God Is the Source of Life for All Things (IV) Part Two
1. How God Rules and Administers the Spiritual World
1) The Cycle of Life and Death of the Unbelievers
For any soul, the role they play after being reincarnated—what their role is in this life—what family they are born into, and what their life is like are closely related to their past life. All kinds of people come into the world of man, and the roles they play are different, as are the tasks they carry out. And what tasks are these? Some people come to repay a debt: If they owed others too much money in their previous life, they repay a debt. Some people, meanwhile, have come to collect a debt: They were scammed out of too many things, and too much money in their previous life, and so after they arrive in the spiritual world, the spiritual world will give them justice and allow them to collect their debt in this life. Some people have come to pay a debt of gratitude: During their previous life—before they died—someone was kind to them, and in this life they have been given a great opportunity to be reincarnated and so they are reborn to repay this debt of gratitude. Others, meanwhile, have been reborn into this life to claim a life. And whose life do they claim? The person who killed them in their previous life. In sum, every person’s present life bears a strong relationship to their previous life, it is inseparably connected. Which is to say, every person’s present life is hugely affected by their previous life. For example, before he died Zhang cheated Li out of a large amount of money. So does Zhang owe Li a debt? If he does, is it natural that Li should collect his debt from Zhang? And so, after they die, there is a debt to be settled between them, and when they are reincarnated and Zhang becomes human, how does Li collect his debt from him? One means is that Li collects his debt by being reborn as Zhang’s son, with Zhang as his father. This would be what happens in this life, in the present life. Li’s father Zhang earns lots of money, and it is squandered by his son, Li. No matter how much money Zhang earns, his son Li “helps” him by spending it. No matter how much Zhang earns, it is never enough, and his son, meanwhile, for some reason always ends up spending his father’s money through different ways and means. Zhang is mystified: “What’s going on? Why has my son always been a hoodoo? Why is it that other people’s sons are so good? Why does my son have no ambition, why is he so useless and incapable of earning any money, why do I always have to support him? Since I have to support him I will, but why is it that no matter how much money I give him, he always needs more? Why can’t he do an honest day’s work? Why is he a loafer, eating, drinking, whoring, betting—doing it all? What on earth is going on?” Zhang then thinks for a while: “Is it because I owed him something in the past life? Ah, it could be that I had a debt to him in the past life. Well then, I’ll pay it off! This won’t end until I pay it in full!” The day may come when Li really has recouped his debt, and when he’s forty or fifty, there will be a day when he suddenly comes to his senses: “I haven’t done a single good thing during the first half of my life! I’ve squandered all the money my father earned—I should be a good person! I’ll steel myself: I’ll be someone who is honest, and lives properly, and I’ll never bring grief to my father again!” Why does he think this? Why does he suddenly change for the better? Is there a reason for this? What is the reason? In fact, it is because he has collected his debt; the debt has been repaid. In this, there is cause and effect. The story began long, long ago, before the two of them were born, and thus this story of their past life has been brought to their present life, and neither can blame the other. No matter what Zhang taught his son, his son never listened, and never did an honest day’s work—but on the day the debt was repaid, there was no need to teach him; his son naturally understood. This is a simple example, and there are, without doubt, many other such examples. And what does it tell people? (That they should be good.) That they should do no evil, and there will be retribution for their evildoings! Most unbelievers, you can see, commit much evil, and their evildoings have been met with retribution, right? But is this retribution arbitrary? All that is met with retribution has a background and a reason. Do you think nothing will happen to you after you’ve cheated someone out of money? Do you think that, after having tricked them out of money, there will be no consequences for you after you’ve taken their money? That would be impossible: What goes around comes around—this is totally correct! Which is to say that regardless of who they are, or whether or not they believe that there is a God, every person must take responsibility for their behavior, and bear the consequences of their actions. With regard to this simple example—Zhang being punished, and Li being repaid—is it fair? It is fair. When people do things like that, there is that kind of result. And is it divorced from the administration of the spiritual world? It is inseparable from the administration of the spiritual world. Despite being unbelievers, those who do not believe in God, their existence is subject to such heavenly edicts and decrees from which no one can escape; no matter how high their position in the world of man, no one can avoid this reality.
