God’s Holiness (III) Part Three
I know that a lot of people now are expecting Me to say what exactly the holiness of God is, but when I talk about the holiness of God I will first talk about the deeds God does. You should all listen attentively, then I will ask you what exactly the holiness of God is. I will not tell you directly, but instead let you try to figure it out, give you room to figure it out. What do you think of this method? (It’s good.) So listen carefully.
Whenever Satan corrupts man or engages in unbridled harm, God does not stand idly by, neither does He brush aside or turn a blind eye to those He has chosen. All that Satan does is perfectly clear and understood by God. No matter what Satan does, no matter what trend it causes to arise, God knows all that Satan is trying to do, and God does not give up on those He has chosen. Instead, without attracting any attention, secretly, silently, God does everything that is necessary. When He begins work on someone, when He has chosen someone, He does not proclaim it to anyone, nor does He proclaim it to Satan, much less make any grand gesture. He just very quietly, very naturally does what is necessary. First, He selects a family for you; what kind of background the family has, who your parents are, who your ancestors are—all this was already decided by God. In other words, these were not spur of the moment decisions made by Him, but rather this was a work begun long ago. Once God has chosen a family for you, He also chooses the date on which you will be born. Presently, God watches as you are born crying into the world, watches your birth, watches as you utter your first words, watches as you stumble and toddle your first steps, learning how to walk. First you take one step and then you take another … now you can run, now you can jump, now you can talk, now you can express your feelings. During this time, as you grow up, Satan’s gaze is fixed on each of you, like a tiger eyeing its prey. But in doing His work, God has never suffered any limitations of people, events or things, of space or time; He does what He should and does what He must. In the process of growing up, you may encounter many things that are not to your liking, encounter illnesses and frustrations. But as you walk this road, your life and your future are strictly under God’s care. God gives you a genuine guarantee to last all your life, for He is right there beside you, guarding you and looking after you. Unaware of this, you grow up. You begin to come into contact with new things and start to get to know this world and this mankind. Everything is fresh and new to you. You like doing your own thing and you like doing what you like. You live within your own humanity, you live within your own living space and you have not the slightest perception about the existence of God. But God watches you every step of the way as you grow, and watches you as you make every forward stride. Even when you are learning knowledge, or studying science, not for one step has God ever left your side. You are just the same as other people in that, in the course of getting to know and coming into contact with the world, you have established your own ideals, you have your own hobbies, your own interests, and you also harbor lofty ambitions. You often ponder your own future, often sketching the outline of how your future should look. But no matter what happens along the way, God sees all with clear eyes. Maybe you yourself have forgotten your own past, but to God, there is no one who can understand you better than He. You live under God’s eye, growing up, maturing. During this period, God’s most important task is something that no one ever perceives, something no one knows. God certainly does not tell you about it. So what is this most crucial thing? Do you know? (Bringing people before Him.) So what does God do to bring people before Him? At what time does He bring people before Him? Do you know? Is this God’s main task? Is this the most important thing God does? We can say that it is a guarantee that God will save a person. This means that God wants to save this person, so He must do this, and this task is vitally important to both man and God. Do you know this? It seems like you do not have any feeling about this, or any concept of it, so I will tell you. From the time you were born all the way up to now, God has carried out much work on you, but He did not tell you every time He did something. You were not to know, so you were not told, right? (Yes.) To man, everything He does is important. To God, it is something He must do. But in His heart there is something important He needs to do that far exceeds any of these things. What is that? That is, from the time you were born up to now, God must guarantee the safety of each one of you. You may feel as though you do not fully understand, saying “Is this safety so important?” So what is the literal meaning of “safety”? Maybe you understand it to mean peace or maybe you understand it to mean never experiencing any disaster or calamity, to live well, to live a normal life. But in your hearts you must know that it is not that simple. So what on earth is this thing that I have been talking about, that God has to do? What does it mean to God? Is it really a guarantee of your safety? Just like right now? No. So what is it that God does? This safety means you not being devoured by Satan. Is this important? You are not devoured by Satan, so does this concern your safety, or not? This does concern your personal safety, and there can be nothing more important. Once you have been devoured by Satan, neither your soul nor your flesh belongs to God any longer. God will no longer save you. God forsakes souls like that and forsakes people like that. So I say the most important thing that God has to do is to guarantee your safety, to guarantee that you will not be devoured by Satan. This is pretty important, isn’t it? So why can you not answer? Seems like you cannot feel God’s great kindness!
