Words on Serving God

Excerpt 70

If, as a church leader or worker, you are to lead God’s chosen ones in entering the truth reality and bearing good testimony to God, of chief importance is to guide people in spending more time reading God’s words and fellowshipping the truth. In this way, God’s chosen ones can have a deeper knowledge of God’s aims in saving man and the purpose of God’s work, and can understand God’s will and His various requirements for man, thus allowing them to perform their duty properly and satisfy God. When you assemble to fellowship and preach, you must speak of your experiential testimony practically, and not be satisfied with preaching words and doctrines. When you eat and drink God’s words, you must focus on understanding the truth—and once you understand the truth, you must try and put it into practice, and only when you practice it will you truly understand the truth. When you fellowship God’s words, speak what you know. Do not boast, do not make irresponsible remarks, do not simply speak words and doctrines, and do not exaggerate. If you exaggerate, people will detest you and you will feel reproached afterward, and you will feel remorseful and upset—and you will have brought all of this on yourself. Can you make people understand the truth and enter into reality if you only preach words and doctrines to lecture and prune them? If what you fellowship about is not practical, if it is nothing but words and doctrines, then no matter how much you prune and lecture them, it will be to no avail. Do you think people being afraid of you, and doing what you tell them to, and not daring to object, is the same as them understanding the truth and being submissive? This is a major mistake; life entry is not so simple. Some leaders are like a new manager trying to make a strong impression, they try to impose their new-found authority on God’s chosen ones so that everyone submits to them, thinking that this will make their job easier. If you lack the truth reality, then before long your true stature will be revealed, your true colors will be exposed, and you could well be cast out. In some administrative work, a little pruning and discipline is acceptable. But if you are incapable of fellowshipping the truth, in the end, you will still be unable to solve problems, and it will affect the results of the work. If, no matter what issues appear in the church, you keep lecturing people and casting blame—if all you ever do is acting in a bad-tempered manner—then this is your corrupt disposition revealing itself, and you have shown the ugly face of your corruption. If you always stand on a pedestal and lecture people like this, then as time goes on, people will be unable to receive the provision of life from you, they will not gain anything practical, and instead will detest you and be disgusted by you. In addition, there will be some people who, having been influenced by you due to a lack of discernment, will likewise lecture others and prune them. They will likewise get angry and lose their tempers. Not only will you be unable to solve people’s problems—you will also be fostering their corrupt dispositions. And is that not leading them onto the path toward perdition? Is that not an act of evil? A leader should lead primarily by fellowshipping about the truth and providing life. If you always stand on a pedestal and lecture others, will they be able to understand the truth? If you work in this way for a while, when people come to see you clearly for what you are, they are going to desert you. Can you bring people before God by working in this way? You certainly cannot; all you can do is foul up the work of the church and cause all God’s chosen people to loathe you and desert you. There were some leaders and workers who were cast out for this reason in the past. They were unable to fellowship on the truth to resolve actual problems, lead people to eat and drink the words of God, or lead people to understand themselves. They did none of this essential work; they just focused on putting themselves on a pedestal, lecturing people, and giving orders, thinking that by doing this, they were doing the work of a church leader. As a result, they did not carry out the work arrangements issued by the Above even if they knew them, nor did they do specific jobs well. All they did aside from spouting words and doctrines and shouting slogans was to put themselves on a pedestal and blindly lecture and prune people. This caused everyone to be afraid of, and avoid, these leaders and workers, and people did not dare report problems to them. By acting in this way, the leaders and workers mucked up their work and brought it to a standstill. It was only when the house of God dismissed them that they realized they had not done any real work. Perhaps they felt a lot of remorse, but regrets are of no use. They were still dismissed and cast out.

