Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “People Who Can Be Absolutely Obedient Toward God’s Practicality Are Those Who Truly Love God”
Obeying God’s Practical Work Is Obedience Toward God’s Practicality
I will first communicate the title of God’s word “People Who Can Be Absolutely Obedient Toward God’s Practicality Are Those Who Truly Love God.” After you have read these words, you must ponder them in this way: “People Who Can Be Absolutely Obedient Toward God’s Practicality,” what is God’s practicality referring to here? It is easy to understand “absolute obedience toward God” literally. However, these words contain “God’s practicality,” which is confusing. After you have pondered the words, you know that God’s practicality principally refers to God’s practical work. In His work, God judges you, and chastises you, very practically, have you obeyed or not? In His work, God very practically prunes you, and deals with you, have you obeyed or not? In His work, God very practically requires that you put into practice this way or that way, have you obeyed or not? Furthermore, the practical God has dealt with you in His own words, He has made demands of you in face-to-face communication, have you obeyed or not? You have obeyed some of the word of God, have you obeyed God Himself—God incarnate? Some of God’s word has exposed you, and you have been judged. This represents God’s disposition of righteousness, and God’s love, have you obeyed it? In God’s word, God prunes you, deals with you, exposes you, makes demands of you. You should obey in practice, God incarnate has made contact with you, has spoken with you, has made demands of you, and you must obey; this is obedience toward God’s practicality. Some people can say “I have obeyed all of God’s word, so I am also obedient toward God. Is it accurate to say this? Although some people have some obedience, practice, and entry into the word of God, yet they are incompatible with the practical God—Christ. This is lack of obedience toward God’s practicality. Through brothers and sisters or through leaders and workers, God prunes you, and deals with you. If you do not accept it, what is this problem? It demonstrates that you are still unable to obey God. At times it comes through surroundings arranged by the Holy Spirit, and you are pruned, dealt with and disciplined through men, events and things. If you do not obey, is this obedience toward God’s practicality? You must obey all that accords with the truth and with the word of God, regardless of who says it, whether it is the word of God, or it is God Himself communicating with you, or it is God speaking to you through a particular person. As long as it accords with the word of God, and words that are said and things that are done are within the principles of the word of God, you should obey them all. It is only such a person who is absolutely obedient toward God. Some people have some enlightenment and illumination from the word of God, and a little practice. They then see themselves as being absolutely obedient toward God. To say this does not stand up. You believe that the word of God is spoken by God but if a person according to the word of God deals with you, and prunes you, and you are unable to obey, what problem is this? Is such a person one who obeys God? Some people cannot obey the work arrangements, sermons and fellowship of the man used by the Holy Spirit, are such people ones who absolutely obey God? Some people coordinate with fellow workers and brothers and sisters, and they do not obey others even if what others say is correct but go about things rigidly, are such people ones who obey God? What is being absolutely obedient toward God’s practicality? It is related to practical experience, not doctrinal talk. It is not talking only about literal meanings like in religion. It requires practical obedience. If God’s word judges you and chastises you, you are able to obey. You can obey God’s word pruning you and dealing with you. Are you able to obey when Christ Himself speaks with you? Are you able after all to get along with Christ? You have not seen Christ; if you should one day see Christ, will you have any notions of Him? Are you able to obey? Are you after all able to obey whatever He says, and whatever He does? These things all represent the question of whether or not you are able to be obedient toward the practicality of God. Some people say: “I absolutely obey what the word of God says, this is God’s word to which I must listen; if the man used by the Holy Spirit wants to deal with me and to prune me, I don’t obey because he is a man.” Is it correct to say this? If you say “because he is a man, I don’t obey,” this sentence exposes your disobedient disposition, your nature of arrogance and self-conceit, and your natural instinct of obeying no one. So, you are wrong to say this. How should we deal with this matter? It should be dealt with in this way: If it is a man who has said this, and what he has said accords with the truth, it has come from the arrangement of the Holy Spirit and it is in complete accord with the word of God, you should obey, because obedience to things that come from God and that accord with the word of God is obedience to God, this is the principle of obedience. If in practicing obedience to God there is no principle and only rules, that demonstrates that you have not truly obeyed and you are observing rules. If you do not obey when God acts practically, you do not obey when God’s practical work arrives, and you say that you only obey God, such words are cheating God, and are hypocritical. Now when we experience God’s work we need to focus on reality and we must not rely on past notions of religion, and nor can we observe rules. There are some who cannot obey the arrangements of God’s family and the sermons and fellowship from the above. What is the problem