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 how God’s followers can be categorized. (God’s chosen ones, and the service-doers.) There are indeed two: God’s chosen ones, and the service-doers. First, let us talk about God’s chosen ones, of whom there are but a few. Whom does “God’s chosen ones” refer to? After God created all things and mankind came into existence, God selected a group of people who would follow Him; these are simply referred to as “God’s chosen.” There was a special scope and significance to God’s selection of these people. The scope is special in that it was limited to a select few, who must come when He does important work. And what is the significance? Since they were a group selected by God, the significance is great. That is, God wishes to complete these people, and perfect them, and once His work of management is finished, He will gain these people. Is this significance not great? Thus, these chosen ones are of great importance to God, for they are the ones whom God intends to gain. As for the service-doers, well, let us take a break for a moment from the subject of God’s predestination, and first talk of their origins. A “service-doer” is literally one who serves. Those who serve are transient; they do not do so long-term or forever, but are hired or recruited temporarily. The origin of most of them is that they were selected from among the unbelievers. They came to earth when it was decreed that they would assume the role of service-doers in God’s work. They may have been animals in the previous lifetime, but they may also have been unbelievers. Such are the origins of the service-doers.
Let us talk further of God’s chosen people. When they die, they go to a completely different location from that of the unbelievers and various people of faith. It is a place where they are accompanied by angels and God’s messengers; it is a place that is personally administered by God. Even though God’s chosen people cannot behold God with their own eyes in this place, it is unlike anywhere else in the spiritual realm; this is a different location, 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 these people have taken throughout their lives in their belief in God, whether or not they ever opposed God or cursed Him during that time, and whether or not they committed any grievous sins or evil. This investigation will settle the question of whether a particular person is allowed to stay or must leave. What does “leave” mean? And what does “stay” mean? “Leave” means whether, based on their behavior, they remain among the ranks of God’s chosen ones; being allowed to “stay” means that they can remain among the ones who will be made complete by God during the last days. For those who stay, God has special arrangements. During each period of His work, He will send such people to act as apostles or to do the work of reviving or tending to the churches. However, people who are capable of such work are not reincarnated as frequently as unbelievers, who are reborn generation after generation; rather, they are returned to earth in accordance with the requirements and steps of God’s work, and they are not reincarnated frequently. 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 all based on God’s work, on its steps and on His needs, and there are no set rules. The only rule is that when God does the final stage of His work during the last days, these chosen people will all come, and this coming will be their last reincarnation. 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 ones entirely complete. What does this mean? If, during this final phase, these people are made complete and perfected, then they will not be reincarnated as before; their process of being human will have come to a complete finish, as will their process of reincarnation. This relates to those who will stay. So where do those who cannot stay go? Those who are not allowed to stay have their own appropriate destination. First of all, as a result of their evildoing, the mistakes they have made, and the sins they have committed, they, too, will be punished. After they have been punished, God will either make arrangements to send them out among the unbelievers as befits the circumstances, or arrange for them to go among the various people of faith. In other words, there are two possible outcomes for them: One is being punished and perhaps living among the people of a certain religion after being reincarnated, and the other is becoming unbelievers. If they become unbelievers, then they will lose all opportunity; however, if they become people of faith—if, for example, they become Christians—then they will still have a 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 a person who is being punished. Are you getting an idea of what I am talking about? Is the scope of God’s chosen ones fixed? (It is, mostly.) 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 people commit evil, God does not want them, and when God does not want them, He throws them among various races and types of people. This leaves them without hope and makes it difficult for them to return. All of this relates to the cycle of life and death of God’s chosen ones.
