How Can We View Spiritual Leaders Correctly Who Don't Finish Well?

A person holds an open Bible.
A person holds an open Bible. (photo: Pexels)
By Sophia LiuSeptember 5th, 2023

In both the history of the global church and the history of churches in China, God has raised up many faithful servants to fulfill His specific purposes in particular eras.

Recently, in an interview with the Christian Times, a Chinese online Christian newspaper, Pastor D, who has served in East China for a long time, shared how to regard late spiritual figures who didn't end their journeys well.

She believed that people shouldn't dismiss the revelations they initially received and the path God led the universal church on during those revelations just because of their unfavorable conclusions.

In this context, she referred to the historical development pattern. She said that the church discovered a path and followed it, but once it reached its extreme, some individuals might receive new revelations. After a struggle between the old and new revelations, the new one prevailed, and the church continued to follow this new direction. However, after some time, the church reached another dead end in this revelation, and God cut off that path, preparing something else.

If a spiritual movement in history or a pioneer receiving revelations went to extremes, they often had unfavorable outcomes. But people shouldn't label their attempts as wrong solely based on their endings. Pastor D stated that they simply didn't develop in a more mature and balanced way. They couldn't refer to a movement that God once used as being "wrong." Instead, they could say something like, "It reached its conclusion and made way for successors," similar to when someone retires and a new person takes their place.

Pastor D cited the "Parable of Counterfeit Money" in a book by Bill Johnson and his son to explain her point. "People don't counterfeit $1 bills; they counterfeit $100 bills because they hold more value. Similarly, individuals who truly hold value and weight in God's kingdom become targets for the serpent, which tries to pull them down. But people shouldn't negate that they were raised up and used by God and received the revelation of their time. If people break that foundation they built and start anew, it will disrupt the continuity of the Church's heritage."

"We need to view these late spiritual figures who didn't finish well correctly, along with the revelations they received from God. By building upon their foundation, we can advance God's kingdom, bringing the coming of the heavenly kingdom closer," she concluded.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

related articles
LATEST FROM Church & Ministries