God Himself, the Unique VI
God’s Holiness (III) (Part One)
The topic we fellowshiped about last time was the holiness of God. Which aspect of God Himself does the holiness of God concern? Does it concern the essence of God? (Yes.) So what is the main aspect of God’s essence that we addressed in our fellowship? Is it the holiness of God? The holiness of God is the unique essence of God. What was the main content of our fellowship last time? (The discernment of Satan’s evil. That is, how Satan corrupts mankind using knowledge, science, traditional culture, superstition, and social trends.) This was the main topic that we discussed last time. Satan uses knowledge, science, superstition, traditional culture, and social trends to corrupt man; these are the ways—five of them in total—that Satan corrupts man. Which of these do you think Satan uses the most to corrupt man? Which is the one that is used to corrupt people most deeply? (Traditional culture. This is because satanic philosophies, such as the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius, are deeply ingrained in our minds.) So, some brothers and sisters think the answer is “traditional culture.” Does anyone have a different answer? (Knowledge. Knowledge will never let us worship God. It denies the existence of God, and denies the rule of God. That is to say, Satan tells us to begin studying from a young age, and that only by studying and gaining knowledge will we have bright prospects for our future and a happy fate.) Satan uses knowledge to control your future and fate, and then it leads you along by the nose; this is how you think Satan corrupts man most deeply. So, most of you think it is knowledge that Satan uses to corrupt man most deeply. Does anyone else have a different answer? What about science or social trends, for example? Would anyone identify these as the answer? (Yes.) Today, I will fellowship again about the five ways in which Satan corrupts man, and once I am finished, I will ask you some more questions, so that we can see exactly which of these things Satan uses to corrupt man most deeply.
Among the five ways in which Satan corrupts man, the first one we mentioned is knowledge, so let us take knowledge as our first topic for fellowship. Satan uses knowledge as bait. Listen closely: Knowledge is just a kind of bait. People are enticed to study hard and improve themselves day after day, to weaponize knowledge and arm themselves with it, and then to use knowledge to open the gateway to science; in other words, the more knowledge you gain, the more you will understand. Satan tells people all of this; it tells people to foster lofty ideals as they are learning knowledge, instructing them to build up ambitions and aspirations. Unbeknownst to man, Satan conveys many messages like this, causing people to unconsciously feel that these things are correct or beneficial. Unknowingly, people set foot upon this path, unknowingly led onward by their own ideals and ambitions. Step by step, they unwittingly learn from the knowledge given by Satan the ways in which great or famous people think. They also learn some things from the deeds of people who are considered heroes. What is Satan advocating for man in the deeds of these heroes? What does it want to instill in man? That man must be patriotic, have national integrity, and be heroic of spirit. What does man learn from historical stories or biographies of heroic figures? To have a sense of personal loyalty, to be prepared to do anything for one’s friends and brothers. Within this knowledge of Satan, man unknowingly learns many things which are not positive at all. In the midst of man’s unawareness, seeds prepared by Satan are planted in people’s immature minds. These seeds make them feel that they ought to be great people, ought to be famous, ought to be heroes, to be patriotic, be people who love their families, and be people who will do anything for a friend and have a sense of personal loyalty. Seduced by Satan, they unknowingly walk the road it has prepared for them. As they go down this road, they are forced to accept Satan’s rules of living. Completely unaware, they develop their own rules that they live by, but these are nothing more than Satan’s rules, which it has forcefully instilled in them. Satan makes them, during the learning process, foster their own objectives and determine their own life goals, rules to live by, and direction in life, all the while instilling in them the things of Satan, using stories, biographies, and all other means possible to entice people, little by little, until they take the bait. In this way, during the course of their learning, some come to prefer literature, some economics, others astronomy or geography. Then there are some who come to like politics, some who like physics, some chemistry, and even others still who prefer theology. These are all parts of the greater whole that is knowledge. In your hearts, each of you knows what these things are really about; each one of you has had contact with them before. Each of you is capable of talking on and on endlessly about one or another of these branches of knowledge. And so it is clear how deeply this knowledge has entered the minds of men; it is plain to see the position occupied by this knowledge in people’s minds and how deep an effect it has on them. Once someone develops affection for a facet of knowledge, when a person has fallen deeply in love with it, they then unknowingly develop ambitions: Some people want to be writers, some want to be literary authors, some want to make a career out of politics, and some want to engage in economics and become businesspeople. Then there is a portion of people who want to be heroes, to be great or famous. Regardless of what kind of person someone wants to be, their goal is to take this method of learning knowledge and use it for their own ends, to realize their own desires, their own ambitions. No matter how good it sounds—whether they want to achieve their dreams, to not waste their life, or to have a certain career—they foster these lofty ideals and ambitions, but what is it all essentially for? Have you ever considered this question before? Why does Satan act in this way? What is Satan’s purpose in instilling these things in man? Your hearts must be clear on this question.
Now let us talk about how Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man. First, we have to have a clear understanding of these things: With knowledge, what does Satan want to give man? What kind of road does it want to lead man down? (The road of resisting God.) Yes, that is certainly it—to resist God. You can see then that this is a consequence of people obtaining knowledge—they begin to resist God. So what are Satan’s sinister motives? You are not clear about this, are you? During the process of man’s learning of knowledge, Satan employs all manner of methods, whether it be telling stories, simply giving them some individual piece of knowledge, or allowing them to satisfy their desires or ambitions. What road does Satan want to lead you down? People think there is nothing wrong with learning knowledge, that it is entirely natural. To put it in a way that sounds appealing, to foster lofty ideals or to have ambitions is to have drive, and this should be the right path in life. Is it not a more glorious way for people to live if they can realize their own ideals, or successfully establish a career? By doing these things, one can not only honor one’s ancestors but also has the chance to leave one’s mark on history—is this not a good thing? This is a good thing in the eyes of worldly people, and to them it should be proper and positive. Does Satan, however, with its sinister motives, take people on to this kind of road and that’s all there is to it? Of course not. In fact, no matter how lofty man’s ideals are, no matter how realistic man’s desires are or how proper they may be, all that man wants to achieve, all that man seeks for, is inextricably linked to two words. These two words are vitally important to the life of every person, and they are things Satan intends to instill in man. What are these two words? They are “fame” and “gain.” Satan uses a very subtle kind of method, a method very much in concert with people’s notions, which is not at all radical, through which it causes people to unknowingly accept its way of living, its rules to live by, and to establish life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ambitions in life. No matter how grand these life ambitions may seem, they are inextricably linked to “fame” and “gain.” Everything that any great or famous person—all people, in fact—follow in life relates only to these two words: “fame” and “gain.” People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on those things to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. They think fame and gain are a kind of capital that they can use to obtain a life of pleasure-seeking and wanton enjoyment of the flesh. For the sake of this fame and gain which mankind so covets, people willingly, albeit unknowingly, hand over their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies, to Satan. They do so without even a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover all that they have handed over. Can people retain any control over themselves once they have taken refuge in Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They have completely and utterly sunk into a quagmire, and are unable to free themselves. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous, or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great; they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true? Some people will say that learning knowledge is nothing more than reading books or learning a few things that they do not already know so as not to lag behind the times or be left behind by the world. Knowledge is only learned so they can put food on the table, for their own future, or to provide the basic necessities. Is there any person who would endure a decade of hard study just for the basic necessities, just to resolve the issue of food? No, there are none like this. So why does a person suffer these hardships for all these years? It is for fame and gain. Fame and gain are waiting for them in the distance, beckoning them, and they believe that only through their own diligence, hardships and struggles can they follow the road that will lead them to attain fame and gain. Such a person must suffer these hardships for their own future path, for their future enjoyment and to gain a better life. What on earth is this knowledge—can you tell Me? Is it not rules of living instilled in people, rules that Satan teaches them in the course of their learning of knowledge? Is it not life’s “lofty ideals” instilled into man by Satan? Take, for example, the ideas of great people, the integrity of the famous or the brave spirit of heroic figures, or take the chivalry and kindness of the protagonists and swordsmen in martial arts novels—are these not all ways in which Satan instills these ideals? (Yes, they are.) These ideas influence one generation after another, and the people of each generation are brought to accept these ideas, to live for these ideas and to pursue them endlessly. This is the way, the channel, through which Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man. So after Satan has led people to this road, is it still possible for them to worship God? Do the knowledge and thought instilled in man by Satan contain any shred of worshiping God? Do they hold anything that belongs to the truth? Do they contain anything of fearing God and shunning evil? (No, they do not.) You seem a little uncertain, but no matter. So long as you recognize that “fame” and “gain” are the two key words that Satan uses to entice people onto the path of evil, then that is enough.
Let us briefly review what we have discussed so far: What does Satan use to keep man firmly within its control? (Fame and gain.) So, Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts, until all people can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision for the sake of fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds people with invisible shackles, and they have neither the strength nor the courage to throw them off. They unknowingly bear these shackles and trudge ever onward with great difficulty. For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind shuns God and betrays Him and becomes increasingly wicked. In this way, therefore, one generation after another is destroyed in the midst of Satan’s fame and gain. Looking now at Satan’s actions, are its sinister motives not utterly detestable? Maybe today you still cannot see through Satan’s sinister motives because you think one cannot live without fame and gain. You think that if people leave fame and gain behind, they will no longer be able to see the way ahead, no longer be able to see their goals, that their futures will become dark, dim and gloomy. But, slowly, you will all one day recognize that fame and gain are monstrous shackles that Satan uses to bind man. When that day comes, you will thoroughly resist Satan’s control and thoroughly resist the shackles Satan uses to bind you. When the time comes that you wish to throw off all the things Satan has instilled in you, you will then make a clean break with Satan and you will truly loathe all that Satan has brought to you. Only then will mankind have a real love and yearning for God.