God’s Holiness (III) Part Four
Let us go back to talk about what means Satan employs to corrupt man. We have just talked about the various ways in which God works on man which every one of you can experience for yourselves, so I will not go into too much detail. But in your hearts you are perhaps hazy about the means Satan employs to corrupt man, or at the very least it is lacking in detail, so it will benefit you to talk about it. Do you want to understand it? (Yes.) Maybe some of you will ask: “Why talk about Satan again? We have already seen that Satan is evil and we loathe Satan already, so can Satan still corrupt us?” In fact, although you may loathe Satan, you do not see completely through it. There are some things you still need to face, otherwise you cannot really break away from the influence of Satan.
We have previously discussed the five ways in which Satan corrupts man, haven’t we? Within these five ways are the means it employs, which man must see through. The ways in which Satan corrupts man are just a kind of cover; most insidious are the means hiding behind this façade and it wants to use these means to achieve its goals. What are these means? Summarize them for Me. (It cheats, seduces and threatens.) The more you list, the closer you get. It looks as though you have been deeply harmed by it and have strong feelings on the subject. (It also uses sweet talk and lies, it influences, deceives and forcefully occupies.) Forcefully occupies—this gives an extremely deep impression, doesn’t it? People are afraid of Satan’s forceful occupation. Any others? (It violently harms people, uses both threats and inducements, and it lies.) Lies are the substance of its actions and it lies in order to cheat you. What is the nature of lying? Is lying not the same as cheating? The goal of telling lies is in fact to cheat you. Any others? Speak out. Tell Me all the ones that you know of. (It induces, harms, blinds and deceives.) Most of you feel the same way about this deception, don’t you? (It uses fawning flattery, controls man, takes hold of man, terrorizes man and keeps man from believing in God.) I pretty much know what you mean and they are all similarly good. You all know something about this, so let us now summarize them.
There are six primary means that Satan employs to corrupt man.
The first is control and coercion. That is, Satan will do everything possible to take control of your heart. What does “coercion” mean? (It means compulsion.) It threatens you and forces you to heed it, making you think of the consequences if you do not obey. You are afraid and dare not defy it, so you then have no choice but to be under its influence.
The second is cheating and tricking. What does “cheating and tricking” entail? Satan makes up some stories and lies, tricking you into believing them. It never tells you that man was created by God, but neither does it say directly that you were not made by God. It does not use the word “God” at all, but instead uses something else as a substitute, using this thing to deceive you so that you basically have no idea of the existence of God, and it never allows you to know just who God really is. This tricking of course includes many aspects, not just this one.
The third is forceful indoctrination. Is there forceful indoctrination? (Yes.) Forceful indoctrination of what? Is forceful indoctrination done by man’s own choice? Is it done with man’s consent? (No.) It does not matter if you do not consent to it. In your unawareness it pours into you, instilling in you Satan’s thinking, its rules of life and its evil essence. In fact, all that Satan instills in you are lies, specious fallacies and are indeed heresies and fallacies that Satan uses to corrupt man. These satanic poisons are planted in people’s brains and in their minds, and this truly does brainwash people. Once someone has accepted these satanic poisons, they become neither man nor ghost, without one shred of humanity.
The fourth is threats and inducements. That is, Satan employs various means so that you accept it, follow it, work in its service; it tries to achieve its goals by any means necessary. It sometimes bestows small favors on you but still lures you into committing sin. If you do not follow it, it will make you suffer and punish you and it will use various ways to attack and ensnare you.
The fifth is deception and paralysis. “Deception and paralysis” is that Satan makes up some sweet-sounding statements and ideas that are in concert with people’s conceptions to make it seem as though it is taking people’s flesh into consideration or thinking about their lives and futures, when actually it is just to fool you. It then paralyzes you so that you do not know what is right and what is wrong, so that you unknowingly follow its road and thereby come under its control.