here? He is unable to be obedient to God’s practicality. If you cannot obey the practicality of God, you are not obedient toward that which comes from the Holy Spirit, that which comes from the word of God, that which accords with the truth, and that which comes from God’s arrangements, and from a substantive viewpoint you are not obedient toward God. If you do not obey the man used by the Holy Spirit, are you someone who obeys the work of the Holy Spirit? If you do not obey the man used by God, are you someone who obeys God? If in the Age of Law you did not obey the leadership of Moses, were you then someone who obeyed Jehovah God? If you obey God you must then obey the people used by God. Furthermore, you must obey all work that is done under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, all reality that is entered into, and you must also obey all that comes from God and from the Holy Spirit, and only such a person is someone who is absolutely obedient toward God. If in obeying God you only put into practice one part, what does this show? It shows that obedience within you is not complete, and if the obedience within you is incomplete, that then demonstrates that you are not a person who totally obeys God. You are only able to obey that which God has said in a certain specific setting, you can only obey certain of what God has said. If God Himself were to work and to live together with you, and say this or that to you, you would not be able to obey. Some people are able to obey a portion of God’s words, but if this portion were to be said to your face from the mouth of Christ, and it conveyed great anger, would you be able to obey? You would not find it easy to obey. If these words were written down on paper, or printed in a book, conveying no expression or great anger, you would obey them all the more readily. If from these words there should emerge a face, the face of Christ, revealing His severe anger, you would not easily obey. If the face was that of a woman, the face of an ordinary person, you say to yourself, “Is this not a person?” You are able to deny God’s word and say that it is the words of a person. If you see the face of God appearing in the heavens you can obey, but if it is the face of the practical God incarnate that appears, you do not obey. What is the problem? All this is being unable to show obedience toward God’s practicality. When I am dealing with some people, I say: “You are too arrogant. What you say sounds good, how is that you’re not doing some practical work?” As soon as he hears this he becomes angry. These words said like this from my lips become my language, and you are unable to obey. If I change these words into the language of God, and they accord with God’s word, and they become the original word of God, some people will be able to obey with difficulty. What is this problem? It is the inability to show obedience toward God’s practicality, because what I have said is itself the same as what God has said, it is only that I have used the spoken language of man to express it. Its spiritual meaning and substance are the same but you are unable to obey. It is as if God is pruning you and says “You are a treacherous and heretical person.” As soon as you see that God’s word has written this, with difficulty you acknowledge: “Yes, I am treacherous and heretical.” But if this is then turned into the words of man, and I say “You are treacherous and heretical, a pure animal,” can you obey? You think, “Treacherous and heretical” is spoken by God, so there is nothing that I can do, I do not deny it. If you then add some words of man, regardless of whether the meaning is the same or not, since the sense of it is unpleasant to hear, I will not obey, I do not acknowledge that these words accord with the truth.” Isn’t it the case that there are very many such people? Are you now able to attain absolute obedience? If I read out to you some of God’s words and let you check yourself against them, you say “I’ve matched them up, I accept.” If I do not read out God’s word, and I use my words according to the meaning of the word of God to deal with you, are you able to accept them? Some people now say they can, but if something comes along and I speak like this on the scene, and I convey anger and dissatisfaction with you, are you able to obey? If I change to another tone of voice and you are then not able to obey, what is this problem? It is still the inability to show obedience toward the practicality of God, your obedience is too conditional. For those who absolutely obey God it does not matter what your tone of voice is. Regardless of whether you have conveyed God’s wrath when reading God’s words, regardless of what tone you add, whether most harsh on the ear or most piercing of the heart, they can obey. It is only such people who are able to show obedience toward the practicality of God. The ability to obey the practicality of God is no easy matter, it requires change in the life disposition of man. It is difficult for those whose life disposition has not changed to obey. Because you speak with a smiling face, people are willing to obey. If you speak in anger or are dissatisfied with him, he then does not want to obey. There are too little obedience in man and it is very limited. It is not easy for him to be totally obedient, he needs to obtain change in life disposition. This change in life disposition is not an outcome that can be arrived at only by poring over the word of God or mulling over God’s word. There are many occasions when you would like to obey but you cannot. Being unable to obey despite himself is man’s greatest difficulty because he is controlled by his nature. Therefore, in God’s word we see another principle of God’s work, men who are made perfect must undergo many trials, and must be subjected to the hardship of many trials before they can be absolutely obedient to God and subsequently be made perfect. If men do not suffer the hardship of many trials and refinement, it is difficult for them to show obedience to God’s practicality. To be able to show obedience to the practicality of God is the entry into reality that is necessary for all who undergo the work of God. If you cannot enter into this reality, you cannot then be made perfect.