Those who have no faith often believe that everything that can be seen exists, while everything that can’t be seen, or which is very far from people, doesn’t. They prefer to believe that there is no “cycle of life and death,” and there is no “punishment,” and so they sin and commit evil without compunction—after which they are punished, or reincarnated as an animal. Most of the various people among the unbelievers fall into this vicious circle. And why is that? Because they do not know that the spiritual world is strict in its administration of all living beings. Whether you believe or not, this fact exists, for not a single person or object can escape the scope of what is observed by God’s eyes, and not a single person or object can escape the rules and limitations of the heavenly edicts and God’s decrees. And so I tell each of you this simple example; regardless of whether or not you believe in God, it is unacceptable to sin and commit evil, there are consequences, and this is absolute. When someone who cheated another out of money is so punished, such punishment is fair and reasonable, and righteous. Commonly-seen behavior such as this is penalized by the spiritual world, is punished by the decrees and heavenly edicts of God, and so grievously criminal and wicked behavior—raping and looting, fraud and deception, theft and robbery, murder and arson, and so on—is even more subject to an array of punishments of varying severity. And what do these punishments of varying severity include? Some of them employ time to establish the level of severity, some do so through differing methodologies, and others do so through where people go when they are reincarnated. For example, some people are foul-mouthed. What does being “foul-mouthed” refer to? It means often swearing at others and using malicious language, language that curses people. What does malicious language signify? It signifies that someone has a foul heart. Malicious language that curses people often comes from the mouths of such people, and such malicious language is accompanied by severe consequences. After these people have died and received the appropriate punishment, they may be reborn as mutes. Some people are very calculating when they’re alive, they often take advantage of others, their little schemes are particularly well-planned, and they do much that harms others. When they’re reborn, it could be as a half-wit or someone who is mentally disabled. Some people often peep into the privacy of others; their eyes see much that they should not have been privy to, and they know much that they ought not to know, and so when they are reborn, they may be blind. Some people are very nimble when they’re alive, they often fight, and do much that is evil, and thus when they are reborn they may be disabled, lame or missing an arm, or else they might be a hunchback, or wryneck, they might walk with a limp, or have one leg shorter than the other, and so on. In this, they are subjected to different punishments based on the level of evil they committed while alive. And what say you, why are people skew-eyed? Are there many such people? There are a lot of them around today. Some people are skew-eyed because in their past life they made too much use of their eyes, they did too many bad things, and so when they are born into this life their eyes are skewed, and in serious cases they are even blind. Do you think people who are skew-eyed are nice to look at? Do they leave a good impression? See how they have good facial structure, their skin is clear and pale, they have big eyes and double eyelids—but unfortunately one of their eyes is skewed. What do they look like? Does this not have a total impact on the person’s demeanor? And with this impact, what kind of life do they have? When they meet others, they think to themselves: “Oh, I’m skew-eyed! I mustn’t look at people so much, I don’t want them to see my eyes. I must speak with my head bowed, I can’t look at them face-to-face.” Their skewed eyes influence how they look at things, and their ability to look at people face-to-face. In this, have they not lost the use of their eyes? And so, have the excesses of their previous life not been redressed? Thus, in the next life, they won’t dare to do anything as bad. This is retribution!
Some people get on well with others before they die, they do many good things for those around them, for their loved ones, friends, colleagues, or the people connected to them. They help others, they give charity and care to others, or assist them financially, others think very highly of them, and when such people return to the spiritual world they are not punished. For an unbeliever to not be punished in any way means they were a very good person. Instead of believing in the existence of God, they only believe in the Old Man in the Sky. They only believe that there is a spirit above them watching everything they do—that’s all they believe in. And what is the result? They’re much better-behaved. These people are kindhearted and charitable, and when they ultimately return to the spiritual world, the spiritual world will treat them very well and they will soon be reincarnated and reborn. And what kind of family will they arrive in? Although it won’t be rich, family life will be peaceful, there will be harmony among its members, they will pass serene, happy days, everyone will be joyous, and they will have a good life. When the person reaches adulthood, they will give birth to many sons and daughters, and have a large extended family, their children will be talented and enjoy success, and they and their family will enjoy good fortune—and such an outcome is hugely connected to the person’s past life. Which is to say, a person’s whole life, right through to after they die and where they go when they are reincarnated, whether they are male or female, what their mission is, what they will go through in life, their setbacks, what blessings they enjoy, who they will meet, what will happen to them—no one can predict this, avoid it, or hide from it. Which is to say, after your life has been set, in what happens to you, however you try and avoid it, by whatever means you try and avoid it, you have no way of violating the life course set out for you by God in the spiritual world. For when you are reincarnated, your life’s fate has already been set. Whether it be good or bad, everyone should face up to this, and should keep going forward; this is an issue that no one who lives in this world can avoid, and no issue is more real. Right, you’ve understood all this, yes?