Excerpt 71

You all want to strive toward the truth. In the past, you expended some effort when you distilled various aspects of the truth in God’s words. Some people gained a little from this, while others just liked to follow regulations and went astray. As a result, they took each aspect of the truth and turned them into regulations to follow. When you distill the truth like this, you are not helping others gain life or change their disposition from within the truth; rather, you are making them master some knowledge or doctrine within the truth. It is as though they understand the purpose of God’s work when, in fact, they have only mastered a few doctrines and words; they do not understand the meaning contained within the truth. It is just like studying theology or the Bible; after summarizing some bits of biblical knowledge and a few theological theories, people have only gained an understanding of some biblical knowledge and theories. They are most adept at speaking those words and doctrines, but have no real experience. They do not have an understanding of their corrupt disposition and have even less of an understanding of God’s work. Ultimately, what these people have gained is just a few doctrines and pieces of knowledge; it is but a bunch of regulations. They have not gained anything practical. If God performs new work, are these people capable of accepting and submitting to it? Can you match it up with the truths you have distilled? If you can and also have some understanding, then the things which you have distilled are practical to some extent. If you cannot, then the things which you have distilled are just regulations and have no value. As such, is distilling the truth in this way appropriate? Can it help people understand the truth? If it has no effect, then there is absolutely no meaning in doing it. It is just getting people to study theology. It does not get them to experience God’s words and the truth. That is why the house of God must have principles when it edits books. They must be able to help people easily understand the truth, have a path to entry, and have light within their hearts. This makes it easy to enter the truth reality. You cannot be like those in a religion who study biblical and theological knowledge in a systematic way. That will only steer people toward biblical knowledge, religious rituals, and regulations, and confine them to a box. It is incapable of bringing people before God to understand the truth and God’s will. You think that by asking line after line of questions and then responding to them, or by outlining the central points and then summarizing and distilling the truth in a few lines, these issues will be made self-evident, be made easy for your brothers and sisters to understand. You think this is a fine approach. However, after people are done reading it, they will not understand the meaning contained within the truth; they will never match it up with reality. All they have mastered is a few words and doctrines. That is why it is better not to do these things than to do them! Doing these things is a way to lead people to understand and master knowledge. You are guiding people into doctrine and religion, and getting them to believe in and follow God within the context of religious doctrine. Is this not the path Paul led people to take in their belief in God? You think that it is particularly important to understand spiritual doctrine, but not important to come to know God’s words. This is a grave mistake. There are many people who focus on how many of God’s words they can memorize, how much doctrine they can talk about, and how many spiritual formulas they can discover. This is why you always want to systematically distill every aspect of the truth so that everyone says the exact same thing in unison, recites the same doctrines, possesses the same knowledge, and abides by the same regulations. This is your goal. It seems as though you do this to help people better understand the truth, but you do not know you are leading people into doctrinal regulations of God’s words, and that they will only stray further and further from the truth reality of God’s words. To truly help people understand the truth, you must combine the reading of God’s word with reality and people’s corrupt states. You must reflect on and understand problems within yourself, and reflect on the corrupt dispositions you reveal. You must then fix these things by seeking the truth in God’s words. This is the only way to resolve people’s real problems and get them to understand the truth and enter reality. Only by effecting this result are you truly bringing people before God. If all you talk about is spiritual theory, doctrine, and regulations; if the only thing you focus on is making sure people have good behavior; if all you can achieve is making people speak the same and follow the same regulations, but you are unable to lead them to understand the truth, much less get them to understand themselves better so they can repent and make a change, then all you have understood is words and doctrines, and you are devoid of any truth reality. In the end, by believing in God in this way, not only will you be unable to gain the truth, you will also have hindered and forfeited yourself—you will be unable to gain anything.

Have you noticed some patterns in how God speaks? Some people express it like this: The content in every discourse from God is multifaceted. The meaning of each passage and each sentence differs. It is not easy for man to remember, nor is it easy for people to understand. If people wish to summarize the main idea of every passage, they will not be able to. People of poor caliber cannot comprehend God’s words. No matter how they are fellowshipped with, they are still incapable of understanding the truth. God’s words are not novels, prose, or literary works; they are the truth, and the language that supplies life to man. These words cannot be understood by man simply pondering them, nor can people summarize the patterns within them by expending a bit more effort. That is why, no matter what aspect of the truth you have a bit of knowledge of, and are able to articulate something about, you cannot boast, for what you understand is only a partial knowledge. It only scratches the surface, it is but a drop in the ocean, and absolutely falls short of understanding God’s true intentions. In every discourse from God, there are several aspects of the truth. For instance, a discourse speaks of the mysteries of God’s incarnation. It includes the significance of the incarnation, the work accomplished by the incarnation, and how people should believe in God. It may also cover how people should know God and love God. It encompasses many aspects of the truth. If, as you imagine, the incarnation has but a few meanings, which can be encapsulated in several sentences, then why does man always have notions and imaginings about God? What effects does the work of the incarnation aim to achieve upon people? It is to enable people to hear God’s words and return to God. It is to interact with man, directly save man, and enable man to know God. After coming to know God, people naturally develop a God-fearing heart, and it becomes easy for them to submit to God. That is why any aspect of His word or the truth is not as simple as you imagine. If you view God’s words and divine language as being so simple, believing that any problem can be solved with a single passage of God’s words, then you cannot fully understand the truth. Even if your understanding aligns with the truth, it is still one-sided. Every discourse from God is spoken from multiple perspectives. God’s words cannot be summarized or distilled by man. After distilling them, you think that a passage of God’s words only addresses one issue, when in reality, that passage can resolve several problems. You cannot encapsulate or delimit them, because all aspects of the truth include numerous realities. Why is it said that the truth is life, that it can be enjoyed by people, and that it is something that people could not experience fully even after several lifetimes or hundreds of years? If you distill a certain aspect of the truth or a passage of God’s words, then the passage you have distilled has become a formula, a regulation, a doctrine—it is no longer the truth. Even though it is God’s original words, with not a single word changed, if you distill and arrange them this way, they become theoretical words, not the truth. Why is that? It is because you will lead people astray and into doctrines, making them think, imagine, consider issues, and read God’s words all according to your doctrine. After reading it over and over, people will only understand one doctrine and see one regulation in that passage, and fail to see the aspect that is the truth reality. In the end, you will lead people on a path to understand doctrines and follow regulations. They will not know how to experience God’s words. They will only understand doctrines and discuss doctrines, but they will not understand the truth or know God. What comes out of their mouths will all be pleasant-sounding and correct doctrines, yet they will lack even the slightest reality and have no viable path themselves. Such leadership truly does man great harm!

