God Himself, the Unique II
God’s Righteous Disposition (Part One)
Now that you have heard the previous fellowship about God’s authority, I am confident that you are equipped with a good many words on the matter. How much you can accept, grasp and understand all depends on how much effort you apply to it. It is My hope that you can approach this matter earnestly; by no means should you engage with it half-heartedly! Now, is knowing God’s authority equal to knowing God’s entirety? One can say that knowing God’s authority is the beginning of knowing God Himself, the unique, and one could also say that knowing God’s authority means that one has already stepped through the gate of knowing the essence of God Himself, the unique. This understanding is one part of knowing God. So, what is the other part? This is the subject that I would like to fellowship about today—God’s righteous disposition.
I have selected two sections from the Bible with which to fellowship about today’s topic: The first concerns God’s destruction of Sodom, which can be found in Genesis 19:1–11 and Genesis 19:24–25; the second concerns God’s deliverance of Nineveh, which can be found in Jonah 1:1–2, in addition to the third and fourth chapters of the book of Jonah. I suspect that you are all waiting to hear what I have to say about these two sections. What I say naturally cannot stray beyond the scope of knowing God Himself and knowing His essence, but what will be the focus of today’s fellowship? Do any of you know? Which parts of My fellowship on God’s authority caught your attention? Why did I say that only the One who possesses such authority and power is God Himself? What did I wish to elucidate by saying that? What did I wish for you to learn from it? Are God’s authority and power one aspect of how His essence is expressed? Are they a part of His essence, a part that proves His identity and status? Judging from these questions, can you tell what I am going to say? What do I want you to understand? Think this over carefully.
For Stubbornly Opposing God, Man Is Destroyed by God’s Wrath
First, let us look at several passages of scripture which describe God’s destruction of Sodom.
Gen 19:1–11 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and you shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, No; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed on them greatly; and they turned in to him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called to Lot, and said to him, Where are the men which came in to you this night? bring them out to us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door to them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brothers, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out to you, and do you to them as is good in your eyes: only to these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with you, than with them. And they pressed sore on the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
Gen 19:24–25 Then Jehovah rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground.
From these passages, it is not difficult to see that Sodom’s wickedness and corruption had already reached a degree detestable to both man and God, and that in the eyes of God the city therefore deserved to be destroyed. But what happened inside the city before it was destroyed? What inspiration can people draw from these events? What does God’s attitude toward these events show people about His disposition? In order to understand the whole story, let us carefully read what was recorded in the Scripture …
Sodom’s Corruption: Infuriating to Man, Enraging to God
On that night, Lot received two messengers from God and prepared a feast for them. After dining, before they had lain down, people from all over the city surrounded Lot’s residence and called out to him. The Scripture records them as saying, “Where are the men which came in to you this night? bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Who said these words? To whom were they spoken? These were the words of the people of Sodom, yelled outside Lot’s residence and meant for Lot to hear. How does it feel to hear these words? Are you furious? Do these words sicken you? Are you simmering with rage? Do these words not reek of Satan? Through them, can you sense the evil and darkness in this city? Can you sense the brutality and barbarity of these people’s behavior through their words? Can you sense the depth of their corruption through their behavior? Through the content of their speech, it is not difficult to see that their wicked nature and savage disposition had reached a level beyond their own control. Save for Lot, every last person in this city was no different from Satan; the mere sight of another person made these people want to harm and devour them…. These things not only give one a sense of the city’s ghastly and terrifying nature, as well as the aura of death around it, but they also give one a sense of its wickedness and bloodiness.
As he found himself face-to-face with a gang of inhuman thugs, people who were filled with the wild desire to devour human souls, how did Lot respond? According to the Scripture: “I pray you, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out to you, and do you to them as is good in your eyes: only to these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” What Lot meant by these words was this: He was willing to give up his two daughters in order to protect the messengers. By any reasonable calculation, these people should have agreed to Lot’s conditions and left the two messengers alone; after all, the messengers were perfect strangers to them, people who had absolutely nothing to do with them and had never harmed their interests. However, motivated by their wicked nature, they did not let the matter rest, but rather intensified their efforts. Here, another one of their exchanges can undoubtedly give people further insight into these people’s true, vicious nature, while at the same time it also enables people to comprehend and understand the reason why God wished to destroy this city.