The sixth is the destruction of body and mind. Satan destroys man’s what? (Their mind, their whole being.) Satan destroys your mind, making you powerless to resist, meaning that very slowly your heart turns toward Satan in spite of yourself. It instills these things in you every day, every day using these ideas and cultures to influence and nurture you, very slowly ruining your will, making you not want to be a good person any longer, making you no longer wish to persevere standing up for what you call righteousness. Unknowingly, you no longer have the willpower to swim upstream against the tide, but instead flow down along with it. “Destruction” means Satan torments people so much that they become like neither man nor ghost, then it seizes the opportunity to devour them.
Each one of these means that Satan employs to corrupt man can render man powerless to resist; any one of them can be fatal for people and leave them with no room to resist at all. In other words, anything Satan does and any means it employs can cause you to degenerate, can bring you under Satan’s control and can mire you in a quagmire of evil so that you cannot escape. These are the means Satan employs to corrupt man and they are extremely cruel, malicious, insidious and despicable. Everyone has personally tasted the bitterness of these means, so man’s heart can then hate Satan bitterly and resolve to rebel against this evil demon.
We can say Satan is evil, but in order to confirm it we must look at what the consequences of Satan’s corruption of man are and which dispositions and essences it brings to man. You all know some of this, so speak about it. Once Satan has corrupted man, which satanic dispositions do they express and reveal? (Arrogant and haughty, selfish and despicable, crooked and crafty, insidious and malicious, and with no humanity.) On the whole, we can say they have no humanity, right? Let other brothers and sisters speak. (Arrogant, crafty, malicious, selfish, greedy, superficial, false.) Don’t say what is revealed by some aspect’s disposition; you must say what the essence of that disposition is. You understand? (Once man has been corrupted by Satan, they are most typically arrogant and conceited, proud and haughty, greedy and selfish. These are the most serious.) (After man has been corrupted by Satan, they act unscrupulously both materially and spiritually. They then become hostile to God, resist God, disobey God, and they lose the conscience and reason that man should have.) What you have said is all basically the same with only minor differences, with some of you concerned more with minor details. To summarize, “arrogant” has been the word most often mentioned—arrogant, crafty, malicious and selfish. But you have all overlooked the same thing. People with no conscience, who have lost their reason and who have no humanity—there is yet something just as important that none of you have said. So what is that? (Betraying.) Correct! No one had said “Betraying.” The ultimate consequence of these dispositions that exist in any man once they have been corrupted by Satan is their betrayal of God and their no longer recognizing Him. No matter what God says to man or what work He does on them, they do not acknowledge what they know to be the truth, and it can be seen that they no longer recognize God and they betray Him: This is the consequence of Satan’s corruption of man and it is the same for all the corrupt dispositions of man. Among the ways Satan uses to corrupt man—the knowledge man learns, the science they know, the superstitions, traditional cultures and social trends they comprehend—is there any that man can use to tell what is righteous and what is unrighteous? Are there any standards to work from here? (No.) Is there anything that can help man to know what is holy and what is evil? (No.) There are no standards and no foundation that can help man. Even if people know the word “holy,” there is no one who actually knows what is holy. So can these things that Satan brings to man allow them to know the truth? They can never allow man to know the truth. Can they allow man to live with increasing humanity? Can they allow man to live in increasing understanding of how to truly worship God? (No.) It is obvious that they cannot allow man to worship God, nor can they allow man to know what holiness and evil are. Conversely, man becomes more and more degenerate, further and further from God, more and more evil, more and more perverted. This is the core reason behind why we say Satan is evil. Having dissected so many of Satan’s evil qualities, have you seen Satan have any element of holiness either in its qualities or in your understanding of its essence? (No.) That’s for sure, isn’t it? So have you seen any essence of Satan that shares any similarity with God? (No.) Does any expression of Satan share any similarity with God? (No.) So now I want to ask you, using your own words, what exactly is the holiness of God? First of all, what is the holiness of God said in connection with? Is it said in connection with the essence of God? Or is it said in connection with some aspect of His disposition? (It is said in connection with the essence of God.) We must gain a clear foothold in our desired topic. It is said in connection with the essence of God. First of all, we have used Satan’s evil as a foil to the