Do you know what is the greatest taboo in man’s service of God? Some leaders and workers always want to be different, to be head and shoulders above the rest, to show off, and to figure out some new tricks, in order to make God see just how capable they really are. However, they do not focus on understanding the truth and entering the reality of God’s words. This is the most foolish way to act. Is this not precisely the revelation of an arrogant disposition? Some even say, “If I do this, I’m sure it’ll make God happy; He’ll like it. This time I am going to show it to God; I’ll give Him a nice surprise.” The “nice surprise” doesn’t matter. What is the result? People see the things these people do are too absurd. Not only are they of no benefit to the work of God’s house, but they are a waste of money—they bring about losses to God’s offerings. God’s offerings are not to be used however you want; it is a sin to waste offerings to God. These people end up offending God’s disposition, the Holy Spirit stops working in them, and they are cast out. As such, never ever impulsively do whatever you want. How can you not consider the outcome? When you offend God’s disposition and violate His administrative decrees, and are subsequently cast out, there will be nothing left for you to say. Regardless of your intent, and whether or not you do it deliberately, if you do not understand God’s disposition or His will, you will easily offend Him and be liable to violate His administrative decrees; this is something against which everyone should be on guard. Once you have violated God’s administrative decrees or offended His disposition, if it is extremely serious, then He will give no consideration as to whether you did it intentionally or unintentionally. This is a matter that you need to see clearly. If you cannot understand this issue, then you are bound to have problems arise. In serving God, people wish to make great strides, do great things, speak great words, perform great work, hold great meetings, and be great leaders. If you always have such grand ambitions, then you will violate God’s administrative decrees; people who do this will die quickly. If you are not well-behaved, devout, and prudent in your service to God, then sooner or later, you will offend His disposition. If you offend God’s disposition, violate His administrative decrees, and thereby sin against God, then He will not look to see for what reason you did this, nor to see your intentions. So do you think God is unreasonable? Is He being inconsiderate to man? (No.) Why not? Because you are not blind or deaf. Nor are you foolish. God’s administrative decrees are clear and evident. You can see and hear them. If you still violate them, what reasoning could you possibly have? Even if you harbor no intentions, as long as you offend God, you will face being destroyed and punished when the time comes. Would it even matter what your circumstances were? People with the nature of Satan are naturally able to offend God’s disposition. No one is ever forced at knifepoint to violate God’s administrative decrees or offend His disposition; this simply doesn’t happen. Rather, this is something that is determined by the nature of man. “God’s disposition is not to be offended.” This statement has meaning contained within. However, God punishes people based on their state and background. Offending God without knowing it is Him is one type of state, while offending God despite clearly knowing it is Him is another. Some people can offend God despite clearly knowing it is Him, and they will be punished. God expresses some of His dispositions in each step of His work. Hasn’t man come to understand some of it? Do people not know a little about which of God’s dispositions He has revealed through the many truths He expressed, as well as which of people’s actions and words are prone to offend Him? And as for those matters set by God’s administrative decrees—what man should and should not do—do people not know these too? Some matters related to the truth and principles cannot be fully understood by people because they have not experienced them; they are incapable of understanding them. However, the matters of administrative decrees fall within a prescribed scope. They are regulations. They are things that man can easily understand and attain. There is no need to study or explain them. It is enough for people to act according to how they understand their meaning. If you are careless, lack a God-fearing heart, and knowingly violate the administrative decrees, then you deserve to be punished!

