An Arrogant Nature Is at the Root of Man’s Resistance to God

Today, I will speak on the issue of corrupt mankind’s nature, essence, and disposition. What is nature? Nature is the inherent essence of men, the thing within them that produces a controlling and directing effect. What someone hates, detests, or likes is all representative of their disposition, which is directly related to their nature essence. In fact, nature is essence, and a person’s nature determines their essence. Disposition is the thing that is revealed from a person’s essence and nature. The disposition that people reveal in their speech, actions, and conduct, is representative of their nature, which is their essence. This is the concept of nature. That is to say, what a person likes, hates, or detests, and what a person pursues, are all representative of their nature. These are the key things to look at to see whether a person’s nature essence is good or bad in the end. For example, if a person likes to do evil, then that person’s nature essence is quite bad; if they like to do good and act righteously, then that person’s nature essence is good. Having said this, do you all understand the concept of nature? Nature is essence. Before, it was said that people are of the same essence as their spirit: Whatever spirit is in them, whichever kind of spirit, that is the kind of nature they have. Of course that is not incorrect, but now to only say that spirit determines nature would be a bit vague, and not practical. Now what shall I use to explain it? I will use disposition to explain man’s nature and essence, because disposition is what is revealed, which people can see, touch, and come in contact with, thus it is more concrete and objective. As to spirit, people think it has a vague quality to it, that it is mysterious, and relatively empty, all because they cannot imagine it, nor can they see or touch it, nor do they have a way to express it. To always speak of spirit and soul would not be appropriate, nor is it necessary. We do not need it to explain the question of nature, because those things are invisible, not concrete. What we now discuss is most concrete and real, and it can solve the problem of people’s corruption. By using this kind of language to express and explain this problem, we can achieve results.

We have only just spoken about the concept of nature, but what actually is human nature? Do you know? Since mankind was corrupted by Satan, their nature, which is also their essence, has changed. So what then is human essence? What I speak of now is all people’s essence and nature, and is not directed at a certain individual. Since mankind’s corruption by Satan, people’s nature has begun to deteriorate, and they have gradually lost the reason possessed by normal people. They now no longer act as human beings in the position of man, but are filled with wild aspirations; they have surpassed the station of man—yet yearn, still, to go even higher. What does this “higher” refer to? They wish to surpass God, to surpass the heavens, and to surpass all else. What is at the root of why people reveal such dispositions? When all is said and done, man’s nature is overly arrogant. Most people understand the meaning of the word “arrogance.” It is a pejorative term. If someone reveals arrogance, others think they aren’t a good person. Whenever someone is incredibly arrogant, others always assume they are an evil person. No one wants to have this term pinned to them. In fact, however, everyone is arrogant, and all corrupt humans have this essence. Some people say, “I’m not the least bit arrogant. I’ve never wanted to be the archangel, nor have I ever wanted to surpass God, or to surpass all else. I’ve always been someone who’s especially well-behaved and dutiful.” Not necessarily; these words are incorrect. Once people have grown arrogant in nature and essence, they can often rebel against and resist God, not heed His words, generate notions about Him, do things that betray Him, and things that exalt and bear testimony to themselves. You say you are not arrogant, but suppose you were given a church and allowed to lead it; suppose that I did not prune you, and that no one in God’s family criticized or helped you: After leading it a while, you would bring people to your feet and make them obey you, even to the point of admiring and revering you. And why would you do that? This would be determined by your nature; it would be none other than a natural revelation. You do not have any need to learn this from others, nor is there any need for them to teach it to you. You do not need others to instruct you or compel you to do this; this kind of situation comes about naturally. Everything you do is about making people exalt you, praise you, worship you, obey you, and listen to you in all things. Allowing you to be a leader naturally brings about this situation, and it cannot be changed. And how does this situation come about? It is determined by man’s arrogant nature. The manifestation of arrogance is rebellion and resistance against God. When people are arrogant, conceited, and self-righteous, they tend to set up their own independent kingdoms and do things in whatever way they want. They also bring others into their own hands and draw them into their embraces. For people to be capable of doing such arrogant things, it just proves that the essence of their arrogant nature is that of Satan; it is that of the archangel. When their arrogance and conceit reach a certain level, they no longer have a place for God in their hearts, and God is put aside. They then wish to be God, make people obey them, and they become the archangel. If you possess such a satanic arrogant nature, God will have no place in your heart. Even if you believe in God, God will no longer recognize you, will view you as an evil person, and will cast you out.

