The Practical Problems That Must Be Resolved to Competently Perform One’s Duty
Only by pursuing the truth in performing one’s duties can one perform them competently. If people pursue the truth then they can know themselves, and they can recognize what corruptions they have expressed, what human ideas they are tainted by and what acts of defiance to God they have committed in the performance of their duties. These problems must be resolved—this is crucial. Now let’s look at the 10 manifestations of performing one’s duties incompetently: 1) Always being unwilling to perform one’s duty, and therefore doing them in a slipshod way and deceiving God; 2) following formality and going through the motions in performing one’s duty, not striving to achieve results; 3) focusing solely on trivialities and not doing any basic, substantial work; 4) disregarding the importance or urgency of tasks and doing as one wishes; 5) working entirely to uphold one’s own status and reputation, and acting wantonly; 6) always having one’s own views in order to satisfy one’s own desires; 7) working only to satisfy the requirements of leadership, working for them, and working for show; 8) ingratiating oneself with other people simply based on one’s emotions in order to obtain their praise; 9) following rules in all things, and paying no attention to seeking or practicing the truth; 10) working only to show oneself off, and to obtain the approval and worship of others. All who have the above 10 manifestations when performing their duties are not performing their duties competently. If you really do have all 10 of these manifestations, or several amongst them, then it may be ascertained that you are not performing your duties competently; if you don’t have any of these 10 manifestations, or you have just a little that doesn’t have much of an effect, then you are basically performing your duties competently. But for those who have not been judged and chastised or pruned and dealt with, especially those who have not been pruned or dealt with much, then it can be said that none of them will be competently performing their duties. The above 10 manifestations exist to a greater or lesser extent in all of God’s chosen people, and it is a practical problem. What is the root of the problem? It’s because man has been corrupted so deeply by Satan, they are all under the control of their satanic natures and sometimes they have no command over themselves. This is the root of the problem and so, in order to competently perform one’s duty, one must pursue the truth. What are the manifestations of pursuing the truth? The principles of practice are to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, to accept God’s trials and refinement and, most importantly, to accept being pruned and dealt with, especially being pruned and dealt with by leaders and workers. If they deal with you in a slightly biased way, or in a way that’s not entirely right, then you must still accept it, for it is to your advantage, and will not disadvantage you. Don’t be too exacting about whether their dealing with you is fair or accurate, or demand that it be essentially comforting, or that it be as mild and soft as a gentle breeze, or that they deal with you with a smile. Don’t be exacting about these things. And if they overdo it a bit, or they are a little bit biased, then so what? If you are corrected, and you have gained knowledge, it is beneficial for your life growth. It is imperative that you learn how to obey and that you accept the truth. When someone has these 10 manifestations of performing their duties incompetently, on the one hand they are expressing corruptions, and on the other they are tainted with their own will. Are these 10 manifestations not manifestations of being slipshod and deceiving God? Are they not the acts of defiance to God? What is the root cause? One must resolve the problem of one’s satanic disposition; it won’t do to leave this unresolved. Why is man incapable of obeying God? It’s because of their satanic disposition that they cannot obey God, they cannot easily accept the truth and they do things that defy God. What are the primary manifestations of their satanic disposition? There are six main manifestations: Firstly, being arrogant and conceited, and being self-righteous. This applies to everyone, even myself. At first, I was arrogant and self-important and I despised everyone. But after experiencing so much judgment, chastisement, pruning and dealing, I came to know myself and I began to hate myself. Secondly, acting wantonly and wildly, always going by one’s own conceptions and opinions, persisting with one’s own views, always thinking that one’s own views are right and not listening to anything anyone else says. Thirdly, being duplicitous, not saying how one truly feels, being one way to people’s faces and another way behind their backs—everyone is like this to a greater or lesser extent. Fourthly, concealing the true state of affairs from both those above and below one and reporting only the good and not the bad. Everyone does this too, only the extent to which they do it is different. Fifthly, focusing on making others obey oneself, focusing on status and reputation, and oppressing those who do not obey oneself. This manifests very evidently with some leaders and workers. They are unable to make God’s chosen people convinced in heart and by word, and people like this are without the reality of the truth. They should make most of God’s chosen people convinced in heart and by word and obtain their approval instead of always oppressing them. They