(II) God Is the Source of Life for All Things
Having discussed thus far, do you feel that you have a partial understanding of the connotation of the phrase “God Is the Source of Life for All Things”? (Yes.) I knew that when I discussed this topic many people would immediately think of how God is truth and how His word provides for us, but they would only think of it on this level. Some would even feel that God’s providing for human life, providing daily food and drink and all daily necessities doesn’t count as providing for man. Do some people feel this way? (Yes.) Isn’t God’s intent very clear in how He created everything so that mankind may exist and live normally? God maintains the environment in which people live and He provides all of the things this mankind needs. Furthermore, He manages and holds dominion over all things. All of this allows mankind to live normally and thrive normally; it is in this way that God provides for all things and for mankind. Do people need to recognize and understand these things? (Yes.) Perhaps some may say, “This topic is too distant from our knowledge of the true God Himself, and we don’t want to know this because man cannot live by bread alone, but instead lives by the word of God.” Is this correct? (No.) What’s wrong here? Can you have a complete understanding of God if you only know the things God has said? If you only accept His work and His judgment and chastisement, will you have a complete understanding of God? If you only know a small part of God’s disposition, a small part of God’s authority, that’s enough to achieve an understanding of God, right? (No.) Why is that? (It is too one-sided, because our knowledge is hollow. But in each of God’s work combined with the living and non-living things like the mountains and streams, lakes, seeds, the sunlight, and rain that we see, view, and experience, we obtain a practical understanding of God. As our understanding awakens as children we begin to see these things and feel that they are real.) God’s actions begin with His creation of the universe and they continue today where His actions are apparent at all times and at every moment. If people believe God exists just because He has chosen some people upon whom He does His work to save those people, and if they believe that other things do not involve God, His authority, His status, and His actions, can that be considered truly knowing God? People who have such a so-called knowledge of God—which is based on a one-sided view that God is limited to just a group of people—are shortsighted. Is this a true knowledge of God? Aren’t people with this kind of knowledge of God denying His creation of all things and His dominion over them? Some people do not wish to acknowledge this, and they may think to themselves: “I don’t see God’s dominion over all things, it’s something too distant from me and I don’t want to understand it. God does whatever He wants and it has nothing to do with me. I only concern myself with accepting God’s leadership and His word and I’ll be made perfect and I’ll be saved by God. I’ll just pay attention to these things, but I won’t try to understand anything else or give it any thought. Whatever rules God made when He created all things or whatever God does to provide for them and for mankind has nothing to do with me.” What is this kind of talk? Isn’t this utterly disgraceful? Are there any among you who think like this? I know that there are a great majority who do think this way even if you won’t say so. This type of by-the-book person may use their own so-called spiritual standpoint in how they view everything. They want to limit God to the Bible, limit God by the words He has spoken, and limit God to just the literal written word. They do not wish to know more about God and they do not want God to pay more attention in doing other things. This type of thinking is childish and very dogmatic. Can people who hold these views know God? They would have a hard time knowing God. Today I have told these two stories and talked about these two aspects. Having just heard them and having just come into contact with them, you might feel that they are profound or even a bit abstract and difficult to comprehend and understand. It might be even harder to connect them with God’s actions and God Himself. However, all of God’s actions and all He has done among all things and among all of mankind should be clearly and accurately known by each and every person and by everyone who seeks to know God. This knowledge will give you confirmation of and faith in the true existence of God. It will also give you accurate knowledge of God’s wisdom, His power, and how He provides for all things. It will allow you to clearly conceive God’s true existence and see that it is not fictional, and not a myth. This allows you to see that it is not vague, and not just a theory, and that God is certainly not just a spiritual sustenance, but He truly exists. Furthermore it allows you to know Him as God in the way He has always provided for all things and for mankind; He does this in His own way and in accordance with His own rhythm. So we can say that it is because God created all things and He gave them rules that by His command they each perform their allotted tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, and play the role that was bestowed upon each of them. All things fulfill their own role for mankind, and do this in the space, the environment where people live. If God did not do things this way and mankind’s environment was not as it is, people’s belief in God or their following of Him—none of it would be possible; it would merely be empty talk, isn’t this correct?
