Excursus Four: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and Their Disposition Essence (Part One) Section Four

D. Selfish and Vile

Antichrists have no conscience, reason, or humanity. Not only are they heedless of shame, but they have another hallmark, too: They are uncommonly selfish and vile. The literal sense of their “selfishness and vileness” is not hard to grasp: They are blind to anything but their own interests. Anything concerning their own interests gets their full attention, and they will suffer for it, pay a price, engross themselves in it, and devote themselves to it. Anything not related to their own interests they will turn a blind eye to and take no notice of; others can do as they please—antichrists don’t care if anyone is being disruptive or disturbing, and to them, this has nothing to do with them. Put tactfully, they mind their own business. But it is more accurate to say that this kind of person is vile, base, and sordid; we define them as “selfish and vile.” How does the selfishness and vileness of the antichrists manifest itself? In anything that benefits their status or reputation, they make efforts to do or say whatever is necessary, and they willingly endure any suffering. But where work arranged by God’s house is concerned, or where work that benefits the life growth of God’s chosen people is concerned, they utterly ignore it. Even when evil people disrupt, disturb, and commit all kinds of evil, thereby seriously affecting the work of the church, they remain impassive and unconcerned, as if this has nothing to do with them. And if someone discovers and reports the evil deeds of an evil person, they say they saw nothing and feign ignorance. But if someone reports them and exposes that they don’t do real work and only pursue fame, gain, and status, they see red. Meetings are hurriedly convened to discuss how to respond, investigations are held to find out who went behind their back, who the ringleader was, and who was involved. They will not eat or sleep until they have gotten to the bottom of it and the matter has been completely put to rest; sometimes they are only happy once they’ve taken down everyone involved in reporting them. This is the manifestation of selfishness and vileness, is it not? Are they doing church work? They are acting for the sake of their own power and status, pure and simple. They are running their own operation. Regardless of what work they undertake, antichrists never give any thought to the interests of the house of God. They only consider whether their own interests will be affected, only think about the little bit of work in front of them that benefits them. For them, the primary work of the church is just something they do in their spare time. They don’t take it seriously at all. They only move when they’re prodded into action, only do what they like to do, and only do work that is for the sake of maintaining their own status and power. In their eyes, any work arranged by God’s house, the work of spreading the gospel, and the life entry of God’s chosen people are not important. No matter what difficulties other people have in their work, what issues they have identified and reported to them, how sincere their words are, the antichrists pay no heed, they do not get involved, it’s as if this has nothing to do with them. No matter how major the problems emerging in the church’s work are, they are utterly indifferent. Even when a problem is right in front of them, they only address it perfunctorily. Only when they are directly pruned by the Above and ordered to sort out a problem will they grudgingly do a little real work and give the Above something to see; soon after, they will continue with their own business. When it comes to the work of the church, to the important things of the wider context, they are disinterested in and disregard these things. They even ignore the problems they discover, and they give perfunctory answers or hem and haw when asked about problems, only addressing them with great reluctance. This is the manifestation of selfishness and vileness, is it not? What’s more, no matter what duty antichrists are doing, all they think about is whether it will allow them to step into the limelight; as long as it will boost their reputation, they rack their brains to come up with a way to learn how to do it, to carry it out; all they care about is whether it will set them apart. No matter what they do or think, they are only concerned with their own fame, gain, and status. No matter what duty they are doing, they only compete over who is higher or lower, who wins and who loses, who has the bigger reputation. They only care about how many people worship and look up to them, how many people obey them, and how many followers they have. They never fellowship the truth or solve real problems. They never consider how to do things according to principle when doing their duty, nor do they reflect on whether they have been loyal, have fulfilled their responsibilities, whether there have been deviations or oversights in their work, or if any problems exist, much less do they give thought to what God asks, and what God’s intentions are. They pay not the slightest attention to all these things. They only put their head down and do things for the sake of fame, gain, and status, to satisfy their own ambitions and desires. This is the manifestation of selfishness and vileness, is it not? This fully exposes how their hearts brim with their own ambitions, desires, and senseless demands; everything they do is governed by their ambitions and desires. No matter what they do, the motivation and source is their own ambitions, desires, and senseless demands. This is the archetypal manifestation of selfishness and vileness.

