159. The Principles of Submitting to God’s Orchestration and Arrangements
(1) God is the Lord of creation; man is a created being. It is ordained by Heaven and acknowledged by earth to submit to God’s orchestration and arrangements. This is the good sense that people should possess;
(2) Man’s fate is in God’s hands. People cannot be their own masters, but whichever path they choose decides their fate;
(3) Have faith in God’s absolute righteousness. Everything He does for His chosen people is love and salvation, and, regardless of their outcome, it is His righteousness;
(4) The path one walks determines whether they meet weal or woe. This has nothing to do with God, who is righteous and partial to no one.
Relevant Words of God:
God is the One who rules over all things and administers all things. He created all that there is, He administers all that there is, He rules over all that there is, and He provides for all that there is. This is the status of God, and it is His identity. For all things and all that there is, God’s true identity is the Creator and the Ruler of all of creation. Such is the identity possessed by God, and He is unique among all things. None of God’s creatures—whether they be among mankind or in the spiritual world—can use any means or excuse to impersonate or replace God’s identity and status, for there is only One, among all things, who is possessed of this identity, power, authority, and ability to rule over creation: our unique God Himself. He lives and moves among all things; He can rise to the highest place, above all things. He can humble Himself by becoming human, becoming one among those of flesh and blood, coming face-to-face with people and sharing weal and woe with them, while at the same time, He commands all that there is, deciding the fate of all that there is and in what direction it all moves. Moreover, He guides the fate of all mankind, and steers the direction of mankind. A God such as this should be worshiped, obeyed, and known by all living beings. Thus, regardless of which group or type among mankind you belong to, believing in God, following God, revering God, accepting His rule, and accepting His arrangements for your fate is the only choice—the necessary choice—for any person and for any living being. In God’s uniqueness, people see that His authority, His righteous disposition, His substance, and the means by which He provides to all things are all completely unique; this uniqueness determines the true identity of God Himself, and it also determines His status. Therefore, among all creatures, if any living being in the spiritual world or among mankind wished to stand in God’s stead, success would be impossible, as would be that of any attempt to impersonate God. This is fact.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique X” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God created all things, and so He makes all creation come under His dominion and submit to His dominion; He will command all things, so that all things are in His hands. All of God’s creation, including animals, plants, mankind, the mountains and rivers, and the lakes—all must come under His dominion. All things in the skies and on the ground must come under His dominion. They cannot have any choice and must all submit to His orchestrations. This was decreed by God, and it is the authority of God. God commands everything, and orders and ranks all things, with each classed according to kind, and allotted their own position, according to God’s will. No matter how great it is, no thing can surpass God, all things serve the mankind created by God, and no thing dares to disobey God or make any demands of God.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There is a fundamental principle of the Lord of creation’s treatment of created beings, which is also the highest principle. How He treats created beings is completely based on His management plan and on His requirements; He does not need to consult any single person, nor does He need to get any single person to agree with Him. Whatever He ought to do and however He ought to treat people, He does, and, no matter what He does or how He treats people, it all accords with the principles by which the Lord of creation works. As a created being, the only thing to do is submit; there should not be any other choice. What does this show? It shows that the Lord of creation will always be the Lord of creation; He has the power and the qualifications to orchestrate and rule over any created being as He pleases, and does not need a reason to do so. This is His authority. There is not one among the beings of creation who, insofar as they are created beings, has the power or is qualified to pass judgment on how the Creator should act or on whether what He does is right or wrong, nor is any created being qualified to choose whether they should be ruled over, orchestrated, or disposed of by the Lord of creation. Likewise, not a single created being has the qualifications to choose how they are ruled over and disposed of by the Lord of creation. This is the highest truth. No matter what the Lord of creation has done to His created beings, and no matter how He has done it, the humans He created should do only one thing: Seek, submit, know, and accept this fact put in place by the Lord of creation. The final result will be that the Lord of creation will have accomplished His management plan and completed His work, having caused His management plan to progress without any obstructions; meanwhile, because the created beings have accepted the Creator’s rule and arrangements, and submitted to His