21 An Immediate Necessity Is to Resolve Perfunctoriness and Deceit in Service
Jingxin Zhengzhou City, Henan Province
During this period of time, the above constantly emphasized that all God’s chosen people should eat and drink God’s words around the seven corruptions and required that they resolve these seven corruptions as soon as possible so that people’s belief in God and service to God could be secured. But people have not attached great importance to the requirement from above. It is especially true of us leaders and workers. Though outwardly we also eat and drink and fellowship, we have not made a resolution to change our former old ways of service, and our perfunctoriness and deceit in work are still very serious. Whatever work we are to arrange, most often we just assign and explain it to the lower level and then are relieved and sit back and relax. Whatever work we do, we only scratch the surface and deal with it perfunctorily, having no aims, making no plans, paying no price, not making a detailed analysis or study, and much less striving to make progress, but just muddle along like a winter-wailing bird. As a result, none of the works we have done achieves the desired results. Nevertheless, we do not acknowledge that we have perfunctoriness and deceit. Sometimes, when others pointed them out to us, we did our utmost to justify and vindicate ourselves and shifted the responsibility. Even though sometimes we had some knowledge outwardly and admitted that we worked perfunctorily and deceivingly, we could not but admit it as we were confronted with the fact, seeing in God’s exposure that our perfunctoriness and deceit had caused losses to the work of God’s family. Though some people admit that they have worked perfunctorily and deceivingly, they neither feel anxious to change, nor feel that they are in danger, nor pay attention to how to resolve them, and much less intend to look for ways of practice to enter in so as to reduce their perfunctoriness and deceit. How can we, being like this, lead brothers and sisters to resolve the seven corruptions as soon as possible? So, we must first resolve our perfunctoriness and deceit in service.
In the following paragraph, we will list some states of our being perfunctory and deceitful in service to gain some knowledge.
When we resolved the problems or difficulties of the brothers and sisters, we treated them perfunctorily by giving just a rough fellowship or speaking of some doctrines. We did not ponder carefully what kind of states they were, what the substances of the problems were, where the roots lay, and which aspects of the truth we should fellowship about to achieve good results, nor did we seek to eat and drink and equip ourselves with the relevant truths afterward if they were not thoroughly resolved this time, so that we could resolve them thoroughly next time. When we treated the work arrangements from above, we did not diligently seek after the intentions and the requirements from above or ponder how to carry them out to achieve the best results, but simply acted blindly according to their literal meaning, and dealt with them perfunctorily by going through the motions and observing some regulations. In treating the work God’s family committed to us, we did not think of holding responsible for God and did not exert all our strength to do it according to God’s requirements. We only did it diligently when being urged, pressed, or supervised by the leaders, and if no one supervised us, we could not do it well, as if we were employees who worked for others. When we carried out the work arrangement from above concerning selecting the church leaders, outwardly we hastened to go to the lower level to make arrangements and asked brothers and sisters to vote, but in the process we did not supervise, and after the process, we paid no attention to checking the results. We did not check whether the selected church leaders were supported by the majority, whether they had the working of the Holy Spirit, whether they pursued the truth and had a sense of justice, whether they could resolve the actual difficulties of the brothers and sisters, and whether they could bring forth a good church life. When we carried out the work of purging the five kinds of people—those who were demon-possessed, those who often had the working of evil spirits, false christs, antichrists, and the wicked people, outwardly we were active in carrying this work out, but we did not carefully investigate or measure by truthful principles who fell into these five kinds, who just had bad humanity but did not fall into the kinds to be purged or expelled, who were just defiled with the working of evil spirits but were not the ones who often had the working of evil spirits, who were just arrogant by nature and disobedient to their leaders but were not antichrists, and so on. Besides, after the purging, we did not check whether those who did not fall into the kinds to be expelled were expelled, whether there were still people who fell into the five kinds left in the church, and so on. About all these we did not ask or inquire, but we just roughly counted up the number and wrote a guarantee and handed it in. When some false christs or antichrists appeared to deceive people in the church, though outwardly we fellowshipped with the brothers and sisters about the truths concerning how to discern false christs and antichrists, we paid no attention to the results of our fellowships. We did not know how many brothers and sisters had grasped these truths, how many brothers and sisters were still not clear about these truths and might be deceived by the false christs at any time, and how to water these people. We did not grasp or check these at all. As a result, still many brothers and sisters were deceived after we watered them for a period of time. In this period, the above required us to center our fellowships on knowing the substance of the seven corruptions so that all God’s chosen people could have true knowledge of them. Outwardly, we conveyed this work to the lower level and made arrangements, but as for the issues such as how to eat and drink to achieve the best results, whether the brothers and sisters knew how to eat and drink, whether they knew how to know the substance of their corruptions based on God’s words, we neither thought about them nor checked them. As for the gospel work, outwardly we also emphasized it and fellowshipped about it, also counted up and analyzed the useful clues for evangelizing and made arrangements for them, but afterward, we paid no attention to supervision and examination, with the result that some objects who could be evangelized have not been brought to God till now. When the above required us to write sermons, outwardly we also responded to it and wrote, but we did not care whether the articles we wrote were of value or whether they could edify others. We just wrote a few casually and perfunctorily and handed them in to let the leaders see we had written. When God’s family asked us to find some people to revise articles, outwardly we soon set up an article-revising team, but as to whether the people we found were competent to do this work, what the quality of the articles they revised was like, how many acceptable articles they could finish in a month, we attached no importance to them or took no notice of them, but only rested content with having people to revise. The above required that the leaders at all levels exert all their strength to do a good job of watering the new believers and find those who were fairly clear about the vision and who had a burden, to care for the new believers. Though outwardly we also found people according to the requirement from above, we did not check afterward whether the people we found were really clear about the vision, whether they had a burden, and what the actual results of their watering and sustaining the new believers were. As a result, very often the people we selected were not suitable and thus many new believers left due to lack of timely watering. The states listed above are only part of our manifestations and expressions in our work, but they are sufficient to show that our perfunctoriness and deceit are by no means occasional behavior but are our usual practices and the expressions of our nature.
In the man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers, it says: “In everyone’s nature, he puts ‘profit’ in the first place; his ‘conscientiousness’ can only be brought on by profit; and without profit, he does everything perfunctorily and deceitfully. This is man’s nature and is also a characteristic of corrupt mankind. People all seek nothing but profits, so they do everything perfunctorily and deceitfully and in a just-to-get-by manner.” “Take people’s performing duties for example. They clearly know that performing duties perfunctorily and deceitfully is cheating God, but they still do so; this is a matter of their nature and their disposition. Everyone takes ‘for the self and benefiting the self’ as his principle of living, but no one takes ‘for God and for the truth’ as his principle of living; therefore, people all resist and betray God by nature. Even though they believe in God or serve God, they are simply making bargains for the sake of their own interests and purposes. …” The fact is truly so. After we were corrupted by satan, our marrow and blood have been full of the poison of “for self.” “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” this satanic philosophy has rooted deep within us; and “for self and benefit self” has long since become our principle of existence. We do everything for ourselves, put our profits above everything else, and are all profit-driven. We work vigorously for a big profit, work less vigorously for a small profit, and do not work or work perfunctorily for no profit. Driven by our selfish nature, we spontaneously consider our own profits, our own gain and loss, our own fame and position, future and destiny and the like in whatever we do. We do not give a bit of thought to how to do it to achieve the best results, how to do it to satisfy God, how to do it to be profitable to the brothers’ and sisters’ lives. Therefore, in our work, we are all perfunctory, deceitful, irresponsible, indolent, acting in a slick way without exerting all our strength. Unless we are so compelled as if a knife were at our throat, we will not pay any price or work conscientiously. This shows that we have not gained any transformation in our disposition after following God for so many years but are still living by satanic philosophy and serving God according to satanic philosophy. Such a service cannot be commended by God, but instead is condemned by God as a service of doing evil and resisting God. Today, we are uplifted by God and serve God in God’s family. God has done innumerable works on us, yet our service turns out to be like this and our states are so terrible. If things go on like this, what can we receive? How will God treat us who have received everything from him and yet fool him and cheat him everywhere? Therefore, to get rid of our perfunctoriness and deceit is a particularly important matter and cannot be ignored.
