God’s Work and Man’s Work (Part Two)
The work of man stays within a range and is limited. One person can only do work of a certain phase and cannot do the work of the entire era—otherwise, he would lead people into the midst of rules. The work of man can only apply to a particular time or phase. This is because man’s experience has its scope. One cannot compare the work of man with the work of God. Man’s ways of practice and his knowledge of the truth are all applicable to a particular scope. You cannot say that the path man treads is completely the will of the Holy Spirit, because man can only be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and cannot be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. The things man can experience are all within the scope of normal humanity and cannot exceed the range of thoughts in the normal human mind. All those who can live out the reality of the truth experience within this range. When they experience the truth, it is always an experience of normal human life enlightened by the Holy Spirit; it is not a way of experiencing that deviates from normal human life. They experience the truth enlightened by the Holy Spirit on the foundation of living their human lives. Moreover, this truth varies from person to person, and its depth is related to the state of the person. One can only say that the path they walk is the normal human life of someone pursuing the truth, and it may be called the path walked by a normal person enlightened by the Holy Spirit. One cannot say that the path they walk is the path the Holy Spirit takes. In normal human experience, because people who pursue are not the same, the work of the Holy Spirit is also not the same. In addition, because the environments people experience and the ranges of their experience are not the same, and because of the admixture of their mind and thoughts, their experience is mixed to different degrees. Each person understands a truth according to their different, individual conditions. Their understanding of the real meaning of the truth is not complete and is only one or several aspects of it. The scope of the truth man experiences differs from person to person in line with each person’s conditions. In this way, the knowledge of the same truth, as expressed by different people, is not the same. This is to say, man’s experience always has limitations and cannot completely represent the will of the Holy Spirit, nor can the work of man be perceived as the work of God, even if what is expressed by man corresponds very closely to God’s will, and even if the experience of man is very close to the perfecting work that the Holy Spirit performs. Man can only be God’s servant, doing the work that God entrusts to him. Man can only express knowledge enlightened by the Holy Spirit and truths obtained from his personal experiences. Man is unqualified and does not meet the conditions to be the outlet of the Holy Spirit. He is not entitled to say that his work is the work of God. Man has man’s working principles, and all men have different experiences and possess varying conditions. Man’s work includes all his experiences under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. These experiences can only represent man’s being and do not represent the being of God or the will of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the path man walks cannot be said to be the path walked by the Holy Spirit, because the work of man cannot represent the work of God, and man’s work and man’s experience are not the complete will of the Holy Spirit. Man’s work is susceptible to falling into rules, and the method of his work is easily confined to a limited scope, and is unable to lead people to a free way. Most followers live within a limited scope, and their way of experiencing is also limited in its scope. Man’s experience is always limited; the method of his work is also limited to a few types and cannot be compared with the work of the Holy Spirit or the work of God Himself. This is because man’s experience, in the end, is limited. However God does His work, it is unbound by rules; however it is done, it is not limited to a single method. There are no rules whatsoever to God’s work—all His work is released and free. No matter how much time man spends following Him, he cannot distill any laws that govern God’s ways of working. Although His work is principled, it is always done in new ways and always has new developments, and it is beyond man’s reach. In a single period, God may have several different types of work and different ways of leading people, making it so people always have new entries and changes. You cannot discern the laws of His work because He is always working in new ways, and only thus do followers of God not become bound by rules. The work of God Himself always avoids people’s notions and counters them. Only those who follow and pursue Him with a true heart can have their dispositions transformed and be able to live freely, not subjected to any rules or restrained by any religious notions. The work of man makes demands of people based on his own experience and what he himself can achieve. The standard of these requirements is limited within a certain scope, and the methods of practice are also very limited. Followers thus unconsciously live within this limited scope; as time passes, these things become rules and rituals. If the work of one period is led by someone who has not undergone God’s personal perfecting and not received judgment, his followers will all become religionists and experts in resisting God. Therefore, if someone is a qualified leader, that person must have undergone judgment and accepted being perfected. Those who have not undergone judgment, even though they may have the work of the Holy Spirit, express only vague and unreal things. With time, they will lead people into vague and supernatural rules. The work that God performs does not accord with the flesh of man. It does not accord with man’s thoughts, but counters man’s notions; it is not tainted with vague religious colorings. The results of God’s work cannot be achieved by someone who has not been perfected by Him; they are beyond the reach of man’s thinking.
