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The Word of Christ of the Last Days “God Himself, the Unique IV: God’s Holiness (I)” (Part One)
The Word of Christ of the Last Days “God Himself, the Unique IV: God’s Holiness (I)” (Part One)
We have had some additional fellowship of God’s authority during our last meeting, and we will not talk about God’s righteousness just now. Today we will talk about a whole new topic—God’s holiness. God’s holiness is yet another aspect of God’s unique essence, so there is great need to fellowship this topic here. This aspect of God’s essence that I will fellowship, along with the two aspects we fellowshiped before of God’s righteous disposition and God’s authority—are they all unique? (Yes.) God’s holiness is also unique, so the basis of this uniqueness, the root of this uniqueness, is the theme for our fellowship today. Understand? Today we’re going to fellowship the unique essence of God—God’s holiness. Perhaps some of you have some misgivings, and are asking, “Why fellowship God’s holiness?” Don’t worry, I will talk you through it slowly. As soon as you hear it you will know why it is so necessary for Me to fellowship this topic.
First let us define the word “holy.” Using your perception and from all the knowledge you have learned, what do you understand the definition of “holy” to be? (“Holy” means no stain, with none of mankind’s corruption or flaws. Everything it radiates—whether in thought, speech or action, everything it does—is completely positive.) Very good. (“Holy” is divine, undefiled, unoffendable by man. It is unique, it is the characteristic symbol of God.) This is your definition. In each person’s heart, this word “holy” has a scope, a definition and an interpretation. At the very least, when you see the word “holy” your minds are not empty. You have a certain defined scope for this word, and some people’s definition of it comes close to using this word to define the essence of God’s disposition. This is very good. Most people believe the word “holy” to be a positive one, and this can be affirmed. But the holiness of God that I wish to fellowship today will not be merely defined, nor merely explained. Instead, I will use some facts for verification to allow you to see why I say God is holy, and why I use the word “holy” to describe the essence of God. By the time our fellowship is over, you will feel that the use of the word “holy” to define God’s essence and the use of this word to refer to God is both well-deserved and most appropriate. At the very least, as far as mankind’s current languages go, using this word to refer to God is particularly apt—it is the only word in human language that is most fitting to refer to God. It is not an empty word when used to refer to God, neither is it praise without reason or an empty compliment. The purpose of our fellowship is to allow every person to recognize the truth of this aspect of God’s essence. God does not fear people’s understanding, only their misunderstanding. God wishes for every person to know His essence and what He has and is. So every time we mention an aspect of God’s essence, we can call on many facts to allow people to see that this aspect of God’s essence does indeed exist.
Now that we have a definition of the word “holy,” let us take some examples. In the ideas people have, they imagine many “holy” things and people. For example, virgin boys and girls are defined as holy in mankind’s dictionaries. But are they actually holy? Is this so-called holy and the “holy” that we will fellowship today one and the same? (No.) Looking at those amongst man with high morals, with refined and cultured speech, who never hurt anyone and who, when they speak, make others comfortable and agreeable—are they holy? The Confucian scholars or gentlemen with high morals, refined in both word and deed—are they holy? Those who often do good, are charitable and provide great assistance to others, those who bring a great deal of enjoyment into people’s lives—are they holy? Those who harbor no self-serving thoughts, who place no harsh demands on anyone, who tolerate anyone—are they holy? Those who have never had a dispute with anyone nor ever taken advantage of anyone—are they holy? So those who work for the good of others, who benefit others and bring edification to others in every way—are they holy? Those who give all their life savings away to others and live a simple life, who are strict with themselves but treat others liberally—are they holy? (No.) You remember that your mothers cared for you and looked after you in every conceivable way—are they holy? The idols you hold dear, whether they be famous people, stars or great people—are they holy? (No.) Let us look now at those prophets in the Bible who were able to tell the future that was unknown to many others—was this kind of person holy? The people who were able to record God’s words and the facts of His work in the Bible—were they holy? Was Moses holy? Was Abraham holy? (No.) How about Job? Was he holy? (No.) Job was called a righteous man by God, so why is even he said to be not holy? Are people who fear God and shun evil really not holy? Are they or not? (No.) You are a little apprehensive, not too sure, and you do not dare to say “No,” but neither do you dare to say “Yes,” so you say “No” with some difficulty. Let Me ask another question. God’s messengers—the messengers God sends down to earth—are they holy? Are angels holy? (No.) Mankind that has not been corrupted by Satan—are they holy? (No.) You say “No” to every question. On what basis? Is the very phrase I said just now the reason you say “No”? You are confused, aren’t you? So why are even angels said to be not holy? You feel apprehensive here, don’t you? Then can you discover on what basis the people, things or uncreated beings we mentioned previously are not holy? I am sure you are unable to, right? So is your saying “No” then a little irresponsible? Are you not answering offhandedly? Some people are pondering: “You ask in such a way, so it must certainly not be.” Don’t just answer offhandedly. Think carefully whether the answer is yes or no. You will know when we fellowship the following topic why it is “No.” I will give you the answer shortly. Let us first read some scripture.
Jehovah God’s Command to Man
Gen 2:15–17 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
The Serpent’s Seduction of the Woman
Gen 3:1–5 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
These two passages are excerpts from the book of Genesis in the Bible. Are you all familiar with these two passages? This is something that happened at the beginning when mankind was first created; it was a real event. First let us look at what kind of command Jehovah God gave to Adam and Eve, as the content of this command is very important for our topic today. “And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” What does God’s command to man in this passage contain? Firstly, God tells man what he can eat, being the fruits of a variety of trees. There is no danger and no poison, all can be eaten and eaten as one wishes, with no misgivings. This is one part. The other part is a warning. This warning tells man the tree from which he cannot eat the fruit—he must not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What will happen if he does? God told man: If you eat it you shall surely die. Are these words straightforward? If God told you this but you did not understand why, would you treat it as a rule or an order to be followed? It should be followed, shouldn’t it? But whether or not man is able to follow it, God’s words are unequivocal. God told man very clearly what he can eat and what he cannot, and what will happen if he eats what he should not eat. Have you seen any of God’s disposition in these brief words that He spoke? Are these words of God true? Is there any deception? Is there any falsity? Is there anything threatening? (No.) God honestly, truthfully and sincerely told man what he can eat and what he cannot eat, clear and plain. Is there any hidden meaning in these words? Are these words straightforward? Is there any need for conjecture? (No.) There is no need to guess. Their meaning is obvious at a glance, and you understand as soon as you see it. It is crystal clear. That is, what God wants to say and what He wants to express comes from His heart. The things God expresses are clean, straightforward and clear. There are no covert motives nor any hidden meanings. He spoke to man directly, telling him what he can eat and what he cannot eat. That is to say, through these words of God man can see that God’s heart is transparent, that God’s heart is true. There is absolutely no falsity here; it’s not telling you that you cannot eat what is edible or telling you to “Do it and see what happens” with things that you cannot eat. He does not mean this. Whatever God thinks in His heart is what He says. If I say God is holy because He shows and reveals Himself within these words in this way, you may feel a little like I have made a big deal over nothing or that I have stretched My interpretation a little too far. If so, do not worry, we have not finished yet.
