104. The Principles of How to Treat New Brothers and Sisters
1. You must water the truths of the vision for new believers, remove all of their conceptions, and enable them to lay foundations on the true way and not turn back;
2. You must not place requirements on new believers that are too high. You should approach their problems and conceptions with a loving heart, and you must patiently fellowship the truth and promptly resolve their problems;
3. You must not use rules to restrict people. You should water them with the truth according to the actual situation of each individual, and you must not constrain anyone to do what is beyond their ability;
4. You must be wise, and take precautions against those with a bad humanity who are too poor at accepting the truth. You must never reveal the names or addresses of leaders or workers to them.
Relevant Words of God:
You must come to know the vision of God’s work and grasp the general direction of His work. This is entry in a positive way. Once you accurately master the truths of the vision, your entry will be secure; no matter how His work changes, you will remain steadfast in your heart, be clear about the vision, and you will have a goal for your entry and your pursuit. In such manner, all the experience and knowledge within you will grow deeper and become more refined. Once you have grasped the bigger picture in its entirety, you will suffer no losses in life, and you shall not be lost. If you do not come to know these steps of work, you shall suffer loss at each of them. You cannot turn around in just a few days, and you will not be able to set upon the right track in even a few weeks. Is this not setting you back? There is much of entry in a positive manner and such practices that you must master, and so too must you grasp several points on the vision of His work, such as the significance of His work of conquest, the path to being made perfect in the future, what must be achieved through experience of trials and tribulations, the significance of judgment and chastisement, the principles of the work of the Holy Spirit, and the principles of perfection and of conquest. These are all truths of the vision. The rest are the three stages of work of the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom, as well as future testimony. These too are truths pertaining to the vision, and are the most fundamental, as well as most crucial.
from “The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When a person has visions he has a foundation. When you practice on the basis of this foundation, it will be much easier to enter in. This way you will have no misgivings on the basis of entering in, and it will be very easy for you to enter in. This aspect of understanding visions, of understanding the work is the key. You must be equipped with this aspect. If you are not equipped with this aspect of the truth, and only talk about the paths of practice, this is a huge defect. I have discovered that many of you do not emphasize this aspect, and when you listen to this aspect of truth it’s just like listening to doctrinal words. One day you will stand to lose. There are some words now that you do not understand and have not assimilated; in this case you should seek patiently, and the day will come when you understand. Become equipped little by little. Even if you understand only a few spiritual doctrines, it is better than paying no attention to them. It is better than understanding none at all. This is all helpful to your entry, and will clear away those doubts of yours. It is better than your being filled with notions. It is much better to have these visions as a foundation. With no misgivings whatsoever, it is possible to enter in with a strut and a swagger. Why bother always confusedly following in a doubtful way?
from “You Must Understand the Work; Don’t Follow Confusedly!” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must have an understanding of the people with whom you fellowship and fellowship about spiritual matters in life, only then can you supply life to others and make up for their inadequacies. You should not take a lecturing tone with them, which is fundamentally the wrong position to have. In fellowship you must have an understanding of spiritual matters. You must have wisdom and be able to understand what is in the hearts of other people. You must be a correct person if you are to serve others and you must fellowship with what you have.
from “The Thirteenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and allow them to go deeper into the truth. The work he does can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people release and freedom. Moreover, they can gradually grow in life, go progressively deeper into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short; his work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules; what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to the actual needs of the people. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality or into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to stand by a few worthless rules. This kind of guidance can only lead people astray.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must have an understanding of the many conditions men will be in when the Holy Spirit performs work on them. In particular, those who coordinate to serve God must have an even better grasp of the many conditions brought about by the work that the Holy Spirit performs on men. If you only talk about many experiences and many ways of entering in, it shows that your experience is too one-sided. Without grasping many situations in reality, you are unable to achieve transformation in your disposition. If you have grasped many conditions, then you will be able to understand various manifestations of the work of the Holy Spirit, and see clearly through and discern much of the work of the evil spirits. You must expose the many notions of men and go straight to the heart of the issue; you must also point out many deviations in people’s practice or problems in believing in God so that they may recognize them. At the very least, you must not make them feel negative or passive. However, you must understand the many difficulties that objectively exist for people, you must not be unreasonable or “try to teach a pig to sing”; that is foolish behavior. To resolve the many difficulties of men, you must understand the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit, you must understand how the Holy Spirit performs work on different people, you must understand the difficulties of men, the shortcomings of men, see through to the key issues of the problem, and get to the source of the problem, without deviations or errors. Only this kind of person is qualified to coordinate to serve God.
from “What an Adequate Shepherd Should Be Equipped With” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
One must use wisdom in every aspect and use wisdom to walk My perfect way. Those who conduct themselves by My word are the wisest of all and those who conduct themselves in accordance with My word are the most obedient.
