Church Leaders Must Properly Perform Their Obligatory Duty to Be Fit for God’s Use
Good Leaders Must Properly Perform Their Obligatory Duty to Be Fit for God’s Use
The most obligatory duty of church leaders is to lead the brothers and sisters in eating and drinking God’s words, experiencing God’s words, understanding the truths, knowing themselves, thereby attaining salvation. After having attained an understanding of the truths and knowledge of God through eating and drinking God’s words, we can then attain clarity regarding our own corruption, nature, and essences. These are all results built upon the foundation of eating and drinking God’s words and understanding the truths. Therefore, leaders and workers from all levels of the church must first learn to eat and drink God’s words as well as experience God’s words. When practicing God’s words, sometimes we might have some deviations, sometimes we might make some mistakes. When we notice deviations in our experience, we must turn around, we must put effort into God’s words, we must strive to better understand the truths, to understand the truths with more clarity. When we have more clarity in our understanding of the truths, then we will achieve even better results when we lead our brothers and sisters. Therefore, for a church leader, the better he understands the truths, the more experienced he is, and the better the results he can attain when leading others. If a leader does not know how to eat and drink God’s words, if he does not know how to experience and practice God’s words, he will not attain any significant results when leading others to experience God’s words, or when leading others to eat and drink God’s words. Why has the church life of some churches never attained any results? Ultimately, it is because the leaders and workers still do not know how to eat and drink God’s words. If the leaders and workers know how to eat and drink God’s words, if they can bring the brothers and sisters together, reading God’s words to them or having the brothers and sisters read God’s words, and thereafter fellowshiping about their experience and understanding of God’s words, once they have clearly fellowshiped about their own experience and understanding, once the brothers and sisters have heard them, they would come to the realization: “This is true, how come I wasn’t able to gain this understanding without your fellowship? With this fellowship of yours, now I can truly understand this passage of God’s words. Indeed, this is the case.” With their fellowship, others can also understand God’s words now. If the leaders and workers themselves have an understanding and experience of God’s words, then it is easy for them to lead others in entering into the reality of God’s words. Therefore, the most fundamental job of a church leader or worker is learning to lead others in eating and drinking God’s words as well as experiencing God’s words. If a church leader does not know how to eat and drink God’s words himself, can he lead others? Of course not. Even if he outwardly appears to be doing and practicing so, there will be no significant results. Therefore, what should the leaders and workers do? Put more effort into eating and drinking God’s words, and practice God’s words more frequently. If you do not practice God’s words, how do you experience God’s words? When you go deeper during your practice, you will eventually gain real experience, and you can only attain the standard required for entering into reality after you have gained real experience.
How do we measure whether a church leader is qualified or not? The key is to look at how much he is supplying the life of his brothers and sisters: How much has he resolved the difficulties and deviations in the life experiences of his brothers and sisters? How much has he supported and supplied those brothers and sisters that are weak, or those brothers and sisters that are encountering difficulties and have stumbled, such that they can stand back up? For those who do not pursue the truths but have a good humanity, how much support has he provided them, such that they are willing to pursue the truths and begin to formally believe in God? How many of these most fundamental tasks have you done as a church leader or worker? How many brothers and sisters that are weak have found their motivation because of your support? How many brothers and sisters who have stumbled and failed under various circumstances have stood back up because of your patient support? If you cannot perform these most practical tasks, then you are only a church leader or worker in name only. What practical tasks have you performed as a church leader such that the brothers and sisters shall respect and approve of you from the bottom of their heart? Have you provided actual support and supply to each brother and sister? How much benefit has all of your work brought to the brothers and sisters? You must have a good idea regarding these things, while your brothers and sisters have even a better idea. If you, as a church leader, truly have kindness in your heart, if you have indeed provided much assistance and support to others, endured much suffering, what will others’ appraisal be of you? Certainly, most of them will approve of you. If you, as a leader, have never had the kindness to support and supply others, always talking down to others, attacking others, discriminating against others, is that the behavior of a church leader? Don’t such behaviors make you the bully of the church? If that is the case, then you are not performing the duty of a leader, you have become the church police, you have become an official. You are not a leader. Does someone like this have any sense? You always put on the act of a church leader, and force others to listen to you, making all those who you come into contact with fear you, apprehensive that you might reprimand them if they say anything wrong, always have to guard themselves against you. If this is indeed the situation surrounding a leader in the church, can a leader like that be qualified? He is not qualified, for he is not a confidant to his brothers and sisters. If you are not a confidant to your brothers and sisters, who would be willing to take you into their confidence? Everyone will be hiding from you, keeping their distance from you, afraid of you. Isn’t that troublesome? This is proof that you are not attentive to God’s will. You are not acting as a leader, you are acting as a high official, you are only being condescending, you are doing the work of a police officer. If you really have sense, then you must have clarity regarding the tasks that God expects you to perform when God entrusts you as a leader. You must understand God’s will. If you have no understanding of God’s will, if you treat the work that God has entrusted you as being an official, as a position to occupy, then you have too little sense. Did God give you status? God has given you a duty, a commission, asking you to complete this task—to bring your brothers and sisters into the presence of God, allowing them to understand the truths and know God through eating and drinking God’s words, ultimately to completely turn their heart to God. This is the work that God has entrusted you. However, you have become a high official, and since the day that you have accepted God’s commission, in your heart, you are thinking: “I am now a high official from this day forward, I am now a church leader, I now have authority. I am above my brothers and sisters, they must all listen to me now. They are my soldiers, they are now my subordinates. Whatever I say counts.” You have these corrupt dispositions in your heart, and this is not a normal humanity. This is Satan’s disposition, to act as a high official. Why aren’t you properly performing your duty? Examine yourself: “As a church leader, what practical work have I performed? If I have not performed much practical work, do I not owe a debt to God? Isn’t this resisting God? Isn’t this not having sense?” Unable to fellowship any reality or speak any truths with clarity during meetings, what are you thinking? What are your brothers and sisters lacking? Unable to supply them with what they are lacking and satisfy their needs, do you deserve to enjoy the blessings of your position? A person must fulfill his duty, and only those who can fulfill their duty have conscience and sense.
