Chapter 25. A Talk About God’s Administrative Decrees in the Age of Kingdom
Let’s start by talking about what God’s administrative decrees are. You should understand the definition of them. When they hear them, some people say, Administrative decrees? What do they mean? Are they laws? Are they rules? Are they a system? Or some set of domestic rules? What on earth are they? They don’t understand. Are God’s administrative decrees commandments? Some people still don’t understand; they don’t know what God’s administrative decrees precisely are. Though people often say things like, “God has His administrative decrees, and if you don’t do as He says, He shall use His administrative decrees to punish you and keep you in check,” and although their mouths say the words “God’s administrative decrees,” they don’t actually understand what their substantive connotations are. Just what are God’s administrative decrees? God’s administrative decrees are a kind of language set by God that is aimed at people’s natures and their corrupt dispositions, and which keeps their behavior in check. His administrative decrees are not laws, or a legal system, much less are they like the constitutions of the world. They are a set of parameters set out by God to keep people’s behavior in check. Each of God’s administrative decrees relates to how to fear God, how to worship God, how to obey God, how to be a created being, how to be a human being, how to testify to God, how to not bring shame upon God’s name—it covers all that. So, some people say: “God’s Spirit can do things: He can punish people, He can bring retribution upon every person, and He also has the truth to teach every person. Why must His administrative decrees be used?” The truth concerns entry into life, it relates to those detailed states of people’s corrupt dispositions. God’s administrative decrees, meanwhile, are explicit stipulations, and regardless of your state and what kind of person you are, since you believe in God and are in God’s house, you must carry them out; and if you are incapable of that which is set out and spoken of in God’s administrative decrees, you must be struck off. If someone is incapable of what is set out in God’s administrative decrees, in God’s eyes they will be detested and rejected. In fact, God’s administrative decrees are the very least that people should achieve in their faith in God. They’re similar to how the Israelites worshiped Jehovah, offering sacrifices, observing the Sabbath, and following the work and rules that Jehovah carried out during the Age of Law. In the Age of Law, Jehovah carried out some work and said many words. Of course, He also set many laws—and these laws, naturally, contained much that people were supposed to do. What people were supposed to do at that time covered how they should fear Jehovah, how they should offer sacrifices to Jehovah, how they should give one tenth of their possessions to Him, how they should donate…. It covered a lot, which at that time was called the laws. With the arrival of the Age of Grace, this was called the commandments.
We spoke about this before. There were also the commandments of the new age, which were also part of God’s administrative decrees—it’s just that today, they’re called administrative decrees. Previously, during that age, they were called the commandments, but the commandments of that age cannot be carried forward to today and called administrative decrees, because what people do in each age is different. Every age has commandments, and every age has the criteria of God’s requirements of people, criteria which can change at any time, altering according to the age and the needs of God’s work. It would be inappropriate to use some of the laws of the Age of Law today, but some are, of course, suitable. Of the commandments that Jesus spoke of, most are suitable for the present day, and some aren’t. Some people say: “Do not smoke, 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 like “You must honor your father and mother,” it depends on the circumstances. Don’t get the wrong idea and say, “God said the commandments that came before have all been abolished, only a few of them can be used.” You must not pass this on—this is the wrong thing to pass on. You’ll be meddling, and you’ll be a demon! “God said the ones from before—do not smoke, do not drink, do not sin—they’ve all been abolished.” If they’ve all been abolished, then go and drink and smoke, go and do bad things! You must possess the very least of what ought to be possessed by people who have the propriety of saints. Those laws and commandments, and the administrative decrees that we’re talking about today—they are all what people need based upon the age, upon the circumstances, context, and God’s work at the time. Thus, God has spoken some extra words, which are as many as people need. In this age, God has spoken a few extra words, and given people a few extra rules to hold them in check, giving them standards, telling them how to believe in God, and what they should and shouldn’t do as part of their faith in God. Of course, during the time of Jesus, Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.” Afterward, He abolished many laws, and He did so because they were not appropriate for that age, they were not suitable for the work of that time, they were not fitting for the environment of that time—and so He abolished them. Today, of course, there is an even greater necessity to do this—yes? When it comes to applying the commandments of the New Testament today, in the new age, some need to be abolished, and some must continue, for the environment of the work of today is different, and what people need is different—so each stage is higher than the