God Himself, the Unique VI
God’s Holiness (III) (Part Two)
We have just talked about how Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man, so next let us fellowship about how Satan uses science to corrupt man. Firstly, Satan uses the name of science to satisfy man’s curiosity, man’s desire to explore science and probe mysteries. In the name of science, Satan satisfies man’s material needs and man’s demand to continually improve their quality of life. Thus, it is with this pretext that Satan uses science to corrupt man. Is it only man’s thinking or man’s mind that Satan corrupts using science in this way? Of the people, events, and things in our surroundings that we can see and that we come into contact with, what else of these does Satan corrupt with science? (The natural environment.) Correct. It seems you have been deeply harmed by this, and deeply affected. Besides using all the various findings and conclusions of science to deceive man, Satan also uses science as a means to carry out wanton destruction and exploitation of the living environment that was given to man by God. It does this under the pretext that if man carries out scientific research, then man’s living environment and quality of life will continually improve, and furthermore that the purpose of scientific development is to cater to people’s daily increasing material needs and their need to continually improve their quality of life. This is the theoretical basis of Satan’s development of science. However, what has science brought to mankind? What does the environment which we are connected to consist of? Has not the air mankind breathes become polluted? Is the water we drink still truly pure? (No.) Is the food we consume natural? The majority of it is grown using chemical fertilizer and cultivated using genetic modification, and there are also mutations caused by using various scientific methods. Even the vegetables and fruit we eat are no longer natural. Even natural eggs are no longer easy to find, and eggs no longer taste the way they used to, having already been processed by Satan’s so-called science. Looking at the big picture, the entire atmosphere has been destroyed and polluted; mountains, lakes, forests, rivers, oceans, and everything above and below ground have all been ruined by so-called scientific achievements. In brief, the entire natural environment, the living environment given to mankind by God, has been destroyed and ruined by so-called science. Although there are many people who have obtained what they always hoped for in terms of the quality of life they seek, satisfying both their desires and their flesh, the environment man lives in has essentially been destroyed and ruined by the various “achievements” brought on by science. Now, we no longer have the right to breathe a single breath of clean air. Is this not mankind’s sorrow? Is there any happiness left to speak of for man, when he must live in this kind of space? This space and living environment in which man lives was, from the very beginning, created by God for man. The water people drink, the air people breathe, the food people eat, plants, trees, and the oceans—every part of this living environment was given to man by God; it is natural, operating in accordance with a natural law laid down by God. If there was no science, people would have been happy and could have enjoyed everything at its most pristine, in accordance with the way of God and according to what God bestowed on them to enjoy. Now, however, all of this has been destroyed and ruined by Satan; man’s fundamental living space is no longer pristine. But no one is able to recognize what caused this or how this came about, and many more people approach science and understand it through the ideas instilled in them by Satan. Is this not utterly detestable and pitiable? With Satan now having taken the space in which people exist, as well as their living environment, and corrupted them into this state, and with mankind continuing to develop in this way, is there any need for God to personally destroy these people? If people continue to develop in this way, what direction will they take? (They will be exterminated.) How will they be exterminated? In addition to people’s greedy search for fame and gain, they continually carry out scientific exploration and dive deep into research, and then ceaselessly act in such a way as to satisfy their own material needs and desires; what then are the consequences for man? First of all, the ecological balance is broken, and when this happens, people’s bodies, their internal organs, are tainted and damaged by this unbalanced environment, and various infectious diseases and plagues spread across the world. Is it not true that this is now a situation that man has no control over? Now that you understand this, if mankind does not follow God, but always follows Satan in this way—using knowledge to continually enrich themselves, using science to ceaselessly explore the future of human life, using this kind of method to continue living—can you recognize how this will end for mankind? (It will mean extinction.) Yes, it will end in extinction: Mankind draws ever nearer to its own extinction, one step after another! It now seems as though science is a kind of magic potion that Satan has prepared for man, so that when you try to discern things you do so in a foggy haze; no matter how hard you look, you cannot see things clearly, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot figure them out. Satan, however, uses the name of science to whet your appetite and lead you by the nose, one foot in front of the other, toward the abyss and death. Is this not so? (Yes, it is.) This is the second way that Satan corrupts mankind.
Traditional culture is the third way that Satan corrupts man. There are many similarities between traditional culture and superstition, but the difference is that traditional culture has certain stories, allusions, and sources. Satan has fabricated and invented many folk stories or stories that appear in history books, leaving people with deep impressions of traditional cultural or superstitious figures. For example, in China there are the “Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea,” “Journey to the West,” the Jade Emperor, “Nezha Conquering the Dragon King,” and “The Investiture of the Gods.” Have these not become deeply rooted in the minds of man? Even if some of you do not know all the details, you still know the general stories, and it is this general content that sticks in your heart and your mind, so that you cannot forget them. These are various ideas or legends that Satan prepared for man long ago, and which have been disseminated at different times. These things directly harm and erode people’s souls and put people under one spell after another. That is to say that once you have accepted such traditional culture, stories, or superstitious things, once they are established in your mind, and once they are stuck in your heart, then it is like you are spellbound—you become enmeshed and influenced by these cultural trappings, these ideas and traditional stories. They influence your life, your outlook on life, and your judgment of things. Even more so they influence your pursuit for the true path of life: This is indeed a wicked spell. Try as you might, you cannot shake them off; you chop at them but you cannot chop them down; you beat at them but you cannot beat them away. Furthermore, after people are unknowingly put under this kind of spell, they unknowingly begin to worship Satan, fostering the image of Satan in their hearts. In other words, they establish Satan as their idol, an object for them to worship and look up to, even going so far as to regard it as God. Unknowingly, these things are in people’s hearts, controlling their words and deeds. Moreover, you first regard these stories and legends to be false, but then you unknowingly acknowledge their existence, making of them real figures and turning them into real, existing objects. In your unawareness, you subconsciously receive these ideas and the existence of these things. You also subconsciously receive devils, Satan, and idols into your own home and into your own heart—this is indeed a spell. Do these words resonate with you? (Yes.) Are there any among you who have burned incense and worshiped Buddha? (Yes.) So what was the purpose of burning incense and worshiping Buddha? (Praying for peace.) Thinking about it now, is it not absurd to pray to Satan for peace? Does Satan bring peace? (No.) Do you not see how ignorant you were then? That kind of behavior is absurd, ignorant and naive, is it not? Satan only concerns itself with how to corrupt you. Satan cannot possibly give you peace, only a temporary respite. But to gain this respite you must take a vow, and if you break your promise or the vow that you have made to Satan, then you will see how it torments you. In making you take a vow, it actually wants to control you. When you prayed for peace, did you obtain peace? (No.) You did not obtain peace, but on the contrary your efforts brought misfortune and unending disasters—truly a boundless ocean of bitterness. Peace is not within Satan’s domain, and this is the truth. This is the consequence that feudal superstition and traditional culture have brought mankind.
The last way in which Satan corrupts man is through social trends. “Social trends” include many things. Some people say: “Does it mean the latest fashions, cosmetics, hairstyles, and gourmet foods?” Are these things considered social trends? They make up one part of social trends, but we will not be talking about them here. We only wish to talk about the ideas that social trends bring about in people, the way they cause people to conduct themselves in the world, and the life goals and outlook that they bring about in people. These are very important; they can control and influence man’s state of mind. These trends arise one after another, and they all carry an evil influence that continually debases mankind, causing people to lose conscience, humanity and reason, weakening their morals and their quality of character ever more, to the extent that we can even say that the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, and neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? They are trends that you cannot see with the naked eye. When a new trend sweeps through the world, perhaps only a small number of people are on the cutting edge, acting as the trendsetters. They start off doing some new thing, then accepting some kind of idea or some kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, will be continually infected, assimilated, and attracted by this kind of trend in a state of unawareness, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it and become submerged in it and controlled by it. One after another, such trends cause people, who are not of sound body and mind, do not know what the truth is, and cannot differentiate between positive and negative things, to happily accept them as well as the life views and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them about how to approach life and the way to live that Satan “bestows” on them, and they have neither the strength nor the ability, much less the awareness, to resist. So, what exactly are these trends? I have chosen a simple example that you may gradually come to understand. For example, people in the past ran their business so that nobody was cheated; they sold items at the same price regardless of who was buying. Is not some element of good conscience and humanity conveyed here? When people conducted their business like this, in good faith, it can be seen that they still had some conscience and some humanity at that time. But with man’s ever-increasing demand for money, people unknowingly came to love money, gain, and pleasure more and more. In short, people came to view money as more important than before. When people view money as more important, they unknowingly begin to attach less importance to their reputation, their renown, their good name and their integrity, do they not? When you engage in business, you see others using various means to swindle people and get rich. Although the money earned is ill-gotten, they become richer and richer. Though they may engage in the same business as you, their whole family enjoys life more than you do, and you feel bad, saying to yourself, “Why can’t I do that? Why can’t I earn as much as they do? I must think of a way to get more money, to make my business prosper.” You then do your utmost to ponder how to make lots of money. According to the usual method of making money—selling things at the same price to all customers—any profit you make is made in good conscience. However, this is not the way to get rich quick. Driven by the urge to make a profit, your thinking undergoes a gradual transformation. During this transformation, your principles of conduct also begin to change. When you first cheat someone, you have your reservations, saying, “This will be the only time I cheat someone. I will not do it again. I cannot cheat people. There are serious consequences to cheating. It will bring me lots of trouble!” When you first deceive someone, your heart has some scruples; this is the function of man’s conscience—to make you feel scruples and to reproach you, so that it feels unnatural when you cheat someone. But after you have successfully deceived someone, you see that you now have more money than you did before, and you think this method can be very beneficial for you. Despite the dull ache in your heart, you still feel like congratulating yourself on your success, and you feel somewhat pleased with yourself. For the first time, you approve of your own behavior, your own deceptive ways. Afterward, once man has been contaminated by this cheating, it is the same as someone who gets involved in gambling and then becomes a gambler. In your unawareness, you give approval to your own cheating behavior and accept it. In unawareness, you take cheating to be a legitimate commercial behavior and the most useful means for your survival and livelihood; you think that by doing this you can quickly make a fortune. This is a process: In the beginning, people cannot accept this type of behavior and they look down on this behavior and practice. Then they begin to experiment with this behavior themselves, trying it out in their own way, and their hearts begin to gradually transform. What kind of transformation is this? It is an approval and admission of this trend, of this idea instilled in you by the social trend. Without realizing it, if you do not cheat people when doing business with them, you feel you are worse off; if you do not cheat people, you feel as though you have lost something. Unknowingly, this cheating becomes your very soul, your backbone, and an indispensable type of behavior that is a principle in your life. After man has accepted this behavior and this thinking, has this not brought about a change in his heart? Your heart has changed, so has your integrity changed as well? Has your humanity changed? Has your conscience changed? (Yes.) Yes, every part of this person undergoes a qualitative change, from their heart to their thoughts, to such an extent that they are transformed from the inside out. This change pulls you further and further away from God, and you become more and more closely aligned with Satan; you become more and more alike to Satan.
When looking at these social trends, would you say that they have a big influence on people? Do they have a deeply harmful effect on people? (Yes.) They do have a very deeply harmful effect on people. What is it about man that Satan corrupts using one social trend after another? (Man’s conscience, reason, humanity, morals, and view on life.) They cause a gradual degeneration in people, don’t they? Satan uses these social trends to lure people one step at a time into a nest of devils, so that people caught up in social trends unknowingly advocate money and material desires, wickedness and violence. Once these things have entered the heart of man, what then does man become? Man becomes the devil, Satan! Why? Because, what psychological inclination exists in the heart of man? What does man revere? Man begins to take pleasure in wickedness and violence, showing no love for beauty or goodness, much less peace. People are not willing to live the simple life of normal humanity, but instead wish to enjoy high status and great wealth, to revel in the pleasures of the flesh, sparing no effort to satisfy their own flesh, with no restrictions, no bonds to hold them back; in other words, doing whatever they desire. So when man has become immersed in these kinds of trends, can the knowledge that you have learned help you to free yourself? Can your understanding of traditional culture and superstitions help you escape from this dire predicament? Can the traditional morals and ceremonies known to man help people exercise restraint? Take the Three Character Classic, for example. Can it help people pull their feet out of the quagmire of these trends? (No, it cannot.) Thus, man becomes more and more evil, arrogant, condescending, selfish and malicious. There is no longer any affection between people, no longer any love between family members, no longer any understanding among relatives and friends; human relations have become characterized by violence. Each and every person seeks to use violent methods to live among their fellow man; they seize their daily bread using violence; they win their positions and obtain their profits using violence, and they use violent and evil ways to do anything they want. Is this humanity not horrifying? (Yes.) After hearing all these things that I have just talked about, do you not think it terrifying to live in this environment, in this world, and amongst these kinds of people, within which Satan corrupts mankind? (Yes.) So, have you ever felt yourselves to be pitiful? You must feel it a little bit in this moment, do you not? (I do.) Hearing your tone, it seems as though you are thinking, “Satan has so many different ways of corrupting man. It seizes every opportunity and is everywhere we turn. Can man still be saved?” Can man still be saved? Can man save themselves? (No.) Can the Jade Emperor save man? Can Confucius save man? Can the Guanyin Bodhisattva save man? (No.) So who can save man? (God.) Some people, however, will raise in their hearts such questions as: “Satan harms us so wildly, in such a deranged frenzy, that we have no hope to live life, nor any confidence to live life. We all live in the midst of corruption, and every single person resists God anyway, and now our hearts have sunk as low as they can go. So where is God while Satan is corrupting us? What is God doing? Whatever God is doing for us, we never feel it!” Some people inevitably feel dejected and somewhat disheartened, correct? To you, this feeling is very deep because all that I have been saying has been to allow people to slowly come to understand, to feel more and more that they are without hope, to feel more and more that they have been forsaken by God. But do not worry. Our fellowship topic for today, “the evil of Satan,” is not our true theme. To talk about the essence of the holiness of God, however, we must first discuss how Satan corrupts man and the evil of Satan in order to make it clearer to people what kind of condition man is now in. One aim of talking about this is to allow people to know the evil of Satan, while the other is to allow people to understand more deeply what true holiness is.
Have I not talked in more detail about these things we have just discussed compared to last time? (Yes.) So is your understanding now a little deeper? (Yes.)