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The Cycle of Life and Death of the People Who Follow God
Next, let us speak of the cycle of life and death of those who follow God. This concerns you, so pay attention. First, think about what categories the people who follow God can be divided into. (God’s chosen people and service-doers.) There are two: God’s chosen people and service-doers. First we’ll talk about God’s chosen people, of which there are but a few. What does “God’s chosen people” refer to? After God created all things and there was mankind, God selected a group of people who followed Him, and they are simply called “God’s chosen people.” There is a special scope and significance to God’s selection of these people. The scope is that each time God does important work they must come—which is the first of the things that make them special. And what is their significance? Their selection by God means that they hold great significance. Which is to say, God wishes to make these people complete, and make them perfect, and after His work of management has finished, He will gain these people. Is this significance not great? Thus, these chosen people are of great importance to God, for they are those whom God intends to gain. Whereas the service-doers—well, let’s depart from God’s predestination, and first talk of their origins. The literal meaning of “service-doer” is one who serves. Those who serve are transient; they do not do so long-term, or forever, but are hired or recruited temporarily. Most of them are chosen from among the unbelievers. When they come to earth is when it is decreed that they will assume the role of service-doers in God’s work. They may have been an animal in their previous life, but they may also have been one of the unbelievers. Such are the origins of the service-doers.
Let us return to God’s chosen people. When they die, God’s chosen people go somewhere completely different from the unbelievers and the various people of faith. It is a place where they are accompanied by angels and God’s messengers, and one which is personally administered by God. Although, in this place, God’s chosen people are not able to behold God with their own eyes, it is unlike anywhere else in the spiritual realm; it is a place where this portion of people go after they die. When they die, they too are subject to a stringent investigation by God’s messengers. And what is investigated? God’s messengers investigate the paths taken by these people throughout their lives in their belief in God, whether or not, during that time, they ever opposed God, or cursed Him, and whether or not they committed grievous sins or evil. This investigation settles the question of whether the person leaves or stays. What does “leave” refer to? And what does “stay” refer to? “Leave” refers to whether, based on their behavior, they remain among the ranks of God’s chosen ones. “Stay” refers that they can remain among the people who are made complete by God during the last days. For those who stay, God has special arrangements. During each period of His work, God will send such people to act as apostles or to do the work of reviving the churches, or tending to them. But the people who are capable of such work are not reincarnated as frequently as the unbelievers, who are reborn time and time again; instead, they are returned to earth according to the needs and steps of God’s work, and are not those who are reincarnated often. So are there any rules to when they are reincarnated? Do they come once every few years? Do they come with such frequency? They do not. This is based on God’s work, on the steps of His work, and His needs, and there are no rules. The only one rule is that when God does the final stage of His work during the last days, these chosen people will all come. When they all come, this will be the last time that they are reincarnated. And why is that? This is based on the outcome to be achieved during God’s last stage of work—for during this last stage of work, God will make these chosen people entirely complete. What does this mean? If, during this final phase, these people are made complete, and made perfect, then they will not be reincarnated as before; the process of being human will come to a complete finish, as will the process of reincarnation. This relates to those who will stay. So where do those who can’t stay go? Those who can’t stay have somewhere appropriate to go. Firstly, as a result of their evildoing, the mistakes they have made, and the sins they have committed, they too are punished. After they have been punished, God sends them out among the unbelievers; as befits the circumstances, He will arrange for them to be among the unbelievers, or else among the various people of faith. Which is to say, there are two possible circumstances for them: One is, after being punished, perhaps living among the people of a certain religion when they are reincarnated, and the other is to become an unbeliever. If they become an unbeliever, then they will lose all opportunity. Whereas if they become a person of faith—if, for example, they become a Christian—they still have the chance to return among the ranks of God’s chosen people; there are very complex relationships to this. In short, if one of God’s chosen people does something that offends God, they will be punished just like everybody else. Take Paul, for example, whom we previously talked about. Paul is an example of those who are punished. Are you getting an idea of what I’m talking about? Is the scope of God’s chosen people fixed? (Mostly it is.) Most of it is fixed, but a small part of it is not fixed. Why is that? Here, I have referred to the most obvious reason: committing evil. When they commit evil, God does not want them, and when God doesn’t want them, He throws them among various races and types of people, which leaves them without hope, and makes it difficult for them to return. This all relates to the cycle of life and death of God’s chosen people.
