Item Five: They Mislead, Draw In, Threaten, and Control People (Section Two)

A Dissection of How Antichrists Mislead, Draw In, Threaten, and Control People

I. A Dissection of How Antichrists Mislead People

At the last gathering, we completed our fellowship on the fourth item of the various manifestations of antichrists. Today, we will begin fellowshipping on item five: how antichrists mislead, draw in, threaten, and control people. There are four verbs involved in this aspect of the manifestations of antichrists, and from these four verbs and the behavior of antichrists, we can see their dispositions. The first verb is “mislead.” What kind of disposition is contained within this? It’s wickedness. Now, what about “draw in”? Does drawing in usually employ pleasant or unpleasant words? (Pleasant words.) So, what kind of disposition governs this behavior? Wickedness. What about “threaten” and “control”—what disposition governs these? (Viciousness.) That’s right, viciousness. From item five, we can see the dispositions of antichrists. What are the primary manifestations of antichrists in this item? (Wickedness and viciousness.) These two dispositions of wickedness and viciousness are both very prominent and evident. Let’s discuss these behaviors one by one, starting with “mislead.” What does the term “mislead” generally mean? Does it involve any manifestations of honesty? Are there any honest words in it? (No.) There are no honest words in it—it’s all false, it’s using false impressions, false statements, and deceptive words to make others believe that what one says is correct, thereby making others acknowledge and trust them. This is what is meant by “mislead.” Do those who are misled gain the truth or embark on the right path? They accomplish neither of these things. The behavior and practice of misleading people is definitely negative rather than positive. Those who are misled have essentially been duped; they don’t understand the actual facts, the real situation, or the true context, and then they choose the wrong path and direction, and the wrong person to follow. This is the effect that misleading has on those who fall for it. It’s like the advertisements in a shopping mall: They are very well-written, and when people see them, they take them at face value, but after making their purchases, they find the products to be useless. That is being duped. So, what is the purpose behind antichrists behaving in a way that misleads people? What methods do they use, what words do they say, and what things do they do to mislead people? Let’s first talk about their purpose. If they had no purpose at all, would they need to put in effort or say pleasant things to draw in and mislead people? There is a saying among nonbelievers, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” If you can’t see through this, then you’ll get duped. The world is just this wicked, people scheme against each other and abuse one another. This is the life of corrupt humanity. Why do antichrists put effort into speaking in a roundabout way to mislead people? They speak and act with a clear purpose, which is to vie for power and control over people—this is without a doubt. Their objectives are no different from those of politicians. So, what strategies do antichrists use to mislead people? How do they do it? First, they make you like them. Once you have a favorable impression of them, you won’t guard against them anymore: You’ll trust them, and then you’ll accept their leadership and willingly submit to them. You will be willing to listen to whatever they say and whatever they ask you to do. What does this willingness to listen mean? It means not practicing discernment, and obeying and submitting without principles. Can antichrists achieve the effect of misleading people by using words or methods of condemnation? Absolutely not. So, what methods do they usually employ in order to achieve this effect? Most of the time, they use words that align with human notions as well as doctrines of human sentiment. Sometimes they also speak some words and doctrines that align with the truth. This makes it easy for them to achieve their goal of misleading people, and people are also likely to accept them. For example, when brothers and sisters do something wrong, causing losses to the church’s work, and they feel negative and weak, antichrists don’t fellowship the truth to support and help them. Instead, they say, “It’s a common occurrence for people to be weak—it’s normal. I am often weak too. God doesn’t remember these things.” In reality, do they know if God remembers these things or not? No, they don’t. They say, “It doesn’t matter that this matter wasn’t handled properly. Just correct it next time. God’s house doesn’t know, and no one is making inquiries into it. As long as I don’t report it higher up, the upper leadership won’t know about it, and the Above certainly won’t know, and then God won’t know either—therefore, God won’t pay attention to this matter. We are all corrupt people; you have corruption, and so do I. As a leader, I’m like a parent: Whatever mistakes you make are my responsibility. It’s my fault for having small stature and not being able to support and help you, which led to you doing things wrong. If I had greater stature, I could have helped you, and you wouldn’t have made a mistake. The responsibility for this matter lies with me. While this may have caused some losses to the church’s work, we can process this ourselves, and that will be the end of the matter. No one should make inquiries into this matter, and no one should report it higher up; let’s just keep it