Serve As the Israelites Did
Nowadays many people do not pay attention to what lessons should be learned during coordination with others. I have discovered that many of you cannot learn the lessons at all during coordination with others. Most of you stick to your own views, and when working in the church, you say your piece and he says his, one with no relation to the other, not really cooperating at all. You are absorbed in only communicating your own inner insights, absorbed in only releasing the “burdens” within you, not seeking life at all. It seems that you are just doing the work perfunctorily, always believing that you should follow your own way no matter how other people are, and that you should fellowship as the Holy Spirit guides you, regardless of how other people are. You are not able to discover the strengths of others, and not able to examine yourselves. Your way of receiving things is really erroneous. It can be said that even now you still display a lot of self-righteousness, as if that old illness has relapsed. You don’t communicate with each other to achieve complete openness, or on what kind of outcome you’ve achieved in certain churches, or how your inner state has been recently, and so on—you simply don’t communicate like this. You fundamentally do not have practices such as dropping your own notions or forsaking yourselves. Leaders and workers think only of invigorating and energizing brothers and sisters through their fellowship, and those who follow know only to pursue by themselves. You basically do not understand what service is or what cooperation is, and you think only of having the will yourselves to repay God’s love, of having the will yourselves to live out the style of Peter, and of nothing else. You even say, no matter how other people are, you will not submit blindly anyway, and no matter what other people are like, you yourselves seek perfection by God, and that will be enough. In fact, your will has not found a concrete expression in reality at all. Is this not all the kind of behavior you exhibit nowadays? Each of you holds fast to your own insight, and all of you want to be perfected. I see that you have served such a long time and have not made much progress, especially in this lesson of working together in harmony you have made no progress at all! Going into the churches you communicate in your way, and he fellowships in his way. Seldom is there harmonious coordination. And the people below who follow along are even more this way. Which is to say that rarely does anyone among you understand what serving God is, or how one should serve God. You are muddled, and treat lessons of this sort as a trifling matter, to such an extent that many people not only do not practice this aspect of truth, they even knowingly do wrong. Even people who have served for many years actually fight and quarrel with each other. Is this not all your actual stature? You people serving together daily are like the Israelites who directly served God Himself in the temple every day. How can it be that you people who are like priests do not know how to cooperate and how to serve?
At that time, Israelites served Jehovah directly in the temple. Their identity was that of priests. (Of course, not every person was a priest; only some who served Jehovah in the temple had the identity of priests.) They would wear crowns bestowed to them by Jehovah (meaning that they made the crowns according to Jehovah’s requirements, not that Jehovah gave the crowns directly to them). They would wear the priestly robes bestowed to them by Jehovah, barefoot, to directly serve Jehovah in the temple from morning until night. Their service to Jehovah was not at all haphazard or transgressing at will; it was all according to rules, which no one who directly served Jehovah could violate. They all had to abide by these rules; otherwise, entrance into the temple was forbidden. If any of them broke the rules of the temple, that is, if anyone disobeyed the commands of Jehovah, they must be treated according to the laws issued by Jehovah, with no one being allowed to object, and no one being allowed to protect them. No matter how many years they had served God, all must abide by the rules. This is why so many priests all along donned the priestly robes and served Jehovah this way all year round, although Jehovah did not give them any special treatment, and they would even go before the altar or in the temple their whole life long. Such was their loyalty and their submission. No wonder that Jehovah blessed them in this way; it was all due to their loyalty that they received favor and saw all of Jehovah’s deeds. At that time when Jehovah worked in Israel, His chosen people, His demands on them were very severe. They were all very obedient and were restricted by the laws, which served to safeguard that they would revere Jehovah. All these were the administrative decrees of Jehovah. If among those priests there was anyone who did not keep the Sabbath or who violated Jehovah’s commandments and was discovered by the common people, the person would be carried immediately before the altar and stoned to death. It was not allowed to place their corpses in the temple or around the temple. Jehovah did not permit that. If someone did that, they would be treated as ones who offer “profane sacrifices,” and thrown into the large pit and put to death. Of course, all such people would lose their lives, none left alive. There were even some who offered “profane fire,” in other words, those people who did not sacrifice on the days allotted by Jehovah would be burned by Jehovah’s fire with their sacrificial items, not allowed to remain on the altar. The requirements on the priests were: not allowed to enter the temple, and even the outer courtyard of the temple, without first washing their feet; no entry to the temple if not wearing the priestly robes; no entry to the temple if not wearing the priestly crowns; no entry to the temple if soiled by a corpse; no entry to the temple after touching the hand of an unrighteous person without first washing one’s own hands; no entry to the temple after sexual relations with women (this was not