115. The Principles of Discerning Whether or Not One Has the Work of the Holy Spirit
1. It depends on whether or not one is able to accept the judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, and trials and refinement of God’s words, and whether or not one is truly obedient to God’s work.
2. It depends on whether or not one gains new light from eating and drinking the words of God, whether or not one is able to talk about their practical knowledge of the truth, and whether or not one has true knowledge of their own corrupt essence.
3. It depends on whether or not, in one’s duties, they achieve results, whether or not they always exalt God and bear witness for God, and whether or not they have a God-fearing heart.
4. It depends on whether or not one’s life disposition has changed, whether or not they have progressed over time, whether or not their interpersonal relationships are becoming increasingly normal, and whether or not they can treat others fairly.
Relevant Words of God:
Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and lack in his life, none of which could alter his love of God. Is this not the ultimate love of God? Is this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Whether in chastisement, judgment, or tribulation, you are always capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love of God.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walk” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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. … 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.
… 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. …
from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In the past, whether God turned away from you was determined by whether you were at peace within and experienced enjoyment. Now the key is whether you thirst for the word of God, whether His word is your reality, whether you are faithful, and whether you are able to do what you can do for God. In other words, man is judged by the reality of the word of God.
from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When the Holy Spirit works to enlighten people, He generally gives them a knowledge of God’s work, and of their true entry and true state, and He also gives them resolve, allows them to understand God’s eager intention and His requirements for man today, He gives them the resolve to open up every way. Even when people undergo bloodshed and sacrifice they must act for God, and even when they meet with persecution and adversity, they must still love God, and have no regrets, and must stand testimony for God. Such resolve is the stirrings of the Holy Spirit, and the work of the Holy Spirit—but know that you are not possessed of such stirrings at every passing moment. Sometimes at meetings you can feel extremely moved and inspired and you give great praise and you dance. You feel that you have an incredible understanding of what others are fellowshiping, you feel brand new inside, and your heart is perfectly clear without any feeling of emptiness—this all pertains to the work of the Holy Spirit. If you are someone who leads, and the Holy Spirit gives you exceptional enlightenment and illumination when you go down to the church to work, making you incredibly earnest, responsible and serious in your work, this pertains to the work of the Holy Spirit.
from “Practice (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
For example, when you are one of those who work for God, when you go to the churches the Holy Spirit enlightens you with some words, and this is when the Holy Spirit is working. Sometimes you are reading and the Holy Spirit enlightens you with some words, and you find yourself especially able to hold them up against your own experiences, giving you a greater knowledge of your own state; you have been enlightened, and this is also the work of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, as I speak and you listen below, you are able to measure My words against your own states, sometimes you are touched or inspired, and this is the work of the Holy Spirit.
from “Practice (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People who have the truth do things in this way. You can then really show others that you have genuinely changed your disposition, others will see that you surely possess some good deeds, and that you do things in a principled way, and do everything right. They will see that this is someone who understands the truth, who certainly has some human likeness and, sure enough, the word of God has reaped results with them.
from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
In their real experiences, can stand firm in their testimony, stand firm in their position, stand on the side of God, without ever retreating, and who can have a normal relationship with people who love God, who, when things happen to them, are able to completely obey God, and can obey God unto death. Your practice and revelations in real life are the testimony of God, they are man’s living out and the testimony of God, and this is truly enjoying God’s love; when you have experienced to this point, the due effect will have been achieved. You are possessed of actual living out and your every action is looked upon with admiration by others. Your appearance is unremarkable, but you live out a life of the utmost piety, and when you communicate the words of God, you are guided and enlightened by Him. You are able to speak God’s will through your words, communicate reality, and you understand much about serving in spirit. You are candid in your speech, you are decent and upright, non-confrontational and decorous, able to obey God’s arrangements and stand firm in your testimony when things befall you, and you are calm and composed no matter what you are dealing with. This kind of person has truly seen God’s love. Some people are still young, but they act as someone of middle age; they are mature, possessed of the truth, and admired by others—and these are the people who have testimony, and are the manifestation of God. Which is to say, when they have experienced to a certain point, inside they will have an insight toward God, and so their external disposition will also stabilize. Many people do not put the truth into practice, and do not stand firm in their testimony. In such people there is no love of God, or testimony to God, and these are the people most loathed by God. They eat and drink the words of God, but what they express is Satan, and they allow God’s words to be vilified by Satan. In people such as this there is no sign of God’s love; all that they express is of Satan. If your heart is always at peace before God, and you always pay attention to the people and things around you, and what is going on around you, and if you are mindful of God’s burden, and always have a heart that reveres God, then God will often enlighten you within.
