Seven Principles That Must Be Practiced in Church Life
Church life has been created for God’s chosen people to experience God’s work. Church life is the life of eating and drinking God’s words, understanding truths, and entering into reality. It is also the life of accepting truths, resolving corruptions, and living out the likeness of true human beings. Within church life, God’s chosen people experience God’s judgment and chastisement as well as enter into truths in order to attain God’s salvation; these things are entirely achieved through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not easy for those without a church life to attain more of the work of the Holy Spirit because church life is the actual place where God’s chosen people eat and drink God’s words, fellowship truths, bear witness for God, and enjoy His love. It is also the place for the training of the kingdom, where God’s chosen people can serve and provide sustenance for each other, fulfill their duties, and serve God. Only by living within the church life can people enjoy more work of the Holy Spirit and be perfected by God in more ways, be able to understand truths and enter into the reality of God’s words more quickly, obtain transformation in their life disposition, and become ones who are truly obedient to God and worship God. The experience of God’s chosen people is sufficient proof that in our faith in God, if we lack a good church life then we shall never attain God’s salvation and perfection. This is an undeniable fact. Therefore, a proper church life is what God’s chosen people need, and it is also indispensable for God’s chosen people in attaining salvation and perfection. Anyone who has moved away from church life has also disengaged from the work of the Holy Spirit; anyone who has moved away from church life has betrayed God and has sought refuge with Satan. Such people have dug their own graves.
However, because mankind’s corruption is too deep there are too few people who have some remaining humanity and are still able to pursue truths. Most people are arrogant, conceited, deceitful, malicious, selfish and despicable. Such people are reckless, they do whatever they please, they are full of rebelliousness, and they don’t have any obedience. Without good leaders and workers working in conjunction with the work of the Holy Spirit it is very difficult to achieve a real church life. God’s chosen people have now clearly realized the importance of a church life, and they all wish to elect good church leaders and workers in order to live a real church life, but because their corrupt disposition has yet to be transformed by experiencing God’s work, there are very few people who can truly be attentive to God’s will. Most leaders and workers, from all levels of the church, are still toiling for their own status, fame and fortune, therefore there are very few people whose actions and words truly aim to serve God, bear witness for God, and carry out God’s will. There are even fewer people who truly offer themselves to work for the salvation of God’s chosen people and are attentive to God’s will. After corrupt people gain status, they always become arrogant, selfish and despicable. They only know to fulfill their own desires, to obtain fame and status, without any thought of God or any concern to being attentive to God. Therefore, when most people do work and fulfill their duties, they first bolster their own image. It is as if they are unable to do work if they cannot first establish their own status in the minds of other people, and they can only justify doing work after their status has been soundly established; meanwhile, God has no status in their hearts and minds and He is ignored by them. This is breaking God’s heart. People are always working for their own status; they are always saying things for the sake of their own fame and fortune. This is the most substantive revelation of their satanic nature. The thing that people with a satanic nature care about most is their status. What they care most about and pay the most attention to is the way that the above treats them and the way that others treat them, yet they never think: “How does God treat me, and how should I treat God? What should I do to please God, to comfort God’s heart? Will my pursuit of status, fame and fortune break God’s heart, and what consequences will it bring to God’s chosen people?” Therefore, we can see that people have no conscience or sense. They constantly fight among themselves for status, fame and fortune. To this end, they rack their brains, exhaust all their means and expend all that they have, eventually walking onto the path of the antichrists. Not only have they held up the life entry of God’s chosen people, but they have also harmed themselves. This is an issue that all people in leadership positions must reflect upon; this is a dangerous scourge that everyone should take heed of. Now that we have all clearly seen the importance that a proper church life has on God’s chosen people attaining salvation, we should all put in the effort and make the appropriate preparations for each gathering, and by doing so we shall achieve the desired results from such gatherings. If the church leaders and workers continue to muddle through the gatherings, to never make any preparations of spiritual devotions in advance, then the results of these gatherings will certainly be poor, and even if there are some results they will be suboptimal. This is a fact that everyone can see. Therefore, it is imperative that the leaders and workers from all levels of the church lead God’s chosen people to eat and drink God’s words, as well as enter into truths in accordance with God’s requirements. The principle of living a church life that has been stipulated from an earlier time will never change. That is, people should mainly enjoy God’s words in the gatherings, which are to be supplemented by the sermons and fellowship of the above. This principle and direction should never be deviated from.
