God Himself, the Unique VI

God’s Holiness (III)   Part Four

Let us now go back to talk about what means Satan employs to corrupt man. We have just talked about the various ways in which God works on man, and which every one of you can experience for yourselves, so I will not speak in too much detail. But in your hearts, it is perhaps unclear what tricks and strategies Satan employs to corrupt man, or at the very least you don’t have a specific understanding of them. Would it be beneficial for Me to speak about this again? (Yes.) Do you want to learn about this? Maybe some of you will ask: “Why talk about Satan again? The moment Satan is mentioned, we become angry, and when we hear its name we feel bothered all over.” No matter how uncomfortable it makes you, you must face the facts. These things must be said plainly and made clear for the benefit of man’s understanding; otherwise man cannot really break away from the influence of Satan.

We have previously discussed the five ways in which Satan corrupts man, which include Satan’s tricks. The ways in which Satan corrupts man are merely the surface layer; more insidious are the tricks hiding under this surface with which Satan achieves its goals. What are these tricks? Go ahead, summarize them. (It cheats, seduces and coerces.) The more of these tricks you list, the closer you get. It looks as though you have been deeply harmed by Satan and have strong feelings on the subject. (It also uses specious rhetoric. It influences and forcefully occupies people.) Forceful occupation—this leaves an especially deep impression. People are afraid of Satan’s forceful occupation, are they not? Are there any other tricks? (It violently harms people, makes threats and enticing offers, and it lies.) Lies are the substance of its actions. Satan lies so it can cheat you. What is the nature of lying? Is lying not the same as cheating? The goal of telling lies is in fact to cheat you. Are there any other tricks? Tell Me all of Satan’s tricks that you know of. (It tempts, harms, blinds and deceives.) Most of you feel the same way about this deception, do you not? (It controls man, takes hold of man, terrorizes man and keeps man from believing in God.) I know the overall meaning of the things that you are telling Me, and this is good. You all know something about this, so let us now make a summary of these tricks.

There are six primary tricks that Satan employs to corrupt man.

The first is control and coercion. That is, Satan will do everything possible to take control of your heart. What does “coercion” mean? It means using threatening and forceful tactics to make you obey it, making you think of the consequences if you do not obey. You are afraid and dare not defy it, so you then submit to it.

The second is cheating and trickery. What does “cheating and trickery” entail? Satan makes up some stories and lies, tricking you into believing them. It never tells you that man was created by God, but neither does it say directly that you were not made by God. It does not use the word “God” at all, but instead uses something else as a substitute, using this thing to deceive you so that you basically have no idea of the existence of God. Of course, this “trickery” includes many aspects, not just this one.

The third is forceful indoctrination. With what are people forcefully indoctrinated? Is forceful indoctrination done by man’s own choice? Is it done with man’s consent? (No.) Even if you do not consent, there is nothing you can do about it. In your unawareness, Satan indoctrinates you, instilling you with its thinking, its rules of life and its essence.

The fourth is intimidation and beguilement. That is, Satan employs various tricks to cause you to accept it, follow it and work in its service. It will do anything to achieve its goals. It sometimes bestows small favors on you, all the while luring you into committing sin. If you do not follow it, it will make you suffer and punish you, and use various ways to attack and ensnare you.

The fifth is deception and paralysis. “Deception and paralysis” is when Satan spins some sweet-sounding words and ideas that align with people’s notions, to make it seem as though it is being considerate of people’s fleshly situation, of their lives and futures, when actually its only goal is to fool you. It then paralyzes you so that you do not know what is right and what is wrong, so that you are unwittingly tricked and thereby come under its control.

The sixth is the destruction of body and mind. What part of man does Satan destroy? (Man’s mind and entire being.) Satan destroys your mind, making you powerless to resist, meaning that, little by little, your heart turns toward Satan in spite of yourself. It instills these things in you every day, every day using these ideas and cultures to influence and groom you, undermining your will little by little, so that eventually you no longer desire to be a good person, so that you no longer wish to stand up for what you call “righteousness.” Unknowingly, you no longer have the willpower to swim against the current, but instead flow along with it. “Destruction” means Satan tormenting people so much that they become shadows of themselves, no longer human. This is when Satan strikes, seizing and devouring them.

Each one of these tricks that Satan employs to corrupt man renders man powerless to resist; any one of them can be deadly to man. In other words, anything Satan does and any tricks it employs can cause you to degenerate, can bring you under Satan’s control and can mire you in a quagmire of evil and sin. Such are the tricks Satan employs to corrupt man.