So what did they say next? As the Bible reads: “Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with you, than with them. And they pressed sore on the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.” Why did they want to break down Lot’s door? The reason is that they were anxious to inflict harm on those two messengers. What brought these messengers to Sodom? Their purpose in coming there was to save Lot and his family, but the people of the city mistakenly thought that they had come to assume official posts. Without asking the messengers’ purpose, the people of the city based their desire to savagely harm these two messengers purely on conjecture; they wished to harm two people who had nothing whatsoever to do with them. It is clear that the people of this city had utterly lost their humanity and reason. The degree of their insanity and wildness was already no different from Satan’s vicious nature by which it harms and devours men.
When they demanded that Lot hand over these people, what did Lot do? From the text we know that Lot did not hand them over. Did Lot know these two messengers of God? Of course not! Yet why was he able to save these two people? Did he know what they had come to do? Although he was unaware of their reason for coming, he did know that they were God’s servants, and so he took them into his house. That he could call these servants of God by the title “lord” shows that Lot was a habitual follower of God, unlike the other people of Sodom. Therefore, when God’s messengers came to him, he risked his own life to take these two servants into his house; furthermore, he also offered up his two daughters in exchange in order to protect these two servants. This was Lot’s righteous deed; it was a tangible expression of Lot’s nature and essence, and it was also the reason God sent His servants to save Lot. When faced with peril, Lot protected these two servants without regard for anything else; he even attempted to trade his two daughters in exchange for the servants’ safety. Other than Lot, was there anyone else inside the city who would have done something like this? As the facts prove—no, there was not! Therefore, it goes without saying that everyone inside Sodom, save for Lot, was a target for destruction, and rightly so—they deserved it.
Sodom Is Utterly Annihilated for Offending God’s Wrath
When the people of Sodom saw these two servants, they did not ask their reason for coming, nor did anyone ask whether they had come to spread God’s will. On the contrary, they formed a mob and, without waiting for an explanation, came like wild dogs or vicious wolves to seize these two servants. Did God watch these things as they happened? What was God thinking in His heart about this kind of human behavior, this kind of event? God made up His mind to destroy this city; He would not hesitate or wait, nor would He show any more patience. His day had come, and so He set about the work He wished to do. Thus, Genesis 19:24–25 says, “Then Jehovah rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground.” These two verses tell of the method by which God destroyed this city as well as the things God destroyed. First, the Bible recounts that God burned the city with fire, and that the extent of this fire was enough to destroy all the people and all that which grew on the ground. That is to say, the fire, which fell from heaven, not only destroyed the city, it also destroyed all the people and living things inside it, until not a single trace remained. After the city was destroyed, the land was left bereft of living things; there was no more life, nor any signs of life at all. The city had become a wasteland, an empty place filled with deathly silence. There would be no more evil deeds committed against God in this place, no more slaughter or blood spilled.
Why did God want to burn this city so thoroughly? What can you see here? Could God really bear to watch mankind and nature, His own creations, be destroyed like this? If you can discern Jehovah God’s anger from the fire that was cast down from heaven, then it is not difficult to see how great His rage was, judging by the targets of His destruction and the degree to which this city was annihilated. When God despises a city, He will deliver His punishment upon it. When God is disgusted with a city, He will issue repeated warnings to inform people of His anger. However, when God decides to put an end to and destroy a city—that is, when His wrath and majesty have been offended—He will deliver no further punishments or warnings. Instead, He will directly destroy it. He will make it utterly disappear. This is God’s righteous disposition.
After Sodom’s Repeated Hostility and Resistance Toward Him, God Utterly Eradicates It
Now that we have a general understanding of God’s righteous disposition, we may return our attention to the city of Sodom—a place that God saw as a city of sin. By understanding the essence of this city, we can understand why God wanted to destroy it and why He destroyed it so completely. From this, we can come to know God’s righteous disposition.