To ensure that church life will never be disturbed or interfered with—so that God’s chosen people may understand God’s words and enter into truths more quickly and engender a real understanding of God, thereby establishing a foundation for enduring various trials—the leaders and workers from all levels of the church must follow the following seven principles:
1. During gatherings, people should only enjoy God’s words and fellowship the truths, as is proper for church life. During each gathering, people must fellowship their understanding based on a selection of the relevant words of God, while also referring to man’s fellowship when applicable. It is prohibited to fellowship matters unrelated to truths. During each gathering, all the experience and knowledge that can be fellowshiped should be shared with the gathering, such that all the brothers and sisters are edified and elevated. For each truth (or each passage of God’s words), real knowledge and things of substance must be fellowshiped until the desired results have been achieved, before turning to the next truth (or the next passage of God’s words). Eating and drinking God’s words and fellowshiping one’s understanding of each truth (or each passage of God’s words) until it is clearly understood, real knowledge of God is generated, and all those who pursue truths are satisfied—this is the result that a church life should achieve. Gatherings are entirely for the understanding of truths and the entering into of realities. Only when God’s chosen people have learned to eat and drink God’s words as well as fellowship truths, only when they are able to understand God’s will and requirements as well as have a path of practice and entry, and only when their spirit is fully comforted and satisfied as well as they have seen the blessings of God is such a life a real church life, and only that is entering onto the right track in their faith in God.
2. During the gatherings, when listening to the sermons and fellowship of the above, people must integrate God’s words when fellowshiping about truths. Only God’s words are the truths, and the purpose of listening to sermons and fellowship is to know God’s words and understand truths. Sermons and fellowship are merely the knowledge of truths and the principles of practicing truths, therefore people should never replace the eating and drinking of God’s words by listening to sermons and fellowship. Church life should always revolve around the eating and drinking and enjoying of God’s words. Sermons and fellowship are now allowed at gatherings only because the stature of most people is too small and they do not know how to eat and drink God’s words yet, therefore they can first listen to sermons and fellowship for a period of time. Once they are able to understand God’s words and are able to fellowship truths, they can then directly eat and drink and enjoy God’s words. People must voluntarily want to listen to sermons and fellowship, and it should be based on the wishes of the majority of people. It would be best if everyone requested to eat and drink God’s words during gatherings and then they could always eat, drink and fellowship God’s words during gatherings. If some people want to listen to sermons and fellowship, the church should allow them to and not enforce the rules too rigidly. In general, regardless of how gatherings are run, the purpose is to allow God’s chosen people to understand God’s words and enter into the truths as quickly as possible. Whatever way God’s chosen people find enjoyable and effective for eating and drinking God’s words, then that is the way that church leaders and workers should adopt in order to satisfy the demands and needs of God’s chosen people. This is a duty and responsibility that church leaders and workers should always fulfill.
3. A good church life is a life of God’s chosen people quietly enjoying God’s words in the presence of God. This is a life of truly living in the presence of God. Therefore, there must be prayers and fellowship when enjoying God’s words at gatherings or when listening to sermons and fellowship. Those who are truly quiet in the presence of God can easily gain enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit, and they can easily immerse themselves into either their own fellowship or the fellowship of others. They are able to easily understand and grasp the light and the true meaning of what is being fellowshiped. Those who are quiet in the presence of God also become more pious, and the fellowshiping of truths become entirely for the understanding of truths and for knowing God, without any intentions or ulterior motives of their own. The more someone is quiet in the presence of God, the more their humanity becomes normal, and the more they shall attain good results from the fellowshiping of truths. If most people at gatherings could be quiet in the presence of God when enjoying God’s words and fellowshiping the truths, then there would be a real church life, and everyone would be able to enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit as if they were living in the light, and all of them could understand the truths and know their own corrupt essence, know God’s salvation, and feel God’s loveliness. When such a time arrives, people can then pray to and worship God in a proper way. Enjoying God’s words and fellowshiping truths during gatherings is the best kind of spiritual devotion, and is the best opportunity to be close to God. If everyone at gatherings were quiet in the presence of God and pondered God’s words so that they gained enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit—which they could then fellowship—this would be the best kind of church life. Others would benefit from it and they themselves would gain the most possible and completely enjoy the blessings of God. In fact, the knowledge of God’s words and the understanding of truths are primarily gained through being quiet in the presence of God during gatherings. So long as people can be quiet in the presence of God while enjoying God’s words, praying to God and pondering God’s words in their hearts, then they will naturally gain new light and engender new knowledge from God’s words, and they shall be engraved on their hearts through repeated fellowship. Therefore, the enjoyment of God’s words and the fellowship of truths is very important to people’s understanding of truths and their entering into truths. Those who don’t love to fellowship truths will have a slow entry into life. They will become bewildered, will be unable to see clearly through things, and they will not find spiritual relief. Those who are adept at fellowshiping truths will enter into truths quickly. They will have discernment when dealing with matters, they will know what things they should do that fit with God’s will, and they will find spiritual relief. Therefore, if one fellowships the truths in gatherings, it will be both beneficial to others and themselves. The more that believers enjoy fellowshiping the truths, the more enlightenment they shall gain from the Holy Spirit. They shall also enter into truths more quickly, and they shall attain salvation and perfection more easily. By learning to eat and drink God’s words, as well as fellowship the truths inside church life, people will unwittingly enter onto the right track in their faith in God.
4. Leaders and workers at all levels should lead the way in fellowshiping truths in church life. This is the duty and responsibility of leaders and workers. All those who pursue truths should fellowship and devote at gatherings the enlightenment and light they have gained in their experience. Only by doing this can they make God happy and receive more of the work of the Holy Spirit and more quickly enter into truths. Those without experience or knowledge do not have to fellowship, but should conscientiously ponder and contemplate the fellowship of others. They will gradually also gain knowledge through practicing and experiencing afterward. In order for gatherings to achieve better results, all those who have experience or knowledge of God’s words should fellowship what they have gained and devote their part. This way, everyone can enjoy it and can understand the truths and enter the reality of God’s words. In particular, those who pursue truths should fulfill their duty properly and fellowship all of their knowledge and experience of God’s words and the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit they have received. Only by doing so are they not burying God’s love and the work God has done on them. Only by doing so can they receive more work and grace from the Holy Spirit, and understand and possess more truths. Those who never fellowship truths are dead people without spirits; the more one fellowships truths, the more they can enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit. Only such people can come to life. Fellowshiping truths is the best way to bear witness to God and exalt God; it is truly fulfilling one’s duty and serving God. People’s lives grow and mature through fellowshiping truths. All those who pursue and love truths should work together to fulfill their duty at gatherings. That is how good church life is created
5. The eating and drinking of God’s words and the fellowshiping of truths require the right attitude. The fellowshiping of truths is to understand the truths and to gain life. Do not argue, regardless of whether the fellowship is genuine or off the mark, because a fellowship is good as long as knowledge has been fellowshiped. So long as there is no judgment of God or the dissemination of fallacies that deceive people, everyone should not argue. For those people who have a fallacious and deviated understanding others must patiently provide them with assistance. No one should prey on others’ weaknesses, label them, or criticize them without good reason. When people are experiencing God’s work, they have not attained perfection and are not equipped with the truths, therefore their experience and knowledge of God’s words are limited and deviations and mistakes are inevitable. Regardless of the person, as long as they are able to fellowship their own experience and knowledge, then they should do so, for it is beneficial to others and themselves. When fellowshiping the truths, one should base their understanding on a combination of the revelation of their own corruptions as well as the common corruptions of mankind. They may also provide various examples for clarification, but they must not harbor ulterior motives to attack others, or elevate themselves. They also must not use the fellowshiping of God’s words to belittle or reveal others. Using gatherings or talking about discernment as an opportunity to attack those holding different opinions to oneself, to teach others a lesson, to create division, as part of a power struggle or a fight for position, are behaviors that disrupt and interfere with church life. They are revelations of the nature of the great red dragon, and as such are entirely the conduct of Satan. Some church leaders will not hesitate to attack those with opinions different from themselves so that their status is not threatened. They label others without any good reason, prey on their transgressions, and shatter them with one stroke. Such actions derail the gatherings away from the right track of church life and lead them astray. In fact, others are able to sense whether malice or love is being revealed by a person’s words, therefore people should not think themselves too clever. As a result, during gatherings people must only fellowship the truths by eating and drinking God’s words or listening to the sermons of the above. No one should make a big fuss based on someone’s revelation of corruptions by attacking others, engaging in struggles, or dissecting or discerning others. Gatherings are for eating and drinking God’s words, as well as to equip oneself with truths. They should never be used for power struggles and in-fighting. God’s chosen people must take heed to prevent evildoers from disturbing and destroying church life. Only by properly preserving church life can believers understand truths, enter into reality, as well as attain life growth and maturity. Therefore, the preservation of church life is critical to God’s chosen people in attaining salvation.
