What It Means to Pursue the Truth (13)
In the last gathering we mainly fellowshiped on and dissected the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” in traditional culture. The traditional cultural sayings and theories which Satan uses to indoctrinate people are not correct, and neither are the high-sounding words that it makes people abide by. On the contrary, they have the effect of confusing and misleading people, and confining their thinking. By educating, indoctrinating, and influencing the masses with these erroneous ideas and views in traditional culture, the ultimate aim is to reassure them into submitting to the dominion of the ruling class, and even serving the rulers with the loyalty of those who love their country and party, and who are determined to protect their home and safeguard the state. This suffices to show that the national government popularizes traditional cultural education in order to facilitate the rulers’ control over humankind and over all the various ethnic groups, and to further increase the stability of the rulers’ regime and the harmony and stability of society under their control. No matter how the ruling class propagates, promotes, and popularizes traditional cultural education, in general, these sayings on moral conduct have deluded and misled people, and severely disrupted their ability to differentiate truth from lies, good from evil, right from wrong, and positive things from negative things. It can also be said that these sayings on moral conduct completely invert black and white, mix the truth with lies, and delude the general public, causing people to be deceived by these opinions from traditional culture, within a context in which they do not know what is right and what is wrong, what is truth and what are lies, what things are positive and what things are negative, what comes from God, and what comes from Satan. The way in which traditional culture defines all sorts of things and categorizes all kinds of people as good or bad, kind or evil has disturbed, confused and misled human beings, even confining people’s thoughts within the various sayings on moral conduct that traditional culture advocates, so that they are unable to extricate themselves. As a result, many people willingly pledge allegiance to devil kings, showing blind devotion to the very end and honoring that pledge until death. This situation has continued until the present, and yet few people have come to their senses. Although nowadays many people who believe in God can recognize the truth, there are many stumbling blocks to their accepting it and putting it into practice. It can be said that these stumbling blocks mainly come from the ideas and views of traditional culture, which have long since taken root in their hearts. People learned them first and they remain dominant, already controlling people’s thoughts, which creates so many stumbling blocks and so much resistance to people accepting the truth and submitting to God’s work. This is one aspect. Another aspect is because people have corrupt dispositions, which are partly caused by the way that traditional culture deludes and corrupts people. Traditional culture has severely impacted and interfered with people’s views on how to measure good and evil, truth and lies, and caused people to have many mistaken notions, ideas, and views. This has led to people being unable to positively accept things that are positive, beautiful and good, the laws of all things created by God, and the fact that God rules over all things. Instead, people are full of notions and all kinds of vague and unrealistic ideas. These are the consequences of the various ideas that Satan instills in people. From another perspective, all the various sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture are false sayings that corrupt people’s thinking, disturb their minds, and damage their normal thought processes, severely impacting people’s acceptance of positive things and the truth, and also seriously affecting people’s pure comprehension and understanding of the laws and rules of all things created by God.
In one respect, the various sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture have disturbed the correct ways of thinking with which people distinguish right from wrong, as well as disrupting their free will. Moreover, having accepted these various sayings about moral conduct, humans have become hypocritical and fake. They are good at pretending—even to the extent of calling a deer a horse, inverting black and white, and treating negative, ugly, and evil things as positive, beautiful, and good things, and vice versa—and they have already reached the stage of venerating evil. Throughout human society, regardless of which period or dynasty, the things that humans advocate and revere are basically these sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture. Under the severe impact of these sayings on moral conduct, that is to say, under the progressively more profound and thorough indoctrination of these sayings on moral conduct from traditional culture, people unconsciously adopt these sayings as the capital of existence and laws of existence. People just wholly accept them without discernment, treating them as positive things, and as a guiding ideology and criteria for how they should deal with others, view people and things, and comport themselves and act. People treat them as supreme laws for making their way in society, or achieving fame and prestige, or becoming esteemed and revered. Take any group within any society or nation, in any period—the people they esteem, revere, and proclaim as the very best of the human race are nothing more than what humans call moral exemplars. No matter what kind of life such people lead behind the scenes, no matter what the intentions and motives of their actions and what their humanity essence is like, no matter how they really conduct themselves and deal with others, and no matter what the essence of the person wrapped under their cloak of beautiful and good moral conduct is like, no one cares about these things, nor tries to investigate further. As long as they are loyal, patriotic, and show allegiance to the rulers, the people idolize them and sing their praises, and even emulate them as heroes, because everyone takes a person’s outward moral conduct as the basis for gaging whether they are kind or evil, good or bad, and for measuring their reputation. Although the Bible clearly documents the stories of a number of ancient saints and sages such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, and Peter, and the stories of many prophets and so on, and although many people are familiar with such stories, there is still no country, nation, or group that widely promotes the humanity and moral character of these ancient saints and sages—or the examples of them worshiping God, or even the fear of God that they revealed—whether in society, throughout the nation, or among people. Not one country, nation, or group does this. Even countries where Christianity is the state religion, or countries with predominantly religious populations, still do not call attention to and revere the human character of these ancient saints and sages, or their stories of fearing and obeying God, as documented in the Bible. What issue does this indicate? Corrupt humankind has fallen to the point where people are sick of the truth, sick of positive things, and venerate evil. If God did not personally speak and work among people, clearly telling people what is positive and what is negative, what is right and what is wrong, what is beautiful and good, and what is ugly, and so on, then humankind would never be able to distinguish between good and evil, and would not be able to distinguish positive things from negative things. Ever since the beginning of the human race, and even in the course of human development, these deeds and historical records of God’s appearances and work have been passed down to this day in some countries and ethnic groups in Europe and the Americas. However, humans are still unable to distinguish between positive and negative things, or between beautiful, good things and ugly, evil things. Not only are humans incapable of distinguishing, but they also actively and willingly accept all kinds of claims from Satan, such as sayings about moral conduct, as well as Satan’s wrong definitions and concepts of various people, matters, and things. What does this show? Could it show that humankind simply does not have the instinct to autonomously accept positive things, nor the instinct to distinguish between positive and negative things, good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies? (Yes.) Among humankind, two kinds of things prevail at the same time, one of which comes from Satan, while the other comes from God. But in the end, throughout human society and the entire history of humankind’s development, the words spoken by God, and all the positive things that He teaches and elucidates to humankind cannot be revered by the entire human race, and cannot even become the mainstream among humankind, nor bring about correct thoughts in people, nor guide them to live normally among all the things created by God. People unconsciously exist under the guidance of Satan’s various remarks, ideas, and concepts, and live under the guidance of these erroneous views. In living this way, they do so not passively, but actively. Despite what God has done, His accomplishments in creating and ruling over all things, and the many words left behind by God’s work in some countries, as well as the definitions of various people, matters, and things that have been passed down to the present day, human beings still unconsciously live under the various ideas and views that Satan instills in people. These various ideas and views instilled and advocated by Satan are the mainstream ideas and views throughout human society, even in countries where Christianity is widespread. Whereas, no matter how many positive statements, positive ideas and views, and positive definitions of people, matters, and things God leaves to humankind by doing His work, they only exist in certain corners, or worse still, are just retained by a very small number of people in minority ethnic groups, and only linger on the lips of some people, but cannot be actively accepted by humans as positive things to guide and lead them through life. Judging from the comparison of these two kinds of things, and from the different attitudes of humankind toward the negative things from Satan and toward the various positive things from God, the entire human race lies under the hands of the evil one. This is a fact, and can be affirmed with certainty. This fact primarily means that people’s thoughts, ways of thinking, and ways of dealing with people, matters, and things are all controlled, swayed, and manipulated by the various ideas and views of Satan, and even confined by them. Throughout the history of human development, no matter in what stage or period—whether it be a relatively backward era, or the economically developed era of the present day—and whatever the region, nationality, or group of people, humankind’s modes of existence, foundations of existence, and views for how to deal with people, matters, and things are all based on the various ideas instilled in people by Satan, rather than on the words of God. This is a very lamentable thing. God comes to do His work and save humankind in a situation in which humans have been so profoundly corrupted by Satan, and in which their thoughts and viewpoints, as well as their ways of looking at all kinds of people, matters, and things, and their ways of living and dealing with the world, have been completely confined by the ideas of Satan. One can imagine how tough and difficult God’s work of saving humankind is within such a context. What kind of context is this? The context in which He comes to do His work is one in which people’s hearts and minds have long since been completely imbued with and confined by satanic philosophies and poison. He does not come to do His work within a context in which people do not have any ideologies, or any views on people, matters, and things, but within a context in which people have ways of looking at various people, matters, and things, and in which these ways of looking, thinking, and living have been seriously confused and misguided by Satan. That is to say, God comes to do work and save humankind within a context in which humans have wholly accepted Satan’s ideas and views, and are filled, imbued, bound, and controlled by satanic ideas. This is the kind of people God is saving, which shows just how difficult His work is. God wants such people who have been imbued with and confined by satanic ideas to come to recognize anew and distinguish between positive and negative things, beauty and ugliness, right and wrong, truth and evil fallacy, and finally reach the point where they can detest and reject all the various ideas and fallacies instilled by Satan from the bottom of their hearts, and thereby accept all the correct views and correct ways of living that come from God. This is the specific meaning of God’s salvation of humankind.
No matter in what period of humanity, or what stage of development society has reached, or what the rulers’ method of governance is—be it a feudal dictatorship or a democratic social system—none of these things change the fact that the various ideological theories and sayings about moral conduct advocated by Satan are rife in human society. From feudal society right through to modern society, although the scope, guiding principles and modes of governance of rulers change time and again, and the numbers of the various ethnic groups, races, and different faith communities are also constantly changing, the poison of the various sayings in traditional culture that Satan instills in people is still rife and spreading, deeply taking root in people’s thoughts and the innermost depths of their soul, controlling their modes of existence, and swaying their thoughts and views on people, matters, and things. Of course, this poison also severely affects people’s attitudes toward God, and seriously corrodes humankind’s willingness and yearning to accept the truth and the Creator’s salvation. Therefore, the representative sayings about moral conduct that derive from traditional culture have always controlled people’s thinking throughout the human race, and their dominant position and role among humankind have never changed in any period or social context. No matter in which period a ruler reigns, or whether they are diligent or backward-looking, or whether their method of governance is democratic or dictatorial, none of this can stem or eradicate the confusion and control exerted over human beings by the ideas and views of traditional culture. Whatever the historical period, or in whichever ethnic group, or however much human faith has progressed or undergone changes, and no matter how much humans have progressed and changed in terms of their thinking about life and social trends, the influence that sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture have on human thinking has never changed, and their effect on people has never lost its potency. From this point of view, sayings about moral conduct have confined people’s thinking too deeply, severely impacting not only the relationship between human beings, but also people’s attitudes toward the truth, and seriously affecting and damaging the relationship between created human beings and the Creator. Of course, it can also be said that Satan uses the ideas of traditional culture to tempt, delude, benumb, and confine the human race that God created, and uses these methods to snatch human beings away from God. The more widely that ideas on moral conduct in traditional culture are disseminated among humankind, and the deeper they take root in people’s hearts, the farther humans will be from God, and the more remote the hope of their salvation. Think about it, before Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent into eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they believed that Jehovah God was their Lord and their Father. But when the serpent tempted Eve by saying, “Has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1), and “You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4–5), Adam and Eve yielded to the serpent’s temptation, and their relationship with God quickly changed. What kind of change occurred? They no longer came before God naked, but looked for objects to cover and conceal themselves with, and avoided the light of God’s presence; when God sought them out, they hid from Him and no longer talked to Him face to face as before. This change that occurred in Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was not because they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but because the words spoken by the serpent—Satan—instilled a wrong kind of thinking in people, tempting and misleading them to doubt God, to stray from Him, and to hide from Him. Thus, people no longer wanted to behold the light of God’s presence head-on, and didn’t want to come before Him completely uncovered, and an estrangement was created between people and God. How did this estrangement come about? Not because of changes in the environment, or because of the passage of time, but because people’s hearts changed. How did people’s hearts change? People themselves didn’t take the initiative to change. Rather, it was because of the words spoken by the serpent, which sowed discord in people’s relationship with God, alienating them from God and making them avoid the light of God’s presence, shun His care, and doubt His words. What were the consequences of such a change? People were no longer what they used to be, their hearts and thoughts were no longer so pure, and they no longer regarded God as God and as the One who was closest to them, but instead doubted and feared Him, and thus strayed from Him and developed a mentality of wanting to hide from God and stay away from Him, and this was the beginning of the fall of humankind. The beginning of the fall of humankind stemmed from the words Satan uttered, words that were poisonous, tempting, and misleading. The thoughts instilled in people by these words caused them to doubt, misunderstand, and be suspicious of God, estranging them from Him so that not only were they no longer willing to face God, but they also wanted to hide from God, and even no longer believed what He said. What did God say about this? God said: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16–17). Whereas, Satan said that people who ate fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil would not necessarily die. Because of the deceptive words spoken by Satan, people began to doubt and deny God’s words, that is, people hatched opinions about God in their hearts, and they were no longer as pure as before. Because of these opinions and doubts that people had, they no longer believed in God’s words, and stopped believing that God is the Creator and that there is an inevitable relationship between people and God, and even ceased to believe that God can protect and care for people. From the moment they stopped believing these things, people were no longer willing to accept God’s care and protection, and of course were no longer willing to accept any word from God’s mouth. The fall of humankind began as a result of the tempting words of Satan, and started from an idea and view that Satan instilled in people. Of course, it also started as a result of Satan tempting, misleading, and deceiving people. This idea and view that Satan instilled in people made them stop believing in God or His words, and also made them doubt God, misunderstand Him, suspect Him, hide from Him, stray from Him, deny what He said, deny His very identity, and even deny that people come from God. This is how Satan tempts and corrupts people step by step, disrupting and damaging their relationship with God, and also hindering humans from coming before God and accepting any words from His mouth. Satan is constantly disrupting people’s willingness to seek the truth and accept God’s words. Powerless to resist Satan’s various remarks, people are unconsciously eroded by them and imbued with them, and finally degenerate to the point of becoming enemies and antagonists of God. This is fundamentally the impact and harm that sayings on moral conduct have on humankind. Of course, by fellowshiping on these things we are also analyzing them from the root, so that people can gain a fundamental understanding of how Satan corrupts humankind and what methods it uses. Satan’s primary tactics for corrupting humankind are to target people’s thoughts and views, destroy the relationship between people and God, and gradually wrest them away from God step by step. Initially, upon hearing God’s words, people believed them to be correct, and wanted to act and practice in accordance with them. It is in this situation that Satan used all kinds of ideas and words to corrode and disintegrate, little by little, the only bit of faith, resolve, and aspiration that people had, along with the few faintly positive things and positive wishes they held onto, replacing them with its own sayings, and its definitions, opinions, and notions of various things. In this way, people are unwittingly controlled by Satan’s ideas, and become its captives and slaves. Is this not the case? (It is.) In the history of humankind, the more deeply and concretely humans accept Satan’s ideas, so the relationship between humankind and God becomes increasingly distant, and so the message that “human beings are created beings and God is the Creator” becomes increasingly remote from people, and is no longer believed and acknowledged by as many people. Instead, this message is regarded as a myth and a legend, a non-existent fact, and an evil fallacy, and is even condemned as heresy by some people in today’s society. It must be said that this is all the result and impact of the various evil fallacies of Satan that are widely disseminated among humankind. It must also be said that throughout the history of human development, under the guise of doing such positive things as teaching people, regulating their words and actions, and so on, Satan has dragged humankind step by step into the abyss of sin and death, taking humankind far from the light of God’s presence, far from His care and protection, and far from His salvation. The Old Testament of the Bible records accounts of God’s messengers coming to talk to people and live among them, but such things have ceased to exist in the past 2,000 years. The reason for this is that, among the entire human race, there is no longer anyone like the ancient saints and sages recorded in the Bible—such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, or Peter—and the entire human race has been imbued with and bound by Satan’s ideas and remarks. This is the truth of the matter.
What we have just fellowshiped on is one aspect of the essence of sayings on moral conduct in traditional culture, and it also marks, proves, and symbolizes Satan’s corruption of humankind. Looking at it from the essence of these issues, all human beings without exception—whether they be young children or elderly seniors, or whatever social class they live in, or whatever social background they come from—are confined by the various remarks of Satan, even without distinction of depth, and live entirely within a mode of existence that is imbued with satanic ideas. Of course, what is the undeniable fact? That Satan is corrupting people. What it corrupts is not the various organs of humans, but rather their thoughts. Corrupting the thoughts of humans turns all of humankind against God, so that the human beings He created cannot worship Him, and instead use all kinds of ideas and views from Satan to rebel against God, and to resist, betray, and reject Him. This is Satan’s ambition and cunning scheme, and of course it is Satan’s true face, and this is how Satan corrupts humankind. However, no matter how many thousands of years Satan has corrupted humankind for, or how many facts point to Satan’s corruption of humankind, or how erroneous and absurd the various ideas and views with which it corrupts humankind, and how deeply human thoughts are confined by them—in short, regardless of all this, when God comes to do His work of saving people, and when He expresses the truth, even if people live within such a context, God can still wrest them back from Satan’s dominion, and can still conquer them. And of course, God can still make people understand the truth, know the essence and truth of their corruption, cast off their satanic dispositions, obey Him, fear Him and shun evil. This is the final result that will inevitably be achieved, and also a trend in which God’s 6,000-year management plan certainly comes to fruition, and in which God appears to all countries and peoples with His glorification. Just as God’s words say, “God is as good as His word, and His word will be accomplished, and that which He accomplishes lasts forever.” This sentence is true. Do you believe that? (Yes.) This is a fact that will certainly come to pass. Because the last stage of God’s work is the work of providing the truth and life to humankind. In the short space of just over thirty years, a considerable number of people have come before God, been conquered by Him, and now follow Him with unshakable resolve. They don’t want any benefits from Satan, they are willing to accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and His salvation, and are all willing to reassume their places as created beings and accept the sovereignty and arrangements of the Creator. Isn’t this a sign of God’s plan coming to fruition? (Yes.) This is an established fact and also a fact that has already come to pass, and of course it is something that is happening now and which has already happened. No matter how Satan corrupts humankind, or whatever methods it uses, God will always have ways of wresting humans back from Satan’s dominion, saving them, bringing them back before Him, and restoring the relationship between humankind and the Creator. This is God’s omnipotence and authority, and whether you believe it or not, that day will come sooner or later.
At the last gathering we fellowshiped on the saying about moral conduct “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day,” and spent some time dissecting and exposing the requirements, expressions, and the ideas and views inherent in this saying, and people have gained a certain understanding of its essence. Of course, in terms of topics to do with this aspect, we also fellowshiped on what exactly God’s intention is, what His attitude is, what truths this entails, and how people should view death. After understanding the truth and God’s intention, whenever people then encounter such things, they should look at such issues according to God’s words and handle them according to the truth, so that they can meet God’s requirements. Furthermore, the saying on moral conduct which we mentioned last time—“The silkworms of spring weave till they die, and candles burn out till their tears run dry”—is too superficial, and its realm of thought is too vulgar, so it is not worth dissecting further. The next saying on moral conduct that we will fellowship on, “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” is worth dissecting. Things that are worth dissecting occupy a certain place in people’s thoughts and notions. During a particular period, they will sway people’s thinking, their mode of existence, their path, and of course their choices. This is the consequence that Satan achieves by exploiting traditional culture to corrupt mankind. The saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” occupies a certain place in people’s hearts and minds, that is to say, the kind of issue which this saying refers to is particularly representative. At critical junctures in the fate of their country, people will make choices based on this saying, and it will bind and restrict their thinking and normal thought processes. Therefore, such ideas and views are worth dissecting. Compared with the sayings we mentioned previously, namely “Don’t pocket the money you pick up,” “I’d take a bullet for a friend,” “A kindness received should be gratefully repaid,” “The kindness of a drop of water should be repaid with a gushing spring,” “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and so on, the standard of moral conduct “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” occupies a higher realm in Satan’s world. The sayings on moral conduct that we dissected previously refer to one type of person or one type of minor matter in life, all of which are limited, whereas this saying covers a wider scope. It does not concern things within the scope of the “lesser self,” but rather touches on a number of issues and things to do with the “greater self.” Therefore, it occupies a pivotal position in people’s hearts, and must be dissected to see if it should occupy a certain position in people’s hearts, and to ascertain how people should view this saying on moral conduct in a way that accords with the truth.
The saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” compels people to be mindful of their responsibility for their country’s fate, by suggesting that everyone should be accountable for it. If you fulfill your responsibility for the fate of your country, the government will reward you with high honors and you will be viewed as a person of noble character; whereas, if you don’t concern yourself with the fate of the country, and stand idly by while it flounders, and don’t treat this as a matter of great importance, or you laugh about it, then this is viewed as completely failing to fulfill your responsibility. If you don’t fulfill your duties and responsibilities when your country needs you, then you are not up to much, and you really are an insignificant person. Such people are cast aside and scorned in society, and are held in contempt and looked down upon by their peers. For any citizen of any sovereign state, the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is a saying that meets with people’s approval, a saying that people can accept, and even a saying that is respected by humankind. It is also an idea that is regarded as noble by humankind. A person who is able to worry and be concerned about the fate of their native land, and have a deep sense of responsibility toward it, is a person with greater righteousness. People who worry and are concerned about their families have lesser righteousness, whereas those who care about their country’s fate are people with a spirit of greater righteousness, and they of all people should be praised by the rulers and the people. In short, ideas like this are indisputably recognized as having positive significance for humans and serving to positively guide humankind, and of course they are also recognized as positive things. Do you think the same way too? (Yes.) It is normal for you to think this way. It means that your thinking is no different from normal people, and that you are ordinary people. Ordinary people can accept popularly held ideas, and all the various so-called positive, proactive, upward-looking, and noble ideas and remarks that come from the rest of humankind. These are normal people. Are ideas that are accepted and revered by ordinary people necessarily positive? (No.) Theoretically speaking, they are not positive, because they do not accord with the truth, they do not come from God, and they are not taught by God or spoken by Him to mankind. So what exactly are the facts? How should this matter be explained? I will explain it now in detail, and when I have finished speaking, you will know why the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is not a positive thing. Before I reveal the answer, first have a think about the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country”: Is it really a positive thing? Is it wrong to make people love their country? Some people say: “The fate of our native land has a bearing on our survival, our happiness, and our future. Doesn’t God tell people to be dutiful to their parents, to raise their children well, and to fulfill their social responsibilities? What’s wrong with us fulfilling a few responsibilities in our country? Isn’t this a positive thing? Although it doesn’t rise to the level of a truth, it ought to be a correct idea, right?” As far as people are concerned, these reasons are valid, are they not? People use these claims, these reasons, and even these justifications to argue the correctness of the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.” So is this saying actually right or not? If it’s right, what’s right about it? If it’s not right, what’s wrong with it? If you can answer these two questions clearly, then you will really understand this aspect of the truth. There are others who say: “The saying ‘Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country’ is not true. Countries are ruled by rulers, and governed by political systems. Whenever politics are concerned, we have no responsibility, because God doesn’t get involved in human politics. Therefore, we don’t get involved in politics either, so this saying is of no concern to us; whatever relates to politics has nothing to do with us. Whoever gets involved in politics, and likes politics, is responsible for the fate of the country. We don’t accept this saying, it is not a positive thing from our point of view.” Is this explanation right or wrong? (Wrong.) Why is it wrong? You know theoretically that this explanation doesn’t add up, it doesn’t address the root of the problem, and it is insufficient to explain the essence of the problem. It is only a theoretical explanation, but doesn’t clarify the essence of this matter. No matter what kind of explanation it is, as long as it fails to touch on the specific essence of this issue, it is not a real explanation, it is not an accurate answer, and it is not the truth. So, what is wrong with the saying on moral conduct “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country”? What truth does this issue relate to? The truth in this regard cannot be explained clearly in one or two sentences. It would take a lot of explaining to make you understand the truth contained within. So let’s fellowship on it in simple terms.
How should the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” be viewed and discerned? Is it a positive thing? In order to explain this saying, let’s first look at what a country is. What is the concept of a country in people’s minds? Is the concept of a country that it is very big? Theoretically speaking, a country is the expanse of territory comprising all homes that are ruled by the same ruler and governed by the same social system. That is to say, a multitude of homes forms a country. Is that how society defines it? (Yes.) Only when there are small homes can there be a big home, and a big home denotes a country—this is the definition of a country. So is this definition acceptable? Do you inwardly identify with it? Whose tastes and interests is this definition best suited to? (The rulers.) That’s right, it should be the rulers first and foremost. Because by having all households under their dominion, they have the power in their hands. So, as far as the rulers are concerned, this definition is a valid one, and they identify with it. No matter what the rulers’ definition of a country is, for any common person, there is a distance between the country and every person in it. For common people, that is, the individual people in each country, their definition of a country is completely different to the definition espoused by the rulers or the ruling class. The way that the ruling class defines a country is based on their dominion and their vested interests. They stand on high and use their lofty vantage point and broad perspective laced with ambition and desire to define what a country is. For example, the rulers regard the country as their own home, their own land, and think that it is provided for their own enjoyment, and that every inch of the country, and every resource and even every person in it should belong to them and be under their control, and that they should be able to enjoy all this and lord it over people as they please. But common people do not have such desires, nor do they have such conditions, and of course they certainly don’t have such a broad perspective for defining what a country is. So for common people, for any independent person, what is their definition of a country? If they are well educated and can read maps, they only know the size of their country’s territory, and which neighboring countries surround it, and how many rivers and lakes it has, and how many mountains, how many forests, how much land, and how many people there are in their country…. Their concept of a country is nothing more than map-based and literal, just a theoretical concept in writing, and is totally inconsistent with the country that exists in reality. For a person who is fairly well educated and has a certain social status, their concept of a country is something like that. So, how about the common people at the bottom of society? What is their definition of a country? In My view, these people’s definition of a country is nothing more than their family’s modest patch of land, the big willow tree at the eastern end of the village, the mountain at the western end, the road at the entrance to the village and the cars that often pass along the road, as well as some relatively sensational incidents that have happened in the village, and even some trivial tittle-tattle. For common people, the concept of a country is something like that. Although the boundaries of this definition are very small and its scope very narrow, as far as common people living in such a social context are concerned, it is very realistic and practical—to them, a country is no more than this. No matter what happens in the outside world, no matter what happens in the country, to them it is just some moderately important item of news that they can choose to listen to or not. So, what relates to their immediate interests? It is whether the cereal crop they planted this year will produce a bumper harvest, whether it will be enough to feed their family, what to plant next year, whether their land will be flooded, whether it will be invaded and occupied by bullies, and other such matters and things that relate closely to life, right down to things such as a building in the village, a stream, a trail, and so on. What they care about and talk about, as well as that which leaves a deep impression on their minds, is nothing but the people, matters, and things around them that are closely related to their lives. They have no concept of how big the scope of a country is, nor do they have any concept of a country’s prosperity or decline. The more newfangled things are, and the more important the country’s affairs, the further removed they are from such people. For these common people, the concept of a country is only the people, matters, and things that they can fit in their minds, and the people, matters, and things that they come into contact with in their lives. Even if they get information about the fate of the country, it is so far removed from them. Being far removed from them means that it does not occupy any place in their hearts, and will not affect their lives, so the prosperity and decline of the country has nothing to do with them. In their hearts, what is the fate of their country? It is whether the crops they planted this year are blessed by Heaven, whether the harvest is plentiful, how their family is getting by, and other minutiae of everyday life, whereas national affairs are of no relation to them. Matters of national importance, politics, the economy, education, science and technology, whether the country’s territory has expanded or shrunk, places the rulers have visited, and what things have happened within the ruling class—these things are simply beyond the grasp of common people. Even if they could grasp them, what purpose would it serve? Even if, after dinner, they talked about what is happening to the ruling class, what could they do about it? After putting down their bowl and chopsticks, they still have to eke out an existence and go to work in the fields. Nothing seems as real as the crops in their fields that can yield a good harvest. What a person cares about is what they hold in their heart. A person’s horizons are only as broad as the things they fit into their heart. The horizons of ordinary people only stretch as far as the places they can see around them and the places they can go. As for the fate of their country and matters of national importance, they are so remote and out of reach. Therefore, when the fate of the country is at stake, or the country is facing invasion by a powerful enemy, they immediately think, “Will my crops end up getting seized by the invaders? This year, we are counting on selling those cereals to pay for our children to go to college!” These are the things that are of most practical relevance to common people, the things that they can grasp, and the things that their mind and spirit can bear. For ordinary people, the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is too onerous. They don’t know how to go about doing it, and they don’t want to bear this heavy burden and onerous responsibility. Common people’s concept of a country is something like that. Therefore, the ambit of their lives, and the things that their thoughts and spirits dwell on, are nothing more than the soil and water of their hometown that provide them with three meals a day and give them all they need to grow, as well as the air and environment of their hometown. What else can there be besides these things? Even if some people go beyond the familiar surrounds of their hometown where they were born and raised, whenever the country is floundering and needs them to fulfill their responsibilities to the nation, no one thinks about protecting the whole country. What do people think about instead? All they can think about is fulfilling their responsibilities to protect their hometown and safeguard that plot of land they hold in their hearts, and even sacrificing their own lives to this end. No matter where people go, to them the word “country” is just a pronoun, a marker and a symbol. What really takes up considerable room in their hearts is not the country’s territory, and much less the rulers’ reign, but rather the mountain, the plot of land, the river, and the well that provide them with three meals a day, give them life, and help to sustain their life; that is all. This is the concept of a country in people’s minds—it is so real, so concrete, and of course so precise.
Why is the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” always advocated in traditional culture, especially in thinking about moral conduct? This concerns both the reign of the ruler, and the intentions and aims of the people who champion this idea. If the definition of a country in every individual’s mind was so insignificant, so concrete, and so real, who would protect the country? Who would uphold the reign of the ruler? Are there not problems here? There are indeed problems arising here. If everyone’s concept of a country was like this, wouldn’t the ruler be turned into a mere figurehead? If a ruler’s country faced invasion by a powerful enemy and its defense just relied on the ruler alone, or on the ruling clique, would they not appear to be struggling, helpless, isolated, and weak? Thinkers responded to these problems by using their brains. They believed that in order to protect the country and uphold the reign of the ruler, it wasn’t possible to rely solely on a small number of people to make contributions, but rather, it was necessary to stir up the entire population into serving the country’s ruler. If these thinkers directly told people to serve the ruler and protect the country, would the people be willing to do it? (No, they wouldn’t.) People definitely wouldn’t be willing, because the aim behind the request would be too blatant, and they wouldn’t agree to it. Those thinkers knew that they must instill in people a pleasant-sounding, noble, and superficially grandiose expression, and tell them that whoever thinks this way is of noble moral conduct. That way, people would easily accept this idea, and even make sacrifices and contributions for the sake of this idea. Their aim would then be achieved, would it not? It was within this social context, and in response to the needs of rulers, that this saying and idea “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” came about. Human nature is such that no matter what idea emerges, there will always be some people who regard it as fashionable and avant-garde, and accept it on that basis. Does it not benefit the ruler that some people accept the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country”? It means that there will be people making sacrifices and contributions for the ruler’s regime. Thus, the ruler has hope of reigning for a long time, do they not? And won’t their reign then be more stable, relatively speaking? (Yes.) Therefore, when the ruler’s reign comes under challenge or faces destruction, or their country is confronted with invasion by a powerful enemy, those who accept the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” will bravely and dauntlessly step forward to make a contribution or sacrifice their lives for the sake of protecting the country. Who is the ultimate beneficiary of this? (The ruler.) The ultimate beneficiary is the ruler. What becomes of those people who accept the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” and who are willing to give up their precious lives for it? They become stepping stones and expendable pawns of the ruler, they become victims of this idea. The common people living at the bottom of society do not have a definite, clear concept or a clear definition of what a country is. They don’t know what a country is, nor how big a country is, and they know even less about the important matters about a country’s fate. Because people’s definition and concept of a country are vague, the ruling class use the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” to delude them and instill this idea into their minds, so that everyone will stand up to defend the country and put their lives on the line for the ruling class, and thus their aim will be achieved. In fact, as far as common people are concerned, no matter who rules the country, or whether the intruders are better or worse than the current rulers, in the end, their family’s meager plot of land still has to be planted every year, and the tree at the eastern end of their village hasn’t changed, the mountain at the western end of the village hasn’t changed, the well in the center of the village hasn’t changed either, and that’s all that matters. As for what happens outside the village, how many rulers come and go, or how they rule the country, all this has no relation whatsoever to them. Such is the life of common people. Their life is so real and simple, and their concept of the country is as concrete as their concept of the family, only that it’s bigger in scope than the family. Whereas, when the country is invaded by a powerful enemy and its existence and survival are in the balance, and the ruler’s reign is disturbed and destabilized, those people who accept that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” are dominated by this idea, and all they want to do is utilize their personal strengths to change these things that are affecting the country’s fate and interfering with the ruler’s reign. And what happens in the end? What do they actually change? Even if they manage to keep the ruler in power, does this mean that they did a righteous thing? Does it mean that their sacrifice was positive? Is it worthy of being remembered? Those people in a certain period of history, who set great store by the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” also vigorously upheld the spirit of this idea in defending the country and keeping the rulers in power, but the reign of the rulers they kept in power was backward-looking, bloody, and had no meaning or value for humankind. From this point of view, was the so-called responsibility fulfilled by these people positive or negative? (Negative.) One could say that it was negative, not worthy of being remembered, and was despised by people. On the contrary, common people do not identify deeply with the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” which is advocated by those scheming thinkers, nor do they actually accept and implement it. Therefore, their lives are relatively stable. Although their lifelong achievements aren’t as impressive as those of people who give up their lives for the fate of their country, they have done a meaningful thing. What is this meaningful thing? Namely, that they don’t artificially interfere with the fate of a country, nor with the process of determining who the country’s rulers are. Instead, all they ask is to live a good life, work the land, defend their hometown, have food to eat all year round, and live a plentiful, comfortable, peaceful, and healthy life, without causing any trouble to their country, without asking their country for food or money, and paying the normal taxes when they fall due—this is fulfilling the responsibility that a citizen should fulfill. If you can be free from any interference from the ideas of thinkers, and live your own life as a common person in a down-to-earth manner according to your station, and be self-sufficient, then that is enough, and you have fulfilled your responsibility. This is the most important thing and the greatest responsibility that a person living on this earth should fulfill. Looking after one’s own survival and one’s own basic needs are the issues that should be resolved by oneself, whereas for important matters to do with the country’s fate, and to do with how the rulers govern the country, common people have no ability to interfere or do anything about them. They can only leave all these matters to destiny, and let nature take its course. Whatever Heaven wills, so will it come to pass. Common people know very little, and besides, Heaven has not entrusted people with this kind of responsibility toward their country. Common people only have their own home in their hearts, and as long as they maintain their own home, that is enough, and they have fulfilled their responsibility.
Just like other sayings on moral conduct, “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is an idea and view put forward by thinkers in order to keep rulers in power, and of course it is also an idea and view advocated so that more people support the rulers. In fact, no matter what social class people live in, if they don’t have any ambitions, desires, and don’t want to get into politics or have anything to do with the ruling class, people’s definition of a country from the perspective of humanity is nothing more than the places they can see in their line of sight, or the land that they can measure on foot, or a sphere within which they can live happily, freely, and lawfully. For anyone who has such a concept of a country, the land where they live and their sphere of life can give them a stable, happy, and free life, which is a basic need in their life. This basic need is also a direction and a goal that people strive to defend. As soon as this basic need is challenged, disturbed, or infringed on, people will definitely stand up and defend it spontaneously. This defense is justified, and it stems from the needs of humanity, and also the needs of survival. No one needs to tell people, “When your hometown and your habitat face invasion by a foreign enemy, you must stand up and defend them, stand up and fight the invaders.” They will stand up and defend them automatically. This is human instinct, but also the need of human survival. So when it comes to a normal person, you don’t need to use ideas such as “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” to encourage them to protect their homeland and their habitat. If someone really wants to instill such ideas in people, then their aim is not so simple. Their aim is not for people to defend their habitat, ensure their basic living needs, or so that people lead better lives. They have another aim, which is none other than to keep the rulers in power. People will instinctively make any sacrifice to protect their own habitat, and will consciously protect their own habitat and living environment to ensure that their basic survival needs are met, without need for others to use any bombastic expressions to tell them what to do, or how to stand up and protect their own homes. This instinct, this basic consciousness, is possessed even by animals, and is absolutely possessed by humans, who are created beings higher than any animal. Even animals will protect their habitat and range, their home, and their community from invasion by foreign enemies. And if animals have this kind of consciousness, then humans certainly do! Therefore, the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” which those thinkers proposed, is redundant to all members of the human race. And when it comes to the definition of a country deep within people’s hearts, this idea is basically also redundant. But why did those thinkers still propose it? Because they wanted to achieve another aim. Their real aim was not to enable people to live better in their current habitat, nor to enable them to have a more stable, joyful, and happier living environment. They didn’t set out from the perspective of protecting people, nor from the perspective of defending people’s habitats, but from the perspective and standpoint of rulers, to instill people with the idea “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” and instigate them to possess this idea. If you don’t possess such an idea, then your realm of thinking is regarded as inferior, and you will be ridiculed by everyone and looked down upon by any ethnic group; if you don’t possess such an idea, if you don’t have this greater righteousness and this mindset, then you will be regarded as a person of inferior moral character, a selfish and contemptible lowlife. These so-called lowlifes are people despised in society, and who are discriminated against and despised by society.
In this world, in society, anyone born in a poor or backward country, or who comes from a low-status nation, no matter where they go, as soon as they declare their nationality, their status will immediately be determined and they will be regarded as inferior to others, looked down upon and discriminated against. If your nationality is that of a powerful country, you will have a very high status among any ethnic group, and will be regarded as superior to others. So, this idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” has an important place in people’s hearts. People have a very finite and concrete concept of a country, but because the way that the entire human race treats any ethnic group and anyone from a different country, and also the method and criteria by which it determines their status have much to do with their country’s fate, everyone is inwardly influenced to varying degrees by the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.” So how should people shake off the influence of this idea? Let’s first look at how this idea influences people. Although people’s definition of a country extends no further than the specific environment in which they live, and people only want to maintain their basic right to live and their survival needs so that they can lead a better existence, nowadays the whole human race is constantly moving and circulating, and human beings are unconsciously accepting the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.” That is to say, from the perspective of humanity, people do not want to accept those hollow and grand definitions of a country, such as “a great nation,” “a prosperous dynasty,” “a superpower,” “a tech power,” “a military power,” and so on. There are no such concepts in normal humanity, and people don’t want to be preoccupied by these things in their daily lives. But at the same time, when mixing with the rest of humankind, people nevertheless hope to have the nationality of a powerful country. In particular, when you travel overseas and are among people of other ethnicities, you will feel strongly that your country’s fate has a bearing on your vital interests. If your country is powerful, wealthy, and has a high status in the world, then your status among people will be elevated in keeping with your country’s status, and you will be highly regarded. If you come from a poor country, a small nation, or some obscure ethnic group, then your status will be lower, in keeping with your nationality and ethnicity. No matter what kind of person you are, or what your nationality is, or which race you belong to, if you only live within a small sphere, the idea “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” will not have any influence on you. But when people from different countries throughout all humankind come together, the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is accepted by more people. This acceptance is not passive, but rather, it is a deeper realization from your subjective will that the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is correct, because your country’s fate is inextricably related to your status, reputation, and worth among people. At which point, you no longer feel that the concept and definition of your country is just the small place where you were born and raised. Instead, you hope that your country will become bigger and stronger. However, when you return to your own country, in your mind it once again becomes so specific to you. This specific place is not a shapeless nation, but rather the path, the stream, and the well in your hometown, and the fields of your home where you grow crops. Therefore, returning to your own country, as far as you are concerned, is more specifically returning to your hometown, returning home. And when you return home, it doesn’t matter if the country exists or not, nor who the ruler is, nor how big the country’s territory is, nor what the country’s economic situation is, nor whether it is poor or rich—none of that matters to you. As long as your home is still there, then when you shoulder your travel bag with the intention of going back, you will have a direction and a goal. As long as you still have a place to hang your hat, and the place where you were born and raised is still there, you will have a sense of belonging and a destination. Even if the country it is located in no longer exists and the ruler has changed, as long as your home is still there, you have a home to go back to all the same. This is a very contradictory and vague concept of country in people’s minds, but also a very concrete concept of home. People are actually not so sure whether the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is correct or not. But because this idea has a certain impact on their specific social status, people unconsciously develop a strong sense of country, nationality, and race. When people only inhabit the small sphere of their hometown, they have a certain degree of immunity or resistance to the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.” But whenever they leave their hometown and their homeland, and go beyond their country’s rule, they unconsciously have a certain awareness and acceptance of the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.” For example, when you go abroad, if someone asks you which country you are from, you will wonder, “If I say I am Singaporean, people will think highly of me; whereas, if I say I am Chinese, people will look down on me.” And so you don’t dare tell them the truth. But one day your nationality is exposed. People find out that you are Chinese, and from then onward, they see you in a different light. You are discriminated against, looked down upon, and even regarded as a second-class citizen. At which point, you unconsciously think: “That saying ‘Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country’ is exactly right! I used to think that I wasn’t responsible for the fate of my country, but now it seems that the fate of one’s country affects everyone. When the country prospers, everyone prospers, but when the country falls, everyone suffers for it. Is our country not poor? Is it not a dictatorship? And do the rulers not have a bad reputation? That is why people look down on me. Look at how well-off and happy people in Western countries are. They have the freedom to go anywhere and believe anything. Whereas under the Communist regime, we are persecuted for believing in God and must flee far and wide, unable to return home. How wonderful it would be if we had been born in a Western country!” At which point, you feel that nationality is extremely important, and the fate of your country becomes important to you. In any case, when people live in such an environment and context, they are unconsciously influenced by the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” and swayed by it to varying degrees. At this point, people’s behaviors and their views, perspectives, and standpoints on people, matters and things will change to varying degrees, and of course this gives rise to consequences and effects of varying magnitude. Therefore, there is a certain amount of concrete evidence regarding the influence of the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” on people’s thinking. Even though people’s concept of a country is not so clear-cut when viewed from the perspective of humanity, nevertheless within certain social contexts, the nationality that comes with belonging to a country still has an influence on people. If people do not understand the truth and do not perceive these issues clearly, they will not be able to rid themselves of the fetters and erosive effects of this idea, which will also affect their mood and attitude toward dealing with things. Whether viewed from the perspective of humanity or in terms of the changes and breakthroughs in people’s thinking when the general environment changes, the idea put forward by Satan that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” does have a certain influence on people, and does have a certain erosive effect on human thinking. Because people don’t understand how to correctly explain such matters as the fate of a country, and don’t understand the truth involved in this matter, within different environments they are often swayed or corrupted by this idea, or it affects their mood—it’s just not worth it.
As for the matter of a country’s fate, should people understand how God views it, and how people should view it correctly? (Yes.) People should understand precisely what standpoint they should adopt when regarding this matter, so as to rid themselves of the erosive effects and influence that the idea “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” has on them. Let’s look first at whether the fate of a country can be swayed by any one person, any force, or any ethnic group. Who decides the fate of a country? (It is determined by God.) That’s right, this root cause must be understood. The fate of a country is closely related to God’s sovereignty, and has no relation to anyone else. No force, idea, or person can change the destiny of a country. What does the destiny of a country include? The prosperity and decline of the country. Whether the country is developed or backward, and regardless of its geographical location, how much territory it spans, its size, and all of its resources—how many resources are on the ground, underground and in the air—who the ruler of the country is, what kind of people make up the ruling hierarchy, what the ruler’s guiding political principles and method of governance are, whether they recognize God, obey Him, and their attitude toward God, and so on—all these things have a bearing on the country’s fate. These things are not determined by any one person, let alone by any force. No one person or power has the final say, and neither does Satan. So who does have the final say? Only God has the final say. Humans don’t understand these things, and neither does Satan, but it is defiant. It constantly wants to take charge of humans and dominate them, so it constantly uses some stirring and deceptive ideas and opinions to promote things like moral conduct and social mores, and make people accept these ideas, thereby exploiting people to serve the rulers, and keep the rulers in power. But in fact, no matter what Satan does, the fate of a country has no relation to Satan, nor any relation to how vigorously, profoundly, and broadly these ideas of traditional culture are disseminated. The living conditions and form of existence of any country in any period—whether it is wealthy or poor, backward or developed, as well as its ranking among the many countries in the world—all this has no relation whatsoever to the strength of the rulers’ governance, nor to the substance of these thinkers’ ideas, or the vigor with which they disseminate them. A country’s fate is only related to God’s sovereignty and the period when God manages all of humankind. In whichever period God needs to do whatever work, and rule over and orchestrate whichever things, and lead all of society in whichever direction, and bring about whatever form of society—during that period, some special protagonists will appear, and some great and special things will happen. For example, war, or the annexation of some countries’ land by other countries, or the appearance of some special, emerging technologies, or even the movement of all the earth’s oceans and continental plates, and so on—these things are all subject to the sovereignty and arrangements of God’s hand. It is also possible that the appearance of an unremarkable person will lead the entire human race into taking a huge step forward. It is equally possible that the occurrence of a very unremarkable, insignificant event may trigger a mass migration of humankind, or it may be that under the effects of an insignificant event, all of humankind will undergo a major transformation, or there will be varying degrees of changes in terms of the economy, military affairs, business, or medical treatment, and so on. These changes influence the fate of any country on earth, and also the prosperity and decline of any country. That is why the destiny, rise, and fall of any country, whether it be powerful or weak, are all related to God’s management among humankind and to His sovereignty. Why, then, does God want to do things this way? His intentions are at the root of everything. In short, the survival, rise, and fall of any country or nation has no relation whatsoever to any race, any power, any ruling class, any mode or method of governance, or any individual person. They are only related to the sovereignty of the Creator, and they are also related to the period during which the Creator manages mankind, and to the next step that the Creator will take in managing and leading humankind. Therefore, whatever God does influences the destiny of any country, nation, race, group, or individual person. From this point of view, it can be said that the destinies of any individual person, race, nation, and country are actually linked and closely bound up with each other, and there is an inseparable relationship between them. However, the relationship between these things is not brought about due to the idea and view that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” but rather, it is brought about due to the sovereignty of the Creator. It is precisely because the destinies of these things are under the sovereignty of the only true God, the Creator, that there is an inseparable relationship between them. This is the root cause and essence of a country’s fate.
