A Selection From the Ten Passages of God’s Word on “Work and Entry”
1. Ever since people began to tread the right track of belief in God, there have been many things about which they remain unclear. They are still in a complete muddle about God’s work, and about much of the work they should do. This is due, on the one hand, to the deviation in their experience and the limitations in their capacity to receive; on the other, it is because God’s work has not yet brought people to this stage. So, everyone is ambiguous about most spiritual matters. Not only are you unclear about what you should enter into, you are even more ignorant about God’s work. This is more than simply a matter of the shortcomings that exist within you: It is a great flaw common to all those in the religious world. Herein lies the key to why people do not know God, and so this flaw is a common defect shared by all those who seek after Him. Not a single person has ever known God, or has ever seen His true face. It is because of this that God’s work becomes as arduous as moving a mountain or draining the sea. So many people have sacrificed their lives for God’s work; so many have been cast out on account of His work; so many, for the sake of His work, have been tormented to death; so many, their eyes filled with tears of love for God, have died unjustly; so many have met with cruel and inhumane persecution…. That these tragedies come to pass—is it not all due to people’s lack of knowledge about God? How could someone who does not know God have the face to come before Him? How could someone who believes in God and yet persecutes Him have face to come before Him? These are not solely the inadequacies of those within the religious world, but rather they are common to both you and them. People believe in God without knowing Him; it is for this reason alone that they do not revere God in their hearts, and do not fear Him in their hearts. There are even those who, openly and brazenly, do the work that they envision by themselves within this stream, and go about doing the work commissioned by God according to their own demands and immoderate desires. Many people act wildly, holding God in no esteem but following their own will. Are these examples not perfect manifestations of people’s selfish hearts? Do these examples not manifest the overabundant element of deception within people? People may indeed be supremely intelligent, but how can their gifts take the place of God’s work? People may indeed care for God’s burden, but they cannot act too selfishly. Are people’s deeds really Godlike? Can anyone be one hundred percent assured? To bear witness to God, to inherit His glory—this is God making an exception and lifting up people; how could people be worthy? God’s work has only just begun, and His words have only just begun to be spoken. At this point, people feel good about themselves, but is this not simply courting humiliation? They understand far too little. Even the most gifted theoretician, the most silver-tongued orator, cannot describe all of God’s abundance, so how much less can you? You should not set your own worth higher than the heavens, but rather you should see yourselves as lower than any of those reasonable people who seek to love God. This is the path by which you shall enter: to see yourselves as significantly lower than all others. Why see yourselves so highly? Why place yourselves in such high estimation? On the long journey of life, you have taken but the few first steps. All you see is God’s arm, not the whole of God. It behooves you to see more of God’s work, to discover more of what you should enter into, because you have changed too little.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
2. As God perfects man and transforms his disposition, His work never ceases, because man is lacking in too many ways and falls far short of the standards set by Him. And so it can be said that, in the eyes of God, you will eternally be newborn babes, bearing very few of the elements that please Him, because you are nothing but creatures in God’s hands. If a person falls into complacency, would they not be loathed by God? To say that you are able to satisfy God today is to speak from the limited perspective of your fleshly body; if you were really to be matched against God, you would forever be defeated in the arena. Man’s flesh has never once known victory. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit is it possible for man to have redeeming features. In truth, out of the myriad things in God’s creation, man is the lowest. Though he is the master of all things, man is the only one among them that is subject to Satan’s trickery, the only one that falls prey in endless ways to its corruption. Man has never had sovereignty over himself. Most people live in the foul place of Satan and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that until they are only half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless that they simply have no inclination to take notice of God’s work. If people have no inclination to take notice of God’s work, their experience is doomed forever to remain fragmented and incomplete, and their entry will forever be an empty space. In the several thousand years since God came into the world, any number of men with lofty ideals have been used by God to work for Him over any number of years; but those who know His work are so few as to be almost non-existent. For this reason, untold numbers of people assume the role of resisting God at the same time that they work for Him, because, rather than doing His work, they actually do human work in a position conferred by God. Can this be called work? How can they enter in? Humanity has taken God’s grace and buried it. Because of this, over generations past those who do His work have little entry. They simply do not speak about knowing God’s work, because they understand too little of God’s wisdom. It can be said that, though there are many who serve God, they have failed to see how exalted He is, and this is why all have set themselves up as God for others to worship.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
3. Regarding work, man believes that work is to run around for God, preach everywhere, and expend for His sake. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to run around for Him; beyond just this, this work is concerned with ministry and provision within the spirit. Many brothers and sisters, even after all these years of experience, have never thought about working for God, because work as conceived by man is incongruous with what God asks. Therefore, man has no interest whatsoever in the matter of work, and this is precisely the reason why the entry of man is also quite one-sided. All of you should begin your entry with working for God, so that you may better undergo every aspect of experience. This is what you should enter into. Work refers not to running around for God, but to whether the life of man and what man lives out are able to give God enjoyment. Work refers to people using their devotion to God and their knowledge of God to testify about God, and also to minister to man. This is man’s responsibility and this is what all man should understand. One could say that your entry is your work, and that you are seeking to enter during the course of working for God. Experiencing God’s work does not merely mean that you know how to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must know how to testify about God and be able to serve God and be able to minister to and provide for man. This is work, and it is also your entry; this is what every person should accomplish. There are many who only focus on running around for God and preaching everywhere, yet overlook their individual experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what has led those who serve God to become those who resist God. These people, who have been serving God and ministering to man all these years, have simply regarded working and preaching as entry, and none have taken their individual spiritual experience as an important entry. Instead, they have taken the enlightenment they derive from the Holy Spirit’s work as capital from which to teach others. When preaching, they are much burdened and receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and by means of this they are releasing the voice of the Holy Spirit. At this time, those who work are filled with complacency, as if the work of the Holy Spirit has become their individual spiritual experience; they feel that all the words they are speaking belong to their individual being, but then again as if their own experience is not as clear as they have described. What is more, prior to speaking they have no inkling what they will say, but when the Holy Spirit works in them, their words come flooding out in an unending stream. After you have preached once in such a way, you feel that your actual stature is not as small as you believed, and as in a situation where the Holy Spirit has worked in you several times, you then determine that you already have stature and mistakenly believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is your own entry and your own being. When you constantly experience in this way, you will become lax about your own entry, slip into laziness without noticing, and cease to place any importance on your individual entry. For this reason, when you are ministering to others you must clearly distinguish between your stature and the work of the Holy Spirit. This can better facilitate your entry and bring more benefit to your experience. When man takes the work of the Holy Spirit to be their individual experience, this becomes a source of depravity. This is why I say, whatever duty you perform, you ought to regard your entry as a vital lesson.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
