Work and Entry (3)
God has entrusted much to humans and has also addressed their entry in countless ways. But because people’s caliber is considerably poor, many of God’s words have failed to take root. There are various reasons for this poor caliber, such as the corruption of human thought and morality, and a lack of proper upbringing; feudal superstitions that have seriously taken hold of the heart of man; depraved and decadent lifestyles that have lodged many ills in the deepest corners of the human heart; a superficial grasp of cultural literacy, with almost ninety-eight percent of the people lacking education in cultural literacy and, what is more, very few receiving higher levels of cultural education. Therefore, people basically have no idea what is meant by God or the Spirit, but have only a vague and unclear image of God acquired from feudal superstitions. Pernicious influences that thousands of years of “the lofty spirit of nationalism” have left deep in the human heart, as well as the feudal thinking by which people are bound and chained, without an iota of freedom, with no will to aspire or persevere, no desire to make progress, remaining instead passive and regressive, entrenched in a slave mentality, and so on—these objective factors have imparted an indelibly filthy and ugly cast to the ideological outlook, ideals, morality, and disposition of humanity. Humans, it would seem, are living in a dark world of terrorism, which none among them seeks to transcend, and none among them thinks of moving on to an ideal world; rather, they are content with their lot in life, to spend their days bearing and raising children, striving, sweating, going about their chores, dreaming of a comfortable and happy family, and dreaming of conjugal affection, of filial children, of joy in their twilight years as they peacefully live out their lives…. For tens, thousands, tens of thousands of years until now, people have been squandering their time in this way, with no one creating a perfect life, all intent only on mutual slaughter in this dark world, on the race for fame and fortune, and on intriguing against one another. Who has ever sought after God’s will? Has anyone ever heeded the work of God? All the parts of humanity occupied by the influence of darkness have long since become human nature, and so it is quite difficult to carry out the work of God, and people have even less heart to pay attention to what God has entrusted to them today. In any case, I believe that people will not mind Me uttering these words since what I am talking about is the history of thousands of years. To speak of history means facts and, moreover, scandals that are obvious to all, so what point is there in saying that which is contrary to fact? But I also believe that reasonable people, upon seeing these words, will awaken and strive for progress. God hopes that humans can live and work in peace and contentment while at the same time be able to love God. It is God’s will that all of humanity may enter into rest; more than this, the filling of the entire land with God’s glory is God’s great desire. It is just a shame that human beings remain sunk in oblivion and unawakened, so badly corrupted by Satan that today they no longer have the likeness of humans. So human thought, morality and education form an important link, with training in cultural literacy forming a second link, the better to raise the cultural caliber of human beings and change their spiritual outlook.
Actually, God’s requirements of humanity are not that high, but because the gap between people’s caliber and the standard God requires is so large, most people simply raise their heads and look up in the direction of God’s requirements but lack the ability to fulfill them. People’s innate endowments, together with what they come to be equipped with after birth, are far from sufficient to meet the requirements of God. But simply to recognize this point is not a surefire solution. Distant water cannot quench an immediate thirst. Even if people know themselves to be inferior to dust, if they do not have the resolve to satisfy God’s heart, much less take the advanced way to meet God’s requirements, then what value does that kind of knowledge have? Is it not like drawing water with a bamboo basket—totally futile? The crux of what I am saying has to do with entry; that is the main topic.
During the course of man’s entry, life is always boring, full of the monotonous elements of spiritual life, such as praying, eating and drinking the words of God, or forming gatherings, and so people always feel that believing in God brings no great enjoyment. Such spiritual activities are always carried out on the basis of humanity’s original disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. Although people can sometimes receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, their original thinking, disposition, lifestyles and habits are still rooted within, and so their nature remains unchanged. The superstitious activities that people engage in are what God hates the most, but many people are still unable to let go of them, thinking these superstitious activities to be decreed by God, and even today have yet to shed them completely. Such things as the arrangements young people make for wedding feasts and bridal trousseaus; gifts of cash, banquets, and similar ways with which joyous occasions are celebrated; ancient formulae that have been handed down; all the meaningless superstitious activities conducted for the dead and their obsequies: these are even more detestable to God. Even the day of worship (including the Sabbath, as observed by the religious world) is detestable to Him; and the social relationships and worldly interactions between man and man are all the more despised and rejected by God. Even the Spring Festival and Christmas Day, which are known to everyone, are not decreed by God, let alone the toys and decorations for these festive holidays such as couplets, firecrackers, lanterns, Holy Communion, Christmas gifts, and Christmas festivities—are they not idols in the minds of men? The breaking of bread on the Sabbath, wine, and fine linen are even more emphatically idols. All the traditional festival days popular in China, such as the Dragon Heads-raising Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Laba Festival, and New Year’s Day, and the festivals in the religious world, such as Easter, Baptism Day, and Christmas Day, all of these unjustifiable festivals have been arranged and handed down from olden times to today by many people. It is humanity’s rich imagination and ingenious conception that have allowed them to be passed down to today. They appear to be free of flaws, but are in fact tricks Satan plays on humanity. The more a place is thronged with Satans, and the more obsolete and backward that place is, the more deeply entrenched are its feudal customs. These things bind people tight, allowing absolutely no room for movement. Many of the festivals in the religious world seem to display great originality and to create a bridge to the work of God, but they are actually the invisible ties with which Satan