19. The Principles for Leaders and Workers to Follow During Fellowships and Sermons
1. You must exalt God and bear witness for God according to God’s words, and fellowship the truth with clarity so that people know God’s work and fulfill their duties;
2. You must understand and grasp the problems ubiquitous to God’s chosen people, practice using the truth to resolve them, and avoid preaching empty doctrines;
3. Fellowshiping the truth must follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and you must not cling to rules or apply mechanically; you must try your best to fellowship the truth with perfect clarity, so that people may have a path to practice;
4. You must closely follow the work arrangements, sermons and fellowships of the above, keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit, and lead God’s chosen people into the reality of the truth.
Relevant Words of God:
You must have an understanding of the many conditions men will be in when the Holy Spirit performs work on them. In particular, those who coordinate to serve God must have an even better grasp of the many conditions brought about by the work that the Holy Spirit performs on men. If you only talk about many experiences and many ways of entering in, it shows that your experience is too one-sided. Without grasping many situations in reality, you are unable to achieve transformation in your disposition. If you have grasped many conditions, then you will be able to understand various manifestations of the work of the Holy Spirit, and see clearly through and discern much of the work of the evil spirits. You must expose the many notions of men and go straight to the heart of the issue; you must also point out many deviations in people’s practice or problems in believing in God so that they may recognize them. At the very least, you must not make them feel negative or passive. However, you must understand the many difficulties that objectively exist for people, you must not be unreasonable or “try to teach a pig to sing”; that is foolish behavior. To resolve the many difficulties of men, you must understand the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit, you must understand how the Holy Spirit performs work on different people, you must understand the difficulties of men, the shortcomings of men, see through to the key issues of the problem, and get to the source of the problem, without deviations or errors. Only this kind of person is qualified to coordinate to serve God.
Whether you are able to grasp the key issues and see clearly through many things depends on your individual experiences. The way that you experience affects how you lead others. If you understand letters and doctrines, then you lead others to understand letters and doctrines. The way that you experience the reality of God’s words is the way that you lead others to enter into the reality of God’s words. If you are able to understand many truths and see clearly through many things in God’s words, then you are able to lead others to understand many truths, and those that you lead will have a clear understanding of the visions.
from “What an Adequate Shepherd Should Be Equipped With” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You are able to speak as much knowledge as there is sand on a beach, yet none of it contains any real path. In this, are you not fooling people? Are you not all hat and no cattle? Acting in this way is harmful to people! The higher the theory, the more it is devoid of reality, and the more it is incapable of taking people into reality; the higher the theory, the more it makes you defy and oppose God. Do not treat the most lofty theories like precious treasure; they are pernicious, and serve no use! Maybe some people are able to talk of the most lofty theories—but such theories contain nothing of reality, for these people have not personally experienced them, and thus they have no path to practice. Such people are incapable of taking man onto the right track, and will only lead people astray. Is this not harmful to people? At the very least, you must be able to solve the present troubles and allow people to achieve entry; only this counts as devotion, and only then will you be qualified to work for God. Do not always speak grandiose, fanciful words, and do not bind people and make them obey you with your many unsuitable practices. Doing so will have no effect, and can only increase people’s confusion. Leading people this way will produce many pieces of regulation, which will make people loathe you. This is man’s shortcoming, and it is really insufferable. Therefore, talk more about problems that exist now. Don’t treat other people’s experiences as private property and bring it out for others to appreciate. You must individually search for a way out. This is what each person should put into practice.
If what you say can give people a path to walk, then that amounts to you having reality. No matter what you say, you must bring people into practice and give them all a path they can follow. It is not about only making it so that people have knowledge, but more importantly, it is about having the path to walk.