Some leaders don’t do any real work; in order to report to the Above, and in order to avoid pruning and dismissal, and to secure their own status, they go to great lengths with the brothers and sisters, making them render service for them. In their work, they speak only words and doctrines, not fellowshipping on the truth principles, resolving actual issues, helping others with a loving heart, or considering other people’s difficulties, and never addressing the real difficulties people face while doing their duties and in their life entry. They do not support anyone who is negative. Besides suppression and rebuke, they only speak doctrines and shout their slogans. What is their aim? They are not considerate of God’s burden, but they wish instead to exploit the outcome of the duties that the brothers and sisters perform, in order to embellish themselves and secure their status. If the brothers and sisters show good results in the performance of duty, they are pleased. They take credit in front of the Above, inwardly praising their own virtue and thinking they have done their duties quite well. Additionally, they report to the Above about the many difficulties they encountered while doing this work, how God opened a way out for them, how they led the brothers and sisters to work hard together and overcome these difficulties, how they helped them complete this work, how they adhered to the principles, and how they cleared out evil people. They also make a point to highlight the price they paid and the contributions they made in their work, letting the Above know that it was due to their own efforts that the job was done well. Implicitly, they are telling the Above, “My leadership lives up to its name, and you made the right choice in selecting me as leader.” Isn’t this a manifestation of being selfish and vile? People who manifest a humanity of being selfish and vile often have a few catchphrases. For instance, after it is arranged for them to lead a church, they always say, “At my church, our church life is so good, so wonderful. My brothers and sisters have had a wonderful and deep life entry, all with life experiences. Look at how they love God, and at how well our work is done.” These are the catchphrases of antichrists. Judging by their catchphrases, it’s apparent that they treat the brothers and sisters in the church they are responsible for as their own sheep, considering everything in the church they control as their private property. Isn’t this heedless of shame? Why is it heedless of shame? Any manifestation of selfishness and vileness arises from being heedless of shame. Therefore, being selfish and vile is being heedless of shame. These people who exhibit manifestations of selfishness and vileness are definitely heedless of shame. When entrusted with leadership and being responsible over a church, leading God’s chosen people to perform their duties, and doing specific work, they treat these things as their own private property. No one can interfere; they have the final say in everything. Antichrists consider God’s chosen people, the church’s work, and the church’s facilities and property as their own private property. This, in itself, is problematic: They aim to seize the assets of God’s house and dominate God’s chosen people. Moreover, they view these things as capital for competing with others, not even balking at selling out the interests of God’s house and harming God’s chosen people. Do you think antichrists possess conscience and reason? Do they have a place for God in their hearts? Do they have a heart of fearing and submitting to God? Not at all. Therefore, calling antichrists Satan’s lackeys or demons on earth is by no means an exaggeration. There is no God or church in the heart of an antichrist, and they certainly have no regard for God’s chosen people. Tell Me, where the brothers and sisters exist, and where God works, how can such places not be called God’s house? In what way are they not churches? But antichrists only think about things within their own sphere of influence. They don’t care about or concern themselves with other places. Even if they discover a problem, they don’t pay attention to it. What’s worse is that when something goes wrong in a certain place and causes losses to the work of the church, they don’t pay attention to it. When asked why they ignore it, they offer up absurd fallacies, saying, “Do not comment on what is not your concern.” Their words sound rational, they seem to understand boundaries in what they do, and they seem to have no outward problems, but what is the essence? It is their selfishness and vileness made manifest. They only do things for themselves, only for their own fame, gain, and status. They are not doing their duties at all. This is another archetypal characteristic of antichrists—they are selfish and vile.