rule and arrangements, they will have gained the truth, understood the Creator’s will, and come to know His disposition. There is yet another principle I must tell you: No matter what the Creator does, no matter how He manifests, and no matter whether what He does is a great deed or a small one, He is still the Creator; whereas all mankind, which He created, regardless of what they have done, and regardless of how talented or favored they might be, remain created beings. As for created humanity, no matter how much grace and how many blessings they have received from the Creator, or how much mercy, lovingkindness, or benevolence, they should not believe themselves to stand apart from the masses, or think they can be on equal footing with God and that they have become highly ranked among created beings. Regardless of how many gifts God has bestowed on you, or how much grace He has given you, or how kindly He has treated you, or whether He has given you a few special talents, none of these are your assets. You are a created being, and you will thus forever be a created being. You must never think, “I am a little darling in the hands of God. He would not raise a hand to me. God’s attitude toward me will always be one of love, care, and gentle caresses, with warm whispers of comfort and encouragement.” To the contrary, in the eyes of the Creator, you are the same as all other created beings; God can use you as He wishes, and can also orchestrate you as He wishes, and He can arrange as He wishes for you to play every role among all sorts of people, events, and things. This is the knowledge people should have, and the good sense that they should possess.
Excerpted from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can One Know God’s Deeds” in Records of Christ’s Talks
People are created beings who have nothing worthy of boasting about. Since you are God’s creatures, you must perform the duty of a creature. There are no other requirements of you. This is how you should pray: “Oh God! Whether I have status or not, I now understand myself. If my status is high it is because of Your elevation, and if it is low it is because of Your ordination. Everything is in Your hands. I have neither any choices, nor any complaints. You ordained that I would be born in this country and among this people, and all that I should do is to be completely obedient under Your dominion because everything is within what You have ordained. I do not give thought to status; after all, I am but a creature. If You place me in the bottomless pit, in the lake of fire and brimstone, I am nothing but a creature. If You use me, I am a creature. If You perfect me, I am yet a creature. If You do not perfect me, I will still love You because I am no more than a creature. I am nothing more than a minuscule creature created by the Lord of creation, just one among all created humans. It was You who created me, and now You have once again placed me in Your hands to do with me as You will. I am willing to be Your tool and Your foil because everything is what You have ordained. No one can change it. All things and all events are in Your hands.”
Excerpted from “Why Are You Unwilling to Be a Foil?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When confronting real-life problems, how should you know and understand God’s authority and His sovereignty? When you are faced with these problems and do not know how to understand, handle, and experience them, what attitude should you adopt to demonstrate your intention to submit, your desire to submit, and the reality of your submission to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? First you must learn to wait; then you must learn to seek; then you must learn to submit. “Waiting” means waiting for the time of God, awaiting the people, events, and things that He has arranged for you, waiting for His will to reveal itself gradually to you. “Seeking” means observing and understanding God’s thoughtful intentions for you through the people, events, and things that He has laid out, understanding the truth through them, understanding what humans must accomplish and the ways they must adhere to, understanding what results God means to achieve in humans and what accomplishments He means to attain in them. “Submitting,” of course, refers to accepting the people, events, and things that God has orchestrated, accepting His sovereignty and, through it, coming to know how the Creator dictates man’s fate, how He supplies man with His life, how He works the truth within man. All things under God’s arrangements and sovereignty obey natural laws, and if you resolve to let God arrange and dictate everything for you, you should learn to wait, you should learn to seek, and you should learn to submit. This is the attitude every person who wants to submit to God’s authority must adopt, the basic quality every person who wants to accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements must possess. To hold such an attitude, to possess such a quality, you must work harder. This is the only way you can enter into the true reality.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The only attitude that a created being should have to its Creator is one of obedience, one of unconditional obedience. This is something that some people today may be unable to accept. They say, “How can this be unconditional? God’s words always have to be reasonable, and He always has to have a reason for doing things. God always has to give people a way to survive, He always has to act reasonably and fairly, and He cannot ignore human feelings.” If you are able to utter these words, and you in fact think this way, well, you are far from being able to obey God. While man is provided for and watered by the word of God, man is in fact preparing for a single thing. What might that thing be? It is ultimately to be able to achieve unconditional, absolute submission to God, at which point, you, this creation, will have reached the standard required. Sometimes, God deliberately does things that are at odds with your notions, which go against what you want, or which even appear to go against principles, or against human feelings, humanity, or sentiments, leaving you unable to accept them and unable to understand. Whichever way you look at it, it doesn’t seem right, you simply can’t accept it, and you feel that what He has done is simply unreasonable. So what is God’s purpose in doing these things? It is to test you. You need not discuss the hows and whys of what God has done; all you need do is maintain your faith that He is the truth, and recognize that He is your Creator, that He is your God. This is higher than all truth, higher than all worldly wisdom, than man’s so-called morality, ethics, man’s so-called knowledge, education, philosophy or traditional culture, and it is even higher than affection or comradeship or so-called love between people—it is higher than absolutely anything else. If you cannot understand this, then sooner or later, when something happens to you, you are liable to rebel against God and go astray, before finally repenting and recognizing the loveliness of God, and recognizing the meaning of the work that God performs on you, or, even worse, you might trip and fall because of it. … Regardless of how long a person has believed in God, how long the road they have traveled along, how much work they have done and how many duties they have performed, this time has all been preparing them for a single thing: for you to ultimately be able to achieve unconditional, absolute submission to God. So what does “unconditional” mean? It means ignoring your personal justifications, ignoring your objective reasoning, and not bickering over anything: You are a created being, and you are not worthy. When you bicker with God, you are in the wrong position; when you attempt to justify yourself to God, once again, you are in the wrong position; when you argue with God, when you want to ask the reason why, to figure out what is actually happening, if you cannot obey without first understanding, and will only submit once everything is clear to you, you are once again in the wrong position. When the position you are in is wrong, is your obedience to God absolute? (No.) Then are you or are you not a created being in God’s mind? Are you treating God as God should be treated? As the Lord of all creation? No, you are not, in which case God does not recognize you. What things can enable you to achieve absolute, unconditional obedience to God? How can this be experienced? On the one hand, a bit of the conscience and sense of normal humanity is required; on the other, as you fulfill your duties, each and every aspect of the truth must be understood so that you may understand God’s will. Sometimes, man’s caliber falls short, and man does not have the strength or the energy to understand all truths. There is one thing, however: Regardless of the environment, people, events, and things that come upon you and that God has arranged, you must always have an obedient attitude. Do not ask the reason why—you must have this attitude. If even this attitude is beyond you, and you are perpetually ready with “I have to consider whether what God is doing is really righteous. They say God is love, well let’s see if there is love in what He is doing with me, and if this is actually love,” if you are always examining whether what God is doing satisfies all standards, looking at whether what God is doing is what you like, or even whether it complies with what you believe to be the truth, then your position is wrong, and this will bring you trouble.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (9)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
As part of the creation, on what basis do you make demands on God? Man is not qualified to make demands on God. To make a demand of God is the most unreasonable thing. God will do what He wants, and God also has the right not to do it this way. He has a right to handle these things on His own; His own disposition is righteous. Righteousness is by no means fair or reasonable; it is not egalitarianism or a matter of allocating to you what you deserve according to how much work you have completed, or paying you for whatever work you have done, or giving you your due according to what effort you expend. This is not righteousness. Suppose God had eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him: God would have been righteous then, too. Why is this called righteousness? If something matches people’s notions, it is much easier for them to say God is righteous; however, if they do not see it as matching their notions—if it is something that they are unable to understand—then it would be very strenuous for them to say that God is righteous. Suppose God eliminated Job after Job bore witness for Him. God is righteous here, too. Why say that He is righteous? Saying that God is righteous in doing this, why say such a thing? Righteousness is such a thing that if something matches people’s conceptions, people say God is righteous, which is much easier, but if people do not see it as matching their conceptions, if it is something that people are unable to understand, that would require a great effort of people to explain that as righteousness. If He had eliminated Job at that time, people would not say that God was righteous. Even if there were people who said He was, they would say unwillingly: “Jehovah God is all right….” In fact if people are eliminated by God, whether or not they have been corrupted, ought God to explain the reasons for elimination to people? Should He explain to people His basis for eliminating them? There would be no need, right? Need it be based on preserving useful persons, and eliminating a useless person? It need not. In God’s eyes a corrupted person can be dealt with as He pleases. However it is done is appropriate; all is in His plan. If unpleasant to His eyes, you are useless after bearing witness and are eliminated, is this righteous? It is righteousness. Though in reality this is not easy to understand, you must have an understanding in principle. Tell Me, is God’s destruction of Satan righteous? If He had spared Satan? Perhaps you dare not say? God’s essence is righteousness. Though it is not easy to understand what God does, all that He does is righteous; it is simply that people do not understand. When God gave Peter to Satan, how did Peter respond? “Mankind is unable to fathom what You do, but all of what You do contains Your good will; there is righteousness in all of it. How can I not utter praise for Your wise deeds?” Now you should notice that God does not eliminate Satan right away, so that man is able to see how Satan has corrupted people, and how God has saved people. Only after man is able to see the extent of Satan’s corruption of man, how Satan’s list of crimes reaches the heavens does God ultimately eliminate Satan, so that people can see that therein is God’s righteousness and His disposition. Everything that God does is righteous. Though it might be unfathomable to you, you should not make judgment as you please. If something He does appears to you as unreasonable, or if you have any notions about it, and then you say that He is not righteous, then you are being most unreasonable.
Excerpted from “How to Understand the Righteous Disposition of God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
To man, God does much that is incomprehensible and even unbelievable. When God wishes to orchestrate someone, this orchestration is often at odds with man’s notions and incomprehensible to him, yet it is precisely this dissonance and incomprehensibility that are God’s trial and test of man. Abraham, meanwhile, was able to demonstrate obedience to God within himself, which was the most fundamental condition of his being able to satisfy God’s requirement. Only then, when Abraham was able to obey God’s requirement, when he offered up Isaac, did God truly feel reassurance and approval toward mankind—toward Abraham, whom He had chosen. Only then was God sure that this person whom He had chosen was an indispensable leader who could undertake His promise and His subsequent management plan. Though it was but a trial and a test, God felt gratified, He felt man’s love for Him, and He felt comforted by man as never before. At the moment that Abraham lifted up his knife to slay Isaac, did God stop him? God did not let Abraham sacrifice Isaac, for God simply had no intention of taking Isaac’s life. Thus, God stopped Abraham just in time. For God, Abraham’s obedience had already passed the test, what he did was sufficient, and God had already seen the outcome of what He intended to do. Was this outcome satisfactory to God? It can be said that this outcome was satisfactory to God, that it was what God wanted, and was what God had longed to see. Is this true? Although, in different contexts, God uses different ways of testing each person, in Abraham God saw what He wanted, He saw that Abraham’s heart was true, and that his obedience was unconditional. It was precisely this “unconditional” that God desired.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Job did not talk of trades with God, and made no requests or demands of God. His praising of God’s name was because of the great power and authority of God in ruling all things, and it was not dependent on whether he gained blessings or was struck by disaster. He believed that regardless of whether God blesses people or brings disaster upon them, God’s power and authority will not change, and thus, regardless of a person’s circumstances, God’s name should be praised. That man is blessed by God is because of God’s sovereignty, and when disaster befalls man, so, too, it is because of God’s sovereignty. God’s power and authority rule over and arrange everything about man; the vagaries of man’s fortune are the manifestation of God’s power and authority, and regardless of one’s viewpoint, God’s name should be praised. This is what Job experienced and came to know during the years of his life. All of Job’s thoughts and actions reached the ears of God and arrived before God, and were seen as important by God. God cherished this knowledge of Job, and treasured Job for having such a heart. This heart awaited God’s command always, and in all places, and no matter what the time or place it welcomed whatever befell him. Job made no demands of God. What he demanded of himself was to wait for, accept, face, and obey all of the arrangements that came from God; Job believed this to be his duty, and it was precisely what was wanted by God.