God’s Holiness (III) Part One
How do you feel after saying your prayers? (Very excited and moved.) Let us begin our fellowship. What topic did we fellowship last time? (The holiness of God.) And which aspect of God Himself does the holiness of God concern? Does it concern the essence of God? (Yes.) So what exactly is the subject that concerns God’s essence? Is it the holiness of God? (Yes.) The holiness of God: this is the unique essence of God. What was the main theme we fellowshiped last time? (Discerning the evil of Satan.) And what did we fellowship last time regarding the evil of Satan? Can you remember? (How Satan corrupts mankind. It uses knowledge, science, traditional culture, superstition, and social trends to corrupt us.) Correct, this was the main topic that we discussed last time. Satan uses knowledge, science, superstition, traditional culture, and social trends to corrupt man; these are the ways in which Satan corrupts man. How many ways are these altogether? (Five.) Which five ways? (Science, knowledge, traditional culture, superstition, and social trends.) Which do you think Satan uses most to corrupt man, the thing that corrupts them most deeply? (Traditional culture.) Some brothers and sisters think it is traditional culture. Anyone else? (Knowledge.) Looks like you have a high level of knowledge. Any others? (Knowledge.) You share the same view. The brothers and sisters who said traditional culture, can you tell us why you think this? Do you have any understanding of it? Do you not want to explain your understanding? (The philosophies of Satan and the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius are deeply ingrained in our minds, so we feel these corrupt us very deeply.) Those of you who think it is knowledge, can you explain why? Speak your reasons. (Knowledge can never let us worship God. It denies the existence of God, and denies the rule of God. That is, knowledge tells us to study from a young age, and that only through studying and gaining knowledge is our future and destiny assured. In this way it corrupts us.) So Satan uses knowledge to control your future and destiny, then it leads you along by the nose; this is how you think Satan corrupts man most deeply. So most of you think Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man most deeply. Are there any others? What about science or social trends, for example? Does anyone agree with these? (Yes.) Today I will fellowship again about the five ways in which Satan corrupts man and, once I am finished, I will still ask you some questions to see in exactly which aspect Satan corrupts man most deeply. You understand this topic, don’t you?
Satan’s corruption of man primarily manifests in five aspects; these five aspects are the five ways in which Satan corrupts man. The first of these five ways we mentioned is knowledge, so let us first take knowledge as the topic for fellowship. Satan uses knowledge as bait. Listen closely: It is just a type of bait. People are enticed to “study hard and improve every day,” to arm themselves with knowledge, as with a weapon, then to use knowledge to open the gateway to science; in other words, the more knowledge you gain, the more you will understand. Satan tells people all this. Satan tells people to foster lofty ideals as well, at the same time as they are learning knowledge, telling them to have ambitions and ideals. Unbeknownst to people, Satan conveys many messages like this, causing people to unconsciously feel that these things are correct, or beneficial. Unknowingly, people walk this kind of road, unknowingly led onward by their own ideals and ambitions. Step by step, people unknowingly learn from the knowledge given by Satan the thinking of great or famous people, and accept these ideas. They also learn one thing after another from the deeds of some whom people regard as “heroes.” You may know some of what Satan is advocating for man in the deeds of these “heroes,” or what it wants to instill in man. What does Satan instill in man? Man must be patriotic, have national integrity, and be heroic. What does man learn from some historical stories or from some biographies of heroic figures? To have a sense of personal loyalty, or to do anything for one’s pal or for a friend. Within this knowledge of Satan, man unknowingly learns many things, and learns many nonpositive things. In the midst of unawareness, seeds prepared for them by Satan are planted in their immature minds. These seeds make them feel that they ought to be great people, ought to be famous, ought to be heroes, to be patriotic, be people who love their families, or be people who will do anything for a friend and have a sense of personal loyalty. Seduced by Satan, they unknowingly walk the road it has prepared for them. As they walk this road, they are forced to accept Satan’s rules of living. Unknowingly and themselves completely unaware, they develop their own rules of living, when these are nothing more than Satan’s rules forcefully instilled in them. During the learning process, Satan causes them to foster their own goals, to determine their own life goals, rules of living, and direction in life, all the while instilling in them things of Satan, using stories, using biographies, using all means possible to get people to, little by little, take the bait. In this way, people develop their own hobbies and pursuits during the course of their learning: Some come to like literature, some economics, some astronomy or geography. Then there are some who come to like politics, some who like physics, some chemistry, and even some who like theology. These are all a part of knowledge and you have all come into contact with them. In your hearts, each of you know how it goes with these things, each one has had contact with them before. Regarding these kinds of knowledge, anyone can talk endlessly about a certain one of them. And so it is clear how deeply this knowledge has entered the mind of man, it shows the position occupied by this knowledge in man’s mind and how deep an effect it has on man. Once someone likes a facet of knowledge, when in their heart a person has fallen deeply in love with one, they then unknowingly develop ideals: Some people want to be authors, some want to be writers, some want to make a career out of politics, and some want to engage in economics and become business people. Then there is a group of people who want to be heroes, to be great or famous. Regardless of what kind of person someone wants to be, their goal is to take this method of learning knowledge and use it for their own ends, to realize their own desires, their own ideals. No matter how good it sounds—they want to achieve their dreams, to not live this life in vain, or they want to engage in a career—they foster these lofty ideals and ambitions but, essentially, what is it all for? Have you thought of this before? Why does Satan want to do this? What is Satan’s purpose, instilling these things in man? Your hearts must be clear on this question.
