Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “The Commandments of the New Age” (I)
The Commandments of the New Age
You have been told to equip yourselves with the words of God, that regardless of what is arranged for you, all is orchestrated by God’s own hand, and that there is no need for your earnest prayer or supplication—they are useless. Yet in terms of the present situation, the practical problems facing you are unimaginable to you. If you merely await the arrangements of God, your progress will be too slow, and for those who don’t know how to experience there will be much passivity. Thus, if you are unable to completely see through to these things, then you are muddled and silly in your experiencing. If you have no reality but only words, is this not a sign of erroneousness? Much erroneousness is visible in you, this group. Today, you’re incapable of achieving such trials as “service-doers,” or else are incapable of imagining or achieving other refinement related to the words of God. You must adhere to the many things you are required to put into practice. Which is to say, people must adhere to the many duties that they should perform. This is what people should adhere to, and what they must carry out. Let the Holy Spirit do what must be done by the Holy Spirit; man can play no part in it. Man should adhere to what ought to be done by man, which bears no relation to the Holy Spirit. It is nothing but that which ought to be done by man, and should be adhered to as commandment, just like adherence to the law of the Old Testament. Although now is not the Age of Law, there are still many words of a kind with the Age of Law that should be adhered to, and they are not carried out merely by relying on being touched by the Holy Spirit, but are what should be adhered to by man. For example: You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God. You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God. Before God, you shall keep your place and shall not be dissolute. You should be moderate in speech, and your words and actions must follow the arrangements of the man testified to by God. You should revere the testimony of God. You shall not ignore the work of God and the words from His mouth. You shall not imitate the tone and aims of God’s utterances. Externally, you shall not do anything that manifestly opposes the man who is testified to by God. And so on. These are what each person should adhere to. In each age, God specifies many rules that are akin to the laws and are to be adhered to by man. Through this, He constrains man’s disposition, and detects his sincerity. Take the words “Honor your father and your mother” of the Old Testament age, for example. These words do not apply today; at the time, they merely constrained some of man’s external disposition, they were used to demonstrate the sincerity of man’s belief in God, and were a mark of those who believed in God. Although now is the Age of Kingdom, there are still many rules that man must adhere to. The rules of the past don’t apply; today, there are many, more fitting practices for man to carry out, and which are necessary. They do not involve the work of the Holy Spirit and must be done by man.
In the Age of Grace, many of the practices of the Age of Law were discarded because these laws were not particularly effective for the work at that time. After they were discarded, many practices were set out that were suitable for the age, and which have become the many rules of today. When the God of today came, these rules were dispensed with, and no longer needed to be adhered to, and there were set out many practices suitable for the work of today. Today, these practices are not rules, but in order to achieve an effect; they are suitable for today—and tomorrow, perhaps, they will become rules. In sum, you should adhere to that which is fruitful for the work of today. Pay no heed to tomorrow: What is done today is for the sake of today. Maybe tomorrow there will be better practices which you will be required to carry out—but do not pay too much attention to that, adhere to that which should be adhered to today so as to avoid opposing God. Today, nothing is more crucial for man to adhere to than the following: You must not deceive or conceal anything from the God that stands before your eyes. You shall not utter filthiness or arrogant talk in front of the God before you. You shall not deceive the God before your eyes by good words and fair speeches in order to gain His trust. You shall not act irreverently before God. You shall obey all that is spoken from the mouth of God, and shall not resist, oppose, or dispute His words. You shall not interpret, as you see fit, the words spoken from the mouth of God. You should guard your tongue to avoid it causing you to fall prey to the deceitful schemes of the wicked. You should guard your footsteps to avoid transgressing the boundaries set out for you by God. Doing so will cause you to speak conceited and pompous words from the perspective of God, and thus become loathed by God. You shall not carelessly repeat the words spoken from the mouth of God, lest others mock you and the devils make a fool of you. You shall obey all of the work of the God of today. Even if you do not understand it, you shall not pass judgment on it; all you can do is seek and fellowship. No person shall transgress God’s original place. You can do nothing more than serve the God of today from the position of man. You cannot teach the God of today from the position of man—to do so is misguided. No one may stand in the place of the man testified to by God; in your words, actions, and inmost thoughts, you stand in the position of man. This is to be abided by, it is the responsibility of man, it is alterable by no one, and doing so would violate the administrative decrees. It should be remembered by all.
The long time that God has spent speaking and uttering has caused man to consider reading and memorizing the words of God to be his primary task. No one pays attention to practice, and even that which you ought to abide by you do not, so this has brought many difficulties and problems to your service. If, prior to practicing the words of God, you have not adhered to that which you should adhere to, then you are one of those who are detested and rejected by God. In adhering to these practices, you should be earnest and sincere. You should not treat them like shackles, but adhere to them as commandments. Today, you ought not to concern yourself with what effects are to be achieved; in short, this is how the Holy Spirit works, and whoever commits offense must die. The Holy Spirit is without emotion, and heedless of your present understanding. If you offend Him today, then He will punish you. If you offend Him within the scope of His jurisdiction, then He will not spare you. He does not care how serious you are in your adherence to the words of Jesus. If you violate God’s commandments of today, He will punish you; He will condemn you to death. How could it be acceptable for you to not adhere to them? You must adhere—even if it means suffering a little pain! No matter what religion, sector, nation, or denomination it is, in the future they must all adhere to these practices. None are exempt, and none will be spared! For they are what the Holy Spirit will do today, and they are unoffendable to all. Although they are no great thing, they must be done by every person, and are the commandments set for man by Jesus, who was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Does “The Path … (7)” not say that Jesus’ definition of whether you are righteous or sinful is according to your attitude toward God today? No one must overlook this point. In the Old Testament, generation after generation of the Pharisees believed in God, but with the arrival of the Age of Grace they did not know Jesus, and opposed Him. So it was that all they did came to nothing, and was in vain, and God did not accept it. If you can see through to this, then you will not easily sin. Many people, perhaps, have measured themselves against God. How does it taste to oppose God, is it bitter or sweet? You should understand this—do not pretend that you don’t know. In their hearts, perhaps, some people remain unconvinced. Yet I advise you to try it and see—see what it tastes like. This will prevent many people from always being suspicious about it. Many people read the words of God yet secretly oppose Him in their hearts. After opposing Him like this, do you not feel like a knife has been twisted in your heart? If it is not family disharmony, it is physical discomfort, or the afflictions of sons and daughters. Although your flesh is spared death, the hand of God will never leave you. Do you think it could be that simple? In particular, it is even more necessary for the many who are near to God to focus on this. As time goes on, you will forget it, and, without realizing it, you will be plunged into temptation, you will become heedless of everything, and this will be the start of your sinning. Does this seem trivial to you? If you can do this well, then you have the chance to be made perfect—to receive the guidance from God’s own mouth before God. If you are careless, it will be trouble for you—you will be defiant of God, your words and actions will be dissolute, and sooner or later you will be carried away by great gales and mighty waves. Every one of you should take note of these commandments. If you violate them, the man who is testified to by God may not condemn you, but the Spirit of God is not finished with you, He will not spare you. Do you think you have what it takes to commit offense? Thus, no matter what God says, you must put His words into practice, and must adhere to them by any means you can. This is no simple matter!
“You have been told to equip yourselves with the words of God, that regardless of what is arranged for you, all is orchestrated by God’s own hand, and that there is no need for your earnest prayer or supplication—they are useless.” This is the first sentence; note what God says in this sentence: “regardless of what is arranged for you.” God’s family has made a variety of work arrangements concerning the duties that God’s chosen people should perform in every period, the truth they are to communicate, the reality they should enter into, and the problems they should solve. God’s family has arranged all these things. In addition, when God will speak, and what God will say; these things are all personally arranged by God. I presume you understand these things. Have people had these things in the Age of Grace? Over the 2,000 years of the Age of Grace, people have done nothing but read the Bible. In the Bible people are required to witness to the Lord. In the Bible we find what words of God people should put into practice. And then God stopped speaking. God did not make arrangements concerning what would happen in the Age of Grace, but there were just some prophecies. So belief in the Lord in the Age of Grace was just very simple, wasn’t it? Much simpler than it is now. You see in the Age of Grace how many books everyone has on hand? A Bible, a book of hymns, and some preaching and spiritual books. Those songs may be hundreds of years old; those tunes may be decades or hundreds of years old—too old. Isn’t this the case? In the Age of Kingdom God does not work the same way. God speaks prolifically—in each period God speaks. In addition, the arrangements of God’s family are manifold, and everything is arranged and ordered personally by God. Some people say, “Isn’t the work arrangement of God’s family made by the man used by the Holy Spirit?” So is it the man who does it or is it God who does it? Is this considered to be personally arranged by God, or not? It is. Why? Because being used by the Holy Spirit comes precisely from the work of the Holy Spirit. God’s utterances are personally made by God, and the administrative work and the work arrangements of God’s family are all accomplished by the man used by the Holy Spirit. In short, they are all the work of the Holy Spirit, right? The words expressed by Christ are the direct expression of the Holy Spirit, and the work arrangements accomplished by the man used by God all come from the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so, in short, the work of God is done by God Himself. In the church there are some brothers and sisters who pursue the truth and have the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also training this group of people, so there is some Holy Spirit’s work in the work that they do, and there is also some enlightenment, illumination, guidance, and leading coming from the Holy Spirit. Are you clear about this fact? So it is a fact that all the work of God’s family is God’s own work. In these years God’s family has expelled many antichrists, wicked people, and evil spirits, and wasn’t this the arrangement of God? In every time period, the Holy Spirit will do the work accordingly. In short, no matter what work God’s family does in what time period, it is all guided by the Holy Spirit and orchestrated and arranged by the Holy Spirit. This is a fact that people need to know. How can a person who does not understand the spirit accept this, hmm? He will say, “God’s utterance is the utterance of the Spirit of God, and the work accomplished by the man used by the Holy Spirit is man’s work; when Christ speaks it is the voice of the Spirit of God, and as for the work accomplished by the man used by the Holy Spirit, it is man’s doing, it is man’s work. You see, the work arrangements are all written down by man.” Is this view right or wrong? It is said by a person who does not understand the spirit. Such people think about it like this solely from human conception and imagination, but in fact they do not know the work of the Holy Spirit. The most stupid thing is that there are many religious people who cannot hear the voice of God. They think: “God’s voice cannot come from a human mouth, and it cannot be called the voice of God’s Spirit unless it comes thundering from the heavens, or sounds forth in a whirlwind or from a flame. If the voice comes from a human mouth, then it is just human speech, and is certainly not God’s speech.” Isn’t this absurd? So their many years of believing in Jesus was just in vain. If someone does not confess that the words of the Lord Jesus were directly spoken by the Spirit of God, then does he confess that the Lord Jesus is God incarnate? He certainly does not confess it. Some will say, “That is wrong, if he does not confess this, then how does he still believe?” So if one doesn’t confess this, can’t one believe? Not confessing this does not mean one cannot believe, but the amount of true faith and the amount of doubt in such a person’s belief is not the same, is it? In their faith, some people have false faith and other people have true faith. Faith may be too mixed up and too wishy-washy.
In the Age of Kingdom God’s utterances and God’s own work save humankind, and all are orchestrated and arranged personally by God, isn’t that true? This is a fact. In the Age of Grace the people of faith prayed too many words: They prayed for their country, prayed for their nationality, prayed for humankind, prayed for government, they even prayed for the great red dragon of the Communist Party of China, and they prayed for world peace. Is this useful? How does God look on their prayers? “[T]hey are useless.” Isn’t useless work futile? It is futile, for God does not listen to such prayers. Why doesn’t God listen? Because all of these are things that people should not worry about, that have nothing to do with believers. These things are God’s arrangements, under God’s sovereignty, predestined by God. Humankind cannot see through to this, and their own blind prayers, their blind appeals, these are the most stupid and ignorant things. Understand? These are the most stupid and ignorant things. The religious community in particular is most prominent in this regard, expending their efforts on something useless, and even praying for the devil Satan. Isn’t this contrary to the will of God? Now we can see clearly what work is useless, hmm? That is to say, there is no need for people to pray about what God will do, and such prayer is useless. God has arrangements; God has plans. For example, if God will destroy humankind, what good is it for people to pray for world peace? God does things according to God’s plan, and human prayer seeks to impose Satan’s will upon God. Can God listen? God does not accept it. Why doesn’t God accept it, hmm? Because man’s corruption is so deep, they are all the descendants of Satan, they are all talking on behalf of Satan, and they all interrupt and disrupt God’s work, so God does not listen to the prayers of such corrupt and evil humans. If it is a believer, and if his prayer conforms to the will of God, then God may listen, and God may answer his prayer. If it is a wicked person who prays for Satan, God will not listen to a single word, and his gratuitous prayers are a useless effort. From this, what do we see? That man’s prayers and supplications must be in accord with the will of God, and if they are not in accord with the will of God, from God’s point of view they are useless. People should not do such stupid things. The people of the Age of Grace did so many stupid things of this sort. Why did the people of the Age of Grace do so many stupid things? Because the people who believed in the Lord in the Age of Grace were only forgiven of their sins, and God came only to do the work of redemption, did not express too much truth, and did not inform humankind about the true disposition of God. Therefore, no matter how many years humankind had faith in the Lord, they did not understand the truth, they did not know God, even less know the disposition of God. In this way, humankind did a lot of things that look ignorant and stupid to God. Isn’t this the case, hmm? So in the Age of Grace we heard the Lord Jesus say, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth” (Jhn 16:12-13). “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come,” means that when God comes in the last days, He will express all the truths that will save humankind. If people understand these truths, their prayers and supplications will accord with God’s will. If people understand these truths, then they will be able to know and understand the disposition of God and the will of God. Isn’t that the case? So, though people in the Age of Grace did so many stupid and ignorant things, praying for Satan, praying for Satan’s regime, and praying for world peace, which would be such serious interruptions and disruptions of God’s work, such serious violations of God’s will, God does not condemn them because humankind is ignorant. Here God just says, “[T]hey are useless,” and He is done with it, not condemning them.
Below, God continues, “Yet in terms of the present situation, the practical problems facing you are unimaginable to you. If you merely await the arrangements of God, your progress will be too slow, and for those who don’t know how to experience there will be much passivity. Thus, if you are unable to completely see through to these things, then you are muddled and silly in your experiencing.” What does this mean? If people always await God’s arrangements, and are always passive, not taking the initiative to resolve problems, won’t progress be too slow this way? What does “the practical problems facing you” mean? It refers to the problems people currently face, the problems of human life, and the problems of entering into life. There are many problems in people’s understanding of the truth and their knowledge of God’s work. People should resolve the practical problems and the difficulties facing them, and not always wait for God’s arrangement. What does “merely await the arrangements of God” mean? God has spoken a lot, but some people just do not thoroughly eat these words so as to understand the truth and enter into reality. Instead, they are content with listening to God’s word and reading God’s word to get some understanding of its superficial meaning. After reading a piece of God’s word two or three times, they think, “It’s finished, this piece of God’s word is fulfilled, I have eaten and drunk it, so God, You should hurry and give us something new!” When new words of God come, they eat and drink them two or three times, and they communicate them once or twice, and then, they say, “It’s finished, I’m done with it, I’ve eaten and drunk this piece of God’s word that God has expressed.” Then they just always await God’s new utterance, they always await what God will do. No matter what God does, no matter what truth God expresses, they just read it a couple of times, communicate it once or twice, and then they’re done. Doesn’t this passive waiting make life progress too slow? Doesn’t this passive waiting have a negative component? You see there are many people who, when an antichrist or a false leader is controlling and deceiving people in the church, do not take the initiative to report and expose the evil of the antichrist or the false leader, but passively wait, saying, “Wait for God to solve it. Maybe someday God will utter the word, and will call to account the antichrist, the false leader, and then we will abandon them, then it will be finished. God is not doing anything right now, so we must not do anything. People cannot run in front of God, and if people want to run in front of God, then they oppose God. God has not uttered a word, so we must not speak casually; God has not done anything, so we must not do anything.” Is this viewpoint correct, or wrong? It is wrong. “Thus, if you are unable to completely see through to these things, then you are muddled and silly in your experiencing. If you have no reality but only words, is this not a sign of erroneousness?” After God finishes speaking, people read it a couple of times and think they understand it. God says, “Do you understand?” and they say “We understand.” God says, “Have you entered into life? Are you able to experience and put My words into practice? Have you lived out the reality of My words?” And they say, “No, we have not.” God says, “You haven’t? What are you waiting for? Are you awaiting new words from God? When the new words come you will read it a couple of times and be done. Does this count for experiencing God’s work? Does this count for eating and drinking God’s word? Is this a person who is doing God’s will?” This is how many people are: “We’re just waiting for listening to sermons in the congregation. We usually are able to do our duties, but we don’t communicate the truth. We just wait for the congregation, for listening to sermons.” If I don’t give sermons, can you enter into life and reality? Can you practice and experience God’s word? Can you seek the truth within God’s word to solve the problems you are facing? Will you put this into practice, or not? If a person cannot put this into practice, is he a person who pursues the truth? Does this kind of person have the reality of the truth, or not? Some people are so passive—passively waiting, waiting for whatever God’s family will arrange, waiting for whatever God’s family will say, waiting for God to speak anew—that they do absolutely nothing. Someone who has never figured out God’s past words, and has never experienced them, but just waits to eat and drink new words, can such a person attain the truth? Such a person is in a confused state of experience, don’t you think?
God said, “[I]s this not a sign of erroneousness? Much erroneousness is visible in you, this group.” Should people sum up the many manifestations of the tendency to err among us? “Today, you’re incapable of achieving such trials as ‘service-doers,’ or else are incapable of imagining or achieving other refinement related to the words of God. You must adhere to the many things you are required to put into practice.” What is God saying here? Can people achieve such trials as “service-doers?” Some people say: “God used ‘service-doers’ to try God’s chosen people for several months, so that everyone was refined, and everyone suffered, achieving a certain result. We who are leaders and workers should also bring a trial to God’s chosen people, we should also design a program to put God’s chosen people through several months of refining.” Can people do this? People cannot. Why can’t they? Some people say it is because people do not have the truth. For one thing, you do not have the truth, but most importantly, this is something only God can do. God is the Creator—He can control the fate of humankind and He knows how to control and arrange the fate of humankind. We people do not have that ability or wisdom. We can’t even educate children well, can we? Is there anybody who has been well educated by people? Human education can’t attain that. Everything is endowed by heaven, and the manifestations of human education are all inconsequential. Children can become something because they have been endowed by heaven with that quality. It is just fate. Everything is ordained by God, the sole Creator, and only God can solve the corruption of humankind. This is work that only God can do, and humankind cannot do! What is our bounden duty as humans? It is to cooperate with God’s work. God gives people commissions, the Holy Spirit leads them, and people communicate the truth and do their part so that God’s chosen people can understand God’s words, can understand the truth, can know themselves, and finally have a pathway to practice. People are just able to do this bit of duty, God has ordained this. Some people say, “How can you do this duty, and how can I not do it?” How can this be explained? This is fate, this is God’s arrangement, God’s ordaining. Or we can say God has His time for everything. If you have an aspiration, “I want to expend myself for God, I want to be used by God,” this is good, this is correct. But this is in God’s time, and the time in which God prepares a person is not short. Sometimes when God prepares a person, it takes ten years or eight years merely to prune and deal with the person, while to judge and chastise, to prune and deal with, and to test and refine a person, according to my own personal experience, will take ten or twenty years. So if you have the aspiration to expend yourself for God and be used by God, then you had better pursue the truth hard and submit to the work of God, resolve the practical issues and not always wait for God to do this or that. No matter what God is doing now, right now we should do our part, we should resolve the practical problems of how to practice and how to experience, and then we can enter into the reality of life. To merely wait passively will not do. Some people experienced the trial of “service-doers” and achieved a fruitful result, whereas others experienced the trial of “service-doers” and achieved no fruitful result. Where is the difference? He who does not regard the words of God as God’s words, who does not take God’s work and God’s words seriously, and who thinks, “No matter what You say, God, I don’t believe it, I don’t accept it, and should just do what I want,” God’s words of judging, chastising and trying man will not achieve a fruitful result on him. Why is this? Because he that does not believe in all the words of God, he who believes whatever matches his own notions, and he who does not believe and does not accept anything that does not match his own notions, is a person who does not love the truth. A person who does not love the truth will not have a fruitful result no matter what kind of God’s judgments, chastisements, or trials he experiences. For some people, when the trial of “service-doers” befell them, then they cried hard, crying tears, their heart being refined, and their heart in pain every day! Why was this? Because they believed these were the words of God, and that this was the truth, and that was just the way it was, so in their heart they reacted, and only then did they finally achieve the fruitful result of God’s trial. But those who did not believe God’s words said, “God said so? Not necessarily! I do not hear it, I do not accept it, and I just treat it as something an ordinary person has said.” As a result, they did not suffer at all and ultimately they reaped no harvest at all. If people do not believe God’s words, no matter what works of God they experience, how many years they follow, how much they forsake, and how much price they pay, can they achieve any fruitful result? First, they cannot understand the truth. Second, they cannot attain any knowledge of God. Third, we never see any change in their life disposition. In these areas they have achieved no fruitful result. In external appearance they have followed God for many years and have experienced much refining, and it seems as if they have not lacked for suffering, but in their life disposition there have been no changes, so what happened? They did not treat the words of God as God’s words, so they did not suffer in them and in the end they achieved no result in entering into life and changing their life disposition. This is what happened.
Following this, God also said, “[O]r else [you] are incapable of imagining or achieving other refinement related to the words of God. You must adhere to the many things you are required to put into practice.” The meaning of this sentence is critical. God said, “You must adhere to the many things you are required to put into practice.” If you do not adhere to them, then you are not experiencing God’s work and you are not submitting to God’s work, but if you adhere to them, you are obedient to God, you are acting according to God’s words and God’s requirements. People who adhere to God’s words and God’s requirements, in God’s view are the kind of people who submit to God’s work, and they are also the people who do the will of God. When you adhere, what do you think you will gain? When you adhere and keep at it there will come a time that the Holy Spirit will guide you and enlighten you, and will permit you to understand some truths, to make some changes and grow, and to reap some rewards, and it is these that are the fruitful results that you attain by complying with God’s words. When you attain these fruitful results, isn’t this a blessing from God? Yes, it is a blessing from God. In the end, when you bear witness, you will say, I indeed have harvested much from my experience of God’s work, I have understood a few aspects of truth, with respect to changing my disposition I have achieved fruitful results in several areas, my views on things have changed somewhat, and I know what truth has now become my life and is a part of my life. This, then, is the fruitful result, and these gains are God’s grace and God’s blessing. Understand? Someone may experience God’s work, but if you ask him, “What are your gains?” he will say: “What gains? I don’t feel any, so what gains?” He will ponder it over and can’t figure it out. “Anyway, the past few years I have been more honest than before, and sins I might have committed before, now I don’t commit them, so I think there are a few changes.” Aren’t these some small gains? Yes, but they are too small. He does not have the truth, and he has not attained life. Isn’t that the case? If you do not have the truth, and do not attain life, if you one day go back into the world, won’t you be the same as worldly people? Whatever evil the worldly people can do, you can do it also, and whatever sins worldly people can commit, you can commit them also, so there is absolutely no difference. Just because you haven’t committed certain sins in the last few years doesn’t mean you cannot commit them in the future. Can’t we say that? So we must adhere to the many things we are required to put into practice.
Following this, God said, “[P]eople must adhere to the many duties that they should perform.” This is the first duty people must adhere to, the duty that people are bound to do. “[P]eople must adhere to the many duties that they should perform. This is what people should adhere to, and what they must carry out.” What is it that people must do? It is this: “the many duties that they should perform.” Are there only one or two duties that people should perform? God says there are many, that is, there are several kinds, and there are many of them, and also there are duties you have the responsibility to do and those that you are able to do, and both are “the duties that you should perform.” There is no rule here. For example, a man in a family is a husband, and is the husband’s responsibility in the family just to earn money? What are the duties that a husband should perform in the family? The first is to feed the family and to support the family. You have gotten married and have children, so you have to feed all these people. All these mouths need to eat and drink, and you have to supply it. It is not okay not to support them. If you will not support them, then you must not marry or have children. This is the man’s responsibility. In addition, the husband must consider clothing, shelter, transportation, and activities for the family, right? The duties a believer should perform are no simple thing. They are much more than the responsibilities of a parent. The duties in church that people should perform, aren’t there quite a lot? For example, someone of good quality, who understands the truth, will be elected to lead, and isn’t that burden heavier than the burden of being parents? Church leadership is weightier than parenting. The duties of a church leader, then, are sacred. They are to shepherd God’s sheep! They are to guide and help God’s chosen people to understand the truth and to receive the truth. A leader needs to be responsible for supplying God’s chosen people concerning their entry into life as well as solving various problems they may have. The parent of a family is responsible for food, clothing, shelter, transportation and activities of the few people of the family, whereas a church leader is responsible for how all the chosen people of God in the church enter into life, responsible for how they eat and drink the words of God, how they understand the truth and enter into reality, responsible for solving all the problems that arise in the duties these people should perform, and also is responsible for evangelism and witnessing God. So God says here, “the many duties that they should perform”; there is not only one duty. As for the duties man should perform, no matter how many there are, if you can do them well and can accomplish them, you will receive the praises of God, and God will acknowledge that you are one of God’s people. If you cannot accomplish the duties you should adhere to, and if you cannot do the duties you should perform, you are kind of person God will not praise. God will say you did not adhere to the duties you should perform. It’s like a dog, which, no matter how the owner feeds it or how good he is to it, doesn’t even guard the door to the house. The dog’s instinct is to guard the house, and if it doesn’t do so, is this dog a good dog? If I met such a dog I would handle it by quickly sending it away. I would not raise it—it is useless, a waste! Now in the house of God, does God acknowledge that people who do not do their duties are His people? God does not acknowledge them. Some people who believe in God do not even dare to join the church. If you say, “Fill out an application,” they will say, “No, I can’t fill one out. As soon as I do I will be under its control. That’s the trouble.” The house of God does not force you, but this is a rule of the house of God—if you want to join the church, you can’t and you will not be counted unless you fill out an application. You may say, “I believe in my heart, and my heart prays to God,” but your prayers are useless because the house of God does not admit you. In addition to the house of God not admitting you, there is another problem, that you do not dare to confess God before other people, so will God be able to acknowledge you? What does the Lord Jesus say? “Whoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven” (Mat 10:32). If you don’t even dare to fill out an application to join the church, but your heart prays to God, “God, I am a believer,” God says you are telling lies. Have you filled out an application? If you don’t even dare to fill out an application to join the church, and you don’t dare to confess, you are doubting the church, and you don’t believe that what the church does is under the authority of God. Therefore, there are principles concerning the duties that people should perform in the church. If you do not adhere to them, and you do not put them into practice, and you are praying to God relying on human notions and imaginings, and you say you believe in God, and you say you are a member of the church, well what are your duties? Have you fulfilled the duties you should perform? And if you have not fulfilled the duties you should perform, can God acknowledge you are one of His people? Do you think you are saved by putting Paul’s words into practice—believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth? That was the Age of Grace. In the Age of Kingdom, entrance into the kingdom is not just by believing in one’s heart and confessing with one’s mouth! Only those who pay the price and do the hard work can enter into the kingdom. If you don’t do the hard work it’s not acceptable. You must meet the requirements of God; there are principles. The Lord Jesus said long ago: Only those who do the will of the Father will enter into the kingdom. Now the Church of Almighty God is the predecessor of Christ’s kingdom, meaning that Christ’s kingdom is to be fulfilled in the Church of Almighty God, or we can also say that the Church of Almighty God is Christ’s kingdom. So what is the difference between the Church of Almighty God and Christ’s kingdom? As far as people are concerned, there are some differences. In the church there are some people who will not share in the kingdom, but those who share in Christ’s kingdom must be the people who pursued truth in the church and who accomplished all the duties they should perform. So people who truly do the duties they should perform in the Church of Almighty God, the people who are faithful to the duties they should perform, those are all the people who have a share in the kingdom. Those people who do not complete the duties they should perform, who do not complete even a fraction of the duties they should perform, cannot have any share in Christ’s kingdom. Do you understand what you have heard?
I often say this, “Take a look, how many people are in the church today?” “Gosh! There are 50 to 60 people in our church.” I say: “In 10 years, how many of these people will be left? It’s hard to say, but it could be that only 30 to 40 will be left, or even 20 to 30.” Where will those people go? They will be eliminated. Some of them will be exposed by circumstances, and thus be eliminated; some will be captured by the great red dragon and become Judases, and thus be eliminated; some of them will become antichrists, and thus be eliminated; some of them are wicked people and always disturb the church, and will be eliminated; and some of them are unbelievers, and will be eliminated. The remaining 20 to 30 people are true believers, and can accept the truth and truly submit to God. Some people ask: “That is all the people that will be in the future church, eh?” No. There will be many new people who come in. No matter how many new people come in, after a few years there will finally be left a remnant, and this is the strong wind blowing away chaff. Can you guarantee that you will stand firm later on? You all say no. Then what should you do? You should pursue the truth, and in addition, complete all the duties people should perform, which is the most fundamental. If you pursue the truth as you perform your duty, you will grow up in life; if you pursue the truth as you perform your duty, if you constantly solve the problems that face you, if you constantly understand the truth, and you enter into life, you will enter little by little into the reality of the truth in God’s word. In the end, when you live out the truth in God’s word and become someone who truly submits to God, when you become an honest person, when you live out your normal humanity, when you perform your duty up to standard, when you have a true understanding of God, when you become someone who loves God, you will be perfected, gained by God. Then won’t you have many ways to go? Believing in God is not a simple thing. One must experience many things, and go through many trials and refinements, and undergo pruning and dealing, and experience failures and setbacks, and even experience being rejected by people. After experiencing all these things, he will have shed countless tears, and borne much suffering, but others can see that he truly has the reality of the truth, he is really changed, and seems to live as a new person, one who is very different than the person he was before. This is the fruitful result of experiencing God’s work. To achieve salvation and perfection by God, where do you start? “[P]eople must adhere to the many duties that they should perform.” This is where you start. This is fundamental. Let me give you an example. Some person may say: “I have believed in Almighty God for 10 years, I understand many truths, and I have attained a lot.” People will ask him, “You say you have attained a lot, so how do you prove it? Tell us.” He may say, “Brothers and sisters have coordinated with me in doing the duties, let them testify. Look, in doing the duties, have I met the standard and have I been principled in doing them, have I put the truth into practice, and do I have the likeness of man? Let the brothers and sisters say.” This is a very good point. No matter how much truth you have attained, you must put it into practice and achieve fruitful results in the duties. This is fundamental. If you have not done the duties you should perform, but merely said that you understand the truth, these are empty words, aren’t they? So where is a person’s reality of the truth manifested? It is entirely in the fruitful results of doing his duties. Look, when God’s chosen people elect the leaders and workers, they measure, “Does this person act with principle, or not, in doing his duties? Does he have the truth in whatever he does? Does he observe the truth, and practice the truth? Does he rely on God’s intent in doing the things he does, or does he do as he pleases? Or does he act solely from his own motivations, his personal intentions?” The result of measuring and considering is that it becomes evident whether a person possesses the reality of truth, or not, doesn’t it? What about the character of this person? First look at whether he is an honest person, and whether what he says is based on facts. If everything he says is so based, he doesn’t say anything he doesn’t understand thoroughly, he doesn’t casually speak from notions or imagination, but he says, “That’s something unreliable, and I don’t have the facts, so I won’t say,” then that person speaks very appropriately, he does not speak things untrue, he does not tell lies, what he says is not adulterated, he doesn’t mix in human imagination, he doesn’t have personal motivations, he is telling the truth, he is speaking based on facts, and he doesn’t insert notions and imagination. When people see this, they say “Wow! This person has changed in his words, and this is the speech of an honest person!” From what a person says, one can see whether he is honest or dishonest, and isn’t that then showing that person’s character? The measures of a person’s character are his speech and his actions, not his looks, much less his height, or whether he is dressed and looks classy—those are just appearance. How do you see if a person has character or not? First, listen to him speak. Is he defiant and unrestrained, or is he practical and realistic? Does he speak according to the facts, or with the purpose of deliberate nonsense? This measure will produce results. If a person does all the duties they should perform and keeps what they should adhere to, they will receive God’s praise. It is the very least that an individual person—a believer—should fulfill.
Following, God also said, “Let the Holy Spirit do what must be done by the Holy Spirit; man can play no part in it. Man should adhere to what ought to be done by man, which bears no relation to the Holy Spirit. It is nothing but that which ought to be done by man, and should be adhered to as commandment, just like adherence to the law of the Old Testament. Although now is not the Age of Law, there are still many words of a kind with the Age of Law that should be adhered to, and they are not carried out merely by relying on being touched by the Holy Spirit, but are what should be adhered to by man.” What does “what should be adhered to by man” mean? Not rely on being touched by the Holy Spirit in order to do things that are what people ought to adhere to. And what does this mean? Some people say: “Apart from the Holy Spirit, people can accomplish nothing, so without relying on being touched by the Holy Spirit, can people adhere? Can people make it?” What’s the matter with this? Why do we not need to rely on being touched by the Holy Spirit? It is that there are some things that people can achieve, that people have to do on their own, and to those they must adhere. There are some things that people cannot achieve, and that they cannot do, and to resolve those things they will have to rely on God, on seeking the truth, and on communicating the truth. You adhere to what people are able to attain, and you look to God for what people cannot attain, relying on the Holy Spirit to enlighten, illuminate and guide you. You carry things out based on these principles. There are some things people ought to adhere to and you must adhere to them, and what are they? God said, first there are the duties that people ought to do, and second there are the commandments of the Age of Kingdom, and to these it is necessary to adhere. “[P]eople must adhere to the many duties that they should perform.” This is the first thing that people must adhere to. So should they wait and pray, and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide, enlighten and illuminate them? Is that necessary? These things are not necessary, for this is what people are able to attain and what they already understand. Even if you do not understand the truth, yet you do understand these external things. If someone doesn’t understand any of these external things, then that person is of substandard quality and cannot experience God’s work. He is weak-minded, and God does not save the weak-minded. Look at a believer in the Age of Grace who would not accept the truth no matter how you communicate it. He would adhere to the letters of the Scripture, and if you talk to him about the letters of the Scripture, he still would not understand. He would just believe in the words of the Scripture and would not accept what God says today. He’s finished, for he has no ability to accept. A person who has no ability to accept is an object of elimination. It is already ordained that he cannot be saved. God does not save such people.
The first of the commandments of the Age of Kingdom that people should adhere to is this: “You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God.” People cannot pass judgment on the work of the practical God, which is the work done by the incarnate God. Some people say, what does this mean that we cannot pass judgment? Assuredly, in God’s work there are many things people cannot see through to, and assuredly, there are some things that do not match human conceptions. Your judgment opposes God, and the devil laughs at you and accuses you. So your judgment has just offended God’s disposition, and the Holy Spirit will not acknowledge you, placing you in the category of nonbelievers, setting you aside and not working on you. Some people say, “We should not pass judgment, then does that mean there is something wrong with the work of the practical God? Is God afraid of people questioning? Is God afraid of what people say?” Is that the case? No. As soon as you pass judgment, there is a problem, which is that it proves that you do not understand the truth. Can God’s work and human work be the same? In God’s work there are some things that do not match human conception, and why do they not match human conception? Because God’s work is full of the wisdom and omnipotence of God, and God, by expressing the truth, conquers humankind. By expressing the truth God achieves the fruitful result of purifying and perfecting humankind. In this it is inscrutable, immeasurable, and unimaginable by humans. It is just that God’s work is so high that you have to rely on seeking the truth before you can experience it, and you have to rely on seeking the truth before you can truly enter in. If you do not seek the truth, and you pass judgment, it proves that you resist God and are a person who does not submit to God, isn’t that so? Thus, God requires this of people: “You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God.” Some people say: “What will happen to those who pass judgment?” At least the Holy Spirit will eliminate you, and at worst the Holy Spirit will punish you. Neither elimination nor punishment by the Holy Spirit is a light penalty. In terms of the discipline of the Holy Spirit, it could be considered a light penalty. A heavy penalty would be that the Holy Spirit punishes you and eliminates you, so you are finished, because you have opposed God. To pass judgment on the work of the practical God is to oppose the practical God. What is the consequence of opposing God? It is punishment and destruction. Therefore, by keeping you from passing judgment on the work of the practical God, God’s intention is to protect you—to keep you from knocking against the muzzle of a gun, jumping into the fire, causing trouble, and committing sins with your lips, getting into trouble through your words. Isn’t that the meaning? Doesn’t this show God’s thoughtful good intentions? There are God’s thoughtful good intentions. It means: You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God. After you experience it, maybe for three to five years, or for seven to ten years, someday, you will see through to it. “Oh, before I did not understand, but now I understand everything. Before I could not see through to it, but now I see through to everything. Fortunately, God protected me and did not allow me to pass judgment on anything. If I had passed judgment at that time, I would have really regretted it!” After you have believed for a few years, then you will know why God promulgated this commandment. It is to protect you, it is the greatest protection for you, and it is to prevent you from being tempted. Do you understand?
