92. The Principles of Being a Preacher
(1) It is necessary for a preacher to eat and drink of God’s words often and to equip themselves with the truth. Be able to spot deficiencies and amend them in a timely fashion, and to resolve all manner of problems by fellowshiping on the truth in accordance with God’s words;
(2) It is necessary to grasp the true state of each church leader and deacon. If one finds a false leader or false worker among them, the problem must be reported and resolved at once;
(3) It is necessary to cooperate with district leaders in each aspect of that district’s work. There must be harmonious coordination, as well as a focus on discovering and cultivating talent;
(4) It is necessary to learn to supervise the work of district leaders and workers. Should one among them be found not to be doing practical work, they must be given direction and reported.
Relevant Words of God:
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.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You need to have an understanding of the many states that people will be in when the Holy Spirit performs work on them. In particular, those who coordinate in service to God must have an even stronger grasp of the many states brought about by the work that the Holy Spirit performs on people. If you only talk about a lot of experiences or ways of attaining entry, it shows that your experience is overly one-sided. Without knowing your true state and grasping the truth principle, it is not possible to achieve a change in disposition. Without knowing the principles of the Holy Spirit’s work or understanding the fruit it bears, it will be difficult for you to discern the work of evil spirits. You must expose the work of evil spirits, as well as the notions of man, and penetrate straight to the heart of the issue; you must also point out many deviations in people’s practice and problems they might have in their faith in God, so that they may recognize them. At the very least, you must not make them feel negative or passive. However, you must understand the difficulties that objectively exist for most people, you must not be unreasonable or “try to teach a pig to sing”; that is foolish behavior. To resolve the many difficulties people experience, you must first comprehend the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit; you must understand how the Holy Spirit performs work on different people, you must have an understanding of the difficulties people face and of their shortcomings, and you must see through to the key issues of the problem and get to its source, without deviating or making any errors. Only this kind of person is qualified to coordinate in service to God.
Whether or not you are able to grasp the key issues and see many things clearly depends on your individual experiences. The manner in which you experience is also the manner in which you lead others. If you understand letters and doctrines, then you will lead others to understand letters and doctrines. The way that you experience the reality of God’s words is the way in which you will lead others to attain entry to the reality of God’s utterances. If you are able to understand many truths and clearly gain insight into many things from God’s words, then you are capable of leading others to understand many truths, too, and those whom you lead will gain a clear understanding of the visions. If you focus on grasping supernatural feelings, then those whom you lead will do the same. If you neglect practice, instead placing emphasis on discussion, then those whom you lead will also focus on discussion, without practicing at all or attaining any transformation in their dispositions; they will only be enthusiastic superficially, without having put any truths into practice. All people supply others with what they themselves possess. The type of person someone is determines the path onto which they guide others, as well as the type of people that they lead. To be truly fit for God’s use, you not only must have an aspiration, but you also need a great deal of enlightenment from God, guidance from His words, the experience of being dealt with by Him, and the refinement of His words. With this as a foundation, in ordinary times, you should pay attention to your observations, thoughts, ponderances, and conclusions, and engage in absorption or elimination accordingly. These are all paths for your entry to reality, and each one of them is indispensable. This is how God works. If you enter into this method by which God works, you can have opportunities every day to be perfected by Him. And at any time, regardless of whether your environment is harsh or favorable, whether you are being tested or tempted, whether you are working or not, and whether you are living life as an individual or as part of a collective, you will always find opportunities to be perfected by God, without ever missing a single one of them. You will be able to discover them all—and in this way, you will have found the secret to experiencing God’s words.
from “What an Adequate Shepherd Should Be Equipped With” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In their work, church leaders and workers must pay attention to two things: One is to do their work exactly according to the principles stipulated by the work arrangements, never violating those principles and not basing their work on anything that they might imagine or on any of their own ideas. In everything they do, they should show concern for the work of God’s house, and always put its interests first. Another thing—and this is most crucial—is that in all things, they must focus on following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do everything in strict keeping with God’s words. If you are still capable of going against the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or if you stubbornly follow your own ideas and do things according to your own imagination, then your actions will constitute a most serious resistance against God. Frequently turning your back on the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit will only lead to a dead end. If you lose the work of the Holy Spirit, then you will not be able to work; and even if you do somehow manage to work, you will accomplish nothing. These are the two main principles to abide by while working: One is to perform your work in exact accordance with the arrangements from the Above, as well as to act according to the principles that have been set forth by the Above; and the other is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit within you. Once these two points are grasped, you will not be so liable to make mistakes.