binds people and prevents people from coming to know God—they are all Satan’s cunning stratagems. In fact, when a stage of God’s work is finished, He has already destroyed the tools and the style of that time, without leaving any trace. However, “devout believers” continue to worship those tangible material objects; meanwhile they consign what God has to the back of their minds, studying it no further, seeming to be full of the love of God when they actually pushed Him out of the house long ago and placed Satan on the table to worship. Portraits of Jesus, the Cross, Mary, Jesus’ Baptism and the Last Supper—people venerate these as the Lord of Heaven, all the while repeatedly crying out “Lord, heavenly Father.” Is this not all a joke? To this day, many similar sayings and practices that have been passed down amongst humanity are hateful to God; they seriously obstruct the way ahead for God and, furthermore, create huge setbacks to humanity’s entry. Putting aside the extent to which Satan has corrupted humanity, the insides of people are completely filled up with things like the law of Witness Lee, the experiences of Lawrence, the surveys by Watchman Nee, and the work of Paul. There is simply no way for God to work upon human beings, because they have inside them too much of individualism, laws, rules, regulations, systems, and the like; these things, in addition to people’s feudal superstitious tendencies, have captured and devoured humanity. It is as if people’s thoughts are an interesting film narrating a fairy tale in full color, with fantastic beings riding the clouds, so imaginative that they amaze people, leaving them dazed and speechless. To tell the truth, the work that God comes to do today is mainly to deal with and dispel the superstitious attributes of human beings and completely transform their mental outlook. God’s work has not lasted until today due to the inheritance that has been handed down through the generations by humanity; it is work as personally initiated by Him and completed by Him, without any need for succeeding to the legacy of a certain great spiritual man, or inheriting any work of a representative nature done by God in some other era. Human beings need not concern themselves with any of these things. God today has another style of speaking and of working, so why should human beings trouble themselves? If humans walk the path of today within the current stream while continuing the legacy of their “ancestors,” they will not reach their destination. God feels deep repugnance for this particular mode of human behavior, just as He abominates the years, months and days of the human world.
The best way to change the human disposition is to remedy those portions of people’s innermost hearts that have been profoundly poisoned, allowing people to begin changing their thinking and morality. First of all, people need to see clearly that all these religious rites, religious activities, years and months, and festivals are hateful to God. They should break free from these bonds of feudal thinking and eradicate every trace of their deep-seated propensity to superstition. These are all included in humanity’s entry. You must understand why God leads humanity out of the secular world, and again why He leads humanity away from rules and regulations. This is the gate through which you will enter, and although these things have nothing to do with your spiritual experience, they are the greatest obstacles blocking your entry, blocking you from knowing God. They form a net which enmeshes people. Many people read the Bible too much and can even recite numerous passages from the Bible from memory. In their entry today, people unconsciously use the Bible to measure the work of God, as if the basis of this stage in the work of God is the Bible and its source is the Bible. When the work of God is in line with the Bible, people strongly support the work of God and regard Him with newfound esteem; when the work of God is at odds with the Bible, people become so anxious that they break into a sweat, searching in it for the basis of the work of God; if the work of God has no mention in the Bible, people will ignore God. It can be said that, as far as God’s work today is concerned, most people accept it gingerly and with caution, they give it selective obedience, and feel indifferent toward knowing it; as for the things of the past, they hold on to one half and abandon the other. Can this be called entry? Holding the books of others as treasures and treating them as the golden key to the gate of the kingdom, people simply show no interest in what God requires of them today. Moreover, many “intelligent experts” hold the words of God in their left hand and the “masterworks” of others in their right, as if they want to find the basis of God’s words of today within these masterworks in order to fully prove that the words of God are correct, and they even explain God’s words to others by integrating them with the masterworks, as if they were at work. To tell the truth, there are many “scientific researchers” among humanity who have never thought highly of today’s latest scientific achievements, scientific achievements that are without precedent (i.e. the work of God, the words of God, and the path for life entry), so people are all “self-reliant,” “preaching” far and wide on the strength of their silver tongues, and flaunting “the good name of God.” Meanwhile, their own entry is in peril and they seem to be as far from God’s requirements as the creation is from this moment. How easy is it to do the work of God? It seems that people have already made up their minds to leave half of themselves to yesterday and bring half to today, deliver half to Satan and present half to God, as if this is the way to ease their conscience and feel some sense of comfort. People’s inner worlds are so insidious, they are afraid of losing not only tomorrow but also yesterday, deeply afraid of offending both Satan and the God of today, who seems to be and yet not to be. Because people have failed to cultivate their thinking and morality properly, they are exceptionally lacking in discernment, and they simply cannot tell whether or not today’s work is that of God. Perhaps it is because people’s feudal and superstitious thinking is so deep that they have long placed superstition and truth, God and idols, in the same category, not caring to distinguish between these things, and they seem unable to discriminate clearly despite racking their brains. That is why human beings have stopped in their tracks and no longer move forward. All of these problems arise from people’s lack of the correct kind of ideological education, which creates great difficulties for their entry. As a result, people never feel any interest in the work of the true God, but persistently stick to the work of man (such as those whom they view as great men) as if they have been branded by it. Are not these the latest topics that humanity should enter into?
1. “Persistently stick to” is used mockingly. This phrase indicates that people are stubborn and intractable, holding onto outdated things and being unwilling to let them go.