forever, only for three months), not allowed to see Jehovah’s face, when the time was up, which means that only after three months would they be allowed to don clean priestly robes, and serve in the outer courtyard for seven days before being able to enter the temple to see Jehovah’s face; they were permitted to wear all of the priestly attire only within the temple and not allowed to wear it outside of the temple, so as to avoid sullying Jehovah’s temple; all those who were priests must bring criminals who have violated Jehovah’s laws in front of the altar of Jehovah where they would be put to death by the common people, otherwise fire would fall upon the priest who saw it. Thus they were unfailingly loyal to Jehovah, because the laws of Jehovah were too severe upon them, and they would absolutely not dare to casually violate His administrative decrees. The Israelites were loyal to Jehovah because they had seen His flame, had seen the hand with which Jehovah chastised people, and also because they originally revered Jehovah in their hearts. Therefore what they obtained was not only Jehovah’s flame; they also gained care and protection from Jehovah, and obtained Jehovah’s blessing. Their loyalty was that they abided by Jehovah’s words in what they did, without anyone disobeying. Should someone disobey, the people would still carry out Jehovah’s words, and put them to death who went against Jehovah, without any leeway for concealment. Especially those who violated the Sabbath, those guilty of promiscuity, and those who stole offerings to Jehovah would be punished more severely. The ones who violated the Sabbath were stoned to death by them (the common people), or they were whipped to death, with no exceptions. Those who committed acts of lechery, even those who lusted after an attractive woman, or who gave rise to lecherous thoughts upon seeing a wicked woman, or who became lustful upon seeing a young woman—all this sort of person would be put to death. If any young woman who did not wear a covering or a veil tempted a man into illicit conduct, that woman would be put to death. If it was a priest (those persons who served in the temple) who violated laws of this sort, he would be crucified or hung. No person of this sort would be allowed to live, and not a single one would find favor before Jehovah. The relatives of this kind of person would not be allowed to offer sacrifices to Jehovah before the altar for three years after his death, and they would not be allowed to share the sacrifices that Jehovah granted to the common people. Only when the time was over could they place first-class cattle or sheep upon Jehovah’s altar. If there was any other transgression, they must fast for three days in front of Jehovah, supplicating for His grace. Their worship of Jehovah was not only because Jehovah’s laws were so severe and so strict; rather it was because of Jehovah’s grace, and it was also because they were loyal to Jehovah. As such, their service up until today has been similarly loyal, and they have never gone back on their supplications before Jehovah. In the present day the people of Israel still receive the care and protection of Jehovah, and up until today Jehovah still is the grace among them, and always abides with them. They all know how they should revere Jehovah, and how they should serve Jehovah, and they all know how they must be to receive care and protection from Jehovah, because they all revere Jehovah in their hearts. The secret to success of all of their service is none other than reverence. Yet what are you all like today? Do you bear any resemblance to the people of Israel? Do you think that service of today is like following the leading of a great spiritual figure? You simply do not have any loyalty and reverence. You receive considerable grace, you are equivalent to the Israelite priests, because you are all directly serving God. Though you do not enter the temple, what you receive and what you see is a lot more than what the priests who served Jehovah in the temple received. Yet you rebel and you resist many times more than they did. Your reverence is too small, and as a result you receive very little grace. Though you dedicate very little, you have received a lot more than those Israelites. Is this not kind treatment toward you? During the work in Israel, no one would dare to judge Jehovah as they pleased. And what about you? If not because the work I do among you is to conquer you, how could I tolerate your acting wildly to bring shame to My name? If the age in which you live were the Age of Law, not a single one of you would remain alive, given your actions and your words. Your reverence is too small! You are always blaming Me for not having given you much favor, and even say that I do not give you enough words of blessing, that I have only curses for you. Do you not know that with such little reverence it is impossible for you to accept My blessings? Do you not know that I constantly curse and cast judgment upon you because of the sorry state of your service? Do you all feel that you have been wronged? How can I bestow My blessings upon a group of people who are rebellious and do not obey? How can I casually bestow My grace upon people who bring dishonor to My name? The treatment toward you people is already extremely kind. Had the Israelites been as rebellious as you are today, I would have long since annihilated them. Yet I treat you with nothing but lenience. Is this not kindness? Do you want greater blessings than this? The only ones whom Jehovah blesses are those who revere Him. He chastises those who rebel against Him, never forgiving anyone. Aren’t you people of today who do not know how to serve more in need of chastisement and judgment, so that your hearts might be fully rectified? Is chastisement and judgment of this sort not the best blessing to you? Is it not your best protection? Without it, would any of you be able to endure the burning fire of Jehovah? If you could truly serve as loyally as the people of Israel, would you not also have grace as your constant companion? Would you not also often have joy and sufficient favor? Do you all know how you should serve?