This next topic relates to the cycle of life and death of service-doers. We just talked about the origins of service-doers; that is, the fact that they were reincarnated after having been unbelievers and animals in their previous lifetimes. With the arrival of the last stage of work, God has selected from the unbelievers a group of such people, and this group is special. God’s aim in choosing these people is for them to serve His work. “Service” is not a very elegant-sounding word, nor is it in line with everyone’s wishes, but we should look at whom it is aimed at. The existence of God’s service-doers has a special significance. No one else could play their role, for they were chosen by God. And what is the role of these service-doers? It is to serve God’s chosen ones. For the most part, their role is to give service to God’s work, to cooperate with it, and to accommodate God’s completion of His chosen ones. Regardless of whether they are laboring, carrying out some aspect of work, or undertaking certain tasks, what is God’s requirement of these service-doers? Is He very demanding in His requirements of them? (No, He asks only that they be loyal.) Service-doers, too, must be loyal. Regardless of your origins or why God selected you, you must be loyal to God, to any commissions God entrusts to you, and to the work for which you are responsible and the duties you perform. For service-doers who are capable of being loyal and satisfying God, what will their outcomes 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 is the significance of this blessing? In status, they seem unlike God’s chosen ones; they seem different. But in fact, is what they enjoy in this life not the same as that of God’s chosen ones? At the very least, it is the same in this lifetime. You do not deny this, do you? 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 one who does service, but to God, they are just one among all the things that He created; it is simply that their role is that of service-doer. Being that they are both God’s creatures, is there any difference between a service-doer and one of God’s chosen? In effect, there is not. Nominally speaking, there is a difference; in substance and in terms of the role they play, there is a difference—but God does not treat this group of people unfairly. So why are these people defined as service-doers? You must have some understanding of this! Service-doers come from among the unbelievers. As soon as we mention that they come from among the unbelievers, it is apparent that they share a bad background: They are all atheists, and were so in the past, too; they did not believe in God, and were hostile to Him, to the truth, and to all things positive. They did not believe in God or in His existence. As such, 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, service-doers cannot understand what God is saying, what He requires, or why He makes such demands. They do not understand; these things are incomprehensible to them, and they remain unenlightened. For this reason, these people do not possess the life of which we have spoken. Without the life, can people understand the truth? Are they equipped with the truth? Do they have experience and knowledge of God’s words? (No.) Such are the origins of service-doers. However, since God makes these people service-doers, there are still standards to His requirements of them; He does not look down upon them, nor is He perfunctory toward them. Even though they do not comprehend His words and are not in possession of the life, God still treats them kindly, and there are still standards when it comes 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 you 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 can fulfill the commission entrusted to you by God, then you will live a life of value. If you can do this, you will be able to remain. If you put in a bit more effort, if you try a bit harder, can redouble your endeavors to know God, can speak a little about knowing God, can bear testimony to Him, and, moreover, if you can understand something of His will, can cooperate in God’s work, and can be somewhat mindful of God’s intentions, then you, as a service-doer, will experience a change in fortune. And what will this change in fortune be? You will no longer simply be able to remain. Depending on your conduct and your personal aspirations and pursuits, 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 God’s chosen. If they do so, it means that they will no longer be reincarnated as animals the way unbelievers are. Is that good? It is, and it is also good news: It means that service-doers can be molded. It is not the case that for a service-doer, once God has predestined them to serve, they will do so forever; that is not necessarily so. God will handle them and respond to them in a way that befits this person’s individual conduct.
However, there are service-doers who are unable to serve to the very end; there are those who, during their service, give up halfway and forsake God, as well as people who commit multiple wrongdoings. There are even those who cause tremendous harm and bring tremendous losses to God’s work, and there are even service-doers who curse God and so on. What do these irremediable consequences indicate? Any such evil acts will signify the termination of their services. Because your conduct during your service has been overly poor and because you have gone too far, once God sees that your service is not up to standard, He will strip you of your eligibility to serve. He will no longer allow you to serve; He will remove you from before His very eyes and from the house of God. Is it that you do not want to serve? Are you not constantly wanting to do evil? Are you not consistently unfaithful? Well then, there is an easy solution: You will 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 this person’s service, and no matter what nice things they might say, those words will be in vain. When things have gotten to this point, the situation will have become irremediable; service-doers like these 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 make a turn-around? He does not. God is not so loving when it comes to 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 toss them back among the unbelievers. And what is the fate of a service-doer who has been tossed back among the unbelievers? It is the same as that of the unbelievers: They will be reincarnated as an animal and receive the same punishment in the spiritual world as an unbeliever. Moreover, God will not take any personal interest in this person’s punishment, for such a person no longer has any relevance to God’s work. This is not only the end of their life of faith in God, but also the end of their own fate, as well as the proclamation of their fate. Thus, 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 this happens, such a person 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 can understand, yes?