4. One works in order to satisfy the will of God, to bring all those who are after God’s heart before Him, to bring man to God, and to introduce the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s guidance to man, thereby perfecting the fruits of God’s work. Therefore, it is imperative that you are thoroughly clear on the substance of work. As one who is used by God, every man is worthy of working for God, that is, everyone has the opportunity to be used by the Holy Spirit. However, there is one point that you must realize: When man does the work commissioned by God, man has been given the opportunity to be used by God, but what is said and known by man are not entirely the stature of man. All you can do is to better know your own deficiencies during the course of your work, and come into possession of greater enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. In this way, you will be enabled to gain better entry in the course of your work. If man regards the guidance that comes from God as their own entry and as something that is inherent within themselves, then there is no potential for man’s stature to grow. The enlightenment that the Holy Spirit works in man takes place when they are in a normal state; at such times, people often mistake the enlightenment they receive as their own actual stature, because the way in which the Holy Spirit enlightens is exceptionally normal, and He makes use of what is inherent within man. When people work and speak, or when they are praying and making their spiritual devotions, a truth will suddenly become clear to them. In reality, however, what man sees is only enlightenment by the Holy Spirit (naturally, this enlightenment is connected to man’s cooperation) and does not represent man’s true stature. After a period of experience in which man encounters some difficulties and trials, the true stature of man becomes apparent under such circumstances. Only then will man discover that his stature is not so great, and the selfishness, personal considerations, and greed of man all emerge. Only after several cycles of experiences like this will many of those who are awakened within their spirits realize that what they had experienced in the past was not their own individual reality, but a momentary illumination from the Holy Spirit, and that man had but received this light. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man to understand the truth, it is often in a clear and distinct manner, without explaining how things came about or where they are going. That is, rather than incorporating the difficulties of man into this revelation, He directly reveals the truth. When man encounters difficulties in the process of entering, and then incorporates the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, this becomes the actual experience of man. … Therefore, at the same time that you receive the work of the Holy Spirit, you ought to place even more importance on your entry, seeing exactly what is the work of the Holy Spirit and what is your entry, as well as incorporating the work of the Holy Spirit into your entry, so that you may be perfected by the Holy Spirit in many more ways and so that the substance of the Holy Spirit’s work may be wrought in you. In the course of your experience of the Holy Spirit’s work, you will come to know the Holy Spirit, as well as yourselves, and moreover, in the midst of who knows how many bouts of intense suffering, you will develop a normal relationship with God, and the relationship between you and God will grow closer by the day. After countless instances of pruning and refinement, you will develop a true love for God. That is why you must realize that suffering, smiting, and tribulations are not to be feared; what is frightening is having only the work of the Holy Spirit but not your entry. When the day comes that the work of God is finished, you will have labored for nothing; even though you experienced the work of God, you will not have come to know the Holy Spirit or have had your own entry. The enlightenment that the Holy Spirit works in man is not to sustain the passion of man, but to open a path for the entry of man, as well as to allow man to come to know the Holy Spirit, and from this point develop feelings of reverence and adoration for God.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
5. 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.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
6. 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.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
7. 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?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
8. God has been incarnated in the Chinese mainland, or in the words of compatriots from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the “interior.” When God came from heaven above to the earth, no one in heaven or on earth was aware of this, for this is the true meaning of God returning under concealment. He has been working and living in the flesh for a long time, and yet no one has been aware. Even to this day, no one recognizes it. Perhaps this will remain an eternal riddle. God’s coming into the flesh this time is something that no human can possibly become aware of. No matter how large-scale and powerful the impact of the Spirit’s work, God always remains impassive, never giving anything away. One can say that this stage of His work is the same as if it were taking place in the heavenly realm. Even though it is apparent to all who have eyes to see, no one recognizes it. When God finishes this stage of His work, all humanity will break with their usual attitude, and awaken from their long dream. I remember God once saying, “Coming into the flesh this time is like falling into the tiger’s lair.” What this means is that, because in this round of God’s work God comes into the flesh and moreover is born in the dwelling place of the great red dragon, even more than before, He faces extreme danger by coming to earth this time. What He faces are knives and guns and cudgels and clubs; what He faces is temptation; what He faces are crowds wearing faces filled with murderous intent. He risks being killed at any moment. God came bringing wrath with Him. However, He came in order to do the work of perfection, which is to say that He came in order to do the second part of His work, that which continues after the work of redemption. For the sake of this stage of His work, God has devoted the utmost thought and care and is using every conceivable means to avoid the assaults of temptation, humbly concealing Himself and never flaunting His identity. In rescuing man from the cross, Jesus was only completing the work of redemption; He was not doing the work of perfection. Thus only half of God’s work was being done, and finishing the work of redemption was only half of His whole plan. As the new age was about to begin and the old one about to recede, God the Father began to deliberate on the second part of His work and to make preparations for it. This incarnation in the last days was not clearly prophesied in the past, thereby laying a foundation for the increased secrecy surrounding God’s coming into the flesh this time. At the break of dawn, unbeknownst to the multitudes of humanity, God came to earth and began His life in the flesh. People were unaware of the coming of this moment. Maybe they were all fast asleep; maybe many who were watchfully awake were waiting, and maybe many were praying silently to God in heaven. Yet among all these many people, not a single one knew that God had already arrived on earth. God worked like this so as to carry out His work more smoothly and to achieve better results, and also to forestall even more temptations. When man’s springtime slumber breaks, God’s work will have long been finished and He shall depart, bringing to a close His life of roaming and sojourning on earth. Because God’s work requires God to act and speak in His own person, and because there is no way for man to intervene, God has endured extreme suffering in order to come to earth to do the work Himself. Man is unable to stand in for God’s work. For this reason God braved dangers several thousand times greater than those during the Age of Grace to come down to the land where the great red dragon dwells to do His own work, expending all His thought and care, to redeem this group of impoverished people, this group of people mired in a dung heap. Even though no one knows of God’s existence, God is not troubled, because this greatly benefits His work. Given that everyone is heinous and wicked in the extreme, how would they tolerate God’s existence? That is why it is always in silence that God comes onto the earth. No matter that man has sunk into the worst excesses of cruelty, God does not take any of it to heart, but only keeps doing the work He needs to do so as to fulfill the greater commission that the heavenly Father entrusted to Him. Who among you has recognized God’s loveliness? Who shows more consideration for the burden of God the Father than does His Son? Who is able to understand the will of God the Father? The Spirit of God the Father in heaven is often troubled, and His Son on earth prays constantly for the sake of God the Father’s will, worrying His heart to pieces. Is there anyone who knows of the love of God the Father for His Son? Is there anyone who knows the heart with which the beloved Son misses God the Father? Torn between heaven and earth, the two are constantly gazing after each other from afar, following one another in Spirit. O mankind! When will you be considerate of God’s heart? When will you understand God’s intention? Father and Son have always depended on each other. Why then should They be separated, with one in heaven above and the other on earth below? The Father loves His Son as the Son loves His Father. Why then must the Father wait with such deep and painful longing for the Son? They may not have been separated for long, yet who knows how many days and nights the Father has been yearning with painful longing, and how long He has been pining for His beloved Son’s quick return? He observes, He sits in quietude, and He waits; there is nothing He does that is not for the sake of His beloved Son’s quick return. The Son who has wandered to the ends of the earth: when will They be reunited? Even though, once reunited, They will be together for eternity, how can He endure the thousands of days and nights of separation, one in heaven above and the other on earth below? Decades on earth feel like millennia in heaven. How could God the Father not be worried? When God comes to earth, He experiences the countless vicissitudes of the human world just as man does. God is innocent, so why should He be made to endure the same suffering as man? No wonder God the Father pines so urgently for His Son; who can understand God’s heart? God gives man too much; how can man adequately repay God’s heart? Yet man gives God too little; how could God, on that account, not be worried?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
