24. What is the difference between a good servant and an evil servant?
Relevant Words of God:
The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and allow them to go deeper into the truth. The work he does can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people release and freedom. Moreover, they can gradually grow in life, go progressively deeper into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short; his work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules; what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to the actual needs of the people. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality or into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to stand by a few worthless rules. This kind of guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become what he is like; he can bring you into what he has and is.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be pleasing to God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Regardless of whether you act behind people, or in front of them, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk your own path, and give every care to God’s burden. Only this is an intimate of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission, and God’s burden, they are able to take God’s heart as their own, and God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to whether they gain or lose prospect: Even when they have no prospects, and they will gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His wants, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God shall do is expressed through these people. Thus, these people are pleasing to God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart, and only people such as this can rule together with God.
from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Each of you, as people who serve, must be able to defend the interests of the church in all things you do, rather than looking out for your own interests. It is unacceptable to go it alone, where you undermine him and he undermines you. People acting this way are not fit to serve God! The disposition of this sort of person is so bad; not an ounce of humanity remains in them. They are one hundred percent Satan! They are beasts! Even now such things as this still occur among you, going so far as to attack each other during fellowship, intentionally seeking pretexts, getting all red in the face arguing over some little thing, neither person willing to put himself aside, each person hiding what’s inside from the other, watching the other party intently and being on guard. Can this kind of disposition befit service to God? Can such work as yours give supply to the brothers and sisters? Not only are you unable to guide people onto a correct life course, you actually inject your corrupt dispositions into the brothers and sisters. Are you not hurting others? Your conscience is so bad, rotten to the core! You do not enter into reality, and do not put the truth into practice. Moreover you shamelessly expose your devilish nature to other people, you absolutely know no shame! The brothers and sisters have been entrusted to you, but you take them to hell. Aren’t you a person whose conscience has gone rotten? You are utterly shameless!
from “Serve As the Israelites Did” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Many people behind Me covet the blessing of status, they gorge themselves on food, they love to sleep and give every care to the flesh, always afraid that there is no way out of the flesh. They do not perform their normal function in the church, and eat for free, or else admonish their brothers and sisters with My words, they stand up high and lord it over others. These people keep saying they are doing God’s will, they always say they are God’s intimates—is this not absurd? If you have the right motivations, but are unable to serve in accordance with God’s will, then you’re being foolish; but if your motivations aren’t right, and you still say you serve God, then you are someone who opposes God, and you ought to be punished by God! I have no sympathy for such people! In the house of God they eat for free, and always covet the comforts of the flesh, and give no consideration to the interests of God; they always seek what’s good for them, they pay no heed to God’s will, all that they do is not looked upon by God’s Spirit, they’re always maneuvering and plotting against their brothers and sisters, and being two-faced, like a fox in a vineyard, always stealing grapes and trampling over the vineyard. Could such people be God’s intimates? Are you fit to receive God’s blessings? You take no responsibility for your life and the church, are you fit to receive God’s commission? Who would dare trust someone like you? When you serve like this, could God dare to entrust you with a greater task? Are you not delaying things?
from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Serving God is no simple task. Those whose corrupt disposition remains unchanged can never serve God. If your disposition has not been judged and chastised by God’s words, then your disposition still represents Satan, which proves that you serve God out of your own good intentions, that your service is based on your satanic nature. You serve God with your natural character, and according to your personal preferences. What’s more, you always think that the things you are willing to do are what are delightful to God, and that the things you do not wish to do are what are hateful to God; you work entirely according to your own preferences. Can this be called serving God? Ultimately, there will not be the slightest change in your life disposition; instead, your service will make you even more stubborn, thus deeply ingraining your corrupt disposition, and as such, there will be formed within you rules about service to God that are primarily based on your own character, and experiences derived from your service according to your own disposition. These are the experiences and lessons of man. It is man’s philosophy of life. People like this can be classed as Pharisees and religious officials. If they never wake up and repent, then they will ultimately turn into the false Christs who will appear in the last days, and will be deceivers of men. The false Christs and deceivers that were spoken of will arise from among such people. If those who serve God follow their own character and act according to their own will, they run the risk of being cast out at any time. Those who apply their many years of experience acquired to serving God in order to win the hearts of others, to lecture them and control them, and to stand on high—and who never repent, never confess their sins, never renounce the benefits of position—these people shall fall before God. They are of the same kind as Paul, presuming upon their seniority and flaunting their qualifications. God will not bring people like this to perfection. Such service interferes with the work of God. People always cling to the old. They cling to the notions of the past, to everything from times gone by. This is a great obstacle to their service. If you cannot throw them off, these things will throttle your whole life. God will not commend you, not in the slightest, not even if you break your legs running or your back with labor, not even if you are martyred in your service of God. Quite the contrary: He will say that you are an evildoer.