Some people, when taking on the role of a leader, do not attend to their proper duty, always engaging with external matters: expelling this person, for he is not paying attention to safety; isolating that person, for he has no wisdom in the things he does; expelling whoever is not being honest. They are always preoccupied with fixing and punishing others. While their brothers and sisters are not able to enter into the truth, and live out reality, unable to give resounding witnessing, who should be held responsible? Why are you not preoccupied with this matter instead? When the time comes, how are you going to give an account to God? You expelled everyone, and what are you? Are you a good person? Are you compatible with God’s will? What is your purpose in constantly expelling others? Aren’t you disrupting and interrupting God’s work? God’s house is not your house, why are you expelling others in such an offhand manner? What authority do you have to deprive others of their right to eat and drink God’s words, to deprive others of their right to attain salvation? You have expelled other people unnecessarily. In the end, when God asks you to account for those souls, what are you going to say? God is going to ask you: “Who told you to expel them? What was your basis for expelling them? Have God’s words said that people like this should be expelled?” God’s words have not said so. Why did you expel these people then? Isn’t this Satan’s disturbance? God desires to save a group of people, while Satan wants to snatch these people away. It first deprives these people the right to eat and drink God’s words by expelling them, such that in the end they cannot be saved. Isn’t this Satan’s disturbance? As long as there is a glimmer of hope, God will never relinquish the salvation of humans, and God will save men to the greatest extent. Yet humans, how do they cooperate with God? They are expelling other people to the greatest extent. They can’t wait to expel all who they are able to expel, and isn’t this acting in opposition to God? God’s house keeps on establishing rules against casually expelling others—to expel someone requires the agreement of the vast majority of the brothers and sisters, and church leaders, on their own, do not have the authority to expel others. Yet some people still dare to do so with nonchalance, they still dare to perpetrate whatever evil they please. All those who are keen on expelling others, who expel others not in accordance with the work arrangements from the above, can’t we say that they are servants of Satan? Can’t we say that they are people who disrupt and interrupt God’s work? The rules from the above have been very clear, yet why did you not follow them? Do you know the meaning of these rules? That is, if the vast majority of the brothers and sisters have determined that this person is most certainly not a good person, that he is absolutely not someone who pursues the truths, not someone who shall be saved, and that according to God’s words he is a person who must be eliminated, then such a person can be expelled. Without this basis, are you allowed to casually expel someone? You failed to expel those that you should expel, yet you insist on expelling those that you should not expel. This is intentionally disrupting and interrupting God’s work. Can such a leader truly supply his brothers and sisters? Can he have genuine kindness toward his brothers and sisters? All those who have no kindness yet are promoted as leaders are resisting God, they are all antichrists. Such people are too vicious in their heart, they do not even blink when expelling others, they feel no affliction in their heart, and they have no regrets after doing so. When they see that others have shown repentance, earnestly pleading to return to the church to live a church life, these leaders have no sympathy, they pay them no heed. They do not recognize their mistake, they have no guilt in their heart, they have no conscience. What are these people with such a cruel heart? Aren’t they the evil? All those who have been expelled, if they sincerely yearn for God, they will not go away, they will regret that they have done wrong, they will regret that they have not pursued the truth when they had the chance, and then they will weep bitterly and repent in the presence of God, still wanting to come back, pleading with God to give them another chance, saying: “I cannot renounce my faith in God, I am unable to leave God.” It is apparent that such people have been selected by God, therefore hurry and let them come back. You have already made the mistake once, do not make it a second time. You have already done the wrong thing, hurry and rectify your mistake. If you still refuse to let them come back, then what kind of a person are you? If a person does not have an ounce of longing to believe in God after you have expelled him, if he has never asked to come back, if he says: “You expelled me, therefore I no longer believe,” then it is appropriate and correct to expel someone like this, for he does not have the heart that believes. All those who feel particularly tortured after having been expelled, who earnestly and repeatedly ask to return, who do their utmost to repent in the presence of God, begging God to give them another chance, begging God to save them, to not abandon them, aren’t such people genuinely believing in God? These are people who genuinely believe in God, and if they have truly repented, if they ask to come back, someone like this should be allowed to return, and they should be given another chance. First, they are not possessed by demons; second, they are not the evil; third, they are not someone that everyone despises and is unable to get along with anyone else. They are also not those people who have perpetrated homosexuality or repeated adultery. If they are not one of these people, if they are only expelled due to a temporary transgression, though they don’t have the nature of a good person, they do not have the nature of an evil-doer either, then we should once again open our arms to such people and give them another chance. Some leaders have too cruel a heart. If I should discover any leaders like that, I will remove them the first opportunity I have. Without a doubt.
