The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan
How does one come to understand the details of spirit? How does the Holy Spirit work in man? How does Satan work in man? How do evil spirits work in man? What are the manifestations? When something happens to you, does it come from the Holy Spirit, and should you obey it or reject it? In people’s actual practice, much arises from human will that people invariably believe comes from the Holy Spirit. Some things come from evil spirits, yet still people think they have come from the Holy Spirit, and sometimes the Holy Spirit guides people from within, yet people are afraid that such guidance comes from Satan and so do not dare to obey, when in reality that guidance is the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Thus, unless one practices differentiation, then there is no way to experience in one’s practical experience; without differentiation, there is no way of gaining life. How does the Holy Spirit do work? How do evil spirits do 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 patterns of the Holy Spirit’s work within man, then, in your daily life and during your practical experiences, you will be able to grow your knowledge and draw distinctions; you will come to know God, you will be able to understand and discern Satan; you will not be confused in your obedience or pursuit, and you will be someone whose thoughts are clear, 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 enables them to pursue being made perfect by God. When the Holy Spirit works, people are able to enter actively; they are not passive or forced, but act at their own initiative. When the Holy Spirit works, people are glad and willing, willing to obey and happy to humble themselves. 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 certainly they are 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 and the love of their brothers and sisters; they 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 constantly pursue the truth and are possessed of humanity. When the Holy Spirit works within people, their condition becomes 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 cause disruption, 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 carries out enlightenment and guidance within 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 according to their needs, and He positively guides and enlightens them according to what they lack, and according to their deficiencies. When the Holy Spirit works, this work is in accordance with the patterns 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 proper 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 they come up against something, they are not passive; and as things happen, they are able to see the lessons within those things that God requires them to learn. 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 may be foolish, and you may be devoid of discernment, but the Holy Spirit has but to work and there will be faith in you, and you will feel always that you cannot love God enough. You will be willing to cooperate, no matter how great the difficulties ahead. Things will happen to you and it will not 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 nor remiss. This is the normal work of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit works within you, you still encounter real difficulties: Sometimes you will be brought to tears, and sometimes there will be things that you are incapable of overcoming, but this is all just a phase of the ordinary work of the Holy Spirit. Although you did not overcome those difficulties, and although at the time you were weak and made complaints, afterward you were still able to love God with absolute faith. Your passiveness cannot prevent you from having normal experiences, and regardless of what other people say, and how others attack you, still you are able to love God. During prayer, you always feel that in the past you were so indebted to God, and you resolve to satisfy God and renounce the flesh whenever you encounter such things again. This strength shows that the work of the Holy Spirit is within you. This is the normal state of the work of the Holy Spirit.
What is the work that comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions within people are vague; people 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 cause constant interference within them, constraining the growth of their life and stopping them from coming before God in the proper condition. This is to say, as soon as the work of Satan is within people, their hearts cannot be at peace before God. Such people do not know what to do with themselves—when they see people gathering together, they want to run away, and they are unable to close their eyes when others pray. The work of evil spirits wrecks the proper relationship between man and God, and upsets people’s previous visions or their former path of life entry; in their hearts they can never draw close to God, and things always happen that cause disruption to them and shackle them. Their hearts cannot find peace and they are left with no strength to love God and with their spirits sinking. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The manifestations of the work of Satan are: 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. When Satan interferes, you lose the love and loyalty toward God within you, you are stripped of a proper 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; there is even the risk that you will abandon God. All of this comes from 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 proper, then their spiritual lives and their lives in the flesh are proper and their reason is proper and orderly. When they are in this condition, what they experience and come to know within themselves can generally be said to come from being touched by the Holy Spirit (having insights or possessing some simple knowledge when they eat and drink the words of God, or being faithful in some things, or having the strength to love God in some things—this all comes from the Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit’s work in man is especially normal; man is incapable of feeling it, and it seems to come through man himself, although it is in fact the work of the Holy Spirit. In daily life, the Holy Spirit does work both great and small in everyone, and it is just the extent of this work that varies. Some people are of good caliber, and they understand things quickly, and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is especially great within them. Meanwhile, 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 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, then in each one of them the Spirit of God works to a greater or lesser extent; He 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 of this is work that comes from the Holy Spirit.
