Item Thirteen: They Control Church Finances As Well As Controlling People's Hearts (Section Two)

There is a leader who committed the following act. Try to discern this thing that he did, and dissect it. One day, I received a packet of Chinese herbal dietary supplements. I thought to Myself, “I didn’t ask anyone to buy this for Me, so where was it sent from? Who bought it? How is it that I have no idea?” Later on, after asking around, I learned that it was a leader who, without asking the Above, had taken it upon himself to buy it. He’d said that this item was needed by the Above. Upon hearing this, the brothers and sisters below said, “Since the Above wants it to be bought, that’s simple, we can just use the church’s money to buy it. Whatever the Above wants to buy is fine, especially since it’s for God—we don’t have any objections.” As for the money that was spent—whose was it? (God’s offerings.) How come he was so open-handed when it came to spending God’s offerings? Was this purchase authorized by the Above? Without seeking My agreement, he secretly decided on his own to go ahead and buy the medicine. And when he was making the purchase, he didn’t stop to think, “Will this be of use to the Above? Is what I’m buying suitable? How much should I buy? Will the Above allow me to spend this money?” Did he ask these things? (No.) Without so much as asking, he directly bought this item. Where was this liberality coming from? What kind of personal loyalty is this? He used God’s money to buy something for God, taking this as his bounden duty, doing whatever it took and overcoming all difficulties to buy that thing and satisfy God. What does satisfying God mean here? It means: “I can pleasantly surprise You without going through You. See, I have this ability! Did You know that I was able to do this? What do You think? Isn’t this a nice surprise? Aren’t You happy? Do You feel comforted?” Whose money was it that you spent? Was it yours? If what you spent was God’s money, did you get God’s agreement? You spent money that you stole from God, and then you said that you wished to give God a nice surprise: What kind of logic is this? And whose money were you being so liberal with? (That which belongs to the house of God.) To be liberal with money that belongs to the house of God is to be liberal with God’s offerings. Isn’t this disgusting? (It is.) You may feel disgust upon hearing this, but the person involved, far from being disgusted, felt quite pleased with himself. After the item had been delivered, he pondered to himself: “How come there’s no reply? I’ve done this wonderful deed for You, so why haven’t You thanked me? How are You finding the item? Are You satisfied with it? Would You like me to buy You some more of it in the future? What kind of assessment are You giving me? From now on, are You going to put me in an important position? Are You satisfied with what I have done? I used Your money to do something for You—what do You think of my kindness? Are You happy? Oh, please say something. Why is there no reply?” Should I have given him a reply? (No.) Why not? This incident happened quite a while back, but in all this time I haven’t ceased to be disgusted by it—I feel disgust every time I look at that thing he bought. You tell Me, is it reasonable to be disgusted? Would it be worthwhile to dissect this incident? (Yes, it would.) What kind of conduct is this? Is it an expression of loyalty? Of kindness? Or of a God-fearing heart? (It’s none of these.) This is called currying favor and toying with someone, and it means: “I spend Your money to buy something to cater to You and leave a good impression on You, in order to make You see me in a more favorable light.” This leader wished to cater to My pleasure, to flatter Me and butter Me up, but he failed in the end, and he was seen through. What mistakes did he make? First of all, this was not something that I had commissioned him to do for Me; I had sent no word telling him to do this. Secondly, if he had wanted to do this out of the kindness of his heart, he should have asked first and gotten consent before proceeding. And, as he was carrying this out, shouldn’t he have inquired into related matters that he needed to know about? For instance, what quantity to buy, how much money’s worth to buy, what grade of goods to buy, how the money was to be spent—shouldn’t he have inquired about these things? To inquire about these things would have been to act in accordance with the truth principles. So, what is the nature of his failure to make these inquiries? On a smaller level, he was thinking himself to be very clever, on a greater level, this is called acting willfully, having no regard for God, and acting recklessly! I never asked him to buy that item, so what was he making this show of good intentions for? Wasn’t he asking for trouble? Furthermore, his biggest problem was the way that antichrists regard property, which is what we are fellowshipping about and dissecting today. He believed that, as the leader of that church, he was qualified to enjoy the offerings made to God by God’s chosen people in the church, and that he had the power to use and possess these offerings to God, and that he had the final say in regard to them. In that church he held the power of a king and became a local tyrant. He thought: “I don’t need to inform or ask You about the things I buy, I’ll just handle it for You. Whether or not You agree, as long as I feel that it would be good to do it in this way, and want to do it in this way, then that’s how I’ll do it.” What kind of thing is he? Isn’t he an antichrist? Antichrists are just as shameless as that. When this person was given status and became a leader, he wanted to become a king, to seize the property of the church. He thought that he alone called the shots about the church’s property, and had the power to take possession of it and make use of it. He even thought that he had the final say about buying things for Me and what things to buy. But do I need you to buy things for Me? Whatever I use, and however I use it, do I need you to get involved? Isn’t this a lack of reason? Isn’t this being shameless? Have you forgotten who you are? Isn’t this just like the archangel who, after being given status, wanted to be on equal footing with God? How many mistakes did the person who did this make? The first was that he allocated the church’s property as if it were his own personal property; the second was that he took it upon himself to make decisions about buying things for Me; the third was that, having made this decision by himself, he did not inform the Above about it, neither seeking from them nor reporting it to them. Each one of these was quite serious in itself. This antichrist seemed to be running a pretty smooth operation there. As soon as he gave the word, his lackeys would carry out his orders in a well-behaved fashion. They didn’t even stop to ask: “We’re spending so much money to buy this item—did God order this? Can the money be used in this way? Would it be appropriate? Who actually ordered this?” Those lackeys didn’t even ask these things. Did they take any responsibility? Did they have any loyalty? No, they had no loyalty, and they should be eliminated. This is a past example of someone using offerings according to their own wishes and without any principles. To spend the offerings of God to buy things for God, without getting My approval: to do this is to commit a grave error.

Here’s another example, I’d like you to listen to what these people did and see whether you find it exasperating. During church gatherings, the chair I was sitting in was too soft, and when I sat in it, I sank quite low. The table was also so high that I had to keep My back straight, and sitting like this for a long time fatigued Me. So, I asked them to buy a chair that was a little higher and that had a seat that was a little less soft. Isn’t this something that should be easy to do? (Yes, it is.) This is actually a really simple matter. First, they needed to measure the height of the chair that I was sitting on at the time, and then look for one that was higher by two inches or perhaps a bit more, and after that they needed to check how soft the seat was, and look for one that was a bit firmer. First off, they could take a look around the shops, and if they didn’t see something suitable, they could make a further search online. Isn’t this something that can easily be taken care of? Does it present any difficulties? Spending money to buy something can’t be called a challenge, and furthermore, if several people pool their ideas together, it should be an easy task to manage. So, after a while, I went to another gathering at that church, and asked them if they’d gone and bought a new chair. They said, “We looked, but we didn’t see anything really suitable, and we didn’t know what kind of chair You wanted.” Hearing this gave Me a jolt. I thought, “The way I understand it, there’s a huge variety of shops that sell all kinds of things here, in all types of quality, so it shouldn’t be all that difficult to buy a chair. I’m not expecting too much, either.” But the person in charge of the purchase said, “It isn’t easy to buy; there isn’t a single one for sale with the specifications You wanted. Perhaps You can just make do with the one that’s already here.” I thought to Myself, “Well, if you didn’t buy one, then that’s fine, it’ll save some money, so I’ll just make do with this one for now.” After some time had passed, I went to another place, where there were several rather nice chairs that were comfortable to sit in, and you could tell at a glance that they were an old-fashioned kind and of good quality. So, I took a photo and asked them to use this as a guide to shop for the chair, setting no preferences as to its color, and I told them that if there weren’t any in the stores, they should take a look online. I even specified that they should go looking in places that sold office supplies. Afterward they made the following reply: “We went online to search, but there weren’t any. The manufacturers all said that this is an outdated model, and these days no one makes chairs in that style anymore, so we weren’t able to buy one.” Hearing this gave Me another jolt, and I thought, “These people are really terrible at handling things, and they really can’t be depended on. They were only entrusted with this little task, and twice they’ve said they were unable to buy what I wanted, and refused Me.” I asked them to keep looking, and to see if any were available on other websites. In the meantime, while waiting, I came upon a chair in one of the church’s storerooms. The chair, which was equipped with a foam cushion covered with a pattern of pink flowers, wasn’t completely finished. It had a perfectly straight back, perfectly straight armrests, perfectly straight legs, and a seat that was perfectly straight. Every part of the chair was straight; it had all right angles and square corners. I said, “Did someone make this chair themselves?” One person, hurrying forward, replied, “Weren’t You in need of a chair? We made this one for You, and we were just getting ready to tell You about it and ask You to try it out.” They were being so awfully kind, so I thought: “Sure, I’ll try it out.” I placed Myself solidly down onto the chair, and felt an intense discomfort, like I was sitting down on a stone, because the foam in the cushion was extremely hard. “It’s okay,” said the person standing next to Me, “It can be made a bit softer. It isn’t finished yet. We’ll make it better, and then You can test it again.” Test it again My foot! Sitting on a little wooden stool would have been an improvement over that chair; at least it wouldn’t feel like I was sitting on a stone. I said, “No, this won’t do. Keep looking if you can. If you can’t find anything, then just forget about it.” So, I had them keep looking. The people who made the chair perhaps didn’t understand. They may have thought, “We’ve shown you so much kindness, choosing the material, the style, and the size, and custom-making a chair for You. Why don’t You appreciate this act of kindness? And on top of this, You say that it feels like You’re sitting on a stone, that it’s hard. How come You’re so finicky? Whatever we make for You, You should just use it, end of story. But here You are, still wanting to buy a chair instead. We told You, several times, that the kind of style You want is nowhere to be found, but You keep insisting that we buy one of those. Wouldn’t that cost money? How about saving a bit of money? Making a chair is so much more economical; the materials don’t cost much. Whatever we can make ourselves, we should make instead of buying. How come You don’t know what it means to economize?” You tell Me, would it be better for Me to use that chair or not? (It would be better for You not to.) Once they saw I would not use the chair they had made, they tossed it to one side, and none of them used it either. Tell Me, if I didn’t use it, would I be hurting people’s feelings? (No, You would not.) In all My years I have never sat in a cushioned chair that was so hard—it was quite an experience. Such is the great “kindness” that these people showed Me. Some time later, by who knows what unexpected combination of circumstances, a chair was actually bought for Me, so the people did show Me some “kindness” after all. That was the first time I asked them to buy something for Me, and they heard it directly from Me, and the way they handled the task was so disgusting. My purchase of a single chair was so very difficult and arduous, everything had to go through them and be discussed with them, and in addition I had to be aware of their mood. If they were in a good mood, they might buy it for Me, and if not, they might not, and then I wouldn’t get to use one. “You want to use a comfortable chair, but we have yet to do so, so dream on. Just use this one that the carpenter made. When we’ve got comfortable chairs to use, You can use one too.” Aren’t these people precisely this kind of thing? What kind of people are they? Aren’t they people of lowly character? I was just asking them to spend some offerings to buy something, all they needed to do was move their hands and eyes a little, but it was this difficult, this troublesome, to get them to handle that task. What if they were asked to spend their own money? In the beginning, I didn’t say whose money was going to be spent—did they think I meant for them to spend their own money, and consequently got such a fright that they refused to make the purchase? Could that have been a reason? When asking you to buy something, how could I make you spend your own money? If the church has the funds, then go and make the purchase, and if it doesn’t, don’t. There is no way that I would make you spend your own money. Well then, how come it took so much effort to get them to carry out this little task? These people have no humanity! When they’re not trying to get something done, and I’m not interacting with them, it appears like they’re kind and reasonable, but after they start carrying out a task, this kindness and reason is absent. These people are muddled! How can I get along with them?

Here is another example that involves the subject of offerings. There is a place with a small kitchen, where the cooking utensils and tableware are all for common use, and sometimes, in winter, people there cannot avoid catching the flu. I told them to buy a sterilizing cabinet or an ozone disinfector to sterilize the cooking utensils and all the communal tableware. This would be safe and hygienic. Was this a big demand? (No, it was not.) I entrusted this task to someone and, within a short time, I heard that an ozone disinfector had been bought. My worries were laid to rest, and afterward I looked no further into this matter. But it turned out that something went wrong. The machine this person had bought turned out to not be an ozone disinfector after all, but an air-drying machine. It was a deceptive purchase, and moreover of exceptionally poor quality, it had no sterilizing effect at all. Did the person who handled this task know this? (He should have.) But this scoundrel probably didn’t know. Why is this? The person I had entrusted with this task had not gone to carry it out himself, but had found a middleman to do it for him, and so he never knew exactly what item was bought back, or whether it was of good or bad quality. What do you think about the way this matter was taken care of? Was it done conscientiously or not? Did this person have any credibility? Did he merit being depended on? (No, he did not.) What kind of person was this? Was it someone with integrity or humanity? (No.) This was a muddled person, an out-and-out scoundrel. And this was not the end of the story. Soon after this, the person in charge of this task began pondering: “It’s great using an ozone disinfector to sterilize things. Since there are a lot of people using our dining halls, maybe we should buy ozone disinfectors for there too. You bought one, so we’ll buy some too. You got a small one for Your small kitchen, so we’ll get big ones for our big dining halls.” Once he hatched this idea, he discussed it together with several other scoundrels, and then it was decided. And it turned out that after those ozone disinfectors had been bought, the brothers and sisters said that since everyone used their own tableware and did not share any utensils, there was no need to sterilize them, and that sterilization would be superfluous. In the end, the machines were left lying idle, and even now there are a few sitting in storage with the packaging still intact. What do you think about the way this matter was taken care of? Was it done in a rational manner? Wasn’t this a case of someone, with too much time and nothing to do, finding random ways to spend money? Some people, thinking the order for making these purchases had come from the Above, even said, “No grumbling! We must accept this from God. God loves people so much that He even buys us things for which we have no use. He’s willing to spend huge sums on us. God is too good to us!” But now they know that these purchases were the outcome of the secret operations of a bunch of scoundrels. They squandered the offerings like this, with no one taking responsibility, no one checking things, and no one checking whether these purchases were appropriate, or reporting the purchases after they had been made. On what premise did this person buy these things? It was that I had asked him to buy a sterilizing cabinet for the little kitchen. Did I ask him to buy them for all the dining halls? I never commissioned him with such a task. Well then, what was his motive in buying them for all the dining halls? Wasn’t this him regarding the offerings as his personal property, and allocating them however he wished them to be allocated? Did he have the authority to allocate them? (No.) Before buying these machines, he never asked Me: “Since we bought one for the little kitchen, should we also buy some for the big dining halls?” And he did not, after making the purchase, report how many ozone disinfectors he’d bought, and how much they cost all in all, nor did he report the fact that the brothers and sisters had found no use for them. This is the repulsive way in which this matter was handled. And a muddled thing like this was still defiant when he was pruned. How should one treat this kind of person? (Expel him from the church.) In light of the nature of this incident, it would not be excessive to expel him from the church, because this is a matter that touches on offerings, and in touching on offerings it violated the administrative decrees. This was acting recklessly! Did he think the money was his? Did he have the authority to use and to squander it? With the purchase I entrusted people to make for Me, they created all manner of difficulties, and it was an enormous struggle for them to get the task done, and on top of this I had to discuss everything with them. As for what I had not entrusted people to do and buy, they bought those things without so much as batting an eyelid, never making a plan or consulting the majority as to whether they would be useful items—they just squandered money as they pleased. A while ago, there were some special circumstances in which some people were asked to buy six months to a year’s worth of food for fear that there wouldn’t be enough to eat. The matter was explained to them in this brief and simple way, and within a week, they reported back saying that they had finished their purchases in three days, having bought both organic products and those on their way to being certified as organic. How had they done? Didn’t they do an excellent job? There was no need for Me to say anything else, the matter had been handled. They handled this task for themselves with cheerful readiness, and came off as particularly skilled, quick, smart, and thoughtful. They had not only bought the food they needed, but also daily necessities. Those daily necessities included everything they needed, they were able to purchase everything that you could imagine, even things like candies, melon seeds, and other snacks. I thought to myself that these people really knew how to live; they knew how to spend money, and they also dared to spend money. They were capable, with very strong survival skills, stronger than those of wild animals, and they moved very quickly, quicker than I had expected. In order to survive, they were able to move mountains and seas—there was nothing they couldn’t do. From this incident I saw that these people weren’t totally brainless or completely unable to complete tasks, but that it mainly depended on who they were handling the tasks for. If they were handling tasks for themselves, they seemed particularly active, clever, swift