123. The Principles of Acting Wisely in One’s Faith in God
(1) It is necessary to know the essential difference between wisdom and deceit. The goal of being wise is to do one’s duty well and to follow God’s will. It is a positive thing;
(2) Wise methods must be employed against those who belong to the devil Satan, lest evil people gain leverage, exploit their advantage, and disrupt and disturb the work of God’s house;
(3) The pursuit of honesty is the principle of being human, and is pleasing to God, yet one must stress wisdom when dealing with Satan’s ilk, for Satan is exceedingly wicked;
(4) When spreading the gospel, one must search for those who can accept the truth, and never spread it to Satan’s ilk, who hate the truth. This is entirely in keeping with the truth principle.
Bible Verses for Reference:
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues; And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. … But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another” (Mat 10:16–23).
Relevant Words of God:
One must use wisdom in every aspect and use wisdom to walk My perfect way. Those who act within My word are the wisest of all, and those who act in accordance with My word are the most obedient. What I say goes, and you need not debate with Me or try to reason with Me. Everything I say, I say with you in mind (no matter if I am strict or gentle). If you focus on being obedient that will be fine, and this is the way of true wisdom (and of preventing the judgment of God befalling you).
Excerpted from “Chapter 49” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must possess My courage within you, and you must have principles when it comes to facing relatives who do not believe. For My sake, however, you also must not yield to any dark forces. Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way; do not allow any of Satan’s conspiracies to take hold. Put all your efforts into placing your heart before Me, and I shall comfort you and bring you peace and happiness. Do not strive to be a certain way in front of other people; does making Me satisfied not carry more value and weight? In satisfying Me, will you not be even further filled with eternal and lifelong peace and happiness?
Excerpted from “Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
At that time when Jesus worked in Judea, He did so openly, but now, I work and speak among you in secret. The unbelievers are completely unaware of it. My work among you is closed to those on the outside. These words, these chastisements and judgments, are known only to you and no others. All of this work is carried out in your midst and unveiled only to you; none among the unbelievers knows of this, for the time has not yet come. These people here are near to being made complete after enduring chastisements, but those on the outside know nothing of this. This work is much too hidden! To them, God become flesh is hidden, but to those in this stream, one can say that He is open. Although in God all is open, all is revealed, and all is set free, this is only true for those who believe in Him; as far as the rest, the unbelievers, are concerned, nothing is made known. The work that is currently being done among you and in China is strictly closed off, in order to keep them from knowing. Should they become aware of this work, then all they would do is condemn it and subject it to persecution. They would not believe in it. To work in the nation of the great red dragon, this most backward of places, is no easy task. If this work were to be put out into the open, it would be impossible to continue. This stage of work simply cannot be carried out in this place. If this work were to be carried out in the open, how could they allow it to go forward? Would this not put the work under even greater risk? If this work were not concealed, but rather carried out as in the time of Jesus, when He spectacularly healed the sick and cast out demons, then would it not have long ago been “taken prisoner” by the devils? Would they be able to tolerate the existence of God? If I were to now enter into the synagogues to preach and lecture man, then would I not have long ago been dashed to pieces? And if this had happened, how could My work have continued to be carried out? The reason that no signs and wonders are openly manifested at all is for the sake of concealment. So, to unbelievers, My work cannot be seen, known, or discovered. If this stage of work were to be done in the same manner as that of Jesus in the Age of Grace, it could not be so steady as it now is. So, to work secretly in this way is of benefit to you and to the work as a whole.
Excerpted from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
Deceitful people practicing deceit is an exposure of their nature. Honest people utilizing wisdom is what God demands and is also a necessity in work; still more, being equipped with wisdom is necessary in fulfilling one’s duty. If an honest person is foolishly ignorant, they are not suitable for being used by God, because without wisdom they cannot achieve good results in their work. What is wisdom? It is being able to employ all sorts of ways and means to do God’s will and put the truth into practice. In any matter involving doing God’s will and completing what God has entrusted to us, no matter what methods we adopt, as long as we achieve good results, it shows that we have wisdom. People who employ styles and methods to get things done have wisdom. As wisdom is a positive thing and it is what is employed to achieve goals that are proper, making use of it is something that God commends. Deceit, however, is a negative thing, and is a tactic that people of Satan employ to achieve their reactionary aims and individual ambitions. Although sometimes wisdom and deceit might seem to employ similar methods on the outside, as the significance of each and the aims that each achieves are different, they are thus different by nature. Deceitful people adopt all sorts of different tactics to achieve personal, despicable aims—this cannot be referred to as wise, but only crafty or scheming. God’s people use wisdom to defeat the enemy, to uphold God’s work, and to be able to satisfy God’s will. This is altogether positive, and this is true wisdom. Employing wisdom is right and proper. If someone says that this is crafty, that is denigrating what is positive and upending right and wrong; it is also a fallacy of foolish, ignorant people who lack discernment. In looking at an issue you must look at its essence, you must feel out its source, and only then reach a fitting conclusion. You cannot just judge by external appearances and spout some nonsense.
Excerpted from The Fellowship from the Above
Deal with people with wisdom. Some people say: “Does getting along with brothers and sisters require wisdom?” Yes, it does, because using wisdom provides even greater benefits for your brothers and sisters. Some will ask: “Isn’t being wise with brothers and sisters being cunning?” Wisdom is not deceit. Rather, wisdom and deceit are complete opposites. Using wisdom means paying attention to some ways of speaking and doing things to brothers and sisters when they are small of stature, so as to keep them from not being able to accept what you say and do. For people with small stature, especially those who do not understand the truth and have many corrupt dispositions, if your approach to them is too simple and open, and you tell them everything, this can sometimes make it easy for them to gain information that can be used against you or for them to use you. This is not good. You therefore must more or less take certain precautions and use certain methods. However, being cautious with people does not mean not helping them or not having any love for them. It just means not speaking to them about some things that touch upon the important work of God’s family, and only fellowshiping about the truth to them. If they need spiritual assistance in life and the truth to be supplied to them, we have to do everything in our ability to satisfy them in this regard. However, if they are inquiring about this and that to do with God’s house, or asking about the situations of leaders and workers, there is no need to tell them. If you tell them, they are likely to leak this information and this will do harm to the work of God’s household. In other words, if it is something they should not know or something they have no need to know, then do not let them know about it. If it is something they ought to know, then do all you can to let them know about it, practically and without reservation. So what are things they ought to know? They should know, when believing in God, how to pursue the truth; which truths they should understand and be in possession of; what duties they should fulfill and which duties are appropriate for different people; how to fulfill their duties; how to live out normal humanity; and how to lead a church life. These are all things people should know. In addition, the rules and principles of God’s house, the work of the church, and the situations of your brothers and sisters must not be disclosed to any unbelievers, nor to any members of your family who do not have faith; this is also something that people should know. These are principles that must be abided by when we use wisdom. The names and addresses of your leaders, for example, are things that should not be discussed. If you talk about these things, you never know when that information might fall into the ears of unbelievers, and things could get very troublesome if it then gets passed on to some secret service villain. You must be wise about these things. This is the reason I say that it is very important to be wise. Moreover, when you open up and fellowship your experiences, you must not reveal certain private information to anyone. You have to consider the statures of your brothers and sisters; after you tell them something, if they are not devout, then they might joke about what you have said and gossip about it, and that would be troublesome and do damage to your reputation. Thus, communicating simply and openly requires wisdom, too.
Excerpted from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life
The purpose of spreading the gospel is to bring all those who believe there is a God, and who are willing to accept the true way before Him, to eat and drink of His words, experience His work, attain salvation, and enter His kingdom. This is the purpose and meaning of preaching the gospel. The principles and methods of evangelism are of course determined based on the goals and meaning of preaching the gospel. If people’s practicing principles and methods cannot achieve the purpose and effect of evangelism, then this proves that such principles and methods are wrong and that there is a deviation. In order to achieve good results, when preaching the gospel, people must pay particular attention to using wisdom and certain techniques. It is because in this current world of evil and darkness, even in countries with religious freedom, all religious communities are being controlled by antichrists and demons and are condemning and resisting God’s work. Furthermore, all manner of satanic regimes are doing their utmost to resist God and destroy His work, and attempting to crack down on it. Therefore, carrying out God’s will and spreading His kingdom gospel all over the world requires adopting smart techniques; only in this way can the goal of bringing people salvation be achieved. This is the practicing principle of evangelism. Due to the persecution, suppression and pursuit by Satan’s forces, it is not easy to preach the gospels given that God’s chosen ones have to achieve gaining people while also protecting themselves. If wise methods are not used, one is liable to fail; it then is very likely that not only will they fail to win anyone over, but on the contrary, they could be sold out by the evil forces that are resisting God or captured by the great red dragon. There are so many lessons like this to be learned. Therefore, when spreading the gospel, God’s chosen must pay special attention to employing techniques that are based in wisdom. Some people do not have principles or wisdom when spreading the gospel, and instead use more direct methods, going by the book—such practice is bound to fail to achieve results. Regardless of the environment, people may go ahead and spread the gospel as long as they can guarantee that they will win others over and that they themselves will not be captured by Satan.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
When being interrogated by the great red dragon, death is preferable to giving anything away. This is the height of wisdom. Practicing the truth and being honest are things to be done before God and before one’s brothers and sisters; people are under no obligation to tell the truth to Satan and demons. The only way to treat Satan is to hate it, curse it, and say no to it. This is the immutable stance of Christians. During the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus said, “Be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Mat 10:16). These words tell people to be wise when dealing with Satan, and not to tell it the truth. The most foolish act of all is to tell the truth to Satan and to give it information; that is to give yourself over to its snare and to invite your own destruction. This is annihilation by ignorance, pure and simple. So when it comes to Satan, you must be smart; if you are not, you are liable to be plunged into temptations. Not acknowledging that you believe in God when interrogated by the great red dragon is mere human weakness; God would not condemn you. He would not condemn you as one who lies to Him and denies Him, much less could the church condemn you; it will still welcome you, and treat you with love. But if you tell the great red dragon things about the church—particularly, if you sell out your brothers and sisters, church leaders and workers, or the households where offerings are kept—then you are a Judas who has turned his back on God. God will condemn you, and the church will expel you forever. You must be clear about the consequences.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements