6. The Principles of Eating and Drinking God’s Word in Congregation
1. One must eat and drink God’s word strictly according to the principles as stipulated by the work arrangements from the above in order to keep apace with the Holy Spirit’s work.
2. One must eat and drink God’s word in combination with the existing problems of the church and the actual situations of the majority of God’s chosen people, with emphasis on solving the problems with the truth.
3. Conduct eating and drinking of God’s word with piety. Be quiet before God, pray and ponder on God’s word earnestly so as to receive the Holy Spirit’s work and understand the truth.
4. The purpose of congregating to eat and drink God’s word is to understand the truth, resolve problems and enter into the reality of the truth. It must not devolve into religious rituals and ceremonial procedures.
Relevant Words of God:
The work of the Holy Spirit changes from day to day, rising higher with each step; the revelation of tomorrow becomes even higher than today’s, step by step climbing ever higher. Such is the work by which God perfects man. If man cannot keep pace, then he may be forsaken at any time. If man does not have an obedient heart, then he cannot follow to the end. … God abides not by the rules, nor does He treat any stage of His work as unchanging. Rather, the work done by God is ever newer and ever higher. His work becomes more and more practical with each step, more and more in line with the actual needs of man. Only after man experiences this kind of work can he attain the final transformation of his disposition. Man’s knowledge of life grows ever higher, therefore the work of God likewise becomes ever higher. Only in this way can man reach perfection and be fit for God’s use. … In God’s work, He supplies you through His word. When you obey and accept His word, then the Holy Spirit shall surely work in you. The Holy Spirit works exactly in the way I speak. Do as I have said, and the Holy Spirit will promptly work in you. I release a new light for you to see and bring you into the present light. When you walk into this light, the Holy Spirit will immediately work in you. Some may be recalcitrant and say, “I simply will not do as you say.” Then I tell you that now this is the end of the road. You have withered away and have no more life. Therefore, in experiencing the transformation of your disposition, it is most crucial to keep pace with the present light.
from “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Of principal importance in following God is that everything should be according to the actual words of God: Whether you are pursuing entry into life or the fulfillment of God’s will, everything should be centered around the actual words of God. If what you commune and pursue are not centered around the actual words of God, 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. … 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. … “Following the work of the Holy Spirit” means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Share your understanding from God’s words in fellowship, and through your fellowship others can gain enlightenment and it can lead people onto the path—this path is practical. Before God sets up an environment for you, every single one of you must first equip yourselves with His words. This is something that everyone should do—it is an urgent priority. The first thing to do is to be able to eat and drink His words. For the things that you are unable to do, seek out a path of practice from His words, and look in His words for any issues you don’t understand or any difficulties you have. Make God’s words your supply, allow them to help you resolve practical difficulties and practical problems, and allow His words to become your help in life—this requires you to put effort into it. Results must be achieved from eating and drinking the word of God. You must be able to quiet your heart in front of Him, and to practice in accordance with His words when you encounter issues. When you have not encountered any issues, just eat and drink. Sometimes you can pray and think of God’s love, have fellowship on your understanding of His words, and have fellowship on the enlightenment and illumination you experience inside and the reaction you have when reading them, and you can lead people onto the path—this is practical. The goal of doing this is to allow God’s words to become your practical supply.
from “People Who Can Be Absolutely Obedient Toward God’s Practicality Are Those Who Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When you are mindful of God’s will, God will give this burden to you, and God will enlighten you on the things that He has entrusted you with. After God has given you this burden, you will pay attention to the truths of this aspect when eating and drinking God’s words. If you have a burden related to the state of the brothers’ and sisters’ lives, this is a burden entrusted to you by God, and your daily prayers will always carry this burden. What God does has been entrusted to you, you are willing to carry out that which God wants to do, and this is what it means to take on God’s burden as your own. At this point, your eating and drinking of God’s words will focus on the issues in these aspects, and you will think, how am I going to resolve these issues? How am I going to allow the brothers and sisters to be released, to have enjoyment in their spirits? You will focus on solving these issues when you are in fellowship, you will focus on eating and drinking words relating to these issues when you are eating and drinking God’s words, you will be eating and drinking God’s words while carrying this burden, and you will understand God’s requirements. At this point, you will be clearer about the path to walk. This is the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit brought about by your burden, and this is God providing His guidance to you. Why do I say this? If you do not have a burden, then you do not pay attention when eating and drinking God’s words; when you are eating and drinking God’s words while carrying a burden, you are able to grasp the essence of God’s words, find your way, and be mindful of God’s will. Therefore, you should ask God in your prayers to place more burdens on you so that He may entrust you with greater things, you are better able to find a path of practice ahead, you become more effective in eating and drinking God’s words, you are able to grasp the essence of His words, and you are more able to accept being moved by the Holy Spirit.
from “Be Mindful of God’s Will to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
I hope you will indulge Me, and I hope even more that you will be able to believe every word that I say, and still more, that you may infer the deep implications of My words. Be in no doubt about what I say, or worse, pick up My words as you wish and toss them away at will, which I find intolerable. Do not judge My words, still less take them lightly, or say that I am always tempting you, or worse, say that what I have told you lacks accuracy. These things I find intolerable. Because you treat Me and treat what I say with such suspicion and never take it in, I am telling each of you in all seriousness: Do not link what I say with philosophy, do not put it together with the lies of charlatans, and even more, do not respond to My words with contempt.
from “Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All spiritual life is achieved by relying on being quiet before God. In praying you must be quiet before God before you can be moved by the Holy Spirit. By being quiet before God when you eat and drink God’s words you can be enlightened and illuminated and be able to achieve truly understanding God’s words. In your usual meditation and fellowship, and when you are drawing close to God with your heart, only when you are quiet before God can you have genuine closeness to God, genuine understanding of God’s love and God’s work, and true thoughtfulness toward God’s intentions. The more you are usually able to be quiet before God the more you can be illuminated, and the more you are able to understand your own corrupt disposition, what you lack, what you should enter, what function you should serve, and where you have defects. All these are achieved by relying on being quiet before God. If you truly reach some depth in being quiet before God, you can touch some mysteries in the spirit, touch on what God at present wants to do on you, touch on deeper understanding of God’s words, and touch on the essence of God’s words, on the substance of God’s words, on the being of God’s words, and you can see the path of practice more thoroughly and more accurately. …
To come before God to accept His words as your life, you must first be quiet before God. Only when you are quiet before God will God enlighten you and make you understand. The quieter people are before God, the more they are able to gain God’s enlightenment and illumination. These require people to have piety and faith. Only thus can they achieve perfection. The fundamental exercise for entering spiritual life is being quiet before God. All your spiritual training will be effective only if you are quiet before God. If you cannot quiet your heart before God you cannot receive the work of the Holy Spirit.
from “On Quieting Your Heart Before God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Wholehearted devotion to the words of God mainly means seeking the truth, seeking God’s intention within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from the words of God. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines and he was even less focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he was focused on understanding the truth and grasping God’s will, and achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. He also tried to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, and understand the corrupt nature of man and man’s true shortcomings, achieving all aspects of the demands God makes of man in order to satisfy Him. He had so many correct practices within the words of God; this is most in line with God’s will, and it is mankind’s best cooperation in his experience of the work of God. … He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. He also particularly focused on God’s requirements of mankind within His words, and in what aspects man should satisfy God to be in line with God’s will. He put forth great effort in this aspect and achieved full clarity; this was very beneficial for his own entry.
from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Every time that you eat and drink a passage of God’s word, if you are able to grasp the work that He is performing at present, and are able to know how to pray, how to cooperate, and how to enter in, only this is achieving results from eating and drinking God’s words. When you are able to find the path of entry from God’s words, and are able to grasp the current dynamics of God’s work and the trend of the work of the Holy Spirit in His words, this shows that you are on the right track. If you have not grasped the key points when eating and drinking God’s words, if you are unable to find a path to practice after eating and drinking God’s words, it shows that you still do not know how to eat and drink His words and that you have not found the method or principle for eating and drinking His words.