between you and me. If I don’t mention it to the other brothers and sisters, no one will report this to the higher-ups, and the matter will be dropped. We just need to pray and swear an oath before God that we will never do something like this or make a mistake like this again. As a leader, I have a responsibility to protect you. God is so lofty—is it realistic for us to ask for His protection? Besides, God doesn’t bother with these trivial matters in people’s lives, so the responsibility of protecting you falls implicitly on my shoulders as a leader. You have small stature, so I’ll take the blame if you make a mistake. Don’t worry, if the time comes that something really goes wrong, and the Above finds out or learns of it, I’ll stand up for you.” When people hear this, they think, “This is great! I was so worried about taking responsibility—this leader is so wonderful!” Haven’t they been misled? Is there anything in what the antichrists said that is in line with the truth? Is there anything that is beneficial or edifying to people? Is there anything that handles matters based on principles? (No.) So, what kind of words are these? They are words that use human sentiments, empathy, and forgiveness to build connections, placing an emphasis on feelings and friendship, to take the relationship to a certain level, making people feel that the antichrists are particularly understanding, particularly forgiving and tolerant of people. But there are no principles or truths in this. What is this surface-level understanding? It’s just glossing things over, it’s like coaxing a child. What strategies are being used here? Coaxing, tricking, building connections, glossing things over, and pretending to be a good person, all at the expense of the interests of the brothers and sisters, and selling out the interests of God’s house, to achieve their goal of fooling and misleading people. What is the ultimate consequence of this? It makes people distance themselves from God, be on guard against God, and grow closer to the antichrists. Even after being misled, these people say, “After I made that mistake, I was so worried. I prayed to God many times, but He didn’t comfort me. I felt unsteady and uneasy in my heart, and I couldn’t find a resolution from God. But now it’s okay; as long as I go to the leader, all my problems get solved. I’m really quite lucky to have such a leader. Our leader is better than anyone else!” At this point, their hearts and viewpoints have already shifted toward the antichrists, and they have been controlled by them. How can they be controlled by antichrists? Because they find a sense of security in these antichrists. They receive empathy, and deep in their hearts they receive satisfaction and comfort. This shows that they have been misled.

In the past, the Above discovered that there was someone with bad humanity in a certain church, who was constantly doing disturbing and disruptive things without any sign of repentance, so they told the local church leader to cleanse this person away. When the local church leader heard this, he thought, “Cleanse him away? I need to think about it. He’s one of mine—you can’t cleanse him away just like that. I have to stand up for him. The Above doesn’t understand the true state of affairs. Trying to cleanse him away just like that is really going too far. He would be so heartbroken!” He verbally agreed to cleanse the person away, but in his heart, he had no intention of doing so. Can you guess how he handled this? He pondered on it, “How do I answer to this situation in a way that the people below are satisfied with me as their leader and the Above doesn’t detest me?” After thinking it over, he came up with a plan. He called everyone together for a gathering and said, “Today, we have a special matter to deal with. What is it? There’s someone whom the Above isn’t very satisfied with, and they want to cleanse him away. So, what should we do about it? Let’s all decide whether to cleanse him away or not by voting.” The voting results were tallied, and about 80–90% of the people had agreed to cleanse the person away, but there were a few dissenting votes. We won’t speak about whether these dissenters were diehard followers of the evil person or whether they did it for other reasons, in any case, some people disagreed, and the opinion was not unanimous. Then the leader said, “Through the vote, I’ve noticed that there are differing voices. This is a significant matter, and we must respect these voices. We need to practice democracy. Look how great the Western democratic system is: We must also practice like that in the church, we must strive to the best of our abilities to achieve democracy and human rights. Now, since there are a few opposing votes, we can’t cleanse this person away. We must respect the opinions of our brothers and sisters. Who are the brothers and sisters? They are God’s chosen people! We can’t ignore their opinions. Even if just one of God’s chosen people disagrees, we cannot proceed with the cleansing.” In reality, what he said had no basis, God has never said such things. He was just speaking nonsense. Later, when the Above discovered that the evil person still hadn’t been cleansed away, they asked the local leader to hurry along with it. He promised, saying, “Alright, it’ll be done soon.” What did his promise mean? It meant he would stall. He thought, “You’re asking me to cleanse him away, but I can’t do it right away. Who knows, if enough time passes, maybe you’ll forget about it, and I won’t have to cleanse him away.” Later, he called everyone together for another gathering and another