2. Words on knowing God’s disposition and essence
Relevant Words of God:
God is what He is and He has what He has. All that He expresses and reveals are representations of His essence and of His identity. What He is and what He has, as well as His essence and identity, are things that cannot be replaced by any man. His disposition encompasses His love for mankind, solace of mankind, hatred of mankind, and even more, a thorough understanding of mankind. The personality of man, however, may be optimistic, lively, or unfeeling. The disposition of God is one that belongs to the Ruler of all things and living beings, to the Lord of all creation. His disposition represents honor, power, nobility, greatness, and most of all, supremacy. His disposition is the symbol of authority, the symbol of all that is righteous, the symbol of all that is beautiful and good. More than that, it is a symbol of Him who cannot be[a] overcome or invaded by the darkness and any enemy force, as well as a symbol of Him who cannot be offended (nor will He tolerate being offended)[b] by any created being. His disposition is the symbol of the highest power. No person or persons can or may disturb His work or His disposition. But the personality of man is no more than a mere symbol of the slight superiority of man over beast. Man in and of himself has no authority, no autonomy, and no ability to transcend the self, but is in his essence one who cowers at the mercy of all manner of people, events, and things. The joy of God is due to the existence and emergence of righteousness and light, because of the destruction of darkness and evil. He takes delight in bringing the light and a good life to mankind; His joy is a righteous joy, a symbol of the existence of all that is positive and, even more, a symbol of auspiciousness. The anger of God is due to the harm that the existence and interference of injustice brings upon His mankind, because of the existence of evil and darkness, because of the existence of things that drive out the truth, and even more, because of the existence of things that oppose what is good and beautiful. His anger is a symbol that all things negative no longer exist and, even more than that, it is a symbol of His holiness. His sorrow is due to mankind, for whom He has hopes but who has fallen into darkness, because the work He does on man does not come up to His expectations, and because the mankind He loves cannot all live in the light. He feels sorrow for the innocent mankind, for the honest but ignorant man, and for the man who is good but lacking in his own views. His sorrow is a symbol of His goodness and of His mercy, a symbol of beauty and of kindness. His happiness, of course, comes from defeating His enemies and gaining the good faith of man. More than this, it arises from the expulsion and destruction of all enemy forces, and because mankind receives a good and peaceful life. The happiness of God is unlike the joy of man; rather, it is the feeling of garnering good fruits, a feeling even greater than joy. His happiness is a symbol of mankind breaking free of suffering from this time forth, and a symbol of mankind entering a world of light. The emotions of mankind, on the other hand, all arise for the sake of his own interests, not for righteousness, light, or what is beautiful, and least of all for the grace bestowed by Heaven. The emotions of mankind are selfish and belong to the world of darkness. They do not exist for the sake of the will, much less for the plan of God, and so man and God can never be spoken of in the same breath. God is forever supreme and ever honorable, while man is forever base, forever worthless. This is because God is forever making sacrifices and devoting Himself to mankind; man, however, forever takes and strives only for himself. God is forever taking pains for mankind’s survival, yet man never contributes anything for the sake of the light or for righteousness. Even if man makes an effort for a time, it cannot withstand a single blow, for the effort of man is always for his own sake and not for others. Man is always selfish, while God is forever selfless. God is the source of all that is just, good, and beautiful, while man is he who succeeds to and makes manifest all ugliness and evil. God will never alter His essence of righteousness and beauty, yet man is perfectly capable, at any time and in any situation, of betraying righteousness and straying far from God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition
I am righteous, I am trustworthy, and I am the God who examines the innermost heart of man! I will reveal at once who is true and who is false. Do not be alarmed; all things work according to My time. Who wants Me sincerely, and who does not—I will tell you, one by one. You just take care to eat up, drink up, and draw up close to Me when you come into My presence, and I will do My work Myself. Do not be too anxious for quick results; My work is not something that can be accomplished all at once. Within it there are My steps and My wisdom, and that is why My wisdom can be revealed. I will let you see what is done by My hands—the punishing of evil and the rewarding of good. I most certainly do not favor anyone. You who sincerely love Me, I will sincerely love you, and as for those who do not sincerely love Me, My wrath will ever be with them, so that they may remember through eternity that I am the true God, the God who examines the innermost heart of man. Do not act one way to others’ faces but another way behind their backs; I see clearly everything you do, and though you may fool others, you cannot fool Me. I see it all clearly. It is not possible for you to conceal anything; all lies within My hands. Do not think yourself so very clever for making your petty little calculations come out to your advantage. I tell you: However many plans man may hatch, be they thousands or tens of thousands, in the end they cannot escape from the palm of My hand. All things and all objects are controlled by My hands, never mind a single person! Do not try to evade Me or hide, do not try to wheedle or conceal. Can it be that you still do not see that My glorious countenance, My wrath and My judgment, have been publicly revealed? Whosoever does not want Me sincerely, I will judge them immediately and without mercy. My pity has come to its end; there is no more left. Do not be hypocrites any longer, and put a stop to your wild and reckless ways.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 44
I stand by what I say, and what I stand by I always bring to completion, and no one can change this—it is absolute. Whether they are words I have said in the past or words I will say in the future, I will make them all come true, one by one, and allow all of mankind to see them come true. This is the principle behind My words and work. … Of everything that occurs in the universe, there is nothing in which I do not have the final say. Is there anything that is not in My hands? Whatever I say is done, and who among human beings can change My mind? Could it be the covenant I made on the earth? Nothing can hinder My plan from going forward; I am ever present in My work as well as in the plan of My management. Who among human beings can put his hand in to meddle? Is it not I who have personally made these arrangements? Entering into this realm today does not stray outside My plan or what I have foreseen; it was all determined by Me long ago. Who among you can fathom this step of My plan? My people will assuredly listen to My voice, and each and every one of those who sincerely love Me shall assuredly return before My throne.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 1
I am an all-consuming fire and I do not tolerate offense. Because humans were all created by Me, whatever I say and do, they must obey, and they may not rebel. People do not have the right to meddle in My work, and much less are they qualified to analyze what is right or wrong in My work and in My words. I am the Lord of creation, and the created beings should achieve everything that I require with a heart of reverence for Me; they should not try to reason with Me, and they especially should not resist. With My authority I govern My people, and all those who are part of My creation should submit to My authority. Though today you are bold and presumptuous before Me, though you disobey the words with which I teach you and know no fear, I only meet your rebelliousness with tolerance; I will not lose My temper and impact My work because tiny, insignificant maggots have stirred up the dirt in the dung heap. I tolerate the ongoing existence of everything that I loathe and all the things that I abhor for the sake of My Father’s will, and I will do so until My utterances are complete, until My very last moment.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. When Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots, You Will Regret All the Evil You Have Done
Since you have already made resolutions to serve Me, I will not let you go. I am a jealous God, and I am a God who is jealous of humanity. Since you have already placed your words upon the altar, I will not tolerate your running off before My very eyes, nor will I tolerate your serving two masters. Did you think that you could have a second love after having placed your words upon My altar and before My eyes? How could I allow people to make a fool of Me in such a way? Did you think that you could casually make vows and oaths to Me with your tongue? How could you swear oaths by My throne, the throne of I who am Most High? Did you think that your oaths had already passed away? Let Me tell you: Even though your flesh might pass away, your oaths cannot. In the end, I will condemn you based upon your oaths. However, you believe that you can deal with Me by placing your words before Me, and that your hearts can serve unclean spirits and evil spirits. How could My wrath tolerate those dog-like, pig-like people who cheat Me? I must carry out My administrative decrees, and wrest back from the hands of unclean spirits all of those stuffy, “pious” ones who have faith in Me so that they might “wait on” Me in a disciplined fashion, be My oxen, be My horses, and be at the mercy of My slaughtering. I will have you pick up your previous determination and serve Me once again. I will not tolerate any creation that cheats Me. Did you think that you could just wantonly make requests and lie in front of Me? Did you think that I had not heard or seen your words and deeds? How could your words and deeds not have been in My view? How could I ever allow people to deceive Me like that?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Are All So Base in Character!
I am the unique God Himself and, moreover, I am the one and only person of God. Even more so, I, the entirety of the flesh, am the complete manifestation of God. Whosoever dares not revere Me, whosoever dares exhibit resistance in their eyes, and whosoever dares speak words of defiance against Me will surely die from My curses and wrath (there will be cursing because of My wrath). Furthermore, whosoever dares not be loyal or filial toward Me, and whosoever dares try to trick Me, will surely die from My hatred. My righteousness, majesty, and judgment will endure forever and ever. At first, I was loving and merciful, but this is not the disposition of My complete divinity; righteousness, majesty, and judgment merely comprise the disposition of Me, the complete God Himself. During the Age of Grace, I was loving and merciful. Because of the work I had to finish, I possessed lovingkindness and mercy; afterward, however, there was no more need for such things (and there has been none ever since). It is all righteousness, majesty, and judgment, and this is the complete disposition of My normal humanity coupled with My complete divinity.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 79
I will punish the wicked and reward the good, and I will bring into force My righteousness, and I will carry out My judgment. I will use My words to accomplish everything, making all people and all things experience My chastising hand, and I will make all people see My full glory, My full wisdom, and My full bounty. No person will dare to rise up in judgment, for in Me, all things are accomplished; and here, let every man see My full dignity, and taste My full victory, for in Me all things are manifested. From this, it is possible to see My great power and My authority. No one will dare offend Me, and no one will dare obstruct Me. In Me, all is made open. Who would dare hide anything? I am certain to show that person no mercy! Such wretches must receive My severe punishment, and such scum must be purged from My sight. I will rule them with an iron rod and I will use My authority to judge them, without the slightest mercy and without sparing their feelings at all, for I am God Himself, who is without emotion and majestic and cannot be offended. All should understand and see this, lest they come to be struck down and annihilated by Me “without cause or reason,” for My rod will strike down all who offend Me. I do not care whether they know My administrative decrees; that will be of no consequence to Me, as My person does not tolerate being offended by anyone. This is the reason why it is said that I am a lion; whomever I touch, I strike down. That is why it is said that it is now blasphemy to say that I am the God of compassion and lovingkindness. In essence, I am not a lamb, but a lion. No one dares offend Me; whosoever offends Me, I will punish with death, immediately and without mercy.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 120
My voice is judgment and wrath; I treat no one gently and show mercy to no one, for I am the righteous God Himself, and I am possessed of wrath; I am possessed of burning, of cleansing, and of destruction. In Me, nothing is hidden or emotional, but on the contrary, everything is open, righteous, and impartial. Because My firstborn sons are already with Me upon the throne, ruling over all nations and all peoples, those things and people that are unjust and unrighteous are now beginning to be judged. I will probe them one by one, missing nothing and revealing them completely. For My judgment has been fully revealed and opened up fully, and I have not kept back anything at all; I will throw out everything that does not accord with My will, and let it perish to all eternity in the bottomless pit. There I will allow it to burn forever. This is My righteousness, and this is My uprightness. No one can change this, and all must be under My command.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 103
I have long seen clearly the various deeds of evil spirits. And people used by evil spirits (those with wrong intentions, those who lust after flesh or wealth, those who exalt themselves, those who disrupt the church, etc.) have also each been seen through by Me. Do not assume that everything is finished once the evil spirits have been cast out. Let Me tell you! From now on, I shall dispose of these people one by one, never to use them! That is to say, any person corrupted by evil spirits shall not be used by Me, and will be kicked out! Do not think I do not have feelings! Know this! I am the holy God, and I will not reside in a filthy temple! I only use honest and wise people who are completely loyal to Me and can be considerate of My burden. This is because such people were predestined by Me, and absolutely no evil spirits are working on them at all. Let Me make one thing clear: From now on, all those without the work of the Holy Spirit have the work of evil spirits. Let Me reiterate: I do not want a single person whom evil spirits work on. They shall all be cast down into Hades along with their flesh!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 76
God’s intolerance of offense is His unique essence; God’s wrath is His unique disposition; God’s majesty is His unique essence. The principle behind God’s anger is the demonstration of His identity and status, which only He possesses. It goes without saying that this principle is also a symbol of the essence of the unique God Himself. God’s disposition is His own inherent essence, which is not changed at all by the passage of time, and nor is it altered by changes of geographical location. His inherent disposition is His intrinsic essence. Regardless of whom He carries out His work upon, His essence does not change, and neither does His righteous disposition. When one angers God, that which God sends forth is His inherent disposition; at this time the principle behind His anger does not change, nor do His unique identity and status. He does not grow angry because of a change in His essence or because different elements arise from His disposition, but because man’s opposition against Him offends His disposition. Man’s flagrant provocation of God is a severe challenge to God’s own identity and status. In God’s view, when man challenges Him, man is contesting Him and testing His anger. When man opposes God, when man contests God, when man continuously tests God’s anger—and it is at such times when sin runs rampant—God’s wrath will naturally reveal and present itself. Therefore, God’s expression of His wrath is a symbol that all evil forces will cease to exist, and it is a symbol that all hostile forces will be destroyed. This is the uniqueness of God’s righteous disposition, and of God’s wrath. When God’s dignity and holiness are challenged, when the forces of justice are obstructed and unseen by man, then God will send forth His wrath. Because of God’s essence, all those forces on earth which contest God, oppose Him and contend with Him, are evil, corrupt and unjust; they come from and belong to Satan. Because God is just and is of the light and flawlessly holy, thus all things evil, corrupt and belonging to Satan will vanish when God’s wrath is unleashed.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique II
God’s changing of His intentions toward the people of Nineveh involved no hesitation or anything that was ambiguous or vague. Rather, it was a transformation from pure anger to pure tolerance. This is a true revelation of God’s essence. God is never irresolute or hesitant in His actions; the principles and purposes behind His actions are all clear and transparent, pure and flawless, with absolutely no ruses or schemes intermingled within. In other words, God’s essence contains no darkness or evil. God became angry with the Ninevites because their wicked acts had come before His gaze; at that time His anger was derived from His essence. However, when God’s anger dissipated and He bestowed His tolerance upon the people of Nineveh once more, everything that He revealed was still His own essence. The entirety of this change was due to a change in man’s attitude toward God. During this entire period of time, God’s unoffendable disposition did not change, God’s tolerant essence did not change, and God’s loving and merciful essence did not change. When people commit wicked acts and offend God, He will bring His anger upon them. When people truly repent, God’s heart will change, and His anger will cease. When people continue to stubbornly oppose God, His rage will be unceasing, and His wrath will press in on them bit by bit until they are destroyed. This is the essence of God’s disposition. Regardless of whether God is expressing wrath or mercy and lovingkindness, it is man’s conduct, behavior, and the attitude man holds toward God deep within his heart that dictate that which is expressed through the revelation of God’s disposition. If God continuously subjects one person to His anger, this person’s heart doubtlessly opposes God. Because this person has never truly repented, bowed their head before God or possessed true belief in God, they have never obtained God’s mercy and tolerance. If someone often receives God’s care, His mercy, and His tolerance, then without a doubt this person has true belief in God in their heart, and their heart is not opposed to God. This person often truly repents before God; therefore, even if God’s discipline often descends upon this person, His wrath will not.
This brief account allows people to see God’s heart, to see the realness of His essence, to see that God’s anger and the changes in His heart are not without cause. Despite the stark contrast that God demonstrated when He was wrathful and when He changed His heart, which makes people believe there is a large disconnect or contrast between these two aspects of God’s essence—His anger and His tolerance—God’s attitude toward the repentance of the Ninevites once again allows people to see another side of God’s true disposition. God’s change of heart truly allows humanity to once again see the truth of God’s mercy and lovingkindness, and to see the true revelation of God’s essence. Humanity has but to acknowledge that God’s mercy and lovingkindness are not myths, nor are they fabrications. This is because God’s feeling at that moment was true, and God’s change of heart was true—God indeed bestowed His mercy and tolerance upon humanity once more.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique II
The following passage was recorded in the Book of Jonah 4:10–11: “Then said Jehovah, You have had pity on the gourd, for the which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” These are the actual words of Jehovah God, recorded from a conversation between God and Jonah. Though this exchange is brief, it brims with the Creator’s care for mankind and His reluctance to give mankind up. These words express the true attitude and feelings that God holds within His heart for His creation. Through these words, which are clear and precise such as are rarely heard by man, God states His true intentions for humanity. This exchange represents an attitude God held toward the people of Nineveh—but what kind of attitude is it? It is the attitude He held toward the people of Nineveh before and after their repentance, and the attitude with which He treats mankind. Within these words are His thoughts and His disposition.
Although the city of Nineveh was filled with people just as corrupt, evil and violent as those of Sodom, their repentance caused God to have a change of heart and decide not to destroy them. Because the way they treated God’s words and instructions demonstrated an attitude that starkly contrasted with that of the citizens of Sodom, and because of their honest submission to God and honest repentance for their sins, as well as their true and heartfelt behavior in all regards, God once more expressed His own heartfelt pity and bestowed it upon them. What God bestows upon humanity and His pity for humanity are impossible for anyone to duplicate, and it is impossible for any person to possess God’s mercy, His tolerance, or His sincere feelings toward humanity. Is there anyone whom you deem a great man or woman, or even a superhuman, who would, from a high point, speaking as a great man or woman, or upon the highest point, make this kind of statement to mankind or to creation? Who amongst mankind can know the state of human life like the palm of their hands? Who can bear the burden and responsibility for humanity’s existence? Who is qualified to proclaim the destruction of a city? And who is qualified to pardon a city? Who can say that they cherish their own creation? Only the Creator! Only the Creator has tenderness toward this mankind. Only the Creator shows this mankind compassion and affection. Only the Creator holds a true, unbreakable affection for this mankind. Likewise, only the Creator can bestow mercy on this mankind and cherish all of His creation. His heart leaps and aches at every one of man’s actions: He is angered, distressed and grieved over man’s evil and corruption; He is pleased, joyful, forgiving and jubilant for man’s repentance and belief; every single one of His thoughts and ideas exists for and revolves around mankind; what He is and has is expressed entirely for mankind’s sake; the entirety of His emotions are intertwined with mankind’s existence. For mankind’s sake, He travels and rushes about; He silently gives forth every bit of His life; He dedicates every minute and second of His life…. He has never known how to pity His own life, yet He has always cherished the mankind He Himself created…. He gives all that He has to this humanity…. He grants His mercy and tolerance unconditionally and without expectation of recompense. He does this only so that mankind can continue to survive before His eyes, receiving His provision of life. He does this only so that mankind may one day submit before Him and recognize that He is the One who nourishes man’s existence and supplies the life of all creation.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique II
“The holiness of God” means that God’s essence is flawless, that God’s love is selfless, all that God provides to man is selfless; and God’s holiness is unblemished and irreproachable. These aspects of God’s essence are not just words He uses to flaunt His status, but rather God uses His essence to treat each and every individual with quiet sincerity. In other words, the essence of God is not empty, nor is it theoretical or doctrinal, and it is certainly not a kind of knowledge. It is not a kind of education for man; instead it is the true revelation of God’s own actions and the revealed essence of what God has and is.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI
The flesh worn by the Spirit of God is God’s own flesh. The Spirit of God is supreme; He is almighty, holy, and righteous. Likewise, His flesh is also supreme, almighty, holy, and righteous. Such a flesh can only do that which is righteous and beneficial to mankind, that which is holy, glorious, and mighty; He is incapable of doing anything that violates the truth, that violates morality and justice, and much less is He capable of anything that would betray God’s Spirit. The Spirit of God is holy, and thus His flesh is incorruptible by Satan; His flesh is of a different essence than the flesh of man. For it is man, not God, who is corrupted by Satan; Satan could not possibly corrupt the flesh of God. Thus, despite the fact that man and Christ dwell within the same space, it is only man who is possessed, used, and entrapped by Satan. By contrast, Christ is eternally impervious to Satan’s corruption, because Satan will never be capable of ascending to the highest place, and will never be able to draw near to God. Today, you should all understand that it is only mankind, corrupted as it is by Satan, that betrays Me. Betrayal will never be an issue that involves Christ in the least.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)
God Himself possesses no elements of disobedience; His essence is good. He is the expression of all beauty and goodness, as well as all love. Even in the flesh, God does not do anything that disobeys God the Father. Even at the expense of sacrificing His life, He would be wholeheartedly willing to do so, and He would make no other choice. God possesses no elements of self-righteousness or self-importance, or those of conceit and arrogance; He possesses no elements of crookedness. Everything that disobeys God comes from Satan; Satan is the source of all ugliness and wickedness. The reason that man has qualities similar to those of Satan is because man has been corrupted and processed by Satan. Christ has not been corrupted by Satan, hence He possesses only the characteristics of God, and none of the characteristics of Satan.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father
You will never see God hold similar views on things to human beings, and moreover you will not see Him use mankind’s viewpoints, knowledge, science, philosophy or imagination to handle matters. Rather, everything God does and everything He reveals is connected to truth. That is, every word He has said and every action He has taken is bound to the truth. This truth is not the product of some baseless fantasy; this truth and these words are expressed by God by virtue of His essence and His life. Because these words and the essence of everything God has done are truth, we can say that God’s essence is holy. In other words, everything God says and does brings vitality and light to people, enables people to see positive things and the reality of those positive things, and points the way for humanity so that they may walk the right path. These things are all determined by God’s essence and by the essence of His holiness.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V
God created mankind; regardless of whether they have been corrupted or whether they follow Him, God treats human beings as His most cherished loved ones—or as human beings would say, the people dearest to Him—and not as His playthings. Although God says He is the Creator and that man is His creation, which may sound like there is a slight difference in rank, the reality is that everything God has done for mankind far exceeds a relationship of this nature. God loves mankind, cares for mankind, and shows concern for mankind, as well as constantly and unceasingly providing for mankind. He never feels in His heart that this is additional work or something that deserves a lot of credit. Nor does He feel that saving humanity, supplying them, and granting them everything, is making a huge contribution to mankind. He simply provides for mankind quietly and silently, in His own way and through His own essence and what He has and is. No matter how much provision and how much help mankind receives from Him, God never thinks about or tries to take credit. This is determined by the essence of God, and is also precisely a true expression of God’s disposition.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
“To Adam also and to his wife did Jehovah God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” In this scene, what kind of role do we see God assume when He is with Adam and Eve? … God created these two people and treated them as His companions. As their only family, God looked after their lives and took care of their food, clothing and shelter needs. Here, God appears as a parent of Adam and Eve. While God does this, man does not see how lofty God is; he does not see God’s supremacy, His mystery, and especially not His wrath or majesty. All he sees is God’s humbleness, His affection, His concern for man and His responsibility and care for him. The attitude and way in which God treated Adam and Eve is akin to how parents show concern for their children. It is also like the way parents love, look after, and care for their own sons and daughters—real, visible, and tangible. Instead of elevating Himself to a high and mighty position, God personally used skins to make clothing for man. It does not matter whether this fur coat was used to cover their modesty or to shield them from the cold. What matters is that this clothing for covering man’s body was personally made by God with His own hands. Rather than simply thinking the clothing into existence or using some other miraculous means, as people might imagine God would do, God legitimately did something that man would have thought God would not and should not do. This might seem like a trivial thing—some people might not even think it is worth mentioning—but it allows any follower of God who was beset with vague conceptions about Him to gain an insight into His genuineness and loveliness, and to see His faithfulness and humbleness. It makes insufferably arrogant people who think they are high and mighty bow their conceited heads in shame in the face of God’s genuineness and humbleness. Here, God’s genuineness and humbleness further enables people to see how lovable He is. By contrast, the “immense” God, “lovable” God, and “omnipotent” God people hold in their hearts has become trifling and ugly, and crumbles at the slightest touch.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
There is something in God’s essence and disposition that is all too easy to overlook, something that is only possessed by God and not by any person, including those others think of as great people, good people, or the God of their imagination. What is this thing? It is God’s selflessness. When speaking of selflessness, you might think you are also very selfless, because when it comes to your children, you never bargain or haggle with them, or you think you are also very selfless when it comes to your parents. No matter what you think, at least you have a concept of the word “selfless” and think of it as a positive word, and that being a selfless person is very noble. When you are selfless, you esteem yourself highly. But there is no one who can see God’s selflessness in all things, among people, events, and objects, and in His work. Why is this the case? Because man is too selfish! Why do I say that? Mankind lives in a material world. You may follow God, but you never see or appreciate how God provides for you, loves you, and shows concern for you. So what do you see? You see your blood relatives who love you or dote on you. You see the things that are beneficial to your flesh, you care about the people and things you love. This is man’s so-called selflessness. Such “selfless” people, however, are never concerned about the God that gives life to them. In contrast to that of God, man’s selflessness becomes selfish and despicable. The selflessness man believes in is empty and unrealistic, adulterated, incompatible with God, and unrelated to God. Man’s selflessness is for himself, while God’s selflessness is a true revelation of His essence. It is precisely due to God’s selflessness that man is constantly provided for by Him. You might not be too deeply affected by this topic I am talking about today and are merely nodding in approval, but when you try to appreciate God’s heart in your heart, you will unwittingly discover this: Among all the people, matters, and things you can sense in this world, only God’s selflessness is real and concrete, because only God’s love for you is unconditional and unblemished. Apart from God, anyone else’s so-called unselfishness is feigned, superficial, inauthentic; it has a purpose, certain intentions, carries a tradeoff, and cannot stand to be tested. You could even say that it is filthy and contemptible.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Many are the sleepless nights that God has endured for the sake of the work of mankind. From up high to the lowest depths, He has descended to the living hell in which man lives to pass His days with man, He has never complained of the shabbiness among man, and He has never reproached man for his disobedience, but endures the greatest humiliation as He personally carries out His work. How could God belong to hell? How could He spend His life in hell? But for the sake of all mankind, so that the whole of mankind can find rest sooner, He has endured humiliation and suffered injustice to come to earth, and personally entered into “hell” and “Hades,” into the tiger’s den, to save man. How is man qualified to oppose God? What reason does he have to complain about God? How can he have the gall to look upon God? God of heaven has come to this most filthy land of vice, and has never vented His grievances, or complained about man, but instead quietly accepts the ravages and oppression of man. Never has He hit back at the unreasonable demands of man, never has He made excessive demands of man, and never has He made unreasonable demands of man; He merely does all the work required by man without complaint: teaching, enlightening, reproaching, the refinement of words, reminding, exhorting, consoling, judging, and revealing. Which of His steps has not been for the life of man? Though He has removed the prospects and fate of man, which of the steps carried out by God has not been for the fate of man? Which of them has not been for the sake of man’s survival? Which of them has not been to free man from this suffering and from the oppression of dark forces that are as black as night? Which of them is not for the sake of man? Who can understand God’s heart, which is as the heart of a loving mother? Who can comprehend God’s eager heart?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (9)
God has humbled Himself to such a level that He does His work in these filthy and corrupt people, and perfects this group of people. God not only became flesh to live and eat among people, to shepherd people, and to provide what people need. More important is that He does His mighty work of salvation and conquest upon these unbearably corrupt people. He came to the heart of the great red dragon to save these most corrupt of people, so that all people may be changed and made new. The immense hardship that God endures is not only the hardship that the God incarnate endures, but most of all it is that God’s Spirit suffers extreme humiliation—He humbles and hides Himself so much that He becomes an ordinary person. God was incarnated and took the form of flesh so that people see that He has a normal human life and normal human needs. This is enough to prove that God has humbled Himself to a great extent. The Spirit of God is realized in the flesh. His Spirit is so high and great, yet He takes the form of a common human, of a negligible human, so as to do the work of His Spirit. The caliber, insight, sense, humanity, and lives of each of you show that you are really unworthy to accept God’s work of this kind. You are really unworthy to let God endure such hardship for your sake. God is so great. He is so supreme, and people are so lowly, yet He still works upon them. He not only was incarnated to provide for people, to speak to people, but He even lives together with people. God is so humble, so lovable.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected
Everything God does is practical, nothing He does is empty, and He experiences it all Himself. God pays the price of His own experience of suffering in exchange for a destination for humanity. Is this not practical work? Parents may pay an earnest price for the sake of their children, and this represents their sincerity. In doing this, God incarnate is, of course, being most sincere and faithful to mankind. The essence of God is faithful; He does what He says, and whatever He does is achieved. Everything He does for humans is sincere. He does not simply make utterances; when He says He will pay a price, He actually pays the price. When He says He will undertake humanity’s suffering and suffer in their stead, He actually comes to live amongst them, feeling and experiencing this suffering personally. After that, all things in the universe will acknowledge that everything God does is right and righteous, that all God does is realistic: This is a powerful piece of evidence. In addition, mankind will have a beautiful destination in the future, and all those who remain will praise God; they will eulogize that God’s deeds were indeed done out of His love for humanity. God comes among man humbly, as an ordinary person. He does not merely perform some work, speak some words, then leave; instead, He truly comes among man and experiences the pain of the world. Only when He is done experiencing this pain will He leave. This is how real and how practical God’s work is; all who remain will praise Him because of it, and they will see God’s faithfulness to man and His kindheartedness. God’s essence of beauty and goodness can be seen in the significance of His incarnation in the flesh. Whatever He does is sincere; whatever He says is earnest and faithful. With everything He intends to do, He actually does it, and when paying a price, He actually pays it; He does not simply make utterances. God is a righteous God; God is a faithful God.
—“The Second Aspect of the Significance of the Incarnation” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
When God came to the earth, He was not of the world, and He did not become flesh in order to enjoy the world. The place where working would reveal His disposition and be most meaningful is the place where He was born. Whether it is a holy or a filthy land, and no matter where He works, He is holy. Everything in the world was created by Him, though it has all been corrupted by Satan. However, all things still belong to Him; they are all in His hands. He comes to a filthy land and works there in order to reveal His holiness; He only does this for the sake of His work, which means He endures great humiliation to do such work in order to save the people of this filthy land. This is done so as to bear witness, for the sake of all of mankind. What such work shows people is God’s righteousness, and it is better able to display God’s supremacy. His greatness and uprightness are manifested in the salvation of a group of lowly people whom others scorn. Being born in a filthy land does not at all prove that He is lowly; it simply allows all of creation to see His greatness and His true love for mankind. The more He does so, the more it reveals His pure love, His flawless love for man. God is holy and righteous. Even though He was born in a filthy land, and even though He lives with those people who are full of filthiness, just as Jesus lived with sinners in the Age of Grace, is every bit of His work not done for the sake of all mankind’s survival? Is it all not so that mankind can gain great salvation? Two thousand years ago, He lived with sinners for a number of years. That was for the sake of redemption. Today, He is living with a group of filthy, lowly people. This is for the sake of salvation. Is all His work not for the sake of you humans? If not to save mankind, why would He have lived and suffered with sinners for so many years after being born in a manger? And if not to save mankind, why would He return to the flesh a second time, born in this land where demons congregate, and live with these people who have been deeply corrupted by Satan? Is God not faithful? What part of His work has not been for mankind? What part has not been for your destiny? God is holy—this is immutable! He is unpolluted by filth, though He has come to a filthy land; all of this can only mean that God’s love for mankind is extremely selfless and the suffering and humiliation He endures is extremely great! Do you not know how great the humiliation He suffers is, for all of you and for your destiny? Rather than saving great people or the sons of rich and powerful families, He makes a point of saving those who are lowly and looked down on. Is all of this not His holiness? Is all of this not His righteousness?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Significance of Saving the Descendants of Moab
When you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really believe in God; when you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really realize the true meaning of the words “God Himself, the Unique.” You will no longer fantasize, thinking there are other paths besides this one that you could choose to walk, and you will no longer be willing to betray everything that God has arranged for you. Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk through life on the righteous path of light; only through God can you know the meaning of life; only through God can you live out real humanity and both possess and know the truth. Only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer. This is determined by the essence of God. Only God Himself saves you so selflessly; only God is ultimately responsible for your future, for your destiny and for your life, and He arranges all things for you. This is something that nothing created or non-created can achieve. Because nothing created or non-created possesses an essence like the essence of God, no person or thing has the ability to save you or to lead you. This is the importance of God’s essence to man.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI
1. “Ravages” is used to expose the disobedience of mankind.
a. The original text reads “it is a symbol of being unable to be.”
b. The original text reads “as well as a symbol of being unable to be offended (and not tolerating being offended).”