What time is it now? The catastrophe is about to begin, very soon there will be multiple earthquakes, and all kinds of plagues are going to strike. Some places are already seeing all kinds of disaster, either famine, or a shortage of drinking water, or drought, or flooding. The work of God’s house has also come to a conclusion, and God’s chosen people are beginning to go through hard times amidst various trials and disasters. Some people who have done evil deserve to be punished. Those church leaders and workers who act wildly, who are keen on expelling others, or who withhold the sermons, fellowship and work arrangements from the above and fail to pass them down will, ultimately, deserve to be punished. Some who have more conscience and sense and are doing good work, they continue as normal to eat and drink God’s words, to pursue the truths, regardless of how harsh or difficult the environment. They are still living the church life, preaching, and performing duty. They are fearful that they cannot attain salvation and that they may be eliminated, so they are striving hard to pursue the truths, and they put in the effort with eagerness. Such people have the hope of attaining salvation, and such people have the hope of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. What is this called? “He that is holy, let him be holy still; he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.” This is absolutely right. For those who have not pursued the truths and never taken them seriously before, and who think that they have some capital because they have understood many words and doctrines, it is too late now. Are the words and doctrines still useful? Your disposition has not changed one bit, how are you able to practice the truths? You are filled with arrogance and conceit on the inside, how can you stand witness? You are not even able to complete God’s commissions or adequately do those tasks that you are supposed to, how could you stand witness? What witness would you stand? How much practical work have you done? During the great catastrophe, so many brothers and sisters are weak and discouraged, and have you supported them? Have you taken care of them? Have you supplied your brothers and sisters with God’s words they require? Certain evil leaders even take away some people’s books, not allowing them to read God’s words. Such viciousness. You say you are worried that the reading of God’s words might lead to incidents. You only ask people to maintain safety, but why do you not allow your brothers and sisters to grow in their life? How could they grow in life without eating and drinking God’s words? How could they understand the truths? You disregard the lives of your brothers and sisters for the sake of safety, and stall God’s work for the sake of safety, because you fear that by eating and drinking God’s words, your brothers and sisters will be put in danger, which will cause you trouble. Because of your own safety, you prohibit your brothers and sisters from eating and drinking God’s words, you forfeit the lives of your brothers and sisters, starving them to death. Isn’t this an act of evil? These people are true evil-doers. If it is commonly known that “This person is most certainly capable of becoming a Judas, he is not a good person, and he never pursues the truths,” in a situation like this, it is okay to disallow him from eating and drinking God’s words. However, some people are not like this. They pursue the truths, they are willing to read God’s words. If they take up an oath: “Give me a book of God’s words, I promise that I will never betray my brothers and sisters, and I accept all responsibilities for all that shall happen to me,” do you give them the book of God’s words? If you don’t give them the book of God’s word, then you can water them. But you don’t even water them. By doing so, aren’t you leaving them no alternatives but death? Aren’t you preventing them from attaining salvation? Are you not causing interruptions and disruptions? How much of what you do is approved by others? Who told you to do such things? Did God’s words tell you to do so? Did the above issue such rules? You do not follow God’s words, you do not follow the work arrangements from the above, you do whatever you wish, therefore when the time comes, you must bear the responsibilities, and you must pay the price. When the great catastrophe arrives, the time will come for people to be revealed. People of all kinds, those who do good deeds, those who commit evil, those who pursue the truths and who do not, the good people, the bad people, they shall all be revealed. According to God’s words, they will all “follow their own kinds,” and immediately after they have followed their own kinds, God will begin the work of rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. As everyone has followed their own kinds, we can all see clearly now, for people’s true faces are now apparent to all. Some people will be punished, while others will be worked on by the Holy Spirit, they will be filled with happiness and joy, they will be filled with consolation, and when the great red dragon collapses, they can bear victorious witness for God. Those who commit evil do not have any truths, and when the great red dragon collapses, will they have any witness? Will they not be disgraced? The key lies in how to actually be a good church leader or worker. If a person does not have conscience or sense, then he will never be able to comprehend it, for he doesn’t concern himself with how to do practical work, but is always concerned with how to obtain status or how to manage his work, such that he can put his authority to good use. What use is there if all that you do are superficial things? Life entrance is the foundation, the understanding of truths is the foundation. Without doing any of the fundamental work, what use is there for you to deal with external affairs? Some leaders and workers have no sense of responsibilities and they don’t attend to their duties. They are always preoccupied with fixing this person or punishing that person. When they see anyone not following or obeying them, they subdue all these people into submission so that they would follow them, thinking that because they have done so, they are being a good leader. Can you subdue others? Do you have the truths? If you have never done anything that benefits people’s life entrance and attainment of salvation, who will approve of you? Why would they approve of you? No one will approve of you even if you have status, for no one will approve of you if you have never performed any practical work. If you have been a leader for many years but you have never done any practical work even until the very end, if you have only been dealing in power games and intrigues, people will hate you, they will hate you for wasting their time. If someone else can be a better leader than you are, it will better benefit others.
