2. What a false leader or false shepherd is and how they can be identified

Relevant Words of God:

The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and grant them greater entry into the truth. His work can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people liberation and freedom, and the capacity gradually to grow in life and to have a more profound entry into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short. His work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules, and what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to people’s actual needs. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality, nor into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to adhere to a few worthless rules. Such guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become like him; he can bring you into what he has and is. For followers to discern whether leaders are qualified, the key is to look at the path on which they lead and the results of their work, and to see whether followers receive principles in accordance with the truth, and whether they receive ways of practice suitable for their transformation. You should distinguish between the different work of different types of people; you should not be a foolish follower. This bears on the matter of people’s entry. If you are unable to distinguish which person’s leadership has a path and which does not, you will easily be deceived. All of this has a direct bearing on your own life.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work

Work in the mind of man is too easy for man to achieve. Pastors and leaders in the religious world, for example, rely on their gifts and positions to do their work. People who follow them for a long time will be infected by their gifts and influenced by some of their being. They focus on people’s gifts, abilities and knowledge, and they pay attention to supernatural things and many profound, unrealistic doctrines (of course, these profound doctrines are unattainable). They do not focus on changes in people’s dispositions, but rather on training people to preach and work, improving people’s knowledge and their abundant religious doctrines. They do not focus on how much people’s disposition is changed nor on how much people understand of the truth. They do not concern themselves with people’s essence, and much less do they try to know people’s normal and abnormal states. They do not counter people’s notions, nor do they reveal their notions, much less do they prune people for their deficiencies or corruptions. Most who follow them serve with their gifts, and all they release is religious notions and theological theories, which are out of touch with reality and completely unable to confer life onto people. In fact, the essence of their work is nurturing talent, nurturing a person with nothing into a talented seminary graduate who later goes on to work and lead.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work

As leaders and workers in the church, if you want to lead God’s chosen people into truth reality and to serve as God’s witnesses, most importantly, you must have a deeper understanding of God’s aim in saving people and the purpose of His work. You must understand the will of God and His various requirements of people. You must be practical in your efforts; practice only as much as you understand and communicate only on that which you know. Do not boast, do not exaggerate, and do not make irresponsible remarks. If you exaggerate, people will detest you and you will feel reproached afterward; this is just too inappropriate. When you provide the truth to others, you don’t necessarily have to deal with them and scold them in order for them to attain the truth. If you yourself don’t have the truth and only deal with and scold others, they will fear you, but that doesn’t mean they understand the truth. In some administrative work, it’s fine for you to deal with and prune others and discipline them to a certain degree. But if you cannot provide the truth and know only how to be overbearing and to chide others, your corruption and ugliness will be revealed. With the passage of time, as people are unable to obtain the provision of life or practical things from you, they will come to detest you and feel disgusted by you. Those who lack discernment will learn negative things from you; they will learn to deal with and prune others, to get angry, and to lose their temper. Isn’t that tantamount to leading others onto the path of Paul, onto a path toward perdition? Is that not an evildoing? Your work should focus on communicating the truth and providing life to others. If all you do is blindly deal with and lecture others, how will they ever understand the truth? As time goes by, people will see you for who you really are, and they will abandon you. How can you expect to bring others before God in this way? How is this doing the work? You will lose everyone if you keep working in this way. What work do you hope to accomplish anyway? Some leaders are incapable of communicating the truth to resolve problems. Instead, they just blindly deal with others and flaunt their power so that others come to fear them and obey them—such people are of the false leaders and antichrists. Those whose disposition has not changed are incapable of performing church work, and are unable to serve God.

—“Only Those With Truth Reality Can Lead” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Many people behind My back covet the benefits of status, they gorge themselves on food, they love to sleep and give every care to the flesh, always afraid that there is no way out for the flesh. They do not perform their proper function in the church, but freeload off the church, or else they admonish their brothers and sisters with My words, lording themselves over others from positions of authority. These people keep saying they are doing God’s will and always say they are God’s intimates—is this not absurd? If you have the right intentions, but are unable to serve in accordance with God’s will, then you are being foolish; but if your intentions are not right, and you still say you serve God, then you are someone who opposes God, and you ought to be punished by God! I have no sympathy for such people! In the house of God, they freeload, always coveting the comforts of the flesh, and give no consideration to the interests of God. They always seek what is good for them, and they pay no heed to God’s will. They do not accept the scrutiny of God’s Spirit in anything they do. They are always maneuvering and deceiving their brothers and sisters, and being two-faced, like a fox in a vineyard, always stealing grapes and trampling over the vineyard. Could such people be God’s intimates? Are you fit to receive God’s blessings? You take no burden for your life and the church, are you fit to receive God’s commission? Who would dare trust someone like you? When you serve like this, could God dare to entrust you with a greater task? Would this not cause delays to the work?

