Seven Principles for Serving in Coordination
The Corrupt Disposition Must Be Resolved for True Coordination to Be Attained
Why can people not harmoniously serve in coordination with others? The main reason is that people have a satanic disposition, which leads to inability of people to get along in harmony. Even less are they able to serve in coordination. This is the root of their not being able to work in coordination. In theory we know that if a person is too deeply corrupted by Satan, he cannot have normal humanity. He has no conscience or good sense, and does not do things according to principle. It is imperative, however, to be clear about the aspects in which this disposition becomes evident. It would be useless to know only some general doctrines. So, in which ways is the satanic disposition displayed? What satanic disposition do people have, which causes them to be unable to cooperate harmoniously? Mainly, it is that people are arrogant and conceited, assuming they are always right, and submitting to nobody. Because people have this arrogant, conceited, and self-righteous disposition, they don’t want to submit to truth, and are not willing to accept the suggestions of other people. They correspondingly do not want to obey or submit to other people. All people want to be the head, and want others to obey them. Hence people have no way to get along with each other. This is where the root of the problem is. The situation is considerably better with people who pursue the truth. What aspects of pursuit of truth make for better cooperation? When what others say is correct and in accord with the truth, he can accept it. In this way, there is harmonious cooperation. Yet it is not easy to accomplish this! If a person does not love truth and does not pursue truth, cooperation cannot be attained. As dictated by the corrupt human disposition, when encountering this kind of thing, he finds it hard to accept what other people say, though it is in accord with the truth. Such is the arrogance and conceit of humans. Regardless of whether or not what you say matches the truth, he does not accept it. “No matter how correct you are, I won’t listen to you and will not submit to you. You must submit to me.” Is this not the arrogant and conceited disposition? He allows only for others to submit to him. Whether or not what he says is correct, others must submit to him. Isn’t this the disposition of Satan? With this satanic disposition, it is hard for people to submit to others. Regardless of whether what you say is right or wrong, they simply cannot submit to you. They do not submit even to the words of the man used by the Holy Spirit. Though they don’t say it, inside themselves, they do not agree. They therefore refute you with a theory such as: “My belief in God entails obeying God only; I do not obey humans.” This is his theoretical foundation. He uses this to conceal the substance of his corrupt nature. Therefore, if there is anyone who says, “My belief in God entails obeying God only. No matter how compatible with the truth anything said by the brothers and sisters, I will not obey it,” what does this sentence conceal? It conceals a fact, namely, that he does not listen to anything spoken by the brothers and sisters which is in accord with the truth. Also he does not listen to words spoken by those in whom the Holy Spirit is working, words that are enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Aren’t these things hidden inside him? If a day should come when God incarnate speaks to him, would he be able to accept it? He would also not be able to accept it. He would look for a theoretical basis, “I listen only to God’s Spirit; I don’t listen to a man.” Observe how he always has an excuse, and is always justified. So, those who don’t pursue truth just can’t be obedient, and they even fabricate a kind of public opinion, and seek out a theoretical basis to say, “I listen only to God, which means I do not listen to people. No matter how in accord with the truth the words spoken by people are, I won’t listen.” Is there a plot within these words? Yes, there is a plot. So, please consider for a moment. He says that he listens only to God. From the outside this phrase seems correct. In reality, though, can the Spirit of God speak to him personally? He will wait his whole life and still not be able to hear the voice of God. The voice of God on the one hand is communicated through God incarnate. On the other hand, it is communicated through people in whom the Holy Spirit is working. So if you don’t listen at all to the voice of God as communicated through human beings, can you submit to God directly? Would that not turn into a lie? For these reasons, all those antichrist demons of satanic disposition do not accept truth, and do not submit to truth. Furthermore, they seek theoretical justification to confuse people. Superficially, they are the ones who obey God the most, and are the ones who submit to God the most. In fact they don’t listen to even a single one of God’s words. They don’t listen to anything that is fellowshiped by God through people or that is communicated by God through people. This is where the treachery of the antichrist lies. The main reason that people are unable to work in harmonious coordination with others is that people have satanic dispositions. They do not submit to anyone, and they cannot accept truth. They do not submit to truth, and they even search for a basis in theory to confuse others. With this theoretical basis as their loincloth, they carry out Satan’s trickery. God’s chosen people must be able to see through this. If the person really is someone who pursues truth, after he has undergone God’s judgment and chastisement, he truly comes to know himself. This true knowledge of himself can achieve an outcome, which is to see oneself as nothing, as being devoid of truth, such that one no longer dares to believe in himself. Belief in oneself on the one hand ruins oneself, and on the other hand, it entraps others. Therefore, most of the time one desires to seek truth, and desires to listen to others, thereby avoiding making mistakes. Doesn’t true knowledge of oneself have this kind of outcome? Take, for example, a housewife. At the beginning, she feels that her brain is useful, and that her hands are capable. She says, “The dishes I cook are tastier than yours, and the rice I cook is better than the rice you cook.” As it turns out, she prepares a number of meals, and everyone shakes their head, saying that she does not cook very well, that it’s inedible. She says: “It looks like the dishes and rice that I cook are no good. They are not as good as I imagined, and aren’t as good as what others make. How I overestimated myself! I was too proud and arrogant.” Isn’t this so much better? A person who pursues truth is someone who has some conscience and sense. As soon as he fails, as soon as he experiences a setback, he will engage in soul-searching. This soul-searching changes his way of looking at himself. He no longer overestimates himself. He feels, “In the past I believed I was superior to others. Now I see that I am not superior to others. In some areas I am not as good as other people are.” Isn’t this the result that someone who has some conscience and some sense attains, when he pursues truth? Those people who have no conscience or sense fail several times and still do not give in. They still feel that they are superior to others. No matter how correct others may be, he still goes against his conscience to say, “You simply are wrong. I will not concede that you are right.” Look, a person who does not have conscience or sense cannot face the truth of the matter. Is it easy for him to accept truth? Some people, after they have finished opposing you, one day will experience a turnaround, and become normal. They say to you: “At that time, my mouth spoke those words. In fact, however, I had already submitted in my heart, and knew that you were speaking the truth. I simply could not bear to lose face. So I spoke the way I did, and continued to confront you like that. I refused to admit my mistakes.” Are some people like this? Do people like this have something wrong with their consciences? Only later on do they discover in conscience that they were already convinced in their hearts, but the satanic disposition was simply too strong. It led to them to involuntarily act in ways that opposed truth, and violated truth.
Many times you see that the flesh is simply a tool. If your heart is able to submit to truth, the flesh will correspondingly be able to carry out truth. If your heart is controlled too strongly by the satanic disposition, if it is totally dominated, the flesh will be controlled by the satanic disposition. Hence there are often struggles within people. One party to these struggles is the conscience of the person, and the other side is the satanic disposition of the person. Conscience wants to pursue truth, and wants to put truth into practice. The satanic disposition does not want to let this happen. It confuses and controls the conscience through the interests of the flesh, vainglory, and face. At times the conscience weakens, and obeys the flesh. Thus, controlled by the satanic disposition, it cannot accept truth, and cannot put truth into practice. So, if people understand thoroughly the true state of coordinated service, when encountering various problems of coordinated service, they should do some soul-searching, and analyze themselves. They should look to see if they are controlled by any satanic disposition, causing them to be unable to accept truth, to be unable to submit to truth, or to always underestimate people, and to think too highly of themselves, unable to correctly treat their fellow brothers and sisters. If a person has undergone much pruning and dealing, he has true knowledge of himself, and there are far fewer difficulties in coordinating with others. If a person has not undergone any major pruning or dealing, and he has undergone little judgment and chastisement by God’s word when eating and drinking God’s word, this person is one of old Satans devils totally unchanged, and is even less able to coordinate with others. To take the simplest example, what married couple lives in complete harmony? Just after marriage, because of the desires of the flesh there is much affection, but a few days later, arguments arise, and after a few months there is beating, and after a few years, the couple breaks apart completely. If a person has a corrupt disposition, it is impossible for him to get along with others in harmony. How can the problem of the corrupt disposition be solved? If one wants to achieve authentic coordination with brothers and sisters, getting along in harmony, it is necessary to pay attention to resolving the corrupt disposition. If the corrupt disposition of people can be resolved, then normal humanity is attained, and it becomes much easier to get along with other people. Is this not the way it is? There may be people who say: “My humanity is very normal. It is just that I can’t get along well with others. The problem is that the other person is too