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and going without in his life, none of which could alter his love for God. Was this not the ultimate love for God? Was this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Whether in chastisement, judgment, or tribulation, you are always capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love for God. If man can achieve this much, then he is a qualified creature of God, and there is nothing which better satisfies the desire of the Creator. Imagine that you are able to work for God, yet you do not obey God, and are incapable of truly loving God. In this way, not only will you not have fulfilled the duty of a creature of God, but you will also be condemned by God, for you are someone who does not possess the truth, who is incapable of obeying God, and who is disobedient to God. You only care about working for God, and do not care about putting the truth into practice or knowing yourself. You do not understand or know the Creator, and do not obey or love the Creator. You are someone who is innately disobedient to God, and so such people are not beloved by the Creator.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Only Those Who Submit to the Creator’s Sovereignty Can Attain True Freedom
Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly and with a rebellious attitude, and they always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed and are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, brings profound pain of the sort that carves itself into one’s bones, as one fritters away their life all the while. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously, neither is true. At bottom, it is caused by the paths people take, the ways they choose to live their lives. Some people may not have realized these things. But when you truly know, when you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for you and decided for you is a great benefit and protection, then you feel your pain begin to lighten, and your whole being becomes relaxed, free, liberated. Judging from the states of the majority of people, they objectively cannot truly come to terms with the practical value and meaning of the Creator’s sovereignty over human fate, even though on a subjective level, they do not want to keep on living as they did before and want relief from their pain; objectively, they cannot truly recognize and submit to the Creator’s sovereignty, and still less do they know how to seek out and accept the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. So, if people cannot truly recognize the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate and over all human matters, if they cannot truly submit to the Creator’s dominion, then it will be difficult for them not to be driven and fettered by the idea that “one’s fate is in one’s own hands.” It will be difficult for them to shake off the pain of their intense struggle against fate and the Creator’s authority, and, needless to say, it will also be hard for them to become truly liberated and free, to become people who worship God. But there is an exceedingly simple way to free oneself from this state, which is to bid farewell to one’s former way of living; to say goodbye to one’s previous goals in life; to summarize and analyze one’s previous lifestyle, view of life, pursuits, desires, and ideals; and then to compare them with God’s will and demands for man, and see whether any of them is consistent with God’s will and demands, whether any of them delivers the right values of life, leads one to a greater understanding of the truth, and allows one to live with humanity and the likeness of a human being. When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals that people pursue in life and their myriad ways of living, you will find not one of them conforms to the Creator’s original intention with which He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all traps which cause people to become depraved, and which lead them to hell. After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you; it is to try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to live without individual choice, and to become a person who worships God. This sounds easy, but is a hard thing to do. Some people can bear the pain of it, others cannot. Some are willing to comply, others are unwilling. Those who are unwilling lack the desire and the resolution to do so; they are clearly aware of God’s sovereignty, know perfectly well that it is God who plans out and arranges human fate, and yet they still kick and struggle and remain unreconciled to laying their fates in God’s palm and submitting to God’s sovereignty; moreover, they resent God’s orchestrations and arrangements. So there will always be some people who want to see for themselves what they are capable of; they want to change their fates with their own two hands, or to achieve happiness by their own power, to see whether they can overstep the bounds of God’s authority and rise above God’s sovereignty. The tragedy of man is not that he seeks a happy life, not that he pursues fame and fortune or struggles against his own fate through the fog, but that after he has seen the Creator’s existence, after he has learned the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate, he still cannot mend his ways, cannot pull his feet out of the mire, but hardens his heart and persists in his errors. He would rather keep thrashing in the mud, vying obstinately against the Creator’s sovereignty, resisting it until the bitter end, all without the slightest shred of contrition. It is only when he lies broken and bleeding that he at last decides to give up and turn back. This is true human sorrow. So I say, those who choose to submit are wise, and those who choose to struggle and flee are foolish indeed.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh