What Is the Adequate Performance of Duty? (Part Three)

Next, let us fellowship about what manifestations there are of the inadequate performance of duty. I’ll fellowship an example first, and you all can discern whether this person is performing his duty adequately and in accordance with God’s requirements. There was someone who was selected to be a leader in the church and was hosted by a half-believing family, where some members were believers and some were not. However, they all had a peculiar trait, which was that they were particularly adept at reading the mood of and flattering those in authority. What would this trait inadvertently form for the leader? (It would form a temptation.) It formed a temptation. Was this a blessing or a misfortune for him? Whether it was a blessing or a misfortune remains to be seen; let’s continue. After this family hosted the leader, they served him meat and good food at every meal. Why did they receive the leader this way? Was it out of love? Would they have received the brothers and sisters this way? Definitely not. When the leader was there, they cooked meat for him every day. Eventually, the leader, delighted with the meals, told the family, “Your whole family loves God. Your mother can enter the kingdom, your son can enter the kingdom, and you and your wife can also enter the kingdom. In the future, your entire family can enter the kingdom.” Upon hearing this, the family became elated, thinking, “Our entire family can enter the kingdom, even the unbelievers among us can enter. It seems the meat we’ve been giving him hasn’t been wasted; we should continue to serve it to him.” In reality, this family had little understanding of what entering the kingdom entails, but they knew it’s a good thing. Who among those who believe in God wouldn’t want to enter the kingdom of heaven and receive blessings? They thought, “As long as the leader says we can enter the kingdom, then we can, right? The leader’s word is final; the leader represents God, after all!” Afterward, the more the leader said they could enter the kingdom, the more lavish the meals they offered him. Gradually, this leader no longer wanted to visit other families because they didn’t offer him these good things or flatter him in this way. Not long after, the leader gained more and more weight; his head grew fatter as well, going from a “human head” to a “pig’s head.” During a co-workers’ gathering, he was immediately noticeable. Having not seen him for just a month, he had gained so much weight that they urgently questioned him about his work. They discovered serious issues and gave him a stern pruning, dissecting the essence of his problem before eventually replacing this false leader. Further investigation revealed more problems: This false leader didn’t do any real work and reveled in the benefits of his status every day. He favored those who flattered him, promoting them, while suppressing those who didn’t offer him gifts. He even demanded that his wife bring him more chicken to eat. So, what do you think of this false leader’s performance of his duties? What was his attitude toward his duties? He wasn’t actually doing the work; it’s more like he had gone somewhere just to be an official. Otherwise, how could he have gained so much weight? There are two reasons for this: On one hand, he deliberately chose host families where he could eat meat, staying there and continually indulging himself; on the other, he definitely had no sense of burden while performing his duties, and he didn’t endure any hardship. If a leader or worker has a sense of burden, upon seeing the extensive workload of the church and the many issues that urgently need resolving, wouldn’t they be stressed and anxious? This anxiousness would whip them into action; they’d immediately start addressing these issues, expending energy and enduring some hardships. Physically, they would only lose weight; it’s a natural law. Under what conditions would one continue to eat more and gain weight? It could only be from eating to one’s heart’s content all day long and not focusing on anything else, being free from burden, sitting high and mighty, disconnected from the community and the workplace, indulging in fleshly comforts. Only then could one continue to gain weight, transforming from a “human head” to a “pig’s head” in just over a month. So, how well was this leader performing his duties? The nature of his role as a leader had changed; this was no longer about performing his duties but about indulging in comfort and the benefits of status. He was acting like a government official. Not only did he shirk real work, he also engaged in wrongdoing. If someone didn’t flatter him or provide him with delicious food, he suppressed them. Moreover, he incited brothers and sisters to join him in pruning them, eventually arousing public ire. People began to feel repelled by him and distanced themselves from him. Setting aside the reasons for his removal, let’s just discuss the adequacy of the performance of his duties. His indulgence in the benefits of status and lack of real work is the most serious issue. He was not serving God’s chosen people; he was acting over them like an official, and was in no way performing his duties. In his work as a leader, he showed not a shred of loyalty in performing his duties, let alone devoting his heart and energy. He only gave his heart and energy to eating, drinking, and enjoying himself. He racked his brains thinking about how to enjoy the benefits of his status, and he didn’t fellowship the truth to the host family to restrict this kind of fawning behavior from them. Moreover, he deceived them, saying that only such hosting would allow entry into the kingdom and earn rewards. Isn’t this doing evil? If this was how he treated the host family, what would he do in the work of the church? How would he treat God’s chosen people? Surely it would be full of deception and perfunctoriness. Did this person truly know what duty was? Did he know what the work that God entrusted to