104. The Principles of Discerning Between Positive and Negative Things
(1) Determine whether something is a product of God’s work and meets with His approval, or whether it comes from Satan and evil spirits, or has been processed and disguised by them;
(2) Determine whether it is something God requires people to seek after and possess—something that accords with God’s word the truth—or whether it is something that belongs among worldly trends and is sought after by worldly people;
(3) Determine whether it is something edifying and beneficial to the life of man, something that makes one positive and uplifts them, or whether it corrupts and ruins man, making him negative and destroying him;
(4) Determine whether it is something that restores man to normal humanity and brings him to obey and worship God, or whether it is something that makes man depraved and degenerate and leads him toward death.
Relevant Words of God:
The disposition of God is one that belongs to the Ruler of all things and living beings, to the Lord of all creation. His disposition represents honor, power, nobility, greatness, and most of all, supremacy. His disposition is the symbol of authority, the symbol of all that is righteous, the symbol of all that is beautiful and good. More than that, it is a symbol of Him who cannot be[a] overcome or invaded by the darkness and any enemy force, as well as a symbol of Him who cannot be offended (nor will He tolerate being offended)[b] by any created being. His disposition is the symbol of the highest power. No person or persons can or may disturb His work or His disposition. But the personality of man is no more than a mere symbol of the slight superiority of man over beast. Man in and of himself has no authority, no autonomy, and no ability to transcend the self, but is in his essence one who cowers at the mercy of all manner of people, events, and things. The joy of God is due to the existence and emergence of righteousness and light, because of the destruction of darkness and evil. He takes delight in bringing the light and a good life to mankind; His joy is a righteous joy, a symbol of the existence of all that is positive and, even more, a symbol of auspiciousness. The anger of God is due to the harm that the existence and interference of injustice brings upon His mankind, because of the existence of evil and darkness, because of the existence of things that drive out the truth, and even more, because of the existence of things that oppose what is good and beautiful. His anger is a symbol that all things negative no longer exist and, even more than that, it is a symbol of His holiness. His sorrow is due to mankind, for whom He has hopes but who has fallen into darkness, because the work He does on man does not come up to His expectations, and because the mankind He loves cannot all live in the light. He feels sorrow for the innocent mankind, for the honest but ignorant man, and for the man who is good but lacking in his own views. His sorrow is a symbol of His goodness and of His mercy, a symbol of beauty and of kindness. His happiness, of course, comes from defeating His enemies and gaining the good faith of man. More than this, it arises from the expulsion and destruction of all enemy forces, and because mankind receives a good and peaceful life. The happiness of God is unlike the joy of man; rather, it is the feeling of garnering good fruits, a feeling even greater than joy. His happiness is a symbol of mankind breaking free of suffering from this time forth, and a symbol of mankind entering a world of light. The emotions of mankind, on the other hand, all arise for the sake of his own interests, not for righteousness, light, or what is beautiful, and least of all for the grace bestowed by Heaven. The emotions of mankind are selfish and belong to the world of darkness. They do not exist for the sake of the will, much less for the plan of God, and so man and God can never be spoken of in the same breath. God is forever supreme and ever honorable, while man is forever base, forever worthless. This is because God is forever making sacrifices and devoting Himself to mankind; man, however, forever takes and strives only for himself. God is forever taking pains for mankind’s survival, yet man never contributes anything for the sake of the light or for righteousness. Even if man makes an effort for a time, it cannot withstand a single blow, for the effort of man is always for his own sake and not for others. Man is always selfish, while God is forever selfless. God is the source of all that is just, good, and beautiful, while man is he who succeeds to and makes manifest all ugliness and evil. God will never alter His essence of righteousness and beauty, yet man is perfectly capable, at any time and in any situation, of betraying righteousness and straying far from God.
Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In His expression of the truth, God expresses His disposition and essence; His expression of the truth is not based on mankind’s summaries of the various positive things and statements that mankind recognizes. God’s words are God’s words; God’s words are truth. They are the foundation and the law by which mankind should exist, and those so-called tenets that originate with humanity are condemned by God. They do not meet with His approval, and less still are they the origin or basis of His utterances. God expresses His disposition and His essence through His words. All the words brought forth by God’s expression are truth, for He has the essence of God, and He is the reality of all positive things. The fact that God’s words are truth never alters, no matter how this corrupt mankind positions them or defines them, nor how it views them or understands them. No matter how many words of God have been spoken, and no matter how much this corrupt, sinful mankind condemns and rejects them, there remains a fact that cannot be changed: Even in these circumstances, the so-called culture and traditions that mankind values cannot become positive things, and cannot become the truth. This is unalterable. Mankind’s traditional culture and way of existence will not become truth because of the changes or passage of time, and neither will the words of God become the words of man due to mankind’s condemnation or forgetfulness. This essence will never change; truth is always truth. What fact exists herein? All those sayings that are summarized by mankind originate in Satan—they are human imaginings and notions, even arising from human hot-bloodedness, and have nothing at all to do with positive things. The words of God, on the other hand, are expressions of God’s essence and status. For what reason does He express these words? Why do I say they are truth? The reason is that God rules over all the laws, principles, roots, essences, actualities, and mysteries of all things, and they are grasped in His hand, and God alone knows their origins and what their roots really are. Therefore, only the definitions of all things mentioned in the words of God are most accurate, and the requirements for mankind within God’s words are the only standard for mankind—the only criteria by which mankind should exist. Nevertheless, the laws by which mankind exists are derived, in one regard, from a violation of the fact of God’s rule over all things, and in another regard from a violation of the fact of God’s sovereignty over the laws of all things. They come from man’s imaginings and notions, and come also from Satan. What sort of role does Satan play? First, Satan impersonates the truth; second, it destroys, disturbs, and tramples all the principles and laws of God’s creation of all things. Thus, things that come from Satan match its essence precisely, and are full of Satan’s wicked intentions, temptations, and disguises, as well as Satan’s never-ending ambition. These will never become truth, regardless of whether corrupt mankind can discern them, regardless of the degree to which corrupt mankind accepts them, and regardless of the longevity of the era during which corrupt mankind admires them, worships them, and preaches them, and regardless, too, of how many people admire, worship, and preach them. They will never become truth, and will always remain negative things, for their essence, origin, and root is Satan, the Satan that is the enemy of God and in enmity with truth. When there is no truth against which to contrast them, they may pretend that they are good and that they are positive, but when the truth is used to dissect and expose them, they are not without vulnerabilities. They cannot stand fast, and they are things quickly condemned, exposed, and cast aside. The truth God expresses is exactly in line with the needs of mankind’s normal humanity, which God created, while what Satan gives man is in precise violation of those needs. It makes a normal person abnormal, immoderate, narrow-minded, arrogant, foolish, evil, hard, vicious, and, above all, insufferably arrogant. At a certain point, that person becomes mentally deranged, no longer even knowing who they are. They refuse to be normal people but must act as non-normal human beings; they refuse to be ordinary people but insist instead on becoming superior human beings—and thus is people’s humanity warped, and thus are their instincts warped. Truth makes people more able to live instinctually in accordance with the principles and laws of normal humanity and all the principles that God has dictated, whereas these so-called sayings and laws of Satan are precisely what cause people to violate their instincts and try to escape the laws that God has decreed and dictated, and even abandon the path of normal humanity, doing immoderate things that people with normal humanity should not do and of which they should not think.
Excerpted from “They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part One)” in Exposing Antich
What are positive things? All that directly comes from God is positive; the disposition of man, however, has been processed by Satan, and cannot represent God. Only the love, the will to suffer, the righteousness, submission, and humbleness and hiddenness of the incarnate God directly represent God. This is because when He came, He came without a sinful nature and came directly from God, without having been processed by Satan. Jesus is only in the likeness of sinful flesh and does not represent sin; therefore, His actions, deeds, and words, up to the time prior to His accomplishment of the work through crucifixion (including the moment of His crucifixion), are all directly representative of God.
Excerpted from “Corrupt Man Is Incapable of Representing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When people don’t understand the truth is when they’re most likely to define people by external appearances. What is the basis of this? Partly, it is traditional culture and social education; partly, it is family education, as well as notions and concepts of right and wrong, black and white; and partly, it is school education. As a whole, it is the education of a satanic system that instills such concepts in people, makes them define certain things as good and bad, right and wrong. But what is the basis of these determinations? The theories of Satan; the basis does not come from the truth. Thus, be it the starting point or end result of how you define something, neither has any connection to the truth; it is all wrong, and at odds with the will of God, and unrelated to God and positive things. When God adjudges a person, matter or object, He does so according to His disposition and His essence. So what are the essence and disposition of God? They are the truth. The truth is the expression of all positive things; it is the reality of all positive things. On what basis does God adjudge all things, and the people, matters and objects that man encounters? On the basis of the truth. When God adjudges someone, He starts with their nature essence, their motives behind the things they do, the path they take, as well as their attitude to positive things and the truth; this is what His adjudgment is based on. The outcome of God’s adjudgment of all events and things is based on the truth, while Satan’s determination of all events and things is based on the philosophy and logic of Satan—the exact opposite of the truth. The whole of mankind has been corrupted by Satan. People have no truth, they represent Satan, they are the embodiment of Satan, and they define everything according to that which is of Satan. And what is the outcome of people defining everything in this way? It contradicts the truth; it is the opposite of the truth.
