3. What conditions service-doers must fulfill to become God’s people

Relevant Words of God:

When people enter God’s house and they do not understand the truth, but only have various aspirations or develop some resolve to cooperate, the role they can fulfill during this period can only be that of service-doers. “Rendering service” is not a very nice-sounding phrase, of course. To put it another way, it means people serve and toil for the work of God’s management plan, meaning that they exert themselves for it. They do not comprehend or understand anything, but have a few skills and gifts, and are able to learn and pass on what others say and take on some work of general affairs, but when it comes to the various aspects of specific work of God’s salvation and management of humanity, as well as the various aspects of work related to the truth, they cannot dedicate any effort or cooperate at all; they merely put forth a bit of effort and say a few things while doing some work of general affairs, and do some peripheral service-related work. If this is how the essence of people’s duty, or of the roles they play and the work they do in God’s house is, then they will have a hard time shrugging off the title of “service-doers.” Why will they have a hard time shrugging it off? Does it not have to do with what God defines this title to mean? It is quite easy for people to put forth some effort, and do things by their innate abilities, gifts, and intelligence. However, living by the truth, entering the truth reality, acting in accordance with God’s will—these things are very strenuous; they require time, they require people to lead, they require enlightenment from God, and they require God’s discipline. Moreover, they require the coming of God’s words of judgment and chastisement. Thus, during the time it takes to reach this goal, what most people are capable of doing and providing is limited to those handful of things: Fulfilling the role of objects for God to speak to; possessing certain gifts and having some use in God’s house; thinking the way normal humanity thinks, and being able to grasp and carry out whatever jobs are allocated to you; being equipped with certain skills and able to play to your strengths in whatever job you are given to do in God’s house; and, most importantly, having an aspiration to listen and submit. When doing service in God’s house, and when exerting effort for God’s work, if you have that little bit of an inclination to listen and submit, you will be unable to run away or stir up trouble; rather, you will do your best to restrain yourself and do fewer bad deeds and more good ones. This is the state and condition of most people, is it not? Of course, out of all of you, only a very tiny minority have actually left this condition, this category, behind. So what do those very few people possess? They have come to understand the truth, they possess truth reality and when encountering a problem, they are able to pray and seek God’s will, and to act in accordance with the truth principles. Their aspiration to listen and submit is no longer limited to a mere resolution to do so; they are already capable of taking the initiative to put God’s words into practice and act in accordance with His requirements. When running up against a problem, they have reverence for God, they do not speak or act rashly, but are careful and prudent. Especially when they are facing being pruned and dealt with in a way they do not personally agree with, they can still keep from passing judgment on God, and resistance does not arise in them. Deep down, in the depths of their hearts, they harbor genuine acceptance when it comes to God’s identity, status, and essence. Are there differences between these people and service-doers? (Yes.) What differences are there? First of all, they understand the truth; second, they can put some truths into practice; third, they have some knowledge of God; fourth, their listening and submission are no longer mere aspirations, but have transformed into a kind of subjective attitude—that is, they have achieved true submission; and fifth—and this is the most important difference, as well as the most precious—they have developed reverence for God. People in possession of these things can be said to have already gotten rid of the title of “service-doers.” When looking at their various aspects of entry, as well as their attitude toward the truth and the extent of their knowledge of God, these people are no longer simply doing service for a certain part of the business of God’s house, and have graduated beyond just being called upon to do some simple job. That is, these people have not come just to get a one-off reward, and were not recruited just to do some temp work on a trial basis while under observation to see whether or not they can do the job in the long term. Thus, these people have already shed this title, this appellation, of “service-doers.”

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Nine)

Prior to understanding God’s words, the truth, and God’s will, and prior to developing even a shred of reverence for God, the role that every person plays can only be that of a service-doer, and nothing else. That is, you are one whether you want to be one or not; you cannot escape this appellation. Some people say, “But I’ve believed in God my entire life; it’s been several decades since I started believing in Jesus. Am I seriously still just a service-doer?” What do you think about this question? Whom are you asking? You need to ask yourself this: Do you understand God’s will yet? Are you currently just exerting some effort, or are you practicing the truth? Have you set foot upon the path to pursuing and understanding the truth? Have you entered the truth reality? Do you revere God in your heart? If you are in possession of these qualities, can stand firm when encountering God’s trials, and are able to fear God and shun evil, then of course you are no longer a service-doer. If, however, you are not in possession of these qualities, then you are without a doubt still a service-doer. This is inescapable, and it is also inevitable. Some people say, “I’ve believed in God for more than thirty years; I became one of His followers from the moment He came to do work as flesh incarnate and uttered the very first word. I was one of the first people to experience God’s work, and was also among the first to personally hear God speak His words. After all these years, I am still following God and believing in God. Through all the persecution I have been through, through my being arrested several times and all of the dangers I have experienced, God has always protected me and led me through to the other side. He never abandoned me. Now I’m still performing my duty, and my condition is getting better and better, my faith continues to grow, and I don’t have the slightest doubt when it comes to God. Am I really still just a service-doer?” Whom are you asking? Do you not think you are asking the wrong person? This is not a question you should ask. Given that you have been a believer for so many years, you should by now have a clear idea of what exactly it is that you are. Since you have believed for so many years, how can you not know whether you are still a service-doer or not? Why do you not ask whether or not you possess truth reality? Have you given rise to reverence for God? Have you shown any evidence of having shunned evil? God has worked for so many years and uttered so many words; how many have you gained? How much have you entered? How much have you accepted of God’s pruning and dealing with you, and of the trials and refinement He has put you through? When accepting these things, have you stood testimony? Can you testify to God? If you were to encounter trials of the sort Job underwent, would you deny God? Just how much faith do you have in God, anyway? Is that faith of yours simply a matter of believing, or is it true faith? Ask yourself these questions. If you do not even know the answer to these questions, then you are muddle-headed. I think you are just someone who parrots the words and actions of others, and are not even worthy of being called a service-doer.

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Nine)

To do something without touching in any way on changes in disposition, God’s requirements, or the truth principles: this is doing service. What stage are you at currently? Most of the time, you are doing service; occasionally, there is a little of the reality of performing one’s duty—but such times are rare. Pursuing the truth means solving this problem; it means striving to make it such that performing one’s duty becomes an ever increasing part of the whole, and doing service an ever diminishing part, to make it such that the part dedicated to doing service gradually becomes entirely dedicated to the performance of duty. So what is the difference between rendering service and performing one’s duty? Rendering service means that you do whatever you want to, at least, provided that what you do does not offend God’s disposition. As long as nobody investigates your actions and as long as what you do is passable, then that is good enough. You do not concern yourself with changes of disposition, with doing things in accordance with the truth principles, with satisfying God’s will, and even less with how to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, or with how to do your duty well and give an account of it to God. You pay no mind to any of these things, and this is what is called service-doing. Service-doing is about exerting oneself with all that you have and working as though you were a slave, from morning until night. If you ask such a person, “All these years of bitter, hard work that you have immersed yourself in, what has it all been for?” then they will reply, “Why, so that I may gain blessings.” If you ask them whether their disposition has had some change as a result of all of their years of believing in God, whether they have become certain of God’s existence, whether they have some degree of true understanding or experience of the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements, the answer to all of these will be a categorical “No,” and they will be unable to speak about any of these things. When there has been no improvement or progression in any of the indicators relating to changes in disposition, such a person just constantly renders service. Supposing a person does service for many years and, without realizing it, comes to understand that they possess a corrupt disposition, that they often rebel against God, that they often utter complaints, that they often are unable to obey God, that they are deeply corrupted, that no matter how God tells them to submit to Him they are unable to do so. They attempt to restrain themselves but this does not work, and neither does cursing themselves or swearing oaths. In the end, they discover: “Man truly does possess a corrupt disposition, and that is why he is able to rebel against God. Whenever something happens people always have their own desires, and they are always researching God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Although they are willing to exert themselves, the moment something implicates their disposition and their wild ambitions and desires, intentions and wishes, they are unable to forsake them or let them go. They always want to do things in a way that satisfies themselves. This is me, and I am truly a handful to manage! What can be done?” If they have begun to ponder these things, then they already have some small understanding of human ways. If at some time people who are engaged in service-doing are able to take up the real work, are able to focus their minds upon changes of disposition, gain understanding that in fact they also have a corrupt disposition, that they too are arrogant and unable to submit to God, and that it will not do to continue in this way; when the time comes that they are able to think of these things, then they will have begun to turn themselves around and there is hope that their disposition might change and that they might attain salvation. Suppose that someone never thinks of these things, and all they know is how to labor, thinking that finishing the work in their hands is all that is required to complete God’s commission, and that once they have finished exerting themselves they will have properly performed their duty, never thinking about what God’s requirements are, about what the truth is, or about whether they may be counted as someone who obeys God—they never ponder these things. Can someone who approaches their duty in such a way attain salvation? The answer is no. They have not set foot upon the path to attaining salvation or on the right track of belief in God, nor have they established normal relations with God, and yet still they exert themselves and engage in service-doing in the house of God. This kind of person does service in the house of God, and God looks after and protects them, but He does not plan to save them, nor does He deal with them and prune them, nor judge and chastise them, nor subject them to trials or refinement; He only allows them to gain some measure of blessings in this lifetime, and nothing more. If a time comes when these people know to reflect on these things and understand the sermons they hear, they will realize: “So, this is what believing in God is all about. Well then, I must seek to attain salvation. If I don’t, and instead settle for rendering service, then that will have nothing to do with belief in God.” They then ponder: “What aspects of a corrupt disposition do I possess? What exactly is this thing, this corrupt disposition? No matter what, first I must submit to God!” These things relate to the truth and to changes of disposition, and there is hope for them.

