Spreading the Gospel Is the Duty to Which All Believers Are Honor-Bound (Part One)

In the last meeting, we talked about performing your duty adequately. Achieving this is the first and most basic of the four fundamental conditions required for God’s perfection of man. Last time, we engaged in fellowship on the definition and principles of performing one’s duty. We also discussed some examples, fellowshipping on the various outward signs that indicate people are not performing their duties adequately. By doing this, I allowed God’s chosen people to clearly see that such problems should be corrected, and to understand the attitude God takes toward those who perform their duties in such a way. After fellowshipping on this, you gained a general understanding of how to perform your duty adequately, what to pay attention to, what things you cannot do, and what actions may offend God’s disposition and lead to destruction. By engaging in fellowship on how to perform your duty adequately, can you conceptually see and understand something of the truth of this matter? When performing various duties, what principles should all the varied types of people abide by, and what truths should they practice? Do you have a clear understanding of such specifics? (We do not clearly understand this.) Then we need to talk about it in greater detail. We must set out more detailed classifications so as to discuss what it means to perform one’s duty adequately.

The work of the house of God is divided into several main categories. The work that is at the forefront of all the work of God’s house is that of spreading the gospel. It involves an enormous number of people, it touches on a vast scope of things, and it involves a great amount of work. It is the first category of work, and the most important task in the overall work of the church. The work of expanding the gospel is the first important task in God’s management plan. That is why it must be classified as the first category of work. So, what is the title held by those who perform this duty? Spreaders of the gospel. As for the second category, what is the most important duty in the internal work of the church? (That of leaders and workers.) Right, it is the duty of leaders and workers at all levels in the church, including the supervisors and team leaders of various groups. This duty is of the utmost importance, and all of the work done by these people is important. This is the second category. As for the duties of the third category, what duties are relatively important in the work of spreading the gospel? (Some special duties.) Yes, the third category includes people who perform various special duties, including writing, translation, music, filmmaking, art, and external affairs work. Those of the fourth category mainly perform ordinary duties involved with logistical work, such as reception, cooking, and purchasing. A detailed classification of these duties is not necessary. The fifth category is for those people who can only perform some duties in their spare time due to their family situations, physical conditions, or other such reasons. These people perform their duties to the best of their abilities. This is the fifth category. The others, who do not perform their duties, are placed in the sixth category. These people have nothing to do with performing duties, so why should they be listed in a category at all? Because they are counted among the number of church members, they are listed in this last category. If they have listened to many sermons, are able to understand the truth, and voluntarily ask for duties to perform, we should allow such people to perform duties and give them an opportunity for repentance, as long as they have sincere faith and are not people of extremely low caliber or evil people, and provided they promise not to cause disturbances. The members of the church basically all fall into the six categories just mentioned. The only ones left are new believers. It cannot be said that they do not perform their duties. Rather, because they are small in stature and have only a shallow understanding of the truth, they cannot do anything. Even if some of them are of good caliber, they don’t understand the truth or principles, and so still can’t perform any duties. They can begin to perform duties after believing in God for two or three years. At that time, we can list them among the various categories of people who perform duties. To conclude, we have now clearly delineated the six categories. The first category is for those who spread the gospel; the second category is for the leaders and workers at all levels of the church; the third category is for those who perform special duties; the fourth category is for those who perform ordinary duties; the fifth category is for those who perform duties when time permits; and the sixth category is for those who do not perform duties. What principles provide the basis for the ordering of these categories? These categories are divided according to the nature of the work, the time required to do the work, the workload, and the importance of the work. When we previously talked about performing duties, we basically discussed the various aspects of the truth about performing duties. Our fellowship concerned the truth principles that all people should follow in performing their duties. We did not draw up any categories and we did not discuss in detail which principles each of these types of people should abide by, nor the specific truths they should focus on entering into. Next, we will fellowship on this aspect of the truth more completely, discussing each category in turn so as to be clear.

I will first open our fellowship on the truths that those who spread the gospel should understand. What are the basic truths that people who spread the gospel should understand and equip themselves with? How should you go about this duty to perform it well? You must be equipped with some truths of the vision needed for spreading the gospel and you must master the principles of spreading the gospel. Once you have mastered the principles of spreading the gospel, what other truths should you equip yourself with to resolve the notions and problems of others? How should you treat those who investigate the true way? The most important thing is to learn discernment. Who you can preach the gospel to and who you cannot: this is the first principle you must understand. If you preach the gospel to people who cannot be preached to, it will not only be wasted effort, but can easily bring about hidden dangers. This must be understood. In addition, even people who the gospel can be preached to will not accept it if you just say a few words or talk about some profound doctrines. It’s not that easy. It may be that you talk till your mouth goes dry and your tongue is parched, and you lose all patience, wanting to abandon those who are investigating the true way. In such circumstances, what is it most important to possess? (Love and patience.) You must have love and patience. If you lack all feeling of love, then you certainly have no patience. In addition to understanding the truth with respect to the vision, spreading the gospel also requires great love and great patience. Only in this way can you properly perform the duty of spreading the gospel. How is the duty of spreading the gospel defined? How do you view the duty of spreading the gospel? Wherein do those who spread the gospel differ from those who perform other duties? They bear witness to God’s work in the last days and bear witness to God’s coming. Some people say that they are messengers of the gospel, that they are sent on a mission, that they are angels come down from above. Can they be so defined? (They cannot.) What is the mission of those who spread the gospel? What image do they have in people’s minds? What is their role? (Preachers.) Preachers, messengers, what else? (Witnesses.) Most people would define them like this. But are these definitions actually accurate? The common terms are “preacher” and “witness”—“messenger of the gospel” is a more prestigious title. These three terms are often heard. No matter how people understand and define the titles of those who perform this duty, these titles are all inextricably linked to the word “gospel.” Which of these three terms is more relevant and more apt to the duty of spreading the gospel, making it a more rational title? (Preachers.) Most people think that the title of preacher is more apt. Does anyone give their vote to the title of witness? (Yes.) What about the title of messenger of the gospel? (No.) Basically no one agrees with the title of messenger of the gospel. Let us first discuss whether the title of preacher is appropriate. “Preach” means to spread, disseminate, convey, and publicize something—and what is the “way” that preachers preach about? (The true way.) That is a good way to say it. “Way” is the true way of God’s work and God’s salvation of man. This is how we explain and define the term preacher. Next, let’s talk about witness. What is it that a witness witnesses? (God’s work in the last days.) It is not wrong to say that a witness bears witness to God’s work in the last days. These two titles look to be relatively appropriate. What about messenger of the gospel? What does “gospel” refer to? It is the good news and glad tidings of the work of God, God’s salvation of man, and God’s return. How can we explain “messenger”? A good explanation of “messenger” is someone who is sent by God, one who is directly dispatched to spread the gospel, or a certain person God sends at a certain time to convey God’s words or important message. This is a messenger. Do those who spread the gospel play such a role? Do they do this sort of work? (No.) What kind of work do they do then? (They bear witness to the work of God in the last days.) Is their witness to God’s work in the last days a mission they have accepted directly from God? (No.) Then how can this mission be explained? (It is the duty of created beings.) It is the duty of people. Regardless of whether God has charged you, told you, or entrusted you with the proclamation of His new work and the dissemination of the gospel, you have the responsibility and the obligation to tell more people about the gospel, to disseminate it, and to convey it to more people. You have the responsibility and the obligation to enable more people to know this news, to come before God, and to return to God’s house. This is the duty and responsibility of people, so it cannot be said that they have been dispatched and sent out by God. Therefore, the word “messenger” is not appropriate here. What is the nature of this word? It is false, exaggerated, and empty. The word “messenger” is too exaggerated to be appropriate. From the time of the Old Testament to the present, from the beginning of God’s management work to the present, the role of messenger has never existed. That is to say, no such role has taken part in the work of God’s management plan for the salvation of mankind throughout its entire duration. How can ordinary people shoulder what is meant by the word “messenger”? No one can take on such work. Therefore, this role is not open to man, and no one can be linked to or associated with this word. A messenger, as people understand it, is someone who is sent by God to do something or to convey a message. Such a person has little to do with God’s grand and overarching work of managing mankind. That is to say, the role of messenger is all but nonexistent in the three stages of God’s work. Therefore, do not use this word in the future. It is naive to speak in this way. Can a person take on the title of “messenger of the gospel”? They cannot. For one thing, they are flesh and blood. In addition, they are a member of corrupt mankind. What type of being is a messenger? Do you know? (We don’t know.) You don’t know, yet you still dare to use this name. This is impersonation. It can be absolutely said that messengers have nothing to do with mankind, and humans cannot have anything to do with the word “messenger.” Mankind cannot shoulder it. Messengers of the gospel, the coming down of messengers from above, and the work of the messengers all basically came to an end in the time of Abraham in the Old Testament. This is already over and done with. Ever since God formally performed the work of mankind’s salvation, mankind should cease to use the word “messenger.” Why shouldn’t this word be used anymore? (Man cannot shoulder it.) It is not a matter of whether or not man can shoulder it, but rather that messengers have nothing to do with corrupt mankind. Among corrupt mankind, there is no such role, nor is there such a title. Let’s go back to the word “preacher.” If we were to give an objective, accurate, and profound definition of the “way” that they preach about, how would we define it? (The word of God.) This is a relatively general term. Specifically, does it only refer to the gospel and the message of God’s work at the present time? (No.) Then what is it that the people who spread the gospel actually proclaim? To what extent is the work of those who spread the gospel related to the “way”? What kind of work actually falls within the scope of their duties? They simply convey some basic information to the recipients of the gospel—such as that God has come in the last days, the work He has done, God’s words, and God’s intentions—so that people can hear and accept this information and then return to God. After they bring people before God, their responsibility to spread the gospel is fulfilled. Is any of what is meant by the “way” contained in the information they communicate? Here, the terms “information” and “gospel” are basically equivalent. So, do they have anything to do with the “way”? (No.) Why is there no such association? What exactly does the “way” refer to? The simplest word we can use as an explanation is path. The term “path” encapsulates the definition of “way,” which is more specific. To speak more concretely, the “way” is all the words given forth by God for the salvation of mankind, to free humans from their corrupt satanic dispositions, and to allow them to escape from Satan’s bondage and dark influence. Is this an accurate and concrete description? Looking at it now, is the word “preacher” an appropriate definition for those who perform the duty of spreading the gospel? (It is not suitable.) The duty of a preacher goes far beyond spreading the gospel. Only those who know God and bear witness to God can take on this title. Can an average person who spreads the gospel shoulder the work of a preacher? Absolutely not. Spreading the gospel is no more than proclaiming the good news and simply bearing witness to the work of God. These people cannot shoulder the work of preachers at all, they cannot perform the duty of preachers, so they cannot be called preachers. The title of preacher confers a higher standing, and those who spread the gospel do not merit this title. This title is not apt for them. Now the term “witness” is the only one that remains. What is it that a witness witnesses? (God’s work in the last days.) Is it apt to say that they proclaim and bear witness to God’s work in the last days? If the meaning of witness were to be accurately defined, it should refer to one who bears witness to God, rather than one who bears witness to the gospel. What if we called these people who spread the gospel witnesses to God? Are they able to bear witness to God? (They cannot.) How can we explain the term “witness” as used here? On close investigation, the word “witness” is also not appropriate. Since those who spread the gospel only proclaim the words spoken by God to all people who thirst for God’s words and tell the word of God to the people who welcome God’s appearance, this does not reach the true significance of the word “witness.” Why do I say that this is not what it means to bear witness? Bearing witness involves that which a person fellowships on and proclaims in order to enable people to come to know God and to bring these people before Him. At present, those who spread the gospel are merely bringing people into the church, into God’s workplace on earth. They do not bear witness to God’s disposition, to what God has and is, or to the work of God. Is the title of witness suitable for them? To speak precisely, it is neither suitable nor apt. Now, we have investigated and contemplated all three terms—messengers of the gospel, preachers, and witnesses—finding them all ill-suited to those who spread the gospel. Regardless of whether these terms come from religion or are commonly used by members of the house of God, these titles are neither suitable nor apt. Now we come to a question: Are titles important? (They are important.) Are they really important? For example, if your original name was John Smith, but you are now called James Clark, have you changed? Do you not remain you? This means that the title or name you use is not important. If it doesn’t matter, why dissect these words? I dissected these words so that people could gain an accurate view of the duty of spreading the gospel, accurately define what this duty actually is, and know how they should properly perform and treat this duty. It is first necessary for you to determine your own position within this duty. This is very important. Therefore, this title must be accurate.