Next is the cycle of life and death of the service-doers. We just talked about the origins of the service-doers, that is, they were reincarnated from unbelievers and animals in their previous lives. With the arrival of the last stage of work, God has selected from the unbelievers a group of such people, and it is a group that is special. God’s aim in choosing such people is for them to serve His work. “Service” is not a very elegant-sounding word, nor is it something that anyone would be disposed to, but we should look at whom it is aimed at. There is a special significance to the existence of God’s service-doers. No one else could play their role, for they were chosen by God. And what is the role of these service-doers? To serve God’s chosen people. In the main, their role is to serve God’s work, to cooperate with God’s work, and to cooperate with God’s completion of His chosen people. Regardless of whether they are laboring, carrying out some work, or undertaking certain tasks, what is God’s requirement of these people? Is He very demanding in His requirements of them? (No, God asks that they be loyal.) Service-doers also have to be loyal. Regardless of your origins, or why God chose you, you must be loyal to God, to what God commissions of you, as well as to the work you are responsible for and the duty you perform. If service-doers are capable of being loyal, and satisfying God, then what will their end be? They will be able to remain. Is it a blessing to be a service-doer who remains? What does it mean to remain? What does this blessing mean? In status, they seem unlike God’s chosen people, they seem different. In fact, however, is what they enjoy in this life not the same as God’s chosen people? At the very least, in this life it is the same. You don’t deny this, yes? God’s utterances, God’s grace, God’s provision, God’s blessings—who does not enjoy these things? Everyone enjoys such abundance. The identity of a service-doer is service-doer, but to God, they are one among all the things that He created—it’s simply that their role is that of service-doer. As one of God’s creatures, is there a difference between a service-doer and God’s chosen people? In effect, there is not. Nominally speaking, there is a difference, in substance there is a difference, in terms of the role they play there is a difference, but God does not discriminate against these people. So why are these people defined as service-doers? You should understand this. The service-doers come from among the unbelievers. The mention of the unbelievers tells us that their past is bad: They are all atheists, in their past they were atheists, they did not believe in God, and they were hostile to God, the truth, and positive things. They did not believe in God and did not believe there is a God, so are they capable of understanding God’s words? It is fair to say that, to a large extent, they are not. Just as animals are incapable of understanding human words, the service-doers don’t understand what God is saying, what He requires, why He makes such requirements—they don’t understand, these things are incomprehensible to them, they remain unenlightened. And for this reason, these people are not possessed of the life that we talked of. Without life, can people understand the truth? Are they equipped with the truth? Are they equipped with the experience and knowledge of God’s words? (No.) Such are the origins of the service-doers. But since God makes these people service-doers, there are still standards to His requirements of them; He does not look down upon them, and He is not perfunctory toward them. Even though they don’t understand His words, and are without life, God is still kind to them, and there are still standards to His requirements of them. You just spoke of these standards: Being loyal to God, and doing what He says. In your service you must serve where needed, and must serve to the very end. If you can be a loyal service-doer, are able to serve right up to the very end, and are able to perfectly complete the commission given to you by God, then you will live a life of value, and so you will be able to remain. If you put in a bit more effort, if you try harder, are able to double your endeavors to know God, can speak a little of the knowledge of God, can bear testimony to God, and moreover, if you can understand something of God’s will, can cooperate in God’s work, and be somewhat mindful of God’s will, then you, this service-doer, will have a change in fortune. And what will this change in fortune be? You will no longer simply be able to remain. Based on your conduct and your personal aspirations and pursuit, God will make you one of the chosen ones. This will be your change in fortune. For service-doers, what is the best thing about this? It is that they can become one of God’s chosen people. If they become one of God’s chosen people, it means they are no longer reincarnated as an animal like an unbeliever. Is that good? It is, and it’s good news. Which is to say, service-doers can be molded. It is not that case that for a service-doer, when God destines him to serve, he will do so forever; that is not necessarily so. Based on his individual conduct, God will handle him differently, and reply to him differently.