We have preached the gospel over and over to many leaders within religious circles, but no matter how we fellowship on the truth with them, they do not accept it. Why is this? It is because their arrogance has become second nature, and God no longer has a place in their hearts. Some people might say, “People under the leadership of certain pastors in the religious world really have a lot of drive; it is as though they have God in their midst.” Do you take having enthusiasm for having drive? No matter how lofty those pastors’ theories might sound, do they know God? If they truly feared God deep down, would they make people follow them and exalt them? Would they be able to control others? Would they dare to prevent others from seeking the truth and investigating the true way? If they believe that God’s sheep are actually theirs, and that they should all listen to them, then is it not the case that they regard themselves as God? Such people are even worse than the Pharisees. Are they not genuine antichrists? Thus, their arrogance is fatal, and can lead them to do things of betrayal. Do such things not happen among you? Can you ensnare people this way? You could, it’s just that you have not been given the opportunity, and you are incessantly being pruned, so you would not dare. Some people also exalt themselves in roundabout ways, but they speak very cleverly, so ordinary people cannot discern it. Some people are so arrogant that they say: “It is unacceptable for someone else to lead this church! God needs to go through me to get here, and He can only preach to you after I’ve explained this church’s situation to Him. Aside from me, no one else can come here and water you.” What is the intent behind saying this? What kind of disposition does this reveal? It is arrogance. When people act like this, their conduct is resistant to and rebellious against God. So people’s arrogant nature determines that they will exalt themselves, rebel against and betray God, ensnare others, ruin others, and ruin themselves. If they die unrepentant, then they will be cast out in the end. Is it not dangerous for a person to have an arrogant disposition? If they have an arrogant disposition, but they are able to accept the truth, then there is still room to save them. They must go through judgment and chastisement, and cast off their corrupt disposition, in order to attain true salvation.

Some people always say: “Why does God use judgment and chastisement to save people in the last days? Why are the words of judgment so severe?” There is a saying you might know: “God’s work varies with each individual; it is flexible, and He does not adhere to regulations.” The work of judgment and chastisement in the last days is primarily directed at people’s arrogant nature. Arrogance encompasses a lot of things, a lot of corrupt dispositions; judgment and chastisement come directly at this word, “arrogance,” in order to fully remove people’s arrogant disposition. In the end, people will not rebel against God nor resist Him, so they will not endeavor to set up their own independent kingdoms, nor will they exalt or testify of themselves, nor will they act vilely, nor will they have extravagant demands of God—in this way, they have cast off their arrogant disposition. Arrogance has many manifestations. For example, say someone who believes in God demands His grace—on what basis can you demand it? You are a person corrupted by Satan, a created being; the fact that you live and breathe is already the greatest of God’s graces. You can enjoy all that God has created on the earth. God has given you enough, so why would you demand more of Him? It is because people are never content with their lot. They always think that they are better than others, that they should have more, so they always demand it of God. This is representative of their arrogant disposition. Though their mouths might not say it, when people first start believing in God, in their hearts they may well be thinking, “I want to go to heaven, not hell. I want not only me to be blessed, but my whole family. I want to eat nice food, wear nice clothes, enjoy nice things. I want a good family, a good husband (or wife) and good kids. Ultimately, I want to reign as king.” It’s all about their requirements and demands. This disposition of theirs, these things they think in their hearts, these extravagant desires—they all typify the arrogant nature of man. What makes Me say this? It comes down to people’s status. Man is a created being that came from dust; God formed man of clay, and breathed into him the breath of life. Such is the lowly status of man, yet still people come before God wanting this and that. Man’s status is so ignoble, he should not open his mouth and demand anything from God. So what should people do? They should work hard regardless of criticism, put their shoulder to the wheel, and gladly submit. It’s not a question of gladly embracing humility—do not gladly embrace humility; this is the status people are born with; they should be innately submissive and humble, for their status is humble, and so they should not demand things from God, nor have extravagant desires toward God. Such things should not be found in them. Here is a simple example. A certain wealthy household hired a servant. This servant’s position in the wealthy household was especially low, but they nevertheless said to the master of the house: “I want to wear your son’s hat, I want to eat your rice, I want to wear your clothes, and I want to sleep in your bed. Whatever things you use, whether gold or silver, I want them! I contribute a great deal in my work, and I live in your house, so I want them!” How should the master treat them? The master would say: “You ought to know what kind of thing you are, what your role is: You are a servant. I give my son what he wants, because that is his status. What is your status, your identity? You are not qualified to ask for these things. You