(Minghui.org) There lived a famous Daoist cultivator during the end of the Tang Dynasty and the beginning of the Northern Song Dynasty. His name was Chen Tuan (871-989 AD), with the courtesy name Tu Nan. He was also nicknamed “Fu Yao Zi” by some. It was said that he could “sleep for three years.”

Later generations called him “Grand Master Chen Tuan” or the “Sleeping Deity” out of respect, and they regarded him as a Daoist grandmaster.

Since he once traveled to Mount Emei, he was also nicknamed the “True Person of Emei.” In addition, he was granted various titles by a number of emperors, such as “Mr. Xiyi” by Emperor Taizong of the Song Dynasty. The phrase “Xiyi” comes from the book Laozi: “Xi means to look without seeing, and Yi means to listen without hearing.” Therefore, later generations also called him “Grand Master Xiyi” or “Chen Xiyi.”

Chen was a prolific writer. One famous piece of his was titled Xin Xiang Pian, conveying the meaning that “appearance stems from the mind (heart).” This piece broke away from the conventional framework of fortunetelling, and it explained that one’s facial appearance contains both kindness and evil, but the decisive factor of which manifests more lies in the heart of the individual. One’s fate is decided by his heart, and one’s behavior also mirrors one’s heart. Therefore, we can tell one’s fate through his behavior. In fact, all divination methods follow an inevitable law that good and evil will always be duly rewarded.

For example, in Chen Tuan’s Xin Xiang Pian, he explained that some people die suddenly from disease because they indulge in lust and exhaust their vital energy and life essence, and the reason people die from a malignant fester is that they are excessively fond of greasy food and become overweight.

To me, one line in Xin Xiang Pian gives a very important message–“Is it because of bad luck that people die from diseases? It is because of their own sins, and yet they curse Heaven and Earth.”

Heaven and Earth, in our respective Eastern and Western cultures, were created by Pan Gu (the legendary giant in Chinese culture who sacrificed his life to create the world and consumed his body to enrich and beautify it) or Jehovah, respectively– both of whom were regarded as divine beings at high levels. In traditional Chinese culture, the term “Heaven and Earth” does not only refer to nature or a particular realm; it is also a general term used to refer to all gods in the universe. For example, the character “heaven” in Chinese has the connotation of the supreme god. So we often hear people call out for help from “Heaven.”

“Is it because of bad luck that people die from diseases? It is because of their own sins, and yet they curse Heaven and Earth”–this line clearly states that human beings’ blasphemy of gods is the root cause for pandemic plagues. Whether one can survive the catastrophe has nothing to do with one’s fate, but rather one’s attitude towards gods and the divine.

There have been numerous such cases in history. The most typical examples were the four major plagues that followed the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire in Western history. As recounted below, this was a painful lesson.

Jesus was condemned to death in 33 A.D. and sentenced by Pontius Pilatus, the Roman governor of the Jewish province of Judaea, to be crucified. It was said by some that Pilatus condemned Jesus not out of obligation to follow orders from the Roman Empire but because he was too weak and succumbed to the local Jewish forces that were hostile to Christianity.

The Roman Empire’s persecution of Christianity started with Nero, the fifth emperor of the Roman Empire. During his reign, Nero was extravagant and ruthless. He killed his own mother and several of his wives, as well as a number of his senators. He was thus nicknamed “Bloodthirsty Nero.”

On the night of July 19, 64 A.D., a fire was allegedly started on Nero’s orders to burn down civilian houses surrounding his palace so that he could successfully push forward his plan to expand it. However, the fire got out of control and burned for six days and seven nights. Three of Rome’s 14 districts were leveled, seven were partially destroyed, and only four remained intact.

Rumors soon arose that Nero ordered the torching of the city. To cover up his involvement, he blamed Christians for the disaster and ordered them to be arrested. To appease the masses, Nero tortured the victims, crucified them, fed them to the lions, nailed them to poles, and burned them as human candles. Nero’s brutality opened the darkest chapter of the ancient Roman Empire; the persecution of Christians lasted several hundred years.

Under Nero's rule, many Roman citizens believed the lies about Christians. Their hearts began to fill with hatred for Jesus and his believers.

Just as Chen Tuan explained in Xin Xiang Pian, the Roman people’s disrespect and rejection of Jesus and his disciples resulted in a pandemic plague the next year. In the year 65 A.D., a large number of people from all walks of life died during a deadly plague. Three years later, in 68 A.D., a riot broke out in Rome. Nero committed suicide, receiving his just deserts in the end.

Nero may have died in shame, but later generations of Roman emperors still chose to persecute Christians. Deceived by their rulers' lies, the Roman people also continued to be hostile towards Christianity. Consequently, they suffered a few more plagues in the years to come.

