Reflections on Being Replaced
By Yi Ran, Shandong Province
Several days ago, our church replaced a leader. As I did not understand the principle behind the church’s revision of personnel, a conception arose within me: The sister that was replaced was very good at both receiving and fellowshiping the truth, and could be open about her own expressions of corruption. How could someone who pursued the truth so much be replaced?
Just as I was feeling very puzzled about this, I read this passage in a work arrangement: “God’s family decides to train and use people in accordance with their essence. If someone’s essence is one that pursues the truth, then God’s family will absolutely not give up on them; if someone is willing to pursue the truth, then they will undoubtedly experience a change. If someone’s essence is one that does not pursue the truth, is negligent of their duties and who does not tread the right road, then they are not worth training and neither can God perfect this kind of person. For someone whom God is not willing to perfect, God’s family also cannot train them. … So the handling of people must be approached in accordance with the requirements of God’s work and people’s essence. Only this is an effective way to work in concert with God and to truly serve God. If this effective way to work in concert with God is not employed, then God’s work is disrupted and God’s will is completely contravened” (“Fellowshiping Some Questions” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of). Trying over and over to figure out these words, I understood that Christ and God’s words rule over the church. There is a principle at work whether the church is promoting someone or replacing them. These changes are being approached in accordance with the requirements of God’s work and people’s essence, and nobody can use or replace people at will. Moreover, the church is not replacing people based on their momentary expressions of corruption, but rather the church is looking to see whether or not they pursue the truth in light of their consistent performance. The church does not train people with bad humanity and who do not pursue the truth, and the church would absolutely not give up on, neglect or ruin anyone who is pursuing the truth. I harbored misconceptions about the church’s revision of personnel because I didn’t understand the truth; I only valued people’s superficial caliber and the skills they were gifted with, and I had no idea what kind of person God wanted to save and perfect, and I was unable to see through to people’s nature and essence. With this understanding, I went before God to pray and seek: “Oh God! I know that I have been corrupted so deeply by Satan. I have no understanding of Your work, I bear many conceptions, and many of my views are incompatible with You. Today, under Your guidance, I know that whether in selecting, training or replacing people, the church approaches it all in accordance with the requirements of Your work and people’s essence. But I still do not thoroughly understand the essence of the sister who was replaced, with the result that I have an opinion about the church’s arrangement. I ask You to lead and guide me; allow me to see clearly so that, in my work from now on, I may not disrupt Your work because of my deviation and my errors.”
After I had prayed, I took up the work arrangements and I saw these words: “By reading God’s words, those who pursue the truth can measure their own corrupt condition against God’s words. Their fellowship about God’s words is not done just to talk about understanding God’s words, but to talk also about understanding themselves. No matter what corruption is expressed, they can get it out in the open so that brothers and sisters can achieve something real, whilst at the same time resolving their own corruption. This is also the best method to lead people into God’s words. … All those who talk only about literal meanings and who are devoid of reality, do not deserve to be leaders in God’s family. This type of leader and worker should be replaced” (“To Serve God One Must Learn How to Discern All Kinds of People” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of). From these words, I realized that those who genuinely pursue the truth can grasp the truth within God’s words when they read them, they can compare their corrupt states to God’s words and know their own nature and essence, and they can open up and lay themselves bare no matter what corruptions they reveal; when others hear them fellowship, they are then able to practice and experience God’s words and have more . People who genuinely pursue the truth can truly accept being pruned and dealt with by others, they focus on self-reflection and practicing the truth, and their corrupt dispositions undergo constant change.
At this time, I began to recall in detail the persistent conduct and performance of the sister. Although when resolving other people’s problems she spoke eloquently and at length, using words that were reasoned and well-argued, she had not resolved the difficulty of her own entry into life, for she had always lived in a state of self-righteousness, believing that she did every job well and feeling immensely proud. If what she had received and fellowshiped had really been an understanding of the essence of the truth, why couldn’t she use her understanding to resolve her own problems? Although when the leader exposed and dissected the serious problems in her work, externally she nodded her head repeatedly, expressing her acceptance and her willingness to do it in principle, she nevertheless secretly persisted in her old ways, doing things how she wanted to the detriment of the work once again. When she was being dealt with again, although her outward appearance showed that she was very remorseful, afterward she made no change whatsoever. Although she talked about her understanding of herself and brought her own corruption out into the open, the result was that she made others look up to her and think highly of her, bringing people before her. Under the guise of being “pure and open,” she covertly disparaged others and exalted herself, and in this way she deceived and corrupted other people. I saw from her consistent performance that although she had worked for many years, she had only managed to equip herself with many letters and doctrines and did not understand the truth. She had no true knowledge of herself, with the result that she regarded doing a little superficial work and speaking some doctrine as understanding the truth and having reality. This then resulted in her disposition becoming more and more arrogant and proud. Only now did I realize that she was not someone who pursued the truth, nor was she someone whose understanding of truth was pure or who fellowshiped about the truth incisively. If she had been kept in her post, she could only have held up the church’s work and damaged her brothers and sisters. Her being replaced really was the righteousness of God and was God’s salvation of her. Otherwise, she would still be deceived by her own outward appearance and would not have seen the errors of her ways, and ultimately, she could only have caused serious damage to the church work and would have been punished by God.
Through this matter I saw my own destitution, blindness and how pitiable I was, and I realized that without truth, one cannot thoroughly understand the essence of the matter, but can only speak and see things standing in opposition to God according to one’s own notions and imaginings. Only by understanding the truth can one have discernment and not be deceived. From today on, I wish to make much more effort in my pursuit of the truth, to seek the principles of the truth in all things, to do things as God requires and to soon be of use to Him.
Judgment Is the Light
God’s chastisement and judgment is the light. It is the greatest grace, the best protection, and the most valuable wealth of life bestowed by God upon man. Just as the words of Almighty God say: “… chastisement and judgment by God was man’s best protection and greatest grace. Only through chastisement and judgment by God could man awaken, and hate the flesh, and hate Satan.”
After Losing My Status
Every time I saw or heard of someone having been replaced and them feeling down, weak or sulky, and not wanting to follow anymore, then I looked down on them. I thought it was nothing more than different people having different functions within the church, that there was no distinction between high or low, that we were all God’s creations and there was nothing to feel down about.
A Battle of Life and Death
“When you forsake the flesh, inevitably there will be a battle inside. Satan wants you to follow the notions of the flesh, to protect the interests of the flesh. However, God’s word still enlightens and illuminates you within, moves you from within and works from the inside. At this point, it is up to you whom you will follow. Every time truth is practiced and every time people practice loving God, there is an enormous battle behind that. So every time you practice the truth, deep inside there is a battle of life and death. Victory will only be determined after fierce fighting, with so many tears of sadness shed behind that”
I Have Seen My True Colors
Due to the needs of the church’s work, I was reallocated to another place to fulfill my duty. At the time, the gospel work at that place was at a low ebb, and the situation of brothers and sisters was generally not good. But because I was touched by the Holy Spirit, I still took on everything that was entrusted with full confidence.