5. What are the main differences between the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of evil spirits?
Relevant Words of God:
You must understand what comes from God and what comes from Satan. What comes from God gives you visions with ever greater clarity and brings you ever closer to God; you share earnest love with your brothers and sisters, you are capable of showing consideration for God’s burden, and have a God-loving heart that never diminishes. There is a road ahead for you to walk. What comes from Satan causes visions to disappear with you, and causes you to lose all that you had before; you become estranged from God, you have no love for your brothers and sisters, and you have a hateful heart. You become desperate, you no longer wish to live the church life, and your God-loving heart is no more. This is Satan’s work, and is also the consequence to which the work of evil spirits leads.
Excerpted from “Chapter 22” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of the Holy Spirit is positive progress, whereas the work of Satan is retreat, negativity, rebelliousness, resistance against God, loss of faith in God, unwillingness even to sing hymns, and being too weak to perform one’s duty. Everything that stems from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is quite natural; it is not forced upon you. If you follow it, then you will have peace; if you do not, then you will afterward be rebuked. With the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, nothing you do will be interfered with or constrained; you will be set free, there will be a path to practice in your actions, and you will not be subject to any restraints, but be able to act upon the will of God. The work of Satan causes you interference in many things; it makes you unwilling to pray, too lazy to eat and drink the words of God, and indisposed to live the life of the church, and it estranges you from the spiritual life. The work of the Holy Spirit does not interfere with your daily life and does not interfere with your normal spiritual life.
Excerpted from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of the Holy Spirit is a form of proactive guidance and positive enlightenment. It does not allow people to be passive. It brings them solace, gives them faith and resolve, and enables them to pursue being made perfect by God. When the Holy Spirit works, people are able to enter actively; they are not passive or forced, but act at their own initiative. When the Holy Spirit works, people are glad and willing, willing to obey and happy to humble themselves. Even though they are pained and fragile inside, they have the resolve to cooperate; they suffer gladly, they are able to obey, and they are untainted by human will, untainted by the thinking of man, and certainly they are untainted by human desires and motivations. When people experience the work of the Holy Spirit, they are especially holy inside. Those who are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit live out the love of God and the love of their brothers and sisters; they delight in the things that delight God and loathe the things that God loathes. People who are touched by the work of the Holy Spirit have normal humanity, and they constantly pursue the truth and are possessed of humanity. When the Holy Spirit works within people, their condition becomes better and better, and their humanity becomes more and more normal, and though some of their cooperation may be foolish, their motivations are right, their entry is positive, they do not try to cause disruption, and there is no malevolence within them. The work of the Holy Spirit is normal and real, the Holy Spirit works in man according to the rules of the normal life of man, and He carries out enlightenment and guidance within people according to the actual pursuit of normal people. When the Holy Spirit works in people, He guides and enlightens them according to the needs of normal people. He provides for them according to their needs, and He positively guides and enlightens them according to what they lack, and according to their deficiencies. The Holy Spirit’s work is to enlighten and guide people in real life; only if they experience God’s words in their actual lives are they able to see the work of the Holy Spirit. If, in their everyday lives, people are in a positive state and have a normal spiritual life, then they are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit. In such a state, when they eat and drink the words of God, they have faith; when they pray, they are inspired; when they come up against something, they are not passive; and as things happen, they are able to see the lessons within those things that God requires them to learn. They are not passive or weak, and although they have real difficulties, they are willing to obey all the arrangements of God.
What is the work that comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions within people are vague; people are without normal humanity, the motivations behind their actions are wrong, and although they wish to love God there are always accusations within them, and these accusations and thoughts cause constant interference within them, constraining the growth of their life and stopping them from coming before God in the normal condition. This is to say, as soon as the work of Satan is within people, their hearts cannot be at peace before God. Such people do not know what to do with themselves—when they see people gathering together, they want to run away, and they are unable to close their eyes when others pray. The work of evil spirits wrecks the normal relationship between man and God, and upsets people’s previous visions or their former path of life entry; in their hearts they can never draw close to God, and things always happen that cause disruption to them and shackle them. Their hearts cannot find peace and they are left with no strength to love God and with their spirits sinking. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The manifestations of the work of Satan are: being unable to stand your ground and stand witness, causing you to become someone who is at fault before God and who has no faithfulness toward God. When Satan interferes, you lose the love and loyalty toward God within you, you are stripped of a normal relationship with God, you do not pursue the truth or the improvement of yourself; you regress and become passive, you indulge yourself, you give free rein to the spread of sin and are not hateful of sin; furthermore, the interference of Satan makes you dissolute; it causes God’s touch to disappear within you and makes you complain about God and oppose Him, leading you to question God; there is even the risk that you will abandon God. All of this comes from Satan.
Excerpted from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some people say that the Holy Spirit is working in them at all times. This is impossible. If they were to say that the Holy Spirit is always with them, that would be realistic. If they were to say that their thinking and sense are normal at all times, that would also be realistic, and would show that the Holy Spirit is with them. If they say the Holy Spirit is always working within them, that they are enlightened by God and touched by the Holy Spirit at every moment, and gain new knowledge all the time, then this is by no means normal! It is entirely supernatural! Without a shadow of a doubt, such people are evil spirits! Even when the Spirit of God comes into the flesh, there are times when He must eat and must rest—to say nothing of humans. Those who have been possessed by evil spirits seem to be without the weakness of the flesh. They are able to forsake and give up everything, they are free of the emotion, capable of enduring torment and do not feel the slightest fatigue, as if they have transcended the flesh. Is this not extremely supernatural? The work of evil spirits is supernatural—no human could achieve such things! Those who lack discernment are envious when they see such people: They say they have such vigor in their belief in God, have great faith, and never show the slightest sign of weakness! In fact, these are all manifestations of the work of an evil spirit. For, normal people inevitably have human weaknesses; this is the normal state of those who have the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Excerpted from “Practice (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God works in a gentle, delicate, loving and caring way, a way that is extraordinarily measured and proper. His way does not provoke in you intense emotional reactions such as: “God must let me do this” or “God must let me do that.” God never gives you that kind of mental or emotional intensity that makes things unbearable. Is that not so? Even when you accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement, how do you feel then? When you sense the authority and power of God, how do you feel then? Do you feel that God is divine and inviolable? (Yes.) Do you feel distance between yourself and God at these times? Do you feel the fear of God? No—rather, you feel fearful reverence toward God. Is it not because of God’s work that people feel all of these things? Would they have these feelings if it were Satan who was at work? (No.) God uses His words, His truth and His life to continuously provide for man, to support man. When man is weak, when man is feeling dispirited, God certainly does not speak harshly, saying: “Do not feel dispirited. What is there to be dispirited about? Why are you weak? What reason is there to be weak? You are always so weak, and you are always so negative! What is the use of you being alive? Just die and have done with it!” Does God work in this way? (No.) Does God have the authority to act in this way? (Yes.) Yet God does not act in this way. The reason why God does not act in this way is because of His essence, the essence of the holiness of God. …
… As regards Satan’s work on man, I have two phrases that can amply describe the malicious and evil nature of Satan, that can truly allow you to know the hatefulness of Satan: In Satan’s approach to man, it always wants to forcefully occupy and possess man, each and every one, to the extent that it can gain complete control of man and harm man grievously, so that it can achieve its objective and fulfill its wild ambition. What does “forcefully occupy” mean? Is it something that happens with your consent, or without your consent? Does it happen with your knowing, or without your knowing? The answer is that it happens completely without your knowing! It happens in situations where you are unaware, perhaps without it even saying or doing anything to you, with no premise, no context—there Satan is, circling around you, surrounding you. It looks for an opportunity to exploit and then it forcefully occupies you, possesses you, achieving its objective of gaining complete control of you and of inflicting harm upon you. This is a most typical intention and behavior of Satan as it struggles to wrest mankind away from God.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh