Question (5) The word of God says: “The work of Paul represents the work of a servant, which is to say that he did the work of an apostle. Peter, though, was different: He also did some work; it was not as great as the work of Paul, but he worked amid the pursuit of his own entry, and his work was different from the work of Paul. Peter’s work was the performance of the duty of a creature of God. He did not work in the role of an apostle, but during the course of his pursuit of a love of God.” Brother, please fellowship about where the differences lie between work as an apostle and performance of the duty of a creature of God? How are these expressed? How are we able to perform the duty of a creature of God, and how should we practice entry?
The answer is as follows: One’s work is not measured by the size of his work or whether his fame is known both near and far. The most important thing is that it is measured by its nature and substance. For instance, some people understand the truth in carrying out their work and once they have understood the truth they will carry out their duty, and they certainly do not place importance on “What is the work that I should do, what work am I to do, what is my title, what work am I responsible for, who is arranging the work for me?” He does not place importance on this, and he places importance on performing his duty. He approaches his work from the point of view of carrying out his duty. Why is such a person able to arrive at such a result? Why is the aim and intention that he cherishes different? That is because the truth has become the reality of his life. He has entered into the reality of the truth and his life disposition has changed. Therefore, he has a different way of viewing things, and his intention in the work that he does, in performing his duty is different, and the principles that he practices are different. Paul did not understand any truth, he did not have any reality of the truth, and what he understood was entirely the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. He understood doctrines, some of which touched upon part of the truth, but did not become the reality of his life. It was mainly that there were many doctrinal things. Therefore, he placed importance on his status as an apostle, he regarded this position as important and he placed importance on his position amid God’s chosen people and on his prestige in all churches. This proves that the truth was not the life within him and he did not have a heart that genuinely loved God, and he did not have a true knowledge of God’s disposition. If one wishes to truly perform his duty as a creature of God, to what stage should he understand the truth? To the stage when the way in which he sees things changes, and he has no aims and intentions. Only when the truth becomes his reality will he be able to change the way that he views things. For example, what is it that a person regards as important in the first three or five years of carrying out his duty? He has an intense desire to obtain blessings, “I must finish my work in order to obtain blessings and rewards.” So, how long will it be before this desire, this intention, this conception, this viewpoint disappears? What process should it undergo before it is able to change? This is no easy thing. It requires judgment and chastisement, it requires pruning and dealing, it requires even more experiences of failure and in the end he attains understanding of the truth, and he knows why he has to carry out his duty. In performing his duty he experiences numerous failures, he undergoes much pruning and being dealt with, he suffers many setbacks, and in the end he is no longer passive. He thinks, “While man lives this is how it should be done, this is how his duty is to be performed. If he does not carry out his duty in this way, he is not a man.” Well, would you say that if this is how he looks at performing his duty, his viewpoint has changed? If it has changed to this level, isn’t he performing his duty as a created being? If he has changed to this point, he believes that he is a man if he performs his duty and if he does not perform his duty he is not a man; therefore, being passive does not come into it. It is like in a family, why does the father go to work to earn money? It is in order to support the family. If he sees that a child is not obedient, he will strike the child, saying: “Don’t you know who it is for that I’m earning money?” Come a day when he is older he will understand for whom after all it is that children are raised. This is a responsibility. It doesn’t mean that you have children as a precaution against old age; it is a responsibility. When a person knows that having children and earning a living are fulfilling his own responsibilities, would you say that he is still passive? Will he complain if his children are disobedient? He won’t have critical opinions and his outlook changes. In particular a mother, if her child is poor or being bullied, she is concerned and anxious, and she helps out. Is this so that she can be looked after when she is old? No, it is her responsibility. When we say that it is a responsibility, a mother could be a slave and it would be fine, without question. If a son or daughter has no money, and nothing to eat, then she would say “Well, come to our place for a meal, and have whatever we’re having.” Does she then say that she’s suffering a loss and being taken advantage of? Does she care about who is filial and respectful and who is not? If only she could she would slice off her own flesh to feed her children, isn’t this how it is? When you come to know that it is your responsibility, your outlook is different. You need to undergo a long period of refinement before you can develop such a responsible heart, which is not easy. Therefore, in the matter of performing your duty, you need to gather experience over several years of carrying out your duty. When you start to undergo pruning and being dealt with, whoever may not have a good opinion of you, or when you are fully aware that the Holy Spirit has not done His work, you utter complaints. After you have done your duty for ten years or eight years you will understand this is the responsibility as a man, “If I don’t do my duty, am I still a man? However you treat me I need to do my duty. Whether you treat me well or poorly makes no difference to the performance of my duties. It doesn’t matter if I live or die. As long as I live for one day I need to do my duty.” You see, if this is how he looks at fulfilling his duty, can he then be controlled by people, things and matters? I feel that it is like a parent who fulfills his responsibility to his son or daughter, not for the sake of any good fortune, nor to seek a reward from God, but only to carry out his responsibility as a man. It’s fine if you say that it is in order to repay God’s love. More importantly, he is carrying out his responsibility and obligations as a man. Well, why do you say I fellowship with you? Is it that I get on well with you, or that I am close to you? Or that you give me some advantages and I have to respond to you? What do I do it for? It is that I am carrying out my responsibility. If I do not carry out my responsibility in this way I am unworthy of God, then I am not a man. Put most simply, this is how things stand. Furthermore, it is also in order to repay God’s love. God has shown me such grace, and He has paid such a great price in His work on me that if I do not properly fulfill my responsibility, then I am greatly in God’s debt. It is unjustifiable, I am not fit to live, and I ought to die. Therefore, I have to do everything possible to fulfill my duty and to carry out my responsibility. If I fellowship with you all of the Holy Spirit’s work on me and allow you to obtain it, then my heart is at peace. Therefore, when I see you carrying out your duty, and your devotion to God, I am comforted and pleased. Tell me, what does that mean? “I have achieved some results by carrying out this duty. Finally I can see some results. I have not watered these people in vain.” This makes me happy. It doesn’t matter what you treat me. Regardless of whether you get on well with me or not, I still fulfill my duty. Well, tell me, if a man’s experience has come to this stage, is he fulfilling the duty of created beings? Its nature has changed. It is not rendering service, but fulfilling a duty. If you are always doing things to obtain blessings or to receive rewards, you do things to ingratiate someone, or to arrive at an aim, that is rendering service, not fulfilling the duty of created beings.