in their actions, and efficient—they didn’t need to be urged on, and I didn’t need to worry about them. But when they were doing a duty in God’s house, they found it difficult to handle any task, they could never find the principles, and always messed up. It turns out there was a reason for this, and there was a huge difference between them doing things for themselves and doing things for the house of God. For now, let’s not talk about what kind of disposition or essence these people possessed. The two completely different attitudes these people harbored toward handling things revealed that they had truly low character. Just how low was their character? Let Me define this for you, these people were not humans, they were simply a group of beasts! Does this definition fit them? (Yes, it does.) These words may be hard to stomach, and it may be upsetting to hear them, but this is precisely the way in which these people handled tasks, and this is the kind of thing they are. What I say is founded on the facts and it is not baseless slander. When the house of God is using some people, in view of the fact that they are young, somewhat poor in caliber, and lacking in foundation and stature, it will continually help them, and fellowship on the truth and the principles with them. But, in the end, poor character is just poor character, a beast is just a beast, and these people are never going to change. Not only will they not put the truth into practice, they will go from bad to worse, taking a foot when given an inch, and not possessing even one tiny jot of the sense of shame that is a part of normal humanity. When they buy something or carry out a task for the house of God, they never ask for advice about how to buy these things cheaply and save money while also getting something practical. They never do this. They just spend money blindly, buy things carelessly, and just purchase some useless products. But when the time comes to complete a task or buy something for Me personally, they begin to take it seriously and think about cutting down on costs, and how to spend less while getting more done. They think that doing things in this way is holding to the principles and practicing the truth. Do these people have an ounce of reason? Whose money this is, and on whom it should be spent—these things are even unclear to them. Isn’t this handling things like a scoundrel? Are there people like this around you? All those who do not engage in discussion with the finance department or the brothers and sisters they’re partnered with when purchasing valuable or expensive things for the church, who just go ahead and squander the offerings at will, who know that they must save money and budget their expenditures when they’re spending their own money, but squander money arbitrarily when they’re spending God’s offerings—people like this are simply too detestable! They are too disgusting! Right? (Yes.) Such things disgust Me whenever I think about them. Those beasts are even lower than guard dogs. Do they deserve to live in the house of God?

There was once a leader who would take all the items that brothers and sisters in different places offered up to God into his “safekeeping,” including precious objects, ordinary clothing, edible health care products, and so on. Brand name bags went on his back, leather shoes on his feet, rings on his fingers, necklaces around his neck, and so on—anything he could use, he would take into his possession and use, without getting anyone’s agreement. One day, the brother Above asked him why all the items offered up to God by brothers and sisters in different places had not been handed over. He replied: “The brothers and sisters said these things were being given to the church, they did not say that they were being offered up to God.” He even laid special emphasis on the point that they’d been given to the church, with his unspoken implication being that, as he himself was the plenipotentiary representative of the church, God may as well stop holding out hope of getting His hands on these things, that they’re not for God but for the church to use. Putting this in more concrete terms, he meant: “These things are for me to use, they have not been offered up for God to use. What are you asking for? Are you qualified to ask this?” Does hearing this make you angry? (It does.) Hearing this would make anyone angry. Tell Me, is there anyone who believes that the things brothers and sisters give to the church are being offered to the church’s leaders? Is there anyone who says that, in offering things to the church, they’re offering them to such and such a church leader? Does anyone have this intention? (No.) Unless, when they make the offering, they write, “Please forward this to So-and-so”—only then does this object enter into the private possession of this leader. Otherwise, all the things that are offered, whether they be money or items, are being given by the brothers and sisters to God. Things offered to God are collectively called offerings. Once they are designated as offerings, they are for God to use. When they are for God’s use, how does God use them? How does God allocate these things? (He gives them to the church to use in its work.) That’s right. There are principles and specific details for their use in the church’s work, including living expenses for those who perform their duties full time in the church, and the various expenses of the church’s work. During the period of God’s incarnation, this usage includes these two items: Christ’s daily expenses, and all the costs of the church’s work. Now, within these two items, is there one that says offerings can be converted into personal salaries, rewards, expenses, and remuneration? (No, there is not.) Offerings do not belong to any one person. The usage and allocation of offerings must be arranged by the house of God, and they are used primarily in church work: It is not included here that whoever is a church leader shall have the authority to take possession or make use of offerings. Well then, exactly how are they to be used? These offerings must be allocated according to the principles governing the use of church property. Seen from this perspective, isn’t it shameful that antichrists always wish to prioritize their possession and use of offerings? Antichrists always think that the money and the items offered by the brothers and sisters belong to whoever is in the position of leadership. Isn’t this a shameless way of thinking? (Yes, it is.) It is extremely shameless! Not only are antichrists wicked and vicious in their disposition, but their character is also base and lowly, with no sense of shame.