essence of God, so have you seen any of Satan’s essence in God? (No.) What about any of mankind’s essence? (No.) Someone tell Me. (The holiness of God is unique, it is faithful, sincere and there is no corrupt disposition in God. God is entirely positive, as is everything He brings to man.) (All of God’s essence is positive, all that He reveals is for the salvation of man and for man to live out a normal human likeness. It is so He can truly protect man and so that man can live out normal humanity.) Is it only to live out normal humanity? (It is so man can truly know the truth; His holiness is His true love and salvation of mankind.) (All that is revealed by the essence of God is positive. God’s truthfulness, His faithfulness, His selflessness, His humility and His love for mankind all express the essence of the holiness of God.) (God is not arrogant, not selfish and does not betray, and in this aspect the holy essence of God is also seen to be revealed.) Mm. Any others to add? (God has no trace of the corrupt disposition of Satan. What Satan has is entirely negative, while what God has is nothing but positive. We can see that God is always by our side. From when we were very small up to now, especially when we had lost our way, He was always there, watching over us and keeping us safe. There is no craftiness in God, no deceit. He speaks clearly and plainly, and this is also the true essence of God.) Very good! (We can see none of the corrupt disposition of Satan in the work of God, no duplicity, no boasting, no empty promises and no craftiness. God is the only thing that man can believe in and God’s work is faithful and sincere. From the work of God we can see God telling people to be honest, to have wisdom, to be able to tell good from evil and to have discernment. In this we can see God’s holiness.) Any others to add? Have you finished? (Yes.) Are you satisfied with what you have said? Exactly how much understanding is really in your hearts? And how much do you comprehend the holiness of God? I know that each and every one of you has in your heart some level of perceptual understanding, because every individual can feel God’s work on them and, in varying degrees, they obtain many things from God; they obtain grace and blessings, they are enlightened and illuminated, and they receive God’s judgment and chastisement so that man may have some simple understanding of the essence of God.
Although the “holiness of God” that we are discussing today may seem strange to most people, irrespective of how it may seem we have begun this topic, and you will have a deeper understanding as you walk your road ahead. It requires you to gradually come to feel and understand from within your own experience. Now your perceptual understanding of God’s essence still requires a long period of time to learn, to confirm, to feel and to experience it, until one day you will know the holiness of God from the very center of your heart to be the flawless essence of God, the selfless love of God, which is the selfless love of all God bestows on man, and you will come to know that God’s holiness is unblemished and irreproachable. These essences of God are not just words He uses to show off His identity, but instead God uses His essence to silently and sincerely deal with each and every individual. In other words, the essence of God is not empty, nor is it theoretical or doctrinal and is certainly not a kind of knowledge. It is not a kind of education for man, but instead is the true revelation of God’s own actions and is the revealed essence of what God has and is. Man should know this essence and comprehend it, as everything God does and every word He says is of great value and great significance to every single person. When you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really believe in God; when you come to comprehend the holiness of God, you can then really realize the true meaning of the words “God Himself, the Unique.” You will no longer imagine that you can choose to walk other roads, and you will no longer be willing to betray everything that God has arranged for you. Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk the bright, right road through life; only through God can you know the meaning of life, only through God can you live out a real life, possess the truth, know the truth, and only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer: This is determined by the essence of God. Only God Himself saves you so selflessly, only God is ultimately responsible for your future, for your destiny and for your life, and He arranges all things for you. This is something that nothing created or non-created can achieve. Because nothing created or non-created possesses an essence of God such as this, no person or thing has the ability to save you or to lead you. This is the importance of God’s essence to man. Perhaps you feel that these words I have said may indeed help a little in principle. But if you seek the truth, if you love the truth, in your experience hereafter these words will not only change your destiny, but more so will bring you to the right road through life. You understand this, don’t you? (Yes.) So do you now have some interest in recognizing the essence of God? (Yes.) It’s good to be interested. We will finish here discussing our topic today on recognizing the holiness of God.