9. Scarcely anyone among man understands the urgency in God’s state of mind, because the caliber of human beings is too inferior and their spirit quite dull, and so they all neither heed nor pay any mind to what God is doing. For this reason, God is constantly ill at ease about man, as if man’s beastly nature could break out at any moment. From this one can see even more clearly that God’s coming to earth is accompanied by exceedingly great temptations. But for the sake of making a group of people complete, God, fully laden with glory, told man of His every intention, hiding nothing from him. He has firmly resolved to complete this group of people, and so, come whatever hardship or temptation, He looks away and ignores it all. He only quietly does His own work, firmly believing that one day when God has come into possession of His glory, man will know Him, and believing that, once man has been completed by God, he will fully understand God’s heart. Right now there may be people tempting God, or misunderstanding God, or blaming God; God takes none of these to heart. When God descends into glory, people will all understand that everything God does is for the happiness of mankind, and they will all understand that everything God does is so that mankind may better survive. God comes, bringing temptation, and He also comes, bringing majesty and wrath. At the time God leaves man, He has already long since come into possession of His glory, and He leaves fully laden with glory and with the joy of return. The God who works on earth does not take things to heart no matter how people reject Him. He only keeps doing His work. God’s creation of the world goes back thousands of years. He has come to earth to do an immeasurable amount of work, and He has experienced to the full the human world’s rejection and slander. No one welcomes God’s arrival; He is greeted coldly. In the course of these several thousand years of rough going, man’s conduct has long since wounded God to the quick. He no longer pays attention to people’s rebellion, and has instead made another plan to transform and purify man. The derision, slander, persecution, tribulation, the suffering of crucifixion, the ostracism by man and so on, which God has encountered since coming into the flesh: God has tasted enough of these things, and as for the hardships of the human world, God who has come into the flesh has suffered all of these to the full. The Spirit of God the Father in heaven has long since found such sights to be unbearable and, throwing back His head and shutting His eyes, waits for His beloved Son to return. All He wishes is that humanity will listen and obey, and be able, having felt the utmost shame before His flesh, to cease to rebel against Him. All He wishes is that humanity will be able to believe in God’s existence. He has long since stopped making greater demands of man, because God has paid too high a price, yet man is resting easy, and does not take God’s work to heart in the least.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
10. Today you all know that God is leading people onto the right track of life, that He is leading man to take the next step into another age, that He is leading man to transcend this dark old era, out of the flesh, away from the oppression of the forces of darkness and the influence of Satan, so that each and every person may live in a world of freedom. For the sake of a beautiful tomorrow, and so that people may be bolder in their steps tomorrow, the Spirit of God plans everything for man, and in order that man may have greater enjoyment, God devotes all of His efforts in the flesh to preparing the path ahead for man, hastening the arrival of the day for which man longs. Would that you all cherish this beautiful moment; it is no easy feat to come together with God. Although you have never known Him, you have already long since been together with Him. If only everyone could remember these beautiful yet fleeting days forever, and make them their cherished possessions on earth.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (5)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
11. For thousands of years, the Chinese people have led the life of slaves, and this has so constrained their thoughts, concepts, life, language, behavior, and actions that they have been left without the slightest freedom. Several thousand years of history have taken vital people possessed of a spirit and worn them down into something akin to corpses bereft of a spirit. Many are those who live under the butcher’s knife of Satan, many are those who live in homes like the lairs of beasts, many are those who eat the same food as oxen or horses, and many are those who lie, insensate and in disarray, in the “netherworld.” In outward appearance, people are no different from primitive man, their place of rest is like a hell, and for companions they are surrounded by all manner of filthy demons and evil spirits. On the outside, human beings appear to be higher “animals”; in fact, they live and reside with filthy demons. Without anyone to tend to them, people live inside Satan’s ambuscade, caught in its toils with no way of escape. Rather than saying that they gather with their loved ones in cozy homes, living happy and fulfilling lives, one should say that human beings live in Hades, dealing with demons and associating with devils.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (5)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
12. Work and entry are inherently practical; they refer to God’s work and man’s entry. Man’s complete inability to penetrate into God’s true face and God’s work has brought the utmost difficulty to his entry. To this day, many people still do not know what work God will accomplish in the last days, or why God endured extreme humiliation in order to come into the flesh to stand with man in weal and woe. From the goal of God’s work to the purpose of God’s plan for the last days, man is wholly in the dark about these things. For various reasons, people have always been lukewarm and equivocal about the entry that God demands of them, which has brought the utmost difficulty to God’s work in the flesh. It would appear that people have all become obstacles and, to this day, they are still unclear. For this reason, I think we should talk about the work that God does on man, and God’s urgent intention, to make all of you into God’s loyal servants who, like Job, would rather die than reject God, enduring every humiliation; and who, like Peter, will offer up your whole being to God and become the intimates gained by God in the last days. Would that all brothers and sisters could give their all and offer up their whole being to God’s heavenly will, become holy servants in the house of God, and enjoy the promise of infinity bestowed by God, so that God the Father’s heart may soon enjoy peaceful rest. “Accomplish God the Father’s will” should be the motto of all who love God. These words should serve as man’s guide for entry and as the compass guiding his actions. This is the resolve that man should have. To bring to thorough completion God’s work on earth and cooperate with God’s work in the flesh—this is man’s duty, until one day, when God’s work is done, man will joyfully bid Him farewell as He returns early to the Father in heaven. Is this not the responsibility that man should fulfill?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
13. When, in the Age of Grace, God returned to the third heaven, God’s work of redeeming all of mankind had actually already moved into its final part. All that remained on earth were the cross that Jesus bore on His back, the fine linen that Jesus was wrapped in, and the crown of thorns and scarlet robe that Jesus wore (these were objects with which the Jews mocked Him). That is, after the work of Jesus’ crucifixion caused a great sensation, things settled down again. From then on, Jesus’ disciples began to carry on His work, shepherding and watering in the churches everywhere. The content of their work was as follows: They asked all people to repent, confess their sins, and be baptized; and the apostles all went forth to spread the inside story, the unvarnished account, of Jesus’ crucifixion, and so everyone could not help but fall prostrate before Jesus to confess their sins; and furthermore, the apostles went everywhere transmitting the words Jesus spoke. From that point began the building of churches in the Age of Grace. What Jesus did during that age was also to talk about man’s life and the heavenly Father’s will, only, because it was a different age, many of those sayings and practices differed greatly from those of today. However, in substance they are the same: They are both the work of God’s Spirit in the flesh, precisely and exactly so. This kind of work and utterance has continued all the way down to this day, and so this sort of thing is still shared among the religious institutions of today, and it is utterly unchanged. When Jesus’ work was concluded and the churches had already got onto the right track of Jesus Christ, God nevertheless initiated His plan for another stage of His work, which was the matter of His coming into the flesh in the last days. As man sees it, God’s crucifixion had already concluded the work of God’s incarnation, redeemed all of mankind, and allowed Him to seize the key to Hades. Everyone thinks God’s work has been fully accomplished. In fact, from God’s perspective, only a small part of His work had been accomplished. All He had done was to redeem mankind; He had not conquered mankind, let alone changed man’s satanic countenance. That is why God says, “Although My incarnate flesh went through the pain of death, that was not the whole goal of My incarnation. Jesus is My beloved Son and was nailed to the cross for Me, but He did not exhaustively conclude My work. He only did a portion of it.” Thus God initiated the second round of plans to continue the work of the incarnation. God’s ultimate intention was to perfect and to gain all of the people rescued from Satan’s clutches, which was why God prepared, once again, to brave the danger of coming into the flesh.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
14. In many places, God has prophesied that He will be gaining a group of overcomers in the land of Sinim. Since it is in the world’s East that overcomers are to be gained, so the place where God sets foot in His second incarnation is without a doubt the land of Sinim, the exact spot where the great red dragon lies coiled. There, God will gain the descendants of the great red dragon so that it is thoroughly defeated and shamed. God is going to awaken these people, heavily burdened with suffering, to rouse them till they are fully awake, and to make them walk out of the fog and reject the great red dragon. They will wake from their dream, recognize the great red dragon for what it really is, become able to give their whole heart to God, rise up from the oppression of the dark forces, stand up in the East of the world, and become proof of God’s victory. Only in this way will God gain glory. For this reason alone, God brought the work that came to an end in Israel to the land where the great red dragon lies coiled and, nearly two thousand years after departing, has come once again into the flesh to continue the work of the Age of Grace. To man’s naked eye, God is launching new work in the flesh. But in God’s view, He is continuing the work of the Age of Grace, but only after an interregnum of a few thousand years, and only with a change in the location and the program of His work. Although the image that the body of the flesh has taken in today’s work appears to be completely different from Jesus, They derive from the same substance and root, and They come from the same source. Maybe They have many differences on the outside, but the inner truths of Their work are completely identical. The ages, after all, are as different as night and day. So how can God’s work follow an unchanging pattern? Or how can different stages of His work get in each other’s way?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