We can say Satan is evil, but in order to confirm this, we must still look at what the consequences of Satan’s corruption of man are and which dispositions and essences it brings to man. You all know something about this, so speak up. What are the consequences of Satan’s corruption of people? Which corrupt dispositions do they express and reveal? (Arrogance and haughtiness, selfishness and despicableness, crookedness and deceitfulness, insidiousness and malice and a total lack of humanity.) On the whole, we can say they have no humanity. Now, let other brothers and sisters speak. (Once man has been corrupted by Satan, they are most typically arrogant and self-righteous, self-important and self-conceited, greedy and selfish. I feel that these are the most serious issues.) (After people have been corrupted by Satan, they stop at nothing to gain material items and wealth. And they even become hostile to God, resist God, disobey God, and they lose the conscience and reason that man should possess.) What you have said is all basically the same, albeit with some minor differences; some of you have simply included more minor details. To summarize, the things that stand out most about corrupt humanity are arrogance, deceitfulness, malice, and selfishness. However, you have all overlooked the same thing. People have no conscience, they have lost their reason and have no humanity—but there is another highly important thing that you have not mentioned, which is “betrayal.” The ultimate consequence of these dispositions that exist in any man once they have been corrupted by Satan is their betrayal of God. No matter what God says to people or what work He does on them, they do not heed what they know to be the truth. That is, they no longer acknowledge God and they betray Him; this is the consequence of Satan’s corruption of man. It is the same for all the corrupt dispositions of man. Among the ways that Satan uses to corrupt man—the knowledge people learn, the science they know, their understanding of superstitions and traditional cultures, as well as social trends—is there any that man can use to tell what is righteous and what is unrighteous? Is there anything that can help man to know what is holy and what is evil? Are there any standards by which to measure these things? (No.) There are no standards and no basis that can help man. Even though people may know the word “holy,” there is no one who actually knows what holy is. So can these things that Satan brings to man help them know the truth? Can they help man live with more humanity? Can they help man live in such a way that they are able to worship God more? (No.) It is obvious that they cannot help man worship God or understand the truth, nor can they help man know what holiness and evil are. Conversely, man becomes more and more degenerate, straying further and further from God. This is the reason why we say Satan is evil. Having dissected so many of Satan’s evil qualities, have you seen any element of holiness in Satan, either in its qualities or in your understanding of its essence? (No.) That much is for certain. So have you seen any aspect of Satan’s essence that shares any similarity with God? (No.) Does any expression of Satan share any similarity with God? (No.) So now I want to ask you: Using your own words, what exactly is the holiness of God? First of all, what are the words “the holiness of God” said in connection with? Are they said in connection with the essence of God? Or are they said in connection with some aspect of His disposition? (They are said in connection with the essence of God.) We must clearly identify a foothold with which to access our desired topic. These words are said in connection with the essence of God. First of all, we have used Satan’s evil as a foil to the essence of God, so have you seen any of Satan’s essence in God? What about any of mankind’s essence? (No, we haven’t. God is not arrogant, not selfish and does not betray, and from this we see the holy essence of God revealed.) Is there anything else to add? (God has no trace of the corrupt disposition of Satan. What Satan has is entirely negative, while what God has is nothing but positive. We can see that God has always been at our side, watching over us and protecting us, from the time when we were very small, all throughout our lives and until the present day, and especially when we have been confused and lost our way. There is no deceit in God, no cheating. He speaks clearly and plainly, and this too is the true essence of God.) Very good! (We can see none of the corrupt disposition of Satan in God, no duplicity, no boasting, no empty promises and no deceit. God is the only One that man can believe in. God is faithful and sincere. From the work of God, we can see that God tells people to be honest, gives them wisdom, makes them able to tell good from evil and have discernment of various people, events and things. In this we can see God’s holiness.) Have you finished? Are you satisfied with what you have said? How much understanding of God is really in your hearts? And how much do you comprehend the holiness of God? I know that each and every one of you has in your heart some level of perceptive understanding, because every individual can feel God’s work on them and, in varying degrees, they obtain many things from God: Grace and blessings, enlightenment and illumination and God’s judgment and chastisement, and because of these things, man gains some simple understanding of the essence of God.

Although the holiness of God that we are discussing today may seem strange to most people, regardless of this, we have now begun this topic, and as you walk the road ahead you will gain a deeper understanding. It requires you to gradually feel and understand during your own experiencing. For now, your perceptive-based understanding of God’s essence still requires a long period of time to learn, to confirm, to feel and to experience it, until one day you will know, from the very center of your heart, that “the holiness of God” means that God’s essence is flawless, that God’s love is selfless, all that God provides to man is selfless, and you will come to know that God’s holiness is unblemished and irreproachable. These aspects of God’s essence are not just words He uses to flaunt His status, but rather God uses His essence to treat each and every individual with quiet sincerity. In other words, the essence of God is not empty, nor is it theoretical or doctrinal, and it is certainly not a kind of knowledge. It is not a kind of education for man; instead it is the true revelation of God’s own actions and the revealed essence of what God has and is. Man should know this essence and comprehend it, because everything God does and every word He says is of great value and great significance to every single person. When you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really believe in God; when you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really realize the true meaning of the words “God Himself, the Unique.” You will no longer fantasize, thinking there are other paths besides this one that you could choose to walk, and you will no longer be willing to betray everything that God has arranged for you. Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk through life on the righteous path of light; only through God can you know the meaning of life; only through God can you live out real humanity and both possess and know the truth. Only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer. This is determined by the essence of God. Only God Himself saves you so selflessly; only God is ultimately responsible for your future, for your destiny and for your life, and He arranges all things for you. This is something that nothing created or non-created can achieve. Because nothing created or non-created possesses an essence like the essence of God, no person or thing has the ability to save you or to lead you. This is the importance of God’s essence to man. Perhaps you feel that these words I have said may help a little, in principle. But if you pursue the truth, if you love the truth, then you will come to experience how these words will not only change your destiny, but beyond that they will bring you to the right path of human life. You understand this, do you not? So do you now have some interest in knowing the essence of God? (Yes.) It is good to know that you are interested. For today, this is where we will finish our fellowship topic of knowing the holiness of God.