from “Be Mindful of God’s Will to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
A normal spiritual life is not limited to prayer, song, church life, eating and drinking the words of God, and other such practices, but it means to live a spiritual life that is fresh and lively. It’s not about the method, but the result. Most people think that in order to have a normal spiritual life one must pray, sing, eat and drink the words of God, or try to figure out the words of God. No matter whether there is any result, or whether there is a true understanding, these people just focus on going through the motions on the outside, and do not focus on the result—they are people living within the rituals of religion, and are not people living within the church, and even less are they people of the kingdom. This kind of person’s prayers, songs, and eating and drinking of the words of God are all abiding by the rules, they are compelled to do them, and they are done in keeping with trends; they are not done willingly or done from the heart. No matter how much these people pray or sing, there will be no result at all, because all they practice are religious rules and rituals, and they are not practicing the word of God. By only focusing on the method, and taking the words of God as rules to keep, this kind of person is not practicing the word of God, but is satisfying the flesh, and is doing things to show off to others. This kind of religious ritual and rule comes from man, not from God. God does not keep rules, does not abide by any laws; He does new things every day and He does practical work. … If people live within rules, with their hearts poured into practice, then the Holy Spirit has no way to work, because people’s hearts are taken up with rules, are taken up with human conceptions; therefore God has no way to do work; people will just always be living under control of the law, and this type of person will never be able to receive the praise of God.
from “Regarding a Normal Spiritual Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
In order to receive salvation and be made perfect, it is of utmost importance for one to understand how to eat and drink God’s word and practice the truth. So then, how should one eat and drink God’s word to understand the truth and enter into reality after all? First of all, one must understand the principles of eating and drinking God’s word and the effects that must be achieved. The seven main principles of eating and drinking God’s word are listed below:
First, when eating and drinking God’s word, one cannot confine his understanding to its literal meaning. Instead, he must seek where the reality of the truth resides.
Second, when eating and drinking God’s word, one must understand the background of God’s word and God’s intention in order to facilitate his comprehension of the true meaning of God’s word.
Third, when eating and drinking God’s word, one must try to know the truth about his own corruption and the essence of his nature and see his own inadequacy and wretchedness.
Fourth, when eating and drinking God’s word, one must focus on understanding God's requirement of man, i.e. God's intention, how one should practice and what to possess.
Fifth, when eating and drinking God’s word, one must comprehend God’s disposition and all about God’s possession and being as represented by God’s word, i.e., what he should know about God.
Sixth, when eating and drinking God’s word, one must seek to understand what the truth in God’s word is about, and also understand the meaning of the truth pertaining to corrupt mankind.
Seventh, when eating and drinking God’s word, one must understand the practical principles of entering the truth, and what reality of the truth one should enter to have the true likeness of humanity.
The above are the seven principles of eating and drinking God’s word, namely, the seven criteria that must be met for eating and drinking God’s word. Although God’s chosen people are willing to strive to pursue the truth, they must know that pursuing the truth begins with eating and drinking God’s word. If one can strictly follow the seven principles in the practice of eating and drinking God’s word, he can easily attain the results of truly understanding the truth and entering into reality. Regardless of how many principles of eating and drinking God’s word you can understand and practice, as long as you try to make progress by following these seven principles and criteria, you can definitely achieve the effect and make it easier to enter the reality of the truth when eating and drinking God’s word. As long as you really understand the truth and know the truth’s essence of righteousness and light, you will definitely be able to reflect on and know yourself, see that you have nothing, and thus focus on entering the reality of the truth. For those who seek the truth, once they see their own inadequacy and wretchedness, they will invariably pursue entering the reality of the truth. So those who really understand the truth can realize that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. They can understand that the truth is the reality of life that man should possess. Hence, they will focus on entering the reality of the truth. People who do not have the reality of the truth are those who do not really understand the truth. Naturally, entering the reality of the truth is an incremental and progressive process. Reality cannot be completely entered through a one-off practice of the truth. Every truth requires years or even decades to go through. So, with the progressive entry into the reality of the truth, God’s words will become the life of man and the foundation of man’s existence when he actually enters the reality of the truth. This means that he has been saved and made perfect by experiencing God’s work.