Excerpt 72

Those who act as leaders should not pay too much attention to work or always focus on their own status, nor should they set high standards for themselves, and then go on to think up every possible method to solve everyone’s problems so that everybody knows: “I am the leader, I have this position, this status, and I also have this caliber, this competence. And since I can lead you, I can also provide for you.” It is troublesome that they are able to speak such words. In what way is it troublesome? If your orientation is incorrect and if you have no principles in handling your affairs, then everything you do will be wrong and produce deviations. If your motivation is wrong, everything you do will be wrong. Focus on seeking the truth, understanding the truth, understanding the essence of the truth of visions, and mastering this aspect of the principles—that is correct. As long as you don’t go beyond these bounds when things befall you, or when you are dealing with problems, you will be able to help others and resolve their difficulties, and you will be a qualified leader. However, if you only understand some doctrines, and if you only equip yourself with them, listen to more sermons, and master a few more words in order to lead, and if you just offer a few doctrines and words when trying to solve someone’s problems, and as a result, do not solve any of their problems, then you do not possess the reality of being a leader, and you are just an empty frame. What kind of leader is this? (A false leader.) This is a false leader. You are unable to perform actual work. Even if no one exposes and reports a false leader, the life of God’s chosen people in the church will not progress, problems will accumulate, and the false leader will have to bear the blame and be compelled to step down. If you are a false leader, then no matter how high your position is, you are still a false leader. Now, whether or not you can perform actual work, and whether or not you are a false leader—these are not the most important things. So, what is the most important thing? You must now hurry to pursue the truth and focus on life entry. Once you have had life entry, transformed your disposition, understood God’s will, and are able to resolve your own incorrect states, it will be easy for you to solve other people’s problems. Once you understand the truth and enter into the truth reality, will you still be afraid that you cannot solve others’ problems? You won’t need to worry about whether you can lead well. If you possess the truth reality, you will naturally be able to do your duty well and solve actual problems. You must understand this thoroughly. If you do not understand this thoroughly, and always want to guard your status as a leader, and to establish your good image in the hearts of God’s chosen people, then your intention is wrong, and you will naturally be disgraced and fail. If you are a person who loves the truth and who focuses on their own life entry, and you relinquish your human ambitions, desires, and erroneous pursuits, and are not constrained by these things, then you will be able to pursue the truth, and you will naturally come to understand each aspect of the truth over time. In this way, you will be in your element when it comes to helping others and you will have no difficulty in doing so. Therefore, you should not guard your status. It is an empty frame. It is useless. It will bring you no benefits, and it will also not help you to understand the truth. Moreover, it can mislead you into committing many errors, and it can also cause you to go astray. For corrupt mankind, status is a trap. But no one can avoid this hurdle, all must pass through it, it just depends on how you approach it. If you approach it using human means, you will not be able to restrain or rebel against yourself. This can only be resolved using the truth. The truth can solve this difficulty. If you can seek the truth, you can address this issue at its root. If you can’t use the truth to solve this difficulty, if you are merely restraining yourself and rebelling against things—rebelling against your thoughts, your approaches, your ideas, and always just rebelling in this way—what method is this? This is a negative and passive approach. You must use positive methods to resolve it, that is, you must resolve it with the truth, and understand this matter thoroughly. First look at the various approaches those antichrists and false leaders use to seek fame, gain, and status and to defend their vanity and pride. After seeing them clearly, you will feel: “Oh my, how shameful, how truly shameful! Do I also use those approaches?” Then, you will start to reflect on yourself and soon you will realize: “Oh my, I also use many of those approaches, I am not so different from those antichrists and false leaders.” You will have some remorse in your heart, and say, “I cannot continue to protect my status and reveal this shamefulness,” resolving to learn a lesson. Stop focusing on whether others esteem you, how many problems you can solve for other people, whether or not someone listens to you, or how many people have a place for you in their hearts. If such matters are always in your heart, you will be distracted and affected, and you will have less time to pursue the truth. You have used your limited energy and your precious time in pursuing your ambitions and desires for fame, gain, and status. As a result, you have not gained the truth and life. Although you have gained status and your ambitions and desires are satisfied, you have not had life entry and you have lost the work of the Holy Spirit. What will the ultimate outcome of this be? You will be cast out and punished. Why does this occur? You chose the wrong path. If you have reached Paul’s level, then you will be punished in the end. But if you have not reached Paul’s level, and you reverse your course in time, then there is room for redemption, and still hope for salvation.

Regardless of what problems believers in God have, whether they be the pursuit of status, fame, gain, and wealth, or the satisfaction of personal ambitions and desires, in any case, all problems must be resolved through the pursuit of the truth. No problem can bypass the truth. No matter is separate from the truth. As soon as one departs from the truth in their belief in God, their belief is hollow. There is no use in pursuing anything else. Some people are merely content with doing impressive and glorious duties, making others look up to them and envy them. Is this useful? This is not your final outcome, nor is it your final reward, and it certainly is not your destination. So, regardless of the duty you perform, it is only temporary, it is not eternal. This is not an approval that God has bestowed upon you, nor a reward that He has given you. Ultimately, whether people can attain salvation is not dependent on what duty they do, but on whether they can understand and gain the truth, and on whether they can, in the end, entirely submit to God, put themselves at the mercy of His arrangement, give no consideration to their future and destiny, and become a qualified created being. God is righteous and holy, and these are the standards He uses to measure all mankind. These standards are immutable, and you must remember this. Inscribe these standards in your mind, and at any time, do not think of finding some other path to pursue some unreal thing. The requirements and standards God has for all who want to attain salvation are forever unchanging. They remain the same no matter who you are. You can achieve salvation only by believing in God according to God’s requirements and standards. If you find another path to pursue things that are vague, and imagine that you will succeed by luck, you are someone who resists and betrays God, and you will definitely be cursed and punished by God.

Excerpt 73

In order for leaders and workers to perform their duties well and do a good job at the work God has entrusted to them, they must first understand God’s will and not focus on the size or quantity of their work. They should instead focus on whether or not they have life entry and change their dispositions. This is what God requires of leaders and workers. Do you now really understand changes in one’s disposition? What does a change in disposition mean? Are you able to discern a change in behavior and a change in disposition? Which states can be considered changes in one’s life disposition, and which states are merely changes in external behavior? What is the difference between a change in one’s external behavior and a change in one’s inner life? Can you tell the difference? You see someone with an enthusiastic heart, running around and spending time for the church, and you say: “His disposition has changed!” You see someone forsake their family or job, and you say: “Her disposition has changed!” You think that if their disposition hadn’t changed, they wouldn’t be able to make such a sacrifice. That’s how most of you see things, but is this view correct? Some people are even more absurd; when they see someone who has forsaken their family or job, they say: “This person really loves God!” Today, you say this person loves God, tomorrow you say someone else loves God. If you see someone preaching endlessly, you say: “This person knows God. He has gained the truth. If he did not know God, could he have so much to say?” Isn’t that how you see things? Indeed, this is how most of you see people and things. You always honor others with crowns and flatter them. Today you give someone a crown for loving God, tomorrow you give someone else a crown for knowing God, for being loyal to God. You’re “experts” in giving crowns to others. Every day, you honor others with crowns and flatter them, which results in their harm, and yet you feel proud for doing so. When you praise others in this way you make them arrogant. Those who are praised like this think to themselves, “I have changed, I can receive a crown, I am sure to enter the kingdom of heaven!” Worse still, there are some, like Paul, who always talk about how much they have suffered and how much they have borne witness. They sing their own praises and speak according to their own notions and preferences, without the slightest consideration of God’s will. They tell others to emulate them even though it is clear that they have not changed their own dispositions and, as a result, those who believe in God but lack discernment—and especially those who worship them—are harmed and led astray. They have not yet set out on the right track of believing in God, only expending themselves and suffering for God out of zeal. They have merely been arrested and imprisoned without betraying anything or becoming a Judas—and so they think that they have stood firm in their testimony and are qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. They treat this little bit of experience as a testimony and flaunt it everywhere. Is this not showing themselves off to mislead people? Many people give this sort of “testimony,” and how many people have been misguided? Is it not absurd that such people are treated as overcomers? Do you know how God sees people? Is it clear to you what an overcomer is, exactly? Bearing false witness in this fashion is cursed by God. How many misdeeds have you committed in this vein? You cannot provide life for others, nor can you dissect others’ states. You can only give people crowns and, as a result, drive them to ruin. Don’t you know that a corrupt person can’t withstand praise? If no one praises them, they are so incredibly proud, with their noses stuck up in the air. But don’t they die faster if people praise them? You don’t know what it means to love God, to know God, to sincerely expend oneself for God. You do not understand any of these things. You look at the outward appearance of things and then pass judgment on others, giving them crowns and flattering them, and thereby misguiding and harming many people—and you do this often. Having been praised by you in this way, many people have gone astray and fallen. Even if they get back up, they have nonetheless delayed much of their progress in life, and already suffered losses. Now most are still not on the right track in their belief in God and cannot pursue the truth, and only know themselves a little. If they are praised like this, they will become self-satisfied, complacent, and stuck in their ways, feeling that they are already on the right track in their belief in God, and that they have a little bit of the truth realities. They will become emboldened in their speech, chiding people within the church, and acting like a despot. Are you not harming people and ruining them by working in this fashion? What kind of person loves God? Those who love God must be like Peter, they must be made perfect, and they must follow God to the end of the road in order to achieve the love of God. God observes the depths of people’s hearts, and only God can determine who loves Him. It is not easy for people to see this clearly, so how can they pass verdicts on others? Only God knows which people truly love Him. Even if they have a God-loving heart, they don’t dare say that they themselves are God-loving people. God said that Peter was a God-loving person, but Peter himself never said that he was. So, is loving God something that one can casually boast about? Loving God is man’s duty, so it is devoid of reason to start boasting as soon as your heart has a little love for God. Even more lacking in reason is if you yourself are not a God-loving person but still praise others for being so. This is insane. Only God knows who is a God-loving person, and can say who is such. If these words come out of a person’s mouth, they are occupying the wrong position. You are taking God’s position, applauding people and flattering them—on whose behalf is this done? God certainly doesn’t flatter people, nor applaud them. After Peter was made complete, God didn’t use him as an exemplar until He did the work of the last days. At the time, He never said to others the words: “Peter loves God.” He only said such things when He did this stage of the work, setting him up as a model and an exemplar for those who experience God’s judgment and seek to love Him in the last days. Everything that God does has meaning. How absurd is it for people to arbitrarily say that someone is a God-loving person! This is too preposterous. First, such people are standing in the wrong position. Second, this is not something that people can pass verdicts on. What does it mean to flatter others? It means misleading, tricking, and harming others. Third, in terms of its objective effect, such behavior is not only unable to lead others onto the right track, but it also disturbs their life entry and causes losses to their life. If you always say someone loves God, is able to renounce things, and is loyal to God, won’t everyone then imitate their outward actions? Not only have you not led others onto the right track, but you have also led most people to focus on outward actions, such that they just rely on these outward practices to exchange for crowns, unconsciously following the path of Paul. Has it not had this effect? When you speak these words, are you aware of these problems? What position are you standing in? What role are you playing? What is the objective effect of your words? What road does it ultimately lead others to follow? To what extent is it harmful? There are serious consequences when people work in this fashion.

