137. The Principles of Treating Leaders and Workers

(1) God’s chosen people must honor God as great and not look up to and worship any leader or worker. In all things, they should submit to God and the truth, and not be controlled by humans;

(2) So long as leaders and workers are the right people, whose speech and actions accord with God’s word the truth, and who can exalt and testify to Him, they should be accepted and obeyed;

(3) If leaders or workers reveal corruption, or if their actions do not accord with the truth principle, their errors should be corrected through fellowship. They should not be obeyed blindly;

(4) If any leaders or workers are malfeasant, acting as they wish in a way that contravenes work arrangements, then they are to be counted as false leaders or antichrists, and should be exposed and dismissed.

Relevant Words of God:

People who believe in God should obey God and worship Him. Do not exalt or look up to any person; do not put God first, the people you look up to second, and yourself third. No person should hold a place in your heart, and you should not consider people—particularly those you venerate—to be on a par with God or to be His equal. This is intolerable to God.

Excerpted from “The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

No matter the level of leaders and workers within a church, if you always worship them and rely on them for everything in order to believe in God and achieve salvation, this impetus is wrong in itself. Regardless of their rank among the leadership, they are still common people, and if you see them as your superiors, if you feel that they are higher up than you, that they are greater or more competent than you, and that they should lead you, that they are in all ways a cut above anyone else, then that is wrong—it is your delusion. And what are the consequences that this delusion leads to? This delusion, this flawed understanding will lead you unconsciously to measure your leaders against requirements that do not conform with reality; at the same time, without your knowing it, you will also be profoundly drawn to their so-called flair and panache, or their abilities and talents, such that before you know it, you are worshiping them, and they have become your Gods. That path, from the moment they start to become your role model, the object of your worship, to the moment that you become one of their followers, is one that will lead you unconsciously away from God. And even as you gradually move away from God, you will still believe that you are following God, that you are in the house of God, that you are in the presence of God. Without knowing it, however, you will have been drawn away by someone who has been corrupted by Satan, or even an antichrist. This is a very dangerous state of affairs. In order to resolve this problem, you must therefore be able accurately to understand the different dispositions of the antichrists and the ways in which they operate, as well as the nature of their actions and the methods and tricks they like to use; you must also start by working on yourself. Believing in God yet worshiping man is not the correct path. Some might say: “Well, I do have reasons for worshiping the leaders that I do—the ones I worship are in line with my notions and imaginings.” Why do you insist on worshiping man though you believe in God? When all is said and done, who is it who will save you? Who is it who truly loves you and protects you—can you truly not see? You follow God and listen to His word, and if someone speaks and acts correctly, and accords with the truth principles, is obeying the truth not enough for you? Why are you so base? You insist on finding someone whom you worship to follow—why do you like to be Satan’s slave? Why not be a servant of the truth instead? Look herein to see whether a person has sense and dignity. You should begin by working on yourself, equipping yourself with the truths that differentiate different people and events, developing discernment between all the ways in which each sort of event and person manifests, knowing in all cases what nature and disposition are being revealed; you must also understand what kind of person you are, what kind of people those around you are, and what kind of people are leading you. You must be able to regard them accurately. Once you are equipped with a measure of your stature, you will not fall easily for the antichrists’ tricks, nor will you fear their deceptions.

Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (4)” in Records of Christ’s Talks

What is the attitude that people should have in terms of how to treat a leader or worker? If what he does is right, then you can obey him; if what he does is wrong, then you can expose him, and even oppose him and raise a different opinion. If he is unable to do practical work, and is revealed to be a false leader, a false worker or an antichrist, then you can refuse to accept his leadership, and you can also report and expose him. However, some of God’s chosen people do not understand the truth and are particularly cowardly, and so they do not dare do anything. They say, “If the leader kicks me out, I’m finished; if he has everyone expose or forsake me, then I will no longer be able to believe in God. If I leave the church, then God will not want me and will not save me. The church represents God!” Do these ways of thinking not affect such a person’s attitude toward those things? Could it really be true that if the leader expels you, you can no longer be saved? Is the question of your salvation dependent upon your leader’s attitude toward you? Why do so many people have such a degree of fear? If, as soon as one who is a false leader or an antichrist threatens you, you do not dare to report it higher up and even guarantee that from then on, you will be of a single mind with the leader, then are you not done for? Is this the sort of person who pursues truth? Not only do you not dare to expose such wicked behavior as might be committed by satanic antichrists, but on the contrary, you obey them and even take their words as the truth, to which you submit. Is this not the epitome of stupidity? Then, when you are harmed, is that not what you deserve? Has God caused you to be harmed? You have wished it upon yourself. You took an antichrist to be your leader, and treated him as though he were a brother or sister—and that is your fault. What is the attitude with which one should treat an antichrist? One should expose him and struggle against him. If you cannot do this alone, then multiple people must come together and report him. Upon discovering that certain leaders and workers higher up were walking the path of the antichrist, making the brothers and sisters suffer, not doing real work, and coveting the blessing of status, some people signed a petition to remove those antichrists. What a fantastic job these people did! It shows that people understand the truth, that they possess a certain amount of stature, and that they are neither controlled nor deceived by Satan. This also proves that antichrists and false leaders do not hold a dominant position in the church, and they do not dare to show their true selves too plainly in anything they say and do. If they do reveal themselves, there are people to monitor them, identify them, and cast them out. That is, in the hearts of people who genuinely understand the truth, a person’s status, prestige, and authority are not the things that hold sway; all those who understand the truth are able to have discernment, and they rethink and reflect upon what path people ought to follow in their faith in God, as well as how they should treat leaders and workers. They also begin to think about whom people should follow, which behaviors constitute following people, and which behaviors constitute following God. Having pondered these truths for several years, and listened often to sermons, they have unconsciously come to understand the truths about believing in God, and so they have gained some stature. They have embarked upon the right track of believing in God.

Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (1)” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:

God’s chosen people ought to understand how to treat leaders and workers at all levels of the church. They must be able to distinguish good from evil and discern whether leaders and workers are people who pursue the truth. These are fundamental abilities God’s chosen people should possess. If we see that a leader or worker is a good person who pursues the truth, but has committed some transgressions or done something wrong, we should treat them correctly and help them with love. We absolutely must not seize upon these mistakes or transgressions to condemn them, arbitrarily label them, and be so heavy-handed as to just beat people to death with a stick; to do so is to falsely accuse and harm others. Good people have also committed transgressions and have sometimes made mistakes, but good people can repent and change. So, no matter what transgressions you find good people have done, or what mistakes they have made, as long as they can accept the truth, come to know themselves, and repent, then they must be assisted with love. If a leader or worker is a good person who pursues the truth, and someone seizes upon a transgression they have done and will not let it go until they have destroyed that leader or worker, then is that not oppressing them and making them suffer? This is no different from false leaders and antichrists making people suffer. God’s chosen people should not make others suffer, and leaders and workers should even less so make others suffer. God’s chosen people should correctly treat leaders and workers, and leaders and workers should correctly treat God’s chosen people. We should all treat each other fairly, and aid one another out of love. This is the course of normal human relationships, as well as a sign of entry into truth reality.

If the leaders and workers chosen in church elections oppress and frame others again and again, they may also be defined as wicked people, and once irrefutable evidence is obtained, they should be persuaded to resign; if they do not accept the criticism, blame, pruning, and dealing of God’s chosen people, God’s chosen should unite to banish and remove them. Doing this is eliminating a source of harm for the benefit of all, is entirely in accord with God’s will, is beneficial to protecting church life, and falls entirely under the definition of protecting God’s work. The church is ruled by God, the truth, and God’s word, and absolutely does not abide the presence of wicked people. If any church’s treatment of false leaders and antichrists is to tolerate and ignore them, to tolerate their disturbances and destruction, and their harm of God’s chosen people, it proves that this church lacks people who understand the truth and uphold justice, and is made up entirely of muddle-headed people, and that is why the members of this church are deceived and controlled by false leaders and antichrists; they can only suffer and be cruelly oppressed. This, in turn, proves that if believers in God do not understand the truth, then they are doomed to be tormented by Satan and tyrannized by wicked people. Even if the Above wishes to help such people, we will be unable to do so. The work arrangements from the Above have already given clear rules for God’s chosen, and it is entirely possible for them to banish false leaders and false workers according to the truth and the work arrangements from the Above. This is a right given by God, and if God’s chosen people do not know how to use it, they have no one to blame but themselves.