To understand the truth and enter into reality by eating and drinking God’s word, one must first treat God’s word properly. How a creature should deal with the word of the Creator does not only involve the question of whether man possesses a conscience and sense, it also involves the question of his essence and disposition. Those who really possess humanity and sense will certainly recognize that the word of God is absolutely the truth. Whether it is consistent with man’s notions or not, whether man can understand or fathom it or not, the word of God is always the truth, and this is absolute. Since man was created by God, all that man possesses came from God. Only the Creator understands most and has the best grasp on His creatures. The truth and life that mankind should possess and the way that it follows are controlled by God. Only the incarnate God is the truth, the way and the life. So the Creator’s word to mankind is undoubtedly most meaningful and valuable, and the paramount life motto that is the immutable truth. A creature of God should accept and obey the word of God with a fearful heart. He should also seek the truth and accept it as the reality of life to be consistent with God’s intention. Corrupt mankind invariably possesses Satan’s nature and is replete with Satan’s disposition. Those who really love and accept the truth are the minority by far. It can be seen that there are too few people among the utterly corrupt mankind who can accept God’s word of truth as life. Most of them are followers of worldly trends who do not love the truth at all. Even if these people reluctantly believe in God, they are unwilling to seek and acquire the truth in God’s word. They always want to study God’s word to research on how to receive blessings and make deals with God. In particular, the demonic types of the antichrist that belong to Satan always want to find fallacy in God’s word, spy on God’s movements and intentions, in an attempt to find the opportunities to disrupt and undermine God’s work and humiliate God. Before God’s word, the faces of all kinds of people are utterly exposed. God’s words are so revealing of people. Therefore, when eating and drinking God’s word, man must possess the conscience and sense of a creature. First of all, man must absolutely believe that all of God’s word is the truth that is absolutely correct. It is the reality of the truth that God’s chosen people must enter. Then they should practice and experience it to understand and prove that God’s word is the truth. Man’s belief in and recognition of God’s word as the truth does not mean they understand the truth. One must experience God’s word to the extent of having real knowledge and be completely convinced that God’s word is the truth and reality. This is the real process of experiencing and knowing God’s word, understanding and knowing the truth. He who has no practical experience with God’s word has no real understanding. Foolish people assume that they understand the truth when they believe that God’s word is the truth. The result is they can neither tell the understanding of real experience nor solve their existing problems in reality. This is the display of lacking the reality of the truth. The effect of really understanding the truth is achieved by experiencing and practicing God’s word. One must base his eating and drinking of God’s word on the recognition that God’s word is absolutely the truth, and then he should practice and experience God’s word and receive the Holy Spirit’s illumination and enlightenment to obtain a real understanding. When man really understands the truth, he can feel that the word of God is the truth which is so practical. Only when one experiences God’s word and practices the truth to this extent does it mean that he has truly entered the reality of the truth. Those who engage in empty talk about God’s word do not have the reality of the truth. Those who do not practice or experience God’s word will never receive the truth. Obeying God’s work is definitely not a simple matter. Whoever sincerely believes in God and is able to accept and obey the judgment and chastisement of God’s word and pursue the truth is the one who will receive salvation. We see that those who can truly accept God’s word and obey the judgment and chastisement of God’s word will unconsciously understand the truth gradually and enter into reality. They can gradually engender a real understanding of God by experiencing God’s work, increasingly feel the respectability and loveliness of God, and increasingly love the precious value of the truth. Their relationships with God will become increasingly normal. They will be able to pray to God and worship God with spirit and sincerity. Those who really pursue the truth have already embarked on the way to salvation and being made perfect. They have entered the reality of truth to varying degrees and gradually reach compatibility with God. Those who always research and contradict God’s word are increasingly revealed as the antichrist whose demonic nature has been utterly exposed. Under the revelation of God’s word, people have long been classified according to their kinds. The more God’s chosen people experience God’s work, the more they feel God’s word has revealed God’s omnipotent wisdom and completely witnessed the righteous disposition of God. It can be seen that how to eat and drink God’s word and practice the truth is so important for God’s chosen people entering into life.
from “How to Eat and Drink God’s Word and Practice the Truth in Order to Understand the Truth and Enter Reality” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life”