Besides, we should also be clear that as people who serve God, we are different from the common believers. If a common believer is perfunctory and deceitful and does not pursue, only he himself suffers loss. But if a leader or worker performs his duty perfunctorily and deceivingly, he will delay many brothers and sisters from being saved and cause tremendous losses to the interests of God’s family. For example, if we are perfunctory and deceitful in resolving the problems and difficulties of the brothers and sisters, then we cannot bring them real help in their life entering and cannot, through resolving their problems with the truth, make them understand the truth and enter into the reality of God’s word. Accordingly, we will become nominal leaders and will directly delay the brothers’ and sisters’ growth in life. In selecting leaders, if we are perfunctory and deceitful and select an unsuitable church leader, at least the lives of thirty to fifty of God’s chosen people will be delayed or forfeited. If we select an unsuitable small-district leader, the lives of hundreds of people will be forfeited. So many brothers and sisters will miss the opportunity to be saved, and the labor the brothers and sisters who preach the gospel have expended and the price they have paid will also be wasted. What a serious consequence this will be! In the work of purging and expelling people, if we are perfunctory and deceitful, neither conscientious nor meticulous, and purge and expel people arbitrarily without measuring them seriously according to the principles from above, we will not only harm many innocent brothers and sisters and forfeit some people’s opportunities to be saved, but we will also become thoroughgoing evil servants, satan’s accomplices, and God’s enemies who destroy and disturb God’s work. If we are perfunctory and deceitful and not conscientious in looking for the people to water the new believers and cannot select the suitable ones, as a direct result of it, a large number of new believers will leave due to lack of timely watering or will be deceived and taken away again by the people from the denominations, and these people’s lives will be forfeited. If we are perfunctory and deceitful in leading the brothers and sisters to eat and drink the words of God which resolve the seven corruptions, and do not consider how to lead them to eat and drink so as to help them know the substance and the root of their corruptions, then they will not achieve good results in knowing and resolving their corruptions in the seven aspects, and thus the great matter of their entering into the right track of belief in God to be saved and perfected will be affected and delayed. If we are perfunctory and deceitful in the security work and fail to fellowship what should be fellowshipped, to arrange what should be arranged, to take the measures that should be taken, and to remedy what should be remedied, then many loopholes and hidden dangers will be left in the various sectors of the work of God’s family. And, once a persecution arises, many brothers and sisters will be arrested and imprisoned, the property of God’s family will suffer loss, and even large areas of the church will be paralyzed. In a word, for us who serve God, none of the works we do is a trifling matter. It is related to the brothers’ and sisters’ growth in life and related to the carrying out of God’s will. If we treat God’s commissions to us unconcernedly and perfunctorily and deceivingly, it will eventually cause great disasters. God says: “If you cannot be responsible for my word and work, your outcome will be to be punished. And you will have no share in such things as grace, blessings, and the wonderful life in the kingdom. That will be the end you deserve, and it will be reaping what you have sown! Those unwise haughty ones not only do not exert all their effort or perform their duty, but instead they stretch out their hand to demand grace as if what they ask for is what they deserve.” “God lists all kinds of sins of the unfaithful false believers, false apostles, and false workers in their record book, and at the proper time, casts them among the unclean spirits, letting the unclean spirits defile their whole body at will, so that they can never be reincarnated and can never see the light again. …” God is faithful. Now that God says so, he will surely fulfill the words he says. This is God’s nature. Though we now treat God perfunctorily and deceivingly and he has not punished us, this does not mean God has forgotten. God has already written down all our sinful deeds in our records and is waiting to repay us at the proper time. So, we must not trust to luck that it does not matter to have some perfunctoriness and deceit. When the fact befalls us, it will be too late. Now is the time for God to determine our outcomes and also the time God gives us the last chance to repent and have ourselves transformed. If we can repent and be transformed and atone for our crimes by meritorious services, we will be able to escape the disasters and be saved by God. Otherwise, what awaits us will only be God’s righteous punishment and burning in his wrath.
We have known the serious consequence of being perfunctory and deceitful as well as the outcome it will bring us. Then, how should we resolve the corruption in this aspect? Let us read the words in man’s fellowship attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers: “If man can truly regard the duty he performs as that which he does to God and which he should do for God, perhaps he will be less perfunctory and deceitful. If man truly has a heart that reveres God, he will not perform his duty perfunctorily and deceivingly. Most people have some transformation in performing their duties after going through pruning and dealing. Without being pruned and dealt with, nobody can perform his duty in a satisfactory way.” The man’s fellowship points out to us three ways to resolve our perfunctoriness and deceit: First, we should realize that the duties we perform are that which we do to God and which we should do for God; second, we should have a heart that reveres God; third, we must accept pruning and dealing. In the following paragraphs we will fellowship about them one by one.
First, we should realize the duties we perform are that which we do to God and which we should do for God. That is to say, when performing our duties, we should first have a right intent and viewpoint and should be able to see the matter of performing duty clearly. We ought to know that today when performing our duties, we are not doing things for any person but are doing things for the Creator; that we are performing our duties as a created being before the Creator and fulfilling a created being’s responsibility; that if we perform our duties well, we will receive God’s commendation, and if not, we cannot give an account to God. Only if we realize these will we have a better attitude toward performing our duties. Actually, we have so much perfunctoriness and deceit in our work mainly because we do not regard performing our duties as doing things for God but all engage in our own managements. For example, some people perform their duties for the sake of their fame and position and in order that others will have a good opinion of them and appreciate them; some people perform their duties for the sake of fleshly enjoyment and in order to eat well, dress well, and be well-treated; some people perform their duties just to satisfy their leaders and avoid being dealt with; more people are in order to receive blessings and avoid disasters; and so on. How can we not treat God perfunctorily and deceivingly when we perform our duties with such intents and viewpoints? How can we possibly consider carefully what to do to satisfy God’s heart’s desire and what to do to live up to God’s requirements? Naturally, we will be like employees without the sense of responsibility as a master, slacking off whenever we can and acting in a slick way whenever we can, and cannot exert all our strength willingly. This is inevitable. When performing our duties, we ought to ponder: What exactly do I perform my duty for? For whom do I perform my duty? If I do not perform my duty for God, and do not perform my duty as a created being but for obtaining some profits, what meaning does it have even if I spend to the end? What can I gain? In the end, instead of being commended by God, I will suffer God’s punishment because I serve God yet resist God. Why do I bother to do this? If we ponder these questions thoroughly, we will naturally know what attitude we should take toward performing our duties and how to practice and will be willing to exert all our strength. Thus, if we really set our intent right, find the right goal, and truly understand that when performing our duties we are not doing things for any person, are not ingratiating ourselves with the leaders, but are doing things to God and for God and for the sake of satisfying God and caring for God’s desire and are performing our duties as a created being, then we will be willing and glad to perform our duties, will take the initiative to seek, will analyze and investigate carefully, will conscientiously exert all our strength to do well according to God’s requirements and to achieve the best results, rather than having to be overseen or supervised by others. Consequently, our perfunctoriness and deceit will become less. For example, in the matter of selecting the leaders, if we intend to care for God’s intention and satisfy God, we will consider how to do it to meet God’s requirements, how to do it to make God set his mind at rest and be satisfied. Then, we will take the initiative to seek the principles of doing it, measure according to the conditions required by the above for selecting the leaders, and find out the manifestations of a person who pursues the truth, has the sense of justice, and has the working competence, and will practically go to inquire, implement, and investigate it. By doing so, we will make much fewer errors and have much less perfunctoriness and deceit. On the contrary, if our intent and purpose in selecting the leaders are not to satisfy God but to face leaders, we will not seek God’s intention or seek the principles of doing it, but will only observe a regulation and will convey the principles concerning selecting leaders to the lower level. Then, we will promote any person recommended by the lower level, not caring whether the recommended ones really meet the requirements from above, and not making detailed inquiries or careful investigations and examinations. We will just deal with it perfunctorily in the simplest way. As a result, some will select those who are good-natured and obedient and who try not to offend anyone; some will select those who can abandon and give up and run around doing the work; and some will even select those who are zealous outwardly yet often have the working of evil spirits, and will thus seriously frustrate the work of God’s family. Isn’t it because we have an incorrect intent and viewpoint, thinking that we perform our duties for the leaders, and do not accept God’s searching that we have such perfunctoriness and deceit? Therefore, if we want to perform our duties without being perfunctory and deceitful, we must have a right intent and viewpoint and regard performing our duties as doing things to God and for God and as the duties we should fulfill. In this way, our perfunctoriness and deceit will be gradually reduced.