him was? What did he take this commission to be? He took it as capital and as the basis for enjoying the benefits of his status, and as a result, he committed numerous evils, disturbing church life and causing loss to the life entry of brothers and sisters. Such a way of performing duty is not only inadequate, but has also turned into evil deeds. Lacking any adequate component in the performance of one’s duty, can they be remembered by God? (No.) Clearly they can’t, which is quite pitiful. It is pitiful to not understand the truth—is it even more pitiful to understand the truth but not practice it? (Yes.) This is Case One, the “Human Head That Turned Into a Pig’s Head” case. This case is relatively simple: It involves indulging in the benefits of status, performing one’s duty without a shred of loyalty, and lacking even a bit of a God-fearing heart. This leader treated his God-given duty as capital for indulging in the benefits of his status. This is easy to discern. Remember the name of Case One, so that in the future you can draw a comparison, discerning others, and motivating yourselves. What do you think of this case I’ve talked about? Do you detest such people and such actions? (Yes.) If you accept God’s commission, could you commit such acts? If you could have more reason than that false leader and be somewhat restrained, and could strive for the truth, then there is still some hope. But if you could indulge in eating and drinking and enjoying the benefits of status like him, then you will be revealed and eliminated; you’ll be purely a false leader and a person detested by God. Now you have some discernment and understand some truths. The extent to which you can restrain and control yourself determines how much hope you have for salvation; they are directly proportional. If you can’t restrain yourself, and continue to act according to your own preferences, living in a corrupt disposition and indulging in the benefits of status, pleased and intoxicated when someone flatters you, without any self-reflection or genuine repentance, then the hope you have for receiving salvation is zero.

Next, let’s talk about another case. During the expansion of the gospel, many people in the church go to various places to spread the gospel. The work of spreading the gospel is a duty for anyone. Regardless of how you treat it or whether you think this duty is good or not, in general, it is a commission given by God to people. Speaking of God’s commissions to people, this involves people’s responsibility, and it also involves people’s duty. Since it involves people’s duty, it also involves how one performs their duty. During the process of spreading the gospel, some people specifically seek out wealthy areas and wealthy households. When they see someone driving a nice car or living in a big house, they feel envious and jealous. If they find a household that hosts them well, they linger and harbor a covetous heart. They think that since they have made contributions in the process of spreading the gospel, they should enjoy some grace. So what does their gospel-spreading become? All they do is indulge in fleshly pleasures, exchanging their laboring for physical enjoyment; it becomes the selling of their labor. After two or three years, they have gained some people by spreading the gospel there and even established a church, thus accumulating some capital. Then they start to get carried away, and by the time they “gloriously” return to their hometown, they are radiant, having practically become a fashionable person. They bring back high-end household appliances and electronic products, and are dressed in fine clothing from head to toe. The local people don’t recognize them anymore, thinking that they must have struck it rich somewhere. Is there not a problem here? They’ve been a believer for so many years, always performing their duty away from home. Initially, there wasn’t really anything of value in their home, but now they take back all the fine clothing and good appliances people give; they’re both well-dressed and well-equipped. They consider this God’s grace. But where did these things actually come from? It could be said they were exchanged for their labor of spreading the gospel. Some others saw their many years of faith and their hard work in gospel-spreading, so they give this person some good things. Is this “giving” charity? Is it compassion? If these good things were obtained because of gospel-spreading, given to them through flattery by others, is it appropriate for this person to consider them God’s favor or God’s grace? To put it bluntly, they’re taking advantage of the opportunity to spread the gospel to acquire these things. If they’re always lamenting their poverty in front of others, while also mentioning they like this or that item, and then people reluctantly give it to them, doesn’t that have the semblance of extortion or blackmail? Some people who preach the gospel like to tell others, “We gospel spreaders are messengers of God, sent by God. You receive God’s gospel from us—what a tremendous blessing and advantage you’re gaining! Given how wealthy you are and how much of God’s grace you’ve enjoyed, shouldn’t you show some appreciation? Shouldn’t you share some of your excess or unused items with us?” After such persuasion, some people, out of embarrassment, end up giving in, and the gospel spreaders think they’re perfectly justified. Do those who give really do it willingly? Regardless of whether the givers are willing, are these things that gospel spreaders should be receiving? (No.) Some rationalize: “Why shouldn’t I receive these? I’ve worked hard to preach the gospel; isn’t receiving these few things just God’s grace?” What are you doing when you preach the gospel? Is this your job to make a living? Preaching the gospel is not a transaction; it’s your duty. When you demand things from people, you’re essentially demanding things from God. But since you can’t reach God, and you dare not ask Him, you reach out to people instead, and mislead them by speaking a slew of spiritual theories. You feel you’ve earned merit by gaining some people through gospel-spreading and that you are entitled to receive some compensation for your efforts. You don’t think it would be good asking for money directly, so you ask for things instead, believing that this way, your efforts haven’t been in vain. Is this performing your duty? (It’s not.) The nature of your actions has changed. What have you turned gospel-spreading into? You’ve commercialized God’s gospel, bartering it for these material things. What kind of behavior is this? (Opportunism.) This is opportunism? Is calling it opportunism downplaying its severity? Isn’t it actually doing evil, isn’t it an evil deed? (Yes.) Why is it considered an evil deed? Spreading the gospel is performing duty and bearing witness to God; as you bear witness to God, you simultaneously bring the gospel to a person and God gains that person, and you’ve thus completed your mission. Whatever you should receive for completing your mission, God will give it to you; you don’t need to ask anyone, nor does anyone have a reason to exchange charity for this gospel. God’s gospel is priceless; no amount of money can buy it, nor can it be traded for anything. When you use gospel-spreading as an opportunity to gain material benefits, you lose your testimony; this approach is blasphemous and a mark of disgracing God. Moreover, what is the nature of making people grateful to you after you spread the gospel to them? This is stealing God’s glory! God’s gospel and God’s work are not commodities. God freely bestows His gospel upon man; it is free and involves no transactions whatsoever. Yet people turn God’s gospel into a commodity to sell to others, demanding money and material things from them. This lacks testimony and disgraces the name of God. Isn’t this an evil deed? (Yes.) It is indeed an evil deed. Is this adequate performance of duty? (No.) Is this more severe in nature than the case we just talked about, the “Human Head That Turned Into a Pig’s Head”? (Yes.) Where does the severity lie? (In disgracing God.) This is disgracing God, blaspheming God, and stealing God’s glory. Taking God’s gospel and selling it to people, vending it to them as if it were a commodity, and then profiting exorbitantly and seeking personal gain from it—what sort of creatures would do this? These are bandits and evil people, behaving in the way of Satan! God clearly created heaven, earth, and all things, as well as humankind, yet Satan and evil spirits mislead people by saying they are the ones who created humans, heaven, and earth, making people worship them as God and the Creator. Isn’t this stealing God’s glory? This is a sin, it is an evil deed, it is opposing God. Is man’s selling the gospel the same as Satan’s behavior? (Yes.) What is the purpose of their selling the gospel? To make people regard them as the messenger of the gospel, as if the gospel originates from them and they have the power to make decisions. Isn’t this stealing God’s glory? (Yes.) What kind of sin has been committed by stealing God’s glory? What is the nature of this? This is the evil deed of opposing God; it is behavior that blasphemes God. Does spreading the gospel in this way still count as performing one’s duty? This is entirely doing evil; it is opposing God. Spreading the gospel in this way is not bearing witness for God at all, so it is not performing one’s duty; it is purely doing evil. Some people say: “Spreading the gospel is such hard work; getting some good things is only fair. What’s the big deal? This doesn’t count as anything wrong among the unbelievers.” Is this statement correct? It depends on what your intentions are, what you are coveting, and what is the nature of it. If you are doing it for personal gain, what you are selling is God’s gospel, what you are selling is the truth, and what you ultimately gain is your personal benefit—then it is indeed an evil deed. Is it excessive to characterize this as an evil deed? (No.) It’s not excessive in the slightest. When someone has received their duty and carried it out, but then such consequences arise, who is to blame? (The person themselves.) They can only blame themselves. So how did these consequences come about? It is directly related to people’s wicked nature. Some people do not pursue the truth, but they have a sense of shame, character, and conscience, so they wouldn’t do such things. If someone does engage in such actions, it shows that this person lacks humanity; they are greedy and have a vicious disposition. This leads not only to a failure to perform their duties adequately, but it actually turns it into doing evil. Some people say: “How can it be characterized as doing evil? They’ve managed to gain quite a few people through their gospel-spreading; just the fact that they’ve had obvious results should negate the idea that they’re doing evil, right?” Is this statement correct? (No.) Why is it incorrect? Spreading the gospel is their duty, their responsibility. What is the intention and purpose behind their duty? What principles guide their duty? Are they responsible in their actions? Based on these factors, one can determine whether the person is performing their duties or doing evil. Although they have been performing their duties, the starting point for their performance is wrong; they haven’t acted according to principles and have committed many evil deeds. There’s not the slightest manifestation of practicing the truth. What is the essence of this kind of gospel-spreading? (Selling the gospel.) What should this case be called? The “Selling the Gospel” case. Just hearing this name, you know the nature of the issue is very serious. How could someone sell God’s gospel? The nature of this issue of selling the gospel is very serious. So, every time the selling of the gospel is mentioned, shouldn’t people know what the matter is, what the states, behaviors, and methods are? This is Case Two, and the nature of this case is more serious than the previous one.