from “Focus More on Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You have all often experienced the situation of being at a gathering, and feeling like you have nothing to preach about—finally you bite the bullet and say something superficial. You know perfectly well that these superficial words are doctrines, but you preach about them anyway, and in the end you feel you have no enthusiasm, and the people below you listen and feel it is too dull—hasn’t that happened? If you have to force yourself to preach, then on the one hand the Holy Spirit will not work, and on the other hand, there is no benefit to the people. If you have not experienced the truth but you still want to preach about it then, no matter what you say, you will not preach clearly—you will just be preaching superficial things. You may think that the words you are speaking are enlightened, but they are just doctrines, they are not reality, and the people listening will not be able to get to grips with real things; they may be feeling that what you say is right when listening to it, but afterward it will be completely forgotten. If what you are preaching about is not the real condition, you will not be able to touch the hearts of people; they will forget it even if they want to remember, and you will not be able to help them. If you encounter a situation where you want to preach but feel you cannot preach about things thoroughly, where you only have some doctrinal knowledge but know nothing about the things of substance, and if you are not able to answer questions of substance that others pose, then it is best not to preach at all. There are also times when you will start to discuss a topic at a gathering, and feel that you are fairly knowledgeable about it, and can fellowship about some real things. But once you have discussed it to a shallow level everyone understands it, and you don’t have anything you can preach at a deeper level. What others don’t know, you may not know either. So don’t force yourself to preach; you can instead get everyone to fellowship about the topic. If you think that it is the doctrine, then it is useless to preach about it, and it will not provide edification for others; in this situation, no matter what you say, the Holy Spirit will not do His work, and when you just bite the bullet and preach you may say absurd and deviant things, and can lead people astray. … If you are a person who understands the truth, then you will reproach yourself. You cannot preach that way anymore, and the topic should be changed. You can fellowship about something you have experience with, or you can also talk about some knowledge you have about the truth; if you cannot preach clearly about something, you can fellowship instead! It’s never good to always have just one person preaching. Because you lack experience, no matter how well you are able to imagine and conceive of something, what you talk about after all is just doctrine, and it is also something found within human conceptions. Those things which belong to the truth must be experienced; without experience no one can completely understand the substance of the truth, much less can they explain clearly the conditions of experiencing a truth; one must have experience with truth so as to have something to preach about it. Having no experience is not acceptable; even if you have experience it will be within a limited range, and you can speak on some limited conditions, but cannot say more. If a gathering always revolves around a topic, or two topics, then after fellowshiping repeatedly around these topics, there will be some people who come to understand a little. Or perhaps when you begin to preach, you think that you are preaching in a very practical way, but the people below still don’t really understand, because your condition is your condition, and the conditions of the people below are not exactly the same as your own. Moreover, you are experiencing this currently, but the people below are not experiencing those same things at the time, so they think what you are preaching about is not fitting for them. What should you do in that situation? You should then ask them some questions to understand their situations. Ask them what they would do when faced with this situation. How should one practice in line with the truth? By fellowshiping a bit in this way a path will be opened, and people can be led to the topic, and by fellowshiping further you will achieve results.
from “Do You Know What Truth Really Is?” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and allow them to go deeper into the truth. The work he does can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people release and freedom. Moreover, they can gradually grow in life, go progressively deeper into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short; his work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules; what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to the actual needs of the people. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality or into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to stand by a few worthless rules. This kind of guidance can only lead people astray.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Of principal importance in following God is that everything should be according to the words of God today: Whether you are pursuing entry into life or the fulfillment of God’s will, everything should be centered around the words of God today. If what you commune and pursue are not centered around the words of God today, then you are a stranger to the words of God, and totally bereft of the work of the Holy Spirit. What God wants are people who follow His footsteps. No matter how wonderful and pure what you understood before is, God does not want it, and if you are unable to put aside such things, then they will be a tremendous obstacle to your entry in the future. All those who are able to follow the present light of the Holy Spirit are blessed.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who can follow the present work of the Holy Spirit, and who are able to follow the footsteps of God, such that they follow God wherever He leads them—these are people who are blessed by God. Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. … If people live among religious conceptions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imagination and conceptions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God. Those who are unable to follow the work of the Holy Spirit do not understand the will of God, and those who do not understand the will of God cannot serve God. God wants service that is after His own heart; He does not want service that is of conceptions and the flesh. If people are incapable of following the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work, then they live amid conceptions, and the service of such people interrupts and disturbs. Such service runs contrary to God, and thus those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God are incapable of serving God; those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God most certainly oppose God, and are incapable of being compatible with God.