When people begin to believe, they always have certain conceptions and imaginings, and they all have questions. After they have believed for a year or two, some questions are no longer questions, they’re gone, having automatically disappeared, and some questions they have resolved themselves as they have come to understand. After they have believed for three to five years, they have an understanding of God’s work, “Oh, I have no questions, what God expresses in His work is all the truth. It’s all good and I accept it wholeheartedly. People are too stupid and ignorant, always daring to judge God’s work. They are really arrogant and foolhardy.” “You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God.” This is the first commandment. Some people say: “I ran into an unusual circumstance that I really couldn’t figure out, and then in spite of myself I couldn’t help but judge God.” You really couldn’t figure it out, so what are you doing judging God? Alright, for example, there are some people who are fixed by antichrists, so why do you blame God? Is it right for you to blame God for it? God also allows the great red dragon to suppress, capture, and persecute God’s chosen people; can you blame God for unrighteousness? Everything God does is with God’s good intentions. God has placed the great red dragon there as a serving object and a foil. God allows the wicked and the antichrist to appear and to wield power in the church, and God allows evil spirits, Satan, and non-believers who infiltrate into the church. There is God’s good intention, and it is all so that God’s chosen people will understand the truth. Look, right now there are many people who are unable to distinguish false leaders and antichrists, some who cannot even distinguish evil spirits and their work, some who cannot even distinguish what letters and doctrines are and what the reality of the truth is. Some people cannot even see who are true believers and who are false, and find the existence of non-believers to be unbelievable. “How do non-believers get into the church? Isn’t everyone who comes into the church a true believer?” See, they just don’t understand. They don’t understand spiritual matters. If you do not understand issues like these, later you judge God—what kind of person are you? Isn’t this unreasonable? Yes, it is unreasonable. Read the words of God more. See what it is that God says. God says, God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s intrigues. God uses the great red dragon as a foil and a serving object so that God’s chosen people will come to recognize and distinguish the devil Satan. See, all these things are God’s arrangements. Why does God arrange it this way? Just experience it. Once you have borne much suffering, and finally when you are enlightened and illuminated by God’s words you understand God’s will, then you will say, “Oh, God is so good in doing so, God is so wise! If God did not do this, we would have no way to be perfected. If God did not mobilize the great red dragon to render service, and did not allow Satan’s kind to disrupt the church of God, we would never know what is Satan and what is the antichrist.” Do you not understand this? By Satan doing this, God makes you seek the truth, makes you see God’s will and see the wisdom and almightiness of God, so that in the end you will really understand God. Isn’t that the case? So what if you first judge? In the end you will regret it. If you do not first judge, but you first seek truth, after a few years when you understand the truth, understand the will of God, and see the wisdom and almightiness of God, at that time you will only have praise, and no blame, right?
In this new age the first commandment people must adhere to is, “You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God.” This is a matter of principle, isn’t it? People who pass judgment are often those who do not seek the truth, and those who seek the truth do not judge, saying, “This is something I cannot see through to, but God is truth and what God does is wise, so I shall seek truth and I mustn’t pass judgment. If I pass judgment and let Satan grasp anything at all to accuse me, it will be over, and God will give us over to Satan.” You see a man of reason, he ponders and thinks and then he finds the way. This is the first commandment. Is it easy to keep? If a person has some reverence for God, he should be able to adhere to it, right? At what time and in what matters does a person easily pass judgment on the work of the practical God? Isn’t this something he should think about? Say, for example, that a person has just accepted Almighty God, and someone in his family suddenly falls ill, and he says, “What’s going on here? I believe in Almighty God, and that’s a good thing. Almighty God is the true God. Why is it that I just came to believe and a family member gets sick?” Or perhaps a person has just come to believe in Almighty God and something suddenly happened to his family, to all appearances they run into a disaster, something unpleasant, and he says, “What’s going on here?” No matter what bad thing happens, he first doubts: “Is Almighty God real? If He is the true God, why do these things happen after I have come to believe?” As soon as he has this notion, it is easy for him to pass judgment. What other things make it easy to pass judgment? When he is dealt with and pruned by someone it will be easy to blame God, easy to pass judgment, and to say that God’s family has no love. In his thinking, if God’s family had love there would be no dealing with him, no judgment, and all would be smooth sailing and speaking gently and mildly—that is love. If there is dealing with him, then that is not love, that is hate. Isn’t that the notion people have? As soon as people come up with notions, it is easy to pass judgment on God, this is the truth. When it comes to being rejected by God’s chosen people and being dismissed from the church, it is also easy to judge God. He thinks: “God is not righteous, not fair! Since I really believe in God, why did the church condemn me as an antichrist and a false leader? Why did the church dismiss me?” He thinks the church is wrong in this decision, and in his opinion it is unfair. Isn’t this passing judgment on the work of the practical God? Or someone expended for God, and then suddenly enters a long illness, and is bedridden and paralyzed. Then he says, “I expended for God, so how could I get sick? If I am sick for long, how will I expend for God?” He complains about God, and isn’t complaining also passing judgment? To complain is exactly to pass judgment, and passing judgment includes complaining. The majority of the judgments made by God’s chosen people are in the nature of complaints, the majority of judgments that issue from the mouths of non-believers are condemnations, and the majority of judgments from the devil Satan are also condemnations. Isn’t this so? You see in the religious community that the antichrist passes judgment on the work of God, and this is the language of condemnation. As soon as words of condemnation are spoken, it is a hostile force, and that is the antichrist. The devil Satan’s evil power is to condemn the work of God; if God’s chosen people pass judgment on God, generally it is by complaints, and all of them are just notions. Isn’t that the case? During the Age of Law, the words that the 250 leaders spoke against Moses were complaints. Their meaning was: God speaks to you, Moses, and won’t He speak to us in the same way? He will also speak to us the same way! Is there anything wrong with these two sentences? On the surface there is no problem, but what is the hidden meaning in their words? What is the meaning that they didn’t express? “Why does God use you? How are you better than us? How are you higher than us? Why should we listen to you?” These are the hidden things, and what they said was in order to express this meaning. So these sentences are just not acceptable, they are passing judgment, and as a result God directly destroyed them. Isn’t that right? Did God speak the words that destroyed these 250 leaders, or did Moses speak them? On the surface it appears that Moses spoke the sentence, nor did Moses say, “Jehovah said this.” He did not speak to convey the words of God, rather he opened his mouth and spoke directly, so how did the earth just open up? What’s going on here? Sometimes the person God is using unknowingly speaks under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and this is called Holy Spirit’s direction, understand? In special circumstances and unusual occasions, the Holy Spirit directs him to speak, but this is not a rule. You can’t assume that everything said by someone used by God is directed by the Holy Spirit—that would be problematic. Most of his words are enlightened by the Holy Spirit, but they are not the direct voice of the Holy Spirit, nor governed by the Holy Spirit directly, just occasionally a very little bit in special circumstances. If what he said were always directed by the Holy Spirit, then it would be God speaking. Understand? You can’t set it as a rule that just because people used by God are occasionally directed to speak by the Holy Spirit, therefore everything they say is directed by the Holy Spirit. Did I say that? So isn’t that word “everything” a distortion of the truth? The Holy Spirit-directed speech is occasional, used once or twice in special circumstances, and you mustn’t mistake the everyday speech of someone used by God for the Holy Spirit’s direction. If you did so, you would be making a mistake and distorting the truth, and that would be outrageous.
The person who under no circumstances passes judgment on the work of God is the smartest, most intelligent person, who when there is anything he doesn’t understand, just prays to God seeking the truth. This is the most sensible person. After your seeking prayer is finished, at some time in the future you will be unconsciously awakened and unconsciously understand the thing that happened and then you will say: “Oh, fortunately I did not judge, what a close call! At that time I prayed, and when my prayer was finished, I said, we mustn’t judge what we can’t see through to!” You did not speak from your conceptions and you did not utter complaints, and you have been spared a death. Some people say: “Is this being spared a death? Aren’t you making a mountain out of a molehill? I’ve seen many religious people condemning and passing judgment, and they didn’t die.” Have you said such a thing? Do you say they haven’t really died? Can you guarantee that they haven’t really died? You cannot guarantee that, for in the view of God they have already been condemned, and they are dead. Some people, God will let them die now, this is to establish, an example, to kill one as an example to many. But most people, God lets them die later, in a disaster, and then it is finished. Understand? So why doesn’t God cause each resister to die at once? Why doesn’t God do that? If He did and many people died, it would not reveal others, and they would be afraid, and no one would resist. Would no resistance achieve the purpose? If someone still does not accept, that’s not as good as revealing him, is it? This is something to understand.