I have just now roughly dissected several titles or terms referring to those who perform the duty of spreading the gospel. The titles and definitions of witnesses, preachers, and messengers of the gospel are all inaccurate. Why are they inaccurate? It is because the people that merely spread the gospel do not do any substantive work worthy of these names. They are not bearing witness to God’s deeds, God’s work, or God’s essence. This is not the work that they do, nor is it the duty they perform. Therefore, they are not worthy to be called by the title of witness. The title of preacher is also of this nature, to say nothing of messenger of the gospel. This last title is devoid of meaning, based on nothing at all. It is nothing but a lofty-sounding title people give to themselves. Where did the title messenger come from? Was it not produced by the inflation of man’s arrogant disposition? (Yes.) This is just the wish to give oneself a lofty title. These more substantive titles that superficially seem to be relevant to this sort of duty are not suitable. Some others are even less suitable and less appropriate, so we will not list and dissect them each in turn. Since these titles are inappropriate, let’s take a look at what actually constitutes the essence of the duty of spreading the gospel. In a religion, what do people call it when someone is won over through the spreading of the gospel? (Bearing fruit.) When those who spread the gospel win over a person, they say that they have borne a fruit. When they meet and talk, they always discuss how much fruit they have borne spreading the gospel in such and such a place. They measure themselves up against one another to see who has borne more fruit and of what sort these fruits are. Why do they make such comparisons? In superficially comparing the number of their fruits, what are they actually comparing? They are comparing merits and their qualifications for entering the kingdom of heaven. If they make such comparisons among themselves, do they see the work of spreading the gospel as their duty? Why do they place such importance on the fruit they bear? They believe that the fruits that they bear are somehow related to going to heaven, to receiving blessings, and to earning rewards. If these fruits have no connection to those things, would they make these comparisons whenever they meet? They would compare themselves in other respects. They would compare themselves in any respect related to receiving rewards and entering the kingdom of heaven. Because winning over people and bearing fruit when spreading the gospel relates to going to heaven and receiving rewards, in order to accomplish these things, people never get bored of comparing who has won over more people and borne more fruit when spreading the gospel. Then, in their hearts, they calculate ways to win over more people and bear more fruit so as to improve their qualifications and confidence when it comes to entering heaven and obtaining rewards. In this, the attitude of all sorts of people with regard to spreading the gospel becomes apparent. Is their attitude and motivation concerning spreading the gospel the desire to fulfill their duties as created beings? (No.) This is an incorrect point of view. Their goal is not to do their duties well, not to fulfill God’s commission, but to get rewards. Performing one’s duty in such a transactional manner is obviously not in conformity with the truth, but in violation of the truth. It is not in line with God’s intention, but detestable to Him. Regardless of the amount of fruit borne by these people, it has no bearing on their final destinations. They regard spreading the gospel as a profession, as a way or a bridge to gain blessings and rewards. The intention of such people in performing their duties and accepting this commission is not to fulfill God’s commission or perform their duties well, but only to gain blessings and rewards. Therefore, for people such as these, no matter how much fruit they bear, they are neither witnesses nor preachers. The work they do is not the performance of a duty, but merely toil and labor done in order to obtain blessings for themselves. The most serious problem here is not simply that their purpose in spreading the gospel is to obtain blessings and rewards, but that they use the fact that they win over people by spreading the gospel as a chip to be exchanged with God for rewards and the blessing of entry into heaven. Is this not a very serious problem? What is the essence of this problem? They are putting the gospel up for sale, “selling” it in exchange for blessings. Isn’t this the nature of the deal they hope to strike with God? This is the essence of their intentions, practices, and the nature of their actions. Selling the gospel in exchange for rewards seems to be the problem found among the so-called “preachers” in the religious world. So then, do those who are now performing the duty of spreading the gospel in God’s house share the same problem? (Yes.) What is the essential problem common to both? It is that they are selling the gospel in exchange for God’s satisfaction and affirmation so as to achieve their goal of obtaining blessings and of possessing that beautiful destination. When it is presented in this manner, some of you may not be convinced, but many people do in fact behave this way.

After winning over people, many among those who spread the gospel feel that they are capable of saving people and that they have performed a great service, and they often say to the people who have accepted the gospel from them: “If I had not preached the gospel to you, you would never have been able to believe in God. It was due to my loving heart that you were fortunate enough to receive the gospel.” And after those people have accepted the gospel from them, this same sort of person will always think to ask them, “Who was it that spread the gospel to you?” Those people will ponder this question and think, “It is true that you preached the gospel to me, but it was the work of the Holy Spirit—I cannot give you the credit for it.” And they will not want to respond. When they do not respond, the questioners will grow angry and continue to question them. What is the intention behind their constant questioning? They want to claim credit. Among those who spread the gospel, there are also some who will bring the gospel to someone, but refuse to hand them over to the church when that person satisfies the conditions for entering it. There are some spreaders of the gospel who will spread the gospel to several people and not give them over, and some who will spread the gospel to 20 or 30 people—enough to establish a church—and not hand them over either. Why do they not give these people over to the church? They say, “These people still do not have a very solid foundation. Let’s wait until they have a solid foundation, until they have no doubts, until they cannot be easily misled, then I will give them over to the church.” After half a year, these people will have something of a foundation and meet the principles for entering the church, but these spreaders of the gospel still will not give them over. They want to lead these people by themselves. What intention is behind this? If there was no profit to be gained from it, would they want to lead these people? What profit do they seek? They seek to obtain personal gain and advantages from these people. If they were to give these people over to the church, they could not obtain those benefits. So, you must have discernment of this problem. It is just like how many pastors and elders in the religious world know full well what the true way is, but do not accept it and do not allow the believers to accept it. In fact, they do this for their own prestige and profit. If the believers were to accept the true way, those pastors and elders would not be able to profit from their faith. Spreaders of the gospel such as these are afraid that, once their gospel recipients join the church, they will be forgotten and therefore no longer be able to profit from their faith. This is why they do not give these people over to the church. When will the spreaders of the gospel like this give over these people? Once all of those people listen to them and obey them, then they will give them over to the church. After these people enter the church, some of them who have fairly good humanity, pure comprehension, and love the truth will often listen to sermons and come to understand some truths, and thereby be able to discern these people who spread the gospel to them. They will then say, “That person seems to be an antichrist, like Paul.” The next time they meet, they will pay no heed to those spreaders of the gospel. When they are ignored, these spreaders will grow angry and say, “You are ungrateful! If I hadn’t spread the gospel to you, would you have come to believe in God? Would you have found the true way? Have you forgotten me, your mother, now that you have someone else to lead you?” They want to be seen as a mother. Do people who talk like this have reason? (No.) If someone can bring themselves to say this, they certainly aren’t any good. Why do I say this? When they spread God’s gospel, who do the people that they win over belong to? (God.) Although they may work hard to spread the gospel, the people they win over do not belong to them, but to God. Those who accept the gospel want to follow God, not believe in those who preached the gospel to them, but this kind of gospel spreader does not allow them to join the church and follow God. Instead, they want to keep these people in their grasp and control, and make these people follow them. Isn’t this the highway robbery of spreading the gospel? This kind of gospel spreader obstructs people from coming before God, making it so those people must go through them in order to come before God, and so that everything must be communicated through them. Aren’t they trying to profit off their faith? Don’t they want to control these people? (Yes.) What sort of behavior is this? It is purely the behavior of Satan! This means that an antichrist has shown their true colors, and they want to control the church and God’s chosen people. People of this sort can be found in churches everywhere. In serious cases, they may control dozens or even hundreds of people. In milder cases, when they preach the gospel to a few people, they will just constantly demand gratitude from them, bring up these people’s debt to them whenever they meet, and always mention things from the time when these people first came to believe. Why is it that they always mention such things? It is so that those people do not forget their kindness and do not forget whose preaching it was that enabled them to enter the house of God, and who the credit should go to. They harbor an aim in bringing up such matters, and if this is not achieved, they scold those people. What is the first thing they say to scold them? (That they are ungrateful.) Do these words of theirs have reason? (No.) Why do you say that they lack reason? (Because these gospel spreaders are not standing in their rightful place. Spreading the gospel is their duty, it is something