God Himself, the Unique VIII
God Is the Source of Life for All Things (II) (Part Two)
The Daily Food and Drink God Prepares for Mankind
Just now, we spoke about a part of the environment at large, specifically, the conditions necessary for human survival, which God prepared when He created the world. We spoke about five things, five elements of the environment. Our next topic is intimately related to every human’s physical life, and it is more pertinent to that life and a greater fulfillment of its requisite conditions than the previous five. Namely, it is the food people eat. God created man and placed him in a suitable environment for life; afterward, man needed food and water. Man had this need, so God made corresponding preparations for him. Therefore, each step of God’s work and each thing He does are not hollow words being spoken, but real, practical action being taken. Is food not indispensable in people’s daily lives? Is food more important than air? They are equally important. Both are necessary conditions and substances for mankind’s survival and for safeguarding the continuation of human life. Which is more important—air, or water? Temperature, or food? They are all equally important. People cannot choose between them because they cannot be without any of them. This is a real, practical issue, not one of your choosing between things. You do not know, but God knows. When you see food, you think, “I cannot be without food!” But right after you were created, did you know that you needed food? You did not know, but God did. It was only when you became hungry and saw fruit on the trees and grain on the ground for you to eat that you realized you need food. It was only when you became thirsty and caught sight of spring water—only when you drank did you realize you need water. Water was prepared in advance for mankind by God. Food, no matter if one eats three meals a day or two, or even more, is, in brief, something indispensable to humans in their daily lives. It is one of the things needed to maintain the normal, continuing survival of the human body. So, where does most food come from? First, it comes from the soil. Soil was prepared in advance for mankind by God, and it is suitable for the survival of many kinds of plants, not just trees or grass. God prepared for mankind the seeds of all kinds of grains and the seeds of various other foods, and He gave mankind suitable soil and land to sow, and with these things, mankind obtains food. What are the various kinds of food? You probably already know. First, there are the various grains. What different kinds of grain are there? Wheat, foxtail millet, glutinous millet, proso millet, and other types of husked grain. Cereals, too, come in all sorts, with different varieties from south to north: barley, wheat, oats, buckwheat, and so on. Different species are suited to cultivation in different regions. There are also various kinds of rice. The south has its own varieties, which are longer of grain and suited to people from the south because the climate is hotter there, meaning local people have to eat varieties such as indica rice, which is not too sticky. Their rice cannot be too sticky or else they would lose their appetites and be unable to stomach it. Northerners eat stickier rice, as the north is always cold, so the people there must eat more adherent things. Next, there are also many varieties of bean, which grow above the ground, and root vegetables that grow underground, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, and many others. Potatoes grow in the north, where their quality is very high. When people have no grain to eat, potatoes, as a staple food, can keep them eating three meals a day. Potatoes can also be used as a food reserve. The quality of sweet potatoes is somewhat worse than that of potatoes, but they can still be used as a staple food to round out three daily meals. When grains are hard to come by, people can stave off hunger with sweet potatoes. Taro, which is often eaten by people in the south, can be used in the same way, and it can also serve as a staple food. Such are the many diverse crops, which are necessary parts of people’s daily food and drink. People use various grains to make noodles, steamed buns, rice, and rice noodles. God has bestowed these various grains on mankind in abundance. Why there are so many varieties is a matter of God’s will: They are suited for growing in the different soils and climates of the north, south, east, and west; while their various compositions and contents correspond to the various compositions and contents of the human body. Only by eating these grains can people maintain the various nutrients and substances their bodies require. Northern food and southern food are different, but they have many more similarities than differences. Both of them can satisfy the regular needs of the human body and support its normal survival. So, there is an abundance of species produced in each region because humans’ physical bodies need what these different foods supply—they need to be supplied by these various foods grown from the soil to sustain the body’s normal existence, that they may lead a normal human life. In short, God has been very considerate to mankind. The various foods God bestowed on people are not unvaried—on the contrary, they are quite eclectic. If people want to eat cereals, they can eat cereals. Some people prefer rice to wheat, and, not liking wheat, they can eat rice. There are all kinds of rice—long-grain, short-grain—and each can satisfy people’s appetites. Therefore, if people eat these grains—as long as they are not too particular with their food—they will not lack for nutrition and are guaranteed to live healthily until they die. That was the idea God had in mind when He bestowed food on mankind. The human body cannot be without these things—is that not the reality? These are practical problems that man could not solve on his own, but God was prepared for them: He thought of them beforehand and made preparations for mankind.
But that is not all God gave to mankind—He also gave mankind vegetables! With rice, if that is all you eat, nothing else, you might not get enough nutrients. On the other hand, if you fry up a few vegetables or mix a salad to eat with your meals, then the vitamins in the vegetables and their various trace elements and other nutrients will be able to satisfy the needs of your body naturally. And people can also eat a bit of fruit between meals, can’t they? Sometimes, people need more fluids or other nutrients or different flavors, and fruits and vegetables are there to meet these needs. As the north, south, east, and west have different soils and climates, they produce different varieties of vegetables and fruits. Since the climate in the south is excessively hot, most fruits and vegetables there are of the cooling type, which, once eaten, are able to balance cold and heat in the human body. By contrast, there are fewer varieties of vegetables and fruits in the north, yet enough for the local people to enjoy. However, due to developments in society in recent years and so-called social progress, as well as improvements in communication and transportation linking the north, south, east, and west, people in the north are also able to eat some southern fruits and vegetables, or regional products from the south, and they can do so in all four seasons of the year. Although this is able to satisfy people’s appetites and material desires, their bodies are unwittingly subjected to varying degrees of harm. This is because, among the foods God prepared for mankind, there are foods and fruits and vegetables meant for people in the south, as well as foods and fruits and vegetables meant for people in the north. That is to say, if you were born in the south, it is appropriate for you to eat things from the south. God specifically prepared these foods and fruits and vegetables because the south has a particular climate. The north has food that is necessary for the bodies of people in the north. Yet because people have gluttonous appetites, they have unknowingly allowed themselves to be swept up in the tide of new societal trends, and they unconsciously violate these laws. Though people feel their lives are better than in the past, this kind of societal progress causes insidious harm to the bodies of an increasing number of people. This is not what God wants to see, and it is not what He intended when He provided mankind with these foods, fruits and vegetables. Humans themselves have caused the current situation by violating the laws of God.
Even apart from all that, the bounty that God has bestowed on mankind is truly rich in abundance, and each place has its local product. For instance, some places are rich in red dates (also known as jujubes), others are rich in walnuts, and others are rich in peanuts or various other nuts. These material things all provide the nutrients needed by the human body. But God supplies mankind with things in the right quantity and at the right time, according to the season and time of year. Mankind covets physical enjoyment and is gluttonous, making it easy to violate and damage the natural laws of human growth that He established when He created mankind. Let us take the cherry as an example. They become ripe around June. Under normal circumstances, by August, there are no cherries left. They can only be kept fresh for two months, but, using scientific techniques, people are now able to extend that period to twelve months, even through the next year’s cherry season. This means that there are cherries all year round. Is this phenomenon normal? (No.) Then when is the best season to eat cherries? That would be the period from June to August. Past this time, no matter how fresh you keep them, they do not taste the same, nor do they provide what the human body needs. Once the expiration date has passed, no matter what chemicals you use, you will not be able to imbue them with everything they have when grown naturally. Additionally, the harm that chemicals do to humans is something that no one can resolve or change, no matter what they try. So, what does the current market economy bring to people? People’s lives seem better, transportation between regions has become highly convenient, and people can eat all kinds of fruits in any of the four seasons. People in the north are able to eat bananas regularly, as well as any regional delicacies, fruit, or other food from the south. But this is not the life that God wants to give to mankind. This kind of market economy may bring some benefit to people’s lives, but it can also bring harm. Because of the abundance in the market, many people eat without thinking about what they are putting into their mouths. This behavior is in violation of the laws of nature, and it is harmful to people’s health. So, the market economy cannot bring people true happiness. See for yourselves. Are grapes not sold at the market in all four seasons? In fact, grapes only stay fresh for a very short period of time after they are picked. If you keep them until June of the next year, can they still be called grapes? Or would “garbage” be a better name for them? They are not simply lacking the substance of a fresh grape—they have more chemical products in them. After a year, they are no longer fresh, and what nutrients they had are long gone. When people eat grapes, they have this feeling: “How lucky we are! Would we have been able to eat grapes in this season thirty years ago? You couldn’t have, even if you’d wanted to! Life is so good now!” Is this really happiness? If you are interested, you can do your own research into chemically preserved grapes and see just what they are made of and whether these substances can be of benefit to humans. In the Age of Law, when the Israelites had left Egypt and were traveling, God gave them quail and manna. But did God allow people to preserve these foods? Some of them were short-sighted and, afraid that there would be no more the next day, so they put some aside for later. Then what happened? The next day, it was rotten. God does not let you put some aside, for He has made preparations that guarantee you will not go hungry. But mankind does not have such confidence, nor do they have true faith in God. They always want to give themselves room to maneuver, and are never able to see all the care and thought behind God’s preparations for mankind. They cannot feel it, so they cannot fully put their faith in God, always thinking: “God’s actions are unreliable! Who knows if God will give us what we need or when He will give it to us! If I’m famished and God doesn’t provide, then won’t I starve? Won’t I lack nutrition?” See how flimsy man’s confidence is!
Grains, fruits and vegetables, and all types of nuts—these are all vegetarian foods. They contain nutrients sufficient to satisfy the needs of the human body, even though they are vegetarian foods. However, God did not say: “I will give just these foods to mankind. Let them eat only these things!” God did not stop there, but went on to prepare for mankind many more foods that are even more delicious. What are these foods? They are the various kinds of meat and fish that most of you are able to see and eat. He prepared for man many, many kinds of both meat and fish. Fish live in the water, and the flesh of the fish of the water is different in substance from the flesh of land-dwelling animals, and it can provide man with different nutrients. Fish also have properties that can regulate cold and heat in the human body, which is of great benefit to man. But delicious food must not be eaten to excess. As I have already said, God bestows on mankind the right quantity at the right time, so that people can properly enjoy His bestowal in a normal way and in accordance with the season and time. Now, what kinds of foods are included in the category of poultry? Chicken, quail, pigeon, and so on and so forth. Many people also eat duck and goose. Though God has provided all these kinds of meat, He made certain requirements of His chosen people and put specific limits on their diet during the Age of Law. These days, these limits are based on individual taste and personal interpretation. These various meats provide the human body with diverse nutrients, replenishing protein and iron, enriching the blood, fortifying muscles and bones, and building bodily strength. Regardless of how people cook and eat them, these meats can help people improve the flavor of their food and bolster their appetite, while also satisfying their stomachs. Most importantly, these foods can supply the human body with its daily nutritional needs. This was God’s consideration when He made food ready for mankind. There are vegetables, there is meat—is this not an abundance? But people should understand what God’s intention was when He prepared all foods for mankind. Was it to have mankind overindulge in these foods? What happens when man becomes trapped in attempting to satisfy these material desires? Does he not become over-nourished? Does too much nourishment not afflict the human body in many ways? (Yes.) That is why God apportions the right quantity at the right time and has people enjoy different foods in accordance with different time periods and seasons. For example, after a very hot summer, people accumulate much heat in their bodies, as well as pathogenic dryness and dampness. When autumn arrives, many kinds of fruit ripen, and when people eat these fruits, the dampness in their bodies is expelled. At this time, cattle and sheep have also grown strong, so this is when people should eat more meat for nourishment. By eating various kinds of meat, people’s bodies gain energy and warmth to help them withstand the cold of the winter, and they are able to pass the winter safely and healthily as a result. With utmost care and precision, God controls and coordinates what to provide mankind, and when; and when He will have different things grow, bear fruit, and ripen. This relates to “How God prepares the food man needs in his daily life.” In addition to many kinds of food, God also provides mankind with sources of water. After eating, people still need to drink water. Would fruit alone suffice? People could not live on fruit alone, and besides, there is no fruit in some seasons. So, how can mankind’s water problem be solved? God has solved it by preparing many water sources above and below the ground, including lakes, rivers, and springs. These water sources are potable as long as there is no contamination, and as long as people have not manipulated or damaged them. In other words, in terms of food sources that sustain the lives of mankind’s physical bodies, God has made very precise, very accurate, and very appropriate preparations, so that people’s lives are rich and plentiful and not lacking in anything. This is something that people can feel and see.