The second major plague broke out during the reign of Oriole (also translated as Aurelius, 161-180 AD). It was also known as the “Plague of Anthony.”

After Oriole was enthroned in 161 A.D., he took a hostile attitude toward the Christian faith and launched another round of persecution in which many Christians were tortured and killed.

This time around, the plague originated among the ranks of the army on the eastern border of the Empire and spread to Rome and many other areas two years later. Countless people perished during the plague; cities and rural areas became desolate and uninhabited.

In 166-167 alone, more people died from the plague than in the ongoing war. The city of Rome lost 2,000 people every day, including many nobles. The plague also spread to Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and elsewhere, causing an enormous number of deaths overall. Emperor Oriole also died from the plague.

The third major plague was recorded in the writings of the historian Zosimus. It began in 250 A.D. and lasted for 20 years, causing even more devastation than the two previous plagues. It was called the Plague of Cyprian as Bishop Cyprian (200 – 258 A.D.) witnessed and described the plague in a series of accounts.

Just as before, the plague broke out after Christians were persecuted. Then-Emperor Decius gave orders that Christians had to give up their faith by a designated date. If they refused, they would be tried, have their belongings confiscated, and either become slaves or executed. A great number of altars were smashed. The third major plague broke out in that same year.

As many as 5,000 people died every day for several weeks during that plague. People expressed their desperation in their writings:

“The sudden pandemic hit us like a bolt out of the blue. This is really … more frightening than anything in history.”

“Human beings are drastically decreasing in population, and the world is going to be destroyed!”

“People cannot tell why gods have dropped such a great disaster on them, and they just shook their heads and sighed.”

The rulers again spread rumors: "It was the Christians who despised the gods of Rome and made them angry and that’s what brought on the plague." Countless Christian believers died once again as a result of persecution. The plague became even more extensive and frightening.

In 270 A.D., Emperor Claudius (268-270 A.D.) died from the plague. He was also a perpetrator in the persecution of Christians.

The fourth Great Plague was recorded in the Church History of Eusebius (260–340 A.D.). The Roman Empire had already split, and there were six emperors at the same time. One of the emperors who ruled the east was Maximinus Daza (305-313 A.D.).

He launched a persecution in his jurisdiction, which was immediately followed by a terrible plague. Eusebius recorded: "Registration books, once filled with names, have now been deleted. The lack of rations and the raging plague have almost wiped out all the population [... N]aked dead bodies were everywhere, which could not be buried for days, and sometimes they were eaten by dogs. It’s such a tragic scene!” Maximinus Daza himself died in a battle for power.

In addition to the above-mentioned major plagues, the ancient Roman Empire suffered several smaller plagues as it continued to persecute the Christians. The frequent outbreaks of plague were devastating. When a plague struck, "[i]n Rome, one cannot see any signs that the air has been infected with the plague, but houses are filled with dead bodies; streets are full of funerals. People of any gender, any age–there is no guarantee that they will not become infected; slaves and free men alike fell down and died immediately. Their weeping wives and children were burned to ashes in the same fire from their funeral pyres."

People became so panicked that “when a plague began to spread, they kicked out the ones who were infected. They would abandon them even if they were their own relatives. They would throw them by the roadside still alive. Those unburied bodies were like dirty mud in their eyes.”

The repeated outbreaks of plague also changed the fate of the Roman Empire. A number of emperors died from the plague, their efforts to expand and consolidate the empire's territory wasted. The powerful ancient Roman Empire gradually declined, split, and eventually disappeared.

The ancient Roman Empire persecuted the Christian faith, and with each round of persecution came a devastating plague. These historical facts are evidence of what Chen Tuan said in his writing–it is definitely not a false threat, but a historical truth he learned through cultivation.

I would like to remind people of what grandmaster Chen Tuan said because humanity today is at a critical moment for their future destiny.

We are now in the era of what Buddhism refers to as the “Dharma-ending period.” It is actually the last stage of this period, a crucial moment when the old universe is replaced with the new.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a cultivation practice that has been widely taken up around the world. It is a high-level cultivation practice of the Buddha School. To put it plainly, Falun Dafa is the great Buddha Fa, a set of universal principles, and the spread of Falun Dafa at this critical moment is to save people. People's attitude toward Dafa determines whether they will have a future and whether they can be preserved in the great changes of the cosmos.

At such a crucial historical moment, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chose to persecute Falun Gong, repeating the same mistakes of the ancient Romans. In July 1999, the CCP, headed by Jiang Zemin, launched a large-scale persecution of Falun Gong in which they systematically slandered and defamed Falun Gong with palpable lies. They staged a  “self-immolation” on Tiananmen Square to frame Falun Gong in order to instigate hatred of the practice. The plot ran along the same lines as the Great Fire of Rome that Nero used against the Christians.

