Daily Words of God: Knowing God's Work | Excerpt 174
The work of man signifies his experience and his humanity. What man provides and the work he does represent him. Man’s insight, man’s reasoning, man’s logic, and his rich imagination are all included in his work. Man’s experience is particularly able to signify his work, and a person’s experiences become the components of his work. Man’s work can express his experience. When some people experience negatively, most of the language of their fellowship will consist of negative elements. If their experience for a period of time is positive and they are especially possessed of a path in the positive aspect, their fellowship is very encouraging, and people can obtain positive provisions from them. If a worker becomes negative for a period of time, his fellowship will always carry negative elements. This kind of fellowship is depressing, and others will unconsciously become depressed after his fellowship. The state of followers changes depending on that of the leader. Whatever a worker is like inside, that is what he expresses, and the work of the Holy Spirit often changes with man’s state. He works according to people’s experience and does not force them, but makes demands of people according to the normal course of their experience. This is to say that man’s fellowship differs from the word of God. What people fellowship conveys their individual insights and experience, expressing their insights and experience on the basis of God’s work. Their responsibility is to find out, after God works or speaks, what of it they ought to practice or enter into, and then to 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 human thoughts. However the Holy Spirit works, whether on man or in God incarnate, the workers always express what they are. Though 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 does not come from nothing, but is always done in accord with actual circumstances and real conditions. Only in this way can man’s disposition be transformed and his old notions and old thoughts be changed. What man expresses is what he sees, experiences, and can imagine, and it is attainable by man’s thinking, even if it is doctrine or notions. Man’s work cannot exceed the scope of man’s experience, nor what man sees, nor what man can imagine or conceive, regardless of the size of that work. All God expresses is what He Himself is, and this is unattainable by man—that is, beyond the reach of man’s thinking. He expresses His work of leading all mankind, and this is unrelated to the details of human experience, but is concerned instead with His own management. What man expresses is his experience, while what God expresses is His being, which is His inherent disposition, beyond the reach of man. Man’s experience is his insight and knowledge acquired on the basis of God’s expression of His being. Such insight and knowledge are called man’s being, and the basis of their expression is man’s inherent disposition and caliber—this is why they are also called man’s being. Man is able to fellowship what he experiences and sees. No one can fellowship that which they have not experienced, have not seen, or their thinking cannot reach, those being things they do not have inside of them. If what man expresses is not from his experience, it is then his imagination or doctrine. Simply put, there is no reality in his words. Were you never to come into contact with the things of society, you would not be able to fellowship clearly the complex relationships of society. If you had no family, were others to talk about family issues, you would not understand most of what they said. So, what man fellowships and the work he does represent his inner being. If someone fellowshiped his understanding of chastisement and judgment, but you had no experience of it, you would dare not deny his knowledge, much less dare to be one hundred percent confident in it. This is because their fellowship is something that you have never experienced, something you have never known, and your mind cannot imagine it. From their knowledge, all you can take is a path to undergo chastisement and judgment in the future. But this path can only be one of doctrinal knowledge; it cannot take the place of your own understanding, much less your experience. Perhaps you think what they say is quite correct, but in your own experience, you find it impracticable in many ways. Perhaps you feel some of what you hear is completely impracticable; you harbor notions about it at the time, and although you accept it, you only do so reluctantly. But in your own experience, the knowledge from which you derived notions becomes your way of practice, and the more you practice, the more you understand the true value and meaning of the words you heard. After having had your own experience, you can then talk about the knowledge you should have of what you experienced. In addition, you can also distinguish between those whose knowledge is real and practical and those whose knowledge is based on doctrine and worthless. So, whether the knowledge you profess accords with the truth largely depends on whether you have practical experience of it. Where there is 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 about how you should conduct yourself. The knowledge expressed by people who do not possess the truth is doctrine, no matter how lofty it may be. 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 of spiritual affairs. These are people who are not enlightened in spiritual affairs and do not understand spiritual matters. Whatever sort of knowledge you express, as long as it is your being, then it is your personal experience, your real knowledge. What people who speak only of doctrine—those being people who possess neither the truth nor reality—discuss can also be called their being, because they have arrived at their doctrine only through deep contemplation and it is the result of their deep rumination. Yet it is only doctrine, nothing more than imagination!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work