should go and do what you ought to, go carry out your obligations, according to your status and identity.” Does such a person have any reason? There are many people who believe in God who do not have that much reason. From the beginning of believing in God, they have ulterior motives, and continuing on, they incessantly make demands of God: “I have to have the work of the Holy Spirit follow me as I spread the gospel! You also have to forgive and tolerate me when I do bad things! If I do a lot of work, You have to reward me!” In short, people are always wanting things from God, they are always greedy. Some people who have done a little work and led a church quite well think that they are superior to others, and often spread words such as: “Why does God put me in an important position? Why does He keep mentioning my name? Why does He keep talking to me? God thinks highly of me because I have caliber and because I am above ordinary people. You are even jealous that God treats me better. What have you got to be jealous of? Can you not see how much work I do and how much of a sacrifice I make? You shouldn’t be jealous of whatever good things God gives me, because I deserve them. I have worked for many years and suffered so much. I deserve credit and am qualified.” There are others who say: “God allowed me to join co-worker meetings and listen to His fellowship. I have this qualification—do you have that? Firstly, I have a high caliber, and I pursue the truth more than you do. What’s more, I expend myself more than you, and I can get the church’s work done—can you?” This is arrogance. The results of people’s performance of their duties and their work are different. Some have good results, whereas others have poor results. Some people are born with good caliber and are also able to seek the truth, so the results of their duties improve quickly. This is because of their good caliber, which is predestined by God. But how to solve the problem of poor results from performing one’s duty? You must constantly seek the truth and work hard, then you too can gradually achieve good results. As long as you strive for the truth and achieve to the limit of your abilities, God will approve. But regardless of whether your work results are good or not, you should not have erroneous ideas. Do not think, “I am qualified to be God’s equal,” “I am qualified to enjoy what God has given me,” “I am qualified to make God praise me,” “I am qualified to lead others,” or “I am qualified to lecture others.” Do not say you are qualified. People should not have these thoughts. If you do have these thoughts, it proves that you are not in your rightful place, and you don’t even have the basic sense that a human being should possess. So how can you cast off your arrogant disposition? You cannot.

Some people say they don’t have a corrupt disposition, that they are not arrogant. What people are these? These are people without reason, and they are also the most stupid and arrogant of all. In fact, they’re more arrogant and rebellious than anyone; the more someone says they have no corrupt dispositions, the more arrogant and self-righteous they are. Why are others able to know themselves, and accept God’s judgment, yet you are not? Are you the exception? Are you a saint? Do you live in a vacuum? You do not acknowledge that humankind has been deeply corrupted by Satan, that everyone has a corrupt disposition. This means you do not understand the truth at all, and you are the most rebellious, ignorant, and arrogant of all. According to you, there are many good people in the world and only a few bad ones—so why is it full of darkness, full of filth and corruption, full of conflict? Why, in the world of man, does everyone take and steal from each other? Not even believers in God are an exception. People are always struggling and fighting with one another. And where does this strife stem from? It is a product of their corrupt nature, of course, the very revelation of their corrupt dispositions. People who have a corrupt nature have arrogance and rebelliousness revealed in them; those who live in a satanic disposition are belligerent and combative. Those who are belligerent and combative are the most arrogant people of all, they do not obey anyone. Why is it that people often confess their sins but do not repent? Why is it that they believe in God but cannot put the truth into practice? Why is it that they believe in God for many years, but cannot fall in line with Him? All this is caused by people’s arrogant nature. Mankind has always rebelled against and resisted God, been totally unwilling to accept the truth, and has even hated and rejected the truth. This is not because God’s requirements of men are too high, but rather because people resist God too fiercely and ruthlessly, so much so that they would make God their enemy and crucify Him. Is such corrupt mankind not too fierce, arrogant, and unreasonable? God expresses so many truths, He has mercy on and saves people, and forgives their sins—but mankind does not accept the truth at all, they always condemn and resist God, and make themselves irreconcilable to God. Now, at what level is humanity’s relationship to God? Man has become God’s enemy, His antithesis. God expresses truth to expose, judge, and save people; people do not accept it or pay Him any attention. People do not do what God requires of them; they instead go and do the things He hates and detests. God expresses the truth, but people cast it aside. God judges and chastises people’s corrupt dispositions, and not only do they not accept the truth, but they argue with and revolt against Him. How arrogant are people? Corrupt mankind brazenly denies and resists God. Even if they believe in God, they always pursue great fortune, reward, and entry into the kingdom of heaven; they also want to be rulers and wield authority. This is the model representation of arrogance, the very corrupt disposition of man.