last. Some people are absurd, and they say, “Jesus said He had come to fulfill the Law, so why did He abolish and eliminate so much of it? Why did what He did violate the Law?” He abolished some laws and fulfilled others. What does it mean that He fulfilled them? Some have continued, and become even higher than before; upon the basis of continuation, they have become a step higher, and the rest—the ones that are inappropriate—have been abolished, for the work of God does not follow doctrine. Today, those laws and commandments can be abolished. But only some of them are abolished. If you misunderstand this, what you pass on will be wrong, you’ll say, “God said they were abolished!” Have all the commandments that were spoken before been abolished? Are they all useless? In this, you would be being absurd. Today, God’s administrative decrees are according to people’s states. Some people say: “Why are God’s administrative decrees always being issued?” Given how corrupt people are, how could it be alright to not issue God’s administrative decrees? Is this not OK? They say: “Why do they have to keep being issued, they only need to be issued once. When people know God’s administrative decrees, it’s done. They need only practice according to them, that’s all—why keep issuing them?” People’s circumstances vary, people are always changing, it is not the case that as soon as they accept God, they have carried out the commandments, and these people live in a vacuum, and are holy and righteous—that’s not the case. People always have corrupt dispositions, they always live in their corrupt dispositions, they are always amid corruption, and so there must always be the corresponding administrative decrees to keep their behavior in check. For those who truly violate God’s administrative decrees, they may be kicked out, or have limits imposed upon them, or not be used for a long time, or be eliminated—they will face all kinds of consequences. During that period there were some administrative decrees, so of course, today there must also be administrative decrees—and so what are the administrative decrees of the Age of Kingdom? Note them down.
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.” Let Me explain this. These four things actually speak of one issue: In the tone of their speech, people’s perspective must be a human one, they should speak in the position of man, and should not boast about themselves. Don’t boast about how well you’ve led the churches in one area, don’t brag that they belong to you, don’t crow that God uses you and is especially good to you. And do not say boastful things like, “God eats with us, He chats with us, He works with us.” There’s no use in saying this. So what should people say? That is, in terms of their language, what should people say? If you can’t speak of how to worship God—if you are incapable of providing this kind of life—then you should try to know yourself, dissect yourself, lay yourself bare, and show your true face. You should be able to lay bare yourself and what you do to everyone. Laying yourself bare in this way does not mean justifying yourself. It means revealing your true face, and exposing the motivations and thoughts within you. By doing this, you are not exalting yourself. If you can humble yourself—if you can put aside your own motivations, can dissect your own motivations, can lay bare the filthy things within you, and can expose yourself—then this proves that you are in the right position. I’ve realized that many people are only able to lecture others and preach to them, and are not able to fellowship with them, they are incapable of normal interaction with them. They can only lecture others, they can only preach lofty sermons from up high. There are also some who are only capable of giving speeches and talks. Their words only address the states of others. They never lay themselves bare; they never start with themselves, they never dissect their own corrupt dispositions, but instead dissect the corrupt dispositions of others in order to make everyone know them. Why do they do this? Why do they preach in this way, and say such words? What does this prove? It proves that they don’t know themselves, that they believe themselves higher than others; they think their ability to know the corrupt dispositions of others proves that they are higher than other people, that they are more incisive, and less corrupt, than them. Dissecting and lecturing others, but not laying themselves bare, not exposing their own corrupt dispositions, not dissecting their own corrupt dispositions, not showing their true face, saying nothing of their own motivations, only lecturing others for doing things wrong—this is magnifying and exalting oneself. Why do some people make trouble out of nothing; why, when asked to lead the churches in a certain area, to lead a few people, do you lecture them however you please, being reckless and willful? Why, when you say those things, do you not think about the consequences, why do you never give any consideration to your own status? Why do you do that? Because, although you have been asked to lead, you do not know your own status and position. In fact, your being asked to lead is merely a sign of respect, it does not mean that you are higher than others. Actually, you’re no different from them, and you might even be worse than them. Why do you senselessly lecture others, lecturing and constraining them as you please? Why do you force other people to listen to your words, why do you still ask that other people do as you say when what you’re doing is wrong? What does this prove? It proves that you are not standing in the right position. You are not standing in the position of man to do your work, but that