Chapters 22 and 23
Today, all are willing to grasp God’s will and know God’s disposition, yet none know the reason why they are incapable of carrying out what they are willing to do, why their hearts always betray them and they cannot achieve what they want. As a result, they are once more beset by crushing desperation, yet they are also fearful. Unable to express these conflicting emotions, they can only hang their heads in sorrow and incessantly ask themselves: “Could it be that God has not enlightened me? Could it be that God has secretly forsaken me? Perhaps everyone else is fine, and God has enlightened all of them except me. Why do I always feel disturbed when I read God’s words—why can’t I ever grasp anything?” Though such thoughts are in people’s minds, none dare to express them; they merely carry on struggling inside. In fact, no one but God is able to understand His words or grasp His true will. Yet God always asks that people grasp His will—is this not like trying to force a duck onto a perch? Is God ignorant of man’s failings? This is a juncture in God’s work, which people fail to understand, and thus, God says, “Man lives amid the light, yet he is unaware of the preciousness of the light. He is ignorant of the essence of the light, and the source of the light, and, moreover, to whom the light belongs.” According to what God’s words tell man and what they ask of him, no one will survive, for there is nothing in man’s flesh that is accepting of God’s words. So, being able to obey God’s words, cherishing and yearning for God’s words, and applying those words of God that point to man’s state to their own conditions, and thereby coming to know themselves—this is the highest standard. When the kingdom is ultimately realized, man, who lives in the flesh, shall still be incapable of grasping God’s will, and will still require His personal guidance—yet people will simply be without Satan’s interference, and shall possess the normal life of man; this is God’s objective in defeating Satan, which He does chiefly in order to recover the original substance of man, who was created by God. In God’s mind, “flesh” refers to the following: the inability to know God’s substance; the inability to see the affairs of the spiritual realm; and, furthermore, the ability to be corrupted by Satan yet also be directed by the Spirit of God. This is the essence of the flesh created by God. Naturally, it is also meant to avoid the chaos in the lives of mankind that a lack of order would cause. The more God speaks, and the more incisively He speaks, the more people understand. People unconsciously change, and unconsciously live in the light, and thus, “because of the light, they are growing and have left the darkness.” This is the beautiful scene of the kingdom, and the “living in the light, departing from death” that has often been spoken of. When Sinim is realized on earth—when the kingdom is realized—there will be no more war on earth; never again will there be famines, plagues, and earthquakes; people will stop producing weapons; all will live in peace and stability; and there will be normal dealings between people, and normal dealings between countries. Yet the present bears no comparison to this. All beneath the heavens is in chaos, and coups gradually begin to arise in each country. In the wake of God’s utterances, people are gradually changing, and, internally, every country is slowly being torn apart. The steady foundations of Babylon begin to shake, like a castle on the sand, and, as God’s will shifts, tremendous changes occur unnoticed in the world, and all manner of signs appear at any time, showing people that the last day of the world has arrived! This is God’s plan; these are the steps by which He works, and each country will surely be torn to pieces. Old Sodom will be annihilated a second time, and thus God says, “The world is falling! Babylon is in paralysis!” No one but God Himself is capable of understanding this completely; there is, after all, a limit to people’s awareness. For example, the ministers of internal affairs might know that the present circumstances are unstable and chaotic, but they are incapable of addressing them. They can only ride the current, hoping in their hearts for the day when they can hold their heads high, for the day to come when the sun rises once again in the east, shining across the land and reversing this miserable state of affairs. Little do they know, however, that when the sun rises a second time, its rise is not meant to restore the old order—it is a resurgence, a thorough change. Such is God’s plan for the whole universe. He shall bring about a new world, but, above all, He will first renew man. Today, what is most vital is bringing mankind into God’s words, not simply allowing them to enjoy the blessings of status. Moreover, as God says, “In the kingdom, I am King—but instead of treating Me as its King, man treats Me as the ‘Savior that has descended from heaven.’ As a result, he longs for Me to give him alms and does not pursue knowledge of Me.” Such are the true conditions of all people. Today, what is crucial is dispelling man’s insatiable greed completely, thus allowing people to know God without asking for anything. It is no wonder, then, that God says, “So many have pleaded before Me like beggars; so many have opened their ‘sacks’ to Me and implored Me to give them food to survive.” States such as these indicate people’s greed, and they show that people do not love God, but make demands of Him, or try to gain the things they long for. People have the nature of a hungry wolf; they are all cunning and greedy, and thus God makes requirements of them once and again, forcing them to hand over their hearts of greed and to love God with hearts of sincerity. In reality, to date, people have yet to give all of their hearts to God; they straddle two boats, depending sometimes on themselves, sometimes on God, without completely relying on Him. When God’s work has reached a certain point, all people will live amid true love and faith, and God’s will shall be satisfied; thus, God’s requirements are not high.
