On God’s Administrative Decrees in the Age of Kingdom
First of all, let’s talk about what administrative decrees are and about the definition of administrative decrees. This is something that must be understood. When some people hear about “administrative decrees,” they wonder, “What is the meaning of administrative decrees? Are they legal statutes? Are they rules? Are they a system? Some set of clan proscriptions? Are they commandments? What on earth are they?” People lack understanding. Nobody understands exactly what administrative decrees are, or how they work. People often say, “God has His administrative decrees. If you are disobedient, God will use those decrees to keep you in check and punish you.” They are spouting the words “administrative decrees” without understanding their essential meaning. So what exactly are administrative decrees? They are a class of words set forth by God that address people’s natures and corrupt dispositions to keep them in check. Administrative decrees are not laws or legal statutes, much less are they comparable to the constitutions of the human world. They are a set of parameters defined by God meant to keep people’s behavior in check. The details of administrative decrees touch on how to fear God, how to worship God, how to obey God, how to act as a created being, how to act as a person, how to testify God, and how to avoid bringing shame upon God’s name. The details of God’s administrative decrees touch on many things. Some people say, “The Spirit of God can do things. He can punish people and repay every person with their just deserts. God has also uttered the truth to instruct all people. Why must there be administrative decrees?” The truth concerns people’s life entry and people’s understanding of corrupt dispositions. Administrative decrees are clearly defined stipulations. Whatever your state, whatever kind of person you are, if you believe in God, you must carry out all that is stipulated by the administrative decrees within God’s house. If you cannot, your name shall be struck, and in the eyes of God, you shall be detested and rejected. The administrative decrees, in truth, are the bare minimum required actions for believers of God, just like how the Israelites worshiped Jehovah with sacrifice and keeping the Sabbath. In the Age of Law, Jehovah did certain work, spoke many words, and set forth numerous laws. Those laws naturally included much that man should do: how they should worship Jehovah, for example, or how to make sacrifices to Jehovah, pay tithes, make offerings, and so on. At that time, these were called laws, and by the time of the Age of Grace, equivalent stipulations were called the commandments, and all people were required to obey them. Now, in the Age of Kingdom, in this stage of work of the last days, the commandments of a new era have been expressed, and they are now called administrative decrees. In the Age of Kingdom, these commandments are a part of the administrative decrees. However, the commandments of the Age of Grace cannot serve as administrative decrees today, because what God requires of man in each age is different.
Every age has commandments, and every age has God’s requirements and criteria for man, criteria which change according to changes in the age and the requirements of God’s work. It would be inappropriate to use some of the laws of the Age of Law today, but of course, some are still suitable. Of the commandments that Jesus spoke of in the Age of Grace, most are suitable for the present day, and some aren’t. Some people say, “Honor your father and mother, do not sin, do not commit adultery, do not worship idols—how could these not be suitable?” I’m talking about just a few of them. For those such as “Honor your father and mother,” it depends on the circumstances, so don’t get the wrong idea. Some preposterous people say, “God said the laws and commandments that came before have all been abolished, and very few can still be used.” You must not pass on this understanding. Spreading such a message is a mistake and causes disruption. This is a misinterpretation of God’s words. Those who misinterpret God’s words offend His disposition, and those who offend His disposition are demons. Regardless of the time, you must maintain the minimum required for the decency of a saint. This much, at least, is required to have any human likeness at all. Those laws and commandments were all created according to their contemporary age and context, and according to the contemporary work and the needs of man. In this current era, God has spoken some more words, and given people some more rules to keep them in check. That is to say, He has given them criteria, such as how to believe in God, what they should and shouldn’t do as part of their faith in God, and so on. In the Age of Grace, Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” Yet afterward, He abolished many laws. These laws were not appropriate for that age, they were not suitable for the work of that time, and they were not fitting for the environment of that time, so He abolished them. Today, of course, they are even more in need of abolition. Similarly, in the new age, some New Testament commandments need to be abolished, and some must continue, because the environment of the work of today is different