Excerpted from “How to Discern the Nature Essence of Paul” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their life view and maxims mainly come from Satan’s sayings, such as, “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” The words spoken by those devil kings, great ones, and philosophers of the earth have become man’s very life. In particular, most of the words of Confucius, who is touted by Chinese people to be a “sage,” have become man’s life. There are also the famous proverbs of Buddhism and Taoism, and the oft-quoted classic sayings of various famous figures; these are all outlines of Satan’s philosophies and Satan’s nature. They are also the best illustrations and explanations of Satan’s nature. These poisons that have been infused into the heart of man all come from Satan; not the least bit of them comes from God. Such devilish words are also in direct opposition to God’s word. It is absolutely clear that the realities of all positive things come from God, and all those negative things that poison man come from Satan. Therefore, you can discern a person’s nature and to whom he belongs from his life view and values. Satan corrupts people through the education and influence of national governments and of the famous and great. Their devilish words have become man’s life nature. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost” is a well-known satanic saying that has been instilled into everyone, and that has become man’s life. There are other words of philosophies for living that are also like this. Satan uses each nation’s fine traditional culture to educate people, causing mankind to fall into and be engulfed by a boundless abyss of destruction, and in the end people are destroyed by God because they serve Satan and resist God. Imagine asking someone who has been active in society for decades the following question: “Given that you have lived in the world for so long and achieved so much, what are the main famous sayings that you live by?” He might say, “The most important one is, ‘Officials do not make things difficult for those who bear gifts, and those who do not flatter accomplish nothing.’” Are these words not representative of that person’s nature? Unscrupulously using any means to obtain position has become his nature, and being an official is what gives him life. There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their conduct and behavior; they possess almost no truth at all. For example, their philosophies for living, their ways of doing things, and their maxims are all filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. Thus, all things that flow through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan. All of those officials, those who hold power, and those who are accomplished have their own paths and secrets to success. Are such secrets not perfectly representative of their nature? They have done such big things in the world, and no one can see through the schemes and intrigues that lay behind them. This shows just how insidious and venomous their nature is. Mankind has been profoundly corrupted by Satan. Satan’s venom flows through the blood of every person, and it can be seen that man’s nature is corrupt, evil, and reactionary, filled by and immersed in the philosophies of Satan—it is, in its entirety, a nature that betrays God. This is why people resist God and stand in opposition to God.
Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Knowledge of ancient culture and history spanning several thousand years has closed off man’s thinking and notions and his mental outlook so tightly as to render them impervious and non-biodegradable. People live in the eighteenth circle of hell, where, just as if they have been banished by God into the dungeons, the light may never be seen. Feudal thinking has so oppressed people that they can barely breathe and are suffocating. They have not the slightest jot of strength to resist; all they do is endure and endure in silence…. Never has anyone dared to struggle or stand up for righteousness and justice; people simply live a life worse than an animal’s, under the blows and abuse of feudal ethics, day after day, and year after year. They have never thought to seek out God to enjoy happiness in the human world. It is as if people have been beaten down to the point where they are like the fallen leaves of autumn, withered, desiccated, and yellow-brown. People have long since lost their memory; they live helpless in the hell which is called the human world, waiting for the coming of the last day so that they may perish together with this hell, as if the last day that they yearn for is the day when man shall enjoy restful peace. Feudal ethics have taken the life of man into “Hades,” further weakening man’s power to resist. All sorts of oppression push man, step by step, to fall deeper into Hades, farther and farther away from God, until today he has become a complete stranger to God and makes haste to avoid Him when they meet. Man does not heed Him and leaves Him standing alone to one side, as if man has never known Him, has never seen Him before. Yet God has been waiting for man all through the long journey of human life, never hurling His irrepressible fury toward him, merely waiting quietly, without a word, for man to repent and start anew. God long ago came into the human world to share the sufferings of the human world with man. In all the years that He has lived with man, no one has discovered His existence. God only endures in silence the misery of shabbiness in the