Additionally, God created among all things some plants, animals, and various herbs that are specifically meant to heal injuries or treat illness in the human body. What should someone do, for instance, if they are burned, or accidentally scald themselves? Can you just rinse the burn with water? Can you just wrap it up with any old piece of cloth? If you do that, the wound might fill with pus or become infected. If someone gets a fever, for instance, or catches a cold; suffers an injury while working; develops a stomach ailment from eating the wrong thing; or develops certain diseases caused by lifestyle factors or emotional issues, including vascular diseases, psychological conditions, or diseases of the internal organs, then there are corresponding plants that cure their conditions. There are plants that improve blood circulation and remove stagnation, relieve pain, stanch bleeding, provide anesthesia, help heal the skin and return it to a normal condition, and disperse stagnant blood and eliminate toxins from the body—in short, these plants have uses in daily life. People can use them, and they have been prepared by God for the human body in case of need. God allowed man to discover some of them by happenstance, while others were discovered by people whom God chose to do so, or as a result of special phenomena He orchestrated. Following the discovery of these plants, mankind would pass them down, and many people would come to know about them. God’s creation of these plants thus has value and meaning. In summary, these things are all from God, prepared and planted by Him when He created mankind’s living environment. They are essential. Are God’s thought processes more thorough than those of mankind? When you see all that God has done, do you have a sense of God’s practical side? God works in secret. God created all of this when man had not yet come into this world, when He had had no contact with mankind. Everything was done with mankind in mind, for the sake of man’s existence and with thought for their survival, so that mankind may live happily in this rich and plentiful material world that God prepared for them, free from worry about food or clothes, lacking nothing. In such an environment, mankind can continue to reproduce and survive.
Among all God’s deeds, great and small, is there any without value or meaning? Everything He does has value and meaning. Let us start our discussion with a common topic. People often ask: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? (The chicken.) The chicken came first, no doubt about it! Why did the chicken come first? Why could the egg not have come first? Does the chicken not hatch from the egg? After twenty-one days, the chicken hatches, and that chicken then lays more eggs, and more chickens hatch from those eggs. So did the chicken or the egg come first? You answer “chicken” with absolute certainty. But why is this your answer? (The Bible says God created the birds and the beasts.) So, your answer is based on the Bible. But I want you to talk about your own understanding, so that I can see if you have any practical knowledge of God’s actions. Now, are you sure about your answer, or not? (God created the chicken, then gave it the ability to reproduce, which means the ability to incubate eggs.) This interpretation is more or less correct. The chicken came first, and then the egg. This is certain. It is not a particularly profound mystery, but the people of the world nonetheless consider it so and try to resolve it with philosophical theories, without ever coming to a conclusion. This is just like when people do not know that God created them. They do not know this fundamental principle, nor do they have a clear idea of whether the egg or the chicken should have come first. They do not know which should have come first, so they are never able to find the answer. It is quite natural that the chicken came first. If there were an egg before the chicken, that would be abnormal! It is such a simple thing—the chicken definitely came first. This is not a question that requires advanced knowledge. God created everything, with the intention that man should enjoy it. Once the chicken exists, the egg follows as a matter of course. Is this not a ready solution? If the egg were created first, would it not still need the chicken to incubate it? Creating the chicken directly is a much readier solution. This way, the chicken could lay eggs and incubate the chicks inside, and people could have chicken to eat. How convenient! The way God does things is neat and clean, not at all convoluted. Where does the egg come from? It comes from the chicken. There is no egg without the chicken. What God created was a living thing! Mankind is absurd and ridiculous, always becoming entangled in such simple things, and ending up with a bunch of absurd fallacies. How childish man is! The relationship between the egg and the chicken is clear: The chicken came first. This is the most accurate explanation, the most accurate way to understand it, and the most accurate answer. It is correct.