God does much more besides guaranteeing people’s safety, guaranteeing that they will not be devoured by Satan; He also does a great deal of work in preparation for choosing someone and for saving them. Firstly, what kind of character you have, what kind of family you will be born into, who your parents are, how many brothers and sisters you have, what your family situation and economic status are, what the conditions of your family are—this is all painstakingly arranged for you by God. Do you know what kind of family God’s chosen people are mostly born into, as far as most people are concerned? Are they prominent families? There may be some. We cannot say for sure that there are none, but they are very few. Are they families of exceptional wealth, such as billionaires or multimillionaires? They are almost never this kind of family. So what kind of family does God most arrange for people? (Ordinary families.) So which families are ordinary families? They are predominantly working families and farming families. Workers rely on their salary to live and can afford the basic necessities. They will not allow you to go hungry in any case, but you cannot expect to have all your material needs met. Farmers rely on planting crops for their food, they have grain to eat and, come what may, you will not go hungry, but you cannot have very nice clothes. Then there are some families that are engaged in business or who run small businesses, and some where the parents are intellectuals, and these can also be counted as ordinary families. There are also some parents who are office workers or minor government officials at most, who cannot be counted as being prominent families either. More people are born into ordinary families, and this is all arranged by God. That is to say, first of all this environment that you live in is not the family of substantial means that you imagine, but rather this is a family decided on for you by God, and the majority of people will live within the limits of this kind of family; we will not discuss the exceptions here. So what about social status? The economic conditions of the majority of parents are average and they don’t have high social status—for them it is good just to have a job. Are there any who are governors? Are there any who are presidents? (No.) At most they are people such as small business managers or small-time bosses, all with average social status, all living in average economic conditions. Another factor is the family living environment. First of all, there are no parents who would clearly influence their children into walking the path of divination and fortune telling; these are also very few. Most parents are pretty normal and are similar to you. God sets up this kind of environment for people at the same time as choosing them, and it is greatly beneficial to His work in saving people. From the outside, it looks like God has done nothing earthshaking for man; He just does everything secretly, humbly and in silence. But in fact, all that God does is done to lay a foundation for your salvation, to prepare the road ahead and to prepare all necessary conditions for your salvation. Straight away at each person’s specified time, God brings them back before Him—when the time comes for you to hear God’s voice, that is the time you come before Him. At the time this happens, some people have already become parents themselves, whilst others are just somebody’s child. In other words, some people have gotten married and had children whilst some are still single, not yet having started their own families. But regardless of people’s situations, God has already set the times when you will be chosen and when His gospel and words will reach you. God has set the circumstances, decided on a certain person or a certain context through which the gospel will be passed onto you, so that you may hear the words of God. God has already prepared for you all the necessary conditions so that, unknowingly, you come before Him and are returned to God’s family. You also unknowingly follow God and enter into His step-by-step work, entering into God’s way of work that He has, step by step, prepared for you. The very least of all that God does and gives to man at this time is first and foremost the care and protection that man enjoys, and this is indeed real. So what kinds of ways does God use? God sets out various people and things so that man may see His existence and His deeds within them. For example, there are some people who believe in God because someone in their family is sick, and they say “One of my family is sick, whatever shall I do?” Some people then say “Believe in Jesus!” So they start believing in God, and this belief in God has come about because of the situation. So who arranged this situation? (God.) By means of this situation they turn to God. There are some families like this where all are believers, young and old, while there are some where belief is individual. So you tell Me, what does the believer obtain from God? Apparently illness befalls, but it is in fact a condition bestowed on him so that he comes before God—this is the kindness of God. Because the family life of some people is tough and they can find no peace, a chance opportunity comes along where someone will pass on the gospel and will say “Your family has it tough. Believe in Jesus. Believe in Jesus and you will have peace.” Unconsciously, this person then comes to believe in God under very natural circumstances, so is this not a type of condition? (Yes.) And is his family not being at peace a grace granted him by God? (Yes.) There are then some who come to believe in God for other reasons, but no matter what reason brings you to believe in Him, it is all actually arranged and guided by God, without a doubt.