human world while carrying out the work He brought in person. He continues to endure for the sake of the will of God the Father and for the sake of the needs of mankind, undergoing sufferings never before experienced by man. In man’s presence He has quietly waited upon him, and in man’s presence He has humbled Himself, for the sake of God the Father’s will and also for the sake of the needs of mankind. Knowledge of ancient culture has surreptitiously stolen man from the presence of God and turned him over to the king of devils and its progeny. The Four Books and Five Classics[c] have taken man’s thinking and notions into another age of rebellion, causing him to give even greater adulation than before to those who compiled the Book/Classic of Documents, and as a result to further exacerbate his notions about God. Unbeknownst to man, the king of devils heartlessly cast God out from his heart and then occupied it itself with triumphant glee. Since that time, man became possessed of an ugly and wicked soul and of the countenance of the king of devils. A hatred of God filled his chest, and the spiteful malice of the king of devils spread within man day after day until he was utterly consumed. Man no longer had the least bit of freedom and had no way of breaking free from the toils of the king of devils. He had no choice but to be taken captive on the spot, to surrender and fall down in submission in its presence. Long ago, when man’s heart and soul was still in its infancy, the king of devils planted in it the seed of the tumor of atheism, teaching him such fallacies as “study science and technology; realize the Four Modernizations; and there is no such thing as God in the world.” Not only that, it shouts out at every opportunity: “Let us rely on our industrious labor to build a beautiful homeland,” asking each and every person to be prepared from childhood to render faithful service to their country. Man, unwitting, was brought into its presence, where it unhesitatingly arrogated all the credit (meaning the credit belonging to God for holding all of mankind in His hands) unto itself. Never did it have any sense of shame. Moreover, it shamelessly seized God’s people and dragged them back into its house, where it leaped like a mouse onto the table and had man worship it as God. What a desperado! It cries out scandalous, shocking things, such as: “There is no such thing as God in the world. The wind comes from transformations according to natural laws; rain comes when water vapor, meeting with cold temperatures, condenses into drops that fall to earth; an earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the earth due to geological changes; drought is due to dryness in the air caused by nucleonic disruption on the sun’s surface. These are natural phenomena. Where, in all this, is there an act of God?” There are even those who shout out statements like the following, statements that should not be given voice: “Man evolved from apes in the ancient past, and the world today comes from a succession of primitive societies starting from approximately an eon ago. Whether a country flourishes or declines rests entirely in the hands of its people.” In the background, it makes man hang it on the wall or place it on the table to pay homage and make offerings to it. At the same time that it cries out, “There is no God,” it sets itself up as God, with summary roughness pushing God out of the bounds of the earth, while standing in God’s place and taking up the role of the king of devils. How utterly lost to reason! It makes one hate it to the very bone. It seems that God and it are sworn enemies, and the two cannot coexist. It schemes to chase God away while it roams free, outside the reach of law. Such a king of devils it is! How can its existence be tolerated? It will not rest until it has made a mess of God’s work and left it all in a complete shambles, as if it wants to oppose God to the bitter end, until either the fish dies or the net breaks, deliberately setting itself against God and pressing in ever closer. Its hideous face having long since been completely unmasked, it is now bruised and battered and in a sorry condition, yet still it will not relent in its hatred of God, as if only by devouring God in one mouthful will it be able to relieve the hatred pent up in its heart. How can we tolerate it, this enemy of God! Only its eradication and complete extermination will bring our life’s wish to fruition. How can it be allowed to continue running rampant? It has corrupted man to such a degree that man does not know the heavensun, and has become deadened and devoid of feeling. Man has lost normal human reason. Why not offer up our whole being to destroy it and burn it up to eliminate all worries for the future and allow the work of God to sooner reach unprecedented splendor? This gang of scoundrels has come into the world of men and reduced it to turmoil. They have brought all of humanity to the edge of a precipice, secretly planning to push them over to be dashed to pieces so that they may then devour their corpses. They vainly hope to break up God’s plan and enter into a match with Him, staking everything on a single throw of the dice. That is by no means easy! The cross has been prepared, after all, for the king of devils, who is guilty of the most heinous crimes. God does not belong to the cross. He has already tossed it aside for the devil. God has long before now emerged victorious and no longer feels sorrow over the sins of mankind, but will bring salvation to all mankind.
From top to bottom and from beginning to end, Satan has been disrupting the work of God and acting in opposition to Him. All this talk of “ancient cultural heritage,” valuable “knowledge of ancient culture,” “teachings of Taoism and Confucianism,” and “Confucian classics and feudal rites” has taken man into hell. Advanced modern-day science and technology, as well as highly developed industry, agriculture, and business are nowhere to be seen. Rather, all it does is emphasize the feudal rites propagated by the “apes” of ancient times in order to deliberately disrupt, oppose, and dismantle the work of God. Not only has it continued to afflict man until this day, but it even wants to swallow man whole. The transmission of the moral and ethical teachings of feudalism and the passing down of the knowledge of ancient culture have long infected humanity, turning them into devils big and small. Few are those who would gladly receive God, few who would jubilantly welcome His coming. The face of all humanity is filled with murderous intent, and in every place, a killing breath pervades the air. They seek to cast God out from this land; with knives and swords in hand, they arrange themselves in battle formation to “annihilate” God. All across this land of the devil, where man is constantly taught there is no God, idols are spread, and the air above is permeated by a nauseating odor of burning paper and incense, so thick as to be suffocating. It is like the stench of sludge that wafts up with the writhing of the poisonous serpent, so much so that one cannot keep from vomiting. Besides this, there can faintly be heard the sound of evil demons chanting scriptures, a sound which seems to be coming from faraway in hell, so much so that one cannot keep from shivering. Everywhere in this land are placed idols of all colors of the rainbow, turning the land into a world of sensual delights, while the king of devils keeps laughing wickedly, as if its dastardly plot has succeeded. Meanwhile, man remains completely oblivious, and nor has he any inkling that the devil has already corrupted him to the point where he has become senseless and hangs his head in defeat.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Since mankind’s contrivance of the social sciences, the mind of man has become occupied by science and knowledge. Science and knowledge then have become tools for the ruling of mankind, and there is no longer sufficient room for man to worship God, and no more favorable conditions for the worship of God. The position of God has sunk ever lower in the heart of man. Without God in his heart, man’s inner world is dark, hopeless and empty. Subsequently many social scientists, historians, and politicians have come to the fore to express theories of social science, the theory of human evolution, and other theories that contradict the truth that God created man, to fill the hearts and minds of mankind. And in this way, those who believe that God created everything have become ever fewer, and those who believe in the theory of evolution have become ever greater in number. More and more people treat the records of the work of God and His words during the age of the Old Testament as myths and legends. In their hearts, people become indifferent to the dignity and greatness of God, to the tenet that God exists and holds dominion over all things. The survival of mankind and the fate of countries and nations are no longer important to them, and man lives in a hollow world concerned only with eating, drinking, and the pursuit of pleasure. … Few people take it upon themselves to seek out where God does His work today, or to look for how He presides over and arranges the destination of man. And in this way, unbeknownst to man, human civilization becomes less and less able to hew to man’s wishes, and there are even many people who feel that, living in such a world, they are less happy than those who have already passed away. Even people of countries that used to be highly civilized air such grievances. For without the guidance of God, no matter how much rulers and sociologists wrack their brains to preserve human civilization, it is to no avail. No one can fill the emptiness in man’s heart, for no one can be the life of man, and no social theory can free man from the emptiness with which he is afflicted. Science, knowledge, freedom, democracy, leisure, comfort: these bring man only a temporary consolation. Even with these things, man still inevitably sins and bemoans the injustices of society. These things cannot restrain man’s craving and desire to explore. This is because man was made by God and the senseless sacrifices and explorations of man can only lead to more distress and can only cause man to exist in a constant state of fear, not knowing how to face the future of mankind or how to face the path that lies ahead. Man even comes to fear science and knowledge, and fear even more the feeling of emptiness. In this world, regardless of whether you live in a free country or one without human rights, you are utterly incapable of escaping the fate of mankind. Whether you are the ruler or the ruled, you are utterly incapable of escaping the desire to explore the fate, mysteries, and destination of mankind, much less are you capable of escaping the bewildering sense of emptiness. Such phenomena, which are common to all of mankind, are called social phenomena by sociologists, yet no great man can come forth to solve such problems. Man, after all, is man, and the position and life of God cannot be replaced by any man. Mankind does not just require a fair society in which everyone is well-fed and is equal and free; what mankind needs is the salvation of God and His provision of life to them. Only when man receives God’s provision of life and His salvation can the needs, the yearning to explore, and the spiritual emptiness of man be resolved. If the people of a country or a nation are unable to receive the salvation and care of God, then such a country or nation will tread the road of decline, toward darkness, and shall be annihilated by God.
