A. Words on Revealing How Satan Corrupts Mankind
65. Adam and Eve created by God in the beginning were holy people, which is to say, whilst in the Garden of Eden they were holy, untainted with filth. They were also faithful to Jehovah, and knew nothing of the betrayal of Jehovah. This is because they were without the disturbance of the influence of Satan, were without Satan’s poison, and were the purest of all mankind. They lived in the Garden of Eden, undefiled by any filth, unpossessed by the flesh, and in reverence of Jehovah. Later, when they were tempted by Satan, they had the poison of the serpent, and the desire to betray Jehovah, and they lived under the influence of Satan. In the beginning, they were holy and they revered Jehovah; only in this state were they human. Later on, after they were tempted by Satan, they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and lived under the influence of Satan. They were gradually corrupted by Satan, and lost the original image of man. In the beginning, man had the breath of Jehovah, was not the slightest bit disobedient, and had no evil in his heart. At that time, man was truly human. After being corrupted by Satan, man became a beast. His thoughts were filled with evil and filth, without good or holiness. Is this not Satan?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment
66. 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 will inevitably sin and bemoan 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 will even come 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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 2: God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind
67. For thousands of years this has been the land of filth. It is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts run rampant everywhere, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? The devil tightly trusses all of man’s body, it puts out both his eyes, and seals his lips firmly shut. The king of devils has rampaged for several thousand years, right up until today, when it still keeps a close watch on the ghost town, as if it were an impenetrable palace of demons; this pack of watchdogs, meanwhile, stare with glaring eyes, deeply fearful that God will catch them unawares and wipe them all out, leaving them without a place of peace and happiness. How could the people of a ghost town such as this ever have seen God? Have they ever enjoyed the dearness and loveliness of God? What appreciation have they of the matters of the human world? Who of them can understand God’s eager will? Small wonder, then, that God incarnate remains completely hidden: In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people without batting an eye, tolerate the existence of a God who is lovely, kind, and also holy? How could it applaud and cheer the arrival of God? These lackeys! They repay kindness with hate, they have long since disdained God, they abuse God, they are savage in the extreme, they have not the slightest regard for God, they plunder and pillage, they have lost all conscience, they go against all conscience, and they tempt the innocent into senselessness. Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin! Who has embraced the work of God? Who has laid down their life or shed blood for the work of God? For generation after generation, from parents to children, enslaved man has unceremoniously enslaved God—how could this not incite fury? Thousands of years of hate are concentrated in the heart, millennia of sinfulness are inscribed upon the heart—how could this not inspire loathing? Avenge God, completely snuff out His enemy, do not allow it to run rampant any longer, and do not permit it to kick up as much trouble as it wishes anymore! Now is the time: Man has long since gathered all his strength, he has devoted all his efforts and paid every price for this, to tear off the hideous face of this demon and allow people, who have been blinded, and who have endured every manner of suffering and hardship, to rise up from their pain and turn their backs on this evil old devil. Why put up such an impenetrable obstacle to the work of God? Why employ various tricks to deceive God’s folk? Where is the true freedom and the legitimate rights and interests? Where is the fairness? Where is the comfort? Where is the warmth? Why use deceitful schemes to trick God’s people? Why use force to suppress the coming of God? Why not allow God to freely roam upon the earth that He created? Why hound God until He has nowhere to rest His head? Where is the warmth among men? Where is the welcome among people? Why cause such desperate yearning in God? Why make God call out again and again? Why force God to worry for His beloved Son? In this dark society, why do its sorry guard dogs not allow God to freely come and go among the world which He created? Why does man not understand, man who lives amid pain and suffering? For your sakes, God has endured great torment, with great pain He has bestowed His beloved Son, His flesh and blood, to you—so why do you still turn a blind eye? In full view of everyone, you reject the arrival of God, and refuse God’s friendship. Why are you so unconscionable? Are you willing to endure the injustices in a dark society such as this? Why, instead of filling your bellies with millennia of enmity, do you stuff yourselves with the king of devils’ “shit”?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (8)