How should we enter into the reality of being absolutely obedient toward God’s practicality? In the first place, it is necessary to transform your notions. Do not think that “I am able to obey and accept God’s words judging me, and I am also able to curse and despise myself. That is my confirmation that I am able to obey God, that in my obedience I have already met God’s demands.” These are man’s notions and they do not stand up, they do not accord with reality. Therefore, in the first instance we need to transform our notions. … If we want to arrive at absolute obedience toward God’s practicality, we first need to be able to obey the man used by the Holy Spirit. If you cannot pass this test, it is not possible for you to say that you are someone who absolutely obeys God, and this does not stand up. Therefore, as far as our attaining obedience toward God is concerned, obeying God’s practicality is a most appropriate requirement, a most precise requirement, and a most fair requirement. On what basis is it measured? If you want to know whether you are someone who obeys God, the only criterion to measure it is whether or not you are able to absolutely obey God’s practicality. This is the only condition in weighing up whether or not a person is obedient. Now you must understand what “practicality” refers to in “absolutely obedient toward God’s practicality.” What does it refer to? It refers to God’s practical work. It isn’t obeying the words of the vague God, it is not obeying some doctrines and rules. It should not be measured according to man’s notions, but according to whether or not you have true obedience toward God’s practical work. For example, you believe that you are able to obey God’s judgment and chastisement, but when the man used by the Holy Spirit exposes you, deals with you, and prunes you, are you able to obey? Are you able to accept the pruning, dealing, and reproaches of those leaders and workers at all levels? Are you able to obey and accept it when the disclosure and rebuke of a brother or sister accords with the facts? This is how you should weigh up whether or not you are able to obey God’s practicality. Whether or not you are able to absolutely obey God’s practicality is not only dependent on whether or not you are able to obey God’s word. It also has to do with obedience toward the man used by the Holy Spirit, with every level of leaders and workers, and brothers and sisters, regardless of who they are, how they look at you, what their attitude is, or their tone of voice. As long as what they say is consistent with God’s word, and accords with the facts, you should be able to accept it all and treat it properly. Such is someone who is obedient toward God’s practicality. There are some brothers and sisters who have no obedience when they are performing their duties together. Once their partner says something that they do not agree with, they do not accept it. The result is that they don’t have a harmonious coordination and it is difficult for them to attain a harmonious coordination. Because people have no obedience, they are totally revealed in their performance of duty. In coordination, if what your partner says is in line with the truth, and consistent with reality, do you listen or not? This is crucial. If their position is lower than yours, and he is an ordinary brother or sister, but what they say is consistent with the truth, and consistent with reality, which benefits the work of God’s family, if as a leader or worker you see that what an ordinary brother or sister says is correct but you think that “If I listen to him, and obey him, isn’t this lowering my status, losing face. It’s a bit shameful, I can’t obey,” does such a person have obedience? If you are someone who truly has obedience, when you have a position and he does not, or he is younger or he has made many transgressions, is of bad humanity, but what he says is consistent with reality and the truth, if you can still obey him, this is having reality. Let’s say you are a leader. There are some matters that you cannot see clearly, which is normal. You seek fellowship from a brother or sister, and you say: “Sister, there is something that I can’t see clearly. Let us communicate about it. Could you please tell me what you think of it?” The sister tells you her view and as soon as you hear it, you say: “Oh, as soon as you put it this way I understand. What you’ve said is correct. I accept it.” If you are able to practice like this, it shows that you are not being condescending, and that you act as an equal of everyone. Among ordinary brothers and sisters, regardless of who they are, if what he says is correct and consistent with the truth, you are able to accept it, and this is obedience. Whenever people stand in a position and wish to be highly regarded by others, are they not arrogant and conceited? If your disposition is arrogant and conceited, when you have a position you are even less able to obey. When you have a position, you will desire to wield power, and you will wish that only what you say counts. If a person serving God is exercising power, and he tries to decide everything and to wield power since his life disposition has not changed, and he is not someone who has been made perfect, can such a person do the will of God? Such a person is definitely an antichrist. All who do not possess the truth and whose life disposition has not changed will want to exercise power, once they’re given a position, and they will hope