God’s Work and Man’s Work (Part One)
How much of the work of man is the work of the Holy Spirit and how much is man’s experience? Even now, it can be said that people still do not understand these questions, which is all because people do not understand the working principles of the Holy Spirit. The work of man that I speak of is, of course, referring to the work of those who have the Holy Spirit’s work or those who are used by the Holy Spirit. I am not referring to the work originating from the will of man but to the work of the apostles, workers or ordinary brothers and sisters within the scope of the Holy Spirit’s work. Here, the work of man does not refer to work of the incarnate God but to the scope and principles of the work of the Holy Spirit on people. While these principles are the principles and scope of the work of the Holy Spirit, they are not the same as the principles and scope of the work of God incarnate. The work of man has man’s substance and principles, and the work of God has God’s substance and principles.
The work in the stream of the Holy Spirit, no matter whether it is God’s own work or the work of men being used, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. The substance of God Himself is the Spirit, which can be called the Holy Spirit or the sevenfold intensified Spirit. Anyway, They are the Spirit of God. It is only that the Spirit of God is called differently during different eras. But Their substance is still one. Therefore, the work of God Himself is the work of the Holy Spirit; the work of the incarnate God is none less than the Holy Spirit at work. The work of men who are used is also the work of the Holy Spirit. It is only that the work of God is the complete expression of the Holy Spirit, and there is no difference, whereas the work of men being used is mixed with many human things, and it is not the direct expression of the Holy Spirit, let alone the complete expression. The work of the Holy Spirit is varied and not limited by any conditions. The work varies in different people, and conveys different working substances. Work in different eras also differs, as does work in different countries. Of course, although the Holy Spirit works in many different ways and according to many principles, no matter how the work is done or on what kind of people, the substance is always different, and the work He does on different people all has principles and all can represent the substance of the object of the work. This is because the work of the Holy Spirit is quite specific in scope and quite measured. The work done in the incarnate flesh is not the same as the work conducted on people, and the work also varies depending on the different caliber of people. Work done in the incarnate flesh is not done on people, and in the incarnate flesh He does not do the same work as that done on people. In a word, no matter how He works, work on different objects is never the same, and the principles by which He works differ in accordance with the state and nature of different people. The Holy Spirit works on different people based on their inherent substance and does not make demands on them beyond their inherent substance, nor does He work on them beyond their actual caliber. So, the work of the Holy Spirit on man allows people to see the substance of the object of the work. The inherent substance of man does not change; the actual caliber of man is limited. Whether the Holy Spirit uses people or works on people, the work is always in accordance with the limitations of people’s caliber so that they may benefit from it. When the Holy Spirit works on men being used, both their gifts and actual caliber are brought into play and are not reserved. Their actual caliber is all exerted to serve the work. It can be said that He works by using the available parts of men in order to achieve the working results. By contrast, work done in the incarnate flesh is to directly express the work of the Spirit and is not mixed with the human mind and thoughts, unreachable by man’s gifts, man’s experience or man’s innate condition. The myriad work of the Holy Spirit is all aimed at benefiting and edifying man. But some people can be perfected while others do not possess the conditions for perfection, which is to say, they cannot be perfected and can hardly be saved, and even though they may have had the work of the Holy Spirit, they are ultimately eliminated. That is to say that though the work of the Holy Spirit is to edify people, this does not mean that all those who have had the Holy Spirit’s work are to be completely perfected, because the path pursued by many people is not the path to being perfected. They only have the unilateral work of the Holy Spirit, and not subjective human cooperation or correct human pursuit. In this way, the work of the Holy Spirit on these people becomes work in service of those being perfected. The work of the Holy Spirit cannot be directly seen by people or directly touched by people themselves. It can only be expressed via the aid of men with the gift of working, meaning that the work of the Holy Spirit is provided to followers via expression by men.
