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

III. Antichrists Probe and Take Control of People’s Hearts

In addition to monopolizing power and manipulating circumstances, what other actions can confirm that antichrists treat the house of God like their own domain? With monopolizing power, we primarily fellowshipped about aspects of personnel matters, while manipulating circumstances is mainly about controlling the development of events. Antichrists’ monopolizing power is an external action, and manipulating circumstances is also something external that people can see—these aspects are easy to control. However, there is one thing that is exceptionally difficult for anyone to control. What is that one thing? (The control of people’s hearts and people’s thoughts.) Tell Me, is that correct? (Yes, it is.) The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9), that is, the human heart is the most difficult thing to control. Would antichrists attempt to control the most difficult thing? Might they say, “Because the human heart is the most deceitful and difficult to control, I won’t control it. Let them think what they want; as long as I have power, as long as I have control over people, that’s enough. I’ll just control their actions and behavior, and their thoughts can be left for God to manage; I don’t have the ability, so I won’t bother with those”? Would antichrists compromise like this? (No, they wouldn’t.) Judging from the essence of antichrists, their ambition is to control the entirety of a person. The most challenging thing for them to control is the human heart, but it is also what they most desire to control. They ensnare people under their power, taking complete control over everything: In what direction events unfold, how many people are involved, what matters are brought into play, the entire course of these events’ development, and what the outcomes will be—all developing according to what they set in motion and to their heart’s desire. However, there is one thing, namely, what are people thinking in their hearts? What are they thinking about them? Do they have a good impression of them or not? Do they like them or not? In their hearts, do they believe that they are antichrists? Do they discern or resent their actions? When people outwardly show respect to them and flatter them, what are they truly thinking in their hearts? Is what’s in their hearts truly consistent with their outward appearance? Are they genuinely obedient to them? This is a matter that troubles antichrists greatly. The more troubled they feel, the more they seek answers. This is the third manifestation of antichrists treating the house of God like their own domain—probing and taking control of people’s hearts.

Is probing and taking control of people’s hearts easy? Probing and taking control represent two different degrees of action or behavior when doing something. When an antichrist holds power and takes control of the entire course of an event’s development and its outcome, when he takes control of these things, then what it is that people under him or within his sphere of influence are truly thinking in their hearts—whether they treat him like God or like a perfect person, whether they harbor hatred, opinions, or notions toward him, and whether they discern him—what people are truly thinking in their hearts, these things are quite challenging to gauge. What does he do then? He observes those under him, giving benefits or speaking a few pleasant-sounding words to anyone who lacks discernment and is easy to exploit. These people are just like rubber balls: They get higher and gather more energy each time you hit them. He employs such individuals as pawns. What does he use them to do? He has these pawns probe people’s hearts for him. He might say to a pawn, “Recently, Sister Li and her daughter in our church have been offering less. They used to offer quite a bit, but now they don’t come around much. What have they been up to lately? Have they had any contact with outsiders? Is there anything happening at home? Go take a look and offer some support.” That person visits Sister Li’s home and has a look around, thinking, “There are no unfamiliar faces here. The two sisters seem to be leading quite a peaceful life. It doesn’t look like they’ve encountered any difficulties. Why aren’t they going to our gatherings? Let me inquire further.” This person asks, “Have you had any new light recently at home? I’ve been feeling weak lately; fellowship with me for a while.” Seeing that the person has come to seek the truth and to seek help, the sisters fellowship with them and say, “Recently, we’ve gained a new light that believers in God should not follow or always rely on other people; when faced with challenges, we should come before God in prayer; this is the highest wisdom. People are unreliable, one can only rely on God; He can bestow on people the truth, life, and the path they ought to walk—people cannot do this. I used to always depend on others, but later through fellowship with a sister….” They respond, “Through fellowship with a sister? Where is that sister? Is she an outsider?” The sisters say, “She’s not exactly an outsider; she’s a sister from our church who returned after several years doing her duty away.” They respond, “Isn’t that still contacting an outsider? You associated with outsiders rashly; you need to report the issue to the church!” Having gathered this information, that person uncovers two crucial pieces of information: Firstly, the two sisters do not want to be close to the leader, and have shown some discernment toward him; secondly, they’ve had contact with an outsider, and that outsider said something to them; the specifics are unclear, the sisters won’t say anything about them, they are intentionally concealing it, which means that their loyalty toward the leader is wavering and they have begun to guard against him. When this person returns and makes their report to the antichrist, is the antichrist happy after hearing it? Would he think, “Great, my subordinates finally have shown some discernment toward me”? (No, he wouldn’t.) What would he think? “This is bad. The two sisters used to be obedient, they were genuine believers in the church, and they offered a lot. Ever since this unknown person started interacting with them, these two have become a bit disobedient. Will they continue to make offerings in the future? This is troublesome and risky.” The antichrist feels uneasy. Why is he uneasy? (People are discerning of him and no longer listen to him.) Exactly, people’s hearts are no longer under his manipulation and control, they are undergoing a change of heart, so they feel uneasy. In the past, these two were guileless and simple, they were pretty obedient and showed little discernment toward him, whatever he said was accepted without a second thought. Now that they have undergone a change of heart, developed discernment, and are keeping their distance, possibly rejecting him, and perhaps even intending to report him—that spells trouble. Isn’t this a specific manifestation of how antichrists probe and take control of people’s hearts?

When the antichrist notices anything unusual, he quickly dispatches his cronies or henchmen to find out about the situation and grasp its underlying reasons. If there is no change, if people remain the same and haven’t had a change of heart, then he feels reassured, no longer uneasy or tense. However, if he discovers something unusual, something unknown to him, not under his manipulation, not what he imagined, then that’s troublesome. He becomes worried and anxious, and in his haste, he will take action. What is the aim of his actions? He wants people to be of one mind with him, to have no changes of heart. People must make their thoughts known to him and report to him constantly, expressing loyalty, determination, and sincerity. He must continually take control of the changing thoughts and ideas of people’s hearts, and the direction and principles of their thoughts. As soon as he detects anyone harboring dissent, he must move to change them. If they cannot be changed and become a friend, then they will become an enemy instead. What are the consequences of becoming his enemy? They will be subjected to punishment and suppression. This is one approach. There is another as well. The antichrist is always apprehensive about those around him, never able to gauge them fully, fearing that people might discern and report him, and saying in his heart: “Did you see when I stole offerings and did things my own way? If you did see it, could you discern it? Could you report me?” Some antichrists are even sexually promiscuous behind the scenes, and they think, “Who knows about these things? What are those who know about it thinking? Should I pretend somehow, create a false impression, then test these people, worm their innermost thoughts out of them, and see what they are truly thinking?” Would antichrists do such things? To wicked people like antichrists, doing such things is like second nature; they are naturals at it—they do it superbly. The antichrist gathers people together and says, “Today, I called everyone here with no other purpose than to examine my shortcomings in the work I’ve done in the church recently and to talk about my knowledge of the corrupt dispositions I have revealed. Speak openly, don’t hold back. I won’t condemn you. Let’s fellowship openly heart-to-heart and face-to-face. If I did something, I’ll change; if not, I’ll take it as an admonishment not to do it. Everything in God’s house is open, unhidden, and laid bare. We do everything before God, and there’s no need for anyone to be on guard against anyone else. Brothers and sisters, put your mind at rest. I’ll start by examining myself. Recently, due to my own laziness and a desire for comforts of the flesh, I haven’t done my work well. The gospel work hasn’t been going well lately, and I haven’t paid much attention to church life. I’ve been busy with gospel work and couldn’t find time for other matters. Of course, I am responsible. Relying on my imaginings, I assumed that church life would be self-regulated by the brothers and sisters, and I wouldn’t need to worry too much. You are all adults, and God’s words are so clear, so I wholeheartedly devoted myself to gospel work. However, I also didn’t do well at gospel work. I need to admit my mistakes before the brothers and sisters, seek your forgiveness, and ask for God’s forgiveness. Here, let me bow to all of you.” Everyone sees this and thinks to themselves, “He’s changed; he doesn’t seem as crafty as before. Why is he so sincere today? Something is off. I shouldn’t jump to conclusions; I’ll see what he says next.” The antichrist continues, saying he recognizes he is a devil, Satan, admitting he hasn’t done any actual work, expressing willingness to be at the disposal of the Above and accept any criticism or reproof from the brothers and sisters. He goes further and says, “Even if they dismiss me and don’t let me lead, I am willing to be one of the least. I recommend Sister Li and her daughter from our church to take over my work.” He has already chosen his successor. Isn’t his attitude quite sincere? Is there even any need for suspicion? While saying this, he even begins to cry. Then, he brings his wife over and says, “During this time, you haven’t done any actual work either, only causing disruptions and disturbances, and even pruning brothers and sisters blindly. You should also be dismissed.” The antichrist points the finger at himself and then his family, making people feel that he is sincere. When everyone hears this, someone says, “Actually, we’ve been discerning you for a long time. You don’t consult with us on matters; a few of you privately discuss things together and make decisions. This doesn’t align with the work principles in God’s house. Moreover, you’ve finalized who will be the leader among yourselves without our knowledge—we don’t even have the right to know. The person whom you chose not only fails to do actual work but also causes disturbances, but you don’t dismiss them.” The brothers and sisters voice their opinions one after another. When the antichrist hears this, he thinks, “This is bad! However, it’s good that they’re pouring out their true thoughts all at once. This will benefit my future work. If they didn’t speak up and instead stabbed me in the back, directly writing a report letter to the Above without my knowledge, then I’d be finished, wouldn’t I? Fortunately, I used this tactic, I’m clever and have quick reflexes, and I got a hold on their opinions just in time.” He then continued, proclaiming unctuously, “Thank you, brothers and sisters, for your trust, and for sincerely criticizing my mistakes today. I will definitely change them in the future. If I don’t, may punishment and curses fall on my head.” The antichrist’s probing and taking control of people’s hearts is not limited to eavesdropping and peeking through doors. In serious situations, he has an ace up his sleeve. What kind of ace? He practices democracy and freedom, giving people enough freedom of speech, allowing them full freedom to express their opinions and innermost thoughts, encouraging people to voice their innermost feelings, even if it’s complaints. Then, he seizes upon the vulnerabilities of those who have differing ideas from them or opinions about them, wiping them out all at once. How does the antichrist’s approach sound? It’s incredibly wicked! Doesn’t it resemble that of the great red dragon a bit? They are essentially the same group, sharing the same nature essence. Isn’t that how the great red dragon operates? Seeing how the antichrist performs is like seeing the ugly face of the great red dragon.

Antichrists are adept at using pleasant and correct words to entice people and make people confide in them. After probing and worming the true situations of people out of them, what is the result? Will the antichrists repent because people spoke these true words to them? Will they throw in the towel, stop doing evil, let go of their power, abandon their desire for power, and disband their domain? Never. Instead, they will step up their efforts. After doing everything they can to take control of people’s hearts, they retain those who align with them and dispose of all those who don’t. We cannot rule out that some brothers and sisters in the church have been cleared out, expelled, or had their books of God’s words confiscated under such circumstances. These individuals were wronged. What should these wronged brothers and sisters do? Should they stop believing in God because an antichrist appeared in God’s house who punished them like this and made it impossible to believe? Can they do that? (No, they cannot.) Is it appropriate to compromise or bow your head to antichrists or to dark or wicked forces? Is that the path you should choose? (No, it’s not.) So, what path should you choose? (To expose and report the antichrists.) When you discover someone is an antichrist, let Me tell you, if their influence is significant, and many leaders and workers listen to them and won’t listen to you, and if you expose them and you very well might be isolated or cleared out, then you must carefully consider your strategy. Don’t take them on single-handedly; the odds are not in your favor. Start by contacting a few people who understand the truth and have discernment, and seek fellowship with them. If you reach a consensus, approach two more leaders or workers who can accept the truth and come to an agreement. With several people acting together, expose and handle the antichrist jointly. This way, you stand a chance of success. If the antichrist’s influence is too great, you can also write a report letter to the Above. This is the best approach. If a few leaders and workers really try to suppress you, you can tell them, “If you don’t accept our exposure and report, we will escalate this matter to the Above and let them handle you!” This increases your chances of success, as they won’t dare to move against you. When dealing with antichrists, you must adopt this reliable approach—never go it alone. If you don’t have the support of a few leaders and workers, your efforts are destined to fail, unless you can write a report letter and hand it over to the Above. Antichrists are extremely insidious and cunning. If you don’t have sufficient evidence, refrain from moving against them. Reasoning or debating with them is useless, showing love to try and change them is useless, and fellowshipping with them about the truth won’t work; you won’t be able to change them. In a situation where you cannot change them, your best course of action is not to have a heart-to-heart talk with them, reason with them, and wait for them to repent. Instead, expose and report them without letting them know, let the Above handle them, and encourage more people to expose them, report them, and reject them, ultimately leading to them being rooted out from the church. Isn’t this a good approach? If they aim to worm your inner thoughts out of you, to probe you, and see if you have any discernment toward them, what should you do if you have already identified them as an antichrist? (I should not speak truthfully with them, but follow along with their words for the time being, not letting them discover my discernment, and then I should privately expose and report them.) How is this approach? (Good.) You must see through the schemes of devils and Satans and avoid setting off their traps or falling into their pits. When dealing with Satans and devils, you must use wisdom, and refrain from speaking truthfully to them. This is because the ones you can speak truthfully to are God and the genuine brothers and sisters. You should never speak truthfully to Satans, to devils, or to antichrists. Only God is worthy of understanding what’s in your heart and of holding sovereignty over and scrutinizing your heart. No one, especially devils and Satans, is qualified to control or scrutinize your heart. Therefore, if devils and Satans try to worm the truth out of you, you have the right to say “no,” refuse to answer it, and withhold information—this is your right. If you say, “You devil, you want to worm my words out of me, but I won’t speak truthfully to you, I won’t tell you. I will report you—what can you do to me? If you dare to torment me, I will report you; if you torment me, God will curse and punish you!” does this work? (No, it doesn’t.) The Bible says, “Be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). In such situations, you must be as wise as serpents; you should be wise. Our hearts are only fit for God to scrutinize and possess, and they should only be given to Him. Only God is worthy of our hearts, Satans and devils are not deserving! Therefore, do antichrists have the right to know what’s in our hearts or what we’re thinking? They do not have that right. What is their purpose in trying to worm the truth out of you and probe you? They aim to take control of you; you must recognize this clearly. So, don’t speak truthfully to them. You must find ways to unite more brothers and sisters together to expose and reject them, pull them down from their position, and never let them succeed. Root them out from the church, denying them any and all chances to disturb and wield power in God’s house again.

Antichrists probing and taking control of people’s hearts is a stark reality. Judging from the essence of antichrists, it is apparent that engaging in such activities comes naturally to them, and is quite commonplace. In various churches, antichrists often send their confidants to infiltrate the brothers and sisters, probe intelligence, and collect insider information. Sometimes, the information they gather pertains to domestic trivialities or casual conversations between people, which are not important at all. However, antichrists always make a fuss over these affairs, even raising them to the level of thoughts and viewpoints in order to promptly grasp the changes of people’s thoughts and opinions. This is so that they can effortlessly take control of the circumstances and of each person’s situation, responding promptly to each. Antichrists are particularly specific in their actions regarding power and status. Specific to what extent? As for each person’s viewpoint on how they handle matters, as well as their viewpoint on material things, money, status, believing in God, doing duties, and quitting jobs—they want to know all this like the back of their hand. After they do know it like the back of their hand, antichrists do not use the truth to provide for people, alter people’s misguided viewpoints, or resolve issues. Instead, they use it to serve their own status, power, and domain. This is the antichrists’ purpose in probing and taking control of people’s hearts. To antichrists, everything they do seems meaningful and valuable, but all these supposedly meaningful and valuable things are precisely condemned by God. They precisely betray God and are in enmity with Him.

November 7, 2020

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