that what they alone say counts. These are all seedlings of antichrists, and will become antichrists. How should a person who has not obtained the truth and whose life disposition has changed serve God? All that he can do is coordinate with his co-workers. If they can have a true service and fulfill all duties that he ought to undertake through harmonious coordination, this will have satisfied God. If he is a leader, and he does not harmoniously coordinate with co-workers, and everything is done in line with what he says, what sort of person is this? He is someone who is resisting God. Isn’t someone who doesn’t have the truth assuming power an antichrist wielding power? Doesn’t it mean that Satan is wielding power? There is no doubt about this. So, how do you measure whether a leader has obedience or not? Regardless the level of leader in the church, you should see whether or not in fulfilling his duties and serving God he has coordinated harmoniously with others, whether or not he has communicated with others when something comes along. If he doesn’t do so, but decides everything by himself, and does everything arbitrarily and peremptorily, then that person is absolutely in the category of the antichrist. When corrupted man assumes power, it is the same as Satan wielding power. If corrupted mankind has arrived at salvation by God, possessing the truth, with change of life disposition, if he wields power then, is that still Satan wielding power? No, that is not. Because he has the truth. With the truth, he can obey God, and he can work in accordance with the word of God, so this is not the same as Satan wielding power. He works according to God’s word, which shows that the truth is wielding power, that the word of God is wielding power, and that Christ is wielding power. If he does not possess the truth, and he only understands a few words and doctrines, and if he wields power without absolute obedience toward God’s practicality, deciding everything alone, such a person who wields power represents Satan wielding power. So, if a leader always has the final say, without harmonious coordination with other co-workers, and if he does not achieve true service through prayer and through communication and coordination, then he represents Satan wielding power. Some say that some leaders decide according to the word of God in some matters, are they representing Satan wielding power? If he is deciding according to God’s word, it is necessary to see whether or not he knows the essence of the word of God. If he only knows a little of the literal meaning of God’s word and he does not know the substance of God’s word and the substance of the truth, even though he believes that he is working in accordance with God’s word, does this mean he has the truth? It does not, because what he understands are words and doctrines, and he is going through formalities, and abiding by rules, which is the same as the work of pastors in the religious world. Therefore, before a man has truly obtained the truth and his disposition of life has changed, regardless of what he does he is unable to lead God’s chosen people onto the correct path of faith in God. No matter what he does he cannot do the will of God. Let me give you an example. Supposing I no longer communicate with you and you are asked to work by yourselves based on your understanding, and you lead the church yourselves. For how many years would you be able to bring brothers and sisters into practical experience of life? To what level could you lead them if you exert all your efforts in leading them for ten or eight years? Could you attain a practical outcome? No, you could not. Probably some people will not be convinced; if so, you can have a try. Based on your present stature, at best you can only work at it for one year, and you have nothing to preach. Once you’re emptied and achieve no result after half a year, you will shrivel up. Some people are enthusiastic and wish to be leaders and workers. Let them try it out for a couple of years and having done it for two years they are shriveled up. Some do not believe and say, “Will we really be shriveled up?” They have a skeptical attitude toward this. Those with experience know one can at best lead for two years even if he relies on himself and exerts all effort. For example, let’s say now you have thirty people under you and you put all your effort into leading them for two years, then see whether or not these thirty people have reality, whether they have changed, whether they have a path. If they have not entered into reality, will these thirty people still obey you? When you’ve used all the few things, no matter how do you communicate and speak, people will be fed up listening. If you have no new things, will they listen to you? No one will listen. No matter what they do, if people do not have the truth, no one will listen to them. This matter has to be seen clearly. If a man does not have the truth, he cannot serve God; this is absolute. So, what can you do if you want to serve God? You need first to enter into reality, you must have true obedience to God, you must have true knowledge of God. You need first of all to be someone practicing the truth. Everyone respects you if you practice the truth. As you have reality, everyone will be convinced by you. If there is a new light and the work of the Holy Spirit to your preaching, everyone will be convinced by you. Only when you meet these three conditions will you be a good leader. Some people fail to see this point clearly. They do not have the reality of truth but always contend for leadership. This is particularly true with new believers, and they contend most vigorously, thinking to themselves: “How come no one has elected me?” Some people, when they have not been elected as a leader or deacon, continuously make a fuss and persist in causing disturbance. They make it