and what people need is different. Each stage of work is higher than the last. Some preposterous people say, “The Lord Jesus said He came to fulfill the law, so why did He abolish and eliminate so much of it? Why did His deeds violate the law?” His abolishment was in fact a fulfillment. This was because the work He did achieved this kind of outcome, so there was no longer any need to observe those laws. Just like after Jesus served as a sin offering, it was no longer necessary to make sin offerings according to that law, because the work of God does not follow rules. Certain laws and commandments can be abolished and new work can be used in place of these. If you were to spread the message, “All the previous commandments have been abolished. They are no longer useful,” this would be absurd. Today, God has issued administrative decrees as befits the states and needs of humankind. Some people ask, “Why would God issue administrative decrees in each age? It’s already been done once, people are aware of them, and we do what is asked. That should be the end of it. Why keep issuing new ones?” Tell Me, with people as corrupt as they are now, would it be possible not to issue administrative decrees? All people have corrupt dispositions. Can people obey God while they are being controlled by their corrupt natures? You cannot claim that once people gain faith in God and are able to carry out and obey the commandments, they have become holy and righteous. It doesn’t work that way. People have corrupt dispositions, and are always living amidst those corrupt dispositions, so there is always a need for corresponding administrative decrees to keep their behavior in check. If people truly violate these administrative decrees, they can be disciplined, have limitations placed on them, or they can be cast out and expelled. There are all sorts of consequences. In the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, there were laws and commandments. Now, in the Age of Kingdom, in addition to commandments, there must be administrative decrees. So, what are the primary administrative decrees of the Age of Kingdom? Now, ten are to be issued.
1. Man should not magnify himself, nor exalt himself. He should worship and exalt God.
“Man should not magnify himself, nor exalt himself. He should worship and exalt God.” These four things actually speak of one issue: In their speech, people must take a human position, and they should not boast about themselves. Don’t boast about how well you’ve led a certain church, don’t boast that it belongs to you, and don’t boast that God uses you and is especially good to you. Do not spout things like, “God ate with us and chatted with us.” These things you say do not align with reality. God treats all of His chosen people in the same way. So long as a person has not been exposed and cast out, God has the same attitude toward everyone. If God has fellowshiped on the truth with you, that doesn’t prove that you are better than others, rather, it was because you just so happened to meet with the occasion. Then what is a reasonable thing to say? If you can’t fellowship on the truth, and if you are incapable of providing life to your brothers and sisters, then you must practice introspection and know yourself, dissect yourself, be able to say what is in your heart, open yourself up and lay yourself bare before everyone. Putting this into practice will get results. Opening up does not mean justifying yourself. It means presenting the incorrect motivations and thoughts within you for dissection, for everyone to get to know together, allowing others to benefit from it, too. By doing this, you are not exalting yourself. If you treat yourself correctly and take your proper place, meaning if you can put aside and analyze your own motivations, lay bare the filthy things within you, and in doing so, expose yourself, this shows you are in the right position. I have found that many leaders are only capable of lecturing people and preaching to others from on high, and that they cannot communicate with others as equals. They are not able to interact with people normally. When some people speak, it’s as if they are always giving a speech or making a report. Their words are only ever directed at other people’s states, but they never open up about themselves. They never dissect their own corrupt dispositions, instead, they only dissect other people’s issues, using them as examples by which to grant everyone knowledge. Why do they do this? Why do they preach such sermons and say such things? This is proof that they have no knowledge of themselves whatsoever, that they are too lacking in reason, and that they are too arrogant and self-righteous. They think that their ability to recognize other people’s corrupt dispositions proves they are above others, better than others at discerning people and things, and that they are less corrupt than other people. They are able to dissect and lecture others, but they do not lay themselves bare, expose or dissect their own corrupt dispositions, show their true face, or say anything about their own motivations. They only lecture other people for behaving inappropriately. This is self-magnification and self-exaltation. How can you be a leader and yet be so unreasonably troublesome? Why, after being made leader