The CCP implemented three policies in their persecution of Falun Gong: ruin their reputation, bankrupt them financially, and eliminate them physically. Over a hundred methods of torture were and are still used on Falun Gong practitioners.

At one time, the CCP spent a quarter of the national budget on persecuting Falun Gong. They exploited the entire state propaganda apparatus and the armed forces to persecute Falun Gong. A large number of Falun Gong practitioners also became victims of forced organ harvesting. Their organs were taken while they were still alive, their bodies destroyed or sold to make anatomical specimens for profit. People who stand up for justice call this crime a “form of evil yet to be seen on this planet.”

Nothing can be hidden from Heaven and Earth. How we position ourselves in the face of such unprecedented atrocities is therefore very important. As the saying goes: "A household that does good things will inevitably prosper, whereas one that does bad things will definitely suffer the consequences." Different attitudes will bring about different outcomes.

People in ancient Roman believed the lies that slandered Christians, and their hearts were filled with hatred and evil thoughts about Jesus and his believers. Their behavior enraged Heaven and resulted in a series of devastating plagues.

Today, if people continue to be deceived by the CCP's lies, if they agree with the persecution of Falun Gong and reject the great Buddha Fa, they will truly face the danger of elimination in the transition period of the cosmos, not only physically but also in terms of their eternal life.

Why do Falun Gong practitioners keep clarifying the truth to people? It is because the CCP’s lies demonizing Falun Gong have poisoned the minds of countless sentient beings, who face the real danger of elimination and destruction of their lives. The ultimate goal of the communist party is to fundamentally destroy mankind. It not only does so through physical death but also aims to make all human beings complicit in crimes against the Buddha Fa and ultimately destroy them.

Falun Gong practitioners hope that people around the world can learn the facts and no longer believe the CCP’s lies so that they can survive these tribulations, conform to the characteristics of the universe–Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance–and truly become good people with a happy and bright future. Falun Gong guides people to return to their true selves so that they can return to their heavenly worlds. In other words, Falun Gong offers a way to fundamentally save people.

The communist party has committed a multitude of unforgivable crimes over the past hundred-plus years, for which it will surely be held to account.

In June 2002, a huge stone that broke apart 500 years ago was found in Zhangbu Township, Pingtang County, Qiannan Prefecture, Guizhou Province. The cross-section shows six Chinese characters: “The Chinese Communist Party perishes.” Scientists went to investigate and came to the conclusion that the characters were completely natural and formed 270 million years ago. Isn't this a manifestation of Heaven's will in the human world?

Sadly, a large number of people have been deceived or forced to join the CCP and its youth organizations. When they joined those organizations, they pledged to give their lives for the CCP. So if they do not withdraw from it, they will perish alongside the CCP when Heaven punishes this evil specter.

At this critical moment, Falun Gong practitioners have stepped forward at the risk of their own lives to clarify the truth to people, telling them Falun Dafa is good and encouraging them to quit the CCP organizations so that they can make a righteous choice and be saved. Falun Gong practitioners have no political agenda in their truth-clarification. They just want to help people to break away from the evil CCP so that they can be saved.

Some people have pointed out that, in the ancient Roman era, every time a persecution was launched, a deadly plague soon followed. Why hasn’t there been a pandemic even though the CCP has persecuted Falun Gong for so many years?

In fact, it is very easy for Heaven to eliminate the CCP and those perpetrators through a pandemic. SARS in 2003 already served as a warning. However, there are still so many people who have been deceived by the CCP's lies, who still have yet to quit the CCP organizations and are still holding onto wishful thinking about the CCP. Heaven is merciful and has again and again given people opportunities to learn the truth about Falun Gong and to quit the CCP.

It is inevitable that Heaven will destroy the CCP, but since the issue of Falun Gong is one of vital importance that concerns the destiny of countless sentient beings, the merciful Divine has again and again prolonged the time span and postponed the onset of the pandemic calamity.

Some may think: "Fortunetellers have told me about my life span, my opportunities for good luck and happiness, and that I will live a safe and peaceful life."

The fact is that no matter how good a fortuneteller might be, he or she can only tell things based on one’s past life. When the pandemic comes, it does not recognize your past luck but judges people only by their attitude toward the gods in Heaven and their attitude toward the Buddha Fa. If one truly believes that Falun Dafa is good and breaks with the CCP, one will be protected. Otherwise, one may face the danger of elimination.

I hope that the world's people can learn the facts and make the right choice. I hope they believe in the goodness of Falun Dafa and quit the CCP so that they will all have a bright future. This is the most urgent and sincere wish of all Falun Gong practitioners!

Sources include:Xin Xiang Pian, Chen TuanAnnales, Cornelius TacitusSexual Life in Ancient Rome, Otto Kiefer (Germany)A Brief History of Christianity, GF Moore