Excerpted from “The Main Principles of Work for Leaders and Workers” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Work refers not to running around for God, but to whether the life of man and what man lives out are able to give God enjoyment. Work refers to people using their devotion to God and their knowledge of God to testify about God, and also to minister to man. This is man’s responsibility and this is what all men should understand. One could say that your entry is your work, and that you are seeking to enter during the course of working for God. Experiencing God’s work does not merely mean that you know how to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must know how to testify about God and be able to serve God and be able to minister to and provide for man. This is work, and it is also your entry; this is what every person should accomplish. There are many who only focus on running around for God and preaching everywhere, yet overlook their individual experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what has led those who serve God to become those who resist God.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The more mindful you are of God’s will, the greater the burden you bear, and the greater the burden you bear, the richer your experience will be. When you are mindful of God’s will, God will lay a burden upon you, and then enlighten you about the tasks which He has entrusted to you. When God gives you this burden, you will pay attention to all the related truths while eating and drinking of God’s words. If you have a burden related to the state of your brothers’ and sisters’ lives, then this is a burden that has been entrusted to you by God, and you will always carry this burden with you in your daily prayers. What God does has been laden onto you, and you are willing to do that which God wants to do; this is what it means to take on God’s burden as your own. At this point, in your eating and drinking of God’s words, you will focus on these types of issues, and you will wonder, How am I going to solve these problems? How can I enable my brothers and sisters to achieve release and find spiritual enjoyment? You will also focus on solving these problems while fellowshiping, and when eating and drinking of God’s words, you will focus on eating and drinking of words that relate to these issues. You will also carry a burden while eating and drinking of His words. Once you have understood God’s requirements, you will have a clearer idea about which path to take. This is the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit brought by your burden, and this is also God’s guidance which has been bestowed upon you. Why do I say this? If you have no burden, then you will not be attentive while eating and drinking of God’s words; when you eat and drink of God’s words while carrying a burden, you can grasp their essence, find your way, and be mindful of God’s will.
Excerpted from “Be Mindful of God’s Will in Order to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
As your life progresses, you must always have new entry and new, higher insight, which grow deeper with every step. This is what all humanity should enter into. Through communing, listening to sermons, reading the word of God, or handling some matter, you will gain new insight and new enlightenment, and will not live within the rules of old and times of old; you will always live in the new light, and will not stray from the word of God. This is what is meant by embarking upon the right track. Paying a price on some superficial level will not do; day by day, the word of God enters a higher realm, and new things appear every day, and man, too, must make a new entry every day. As God speaks, so He brings to fruition all that which He has spoken, and if you cannot keep up, then you will fall behind. You must go deeper in your prayers; eating and drinking of the word of God cannot be intermittent. Deepen the enlightenment and illumination you receive, and your notions and imaginings must gradually recede. You must also strengthen your judgment, and whatever you encounter, you must have your own thoughts about it and have your own viewpoints. By understanding some things in the spirit, you must gain insight into the outward things and grasp the essence of any issue. If you are not equipped with these things, how will you be able to lead the church? If you only speak of letters and doctrines without any reality and without a way of practice, you will only be able to get by for a short period of time. It may be marginally acceptable when speaking to new believers, but after a time, when new believers have had some actual experience, you will no longer be able to supply them. Then how are you fit for God’s use? Without new enlightenment, you cannot work. Those without new enlightenment are those who do not know how to experience, and such people never gain new knowledge or new experience. And, in the matter of supplying life, they can never perform their function, nor can they become fit for God’s use. This kind of person is good for nothing, a mere wastrel. In truth, such people are wholly incapable of performing their function in the work, they are all good for nothing. Not only do they fail to perform their function, but they actually place much unnecessary strain on the church. I exhort these “venerable old men” to make haste and leave the church, so that others no longer have to look upon you.
Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
Work Duties of the District Preachers
The primary work of the district preachers is to properly water the leaders and deacons of churches everywhere within the district (including the workers fulfilling their duties concerning general affairs). Their specific tasks are as follows:
1. They must water and provide sustenance for all church leaders and workers in accordance with God’s words and in combination with sermons and fellowship on life entry, resolving any difficulties and problems with regard to their life entry.
2. They must fellowship on the truths in combination with people’s revelations of corruption as well as their mistakes and deviations in their fulfillment of duties, thus resolving issues that exist in reality.
3. They must get a good grasp of the real conditions and actual stature of all church leaders and deacons through contacts and heartfelt exchanges. If it is discovered that any of the seven types of people are in the roles of leaders and workers, such situations must be reported to the district leaders and these people must be replaced as soon as possible.
4. If people with the potential to be cultivated are discovered, the district preachers must cultivate and water them, and report to the senior leadership. All this must be done without delay.
5. They must strive to understand and have a good grasp of the issues that persist in each church, resolving them in a timely manner. With regard to those issues that cannot be resolved, they must be reported to the district leaders or regional coordinators, without hiding the facts or taking things lightly.
6. They must safeguard God’s chosen ones, keeping them from being deceived and controlled by false Christs, antichrists, and all manner of evil spirits. This is the bounden responsibility of all levels of leaders and workers in the church. If any serving as leaders do not take responsibility for God’s chosen, or cannot protect them, then this is a grave resistance against God and betrayal of Him, and God’s house must hold them accountable.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements