23. The Principles of Approaching Work Arrangements, Sermons and Fellowship
1. Work arrangements, sermons and fellowship all represent the direction of the work of the Holy Spirit and the present will of God; you must accept them, obey them and practice them;
2. You must fulfill your duty in strict accordance with the principles of the work arrangements; you must never go by your own will, do whatever suits yourself by walking the path of the antichrist;
3. You must implement work arrangements, sermons and fellowship with drive and vigor, never falling short, to ensure that you keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit;
4. Work arrangements, sermons and fellowship arise from the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and they pertain to the knowledge of man; you must never substitute them for God’s words or treat them as God’s words.
Relevant Words of God:
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. … 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.
from “The Main Principles of How Workers Work” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Some have such an impudent attitude toward the work arrangements from the above. They think: “The above makes the work arrangements and we work on the lower levels. There are some words and some things that we can apply flexibly, that can be altered once they reach the lower levels, because the above only says things, and we lower down do them. We understand the situation on the lower levels, which the above does not, so we can work in any way that suits us. As those in the lower levels have been assigned to us, we can lead them however we want. It doesn’t matter how we lead them, and no one has any right to interfere.” They maintain this principle in their serving of God: “I will listen to anything that I think is correct but I won’t listen to anything I think is unsuitable. I can resist You and go against You. I won’t implement anything or put anything into effect for You. If You say anything unsuitable then I will alter it for You, and will pass it on only after it has been through me. If it hasn’t been approved by me, then it will not be printed.” Elsewhere, the arrangements from the above are passed on in their original form. But these people first alter the work arrangements before sending them onto the regions they lead. This kind of person always wishes to put God to one side and is so anxious for others to follow them, to believe in them. In their eyes, God does not quite compare with them in some areas, and they think that they have something that God doesn’t, that everyone should believe in them and that they are God. Their actions are of this nature. Do you understand? If you have understood, can you still weep? Can you still sympathize with these people? Can you still think that the above has done wrongly or has not acted righteously, and that those who can suffer so much are removed? Who do they suffer for? They suffer for their own status. Are they serving God? Are they doing their duty? Are they loyal to God? Are they obedient? They are the lackeys of Satan, pure and simple. Their work is the devil taking power, to destroy God’s management plan and to disrupt God’s work. What is their faith? They are the devils and the antichrists, pure and simple.
from “What Is Meant by ‘Offending God’” in Records of Christ’s Talks
See, people are all different. Although some people don’t necessarily understand everything that is arranged by the above, they still obey and say: “All God does is correct. Though we may not understand it thoroughly, we shall still obey. We certainly shouldn’t judge God. We should listen even if it doesn’t sound correct, because we are people and there is no mistake in what God does. There is meaning behind it all, but what meaning can us fools see? We shall simply follow God and obey God’s arrangements, until the day when we will understand. Even if we still don’t understand on that day, we shall still obey willingly. We are human beings, and so we should obey God. It is as it should be.” But some people are different. When they see what the above does, they first deliberate, saying: “You have said this, God, and You have demanded this. I think the first thing is fine, but I don’t think the second thing is very suitable. I will alter it for You.” Do these words show a God-revering heart?
from “What Is Meant by ‘Offending God’” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The word of God cannot be spoken as the word of man, much less can the word of man be spoken as the word of God. A man used by God is not the incarnate God, and the incarnate God is not a man used by God; in this, there is a substantial difference. … God, after all, is God, and man is man. God has the substance of God, and man has the substance of man. If man views the words spoken by God as simple enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and takes the words of the apostles and prophets as words personally spoken by God, then man is wrong. Regardless, you should never turn right into wrong, or speak of the high as the low, or speak of the profound as the shallow; regardless, you should never deliberately refute what you know to be the truth.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
Concerning obeying the work arrangements and communication of the man used by the Holy Spirit, there is this kind of principle: All of the work arrangements from the above should be obeyed, all of the preaching and communication from the above should be listened to, and all that accords with the truth that you consider to have edification and value for your life ought to be accepted. This will benefit you greatly in getting onto the right track for belief in God and attaining salvation.
from “How the Four Principles for Obedience to God Ought to Be Put Into Practice” in Classic Selections From Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life
The work arrangements and the sermons and fellowship of the man used by the Holy Spirit completely represent the pace of the Holy Spirit’s work and the new direction of His work. Therefore, people who disobey the guidance and arrangement of the man used by the Holy Spirit are those who live outside of God’s word, who have not entered into God’s management. It can be said with certainty that people who never obey the guidance and arrangement of the man used by the Holy Spirit cannot possibly enter onto the right track of believing in God. Thus they cannot be saved.