The following case is also one that occurred during the process of spreading the gospel. In the past, the house of God had established some principles and methods for spreading the gospel, including methods that concern compassion and making friends. This allowed some people to find loopholes to exploit. Which people exploited these loopholes? People with a wicked nature who do not love the truth. In the process of spreading the gospel, there are indeed some wicked people who seize this opportunity to find romantic partners and engage in romantic and intimate relationships. When such things happen, they think there are reasons for it, when in fact it’s these wicked individuals of Satan exploiting loopholes. Using the opportunity of spreading the gospel to come into contact with the opposite sex, when these people find someone suitable or preferable, they do everything in their ability to find chances to interact with and entice them. On the surface, it appears to be for the sake of gaining people through spreading the gospel, but in reality, it’s to satisfy their personal lust. They do all these things under the banner of spreading the gospel, under the banner of expanding God’s work, under the banner of bearing witness for God and dedicating themselves to God, and also under the banner of performing their duty. No one does these things unintentionally; in fact, they are fully aware yet doggedly pretend to be confused. Each person knows in their heart when they do these things that it is sinful, detested by God, and not permitted by God, but they can’t control their fleshly lust, and they try hard to make excuses and justifications for the sins they commit. Can this conceal their own issues? If you commit such sins once or twice and then repent, God may still pardon you, but if you persistently refuse to change, you’re in danger. Some people may feel somewhat uneasy each time they commit such a sin, wondering, “Can I be saved if I act this way?” But they then think, “This isn’t a great evil; at most it’s just a revelation of corruption. I won’t do it again; it won’t affect my outcome and destination.” Is this attitude toward committing a transgression one of genuine repentance? If there’s not even remorse in their heart, will they not continue to relapse? I think it’s very risky. Can such a person perform their duty adequately? In performing their duty, there are still elements of a “private operation”; they’re mixing “public and private,” which is a great adulteration! This is sure to offend God’s disposition. These people cannot be deemed “adequate” in performing their duty; this is more serious than asking for things or selling the gospel. How is it more serious? It’s disgusting; it is a trade in flesh and lust. So, what is the nature of this issue? It’s willfully sinning despite knowing the truth. The word “willfully” changes the nature of the issue. In fact, they know that the regulations and principles in the work arrangements are designed to get people to practice wisdom and to prevent Satan from gaining leverage against them. The aim is to bring people before God, but they exploit loopholes and seize opportunities to freely unleash their wicked lusts; this is called knowingly committing sin. What does the Bible say about this? (“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).) If even the sin offering of the cross is no longer available, do these people still have any relation to salvation? That depends on the situation. Some people act out of necessity, or denounce themselves internally, but they are forced to act this way due to the circumstances at the time. If the number of times is not too many, no more than three, they can be forgiven. What does it mean that they can be forgiven? It means that upon the first offense, if they can come to their senses, seek the truth, show signs of remorse, and turn back without committing an offense again, all while asking to perform their duties, they can be given a chance to atone for their sins. There is still hope for salvation in such cases, but how much hope depends on individual pursuit. No one can make a definitive judgment for you, no one can give you guarantees; it mainly depends on your own pursuit. I won’t make any promises to you, saying that as long as you don’t commit this sin again, you will surely be saved; I won’t make that promise because I don’t know what your future performance will be like. If you exceed the number of times for which forgiveness is possible, you repeatedly refuse to change, and you have no good deeds in the course of preaching the gospel that can offset your evil deeds, then you are utterly done for. You’ve committed so much evil without a trace of good deeds; your preaching of the gospel is merely to engage recklessly in intimate relationships, not to perform your duty well—it is disconnected from your performance of duty. This is no longer an issue of having or not having a sin offering. What should such people be classified as? They should be classified as filthy demons and evil spirits. They are not normal humans. They are not just committing sins; they have nothing to do with performing their duty. Is there still hope for their salvation? No, there isn’t. Such people have been kicked out of God’s house; they have been cut out and God will not save them. What they do and how they behave not only fails to touch upon their duty; it can’t even be considered a matter of adequate performance of duty. The end result and the outcome for such people will be determined based on their classification. Isn’t this case quite disgusting? Its nature is even more severe than the second case we just discussed. Among such people, there are some whose cases are more severe in nature. Can they turn back? Can they have a repentant heart and stop doing such things, and still labor by spreading the gospel in God’s house? Are there people like this? (No.) Can they willingly labor? (No.) In fact, some of these people have gained some people during their time of spreading the gospel. But now, what has all this work they’ve done amounted to? It’s amounted to laboring, not performing their duty. Actually, these people haven’t been lacking in effort, but the path they’ve taken has determined their fate and outcome. Among those who also spread the gospel, is it the case that each of them will encounter such temptations? It can be said that everyone will face these sorts of temptations to varying degrees in different situations, but does that mean each of them will succumb to temptation and commit sin? (No.) Not everyone can commit sin, not everyone can engage in such activities—this condemns those who do engage in these kinds of activities, and they are thus revealed. This shows there is something wrong with their disposition and their humanity. Who can they blame for having such an outcome? (Themselves.) They can only blame themselves, and no one else.

