10. What things are included in heresy and fallacy? How can various heresies and fallacies be identified?
Relevant Words of God:
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. 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 to ruin, 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
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! …
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.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Is knowledge something that everyone considers to be a positive thing? At the very least, people think that the connotation of the word “knowledge” is positive rather than negative. So why are we mentioning here that Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man? Is the theory of evolution not an aspect of knowledge? Are Newton’s scientific laws not a part of knowledge? The gravitational pull of the earth is also a part of knowledge, is it not? (Yes.) So why is knowledge listed among the things that Satan uses to corrupt mankind? What is your view on this? Does knowledge have even a shred of truth in it? (No.) Then what is the essence of knowledge? On what basis is all the knowledge that man acquires learned? Is it based on the theory of evolution? Is not the knowledge that man has gained through exploration and summation based on atheism? Does any of this knowledge have a connection to God? Is it connected with worshiping God? Is it connected to truth? (No.) So how does Satan use knowledge to corrupt man? I just said that none of this knowledge is connected with worshiping God or with truth. Some people think about it like this: “Knowledge might not have anything to do with truth, but still, it doesn’t corrupt people.” What is your view on this? Were you taught by knowledge that a person’s happiness must be created with their own two hands? Did knowledge teach you that man’s fate was in his own hands? (Yes.) What kind of talk is this? (It is devilish talk.) Absolutely right! It is devilish talk! Knowledge is a complicated subject to discuss. You may state simply that a field of knowledge is nothing more than knowledge. That is a field of knowledge that is learned on the basis of not worshiping God and on not understanding that God created all things. When people study this type of knowledge, they do not see God having sovereignty over all things; they do not see God being in charge of or managing all things. Instead, all they do is endlessly research and explore that area of knowledge, and seek out answers based on knowledge. However, is it not true that if people do not believe in God and instead only pursue research, they will never find the true answers? All that knowledge can give you is a livelihood, a job, income so that you do not go hungry; but it will never make you worship God, and it will never keep you far from evil. The more you study knowledge, the more you will desire to rebel against God, to subject God to your studies, to tempt God, and to resist God. So, what do we now see that knowledge is teaching people? It is all the philosophy of Satan. Do the philosophies and rules of survival spread by Satan among corrupt men have any relation to truth? They have nothing to do with truth and, in fact, are the opposite of the truth. People often say, “Life is motion” and “Man is iron, rice is steel, man feels famished if he skips a meal”; what are these sayings? They are fallacies, and hearing them causes a feeling of disgust. In man’s so-called knowledge, Satan has imbued quite a bit of its philosophy for living and its thinking. And as Satan does this, it allows man to adopt its thinking, philosophy, and points of view so that man may deny the existence of God, deny God’s dominion over all things and over man’s fate. So as man’s studies progress and he gains more knowledge, he feels the existence of God become vague, and might even no longer feel that God exists. 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.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique V” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their life view and maxims mainly come from Satan’s sayings, such as, “Everyone 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 and nature. “Everyone 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 strike gift-givers, 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 Christ’s Talks
“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.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique V” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
With regard to the words of God, when people fellowship together, and after they have pray-read the original text of God’s words, they may incorporate their personal experiences, and their enlightenments and illuminations as they talk of their own knowledge—you must not, however, interpret God’s words howsoever you wish, as if they were born of your own hand. God’s words do not need you to explain them, nor could you explain them clearly or understandably. It is enough that you have some minor enlightenment, illumination or experience, but to try to explain the truth, to try to use your explanation to allow people to understand God’s will? That would be impossible. It is the wrong thing to do. Some people read in God’s words that God loves those who are honest. God told man, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Mat 5:37). Today, God’s words also call for people to be honest. So what is the right attitude to take toward God’s words