The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan
How do you grasp the specifics in spirit? How does the Holy Spirit work in man? How does Satan work in man? How do evil spirits work in man? And what are the manifestations of this work? When something happens to you, does it come from the Holy Spirit, and should you obey it, or reject it? People’s actual practice gives rise to much that is of human will yet which people always believe to come from the Holy Spirit. Some comes from evil spirits, yet still people think it is born of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes the Holy Spirit guides people from within, yet people are afraid that such guidance comes from Satan, and do not dare to obey, when in reality it is the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Thus, without differentiation there is no way to experience when such experiences are actually happening to you, and without differentiation, there is no way of gaining life. How does the Holy Spirit work? How do evil spirits work? What comes from the will of man? And what is born of the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit? If you grasp the rules of the Holy Spirit’s work within man, then you will be able to grow your knowledge and differentiate in your daily life and during your actual experiences; you will come to know God, you will be able to understand Satan, you will not be confused in your obedience or pursuit, and you will be someone whose thoughts are clear, and who obeys the work of the Holy Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit is a form of proactive guidance and positive enlightenment. It does not allow people to be passive. It brings them solace, gives them faith and resolve and it enables them to pursue being made perfect by God. When the Holy Spirit works, people are able to actively enter; they are not passive or forced, but are proactive. When the Holy Spirit works, people are glad and willing, and they are willing to obey, and happy to humble themselves, and even though they are pained and fragile inside, they have the resolve to cooperate, they suffer gladly, they are able to obey, and they are untainted by human will, untainted by the thinking of man, and are certainly untainted by human desires and motivations. When people experience the work of the Holy Spirit, they are especially holy inside. Those who are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit live out the love of God, the love of their brothers and sisters, and delight in the things that delight God, and loathe the things that God loathes. People who are touched by the work of the Holy Spirit have normal humanity, and they are possessed of humanity and constantly pursue the truth. When the Holy Spirit works within people, their conditions become better and better, and their humanity becomes more and more normal, and though some of their cooperation may be foolish, their motivations are right, their entry is positive, they do not try to interrupt, and there is no malevolence within them. The work of the Holy Spirit is normal and real, the Holy Spirit works in man according to the rules of the normal life of man, and He enlightens and guides in people according to the actual pursuit of normal people. When the Holy Spirit works in people, He guides and enlightens them according to the needs of normal people, He provides for them based on their needs, and He positively guides and enlightens them based upon what they lack, and upon their deficiencies; when the Holy Spirit works, this work is in consonance with the rules of the normal life of man, and it is only in real life that people are able to see the work of the Holy Spirit. If, in their everyday lives, people are in a positive state and have a normal spiritual life, then they are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit. In such a state, when they eat and drink the words of God they have faith, when they pray they are inspired, when something happens to them they aren’t passive, and as it is happening to them they are able to see the lessons that God requires them to learn, and they are not passive, or weak, and although they have real difficulties, they are willing to obey all the arrangements of God.
What effects are achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit? You can be foolish, and there can be no differentiation within you, but the Holy Spirit has but to work for there to be faith in you, for you to always feel that you can’t love God enough, for you to be willing to cooperate, to be willing to cooperate no matter how great the difficulties ahead. Things will happen to you and it won’t be clear to you whether they come from God or from Satan, but you will be able to wait, and you will be neither passive or remiss. This is the normal work of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit works within them, people still encounter real difficulties, sometimes they cry, and sometimes there are things that they can’t overcome, but this is all a stage of the ordinary work of the Holy Spirit. Although they do not overcome those things, and although, at the time, they are weak and make complaints, afterward they are still able to love God with absolute faith. Their passiveness cannot stop them having normal experiences, and regardless of what other people say, and how they attack them, still they are able to love God. During prayer, they always feel that they used to be so indebted to God, and they resolve to satisfy God and renounce the flesh when they encounter such things again. This strength shows there is the work of the Holy Spirit within them, and this is the normal state of the work of the Holy Spirit.
What work comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions in people are vague and abstract, and they are without normal humanity, the motivations behind their actions are wrong, and although they wish to love God, there are always accusations within them, and these accusations and thoughts are always interfering within them, constraining the growth of their life, and stopping them from having normal conditions before God. Which is to say, as soon as there is the work of Satan within people, their hearts can’t be at peace before God, they don’t know what to do with themselves, the sight of an assembly makes them want to run away, and they are unable to close their eyes when others pray. The work of evil spirits wrecks the normal relationship between man and God, and upsets people’s previous visions and the path that their life has entered upon, in their hearts they can never draw close to God, things always happen that cause disruption to them and enshackle them, and their hearts cannot find peace, leaving no strength to their love of God, and making their spirits sink downward. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The work of Satan is manifested in the following: being unable to stand your ground and stand witness, causing you to become someone who is at fault before God, and who has no faithfulness toward God. At the interference from Satan, you lose the love and loyalty toward God within you, you are stripped of a normal relationship with God, you do not pursue the truth, or the improvement of yourself, you regress, and become passive, you indulge yourself, you give free rein to the spread of sin, and are not hateful of sin; furthermore, the interference of Satan makes you dissolute, it causes God’s touch to disappear within you, and makes you complain about God and oppose Him, leading you to question God, and there is even the risk of you leaving God. All this is of the work of Satan.
When something happens to you in your daily life, how should you differentiate between whether it comes from the work of the Holy Spirit or from the work of Satan? When people’s conditions are normal, their spiritual lives and their lives in the flesh are normal, and their reason is normal and orderly; generally what they experience and come to know within themselves at this time can be said to come from being touched by the Holy Spirit (having insights or possessing some shallow knowledge when you eat and drink the words of God, or being faithful when things happen to you, or having the strength to love God when things happen—these are all of the Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit’s work in man is especially normal; man is incapable of feeling it, and it seems to be through man himself—but in fact it is the work of the Holy Spirit. In daily life, the Holy Spirit does work both great and small in everyone, and it is simply that the extent of this work varies. Some people are of good caliber, they understand things quickly, and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is especially great within them; some people are of poor caliber, and it takes them longer to understand things, but the Holy Spirit touches them inside, and they, too, are able to achieve faithfulness to God—the Holy Spirit works in all those who pursue God. When, in daily life, people do not oppose God, or rebel against God, do not do things that are at odds with the management of God, and do not interfere with the work of God, in each one of them the Spirit of God works to a greater or lesser extent, and touches them, enlightens them, gives them faith, gives them strength, and moves them to enter proactively, not being lazy or coveting the enjoyments of the flesh, willing to practice the truth, and longing for the words of God—all this is work that comes from the Holy Spirit.
When people’s state is not normal, they are forsaken by the Holy Spirit, there is grumbling within them, their motivations are wrong, they are lazy, they indulge in the flesh, and their hearts rebel against the truth, and all of this comes from Satan. When people’s conditions are not normal, when they are dark inside and have lost their normal reason, have been forsaken by the Holy Spirit, and are unable to grasp God within themselves, this is when Satan is working within them. If people always have strength within them and always love God, then generally when things happen to them they come from the Holy Spirit, and whoever they meet is the result of the arrangements of God. Which is to say, when your conditions are normal, when you are in the great work of the Holy Spirit, then it is impossible for Satan to make you waver; upon this foundation it can be said that everything comes from the Holy Spirit, and although you may have incorrect thoughts, you are able to renounce them, and do not follow them. All this comes from the work of the Holy Spirit. In what situations does Satan interfere? When your conditions are not normal, when you have not been touched by God, and are without the work of God, and you are dry and barren inside, when you pray to God but grasp nothing, and eat and drink the words of God but are not enlightened or illuminated—at such times it is easy for Satan to work within you. In other words, when you have been abandoned by the Holy Spirit and you cannot grasp God, then many things happen to you that come from the temptation of Satan. Satan works at the same time as the Holy Spirit works, and interferes in man at the same time as the Holy Spirit touches the inside of man; at such times, however, the work of the Holy Spirit takes the leading position, and people whose conditions are normal can triumph, which is the triumph of the work of the Holy Spirit over the work of Satan. Yet when the Holy Spirit works, there is very little work of Satan; when the Holy Spirit works there is still a disobedient disposition within people, and all that was originally in them is still there, but with the work of the Holy Spirit it is easy for people to know the essential things of them and their rebellious disposition toward God—although they can only rid themselves of them during gradual work. The work of the Holy Spirit is especially normal, and as He works in people they still have troubles, they still cry, they still suffer, they are still weak, and there is still much that is unclear to them, yet in such a state they are able to stop themselves sliding backward, and can love God, and although they cry and are distressed inside, they are still able to praise God; the work of the Holy Spirit is especially normal, and not the slightest bit supernatural. Most people believe that, as soon as the Holy Spirit begins to work, changes occur in people’s state and the essential things of them are removed. Such beliefs are fallacious. When the Holy Spirit works within man, the passive things of man are still there and his stature remains the same, but he has the illumination and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, his state is more proactive, the conditions within him are normal, and he changes rapidly. In people’s real experiences, they primarily experience the work of either the Holy Spirit or Satan, and if they are unable to get a hold over these states, and do not differentiate, then real experiences are out of the question, to say nothing of changes in disposition. Thus, the key to experiencing God is being able to see through to such things; in this way, it will be easier for them to experience.
The work of the Holy Spirit is proactive progress, while the work of Satan is regression and passivity, disobedience toward God, opposition to God, loss of faith in God, and unwillingness to even sing songs or get up and dance. That which comes from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is not forced upon you, but is especially natural. If you follow it, you will have the truth, and if you don’t, then afterward there will be reproach. If it is the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, then nothing you do will be interfered with or constrained, you will be set free, there will be a path to practice in your actions, and you will not be subject to any restraints, and be able to act upon the will of God. The work of Satan brings many things that cause interference to you, it makes you unwilling to pray, too lazy to eat and drink the words of God, and undisposed to live the life of the church, and it estranges you from the spiritual life. The work of the Holy Spirit does not interfere with your daily life, and does not interfere with your entry into a normal spiritual life. In many things that happen to you, you are unable to differentiate at the time. After a few days, however, you live out a little, and manifest a little, and there are some reactions within you, and through these manifestations you are able to tell whether the thoughts within you come from God or from Satan. Some things clearly make you oppose God and rebel against God, or stop you from putting the words of God into practice, and these things all come from Satan. Some things are not apparent, and you can’t tell what they are at the time; afterward, when you have seen their manifestations, you can tell which come from Satan and which are directed by the Holy Spirit. Having clearly discerned such things, you won’t easily be led astray in your experiences. Sometimes, when your conditions are not good, you have certain thoughts that take you out of your passive state—which shows that when your conditions are unfavorable, some of your thoughts can also come from the Holy Spirit. It is not the case that when you are passive, all your thoughts are sent by Satan; if that were true, then when would you be able to turn to a positive state? Having been passive for a period of time, the Holy Spirit gives you an opportunity to be made perfect, He touches you, and brings you out of your passive state.
Knowing what the work of the Holy Spirit is, and what the work of Satan is, you can compare these to your own state during your experiences, and to your own experiences, and in this way there will be many more truths relating to principle in your experiences. Having understood these things, you will be able to control your actual state, and will be able to have discernment in people and things that happen to you,[a] and you won’t have to spend so much effort in gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course, that’s as long as your motivations are right, and as long as you are willing to seek, and to practice. Language such as this—language which relates to principles—should feature in your experiences. Without it, your experiences will be full of the interference of Satan, and full of foolish knowledge. If you don’t understand how the Holy Spirit works, then you don’t understand how you are to enter, and if you don’t understand how Satan works, then you don’t understand how you are to be cautious in your footsteps. People should understand both how the Holy Spirit works and how Satan works; they are an indispensable part of people’s experiences.
Although you believe in nothing but God, do you have a normal relationship with God? Some people say all that matters is that they have a normal relationship with God, and they don’t concern themselves with their relationships with others. But how is a normal relationship with God manifested? Are such people not without the slightest actual knowledge? Why is it said that the extent of your resolve to love God, and whether you have truly renounced the flesh, depends on whether you are prejudiced toward your brothers and sisters, and on whether, if you are, you can push such prejudices aside. Which is to say, when your relationship with your brothers and sisters is normal, then your conditions before God are also normal. When one of your brothers and sisters is weak, you will not loathe them, despise them, make fun of them, or give them the cold shoulder. If you are able to be of service to them, you will commune with them and say, “I used to be passive and weak. I really did not want to attend an assembly, but something happened through which God enlightened me inside and disciplined me; I was reproached inside, I was so ashamed, and I always felt sorry toward God. Afterward, I dedicated myself to the life of the church, and the more I engaged with my brothers and sisters, the more I felt I couldn’t do without God. When I was with them I didn’t feel lonely; when I was shut in a room by myself I felt lonely and friendless, I felt that my life was empty, and my thoughts turned to death. Now that I was with my brothers and sisters, Satan did not dare to do its work, and I did not feel lonely. When I saw how strong the love for God of my brothers and sisters was, I was inspired, and so I was always with my brothers and sisters, and my passive state naturally disappeared.” Hearing this, they feel that it is useless to pray at home, they still feel that there is no love between their brothers and sisters, that their life is empty, that they have no one to rely upon, and that it’s not enough to merely pray. If you commune with them this way, then they will have a path by which to practice. If you feel you are unable to provide to them, then you can pay them a visit. This doesn’t have to be done by the church leader—it is the responsibility of every brother and sister to do this work. If you see that a brother or sister is in a bad state, you should pay them a visit. This is the responsibility of every one of you.
a. The original text omits “that happen to you.”