from “Look at the Paths That Various Kinds of People Take When God Does His Final Winnowing Work” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of the Church of Almighty God
Which is the most important part of experiencing God’s work? First, the work arrangements, sermons and fellowship made by the man whom the Holy Spirit uses are all under the Holy Spirit’s direction, enlightenment, and illumination. If you can’t obey it, and you can’t practice it, you are someone who resists God. Second, if you can’t accept the Holy Spirit’s inner enlightenment and illumination on you on this foundation, that is to say, if you do not obey and practice the enlightenment of God’s word and all aspects of the essence of the truth, you will be counted as utterly worthless and be eliminated. … What do the work arrangements, sermons, and fellowship of the man used by the Holy Spirit represent? They stem from the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit that God’s chosen people must enter into and practice. They represent the stream and new direction of the Holy Spirit’s work. Do you recognize it clearly? If you don’t recognize this clearly, it is impossible for you to enter the right track of believing in God. So how do you deal with the work arrangements from the above? You must obey unconditionally.
from “The Most Important Things People Should Possess If They Are to Achieve Salvation Through Experiencing God’s Work” in Classic Selections From Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life
To be a leader serving God you must have principles. … 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
When it comes to the matter of obeying God, man should have the sense that his obedience must be unconditional. As long as it can be confirmed that it is one of God’s arrangements or demands, regardless if someone understands or not, they must obey unconditionally. Nobody can alter the demand or choose to implement it. This is how work arrangements must be implemented. … Everyone who does work in God’s family must have this sense: Regardless of whether or not you understand or comprehend God’s words or the work arrangements or demands from the above, you must absolutely carry it out precisely. You will deepen your understanding as you are putting it into practice. If you say that you are unable to put it into practice because you do not understand it clearly, this proves that you are arrogant and self-right. If you wait until you understand it before you implement it, you end up delaying the important work of God’s family. If you wait until you understand completely, the work will become damaged. Can you shoulder that responsibility? This is why the demands of obeying God are so strict. Without sense, leaders would not be suitable to be utilized by God. God likes those who obey Him absolutely. This is because those that absolutely obey God are most honest and pure. They lack crookedness, treachery, arrogance and self-rightness. They only know how to be considerate of God’s heart and satisfy God.
from “The Rationality That is Required for Following God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life
God’s chosen people must understand: Only God’s word is the truth, only it can be man’s life. The communication and preaching of man are all born of experience under the enlightenment, illumination and guidance of the Holy Spirit. These words only represent man’s experience and his understanding of the truth. They can only edify and benefit man’s entry into life. They can never be used in lieu of God’s word, because man’s knowledge of experiences is too limited and cannot be man’s life. If man’s communication and preaching were deemed the same as God’s word, it would be a grave mistake.
from the fellowship from the above
What do we now see the essence of Christ to be? The essence of Christ is the truth, the way, and the life, the essence of Christ is divinity, it is not humanity. Although outwardly Christ appears to have humanity, ordinary humanity, however, when He performs His work, when He expresses the truth, we then see the aspect of His divinity. When He lives among us, we also see the aspect of His humanity. Whenever we have any difficulties, whenever He works and judges us, chastises us, dissects us, that is when we see His divine essence, we see that Christ truly is the truth, the way, and the life. If one is the person used by the Holy Spirit, he is unable to express that which God has and is, he can only speak of his own experiences and knowledge to provide for and lead God’s chosen people. Christ’s work is not the same. No matter when, as long as God’s chosen people are in need of something, He can then and there express God’s disposition, express what God has and is, which are the essence of Christ. This is the greatest difference between Christ and the man used by the Holy Spirit and all people who have the work of the Holy Spirit. Although the man used by the Holy Spirit has a rather better understanding of the truth, and is richer in experience, these are all results that have been achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit. But if you have him express that which Christ has and is, that which God has and is, he is unable to express it in the slightest, he can only talk about nothing more than his experience and knowledge accumulated incrementally. You see how great the difference is between the man used by the Holy Spirit and Christ. There are those who have a high opinion of the man used by the Holy Spirit, and say “Oh, he really understands the truth, he can discuss so much of his experience and knowledge of it.” In fact, the truth he understands is only a drop in the ocean of the words of Christ, and when he is compared to Christ, the difference between them is as huge a gulf as that between heaven and earth, there is no way to compare them. We must see this point clearly. So, any corrupted human can never be able to be compared with Christ, and there is no way to compare the two. Christ has the essence of divinity, and one word spoken by Him is enough for you to experience for one hundred years, or for a thousand years; I can tire myself out and still be unable to say such words. As to that little experience and knowledge I speak about, a man would live up to it after several years of experience; for one word of Christ, we would need to experience one hundred years, a whole lifetime of experience, to live up to it, and there are even some words that over a lifetime of experience we would have no way of living up to. You see, His divine essence and the essence of man are different, it is the difference as huge as the gulf between heaven and earth.
from “How to Know That Christ Is the Truth, the Way, and the Life?” in Classic Selections From Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life