of God—you are working from a high position. What you’re doing is wrong, so why do you force others to do as you say? Are you authority? Are you supreme? Are you the truth? If what you’re doing were right, they could do as you say—that’s justified. But when you’re wrong, why force others to do as you say? Some people are asked to go somewhere to preach the gospel, and there is work to be done after they arrive, yet they try to leave—and when the others don’t let them go, they chide them and say, “Why won’t you let me go?” The other people say, “You’ve work here—why do you have to go?” And they say, “I won’t listen!” They’d rather have the last word even if it means holding up the work, they would rather do whatever they say they’re going to do. Do such people not magnify themselves? Are they not exalting themselves? When they lead others, they don’t ask that they put the truth into practice, but make them do as they say. Why ask that people listen to those devilish words of yours? You are of a devilish nature, so why try to make people obey you? Does someone like this not magnify themselves? Do they not exalt themselves? Can they bring others before God? Can they make people worship God? They’re the ones they try and make others obey. Regardless of how much it holds up the work, no matter how important the thing it delays, they say people must listen to them. Are such people of a devilish nature? I say that such people are devils in human skin. You’ve the face of a human—but inside you’re nothing but demon, you are of a devilish nature! You speak devilish words, you do devilish things, your behavior is not that of a human, but that of a devil. Do you understand? This is number one. When you act and speak, when you interact with others—in everything in your life—you should think to yourself, “I should not magnify myself, nor exalt myself. I should exalt and worship God.” Think what these words mean, ponder them more. Don’t let them go in one ear and out the other.
2. You should do anything that is beneficial to God’s work, and nothing that is detrimental to the interests of God’s work. You should defend God’s name, God’s testimony, and God’s work.
As long as something concerns the interests of the house of God, the work of the house of God, and God’s name, you should defend it, and speak up for it; each person has a responsibility and obligation to do this—this is what you should do. Do you not understand?
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, and 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.
Let Me explain this. If I don’t, some people who have no sense of shame will have the cheek to steal offerings! Do these words need to be explained? Are you having difficulty understanding them? Are they especially difficult to understand, do you not understand them in the slightest? The priest is not some minor leader. The priest does not lead a single church or a certain area—that’s not who the priest is. Today, people like you are being used temporarily. If you’re not up to standard, you’re kicked out; your use is not set in stone. Don’t think that as soon as you’re used this becomes set in stone and you will never be eliminated. Don’t have such delusions—these are extravagant desires. But the priest has rights and qualifications. And who are these qualifications given by? Who are these rights given by? They are, of course, given by God. The priest possesses the rights and qualifications to serve God directly. In the time of the Old Testament, those priests could enter the temple of God, them and no one else. They, and no one else, could eat the sacrifices. But what kind of person is the priest today? This kind of person used to be called a priest; today he is a person who is used by the Holy Spirit. So are you? You are not! When I speak of the priest, don’t say, “Humph, what? I am!” You are not—you have yet to reach that level! The priest is the one who is used by the Holy Spirit, and no one else but the priest is fit to enjoy God’s offerings.
4. Man has corrupt disposition and, moreover, he is possessed of emotions. As such, it is absolutely prohibited for two members of the opposite sex to work together when serving God. Any who are discovered doing so will be expelled, without exception—and no one is exempt.
There are some brothers who fellowship with sisters and insist on doing so alone. They also lay themselves bare to the sisters when they fellowship with them, and refuse to do it with anyone else. These people are no good! There are some sisters, meanwhile, who don’t fellowship with their other sisters, and never lay themselves bare to them. They specifically seek out brothers to fellowship with, joining the brothers to fellowship. And what kind of people are these? Can none of your sisters support you? Can none of them fellowship with you? Do they all despise you, are they all incapable of getting along with you? Can you only get along with brothers? I think there are other motivations here! Some stick to members of the opposite sex like glue, which must be restrained using willpower—don’t indulge yourself as you please. People have corrupt dispositions and always have to hold themselves back. Those without constraints become seriously dissolute. There must always be something holding you back, making you always think about these things. That way, your behavior is much better.
5. You shall not pass judgment on God, nor casually discuss matters related to God. You should do as man ought to do, and speak as man ought to speak, and must not overstep your limits nor transgress your boundaries. Guard your own tongue and be careful of your own footsteps. All this will prevent you from doing anything that offends God’s disposition.
6. You should 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 are unfit to live in God’s household.
Decree 6 concerns people’s duty. If you are capable of doing something, as long as the church has work that needs you, regardless of what your life used to be like, what your own pursuit is like, what your caliber is like, no matter what your humanity is like, if the church needs you to do something, you must do it, even if it means losing your head. If you don’t, get out—the house of God doesn’t feed people for nothing! It doesn’t matter whether they believe in God or not, kick them out! This is the minimum. It’s enough to have a little worship for God in your behavior, as it is in your actions; God doesn’t need both your caliber and humanity to be good and for you to be good at working, and not perfunctory. He doesn’t ask too much of you, but at the very least, your actions and behavior must be tolerable. If you can’t do this, then get out of the house of God. Right now there are many places where the church’s workers or others have gone, which are not welcoming. For the moment, you can ignore such places. If they are able to welcome you but don’t, then they won’t be given books in the future. Or if they are able to do this work but won’t go, they won’t be given books in the future. If, again and again, they don’t do it—refusing to do so no matter what anyone says, they should stop eating for free, stop taking up space. You’re revolting—stop wasting space here! If you want to believe, believe. If you don’t, I’m not going to beg you. Who’s begging you? You came voluntarily! If you’re incapable of even this, how can you say you believe in God? If you’re incapable of being a righteous person, then be a good person in the world. It’s enough to do something good and to be a good person. If you can’t even be a good person, you’re worthless trash. The house of God doesn’t want worthless trash. This isn’t the trash recycling center—trash like this has no use, and those who have no use must be kicked out, without exception! Yet you must not be rash; if you are, and I find out, then you’ll be expelled, you’ll be kicked out.
7. In work and matters of the church, apart from obeying God, in everything you should follow the instructions of the man who is used by the Holy Spirit. Even the slightest infraction is unacceptable. You must be absolute in your compliance, and must not analyze right or wrong; what’s right or wrong has nothing to do with you. You must only concern yourself with total obedience.
You must listen to the man who is used by the Holy Spirit regardless of what he says or does. You should carry out whatever he arranges for you, and do whatever he tells you to. Do not say, “Does God know? I must ask God.” There’s no need to ask—you should do whatever he tells you to, do you not understand?
8. People who believe in God should obey God and worship Him. You should not exalt or look up to any person; you ought not to give first place to God, second place to the people you look up to, and third place to yourself. 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, to be His equal. This is intolerable to God.
Some people are really good at trimming their sails and brown-nosing. Whoever they see Me favor, whoever they see Me praising, whoever they see Me keep calling over and chatting to, that’s who they’ll start brown-nosing—after which a conception, a pattern, will form in their brains: “Right, next to God is Brother so-and-so, next to Brother so-and-so is Sister so-and-so, next to Sister so-and-so is such-and-such a brother, and next to him is such-and-such a sister. So! God’s attitude toward them is certain to never change, their place is set in stone!” Let Me tell you: These people’s place shall never be set in stone, and yours shall never be set in stone. Don’t think that because their place is high now they will always be used. Who knows—the day may come when they are kicked downstairs. Let’s see if you still worship them then! In your brains, don’t rank people, thinking: “God is number one, so-and-so is number two, so-and-so is number three, so-and-so is number four.” Where is the use in that? Is this not the same as the imperial court, where the emperor was top, the chancellor was second, such-and-such was number three, and such-and-such was number four? There is no distinction between number one and number two! Do you rank people in your heads? Actually, you’re all equal, without exception. Don’t say, “Ugh, I was promoted before him,” “Ugh, I was promoted even earlier than him, and since then I’ve never been demoted.” Don’t compare yourselves with other people like that. You might be of better caliber than others, but you too have been dealt with a lot—there’s nothing good about you. Do you cry less? Are you dealt with less? Are you reprimanded less? And why are you reprimanded? You’re a good-for-nothing. Don’t think there’s anything great about you. Don’t rank people. When you do, this proves that what you think, worship, and obey inside is tainted with many of the things of man.
9. Your thoughts ought to be of the work of the church. You should 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. In this matter you should check, monitor and remind each other, and 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 or given a new name; such people are not of God’s household, and their entry into the church must be put a stop to 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 toward this matter, but you should also not be reckless, or use it to settle personal scores.
These are the ten administrative decrees of God that the chosen ones of the Age of Kingdom must follow. Remember them all!