Excerpted from “God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Satan corrupts man through social trends. “Social trends” include many things. Some people say: “Does it mean the latest fashions, cosmetics, hairstyles, and gourmet foods?” Are these things considered social trends? They make up one part of social trends, but we will not be talking about them here. We only wish to 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 man’s state of mind. 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 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, assimilated, and attracted by this kind of 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. …
… 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 Three Character Classic, for example. Can it help people pull their feet out of the quagmire of these trends? (No, it cannot.) 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?
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.)
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?
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique V” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Satan builds its reputation through deceiving people, and often establishes itself as a vanguard and role model of righteousness. Under false pretenses of safeguarding righteousness, it harms people, devours their souls, and uses all sorts of means to benumb, deceive and incite man. Its goal is to make man approve of and go along with its evil conduct, to make man join it in opposing God’s authority and sovereignty. However, when one sees through its schemes and plots and sees through to its vile features, and when one does not wish to continue to be trampled upon and fooled by it or to continue slaving away for it, or to be punished and destroyed alongside it, then Satan changes its previously saintly features and tears off its false mask to reveal its true face, which is evil, vicious, ugly and savage. It would love nothing more than to exterminate all those who refuse to follow it and who oppose its evil forces. At this point Satan can no longer assume a trustworthy, gentlemanly appearance; instead, its true ugly and devilish features are revealed under sheep’s clothing. Once Satan’s schemes are brought to light and its true features exposed, it will fly into a rage and expose its barbarity. After this, its desire to harm and devour people will only be intensified. This is because it is enraged when man awakens to the truth, and it develops a powerful vindictiveness toward man for their aspiration to yearn for freedom and light and to break free of its prison. Its rage is intended to defend and uphold its evil, and it is also a true revelation of its savage nature.
In every matter, Satan’s behavior exposes its evil nature. Out of all the evil acts that Satan has carried out upon man—from its early efforts to delude man into following it, to its exploitation of man, in which it drags man into its evil deeds, to its vindictiveness toward man after its true features have been exposed and man has recognized and forsaken it—not one of these acts fails to expose Satan’s evil essence, nor to prove the fact that Satan has no relation to positive things and that Satan is the source of all evil things. Every single one of its actions safeguards its evil, maintains the continuation of its evil acts, goes against just and positive things, and ruins the laws and order of humanity’s normal existence. These acts of Satan are hostile to God, and they will be destroyed by God’s wrath. Although Satan has its own rage, its rage is just a means of venting its evil nature. The reason why Satan is exasperated and furious is this: Its unspeakable schemes have been exposed; its plots are not easily gotten away with; its wild ambition and desire to replace God and act as God have been struck down and blocked; and its goal of controlling all of humanity has now come to nothing and can never be achieved. What has stopped Satan’s plots from coming to fruition and cut short the spread and rampancy of Satan’s evil is God’s repeated summoning of His wrath, time after time. For this reason, Satan both hates and fears God’s wrath. Each time God’s wrath descends, it not only unmasks Satan’s true vile appearance, but also exposes Satan’s evil desires to the light, and in the process, the reasons for Satan’s rage against humanity are laid bare. The eruption of Satan’s rage is a true revelation of its evil nature and an exposure of its schemes. Of course, each time that Satan is enraged heralds the destruction of evil things and the protection and continuation of positive things; it heralds the truth that God’s wrath cannot be offended!
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
1. “Non-biodegradable” is intended as satire here, meaning that people are rigid in their knowledge, culture, and spiritual outlook.
2. “Roams free, outside the reach of law” indicates that the devil goes berserk and runs amok.
3. “A complete shambles” refers to how the devil’s violent behavior is unbearable to see.
4. “Bruised and battered” refers to the ugly face of the king of devils.
5. “Staking everything on a single throw of the dice” means placing all one’s money on a single bet in hopes of winning in the end. This is a metaphor for the devil’s sinister and nefarious schemes. The expression is used mockingly.
6. “Swallow” refers to the vicious behavior of the king of devils, which ravishes people in their entirety.
a. The original text reads “it is a symbol of being unable to be.”
b. The original text reads “as well as a symbol of being unable to be offended (and not tolerating being offended).”
c. The Four Books and Five Classics are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China.