of a church, do you casually scold others, behave arbitrarily, and act as you please? Why do you never consider the consequences of your words, never consider your own identity? Why do you act like this? This is because even though you are a leader, you don’t know your own status or identity. Arranging for you to be a leader is merely elevating you and giving you a chance to practice. It’s not because you possess more reality than others or because you are better than others. In fact, you are the same as everyone else. None of you possess reality, and in some ways, you may even be more corrupt than others. So why would you unreasonably cause trouble, and arbitrarily lecture, berate and constrain others? Why force others to listen to you, even when you are wrong? What does this prove? This proves you are in the wrong position. You aren’t working from the position of a human, you are doing your work from God’s position, from a position above others. If what you say is correct and accords with the truth, others can listen to you. It is acceptable in this case. But when you are wrong, why do you force others to listen to you? Do you have authority? Are you supreme? Are you the truth? When some people go to a place to preach the gospel and see the people there and their living conditions aren’t to their taste, they end up disliking the place and want to leave for somewhere else. Another person may say to them, “Someone is needed here to preach the gospel. You will delay the work if you leave.” But they won’t listen, and insist on leaving, saying, “Then why don’t you stay? I’ve got to leave! You should listen to me, and learn to obey.” They would rather delay church work to have their own way and choose a place they like. They do whatever they want and demand that others do whatever they say. Aren’t they magnifying themselves? Aren’t they exalting themselves? Aren’t they arrogant people? In their duty, they follow their own preferences as much as possible without practicing the truth in the slightest. So, when they lead people, they do not ask those they lead to practice the truth. Instead, they demand that others listen to what they say and follow their ways. Is this not asking that people treat them like God and obey them as God? Do they possess the truth? They are devoid of the truth, filled with the disposition of Satan, and are demonic. So why do they still ask that people obey them? Is someone like this not magnifying themselves? Are they not exalting themselves? Can individuals such as this bring people before God? Can they make people worship God? They are the one they want people to obey. When they work like this, are they truly leading people in entering into truth realities? Are they really doing work entrusted to them by God? No, they are trying to establish their own kingdom. They want to be God, and they want people to treat them like God and obey them like God. Are they not antichrists? The way of antichrists has always been this way; regardless of the delay to the church’s work or the degree of obstruction or harm to the life entry of God’s chosen, everyone must obey them and listen to them. Is this not the nature of demons? Is this not the disposition of Satan? People like this are living demons in human skin. They may have human faces, but everything inside them is demonic. Everything they say and do is demonic. Nothing they do is in line with the truth, none of it is what people with sense do, so there can be no doubt that these are the actions of demons, Satan, and antichrists. You should be able to clearly discern this. So when you act, speak, and interact with others—in everything you do in life—you should hold this decree in your heart: “Man should not magnify himself, nor exalt himself. He should worship and exalt God.” This way limitations are placed upon people, and they will not go so far as to offend God’s disposition. This administrative decree is crucial, and all of you should give good thought to what this administrative decree means, why God requires this of mankind, and what He means to achieve. Consider this carefully. Don’t let it simply go in one ear and out the other. This will be really beneficial for you.
2. Do everything that is beneficial to God’s work and nothing that is detrimental to the interests of God’s work. Defend God’s name, God’s testimony, and God’s work.
You should uphold and take responsibility for anything that relates to the interests of the house of God, or which concerns the work of God’s house and the name of God. Each of you has this responsibility and obligation, and this is what you must do.
3. The money, material objects, and all property in God’s household are the offerings that should be given by man. These offerings may be enjoyed by none but the priest and God, for the offerings of man are for the enjoyment of God. God only shares these offerings with the priest; no one else is qualified or entitled to enjoy any part of them. All of man’s offerings (including money and material things that can be enjoyed) are given to God, not to man, and so these things should not be enjoyed by man; if man were to enjoy them, then he would be stealing offerings. Anyone who does this is a Judas, for, in addition to being a traitor, Judas also helped himself to what was put in the money bag.
I need to explain these words. If I don’t, there are certain people who are so shameless and thick-skinned that they will steal offerings. At present, leaders and workers at all levels in the church are on temporary probation. Those who are suitable will continue to be used, but the unsuitable will be dismissed or cast out. These positions are not fixed. Don’t think that being a leader or a worker means your position is fixed and that you will never be dismissed or cast out. Do not indulge in this delusion. This is an extravagant desire. The priest is not an ordinary leader. He has the right and qualification to serve God directly. Naturally, this right and qualification is given to him by God. This is just like the priests in the Age of Law. They could enter the temple, but no one else could, and they could eat the sacrificial offerings, but no one else could. Today, in the Age of Kingdom, what kind of person is a priest? A person who would have been known as a priest in the past is now called someone who is used by the Holy Spirit. So, does this describe you? You are not priests at all! A priest is someone who is used by the Holy Spirit, and no one else except such a person may enjoy the offerings. No one else is worthy. If you claim that you are worthy, you are making that claim of your own accord. You will not be permitted to enjoy the offerings. They are not meant for you.
I will speak more on your situation. For people like you, leaders and workers who do specific work at the churches, the church may provide you with travel expenses, but the church is not responsible for your daily needs. You believe in God, and expending for God is voluntary. If you say, “I don’t do this voluntarily, it was arranged by God’s house,” then you can leave. Some people say, “God called me, God wanted to use me, so I came. I didn’t come voluntarily.” If so, then I don’t need you now. You can leave. I never force people. Even if you are here voluntarily, whether you are retained depends on your qualifications. If you are unqualified, you will not be used. Someone else can be found to take your place. This is the principle by which God’s house uses people. No special exceptions are granted. The money of God’s house is spent on its work, it is not meant to support individual people’s lives, nor is it meant for people’s personal enjoyment.
4. Man has a corrupt disposition and is moreover possessed of emotions. As such, it is absolutely prohibited for two members of the opposite sex to work together unaccompanied when serving God. Any who are discovered doing so will be expelled, without exception.
Some brothers insist on fellowshiping only with sisters, and even on doing so alone. They open up to the sisters when they fellowship with them, but refuse to do so with anyone else. These people are no good! Some sisters do not fellowship with other sisters, and never open up to them, exclusively seeking out brothers to fellowship with. What kind of people are these? Is there not a single sister who can support you? Is there not a single sister who will fellowship with you? Do they all despise you? Are none right for you? Can you only get along with brothers? I think you have other motivations! There are people who always flirt with the opposite sex. This is dangerous. You must restrain yourselves, develop some insight, and employ some reason. People have corrupt dispositions, so do not wantonly indulge yourselves. You must be subject to some restraint, and in this way, your behavior will be improved. Without restraint, and without fear of God, people become wildly dissolute. Once they violate the administrative decrees, the consequences are grave, so they must always remember this administrative decree.
5. Do not pass judgment on God nor casually discuss matters related to God. Do as man ought to do, and speak as man ought to speak, and do not overstep limits nor transgress boundaries. Guard your own tongue and take care where you step, to avoid doing anything that offends God’s disposition.
6. Do that which ought to be done by man, and carry out your obligations, and fulfill your responsibilities, and hold to your duty. Since you believe in God, you should make your contribution to God’s work; if you do not, then you are unfit to eat and drink the words of God, and unfit to live in God’s household.
Decree Six relates to the duties of humans. Regardless of your previous life entry or how your personal pursuit has gone, and regardless of your caliber or humanity, so long as the work of the church requires you to do something, no matter how great the hardship or difficulty, you should do it. If you do not, you are unfit to remain in God’s house. God’s house does not provide free board, and does not harbor good-for-nothings! If someone does not pursue the truth, they must at least be able to be a service-doer. If they don’t want to offer even the slightest service, or they make only the slightest effort for the sake of a bite to eat, they must be cleared out, their books of God’s words must be taken back, and they must be handled as nonbelievers. At the very least, people must sincerely believe in God, have some fear of God in their heart, and show some manifestations of worshiping God to be worthy of remaining in God’s house. God’s house does not ask much of people. So long as someone has a conscience and reason, can understand and accept the truth, and be responsible in their duty, that is enough. At the very least, your behavior and the way you act must be acceptable. You must have a modicum of fear for God in your heart, and you must show some obedience to Him. If you cannot even do that, then you should go back home as soon as possible and stop muddling along in God’s house. If you refuse even the smallest duty, and just want to freeload in God’s house, are you someone who sincerely believes in God? In My view, such a person is a nonbeliever, no different from an unbeliever. They are sickening to behold! If you wish to believe in God, do so properly, or don’t do it at all. Belief in God is voluntary. No one is forcing you. If you can’t understand this small matter, what more is to be said on belief in God? God’s house doesn’t want waste. The church is not a salvage station. Those who lack even the simplest acceptance of the truth will be cast out and removed! The truth rules in God’s house. If anyone attempts any nonsense, or causes any disruption or disturbance, they must be removed and completely cast out.
7. In work and matters of the church, apart from obeying God, follow the instructions of the man who is used by the Holy Spirit in everything. Even the slightest infraction is unacceptable. Be absolute in your compliance, and do not analyze right or wrong; what is right or wrong has nothing to do with you. You must concern yourself only with total obedience.
You must listen to and obey the man used by the Holy Spirit regardless of what he says or does. Do what you have been told to do, in the way you have been told to do it. Do not say, “Does God know? I must ask God.” There’s no need to ask, just do what the man used by the Holy Spirit has told you to do. Do you understand? There is no need to speak more on this. You should understand this clearly already.
8. People who believe in God should obey God and worship Him. Do not exalt or look up to any person; do not put God first, the people you look up to second, and yourself third. No person should hold a place in your heart, and you should not consider people—particularly those you venerate—to be on a par with God or to be His equal. This is intolerable to God.
Some people are especially able to jump on bandwagons and suck up to others. Whoever they see Me compliment, treat well, or often spend time fellowshiping with, they make it a point to suck up to them. A notion has taken shape in their minds: Now after God comes this particular brother, and then after them comes this particular sister. Do not harbor gradations in your mind: God is first, someone is second, third, or fourth…. Do such rankings serve any purpose? Isn’t this just like an imperial court, where the emperor is first, the prime minister is second, and another official is third? There are no such ranks in God’s house, there is only God and God’s chosen people, and God’s chosen people should only obey and worship God! In truth, you are all equal. Regardless of whether you accepted God first or later, and regardless of your gender, age, or caliber, you are all equal before God. Do not worship people, and don’t think too much of yourself. Do not create ranks or gradations. If you do, it proves that what is in your heart has been contaminated with many human notions and imaginings, and so you are likely to violate decrees.
9. Keep your thoughts on the work of the church. Put aside the prospects of your own flesh, be decisive about family matters, wholeheartedly devote yourself to the work of God, and put God’s work first and your own life second. This is the decency of a saint.
10. Kin who are not of the faith (your children, your husband or wife, your sisters or your parents, and so on) should not be forced into the church. God’s household is not short of members, and there is no need to make up its numbers with people who have no use. All those who do not believe gladly must not be led into the church. This decree is directed at all people. You should check, monitor, and remind each other of this matter; no one may violate it. Even when kin who are not of the faith do reluctantly enter the church, they must not be issued books nor given a new name; such people are not of God’s household, and their entry into the church must be halted by any means necessary. If trouble is brought upon the church due to the invasion of demons, then you yourself will be expelled or will have restrictions placed upon you. In short, everyone has a responsibility in this matter, though you should not be reckless, nor use it to settle personal scores.
These are the ten administrative decrees of God that God’s chosen must follow in the Age of Kingdom. Remember them all.