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157. The Principles of Obeying the Church

Practice and Exercises for Principled Behavior

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157. The Principles of Obeying the Church

1. As long as church decisions conform to God’s words, the truth, and to the prescribed principles of work arrangements, then you should accept and obey them. You should not refuse or defy them;

2. As long as arrangements and decisions benefit church work and God’s chosen people, then you should accept and obey them. You should not refuse or defy them;

3. As long as arrangements and decisions are approved with the agreement of the majority of God’s chosen people, then you should accept and obey them. You should not refuse or defy them;

4. Obeying an individual leader or worker is absolutely not obeying the church. Absolutely no individual leader or worker can represent the church—God’s chosen people must be clear on this.

Relevant Words of God:

Now your statures are put to a practical test to see whether the church can be built and whether or not you can obey each other. Viewed from this aspect, your obedience is indeed an obedience in which you pick and choose—though you may be able to obey one person, you find it hard to obey somebody else. There is indeed no way you can be obedient when you rely on human conceptions. However the thoughts of God always surpass those of man! Christ obeyed unto death and died on the cross. Christ said nothing about any conditions or reasons; so long as it was His Father’s will, He obeyed willingly. Your current obedience is too limited. I say to you all, obedience is not obeying people on the outside, it is obeying the inner life within and it is obeying God Himself.

from “The Twentieth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

I hope that all people will have a submissive heart to follow all that comes from Me. In that way, I will certainly greatly bless mankind because I have said that those who are compatible with Me will be preserved while those who are hostile to Me will be cursed. I have ordained this and none can change it.

from “The Ninety-sixth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The reason that you should determine if what you are doing conforms with truth is because if it conforms with truth, then it certainly conforms with God’s will. It is not that you should determine if the matter is right or wrong, or if it is in accordance with everyone else’s tastes, or if it is in accordance with your own desires. Rather, it is to determine if it is in accordance with truth, if it benefits the work and interests of the church. If you consider these aspects, then you will be more and more in line with God’s will when you do things. If you don’t consider these aspects and merely rely on your own will to do things, then you are guaranteed to do them incorrectly, because the will of man is not the truth and of course is not in conformance with God. If you want to be approved by God, then you must practice according to the truth, rather than according to your own intentions.

from “Seeking God’s Will and Putting Truth Into Practice to the Greatest Extent Possible” in Records of Christ’s Talks

The Man’s Fellowship:

In the house of God, only those who genuinely pursue the truth, truly expend for God, faithfully fulfill their duty as a creature, and only obey God, God’s words, and the truth are regarded as people who truly obey God. … Whether or not they accept and obey leaders and workers at any level is based entirely on whether their behavior and actions conform with God’s words and the truth, and whether they accord with the work arrangements of the above.

from “The Twelve Problems that Must Be Resolved to Enter Onto the Right Track of Having Faith in God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life

It is the responsibility of leaders and workers of all levels to perform their primary job and fulfill the duties they ought to fulfill in accordance with the work arrangements, sermons and fellowships of the above. No one has the right to restrict, obstruct or disturb this. The fulfilling of duties is legitimate as long as it does not violate work arrangements. Anyone who restricts, obstructs or disturbs leaders or workers who fulfill their duties normally in accordance with work arrangements is disturbing the work of the church.

Leaders and workers of all levels have the right to handle all kinds of wicked people in accordance with work arrangements. As long as it is verified by evidence and the facts are convincing, no one should restrict, obstruct or interfere. Leaders and workers of all levels have the right to handle the church’s various difficult problems in accordance with work arrangements and to determine church affairs both big and small. As long as it conforms with the principles of God’s words and work arrangements, and is beneficial to the church, no one has the right to restrict, obstruct or interfere.

from “Twenty Problems That Must Be Resolved When the Church’s Work Embarks on the Right Track” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God

The majority of God’s chosen people are fair and reasonable. The more you communicate the truth, the more the things you do are in accordance with the truth and the more the things you do originate from a loving heart, and God’s chosen people will completely understand. They are very capable of feeling it.