Some leaders and workers within the church can’t talk about their experience and testify, and can’t use the truth to resolve problems. They always testify about how they have suffered, how they have accepted being pruned, how they did not become negative despite the many grievances they suffered, and how they persisted in doing their duties. Like Paul, they always testify for themselves, establishing themselves, and making God’s chosen people admire them, esteem them, and look up to them. In addition, when such people see someone who can speak the words and doctrines well and who can preach, they flatter them, and they commend and applaud those leaders and workers who are like Paul, and in this way they make others adore them. They not only fail to do the work of watering and providing well, but they also engage in some destructive and disturbing work that leads others to take the path of Paul. All the while they mistakenly think that they themselves are capable and good leaders, and they want to get rewards from God. Is this not the state that most of you are in? Based on your current method of only paying attention to the words and doctrines, incessantly admonishing people, can you lead people onto the right track? What path can this ultimately lead them to? Will this not lead them all onto the path of Paul? I see that this is how it is, it is no overstatement. It can be said that you are all Paul-style leaders, leading people onto the path of Paul. Do you still want some sort of crown? You will be lucky if you are not condemned. Based on your actions, you have all become people who resist God, serving God yet resisting God, and you have become experts in disrupting His work. If you continue down this sort of path, you will ultimately be false shepherds, false workers, false leaders, and antichrists. Now is the period of training for the kingdom. If you do not put effort into the truth and just focus on the work, you will unwittingly take the path of Paul. Moreover, you will bring a group of others who are like Paul along with you. Will you then not become someone who resists God and disrupts His work? So, if a person who serves God cannot testify for Him, or lead His chosen people onto the right track, then they are someone who resists God. There are only these two paths. Peter’s path is the path of pursuing the truth and ultimately succeeding in one’s faith. Paul’s path is the path of not pursuing truth, and of striving only for blessings and rewards. It is a path of failure. Today, those who walk the successful path of Peter are too few, while there are too many of those who walk Paul’s path of failure. If those of you serving as leaders and workers do not pursue the truth from the beginning to the end, you will all become false leaders and false workers, and you will all be antichrists, and evil people who resist God. If you change onto the right track from now on and genuinely take the path of Peter, then you can still become good leaders and workers whom God approves of. If you do not seek to be made perfect and to enter into the reality of God’s word, then you are in danger. Considering your foolishness and ignorance, your shallow and insufficient experience, your small stature, and your lack of maturity, the only thing that can be done is to fellowship more on the truth with you, to get you to understand, but whether you can obtain the truth depends on your personal pursuit. Because today is much different from the time of Peter and Paul. In those days, Jesus had not yet done the work of judging man, chastising man, or changing man’s disposition. Today, God incarnate has stated the truth so transparently. If people still take the path of Paul, it shows that their comprehension ability is flawed, and it further indicates that, like Paul, they are too evil in character, and too arrogant in disposition. That era was different from today, and the context was different. Today, the word of God is so bright and so clear; it is as if He has reached His hand out to teach and lead you, so it’s inexcusable if you still take the wrong path. In addition, today, there are the two archetypes of Peter and Paul, one positive and one negative, one an exemplar and the other a warning. If you take the wrong path, it means you have made the wrong choice, and are so evil. You have no one to blame but yourself. Only he who has the truth reality can lead others to enter the truth reality, but he who lacks the truth reality can only lead others astray.

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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 cast out 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 will? 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 will. 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 has God’s will 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 will 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 will. 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 will. 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 conforms to God’s will. 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 will. 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 cast out, 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.

Excerpt 75

In their work, church leaders and workers must pay attention to two principles: One is to do their work exactly according to the principles stipulated by the work arrangements, never violating those principles and not basing their work on anything that they might imagine or on any of their own ideas. In everything they do, they should show concern for the work of the church, and always put the interests of God’s house first. Another thing—and this is most crucial—is that in all things, they must focus on following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do everything in strict keeping with God’s words. If they are still capable of going against the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or if they stubbornly follow their own ideas and do things according to their own imagination, then their actions will constitute a most serious resistance against God. Frequently turning their back on