18. The Principles for the Communion of God’s Words During Assembly
1. You must commune your true experiences and knowledge of the truths of God’s words, making people understand the truth, be edified, and have a path to practice.
2. In communing the truths of God’s words, you must draw upon your knowledge of yourself, and must commune the principles and ways of putting the truth into practice. You may not speak empty talk of letters and doctrines.
3. You must allow those who have the work of the Holy Spirit and real experiences to spend more time communing, so that people understand the truth and know God’s word.
4. Assemblies should lay bare and dissect all manner of serious problems. All that is basically in line with the facts and of benefit to people’s salvation must be accepted and obeyed.
Relevant Words of God:
The higher the theory, the more it is devoid of reality, and the more it is incapable of taking people into reality; the higher the theory, the more it makes you defy and oppose God. Do not treat the most lofty theories like precious treasure; they are pernicious, and serve no use! Maybe some people are able to talk of the most lofty theories—but such theories contain nothing of reality, for these people have not personally experienced them, and thus they have no path to practice. Such people are incapable of taking man onto the right track, and will only lead people astray. Is this not harmful to people? At the very least, you must be able to solve the present troubles and allow people to achieve entry; only this counts as devotion, and only then will you be qualified to work for God. Do not always speak grandiose, fanciful words, and do not bind people and make them obey you with your many unsuitable practices. Doing so will have no effect, and can only increase people’s confusion. Leading people this way will produce many pieces of regulation, which will make people loathe you. This is man’s shortcoming, and it is really insufferable. Therefore, talk more about problems that exist now. Don’t treat other people’s experiences as private property and bring it out for others to appreciate. You must individually search for a way out. This is what each person should put into practice.
If what you say can give people a path to walk, then that amounts to you having reality. No matter what you say, you must bring people into practice and give them all a path they can follow. It is not about only making it so that people have knowledge, but more importantly, it is about having the path to walk.
from “Focus More on Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Remember this in the future! Do not talk about empty understandings—only talk about the path of practice, and about reality. Transition from real knowledge to actual practice, and then transition from practicing to living out reality. Do not lecture others, and do not talk about real knowledge. If your understanding is a path, then you can release it; if it is not a path, then please shut up, and stop talking. What you say is useless—it is just some words of understanding to fool God and to have others envy you. Is that not your ambition? Is this not deliberately toying with others? Is there any value in this? Only talk about understanding after you have experienced it, and then you will no longer be boasting. Otherwise you are only someone who says arrogant words. … Talk more about the reality of practice; have you forgotten already? Talk more about the practical paths; have you forgotten already? “Speak less of the lofty theories or worthless inflated talk, and it is best to begin practice starting now.” Have you forgotten these words? Do you not understand any of this? Do you have no understanding of God’s will?
from “Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Having Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You ought to be studying more realistic lessons now. There’s no need for that high-sounding, empty talk that people admire. When it comes to talking about knowledge, each person’s is higher than the previous one, but they still don’t have the path to practice. How many have put anything into practice? How many have learned actual lessons? Who can fellowship about reality? Being able to speak of knowledge of God’s words doesn’t amount to your genuine stature. It only goes to show you were born smart and gifted. It’s still futile if you cannot point out the way, and you are just useless trash! Are you not pretending if you can’t say anything about an actual path to practice? Aren’t you faking it if you cannot offer your own actual experiences to others, thereby giving them lessons they can learn from or a path to practice? Aren’t you just a counterfeit? What value do you have? Such a person could only play the part of “inventor of the theory of socialism,” not “contributor to bringing about socialism.” To be without reality is to have no truth. To be without reality is to be good for nothing. To be without reality is to be the walking dead. To be without reality is to be a “Marxist-Leninist thinker,” without value as a reference. I urge each person to shut up about theory and talk of something real, something genuine and substantial, study some “modern art,” speak of something realistic, contribute some reality, and have some spirit of dedication. Face reality when speaking and don’t indulge in unrealistic and exaggerated talk to make people happy or so they can think of you in a different way. What is the value of that? What point is there in stirring up people’s enthusiasm for you? Be “artistic” in your speech, be fair in your conduct, be reasonable in your work, be realistic in addressing people, keep in mind benefiting God’s house in every act, let your conscience guide your emotions, do not repay kindness with hate, or be ungrateful to kindness, and do not be a hypocrite, lest you be a bad influence. When you eat and drink God’s words, link them more to reality, and when you communicate, speak more about realistic things and do not be condescending—God objects to that. … talk more about reality and less about knowledge, and it is best to be silent; speak more of the path of practice and have less worthless inflated talk, and it is best to begin practice starting now.
from “Focus More on Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When you bear witness to God, you should mainly talk more about how God judges and chastises people, what trials He uses to refine humans and change humans’ disposition, how much you have endured, how much rebellion and corruption within you has been revealed, and in what ways you have resisted God. Then you can talk about how you were eventually conquered by God and how you should repay God. Put substance into this kind of language, put it in a simple way, and don’t talk about empty theories. Speak of substance, speak from the heart, that’s enough for you to experience. Don’t prepare empty theories with great apparent depth as embellishment. This would seem too arrogant and senseless. Speak more of truths from practical experiences in reality, of the words from your heart. Those are what benefit people the most and are most appropriate for people to be exposed to. You used to be the worst opponents of God, the most disobedient to God, but today you’ve been conquered, never forget that. Matters of this nature require diligent reflection. Think long on these things, lest you commit more shameless and senseless acts.
from “The Basic Sense Which Man Ought to Possess” in Records of Christ’s Talks
There was no eating and drinking in this meeting; all have said that they would be considerate of God’s burden and defend the testimony of the church. Yet, who has really been considerate of God’s burden? Ask yourself: Are you someone who has shown consideration for God’s burden? Can you be righteous for God? Can you stand up and speak for Me? Can you steadfastly put the truth into practice? Are you bold enough to fight against all of Satan’s deeds? Would you be able to put your emotions aside and expose Satan for the sake of My truth? Can you allow My will to be fulfilled in you? Have you offered up your heart when the crucial time comes? Are you someone who does My will? Ask yourself and think about it often.
from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning
In other words, you keep holding onto your old self and do not let others harm your self a bit or damage your soul; such a person has too poor caliber and is too absurd, and they cannot see the grace of God or recognize the blessings of God. When will you be able to let Me work within you if you continue your avoidance! When I have finished speaking, you listen but do not remember, and you remain especially weak when your problems are really pointed out; what kind of stature is that! When can I complete you if you always need to be coaxed! If you are afraid of bumps and scrapes, then you should rush to warn others, “I won’t let anyone deal with me, I can get rid of my natural, old disposition by my own.” So nobody will criticize you or touch you, and you are free to believe in whatever way you wish without anybody caring for you, can you follow My footsteps like this? It is empty words to say that you are certain that I am your God and your Lord. If you are truly without doubt, these things will not be a problem, and you will believe that it is God’s love and God’s blessings upon you.
from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning
The Man’s Fellowship:
The three aspects of reality one must pay attention to when communicating each truth in God’s words:
1. Communicate the true knowledge and pure understanding of the truth in God’s words;
2. Communicate one’s actual experience and knowledge from the practice of this truth;
3. It is even better if one can communicate the principles of practicing this truth.
For more effective understanding of the truth when communicating God’s words at meetings, one must comply with the following seven principles:
1. Never explain God’s words from a literal perspective or speak of letters and doctrines;
2. Grasp the fundamental core of the communication and don’t be trivial or long-winded; learn to speak in a way that people can understand and that can resolve problems;
3. Don’t get off topic or discuss anything unrelated to the truth that is being communicated;
4. Every communication by each person must typically be around 5 to 10 minutes; an appropriate extension of time is allowed if there is enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit;
5. Target only issues and problems and do not target or attack people, with the exception of pruning or dealing with someone;
6. Only express personal viewpoints and knowledge; everyone is free to do so, but arguing is not allowed (except to refute fallacies);
7. People who possess the work of the Holy Spirit and have the ability to receive should communicate more often at meetings—this is beneficial to everyone.
from “2011 Church Life and Work Arrangements” in Annals of the Fellowship and Arrangements of the Work of the Church (I)
In order for eating and drinking God’s words in the church life to achieve the effect of understanding the truth and resolving problems, the following five management principles must be practiced in future meetings:
1. Allow those whose understanding of the truth is pure to communicate a little more, but they must not give long-winded speeches. They should discuss their actual experiences and true understanding to resolve real problems of corruption; only this is effective. Those whose understanding of the truth is absurd should communicate less or not communicate at all. This is beneficial to everybody’s understanding of the truth.
2. Communication of God’s words must revolve around the center and never go off topic. Going off topic regularly makes it easy to disturb minds and bring confusion, such that people cannot understand God’s words. Those who often go off topic when speaking must be restricted. This saves time and is beneficial to the understanding of the truth and the attainment of the desired result.
3. It is best if those with poor qualities and understanding capacities speak less and listen more. They should put more effort into contemplating God’s words and accept pure understanding, as well as pray and communicate more to God in their hearts. This not only benefits them but also others. Only through such practice can they improve themselves.
4. When communicating God’s words at meetings, do not repeat other people’s views and opinions and instead discuss some new light or new knowledge. If there is no new knowledge then do not discuss, as this can save time and make meetings more effective. Rather than always repeating the words of others, it is better to calm yourself before God and think carefully and differentiate wisely, and accept other people’s new light and pure understanding. This is beneficial to you, and you also gain something from the meeting.
5. Regardless of which aspect of the truth is being communicated, when others are communicating on how they dissect and look at some problems, do not be too sensitive or speculate blindly, in case it may lead to mutual judgment and attacks. Do not argue about meaningless things; focus on understanding the truth to resolve your own problems. Do not always worry about others but ignore your own entry. Only those who try to gain truths to resolve their own problems of corruption are smart people.
from The Fellowship From the Above
Leaders and workers at all levels should lead the way in communicating the truth in church life. This is the duty and responsibility of leaders and workers. All those who seek the truth should communicate and devote at meetings the enlightenment and light they have gained in their experience. Only by doing this can they make God happy and receive more of the work of the Holy Spirit and more quickly enter into the truth. Those without experience or knowledge do not have to communicate, but should conscientiously receive and contemplate the communication of others. They will gradually also gain knowledge through practicing and experiencing afterward. In order for meetings to achieve better results, all those who have experience or knowledge of God’s words should communicate what they have gained and devote their part. This way, everyone can enjoy it and can understand the truth and enter the reality of God’s words. In particular, those who seek the truth should fulfill their duty properly and communicate all of their knowledge and experience of God’s words and the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit they have received. Only by doing so are they not burying God’s love and the work God has done on them. Only by doing so can they receive more work and grace from the Holy Spirit, and understand and possess more truth. Those who never communicate the truth are dead people without spirits; the more one communicates the truth, the more they can enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit. Only such people can come to life. Communicating the truth is the best way to bear witness to God and exalt God; it is truly fulfilling one’s duty and serving God. People’s lives grow and mature through communicating the truth. All those who seek and love the truth should work together to fulfill their duty at meetings. That is how quality church life is created.
from “Seven Principles That Must Be Practiced in Church Life” in Annals of the Fellowship and Arrangements of the Work of the Church (I)
Communicating God’s words also has several principles that must be abided by:
Firstly, prior to communicating God’s words, you must contemplate the substance of God’s words, figure out what the words are getting at, understand their true meaning, and try to fathom why God would say such words and what effects they are trying to achieve. Regardless of what He says, God’s intentions and requirements are in His words. This is the main point that must be communicated. God’s chosen people must search for God’s intentions in His every word, and understand what He requires of man and the truths man ought to be equipped with. Communicating in this way is of benefit to both you and others. If you do not carefully contemplate God’s words after reading them and simply brush them off by speaking only of literal meaning, you will never understand the truth. Reading God’s words does not have much meaning if you are merely following forms and procedures.
Secondly, there are many truths contained in God’s words. Each line of God’s words involves many aspects of the truth, which cannot be explained thoroughly through literal meaning. Man cannot take God’s words lightly. If you see them as too simple, that would be too foolish and ignorant. Even the simplest line of God’s words cannot be experienced in its entirety over a lifetime. This is because all that expressed in God’s words is the truth, the reality of positive things, and cannot be fully attained or entered into too deeply by man. One will never be able to understand God’s words if they do not have an obedient attitude. You must therefore fear God and be godly when you communicate God’s words.
Thirdly, you must communicate only as much of God’s words you understand. Do not pretend to understand when you don’t and speak carelessly about letters and doctrines. Only communicate your knowledge and understanding of God’s words. Do not talk about things unrelated to the truth as you are just wasting other people’s time. For everybody’s benefit, it is best for each person to only speak for 5 minutes or so and no more than around 10 minutes. If they cannot finish in one go then split it up into two or three times so that everyone can have the opportunity to speak; one person cannot take up too much time. You can also interrupt those who especially like to talk if they get off topic, so they learn how to be more sensible and respect others. Practicing in this way benefits everybody.
Fourthly, there is another principle for communicating God’s words, and that is, one can communicate about conditions that most people have and problems existing in the church. This type of communication is legitimate, but you must not have intentions of attacking or belittling other people. No matter who you are, if you possess these conditions you should face it properly and humbly accept it. You must not be arrogant and conceited, intolerable to other opinions, or use your position to pressure others, forbidding them to talk or restricting their communication of the truth. The process of communicating the truth is also the process of exposing people’s corrupt nature. Those who genuinely accept the truth will be able to face themselves correctly when it comes to such things and have no difficulties whatsoever. Eating and drinking God’s words will not have much of an effect if you don’t dare to communicate God’s words at meetings or join with the reality because you are scared to offend people or lose face. People who are sincerely willing to accept the truth should join with their conditions and communicate their knowledge of God’s words in a simple and open manner. Only by communicating God’s words in this way is it easy to understand the truth and achieve results. Everyone can communicate about special problems that surface in the church and express their own views, and it must be based on God’s words and they must stand on the side of the truth. Such communication can shame Satan even more and achieve real results.
from “Practicing Principles for Church Life” in Annals of the Fellowship and Arrangements of the Work of the Church (I)