are like the great red dragon which just suppresses and oppresses those who don’t obey it. If you still don’t obey it, it will use tanks and machine guns to eliminate you, using violence to suppress you. They are so overbearing. Sixthly, always establishing one’s own prestige and protecting one’s own position, and always wanting others to worship and exalt oneself. This is even more so a satanic disposition that defies God, and if those who possess this kind of disposition are unable to accept being judged and chastised, then they are doomed to become antichrists. The satanic disposition is primarily expressed in these six aspects. If you have been changed in them, if your life disposition has been changed, and if you have got rid of the poisons in these six aspects, then you will have a true human likeness. If someone really can get these six manifestations of the satanic disposition pretty much resolved, then they will be living out a human likeness, normal and sensible, fair and loving; they will stand on an equal footing with God’s chosen people, they will conduct themselves humbly, they will not be arrogant or self-righteous, they will stand on an equal footing with other people, and they will only obey the truth and obey God. If one can resolve these six manifestations of the satanic disposition, would that mean that the 10 manifestations of performing one’s duty incompetently also disappear? They would also be resolved. The main roots of those ten manifestations of performing one’s duty incompetently are found in these six manifestations of the satanic disposition. Therefore, if you want to competently perform your duties and serve in a way that meets God’s will, then you must pursue the truth. Without the truth, you are unable to understand yourself thoroughly; without the truth, you have no self-knowledge; without the truth, you cannot know the true condition of your own corruption; without the truth, you cannot easily accept being pruned and dealt with by others, and you will not truly obey God. So seek to gain the truth first, and only then can all these problems be resolved at the roots. To perform your duties competently, you must be perfected by God. How does God perfect people? He perfects people through judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, and pruning and dealing. All three of these must be present. If one of these is lacking, then your life growth will be slow, understand? You must experience these three things a lot—judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, and pruning and dealing—and only by accepting them submissively can you achieve results. If you do not experience God’s judgment and chastisement or trials and refinement, your life disposition will never change, which is for certain. And you would be like those who believe in God in religion; they focus solely on enjoying God’s grace. It’s as though whoever enjoys God’s grace the most, then God loves that person the most and they receive God’s love the most. The result is that the more they enjoy God’s grace, the more arrogant and conceited they get, the more they look down on other people, and the more seriously they defy God in the end. But when man experiences God’s judgment and chastisement and trials and refinement, the results are different. What God’s words bring to man is the truth, and the result achieved is man’s understanding of the truth. The more you eat and drink God’s words, the more you understand the truth. If you always eat and drink God’s words and always fellowship about them, then the truth will become clearer and clearer to you, and your desire to obey God will become ever stronger. In this way, when trials and refinement befall you, you will be able to stand firm, you will be able to show consideration for God’s will and you will be able to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Because you understand the truth, you will be mature in stature through experiencing trials and refinement, and you will then come to understand God’s will, will know to show consideration for God’s will, and will know how to cooperate with God’s work. In this way, your performance of your duties will become more and more competent, and if you can competently perform your duties, then that will mean that you are fit to be used by God, and God can then formally use you to carry out His will. This is not a simple matter—you must put God’s mind at rest.
It is unacceptable now not to pursue the truth. Why is it that you have to pursue the truth now? If you don’t pursue the truth then you won’t be able to be perfected. In His work of the last days, God wants to perfect a group of people, and this is an incredibly rare opportunity for mankind to be perfected by God. When this opportunity falls into your lap, if you don’t pursue the truth and you don’t cooperate with God’s work, then there’s no way you can be perfected. Therefore, if you don’t pursue the truth today, you are the most foolish of people and you will be unable to be perfected. What will be your final end if you cannot be perfected? Firstly, you won’t necessarily attain God’s salvation and, secondly, even if you do attain salvation, as you cannot serve God then you won’t be qualified to serve God in the next age, and you will just be ruled by God’s people. It’s just like someone studying at school, and the teacher criticizes them, saying: “Studying this way is unacceptable. Doing so, you won’t get into college and you won’t have any future prospects.” And the student replies: “This is how I am. I think it’s great that I come to school at all. What’s this got to do with you anyway? Whether I get into college or not is up to me. I cannot blame you.” When the teacher hears this, they say: “OK. I won’t bother with you again.” Later, when the time comes to move onto college, the student doesn’t get in and they’re dumbfounded. They burst into tears and want to jump off a building—this is the pitifulness of the unbelievers, isn’t it? Listen and obey and you’ll be greatly blessed; whoever says something that accords with the truth, then listen to it and accept it, for it is beneficial to you. This is having sense, conscience, integrity and dignity. If you can’t even accept the truth, then where is your dignity? Where is your integrity? You won’t listen to reason, and you’re an animal. When I began to do my duty, who could deal with me or prune me? Only God dealt with me, the Holy Spirit pruned me, and then my life slowly grew. I now do some duties, and handle some matters, and sometimes I solicit the suggestions of my brothers and sisters: “What do you think of what I said? Do you think it’s suitable?” And my brothers and sisters provide me with advice and I listen to their suggestions. Is this not a good way to practice? What method do I oppose the most? Those who are leaders and workers always say: “I decided this matter, this was my view, and I told them to do it this way.” But what can you decide if you don’t have the truth? What right have you to decide anything? You always say “I decide,” “I announce,” “I propose,” “I believe,” and “I think.” Isn’t this self-righteous? Isn’t this arrogant and conceited? So often, you say “I decide,” so what is this? This is your satanic disposition. When did I ever say to you “I decide”? I don’t say “I decide,” “I propose,” “I believe,” or “I command.” Saying things like this means that one has a bad disposition, and it represents the satanic disposition. How do I always speak to you? “See whether doing things this way is suitable or not.” “Yes, it’s suitable.” “Now that you all say it’s suitable, let’s decide to do it this way.” What do you think of these words, “let’s decide to do it this way,” and “then let’s arrange it like this”? Isn’t that a lot better than saying “I decide”? Be sure not to say “I decide such-and-such,” or “I’m a leader and I decide that you have to do it this way, I command that you do it this way.” When you say things like this, it means that you have a bad disposition. Unbelievers are prone to say this kind of thing, aren’t they? And so does the great red dragon, right? When I see someone say “I decide,” or “I announce,” I feel like Satan has taken power. Who do you think you are? What are you deciding? What are you announcing? Are you announcing that a satanic plenary session has commenced? Believers in God don’t talk like that. They should talk like this: “Everyone takes a look. Does doing things this way conform to the truth? Anyone have any different ideas? If we all agree, then let’s decide to do it this way.” This is democratic and sensible. This way of talking is appropriate, and it makes people comfortable. Someone says: “Talking this way means that the individual has no power whatsoever.” What power do you need to have? You all discuss it, seek the truth and practice according to the truth—this is your duty and it is your responsibility. What power are you focusing on? You fulfill your duty and that’s that, you fulfill your responsibility and you achieve results—great. So what power are you focusing on? You all seek the truth together for someone’s problem, and expel someone or handle some problem in line with God’s words; this carries with it responsibility, you are performing your duty and you are fulfilling your responsibility. It cannot be called power. If you call it power then you are violating a taboo somewhat. What is power? Has anyone ever read in any work arrangement “Based on my power, I decide …”? Has anyone ever read this? It’s meaningless. Do you know what kind of disposition it represents? Paul spoke with that tone, and when you see that, you know that he was an antichrist. Can one competently perform one’s duties without pursuing the truth? When everyone goes by God’s words and goes by the truth and thoroughly understands the matter at hand and then makes a suitable arrangement, then this is a great way to practice. Your own duty is fulfilled, God is satisfied and God’s chosen people are happy. Great things can be done when everyone works together. You don’t show yourself off and you’ve actually organized it all. But because this way of doing things is suitable, everyone agrees with it, and so they admire you as someone who is really capable. You don’t show yourself off and still you do things so well and so suitably. This is called having the reality of the truth. Is this not a good way to practice? On the surface, you don’t exercise any power, but you are able to handle the problem excellently, to make people convinced in heart and by word and at the same time not show yourself off. Most of the time you let everyone else speak and you let them say their suggestions and ways to practice that most conform to the truth. Then you adopt someone’s suggestion, and you determine the suggestion and the path they have put forward to be the accurate path of practice, and that person says, very satisfied, “He promoted my fellowship today, and he believes this path to conform entirely with the truth and with principles. I have now gained the truth and I understand it. This leader really is so capable!” You can conduct yourself humbly in this way and still achieve results, so that other people admire you from their hearts. You don’t exalt yourself at all, and you allow others to do things, and you bring their strengths and their positivity into play. The more you do this, the better the work gets and the more it flourishes. Great things can be done when everyone works together. Isn’t that so? This is the advantage of being a leader, and it can also be said to be the leader’s ability. Do all you can to bring the strengths of others into play, adopt whatever others do that’s suitable, allow people to see you getting those who pursue the truth and honest people established, so that everyone can look up to those people, and ultimately, those people will have a position in the church. Honest people and people who practice the truth will all have a position and no one will dare try to keep them down. Everyone will look up to them and respect them, and when these honest people cooperate well with you, won’t your work then really take off? This is being competent, capable and wise. In this way, the work is done well. Ordinarily, when I use people, if I see someone has a good caliber and a good understanding of God’s words, I will elevate them. And when they do well, I will say: “All pastoral areas should practice in accordance with the summarized experiences of that region.” And the leaders and workers of that region will feel that, “God has exalted us. That was the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and was the grace of God.” Their hearts will also be greatly comforted and, moreover, they will try even harder to practice the truth, and to perform their duties in accordance with the work arrangements and in accordance with God’s will. Everyone else will make progress, and they themselves will receive encouragement. Sometimes, the more negative and weak someone is, the more you should encourage them, and when they achieve a little something and find some right way of doing something, if these things are immediately promoted, they will become very satisfied. In this way, you can encourage their faith. Is the work not done well in this way? You must accept, adopt, practice, and learn how to use all ways of practice that are good, that benefit people and that facilitate the work. There are many lessons to be learned to be able to perform your duty competently, but the most important thing is to pursue the truth. Once you have a thorough understanding of the truth and you have a path to follow, you will then achieve good results in performing your duties, and you will have a path to follow in it. Can people who don’t understand the truth competently perform their duties? Absolutely not. What mistake are those without the truth prone to make? They will surely say, “I decide,” “I think,” “I propose,” and “I believe.” It’s always about themselves, they always deviate from the right way, they always act foolishly and they always make a mess of things. When you can accurately go by the truth, find the principles of practice and then act, then no one will be able to find fault with you, and Satan will not have anything to use against you. The more you act this way, the more future prospects you will have, the better the results will be and the more you will have a path to follow—this is real. Therefore, in order to competently perform your duties, you must pursue the truth—this is the path to success. To perform your duties competently, you must have your satanic disposition changed and resolved, and you must depend on the truth and use the truth to resolve problems. Without the truth, then the problems of man’s corruptions cannot be resolved; without the truth, people have no self-knowledge; without the truth, people cannot examine their own conduct; without the truth, people cannot summarize their lessons in failure. Therefore, without the truth, you have no way forward and no life, and having your life disposition changed is even more out of the question.
To competently perform your duties, you must be able to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and accept pruning and dealing—this is key. That you accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words means you accepting all the words of God that relate to your corrupt disposition, the words that reveal man’s nature and essence and the words that reveal people’s various acts of defiance to God. All these words are a judgment on people. If you accept these kinds of words without examining your own actions and deeds, and without being able to verify God’s words according to your own true expressions, then words like this will not achieve the results of judgment and chastisement on you. Could this be considered genuinely eating and drinking the words of God? No, it couldn’t; you would just be going through the motions. Everything God’s words say is the truth, and it is real. And what effect do they have on people? God’s words are a kind of judgment, and a kind of chastisement of people’s corrupt dispositions, and this is the kind of effect they must have. When the truth becomes evident, that is, you suddenly understand within God’s words, “Ah, this is what God’s words mean,” if you realize that you don’t possess what the words are talking about, and if you examine your past actions and realize that everything you used to do went against the truth and were acts of defiance to God, and you then feel remorse and shame, and you hate yourself, this then means that the effects of judgment and chastisement have been achieved. Allow all God’s words to achieve the results of judgment and chastisement within you and within the deepest recesses of your heart—allow God’s words to become a sharp sword that exposes you completely and dissects you clearly, and you will then come to hate yourself and hate your satanic disposition and will be motivated to forsake the flesh, obey God and satisfy God. Are these not the results achieved by God’s words? When you can achieve the results of accepting judgment and chastisement through eating and drinking the words of God, then you are eating and drinking them normally, and this is the principle behind eating and drinking God’s words. When you can achieve these kinds of practical results by accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s words every time you eat and drink them, then your eating and drinking of God’s words will conform to God’s standards and it will satisfy His will. God will say: “You are indeed truly eating and drinking My words, accepting the nourishment of My words and accepting the judgment and chastisement of My words. In the eating and drinking of My words, you are not just going through the motions or following formalities, but rather you are eating and drinking them so as to achieve results, to accept the truth, to know yourself and to have your disposition changed.” By eating and drinking God’s words in this way, you will be able to competently perform your duties. Moreover, you must also accept pruning and dealing. Say you do some things that are at odds with the truth and you want to eat and drink some of God’s words that relate to these things. You won’t necessarily be able to find the relevant words straight away, and sometimes you’ll look for one, two or three months and not find them. And say a leader or worker discovers this and points out the things you’ve done and, regardless of the tone they use when pointing them out to you, whether it be gentle or stern, as long as they dissect your mistaken ways of doing things, then these words are meant to prune and deal with you and you should accept them as such; if what they say to you accords entirely with God’s words, then you should accept it as the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, for this is beneficial for your life growth and for achieving a change in your disposition. If you don’t accept the things that people say that accord with the truth, that accord with God’s words and that accord with your real states, then this means you are not accepting being pruned and dealt with. This is just an external way to say it whereas, to say it according to principles, if you cannot accept being pruned and dealt with then you are not obeying God’s judgment and chastisement and not accepting the judgment and chastisement of His words. Therefore, in essence, not accepting being pruned and dealt with is not obeying God’s work, and this is an expression of defiance of God. For example, someone deals with you and you don’t listen, and you think, “I won’t obey this person, I don’t agree with them, so I won’t listen to anything they say, whether it’s right or not.” Don’t most people have this kind of disposition? What kind of disposition is this? It’s a satanic disposition, isn’t it? The disposition of people who can say things like this is in essence this kind of disposition of Satan. Are they people who are capable of obeying God? Why can’t they? Because they don’t obey the truth, they are therefore incapable of obeying God. What kind of person can obey God? Only those who can obey the truth can truly obey God. Using the fact that you obey the truth to verify that you are capable of obeying God—this is the only tenable way. Do those who can obey the truth care about whether the person talking to them is a right person or not? They don’t care what kind of person it is. If a devil said something, a devil that was sent by God and controlled by the Holy Spirit to say these things, one who obeys the truth would think, “This is the truth, these are God’s words. They come from God, so I accept them.” On the surface it looks as though they are obeying this devil, or this person who doesn’t know God, or this unbeliever. But in their heart, they think, “Because what this devil says accords with the truth, I am obeying the truth, and not this person.” Does their practical expression of obeying the truth not express their obedience to God? How can whether or not someone obeys God be verified? It depends on whether or not someone can obey the truth. If they really are someone who can obey the truth, then they won’t care who is speaking to them, but will think: “As long as what they say accords with the truth, then I can obey it. Even if a three-year-old naive child says something that accords with the truth, I shall accept it.” This person obeys the truth absolutely. They don’t care where the truth comes from, or from whose mouth it comes, and just as long as what a person says conforms with the truth, whether they approve of this person or not, they accept what they say—only this is an absolute faithfulness and obedience to the truth. Do those who have an absolute faithfulness and obedience to the truth truly not obey God? Are they not people who obey God absolutely? Even Satan is convinced of this—it is undeniable. Someone says: “I don’t obey anyone except the man being used by the Holy Spirit, and I don’t listen to anything anyone else says.” Is this kind of person someone who obeys God? They are the authentic devil Satan. And another kind of person says: “I heed God’s words, and I don’t heed the rest.” Is this kind of person someone who obeys God? Absolutely not. They are purely the devil Satan. So can God act in accordance with your conceptions and methods? To expose someone to see whether they truly obey Him or defy Him, God uses all manner of different methods, but whichever method He uses, it will be successful, and it will prove whether they really are someone who obeys Him. In the Age of Grace when Jesus Christ arrived in the world, He was born in a manger. So tell me, what did people think of Him being born in a manger? Could He be considered as someone to be honored? Honorable people are born into kings’ palaces, yet He was born in a manger with nowhere to rest His head. That wasn’t a place where people lived, that was somewhere for animals to stay. So would you have worshiped Christ, who had been born in such a place? Would you have acknowledged Him as Christ? This matter exposes people. If He had been born in a king’s palace, everyone would have gone to worship Him. But He was born in a manger with nowhere to rest His head, and three wise men came to worship Him, and they called Him Lord. This isn’t a simple matter, is it? What truth does this scene reveal? What does it indicate? Whether or not people truly love God and obey God is revealed in this matter. In the matter of Christ’s birth, when His physical body had just been born, those three people were able to prostrate themselves and call Him Lord; what did it show? They could prostrate themselves to a Christ born not in a king’s palace, but in a manger; they could prostrate themselves before a newborn Babe, call Him Lord, call Him Christ, and they were honorable wise men of such high status. Does this not move you? Are you a little inspired by this? How do we measure honor or lowliness? At this time, whether or not people had any humanity was revealed. Do we have a God-fearing heart? Do we obey God’s arrangements? When the incarnate God had just been born, if we were those who truly obeyed God, we could also kneel and worship Him. In the eyes of God, how did He regard people like this? All these problems must be resolved if you want to perform your duty. “I must have a God-fearing heart, I must prostrate myself to God without any impurities. No matter what worldly people think, or how they vilify and judge me, I shall prostrate myself before God. This is my honor, this is my integrity and this is my dignity. At that time, if I regarded my corrupt flesh as great and respectable and could not prostrate myself before God, then I would be a devil, not human, and I would be living in shame.” People must revere God and obey God in this way, and only then can they fulfill their duty properly.
If you want to fulfill your duty properly then you must resolve the issue of conducting yourself as an upright person, have a heart for God that is truly obedient and truly reverent, and have a heart that can truly love God. When you achieve these kinds of results, you will then naturally perform your duty competently. If you want to perform your duty competently, then conducting yourself as an upright person is fundamental. When you are a right person, you can also then fulfill your duty properly; if you are not a right person, then no matter how you do your duty, you will deviate too much and there will be too many impurities in it—it is following formalities and there is no reality to it. First be a right person, enter into the reality of the truth, and have a God-fearing heart, an obedient heart and a truly loving heart for Him, and when you are a right person, your duty will then naturally be done competently. … What exactly is bearing testimony? Performing one’s duty competently is bearing testimony and it is doing good deeds; it is a true manifestation of them experiencing the final phase of God’s work. Bearing true testimony is performing one’s duty competently. The more competently you perform your duty, the better and more resounding your testimony becomes—this is the fact. For those who perform their duties competently, their every action and deed, everything they do for their brothers and sisters and every duty they perform are their testimony. Those who do not perform their duties competently, who always act on their own will, and who are always slipshod in performing their duties, do not bear any testimony. Because everything they do generally has an essence that is slipshod toward God, that tries to fool God and deceive God, and is entirely defiant, God therefore calls them service-doers. To competently perform one’s duty is to bear testimony, and those who have testimony are those who have attained salvation and been perfected. This is beyond question, and you thoroughly understand this, right? How should one bear testimony? When the great red dragon collapses, how can one bear testimony to God’s victory? To pursue to be competent in performing one’s duty is fundamental. When all the duties you perform conform to God’s will, conform to the truth and bear practical results, then this is bearing testimony and it proves that God has been victorious over Satan. All your actions and expressions are God’s war trophies and they are the proof of God’s victory. When God has made man complete, is this testimony not a war trophy? Is this not confirmation and proof of God’s victory? How do you perform your duties? Competently? What do you do if it’s not done competently? You must continue to pursue the truth—all problems must be resolved through pursuing the truth. The more you understand the truth, the easier problems will be to resolve. As long as you do not understand the truth, the problems that exist in you will never be resolved; they just cannot be solved.