God Himself, the Unique (III)
God’s Authority (2)
Today we will continue our fellowship about the topic of “God Himself, the Unique.” We have already had two fellowships on this subject, the first concerning God’s authority, and the second concerning God’s righteous disposition. After listening to these two fellowships, have you gained a new understanding of God’s identity, status, and substance? Have these insights helped you achieve a more substantive knowledge and certainty of the truth of God’s existence? Today I plan to expand upon the topic of “God’s authority.”
God’s authority is unique. It is the characteristic expression of, and the special substance of, the identity of God Himself. No created or non-created being possesses such characteristic expression and such special substance; only the Creator possesses this kind of authority. That is to say, only the Creator—God the Unique—is expressed in this way and has this substance. Why talk about God’s authority? How is the authority of God Himself different from the authority in man’s mind? What is special about it? Why is it particularly significant to talk about it here? Each of you must carefully consider this issue. For most people, “God’s authority” is a vague idea, one that is very difficult to get one’s head around, and any discussion of it is likely to be nebulous. So there will invariably be a gap between the knowledge of God’s authority that man is capable of possessing, and the substance of God’s authority. To bridge this gap, one must gradually come to know God’s authority by means of real-life people, events, things, or phenomena that are within human reach, that humans are capable of understanding. Though the phrase “God’s authority” may seem unfathomable, God’s authority is not at all abstract. He is present with man every minute of his life, leading him through every day. So, in every person’s day-to-day life he will necessarily see and experience the most tangible aspect of God’s authority. This tangibility is proof enough that God’s authority truly exists, and it fully allows one to recognize and to comprehend the fact that God possesses this authority.
God created everything, and having created it, He has dominion over all things. In addition to having dominion over all things, He is in control of everything. What does this mean, the idea that “God is in control of everything”? How can it be explained? How does it apply to real life? How can you come to know God’s authority by understanding the fact that “God is in control of everything”? From the very phrase “God is in control of everything” we should see that what God controls is not a portion of planets, a portion of creation, much less a portion of mankind, but everything: from the massive to the microscopic, from the visible to the invisible, from the stars in the universe to the living things on earth, as well as microorganisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye or beings that exist in other forms. This is the precise definition of the “everything” that God is “in control of,” and is the scope over which God wields His authority, the extent of His sovereignty and rule.
Before this humanity came into being, the cosmos—all the planets, all the stars in the heavens—already existed. On the macro level, these heavenly bodies have been orbiting regularly, under God’s control, for their entire existence, however many years that has been. What planet goes where at what particular time; what planet does what task, and when; what planet revolves along what orbit, and when it disappears or is replaced—all these things proceed without the slightest error. The positions of the planets and the distances between them all follow strict patterns, all of which can be described by precise data; the paths along which they travel, the speed and patterns of their orbits, the times they are in various positions can be quantified precisely and described by special laws. For aeons the planets have followed these laws, never deviating one bit. No power can change or disrupt their orbits or the patterns they follow. Because the special laws that govern their motion and the precise data that describe them are predestined by the Creator’s authority, they obey these laws on their own, under the Creator’s sovereignty and control. On the macro level, it is not hard for man to find out some patterns, some data, as well as some strange and unexplainable laws or phenomena. Though humanity does not admit that God exists, does not accept the fact that the Creator made and has dominion over everything, and moreover does not recognize the existence of the Creator’s authority, human scientists, astronomers, and physicists are finding more and more that the existence of all things in the universe, and the principles and patterns that dictate their movements, are all governed and controlled by a vast and invisible dark energy. This fact compels man to face up to and acknowledge that there is a “Mighty One” in the midst of these patterns of movement, orchestrating everything. His power is extraordinary, and though no one can see His true face, He governs and controls everything at every moment. No man or force can go beyond His sovereignty. Faced with this fact, man must recognize that the laws governing the existence of all things cannot be controlled by humans, cannot be changed by anyone; and at the same time man must admit that human beings cannot fully understand these laws. And they are not naturally-occurring, but are dictated by a Lord and Master. These are all expressions of the authority of God that mankind can perceive on a macro level.
On the micro level, all the mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, and landmasses that man beholds on earth, all the seasons that he experiences, all the things that inhabit the earth, including plants, animals, microorganisms, and humans, are subject to God’s sovereignty, are controlled by God. Under God’s sovereignty and control, all the things come into being or disappear in accordance with His thoughts, their lives are all governed by certain laws, and they grow and multiply in keeping with them. No human being or thing is above these laws. Why is this? The only answer is, because of God’s authority. Or, to put it another way, because of God’s thoughts and God’s words; because God Himself does it all. That is to say, it is God’s authority and God’s mind that give rise to these laws; they will shift and change according to His thoughts, and these shifts and changes all occur or disappear for the sake of His plan. Take epidemics, for example. They break out without warning, no one knows their origins or the exact reasons why they happen, and whenever an epidemic reaches a certain place, those who are doomed cannot escape calamity. Human science understands epidemics to be caused by the spread of vicious or harmful microbes, and their speed, range, and method of transmission cannot be predicted or controlled by human science. Though humanity resists them by every means possible, they cannot control which people or animals are inevitably affected when epidemics break out. The only thing that human beings can do is try to prevent them, resist them, and research them. But no one knows the root causes that explain the beginning or ending of any individual epidemic, and no one can control them. Faced with the rise and spread of an epidemic, the first measure humans take is to develop a vaccine, but often the epidemic dies out on its own before the vaccine is ready. Why do epidemics die out? Some say that the germs have been brought under control, others say they die out because of changes in the seasons…. As to whether these wild speculations hold water, science can offer no explanation, give no precise answer. What humanity faces is not only these speculations but mankind’s lack of understanding and fear of the epidemics. No one knows, in the final analysis, why epidemics begin or why they end. Because humanity has faith only in science, relies entirely upon it, but does not recognize the Creator’s authority or accept His sovereignty, they will never have an answer.
Under God’s sovereignty, all things exist and perish because of His authority, because of His management. Some things come and go quietly, and man cannot tell where they came from or grasp the rules they follow, much less understand the reasons why they come and go. Though man can witness, hear, or experience all that come to pass among all things; though they all have a bearing on man, and though man subconsciously grasps the unusualness, regularity, or even strangeness of the various phenomena, he still knows nothing about the Creator’s will and His mind which lie behind them. There are many stories behind them, many hidden truths. Because man has wandered far from the Creator, because he does not accept the fact that the Creator’s authority governs all things, he will never know and comprehend everything that happens under its sovereignty. For the most part, God’s control and sovereignty exceeds the bounds of human imagination, of human knowledge, of human understanding, of what human science can achieve; the abilities of created humanity cannot rival it. Some people say, “Since you have not witnessed God’s sovereignty yourself, how can you believe that everything is subject to His authority?” Seeing is not always believing; seeing is not always recognizing and understanding. So where does “belief” come from? I can say with certainty, “Belief comes from the degree and depth of people’s apprehension of, and experience of, the reality and root causes of things.” If you believe that God exists, but you cannot recognize, much less perceive, the fact of God’s control and God’s sovereignty over all things, then in your heart you will never admit that God has this kind of authority and that God’s authority is unique. You will never truly accept the Creator to be your Lord, your God.