Today the requirement of you to work together harmoniously is similar to how Jehovah required the Israelites to serve Him. Otherwise, your service will come to an end. Because you are people who serve God directly, at the very minimum you must be able to be loyal and obedient in your service, and must be able to learn the lessons in a practical way. Especially those working in the church, would any of the brothers and sisters below dare to deal with you? Would anyone dare to tell you of your mistakes face to face? You stand high above all, you are really reigning as kings! You do not even study or enter into such a practical lesson, and you still talk of serving God! At present you are asked to lead a number of churches, and not only do you not give up yourself, you even cling to your own notions and opinions, and say things like “I think this thing should be done this way, as God has said that we should not be restrained by others, and that nowadays we should not submit blindly.” Therefore each holds to his own opinion, and no one obeys the other. Though you clearly know that your service is at an impasse, you still say, “As I see it, mine is not far off. In any case we each have one side; you talk of yours, and I of mine; you fellowship about your visions and I talk of my entry.” You never take responsibility for many things that should be dealt with, or you just make do, each person venting his own opinion, prudently protecting his own status, reputation, and face. No one is willing to humble himself, neither person will give himself up initiatively to amend the other and be amended so that life may progress more rapidly. When you are working together, few of you say: “I would like to hear you fellowship with me about this aspect of truth, because I am not clear about it.” Or to say: “You have more experiences than I have on this matter; can you give me some direction, please?” Wouldn’t this be a good way of doing it? You on the upper levels hear a lot of truth, and understand a lot about service. If you people who coordinate to work in the churches do not learn from each other, and communicate, making up for each other’s shortcomings, from where can you learn lessons? When you encounter anything, you should fellowship with each other, so that your life can benefit. And you should carefully fellowship about things of any sort before making decisions. Only by doing so are you being responsible to the church and not being perfunctory. After you visit all the churches, you should get together and fellowship about all the issues you discover and problems encountered in work, and communicate the enlightenment and illumination that you have received—this is an indispensable practice of service. You must achieve harmonious cooperation for the purpose of the work of God, for the benefit of the church, and for spurring the brothers and sisters onward. You coordinate with him and he coordinates with you, each amending the other, arriving at a better work outcome, so as to care for God’s will. Only this is a true cooperation, and only such people have true entry. There may be some speech that isn’t suitable during cooperation, but that does not matter. Fellowship about it later, and get a clear understanding of it; do not neglect it. After this sort of fellowship you can make up deficiencies for the brothers and sisters. Only ceaselessly going deeper like this in your work can you achieve better outcomes. Each of you, as people who serve, must be able to defend the interests of the church in all things you do, rather than looking out for your own interests. It is unacceptable to go it alone, where you undermine him and he undermines you. People acting this way are not fit to serve God! The disposition of this sort of person is so bad; not an ounce of humanity remains in them. They are one hundred percent Satan! They are beasts! Even now such things as this still occur among you, going so far as to attack each other during fellowship, intentionally seeking pretexts, getting all red in the face arguing over some little thing, neither person willing to put himself aside, each person hiding what’s inside from the other, watching the other party intently and being on guard. Can this kind of disposition befit service to God? Can such work as yours give supply to the brothers and sisters? Not only are you unable to guide people onto a correct life course, you actually inject your corrupt dispositions into the brothers and sisters. Are you not hurting others? Your conscience is so bad, rotten to the core! You do not enter into reality, and do not put the truth into practice. Moreover you shamelessly expose your devilish nature to other people, you absolutely know no shame! The brothers and sisters have been entrusted to you, but you take them to hell. Aren’t you a person whose conscience has gone rotten? You are utterly shameless!