and what He requires? Search in God’s words: God said, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no.” How exactly do those who are honest in the eyes of God behave? How do they speak, how do they act, how do they approach their duty, and how do they work well with others? People should search God’s words for these principles and paths of practice, that they may become the honest people He requires. This is the right attitude, the attitude that ought to be possessed by those who seek the truth. So how do those who do not seek the truth, who do not love the truth, and who have no fear of God and His words behave? They look at God’s words, and straight away they say, “God requires that people be honest. That’s what the Lord Jesus said. The God of today is once more saying for people to be honest. I know this already. Are honest people not guileless people? It is not as people say, that guileless people ever prevail, that the good have peaceful lives, and that it is a sin to exploit those who are guileless? Look, God is redressing the injustices suffered by the guileless.” Are these words the truth? Are these truth principles that they have identified? (No.) So what are these words? Could they be called heresies and fallacies? (They could.) Those who do not understand spiritual things or love the truth always connect God’s words with what, among mankind, is believed to be pleasing to the ear and right. Is this not downgrading God’s words? Is this not making the truth into a kind of slogan for mankind, an argument for how to act? They ignore what God says about being honest—how those who are honest behave, how to be honest, what the precepts are—and nonsensically claim that God asks that people be guileless, and that people who are guileless, good-for-nothings, and fools are all honest. Is this not a misinterpretation of God’s words? They misinterpret God’s words, yet think themselves very clever, and that God’s words are nothing more than this: “The truth isn’t so profound, is it not just being guileless? And is it not simple to be a guileless person? Don’t steal, don’t swear, don’t fight. ‘Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever it is possible.’ Be tolerant of others in all things, be good, and the good will have peaceful lives.” They say a lot, but none of it is in line with the truth, it is nothing but heresies and fallacies. It seems to bear some relation to the words of God, it appears to have some connection to them, but when one goes deeper and looks more closely, it is nothing but deception, it does nothing except discompose people’s thoughts.
For example, God says that there is love in His essence, that He loves man. God’s love of man is shown to people through what He says, the way He treats man, His painstaking efforts to save man, and the myriad aspects of what He does in man, and at the same time as showing God’s salvation of man, God’s will and the means by which He saves man is also made evident, that people may know God’s love. What do people who do not understand spiritual things think? “God is a God that loves man, God wants every person to be saved and does not want anyone to suffer perdition. God has said that the returned prodigal son is worth more than gold.” Did God say this? Are these God’s original words? (No.) What else do they say? “There is greater merit in saving one life than in building a seven-tier pagoda” and “My Buddha is compassionate.” They are just throwing phrases around. Clearly, they are only pretending to be spiritual, and to understand God’s words, and to love the truth; they are obviously outsiders, philistines, people who do not understand spiritual things. I have met many such people. They’re like idiots, bold in speech but bereft of brains, the thoughts and arisings of their minds nothing but heresies, fallacies, and fakeries. These people, who are possessed of the utmost powers of deception, often employ these heresies and fallacies and some seemingly sound theological arguments to dupe others, forcing them to obey and practice what they say. They are antichrists. To all appearances, they seem highly spiritual, often quoting passages of God’s words, and once they have finished interpreting them, then come the heresies and fallacies. Such people are everywhere. Under the banner of quoting and fellowshiping on God’s words, they help and lead people—but in fact, what they are instilling in people is not what God’s words ask of man, nor the truth principles contained in God’s words, but heresies and fallacies which they come up with through processing, interpreting, and imagining based on God’s words, and which cause people to stray from the words of God and obey them instead, creating discomposure and deception in these people. For example, there are those who say, “In doing the work of His six-thousand-year management plan, God has experienced the rejection and opposition of all mankind; God is God, and His heart has no bounds. As people say, ‘A prime minister’s heart is big enough to sail a boat in,’ and ‘It is never too late for a gentleman to take his revenge.’ How magnanimous God is!” To all appearances, they seem to be testifying to people of God and what God has and is—but what message are they actually transmitting? Is it the truth? Is it truly the essence of God? (No.) Who are they testifying to? They are testifying to the prime minister. They are likening God to a prime minister, to a gentleman—and is this not blasphemy? Can such words be found in God’s words? (No.) So where did they come from? From Satan. Not only does this band of antichrists not testify to God, they also twist the facts and blaspheme against God, often duping those who have no foundation, who lack true faith in God, and are incapable of understanding the truth; these people are of small stature, they have no foundation, they have no capacity to understand the truth, and so they are duped by these heresies and fallacies. These antichrists treat the heresies and fallacies as spiritual sayings. One thing they say about God’s love is, “God wants every person to be saved and does not want anyone to suffer perdition.” One thing they say about what God asks of man is, “The good have peaceful lives.” About God not remembering people’s transgressions and His giving them a chance to repent, they say, “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever it is possible.” Can such words be found in the words of God? (No.) Why am I so angry when I hear these words? Why am I so bothered by them? Why do I get so worked up? For how many years have you been reading God’s words? Have you grown foolish, or are you losing your wits? Where in God’s words are such things mentioned? When did God ask that people be guileless? When did God ask that people abide by the saying “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever it is possible”? Is this what God does? Where, in these heresies and fallacies they espouse, is there any connection to what God requires of mankind, His will, and the truth principles? They are wholly unrelated.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (25)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
What is the difference in substance between the words of God and man, and between the truth and doctrine? God’s words cause people to grow in sense and conscience, to act with principle, and what they live out to become increasingly possessed of the reality of positive things. The words of man, on the other hand, may seem to sit perfectly with people’s tastes and perspectives, but because they are not the truth, they brim with pitfalls, temptation, and heresies and fallacies, and so if people act according to these words, what they live out will stray ever further from God, and from the standards of God. Even more serious, the way people live will become ever more evil and akin to Satan. When people live and act entirely by the heresies and fallacies of man, when they have wholly embraced these arguments, they live as Satan. And does living as Satan not imply that they are Satan? (Yes.) So you have “successfully” become a living Satan. Some people say, “I don’t believe it. I just want to be someone without guile who is liked by others. I want to be someone that most people regard as good, and then I’ll see whether God takes delight in me or not.” If you do not believe what God says, go and look, and—see if God’s words are the truth, or if man’s notions are the truth. This is the difference in essence between the words of God and the words of man. It is the essential distinction between the truth and heresies and fallacies. No matter how the heresies and fallacies of man seem to fit with people’s tastes, they can never become their life; meanwhile, no matter how unadorned the words of God seem, how vernacular, how at odds with people’s notions, their essence is the truth, and if what people do and live out is in accordance with God’s word principles, eventually, one day, they will become a genuine qualified creature of God, and will be capable of fearing God and shunning evil. For those who do not achieve this, meanwhile, what they live out and their ultimate path can only lead them to be detested and rejected by God: This is a fact.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (25)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
How does mankind regard the logics and ideologies of Satan, and those spiritual crutches that dominate people’s lives? Some people say they are spiritual nourishment, chicken soup for the soul, but actually they corrupt people; once people “eat” them, it is over for them. What happens if people continue to accept such things without expelling the old things? If they do not shed their former corrupt dispositions, and then embrace the newer corruptions of Satan, they are finished—they are doomed never to be saved. You should, while continually identifying and rejecting them, keep shedding them; you should not live by these things, and you should accept the words of God. Has anyone ever said, “I no longer accepted those things, and then God’s words automatically entered me”? That would be impossible. You must take it upon yourself to seek and accept the truth. During the process of your understanding of the truth, you will naturally identify heresies and fallacies, and you will gradually come to let them go. Thus, God’s words will gradually become the principles by which you act; whenever you do anything, you will know how to act in accordance with God’s will, and shall naturally practice it—and in this regard a change will occur in your disposition.
Excerpted from “The Truth Is the Criterion for Man’s Conduct, Actions, and Worship of God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
1. “Swallow” refers to the vicious behavior of the king of devils, which ravishes people in their entirety.
a. The Four Books and Five Classics are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China.