God’s Work and Man’s Work
How much of man’s work is the work of the Holy Spirit and how much is man’s experience? It may be said that people still do not understand these questions, and the reason for that is they do not understand the principles of the Holy Spirit’s work. When I say “man’s work,” I am, of course, referring to the work of those who have the Holy Spirit’s work or those who are used by the Holy Spirit. I am not referring to work that originates from the will of man, but to the work of the apostles, workers, or ordinary brothers and sisters that falls within the scope of the Holy Spirit’s work. Here, “the work of man” does not refer to the work of the incarnate God, but to the scope and principles of the work the Holy Spirit performs on people. While these principles are the principles and scope of the work of the Holy Spirit, they are not the same as the principles and scope of the work of God incarnate. The work of man has man’s essence and principles, and the work of God has God’s essence and principles.
The work in the stream of the Holy Spirit, whether it is God’s own work or the work of people being used, is the work of the Holy Spirit. The essence of God Himself is the Spirit, which can be called the Holy Spirit or the sevenfold intensified Spirit. All in all, They are the Spirit of God, though the Spirit of God has been called different names in different eras. Their essence is still one. Therefore, the work of God Himself is the work of the Holy Spirit, while the work of the incarnate God is nothing less than the Holy Spirit at work. The work of people who are used is also the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet the work of God is the complete expression of the Holy Spirit, which is absolutely true, whereas the work of people being used is mixed with many human things, and is not the direct expression of the Holy Spirit, let alone His complete expression. The work of the Holy Spirit is varied and not limited by any conditions. The work of the Holy Spirit varies in different people; it manifests different essences, and it differs by era, as well as by country. Of course, although the Holy Spirit works in many different ways and according to many principles, no matter how the work is done or on what kind of people, its essence is always different; all the work done on different people has its principles, and all of it can represent the essence of its objects. This is because the work of the Holy Spirit is quite specific in scope and quite measured. The work done in the incarnate flesh is not the same as the work conducted on people, and the work varies, too, according to the caliber of the person on whom it is conducted. Work done in the incarnate flesh is not done on people, and it is not the same work as that done on people. In brief, no matter how it is done, the work performed on different objects is never the same, and the principles by which He works differ in accordance with the states and natures of the different people on whom He works. The Holy Spirit works on different people based on their inherent essence and does not make demands on them that exceed that essence, nor does He do work on them that exceeds their inherent caliber. So, the work of the Holy Spirit on man allows people to see the essence of that work’s object. The inherent essence of man does not change; his inherent caliber is limited. The Holy Spirit uses people or works on them in accordance with the limitations of their caliber, that they may benefit from it. When the Holy Spirit works on people being used, those people’s talents and inherent caliber are unleashed, not withheld. Their inherent caliber is exerted in service of the work. It may be said that He uses the parts of men that can be used in His work, in order to achieve results in that work. By contrast, work done in the incarnate flesh expresses the work of the Spirit directly and is unadulterated by the human mind and thoughts; neither man’s gifts, nor man’s experience, nor man’s innate condition can reach it. All the myriad work of the Holy Spirit is meant to benefit and edify man. However, some people can be perfected while others do not possess the conditions for perfection, which means they cannot be perfected and can hardly be saved, and though they may have had the work of the Holy Spirit, they are ultimately eliminated. This is to say that though the work of the Holy Spirit is to edify people, one cannot say that all those who have had the Holy Spirit’s work will be perfected completely, because the path many people follow in their pursuit is not the path to being perfected. They have only the unilateral work of the Holy Spirit, not subjective human cooperation nor correct human pursuit. Thus, the work of the Holy Spirit on these people comes to serve those who are being perfected. The work of the Holy Spirit cannot be seen directly by people, nor can it be touched directly by people themselves. It can only be expressed by those with the gift of work, which means that the work of the Holy Spirit is provided to followers through the expressions people make.
