Item Fourteen: They Treat the House of God Like Their Own Personal Domain (Section Three)

II. Antichrists Manipulate Circumstances

Earlier, we fellowshipped about the first manifestation of antichrists treating the house of God like their own personal domain: monopolizing power. With regard to monopolizing power, we primarily fellowshipped the specific content of how antichrists obtain power, how they stabilize their status after obtaining it and further consolidate that power, and ultimately, how they wield that power. Besides monopolizing power, the second concrete practice of antichrists treating the house of God like their own personal domain is manipulating circumstances. The literal sense of manipulating circumstances should be easy to understand, so what do the “circumstances” refer to? After an antichrist has monopolized power, established his own domain, and amassed his own diehard followers, cronies, and sphere of influence, can he allow others to meddle in his work? Can he permit others to get involved or meddle in the affairs and sphere of influence he oversees? (He does not permit this.) To an antichrist, power is his life. Within his sphere of influence, everything must be dictated by him. Regardless of what happens within his sphere of influence, the people and matters involved, as well as the final outcome of the matters, must all be engineered and controlled by him. It must align with his wishes and meet his needs, without causing him any losses. For instance, if he doesn’t interfere, meddle in, or manipulate a certain matter, but lets it develop normally on its own, then he might be given a bad reputation or be reported by someone and face dismissal, in which case his status might be jeopardized and the power he possesses could then disappear. Therefore, for all kinds of matters, large and small, that happen within the church, the antichrist must handle them on his own. These matters involve his reputation and status, as well as his power. As for matters unrelated to his power, he may choose to not look into them or to turn a blind eye. Especially regarding the work of God’s house, the life entry of the brothers and sisters, the church life, and such various matters, as long as these do not touch his status and power and as long as they don’t involve his interactions with the Above, he doesn’t bother about, look into, or concern himself with them. For example, the monthly number of people gained by the gospel team is crucial to him because it impacts his status. If the reported number each month can ensure his status, he will go to great lengths to achieve that figure in order to safeguard his status while other matters remain irrelevant to him. For example, let’s say that the area he oversees should gain one hundred people in a month under normal circumstances. However, if due to the environment not allowing it, special situations happening that month, or some people still being in their investigation period, the number of people gained falls short of one hundred, then the antichrist puts effort into this matter and grows anxious. What is he anxious about? Does he feel burdened and anxious because he sees that the expansion of God’s gospel is not going smoothly? Is it that those spreading the gospel lack a sense of burden and are perfunctory, and he is worried about how to water them and resolve it? Or is it a concern about not having enough manpower to spread the gospel, and how he should adjust and increase it? No, he is not anxious about these things. He is anxious about how to raise that number to one hundred without the Above discovering his underhanded methods. If the actual number is only eighty instead of a hundred and he truthfully reports it, the Above might send somebody to investigate and learn more about the situation, so how can he report the number so that the Above won’t react? He reports ninety-eight people. Somebody says, “You can’t falsify like this; this is cheating, it’s unacceptable.” He responds, “It’s fine. I call the shots; if anything happens, I’ll take responsibility for it.” Why did he report this particular number? Is there some deeper meaning behind it? Did he consider it carefully? He did. Reporting one hundred people when the actual number is only eighty is too large a discrepancy, making it hard to patch up the lie later. However, if he reports ninety-eight, although the Above will see that it’s below one hundred, it seems like a legitimate number and won’t prompt inspection from the Above, which ensures the security of his status. Sometimes, if he gains one hundred people, he dares to report two hundred, and if the Above sends someone to investigate, he has ways of handling it. He claims the extra one hundred are currently investigating and will be gained next month. If the Above sends no one to inspect this, he then finds a way to show off his contributions. Sometimes, if he hasn’t gained a single person in a month, he even falsely reports gaining thirty or fifty people, then figures out a way to make up for it the next month. In short, when it comes to reporting the numbers of people gained through spreading the gospel, the antichrist can falsify them, lie about them, cheat, and use underhanded methods. How a figure is reported, and what figure to report, are directly instructed by the antichrist. Isn’t this manipulating circumstances?

The antichrist utilizes his status and power to consistently interfere with and disturb God’s chosen people’s performance of their duties. He suppresses and excludes anyone who operates based on principles and is effective in doing their duty. What is his purpose in acting this way? It is to manipulate circumstances; he asserts total control, subduing those below him and hoodwinking the Above. What is his aim in manipulating circumstances? It is to prevent the truth from being revealed, to keep people from knowing the truth, to cheat the Above, to conceal the actual situation of his work below, and to conceal whether or not he did any actual work and how he did his work. His aim in manipulating circumstances is to cover up the facts, shield the truth, and conceal his evil intentions, and also to hide his evil deeds, his wildly defiant actions, and the truth about how he does not and cannot do any actual work, among other things. For example, when the house of God needs a certain amount of money and inquires about how many offerings his church keeps, the antichrist first asks how much God’s house needs. If you say you need a few thousand, he claims to have only a few hundred; if you say you need tens of thousands, he says he has only a few thousand. In reality, he is holding tens of thousands of yuan in church offerings and is unwilling to let go of it. Is he not harboring evil intentions? What does he want to do? He wants to seize these offerings for his own use. Does this count as manipulating circumstances? (Yes.) The antichrist manipulates circumstances to the extent of not even letting go of offerings. If you ask whether his church has anyone skilled in writing, music, or video production, he might say, “We have someone skilled in writing who is seventy-eight years old, a former journalist with a severe stomach condition.” In reality, this person is only in their thirties, in the prime of their life, and not suffering from any serious stomach ailment. Why doesn’t the antichrist loosen his grip? Why does he provide false information? He wishes to manipulate circumstances. He believes that letting go of such talent would affect his rule; he also wants to retain these talented individuals. Do these talented people really belong to him? (No.) Then why doesn’t he let go of them? Why doesn’t he provide these skilled people when the work of God’s house needs them and even go so far as to falsify information? He wants to mislead people in order to secure his status—he is indeed manipulating circumstances. He doesn’t ask if the parties involved are willing to do these duties, nor does he truthfully present these people’s circumstances to the house of God. Instead, he keeps them for his own use, or if he doesn’t use them, he still withholds them from the house of God. For instance, if the house of God needs a video producer from the church, the antichrist sees this and thinks, “Providing someone skilled in producing videos—could I let such a good opportunity pass me by? Every miller draws water to his own mill: My daughter, son, and a few relatives understand a few things about video production, so I’ll provide them regardless of whether or not they meet the demands of God’s house.” When faced with a good opportunity such as providing people, he gives precedence to his relatives and friends, leaving nothing for outsiders. Isn’t this manipulating circumstances?

Based on the examples mentioned above, what exactly does the antichrist manipulating circumstances refer to? Does it not mean that the antichrist asserts complete dominance, controlling and manipulating everyone and everything? Everything is in his hands, and he has the final say in everything; he is the one controlling the board, directing and manipulating from behind the scenes. This is manipulating circumstances. When the Above sends somebody to his church to understand the situation, and this person wishes to talk to a few people and see how the brothers and sisters are getting on in their life entry and the performance of their duties, and to check if materials such as the books of God’s words and sermon recordings have been distributed to every one of God’s chosen people, the antichrist says, “No problem, I’ll take you to two of the brothers’ and sisters’ homes.” Who are these two people? Are they not both people in the antichrist’s domain? (Yes, they are.) These two people are his younger sister and his wife’s younger brother. After taking the person sent from the Above to these two homes, these two people say, “Our church life is great, and we have all kinds of sermons and fellowships and testimony videos. Our church leader has been away for quite a few days for the church’s work and hasn’t returned home.” No matter who goes to his church, they can’t even grasp the slightest bit of the real situation. The antichrist covers up everything about the true situation in the church, the problems that have arisen, the evil people causing disruptions and disturbances, who is doing their duties in a perfunctory manner, which tasks have experienced slip-ups, and so on. What you see when you go there are merely scenes that look pleasing—it’s all a false appearance. There is only one thing of note: If the person sent from the Above inquires about whether there is an appropriate place to store church offerings and whether some of the offerings need to be taken away, the antichrist hastens to state that the church offerings don’t amount to much. With regard to all other work, he speaks positively, except for the situation involving offerings—he shuts down the conversation before the person can speak. The antichrist controls church personnel who are suitable for doing all sorts of duties, while offering some of the people whom they are fond of or those who do not meet the conditions to do a duty in God’s house, especially certain people with bad humanity and in whom an evil spirit is working, or others who fundamentally lack spiritual understanding, whose humanity is abominable, who do their duties in a perfunctory manner, who lack a foundation in their faith in God, and who are just like nonbelievers. Apart from doing their duty in a perfunctory manner, these people also cause disturbances and disruptions and engage in unruly behavior, and some cannot endure hardship and want to leave God’s house. Some even spread rumors and propagate notions, and others do not do their duties properly, spending their days watching television dramas or a bunch of other nonsensical videos. And what happens in the end? Some of these people are sent away. Among those who are sent away, more than ninety-five percent have bad humanity. How bad is their humanity? Extremely bad—they lack humanity, and some do not believe in God at all. Where did these people come from? Weren’t they all provided by the church? Since they were provided by the church, there must be a problem with the people who provided them. It can’t be ruled out that some of these people could be antichrists, and that the individuals provided could be antichrists’ relatives, cronies, or diehard followers. Isn’t this the case? Can someone who truly has humanity and has a bit of conscience treat the important matter of providing talented individuals with care? Can they be a little bit responsible? Can they eliminate some of their selfish motives? Someone with humanity and a conscience can absolutely achieve this, and there’s only one type of person who cannot, which is antichrists. They want to hoard all good things for themselves, and they categorically reject and refuse to cooperate with anything that is not advantageous to them—such are antichrists.

There’s an even more disgusting aspect of antichrists’ manipulating circumstances aside from them always wanting to assert total control and dictate matters in the church. Can antichrists colluding together with their diehard followers submit to the arrangements of God’s house, do their duties properly, uphold the work of God’s house, and fulfill their responsibilities and obligations? (No, they cannot.) That’s why I said they’re colluding together. Once it is said that they collude, it becomes evident that everything they say and do together involves under-the-table dealings. On the surface, these people appear to be friendly, to have respect for seniority and be orderly, and to be extremely loving, courteous, and respectful toward one another, as well as polite and in possession of good character. In reality, it is all superficial, duplicitous, and hypocritical. Why can they be so courteous and show the utmost respect and politeness to each other? There’s a reason for this. Their purpose in colluding together is not to learn from each other to offset their own weaknesses or support one another in entering the truth reality in order to follow God’s will and do the work of the church well. Instead, it’s for the sake of mutual exploitation, dependence, and aid. They collude because more people means more power, and more power makes it easier to deal with things, and facilitates the handling of private matters. So, when they are together, they appear very amicable, as though they were a close-knit family. They address older individuals politely, call those of similar age “sister” or “brother,” saying these words with affection and full of social convention. If someone is unaware of the facts of the situation, they might even praise them for their love, mutual aid, and reliance on each other; they seem willing to lend a helping hand in times of difficulty, and they are quite happy and satisfied, saying, “We are all family; we believe in the same God.” As they speak, they share their love through meaningful glances, further confirming that they are indeed a family and a tight-knit group. So, what exactly do they do when they collude together? For instance, one of the elder sisters is the general manager at a company and has extensive social relations and connections. She has done many things for people in the antichrist’s domain, and most people have received favors from her, so they refer to her as their “big sister.” Whenever someone has something going on at home, like a son going to university or a daughter seeking employment, they are sure to consult her and seek her help in resolving matters. If someone is hospitalized, and there’s a person in the church who works at a hospital and can help them get imported medicines, the antichrist quickly considers this person as a close confidant and a part of the family. They collude together to handle such tasks, mutually benefit one another, and create win-win situations. Therefore, when they are together, they appear on remarkably good terms and harmonious with each other, happy as can be and never quarreling. However, behind this harmony, each person secretly harbors ulterior motives, thinking about how to exploit the other party and use others, as well as how they can assist others while creating mutual benefits and answering the favors of other people. After the antichrist establishes their domain and has their diehard followers, they have their team and their “family” to help them with all the small matters in daily life. For instance, in terms of finding a job, going to college, getting a promotion, dealing with a serious illness, relocating, or even finding someone to pay money as a mediator in order to get released from jail after they are arrested—there is someone to handle all these affairs. From the antichrist’s perspective, aren’t these “family members” useful? Can’t they be relied on? Can’t they depend on and help each other? (Yes.) Therefore, within such a domain, what one sees is not people interacting together with God’s words as their principles, or people acting according to their conscience, living according to God’s words, worshiping God, interacting normally with each other, fellowshipping heart-to-heart, opening their heart and laying themselves bare, fellowshipping about and knowing their own corrupt disposition, or learning from each other to make up for their shortcomings—there is nothing of the sort. This band, this domain, is the domain of the antichrist’s gang, where the truth holds no power, where the Holy Spirit is not at work, and where God’s words do not exist in people’s hearts. Instead, the antichrist’s gang live contentedly, comfortably, and with relish here, treating it as their own home. In reality, this is neither God’s house nor the church; it is society, the antichrist’s gang.

Antichrists turn the church into their own domain, transforming it into a social group and their gang. They engage in destructive and hateful deeds, and they speak or act entirely with the tactics and methods of nonbelievers. Each one is glib-tongued, frivolous in their speech, full of ruffianism, insidious and wicked, and refuses to accept the truth. Outwardly, they disguise themselves as refined, civilized, polite, disciplined, and even well-mannered, with caliber and character. However, each of them is in fact an insidious, cunning, base, and wicked character. They collude with each other, establishing connections, competing influences, paying attention to extravagance, and emphasizing communal and personnel relationships in society. They pay attention to who has greater influence, higher status, and more prestige in society, as well as who is best at strategies. From their speech and behavior, you cannot discern any genuine belief; even less can you see the smallest place for God’s words and the truth in their hearts. Their belief is nothing more than a game and a fraud. These wicked characters have turned the church into a social group, a domain for wicked characters to collude together, all the while expressing their high-sounding words nonstop, saying: “We believe in God, do our duties in God’s house, follow God like this, contribute to the welfare of our brothers and sisters in that way, help and support them like this, and love one another in such and such a way.” Through wicked means that mislead and ensnare people, along with various base methods, they harm the brothers and sisters, yet believe they are doing their duty, assisting the brothers and sisters, glorifying God, and bearing witness to Him. Little do they realize that behind these actions and behaviors lies the essence of antichrists manipulating the circumstances. Antichrists ensnare those who follow God under their power, turning the church into their own domain, into a social group, into an organization of people under Satan’s power. Can such an organization still be considered a church? Clearly not. Isn’t the behavior of antichrists utterly nauseating? Have you ever seen an antichrist’s gang like this? What do you feel when you are among them? On the outside, they seem to be polite and amiable—but when you fellowship the truth and the intentions of God with them, the attitude they display is one of particular revulsion and lack of interest, in contrast to their outward politeness and amiability. When you fellowship the truth with them, they feel you to be an outsider, and when you fellowship the work of the church, they feel so all the more; when you go on to fellowship about the truth principles that should be practiced in doing a duty, they feel frustrated and uninterested, and that is when they reveal their demonic likeness, they scratch their heads, they yawn, and their eyes water. Is this not abnormal? Why does their demonic likeness emerge as soon as you fellowship the truth? Does not each of them have much love in their hearts? How could they lose interest when you start to fellowship about the truth? Are they not thereby revealed? Do they not have great enthusiasm and loyalty toward carrying out external tasks? And if they are loyal, are they not possessed of reality? If they have reality, then they should be happy when they hear people fellowshipping the truth, they should yearn for it. Why is their state always abnormal, with even possession by evil spirits occurring? It shows that their usual harmonious interactions, and their politeness and amiability, are entirely false. It is God’s words of judgment and the truths He expresses that expose them utterly. Then their anger wells up, and their condition is quite unlike it usually is, and they begin to do evil and cause disturbances. Then, God gives them over to Satan and no longer concerns Himself with them. In their myriad devilries, they have shown their true colors.

Antichrists manipulating circumstances is indeed a reality. In milder cases, one person manipulates a certain number of people; in severe cases, one gang manipulates a certain amount of people and every matter besides. The number of things and circumstances that one person can manipulate is limited; so, in order to expand their forces and secure their status, antichrists must train a team of people. They need to draw in and control a group of people to assist them, secure their status and power, and help them manipulate circumstances. Once antichrists establish their gang, their sphere of influence grows larger, allowing them to manipulate more things, and their involvement broadens. Consequently, the number of victims increases. What should you do if you encounter an antichrist’s gang capable of manipulating the circumstances? Have you ever seen such a gang? The main members of this group usually consist of four or five individuals, or more than ten. Each is responsible for various tasks. For example, there are those who specialize in personnel adjustments, who handle finances, who deal with the Above, and who promptly cover things up for the antichrist no matter what happens; as well as those who give advice from behind the scenes, who plot bad things to harm people; who specialize in spreading rumors, who sow discord, who help evildoers do evil, who gather information, and even those who procure benefits and give them medical treatment. In short, there is someone in this cohort to play every kind of role. Antichrists disregard individuals who don’t have influence, are guileless and simple, and lack the ability to handle matters in society. Instead, they specifically target believers with status, reputation, influence, and experience as an official or in doing big business in society—people who have seen the world, are capable of getting things done, and acquire good things for them. For instance, if a car costs 400,000 yuan, a capable person who can play the market could obtain a second-hand car for the antichrist at half the price, equivalent to a new car. Will the antichrist bring such an individual in if they get close to them? (Yes.) Antichrists bring in people like this. What is their objective? They aim to transform God’s house, the place of God’s work, into a social group, obstructing the flow of God’s work and the truth among people—they want to achieve their own goals. If an ordinary believer believes in God heart and soul, can forsake her family and career, is guileless and simple and lacks the ability to handle things, would the antichrist want her? (No.) If her husband and son can both make money in business, they have influence in society, and no one dares to bully them, does an elderly lady like this have any value to the antichrist? Although she may lack inherent value in the eyes of the antichrist, in terms of her family she is highly valuable. She is not short of money, her home can host brothers and sisters, and if something comes up, she can have her family help handle it. Such a person is valuable to the antichrist. The antichrist does everything possible to draw in and mislead such a person, making them stand on their side and be used by them. The antichrist accurately assesses the people who are useful to them. They don’t care about or value those with genuine faith, who sincerely believe in God, or who have good character, and are loyal in the performance of duty, and after being shepherded and watered, can make progress and genuinely pay the price. The more upright you may be, and the more conscience and reason you have, the more repulsed by you they feel. If you speak truthfully and in a straightforward manner, they are repulsed and disgusted by you. When they see you, they give you a wide berth. If you interact with them, they exchange superficial pleasantries but do not speak from the heart unless you are valuable to them. They prefer people who are valuable to them, those advantageous to their power and status. If someone can be used by them, and can help them to carry things out, cover up the true facts, do bad things while finding suitable excuses for them, and mislead the brothers and sisters without anyone noticing, without anyone being able to expose or see through it, that person becomes an object of their exploitation and recruitment. If a person, regardless of who they talk to, always speaks flattering words, sings the praises of those with authority, follows whoever holds status, and shows no discernment toward anyone, does the antichrist use them? Such a person has value for the antichrist, but they also treat them cautiously. They don’t completely trust those who flatter them, and they won’t let them know certain things. In meetings where hierarchy matters, they exclude such individuals from more important gatherings. Gatherings of lower importance or ordinary gatherings are where such vacillating individuals can participate. It is because if another leader emerges, these vacillating individuals might betray them and expose them at any time. The antichrist is cunning in dealing with such people, utilizing them based on the situation. Therefore, when it comes to manipulating circumstances, the antichrist is very cautious. They approach such matters with a systematic and measured approach, carefully considering how to act and which people to leverage. They distinguish between those who are close cronies and those who are general cronies in their mind.

When the antichrist comes into contact with a stranger, such as an upper-level leader or someone not well-known to them, they first probe into the person’s character, whether they have certain pursuits or hobbies, whether they have genuine faith, their years of belief in God, whether they have the truth reality or discernment of them, and whether they carry a burden for life entry. They assess and observe every aspect, then use various methods to worm their words out of them and test them. If they see that a person is muddleheaded, they relax their guard and ignore them. However, if a person seems shrewd and not easy to fathom, they feel like they have to be cautious. The antichrist’s control of the circumstances is to take control of everything, wanting to have the final say in everything, including all types of people being under their control. The regulations of God’s house become meaningless to them, akin to a piece of waste paper, and God’s administrative decrees and disposition have no existence whatsoever, as if they were air. Their ambition and desires go beyond controlling people and making people listen to them; they go as far as controlling every event experienced by every person, as well as those matters that take place under their nose, both within and even outside their sphere of influence. What is the purpose of this control? To secure their power and status as well as their reputation. One phrase encapsulates the antichrist’s manipulation of circumstances: Everything is under their control. Hence, the antichrist does not dare to overlook any matter, whether big or small. They don’t dare overlook anything, they want to participate in and interfere with anything related to their status or to their sphere of influence, not missing any benefits. They want to be actively involved in many matters within the church, and grasp the situation of how things are developing. For instance, if some people don’t really listen to them or submit to them and always have opinions about them, they find ways to punish them. But if they can’t find any excuse for pruning them, what do they do? They find a way to control the books and sermon recordings sent down from God’s house. They determine who receives these materials promptly based on who is obedient to them. If you don’t listen to them or display unfavorable behavior during that period, they claim that resources are limited and won’t send them to you. The antichrist watches your behavior. If you think about it clearly, see it through, and grasp the antichrist’s psychology; if you voluntarily admit your mistakes, and get close to the antichrist, they will find an excuse to say, “This time, God’s house sent down enough resources for everyone, and you’re included.” However, if they see that you distance yourself again after a period, they’ll still punish you. They won’t even notify you when new resources arrive, they simply won’t give you a thing, and they might even find an excuse to confiscate what you originally had. Especially when the antichrist discovers that someone might know about their misdeeds behind the scenes and could report them, they take preemptive action, proactively admitting their mistakes and sharing their self-knowledge, employing a soft approach first. Once it seems that a soft approach won’t work, it appears unsound, and this person might still report them, the antichrist will go to great lengths to rally more people to besiege and forcefully threaten this individual. This continues until the person compromises, making their position known that they won’t report them, and only then does the antichrist stay their hand. In some cases, an antichrist might even expose others first; fearing that others might expose and report them, they take preemptive action, deliberately seizing leverage from another person to make false accusations and set a trap for them. Later, they find an excuse to isolate and expel the person, cutting off their communication with the Above and with the church. Now, the antichrist feels secure and no longer has to worry. Isn’t this manipulating the circumstances? (Yes.) One can say that the antichrist’s actions in such matters are more than just one or two isolated instances or employing only one or two methods. In order to manipulate the circumstances, secure their status, and make it so their domain does not waver, the antichrist does many evil deeds. For example, they alter personnel systems and arrangements within the church. In order to control more people, they sow discord among the brothers and sisters, making the brothers and sisters attack and pass judgment on one another. They even incite their followers to besiege some brothers and sisters who have more of a sense of justice; they also claim before the brothers and sisters how highly regarded they are by the Above. What’s more, they write letters to the Above, boasting about their excellent work and claiming they’ve gained self-knowledge, can voluntarily lay their issues bare, and so on. They write letters and inform about their own issues all in an attempt to gain favor with the Above. They use various means and methods to manipulate circumstances, control their diehard followers, trick the brothers and sisters, and simultaneously trick the house of God. These are the various practices antichrists employ to control circumstances within the church. Of course, there are many more specific practices, but they won’t be listed here. In summary, these matters regarding how antichrists control the church are common, and the various practices they manifest are also common.

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