vote. Through fellowship and discernment, it became clear to everyone that the person indeed needed to be cleansed away. The opposing votes diminished, but there was still one vote against cleansing him away. Again the leader did not cleanse him away, saying, “As long as there’s one vote against it, we can’t cleanse him away.” Most people thought, “If the Above ordered the cleansing, then remove him. Surely the Above can see through this matter? Surely they haven’t made a mistake?” Is submitting to the Above’s arrangements a principle? Is it the truth? (Yes.) This leader didn’t know that this was the truth. What did he do? He said, “There’s still one vote against it, so we can’t cleanse him away. We must absolutely respect the opinions of our brothers and sisters. This is what’s called the highest human right.” Later, when the Above inquired about the matter again, the leader continued to deal with them in a perfunctory way and kept stalling. Eventually, when the Above saw that he wasn’t cleansing the evil person away, they dismissed and cleansed him away too. The Above made him a leader, and he didn’t listen to them; the Above has the authority to use him and to dismiss him—this is an administrative decree. Following this, his allies were cleansed away as well. Do the arrangements of the Above need to be voted through by everyone? (No.) Why not? You can’t explain why; it seems you’re quite similar to that muddled leader, isn’t that the case? Tell Me, are these words I’m fellowshipping to you doctrines or realities? (Realities.) If people practice and implement them, will it be accurate? (Yes.) If it’s accurate, is it necessary for everyone to cast a ballot and vote on it? (No.) Could the Above wrong someone by ordering that they be cleansed away? Absolutely not. So, when the Above ordered the cleansing of this evil person, and this leader refused to carry it out, what was the problem here? (Open defiance.) It’s more than just open defiance, it’s creating an independent kingdom. When the Above ordered the cleansing of the evil person, this false leader stalled and didn’t carry it out, and he even held a vote and surveyed public opinion. What public opinion was he surveying? What is public opinion? What are the majority? Do the majority of people understand or possess the truth? (No.) If the majority of people don’t even possess discernment, can they be people who understand the truth? This leader even surveyed public opinion—can that really solve any problem? Is it necessary? The majority of people lack discernment, and the Above personally oversaw and ordered the cleansing of the evil person, but this antichrist stalled and did not cleanse him away, sheltering and shielding an evil person, allowing him to stay in the church and cause disturbances. Wherever evil people exist, there is chaos and a lack of order. God’s chosen people can’t do their duties normally, and the church’s work can’t progress normally. Only promptly cleansing evil people away can ensure that the church’s work proceeds normally. However, in places where antichrists hold power, those who harm the interests of God’s house, cause disturbances, act in an unreasonable manner, and do their duties without the least bit of sincerity, cannot be cleansed away. Antichrists run amok doing evil in the church, sheltering and shielding those evil people and disbelievers. Under what pretext do they do this? Under the pretext that they are officials, so they must be the masters of other people. They fashion themselves as officials in God’s house, and they want to be the masters of other people. Tell Me, who is the master of man? (God.) God and the truth are the Master of man. Those antichrists are nothing! They want to be the masters of these people, but they don’t even know who their master is! Aren’t they scoundrels? Antichrists use this method to tell people: “I can be your master. If you have any grievances, any discontent, or if you’ve suffered any injustice or hardship, I, as your leader, can straighten it out for you.” Those who don’t understand the truth or the actual facts are then misled by those antichrists. They treat them as bosses and God to follow and worship. How do those who understand the truth feel when they encounter such antichrists? They feel disgusted and detest them, saying, “So you want to be our master and control us? Not on your life! We chose you as our leader so that you would lead us before God, not before yourself.” This means they have seen through the antichrists’ schemes. Antichrists mislead people under the pretext of being their masters, making them think that this is in line with their needs, whether they be emotional, psychological, spiritual, or other needs. Those who don’t understand the truth or the actual facts frequently fall victim to the misleading of antichrists, to the extent that after being misled, they may not only be unable to turn back and reflect, but might even speak up for those antichrists and defend them. The fact that they can speak up for and defend antichrists sufficiently demonstrates that they’ve truly been misled—is this not the case? (It is.) Why do people believe in God? Isn’t it to attain salvation? If you follow antichrists, aren’t you resisting God and betraying Him? Aren’t you standing on the side of forces that are hostile toward God? In that case, will God still want you? If you nominally follow God, yet you follow a person, how will God view you and approach you? If you reject God, will He not spurn you? If people don’t even understand this little bit of doctrine, can they understand the truth? Are these people not muddleheaded?

