Several Issues That Must Be Resolved to Get the Work of the Church on the Right Track
How to Pursue the Truth to Be a Qualified Leader
People who lack the reality of the truth cannot do work; even if they have status, no one will acknowledge them. So, what would someone rely on to win people’s love and endorsement? According to people outside the church, they would rely on reality and getting things done. However, in God’s home, it would rely on the truth and reality someone understands to convince people and elicit people’s approval and support. Therefore, a true leader or worker, a leader or worker who is after God’s heart, is a pursuer of the truth, and is someone who is able to fellowship about the truth and tell his own real experiences and testimonies. He is able to use the truth he understands to resolve the actual problems faced by God’s chosen people as well as use his own real experiences to lead God’s chosen people to enter into the reality of the truth. Only this type of leader or worker can be a true leader or worker in the hearts of God’s chosen people. Are you willing to be this type of leader or worker? If you are, how would you accomplish that? You must be a pursuer of the truth, but that is not an easy thing to do. You can’t merely say it aloud; you have to be willing to pay a price. What is the price? You must practice by doing your duty. When you are practicing by doing your duty, you will surely exhibit many corruptions and do some things that cause interruption and disturbance. You will surely also do some bad things—selfish and debased things, things that require conspiring on your own behalf. In these situations, God’s chosen people will not consider your feelings. Some may even expose you or even try to hold something against you to punish you. Some workers and leaders may even try to prune you and deal with you. If you pursue the truth, then how will you deal with these things? How will you resolve these problems? Can you cope with being pruned and dealt with? If you can’t, can you gain the truth? Can you change? Can you repent? Furthermore, some of God’s chosen people may try to hold something against you and make a big fuss over your transgressions. They may condemn you and attack you. How would you deal with that? This is a very serious issue. Pursuing the truth is an easy thing to say, but a hard thing to do. In this situation one must put the truth into practice and submit to the truth, but his pride, self-respect, and vanity are tough to set aside. Everyone has this problem. People like to shout out “I am willing to pursue the truth,” but in practice they say “I’m not willing to accept you pruning and dealing with me. And if you condemn me, I’ll condemn you. If you attack me, I’ll reject you. I’ll show you an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This is not the way to pursue the truth. So, what should someone do to pursue the truth? Can you rebel against your flesh? It’s not easy to do. If someone wants to attack and oppress you, and condemn you, and they have something against you, how would you deal with that? If it is in keeping with the facts and the truth, then you must accept it. If it doesn’t, then you can fellowship with them. This is the correct practice. You may feel distressed when you practice this, but shouldn’t you endure it? God incarnate has endured tremendous humiliation, so what is this little bit of hardship for us? Is it a big deal to be treated unjustly? When some leaders and workers see God’s chosen people stigmatize them as false leaders and false workers, they become passive and loose a litany of complaints against them, “I won’t do my duty. What am I actually seeking to do here? Who am I doing this for? Why are they attacking me and putting pressure on me? Aren’t I being wrongly accused?” Don’t we hear these complaints often? Absolutely everyone complains! If, after you do a bit of work or perform some of your duties, you can’t bear humiliation, and you can’t endure attacks, oppression, condemnation, abuse, or curses from some members of the church, if you can’t handle such a minor hardship, is that being in the spirit of bearing the cross? Is that following the example of Christ? Some people put a lot of focus on vanity in their work and satisfying their vanity is the only standard they hold, and they might say “No one can harm me, no one can blame me, I will fulfill my duty. If someone accuses me of being a false leader or worker, I’ll just quit. I won’t do it anymore.” If people like this can’t handle even such a little bit of hardship, how can they be made perfect? You must pay a price to pursue the truth and put it into practice. What does this price include? The greatest thing involved in it is to suffer disgrace and endure humiliation, curses, condemnation, attacks, and judgments from other people. If a leader or worker can endure these hardships as well as perform their duties properly to satisfy God, does this leader or worker possess the reality of the truth? Is this leader or worker someone who loves God? They can put truth into practice, and can endure many humiliations and hardships for God so that they can fulfill their duties as created beings in repayment for God’s love. Only this type of person has true love for God and is truly submissive to Him. So, if someone who is a leader or worker wants to do his duty well, it is not enough