13. The Principles of Obtaining the Work of the Holy Spirit
(1) It is necessary to read and contemplate God’s words often, with a longing in your heart to understand the truth, and truly to pray to God and commune with Him;
(2) Seek to be an honest person, be able sincerely to expend yourself for God, and do your utmost to do your duty well, so as to satisfy God;
(3) Reflect often on your transgressions and the corruption that is revealed in you. Seek to resolve them with the truth, and offer sincere thanks and praise to God;
(4) It is necessary to establish a normal relationship with God. When one has notions of God or disobeys Him, they should seek the truth to resolve the issue and genuinely repent.
Relevant Words of God:
God’s work is to supply you through His words. When you obey and accept His words, the Holy Spirit shall surely work in you. The Holy Spirit works exactly as I speak; do as I have said, and the Holy Spirit will promptly work in you. I release a new light for you to behold, bringing you into the light of the present, and when you walk into this light, the Holy Spirit shall immediately work in you. There are some who may be recalcitrant, saying, “I simply will not carry out what You say.” In which case, I tell you that you have now come to the end of the road; you are dried up, and have no more life. Thus, in experiencing the transformation of your disposition, nothing is more crucial than keeping pace with the present light. The Holy Spirit not only works in certain people who are used by God, but, furthermore, in the church. He could be working in anyone. He may work in you during the present time, and you will experience this work. During the next period, He may work in someone else, in which case you must haste to follow; the more closely you follow the present light, the more your life can grow. No matter what manner of person someone is, if the Holy Spirit works in them, then you must follow. Take in their experiences through your own, and you will receive even higher things. In so doing you will progress more quickly. This is the path of perfection for man and the means by which life grows.
Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God works in those who pursue and treasure His words. The more you treasure God’s words, the more His Spirit will work in you. The more a person treasures God’s words, the greater their chance of being perfected by God. God perfects those who truly love Him, and He perfects those whose hearts are at peace before Him. To treasure all of God’s work, to treasure God’s enlightenment, to treasure God’s presence, to treasure God’s care and protection, to treasure how God’s words become your reality and provide for your life—all this accords best with God’s heart. If you treasure God’s work, that is, if you treasure all the work that He has done upon you, then He will bless you and cause all that is yours to multiply. If you do not treasure God’s words, He will not work in you, but He will only grant you paltry grace for your faith, or bless you with scant wealth and your family with scant safety. You should strive to make God’s words your reality, and be able to satisfy Him and be after His own heart; you should not merely strive to enjoy His grace. Nothing is more important for believers than to receive God’s work, gain perfection, and become those who do God’s will. This is the goal you should pursue.
Excerpted from “God Perfects Those Who Are After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Holy Spirit works by this principle: Through people’s cooperation, through them actively praying, searching and coming closer to God, results can be achieved and they can be enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. It is not the case that the Holy Spirit acts unilaterally, or that man acts unilaterally. Both are indispensable, and the more that people cooperate, and the more they pursue the attainment of the standards of God’s requirements, the greater the work of the Holy Spirit. Only people’s real cooperation, added to the work of the Holy Spirit, can produce real experiences and the essential knowledge of God’s words. Gradually, through experiencing in this way, a perfect person is ultimately produced. God does not do supernatural things; in people’s notions, God is almighty, and everything is done by God—with the result that people wait passively, do not read the words of God or pray, and merely await the touch of the Holy Spirit. Those with a correct understanding, however, believe this: God’s actions can only go as far as my cooperation, and the effect that God’s work has in me depends on how I cooperate. When God speaks, I should do all I can to seek and strive toward God’s words; this is what I should achieve.
Excerpted from “How to Know Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There is a rule to God’s perfection of people, which is that He enlightens you by using a desirable part of you so that you have a path to practice and can separate yourself from all negative states, helping your spirit attain release, and making you more able to love Him. In this way, you are able to throw off the corrupt disposition of Satan. You are artless and open, willing to know yourself and to put truth into practice. God will certainly bless you, so when you are weak and negative, He enlightens you doubly, helping you know yourself more, be more willing to repent for yourself, and be more able to practice the things that you should practice. Only in this way can your heart be peaceful and at ease. A person who ordinarily pays attention to knowing God, who pays attention to knowing himself, who pays attention to his own practice, will be able to frequently receive God’s work, as well as His guidance and enlightenment. Even though such a person may be in a negative state, he is able to turn things around immediately, whether due to the action of conscience or the enlightenment from God’s word.
Excerpted from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of the Holy Spirit has its principles, and it is conditional. In what kind of person does the Holy Spirit typically work? What must a person possess to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit? In one’s faith, one must clearly understand that to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit, at the very least one must have a conscience and an honest heart, and one’s conscience must have elements of honesty. Only once you have an honest heart—as well as the conscience and reason that one’s humanity must possess—can the Holy Spirit work on you. People always say that God looks deeply into one’s heart and observes everything. However, people never know why some never gain enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, why they can never obtain grace, why they never have joy, why they are always negative and depressed, and why they are incapable of being positive. Take a look at their states. It is certain that not one of these people has a functioning conscience or an honest heart. Those who have peace and joy, who are always active and improving in the performance of their duties, who always gain something, who always have understanding, and who always get something from their efforts after a period of time—is what they gain achieved by their imagination? Are those things learned from studying books? How are they gained? Can the Holy Spirit’s work be gotten rid of? (No.) The work of the Holy Spirit is the main thing. When you possess an honest heart, and the conscience and reason that are the prerequisites of one’s humanity, God will observe you. Have you figured out a pattern of how the Holy Spirit works? The Holy Spirit usually works on those whose hearts are honest, and He works when people get into trouble and are seeking the truth. God will not pay heed to those who have no shred of human reason or conscience. If someone is very honest but, for a period of time, his heart is turned away from God, he has no desire to improve, he falls into a negative state and does not come out of it, when he does not pray or seek the truth to resolve his state, and he does not cooperate, then the Holy Spirit will not work in him during such occasional darkening of his state or his temporary degeneration. How, then, can someone without the consciousness of humanity be worked in by the Holy Spirit? That is even more impossible. What, then, should such people do? Is there a way for them to follow? They must genuinely repent and be honest people. How can one be an honest person? First, your heart must open up to God, and you must seek truth from God; once you understand the truth, you must then practice it. You must then submit to God’s arrangements and allow God to take charge of you. Only in this way will you be praised by God. You must first set aside your own prestige and vanity, and forgo your own interests. Try to set them aside first of all, and once you have set them aside, put your entire body and soul into your duty and into the work of testifying for God, and then see how God guides you, see whether peace and joy arise within you, whether you have this confirmation. You must first genuinely repent, surrender yourself, open your heart to God, and set aside the things that you treasure. If you continue to hold on to them while making requests of God, will you be able to gain the work of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit is conditional, and God is a God who hates evil and who is holy. If people always hold on to these things, constantly closing themselves off to God and rejecting God’s work and guidance, then God will stop working on them. It is not that God must work within every person, or that He will force you to do this or that. He does not coerce you. The work of evil spirits is to force humans to do this and that, and even to possess and control people. The Holy Spirit works especially gently; He moves you, and you do not feel it. You simply feel as though you have unconsciously come to understand or realize something. This is how the Holy Spirit moves people, and, if they submit, they will find themselves able to truly repent.
Excerpted from “Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
And how do you seek being touched by the Holy Spirit? The crucial thing is to live in God’s present words, and to pray upon the foundation of God’s requirements. Having prayed in this way, the Holy Spirit is sure to touch you. If you do not seek with a basis in the foundation of the words spoken by God today, then this is fruitless. You should pray, and say: “O God! I oppose You, and I owe You so much; I am so disobedient, and never able to satisfy You. O God, I wish for You to save me, I wish to give service to You to the very end, I wish to die for You. You judge me and chastise me, and I have no complaints; I oppose You and I deserve to die, so that all people may behold Your righteous disposition in my death.” When you pray from within your heart in this way, God will hear you, and will guide you; if you do not pray upon the foundation of the words of the Holy Spirit today, then there is no possibility of the Holy Spirit touching you. If you pray according to God’s will, and according to that which God wishes to do today, you will say: “O God! I wish to accept Your commissions and be faithful to Your commissions, and I am willing to devote my entire life to Your glory, so that all that I do can reach the standards of the people of God. May my heart be touched by You. I wish for Your Spirit to ever enlighten me, to make all I do bring shame upon Satan, that I am ultimately gained by You.” If you pray in this way, in a way that is centered around the will of God, then the Holy Spirit will inevitably work in you. It matters not how many are the words of your prayers—what is key is whether or not you grasp the will of God. You may all have had the following experience: Sometimes, whilst praying in an assembly, the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit reach their peak, causing everyone’s strength to rise up. Some people cry bitterly and weep tears while praying, overcome with remorse before God, and some people show their resolve, and make vows. Such is the effect to be achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit. Today, it is crucial that all people completely pour their hearts into the words of God. Do not focus on the words that were spoken before; if you still hold on to what came before, then the Holy Spirit will not work within you. Do you see how important this is?
