Job 1:6–11 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before, and Satan came also among them. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.
Job 2:1–5 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan came also among them to present himself before Jehovah. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where come you? And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? and still he holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.
These two passages are a dialog between God and Satan, and they record what God said and what Satan said. Did God say very much? (No.) He did not speak much, and spoke very simply. Can we see the holiness of God in God’s simple words? Some will say this is not easy. So can we see the hideousness of Satan in its replies? (Yes.) Let us first look at what kind of question Jehovah God asked of Satan. (“From where come you?”) Is this a straightforward question? (Yes.) Is there any hidden meaning? (No.) It is just a question, pure, with no other purpose. If I were to ask you: “Where do you come from?” how then would you answer? Is it a difficult question to answer? Would you say: “From going to and fro, and from walking up and down”? (No.) You would not answer like this, so how then do you feel when you see Satan answering in this way? (We feel that Satan is absurd and crafty.) You feel this way? Can you tell what I am feeling? Every time I see these words I feel disgusted. Do you feel disgusted? (Yes.) Why disgusted? Because it talks without saying anything! Did it answer God’s question? (No.) Why? Its words were not an answer, there was no outcome. They were not an answer directed at God’s question. “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Do you understand these words? Do you? Where on earth does Satan come from? Have you received an answer? (No.) This is the “brilliance” of Satan’s cunning, not letting anyone discover what it is actually saying. Having heard these words you still cannot discern what it has said, yet it has finished answering. It believes it has answered perfectly. How then do you feel? (Disgusted.) Disgusted; now you start to be disgusted with these words. Satan does not speak directly, thus leaving you scratching your head and unable to perceive the source of its words. It speaks deliberately, cunningly, and is dominated by its own essence, its own nature. These words came straight out of Satan’s mouth. They were not considered for a long period of time and then spoken by Satan, thinking itself smart; it expressed them naturally. “Where on earth does it come from?” You feel very puzzled, never knowing where it is from. Are there any among you who speak like this? (Yes.) What kind of way is this to speak? (It is ambiguous and does not give a certain answer.) What kind of words should we use to describe this way of speaking? It is diversionary and misleading, isn’t it? Suppose someone doesn’t want to let others know where they went yesterday. You ask them: “I saw you yesterday. Where were you going?” They do not answer you directly to say where they went yesterday. They say “What a day it was yesterday. So tired!” Did they answer your question? They did, but that is not the answer you wanted. This is the “brilliance” of man’s artifice. You can never discover what they mean or perceive the source or intention behind their words. You do not know what they are trying to avoid because in their heart they have their own story—this is insidiousness. Do you also often speak this way? (Yes.) What then is your purpose? Is it sometimes to protect your own interests, sometimes to maintain your own position, your own image, to keep the secrets of your private life, to save your own reputation? Whatever the purpose, it is inseparable from your interests, linked to your interests. Is this not the nature of man? Is not everyone with this kind of nature akin to Satan? We can say this, can’t we? Generally speaking, this manifestation is detestable and abhorrent. You also now feel disgusted, don’t you? (Yes.)
Looking again at the first passage, Satan responds again to Jehovah God, saying: “Does Job fear God for nothing?” It starts to attack Jehovah God’s assessment of Job, and this attack is colored by hostility. “Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side?” This is Satan’s understanding and assessment of Jehovah God’s work on Job. Satan assesses it like this, saying: “you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” Satan ever speaks ambiguously, but here it speaks with certainty. However, these words spoken with certainty are an attack, a blasphemy and a rivalry to Jehovah God, to God Himself. How do you feel when you hear it? Do you feel aversion? Are you able to see its intentions? First of all, it repudiates Jehovah God’s assessment of Job—one that fears God and shuns evil. Then it repudiates everything Job says and does in fear of Jehovah God. Is it accusatory? Satan is accusing, repudiating and doubting all Jehovah God does and says. It does not believe, saying, “If You say things are like this, how come I have not seen it? You have given him so many blessings, how can he not fear You?” Is this not a repudiation of all that God does? Accusation, repudiation, blasphemy—are its words not aggressive? Are they not a true expression of what Satan thinks in its heart? These words are certainly not the same as the words we read just now: “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” They are completely different from those. Through these words, Satan completely lays bare the attitude toward God and the loathing of Job’s fear of God that it holds in its heart. When this happens, its maliciousness and evil nature are completely exposed. It loathes those who fear God, loathes those who shun evil, and even more so loathes Jehovah God for bestowing blessings on man. It wants to use this opportunity to destroy Job whom God raised with His own hand, to ruin him, saying: “You say Job fears You and shuns evil. I see it otherwise.” It uses various ways to provoke and tempt Jehovah God, and uses various ways so that Jehovah God hands Job over to Satan to be wantonly manipulated, harmed and handled. It wants to take advantage of this opportunity to exterminate this man who is righteous and perfect in God’s eyes. Is its having this kind of heart a momentary impulse? No, it is not. It has been long in the making. God works, God cares for a person, looks upon a person, and Satan dogs His every step. Whoever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ways to tempt, harass and wreck the work God does in order to achieve its hidden objective. What is its objective? It does not want God to have anyone; it wants all those that God wants, to occupy them, control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they commit evil acts alongside it. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive? Normally, you often say that Satan is so evil, so bad, but have you seen it? You can only see how bad man is and have not seen in reality how bad Satan actually is. But have you seen it in this issue concerning Job? (Yes.) This issue has made Satan’s hideous countenance and its essence very clear. Satan is at war with God, trailing along behind Him. Its objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to occupy and control those whom God wants, to completely extinguish those whom God wants. If they are not extinguished, then they come to Satan’s possession to be used by it—this is its objective. And what does God do? God says only a simple sentence in this passage; there is no record of anything more that God does, but we see there are many more records of what Satan does and says. In the passage of scripture below, Jehovah asked Satan, “From where come you?” What is Satan’s answer? (It is still “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”) It is still that sentence. How has it become Satan’s motto, Satan’s masterpiece? Is Satan not hateful? Saying this disgusting sentence once is enough. Why does Satan always come back to this sentence? This proves one thing: Satan’s nature is unchanging. Its hideous face is not something it can keep hidden for long. God asks it a question and it responds in such a way, never mind how it treats people! It is not afraid of God, it does not fear God, and it does not obey God. So it dares to be unscrupulously presumptuous before God, to use these same words to whitewash over God’s question, to use this same answer to reply to God’s question, to attempt to use this answer to confound God—this is the ugly face of Satan. It does not believe in the almightiness of God, does not believe in the authority of God, and is certainly not willing to obey under the dominion of God. It is constantly in opposition to God, constantly attacking all God does, attempting to wreck all God does—this is its evil objective.
