God’s Authority (I) Part Three
2. God Uses His Words to Establish a Covenant With Man
(Gen 9:11-13) And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
After He Makes All Things, the Authority of the Creator Is Confirmed and Shown Forth Once More in the “Rainbow Covenant”
The authority of the Creator is ever shown forth and exerted amongst all creatures, and He not only rules the fate of all things, but also rules mankind, the special creature which He created with His own hands, and which is possessed of a different life structure and exists in a different life form. After making all things, the Creator did not cease to express His authority and power; for Him, the authority with which He held sovereignty over all things and the fate of the whole of mankind, formally began only once mankind was truly born from His hand. He intended to manage mankind, and rule mankind, He intended to save mankind, intended to truly gain mankind, to gain a mankind that could govern all things, and He intended to make such a mankind live under His authority, and know His authority, and obey His authority. Thus, God began to officially express His authority among man using His words, and began to use His authority to realize His words. Of course, God’s authority was shown forth in all places during this process; I have merely picked out some specific, well-known examples from which you may understand and know the uniqueness of God, and understand and know the unique authority of God.
There is a similarity between the passage in Genesis 9:11-13 and the passages above concerning the record of God’s creation of the world, yet there is also a difference. What is the similarity? The similarity lies in God’s use of words to do that which He intended, and the difference is that this passage is God’s discourse with man, in which He established a covenant with man, and told man of that which was contained within the covenant. This exertion of God’s authority was achieved during His dialogue with man, which is to say that, prior to the creation of mankind, God’s words were instructions, and orders, which were issued to the creatures that He intended to create. But now there was someone to hear the words of God, and so His words were both a dialogue with man, and also an exhortation and admonishment to man, and moreover, were commandments delivered to all things that bore His authority.
What action of God is recorded in this passage? It records the covenant that God established with man after His destruction of the world with a flood, it tells man that God would not wreak such destruction upon the world again, and that, to this end, God created a sign—and what was this sign? In the Scriptures it is said that “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” These are the original words spoken by the Creator to mankind. As He said these words, a rainbow appeared before the eyes of man, where it has remained until today. Everyone has seen such a rainbow, and when you see it, do you know how it appears? Science is incapable of proving it, or of locating its source, or identifying its whereabouts. That is because the rainbow is a sign of the covenant established between the Creator and man; it requires no scientific basis, it was not made by man, nor is man capable of altering it. It is a continuation of the Creator’s authority after He spoke His words. The Creator used His own particular method to abide by His covenant with man and His promise, and so His use of the rainbow as a sign of the covenant that He had established is a heavenly edict and law that shall remain forever unchanged, whether in regard to the Creator or the created mankind. Yet this immutable law is, it must be said, another true manifestation of the Creator’s authority following His creation of all things, and it must be said that the authority and power of the Creator are limitless; His use of the rainbow as a sign is a continuation and extension of the Creator’s authority. This was another act performed by God using His words, and was a sign of the covenant that God had established with man using words. He told man of that which He resolved to bring about, and with what manner it would be fulfilled and achieved, and in this way the matter was fulfilled according to the words from God’s mouth. Only God is possessed of such power, and today, several thousand years after He spoke these words, man can still look upon the rainbow spoken from the mouth of God. Because of those words uttered by God, this thing has remained unaltered and unchanged right up until today. None can remove this rainbow, none can change its laws, and it exists solely for the words of God. This is precisely the authority of God. “God is as good as His word, and His word shall be accomplished, and that which is accomplished lasts forever.” Such words are clearly manifested here, and it is a clear sign and characteristic of the authority and power of God. Such a sign or characteristic is not possessed by or seen in any of the created beings, nor is it seen in any of the non-created beings. It belongs only to the unique God, and distinguishes the identity and substance possessed only by the Creator from that of the creatures. At the same time, it is also a sign and characteristic that, apart from God Himself, can never be surpassed by any created or non-created being.
