Work and Entry (7)
It has taken man until this day to realize that what man lacks is not only the supply of spiritual life and the experience of knowing God, but—what is even more vitally important—changes in his disposition. Due to man’s complete ignorance of the history and ancient culture of his own race, the result is that man knows nothing at all about God’s work. All men hope that man can be attached to God deep within his heart, but because man’s flesh is excessively corrupt, both numb and obtuse, this has caused him to know nothing at all of God. In coming among man today, God’s purpose is none other than to transform people’s thoughts and spirits, as well as the image of God in their hearts that they have had for millions of years. He will take this opportunity to make man perfect. That is, He will, by means of man’s knowledge, change the way people come to know Him and their attitude toward Him, enabling man to make a triumphant new beginning in coming to know God, and so achieve the renewal and transformation of the human spirit. Dealing and discipline are the means, while conquest and renewal are the goals. Dispelling the superstitious thoughts man has held about the vague God has forever been God’s intention, and lately this has also become a matter of urgency to Him. Would that all people might take the long view in considering this situation. Change the way in which each person experiences so that this urgent intention of God may soon reach fruition and so that the last stage of God’s work on earth may be perfectly brought to completion. Give God the loyalty that it behooves you to give Him, and for the last time render comfort to God’s heart. Among the brothers and sisters, would that none should shirk this responsibility, or merely pretend to go through the motions. God comes in the flesh this time in answer to an invitation, and in pointed response to the condition of man. That is, He comes to supply man with what man needs. No matter what man’s caliber or breeding, He will, in summary, enable him to see the word of God and, from His word, see the existence and the manifestation of God and accept God’s perfection of him, changing the thoughts and notions of man so that the original countenance of God is firmly rooted in the depths of man’s heart. This is God’s only wish on earth. No matter how great the inborn nature of man, or how poor man’s substance, or what man’s behavior in the past was really like, God pays no regard to these. He only hopes for man to make completely new the image of God he has in his inner heart and to come to know the substance of mankind, and thereby arrive at the transformation of the ideological outlook of man, and to be able to long for God from the depths and awaken an eternal attachment to Him: This is the one demand that God makes of man.
Knowledge of ancient culture and history spanning several thousand years has closed off man’s thinking and notions and his mental outlook so tightly as to render them impervious and non-biodegradable. People live in the eighteenth circle of hell, where, just as if they have been banished by God into the dungeons, the light may never be seen. Feudal thinking has so oppressed people that they can barely breathe and are suffocating. They have not the slightest jot of strength to resist; all they do is endure and endure in silence…. Never has anyone dared to struggle or stand up for righteousness and justice; people simply live a life worse than an animal’s, under the blows and abuse of feudal ethics, day after day, and year after year. They have never thought to seek out God to enjoy happiness in the human world. It is as if people have been beaten down to the point where they are like the fallen leaves of autumn, withered, desiccated, and yellow-brown. People have long since lost their memory; they live helpless in the hell which is called the human world, waiting for the coming of the last day so that they may perish together with this hell, as if the last day that they yearn for is the day when man shall enjoy restful peace. Feudal ethics have taken the life of man into “Hades,” further weakening man’s power to resist. All sorts of oppression push man, step by step, to fall deeper into Hades, farther and farther away from God, until today he has become a complete stranger to God and makes haste to avoid Him when they meet. Man does not heed Him and leaves Him standing alone to one side, as if man has never known Him, has never seen Him before. Yet God has been waiting for man all through the long journey of human life, never hurling His irrepressible fury toward him, merely waiting quietly, without a word, for man to repent and start anew. God long ago came into the human world to share the sufferings of the human world with man. In all the years that He has lived with man, no one has discovered His existence. God only endures in silence the misery of shabbiness in the human world while carrying out the work He brought in person. He continues to endure for the sake of the will of God the Father and for the sake of the needs of mankind, undergoing sufferings never before experienced by man. In man’s presence He has quietly waited upon him, and in man’s presence He has humbled Himself, for the sake of God the Father’s will and also for the sake of the needs of mankind. Knowledge of ancient culture has surreptitiously stolen man from the presence of God and turned him over to the king of devils and its progeny. The Four Books and Five Classics[a] have taken man’s thinking and notions into another age of rebellion, causing him to give even greater adulation than before to those who compiled the Book/Classic of Documents, and as a result to further exacerbate his notions about God. Unbeknownst to man, the king of devils heartlessly cast God out from his heart and then occupied it itself with triumphant glee. Since that time, man became possessed of an ugly and wicked soul and of the countenance of the king of devils. A hatred of God filled his chest, and the spiteful malice of the king of devils spread within man day after day until he was utterly consumed. Man no longer had the least bit of freedom and had no way of breaking free from the toils of the king of devils. He had no choice but to be taken captive on the spot, to surrender and fall down in submission in its presence. Long ago, when