It isn’t an occasional manifestation for antichrists to mislead people; they do this often, it is their consistent acting principle, or one might say it’s their basis, method, and way of doing things—it’s the consistent style of their actions. Otherwise, who would look up to them? First off, they don’t understand the truth. Secondly, they have bad humanity. Thirdly, they also lack a God-fearing heart. So how are they able to make people concede to them fully, look up to them, and admire them? They rely on various means and methods to show off, making people look up to and worship them. They use these methods to mislead people, giving them certain false impressions, making them see that they are spiritual, they love God, they pay the price, they often say the right words and present the right theories, and they safeguard the interests of brothers and sisters. Then, they use these false impressions to generate a sense of respect and admiration in people, achieving their goal of being able to mislead people and make them follow. When they mislead people like this, are the things they do in line with the truth? Although they say everything right, it definitely does not align with the truth. Those without discernment can’t see the problem. Regarding the essence of misleading people, their actions make it difficult for people to see that they are not in line with the truth. If this could be seen, wouldn’t people spot their fraud? In reality, what they do and what they reveal is a false spirituality. So, what is the manifestation of false spirituality? Many of the behaviors, actions, and sayings belonging to false spirituality seem right, but they’re actually just outward actions, and have nothing to do with practicing the truth. Just like the Pharisees who resisted the Lord Jesus: They held the Scriptures in their hands and prayed loudly at street corners, saying “Oh my Lord…,” showing people their piety. As a result, nowadays “Pharisee” has become an alternative term for people who are hypocritical. Which adjective goes before Pharisee? Hypocritical. In fact, without saying “hypocritical,” nowadays you only need to say the word “Pharisee” to make it clear that it is not a positive term—it’s the same as “scoundrel” or “devil” and carries the same meaning. Speaking of false spirituality, nowadays, not many people talk about spirituality, and whenever someone mentions spirituality, what do they add before it? (False.) Right, false. The manifestation of antichrists misleading people many times is actually a manifestation of false spirituality. The words, actions, and behaviors associated with false spirituality often seem quite good, quite devout, and in line with the truth. When they see someone is weak, they forget their meal and rush to support them. When they see that someone has a situation at home, they neglect their own affairs and hurry to help them. However, their help consists of saying certain right words or pleasant-sounding and sympathetic words, but after so much talking, the other person’s actual issues are anything but resolved. What is the purpose of their acting like this then? People are especially moved by their behavior, and they feel that having a leader like this to rely on in times of need is wonderful—they are truly happy. Therefore, it can be said that antichrists not only use words to mislead people, but at the same time they also employ various behaviors to mislead them, in order to make people believe that they are highly spiritual, remarkable, and worthy of their trust and reliance. Some might even think, “Believing in God feels a bit too abstract, but believing in our leader is practical. It’s so real and true: You can touch them and see them, and when you’re dealing with things you can ask them and talk to them directly. How wonderful is that!” In achieving such results, the antichrists have reached their objectives, but those whom they misled end up miserable. After being misled by antichrists for a period of time, when these people come before God again, they no longer know how to pray or open their hearts to Him. Moreover, when these people get together, they flatter each other, pretend to be spiritual, and mislead and trick one another. In the end, the antichrists even claim, “Every single brother and sister in our church loves God. When faced with issues, every one of them rises to the occasion—even if they were arrested by the great red dragon, they could all stand firm in their witness. There wouldn’t be a single Judas among us—I guarantee it!” As it turned out, when they got arrested, most of them turned into Judas. Aren’t they a bunch of scoundrels? The antichrists use these empty words and slogans to fool, mislead, and cheat the brothers and sisters. Most people are foolish and ignorant, lacking discernment, and allow the antichrists to behave wantonly. The work arrangements from the Above have long emphasized how to handle circumstances when they arise and what work to do, with the goal of ensuring that all God’s chosen people can do their duties in a secure environment. In the event of arrests and persecution, the losses should be minimized as much as possible. If all God’s chosen people are arrested and go to jail, losing their church life entirely, does this not lead to a deficit in their life entry? Without being