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will

If one serving as a leader is possessed of the ability to understand God’s words and the caliber to understand the truth, then not only can they themselves understand God’s words and enter the reality of His words, but they are also able to advise, guide, and assist those they lead in understanding God’s words and entering the reality of God’s words. Such caliber, however, is the very thing that false leaders lack. They do not understand the words of God, and they do not know which states God’s words are referring to, which states they expose as those in which people reveal their corrupt dispositions, or those in which there is born opposition to God and grievances against God, or the motivations of man, and so on. They are incapable of measuring things against God’s words, and merely comprehend a few words, rules, and catchphrases at the superficial level of His words. When fellowshiping with others, they memorize a passage of God’s words and then explain their superficial meaning. False leaders’ understanding, knowledge, and acceptance of God’s words is limited to this alone. They lack the ability to understand God’s words. They merely understand the wording and depth of meaning that is universally evident at the literal level of these words—and think they have understood and comprehended His words as a result. So, too, do they use the literal meaning of God’s words to admonish and “help” others in daily life, believing that in this, they are doing their work, that they are guiding people in eating and drinking God’s words and entering the reality of God’s words. False leaders often fellowship God’s words to others and impart God’s words to them in various ways, telling them to eat and drink this passage of God’s words when they encounter some issue, and that passage of God’s words when they encounter another issue. When misunderstandings about God occur in people, they say, “Look, God’s words are perfectly clear and understandable about this. How could you still misunderstand God? Do God’s words not ask that we abide by such-and-such, and do they not ask that we abide by so-and-so?” Thus do they teach people how to understand and enter into God’s words. Under their guidance, many people become capable of reciting God’s words and able to recall certain of God’s words when they encounter an issue. But no matter how much they read and recite, they remain ignorant of what God’s words are referring to. When they are genuinely beset by adversity, or have certain doubts, the words of God they know and remember cannot solve their difficulties. This illustrates a problem: The words of God they understand are mere doctrine, nothing but a certain kind of rules; they are not reality, and they are not the truth. Thus, false leaders’ guidance of people in eating and drinking God’s words and entering the reality of God’s words is limited to teaching them the literal meaning of His words; it is incapable of allowing them to achieve enlightenment from His words and cannot let them know which corrupt dispositions are within them. The disposition and essence that are revealed in people each time something happens to them, and how they can be solved using God’s words, and what people’s states are each time such things happen to them, and how such states can be solved, and what God’s words have to say about this, what His words require, what the principles are, and what the truth is therein—they understand none of this. All they do is exhort people: “Eat and drink more of God’s words. God’s words contain the truth, and if you listen to His words more, over time you will understand the truth. The key parts of God’s words are the very ones you don’t understand, so you should pray more, search more, listen more, and contemplate more.” False leaders go on and on with such exhortations. Each time a problem of a certain kind arises, they say the same thing, and afterward, people still do not recognize the essence of the problem and still do not know how to practice God’s words; they merely abide by the literal rules and meaning of His words, but when it comes to the truth principles of practicing God’s words and the reality the truth demands, they do not understand.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

False leaders can never grasp the essence of the various states and manifestations displayed in different kinds of people in different situations, nor can they ever solve the problems that result from this. Because they do not understand the truth, they misidentify people and go rogue, seeing those who are momentarily weak or occasionally negative as traitors, as disingenuous performers of their duty, and as nonbelievers; those nonbelievers who are superficially gifted, who are capable of a little, simple work and able to make a little effort, meanwhile, are the ones to whom they give great support and try to keep in the church. Is this not going rogue? And how does it happen that false leaders go rogue? They lack the power to comprehend God’s words and do not understand the truth, so when various things befall them, they apply that little, supremely shallow bit of the truth that they understand, and as they keep trying to apply it, all they end up doing is causing disruption and disturbance. Many times, they not only do not solve people’s difficulties in entering life, but also fail to lift people from weakness to strength, instead causing some who have possessed of true faith and conviction to expend for God to become weak and misconstrue Him, while those nonbelievers who have no wish to perform their duty in the house of God misunderstand the house of God to be taking advantage of them, and forcing them to be of service, as if there were no one of talent in the house of God and it were impossible to find anyone suitable. Such is the side effect of false leaders’ work. How does all this come about? It comes about because they cannot comprehend the truth and are capable only of remembering staid words and phrases. They themselves have no true experience, knowledge, or appreciation of the truth, and ultimately, when they encounter a problem, they are merely able to parrot a few words: “Love God, be honest, obey and submit when something happens to you, be good in performing your duty; you must have loyalty, you must relinquish the flesh, you must expend of yourself for God!” They use such empty catchphrases to enrich their own lives—hoping, too, to influence others. But what effect does this have? Nothing is changed. Thus, false leaders cannot succeed when it comes to solving people’s difficulties in entering life. They cannot solve the myriad problems that people encounter.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

False leaders often say things that seem correct on the surface, in order to confuse and mislead people, which in turn has a negative impact on those people’s life entry. This also leads to some consequences that should never occur. False leaders’ so-called spiritual sayings and turns of phrase may be called heresies and fallacies. It does not superficially sound like there is anything wrong with them, but they actually serve as obstacles, disruptions, and confusion in people’s life entry and on the path they walk. They even cause some people to develop misunderstandings toward God and to form doubts and resistance toward God’s words. These are the effects that false leaders’ words have on people. False leaders use such heresies and fallacies to guide others, so that at the very time these people are following God, they are constantly giving rise to notions, defenses, and doubts about Him. So, under the false leaders’ confusion and influence, a new religion takes hold. This sort of new religion is just like the Christianity of 2,000 years ago, which only upholds human words and human teachings, such as the teachings of Paul or some other disciple, without adhering to God’s own way. What false leaders do is misleading, and they stand in the way of people taking the normal and proper path of pursuing the truth. They wrest people off the right track of pursuing the truth and onto a pseudo-spiritual path; they bring them into faith in the religious mode. When people are confused, led, and guided by false leaders, they constantly come up with theories, sayings, actions, or perspectives that have nothing to do with the truth, though they appear totally correct. These things are utterly at odds with and utterly unrelated to the truth. But under the guidance of false leaders, everyone takes these things as the truth and they all mistakenly believe that they really are the truth. They think that as long as someone speaks well and has belief in their heart and professes faith with their mouth, that person has gained the truth. Misled by these thoughts and views, people not only become unable to enter into the truth reality, or to enter into God’s words, or to put them into practice, or to live within His words, but instead end up growing ever further from God’s words. They seem to be doing everything in accordance with God’s words, but these so-called words of God bear no relation whatsoever to God’s requirements and His will. They have nothing to do with the truth principles. What, then, do they have to do with? The teachings of false leaders, the intentions of false leaders, and those false leaders’ own personal desires and understandings. Their way of leading brings more people into religious rituals and rigid rules, into the mere letter of doctrine, toward knowledge and philosophy. Although, in contrast with antichrists, false leaders do not bring others before themselves or before Satan, people’s hearts become taken over by these heresies and fallacies all the same. When people, consumed by these heresies and fallacies, mistakenly believe that they have already gained life, they become dyed-in-the-wool, unmitigated enemies to the truth, to God’s words, and to what God demands.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

False leaders never fellowship the truth principles, nor do they ever seek the truth principles; they do not understand and yet they pretend to understand, do not comprehend yet pretend to comprehend. They are manifestly incapable of performing the work of leadership, they do not grasp spiritual matters, they only superficially understand the truth, and they are incapable of attaining the heights at which the truth principles can be understood—and yet still they pretend to understand, they pretend to comprehend. Often when they work, they either lead blindly or simply follow rules; they outwardly appear to be busy, yet their work has no effect worth speaking of. Because these false leaders do not understand the truth principles, and often just follow rules and rely on notions and imagination, this leads to unsatisfactory progress and no significant results in the various work projects for which they are responsible; most of the people under their leadership do not understand the will of God or the truth principles that the work is supposed to follow. The only thing that most of those under their leadership understand is, “We must be mindful of God’s will,” “We must be faithful in the performance of our duty,” “We must know how to pray when something happens to us,” “We must seek the truth principles when something happens to us.” People often shout these mantras and doctrines, yet they have not the slightest understanding of the truth principles. Many people pray when confronted with some incident, and try to be faithful in performing their duty—but what must they do in order to actually be faithful? How must they pray in order to actually understand God’s will? When they encounter an issue, how must they search in order to achieve understanding of the truth principles? When faced with such questions, they have no answer. They ask the leader, and the leader says, “When something happens to you, spend more time reading the words of God, pray more, fellowship more, and use the internet for research.” They say, “So, what is the principle in this?” “Look it up online and you’ll find out. God’s words say nothing of matters of professional work, and I don’t understand them, either. If you wish to understand, look it up online—don’t ask me. I lead you in understanding the truth, not in matters of professional work.” Such are the evasive words used by false leaders. And what is the result? Though most people have a burning passion to perform their duty, they do not know how to act within principle, and they do not know how to perform their duty properly within principle. Thus, to judge by the results of the various work projects undertaken by false leaders, most people rely on expertise, academic knowledge, and previously learned skills in conducting their work; these people do not know what God’s specific requirements are, what they must do to achieve testimony to God, what they must do to facilitate the work of testifying to God, how to attract the attention of more people, how to attract greater interest, what they must do to make each item of professional work more exceptional, more exemplary, more meticulous, so that it may inspire admiration and not bring shame upon God. Why is this so? The answer is directly related to the work of false leaders; the direct reason is that the false leaders themselves do not know what the truth principles are, they do not know what the principles that people should understand and follow are. They themselves are ignorant of such things, nor have they ever led people in searching among God’s words or directly sought from the Above. This often leads to situations in which various items of work need to be redone. This not only wastes financial and material resources, but also squanders a huge amount of human energy and time. This kind of situation and the effect produced by such work is directly related to the work of false leaders; it has a direct relationship with the way false leaders work and with their leadership. Although it cannot be claimed that false leaders run amuck, it is fair to say that in many cases, the work they do runs counter to the principles and standards required by God. It is even the case that because they do not understand the truth principles and are incapable of clearly fellowshiping the truth principles to others, but rather adopt a laissez-faire approach, giving people a free hand to do as they will, this imperceptibly leads to many people, when performing a duty related to professional work, not being able to complete work according to established standards. It has also led to various people doing whatever they want, doing whatever they are good at, and thinking that they may do things however they see fit. Such is the situation and the state that arises in the work, yet there is nothing the false leaders can do about it. On one hand they are powerless, and on the other, as a result of these false leaders’ ignorance, impotence, lack of spiritual understanding, and false spirituality, they mislead people into thinking that it is right to act in this way, that they need only passion, that in the house of God, anyone can use their strengths in any way they wish as long as the aim is to testify to God and perform their duty. Such is the attitude and approach of false leaders regarding the truth principles that must be understood for various duties, and such is the way they work.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

False leaders never inform themselves about or keep track of the actual situation of group supervisors, nor do they inform themselves about, keep track of, or attempt to grasp the situation regarding life entry, as well as the attitude toward work and duty and the various attitudes toward God and belief in God, of group supervisors and personnel responsible for important work; false leaders do not inform themselves about their transformations, their progress, or the various issues that emerge during their work, particularly the various situations that arise and influence, interrupt, and impair their work at each time period and stage of the work. If they are unable to understand such things, then they cannot promptly solve them—and if they cannot solve them promptly, then they will be unable to promptly remedy the negative influence and damage that supervisors have inflicted upon the work. Thus, in this regard, the false leaders have not fulfilled their responsibility. Not fulfilling their responsibilities is dereliction of duty; they are not carrying out their role of supervising others, of learning more about them, fully grasping their situation and monitoring them. God has the power to look into man’s heart; man does not. Thus, man must work harder, he must not be lazy, and he must complete work promptly. Evidently, the false leader’s failure to fulfill their responsibility when performing this work is a grievous dereliction of duty, and one which has led to certain supervisors exhibiting various problems and remaining in their positions despite being incompetent, ultimately leading to repeated delays in the work, as well as all manner of issues persisting and remaining unresolved. These are the problems that result from false leaders not informing themselves about and keeping track of supervisors. There are issues of whether supervisors may be committing negligence, and whether or not they are doing practical work. With regard to these issues, because false leaders do not carry out inspections, do not often keep themselves informed of what is happening under them, and do not have an up-to-date grasp of the situation, they have no clue as to just how well the supervisors are working, what progress they are making, and whether they are doing practical work or just shouting mantras and using certain superficial phenomena to perfunctorily handle the Above. When asked about the work of a certain supervisor and what work specifically they are engaged with, they reply, “I don’t know—in any case, they’ve never mentioned anything else when I talk about work with them.” This is the extent of the false leaders’ knowledge; they mistakenly believe that if the supervisor has not shirked their responsibilities and is constantly on call, then this is a practical demonstration of the fact that nothing about them is problematic. This is how false leaders work; is it an indication of falseness? Are they or are they not failing to fulfill their responsibility? This is a grievous dereliction of duty.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

The chief characteristic of the work of false leaders is that, after shouting out their slogans, after issuing their orders, they simply wash their hands of the matter. They ask no questions about the project’s subsequent development; they do not ask whether any problems, abnormalities, or difficulties have arisen. They consider it finished as soon as they hand it over. In fact, keeping track of a project’s progress is something that leaders can do. Even if you are a total novice in these matters—even if you lack any knowledge of it—you can carry out such work; find someone who is knowledgeable, who understands the work in question, to check the situation and give suggestions. From their suggestions you can identify the appropriate principles, and thus you will be able to keep track of the work. Whether or not you have any familiarity with, or understanding of, the type of work in question, at the very least you must preside over it, keep track of it, make enquiries and ask questions to inform yourself about its progress. You must maintain a grasp of such matters; this is your responsibility, the part you must play. Not keeping track of the work—washing your hands of it—are the actions of false leaders. Not taking specific action to keep track of specific items of work—having no understanding and no grasp of the specific progress of these specific items of work—is also the manifestation of a false leader.

Because false leaders do not understand the status of the work’s progress, this often leads to repeated delays. In certain work, because people have no grasp of the principles and, moreover, there is no one suitable to preside over it, those who are carrying out the work frequently reside in a state of negativity, passivity, and waiting, which severely affects the progress of the work. If, in the first place, the leader had fulfilled their responsibilities—if they had taken charge, pushed the work forward, hurried them along, and found someone who understands the type of work involved to give guidance, then the work would have progressed more quickly rather than suffer repeated delays. For leaders, then, it is vital to understand and grasp the actual situation of the work. It is, of course, highly necessary for leaders to understand and grasp how work is progressing—for progress relates to the efficiency of the work and the results that this work is intended to achieve. If a leader lacks even a grasp of how the work is progressing, then it can be said that, most of the time, the work will develop slowly and passively. Most people who are engaged in performing their duty will work slowly and passively without the presence of someone who has a sense of burden and some ability in that type of work, someone to urge them on, to provide supervision and guidance. This is also the case when there is no criticism, discipline, pruning or being dealt with. It is of the utmost importance that leaders and workers maintain an up-to-date grasp and understanding of their work’s progress, for people are indolent, and without guidance, urging, and following-up by leaders, without leaders who possess an up-to-date understanding of the work’s progress, people are liable to slack off, to be lazy, to be perfunctory—if this is their approach to their work, progress and effectiveness will be severely impacted. Given these circumstances, leaders and workers should promptly keep track of every item of work and stay informed about the situation regarding staff and the work. False leaders, of course, are careless and indifferent in this work; they are incapable of taking responsibility. And so, whether in terms of the present status or progress of work, false leaders always “admire the flowers from the back of a galloping horse”; they are careless and indifferent, as well as perfunctory; they speak high-sounding and empty words, preach doctrine, and go through the motions. In general, this is the way false leaders work. To compare them with antichrists, although they do nothing overtly evil and are not deliberately maleficent, does not their attitude toward work eclipse even evil? Though their work cannot be defined as evil in nature, it is fair to say that from the perspective of effectiveness, its nature is carelessness and perfunctoriness, a lack of any sense of burden; they have no loyalty to their work.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

