Bai Jie Liaoyang City, Liaoning Province
At present, in many of us there exists a state of looking up to man and adoring our leaders. For example, we exert ourselves and are conscientious in performing our duties, because we do not want our leaders to worry about us, because we want our leaders to receive fewer dealings, or because we want to win honor for our leaders. No matter what we do, we do it for our leaders, for our leaders’ good. When staying with our leaders, we carefully watch their every act and move and imitate them. When we fall into a bad state or encounter a difficulty, instead of coming before God to seek the truth, we immediately think of our leaders and feel that if our leaders can come and fellowship with us, our problem will certainly be resolved; we rely on man far more than on God. And what is even worse, some brothers and sisters wish they could be with the leader X when disaster comes, for they think that he will be able to help them whenever they become passive in the disaster and thus they will certainly be able to stand the testimony. … All these manifestations show that in us there exists a state of looking up to man and adoring man.
One reason why we look up to man is that we have not seen through man’s substance and are ignorant of the fact that all mankind, who have been corrupted by satan, are of satan and are hostile to God by nature, and that none of them has anything worthy to be looked up to. Just as God’s word says: “…man lives under the influence of satan’s evil and ugliness and does not grow in a world of truth or grow up in a holy environment, much less live in the light. So, in everyone’s nature he cannot possibly have the truth from birth, much less have the substance of fearing God and obeying God by birth. On the contrary, he has the nature of resisting God, disobeying God, and not loving the truth. This nature is the problem I want to speak about—rebellion.” “You must know that in man’s nature, there are certain commonalities. All people can rebel against God; this is a commonality…. Some express the corrupt nature somewhat severely, while others express it less severely. However, their substances are the same; this is a commonality.” “Among men, none can be an example to others, because all men are essentially the same and not different, and there are no distinctions between them. …” And in The Fellowship of the Man, it says: “Suppose there is such a person who is truly admirable. We can make a dissection of him and will find that his corrupt disposition is no different from ours, only he has received more revelation and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit than us, and that there is no lovely element in him worthy of man’s love. If what he says is in accordance with the truth, we can receive it from God and be grateful for God’s grace, for it has nothing to do with this person.” From these words we can see that all people have been deeply corrupted by satan, that in their blood and marrow they are full of satanic poisons and do not have any element that is positive or of the truth, and that everyone’s nature is rebellious against God. No matter who they are, leaders or workers, their disobedient nature and corrupt substance are the same as ours. None of them is an exception. They can fellowship about the truth fairly clearly or achieve some results in their work, and that is all ascribable to the working of the Holy Spirit. As they have the commissions given by God’s family, God works on them to uphold his own work. Although there is also an element of their active cooperation in it, simply this element is added by the Holy Spirit. All positive things come from God, so if a person has anything positive, it is a result achieved by God’s working. Everyone is like this: When the Holy Spirit works on him, he has some human likeness; when the Holy Spirit does not work on him, he can do nothing but revert to his corrupt satanic likeness. Therefore, even though we do gain some knowledge of the truth through our leaders’ fellowship, we should accept it as from God and be grateful for God’s grace, for it has nothing to do with our leaders. God is the source of man’s life and is the expresser and supplier of the truth, while man is merely a channel. If we look up to and adore man so much that we put God aside, haven’t we taken the branch for the root? It is God who created us and gave us life, it is God who predestined us to be born in the end time and selected us, and it is God who has been caring for us and supplying us and has led us onto the right way of human life. We can believe in God and follow God up to today, and this is all because of God’s great uplifting and salvation but not the result of any man’s leading. Therefore, if we, when believing in God, do not worship God or have a place for God in our heart but follow and worship man instead, we are ungrateful and guilty of worst offense, and we are the most blind, ignorant, and absurd ones.
Another reason why we look up to man and adore man and have no place for God in our heart is that we have no knowledge of God’s substance and being. In fact, only God is beautiful and good, only God is great, and only God is worthy to be looked up to and worshipped by man. When we have really gained some true knowledge of what God has and is, we will no longer adore any man ignorantly but will have a heart of fearing God and have adoration for God, and we will be willing to let God occupy our heart and our whole being. God’s word says: “God Godself has no element of disobedience. God’s substance is good. He is the expression of all beauty and good and the expression of all love. Even the God in the flesh will not do anything that disobeys God the Father. Even if he has to lay down his life, he is most willing and does not have any choice. God has no element of self-rightness and self-importance, no element of arrogance and self-conceit, and no element of crookedness. All the things that disobey God come from satan. Satan is the source of all ugliness and evil. The reason why man has the same attributes as satan is that man has been corrupted and processed by satan. Christ is not corrupted by satan, so he only has God’s attributes but does not have satan’s attributes. When God lives in the flesh, no matter how difficult the work is or how weak the flesh is, he will not do anything that disrupts God’s own work, much less give up the will of God the Father and disobey, and he would rather let the flesh suffer than go against the will of God the Father….” “So man and God can never be considered the same. God is forever supreme and forever honorable, and man is forever low and forever worthless. This is because God is forever devoting and expending for mankind, whereas man is forever demanding and endeavoring for himself; God is forever working hard for mankind’s existence, whereas man never dedicates anything for the sake of righteousness and light, and even if man endeavors temporarily, it cannot withstand a single blow, because man’s endeavoring is forever for the sake of himself and not for the sake of others; man is forever selfish, and God is forever selfless; God is the origin of all righteousness and beauty and good, and man is the inheritor and