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In their work, workers must pay attention to two points: One is to do the work exactly according to the principles stipulated by the work arrangements. Workers must not violate these principles, not work according to their own imaginations, and not according to their own will. They should show concern for the work of God’s family, and put the interests of the family of God first in everything they do. The other point is also key, and that is, in everything they do, to pay attention to following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to do everything strictly in keeping with the word of God. If you disobey the guidance of the Holy Spirit or if you stubbornly follow your own mind and do things according to your own imagination, this constitutes a most serious opposition to God. Frequently disobeying the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit leads to a dead end. There is no way to go on with work if one has lost the work of the Holy Spirit, and though one does work, nothing is accomplished. It is these two main principles to abide by while at work: One is to perform the work exactly according to the arrangements from the above, and to perform tasks with the principles that have been set forth by the above. The other point is to follow guidance from the Holy Spirit within. Once these two points are grasped, work is very unlikely to miss its mark. … It is necessary to pay careful attention to the guidance or enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; particularly in key issues you must be careful in order to grasp it. People who think too much, who like to act on their own ideas are most likely to miss it. Good workers, promising workers, pay attention to the work of the Holy Spirit. People who obey the Holy Spirit fear God and seek truth tirelessly. To satisfy God and bear witness for Him, one should investigate one’s own work for elements of adulteration and intentions, and try to see how much is motivated by personal wishes, how much is born of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and how much is in keeping with the word of God. You must constantly and in all circumstances examine your words and deeds. To practice often in this way will put you on the right track of serving God.
from “The Main Principles of How Workers Work” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
To be a leader serving God you must have principles. Some say, “For many truths, no matter how I try to fellowship, I still lack clarity about them.” You lack clarity, but your intentions still need to be right; no matter what, you still need to testify and exalt God. Say as much as you understand, exalt and testify God to the greatest extent that you can, and under no circumstances exalt yourself or allow others to worship you. This is the first and the most fundamental rule to follow. Secondly, never try to find tricks or rely on your own ideas. Follow the arrangements from above strictly. If you are truly earnest in your work and want to achieve results, you must spend a lot of time and energy on all work arrangements and devote the maximum effort.
from “One Must Have Principles in Serving God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life
The service that is in harmony with God’s will is to exalt God and witness for God in all things and issues, to communicate to man about God’s will and requirements for people, to make people follow God so that they will act according to God’s word instead of their own doctrines, rules and sayings. This way, through your communication, people can come before God and obey God’s will, and follow God’s words to ultimately know God and obey God. Those who serve God must practice and work like this so that they can conform to God’s will. Those who serve as leaders and workers must take this as a motto: Whether it is dealing with any problem or communicating and giving sermons, 100% of what they speak must witness for God and exalt God, communicate more about God’s will, and release more of God’s will and God’s requirements for people. They must never say their own words, their own doctrines, rules or regulations. Bringing people to God and making them obey God, receive the truth, and worship God is God’s entrustment to the workers. If the workers failed to care for God’s will and lead people to return to God and know God according to God’s requirements, they would let God’s will down and become people who resist God and betray God.
from the fellowship from the above
God should be included in the communication of God’s word. You must bear witness for God when communicating God’s word. In order for your communication of God’s word to be effective, you must say these clearly: Why does God say so? What effects does God want to achieve? What is God’s intention? What disposition of God does it represent? When you are communicating God’s word, you are witnessing for Christ and holding high Christ. It is to let people know all that Christ has and is. This is the real testimony for God, the real communication of God’s word. If you only speak about the literal meaning of God’s word without ever witnessing for what Christ is, without relating to what God is and God’s disposition as well as God Himself, this way of communicating God’s word will be ineffective. You are just witnessing for yourself and showing yourself off. When you communicate God’s word without relating to God, what God is, God’s intention, God’s disposition, and God’s requirement of man, you are talking about God’s word in vain. When God is isolated from your communication of God’s word, as if you are communicating your own word, you are communicating God’s word in vain. It is a despicable way of communicating God’s word. Overtly, you are showing people how much you understand God’s word, how well you speak God’s word, but you are subtly exalting yourself. When you communicate God’s word, you should bear witness for what Christ is, that Christ is God, so people will really obey, fear and worship Christ when they understand God’s word. This way, the more you communicate God’s word, the more people will know about Christ, the more they will obey Christ. Communicating God’s words as such is the true way to bear witness for Christ, hold high Christ, and work to serve God. The essence of communicating God’s word is to bear witness for God, for God’s work, for all that God has and is, and for God’s disposition as expressed in His word. When communicating God’s word, if you fail to communicate all that God has and is, God’s intention, God’s requirement of man, God’s disposition represented by God’s words, such communication of God’s word is meaningless and ineffective, and you are not communicating God’s word. It can be categorized as an empty talk of God’s word by the letters and doctrines.
