Words on Serving God (Excerpt 74)

There are leaders and workers who, in their work, do not fellowship about the truth according to God’s words. They are unable to fully understand matters themselves, and often say, “I want everyone to express their opinions. Everyone, speak your mind.” This may sound correct and quite democratic, allowing everyone to voice their positions and ultimately come to a consensus. When people do not understand the truth, this practice is acceptable as a last resort, but it doesn’t guarantee that a conclusion will be arrived at that aligns with the truth. Since nobody understands the truth, and everyone’s opinions are flawed, even if they do gather together they still aren’t able to reach a conclusion that aligns with the truth. Is that not the case? If someone who does understand the truth were to participate, it would be much better; things would take a turn for the better. However, it is crucial that someone who understands the truth is at the helm. This person should guide everyone in seeking the truth based on God’s word. In this way, the conclusions they come to are able to align with the truth. This is the best approach. It is necessary that someone who understands the truth is in charge, at the helm, and leads everyone in fellowshipping about the truth based on God’s words to eventually attain unity and reach a consensus with regard to the truth. Only this is the correct path of practice. So, how should democracy be viewed? At present, among corrupt humankind, democracy is a relatively progressive and advanced social system. It is also avant-garde and fashionable, and suits the tastes of the majority. While this system is relatively advanced and progressive, can any system, no matter how great it is, solve the problem of human sin? Can it change the essence of societal evils and darkness? This is unachievable, not to mention in a dictatorship. Isn’t there ample graft and misconduct among the officials of those democratic countries as well? Nothing that happens in this system aligns with the truth because humankind has been profoundly corrupted by Satan; it is devoid of any and all truth. Human beings live by their corrupt dispositions, rebelling against God and resisting Him; they cannot possibly put the truth into practice. Even the national leaders who hold power, as well as those famous figures, despite having knowledge, also all live by the disposition of Satan. They don’t have even a trace of the truth and are capable of many acts that rebel against and resist God. They are even able to commit some evil, absurd deeds. Regardless of whether or not they have faith, not one of them can accept the truth or genuinely follows God. Not one of them submits to or worships God. They never say anything to exalt or bear witness to God. The words they speak are all atheistic, all denying and resisting God; they are all heretical fallacies, they are all words that defy Heaven, and they are nothing but devilish words. Therefore, no matter what system humans adopt to govern their nations, they will not submit to God, worship Him, accept any truth expressed by Him, or govern their nations according to His words and the truth. They advocate for governance based on the rule of law and by science. This shows that the path they take is one of rebellion against and resistance to God. Nations like these are not blessed by God. Any nation ruled by demon kings is the most resistant to God and is cursed by Him. These are nations that God has determined must be destroyed. So, whether a country will be spurned and destroyed by God is not primarily dependent on whether or not it is democratic. The key factor is seeing what kind of people make up the group in power in that nation. If those in power are all of the devilish, satanic kind, if they are all a bunch of demons resisting God, then that country is one that He hates and curses, and it will be destroyed by Him.

If the leaders and workers of the church do not pursue the truth and conduct their work without principles, what will the consequences be? They will certainly not receive God’s approval. Some leaders and workers think, “Regardless of whether or not I have the truth, if I practice democracy in all matters and do not act dictatorially, I can ensure that I’m not doing evil. In this way, I won’t be eliminated by God. If I do my work well, God will approve of me.” Is this statement correct? Can you discern what they are saying? Does abstaining from acting dictatorially prove that these people are in accordance with God’s intentions? Does practicing democracy prove that they act with principles? While this line of thinking may seem reasonable, it is, in fact, wrong. For leaders and workers who do not pursue the truth, no matter how they practice, it will always be out of step and wrong. Only walking the path that pursues the truth is correct. The only suitable approach is for leaders and workers to be able to persist in walking the path that pursues the truth and, regardless of what situation they face, lead everyone to fellowship the truth according to God’s words and find the path of practicing the truth. Is it right or wrong for leaders and workers to always practice the approach of having everyone express their opinions and speak their minds? (It is wrong.) Where does it go wrong? (No one has the truth.) That is true. No one has the truth. Regardless of how they fellowship, then, can the conclusions from their fellowshipping align with the truth? That is not possible. So what should one do in order to be in alignment with the truth? (Look at what God has said. One should look for a path within His words.) How does this statement sound? It could not be more correct. Leaders and workers should fellowship about the truth in accordance with God’s word in all matters, and should seek the path in His words; only then can correct conclusions be reached. As for how everyone fellowships about the truth principles and whether they find the principles accurately, that is another matter. If you can lead everyone to read God’s words to seek the truth and seek the principles, then that shows you are someone who pursues the truth. If you only have everyone fellowship and express their opinions without mentioning anything about searching for a foundation in God’s words or seeking the principles in His words, then you are not someone who pursues the truth; you are trying to smooth things over without regard to principles. If, at the end, you have everyone vote by a show of hands and majority rules, does this align with the principles? It is possible that it may sometimes, by coincidence, align with some principles or not exceed the scope of the principles. But most of the time it won’t align with the principles because you do not seek the principles; you are only listening to everyone’s groundless remarks, where those with the loudest and shrillest voices have the final say. And what becomes of this leader in the end? They become a fence-sitter who listens to whichever side the wind blows strongest. It is just like when some leaders call for a vote by show of hands when expelling evil people and antichrists. If even one person disagrees, they won’t expel or dispose of the person. Even what I say won’t count for anything. Isn’t this sidelining God? For them to sideline God and yet say they are seeking the truth is utter nonsense! What is the ultimate result when everyone fellowships the truth and seeks principles? The outcome of this fellowship aligns with God’s words, the truth, and principles; it corresponds to His intentions. If, after a lengthy fellowship, a consensus is reached that, when implemented, harms the interests of the house of God and does not bring about benefits for God’s chosen people, then the outcome of this consensus does not align with the truth principles. It surely goes against God’s words. There is no doubt about that. Just what is the essence of the outcome of this consensus, then? It is an empty doctrine that sounds good, aligns with the secular ways of the world, suits everyone’s taste, and benefits everyone’s interests, but it does not align with the truth principles of the house of God. Some leaders are muddleheaded; they neither pursue the truth nor do they understand it. After everyone has fellowshipped, these leaders choose outcomes that suit their own preferences, but which actually go against the truth principles. They believe that what they are doing is fair and reasonable and completely in line with the truth. In fact, they don’t understand that God’s word is the truth. They understand even less what the truth principles are. They find an outcome from everyone’s fellowship that is to their liking, thinking, “Look how democratic I am. I am not dictatorial. I discuss everything with everyone, and in the end, it’s everyone’s decision. We voted on it by a show of hands. It is the resolution of the decision-making group; it was not a decision I made on my own.” They feel quite pleased with themselves, but they end up betraying the interests of the house of God and the truth of His words, trampling on His requirements. Everyone is satisfied and has benefited. But will God be satisfied by this? Will He approve of it? How will God feel in His heart? These leaders don’t care about these things; they just conduct the work of the church in this manner. As for whether they are false leaders or antichrists, everyone ought to have discernment about that. Are there many such occurrences in churches all over? Certainly not a few.

In order to win people’s favor and ensure re-election as a leader, some church leaders practice democratic principles in everything they do under the pretense that they are not being dictatorial. They use this as a way to buy people’s favor, but in reality, they are doing it to solidify their own status. Is this not the behavior of an antichrist? (Yes.) Only an antichrist would act in this manner. Do you do these things too? (Sometimes.) And do you reflect on what intents govern these actions? This makes sense if the person has just started training in the work of a leader and doesn’t understand principles. But if they have been a leader or worker for some years and still insist on doing this, then this is lacking in principles. This is false leadership and the person is not one who pursues the truth. If a person has their own intents and goals and persists in doing it this way, they are an antichrist. How do you view this issue? What do you practice when faced with this issue? If you have your own intents and goals, what should you do to resolve them? (I’ve noticed I harbor some intents within me. Sometimes, I’m afraid the brothers and sisters will say that I am not open and transparent in my actions, that I make decisions on my own without telling them. When I have such thoughts, I will discuss and resolve matters with the brothers and sisters. I will not make decisions of my own accord.) It is acceptable to consult with others. It is appropriate to ensure everyone is informed; this is accepting the oversight of your work by the brothers and sisters, which helps you do your duty. However, during your discussions, you must also adhere to the truth principles. If you deviate from the truth principles, the discussion may go off-topic or waste time, and you will not arrive at the correct conclusions. Therefore, when starting a discussion, leaders and workers must take the lead in reading relevant passages of God’s words. This way, everyone can fellowship according to His words. A fellowship such as this will provide a path and bear good results. You cannot just stand to the side and have everyone fellowship however they want. If no one has any strong opinions, and they do not seek the truth, then this manner of fellowshipping is pointless, no matter how long you do it. It will never achieve the correct outcome. So, if the church lacks a good leader, and is helmed by someone who does not understand the truth; if it’s just a group of muddleheaded individuals without any strong opinions fellowshipping at random and whose fellowshipping only produces nonsense, what impact could this have? What is this so-called democracy called? It is all blind arguing that lacks principles and will not produce the correct outcome. This kind of democratic approach cannot have a positive impact. Despite everybody’s glamorous and glib-tongued facade, they actually lack strong opinions, true talent, and genuine learning. They are incapable of leading people to the right path. They only speak words that mislead people, which fail to have any positive impact. In any case, it won’t work if one only conducts democratic consultations without someone who understands the truth to lead the way when faced with a situation. The best approach is still for the leaders and workers to seek the truth themselves, choose the corresponding words of God, read them carefully, and ponder them attentively. Then, they can bring God’s words to the gathering to fellowship and discuss with everyone. Only in this way can results be achieved. As for false leaders and antichrists, they never practice democratic consultations no matter the situation. They never have people discuss or fellowship. They cling to their intents and goals, fearing that democratic consultations will expose or overrule their intents and goals. Therefore, they act dictatorially, always desiring to be the one person who calls the shots. Even if in certain minor matters they practice democratic fellowshipping, it is only in an effort to curry everyone’s favor and have everyone view them in a positive light; it is done purely to solidify their own status. If you find some people with these intents, you must guard against them and observe them, and, when necessary, you must expose and restrict them. A right leader or worker is one who first seeks the truth themselves and then leads everyone to fellowship about God’s words and seek the truth. During fellowship, everyone’s heart might not be entirely clear, and might be a bit vague, but as they continue to fellowship, they will have the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment. Perhaps one among them can speak forth a light or path, and as everyone continues to fellowship in the light of this illumination and along this path, clarity will emerge in their hearts, allowing them to determine the proper path of practice. As everyone continues to fellowship together, they will speak with ever increasing clarity. As long as even one person is enlightened and illuminated by the work of the Holy Spirit, it will be as if everyone has been enlightened and illuminated. Leaders and workers should all learn to seek the truth in this way. Practicing in this manner provides an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work. If you always go along with everyone’s opinions and do not seek to know how the Holy Spirit works, then that will be a deviation. Always following everyone’s opinions and settling on what everyone considers to be good—what kind of approach is this? It is an approach where one curries favor, bears no burden, and does not consider the work of God’s house. Although on the surface you have performed your work, allowed people to fellowship and express their opinions, practiced democracy, and avoided authoritarianism or acting unilaterally, your purpose was to curry favor, get people to think highly of you, approve of you, say you are not dictatorial, say you are reasonable, and say you are capable of doing the work. When this is done, you are satisfied. Is it right to do this? Can the outcomes be right if your purpose is not? No, they certainly cannot. You have won everyone’s favor, and made them happy. They all say that you are a good leader, not a false leader or an antichrist, and that you can do the work; they all support you—but who is it that benefits in the end? It is you. Is this a good outcome? It is not. First, you did not bear witness for God, and second, you did not uphold the work of the house of God. The final outcome is that you have protected the interests of you and everyone else, and you have protected your own status, but no one protected the interests of the house of God and the church. There is great harmony among all of you, but the crucial work of the house of God has been pushed to the side. No one pays attention to or considers how the work of the house of God should align with the principles and God’s requirements. Is this not a betrayal of the interests of the house of God? You have betrayed the truth, God’s requirements, and the work and interests of the house of God, so that you can curry everyone’s favor. In the end, you and everyone else benefit. These are despicable, lowly people and a gang of traitors. This is the path taken by antichrists. By betraying the interests of the house of God to please everyone and maintain your own status, you end up being upheld and supported by everyone, so that they will always choose you as their leader. You have solidified your status, but have God’s intentions and truth been carried out in the church? (No.) They have been obstructed by you. God’s will has not been carried out in the church that you control. God’s words have not been carried out among the brothers and sisters and have not entered the hearts of God’s chosen people to become their life. Who is the main culprit of this? You are. You have become a roadblock and obstacle to carrying out God’s will in the church—how could God not be angry at you? Should you not be replaced? What will you have become if it is time for you to be replaced but still no one agrees? You will have become an antichrist. Those who worship and follow you have all been led down the wrong path by you, have lost their chance to be saved, and have become your sacrificial lambs. The church under your control has become a kingdom of the antichrist. These are the consequences. Why does no one agree to have you replaced? You’ve bought them all, and they now view you as God. You’ve taken the place of God in their hearts, occupying their hearts entirely. They no longer have God or truth in their hearts; they are being held captive and controlled by you. This is no different from how Satan controls and corrupts people. God has placed these people in your hands, yet you plundered and seized them. Is this not an antichrist? This is indeed an antichrist. What role does an antichrist play in the church? This is blatantly obvious and easy to see. An antichrist is an agent of Satan who does everything Satan wants and achieves Satan’s goal of misleading and controlling people. By doing this, they become Satan’s accomplice and should be cursed and punished by God.

Right now, all those who serve as leaders and workers are afraid of taking the path of an antichrist. What can you do, then, to avoid this result? First, you must understand that the duties you perform and the work you do are commissions from God, and you must do your work in accordance with God’s requirements. In doing so, you will have an objective and a direction in mind, and you will be able to seek the truth and look for a path within God’s words. You should then lead everyone to fellowship about relevant passages of God’s words and enable them to fellowship about the truth according to His words, to obtain more light within God’s words, to understand God’s intentions and the truth, and then to practice according to the truth principles. This is setting foot on the right path. In essence, the work of the church is to lead God’s chosen people in understanding and entering into all the truths that God expresses. This is the church’s most fundamental work. So, no matter what problem is being resolved, no gathering can be separated from reading relevant passages of God’s words or from fellowshipping about the truth. Ultimately, if you can fellowship about the truth and the principles of practice until they are clear, everyone will understand the truth and know how to practice it. Regardless of which aspect of the truth you are eating and drinking during a gathering, you must fellowship in this manner and seek the truth based on the issues you face. Those who understand the truth must lead the fellowship, and those who have been enlightened can then continue the fellowship. In this way, the more they fellowship, the more the Holy Spirit will work upon them, and the more they fellowship the truth, the more clarity they will achieve. When everyone understands the truth, they will achieve complete liberation and freedom and have a path to follow. This is the best result that a gathering can achieve. When everyone communicates about the truth reality until it is clear through this kind of fellowship, won’t they then understand the truth? (Yes.) After people understand the truth, they will naturally know how to experience and practice it. When they can practice the truth accurately, won’t they have obtained the truth? (Yes.) When a person has obtained the truth, won’t they have gained God? If someone has gained God, won’t they have attained God’s salvation? (Yes.) If, in your work as a leader or worker, you can achieve this result, you will have done your work properly, you will have fulfilled your duty up to standard, and you will receive God’s approval. When all of God’s chosen people understand the truth, will they still worship, look up to, and follow you? (No.) People will only commend you, respect you, be willing to come into contact and interact with you, and be willing to listen to your fellowship so they can benefit from it. Those who understand the truth can truly be the light and the salt. This is what it means to fulfill one’s duty as a created being, and to be an adequate created being. When people have understood the truth and attained a closer relationship with God, they can achieve compatibility with God, no longer rebelling against, misunderstanding, or resisting Him, and they will be able to exalt and bear witness for God no matter what issues they face. If, as a leader or worker, you practice according to principles such as these, before you know it, you will have brought people before God. The people you lead will also be able to practice the truth, enter into reality, and exalt God and bear witness for Him. In this way, the people you lead will also be capable of being approved of and gained by God. So, when a leader walks the path of pursuing the truth, this is entirely in accordance with God’s intentions. As long as what people do aligns with the truth principles, the results of their actions will only get better and better, without a single adverse side-effect, and they will have the blessing and protection of God in every matter. Even if they cause some deviations at times, God will enlighten and lead them, and they will find correction within God’s words. When people take the right path, they will have God’s blessing and protection.

What is the purpose behind the house of God practicing democratic elections and consultations? Why must democracy be practiced? (To prevent people from being a law unto themselves.) Indeed, it is to avoid this problem. However, the end goal of practicing democratic consultations is to use the truth to resolve problems, to avoid causing deviations, and to act in accordance with God’s intentions. It is to understand the truth and enter onto the right track. It is to find the path that follows God’s will, to submit to His work, and to lead God’s chosen people into the truth reality so that His will is carried out. It is also to guard against the misleading and disturbance wrought by false leaders and antichrists, to prevent chaos from arising in the church, and to protect the lives of God’s chosen people from suffering losses. Practicing democratic consultations can achieve these results. If there is no fellowshipping on the truth or democratic consultations in the church, it is too easy for chaos to ensue and for the devils and Satans to exploit a loophole, resulting in power being held by false leaders and antichrists. Since all people have corrupt dispositions, leaders and workers are most prone to acting dictatorially, to only allowing themselves a say, and to making all decisions themselves. The house of God practices democratic elections purely to keep leaders and workers from being a law unto themselves, as well as to restrict false leaders and antichrists from holding power in the church, from being the only ones who get a say, and from bringing the church under the control of their families. It is entirely to restrict all authoritarian and antichrist approaches. However, this doesn’t mean that the house of God is giving the brothers and sisters the final say by practicing democracy, and it certainly doesn’t mean that everything must be decided through consultation with the brothers and sisters. The house of God has democracy as well as centralization. It is very necessary for it to practice in this way. Are conclusions that have been reached just by practicing democracy guaranteed to align with the truth? Not necessarily. So that is why there must be centralization. What does centralization mean? It means to pool together everyone’s opinions to provide an accurate conclusion that aligns completely with the truth and God’s intentions. When democratic consultations are unable to achieve better results, then what is needed to get these results is centralization. The way that centralization is practiced is if the decision-making group cannot reach a consensus after fellowshipping about an issue and cannot make the correct decision, then they must report this to the Above to have them make a decision. Since the Above understands the truth and possesses the principles, the resolutions they make are accurate and in accordance with God’s intentions. If the church leaders or the decision-making group are unable to fellowship the truth clearly or find the principles and path, if they do not know how to make a decision, and, under these circumstances, do not report to the Above or ask them to make a resolution, instead taking charge on their own accord, then this church and decision-making group are controlled by false leaders and antichrists. If God’s chosen people achieve results by fellowshipping about the truth, and the conclusions they come to are correct, the Above will go ahead and give their approval. If there are still deviations in their conclusions, and they do not completely align with the truth principles, then the Above will correct them. This way the errors that sometimes arise in democratic consultations can be effectively avoided. With this centralization, it is possible to guarantee that democratic consultations operate as normal, are not disturbed, and, at the same time, that there are no deviations in the leaders’ and workers’ performance of their duties. Though the house of God practices democracy, it has principles for this. These principles are that it must be done in accordance with the truth of God’s words, and one must submit to God and everything He says in all matters. These results must be achieved in order to be in line with the house of God’s principles for democracy. The final results of the church’s practice of democracy must align with the truth. If they do not, then they must be overturned. Some people believe that practicing democracy means God’s chosen people have the final say in all matters, and that whatever the brothers and sisters say must be respected and taken into consideration. Is this correct? Do the brothers and sisters have the truth? (They do not.) If they are allowed to have the final say in all matters, how is it different from allowing false leaders and antichrists to have the final say? In both cases, they do not have the truth and they are corrupt people. If they have the final say, is Satan not then holding the power? Therefore, to practice democracy does not mean that anything the brothers and sisters say is the truth, is right, and must be respected. This is not the case. Democracy is mainly practiced to allow every person to have a chance to speak, talk, fellowship, and be able to fulfill their own responsibilities, obligations, and duties. However, the authority to make a decision is in the hands of the decision-making group. Decisions are made by those who understand the truth, and all matters of importance are decided by the Above. In this way, it can be guaranteed that the decisions the church makes are by and large correct, or that most of the decisions are correct, and that deviations will only grow fewer and fewer. This is the meaning behind adopting democratic elections and consultations. These things are practiced entirely in order to achieve the effect of being aligned with the truth in all matters, to reach the point where God’s will is followed, little to no mistakes are committed, and to guarantee that God’s will can be carried out unhindered. If democratic elections and consultations are not practiced, it is certain there will be copious evil people exploiting loopholes, and false leaders and antichrists acting dictatorially. This not only affects the expansion of the gospel, but also church life and the life entry of God’s chosen people. Ever since the house of God began practicing democratic elections, there have been a number of false leaders and workers who have been revealed and eliminated, and evil people who have had no openings to take advantage of. There have also been a number of those who pursue the truth and of whom God’s chosen people approve that have been chosen as leaders and workers. They have been given a chance to train and be made perfect. These are clear results of practicing democratic elections and they can be seen by all. All of God’s chosen people should understand that the church practicing democracy is beneficial and favorable to the house of God, to the church, and to individuals. Since every single person in the church is a member of the house of God, and none of them are outsiders, each person has the right to speak, talk, vote, and elect in matters that pertain to the work of the church and so on. This is everyone’s right. However, having this right is not equivalent to you possessing the truth, or to you being allowed to act recklessly. If you abuse this right, shouldn’t the house of God restrict you? (Yes.) You were given this right so that you would practice the truth and handle matters according to the truth principles. It was so that you would uphold the interests of the church and of the house of God. It was not so that you could have the final say and act recklessly. The church can refer to and adopt the things you say that are right. If you say something that is wrong, and you are overruled, you must not persist. You should practice acceptance and submission. This manner of practice is beneficial to the work of the house of God.

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