The essence of the antichrists’ selfishness and vileness is obvious; their manifestations of this kind are particularly prominent. The church entrusts them with a piece of work, and if it brings renown and benefits, and lets them show their face, they are very interested, and willing to accept it. If it is work that is thankless or involves offending people, or won’t allow them to show their face or it is of no benefit to their fame, gain, or status, they have no interest, and will not accept it, as if this work has nothing to do with them, and is not the work they ought to be doing. When they encounter difficulties, there is no chance that they will seek the truth to solve them, much less try to see the bigger picture and give any consideration to the work of the church. For example, within the scope of the work of God’s house, based on overall work needs, there may be some personnel transfers. If a few people are transferred from a church, what would be the sensible way for that church’s leaders to treat the issue? What is the problem if they are concerned only with their own church’s interests, rather than the overall interests, and if they are absolutely unwilling to transfer those people? Why, as a church leader, are they unable to submit to the centralized arrangements of God’s house? Is such a person considerate of God’s intentions? Are they attentive to the work’s big picture? If they do not think of the work of God’s house as a whole, but only of their own church’s interests, are they not very selfish and vile? Church leaders should unconditionally submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and to the centralized arrangements and coordination of God’s house. This is what accords with the truth principles. When required by the work of God’s house, no matter who they are, everyone should submit to the coordination and arrangements of God’s house, and absolutely should not be controlled by any individual leader or worker as if they belong to them or are subject to their decisions. The obedience of God’s chosen people to the centralized arrangements of the house of God is perfectly natural and justified, and these arrangements may not be defied by anyone, unless an individual leader or worker makes an arbitrary transfer that is not in accordance with principle, in which case this arrangement may be disobeyed. If a normal transfer is made in accordance with the principles, then all of God’s chosen people should obey, and no leader or worker has the right or any reason to try to control anyone. Would you say there is any work that is not the work of the house of God? Is there any work that does not involve the expansion of God’s kingdom gospel? It is all the work of God’s house, each work is equal, and there is no “yours” and “mine.” If the transfer is in line with principle and based on the requirements of church work, then these people should go where they are needed most. And yet, what is the antichrists’ response when faced with this kind of situation? They find various pretexts and excuses to keep these suitable people by their side, and they only offer two ordinary people, and then find some pretext to turn the screws on you, either saying how work is so busy, or that they’re short-handed, people are hard to find, and if these two are transferred, work will take a hit. And they ask you what they are supposed to do, and make you feel that having people transferred would mean you owe them. Is this not the way devils operate? This is how the nonbelievers do things. People who always try and protect their own interests in the church—are they good people? Are they people who act according to principle? Absolutely not. They are nonbelievers and disbelievers. And is this not selfish and vile? If someone of good caliber is transferred from under an antichrist to do another duty, in their heart the antichrist doggedly resists and rejects it—they want to call it quits, and have no enthusiasm for being a leader or group head. What problem is this? Why do they have no obedience toward the arrangements of the church? They think the transfer of their “right hand man” will impact the results and progress of their work, and that their status and reputation will be consequently affected, which will force them to work harder and suffer more to guarantee results—which is the last thing they want to do. They have grown used to comfort, and don’t want to work harder or suffer more, so they don’t want to let the person go. If the house of God insists on the transfer, they complain a lot and even want to throw up their own work. Is this not selfish and vile? God’s chosen people should be centrally allocated by the house of God. This has nothing to do with any leader, group head, or individual. Everyone must act according to principle; this is the rule of God’s house. Antichrists do not act according to the principles of God’s house, they constantly scheme for the sake of their own status and interests, and make brothers and sisters of good caliber serve them in order to consolidate their power and status. Is this not selfish and vile? Outwardly, keeping people of good caliber by their side and not allowing them to be transferred by the house of God appears as if they are thinking of church work, but in fact they are only thinking of their own power and status, and not about the work of the church at all. They are afraid that they will do the church work poorly, be replaced, and lose their status. Antichrists give no thought to the wider work of God’s house, think only of their own status, protect their own status with no compunction for the cost to the interests of the house of God, and defend their own status and interests to the detriment of the church’s work. This is selfish and vile. When faced with such a situation, at the very least one must think with their conscience: “These people are all of the house of God, they are not my personal property. I, too, am a member of the house of God. What right do I have to stop the house of God from transferring people? I should consider the overall interests of the house of God, instead of just concentrating on the work within the scope of my own responsibilities.” Such are the thoughts that should be found in people who are possessed of conscience and reason, and the reason that should be possessed by those who believe in God. God’s house engages in the work of the whole and the churches are engaged in the work of parts. Therefore, when God’s house has an especial need from the church, what’s most important for leaders and workers is to obey the arrangements of God’s house. False leaders and antichrists are not possessed of such conscience and reason. They are all quite selfish, they only think of themselves, and they do not think of the work of the church. They only consider the benefits before their very eyes, they do not consider the wider work of God’s house, and so they are absolutely incapable of obeying the arrangements of God’s house. They are extremely selfish and vile! In the house of God, they are even bold enough to be obstructive, and even dare to dig their heels in; these are the people most lacking in humanity, they are evil people. That is the kind of people the antichrists are. They always treat the church’s work, and the brothers and sisters, and even all the assets of God’s house that fall within their scope of responsibility, as their own private property. They believe that it is up to them how these things are distributed, transferred, and used, and that the house of God is not allowed to interfere. Once they are in their hands, it is as if they are in the possession of Satan, no one is allowed to touch them. They’re the big shots, the head honchos, and whoever goes to their territory has to obey their orders and arrangements in a well-behaved and pliant manner, and take cues from their expressions. This is the manifestation of the selfishness and vileness within antichrists’ character. They give no consideration to the work of the house of God, they do not follow principle in the slightest, and only think of their own interests and status—which are all hallmarks of the selfishness and vileness of antichrists.