that they are supposed to do. And yet, after bringing the gospel to people, they see it as a contribution that they have made, and not their duty.) They always think that they have made a contribution by spreading the gospel. This is wrong. In one respect, they are not standing in their rightful place. It is God who saves people, and people can only cooperate in this. What can a person accomplish if God does not work? In another respect, spreading the gospel to other people is not their contribution. They have made no great contribution, it is their duty. It is God who wants to gain people, gospel spreaders are merely cooperating with Him a bit. To save and gain people is God’s business, and it has nothing to do with the gospel spreaders. They cannot do these things. In spreading the gospel, they are just performing the job of transmitting it, they are simply sharing God’s gospel of the last days with other people. This cannot be said to be some kindness that they bestow on people, so if these people pay them no heed, they are not being ungrateful. Do such things not often occur while people are performing their duties of spreading the gospel? Has this kind of corruption been revealed in you? (It has.) Was it a severe revelation? Have you gone so far as to scold others? Have you gone so far as to hate others? Have you gone so far as wishing to curse and control people? You wish to dominate and control whoever receives the gospel from you. You want to take those people for yourself rather than give them over to God. You expect whoever receives the gospel from you to be your loyal progeny. Do you have such thoughts? Many people treat preaching the gospel like bearing fruit. They think that whoever receives the gospel from them becomes their fruit and their follower, and must follow them obediently and treat them like their God and their master. Do you think in this way? Even if you do not reach such a blatant extreme, you still possess this aspect of a corrupt disposition. Why is this? Basically, it comes down to those two points: In one respect, people do not stand in their proper place and do not know who they are. In another respect, they do not regard spreading the gospel as their duty. If you treat spreading the gospel as your duty, you will understand that no matter what you do, no matter how many people you preach to or how many people you win over, this is just performing the duty of a created being, that it is a responsibility and obligation you ought to fulfill, and that it is no great contribution to speak of. Understanding the matter in this way is in line with the truth. But why are some people who preach the gospel able to control those who receive the gospel from them and take those people as their own? It is because they are too arrogant and self-righteous by nature and they lack the slightest bit of reason. In addition, it is because they do not understand the truth and have not resolved this aspect of their corrupt disposition. That is why they can do such stupid, arrogant, and barbaric things that disgust other people and are loathed by God.

When people do something, when they possess a little capital or make a contribution, they want to show it off, they want to control people, they want to exchange what they have done for rewards or to secure a good destination. Some would go so far as to attempt to make a trade using God’s gospel. What trade do they want to make? Here is an example. When a person like this arrives at the house of a potential gospel recipient and sees that their family is poor, they think that they will probably not benefit from spreading the gospel to this person. Consequently, they feel uninterested in them or even discriminate against them. Whenever they see that person, they feel displeased, and they say to their leader, “That person won’t be able to believe in God. And even if they were to believe, they could not gain the truth.” This is the excuse they use to avoid spreading the gospel to them. Not long after, someone else goes to spread the gospel to this person, and they accept it. How can the first gospel spreader explain this? How could they say that this person won’t believe in God? How could they be so arbitrary? How could they know whether or not someone would believe if they didn’t spread the gospel to them? They couldn’t know. Why didn’t they win over this person? It is because they were prejudiced against that person, they looked down on them, and didn’t show a loving heart to them that they failed to win over that person. By performing their duty in that way, they were being negligent. They did not show a loving heart and they failed to fulfill their responsibility. Is this a credit or a demerit in God’s eyes? (A demerit.) It is absolutely a transgression. Why did this transgression come about? Isn’t it because they could not get any benefits from that gospel recipient? When they saw that spreading the gospel to that person would not profit them, they felt an aversion toward them and retaliated against them, not wanting to let them obtain salvation, and then finding all kinds of reasons and excuses to avoid spreading the gospel to them. This is a serious dereliction of duty and a serious transgression! Refusing to spread the gospel to someone when there is no profit to be obtained—what kind of attitude is this? Isn’t this a typical manifestation of a person selling the gospel? (Yes.) In what way are they selling the gospel? Explain the details and process. (That gospel spreader decided whether they wanted to spread the gospel to someone based on whether they could benefit from it. This is equivalent to treating God’s gospel as a commodity and selling it to obtain the benefits that one desires. When they saw that there were no benefits to be gained, they refused to spread the gospel.) They regard