At first, God employed various ways to choose you and to bring you into His family. This is the first thing He does and is a grace He grants to each and every person. Now with God’s work in the last days, He no longer just bestows grace and blessings on man like He did in the beginning, nor does He coax people onward—this is because of the foundation of the work in the Age of Grace. During the work of these last days, what has man seen from all the aspects of God’s work that they have experienced? They have not only seen God’s love, but also God’s judgment and chastisement. At this time, God furthermore provides, supports, enlightens and guides man, so that they gradually come to know His intentions, know the words He speaks and the truth He bestows on man. When man is weak, when they are dispirited, when they have nowhere to turn, God will use His words to comfort, advise and encourage them, so that man of small stature can gradually find their strength, rise up in positivity and become willing to cooperate with God. But when man disobeys God or resists Him, or when they reveal their own corruption and oppose God, God will show no mercy in chastening them and disciplining them. To man’s foolishness, ignorance, weakness and immaturity, however, God will show tolerance and patience. In this way, through all the work God does for man, man gradually matures, grows up, and comes to know God’s intentions, to know some truth, to know what are positive things and what are negative things, to know what evil is and what darkness is. God does not always chasten and discipline man, nor does He always show tolerance and patience. Rather He provides for each person in different ways, at their different stages and according to their different statures and caliber. He does many things for man and at great cost; man perceives nothing of this cost or these things God does, yet all that He does is in reality carried out on every single person. God’s love is real: Through the grace of God man avoids one disaster after another, whilst to man’s weakness, God shows His tolerance time after time. The judgment and chastisement of God allows people to gradually come to know mankind’s corruption and their corrupt satanic essence. That which God provides, His enlightenment of man and His guidance all allow mankind to know more and more the essence of truth, and to increasingly know what people need, what road they should take, what they live for, the value and meaning of their lives, and how to walk the road ahead. All these things that God does are inseparable from His one original purpose. What, then, is this purpose? Do you know? Why does God use these ways to carry out His work on man? What result does He want to achieve? In other words, what does He want to see in man and get from them? What God wants to see is that man’s heart can be revived. In other words, these ways that He uses to work on man are to continually awaken the heart of man, awaken man’s spirit, letting man know where they came from, who is guiding them, supporting them, providing for them, and who has allowed man to live up till now; they are to let man know who is the Creator, whom they should worship, what kind of road they should walk, and in what way man should come before God; they are used to gradually revive the heart of man, so man knows God’s heart, understands God’s heart, and comprehends the great care and thought behind His work to save man. When man’s heart is revived, they no longer wish to live the life of a degenerate, corrupt disposition, but instead wish to seek out the truth in the satisfaction of God. When man’s heart has been awakened, they are then able to make a clean break with Satan, no longer to be harmed by Satan, no longer to be controlled or fooled by it. Instead, man can cooperate in God’s work and in His words in a positive way to satisfy the heart of God, thus attaining fearing God and shunning evil. This is the original purpose of God’s work.
Talking about the evil of Satan just now made everyone feel as though people live so unhappily and that the life of man is beset with misfortune. But how do you feel now that I have talked about the holiness of God and the work that He performs on man? (Very happy.) We can see now that everything God does, all that He painstakingly arranges for man is immaculate. Everything God does is without error, meaning it is faultless, needing no one to correct, give advice or make any change. All that God does for every individual is beyond doubt; He leads everyone by the hand, looks after you at every moment and has never left your side. As people grow up in this kind of an environment and grow up with this kind of background, could we say that people in fact grow up in the palm of God’s hand? (Yes.) So now do you still feel a sense of loss? (No.) Does anyone still feel dispirited? (No.) So does anyone feel that God has forsaken mankind? (No.) So what on earth has God done then? (He keeps mankind.) The great thought and care behind everything God does is beyond question. What is more, while God carries out this work, He has never laid any condition or requirement on anyone to know the price He pays for them, so they therefore feel deeply grateful to Him. Has God ever done anything like this before? (No.) Throughout your long lives, basically every individual has encountered many dangerous situations and undergone many temptations. This is because Satan is right there beside you, its eyes fixed on you constantly. It likes it when disaster strikes you, when calamities befall you, when nothing goes right for you, and likes it when you are caught in Satan’s net. As for God, He is protecting you constantly, keeping you from one misfortune after another and from one disaster after another. This is why I say that everything man has—peace and joy, blessings and personal safety—is in fact all under God’s control, and He guides and decides the life and fate of every individual. But does God have an inflated notion of His position, as some people say? Telling you “I am the greatest of all, it is I that take charge of you, you must all beg Me for mercy and disobedience will be punished by death.” Has God ever threatened mankind in this way? (No.) Has He ever said “Mankind is corrupt so it does not matter how I treat them, any arbitrary treatment will do; I do not need to arrange things very well for them.” Does God think this way? (No.) So has God acted in this way? (No.) On the contrary, God’s treatment of each and every person is earnest and responsible, more responsible even than you are to yourself. Is this not so? God does not speak idly, neither does He stand on high putting on airs nor does He make do with fooling people. Instead He is honestly and silently doing the things He Himself needs to do. These things bring blessings, peace and joy to man, they bring man peacefully and happily before the sight of God and into His family and