able to eat and drink God’s words in prison, can one’s life mature? They can only remember a few words of hymns, and every day their life depends on those few words. When they pray at night, they can only do it silently in their hearts, and they dare not move their lips. The only thing left in their hearts is thoughts like, “Don’t sell out, don’t be a Judas, stand firm in testimony to God and glorify Him, don’t disgrace Him,” there is nothing else—people only have that little bit of stature. The antichrists do not consider these things. Why are they called antichrists? They abuse others and harm the brothers and sisters without blinking an eye! The work arrangements from the Above require people to do their duties within a secure context and avoid accidents as much as possible, but antichrists don’t follow these work arrangements when they do their jobs. They shout and act blindly according to their own wills, disregarding safety. Some foolish individuals lack discernment and think, “Why does the Above always bring up safety? Why are they so afraid of accidents? What is there to fear? Everything is in God’s hands!” Isn’t it foolish to say such things? Your stature may be small, you may lack understanding, and you may not be able to see through matters, but you can’t act foolishly! The Above has arranged how people should gather under certain circumstances, and what principles they should follow—what are all these detailed arrangements for? They are precisely to protect God’s chosen people, so that they can gather and do their duties in a normal and safe manner. Safety allows you to continue believing in God, to live your church life and eat and drink God’s words normally. If even your safety is lost, if you are arrested by the great red dragon, and in prison you can’t hear or read God’s words, you can’t sing hymns, and you have no gatherings—how can you still believe in God? You might just become a believer in name only. Antichrists don’t care about these matters; they don’t care about people’s life and death. For the sake of satisfying their own ambitions and desires, they encourage everyone to rise up and shout blindly, “We do not fear the circumstances—we have God!” Those who are foolish don’t understand anything and are misled by these words. Everybody has vague and hollow thoughts, thinking, “We believe in God, and God protects us; if something happens to us, it is with God’s permission.” Are these not empty words? This is how antichrists and those who don’t understand the truth act. While brothers and sisters may not understand, as leaders who often fellowship the work arrangements, you shouldn’t be ignorant of these matters. You must carry out the work according to the work arrangements and not always want to talk so much in order to satisfy your ambitions and desires, even thinking that the more people there are listening to you, the better, and the more there are the more enthusiastic your speech becomes. In order to win over those beneath them and make them listen to their direction, antichrists gather these people together in their free time, without any consideration for the safety of the environment, ultimately leading these people to their downfall.

Antichrists are skilled at saying grand things and using certain empty, falsely spiritual, and theoretical bases to mislead people. Many who lack discernment just listen to them, and they obey the antichrists however they manipulate them, resulting in trouble and arrest. How can these troubles arise? Some might say it’s because God didn’t protect them. But isn’t that complaining about God? The blame for this matter can’t be placed on God. God allows people to experience His work in various circumstances. If you carry out your practice according to the principles based on the work arrangements, and when the environment permits, no matter how many people gather together, you can eat and drink God’s words normally, experience God’s work, and do the duties you should, then God will lead you and carry out His work in you. If you go against the requirements from the Above and act blindly according to your own will, and something happens, that is just foolishness and ignorance. God doesn’t intend to put everyone in prison to refine them. His intention is for each person to properly eat and drink His words and experience His work. However, antichrists don’t understand this. They believe in their own logic, thinking that with God’s protection, there’s nothing to fear. They have no understanding of the principles of God’s protection and blindly follow the regulations, always defining God. Many people are misled by them and act blindly along with them, ignoring the arrangements from the Above, and as a result, something happens and they get arrested and endure torture in prison. What kind of stature do these people have when trouble arises? They just have a bit of enthusiasm, they understand a bit of doctrine, and can shout a few slogans, but they have no knowledge of God at all, they have no genuine understanding, knowledge, or experience of the truth, and no understanding of how God works to save people. They simply rely on enthusiasm to follow God and have a bit of determination. Can people with this kind of stature give a testimony when they’re arrested and put in jail? Absolutely not. As soon as