117. The Principles of Identifying False Leaders and Workers
(1) All who work only for status, reputation, and gain, who do not pursue the truth, and who do not possess truth reality are false leaders and workers;
(2) All who are arrogant and self-righteous, who do not accept the truth in the least, and who act without principles, being capable of willful, arbitrary action, are false leaders and workers;
(3) Those who only preach letters and doctrines, who cannot use the truth to resolve problems, and who cannot do practical work, are false leaders and workers;
(4) All who do not know themselves, who have not genuinely repented, and who cannot offer practical testimonies from experience are false leaders and workers.
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.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
Excerpted from “Only Those With Truth Reality Can Lead” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Many people behind My back covet the blessing 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?
Excerpted from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some people work and preach and, despite superficially appearing to be fellowshiping on God’s utterances, they are only discussing the literal meaning of His words, and nothing essential is mentioned. Their sermons are like teachings from a language textbook—arranged item by item and aspect by aspect, and when they are done, everyone sings praises, saying, “This person possesses reality. He preached so well and in such detail.” After such people are done preaching, they tell others to compile their sermons and send them out to everybody. In doing this, they have gotten to where they are deceiving others and all that they preach are fallacies. On the surface, it looks as though they are preaching only God’s words and their sermons conform to the truth. However, with more careful discernment, you will see that they are nothing but letters and doctrines and false reasoning along with some human imaginings and notions, as well as some things that delimit God. Does this kind of preaching not amount to an interruption of God’s work? This is service that resists God.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Some people only arm themselves with certain truths for emergencies or to forsake themselves and help others, and not to solve their own troubles; we call them “selfless people.” They regard others as puppets of the truth and themselves as its masters, teaching others to hold fast to the truth and not to be passive, while they themselves remain as spectators on the sidelines. What kind of people are these? They arm themselves with some words of truth but merely use them to lecture others, while doing nothing at all to keep from meeting their own destruction. How pathetic! If their words can help others, then why can they not help themselves? We should label them as hypocrites who have no reality. They supply words of truth to others and ask others to put them into practice, while making no effort to practice them themselves. Are they not despicable? They themselves clearly cannot do it, yet they force others to put the words of truth into practice—what a cruel method this is! They are not using reality to help others; they are not using love to provide for others. They are simply deceiving and harming people. If this continues, with each person passing the words of truth onto the next, then will this not end up with everyone merely speaking the words of truth while being incapable themselves of putting it into practice? How can such people change? They do not recognize their own problems at all; how can there be a path forward for them?
Excerpted from “Those Who Love the Truth Have a Path Forward” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
What is a “false leader”? Some say false leaders lack the work of the Holy Spirit. This is true, but can you tell whether or not someone has the work of the Holy Spirit? Sometimes you cannot. Some people may have the work of the Holy Spirit for a while, and then for a while they will not have the work of the Holy Spirit. Looking at it from this aspect, it is quite vague and not entirely clear, and that is why we must take our cue from what people can actually see. What actually is a false leader? Summarized as simply as possible, a false leader is someone who does not pursue the truth at all and cannot do practical work. It is certain that such people can preach only letters and doctrines, and they can never receive the work of the Holy Spirit. This is unquestionable. So, the root cause of why someone cannot do practical work and becomes a false leader is that they do not pursue the truth at all. Some may ask, “This person can’t do practical work now, but would a couple years of training make them able to do practical work?” Not even ten years of training would help, because they do not pursue the truth at all. What does it mean when someone does not pursue the truth at all? It means that they do not love the truth at all, do not accept the truth at all, and do not practice the truth at all. Together, these three statements form the root cause that they do not pursue the truth. When someone does not love the truth and even detests the truth, unless they say so, you have no way of knowing, so what proves that someone does not love the truth? How can you ascertain that someone does not love the truth? It is that they do not accept the truth at all. They read God’s words and do not accept the truth, they hear others fellowship on the truth and do not accept it, and, when others prune or deal with them, they do not accept it. This proves they are definitely someone who does not love the truth at all, that this person detests the truth. On the surface they may not appear to do much evil, but such people never practice the truth; they never practice the truth of being honest, they never practice the truth of obeying God, and they never practice the truth of fulfilling their duties according to God’s requirements. Even when they give up home and career to do a little work in the church, they do so only to receive blessings. Just like Paul, everything they do is tainted, of a deal-making nature, and that is not practicing the truth.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
How exactly does one discern the service of false leaders and antichrists? This can be examined using a few criteria. The first criterion is that if those who serve God do not have an understanding of their own corrupt essences, or do not have any experiential testimony from having transformed their dispositions, then this confirms that they are indeed false leaders, false apostles, or false workers. The second criterion is that people who serve God never talk about how they understand God, how they submit to Him, or how they experience His work, then this is sufficient evidence to determine that these people certainly do not have a genuine understanding of God, and that they definitely do not submit to Him or bear witness for Him. This confirms that they are false leaders, false apostles, or false workers. The third criterion is that if those who serve God never talk about their practical experiences, how they have gained entry into God’s words, how they submit before His judgment and chastisement, how they stand witness or how they have satisfied His will while undergoing various trials, then these people definitely do not have experience when it comes to this aspect. If they do not have experience in relation to this aspect, and cannot give testimony about any experiences related to this aspect, then how can they lead God’s chosen ones to experience His work? It is for this reason that such people are false leaders, false apostles, or false workers. If people who serve God never talk about how they love Him, how they are considerate of His will, or how other people love God and are considerate of His will, then they are definitely not people who truly love God. This is because they do not have testimony from experiences when it comes to this aspect; they do not talk about other people’s deeper testimonies of experiences in order to guide God’s chosen ones into truly loving and submitting to God. They do not have God-loving hearts, and they only exalt themselves and show off. Therefore, such people are walking the path of the antichrist. If someone who serves God does not talk about His words, His will, or His demands of man and how to experience God’s work, then is that person actually serving God? Such people just serve themselves; they are giving service to their own status and reputation. That is the reason such people are definitely false leaders, false apostles, or false workers; moreover, they are antichrists. These are not people who truly love God. By looking at these aspects, we can discern whether or not someone who serves God is actually a false leader or an antichrist, and whether they are walking the path of Peter or of Paul. Paul bore very little witness of the Lord Jesus. He seldom bore witness to what the Lord Jesus had and was, how He preached, the dispositions that He expressed, or how He loved people. Paul talked very little about such things, so he did not actually love the Lord Jesus. However, Peter spoke many words that bore witness to Him. Since he was particularly focused on gaining an understanding of God through the Lord Jesus, he saw how lovable the Lord Jesus was, His love for mankind, and the mercy, lovingkindness, tolerance, and patience He had for man. This is why Peter frequently bore witness for the Lord Jesus, and it is also the reason Peter was a person who truly loved the Lord. Paul was not someone who truly loved the Lord. There are three things to remember if you are to discern people in this way. First, see if a person talks about how they have come to understand their own corrupt essence; this is the most genuine, indispensable, and fundamental life experience. Second, look at how they fellowship about their experience and understanding of God’s words and what experience of entering truth reality they have. Third, look at how they bear witness for God. You should see if they truly bear witness of God’s work, love, and unoffendable righteous disposition; determine whether they actually bring people before God, whether their work helps people understand God and God’s disposition, and whether the work that person does can help people to enter God’s words and truly experience His judgment and chastisement. If the person’s work and words cannot help people set foot upon the right track of believing in God, or understand and submit to God, then this is sufficient evidence that their work does not involve the work of the Holy Spirit, they have not attained true entry, and they do not possess reality This person is therefore incapable of talking about these realities. This is how you should discern whether someone who serves God is actually a false leader or an antichrist, and this method of discernment is guaranteed to be accurate. There is no chance that you can make a mistake if you discern in this manner.
Excerpted from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life