Work in the mind of man is too easy for man to achieve. Pastors and leaders in the religious world, for example, rely on their gifts and positions to do their work. People who follow them for a long time will be infected by their gifts and influenced by some of their being. They focus on people’s gifts, abilities and knowledge, and they pay attention to supernatural things and many profound, unrealistic doctrines (of course, these profound doctrines are unattainable). They do not focus on changes in people’s dispositions, but rather on training people to preach and work, improving people’s knowledge and their abundant religious doctrines. They do not focus on how much people’s disposition is changed nor on how much people understand of the truth. They do not concern themselves with people’s essence, and much less do they try to know people’s normal and abnormal states. They do not counter people’s notions, nor do they reveal their notions, much less do they prune people for their deficiencies or corruptions. Most who follow them serve with their gifts, and all they release is religious notions and theological theories, which are out of touch with reality and completely unable to confer life onto people. In fact, the essence of their work is nurturing talent, nurturing a person with nothing into a talented seminary graduate who later goes on to work and lead. Can you discern any laws in God’s six thousand years of work? There are many rules and restrictions in the work that man does, and the human brain is too dogmatic. What man expresses, therefore, is knowledge and realizations that are within the scope of his experience. Man is unable to express anything apart from this. Man’s experiences or knowledge do not arise from his innate gifts or his instinct; they arise because of God’s guidance and direct shepherding. Man has only the faculty to accept this shepherding and no faculty that can express directly what divinity is. Man is unable to be the source; he can only be a vessel that accepts water from the source. This is the human instinct, the faculty that one should have as a human being. If a person loses the faculty that accepts God’s word and loses the human instinct, that person also loses what is most precious, and loses the duty of created man. If a person has no knowledge or experience of God’s word or His work, that person loses his duty, the duty he should perform as a created being, and loses the dignity of a created being. It is God’s instinct to express what divinity is, whether it is expressed in the flesh or directly by the Spirit; this is God’s ministry. Man expresses his own experiences or knowledge (that is, expresses what he is) during God’s work or afterward; this is man’s instinct and man’s duty, and it is what man should achieve. Although man’s expression falls far short of what God expresses, and although man’s expression is bound by many rules, man must fulfill the duty he should fulfill and do what he must do. Man should do everything humanly possible to fulfill his duty, and he should not have even the slightest reservation.
After working for years, man will summarize the experience of his many years of work, as well as the wisdom and rules he has accumulated. One who has worked for a long time knows how to sense the movement of the work of the Holy Spirit; he knows when the Holy Spirit is working and when He is not; he knows how to fellowship while carrying a burden; and he is aware of the normal state of the Holy Spirit’s work and the normal state of people’s growth in life. Such is a person who has worked for years and knows the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who have worked for a long time speak assuredly and unhurriedly; even when they have nothing to say, they are composed. Inside, they can continue praying to seek the work of the Holy Spirit. They are experienced in working. A person who has worked for a long time, who has much experience and has learned many lessons, has much inside that obstructs the work of the Holy Spirit; this is a defect of his long-term work. A person who has just started working is unadulterated by human lessons or experience and is particularly at a loss about how the Holy Spirit works. However, during the course of work, he gradually learns to sense how the Holy Spirit works and becomes aware of what to do in order to obtain the Holy Spirit’s work, what to do in order to strike exactly at others’ vulnerabilities, and other such common knowledge that those who work should possess. Over time, he comes to know such wisdom and common knowledge of working like the back of his hand, and seems to use it easily when working. However, when the Holy Spirit changes the way He works, he still adheres to his old knowledge of work and old rules of work and knows very little about the new dynamics of the work. Years of work and of being full of the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit give him ever more lessons on work and ever more experience. Such things fill him with a self-confidence that is not pride. In other words, he is quite pleased with his own work and content with the common knowledge he has obtained about the work of the Holy Spirit. In particular, having obtained or realized those things that others have not gives him even more confidence in himself; it seems that the work of the Holy Spirit within him can never be extinguished, while others do not qualify for this special treatment. Only people of his kind, who have worked for years and whose use is of considerable value, are qualified to enjoy it. These things become a great hindrance to his accepting the new work of the Holy Spirit. Even if he can accept the new work, he cannot do so overnight. He is sure to go through several twists and turns before accepting it. This situation can only be reversed gradually, after his old notions are dealt with and his old disposition is judged. Without going through these steps, he does not let go and easily accept new teachings and work that are not in harmony with his old notions. This is the most difficult thing to deal with in man, and it is not easy to change. If, as a worker, he is able at once to achieve an understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work and to summarize its dynamics, and if he is able not to be restricted by his experiences of work and to accept new work in light of old work, then he is a wise man and a qualified worker. People are often like this: They work for several years without being able to summarize their experience of work, or, after summarizing their experience and wisdom concerning work, they are hindered from accepting the new work and cannot properly understand or correctly treat the old and new work. People really are difficult to handle! Most of you are like this. Those who have experienced years of the Holy Spirit’s work find it hard to accept the new work, and they are always full of notions that they cannot set aside, while a man who has just started working lacks common knowledge about work and does not even know how to handle some of the simplest matters. You people are really difficult! Those with some seniority are so proud and conceited that they have forgotten where they came from. They always look down on younger people, yet they are unable to accept the new work and to let go of the notions they have collected and kept over the years. Although those young, ignorant people are able to accept a little of the Holy Spirit’s new work and are quite enthusiastic, they always become muddled and do not know what to do when problems arise. They are enthusiastic but ignorant. They have only a little knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s work and are unable to use it in their lives; it is just entirely useless doctrine. There are too many people like you; how many are fit for use? How many are there who can obey the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit and manage to accord with God’s will? It seems those of you who have been followers until now have been very obedient, but, in fact, you have not given up your notions, you are still seeking in the Bible, believing in vagueness, or wandering in notions. There is no one who investigates today’s actual work carefully or goes deeply into it. You are accepting today’s way with your old notions. What can you gain with such a belief? It could be said that in you are hidden many notions that have not been revealed, and that you are simply making a supreme effort to hide them, without revealing them easily. You do not accept the new work sincerely, and you do not plan to give up your old notions; you have too many philosophies for living, and they are too substantial. You do not give up your old notions and you deal with the new work reluctantly. Your hearts are too sinister, and you simply do not take the steps of the new work to heart. Can such wastrels as you do the work of spreading the gospel? Are you able to undertake the work of spreading it to the entire universe? These practices of yours are stopping you from transforming your disposition and knowing God. If you continue thus, you are bound to be eliminated.
You must know how to differentiate God’s work from the work of man. What can you see in the work of man? There are many elements of man’s experience in his work; what man expresses is what he is. God’s own work also expresses what He is, but His being is different from man’s. Man’s being represents man’s experience and life (what man experiences or encounters in his life, or the philosophies for living he has), and people living in different environments express different beings. Whether you have experiences of society and how you actually live in your family and experience within it can be seen in what you express, whereas you cannot see in the work of God incarnate whether He has social experiences. He is well aware of the substance of man and can reveal all kinds of practices pertaining to all kinds of people. He is even better at revealing the corrupt dispositions and the rebellious behavior of humans. He does not live among worldly people, but He is aware of the nature of mortals and all the corruptions of worldly people. This is His being. Though He does not deal with the world, He knows the rules of dealing with the world, because He understands human nature fully. He knows about the Spirit’s work that man’s eyes cannot see and man’s ears cannot hear, both of today and of the past. This includes wisdom that is not a philosophy for living and wonders that are hard for people to fathom. This is His being, open to people and also hidden from people. What He expresses is not the being of an extraordinary person, but the inherent attributes and being of the Spirit. He does not travel the world but knows everything of it. He contacts the “anthropoids” who have no knowledge or insight, but He expresses words that are higher than knowledge and above great men. He lives within a group of obtuse and numb people who are without humanity and who do not understand the conventions and life of humanity, but He can ask mankind to live out normal humanity, at the same time revealing the base and low humanity of mankind. All this is His being, higher than the being of any flesh-and-blood person. For Him, it is unnecessary to experience a complicated, cumbersome, and sordid social life to do the work He needs to do and reveal the substance of corrupt mankind thoroughly. A sordid social life does not edify His flesh. His work and words only reveal man’s disobedience and do not provide man with experience and lessons for dealing with the world. He does not need to investigate society or man’s family when He supplies man with life. Exposing and judging man is not an expression of the experiences of His flesh; it is His revelation of man’s unrighteousness after having known man’s disobedience for a long time and abhorring mankind’s corruption. The work He does is all meant to reveal His disposition to man and to express His being. Only He can do this work; it is not something a flesh-and-blood person could achieve. From His work, man cannot tell what kind of person He is. Man is also unable to classify Him as a created person on the basis of His work. His being also makes Him unclassifiable as a created person. Man can only consider Him a non-human, but does not know in which category to put Him, so man is forced to list Him in the category of God. It is not unreasonable for man to do so, for God has done much work among people that man is unable to do.