Having understood this, do you see that God has very exacting and rigorous checks and administration for the cycle of life and death of the unbelievers? Firstly, God has established various heavenly edicts, decrees, and systems in the spiritual realm, and after the declaration of these heavenly edicts, decrees, and systems, they are strictly carried out, as set by God, by beings in various official positions in the spiritual world, and no one dares violate them. And so, in the cycle of life and death of mankind in the world of man, whether someone is reincarnated as an animal or a person, there are laws for both. Because these laws come from God, no one dares break them, nor is anyone able to break them. It is only because of such sovereignty of God, and because there are such laws, that the material world that people see is regular and orderly; it is only because of such sovereignty of God that mankind is able to coexist peacefully with the other world that is completely invisible to mankind, and able to live in harmony with it—all of which is inextricable from God’s sovereignty. After a soul’s fleshly life dies, the soul still has life, and so what would happen if it were without God’s administration? The soul would wander all over the place, intruding everywhere, and would even harm the living things in the world of mankind. Such harm would not only be toward mankind, but could also be toward plants and animals—but the first to be harmed would be people. Were this to happen—if such a soul were without administration, and really harmed people, and really did wicked things—then there would also be proper handling of this soul in the spiritual world: If things were serious, the soul would soon cease to exist, it would be destroyed; if possible, it would be placed somewhere and then reincarnated. Which is to say, the spiritual world’s administration of various souls is ordered, and carried out according to steps and rules. It is only because of such administration that the material world of man has not fallen into chaos, that the mankind of the material world is possessed of a normal mentality, normal rationality, and an ordered fleshly life. Only after mankind has such a normal life will those who live in the flesh be able to continue thriving and reproducing throughout the generations.
What do you think of the words you’ve just heard? Are they new to you? And what do you feel after I have said these words today? Apart from that they’re novel, do you feel anything else? Tell Me. (People should be well-behaved, and I see God is great and fearful.) (I feel more reverential toward God, in the future I’ll be more cautious when something happens to me, I’ll be more well-behaved in what I say and do.) (Having just heard God’s communion about how God deals with the end of various types of people, in one regard I feel that God’s disposition does not allow any offense, and that I should revere Him; and in another regard, I’m aware of what kind of people God likes, and what kind He doesn’t, and so I want to be one of those that God likes.) Do you see that God is principled in His actions in this area? What are the principles by which He acts? (He sets people’s end according to all that they do.) This is about the various ends for the unbelievers that we just talked of. When it comes to the unbelievers, is the principle behind God’s actions that of rewarding the good and punishing the wicked? Do you see that there is a principle to God’s actions? You should be able to see that there is. The unbelievers don’t actually believe in God, they do not obey God’s orchestrations, and they are unaware of God’s sovereignty, much less do they acknowledge God. More seriously, they profane against God, and curse Him, and are hostile toward those who believe in God. Though these people have such an attitude toward God, God’s administration of them still doesn’t deviate from His principles; He administers them in an orderly way in accordance to His principles and His disposition. How does God regard their hostility? As ignorance! And so He has caused these people—the majority of the unbelievers—to have once been reincarnated as animals. So what say you, are the unbelievers in the eyes of God? (Livestock.) In God’s eyes, they are of this type, they are livestock. God administers livestock, and He administers mankind, and He has the same principles for this kind of people. Even in God’s administration of these people and His actions toward them, there can still be seen God’s disposition and the laws for His dominion over all things. And so, do you see God’s sovereignty in the principles by which He administers the unbelievers that I just spoke of? Do you see God’s righteous disposition? (We do.) You see God’s sovereignty, and you see His disposition. Which is to say, no matter which of all things He deals with, God acts according to His own principles and disposition. This is God’s substance. He wouldn’t casually break with the decrees or heavenly edicts that He set because He regards this kind of people as livestock; God acts according to principles, without the slightest disarray, His actions are totally unaffected by any factor, and no matter what He does, it is all in abidance with His own principles. This is decided by the fact that God has the substance of God Himself, which is a unique substance not possessed by any created being. God is conscientious and responsible in His handling of, approach to, management of, administration of, and ruling of every object, person, and living thing among all the things He created, and He has never been careless in this. To those who are good, He is gracious and kind; to those who are wicked, He inflicts remorseless punishment; and for the various living beings, He makes appropriate arrangements in a timely and regular manner according to the different requirements of the world of mankind at different times, such that these various living beings are reincarnated according to the roles they play in an orderly manner, and move between the material world and spiritual world in an orderly way. This is what should be understood and known by mankind.