deeply corrupted; he is full of satanic dispositions. How can you expect me to be able to get along with him?” There are also those who say: “I can submit to him, but he will not submit to me! I can forgive him, and accommodate him, but he will not accommodate me! I can be patient with him, and can pardon him, but he has no love for me! What should be done?” What problem still exists within the person who says things like this? Some people always talk about how they act very properly, how much in accord with truth what they do is. It is only that other people’s not acting in accord with truth that causes them to be unable to serve in coordination. Some people cite this argument, so let us talk further about it. There are people who say, “There are some people in leadership who truly are unfit for use. They don’t have truth; they always do this and that as dictated by the flesh, acting blindly, without any principles at all. As a result, a mess was made of the work; it was ruined. How, in that case, can I cooperate with him?” This is another matter altogether. Someone who is not fit for use should be replaced, or dismissed. If he is suitable for use, is there any evidence of his corruption that is revealed? He may understand some truths. Are there times when he acts willfully, heeding the call of the flesh? How, then, are we to harmoniously serve with this kind of person? What principles must be in place? Have you fully grasped this principle? It is normal that you are unable to harmoniously cooperate with Satan demon. He does not seek truth, and he does not have the Holy Spirit working in him. Though you may be able to tolerate him, and can accommodate him, he nonetheless does not do the right thing, and the problem is still unsolved. This is another matter. In a situation like this, harmonious coordination is out of the question. He and you are not of the same thought. As he is not a person who pursues truth, it is therefore impossible for you to serve in coordination. Herein a common saying is borne true: “If your paths are different, you cannot make plans together.” Right? So, if this co-worker is also a person who pursues truth, in him there is still some corrupt disposition showing through, there are times his own will is mixed in the work, and his own intent and purposes remain. Are you able to work in coordination with this kind of co-worker? This is a true problem. You cannot use that person who cannot cooperate as an excuse. Is it easy to harmoniously cooperate in a situation like this? If you feel that your stature is more elevated than his, and that your understanding of truth is somewhat deeper than his, and that you are more experienced than he is, what should you do? You must guide him. You guide him in the same way that you would guide a younger brother or sister. You accommodate him, and guide him in the direction of truth. At the start he may refuse to obey, and you must show forbearance, guiding him little by little. Time passes, and in half a year or a year, he feels, “You are a really loving person, and I am convinced.” Thus he listens to you. At the start, everyone desires to raise themselves up, wanting to show themselves off so that others submit to them. All people have this psychology, and have this corrupt satanic disposition. But after half a year or a year, this heart of vanity disappears. The true color of the person is made manifest. What each person is made of, and the qualities of everyone becomes known. Each understands the other, and knows each other tacitly. Thus it becomes known who is loving, who helps other people with a loving heart. By that time, people are convinced. But it takes time. At the outset he has a trial of skill with you. Everywhere he calls attention to himself. Let him show off. By the time he has fallen down a couple of times, or failed a couple of times, he won’t show off any more. If you really have stature you should show forbearance, compromising with him. After he has failed a couple of times and pulled himself up he stops showing off, you say, “You can do this thing, please do it.” He says, “I will not do it. I have failed, and I am convinced. This time I submit to you.” Isn’t this a lot better? After falling down a couple of times he understands much better. He has understanding of himself. Serving in coordination requires this process. At the beginning, therefore, you must keep calm, no matter how much he shows off. You say, “A new leader makes sweeping changes. Let the new leader go ahead and make those changes. Let me see how much you can change, and I will see your stature. You go ahead and do it.” Eventually, he will be greatly embarrassed and become submissive. Then he knows to seek truth, and he knows that he needs another person with whom to work. At that time he will have understood that the two people must work together harmoniously, that if they each make joint efforts they are strong. Is it not much better to have gone through this sort of process? At the beginning, he desires to make himself known in what he does. “Hey, as I see it, this thing should be done in this way.” He is clear and logical in what he says, but what happens when he begins to act? It does not work out. Having experienced a few failures he begins to understand, and next time he encounters an issue, he takes the initiative and looks for you, saying, “Hey, I cannot figure out this problem. May we fellowship about it? Will you let me know your thoughts?” Look, is this not a turn for the better? At this time, do you still say, “I can’t work together with him?” Has not cooperation already been attained? He does not dare to arrogantly think he is always right. He thinks, “This time I must listen to you. I failed. You and I must cooperate, and we must fellowship. It will not do for me to work on my own.” At times he is full of arrogance, and is full of high ambition. Don’t pour cold water on him. Let him experience a failure, and let him fall down. Let him bump into a wall, and he will become submissive. This will benefit future coordination of work. If a person does not have truth, he will not be able to work very much, and will fall at that place. Without truth he is unable to stand, and will certainly trip and fall. Some people say: “Would it be all right for me to lead a church?” You say: “That would be fine.” He says, “Then I will fellowship with them.” “Go ahead. If there are still some questions that need to be resolved after you have fellowshiped, you go ahead and resolve them.” You let him do it, and let him show what he can do. Gradually he loses face there. Some people say: “There is a pit of fire ahead. Do you have him jump into it?” Would he fall to his death? If he would not fall to his death, let him jump. If he can learn from the jump, it is worth it. Is this a good way of doing it? I simply am fond of letting people perform. You’re capable, aren’t you? Aren’t you the one for the job? You do it! Some people say: “I am capable of being a pastoral leader.” I say: “You do it.” Of course I would not put an antichrist in the position of being a pastoral leader. His desire to perform is now great, and if you don’t let him perform, he will not be able to settle down. He always feels that he has been outstanding, better than everyone else. He always feels that you are suppressing him. So just let him perform, and see ultimately what abilities he has. If he makes a mess of it, fix him, and upbraid him. Is this a good way of implementing the work? In this way, people are brought onto the right track as they gain experience. … There are some people who truly pursue truth and who have achieved depth in life entry, and who have self-knowledge. They truly do understand themselves, and often engage in soul-searching. This sort of person is in the minority among those who are in leadership roles. If a person truly has entered the reality of truth, isn’t his cooperation with others better? In what aspects is it better? If others say what is right, in accord with truth, he can accept it, and can submit to it. If others don’t have any reality of the truth, yet persist in their ways, he finds that very difficult. Where does the difficulty lie? “If you don’t have the slightest bit of truth, and yet persist in doing it your way, is this not ruining the work of God’s family? If I allow you to go ahead with your action, it will let the work of God’s family suffer loss. If I do not allow you to do it, you will form opinions about me, and will become critical, and believe that I am restraining you.” Is this not where the difficulty lies? What is to be done about this problem? It is necessary to solve this through fellowship of truth. You say: “If you want to do this thing, are you aware of the consequences? I would like to let you go ahead with it, but you doing it in this way will clearly interrupt and disturb God’s work, and hold back God’s chosen people. It will affect the church’s work. So I must explain clearly to you the consequences and harm that you doing it this way would bring. If you absolutely must do it in this way, you go ahead and do it. When the time comes, it is you who will be punished. I will report this matter to leadership. We shall see how they deal with you.” Is it right to say these things? Is saying these things restricting the person? This is called being responsible for the work, and bearing responsibility for God’s chosen people. So, if there is a principle such as this, is there still any difficulty to serving in coordination? “First, I will heed what you say that is in accord with truth, I can submit; second, if what you do is not in accord with truth, and if it may interrupt or disturb God’s work, can I still obey you then? If I obeyed you then, would I not be standing on the side of Satan? Isn’t this being disloyal to God? Isn’t this entrapping God’s chosen people? I must be principled in my actions.” In situations such as this it is necessary to uphold principles, and to not give in. For example, a child says: “I don’t want to do my homework now. I want to go outside and play.” “Fine. You go out in the yard and play for a while, and then come back.” If he says he wants to go to the zoo to play, that is not OK. It’s dangerous there. It is also not OK for him to go to play on the street, because of safety concerns. This is what it means to be principled. Compromise also entails principles. If not in accord with principles, there absolutely can be no compromise. Is this also not the principle involved in serving in coordination? It is imperative to uphold principles, and to safeguard principles. “I can accommodate you and tolerate you as long as you do not violate the principles. I can yield, and I can obey you, but if any principle is involved, I cannot accept that. I must make this clear through fellowship with you. If you still cannot accept it, and put it into practice, that is your problem. I have fulfilled my responsibility.” Is this a good way of implementing the work? At no time is it all right to betray principles. Principles are not to be traded. If principles are upheld, is there still any difficulty to serving in coordination?