hard for brothers and sisters, they make it hard for leaders and workers, and they make it hard for those who are elected. Previously two people got on quite well but as soon as he saw that the other person had been elected and he had not, he developed a prejudice against the person. What is this problem? It is a corrupted disposition after a man has been corrupted by Satan; he does not resemble a man and he possesses no reason at all. If a man does not possess the slightest reason, does such a man have humanity? Those who do not possess reason always give false reasoning and are unreasonable. If they have not been elected as a leader, they make a fuss; if they haven’t been elected they make a fuss when carrying out their duties; those who have been elected do not make a fuss but they do not fulfill their duties, they hold their positions without taking care of things. Those who have not been elected make a fuss, while those who have been elected do not carry out their duties properly; what problems are these? This is the morality of corrupted mankind who does not pursue the truth. When a man who does not pursue the truth encounters a few things that are not to his own liking, he then makes a fuss. Is there obedience in this fussing? There is no obedience whatsoever, he is a person of disobedience, an animal, who cannot be reasoned with! Such a person also demands that I hold a gathering for him, he would like me to preach and communicate to him. But if I really do deal with him, is he able to obey? He cannot obey. His wish to hear preaching and communication is nothing more than a little enthusiasm, a little interest, a little desire. He is willing to hear, which doesn’t mean that he pursues the truth or he is able to obey God’s work. In no way does it mean that at all. Now some people always make conditions in carrying out their duties: “If I am to carry out my duties, the leader should treat me well, the leader ought to encourage me and to praise me, brothers and sisters should look up to me, only then can I fulfill my duties. If brothers and sisters look down on me, if they give me the cold shoulder, then I can’t fulfill my duties. If I carry out my duties in these circumstances, aren’t I demeaning myself? Aren’t I stupid? Is that rendering service?” Making conditions in carrying out his duties, is such a person a service-doer? Does a service-doer have obedience toward God? He does not work to fulfill his duties in order to obey God. He only carries out his duties when his aims and individual desires are satisfied, and only then can he make some effort. Does such a person have a good disposition? Such a person does not have humanity. Therefore, some people in the church can preach the gospel, or they can look after some things, they are so difficult and fussy that as soon as you see that, you are disgusted, and think to yourself: “How can this person be like that? What humanity is this? How can I be so unhappy to be working with such a person? This is not a person who is pursuing the truth.” Your performance of duties is in order to satisfy God. Why do you lay conditions on people? What is the use in demanding that others do this or that? You carry out your duties if brothers and sisters think highly of you; you only fulfill your duties if everyone praises you, defends you, places you at the center, treats you with respect, otherwise you throw up your duties, you put aside everything, is this not a satanic disposition? Some people are selected by brothers and sisters to fulfill this or that duty, they refuse and say, “It’s fine that I’ve been selected, that proves I have status, I have a position, I’m stronger than you, but it’s up to me if I carry out my duty or not.” What is the disposition of such a person? He has no humanity. If such a person wants me to communicate with him, I am able only to ask this: “Are you a person who is pursuing the truth? Are you someone who obeys God?” He says: “I am not.” “As you say you’re not, then there is no point in you undertaking this duty, I’ll pass it to someone else.” If I speak like this, are you able to obey? Some can obey, some cannot and they might say: “On what grounds are you dismissing me? God’s chosen people have selected me, what are you relying upon as an individual to replace me? How is it that you’re not being democratic?” Leaders and workers of God’s family are all produced through elections, that’s correct, that is being democratic. But to whom is it being democratic? It is to God’s chosen people. There are some matters that are practiced in this way, but not all things are practiced like this. Can you demand that Christ be democratic? Can you demand that God be democratic? Can your democracy select Christ, or can it select God? Are there people who would like to demand that God practice democracy? Then aren’t you being very ridiculous? Democracy can only be implemented on corrupted mankind, because if corrupted mankind does not have democracy, as soon as the great red dragon wields power it will harm people. Therefore, people who are elected democratically are a little better relatively, but not a great deal better. For what reason? The whole of mankind has been corrupted too deeply, the extent of its corruption is almost the same. You will not find many good people. This is how these things should be seen. In the church some people are elected by all, but can you guarantee that they are all up to the mark? They’re not necessarily all up to scratch. Because some people have only just entered into the church for a few months, their true behavior, and the substance of their nature have still not been exposed. Everyone thinks for a while that this person is very good, and so they select him, and after some time it becomes obvious when they look again, “This person isn’t good, I probably won’t select him at the next election.” So, there are