The death of a living being—the termination of a physical life—signifies that the living being has gone from the material world into the spiritual world, while the birth of a new physical life signifies that a living being has come from the spiritual world to the material world and begun to undertake its role, to play its role. Whether it be the departure or arrival of a being, both are inseparable from the work of the spiritual world. When someone comes into the material world, suitable arrangements and definitions have already been made by God in the spiritual world for the family they go to, the era they arrive in, the hour on which they arrive, and the role they play. And so this person’s entire life—the things they do, and the paths they take—proceeds according to the arrangements of the spiritual world, without the slightest fault. The time when a physical life terminates, meanwhile, and the manner and place in which it terminates, are clear and discernable to the spiritual world. God rules the material world, and He rules the spiritual world, and He will not delay a soul’s normal cycle of life and death, nor could He commit any errors in the arrangements of a soul’s cycle of life and death. Each of the bailiffs in the official posts of the spiritual world carries out their tasks, and does that which they ought to do, according to the instructions and rules of God. And so, in the world of mankind, every material phenomenon beheld by man is orderly, and contains no chaos. All of this is because of God’s orderly rule of all things, as well as because God’s authority rules over everything, and all that He rules over includes the material world that man lives in, and, moreover, the invisible spiritual world behind mankind. And so, if mankind wishes to have a good life, and wishes to live in nice surroundings, in addition to being provided with the entire visible material world, man must also be provided with the spiritual world, which no one can see, which governs every living being on behalf of mankind, and which is orderly. Thus, when it is said that God is the source of life for all things, have we not added to our awareness and understanding of “all things”?
2) The Cycle of Life and Death of the Various People of Faith
We just discussed the cycle of life and death of the first category, the unbelievers. Now, let us discuss that of the second category, the various people of faith. “The cycle of life and death of the various people of faith” is also a very important topic, and it is expedient that you have some understanding of it. First, let us speak of which faiths the “faith” in “people of faith” refers to: It means Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, and Buddhism, these five major religions. In addition to the unbelievers, the people who believe in these five religions occupy a large proportion of the world’s population. Among these five religions, those who have made a career out of their belief—followers who work full-time for their faith—are few, yet these religions have many believers. Their believers go to a different place when they die. “Different” from who? From the unbelievers, the people of no faith, that we were just talking about. After they die, the believers of these five religions go somewhere else, somewhere different from the unbelievers. The spiritual world will also make a judgment about them based on all they did before they died, following which they will be processed accordingly. But why are these people placed somewhere else to be processed? There is an important reason for this. And what is this reason? I’ll tell you using an example.