God’s chosen people should treat the leaders and workers at all levels of the church in a manner based on the truth and holding to the principles. They should support, uphold, and cooperate with leaders and workers who are in accordance with God’s will, and who can resolve problems and do practical things for God’s chosen. They should patiently help those leaders and workers who pursue the truth and have the work of the Holy Spirit, but who may have transgressed and not achieved ideal results in their work. God’s chosen may criticize and rebuke them, as well as prune and deal with them, but are not allowed to condemn or frame them, much less casually banish or remove them. They must act based on the truth and according to principle. In the case of leaders and workers who have not completely lost the work of the Holy Spirit and who can still do some practical work, God’s chosen people must never treat them as false leaders and false workers. They should only offer help out of love, and support them with patience. This is the responsibility of God’s chosen people. If leaders and workers who do not pursue the truth and do not have the work of the Holy Spirit do not wish to repent, neglect their proper tasks and act recklessly, they must be removed and banished. Only through these practices can God’s work be protected and the church life kept safe from disruption. This is beneficial to the carrying out of God’s will, as well as to the life entry of God’s chosen people.

Excerpted from Work Arrangements

God’s chosen people must have clarity that most leaders and workers sincerely believe in God and are able to pursue the truth. While they all have revelation of corruption and transgressions, as long as they are basically able to fulfill their duty according to work arrangements and perform some actual work for majority of the time, then they are certainly someone who has hope of attaining salvation; therefore God’s chosen people should accept, support, and cooperate with them. This is the principle for treating the majority of leaders and workers. If it is discovered that a leader or worker is frequently violating work arrangements, and if what they do is not compatible with the truth, then we can be completely certain that they are a false leader or an antichrist. Regarding false leaders and antichrists, not only must we never accept or obey them, we must also thoroughly expose and abandon them; only this is in line with God’s will. When dealing with leaders and workers, we must apply discernment, primarily looking at whether or not they possess good humanity and whether or not they possess truth reality. We must never emphasize a person’s gifts and worship blindly. We should all understand that a person’s gifts are not their life, whether or not someone has truth reality is the only fundamental thing. All those who are keen on a person’s gifts are those who easily worship false leaders and antichrists, while only those who are more pragmatic pay attention to whether or not someone has truth reality. Very often, most false leaders and antichrists have gifts, they can all speak with eloquence, and they are keen on showing off themselves so that others would view them highly, thereby easily gaining the worship and following from some people. However, those with truth reality very often tread steadily and perform actual work, only focusing on fellowshiping on the truth to resolve practical issues, giving all their effort to performing their own duty and unwilling to make a show of themselves. This is the main distinction between real and false leaders and workers. If God’s chosen people have indeed understood the truth, then they naturally will have such discernment. All those who can worship false leaders and antichrists are people who do not have truth reality whatsoever. Men only become deceived and controlled because they have no truth. Therefore, God’s chosen people must not treat leaders and workers by focusing on their appearances and on whether or not they can preach. The key is to look at whether or not their character is good, whether or not they can fellowship on the truth and perform practical work. This is the most critical. If they can indeed fellowship on the truth and resolve practical issues, then even if they have an ordinary appearance, they are still good people and are worthy of trust. If they cannot fellowship on the truth, regardless of how good their appearance is or how gifted they are, they are garbage and not worth trusting. A good appearance, a good temperament, being gifted, these things do not represent that a person has truth reality. While some people have ordinary appearance and do not appear to have a good temperament, they have truth reality, therefore they are people that please God and are blessed by God. God’s chosen people should focus on the fundamental of whether or not someone has truth reality, this is the principle in treating leaders and workers. Only people who can look at things as well as treat others in accordance with God’s words are those who are principled in how they get things done and who understand the truth and have entered reality.