To be a church leader, it can be said that the fundamental work is to support and supply others by using truths to resolve problems. If his fundamental work does not have a solid basis, then he will certainly not do a good job. If you are a church leader, you must know how to support others, and when your brothers and sisters have any difficulty, you must ensure that you can use the truths to resolve their problems, and that you can bring them into the presence of God. This is the foundation. If you can adequately perform the fundamental work, then the work that you perform will certainly produce good results, and you will surely satisfy God. If anyone can encounter a leader like this, after he has believed for two to three years, he is guaranteed to enter the right track in his faith in God, he is guaranteed to enter into reality. If a church leader does not have a solid basis for his fundamental work, if he is not skilled at using the truths to resolve problems, if he is unable to resolve whatever difficulties that his brothers and sisters have encountered, if he cannot give clear fellowship, then he is an unqualified leader. A church leader or worker is only qualified after he has attained the ability to resolve problems with truths. Whether a church leader is qualified or not can be judged by whether he is able to resolve problems using truths. For instance, if his brothers and sisters have ten difficulties, and this leader can basically resolve seven of these difficulties, is this leader qualified? He is qualified. If his brothers and sisters have ten problems and he can only resolve one of them, is he qualified? He is not qualified. If a leader is only able to resolve one problem, it is too few; he must be able to resolve at least half of the problems. To measure whether a church leader is qualified, the key is to see whether or not he can resolve the problems of his brothers and sisters with the truths. What kind of problems? First, being able to resolve the conceptions of his brothers and sisters; second, being able to resolve the frequent negativities of his brothers and sisters; third, being able to resolve the issue when his brothers and sisters do not understand how to eat and drink God’s words; fourth, being able to resolve the issue when his brothers and sisters do not know how to experience God’s words and practice the truths; fifth, being able to resolve the issue when his brothers and sisters are unable to see through the various temptations from Satan that they encounter; sixth, being able to resolve the issue when his brothers and sisters are not having clarity regarding how they should pursue the truths in order to attain salvation; seventh, being able to resolve the inability to thoroughly understand all the different revelations of corruption; eighth, being able to resolve the issue of knowing themselves; ninth, being able to resolve the issue of their inability to discern the words and doctrines, the negative things, their inability to discern false leaders and false workers, their inability to discern those who are not being worked on by the Holy Spirit. A church leader like this would be equipped with sufficient truths. He will be able to resolve the general problems that he faces, and he is a qualified church leader. If he can only resolve problems in one or two aspects, then he is not qualified. In order to qualify, he must at least be able to resolve six to eight aspects of problems. The responsibilities of a church leader are momentous, and he must have the truths. Earnestly practice the use of truths in resolving issues, do not be satisfied with simply saying some words and giving fellowship when you live the church life. Whenever you are individually with your brothers and sisters at ordinary times, fellowship some truths with them and resolve problems for them. Instead of meaningless conversations, instead of chit-chats, whenever you meet with someone, always fellowship with some truths, always benefit everyone that you meet. How good would that be! Practice opening up your heart and speaking from your heart when you are individually with brothers and sisters. Try to be an intimate friend and a confidant of theirs, such that they can take you into their confidence, treat you as one of their family, as one of their brothers and sisters, not always let them treat you as a leader, always saying “our leader…,” for that is trouble. If you can make them treat you as one of their brothers and sisters, as an intimate friend, then you will be standing at the appropriate position. To often have heart-to-heart conversations with your brothers and sisters, speak to them from the heart, and resolve practical issues—this is the duty that you should fulfill, this is the practical work that you should perform. If you are able to converse with your brothers and sisters individually and resolve their difficulties, and also able to give sermons and fellowship in big gatherings to resolve everyone’s common difficulties, you would have accomplished your job as a leader, and you would have fulfilled your duty. The fellowship during meetings is to resolve common difficulties, while individual fellowship is for resolving personal difficulties. In this way, you are able to resolve personal difficulties of individuals as well as difficulties common to your brothers and sisters. If you can always perform your duty like this, then your brothers and sisters will have rapid life growths. After everyone has believed for three to five years in this way, all of them will have entered onto the right path in their faith in God, they will all have gained truths, their viewpoints will have changed, they will all have gained some understanding of God, their life dispositions will begin to have some transformations, and they will be able to obey God regardless of their environment. With this, the church leader will have accomplished his mission and brought men into the presence of God, finally succeeding, being able to give a satisfactory account to God.
Now, as you play the role of a church leader, at the conclusion of God’s work, can these people be brought by you into the presence of God? Do they have real knowledge of God? Have they entered onto the right path in their faith in God? These are the criteria that they must accomplish, for if you cannot accomplish them, then you will have failed as a leader, and you will not succeed. By failing to fulfill your duty, you will have owed God. You must have a sense of responsibility, you must carry this burden in your heart. The life entrance of your brothers and sisters is your greatest burden, and only by having this burden can you fulfill your duty. Without this burden, you will not be able to fulfill your duty, and you will not be a responsible person. The work performed by some people results in the church having fewer and fewer people, for their work has dissipated the enthusiasm of most people, these people have become indifferent, and they have retreated. Those who might have been enthusiastic, your leadership has turned them negative. They do not perform those duties that they were initially willing to perform, fewer and fewer of them are pursuing the truths, and ultimately the church is turned into dust. This is the work of Satan. As for the work performed by those who are fit to be used by God, it results in more and more people at the church, those who used to be negative now become enthusiastic, those who used to be weak now become strong, those used to be without a path now have a path, those who did not pursue the truths have now begun to pursue the truths, after having been supplied, nurtured and supported for a period of time. Those who did not know God have gradually come to understand the truths and are now able to come to know God. Eventually, this has resulted in the continued increase in the number of people that come to the church, and the continued expansion of God’s kingdom, allowing more people to better understand the truths and come to know God, to be able to bear witness for God. These are the results achieved by the work performed by someone fit for God’s use. What kind of a person is fit to be used by God? This can be discerned by the results of the work that he performs. For a leader, if there are less and less people at the church he leads, if there are less and less people pursuing the truths, is this leader walking the right path? He is certainly not walking the right path. When someone in possession of the truths performs work, he understands God’s will, he knows what to do in order to resolve people’s difficulties, he knows how to guide people onto the right track, until they have gained the truths, such that they would come to enjoy it more and more, feeling that they are coming face-to-face with God, becoming closer and closer with God, to eventually come to know God. This is someone who knows how to perform work, and these are the results that can be accomplished by someone being used by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit performing work on them, without the Holy Spirit using them, their work can never achieve such results. Therefore, it is too important for those who serve God to pursue the truths, for only by pursuing the truths can you attain perfection, such that you may come to have more experience and reality. Once you have been perfected, then you become more fit to be used by God. In this way, God shall use you to do His will, and eventually you will gain God’s blessing and God’s praise. When performing work, what is the greatest taboo for those who serve God? Always doing things for yourself and not doing things for God, always speaking for yourself instead of speaking for God, not witnessing for God, always showing off yourself, always saying things to justify your desire for status. This is resisting God, this is what the antichrists do. When people are spending for God, regardless of what duty they are performing, they must be devoted to their duty, they must be loyal to God, they must do all that they can to perform their work, they must strive to carry out their obligatory work, and they must do their best.
