We listen to and obey the pastors and the elders in everything. Is this obeying God? Can we be saved by believing in God this way?

The answer from God’s word:

People who believe in God should obey God and worship Him. You should not exalt or look up to any person; you ought not to give first place to God, second place to the people you look up to, and third place to yourself. No person should hold a place in your heart, and you should not consider people—particularly those you venerate—to be on a par with God, to be His equal. This is intolerable to God.”

from “The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Look at the leaders of every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and they interpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imagination. They all rely on gifts and erudition to do their work. If they were incapable of preaching anything, would those people follow them? They do, after all, possess some learning, and can speak a little of doctrine, or know how to win over others and how to use some artifices, through which they have brought people before themselves and have deceived them. Nominally, those people believe in God—but in reality they follow their leaders. If they encounter those who preach the true way, some of them would say, ‘We have to consult him about our belief in God.’ See how they require someone’s consent to believe in God; is that 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? …

No matter whether previously you followed someone else or you didn’t satisfy the will of God, you must come before God in this stage. If in this stage you continue to follow someone on the basis of experiencing this stage of work, then you will be considered unforgivable….”

from “Only the Pursuit of the Truth Is the True Belief in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church

Some people do not rejoice in the truth, much less judgment. Rather, they rejoice in power and riches; such people are deemed to be snobs. They exclusively seek out those sects in the world with influence and those pastors and teachers coming from seminaries. Despite having accepted the way of truth, they remain skeptical and are unable to devote themselves fully. They speak of sacrificing for God, but their eyes are focused on the great pastors and teachers, and Christ is brushed aside. Their hearts are filled with fame, fortune, and glory. They do not believe at all that such a meager man is capable of conquering so many, that one so unremarkable is capable of perfecting people. They do not believe at all that these nobodies among the dust and dunghills are the people chosen by God. They believe that if such people were the objects of God’s salvation, then heaven and earth would be turned upside down and all men would laugh their heads off. They believe that if God chose such nobodies to be perfected, then those great men would become God Himself. Their perspectives are tainted with unbelief; indeed, far from unbelief, they are preposterous beasts. For they only value position, prestige, and power; what they hold in high regard are large groups and sects. They have no regard at all for those led by Christ; they are simply traitors who have turned their backs on Christ, on truth, and on life.

What you admire is not the humility of Christ, but those false shepherds of prominent standing. You do not love the loveliness or wisdom of Christ, but those wantons who associate with the vile world. You laugh at the pain of Christ who has no place to lay His head, but admire those corpses that seize offerings and live in debauchery. You are not willing to suffer alongside Christ, but gladly go into the arms of those reckless antichrists though they supply to you only flesh, only letters, and only control. Even now your heart still turns toward them, their reputation, their standing in the hearts of all the Satans, their influence, and their authority, yet you continue to have an attitude of resistance and refusal to accept the work of Christ. This is why I say that you do not have the faith of acknowledging Christ. The reason you have followed Him to this day is entirely because you were forced. In your heart forever tower many lofty images; you cannot forget their every word and deed, nor their influential words and hands. They are, in your heart, forever supreme and forever heroes. But this is not so for the Christ of today. He is forever insignificant in your heart and forever undeserving of reverence. For He is far too ordinary, has far too little influence, and is far from lofty.”

from “Are You a True Believer of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Those who follow God with their lips, you had better open your eyes wide to see whom you actually believe in. Is the one you believe in God or Satan? If you know that the one you believe in is not God but your idol, you had better not say that you are a believer in God. If you do not know whom you really believe in, you had better not say either that you are a believer in God. It is a blasphemy to say that! Believing in God is not something out of compulsion. Do not say you believe in Me. I have heard enough of that. I do not want to hear it anymore, for the ones you believe in are the idols in your heart and the local villains among you. All those who shake their heads when hearing the truth but smile all over their face when hearing words of death are the sons of Satan and are the ones to be eliminated.”

from “Warnings to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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