the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit will only lead to a dead end. If they lose the work of the Holy Spirit, then they will not be able to work; and even if they do somehow manage to work, they will accomplish nothing. These are the two main principles that leaders and workers must abide by while working: One is to perform their work in exact accordance with the work arrangements from the Above, as well as to act according to the principles that have been set forth by the Above; and the other is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit within them. Once these two principles are grasped, they will not be so liable to make mistakes in their work. Your experience in doing church work is still limited, and when you work, it is highly adulterated by your own ideas. At times, you may not understand the enlightenment or guidance within you that comes from the Holy Spirit; at other times, you appear to understand it, but you are likely to ignore it. You always imagine or deduce in a human manner, acting as you think appropriate, with no concern at all for the Holy Spirit’s intentions. You go about your work solely according to your own ideas, setting aside any enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Such situations occur frequently. Inner guidance from the Holy Spirit is not transcendental; it is, in fact, very normal. That is, in the depths of your heart, you feel this is an appropriate way to act, and that it is the best way. This thought is actually quite clear; it did not come of pondering, and sometimes you do not fully understand why you should act this way. This is often none other than enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. This happens most often to people with experience. The Holy Spirit guides you to do what is most appropriate. It is not something you think about, rather it is a feeling in your heart that makes you realize that this is the best way to do it, and you like to do it that way without knowing why. This may come from the Holy Spirit. One’s own ideas often come from thinking and considering, and are all adulterated by self-will; they always think of what benefit and advantage it is to them; every act that humans decide to do has these things in it. Guidance from the Holy Spirit, however, in no way contains such adulterations. It is necessary to pay careful attention to the guidance or enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; particularly in key issues, you must be careful in order to grasp it. People who like to use their brains, and who like to act on their own ideas, are the most liable to miss such guidance or enlightenment. Adequate leaders and workers are people who possess the work of the Holy Spirit, who are attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit at every moment, who submit to the Holy Spirit, have a God-fearing heart, are mindful of God’s will, and tirelessly pursue the truth. To satisfy God and bear witness for Him properly, you should often reflect on your motives and adulterations in the performance of your duty, and then try to observe how much of the work is motivated by human ideas, how much is born of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and how much is in keeping with God’s words. You must constantly, and in all circumstances, reflect on whether your words and deeds are in line with the truth. To practice frequently in this manner will put you on the right track of serving God. It is necessary to possess the truth realities to achieve service to God in a way that is in line with His will. Only after they have understood the truth can people have the ability to discern and recognize what emerges from their own ideas and what emerges from human motives. They are able to recognize human impurities, as well as what it means to act according to the truth. Only after they can discern can it be ensured that they can put the truth into practice and be fully in line with God’s will. Without understanding the truth, it is impossible for people to practice discernment. A muddleheaded person might believe in God his entire life without knowing what it means to have his own corruption revealed or what it means to resist God, because he does not understand the truth; that thought does not even exist in his mind. The truth is beyond reach for people of overly low caliber; no matter how you fellowship on it with them, they still do not understand. Such people are muddleheaded. In their faith, muddleheaded people cannot testify to God; they can merely render a bit of service. If leaders and workers are to perform their duties well, then their caliber cannot be too bad. At the very least, they must have spiritual understanding and comprehend things purely, so that they can easily understand the truth and practice the truth. Some people’s experience is too shallow, so sometimes they have distortions in their understanding of the truth, and then they are prone to make mistakes. When they have distortions in their understanding, they are not up to the task of practicing the truth. When there are distortions in people’s understanding, they are likely to follow regulations, and when they follow regulations, it is easy to make mistakes, and they aren’t up to the task of practicing the truth. When there are distortions in understanding, it is also easy to be misled and used by antichrists. Therefore, distortions in understanding can lead to many mistakes. As a result, not only will they fail to perform their duties well, they can also easily go astray, which harms the life entry of God’s chosen people. What is the value of someone doing their duty like this? They have simply become someone who disrupts and disturbs the work of the church. Moreover, lessons must be learned from these failures. In order to fulfill the work that God entrusts, it is necessary for leaders and workers to grasp these two principles: One must strictly adhere to the work arrangements from the Above in performing duty, and must pay attention to and submit to any guidance from the Holy Spirit in accordance with the word of God. Only when these two principles are grasped can one’s work be effective and God’s will be satisfied.

Excerpt 76

In the church, what kind of person is the most arrogant? How does their arrogance manifest itself? In which matters is their arrogance most revealed? Do you have discernment of this? The most arrogant people within the church are actually the evil and the antichrists. Their arrogance far surpasses that of normal people, even to the point of being devoid of reason. In which matters is this easiest to see? It is when they are pruned that their arrogant dispositions are most clearly exposed. Regardless of the magnitude of these antichrists’ evil deeds, if someone prunes them, they will become enraged and say: “Who are you to criticize me and lecture me? How many people can you lead? Can you preach sermons? Can you fellowship on the truth? If you were to take on my role, you would not be as good as me!” How does this sound to you? Do they have the slightest attitude of accepting the truth? If you approach being pruned like this, that spells trouble. It proves that you do not possess any truth realities, and that your life disposition has not changed at all. Can a deeply corrupt, old person like this be a leader or worker? Can they perform the duty of serving God? Certainly not, for such people are not even qualified to be leaders or workers. To be a leader or worker, at the very least, one needs to have a bit of genuine experience, to understand some truths, to possess some realities, and to have the most basic level of submission, which is to say, at the very least, one must be able to accept being pruned—only this kind of person is qualified to be a leader or worker. If someone does not possess any truth realities at all, and they still argue and resist when they are pruned, and do not accept the truth at all, and if such a person serves God, what do you think will happen? There is no doubt that they will resist God; they will not practice the truth, no matter what kind of work they are performing, and even less will they handle things according to the principles. Therefore, if people who do not possess any truth realities take on the roles of leaders or workers, they will certainly walk the path of antichrists, and resist God. Why is it that many leaders and workers are revealed after doing just a bit of their duties? It is because they do not pursue the truth, instead they seek fame, gain, and status, and as a result, they naturally embark upon the path of antichrists. As far as all of you are concerned, if you were given responsibility for a church and no one checked up on you for six months, you would end up walking the wrong path and doing as you please. If you were left to your own devices for a year, you would end up leading other people astray, and they would all focus only on speaking the words and doctrines and comparing who is better than who. If you were left to your own devices for two years, you would lead people before you, people would obey you and not God, and in this way the church would degenerate and become religious. What is the reason for this? Have you ever thought about this question? What path does a person walk when they lead the church in this way? The path of antichrists. Would you be like this? How long can you supply people with the little bit of the truth that you understand now? Can you lead people onto the right track of faith in God? If God’s chosen ones ask many questions, will you be able to answer them by fellowshipping on the truth according to God’s words? If you do not understand the truth, and all you do is preach some words and doctrines, then after listening to you a couple of times, people will have had enough, and when you keep preaching the words and doctrines, they will feel averse to it, and will be able to discern it—in which case, why keep preaching at them? If you are someone who possesses reason, you should stop preaching doctrines to other people, you should stop lecturing people from on high, you should stand on the same footing as others, and you should eat, drink, and experience the words of God together with them. These are all manifestations of people who possess reason. Those who are especially arrogant and self-righteous easily lose their reason, and insist on preaching the words and doctrines to others, or they try to show off by seeking out and learning more profound spiritual theories, and thereby become people who try to mislead others. Acting like this is resisting God. Are you clear on what the consequences will be if you keep on preaching in this way? Are you clear on where you will lead people? What kind of problem is this, when you walk the path of antichrists, lead people before you, and make them worship and obey you? Are you not competing with God for His chosen ones? This is bringing people before you who originally wanted to believe in God, to return to God, and to gain God, making them obey you and do as you say, and making them treat you as God. And what will the consequence of this be? These people originally believed in God in order to be saved, but ended up being misled by you—not only will they not be saved, they will also suffer perdition and be destroyed. By acting in this way, you are leading people astray, you are deeply harming them, you are forfeiting those who believe in God. What crime are you guilty of? How can you make it up to them? You tricked new believers into your own hands, you made them your lambs, they all listen to you, they all follow you, and in your heart, you actually think: “I am powerful now; so many people listen to me, and the church is at my beck and call.” This nature of betrayal within man unconsciously makes you turn God into a mere figurehead, and you yourself then form some sort of religion or denomination. How do various religions and denominations arise? They arise in this way. Look at the leaders of each religion and each denomination—they are all arrogant and self-righteous, and their interpretations of the Bible lack context and are guided by their own notions and imaginings. They all rely on gifts and knowledge to do their work. If they could not preach at all, would people follow them? They do, after all, possess some knowledge and can preach some doctrines, or they know how to win others over and make use of some tricks. They use these things to deceive people, and to bring people before themselves. Nominally, those people believe in God, but in reality, they follow these leaders. When they encounter someone preaching the true way, some of them say, “We have to consult our leader about matters of faith.” See how people need the agreement and approval of others when it comes to believing in God and accepting the true way—is this not a problem? What have those leaders become, then? Have they not become Pharisees, false shepherds, antichrists, and stumbling blocks to people’s acceptance of the true way? Such people are of the same kind as Paul. Why do I say that? The epistles of Paul are recorded in the Bible and have been passed down for two thousand years. Throughout the whole Age of Grace, those who believed in the Lord often read Paul’s words and took them as their criterion—suffering, subduing one’s own body, and finally possessing the crown of righteousness…. People all believed in God according to Paul’s words and doctrines. Over these two thousand years, so many people have imitated Paul, worshiped him, and followed him. They have treated Paul’s words as scripture, they have replaced the words of the Lord Jesus with Paul’s words, and failed to practice God’s words. Is this not a deviation? This is a massive deviation. How much of God’s will could people understand during the Age of Grace? Those who followed Jesus at that time were, after all, in the minority, and those who knew Him were even fewer in number—even His disciples did not truly know Him. If people see a little bit of light in the Bible, it should not be thought to represent God’s will, and less still should a little bit of enlightenment be regarded as knowledge of God. People are all arrogant and conceited, and they do not hold God in their hearts. When they understand a few doctrines, they strike out on their own, which leads to the formation of many denominations. In the Age of Grace, God was not strict with man at all. All the religions and denominations in Jesus’ name had some of the work of the Holy Spirit; as long as there were no evil spirits working within it, the Holy Spirit would work upon any church, so the majority of people were able to enjoy God’s grace. In the past, God was not strict with people, no matter if their belief in Him was genuine or false, no matter if they followed others, or did not pursue the truth, because He had already predetermined that, at the last stage, all those predestined and chosen by Him would have to come before Him and accept His judgment. If, after accepting God’s work of the last days, people still continue to worship and follow others, if they do not pursue the truth but instead pursue blessings and crowns, then this is unforgivable. Such people will meet the same end as Paul. Why do I often use Paul and Peter as examples? These are two paths. Believers in God either follow the path of Peter or the path of Paul. These are the only two paths. Whether you are a follower or a leader, it is the same. If you cannot embark upon the path of Peter, then you are walking the path of Paul. This is unavoidable; there is no third path. Those who do not understand God’s will, who do not know God, who do not seek to understand the truth, and who are unable to absolutely submit to God, must ultimately meet with the same end as Paul. If you do not seek to know God, or to understand God’s will, and you only strive to be able to speak the words and doctrines, and to preach spiritual theories, then you can only resist and betray God, for it is human nature to resist God. Things that do not align with the truth are guaranteed to stem from man’s will. Whatever stems from man’s will, regardless of whether it is good or bad in the eyes of man, disrupts the work of God. Some people think that even though they do not act in accordance with the truth in a few matters, they are not doing evil or resisting God. Is this right? If you do not act in accordance with the truth, then you are definitely violating the truth, and violating the truth is essentially resisting God; it’s just a different level of severity. Even if you are not classified as a person who resists God, God will not approve of you, because you do not practice the truth, and you only do things that are not related to the truth, and only act according to your own will. Even if those who do not pursue the truth do no evil, will they be able to cast off their corrupt dispositions? If they cannot rid themselves of their corrupt dispositions, then they are still living according to those corrupt dispositions. Even if they do not do anything to resist God, they cannot possibly submit to God, and God will not approve of such people.

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