In terms of the current situation and progress of their work, false leaders never go to the place of work to inform themselves and keep track of the actual situation on the ground or attempt to properly grasp specific details, in order that they might immediately identify and solve issues and rectify oversights and abnormalities that might have arisen in the work. The only thing they do with regards to the actual content of the work is to shout slogans and go through the motions. In all projects, their fellowship about the work is nowhere to be seen in the workplace. They are never seen trying to solve specific problems or showing ability to identify specific issues or abnormalities in the work, much less promptly addressing, rectifying, or remedying issues, abnormalities, and oversights that might have occurred in the work. Such are the various types of issues that occur in the work of false leaders. Though false leaders do not deliberately meddle or disrupt, though they do not try to create their own kingdom, though they do not overtly act like dictators or exhibit certain actions or behaviors associated with antichrists, and though they cannot be classed as antichrists, nonetheless, false leaders’ humanity and various actions bring a great deal of trouble and obstruction to their work, impacting progress, efficiency, and effectiveness. Never-ending problems are a constant feature in the work of false leaders, problems which are never solved. No matter what type of work they are engaged in, the false leaders’ role is nothing more than to perform a show, shout slogans and preach doctrine; they are like the public announcement loudspeakers in the villages of China, broadcasting to the masses, but nothing more. This is the only kind of work they can do. These false leaders are entirely ignorant about what their subordinates are doing, how well they are doing it and many other such questions relating to specific details. They have no desire to find out, to take part in these things, to deeply involve themselves among the grassroots people, to dig deep into what is actually happening on the ground, in order to find out more and grasp the specific progress and specific developments of each piece of work. And so, although people in the category of false leaders do not try to establish their own kingdom or deliberately meddle and interrupt during their time as leader, nonetheless from an objective perspective, they cause delays to the work and its progress; they are unable to perform the role that a leader should, they are not capable of loyalty or responsibility, nor are they able to bring guidance and urge to the work they are supposed to be responsible for in order that the work proceed smoothly at every stage. Is it then fair to say that those in the category of false leaders have no loyalty or sense of burden? Regardless of whether they deliberately shirk their work or are genuinely incapable of doing it, when all is said and done they negatively impact the work of the house of God; they cause delays and prevent it from getting on track, they prevent solutions for the problems that occur during the work and they become an obstacle to the smooth development of the work. So, too, the people involved in the work do not understand the truth principles; this, too, is a problem that is not solved during the period of work for which the false leader is responsible.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

Whilst carrying out various items of work, there are actually many issues, abnormalities, and oversights that false leaders must solve, rectify, and remedy—but, because they have no sense of burden, because they can only play the part of a government official and do not do real work, as a result they cause a disastrous mess, such that some groups even lose unity, and the group members undermine each other, become suspicious and wary of each other, and even become wary of the house of God. When false leaders are faced with this situation, they do not carry out any specific work. Their work remains in a state of paralysis, and it does not in the slightest pain the false leaders that their work is mired in a state of semi-dissolution; they cannot rouse themselves to do any actual work, and instead wait for the Above to send down orders telling them what to do and what not to do, as if their work is only done for the Above—and if the Above conveys no specific requirements, gives no specific orders or instructions, then they do nothing, even when they see something that needs to be done. Or, if the Above provides only principles, then they have an even better excuse not to act. What are false leaders? In summary, they do no specific work, they do not partake in specific work, they are incapable of identifying or solving specific problems, they are unable to give the correct guidance, assistance, and provision for specific work in order to establish standards for the direction and principles of the work, and much less are they able to proactively make specific demands and propose specific plans for the implementation of specific work; All they do is attend gatherings, shout slogans, and wander aimlessly; they do not perform, and nor are they capable of performing, the work commissioned of them by the house of God and the responsibilities that they are supposed to fulfill. This is a false leader.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

Within the ambit of the work for which false leaders are responsible, a few people who truly pursue the truth and are fit for promotion and cultivation are frequently stifled. Some of these people spread the gospel, and some of them are arranged to cook. In truth, they are capable of doing work, though they may not show it—yet a false leader is blind to this, and neither engages with nor makes inquiries of those people. Meanwhile, those people with a bit of special talent, flatterers, those who like to appear in public, smooth talkers, and those who wish for office and status are brought up through the ranks, to the extent that those who served in society as village chiefs and secretaries, and those who were corporate executives, and those who studied business management are all given positions of importance. It matters not whether these people are true believers or whether they pursue the truth—wherever false leaders are responsible for the work, they are promoted and given positions of prominence. Is this not just the same as in society? Under the tenure of false leaders, those hard workers who can truly endure suffering, who have a sense of righteousness, who love positive things, and who should, in truth, be promoted and cultivated, yet are not—they hardly have a chance to train, while those of poor caliber and evil humanity, who are eager to take action, love to show off and have no real talent whatsoever, occupy important jobs and supervisory positions in the house of God. This leads to much of the work of God’s house being delayed and unable to progress smoothly and with the efficiency that God’s house requires, and to its not being done according to the principles, and to a failure in the implementation of the requirements of God’s house. This is the consequence and the impact brought about by false leaders’ improper employment of people.

