5. How God has led and provided for mankind until the present day
Relevant Words of God:
The way of life is not something that anyone can possess, nor is it something anyone can attain easily. This is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the essence of life, and only God Himself has the way of life. And so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life. Ever since He created the world, God has done much work involving the vitality of life, has done much work that brings life to man, and has paid a great price so that man might gain life. This is because God Himself is eternal life, and God Himself is the way by which man is resurrected. God is never absent from the heart of man, and He lives among man at all times. He has been the driving force of man’s living, the root of man’s existence, and a rich deposit for man’s existence after birth. He causes man to be reborn, and enables him to tenaciously live out his every role. Thanks to His power and His inextinguishable life force, man has lived for generation after generation, throughout which the power of God’s life has been the mainstay of man’s existence, and for which God has paid a price that no ordinary man has ever paid. God’s life force can prevail over any power; moreover, it exceeds any power. His life is eternal, His power extraordinary, and His life force cannot be overwhelmed by any created being or enemy force. The life force of God exists and shines its brilliant radiance regardless of time or place. Heaven and earth may undergo great changes, but God’s life is forever the same. All things may pass away, but God’s life will still remain, for God is the source of the existence of all things and the root of their existence. Man’s life originates from God, the existence of heaven is because of God, and the existence of earth stems from the power of God’s life. No object possessed of vitality can transcend the sovereignty of God, and no thing with vigor can elude the domain of God’s authority. In this way, regardless of who they are, everyone must submit under the dominion of God, everyone must live under God’s command, and no one can escape from His hands.
Excerpted from “Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Ever since God created all things, they have been functioning and continuing to progress in an orderly way and in accordance with the laws that He prescribed. Under His gaze, under His rule, mankind has survived, and all the while all things have been developing in an orderly way. There is nothing that can change or destroy these laws. It is because of God’s rule that all beings can multiply, and it is because of His rule and management that all beings can survive. This is to say that under God’s rule all beings come into existence, thrive, disappear, and reincarnate in an orderly fashion. When spring arrives, drizzling rain brings the feeling of the fresh season and wets the earth. The ground begins to thaw, and grass pushes its way up through the soil and begins to sprout, while the trees gradually turn green. All these living things bring fresh vitality to the earth. This is what it looks like when all beings are coming into existence and thriving. All sorts of animals come out of their burrows to feel the warmth of spring and start a new year. All beings bask in the heat during the summer and enjoy the warmth brought by the season. They grow rapidly. Trees, grass, and all types of plants are growing with great speed, until they finally bloom and bear fruit. All beings are busy during the summer, including humans. In the fall, rains bring autumn’s coolness, and all types of living beings start to sense the arrival of the harvest season. All beings bear fruit, and humans begin to harvest these various kinds of fruits in order to have food in preparation for winter. In the winter, all beings gradually begin to settle down in quietness and rest as the cold weather sets in, and people also take a break during this season. From season to season, transitioning from spring to summer to fall to winter—these changes all occur according to the laws established by God. He leads all things and mankind using these laws and has devised for mankind a rich and colorful way of life, preparing an environment for survival that has varying temperatures and seasons. Hence, within this kind of orderly environment for survival, humans can survive and multiply in an orderly way. Humans cannot change these laws and no person or being can break them. Though countless changes have occurred—seas have become fields, while fields have become seas—these laws continue to exist. They exist because God exists, and because of His rule and His management. With this type of orderly, large-scale environment, people’s lives proceed within these laws and rules. Under these laws were raised generation after generation of people, and generation after generation of people have survived under them. People have enjoyed this orderly environment for survival as well as all of the many things created by God for generation after generation. Even though people feel that these types of laws are innate and contemptuously take them for granted, and even though they cannot feel that God is orchestrating these laws, that God is ruling over these laws, no matter what, God is always engaged in this unchanging work. His purpose in this unchanging work is the survival of mankind, and so that mankind may live on.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique IX” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God commands the rules that govern the operation of all things; He commands the rules that govern the survival of all things; He controls all things, and sets them to both reinforce and depend on each other, so that they do not perish or disappear. Only thus can mankind live on; only thus can they live under God’s guidance in such an environment. God is the master of these rules of operation, and no one can interfere with them, nor can they change them. Only God Himself knows these rules and only God Himself manages them. When the trees will sprout; when it will rain; how much water and how many nutrients the earth will give to the plants; in what season the leaves will fall; in what season the trees will bear fruit; how many nutrients the sunlight will give to the trees; what the trees will exhale after having been fed by the sunlight—all these things were preordained by God when He created all things, as rules that no one can break. The things that God created, whether living or, in the eyes of man, non-living, sit in His hand, where He controls them and reigns over them. No one can change or break these rules. This is to say, when God created all things, He predetermined that without the earth, the tree could not set down roots, sprout, and grow; that if the earth had no trees, then it would dry out; that the tree should become the home of the birds and a place where they may shelter from the wind. Can a tree live without sunlight? (No.) Nor could it live with only the earth. All of these things are for mankind, for mankind’s survival. From the tree, man receives fresh air, and man lives upon the earth, which is protected by the tree. Man cannot live without sunlight or various living beings. Though these relationships are complex, you must remember that God created the rules that govern all things so that they may strengthen each other, depend on each other, and exist together. In other words, every single thing He created has value and significance. If God created something without significance, God would have it disappear. This is one of the methods God uses to provide for all things.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VII” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“God provides for all things” is a phrase with very broad significance and scope. God does not merely provide people with their daily food and drink; He provides mankind with everything they need, including everything that people can see, but also things that cannot be seen. God upholds, manages, and reigns over this living environment, which is essential to mankind. That is to say, whatever environment mankind needs for each season, God has prepared it. God also manages the type of air and the temperature so that they may be suitable for human survival. The rules that govern these things do not occur by themselves or at random; they are the result of God’s sovereignty and His deeds. God Himself is the source of all of these rules and the source of life for all things. Regardless of whether or not you believe it, whether or not you can see it, or whether or not you can understand it, this remains an established and unassailable fact.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique VII” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What are the basic conditions underpinning these different human lifestyles? Is it not absolutely necessary that the environments in which they are able to survive be preserved on a basic level? That is, if those who subsist on hunting were to lose the mountain forests or the birds and the beasts, the source of their livelihood would be gone. The direction in which this ethnicity and this sort of people should go would become uncertain, and they might even disappear. And what of those who herd animals for their livelihood? What do they rely upon? What they truly depend on is not their livestock, but the environment in which their livestock are able to survive—the grasslands. If there were no grasslands, where would the herders graze their livestock? What would the cattle and sheep eat? Without the livestock, these nomadic peoples would have no livelihood. Without a source for their livelihood, where would these peoples go? It would become very difficult for them to continue to survive; they would not have a future. If there were no sources of water, and rivers and lakes completely dried up, would all those fish, which depend on water to live, still exist? They would not. Would these people who depend on the water and the fish for their livelihood continue to survive? When they no longer have food, when they no longer have the source of their livelihood, these peoples would not be able to continue to survive. That is, if any given ethnicity should ever run into a problem with their livelihood or their survival, then that ethnicity would no longer continue, and they could disappear from the face of the earth and become extinct. And if those who farm for a living lost their land, if they could not cultivate all kinds of plants and derive food from those plants, then what would the outcome be? Without food, would people not starve to death? If people are starving to death, would that race of human beings not be wiped out? So this is God’s purpose in maintaining different kinds of environment. God only has one purpose in maintaining different environments and ecosystems and all the different living beings within them—and that is to nurture all kinds of people, to nurture people who live in different geographical environments.
If all the things of creation lost their own laws, they would no longer exist; if the laws of all things were lost, then the living beings amongst all things would not be able to continue. Humanity would also lose their environments upon which they depend for survival. If humanity lost all of that, they would not be able to continue, as they have been doing, to thrive and multiply generation after generation. The reason human beings have survived until now is because God has supplied them with all the things of creation to nurture them, to nurture mankind in different ways. It is only because God nurtures mankind in different ways that mankind has survived until now, the present day. With a fixed environment for survival that is favorable and in which the natural laws are in good order, all the different kinds of people of the earth, all the different races, can survive within their own prescribed areas. No one can go beyond these areas or the boundaries between them because it is God who has delineated them.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique IX” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God created this world and brought man, a living being unto which He bestowed life, into it. Next, man came to have parents and kin, and was no longer alone. Ever since man first laid eyes on this material world, he was destined to exist within the ordination of God. The breath of life from God supports each and every living being throughout growth into adulthood. During this process, no one feels that man is growing up under the care of God; rather, they believe that man is doing so under the loving care of his parents, and that it is his own life instinct that directs his growing up. This is because man knows not who bestowed his life, or from whence it came, much less the way in which the instinct of life creates miracles. He knows only that food is the basis on which his life continues, that perseverance is the source of his existence, and that the beliefs in his mind are the capital upon which his survival depends. Of God’s grace and provision, man is utterly oblivious, and thus does he fritter away the life bestowed upon him by God…. Not a single one of this humanity that God cares for day and night takes it upon themselves to worship Him. God only continues to work on man, for whom He holds out no expectations, as He has planned. He does so in the hope that one day, man will awaken from his dream and suddenly realize the value and meaning of life, the price God paid for all that He has given him, and the eager solicitude with which God waits for man to turn back to Him. No one has ever looked into the secrets governing the origin and continuation of man’s life. Only God, who understands all of this, silently endures the hurt and the blows that man, who has received everything from God but is not thankful, gives Him. Man takes for granted all that life brings, and, likewise, it is “a matter of course” that God is betrayed by man, forgotten by man, and extorted by man. Could it be that God’s plan is truly of such importance? Could it be that man, this living being that came from the hand of God, is truly of such importance? The plan of God is assuredly of importance; however, this living being created by the hand of God exists for the sake of His plan. Therefore, God cannot lay waste to His plan out of hatred for this human race. It is for the sake of His plan and for the breath He exhaled that God endures all torments, not for the flesh of man but for the life of man. He does so in order to take back not the flesh of man but the life He breathed out. This is His plan.
All who come into this world must pass through life and death, and the majority of them have passed through the cycle of death and rebirth. Those who are living will soon die, and the dead will soon return. All of this is the course of life arranged by God for each living being. Yet this course and this cycle are precisely the truth that God wishes for man to behold: that the life bestowed upon man by God is limitless, unfettered by physicality, time, or space. Such is the mystery of life bestowed upon man by God, and proof that life came from Him. Though many may not believe that life came from God, man inevitably enjoys all that comes from God, whether they believe in or deny His existence. Should God one day have a sudden change of heart and wish to reclaim all that exists in the world and to take back the life He has given, then all shall be no more. God uses His life to supply all things, both living and lifeless, bringing all to good order by virtue of His might and authority. This is a truth that can be conceived or comprehended by none, and these incomprehensible truths are the very manifestation of, and testament to, the life force of God. Now let Me tell you a secret: The greatness of the life of God and the power of His life are unfathomable to any creature. It is thus now, as it was in the past, and it will be thus in the time to come. The second secret I shall impart is this: The source of life comes from God, for all created beings, however different they may be in form or structure. Whatever kind of living being you are, you cannot turn against the life trajectory set by God. In any case, all I wish is for man to understand this: Without the care, keeping, and provision of God, man cannot receive all that he was meant to receive, no matter how diligently he tries or how arduously he struggles. Without the supply of life from God, man loses the sense of value in living and the sense of the meaning of life. How could God allow man, who frivolously wastes the value of His life, to be so carefree? As I have said before: Do not forget that God is the source of your life. If man fails to cherish all that God has bestowed, not only will God take back what He gave in the beginning, but He will exact, as recompense from man, doubly the price of all that He has given.
Excerpted from “God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of God’s management began at the creation of the world, and man is at the core of this work. God’s creation of all things, it can be said, is for the sake of man. Because the work of His management spans thousands of years and is not done in the space of mere minutes or seconds, or in the blink of an eye, or one or two years, He had to create more things necessary for mankind’s survival, such as the sun, the moon, all sorts of living creatures, food, and a hospitable environment. This was the start of God’s management.
After that, God handed mankind over to Satan, and man lived under the domain of Satan, which gradually led to God’s work of the first age: the story of the Age of Law…. Over several thousand years during the Age of Law, mankind became accustomed to the guidance of the Age of Law and took it for granted. Gradually, man left the care of God. And so, while following the law, they also worshiped idols and performed evil deeds. They were without the protection of Jehovah, and merely lived their lives before the altar in the temple. In fact, the work of God had left them long ago, and even though the Israelites still stuck to the law, and spoke the name of Jehovah, and even proudly believed that only they were the people of Jehovah and were the chosen ones of Jehovah, the glory of God quietly abandoned them …
When God does His work, He always quietly leaves one place and softly carries out the new work He begins in another place. This seems incredible to people, who are benumbed. People have always treasured the old and regarded new, unfamiliar things with enmity or seen them as a nuisance. And so, whatever new work God does, from the start to the very end, man is the last, among all things, to know of it.
As has always been the case, after the work of Jehovah in the Age of Law, God began His new work of the second stage: assuming the flesh—being incarnated as man for ten, twenty years—and speaking and doing His work among believers. Yet without exception, no one knew it, and only a small number of people acknowledged that He was God become flesh after the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross and resurrected. … As soon as the second stage of God’s work was completed—after the crucifixion—God’s work of recovering man from sin (which is to say, recovering man from the hands of Satan) was accomplished. And so, from that moment onward, mankind had only to accept the Lord Jesus as the Savior, and his sins would be forgiven. Nominally speaking, the sins of man were no longer a barrier to his achieving salvation and coming before God, and were no longer the leverage by which Satan accused man. That is because God Himself had done real work, had become the likeness and foretaste of sinful flesh, and God Himself was the sin offering. In this way, man descended from the cross, and was redeemed and saved through the flesh of God—the likeness of this sinful flesh. And so, after having been taken captive by Satan, man came one step closer to accepting His salvation before God. Of course, this stage of work was deeper and more developed than God’s management during the Age of Law.
Such is the management of God: to hand mankind over to Satan—a mankind that does not know what God is, what the Creator is, how to worship God, or why it is necessary to submit to God—and allow Satan to corrupt him. Step by step, God then recovers man from the hands of Satan, until man fully worships God and rejects Satan. This is God’s management. This may sound like a mythical tale, and it may seem perplexing. People feel like this is a mythical story because they have no inkling of how much has happened to man over the past several thousand years, much less do they know how many stories have occurred in the cosmos and the firmament. And furthermore, that is because they cannot appreciate the more astonishing, more fear-inducing world that exists beyond the material world, but which their mortal eyes prevent them from seeing. It feels incomprehensible to man because man has no understanding of the significance of God’s salvation of mankind or the significance of the work of His management, and does not comprehend how God ultimately wishes mankind to be. Is it to be utterly uncorrupted by Satan, like Adam and Eve were? No! The purpose of God’s management is to gain a group of people who worship God and submit to Him. Although these people have been corrupted by Satan, they no longer see Satan as their father; they recognize the repulsive face of Satan and reject it, and they come before God to accept God’s judgment and chastisement. They come to know what is ugly and how it contrasts with that which is holy, and to recognize the greatness of God and the evil of Satan. A mankind such as this will no longer work for Satan, or worship Satan, or enshrine Satan. This is because they are a group of people who have truly been gained by God. This is the significance of God’s work of managing mankind. During the work of God’s management of this time, mankind is the object both of Satan’s corruption and God’s salvation, and man is the product that God and Satan are fighting over. As God performs His work, He is gradually recovering man from the hands of Satan, and so man comes ever closer to God …
And then came the Age of Kingdom, which is a more practical stage of work, and yet which is also the hardest for man to accept. That is because the closer that man comes to God, the nearer God’s rod approaches man, and the more clearly God’s face is revealed to man. Following the redemption of mankind, man officially returns to the family of God. Man thought that now was the time for enjoyment, yet he is subjected to a full-frontal assault by God, the likes of which no one could have ever foreseen: As it turns out, this is a baptism that the people of God have to “enjoy.” Under such treatment, people have no choice but to stop and think to themselves, “I am the lamb lost for many years that God spent so much to buy back, so why does God treat me like this? Is it God’s way of laughing at me, and revealing me? …” After years have passed, man has become weather-beaten, having experienced the hardship of refinement and chastisement. Although man has lost the “glory” and “romance” of times past, he has, without knowing it, come to understand the principles of human conduct, and has come to appreciate God’s years of devotion to saving mankind. Man slowly begins to loathe his own barbarousness. He begins to hate how feral he is, all of his misunderstandings toward God, and the unreasonable demands he has made of Him. The clock cannot be turned back. Past events become regretful memories of man, and the words and love of God become the driving force in man’s new life. Man’s wounds heal day by day, his strength returns, and he stands up and looks upon the face of the Almighty … only to discover that He has always been at my side, and that His smile and His beautiful countenance are still so stirring. His heart still holds concern for the mankind He created, and His hands are still as warm and powerful as they were in the beginning. It is as if man returned to the Garden of Eden, yet this time man no longer listens to the enticements of the serpent and no longer turns away from the face of Jehovah. Man kneels before God, looks up at God’s smiling face, and offers his most precious sacrifice—Oh! My Lord, my God!
