God’s Authority (I) Part Five
The words below are indispensable to knowing the authority of God, and their meaning is given in the fellowship below. Let us continue reading Scripture.
4. God’s Command to Satan
(Job 2:6) And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.
Satan Has Never Dared to Transgress the Authority of the Creator, and Because of This, All Things Live in Order
This is an excerpt from the Book of Job, and the “he” in these words refers to Job. Though brief, this sentence elucidates many issues. It describes a particular exchange between God and Satan in the spiritual world, and tells us that the object of God’s words was Satan. It also records what was specifically said by God. God’s words were a command and an order to Satan. The specific details of this order relate to sparing the life of Job and where God drew the line in Satan’s treatment of Job—Satan had to spare Job’s life. The first thing we learn from this sentence is that these were words spoken by God to Satan. According to the original text of the Book of Job, it tells us the background to such words: Satan wished to accuse Job, and so it had to obtain the agreement of God before it could tempt him. When consenting to Satan’s request to tempt Job, God put forward the following condition to Satan: “Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.” What is the nature of these words? They are clearly a command, an order. Having understood the nature of these words, you should, of course, also grasp that the One who issued this order was God, and that the one who received this order, and obeyed it, was Satan. Needless to say, in this order, the relationship between God and Satan is evident to anyone who reads these words. Of course, this is also the relationship between God and Satan in the spiritual world, and the difference between the identity and status of God and Satan, provided in the records of the exchanges between God and Satan in the Scriptures, and, to date, is the specific example and textual record in which man can learn of the distinct difference between the identity and status of God and Satan. At this point, I must say that the record of these words is an important document in mankind’s knowledge of the identity and status of God, and it provides important information for mankind’s knowledge of God. Through this exchange between the Creator and Satan in the spiritual world, man is able to understand one more specific aspect in the authority of the Creator. These words are another testimony to the unique authority of the Creator.
Outwardly, they are an exchange between Jehovah God and Satan. Their substance is that the attitude with which Jehovah God speaks, and the position from which He speaks, are higher than Satan. Which is to say that Jehovah God is commanding Satan with the tone of an order, and is telling Satan what it should and should not do, that Job is already in its hands, and that it is free to treat Job however it wishes—but may not take Job’s life. The subtext is that, although Job has been placed in Satan’s hands, his life is not given over to Satan; no one can take the life of Job from God’s hands unless permitted by God. God’s attitude is clearly articulated in this command to Satan, and this command also manifests and reveals the position from which Jehovah God converses with Satan. In this, Jehovah God not only holds the status of the God who created light, and air, and all things and living beings, of the God who holds sovereignty over all things and living beings, but also of the God who commands mankind, and commands Hades, the God who controls the life and death of all living things. In the spiritual world, who apart from God would dare to issue such an order to Satan? And why did God personally issue His order to Satan? Because the life of man, including that of Job, is controlled by God. God did not permit Satan to harm or take the life of Job, which is to say that just before God permitted Satan to tempt Job, God still remembered to specially issue such an order, and once again commanded Satan not to take the life of Job. Satan has never dared to transgress the authority of God, and, moreover, has always carefully listened to and obeyed the orders and specific commands of God, never daring to defy them, and, of course, not daring to freely alter any of God’s orders. Such are the limits that God has set out for Satan, and so Satan has never dared to cross these limits. Is this not the might of God’s authority? Is this not a testimony to God’s authority? Of how to behave toward God, and how to view God, Satan has a much clearer grasp than mankind, and so, in the spiritual world, Satan sees the status and authority of God very clearly, and has a deep appreciation of the might of God’s authority and the principles behind the exertion of His authority. It does not dare, at all, to overlook them, nor does it dare to violate them in any way, or do anything that transgresses the authority of God, and it does not dare to challenge God’s wrath in any way. Though it is evil and arrogant in nature, Satan has never dared to cross the boundaries and limits set out for it by God. For millions of years, it has strictly abided by these boundaries, has abided by every command and order given to it by God, and has never dared to overstep the mark. Though it is malicious, Satan is much “wiser” than corrupt mankind; it knows the identity of the Creator, and knows its own boundaries. From Satan’s “submissive” actions it can be seen that the authority and power of God are heavenly edicts which cannot be transgressed by Satan, and that it is precisely because of the uniqueness and authority of God that all things change and propagate in an orderly way, that mankind can live and multiply within the course established by God, with no person or object capable of upsetting this order, and no person or object capable of changing this law—for they all come from the hands of the Creator, and from the order and authority of the Creator.
Only God, Who Has the Identity of the Creator, Possesses the Unique Authority
The “special” identity of Satan has caused many people to exhibit a strong interest in its manifestations of various aspects. There are even many foolish people who believe that, as well as God, Satan is also possessed of authority, for Satan is capable of showing miracles, and is capable of doing things that are impossible to mankind. And so, in addition to worshiping God, mankind also reserves a place for Satan in his heart, and even worships Satan as God. These people are both pitiable and detestable. They are pitiable because of their ignorance, and detestable because of their heresy and inherently evil essence. At this point, I feel that it is necessary to inform you of what authority is, what it symbolizes, and what it represents. Broadly speaking, God Himself is authority, His authority symbolizes the supremacy and substance of God, and the authority of God Himself represents the status and identity of God. In which case, does Satan dare to say that it itself is God? Does Satan dare to say that it created all things, and holds sovereignty over all things? Of course it doesn’t! For it is incapable of creating all things; to date, it has never made anything created by God, and has never created anything that has life. Because it does not have God’s authority, it will never possibly possess the status and identity of God, and this is determined by its substance. Does it have the same power as God? Of course it doesn’t! What do we call the acts of Satan, and the miracles exhibited by Satan? Is it power? Could it be called authority? Of course not! Satan directs the tide of evil, and upsets, impairs, and interrupts every aspect of God’s work. For the last several thousand years, apart from corrupting and abusing mankind, and luring and deceiving man to depravity, and to the rejection of God, so man walks toward the valley of the shadow of death, has Satan done anything that deserves even the slightest commemoration, commendation, or cherishment by man? If Satan possessed authority and power, would mankind have been corrupted by it? If Satan possessed authority and power, would mankind have been harmed by it? If Satan possessed power and authority, would mankind have forsaken God and turned to death? Since Satan has no authority or power, what should we conclude about the substance of all that it does? There are those who define all that Satan does as mere trickery, yet I believe that such definition is not so appropriate. Are the evil deeds of its corruption of mankind mere trickery? The evil force with which Satan abused Job, and its fierce desire to abuse and devour him, could not possibly be achieved by mere trickery. Looking back, we see that, in an instant, the flocks and herds of Job, scattered far and wide across hills and mountains, were gone; in an instant, Job’s great fortune disappeared. Could that have been achieved by mere trickery? The nature of all that Satan does corresponds to and fits with negative terms such as to impair, to interrupt, to destroy, to harm, evil, maliciousness, and darkness, and so the occurrence of all that is unrighteous and evil is inextricably linked to the acts of Satan, and is inseparable from the evil substance of Satan. Regardless of how “powerful” Satan is, regardless of how audacious and ambitious it is, regardless of how great is its ability to inflict damage, regardless of how wide-ranging are the techniques with which it corrupts and lures man, regardless of how clever are the tricks and schemes with which it intimidates man, regardless of how changeable is the form in which it exists, it has never been able to create a single living thing, has never been able to set down laws or rules for the existence of all things, and has never been able to rule and control any object, whether animate or inanimate. Throughout the vast expanse of the universe, there is not a single person or object that was born from it, or exists because of it; there is not a single person or object that is ruled by it, or controlled by it. On the contrary, it not only has to live under the dominion of God, but, moreover, must obey all of God’s orders and commands. Without God’s permission, it is difficult for Satan to touch even a drop of water or grain of sand upon the land; without God’s permission, Satan is not even free to move the ants about upon the land—let alone mankind, who was created by God. In the eyes of God, Satan is inferior to the lilies on the mountain, to the birds flying in the air, to the fish in the sea, and to the maggots on the earth. Its role among all things is to serve all things, and work for mankind, and serve God’s work and His plan of management. Regardless of how malicious its nature, and how evil its substance, the only thing it can do is to dutifully abide by its function: being of service to God, and providing a counterpoint to God. Such is the essence and position of Satan. Its substance is unconnected to life, unconnected to power, unconnected to authority; it is merely a plaything in God’s hands, just a machine in service to God!