The second commandment states “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” What is “the man who is testified to by God” referring to? It’s referring to the man who is used by the Holy Spirit. First is “You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God” and second is “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” The first and second commandments are the most important, correct? A man’s attitude toward God is framed in the first, “You shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God.” The second is “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” That’s why during the Age of Law, God destroyed those who opposed the man who was testified to by God, the man who was used by God. These two commandments are also administrative decrees of the kingdom and they are placed as first and second commandments and they are most important. Previously it was said that you shall not pass judgment on the work of the practical God. And here the phrase used for the man who is testified to by God is “you shall not oppose.” Is there a difference between not opposing and not passing judgment? There is a difference. If there weren’t a difference, God would have said “you shall not pass judgment” again, but He did not. He said you shall not oppose. God makes a clear distinction between the attitude toward God and the attitude toward the man that God uses, right? That is to say, you only need not oppose the man who is testified to by God. Here, the requirement for obedience isn’t that high. “You shall not oppose,” or you shall not do those things that amount to opposition, and therein you will have upheld the commandment. Then, what are those things that are included as not opposing or what things do constitute opposing? Do you think that passing judgment is opposing then? Passing judgment is also opposing. Condemnation is even more opposing. Refusing is also opposing. Not listening is opposing, too. “Not opposing” doesn’t consist of just one practice. Several practices are involved. With regards to this, let’s have another look at what we most need to observe in experiencing God’s work. First, we must obey and accept the words that God proclaims. Second, important matters and all the administrative affairs and arrangement of work within God’s family are done by the man that God uses so that God says that none of the work done by the man He uses are to be opposed. This is especially practical, right? So you may not oppose and must be obedient toward all the administrative affairs and arrangement of work done by the man that God uses, the man who is testified to by God. Two things are most important in God’s family: First is to obey and accept God’s word and then experience it and put it into practice; second is to obey and listen to the work arrangement of God’s family and to the words and work of the man that God uses. Some people say: “Is it enough to only be obedient to the arrangement of work?” Is it only indicating this? If he deals with you, should you accept it? And if he disciplines you? And if he guides you or arranges for you to carry out some work? You must accept and be obedient to all. You may not oppose any of it. What does it mean to “not oppose”? To be obedient is to not oppose, right? If you can be obedient, that’s enough; this is to “not oppose.” If you are not obedient, then it can’t be said that you have upheld the commandment. You haven’t opposed, but you haven’t been obedient. There is resistance, right?
There are some people who oppose, such as those antichrists that directly judge the man used by the Holy Spirit. And in the end? They are all eliminated. Are they eliminated as soon as they begin to pass judgment? When they first start to judge, they are not eliminated. Rather it is always such that after they do evil for several years, the regions or the pastoral areas in God’s family where they stay are made fouled and God’s chosen people have no way forward and they are made to complain. Ultimately, God’s chosen people report to their superiors and from the report God’s family decides to make work arrangements to deal with them. If initially these people have some notions and some opposition but later they do their work well, communicate truth, and can bring God’s chosen people into the experience of God’s word, then can God’s chosen people still report them? Can they still complain? Can the church still be fouled? Definitely not. That is to say that when the antichrists’ disturbance reaches its zenith, the church is first made foul. Secondly, God’s chosen people don’t have a church life. Thirdly, God’s chosen people have no way forward in their life entry and are surrounded by darkness. This is the final result of the antichrists’ evil acts and is of the same nature as Satan’s corruption of mankind. Do you understand? So after several years of disturbance by the antichrists, God’s chosen people go to war with them. In the end it is clear: Antichrists indeed oppose God and do not accept truth at all. Everything antichrists do is indeed evil, harms God’s chosen people and disturbs and destroys God’s work. So, God’s family decides to issue work arrangement to expel the antichrists and to expose several expressions as well as the essence of the antichrists. When God’s chosen people check it against the antichrists, they will say, “This is truly how it is. It is not off the mark at all!” Are there any antichrists that really know themselves? No. Are there any antichrists that can communicate the reality of truth? No. Are there any antichrists that truly repent? No. Are there any antichrists that have the work of the Holy Spirit? No. You cannot find one. If you find one, then he’s not an antichrist. Isn’t this the way that it is? These people are those who oppose the man who is testified to by God and in the end their true colors are revealed and made clear and they are eliminated. So in the eyes of God, if you oppose the man who is testified to by God, what is the essence of the problem? The essence is to oppose God. You are complaining against God and you don’ t think God should use this person and should instead use you. That is the meaning that goes beyond your words. In saying this, you are saying that God is unjust, that God is unfair, and that God is not righteous, and in so doing isn’t that directly opposing God? This is direct opposition of God. So herein is the administrative regulation that “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” Some people ask whether this issue is really that serious. “We shall not pass judgment on God and shall not oppose Him. This is perfectly justifiable. What about that we shall not oppose the man God uses either? Is this excessive or not?” Some people do not understand what the will of God really is, right? The work of the administrative affairs of God’s family is done by the man whom the Holy Spirit uses. Providing and expressing truth is the work that Christ does. Each has the work to do, correct? You shall not oppose Christ nor the man used by the Holy Spirit. You are finished if you oppose either of them. If you oppose either of them, God will not save you or make you complete and the Holy Spirit will not work in you. Some say, “If we oppose either of them, how is it that the Holy Spirit then will not work in us?” If you are there opposing God, and the Holy Spirit is still working in you, then God’s words and the administrative decrees that God has laid down become words spoken in vain. They cannot be fulfilled and come into conflict with His deeds, right? So as soon as you oppose, the Holy Spirit stops working in you, which proves that these are the Holy Spirit’s words. If you go against the words of the Holy Spirit, how can the Holy Spirit work in you? If you oppose the Holy Spirit’s words here, how can the Holy Spirit bless you there? Is it even possible for Him to say that you were correct in your opposition? Is it still possible for Him to enlighten and illuminate you? Then wouldn’t the Holy Spirit just be disturbing His own work? Do you understand this now?
The result of contradicting the commandment “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God” is also serious. One is that you shall not pass judgment nor oppose the work of the practical God, and one is that you shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God. These two are the most important commandments. If you oppose either of them, you are finished. Previously I dealt with some people. Because the people of God’s family are all corrupted so deeply by Satan before returning to God, so how could they not be deceitful in doing things? How can their intent not be adulterated? How can their personal motive not exist? Some people have gone too far in their actions, so I dealt with them and kept on dealing with them. At first it was as if I were using a needle on them, but they didn’t feel it. Then when I used an awl, it hurt badly and they reacted, saying out loud: “I obey God and I believe in God.” There is nothing wrong with the literal meaning of these words, right? They said that they believed in God and not man, and they obeyed God and not man. But the meaning behind the words is: “You are not God so I won’t listen to you or accept you.” So then in saying this, are their words in opposition? These words constitute opposition. Is such opposition more serious than that of the words of the 250 leaders who opposed Moses? This offends the second commandment of “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” Some people say: “If the man who is testified to by God makes a mistake, then should we oppose him?” Is there anyone who says we “should”? Or do they say that “Should we still not oppose him if he commits errors”? If people say: “We should not oppose if no error has been committed, and we should oppose if an error is committed,” is there any basis for these words? Did God say this, that if he commits a mistake, you should oppose him, but if he does not make a mistake, you should not oppose him? God didn’t say this. What did God say? “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” This indicates that regardless of whether he errs or not, you shall not oppose him in either case. Do you understand? Some say: “Then if the man who is testified to by God does not take the right path, should we oppose him?” God says, “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” This doesn’t say whether you should oppose him if he has erred, not at all. It simply requires that you shall not oppose him. This is already clear. It matters not whether he commits an error and it matters not when. You shall not oppose this person. In opposing him you will be violating this commandment and you will be offending God’s disposition.
Are there any other questions? With regards to “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God,” if you encounter such and such a circumstance, or if there is something that comes out of a circumstance, shall you oppose? Are there still these kinds of questions? “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God” means that you shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God regardless of any circumstance. This is what it means, right? If you oppose him, you offend God’s disposition. This is God’s decree. Then there are some that say: “Does opposing him represent my opposition to God? Does opposing this person equate to opposing God? I think not.” Does the question come up? Do you think that opposing the man who is testified to by God equals opposing God? When one is dissatisfied with the man who is testified to by God, one is actually complaining that God is unrighteous and that God should not use this person. These are words of complaint against God. They are directed at God. He is not only dissatisfied with this person. His dissatisfaction includes dissatisfaction toward God, correct? So God’s words here have a very deep meaning. In the Age of Law, God used Moses and there were those who opposed Moses. After they opposed him, what happened? God directly destroyed them, leaving not a trace of them. The earth swallowed them up and they went directly to Hell. Not even their clothing or shoes remained behind. All went directly to Hell. This commandment “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God” shall not be violated!” Some are not happy with him. They say: “Opposing a person does not equate to opposing God. I am not happy with him and am dissatisfied with him so I will oppose him and see what will happen.” Then you give opposing this person a try and see. As long as you do not disturb the work of God’s family, I will leave you alone. You can see what the Holy Spirit will do. When the time comes, you will see what you’ll end up with, and you will understand the conclusion.