False leaders are poor of caliber, blind of eye and heart, and they do not understand the truth principles, which itself is a very grave problem. They have another, more serious problem still, which is that when they have understood and mastered a few letters and words of doctrine and can shout out a few slogans, they think they understand the truth reality. Whatever work they do and whomever they choose to employ, they do not seek and do not deliberate, and they do not fellowship with others, and less still do they look in detail at the work arrangements and the principles of God’s house. They are quite confident, believing that whatever they think is what should be done and that whatever they believe is accurate, that it is all in accord with the principles. They also mistakenly believe that having worked for many years, they have sufficient experience serving as a leader in God’s house, that they know how the work of God’s house operates and develops, and that all this is within their hearts. They measure the work of God’s house and do the work of God’s house by means of their experience and their own notions and imaginings, which causes the work of God’s house during their tenure to be a mess, in chaos, and without order. If, within a group, there are a few competent people, people who can suffer and pay a price and perform their duties with loyalty, then the work they do may continue to be carried out well, but this has nothing at all to do with the false leader. And where there are no such people, a false leader cannot be of the least use in the work being done. For one thing, a false leader will not pick the right people for the work, those who would see to it that the work picks up and makes progress and improves; for another thing, where there is a weak link in the work, they do not positively and proactively participate or provide coaching in its specifics. Say, for instance, that, for some batch of work, several people doing that work are new believers without much of a foundation, who do not understand the truth well, are not very familiar with the task, and have not quite grasped the principles of the work. A false leader, being blind, cannot see these problems. They believe that as long as someone is doing the work, it does not matter whether it is done well or badly. They do not know that all weak links in the work should be inquired after, observed often, supported often, and may even call for their personal supervision and participation, their personal counsel regarding the work, and their constant support, until those people have understood the truth and embarked on the proper track. Only with suitable supervisors can they cease to fret. Yet false leaders do not work in this way. They do not see that it is their work to do this, so, in the scope of their work, they treat all work and all people identically. They do not go more often to places where there are weak links in the work or where no one suitable is in charge, nor do they provide counsel or participate personally in the specific tasks to be done; and, where someone suitable and capable of undertaking the work is supervising, they do not go and investigate or provide guidance in the work, nor do they participate personally in the details of the work, and they certainly do not try to emulate the strengths of the supervisor there. In brief, false leaders do not do the specifics of the work. They believe that no matter the work, as long as the personnel are in place and the supervisor has been chosen, then everything is just dandy. They believe there is nothing more for them to do there and that it has nothing more to do with them, that all they have to do is convene a congregation every so often and make a phone call if an issue arises. Even as false leaders work in this way, they think they are doing a good job and are quite pleased with themselves, thinking, “There are no problems with any of the work programs. The personnel are all neatly arranged, and the supervisors are in place. How’d I come to be so good at this work, so talented?” Is this not shameless? They are so blind of eye and heart that they cannot see any tasks to be done and cannot find any problems. In some places, the work has ground to a halt, yet there they are, contented, thinking that the brothers and sisters of that place are all young and fresh-blooded, that they will perform their duties with fiery verve and that they will certainly be able to do the work well, when, in fact, those young people understand nothing and cannot do anything. There are those who know a bit about some task, but nothing they do turns out as it should. None of what they do is principled, and it all requires correction and ceaseless reworking. There are such gaping flaws in the work; and there are so many things these personnel do not understand; and there are so many principles that need to be fellowshiped to them, so many matters in which they need guidance, so many problems that need to be resolved … and a false leader cannot see anything or find any problems, yet think themselves just fine. Where, then, are their thoughts all day? They are thinking how, as an office-holder, they might enjoy the felicities of status. A false leader is a heartless thing.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

When leaders and workers are presiding over work, they must promptly identify and solve problems that arise during this work, they must fellowship, discuss, and debate the problems that occur during work. When repeated fellowship, discussion, and debate about these problems fails to produce any results, or when no one can say with clarity what the right course of action is, instead making things less clear, then at such times leaders and workers should assume their responsibilities and promptly suggest a solution and approach for solving the problem, and should also promptly observe, inform themselves about, and appraise how things are developing. After identifying an issue that cannot fruitfully be debated and which cannot be brought to any conclusion, they should waste no time in reporting it to, and consulting the Above; they should not wait or make an unprincipled attempt to settle the issue, much less put it off or ignore it. Is this how your current leaders and workers work? They should promptly follow up, monitor, and spur the work along, while identifying all manner of contradictions and minor problems. When they discover major problems, leaders and workers should be there on the ground, with an accurate understanding and detailed grasp of the whole story, how it developed, the various types of people involved, and the views held by different types of people about the problem; so, too, must they take part in fellowshiping and discussing, and even debating, these problems—they must take part; taking part is very important. Taking part helps you assess and solve the problems that arise in work. If you only listen and do not take part, if you always watch from the sidelines, if you are always just an outside observer, and feel that none of the problems that arise during work have anything to do with you, and you have no view or attitude toward them, then you are clearly a false leader.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

