41. How to serve and testify for God in accordance with His intention
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
Since the beginning of His work throughout the universe, God has predestined many people to serve Him, including those from every walk of life. His purpose is to satisfy His will and bring His work on earth to smooth completion; this is God’s aim in choosing people to serve Him. Every person who serves God must understand His will. This work of His makes God’s wisdom and omnipotence, and the principles of His work on earth, more evident to people. God has actually come to earth to do His work, to engage with people, so that they may know His deeds more clearly. Today you, this group of people, are fortunate to serve the practical God. This is an incalculable blessing for you—truly, you are raised up by God. In selecting a person to serve Him, God always has His own principles. Serving God is by no means, as people imagine, that it is simply a matter of enthusiasm. Today, you see that all who serve before God do so because they have the guidance of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, and because they are people who pursue the truth. These are the minimum conditions for all those who serve God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Religious Service Must Be Purged
Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be pleasing to God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Whether you act in private or in public, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk the path you should walk, and give every care to God’s burden. Only people like this are intimates of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission and God’s burden, they are able to make God’s heart their own, and take God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to their future prospects: Even when they have no prospects, and they stand to gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a God-loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His thoughts, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God desires to do is borne out in such people’s testimony. Thus, these people are pleasing to God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart, and only people such as this can rule together with God. When you have truly become God’s intimate is precisely when you will rule together with God.
Jesus was able to complete God’s commission—the work of all mankind’s redemption—because He gave every care to God’s will, without making any plans or arrangements for Himself. So, too, was He the intimate of God—God Himself—which is something you all understand very well. (Actually, He was the God Himself who was testified to by God. I mention this here to use the fact of Jesus to illustrate the issue.) He was able to place God’s management plan at the very center, and always prayed to the heavenly Father and sought the will of the heavenly Father. He prayed and said: “God the Father! Accomplish that which is Your will, and act not according to My desires but according to Your plan. Man may be weak, but why should You care for him? How could man be worthy of Your concern, man who is like an ant in Your hand? In My heart, I wish only to accomplish Your will, and I would that You can do what You would do in Me according to Your own desires.” On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus was in agony, as if a knife were being twisted in His heart, yet He had not the slightest intention of going back on His word; always there was a powerful force compelling Him onward to where He would be crucified. Ultimately, He was nailed to the cross and became the likeness of sinful flesh, completing the work of the redemption of mankind. He broke free of the shackles of death and Hades. Before Him, mortality, hell, and Hades lost their power, and were vanquished by Him. He lived for thirty-three years, throughout which He always did His utmost to meet God’s will according to God’s work at the time, never considering His own personal gain or loss, and always thinking of the will of God the Father. Thus, after He was baptized, God said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Because of His service before God that was in harmony with God’s will, God placed the heavy burden of redeeming all mankind upon His shoulders and made Him accomplish it, and He was qualified and entitled to complete this important task. Throughout His life, He endured immeasurable suffering for God, and He was tempted by Satan countless times, but He was never disheartened. God gave Him such an enormous task because He trusted Him, and loved Him, and thus God personally said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” At that time, only Jesus could accomplish this commission, and this was one practical aspect of God’s completion of His work of redeeming all mankind in the Age of Grace.
If, like Jesus, you are able to give every care to God’s burden, and turn your back on your flesh, God will entrust His important tasks to you, so that you will meet the conditions required to serve God. Only under such circumstances will you venture to say that you are doing God’s will and completing His commission, and only then will you venture to say you are truly serving God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will
Everyone who has resolved to can serve God—but it must be that only those who give every care to God’s will and understand God’s will are qualified and entitled to serve God. I have discovered this among you: Many people believe that as long as they fervently spread the gospel for God, go on the road for God, expend themselves and give things up for God, and so on, then this is serving God. Even more religious people believe that serving God means running around with a Bible in their hands, spreading the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and saving people by making them repent and confess. There are also many religious officials who think that serving God consists of preaching in chapels after pursuing advanced studies and training in the seminary, and teaching people through readings of Bible scriptures. Moreover, there are people in impoverished regions who believe that serving God means healing the sick and casting out demons among their brothers and sisters or praying for them, or serving them. Amongst you, there are many who believe that serving God means eating and drinking the words of God, praying to God every day, as well as visiting and doing work in churches everywhere. There are other brothers and sisters who believe that serving God means never getting married or raising a family and dedicating their entire being to God. Yet few people know what it actually means to serve God. Although there are as many people who serve God as there are stars in the sky, the number of those who can serve directly, and who are able to serve in accordance with God’s will, is paltry—pifflingly small. Why do I say this? I say this because you do not understand the essence of the phrase “service to God,” and you understand so little of how to serve in accordance with God’s will. There is an urgent need for people to understand exactly what sort of service to God can be in harmony with His will.