From a human perspective, Sodom was a city that could fully satisfy man’s desire and man’s evil. Alluring and bewitching, with music and dancing night after night, its prosperity drove men to fascination and madness. Its evil corroded people’s hearts and bewitched them into depravity. This was a city where unclean and evil spirits ran amok; it brimmed with sin and murder and the air was thick with a bloody, putrid stench. It was a city that made people’s blood run cold, a city from which one would shrink away in horror. No one in this city—neither man nor woman, young nor old—sought the true way; no one yearned for the light or longed to walk away from sin. They lived under Satan’s control, beneath Satan’s corruption and deceit. They had lost their humanity, they had lost their senses, and they had lost man’s original goal of existence. They committed countless wicked deeds of resistance against God; they refused His guidance and opposed His will. It was their wicked deeds that carried these people, the city and every living thing inside it, step by step, down the path of destruction.
Although these two passages do not record all of the details regarding the extent of the corruption of the people of Sodom, instead recording their conduct toward God’s two servants following the latter’s arrival in the city, there is a simple fact that reveals the extent to which the people of Sodom were corrupt, evil and resisted God. With this, the true face and essence of the city’s people are also exposed. These people not only refused to accept God’s warnings, but they also did not fear His punishment. On the contrary, they scorned God’s anger. They blindly resisted God. No matter what He did or how He did it, their vicious nature only intensified, and they repeatedly opposed God. The people of Sodom were hostile toward God’s existence, His coming, His punishment, and even more so, His warnings. They were exceedingly arrogant. They devoured and harmed all people that could be devoured and harmed, and they treated God’s servants no differently. In regard to all of the wicked deeds committed by the people of Sodom, harming God’s servants was only the tip of the iceberg, and their wicked nature that was thus revealed actually amounted to no more than a drop in a vast sea. Therefore, God chose to destroy them with fire. God did not use a flood, nor did He use a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami or any other method to destroy the city. What did God’s use of fire to destroy this city signify? It meant the city’s total destruction; it meant that the city vanished entirely from the earth and from existence. Here, “destruction” not only refers to the vanishing of the city’s form and structure or outer appearance; it also means that the souls of the people inside the city ceased to exist, having been utterly eradicated. Simply put, all people, events and things associated with the city were destroyed. There would be no next life or reincarnation for the people of that city; God had eradicated them from the humanity of His creation, for all eternity. The use of fire signified an end to sin in this place, and that sin had been curbed there; this sin would cease to exist and spread. It meant that Satan’s evil had lost its nurturing soil as well as the graveyard that granted it a place to stay and to live. In the war between God and Satan, God’s use of fire is the brand of His victory with which Satan is marked. Sodom’s destruction is a great misstep in Satan’s ambition to oppose God by corrupting and devouring men, and it is likewise a humiliating sign of a time in humanity’s development when man rejected God’s guidance and abandoned himself to vice. Furthermore, it is a record of a true revelation of God’s righteous disposition.
When the fire sent by God from heaven had reduced Sodom to nothing more than ashes, it meant that the city named “Sodom” thereafter ceased to exist, as did everything within the city. It was destroyed by God’s anger, vanishing within God’s wrath and majesty. Because of God’s righteous disposition, Sodom received its just punishment and its rightful end. The end of Sodom’s existence was due to its evil, and it was also due to God’s desire to never again look upon this city or any of the people who had lived in it or any life that had grown within the city. God’s “desire to never again look upon the city” is His wrath, as well as His majesty. God burned the city because its wickedness and sin caused Him to feel anger, disgust and loathing toward it and to wish never to see it or any of the people or living things inside it ever again. Once the city had finished burning, leaving only ashes behind, it had truly ceased to exist in God’s eyes; even His memory of it was gone, erased. This means that the fire sent from heaven not only destroyed the entire city of Sodom, nor did it only destroy the people inside the city who were so filled with sin, nor did it only destroy all things inside the city that had been tainted by sin; beyond just these things, the fire also destroyed the memory of humanity’s evil and resistance against God. This was God’s purpose in burning the city down.