expresser of all ugliness and evil; God will never change his righteous and beautiful substance, whereas man may rebel against righteousness and stay away from God at any time and in any place.” From these words of God we can see that God’s substance is completely different from man’s substance. God is the Creator, while man is only a tiny created being; man and God can never be considered the same. God is holy, while man has been corrupted by satan. God has no element of arrogance, self-conceit, self-rightness, and self-importance, and he never considers himself to be someone of high standing. Man, however, becomes arrogant and self-conceited and looks down upon others once he has something; and he pursues position when he does not have it, and once he has it, he stands in a high position and lords it over others and indulges in the blessings of position. God is so supreme, great, and honorable, but he is incarnated and born in the filthy place to save us, the most debased people whom everyone despises and dislikes, living with and spending his daily life with us. Man, however, with snobbish eyes, thinks highly of, fawns on, and adulates those who have position, and looks down upon, ignores, and belittles those who have no position, unable to regard all as equal. God works hard selflessly so that mankind can have a better life, while man always makes arduous efforts selfishly for his own interests. God is forever devoting and expending for mankind, and even though he is not repaid, he still loves man. Man, however, demands rewards from God after he expends a little, and once he is not repaid, he turns his shame into anger. God is full of love and mercy for man, and when man misunderstands, rejects, hurts, disobeys, or resists him, he makes no account of it but tolerates man with patience, loves man while being hurt, and supplies man with the truth, never stopping his work of saving man. Man, however, once misunderstood or hurt by someone, feels it is unfair, returns a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye, complains everywhere, or falls out with that person and becomes his enemy. When God lives in the flesh, no matter how difficult the work is or how weak the flesh is, he will not give up the will of God the Father. When man suffers a little, he becomes passive, draws back, performs his duty perfunctorily and carelessly, and can even throw up the commission given by God’s family. God has perseverance, and no matter how foolish man is or how impossible man is, he never gives up saving man. Man, however, when encountering some frustration, shrinks back and can yield to the forces of darkness at any time. God has faithful substance, and whatever he has said, he does it, and he pays the price practically as he has said. Man, however, makes resolutions and breaks them, always talking slickly to cheat God and having no real actions. … When we are able to differentiate the substance of God from that of man, we will not go so far as to blindly look up to man anymore. Rather, we will be willing to let God’s image be firmly established in our heart and take root in the depth of our heart, and we will be able to feel from our heart that God alone is worthy to be loved by man and deserves to be loved by man and that God alone is the only One whom we can rely on and look up to. Hope that we all can make more effort to pursue to know God and can see God’s loveliness, supremacy, and greatness from God’s work, so that God can become the most holy, most honorable, and most high and only object of worship in our heart.
The third reason why we can adore man and look up to man so much is that we have not realized how serious the nature and the consequences of our looking up to man are. Let us have a look at Article 8 in “The Ten Administrative Decrees God’s Chosen People Must Keep”: “In believing in God, you should obey God and worship God, should not exalt man, should not look up to man, and should not regard God as the greatest, the man you look up to as the second greatest, and you as the third greatest. You should not have a place for any man in your heart and should not equate men, especially the man you adore, with God, and consider them to be equal. This is what God cannot tolerate.” God also says: “In the past, no matter whether you followed man or you did not satisfy God’s heart’s desire, be sure to come before God in this stage. If in this stage, you again follow man on the basis of experiencing this stage of the work, you are unforgivable, and your end will be the same as Paul’s.” From these words of God, we can see that whoever looks up to man has seriously offended the administrative decree and offended God’s disposition. In God’s eyes, he has committed a grievous transgression, which is most hated by God. This is because God is a jealous God and he can by no means tolerate our adoring man while believing in him and following him. Looking up to man and adoring man is adoring the devil, satan, and is idolatry. In substance, it is following satan and rebelling against and forsaking God! God hates the idolaters the most. In the Age of the Law whoever worshipped an idol would be utterly destroyed. How much more so in the end time, the age when God is personally incarnated to do the work. If we continue following man and looking up to man, we will have committed an unforgivable sin and will definitely be punished. We have seen that many people in every sect and denomination have put their lives into the hands of their leaders, the idols they adore, because they look up to them and adore them. They even have to ask their leaders’ opinion about whether they should accept the true way and act upon whatever they say. As a result, they cannot come before God even now, thus becoming the ones eliminated by God’s work. Today, in God’s family, there are also quite a number of people who follow man and look up to man blindly. So, when those they adore become antichrists and are expelled from God’s family, they feel aggrieved at it and take up the cudgels on behalf of them, complaining that God is not righteous, and some of them simply follow the antichrists and fall victim to them. Therefore, from their failures that result from following man and looking up to man, we should draw lessons and take them as warnings to us lest we follow in their footsteps.
In The Fellowship of the Man, it says: “Now, it is the time for us to start worshipping God formally. All idols should be removed from your heart; that is, neither those whom you adore nor those who lead you should have a place in your heart, and you should let no one occupy the place of God in your heart. No matter how good a man is, he is only a created being, and we should not rank him equally with God. We should worship God only. To man, we give our respect at most and that’s all. Only to God should we give our faithfulness, love, obedience, and worship. Only those doing so are the true believers in God and are the ones who are faithful to God.” So, now we all should make a thorough clean-up, removing the place for any man from our heart. The “temple” originally belonged to God and should not be occupied by any man. We should give every place in our heart to God and let God gain our whole heart and being.