined by their birth in any particular phase, but by the mission they fulfill in their life, and by the Creator’s judgment upon them when His management plan is complete.

It is said that there is a cause for every effect, and that no effect is without a cause. So, one’s birth is necessarily tied both to one’s present life and one’s previous life. If a person’s death ends their current term of life, then a person’s birth is the beginning of a fresh cycle; if an old cycle represents a person’s previous life, then the new cycle is naturally their present life. Since one’s birth is connected to one’s past life as well as one’s present life, it follows that the location, family, gender, appearance, and other such factors that are associated with one’s birth are all necessarily related to one’s past and present lives. This means that the factors of a person’s birth are not only influenced by one’s previous life, but are determined by one’s destiny in the present life, which accounts for the variety of different circumstances into which people are born: Some are born into poor families, others into rich families. Some are of common stock, while others have illustrious lineages. Some are born in the south, others in the north. Some are born in the desert, others in verdant lands. Some people’s births are accompanied by cheers, laughter, and celebrations; others bring tears, calamity, and woe. Some are born to be treasured, others to be cast aside like weeds. Some are born with fine features, others with crooked ones. Some are lovely to look upon, others are ugly. Some are born at midnight, others beneath the blaze of the noonday sun. … The births of people of all stripes are determined by the fates the Creator has in store for them; their births determine their fates in their present lives as well as the roles they will play and the missions they will fulfill. All this is subject to the Creator’s sovereignty, predestined by Him; no one can escape their predestined lot, no one can change their birth, and no one can choose their fate.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 123

The Six Junctures in a Human Life (Selected passages)

The Second Juncture: Growing Up

Depending on what kind of family they are born into, people grow up in different home environments and learn different lessons from their parents. These factors determine the conditions under which a person comes of age, and growing up represents the second critical juncture of a person’s life. Needless to say, people have no choice at this juncture, either. It too is fixed, prearranged.

1) The Creator Planned the Fixed Conditions for Each Person’s Coming of Age

A person cannot choose the people, events, or things they are edified and influenced by as they grow up. One cannot choose what knowledge or skills one acquires, what habits one forms. One has no say in who one’s parents and relatives are, what kind of environment one grows up in; one’s relationships with the people, events, and things in one’s surroundings, and how they influence one’s development, are all beyond one’s control. Who decides these things, then? Who arranges them? Since people have no choice in the matter, since they cannot decide these things for themselves, and since they obviously do not take shape naturally, it goes without saying that the formation of all these people, events, and things rests in the hands of the Creator. Of course, just as the Creator arranges the particular circumstances of every person’s birth, He also arranges the specific circumstances under which one grows up. If a person’s birth brings changes to the people, events, and things around them, then that person’s growth and development will necessarily affect them as well. For example, some people are born into poor families, but grow up surrounded by wealth; others are born into affluent families but cause their families’ fortunes to decline, such that they grow up in poor environments. No one’s birth is governed by a fixed rule, and no one grows up under an inevitable, fixed set of circumstances. These are not things that a person can imagine or control; they are the products of one’s fate, and are determined by one’s fate. Of course, at their root, these things are determined by the fate that the Creator predestines for each person; they are determined by the Creator’s sovereignty over that person’s fate and His plans for it.

2) The Various Circumstances Under Which People Grow Up Give Rise to Different Roles

The circumstances of a person’s birth establish on a basic level the environment and circumstances in which they grow up, and the circumstances in which a person grows up are likewise a product of the circumstances of their birth. During this time, one begins to learn language, and one’s mind begins to encounter and assimilate many new things, a process during which one is constantly growing. The things a person hears with one’s ears, sees with one’s eyes, and absorbs with one’s mind gradually fill and animate one’s inner world. The people, events, and things that one comes into contact with; the common sense, knowledge, and skills one learns; and the ways of thinking that influence one, with which one is inculcated or taught, will all guide and influence a person’s fate in life. The language that one learns as one grows and one’s way of thinking are inseparable from the environment in which one spends one’s youth, and that environment consists of parents and siblings, and the other people, events, and things around them. So, the course of a person’s development is determined by the environment in which one grows up, and also depends on the people, events, and things that one comes into contact with during this period of time. Since the conditions in which a person grows up are predetermined long in advance, the environment in which one lives during this process is also, naturally, predetermined. It is not decided by a person’s choices and preferences, but according to the Creator’s plans, determined by the Creator’s careful arrangements and His sovereignty over a person’s fate in life. So, the people that any person encounters in the course of growing up, and the things they come into contact with, are all naturally connected with the orchestrations and arrangements of the Creator. People cannot foresee these kinds of complex interrelationships, nor can they control them or fathom them. Many different things and people have a bearing on the environment in which a person grows up, and no human being is capable of arranging or orchestrating such a vast web of connections. No person or thing except the Creator can control the appearance of all people, things and events, nor can they maintain them or control their disappearance, and it is just such a vast web of connections that shapes a person’s development as predestined by the Creator and builds the various environments in which people grow up. It is what creates the various roles necessary for the Creator’s work of management, laying solid, strong foundations for people to successfully fulfill their missions.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 124

The Six Junctures in a Human Life (Selected passages)

The Third Juncture: Independence

After a person has passed through childhood and adolescence and gradually and inevitably reaches maturity, the next step is for them to part completely from their youth, say goodbye to their parents, and face the road ahead as an independent adult. At this point, they must confront all the people, events, and things that an adult must face, confront all the parts of their fate which will soon present themselves. This is the third juncture that a person must pass through.

1) After Becoming Independent, a Person Begins to Experience the Sovereignty of the Creator

If a person’s birth and growing up are the “preparatory period” for one’s journey in life, laying the cornerstone of a person’s fate, then one’s independence is the opening soliloquy to one’s fate in life. If a person’s birth and growing up are wealth they have amassed in preparation for their fate in life, then a person’s independence is when they begin spending or adding to that wealth. When one leaves one’s parents and becomes independent, the social conditions one faces, and the kind of work and career available to one are both decreed by fate and have nothing to do with one’s parents. Some people choose a good major in college and end up finding a satisfactory job after graduation, making a triumphant first stride in the journey of their lives. Some people learn and master many different skills and yet never find a job that suits them or never find their position, much less have a career; at the outset of their life journey, they find themselves thwarted at every turn, beset by troubles, their prospects dismal and their lives uncertain. Some people apply themselves diligently to their studies, yet narrowly miss every chance to receive a higher education; they seem fated never to achieve success, their very first aspiration in the journey of their lives having dissolved into thin air. Not knowing whether the road ahead is smooth or rocky, they feel for the first time how full of variables human destiny is, and so regard life with expectation and dread. Some people, despite not being very well educated, write books and achieve a measure of fame; some, though almost totally illiterate, make money in business and are thereby able to support themselves…. What occupation one chooses, how one makes a living: do people have any control over whether they make a good choice or a bad choice in these things? Do these things accord with people’s desires and decisions? Most people have the following wishes: to work less and earn more, not to toil in the sun and rain, to dress well, to glow and shine everywhere, to tower above others, and to bring honor to their ancestors. People hope for perfection, but when they take their first steps in the journey of their lives, they gradually come to realize how imperfect human destiny is, and for the first time they truly grasp the fact that, though one can make bold plans for one’s future and though one may harbor audacious fantasies, no one has the ability or the power to realize their own dreams, and no one is in a position to control their own future. There will always be some distance between one’s dreams and the realities that one must confront; things are never as one would like them to be, and faced with such realities, people can never achieve satisfaction or contentment. Some people will go to any length imaginable, will put forth great efforts and make great sacrifices for the sake of their livelihoods and future, in an attempt to change their own fate. But in the end, even if they can realize their dreams and desires by means of their own hard work, they can never change their fates, and no matter how doggedly they try, they can never exceed what destiny has allotted them. Regardless of differences in ability, intelligence, and willpower, people are all equal before fate, which does not distinguish between the great and the small, the high and the low, the exalted and the mean. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator.

2) Leaving One’s Parents and Beginning in Earnest to Play One’s Role in the Theater of Life

When one reaches maturity, one is able to leave one’s parents and strike out on one’s own, and it is at this point that one truly begins to play one’s own role, that the fog lifts and one’s mission in life gradually becomes clear. Nominally, one still stays closely tied to one’s parents, but because one’s mission and the role one plays in life have nothing to do with one’s mother and father, in essence this intimate tie breaks down as a person gradually becomes independent. From a biological perspective, people cannot help still being dependent on their parents in subconscious ways, but objectively speaking, once they are fully grown, they have entirely separate lives from their parents and will perform the roles they assume independently. Besides birth and childrearing, the parents’ responsibility in their children’s lives is simply to provide them with a formal environment to grow up in, for nothing except the predestination of the Creator has a bearing on a person’s fate. No one can control what kind of future a person will have; it is predetermined long in advance, and not even one’s parents can change one’s fate. As far as fate is concerned, everyone is independent, and everyone has their own fate. So, no one’s parents can stave off one’s fate in life or exert the slightest influence on the role one plays in life. It could be said that the family into which one is destined to be born and the environment in which one grows up are nothing more than the preconditions for fulfilling one’s mission in life. They do not in any way determine a person’s fate in life or the kind of destiny within which a person fulfills their mission. And so, no one’s parents can assist one in accomplishing one’s mission in life, and likewise, no one’s relatives can help one assume one’s role in life. How one accomplishes one’s mission and in what kind of living environment one performs one’s role are entirely determined by one’s fate in life. In other words, no other objective conditions can influence a person’s mission, which is predestined by the Creator. All people become mature in the particular environments in which they grow up; then gradually, step by step, they set off down their own roads in life and fulfill the destinies planned for them by the Creator. Naturally, involuntarily, they enter the vast sea of humanity and assume their own posts in life, where they begin to fulfill their responsibilities as created beings for the sake of the Creator’s predestination, for the sake of His sovereignty.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 125

The Six Junctures in a Human Life (Selected passages)

The Fourth Juncture: Marriage

As one grows older and matures, one grows more distant from one’s parents and the environment in which one was born and raised, and instead begins to seek a direction in life and to pursue one’s own life goals in a style different from one’s parents. During this time, one no longer needs one’s parents, but rather a partner with whom one can spend one’s life, that is, a spouse, a person with whom one’s fate is intimately entwined. So, the first major life event after independence is marriage, the fourth juncture one must pass through.

1) Individual Choice Does Not Enter Into Marriage

Marriage is a key event in any person’s life; it is the time when one starts truly to assume various kinds of responsibilities, and gradually to complete various kinds of missions. People harbor many illusions about marriage before they experience it themselves, and all these illusions are quite beautiful. Women imagine that their other halves will be Prince Charming, and men imagine that they will marry Snow White. These fantasies go to show that every person has certain requirements for marriage, their own set of demands and standards. Though in this evil age people are constantly bombarded with distorted messages about marriage, which create even more additional requirements and give people all sorts of baggage and strange attitudes, any person who has experienced marriage knows that no matter how one understands it, no matter what one’s attitude toward it is, marriage is not a matter of individual choice.

One encounters many people in one’s life, but no one knows who will become one’s partner in marriage. Though everyone has their own ideas and personal stances on the subject of marriage, no one can foresee who will truly, finally become their other half, and one’s own ideas on the matter count for little. After meeting someone you like, you can pursue that person; but whether they are interested in you, whether they are able to become your partner—that is not yours to decide. The object of your affections is not necessarily the person with whom you will be able to share your life; and meanwhile, someone you never expected may quietly enter your life and become your partner, the most important element in your fate, your other half, to whom your fate is inextricably bound. And so, though there are millions of marriages in the world, each and every one is different: So many marriages are unsatisfactory, so many are happy; so many span East and West, so many North and South; so many are perfect matches, so many are of equal social rank; so many are happy and harmonious, so many painful and sorrowful; so many arouse the envy of others, so many are misunderstood and frowned upon; so many are full of joy, so many are awash with tears and bring despair…. In these myriad types of marriage, humans reveal loyalty and lifelong commitment toward marriage; they reveal love, attachment, and inseparability, or resignation and incomprehension. Some betray their marriage, or even feel hatred toward it. Whether marriage itself brings happiness or pain, everyone’s mission in marriage is predestined by the Creator and will not change; this mission is something that everyone must complete. The fate of each person that lies behind every marriage is unchanging, determined long in advance by the Creator.

2) Marriage Is Born of the Fates of Both Partners

Marriage is an important juncture in a person’s life. It is the product of a person’s fate and a crucial link in one’s fate; it is not founded on any person’s individual volition or preferences, and is not influenced by any external factors, but completely determined by the fates of the two parties, by the Creator’s arrangements and predeterminations for the fates of both members of the couple. On the surface, the purpose of marriage is to continue the human race, but in truth, marriage is nothing but a ritual that one undergoes in the process of completing one’s mission. In marriage, people do not merely play the role of rearing the next generation; they adopt all the various roles involved in maintaining a marriage and the missions those roles require one to complete. Since one’s birth influences the changes undergone by the people, events, and things that surround it, one’s marriage will also inevitably affect these people, events, and things, and furthermore, will transform them all in various ways.

When one becomes independent, one begins one’s own journey in life, which leads one, step by step, toward the people, events, and things that have a connection to one’s marriage. At the same time, the other person who will be in that marriage is approaching, step by step, toward those same people, events, and things. Under the Creator’s sovereignty, two unrelated people with related fates gradually enter into a single marriage and become, miraculously, a family: “two locusts clinging to the same rope.” So, when one enters into a marriage, one’s journey in life will influence and touch upon one’s other half, and likewise one’s partner’s journey in life will influence and touch upon one’s own fate in life. In other words, human fates are interconnected, and no one can complete one’s mission in life or perform one’s role in complete independence from others. One’s birth has a bearing on a huge chain of relationships; growing up also involves a complex chain of relationships; and similarly, a marriage inevitably exists and is maintained within a vast and complex web of human connections, involving every member of that web and influencing the fate of everyone who is a part of it. A marriage is not the product of both members’ families, the circumstances in which they grew up, their appearances, their ages, their qualities, their talents, or any other factors; rather, it arises from a shared mission and a related fate. This is the origin of marriage, a product of human fate orchestrated and arranged by the Creator.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 126

The Six Junctures in a Human Life (Selected passages)

The Fifth Juncture: Progeny

After marrying, one begins to raise the next generation. One has no say in how many and what kind of children one has; this too is determined by a person’s fate, predestined by the Creator. This is the fifth juncture through which a person must pass.

If one is born in order to fulfill the role of someone’s child, then one rears the next generation to fulfill the role of someone’s parent. This shift in roles makes one experience different phases of life from different perspectives. It also gives one different sets of life experience through which one comes to know the sovereignty of the Creator, which is always enacted in the same way, and through which one encounters the fact that no one can overstep or alter the predestination of the Creator.

1) One Has No Control Over What Becomes of One’s Offspring

Birth, growing up, and marriage all bring disappointment of various kinds and in different degrees. Some people are dissatisfied with their families or their own physical appearance; some dislike their parents; some resent or have complaints about the environment in which they grew up. And for most people, among all these disappointments, marriage is the most dissatisfactory. No matter how dissatisfied one is with one’s birth, maturation, or marriage, everyone who has gone through these things knows that one cannot choose where and when they were born, what they look like, who their parents are, and who their spouse is, but must simply accept the will of Heaven. Yet when it comes time for people to raise the next generation, they will project all the desires they failed to realize in the first half of their lives onto their descendants, hoping that their offspring will make up for all the disappointments of the first half of their own lives. So people indulge in all kinds of fantasies about their children: that their daughters will grow up to be stunning beauties, their sons dashing gentlemen; that their daughters will be cultured and talented and their sons brilliant students and star athletes; that their daughters will be gentle, virtuous, and sensible, and their sons intelligent, capable, and sensitive. They hope that their offspring, whether they be daughters or sons, will respect their elders, be considerate of their parents, be loved and praised by everyone…. At this point, hopes for life spring afresh, and new passions are kindled in people’s hearts. People know that they are powerless and hopeless in this life, that they will not have another chance or another hope to stand out from the crowd, and that they have no choice but to accept their fates. And so they project all their hopes, their unrealized desires and ideals, onto the next generation, hoping that their offspring can help them achieve their dreams and realize their desires; that their daughters and sons will bring glory to the family name, become important, rich, or famous. In short, they want to see their children’s fortunes soar. People’s plans and fantasies are perfect; do they not know that the number of children they have, their children’s appearance, abilities, and so forth, are not for them to decide, that not a bit of their children’s fates is in their hands? Humans are not the masters of their own fate, yet they hope to change the fates of the younger generation; they are powerless to escape their own fates, yet they try to control those of their sons and daughters. Are they not overestimating themselves? Is this not human foolishness and ignorance? People will go to any length for the sake of their offspring, but in the end, one’s plans and desires cannot dictate how many children one has or what those children are like. Some people are penniless but beget many children; some people are wealthy yet have not a single child. Some want a daughter but are denied that wish; some want a son but fail to produce a male child. For some, children are a blessing; for others, they are a curse. Some couples are intelligent, yet give birth to slow-witted children; some parents are industrious and honest, yet the children they raise are indolent. Some parents are kind and upright but have children who turn out to be sly and vicious. Some parents are sound in mind and body but give birth to handicapped children. Some parents are ordinary and unsuccessful yet have children who achieve great things. Some parents are of low status yet have children who rise to eminence. …

2) After Raising the Next Generation, People Gain a New Understanding of Fate

Most people who enter wedlock do so around age thirty, a time in life at which one does not yet have any understanding of human fate. But when people begin to raise children, and as their offspring grow, they watch the new generation repeat the life and all the experiences of the previous generation, and, seeing their own pasts reflected in them, they realize that the path walked by the younger generation, just like their own, cannot be planned and chosen. Faced with this fact, they have no choice but to admit that every person’s fate is predestined, and without quite realizing it, they gradually lay aside their own desires, and the passions in their hearts sputter and die out…. People in this period, having essentially passed the important waymarkers of life, have achieved a new understanding of life, adopted a new attitude. How much can a person of this age expect from the future and what prospects do they have to look forward to? What fifty-year-old woman is still dreaming of Prince Charming? What fifty-year-old man is still looking for his Snow White? What middle-aged woman is still hoping to turn from an ugly duckling into a swan? Do most older men have the same career drive as young men? In sum, regardless of whether one is a man or a woman, anyone who lives to this age is likely to have a relatively rational, practical attitude toward marriage, family, and children. Such a person has essentially no choices left, no urge to challenge fate. As far as human experience goes, as soon as one reaches this age, one naturally develops a certain attitude: “One must accept fate; one’s children have their own fortunes; human fate is ordained by Heaven.” Most people who do not understand the truth, after having weathered all the vicissitudes, frustrations, and hardships of this world, will summarize their insights into human life with two words: “That’s fate!” Though this phrase encapsulates worldly people’s realization of human fate and the conclusion to which they have come, and though it expresses humanity’s helplessness and could be described as incisive and accurate, it is a far cry from an understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty, and is simply no substitute for knowledge of the Creator’s authority.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 127

Believing in Fate Is No Substitute for Knowledge of the Creator’s Sovereignty

Having followed God for so many years, is there an essential difference between your knowledge of fate and that of the worldly people? Have you truly understood the predestination of the Creator and truly come to know the Creator’s sovereignty? Some people have a profound, deeply felt understanding of the phrase “that’s fate,” yet they do not believe in God’s sovereignty in the least; they do not believe that human fate is arranged and orchestrated by God, and are unwilling to submit to the sovereignty of God. Such people are as if adrift on the ocean, tossed by the waves, drifting with the current, with no choice but to wait passively and resign themselves to fate. Yet they do not recognize that human fate is subject to God’s sovereignty; they cannot on their own initiative come to know God’s sovereignty and thereby achieve knowledge of God’s authority, submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, stop resisting fate, and live under God’s care, protection, and guidance. In other words, accepting fate is not the same thing as submitting to the Creator’s sovereignty; belief in fate does not mean that one accepts, recognizes, and knows the Creator’s sovereignty; belief in fate is mere recognition of its truth and its superficial manifestations. This is different from knowing how the Creator rules humanity’s fate, from recognizing the Creator is the source of dominion over the fates of all things, and certainly a far cry from submitting to the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements for humanity’s fate. If a person only believes in fate—even if they feel deeply about it—but is not thereby able to know and recognize the Creator’s sovereignty over the fate of humanity, to submit to it and accept it, then their life will nonetheless be a tragedy, a life lived in vain, a void; they will still be unable to come under the Creator’s dominion, to become a created human being in the truest sense of the term, and to enjoy the Creator’s approval. A person who truly knows and experiences the Creator’s sovereignty should be in an active state, not a state that is passive or helpless. While such a person would accept that all things are fated, they should possess an accurate definition of life and fate: Every life is subject to the Creator’s sovereignty. When one looks back on the road one has walked, when one recollects every phase of one’s journey, one sees that at every step, whether one’s journey was arduous or smooth, God was guiding one’s path, planning it out. It was God’s meticulous arrangements, His careful planning, that led one, unknowingly, to today. To be able to accept the Creator’s sovereignty, to receive His salvation—what great fortune that is! If a person has a negative attitude toward fate, it proves that they are resisting everything that God has arranged for them, that they do not have a submissive attitude. If one has a positive attitude toward God’s sovereignty over human fate, then when one looks back upon one’s journey, when one truly comes to grips with God’s sovereignty, one will more earnestly desire to submit to everything that God has arranged, will have more determination and confidence to let God orchestrate one’s fate and to stop rebelling against God. For one sees that when one does not comprehend fate, when one does not understand God’s sovereignty, when one gropes their way forward willfully, staggering and tottering through the fog, the journey is too difficult, too heartbreaking. So when people recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate, the clever ones choose to know it and accept it, to bid farewell to the painful days when they tried to build a good life with their own two hands, and to stop struggling against fate and pursuing their so-called “life goals” in their own way. When one does not have God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and suffering without relief, such that one cannot bear to look back on one’s past. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life will one gradually begin to break free from all heartbreak and suffering, and to be rid of all the emptiness of life.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 128

Only Those Who Submit to the Creator’s Sovereignty Can Attain True Freedom

Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly and with a rebellious attitude, and they always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed and are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, brings profound pain of the sort that carves itself into one’s bones, as one fritters away their life all the while. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously, neither is true. At bottom, it is caused by the paths people take, the ways they choose to live their lives. Some people may not have realized these things. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for you and decided for you is a great benefit and protection, then you feel your pain begin to lighten, and your whole being becomes relaxed, free, liberated. Judging from the states of the majority of people, they objectively cannot truly come to terms with the practical value and meaning of the Creator’s sovereignty over human fate, even though on a subjective level, they do not want to keep on living as they did before and want relief from their pain; objectively, they cannot truly recognize and submit to the Creator’s sovereignty, and still less do they know how to seek out and accept the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. So, if people cannot truly recognize the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate and over all human matters, if they cannot truly submit to the Creator’s dominion, then it will be difficult for them not to be driven and fettered by the idea that “one’s fate is in one’s own hands.” It will be difficult for them to shake off the pain of their intense struggle against fate and the Creator’s authority, and, needless to say, it will also be hard for them to become truly liberated and free, to become people who worship God. But there is an exceedingly simple way to free oneself from this state, which is to bid farewell to one’s former way of living; to say goodbye to one’s previous goals in life; to summarize and analyze one’s previous lifestyle, view of life, pursuits, desires, and ideals; and then to compare them with God’s will and demands for man, and see whether any of them is consistent with God’s will and demands, whether any of them delivers the right values of life, leads one to a greater understanding of the truth, and allows one to live with humanity and the likeness of a human being. When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals that people pursue in life and their myriad ways of living, you will find not one of them conforms to the Creator’s original intention with which He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all traps which cause people to become depraved, and which lead them to hell. After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you; it is to try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to live without individual choice, and to become a person who worships God. This sounds easy, but is a hard thing to do. Some people can bear the pain of it, others cannot. Some are willing to comply, others are unwilling. Those who are unwilling lack the desire and the resolution to do so; they are clearly aware of God’s sovereignty, know perfectly well that it is God who plans out and arranges human fate, and yet they still kick and struggle and remain unreconciled to laying their fates in God’s palm and submitting to God’s sovereignty; moreover, they resent God’s orchestrations and arrangements. So there will always be some people who want to see for themselves what they are capable of; they want to change their fates with their own two hands, or to achieve happiness by their own power, to see whether they can overstep the bounds of God’s authority and rise above God’s sovereignty. The tragedy of man is not that he seeks a happy life, not that he pursues fame and fortune or struggles against his own fate through the fog, but that after he has seen the Creator’s existence, after he has learned the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate, he still cannot mend his ways, cannot pull his feet out of the mire, but hardens his heart and persists in his errors. He would rather keep thrashing in the mud, vying obstinately against the Creator’s sovereignty, resisting it until the bitter end, all without the slightest shred of contrition. It is only when he lies broken and bleeding that he at last decides to give up and turn back. This is true human sorrow. So I say, those who choose to submit are wise, and those who choose to struggle and flee are foolish indeed.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 129

The Six Junctures in a Human Life (Selected passages)

The Sixth Juncture: Death

After so much hustle and bustle, so many frustrations and disappointments, after so many joys and sorrows and ups and downs, after so many unforgettable years, after watching the seasons turn time and again, one has passed the important waymarkers in life without noticing, and in a flash, one finds oneself in one’s twilight years. The marks of time are stamped all over one’s body: One can no longer stand tall, one’s hair turns from dark to white, while eyes once bright and lucid turn dim and cloudy, and smooth, supple skin becomes wrinkled and spotted. One’s hearing weakens, one’s teeth loosen and fall out, one’s reactions become sluggish, one’s movements slow…. At this point, one has bid a final farewell to the passionate years of one’s youth and entered the twilight of one’s life: old age. Next, one will face death, the last juncture in a human life.

1) Only the Creator Holds the Power of Life and Death Over Man

If one’s birth was destined by one’s previous life, then one’s death marks the end of that destiny. If one’s birth is the beginning of one’s mission in this life, then one’s death marks the end of that mission. Since the Creator has determined a fixed set of circumstances for a person’s birth, it goes without saying that He has also arranged a fixed set of circumstances for one’s death. In other words, no one is born by chance, no one’s death arrives abruptly, and both birth and death are necessarily connected with one’s previous and present lives. The circumstances of one’s birth and death are both predetermined by the Creator; this is a person’s destiny, a person’s fate. Since there are many explanations for a person’s birth, it is also true that a person’s death will naturally occur under its own, special set of various circumstances. This is the reason for people’s varying lifespans and the different manners and times of their deaths. Some people are strong and healthy, yet die young; others are weak and sickly, yet live to an old age and pass away peacefully. Some perish of unnatural causes, others die naturally. Some end their lives far from home, others shut their eyes for the final time with their loved ones by their side. Some people die in midair, others beneath the earth. Some sink beneath the water, others are lost in disasters. Some die in the morning, others at night. … Everyone wants an illustrious birth, a brilliant life, and a glorious death, but no one can reach past their own destiny, no one can escape the Creator’s sovereignty. This is human fate. Man can make all kinds of plans for his future, but no one can plan the manner and time of their birth and of their departure from the world. Though people do their best to avoid and resist the coming of death, still, unbeknownst to them, death silently draws near. No one knows when they will perish or how, much less where it will happen. Obviously, it is not humanity that holds the power of life and death, not some being in the natural world, but the Creator, whose authority is unique. Mankind’s life and death are not the product of some law of the natural world, but a consequence of the sovereignty of the Creator’s authority.

2) One Who Does Not Know the Creator’s Sovereignty Will Be Haunted by the Fear of Death

When one enters old age, the challenge one faces is not providing for a family or establishing one’s grand ambitions in life, but how to bid farewell to one’s life, how to meet the end of one’s life, how to put a period at the end of the sentence of one’s life. Though on the surface, it seems that people pay little attention to death, no one can avoid exploring the subject, for no one knows whether another world lies on the far side of death, a world that humans cannot perceive or feel, that they know nothing about. This makes people afraid to face death head-on, afraid to confront it as they ought; instead, they do their best to avoid the subject. And so it fills every person with dread about death, and adds a veil of mystery to this inevitable fact of life, casting a persistent shadow over every person’s heart.

When one feels one’s body deteriorating, when one senses that one is drawing nearer to death, one feels a vague dread, an inexpressible fear. Fear of death makes one feel ever lonelier and more helpless, and at this point, one asks oneself: Where did man come from? Where is man going? Is this how man dies, with his life having rushed past him? Is this the period that marks the end of man’s life? What, in the end, is the meaning of life? What is life worth, after all? Is it about fame and fortune? Is it about raising a family? … Regardless of whether one has thought about these specific questions, regardless of how deeply one fears death, in the depths of every person’s heart there is always a desire to probe the mysteries, a feeling of incomprehension about life, and mixed in with these, sentimentality about the world, a reluctance to leave. Perhaps no one can clearly articulate what it is that man fears, what it is that man seeks, what it is that he is sentimental about and what he is reluctant to leave behind …

Because they fear death, people have so many worries; because they fear death, people have so much they cannot let go of. When they are about to die, some people fret about this or that; they worry about their children, their loved ones, their wealth, as if by worrying, they can erase the suffering and dread that death brings, as if by maintaining a kind of intimacy with the living, they can escape the helplessness and loneliness that accompany death. In the depths of the human heart there lies a vague fear, a fear of being parted from one’s loved ones, of never again laying eyes upon the blue sky, of never again looking upon the material world. A lonely soul, accustomed to the company of its loved ones, is reluctant to release its grip and depart, all alone, for a world that is unknown and unfamiliar.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 130

A Life Spent Seeking Fame and Fortune Leaves One at a Loss in the Face of Death

Because of the Creator’s sovereignty and predestination, a lonely soul that started out with nothing to its name gains parents and a family, the chance to become a member of the human race, the chance to experience human life and see the world. This soul also gains the chance to experience the Creator’s sovereignty, to know the marvelousness of the Creator’s creation, and more than that, to know and become subject to the Creator’s authority. Yet most people do not really seize this rare and fleeting opportunity. One exhausts a lifetime’s worth of energy fighting against fate, spends all of one’s time bustling about, trying to feed one’s family and shuttling back and forth between wealth and status. The things that people treasure are family, money, and fame, and they view these as the most valuable things in life. All people complain about their fates, yet still they push to the back of their minds the issues that are most imperative to examine and understand: why man is alive, how man should live, what the value and meaning of life are. They spend their entire lives, however long they may last, merely rushing about seeking fame and fortune, until their youth has fled and they have become gray and wrinkled. They live in this way until they see that fame and fortune cannot stop their slide toward senility, that money cannot fill the emptiness of the heart, that no one is exempt from the laws of birth, aging, sickness, and death, that no one can escape what fate has in store. Only when they are forced to confront life’s final juncture do they truly grasp that even if one owns vast wealth and extensive assets, even if one is privileged and of high rank, one still cannot escape death and must return to their original position: a solitary soul, with nothing to its name. When people have parents, they believe their parents are everything; when people have property, they think that money is one’s mainstay, that it is the means by which one lives; when people have status, they cling tightly to it and would risk their lives for its sake. Only when people are about to let go of this world do they realize that the things they spent their lives pursuing are nothing but fleeting clouds, none of which they can hold onto, none of which they can take with them, none of which can exempt them from death, none of which can provide company or consolation to a lonely soul on its journey back; least of all, none of these things can save a person and enable them to transcend death. The fame and fortune that one gains in the material world give temporary satisfaction, passing pleasure, a false sense of ease; in the process, they cause one to lose one’s way. And so people, as they thrash about in the vast sea of humanity, craving peace, comfort, and tranquility of heart, are engulfed by wave after wave. When people have yet to figure out the questions that are most crucial to understand—where they come from, why they are alive, where they are going, and so forth—they are seduced by fame and fortune, misled and controlled by them and irrevocably lost. Time flies; years pass in the blink of an eye, and before one realizes it, one has bid farewell to the best years of one’s life. When one is soon to depart from the world, one arrives at the gradual realization that everything in the world is drifting away, that one can no longer hold onto possessions that originally were theirs; then one truly feels that one is like a wailing infant that has just emerged into the world, with nothing yet to their name. At this point, one is compelled to ponder what one has done in life, what being alive is worth, what it means, why one came into the world. And it is at this point that one increasingly wants to know whether there really is a next life, whether Heaven really exists, whether there really is retribution…. The nearer one comes to death, the more one wants to understand what life is really about; the nearer one comes to death, the more one’s heart seems empty; the nearer one comes to death, the more helpless one feels; and so one’s fear of death grows greater by the day. There are two reasons such feelings manifest in people as they approach death: First, they are about to lose the fame and wealth upon which their lives have depended, about to leave behind all that the eye beholds in the world; and second, they are about to confront, all alone, an unfamiliar world, a mysterious, unknown realm where they are afraid to set foot, where they have no loved ones and no means of support. For these two reasons, everyone who faces death feels uneasy, experiences panic and a sense of helplessness such as they have never known before. Only when someone has actually come to this point do they realize that when one sets foot on this earth, the first thing they must understand is where human beings come from, why people are alive, who dictates human fate, and who provides for and has sovereignty over human existence. This knowledge is the true means by which one lives, the essential basis for human survival—not learning how to provide for one’s family or how to achieve fame and wealth, not learning how to stand out from the crowd nor how to live a more affluent life, much less learning how to excel and to compete successfully against others. Though the various survival skills that people spend their lives mastering can offer an abundance of material comforts, they never bring true peace and consolation to one’s heart, but instead make people constantly lose their direction, have difficulty controlling themselves, and miss every opportunity to learn the meaning of life; these survival skills create an undercurrent of anxiety about how to face death properly. People’s lives are ruined in this way. The Creator treats everyone fairly, giving everyone a lifetime’s worth of opportunities to experience and know His sovereignty, yet it is only when death draws near, when its specter looms, that one begins to see the light—and then it is too late!

People spend their lives chasing after money and fame; they clutch at these straws, thinking they are their only means of support, as if by having them they could live on, exempt from death. But only when they are about to die do they realize how distant these things are from them, how weak they are in the face of death, how easily they shatter, how lonely and helpless they are, with nowhere to turn. They realize that life cannot be bought with money or fame, that no matter how wealthy a person may be, no matter how lofty their position, all are equally poor and insignificant in the face of death. They realize that money cannot buy life, that fame cannot erase death, that neither money nor fame can lengthen a person’s life by a single minute, a single second. The more people feel this way, the more they yearn to keep on living; the more people feel this way, the more they dread the approach of death. Only at this point do they truly realize that their lives do not belong to them, are not theirs to control, and that one has no say over whether one lives or dies—that all of this lies outside of one’s control.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 131

Come Under the Creator’s Dominion and Face Death Calmly

At the moment a person is born, one lonely soul begins its experience of life on earth, its experience of the Creator’s authority which the Creator has arranged for it. Needless to say, for the person—the soul—this is an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge of the Creator’s sovereignty, to come to know His authority and to experience it personally. People live their lives within the laws of fate laid out for them by the Creator, and for any rational person with a conscience, coming to terms, over the decades of their life, with the Creator’s sovereignty and coming to know His authority is not a difficult thing to do. Therefore, it should be very easy for every person to recognize, through their own life experiences over several decades, that all human fates are predestined, and it should be easy to grasp or to summarize what it means to be alive. As one embraces these life lessons, one will gradually come to understand where life comes from, to grasp what the heart truly needs, what will lead one to the true path of life, and what the mission and goal of a human life ought to be. One will gradually recognize that if one does not worship the Creator, if one does not come under His dominion, then when the time comes to confront death—when one’s soul is about to face the Creator once more—one’s heart will be filled with boundless dread and turmoil. If a person has been in the world for several decades yet has not understood where human life comes from nor recognized in whose palm human fate rests, then it is no wonder that they will not be able to face death calmly. A person who has gained, in their decades of experience of human life, knowledge of the Creator’s sovereignty is a person with a correct appreciation for the meaning and value of life. Such a person has a deep knowledge of life’s purpose, with real experience and understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty, and beyond that, is able to submit to the Creator’s authority. Such a person understands the meaning of God’s creation of mankind, understands that man should worship the Creator, that everything man possesses comes from the Creator and will return to Him some day not far in the future. This kind of person understands that the Creator arranges man’s birth and has sovereignty over man’s death, and that both life and death are predestined by the Creator’s authority. So, when one truly grasps these things, one will naturally be able to face death calmly, to calmly lay aside all one’s worldly possessions, accept and submit happily to all that follows, and welcome the last life-juncture, arranged, as it is, by the Creator, rather than blindly dreading it and struggling against it. If one views life as an opportunity to experience the Creator’s sovereignty and come to know His authority, if one sees one’s life as a rare chance to perform one’s duty as a created human being and to complete one’s mission, then one will surely have the correct outlook on life, will surely live a life blessed and guided by the Creator, will surely walk in the light of the Creator, will surely know the Creator’s sovereignty, will surely come under His dominion, and surely become a witness to His miraculous deeds, a witness to His authority. Needless to say, such a person will surely be loved and accepted by the Creator, and only such a person can hold a calm attitude toward death and welcome life’s final juncture with joy. One person who obviously held this kind of attitude toward death is Job. Job was in a position to accept the final juncture of life happily, and having brought his life’s journey to a smooth conclusion and completed his mission in life, he returned to be at the Creator’s side.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 132

Job’s Pursuits and Gains in Life Allow Him to Calmly Face Death

In the scriptures it is written about Job: “So Job died, being old and full of days” (Job 42:17). This means that when Job passed away, he had no regrets and felt no pain, but departed naturally from this world. As everyone knows, Job was a man who feared God and shunned evil while he was alive. His deeds were commended by God and memorialized by others, and his life may be said to have had worth and significance that exceeded all others’. Job enjoyed God’s blessings and was called righteous by Him on earth, and he was also tried by God and tested by Satan. He stood witness for God and deserved to be called a righteous person by Him. In the decades after he was tried by God, he lived a life that was even more valuable, meaningful, grounded, and peaceful than before. Because of his righteous deeds, God tried him, and also because of his righteous deeds, God appeared to him and spoke to him directly. So, in the years after he was tried, Job understood and appreciated life’s value in a more concrete way, attained a deeper understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty, and gained a more precise and definite knowledge of how the Creator gives and takes away His blessings. The Book of Job records that Jehovah God bestowed even greater blessings upon Job than He did before, putting Job in an even better position to know the Creator’s sovereignty and to face death calmly. So Job, when he grew old and faced death, certainly would not have been anxious about his property. He had no worries, nothing to regret, and of course did not fear death, for he spent all his life walking the way of fearing God and shunning evil. He had no reason to worry about his own end. How many people today could act in all the ways Job did when he confronted his own death? Why is no one capable of maintaining such a simple outward bearing? There is only one reason: Job lived his life in the subjective pursuit of belief, recognition, and submission to God’s sovereignty, and it was with this belief, recognition, and submission that he passed through the important junctures in life, lived out his last years, and greeted his life’s final juncture. Regardless of what Job experienced, his pursuits and goals in life were not painful, but happy. He was happy not only because of the blessings or commendation bestowed on him by the Creator, but more importantly, because of his pursuits and life goals, because of the growing knowledge and true understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty he attained through fearing God and shunning evil, and moreover, because of his personal experience, as a subject of the Creator’s sovereignty, of the wondrous deeds of God, and the tender yet unforgettable experiences and memories of man and God’s coexistence, acquaintance, and mutual understanding. Job was happy because of the comfort and joy that came from knowing the Creator’s will, and because of the reverence that arose after seeing that He is great, wondrous, lovable, and faithful. Job was able to face death without any suffering because he knew that, in dying, he would return to the Creator’s side. It was his pursuits and gains in life that allowed him to face death calmly, allowed him to face the prospect of the Creator taking back his life calmly, and moreover, allowed him to stand unsullied and free from care before the Creator. Can people nowadays achieve the kind of happiness that Job possessed? Do you have the conditions necessary to do so? Since people nowadays do have these conditions, why are they unable to live happily, as Job did? Why are they unable to escape the suffering of the fear of death? When facing death, some people urinate uncontrollably; others shiver, faint, lash out against Heaven and man alike; some even wail and weep. These are by no means natural reactions that occur suddenly when death draws near. People behave in these embarrassing ways mainly because, deep in their hearts, they fear death, because they do not have a clear knowledge and appreciation of God’s sovereignty and His arrangements, much less truly submit to them. People react in this way because they want nothing but to arrange and govern everything themselves, to control their own fates, their own lives and deaths. It is no wonder, therefore, that people are never able to escape the fear of death.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 133

Only by Accepting the Creator’s Sovereignty Can One Return to His Side

When one does not have clear knowledge and experience of God’s sovereignty and of His arrangements, one’s knowledge of fate and of death will necessarily be incoherent. People cannot see clearly that everything rests in God’s palm, do not realize that everything is subject to God’s control and sovereignty, do not recognize that man cannot cast off or escape such sovereignty. For this reason, when their time comes to face death, there is no end to their last words, worries, and regrets. They are weighed down by so much baggage, so much reluctance, so much confusion. This causes them to fear death. For any person born into this world, birth is necessary and death inevitable; no one can rise above this course of things. If one wishes to depart from this world painlessly, if one wants to be able to face life’s final juncture with no reluctance or worry, the only way is to leave no regrets. And the only way to depart without regrets is to know the Creator’s sovereignty, to know His authority, and to submit to them. Only in this way can one stay far from human strife, from evil, from Satan’s bondage, and only in this way can one live a life like Job’s, guided and blessed by the Creator, a life that is free and liberated, a life with value and meaning, a life that is honest and openhearted. Only in this way can one submit, like Job, to the trials and deprivation of the Creator, to the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. Only in this way can one worship the Creator all one’s life and win His commendation, as Job did, and hear His voice, see Him appear. Only in this way can one live and die happily, like Job, with no pain, no worry, no regrets. Only in this way can one live in light, like Job, and pass every one of life’s junctures in light, smoothly complete one’s journey in light, successfully complete one’s mission—to experience, learn, and come to know, as a created being, the Creator’s sovereignty—and pass away in the light, and for ever after stand at the Creator’s side as a created human being, commended by Him.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 134

Do Not Miss the Opportunity to Know the Creator’s Sovereignty

The several decades that make up a human life are neither long nor short. The twenty-odd years between birth and coming of age pass in the blink of an eye, and though at this point in life a person is considered an adult, people in this age group know next to nothing about human life and human fate. As they gain more experience, they step gradually into middle age. People in their thirties and forties acquire a fledgling experience of life and fate, but their ideas about these things are still very vague. It is not until the age of forty that some people begin to understand mankind and the universe, which God created, and to grasp what human life is all about, what human fate is all about. Some people, though they have long been followers of God and are now middle-aged, still cannot possess an accurate knowledge and definition of God’s sovereignty, much less true submission. Some people care about nothing other than seeking to receive blessings, and though they have lived for many years, they do not know or understand in the least the fact of the Creator’s sovereignty over human fate, and have not taken even the smallest step into the practical lesson of submitting to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Such people are thoroughly foolish, and their lives are lived in vain.

If the periods of a human life are divided according to people’s degree of life experience and knowledge of human fate, they can roughly be broken into three phases. The first phase is youth, which is the years between birth and middle age, or from birth until the age of thirty. The second phase is maturation, from middle age to old age, or from thirty until sixty. And the third phase is one’s mature period, which lasts with the start of old age, beginning at sixty, until one departs from the world. In other words, from birth to middle age, most people’s knowledge of fate and life is limited to imitating the ideas of others, and has almost no real, practical substance. During this period, one’s outlook on life and how one makes one’s way in the world are quite superficial and naive. This is one’s juvenile period. Only after one has tasted all the joys and sorrows of life does one gain a real understanding of fate, and—subconsciously, deep in one’s heart—gradually come to appreciate the irreversibility of fate, and slowly realize that the Creator’s sovereignty over human fate truly exists. This is one’s period of maturation. A person enters their mature period when they have ceased to struggle against fate, and when they are no longer willing to be drawn into strife and, instead, know their lot in life, submit to Heaven’s will, summarize their achievements and errors in life, and await the Creator’s judgment on their life. Considering the different experiences and acquisitions people obtain during these three periods, under normal circumstances, one’s window of opportunity to know the Creator’s sovereignty is not very large. If one lives to be sixty, one has only thirty years or so to know God’s sovereignty; if one wants a longer period of time, that is only possible if one’s life lasts long enough, if one is able to live for a century. So I say, according to the normal laws of human existence, though it is a very long process from when one first encounters the subject of knowing the Creator’s sovereignty until the time when one is able to recognize the fact of that sovereignty, and from then until the point when one is able to submit to it, if one actually counts up the years, there are no more than thirty or forty during which one has the chance to gain these rewards. And often, people get carried away by their desires and their ambitions to receive blessings, so that they cannot discern where the essence of human life lies and do not grasp the importance of knowing the Creator’s sovereignty. Such people do not cherish this precious opportunity to enter into the human world to experience human life and the Creator’s sovereignty, and they do not realize how precious it is for a created being to receive the Creator’s personal guidance. So I say, those people who want God’s work to end quickly, who wish God would arrange man’s end as soon as possible so that they may immediately behold His real person and gain blessings as soon as possible—they are guilty of the worst kind of disobedience and they are foolish in the extreme. Meanwhile, the wise among men, those possessed of the utmost mental acuity, are those who desire, during their limited time, to grasp this unique opportunity to know the Creator’s sovereignty. These two different desires expose two vastly different outlooks and pursuits: Those who seek blessings are selfish and base and show no consideration for God’s will, never seek to know God’s sovereignty, never desire to submit to it, but simply want to live as they please. They are blithe degenerates, and it is this category of people that will be destroyed. Those who seek to know God are able to set aside their desires, are willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and God’s arrangement, and they try to be the kind of people who are submissive to God’s authority and who satisfy God’s desire. Such people live in the light and in the midst of God’s blessings, and they will surely be commended by God. No matter what, human choice is useless, and humans have no say in how long God’s work will take. It is better for people to put themselves at the mercy of God and submit to His sovereignty. If you do not put yourself at His mercy, what can you do? Will God suffer any loss as a result? If you do not put yourself at His mercy, but instead try to put yourself in charge, then you are making a foolish choice, and ultimately you will be the only one who suffers a loss. Only if people cooperate with God as soon as possible, only if they make haste to accept His orchestrations, know His authority, and understand all He has done for them, will they have hope. Only in this way will their lives not have been lived in vain, and will they attain salvation.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 135

No One Can Change the Fact That God Holds Sovereignty Over Human Fate

Under God’s authority, every person actively or passively accepts His sovereignty and His arrangements, and no matter how one struggles in the course of one’s life, no matter how many crooked paths one walks, in the end one will return to the orbit of fate that the Creator has traced out for them. This is the insuperability of the Creator’s authority and the manner in which His authority controls and governs the universe. It is this insuperability, this form of control and governance, that is responsible for the laws that dictate the lives of all things, that allow humans to reincarnate again and again without interference, that make the world turn regularly and move forward, day after day, year after year. You have witnessed all these facts and you understand them, whether superficially or deeply, and the depth of your understanding depends on your experience and knowledge of the truth, and on your knowledge of God. How well you know the reality of the truth, how much you have experienced of God’s words, how well you know God’s essence and disposition—all of these represent the depth of your understanding of God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Does the existence of God’s sovereignty and arrangements depend on whether human beings submit to them? Is the fact that God possesses this authority determined by whether humanity submits to it? God’s authority exists regardless of the circumstances. In all situations, God dictates and arranges every human fate and all things in accordance with His thoughts and His wishes. This will not change as a result of human change; it is independent of man’s will, cannot be altered by any changes in time, space, and geography, for God’s authority is His very essence. Whether man is able to know and accept God’s sovereignty, and whether man is able to submit to it—neither of these considerations alters in the slightest the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate. That is to say, no matter what attitude man takes toward God’s sovereignty, it simply cannot change the fact that God holds sovereignty over human fate and over all things. Even if you do not submit to God’s sovereignty, He still commands your fate; even if you cannot know His sovereignty, His authority still exists. God’s authority and the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate are independent of human will, and do not change in accordance with man’s preferences and choices. God’s authority is everywhere, at every hour, at every instant. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His authority will never pass away, for He is God Himself, He possesses unique authority, and His authority is not restricted or limited by people, events, or things, by space or by geography. At all times, God wields His authority, shows His might, continues His management work as He always has; at all times, He rules all things, provides for all things, orchestrates all things—just as He always has. No one can change this. It is fact; it has been the unchanging truth since time immemorial!

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 136

The Proper Attitude and Practice for One Who Wishes to Submit to God’s Authority

With what attitude should man now know and regard God’s authority and the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate? This is a real problem that stands before every person. When confronting real-life problems, how should you know and understand God’s authority and His sovereignty? When you are faced with these problems and do not know how to understand, handle, and experience them, what attitude should you adopt to demonstrate your intention to submit, your desire to submit, and the reality of your submission to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? First you must learn to wait; then you must learn to seek; then you must learn to submit. “Waiting” means waiting for the time of God, awaiting the people, events, and things that He has arranged for you, waiting for His will to reveal itself gradually to you. “Seeking” means observing and understanding God’s thoughtful intentions for you through the people, events, and things that He has laid out, understanding the truth through them, understanding what humans must accomplish and the ways they must adhere to, understanding what results God means to achieve in humans and what accomplishments He means to attain in them. “Submitting,” of course, refers to accepting the people, events, and things that God has orchestrated, accepting His sovereignty and, through it, coming to know how the Creator dictates man’s fate, how He supplies man with His life, how He works the truth within man. All things under God’s arrangements and sovereignty obey natural laws, and if you resolve to let God arrange and dictate everything for you, you should learn to wait, you should learn to seek, and you should learn to submit. This is the attitude every person who wants to submit to God’s authority must adopt, the basic quality every person who wants to accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements must possess. To hold such an attitude, to possess such a quality, you must work harder. This is the only way you can enter into the true reality.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 137

Accepting God as Your Unique Master Is the First Step in Attaining Salvation

The truths regarding God’s authority are truths that every person must regard seriously, must experience and understand with their heart; for these truths have a bearing on every person’s life; on every person’s past, present, and future; on the crucial junctures through which every person must pass in life; on man’s knowledge of God’s sovereignty and the attitude with which one should face God’s authority; and naturally, on every person’s final destination. So, it takes a lifetime’s worth of energy to know and understand them. When you look squarely at God’s authority, when you accept His sovereignty, you will gradually come to realize and understand the truth of the existence of God’s authority. But if you never recognize God’s authority and never accept His sovereignty, then no matter how many years you live, you will not gain the slightest knowledge of God’s sovereignty. If you do not truly know and understand God’s authority, then when you reach the end of the road, even if you have believed in God for decades, you will have nothing to show for your life, and you will naturally not have the least knowledge of God’s sovereignty over human fate. Is this not a very sad thing? So, no matter how far you have walked in life, no matter how old you are now, no matter how long the rest of your journey may be, first you must recognize God’s authority and take it seriously, and accept the fact that God is your unique Master. Attaining clear, accurate knowledge and understanding of these truths regarding God’s sovereignty over human fate is a mandatory lesson for everyone; it is the key to knowing human life and attaining the truth. Such is the life of knowing God, its basic course of study, that everyone must face each day, which no one can evade. If someone wishes to take shortcuts to reach this goal, then I tell you now, it is impossible! If you want to escape God’s sovereignty, that is even less possible! God is man’s only Lord, God is the only Master of human fate, and so it is impossible for man to dictate his own fate, impossible for him to step outside of it. No matter how great one’s abilities, one cannot influence—much less orchestrate, arrange, control, or change—the fates of others. Only God Himself, the unique, dictates all things for man. Because only God Himself, the unique, possesses the unique authority that holds sovereignty over human fate, only the Creator is man’s unique Master. God’s authority holds sovereignty not only over created humanity, but also over non-created beings that no human can see, over the stars, over the cosmos. This is an indisputable fact, a fact that truly exists, which no person or thing can change. If one of you is still dissatisfied with things as they stand, believing you have some special skill or ability, and thinking still that by some stroke of luck you can change your present circumstances or otherwise escape them; if you attempt to change your own fate by means of human effort, and thereby distinguish yourself from your fellows and win fame and fortune; then I say to you, you are making things hard for yourself, you are only asking for trouble, you are digging your own grave! One day, sooner or later, you will discover you have made the wrong choice and your efforts have been wasted. Your ambition, your desire to struggle against fate, and your own egregious conduct will lead you down a road of no return, and for this you will pay a bitter price. Though at present you do not see the severity of the consequences, as you continue to experience and appreciate more deeply the truth that God is the Master of human fate, you will slowly come to realize what I speak of today and its real implications. Whether you truly have a heart and a spirit and whether you are a person who loves the truth depends on what kind of attitude you take toward God’s sovereignty and toward the truth. Naturally, this determines whether you can truly know and understand God’s authority. If you have never in your life sensed God’s sovereignty and His arrangements, much less recognized and accepted God’s authority, then you will be utterly worthless, and you will without a doubt be the object of God’s loathing and rejection, due to the path you have taken and the choice you have made. But those who, in God’s work, can accept His trial, accept His sovereignty, submit to His authority, and gradually gain real experience of His words will have attained real knowledge of God’s authority, real understanding of His sovereignty; they will have truly become subject to the Creator. Only such people will have truly been saved. Because they have known God’s sovereignty, because they have accepted it, their appreciation of the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate, their submission to it, is real and accurate. When they face death, they will have, like Job, a mind undaunted by death, and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements in all things, with no individual choice, with no individual desire. Only such a person will be able to return to the Creator’s side as a true, created human being.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 138

Jehovah God’s Command to Man

Gen 2:15–17  And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

The Serpent’s Seduction of the Woman

Gen 3:1–5  Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.

These two passages are excerpts from the book of Genesis in the Bible. Are you all familiar with these two passages? They relate events that happened at the beginning, when mankind was first created; these events were real. First let us look at what kind of command Jehovah God gave to Adam and Eve; the content of this command is very important for our topic today. “And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” What is the import of God’s command to man in this passage? Firstly, God tells man what he can eat, namely, the fruits of many kinds of trees. There is no danger and no poison; all can be eaten and eaten freely as man wishes, free from worry and doubt. This is one part of God’s command. The other part is a warning. In this warning, God tells man he must not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What will happen if he eats from this tree? God told man: If you eat from it you will surely die. Are these words not straightforward? If God told you this but you did not understand why, would you treat His words as a rule or an order to be obeyed? Such words should be obeyed. But whether or not man is able to obey, God’s words are unequivocal. God told man very clearly what he may eat and what he may not eat, and what will happen if he eats what he may not eat. In these brief words that God spoke, can you see anything of God’s disposition? Are these words of God true? Is there any deception? Is there any falsity? Is there any intimidation? (No.) God honestly, truthfully and sincerely told man what he may eat and what he may not eat. God spoke clearly and plainly. Is there any hidden meaning in these words? Are these words not straightforward? Is there any need for conjecture? There is no need for guesswork. Their meaning is obvious at a glance. Upon reading them, one feels entirely clear about their meaning. That is, what God wants to say and what He wants to express comes from His heart. The things God expresses are clean, straightforward and clear. There are no covert motives, nor any hidden meanings. He speaks to man directly, telling him what he may eat and what he may not eat. That is to say, through these words of God, man can see that God’s heart is transparent and true. There is no trace of falsehood here; it is not a case of telling you that you may not eat what is edible, or telling you “Do it and see what happens” with things that you cannot eat. This is not what God means. Whatever God thinks in His heart, that is what He says. If I say God is holy because He shows and reveals Himself within these words in this way, you may feel that I have made a mountain out of a molehill or that I have stretched a point a little too far. If so, do not worry; we are not yet finished.

Let us now talk about “The Serpent’s Seduction of the Woman.” Who is the serpent? Satan. It plays the role of the foil in God’s six-thousand-year management plan, and it is a role that we have to mention when we fellowship about the holiness of God. Why do I say this? If you do not know the evil and corruption of Satan, if you do not know of Satan’s nature, then you have no way to acknowledge holiness, and nor can you know what holiness really is. In confusion, people believe that what Satan does is right, because they live within this kind of corrupt disposition. With no foil, with no point of comparison, you cannot know what holiness is. That is why Satan must be mentioned here. Such mention is no empty talk. Through Satan’s words and deeds, we will see how Satan acts, how Satan corrupts mankind, and what is the nature and countenance of Satan. So what did the woman say to the serpent? The woman recounted to the serpent what Jehovah God had said to her. When she said these words, was she certain that what God had said to her was true? She could not be sure. As someone who was newly created, she had no ability to discern good from evil, and nor did she have any cognition about anything around her. Judging by the words she spoke to the serpent, she was not sure in her heart that God’s words were right; such was her attitude. So when the serpent saw that the woman had an attitude of uncertainty toward God’s words, it said: “You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” Is there anything problematic within these words? When you read this sentence, do you gain a sense of the serpent’s intentions? What are those intentions? It wanted to tempt this woman, to stop her from heeding God’s words. But it did not say these things directly. Thus, we can say that it is very cunning. It expresses its meaning in a sly and evasive way in order to reach its intended objective, which it keeps concealed within its mind, hidden from man—such is the serpent’s cunning. This has always been Satan’s way of speaking and acting. It says “not surely,” without confirming one way or the other. But upon hearing this, this ignorant woman’s heart was moved. The serpent was pleased, because its words had had the desired effect—such was the serpent’s cunning intention. Furthermore, by promising an outcome that seems desirable to humans, it seduced her, saying, “In the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened.” So she ponders: “To have my eyes opened is a good thing!” And then it said something even more enticing, words never before known to man, words that wield a great power of temptation over those who hear them: “You shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” Are these words not powerfully seductive to man? It is like someone saying to you: “Your face is shaped wonderfully, except that the bridge of your nose is a little short. If you have that corrected, then you will be a world-class beauty!” Would these words move the heart of someone who had never previously harbored any desire to have cosmetic surgery? Are these words not seductive? Is this seduction not tempting to you? And is this not a temptation? (Yes.) Does God say things like this? Was there any hint of this in the words of God that we just now perused? Does God say what He thinks in His heart? Can man see God’s heart through His words? (Yes.) But when the serpent spoke those words to the woman, were you able to see its heart? No. And because of man’s ignorance, man was easily seduced by the serpent’s words and easily duped. So were you able to see Satan’s intentions? Were you able to see the purpose behind what Satan said? Were you able to see Satan’s plots and ruses? (No.) What kind of disposition is represented by Satan’s way of speaking? What kind of essence have you seen in Satan through these words? Is it not insidious? Perhaps on the surface it smiles at you, or perhaps it reveals no expression whatsoever. But in its heart it is calculating how to obtain its objective, and it is this objective that you are unable to see. All the promises it makes to you, all the advantages it describes, are the guise of its seduction. You see these things as good, so you feel that what it says is more useful, more substantial than what God says. When this happens, does man not then become a submissive prisoner? Is this strategy that Satan has used not diabolical? You allow yourself to sink into degeneracy. Without Satan having to move a finger, but merely by speaking these two sentences, you become happy to follow along with Satan, to comply with Satan. Thus, Satan’s objective has been attained. Is this intention not sinister? Is this not Satan’s most primal countenance? From Satan’s words, man can see its sinister motives, see its hideous countenance and see its essence. Is that not so? In comparing these sentences, without analysis you may perhaps feel as though Jehovah God’s words are dull, commonplace and banal, that they do not justify waxing lyrical here in praise of God’s honesty. However, when we take Satan’s words and Satan’s hideous countenance as a foil, do these words of God not carry significant weight for the people of today? (Yes.) Through this comparison, man can sense God’s pure flawlessness. Every word Satan says, as well as Satan’s motives, intentions and the way it speaks—they are all adulterated. What is the main feature of Satan’s way of speaking? Satan uses equivocation to seduce you, without letting you see through its duplicity, nor does it allow you to discern its objective; Satan lets you take the bait, but you also have to praise and sing its merits. Is this ploy not Satan’s habitual method of choice? (Yes.)

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 139

Dialogue Between Satan and Jehovah God (Selected passages)

Job 1:6–11  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan came also among them. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not You made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.

Job 2:1–5  Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan came also among them to present himself before Jehovah. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where come you? And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? and still he holds fast his integrity, although you moved Me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face.

These two passages consist entirely of a dialogue between God and Satan; they record what God said and what Satan said. God did not speak much, and He spoke very simply. Can we see the holiness of God within His simple words? Some will say this is not easily done. So can we see the hideousness of Satan in its replies? Let us first look at what kind of question Jehovah God asked of Satan. “From where come you?” Isn’t this a straightforward question? Is there any hidden meaning? No; it is just a straightforward question. If I were to ask you: “Where do you come from?” how then would you answer? Is it a difficult question to answer? Would you say: “From going to and fro, and from walking up and down”? (No.) You would not answer like this. So, how then do you feel when you see Satan answering in this way? (We feel that Satan is being absurd, but also deceitful.) Can you tell what I am feeling? Every time I see these words of Satan, I feel disgusted, because Satan talks, and yet its words contain no substance. Did Satan answer God’s question? No, the words Satan spoke were not an answer, they did not yield anything. They were not an answer to God’s question. “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” What is your understanding of these words? Just where does Satan come from? Have you received an answer to this question? (No.) This is the “genius” of Satan’s cunning schemes—not letting anyone discover what it is actually saying. Having heard these words you still cannot discern what it has said, even though it has finished answering. Yet Satan believes it has answered perfectly. How then do you feel? Disgusted? (Yes.) Now you begin to feel disgust in response to these words. Satan’s words have a certain characteristic: What Satan says leaves you scratching your head, unable to perceive the source of its words. Sometimes Satan has motives and speaks deliberately, and sometimes governed by its nature, such words emerge spontaneously, and come straight out of Satan’s mouth. Satan does not spend a long time weighing such words; rather, they are expressed without thinking. When God asked where it came from, Satan answered with a few ambiguous words. You feel very puzzled, never knowing exactly where Satan is from. Are there any among you who speak like this? What kind of way is this to speak? (It is ambiguous and does not give a certain answer.) What kind of words should we use to describe this way of speaking? It is diversionary and misleading. Suppose someone does not want to let others know what they did yesterday. You ask them: “I saw you yesterday. Where were you going?” They do not tell you directly where they went. Rather, they say: “What a day it was yesterday. It was so tiring!” Did they answer your question? They did, but they did not give the answer you wanted. This is the “genius” within the artifice of man’s speech. You can never discover what they mean, nor perceive the source or intention of their words. You do not know what they are trying to avoid because in their heart they have their own story—this is insidious. Are there any among you who also often speak in this way? (Yes.) What then is your purpose? Is it sometimes to protect your own interests, sometimes to maintain your own pride, position, and image, to protect the secrets of your private life? Whatever the purpose, it is inseparable from your interests, linked to your interests. Is this not the nature of man? All who have such a nature are closely related to Satan, if not its family. We can put it like this, can we not? Generally speaking, this manifestation is detestable and abhorrent. You also now feel disgusted, do you not? (Yes.)

Let’s look at the following verses. Satan responds again to Jehovah’s question, saying: “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan is opening an attack on Jehovah’s assessment of Job, and this attack is colored by hostility. “Have not You made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side?” This is Satan’s understanding and assessment of Jehovah’s work on Job. Satan assesses it like this, saying: “You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.” Satan always speaks ambiguously, but here it speaks in certain terms. However, these words, though they are spoken in certain terms, are an attack, a blasphemy and an act of defiance to Jehovah God, to God Himself. How do you feel when you hear these words? Do you feel aversion? Are you able to see through to Satan’s intentions? First of all, Satan repudiates Jehovah’s assessment of Job—a man who fears God and shuns evil. Then Satan repudiates everything Job says and does, that is, it repudiates his fear of Jehovah. Is this not accusatory? Satan is accusing, repudiating and doubting all Jehovah does and says. It does not believe, saying, “If You say things are like this, then how is it that I have not seen it? You have given him so many blessings, so how can he not fear You?” Is this not a repudiation of all that God does? Accusation, repudiation, blasphemy—are Satan’s words not an assault? Are they not a true expression of what Satan thinks in its heart? These words are certainly not the same as the words we read just now: “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” They are completely different. Through these words, Satan completely lays bare the contents of its heart—its attitude toward God and its loathing of Job’s fear of God. When this happens, its malice and evil nature are completely exposed. It loathes those who fear God, loathes those who shun evil, and even more so loathes Jehovah for bestowing blessings on man. It wants to use this opportunity to destroy Job, whom God raised with His own hand, to ruin him, saying: “You say Job fears You and shuns evil. I see it differently.” It uses various ways to provoke and tempt Jehovah, and uses various ploys so that Jehovah God hands Job over to Satan to be wantonly manipulated, harmed and mishandled. It wants to take advantage of this opportunity to destroy this man who is righteous and perfect in God’s eyes. Is it just a momentary impulse that causes Satan to have this kind of heart? No, it is not. It has been long in the making. When God works, cares for a person, and looks upon this person, and when He favors and approves this person, Satan trails closely behind, trying to dupe the person and bring them to harm. If God wishes to gain this person, Satan will do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ploys to tempt, disrupt and impair the work of God, in order to achieve its hidden objective. What is this objective? It does not want God to gain anyone; it wants to snatch possession of those whom God wishes to gain, it wants to control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they join it in committing evil acts, and resist God. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive? You often say that Satan is so evil, so bad, but have you seen it? You can see how bad mankind is; you have not seen how bad the real Satan is. Yet in the matter of Job, you have clearly observed just how evil Satan is. This matter has made Satan’s hideous countenance and its essence very clear. In warring with God, and trailing along behind Him, Satan’s objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to occupy and control those whom God wants to gain, to completely extinguish those whom God wants to gain. If they are not extinguished, then they come to Satan’s possession, to be used by it—this is its objective. And what does God do? God says only a simple sentence in this passage; there is no record of anything more that God does, but we see there are many more records of what Satan does and says. In the following passage of scripture, Jehovah asks Satan, “From where come you?” What is Satan’s answer? (It is still “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”) It is still that same sentence. This has become Satan’s motto, Satan’s calling card. How is this so? Is Satan not hateful? Surely it is enough to utter this disgusting sentence just once. Why does Satan keep repeating it? This proves one thing: Satan’s nature is unchanging. Satan cannot use pretense to conceal its ugly face. God asks it a question and this is how it responds. Since this is so, imagine then how it must treat humans! Satan is not afraid of God, does not fear God, and does not obey God. So it dares to be wantonly presumptuous before God, to use these same words to brush off God’s question, to repeatedly use this same answer to God’s question, to attempt to use this answer to confound God—this is the ugly face of Satan. It does not believe in the almightiness of God, does not believe in the authority of God, and is certainly not willing to submit to the dominion of God. It is constantly in opposition to God, constantly attacking all that God does, attempting to wreck all that God does—this is its evil objective.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 140

Dialogue Between Satan and Jehovah God (Selected passages)

Job 1:6–11  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan came also among them. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not You made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.