But there are service-doers who are unable to serve until the very end; during their service, there are those who give up halfway and forsake God, there are those who do many bad things, and even those who cause tremendous harm and do tremendous damage to God’s work, there are even service-doers who curse God, and so on—and what do these irremediable consequences mean? Any such evil acts will mean the termination of their service. Because your conduct during your service has been too poor, because you have overstepped yourself, when God sees that your service is not up to snuff He will strip you of your eligibility to serve, He will not let you serve, He will remove you from before His eyes, and from the house of God. Is it not that you don’t want to serve? Do you not always wish to do evil? Are you not always unfaithful? Well then, there’s an easy solution: You’ll be stripped of your eligibility to serve. To God, stripping a service-doer of their eligibility to serve means that this service-doer’s end has been proclaimed, and they will no longer be eligible to serve God, God has no further need of their service, and no matter what nice things they say these words will be in vain. When things have gotten to this point, this situation will have become irremediable; service-doers such as this will have no way back. And how does God deal with service-doers such as this? Does He merely stop them from serving? No. Does He merely prevent them from remaining? Or does He put them to one side, and wait for them to turn around? He does not. God is not so loving of the service-doers, truly. If a person has this kind of attitude in their service to God, God will, as a result of this attitude, strip them of their eligibility to serve, and will once more throw them back among the unbelievers. And what is the fate of a service-doer who has been thrown back among the unbelievers? It is the same as that of the unbelievers: being reincarnated as an animal and receiving the unbelievers’ punishment in the spiritual world. And God won’t take a personal interest in their punishment, for they no longer have any relevance to God’s work. This is not only the end of their life of, but also the end of their own fate, the proclamation of their fate. So if service-doers serve poorly, they will have to bear the consequences themselves. If a service-doer is incapable of serving to the very end, or is stripped of their eligibility to serve midway, then they will be thrown among the unbelievers—and if they are thrown among the unbelievers they will be dealt with in the same way as livestock, in the same way as people without intellect or rationality. When I put it like that, you understand, yes?
The above is God’s handling of the cycle of life and death of His chosen people and the service-doers. How do you feel after having heard this? Have I ever spoken of the topic that I just talked about, the topic of God’s chosen people and the service-doers? I actually have, but you don’t remember. God is righteous toward His chosen people and the service-doers. In all regards He is righteous, yes? Is there anywhere you can find fault? Are there people who will say: “Why is God so tolerant toward the chosen ones? And why is He only a little forbearing toward the service-doers?” Does anyone wish to stand up for the service-doers? “Can God give the service-doers more time, and be more forbearing and tolerant toward them?” Are these words right? (No, they’re not.) And why aren’t they right? (Because we’ve actually been shown favor just by being made service-doers.) Service-doers have actually been shown favor just by being allowed to serve! Without the term “service-doers,” and without the work of service-doers, where would these service-doers be? Among the unbelievers, living and dying with the livestock. What great graces they enjoy today, being allowed to come before God, and come to the house of God! This is a tremendous grace! If God did not give you the opportunity to serve, you would never have the chance to come before God. To say the least, even if you are someone who is a Buddhist and has achieved immortality, at most you’re a gofer in the spiritual world; you will never meet God, or hear His voice, or hear His words, or feel His love and blessings for you, and you couldn’t possibly ever come face-to-face with Him. The only thing before Buddhists are simple tasks. They can’t possibly know God, and merely blindly comply and obey, whereas the service-doers gain so much during this stage of work! Firstly, they are able to come face-to-face with God, to hear His voice, to hear His words, and to experience the graces and blessings that He gives people. Moreover, they are able to enjoy the words and truths given by God. They really gain so much! So if, as a service-doer, you can’t even make the right effort, would God still keep you? He cannot keep you. He doesn’t ask much of you, but you do nothing that He asks properly, you haven’t adhered to your duty—and so, without doubt, God cannot keep you. Such is God’s righteous disposition. God doesn’t mollycoddle you, but neither does He discriminate against you. Such are the principles by which God acts. God acts like this toward all people and creatures.
When it comes to the spiritual world, if the various beings in it do something wrong, if they do not do their job correctly, God also has corresponding heavenly edicts and decrees to deal with them—this is absolute. So during God’s several-thousand-year management work, some bailiffs who did wrong have been exterminated, some, today, are still being detained and punished. This is what must be faced by every being in the spiritual world. If they do something wrong or commit evil, they are punished—which is the same as God’s approach to His chosen people and the service-doers. And so, whether it is in the spiritual world or the material world, the principles by which God acts do not change. Regardless of whether you can see God’s actions or not, their principles do not change. Throughout, God has had the same principles in His approach to all things and in His handling of all things. This is immutable. God will be kind toward those among the unbelievers who live relatively properly, and will save opportunities for those in each religion who behave well and do no evil, allowing them to play their role in all the things managed by God, and do that which they ought to do. Similarly, among those who follow God, among His chosen people, God does not discriminate against any person according to these principles of His. He is kind toward everyone who is able to sincerely follow Him, and loves everyone who sincerely follows Him. It’s just that for these several types of people—the unbelievers, the various people of faith, and God’s chosen people—what He bestows upon them is different. Take the unbelievers: Although they don’t believe in God, and God sees them as livestock, among all things each of them has food to eat, a place of their own, and a normal cycle of life and death. Those who do evil are punished, and those who do good are blessed and receive God’s kindness. Isn’t that how it is? For the people of faith, if they are able to strictly abide by the religious precepts rebirth after rebirth, then after all these rebirths God will ultimately make His proclamation to them. Similarly, for you today, whether you be one of God’s chosen people or a service-doer, God will also bring you into line and determine your end in accordance with the regulations and administrative decrees that He has set. Among these several types of people—the various types of people of faith, who belong to various religions—has God given them living space? Where is Judaism? Has God interfered in their faith? He has not, right? And what about Christianity? He has not interfered either. He allows them to abide by their own procedures, and does not talk to them, or give them any enlightenment, and, moreover, does not reveal anything to them: “If you think it’s right, then believe in this way.” The Catholics believe in Mary, and that it was through Mary that the news was passed on to the Lord Jesus; such is their form of belief. And has God ever corrected their faith? God gives them free rein, He pays them no heed, and He gives them a certain space in which to live. And toward the Muslims and Buddhists, is He also like that? He has set boundaries for them, too, and allows them to have their own living space, without interfering in their respective faiths. All is well-ordered. And what do you see in all this? That God is possessed of authority, but He does not abuse His authority. God arranges all things in perfect order, and is methodical, and in this lies His wisdom and omnipotence.
Today we talked of a new and special topic, one concerning matters of the spiritual world, which is one aspect of God’s administration of and dominion over the spiritual world. When you didn’t understand these things, you may have said: “Everything to do with this is a mystery, and has nothing to do with our entry into life; these things are divorced from how people actually live, and we don’t need to understand them, nor do we wish to hear of them. They have absolutely no connection to knowing God.” Now, do you think there is a problem with such thinking? Is it right? (No.) Such thinking is not right, and has serious problems. That is because, if you wish to understand how God rules over all things, you cannot simply and only understand what you can see and what is obtainable by your thinking. You must also understand some of the other world that is invisible to you, but which is inextricably linked to this world that you can see. This concerns God’s sovereignty, it concerns the topic of “God is the source of life for all things”; it is information about that. Without this information, there would be flaws and deficiencies in people’s knowledge of how God is the source of life for all things. Thus, what we have spoken of today can be said to have rounded off what we talked about before, as well as the content of “God is the source of life for all things.” Having understood this, are you now able to know God through this content? And what is more important is that today, I have passed on to you a very important piece of information concerning the service-doers. I know that you really like hearing about topics like this, that you really care about these things, so do you feel satisfied with what I talked about today? (Yes, we do.) You may not have a strong impression of other things, but you have a particularly strong impression of the sayings about the service-doers, for this topic touches the soul of every one of you.
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
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