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God’s Utterance “God Himself, the Unique (III) God’s Authority (II)” (Part Two)
The Six Junctures in a Human Life
In the course of one’s life, every person arrives at a series of critical junctures. These are the most fundamental, and the most important, steps that determine a person’s fate in life. What follows is a brief description of these milestones that every person must pass in the course of his or her life.
Birth: The First Juncture
Where a person is born, what family he or she is born into, one’s gender, appearance, and time of birth: these are the details of the first juncture of a person’s life.
No one has any choice about these parts in this juncture; they are all predestined long in advance by the . They are not influenced by the external environment in any way, and no manmade factors can change these facts that the Creator has predetermined. For a person to be born means that the Creator has already fulfilled the first step of the fate He has arranged for that person. Because He has predetermined all of these details long in advance, no one has the power to alter any of them. Regardless of a person’s subsequent fate, the conditions of one’s birth are predestined, and remain as they are; they are not in any way influenced by one’s fate in life, nor do they in any way affect the Creator’s sovereignty over it.
1. A new life is born out of the Creator’s plans
Which details of the first juncture—the place of one’s birth, one’s family, one’s gender, one’s physical appearance, the time of one’s birth—is a person able to choose? Obviously, one’s birth is a “passive” event: one is born involuntarily, in a certain place, at a certain time, into a certain family, with a certain physical appearance; one involuntarily becomes a member of a certain household, inherits a certain family tree. One has no choice at this first life juncture, but is born into an environment that is fixed according to the Creator’s plans, into a specific family, with a specific gender and appearance, and at a specific time which is intimately linked with the course of a person’s life. What can a person do at this critical juncture? All told, one has no choice about any single one of these details concerning one’s birth. Were it not for the Creator’s predestination and His guidance, a life newly born into this world would not know where to go or where to stay, would have no relations, belong nowhere, have no real home. But because of the Creator’s meticulous arrangements, it begins the journey of its life with a place to stay, parents, a place it belongs to, and relatives. Throughout this process, the advent of this new life is determined by the Creator’s plans, and everything it will come to possess will be bestowed upon it by the Creator. From a free-floating body with nothing to its name it gradually becomes a flesh-and-blood, visible, tangible human being, one of God’s creations, who thinks, breathes, and senses warm and cold, who can participate in all the usual activities of a created being in the material world, and who will undergo all the things that a created human being must experience in life. The predetermination of a person’s birth by the Creator means that He will bestow upon that person all things necessary for survival; and that a person is born likewise means that he or she will receive all things necessary for survival from the Creator, that from that point on he or she will live in another form, provided for by the Creator and subject to the Creator’s sovereignty.
2. Why different human beings are born under different circumstances
People often like to imagine that if they were reborn, it would be into an illustrious family; if they were women, they would look like Snow White and be loved by everybody, and if they were men, they would be Prince Charming, wanting for nothing, with the whole world at their beck and call. There are often those who are under many illusions about their birth and are often very dissatisfied with it, resenting their family, their appearance, their gender, even the time of their birth. Yet people never understand why they are born into a particular family or why they look a certain way. They do not know that regardless of where they are born or how they look, they are to play various roles and fulfill different missions in the Creator’s management—this purpose will never change. In the Creator’s eyes, the place one is born, one’s gender, one’s physical appearance, are all temporary things. They are a series of miniscule jots, tiny symbols in each phase of His management of the whole mankind. And a person’s real destination and ending are not determined by his or her birth in any particular phase, but by the mission that he or she fulfills in every life, by the Creator’s judgment upon them when His management plan is complete.
It is said that there is a cause for every effect, that no effect is without a cause. And so one’s birth is necessarily tied both to one’s present life and one’s previous life. If a person’s death ends their current term of life, then a person’s birth is the beginning of a fresh cycle; if an old cycle represents a person’s previous life, then the new cycle is naturally their present life. Since one’s birth is connected to one’s past life as well as one’s present life, the location, family, gender, appearance, and other such factors, which are associated with one’s birth, are all necessarily related to them. This means that the factors of a person’s birth are not only influenced by one’s previous life, but determined by one’s destiny in the present one. This accounts for the variety of different circumstances into which people are born: Some are born into poor families, others into rich families. Some are of common stock, others have illustrious lineages. Some are born in the south, others in the north. Some are born in the desert, others in verdant lands. Some people’s births are accompanied by cheers, laughter, and celebrations, others bring tears, calamity, and woe. Some are born to be treasured, others to be cast aside like weeds. Some are born with fine features, others with crooked ones. Some are lovely to look upon, others are ugly. Some are born at midnight, others beneath the blaze of the noonday sun. … The births of people of all stripes are determined by the fates the Creator has in store for them; their births determine their fates in the present life as well as the roles they will play and the missions they will fulfill. All this is subject to the Creator’s sovereignty, predestined by Him; no one can escape their predestined lot, no one can change the circumstances of [a] their birth, and no one can choose their own fate.
Growing Up: The Second Juncture
Depending on what kind of family they are born into, people grow up in different home environments and learn different lessons from their parents. This determines the conditions under which a person comes of age, and growing up [b] represents the second critical juncture of a person’s life. Needless to say, people have no choice at this juncture, either. It too is fixed, prearranged.
1. The circumstances under which one grows up are fixed by the Creator
A person cannot choose the people or factors under whose edification and influence he or she grows up. One cannot choose what knowledge or skills one acquires, what habits one forms. One has no say in who one’s parents and relatives are, what kind of environment one grows up in; one’s relationships with the people, events, and things in one’s surroundings, and how they influence one’s development, are all beyond one’s control. Who decides these things, then? Who arranges them? Since people have no choice in the matter, since they cannot decide these things for themselves, and since they obviously do not take shape naturally, it goes without saying that the formation of all this rests in the hands of the Creator. Just as the Creator arranges the particular circumstances of every person’s birth, He also arranges the specific circumstances under which one grows up, needless to say. If a person’s birth brings changes to the people, events, and things around him or her, then that person’s growth and development will necessarily affect them as well. For example, some people are born into poor families, but grow up surrounded by wealth; others are born into affluent families but cause their families’ fortunes to decline, such that they grow up in poor environments. No one’s birth is governed by a fixed rule, and no one grows up under an inevitable, fixed set of circumstances. These are not things that a person can imagine or control; they are the products of one’s fate, and are determined by one’s fate. Of course, the bottom line is that they are predestined for a person’s fate by the Creator, they are determined by the Creator’s sovereignty over, and His plans for, that person’s fate.
2. The various circumstances under which people grow up give rise to the different roles
The circumstances of a person’s birth establish on a basic level the environment and circumstances in which they grow up, and the circumstances in which a person grows up are likewise a product of the circumstances of his or her birth. During this time one begins to learn language, and one’s mind begins to encounter and assimilate many new things, in the process of which one is constantly growing. The things a person hears with one’s ears, sees with one’s eyes, and takes in with one’s mind gradually enrich and animate one’s inner world. The people, events, and things that one comes into contact with, the common sense, knowledge, and skills one learns, and the ways of thinking that one is influenced by, inculcated with, or taught, will all guide and influence a person’s fate in life. The language that one learns as one grows and one’s way of thinking are inseparable from the environment in which one spends one’s youth, and that environment consists of parents, siblings, and other people, events, and things around him or her. So the course of a person’s development is determined by the environment in which one grows up, and also depends on the people, events, and things that one comes into contact with during this period of time. Since the conditions under which a person grows up are predetermined long in advance, the environment in which one lives during this process is also, naturally, predetermined. It is not decided by a person’s choices and preferences, but is decided according to the Creator’s plans, determined by the Creator’s careful arrangements, by the Creator’s sovereignty over a person’s fate in life. So the people that any person encounters in the course of growing up, and the things one comes into contact with, are all inevitably connected with the orchestration and arrangement of the Creator. People cannot foresee these kinds of complex interrelationships, nor can they control them or fathom them. Many different things and many different people have a bearing on the environment in which a person grows up, and no human being is capable of arranging and orchestrating such a vast web of connections. No person or thing except for the Creator can control the appearance, presence, and disappearance of all the various people, events, and things, and it is just such a vast web of connections that shape a person’s development as predestined by the Creator, form the various environments in which people grow up, and create the various roles necessary for the Creator’s work of management, laying solid, strong foundations for people to successfully fulfill their missions.
from “God Himself, the Unique (III) God’s Authority (2)”
in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
Previous Page: God Himself, the Unique (III) God’s Authority (2) (Part One)
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