some people who are elected that are not necessarily that good, and if in a few years’ time you have another look at those people who haven’t been elected, it’s possible that there will be some who are quite good. This is all uncertain. Why must church leaders be elected annually? They need to be elected each year because it may happen that the person chosen is not all that good, or some become worse after a few months. The disposition of those who do not have the truth is unstable. They change from one day to the next; today they’re in a good mood and carry out their duties, tomorrow they’re in a bad mood and unable to fulfill their duties. Is such a person reliable if he is really allowed to be a leader? Therefore, in God’s family church leaders are elected annually. Now we see that before a man has attained genuine change in life disposition, regardless of what duties he undertakes, or whether he is a leader or a worker, he still needs to be managed, he needs to be dealt with and pruned. If no one is managing in God’s family, at the lowest level there will be many people who are completely lawless and reckless, and they can become antichrists, which is a fact. What do some leaders and workers now say in public? “I was established by God, all leaders and workers of God’s family who have been selected in the future belong to those established by God, they are all being made perfect by God. If some brothers and sisters have the audacity to oppose them, then they are resisting God.” Does such talk stand up? The word of God has already made it clear that it is only those persons who are used by the Holy Spirit who are established by God, while the remainder of leaders and workers are chosen from the church. If among those who are chosen there are those who are pursuing the truth, the more they carry out their duties, the further they will progress, and they should remain in place. If they are not pursuing the truth, and in the fulfillment of their duties they become increasingly worse, and their evildoing increases, then they should be eliminated. Therefore, the leaders selected by God’s family should all be screened, and revealed. Those who are pursuing the truth are able to be retained and used over the long term. Those who are not pursuing the truth can at any time be eliminated. So, these leaders and workers have not been made perfect during the period of experiencing God’s work. Since they have not been made perfect, on what basis can it be confirmed whether or not a person is able to be a leader or worker over the long term? Well, that depends on whether or not he is able to pursue the truth, and it is based on whether he has a normal humanity. Even though a person who is pursuing the truth has revealed some corruption, he is capable of change, and therefore he is able to continue working to fulfill his duties; a person who is not pursuing the truth is never able to understand the truth, all that he does is based on his own views, and therefore without knowing it he does evil, and he loses the work of the Holy Spirit. Some people even do all manner of evildoing, leading God’s chosen people to despise him. Such a person is too extreme. Once he has been completely exposed, and God’s chosen people all despise him, he should be eliminated. What sort of people are those who are eliminated? They are those who do not have obedience toward God’s practicality. Since they have no obedience toward God’s practicality, they have no true life experience, cannot speak of reality, and are unable to communicate a real knowledge of the truth, such a person is someone who does not have the truth. What are the consequences of a person who d6oes not have the truth being a leader? He can only lead God’s chosen people into a trap. What kinds of people truly have reality? The most crucial criterion is to be able to truly obey God’s practicality. Such a person has life experience, he has the reality in his living out, this sufficiently proves that he is a person who is pursuing the truth. What problem is explained by a man’s ability to obey God’s practicality? First, this person is certainly someone who truly loves God. Secondly, he is able to practice the truth. Thirdly, his life disposition has changed. No one can deny these three criteria. Therefore, if a man possesses the ability to absolutely obey God’s practicality, then this man is someone who is pursuing the truth, because he is able to practice the truth. If he is able to obey God’s practicality, then he is certainly able to talk about reality, because he has practical experience, he has knowledge of practically obeying God’s work, and he has experience. Therefore, he can speak of the way to practice. Brothers and sisters ask him: “How should we obey God’s work in order to be able to attain salvation, and be made perfect?” He says: “You need to obey God’s practicality. The obedience toward God’s practicality includes several facets….” He is then able to speak of his own experiences, and he uses his own experiences to communicate with you. Therefore, the results are good and brothers and sisters have a path. Now, those who are able to obey God’s practicality fall into the pattern of men who pursue the truth, because they can practice the truth. If a person closely abides by the rules, and from the outside he is able to speak of many letters and doctrines, and say many pleasing things, can this mean that he is someone who is pursuing the truth? Because he is unable to practice the truth himself, he is then not someone who is pursuing the truth. What should be used to verify one’s pursuit of the truth? One criterion that is used to gauge whether one pursues the truth or not is to see if he is able to practice the truth. Have you actually put into practice the truth you understand? Are you only paying it lip service or you are practicing it? You will only have