Now let us talk about how Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man. From what we have talked about so far, have you begun to recognize Satan’s sinister motives? (A little.) Why does Satan use knowledge to corrupt man? What does it want to do to man using knowledge? Lead man to follow what kind of road? (To resist God.) It certainly is to resist God. This is the effect you can see of people learning knowledge, and the consequence you see after the learning of knowledge—resistance of God. So what are Satan’s sinister motives? You aren’t clear, are you? During the process of man’s learning of knowledge, Satan will employ any method so people satisfy their own lusts and realize their own ideals. Are you clear on exactly what road Satan wants to lead you to? Putting it mildly, people think there is nothing wrong with learning knowledge, that it is the natural course. They think that to foster lofty ideals or to have ambitions is just called having aspirations, and that this should be the right road for people to follow in life. If people can realize their own ideals, or make a go of a career in life—is it not more glorious to live that way? To not only honor one’s ancestors in that way but to also leave one’s mark on history—is this not a good thing? This is a good and proper thing in the eyes of worldly people. Does Satan, however, with its sinister motives, take people to this kind of road and then decide it is done? Certainly not. In fact, no matter how lofty man’s ideals are, no matter how realistic man’s desires are or how proper they may be, all that man wants to achieve, all that man seeks for is inextricably linked with two words. These two words are vitally important to the life of every person, and these are things Satan intends to instill in man. Which two words are these? One is “fame” and one is “gain”: They are fame and gain. Satan uses a very subtle kind of way, a way very much in concert with people’s notions; it is not any kind of radical way. In the midst of unawareness, people come to accept Satan’s way of living, its rules of living, establishing life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ideals in life. No matter how high-sounding these ideals in life seem, they are just a pretext that is inextricably linked to fame and gain. Any great or famous person, all people in fact, anything they follow in life relates only to these two words: “fame” and “gain.” Is this not so? (Yes.) People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. Once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them in their pleasure-seeking and unscrupulous enjoyment of the flesh. People willingly, albeit unknowingly, take their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies and hand them all over to Satan in order to attain the fame and gain they desire. People do this without ever a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover it all. Can people still have any control over themselves once they go over to the side of Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They are also completely and utterly unable to free themselves from the quagmire they have sunk down into. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great, and they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true? Some people will say that learning knowledge is nothing more than reading books or learning a few things that they do not already know, saying they do this so as not to be behind the times or not to be left behind by the world. They will say that knowledge is only learned so they can put food on the table, for their own future or for the basic necessities. Now can you tell Me whether there is any person who will endure a decade of hard study just for the basic necessities, just to resolve the issue of food? (No, there is not.) There are no people like this! So what is it that he suffers these hardships and suffers all these years for? It is for fame and gain: Fame and gain are waiting up ahead for him, calling him, and he believes only through his own diligence, hardships and struggle can he follow that road and thereby attain fame and gain. He must suffer these hardships for his own future path, for his future enjoyment and a better life. Can you tell Me what on earth this so-called knowledge really is? Is it not rules of living and a road through life instilled in people by Satan, taught to them by Satan in the course of their learning knowledge? Is it not life’s lofty ideals instilled into man by Satan? Take, for example, the ideas of great people, the integrity of the famous or the brave spirit of heroic figures, or take the chivalry and kindness of the protagonists and swordsmen in martial arts novels; these ideas are influencing one generation after another, and the people of each generation are brought to accept these ideas, to live for these ideas and to pursue them endlessly. This is the way, the channel, in which Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man. So after Satan has led people to the road of fame and gain, is it still possible for them to believe in God, to worship Him? (No, it is not.) Do the knowledge and rules for living instilled in man by Satan contain any thought of worshiping God? Do they hold any thought that belongs to the truth? (No, they do not.) Do they contain any reality of fearing God and shunning evil? (No, they do not.) You seem to speak a little uncertainly, but no matter. Seek out the truth in all things and you will get the right answers; only with the right answers can you then walk the right road.
Let us briefly recap again: What does Satan use to keep man penned in and controlled? (Fame and gain.) So Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts until all they can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision to both maintain and obtain fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds man with invisible shackles. These shackles are borne on people’s bodies, and they have not the strength nor courage to throw them off. So people trudge ever onward in great difficulty, unknowingly bearing these shackles. For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind becomes estranged from God and betrays Him. With each passing generation, mankind becomes more and more wicked, more and more darkened, and so in this way one generation after another is destroyed in the fame and gain of Satan. Looking now at Satan’s actions, what exactly are its sinister motives? It’s clear now, isn’t it? Is Satan not abominable? (Yes!) Maybe today you still cannot see through Satan’s sinister motives because you think that there is no life without fame and gain. You think that, if people leave fame and gain behind, then they will no longer be able to see the way ahead, no longer be able to see their goals, their future becomes dark, dim and gloomy. But, slowly, you will all one day recognize that fame and gain are monstrous shackles that Satan uses to bind man. Until the day you come to recognize this, you will thoroughly resist Satan’s control and thoroughly resist the shackles Satan brings to bind you. When the time comes for you to wish to throw off all the things Satan has instilled in you, you will then make a clean break with Satan and will also truly loathe all that Satan has brought to you. Only then will you have a real love and yearning for God; only then can you walk the right road of life in pursuit of the truth.