Excerpted from Work Arrangements

God’s chosen people must see this clearly: It is through a long process of trials, refinement, pruning, and dealing that God fully achieves results in saving and perfecting man. If someone only experiences 8 or 10 years of God’s work, understands some of the truth, and has a little reality, it is impossible for them to be suitable for use by God. Even if God specially perfects someone, they will have to undergo at least 10 or 20 years of trials, refinements, pruning, and dealing to be fit for God’s use. This is a fact. Even though most leaders and workers at all levels in God’s house now have the work of the Holy Spirit, this does not mean that they are fit for use by God. One could say that they all have committed some transgressions and expressed some corruptions and have all gone against the truth principle in some way or another. This is entirely normal. If a leader or worker has the work of the Holy Spirit, even though they have committed some transgressions and expressed some corruptions, they are not a false leader or false worker. No one should seize upon others’ incorrect way of doing something or their transgressions or expressions of corruption and insist that they are a false leader or false worker; this is absolutely wrong and not in accord with the truth. For we should evaluate whether a leader or worker is a false leader or false worker by the standard of whether or not they possess the work of the Holy Spirit, and never merely on the basis of whether they have committed transgressions or expressed corruptions. If we relied on human notions and imagining to judge leaders and workers, then there would be no qualified people anywhere, and then how would God’s work make headway? How would God’s will be carried out? This would be a problem. Today the Holy Spirit is doing the work of perfecting man. He is leading God’s chosen people to experience God’s work, leading them to experience God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinements, and to experience being pruned and dealt with, and finally, only after undergoing even greater trials and refinement, will those who pursue the truth be perfected. Have the leaders and workers at every level now undergone hundreds of trials and refinements? Are they now experiencing more severe judgment and chastisement? No. That will come later. So, do not use too high a standard to evaluate leaders and workers. You should use the following four standards to evaluate all leaders and workers: First, they must be people who truly pursue the truth; second, they absolutely must not be evil people; third, they must be able to do some practical work; fourth, if they commit transgressions or there is something wrong with them, then they must be able to accept being pruned and dealt with and be able to repent. As long as they meet these four standards, they can be used as leaders and workers, and they must not be defined as false leaders and false workers. Only those who can without doubt be said to lack the work of the Holy Spirit can be called false leaders and false workers. It is hoped that God’s chosen can treat leaders and workers at every level objectively and impartially. If false leaders and false workers who without doubt lack the work of the Holy Spirit are discovered, they should be reported or directly removed, which is a responsibility God’s chosen people are duty-bound to fulfill. Some newly elected leaders and workers will lack direction in their work due to their lack of experience, and they may also commit transgressions and express corruption, but as long as they meet these four standards, they should be treated with love and patiently helped; only this is in accordance with God’s will. Any who have true experience of God’s work should be able to see this fact clearly: There are far too few good people who can practice the truth today, and in fact they are so rare as to almost never be seen. It is therefore almost impossible to choose people who are genuinely suitable and whom a majority regard as ideal to become leaders and workers, because man is corrupted too deeply. God’s chosen people need to change their notions about how to evaluate and treat leaders and workers at every level, and they should look at things in the light of God’s words and objective facts. Only this is in accord with the truth, only by doing this can they have a proper attitude toward church leaders and workers at every level, and only then can disorder in the church be prevented from arising, and effectively avoided and resolved.

Excerpted from Work Arrangements

Previous: 136. The Principles of Treating People Who Have Been Exposed and Eliminated

Next: 138. The Principles of Treating Leaders and Workers Who Have Committed Transgressions

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