I would like to talk to you about something that you did that surprised Me at the start of our gathering today. Some of you were perhaps harboring a sense of gratitude just now, or feeling thankful, and so you wanted to express physically what you had in your minds. This is beyond reproach, and is neither right nor wrong. But what is it that I would like to tell you? What you did is not wrong and I do not wish to reproach you in any way. I would like you to understand something. What is this? First I would like to ask you about what you did just now. Was it prostrating or kneeling to worship? Can anyone tell Me? (We believe it was prostrating. We prostrate this way.) You believe it was prostrating, so what then is the meaning of prostration? (Worship.) So what is kneeling to worship then? The reason I did not mention this to you straight away is because our topic for fellowship today is very important and I did not want to affect your mood. Do you prostrate at your usual gatherings? (No.) Do you prostrate when you say your prayers? (Yes.) Do you prostrate each time you pray, when conditions allow? (Yes.) That’s wonderful. But what is it that I would like you to understand today? It is the two types of people whose genuflections God accepts. We do not need to consult the Bible or the behaviors of any spiritual characters, and I will tell you something true here and now. Firstly, prostration and kneeling to worship are not the same thing. Why does God accept the genuflections of those who prostrate themselves? It is because God calls someone to Him and summons this person to accept God’s commission, so he prostrates himself for God. This is the first type of person. The second type is the kneeling to worship of someone who fears God and shuns evil. There are just these two types of people. So which type do you belong to? Are you able to say? This is factual truth, though it may hurt your feelings a little. There is nothing to say about people’s genuflections during prayer—this is proper and is as it should be, because when people pray it is mostly praying for something, opening their hearts to God and coming face to face with Him. It is communication and exchange, heart to heart with God. But when I meet in fellowship with you, I have not asked you to prostrate yourselves. I do not mean to reproach you for what you have done today. You know that I just want to make it clear to you so that you understand this principle, don’t you? (We know.) So that you do not continue to do this. Do people then have any opportunity to prostrate and kneel before the face of God? There will always be an opportunity. Sooner or later a day will come, but the time is not now. Do you see? (Yes.) Does this make you feel sad? (No.) That’s good. Maybe these words will motivate or inspire you so that you can know in your hearts the current plight between God and man and what kind of relationship exists now between them. Although we have recently talked and exchanged a lot, man’s understanding of God is still far from sufficient. Man still has a long way to go on this road to seeking to understand God. It is not My intention to make you do this urgently, or rush to express these kinds of aspirations or feelings. What you did today may reveal and express your true feelings, and I perceived it. So while you were doing it, I just wanted to stand up and give you My well wishes, because I wish you all to be well. So in My every word and every action I do My utmost to help you, to guide you, so that you can have the correct understanding and correct view of all things. You can understand this, right? (Yes.) That’s great. Although people have some understanding of God’s various dispositions, the aspects of what God has and is and the work God does, the majority of this understanding goes no further than reading words on a page, or understanding them in principle, or just thinking about them. What people are most lacking in are the real understanding and view that come from actual experience. Even though God uses various ways to awaken the hearts of man, there is still a long road to walk before the hearts of man are finally awakened. I do not want to see anyone feeling as though God has left them out in the cold, that God has abandoned them or turned His back on them. I would only like to see everyone on the road to seeking the truth and seeking to understand God, boldly marching onward with unfaltering will, with no misgivings, carrying no burdens. No matter what wrongs you have committed, no matter how far you have gone astray or how much you have transgressed, do not let these become burdens or excess baggage to carry with you in your pursuit to understand God: Continue marching onward. No matter when it occurs, the heart of God that is man’s salvation never changes: This is the most precious part of the essence of God. Do you feel a little better now? (Yes.) I hope that you can take the correct approach to all things and the words that I have spoken. Let us end this fellowship here, then. Goodbye everyone! (Goodbye!)
January 11, 2014