Let’s take another look at this story we just heard. In regard to the great mountain and the little stream, what is the mountain? Living things flourish on the mountain so there is value to its existence by itself. At the same time, the mountain blocks the little stream, ensuring that it does not flow wherever it wants and thereby bring disaster to the people. Isn’t that right? By virtue of the mountain’s existence, it allows living things like the trees and grasses and all the other plants and animals on the mountain to flourish while also directing where the little stream flows; the mountain gathers up the waters of the stream and guides them naturally around its foot where they may flow into the river and eventually the sea. The rules that are in place here were not made by nature, but instead were especially arranged by God at the time of creation. As for the great mountain and the fierce wind, the mountain, too, needs the wind. The mountain needs the wind to caress the living things that live upon it, and at the same time the mountain restricts how hard the fierce wind may blow so that it does not overwhelm and devastate. This rule holds, in a way, the duty of the great mountain, so did this rule regarding the mountain’s duty take form on its own? (No.) It was instead made by God. The great mountain has its own duty and the fierce wind has its duty as well. Now, about the great mountain and the huge wave, without the mountain being there would the water find a direction of flow on its own? (No.) The water would also overwhelm and devastate. The mountain has its own value as a mountain, and the sea has its own value as a sea. In this way, under these circumstances where they each do not interfere with one another and where they are able to exist together normally, they also restrict one another; the great mountain restricts the sea so that it does not flood and thus it protects the people’s homes, and this also allows the sea to nurture the living things that dwell within it. Did this landscape take form on its own? (No.) It was also created by God. We see from these images that when God created the universe, He predetermined where the mountain would stand, where the stream would flow, from which direction the fierce wind would begin to blow and where it would go, as well as how high the huge waves would be. God’s intentions and purpose are held within all of these things and they are His deeds. Now, can you see that God’s deeds are present in all things? (Yes.)
What is the purpose of our discussion of these things? Is it so that people can research the rules behind God’s creation of the universe? Is it so that people will become interested in astronomy and physics? (No.) Then what is it? It is so that people will recognize the deeds of God. The most important aspect of recognizing the deeds of God is that from the recognition of His actions, people can affirm and verify that God is the source of life for all things. If you are able to recognize this point, then you will truly be able to confirm that God occupies the dominant role in your heart and you will be able to confirm that God is the unique God Himself, the Creator of the heavens and earth and all things. So, is it useful toward your understanding of God to recognize the rules of all things and to recognize God’s deeds? (Yes.) How useful is it? This is a very important question. Firstly, when you recognize these deeds of God, would you still be interested in astronomy and geography? Would you still have the heart of a skeptic and doubt that God is the Creator of all things? Would you still have the heart of a researcher and doubt that God is the Creator of all things? When you confirm that God is the Creator of the universe and furthermore come to recognize the rules behind His creation, will you in your heart truly believe that God provides for the universe? Is “provides” just being said for any type of meaning or is it being said in a special circumstance? That God provides for the universe has a very broad meaning and application. Right? God doesn’t just provide people with their daily needs of food and drink, He provides mankind with everything they need, including everything people see and things that can’t be seen. God upholds, manages, and rules the living environment that mankind needs. Whatever environment mankind needs in whatever season, God has prepared it. Whatever atmosphere or temperature that is suitable for human existence is also under God’s control and none of these rules occur by themselves or at random; they are the result of God’s rule and His deeds. God Himself is the source of all of these rules and is the source of life for all things. This is an established and unassailable fact whether or not you believe it, whether or not you can see it, or whether or not you can understand it.