The Seven Principles of Cooperative Service
There are seven principles to cooperative service, all of which are very important. The first principle: All of the church’s work must be carried out and implemented according to work arrangements. It is absolutely not allowed to go one’s own way, and it is necessary to practice mutual supervision. Mutual supervision is a principle. Act according to work arrangements, with each submitting to the other and each supporting the other; harmoniously cooperating in this way, results will be achieved. Is it allowed for one person to ignore the work arrangements and go his own way? That is where mutual constraint and supervision come in. It is perfectly justified to bring the problem out in the open and ask, why did you do it this way? We must fellowship about this; are you aware that this goes against the work arrangements? Should this matter be tolerated and accepted any further? It must be brought out in the open; this is the principle. You say, “Usually I forgive you, tolerate you, and accommodate you. Now, a problem has occurred with you. You have been interrupting and disturbing God’s work, and you are going your own way. I cannot tolerate this. It would be a sin against God’s chosen people to tolerate this, which would oppose God. It will not do for me to stand with Satan. I won’t do it.” This principle must be upheld.
The second principle: In deciding work, and in handling problems, decisions may be made only after consensus is reached through fellowship. For example, if we are to implement the current work arrangements, we may proceed and decide what to do first in the next step of work, then do what, how to do it, and the steps of the work only when consensus is ultimately reached through the fellowship of two people, or through the fellowship of several leaders and workers together. If the work arrangements are not fully understood, read through them a couple of times, then reach consensus, and make a plan. After that, everyone starts moving and gets to work according to the consensus that was reached. This is harmonious cooperation, isn’t it? None other than this is the principle of harmonious cooperation; it is not acceptable to violate this principle. On this foundation and upon this principle, harmonious cooperation is born. Moreover, the work arrangements should be upheld. Upon this principle, we shall cooperate. There can be no cooperation if you violate this principle. That would be a problem. To go one’s own way or to favor your own course could be acting as antichrist, or false leadership. This could not be called harmonious cooperation. If, in this situation, you cooperated harmoniously, it would be to follow Satan. There are two pastoral leaders doing their work. They have been working for a few months, and suddenly one is caught by the great red dragon. Only then does the other leader report that the one who was caught had been autocratic in his ways, fickle and reckless, and relied only on zeal, emotions, and his own ideas to act wildly and do things heedlessly. I said, “Why did you not report this for such a long time? Such serious problems occurred, and you did not fellowship about truth with him. You must have thought, ‘He is a leader as I am; I am not in a position to report on him. He and I are on the same level, so, his actions do not concern me, and it does not concern me that the interests of God’s family are compromised.’” Is this sort of person a responsible person? Is this sort of person loyally doing his duty? Is he being loyal to God? Is he safeguarding God’s work? Does this sort of person have a conscience toward God? I wrote a letter as soon as I found out about this problem. I said that you’re operating in a dark chamber, that by hiding such a serious problem in the dark and not reporting it to leadership, speaking out only when a problem occurs, you are also not a good cookie. You are not fit to be a pastoral leader, because you are not loyal to God. What is the use of using such a leader as you when that other leader acts recklessly and you don’t constrain him; when Satan appears, and an incident of interruption and disruption of God’s work occurs, and you don’t safeguard God’s work? I therefore would definitely relieve him of duty precisely because he would not safeguard God’s work. Does it say in the work arrangements that if leaders and workers go their own way, and make an antichrist of themselves in their own kingdoms, God’s chosen people must make this known and report it to leadership? All of God’s chosen people have a right to report, let alone the church’s upper-level leaders. It is perfectly clear that you are an unprincipled good person, and you stand on Satan’s side, and get along well with Satan. Is this being principled? Do you have truth? A person such as this, who occupies such a high position but isn’t responsible for God’s work, has no reality of truth. I would therefore dismiss such a person, no matter which level of leader he is. I would not use him; he has not been loyal to God, and is not fit to be an upper-level leader in the church! …