What topics have we just discussed? We began by talking about the environment mankind inhabits and what God did for that environment and the preparations He made. We discussed what He arranged; the relationships between the things of creation, which God prepared for mankind; and how God arranged these relationships to prevent the things of His creation from harming mankind. God also mitigated the harm that many different factors within His creation may have had on mankind’s environment, allowing all things to serve their highest purpose, and bring mankind a beneficial environment with beneficial elements, thus enabling mankind to adapt to such an environment and steadily continue the cycle of life and reproduction. Next, we talked about the food the human body needs—mankind’s daily food and drink. This is also a necessary condition for mankind’s survival. That is to say, the human body cannot live by breathing alone, with just sunlight for sustenance, or wind, or suitable temperatures. Human beings also need to fill their stomachs, and God prepared for mankind, without overlooking anything, the sources of the things with which they might do so, those being the sources of mankind’s food. When you have seen such rich and bountiful produce—the sources of mankind’s food and drink—can you say that God is the source of the supply for mankind and for all the things of His creation? If, during the time of creation, God had only created trees and grass or any number of other living things, and if these various living things and plants were all for cows and sheep to eat, or were for zebras, deer, and various other kinds of animals, for instance, lions were to eat things such as zebras and deer, and tigers were to eat things such as sheep and pigs—but there were not a single thing suitable for humans to eat, would that have worked? It would not. Mankind would not have been able to survive for long. What if humans only ate leaves? Would that have worked? Could humans eat the grass meant for sheep? It might not hurt if they tried a bit, but if they ate such things for a long time, their stomachs would not be able to tolerate it, and people would not have lived for long. There are even things that animals can eat but are poisonous to humans—animals eat them without consequence, but it is not so for humans. This is to say that God created human beings, so God knows best the principles and structure of the human body and what humans need. God knows with perfect clarity the body’s composition and content, its needs and the functioning of its internal organs, and how they absorb, eliminate and metabolize various substances. Humans do not; sometimes, they eat imprudently, or engage in reckless self-care, too much of which causes an imbalance. If you eat and enjoy the things that God prepared for you in a normal way, then you will have no health problems. Even if you sometimes experience bad moods and you have stagnation of the blood, this poses no problem at all. You simply need to eat a certain type of plant, and the stagnation will clear up. God has made preparations for all of these things. So, in God’s eyes, mankind is far above any other living thing. God prepared an environment for each kind of plant, and He prepared food and an environment for each kind of animal, but mankind has the most stringent needs of its environment, and those needs cannot be overlooked in the slightest way; if they were, mankind would not be able to continue developing and living and reproducing in a normal way. It is God who knows this best, in His heart. When God did this, He placed more importance on it than on anything else. Perhaps you are unable to sense the importance of some unremarkable thing you can see and enjoy in your life, or something you see and enjoy that you have had since birth, but God has already made preparations for you long ago or in secret. To the greatest possible extent, God has removed and mitigated all negative elements that are unfavorable to mankind and might harm the human body. What does this show? Does it show the attitude God had toward mankind when He created them this time? What was that attitude? God’s attitude was careful and earnest, and it brooked no interference by any enemy forces or external factors or conditions not of Him. In this can be seen God’s attitude in creating and managing mankind this time. And what is God’s attitude? Through the environment for survival and life that mankind enjoys, as well as in their daily food and drink and daily needs, we can see God’s attitude of responsibility toward mankind, which He has held since He created man, as well as His determination to save mankind at this time. Is God’s authenticity visible in these things? Is His wondrousness? His unfathomability? His omnipotence? God uses His wise and almighty ways to provide for all of mankind, as well as to provision all the things of His creation. Now that I have said so much to you, can you say that God is the source of life for all things? (Yes.) That is certainly so. Do you have any doubts? (No.) God’s provision for all things suffices to show that He is the source of life for all things, because He is the source of the provision that has enabled all things to exist, live, reproduce, and continue on, and there is no source except for God Himself. God provides for all the needs of all things and all the needs of mankind, whether those be people’s most basic environmental needs, the needs of their daily lives, or the need for the truth that He provides to people’s spirits. In every way, God’s identity and His status are of great importance to mankind; only God Himself is the source of life for all things. That is to say, God is the Ruler, the Master, and Provider of this world, this world that people can see and feel. For mankind, is this not God’s identity? There is nothing false in this. So when you see birds flying in the sky, you should know that God created everything that can fly. There are living things that swim in the water, and they have their own ways of surviving. The trees and the plants that live in the soil bud and sprout in spring and bear fruit and shed leaves in autumn, and by winter all the leaves have fallen as those plants prepare to weather the winter. That is their way of survival. God created all things, and each lives in different forms and different ways and uses different methods to exhibit its life force and the form in which it lives. No matter how things go about living, they are all under God’s rule. What is the purpose of God ruling over all the different forms of life and living beings? Is it for the sake of mankind’s survival? He controls all the laws of life, all for the sake of mankind’s survival. This shows just how important mankind’s survival is to God.