Second, in the man’s fellowship, it says: “If man truly has a heart that reveres God, he will not perform his duty perfunctorily and deceivingly.” Then, how can we develop a heart that reveres God? God says: “If you do not know God’s disposition, you cannot possibly do for God what you should do. If you do not know God’s substance, you cannot possibly have fear and dread toward God, but only casual perfunctoriness and prevarication, and even more, irredeemable blasphemy.” So, to develop a heart that reveres God, we must know God’s nature and know God’s substance. How can we know God’s nature and know God’s substance? Firstly, we should know in God’s word God’s majestic, wrathful, holy disposition that does not tolerate offense, and know what kind of people God likes, what kind of people God hates, what kind of people God eliminates, and what kind of people God punishes and curses. When we realize in God’s word God’s attitudes toward various kinds of people, especially when we see how much God hates and loathes those who treat him perfunctorily and deceivingly and who are unfaithful to him, we will seriously treat the work God’s family commits to us and will fulfill our duties with all our heart and all our strength, not daring to be slightly negligent lest we infuriate God and be punished. Only then will our state of being perfunctory and deceitful be somewhat changed. Secondly, we can know God’s nature from the examples of failures around us. By looking at God’s attitude toward those who treated him perfunctorily and deceivingly, we can also have some knowledge of God’s nature and gradually develop a fearful heart. “Zhenxin” is one of the examples. Because she performed her duty perfunctorily and deceivingly and cheated God, she aroused God’s loathing and wrath, becoming an object detested and rejected by God, and was expelled from God’s family. Of course, there are many other examples of people around us who lost the working of the Holy Spirit and were detested and rejected by God because they performed their duties perfunctorily and deceivingly and cheated God. Since we have seen them with our own eyes, we will not cite them one by one. Furthermore, we can also know God’s disposition from our personal experiences in performing our duties. For example, when we perform our duties perfunctorily and deceivingly, either the chastisement and judgment of God’s words will come upon us and we will feel extremely accused and condemned in our heart, or more seriously, we will lose the working of the Holy Spirit and will be deserted by God and live in painful torment, feeling worse than death, or we will even have to receive God’s severe discipline, suffer from illnesses, or encounter greater calamities. From these we can realize God’s righteous and majestic disposition that does not tolerate man’s offense, see how much God hates and loathes man’s perfunctoriness and deceit and man’s cheating, and thereby develop a heart that reveres and fears God. Thus, we will perform our duties more honestly and do our work more conscientiously, no longer daring to be careless and treat God perfunctorily and deceivingly.
Third, in the man’s fellowship, it says: “Most people have some transformation in performing their duties after going through pruning and dealing. Without being pruned and dealt with, nobody can perform his duty in a satisfactory way.” Thus it can be seen that man must be dealt with and pruned in performing his duty. Without dealing and pruning, man cannot perform his duty in a satisfactory way and cannot be faithful to God. We are all arrogant and self-conceited by nature, love to act arbitrarily and go our own ways, and we all follow the “for self and benefit self” principle of doing things and like to be perfunctory and deceitful and calculating when doing things for others. So, without the chastisement and judgment of God, and without the dealing and pruning of God’s family, we will not exert all our strength to do well the work of God’s family strictly according to God’s requirements. We can see this in our experiences or on the brothers and sisters around us. When we just began to perform our duties, we all loved to follow our own will, act arbitrarily, and goof off; our perfunctoriness and deceit was very obvious. But after going through some dealings and pruning, we perform our duties more honestly and conscientiously than before, daring not to goof off obviously any more, and have some fear of God. All this is the transformation that dealing and pruning have brought us. Therefore, if we want to perform our duties faithfully and serve God after his heart’s desire, we have to accept dealing and pruning. However hard and painful it is to accept dealing and pruning, we should bravely accept them and know ourselves. The more severe the dealing and pruning are and the more they pain us, the more we should bear them, for this is most beneficial to us in that we can search deep within ourselves and have ourselves transformed and thereby perform our duties faithfully. To accept dealing and pruning is a required lesson for us to have our disposition transformed and is also a necessary pathway for us to perform our duties faithfully.
In conclusion, if we want to resolve our perfunctoriness and deceit and perform our duties faithfully, we need to regard every work we do as that which we do to God and which we should do for God, need to know God’s disposition and know God’s substance and develop a heart that reveres God, need to often measure whether we have performed our duties satisfactorily according to God’s requirements and our work responsibilities, and need to accept the dealing and pruning of God’s family and accept the supervision of brothers and sisters. At the same time, we also need to take measures and work out principles according to our nature and substance of treating God perfunctorily and deceivingly and cheating God. By pursuing in this way for a period of time, we will be able to resolve our perfunctoriness and deceit step by step and eventually perform our duties faithfully.