from “The Forty-ninth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
Watering new believers so they can quickly establish a firm foundation on the true way and enter the right track of believing in God is the most fundamental and core work of God’s house. The truths that must be watered well to new believers include: The truth of the three stages of God’s work; the truth relating to God’s incarnation; the truth relating to God’s name; the truth relating to the difference between God’s work and man’s work; the truth relating to discerning the true Christ from the false ones; the truth relating to the knowledge of the work of the Holy Spirit and discernment of the work of the evil spirits; the truth relating to bringing God’s words into real life; and the truth relating to being an honest person, etc. Water these truths deep into the hearts of all those who accept God’s work so they can lay good foundations. This can ensure that they can stand firm on the true way and not betray or deny God no matter what disturbances they encounter from satanic demons. Only when one’s work achieves this result does he serve God to His liking and genuinely carry out God’s will. … When it comes to people who have just accepted God’s work, the most important thing should be to make them first understand the three stages of God’s work, know the meaning of God’s conquering work of the last days, understand the mystery of God’s incarnation, achieve discernment of the true Christ and the false ones, and know the difference between God’s work and man’s work. Only by doing so will it be guaranteed that they will have good foundations on the true way and will never be deceived or pulled away by Satan.
from “Watering and Supplying New Believers is the Top Priority of the Church’s Work” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God
Since new believers are lacking a foundation, they are within a dangerous period. There are more potential stumbling blocks for them; because they are lacking various aspects of the truth, they are apt to stumble in any given aspect. The greatest hallmark of new believers is that they hold on to too many religious doctrines, so they are likely to develop notions about God and be deceived by others. This leads some people to stumble because their notions are too great, and this is because they do not have true understanding of God, so they take their own imaginations, notions, and doctrines as the truth. They develop notions about anything that is not in line with their own imaginations, and anything that is not in line with their own will. This aspect of newcomers is the most difficult to deal with, so we must have enormous patience for them and lose no time in watering them with the truth to prevent them from stumbling over their own notions.
from the fellowship from the above
As we water those current believers who never previously believed in the Lord Jesus, we must be clear that as we guide these newcomers, we must be loving, patient, and not make demands that are too high. We must not prune and deal with them, we must wait until they understand some of the truth and have a foundation before we make strict requirements or prune and deal with them. In their belief in God and their accepting of the true way, these people are more naive in a certain respect than those who come from religion, and they are fresh and lively. What we should remember here is that matters of church administration or matters that require wisdom should not be shared with them. Those who have believed for half a year, who are of good caliber, and whose yearning is strong can be given books of testimony of experience. Those with a good relationship with such people may also loan books to them. We must not be overly cautious in watering and shepherding such people, because in truth they are the same as people who have only believed in the Lord Jesus for a short time. They must not be discriminated against or seen as too ignorant, because after a year of belief, they will not appear to be so backward. If they cannot be watered properly, some will have their lives utterly ruined, so the moment must be seized to water them adequately, to make them feel God’s love for mankind and the warmth of God’s house, and even more so to realize that God is genuinely reliable. This is in accordance with God’s will. Being wise does not obstruct such watering. …
For these new believers, you mustn’t stipulate mandatory weekly attendance of meetings, you must plan meetings based on their requirements, and you mustn’t plan too many or few, it’s enough to simply hold meetings when most people are interested in doing so. Treat them with love, show them care, and do not chill their hearts. At meetings, you must read God’s word, teach them songs and dances, teach them to pray, lead them to sing and dance, and enter into a normal spiritual life. They are little different from believers in the Lord Jesus, only having not read the Bible before. Their humanity is the same, they only lack biblical knowledge. This is not a problem, and a year or two of watering will put them on an equal footing. After believing for half a year, they will be able to take on duties. Do not, under any circumstances, attack their positivity or quell their enthusiasm. Be especially loving and patient, and water and supply them, and this is in accord with God’s will. We were all non-believers once, but after only taking the first step in our belief, we begin to look down on these people, and this is wrong. In God’s eyes, there are no first or last steps to belief. Any who gain the truth have a good faith. After a few years of belief, they will be the same as us.
from the fellowship from the above
The fourth characteristic is dealing with people with wisdom. Some people say: “Does getting along with brothers and sisters require wisdom?” Yes, it does, because using wisdom provides even greater benefits for your brothers and sisters. Some will ask: “Isn’t being wise with brothers and sisters being cunning?” Wisdom is not cunning. Rather, it is the complete opposite of cunning. To use wisdom means paying attention to the way you talk to brothers and sisters when they have small stature, in case they won’t be able to accept what you say. Also, for people with small stature, especially those who are not possessed of the truth and who reveal some corruption and have some corrupt disposition, if you are too simple and open and tell them everything, it can sometimes be easy for them to have something on you or for you to be used. This is not good either. Since humans have corrupt disposition, you must more or less take some precautions and have some technique when speaking. But being cautious against people doesn’t mean not helping them or not having love for them. It just means not telling them some of the important things about God’s household right away, and simply communicating the truth to them. If they need spiritual assistance in life and the truth to be supplied to them, we have to do everything in our ability to satisfy them in this regard. But if they are inquiring about this and that about God’s household, or this and that about its leaders and workers, then there’s no need to tell them. If you tell them, they are likely to leak this information and this will affect the work of God’s household. In other words, if it is something they shouldn’t know or something they have no need to know, then don’t let them know about it. If it is something they ought to know, then do all you can to let them know about it, concretely and without reservation. So what are things they ought to know? The pursuit of truth is what they should know; what truth they should be equipped with, what aspects of the truth they should understand, what duties they should fulfill, what duties they are suited to fulfill, how they should fulfill those duties, how to live out normal humanity, how to live the church life—these are all things people should know.
from “How to Build Church Life and the Meaning of Building Church Life” in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entry (I)