—“Only by Seeking the Truth Principles Can One Perform Their Duty Well” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

If you can be a loyal service-doer, are able to serve right up to the very end and can fulfill the commission entrusted to you by God, then you will live a life of value. If you can do this, you will be able to remain. If you put in a bit more effort, if you try a bit harder, can redouble your endeavors to know God, can speak a little about knowing God, can bear testimony to Him, and, moreover, if you can understand something of His will, can cooperate in God’s work, and can be somewhat mindful of God’s intentions, then you, as a service-doer, will experience a change in fortune. And what will this change in fortune be? You will no longer simply be able to remain. Depending on your conduct and your personal aspirations and pursuits, God will make you one of the chosen ones. This will be your change in fortune. For service-doers, what is the best thing about this? It is that they can become God’s chosen. If they do so, it means that they will no longer be reincarnated as animals the way unbelievers are. Is that good? It is, and it is also good news: It means that service-doers can be molded. It is not the case that for a service-doer, once God has predestined them to serve, they will do so forever; that is not necessarily so. God will handle them and respond to them in a way that befits this person’s individual conduct.

—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique X

When God’s work is finished, if a person has gotten rid of the title of “service-doer,” shrugged this appellation off, and left this condition behind, this is a cause for celebration, is it not? What does this mean? It means that this person, in God’s eyes, is no longer a layperson or an unbeliever; they are now a member of God’s house and kingdom. A member of God’s house and kingdom—where does this title come from? How do people obtain it? It comes from having paid a price and, through understanding the truth, you have pursued the truth and arrived at a certain level of change in your disposition; you can now submit to God and revere Him, and you have become a member of His house. Like Job and Peter, you no longer have to undergo Satan’s persecution and corruption. You are able to live freely in God’s house and in His kingdom, and you no longer need to fight against your corrupt disposition; you are, in God’s eyes, a true object of creation and a genuine human. This means that the days of hardship suffered by a person who has been corrupted by Satan are completely over; now is the time of peace, joy, and happiness, in which a person can live in the light of the Creator’s countenance and live alongside God. This is something to celebrate, is it not? (Yes.) However, those other people, in the end, have still not cast off the appellation of “service-doers,” and in that moment when God’s work is concluded, they have still not rid themselves of the title of “service-doers”—that “crown of laurels” that they wear upon their heads. What does this mean? It means they will remain laypeople; it means that in God’s eyes, they will still be unbelievers. Why does it mean these two things? The reason lies in the fact that those people do not practice the truth, have not achieved a change in disposition, and cannot submit to God, let alone revere Him; as a result, they will have no part to play in God’s house and kingdom. Having no part there, where will they abide? They will abide outside of God’s kingdom. Such people will still be called “service-doers,” which means they will not be seen by God to be His followers and that they have not become members of His house. It also means they can never be God’s followers, and He does not recognize them; they can never again gain His blessings or grace. Of course, it also means they will never have a chance to share in the good blessings of God’s kingdom with Him or gain peace and joy. Such opportunities will be gone. So, for them, will this be a joyful moment to be celebrated, or a tragic one? It will be a tragic one. As for how they will be treated outside of God’s house and kingdom while bearing that title of “service-doers,” that is something that will come after, and we will not talk about it for now. In short, the way they will be treated will be enormously different from how the people in God’s kingdom will be treated—it will be different in terms of status and the treatment they will receive, and in all other aspects. Does the fact that these people have not gained the truth or achieved a change in disposition in the time God has worked and brought salvation to humanity not make them pitiable? They are so pitiable! These are some things that have been said about the title of “service-doers.” Some people have said, “As soon as You mention the term ‘service-doer,’ I feel resistant; that is the only attitude I have. If You make me be a service-doer, I won’t be willing and I won’t be happy. If You say I’m not a service-doer, and call me one of God’s people instead, then even if I were the least of them, that would be fine. I’ll be fine just as long as You don’t call me a service-doer. Throughout my entire life, this is the only pursuit I have ever had, and the only ideal; all I look forward to is getting rid of the title ‘service-doer.’ This isn’t much to ask.” What do you think of people like this? Is this the attitude of one who pursues the truth? (No.) What sort of attitude is this? It is a negative attitude, is it not? (Yes.) You do not need to try hard to rid yourself of the title of “service-doer,” because it was given to you based on the degree to which you have progressed through life. You cannot decide this for yourself based on what you want; it does not depend on what a person wants, but on what path a person is on and whether or not that person has achieved a change in disposition. If your goal is merely to seek to rid yourself of the title of “service-doer,” then you will never get rid of it. I will tell you the truth: You will have it for the rest of your life. If you concentrate instead on pursuing the truth, and can achieve a change in disposition, then this title will gradually disappear. Thus, looking at it in light of these two points, did God force this title of “service-doers” on people? Absolutely not! It is not a title that was forced by God on humanity, nor is it a code word or a term of address or a designation. It is based on the degree to which people have progressed in life throughout the process of their life progression. However far your life has progressed, and however much your disposition has transformed, that is how much you have shed the title of “service-doer.” If, one day, you get to where you can revere God and submit to Him, then you will no longer wear that title even if you want to. This is based on a person’s pursuit, on their attitude toward the truth, and on the path they are on.

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Nine)

Previous: 2. Why some who have forsaken everything and expended for God become service-doers

Next: 4. What it is to have gained life and what it is to have no life

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