for him just to understand the truth; he must be able to endure many hardships. Do not think that enduring these hardships is a simple thing that you can do by relying on your willpower or determination; you must have a loving heart for God, and the will to submit to God, the will to do so unto death, like Peter who was crucified upside down for the Lord; if you lack this kind of will, then your desire to carry out God’s will is just your wishful thinking and your own silly notion, for you lack stature. Are you clear on the price that you must pay to pursue truth and be made perfect? On one hand, you must wait for all kinds of trials and disasters to come upon you at any moment, and on the other hand you must endure the oppression and persecution of the great red dragon. In the house of God, you must also endure the condemnation, attacks, abuse, and derision from a few people. …
You must get to the point where you will never be deceived or used by Satan, but what road must you take to get to this point? You must pursue the truth. You must pursue it no matter the circumstances. No matter how grave the disasters or trials, you must pursue the truth. You must eat and drink of God’s word every day, fellowship on the truth every day, contemplate the truth every day, and experience God’s word every day. In all that befalls you, you must find the relevant words of God and contemplate the truth. You must consider how to practice bearing witness every day. You must think about how to practice the truth and how to put into practice God’s requirements. When you have truly entered into reality, you will be able to discern whether other people have reality. When you understand the truth, you will know whether or not other people truly understand the truth. If you lack the truth, will you be able to know if other people have it? If you have no reality, will you be able to know if other people have entered into reality? If you yourself lack these things, you won’t be able to assess them in other people. Now it seems that on the surface just about anyone can talk about some doctrines, but when it comes to the discernment of others why are they unable to do it? When there is a problem arising in the church, why don’t they know how to help, as if their hands are tied? When some leader or worker is confronted with some questions by God’s chosen people, they start to say something to defend themselves. When God’s chosen people, who can discern this, see that this leader or worker does not accept the truth, they may say some critical words to prune them, and the leader or worker might think, “If I say the same thing, I will still be defending myself, so I won’t say anything.” Noticing them not speaking, God’s chosen people won’t let it go saying, “You have no truth, because if you did, why wouldn’t you speak up?” So, what should the leader or worker say in this situation if they have the truth? How should they act if they have the truth? If they have no truth, they will be powerless and find no way to take. If someone with the truth encounters this situation, their attitude would be thus, and they would think, “If God’s chosen people, whether there are ten of them or thirty of them, ask me questions or call me to account, that’s OK. It’s also OK if they try to prune and deal with me, criticize me, or refute what I say; they can say what they want.” This would be the right way for someone with the truth to handle this situation. How shall we explain “the right way to handle the situation”? That would be: “If it’s my problem, I will accept it, I will acknowledge and accept things honestly. If I have made an error, I will apologize sincerely, and I will guarantee to repent.” If you did that how could God’s chosen people be anything but satisfied? So why can’t you do that? If you don’t have the truth you just can’t do it. If God’s chosen people denounce and criticize you for something that’s not factual, how would you handle that? If you were to deny and refuse to acknowledge that by saying, “I did not do that. Do not talk nonsense,” is that OK to say that? Then what is the right way to handle that? You can instead accept it and say, “Even though I don’t know about this problem that you are talking about, it might have been something that I with such a corrupt disposition could have done. Even though I’m not aware of it, I nonetheless accept it. I will accept responsibility. However, on the specifics I need some time so that I can reflect and understand. So, I accept the suggestion that you have given me, and I thank you for that.” Is this a good way to phrase it? The requirements of God’s chosen people are not overly strict, and they will be satisfied if you are fair and reasonable. So why can’t you be fair and reasonable? Why are you unable to address this properly? This is your own problem that you have no reality of the truth and you lack a normal humanity. If you did have a normal humanity, wouldn’t God’s chosen people go easier on you? Suppose one of God’s chosen people has misunderstood you, and he might say “You’ve attacked and oppressed me.” And you could respond, “Can you explain how I have attacked and oppressed you? Please help me understand.” And he might say, “You said that thing the other day that really made me feel bad and put pressure on me. This means you’ve attacked and oppressed me.” And you could respond, “What I said then