Being Able to Eat and Drink God’s Words is the Foundation for Believing in God and Gaining Truths
Now, our faith in God depends on nothing else but the eating and drinking of God’s words. Eating and drinking God’s words is the most fundamental homework, it is the foundation in our faith in God. If you do not know how to eat and drink God’s words, then you do not know how to believe in God, and you do not know what it means to believe in God. The more one cherishes God’s words and the more one is proficient in eating and drinking God’s words, the more such a person knows what it means to believe in God. Can you understand this? Let us continue to eat and drink God’s words: “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). What does it mean to “experience the words and work of God”? Isn’t this terminology worth contemplating? If you do not contemplate these words, if you are unable to gain anything from your contemplations, then how do you believe in God? If you cannot enter into these words, then where are you stuck in your faith? You are stuck at the stage of merely believing that God exists. If you do not experience God’s work, then you are not truly believing in God. How do we experience God’s work? The most fundamental is to quiet down, eat and drink God’s words, and ponder God’s words. All those who frequently eat and drink God’s words, who are able to accept the truths in God’s words, who can accept the revelations, judgment and chastisement in God’s words, they are experiencing God’s work. Is it appropriate to say so? It is entirely appropriate. When you have moved away from eating and drinking God’s words, then you are not believing in God, and you have no faith in God. The reality of believing in God is to eat and drink God’s words. If you can achieve results by eating and drinking God’s words, if you can achieve an understanding of the truths, if you can attain a knowledge of God, then by eating and drinking of God’s words in such a way, you are also experiencing God’s work. This is the most practical way of putting it. We can see that, indeed some people have put in a lot of effort into eating and drinking God’s words, therefore their life growth has been rapid. They have gained an ever deeper understanding of their own corrupt essence, they have gained more and more clarity regarding certain questions such as what rules their life, what is their survival based on, what are some manifestations of their corrupt disposition, what is the nature and essence of humans. To be able to have such clarity regarding these problems that actually exist in reality, that is, the problems of human corruption, where does this result come from? It comes from reading God’s words, this is a result attained through reading God’s words. The more anyone understands the truths, the more deeply and thoroughly he understands the truth of his own corruptions, his own nature, and his own essence. He will also come to a real understanding of God. Such results can only come from God’s words, there is no other way. If a person says that the Holy Spirit is working on him directly, that he has come to know God without reading God’s words, what issue is this? This is the evil spirits performing work on him. He has not come to know the true God; instead, he has come to know Satan. The work performed by God is not supernatural, the work performed by the Holy Spirit is based on people eating and drinking God’s words. If you do not eat or drink God’s words, then the Holy Spirit cannot perform any work. The most that the Holy Spirit can do is discipline you so that you may turn back, but He cannot enlighten and illuminate you so that you can understand the truths. Therefore, without reading God’s words, everything is empty, nothing exists. Only those who read God’s words, eat and drink God’s words, who have gained the truths and an understanding of God from within God’s words, these are the only people who truly believe in God, who truly follow God, who truly experience God’s work. Those who do not read God’s words, who do not accept God’s judgment and chastisement, can they truly know the corrupt disposition and corrupt essence of humans? We look at those doctors of theology, those pastors from the religious world, do they have any knowledge of the truth of their own corruptions, or their nature and essence? They specialize in the study of the Bible, but even after so many years of studying, they still have no knowledge of their own corrupt essence and nature. Why is that? Because they do not eat and drink God’s practical words, therefore, their problems of corruption can never be resolved. That is why it is too important to eat and drink God’s words, for eating and drinking God’s words allows you to gain the truths, eating and drinking God’s words allows you to know God’s work, eating and drinking God’s words allows you to know the truth of your own corruption as well as your nature and essence, eating and drinking God’s words allows you to attain life experience and enter onto the right path in believing God. Finally, eating and drinking God’s words allows you to gain the truths, which brings about transformations in life disposition. All these are results through eating and drinking God’s words, and none of this can happen without doing so.