Some people, no matter what transgressions they commit during their time of spreading the gospel, never seek the truth to resolve them, do not pray to God, and never engage in self-reflection, which shows that they are obstinately unrepentant. In the end, these people are eliminated. I’ve heard of someone who, while spreading the gospel, took possession of a woman and would not even allow her to find a partner and get married; the nature of this is very severe. What kind of person is this? (An evil person.) Can such evil individuals remain in the house of God? (No.) God’s house has no room for such tyrants; they disgrace God! By doing such things, they impact countless people’s perception of God and cause so many to misunderstand Him! People will say, “How could someone who believes in God do such things?” This is already a disgrace to God. If the church does not expel and deal with such individuals but instead lets them continue spreading the gospel and offers them a chance to repent, then that is entirely wrong. This person is not a first-time offender; their behavior is severe in nature and they should be directly expelled. Otherwise, it would disgrace God and provide Satan with leverage to judge and condemn the house of God. So Satan cannot be afforded an opportunity to gain leverage; those who are habitually licentious must be expelled from the church. Such individuals are licentious spirits who have already disgraced God, and God will absolutely not save them. Regardless of how effective their preaching of the gospel is or how many people they’ve gained, if they don’t walk the right path, they’ve destroyed and forfeited themselves. Such people are not allowed to exist within God’s house; they are targets for being cut out. So, do their deeds count as performing their duty? No, all their contributions have been completely erased in the eyes of God and will not be remembered by Him. They are not merely inadequate; the nature of their performance of duty has shifted, and it has become doing evil. How does God deal with those who do evil? He cuts them out. What does being cut out mean? It means they are removed from among the people God has chosen and prepared to save—they do not belong among them. They are instead categorized among evil spirits, filthy demons, and the unsaved. What are their chances of attaining salvation? (Zero.) Though they performed their duties and followed God just the same, in the end this type of person reaches this point and is eliminated. So you see, this is yet another type of person. Is the nature of this case more serious than the previous case? (Yes.) It is even more serious; it is targeted. This case should be merged with the third one; it falls under the category of a special, typical case in the third example, and it is targeted. What should this case be called? “Wicked People Will Be Cut Out,” let’s settle on that. For the three kinds of people in these three cases, their performance of duty basically amounted to laboring to no effect. What does it mean to labor to no effect? It means that they turned their duty into the mere laboring—and even then, they didn’t labor well or properly perform their duty. They didn’t treat their duty as duty, and even committed various wrongdoings and evil deeds and were ultimately eliminated, meeting no good outcome. The nature of all three of these cases is very serious.

