Interpretation of the Fourteenth Utterance
Man has never learned anything from the word of God. Instead, man merely treasures the surface of God’s word, but not knowing its true meaning. Therefore, although the majority of people are fond of the word of God, God says they do not actually treasure it. This is because in God’s view, even though His word is a valuable thing, people have not tasted its true sweetness. Therefore, they can only “quench their thirst with thoughts of plums,”[a] and thereby assuage their greedy hearts. Not only is God’s Spirit at work among all people, there is also the enlightenment of God’s word. It’s just that people are too careless to be able to truly appreciate its essence. In man’s mind, it is now the age of the kingdom being fully realized, but in reality this is not the case. Although what God prophesies is what He has accomplished, the actual kingdom has not yet fully arrived on the earth. Instead, along with changes in mankind, along with progress in work, and along with the lightning coming out of the East, that is, along with the deepening of God’s word, the kingdom will gradually come about on earth, gradually but completely coming down to earth. The process of the coming of the kingdom is also the process of the divine work on earth. At the same time as this, God has started throughout the universe the work that has not been done in all the ages of history to reorganize the entire earth. For example, there are tremendous changes throughout the universe including changes in the State of Israel, the coup d'état in the United States of America, the changes in Egypt, the changes in the Soviet Union, and the overthrow of China. When the entire universe has settled down and been restored to normal, that is when God’s work on earth will be completed; that is when the kingdom will come to earth. This is the true meaning of the words “When all the nations of the world are disrupted, that is precisely when My kingdom will be established and shaped and also when I will be transfigured and turn to the entire universe.” God does not hide anything from mankind, He has continuously told people of all His richness, but they cannot figure out His meaning, they just accept His word like a fool. At this stage of work, man has learned the unfathomableness of God and moreover can appreciate how immense the task of understanding Him is; for this reason they have felt that believing in God is the most difficult thing to do. They are completely helpless—it is like teaching a pig to sing, or like a mouse stuck in a trap. Indeed, no matter how much power a person has or how masterful a person’s skill, or whether a person has limitless capabilities inside, when it comes to God’s word these things mean nothing. It is as if mankind is a pile of burnt paper ash in God’s eyes, completely devoid of any value, let alone any use. This is a perfect illustration of the true meaning of the words “I have become more and more concealed from humans and increasingly unfathomable to them.” From this it can be seen that God’s work follows a natural progression and is performed based on what the perceptual organs of humans can take in. When mankind’s nature is firm and unshaken, the words God speaks completely conform to their conceptions and it seems as if God and mankind’s conceptions are one in the same, without any difference at all. This makes people somewhat aware of God’s realness, but this is not the primary objective of God. God allows people to settle down before formally beginning His true work on earth. Therefore, during this beginning that is confusing for mankind, mankind realizes that their former ideas were incorrect and that God and man are as different as heaven and earth and not at all alike. Because God’s words can no longer be evaluated on the basis of human conceptions, man immediately begins to look at God in a new light, and thereupon they gaze at God in astonishment, as if the practical God is as unapproachable as the invisible and untouchable God, as if the flesh of God is only in the exterior and without His essence. People think that[b] although He is the incarnation of the Spirit, He can convert into Spirit form and float away at any time. Therefore, people have developed a somewhat guarded mindset. At the mention of God, people dress Him up with their conceptions, saying He can ride on clouds and mist, can walk on water, can suddenly appear and vanish among humans, and some others have even more descriptive explanations. Because of mankind’s ignorance and lack of insight, God said “when they believe they have resisted Me or offended My administrative decrees, I yet turn a blind eye.”