Excerpted from “Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God having spoken so much, you should do your utmost to eat and drink His words, and then, without you realizing it, you will come to understand, and without you realizing it, the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man, it is often without man’s awareness. He enlightens and guides you when you thirst and seek. The principle by which the Holy Spirit works is centered around the words of God that you eat and drink. All those who place no importance on the words of God and are always of a different attitude toward His words—believing, in their befuddled thinking, it a matter of indifference whether they read His words or not—are those who do not possess reality. Neither the Holy Spirit’s work nor His enlightenment can be seen in such a person. People like this are merely coasting along, pretenders without true qualifications, like Mr. Nanguo of the parable.[a]
Excerpted from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Going forward, talk of God’s words should be the principle by which you speak. Ordinarily, when you come together, you should engage in fellowship about the words of God, taking God’s words as the content of your interactions, talking about what you know of these words, how you put them into practice, and how the Holy Spirit works. As long as you fellowship the words of God, the Holy Spirit will illuminate you. Achieving the world of God’s words requires the cooperation of man. If you do not enter into this, God will have no way of working; if you keep your mouth shut and do not talk about His words, He will have no way of illuminating you. Whenever you are not otherwise occupied, talk about the words of God, and do not just engage in idle chit chat! Let your life be filled with the words of God—only then will you be a devout believer. It does not matter if your fellowship is superficial. Without shallowness there can be no depth. There must be a process. Through your training, you will grasp the illumination of the Holy Spirit upon you, and how to effectively eat and drink the words of God. After an interval of probing, you will enter into the reality of the words of God. Only if you are resolved to cooperate will you be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit.
Excerpted from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you can often eat and drink the words of God and be attentive to His will and put His words into practice, then you belong to God, and you are a person who lives within His words. Are you willing to escape from the domain of Satan and live in the light of God? If you live within the words of God, then the Holy Spirit will have an opportunity to perform His work; if you live under Satan’s influence, then you will give the Holy Spirit no such opportunity. The work that the Holy Spirit performs on men, the light that He shines on them, and the confidence that He gives to them last for only a moment; if people are not careful and do not pay attention, then the work of the Holy Spirit will pass them by. If men live within the words of God, then the Holy Spirit will be with them and perform work on them. If men do not live within the words of God, then they live in Satan’s bonds. If men live with corrupt dispositions, then they do not have the presence or the work of the Holy Spirit. If you live within the boundaries of the words of God, and if you live in the state that God requires, then you are one who belongs to Him, and His work will be performed on you; if you are not living within the boundaries of God’s requirements, but living instead under the domain of Satan, then you are decidedly living within Satan’s corruption. Only by living within the words of God and giving your heart to Him can you meet His requirements; you must do as God says, making His utterances the foundation of your existence and the reality of your life; only then will you belong to God. If you actually practice in accordance with God’s will, He will perform work on you, and you will then live under His blessings, in the light of His countenance; you will grasp the work that the Holy Spirit performs and feel the joy of God’s presence.
Excerpted from “Escape From the Influence of Darkness, and You Will Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
It can be seen from experience that one of the most important issues is quieting one’s heart before God. This is an issue that concerns people’s spiritual life, and their growth in their lives. Only if your heart is at peace before God will your pursuit of the truth and of changes in your disposition bear fruit. Because you come before God bearing a burden, and because you always feel that you are lacking in so many ways, that there are many truths that you need to know, much reality that you need to experience, and that you should give every care to God’s will—these things are always on your mind. It is as if they are pressing down on you with a force that leaves you unable to breathe, and thus you feel heavy of heart (though you are not in a negative state). Only people such as this are qualified to accept the enlightenment of God’s words and to be moved by the Spirit of God. It is because of their burden, because they are heavy of heart, and, it can be said, because of the price they have paid and the torment they have suffered before God, that they receive His enlightenment and illumination. For God does not give anyone special treatment. He is always fair in His treatment of people, but He also does not give to people arbitrarily or unconditionally. This is one aspect of His righteous disposition. In real life, most people have yet to attain this realm. At the very least, their heart has yet to completely turn to God, and thus there has still not been any great change in their life disposition. This is because they only live in God’s grace and have yet to gain the work of the Holy Spirit. The criteria that people must meet in order to be made use of by God are as follows: Their heart turns to God, they carry the burden of the words of God, they have a heart of yearning, and they have the resolve to seek the truth. Only people such as this can gain the work of the Holy Spirit and they frequently gain enlightenment and illumination.
Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In your daily life, you must understand which words you say and which things you do might cause abnormality in your relationship with God, and then rectify yourself to enter into the correct manner. At all times, examine your words, your actions, your each and every move, and all your thoughts and ideas. Gain a proper understanding of your real state and enter into the manner of the Holy Spirit’s work. This is the only way to have a normal relationship with God. By assessing whether your relationship with God is normal, you will be able to correct your intentions, understand the nature essence of man, and truly understand yourself, and, in doing so, you will be able to enter into real experiences, forsake yourself in a real way, and submit with intention. As you experience these matters concerning whether or not your relationship with God is normal, you will find opportunities to be perfected by God and become able to grasp many states of the Holy Spirit’s work. You will also be able to see through many of Satan’s tricks and penetrate its conspiracies. Only this path leads to being perfected by God. You put right your relationship with God, that you may submit to His arrangements in their entirety, and that you may enter even more deeply into real experience and receive even more of the Holy Spirit’s work.
Excerpted from “How Is Your Relationship With God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “of the parable.”