Item Twelve: They Want to Withdraw When They Have No Status and No Hope of Gaining Blessings (Section Four)

IV. Antichrists’ Behavior When They Are Not Promoted

There’s another type of person who doesn’t pursue the truth. Because people of this sort don’t pursue the truth, they don’t do important duties, and consequently they rarely experience being pruned in God’s house, they’ve never experienced being dismissed from their duties, and, of course, they are very seldom reallocated to a different duty. However, when they still haven’t been promoted after believing in God for several years, they begin to frequently assess how much hope they have of being blessed. Especially when they see God’s words saying, “Those who do not pursue the truth cannot attain salvation,” they feel that their hopes of being blessed are very slim, and they start to think about withdrawing. Some of these people who never pursue the truth possess some knowledge and strengths, and because they haven’t been promoted, they feel dissatisfied and start complaining; they want to withdraw but are afraid they’ll lose their chance to be blessed, but if they don’t withdraw, they still won’t get promoted—they feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. What do you think of this matter? Although these people don’t pursue the truth, some among them are relatively studious and driven; no matter what duty they do, they are always willing to acquire the relevant professional knowledge, they always want to be promoted by God’s house, and they long for the day when they can distinguish themselves and thereby gain the status and various advantages they want. On the surface, people of this sort appear to be quiet, unnoticed, and diligent and conscientious when around others, yet their hearts are filled with ambition and desire. What is their motto? Opportunity comes to those who are ready for it. On the surface, they go completely unnoticed and don’t make a show of themselves, they don’t compete or grab for things, yet in their hearts they have a “grand aspiration.” That’s why, when they see someone getting promoted and becoming a leader or worker in the church, they feel a bit more upset and disappointed. No matter who it is who gets promoted, cultivated, or given some important role, to them it always comes as a blow. Even when someone is held in high esteem, praised, and supported by brothers and sisters, they feel jealous and unhappy in their hearts, and some of them will even shed tears in private, often asking themselves, “When will I be held in high esteem and nominated? When will I be known by the Above? When will a leader see my strengths, my merits, my gifts and talents? When will I get promoted and cultivated?” They feel distressed and negative, but they don’t want to keep going on like this, so they privately encourage themselves to not be negative, to have the willpower to persevere, to be undaunted by setbacks and never give up. They often warn themselves: “I am a person with a grand aspiration. I mustn’t be willing to be an ordinary, regular person, I mustn’t be willing to settle for a busy, mediocre life. My faith in God must be outstanding and produce great achievements. If I keep living this kind of quiet and average life, then that’s so cowardly and stifling! I can’t be that kind of person. I will work twice as hard, make good use of every moment, read and recite God’s words more, acquire knowledge and study this profession more. I must accomplish whatever other people can do, and I must be able to fellowship on the things that other people can fellowship on.” After working hard for a while, a church election comes along, but they still don’t get elected. Every time the church is looking for someone to cultivate, promote, and give an important role to, they’re not chosen; every time they think they have hope of being promoted, they’re eventually disappointed, and every disappointment causes them to feel dejected and negative. They believe that being blessed in their faith in God is very distant from them, and so the idea of withdrawing arises in their mind. They’re not willing to withdraw, however, but instead want to strive hard and struggle once again. The more they strive hard and struggle in this way, the more they long to be recommended by someone, to be promoted. They feel this longing more and more, and what they get in return in the end is still disappointment, and this is how their vanity and their desire to be blessed torment them. Every disappointment feels to them like they’re being burned and tempered in a fire. They can’t get what they want; they want to withdraw but feel they can’t; they can’t grasp what they want to grasp, and all they’re left with is disappointment, dejection, and endless waiting. They want to withdraw but they’re afraid of losing great blessings, and the more they want to desperately grab hold of blessings, the less they are able to grab hold of them. The result of this is that they fall into a state where they struggle constantly between their hope for blessings and the torment of disappointment, and this pains their hearts greatly. But will they pray to God about this matter? No, they won’t. They think: “What good will praying do? The brothers and sisters don’t praise me and leaders don’t think highly of me, so can God make an exception and give me an important role?” They know that placing their hopes on others will bring them disappointment and that it’s also not safe to place their hopes of being blessed on God. Because they’ve seen God’s words say, “Those who do not pursue the truth cannot attain salvation,” they feel dejected and disappointed. No one pays them any attention in the church, and they can’t see any hope. When they take a look at their faces, they still can’t see any hope of gaining blessings, and they think, “Should I withdraw or stay? Do I really have no hope of being blessed?” Years pass by as they hesitate and ponder these things over and over, and they’re still not able to get promoted or put in an important position. They want to vie for status but they feel that’s not a very rational or proper thing to do, they feel embarrassed to do it, but if they don’t vie for status, when will they ever get promoted and given an important role? They think of the people who believe in God alongside them, who attend gatherings and do duties together with them. So many of them have been promoted and given roles of importance, whereas they themselves can’t get an important role no matter how hard they try, and they feel bewildered and lacking in a path forward. They never fellowship or open up to anyone else about their ideas, their states, their thoughts and views, their deviations and deficiencies—they’re completely closed off. They appear to speak quite sensibly, and they seem to act in a somewhat rational way, yet their inner ambitions and desires are very intense. They strive hard and struggle, endure suffering and pay a price in order to achieve their ambitions and desires, and they can expend everything for the sake of their hopes of being blessed. However, when they can’t see the result they want to achieve, they become filled with hostility and anger toward God, God’s house, and even toward everyone in the church. They hate everyone for not seeing how hard they try, for not seeing their strengths and their good points, and they hate God, too, for not giving them opportunities, for not promoting them or giving them an important role. With such tremendous jealousy and hatred born in their hearts, can they love their brothers and sisters? Can they praise God? Can they relinquish their ambitions and desires in order to accept the truth, do their duty well with their feet planted firmly on the ground, and be an ordinary person? Can they make this kind of resolution? (No.) Not only do they not have this resolve, but they don’t even have the desire to repent. After concealing themselves in this way for so many years, their hatred for God’s house, for the brothers and sisters, and even for God grows stronger and stronger. How strong does their hatred become? They hope that their brothers and sisters aren’t able to do their duties well, they hope that the work of God’s house will come to a standstill and that God’s management plan will come to nothing, and they even hope that their brothers and sisters will be caught by the great red dragon. They hate their brothers and sisters and they hate God, too. They complain that God is not righteous, they curse the world for lacking a savior, and their demonic countenance is thoroughly exposed. This type of person is usually deeply concealed, and they’re very good at keeping up a pretense on the surface, pretending to be humble, gentle, and loving, when in fact they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They never reveal their secret malevolent intent, no one can see through them, and no one knows what they’re really like or what they’re thinking. Those who associate with them for a while are able to see that they’re very jealous people, that they’re always competing with others and thrusting themselves into the limelight, that they’re so anxious to outdo others, and that they really want to win first place in everything they do. This is how they look from the outside, but is this really how they are? In fact, their desire for blessings is even stronger; they hope that, while they’re quietly working hard, expending themselves, and paying a price, others can see their good points and their work capabilities, and that they can thus be given a role of importance in God’s house. And what’s the result of them being given a role of importance? It’s that they can be highly esteemed by everyone and finally realize their grand aspiration; they can be an outstanding figure among others, someone whom everyone regards highly and looks up to, and all their years of hard work, of price-paying and striving, will be worth it—these are the ambitions and desires these people harbor in their innermost hearts.

People of this sort don’t pursue the truth, yet still they always want to be promoted and given an important role in God’s house. In their hearts, they believe that the more work capability a person has, the more they receive important positions, the more they are promoted and esteemed in God’s house, the greater their chances are of receiving blessings, a crown, and rewards. They believe that if someone isn’t particularly capable in their work, or doesn’t have a particular forte, then they are not qualified to be blessed. They think that a person’s gifts, fortes, abilities, skills, level of education, work capability, and even the so-called strengths and merits within their humanity that are valued out in the world such as their resolve to outdo others and indomitable attitude, can serve as capital for receiving blessings and rewards. What sort of standard is this? Is it a standard that accords with the truth? (No.) It does not accord with the standards of the truth. So, is this not the logic of Satan? Is this not the logic of a wicked age, and of wicked worldly trends? (It is.) Judging from the logic, methods, and criteria that people like this use to assess things, along with their attitude and approach to these things, it would seem as if they had never heard or read God’s words, that they were completely ignorant of them. But, in fact, they are listening to, reading, and pray-reading God’s words every single day. So why doesn’t their perspective ever change? One thing is for sure—no matter how much they listen to or read God’s words, they will never be certain in their hearts that God’s words are the truth, and that they are the criterion for measuring everything; they will not understand or accept this fact from their hearts. That is why, no matter how absurd and prejudiced their outlook may be, they will cling to it forever, and no matter how right God’s words are, they will reject and condemn them. This is the vicious nature of antichrists. As soon as they fail to get an important role, and their desires and ambitions go unfulfilled, their cloven feet are revealed, their vicious nature shows itself, and they want to deny God’s existence. Actually, even before denying God’s existence, they deny that God’s words are the truth. It is precisely because their nature essence denies the truth, and denies that God’s words are the criterion by which everything is measured, that they are able to look upon God with hostility in this way, and think about denying, betraying, and rejecting God, and leaving God’s house when they are still not put into an important position after all that calculating, plotting, and hard work of theirs. Though they don’t appear to be fighting for power and profit with other people, or to be going their own way, or to be openly setting up their own independent kingdom or managing their own status, we can see from their nature essence that they are antichrists through and through. They think that any pursuit of theirs is correct, and no matter what God’s words say, to them these words are not worth mentioning or listening to, and they certainly aren’t worth using. What kind of rubbish are people like this? God’s words have no effect on them at all; they don’t move them, nor do they touch their hearts or appeal to them. So, what do they value? People’s gifts, talents, abilities, knowledge, and strategies, as well as their ambitions, and their grand plans and undertakings. These are the things they value. What are all of these things? Are these things that God values? No. These are things that corrupt human beings revere and esteem, and they are also things that Satan esteems and worships. They run precisely counter to God’s way, His words, and what He requires of the people He saves. But people like this have never thought that these things are of Satan, that they are wicked and go against the truth. Instead, they treasure all of these things, and they firmly and resolutely cling to them, and view them as being above all else, and use them to take the place of pursuing and accepting the truth. Isn’t that outrageously rebellious? And in the end, what will be the only outcome of their outrageous rebelliousness, of them being so unreasonable? That these people will be beyond salvation, and no one will be able to change them. They are destined for this kind of outcome. Tell Me, aren’t these people who are just secretly building up their strength and biding their time? The principle they abide by is that gold will shine sooner or later, that they must learn to secretly build up their strength, bide their time, and wait for the right chance, and in the meantime make preparations, and plan for their future, and for their wishes and dreams. Judging based on the principles they abide by, their principles of survival, the goals they pursue, and what they long for in their inner essence, these people are antichrists, through and through. Some people say, “But don’t antichrists set up their own independent kingdoms, and fight for status?” Well, are people like this capable of establishing an independent kingdom after they gain power? Are they capable of tormenting people? (Yes.) Once they’re in power, would they be capable of doing things in accordance with the truth principles? Would they be capable of pursuing the truth? Would they be able to bring people before God? (No.) What would happen if people like this were given an important position? They would promote people who are gifted, well-spoken, and knowledgeable, regardless of whether those people could do the work; they would promote people who are like themselves, while keeping down all those right people, who have spiritual understanding, pursue the truth, and are honest. When this sort of situation happens, isn’t the antichrist essence of people like this exposed? Doesn’t it become very obvious? There are some people who didn’t really understand when I said at first that all those who want to withdraw when they don’t get an important role and have no hope of being blessed are antichrists. But now can you see that they are antichrists? (Yes.)

When some people are dismissed from their post as leader and they hear the Above saying that they won’t be cultivated or used again, they feel incredibly sad, and they cry bitterly, as if they were being eliminated—what problem is this? Does them not being cultivated or used again mean that they are being eliminated? Does it mean that they cannot then attain salvation? Are fame, gain, and status really so important to them? If they are someone who pursues the truth, then they should reflect on themselves when they lose their fame, gain, and status, and feel true remorse; they should choose the path of pursuing the truth, turn over a new leaf, and not get so upset or cry so much. If they know in their hearts that they’ve been dismissed by God’s house because they don’t do real work and don’t pursue the truth, and they hear God’s house saying that they won’t get promoted again, then they should feel ashamed, that they owe God, and that they’ve let God down; they should know that they don’t deserve to be used by God, and in this way they can be considered to have a modicum of reason. However, they become negative and upset when they hear that God’s house won’t cultivate them or use them again, and this shows that they’re pursuing fame, gain, and status, and that they are not someone who pursues the truth. Their desire for blessings is this strong, and they treasure status this much and don’t do actual work, so they ought to be dismissed, and they should reflect on and come to understand their own corrupt dispositions. They should know that the path they’re following is wrong, that they are walking the path of an antichrist by pursuing status, fame, and gain, that not only will God not approve of them, but they will also offend His disposition, and that if they commit all manner of evil, they will be punished by God as well. Don’t you have this problem, too? Wouldn’t you be unhappy if I said now that you have no spiritual understanding? (Yes.) When some people hear an upper-level leader say that they have no spiritual understanding, they feel that they aren’t capable of understanding the truth, that God surely doesn’t want them, that they have no hope of being blessed; yet despite the fact that they feel sad, they’re still able to do their duty as normal—such people have a bit of reason. When some people hear someone say they have no spiritual understanding, they become negative, and they no longer wish to do their duty. They think, “You say I have no spiritual understanding—doesn’t that mean I have no hope of being blessed? Since I won’t get any blessings in the future, what am I still believing for? I won’t accept being made to render service. Who would toil for you if they got nothing in return for it? I’m not that stupid!” Do such people possess conscience and reason? They enjoy so much grace from God and yet they don’t know to repay it, and they don’t even want to render service. People like this are finished. They can’t even render service till the end and they have no true faith in God; they are disbelievers. If they have a sincere heart for God and true faith in God, then no matter how they’re evaluated, this will only enable them to know themselves more truly and accurately—they should approach this matter correctly and not let it impact them following God or doing their duty. Even if they can’t receive blessings, they should still be willing to render service for God until the end, and be happy to do so, without complaints, and they should allow God to orchestrate them in all things—only then will they be someone with conscience and reason. Whether a person receives blessings or suffers catastrophe is in God’s hands, God is sovereign over this and arranges this, and it is not something that people can ask for or work toward. Instead, it depends on whether that person can obey God’s words, accept the truth, and do their duty well according to God’s requirements—God will repay each person according to their deeds. If someone has this bit of sincerity, and they devote all the strength that they can muster to the duty they should do, then that is enough, and they will earn God’s approval and blessing. Conversely, if someone does not do their duty adequately and even commits all manner of evil, and yet they still wish to receive blessings from God, then isn’t them acting this way so lacking in reason? If you feel that you haven’t done well enough, that you’ve expended a great deal of effort but still aren’t able to handle matters with principles, and you feel you owe God, yet He blesses you and shows you grace, doesn’t that mean that God is showing you favor? If God wishes to bless you, then that’s something no one can take away. You may think that you haven’t done very well, but in God’s evaluation, He says that you are sincere and have given it your all, and He wishes to show you grace and bless you. Nothing God does is wrong, and you must praise His righteousness. No matter what God does, it is always right, and even if you harbor notions about what God does, believing that what He does isn’t considerate of human feelings, that it’s not to your liking, you should still praise God. Why should you do this? You don’t know the reason why, right? This is actually very easy to explain: It’s because God is God and you are human; He is the Creator, you are a created being. You are not qualified to demand that God act in a certain way or that He treat you a certain way, whereas God is qualified to make demands of you. Blessings, grace, rewards, crowns—how all these things are given and to whom is up to God. Why is it up to God? These things belong to God; they are not assets owned jointly between man and God that can be equally distributed between them. They belong to God, and God bestows them upon those whom He promises to bestow them upon. If God doesn’t promise to bestow them upon you, you should still submit to Him. If you stop believing in God for this reason, what problems will that solve? Will you stop being a created being? Can you escape the sovereignty of God? God still holds sovereignty over all things, and this is an immutable fact. The identity, status, and essence of God can never be equated with the identity, status, and essence of man, nor will these things ever undergo any change—God will forever be God, and man will forever be man. If a person is able to understand this, what should they then do? They should submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements—this is the most rational way to go about things, and besides this, there is no other path that can be chosen. If you don’t submit then you are rebellious, and if you are defiant and argue, then you are being outrageously rebellious, and you should be destroyed. Being able to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements shows that you have reason; this is the attitude people must have, and only this is the attitude created beings should have. For example, say that you have a little cat or dog—is that cat or dog qualified to demand that you buy it various kinds of tasty foods or fun toys? Are there any cats or dogs that are so unreasonable as to make demands of their owners? (No.) And is there any dog that would choose not to be with its owner after seeing that a dog in someone else’s house has a better life than it does? (No.) Their natural instinct is to think, “My owner gives me food and a place to stay, so I must watch over the house for my owner. Even if my owner doesn’t give me food or gives me food that’s not very nice, I must still watch over their home.” The dog has no other improper thoughts of going beyond their station. Whether its owner is good to it or not, the dog is so happy whenever its owner comes home, its tail constantly wagging, as happy as can be. Whether its owner likes it or not, whether its owner buys it tasty things to eat or not, it always acts the same toward its owner, and it still watches over their home. Judging based on this, are people not worse than dogs? (Yes.) People are always making demands of God, and always rebelling against Him. What’s the root of this problem? It is that people have corrupt dispositions, they cannot stay in the place of created beings, and so they lose their instincts and become Satans; their instincts turn into a satanic instinct to oppose God, to reject the truth, to do evil, and to not submit to God. How can their human instincts be recovered? They must be made to have a conscience and reason, to do the things that a person ought to do, to do the duty they ought to do. It’s like how a dog guards a home, and a cat catches mice—no matter how their owner treats them, they use all the strength they have to do these things, they throw themselves into these tasks, and they stay in their place and make full use of their instincts, and so their owner likes them. If people could manage to do this, then God wouldn’t need to say all these words or utter all these truths. Humans are so deeply corrupted, they are devoid of reason and conscience, and they have lowly integrity; their corrupt dispositions are always causing trouble, being revealed in them, influencing their choices and thinking, making them rebel against God and unable to submit to Him, and making it so that they always have their own subjective wishes, ideas, and preferences, and so that the truth can never take charge within them, and it cannot become their life. All of this is why God must judge them, try them and refine them with His words—this so that they can be saved. On the other hand, antichrists always perform negative roles among people. They are demons and Satans through and through; they not only don’t accept the truth, they also don’t acknowledge that they have corrupt dispositions, and they are also forcefully rapacious, wanting to obtain blessings, a crown, and rewards from God. How far do they go in their struggle? To the point of being absolutely shameless and entirely unreasonable. If, after doing all sorts of evil things, they are revealed and eliminated, they will hold a grudge in their hearts. They will curse God, curse the leaders and workers, and hate the church and all true believers. This fully lays bare the ugly countenance of all evil people and antichrists.

Item twelve of the various manifestations of antichrists is: they want to withdraw when they have no status and no hope of gaining blessings. We will speak in simple terms about what withdrawing means. The literal meaning of withdrawing is to withdraw from one place to another—this is known as “withdrawing.” There are always some people that don’t love the truth in God’s house who voluntarily leave the church and the brothers and sisters because they are averse to attending gatherings and listening to sermons, and they’re not willing to do their duty—this is called withdrawing. This is withdrawing in the literal sense of the word. However, when someone is truly defined in God’s eyes as having withdrawn, it is actually not merely a matter of them having left His house, of them not being seen anymore, or of them having been stricken from the church rolls. The fact is that if a person does not read God’s words, then regardless of the magnitude of their faith, and regardless of whether they recognize themselves to be a believer in God, it proves that they do not acknowledge in their heart that God exists, nor that His words are the truth. To God, that person has already withdrawn and is no longer counted as a member of His house. Those who do not read God’s words are one sort of people who have withdrawn. Another type are people who never participate in the church life, and who never participate in activities that relate to the church life, such as when the brothers and sisters sing hymns, pray-read God’s words, and fellowship on their personal experiences and understanding together. God sees these people as already having withdrawn. There is another sort: those who refuse to do duties. Whatever request God’s house makes of them, whatever kind of work it would have them do, whichever duty it would have them do, in large and small matters alike, even in something so simple as having them pass along an occasional message—they do not want to do it. They, self-proclaimed believers in God, cannot even do tasks that a nonbeliever could be sought out to help with. This is a refusal to accept the truth and a refusal to do a duty. No matter how the brothers and sisters exhort them, they refuse and do not accept it; when the church arranges some duty for them to do, they ignore it and give copious excuses to decline it. These are people who refuse to do duties. To God, such people have already withdrawn. Their withdrawal is not a matter of God’s house having cleared them out or having stricken them from its rolls; rather, it is that they themselves do not have true faith—they do not acknowledge themselves to be believers in God. Anyone who fits into one of these three categories is someone who has already withdrawn. Is this an accurate definition? (Yes.) If you don’t read God’s words, do you count as a believer in God? If you don’t live the church life, if you don’t interact or mingle with your brothers and sisters, do you count as a believer? Even less so. In addition, if you refuse to do your duty, and don’t even fulfill your obligations as a created being, then that is even more serious. These three types of people are those God sees as already having withdrawn. It is not that they have been expelled or cleared out from God’s house; instead, they have withdrawn of their own accord, and given up of their own accord. Their behavior thoroughly reveals that they do not love or accept the truth, and that they are classic examples of people just looking to eat their fill of bread and hoping for blessings.

October 17, 2020

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