The third commandment states, “Before God, you shall keep your place and shall not be dissolute.” People are created beings and God is the Lord of creation. What sense must people possess in the presence of God? They must at least adhere to the commandment “you shall keep your place and shall not be dissolute.” There is no need to speak of anything else for this sentence sums it up. What sense should people possess in the presence of God? That is to keep your place and not be dissolute. What is keeping one’s place? It is maintaining one’s duty and one’s status, maintaining what one ought to do, maintaining one’s identity as a created being and not crossing the line. What does “in the presence of God” mean? It means in the presence of Christ, in the presence of the flesh of God. Right? What do people manifest and what ought they do in the presence of the flesh of God? Firstly, keep their place and secondly, not be dissolute. These are the principles by which people live in the presence of God—“you shall keep your place and shall not be dissolute.” Some people do not make a sound in the presence of God. God asks them: “What are you doing?” “Keeping my place and not being dissolute.” Is this right? Some people say it is not right. Why is it not right? “When one has no words, one cannot speak carelessly. Close their eyes and pray, keep their place and do not be dissolute. If one does not pray, can one guarantee not to be dissolute?” This way is not normal, is that not right? To keep one’s place and not be dissolute in the presence of God is not asking you to close your eyes and not think of anything nor do anything. It is to have normal humanity and sense. Whatever God asks you, answer. If you have some difficulties, you can say them too. Whatever God wants to hear, you should say. For example, if God says: “How is the situation with your church?” If you know then say. If God asks you: “What duty are you doing?” then say what the duty is that you are doing. If asked, “How many people amongst your brothers and sisters do you have frequent contact with? How well do they do their duty?” then speak truthfully. If God discovers some problems and conveys the truth to you to solve them, then accept it. Listen carefully. Do not always open your eyes and look here and there and everywhere, with a wandering mind. This will not do. “Before God, you shall keep your place” means, we are people and we must maintain our duty and our status and not cross the line and not treat God as an equal. Moreover, do not be dissolute. To be dissolute is to act freely, saying and doing whatever you want. This will not do. You must let God know with one look that, “This person has humanity and this person speaks honestly,” “This person is very considerate and really has sense.” If God makes this appraisal of you, then you are someone who has humanity, who is of good humanity, who has sense and who is of good caliber. God chats with someone for a while and he gets annoyed. “You still gossip. Why do You not communicate the truth? I will not listen.” And so he will not listen. As soon as God communicates the truth, he will quickly take a notebook and make a note and when God goes, he snaps the book shut, throws the book aside and it is over. He is just going through a process. This kind of person is a hypocrite, not someone who keeps their place. “Before God, you shall keep your place and shall not be dissolute.” Now you understand this sentence. Some people act like they are keeping their place in the presence of God, but their situation is not normal. They look at God but feel strange so are on guard. “Is this how God is? Oh! Why is God so ordinary?” They stare at God and continuously study Him, with their eyes blank, in a daze. As soon as God sees this, He feels repugnance. Why does God feel repugnance? It seems like this person distrusts God in every way. They previously had too many notions and imaginations about God. They do not feel intimate upon seeing God, nor a sense of being one family. If, when usually experiencing God’s work, one views God as so likeable, then upon seeing God they will feel moved, happy, excited and relieved! Seeing that this person is like a stranger to God, it seems that he never truly knew God before, nor had a good impression of Him, much less loved Him, so he feels like a stranger upon seeing Him and peering at Him. Then he is problematic. This is the third commandment.
The fourth commandment is, “You should be moderate in speech, and your words and actions must follow the arrangements of the man testified to by God.” “You should be moderate in speech” is speaking in a more principled manner, based on the facts and the real situation, not based on imagination, following as one wishes and saying whatever one wishes to say. Such people often understand the truth more and do things in a more principled manner, so they are able to speak in a measured manner, right? In addition, “your words and actions must follow the arrangements of the man testified to by God” refers to following work arrangements. Sometimes when speaking together, you say whatever people ask and when not asked, you do not speak groundlessly. Is this way of speaking principled? It is speaking in a principled manner. There are some principles for how one does one’s duty, how one cooperates with people, how one speaks and how one preaches. Are they all arranged by God’s family? They are arranged and also written down. There are more verbal communications about them because brothers and sisters mention practical problems with them more. So I often communicate them. People must follow the work arrangements and communication of God’s family in what they do and say. This is the fourth commandment.
The fifth commandment is, “You should revere the testimony of God. You shall not ignore the work of God and the words from His mouth.” “You should revere the testimony of God” is keeping a God-fearing heart in one’s approach to God’s witness. Look at the man whom God has testified and you will see that he looks inconspicuous, that he is not so tall, nor does he have so much knowledge or authority. He is not like that. He looks ordinary, too ordinary. But how is he different to the average person? He has the Holy Spirit’s work and is used by the Holy Spirit. This is how he is better than the average person. Can people who are particularly talented or gifted be better than the man used by the Holy Spirit? It will not do to have talent. He is used by the Holy Spirit! Being used by the Holy Spirit is the work done by God. What is to be achieved by the Holy Spirit doing this stage of work is, on the one hand, uttering the words of God and on the other hand, it is achieved in the man whom God uses. To achieve outcomes in the man whom the Holy Spirit uses, there must be enough enlightenment and illumination to enable him to communicate it and only by doing so can God’s chosen people enter the reality of the truth of God’s words. So there are some people who appear more talented, more intelligent and of better caliber, but they are not higher than the man the Holy Spirit uses. He has the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, which those who are gifted do not have. There is no comparison between the two. Is this a fact? Many people have knowledge, culture and are of good caliber, but when you ask them to fellowship the truth or to do something, as soon as they do, their poor pitiable look of not having the truth is exposed. But the man whom God uses looks inconspicuous, but as soon as he fellowships the words of God and the truth, then it is clear that he really has insight and he really has reality and can really explain to you clearly, to let you have a way forward. Can ordinary people compare? Even scientists cannot compare, they cannot do this work. If you do not believe this then ask a scientist to fellowship the words of God; can they do it? Will it work if you ask the most talented pastor who is best at preaching from the Age of Grace to fellowship the words of God? He does not have experiences. He has no experiences of God’s judgment and chastisement from the Age of Kingdom, nor does he have experiences of God’s last days’ work. No matter how they fellowship the words of God, it will not do. Is that the case? You have some experiences; can you fellowship these words of God? Some people have twenty years’ experiences but can they fellowship it well? Some people have thirty years’ experiences, but can they fellowship it well? None of them can. Why is this? What the Holy Spirit does in ordinary people is different to what He does in the man whom the Holy Spirit uses. So the fellowship of God’s words is not just talking about the literal words and that is it. If I explain to you the literal meaning, you will not be willing to listen. “This is of no use. We can all explain this ourselves.” But as soon as I talk about the inside story, you listen and say, “Oh! How did I not realize? I didn’t think of this. Your fellowship is practical. You do not explain the literal words. As soon as you communicate practical issues, practical problems and practical circumstances, we have nothing and cannot communicate anything.” This is the difference. Is that the case? This is not a simple matter.
“You should revere the testimony of God.” That is, you must obey God’s testimony with a God-fearing heart. Do not think that God’s testimony is a common matter, for it is terrible and related to the administrative decrees of the kingdom! This is an important matter, not an ordinary matter! Now you cannot understand but one day you will understand how significant this testimony is and why God wants to do so. God tells people, “You should revere the testimony of God.” Not only does this contain God’s wisdom and God’s intentions, but also some mysteries! We cannot explain these things, but can understand them in the future. Look at this person, how can he be so lucky? It is not luck, it is pre-determined by God. Do you know what someone appearing lucky means in the spiritual world? Do you know where this person originates? Do you know where he comes from or where he is going? Do you know what will happen to him in this life and after death? You do not know. There is mystery in this. You say Peter is a fisherman, but what is Peter’s background? What did the Lord Jesus say? Why did the Lord Jesus love Peter? That is based on the pre-life! In the words of man, it is called fate and is pre-determined. Peter was originally from heaven, in the kingdom of heaven and has served God in His presence. He came to earth with God to experience God’s work. God perfected him and took him back. His original origin is different. Is this a mystery? If you only look at appearance and say, “Your appearance is not as good as mine, nor is your family is good as mine, so why does God use you?” then you are wrong and you do not understand spiritual matters. Is this the case? To put it bluntly, it is a different origin. The spiritual world is dominated and arranged by God. How are people’s children produced? This is related to one’s pre-life. There are laws determined by God for all of this. In the spiritual world God arranges these laws and sends spirits. Which spirit is sent to be reincarnated as whose child is arranged by God in the spiritual world and there is also arrangement in the material world. Do you understand? So there is mystery in God saying, “You should revere the testimony of God.” The meaning is that you must not view this matter as a simple matter, nor judge it based on your notions and imaginations. That has nothing to do with the matter and is not the case. “You shall not ignore the work of God and the words from His mouth.” What does “You shall not ignore” mean? It means you must not view God’s work and the words from God’s mouth as a simple matter. Do not treat God’s words as ordinary words. Every one of God’s words is meaningful and purposeful. God’s work is even less of a simple matter. It contains God’s wisdom and ingenious arrangements even more. So the words mention, “You shall not ignore the work of God and the words from His mouth.” People should not view this as a simple matter. People must not view God’s work and the words of God based on their notions and imaginations. If you do so, it is easy to make mistakes and offend God’s disposition.