When God reveals the ugly side and the internal world of mankind, He truly is always spot on correct, without the slightest bit of deviation. It can even be said that there is no error whatsoever. This is proof that utterly convinces people. Because of the principle of God’s work, many of His words and deeds leave an impression that is impossible to erase, and people seem to have an even deeper understanding of Him, as if they discover things that are more precious in Him. “In their memories, I am a God who shows mercy on men rather than chastises them, or I am God Himself who does not mean what He says. These are all imaginations born of human thought and not in accordance with the facts.” Although mankind has never attached importance to the true face of God, they know “the lateral side of His disposition” like the back of their hand; they are always picking holes in God’s words and actions. This is because mankind is always willing to pay attention to negative things, and ignore positive things, merely looking down upon the deeds of God. The more God says He humbly hides Himself in His dwelling place, the more mankind demands of Him. They say: “If God incarnate is observing man’s every deed and experiencing human life, why is it the majority of the time God does not know of our actual situation? Does it mean that God is truly hidden?” Although God looks deep into the human heart, He still works according to the actual states of mankind, being neither vague nor supernatural. In order to completely get rid of the old disposition within mankind, God has spared no effort to speak from various perspectives: uncovering their true nature, pronouncing judgment on their disobedience; one moment saying He will deal with all people, and the next saying He will save a group of people; either placing requirements on mankind or warning them; alternately dissecting their innards, alternately providing treatment. Thus, under the guidance of God’s word, it is as if mankind had traveled to every corner of the earth and entered a bounteous garden where each flower vies to be the most beautiful. Whatever God says mankind will enter into His word, just as if God were a magnet and anything with iron will be drawn to it. When they see the words “Humanity pays Me no heed, thus neither do I take them seriously. Humans pay no attention to Me, so neither do I need to exert effort on them. Is this not the best of both worlds?” all of God’s people seem to have been knocked into the bottomless pit again, or struck at their vital point again, leaving them utterly shocked, and thus again they enter into My method of working.[c] They are especially confused with regard to the words “If, as one of My people in the kingdom, you are unable to keep to your duty, you will be detested and rejected by Me!” Most people have been brought to heartbreaking tears: “I had a hard time climbing out of the bottomless pit, so I would have no hope at all if I am to fall into it again. I have gained nothing in the human world, undergoing all manner of difficulties and troubles in my life. In particular, after coming into the faith, I underwent abandonment from loved ones, persecution from families, slander from the worldly people, and I did not enjoy happiness of the world. If I again fall into the bottomless pit, would my life not be even more in vain?” (The more man thinks about this the more sorrowful they feel.) “All of my hopes have been entrusted into God’s hands. If God abandons me, I might as well die now…. Well, all is predestined by God, now I can only seek to love God, all else is secondary. Who made this my fate?” The more man thinks, the closer they are to God’s standards and the purpose of His words. In this way objective of His words is achieved. After man sees God’s words they all have an ideological struggle inside of them. Their only choice is to submit to the dictates of fate, and in this way the objective of God is achieved. The harsher God’s words are, the more complex the internal world of mankind becomes as a result. This is just like touching a wound; the harder it is touched the more it hurts, to the point that they hover between life and death and even lose the faith to survive. In this way, only when mankind suffers most and is in the depths of hopelessness can they give their true hearts over to God. The nature of mankind is that if even a shred of hope remains they will not go to God for help, but will adopt self-sufficient methods of natural survival. This is because the nature of mankind is self-righteous, and they look down on everyone. Therefore, God said: “not a single human being has been able to also love Me whilst in comfort. Not a single person has reached out in their time of peace and happiness that I might partake of their joy.” This is indeed disappointing: God created mankind, but when He comes to the human world they seek to resist Him, drive Him away from their territory, as if He were a wandering orphan, or a stateless person in the world. Nobody feels attached to God, nobody truly loves Him, nobody has welcomed His coming. Instead, when seeing the coming of God, their joyful faces become clouded in the blink of an eye, as if a sudden storm were on the way, as if God would take away the happiness of their family, as if God had never blessed mankind, but instead had only given mankind misfortune. Therefore, in the minds of mankind, God is not a boon to them, but One who always curses them; therefore, mankind does not pay heed to Him, they do not welcome Him, they always are cold toward Him, and this has never changed. Because mankind has these things in their heart, God says mankind is unreasonable and immoral, and that not even the feelings that humans are supposedly equipped with can be perceived in them. Mankind does not show any consideration for God’s feelings, but uses so-called “righteousness” to deal with God. Mankind has been like this for many years and for this reason God has said their disposition has not changed. This goes to show that they have no more substance than a few feathers. It may be said that humans are worthless wretches because they do not treasure themselves. If they don’t even love themselves, but trample on themselves, doesn’t this show they are worthless? Mankind is like an immoral woman who plays games with herself and who gives herself willingly to others to be violated. But even so, they still do not know how lowly they are. They find pleasure in working for others, or in talking with others, putting themselves under the control of others; is this not truly the filthiness of mankind? Although I have not undergone a life among mankind, not having truly experienced human life, I have a very clear understanding of every move, every action, every word, and every deed of man. I am even able to expose mankind to their deepest shame, to the point that they no longer dare to show their own tricks and no longer dare to give way to their lust. Like a snail which retreats into its shell, they no longer dare to expose their own ugly state. Because mankind does not know themselves, their greatest flaw is to willingly parade their charms before others, parading their ugly countenance; this is something God detests most. Because relations between people are abnormal, and there are no normal interpersonal relationships between people, much less do they have a normal[d] relationship with God. God has said so much, and in so doing His main objective is to occupy a place in the hearts of mankind, to make people get rid of all the idols in their hearts, so that God can wield power over all mankind and achieve His purpose of being on earth.
a. This is a Chinese idiom.
b. The original text omits “People think that.”
c. The original text omits “of working.”
d. The original text omits “normal.”