God became flesh to save man, but in return for receiving God, people demanded living expenses, rewards, benedictions, and they even went about bragging that they received God, and saying that they were beloved of God, so that others would think highly of them. A small number were clearly aware that the One they received was God, yet demanded money from the churches in return. Such arrogant people say that they don’t have a corrupt disposition, and that their belief is superior to anyone else’s, that they’re more loyal to God than anyone else, and act better than anyone else. Some people brag about themselves: “I’ve believed in God for twenty years. When I first converted, there was no church—I spread the gospel everywhere I went!” Why are you bragging about yourself? You have nothing worth bragging about. Based on your current behavior, you should slap yourself in the face, curse yourself, detest yourself, and hate yourself. So why are you bragging about yourself? Your arrogant disposition is too severe—you have already reached the apex, the extreme! Whether people say a lot or a little, their tone, their intents, and their words all have an arrogant flavor and essence. I will draw a simple example. Say the church has a person who has just begun to believe, who is fairly dependable, who sincerely pursues. Some people might look down on them, haughtily saying to them: “How many years have you been a believer? Where are you from? Do you have some notions? Which truths are you still not clear on? Are you equipped with these basic truths? After you are equipped, you should go spread the gospel!” What qualifications do you have to lecture someone like this? You are also human, it’s just that you accepted a little earlier. Nevertheless, you have not yet cast off the arrogance in the essence of your own corrupt disposition. What qualifications do you have to lecture others? Of course, you may fellowship with them, but your perspectives and intents are incorrect, your attitude is wrong, and your character is odious! Some people have the Above reach out to them to understand the gospel work situation, asking them if there are difficulties in spreading the gospel, or what problems need to be solved in the gospel work. They say: “The work is normal, there are no problems,” and adopt an attitude of intentional disregard. They seldom report which problems exist in the gospel work, or how they are solved, much less what difficulties there are that need to be solved by the Above. What kind of problem is this? Is this a manifestation of doing one’s duty responsibly? Is this a manifestation of loyalty to God? They say again and again that they submit to and follow God, and they say that they have seen the true God, that they are truly submissive, that they are truly willing to expend for God, to pay the price, but in the end, they can manifest such a disposition and say such words—what essence do you think this kind of person really has? What might such a person’s outcome be? What are they worthy of? If I did not say these words, if I did not show any interest in matters like this, then what point would you say such people could reach? The consequences are too dreadful to contemplate. When I speak and converse with some people with a normal tone, they become arrogant, thinking that I am an ordinary person. They get carried away, and start to spout off, wanting to butt into and evaluate everything, and always wanting to show off. When I see that they are such a person, I do not pay them any attention. To speak truthfully with you, I see that most people are fairly disgusting. Right after meeting them, I have not finished saying three sentences before they start to bow and scrape; less than a week after meeting them, they would already dare to lecture God. After knowing such a person for a time, I dislike them, I don’t pay attention to them, and later I hear that they have done something bad, that they are evil. Put yourselves in someone else’s shoes and think for a moment: If you ran into this kind of situation while raising your children, how would you feel? People raise children so that they will take care of them in their old age and give them a proper burial; if their children do not pay attention to them when they get old, putting on airs and lecturing them, or allow them to be mistreated and take advantage of them, not in the least filial, then how will they feel? Will they not feel both angry and sad? You are young right now, with a shallow level of experience, and you cannot yet appreciate this. I have been to many places and met many people. Among those people, of those with whom I was able to sit as an equal and fellowship, to chat about life, not one of them said: “God is good to me. I need to have a little bit of conscience and reason, I won’t do anything that violates my conscience.” People cannot do even a small thing with conscience or humanity. They cannot even speak from their own position, or keep to their duty, to say nothing of practicing the truth, which they cannot do either. If people become too arrogant, they will be more severe than the archangel, going one step further.

Some people are of a slightly better caliber; they can do a little work, and they are chosen to become church leaders. After becoming a leader, they have not done much real work before they start to become arrogant. People do not dare to prune or point out their errors; if you speak strongly or a little severely with them, they get angry, and say: “I won’t do it. Whoever you want to do it, have them do it. I’ll see if anyone can do it better than me. Let the Holy Spirit reveal them!” How arrogant these words are! How rebellious are people? They have no feelings at all about the words they say or the things they do—they are totally unaware. As I dissect their arrogant words, their arrogant actions, the motivations they hold in their hearts, and the ugliness they reveal bit by bit, people come to understand themselves. That is how numb people are. Without such dissection and clarification, would people be able to know themselves? Would they be able to do anything humane? They will only be a little more well-behaved if I constantly hit them with a stick, that’s how worthless people are! People are already at this level of arrogance; discipline is totally useless. Some people say: “After reading many of God’s words, I feel that they are the truth, and that His words of exposing man are right, but I’ve believed in God for several years, so why has He not disciplined me?” What do you think: When the archangel betrayed God, if God had immediately disciplined and punished it, would it have been able to betray? Could its nature of betrayal have been resolved? Could its arrogant disposition have been removed? It could not! So, people today are arrogant to the point of being ten or twenty times more arrogant than the archangel. Discipline alone is not enough, they must accept judgment and chastisement, they must accept and pursue the truth—only then can God work upon them, only then can He try and refine them. If you cannot accept the truth, then it does not matter how many years you believe, because God will not work upon you. If you have neither conscience nor reason, then you are one of the beasts; He has nothing to say to you, you are not disciplined no matter what you do, and if you disturb the church, you will be cleared out. After speaking so much truth, see whether or not people pursue it. If you say: “I am totally unwilling to pursue, I want to wallow in degeneracy. I am willing to become degenerate,” then you are waiting to receive punishment. I do not discipline anyone right now, I just speak to them, exposing and judging their corruption. If you take it to heart, then you are pursuing in an upward direction; if you do not take it to heart, then you are waiting for a later punishment. Right now, other than the provision of the truth, there is also exposure, judgment, and chastisement, and then there is punishment and retribution. Of course, retribution and punishment will come sooner or later; who’s to say which day you might violate an administrative decree, then you’ll be dead. Nevertheless, I exhort each of you, do not wait for punishment to come to awaken and pursue; at that point, it will be quite late to regret, and you will be doomed. There will be no more opportunities to repent. At that point, it will be too late to pursue, and also useless. You might as well take advantage of the present to awaken early, to do some humane things, some things of conscience. Do not obstinately stick to the wrong course.