By fellowshipping about these subjects and talking about these matters, the truths that people should understand and put into practice will be made clear. However, if we do not fellowship on these things, people’s understanding of some truths will invariably be halted at a literal and doctrinal level, and will remain relatively hollow. If we integrate some real matters into our fellowship on the truth, it will be much easier for people to see through to things, and their understanding of the truth will be more concrete and practical. Therefore, fellowshipping on these things is by no means intended to vilify anybody or to make things difficult for them. These are things that have indeed taken place, and moreover they are linked to the subject we are fellowshipping on. So, certain people have become living teaching materials, and the figures and characters in the typical examples that we are fellowshipping on and dissecting. This is very normal. The truth is, by definition, connected to the words, thoughts, views, actions, and dispositions that are revealed within the course of human life. If we were only to fellowship on and expound the literal meaning of the truth, detaching it from real life, then when would people ever be able to gain a genuine understanding of the truth? Doing things in that way would make it much more difficult for people to understand the truth, and people would have a hard time entering into the truth reality. Bringing out a few typical examples to fellowship on and dissect will be more conducive to people understanding the truth, the principles they should put into practice, God’s intentions, and the way they should follow. For this reason, no matter what, this method is both appropriate and beneficial to people. If these matters did not touch on the truth, or on the disposition of antichrists that we are dissecting, I would be unwilling to talk about them. But the dispositions and the essences of the people who did these things do touch upon the subject that we are fellowshipping on, so we must fellowship on them when it is necessary. The aim of fellowshipping on this is not to suppress people or to give them a hard time, nor is it to subject them to public humiliation; rather, it is to dissect the disposition and essence of human beings, and even more importantly, to dissect the disposition of antichrists within human beings. If, whenever our fellowship touches on these subjects, all that comes to your mind is that such and such a person did such and such a thing, and you fail to think about how this relates to the truth and people’s corrupt dispositions, does this prove that you have understood the truth? (No.) If you only remember one matter, or one particular person, and biases, opinions, and prejudices arise in you toward that person, can you be said to have arrived at an understanding of the truth? This is not understanding the truth. Well then, under what conditions can you be considered to have arrived at an understanding of the truth? Almost every time we fellowship on and dissect the various manifestations of the essence of antichrists, I bring up a number of stories to serve as typical examples, and I fellowship with you about where the errors in these stories are and the way that people should follow. If you still don’t understand after this kind of fellowship, then this means there’s a problem with your comprehension, that your caliber is too poor and you lack spiritual understanding. Well then, under what conditions can you be considered to have comprehension ability, to possess spiritual understanding, and to have understood the truth within the examples that we have fellowshipped on? First of all, you must be able to compare yourself to the examples we are fellowshipping on and come to know yourself, to look to see whether you also have this kind of disposition, and whether you might be capable of doing such things if you had status and authority, and whether you also possess such thoughts and opinions or reveal this kind of disposition. This is one aspect. Additionally, among the examples we are fellowshipping on, you must seek the truth principles that you ought to understand and abide by in a positive way. This means finding the path you should put into practice, and knowing, in these circumstances, what position you should take and how to practice in a way that’s correct and accords with God’s intentions. Furthermore, through dissection, you must be able to recognize that your disposition is the same as that of antichrists, making that connection, and knowing how to resolve it. This way, you will have arrived at an understanding of the truth, you will be a person who possesses spiritual understanding, and who has the ability to comprehend the truth. If after you finish listening to a story, you remember all the ins and outs, all the causes and effects, and are able to expound on them, but you don’t understand the truth principles that people should practice and enter into, and when faced with a situation, you don’t know how to apply these truths so that you may see through to people and things, and know yourself, then this means you lack comprehension ability. And a person who lacks comprehension ability is a person who lacks spiritual understanding.