The type of false leaders who are pseudo-spiritual believe that working means preaching words and doctrine, repeating mantras, going through the motions, preaching phrases from the words of God; they don’t know how to actually do work, or what the duties of leaders and workers truly are, nor why the house of God chooses an individual to be a leader or worker, what problem it is meant to solve. Thus, no matter how you fellowship about how they should dive into their work, stay on top of it, identify problems within it, and so on, they don’t take any of it in, nor do they understand any of what they hear. They are incapable of practicing what the house of God asks of leaders and workers, and they will never achieve it. They fail to identify all manner of work-related problems—personnel issues, questions of principle, technological or professional issues. And so, under the leadership of such pseudo-spiritual people, there is a constant stream of personnel issues and other work problems; technological or professional issues, too, keep on coming, keep on piling up, and the more they pile up, the more problems arise. Within the scope of these false leaders’ responsibilities, personnel and work matters become ever more chaotic, and work performance and efficiency decline further and further. As far as managing people goes, those who are somewhat skilled and are smooth talkers are allowed to take charge—they get their own way, and they are able to control the work, and control people. The wicked are not curbed, held in check, or purged, and some who perform their duty faithfully are so disturbed that they become negative and weak, unwilling to perform their duty or eat and drink the words of God. They lose faith in their duty, lose faith in God, and lose faith in pursuing the truth. Those who possess certain skills, who are technologically proficient, are not properly put to use. The lines are blurred between who is a good person and who is a bad person, who possesses caliber and who does not, who should be cultivated and who should not—there is just total chaos. However, pseudo-spiritual false leaders are utterly blind to this; they cannot see it. When it comes to personnel issues, no matter what the house of God fellowships and stresses regarding the principles to be followed about who to purge, who to expel, who to rein in, and who to promote, pseudo-spiritual leaders do not comprehend, do not understand what they hear. They unquestioningly stick to their own pseudo-spiritual viewpoints. These false leaders think that with their own explanations and tutelage, each person has a role to play; there is no disorder, everyone is doing well, they all have faith, and are all willing to perform their duty. They believe that no one fears either prison or danger, because all have the fortitude to suffer, and none are willing to be a Judas. These leaders think that everything is going wonderfully. No matter what grievous problems may arise or what evil people may appear, no matter how glaring the problem is, they do not see it. Even if they do, they don’t know it is a problem, and even if they do know it is a problem, they do not know how to solve it. Likewise, pseudo-spiritual leaders are even more blind to those myriad problems that crop up during work that are at odds with the principles. They say, “I have conveyed the work principles that I ought to, I have exhorted them over and over, and even made people write them down.” Yet whether they conveyed all this to the right person, whether the points they conveyed are correct, in line with the principles, in line with the words of God, and practical—this, they do not know. As for that morsel of doctrine they preached, what kind of people can be satisfied digesting it? Those who are foolish and ignorant, the uneducated, the dolts, the idiots, the fools. These people are left muddled, they believe that it’s all the words of God, and that none of it could be wrong. Only such people can be sated by this doctrine. Pseudo-spiritual leaders are incapable of identifying problems that arise during work; they are blind to them. And of course, they are even more blind to things involving technology or expertise—these things are even more beyond them.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

What is the chief characteristic of pseudo-spiritual false leaders? They excel at preaching. But what they preach is not the true way, and it is not the way preached by God. It is not the way of the truth, but instead it is just literal doctrine. They are good at preaching literal doctrine, good at applying themselves to mere words and texts of God’s words, whether it be reciting them or pondering them. In sum, they are particularly diligent and perseverant when it comes to preaching the doctrine. On the outside, whatever they do appears to be relevant to the truth; they don’t seem to disrupt or interfere, to behave inappropriately, or to say or do the wrong thing. And yet, they are incapable of undertaking any practical work or fulfilling the slightest responsibility, which ultimately leads to them being unable to identify any problems with work. They work like blind men; they are blind, they can’t see the problem, can’t identify it, and so are they able to promptly report the problem and engage in seeking? Absolutely not. Is the problem of pseudo-spiritual false leaders a serious one? Are such people abhorrent, are they disgusting? (They are disgusting.) They believe themselves to have some tricks of the trade, to be able to preach some doctrine and recite many of God’s words, that they are capable of summarizing all aspects of God’s requirements of people thoroughly and accurately—but they can’t do practical work. The words and doctrines that they equip themselves with, understand, and know cannot help them perform the duties of a leader or worker, much less help them discover and address the issues they encounter in work. Is this kind of leader or worker qualified for this position? Clearly not. Should you elect a pseudo-spiritual false leader who is not qualified? (No.) So have you ever elected such leaders? (Yes.) I expect you’ve elected quite a few. Whoever has believed in God for many years, has read a lot of God’s words, listened to plenty of sermons, has rich work and preaching experience, can preach for hours—you think that kind of person has to be capable in work. And the result? After electing them, you discover a serious problem: They can never be found, their door is always shut, they have retreated from the brothers and sisters. However, others think to themselves, “He’s been a believer all these years, he understands the truth and he has a foundation. He should have stature and be able to solve problems—so why is he always closed off? This shows that he has a great burden! Since being elected as a leader, he’s become taciturn, he speaks differently, and he’s not like the rest of us anymore. This is why he’s mostly out of sight.” Is that what you believe? Will you elect this kind of false leader again? (No.) Why not? What would you say are the consequences of choosing a blind man as your guide? Can a blind man lead you onto a good path? He is blind, so how could he guide you? Wherever he goes and whatever work he does, he needs someone else to guide him; he himself has no direction or goals, and the doctrine he understands he only preaches for others to hear—it has no real impact or value. If you revere him for being able to preach words and doctrine, what kind of person are you? You are blind, foolish, a dolt. You are delighted to encounter a blind man and you ask him to lead the way. Then are you not blind, too? What do you have eyes for? There is a saying among unbelievers: the blind leading the blind. Electing the pseudo-spiritual as leaders is the blind leading the blind.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