Job 2:1–5  Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan came also among them to present himself before Jehovah. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where come you? And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? and still he holds fast his integrity, although you moved Me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face.

As recorded in the Book of Job, these two passages of speech uttered by Satan and the things Satan did are representative of its resistance to God in His six-thousand-year management plan—here, Satan’s true colors are revealed. Have you seen Satan’s words and deeds in real life? When you do see them, you may not think them to be things spoken by Satan, but instead think them to be things spoken by man. What is represented, when such things are spoken by man? Satan is represented. Even if you recognize it, you still cannot perceive that it is really being spoken by Satan. But here and now you have unequivocally seen what Satan itself has said. You now have an unequivocal, crystal-clear understanding of the hideous countenance and the evil of Satan. So are these two passages spoken by Satan of value in helping people today to gain knowledge about Satan’s nature? Are these two passages worth carefully retaining in order for mankind today to be able to recognize Satan’s hideous face, to recognize Satan’s original, true face? Although this may not seem like an appropriate thing to say, these words, expressed thus, can nonetheless be considered accurate. Indeed, this is the only way that I can express this idea, and if you can understand it, then that is enough. Again and again, Satan attacks the things Jehovah does, throwing out accusations about Job’s fear of Jehovah God. Satan attempts to provoke Jehovah by various methods, trying to get Jehovah to condone its temptation of Job. Its words therefore have a highly provocative nature. So tell Me, once Satan has spoken these words, can God clearly see what Satan wants to do? (Yes.) In God’s heart, this man Job that God looks upon—this servant of God, that God takes to be a righteous man, a perfect man—can he withstand this kind of temptation? (Yes.) Why is God so certain about that? Is God always examining the heart of man? (Yes.) So is Satan able to examine the heart of man? Satan cannot. Even if Satan could see your heart, its evil nature would never let it believe that holiness is holiness, or that sordidness is sordidness. The evil Satan can never treasure anything that is holy, righteous or bright. Satan cannot help tirelessly acting in accordance with its nature, its evil, and through its habitual methods. Even at the cost of itself being punished or destroyed by God, it does not hesitate to stubbornly oppose God—this is evil, this is the nature of Satan. So in this passage, Satan says: “Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face.” Satan thinks that man’s fear of God is due to man having obtained so many advantages from God. Man obtains advantages from God, so he says God is good. But it is not because God is good, it is only because man obtains so many advantages that he can fear God in this way. Once God deprives him of these advantages, he then abandons God. In Satan’s evil nature, it does not believe that man’s heart can truly fear God. Because of its evil nature, it does not know what holiness is, much less what fearful reverence is. It does not know what it is to obey God or what it is to fear God. Because it does not know these things, it thinks that man cannot fear God either. Tell Me, is Satan not evil? Excepting our church, none of the various religions and denominations, or religious and social groups, believe in the existence of God, much less do they believe that God has become flesh and is doing the work of judgment, so they think that what you believe in is not God. A promiscuous man looks around him and sees everyone else as promiscuous, just as he is. A mendacious man looks around and sees only dishonesty and lies. An evil man sees everyone else as evil and wants to fight everyone he sees. Those with a measure of honesty see everyone else as honest, so they are always duped, always cheated, and there is nothing they can do about it. I give these few examples to fortify you in your conviction: Satan’s evil nature is not a fleeting compulsion or determined by circumstances, nor is it a temporary manifestation arising from any reason or contextual factors. Absolutely not! Satan just cannot help but be this way! It can do nothing good. Even when it says something pleasant to hear, it is just to seduce you. The more pleasant, the more tactful, the more gentle its words are, the more malicious the sinister intentions behind these words. What kind of face, what kind of nature does Satan show in these two passages? (Insidious, malicious and evil.) Satan’s primary characteristic is evil; above all else, Satan is evil and malicious.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 141

God created man and since then has ever guided the life of mankind. Whether in bestowing upon mankind blessings, creating laws and commandments for men, or stipulating the various rules for life, do you know what God’s intended aim is in doing these things? Firstly, can you say with certainty that all that God does is for the good of mankind? These may seem to you like grand, hollow words, but upon examining the details within, is not everything that God does intended to lead and guide man toward living a normal life? Whether it be causing man to abide by His rules or to keep His laws, God’s aim is for man not to fall into worshiping Satan and not to be harmed by Satan; this is most fundamental, and this is what was done in the very beginning. At the very beginning, when man did not understand God’s will, God made some simple laws and rules and made regulations that covered every conceivable matter. These regulations are simple, yet within them they contain God’s will. God treasures, cherishes and dearly loves mankind. So can we say that His heart is holy? Can we say His heart is clean? (Yes.) Does God have any additional motives? (No.) So is this aim of His right and positive? In the course of God’s work, all of the regulations He has made have a positive effect on man, leading the way for man. So are there any self-serving thoughts in God’s mind? Does God have any additional aims where man is concerned? Does God want to make use of man in some way? Not in the slightest. God does as He says, and His words and actions are matched by His thoughts in His heart. There is no tainted purpose, no self-serving thoughts. Nothing He does is for Himself; all that He does, He does for man, without any private objectives. Although He has plans and intentions, which He places upon man, none of it is for Himself. Everything He does is done purely for mankind, to protect mankind, to keep mankind from being led astray. So is this heart of His not precious? Can you see even the tiniest sign of such a precious heart in Satan? You cannot see the slightest hint of this in Satan, you cannot see it at all. Everything God does is revealed naturally. Now, let us look at the way God works; how does He do His work? Does God take these laws and His words and bind them tightly around the head of every person, like the band-tightening spell,[a] imposing them on each and every human being? Does He work in this way? (No.) So in what way does God do His work? Does He threaten? Does He beat about the bush when He speaks to you? (No.) When you do not understand the truth, how does God guide you? He shines a light on you, telling you clearly that doing this is not in keeping with the truth, and then He tells you what you should do. From these ways in which God works, what kind of relationship do you feel you have with God? Do you feel that God is beyond reach? (No.) So how do you feel when you see these ways in which God works? God’s words are especially real, and His relationship with man especially normal. God is exceptionally close to you; there is no distance between you and God. When God guides you, when He provides for you, helps you and supports you, you feel how amiable God is, the reverence He inspires; you feel how lovely He is, you feel His warmth. But when God reproaches you with corruption, or when He judges and disciplines you for rebelling against Him, what method does He use? Does He reproach you with words? Does He discipline you through your environment and through people, affairs, and things? (Yes.) To what extent does God discipline you? Does God discipline man to the same degree that Satan harms man? (No, God disciplines man only to the extent that man can endure.) God works in a gentle, delicate, loving and caring way, a way that is extraordinarily measured and proper. His way does not provoke in you intense emotional reactions such as: “God must let me do this” or “God must let me do that.” God never gives you that kind of mental or emotional intensity that makes things unbearable. Is that not so? Even when you accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement, how do you feel then? When you sense the authority and power of God, how do you feel then? Do you feel that God is divine and inviolable? Do you feel distance between yourself and God at these times? Do you feel the fear of God? No—rather, you feel fearful reverence toward God. Is it not because of God’s work that people feel all of these things? Would they have these feelings if it were Satan who was at work? Absolutely not. God uses His words, His truth and His life to continuously provide for man, to support man. When man is weak, when man is feeling dispirited, God certainly does not speak harshly, saying: “Do not feel dispirited. What is there to be dispirited about? Why are you weak? What reason is there to be weak? You are always so weak, and you are always so negative! What is the use of you being alive? Just die and have done with it!” Does God work in this way? (No.) Does God have the authority to act in this way? Yes, He does. Yet God does not act in this way. The reason why God does not act in this way is because of His essence, the essence of the holiness of God. His love for man, His treasuring and cherishing of man cannot be expressed clearly in just one or two sentences. It is not something that is brought about by man’s boasting but is something that God brings forth in actual practice; it is the revelation of God’s essence. Can all these ways in which God works cause man to see the holiness of God? In all of these ways in which God works, including God’s good intentions, including the effects God wishes to work on man, including the different ways God adopts to work on man, the kind of work He does, what He wants man to understand—have you seen any evil or deceitfulness in God’s good intentions? (No.) So in everything God does, everything God says, everything He thinks in His heart, as well as all the essence of God that He reveals—can we call God holy? (Yes.) Has any man ever seen this holiness in the world, or within himself? Apart from God, have you ever seen it in any human being, or in Satan? (No.) Based on our discussion thus far, can we call God the unique, the holy God Himself? (Yes.) All that God gives to man, including the words of God, the different ways in which God works on man, what God tells man, what God reminds man of, what He advises and encourages—it all originates from one essence: the holiness of God. If there were no such holy God, no man could take His place to do the work He does. If God had handed these men entirely over to Satan, have you ever considered what kind of condition all of you would be in today? Would you all be sitting here, whole and inviolate? Would you also say: “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it”? Would you be so brazen, so cock-sure and full of swagger as to speak such words and boast without shame before God? You absolutely would, without a shadow of doubt! Satan’s attitude toward man allows man to see that Satan’s nature and essence are utterly different from God’s. What is it about the essence of Satan that is the opposite of the holiness of God? (Satan’s evil.) Satan’s evil nature is the opposite of the holiness of God. The reason why the majority of people do not recognize this revelation of God’s and this essence of God’s holiness is because they live under the domain of Satan, within the corruption of Satan and within Satan’s living enclosure. They do not know what holiness is, or how to define holiness. Even when you perceive the holiness of God, you still cannot define it as being the holiness of God with any certainty. This is a disparity within man’s knowledge of the holiness of God.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV


a. The “band-tightening spell” is a spell used by the monk Tang Sanzang in the Chinese novel Journey to the West. He uses this spell to control Sun Wukong by tightening a metal band around the latter’s head, giving him acute headaches, and thus bringing him under control. It has become a metaphor to describe something that binds a person.

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 142

What characterizes Satan’s work on man? You should be able to learn this through your own experiences—it is Satan’s archetypal feature, the thing it repeatedly does, the thing it tries to do with every single person. Perhaps you cannot see this feature, so you do not feel that Satan is so frightful and hateful. Does anyone know what this feature is? (It seduces, entices and tempts man.) That is correct; these are several ways in which this feature manifests. Satan also deludes, attacks and accuses man—these are all manifestations. Are there any more? (It tells lies.) Cheating and lying come most naturally to Satan. It often does these things. There’s also bossing people about, inciting them, forcing them to do things, ordering them about, and forcefully taking possession of them. Now I will describe something to you that will make your hair stand on end, but I do not do it to scare you. God works on man and cherishes man both in His attitude and in His heart. Satan, on the other hand, does not cherish man at all, and it spends all its time thinking about how to harm man. Is this not so? When it is thinking about harming man, is its state of mind one of urgency? (Yes.) So, as regards Satan’s work on man, I have two phrases that can amply describe the evil and maliciousness of Satan, that can truly allow you to know the hatefulness of Satan: In Satan’s approach to man, it always wants to forcefully occupy and possess man, each and every one, to the extent that it can gain complete control of man and harm man grievously, so that it can achieve its objective and fulfill its wild ambition. What does “forcefully occupy” mean? Is it something that happens with your consent, or without your consent? Does it happen with your knowing, or without your knowing? The answer is that it happens completely without your knowing! It happens in situations where you are unaware, perhaps without it even saying or doing anything to you, with no premise, no context—there Satan is, circling around you, surrounding you. It looks for an opportunity to exploit and then it forcefully occupies you, possesses you, achieving its objective of gaining complete control of you and of inflicting harm upon you. This is a most typical intention and behavior of Satan as it struggles to wrest mankind away from God. How do you feel when you hear this? (Terrified and fearful in our hearts.) Do you feel disgusted? (Yes.) As you feel this disgust, do you think that Satan is shameless? When you think that Satan is shameless, do you then feel disgusted with those people around you who always want to control you, those with wild ambitions for status and interests? (Yes.) So what methods does Satan use to forcefully possess and occupy man? Are you clear on this? When you hear these two terms “forceful occupation” and “possession,” you feel disgust and you can sense the evil about these words. Without either your consent or your knowledge, Satan possesses you, forcibly occupies you, and corrupts you. What can you taste in your heart? Do you feel loathing and disgust? (Yes.) When you feel this loathing and disgust for these ways of Satan, what kind of feeling do you have for God? (Gratitude.) Gratitude to God for saving you. So now, at this moment, do you have the desire or the will to let God take over and control all that you have and you are? (Yes.) In what context do you answer thus? Do you say “yes” because you are afraid of being forcefully occupied and possessed by Satan? (Yes.) You must not have this kind of mentality; it is not right. Do not be afraid, for God is here. There is nothing to be afraid of. Once you have understood the evil essence of Satan, you should have a more accurate understanding or a deeper cherishment of God’s love, God’s good intentions, God’s compassion and tolerance for man and His righteous disposition. Satan is so hateful, yet if this still does not inspire your love of God and your reliance on and trust in God, then what kind of person are you? Are you willing to let Satan harm you so? After seeing the evil and hideousness of Satan, we turn around and look then at God. Has your knowledge of God now undergone any change? Can we say that God is holy? Can we say that God is flawless? “God is unique holiness”—can God live up to this designation? (Yes.) So in the world and among all things, isn’t it only God Himself that can live up to this understanding that man has of God? (Yes.) So what exactly does God give to man? Does He only give you a little care, concern and consideration without your being aware of it? What has God given to man? God has given life to man, given man everything, and bestows all this on man unconditionally without demanding anything, without any ulterior motive. He uses the truth, His words, and His life to lead and guide man, bringing man away from the harm of Satan, away from Satan’s temptations and inducements, allowing man to see clearly through Satan’s evil nature and hideous face. Is God’s love and concern for mankind true? Is it something that every one of you can experience? (Yes.)

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 143

Look back on your lives until now, at all the work God has done on you in all the years of your faith. Whether the feelings this evokes for you are deep or shallow, is this not the thing that was most necessary of all for you? Was it not what you most needed to obtain? (Yes.) Is this not truth? Is this not life? (Yes.) Has God ever bestowed enlightenment upon you, and then asked you to give anything to Him in return for all that He has given to you? (No.) So what is God’s purpose? Why does God do this? Does God have the objective of occupying you? (No.) Does God want to ascend His throne within the heart of man? (Yes.) So what is the difference between God ascending His throne and Satan’s forceful occupation? God wants to gain the heart of man, He wants to occupy the heart of man—what does this mean? Does it mean that God wants man to become His puppets, His machines? (No.) So what is God’s purpose? Is there a difference between God wanting to occupy the heart of man and Satan’s forceful occupation and possession of man? (Yes.) What is the difference? Can you tell Me clearly? (Satan does it through force whereas God lets man volunteer.) Is this the difference? What use does God have for your heart? And what use does God have for occupying you? How in your hearts do you understand “God occupies man’s heart”? We must be fair in how we talk about God here, otherwise people will always misunderstand, and think: “God always wants to occupy me. What does He want to occupy me for? I do not want to be occupied, I just want to be my own master. You say Satan occupies people, but God also occupies people. Isn’t it the same either way? I do not want to let anyone occupy me. I am myself!” What is the difference here? Give it some thought. I ask you, is “God occupies man” an empty phrase? Does God’s occupation of man mean that He lives in your heart and controls your every word and every move? If He tells you to sit, do you dare not stand? If He tells you to go east, do you dare not go west? Does this “occupation” refer to something along these lines? (No, it does not. God wants man to live out what God has and is.) Through these years that God has managed man, in His work on man up until now in this last stage, what has been the intended effect on man of all the words He has spoken? Is it that man lives out what God has and is? Looking at the literal meaning of “God occupies man’s heart,” it seems as if God takes man’s heart and occupies it, lives in it and does not come out again; He becomes the master of man and is able to dominate and manipulate man’s heart at will, so that man must do whatever God tells him to do. In this sense, it would seem as though every person could become God and possess His essence and disposition. So in this case, could man also perform the deeds of God? Can “occupation” be explained in this way? (No.) So what is it? I ask you this: Are all the words and truth that God supplies to man a revelation of the essence of God and what He has and is? (Yes.) This is certainly true. But is it essential that God Himself practice and possess all of the words that He supplies to man? Give this some thought. When God judges man, why does He judge? How did these words come into being? What is the content of these words that God speaks when He judges man? What are they based on? Is it man’s corrupt disposition upon which they are based? (Yes.) So is the effect achieved by God’s judgment of man based on the essence of God? (Yes.) So is God’s “occupation of man” an empty phrase? It certainly is not. So why does God say these words to man? What is His purpose in saying these words? Does He want to use these words to serve as the life of man? (Yes.) God wants to use all of this truth that He has spoken in these words to act as the life of man. When man takes all of this truth and the word of God and transforms them into his own life, can man then obey God? Can man then fear God? Can man then shun evil? When man has reached this point, can he then obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement? Is man then in a position to submit to the authority of God? When people like Job, or like Peter, reach the end of their road, when their life can be considered to have reached maturity, when they have a real understanding of God—can Satan then still lead them away? Can Satan then still occupy them? Can Satan still forcefully possess them? (No.) So what kind of person is this? Is this someone who has been completely gained by God? (Yes.) At this level of meaning, how do you see this kind of person who has been completely gained by God? From God’s perspective, under these circumstances, He has already occupied this person’s heart. But what does this person feel? Is it that the word of God, God’s authority, and God’s way, become life within man, that this life then occupies man’s entire being, making the things that he lives out as well as his essence adequate to satisfy God? From God’s perspective, is mankind’s heart at this very moment occupied by Him? (Yes.) How do you understand this level of meaning now? Is it God’s Spirit that occupies you? (No, it is the word of God that occupies us.) It is the way of God and the word of God that have become your life, and it is the truth that has become your life. At this time, man then possesses the life that comes from God, but we cannot say that this life is God’s life. In other words, we cannot say that the life man should derive from the word of God is God’s life. So no matter how long man follows God, no matter how many words man obtains from God, man can never become God. Even if one day God said, “I have occupied your heart, you now possess My life,” would you then feel that you are God? (No.) What would you then become? Would you not have an absolute obedience to God? Would your heart not be filled with the life God has bestowed on you? This would be a very normal manifestation of what happens when God occupies man’s heart. This is fact. So looking at it from this aspect, can man become God? When man is able to live out the reality of the words of God, and becomes someone who fears God and shuns evil, can man then possess the life essence and holiness of God? Absolutely not. No matter what happens, man is still man when all is said and done. You are a being of creation; when you have received the word of God from God and received God’s way, you only possess the life that comes from the words of God, you become someone who is praised by God, but you will never possess the life essence of God, much less the holiness of God.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 144

The Temptation of Satan (Selected passages)

Mat 4:1–4  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

These are the words with which the devil first tried to tempt the Lord Jesus. What is the content of what the devil said? (“If You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”) These words that the devil spoke are quite simple, but is there a problem with their essence? The devil said, “If You be the Son of God,” but in its heart, did it or did it not know that Jesus was the Son of God? Did it or did it not know that He was Christ? (It knew.) Then why did it say “If You be”? (It was trying to tempt God.) But what was its purpose in doing so? It said, “If You be the Son of God.” In its heart it knew that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, it was very clear about this in its heart, but despite knowing this, did it submit to Him and worship Him? (No.) What did it want to do? It wanted to use this method and these words to anger the Lord Jesus, and then fool Him into acting in line with its intentions. Was this not the meaning behind the devil’s words? In Satan’s heart, it clearly knew that this was the Lord Jesus Christ, but it said these words nonetheless. Is this not Satan’s nature? What is Satan’s nature? (To be sly, evil, and have no reverence for God.) What consequences would result from having no reverence for God? Was it not that it wanted to attack God? It wanted to use this method to attack God, and so it said: “If You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread”; is this not Satan’s evil intention? What was it really trying to do? Its purpose is very obvious: It was trying to use this method to deny the position and identity of the Lord Jesus Christ. What Satan meant by those words is, “If You are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread. If You cannot do this, then You are not the Son of God, so You should not carry out Your work any longer.” Is this not so? It wanted to use this method to attack God, it wanted to dismantle and destroy God’s work; this is the malevolence of Satan. Its malevolence is a natural expression of its nature. Even though it knew the Lord Jesus Christ was the Son of God, the very incarnation of God Himself, it could not help but do this kind of thing, following closely behind God’s back, persistently attacking Him and going to great lengths to disrupt and sabotage God’s work.