15. Jesus took on the appearance of a Jew, conformed to the attire of the Jews, and grew up eating Jewish food. This is His normal human aspect. But today the incarnate flesh takes on the form of a citizen of Asia and grows up in the nation of the great red dragon. These do not in any way conflict with the goal of God’s incarnation. Rather, they complement each other, bringing the true significance of God’s incarnation to fuller completion. Because the incarnate flesh is referred to as “Son of man” or “the Christ,” the exterior of today’s Christ cannot be spoken of in the same terms as Jesus Christ. After all, this flesh is called “Son of man” and is in the image of a body of flesh. Every stage of God’s work contains meaning of considerable depth. The reason Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit is because He was to redeem sinners. He had to be without sin. But only in the end, when He was forced to become the likeness of sinful flesh and took on the sins of the sinners, did He rescue them from the cursed cross, the cross with which God chastised humanity. (The cross is God’s tool for cursing and chastising humanity; whenever cursing and chastising are mentioned, it is with specific reference to sinners.) The goal was to make it so that all sinners would repent and, by means of the crucifixion, to cause them to confess their sins. That is, for the sake of redeeming all mankind, God was incarnated in a body of flesh that was conceived by the Holy Spirit and took on Himself the sins of all mankind. To describe this in everyday language, He offered a holy body of flesh in exchange for all sinners, which is the equivalent of Jesus being placed as a “sin offering” in front of Satan to “beseech” Satan to take the whole of innocent mankind that it had trampled and give them back to God. That is why conception by the Holy Spirit was necessary to the accomplishment of this stage of the work of redemption. This was a necessary condition, a “peace treaty” in the battle between God the Father and Satan. That is why it was only after Jesus was handed over to Satan that this stage of work was concluded. However, God’s work of redemption has today achieved a previously unparalleled degree of magnificence, and Satan has no further pretext to make demands, so God no longer needs to be conceived by the Holy Spirit to be incarnated. Since God is inherently holy and innocent, God in this incarnation is no longer the Jesus of the Age of Grace. However, He is still being incarnated for the sake of God the Father’s will and for the sake of bringing God the Father’s wishes to completion. Surely this is not an unreasonable way of explaining things? Must God’s incarnation conform to a given set of rules?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
16. 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 essence, 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 essence 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.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
17. 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.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
18. 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 essence? 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.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
19. I have said so many times that God’s work of the last days is done in order to alter each person’s spirit, to change each person’s soul, such that their heart, which has suffered great trauma, is reformed, thus rescuing their soul, which has been so profoundly harmed by evil; it is in order to awaken people’s spirits, to thaw their cold hearts, and allow them to be rejuvenated. This is God’s greatest will. Put aside talk of how lofty or profound man’s life and experiences are; when people’s hearts have been awakened, when they have been roused from their dreams and know full well the harm wrought by the great red dragon, the work of God’s ministry will have been completed. The day that God’s work is finished is also the day when man officially starts on the correct path of belief in God. At this time, God’s ministry will have come to an end: The work of God become flesh will have completely finished, and man will officially begin to perform the duty that he ought to perform—he will perform his ministry. These are the steps of God’s work. Thus, you should grope for your path to entry upon the foundation of knowing these things. All of this is what you should understand. Man’s entry will only improve when changes have occurred deep within his heart, for God’s work is the complete salvation of man—man who has been redeemed, who still lives under the forces of darkness, and who has never roused himself—from this gathering place of demons; it is so that man may be freed of millennia of sin, and be beloved of God, completely striking down the great red dragon, establishing God’s kingdom, and bringing rest to God’s heart sooner; it is to give vent, without reservation, to the hate that swells your breast, to eradicate those moldy germs, to allow you to leave this life that is no different from that of an ox or horse, to no longer be a slave, to no longer be freely trampled upon or ordered about by the great red dragon; you will no longer be of this failed nation, will no longer belong to the heinous great red dragon, and you will no longer be enslaved by it. The demons’ nest will surely be torn to pieces by God, and you will stand beside God—you belong to God, and do not belong to this empire of slaves. God has long since loathed this dark society to His very bones. He gnashes His teeth, eager to plant His feet upon this wicked, heinous old serpent, so that it may never rise again, and will never again abuse man; He will not excuse its actions in the past, He will not tolerate its deceit of man, and He will settle the score for every one of its sins throughout the ages. Not in the slightest will God let this ringleader of all evil off the hook, He will utterly destroy it.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
20. For thousands of years this has been the land of filth. It is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts run rampant everywhere, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? The devil tightly trusses all of man’s body, it puts out both his eyes, and seals his lips firmly shut. The king of devils has rampaged for several thousand years, right up until today, when it still keeps a close watch on the ghost town, as if it were an impenetrable palace of demons; this pack of watchdogs, meanwhile, stare with glaring eyes, deeply fearful that God will catch them unawares and wipe them all out, leaving them without a place of peace and happiness. How could the people of a ghost town such as this ever have seen God? Have they ever enjoyed the dearness and loveliness of God? What appreciation have they of the matters of the human world? Who of them can understand God’s eager will? Small wonder, then, that God incarnate remains completely hidden: In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people without batting an eye, tolerate the existence of a God who is lovely, kind, and also holy? How could it applaud and cheer the arrival of God? These lackeys! They repay kindness with hate, they have long since disdained God, they abuse God, they are savage in the extreme, they have not the slightest regard for God, they plunder and pillage, they have lost all conscience, they go against all conscience, and they tempt the innocent into senselessness. Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin! Who has embraced the work of God? Who has laid down their life or shed blood for the work of God? For generation after generation, from parents to children, enslaved man has unceremoniously enslaved God—how could this not incite fury? Thousands of years of hate are concentrated in the heart, millennia of sinfulness are inscribed upon the heart—how could this not inspire loathing? Avenge God, completely snuff out His enemy, do not allow it to run rampant any longer, and do not permit it to kick up as much trouble as it wishes anymore! Now is the time: Man has long since gathered all his strength, he has devoted all his efforts and paid every price for this, to tear off the hideous face of this demon and allow people, who have been blinded, and who have endured every manner of suffering and hardship, to rise up from their pain and turn their backs on this evil old devil. Why put up such an impenetrable obstacle to the work of God? Why employ various tricks to deceive God’s folk? Where is the true freedom and the legitimate rights and interests? Where is the fairness? Where is the comfort? Where is the warmth? Why use deceitful schemes to trick God’s people? Why use force to suppress the coming of God? Why not allow God to freely roam upon the earth that He created? Why hound God until He has nowhere to rest His head? Where is the warmth among men? Where is the welcome among people? Why cause such desperate yearning in God? Why make God call out again and again? Why force God to worry for His beloved Son? In this dark society, why do its sorry guard dogs not allow God to freely come and go among the world which He created? Why does man not understand, man who lives amid pain and suffering? For your sakes, God has endured great torment, with great pain He has bestowed His beloved Son, His flesh and blood, to you—so why do you still turn a blind eye? In full view of everyone, you reject the arrival of God, and refuse God’s friendship. Why are you so unconscionable? Are you willing to endure the injustices in a dark society such as this? Why, instead of filling your bellies with millennia of enmity, do you stuff yourselves with the king of devils’ “shit”?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
21. How great are the obstacles to God’s work? Has anyone ever known? With people encaged by deep-seated superstitious colorings, who is capable of knowing God’s true face? With this backward cultural knowledge so shallow and absurd, how could they fully understand the words spoken by God? Even when they are spoken to face to face, and nourished mouth to mouth, how could they understand? Sometimes it is as if God’s words have fallen on deaf ears: People have not the slightest reaction, they wag their heads and understand nothing. How could this not be worrisome? This “distant, ancient cultural history and cultural knowledge” has nurtured such a worthless group of people. This ancient culture—precious heritage—is a pile of junk! It became an everlasting shame long ago, and is not worth mentioning! It has taught people the tricks and techniques of opposing God, and the “ordered, gentle guidance” of the national education has made people even more disobedient to God. Each part of God’s work is extremely difficult, and every step of His work upon earth has been distressing to God. How hard His work on earth is! The steps of God’s work on earth involve great hardship: For man’s weakness, deficiencies, childishness, ignorance, and everything of man, God makes meticulous plans and thoughtful considerations. Man is like a paper tiger that one dare not bait or provoke; at the merest touch he bites back, or else falls down and loses his way, and it is as if, at the slightest loss of concentration, he relapses, or else ignores God, or runs to his pigs and dogs of parents to indulge in the impure things of their bodies. What a great hindrance! At practically every step of His work, God is subjected to temptation, and at almost every step God risks great danger. His words are sincere and honest, and without malice, yet who is willing to accept them? Who is willing to fully submit? It breaks God’s heart. He toils day and night for man, He is beset by anxiety for man’s life, and He sympathizes with man’s weakness. He has endured many twists and turns in each step of His work, for every word that He speaks; He is ever between a rock and a hard place, and thinks of man’s weakness, disobedience, childishness, and vulnerability … around the clock over and over again. Who has ever known this? Who can He confide in? Who would be able to understand? Ever does He loathe the sins of man, and the lack of backbone, the spinelessness of man, and ever does He worry for the vulnerability of man, and contemplate the path that lies ahead of man. Always, as He observes the words and deeds of man, is He filled with mercy, and anger, and always does the sight of these things bring pain to His heart. The innocent, after all, have grown numb; why must God always make things difficult for them? Feeble man is utterly bereft of perseverance; why should God always have such unabating anger toward him? Weak and powerless man no longer has the slightest vitality; why should God always chide him for his disobedience? Who can withstand the threats of God in heaven? Man, after all, is fragile, and in desperate straits, God has pushed His anger deep into His heart, so that man may slowly reflect upon himself. Yet man, who is in grave trouble, has not the slightest appreciation of God’s will; man has been trampled underfoot by the old king of devils, yet he is completely unaware, he always sets himself against God, or else he is neither hot nor cold toward God. God has spoken so many words, yet who has ever taken them seriously? Man does not understand God’s words, yet he remains unperturbed, and without yearning, and has never truly known the substance of the old devil. People live in Hades, in hell, but believe they live in the palace of the seabed; they are persecuted by the great red dragon, yet think themselves to be “favored” by the country; they are ridiculed by the devil yet think they enjoy the superlative artistry of the flesh. What a bunch of dirty, lowly wretches they are! Man has met with misfortune, but he does not know it, and in this dark society he suffers mishap after mishap, yet never has he woken up to this. When will he rid himself of his self-kindness and slavish disposition? Why is he so uncaring of God’s heart? Does he quietly condone this oppression and hardship? Does he not wish for the day when he can change darkness into light? Does he not wish to once more remedy the injustices toward righteousness and truth? Is he willing to watch and do nothing as people forsake the truth and twist the facts? Is he happy to keep enduring this maltreatment? Is he willing to be a slave? Is he willing to perish at the hands of God together with the slaves of this failed state? Where is your resolve? Where is your ambition? Where is your dignity? Where is your integrity? Where is your freedom? Are you willing to lay down your entire life for the great red dragon, the king of devils? Are you happy to let it torture you to death? The face of the deep is chaotic and dark, while the common folk, suffering such affliction, cry to Heaven and complain to earth. When will man be able to hold his head up high? Man is scrawny and emaciated, how could he contend with this cruel and tyrannical devil? Why does he not give his life to God as soon as he can? Why does he still waver? When can he finish God’s work? Thus aimlessly bullied and oppressed, his whole life will ultimately have been spent in vain; why is he in such a hurry to arrive, and such a rush to depart? Why does he not keep something precious to give to God? Has he forgotten the millennia of hate?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
22. Entrenched ethnic traditions and mental outlook have long since cast a shadow over the pure and childlike spirit of man, and they have attacked the soul of man without the slightest humanity, as if bereft of emotion or any sense of self. The methods of these demons are extremely cruel, and it is as if “education” and “nurturing” have become the traditional methods by which the king of devils slays man. Using its “profound teaching” it completely covers its ugly soul, dressing in sheep’s clothing to gain man’s trust and then seizing the opportunity when man slumbers in lethargy to devour him completely. Poor mankind—how could they know that the land upon which they were raised is the land of the devil, that the one who raised them is actually an enemy who hurts them. Yet man does not awaken at all; having sated his hunger and thirst, he prepares to repay the “kindness” of his “parents” in bringing him up. That is how man is. Today, he still does not know that the king who raised him is his enemy. The earth is littered with the bones of the dead, the devil makes manic merry without cease, and carries on devouring the flesh of man in the “netherworld,” sharing a grave with human skeletons and vainly attempting to consume the last remnants of the tattered body of man. Yet man is ever ignorant, and has never treated the devil as his enemy, but instead serves it with all his heart. Such a depraved people is simply incapable of knowing God. Is it easy for God to become flesh and come among them, carrying out all His work of salvation? How could man, who has already plunged into Hades, be able to satisfy God’s requirements? Many are the sleepless nights that God has endured for the sake of the work of mankind. From up high to the lowest depths, He has descended to the living hell in which man lives to pass His days with man, He has never complained of the shabbiness among man, and He has never reproached man for his disobedience, but endures the greatest humiliation as He personally carries out His work. How could God belong to hell? How could He spend His life in hell? But for the sake of all mankind, so that the whole of mankind can find rest sooner, He has endured humiliation and suffered injustice to come to earth, and personally entered into “hell” and “Hades,” into the tiger’s den, to save man. How is man qualified to oppose God? What reason does he have to complain about God? How can he have the gall to look upon God? God of heaven has come to this most filthy land of vice, and has never vented His grievances, or complained about man, but instead quietly accepts the ravages and oppression of man. Never has He hit back at the unreasonable demands of man, never has He made excessive demands of man, and never has He made unreasonable demands of man; He merely does all the work required by man without complaint: teaching, enlightening, reproaching, the refinement of words, reminding, exhorting, consoling, judging, and revealing. Which of His steps has not been for the life of man? Though He has removed the prospects and fate of man, which of the steps carried out by God has not been for the fate of man? Which of them has not been for the sake of man’s survival? Which of them has not been to free man from this suffering and from the oppression of dark forces that are as black as night? Which of them is not for the sake of man? Who can understand God’s heart, which is as the heart of a loving mother? Who can comprehend God’s eager heart? God’s passionate heart and ardent expectations have been repaid with cold hearts, with callous, indifferent eyes, and with the repeated reprimands and insults of man; they have been repaid with cutting remarks, and sarcasm, and belittlement; they have been repaid with man’s ridicule, with his trampling and rejection, with his miscomprehension, and moaning, and estrangement, and avoidance, and with nothing but deceit, attacks, and bitterness. Warm words have been met with fierce brows and the cool defiance of a thousand wagging fingers. God can but endure, head bowed, serving people like a willing ox. So many suns and moons, so many times has He faced the stars, so many times has He departed at dawn and returned at dusk, and tossed and turned, enduring agony a thousand times greater than the pain of His departure from His Father, enduring the attacks and breaking of man, and the dealing and pruning of man. God’s humility and hiddenness has been repaid with the prejudice of man, with the unfair views and unfair treatment of man, and the soundless way God works in obscurity, His forbearance, and His tolerance have been repaid with man’s greedy gaze; man tries to stomp God to death, without compunction, and tries to trample God into the ground. Man’s attitude in his treatment toward God is one of “rare cleverness,” and God, who is bullied and disdained by man, is crushed flat beneath the feet of tens of thousands of people, while man himself stands up high, as if he would be the king of the hill, as if he wants to take absolute power, to hold court from behind a screen, to make God the conscientious and rule-abiding director behind the scenes, who is not allowed to fight back or cause trouble. God must play the part of the Last Emperor, He must be a puppet, devoid of all freedom. The deeds of man are untellable, so how is he qualified to demand this or that of God? How is he qualified to propose suggestions to God? How is he qualified to demand that God sympathize with his weaknesses? How is he fit to receive God’s mercy? How is he fit to receive God’s magnanimity time and time again? How is he fit to receive God’s forgiveness time and time again? Where is his conscience? He broke God’s heart long ago, he has long since left God’s heart in pieces. God came among man bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, hoping that man would be charitable toward Him, even if only with a little warmth. Yet God’s heart is slow to be comforted by man, all He has received are snowballing attacks and torment. Man’s heart is too greedy, his desire is too great, he can never be sated, he is always mischievous and foolhardy, he never allows God any freedom or right of speech, and leaves God with no option but to submit to humiliation, and allow man to manipulate Him however he wishes.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (9)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
23. From creation until now, God has endured so much pain, and suffered so many attacks. Yet even today, still man does not relax his demands of God, still he scrutinizes God, still he has no tolerance toward Him, and does nothing but give Him advice, and criticize Him, and discipline Him, as if deeply fearful that God will take the wrong path, that God on earth is brutish and unreasonable, or running riot, or that He will not amount to anything. Man always has this kind of attitude toward God. How could it not sadden God? In becoming flesh, God has endured tremendous pain and humiliation; how much worse, then, to make God accept the teachings of man? His arrival among man has stripped Him of all freedom, such as if He were imprisoned in Hades, and He has accepted being dissected by man without the slightest resistance. Is this not shameful? In coming among the family of a normal man, “Jesus” has suffered the greatest injustice. Even more humiliating is that He has come to this dusty world and humbled Himself to the very lowest depths, and has assumed a flesh of supreme ordinariness. In becoming a meager human being, does God Most High not suffer hardship? And does He not do so for mankind? Have there been any times when He was thinking of Himself? After He was rejected and put to death by the Jews, and derided and mocked by the people, He never complained to Heaven or protested to earth. Today, this millennia-old tragedy has reappeared among this Jew-like people. Do they not commit the same sins? What makes man qualified to receive God’s promises? Does he not oppose God and then accept His blessings? Why does man never face justice, or search for the truth? Why is he never interested in what God does? Where is his righteousness? Where is his fairness? Has he the gall to represent God? Where is his sense of justice? How much of that which is beloved of man is beloved of God? Man cannot tell chalk from cheese, he always confuses black with white, he suppresses justice and truth, and holds unfairness and unrighteousness high up in the air. He drives away the light, and cavorts amid the darkness. Those who seek the truth and justice instead chase away the light, those who seek God trample Him beneath their feet, and hoist themselves into the sky. Man is no different from a bandit. Where is his reason? Who can tell right from wrong? Who can uphold justice? Who is willing to suffer for the truth? People are vicious and diabolical! Having nailed God to the cross they clap and cheer, their wild cries are without cease. They are like chickens and dogs, they collude and connive, they have established their own kingdom, their meddling has left no place undisturbed, they shut their eyes and madly howl on and on, all cooped up together, and a turbid atmosphere pervades, bustling and lively, and those who blindly attach themselves to others keep emerging, all holding up the “illustrious” names of their forefathers. These dogs and chickens long ago put God to the back of their minds and have never paid any attention to the state of God’s heart. Small wonder that God says man is like a dog or a chicken, a barking dog that sets a hundred others howling; this way, with much ballyhoo he has brought God’s work into the present day, heedless of what God’s work is like, of whether there is justice, of whether God has a place on which to set His feet, of what tomorrow is like, of his own lowliness, and of his own filthiness. Man has never thought about things that much, he has never worried himself over tomorrow, and has gathered all that is beneficial and precious into his own embrace, leaving nothing to God except scraps and leftovers. How cruel mankind is! He spares no feelings for God, and after secretly devouring everything of God, he tosses God far behind him, paying no further heed to His existence. He enjoys God, yet opposes God, and tramples Him underfoot, while his mouth gives thanks to and praises God; he prays to God, and depends on God, while also deceiving God; he “exalts” the name of God, and looks up to the face of God, yet he also brazenly and unashamedly sits upon the throne of God and judges the “unrighteousness” of God; from his mouth come the words that he is indebted to God, and he looks at God’s words, yet in his heart he hurls invective at God; he is “tolerant” toward God yet oppresses God, and his mouth says it is for the sake of God; in his hands he holds the things of God, and in his mouth he chews the food that God has given him, yet his eyes fix a cold and emotionless stare upon God, as if he wishes to gobble all of Him up; he looks upon the truth but insists on saying that it is Satan’s trickery; he looks upon justice but forces it to become self-denial; he looks upon the deeds of man and insists they are what God is; he looks upon man’s natural gifts and insists they are the truth; he looks upon God’s deeds and insists they are arrogance and conceitedness, bluster and self-righteousness; when man looks upon God, he insists upon labeling Him as human, and tries hard to put Him on the seat of a created being who is in cahoots with Satan; he knows full well they are the utterances of God, yet will call them nothing other than the writings of a man; he knows full well that the Spirit is realized in the flesh, that God has become flesh, but says only that this flesh is the descendant of Satan; he knows full well that God is humble and hidden, yet says only that Satan has been shamed, and God has won. What good-for-nothings! Man is not even worthy of serving as guard dogs! He does not distinguish between black and white, and even deliberately twists black into white. Can the forces of man and the beleaguering of man brook the day of God’s emancipation? After deliberately opposing God, man could not care less, or even goes so far as to put Him to death, giving God no leave to show Himself. Where is the righteousness? Where is the love? He sits beside God, and pushes God to his knees to beg for forgiveness, to obey all of his arrangements, to acquiesce to all of his maneuverings, and he makes God take His cue from him in all He does, or else he is incensed and flies into a rage. How could God not be grief-stricken under such influence of darkness, which twists black into white? How could He not worry? Why is it said that when God began His latest work, it was like the work of creating the heavens and earth? The deeds of man are so “rich,” the “ever-flowing wellspring of living water” ceaselessly “replenishes” the field of man’s heart, while man’s “wellspring of living water” competes against God without scruple; the two are irreconcilable, and it provides to people in God’s stead with impunity, while man cooperates with it without any consideration of the dangers involved. And to what effect? He coldly casts God to one side, and places Him far away, where people will pay Him no heed, deeply fearful that He will attract their attention, and profoundly afraid that God’s wellspring of living water will entice man, and gain man. Thus, after experiencing many years of worldly concerns, he connives and intrigues against God, and even makes God the target of his castigation. It is as if God has become like a log in his eye, and he is desperate to grab God and place Him in the fire to be refined and cleansed. Seeing God’s discomfort, man beats his chest and laughs, he dances for joy, and says that God has also been plunged into refinement, and says he will scorch clean the filthy impurities of God, as if only this is rational and sensible, as if only these are the fair and reasonable methods of Heaven. This violent behavior of man seems both deliberate and unconscious. Man reveals both his ugly face and his hideous, filthy soul, as well as the pitiable look of a beggar; after rampaging far and wide, he adopts a pathetic appearance and begs for Heaven’s forgiveness, resembling a supremely pitiable pug. Man always acts in unexpected ways, he always “rides on the back of a tiger to scare others,”[b] he is always acting a part, he gives not the slightest consideration to God’s heart, nor does he make any comparison to his own status. He merely silently opposes God, as if God has wronged him, and ought not to treat him like that, and as if Heaven is without eyes and deliberately making things difficult for him. Thus does man ever secretly carry out vicious plots, and he does not relax his demands of God in the slightest, looking on with predatory eyes, glaring furiously at God’s every move, never thinking that he is the enemy of God, and hoping that the day will come when God parts the fog, and makes things clear, and saves him from the “tiger’s mouth” and takes revenge on his behalf. Even today, people still do not think they are playing the role of opposing God that has been played by so many throughout the ages; how could they know that, in all they do, they have long since gone astray, that all they understood has long since been engulfed by the seas.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (9)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