God’s gospel as their own private asset. If they see someone from a rich and powerful family who is well-fed and well-clothed, they think to themselves, “If I spread the gospel to them, I can stay in their house, and I can also have good food to eat and good clothes to wear,” and they then decide to preach the gospel to that person. What sort of behavior is this? This is a typical example of a person selling the gospel. This gospel spreader treats God’s gospel and the glad tidings of God’s new work as a commodity and as their own private asset, deceiving and tricking others at every turn in order to secure profit and whatever things they need for themselves. Is this performing one’s duty? This is called doing business and profiting from peddling the gospel. Peddling means selling things that one has by means of trade, and obtaining the money or material things one wants in exchange. So how do they peddle the gospel? It depends on whether they can obtain benefits from potential gospel recipients. What this means is, “I’ll spread the gospel to you if it’s beneficial to me. If there’s no profit in it for me, I’ll find an excuse not to preach it to you. It’ll just be a deal that didn’t work out.” Why didn’t this deal work out? It didn’t work out because the gospel spreader couldn’t profit from it. What do we call this type of person? They are called “traveling con men.” They have nothing real to offer, but go everywhere deceiving and tricking others, relying on their words to make them money and to obtain profits. By preaching the gospel in this way, are they performing their duty? They are purely doing evil. Their actions have nothing to do with performing their duty, because they do not regard spreading the gospel as their duty, and they do not see it as their responsibility or obligation, or as a commission entrusted to them by God. Rather, they see it as a job, a profession done in exchange for the things that they need, to satisfy their own interests, and to meet their own demands. There are even some people who don’t want to leave when they go to wealthy areas to preach the gospel, because they eat well, dress well, and stay in nice places there. They start crying in front of the gospel recipients about how poor they are, “See how God’s grace and blessings surround you here. Every family has its own car to drive, lives in its own modest mansion, and dresses well. You even eat meat every day. That’s not possible where we come from.” After hearing this, the gospel recipients say, “Since the place that you live is so impoverished, come and stay with us here often,” then, they give these gospel spreaders some things. This is a disguised form of soliciting and extorting money and material goods from people. What is their extortion based on? “We have preached God’s gospel to you, and gotten nothing in return. We have fulfilled God’s commission. You have received such great blessings, so you should repay God’s love and give us a little charity. Isn’t that what we deserve?” In this way, they use various means to secretly, directly, or indirectly extort material goods and money from people. They use spreading the gospel as an opportunity to seek personal benefits. The first manifestation of this is selling the gospel, which is the most serious in nature. The second manifestation is disguised extortion. Therefore, within the ranks of people who perform the duty of spreading the gospel, some people’s pockets imperceptibly begin to bulge while they are preaching the gospel, and they become affluent. Some people say, “Isn’t it good to be affluent? Isn’t this God’s blessing?” That is rubbish! You rely on your own tricks and devices to extort and swindle things from people, and then you claim that it is God’s blessing. What is the nature of such words? They are blasphemy against God. This is not God’s blessing. God does not bless people in this way. So why would an idea like this arise within someone? This is the result of their ambitions and their greedy, satanic nature.

Those who spread the gospel all suffer a great deal. Sometimes they are persecuted and mobbed by religious people, or even handed over to Satan’s regime. If they are a little incautious, they are likely to be arrested by the great red dragon. However, those who love the truth can approach such things correctly, whereas those who don’t love the truth will often complain about the slightest suffering. Some of those who spread the gospel have said things like this: “I preached the gospel to a person, and after talking for such a long time, he didn’t even give me a glass of water. I don’t want to preach to him.” Is it a problem that someone did not give them a glass of water? There is a kind of disposition hidden in the words of these spreaders of the gospel. The implication is that spreading the gospel is only worthwhile when it is enjoyable and profitable. If it involves suffering, or if they don’t even get a glass of water to drink, then it is not worthwhile. Within this, there is an intention to solicit something and to strike a deal. If there is always a transactional nature to the way that a person spreads the gospel, are they sincerely expending themselves for God? If they can’t even bear this little bit of suffering when performing their duty, and a little thing can cause them to become negative, can they perform their duty adequately? They will also say, “Not only was I not given any water, they didn’t give me any food at lunchtime.” Is it a problem if someone didn’t let these gospel spreaders stay and eat with them? They have been spreading the gospel for several years and they always pay attention to how people host them, what they give them to eat and drink, and what gifts they receive—why is this? Do they not know how to treat people who are investigating the true way? This is a problem with their character. Do they have even a little love for people in their hearts? And why do they still not understand the kinds of suffering those who spread the gospel should endure and how they should practice the truth? Why haven’t they put this into practice at all? Is it a problem if the people to whom you preach the gospel do not give you water to drink or food to eat? This is not a problem. Spreading the gospel to people is fulfilling our obligation; it is our duty. There are no additional conditions. The people to whom you preach are not obliged to feed you, wait on you, or smile at you. They do not have to listen to everything you say and obey you. They are under no such obligation. If you can think this way, that is objective and rational. Then, you will be able to regard these things correctly. So, how should someone who is investigating the true way be treated? As long as they conform to the principles of God’s house for spreading the gospel, we have an obligation to preach it to them; and even if their current attitude is poor and unaccepting, we must exercise patience. For how long and to what extent must we be patient? Until they reject you and do not let you into their house, and no discussion works, nor does calling them, or having someone else go invite them, and they do not acknowledge you. In this case, there is no way to spread the gospel to them. That is when you will have fulfilled your responsibility. That is what it means to perform your duty. However, so long as there is a bit of hope, you should think of every way you can and do your utmost to read God’s words and bear witness for His work to them. Say, for instance, you have been in contact with someone for two or three years. You have tried spreading the gospel and testifying for God to them many times, but they have no intention of accepting it. Yet their understanding is quite good, and they really are a potential gospel recipient. What should you do? First of all, you absolutely must not give up on them, instead you should maintain normal interactions with them, and keep reading God’s words to them and bearing witness for His work. Do not give up on them; be patient until the end. On some unknown day, they will wake up and feel it is time to investigate the true way. That is why practicing patience and persevering to the end is a very important aspect of spreading the gospel. And why do this? Because it is the duty of a created being. Since you are in contact with them, you have an obligation and a responsibility to preach God’s gospel to them. Many processes lie between them first hearing God’s words and the gospel up until they turn themselves around, and this takes time. This period calls for you to be patient and wait, until that day comes when they turn themselves around and you bring them before God, back to His house. This is your obligation. What is an obligation? It is a responsibility that cannot be shirked, to which one is honor-bound. It is just like how a mother treats her child. No matter how disobedient or mischievous the child may be, or if they are sick and will not eat, what is the mother’s obligation? Knowing that this is her child, she dotes on them, and loves them, and cares for them attentively. It makes no difference whether the child acknowledges her as their mother or not, and it does not matter how they treat her—she stays by their side all the same, protecting them, without leaving for an instant, constantly waiting for them to believe that she is their mother and for them to return to her embrace. In this way, she constantly watches over and cares for them. This is what responsibility means; this is what it means to be honor-bound. If those engaged in spreading the gospel would practice in this way, harboring this sort of loving heart for people, they would then be upholding the principles of spreading the gospel, and be entirely capable of achieving results. If they’re always making excuses and talking about their conditions, they will not be able to spread the gospel, and they will not be performing their duty. Some people who spread the gospel are always picky about potential gospel recipients having too many questions and difficulties and being poor in caliber, and as a result, they are unwilling to suffer and pay a price to win them over. But if their own parents and relatives have a lot of difficulties and poor caliber, they are still able to treat them with a loving heart. Doesn’t this mean that they are not treating people fairly? Do these people have loving hearts? Are they people who show consideration for the intentions of God? Absolutely not. When spreading the gospel, they always look for any reasons and excuses they can find based on objective conditions to not preach the gospel to people, or, no matter who they see, they do not find them pleasing and think them to be inferior to themselves, and they always feel that there is no one to preach the gospel to—as a result, they end up not bringing the gospel to a single person. Are there principles in spreading the gospel like this? Someone like this doesn’t think about God’s intentions or God’s requirements at all. Anyone who can acknowledge that God’s words are the truth and anyone who can accept the truth is a potential recipient of the gospel, unless they are obviously evil people or absurd types. If people would truly show consideration for God’s intentions, they would perform their duties and treat people with principles. No matter what problems people investigating the true way have or how much they reveal their corrupt dispositions, as long as they can acknowledge and accept the truth, you should tirelessly read God’s words to them and testify for God’s work. This is the principle that must be followed in spreading the gospel.

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