they bring to man the right reason, right thinking, right judgment and the right frame of mind they need to come before God and receive God’s salvation. So has God ever been duplicitous with man in His work? (No.) Has He ever shown a false display of kindness, placating man with a few pleasantries, then turned His back on man? (No.) Has God ever said one thing and then done another? (No.) Has God ever made empty promises and boasted, telling you He can do this for you or help do that for you, and then vanished? (No.) There is no craftiness in God, no falsity. God is faithful and everything He does is both true and real. He is the only thing that people can count on and the only thing that people can entrust their lives and their all to. As there is no craftiness in God, could we say that God is the most sincere? (Yes.) Of course we can, right? Although, talking about this word now, when applied to God it is too feeble, too humanized, there is nothing we can do about it as these are the limits of human language. It is slightly improper here to call God sincere, but we will use this word for the time being. God is faithful and sincere, isn’t He? (Yes.) So what do we mean by talking about these aspects? Do we mean the differences between God and man and the differences between God and Satan? We can say this because man cannot see one trace of Satan’s corrupt disposition in God. Am I correct in saying this? Can I get an Amen for this? (Amen!) We see none of Satan’s evil revealed in God. All that God does and reveals is wholly beneficial and helpful for man, is wholly done to provide for man, is full of life and gives man a road to follow and a direction to take. God is not corrupt and, furthermore, looking now at everything God does, can we say that God is holy? (Yes.) As God has none of the corruption of mankind and has nothing even remotely like the corrupt disposition of mankind or the essence of Satan, from this point of view we can say that God is holy. God reveals no corruption, and the revelation of His own essence in His work is all the confirmation we need that God Himself is holy. Do you see this now? That is to say, to know God’s holy essence, for the time being let us look at these two aspects: 1) There is no corrupt disposition in God; 2) the essence of God’s work on man allows man to see God’s own essence and this essence is both entirely positive and entirely real. For what are the things that every manner of God’s work brings to man? They are all positive things, they are all love, all truth and all reality. Firstly, God requires man to be honest—isn’t this positive? God gives man wisdom—isn’t this positive? God makes man able to discern between good and evil—isn’t this positive? He allows man to understand the meaning and value of human life—isn’t this positive? He allows man to see into the essence of people and things in accordance with truth—isn’t this positive? (Yes.) And the result of all this is that man is no longer deceived by Satan, no longer to continue to be harmed by Satan or controlled by it. In other words, they allow people to completely free themselves from the corruption of Satan, and therefore gradually walk the path of fearing God and shunning evil. How far have you already walked on this path now? It is hard to say, isn’t it? But at the very least do you now have an initial understanding of how Satan corrupts man, which things are evil and which things are negative? (Yes.) With this initial understanding, you are at the very least now walking the right path, have begun to know the truth, to see life’s light, and so your faith in God is greater.
We will finish now talking about the holiness of God, so who among you, from all that you have heard and received, can say what the holiness of God is? What does the holiness of God that I talk about refer to? Think about it for a second. What is the holiness of God? Is the truthfulness of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the faithfulness of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the selflessness of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the humility of God His holiness? (Yes.) Is the love of God for man His holiness? (Yes.) God freely bestows truth and life on man—is this His holiness? (Yes.) All this that God reveals is unique; it does not exist within corrupt humanity, nor can it be seen there. Not the slightest trace of it can be seen during the process of Satan’s corruption of man, neither in the corrupt disposition of Satan nor in the essence or nature of Satan. So all that God has and is is unique and only God Himself has this kind of essence, only God Himself possesses this kind of essence. Having discussed this so far, have any of you seen anyone this holy in mankind? (No.) So is there anyone this holy amongst the famous people, the great people and the idols you worship in mankind? (No.) There is absolutely no one who can be called holy! The so-called “saints” of the unbelievers are all hypocritical charlatans and are the most cunning, the most insidious devil Satan. This is nothing less than the absolute truth. We can only say now that God alone is truly holy, that God’s holiness is unique and only He can embody this in name as well as in truth. Furthermore, there is also its practical side. Is there any discrepancy between the holiness I speak of now and the holiness that you previously thought of and imagined? (Yes.) Then how big is this discrepancy? (Very big!) Using your own words, what do people often mean when they talk about holiness? (Some external behavior.) Behavior or when describing something, they say it is holy. So is this description of “holiness” a theory? It is just something that looks clean and pretty, something that looks or sounds good to people, nothing with any real substance of holiness. There is nothing real about what people imagine holiness to be. Besides this, what exactly does the “holiness” people think of refer to? Is it what they imagine or judge it to be? For example, some Buddhists pass away whilst practicing, departing while they sit there asleep. Some people say they are holy and have flown to heaven. This is also a kind of imagination. Then there are some who think that a fairy floating down from heaven is holy. There are also some who think that never to marry, to eat and dress poorly and to suffer all one’s life is holy. Actually, people’s concept of the word “holy” has always been just a kind of hollow imagination and theory with fundamentally no real substance to it, and moreover nothing to do with the essence of holiness. The essence of holiness is true love, but more than this it is the essence of truth, righteousness and light. The word “holy” is only appropriate when applied to God; nothing in creation can be worthy to be called holy. Man must understand that. To not know what true holiness is is to not know God. Only God is holy, and this is an incontrovertible truth.