How Do You Tell the Difference Between True and False Leaders, and True and False Shepherds?

The Church of Almighty God

The Relevant Words of God Are as Follows:

Those who do not keep up with the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into God’s work of word. No matter how much work they do, how greatly they suffer, or how much they run, it will not count and God will not approve them. Today, all those who follow God’s present word are ones in the stream of the Holy Spirit. All those who are outside God’s present word are ones outside the stream of the Holy Spirit. Such people are not approved by God. All service outside the present word of the Holy Spirit is service of flesh and of notion and cannot be after God’s heart. If one lives in religious notions, he cannot do things that are after God’s heart. Even if he serves God, he is serving in his imaginations and notions and cannot serve to God’s will at all. Those who cannot keep up with the working of the Holy Spirit cannot understand God’s will. Those who do not understand God’s will cannot serve God. God wants the service that is after his heart but not the service that is of notion and flesh. If one cannot keep up with the pace of the working of the Holy Spirit, he is living in his notions. Then his service is a disruption and disturbance, and such service runs counter to God. So, those who cannot keep up with God’s footsteps cannot serve God, and they are surely ones who resist God and surely cannot be compatible with God. Keeping up with the working of the Holy Spirit means that one understands God’s present will and can act according to God’s present requirements, obey and follow the God of today, and enter in according to God’s newest word. Such is a person who keeps up with the working of the Holy Spirit and who is in the stream of the Holy Spirit. He not only can be approved by God and see God, but also can know God’s disposition from God’s newest work, know man’s notions, man’s disobedience, and man’s nature and substance from God’s newest work, and gradually gain the transformation of his disposition in his service. Only such a person is one who can gain God and who has truly found the true way. Those eliminated by the working of the Holy Spirit are all ones who cannot keep up with God’s newest work and who rebel against God’s newest work. They resist God openly because God has done a new work and because God’s image is not the image of the God in their notions. As such, they resist and judge God openly, with the result that they are detested and rejected by God.”

from “Know God’s Newest Work and Keep Up With God’s Pace”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Many people resist God and hinder the Holy Spirit’s work, and isn’t it because they do not know God’s manifold works and even measure the Holy Spirit’s work according to their little knowledge and doctrine? Although these people have superficial experiences, they are arrogant and willful by nature, slighting the work of the Holy Spirit and ignoring the discipline of the Holy Spirit. And they use their insignificant old doctrines to ‘verify’ the work of the Holy Spirit and pretend to be somebody, thinking that they are knowledgeable and can go anywhere in the world. Little do they know that they are all the ones detested and rejected by the Holy Spirit and eliminated by the new age. Aren’t all those who come before God to openly resist God base people with shallow knowledge who show off their talents? With only a little Bible knowledge, they want to dominate the whole ‘academic world.’ With only a little superficial teaching doctrine, they want to turn the Holy Spirit’s work around and attempt to make it go on according to the track of their mind. With a short sight, they want to have a look at the splendors of God’s six-thousand-year work. Do such people have any sense? Actually, the more knowledge a person has of God, the less he will judge God’s work lightly. And he will only speak a little knowledge about God’s present work, but he will not draw conclusions casually. The less knowledge a person has of God and the more haughty and unaware of his own limitation he is, the more he will wildly preach about what God is. And all that he preaches is doctrine and without any evidence. Such a person is a most worthless person. Those who take the work of the Holy Spirit as a trifling matter are all frivolous people! When they encounter the new work of the Holy Spirit, they do not treat it seriously but talk about it loosely and judge it at will, deny the rightness of the work of the Holy Spirit willfully, and even revile or blaspheme it. Aren’t all such disdainful people arrogant ones who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit and who are haughty and willful by nature? Even if such people accept the new work of the Holy Spirit one day, they will not be forgiven by God. They not only look down their noses at those who work for God, but they even blaspheme God Godself. Such reckless people will not be forgiven in this age or in the age to come. They will forever be ones to perish in hell! And these disdainful and willful people are all ones who raise the signboard of believing in God. The more a person is like this, the more easily he will offend God’s administrative decrees. Aren’t all those arrogant people who are wild by nature and who never submit to anyone walking such a way? Aren’t they resisting the ever-new and never-old God like this day after day?”