I’ll give you another example. There was this man who had just been elected as a leader. Before he had truly understood and grasped the actual situation of the different aspects of the work, that is to say, before he had properly thrown himself into each of the different aspects of the work, he started to make private inquiries: “Which people are in charge of safekeeping the offerings to God in our church? Report to me with a list of their names. Also, give me all the account numbers and passwords. I want to get a grasp of how much money there is.” He took no interest in any of the work. The one thing that he was most interested in, and felt the most strongly about, was the names of the people who were safekeeping the offerings, as well as the account numbers and passwords. Wasn’t something about to go wrong? He wanted to get his hands on the offerings, didn’t he? When you encounter a situation like this, what should you do? Since he has become a leader, does it then follow that the property of the church should be handed over to him, and that he should have the right to know about it and the power to control it? (No, he should not be given this information.) Why not? Wouldn’t you be guilty of insubordination if you didn’t give it to him? (The fact that he displayed these manifestations is proof that there’s something wrong with him, and so, to protect the offerings to God, we cannot give him this information.) That’s right: Since there’s something wrong with him, you cannot give it to him. Your reply proves that My previous fellowship has not been in vain and that you have understood it. Why can you not give this information to him? A leader’s responsibilities and duty do not consist of fixing their attention on the offerings, or trying to get hold of any information related to the offerings. These are not the duty or responsibilities of a leader. Churches everywhere have people who have been designated to manage and safekeep the offerings. Moreover, the church has strict rules and principles to govern the use of offerings. No one has the power to prioritize their use of offerings, much less the power to prioritize their possession of offerings. This applies to everyone without exception. Isn’t this a fact? Isn’t this correct? (Yes, it is.) When antichrists wish to prioritize their possession and use of offerings, this is in itself wrong. They think that, as leaders, they ought to be able to freely enjoy the use of offerings: Is this the truth? This money belongs to God—why do they misuse it? Why do they enjoy its use however they please? Are they qualified to do this? Does God agree to them using offerings in this way? Would God’s chosen people approve of it? That antichrists seize offerings and squander them: this is determined by their vicious disposition, it is a way of looking at things that arises from their greed, and is not something that has been prescribed by God’s word. This antichrist always wanted to gain control of all the offerings, as well as all the information about the people in charge of their safekeeping, and all the account numbers and passwords. This is a serious problem, is it not? Did he wish to know the underlying facts about God’s offerings, and safekeep them well, and then allocate them in a way that is reasonable and keeps them intact, without permitting anyone to freely and recklessly spend them? Did he have a mind to do this? Can one observe, from his actions, any sign of good intentions? (No.) So, if a person truly does not covet the offerings, what will they do if chosen as a leader? (They will first find out about the effectiveness of the various aspects of the work in the church, as well as how the offerings are safekept and whether the place they are being kept is safe. However, they will not inquire about the account numbers, passwords, or the amounts held.) Right, but there’s one other thing. After a person who truly does not covet the offerings is chosen as leader, they will check whether the place where the offerings are being kept is safe, as well as whether the people put in charge of their safekeeping are suitable and reliable, whether they would misappropriate the offerings, and whether they are safekeeping the offerings in accordance with the principles. They will first consider these things. As for sensitive information such as the quantity of the offerings and passwords, people without greed—decent and honorable people—would keep clear of this. But a person who is greedy wouldn’t avoid it, they will employ the guise of: “I am the leader. Shouldn’t I take over every aspect of the work? Everything else has been handed over to me, why haven’t the offerings?” Using the power they have, they will want to assume control of the church’s finances under this pretext. That’s a problem. They won’t be doing their work or fulfilling their responsibilities properly, nor will they be managing the church’s finances in accordance with normal procedures and principles. Instead, they will have plans of their own for them. Anyone capable of thinking like a normal human being can see this. As soon as this leader started doing this, someone reported it and he was stopped. Afterward, that person made a report to Me, asking if it was right to do this, and I said that it was. This is called protecting the interests of the house of God; that information cannot be given to such a man. Wishing to control the money of God’s house first without having done a lick of work—isn’t this a bit like the great red dragon? When the great red dragon arrests the brothers and sisters, the first thing it does is not to beat them, for fear that they won’t be able to speak clearly after being beaten senseless—it first asks where the church’s money is being kept, who is safekeeping it, and how much there is. Only then will it ask who the church’s leaders are. Its aim is simply to grab money. What this leader did and what the great red dragon does are the same in nature. He didn’t inquire into any of the work, or take on a burden for a single thing, and he only paid attention to the finances—isn’t this being vile? The actions of this vile person were so obvious! Before his status was even secure, he wanted to grab the money. Wasn’t he in too much of a rush? Little did he know that others had come to discern him, and he was soon dismissed. When it comes to this kind of person, who behaves in such an obvious manner, you must remember this: Make haste to dismiss them. There’s no need to discern anything else about this kind of person, such as their dispositions, humanity, education, family background, the length of time they have believed in God, whether or not they have a foundation, what their life experiences are like—you don’t need to discern any of these things, this one thing alone is enough to determine that such a person is an antichrist. You should all join together to dismiss and remove this person. You don’t need them as a leader. Why? If you allow them to lead you, they will squander however much money the church has, and misappropriate it all, and then the church’s work will grind to a halt and be impossible to carry out. If you encounter this kind of person, who is fixated on grabbing money, whose attention is always unshakably fixed on wealth, and who is covetous, and if the signs of their true nature have yet to emerge, and everyone has elected them in a muddleheaded way, thinking that they have some gifts, that they’re competent in their work, that they’re capable of leading everyone to enter into the truth reality, not expecting that as soon as they become a leader, they’ll start stuffing the money into their own pockets, then you should hurry up and knock them down from their position. This is absolutely the right thing to do. Afterward you can elect someone else. The church is not going to fall apart if it’s without a leader for one day. God’s chosen people believe in God, not in any particular leader. Tell Me, are there times when the brothers and sisters have a lapse in judgment? Before this person became a leader, there was no way to tell that he was greedy. In his interactions with others, he didn’t try to take advantage, he spent his own money when buying things, and he even gave alms. Yet, the first thing he did upon becoming a leader was to exact information about church finances. Most people cannot suppress this kind of wicked urge—it’s quite unbelievable! How could he have changed overnight? It isn’t that he changed overnight, but that he simply was that kind of creature to begin with, the only difference being that, previously, he was not in circumstances that would reveal him, and now he has been revealed by this situation. Since this person has been revealed, why would you still be merciful to him? Just give him a good kick to propel him out of here, the farther away the better! Do you dare do this? (Yes.) When it comes to any person who keeps hatching plans regarding the church property, do not elect them when you have not understood them through and through. If, in a moment of ignorance, you do elect them without having understood them thoroughly, and then discover that they are an avaricious creature and a Judas, you should hurry up to kick them out and clear them out. Don’t be merciful, and don’t hesitate. There are those who say: “Even though that person is greedy, they’re fine in all other respects. They can guide people toward an understanding of God’s word, and they can get people to do their duties normally.” But they’re only like this for a moment. As time goes on, they won’t be like this anymore. It’ll be no more than a few days before the demonic face of theirs becomes apparent. All the manifestations and dispositions of antichrists that we have fellowshipped on in the past will, little by little, be revealed in them. By that time won’t it be too late to dismiss them? The work of the church will already have suffered. If you don’t believe what I have said, and you hesitate, don’t start sniveling when you have regrets. First look at how a person treats offerings: This is the simplest strategy, as well as the most direct and straightforward one to see through to whether a person has the essence of antichrists. With the subjects we fellowshipped on in the past, we had to identify the dispositions of antichrists through some manifestations, revelations, perspectives, words, and actions, and see whether they had the essence of antichrists based on their dispositions. On this one issue alone, there is no need to do these things: It is direct and straightforward, simple, and requires less effort and time. So long as a person displays this manifestation—constantly wishing to prioritize their possession of offerings or forcibly seizing offerings—then you can be certain that they are, one hundred percent, an antichrist. They can be classified as an antichrist, and they cannot serve as a leader, but must be dismissed and rejected by the brothers and sisters.

We have just fellowshipped on the manifestations of antichrists prioritizing their possession and use of offerings, and used this to expound and dissect the dispositions and essence expressed by antichrists in their attempt to control the finances of the church. This is the first item. Possession and use—these are the most preliminary and basic approaches of antichrists when it comes to the church’s property. In this item, we did not fellowship in a concrete manner on how antichrists possess and use the church’s property. We will go into more concrete detail in the next item, which is antichrists squandering, embezzling, lending, fraudulently using, and stealing offerings.

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