For those who believe in God, is it important to eat and drink God’s words? Isn’t this the foundation? Eating and drinking God’s words is the foundation for believing in God. If you have never put any effort into eating and drinking God’s words, then you are too foolish. Many people pay no attention to eating and drinking God’s words in their faith in God. What do they pay attention to instead? “Can I be used by God? Can I obtain any status? Can I become a leader? Even if I can only become a worker, I am satisfied.” People are always caring about their status in their faith in God, they are always putting their effort into their status and reputation. Do these people know what it means to believe in God? No, they do not know. They do not know what it means to believe in God, therefore the path that they walk is crooked, for they are walking their own path. Some people, in the many years that they have believed in God, have lived for reputation and status, their minds are filled with status, reputation and other things. They pay no attention to things such as how to pursue the truths, how to be attentive to God’s will, how to witness for God and exalt God, or how to use the truths to solve problems. Their heart contains no such things. Aren’t these people not engaging in their duties? Someone who was a leader once told me: “I like to be a leader. If I can be a leader, then there is no amount of hard work that I am not willing to put in. However, if I cannot be a leader, then I have no motivation to believe in God.” What do these words represent? They represent the nature of humans, they represent the pursuit of the corrupt humankind, that which the corrupt humankind desires, always wanting to rise above others and become the leader, always having the predilection to lead others. If a person has no truths yet he always wants to lead others, is this appropriate? This shows a lack of sense. Once you are equipped with the truths, once you feel in your heart that you are able to perform work, then at such a time, put in some solid work, but do so without any arrogance. When others see you, they will say, “This person is quite reliable, he has the ability to do work, he is able to resolve other people’s problems with his fellowship, they are beneficial to others. He is suitable to be a leader.” When everyone thinks of you this way, when they think that you are competent and suitable, when they eventually choose you as leader, then the deed is done. Allow things to take their own course, and if no one chooses us to be a leader, then we should conscientiously eat and drink God’s words, conscientiously fulfill the duty that we ought to perform. However, if others recommend that we should become a leader, then we should not hold back or give way, we should take the opportunity and shoulder the burden, we should attempt to perform the work, and see if we have the stature. This is normal, this is not being arrogant or conceited. Once you start to do the work, if the Holy Spirit is performing work, you will say more words than you have expected. You will come to understand much at the time, and have many things to say, and then, after you have said them, your brothers and sisters will all confirm them, they will respond in their heart and their spirit, feeling that it is so well-spoken, that they are too edified. This is the confirmation that you have gained the work of the Holy Spirit. If you have gained the work of the Holy Spirit, then you shall have results anywhere that you are performing work, then you must shoulder this responsibility. Never refuse this burden that the Holy Spirit has bestowed onto you. This is not arrogance or conceit; you are obeying the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit. If you have not gained the work of the Holy Spirit, can your brothers and sisters feel enjoyment? If your sermons and fellowship cannot resolve the issues of your brothers and sisters, would they welcome you? If that is the case, they would not yearn for you. What has this situation demonstrated? This has demonstrated that we are not yet fit to be used by God, for our brothers and sisters do not welcome us. We are not fit to be used by God, we are not welcomed by others, therefore, let us retreat and perform some other duty. Isn’t this the sense that we should have? If you say that the work you perform follows the guidance of the Holy Spirit, yet the brothers and sisters have not been edified, if they have not gained any confirmation, then what you are feeling is problematic. It might be a human feeling, it might not be the will of the Holy Spirit. Let us retreat, and be someone who obeys. Isn’t it very normal to do so? This is both normal and adequate. This is not arrogance or conceit, this is also not feeling inferior or being weak. If the Holy Spirit is guiding us to perform work, then let us perform it well, let us give all our heart to fulfill all the responsibilities that we ought to take care of. If the Holy Spirit is not guiding us, if He has not moved us to perform work, then let us properly eat and drink God’s words, equip ourselves with the truths, and perform the duty that we ought to perform. Such people have both truths and humanity, have sense in the things that they do, and they appear proper to others. This is the semblance of a real human, all humans should live like this, and only by living like this can we have the semblance of a real human. Therefore, regardless of whether or not you have gained the work of the Holy Spirit, regardless of how the brothers and sisters treat you, eat and drink God’s words, experience God’s work, for this is the foundation. Do not neglect this. Some people eat and drink God’s words in order to perform work, they do not eat and drink God’s words for life entrance or the transformation of their dispositions. They do not eat and drink God’s words in order to gain the truths. The results of such people eating and drinking God’s words can never be significant. They feel that the work they perform requires eating and drinking some of God’s words, and if it is not necessary for the work they perform, they would no longer eat or drink any of God’s words. Can such eating and drinking of God’s words enable you to attain knowledge of God? Can it bring transformation of life dispositions? Humans must all accept God’s judgment and chastisement in order for their life dispositions to attain transformation.
Do you normally know how to ponder the truths? How do you normally ponder the truths? This requires comprehension. What does it mean that this requires comprehension? For example, we have just finished reading a passage of God’s words regarding what it means to have faith in God, “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.” After reading this passage of God’s words, ponder in such a way: What progressions are involved in the faith in God? First, “experiencing the words of God.” Carefully read God’s words. If you have understood them, then isn’t that a faith in God? Isn’t this part of the progress of believing in God? This is a faith in God. Second, “experiencing the work of God.” Why does it say “experiencing the work of God” after saying “experiencing the words of God”? Could it be that experiencing the words of God is different from experiencing the work of God? Aren’t these God’s words conflicting with each other? Are they redundant? They are neither in conflict with each other, nor are they redundant. So, what are they? Ponder it this way: “experiencing the words of God” is to read a volume of God’s words in your hand. However, is the work performed by the Holy Spirit merely contained within God’s words? Sometimes, that is not the case. Sometimes, you must go through some trials, you must undergo some refinements, you must encounter some situations. These are all within the scope of God’s work. Therefore, following that, it says: “experiencing the work of God.” The experiencing of God’s work has a very broad scope. Sometimes, God will discipline you. He uses the environment that surrounds you, that is, He uses the people, things and objects around you to discipline you. This is the manifestation of experiencing God’s work. Sometimes, to experience God’s work, you must obey the work arrangements from the above. When the above arranges certain things for you to carry out, either to be a leader or a worker, or to perform some special duty, isn’t this an experience of God’s work? Sometimes, you undergo trials and refinements; sometimes, God allows the evil spirits to deceive you; sometimes, God uses the great red dragon to persecute you, arrest you, to examine your progress, to see if you have any loyalty to God. Aren’t these an experience of God’s work? These are all experiencing God’s work. Therefore, God says: “experiencing the words of God,” and then He says: “experiencing the work of God.” Isn’t it necessary that they are being said? It is necessary. Therefore, God’s words are not in conflict, they are not redundant. You must know how to ponder God’s words, and after you have pondered them, you can then resolve all your conflicted understandings. “God’s words are accurate, His words are without any deviation, without any conflict. We might have thought that there are conflicts and redundancies in God’s words, but that is merely our misinterpretation, that is merely the conception of humans, for God’s words are spoken with such precision.” Once you have pondered in this way, you will gain some real knowledge of God’s words: God’s words have no conflict, they are never repeated, they all have significance. It is simply that people do not understand them.
The most fundamental aspects in the course of believing in God: First, experience God’s words; second, experience God’s work; third, to be free of our corrupt dispositions. Without the third criterion—to be free of our corrupt dispositions, can we satisfy God? If that is the case, then we can’t satisfy God. Therefore, what is the result that we aim to achieve by experiencing God’s words and God’s work? It is to achieve the result of being free of our corrupt dispositions, for only then can we satisfy God. Therefore, God has included “being free of corrupt dispositions” in the course of believing in God. This is the course of believing in God, this is an element. Many people believe in God, they have read a lot of God’s words and gone through various trials and refinements in experiencing God’s work, yet they are still not free of their corrupt dispositions. What issue is this? Isn’t this way of believing in God lacking in the most important element—being free of their corrupt dispositions? If a person is not free of his corrupt dispositions, there must be something wrong. He has not gained the truths by experiencing God’s words and God’s work, he was merely going through the motion. Just like many people who eat foods filled with nutrients every day, yet how come their health has not gotten any better? Having no energy, unable to do work, they look pale and thin. The foods that they eat are quite good. Others also eat the same foods, and they are all healthy. Yet how come these people are not healthy, even when they are eating these same foods? What went wrong? Some might say that their internal absorption is not good, that they are unable to absorb the nutrients after eating the foods, that their body was only going through the motion. Does such an issue exist? It does. If you have not absorbed those nutrients after eating the food, then you have wasted the foods. Therefore, some people are only going through the motion when eating and drinking God’s words and experiencing God’s work, and so they have not achieved any result. Are these the people who pursue the truths? Their eating and drinking of God’s words, their experiencing of God’s words are not to pursue truths, so they have not gained the truths, and they have not achieved that which God demanded: “So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God.” Without gaining the truths, can they have any knowledge of the truth of their own corruptions? Can they have any knowledge of their own nature and essence? Certainly not. Therefore, without gaining the truths, their course of believing in God is empty and impractical, and they have failed in their faith in God. If they have achieved the criterion of “so you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God,” then they would have attained salvation. The fourth is: “come to know God.” This “come to know God” is the highest standard. As a person who believes in God, if he is able to attain a knowledge of God, it means that his faith in God has achieved the optimal results, which is also the greatest achievement. A person who knows God is not simply an ordinary person to be saved, he is someone who has attained perfection. In the course of one’s believing in God, from “experiencing the words and work of God” to “being free of his corrupt disposition,” to ultimately the highest achievement—“coming to know God,” these are the four aspects in a person’s course of believing in God, these are the four stages that are vital, indispensable. How many of these four stages are you now equipped with? What stage have you reached in your practice and your faith in God? Some might say: “I have eaten and drunk God’s words, I still have not gained the truths, I have yet to reach the first stage; for the second stage—experiencing God’s work, I have not endured much suffering, and I cannot say that I have any real experience; the third stage—being free of corrupt dispositions, I am still a long way off. Sometimes, even when I have the semblance of a human, it is only pretense, for in my heart, I know the revelation of corruptions that lies behind that.” Is such a faith in God valid? Everyone who believes in God should reflect upon themselves: Why have they not achieved the result of being free of their corrupt dispositions after having believed in God for so many years? If a person’s faith in God is ultimately unable to free him of his corrupt dispositions, can someone like this satisfy God? Ponder what it means to be free of your corrupt dispositions. We are not talking about theories, we are talking about reality. Ponder, what does it really mean to not be free of your corrupt dispositions? What are the manifestations which confirm that you are not free of your corrupt dispositions? First, your viewpoints have not been transformed, they are still the same as those of the people in the mundane world. You view things the same way as the intellectuals and famous men. However they view happiness and the value of life is however you view them. Your viewpoints have not been transformed in the slightest. Second, your life is being ruled by your life philosophy and the poison of Satan. The goal that you strive for is enjoyment and happiness of the flesh. Your viewpoints have not been transformed in the least, and the foundation of your survival is the corrupt dispositions of Satan. Isn’t it clear whether or not someone like this is free of his corrupt dispositions? Some might say: “However, from the outside, they do not appear to have done any bad things.” You have not seen him do any bad things, but do you know the thoughts in his heart? He does many things in his heart, and do you know of them? Sometimes a person sits there without any movement, without even shifting his eyes, not doing anything with his hands, yet he is capable of performing several evil deeds, all at the same time. Do you not believe me? His heart is committing sins, his heart is judging God, his heart is betraying God, his heart is resisting God, his heart is despising others, despising his brothers and sisters, despising his leaders, and his heart is blaming God. Isn’t he doing evil? His mental state has already become abnormal, the sentiments of resisting God have already been formulated in his heart, this person is already committing evil deeds. For example, in his heart, he is contemplating: Today, the leader dealt with me, he pruned me. This person is no good, I despise him. I don’t like others revealing me, dissecting me. Isn’t this resisting God? Isn’t this in enmity against the truths? Has his evil been exposed? These are not simply flashes of the thoughts in his mind, these things in his mind have already been formulated. He is capable of doing all that he thinks. He might not have done them with his hands, but they have already taken shape in his heart, the thoughts have already been formulated. Isn’t this doing evil? In their heart, some people are waging a war with God, or they have the intention to do things that cause harm to the work of God’s house, or the intention to pull the rug out from under someone, or to judge someone. These things are all committing evil.