Now, let us analyze this phrase that Satan spoke: “Command that these stones be made bread.” To turn stones into bread—does this mean anything? If there is food, why not eat it? Why is it necessary to turn stones into food? Can it be said there is no meaning here? Although He was fasting at the time, surely the Lord Jesus had food to eat? (He did.) So, here we can see the preposterousness of Satan’s words. For all Satan’s treachery and malice, we can still see its preposterousness and absurdity. Satan does a number of things through which you can see its malicious nature; you can see it doing things that sabotage God’s work, and seeing this, you feel that it is hateful and infuriating. But, on the other hand, do you not see a childish, ridiculous nature behind its words and actions? This is a revelation about Satan’s nature; since it has this kind of nature, it will do this kind of thing. To people today, these words of Satan are preposterous and laughable. But Satan is indeed capable of uttering such words. Can we say that it is ignorant and absurd? Satan’s evil is everywhere and it is constantly being revealed. And how did the Lord Jesus answer it? (“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”) Do these words have any power? (They do.) Why do we say that they have power? It is because these words are the truth. Now, does man live by bread alone? The Lord Jesus fasted for forty days and nights. Did He starve to death? He did not starve to death, so Satan approached Him, prompting Him to turn the stones into food by saying things such as: “If You turn the stones into food, won’t You then have things to eat? Won’t You then not have to fast, not have to go hungry?” But the Lord Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone,” which means that, although man lives in a physical body, it is not food that allows his physical body to live and breathe, but each and every one of the words uttered from the mouth of God. On the one hand, these words are truth; they give people faith, making them feel that they can depend on God and that He is truth. On the other hand, is there a practical aspect to these words? Was the Lord Jesus not still standing, still alive after fasting for forty days and nights? Is this not a real example? He had not eaten any food for forty days and nights, and yet He was still alive. This is powerful evidence confirming the truth of His words. These words are simple, but for the Lord Jesus, did He speak them only when Satan tempted Him, or were they already naturally a part of Him? To put it another way, God is truth, and God is life, but were God’s truth and life a subsequent addition? Were they born of later experience? No—they are innate in God. That is to say, truth and life are God’s essence. Whatever happens to Him, all that He reveals is truth. This truth, these words—whether the content of His speech be long or short—can enable man to live and give man life; they can enable people to gain truth and clarity about the path of human life, and enable them to have faith in God. In other words, the source of God’s use of these words is positive. So can we say that this positive thing is holy? (Yes.) Those words of Satan come from Satan’s nature. Satan reveals its evil and malicious nature everywhere, constantly. Now, does Satan make these revelations naturally? Does anyone direct it to do this? Does anyone help it? Does anyone coerce it? No. All of these revelations, it makes of its own accord. This is Satan’s evil nature. Whatever God does and however He does it, Satan follows on His heels. The essence and the true nature of these things that Satan says and does are Satan’s essence—an essence that is evil and malicious.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 145

The Temptation of Satan (Selected passages)

Mat 4:5–7  Then the devil takes Him up into the holy city, and sets Him on a pinnacle of the temple, And said to Him, If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

Let us first see the words that Satan spoke here. Satan said, “If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down,” and then it quoted from the Scriptures: “He shall give His angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.” How do you feel when you hear Satan’s words? Are they not very childish? They are childish, preposterous, and disgusting. Why do I say this? Satan often does foolish things, and it believes itself to be very clever. It often quotes from the Scriptures—even the very words spoken by God—trying to turn these words against God to attack Him and to tempt Him in an attempt to achieve its objective of sabotaging God’s plan of work. Are you able to see anything in these words spoken by Satan? (Satan harbors evil intentions.) In all that Satan does, it has always sought to tempt mankind. Satan does not speak straightforwardly, but in a roundabout way using temptation, beguilement, and seduction. Satan approaches its temptation of God as though He were an ordinary human being, believing that God is also ignorant, foolish, and unable to clearly distinguish the true form of things, just as man is unable to. Satan thinks that God and man alike are unable to see through its essence and its deceit and sinister intent. Is this not what Satan’s foolishness is? Furthermore, Satan overtly quotes from the Scriptures, believing that doing so lends it credibility, and that you will be unable to pick out any flaws in its words or to avoid being fooled. Is this not Satan’s absurdity and childishness? This is just like when people spread the gospel and bear witness to God: Will not nonbelievers sometimes say something similar to what Satan said? Have you heard people say something similar? How do you feel when you hear such things? Do you feel disgusted? (Yes.) When you feel disgusted, do you also feel aversion and hate? When you have these feelings are you able to recognize that Satan and the corrupt disposition Satan works into man are wicked? In your hearts, do you ever have this realization: “When Satan speaks, it does so as an attack and a temptation; Satan’s words are absurd, laughable, childish, and disgusting; however, God would never speak or work in such a way, and indeed He has never done so”? Of course, in this situation people are only able to faintly sense it, and remain unable to grasp God’s holiness. With your current stature, you merely feel that: “Everything God says is the truth, is beneficial to us, and we must accept it.” Regardless of whether you are able to accept this or not, you say without exception that God’s word is truth and that God is truth, but you do not know that truth itself is holy and that God is holy.

So, what was Jesus’ response to these words of Satan? Jesus said to it: “It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Is there truth in these words that Jesus said? There is definitely truth in them. On the surface, these words are a commandment for people to follow, a simple phrase, yet nonetheless, both man and Satan have often offended these words. So, the Lord Jesus said to Satan, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God,” because this is what Satan often did, taking pains as it went about it. It could be said that Satan did this brazenly and without shame. It is in Satan’s nature and essence to not fear God and to not have reverence for God in its heart. Even when Satan stood beside God and could see Him, it could not help itself but to tempt God. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said to Satan, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” These are words that God has often said to Satan. So, is it appropriate for this phrase to be applied in the present day? (Yes, as we also often tempt God.) Why do people often tempt God? Is it because people are full of corrupt satanic disposition? (Yes.) So are the words of Satan above something people often say? And in what situations do people say these words? One could say that people have been saying things like this irrespective of time and place. This proves that the disposition of people is no different from the corrupt disposition of Satan. The Lord Jesus said a few simple words, words that represent truth, words that people need. However, in this situation, was the Lord Jesus speaking in such a way as to argue with Satan? Was there anything confrontational in what He said to Satan? (No.) How did the Lord Jesus feel about Satan’s temptation in His heart? Did He feel disgusted and repulsed? The Lord Jesus felt repulsed and disgusted, and yet He did not argue with Satan, and much less did He speak about any grand principles. Why is that? (Because Satan is always like this; it can never change.) Could it be said that Satan is impervious to reason? (Yes.) Can Satan recognize that God is truth? Satan will never recognize that God is truth and will never admit that God is truth; this is its nature. There is yet another aspect of Satan’s nature that is repulsive. What is it? In its efforts to tempt the Lord Jesus, Satan thought that even if it was unsuccessful, it would nonetheless still try to do so. Even though it would be punished, it chose to try anyway. Even though it would gain no advantage out of doing so, it would try nonetheless, persisting in its efforts and standing against God until the very end. What sort of nature is this? Is it not evil? If a man becomes infuriated and flies into a rage when God is mentioned, has he seen God? Does he know who God is? He does not know who God is, does not believe in Him, and God has not spoken to him. God has never troubled him, so why would he be angry? Could we say that this person is evil? Worldly trends, eating, drinking, and pleasure-seeking, and chasing celebrities—none of these things would bother such a man. However, at the very mention of the word “God,” or of the truth of God’s words, he flies into a rage. Does this not constitute having an evil nature? This is sufficient to prove that this is man’s evil nature. Now, speaking for yourselves, are there times when truth is mentioned, or when God’s trials of mankind or God’s words of judgment against man are mentioned, you feel an aversion; you feel repulsed, and you do not want to hear such things? Your heart may think: “Don’t people all say that God is truth? Some of these words are not truth! They are clearly just God’s words of admonishment toward man!” Some people might even feel a strong aversion in their hearts, and think: “This is spoken about every day—His trials, His judgment, when will it end? When will we receive the good destination?” It is not known where this unreasonable anger comes from. What sort of nature is this? (Evil nature.) It is directed and guided by the evil nature of Satan. From God’s perspective, with regard to the evil nature of Satan and the corrupt disposition of man, He never argues or holds grudges against people, and He never makes a fuss when people act foolishly. You will never see God hold similar views on things to human beings, and moreover you will not see Him use mankind’s viewpoints, knowledge, science, philosophy or imagination to handle matters. Rather, everything God does and everything He reveals is connected to truth. That is, every word He has said and every action He has taken is bound to the truth. This truth is not the product of some baseless fantasy; this truth and these words are expressed by God by virtue of His essence and His life. Because these words and the essence of everything God has done are truth, we can say that God’s essence is holy. In other words, everything God says and does brings vitality and light to people, enables people to see positive things and the reality of those positive things, and points the way for humanity so that they may walk the right path. These things are all determined by God’s essence and by the essence of His holiness.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 146

The Temptation of Satan (Selected passages)

Mat 4:8–11  Again, the devil takes Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to Him, All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve. Then the devil leaves Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

The devil Satan, having failed at its previous two ploys, tried yet another: It showed all the kingdoms in the world and their glory to the Lord Jesus and asked Him to worship it. What can you see about the true features of the devil from this situation? Is the devil Satan not absolutely shameless? (Yes.) How is it shameless? All things were created by God, and yet Satan turned around and showed all things to God, saying, “Look at the wealth and glory of all of these kingdoms. If You worship me I’ll give them all to You.” Is this not a complete role reversal? Is Satan not shameless? God made all things, but did He make all things for His own enjoyment? God gave everything to mankind, but Satan wanted to seize it all and having seized it all, it told God, “Worship me! Worship me and I’ll give this all to You.” This is the ugly face of Satan; it is absolutely shameless! Satan does not even know the meaning of the word “shame.” This is just another example of its evil. It does not even know what shame is. Satan clearly knows that God created all things and that He manages and has dominion over all things. All things belong not to man, and much less to Satan, but to God, and yet the devil Satan brazenly said that it would give all things to God. Is this not another example of Satan once again acting absurdly and shamelessly? This causes God to hate Satan even more, does it not? Yet no matter what Satan tried, was the Lord Jesus fooled? What did the Lord Jesus say? (“You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”) Do these words have a practical meaning? (Yes.) What sort of practical meaning? We see Satan’s evil and shamelessness in its speech. So if man worshiped Satan, what would be the outcome? Would they obtain the wealth and glory of all of the kingdoms? (No.) What would they obtain? Would mankind become just as shameless and laughable as Satan? (Yes.) They would be no different from Satan then. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said these words, which are important for each and every human being: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” This means that except for the Lord, except for God Himself, if you served another, if you worshiped the devil Satan, then you would wallow in the same filth as Satan. You would then share Satan’s shamelessness and its evil, and just like Satan you would tempt God and attack God. Then what would the outcome be for you? You would be loathed by God, struck down by God, destroyed by God. After Satan had tempted the Lord Jesus several times without success, did it try again? Satan did not try again and then it left. What does this prove? It proves that Satan’s evil nature, its malice, and its absurdity and preposterousness are not worth even mentioning in the face of God. The Lord Jesus defeated Satan with only three sentences, after which it scurried away with its tail between its legs, too ashamed to show its face, and it never again tempted the Lord Jesus. Since the Lord Jesus had defeated this temptation of Satan, He could now easily continue the work that He had to do and the tasks that lay before Him. Would everything that the Lord Jesus did and said in this situation carry any practical meaning for each and every human being if it were applied to the present day? (Yes.) What sort of practical meaning? Is defeating Satan an easy thing to do? Must people have a clear understanding of Satan’s evil nature? Must people have an accurate understanding of Satan’s temptations? (Yes.) When you experience Satan’s temptations in your own life, if you were able to see through to Satan’s evil nature, would you not be able to defeat it? If you knew about Satan’s absurdity and preposterousness, would you still stand on Satan’s side and attack God? If you understood how Satan’s malice and shamelessness are being revealed through you—if you clearly recognized and understood these things—would you still attack and tempt God in this way? (No, we would not.) What would you do? (We would rebel against Satan and cast it aside.) Is that an easy thing to do? It is not easy. To do this, people must frequently pray, they must often place themselves before God and examine themselves. And they must let God’s discipline and His judgment and chastisement come upon them. Only in this way will people gradually extricate themselves from Satan’s deception and control.

Now, by looking at all of these words spoken by Satan, we will summarize the things that make up the essence of Satan. Firstly, Satan’s essence can generally be said to be evil, in contrast to the holiness of God. Why do I say that Satan’s essence is evil? To answer this question, one must examine the consequences of what Satan does to people. Satan corrupts and controls man, and man acts under the corrupt disposition of Satan, and lives in a world of people corrupted by Satan. Mankind is unwittingly possessed and assimilated by Satan; man therefore has the corrupt disposition of Satan, which is Satan’s nature. From everything Satan has said and done, have you seen its arrogance? Have you seen its deceit and malice? How is Satan’s arrogance primarily displayed? Does Satan always harbor the desire to occupy God’s position? Satan always wants to tear down God’s work, and God’s position and take it for itself so that people will follow, support, and worship Satan; this is the arrogant nature of Satan. When Satan corrupts people, does it directly tell them what they should do? When Satan tempts God, does it come out and say, “I am tempting You, I am going to attack You”? It absolutely does not. So what method does Satan use? It seduces, tempts, attacks, and sets traps, and even quotes from the Scriptures. Satan speaks and acts in various ways to achieve its sinister objectives and fulfill its intentions. After Satan has done this, what can be seen from what is manifested in man? Do people not also become arrogant? Man has suffered from Satan’s corruption for thousands of years and so man has become arrogant, deceitful, malicious, and beyond reason. All of these things are brought about due to Satan’s nature. Since Satan’s nature is evil, it has given man this evil nature and brought to man this evil, corrupt disposition. Therefore, man lives under the corrupt satanic disposition and, like Satan, resists God, attacks God, and tempts Him, such that man cannot worship God and does not have a heart that reveres Him.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 147

How Satan Uses Knowledge to Corrupt Man

Is knowledge something that everyone considers to be a positive thing? At the very least, people think that the connotation of the word “knowledge” is positive rather than negative. So why are we mentioning here that Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man? Is the theory of evolution not an aspect of knowledge? Are Newton’s scientific laws not a part of knowledge? The gravitational pull of the earth is also a part of knowledge, is it not? (Yes.) So why is knowledge listed among the things that Satan uses to corrupt mankind? What is your view on this? Does knowledge have even a shred of truth in it? (No.) Then what is the essence of knowledge? On what basis is all the knowledge that man acquires learned? Is it based on the theory of evolution? Is not the knowledge that man has gained through exploration and summation based on atheism? Does any of this knowledge have a connection to God? Is it connected with worshiping God? Is it connected to truth? (No.) So how does Satan use knowledge to corrupt man? I just said that none of this knowledge is connected with worshiping God or with truth. Some people think about it like this: “Knowledge might not have anything to do with truth, but still, it doesn’t corrupt people.” What is your view on this? Were you taught by knowledge that a person’s happiness must be created with their own two hands? Did knowledge teach you that man’s fate was in his own hands? (Yes.) What kind of talk is this? (It is devilish talk.) Absolutely right! It is devilish talk! Knowledge is a complicated subject to discuss. You may state simply that a field of knowledge is nothing more than knowledge. That is a field of knowledge that is learned on the basis of not worshiping God and on not understanding that God created all things. When people study this type of knowledge, they do not see God having sovereignty over all things; they do not see God being in charge of or managing all things. Instead, all they do is endlessly research and explore that area of knowledge, and seek out answers based on knowledge. However, is it not true that if people do not believe in God and instead only pursue research, they will never find the true answers? All that knowledge can give you is a livelihood, a job, income so that you do not go hungry; but it will never make you worship God, and it will never keep you far from evil. The more people study knowledge, the more they will desire to rebel against God, to subject God to their studies, to tempt God, and to resist God. So, what do we now see that knowledge is teaching people? It is all the philosophy of Satan. Do the philosophies and rules of survival spread by Satan among corrupt men have any relation to truth? They have nothing to do with truth and, in fact, are the opposite of the truth. People often say, “Life is motion” and “Man is iron, rice is steel, man feels famished if he skips a meal”; what are these sayings? They are fallacies, and hearing them causes a feeling of disgust. In man’s so-called knowledge, Satan has imbued quite a bit of its philosophy for living and its thinking. And as Satan does this, it allows man to adopt its thinking, philosophy, and points of view so that man may deny the existence of God, deny God’s dominion over all things and over man’s fate. So as man’s studies progress and he gains more knowledge, he feels the existence of God become vague, and might even no longer feel that God exists. Because Satan has instilled certain thoughts, views, and notions in man, once Satan has instilled this venom inside man, is man not duped and corrupted by Satan? So what would you say the people of today live by? Do they not live by the knowledge and thoughts instilled by Satan? And the things hidden inside this knowledge and thoughts—are they not the philosophies and venom of Satan? Man lives by the philosophies and venom of Satan. And what lies at the core of Satan’s corruption of man? Satan wants to make man deny, oppose, and stand against God like it does; this is Satan’s goal in corrupting man, and also the means by which Satan corrupts man.

We will start by addressing the most superficial aspect of knowledge. Are the grammar and words in languages able to corrupt people? Can words corrupt people? Words do not corrupt people; they are a tool that people use to speak and they are also the tool with which people communicate with God, not to mention that at present, language and words are how God communicates with people. They are tools, and they are a necessity. One plus one equals two, and two multiplied by two equals four; is this not knowledge? But can this corrupt you? This is common knowledge—it is a fixed pattern—and so it cannot corrupt people. So what type of knowledge does corrupt people? Corrupting knowledge is knowledge that is intermingled with Satan’s viewpoints and thoughts. Satan seeks to inculcate these viewpoints and thoughts into humanity through the medium of knowledge. For example, in an article, there is nothing wrong with the written words in themselves. The problem lies with the viewpoints and intent of the author when they wrote the article, as well as the content of their thoughts. These are things of the spirit, and they are able to corrupt people. For example, if you were watching a television show, what sort of things in it could change people’s view? Would what the performers said, the words themselves, be able to corrupt people? (No.) What sort of things would corrupt people? It would be the core thoughts and content of the show, which would represent the director’s views. The information carried in these views could sway people’s hearts and minds. Is that not so? Now you know what I am referring to in My discussion of Satan using knowledge to corrupt people. You will not misunderstand, will you? So the next time you read a novel or an article, will you be able to evaluate whether or not the thoughts expressed in the written words corrupt mankind or contribute to humanity? (Yes, to a small extent.) This is something that must be studied and experienced at a slow pace, and it is not something that is easily understood right away. For example, when researching or studying an area of knowledge, some positive aspects of that knowledge may help you to understand some general knowledge about that field, while also enabling you to know what people should avoid. For example, take “electricity”—this is a field of knowledge, is it not? Would you not be ignorant if you did not know that electricity can shock and hurt people? But once you understand this field of knowledge, you will not be careless about touching objects with electrical currents, and you will know how to use electricity. These are both positive things. Are you now clear on what we have been discussing in terms of how knowledge corrupts people? There are many types of knowledge studied in the world, and you must take your time to differentiate them for yourselves.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 148

How Satan Uses Science to Corrupt Man

What is science? Is not science held in high prestige in the mind of each and every human and considered profound? When science is mentioned, do people not feel: “This is something beyond the reach of ordinary people; this is a topic that only scientific researchers or experts can touch; it has nothing to do with us regular folks”? Does it have any connection to ordinary people? (Yes.) How does Satan use science to corrupt people? In our discussion here, we will talk only about the things that people frequently encounter in their own lives, and disregard other matters. There is a word “genes.” Have you heard of it? You are all familiar with this term. Were genes not discovered through science? What exactly do genes mean to people? Do they not make people feel that the body is a mysterious thing? When people are introduced to this topic, will there not be some people—especially the curious—who will want to know more and want more details? These curious people will focus their energy on this subject and when they do not have other things to do, they will search for information in books and on the internet to learn more details about it. What is science? To speak plainly, science is the thoughts and theories of things that man is curious about, things that are unknown, and not told to them by God; science is the thoughts and theories about the mysteries that man wants to explore. What is the scope of science? You could say that it is rather broad; man researches and studies everything in which he is interested. Science involves researching the details and the laws of these things and then putting forth plausible theories which cause everyone to think: “These scientists are really terrific! They know so much, enough to understand these things!” They have so much admiration for scientists, do they not? People that research science, what sort of views do they hold? Do they not want to research the universe, to research the mysterious things in their area of interest? What is the final outcome of this? In some of the sciences, people draw their conclusions by conjecture, and in others they rely on human experience to draw conclusions. In yet other fields of science, people come to their conclusions based on historical and background observations. Is this not so? So what does science do for people? What science does is merely to allow people to see the objects in the physical world, and to satisfy man’s curiosity, but it cannot enable man to see the laws by which God has dominion over all things. Man seems to find answers in science, but those answers are puzzling and bring only temporary satisfaction, a satisfaction that only serves to confine the heart of man to the material world. Man feels that they have received answers from science, so whatever issue arises, they use their scientific views as a basis to prove and accept that issue. Man’s heart becomes seduced by science and possessed by it to the point that man no longer has the mind to know God, worship God and believe that all things come from God and that man should look to Him for answers. Is this not so? The more a person believes in science, the more absurd they become, believing that everything has a scientific solution, that research can solve anything. They do not seek God and they do not believe He exists. There are many long-term believers in God who, when faced with any problem, will use a computer to look things up and search for answers; they believe only in scientific knowledge. They do not believe that God’s words are the truth, they do not believe that God’s words can solve all of mankind’s problems, they do not view mankind’s myriad problems from the perspective of the truth. No matter what problem they encounter, they never pray to God or seek a resolution by searching for the truth in God’s words. In many matters, they’d prefer to believe that knowledge can solve the problem; for them, science is the ultimate answer. God is totally absent from such people’s hearts. They are nonbelievers, and their views on belief in God are no different from those of many distinguished academics and scientists, who are always trying to examine God using scientific methods. For example, there are many religious experts who have gone to the mountain where the ark came to rest, and thus they proved the existence of the ark. But in the appearance of the ark they do not see the existence of God. They believe only in the stories and the history; this is the result of their scientific research and study of the material world. If you research material things, whether it be microbiology, astronomy, or geography, you will never find a result that determines that God exists or that He has sovereignty over all things. So what does science do for man? Does it not distance man from God? Does it not cause people to subject God to studies? Does it not make people more doubtful of God’s existence and sovereignty, and thus deny and betray God? This is the consequence. So when Satan uses science to corrupt man, what aim is Satan trying to achieve? It wants to use scientific conclusions to deceive people and make them numb, and use ambiguous answers to hold on to people’s hearts so that they will not seek out or believe in God’s existence. So this is why I say that science is one of the ways in which Satan corrupts people.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 149

