God’s Mercy and Tolerance Are Not Rare—Man’s True Repentance Is
Regardless of how angry God had been with the Ninevites, as soon as they declared a fast and wore sackcloth and ashes, His heart gradually softened, and He began to change His heart. When He proclaimed to them that He would destroy their city—the moment prior to their confession and repentance for their sins—God was still angry with them. Once they had gone through a series of acts of repentance, God’s anger for the people of Nineveh gradually transformed into mercy and tolerance for them. There is nothing contradictory about the coinciding revelation of these two aspects of God’s disposition in the same event. How should one understand and know this lack of contradiction? God successively expressed and revealed these two polar-opposite substances as the people of Nineveh repented, allowing people to see the realness and the unoffendableness of God’s substance. God used His attitude to tell people the following: It is not that God does not tolerate people, or He does not want to show mercy to them; it is that they rarely truly repent toward God, and it is rare that people truly turn away from their evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands. In other words, when God is angry with man, He hopes that man will be able to truly repent, and He hopes to see man’s true repentance, in which case He will then liberally continue to bestow His mercy and tolerance upon man. This is to say that man’s evil conduct incurs God’s wrath, whereas God’s mercy and tolerance are bestowed upon those who listen to God and truly repent before Him, upon those who can turn away from their evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands. God’s attitude was very clearly revealed in His treatment of the Ninevites: God’s mercy and tolerance are not at all difficult to obtain; He requires one’s true repentance. As long as people turn away from their evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands, God will change His heart and change His attitude toward them.
The Creator’s Righteous Disposition Is Real and Vivid
When God changed His heart for the people of Nineveh, were His mercy and tolerance a false front? Of course not! Then what does the transformation between these two aspects of God’s disposition during the same matter allow you to see? God’s disposition is a complete whole; it is not at all split. Regardless of whether He is expressing anger or mercy and tolerance toward people, these are all expressions of His righteous disposition. God’s disposition is real and vivid. He changes His thoughts and attitudes according to the development of things. The transformation of His attitude toward the Ninevites tells humanity that He has His own thoughts and ideas; He is not a robot or clay figure, but the living God Himself. He could be angry with the people of Nineveh, just as He could forgive their pasts according to their attitudes; He could decide to bring misfortune upon the Ninevites, and He could change His decision because of their repentance. People prefer to mechanically apply rules, and they prefer to use rules to establish and define God, just as they prefer using formulas to know God’s disposition. Therefore, according to the realm of human thought, God does not think, nor does He have any substantive ideas. In reality, God’s thoughts are constantly transforming according to changes in things and in environments; while these thoughts are transforming, different aspects of God’s substance will be revealed. During this process of transformation, at the moment when God changes His heart, He reveals to mankind the truth of the existence of His life, and He reveals that His righteous disposition is real and vivid. Furthermore, God uses His own true revelations to prove to mankind the truth of the existence of His wrath, His mercy, His lovingkindness and His tolerance. His substance will be revealed at any time and any place in accordance with the development of things. He possesses a lion’s wrath and a mother’s mercy and tolerance. His righteous disposition is not allowed to be questioned, violated, changed or distorted by any person. Among all matters and all things, God’s righteous disposition, that is, God’s wrath and God’s mercy, can be revealed at any time and any place. He vividly expresses these aspects in every nook and cranny of nature and vividly carries them out at every moment. God’s righteous disposition is not limited by time or space, or in other words, God’s righteous disposition is not mechanically expressed or revealed as dictated by the limits of time or space. Rather, God’s righteous disposition is freely expressed and revealed at any time and place. When you see God change His heart and cease to express His wrath and refrain from destroying the city of Nineveh, can you say that God is only merciful and loving? Can you say that God’s wrath consists of empty words? When God expresses fierce wrath and retracts His mercy, can you say that He feels no true love toward humanity? God expresses fierce wrath in response to people’s evil acts; His wrath is not flawed. God’s heart is moved by people’s repentance, and it is this repentance that thus changes His heart. His being moved, His change of heart as well as His mercy and tolerance toward man are utterly without flaw; they are clean, pure, unblemished and unadulterated. God’s tolerance is purely tolerance; His mercy is purely mercy. His disposition will reveal wrath, as well as mercy and tolerance, in accordance with man’s repentance and his different conduct. No matter what He reveals and expresses, it is all pure; it is all direct; its substance is distinct from that of anything in creation. The principles of actions that God expresses, His thoughts and ideas or any particular decision, as well as any single action, are free of any flaws or blemishes. As God has decided, so will He act, and in this manner He completes His undertakings. These kinds of results are precise and faultless because their source is flawless and unblemished. God’s wrath is flawless. Likewise, God’s mercy and tolerance, which are possessed by no creation, are holy and flawless, and they can stand up to deliberation and experience.
After understanding the story of Nineveh, do you see the other side of the substance of God’s righteous disposition? Do you see the other side of God’s unique righteous disposition? Does anyone among humanity possess this kind of disposition? Does anyone possess this kind of wrath like God’s? Does anyone possess mercy and tolerance like God’s? Who among creation can summon forth so much wrath and decide to destroy or bring disaster upon mankind? And who is qualified to bestow mercy to tolerate and pardon man, and thereby change one’s decision to destroy man? The Creator expresses His righteous disposition through His own unique methods and principles; He is not subject to the control or restrictions of any people, events or things. With His unique disposition, no one is able to change His thoughts and ideas, nor is anyone able to persuade Him and change any of His decisions. The entirety of the behavior and thoughts of creation exist under the judgment of His righteous disposition. No one can control whether He exercises wrath or mercy; only the substance of the Creator—or in other words, the Creator’s righteous disposition—can decide this. This is the unique nature of the Creator’s righteous disposition!
Once we have analyzed and understood the transformation of God’s attitude toward the people of Nineveh, are you able to use the word “unique” to describe the mercy found within God’s righteous disposition? We previously said that God’s wrath is one aspect of the substance of His unique righteous disposition. Now I shall define two aspects, God’s wrath and God’s mercy, as His righteous disposition. God’s righteous disposition is holy; it is unoffendable as well as unquestionable; it is something possessed by none among the created or non-created beings. It is both unique and exclusive to God. This is to say that God’s wrath is holy and unoffendable; at the same time, the other aspect of God’s righteous disposition—God’s mercy—is holy and cannot be offended. None of the created or non-created beings can replace or represent God in His actions, nor can anyone replace or represent Him in the destruction of Sodom or the salvation of Nineveh. This is the true expression of God’s unique righteous disposition.
from “God Himself, the Unique II”
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