68. 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. It wishes, in one fell swoop, to wipe out everything about God, and once again to defile and assassinate Him; it is intent upon tearing down and disrupting His work. How can it allow God to be of equal status? How can it tolerate God “interfering” with its work among men on earth? How can it allow God to unmask its hideous face? How can it allow God to put its work in disarray? How can this devil, apoplectic with rage, allow God to have control over its imperial court on the earth? How can it willingly bow down to His superior might? Its hideous countenance has been revealed for what it is, so that one knows not whether to laugh or cry, and it is truly difficult to speak of. Is this not its substance? With an ugly soul, it still believes that it is beautiful beyond belief. This gang of accomplices in crime! They come down into the mortal realm to indulge in pleasures and cause a commotion, stirring things up so much that the world becomes a fickle and inconstant place and the heart of man is filled with panic and unease, and they have toyed with man so much that his appearance has become that of an inhuman beast of the field, supremely ugly, and from which the last trace of the original holy man has been lost. Furthermore, they even wish to assume sovereign power on earth. They impede the work of God so much that it can barely inch forward, and they close man off as tightly as walls of copper and steel. Having committed so many grievous sins and caused so many disasters, are they still expecting something other than chastisement? Demons and evil spirits have been running amok on earth for a time, and have sealed off both the will and the painstaking effort of God so tightly that they are impenetrable. Truly, this is a mortal sin! How can God not feel anxious? How can God not feel wrathful? They have gravely hindered and opposed the work of God: How rebellious!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (7)
69. 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[a] 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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (7)
70. 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. As Satan has added viewpoints, notions, and thoughts into the mind of man, is not man corrupted during this process? (Yes.) What does man now base his life upon? Is he really living on the basis of this knowledge? No; man is basing his life on the thoughts, views and philosophies of Satan that are hidden within this knowledge. This is where the essential part of Satan’s corruption of man occurs; this is both Satan’s goal and its method for corrupting man.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V
71. 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 rules of living instilled in people, rules that Satan teaches them in the course of their learning of knowledge? 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? (Yes, they are.) These ideas influence one generation after another, and the people of each generation are brought to accept these ideas, to live for these ideas and to pursue them endlessly. This is the way, the channel, through which Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man. So after Satan has led people to this road, is it still possible for them to worship God? Do the knowledge and thought instilled in man by Satan contain any shred of worshiping God? Do they hold anything that belongs to the truth? Do they contain anything of fearing God and shunning evil? (No, they do not.)
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI
72. 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
73. 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 possessed by science and seduced 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; even some people who have followed God for many years will go and research bacteria on a whim or look up some information for the answer to an issue. Such people do not look at the issues from the perspective of truth and in most cases they want to rely on scientific views or knowledge or scientific solutions to solve problems; they do not rely on God and they do not seek God. Do people like this have God in their hearts? (No.) There are even some people who want to research God in the same way as they study science. 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 about God’s existence? (Yes.) So how does Satan want to use science to corrupt man? Does Satan not want 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? (Yes.) 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
74. 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.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI
75. The superstitious activities that people engage in are what God hates the most, but many people are still unable to let go of them, thinking these superstitious activities to be decreed by God, and even today have yet to shed them completely. Such things as the arrangements young people make for wedding feasts and bridal trousseaus; gifts of cash, banquets, and similar ways with which joyous occasions are celebrated; ancient formulae that have been handed down; all the meaningless superstitious activities conducted for the dead and their obsequies: these are even more detestable to God. Even the day of worship (including the Sabbath, as observed by the religious world) is detestable to Him; and the social relationships and worldly interactions between man and man are all the more despised and rejected by God. Even the Spring Festival and Christmas Day, which are known to everyone, are not decreed by God, let alone the toys and decorations for these festive holidays such as couplets, firecrackers, lanterns, Holy Communion, Christmas gifts, and Christmas festivities—are they not idols in the minds of men? The breaking of bread on the Sabbath, wine, and fine linen are even more emphatically idols. All the traditional festival days popular in China, such as the Dragon Heads-raising Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Laba Festival, and New Year’s Day, and the festivals in the religious world, such as Easter, Baptism Day, and Christmas Day, all of these unjustifiable festivals have been arranged and handed down from olden times to today by many people. It is humanity’s rich imagination and ingenious conception that have allowed them to be passed down to today. They appear to be free of flaws, but are in fact tricks Satan plays on humanity. The more a place is thronged with Satans, and the more obsolete and backward that place is, the more deeply entrenched are its feudal customs. These things bind people tight, allowing absolutely no room for movement. Many of the festivals in the religious world seem to display great originality and to create a bridge to the work of God, but they are actually the invisible ties with which Satan binds people and prevents people from coming to know God—they are all Satan’s cunning stratagems. In fact, when a stage of God’s work is finished, He has already destroyed the tools and the style of that time, without leaving