6. The fundamental principles of church life are built upon the foundation of God’s love. All brothers and sisters who truly believe in God should live in love and help each other, such that their lives may grow. In church life, everyone must learn to treat others correctly, to not judge others, and to not jump to conclusions regarding others. Everyone must have love and tolerance for others, and regardless of their shortcomings and transgressions, they must not attack or ostracize others. No one must ever judge others, jumping to the conclusion that others are the devil or Satan, or the sons of hell. We must have love for those people who sincerely believe in God and pursue the truth, regardless of the corruptions that they have revealed or their transgressions, so long as they can repent in the presence of God, normally eat and drink God’s words, and fulfill their duties as the created. If that is the case, then they are one of our brothers and sisters and we should serve each other, help each other, and live in harmony. People must realize that the primary purpose of discernment, instead of being for finding faults with others and attacking others, is to enter into the reality of God’s words, to prevent the deceptions and disruptions of the evildoers, and to prevent people from going astray by following and worshipping others. Only when people have discovered that someone’s behaviors indeed belong to the deceptions and disruptions of the false Christs, antichrists and evildoers should they then discern and dissect such a person, and subsequently reject him. One should always fellowship with his brothers and sisters according to God’s words and the truths regardless of their corruptions being revealed, and he should always provide them with assistance and support. He must never blow things out of proportion, magnify the seriousness of matters, or exaggerate the facts in order to condemn others. All those people in the church who are keen on judging others, slandering others, focusing on the shortcomings of others in order to mercilessly attack them are all demons that disrupt God’s work. God’s chosen people must suppress and oppose such people. Those people who are keen on fixing and disciplining others are certainly not kind-hearted. Kind-hearted people are honest people who love God in their hearts. They have love for their brothers and sisters, they are tolerant and forgiving toward others, and they treat others with fairness. Kind-hearted people are clear regarding who they love and who they hate. They sincerely hate those antichrists, false Christs and evildoers. In their hearts, they like people who pursue the truth and they like honest people. Therefore, people must only discern, analyze, hate, reject, as they do to the great red dragon, all those evildoers who constantly judge God, oppose God, blaspheme God, and have enmity toward God. Only by doing so will people not go down the wrong path and be deceived.
7. The gatherings of God’s chosen people—for eating and drinking God’s words as well as for fellowshiping truths—must not be disturbed or taken over by other matters. Matters relating to the church’s work must be resolved in work meetings. If there are occurrences of disruptions from the false Christs, antichrists or evildoers within the church, leaders and workers of the church should first fellowship and clarify such matters, wait until the substance of the issue has been verified, and then report it to the senior levels and take the necessary measures. When people fellowship truths during gatherings, they can integrate the fellowshiping of their own corruptions into it, and when involving issues that require discernment, they should dissect others without mentioning their names (except for those false Christs, antichrists and evildoers who have been publicly recognized), for people are still not equipped with truths. They must never carelessly label others as “false Christs,” “antichrists” or “evildoers,” to avoid harming good people and blaming the innocent. The true enemies within church life to be attacked are all those false Christs, antichrists and evildoers. If there truly are disturbances from the false Christs, antichrists and evildoers, such incidents must be confirmed through corroborations from the majority of God’s chosen people. At a minimum, there must be joint corroboration from several people who have a fairly good understanding of truths, accompanied with conclusive evidence, before church leaders and workers deliberate and decide on such matters and adopt the necessary measures. The church may only reveal, attack, and finally reject those false Christs, antichrists, the demon-possessed and various evildoers (which refers to those people who dare to judge, blaspheme, and always doubt God and disturb God’s work). The church needs to be careful about issues involving handling people, so several people who have a better understanding of truths should be made to verify and decide on such matters. Regarding those who continue to disrupt church life, they should be dealt with and pruned. Everyone can join together to clamp down on such people, and if they continue to be recalcitrant, then they can be expelled. If someone is being targeted for retaliation due to personal grudges, and is a person who is recognized by most people from the church as a good person that sincerely believes in God, then the people targeting that person are despicable. This is wicked behavior, and God’s chosen people should suppress and expose such actions. Within church life, God’s chosen people should always be vigilant and live within the words of God, not worship or follow other people. They must always magnify Christ, and only submit to Christ. Such is bright road of life.
These seven principles are particularly important for living a good church life. So long as our churches everywhere strictly adhere to these seven principles, a proper church life will naturally be created. Many years of church life have already proven one fact: The creation of a good church life requires the coordination of good leaders and good workers, but it also requires maintenance by God’s chosen people. If the nature of the church leader is wicked, if he only focuses on maintaining his own status and reputation and pays no attention to the life entry of God’s chosen people, then church life will be interrupted and destroyed. A good church leader is able to be considerate of God’s will and focus on the life entry of God’s chosen people. At the same time, he also feels that the duties he is shouldering are weighty and significant, and that he must not do anything that goes against his conscience. Such leaders will pay attention to the results of church life, they will make the life of God’s chosen people their concern, and only when God’s chosen people are enjoying and reaping the benefits from eating and drinking God’s words will they feel that they have fulfilled their duties and find comfort in their heart. They are kind-hearted people with good sense and a conscience. They are worthy of taking on the roles of church leaders, and God’s chosen people should provide them with support and cooperation. If those in leadership roles only care about their own interests, use facades and trickery to protect their status, use various reasons to attack, ostracize, and harm others through any means necessary so that anyone who is on their side thrives while those who oppose them fail, and want everyone to obey them, defend them, and treat them as gods, then they are antichrists in enmity with God, who are trying to construct their own kingdoms. God’s chosen people should expose, attack, and reject them without mercy. Regarding those people who openly judge God’s work, disturb church life, even blaspheme and insult God and slander the man used by the Holy Spirit, God’s chosen people must expose, attack, and reject them. Not only do such actions comfort God’s heart, they also appease the wrath of God’s chosen people. These are righteous actions that fully fit with God’s will. If anyone is loathed by most people in the church, that proves he is an enemy of Christ, and he must be exposed, attacked, and rejected. If someone condemns another person as a false Christ, antichrist or evildoer, such matters must be handled with care. The facts must be verified, and only when they have been corroborated by the majority of God’s chosen people should the accusation be allowed to stand. That is to say, we must base our treatment of all issues on the words of God, and decisions can only be allowed to stand after they have been confirmed by at least several people with good understanding of the truths. If there are only one or two leaders accusing someone of being an antichrist, false Christ or evildoer, God’s chosen people must not blindly follow them to avoid being deceived. God’s chosen people should only listen to and submit to Christ as well as submit to the work arrangements from the above. The most reliable way is to act in accordance with God’s words. When looking at the words and actions of leaders and workers from all levels, one should decide on such things in accordance with God’s words and the work arrangements from the above. Man is not always dependable before he has been made complete by God. If the leaders are people who pursue the truth and are honest and kind-hearted, then God’s chosen people should provide them with support and cooperate with their work. If it is discovered that the leaders are not people who bear witness for God, exalt God, and fear God in their hearts, but instead are cunning, arrogant, self-right, selfish and despicable people who only toil for their own interest, then God’s chosen people must be discerning and guard against them. They must pray to God and submit to God, and they must not follow evildoers. Such actions are entirely appropriate.
Right now, while most church leaders from all levels are suitable for their positions there is certainly a small proportion who we can’t be sure about, because no one knows what path people will choose once they have obtained status. This is something that we must be vigilant about. Because the temptations of status, fame and fortune are too great for people, if they do not sincerely pursue the truth, love truths and fear God, then they are always in danger of stumbling or betraying God. This is a fact that God’s chosen people must be very clear on. In their faith in God, God’s chosen people must trust, follow, submit to, and worship God. If they have been ruled over by other people to the extent that they follow and worship them, then they have been abducted by Satan and have betrayed God. People without a church life are in great danger; if they do not know how to eat and drink God’s words or to pursue the truth, and all they know is to follow and submit to other people, then it is even more dangerous. All those confused people who believe in God yet do not submit to God, who only submit to, worship, and follow people, are in great danger of betraying God and they can be abducted by Satan (evildoers) at any time. In fact, all those who are not equipped with the truths have not truly turned to God or been gained by God; they are still living under Satan’s domain, and they all count among those who have not entered onto the right track in their faith in God. Only those people who have entered church life, learned to eat and drink God’s words, as well as fellowship the truths, are those who have entered onto the right track in their faith in God. Only such people have truly turned to God. After people have understood some truths, are able to truly believe in God and submit to God, only then do they have the certainty to attain salvation. Those who are confused, who think that their submission to a certain leader or a certain person is their submission to God, have not one shred of understanding of the truths. It is very difficult for such confused people to attain God’s salvation. For God’s chosen people, a good church life is absolutely crucial. Only by having a good church life can they easily understand and enter into truths, only then can they attain a true understanding of God and submission to God, only then can they attain salvation and perfection. Therefore, it is extremely important to have a good church life.
December 6, 2008