This humanity had become corrupt in the extreme. These people did not know who God was or where they themselves had come from. If you mentioned God to them, they would attack, slander, and blaspheme. Even when God’s servants had come to spread His warning, these corrupt people not only showed no signs of repentance and did not abandon their wicked conduct, but on the contrary, they brazenly harmed God’s servants. What they expressed and revealed was their nature and essence of extreme hostility toward God. We can see that these corrupt people’s resistance against God was more than a revelation of their corrupt disposition, just as it was more than an instance of slandering or mocking which simply stemmed from a lack of understanding of the truth. Neither stupidity nor ignorance caused their wicked conduct; they acted in this way not because they had been deceived, and it was certainly not because they had been misled. Their conduct had reached the level of flagrantly brazen antagonism, opposition and clamoring against God. Without a doubt, this kind of human behavior would enrage God, and it would enrage His disposition—a disposition that must not be offended. Therefore, God directly and openly unleashed His wrath and His majesty; this was a true revelation of His righteous disposition. Faced with a city overflowing with sin, God desired to destroy it in the swiftest manner possible, to eradicate the people within it and the entirety of their sins in the most complete way, to make this city’s people cease to exist and to stop the sin within this place from multiplying. The swiftest and most complete way of doing so was to burn it down with fire. God’s attitude toward the people of Sodom was not one of abandonment or disregard. Rather, He used His wrath, majesty and authority to punish, strike down and utterly destroy these people. His attitude toward them was one not only of physical destruction but also of destruction of the soul, an eternal eradication. This is the true implication of what God means by the words, “cease to exist.”
Although God’s Wrath Is Hidden and Unknown to Man, It Tolerates No Offense
God’s treatment of the whole of humanity, foolish and ignorant as humanity is, is primarily based on mercy and tolerance. His wrath, on the other hand, is kept concealed for the vast majority of time and in the vast majority of events, and it is unknown to man. As a result, it is difficult for man to see God express His wrath, and it is also difficult to understand His wrath. As such, man makes light of God’s wrath. When man faces God’s final work and step of tolerance and forgiveness for man—that is, when God’s final instance of mercy and His final warning comes upon mankind—if people still use the same methods to oppose God and do not make any effort to repent, to mend their ways and accept His mercy, then God will no longer bestow His tolerance and patience upon them. On the contrary, God will retract His mercy at this time. Following this, He will only send forth His wrath. He can express His wrath in different ways, just as He can use different methods to punish and destroy people.
God’s use of fire to destroy the city of Sodom is His swiftest method of utterly annihilating a humanity or any other thing. Burning the people of Sodom destroyed more than their physical bodies; it destroyed the entirety of their spirits, their souls and their bodies, ensuring that the people inside the city would cease to exist in both the material world and the world that is invisible to man. This is one way in which God reveals and expresses His wrath. This manner of revelation and expression is one aspect of the essence of God’s wrath, just as it is naturally also a revelation of the essence of God’s righteous disposition. When God sends forth His wrath, He ceases to reveal any mercy or lovingkindness, nor does He display any more of His tolerance or patience; there is no person, thing or reason that can persuade Him to continue to be patient, to give His mercy again, to bestow His tolerance once more. In place of these things, without a moment’s hesitation, God sends forth His wrath and majesty, doing what He desires. He will do these things in a swift and clean manner in accordance with His own wishes. This is the way in which God sends forth His wrath and majesty, which man must not offend, and it is also an expression of one aspect of His righteous disposition. When people witness God showing concern and love toward man, they are unable to detect His wrath, see His majesty or feel His intolerance toward offense. These things have always led people to believe that God’s righteous disposition is one solely of mercy, tolerance and love. However, when one sees God destroy a city or detest a humanity, His rage in the destruction of man and His majesty allow people to glimpse the other side of His righteous disposition. This is God’s intolerance to offense. God’s disposition that tolerates no offense surpasses the imagination of any created being, and among the non-created beings, none is capable of interfering with it or affecting it; even less can it be impersonated or imitated. Thus, this aspect of God’s disposition is the one that humanity should know the most. Only God Himself has this kind of disposition, and only God Himself is possessed of this kind of disposition. God is possessed of this kind of righteous disposition because He detests wickedness, darkness, rebelliousness and Satan’s evil acts—corrupting and devouring mankind—because He detests all acts of sin in opposition to Him and because of His holy and undefiled essence. It is because of this that He will not suffer any of the created or non-created beings to openly oppose or contest Him. Even an individual to whom He had once shown mercy or whom He had chosen, need only provoke His disposition and transgress His principles of patience and tolerance, and God will unleash and reveal His righteous disposition that tolerates no offense without the least bit of mercy or hesitation.
God’s Wrath Is a Safeguard for All the Forces of Justice and All Positive Things
By understanding these examples of God’s speech, thoughts and actions, are you able to understand God’s righteous disposition, a disposition that will not tolerate being offended by man? In short, regardless of how much man can understand of it, this is an aspect of the disposition of God Himself, and it is unique to Him. 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.