The work of the Holy Spirit is accomplished and completed through many types of people and many different conditions. Although the work of God incarnate can represent the work of an entire era, and can represent people’s entry in an entire era, work on the detailed entry of people still needs to be done by men used by the Holy Spirit and not by God incarnate. So, God’s work, or God’s own ministry, is the work of God’s incarnate flesh and cannot be done by man in His stead. The work of the Holy Spirit is completed through many different types of people and cannot be fulfilled by just one particular person or fully clarified through one particular person. Those who lead the churches also cannot completely represent the work of the Holy Spirit; they can only do some leading work. In this way, the work of the Holy Spirit can be divided into three parts: God’s own work, the work of men being used, and the work on all those in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Among the three, God’s own work is to lead the entire era; the work of men who are used is to lead all the followers of God by being sent or receiving commissions after God’s own work, and these men are the ones who cooperate with God’s work; the work done by the Holy Spirit on those in the stream is to maintain all His own work, that is, to maintain the entire management and to maintain His testimony, while at the same time perfecting those who can be perfected. These three parts are the complete work of the Holy Spirit, but without the work of God Himself, the entire management work would stagnate. The work of God Himself involves the work of all of mankind, and it also represents the work of the entire era. That is to say, God’s own work represents the movement and trend of all of the work of the Holy Spirit, whereas the work of the apostles follows God’s own work and does not lead the era, nor does it represent the working trend of the Holy Spirit in the entire era. They only do the work man ought to do, which does not at all involve the management work. God’s own work is the project within the management work. Man’s work is only the duty of men being used and bears no relation to the management work. Due to different identities and representations of the work, despite the fact that they are both the work of the Holy Spirit, there are clear and substantive differences between God’s own work and the work of man. Moreover, the extent of the work done by the Holy Spirit on work objects with different identities varies. These are the principles and scope of the work of the Holy Spirit.
The work of man represents his experience and his humanity. What man provides and the work that man does represent him. Man’s seeing, man’s reasoning, man’s logic and his rich imagination are all included in his work. In particular, the experience of man is more able to represent his work, and what a person has experienced will be the components of his work. Man’s work can express his experience. When some people are experiencing in a passive state, most of their fellowship consists of negative elements. If their experience is positive and they particularly have paths on the positive side, what they fellowship is very encouraging, and people will be able to obtain positive supply from them. If a worker becomes passive at this time, his fellowship will always carry negative elements. This kind of fellowship is depressing, and others will unconsciously be depressed following his fellowship. The state of the followers changes depending on that of the leader. What a worker is like inside is what he expresses, and the work of the Holy Spirit often changes with man’s state. He works according to man’s experience and does not force man but makes demands of man in accordance with the normal course of his experience. This is to say that man’s fellowship differs from the word of God. What man fellowships conveys their individual seeing and experience, expressing what they see and experience on the foundation of God’s work. Their responsibility is to find out, after God works or speaks, what they ought to practice or enter into, and then deliver it to followers. Therefore, man’s work represents his entry and practice. Of course, such work is mixed with human lessons and experience or some of human thoughts. No matter how the Holy Spirit works, whether He works on man or in God incarnate, it is always the workers expressing what they are. Although it is the Holy Spirit who works, the work is founded on what man inherently is, because the Holy Spirit does not work without foundation. In other words, the work is not done out of nothing, but is always in accordance with actual circumstances and real conditions. It is in this way only that man’s disposition can be transformed, that his old notions and old thoughts can be changed. What man expresses is what he sees, experiences and can imagine. Even if it is doctrines or notions, these are all reachable by man’s thinking. Regardless of the size of man’s work, it cannot exceed the scope of man’s experience, what man sees, or what man can imagine or conceive. What God expresses is what God Himself is, and this is beyond the reach of man, that is, beyond the reach of man’s thinking. He expresses His work of leading all of mankind, and this is not relevant to the details of human experience, but is instead concerned with His own management. Man expresses his experience while God expresses His being—this being is His inherent disposition and is beyond the reach of man. Man’s experience is his seeing and knowledge acquired based on God’s expression of His being. Such seeing and knowledge are called man’s being. They are expressed on the foundation of man’s inherent disposition and his actual caliber; hence they are also called man’s being. Man is able to fellowship what he experiences and sees. What he has not experienced or seen or his mind cannot reach, that is, the things he does not have inside him, he is unable to fellowship. If what man expresses is not his experience, it is his imagination or doctrine. In a word, there is not any reality in his words. If you have