they sell out, what are the consequences? They start thinking, “Isn’t God almighty? Everything is in His hands, so why doesn’t He save me? Why does He allow me to suffer like this? Is there even a God? Is it possible we were wrong to have so much enthusiasm? If our leaders have led us astray, then why doesn’t God discipline them? Why did God bring us here? Why did He allow us to face such a circumstance?” Blame starts to surface, followed closely by a denial of God: “God’s actions do not align with the will of man. His actions may not always be right, and He may not necessarily be the truth.” In the end, having suffered much and endured it for a period of time, even the little doctrine they knew and the tiny zeal they had disappear. They deny God and lose their faith, even becoming a Judas. After being released from prison, they even think, “Now I don’t ever need to worry about circumstances again. Look at how good those who don’t believe in God have it: They have so much freedom there on the outside. What are we doing believing in secret? If the country forbids belief, just stop believing.” Can such people still believe in God later? (No, they can’t.) Why can’t they? God doesn’t want them anymore. God chooses you only once, and you’ve already lost your chance, so God won’t want you a second time. What’s the hope for such people to attain salvation? It’s zero, there’s no hope left. This is the consequence that antichrists ultimately bring about by behaving wantonly and using certain falsely spiritual theories to mislead people, causing them to pursue outward spirituality and zeal. What is the consequence? (They are ruined.) Whether God saves them or not is God’s business, but at least for now, it seems that when people’s path of faith in God reaches this point, their prospects and destination are basically ruined. When it all comes down to it, who caused this? It’s the antichrists who caused it. If they didn’t act so blindly but acted in accordance with the work arrangements, leading the brothers and sisters according to the requirements from the Above, and bringing everyone before God, these things wouldn’t have happened. Would there still have been hope for these people to be saved? (Yes.) These people would still have the hope of salvation. Because the ambitions and desires of antichrists are severely enlarged, if no one is there to safeguard them and listen to them, they feel that life is boring and dull. They treat those muddlers who follow them as cannon fodder and toys to manipulate, making them all follow their lead. They feel that they are capable and possess pleasures, and this life is worth living. In order to satisfy their ambitions and desires, they use these so-called spiritual and pleasant-sounding words to mislead those who follow them, and after they have been misled, making them deviate from the true way and from God’s words, distance themselves from God to follow them, and take the path of the antichrists. What is the ultimate result? The prospects and destination of these people are ruined, and they lose their chance of salvation. What are the consequences when people don’t believe in God properly but follow other people? Do you still envy anyone who seems spiritual? (No, we don’t.) What about the term “spiritual”? It’s hollow. People are of the flesh—they are created beings. If you were truly spiritual, then your flesh would no longer exist, and how spiritual would you be then? Isn’t that just empty talk? So, you see, the term “spiritual” itself doesn’t stand up; it’s just empty talk. In the future, if you hear someone saying they’re pursuing spirituality, tell them, “You should pursue being an honest person and living before God—that’s more realistic. If you pursue spirituality, that’s a dead end! Don’t ever pursue spirituality; it’s not something people pursue—it simply doesn’t stand up.” Tell Me, after believing in God for many years, who has become a spiritual person? Those famous figures and Bible expositors of religion, are they spiritual? They are all hypocrites, not one of them is spiritual. The people who invented the term “spiritual” are using this empty word to mislead others. They are scoundrels and devils. What kind of person can say such empty things? Do they have spiritual understanding? (No, they do not.) If you can’t even understand what people should pursue when they believe in God or what they should belong to, can you understand the truth? You are inherently a created being, a member of the humanity that has been corrupted by Satan. If you want to talk about belonging to something, then you belong to the flesh—that is the attribute of humans. Of course, if you seek to be of flesh, you belong to Satan: That is walking the path of the world. People who believe in God should pursue the truth—that is correct. If people seek to be spiritual or of God, is this something they can measure up to? No matter how they pursue it, it’s useless. This is not the right path for believing in God. Therefore, seeking to be spiritual or of God is just a slogan, a falsely spiritual theory, unrelated to the truth. If you believe in God and follow God, you should properly fulfill your duty as a created being, and be able to submit to God and satisfy Him. This is the truth reality.

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