I would like to talk to you about something that you did at the beginning of our gathering today that surprised Me. Some of you were perhaps nurturing a sense of gratitude, perhaps you were feeling grateful, and so your emotion brought about a corresponding action. What you did was not something that needs reproaching; it is neither right nor wrong. But I would like you to understand something. What is it that I want you to understand? First, I would like to ask you about what you did just now. Was it prostrating or kneeling to worship? Can anyone tell Me? (We believe it was prostrating.) You believe it was prostrating, so what then is the meaning of prostration? (Worship.) So then, what is kneeling to worship? I have not fellowshiped about this with you before, but today I feel it is necessary to do so. Do you prostrate at your usual gatherings? (No.) Do you prostrate when you say your prayers? (Yes.) Do you prostrate each time you pray, when the situation allows? (Yes.) That is good. But what I would like you to understand today is that God only accepts the genuflections of two types of people. We do not need to consult the Bible or the deeds and conduct of any spiritual figures. Instead, here and now, I will tell you something true. Firstly, prostration and kneeling to worship are not the same thing. Why does God accept the genuflections of those who prostrate themselves? It is because God calls someone to Him and summons this person to accept God’s commission, so God will allow him to prostrate himself before Him. This is the first type of person. The second type is the kneeling to worship of someone who fears God and shuns evil. There are only these two types of people. So which type do you belong to? Are you able to say? This is the truth, though it may hurt your feelings a little. There is nothing to say about people’s genuflections during prayer—this is proper and as it should be, because when people pray it is mostly praying for something, opening their hearts to God and coming face to face with Him. It is communication and exchange, heart to heart with God. Worshiping on your knees should not be a mere formality. I do not mean to reproach you for what you have done today. I just want to make it clear to you so that you understand this principle—you know this, do you not? (Yes, we know.) I am telling you this so that this does not happen again. So, do people have any opportunity to prostrate and kneel before the face of God? It is not that there will never be this opportunity. Sooner or later the day will come, but the time is not now. Do you see? Does this make you upset? (No.) That is good. Maybe these words will motivate or inspire you so that you can know in your hearts the current predicament between God and man and what kind of relationship exists now between God and man. Although we have recently talked and exchanged some more, man’s understanding of God is still far from sufficient. Man still has a long way to go on this road of seeking to understand God. It is not My intention to make you do this as a matter of urgency, or to rush to express these kinds of aspirations or feelings. What you did today may reveal and express your true feelings, and I sensed them. So while you were doing it, I just wanted to stand up and give you My well wishes, because I wish you all to be well. So, in My every word and every action, I do My utmost to help you, to guide you, so that you can have the correct understanding and correct view of all things. You can comprehend this, can you not? (Yes.) That is good. Although people have some understanding of God’s various dispositions, the aspects of what God has and is and the work God does, the majority of this understanding goes no further than reading words on a page, or understanding them in principle, or just thinking about them. What people lack the most is the real understanding and insight that comes from actual experience. Even though God uses various methods to awaken people’s hearts, there is still a long road to walk before this can be accomplished. I do not want to see anyone feeling as though God has left them out in the cold, that God has abandoned them or turned His back on them. All I want to see is everyone on the road to pursuing the truth and seeking to understand God, boldly marching onward with unfaltering determination, without any misgivings or burdens. No matter what wrongs you have committed, no matter how far you have strayed or how seriously you have transgressed, do not let these become burdens or excess baggage that you have to carry with you in your pursuit of understanding God. Continue marching onward. At all times, God holds man’s salvation in His heart; this never changes. This is the most precious part of the essence of God. Do you feel a little better now? (Yes.) I hope that you can take the correct approach to all things and to the words that I have spoken. Let us end this fellowship here, then. Goodbye, everyone! (Goodbye!)

January 11, 2014

The world is beset by catastrophe in the last days. What warning does this give to us? And how can we be protected by God amid disasters? Join us for our topical sermon, which will tell you the answers.
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