The third principle: If it is impossible to achieve unity of opinion, it is necessary to seek truth and solve the problem as soon as possible. After consensus has been reached, then carry out the work. If seeking truth also does not solve the problem, report the matter to a higher level of leadership. Find the source of the problem. If someone hinders progress and goes his own way, in substance he is an antichrist and false leader, and must be dismissed and replaced. If cooperative service is not possible, and seeking truth does not solve the problem, and fellowship also cannot solve the problem, this is a serious problem. It shows that Satan has emerged here. He cannot accept truth. If a person who does not accept truth begins to cause a disturbance within, he will not accept whatever truth you use to try to achieve resolution, and it is therefore impossible to serve cooperatively. To what degree has it become impossible to serve in cooperation? To such an extent that resolution cannot be achieved through the use of truth, and that no matter how you fellowship about truth, it does not work. The substance of the problem has changed. A person who does not accept truth has been put into a leadership position. Thus it is impossible to cooperate; there is no way for humans to cooperate with Satan. Can people and devils get along in harmony? They are not the same kind. As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.” It won’t work if they are not of the same category. One of them is false; when he is dismissed and replaced, and a person who pursues truth is found, cooperation becomes possible. “Ability to cooperate” is not to say that there are no problems whatsoever. Though there may be problems and conflict, they can be resolved through the use of truth, and through the seeking of truth. The problems can be solved in a relatively short time. The ability to cooperate means that it is normal for some occasional slight corruption to exist, both somewhat arrogant and opinionated, both having some carnality, resulting in occasional divergence and disputes. However, a period of fellowship of truth will solve the problem. Pruning and dealing will lead to resolution. This is ability to cooperate. Sometimes it is not very harmonious, but the ability to cooperate is present. This is the meaning of being able to cooperate. I think you understand this. So, what are we talking about when we say, “unable to cooperate”? It is that no matter how we fellowship about truth, resolution does not come. The work arrangements, and God’s word are presented, and though these have been fellowshiped perfectly clearly, he still does not accept it. This really is an inability to cooperate. What is to be done with such an inability to cooperate? Report it to leadership, and ferret out the false. Dismiss and replace him. There is an obstacle here; a stumbling block has emerged. He should be eliminated, and then a person who pursues truth should be put into the leadership role. Hasn’t cooperation been produced? In this way, the work of the church can progress normally. Later, if someone says, “We have a cooperation problem here,” just ask about two situations. First, see if cooperation is possible. If cooperation is possible, then use truth to solve the problem. If cooperation is not possible, replace the false leader and worker. In this way, the problem of cooperation can be solved, yes?
The fourth principle: Among partners and among leaders and workers, sometimes it is permissible to compromise. There may be forgiveness, with permission given to the other party. This is restricted to routine work only. When important work is involved, it is not permissible to compromise. The principles must be upheld. This in itself is a principle. In routine work it is acceptable that two people are independent; you handle the work on this side, and he handles that problem. There is no need to fellowship. When principles of truth are involved, and when issues of important work, focus work of God’s family are involved, however, it is necessary to reach consensus through fellowship. Reaching consensus through fellowship of truth here is decided by the nature of the issue and by the nature of the work. It does not mean that every matter must be fellowshiped, and consensus reached on everything. There is no need to fellowship about trivialities. It is fine if each leader or worker settles those on his own. Because the majority of leaders and workers have some years of experience, and have elementary stature, there is no need at all to fellowship about trivial issues. However, because some people are only of average quality; people of this category have no experience of some issues, so it is OK to explore, it is OK to fellowship about those issues. This must be decided according to the needs of each party.
The fifth principle: Among leaders and workers, take care to always submit to the one in whom the Holy Spirit is working. You must remember, if the work of the Holy Spirit is very clear in one of two people, the person in whom the work is not clear should listen to that person, as soon as he sees the Holy Spirit working in the other, when he sees that the other’s spoken words tally with truth and are full of light. This is the meaning of submitting to the Holy Spirit. Suppose the Holy Spirit is working in one of two people. The other person has brilliant knowledge, and is of excellent quality, but does not have much of the Holy Spirit at work in him. Of these two people, who do you say should obey the other? The one in whom the Holy Spirit is working has sovereignty. Please remember this point. It is as if a student with a degree in theology comes to God’s family. He is someone who has studied the Bible extensively. A leader of the church has never been a believer in Jesus, and has no knowledge of the Bible, but he is a direct recipient of God’s work of the last days. He has authentic experience of life, and has obedience after many years of pruning and dealing, and has the work of the Holy Spirit. Of these two people, who would you say has authority? The one who has the work of the Holy Spirit has authority, and to him the other one should submit. However, the person who has knowledge of theology and has studied the Bible does not obey the one who has the work of the Holy Spirit, who has authentic experience. He thinks, “I am a student of the Bible, and you don’t understand the Bible at all. How can I submit to you? I don’t even submit to an average