The angels move constantly among the sons and people of God, hurrying between heaven and earth and descending to the human world after returning to the spiritual realm each day. This is their duty, and thus, each day, the sons and people of God are shepherded, and their life gradually changes. On the day that God changes His form, the angels’ work on earth shall officially end and they will return to the realm of heaven. Today, all the sons and people of God are in the same condition. As the seconds go by, all people are changing, and the sons and people of God are gradually maturing. In comparison, all the rebels are also changing before the great red dragon: People are no longer loyal to the great red dragon, and demons no longer follow its arrangements. Instead, they “act as they see fit, and each goes its own way.” Thus, when God says, “How could the countries on earth not perish? How could the countries on earth not fall?” the heavens come pressing down in an instant…. It is as if an ominous feeling were presaging the end of mankind. The various ominous signs prophesied here are precisely what is occurring in the country of the great red dragon, and none on earth can escape. Such is the prophecy in God’s words. Today, all people have a premonition that time is short, and they seem to feel that a disaster is about to befall them—yet they have no means of escape, and thus they are all without hope. God says, “As I decorate the ‘inner chamber’ of My kingdom day by day, no one has ever suddenly burst into My ‘workroom’ to disrupt My work.” In fact, the meaning of God’s words is not simply to say that people may know God in His words. Above all, they indicate that each day, God arranges all manner of developments throughout the universe to serve the next part of His work. The reason He says “no one has ever suddenly burst into My ‘workroom’ to disrupt My work” is that God works in divinity, and people are incapable of partaking in His work, though they may wish to. Let Me ask you: Could you really arrange every development in the entire universe? Could you make the people on earth defy their ancestors? Could you maneuver people throughout the universe to serve God’s will? Could you cause Satan to run riot? Could you make people feel the world is desolate and empty? People are incapable of such things. In the past, when Satan’s “skills” had yet to be brought fully to bear, it would always interfere in each stage of God’s work; in this stage, Satan has run out of tricks, and God thus allows it to show its true colors, that all people may know it. This is the truth of the words “No one has ever disrupted My work.”
Each day, the people of the churches read God’s words, and each day, they undergo the work of dissection on “the operating table.” For example, “losing their position,” “being dismissed,” “their fears allayed and composure restored,” “abandonment,” and “devoid of ‘feeling’”—such mocking words “torment” people and render them dumb with shame. It is as if no part of their entire body—from head to toe, from inside to out—meets with God’s approval. Why does God strip people’s lives so bare with His words? Is God deliberately making things difficult for people? It is as if the faces of all people are smeared with mud that cannot be washed off. Each day, heads bowed, they give an account of their sins, like scam artists. People have been so corrupted by Satan that they are not fully aware of their own true states. But to God, Satan’s venom is in every part of their bodies, even their marrow; as a result, the more profound God’s revelations, the more fearful people become, and thus are all people made to know Satan and see Satan in man, for they have been incapable of seeing Satan with their naked eyes. And since all has entered into reality, God exposes man’s nature—which is to say, He exposes the image of Satan—and thus allows man to behold the real, tangible Satan, all the better for them to know the practical God. God allows man to know Him in the flesh, and He gives form to Satan, allowing man to know the real, tangible Satan in the flesh of all people. The various states that are spoken of are all expressions of Satan’s deeds. And so, it may be said that all who are of the flesh are embodiments of Satan’s image. God is incompatible with His enemies—they are hostile to each other, and are two different forces; therefore, demons are forever demons, and God is forever God; they are as incompatible as fire and water, ever as separate as heaven and earth. When God created man, people of one sort had the spirits of angels, while one kind had no spirit, and thus the latter were possessed by the spirits of demons, and so they are called demons. Ultimately, angels are angels, demons are demons—and God is God. This is what is meant by each according to its kind, and so, when the angels reign on earth and enjoy blessings, God returns to His dwelling place, and the rest—the enemies of God—are turned to ashes. In fact, all people seem outwardly to love God, but the root is in their substance—how can those with the nature of angels escape God’s hand and fall into the bottomless pit? And how can those with the nature of demons ever love God truly? The essence of such people is not one of true love for God, so how could they ever have the chance to enter the kingdom? All was arranged by God when He created the world, just as God says: “I advance amid wind and rain, and have spent year after year among man, and have come in time to the present day. Are these not precisely the steps of My management plan? Who has ever added to My plan? Who can break away from the steps of My plan?” Having become flesh, God must experience the life of man—is this not the practical side of the practical God? God does not hide anything from man because of man’s weakness; instead, He lays bare the truth to man, just as God says: “I have spent year after year among man.” It is precisely because God is God become flesh that He has passed year after year on earth; accordingly, only after undergoing all manner of processes can He be considered God incarnate, and only after that can He work in the divinity within the flesh. Then, after having revealed all mysteries, He will be free to change His form. This is another aspect of the explanation of non-supernaturalness, which God indicated directly.
It is necessary to pass the muster of each of God’s words, without being perfunctory—this is God’s commission!