I know that the vast majority of people only believe what God said and did in the Bible. For a small minority of people, God revealed His deeds so that people could see the value of His existence, and also let them understand His status and know that He truly exists. However, for many more people the fact that God created the universe and that He manages and provides for all things seems vague or ambiguous such that they hold an attitude of doubt. This type of attitude causes people to consistently believe that the laws of the natural world formed on their own, that the changes, transformations, and phenomena of the natural world and the very laws that govern nature arose of their own accord. What this means is that in the minds of people, they cannot comprehend how God created and rules over all things, they cannot understand how God manages and provides for all things. Because of the limitations of this premise, people do not believe in God’s creation and lordship over all things and that He is the Provider; and even the believers are simply confined to the Age of Law, the Age of Grace and the Age of Kingdom, that is, the deeds of God as well as His providing for mankind are somehow limited to only His chosen people. This is something I really hate to see and it brings so much pain, because mankind enjoys all that God brings, and yet at the same time they deny all that He does and all that He gives to them. People only believe that the heavens and earth and all things are governed by their own natural rules and by their own natural laws and that they are without any ruler to control them or any ruler to provide for them and keep them. Even if you believe in God, you might not believe all these are His deeds; this is one of the most overlooked areas for every believer in God, for everyone who accepts God’s word, and for everyone who follows God. So, as soon as I begin discussing something that does not connect with the Bible or so-called spiritual terminology, some people become confused or weary or even uncomfortable. It seems that it has become alienated from spiritual people and spiritual things. That is a bad thing. When it comes to recognizing the deeds of God, even though we don’t mention astronomy, geography, or biology, we recognize God’s lordship over all things, we recognize His providing for all things, and that He is the source of all things. This is a critical task and one that must be studied, understand? (Yes.)
On the two stories we just discussed, even though they might have some unusual content and they may have been told and expressed to you in a unique fashion, I nonetheless wanted to use straightforward language and a simple method so that you could grasp and accept something more profound. This was My only goal: I wanted you to see and believe that God is the Ruler of all things from these little stories and scenes. The goal of telling these stories is to allow you to see and recognize the infinite deeds of God within the finite confines of a story. As for when you will fully reach this result in you, it depends on your own experiences and your individual pursuit. If you seek truth and if you seek to know God, then these things will serve as a steady and strong reminder to you; they will allow you to have a deeper awareness, a clarity in your understanding, and you will gradually draw close to God’s actual deeds, a closeness that will be without distance and without error. However, if you do not seek to know God, then those stories you heard are nothing more than stories and they can’t do you any harm. So you may just consider them true stories.
Did you recognize anything from these two stories? Go ahead and speak up. (From God telling us these two stories, we can truly feel that He is the Ruler, Creator, and Manager of all things. We see God’s actions, His omnipotence, and His wisdom, and from this we feel even more deeply the immense love God has toward mankind. Everything God does, He does for mankind.) Well, firstly, are these two stories set apart from our previous discussion on God’s concern for mankind? Is there an inevitable connection? (Yes.) What is the connection? Is it that within these two stories we see the deeds of God and how He plans and handles everything for mankind? Is it that everything God does and all of His thoughts are geared toward mankind’s existence? (Yes.) Isn’t God’s careful thought and consideration for mankind very evident? (Yes.) Mankind doesn’t have to do anything. God has prepared for people the very air that they breathe. You can see that the vegetables and fruits they eat are readily available. From north to south, from east to west, each region has its own natural resources and different crops and the fruits and vegetables have been prepared by God for the people so that they may live peacefully. All of this can prove that everything God has created is good. Speaking of the larger environment, God made all things interconnected, mutually intertwined, and interdependent. He used this method and these rules to maintain the survival and existence of all things and in this way mankind has lived quietly and peacefully and has grown and multiplied from one generation to the next in this living environment up to the present day. God balances the natural environment to ensure mankind’s survival. If God’s regulation and control were not in place, no man could maintain and balance the environment, even if it was created by God in the first place—this still can’t ensure mankind’s survival. So you can see that God handles it all perfectly! If man were to make a seed and plant it in the soil, would it ever sprout? If man made a tree and put it in the ground, in several hundred years it would never produce a leaf. Man cannot produce living seeds. Man should live abiding by God’s plan. In some places there is no air, therefore people cannot live there and God won’t allow you to go there. So, don’t go out of bounds, this is for mankind’s protection and these things are very mysterious. Each corner of the environment, the length and breadth of the earth, and every living thing on the earth—both the living and dead—were prepared by God and He thought through them: Why is this thing needed? Why is that unnecessary? What is the purpose of having this thing here and why should that go there? God had already thought all this through and there is no need for people to think about them. All of God’s creation is so perfect! There are some foolish people who are always thinking about moving mountains, but instead of doing that, why not move to the plains? If you don’t like mountains, why would you go live by them? Isn’t this foolish? What happens if you move that mountain? A hurricane will blow through or a huge wave will wash over and the people’s homes will be destroyed. Wouldn’t that be a foolish thing to do? Right? (Yes.) People can only destroy and Satan just encourages this destruction. The Devil is always thinking of grand plans and maneuvers to establish itself and immortalize its reputation. It has even ruined the only place it has to live, and yet the Devil wants to provide for and manage all things. How ignorant and utterly foolish!