Take Buddhism: Let Me tell you a fact. A Buddhist is, firstly, someone who has converted to Buddhism, and they are someone who knows what their belief is. When a Buddhist cuts their hair and becomes a monk or a nun, this means that they have separated themselves from the secular world and left the clamor of the world of man far behind. Every day they chant the sutras and eat only vegetarian food, they live ascetic lives, and they pass their days accompanied by the cold, weak light of the butter lamp. They spend their whole lives in this way. When their physical life finishes, they make a summary of their life, but in their hearts they don’t know where they’ll go after they die, who they’ll meet, and what end they will have—in their hearts they are not clear about these things. They have done nothing more than blindly spend their whole life accompanied by a faith, after which they depart from the world accompanied by blind wishes and ideals. Such is the termination of their physical life when they leave the world of the living, and when their physical life has finished, they return to their original place in the spiritual world. Whether this person is reincarnated to return to earth and continue their self-cultivation depends on their behavior and self-cultivation prior to their death. If they did nothing wrong during their lifetime, they will quickly be reincarnated and sent back to earth again, where they will once again shave their head and become a monk or nun. They become a monk or nun three to seven times: As per the first time’s procedure, their physical body self-cultivates, after which they die and return to the spiritual world, where they are examined, after which—if there are no problems—they can return once more to the world of man, and continue their self-cultivation, which is to say they can once more convert to Buddhism and continue their self-cultivation. After being reincarnated three to seven times, they will once more return to the spiritual world, to where they go each time their physical life finishes. If their various qualifications and behavior in the human world are in keeping with the heavenly edicts of the spiritual world, then from this point onward they will remain there; they will no longer be reincarnated as human, nor will there be any risk of them being punished for evildoing on earth. They will never again experience this process. Instead, as per their circumstances, they will take up a position in the spiritual realm, which is what Buddhists refer to as the achievement of immortality. Now you understand, yes? And what does the “achievement of immortality” in Buddhism refer to? It means becoming an official of the spiritual world, and there being no further chance of reincarnation or punishment. More than that, it means no longer suffering the aggravation of being human after being reincarnated. So is there still any chance of them being reincarnated as an animal? Absolutely not. And what does this mean? That they remain to take up a role in the spiritual world and are no longer reincarnated as a person. This is one example of achieving immortality.
And what about those who do not achieve immortality? Upon their return to the spiritual world, they are examined and verified by the relevant bailiff, and found to have not diligently self-cultivated or been conscientious in chanting the sutras as prescribed by Buddhism; instead, they committed much evil, and did much that was wicked. When they return to the spiritual world, a judgment is made about their evildoing, following which they are punished. In this, there are no exceptions. So, when will this kind of person achieve immortality? At the life when they do no evil—when, after returning to the spiritual world, it is seen that they did nothing wrong before they died. OK! They continue being reincarnated, they carry on chanting the sutras, they pass their days with the cold, weak light of the butter lamp, they don’t kill any living thing, don’t eat meat, and don’t partake in the world of man, leaving its troubles far behind, and having no disputes with others. During this process, they do no evil, following which they return to the spiritual world, and after all of their actions and behavior have been examined, they are once more sent out into the world of man, in a cycle that goes on three to seven times. If there are no upsets during this, then their achievement of immortality will remain unaffected, and they will be successful. This is a feature of the cycle of life and death of all people of faith: They are able to achieve immortality, and to take up a position in the spiritual world. This is what makes them different to the unbelievers. Firstly, when they are alive on earth, what is the conduct of those who are able to assume a position in the spiritual world? They must commit absolutely no evil: They must not commit murder, arson, rape, or loot; if they commit fraud, deception, theft, or robbery, then they cannot achieve immortality. Which is to say, if they have any connection or affiliation with evildoing, they will not be able to escape the punishment of the spiritual world. The spiritual world makes suitable arrangements for Buddhists who achieve immortality: They may be assigned to administer those who appear to believe in Buddhism, and the Old Man in the Sky, and the Buddhists will be given a jurisdiction, they may administer the unbelievers, or else they may be a very minor bailiff. Such allocation is according to the nature of these souls. This is an example of Buddhism.
Among the five religions we have spoken of, Christianity is somewhat special. And what’s special about Christianity? These are people who believe in the true God. How can those who believe in the true God be listed here? Because Christianity merely acknowledges that there is a God, and they oppose God and are hostile to Him. They have once more nailed Christ to the cross, and placed themselves in enmity to God’s work of the last days, with the result that they are revealed and reduced to a faith group. Since Christianity is a kind of faith, then it is, without doubt, only related to faith—it is a kind of ceremony, a kind of denomination, a kind of religion, and something separate from the faith of those who truly follow God. The reason why I have listed it among the five major religions is because Christianity has been reduced to the same level as Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. Most Christians don’t believe there is a God, or that He rules over all things, much less do they believe in His existence. Instead, they merely employ the Scriptures to talk about theology, using theology to teach people to be kind, to endure suffering, and to do good things. That’s what kind of religion Christianity is: It only concentrates on theological theories, it bears absolutely no relation to God’s work of managing and saving man, it is a religion of those who follow God that is not acknowledged by God. But God also has a principle to His approach to them. He does not casually handle and deal with them at will, in the same way as with the unbelievers. His approach to them is the same as the Buddhists: If, while they’re alive, a Christian has self-discipline, is able to strictly abide by the Ten Commandments and the other commandments, and abide by the laws in the demands they make of their own behavior—and if they can do this their whole life—then they will also have to spend the same amount of time going through the cycles of life and death before they can truly attain the so-called rapture. After achieving this “rapture,” they remain in the spiritual world, where they take up a position and become one of its bailiffs. Likewise, if they commit evil on earth, if they are sinful and commit too many sins, then it is unavoidable that they will be punished and disciplined with varying severity. In Buddhism, achieving “immortality” means entering Nirvana, but what do they call it in Christianity? It is called “entering heaven” and being “raptured.” Those who are truly “raptured” also go through the cycle of life and death three to seven times, after which, having died, they come to the spiritual world, as if they had fallen asleep. If they are up to standard they can remain to take up a role, and, unlike the people on earth, will not be reincarnated in a simple way, or according to convention.
Among all these religions, the end that they speak of and strive for is the same as the attainment of immortality in Buddhism—it’s just that it is achieved by different means. They are all of a kind. For the people of these religions who are able to strictly abide by religious precepts in their behavior, for this portion of people, God gives them a suitable destination, a suitable place to go to, and handles them appropriately. All of this is reasonable, but it is not as people imagine. Now, having heard what happens to Christians, how do you feel? Are you aggrieved for them? Do you sympathize with them? (A little.) There’s nothing that can be done—they have only themselves to blame. Why do I say this? God’s work is true, God is alive and real, and His work is aimed at all mankind and every person—so why don’t the Christians accept this? Why do they manically oppose and persecute God? They’re lucky even to have an end such as this, so why do you feel sorry for them? For them to be handled in this way shows great tolerance. Based on the extent to which they oppose God, they should be destroyed—yet God does not do this, and merely handles Christianity the same as an ordinary religion. So is there any need to go into detail about the other religions? What is the ethos of all these religions? For people to be kind, and commit no evil. Suffer more hardships, do no evil, say nice things, do good deeds, don’t swear at others, don’t jump to conclusions about others, distance yourself from disputes, do good things, be a good person—most religious teachings are like this. And so, if these people of faith—these people of various religions and denominations—are able to strictly abide by religious precepts, then they won’t commit great errors or sins during the time that they’re on earth, and after being reincarnated three to seven times, then by and large these people, the people who are able to strictly abide by religious precepts, will remain to take up a role in the spiritual world. And are there a lot of such people? It’s not easy to do good, or to abide by religious rules and laws. Buddhism doesn’t let people eat meat—could you do that? If you had to wear grey robes and chant sutras in a Buddhist temple all day, could you do it? It wouldn’t be easy. Christianity has the Ten Commandments and the other commandments, are these commandments and laws easy to abide by? They are not! Take not swearing at others: People are incapable of abiding by this rule, yes? Unable to stop themselves, they swear—and after swearing they can’t take it back, so what do they do? At night they confess their sins! They can’t stop themselves from swearing at others, and after doing so there is still hate in their hearts, and they even go so far as to plan when they’re going to harm them. In sum, for those who live among this dead dogma, it is not easy to not sin or commit evil. And so, in every religion, only a few people are able to attain immortality. You think that because so many people follow these religions, many will be able to remain to take up a role in the spiritual realm! But there aren’t that many, only a few are able to achieve this. That’s generally it for the cycle of life and death of people of faith. What sets them apart is that they can achieve immortality, which is their difference to the unbelievers.