The sixth commandment is, “You shall not imitate the tone and aims of God’s utterances.” Why can one not imitate? To imitate the tone and aims of God’s utterances is not devout! It is to impersonate! This kind of thing makes God despise people and is the kind of thing that God finds most loathsome. Do you understand? If you do not understand, then the moment you imitate you will invoke God’s anger. For example, when children educated by their mother imitate their mother’s words and say them for their mother to hear, as soon as their mother hears them she says, “Oh, you didn’t take my words seriously but imitated them! Are you ridiculing me?” Tell me what does their mother think of them? She says: “This is not a likeable child, he is really detestable! He was born to go against me! This is an archenemy!” He is in trouble and the mother cannot love this child because he is not normally naughty. To imitate the tone and aims of God’s utterances has the meaning of blasphemy, does it not? Is it not terrible to have blasphemy as the meaning? So God sets this commandment, “You shall not imitate the tone and aims of God’s utterances.” Do not imitate. Why can we not imitate? It is what God hates and loathes the most. As soon as you imitate, God will extremely hate and loathe you and you will encounter some retribution and the Holy Spirit will not do work in you. Let’s dissect this. What does your imitation mean? That you want to stand in God’s position and let people look up to you as God. Is this what is suspected? It is that you want to be God and to be on an equal footing with God and be equal to God, that you want to do God’s work and to impersonate God to speak and do things. You are under suspicion of being Satan, as Satan was like this so God hit it into the air, on the earth. People cannot see through this so God said a sentence as an administrative decree for you to keep to. If you keep to it, you will be blessed by God. If you do not, then however much God hates Satan He will hate you the same, because this is the practice of Satan. Do you understand?
The seventh commandment is, “Externally, you shall not do anything that manifestly opposes the man who is testified to by God.” What does this sentence mean? Previously it was said, “You shall not oppose the man who is testified to by God.” Then here it is said, “Externally, you shall not do anything that manifestly opposes the man who is testified to by God.” This is another situation. Some people are ignorant and foolish, slow to accept the truth and always have notions about the man whom the Holy Spirit uses, which makes them unable to not oppose the man whom God has testified to. So here God has lowered the standard slightly. “Externally, you shall not do anything that manifestly opposes the man who is testified to by God.” That is, things which are not obvious or are hidden in your heart are still passable and God will not condemn you. If you do something that is obvious, say the words and do it, then this will offend God’s disposition and God will condemn you. This commandment is God having a little compassion and tolerance for people again, is it not? You see, some people have notions on the man whom God uses or do not obey him, but if you have notions and are disobedient, then do not do things which obviously oppose God. If you do obvious things, then God will condemn you. If you do not do obvious things, then God will tolerate you and will not condemn you. Some people say: “What is meant by obvious things?” If it is something which everyone can see, then you are opposing the man whom God has testified to. This is obvious. The majority of people cannot see that you are opposing the man who is testified by God; it may appear at most that you have some notions, but not that you oppose him and this is still okay and still passable. We shall take what the majority of people can see as the boundary. “Externally you shall not do” means inside there are some things, which is fine, but you cannot do them externally. For example, God’s family’s work arrangements stipulate the expulsion of antichrists, but you think that this should not be so, “I will not expel them and I will not do as this work arrangement requires!” Is this obvious? This is obvious. It is obviously contrary to the work arrangements. Or there are some people who say something to cover up and defend the antichrist. The above determines that the person they are speaking about is an antichrist and a wicked person. They say, “I do not think he is an antichrist or a wicked person.” This is so obvious and an overt opposition! If you say, “I have not yet seen whether he is an antichrist or a wicked person, so let’s observe for a little while,” then is this deemed to be obvious? It is not. You did not observe, nor see, so you cannot groundlessly do so and must wait and see. You can only do this until the majority of people are able to recognize it and the above does not force people, right? This is what it means. “Externally, you shall not do anything that manifestly opposes the man who is testified to by God.” Is the differentiation between manifestly and not manifestly clear? And what things are manifest? If you convey fellowship how you view the person who is used by God, but you have notions about him in your heart, what should you do? If you voice your notions directly, this is bad and is obvious. “I have notions that I cannot make sense of and I do not speak them.” This is not obvious. Right? If you have notions, you must pray in your heart and seek. But do not do anything that manifestly opposes the man who is testified to by God. Some people believe Satan, the devil’s rumors. As soon as they believe them, there are consequences. They manifestly oppose the man who is testified to by God. Manifestly opposing the man who is testified to by God is troublesome and offends God’s disposition.
Above, we have fellowshiped seven commandments. As follows, God said: “And so on. These are what each person should adhere to.” What does “each person should adhere to” mean? It means that if you believe in Almighty God, you should adhere and if you do not believe in Almighty God, you do not need to adhere and if asked to adhere, you will not be able to. In addition, God’s family does not ask this of you and nor does God. God asks that those who believe adhere to these things, so this is what every person who believes in Almighty God should adhere to. Some people say: “I do not adhere, I have just started to believe.” That is your own view. God said that every person should adhere to this. If there really are people who do not adhere to this and commit an offense, what are the consequences? They are self-inflicted! God said that this should be abided by by everyone, so abide by this continuously. The Spirit of God is observing and says that this person adheres to the commandments and abandons all of the commandments of the Age of Grace. He adheres to all of the commandments of the Age of Kingdom and does not miss any of them. This person is considerate of God’s will. This person is in pursuit of the truth and takes the words of God seriously and does whatever God says. Such people are blessed by God. Do people who do not take the commandments which God promulgated seriously have God-fearing hearts? Do they obey God’s work? Such people are non-believers! Now all of the commandments of the Age of Grace do not have to be adhered to, but the new age commandments of the Age of Kingdom promulgated by God must be adhered to. Some people say: “I adhere to some commandments and not to others.” You say it is not necessary to adhere to them, but can you violate them? If you cannot violate them, then it is okay if you do not adhere to them. If you are capable of violating them, then you must adhere to them. Is this the case? Some people say: “I only adhere to them. If I do not pursue the truth can I adhere to them?” It is not easy to say whether or not you can adhere to them if you do not pursue the truth. It depends on the person. Some people can adhere, and some cannot. It is similar to not stealing. What kind of people can adhere to this? People who have humanity and who have a conscience can adhere to this. They would rather die or starve to death than steal. But the majority of people cannot do it and do not adhere. There are some rules which people can adhere to if they have humanity, a good caliber and a heart. Those who do not have humanity, have a poor caliber and are heartless are unreasonable fellows and cannot adhere to them. Some people say: “If all of these commandments can be adhered to, then what is the point in pursuing the truth?” Is this right? No, this is wrong. The pursuit of the truth is to understand God. If you do not pursue the truth, then you will never truly know God and will only be able to echo the views of others and speak empty words. But if you have humanity, you can adhere to some commandments. Look at the Israelites who have adhered to Saturdays being a day of rest for three thousand years and who do no work on this day. Why can you not adhere to these commandments? People can adhere to them. Is that not the case? Some people adhere to honoring their parents and some people adhere to offering ten percent to God as a tribute. What does this show? If people have humanity and the will, then they can adhere to these commandments and rules. If they do not have humanity and the will then they do not adhere to that which they ought to. Is that not so? So these commandments can all be adhered to without needing to understand the truth and as long as you truly believe in God, have confidence in God and have the will then they can all be adhered to. So are these commandments easy to adhere to if you pursue the truth? When you truly understand the truth and have a God-fearing heart, you will put them into practice even if you do not adhere to them and will not violate them. Isn’t it that you still have not gotten the truth? If you do not have the truth, then adhere to them and if you have the truth you do not need to consciously adhere to them and you will not violate.
You see, there are many people who say: “I cannot speak freely; as soon as I do so, I do nothing but talk lies and nonsense. So when I gather to preach, I have to write a script. If I write a script and read it out, it is guaranteed I will not go wrong. If I am asked to speak freely as my heart desires and talk off the top of my head then it will certainly all be nonsense.” Are there such people? They can only speak what their hearts are filled with and say whatever their heart is full of. If their hearts are full of lies and nonsense then the majority of what they say will surely be lies and nonsense. I fellowship the truth and the words of God to you. Is this talking off the top of my head? Am I writing articles and reading them? Talking off the top of my head like this, which words are incorrect? Which words are lies? Are there any? So I feel relaxed and happy, not tired, when I speak to you, do things and preach sermons. What does this mean? When you understand lots of truths, if you are asked to judge, you do not judge, is that not so? If you are asked to come before God, you would not be dissolute either because you are devout before people so can you be dissolute in the presence of God? You speak in line with the truth before people, so under what circumstances could you be dissolute and talk nonsense? You do not speak groundlessly, or contra-factually. As soon as you speak, it is facts, the truth and words from the heart that come out. You categorically do not say other people’s words. It is tiring, meaningless and uninteresting to imitate other people’s words. You only speak your own words or quote the words of God. Is this not a matter of life? So in the pursuit of the truth, as soon as you recognize God, have a God-fearing heart and also understand many truths, everything you say and do will be in a principled manner, you will not need to adhere to rules, but will naturally be able to adhere to them. Is this the case? Should you adhere before you have the truth? You should and must adhere. How well do you need to adhere before you do not need to be careful to adhere? Once you understand the truth and have a God-fearing heart and become an honest person, you will not need to painstakingly adhere. Once people become honest people, if you ask them to talk nonsense, they are unable to and if you ask them to tell lies, they feel uncomfortable. They won’t tell lies again. So is it easy to adhere to the commandments? If you have the will and humanity then you can adhere and then, coupled with an understanding of some truths, and a God-fearing heart, you will become more and more relaxed, will adhere to them more and more easily and will not violate them.