Although the outpouring of God’s wrath is one aspect of the expression of His righteous disposition, God’s anger is by no means indiscriminate regarding its target, and nor is it without principle. On the contrary, God is not at all quick to anger, and nor does He reveal His wrath and majesty lightly. Moreover, God’s wrath is quite controlled and measured; it is not at all comparable to how man is wont to flare into a rage or vent his anger. Many conversations between man and God are recorded in the Bible. The words of some of the individual people involved in the conversations were shallow, ignorant and infantile, but God did not strike them down, and nor did He condemn them. In particular, during Job’s trial, how did Jehovah God treat Job’s three friends and the others after He heard the words that they spoke to Job? Did He condemn them? Did He rage at them? He did nothing of the sort! Instead He told Job to make entreaties on their behalf and to pray for them, and God Himself did not take their faults to heart. These instances all represent the primary attitude with which God treats humanity, corrupt and ignorant as it is. Therefore, the unleashing of God’s wrath is by no means an expression of His mood, nor is it a way for Him to give vent to His feelings. Contrary to man’s misunderstanding, God’s wrath is not a complete outburst of rage. God does not unleash His wrath because He is unable to control His own mood or because His anger has reached its boiling point and must be vented. On the contrary, His wrath is a display and a genuine expression of His righteous disposition, and it is a symbolic revelation of His holy essence. God is wrath, and He does not tolerate being offended—this is not to say that God’s anger does not distinguish among causes or is unprincipled; it is corrupt humanity that has an exclusive claim on unprincipled, random outbursts of rage, rage of a kind that does not distinguish between causes. Once a man has status, he will often find it difficult to control his mood, and so he will enjoy seizing upon opportunities to express his dissatisfaction and vent his emotions; he will often flare up in rage for no apparent reason, so as to reveal his ability and let others know that his status and identity are different from those of ordinary people. Of course, corrupt people without any status also often lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their private interests. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature. Man will flare up in anger and vent his emotions in order to defend and uphold the existence of sin, and these actions are the ways in which man expresses his dissatisfaction; they brim with impurities, with schemes and intrigues, with man’s corruption and evil, and more than anything else, they brim with man’s wild ambitions and desires. When justice clashes with wickedness, man’s anger will not flare up in the defense of the existence of justice or to uphold it; on the contrary, when the forces of justice are threatened, persecuted and attacked, man’s attitude is one of overlooking, evading or flinching away. However, when facing the forces of evil, man’s attitude is one of accommodating, of bowing and scraping. Therefore, man’s venting is an escape for evil forces, an expression of the rampant and unstoppable evil conduct of the fleshly man. When God sends forth His wrath, however, all evil forces will be stopped, all sins that harm man will be curbed, all hostile forces that obstruct God’s work will be made apparent, separated and cursed, while all of Satan’s accomplices who oppose God will be punished and rooted out. In their place, God’s work will proceed free of any obstacles, God’s management plan will continue to develop step by step according to schedule, and God’s chosen people will be free of Satan’s disturbance and deceit, while those who follow God will enjoy God’s leadership and provision among tranquil and peaceful surroundings. God’s wrath is a safeguard preventing all evil forces from multiplying and running rampant, and it is also a safeguard that protects the existence and propagation of all things that are just and positive, and eternally guards them from suppression and subversion.
Can you see the essence of God’s wrath in His destruction of Sodom? Is there anything else mingled within His rage? Is God’s rage pure? To use the words of man, is God’s wrath unadulterated? Is there any deception behind His wrath? Is there any conspiracy? Are there any unspeakable secrets? I can tell you sternly and solemnly: There is no part of God’s wrath that can lead one to doubt. His anger is a pure, unadulterated anger that harbors no other intentions or goals. The reasons behind His anger are pure, blameless and above criticism. It is a natural revelation and display of His holy essence; it is something that nothing in all of creation possesses. This is a part of God’s unique righteous disposition, and it is also a striking difference between the respective essences of the Creator and His creation.
Regardless of whether one becomes angry in the sight of others or behind their backs, everyone has a different intention and purpose to their anger. Perhaps they are building up their prestige, or maybe they are defending their own interests, maintaining their image or keeping face. Some exercise restraint in their anger, while others are more rash and allow their rage to flare up whenever they wish without the least bit of restraint. In short, man’s anger derives from his corrupt disposition. No matter what its purpose, it is of the flesh and of nature; it has nothing to do with justice or injustice because nothing in man’s nature and essence corresponds to the truth. Therefore, corrupt humanity’s temper and God’s wrath should not be mentioned in the same breath. Without exception, the behavior of a man corrupted by Satan begins with the desire to safeguard corruption, and indeed it is based on corruption; this is why man’s anger cannot be mentioned in the same breath as God’s wrath, no matter how proper a man’s anger may seem in theory. When God sends forth His rage, evil forces are checked and evil things are destroyed, while just and positive things come to enjoy God’s care and protection and are allowed to continue. God sends forth His wrath because unjust, negative and evil things obstruct, disturb or destroy the normal activity and development of just and positive things. The goal of God’s anger is not to safeguard His own status and identity, but to safeguard the existence of just, positive, beautiful and good things, to safeguard the laws and order of humanity’s normal survival. This is the root cause of God’s wrath. God’s rage is a very proper, natural and true revelation of His disposition. There are no ulterior motives in His rage, and nor is there deceit or plotting, let alone the desires, craftiness, malice, violence, evil or any of corrupt humanity’s other shared traits. Before God sends forth His rage, He has already perceived the essence of every matter quite clearly and completely, and He has already formulated accurate, clear definitions and conclusions. Thus, God’s objective in everything He does is crystal-clear, as is His attitude. He is not muddle-headed, blind, impulsive, or careless, and He is certainly not unprincipled. This is the practical aspect of God’s wrath, and it is because of this practical aspect of God’s wrath that humanity has attained its normal existence. Without God’s wrath, humanity would descend into abnormal living conditions and all things just, beautiful and good would be destroyed and cease to exist. Without God’s wrath, the laws and rules of existence for created beings would be broken or even utterly subverted. Since the creation of man, God has continuously used His righteous disposition to safeguard and sustain humanity’s normal existence. Because His righteous disposition contains wrath and majesty, all evil people, things and objects, and all things that disturb and damage humanity’s normal existence, are punished, controlled and destroyed as a result of His wrath. Over the past several millennia, God has continuously used His righteous disposition to strike down and destroy all kinds of unclean and evil spirits which oppose God and act as Satan’s accomplices and lackeys in God’s work of managing humanity. Thus, God’s work of the salvation of man has always advanced according to His plan. This is to say that because of the existence of God’s wrath, the most righteous causes of men have never been destroyed.
Now that you have an understanding of the essence of God’s wrath, you must certainly have an even better understanding of how to distinguish Satan’s evil!
Although Satan Appears Humane, Just and Virtuous, Satan’s Essence Is Cruel and Evil
Satan builds its reputation through deceiving people, and often establishes itself as a vanguard and role model of righteousness. Under false pretenses of safeguarding righteousness, it harms people, devours their souls, and uses all sorts of means to benumb, deceive and incite man. Its goal is to make man approve of and go along with its evil conduct, to make man join it in opposing God’s authority and sovereignty. However, when one sees through its schemes and plots and sees through to its vile features, and when one does not wish to continue to be trampled upon and fooled by it or to continue slaving away for it, or to be punished and destroyed alongside it, then Satan changes its previously saintly features and tears off its false mask to reveal its true face, which is evil, vicious, ugly and savage. It would love nothing more than to exterminate all those who refuse to follow it and who oppose its evil forces. At this point Satan can no longer assume a trustworthy, gentlemanly appearance; instead, its true ugly and devilish features are revealed under sheep’s clothing. Once Satan’s schemes are brought to light and its true features exposed, it will fly into a rage and expose its barbarity. After this, its desire to harm and devour people will only be intensified. This is because it is enraged when man awakens to the truth, and it develops a powerful vindictiveness toward man for their aspiration to yearn for freedom and light and to break free of its prison. Its rage is intended to defend and uphold its evil, and it is also a true revelation of its savage nature.
In every matter, Satan’s behavior exposes its evil nature. Out of all the evil acts that Satan has carried out upon man—from its early efforts to delude man into following it, to its exploitation of man, in which it drags man into its evil deeds, to its vindictiveness toward man after its true features have been exposed and man has recognized and forsaken it—not one of these acts fails to expose Satan’s evil essence, nor to prove the fact that Satan has no relation to positive things and that Satan is the source of all evil things. Every single one of its actions safeguards its evil, maintains the continuation of its evil acts, goes against just and positive things, and ruins the laws and order of humanity’s normal existence. These acts of Satan are hostile to God, and they will be destroyed by God’s wrath. Although Satan has its own rage, its rage is just a means of venting its evil nature. The reason why Satan is exasperated and furious is this: Its unspeakable schemes have been exposed; its plots are not easily gotten away with; its wild ambition and desire to replace God and act as God have been struck down and blocked; and its goal of controlling all of humanity has now come to nothing and can never be achieved. What has stopped Satan’s plots from coming to fruition and cut short the spread and rampancy of Satan’s evil is God’s repeated summoning of His wrath, time after time. For this reason, Satan both hates and fears God’s wrath. Each time God’s wrath descends, it not only unmasks Satan’s true vile appearance, but also exposes Satan’s evil desires to the light, and in the process, the reasons for Satan’s rage against humanity are laid bare. The eruption of Satan’s rage is a true revelation of its evil nature and an exposure of its schemes. Of course, each time that Satan is enraged heralds the destruction of evil things and the protection and continuation of positive things; it heralds the truth that God’s wrath cannot be offended!
One Must Not Rely on Experience and Imagination to Know God’s Righteous Disposition
When you find yourself facing God’s judgment and chastisement, will you say that God’s word is adulterated? Will you say that there is a story behind God’s rage, and that it is adulterated? Will you slander God, saying that His disposition is not necessarily entirely righteous? When dealing with each of God’s acts, you must first be certain that God’s righteous disposition is free of any other elements, that it is holy and flawless. These acts include God’s striking down, punishment and destruction of humanity. Without exception, every one of God’s acts is made in strict accordance with His inherent disposition and His plan, and includes no part of humanity’s knowledge, tradition and philosophy. Every one of God’s acts is an expression of His disposition and essence, unrelated to anything that belongs to corrupt humanity. Mankind has the notion that only God’s love, mercy and tolerance toward humanity are flawless, unadulterated and holy, and no one knows that God’s rage and His wrath are likewise unadulterated; furthermore, no one has contemplated questions such as why God tolerates no offense or why His rage is so great. On the contrary, some mistake God’s wrath for a bad temper, such as that of corrupt humanity, and misunderstand God’s anger to be the same rage as that of corrupt humanity. They even mistakenly assume that God’s rage is just like the natural revelation of humanity’s corrupt disposition and that the issuing of God’s wrath is just like the anger of corrupt people when they are faced with some unhappy situation, and believe that the issuing of God’s wrath is an expression of His mood. After this fellowship, I hope that every one of you will no longer have any misconceptions, imaginings or speculation regarding God’s righteous disposition. I hope that after hearing My words you can have a true recognition in your hearts of the wrath of God’s righteous disposition, that you can put aside any previous mistaken understandings of God’s wrath, and that you can change your own mistaken beliefs and views of the essence of God’s wrath. Furthermore, I hope that you can have an accurate definition of God’s disposition in your hearts, that you will no longer have any doubts as to God’s righteous disposition, and that you will not impose any human reasoning or imagining onto God’s true disposition. God’s righteous disposition is God’s own true essence. It is not something written or shaped by man. His righteous disposition is His righteous disposition and has no relation or connection to anything of creation. God Himself is God Himself. He will never become a part of creation, and even if He becomes a member of the created beings, His inherent disposition and essence will not change. Therefore, knowing God is not the same as knowing an object; to know God is not to dissect something, nor is it the same as understanding a person. If man uses his concept or method of knowing an object or understanding a person to know God, then you will never be able to attain knowledge of God. Knowing God is not reliant on experience or imagination, and therefore you must never impose your experience or imagination on God; no matter how rich your experience and imagination may be, they are still limited. What is more, your imagination does not correspond to facts, and much less to the truth, and it is incompatible with God’s true disposition and essence. You will never succeed if you rely on your imagination to understand God’s essence. The only path is this: Accept all that comes from God, then gradually experience and understand it. There will be a day when God will enlighten you to truly understand and know Him because of your cooperation and because of your hunger and thirst for the truth. And with this, let us conclude this portion of our conversation.