never contacted the things of society, you would not be able to clearly fellowship the complex relationships in society. If you have no family but other people are talking about family issues, you cannot understand the majority of what they were saying. So, what man fellowships and the work he does represent his inner being. If someone fellowships about his understanding of chastisement and judgment, but you have no experience of it, you dare not deny his knowledge, much less dare to be one hundred percent certain about it. This is because what he fellowships about is something that you have never experienced, something you have never known, and your mind cannot imagine it. You can only take from his knowledge a future path relating to chastisement and judgment. But this path can only serve as understanding based on doctrine and cannot replace your own understanding, much less your experience. Perhaps you think that what he says is quite correct, but when you experience, you find it is impracticable in many things. Perhaps you feel that some of the knowledge you hear is completely impracticable; you harbor notions about it at the time, and although you accept it, you do so only reluctantly. But when you experience, the knowledge that gives you notions becomes your way of practice. And the more you practice, the more you understand the true value and meaning of his words. After you have had the experience, you can then talk about the knowledge you should have about the things you have experienced. In addition, you can also distinguish between those whose knowledge is real and practical and those whose knowledge is based on doctrine and is worthless. So, whether the knowledge that you are talking accords with the truth largely depends on whether you have practical experience. Where there is the truth in your experience, your knowledge will be practical and valuable. Through your experience, you can also gain discernment and insight, deepen your knowledge, and increase your wisdom and common sense in conducting yourself. The knowledge spoken by people who do not possess the truth is doctrine, no matter how high. This type of person may well be very intelligent when it comes to matters of the flesh but cannot make distinctions when it comes to spiritual matters. This is because such people have no experience at all in spiritual affairs. These are people who are not enlightened in spiritual affairs and do not understand the spirit. Regardless of which aspect of knowledge you talk about, as long as it is your being, then it is your personal experience, your real knowledge. What those who speak only doctrine, that is, those who do not possess the truth or reality, talk about can also be said to be their being, because their doctrine is only arrived at from deep contemplation and is the result of their mind pondering deeply, but it is only doctrine, it is nothing more than imagination! The experiences of different kinds of people represent the things within them. All those with no spiritual experience cannot talk about knowledge of the truth, or correct knowledge about different kinds of spiritual things. What man expresses is what he is inside—this is certain. If one wishes to have knowledge of spiritual things and the truth, he must have real experience. If you cannot talk clearly about common sense relating to human life, how much less will you be able to talk about spiritual things? Those who can lead churches, supply people with life, and be an apostle to the people, must have actual experiences, must have a correct understanding of spiritual things, a correct appreciation and experience of the truth. Only such men are qualified to be workers or apostles leading the churches. Otherwise, they can only follow as the least and cannot lead, much less be an apostle able to supply people with life. This is because the function of apostles is not to run or to fight; it is to minister life and to lead changes in human disposition. It is a function performed by those who are commissioned to shoulder heavy responsibility and not something which every person can do. This kind of work can only be undertaken by those with life being, that is, those who have experience of the truth. It cannot be undertaken by everyone who can give up, can run or is willing to spend; people who have no experience of the truth, who have not been pruned or judged, are unable to do this type of work. People with no experience, that is, people without reality, are unable to see reality clearly because they themselves do not possess being in this aspect. So, this type of person not only is unable to do leadership work, but will be the object of elimination if they have no truth for a long period of time. The seeing that you speak of can prove the hardships you have experienced in life, over what matters you have been chastised and in what issues you have been judged. This is also true in trials: The things in which one is refined, the things in which one is weak, these are the things in which one has experiences, the things in which one has ways. For example, if one suffers frustrations in marriage, he will most of the time fellowship, “Thank God, praise God, I must satisfy God’s heart’s desire and offer up my entire life, place my marriage entirely in God’s hands. I am willing to pledge my whole life to God.” Through fellowship, everything within man, what he is, can be represented. The pace of a person’s speech, whether he speaks loudly or quietly, such matters which are not matters of experience cannot represent what he has and is. They can only tell whether his character is good or bad, or whether his nature is good or bad, but cannot be equated with whether he has experiences. The ability to express oneself when speaking, or the skill or speed of speech, are just a matter of practice and cannot replace his experience. When you talk about your individual experiences, you fellowship that which you attach importance to and all the things within you. My speech represents My being, but what I say is beyond the reach of man. What I say is not that which man experiences, and it is not something that man can see, it is also not something that man can touch, but it is what I am. Some people only acknowledge that what I fellowship is what I have experienced, but they do not recognize that it is the direct expression of the Spirit. Of course, what I say is what I have experienced. It is I who have done the management work over six thousand years. I have experienced everything from the beginning of the creation of mankind until now; how would I not be able to talk about it? When it comes to man’s nature, I have seen it clearly, and I have long since observed it; how would I not be able to talk about it clearly? Since I have seen the essence of man clearly, I am qualified to chastise man and judge him, because all of man came from Me but has been corrupted by Satan. Of course, I am also qualified to assess the work that I have done. Although this work is not done by My flesh, it is the direct expression of the Spirit, and this is what I have and what I am. Therefore, I am qualified to express it and to do the work that I ought to do. What man says is what they have experienced. It is what they have seen, what their minds can reach and what their senses can feel. That is what they can fellowship. The words spoken by God’s incarnate flesh are the direct expression of the Spirit and express the work that has been done by the Spirit. The flesh has not experienced or seen it, but still expresses His being because the substance of the flesh is the Spirit, and He expresses the work of the Spirit. Even though the flesh is unable to reach it, it is the work already done by the Spirit. After incarnation, through the expression of the flesh, He enables people to know God’s being and allows people to see God’s disposition and the work that He has done. The work of man enables people to be more clear about what they should enter into and what they should understand; it involves leading people toward understanding and experiencing the truth. Man’s work is to sustain people; God’s work is to open up new paths and open up new eras for humanity, and to reveal to people that which is not known by mortals, enabling them to know His disposition. God’s work is to lead all of humanity.
The work of the Holy Spirit is all about enabling people to obtain benefits; it is all about edifying people; there is no work that does not benefit people. No matter whether the truth is deep or shallow, and no matter what the caliber of those who accept the truth is like, whatever the Holy Spirit does, it is all beneficial to people. But the work of the Holy Spirit cannot be done directly; it must go through the men who cooperate with Him. It is only in this way that the results of the work of the Holy Spirit can be obtained. Of course, when it is the direct work of the Holy Spirit, it has not been adulterated at all; but when it uses the medium of man, it is much mixed and is not the original work of the Holy Spirit. In this way, the truth changes to differing degrees. Followers do not receive the original meaning of the Holy Spirit but a combination of the work of the Holy Spirit and the experience and knowledge of man. The part of the work of the Holy Spirit that is received by followers is correct. The experience and the knowledge of man which are received vary because the workers are different. Once workers have the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, they subsequently experience based on this enlightenment and guidance. Within these experiences are combined man’s mind and experience, as well as the being of humanity, after which they gain the knowledge or seeing that they should. This is the way of practice after man has experienced the truth. This way of practice is not always the same because people have different experiences and the things that people experience are different. In this way, the same enlightenment of the Holy Spirit results in different knowledge and practice because those who receive the enlightenment are different. Some people make minor mistakes during practice while some make major mistakes, and some make nothing but mistakes. This is because people’s abilities to understand differ and because their actual caliber also differs. Some people understand it this way after hearing a message, and some people understand it that way after hearing a truth. Some people deviate slightly; and some do not understand the true meaning of the truth at all. Therefore, however one understands it is how he will lead others; this is exactly true, because his work is just expressing his being. People led by those who have a correct understanding of the truth will also have a correct understanding of the truth. Even if there are people who have errors in understanding, there are very few of them, and not all the people will have errors. People led by those who have errors in understanding of the truth will undoubtedly be erroneous. These people will be erroneous in every sense of the word. The degree of understanding of the truth among followers largely depends on the workers. Of course, the truth from God is correct and without error, and is absolutely certain. But, the workers are not completely correct and cannot be said to be completely reliable. If workers have a way to practice the truth which is very practical, then followers will also have a way of practice. If workers do not have a way to practice the truth but have only doctrine, followers would not have any reality. The caliber and nature of followers are determined by birth and are not associated with workers. But the extent to which followers understand the truth and know God depends on the workers (this is only so for some people). Whatever a worker is like, this is what the followers that he leads will be like. What a worker expresses is his own being, and without reservation. The demands he places on his followers are what he himself is willing to achieve or what he is able to achieve. Most workers make demands on their followers based on what they do themselves, despite there being many that people cannot achieve at all. What people cannot achieve becomes an obstacle to their entry.