from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Whether one seeks sincerely is not determined by how others judge them or how the people around view them, but by whether the Holy Spirit works upon them and whether they have the presence of the Holy Spirit, and it is all the more determined by whether their disposition changes and whether they have knowledge of God after undergoing the Holy Spirit’s work over a certain period; if the Holy Spirit works upon a person, this person’s disposition will gradually change, and their view on believing in God will gradually grow purer. Regardless of how long one follows God, as long as they have changed, this means that the Holy Spirit works upon them. If they have not changed, this means that the Holy Spirit does not work upon them. Even if these people render some service, they are instigated by their intentions to obtain good fortune. Occasional service cannot replace a change in their disposition. …
from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, man becomes ever more normal, and his humanity becomes ever more normal. Man has an increasing knowledge of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan, and of the essence of man, and he has an ever greater longing for the truth. That is to say, the life of man grows and grows, and the corrupt disposition of man becomes capable of more and more changes—all of which is the meaning of God becoming the life of man.
from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Right now, there is a portion of people whose conditions are getting better and better. The more the Holy Spirit works the more confidence they have, and the more they experience the more they feel the profound mystery of God’s work. The deeper they enter in, the more they understand. They feel that God’s love is so great, and they feel steady and enlightened inside. They have an understanding of God’s work. These are the people in whom the Holy Spirit is working. Some people say, although there are no new words from God, I must still seek to go deeper into the truth, I must be earnest about everything in my actual experience and enter into the reality of God’s words. This kind of person has the work of the Holy Spirit. Although God does not show His countenance and is hidden from every single person, and He does not utter a word, and there are times that people experience some internal refinement, yet God has not completely left people. If one cannot maintain the truth that they should carry out, they will not have the work of the Holy Spirit.
from “You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
If one who serves God can really achieve results in their work, that is, can lead people into the truth and make them know God, then they are certainly someone who exalts and bears witness to God, someone who exalts and bears witness to God in everything. If they themselves exalt, bear witness to and obey God in everything, then they certainly have the work of the Holy Spirit and God’s blessing, and their service surely has the guidance of the Holy Spirit and is accompanied by the work of the Holy Spirit, which is why their service conforms with God’s intentions. If they do not exalt and bear witness to God, this proves that God does not have a place in their heart, and that they are especially arrogant and conceited, are always self-righteous, turn to their own way, and do things however they want. It proves that they don’t have God in their heart, and that they are an arrogant and conceited person and an antichrist. Do you understand how to practice exalting and bearing witness to God? Exalting and bearing witness to God is to discuss your experiences of seeking the truth, your experiences of God’s trials, discipline, pruning and dealing, and your experiences of how God’s words change and perfect you in your heart. In other words, it is discussing how you experience God’s work. This is exalting and bearing witness to God. The more people who serve God exalt and bear witness to Him, the more God is with them, the more they have God’s blessing, and the more they are accompanied by the work of the Holy Spirit. If a person who serves God very rarely exalts and bears witness to God, then they certainly don’t have the work of the Holy Spirit. They are an arrogant and conceited person, someone who resists God, and their service surely does not conform with God’s intentions.
from “Tasks that Servants of God Must Complete” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (Ⅲ)