The Proper Fulfillment of Duty Requires Harmonious Cooperation (Part Two)

It is necessary to learn how to handle it when people have problems cooperating with others during their duty. What is the principle for handling them? What effect should be achieved? Learn to work in harmony with everyone, and interact with others by the truth, God’s word, and principles, not by emotion or impetuousness. In this way, won’t the truth reign in the church? As long as the truth reigns, won’t things be handled in a fair and reasonable manner? Don’t you think harmonious coordination is beneficial for everyone? (Yes, it is.) Doing things this way is very beneficial for you. First of all, it is positively edifying and valuable for you as you perform your duties. On top of that, it prevents you from making mistakes, causing disruptions and disturbances, and taking the path of antichrists. Are you afraid of walking the path of antichrists? (Yes.) Is fear useful on its own? No—fear alone cannot fix the problem. It is normal to be afraid of walking the path of antichrists. It shows one to be a lover of the truth, someone who is willing to strive toward the truth and who is willing to pursue it. If you are fearful at heart, then you should seek the truth and find the path of practice. You must begin by learning to cooperate with others in harmony. If there is a problem, resolve it with fellowship and discussion, so that everyone may know the principles, as well as the specific reasoning and program regarding the resolution. Does this not keep you from making decisions alone? Additionally, if you have a God-fearing heart, then you will naturally be capable of receiving God’s scrutiny, but you must also learn to accept the supervision of God’s chosen people, which requires you to have tolerance and acceptance. If you see someone supervising you, inspecting your work, or checking up on you without your knowledge, and if you grow hot-headed, treat this person like an enemy and despise them, and even attack them and deal with them as a traitor, longing for them to disappear, then this is trouble. Is it not extremely vile? What is the difference between this and a devil king? Is this treating people fairly? If you walk the right path and act the right way, what do you have to fear from people checking up on you? If you are scared, it shows there is something lurking in your heart. If you know in your heart that you have a problem, then you should accept the judgment and chastisement of God. This is sensible. If you know you have a problem, but you don’t allow anyone to supervise you, inspect your work, or investigate your problem, then you are being highly unreasonable, you are rebelling against and resisting God, and in this case, your problem is even more serious. If God’s chosen people discern that you are an evildoer or a nonbeliever, then the consequences will be even more troublesome. Thus, those who are able to accept the supervision, examination, and inspection of others are the most sensible of all, they have tolerance and normal humanity. When you discover you are doing something wrong or have the outpouring of a corrupt disposition, if you are able to open up to and communicate with people, this will help those around you to keep an eye on you. It is certainly necessary to accept supervision, but the main thing is to pray to God and rely on Him, subjecting yourself to constant reflection. Especially when you have gone the wrong way or done something wrong, or when you are about to act or decide something on your own, and someone nearby mentions it and alerts you, you need to accept that and hasten to reflect on yourself, and admit to your mistake, and correct it. This can keep you from setting foot on the path of antichrists. If there is someone helping and alerting you in this way, are you not being preserved without knowing it? You are—that is your preservation. You should not, therefore, always guard yourself against your brothers and sisters, or people around you. Do not always disguise yourself and shroud yourself, not allowing others to understand you or see who you are. If your heart is always guarding itself against others, it will affect your search for truth, and it will be easy for you to lose out on the Holy Spirit’s work, as well as many opportunities to be made perfect. If you always guard yourself against others, you will have secrets in your heart, and you will not be able to cooperate with people. It will be easy for you to do the wrong things and walk the wrong path, and you will be dumbstruck when you make mistakes. What will you think at that time? “If only I had known, I would have collaborated with my brothers and sisters to perform my duty right from the start, and surely wouldn’t have any problems. But because I was always afraid of others seeing through me, I guarded myself against others. But ultimately, no one else made a mistake—it was me who made the first mistake. What an embarrassing and foolish thing!” If you can focus on seeking the truth, and open up in fellowship with your brothers and sisters when you have difficulties, your brothers and sisters can help you, and enable you to understand the correct path of practice, and principles of practice. It can safeguard you from walking the wrong path when performing your duty, so you will not fail or fall, or be detested and rejected by God and cast out. Instead, you will receive protection, perform your duty properly, and gain God’s approval. How vast the benefits people gain from harmonious cooperation!

The words “harmonious cooperation” are easy to understand literally, but they are difficult to put into practice. It is no easy thing to live out the practical side of these words. Why is it not easy? (People have corrupt dispositions.) That is right. Man has corrupt dispositions of arrogance, evil, intransigence, and so on, and these obstruct their practice of the truth. When you cooperate with others, you reveal all manner of corrupt dispositions. For instance, you think: “You’d have me cooperate with that person, but are they up to it? Won’t people look down on me if I cooperate with someone who lacks caliber?” And sometimes, you may even think, “That person is so mindless, and they don’t understand what I say!” or “What I have to say is thoughtful and insightful. If I told them and let them take it for themselves, would I still stand out? My proposal is the best. If I just said it and let them run with it, who would know it was my contribution?” Such thoughts and opinions—such devilish words—are commonly heard and seen. If you have such thoughts and opinions, are you willing to cooperate with others? Are you able to achieve harmonious cooperation? It is not easy; there is a measure of challenge to it! The words “harmonious cooperation” are easy to say—just open your mouth and they come right out. But when it comes time to practice them, the obstructions inside you loom large. Your thoughts go this way and that. Sometimes, when you are in a good mood, it may yet be that you are able to fellowship a bit with others; but if your mood is bad and you are obstructed by a corrupt disposition, you will not be able to practice it at all. Some people, as leaders, cannot cooperate with anyone. They are always looking down on others, always being choosy with others, and when they catch sight of others’ shortcomings, they judge and attack those people. This makes rotten apples of such leaders, and they are replaced. Do they not understand what the words “harmonious cooperation” mean? They understand them quite well, in fact, but are simply unable to put them into practice. Why can they not put them into practice? Because they cherish status too much, and their disposition is too arrogant. They want to show off, and when they have taken hold of status, they will not let it go, for fear of its falling into another’s hand and being left themselves with no real power. They are afraid of being left out by others and not being held in high regard, afraid of their words bearing no power or authority. That is what they fear. How far does their arrogance go? They lose their senses and take arbitrary, rash action. And what comes of that? Not only do they perform their duty poorly, but their actions also constitute a disruption and disturbance, and they are repositioned and replaced. Tell Me, is there anywhere that such a person, with such a disposition, is fit to perform a duty? I am afraid that wherever they are placed, they will not perform their duty properly. They cannot cooperate with others—well, does that mean they will be able to perform a duty well on their own? Certainly not. If they perform a duty on their own, they will be even less restrained, even more capable of arbitrary, rash action. Whether you can perform your duty well is not a matter of your aptitudes, the greatness of your caliber, your humanity, your abilities, or your skills; it comes down to whether you are someone who accepts the truth and whether you are able to put the truth into practice. If you are able to put the truth into practice and treat others fairly, you can achieve harmonious cooperation with others. The key in whether a person can perform their duty well and achieve harmonious cooperation with others, lies in whether they can accept and obey the truth. People’s caliber, gifts, aptitude, age, etc. are not the main thing, they are all secondary. The most important thing is to look at whether a person loves the truth, and whether they can practice the truth. After listening to a sermon, those who love the truth and can practice the truth will admit it is right. In real life, when they encounter people, events, and objects, they will implement these truths. They will put the truth into practice, it will become their own reality, and a part of their own life. It will become the criteria and principles by which they conduct themselves and do things; it will become that which they live out and display. When listening to a sermon, those who do not love the truth will also admit it is right, and think they understand it all. They have recorded the doctrines in their heart, but what are the principles and criteria they use to consider something when doing it? They always consider things according to their own interests; they do not consider things using truth. They are afraid that practicing the truth will cause them to lose out, and are afraid of being judged and looked down on by others—of losing face. They go back and forth in their considerations, then finally think, “I will just protect my status, reputation, and interests, this is the main thing. When these things are satisfied, I will be content. If these things are not satisfied, I will not be happy to practice the truth, nor find it enjoyable.” Is this a person who loves the truth? Absolutely not. Some people are very serious when listening to sermons, and even make notes. Every time they hear a key word or important phrase, they record it in a notebook, but do not use or apply it afterward. No real change is visible no matter how much time has gone by. Does this seem like someone who loves the truth? Someone who loves and understands the truth is able to put it into practice, while someone who understands but does not love the truth does not put it into practice. The greatest indicator of whether someone loves the truth is if they can put it into practice. Do you think that someone who does not love the truth can tell right from wrong? (They cannot.) Actually, they can. For example, if they were gracious to someone in the past, but then that person offends their interests, they would say, “That person is unconscionable. I helped them before, and now they treat me like this!” You see, they talk about conscience, but what standard do they use to measure a person’s conscience, or right and wrong? Whoever is useful to them, and whichever words or deeds benefit them—these things are positive, while whatever is not beneficial to them is negative. This is how selfish their perspective is. Do you think that this sort of person can gain the truth? (No, they cannot.) Why not? (They cannot gain the truth because their actions are unprincipled, and they do not practice according to the truth. Instead, they act for their own benefit, and schemes for themselves in all respects.) Exactly. They cannot gain the truth. For what kind of person is the truth prepared? It is prepared for people who love the truth, and are able to forsake everything for it. These are the people who can gain the truth, and to whom the truth ultimately belongs and is given. It means being able to put the truth into practice, and live out the truth at all costs, even if it means sacrificing one’s own personal interests, or the things one loves the most, and offering them all up. In this way the truth can be gained.

What do you think people treasure the most? Is it human life? (It is.) Actually, it is not. Suppose you were asked to lay down your life for God. Could you give it up? Suppose you were asked to offer yourself up to God, and die immediately, could you do it? There are some who can do this. Life, therefore, is not the most important thing to people, as indeed some are prepared to offer themselves up to God, or lay down their lives for God, anytime and anywhere. But when their own personal interests or reputation and status are at stake, especially when it involves their future and destiny, can they put the truth into practice and forsake their own flesh? This is the most difficult thing to do. What is the most important thing for a person in this situation? (Their interests, future, and destiny.) Correct. It’s not life, but their interests, status, future, and destiny—these are the things which people value and cherish the most. Someone who can lay down their life for God is not necessarily a person who loves the truth and puts the truth into practice. Being able to lay down one’s life for God may just be a slogan. You say you can offer your life up to God, but are you able to let go of the benefits of status? Let go of pride? Which is easier to sacrifice? (It is easier to sacrifice one’s life.) Yes. When some people are faced with the choice, although they can sacrifice their own lives, they are unable to give up the benefits of status, or renounce their own mistaken path. Say you were to choose between two roads. One is the road of being an honest person, of telling the truth and saying what is in your heart, of sharing your heart with others, or of admitting to your mistakes and telling the facts as they are, showing others your corrupt ugliness and bringing shame onto your person. The other is the road of giving your life in martyrdom for God and entering the kingdom of heaven when you die. Which do you choose? Some may say, “I choose to give up my life for God. I am willing to die for Him; after death I’ll have my reward, and enter the kingdom of heaven.” Laying down one’s life for God can be accomplished in a single, vigorous push, by those with resolve. But can practicing the truth and being an honest person be accomplished in such a push? It cannot, even in two pushes. If you have the will when doing something, you can do it well in a single push; but a single instance of telling the truth without a lie does not make you an honest person once and for all. Being an honest person involves changing your disposition, and this requires ten or twenty years of experience. You must cast off your deceitful disposition of lies and duplicity before you can meet the basic standard of being an honest person. Is this not difficult for everyone? It is an enormous challenge. God now wants to perfect and gain a group of people, and all who pursue the truth must accept judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, the purpose of which is to resolve their deceitful dispositions and make them into honest people, people who submit to God. This is not something that can be achieved in a single push; it calls for true faith, and one must suffer many trials and much refinement before they can achieve it. If God asked you now to be an honest person and speak the truth, something that involves the facts, and your future and your fate, the consequences of which might not be to your advantage, with others no longer thinking highly of you, and feeling yourself that your reputation was destroyed—in such circumstances, could you be frank, and speak the truth? Could you still be honest? This is the hardest thing to do, much harder than giving up your life. You might say, “Having me tell the truth won’t do. I’d rather die for God than tell the truth. I don’t want to be an honest person at all. I’d rather die than have everyone look down on me and think I am an ordinary person.” What does this show people cherish most? What people cherish most is their status and reputation—things that are controlled by their satanic dispositions. Life is secondary. If the situation forced them to, they would summon the strength to give their life, but status and reputation are not easy to give up. For people who believe in God, giving their life is not of the utmost importance; God requires people to accept the truth, and truly be honest people who say whatever is in their hearts, opening up and laying themselves bare to everyone. Is this easy to do? (No, it isn’t.) God does not, in fact, ask you to give up your life. Was your life not given to you by God? What use would your life be to God? God does not want it. He wants you to speak honestly, to say who you are and what you think in your heart. Can you say these things? Here, the task becomes difficult, and you may say, “Have me work hard, and I’d have the strength to do it. Have me sacrifice all of my property, and I could do it. I could easily abandon my parents and children, my marriage and career. But saying what is in my heart, speaking honestly—that’s the one thing I cannot do.” What is the reason you cannot do it? It is that once you do, anyone who knows you or is familiar with you will see you differently. They will no longer look up to you. You will have lost face and been utterly humiliated, and your integrity and dignity will be no more. Your lofty status and prestige in the hearts of others will be no more. This is why in such circumstances, no matter what, you will not speak the truth. When people encounter this, there is a battle in their hearts, and when that battle is over, some ultimately break through their difficulties while others do not, and remain controlled by their corrupt satanic dispositions and their own status, reputation, and so-called dignity. This is a difficulty, is it not? Merely speaking honestly and telling the truth is not some great feat, yet so many brave heroes, so many people who have sworn to dedicate and spend their lives for God, and so many who have said grandiose things to God find it impossible to do. What do I mean by this? When God requires that people fulfill their duty well, He is not asking them to complete a certain number of tasks or accomplish any great endeavors, nor to perform any great undertakings. What God wants is for people to be able to do all they can in a down-to-earth way, and live in accordance with His words. God does not need you to be great or noble, or bring about any miracles, nor does He want to see any pleasant surprises in you. He does not need such things. All God needs is for you to steadfastly practice according to His words. When you listen to God’s words, do what you have understood, carry out what you have comprehended, remember well what you have heard, and then, when the time comes to practice, do so according to God’s words. Let them become your life, your realities, and what you live out. Thus, God will be satisfied. You always seek greatness, nobility, and status; you always seek exaltation. How does God feel when He sees this? He loathes it, and He will distance Himself from you. The more you pursue things like greatness, nobility, and being superior to others, distinguished, outstanding, and noteworthy, the more disgusting God finds you. If you do not reflect upon yourself and repent, then God will despise you and forsake you. Avoid becoming someone whom God finds disgusting; be a person that God loves. So, how can one attain God’s love? By accepting the truth obediently, standing in the position of a created being, acting by God’s words with one’s feet on the ground, properly performing one’s duties, being an honest person, and living out a human likeness. This is enough, God will be satisfied. People must be sure not to hold ambition or entertain idle dreams, not to seek fame, gains, and status or to stand out from the crowd. Even more, they must not try to be a person of greatness or superhuman, superior among men and making others worship them. That is the desire of corrupt humanity, and it is the path of Satan; God does not save such people. If people incessantly pursue fame, gains, and status without repenting, then there is no cure for them, and only one outcome: to be cast out. Today, if you are quick to repent, there is still time; but when the day comes that God completes His work, and disasters grow ever greater, then you will no longer have the chance. When that time comes, those who pursue fame, gains, and status, yet stubbornly refuse to repent, shall be cast out. You must all be clear about what kind of people God’s work saves, and what the meaning of His salvation is. God asks people to come before Him, listen to His words, accept the truth, cast off their corrupt disposition, and practice as God says and commands. This means living according to His words, as opposed to their own notions, imaginings, and satanic philosophies, or pursuing human “happiness.” Whoever does not listen to God’s words or accept the truth, but still lives, unrepentant, by the philosophies of Satan and with a satanic disposition, this kind of person cannot be saved by God. You follow God, but of course this is also because God has chosen you—but what is the meaning of God choosing you? It is to change you into someone who trusts in God, who truly follows God, who can forsake everything for God, and who is able to follow the way of God; someone who has shed their satanic disposition, no longer following Satan or living under its power. If you follow God and perform your duty in His house, yet violate the truth in every regard, and do not practice or experience according to His words, maybe even opposing Him, could you be accepted by God? Absolutely not. What do I mean by this? Performing your duty isn’t actually difficult, nor is it hard to do so devotedly, and to an acceptable standard. You don’t have to sacrifice your life or do anything special or difficult, you merely have to follow the words and instructions of God honestly and steadfastly, not adding your own ideas or running your own operation, but walking the path of pursuing the truth. If people can do this, they will basically have a human semblance. When they have true obedience to God, and have become an honest person, they will possess the likeness of a true human being.

June 25, 2019

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