The work of the Holy Spirit is accomplished and completed through many types of people and many different conditions. Although the work of God incarnate can represent the work of an entire era, and can represent people’s entry in an entire era, work on the details of people’s entry still needs to be done by men who are used by the Holy Spirit, not by God incarnate. So, God’s work, or God’s own ministry, is the work of God’s incarnate flesh, which man cannot do in His stead. The work of the Holy Spirit is completed through many different types of people; no single person can achieve it entirely, and no single person can express it completely. Those who lead the churches also cannot represent the work of the Holy Spirit completely; they can only do some leading work. The work of the Holy Spirit can thus be divided into three parts: God’s own work, the work of people who are used, and the work on all those in the stream of the Holy Spirit. God’s own work is to lead the entire era; the work of those who are used is, by being sent or receiving commissions after God has done His own work, to lead all God’s followers, and these are the ones who cooperate with God’s work; the work done by the Holy Spirit on those in the stream is to maintain all His own work, that is, to maintain His entire management and His testimony, while at once perfecting those who can be perfected. Together, these three parts are the complete work of the Holy Spirit, but without the work of God Himself, the management work would stagnate in its entirety. The work of God Himself involves the work of all of mankind, and it also represents the work of the entire era, which means that God’s own work represents every dynamic and trend of the work of the Holy Spirit, whereas the work of the apostles comes after God’s own work and follows from it, and it does not lead the era, nor does it represent trends of the Holy Spirit’s work in a whole era. They only do the work man ought to do, which has nothing at all to do with the management work. The work God does Himself is a project within the management work. Man’s work is only the duty that people who are used fulfill, and it is unrelated to the management work. Despite the fact that they are both the work of the Holy Spirit, due to differences in identities and representations of the work, there are clear and essential differences between God’s own work and the work of man. Moreover, the extent of the work done by the Holy Spirit varies on objects with different identities. These are the principles and scope of the work of the Holy Spirit.
The work of man signifies his experience and his humanity. What man provides and the work he does represent him. Man’s insight, man’s reasoning, man’s logic, and his rich imagination are all included in his work. Man’s experience is particularly able to signify his work, and a person’s experiences become the components of his work. Man’s work can express his experience. When some people experience negatively, most of the language of their fellowship will consist of negative elements. If their experience for a period of time is positive and they are especially possessed of a path in the positive aspect, their fellowship is very encouraging, and people can obtain positive provisions from them. If a worker becomes negative for a period of time, his fellowship will always carry negative elements. This kind of fellowship is depressing, and others will unconsciously become depressed after his fellowship. The state of followers changes depending on that of the leader. Whatever a worker is like inside, that is what he expresses, and the work of the Holy Spirit often changes with man’s state. He works according to people’s experience and does not force them, but makes demands of people according to the normal course of their experience. This is to say that man’s fellowship differs from the word of God. What people fellowship conveys their individual insights and experience, expressing their insights and experience on the basis of God’s work. Their responsibility is to find out, after God works or speaks, what of it they ought to practice or enter into, and then to deliver it to followers. Therefore, man’s work represents his entry and practice. Of course, such work is mixed with human lessons and experience or some human thoughts. However the Holy Spirit works, whether on man or in God incarnate, the workers always express what they are. Though it is the Holy Spirit who works, the work is founded on what man inherently is, because the Holy Spirit does not work without foundation. In other words, the work does not come from nothing, but is always done in accord with actual circumstances and real conditions. Only in this way can man’s disposition be transformed and his old notions and old thoughts be changed. What man expresses is what he sees, experiences, and can imagine, and it is attainable by man’s thinking, even if it is doctrine or notions. Man’s work cannot exceed the scope of man’s experience, nor what man sees, nor what man can imagine or conceive, regardless of the size of that work. All God expresses is what He Himself is, and this is unattainable by man—that is, beyond the reach of man’s thinking. He expresses His work of leading all mankind, and this is unrelated to the details of human experience, but is concerned instead with His own management. What man expresses is his experience, while what God expresses is His being, which is His inherent disposition, beyond the reach of man. Man’s experience is his insight and knowledge acquired on the basis of God’s expression of His being. Such insight and knowledge are called man’s being, and the basis of their expression is man’s inherent disposition and caliber—this is why they are also called man’s being. Man is able to fellowship what he experiences and sees. No one can fellowship that which they have not experienced, have not seen, or their thinking cannot reach, those being things they do not have inside of them. If what man expresses is not from his experience, it is then his imagination or doctrine. Simply put, there is no reality in his words. Were you never to come into contact with the things of society, you would not be able to fellowship clearly the complex relationships of society. If you had no family, were others to talk about family issues, you would not understand most of what they said. So, what man fellowships and the work he does represent his inner being. If someone fellowshiped his understanding of chastisement and judgment, but you had no experience of it, you would dare not deny his knowledge, much less dare to be one hundred percent confident in it. This is because their fellowship is something that you have never experienced, something you have never known, and your mind cannot imagine it. From their knowledge, all you can take is a path to undergo chastisement and judgment in the future. But this path can only be one of doctrinal knowledge; it cannot take the place of your own understanding, much less your experience. Perhaps you think what they say is quite correct, but in your own experience, you find it impracticable in many ways. Perhaps you feel some of what you hear is completely impracticable; you harbor notions about it at the time, and although you accept it, you only do so reluctantly. But in your own experience, the knowledge from which you derived notions becomes your way of practice, and the more you practice, the more you understand the true value and meaning of the words you heard. After having had your own experience, you can then talk about the knowledge you should have of what you experienced. In addition, you can also distinguish between those whose knowledge is real and practical and those whose knowledge is based on doctrine and worthless. So, whether the knowledge you profess accords with the truth largely depends on whether you have practical experience of it. Where there is truth in your experience, your knowledge will be practical and valuable. Through your experience, you can also gain discernment and insight, deepen your knowledge, and increase your wisdom and common sense about how you should conduct yourself. The knowledge expressed by people who do not possess the truth is doctrine, no matter how lofty it may be. This type of person may well be very intelligent when it comes to matters of the flesh but cannot make distinctions when it comes to spiritual matters. This is because such people have no experience at all of spiritual affairs. These are people who are not enlightened in spiritual affairs and do not understand spiritual matters. Whatever sort of knowledge you express, as long as it is your being, then it is your personal experience, your real knowledge. What people who speak only of doctrine—those being people who possess neither the truth nor reality—discuss can also be called their being, because they have arrived at their doctrine only through deep contemplation and it is the result of their deep rumination. Yet it is only doctrine, nothing more than imagination! The experiences of all types of people represent the things within them. Anyone without any spiritual experience cannot speak of knowledge of the truth, nor of correct knowledge about various spiritual things. What man expresses is what he is inside—this is certain. If one wishes to have knowledge of spiritual things and knowledge of the truth, one must have real experience. If you cannot speak clearly about common sense in human life, how much less will you be able to talk about spiritual things? Those who can lead churches, supply people with life, and be apostles to the people must have actual experience; they must have a correct understanding of spiritual things and a correct appreciation and experience of the truth. Only such people are qualified to be workers or apostles who lead the churches. Otherwise, they can only follow as the least and cannot lead, much less be apostles who are able to supply people with life. This is because the function of apostles is not to rush about or to fight; it is to do the work of ministering life and leading others in transforming their dispositions. Those who perform this function are commissioned to shoulder a heavy responsibility, one that not just anyone can shoulder. This kind of work can only be undertaken by those with life being, that is, those who have experience of the truth. It cannot be undertaken by merely anyone who can renounce, who can rush about, or who is willing to expend themselves; people who have no experience of the truth, who have not been pruned or judged, are unable to do this type of work. People with no experience, who are people without reality, are unable to see reality clearly because they themselves are without this kind of being. So, this type of person is not only unable to do leadership work, but, if they remain without the truth for a long while, they will become an object of elimination. The insight you express can stand as proof of the hardships you have experienced in life, the things for which you are chastised, and the issues for which you have been judged. This is also true of trials: Where one is refined, where one is weak—these are the areas in which one has experience, in which one has a path. For example, if someone suffers frustrations in marriage, they will often fellowship, “Thank God, praise God, I must satisfy God’s heart’s desire and offer up my entire life, and I must place my marriage entirely in God’s hands. I am willing to pledge my whole life to God.” All the things within man can demonstrate what he is through fellowship. The pace of a person’s speech, whether they speak loudly or quietly—such matters are not matters of experience and cannot represent what they have and are. These things can only tell whether a person’s character is good or bad, or whether their nature is good or bad, but they cannot be equated with whether someone has experience. The ability to express oneself when speaking, or the skill or speed of speech, is just a matter of practice and cannot replace one’s experience. When you talk about your individual experiences, you fellowship that which you find important and all the things within you. My speech represents My being, but what I say is beyond the reach of man. What I say is not that which man experiences, and it is not something that man can see; it is also not something that man can touch, but is what I am. Some people acknowledge only that what I fellowship is what I have experienced, but they do not recognize that it is the direct expression of the Spirit. Of course, what I say is what I have experienced. It is I who have done the management work for six thousand years. I have experienced everything from the beginning of the creation of mankind until now; how would I be unable to discuss that? When it comes to man’s nature, I have seen clearly; I observed it long ago. How would I be unable to talk clearly about it? Since I have seen the substance of man clearly, I am qualified to chastise man and judge him, because all of man came from Me but has been corrupted by Satan. Of course, I am also qualified to assess the work I have done. Although this work is not done by My flesh, it is the direct expression of the Spirit, and this is what I have and what I am. Therefore, I am qualified to express it and to do the work I ought to do. What people say is what they have experienced. It is what they have seen, what their minds can reach, and what their senses can detect. That is what they can fellowship. The words spoken by God’s incarnate flesh are the direct expression of the Spirit and they express the work that has been done by the Spirit, which the flesh has not experienced or seen, yet He still expresses His being, for the essence of the flesh is the Spirit, and He expresses the work of the Spirit. It is work already done by the Spirit, though it is beyond the reach of the flesh. After incarnation, through the expression of the flesh, He enables people to know God’s being and allows people to see God’s disposition and the work that He has done. The work of man gives people greater clarity about what they should enter into and what they should understand; it involves leading people toward understanding and experiencing the truth. Man’s work is to sustain people; God’s work is to open up new paths and new eras for mankind, and to reveal to people that which is not known by mortals, enabling them to know His disposition. God’s work is to lead all of mankind.
All the work of the Holy Spirit is performed to benefit people. It is all about edifying people; there is no work that does not benefit people. No matter whether the truth is deep or shallow, and no matter the caliber of those who accept the truth, whatever the Holy Spirit does, it benefits people. But the work of the Holy Spirit cannot be done directly; it must be expressed through the people who cooperate with Him. Only thus can the results of the work of the Holy Spirit be obtained. Of course, when the Holy Spirit works directly, it is not adulterated at all; but when the Holy Spirit works through man, it becomes very tainted and is not the original work of the Holy Spirit. This being so, the truth changes to differing degrees. Followers do not receive the original intention of the Holy Spirit but a combination of the work of the Holy Spirit and the experience and knowledge of man. The part of what followers receive that is the work of the Holy Spirit is correct, whereas the experience and the knowledge of man they receive vary because the workers are different. Workers with the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit will go on to have experiences based on this enlightenment and guidance. Within these experiences are combined man’s mind and experience, as well as the being of humanity, and afterward, they gain the knowledge or insight they should have. This is man’s way of practice after experiencing the truth. This way of practice is not always the same, because people experience differently and the things people experience are different. In this way, the same enlightenment of the Holy Spirit results in different knowledge and practice, because those who receive the enlightenment are different. Some people make minor mistakes during practice while some make major mistakes, and some make nothing but mistakes. This is because people differ in their ability to understand and also because their inherent calibers differ. Some people have one sort of understanding after hearing a message, and some people have another after hearing a truth. Some people deviate slightly, while some do not understand the real meaning of the truth at all. Therefore, one’s understanding dictates how one will lead others; this is exactly true, because one’s work is simply an expression of one’s being. People led by those who have a correct understanding of the truth will also have a correct understanding of the truth. Even if there are people with errors in their understanding, there are very few of them, and not everyone will have errors. If one has errors in his understanding of the truth, those who follow him will undoubtedly also be erroneous, and these people will be erroneous in every sense of the word. The degree to which followers understand the truth largely depends on the workers. Of course, the truth from God is correct and without error, and it is absolutely certain. The workers, however, are not completely correct and cannot be said to be completely reliable. If workers have a very practical way to put the truth into practice, then followers will also have a way to practice. If workers do not have a way to practice the truth but have only doctrine, then followers will have no reality. The caliber and nature of followers are determined by birth and are not associated with workers, but the extent to which followers understand the truth and know God depends on the workers (this is only so for some people). Whatever a worker is like, so will the followers he leads be. What a worker expresses is his own being, without reservation. The demands he makes of those who follow him are what he himself is willing or able to achieve. Most workers use what they do themselves as a basis to make demands of their followers, despite there being much their followers cannot achieve at all—and that which one cannot achieve becomes an obstacle to one’s entry.
There is far less deviation in the work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, judgment and chastisement, and the expression of their work is much more accurate. Those who rely on their naturalness to work make quite major mistakes. The work of unperfected people expresses too much of their own naturalness, which poses a major obstacle to the work of the Holy Spirit. However good a person’s caliber, they must also undergo pruning, being dealt with, and judgment before they can do the work of God’s commission. If they have not undergone such judgment, their work, no matter how well done, cannot accord with the principles of the truth and is always a product of their own naturalness and human goodness. The work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, and judgment is much more accurate than the work of those who have not been pruned, dealt with, and judged. Those who have not undergone judgment express nothing but human flesh and thoughts, mingled with much human intelligence and innate talent. This is not man’s accurate expression of God’s work. Those who follow such people are brought before them by their innate caliber. Because they express too much of the insight and experience of man, which are almost disconnected from God’s original intention and deviate too far from it, the work of this type of person cannot bring people before God, but brings them rather before man. So, those who have not undergone judgment and chastisement are unqualified to carry out the work of God’s commission. The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and grant them greater entry into the truth. His work can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people liberation and freedom, and the capacity gradually to grow in life and to have a more profound entry into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short. His work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules, and what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to people’s actual needs. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality, nor into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to adhere to a few worthless rules. Such guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become like him; he can bring you into what he has and is. For followers to discern whether leaders are qualified, the key is to look at the path on which they lead and the results of their work, and to see whether followers receive principles in accordance with the truth, and whether they receive ways of practice suitable for their transformation. You should distinguish between the different work of different types of people; you should not be a foolish follower. This bears on the matter of people’s entry. If you are unable to distinguish which person’s leadership has a path and which does not, you will easily be deceived. All of this has a direct bearing on your own life. There is too much naturalness in the work of unperfected people; it is mixed with too much of human will. Their being is naturalness—what they are born with. It is not life after having been dealt with or reality after having been transformed. How can such a person support those who are pursuing life? The life that man has originally is his innate intelligence or talent. This kind of intelligence or talent is quite far from God’s exact demands for man. If a man has not been perfected and his corrupt disposition has not been pruned and dealt with, there will be a wide gap between what he expresses and the truth; what he expresses will be mixed with vague things, such as his imagination and one-sided experience. Moreover, regardless of how he works, people feel there is no overall goal and no truth suitable for the entry of all people. Most of what is demanded of people is beyond their ability, as if they were ducks being made to sit on perches. This is the work of human will. Man’s corrupt disposition, his thoughts, and his notions pervade all parts of his body. Man is not born with the instinct to practice the truth, nor does he have the instinct to understand the truth directly. Add to that man’s corrupt disposition—when this kind of natural person works, does it not cause interruptions? But a man who has been perfected has experience of the truth that people should understand, and knowledge of their corrupt dispositions, so that the vague and unreal things in his work gradually diminish, the human adulterations become fewer, and his work and service come ever closer to the standards required by God. Thus, his work has entered truth reality and it has also become realistic. The thoughts in man’s mind in particular block the work of the Holy Spirit. Man has a rich imagination and reasonable logic, and he has had long experience handling affairs. If these aspects of man do not undergo pruning and correction, they are all obstacles to work. Therefore, man’s work cannot achieve the greatest degree of accuracy, especially the work of unperfected people.
The work of man stays within a range and is limited. One person can only do work of a certain phase and cannot do the work of the entire era—otherwise, he would lead people into the midst of rules. The work of man can only apply to a particular time or phase. This is because man’s experience has its scope. One cannot compare the work of man with the work of God. Man’s ways of practice and his knowledge of the truth are all applicable to a particular scope. You cannot say that the path man treads is completely the will of the Holy Spirit, because man can only be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and cannot be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. The things man can experience are all within the scope of normal humanity and cannot exceed the range of thoughts in the normal human mind. All those who can live out truth reality experience within this range. When they experience the truth, it is always an experience of normal human life enlightened by the Holy Spirit; it is not a way of experiencing that deviates from normal human life. They experience the truth enlightened by the Holy Spirit on the foundation of living their human lives. Moreover, this truth varies from person to person, and its depth is related to the state of the person. One can only say that the path they walk is the normal human life of someone pursuing the truth, and it may be called the path walked by a normal person enlightened by the Holy Spirit. One cannot say that the path they walk is the path the Holy Spirit takes. In normal human experience, because people who pursue are not the same, the work of the Holy Spirit is also not the same. In addition, because the environments people experience and the ranges of their experience are not the same, and because of the admixture of their mind and thoughts, their experience is mixed to different degrees. Each person understands a truth according to their different, individual conditions. Their understanding of the real meaning of the truth is not complete and is only one or several aspects of it. The scope of the truth man experiences differs from person to person in line with each person’s conditions. In this way, the knowledge of the same truth, as expressed by different people, is not the same. This is to say, man’s experience always has limitations and cannot completely represent the will of the Holy Spirit, nor can the work of man be perceived as the work of God, even if what is expressed by man corresponds very closely to God’s will, and even if the experience of man is very close to the perfecting work that the Holy Spirit performs. Man can only be God’s servant, doing the work that God entrusts to him. Man can only express knowledge enlightened by the Holy Spirit and truths obtained from his personal experiences. Man is unqualified and does not meet the conditions to be the outlet of the Holy Spirit. He is not entitled to say that his work is the work of God. Man has man’s working principles, and all men have different experiences and possess varying conditions. Man’s work includes all his experiences under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. These experiences can only represent man’s being and do not represent the being of God or the will of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the path man walks cannot be said to be the path walked by the Holy Spirit, because the work of man cannot represent the work of God, and man’s work and man’s experience are not the complete will of the Holy Spirit. Man’s work is susceptible to falling into rules, and the method of his work is easily confined to a limited scope, and is unable to lead people to a free way. Most followers live within a limited scope, and their way of experiencing is also limited in its scope. Man’s experience is always limited; the method of his work is also limited to a few types and cannot be compared with the work of the Holy Spirit or the work of God Himself. This is because man’s experience, in the end, is limited. However God does His work, it is unbound by rules; however it is done, it is not limited to a single method. There are no rules whatsoever to God’s work—all His work is released and free. No matter how much time man spends following Him, he cannot distill any laws that govern God’s ways of working. Although His work is principled, it is always done in new ways and always has new developments, and it is beyond man’s reach. In a single period, God may have several different types of work and different ways of leading people, making it so people always have new entries and changes. You cannot discern the laws of His work because He is always working in new ways, and only thus do followers of God not become bound by rules. The work of God Himself always avoids people’s notions and counters them. Only those who follow and pursue Him with a true heart can have their dispositions transformed and be able to live freely, not subjected to any rules or restrained by any religious notions. The work of man makes demands of people based on his own experience and what he himself can achieve. The standard of these requirements is limited within a certain scope, and the methods of practice are also very limited. Followers thus unconsciously live within this limited scope; as time passes, these things become rules and rituals. If the work of one period is led by someone who has not undergone God’s personal perfecting and not received judgment, his followers will all become religionists and experts in resisting God. Therefore, if someone is a qualified leader, that person must have undergone judgment and accepted being perfected. Those who have not undergone judgment, even though they may have the work of the Holy Spirit, express only vague and unreal things. With time, they will lead people into vague and supernatural rules. The work that God performs does not accord with the flesh of man. It does not accord with man’s thoughts, but counters man’s notions; it is not tainted with vague religious colorings. The results of God’s work cannot be achieved by someone who has not been perfected by Him; they are beyond the reach of man’s thinking.
Work in the mind of man is too easy for man to achieve. Pastors and leaders in the religious world, for example, rely on their gifts and positions to do their work. People who follow them for a long time will be infected by their gifts and influenced by some of their being. They focus on people’s gifts, abilities and knowledge, and they pay attention to supernatural things and many profound, unrealistic doctrines (of course, these profound doctrines are unattainable). They do not focus on changes in people’s dispositions, but rather on training people to preach and work, improving people’s knowledge and their abundant religious doctrines. They do not focus on how much people’s disposition is changed nor on how much people understand of the truth. They do not concern themselves with people’s essence, and much less do they try to know people’s normal and abnormal states. They do not counter people’s notions, nor do they reveal their notions, much less do they prune people for their deficiencies or corruptions. Most who follow them serve with their gifts, and all they release is religious notions and theological theories, which are out of touch with reality and completely unable to confer life onto people. In fact, the essence of their work is nurturing talent, nurturing a person with nothing into a talented seminary graduate who later goes on to work and lead. Can you discern any laws in God’s six thousand years of work? There are many rules and restrictions in the work that man does, and the human brain is too dogmatic. What man expresses, therefore, is knowledge and realizations that are within the scope of his experience. Man is unable to express anything apart from this. Man’s experiences or knowledge do not arise from his innate gifts or his instinct; they arise because of God’s guidance and direct shepherding. Man has only the faculty to accept this shepherding and no faculty that can express directly what divinity is. Man is unable to be the source; he can only be a vessel that accepts water from the source. This is the human instinct, the faculty that one should have as a human being. If a person loses the faculty that accepts God’s word and loses the human instinct, that person also loses what is most precious, and loses the duty of created man. If a person has no knowledge or experience of God’s word or His work, that person loses his duty, the duty he should perform as a created being, and loses the dignity of a created being. It is God’s instinct to express what divinity is, whether it is expressed in the flesh or directly by the Spirit; this is God’s ministry. Man expresses his own experiences or knowledge (that is, expresses what he is) during God’s work or afterward; this is man’s instinct and man’s duty, and it is what man should achieve. Although man’s expression falls far short of what God expresses, and although man’s expression is bound by many rules, man must fulfill the duty he should fulfill and do what he must do. Man should do everything humanly possible to fulfill his duty, and he should not have even the slightest reservation.
After working for years, man will summarize the experience of his many years of work, as well as the wisdom and rules he has accumulated. One who has worked for a long time knows how to sense the movement of the work of the Holy Spirit; he knows when the Holy Spirit is working and when He is not; he knows how to fellowship while carrying a burden; and he is aware of the normal state of the Holy Spirit’s work and the normal state of people’s growth in life. Such is a person who has worked for years and knows the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who have worked for a long time speak assuredly and unhurriedly; even when they have nothing to say, they are composed. Inside, they can continue praying to seek the work of the Holy Spirit. They are experienced in working. A person who has worked for a long time, who has much experience and has learned many lessons, has much inside that obstructs the work of the Holy Spirit; this is a defect of his long-term work. A person who has just started working is unadulterated by human lessons or experience and is particularly at a loss about how the Holy Spirit works. However, during the course of work, he gradually learns to sense how the Holy Spirit works and becomes aware of what to do in order to obtain the Holy Spirit’s work, what to do in order to strike exactly at others’ vulnerabilities, and other such common knowledge that those who work should possess. Over time, he comes to know such wisdom and common knowledge of working like the back of his hand, and seems to use it easily when working. However, when the Holy Spirit changes the way He works, he still adheres to his old knowledge of work and old rules of work and knows very little about the new dynamics of the work. Years of work and of being full of the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit give him ever more lessons on work and ever more experience. Such things fill him with a self-confidence that is not pride. In other words, he is quite pleased with his own work and content with the common knowledge he has obtained about the work of the Holy Spirit. In particular, having obtained or realized those things that others have not gives him even more confidence in himself; it seems that the work of the Holy Spirit within him can never be extinguished, while others do not qualify for this special treatment. Only people of his kind, who have worked for years and whose use is of considerable value, are qualified to enjoy it. These things become a great hindrance to his accepting the new work of the Holy Spirit. Even if he can accept the new work, he cannot do so overnight. He is sure to go through several twists and turns before accepting it. This situation can only be reversed gradually, after his old notions are dealt with and his old disposition is judged. Without going through these steps, he does not let go and easily accept new teachings and work that are not in harmony with his old notions. This is the most difficult thing to deal with in man, and it is not easy to change. If, as a worker, he is able at once to achieve an understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work and to summarize its