There is another case, and its nature is also quite severe. There was an individual who performed work for many years and, on the surface, seemed to pursue the truth and genuinely expend himself. He forsook marriage and family, abandoned his career and prospects, went to many places to perform his duties, and also undertook some work that was of little consequence. But in the process of performing his duties, he understood few truths because he did not really pursue the truth, and he thought he was doing well just because he could talk about some words and doctrines. What was more serious was that this person didn’t practice the truth at all. So his performance of duty was merely preaching some doctrines and following some regulations, usually behaving kindly toward others and offending no one. Regarding how to perform the work of the church and what issues still existed, he was not attentive, didn’t put in the effort, and did not seek the truth to resolve these issues. In short, his attitude toward work was superficial and indifferent; it seemed like he didn’t slack off, but he wasn’t tiring himself out either. He didn’t appear to be acting in a perfunctory manner, but the results of his work were not particularly good. In one particular incident, due to his negligence and perfunctory attitude, he caused a loss of over 10 million RMB to the offerings to God. Just what kind of a figure is 10 million RMB? Ordinary people, upon hearing this amount, would consider it an astronomical figure. They would gasp in disbelief and hardly dare to think about it, having never seen so much money in their lifetime. But this “old gentleman,” after causing a loss of over 10 million RMB in offerings, had no remorse, no hint of repentance, and wasn’t sad. When the church expelled him, he still complained. What sort of creature would do this? Let’s discuss two points. First, this sum of money was lost while you were working, and regardless of whose fault it is, you are responsible. You had a responsibility to protect it, but you failed to do so. This is dereliction of duty, because this is not human money; this is an offering, and people should treat it with utmost loyalty. If the offerings suffer a loss, how should one think? Even death would not be sufficient compensation! What is a human life worth in money? If the loss is too great, even giving up one’s life won’t be enough to repay it! The key is that the nature of this issue is too severe. This “old gentleman” didn’t take the loss of so many offerings seriously; this person is too detestable! Losing over 10 million RMB in offerings was like losing 100 or so RMB to him; he didn’t report it at all to the Above, had no remorse for this issue at all, and didn’t say to those around him, “Let’s analyze how this money was lost and what should be done. Should we repay it or find another solution? Or perhaps we should inform the Above, admit responsibility and resign, and pray to God to confess our sins?” He didn’t even have this attitude; is this detestable? (Yes.) It is all too detestable! His capacity for such great evildoing reveals his attitude toward his duty and toward God. Secondly, after being expelled, not only did he not accept it, nor confess his sin, nor repent, but he even complained. Such a person is beyond reason. Just think about what he could possibly have to complain about. He complained, “I’ve believed in God for over 20 years, I never got married, I gave up so much, endured so much suffering, and now they expel me, reject me. I’ll find my own place!” Not long after, he got married. Tell Me, if a typical person—one with conscience and humanity—had a bit of sense of their conscience, would they get married that quickly? Would they be in the mood for it? Generally, a person with even a bit of conscience and humanity, when faced with such a grave issue, would even contemplate death, thinking, “My life is over, how could I have committed such an act after believing in God for over 20 years? I have only myself to blame and deserve to be expelled! Forget about 10 million; I can’t even afford to repay one million. Even if I were sold, I couldn’t make up for it, my life isn’t worth anything!” Why did you still do it when you knew you couldn’t afford it? Don’t you know that money was an offering, dedicated to God? That money wasn’t yours; your responsibility was to safeguard it. It wasn’t something that had no relation to you; it was something you had to keep safe. It was the most important thing, and your carelessness was a dereliction of duty. Having lost it, you certainly couldn’t shirk responsibility for it. As someone who believes in God, didn’t you have an obligation and responsibility to keep these offerings safe and prevent any mishaps? Shouldn’t you have minimized the risk of something going wrong? If you can’t even do that, what are you? Aren’t you a living demon? (Yes.) That’s utterly disgusting and devoid of humanity! Moreover, after being expelled, not only did he stop believing in God and get married, but he also disturbed the believers in his family—the nature of this is even more serious. He performed his duty for many years, forsook much, made many sacrifices, did quite a bit of work, took risks, and served time in jail. But these external factors do not determine one’s fate. What does? The path one chooses. Had he taken the path of pursuing the truth, he wouldn’t have ended up like this and wouldn’t have caused such a great loss to God’s house. It was absolutely not random for such a major mishap to occur; it was directly related to the quality of his humanity and the path he chose. Do you think God is aware of the path he’s on? (Yes.) God knows. So, was this incident meant to reveal him or eliminate him? It was both to reveal and to eliminate him. From the human perspective, he seemed to be performing his duty well, with loyalty, expenditure, a willingness to pay the price, and an ability to endure hardship. So why would God do something like this to him? Why would God reveal him? What was meant to be revealed? Was it merely to reveal his outcome? No, it was meant to reveal his faith, reveal his humanity, reveal his essence and nature—all of these have now been laid bare. Can God still save such a person? Does God hold even a glimmer of hope for him? God has absolutely no hope for such a person. Does God have any love or mercy left for him? None at all. Some might say: “If God has no love or mercy for him, then is there only righteousness, majesty, and wrath left?” That’s correct. Such an evil person no longer needs love or mercy, and there’s no longer a need for that, because he has severely offended God’s disposition. All that’s left from God for him is righteousness, majesty, and wrath. His outcome has nothing to do with God’s management work, it has absolutely nothing to do with God’s work of saving humankind; he has been eliminated and removed. Therefore, no matter where this person is now, in God’s eyes, he is but a living dead man, a walking corpse dwelling among filthy demons and evil spirits, among those who wear human faces but possess beastly hearts and are beasts in human clothing. These are his qualities, and he has been cut out from the Creator’s sight. Considering his outcome and his final attitude toward this major event that occurred in his life, did his performance of duty all this while have anything to do with the word “adequate”? (No.) How do you know that his performance of duty was not adequate even before this event occurred? Is it through judgment and inference, or did you make this evaluation by observing his essence? (By observing his essence.) That’s correct. Take Paul as an example—if he had pursued the truth, if he could have sought to be perfected like Peter, he would not have spoken such blasphemous words. Every outcome has a cause; the outcome this individual met with has its underlying reasons. From the fact that this person was able to reach this point today, and from his attitude toward God, his attitude toward the offerings, and his attitude toward his own evil deeds, it’s enough to let people see clearly what path he was walking and what his faith in God really was. This completely reveals his essence and the path he was on. If he were on the path of pursuing the truth, the path of fearing God and shunning evil, and if he could genuinely treat his duty as his responsibility and obligation, how would he have handled this situation when it inevitably occurred? He definitely would not have the attitude he has now—that of resistance and complaint. His demonic side has been laid bare; the nature essence deep within his soul has been completely exposed. He is not a human being, he is a devil. If he were human, he wouldn’t have ended up like this after having believed in God for over 20 years. If he were human, how much regret would he feel for such a great loss of the offerings? How many tears would he shed? To what extent would he tremble? He would feel inescapably responsible and guilty of terrible sin, believing himself to be unforgivable, and would feel he should repent and confess his sins to God. At the very least, even if the church expelled him, he would not stop believing, nor would he betray God, let alone disturb his family’s faith in God. What do we discern from this person’s various subsequent behaviors? That he is a nonbeliever who has no love for the truth, and that his humanity is also malicious. This is the fourth case. What should we name this case? (“The Loss of Ten Million in Offerings Case.”) We should add his reaction to it and call it “Losing Ten Million in Offerings with No Sign of Repentance.” Isn’t that name better? It serves as a warning to others; at the very least, it makes people aware of where the severity of his actions lies.

The occurrence of all these events, the various behaviors displayed by these people, as well as their attitudes toward God after these events took place, all arose and were exposed in the process of performing their duties. Therefore, to some extent, the path one takes in believing in God and one’s ultimate outcome are greatly related to the performance of one’s duty; it could even be said that there is a direct relationship. The topic of performing duties should be an everlasting subject, and the truth concerning this aspect should also be an everlasting subject. It’s the truth that people most fundamentally should understand, and a topic that should be continually discussed in the process of people’s life growth and believing in God. This is because it’s inseparably connected with changes in people’s dispositions, with their life entry, and with the type of path they walk and what kind of outcome they ultimately have. Today, we’ve fellowshipped extensively about performing duties and have also fellowshipped about several cases. The main purpose of this is to make you understand how to perform your duties in a way that God approves of, what the consequences are if you do evil, and the importance of performing your duties up to standard. The events in these cases got progressively more severe and increasingly frightening, but they weren’t concocted by Me. They truly occurred among those who believe in God and who are within the ranks of those performing their duties. What does this signify? Some people say: “There’s no issue if we don’t perform our duties, but problems always arise when we do. So is it alright to just not perform our duties?” How is this line of thinking? Isn’t this giving up eating for fear of choking? Isn’t this foolish? You must learn to seek the truth to resolve these issues; this is a proactive attitude and the kind of attitude a normal person should have. If you’re afraid that problems may arise while performing your duties that will lead to being condemned, expelled, eliminated, or cut out, and finally losing any hope of attaining salvation, and you simply stop performing your duties or adopt a negative, antagonistic approach toward them, what kind of attitude is that? (A bad one.) Some others say: “Our humanity is too poor for performing duties, so why don’t we just contentedly labor? God doesn’t have high requirements for those laborers, and there aren’t any standards or principles—just exerting effort is enough. Do whatever is asked, be obedient, don’t take on any significant responsibilities, and don’t have any ambitions to become a leader or worker. Just being able to remain until the end would be the greatest blessing.” How are these motives? Aren’t they rather base and vile? Can such unambitious individuals obtain God’s salvation? Can a person without humanity labor adequately? Those without humanity cannot labor adequately; they will not become the loyal laborers who get to remain.