reality if you are practicing the truth. If you do not practice the truth then you will not have reality. Some people are only good at talking but they cannot practice. This is called all talk and no practice. Isn’t someone who is all talk and no practice a fraud? Such a person is very crafty, he complies in public but opposes in private, he says one thing and means another, all that he says is false, so he is a fraud. Many people can use preaching to falsely win the trust of many others, but they don’t have the least reality. Therefore, those who are familiar with him, those by his side dislike him. For which people is it effective to be deceived into having a favorable impression of them? It is only effective on those who are a long way away from them, who are in touch through correspondence, and it is of no effect on people by their side. Therefore, is whether or not a person is someone who is practicing the truth after all based on his preaching and communication, or is it based on the testimony of those by his side? Which is reliable? You cannot only listen to what he says, it is most important to listen to the members of his family, what brothers and sisters by his side have to say, what their assessment of him is after all. This way is most accurate. If his wife (her husband), or their children say: “Oh, this person has changed, he does not lie to anyone in our family, he practices the truth with all in the family.” If everyone in his family is convinced, and they all say that he is practicing the truth, this is someone who is practicing the truth. If you say that a person is putting the truth into practice, yet as soon as his family hear that, they curl their lips and laugh at you, that confirms that what you have said is not true. Whether or not this reality can be believed depends on whether it is acknowledged by those by his side, and in particular acknowledged by his family members, only then is it reliable. Some people say: “There is only one person in my family who does not believe. Even when I practice the truth in some matters he cannot see it.” It’s wrong to say this. Although he does not believe, he knows whether or not you’re lying, and what your behavior is like, he knows if you’re filthy and corrupted or honest. What I’m saying stands up, right? You need to shame Satan, convince Satan--only this is true testimony. If Satan is not convinced by you, this is evidence that this testimony of yours has not held up and that it still conveys false elements, sham elements. You need to shame Satan, and not allow Satan to find fault with you, let Satan see how you have changed, and say “He has revealed corruption, but it is less so over time. He previously revealed a great deal of corruption but now it is much less. He really has changed. Now he tells fewer lies. This person has really changed after his belief in God. Although I often fight with him, and I’m very dissatisfied with him, to be honest he has very much changed for the better compared to before.” If Satan can speak like this, that proves that you really have changed. What is your testimony like now? Are you truly able to shame Satan? If you can shame and convince those in your family, and unbelievers, make brothers and sisters by your side respect and acknowledge you, this shows that you really have changed, and that you really have witness. The testimony of some people is that they have some good practice toward brothers and sisters, while with family members they still employ the same old trick of Satan’s corruption, the same old trick of unbelievers. They lie all the same, nothing has changed at all. Before brothers and sisters and at gatherings, they seem to conduct themselves properly, but as soon as they return home and are in touch with unbelievers, their wolfishness emerges. Isn’t such a person hypocritical? If such a person keeps pretending until the completion of God’s work, will he be able to remain? God’s disposition is righteousness, He has no emotion for any individual person, and so you should not deceive yourself. Whether or not you are someone who practices the truth can decide your fate. The most fundamental reality is whether you are able to have obedience toward God’s practicality. This practicality is whether or not you are able to obey the exposure of brothers and sisters that accords with the truth and with reality, whether or not you are able to obey at times when leaders and workers reprimand you, prune you and deal with you in complete accord with the facts, or in accord with more than half of the facts, though with exaggeration, or whether or not you are able to obey when the man used by the Holy Spirit exposes you, and detests you, and it accords with your actual states. To obey God, you need to be practical. Do not focus on form, do not abide by rules. That is to say, in your practical experience of God’s work, everything that comes from God, from the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and from the Holy Spirit’s arrangements to prune you is God’s practical work. If you cannot obey it all, that is troublesome. Some people say: “I obey God, I do not obey what anyone else says.” Is this not stupid? Do you know that which is called obedience to God? If you don’t know God’s work, how can you obey God? The obedience toward God which you speak of has a mysterious air about it and is not practical, do you understand? When I said “You should learn to obey God, do not listen to people,” what is that referring to? Some leaders do not have the truth, nor do some brothers and sisters have the truth. The leaders get him to do this and to do that, and they ask him to listen to their guidance, but he does not obey. This is what it refers to. If you say “I obey what God has to say, I don’t obey what men have to say,” you are resisting God’s work. What you say may literally be the same as what I say but the meaning is different. You misinterpret what I say, that is wrong. You don’t understand the meaning of what I have said.