If you have become aware of the benefits of eating and drinking God’s words, if you feel that eating and drinking God’s words is more important than anything else, then you are pragmatic and you are attending to your duties. After you have done so for a while, deep in your heart and spirit, you will have comfort and enjoyment. However, if you do not attend to your duties, if you are always dabbling with external affairs, if you are preoccupied with the clothes you wear, your appearance, and how to eat and drink well, you will feel emptiness in your heart and your spirit, you will feel discomfort in your heart and spirit, as if your conscience is accusing you. As you eat and drink God’s words, as you have gained some truths, and then if you perform some duty, if you perform some good that a person ought to perform, if you possess some good deeds, then you will have enjoyment in your heart, then you will find meaning by living like this, you will feel your conscience at ease by living this way, you will feel that you have the semblance of a human, that you are someone with truths and humanity. This is what it means to pursue an authentic life: doing something proper every day, doing something meaningful, something that, when you think back, you feel you have done quite well. “I am walking the proper path, I am living a proper life.” After believing in God for many years, if you have never done a proper thing, if you don’t have one good deed, then how are you going to account for your life when you pass on to another world? Don’t you have emptiness in your heart and spirit? Don’t you feel a lifelong regret? You say that you believe in God and have gained the truths, yet what good have you done? Have you gained one single person with your preaching? Which person have you brought into the reality of God’s words, into the presence of God? How many responsibilities that you were able to fulfill in the church have you actually fulfilled? What duties have you actually performed? If you have not done any of these things, then you have a guilty conscience. Think back to all these years that you have believed in God, what good have you done? Some people have not done any good, and they feel quite satisfied that they have not done any evil. What disposition is this? Aren’t they Satan? You only feel that you are a bad person when you do evil? If you have not done any good deeds, then you are no good. Does it require that you do evil? How many good deeds do you possess? How many truly good things have you done, things that can be called good deeds? Reflect upon yourself. If you do not have any good deeds, does that match with your faith in God? You feel that you are quite intelligent, quite clever. If you are really clever, why do you not attend to your duties? Why have you not gained any truths? Unable to do any practical work when asked, what kind of intelligence is this? Always so arrogant and conceited with only such a paltry stature, yet you still think that you are quite good, not listening to anyone else. What disposition is this? Isn’t this Satan’s disposition? You must do something proper, so that your conscience may be at ease, so that you may feel that you have at least done something right. Besides, you will also be able to repay God’s love and won’t feel like you owe God in your conscience, and you have some consolation. If you have not repaid any of God’s love, are you worthy to face God? Always asking for God’s grace, asking for this and that, to have God satisfy you, always using God, yet not wanting to perform any duty for God; is there any conscience or sense in this? Properly eat and drink God’s words, when you have gained the truths, then you can repay God, perform some work for God, and become fit for God’s use. Many leaders and workers right now still do not know how to exalt God and witness God, they continue to ponder how they can exalt themselves, always wanting to have status, to be above all others, not allowing God to have glory. These people are selfish and despicable. They see that their brothers and sisters are poor and wretched, having nothing to their names, yet they are not worried in the least, still enjoying themselves. “You have nothing, yet now that I believe in God, I have everything.” Such people have no kindness in their heart, they do not feel sorry for others, they have no sympathy for others, and they do not understand others. When others are weak and faced with difficulties, some people feel sorry for them, some people sympathize with them, some people are willing to help them. Such people have kindness in their heart. Those who have a good quality and know how to eat and drink God’s words, when they see that others do not know how to eat or drink God’s words, shouldn’t they offer their help? They should find an opportunity to eat and drink God’s words with others, and instead of having a chitchat, eat and drink God’s words, do not indulge in idle talk. What use is there to talk about matters of the society? Useless. Do something proper, eat and drink a passage of God’s words together, then fellowship. To what degree should you eat and drink God’s words? Until you have gained something, until you have real understanding of God’s will from reading a passage of God’s words, until you have truly seen the light and have gained some result. You will feel that you have not lived in vain today, that this day has not gone to waste, you have not let this day slip by, you have finally gained something, gained some result. Or else, you do some good deeds, like helping a brother or sister understand God’s words, support a brother or sister who is weak, or preach to someone and bring him into the presence of God. These are all good things, this is the accumulation of good, bit by bit, until you have finally done many good, until they have accumulated into good deeds. You know that after you have gained the truths in one aspect, if you can fellowship about them with clarity, so many people can profit, so many people can be edified and reap the benefits. How good is it to do some work like this! Therefore, properly pursue the truths, for then God will certainly place you in important positions. If you do not pursue the truths, you will never become fit for God’s use. The pursuit of truths is the foundation. Knowing how to eat and drink God’s words is the foundation.