Mankind’s ability to survive and reproduce normally is of the utmost importance to God. Therefore, God is constantly providing for mankind and all the things of His creation. He provides for all things in different ways, and by maintaining the survival of all things, He enables mankind to continue moving forward, maintaining humanity’s normal survival. These are the two aspects of our fellowship today. What are these two aspects? (From the macro perspective, God created the environment in which man lives. That is the first aspect. God also prepared the material things that mankind needs and can see and touch.) We have fellowshiped our main topic through these two aspects. What is our main topic? (God Is the Source of Life for All Things.) Now you should have some understanding of why My fellowship on this topic had such contents. Has there been any discussion unrelated to the main topic? None at all! Perhaps, after hearing these things, some of you have gained some understanding and now feel that these words have weight, that they are very important, but others might have only some literal understanding and feel that these words are unimportant in and of themselves. Regardless of how you understand this in the current moment, when your experience has come to a certain day, when your understanding reaches a certain point, that is, when your knowledge of God’s actions and God Himself reaches a certain level, then you will use your own words, which are practical, to deliver a profound and genuine testimony to God’s actions.
I think your current understanding is still quite superficial and literal, but, having heard these two aspects of My fellowship, can you at least recognize what methods God uses to provide for mankind or what things God provides to mankind? Do you have a basic concept, a basic understanding? (Yes.) But are these two aspects I fellowshiped related to the Bible? Are they related to God’s judgment and chastisement in the Age of Kingdom? (No.) Then why did I fellowship on them? Is it because people must understand them to know God? (Yes.) It is very necessary to know these things and it is also very necessary to understand them. As you seek to understand God in His entirety, do not limit yourself to the Bible, and do not limit yourself to God’s judgment and chastisement of man. What is My purpose in saying this? It is to let people know that God is not just the God of His chosen people. You currently follow God, and He is your God, but is He the God of those who do not follow Him? Is God the God of all those people who do not follow Him? Is God the God of all things? (Yes.) Then are God’s work and actions limited in scope merely to those who follow Him? (No.) What is the scope of His work and actions? At the smallest level, the scope of His work and actions encompasses all of mankind and all the things of creation. At the highest level it encompasses the entire universe, which people cannot see. So, we may say that God does His work and performs His actions among all mankind, and this suffices to allow people to come to know God Himself in His entirety. If you want to know God, to know Him truly, to understand Him truly, then do not restrict yourself merely to the three stages of God’s work, or to stories of the work He performed in the past. If you try to know Him in that way, then you are placing limitations on God, confining Him. You are seeing God as something very small. How would doing so affect people? You would never be able to know God’s wondrousness and supremacy, nor His power and omnipotence and the scope of His authority. Such an understanding would have an impact on your ability to accept the truth that God is the Ruler of all things, as well as your knowledge of God’s true identity and status. In other words, if your understanding of God is limited in scope, then what you can receive is also limited. This is why you must broaden your scope and expand your horizons. You should seek to understand all of it—the scope of God’s work, His management, His rule, and all the things He manages and over which He rules. It is through these things that you should come to understand God’s actions. With such an understanding, you will come to feel, without realizing it, that God rules, manages, and provides for all things among them, and you will also truly feel that you are a part and a member of all things. As God provides for all things, you are also accepting God’s rule and provision. This is a fact that no one can deny. All things are subject to their own laws under God’s rule, and under God’s rule, all things have their own rules for survival. Mankind’s fate and needs are also bound together with God’s rule and provision. That is why, under God’s dominion and rule, mankind and all things are interconnected, interdependent, and interwoven. This is the purpose and value of God’s creation of all things.
February 2, 2014