XIII. Question and Answer on How to Differentiate Between Following God and Following Man
Question: Please share detailed fellowship on what is obeying and following God, and what is obeying and following man. Understanding this aspect of the truth is critical for us.
Answer: Concerning this aspect of the truth, let us first read a passage of Almighty God’s words: “Of principal importance in following God is that everything should be according to the words of God today: Whether you are pursuing entry into life or the fulfillment of God’s will, everything should be centered around the words of God today. If what you commune and pursue are not centered around the words of God today, then you are a stranger to the words of God, and totally bereft of the work of the Holy Spirit. … Those who can follow the present work of the Holy Spirit, and who are able to follow the footsteps of God, such that they follow God wherever He leads them—these are people who are blessed by God. Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. … ‘Following the work of the Holy Spirit’ means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Such people are not only capable of receiving God’s praise and seeing God, but can also know God’s disposition from the latest work of God, and can know man’s conceptions and disobedience, and man’s nature and substance, from His latest work; furthermore, they are able to gradually achieve changes in their disposition during their service. Only people such as this are those who are able to gain God, and who have genuinely found the true way” (“Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Following God primarily refers to following God’s current work, submitting to and practicing God’s current words, being able to keep God’s commandments, seeking out God’s intentions in all matters, practicing in accordance with God’s word, and absolutely submitting to the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Finally, it refers to becoming a person who practices the truth and follows God’s will. Only by doing these things can someone be said to follow God and be someone who gains God’s salvation. If we outwardly base our faith on the Bible and exalt the Bible, but in reality we practice and experience everything according to the words and teachings of man in the Bible instead of submitting to and practicing the word of God from the Bible. Also, we do not grasp God’s intentions and instead only adhere to religious ceremonies and rules, this is following man, not God. If we follow and practice the words of people from the Bible as if those were the words of God, yet consider the Lord Jesus a mere figurehead and ignore the words of the Lord Jesus and do nothing to follow His commandments, then we will surely be spurned and cursed by the Lord Jesus, which is just like what happened with the hypocritical Pharisees. There are many people who have faith in the Lord, yet they also maintain blind faith in spiritual celebrities or pastors and elders and they worship the hypocritical Pharisees. Whatever befalls them they run to the pastors and elders to seek guidance and they do the same when it comes to studying the true way. The result is they are deceived and misled by the hypocritical Pharisees and religious leaders and they start down the path toward resisting God, these are the consequences and ends of following man instead of God. The only way to truly follow God is to solely base our faith on following the work of the Holy Spirit, following the current words of God, following the footsteps of the Holy Spirit’s work, and giving our utmost to fulfill our duties. Especially as God does His work of judgment in the last days, the religious world has lost the Holy Spirit’s work and it has become desolate. When we are compelled to seek the true way, we must put even more focus on seeking the Holy Spirit’s words toward the churches and we must seek out the words and utterances of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. If we do not seek out the words and work of the Holy Spirit, if we are unable to hear the voice of God, if we are unable to gain what God’s current words provide for us, then we will instead be eliminated during God’s work in the last days and cast aside into the darkness of grief and sorrow. People who truly follow and submit to God will never be abandoned by Him. Those who worship religious pastors and elders are submitting to man and have become followers of man. These people will be revealed by God’s work in the last days and they shall be eliminated and cast aside.
Even though from our mouths we cry out that we believe in God and that we should only follow God and submit to Him, however, what happens in reality is not the same. We can see this clearly from the way that those of the Jewish faith in the Age of Grace treated the Lord Jesus in contrast to how Peter and John and others did. The Lord Jesus performed His new work, issued forth the truth, and brought the way of repentance, but most of the Jewish faithful at that time only listened to the teachings of the chief priests and the Pharisees and they did not accept the work and words of the Lord Jesus, and in the end they lost the salvation of the Lord Jesus. Nominally, they believed in God, but in reality they believed in the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees. However, Peter, John, Matthew, Philip, and others saw the authority and power that the words and work of the Lord Jesus carried and that they were the truth. They saw that the words and work of the Lord Jesus came from God and so they followed Him closely. They were not subject at all to the control of the Pharisees and they were the ones who truly followed and obeyed God. In the last days, the only way to truly follow and submit to God is to submit to Almighty God’s judgment work, for this fulfills the prophecy found in the Book of Revelation: “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev 14:4). Currently, leaders in the religious world are playing the role of the Jewish Pharisees and make every effort to exalt the words of man in the Bible, yet they betray the words of the Lord Jesus. What is even more absurd is that they exploit the Bible by citing quotes out of context to place condemnation on the work God does in the last days and they do this to deceive, bind, and control believers. For example, the Lord Jesus clearly stated that only “he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” will enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet among the leaders in the religious world, they say that all one needs to do in his faith is to work hard and he may then enter the kingdom of heaven, and that the kingdom of heaven is something to be forcefully seized. The Lord Jesus required us: “You shall worship the Lord your God,” yet some so-called spiritual celebrities lead believers to seek out how to become God or to seek out becoming a king and wielding power over all nations and all peoples, which is thoroughly preposterous. Leaders in the religious world nominally do work for the Lord and preach sermons, but in reality they are just spreading the teachings of man and they are promoting their own ideas as the truth and they let us abide by those ideas. They are just like the hypocritical Pharisees and they are blindly trying to lead the way. They are resisting Christ and they claim to stand as equals with Christ; they are antichrists and they are working to create separate, independent kingdoms. Once we the faithful begin following the leaders and celebrities of the religious world, we begin going our own path and deviating from the Lord’s way; this is a very serious instance of resisting and betraying God. If we do not repent, we will surely be cast aside and eliminated by God.
from the movie script of Rapture in Peril