from “Knowing the Three Stages of Works Is the Way to Know God”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Such men always retain hostility against the new work of God, show no intent to submit, and have never gladly obeyed or humbled themselves. He exalts himself before others and never submits to another. Before God, he considers himself the most proficient in preaching the ‘word’ and most skillful in working on others. He never discards the treasures already in his possession, but treats them as family heirlooms to be worshiped, to be preached to others, and used to lecture those fools who adore him. There are indeed some such people in the church. It can be said that they are ‘indomitable heroes,’ generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They think preaching the ‘word’ (doctrine) to be their highest duty. One year after another and one generation after the other, they perform their holy and sacred duty. None dare touch them and none dare openly reproach them. They became ‘king’ in the house of God, acting tyrannically through the ages.”

from “The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Can you truly be serving God if you serve Him with your natural inclinations? If you serve Him according to your personal preferences? If you keep thinking that God loves whatever you like, and that God hates whatever you do not like? If you do your work guided entirely by your own preferences? Ultimately your life disposition will not be changed one iota. In fact, you will become more stubborn because you have been serving God, and it will make your corrupt disposition deeply ingrained. Inside yourself, you will develop doctrines of service to God based on nothing more than your own inclinations, and the experience derived from your serving according to your own disposition. This is human experience and lessons. It is philosophy of life. People like this are among the Pharisees and the religious officials. …”

from “End Religious Service” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

It is very easy for man to work according to his mind. Take the pastors and leaders in the religious world for example. They work by their gifts and ranks. Those who follow them for a long time will be infected by their gifts and influenced by some of what they are. They pay attention to people’s gifts and people’s talents and knowledge, and they also pay attention to some supernatural things and many profound and unrealistic doctrines (of course, these profound doctrines are beyond people’s reach). They do not pay attention to the transformation of people’s disposition but pay attention to training their ability to preach and work and to increasing their knowledge and rich religious doctrines. They do not pay attention to how much people are transformed in their disposition and how much they understand the truth. They do not at all care about people’s substance, much less know about people’s normal and abnormal states. They do not counter or disclose people’s notions, much less prune their deficiencies or corruptions. Most of those who follow them serve by their natural gifts, and what they express is knowledge and vague religious truth, which are divorced from reality and simply cannot bring life to people. The substance of their working is actually training talents, training a person with nothing to be an outstanding graduate from a theological school, who will then go to work and lead others.”

from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

You can speak as much knowledge as the sea sand, but it does not contain any practical way. Aren’t you fooling others? Aren’t you keeping up appearances? It is altogether a practice that ruins others! The higher the theories are and the less reality they contain, the less they can lead people into reality. The higher the theories are, the more they will cause you to disobey God and resist God. Do not regard the highest theories as treasure. They are harmful things and are useless! Some people may be able to speak the highest theories, but in them there is not any reality, because they themselves have not experienced them and thereby do not have ways of practice. Such people cannot lead others into the right track but will only lead them astray. Isn’t this something that ruins others? At least you should be able to resolve others’ immediate difficulties so that they can enter in. Only this means that you have contributed something, and only then will you have the qualification to work for God. Do not always speak unrealistic big words and bind others with many improper practices to make them obey you. Doing so will produce no results, but will only cause them to be more and more confused under your leading. As a result, your leading will bring them into many regulations, which makes you loathed by them. All this is man’s deficiency, and it is really embarrassing.”

from “Pay More Attention to Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Your knowledge can only supply others for a period of time. As time goes on, because you always preach the same things, some people will have discernment, saying that you are too superficial and have no deep things. You will have no other way but to preach doctrines to deceive others. As you always do so, people below will all believe in God and experience according to your way, your steps, and your pattern, practicing those letters and doctrines. Finally, your preaching will result in their taking you as their exemplar. As you preach doctrines in leading them, they will learn doctrines from you. As this goes on, deviant ways will be brought about, and people below will all follow you…. Look at the leaders in every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and they interpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imaginations. They all work by their gifts and knowledge. If they cannot preach anything, will those people follow them? Anyway, they have some knowledge, can preach some doctrines, or know how to win over others and use some artifices, so they have brought the people before themselves and have deceived them. Those people believe in God in name but in reality follow them. If meeting those who preach the true way, some will say, ‘About believing in God, we have to consult him.’ You see, they have to have a man’s consent to their believing in God; isn’t this a problem? What have the leaders become then? Haven’t they become Pharisees, false shepherds, antichrists, and stumbling blocks to people’s accepting the true way?”

from “Only Pursuing the Truth Is Truly Believing in God”
in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

By ‘summing up the truths’ that way, you are not making people gain life and the transformation of their disposition from the truths, but making them grasp some knowledge and some doctrines from these truths. They seem to have understood the purpose of God’s work, but actually they have only grasped some doctrines and letters and have not understood their inner meaning. This is just like studying theology and the Bible. You always compile these books or those materials, and then people possess the doctrines of this aspect and have the knowledge of that aspect and are all excellent in communicating doctrines. Then what are brought to them after they communicate? None of them knows how to experience, and they neither have knowledge of God’s work nor have knowledge of themselves; in the end the things they have gained all become formulas and regulations. … You set questions about those words one by one and then give answers, and make outlines and summaries. You feel that doing so will make the words easier for the people below to understand, and that not only do they become easy to memorize but these questions are clear at a glance. You think it quite good to do so, but what they understand is not their true inner meaning, and it does not match the reality and is only letters and doctrines. Therefore, it would be better if you had not done these things. By doing so, you are leading people to understand knowledge and grasp knowledge. You have led them into doctrines and into religion, causing them all to follow and believe in God in religious doctrines. Aren’t you a person like Paul? … Finally, under your leading, none of them knows how to experience the truth or how to experience God’s word, but they only know how to equip themselves with doctrines and how to communicate doctrines, yet do not know God. What they communicate are all fine doctrines and right doctrines, but contain no reality and no ways to go. Such a leader really does great harm to people!”

from “Having No Truth One Will Easily Offend God”
in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

Some people equip themselves with some truths just to meet urgent needs and to help others while disregarding themselves, rather than to solve their own difficulties. We call this kind of people ‘selfless men.’ They only regard others as puppets of the truth but regard themselves as the master of the truth. They teach others to try to keep the truth and not to be passive, but they themselves treat it as an onlooker. What kind of people are they? They equip themselves with some letters of the truths and teach others with them, but they themselves sit still waiting for death. How pitiable! Since their letters can help others, why can they not help themselves? We should call such people hypocrites without reality. They supply others with the letters of the truths and ask them to practice them, but they themselves do not practice at all. Aren’t such people very contemptible! Obviously they cannot do it, but they compel others to practice. What cruel means this is! They do not help others with reality or supply others with a motherly heart; they are simply deceiving and corrupting others. If this goes on from one to another, won’t people all become ones who only know letters but do not practice the truth?”

from “Those Who Love the Truth Will Have Ways to Go”
in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

Those who read the Bible in the big churches recite the Bible all day, but none of them understands the purpose of God’s work, and none of them can know God, much less can any of them be after God’s heart. They all are useless base ones and are ones who lecture ‘God’ in a high position. They all are ones who carry the banner of God but deliberately resist God. They all are ones who hang up the signboard of believing in God but eat people’s flesh and drink their blood. All such ones are devils that devour people’s souls, are leading devils that deliberately disturb people’s taking the right way, and are stumbling blocks that hinder people from seeking God. Although they are all ‘physically strong,’ how could those who follow them know that they are antichrists that lead people to resist God? How could they know that they are the living devils that specially devour people’s souls?”

from “All Those Who Do Not Know God Are the Ones Who Resist God”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Why do I say that those people in the religious world are not believers in God but evildoers and the brood of devils? I say that they are evildoers, because they do not understand God’s will and cannot see God’s wisdom. The work God does is never revealed to them. They all are blind ones, and they cannot see God’s deeds, are ones forsaken by God, and do not have God’s care and keeping at all, much less the working of the Holy Spirit. Those who do not have the working of God are all the ones who do evil and the ones who resist God.”