There is another situation. Whether it’s money or items offered by the brothers and sisters, under normal circumstances, regardless of the amount, it should all be handed over to the house of God. However, some antichrists mistakenly believe that “The money offered by the brothers and sisters in our church belongs to our church, and it is for our church to keep and use. No one has the right to interfere with how we use or distribute it, and they certainly don’t have the qualifications to take it away.” So, if you ask them how much the church has received in offerings, they’ll be afraid you might take it away, and they won’t tell you the actual amount. Some people might wonder, “What does it mean that they’re afraid of it being taken away? Do they want to spend it themselves?” Not necessarily. They think, “Our church also needs money. If that’s taken away, how can we carry out our work?” The Above has principles for these matters, so why don’t you follow the principles when you handle them? They set aside enough to use for your work, and the rest is arranged uniformly by the house of God. These resources are not the private property of the church leadership; they belong to the house of God. However, in order to satisfy their ambitions and desires and for the sake of their own work and to guarantee the resources within their sphere of influence, some antichrists withhold these things and appropriate them as their own, and they don’t allow anyone else to use them. Isn’t this a manifestation of selfishness and vileness? This is also a typical and specific manifestation of the character of antichrists.

These antichrists are bad and evil, ugly, wicked, base, and vile. Just talking about them is disgusting and infuriating. They may look like human beings on the outside and speak pleasantly, seemingly understanding all sorts of doctrine and mastering it, but as soon as they act, their ugly and evil humanity is exposed, offensive to the eye. Because each antichrist possesses these ugly and evil qualities in their character, they are capable of committing such evil deeds. That’s why they are called antichrists. Does this logic make sense? (Yes.) In other words, it is the presence of those vicious and wicked dispositions in their character that allows them to commit the evil deeds of antichrists, thereby classifying them as such. That’s how it is. If a person is an antichrist, would it be accurate to describe their humanity as kind, upright, honest, and sincere? Certainly not. If a person habitually lies, they have the quality of an antichrist. If someone is insidious and ruthless, they also bear the quality of an antichrist. If an individual is selfish, vile, driven by personal gain alone, running amok doing evil, and heedless of shame, then they are an evil person. If such an evil person comes to power, then they become an antichrist.

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