from “Religious Service Must Be Purged” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Any who do not understand the purpose of God’s work are those who stand against God, and even more so are those who are aware of the purpose of God’s work yet do not seek to satisfy God. Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, head demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of “robust flesh,” how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?
from “All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
Church leaders and workers at all levels can be put into three categories. Describing them as loyal servants, treacherous servants or evil servants is more apt. The first type can truly obey God’s work, they can do their utmost to safeguard God’s work whilst performing their duties, they can leave everything behind to expend themselves for God, and they can exalt and bear witness to God. Only this group of people are truly in pursuit of the truth, seek to be perfected and are classified as God’s loyal servants. The second type entirely lack the reality of the truth, are unable to safeguard God’s work whilst performing their duties, do not handle matters in accordance with work arrangements, do whatever they want and behave recklessly, act according to their fleshly preferences, treat people based on their emotions, do not observe the principles of the truth, have difficulty practicing the truth, and often try to make deals with God. They are on the path of the antichrist and are classified as treacherous servants. The third type are arrogant and conceited, pursue status, and are ambitious. They always want to control God’s chosen people, lord it over others, and they suppress and discriminate against those who disagree with them. They constrain, bind and entrap God’s chosen people, they try to use their power to control God’s chosen people and set up their own independent kingdom. They are classified as wicked people who are of the same ilk as false leaders and antichrists, that is, evil servants. …
… The Holy Spirit works in those with good humanity who also love the truth. Those without good humanity and a love of the truth lack the work of the Holy Spirit. Someone with a treacherous, vicious and insidious humanity is an evil person who is of course classified as an evil servant. Evil servants are the enemies of God and the objects of His damnation and punishment. Describing these three types of leaders and workers as loyal servants (like loyalists that nonbelievers speak of), treacherous servants (like treacherous court officials that nonbelievers speak of), and evil servants (like scum who betray the country and go over to the enemy that nonbelievers speak of) is very apt, very appropriate. Those who are classified as loyal servants are more honest, possess a conscience and sense, and they uphold God’s work in all things while doing their duty. They are obedient and loyal to God. Such leaders and workers are all objects of God’s salvation and perfection. Those who are classified as treacherous servants do not love the truth, are not willing to pursue the truth and do not show true obedience to God. In carrying out their duty, they do whatever they want. They treat people based on their emotions and are not fair or reasonable. In their service to God they resist Him, follow the flesh, and do things without principles, even trying to make deals with God. Sometimes they may betray the truth and God, and even work against the interests of God’s house, not safeguarding God’s work in the slightest. People like this are classified as treacherous servants, just like the treacherous court officials that nonbelievers speak of. … Of course, all treacherous servants are classified as false leaders and workers. However, some false leaders and workers are of good humanity and are completely able to repent and change. They must be treated with love and given another chance to exercise. But those who are evil servants are all false leaders and antichrists who possess a demonic nature. Of course, evil servants are all classified as evil people. They possess the nature and essence of the devil, which is why these evil people are capable of all kinds of evil and they brutally suppress and persecute God’s chosen people. They do everything they can to disturb and interrupt God’s work and oppose God in everything, as if they are completely lacking in feeling. Their hearts are hard and stubborn. Is this not being an enemy of God? Evil servants are unsalvageable. Therefore, God’s house must expel any false leaders and antichrists of a demonic nature. There is no room for reconciliation.
from “Truly Submit to God’s Work to Enter Into the Reality of the Truth” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God
If those who serve really possess ability, those under them will move in coordination with them—there will be a general atmosphere of both tension and harmony full of vitality, and the church life will flourish with each passing day. There will be no negativity or falling behind. Righteousness will well up and all church members will be of one mind; they will be united in their efforts. They’ll all be able to bear witness to God and hold Him upon high. This is the best outcome. If the church is still lifeless and most people are negative, it’s proof that there’s no path in your guidance. Church life is like a carriage and the leader is like a carriage horse. If the horse serves its purpose, then the carriage can be pulled forward; it walks when it should walk and gallops when it should gallop. Nothing can hold it back. When one is really well-qualified to serve God, all difficulties can be resolved wherever he goes; he can talk them through whatever problems they have and point out the way. It’s a great enjoyment for others, as if they’ve had a burden lifted off of their shoulders. No matter how difficult the situation of a place is, if he stays there a few days and gathers people together for a few meetings, their hearts will brighten. They will be filled with energy once they understand the truth and their negativity will be completely resolved. The strife of the flesh will be quelled and church life will get onto the right track. A person who really serves God can see through others’ deficiencies, knows what kind of sustenance different people need, where to start, and how to completely resolve the problems. No matter whether a new or old believer, old or young, leading or following, he can fully provide sustenance for them. Their problems can all be resolved and he can communicate with all people. For those who are truly able to serve God, there are no rules in fellowship on the truth; they do not do this by rote, but speak from every side and from every angle. They can explain things in different speeches and bring together all sorts of facts, and people of every class will understand and reap the benefits. Everyone loves being around those who truly serve God; they are willing to open their hearts and have fellowship with them, they respect them, and are willing to befriend them and have heart-to-hearts with them. If everyone is afraid and hiding from you, then you are in trouble. A black cat crossing your path is an ill omen. Those whose hearts are aligned with God’s will are always in the church, walking among the targets of their work, living alongside and eating with the people, and talking to people through the night. They exhort people over and over when entrusting them with work; and they are afraid of not handling things well and never cold-shoulder anyone. They know that leaving the workplace is dereliction of duty—those who leave the people they are working for are just freeloaders. Is it possible to solve all practical difficulties without coming into contact with the grassroots-level leaders and workers that coordinate with you? Can it be done without deeply experiencing church life at a basic level? Can anything be achieved without heart-to-heart communication? Can you walk away from your work before your voice has become hoarse? Do you still carry your burden when you don’t have a fire in your heart? If you’ve not lost weight, are you really hardworking? Do those focused on their food and clothing truly care about the fruit borne of their work? Can they take God’s will to heart? Can they really do good work if they only come into contact with the minority of people who are after their own heart while avoiding those who are not? Are they not parasites seeking an easy, comfortable and enjoyable life?
Those who are able to truly serve God know where they are lacking; they can equip themselves and make up for their own deficiencies at any time while also communicating the truth to provide sustenance for others. Even more so, they focus on entering into the truth themselves and knowing themselves more deeply. They can keep themselves from becoming arrogant, self-righteous and from showing themselves off; they are also willing to open themselves up, allowing others to see their weaknesses and shortcomings. Therefore their fellowship is sincere and authentic without any false pretenses. People will have confidence in them and are able to respect them as well as obey the truths that they fellowship. Those who truly serve God understand the work of the Holy Spirit and know what comes from their own experience and what comes from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. They have God-revering hearts and are neither arrogant nor boastful. They do not look down on others because they have the work of the Holy Spirit, but are more able to be considerate of others, to care for others, and help others. They would rather suffer so that others may be happy. They understand the difficulties people suffer and also deeply understand how painful it is for a person without truth to fall into darkness. Moreover, they understand the pleasures of being enlightened by the Holy Spirit and are willing to share such enlightenment with others, as well as the joy it brings. They do not take having the work of the Holy Spirit themselves as capital for enjoyment. They enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit and are considerate of God’s will. They are willing to resolve other people’s difficulties and pain and to pass the enjoyment they get from the work of the Holy Spirit to others in order to satisfy God. They can proactively cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit, show every consideration for God’s will and give up their own enjoyment in order to satisfy God. They refuse the blessings of status and do not seek special treatment; they piously and respectfully serve God and loyally do their duty. Only people who serve God in this way act in accordance with God’s will.
