By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Interpretation of the Fifth Utterance
When God makes demands of humanity that are difficult for them to explain, and when His words strike directly into the human heart and people offer up their sincere hearts for Him to enjoy, then, after this, God gives people the chance to ponder, make a resolution, and seek out a path for practice. In this way, all those who are His people will once again, with fists clenched in determination, offer their whole being up to God. Some, perhaps, might draw up a plan and set up a daily schedule, as they prepare to stir themselves and get to work, dedicating their portion of energy to God’s plan of management, in order to bring glory upon this plan and speed up its conclusion. And, just as people are caught up in this psychological state, holding these things closely in their minds as they go about their chores, as they talk, and as they work, God, quickly following up on this, begins to speak again: “When My Spirit gives voice, it expresses the whole of My disposition. Are you clear on this?” The more determined a human being is, the more desperately he will yearn to grasp God’s will and the more earnestly he will yearn for God to make demands of him; and so God will give people what they want, taking advantage of this opportunity to impart His words, long held in readiness, to the innermost recesses of their being. Although these words may seem a bit harsh or gruff, to humanity they are sweet beyond compare. Straight away, the heart blossoms with joy, as if humanity were in heaven, or had been transported to another realm, a veritable paradise of the imagination, where the affairs of the outside world no longer impinge upon humanity. In order that people will not, as they were in the habit of doing in the past, speak from the outside and act from the outside, and so fail to lay down proper roots: In order to circumvent this eventuality, when what people desire in their hearts has been achieved, and moreover when they prepare to go to work with passionate enthusiasm, God still adapts His way of speaking to their psychological state, and, summarily and without holding back, confutes all the ardor and religious ceremony within their hearts. As God has said: “Have you truly seen the importance that lies therein?” Whether before or after a human being sets his resolve upon something, he does not put great importance upon knowing God in His actions or in His words, but rather keeps on pondering the question: “What can do I for God? That’s the key issue!” This is why God says: “And you have the nerve to call yourselves My people to My face—you have no sense of shame, still less any reason!” As soon as God has spoken these words, people immediately realize their import, and, as though, sustaining an electric shock, they hasten to withdraw their hands into the safety of their bosoms, fearful of provoking God’s wrath a second time. In addition to this, God has also said: “Sooner or later, people like this will be expelled from My house. Don’t you come the old soldier with Me, thinking that you have stood for My testimony!” Hearing words like these, people are even more afraid, as they would be if they had sighted a lion. They know full well in their hearts. They are, on the one hand, concerned not to be eaten by the lion while on the other feeling at a loss where to escape. At this moment, the “plan” inside the human heart vanishes without a trace, utterly and completely. Through , I feel as if I can see every single aspect of humanity’s shamefulness: Drooping head and hangdog demeanor, like a candidate who’s failed the college entrance exam, his lofty ideals, happy family, bright future, and so on and so forth, all turned—along with the Four Modernizations by the Year 2000—into empty talk, creating an imaginary scenario in a science fiction film. This is to exchange passive for active elements, making people, in the midst of their passivity, stand up in the place God has assigned them. Exceptionally important is the fact that human beings are deeply afraid of losing this appellation, and so they cling for dear life to their own badges of office, fearful that someone might wrest them away. When humanity is in this frame of mind, God does not worry that they will become passive, and so He accordingly changes His words of judgment to words of interrogation. Not only does He give people a chance to catch their breath, but He also gives them a chance to take the aspirations they have had before now and sort them out for future reference: What is unsuitable can be modified. This is because God has not yet begun His work—this is a piece of good fortune in the midst of great misfortune—and, moreover, does not pass sentence. So let me continue to give Him all my devotion!
Next, you must not, on account of your fear, set aside God’s words. Take a look to see whether God has any new demands. Sure enough, you will discover this kind of a demand: “From this time forth, in all things you must enter into the reality of practice; merely flapping your gums, as you used to do, will no longer get you by.” Herein is also manifest God’s wisdom. God has always safeguarded His own witness, and when the reality of the words of the past has reached its conclusion, no one whatsoever is able to fathom the knowledge of “the reality of practice.” This is sufficient to prove the truth of what God said about “the work that I Myself undertake to do by Myself.” It has to do with the true meaning of the work in divinity, and also has to do with the reason why humankind, after reaching a new point of beginning, is nevertheless still incapable of fathoming the true meaning of God’s words. This is because, in the past, the great majority of people would stick to the reality in God’s words, whereas today they have no clue about the reality of practice, but understand only the superficial aspects of these words without understanding their essence. Even more importantly, it is because today, in the building of the kingdom, no one is permitted to interfere, but only to obey God’s bidding like automatons. Remember this well! Every time God brings up the past, He begins to speak about the actual situation of today; this is a form of speaking that creates a striking contrast between what comes before and what comes after, and for this reason is able to achieve even better fruits, enabling people to set the present side by side with the past, and in this way avoid getting the distinction between the two muddled up. This is one facet of God’s wisdom, and its purpose is to attain the fruits of the work. After this, God once again reveals humanity’s ugliness, in order that humanity shall never forget to eat and drink God’s words every day, and even more importantly so that they shall daily know themselves and take this as the lesson that they must learn every day.