God allows man to manage all things and have lordship over them, but does man do a good job? (No.) How does man do a bad job? Mankind tends toward destruction; mankind is not only unable to preserve the things as God created them, he has actually destroyed them. Mankind has reduced the mountains to rubble, choked the seas with earth, and turned the plains into deserts where none can live. Yet there in the desert man has made industry and built nuclear bases and destruction prevails in all directions. The rivers are no longer rivers, the sea no longer the sea, they are filled to the brim with pollution. When mankind breaks the balance and the rules of nature, their day of disaster and death is not far away and is inevitable. When the disaster comes, you will know how precious God’s creation is and how important all of it is for mankind; mankind is beginning to wake up to this fact. You see, man living in an environment with a fine climate is like being in paradise. People do not realize this blessing, but the moment they lose it all they will see how rare and precious all of it is. How would one get all of this back? What could people do if God was unwilling to create it again? What could you do? (We could do nothing.) Actually, there is something you can do and it’s very simple and when I tell you what it is you’ll immediately know that it is feasible. Why has man found himself in his current environmental predicament? Is it because of man’s greed and destruction? If man ends this destruction, won’t the living environment gradually right itself? If God does nothing, if God no longer wishes to do anything for mankind—that is to say, He doesn’t want to intervene—the best method would be for mankind to stop this destruction and return things to how they were. Putting an end to all this destruction means to stop the plundering and devastation of the things God has created. This will allow the environment where man lives to gradually improve. Failure to do so will result in further destruction of the environment and it will only become more serious. Don’t you see that My method is simple? (Yes, it is.) It is simple and feasible. Simple indeed, and it is feasible for some people, but is this feasible for the vast majority of people on earth? (It isn’t.) For you, at the very least, is it feasible? (Yes.) What does your “yes” stem from? Could one say that it involves establishing a basis of understanding about God’s deeds? Could one say it involves abiding by God’s rule and plan? (Yes.) There is a way to change all of this, but that is not the topic we are discussing now. God is responsible for every single human life and He is responsible to the very end. God provides for you, even if you have been sickened by the environment destroyed by Satan, or affected by pollution or received some other harm, it doesn’t matter; God provides for you and He will let you live on. Do you have faith in this? (Yes!) God does not take the loss of human life lightly, right?
Have you come to feel the importance of recognizing God as the source for all life? What feelings do you have? Go ahead and I’ll listen. (In the past, we had never thought to connect the mountains, sea and lakes with the actions of God. Today, through the fellowship with God, we now understand that these were always actions of God and that they arose from His wisdom, so we see that God’s creation of all things was predestined from the very beginning and they all possess the goodwill of God. All things are interconnected and mankind is the ultimate beneficiary. What we heard today feels very fresh and novel, and we have felt how real God’s actions are. In reality and in our daily lives we truly see things as they are when we come into contact with living things.) You truly see it, right? God’s providing for mankind is not without a sound foundation, He doesn’t just utter a few words and that’s it. God does so much, even things you don’t see He does for your benefit. Man lives in this environment, this universe God created, and in it people and other things are interdependent, just like how the gas expelled from plants purifies the air and benefits the people who breathe it in. However, some plants are poisonous to people, but don’t those plants have other plants that compete with them? This is one of the wonders of God’s creation! We didn’t discuss this subject today, instead we primarily discussed the interdependence of man and other things, how man cannot live without other things, and the importance of God’s creation of all things. Man cannot live without other things, just like man needs air to live and how if you were placed in a vacuum, you would soon die. This is a very basic principle to allow you to see that man needs other things. So what sort of attitude should man have toward all things? (Treasure them.) Treasure them, protect them, make use of them efficiently, do not destroy them, do not waste them and do not change them on a whim, for all things are from God and are provided to mankind and mankind must treat them conscientiously. Today I have told you two little stories, and I hope that you will go back and thoroughly think them over. Next time we will discuss some things in more detail. Our fellowship will end here for today. Good bye! (Good bye!)
January 18, 2014