If antichrists are allowed to run amok in a church, given free rein to cry whatever slogans and arguments they wish in order to control, threaten, deceive, or mislead the brothers and sisters, and the leaders do nothing, being without discernment and incapable of promptly exposing these antichrists and getting them under control, leading to the brothers and sisters being manipulated and disturbed by the antichrists at will, then the leaders of this church are garbage. If the antichrists and wicked ones in a church are spurned and abhorred by the brothers and sisters, if they are shackled within the church, and everyone has discernment over them, such that their speech and empty slogans that mislead and deceive the brothers and sisters do not work in the church and they are held in check, locked down, then this church’s leaders are up to standard; they are leaders possessed of truth reality. If a church is being disrupted by an antichrist, and, after being identified and rejected by the brothers and sisters, the antichrist takes revenge by oppressing and abusing the brothers and sisters, and the leaders do nothing, then the leaders of this church are garbage, and should be eliminated. As leaders of a church, if they are incapable of solving problems using the truth, if they cannot identify, control, and limit the antichrists’ waywardness in the church, are unable to protect brothers and sisters and protect them so that they can perform their duties normally, and are unable to maintain the normal execution of the work of the house of God, then the leaders of this church are garbage, and should be eliminated. If the leaders of a church are afraid to approach or provoke an antichrist because the antichrist is ferocious and cruel, and thus allow that antichrist to run wild in the church, becoming a tyrant, doing whatever they want, and paralyzing and bringing to a standstill much of the work of the house of God, then the leaders of this church are garbage, and should be eliminated. If, because of fear of retribution, the leaders of a church never have the courage to expose an antichrist, and never try to limit that antichrist’s evil acts, thereby causing disruption to the church life, and greatly hindering and damaging the brothers’ and sisters’ entry into life, then the leaders of this church are garbage, and should be eliminated.

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Eight)

How can it be judged whether a leader is fulfilling their responsibilities, whether they are a false leader? Most fundamental is to look at whether they are able to do practical work, at whether or not they have this ability. Secondly, look at whether they actually do this practical work. Disregard the words that come from their mouths, how well they understand the truth, whether, when they are carrying out external tasks or anything else, they possess a certain degree of caliber, intelligence, gift, or ability—disregard all that, and look only at whether they do practical work; if they do not, then no matter how capable they are, they are a false leader. Some people say, “Who cares whether they do or not? They have great ability, and they’re skilled; when they get down to work, they’re better than most people. What’s more, though they don’t do real work, and spend a lot of time hanging around, they’ve done nothing bad, nor have they committed evil, nor caused disruptions or disturbances. They have not caused any loss or ill effect to the brothers and sisters or to the church. So how can You say they are a false leader?” How to explain this? Right now, forget how talented you are, how great your caliber is, or how well-educated you are; what matters is whether or not you do practical work, and whether or not you fulfill the responsibilities of a leader. During your time as leader, did you take part in every specific piece of work within the scope of your responsibility, how many problems that arose during work did you effectively solve, how many people, because of your work, your leadership, your guidance, came to understand the truth principles, how much of the work of the house of God was advanced and pushed forward? These are what matter. Forget how many mantras you can repeat, how many words and doctrines you have mastered, forget how many hours you spend toiling each day, how exhausted you are, and forget how much time you have spent out on the road, how many churches you have visited, how many risks you have taken, how many meals you have missed—forget all this, and look only at the accomplishments of all the work for which you are responsible. How much work within the scope required by the house of God, that you are responsible for, has been implemented, whether it be human resources, administrative, or related to professional work; how well it has been implemented, how well it has been followed up, how many oversights, deviations, issues and mistakes related to principle you have helped to rectify and remedy, how many problems you have helped solve, whether you solved them according to principle and the requirements of the house of God, and so on—these are all the criteria by which it is assessed whether or not a leader is fulfilling their responsibilities.

—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers

Previous: 1. What an antichrist is and how they can be identified

Next: 3. What hypocrisy is

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