C. On God’s Holiness

272. “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 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.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

273. What does the holiness of God of which I speak refer to? Think about it for a second. Is the holiness of God His truthfulness? Is the holiness of God His faithfulness? Is the holiness of God His selflessness? Is it His humility? His love for man? God freely bestows truth and life on man—is this His holiness? (Yes.) All this that God reveals is unique and does not exist within corrupt humanity, and nor can it be seen in humanity. Not the slightest trace of it can be seen during the process of Satan’s corruption of man, neither in the corrupt disposition of Satan nor in the essence or nature of Satan. All that God has and is, is unique; only God Himself has and is possessed of this kind of essence. … The essence of holiness is true love, but more than this, it is the essence of truth, righteousness and light. The word “holy” is only appropriate when applied to God; nothing in creation is worthy of being called “holy.” Man must understand this.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

274. “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, should they not? 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? (No.) 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.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

275. 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. Is that not the case? (Yes.) 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? (Yes.) 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? (No.) 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. 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? (He guides us. He advises and encourages us.) 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.) He shines a light on you, telling you clearly that 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 your grasp? (No.) So how do you feel when you see these ways in which God works? 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? (Yes.) 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? (No.) 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.) 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.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

276. 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 he has 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 he is dispirited, when he has 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 his 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 he came, who is guiding, supporting and providing for him, 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 he should worship, what kind of road he 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 himself fully away from Satan. No longer will he 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.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

277. 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!) We see none of Satan’s evil 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? (Yes.) Since God has none of the corruption of mankind nor any of the same corrupt disposition of mankind or the essence of Satan, and nothing about God bears any similarity to these things, from this point of view we can say that God is holy. God does not display any corruption, and the revelation of His own essence in His work is all the confirmation that God Himself is holy. Do you see this? To know God’s holy essence, let us look at these two aspects for now: 1) There is not a trace of corrupt disposition in God; 2) 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. Firstly, 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? (Yes, 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.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

278. 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 substance and His life. Because these words and the substance of everything God has done are truth, we can say that God’s substance 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 substance and by the substance of His holiness.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique V” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

279. 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.

Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Footnotes:

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.

Previous: B. On God’s Righteous Disposition

Next: D. On God as the Source of Life for All Things

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