To serve in accord with God’s will, one must first go through changes in one’s life disposition. After the change, one can formally begin to serve. A few years’ experience is required, and without the truth no good results can be achieved. But if people genuinely understand the true meaning of service, they will know how to perform their duties well. Because they deeply understand that doing one’s duty is to supply others with the truth, the way, and the life that one has gained from God’s work, and to supply the church with their experience, knowledge of God and the light revealed by the Holy Spirit, so that others can share it, and so that they all can achieve change in their life dispositions, come to know God, obey God, be loyal to God and be gained by God. It is not equipping themselves with the knowledge of the truth and teaching others letters and doctrines to show how clever they are. Doing one’s duty is caring for, helping, being considerate of and taking care of others with a love of God, caring for others over oneself, always thinking about others, doing everything with the church in mind, preferring to suffer in order for most people to gain life and be saved, and to pay any price so that people can understand the truth and expend themselves for God to satisfy God’s will. It is not priding oneself based on one’s status or clinging to enjoyments of the flesh without regard for how much one’s brothers and sisters are suffering, or simply satisfying one’s own desire to eat, drink and seek pleasure while abandoning the benefits of one’s brothers and sisters. Some people even work according to their own preferences and emotions. If a person receives them well and wins their favor, they will fellowship with them, otherwise they will refuse. The most despicable person is he who performs his work and asks for something in return. Doing one’s duty is taking on God’s will as one’s own, treating as urgent that which God treats as urgent, considering what God considers, being concerned about God’s concerns, and putting the interests of God’s family first at all times. It is working so hard one forgets to eat and sleep, and it is making painstaking efforts and doing the work God has entrusted one to do with the sense of responsibility of a master. It is not expecting to be rewarded for a little work, or expecting enjoyment after a little suffering, or growing proud and conceited after achieving some results, or enjoying status and acting like a tyrant. Those who are loyal in doing their duty submit to God’s arrangements, are loyal, devoted, and work selflessly and without complaint as servants of God, wishing only to return God’s love and repay God with their lives. They regard themselves as nothing more than a piece of dust without honor, and even less worthy of enjoying God’s grace, and they submit entirely to God’s orchestrations and do not complain. They are not mean and shameless hypocrites who cherish their own lives, who harbor the intent to obtain blessings, and who long to stand above others and enjoy being superior to others. Doing one’s duty is being considerate of God’s will and God’s burden, regarding brothers and sisters as one’s parents, being willing to be everybody’s servant, bearing the lives of brothers and sisters in mind, daring to take responsibility, not owing anybody, allowing others to gain whatever one has gained, serving God with conscience, and daring to accept everyone’s supervision. Some people say things pleasing to the ear but then do no actual work; they enjoy their brothers’ and sisters’ hospitality but still oppress them, and they ask them to do this and that for them, to do their utmost to take care of them. And they lecture and deal with their brothers and sisters at every turn, or they ask them to come and wait on them when they are ill, and to accompany them when required. Such a person who makes people his servants is by no means serving God; rather, he exalts himself, bears witness to himself, sets himself on high and makes others treat him as God. He is very afraid of being in low repute and of people not being convinced by him. He is vigorous in his efforts and spares no pains in order to make people obey and worship him, and he sits in God’s place lecturing people all day long. He looks down on everyone, does everything in his power to expand his sphere of influence, and he operates his own businesses to cause others to put him at the center, heed his words, obey his arrangements and put God to one side to worship him instead. After he has worked for several years, the people he leads have no knowledge of God. On the contrary, they all fear and obey only him. He has himself become a god. By doing this, is he not leading people before himself? This kind of person is a robber, a thief within the family, and an antichrist.
from The Fellowship From the Above