has to be taken in context. Let me speak from the heart. I had no intentions of attacking and oppressing you and I didn’t know it put so much pressure on you. If you feel I attacked and oppressed you, then I accept that. I won’t do that again. I want to offer you my sincere apology.” Is this the right way to handle things? If you handle things in this manner you are doing so in accordance with reality and the words are coming from your heart. Even though you didn’t do it deliberately, you accept it. You could say something like, “At that time what I said was not deliberate and I wasn’t aware of what I did. However, based on objective facts, I see what the consequences were. I admit that could put a certain amount of pressure on you. I want to formally apologize to you. I am sorry. I won’t let that happen again.” This is the right way to handle it. This meets the standards of normal humanity. So it is proved that your practice of this is completely accurate and after God’s heart. Through seeking the truth and fellowshiping on the truth this way, we are certain that our practice of this is in accordance with the truth in this situation. We will handle it like this if we run into this issue in the future. If people, and especially leaders and workers, can use this proper attitude in treating God’s chosen people, is there anything they can’t handle? The only problem it can’t fix is if an evil person tries to incriminate you or insists upon attacking you or displacing you. You might feel this way, “I am a pursuer of the truth. I have never done evil things like that. You are trying to make a false charge against me, put blame on me, and frame me, and I cannot accept that.” There’s nothing else you can do in a situation like that. How do you think that situation should be handled? We will seek the truth once more. For example, what if someone accuses you of being a false leader or worker and has evidence and facts to back it up, but those facts are biased? Maybe the evidence appears convincing in a certain way on the surface, but the reality is different. Perhaps they have taken something out of context or twisted the facts around, what can be done then? You can’t completely accept that, so you might say, “There are some discrepancies in your account. At the very least I did not have that kind of intention. This is what actually happened. Your view of what happened goes a bit overboard and is an exaggeration. It’s very far-fetched. You said I am a false leader based on these facts. Does this meet the standards for discerning a false leader as stated in the work arrangements? What do you think are the principles behind the Holy Spirit’s work on people? Do you think that one transgression, one wrong move, or one instance of going against God or resisting God is enough for the Holy Spirit to abandon someone? Is that the principle behind the Holy Spirit’s work? The Holy Spirit is patient with us and He forgives us our transgressions. Why do you seek to condemn and displace me based on one single transgression? Is that after God’s heart?” Isn’t this an example of fellowshiping about the truth? Could it be that the Holy Spirit only works on those who never do anything wrong, who never show any corruption, and who have been made perfect? Does the Holy Spirit only work on the holy and flawless? No, this is how we can see that God loves us! God’s salvation of corrupt mankind shows how much forgiveness and mercy He has. Even though we have transgressed again and again, as long as we pick ourselves up and pray to God and say “I have transgressed, and I repent. I will strive to pursue the truth and I will endeavor to satisfy God,” God will forgive us, and the Holy Spirit will still work on us. This is an example of God’s love. Therefore, whether the Holy Spirit works on us is based on what’s in our heart. As long as we are willing to pursue the truth and repent, the Holy Spirit will continue His work on us uninterrupted. The Holy Spirit has never stopped working on us because of a single transgression of ours, and this too is an example of God’s love. You could ask them, “Why do you seek to condemn and displace a leader or worker for a single transgression? Is that in accordance with God’s will? Has God displaced me? Has the Holy Spirit forsaken me? The Holy Spirit has not forsaken me, and this proves that I am not a false leader or worker. God is drilling me and training me right now. God is guiding me and making me perfect, so why do you want to displace me? Can you represent God?” You can fellowship with them about the truth in this manner, “If you can accuse and condemn me for this transgression, then what sort of problem is this? Aren’t you just trying to frame and attack and oppress me? This is clearly framing, attacking, and oppressing someone. The rules about discerning false leaders and workers have been repeatedly stipulated in the work arrangements of God’s house: Discerning whether or not someone is a false leader or worker is solely based upon whether someone has the work of the Holy Spirit. You said that I do not have the work of the Holy Spirit, and your accusation by itself is not enough. It requires many other leaders and workers and everyone who understands truth to confirm and verify it to prove that I truly do not possess the work of the Holy Spirit.” This kind of fellowshiping is the proper way to handle this problem.