Excerpted from “Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Since the existence of God’s management, He has always been fully dedicated to carrying out His work. Despite veiling His person from man, He has always been by man’s side, doing work on man, expressing His disposition, guiding all of humanity with His essence, and doing His work on every single person through His might, His wisdom, and His authority, thus bringing into being the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and today’s Age of Kingdom. Though God conceals His person from man, His disposition, His being and possessions, and His will toward mankind are unreservedly revealed to man for man to see and experience. In other words, though human beings cannot see or touch God, the disposition and essence of God encountered by humanity are absolutely expressions of God Himself. Is that not the truth? Regardless of the way or angle of approach God chooses for His work, He always treats people through His true identity, does the work incumbent upon Him, and says the words He is bound to say. No matter what position God speaks from—He could be standing in the third heaven, or standing in the flesh, or even as an ordinary person—He always speaks to man with all His heart and all His mind, without any deception or concealment. When He carries out His work, God expresses His word and His disposition, and expresses what He has and is, without any reservation whatsoever. He guides mankind with His life and His being and possessions.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Several thousand years have passed, and mankind still enjoys the light and air bestowed by God, still breathes the breath exhaled by God Himself, still enjoys the flowers, birds, fish and insects created by God, and enjoys all the things provided by God; day and night still continually replace each other; the four seasons alternate as usual; the geese flying in the sky depart in the winter, and still return in the next spring; the fish in the water never leave the rivers and lakes—their home; the cicadas on the earth sing their hearts out during the summer days; the crickets in the grass gently hum in time to the wind during autumn; the geese gather into flocks, while the eagles remain solitary; the prides of lions sustain themselves by hunting; the elk do not stray from the grass and flowers…. Every kind of living creature amongst all things departs and returns, and then departs again, a million changes occurring in the twinkling of an eye—but what does not change are their instincts and the laws of survival. They live under the provision and nourishment of God, and no one can change their instincts, and neither can anyone impair their rules of survival. Although mankind, who lives among all things, has been corrupted and deceived by Satan, man still cannot forgo the water made by God, and the air made by God, and all things made by God, and man still lives and proliferates in this space created by God. The instincts of mankind have not changed. Man still relies on his eyes to see, on his ears to hear, on his brain to think, on his heart to understand, on his legs and feet to walk, on his hands to work, and so on; all the instincts that God bestowed upon man in order that he could accept the provision of God remain unaltered, the faculties through which man cooperates with God have not changed, mankind’s faculty for performing the duty of a created being has not changed, mankind’s spiritual needs have not changed, mankind’s desire to find his origins has not changed, mankind’s yearning to be saved by the Creator has not changed. Such are the current circumstances of mankind, who lives under the authority of God, and who has endured the bloody destruction wrought by Satan. Though mankind has been subjected to the oppression of Satan, and is no longer Adam and Eve from the beginning of creation, but instead is full of things that are antagonistic to God, such as knowledge, imagination, notions, and so on, and full of the corrupt satanic disposition, in the eyes of God, mankind is still the same mankind that He created. Mankind is still ruled and orchestrated by God, and still lives within the course set out by God, and so in the eyes of God, mankind, who has been corrupted by Satan, is merely covered in grime, with a rumbling tummy, with reactions that are a little slow, a memory that is not as good as it used to be, and is slightly older—but all the functions and instincts of man are completely undamaged. This is the mankind that God intends to save. This mankind has but to hear the call of the Creator, and hear the voice of the Creator, and he will stand up and rush to locate the source of this voice. This mankind has but to see the figure of the Creator and he will become heedless of all else, and forsake everything, in order to devote himself to God, and will even lay down his life for Him. When the heart of mankind understands the heartfelt words of the Creator, mankind will reject Satan and come to the side of the Creator; when mankind has completely washed the dirt from his body, and has once more received the provision and nourishment of the Creator, then the memory of mankind will be restored, and at this time mankind will have truly returned to the dominion of the Creator.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique I” in The Word Appears in the Flesh