When He finishes speaking these words, God has achieved the effects at which He originally purposed. And so, without paying any further heed to whether or not humanity has understood Him, He brushes past this in a few sentences, because Satan’s work has nothing to do with humanity—of this humanity has no clue. Now, as we leave behind the world of the spirit, let us look further at what God asks of humanity: “Resting in My abode, I observe closely: All the people on earth bustle about, ‘traveling around the world’ and rushing back and forth, all for the sake of their destiny, their future. But not a single one has energy to spare for building My kingdom, not even so much as the strength one might use in drawing breath.” After exchanging these conventionalities with mankind, God still pays them no heed, but continues to speak from the perspective of the Spirit, and, through these words, reveals the general circumstances of the life of the human race in its entirety. It is clear to see, from “traveling around the world” and “rushing back and forth,” that human life is devoid of content. Were it not for the omnipotent salvation of God, those born into the down-and-out extended family of China’s imperial line would live a whole lifetime in vain and they might as well fall into Hades and hell as come into the world. Under the domination of the great red dragon, they have, unbeknownst to themselves, offended against God and so, naturally and again unknowingly, fallen under God’s chastisement. For this reason, God has taken “rescued from tribulation” and “ingrates” and put them together contrastively, that human beings may more clearly know themselves, creating from this a foil to His saving grace. Doesn’t this make for an even more efficacious result? Of course, it goes without My having to say so explicitly, people can, from the content of God’s speaking, infer an element of reproach, and again, an element of salvation and appeal, and yet again, a slight intimation of sadness. Reading these words, people begin unconsciously to feel a hesitant kind of compunction in their hearts, and cannot help shedding tears…. But God will not be restrained on account of a few sorrowful feelings, nor will He, on account of the corruption of the whole human race, abandon His work in disciplining His people and making demands of them. Because of this, His topics straight away touch on circumstances such as those of today, and moreover He proclaims to humanity the majesty of His administrative decrees, so that His plan keeps on going forward. This is why, following upon this with all due speed and striking while the iron is hot, God promulgates at this critical juncture a constitution for the times, a constitution that must be read with careful attention to every clause before humanity can understand God’s will. There is no need to go into this further now—they must simply read more attentively.
Today, you—this group of people here—are the only ones who can truly see God’s words. Even so, in knowing God, the people of today have fallen far behind any single person in ages past. From this it is sufficiently clear the extent of the effort Satan has invested on people over these several thousand years, and the extent to which it has corrupted mankind, which is so great that, even though God has spoken so many words, humanity still neither understands nor knows God, but instead dares to rise up and oppose Him publicly. And so God often holds up the men of past ages as a comparison for the people of today, to give the latter, insensate and demented as they are, a realistic point of reference. Because human beings have no knowledge of God, and because they lack genuine faith in Him, God has adjudged humanity to be lacking in qualifications and reason, and so He has, again and again, shown people tolerance and given them salvation. A battle is fought along these lines in the realm of the spirit: It is the vain hope of Satan to corrupt mankind to a certain degree, make the world foul and evil, and so drag man down into the mire and destroy God’s plan. But God’s plan is not to make all of humanity into people who know Him, but rather to choose a part to represent the whole, leaving the rest as waste products, as defective goods, to be thrown onto the rubbish heap. And so, although from Satan’s point of view taking possession of a few individuals seems an excellent opportunity of destroying God’s plan, what could such a dunce as it know about God’s intention? This is why God said, long ago, “I have covered My face to avoid looking at this world.” We do know a little bit about this, and God does not ask that human beings be capable of doing anything, rather that they recognize what He does as miraculous and unfathomable and hold Him in reverence in their hearts. If, as man imagines, God were to chastise him without regard for the circumstances, then the entire world would long since have perished. Wouldn’t this have meant falling right into Satan’s trap? And so God only uses His words to attain the fruits that He has in mind; seldom does He make an actual visitation. Is this not an instance of what He said: “If I did not take pity on your lack of qualifications, reason, and insights, then all of you would perish in the midst of My chastisement, wiped out from existence. But until My work on earth is finished, I will remain lenient to mankind”?
from The Word Appears in the Flesh