SATAN CORRUPTING AND SYSTEMATIZING
THE EARTHLY THINGS THAT ARE
NECESSARY FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE
The things that we need for our existence are earthly things, but they are not worldly things. What, then, are the worldly things? Just as the flesh is the corrupted body and the self is the corrupted soul, so the worldly things are the corrupted earthly things. Concerning the origin of the flesh, the self, and the world, the principle is the same.
How were the earthly things corrupted to become the worldly things? The earthly things which are necessary for human existence have been corrupted by Satan with his systematic scheme. Satan has made a system out of all the things which we need for our existence. He has taken the earthly things and has utilized them to make a system. This system includes not only all things but also all people. This means that we have been captured by this system and have become occupied with the things in this system.
All the earthly things which are necessary for human existence have become preoccupying elements. For example, we must eat in order to exist, but eating has become a preoccupying element. Likewise, marriage was ordained by God for the existence and multiplication of the human race, but marriage has become a preoccupying element. Originally, clothing was allowed by God for human existence, but eventually clothing became another item utilized by Satan to occupy people. The same is true regarding housing and transportation.
We can become so occupied with these things that there is no ground in us for God. In our human life, there is no time for God. All of our human capacity is preoccupied with and occupied by the things of the world, so no capacity remains in us for God.
The body has been corrupted by the sin of Satan and has become the flesh. The soul has been corrupted by the mind, the thought, of Satan and has become the self. The earthly things have been corrupted by Satan’s systematic scheme and have become the world. The world is now a satanic system. In Greek this system is called the kosmos. In English this system is called the world.
We all need to have a clear vision of the world. To us the things which we need for our existence may simply be earthly things, or they may become a world, a system of Satan. When you are preoccupied with eating, eating becomes an item of the world to you. When you are preoccupied with marriage, marriage becomes an item of the world to you. When you become preoccupied with clothing, housing, and transportation, these also become items of the world to you.
NOT FRUSTRATED FROM THE WILL OF GOD
However, we do not need to be preoccupied with the things we need for our existence. For instance, instead of being preoccupied with food, we may simply use food for us to live for God’s purpose. We will then be able to say with Paul, “Foods are for the stomach, and the stomach for foods; but God will bring to nought both it and them” (1 Cor. 6:13a). We are not occupied by eating or preoccupied with eating. The capacity of our human life is not for food—it is for God. To us eating is not an item of the world but merely an item of the earthly things which are necessary for our existence. Eating does not frustrate us from the will of God, and it does not hinder us from realizing God’s will.
The situation should be the same with marriage, clothing, housing, and transportation. Marriage is necessary for our existence on earth. We need marriage, but we should not be occupied with marriage. Our marriage should not frustrate us from God’s will. If it does, marriage becomes to us an item of the world. Likewise, clothing, housing, and transportation are other necessary items of our earthly life, but if we are preoccupied with these things, they will become items of the world to us.
We are here on earth for God, not for food, marriage, clothing, housing, and transportation. Any of these things that contradicts God’s will or hinders God’s purpose is an item of the world. None of these things should frustrate us from God’s will. If eating does not hinder us from realizing God’s will, then for us eating is not an item of the world. Likewise, if marriage does not frustrate us from God’s will, then for us marriage is not an item of the world. But once marriage frustrates us from the will of God, it becomes for us an item of the world. If the members of our family hinder us from realizing God’s will, then, according to the Lord’s word in Luke 14:26, we should hate them. We need to pray that we would see the vision of the world and be delivered from every kind of preoccupation.
(The Heavenly Vision, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)