In God’s six-thousand-year management plan, these two passages that Satan says and the things Satan does in the Book of Job are representative of its resistance to God, and this is Satan showing its true colors. Have you seen Satan’s words and deeds in real life? When you do see them, you may not think them to be things spoken by Satan, but instead think them to be things spoken by man, right? What is represented, when such things are spoken by man? Satan is represented. Even if you recognize it, you still cannot perceive that it is really being spoken by Satan. But here and now you have unequivocally seen what Satan itself has said. You now have an unequivocal, crystal clear understanding of the hideous countenance and the evil of Satan. So are these two passages spoken by Satan valuable for the people of today to be able to know Satan’s nature? Are these two passages worth collecting in order for mankind today to be able to recognize Satan’s hideous face, to recognize Satan’s original, true face? Although saying this may not seem very appropriate, expressing it in this way can still be considered accurate. I can only put it this way and if you can understand it, then it is enough. Again and again, Satan attacks the things Jehovah God does, throwing accusations about Job’s fear of Jehovah God. It attempts to provoke Jehovah God by various methods, getting Jehovah God to allow it to tempt Job. Its words are therefore highly provocative. So tell Me, once Satan has spoken these words, can God clearly see what Satan wants to do? (Yes.) Does God understand what it wants to do? (Yes.) In God’s heart, this man Job that God looks upon—this servant of God, that God takes to be a righteous man, a perfect man—can he withstand this kind of temptation? (Yes.) Why does God say “Yes” with such certainty? Is God always examining the heart of man? (Yes.) So is Satan able to examine the heart of man? (No.) Satan cannot. Even if Satan can see man’s heart, its evil nature can never believe that holiness is holiness, or that sordidness is sordidness. The evil Satan can never treasure anything that is holy, righteous or bright. Satan cannot help but spare no pains to act through its nature, its evil, and through these methods it uses. Even at the cost of itself being punished or destroyed by God, it does not hesitate to stubbornly oppose God—this is evil, this is the nature of Satan. So in this passage, Satan says: “Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” Satan thinks that man’s fear of God is due to man having obtained so many advantages from God. Man obtains advantages from God, so he says God is good. But it is not because God is good, it is only because man obtains so many advantages that he can fear God in this way: Once God deprives him of these advantages, he then abandons God. In its evil nature, Satan does not believe that man’s heart can truly fear God. Because of its evil nature it does not know what holiness is, much less know what fearful reverence is. It does not know what it is to obey God or what it is to fear God. Because it does not fear God itself, it thinks that man cannot fear God either, that it is impossible. Tell Me, is Satan not evil? (Yes!) Satan is evil. Excepting our church, whether it be the various religions and denominations, or religious and social groups, none of them believe in the existence of God or believe that God can do work, so they think that what you believe in is not God either. A promiscuous man looks and sees everyone else being promiscuous, just as he is. A man who lies all the time looks and sees no one honest, sees them all telling lies. An evil man sees everyone as evil and wants to fight everyone he sees. Whereas those people who are comparatively honest see everyone as honest, so are always duped, always cheated, and there is nothing they can do about it. I say these few examples to make you more certain: Satan’s evil nature is not a temporary compulsion or something caused by its environment, nor is it a temporary manifestation brought about by any reason or background. Absolutely not! It can’t help but be this way! It can do nothing good. Even when it says something pleasant to hear, it just seduces you. The more pleasant, the more tactful, the more gentle its words are, the more malicious its sinister intentions become behind these words. What kind of face, what kind of nature does Satan show in these two passages? (Insidious, malicious and evil.) Its primary characteristic is evil, especially evil and malicious.
from “God Himself, the Unique IV”
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