Some people advertise themselves as having good humanity, but if you truly have humanity, then why would you do arrogant things? Why can you not do anything humane? Why do you not have the smallest bit of conscience or reason? People are so arrogant that they want everything except God; they adore every star, devil, and Satan, but they neither worship God nor submit to Him; they are able to do any bad thing. I have been to many places. Some people who have received Me have charged a huge amount for food and lodging, and moreover, the food and daily items are paid for by the church. I ask you, how do these people not have any conscience? Am I not qualified to eat a meal they have prepared? They said before that they were willing to receive Me, but when I arrive, they behave shamefully like this. Are they still human? Do they still have humanity? Do not be glib—you cannot do it, you have no humanity, and you are a beast. Your nature and your arrogance condemn you. People have too little faith. They are so arrogant and rebellious that they have no room left for God! Is someone who is corrupted to this degree worthy of being called human? This is the very model of a devil, of Satan. People think: “Even if You have the truth, You are still just a person, so what can You do? What can You help me with? What can You do to me? Where can You take me? I look down on You. I don’t care whether or not You are God.” They don’t care about this. I daresay that if your company’s leader were to go to your home, you would not let them leave if they tried; you would have to make them stay in your home for two days, and you would treat them well. So, people should not always speak arrogantly, should not say that they want God more than anyone else, that they are better at practicing the truth than anyone else, that they are better at expending themselves than anyone else, that they have paid a greater price than anyone else, and that they are more loyal than anyone else. Do not boast of yourself—you are not qualified to do so, nor have you paid that price, nor have you done much real work. Although you have worked a little, it does not amount to sincerely expending yourself for God, much less amount to total loyalty to God, and submission even unto death. You can persist for three to five years, but as time goes on, you will be unable to persist further, so you will be perfunctory, and you will complain. Do not think that you are higher than other people. Compared to others, you are not at a high standard, you are far lower than them; much less can you compare yourself to the saints of the ages. Are you really qualified to brag about anything? You all say: “If I contacted God later, I guarantee that I would not deceive Him.” Your guarantee needs to be tested for a time. I am unwilling to contact more people; contacting them and seeing their conduct is enough to make Me angry! Some people among you might know how angry I am because of this matter. I am especially angry when I see those people who do not pursue the truth at all, who always want to exercise authority to control others. I detest them. Those who do not pursue the truth at all are all fairly bad, they do not have humanity; I categorically will not contact such people. When such people see that I do not pay attention to them, they might complain. These people are so unreasonable! Right now, the majority of people do not know how to pursue the truth—their stature is too small, and the little humanity and reason they possess are too poor, so I have no way to engage with them. If you engage with such a person for two days, they will look down on you, become arrogant—terribly arrogant—and they will not listen, no matter what you say.

Once, I used to walk through the churches, seeing all kinds of host families and all kinds of believers in God. Why am I no longer willing to come into contact with too many people? People are too bad, the majority of them have neither conscience nor reason, they have no room for God, and they always scheme around Him, so I choose to keep away from people, and only do the work I ought to. Some people say: “Does God not live among men?” I live among men, no mistake, but I cannot dwell among the evil, it is too dangerous. It would be fine if I had a spiritual body, I could do whatever among people—a spiritual body like Jesus would be fine, He could act as He pleased, and people would not dare persecute—but I now have a normal body of flesh, a particularly normal body of flesh, with nothing supernatural about it, so people cannot accept this; they always have notions and want to examine God. If this kind of person, with this kind of disposition, were to be given a little discipline and punishment, given a month-long headache, do you think that would be useful? It would be useless. They would stand back up after that month-long headache and vent their anger. Do you think discipline alone can cause change? It cannot. So, there are many people I have come into contact with in the past, but very few of them love the truth. I can only say to you that people should not believe in God to get something from Him. You should just care about doing your duty well, about using all your energy. If your caliber is too poor, unsuitable for use, then you should hurry and step down. You should be obedient and well-behaved, do what you ought to, do not do what you ought not to, and you should be reasonable. You are a person. If God did not give you breath, life, and energy, you would not be able to do anything. People should not ask for anything, nor compare qualifications; having qualifications is useless for you! If a church makes you its leader, then that’s your responsibility, and if someone else is made leader, then that’s their responsibility. Of course, as far as work goes, you should fellowship, but you should not compare qualifications, thinking: “I have long been qualified at that church, they should respect me. I am the eldest, you are second.” Do not say such a thing, it is too unreasonable. Some people also say: “I have forsaken my own work in order to expend myself for God, I have forsaken my family, and what have I obtained? I have obtained nothing, and God still lectures people.” What do you think of these words? People should stand in the right position and first be clear about the fact that they are human, that they are still corrupt mankind. If you are made a leader, then be a leader; if you are not made a leader, then be an ordinary follower; if you are given work to do, then you have an opportunity to do something; if you are not given work to do, then you can do nothing. Do not boast—boasting is a bad sign, which proves that you are walking toward an extreme, toward death. Do not boast, saying: “I have gained a group of people somewhere, they are my fruits. If I had not gone, no one else could have done it. When I went, the Holy Spirit did great work!” Do not boast in this way. Rather, you should say: “Gaining these people was the result of the Holy Spirit working, a person can only do a little bit of work. If we finish spreading the gospel, and God sends us back home, then we’ll go home.” Do not say: “What did I do wrong that made You send me home? If You can’t say the reason, then I won’t go home!” Do not have this requirement. If you have this requirement, it proves that your disposition is especially arrogant. If you haven’t made a mistake, can you not be sent home? If you act rightly, can you not be sent home? Even if you act correctly and do well, if you are sent home, you must return home. If you are pruned, you should accept it and submit. This is an obligation, a responsibility, and you should not defend yourself. Job believed in God and only focused on fearing Him and shunning evil. Job asked for nothing, and Jehovah blessed him. Some people say: “That was because Job was good to God, so of course God blessed him; it was in exchange for Job’s faith and righteous work.” This is incorrect, it was not an exchange, it was that Jehovah wanted to bless him. Why did he not complain when Jehovah took everything away from him? Why did he not say: “I act righteously, I am so qualified, so You should not treat me this way”? This is not a matter of should and should not! When it comes to belief in God, if people always had their own choice, and always spoke about human notions and doctrines, that would not be right. This is human arrogance, human rebellion. Human choice is human adulteration.

Are you aware of it when you reveal your own arrogant dispositions? Some people are unaware, and they say: “I’m not arrogant, I’ve never said anything arrogant before.” In fact, even if you are unaware of it, you still have an arrogant disposition, it just has not been revealed. The fact that you have not outwardly revealed it does not prove that you do not have an arrogant disposition; it’s possible that your heart is more arrogant than anyone else’s, it’s just that you know how to pretend, so it’s not revealed, but people of discernment are able to see it. So, every person has an arrogant disposition, this is the common nature of mankind. People with an arrogant nature are capable of rebelling against God, resisting Him, committing acts which pass judgment on Him and betray Him, and doing things that exalt themselves and that are an attempt to establish their own independent kingdoms. Say there were several tens of thousands of people in a country that accepted God’s work, and God’s house sent you there to lead and shepherd God’s chosen ones. And say God’s house handed authority over to you and allowed you to work by yourself, without oversight by Me or anyone else. After several months, you would have become like a sovereign ruler, all power would be in your hands, you’d call the shots, all the chosen ones would revere you, worship you, submit to you as if you were God, singing your praises with every word, saying you preach insightfully, and persistently claiming that your utterances were what they needed, that you could provide for them and lead them, and their hearts would have no place for God. Would this kind of work not be problematic? How would you have done it? For these people to be capable of such a reaction would prove that the work you were doing did not involve bearing testimony to God at all; rather, it only bore testimony to yourself and showed yourself off. How could you achieve such a consequence? Some people say, “What I fellowship is the truth; I’ve certainly never testified to myself!” That attitude of yours—that manner—is one of trying to fellowship to people from God’s position, and it is not one of standing in the position of a corrupt human. Everything you say is bombastic talk and making demands of others; it has nothing at all to do with yourself. Therefore, the consequence you would achieve is to get people to worship you and envy you until, in the end, they all submit to you, testify to you, exalt you, and flatter you to high heaven. When that happens, you will be finished; you will have failed! Is this not the path you are all on right now? If you are asked to lead a few thousand or a few tens of thousands of people, you would feel elated. You would then give rise to arrogance and start trying to occupy God’s position, speaking and gesticulating, and you would not know what to wear, what to eat, or how to walk. You would revel in life’s comforts and hold yourself aloft, not deigning to meet with ordinary brothers and sisters. You would become utterly degenerate—and would be revealed and cast out, struck down like the archangel. You are all capable of this, are you not? So, what should you do? If, one day, arrangements were made for you to be responsible for the work of the gospel in every country, and you were capable of walking the path of an antichrist, then how could the work be expanded? Would this not be troublesome? Who, then, would dare to let you go out there? After being sent there, you would never return; you would pay no attention to anything God said, and you would just keep on showing off and bearing testimony to yourself, as if you were bringing people salvation, doing God’s work, and making people feel as though God had appeared and was here working—and as people worshiped you, you would be overjoyed, and you would even acquiesce if they treated you like God. Once you reached that stage, you would be done for; you would be scrapped. Without your realizing it, this kind of arrogant nature would end up being your ruin. This is an example of a person who walks the path of antichrists. Those who have reached this point have lost all awareness, their conscience and reason have ceased to serve any function, and they don’t even know to pray, or to search. Do not wait until then to think: “I must keep a close watch on myself, I must pray earnestly!” By then it will be too late. You need to know about this matter in advance; you need to seek: “How should I act in order to testify of God, to do my work well, without testifying of myself? What methods must I use to fellowship with others, to lead them?” This is how you must prepare. If one day, arrangements are really made for you to go out and work, and you are still capable of exalting and testifying of yourselves, which leads to the ruin of many of the people who are in your hands, you will be in trouble, and will later suffer God’s punishment! Is it okay for Me not to say these words to you? Before I said it, you were capable of doing so; if you are still capable of doing so after I have said it, are you not in trouble? You all must think on how to do your work, how to conduct yourselves most appropriately. All you say and do, every act and move, every word and deed, and every intent of your heart must all be up to standard; not one can be left out, and you cannot exploit any loopholes. Although arrogance is man’s nature, and it is not easy to change, people still need to know about their arrogant dispositions, to have the principles of practice. You must understand: “If I were really given some churches, how would I need to act in order to not take up God’s position? How would I need to act to not be arrogant? How would I act appropriately? How would I act to bring people before God, to testify of Him?” You must ponder these matters until they are clear. Suppose that someone were to ask, “Can you lead the churches well?” and you said, “I can,” but you instead led people into your own presence—they would submit to you, but not to God—would this not be trouble? As a leader or worker, if you do not know what it is to bring people before God or to bring them before yourself, then can you serve God? Can you be suitable for God to use? Absolutely not. Are those who are capable of bringing other people before themselves not all antichrists? If someone believes in God, but they have no place for God in their heart, they do not fear Him, they do not have a heart of submission to God, or the will to submit to Him, then that person does not believe in God. So who do they really believe in? Dissect it for yourselves. Do not say later: “I’m not arrogant, I am a good person, I only do good things”—these words are so childish! Everyone else is arrogant, but you are not? You have been thus exposed, but you still do not know yourself, and you still say that you are not arrogant—you are so shameless! You are so numb that it does not matter how you are exposed! Do you know the purpose for which I say these words? Why do I thus expose people? If I do not expose this way, will they come to know themselves? If I do not expose this way, people will still think they are pretty good, that they do their work fairly well, that they have no faults to point out, and that they are all-around fine. Even if they were all fine, they should not be in an arrogant state, nor should they think they are qualified, nor should they boast. I expose people’s states this way not to sentence them to death, nor to tell them that they cannot be saved, but rather to allow them to truly know themselves, to understand their own corrupt essence and their nature, so they can achieve a true knowledge of themselves. This is beneficial as they try to cast off their corrupt dispositions. If you can treat My words of exposure and pruning of people in the correct way, can avoid becoming negative, can do your duty normally, can make the matters of God’s house your own, and if you can take responsibility, without being perfunctory, if you can be loyal to God, then this attitude is correct, and you will be able to do your duty well.

There are some people who often violate principles when they act. They do not accept pruning, they know in their hearts that the things others say are in line with the truth, but they do not accept them. Such people are so arrogant and self-righteous! Why say they are arrogant? If they do not accept pruning, then they are not obedient, and is disobedience not arrogance? They think they are doing well, they do not think they make mistakes, which means that they do not know themselves, which is arrogance. So, there are some things you need to earnestly analyze, to dig into bit by bit. As you do the work of the church, if you attain the admiration of others, and they give you suggestions, and they open themselves up to you in fellowship, this proves that you have done your work well. If people are always constrained by you, then they will gradually come to discern you, and they will distance themselves from you, which proves that you do not have the truth reality, so everything you say is certainly just words and doctrines, meant to constrain others. Some church leaders get replaced, and why do they get replaced? It is because they only speak words and doctrines, always showing off and testifying of themselves. They say that to resist them is to resist God, and that whoever reports situations to the Above is disturbing the work of the church. What kind of problem is this? These people have already become so arrogant that they have no more reason. Does this not show their true colors as antichrists? Will this not develop into starting to establish their own independent kingdoms? Some people who have just begun to believe will worship them and testify of them, and they will enjoy this very much, and feel very pleased. Someone this arrogant is already doomed. Someone who is capable of saying “to resist me is to resist God” has already become a modern Paul; there is no difference between this and when Paul said: “To me to live is Christ.” Are people who talk like this not in great danger? Even if they do not establish independent kingdoms, they are still authentic antichrists. If such a person were to lead a church, that church would quickly become a kingdom of antichrists. Some people, after they become church leaders, focus specially on speaking lofty sermons and showing off, specially speaking mysteries so people will look up to them, and the result is that they get further and further away from the truth reality. This leads to the majority of people worshiping spiritual theories. Whoever speaks loftily, that’s who people listen to; whoever talks about life entry, people pay no attention to them. Is this not leading people astray? If someone fellowships on the truth reality, no one listens, which is trouble. No one save this person can lead the church, because everyone worships spiritual theories; those who cannot speak about spiritual theories are unable to stand firm. Can such a church still obtain the work of the Holy Spirit? Can the people enter into the truth reality? Why is fellowshipping about the truth and speaking about real experiences rejected, to the point that they are unwilling to listen to Me fellowship about the truth? It proves that these leaders have already misled and controlled these people. These people listen and submit to them, rather than submitting to God. It is apparent that these people are the kind that submit to their leaders, rather than to God. Because those who sincerely believe in God and pursue the truth are not the kind to worship or follow men; they have a place for God in their hearts, and they have God-fearing hearts, so how could they be constrained by men? How could they obediently submit to a false leader who does not have the truth reality? The thing a false leader fears most is someone who has the truth reality, someone who fears God and shuns evil. If someone does not have the truth, and yet they want to make others obey them, is that not the most arrogant devil or Satan possible? If you monopolize the church or control God’s chosen people, then you have offended God’s disposition and ruined yourself, and you may not even have a chance to repent. Every one of you must be careful; this is a very dangerous matter, something anyone could do very easily. There might be some who say: “I just won’t do that, I just won’t testify of myself!” That’s just because you have worked only a short time. Later on, you would dare do it. You would slowly become more daring—the more you do it, the more daring you would be. If the people you lead were to brag about and listen to you, you would naturally feel that you were in a high position, that you were amazing: “Look at me, I’m pretty good. I can lead all these people, and they all listen to me; the people who don’t listen to me, I subdue. This proves that I have some ability to work, and I am equal to my work.” As time goes on, the arrogant elements of your nature would begin to reveal themselves, and you would become so arrogant that you lost your reason, and you would be in danger. Can you see this clearly? You are in trouble as soon as you reveal your arrogant, disobedient disposition. You do not listen even when I speak, the house of God replaces you, and still you dare to say: “Let the Holy Spirit reveal it.” The fact that you would say that proves that you do not accept the truth. Your rebelliousness is too great—it has exposed your nature essence. You do not know God at all. So, I say all this to you today so that you will keep close watch on yourselves. Do not exalt or testify of yourselves. It is liable for people to try and establish their own independent kingdoms, because they all like position, wealth and glory, vanity, to be a servant of high status, and to demonstrate power: “See how sternly I said those words. The moment I acted threatening, they lost their nerve, and became docile.” Do not demonstrate this kind of power; it is useless, and it proves nothing. It only proves that you are particularly arrogant, and that you have a poor disposition; it does not prove that you have any ability, much less that you have the truth reality. After listening to a few years of sermons, do you all know yourselves? Do you not feel that you are in dangerous circumstances? If it were not for God speaking and working to save man, would you not be establishing independent kingdoms? Do you not want to monopolize the churches you are responsible for, to bring those people under your influence, so that none of them can escape your control, so they have to listen to you? If you control people as soon as you do this, then you are a devil, Satan. It is very dangerous for you to have such thoughts; you have already stepped onto the path of an antichrist. If you do not self-reflect, and if you are unable to confess your sins to God and repent, then you will certainly be set aside, and God will not pay you any attention. You should know how to repent, how to turn yourself around in order to be in line with God’s will, in order to guarantee that you do not offend God’s disposition. Do not wait until the house of God determines that you are an antichrist and expels you—by then, it will be too late.

Autumn, 1997

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