pastor.” Encounter with a situation like this will certainly bring about a contest. How long, on average, would you say it takes for relative superiority to become clear? There must be a contest for a year, after which it will be clear who is superior. This student of theology has been defeated in the contest, and has submitted as the result of the contest. He says, ultimately the reality of truth is key. What’s key is the work of the Holy Spirit! Knowledge and doctrines are of no use. He has been conquered. Thereafter, there is hope that he will achieve true salvation. If this student of theology is not conquered, such a person will certainly be a target of destruction, and will not be truly saved. Is this way of speaking correct? All people must be conquered in the presence of God’s word. That “warrior” who previously was arrogant and conceited and who would not obey anyone fell down, and has stood up again as a new person, a person who knows himself, a person who admits that he has nothing, and is poor, pitiable, and blind. This person begins to pursue truth in an earnest and down-to-earth fashion, and to accept God’s judgment and chastisement. His life is reborn, and he achieves true salvation. Submit to the one in whom the Holy Spirit is working. Surely we do not need to repeat that the one in whom the Holy Spirit is working has authority! Do you now have this kind of submission? You say, “Though I am a leader, I feel that the work of the Holy Spirit is not showing in me very much. For a time there has still been no enlightenment or illumination. I am old and impoverished inside. Sometimes, indeed, I am utterly dark within.” There is a deacon in whom the Holy Spirit is working. His heart is especially fresh and bright, and he has the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. Would you say that this leader ought to submit to that deacon, or not? The deacon is not as high in status as the leader, but he has the work of the Holy Spirit. So, submit to him. That is authority. Certainly you remember this. Whoever is able to fellowship about truth with clarity and brightness is the one with authority. Whoever has the work of the Holy Spirit in him—not only is the Holy Spirit present, but the Holy Spirit enlightens and illuminates him—can fellowship about enlightenment. Such a person knows the way in all kinds of matters. If we do not have the work of the Holy Spirit, we do not know the way. This is when we obey the other. Listening to him is the same as being guided by the Holy Spirit. Not listening to him is to be without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and there will not be a way. Whoever has the work of the Holy Spirit, therefore, is the one who has intangible authority. We will not go wrong if we strive to submit to him. I am this way, too. This makes it most obvious whether a person is someone who genuinely submits to God. This matter is what marks people out most clearly. If you always use your position as authority, that is bad; you are resisting God. This is a sign that is used to evaluate whether or not a person truly submits to God. See whether a person submits to the one in whom the Holy Spirit is working. See whether or not the person can submit. If it is an arrogant and conceited person, he will pick on the faults of others. “Yes, it is true that you have the work of the Holy Spirit, but you are weak, you are ignorant, and sometimes you are foolish. In humanity, character, and caliber, you are not as high as I am, so I will not submit to you.” Is this not the argument that Satan uses? Isn’t this the argument that the great red dragon uses? You are a person of high caliber, or high education, so you are a mighty person. People therefore should obey you. You should be the authority. Isn’t this Satan’s logic? In the family of God, this logic has no currency. It is ineffective. In God’s family, the one who has truth is the one who has authority. Whoever has the work of the Holy Spirit is the one with authority. Truth is higher than everything else. The ruling of God’s word is most important. In God’s family, we submit to whomever God uses. Whomever God uses is the authority. He is the person whom we obey and to whom we submit. To comply with the person who has the work of the Holy Spirit, who has the reality of truth is to comply with God; it is to submit to God. This is the principle of practicing submission. Hereafter, all in the churches must grasp the principle of submission. Whoever has the work of the Holy Spirit is the authority. If there is a common brother or sister who has the work of the Holy Spirit now, who fellowships about truth with great clarity having believed in God for three to five years, and the leaders and workers do not have the work of the Holy Spirit, what should these leaders and workers do? The leaders and workers should first submit, and listen to the words of the person who has the work of the Holy Spirit. They don’t need to obey everything, however. They must listen when he fellowships about the enlightenment of the truth. Otherwise, they must let him speak some more. If you don’t have the work of the Holy Spirit, speak less and keep your mouth closed. This is called being sensible. Whoever has the work of the Holy Spirit, let that person speak more. We shall all focus on listening to him. This is called being sensible; it is the kind of good sense that all of creation ought to have. If you are in a leadership role, and you see that you do not have the work of the Holy Spirit, and if among the brothers and sisters there is one who has the work of the Holy Spirit, who has light, then you must pray to God in your heart: “Oh God, I have discovered that the Holy Spirit is at work in another person. It seems that I have some darkness inside. You certainly must not like me, and certainly you are not satisfied with me. I am not a person who loves truth. This is the way I should be treated. Yet, I want to pursue truth, I want to repent, I would like to attain the work of the Holy Spirit anew, I therefore submit to whomever has the truth in his fellowship and has the work of the Holy Spirit, and I shall obey that person.” If you pray in this way, the satanic disposition will not dare to pester you inside, and you will be able to submit. After a period of submission, if you discover that your situation has still not recovered, and that you are still unable to fellowship about anything, your inside is dark, then you waste no time in leaving office and giving your place to another. Allow the person who has the work of the Holy Spirit to come forward. This is a sensible way to go about it; it is being responsible to the church’s work, and it is being responsible to God’s chosen people. Is this a good way of practice? If there are some church leaders who do nothing but oppress God’s chosen people in whom the Holy Spirit is working, what problem would you all say this is? You have begun to do evil, and you have shown your true colors as a devil, and you have begun to resist God. In oppressing the person in whom the Holy Spirit works, you are resisting God. It is the same as oppressing the Holy Spirit. It is persecuting God to persecute the person who has the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a sin to persecute God’s chosen people. In one church, how many are there who have the work of the Holy Spirit? Not many. In some churches you will not even find a single one. So if there truly is such a person, it is the will of God, and everyone will benefit from him, and will also receive blessing. If you keep this person down, it is the same as keeping God down, keeping Jesus down, and keeping Christ down. He belongs to God because he has the work of the Holy Spirit. He is someone whom God likes. If you persecute a good person like this, if you oppress him and don’t allow him to raise his head, if you trample him underfoot, this is the same as oppressing God, isn’t it? Is this sinful? Hence, everything that oppresses and persecutes the one who has the work of the Holy Spirit is oppression of God. It is as cruel as oppression of Christ. It is about as sinful as the crucifixion of Christ. It did not come easily for there to be such a person as this whom God loves, an honest person who genuinely pursues truth, and who has the work of the Holy Spirit. If you cut him down, that would be a sorrow for the church. It would be sorrow for God’s chosen people. Suppose there was a church that oppressed and trampled the person who had the work of the Holy Spirit. Would it be possible for this church to have the work of the Holy Spirit? Would the people of this church be able to achieve true salvation and be guided forward by the Holy Spirit? This church would be guilty of persecution of God’s chosen people, of oppression of a person who has the work of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately it would be convicted, and thrown into darkness to weep and gnash its teeth. …
The sixth principle: If a person forcefully upholds his own opinion and goes his own way, and practices despotism, this is the appearance of false leadership and of an antichrist. What should be done? Report it and expose it, and deal with it immediately. There must be absolutely no lenience. You think he is on the same level as you, and that it is not your business, and that matters that do not concern you should be left alone. In doing this, you are not safeguarding God’s work. You are not being responsible. What is the consequence of making this error? Delay of the church’s work, and holding back God’s chosen people, right? Truly it has become impossible to serve cooperatively. Then the problem certainly has become grave. If he is not a false leader, then he is an antichrist. If he does not accept truth, it is impossible to serve cooperatively. Can you show leniency in this way? Can you go on treating this with a loving heart? Can you continue to be conciliatory? Is it OK to continue to let him act freely based on his own will? Can you go on making nice? Abandoning principles, you are a person who has betrayed God. You are not responsible; you are absent without official leave, and have allowed an antichrist and false leader to sneak in and gain authority. You have taken what God entrusted to you and handed it over to Satan. Is this stating it too bluntly? This is nothing other than not bearing witness and betraying God in front of Satan. Satan should yield to you, “Oh, you have truth! I dare not go on with this. If I annoy you again and you expose me again, won’t I be punished?” You will be correct if you act this way. You say, “You are antichrist Satan, so I will not go easy on you. I tell you in no uncertain terms: If you genuinely pursue truth, though with a small transgression I shall show leniency, forgive you, and be patient; I will treat you as a brother or sister. If you go your own way, then you and I are enemies, and I have nothing to say to you!” Do you dare to act this way? If you adopt the principle of seeking good relations with everyone, “I shall not offend you. You and I are of equal status. You may do as you wish. If you foul up, it is your problem.” If you act this way, it will be troublesome. This is betrayal of God. You did not hold your own ground. Now you are a leader, and you must be responsible for God’s chosen people, and be responsible to God.
The seventh principle: If actions that violate the work arrangements bring some loss to the work of God’s family, and create some destruction, it must be reported and exposed, investigated and dealt with. This is the principle of serving cooperatively.