There is far less deviation in the work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, judgment and chastisement, and the expression of their work is much more accurate. Those who rely on their naturalness to work make quite major mistakes. The work of unperfected people expresses too much of their own naturalness, which poses a major obstacle to the work of the Holy Spirit. However good a person’s caliber, they must also undergo pruning, being dealt with, and judgment before they can do the work of God’s commission. If they have not undergone such judgment, their work, no matter how well done, cannot accord with the principles of the truth and is always a product of their own naturalness and human goodness. The work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, and judgment is much more accurate than the work of those who have not been pruned, dealt with, and judged. Those who have not undergone judgment express nothing but human flesh and thoughts, mingled with much human intelligence and innate talent. This is not man’s accurate expression of God’s work. Those who follow such people are brought before them by their innate caliber. Because they express too much of the insight and experience of man, which are almost disconnected from God’s original intention and deviate too far from it, the work of this type of person cannot bring people before God, but brings them rather before man. So, those who have not undergone judgment and chastisement are unqualified to carry out the work of God’s commission. The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and grant them greater entry into the truth. His work can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people liberation and freedom, and the capacity gradually to grow in life and to have a more profound entry into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short. His work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules, and what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to people’s actual needs. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality, nor into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to adhere to a few worthless rules. Such guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become like him; he can bring you into what he has and is. For followers to discern whether leaders are qualified, the key is to look at the path on which they lead and the results of their work, and to see whether followers receive principles in accordance with the truth, and whether they receive ways of practice suitable for their transformation. You should distinguish between the different work of different types of people; you should not be a foolish follower. This bears on the matter of people’s entry. If you are unable to distinguish which person’s leadership has a path and which does not, you will easily be deceived. All of this has a direct bearing on your own life. There is too much naturalness in the work of unperfected people; it is mixed with too much of human will. Their being is naturalness—what they are born with. It is not life after having been dealt with or reality after having been transformed. How can such a person support those who are pursuing life? The life that man has originally is his innate intelligence or talent. This kind of intelligence or talent is quite far from God’s exact demands for man. If a man has not been perfected and his corrupt disposition has not been pruned and dealt with, there will be a wide gap between what he expresses and the truth; what he expresses will be mixed with vague things, such as his imagination and one-sided experience. Moreover, regardless of how he works, people feel there is no overall goal and no truth suitable for the entry of all people. Most of what is demanded of people is beyond their ability, as if they were ducks being made to sit on perches. This is the work of human will. Man’s corrupt disposition, his thoughts, and his notions pervade all parts of his body. Man is not born with the instinct to practice the truth, nor does he have the instinct to understand the truth directly. Add to that man’s corrupt disposition—when this kind of natural person works, does it not cause interruptions? But a man who has been perfected has experience of the truth that people should understand, and knowledge of their corrupt dispositions, so that the vague and unreal things in his work gradually diminish, the human adulterations become fewer, and his work and service come ever closer to the standards required by God. Thus, his work has entered the reality of the truth and it has also become realistic. The thoughts in man’s mind in particular block the work of the Holy Spirit. Man has a rich imagination and reasonable logic, and he has had long experience handling affairs. If these aspects of man do not undergo pruning and correction, they are all obstacles to work. Therefore, man’s work cannot achieve the greatest degree of accuracy, especially the work of unperfected people.