from “How to Discern the Deception of a False Christ and an Antichrist” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (II)
As a leader, apart from communicating the truth and seeking the truth, his principal work is to resolve problems with the truth. The more problems he resolves with the truth, the more benefits people get from him, and the more valuable his work is. If little of the work he does as a leader involves resolving problems with the truth, there is no value in what he does. It can be said that he is acting recklessly and completely contrary to God’s will. In addition to communicating the truth to resolve personal problems, the work of a leader is to resolve problems with the truth for everyone during congregation. If his communication and sermons are not done pertaining to certain problems, there will be no result to speak of. It can only be called armchair strategy and theoretical prattle. As a leader, if he is unable to handle the problems in the church and the personal problems associated with the work of the church, what other work can he do? Just by assigning work, blaming and dealing with people for their mistakes, can he really resolve any problem? Can he achieve any result in his work? If someone only does this kind of work, he is too incompetent. Arranging and assigning work along with blaming and dealing with people for their mistakes is only the most superficial and cosmetic practice. It cannot supply people with life or resolve fundamental problems for them. With just superficial dealing and blames, that is not resolving problems with the truth. Nor is it convincing to people. If you have the truth, and you reveal people’s problems with the truth, they will be convinced when you prune and deal with them, thus achieving the desired results.
from the fellowship from the above
When one is really competent in serving God, all difficulties can be resolved wherever he goes, and no matter what problems people have he can talk them through and point out the way. It makes people full of enjoyment as if the burden is relieved. No matter how difficult the situation of a place is, if he stays there a few days and gathers people together for a few meetings, then people’s hearts will brighten. They are filled with energy when the truth is understood and their negativity is completely resolved. The strife of the flesh will be quelled and church life will take the right path. A person who really serves God can see through the deficiencies of people, and he knows what to provide for different people, where to start, and how to completely resolve the problems. No matter whether a new or old believer, old or young, leading or following, he can fully provide for them. Their problems can all be resolved and he can communicate with all people. For those who really serve God, communication of the truth has no rules and they do not do this by rote. They will speak from every side and from every angle. They will speak in different languages and will combine all types of facts. People of every class will understand and reap the benefits. …
Those who really serve God know what they lack and can always equip themselves and at the same time communicate the truth to others, and even more so, they focus on entering into the truth themselves and knowing themselves more deeply. They can keep themselves from being arrogant, self-righteous and from showing themselves off and are also willing to open their heart to let other people know their weaknesses and shortcomings. Therefore their communication is sincere and authentic, with no false pretensions. People will have conviction in them, respect them and obey the truth that they convey.
from “The True Meaning of Service and the Duties of Workers” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life
The work arrangements, sermons and fellowships of the above represent the new steps and direction of the work of the Holy Spirit. Hence, leaders and workers of all levels must closely follow the work arrangements, sermons and fellowships of the above to communicate the truth and fulfill their duties. This is a principle of serving God and also the right path of service. One who deviates from the work arrangements, sermons and fellowships of the above to do their own thing is disturbing and disrupting God’s work. Such a person is someone who resists God. … If a leader or worker can accept the work arrangements, sermons and fellowships of the above, then they will be able to communicate the truth and reality in the church, be able to coordinate with the work of the Holy Spirit, and guide God’s chosen people into the reality of truth.
from “The Meaning and Explanation of the Ten Principles of the Church Life Established by God’s Family” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God