from the fellowship from the above

The majority view of God’s chosen people should be accurate and correct, more so than the views of any leaders or workers. All those who don’t have faith in God’s chosen people and only believe in their own views are all arrogant and conceited people who don’t have reason.

from “The Meaning and Explanation of the Ten Principles of the Church Life Established by God’s Family” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God

Presently, since the majority of people understand a bit of the truth and have a bit of discernment, they are able to use objective and suitable standards to weigh people. They know who can fundamentally do the work and who cannot. They know who is qualified. The majority of people know how to examine these things. The standards that God’s family requires all levels of leaders to achieve are objective and fair. You should believe that the eyes of the majority of people are sharp. They are able to see whether or not a leader is suitable. If a leader has been denied and disapproved by the majority of people, that person is no longer suitable to remain a leader and he should be dismissed and replaced. If a leader, even if he has some problems, obtains the commendation and approval of the majority of people, that leader is qualified and he should continue to be cultivated and used.

from the fellowship from the above

In all situations you should stand on the side of truth and stand with God, never side with some person nor protect that person’s influence. You should remember this. You should respect the truth, and truth should receive the greatest respect in your heart. You should betray the influence of Satan and neither worship nor follow Satan’s influence. The principle and baseline standard of being a person is, “I will listen to whomever is in accordance with the truth and I will support those who act in accordance with truth, and I shall stand with God.” Do not stand on the side of influence. … No leader or worker has the right to represent the church; what they do and say can only represent themselves. These are the rules of God’s house and I want to reiterate this. Therefore, anyone who upholds a leader is not upholding the church. And furthermore, they are not upholding God’s work. Instead, they are merely worshiping power and upholding an individual’s power and status. One can only stand on the side of truth, be faithfully devoted to God’s work, work for God, and do his duty for God’s chosen people, for this is the way to carry out truth and this is the only way to submit to God. Now, a leader or worker who lacks the truth will not stand firm. Do not be mistaken and think that people become leaders in the church the same way they do in the world, because anyone can be a boss there, they don’t even need to study to do so. If one follows Satan’s nature and their own ideas, anyone can come up with a methodology to lead, but this does not work in the house of God. One should not bring the methods of the leaders in the world into the church; it doesn’t work. God’s chosen people will loathe you and be disgusted with you. The church needs servants, workers, and those who do their duties. It does not need leaders or officials. Some people are not very good at working or fellowshiping about the truth, but are good at leveraging the leadership methods to great effect. What kind of nonsense is that? They are really shameless! Aren’t those methods that leaders employ just the stuff of the great red dragon? Can that stuff give you enjoyment? I like the ways of honest people. When honest people do their duty, they just act how they are. So don’t act like a leader or official and do not be infected by their ways. If you put on the airs of a leader, quite frankly you are being devilish.

from “Only Those Who Truly Submit to God Shall Receive His Salvation” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VII)

As long as there are false leaders and false workers who use their status and power to control people, God’s chosen people should fight back and reject them, and can fellowship about the truth to debate them. Only obey the truth and God’s words. Never obey the influence of Satan. Regardless of who it is, they can only be obeyed if their words and actions conform with the truth. And if not, they ought to be rejected. Say no to Satan. This is a matter of principle for practicing obedience of God. If a church leader says to you, “If you obey the work arrangements of the above then you are not obeying the church, and I will expel you,” then you should say to them, “You don’t represent the church. You represent Satan. Obeying the work arrangements of the above is an expression of obeying God’s work. I won’t obey Satan.” This way, Satan will be shamed. People who truly obey God only obey what comes from God, what conforms with the truth, and positive things, and they should reject and say no to that which comes from Satan or man’s intentions, is disadvantageous to God’s work, or does not conform with the truth. They must not be controlled by any leader or worker. Only that is being someone who possesses the truth and reality. The highest authorities in God’s house are God, God’s words, the truth, and the work arrangements, sermons and fellowships of the above that come from the work of the Holy Spirit. These are the four authorities of God that God’s chosen people should obey. Only those who obey these four authorities are truly obeying God.

from “The Meaning and Explanation of the Ten Principles of the Church Life Established by God’s Family” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God

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