When people’s state is not proper, they are forsaken by the Holy Spirit; in their minds they are prone to complaining, their motivations are wrong, they are lazy, they indulge in the flesh, and their hearts rebel against the truth. All of this comes from Satan. When people’s conditions are not proper, when they are dark inside and have lost their proper reason, have been forsaken by the Holy Spirit, and are unable to feel 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, those things come from the Holy Spirit, and whomever they meet, the meeting is the result of the arrangements of God. This is to say that when you are in a proper condition, when you are within 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 you do not follow them. All this comes from the work of the Holy Spirit. In what situations does Satan interfere? It is easy for Satan to work within you when your conditions are not proper, when you have not been touched by God and are without the work of God, when you are dry and barren inside, when you pray to God but grasp nothing, and when you eat and drink the words of God but are not enlightened or illuminated. In other words, when you have been abandoned by the Holy Spirit and you cannot feel God, then many things happen to you that come from the temptation of Satan. As the Holy Spirit works, Satan also is working all the while. The Holy Spirit touches the inside of man, while at the same time Satan interferes in man. However, the work of the Holy Spirit takes the leading position, and people whose conditions are proper can triumph; this 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 of the work of Satan and there is still a rebellious disposition within people; all that was originally in them is still there. With the work of the Holy Spirit, it is easy for people to know the things that are essential to them and to know their resistant disposition toward God, yet they can only rid themselves of these things in the course of gradual work. The work of the Holy Spirit is especially normal; as He works in people, they still have troubles, they still weep, they still suffer, they are still weak and there is still much that is unclear to them, yet in this state they are able to stop themselves from regressing, and they can love God, and although they weep and are distressed, they are still able to praise God; the work of the Holy Spirit is especially normal, 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 things that are essential to 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 gains the illumination and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and so his state becomes more proactive, the conditions within him become proper, 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 grasp these states and do not differentiate, then entry into real experiences is out of the question, to say nothing of changes in disposition. Thus, the key to experiencing God’s work is being able to see through to such things; in this way, it will be easier for them to experience it.
The work of the Holy Spirit is proactive progress, while the work of Satan is regression and passivity, rebelliousness and opposition to God, loss of faith in God, and unwillingness even to sing hymns or to stand 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, then you will have the truth, and if you do not, then reproach will follow. With the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, 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, but be able to act upon the will of God. The work of Satan causes you interference in many things; it makes you unwilling to pray, too lazy to eat and drink the words of God, and indisposed 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 proper spiritual life. You are unable to discern many things in the moment when they happen, yet, after a few days, you live something out and express yourself outwardly in some ways, you react inwardly in some ways, and you then use what has arisen to discern whether a thought has 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; these things all come from Satan. Some things are not apparent, and you cannot tell what they are in the moment; afterward, you can see their manifestations and then exercise discernment. If you can clearly discern which things come from Satan and which are directed by the Holy Spirit, then you will not easily be led astray in your experiences. Sometimes, when your condition is not good, then you have certain thoughts that take you out of your passive state. This shows that even when your condition is unfavorable, some of your thoughts can still 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 transition into 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 truths about principle, you will be able to master your actual state, you will be able to differentiate among people and events, and you will not have to spend so much effort in gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course, this depends on your motivations being right and on your willingness 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 foolish knowledge. If you do not understand how the Holy Spirit works, then you do not understand how you are to enter, and if you do not understand how Satan works, then you do not understand how you are to be cautious with each step you take. People should understand both how the Holy Spirit works and how Satan works; both are an indispensable part of people’s experiences.
Although you believe totally in God and in God alone, do you have a proper relationship with God? Some people say the only thing that matters is that they have a proper relationship with God, and they do not concern themselves with their relationships with others. But how is a proper relationship with God manifested? Do these people not lack the slightest practical knowledge? Why is it said that the extent of your resolve to love God and whether you have truly renounced the flesh both depend on whether you are prejudiced toward your brothers and sisters, and on whether, if you are indeed prejudiced in this way, you can push such prejudices aside. This is to say, when your relationships with your brothers and sisters are proper, then your condition before God is also proper. When one of your brothers or sisters is weak, you will not loathe them, despise them, mock them, or treat them with cold indifference. If you are able to be of service to them then you will commune with them and say, “I used to be passive and weak. I really did not want to attend assembly, but something happened, something through which God enlightened me on the inside and disciplined me; I was reproached inside, I was so ashamed, and I always felt I had let God down and that going forward I must really live the life of the church. The more I engaged with my brothers and sisters, the more I felt I couldn’t live without God. When I was with them I didn’t feel lonely, but when I was shut in a room by myself I felt lonely and friendless, my life felt empty, and my thoughts turned to death. But later when 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.” When they hear this, they feel that it is useless to pray at home, they 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 is not enough merely to pray. If you commune with them in this way, then they will have a path by which to practice. If you feel you are unable to provide for them, then you can visit them. This does not have to be done by the church leader, and 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 visit them. This is the responsibility of each and every one of you.