The Differences Between Following God and Following Man

The Relevant Words of God Are as Follows:

The most important thing in followingGod is to do everything according to God’s present word. Whether you pursue to enter into life or to satisfy God’s heart’s desire, you have to focus on God’s present word. If what you fellowship and what you pursue to enter into are not centered around God’s present word, you are one outside God’s word and absolutely do not have the working of the Holy Spirit.”

from “Know God’s Newest Work and Keep Up With God’s Pace”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Some people may think very impulsively that where there is the working of the Holy Spirit there is God’s appearing, where there are spiritual figures there is God’s appearing, or where people have high reputation there is God’s appearing. Let’s not discuss for now whether such thoughts are right or wrong. To explain such a thing, we have to first be clear about a goal. We are searching for God’s footsteps but not searching for spiritual figures, much less pursuing after famous men. We are pursuing after God’s footsteps. Therefore, since we want to search for God’s footsteps, we have to search for God’s will, search for God’s word, and search for God’s utterance. This is because where there is God’s new word there is God’s voice, where there are God’s footsteps there are God’s deeds, where there is God’s expression there is God’s appearing, and where there is God’s appearing there exists the truth, the way, and the life. When you search for God’s footsteps, you all neglect this word, ‘God is the truth, the way, and the life.’ So, although many people have received the truth, they do not think that they have found God’s footsteps, much less acknowledge that it is God’s appearing. What a serious mistake this is!”

from “God’s Appearing Has Brought the New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Some people do not love the truth, much less judgment, but love power and money. Such people are called snobs. They specially search for the influential denominations in the world and specially search for the pastors and teachers from theological schools. Even though they have received the way of truth, they half believe in it and cannot put their heart and soul into it. Their mouths say words of spending for God but their eyes are set on the great pastors and teachers, and for Christ they do not even spare a glance. Their hearts are full of fame and gain and honor. They do not believe at all that such a small person can conquer so many people and such an inconspicuous person can perfect people. They do not believe at all that these nobodies in the dust and dunghill are God’s chosen people. They think that if these people were the objects of God’s salvation, then heaven and earth would be upside down, and people would all laugh their teeth off. They think that if God chose these people to perfect, then those great men would all be God Godself. Their viewpoints are mixed with the elements of unbelief. More than unbelieving, they are simply unreasonable beasts. As they only value position and renown and value power and they think highly of large groups and denominations, they have no regard at all for those led by Christ. They are simply the betrayers who run counter to Christ, to the truth, and to the life.

You do not adore Christ’s humbleness, but revere the false shepherds in prominent positions; you do not love Christ’s loveliness and Christ’s wisdom, but like the licentious men who wallow in the mire with the world; you just laugh at Christ’s suffering of having no place to lay his head, but admire the corpses that hunt for offerings and live in luxury and debauchery; you are not willing to suffer with Christ, but are willing to throw yourself into the bosom of those antichrists who act willfully and recklessly, although what they supply you with are only flesh, letters, and control. Even now your heart is still toward them, toward their fame, toward their position in the hearts of all the satans, toward their influence, and toward their authority. And toward Christ’s work, you still take an attitude that you can hardly accept it and do not want to accept it. This is why I say that you do not have the ‘belief’ of acknowledging Christ. It is completely under compulsion that you can follow to this day. In your heart the lofty images are forever standing. You cannot forget any of their words and acts and cannot forget their words with influence and their hands with influence. In your heart, they are forever supreme and forever heroes. But the Christ of today is not so. He is forever a small one in your heart and forever a person unworthy of fear in your heart, because he is too ordinary, his influence is too little, and he is too far from being lofty.”

from “Are You Truly a Believer in God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Look at the leaders in every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and theyinterpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imaginations. They all work by their gifts and knowledge. If they cannot preach anything, will those people follow them? Anyway, they have some knowledge, can preach some doctrines, or know how to win over others and use some artifices, so they have brought the people before themselves and have deceived them. Those people believe in God in name but in reality follow them. If meeting those who preach the true way, some will say, ‘About believing in God, we have to consult him.’ You see, they have to have a man’s consent to their believing in God; isn’t this a problem?”

from “Only Pursuing the Truth Is Truly Believing in God”
in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

Since you believe in God, you should obey God and worship God, should not exalt man or look up to man, and should not regard God as the greatest, the man you look up to as the second greatest, and yourself as the third greatest. You should not have a place for any man in your heart and should not consider man, especially the man you adore, to be the same as God or to be equal with God. This is what God cannot tolerate.”

from “Ten Administrative Decrees God’s Chosen People Must Keep”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Those who do not understand the truth are always apt to follow others. When others say this is the work of the Holy Spirit, you also say it is the work of the Holy Spirit. When others say this is the work of an evil spirit, you also doubt or say it is the work of an evil spirit. You always repeat what others say and cannot at all discern it yourself and do not have a mind of your own at all. This is a person who has no ground and no discernment. Such a person is a good-for-nothing! You always say what others say. Now you say this is the work of the Holy Spirit. Maybe one day others say this is not the work of the Holy Spirit but entirely man’s doing. As you cannot discern it yourself, when you see others all say that, you will also say that. It is actually the work of the Holy Spirit, but you say it is man’s work. Won’t you become one who blasphemes the work of the Holy Spirit? Won’t you resist God because of having no discernment? Maybe one day an addlehead will appear and say, ‘This is the work of an evil spirit.’ When you hear that, you will again be bewildered and again be bound by what he says. Every time someone disturbs you, you cannot stand your ground. This is all because you have no truth. It is not a simple thing to believe in God and pursue to know God. It is not that you can make it just by attending meetings and listening to messages or that you can be perfected simply by being zealous. You have to have experiences, have knowledge, have principles in doing things, and receive the working of the Holy Spirit.”

from “Only Those Who Know God and God’s Work Are the Ones God Is Satisfied With”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship for Reference:

Following God means listening to God in everything, submitting to God’s every arrangement, doing things according to God’s word, and accepting everything from God. Believing in God, one should follow God, but most people, while believing in God, follow man unknowingly. This is an absurd and pitiable thing. Strictly speaking, people believe in whomever they follow. Some people believe in God nominally, but they do not have God in their hearts, and the one they worship in their hearts is the person who leads them. Listening to a leader and even refusing God’s arrangement, this is just the manifestation of following man while believing in God. Before people have gained the truth, they all believe foolishly like this, and they do not even know what is following God. They cannot discern the distinctions between following God and following man. They only believe that whoever communicates good doctrines and whoever communicates high doctrines is their father or their mother. For them, whoever has milk is their mother, and whoever has authority is their real father. They are just so pitiful. It can be said that such a state exists in most people in varying degrees.

What is following God? And how to practice it? Following God is not only to pray to God and praise God, but most importantly, it is to eat and drink God’s word and live by God’s word, do things according to the truth, find in God’s word a way of life experience, and also accept God’s commission, perform all one’s duties properly, and walk the way ahead by following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Particularly, at the juncture when important matters come, one should all the more seek God’s will and guard against all the deceptions from man’s doctrines and should not be restrained by any man at all. ‘Anything from God I will obey and follow; if it is of human will, I will reject it resolutely. When what a leader or worker conveys contradicts God’s arrangement, I will absolutely obey what is from God and reject what is from man. If it is completely in accord with God’s arrangement and God’s will, I will obey.’ Those who practice this way are the ones who follow God.

What is following man? Following man is following the worker or leader one adores. He does not have much place for God in his heart, but only bears the signboard of believing in God, and in all his doings, he is imitating man and following man’s example. Particularly in the important matters, he asks man to make decisions for him and allows man to rule over his destiny, but he himself does not seek God’s will; he has no discernment of what man says, and as long as what man says sounds reasonable, regardless of whether it is in accord with the truth, he accepts and obeys it. This is the manifestation of following man. He believes in God without principles, does things without the truth, and listens to anyone whose words sound reasonable. If his idol goes astray, he will still follow him to the end. If God condemns his idol, he will have notions about God and holds closely to his idol. His reason is: whoever is in charge of us, I should listen to him, for the official sitting in the county seat can’t order people around like one sitting right here. This is purely the logic of a fool. Those who follow man are just so foolish. Those who follow man have no truth. Only those who follow God are real believers in God; those who follow man are ones who worship idols and are ones who are deceived by man, and they have no God and no truth in their hearts.”

from “Discernment Between Following God and Following Man”
in The Man’s Fellowship Attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

There are many people who believe in God yet do not know what is obeying God. They think that listening to their leader in everything is equivalent to obeying God. This view is really absurd, because the origin of their obedience is wrong. They take listening to their leader as obeying God. Believing in God according to this view, they are really believing in God in name but believing in man in reality.

We, believing in God, should let God occupy the leading position in our heart, should let God rule in everything, and should in everything seek God’s mind, do it according to God’s word, and do it by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and obey everything from God. If you listen to man, it proves that in your heart there is no place for God, but only place for man. Nothing is more important for one than to pursue the truth and understand God’s will. If one pays no attention to seeking God’s mind or touching God’s will, he has no true obedience. No matter how right man’s word is, if you always listen to man, this in substance is still obeying man, and it is absolutely not equivalent to obeying God. In fact, if a believer in God can in God’s word directly understand God’s meaning, find the ways of practice for himself, fellowship about and understand the truth, and then put it into practice, and at crucial moments, he can pray more, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and obey the will of the Holy Spirit, this is the true obedience to God. Those who obey God look for ways in God’s word, solve their problems in God’s word, and do things in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is true obedience to God. He who listens to his leader in everything certainly stays very far away from God in his heart, and he is not a person who is quiet before God and lives before God seeking the truth. He has nothing to do with God. His principle of doing things is: as long as one’s word is right, I will listen to him, and as long as one is a leader, I will obey him. This practice of his is too absurd. He has no truth and no discernment and just judges right and wrong by his notions and mind. So, how can he know whether it is in accord with the truth? Believing in God according to this view, he will never understand the truth in his life and will never know God in his life. This way of believing can be said to be believing in his own mind and going his own way, and it has nothing to do with the practical God.”

from “Listening to a Leader in Everything Is Not Equivalent to Obeying God”
in The Man’s Fellowship Attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

What does ‘believing only in God’ mean? It means that one only believes that God is almighty, God is everything, God can save man, God is almighty and omniscient, and nothing is too hard for God, and he believes only in God and has no doubt, not the slightest, about God being almighty and omniscient and God being able to accomplish anything. Such a person will come before God to pray to God no matter what comes upon him, and no matter what difficulty comes upon him, he will rely on God. He magnifies Christ in his heart, looks up to no man, adores no man, believes in God only, follows the practical God only, relies on and looks to God only, does not blindly believe in any man, and has a place only for God in his heart, not for any man. If one can reach this stage, he has the reality of following God and relying on God while believing in God. Some people have too little faith in God and always imagine God to be not almighty, so they will easily lose faith when things come upon them. Besides, they are prone to adore man and look up to man, as if what God cannot supply could be made up for through their looking up to man and adoring man. Because they always look up to man and adore man, they unknowingly have less and less place for God in their hearts but have more and more place for man whom they adore, and in the end, unknowingly they believe in God in name but in reality believe in man, follow man, adore man, and look up to man. They are like the people in religion, who believe in God in name but in reality believe in pastors and follow pastors. Actually the pastors are their Lord, their God. Sliding from the way of believing in God to the stage of following and obeying man, haven’t they fallen? Do such people have true faith in God? They have no true faith. So, they do not rely on God in anything, but they look up to man and adore man, always watch man’s eyes and look for ways from man’s eyes, always want to listen to what man says, always want to see what man does, and cannot be independent of man in their every act and move. Such people unknowingly become ones who believe in man and follow man. All those who look up to man too much and adore man too much are actually believing in man and following man. This is absolutely true.”

from “Ten Items of Reality of God’s Word One Must Enter Into to Be Saved and Perfected”
in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entering In (4)

Whoever people adore in their hearts is their idol, and all those who adore their leader are ones who worship an idol. Whoever people adore, they have a place for him in their hearts, and they will surely be occupied by him and become his servants. In the work of spreading the gospel, we find that people in every denomination and sect all worship idols and are all restrained by their leaders, and they even dare not accept the truth, showing their pitiable servility. Those who adore their leader are ones who worship an idol, and surely they have no truth in their hearts and do not know God at all, so they do not have the slightest place for God in their hearts. They are just the ones hated and cursed by God. God is a righteous God and a jealous God, and he hates man the most for worshipping an idol. If someone equates a leader with God, it is the most serious blasphemy against God. Actually, those who have returned before God should have a place only for God in their hearts, not for any man; it is filthy and corrupt that they have this thing even in their thoughts, and it is loathed and hated by God. In this matter, most people are unclean, and they have more or less place for the one whom they adore. According to God’s disposition, people are not allowed to have the slightest place for man in their hearts. If they can never be purified, they will be condemned.

He who adores his leader has concrete manifestations. We can discern this way: If you have more obedience to your leader than to God, you are one who worships an idol; if you miss and long for the man you adore more often than God, you are one who worships an idol; if you are more zealous toward your leader than toward God, you are one who worships an idol; if in your heart you are very close to the man you adore but very far away from God, you are one who worships an idol; if in your heart you equate the man you adore with God, it further proves that you have worshipped him as God; if in everything you encounter you are willing to listen to your leader but unwilling to come before God to seek the truth, it is sufficient to prove that the one you believe in is man, not God. Some people may explain, ‘I admire someone very much and do have a place for him in my heart, and unknowingly I become somewhat estranged from God.’ This word lays bare the truth of the matter. Once a person has a place for man in his heart, he will become estranged from God. This is a very dangerous thing. Some people, however, think it is nothing serious and do not care about it at all. It shows that they do not know God’s disposition. …how ignorant and blind it is to adore man and how corrupt and evil it is to adore man. Adoring man is adoring satan and devil, and adoring man is adoring antichrist. Those who adore man do not have any truth, and such people absolutely do not know God at all. They are exactly the scum cursed by God. Don’t you think this is so?”

from “Adoring a Leader in Heart Is Worshipping an Idol”
in The Man’s Fellowship Attached to Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers

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