God’s establishment of His covenant with man was an act of great importance, and one that He intended to use to communicate a fact to man and tell man His will, and to this end He employed a unique method, using a special sign to establish a covenant with man, a sign which was a promise of the covenant that He had established with man. So, was the establishment of this covenant a great event? And just how great was it? This is exactly what is so special about the covenant: It is not a covenant established between one man and another, or one group and another, or one country and another, but a covenant established between the Creator and the whole of mankind, and it shall remain valid until the day that the Creator abolishes all things. The executor of this covenant is the Creator, and its maintainer is also the Creator. In short, the entirety of the “rainbow covenant” established with mankind was fulfilled and achieved according to the dialogue between the Creator and mankind, and has remained so right up until today. What else can the creatures do apart from submitting to, and obeying, and believing, and appreciating, and witnessing, and praising the authority of the Creator? For none but the unique God is possessed of the power to establish such a covenant. The appearance of the rainbow, time and time again, announces to mankind and calls his attention to the covenant between the Creator and mankind. In the continual appearances of the covenant between the Creator and mankind, what is demonstrated to mankind is not a rainbow or the covenant itself, but the immutable authority of the Creator. The appearance of the rainbow, time and time again, demonstrates the tremendous and miraculous deeds of the Creator in hidden places, and, at the same time, is a vital reflection of the Creator’s authority that shall never fade away, and shall never change. Is this not a display of another aspect of the Creator’s unique authority?
3. The Blessings of God
1) (Gen 17:4-6) As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you.
2) (Gen 18:18-19) Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.
3) (Gen 22:16-18) … By myself have I sworn, said the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.
4) (Job 42:12) So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
The Unique Manner and Characteristics of the Creator’s Utterances Are a Symbol of the Unique Identity and Authority of the Creator
Many wish to seek, and gain, the blessings of God, but not everyone can gain these blessings, for God has His own principles, and blesses man in His own way. The promises that God makes to man, and the amount of grace that He bestows upon man, are allocated based on the thoughts and actions of man. And so what is shown by the blessings of God? What do they tell us? At this point, let us put aside discussion of what kinds of people God blesses, or the principles of God’s blessing of man. Instead, let us look at God’s blessing of man with the objective of knowing the authority of God, from the perspective of knowing the authority of God.
The four passages of scripture above are all records about God’s blessing of man. They provide a detailed description of the recipients of God’s blessings, such as Abraham and Job, as well as of the reasons why God bestowed His blessings, and of what was contained within these blessings. The tone and manner of God’s utterances, and the perspective and position from which He spoke, allow us to appreciate that the One who bestows blessings and the recipient of such blessings are of a distinctly different identity, status and substance. The tone and manner of these utterances, and the position from which they were spoken, are unique to God, who possesses the identity of the Creator. He has authority and might, as well as honor of the Creator, and majesty that brooks no doubt from any man.
First let us look at Gen 17:4-6: “As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you.” These words were the covenant that God established with Abraham, as well as God’s blessing of Abraham: God would make Abraham the father of nations, would make him exceedingly fruitful, and would make nations of him, and kings would come of him. Do you see the authority of God in these words? And how do you see such authority? Which aspect of the substance of God’s authority do you see? From a close reading of these words, it isn’t hard to discover that the authority and identity of God are clearly revealed in the wording of God’s utterances. For example, when God says “my covenant is with you, and you shall … have I made you … I will make you …,” phrases such as “you shall” and “I will,” whose wording bears the affirmation of God’s identity and authority, are, in one respect, an indication of the Creator’s faithfulness; in another respect, they are special words used by God, who possesses the identity of the Creator—as well as being part of conventional vocabulary. If someone says they hope another person will be exceeding fruitful, that nations will be made from them, and that kings shall come from them, then that is undoubtedly a kind of wish, and is not a promise or a blessing. And so, they dare not say “I will make you such and such, you shall such and such…,” for they know that they do not possess such power; it is not up to them, and even if they say such things, their words would be empty, and nonsense, driven by their desire and ambition. Does anyone dare to speak in such a grand tone if they feel that they cannot accomplish their wishes? Everyone wishes well for their descendants, and hopes that they will excel and enjoy great success. What great fortune it would be for one of them to become emperor! If one were to be a governor that would be good, too—just as long as they’re someone important! These are all people’s wishes, but people can only wish blessings upon their descendants, and cannot fulfill or make any of their promises come true. In their hearts, everyone clearly knows that they do not possess the power to achieve such things, for their everything is beyond their control, and so how could they command the fate of others? Whereas the reason why God can say words like these is because God possesses such authority, and is capable of accomplishing and realizing all the promises that He makes to man, and of making all the blessings that He bestows upon man come true. Man was created by God, and for God to make someone exceedingly fruitful would be child’s play; to make someone’s descendants prosperous would require but a word from Him. He would never have to work Himself into a sweat for such a thing, or task His mind, or tie Himself in knots over it; this is the very power of God, the very authority of God.
After reading “Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him” in Genesis 18:18, can you feel the authority of God? Can you sense the extraordinariness of the Creator? Can you sense the supremacy of the Creator? The words of God are certain. God does not say such words because of, or in representation of, His confidence in success; they are, instead, proof of the authority of God’s utterances, and are a commandment that fulfills the words of God. There are two expressions that you should pay attention to here. When God says “Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him,” is there any element of ambiguity in these words? Is there any element of concern? Is there any element of fear? Because of the words “shall surely” and “shall be” in God’s utterances, these elements, which are particular to man and often exhibited in him, have never borne any relation to the Creator. No one would dare to use such words when wishing others well, no one would dare to bless another with a great and mighty nation with such certainty, or promise that all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. The more certain the words of God, the more that they prove something—and what is that something? They prove that God has such authority, that His authority can accomplish these things, and that their accomplishment is inevitable. God was certain in His heart, without the slightest hesitation, of all that He blessed Abraham with. Furthermore, the entirety of this would be accomplished in accordance with His words, and no force would be able to alter, obstruct, impair, or disturb its fulfillment. Regardless of what happened, nothing could abrogate or influence the fulfillment and accomplishment of God’s words. This is the very might of the words uttered from the mouth of the Creator, and the authority of the Creator that does not brook the denial of man! Having read these words, do you still feel doubt? These words were spoken from the mouth of God, and there is power, majesty, and authority in the words of God. Such might and authority, and the inevitability of the accomplishment of fact, are unattainable by any created or non-created being, and unsurpassable by any created or non-created being. Only the Creator can converse with mankind with such a tone and intonation, and facts have proven that His promises are not empty words, or idle boasts, but are the expression of the unique authority that is unsurpassable by any person, thing, or object.
What is the difference between the words spoken by God and the words spoken by man? When you read these words spoken by God, you sense the might of God’s words, and the authority of God. How do you feel when you hear people saying such words? Do you think they are extremely arrogant, and boastful, and making a show of themselves? For they do not have this power, they do not possess such authority, and so they are completely incapable of achieving such things. That they are so sure of their promises only shows the carelessness of their remarks. If someone says such words, then they would undoubtedly be arrogant, and overconfident, and revealing themselves as a classic example of the archangel’s disposition. These words came from the mouth of God; do you sense any element of arrogance here? Do you feel that God’s words are just a joke? The words of God are authority, the words of God are fact, and before the words are uttered from His mouth, which is to say, when He makes the decision to do something, then that thing has already been accomplished. It can be said that all which God said to Abraham was a covenant that God established with Abraham, and a promise made by God to Abraham. This promise was an established fact, as well as an accomplished fact, and these facts were gradually fulfilled in God’s thoughts according to God’s plan. And so, for God to say such words does not mean that He has an arrogant disposition, for God is able to achieve such things. He has such power and authority, and is fully capable of achieving these acts, and their accomplishment is entirely within the range of His ability. When words like these are uttered from the mouth of God, they are a revelation and expression of God’s true disposition, a perfect revelation and manifestation of the substance and authority of God, and there is nothing which is more appropriate and suitable as proof of the Creator’s identity. The manner, tone, and wording of such utterances are precisely the mark of the Creator’s identity, and correspond perfectly to the expression of God’s own identity, and in them there is no pretense, or impurity; they are, completely and utterly, the perfect demonstration of the substance and authority of the Creator. As for the creatures, they possess neither this authority, nor this substance, much less do they possess the power given by God. If man betrays such behavior, then it would most certainly be the fulmination of his corrupt disposition, and it would be down to the meddling impact of man’s arrogance and wild ambition, and the exposure of the malicious intentions of none other than the devil, Satan, who wishes to deceive people and entice them to betray God. And how does God regard that which is revealed by such language? God would say that you wish to usurp His place and that you wish to impersonate and replace Him. When you imitate the tone of God’s utterances, your intention is to replace God’s place in people’s hearts, to appropriate the mankind that rightfully belongs to God. This is Satan, pure and simple; these are the actions of the descendants of the archangel, intolerable to Heaven! Amongst you, are there any who have ever imitated God in a certain way by speaking a few words, with the intention of misleading and deceiving people, and making them feel as if the words and actions of this person carried the authority and might of God, as if this person’s substance and identity were unique, and even as if the tone of this person’s words was similar to God’s? Have you ever done something like this? Have you ever imitated the tone of God in your speech, with gestures that purportedly represent the disposition of God, with the supposed might and authority? Do most of you often act, or plan to act, in such a way? Now, when you truly see, perceive and know the authority of the Creator, and look back upon what you used to do, and used to reveal of yourselves, do you feel sickened? Do you recognize your ignobility and shamelessness? Having dissected the disposition and substance of such people, could it be said that they are the accursed spawn of hell? Could it be said that everyone who does such things is bringing humiliation upon themselves? Do you recognize the seriousness of its nature? And just how serious is it? The intention of people who act in this way is to imitate God. They want to be God, and make people worship them as God. They want to abolish God’s place in people’s hearts, and get rid of the God who works among man, in order to achieve the aim of controlling people, and devouring people, and taking possession of them. Everyone has such subconscious desires and ambitions, and everyone lives in such a corrupt satanic substance and lives in such a satanic nature in which they are in enmity with God, and betray God, and wish to become God. Following My fellowship on the topic of God’s authority, do you still wish or aspire to impersonate God, or imitate God? And do you still desire to be God? Do you still wish to become God? The authority of God cannot be imitated by man, and the identity and status of God cannot be impersonated by man. Though you are capable of imitating the tone with which God speaks, you cannot imitate the substance of God. Though you are able to stand in God’s place and impersonate God, you will never be able to do that which God intends to do, and will never be able to rule and command all things. In the eyes of God, you shall forever be a small creature, and regardless of how great your skills and ability are, regardless of how many gifts you have, the entirety of you is under the dominion of the Creator. Though you are capable of saying some brash words, it can neither show that you have the substance of the Creator, nor represent that you possess the authority of the Creator. The authority and power of God are the substance of God Himself. They were not learned, or added externally, but are the inherent substance of God Himself. And so the relationship between the Creator and the creatures can never be altered. As one of the creatures, man must keep his own position, and behave conscientiously, and dutifully guard that which is entrusted to him by the Creator. And man must not act out of line, or do things beyond his range of ability or do things that are loathsome to God. Man must not try to be great, or exceptional, or above others, nor seek to become God. This is how people should not desire to be. Seeking to become great or exceptional is absurd. Seeking to become God is even more disgraceful; it is disgusting, and despicable. What is commendable, and what the creatures should hold to more than anything else, is to become a true creature; this is the only goal that all people should pursue.