If you wish to serve in accordance with God’s will, you must first understand what kind of people are pleasing to God, what kind of people are loathed by God, what kind of people are made perfect by God, and what kind of people are qualified to serve God. At the very least, you should be equipped with this knowledge. Moreover, you should know the aims of God’s work, and the work that God shall do in the here and now. After understanding this, and through the guidance of God’s words, you should first have entry, and first receive God’s commission. Once you have had actual experience of God’s words, and when you truly know God’s work, you will be qualified to serve God. And it is when you serve Him that God opens your spiritual eyes and allows you to have a greater understanding of His work and to see it more clearly. When you enter this reality, your experiences will be more profound and real, and all those of you who have had such experiences will be able to walk among the churches and offer provision to your brothers and sisters, so that you can each draw on each other’s strengths to make up for your own deficiencies, and gain richer knowledge in your spirits. Only after achieving this effect will you be able to serve in accordance with God’s will and be made perfect by God in the course of your service.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will
Someone who truly serves God is someone who is after God’s heart, who is fit for use by God, and who is able to let go of religious notions. If you wish for your eating and drinking of the words of God to be effective, then you must let go of your religious notions. If you wish to serve God, then it is even more necessary first to let go of religious notions and obey the words of God in everything. This is what should be possessed by someone who serves God. If you lack this knowledge, then as soon as you serve, you will cause disruption and disturbances, and if you hold on to your notions, then you will inevitably be knocked down by God, never to get up again. Take the present, for example: Many of the utterances and work of today are incompatible with the Bible and with the work previously done by God, and if you have no desire to obey, then you may fall at any time. If you wish to serve in accordance with the will of God, then you must first let go of religious notions and rectify your own views. Much of what will be said will be incompatible with what was said in the past, and if you now lack the will to obey, you will be unable to walk the path that lies ahead. If one of God’s methods of working has taken root inside you and you never let it go, then this method will become your religious notion. If what God is has taken root within you, then you have gained the truth, and if the words and truth of God are capable of becoming your life, you will no longer have notions about God. Those who possess true knowledge of God will have no notions and will not abide by doctrine.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God
Serving God is no simple task. Those whose corrupt disposition remains unchanged can never serve God. If your disposition has not been judged and chastised by God’s words, then your disposition still represents Satan, which proves that you serve God out of your own good intentions, that your service is based on your satanic nature. You serve God with your natural character, and according to your personal preferences. What’s more, you always think that the things you are willing to do are what are delightful to God, and that the things you do not wish to do are what are hateful to God; you work entirely according to your own preferences. Can this be called serving God? Ultimately, there will not be the slightest change in your life disposition; instead, your service will make you even more stubborn, thus deeply ingraining your corrupt disposition, and as such, there will be formed within you rules about service to God that are primarily based on your own character, and experiences derived from your service according to your own disposition. These are the experiences and lessons of man. It is man’s philosophy of living in the world. People like this can be classed as Pharisees and religious officials. If they never wake up and repent, then they will surely turn into the false Christs and the antichrists who deceive people in the last days. The false Christs and the antichrists that were spoken of will arise from among such people. If those who serve God follow their own character and act according to their own will, they run the risk of being cast out at any time. Those who apply their many years of experience acquired to serving God in order to win the hearts of others, to lecture them and control them, and to stand on high—and who never repent, never confess their sins, never renounce the benefits of position—these people shall fall before God. They are of the same kind as Paul, presuming upon their seniority and flaunting their qualifications. God will not bring people like this to perfection. Such service disrupts the work of God. People always cling to the old. They cling to the notions of the past, to everything from times gone by. This is a great obstacle to their service. If you cannot throw them off, these things will throttle your whole life. God will not commend you, not in the slightest, not even if you break your legs running or your back with labor, not even if you are martyred in your service of God. Quite the contrary: He will say that you are an evildoer.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Religious Service Must Be Purged
In religion, many people suffer a great deal throughout their lives: They subdue their bodies and bear their cross, and they even continue to suffer and endure when on the very verge of death! Some are still fasting on the morning of their death. All their lives they deny themselves nice food and clothing, focusing only on suffering. They are able to subdue their body and forsake their flesh. Their spirit for enduring suffering is commendable. But their thinking, their notions, their mental attitude, and indeed their old nature, have not been dealt with in the slightest. They lack any true knowledge of themselves. Their mental image of God is that traditional one of a vague God. Their resolve to suffer for God comes from their zeal and the good character of their humanity. Even though they believe in God, they neither understand Him nor know His will. They merely work and suffer blindly for God. They place no value whatsoever on discernment, care little about how to ensure that their service actually fulfills God’s will, and much less are they aware of how to achieve the knowledge of God. The God they serve is not God in His inherent image, but a God they have imagined, a God of whom they have only heard, or of whom they have only read legends in writing. They then use their fertile imaginations and piousness to suffer for God and undertake God’s work that God wants to do. Their service is too inexact, such that practically none of them are truly able to serve in accordance with God’s will. Regardless of how gladly they suffer, their original perspective on service and their mental image of God remain unchanged, because they have not undergone God’s judgment, chastisement, refinement and perfection, and nor has anyone guided them using the truth. Even if they believe in Jesus the Savior, none of them has ever seen the Savior. They only know of Him through legend and hearsay. As a result, their service amounts to no more than serving randomly with eyes closed, like a blind man serving his own father. What, ultimately, can be achieved by such service? And who would approve of it? From beginning to end, their service remains the same throughout; they receive only man-made lessons and base their service only on their naturalness and their own preferences. What reward could this bring? Not even Peter, who saw Jesus, knew how to serve in accordance with God’s will; he only came to know this in the end, in his old age. What does this say about those blind people who have not experienced the slightest bit of being dealt with or of being pruned, and who have had no one guiding them? Is not the service of many among you today like that of these blind people? All those who have not received judgment, not received pruning and dealing, and who have not changed—are they not all incompletely conquered? Of what use are such people? If your thinking, your knowledge of life, and your knowledge of God show no new change and you do not truly gain anything, then you will never achieve anything remarkable in your service!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (3)
Those who can lead churches, supply people with life, and be apostles to the people must have actual experience; they must have a correct understanding of spiritual things and a correct appreciation and experience of the truth. Only such people are qualified to be workers or apostles who lead the churches. Otherwise, they can only follow as the least and cannot lead, much less be apostles who are able to supply people with life. This is because the function of apostles is not to rush about or to fight; it is to do the work of ministering life and leading others in transforming their dispositions. Those who perform this function are commissioned to shoulder a heavy responsibility, one that not just anyone can shoulder. 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 merely anyone who can renounce, who can rush about, or who is willing to expend themselves; 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, who are people without reality, are unable to see reality clearly because they themselves are without this kind of being. So, this type of person is not only unable to do leadership work, but, if they remain without the truth for a long while, they are to be cast out.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work
Regarding work, man believes that work is to run around for God, preach everywhere, and expend for His sake. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to run around for Him; beyond just this, this work is concerned with ministry and provision within the spirit. Many brothers and sisters, even after all these years of experience, have never thought about working for God, because work as conceived by man is incongruous with what God asks. Therefore, man has no interest whatsoever in the matter of work, and this is precisely the reason why the entry of man is also quite one-sided. All of you should begin your entry with working for God, so that you may better undergo every aspect of experience. This is what you should enter into. Work refers not to running around for God, but to whether the life of man and what man lives out are able to give God enjoyment. Work refers to people using their devotion to God and their knowledge of God to testify about God, and also to minister to man. This is man’s responsibility and this is what all men should understand. One could say that your entry is your work, and that you are seeking to enter during the course of working for God. Experiencing God’s work does not merely mean that you know how to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must know how to testify about God and be able to serve God and be able to minister to and provide for man. This is work, and it is also your entry; this is what every person should accomplish. There are many who only focus on running around for God and preaching everywhere, yet overlook their individual experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what has led those who serve God to become those who resist God. …
One works in order to satisfy the will of God, to bring all those who are after God’s heart before Him, to bring man to God, and to introduce the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s guidance to man, thereby perfecting the fruits of God’s work. Therefore, it is imperative that you are thoroughly clear on the essence of work. As one who is used by God, every man is worthy of working for God, that is, everyone has the opportunity to be used by the Holy Spirit. However, there is one point that you must realize: When man does the work commissioned by God, man has been given the opportunity to be used by God, but what is said and known by man are not entirely the stature of man. All you can do is to better know your own deficiencies during the course of your work, and come into possession of greater enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. In this way, you will be enabled to gain better entry in the course of your work.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (2)
If, as a church leader or worker, you are to lead God’s chosen ones in entering the truth reality and bearing good testimony to God, of chief importance is to guide people in spending more time reading God’s words and fellowshiping the truth. In this way, God’s chosen ones can have a deeper knowledge of God’s aims in saving man and the purpose of God’s work, and can understand God’s will and His various requirements for man, thus allowing them to perform their duty properly and satisfy God. When you assemble to fellowship and preach, you must speak of your experiential testimony practically, and not be satisfied with preaching words and doctrines. When you eat and drink God’s words, you must focus on understanding the truth—and once you understand the truth, you must try and put it into practice, and only when you practice it will you truly understand the truth. When you fellowship God’s words, speak what you know. Do not boast, do not make irresponsible remarks, do not simply speak words and doctrines, and do not exaggerate. If you exaggerate, people will detest you and you will feel reproached afterward, and you will feel remorseful and upset—and you will have brought all of this on yourself. Can you make people understand the truth and enter into reality if you only preach words and doctrines to lecture them, and deal with them? If what you fellowship about is not practical, if it is nothing but words and doctrines, then no matter how much you deal with and lecture them, it will be to no avail. Do you think people being afraid of you, and doing what you tell them to, and not daring to object, is the same as them understanding the truth and being obedient? This is a major mistake; life entry is not so simple. Some leaders are like a new manager trying to make a strong impression, they try to impose their new-found authority on God’s chosen ones so that everyone submits to them, thinking that this will make their job easier. If you lack the truth reality, then before long your true stature will be exposed, your true colors will be revealed, and you could well be cast out. In some administrative work, a little dealing, pruning, and discipline is acceptable. But if you are incapable of fellowshiping the truth, in the end, you will still be unable to solve problems, and it will affect the results of the work. If, no matter what issues appear in the church, you keep lecturing people and casting blame—if all you ever do is acting in a bad-tempered manner—then this is your corrupt disposition revealing itself, and you have shown the ugly face of your corruption. If you always stand on a pedestal and lecture people like this, then as time goes on, people will be unable to receive the provision of life from you, they will not gain anything practical, and instead will be repulsed and disgusted by you. In addition, there will be some people who, having been influenced by you due to a lack of discernment, will likewise lecture others, and deal with them and prune them. They will likewise get angry and lose their tempers. Not only will you be unable to solve people’s problems—you will also be fostering their corrupt dispositions. And is that not leading them onto the path toward perdition? Is that not an act of evil? A leader should lead primarily by fellowshiping about the truth and providing life. If you always stand on a pedestal and lecture others, will they be able to understand the truth? If you work in this way for a while, when people come to see you clearly for what you are, they are going to desert you. Can you bring people before God by working in this way? You certainly cannot; all you can do is foul up the work of the church and cause all God’s chosen people to loathe you and desert you. There were some leaders and workers who were cast out for this reason in the past. They were unable to fellowship on the truth to resolve practical problems, lead people to eat and drink the words of God, or lead people to understand themselves. They did none of this essential work; they just focused on putting themselves on a pedestal, lecturing people, and giving orders, thinking that by doing this, they were doing the work of a church leader. As a result, they did not carry out the work arrangements issued by the Above even if they knew them, nor did they do specific jobs well. All they did aside from spouting words and doctrines and shouting slogans was to put themselves on a pedestal and blindly lecture, deal with, and prune people. This caused everyone to be afraid of, and avoid, these leaders and workers, and people did not dare report problems to them. By acting in this way, the leaders and workers mucked up their work and brought it to a standstill. It was only when the house of God dismissed them that they realized they had not done any real work. Perhaps they felt a lot of remorse, but regrets are of no use. They were still dismissed and cast out.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
What It Takes to Be One Who Serves God
Only God’s Intimates Are Worthy of Serving Him
How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will
To Serve God You Should Give Him Your Heart
Witnesses for God Must Have a Change in Disposition
How to Bear Witness to God in Your Faith
Only by Knowing God’s Deeds Can One Bear True Witness to Him