How to Assess Whether a Leader or Worker Meets the Standards
How exactly should we assess a leader or worker? I will tell you the most realistic standards. Firstly, he should sincerely believe in God and be a pursuer of the truth. Is a pursuer of the truth free from any transgression? No, he will have transgressions and exhibit corruption. This is normal. Because he has transgressions, he is likely to make mistakes and likely to deal with a person or situation in such a way that is not in accordance with the truth. Sometimes when it comes to matters involving his own interests, he will even resist or betray God. These would count as transgressions, but trivial things do not. Only going against the truth counts as a transgression. Things like resisting God or interrupting His work or bringing trouble to the work of the church count as transgressions. Therefore, every leader or worker has transgressions, and this is normal. If you were to set the standard that no leader or worker shall have transgressions and that if any of them has, it means he is a false leader or worker, that just wouldn’t work. Secondly, if you are certain that a particular leader or worker is a true pursuer of the truth and a sincere believer, then he will definitely reveal his corruption and it is certain that he is not so crystal clear about some truths. He will definitely make an error or interrupt God’s work at times. But when he has done such things, the Holy Spirit will discipline him and enlighten and illuminate him. Other leaders and workers will criticize and admonish him or prune and deal with him, and God’s chosen people may remonstrate, or criticize, and call him to account as well. However, as long as he is willing to repent, and can accept the truth, know himself, and properly handle the pruning and reproach of God’s chosen people and other leaders and workers, then this kind of person can be kept on and can be counted as someone who can do practical work. After he has committed a transgression or exhibited corruption, he can accept the truth. He has this experience and exhibits such behavior, and this is within the scope of what one would expect of a pursuer of the truth. Do not entertain fanciful notions to define true pursuers of the truth and claim definitively they can practice the truth, love God in their heart, possess humanity, have compassion for people, and have no transgressions, and furthermore, do not claim they rarely exhibit any sort of corruption. Such an opinion is wrong and unrealistic. If it were as you imagine, could a pursuer of the truth even meet such standards? Would that be possible? They simply cannot meet those standards. So, what are pursuers of the truth? Pursuers of the truth can seek the truth and put truth into practice when performing their duties. However, when it comes to issues involving their personal benefit or reputation, or when they are tempted, there is a possibility that they will fail. There will be times when they take the wrong path, or make errors, but these are normal experiences for the pursuers of the truth. This is because all pursuers of the truth have transgressions and can exhibit corruption before they have been made perfect. This is a normal thing. Then what is the difference between people who are pursuers of the truth and those who are not? The difference is that pursuers of the truth can seek the truth when they perform their duties. In many cases they are able to put the truth into practice or they will not diverge far from the truth, and they will not go against or run counter to the truth. This is typical. However, there are also times where they may go against the truth, or commit transgressions or make errors. This is normal conduct for the pursuers of the truth. As for those who are not pursuers of the truth, they do nothing to practice the truth, and they rely on their own opinions and only speak and do work in order to further their own status and reputation. Everything they say and do revolves around their own power and reputation and is rooted in their own personal preferences. All of their talk is about letters and doctrines. Whatever they do, they are not truly performing their duties, much less practicing the truth. They are merely conducting religious ceremonies and following religious rules. People like this rarely practice the truth. Very rarely can they fellowship about the reality of the truth, and most of the time they are talking about letters and doctrines, and are shouting slogans and lecturing people. So, this kind of person can be designated as someone who does not pursue the truth. If someone has these manifestations of not pursuing the truth, that is, if they seldom put the truth into practice; only rarely practice the truth when performing their duties; seldom bring edification to God’s chosen people or benefit them in any way; and do nothing beneficial for the work of God’s family, then you can safely say that person is not a pursuer of the truth. People who are not pursuers of the truth show all these types of behaviors, so we can be certain that they lack the work of the Holy Spirit. Only when we are certain that a certain leader or worker lacks the work of the Holy Spirit can we designate him as a false leader or worker. So, our standards for leaders and workers are as follows: Firstly, they must be pursuers of the truth. They will certainly commit transgressions and sometimes exhibit corruption, but that is normal and does not go against the premise that they are pursuers of the truth. Secondly, if they have committed a transgression or exhibited any corruption, they can handle it properly. If God’s chosen people prune and deal with them, criticize them, condemn them, or even remonstrate with them, they will handle it properly, and won’t respond in an evil way. Moreover, they can come to know themselves and are willing to repent. This is a fact that proves they are pursuers of the truth. Thirdly, they must be able to do some practical work. Just like someone who is a mother or father in a household, even if they can’t do it very well, as long as what they do is basically comparable to the responsibilities of a mother and father and they accomplish these things, this means they can do practical work. God’s chosen people should discern whether they can do practical work based on the following: Firstly, they can fellowship about some reality of the truth, which indeed edifies God’s chosen people. Secondly, their fellowship on the truth can in some way help resolve problems arising in the church. Thirdly, they can handle various affairs in the church with fairness and propriety, be flexible in the process, show wisdom, and protect the work and security of the church. If someone can do these things, then they can do some practical work. If God’s chosen people can ascertain that a certain leader or worker possesses these three qualities, even if he has committed some transgressions or exhibited some corruption, he should not be deemed as a false leader or worker, because he is essentially a qualified leader or worker. Therefore, it is appropriate to assess leaders and workers based on these three points.