Let us talk about “The Serpent’s Seduction of the Woman.” Who is the serpent? (Satan.) Satan plays the role of the foil in God’s six-thousand-year management plan, and is a role that we cannot fail to mention when we fellowship the holiness of God. Why do I say this? If you do not know the evil and corruption of Satan or Satan’s nature, you then have no way to recognize it, nor can you know what holiness really is. In confusion, people believe that what Satan does is right, because they live within this kind of corrupt disposition. With no foil, with nothing to compare with, you then cannot know what holiness is, so this topic must be mentioned here. We have not plucked this topic out of thin air, but instead through its words and deeds we will see how Satan acts, how it corrupts mankind, what kind of nature it has and what its countenance is like. So what did the woman say to the serpent? The woman recounted to the serpent what Jehovah God had said to her. Going by what she said, had she confirmed the validity of all that God had said to her? She could not confirm this, could she? As someone who was newly created, she had no ability to discern good from evil, nor did she have the ability to cognize anything around her. Judging by the words she spoke to the serpent, she had not confirmed God’s words as being right in her heart; this was her attitude. So when the serpent saw that the woman had no definite attitude toward God’s words, it said: “You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” Is there anything wrong with these words? When you finished reading this sentence, did you get a sense of the serpent’s intentions? What intentions does the serpent have? (To tempt man into committing sin.) It wants to tempt this woman to stop her from heeding God’s words, but it didn’t speak directly. So we can say it is very cunning. It expresses its meaning in a sly and evasive way in order to reach its intended objective that it keeps hidden from man inside itself—this is the serpent’s cunning. Satan has ever spoken and acted this way. It says “not surely,” without confirming one way or the other. But upon hearing this, this ignorant woman’s heart was moved. The serpent was pleased as its words had had the desired effect—this was the serpent’s cunning intention. Furthermore, by promising an outcome that man believed to be a good one, it seduced her, saying, “in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened.” So she ponders: “To have my eyes opened is a good thing!” And then it said something even better, words unknown to man, words that wield a great power of temptation over those who hear them: “You shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” Are these words not strongly seductive to man? It is like someone saying to you: “Your face is shaped wonderfully. Just a little short along the bridge of the nose, but if you have that fixed, you will be a world-class beauty!” For someone who has never wanted to have cosmetic surgery, would their heart be moved hearing these words? Are these words seductive? Is this seduction tempting to you? Is it testing? (Yes.) Does God say things like this? Was there any hint of this in God’s words that we looked at just now? (No.) Does God say what He thinks in His heart? Can man see God’s heart through His words? (Yes.) But when the serpent had spoken those words to the woman, were you able to see its heart? (No.) And because of man’s ignorance, they were easily seduced by the serpent’s words, they were easily hooked, easily led. So were you able to see Satan’s intentions? Were you able to see the purpose behind what it said? Were you able to see its plot and its cunning scheme? (No.) What kind of disposition is represented by Satan’s way of speaking? What kind of essence have you seen in Satan through these words? Is it insidious? Perhaps on the surface it smiles at you or reveals no expression whatsoever. But in its heart it is calculating how to reach its objective, and it is this objective that you are unable to see. You are then seduced by all the promises it gives you, all the advantages it talks about. You see them as good, and you feel that what it says is more useful, more substantial than what God says. When this happens, does man not then become a submissive prisoner? Is this means used by Satan not diabolical? You allow yourself to sink low. Without Satan having to move a finger, with these two sentences you are happy to follow along with it, to comply with it. Its objective has been reached. Is this intention not sinister? Is this not Satan’s most primal countenance? From Satan’s words, man can see its sinister motives, see its hideous countenance and see its essence. Isn’t that right? In comparing these sentences, without analysis you may perhaps feel as though Jehovah God’s words are dull, ordinary and common, that they are not worth making a fuss about to praise God’s honesty. When we take Satan’s words and its hideous countenance and use them as a foil, however, do these words of God carry much weight for the people of today? (Yes.) Through this foil, man can sense God’s pure flawlessness. Every word Satan says as well as its motives, its intentions and the way it speaks—they are all adulterated. What is the main feature of its way of speaking? It uses equivocation to seduce you without letting you see it, nor does it allow you to discern what its objective is; it lets you take the bait, making you praise it and sing its merits. Is this not Satan’s constant ploy? (Yes.) Let us now look at what other words and expressions of Satan allow man to see its hideous countenance. Let us continue reading some scripture.
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