Having understood the true face of Satan, many people still don’t understand what authority is, so let Me tell you! The authority itself can be explained as the power of God. Firstly, it can be said with certainty that both authority and power are positive. They have no connection to anything negative, and are unrelated to any created or non-created beings. The power of God is able to create things of any form that have life and vitality, and this is determined by the life of God. God is life, so He is the source of all living beings. Furthermore, the authority of God can make all living beings obey every word of God, that is, come into being according to the words from God’s mouth, and live and reproduce by God’s command, after which God rules and commands all living beings, and there shall never be a deviation, forever and ever. No person or object has these things; only the Creator possesses and bears such power, and so it is called authority. This is the uniqueness of the Creator. As such, regardless of whether it is the word “authority” itself or the substance of this authority, each can only be associated with the Creator, because it is a symbol of the unique identity and substance of the Creator, and it represents the identity and status of the Creator; apart from the Creator, no person or object can be associated with the word “authority.” This is an interpretation of the unique authority of the Creator.
Though Satan looked upon Job with covetous eyes, without God’s permission it did not dare to touch a single hair on Job’s body. Though it is inherently evil and cruel, after God issued His order to it, Satan had no choice but to abide by God’s command. And so, even though Satan was as frenzied as a wolf among sheep when it came upon Job, it did not dare to forget the limits set for it by God, did not dare to violate the orders of God, and in all that it did, Satan did not dare to deviate from the principles and limits of God’s words—is this not a fact? From this point of view, we see that Satan does not dare to contravene any of the words of Jehovah God. For Satan, every word from the mouth of God is an order, and a heavenly law, and an expression of God’s authority—for behind every word of God is implied God’s punishment of those who violate the orders of God, and those who disobey and oppose the heavenly laws. Satan clearly knows that if it violates God’s orders, then it must accept the consequences of transgressing the authority of God, and opposing the heavenly laws. And just what are these consequences? Needless to say, they are, of course, its punishment by God. Satan’s actions toward Job were merely a microcosm of its corruption of man, and when Satan was carrying out these actions, the limits that God set and the orders that He issued to Satan were merely a microcosm of the principles behind everything that it does. In addition, the role and position of Satan in this matter was merely a microcosm of its role and position in the work of God’s management, and Satan’s complete obedience to God in its temptation of Job was merely a microcosm of how Satan did not dare to put up the slightest opposition to God in the work of God’s management. What warning do these microcosms give you? Among all things, including Satan, there is no person or thing that can transgress the heavenly laws and edicts set out by the Creator, and no person or thing that dares to violate these heavenly laws and edicts, for no person or object can alter or escape from the punishment that the Creator inflicts upon those who disobey them. Only the Creator can establish heavenly laws and edicts, only the Creator has the power to put them into effect, and only the power of the Creator cannot be transgressed by any person or thing. This is the unique authority of the Creator, this authority is supreme among all things, and so, it is impossible to say that “God is the greatest and Satan is number two.” Except for the Creator who is possessed of the unique authority, there is no other God!
Do you now have a new knowledge of God’s authority? Firstly, is there a difference between the authority of God just mentioned, and the power of man? And what is the difference? Some people say that there’s no comparison between the two. That’s right! Though people say there’s no comparison between the two, in the thoughts and conceptions of man, the power of man is often confused with the authority, with the two often being compared side by side. What is going on here? Aren’t people making the mistake of inadvertently substituting one with the other? The two are unconnected, and there is no comparison between them, yet people still can’t help themselves. How should this be resolved? If you truly wish to find a resolution, the only way is to understand and know the unique authority of God. After understanding and knowing the authority of the Creator, you will not mention the power of man and the authority of God in the same breath.
What does the power of man refer to? Simply put, it is an ability or skill which enables the corrupt disposition, desires and ambitions of man to be expanded or accomplished to the greatest extent. Does this count as authority? Regardless of how swollen or lucrative the ambitions and desires of man, that person cannot be said to possess authority; at most, this puffing up and success is merely a demonstration of Satan’s buffoonery among man, at most it is a farce in which Satan acts as its own ancestor in order to fulfill its ambition to be God.
How exactly do you view the authority of God now? Now that these words have been fellowshiped, you should have a new knowledge of God’s authority. And so I ask you: What does God’s authority symbolize? Does it symbolize the identity of God Himself? Does it symbolize the power of God Himself? Does it symbolize the unique status of God Himself? Amongst all things, in what have you seen the authority of God? How did you see it? In terms of the four seasons experienced by man, can anyone change the law of the interchange between spring, summer, autumn and winter? In spring, the trees bud and bloom; in summer they are covered with leaves; in autumn they bear fruit, and in winter the leaves fall. Is anyone able to alter this law? Does this reflect one aspect of God’s authority? God said “Let there be light,” and there was light. Does this light still exist? What does it exist because of? It exists because of the words of God, of course, and because of the authority of God. Does the air created by God still exist? Does the air that man breathes come from God? Can anyone take away the things that come from God? Can anyone alter their substance and function? Is anyone able to discomfit the night and day allocated by God, and the law of night and day ordered by God? Can Satan do such a thing? Even if you don’t sleep at night, and take night as day, then it is still nighttime; you may change your daily routine, but you are incapable of changing the law of the interchange between night and day—and this fact is unalterable by any person, is it not? Is anyone capable of making a lion plough the land like an ox? Is anyone capable of changing an elephant into a donkey? Is anyone capable of making a chicken soar through the air like an eagle? Is anyone capable of making a wolf eat grass like a sheep? Is anyone capable of making the fish in the water live on dry land? And why not? Because God commanded them to live in water, and so they live in water. On land they wouldn’t be able to survive, and would die; they are unable to transgress the limits of God’s command. All things have a law and limit to their existence, and they each have their own instincts. These are ordained by the Creator, and are unalterable and unsurpassable by any man. For example, the lion will always live in the wild, at a distance from the communities of man, and could never be as docile and faithful as the ox that lives together with, and works for man. Although elephants and donkeys are both animals, and both have four legs, and are creatures that breathe air, they are different species, for they were divided into different types by God, they each have their own instincts, and so they will never be interchangeable. Although the chicken has two legs, and wings just like an eagle, it will never be able to fly in the air; at most it can only fly into a tree—and this is determined by its instinct. Needless to say, this is all because of the commands of the authority of God.
In the development of mankind today, the science of mankind can be said to be “flourishing,” and the achievements of man’s scientific exploration can be described as “impressive.” Man’s ability, it must be said, is growing ever greater, but there is one scientific breakthrough that mankind has been unable to make: Mankind has made airplanes, aircraft carriers, and the atomic bomb, mankind has gone into space, walked on the moon, invented the Internet, and lived the hi-tech lifestyle, yet mankind is incapable of creating a living, breathing thing. The instincts of every living creature and the laws by which they live, and the cycle of life and death of every kind of living thing—all these are impossible and uncontrollable by the science of mankind. At this point, it must be said that no matter what great heights are attained by the science of man, it is incomparable to any of the thoughts of the Creator, and is incapable of discerning the miraculousness of the Creator’s creation, and the might of His authority. There are so many oceans upon the earth, yet they have never transgressed their limits and come upon land at will, and that is because God set boundaries for each of them; they stayed wherever He commanded them, and without God’s permission they cannot move around freely. Without God’s permission, they may not infringe upon each other, and can only move when God says so, and where they go and stay is determined by the authority of God.
To put it plainly, “the authority of God” means that it is up to God. God has the right to decide how to do something, and it is done in whatever way He wishes. The law of all things is up to God, and not up to man; neither can it be altered by man. It cannot be moved by the will of man, but is instead changed by the thoughts of God, and the wisdom of God, and the orders of God, and this is a fact that is undeniable to any man. The heavens and earth and all things, the universe, the starry sky, the four seasons of the year, that which is visible and invisible to man—they all exist, function, and change, without the slightest error, under the authority of God, according to the orders of God, according to the commandments of God, and according to the laws of the beginning of creation. Not a single person or object can change their laws, or change the inherent course by which they function; they came into being because of the authority of God, and perish because of the authority of God. This is the very authority of God. Now that this much has been said, can you feel that the authority of God is a symbol of the identity and status of God? Can the authority of God be possessed by any created or non-created being? Can it be imitated, impersonated, or replaced by any person, thing, or object?
The Creator’s Identity Is Unique, and You Should Not Ascribe to the Idea of Polytheism
Although the skills and abilities of Satan are greater than those of man, although it can do things that are unattainable by man, regardless of whether you envy or aspire what Satan does, regardless of whether you hate or are disgusted by that, regardless of whether or not you are capable of seeing that, and regardless of how much Satan can achieve, or how many people it can deceive into worshiping and enshrining it, and regardless of how you define it, you cannot possibly say that it has the authority and power of God. You should know that God is God, there is only one God, and moreover, you should know that only God has authority, and has the power to control and rule all things. Just because Satan has the ability to deceive people, and can impersonate God, can imitate the signs and miracles made by God, and has done similar things as God, you mistakenly believe that God is not unique, that there are many Gods, that they merely have greater or lesser skills, and that there are differences in the breadth of the power that they wield. You rank their greatness in the order of their arrival, and according to their age, and you wrongly believe that there are other deities apart from God, and think that the power and authority of God are not unique. If you have such ideas, if you do not recognize the uniqueness of God, do not believe that only God is possessed of authority, and if you only ascribe to polytheism, then I say that you are the scum of the creatures, you are the true embodiment of Satan, and you are an absolute person of evil! Do you understand what I’m trying to teach you by saying these words? No matter what the time, place, or your background, you must not confuse God with any other person, thing, or object. Regardless of how unknowable and unapproachable you feel the authority of God and substance of God Himself is, regardless of how much the deeds and words of Satan agree with your conception and imagination, regardless of how satisfying they are to you, do not be foolish, do not confuse these concepts, do not deny the existence of God, do not deny the identity and status of God, do not push God out the door and bring in Satan to replace the “God” within your heart and be your God. I have no doubt that you are capable of imagining the consequences of doing so!
Though Mankind Has Been Corrupted, He Still Lives Under the Sovereignty of the Creator’s Authority
Satan has been corrupting mankind for thousands of years. It has wrought untold amounts of evil, has deceived generation after generation, and has committed heinous crimes in the world. It has abused man, deceived man, seduced man to oppose God, and has committed evil acts that have confounded and impaired God’s plan of management time and time again. Yet, under the authority of God, all things and living creatures continue to abide by the rules and laws set down by God. Compared to the authority of God, Satan’s evil nature and rampancy are so ugly, so disgusting and despicable, and so small and vulnerable. Even though Satan walks among all things created by God, it is not able to enact the slightest change in the people, things, and objects commanded by God. Several thousand years have passed, and mankind still enjoys the light and air bestowed by God, still breathes the breath exhaled by God Himself, still enjoys the flowers, birds, fish and insects created by God, and enjoys all the things provided by God; day and night still continually replace each other; the four seasons alternate as usual; the geese flying in the sky depart in this winter, and still return in the next spring; the fish in the water never leave the rivers and lakes—their home; the cicadas on the ground sing their hearts out during the summer days; the crickets in the grass gently hum in time to the wind during autumn; the geese gather into flocks, while the eagles remain solitary; the prides of lions sustain themselves by hunting; the elk don’t stray from the grass and flowers…. Every kind of living creature amongst all things departs and returns, and then departs again, a million changes occurring in the twinkling of an eye—but what doesn’t change are their instincts and the laws of survival. They live under the provision and nourishment of God, and no one can change their instincts, and neither can anyone impair their rules of survival. Although mankind, who lives among all things, has been corrupted and deceived by Satan, man still cannot forgo the water made by God, and the air made by God, and all things made by God, and man still lives and proliferates in this space created by God. The instincts of mankind have not changed. Man still relies on his eyes to see, on his ears to hear, on his brain to think, on his heart to understand, on his legs and feet to walk, on his hands to work, and so on; all the instincts that God bestowed upon man in order that he could accept the provision of God remain unaltered, the faculties through which man cooperates with God have not changed, mankind’s faculty for performing the duty of a created being has not changed, mankind’s spiritual needs have not changed, mankind’s desire to find his origins has not changed, mankind’s yearning to be saved by the Creator has not changed. Such are the current circumstances of mankind, who lives under the authority of God, and who has endured the bloody destruction wrought by Satan. Though mankind has been subjected to the oppression of Satan, and is no longer Adam and Eve from the beginning of creation, instead being full of things that are antagonistic to God, such as knowledge, imagination, notions, and so on, and full of the corrupt satanic disposition, in the eyes of God, mankind is still the same mankind that He created. Mankind is still ruled and orchestrated by God, and still lives within the course set out by God, and so in the eyes of God, mankind, who has been corrupted by Satan, is merely covered in grime, with a rumbling tummy, with reactions that are a little slow, a memory that’s not as good as it used to be, and of a slightly older age—but all the functions and instincts of man are completely undamaged. This is the mankind that God intends to save. This mankind has but to hear the call of the Creator, and hear the voice of the Creator, and he will stand up and rush to locate the source of this voice. This mankind has but to see the figure of the Creator and he will become heedless of all else, and forsake everything, in order to devote himself to God, and will even lay down his life for Him. When the heart of mankind understands the heartfelt words of the Creator, mankind will reject Satan and come to the side of the Creator; when mankind has completely washed the dirt from his body, and has once more received the provision and nourishment of the Creator, then the memory of mankind will be restored, and at this time mankind will have truly returned to the dominion of the Creator.
October 21, 2014