The aforementioned is how God handles the cycle of life and death of His chosen ones and the service-doers. After having heard this, how do you feel? Have I ever spoken of this topic before? Have I ever spoken on the subject of God’s chosen ones and the service-doers? I actually have, but you do not remember. God is righteous toward His chosen people and the service-doers. In all regards, He is righteous. Am I right? Is there anywhere you can find fault in this? Are there not people who will say, “Why is God so tolerant toward the chosen ones? And why is He only a little forbearing toward 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?” Is it right to voice such a question? (No, it is not.) And why not? (Because we have actually been shown favor just through the act of being made service-doers.) Service-doers have actually been shown favor simply by being allowed to serve! Without the title of “service-doers,” and without the work they do, where would these people be? They would 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 such a tremendous grace! If God did not give you the opportunity to serve, you would never have the chance to come before Him. To say the least, even if you are someone who is a Buddhist and has attained fruition, at most, you are but a gofer in the spiritual world; you will never meet God, hear His voice or His words, or feel His love and blessings, nor could you ever possibly come face-to-face with Him. The only things Buddhists have before them are simple tasks. They cannot possibly know God, and they just 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, hear His voice, hear His words, and experience the graces and blessings that He bestows upon people. Furthermore, they are able to enjoy the words and truths bestowed by God. Service-doers truly gain so much! Thus, if, as a service-doer, you cannot even put forth a proper effort, then can God still keep you? He cannot keep you. He does not ask much of you, yet you do nothing that He asks properly; you have not adhered to your duty. As such, without a doubt, God cannot keep you. Such is God’s righteous disposition. God does not mollycoddle you, but neither does He discriminate against you. These are the principles by which God acts. God treats all people and creatures in this manner.
When it comes to the spiritual world, if the various beings in it do something wrong or do not do their jobs correctly, God also has corresponding heavenly edicts and decrees with which to deal with them; this is absolute. Therefore, during God’s several-thousand-year management work, some duty-doers who committed wrongdoings have been exterminated, while some—to this very day—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, then they are punished—and this is the same as God’s approach to His chosen ones and the service-doers. Thus, in both the spiritual world and the material world, the principles by which God acts do not change. Whether or not you can see God’s actions, their principles do not change. Throughout, God has had the same principles in His approach to everything and in His handling of all things. This is immutable. God will be kind toward those among the unbelievers who live in a relatively proper manner, and will save opportunities for those in each religion who behave well and do no evil, allowing them to play their roles in all the things managed by God and do that which they ought to do. Similarly, among those who follow God, and 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 He loves everyone who sincerely follows Him. It is just that for these several types of people—unbelievers, the various people of faith, and God’s chosen ones—that which He bestows upon them varies. Take the unbelievers, for example: Although they do not believe in God, and God sees them as beasts, 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. Is this not how it is? For people of faith, if they are able to strictly abide by their religious precepts through rebirth after rebirth, then after all those reincarnations, God will ultimately make His proclamation to them. Similarly, for you today, whether you are one of God’s chosen or a service-doer, God will likewise bring you into line and determine your outcome in accordance with the regulations and administrative decrees that He has set. Among these types of people, the different types of people of faith—that is, the ones who belong to various religions—has God given them space in which to live? Where are the Jews? Has God interfered in their faith? He has not, right? And what about Christians? He has not interfered with them, either. He allows them to abide by their own procedures, He does not talk to them or give them any enlightenment and, moreover, He does not reveal anything to them. If you think it is right, then believe in this way. Catholics believe in Mary, and that it was through her that the news was passed on to Jesus; such is their form of belief. Has God ever corrected their faith? He gives them free rein; He pays them no heed and gives them a certain space in which to live. With regard to Muslims and Buddhists, is He not the same? He has set boundaries for them, too, and allows them to have their own living space, without interfering in their respective beliefs. All is well-ordered. And what do you see in all this? That God is possessed of authority, but He does not abuse it. God arranges all things in perfect order and does it in an orderly manner, and herein lies His wisdom and omnipotence.
Today we have touched upon a new and special topic, one concerning matters of the spiritual world, which represents one aspect of God’s administration of and dominion over that realm. Before you understood 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 do not need to understand them, nor do we wish to hear of them. They have absolutely no connection with knowing God.” Now, do you think there is a problem with such thinking? Is it correct? (No.) Such thinking is not right and has serious problems. The reason for this is that if you wish to comprehend how God rules over all things, you cannot simply and only understand that which you can see and what your way of thinking can grasp; you must also understand some of the other world, that may be invisible to you but which is inextricably linked to this world that you can see. This concerns God’s sovereignty, and it concerns the topic, “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 our previous topics, as well as concluding 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? More importantly, today I have passed on to you a very crucial piece of information concerning service-doers. I know that you really enjoy listening to topics such as this, and that you really care about these things. Do you therefore feel satisfied with what I have talked about today? (Yes, we do.) Some of the other things may not have made a very strong impression on you, but what I have said about service-doers has made a particularly strong impression, for this topic touches the soul of every one of you.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique X” in The Word Appears in the Flesh