dynamics, and if he is able not to be restricted by his experiences of work and to accept new work in light of old work, then he is a wise man and a qualified worker. People are often like this: They work for several years without being able to summarize their experience of work, or, after summarizing their experience and wisdom concerning work, they are hindered from accepting the new work and cannot properly understand or correctly treat the old and new work. People really are difficult to handle! Most of you are like this. Those who have experienced years of the Holy Spirit’s work find it hard to accept the new work, and they are always full of notions that they cannot set aside, while a man who has just started working lacks common knowledge about work and does not even know how to handle some of the simplest matters. You people are really difficult! Those with some seniority are so proud and conceited that they have forgotten where they came from. They always look down on younger people, yet they are unable to accept the new work and to let go of the notions they have collected and kept over the years. Although those young, ignorant people are able to accept a little of the Holy Spirit’s new work and are quite enthusiastic, they always become muddled and do not know what to do when problems arise. They are enthusiastic but ignorant. They have only a little knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s work and are unable to use it in their lives; it is just entirely useless doctrine. There are too many people like you; how many are fit for use? How many are there who can obey the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit and manage to accord with God’s will? It seems those of you who have been followers until now have been very obedient, but, in fact, you have not given up your notions, you are still seeking in the Bible, believing in vagueness, or wandering in notions. There is no one who investigates today’s actual work carefully or goes deeply into it. You are accepting today’s way with your old notions. What can you gain with such a belief? It could be said that in you are hidden many notions that have not been revealed, and that you are simply making a supreme effort to hide them, without revealing them easily. You do not accept the new work sincerely, and you do not plan to give up your old notions; you have too many philosophies for living, and they are too substantial. You do not give up your old notions and you deal with the new work reluctantly. Your hearts are too sinister, and you simply do not take the steps of the new work to heart. Can such wastrels as you do the work of spreading the gospel? Are you able to undertake the work of spreading it to the entire universe? These practices of yours are stopping you from transforming your disposition and knowing God. If you continue thus, you are bound to be eliminated.
You must know how to differentiate God’s work from the work of man. What can you see in the work of man? There are many elements of man’s experience in his work; what man expresses is what he is. God’s own work also expresses what He is, but His being is different from man’s. Man’s being represents man’s experience and life (what man experiences or encounters in his life, or the philosophies for living he has), and people living in different environments express different beings. Whether you have experiences of society and how you actually live in your family and experience within it can be seen in what you express, whereas you cannot see in the work of God incarnate whether He has social experiences. He is well aware of the substance of man and can reveal all kinds of practices pertaining to all kinds of people. He is even better at revealing the corrupt dispositions and the rebellious behavior of humans. He does not live among worldly people, but He is aware of the nature of mortals and all the corruptions of worldly people. This is His being. Though He does not deal with the world, He knows the rules of dealing with the world, because He understands human nature fully. He knows about the Spirit’s work that man’s eyes cannot see and man’s ears cannot hear, both of today and of the past. This includes wisdom that is not a philosophy for living and wonders that are hard for people to fathom. This is His being, open to people and also hidden from people. What He expresses is not the being of an extraordinary person, but the inherent attributes and being of the Spirit. He does not travel the world but knows everything of it. He contacts the “anthropoids” who have no knowledge or insight, but He expresses words that are higher than knowledge and above great men. He lives within a group of obtuse and numb people who are without humanity and who do not understand the conventions and life of humanity, but He can ask mankind to live out normal humanity, at the same time revealing the base and low humanity of mankind. All this is His being, higher than the being of any flesh-and-blood person. For Him, it is unnecessary to experience a complicated, cumbersome, and sordid social life to do the work He needs to do and reveal the substance of corrupt mankind thoroughly. A sordid social life does not edify His flesh. His work and words only reveal man’s disobedience and do not provide man with experience and lessons for dealing with the world. He does not need to investigate society or man’s family when He supplies man with life. Exposing and judging man is not an expression of the experiences of His flesh; it is His revelation of man’s unrighteousness after having known man’s disobedience for a long time and abhorring mankind’s corruption. The work He does is all meant to reveal His disposition to man and to express His being. Only He can do this work; it is not something a flesh-and-blood person could achieve. From His work, man cannot tell what kind of person He is. Man is also unable to classify Him as a created person on the basis of His work. His being also makes Him unclassifiable as a created person. Man can only consider Him a non-human, but does not know in which category to put Him, so man is forced to list Him in the category of God. It is not unreasonable for man to do so, for God has done much work among people that man is unable to do.
The work God does is not representative of the experience of His flesh; the work man does is representative of his experience. Everyone talks about their personal experience. God can express the truth directly, while man can only express the experience that corresponds to his having experienced the truth. God’s work has no rules and is not subject to time or geographical constraints. He can express what He is at anytime, anywhere. He works as He pleases. Man’s work has conditions and context; without them, he would be unable to work and unable to express his knowledge of God or his experience of the truth. To tell whether something is God’s own work or man’s work, you must simply compare the differences between the two. If there is no work done by God Himself and there is only the work of man, you will simply know that man’s teachings are high, beyond the capacity of anyone else; their tones of speaking, their principles in handling things, and their experienced and steady manner in working are beyond the reach of others. You all admire these people of good caliber and lofty knowledge, but you cannot see from God’s work and words how high His humanity is. Instead, He is ordinary, and, when working, He is normal and real yet also immeasurable by mortals, which therefore makes people feel a kind of reverence for Him. Perhaps a person’s experience in his work is particularly advanced, or his imagination and reasoning are particularly advanced, and his humanity is particularly good; such attributes can only gain people’s admiration, but not arouse their awe and fear. People all admire those who can work well, who have particularly deep experience, and who can practice the truth, but such people can never elicit awe, only admiration and envy. But people who have experienced God’s work do not admire God; instead, they feel His work is beyond human reach and is unfathomable to man, that it is fresh and wonderful. When people experience God’s work, their first knowledge of Him is that He is unfathomable, wise, and wonderful, and they unconsciously revere Him and feel the mystery of the work He does, which is beyond the ken of man’s mind. People want only to be able to meet His requirements, to satisfy His desires; they do not wish to exceed Him, because the work He does goes beyond man’s thinking and imagination and could not be done by man in His stead. Even man himself does not know his own inadequacies, yet God has forged a new path and has come to bring man into a newer and more beautiful world, and so mankind has made new progress and has had a new start. What people feel for God is not admiration, or rather, is not only admiration. Their deepest experience is awe and love; their feeling is that God is indeed wonderful. He does work that man is unable to do and says things that man is unable to say. People who have experienced God’s work always have an indescribable feeling. People of deep enough experience can understand the love of God; they can feel His loveliness, that His work is so wise, so wonderful, and thereby is infinite power generated among them. It is not fear or occasional love and respect, but a deep sense of God’s compassion for man and tolerance of him. However, people who have experienced His chastisement and judgment sense His majesty and that He tolerates no offense. Even people who have experienced much of His work are unable to fathom Him; all who truly revere Him know that His work is not in line with people’s notions but always goes against their notions. He does not need people to admire him wholly or present the appearance of submission to Him; rather, they should achieve true reverence and true submission. In so much of His work, anyone with true experience feels reverence for Him, which is higher than admiration. People have seen His disposition due to His work of chastisement and judgment, and they therefore revere Him in their hearts. God is meant to be revered and obeyed, because His being and His disposition are not the same as those of a created being and are above those of a created being. God is self-existent and everlasting, He is a non-created being, and only God is worthy of reverence and obedience; man is not qualified for this. So, all who have experienced His work and truly known Him feel reverence toward Him. However, those who do not let go of their notions about Him—those who simply do not regard Him as God—have no reverence toward Him, and though they follow Him, they are not conquered; they are disobedient people by nature. What He means to achieve by working thus is for all created beings to have hearts of reverence for the Creator, worship Him, and submit to His dominion unconditionally. This is the final result that all His work is meant to achieve. If people who have experienced such work do not revere God, even slightly, and if their past disobedience does not change at all, then they are sure to be eliminated. If a person’s attitude toward God is only to admire Him or to show Him respect from a distance, and not to love Him in the slightest, then this is the result at which a person without a heart of love for God has arrived, and that person lacks the conditions to be perfected. If so much work is unable to obtain a person’s true love, then that person has not gained God and does not genuinely pursue the truth. A person who does not love God does not love the truth and thus cannot gain God, much less receive God’s approval. Such people, however they experience the work of the Holy Spirit, and however they experience judgment, are unable to revere God. These are people whose nature is unchangeable and who have extremely wicked dispositions. All who do not revere God are to be eliminated, to be objects of punishment, and to be punished just like those who do evil, to suffer even more than those who have done unrighteous things.