24. For mankind to have progressed this far is a situation without precedent. God’s work and the entry of man advance shoulder to shoulder, and thus God’s work, too, is a spectacular event without parallel. Man’s entry to date is a wonder never before imagined by man. God’s work has reached its zenith—and, subsequently, man’s “entry” has also reached its peak. God has lowered Himself as far as He possibly could, and never has He protested to mankind or to the universe and all things. Man, meanwhile, stands upon God’s head, and man’s oppression of God has reached its peak; all has reached its peak, and it is time for the day of righteousness to appear. Why continue to let gloom cover the land, and darkness cloak all peoples? God has watched for several thousand years—for tens of thousands of years, even—and His tolerance has long since reached its limit. He has been watching mankind’s every move, He has been observing how long man’s unrighteousness would run riot, and yet man, who has long since grown numb, feels nothing. And who has ever observed the deeds of God? Who has ever raised their eyes and looked into the distance? Who has ever listened carefully? Who has ever been in the hands of the Almighty? People are all plagued by imaginary fears. What use has a pile of hay and straw? The only thing they can do is torture the incarnate God to death. Though they are but heaps of hay and straw, there is still one thing that they do “best of all”: torturing God to death and then crying that “it gladdens the people’s hearts.” What a bunch of shrimp soldiers and crab generals! Remarkably, amidst an unceasing stream of people, they focus their attention on God, encircling Him with an impenetrable blockade. Their fervor burning ever hotter, they have surrounded God in hordes, so that He cannot move an inch. In their hands, they hold all manner of weapons, and look upon God as if looking at an enemy, their eyes full of anger; they are itching to “tear God limb from limb.” How perplexing! Why have man and God become such irreconcilable enemies? Could it be that there is rancor between God, the most lovely, and man? Could it be that God’s actions are of no benefit to man? Do they harm man? Man fixes an unwavering glare upon God, deeply fearful that He will break through man’s blockade, return to the third heaven, and once more cast man into the dungeon. Man is wary of God, he is on tenterhooks, and squirms across the ground at a distance, holding a “machine gun” aimed at the God among man. It is as if, at the slightest stirrings of God, man will wipe away everything of Him—His whole body and all that He wears—leaving nothing behind. The relationship between God and man is beyond repair. God is incomprehensible to man; man, meanwhile, deliberately shuts his eyes and fools around, totally unwilling to see My existence, and unforgiving of My judgment. Thus, when man does not expect it, I quietly float away, and no longer will I compare who is high and who is low with man. Mankind is the lowliest “animal” of all, and I wish to heed him no longer. I have long since taken the entirety of My grace back to the place where I peacefully reside; since man is so disobedient, what reason has he to enjoy any more of My precious grace? I am not willing to vainly bestow My grace upon the forces that are hostile to Me. I would confer My precious fruits upon those farmers of Canaan who are zealous, and earnestly welcome My return. I wish only for the heavens to last for eternity, and, more than that, for man to never grow old, for the heavens and man to be forever at rest, and those evergreen “pines and cypresses” to forever accompany God, and forever accompany the heavens in entering the ideal era together.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (10)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
25. Though God’s work is rich and plentiful, man’s entry is very much wanting. Of the joint “enterprise” between man and God, almost all of it is the work of God; as for how much man has entered, he has almost nothing to show of it. Man, who is so impoverished and blind, even measures his strength against God of today with “ancient weapons” in his hands. These “primitive apes” are barely able to walk upright, and they find no shame in their “naked” bodies. What qualifies them to evaluate the work of God? The eyes of many of these four-limbed apes become filled with rage, and they pit themselves against God with ancient stone weapons in their hands, trying to initiate a contest of the ape men the likes of which the world has never seen before, to hold a contest of the last days between the ape men and God that will become famous throughout the land. Many of these half-upright ancient ape men, moreover, brim with complacency. The hair covering their faces matted together, full of murderous intent, and they raise their front legs. They have yet to fully evolve into modern man, so sometimes they stand upright, and sometimes they crawl, beads of sweat covering their forehead like closely-packed dewdrops—their eagerness is self-evident. Looking at the pristine, ancient ape man, their companion, standing on all fours, its four limbs bulky and slow, barely able to ward off blows and without the strength to fight back, they can barely contain themselves. In the blink of an eye—before there is time to see what happened—the “hero” in the ring tumbles to the ground, limbs in the air. Those limbs, postured wrongly upon the ground for all those years, have been suddenly flipped upside down, and the ape man no longer has any desire to resist. From this time onward, the most ancient of ape men is wiped from the face of the earth—it is truly “grievous.” This ancient ape man came to such a sudden end. Why did it have to hasten from the wonderful world of man so soon? Why did it not discuss the next step of strategy with its companions? What a pity it bid farewell to the world without leaving the secret of measuring one’s strength against God! How thoughtless it was for such an old ape man to have died without a whisper, leaving without passing on the “ancient culture and arts” to its descendants. There was no time for it to call those closest to it to its side to tell them of its love, it left no message upon a stone tablet, it did not discern the heavensun, and said nothing of its unspeakable hardship. As it breathed its last breath, it did not call its descendants to the side of its dying body to tell them “do not climb into the ring to challenge God” before it closed its eyes, four rigid limbs forever sticking upward like tree branches pointing skyward. It would seem it died a bitter death…. Suddenly, a roaring laugh erupts from beneath the ring; one of the half-upright ape men is beside itself; holding a “stone cudgel” for hunting antelopes or other wild prey that is more advanced than that of the old ape man, it leaps into the ring, full of rage, a well thought out plan in its mind. It is as if it has done something meritorious. Using the “strength” of its stone cudgel it manages to stand up straight for “three minutes.” How great the “might” of this third “leg”! It held the big, clumsy, foolish half-upright ape man standing for three minutes—no wonder this venerable old ape man is so domineering. Sure enough, the ancient stone implement “lives up to its reputation”: There is a knife handle, edge, and tip, the only flaw being the lack of luster to the edge—how lamentable that is. Look again at the “little hero” of ancient times, standing in the ring regarding those below with a contemptuous gaze, as if they are impotent inferiors, and it is the gallant hero. In its heart, it secretly detests those before the stage. “The country’s in trouble and each of us is responsible, why are you shying away? Could it be that you see the country faces catastrophe, but won’t engage in bloody battle? The country is on the verge of catastrophe—why are you not the first to show concern, and the last to enjoy yourselves? How can you stand to watch the country fail and its people fall into decay? Are you willing to bear the shame of national subjugation? What a bunch of good-for-nothings!” As it thinks this, brawls break out before the stage and its eyes grow even more incensed, as if about to shoot flames. It is itching for God to fail before the fight, desperate to put God to death to make the people happy. Little does it know that, though its stone implement may be of deserved fame, it could never antagonize God. Before it has had time to defend itself, before it has had time to lie down and get to its feet, it rocks back and forth, the sight lost from both eyes. It tumbles down to its old ancestor and does not rise again; tightly clutching the ancient ape man, it cries out no more, and acknowledges its inferiority, no longer possessed of any desire to resist. Those two poor ape men die before the ring. How unfortunate it is that mankind’s ancestors, who have survived until the present day, died in ignorance on the day when the Sun of righteousness appeared! How foolish it is that they have let such a great blessing pass them by—that, on the day of their blessing, the ape men who have waited for thousands of years have taken the blessings to Hades to “enjoy” with the king of devils! Why not keep these blessings in the world of the living to enjoy with their sons and daughters? They are just asking for trouble! What a waste it is that, for the sake of a little status, reputation, and vanity, they suffer the misfortune of being slain, scrambling to be the first to open the gates of hell and become its sons. Such a price is so unnecessary. What a pity such old ancestors, who were so “full of national spirit,” could be so “strict on themselves but so tolerant of others,” shutting themselves in hell, and shutting those impotent inferiors outside. Where can the “people’s representatives” such as this be found? For the sake of the “well-being of their offspring” and the “peaceful lives of future generations,” they do not allow God to interfere, and so they do not pay any heed to their own lives. Without restraint, they dedicate themselves to the “national cause,” entering Hades without a word. Where can such nationalism be found? Battling with God, they do not fear death, nor bloodletting, much less do they worry about tomorrow. They simply take to the battlefield. What a pity that the only thing they get for their “spirit of devotion” is eternal regret and being consumed by the ever-burning flames of hell!
How intriguing! Why has the incarnation of God always been rejected and reviled by people? Why do people never have any understanding of God’s incarnation? Could it be that God has come at the wrong time? Could it be that God has come to the wrong place? Could it be that this happens because God has acted alone, without man’s “signature of approval”? Could it be because God made up His own mind without man’s permission? The facts state that God gave prior notice. God did no wrong in becoming flesh—does He have to ask for man’s consent? Moreover, God reminded man long ago, perhaps people have forgotten. They are not to blame, for man has long since been so corrupted by Satan that he can understand nothing of what goes on beneath the heavens, to say nothing of the happenings of the spiritual world! What a shame it is that man’s ancestors, the ape men, died in the ring, but this is not surprising: Heaven and earth have never been compatible, and how could the ape men, whose minds are made of stone, conceive that God could become flesh again? How sad that an “old man” such as this who is in “its sixtieth year” died on the day of God’s appearance. Is it not a marvel that it left the world unblessed at the advent of such a great blessing?
