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132. The Principles of Church Admission

Practice and Exercises for Principled Behavior

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132. The Principles of Church Admission

1. Church admission must be handled in accordance with principles. You must guard against evil people, evil spirits and the great red dragon’s spies infiltrating the church;

2. Anyone who sincerely believes in God—as long as their essence is not determined to be that of an evil person, an evil spirit, or anyone to whom the gospel may not be spread—may be admitted into the church;

3. Anyone who has been isolated due to having become known to the authorities or has left the church because they could not bear to part with the world, may only be admitted back to the church if they have a good humanity which has been verified by many;

4. Those who display practical expressions of true repentance or atonement after being expelled may be admitted only with the verification and agreement of the majority of God’s chosen people.

Relevant Words of God:

At all times, My people must be on guard against the cunning schemes of Satan, protecting the gate of My house for Me, able to support each other and provide to each other, which will stop you falling into Satan’s trap, at which time it will be too late for regrets.

from “The Third Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh

10. Kin who are not of the faith (your children, your husband or wife, your sisters or your parents, and so on) should not be forced into the church. God’s household is not short of members, and there is no need to make up its numbers with people who have no use. All those who do not believe gladly must not be led into the church. This decree is directed at all people. In this matter you should check, monitor and remind each other, and no one may violate it. Even when kin who are not of the faith do reluctantly enter the church, they must not be issued books or given a new name; such people are not of God’s household, and their entry into the church must be put a stop to by any means necessary. If trouble is brought upon the church due to the invasion of demons, then you yourself will be expelled or will have restrictions placed upon you. In short, everyone has a responsibility toward this matter, but you should also not be reckless, or use it to settle personal scores.

from “The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In the past, some people have been expelled for doing some bad things and the church has rejected them. They roam about for years, and then they come back. It is good that they haven’t completely run away; since they haven’t completely run away, they have the opportunity and the hope to be saved. If they ran away and didn’t believe, and became like unbelievers, then they would be completely done for. If they can turn around, then they have hope. This is rare and precious. Regardless of how God works people and regardless of how God treats people, hates people, or detests people, if there comes a time when people can turn around, then I will take special comfort; this means that people still have that much of God in their hearts, have not completely lost human reason, have not completely lost humanity, still intend to believe in God, and intend to acknowledge and return to God. … In the Age of Grace, Jesus had pity and grace for the people. If one sheep was lost out of a hundred, He would leave the ninety-nine and look for the one. This phrase does not describe a mechanical practice, it is not a rule, but it shows God’s intentions toward mankind, God’s urgent intention to save mankind, and God’s deep love for mankind. It is not a way of practice, but it is His disposition and His mentality. Therefore, some people leave for a year or half a year, or they have many weaknesses and many misconceptions. Afterward, if they wake up to reality and are able to have understanding and turn back and get back on the right path, I will be especially comforted and take pleasure in this. Being able to stand in the current world and age of sensual pleasures and evil, being able to acknowledge God, and being able to get back on the right path and return are things that really bring comfort and are exciting.

from “People Who Always Have Requirements for God Are the Least Reasonable” in Records of Christ’s Talks

During the time of God’s work of salvation, all those who can be saved will be saved to the utmost limit, none of them being discarded, as the purpose of God’s work is to save man. … During the time of the work of words, many people will expose their rebelliousness and defiance, and they will expose their disobedience toward the incarnate God. But He will not punish all these people because of this, instead He will only cast aside those who are corrupt to the core and who cannot be saved. He will give their flesh to Satan, and in a few cases, terminate their flesh. Those who are left will continue to follow and experience dealing and pruning. If while they follow they still cannot accept dealing and pruning and they become more and more degenerate, then these people will have lost their chance for salvation. Each and every person who has accepted the conquering of words will have ample opportunity for salvation. God’s salvation of each one of these people shows them His utmost leniency, meaning that they are showed the utmost tolerance. So long as people turn back from the wrong path, so long as they can repent, then God will give them the opportunity to obtain His salvation. When people first rebel against God, God has no desire to put them to death, but instead does all He can to save them. If someone really has no room for salvation, then God will cast them aside. That God is slow to punish someone is because He wants to save all those who can be saved. He judges, enlightens and guides people only with words, and does not use a rod to put them to death. Using words to save people is the purpose and significance of the final stage of work.

from “You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will for the Salvation of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship:

The principles for accepting new believers into the church are: So long as they sincerely believe in God, even if they have only a sliver of hope or chance to be saved, they should still be accepted into the church and they should never be kept out. The standard for accepting people into the church should not be too high, for the entire mankind has already been too deeply corrupted and only a few have the humanity that qualifies them. If they are not evildoers or muddleheaded people, and if they sincerely believe that Almighty God is the incarnate God, then they should be accepted into the church. Regardless of whether they are laborers, farmers, teachers, scientific and technological personnel, or government employees, we must treat them all as equals without any bias. We must especially have extreme patience in guiding cadres, teachers and scientific and technological personnel to enter into God’s words and to understand all the truths. Because these people have greater difficulties entering into God’s words, we cannot have too high or too stringent an expectation of them. If we truly have love for them, then we should stay in touch with them and assist them regularly. Even though these people often require a longer time than ordinary people to enter the truths and build up a foundation in their faith in God, once they have really entered into the truths they are all valuable talents. We must understand that the cultivation of talents requires us to pay a price.

For those being accepted by the church, usually the approval of the church leaders and deacons is sufficient. In special circumstances, approval of the entire church is required. If some people do not agree with the acceptance of a new believer, then he must be tested for a period of time. While he is being tested, his sponsor or the person who preached the gospel to him should constantly stay in touch with him and carefully observe him. If this person sincerely believes in God and has a chance to be saved, then he can be accepted into the church. The work of accepting people into the church cannot be too extreme; only evildoers and confused people should be restricted. We should accept most people, and only special cases should require further discussion and approval of the church.

The matter of accepting people into the church should be carried out carefully, primarily to prevent those evildoers who want to take advantage of the church, who often commit adultery, or who are extremely arrogant, from joining our church. There are also those who only come to socialize or kick up a fuss, who we must also prevent from joining our church. Because such people do not love truths, therefore even if they join the church they won’t stay until the very end. In the church, those who eventually give up belong to this type of person. Furthermore, we must also prevent those who are spying on the church from infiltrating our church. The church must mainly prevent the following three types of people from mixing with our congregations: One type is those who are so evil, depraved, and base that the church absolutely cannot accept them; another type is the spies who want to infiltrate the church, who the church absolutely cannot accept either; the last type is those who do not sincerely believe in God. They will give up sooner or later even if they were accepted into the church, so the church must not accept them.

from “Principles for Establishing a Church and Managing Church Life” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God

Previously, in the church’s great purge quite a few people were cleared out, expelled. I believe that among those people, some of them were people who certainly genuinely believed in God and showed signs of repentance, and they still persist in their faith. If that is true, then the church should give them another chance and they should be accepted back in. The following situations are for reference.

1. For people purged from the church because they weren’t performing their duty or they didn’t attend gatherings very often, if they show signs of repentance, the church can consider accepting them back in.

2. For people purged from the church because they had not read the Bible and were treated as nonbelievers, if among them there are some who genuinely believe in God and are willing to perform their duty, the church can consider accepting them back in.

3. For people who were expelled in the past because of some past transgression (that did not actually warrant expulsion), the church can consider accepting them back in.

4. For people who were purged who did not seek the truth, whose faith was confused, if they currently show signs of genuine repentance, the church can consider accepting them back in.

5. For people who were church leaders or workers at any level, or who spread the gospel for church, if they were expelled from the church because of misconduct resulting from poor humanity, as long as they show signs of repentance and are still expending themselves for the church, the church can consider accepting them back in. If one of those people comes back to the church they must be entirely well-behaved, and are no longer permitted to act as a leader.

For those who fall within the several circumstances above the church should send someone to gain an understanding of the situation and to verify it. If that person wants to return to the church, they can be accepted back in if the majority of people in the church agree. If the minority of people agree they should be let go; this principle absolutely cannot be violated. It should be certain that the expulsion is the correct thing to do in the majority of circumstances; unreasonable expulsions should be in the minority, and giving them another chance should be considered. If a church in a certain area takes back in the majority of people that they have expelled or purged from the church, there are major errors. Each church must understand the principles well and not deviate to the left or to the right. They must act according to the actual circumstances. An evil person will always be an evil person, but someone who commits transgressions should not be treated as an evil person. There are those who are constantly licentious, who are disciplined but never change, who steal offerings and are insatiably greedy, who are always arrogant, insane and frenzied, who always sow discord and are conflict-seeking, who always struggle for power and will not expend themselves if they don’t have status—these kinds of people are unsalvageable. No one has the right to bring them back into the church and anyone who does should be expelled by the church as well. Those who are brought into the church again absolutely cannot do things that are disruptive and must get along well with most people. That is the only kind of person who is well-suited to coming back. Only those who are beneficial to the church work and are able to work on spreading the gospel can be welcomed back; those who are harmful to the church absolutely should not come back. This must be carefully considered so that a good person does not fall through the cracks, and so that a bad person is not brought back.

from the fellowship from the above

If any of those belonging to the five kinds of people have truly repented, as long as they show true repentance, hate and curse themselves for having committed too many transgressions and resisted God too intensely, and make amends for their transgressions by gaining many people through gospel preaching efforts, the church should re-admit them and arrange for them to congregate together. I don’t know whether these can receive salvation or not, but it depends on how they pursue the truth. The truth is dispassionate and God is righteous. By preaching the gospel more and gaining more people, they are at least making amends for their transgressions. Their efforts in expanding the kingdom gospel alone are much better than those of false leaders and antichrists who only engage in demolition and framing people. God’s house would rather accept a service-doer than retain a destructive demon, an antichrist that will harm God’s chosen people. Tell me, will doing so help carry out God’s will? I hope that God’s chosen people will consider God’s intentions in this matter, and consider the issue from the perspective of expanding the kingdom gospel and carrying out the will of God. This is the practical maintenance of God’s work. Those false leaders and antichrists that do not do anything to maintain God’s work should be expelled from the church. As for admitting those who can make good efforts to serve and contribute to carry out God’s will and expand the kingdom gospel, why shouldn’t it be done?

from “The Authority to Arbitrarily Expel People by Leaders and Workers at All Levels of the Church Must be Banned” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God

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