from “All Those Who Do Not Know God Are the Ones Who Resist God”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship for Reference:

The responsibility of a worker is to perform his duty and lead the church according to God’s will and God’s requirements and arrangements. Working in this way, he will receive God’s blessing. If a worker does not have this sense, but goes against God’s will and goes his own way, teaching others at will in the position of a shepherd, and releasing his own notions and imaginations and doctrines for others to accept, such a worker has become a false shepherd. There are many cases of workers becoming false shepherds; in each stage of work, God eliminates a lot of such ones. God once said that in each age there are many people who serve God but resist God and who finally have themselves obeyed and worshiped by others as God. This is the manifestation of the false shepherds which we speak of. We should all take this as a warning. A worker must pay attention to being transformed in his disposition. If he is neglectful and loose in this aspect, he will most easily become a false shepherd. In doing the work, a false shepherd pays special attention to leading others according to his own will. All that he does and says and requires are the things of his own will. He takes these things as the purest truths, and he thinks that according to these things he can educate others to be man and make them gain the truth. This is where a false shepherd is most arrogant and self-right. For a person who truly has sense, when he considers himself right, he will all the more seek to fellowship about the truth and pay attention to listening to different views and knowledge, so as to verify whether his understanding is accurate. All those who have been pruned and dealt with by God should be able to somewhat drop their self-rightness and arrogance and should watch their steps when working lest they go against God’s will and go astray. Once a person becomes a false shepherd, the consequence is unimaginable. Every worker has his own way of doing things and has his own set of theories to water people. Actually, no one can be absolutely clear how much truth his own things contain and how much they are worth. No man has self-knowledge and is serious about or looks deep into the knowledge of the truth; he picks up some worthless things randomly and supplies them to others as treasure. Don’t such practices carry some flavor of a false shepherd? Isn’t this a thing to damage others and harm himself? No matter how much work a false shepherd does, he absolutely cannot bring others before God to make them know God and obey God. All that a false shepherd releases are letters and doctrines and his notions and imaginations, which disrupt God’s work the most and resist God the most. …”

from “What Is a False Shepherd” in The Man’s Fellowship Attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

Serving in religious ways means to serve completely according to the traditional religious ways and practice of service, sticking to all sorts of religious rituals and leading people merely according to Bible knowledge. Outwardly, it is on a grand scale, of rich religious color, in perfect accordance with man’s notions, and beyond reproach. But it is without any working of the Holy Spirit; the messages they preach are all religious doctrines and Bible knowledge, full of religious notions and without any inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the meetings are dead. After their serving like this for years, God’s chosen people have not gained the truth, or had the knowledge of and obedience to God, or entered the right track of believing in God, and because what they pursue is not to be saved but to receive grace and blessings, no transformation of life disposition can be seen in them. After serving for several years, such people have all labored in vain and ended up with nothing. This is the consequence brought by serving in religious ways. Thus we can see that those who serve God like this actually do not know God’s work, understand God’s will, or know what it means to cooperate with the working of the Holy Spirit. It is purely the blind leading the blind, with the result that God’s chosen people are led astray. They believe in God but resist God and do not know God, like the Pharisees, and cannot be saved by God at all.”

from “One Must First Enter the Right Track of Believing in God Before He Can Step onto the Right Track of Serving God”
in The Man’s Fellowship Attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

The pastors in the religious world show off their knowledge in every aspect and pretend to be godly in every aspect, for the purpose that they can be thought highly of and adored by others and can attract others to obey and follow them with their image. Consequently, those led by them all adore Bible knowledge, adore position and power, and adore preaching ability, and in this way they lead others onto the way of resisting God step by step. Those led by antichrists all believe in the vague god, are all good at speaking empty doctrines, and are all good at being hypocritical, and they are all ones who believe in God but resist God and betraying God. The false leaders’ and antichrists’ working way of serving God yet resisting God really harms people badly. …”

from “It is Most Important to Guard Against Antichrists and the Way of Antichrists” in A Compilation of the Fellowship and Preaching About Church Work and the Church Work Arrangements over the Years (2)

 

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