man’s heart and soul was still in its infancy, the king of devils planted in it the seed of the tumor of atheism, teaching him such fallacies as “study science and technology; realize the Four Modernizations; and there is no such thing as God in the world.” Not only that, it shouts out at every opportunity: “Let us rely on our industrious labor to build a beautiful homeland,” asking each and every person to be prepared from childhood to render faithful service to their country. Man, unwitting, was brought into its presence, where it unhesitatingly arrogated all the credit (meaning the credit belonging to God for holding all of mankind in His hands) unto itself. Never did it have any sense of shame. Moreover, it shamelessly seized God’s people and dragged them back into its house, where it leaped like a mouse onto the table and had man worship it as God. What a desperado! It cries out scandalous, shocking things, such as: “There is no such thing as God in the world. The wind comes from transformations according to natural laws; rain comes when water vapor, meeting with cold temperatures, condenses into drops that fall to earth; an earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the earth due to geological changes; drought is due to dryness in the air caused by nucleonic disruption on the sun’s surface. These are natural phenomena. Where, in all this, is there an act of God?” There are even those who shout out statements like the following, statements that should not be given voice: “Man evolved from apes in the ancient past, and the world today comes from a succession of primitive societies starting from approximately an eon ago. Whether a country flourishes or declines rests entirely in the hands of its people.” In the background, it makes man hang it on the wall or place it on the table to pay homage and make offerings to it. At the same time that it cries out, “There is no God,” it sets itself up as God, with summary roughness pushing God out of the bounds of the earth, while standing in God’s place and taking up the role of the king of devils. How utterly lost to reason! It makes one hate it to the very bone. It seems that God and it are sworn enemies, and the two cannot coexist. It schemes to chase God away while it roams free, outside the reach of law. Such a king of devils it is! How can its existence be tolerated? It will not rest until it has made a mess of God’s work and left it all in a complete shambles, as if it wants to oppose God to the bitter end, until either the fish dies or the net breaks, deliberately setting itself against God and pressing in ever closer. Its hideous face having long since been completely unmasked, it is now bruised and battered and in a sorry condition, yet still it will not relent in its hatred of God, as if only by devouring God in one mouthful will it be able to relieve the hatred pent up in its heart. How can we tolerate it, this enemy of God! Only its eradication and complete extermination will bring our life’s wish to fruition. How can it be allowed to continue running rampant? It has corrupted man to such a degree that man does not know the heavensun, and has become deadened and devoid of feeling. Man has lost normal human reason. Why not offer up our whole being to destroy it and burn it up to eliminate all worries for the future and allow the work of God to sooner reach unprecedented splendor? This gang of scoundrels has come into the world of men and reduced it to turmoil. They have brought all of humanity to the edge of a precipice, secretly planning to push them over to be dashed to pieces so that they may then devour their corpses. They vainly hope to break up God’s plan and enter into a match with Him, staking everything on a single throw of the dice. That is by no means easy! The cross has been prepared, after all, for the king of devils, who is guilty of the most heinous crimes. God does not belong to the cross. He has already tossed it aside for the devil. God has long before now emerged victorious and no longer feels sorrow over the sins of mankind, but will bring salvation to all mankind.
From top to bottom and from beginning to end, Satan has been disrupting the work of God and acting in opposition to Him. All this talk of “ancient cultural heritage,” valuable “knowledge of ancient culture,” “teachings of Taoism and Confucianism,” and “Confucian classics and feudal rites” has taken man into hell. Advanced modern-day science and technology, as well as highly developed industry, agriculture, and business are nowhere to be seen. Rather, all it does is emphasize the feudal rites propagated by the “apes” of ancient times in order to deliberately disrupt, oppose, and dismantle the work of God. Not only has it continued to afflict man until this day, but it even wants to swallow man whole. The transmission of the moral and ethical teachings of feudalism and the passing down of the knowledge of ancient culture have long infected humanity, turning them into devils big and small. Few are those who would gladly receive God, few who would jubilantly welcome His coming. The face of all humanity is filled with murderous intent, and in every place, a killing breath pervades the air. They seek to cast God out from this land; with knives and swords in hand, they arrange themselves in battle formation to “annihilate” God. All across this land of the devil, where man is constantly taught there is no God, idols are spread, and the air above is permeated by a nauseating odor of burning paper and incense, so thick as to be suffocating. It is like the stench of sludge that wafts up with the writhing of the poisonous serpent, so much so that one cannot keep from vomiting. Besides this, there can faintly be heard the sound of evil demons chanting scriptures, a sound which seems to be coming from faraway in hell, so much so that one cannot keep from shivering. Everywhere in this land are placed idols of all colors of the rainbow, turning the land into a world of sensual delights, while the king of devils keeps laughing wickedly, as if its dastardly plot has succeeded. Meanwhile, man remains completely oblivious, and nor has he any inkling that the devil has already corrupted him to the point where he has become senseless and hangs his head in defeat. It wishes, in one fell swoop, to wipe out everything about God, and once again to defile and assassinate Him; it is intent upon tearing down and disrupting His work. How can it allow God to be of equal status? How can it tolerate God “interfering” with its work among men on earth? How can it allow God to unmask its hideous face? How can it allow God to put its work in disarray? How can this devil, apoplectic with rage, allow God to have control over its imperial court on the earth? How can it willingly bow down to His superior might? Its hideous countenance has been revealed for what it is, so that one knows not whether to laugh or cry, and it is truly difficult to speak of. Is this not its substance? With an ugly soul, it still believes that it is beautiful beyond belief. This gang of accomplices in crime! They come down into the mortal realm to indulge in pleasures and cause a commotion, stirring things up so much that the world becomes a fickle and inconstant place and the heart of man is filled with panic and unease, and they have toyed with man so much that his appearance has become that of an inhuman beast of the field, supremely ugly, and from which the last trace of the original holy man has been lost. Furthermore, they even wish to assume sovereign power on earth. They impede the work of God so much that it can barely inch forward, and they close man off as tightly as walls of copper and steel. Having committed so many grievous sins and caused so many disasters, are they still expecting something other than chastisement? Demons and evil spirits have been running amok on earth for a time, and have sealed off both the will and the painstaking effort of God so tightly that they are impenetrable. Truly, this is a mortal sin! How can God not feel anxious? How can God not feel wrathful? They have gravely hindered and opposed the work of God: How rebellious! Even those demons, big and small, behave like jackals at the heels of the lion, and follow the evil current, contriving disturbances as they go. Knowing the truth, they deliberately oppose it, these sons of rebellion! It is as if, now that their king of hell has ascended to the kingly throne, they have become smug and complacent, treating all others with contempt. How many among them seek the truth and follow righteousness? They are all beasts, no better than pigs and dogs, at the head of a gang of stinking flies, wagging their heads in smug self-congratulation and stirring up all kinds of trouble, in the middle of a dung heap. They believe that their king of hell is the greatest king of all, little knowing that they themselves are no more than stinking flies. And yet, they take advantage of the power of the pigs and dogs they have for parents to malign the existence of God. As diminutive flies, they believe their parents to be as large as toothed whales. Little do they know that, while they themselves are tiny, their parents are unclean pigs and dogs hundreds of millions of times larger than they. Unaware of their own lowliness, they rely on the stench of putrefaction exuded by those pigs and dogs to run amok, vainly thinking to procreate future generations, oblivious to shame! With green wings upon their backs (this refers to their claiming to believe in God), they are full of themselves and boast everywhere of their own beauty and allure, while they secretly fling the impurities on their own bodies onto man. Furthermore, they are exceedingly pleased with themselves, as if they can use a pair of rainbow-colored wings to conceal their own impurities, and by these means they bring their oppression to bear on the existence of the true God (this refers to what goes on behind the scenes in the religious world). How would man know that, as enchantingly beautiful as the wings of a fly may be, the fly itself is after all no more than a tiny creature, with a belly full of filth and a body covered with germs? On the strength of the pigs and dogs they have for parents, they run amok across the land (this refers to the way in which the religious officials who persecute God rely on the strong backing of the government of the nation to rebel against the true God and the truth), unrestrained in their savagery. It is as if the ghosts of the Jewish Pharisees have returned along with God to the nation of the great red dragon, back to their old nest. They have begun yet another round of persecution, picking up their work of several thousand years ago. This group of degenerates is sure to perish on earth in the end! It would appear that, after several millennia, the unclean spirits have become even more crafty and sly. They are constantly thinking of ways to undermine the work of God in secret. With tricks and wiles galore, they wish to reenact in their homeland the tragedy of several thousand years ago, goading God nearly to the point of crying out. He can hardly keep Himself from returning to the third heaven to annihilate them. For man to love God, he must grasp His will, know His joys and sorrows, and understand what it is that He abhors. Doing this will spur on even more the entry of man. The faster man’s entry, the sooner God’s will is satisfied, the more clearly man sees through the king of devils, and the closer he draws to God, so that His desire may be brought to fruition.
1. “Non-biodegradable” is intended as satire here, meaning that people are rigid in their knowledge, culture, and spiritual outlook.
2. “Roams free, outside the reach of law” indicates that the devil goes berserk and runs amok.
3. “A complete shambles” refers to how the devil’s violent behavior is unbearable to see.
4. “Bruised and battered” refers to the ugly face of the king of devils.
5. “Staking everything on a single throw of the dice” means placing all one’s money on a single bet in hopes of winning in the end. This is a metaphor for the devil’s sinister and nefarious schemes. The expression is used mockingly.
6. “Swallow” refers to the vicious behavior of the king of devils, which ravishes people in their entirety.
7. “Accomplices in crime” are of the same ilk as “a band of hoodlums.”
8. “Stirring up all kinds of trouble” refers to how people who are demonic run riot, obstructing and opposing the work of God.
9. “Toothed whales” is used mockingly. It is a metaphor for how flies are so small that pigs and dogs appear as big as whales to them.
a. The Four Books and Five Classics are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China.