So, looking at it from the perspective of the majority of the population, what viewpoint should one hold as regards the fate of one’s country? First of all, one should look at how much the country does to safeguard the majority of the population and keep them satisfied. If the majority of the population live well, have freedom and the right to speak freely, if all the policies promulgated by the state government are very rational and people regard them as fair and reasonable, if the human rights of ordinary people can be safeguarded, and if people are not stripped of their right to life, then people will naturally come to depend on this country, feel happy living there, and love it from the bottom of their hearts. Then, everyone will be responsible toward the fate of this country, and people will be genuinely willing to fulfill their responsibility to this country, and they will want it to exist forever because it benefits their lives and everything about them. If this country cannot safeguard the lives of ordinary people, and does not give them the human rights they deserve, and they don’t even have freedom of speech, and if those who speak their mind are subject to restrictions and crackdowns, and people are even forbidden to speak or discuss what they want, and if, when people are subject to bullying, humiliation, and persecution, the country doesn’t care, and if there is no freedom whatsoever, and people are deprived of their basic human rights and right to life, and if those who believe in and follow God are even suppressed and persecuted so that they are unable to return home, and if believers are killed with impunity, then this country is a country of devils, a country of Satan, and it is not a real country. In that case, should everyone still be responsible for its fate? If people already loathe and hate this country in their hearts, then even if they admit responsibility for it in theory, they will be unwilling to fulfill this responsibility. If a powerful enemy comes to invade this country, most people will even harbor hopes of the country’s imminent collapse, so that they can lead happy lives. Therefore, whether everyone is responsible for a country’s fate depends on how its government treats the people. The crux is whether it has the public’s support—it is mainly determined based on this aspect. The other aspect, fundamentally speaking, is that behind anything that happens to any country, there are a number of reasons and factors that cause this thing to happen, and it is not something that can be influenced by an ordinary or insignificant person. Therefore, when it comes to a country’s fate, no individual person or any ethnic group has the final say, or the power to interfere. Is this not a fact? (Yes.) Let us say, for example, that the ruling class of your country wants to expand its territory and seize prime land, infrastructure, and resources of a neighboring country. After making the decision, the ruling class begins to prepare military forces, raise funds, stockpile all sorts of supplies, and discuss when to launch the land expansion. Do common folk have the right to know about all this? You don’t even have the right to know. All you know is that in recent years state taxation has increased, levies and fees imposed under various pretexts have increased, and the national debt has increased. Your only obligation is to pay taxes. As for what will happen to the country and what the rulers will do, does that have anything at all to do with you? Until the moment when the country decides to go to war, which country and which lands it will invade, and how it will invade them, are things that only the ruling class knows, and not even the soldiers who will be sent into battle know. They don’t even have the right to know. They have to fight wherever the ruler points. As for why they are fighting, how long to fight for, whether they can win or not, and when they can go home, they just don’t know, they don’t know anything at all. Some people’s own children are sent to war, but they as parents don’t even get to know that. Worse still, when their children are killed they don’t even get to find out. Not until the ashes are brought back do they find out that their children are dead. So tell Me, does your country’s fate, and the things that your country will do, and what decisions it will make, have any relation to you as an ordinary person? Does the country tell you, an ordinary person, about these things? Do you have the right to participate in the decision-making? You don’t even have the right to know, let alone the right to participate in the decision-making. No matter what your country is to you, does how it develops, what direction it is headed in, and how it is governed have any relation to you? It has no relation to you. Why is that? Because you are an ordinary person, and all these things are only related to the rulers. The final say belongs to the rulers and the ruling class, and those with vested interests, but it has no relation whatsoever to you as an ordinary person. So, you should have a little self-awareness. Don’t do irrational things; there is no need to give up your life or put yourself in harm’s way for a ruler. Let us suppose that the country’s rulers are dictators, and that the power is in the hands of devils who don’t attend to their proper duties, and who spend all day indulging in drinking and debauchery, living extravagantly, and doing nothing for the people. The country falls into debt and chaos, and the rulers are corrupt and incompetent, resulting in it being invaded by a foreign enemy. Only then do the rulers think of the common people, calling on them and saying: “‘Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.’ If the country perishes, a life of hardship awaits you all. Presently the country is in trouble, and invaders have entered our borders. In order to protect the country, hurry to the battlefield, the time has come when the country needs you!” You mull it over, thinking, “That’s right, ‘Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.’ The country finally needs me for once, so as I have this responsibility, I should give up my life to protect the country. Our country cannot change hands, without this ruler in power we are done for!” Is it foolish to think this way? The rulers of these dictatorships deny and oppose God, eat, drink and enjoy themselves all day long, behave recklessly, ride roughshod over common people, and harm and brutalize the masses. If you rush bravely and dauntlessly to protect rulers like these, serving as cannon fodder for them on the battlefield and throwing your life away for them, then you are decidedly foolish, and pledging blind allegiance! Why do I say you are decidedly foolish? Who exactly are the soldiers on the battlefield fighting for? For whom are they throwing their lives away? For whom are they serving as cannon fodder? And if you of all people, a weak and feeble commoner, go into battle, then it is just a show of foolhardiness and a waste of a life. If war comes, you should pray to God and ask Him to protect you so that you can flee to a place of safety, rather than making a pointless sacrifice and resisting. What is pointless sacrifice defined as? Foolhardiness. The country will naturally have those people who are willing to uphold the spirit of “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” to protect the rulers and put their lives on the line for them. The country’s fate has a great impact on the interests and survival of such people, so let them look after the country’s affairs. You are an ordinary person, you have no power to protect the country, and these things have no relation to you. Exactly what kind of country is worth defending? If it is a country with free and democratic systems, and the ruler actually does things for the people and can guarantee them a normal life, then such a country is worth defending and protecting. The common people feel that protecting such a country is tantamount to protecting their own home, which is an unshirkable responsibility, so they are willing to work for the country and fulfill their responsibility. But if devils or Satan rule over this country, and the rulers are wicked and incompetent to such an extent that the reign of these demon kings runs out of steam and they should step down, God will raise up a powerful country to invade. This is a signal from Heaven to human beings, telling them that this regime’s rulers should step down, and that they are not worthy of having such power, or dominating this land, or making the people of this country provide for them, because they have done nothing whatsoever to provide for the well-being of the country’s population, and neither has their reign benefited the common people in any way or brought any happiness to their lives. They have only tormented the common people, harmed them, and tortured and abused them. Therefore, such rulers should step down and give up their positions. If this regime is replaced by a democratic system with virtuous people in power, this will fulfill the hopes and expectations of the population, and it will also be in accordance with the will of Heaven. Those who comply with the ways of Heaven will prosper, while those who resist Heaven will perish. As an ordinary citizen, if you are constantly misled by the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” and always idolize and follow the ruling class, then you will surely die an early death and are likely to become a sacrificial victim and funerary object of the ruling class. If you pursue the truth, avoid being deceived by Satan and can escape its influence and keep your life, you have the hope of seeing a positive country emerge, and seeing sage masters and wise rulers assume power, and seeing the establishment of a good social system, and you will have the good fortune to live a happy life. Is this not the choice of a smart person? Do not think that whoever invades are enemies or devils; that is wrong. If you always regard the rulers as supreme and above all others, and treat them as the eternal masters of this land no matter how many bad things they do, or how much they resist God and brutalize believers, that is a grave mistake. Think about it, once those feudal ruling dynasties of the past were eradicated, and human beings lived under a variety of relatively democratic social systems, they became somewhat freer and happier, their lives were materially better off than before, and humankind’s breadth of vision, insight, and views on various things became more advanced than before. If people were all backward in their thinking, and constantly believed that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” and kept wanting to revive old traditions, restore the rule of emperors, and return to a feudal system, could humankind have developed as far as it has? Would their habitat be like it is now? It certainly wouldn’t. Therefore, when the country is in trouble, if the country’s laws stipulate that you must fulfill your civic duties and perform military service, then you should perform military service in accordance with the law. If you need to go into battle during your military service, then you should likewise fulfill your responsibility, because this is what you must do by law. You can’t break the law, and you must abide by it. If the law does not require it, then you are free to choose. If the country you reside in recognizes God, follows Him, worships Him, and has His blessings, then it should be defended. If the country you reside in resists and persecutes God, and arrests and oppresses Christians, then such a country is a satanic country ruled by devils. By constantly resisting God with deranged fury, it has already offended God’s disposition, and been cursed by Him. When such a country faces invasion by a foreign enemy, and is beset by troubles inside and outside its borders, it is a time of widespread indignation, discontent, and resentment among God and humankind. Is this not the time when God wants to raise up an environment to destroy this country? This is when God starts to act. God has heard people’s prayers, and the time has come for Him to redress the wrongs done to God’s chosen people. This is a good thing, and it is also good news. The time when God is about to obliterate the devils and Satan is also the time for God’s chosen people to get extremely excited and go around spreading the news. At this time, you must not risk your life for the ruling class. You should use your wisdom to cast off the constraints imposed by the ruling class, hurriedly flee for your life and save yourself as a matter of urgency. Some people say: “If I run away will I be a deserter? Is that not selfish?” You could also not be a deserter, and just guard your home and wait for the invaders to bomb and occupy it, and see what the outcome is then. The fact is that when any major event of national importance occurs, ordinary people do not have the right to choose for themselves. Everyone can only passively wait, watch, and put up with the inevitable results of this event. Is this not a fact? (Yes.) This is indeed a fact. In any case, fleeing is the wisest course of action. It is your responsibility to protect your own life and the safety of your family. If everyone was required to be responsible for their country’s fate, and that got them all killed, and all that remained of the country was an expanse of land, would the essence of the country still exist? “Country” would just be an empty word, would it not? In the eyes of dictators, human lives are the least valuable thing compared with their ambitions and desires, their acts of aggression, and any of their decisions and actions, but in the eyes of God, human lives are the most important thing. Let those who are willing to be cannon fodder for dictators and uphold the spirit of the saying “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” make contributions and sacrifices for the rulers. Those who follow God have no obligation to make any sacrifices for a country of Satan. You could also put it like this—let the dutiful offspring of Satan and those who follow it make sacrifices for Satan’s rule and for its ambitions and desires. It is right to let them be cannon fodder. No one forced them to have such great ambitions and desires. They just like following rulers, and are intent on pledging loyalty to devils, even if it kills them. In the end, they become sacrificial victims and funerary ornaments of Satan, which is what they deserve.
When any country invades another country, or when some unequal transaction with another country leads to war, ultimately the victims are the common people, everyone who lives in this land. It is a fact that some wars could be avoided if one of the parties was able to compromise, let go of their ambitions, desires, and power, and think about the survival of the common people. Many wars are actually caused by rulers clinging onto their own reign, not wanting to let go of or lose the power in their hands, but rather doggedly adhering to their beliefs, clinging onto power, and sticking to their own interests. Once war breaks out it is the common folk, the ordinary people, who are the victims. They are scattered far and wide in times of war, and are the least capable of resisting all this. Do these rulers consider the common people? Imagine if there was a ruler who said, “If I hold fast to my own beliefs and my own theories, I may end up starting a war, and the victims will be the ordinary people. Even if I win, this land will be destroyed by weapons and ammunition, and the homes people live in will be destroyed, so the people who reside in this land will not have happy lives in future. In order to protect the common people, I will step down, disarm, surrender, and compromise,” and thereafter, war was avoided. Is there such a ruler? (No.) In fact, common people don’t want to fight, nor do they want to participate in rivalry or contests between political forces. They are all passively sent to the battlefield and to the chopping block by the ruler. All these people who are sent to the battlefield, whether they die or survive, ultimately serve to keep the ruler in power. So is the ruler the ultimate beneficiary? (Yes.) What can common people gain from war? Common people can only be devastated by it, and suffer the destruction of their homes and that of the habitat they depend on. Some lose their families, and even more are displaced and made homeless, with no prospect of returning. And yet, the ruler grandly claims that the war was launched to protect people’s homes and their survival. Does this claim hold water? Is it not disingenuous claptrap? In the end, it is the common folk, the people, who bear all the evil consequences of this, and the biggest beneficiary is the ruler. They can continue ruling over the people, ruling over the land, keep hold of the power in their hands, and continue standing in the ruler’s place giving orders, while ordinary people live in dire straits with no future and no hope. Some people think this idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country” is absolutely correct. Looking at it now, is it correct? (No, it’s not correct.) There is not a bit of correctness in this saying. Whether looking at it from the perspective of Satan’s motives in instilling this idea in people, or the schemes, desires, and ambitions of rulers at various stages throughout the history of human development, or any fact concerning a country’s fate, the occurrence of these events cannot be controlled by any ordinary person, individual, or ethnic group. In the end, the victims are the unsuspecting masses and common folk, whereas those who benefit most are the country’s ruling class, the rulers at the very top. When the country is in trouble, they send the common people to the frontline to be used as cannon fodder. When the country is not in trouble, the common people are the hand that feeds them. They exploit the common people, bleeding them dry and living off them, compelling the people to provide for them, and ultimately even instilling in people the idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” and forcing them to accept it. Whoever doesn’t accept it is labeled as unpatriotic. The message these rulers are conveying is: “The purpose of my rule is for you to lead happy lives. Without my rule, you would not be able to survive, so you must do as I say, be obedient citizens, and always be ready to dedicate yourselves and sacrifice yourselves for your country’s fate.” Who is the country? Who is synonymous with the country? The rulers are synonymous with the country. By instilling in people this idea that “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country,” in one sense, they are compelling people to fulfill their responsibilities without choice, hesitation, or any objection. In another sense, they are telling people that the fate of the country and the question of whether its rulers stay in power or are deposed are of great importance to the population, so they must take great care to defend both the country and its rulers, in order to guarantee their normal existence. Is this actually the case? (No.) Quite obviously this is not the case. Rulers who cannot obey God, do His will, or work for the sake of common people will not win popular support, and will not be good rulers. If, rather than acting for the sake of common people, the rulers only pursue their own interests, ride roughshod over people, and squeeze sweat and blood out of them like parasites, then such rulers are Satan and devils, and do not deserve the people’s support, no matter how powerful they are. If the country didn’t have such rulers, would it exist? Would the people’s lives exist? They would exist all the same, and the people might even lead better lives. If people clearly see the essence of the question of what their obligations and responsibilities to their country should be, then no matter which country they live in, they should have correct views on the major issues in that country, and on issues concerning politics and that country’s fate. When these correct views come about, you will be able to make the right choice in matters involving the country’s fate. On the matter of a country’s fate, do you basically understand the truth that people should understand? (Yes.)
I have fellowshiped a great deal about the saying on moral conduct “Every person shares responsibility for the fate of their country.” As regards the concept of country, the influence of the term “country” on people in society, what responsibilities people should have toward their country and nation when it comes to that country’s fate, what choices they should make, and what God requires of humankind in this matter, did I fellowship clearly on all of this? (Yes.) Then here ends our fellowship for today.
June 11, 2022