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

III. Antichrists’ Disposition Essence

A. Wickedness

2. What Antichrists Do Toward God

During the last gathering we primarily fellowshipped and summarized an antichrist’s disposition essence, selecting three traits from the six dispositions of corrupt humanity to dissect. These three traits are being averse to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness. We fellowshipped about wickedness last time, and through a dissection of the wicked manifestations of antichrists, namely, that their thoughts are filled with evil all day long, we identified antichrists and confirmed their wicked disposition essence through these manifestations. We are dissecting the fact that their thoughts are filled with evil all day long from two aspects: first, what is in their thoughts when they treat others, what approaches and manifestations they reveal in their corrupt essence; second, what is in their thoughts about God. We finished fellowshipping about how they treat people. As for what ideas, notions, viewpoints, and motivations antichrists have, and even the predetermined actions in their minds, toward God, we partially fellowshipped about this last time: for example, doubt, research, and what else? (Suspicion and guardedness.) Doubt, research, suspicion, and guardedness. Now, let’s fellowship about antichrists testing God.

e. Testing

What are the manifestations of testing? Which approaches or thoughts manifest a state or essence of testing? (If I have committed a transgression or done something evil, I always want to probe God, demand a clear answer, and see if I will have a good outcome or destination.) This has to do with thoughts; so, generally, when one speaks or acts, or when they face something, which of their manifestations is testing? If someone has committed a transgression and feels that God might remember or condemn their transgression, and they themselves are uncertain, not knowing whether God will actually condemn them or not, they come up with a way to test it, to see what God’s attitude really is. They start by praying, and if there is no illumination or enlightenment, they think about completely breaking off their previous methods of pursuit. Previously, they always did things in a perfunctory manner, spending only 30% of their effort where they could use 50%, or 10% where they could use 30%. Now, if they can use 50% of their effort, they will. They take on dirty or tiring work that others avoid, always doing it before others, and making sure the majority of brothers and sisters see it. More importantly, they want to see how God views this matter and if their transgression can be redeemed. When faced with difficulties or things most people cannot overcome, they want to see what God will do, whether He will enlighten and guide them. If they can feel God’s presence and His special favor, they believe that God has not remembered or condemned their transgression, proving that it can be forgiven. If they expend themselves like this and pay such a price, if their attitude changes significantly but they still don’t feel God’s presence, and they certainly don’t feel any discernible difference from before, then it’s possible that God has condemned their previous transgression and doesn’t want them anymore. Since God doesn’t want them, they won’t put in as much effort in the future when they do their duty. If God still wants them, doesn’t condemn them, and there’s still hope for them to receive blessings, they will put some sincerity into doing their duty. Are these manifestations and ideas a form of testing? Is this a specific approach? (Yes.) Just now, you only mentioned one theoretical aspect, but you didn’t specifically get into the detailed manifestation of testing God and what concrete approaches and plans they have in their hearts toward this matter, or expose what the viewpoints and states of antichrists are when they engage in this activity.

Some people constantly lack any knowledge or experience of God’s almightiness and His scrutiny of the depths of the human heart. They also lack a genuine perception of God’s scrutiny of the human heart, so naturally, they are filled with doubt about this matter. Although in their subjective wishes they want to believe that God scrutinizes the depths of the human heart, they lack conclusive evidence. Consequently, they plan certain things in their hearts and simultaneously begin to execute and implement them. As they implement them, they continually observe whether God truly knows about these, whether the matters will be exposed, and if they remain silent, whether anyone can figure it out, or if God can reveal it through a certain environment. Of course, ordinary people may have some uncertainties more or less about God’s almightiness and His scrutiny of the depths of the human heart, but antichrists are not simply uncertain—they are filled with doubt and fully guarded against God at the same time. Therefore, they develop many approaches to test God. Because they doubt God’s scrutiny of the human heart and, even more, deny the fact that God scrutinizes it, they often think about certain matters. Then, with a bit of fear or some inexplicable feeling of horror, they secretly spread these thoughts around in private, misleading certain people. Meanwhile, they continually expose their arguments and ideas bit by bit. As they expose them, they watch whether God will hinder or expose this behavior of theirs. If He exposes or defines it, they quickly retreat, changing to another approach. If it seems that nobody knows about it, and nobody can see through them or into them, they become even more completely convinced in their hearts that their intuition is correct, and their knowledge of God is correct. In their view, God’s scrutiny of the human heart is basically nonexistent. What kind of approach is this? This is the approach of testing.

Antichrists, due to their inherently wicked disposition, never speak or act straightforwardly. They do not handle things with an honest attitude and sincerity, or speak using honest words and act with a heartfelt attitude. Nothing they say or do is forthright but rather circuitous and furtive, and they never directly express their thoughts or motivations. Because they believe that if they express them, they would be fully understood and seen through, their ambitions and desires would be exposed in the light, and they would not be seen among other people as high or noble, or be looked up to and worshiped by others; hence, they always try to conceal and hide their disreputable motives and desires. So, how do they go about speaking and acting? They employ various methods. Just as there is a saying among nonbelievers, “sounding out a situation,” antichrists adopt a similar approach. When they want to do something and they hold a certain viewpoint or attitude, they never express it directly; rather they use certain methods such as subtle or inquiring methods or worming things out of people to gather the information they seek. Because of their wicked disposition, antichrists never seek the truth, nor do they want to understand it. Their sole concern is their own fame, gain, and status. They engage in activities that can give them fame, gain, and status, avoiding those that offer no such things. They eagerly undertake activities related to reputation, status, standing out, and glory, while avoiding things that safeguard the work of the church or may offend others. Therefore, antichrists do not approach anything with an attitude of seeking; rather, they use the method of testing to sound things out, and then decide whether to proceed—antichrists are just this cunning and wicked. For instance, when they want to know what kind of person they are in the eyes of God, they don’t assess themselves through God’s words by coming to know themselves. Instead, they inquire around and listen for implied speech, observing the tone and attitude of leaders and the Above, and looking in God’s words to see how God determines the outcomes of people like them. They use these paths and methods to see where they belong within the house of God and find out what their future outcome will be. Doesn’t this involve some nature of testing? After some people are pruned, for example, instead of examining why they were pruned, examining the corrupt dispositions and mistakes they revealed in the course of their actions, and what aspects of the truth they should seek to know themselves and rectify their former faults, they give others a false impression, using indirect means to find out the real attitude of the Above toward them. For instance, after being pruned, they quickly bring up an insignificant issue with which to seek the Above, to see what kind of tone the Above has, whether they are patient, whether the questions they are seeking will be answered seriously, whether they will adopt a softer attitude toward them, whether they will entrust them with tasks, whether they will still regard them highly, and what the Above really thinks about the mistakes they committed previously. All these approaches are a kind of testing. In short, when they face such situations and exhibit these manifestations, do people know in their hearts? (Yes, they do.) So, when you know and you want to do these things, how do you handle it? Firstly, at the simplest level, can you rebel against yourself? Some people find it challenging to rebel against themselves when the time comes; they think it over, “Forget it, this time it has to do with my blessings and outcome. I can’t rebel against myself. Next time.” When the next time comes, and they meet again with an issue involving their blessings and outcome, they still find themselves unable to rebel against themselves. Such individuals have a sense of conscience, and although they don’t possess an antichrist’s disposition essence, it’s still quite troublesome and dangerous for them. On the other hand, antichrists often entertain these thoughts and live in such a state, but they never rebel against themselves, because they lack a sense of conscience. Even if someone exposes and prunes them, pointing out their state, they persist and absolutely won’t rebel against themselves, nor will they hate themselves because of it or let go of and resolve this state. After some antichrists are dismissed, they think, “Being dismissed seems like a normal thing, but it feels somewhat disgraceful. Though it’s not a significant matter, there’s one crucial thing I can’t let go of. If I’m dismissed, does that mean the house of God will no longer cultivate me? Then what kind of person will I be in God’s eyes? Will I still have hope? Will I still be useful at all in the house of God?” They contemplate this and come up with a plan, “I have ten thousand yuan on hand, and now is the time to use it. I’ll offer this ten thousand yuan as an offering, and see if the Above’s attitude toward me can change a bit, and if they can show some favor toward me. If the house of God accepts the money, it means I still have hope. If it rejects the money, that proves I have no hope, and I’ll make other plans.” What kind of approach is this? This is testing. In short, testing is a relatively apparent manifestation of the wicked disposition essence. People use various means to obtain the information they desire, gain certainty, and then achieve peace of mind. There are multiple ways to test, such as using words to worm things out of God, using things to test Him, thinking and mulling things over in their minds. What is the most common way you test God? (Sometimes, when praying to God, I check God’s attitude toward me and see if I have peace in my heart. I use this method to test God.) This method is used quite commonly. Another method is seeing if one has anything to say during the fellowship at the gathering, if God provides enlightenment or illumination, and using it to test whether God is still with them, whether He still loves them. Also, over the course of doing their duty, seeing if God enlightens or guides them, if they have any special thoughts, ideas, or insights—using these to test what kind of attitude God has toward them. All of these methods are quite common. Anything else? (If I have made a resolution to God in prayer but fail to fulfill it, I observe whether God will treat me according to the oath I made.) This is also one kind. No matter what method people use to treat God, if they have a guilty conscience about it, and then gain knowledge about these actions and dispositions and can promptly turn them around, then the problem isn’t that significant—this is a normal corrupt disposition. However, if someone can consistently and stubbornly do this, even if they know that it is wrong and detested by God, but persist in it, never rebelling against it or giving it up, this is the essence of an antichrist. The disposition essence of an antichrist is different from ordinary people, in that they never reflect on themselves or seek the truth, but consistently and stubbornly use various methods to test God, His attitude toward people, His conclusion regarding an individual, and what His thoughts and ideas are about a person’s past, present, and future. They never seek God’s intentions, the truth, and especially not how to submit to the truth to achieve a change in their disposition. The purpose behind all their actions is to probe into God’s thoughts and ideas—this is an antichrist. This disposition of antichrists is clearly wicked. When they engage in these actions and exhibit these manifestations, there is not a trace of guilt or remorse. Even if they link themselves to these things, they show no repentance or intention to stop, but still persist in their ways. In their treatment of God, their attitude, and their approach, it is evident that they regard God as their adversary. In their thoughts and viewpoints, there is no idea or attitude of knowing God, loving God, submitting to God, or fearing God; they simply want to obtain the information they want from God and use their own methods and means to ascertain God’s precise attitude toward them and definition of them. What’s more serious is that, even though they align their own approaches with God’s words of revelation, even if there is the slightest awareness that this behavior is detested by God and not what a person should do, they will never give it up.

In the past, there was a regulation in God’s house: Regarding those who had been expelled or cleared out, if they manifested true repentance afterward, and persisted in reading God’s words, spreading the gospel, and bearing witness for God, truly repenting, they could be readmitted into the church. There happened to be someone who met these criteria after being cleared out, and the church sent someone to find him, fellowship with him, and tell him that he had been admitted back to the church. Upon hearing this, he was quite pleased, but he pondered, “Is the acceptance genuine, or is there some idea behind it? Has God truly seen my repentance? Has He truly shown me mercy and forgiven me? Have my past actions really been disregarded?” He didn’t believe it, and he thought, “Even though they want me back, I should be restrained and not immediately agree, I should not act as if I had suffered greatly and been so pitiful during these years after being expelled. I need to act a bit reserved and not inquire right after I’m admitted back about where I can participate in church life or what duties I can do. I can’t appear too enthusiastic. Although I feel particularly happy inside, I need to stay calm and see whether God’s house genuinely wants me back or is just being insincere in order to use me for certain tasks.” With this in mind, he said, “During the time after I was expelled, I reflected and realized that the mistakes I made were too significant. The losses I caused to the interests of God’s house were immense, and I can never make up for them. I am truly a devil and Satan cursed by God. However, my self-reflection is still incomplete. Since God’s house wants to bring me back, I need to eat and drink even more of God’s words and reflect and know myself more. At present, I am not worthy to return to God’s house, not worthy to do my duty in God’s house, not worthy to meet with my brothers and sisters, and I am certainly too ashamed to face God. I will return to the church only when I feel that my self-knowledge and reflection are sufficient, so that everyone may validate me.” While saying this, he was also on edge, thinking, “I am just pretending to say this. What if the leaders agree not to let me back into the church? Wouldn’t I be finished?” In reality, he was quite anxious, but he still had to speak in this way and pretend like he wasn’t too eager to return to the church. What did he mean by saying these things? (He was testing whether the church would truly accept him back.) Is this necessary? Isn’t this something Satan and devils would do? Would a normal person behave this way? (No, they wouldn’t.) A normal person wouldn’t. Given such a wonderful opportunity, that he could take such a step is wicked. Being readmitted to the church is an expression of God’s love and mercy, and he should reflect on and know his own corruption and deficiencies, seeking ways to make up for past debts. If someone can still test God in this way and treat God’s mercy in this manner, then they truly fail to appreciate His kindness! That people develop such ideas and approaches is brought about by their wicked essence. Essentially, when people test God, what they manifest and reveal theoretically always pertain to testing God’s thoughts as well as His views and definitions of people, among other things. If people seek the truth, they will rebel against and let go of such practices, acting and behaving according to the truth principles. However, individuals with the disposition essence of an antichrist not only cannot relinquish such practices and do not find them hateful, but they often appreciate themselves for possessing such means and methods. They may think, “Look at how clever I am. I’m not like you fools who only know to submit to and obey God and the truth—I’m not like you at all! I try to use means and methods to find out these things. Even if I have to submit and obey, I’m still going to get to the bottom of things. Don’t think you can hide anything from me or deceive and fool me.” This is their thought and viewpoint. Antichrists never exhibit submission, fear, or sincerity, and much less any loyalty in their treatment of God incarnate. This concludes our discussion on manifestations related to testing.

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