The work God does is not representative of the experience of His flesh; the work man does is representative of his experience. Everyone talks about their personal experience. God can express the truth directly, while man can only express the experience that corresponds to his having experienced the truth. God’s work has no rules and is not subject to time or geographical constraints. He can express what He is at anytime, anywhere. He works as He pleases. Man’s work has conditions and context; without them, he would be unable to work and unable to express his knowledge of God or his experience of the truth. To tell whether something is God’s own work or man’s work, you must simply compare the differences between the two. If there is no work done by God Himself and there is only the work of man, you will simply know that man’s teachings are high, beyond the capacity of anyone else; their tones of speaking, their principles in handling things, and their experienced and steady manner in working are beyond the reach of others. You all admire these people of good caliber and lofty knowledge, but you cannot see from God’s work and words how high His humanity is. Instead, He is ordinary, and, when working, He is normal and real yet also immeasurable by mortals, which therefore makes people feel a kind of reverence for Him. Perhaps a person’s experience in his work is particularly advanced, or his imagination and reasoning are particularly advanced, and his humanity is particularly good; such attributes can only gain people’s admiration, but not arouse their awe and fear. People all admire those who can work well, who have particularly deep experience, and who can practice the truth, but such people can never elicit awe, only admiration and envy. But people who have experienced God’s work do not admire God; instead, they feel His work is beyond human reach and is unfathomable to man, that it is fresh and wonderful. When people experience God’s work, their first knowledge of Him is that He is unfathomable, wise, and wonderful, and they unconsciously revere Him and feel the mystery of the work He does, which is beyond the ken of man’s mind. People want only to be able to meet His requirements, to satisfy His desires; they do not wish to exceed Him, because the work He does goes beyond man’s thinking and imagination and could not be done by man in His stead. Even man himself does not know his own inadequacies, yet God has forged a new path and has come to bring man into a newer and more beautiful world, and so mankind has made new progress and has had a new start. What people feel for God is not admiration, or rather, is not only admiration. Their deepest experience is awe and love; their feeling is that God is indeed wonderful. He does work that man is unable to do and says things that man is unable to say. People who have experienced God’s work always have an indescribable feeling. People of deep enough experience can understand the love of God; they can feel His loveliness, that His work is so wise, so wonderful, and thereby is infinite power generated among them. It is not fear or occasional love and respect, but a deep sense of God’s compassion for man and tolerance of him. However, people who have experienced His chastisement and judgment sense His majesty and that He tolerates no offense. Even people who have experienced much of His work are unable to fathom Him; all who truly revere Him know that His work is not in line with people’s notions but always goes against their notions. He does not need people to admire him wholly or present the appearance of submission to Him; rather, they should achieve true reverence and true submission. In so much of His work, anyone with true experience feels reverence for Him, which is higher than admiration. People have seen His disposition due to His work of chastisement and judgment, and they therefore revere Him in their hearts. God is meant to be revered and obeyed, because His being and His disposition are not the same as those of a created being and are above those of a created being. God is self-existent and everlasting, He is a non-created being, and only God is worthy of reverence and obedience; man is not qualified for this. So, all who have experienced His work and truly known Him feel reverence toward Him. However, those who do not let go of their notions about Him—those who simply do not regard Him as God—have no reverence toward Him, and though they follow Him, they are not conquered; they are disobedient people by nature. What He means to achieve by working thus is for all created beings to have hearts of reverence for the Creator, worship Him, and submit to His dominion unconditionally. This is the final result that all His work is meant to achieve. If people who have experienced such work do not revere God, even slightly, and if their past disobedience does not change at all, then they are sure to be eliminated. If a person’s attitude toward God is only to admire Him or to show Him respect from a distance, and not to love Him in the slightest, then this is the result at which a person without a heart of love for God has arrived, and that person lacks the conditions to be perfected. If so much work is unable to obtain a person’s true love, then that person has not gained God and does not genuinely pursue the truth. A person who does not love God does not love the truth and thus cannot gain God, much less receive God’s approval. Such people, however they experience the work of the Holy Spirit, and however they experience judgment, are unable to revere God. These are people whose nature is unchangeable and who have extremely wicked dispositions. All who do not revere God are to be eliminated, to be objects of punishment, and to be punished just like those who do evil, to suffer even more than those who have done unrighteous things.