any trace. However, “devout believers” continue to worship those tangible material objects; meanwhile they consign what God has to the back of their minds, studying it no further, seeming to be full of the love of God when they actually pushed Him out of the house long ago and placed Satan on the table to worship. Portraits of Jesus, the Cross, Mary, Jesus’ Baptism and the Last Supper—people venerate these as the Lord of Heaven, all the while repeatedly crying out “Lord, heavenly Father.” Is this not all a joke? To this day, many similar sayings and practices that have been passed down amongst humanity are hateful to God; they seriously obstruct the way ahead for God and, furthermore, create huge setbacks to humanity’s entry. Putting aside the extent to which Satan has corrupted humanity, the insides of people are completely filled up with things like the law of Witness Lee, the experiences of Lawrence, the surveys by Watchman Nee, and the work of Paul. There is simply no way for God to work upon human beings, because they have inside them too much of individualism, laws, rules, regulations, systems, and the like; these things, in addition to people’s feudal superstitious tendencies, have captured and devoured humanity. It is as if people’s thoughts are an interesting film narrating a fairy tale in full color, with fantastic beings riding the clouds, so imaginative that they amaze people, leaving them dazed and speechless. To tell the truth, the work that God comes to do today is mainly to deal with and dispel the superstitious attributes of human beings and completely transform their mental outlook. God’s work has not lasted until today due to the inheritance that has been handed down through the generations by humanity; it is work as personally initiated by Him and completed by Him, without any need for succeeding to the legacy of a certain great spiritual man, or inheriting any work of a representative nature done by God in some other era. Human beings need not concern themselves with any of these things. God today has another style of speaking and of working, so why should human beings trouble themselves? If humans walk the path of today within the current stream while continuing the legacy of their “ancestors,” they will not reach their destination. God feels deep repugnance for this particular mode of human behavior, just as He abominates the years, months and days of the human world.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (3)
76. Satan uses social trends to corrupt man. “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? (Yes.)
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI
77. “Money makes the world go round” is a philosophy of Satan, and it prevails among the whole of mankind, in every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been instilled in the heart of every single person. From the very beginning, people did not accept this saying, but then they 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. How is this thing that is revealed to be interpreted? 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! So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? 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? Moreover, do many people not lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Is this not a loss for people? (Yes.) 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. That is to say, this saying already controls your behavior and your thoughts, and you would rather have your fate controlled by it than give it all up. Does not the fact that people act in this way, that they are controlled by this saying and manipulated by it, illustrate that Satan’s corrupting of man is effective? Is this not the philosophy and corrupt disposition of Satan taking root in your heart? If you do this, has Satan not achieved its goal? (Yes.) Do you see how Satan has corrupted man in this way? Can you feel it? (No.) You have neither seen it nor felt it. Do you see Satan’s evil here? 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 Satan’s corruption of man grows ever deeper.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V
78. 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? (No.) 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 ensnare you.
The fifth is deception and paralysis. “Deception and paralysis” is when Satan spins some sweet-sounding words and ideas that align with people’s notions, 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? (Man’s mind and entire being.) 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
79. Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at “institutes of higher learning.” The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy for living, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the domain of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud. Even when they hear the truth, those who live in darkness give no thought to putting it into practice, nor are they inclined to seek out God even if they have beheld His appearance. How could a mankind so depraved have any chance of salvation? How could a mankind so decadent live in the light?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
80. 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!
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique II
1. “Making groundless accusations” refers to the methods by which the devil harms people.
2. “Heavily guarded” indicates that the methods by which the devil afflicts people are especially vicious, and control people so much that they have no room to move.
3. “Swallow” refers to the vicious behavior of the king of devils, which ravishes people in their entirety.
4. “Accomplices in crime” are of the same ilk as “a band of hoodlums.”
5. “Non-biodegradable” is intended as satire here, meaning that people are rigid in their knowledge, culture, and spiritual outlook.
6. “Roams free, outside the reach of law” indicates that the devil goes berserk and runs amok.
7. “A complete shambles” refers to how the devil’s violent behavior is unbearable to see.
8. “Bruised and battered” refers to the ugly face of the king of devils.
9. “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.
a. The Four Books and Five Classics are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China.