The number of examples mentioned during these last few times in fellowship is relatively high. These events are easy to remember, but the truths I have fellowshipped on are difficult to understand. However, there’s a benefit to this: By discussing these events, you may recall or come to understand the truths they touch upon a little. If we didn’t talk about these cases, achieving this kind of result would probably require more effort. Discussing these cases serves as both an impetus and a warning, helping people find the right path from within them. It guides you in knowing which path to walk in your faith to avoid violating God’s administrative decrees, making major mistakes, or taking the wrong course. The main goal is to help people perform their duties adequately. After hearing about these four cases, how do you feel? Do you have a new understanding of performing duties adequately? Is it easy for people to perform their duties adequately? (It’s not easy.) Where does the difficulty lie? Is it because people don’t understand the truth and cannot find principles, and thus keep making mistakes? (No.) So where does the difficulty lie, then? It is in this: People don’t love the truth, nor do they pursue it. In the process of performing their duties, if people don’t pursue the truth and don’t practice it, coupled with their vicious, wicked, and arrogant dispositions, this can easily lead to certain consequences and bring about outcomes that people don’t expect or don’t wish to see. Does anyone anticipate a bad outcome for themselves? (No.) Are there those who hope for just a mediocre outcome, thinking that as long as they scrape by to the end without dying, it’s fine? (Yes.) What kind of people are these? They are people who don’t pursue the truth; they’re merely marking time until death. For such people, their performance of duty is bound to be completely perfunctory, making it easy for them to make mistakes or commit sin, and very difficult to perform their duties up to standard. What kind of people can perform their duties up to standard? (Those who pursue the truth.) Who else? (People with humanity.) What does humanity encompass? (Conscience and reason.) Those who have conscience and reason, who possess humanity, will easily perform their duties up to standard if they pursue the truth. Some people say: “You keep talking about these serious negative examples of people failing to perform their duties adequately, and it’s making us lose confidence. When will we ever reach the standard of performing our duties adequately? Are there any positive examples of this?” Let’s discuss something more uplifting and positive, then. Currently, many people are beginning to focus on pursuing the truth, and they are also starting to become more diligent when performing their duties. For instance, some can cooperate harmoniously with others while performing their duties. What does harmonious cooperation mean? Here’s one manifestation of it: It’s not merely about everyone getting along well on the outside, without conflict or intrigue. Harmonious cooperation means that when facing various issues at work—whether or not you have insight into them and whether or not your perspective is correct—you can still confer and fellowship with others, seek the truth principles, and then reach a consensus. That is harmonious cooperation. What is the purpose of reaching a consensus? It’s to better fulfill one’s duties, to do the work of the church better, and to be able to bear witness to God. If you want the performance of your duties to meet the mark, then in the course of performing your duties, you must first achieve harmonious cooperation. There are currently some people who are already practicing harmonious cooperation. After understanding the truth, even though they are unable to fully practice the truth, and even though there are failures, weakness, and deviations along the way, they still strive toward the truth principles. So, they have hope of achieving harmonious cooperation. For example, sometimes you may think what you are doing is right, but you are capable of not being self-righteous. You can discuss with others and fellowship on the truth principles together until they are clear and apparent, so that everyone understands, and is in agreement that doing this will achieve the best result. Also, that it does not step outside the principles, that it takes the interests of the house of God into consideration, will protect the interests of God’s house to the greatest degree possible. Practicing in this way is in alignment with the truth principles. Although the end result may not always be as you envisioned, the path, direction, and goal of your practice was right. So how does God see it? How does God define this matter? God will say that the performance of your duty is adequate. Does adequacy mean that your duty was performed in accordance with God’s will? No, it doesn’t. Adequacy is still a ways off from satisfying God’s will, receiving God’s affirmation and practicing in full adherence to God’s requirements. Adequacy simply means that you are on the right path, your intentions are right, and your direction is right, but you haven’t yet reached the high standard of acting according to the truth principles as required by God. For instance, regarding submission, let’s say the house of God arranges for you to do something in the course of performing your duties. How should you practice so as to meet the mark in performing your duties? When you first hear about the task, you may have some opinions. But after some consideration, you think, “God has said that we should learn to seek and submit in matters we don’t understand. So, I must seek. Although I don’t understand the truth or know how I should practice, the task has fallen to me, so I must comply and submit. Even if it’s just following the regulations, I should follow them first.” If you can practice in this manner, then you are meeting the mark. But is there a gap between reaching this standard and receiving God’s affirmation? (Yes.) This gap is determined by the extent to which you understand the truth. Although you can submit, you do not understand God’s intentions and have not fully identified the truth principles or put them into practice; you have merely adhered to the regulations. You have adhered to the basic things one should do, according to the standards of conscience and regulations, so in terms of execution, there are no problems, and in terms of the nature of your actions, there’s nothing wrong. However, this doesn’t meet the standard of practicing the truth; you still don’t understand God’s intentions. You’ve only passively and reflexively upheld your duties; you did not fulfill them properly according to the truth principles. You haven’t reached a level where you can bear witness to God or satisfy God’s will. You have not met the standard for bearing witness. Therefore, performing your duties in this manner is merely adequate, and does not yet meet with God’s approval.

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