How Satan Uses Traditional Culture to Corrupt Man

Are there or are there not many things that are considered part of traditional culture? (There are.) What does this “traditional culture” mean? Some say it is passed down from the ancestors—this is one aspect. From the beginning, ways of life, customs, sayings and rules have been passed down within families, ethnic groups and even the entire human race, and they have become instilled in people’s thoughts. People consider them an indispensable part of their lives and regard them as rules, observing them as though they were life itself. Indeed, they never want to change or abandon these things, because they were passed down from their ancestors. There are other aspects of traditional culture which are ingrained into people’s very bones, like the things that were passed down from Confucius and Mencius, and the things taught to people by Chinese Taoism and Confucianism. Is this not so? What things are included in traditional culture? Does it include the holidays people celebrate? For example: the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, as well as the Ghost Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival. Some families even celebrate the days when seniors achieve a certain age, or when children reach one month or one hundred days of age. And so on. These are all traditional holidays. Is there not traditional culture underlying these holidays? What is the core of traditional culture? Does it have anything to do with worshiping God? Does it have anything to do with telling people to practice the truth? Are there any holidays for people to offer sacrifice to God, go to God’s altar and receive His teachings? Are there holidays like this? (No.) What do people do on all of these holidays? In modern times they are seen as occasions for eating, drinking, and fun. What is the source underlying traditional culture? Who does traditional culture come from? It comes from Satan. Behind the scenes of these traditional holidays, Satan instills certain things in man. What are these things? Ensuring that people remember their ancestors—is that one of them? For example, during Tomb Sweeping Day, people tidy up graves and offer sacrifices to their ancestors, so as not to forget their ancestors. Also, Satan ensures that people remember to be patriotic, of which an example is the Dragon Boat Festival. What about the Mid-Autumn Festival? (Family reunions.) What is the background of family reunions? What is the reason for it? It is to communicate and connect emotionally. Of course, whether it be celebrating Lunar New Year’s Eve or the Lantern Festival, there are many ways of describing the reasons behind these celebrations. However one describes those reasons, each one is Satan’s way of instilling its philosophy and its thinking in people, so that they will stray from God and not know there is God, and offer sacrifices either to their ancestors or to Satan, or eat, drink, and have fun for the sake of desires of the flesh. As each of these holidays is celebrated, Satan’s thoughts and views are planted deep within the minds of the people without their knowing. When people reach their forties, fifties or even older ages, these thoughts and viewpoints of Satan are already deeply rooted in their hearts. Moreover, people do their utmost to transmit these ideas, whether right or wrong, down to the next generation, indiscriminately and without reservation. Is not this so? (Yes.) How do traditional culture and these holidays corrupt people? Do you know? (People become constrained and bound by the rules of these traditions, such that they have no time or energy to seek God.) This is one aspect. For example, everyone celebrates during Lunar New Year—if you did not celebrate it, would you not feel sad? Are there any superstitions that you hold in your heart? Might you feel, “I didn’t celebrate the New Year, and since Lunar New Year’s day was a bad day, won’t the whole of the rest of the year also be bad”? Would you not feel ill at ease and a bit afraid? There are even some people who have not made sacrifices to their ancestors in years and who suddenly have a dream in which a deceased person asks them for money. What would they feel? “How sad that this person now gone needs money to spend! I’ll burn some paper money for them. If I don’t, that just wouldn’t be right. It might cause trouble for us living people—who can say when misfortune will strike?” They will always have this little cloud of fear and worry in their hearts. Who gives them this worry? Satan is the source of this worry. Is this not one of the ways that Satan corrupts man? It uses different means and pretexts to control you, to threaten you, and to bind you, so that you fall into a daze and yield and submit to it; this is how Satan corrupts man. Often when people are weak or when they are not fully aware of the situation, they may inadvertently do something in a muddle-headed way; that is, they inadvertently fall into Satan’s grasp and might act unwittingly, might do things without knowing what they are doing. This is the way Satan corrupts man. There are even quite a few people now who are reluctant to part with deep-rooted traditional culture, who just cannot give it up. It is especially when they are weak and passive that they wish to celebrate these kinds of holidays and they wish to meet Satan and satisfy Satan again, to bring comfort to their hearts. What is the background to the traditional culture? Is the black hand of Satan pulling the strings behind the scenes? Is Satan’s evil nature manipulating and controlling? Does Satan hold sway over all of this? (Yes.) When people live in a traditional culture and celebrate these kinds of traditional holidays, could we say that this is an environment in which they are being fooled and corrupted by Satan, and moreover that they are happy to be fooled and corrupted by Satan? (Yes.) This is something you all acknowledge, something that you know about.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 150

How Satan Uses Superstition to Corrupt Man

How does Satan use superstition to corrupt man? People all want to know their fate, so Satan takes advantage of their curiosity to entice them. People engage in divination, fortune-telling, and face-reading in order to learn what will happen to them in the future and what sort of road lies ahead. In the end, though, in whose hands are the fate and prospects with which people are so concerned? (In God’s hands.) All of these things are in God’s hands. In using these methods, what does Satan want people to know? Satan wants to use face-reading and fortune-telling to tell people that it knows their future fortunes, and that it not only knows these things but is also in control of them. Satan wants to take advantage of this opportunity and use these methods to control people, such that people put blind faith in it and obey its every word. For example, if you have a face-reading done, if the fortune-teller closes his eyes and tells you everything that has happened to you in the last few decades with perfect clarity, how would you feel inside? You would immediately feel, “He’s so accurate! I’ve never told my past to anyone before, how did he know about it? I really admire this fortune-teller!” For Satan, is it not too easy to know about your past? God has led you to where you are today, and all the while Satan has been corrupting people and following you. The passage of decades of your life is nothing to Satan and it is not difficult for Satan to know these things. When you learn that all that Satan says is accurate, are you not giving your heart over to it? Are you not depending on it to take control of your future and your fortunes? In an instant, your heart will feel some respect or reverence for it, and for some people, their souls may already be snatched away by it at this point. And you will immediately ask the fortune-teller: “What should I do next? What should I avoid in the coming year? What things must I not do?” And then, he will say, “You must not go there, you must not do this, do not wear clothes of a certain color, you should go to certain places less, do certain things more….” Will you not take everything he says immediately to heart? You would memorize his words faster than the words of God. Why would you memorize them so quickly? Because you would want to rely on Satan for good luck. Is this not when it seizes your heart? When its predictions come true, one after the other, would you not want to go right back to it to find out what fortune the next year will bring? (Yes.) You would do whatever Satan tells you to do and you would avoid the things it says to avoid. In this way, are you not obeying everything it says? Very quickly, you will fall into its embrace, be deceived, and come under its control. This happens because you believe what it says is the truth and because you believe that it knows about your past lives, your life now, and what the future will bring. This is the method Satan uses to control people. But in reality, who is really in control? God Himself is in control, not Satan. Satan is just using its clever ploys in this case to trick ignorant people, trick people who only see the material world, into believing and relying on it. Then, they fall into Satan’s grasp and obey its every word. But does Satan ever loosen its grip when people want to believe in and follow God? Satan does not. In this situation, are people really falling into Satan’s grasp? (Yes.) Could we say that Satan’s behavior in this regard is shameless? (Yes.) Why would we say that? Because these are fraudulent and deceitful tactics. Satan is shameless and misleads people into thinking it controls everything about them and that it controls their very fate. This causes ignorant people to obey it completely. They are fooled with just a few words. In their daze, people bow down before it. So, what sort of methods does Satan use, what does it say to cause you to believe in it? For example, you might not have told Satan how many people are in your family, but it might still be able to tell you how many people there are, and the ages of your parents and children. Though you might have had your suspicions and doubts about Satan before this, after hearing it say these things, would you not then feel it is a little more believable? Satan might then say how difficult work has been for you recently, that your superiors do not give you the recognition you deserve and are always working against you, and so on. After hearing that, you would think, “That’s exactly right! Things haven’t been going smoothly at work.” So you would believe Satan a bit more. Then it would say something else to deceive you, making you believe it even more. Little by little, you would find yourself unable to resist or remain suspicious of it anymore. Satan merely uses a few trivial tricks, even trifling little tricks, and in this way confounds you. As you become confounded, you will be unable to establish your bearings, you will be at a loss as to what to do, and you will begin to follow what Satan says. This is the “brilliant” method Satan uses to corrupt man, which causes you to unwittingly fall into its trap and be seduced by it. Satan tells you a few things that people imagine to be good, and then it tells you what to do and what to avoid. This is how you are unwittingly tricked. Once you have fallen for it, things will get sticky for you; you will constantly be thinking about what Satan said and what it told you to do, and you will unknowingly be possessed by it. Why is this? It is because mankind lacks the truth and so is unable to stand firm and resist Satan’s seduction and temptation. Faced with Satan’s evil and its deceit, treachery, and malice, mankind is so ignorant, immature and weak, is it not? Is this not one of the ways Satan corrupts man? (Yes.) Man is unwittingly deceived and tricked, little by little, by Satan’s various methods, because they lack the ability to differentiate between the positive and the negative. They lack this stature, and the ability to triumph over Satan.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 151

How Satan Uses Social Trends to Corrupt Man

When did social trends come into existence? Did they only come into being in the present day? One could say that social trends came to be when Satan started corrupting people. What do social trends include? (Styles of clothing and makeup.) These are things that people often come into contact with. Styles of clothing, fashion, and trends—these things make up one small aspect. Is there anything else? Do the popular phrases that people often come out with count too? Do the lifestyles that people desire count? Do the music stars, celebrities, magazines, and novels that people like count? (Yes.) In your minds, which aspect of social trends is able to corrupt man? Which of these trends is most alluring to you? Some people say: “We’ve all reached a certain age, we are in our fifties or sixties, our seventies or eighties, and we can’t fit in with these trends anymore and they don’t really hold our attention.” Is this correct? Others say: “We don’t follow celebrities, that’s something youngsters in their twenties do; we also don’t wear fashionable clothes, that’s something image-conscious people do.” So which of these is able to corrupt you? (Popular sayings.) Can these sayings corrupt people? I will give an example, and you can see whether or not it corrupts people: “Money makes the world go round”; is this a trend? Compared to the fashion and gourmet trends you mentioned, is this not much worse? “Money makes the world go round” is a philosophy of Satan. It prevails among the whole of mankind, in every human society; you could say it is a trend. This is because it has been instilled in the heart of every single person, who at first did not accept this saying, but then gave it tacit acceptance when they came into contact with real life, and began to feel that these words were in fact true. Is this not a process of Satan corrupting man? Perhaps people do not understand this saying to the same degree, but everyone has different degrees of interpretation and acknowledgment of this saying based on things that have happened around them and on their own personal experiences. Is that not the case? Regardless of how much experience someone has with this saying, what is the negative effect that it can have on someone’s heart? Something is revealed through the human disposition of the people in this world, including each and every one of you. What is it? It is the worship of money. Is it hard to remove this from someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is deep indeed! Satan uses money to tempt people, and corrupts them into worshiping money and venerating material things. And how is this worship of money manifested in people? Do you feel that you could not survive in this world without any money, that even one day without money would be impossible? People’s status is based on how much money they have, as is the respect they command. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. What does this saying and trend bring to people? Is it not true that many people make any sacrifice in the pursuit of money? Do many people not lose their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Do many people not lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Is losing the chance to gain the truth and be saved not the greatest of all losses for people? Is Satan not sinister to use this method and this saying to corrupt man to such a degree? Is this not a malicious trick? As you progress from objecting to this popular saying to finally accepting it as truth, your heart falls completely into Satan’s grasp, and therefore you inadvertently come to live by the saying. To what degree has this saying affected you? You might know the true way, and you might know the truth, but you are powerless to pursue it. You may clearly know that God’s words are the truth, but you are unwilling to pay the price or to suffer in order to gain the truth. Instead, you would rather sacrifice your own future and destiny to resist God to the very end. No matter what God says, no matter what God does, no matter whether you understand how deep and how great God’s love for you is, you would stubbornly insist on having your own way and pay the price for this saying. Which is to say, this saying has already tricked and controlled your thoughts, it has already governed your behavior, and you would rather let it rule your fate than set aside your pursuit of wealth. That people can act thus, that they can be controlled and manipulated by the words of Satan—does this not mean that they have been tricked and corrupted by Satan? Have the philosophy and mindset of Satan, and the disposition of Satan, not taken root in your heart? When you blindly pursue wealth, and abandon the pursuit of the truth, has Satan not achieved its aim of tricking you? This is exactly the case. So can you feel it when you are tricked and corrupted by Satan? You cannot. If you cannot see Satan standing right in front of you, or feel that it is Satan acting in the shadows, would you be able to see the wickedness of Satan? Could you know how Satan corrupts mankind? Satan corrupts man at all times and in all places. Satan makes it impossible for man to defend against this corruption and makes man helpless against it. Satan makes you accept its thoughts, its viewpoints and the evil things that come from it in situations where you are unknowing and when you have no recognition of what is happening to you. People accept these things and take no exception to them. They cherish and hold on to these things like a treasure, they let these things manipulate them and toy with them; this is how people live under the power of Satan, and unconsciously obey Satan, and Satan’s corruption of man grows ever deeper.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 152

Satan uses these several methods to corrupt man. Man has knowledge and an understanding of some scientific principles, man lives under the influence of traditional culture, and every human is an inheritor and transmitter of traditional culture. Man is bound to carry on the traditional culture given to him by Satan, and man also conforms with the social trends Satan provides to mankind. Man is inseparable from Satan, conforming with all that Satan does at all times, accepting its evil, deceit, malice and arrogance. Once man came to possess these dispositions of Satan, has he been happy or sorrowful living among this corrupt mankind? (Sorrowful.) Why do you say that? (Because man is tied down and controlled by these corrupt things, he lives in sin and is engulfed in an arduous struggle.) Some people wear spectacles, appearing to be very intellectual; they might speak very respectably, with eloquence and reason, and because they have gone through many things, they might be very experienced and sophisticated. They might be able to speak in detail about matters great and small; they might also be able to assess the authenticity and reason of things. Some might look at the behavior and appearance of these people, as well as their character, humanity, conduct, and so on, and find no fault with them. Such people are particularly able to adapt to current social trends. Even though these people might be older, they never fall behind the trends of the times and are never too old to learn. On the surface, no one can find fault with such a person, yet right down to their inner essence they are utterly and completely corrupted by Satan. Though no external fault can be found with these people, though on the surface they are gentle, refined, and possess knowledge and a certain morality, and they have integrity, and though in terms of knowledge they are in no way inferior to young people, yet in regard to their nature and essence, such people are a full and living model of Satan; they are the spitting image of Satan. This is the “fruit” of Satan’s corruption of man. What I have said may be hurtful to you, but it is all true. The knowledge man studies, the science he understands, and the means he chooses by which he fits in with social trends are without exception tools of Satan’s corruption of man. This is absolutely true. Therefore, man lives within a disposition that is completely corrupted by Satan, and man has no way of knowing what God’s holiness is or what God’s essence is. This is because on the surface one cannot find fault with the ways Satan corrupts man; one cannot tell from someone’s behavior that anything is amiss. Everyone goes about their work normally and lives normal lives; they read books and newspapers normally, they study and speak normally. Some people have learned a few ethics and are good at talking, are understanding and friendly, are helpful and charitable, and do not pick petty quarrels or take advantage of people. However, their corrupt satanic disposition is rooted deep within them and this essence cannot be changed by relying on external effort. Because of this essence, man is not able to know God’s holiness, and despite the essence of God’s holiness being disclosed to man, man does not take it seriously. This is because Satan has, through various means, already come to completely possess man’s feelings, ideas, viewpoints and thoughts. This possession and corruption is not temporary or occasional, but is present everywhere and at all times. Thus, a great many people who have believed in God for three or four years, or even five or six, still take these evil thoughts, views, logic, and philosophies that Satan has instilled in them as treasures, and are unable to let go of them. Because man has accepted the evil, arrogant and malicious things that come from the nature of Satan, inevitably in man’s interpersonal relationships there are often conflicts, arguments and incompatibility, which come about as a result of Satan’s arrogant nature. If Satan had given mankind positive things—for example, if the Confucianism and Taoism of traditional culture that man has accepted were good things—similar types of people should be able to get along with one another after accepting those things. So why is there such a great divide between people who have accepted the same things? Why is that? It is because these things come from Satan and Satan creates division among people. The things from Satan, no matter how dignified or great they appear on the surface, bring to man and bring out in man’s life only arrogance, and nothing more than the deceit of Satan’s evil nature. Is that not so? Someone who is able to disguise themselves, who possesses a wealth of knowledge or who has a good upbringing would still have a hard time concealing their corrupt satanic disposition. That is to say, no matter how many ways this person cloaked themselves, whether you thought of them as a saint, or if you thought they were perfect, or if you thought they were an angel, no matter how pure you thought they were, what is their real life like behind the scenes? What essence would you see in the revelation of their disposition? Without a doubt you would see the evil nature of Satan. Is it admissible to say that? (Yes.) For example, suppose you know someone close to you who you thought of as a good person, perhaps someone you idolized. With your current stature, what do you think of them? First, you evaluate whether or not this type of person has humanity, whether they are honest, whether they have true love for people, whether their words and actions benefit and help others. (They do not.) What is the so-called kindness, love or goodness that these people reveal? It is all false, it is all a facade. Behind this facade there is an ulterior evil purpose: to make that person adored and idolized. Do you see this clearly? (Yes.)

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 153

What do the methods Satan uses to corrupt people bring to mankind? Do they bring anything positive? Firstly, can man differentiate between good and evil? Would you say that in this world, whether it be some famous or great person, or some magazine or other publication, are the standards they use to judge whether something is good or evil, and right or wrong, accurate? Are their assessments of events and people fair? Do they contain truth? Does this world, this humanity, assess positive and negative things based on the standard of truth? (No.) Why do people not have that ability? People have studied so much knowledge and know so much about science, so they are possessed of great abilities, are they not? So why are they incapable of differentiating between positive and negative things? Why is this? (Because people do not have truth; science and knowledge are not truth.) Everything that Satan brings to humanity is evil, corrupt and lacking in truth, life and the way. With the evil and corruption that Satan brings to man, can you say that Satan has love? Can you say that man has love? Some people might say: “You’re wrong; there are many people around the world who help the poor or homeless. Aren’t those good people? There are also charitable organizations that do good work; isn’t the work they do good work?” What would you say to that? Satan uses many different methods and theories to corrupt man; is this corruption of man a vague concept? No, it is not vague. Satan also does some practical things, and it also promotes a viewpoint or a theory in this world and in society. In every dynasty and in every epoch, it promotes a theory and instills thoughts into the minds of man. These thoughts and theories gradually take root in people’s hearts, and then they begin to live by them. Once they start to live by these things, do they not unwittingly become Satan? Do people not then become one with Satan? When people have become one with Satan, what is their attitude toward God in the end? Is it not the same attitude that Satan has toward God? No one dares to admit this, do they? How horrifying! Why do I say that Satan’s nature is evil? I do not say this groundlessly; rather, Satan’s nature is determined and analyzed based on what it has done and the things it has revealed. If I just said Satan was evil, what would you think? You would think: “Obviously Satan is evil.” So I ask you: “Which aspects of Satan are evil?” If you say: “Satan’s resistance toward God is evil,” you still would not be speaking with clarity. Now that I have spoken about the specifics in this way, do you have an understanding about the specific content of the essence of Satan’s evil? (Yes.) If you are able to see clearly Satan’s evil nature, then you will see your own conditions. Is there any relationship between these two things? Is this helpful to you or not? (It is.) When I fellowship about the essence of God’s holiness, is it necessary that I fellowship about the evil essence of Satan? What is your opinion about this? (Yes, it is necessary.) Why? (Satan’s evil sets God’s holiness in relief.) Is that how it is? This is partially correct, in the sense that without Satan’s evil, people would not know that God is holy; it is right to say this. However, if you say that God’s holiness only exists due to its contrast with Satan’s evil, is this right? This dialectical way of thinking is wrong. God’s holiness is the inherent essence of God; even when God reveals it through His deeds, this is still a natural expression of God’s essence and it is still God’s inherent essence; it has always existed and is intrinsic and innate to God Himself, though man cannot see it. This is because man lives amidst the corrupt disposition of Satan and under Satan’s influence, and they do not know about holiness, much less about the specific content of God’s holiness. So, is it essential that we fellowship first about Satan’s evil essence? (Yes, it is.) Some people may express some doubt: “You are fellowshiping about God Himself, so why are You always talking about how Satan corrupts people and how Satan’s nature is evil?” Now you have put these doubts to rest, haven’t you? When people have discernment of Satan’s evil and when they have an accurate definition of it, when people can clearly see the specific content and manifestation of evil, the source and essence of evil, only then, through discussion of God’s holiness, can people clearly realize or recognize what God’s holiness is, what holiness is. If I do not discuss the evil of Satan, some people will mistakenly believe that some things that people do in society and among people—or certain things that exist in this world—may bear some relation to holiness. Is this not a wrong viewpoint? (Yes, it is.)

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 154

Satan Uses Knowledge to Corrupt Man, and It Uses Fame and Gain to Control Him (Selected passage)

Among the five ways in which Satan corrupts man, the first one we mentioned is knowledge, so let us take knowledge as our first topic for fellowship. Satan uses knowledge as bait. Listen closely: Knowledge is just a kind of bait. People are enticed to study hard and improve themselves day after day, to weaponize knowledge and arm themselves with it, and then to use knowledge to open the gateway to science; in other words, the more knowledge you gain, the more you will understand. Satan tells people all of this; it tells people to foster lofty ideals as they are learning knowledge, instructing them to build up ambitions and aspirations. Unbeknownst to man, Satan conveys many messages like this, causing people to unconsciously feel that these things are correct or beneficial. Unknowingly, people set foot upon this path, unknowingly led onward by their own ideals and ambitions. Step by step, they unwittingly learn from the knowledge given by Satan the ways in which great or famous people think. They also learn some things from the deeds of people who are considered heroes. What is Satan advocating for man in the deeds of these heroes? What does it want to instill in man? That man must be patriotic, have national integrity, and be heroic of spirit. What does man learn from historical stories or biographies of heroic figures? To have a sense of personal loyalty, to be prepared to do anything for one’s friends and brothers. Within this knowledge of Satan, man unknowingly learns many things which are not positive at all. In the midst of man’s unawareness, seeds prepared by Satan are planted in people’s immature minds. These seeds make them feel that they ought to be great people, ought to be famous, ought to be heroes, to be patriotic, be people who love their families, and be people who will do anything for a friend and have a sense of personal loyalty. Seduced by Satan, they unknowingly walk the road it has prepared for them. As they go down this road, they are forced to accept Satan’s rules of living. Completely unaware, they develop their own rules that they live by, but these are nothing more than Satan’s rules, which it has forcefully instilled in them. Satan makes them, during the learning process, foster their own objectives and determine their own life goals, rules to live by, and direction in life, all the while instilling in them the things of Satan, using stories, biographies, and all other means possible to entice people, little by little, until they take the bait. In this way, during the course of their learning, some come to prefer literature, some economics, others astronomy or geography. Then there are some who come to like politics, some who like physics, some chemistry, and even others still who prefer theology. These are all parts of the greater whole that is knowledge. In your hearts, each of you knows what these things are really about; each one of you has had contact with them before. Each of you is capable of talking on and on endlessly about one or another of these branches of knowledge. And so it is clear how deeply this knowledge has entered the minds of men; it is plain to see the position occupied by this knowledge in people’s minds and how deep an effect it has on them. Once someone develops affection for a facet of knowledge, when a person has fallen deeply in love with it, they then unknowingly develop ambitions: Some people want to be writers, some want to be literary authors, some want to make a career out of politics, and some want to engage in economics and become businesspeople. Then there is a portion of people who want to be heroes, to be great or famous. Regardless of what kind of person someone wants to be, their goal is to take this method of learning knowledge and use it for their own ends, to realize their own desires, their own ambitions. No matter how good it sounds—whether they want to achieve their dreams, to not waste their life, or to have a certain career—they foster these lofty ideals and ambitions, but what is it all essentially for? Have you ever considered this question before? Why does Satan act in this way? What is Satan’s purpose in instilling these things in man? Your hearts must be clear on this question.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 155

Satan Uses Knowledge to Corrupt Man, and It Uses Fame and Gain to Control Him (Selected passages)

During the process of man’s learning of knowledge, Satan employs all manner of methods, whether it be telling stories, simply giving them some individual piece of knowledge, or allowing them to satisfy their desires or ambitions. What road does Satan want to lead you down? People think there is nothing wrong with learning knowledge, that it is entirely natural. To put it in a way that sounds appealing, to foster lofty ideals or to have ambitions is to have drive, and this should be the right path in life. Is it not a more glorious way for people to live if they can realize their own ideals, or successfully establish a career? By doing these things, one can not only honor one’s ancestors but also has the chance to leave one’s mark on history—is this not a good thing? This is a good thing in the eyes of worldly people, and to them it should be proper and positive. Does Satan, however, with its sinister motives, take people on to this kind of road and that’s all there is to it? Of course not. In fact, no matter how lofty man’s ideals are, no matter how realistic man’s desires are or how proper they may be, all that man wants to achieve, all that man seeks for, is inextricably linked to two words. These two words are vitally important to the life of every person, and they are things Satan intends to instill in man. What are these two words? They are “fame” and “gain.” Satan uses a very subtle kind of method, a method very much in concert with people’s notions, which is not at all radical, through which it causes people to unknowingly accept its way of living, its rules to live by, and to establish life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ambitions in life. No matter how grand these life ambitions may seem, they are inextricably linked to “fame” and “gain.” Everything that any great or famous person—all people, in fact—follow in life relates only to these two words: “fame” and “gain.” People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on those things to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. They think fame and gain are a kind of capital that they can use to obtain a life of pleasure-seeking and wanton enjoyment of the flesh. For the sake of this fame and gain which mankind so covets, people willingly, albeit unknowingly, hand over their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies, to Satan. They do so without even a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover all that they have handed over. Can people retain any control over themselves once they have taken refuge in Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They have completely and utterly sunk into a quagmire, and are unable to free themselves. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous, or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great; they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true? Some people will say that learning knowledge is nothing more than reading books or learning a few things that they do not already know so as not to lag behind the times or be left behind by the world. Knowledge is only learned so they can put food on the table, for their own future, or to provide the basic necessities. Is there any person who would endure a decade of hard study just for the basic necessities, just to resolve the issue of food? No, there are none like this. So why does a person suffer these hardships for all these years? It is for fame and gain. Fame and gain are waiting for them in the distance, beckoning them, and they believe that only through their own diligence, hardships and struggles can they follow the road that will lead them to attain fame and gain. Such a person must suffer these hardships for their own future path, for their future enjoyment and to gain a better life. What on earth is this knowledge—can you tell Me? Is it not the rules and philosophies for living that Satan instills in man, such as “Love the Party, love the country, and love your religion” and “A wise man submits to circumstances”? Is it not life’s “lofty ideals” instilled into man by Satan? Take, for example, the ideas of great people, the integrity of the famous or the brave spirit of heroic figures, or take the chivalry and kindness of the protagonists and swordsmen in martial arts novels—are these not all ways in which Satan instills these ideals? These ideas influence one generation after another, and the people of each generation are brought to accept these ideas. They constantly struggle in the pursuit of “lofty ideals” that they will even sacrifice their lives for. This is the means and approach by which Satan uses knowledge to corrupt people. So after Satan leads people upon this path, are they able to obey and worship God? And are they able to accept God’s words and pursue the truth? Absolutely not—because they have been led astray by Satan. Let us look again at the knowledge, thoughts, and opinions instilled in people by Satan: Do these things contain the truths of obedience to God and worship of God? Are there the truths of fearing God and shunning evil? Are there any of the words of God? Is there anything in them that relates to the truth? Not at all—these things are totally absent. Can you be sure that the things instilled in people by Satan contain no truth? You dare not—but no matter. So long as you recognize that “fame” and “gain” are the two key words that Satan uses to entice people onto the path of evil, then that is enough.

Let us briefly review what we have discussed so far: What does Satan use to keep man firmly within its control? (Fame and gain.) So, Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts, until all people can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision for the sake of fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds people with invisible shackles, and they have neither the strength nor the courage to throw them off. They unknowingly bear these shackles and trudge ever onward with great difficulty. For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind shuns God and betrays Him and becomes increasingly wicked. In this way, therefore, one generation after another is destroyed in the midst of Satan’s fame and gain. Looking now at Satan’s actions, are its sinister motives not utterly detestable? Maybe today you still cannot see through Satan’s sinister motives because you think one cannot live without fame and gain. You think that if people leave fame and gain behind, they will no longer be able to see the way ahead, no longer be able to see their goals, that their futures will become dark, dim and gloomy. But, slowly, you will all one day recognize that fame and gain are monstrous shackles that Satan uses to bind man. When that day comes, you will thoroughly resist Satan’s control and thoroughly resist the shackles Satan uses to bind you. When the time comes that you wish to throw off all the things Satan has instilled in you, you will then make a clean break with Satan and you will truly loathe all that Satan has brought to you. Only then will mankind have a real love and yearning for God.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 156

Satan Uses Science to Corrupt Man

Satan uses the name of science to satisfy man’s curiosity, man’s desire to explore science and probe mysteries. In the name of science, Satan satisfies man’s material needs and man’s demand to continually improve their quality of life. Thus, it is with this pretext that Satan uses science to corrupt man. Is it only man’s thinking or man’s mind that Satan corrupts using science in this way? Of the people, events, and things in our surroundings that we can see and that we come into contact with, what else of these does Satan corrupt with science? (The natural environment.) Correct. It seems you have been deeply harmed by this, and deeply affected. Besides using all the various findings and conclusions of science to deceive man, Satan also uses science as a means to carry out wanton destruction and exploitation of the living environment that was given to man by God. It does this under the pretext that if man carries out scientific research, then man’s living environment and quality of life will continually improve, and furthermore that the purpose of scientific development is to cater to people’s daily increasing material needs and their need to continually improve their quality of life. This is the theoretical basis of Satan’s development of science. However, what has science brought to mankind? Has our living environment—and the living environment of all mankind—not been defiled? Has the air that man breathes not been defiled? Has the water that we drink not been defiled? Is the food that we eat still organic and natural? Most grains and vegetables are genetically modified, they have been grown with fertilizer, and some are variants created using science. The vegetables and fruit we eat are no longer natural. Even natural eggs are no longer easy to find, and eggs no longer taste the way they used to, having already been processed by Satan’s so-called science. Looking at the big picture, the entire atmosphere has been destroyed and polluted; mountains, lakes, forests, rivers, oceans, and everything above and below ground have all been ruined by so-called scientific achievements. In brief, the entire natural environment, the living environment given to mankind by God, has been destroyed and ruined by so-called science. Although there are many people who have obtained what they always hoped for in terms of the quality of life they seek, satisfying both their desires and their flesh, the environment man lives in has essentially been destroyed and ruined by the various “achievements” brought on by science. Now, we no longer have the right to breathe a single breath of clean air. Is this not mankind’s sorrow? Is there any happiness left to speak of for man, when they must live in this kind of space? This space and living environment in which man lives was, from the very beginning, created by God for man. The water people drink, the air people breathe, the various foods people eat, as well as plants and living beings, and even the mountains, lakes, and oceans—every part of this living environment was given to man by God; it is natural, operating in accordance with a natural law laid down by God. Without science, people would still follow the methods bestowed upon them by God, they would be able to enjoy all that is pristine and natural, and they would be happy. Now, however, all of this has been destroyed and ruined by Satan; man’s fundamental living space is no longer pristine. But no one is able to recognize what caused this or how this came about, and many more people approach science and understand it through the ideas instilled in them by Satan. Is this not utterly detestable and pitiable? With Satan now having taken the space in which people exist, as well as their living environment, and corrupted them into this state, and with mankind continuing to develop in this way, is there any need for God to personally destroy these people? If people continue to develop in this way, what direction will they take? (They will be exterminated.) How will they be exterminated? In addition to people’s greedy search for fame and gain, they continually carry out scientific exploration and dive deep into research, and then ceaselessly act in such a way as to satisfy their own material needs and desires; what then are the consequences for man? First of all, the ecological balance is broken, and when this happens, people’s bodies, their internal organs, are tainted and damaged by this unbalanced environment, and various infectious diseases and plagues spread across the world. Is it not true that this is now a situation that man has no control over? Now that you understand this, if mankind does not follow God, but always follows Satan in this way—using knowledge to continually enrich themselves, using science to ceaselessly explore the future of human life, using this kind of method to continue living—can you recognize how this will end for mankind? Mankind will naturally become extinct: Step-by-step, mankind advances toward destruction, toward their own destruction! Is this not bringing destruction upon themselves? And is it not the consequence of scientific progress? It now seems as though science is a kind of magic potion that Satan has prepared for man, so that when you try to discern things you do so in a foggy haze; no matter how hard you look, you cannot see things clearly, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot figure them out. Satan, however, uses the name of science to whet your appetite and lead you by the nose, one foot in front of the other, toward the abyss and death. And this being the case, people will clearly see that actually, the destruction of man is wrought by the hand of Satan—Satan is the ringleader.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 157

Satan Uses Traditional Culture to Corrupt Man

Satan uses traditional culture to corrupt man. There are many similarities between traditional culture and superstition, but the difference is that traditional culture has certain stories, allusions, and sources. Satan has fabricated and invented many folk stories or stories that appear in history books, leaving people with deep impressions of traditional cultural or superstitious figures. For example, in China there are the “Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea,” “Journey to the West,” the Jade Emperor, “Nezha Conquering the Dragon King,” and “The Investiture of the Gods.” Have these not become deeply rooted in the minds of man? Even if some of you do not know all the details, you still know the general stories, and it is this general content that sticks in your heart and your mind, so that you cannot forget them. These are various ideas or legends that Satan prepared for man long ago, and which have been disseminated at different times. These things directly harm and erode people’s souls and put people under one spell after another. That is to say that once you have accepted such traditional culture, stories, or superstitious things, once they are established in your mind, and once they are stuck in your heart, then it is like you are spellbound—you become enmeshed and influenced by these cultural trappings, these ideas and traditional stories. They influence your life, your outlook on life, and your judgment of things. Even more so they influence your pursuit for the true path of life: This is indeed a wicked spell. Try as you might, you cannot shake them off; you chop at them but you cannot chop them down; you beat at them but you cannot beat them away. Furthermore, after people are unknowingly put under this kind of spell, they unknowingly begin to worship Satan, fostering the image of Satan in their hearts. In other words, they establish Satan as their idol, an object for them to worship and look up to, even going so far as to regard it as God. Unknowingly, these things are in people’s hearts, controlling their words and deeds. Moreover, you first regard these stories and legends to be false, but then you unknowingly acknowledge their existence, making of them real figures and turning them into real, existing objects. In your unawareness, you subconsciously receive these ideas and the existence of these things. You also subconsciously receive devils, Satan, and idols into your own home and into your own heart—this is indeed a spell. Do these words resonate with you? (Yes.) Are there any among you who have burned incense and worshiped Buddha? (Yes.) So what was the purpose of burning incense and worshiping Buddha? (Praying for peace.) Thinking about it now, is it not absurd to pray to Satan for peace? Does Satan bring peace? (No.) Do you not see how ignorant you were then? That kind of behavior is absurd, ignorant and naive, is it not? Satan only concerns itself with how to corrupt you. Satan cannot possibly give you peace, only a temporary respite. But to gain this respite you must take a vow, and if you break your promise or the vow that you have made to Satan, then you will see how it torments you. In making you take a vow, it actually wants to control you. When you prayed for peace, did you obtain peace? (No.) You did not obtain peace, but on the contrary your efforts brought misfortune and unending disasters—truly a boundless ocean of bitterness. Peace is not within Satan’s domain, and this is the truth. This is the consequence that feudal superstition and traditional culture have brought mankind.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 158

Satan Uses Social Trends to Corrupt Man

Satan corrupts and controls man through social trends. Social trends cover many aspects, including various areas such as worshiping famous and great figures, as well as film and music idols, celebrity worship, online games, etc.—these are all part of social trends, and there is no need to go into detail here. We will only talk about the ideas that social trends bring about in people, the way they cause people to conduct themselves in the world, and the life goals and outlook that they bring about in people. These are very important; they can control and influence people’s thoughts and opinion. These trends arise one after another, and they all carry an evil influence that continually debases mankind, causing people to lose conscience, humanity and reason, weakening their morals and their quality of character ever more, to the extent that we can even say that the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, and neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these social trends? They are trends that you cannot see with the naked eye. When a new trend sweeps through the world, perhaps only a small number of people are on the cutting edge, acting as the trendsetters. They start off doing some new thing, then accepting some kind of idea or some kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, will be continually infected, attracted, and assimilated by this trend in a state of unawareness, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it and become submerged in it and controlled by it. One after another, such trends cause people, who are not of sound body and mind, do not know what the truth is, and cannot differentiate between positive and negative things, to happily accept them as well as the life views and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them about how to approach life and the way to live that Satan “bestows” on them, and they have neither the strength nor the ability, much less the awareness, to resist. So how to recognize such trends? I have chosen a simple example that you may gradually come to understand. For example, people in the past ran their business so that nobody was cheated; they sold items at the same price regardless of who was buying. Is not some element of good conscience and humanity conveyed here? When people conducted their business like this, in good faith, it can be seen that they still had some conscience and some humanity at that time. But with man’s ever-increasing demand for money, people unknowingly came to love money, gain, and pleasure more and more. Do people not prioritize money more than they used to? When people view money as very important, they unknowingly begin to attach less importance to their reputation, their renown, their good name and their integrity, do they not? When you engage in business, you see others getting rich by cheating people. Although the money earned is ill-gotten, they become richer and richer. Seeing all that their family enjoys upsets you: “We’re both in business but they got rich. Why can’t I make a lot of money? I can’t take this—I must find a way to make more cash.” After that, all you think about is how to make your fortune. Once you have given up on the belief that “money should be earned with conscience, by tricking no one,” then, driven by your own interests, your way of thinking gradually changes, as do the principles behind your actions. When you cheat someone for the first time, you feel the reproach of your conscience, and your heart tells you, “Once this is done, this is the last time I will cheat someone. Always cheating people will result in retribution!” This is the function of man’s conscience—to make you feel scruples and to reproach you, so that it feels unnatural when you cheat someone. But after you have successfully deceived someone, you see that you now have more money than you did before, and you think this method can be very beneficial for you. Despite the dull ache in your heart, you still feel like congratulating yourself on your success, and you feel somewhat pleased with yourself. For the first time, you approve of your own behavior, your own deceptive ways. Once man has been contaminated by this cheating, it is the same as someone who gets involved in gambling and then becomes a gambler. In your unawareness, you give approval to your own cheating behavior and accept it. In unawareness, you take cheating to be a legitimate commercial behavior and the most useful means for your survival and livelihood; you think that by doing this you can quickly make a fortune. This is a process: In the beginning, people cannot accept this type of behavior and they look down on this behavior and practice. Then they begin to experiment with this behavior themselves, trying it out in their own way, and their hearts begin to gradually transform. What kind of transformation is this? It is an approval and admission of this trend, of this idea instilled in you by the social trend. Without realizing it, if you do not cheat people when doing business with them, you feel you are worse off; if you do not cheat people, you feel as though you have lost something. Unknowingly, this cheating becomes your very soul, your backbone, and an indispensable type of behavior that is a principle in your life. After man has accepted this behavior and this thinking, has this not brought about a change in their heart? Your heart has changed, so has your integrity changed as well? Has your humanity changed? Has your conscience changed? Your whole being, from your heart to your thoughts, from inside to out, has changed, and this is a qualitative change. This change pulls you further and further away from God, and you become more and more closely aligned with Satan; you become more and more alike to Satan, with the result that Satan’s corruption makes you a demon.

When looking at these social trends, would you say that they have a big influence on people? Do they have a deeply harmful effect on people? They do have a very deeply harmful effect on people. What aspects of man does Satan use each of these trends to corrupt? Satan chiefly corrupts man’s conscience, sense, humanity, morals, and life perspectives. And do these social trends not gradually degrade and corrupt people? Satan uses these social trends to lure people one step at a time into a nest of devils, so that people caught up in social trends unknowingly advocate money and material desires, wickedness and violence. Once these things have entered the heart of man, what then does man become? Man becomes the devil, Satan! Why? Because, what psychological inclination exists in the heart of man? What does man revere? Man begins to take pleasure in wickedness and violence, showing no love for beauty or goodness, much less peace. People are not willing to live the simple life of normal humanity, but instead wish to enjoy high status and great wealth, to revel in the pleasures of the flesh, sparing no effort to satisfy their own flesh, with no restrictions, no bonds to hold them back; in other words, doing whatever they desire. So when man has become immersed in these kinds of trends, can the knowledge that you have learned help you to free yourself? Can your understanding of traditional culture and superstitions help you escape from this dire predicament? Can the traditional morals and ceremonies known to man help people exercise restraint? Take the Analects and the Tao Te Ching, for example. Can they help people pull their feet out of the quagmire of these evil trends? Absolutely not. Thus, man becomes more and more evil, arrogant, condescending, selfish and malicious. There is no longer any affection between people, no longer any love between family members, no longer any understanding among relatives and friends; human relations have become characterized by violence. Each and every person seeks to use violent methods to live among their fellow man; they seize their daily bread using violence; they win their positions and obtain their profits using violence, and they use violent and evil ways to do anything they want. Is this humanity not horrifying? It is, very much so: Not only did they crucify God, but would also slaughter all who follow Him—because man is too wicked. After hearing all these things that I have just talked about, do you not think it terrifying to live in this environment, in this world, and amongst these kinds of people, within which Satan corrupts mankind? (Yes.) So, have you ever felt yourselves to be pitiful? You must feel it a little bit in this moment, do you not? (I do.) Hearing your tone, it seems as though you are thinking, “Satan has so many different ways of corrupting man. It seizes every opportunity and is everywhere we turn. Can man still be saved?” Can man still be saved? Can man save themselves? (No.) Can the Jade Emperor save man? Can Confucius save man? Can the Guanyin Bodhisattva save man? (No.) So who can save man? (God.) Some people, however, will raise in their hearts such questions as: “Satan harms us so wildly, in such a deranged frenzy, that we have no hope to live life, nor any confidence to live life. We all live in the midst of corruption, and every single person resists God anyway, and now our hearts have sunk as low as they can go. So where is God while Satan is corrupting us? What is God doing? Whatever God is doing for us, we never feel it!” Some people inevitably feel dejected and somewhat disheartened. To you, this feeling is very deep because all that I have been saying has been to allow people to slowly come to understand, to feel more and more that they are without hope, to feel more and more that they have been forsaken by God. But do not worry. Our fellowship topic for today, “the evil of Satan,” is not our true theme. To talk about the essence of the holiness of God, however, we must first discuss how Satan corrupts man and the evil of Satan in order to make it clearer to people what kind of condition man is now in. One aim of talking about this is to allow people to know the evil of Satan, while the other is to allow people to understand more deeply what true holiness is.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 159

Understanding God’s Holiness Through What He Does to Man (Selected passage)

Whenever Satan corrupts man or inflicts unbridled harm upon man, God does not stand idly by, and neither does He brush aside or turn a blind eye to those He has chosen. God understands with perfect clarity all that Satan does. No matter what Satan does, no matter what trend it causes to arise, God knows all that Satan is trying to do, and God does not give up on those He has chosen. Instead, without attracting any attention—secretly, silently—God does everything that is necessary. When God begins work on someone, when He has chosen someone, He does not proclaim this news to anyone, nor does He proclaim it to Satan, much less make any grand gesture. He just very quietly, very naturally, does what is necessary. First, He selects a family for you; your family background, your parents, your ancestors—all this, God decides in advance. In other words, God does not make these decisions on a whim; rather, He began this work long ago. Once God has chosen a family for you, He then chooses the date on which you will be born. Then, God watches as you are born and come crying into the world. He watches your birth, watches as you utter your first words, watches as you stumble and toddle your first steps as you learn how to walk. First you take one step and then you take another—and now you can run, jump, talk, and express your feelings…. As people grow up, Satan’s gaze is fixed on every one of them, like a tiger eyeing its prey. But in doing His work, God has never been subject to any limitations arising from people, events or things, of space or time; He does what He should and what He must. In the process of growing up, you may encounter many things that are not to your liking, such as illness and frustration. But as you walk this path, your life and your future are strictly under God’s care. God gives you a genuine guarantee to last all your life, for He is right there beside you, guarding you and looking after you. You grow up unaware of this. You begin to come into contact with new things and start to get to know this world and this mankind. Everything is fresh and new to you. You have some things you enjoy doing. You live within your own humanity, you live within your own space and you have not the slightest perception about the existence of God. But God watches you every step of the way as you grow, and He watches you as you make every stride forward. Even when you are learning knowledge or studying science, God has never left your side for a single step. You are just the same as other people in that, in the course of getting to know the world and engage with it, you have established your own ideals, you have your own hobbies, your own interests, and you also harbor lofty ambitions. You often ponder your own future, often sketching the outline of how your future should look. But no matter what transpires along the way, God sees it all happening clearly. Maybe you yourself have forgotten your own past, but to God, there is no one who can understand you better than He. You live under God’s gaze, growing up, maturing. During this period, God’s most important task is something that no one ever perceives, something no one knows. God certainly does not tell anyone about it. So what is this most crucial thing? It can be said that it is the guarantee that God will save a person. This means that if God wants to save this person, He must do this. This task is vitally important to both man and God. Do you know what it is? It seems like you do not have any feeling about this, or any concept of it, so I will tell you. From the time you were born all the way up to now, God has carried out much work on you, but He does not give you an exhaustive account of everything He has done. God did not allow you to know this, and neither did He tell you. However, for mankind, everything He does is important. As far as God is concerned, it is something He must do. In His heart there is something important He needs to do that far exceeds any of these things. That is, from the time a person is born up to the present day, God must guarantee their safety. When you hear these words, you may feel as though you do not fully understand. You may ask, “Is this safety so important?” Well, what is the literal meaning of “safety”? Maybe you understand it to mean peace or maybe you understand it to mean never experiencing any disaster or calamity, to live well, to live a normal life. But in your hearts, you must know that it is not so simple. So what exactly is this thing that I have been talking about, that God has to do? What does safety mean to God? Is it really a guarantee of the normal meaning of “safety”? No. So what is it that God does? This “safety” means that you will not be devoured by Satan. Is this important? Not being devoured by Satan—does this concern your safety or not? Yes, this concerns your personal safety, and there can be nothing more important. Once you have been devoured by Satan, your soul and your flesh no longer belong to God. God will no longer save you. God forsakes souls and people who have been devoured by Satan. So I say the most important thing that God has to do is to guarantee this safety of yours, to guarantee that you will not be devoured by Satan. This is very important, is it not? So why can you not answer? It seems like you are unable to feel God’s great kindness!

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 160

Understanding God’s Holiness Through What He Does to Man (Selected passage)

God does much more besides guaranteeing people’s safety, guaranteeing that they will not be devoured by Satan. He also does a great deal of preparatory work before choosing and saving someone. Firstly, God makes meticulous preparations regarding what kind of character you will have, what kind of family you will be born into, who your parents will be, how many brothers and sisters you will have, and what the situation, economic status, and conditions of the family you are born into will be. Do you know what kind of family the majority of God’s chosen people are born into? Are they prominent families? We cannot say for sure that there are none who are born into prominent families. There may be some, but they are very few. Are they born into families of exceptional wealth, families of billionaires or multimillionaires? No, they are almost never born into this kind of family. So what kind of family does God arrange for most of these people? (Ordinary families.) So which families may be considered “ordinary families”? They include working families—that is, ones that depend on wages to survive, can afford the basic necessities, and are not overly well-off; they also include farming families. Farmers depend on planting crops for their food, have grain to eat and clothes to wear, and do not go hungry or freeze. Then there are some families that run small businesses, and some where the parents are intellectuals, and these can also be counted as ordinary families. There are also some parents who are office workers or minor government officials, who also cannot be counted as belonging to prominent families. Most are born into ordinary families, and this is all arranged by God. That is to say, first of all, this environment that you live in is not the family of substantial means that people might imagine, and this is a family decided for you by God, and the majority of people will live within the limits of this kind of family. So what about social status? The economic conditions of the majority of parents are average and they do not have high social status—for them it is good just to have a job. Do they include governors? Or national presidents? No, right? At most they are people such as small business managers or owners of small businesses. Their social status is middling, and their economic conditions are average. Another factor is the family’s living environment. First of all, there are no parents among these families who would clearly influence their children into walking the path of divination and fortune telling; these are very few who engage in such things. Most parents are quite normal. At the same time that God chooses people, He sets up this kind of environment for them, which is greatly beneficial to His work of saving people. On the surface, it looks like God has done nothing particularly earthshaking for man; He just quietly and secretly proceeds to do all of the things that He does, humbly and in silence. But in fact, all that God does, He does in order to lay a foundation for your salvation, to prepare the road ahead and all the necessary conditions for your salvation. Next, God brings every person back before Him, each at a specified time: It is then that you hear God’s voice; it is then that you come before Him. By the time that this happens, some people have already become parents themselves, whilst others are still somebody’s child. In other words, some people have gotten married and had children whilst some are still single, not yet having started their own families. But regardless of one’s situation, God has already set the times when you will be chosen and when His gospel and words will reach you. God has set the circumstances, decided on a certain person or a certain context through which the gospel will be passed onto you, so that you may hear the words of God. God has already prepared for you all the necessary conditions. In this way, though man is unaware that it is happening, man comes before Him and returns to God’s family. Man also unknowingly follows God and enters into each step of His work, entering into each step of God’s way of work which He has prepared for man. What ways does God use when He does things for man at this time? First, the bare minimum is the care and protection that man enjoys. Apart from this, God sets out various people, events, and things so that through them man may see His existence and His deeds. For example, there are some people who believe in God because someone in their family is sick. When others preach the gospel to them, they start to believe in God, and this belief in God comes about because of the situation. So who arranged this situation? (God.) By means of this illness, there are some families where everybody is a believer, while there are others where only a few people in the family believe. On the surface, it may seem that someone in your family has an illness, but it is in fact a condition bestowed on you so that you may come before God—this is God’s kindness. Because family life is hard for some people and they can find no peace, a chance opportunity may present itself—someone passes on the gospel and says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will have peace.” Thus, unaware, they come to believe in God under very natural circumstances, so is this not a type of condition? And is the fact that their family is not at peace a grace granted them by God? There are also some who come to believe in God for other reasons. There are different reasons and different ways of belief, but no matter what reason brings you to believe in Him, it is all actually arranged and guided by God. At first, God employs various ways to choose you and to bring you into His family. This is the grace that God bestows on every single person.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 161

Understanding God’s Holiness Through What He Does to Man (Selected passage)

In God’s current stage of work in these, the last days, He no longer just bestows grace and blessings on man like He did before, nor does He coax man to move forward. During this stage of work, what has man seen from all the aspects of God’s work that they have experienced? Man has seen God’s love and God’s judgment and chastisement. During this period of time, God provides for, supports, enlightens and guides man, so that man gradually comes to know His intentions, to know the words He speaks and the truth He bestows on man. When man is weak, when they are dispirited, when they have nowhere to turn, God will use His words to comfort, advise, and encourage man, so that man’s small stature can gradually grow in strength, rise up in positivity and become willing to cooperate with God. But when man disobeys God or resists Him, or when man reveals their corruption, God will show no mercy in chastening and disciplining man. However, God will show tolerance and patience for man’s foolishness, ignorance, weakness and immaturity. In this way, through all the work God does for man, man gradually matures, grows up, and comes to know God’s intentions, comes to know certain truths, to know what things are positive and what are negative, to know what evil and darkness are. God does not take a single approach of always chastening and disciplining man, but nor does He always show tolerance and patience. Rather He provides for each person in different ways at their different stages and according to their different statures and caliber. He does many things for man and at great cost; man perceives nothing of these things or of the cost, yet in practice all that He does is truly carried out on every single person. God’s love is practical: Through the grace of God, man avoids one disaster after another, and all the while God shows tolerance time and again for man’s weaknesses. The judgment and chastisement of God allow people to gradually come to know mankind’s corruption and satanic essence. That which God provides, His enlightenment of man and His guidance all allow mankind to know more and more the essence of truth, and to increasingly know what people need, what road they should take, what they live for, the value and meaning of their lives, and how to walk the road ahead. All these things that God does are inseparable from His one original purpose. What, then, is this purpose? Why does God use these methods to carry out His work on man? What result does He want to achieve? In other words, what does He want to see in man? What does He want to obtain from man? What God wants to see is that man’s heart can be revived. These methods that He uses to work on man are a continual effort to awaken the heart of man, to awaken man’s spirit, to enable man to understand from where they came, who is guiding, supporting and providing for them, and who has allowed man to live until the present day; they are a means to enable man to understand who is the Creator, whom they should worship, what kind of road they should walk, and in what way man should come before God; they are a means to gradually revive the heart of man, so that man knows God’s heart, understands God’s heart, and comprehends the great care and thought behind His work to save man. When man’s heart is revived, man no longer wishes to live with a degenerate, corrupt disposition, but wishes instead to pursue the truth in order to satisfy God. When man’s heart has been awakened, man is then able to tear themselves fully away from Satan. No longer will they be harmed by Satan, no longer controlled or fooled by it. Instead, man can proactively cooperate in God’s work and His words to satisfy the heart of God, thus attaining fear of God and shunning evil. This is the original purpose of God’s work.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 162

Understanding God’s Holiness Through What He Does to Man (Selected passage)

The discussion we just held about the evil of Satan makes everyone feel as though man lives amidst great unhappiness and that the life of man is beset with misfortune. But now when I am talking about the holiness of God and the work that He performs on man, how does that make you feel? (Very happy.) We can see now that everything God does, all that He painstakingly arranges for man, is immaculate. Everything God does is without error, meaning it is faultless, needing no one to correct, advise, or make any changes to it. All that God does for every individual is beyond doubt; He leads everyone by the hand, looks after you with every passing moment and has never once left your side. As people grow up in this kind of environment and with this kind of background, could we say that people in fact grow up in the palm of God’s hand? (Yes.) So now do you still feel a sense of loss? Does anyone still feel dispirited? Does anyone feel that God has forsaken mankind? (No.) So what exactly has God done then? (He has kept watch over mankind.) The great thought and care that God puts into everything He does is beyond question. What is more, in carrying out His work, He has always done so unconditionally. He has never required that any one of you know the price that He pays for you so as to make you feel deeply grateful to Him. Has God ever required this of you? (No.) In the long course of human life, almost every individual has encountered many dangerous situations and faced many temptations. This is because Satan is standing beside you, its eyes constantly fixed on you. When disaster strikes you, Satan revels in this; when calamities befall you, when nothing goes right for you, when you become entangled in Satan’s web, Satan takes great enjoyment from these things. As for what God is doing, He is protecting you with each passing moment, steering you away from one misfortune after another and from one disaster after another. This is why I say that everything man has—peace and joy, blessings and personal safety—is in fact all under God’s control; He guides and decides the fate of every individual. But does God have an inflated notion of His position, as some people say? Does God declare to you, “I am the greatest of all. It is I that take charge of you. You must beg Me for mercy, and disobedience will be punished by death”? Has God ever threatened mankind in this way? (No.) Has He ever said, “Mankind is corrupt, so it does not matter how I treat them, and they may be treated in any which way; I do not need to make sound arrangements for them”? Does God think in this way? Has God acted in this way? (No.) On the contrary, God’s treatment of each and every person is earnest and responsible. He treats you more responsibly even than you treat yourself. Is this not so? God does not speak idly, and neither does He flaunt His elevated position or flippantly deceive people. Instead He honestly and silently does the things He Himself needs to do. These things bring blessings, peace and joy to man. They bring man peacefully and happily into God’s sight and into His family; then they live before God and accept God’s salvation with the normal reason and thinking. So has God ever been duplicitous with man in His work? Has He ever made a false display of kindness, first fooling man with a few pleasantries and then turning His back? (No.) Has God ever said one thing and then done another? Has God ever made empty promises and boasted, telling people He can do this for them or help do that for them, but then vanished? (No.) There is no deceit in God, no falsity. God is faithful, and He is true in everything He does. He is the only One that people can count on; He is the God to whom people can entrust their lives and everything they have. Since there is no deceit in God, could we say that God is the most sincere? (Yes.) Of course we can! Though the word “sincere” is too feeble, too human when applied to God, what other word is there for us to use? Such are the limits of human language. Though it is somewhat unfitting to call God “sincere,” we will nonetheless use this word for the time being. God is faithful and sincere. So when we talk about these aspects, what are we referring to? Are we referring to the differences between God and man and the differences between God and Satan? Yes, we could say that. This is because man cannot see one trace of Satan’s corrupt disposition in God. Am I correct in saying this? Amen? (Amen!) None of Satan’s evil disposition is revealed in God. All that God does and reveals is wholly beneficial and helps man, is done wholly to provide for man, is full of life and gives man a road to follow and a direction to take. God is not corrupt and, furthermore, looking now at everything that God does, can we say that God is holy? Since God has none of the corrupt disposition of mankind, nor anything akin to the satanic essence of corrupt mankind, from this point of view we can totally say that God is holy. God does not display any corruption, and at the same time as God works, God reveals His own essence, which entirely confirms that God Himself is holy. Do you see this? To know God’s holy essence, let us look at these two aspects for now: Firstly there is no trace of corrupt disposition in God, and secondly the essence of God’s work on man allows man to see God’s own essence, and this essence is entirely positive. For the things that every part of God’s work brings to man are all positive. First of all, God requires man to be honest—is this not a positive thing? God gives man wisdom—is this not positive? God makes man able to discern between good and evil—is this not positive? He allows man to understand the meaning and value of human life—is this not positive? He allows man to see into the essence of people, events, and things in accordance with truth—is this not positive? It is. And the result of all of this is that man is no longer deceived by Satan, will no longer continue to be harmed or controlled by Satan. In other words, these things allow people to completely free themselves from the corruption of Satan, and therefore gradually walk the path of fearing God and shunning evil.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 163

There Are Six Primary Tricks That Satan Employs to Corrupt Man

The first is control and coercion. That is, Satan will do everything possible to take control of your heart. What does “coercion” mean? It means using threatening and forceful tactics to make you obey it, making you think of the consequences if you do not obey. You are afraid and dare not defy it, so you then submit to it.

The second is cheating and trickery. What does “cheating and trickery” entail? Satan makes up some stories and lies, tricking you into believing them. It never tells you that man was created by God, but neither does it say directly that you were not made by God. It does not use the word “God” at all, but instead uses something else as a substitute, using this thing to deceive you so that you basically have no idea of the existence of God. Of course, this “trickery” includes many aspects, not just this one.

The third is forceful indoctrination. With what are people forcefully indoctrinated? Is forceful indoctrination done by man’s own choice? Is it done with man’s consent? Definitely not. Even if you do not consent, there is nothing you can do about it. In your unawareness, Satan indoctrinates you, instilling you with its thinking, its rules of life and its essence.

The fourth is intimidation and beguilement. That is, Satan employs various tricks to cause you to accept it, follow it and work in its service. It will do anything to achieve its goals. It sometimes bestows small favors on you, all the while luring you into committing sin. If you do not follow it, it will make you suffer and punish you, and use various ways to attack and plot against you.

The fifth is deception and paralysis. “Deception and paralysis” is when Satan instills in people some sweet-sounding words and ideas that align with their notions and seem plausible, to make it seem as though it is being considerate of people’s fleshly situation, of their lives and futures, when actually its only goal is to fool you. It then paralyzes you so that you do not know what is right and what is wrong, so that you are unwittingly tricked and thereby come under its control.

The sixth is the destruction of body and mind. What part of man does Satan destroy? Satan destroys your mind, making you powerless to resist, meaning that, little by little, your heart turns toward Satan in spite of yourself. It instills these things in you every day, every day using these ideas and cultures to influence and groom you, undermining your will little by little, so that eventually you no longer desire to be a good person, so that you no longer wish to stand up for what you call “righteousness.” Unknowingly, you no longer have the willpower to swim against the current, but instead flow along with it. “Destruction” means Satan tormenting people so much that they become shadows of themselves, no longer human. This is when Satan strikes, seizing and devouring them.

Each one of these tricks that Satan employs to corrupt man renders man powerless to resist; any one of them can be deadly to man. In other words, anything Satan does and any tricks it employs can cause you to degenerate, can bring you under Satan’s control and can mire you in a quagmire of evil and sin. Such are the tricks Satan employs to corrupt man.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 164

For now, your perceptive-based understanding of God’s essence still requires a long period of time to learn, to confirm, to feel and to experience it, until one day you will know, from the very center of your heart, that “the holiness of God” means that God’s essence is flawless, that God’s love is selfless, all that God provides to man is selfless, and you will come to know that God’s holiness is unblemished and irreproachable. These aspects of God’s essence are not just words He uses to flaunt His status, but rather God uses His essence to treat each and every individual with quiet sincerity. In other words, the essence of God is not empty, nor is it theoretical or doctrinal, and it is certainly not a kind of knowledge. It is not a kind of education for man; instead it is the true revelation of God’s own actions and the revealed essence of what God has and is. Man should know this essence and comprehend it, because everything God does and every word He says is of great value and great significance to every single person. When you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really believe in God; when you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really realize the true meaning of the words “God Himself, the Unique.” You will no longer fantasize, thinking there are other paths besides this one that you could choose to walk, and you will no longer be willing to betray everything that God has arranged for you. Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk through life on the righteous path of light; only through God can you know the meaning of life; only through God can you live out real humanity and both possess and know the truth. Only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer. This is determined by the essence of God. Only God Himself saves you so selflessly; only God is ultimately responsible for your future, for your destiny and for your life, and He arranges all things for you. This is something that nothing created or non-created can achieve. Because nothing created or non-created possesses an essence like the essence of God, no person or thing has the ability to save you or to lead you. This is the importance of God’s essence to man. Perhaps you feel that these words I have said may help a little, in principle. But if you pursue the truth, if you love the truth, then you will come to experience how these words will not only change your destiny, but beyond that they will bring you to the right path of human life. You understand this, do you not?

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

Daily Words of God  Excerpt 165

I would like to talk to you about something that you did at the beginning of our gathering today that surprised Me. Some of you were perhaps nurturing a sense of gratitude, perhaps you were feeling grateful, and so your emotion brought about a corresponding action. What you did was not something that needs reproaching; it is neither right nor wrong. But I would like you to understand something. What is it that I want you to understand? First, I would like to ask you about what you did just now. Was it prostrating or kneeling to worship? Can anyone tell Me? (We believe it was prostrating.) You believe it was prostrating, so what then is the meaning of prostration? (Worship.) So then, what is kneeling to worship? I have not fellowshiped about this with you before, but today I feel it is necessary to do so. Do you prostrate at your usual gatherings? (No.) Do you prostrate when you say your prayers? (Yes.) Do you prostrate each time you pray, when the situation allows? (Yes.) That is good. But what I would like you to understand today is that God only accepts the genuflections of two types of people. We do not need to consult the Bible or the deeds and conduct of any spiritual figures. Instead, here and now, I will tell you something true. Firstly, prostration and kneeling to worship are not the same thing. Why does God accept the genuflections of those who prostrate themselves? It is because God calls someone to Him and summons this person to accept God’s commission, so God will allow him to prostrate himself before Him. This is the first type of person. The second type is the kneeling to worship of someone who fears God and shuns evil. There are only these two types of people. So which type do you belong to? Are you able to say? This is the truth, though it may hurt your feelings a little. There is nothing to say about people’s genuflections during prayer—this is proper and as it should be, because when people pray it is mostly praying for something, opening their hearts to God and coming face to face with Him. It is communication and exchange, heart to heart with God. Worshiping on your knees should not be a mere formality. I do not mean to reproach you for what you have done today. I just want to make it clear to you so that you understand this principle—you know this, do you not? (Yes, we know.) I am telling you this so that this does not happen again. So, do people have any opportunity to prostrate and kneel before the face of God? It is not that there will never be this opportunity. Sooner or later the day will come, but the time is not now. Do you see? Does this make you upset? (No.) That is good. Maybe these words will motivate or inspire you so that you can know in your hearts the current predicament between God and man and what kind of relationship exists now between God and man. Although we have recently talked and exchanged some more, man’s understanding of God is still far from sufficient. Man still has a long way to go on this road of seeking to understand God. It is not My intention to make you do this as a matter of urgency, or to rush to express these kinds of aspirations or feelings. What you did today may reveal and express your true feelings, and I sensed them. So while you were doing it, I just wanted to stand up and give you My well wishes, because I wish you all to be well. So, in My every word and every action, I do My utmost to help you, to guide you, so that you can have the correct understanding and correct view of all things. You can comprehend this, can you not? (Yes.) That is good. Although people have some understanding of God’s various dispositions, the aspects of what God has and is and the work God does, the majority of this understanding goes no further than reading words on a page, or understanding them in principle, or just thinking about them. What people lack the most is the real understanding and insight that comes from actual experience. Even though God uses various methods to awaken people’s hearts, there is still a long road to walk before this can be accomplished. I do not want to see anyone feeling as though God has left them out in the cold, that God has abandoned them or turned His back on them. All I want to see is everyone on the road to pursuing the truth and seeking to understand God, boldly marching onward with unfaltering determination, without any misgivings or burdens. No matter what wrongs you have committed, no matter how far you have strayed or how seriously you have transgressed, do not let these become burdens or excess baggage that you have to carry with you in your pursuit of understanding God. Continue marching onward. At all times, God holds man’s salvation in His heart; this never changes. This is the most precious part of the essence of God.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI

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