Now let us discuss how to practice obeying God’s practicality absolutely. You should pursue the truth, you must carefully eat and drink the word of God, properly treat judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, trials and refinement. You must not complain, you should obey God’s work. God’s work is not for you to idly talk about, but for you to practically obey and experience. How should we obey when trials and refinement come? If a disaster comes and your unbelieving husbands, wives, and children die, how do you deal with this? In this situation, are you able to be obedient toward God’ practicality? Are you able to obey God’s demand then that you do your best to pursue the truth, and eat and drink the word of God? If God requires you to practice the truth in the church, and to have normal human relations with brothers and sisters, are you able to obey? Some people always can’t get along well with this or that brother or sister. They’re jealous of and quarrelsome with this one and they’re hostile to that one. Do such people have obedience? To be able to show obedience to God’s practicality is not idle talk. It is not “whatever God says to my face I will obey, whatever a man says to my face I will not obey.” Rather, it is God putting you in all kinds of settings to allow you to learn obeying God there, learn practicing God’s word and obeying the work of the Holy Spirit. You need to have practical obedience. There are some people who seemingly listen to and obey no one apart from God. Well, if God has arranged a circumstance for you, and if the man used by God and the brothers and sisters arranged by God deal with and prune you, how should you obey God in this circumstance and when these objective facts are confronted with you? Obedience to God is no idle talk. When God makes contact with you and speaks to you, you are able to obey; when a man talks to you, and what he says is also the word of God, you don’t obey. This explains that you still have no obedience to God’s practicality. Then, when I [the man used by the Holy Spirit] deal with you, will you be able to obey? You can accept my dealing with you, but if a leader or worker deals with you according to the same principle I deal with you, dealing with and pruning you when your corruption is exposed and when you have not properly carried out your duties, are you able to obey? If you obey selectively, then you are unable to obey God’s practicality. And if you then say that you can obey God, it is a falsehood. What must you use to confirm your obedience to God? You should have the reality of obedience. If you do not have that reality, and you are not able to suffer that hardship, you won’t be able to obey even when God says something to you. If some people expose your corruption and the bad things that you have done, how should you deal with it? You cannot bear this situation, you resist it, you refuse it, but afterward you still say that you’re able to obey God; is this real? No, it isn’t. Those who can truly obey God are able to obey that which men have done correctly, and they can also obey no matter how they are pruned and dealt with by others. Only then can they obey God. For example, an elderly person is disciplined by a child over ten years old. As soon as this child of over ten exposes the elderly person, the senior puts up no resistance but is truthful, and acknowledges that he himself is in the wrong. What does this show? This person has borne witness, this person’s disposition has changed. He does not look at who it is that has exposed him. As long as what one says is right, he will listen even if he is a ten-year-old child. Are you able to do this? What kind of people can you obey? You obey someone who has a higher position than you, who is more knowledgeable than you, who is more savvy than you, who is more capable than you. But can you listen to someone who is more submissive than you or who is inferior than you? If what a child says is correct, are you able to obey? This matter really reveals people. Now some brothers and sisters are biased against you, how do you deal with it? Are you really able to obey God’s work? Can you say “Talk to me about anything you might have against me, and I will accept it, I respect you”? You should first resolve this problem that people have a bias against you and despise you. If a person is too arrogant and conceited, it is truly not easy to obey and obedience becomes a most difficult thing. If a person abides by the satanic principle that “you cannot lower your noble head,” what is this noble head? It is Satan’s head, what is noble about it? You should respect the facts, respect the truth, and obey all that God says. “When faced with the facts, if what a three-year-old child has said is correct, I will bow my head, and be convinced. I will obey whoever says that which is correct.” Only this can be called dispositional change. This is true testimony. How can it be so hard for some persons to obey what others say? Do these things have a bearing on dispositional change? They all have a bearing on whether or not one has reality, and they all touch upon the question of dispositional change. And so, do not regard it on the outside that this is a small matter. You need to learn from small matters to be able to know yourself, to be able to see how much your disposition has changed, to see whether or not you are able to obey God. These small things really tell something and reveal people. If you don’t know how to experience the work of God, if you neglect these small matters and you don’t take them seriously but still live according to your notions, you may live one hundred years, and believe in God for a hundred years, with no change at all, you have believed in vain!