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (10)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
26. The incarnation of God has sent shockwaves through all religions and spheres, it has “thrown into disarray” the original order of religious circles, and it has shaken the hearts of all of those who yearn for the appearance of God. Who is not adoring? Who does not long to see God? God has personally been among man for many years, yet man has never realized it. Today, God Himself has appeared, and shown forth His identity to the masses—how could this not bring delight to man’s heart? God once shared joys and sorrows with man, and today He has been reunited with mankind, and shares tales of times gone by with him. After He walked out of Judea, people could find no trace of Him. They yearn to once more meet with God, little knowing that today they have again met with Him and have been reunited with Him. How could this not stir thoughts of yesterday? Two thousand years ago today, Simon Barjona, the descendant of the Jews, beheld Jesus the Savior, ate at the same table as Him, and after following Him for many years felt a deeper affection for Him: He loved Him from the bottom of his heart; he loved the Lord Jesus profoundly. The Jewish people knew nothing of how this golden-haired baby, born into a chilly manger, was the first image of God’s incarnation. They all thought that He was the same as them, no one thought Him any different—how could people recognize this common and ordinary Jesus? The Jewish people thought of Him as a Jewish son of the times. No one looked upon Him as a lovely God, and people did nothing but blindly make demands of Him, asking that He give them rich and plentiful graces, and peace, and joy. They knew only that, like a millionaire, He had everything one could ever wish for. Yet people never treated Him as one who was beloved; the people of that time did not love Him, and only protested against Him, and made irrational demands of Him. He never resisted, but constantly gave graces to man, even though man did not know Him. He did nothing but silently give man warmth, love, and mercy, and even more, He gave man new means of practice, leading man out of the bonds of the law. Man did not love Him, he only envied Him and recognized His exceptional talents. How could blind mankind know how great the humiliation suffered by the lovely Jesus the Savior when He came among mankind? No one considered His distress, no one knew of His love for God the Father, and no one could know of His loneliness; even though Mary was His birth mother, how could she know the thoughts in the heart of the merciful Lord Jesus? Who knew of the unspeakable suffering endured by the Son of man? After making requests of Him, the people of that time coldly put Him to the back of their minds and cast Him outside. He therefore wandered the streets, day after day, year after year, drifting for many years until He had lived for thirty-three hard years, years which had been both long and brief. When people needed Him, they invited Him into their homes with smiling faces, trying to make demands of Him—and after He had made His contribution to them, they immediately shoved Him out the door. People ate what was provided from His mouth, they drank His blood, they enjoyed the graces He bestowed upon them, yet they also opposed Him, for they had never known who had given them their lives. Ultimately, they nailed Him upon the cross, yet still He made no sound. Even today, He remains silent. People eat His flesh, they drink His blood, they eat the food He makes for them, and they walk the way He has opened up for them, yet they still intend to reject Him; they actually treat the God who has given them their lives as the enemy, and instead treat those who are slaves just like them as the heavenly Father. In this, do they not deliberately oppose Him? How did Jesus come to die upon the cross? Do you know? Was He not betrayed by Judas, who was closest to Him and had eaten Him, drunk Him, and enjoyed Him? Did Judas not betray Jesus because He was nothing more than an insignificant, normal teacher? If people had really seen that Jesus was extraordinary, and One who was of heaven, how could they have nailed Him alive to the cross for twenty-four hours, until He had no breath left in His body? Who can know God? People do nothing but enjoy God with insatiable greed, but they have never known Him. They were given an inch and have taken a mile, and they make “Jesus” totally obedient to their commands, to their orders. Who has ever shown anything of the way of mercy toward this Son of man, who has nowhere to lay His head? Who has ever thought of joining forces with Him to fulfill God the Father’s commission? Who has ever spared a thought for Him? Who has ever been considerate of His difficulties? Without the slightest love, man wrenches Him back and forth; man knows not where his light and life came from and does nothing but secretly plan how to once more crucify the “Jesus” of two thousand years ago, who has experienced pain among man. Does “Jesus” really inspire such hate? Has all that He did long been forgotten? The hate that coalesced for thousands of years will finally shoot outward. You, the ilk of the Jews! When has “Jesus” ever been hostile to you, that you should hate Him so much? He has done so much, and spoken so much—is none of it to your benefit? He has given His life to you without asking for anything in return, He has given you His entirety—do you really still want to eat Him alive? He has given His all to you without holding anything back, without ever enjoying worldly glory, the warmth among man, the love among man, or all of the blessings among man. People are so mean toward Him, He has never enjoyed all of the riches on earth, He devotes the entirety of His sincere, passionate heart to man, He has devoted His entirety to mankind—and who has ever given Him warmth? Who has ever given Him comfort? Man has piled all pressure upon Him, he has handed all misfortune to Him, he has forced the most unfortunate experiences among man on Him, he blames Him for all injustice, and He has tacitly accepted it. Has He ever protested to anyone? Has He ever asked for a little recompense from anyone? Who has ever shown any sympathy toward Him? As normal people, who of you did not have a romantic childhood? Who did not have a colorful youth? Who does not have the warmth of loved ones? Who is without the love of relatives and friends? Who is without the respect of others? Who is without a warm family? Who is without the comfort of their confidants? And has He ever enjoyed any of this? Who has ever given Him a little warmth? Who has ever given Him a shred of comfort? Who has ever shown Him a little human morality? Who has ever been tolerant of Him? Who has ever been with Him during difficult times? Who has ever passed the hard life with Him? Man has never relaxed his requirements of Him; he merely makes demands of Him without any scruples, as if, having come to the world of man, He has to be man’s ox or horse, his prisoner, and has to give His all to man; if not, man will never forgive Him, will never go easy on Him, will never call Him God, and will never hold Him in high esteem. Man is too severe in his attitude toward God, as if he is set upon tormenting God unto death, only after which will he loosen his requirements of God; otherwise man will never lower the standards of his requirements of God. How could man such as this not be despised by God? Is this not the tragedy of today? Man’s conscience is nowhere to be seen. He keeps saying he will repay God’s love, but he dissects God and tortures Him to death. Is this not the “secret recipe” to his faith of God, handed down from his ancestors? There is nowhere that the “Jews” are not found, and today they still do the same work, they still carry out the same work of opposing God, and yet believe they are holding God up high. How could man’s own eyes know God? How could man, who lives in the flesh, treat as God the God incarnate who has come from the Spirit? Who among man could know Him? Where is the truth among man? Where is true righteousness? Who is able to know the disposition of God? Who can compete with the God in heaven? No wonder that, when He has come among man, no one has known God, and He has been rejected. How can man tolerate the existence of God? How can he allow the light to drive out darkness of the world? Is this all not of the honorable devotion of man? Is this not the upright entry of man? And is the work of God not centered around the entry of man? I would that you conflate God’s work with man’s entry, and establish a good relationship between man and God, and perform the duty that ought to be performed by man to the best of your abilities. In this way, God’s work will subsequently come to an end, concluding with His glorification!
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (10)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
2. “Break with their usual attitude” refers to how people’s notions and views about God change, once they have come to know God.
3. “Resting easy” means that people are nonchalant about God’s work and do not regard it as important.
4. “Equivocal” indicates that people do not have clear insight into God’s work.
5. “Non-biodegradable” is intended as satire here, meaning that people are rigid in their knowledge, culture, and spiritual outlook.
6. “Roams free, outside the reach of law” indicates that the devil goes berserk and runs amok.
7. “A complete shambles” refers to how the devil’s violent behavior is unbearable to see.
8. “Bruised and battered” refers to the ugly face of the king of devils.
9. “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.
10. “Swallow” refers to the vicious behavior of the king of devils, which ravishes people in their entirety.
11. “Accomplices in crime” are of the same ilk as “a band of hoodlums.”
12. “Stirring up all kinds of trouble” refers to how people who are demonic run riot, obstructing and opposing the work of God.
13. “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.
14. “Ringleader of all evil” refers to the old devil. This phrase expresses extreme dislike.
15. “Making groundless accusations” refers to the methods by which the devil harms people.
16. “Heavily guarded” indicates that the methods by which the devil afflicts people are especially vicious, and control people so much that they have no room to move.
17. “Distant” is used mockingly.
18. “Ordered, gentle guidance” is used mockingly.
19. “Favored” is used to mock people who seem wooden and have no self-awareness.
20. “Suffers mishap after mishap” indicates that the people were born in the land of the great red dragon, and they are unable to hold their heads up high.
21. “Lay down your entire life” is meant in a derogatory sense.
22. “Ravages” is used to expose the disobedience of mankind.
23. “Met with fierce brows and the cool defiance of a thousand wagging fingers, head bowed, serving people like a willing ox” is originally a single sentence, but here is split into two in order to make things clearer. The first sentence refers to the actions of man, whilst the second indicates the suffering undergone by God, and that God is humble and hidden.
24. “Prejudice” refers to people’s disobedient behavior.
25. “Take absolute power” refers to people’s disobedient behavior. They hold themselves up high, enshackle others, making them follow them and suffer for them. They are the forces that are hostile to God.
26. “Puppet” is used to ridicule those who do not know God.
27. “Snowballing” is used to highlight people’s lowly behavior.
28. “Cannot tell chalk from cheese” indicates when people twist God’s will into something satanic, broadly referring to behavior in which people reject God.
29. “Confuses black with white” refers to mixing up the truth with illusions, and righteousness with evil.
30. “Bandit” is used to indicate that people are senseless and lack insight.
31. “Scraps and leftovers” is used to indicate behavior in which people oppress God.
32. “Incensed” refers to the ugly face of man that is irate and exasperated.
33. “Without scruple” refers to when people are reckless, and have not the slightest reverence toward God.
34. “Man’s ‘entry’” here indicates man’s disobedient behavior. Rather than referring to people’s entry into life—which is positive—it refers to their negative behavior and actions. It is broadly referring to all of the deeds of man that are in opposition to God.
35. “Plagued by imaginary fears” is used to mock man’s misguided life of humanity. It refers to the ugly state of the life of mankind, in which people live together with demons.
36. “Best of all” is said mockingly.
37. “Fervor burning ever hotter” is said mockingly, and it refers to the ugly state of man.
38. “A well thought out plan in its mind” is said mockingly, and this refers to how people do not know themselves and are ignorant of their real stature. This is a derogatory statement.
39. “Venerable” is said mockingly.
40. “Shoot” indicates the ugly state of people who fume with rage when they are defeated by God. It indicates the extent of their opposition to God.
a. The Four Books and Five Classics are the authoritative books of Confucianism in China.
b. This is translated based on the source text “hú jiǎ hǔ wēi,” which is a Chinese idiom. It refers to a story in which a fox scares away other animals by walking in a tiger’s company, thus “borrowing” the fear and prestige that the tiger commands. This is a metaphor, used here to refer to people “borrowing” someone else’s prestige to frighten or oppress other people.