Item Eight: They Would Have Others Submit Only to Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One) Section Three

A Dissection of How Antichrists Have Others Submit Only to Them, Not the Truth or God

Today’s fellowship is on item eight of the various ways in which antichrists manifest: They would have others submit only to them, not the truth or God. Are you able to understand this item? Consider first which manifestations of this item you can match up with what you do understand. They would have others submit only to them, not the truth or God—the literal meaning is easily understood, but inside it are many states, and various dispositions that several sorts of people exhibit, or various behaviors that those various dispositions exhibit. This is a big topic; we’ll have to fellowship on it from some of its smaller features. To explain this item according to its literal meaning, people who preach words and doctrines would most often say: “It means heeding them in all things—they make people heed them, even when what they say doesn’t accord with the truth. When they preach a few words and doctrines, they have others heed them; when they say a phrase, they have others heed it. They’re always prone to giving others orders, delegating work to others, and forcing others to heed them.” Isn’t that how they most often put it when they speak a bit on its literal meaning? What else? “They think they’re right about everything. They make everyone heed them, and make people submit to what they say, though it doesn’t accord with the truth. They view themselves as the truth and as God, and in heeding them, people are submitting to the truth and to God. That’s what it means.” If it were you speaking on this topic, consider how you should do so. If you were to begin with what you’ve seen or experienced personally, what element would you start out from? As soon as we speak about reality, you’ve got nothing to say. Do you also have nothing to say in your usual fellowship with the brothers and sisters, then? How can you do your work well without talking? Talk a bit first about a few concrete ways and behaviors of this manifestation. Which of them have you seen or witnessed before? Do you have any idea? (When I’m doing my duty, I get some ideas that are fairly strong, and I’d really like to act on them. I think those thoughts of mine are good and right, and when others raise doubts about them, I say that the matter must not be delayed, that it needs to be settled right away. Then, I forcibly do what I’d meant to. Others may wish to seek, but I don’t want to give them the time—I want them to do the thing in line with my ideas.) That’s a concrete manifestation. Who will say another? (I was once fellowshipping with the brothers and sisters about the matter of promoting and nurturing someone. I had in fact already set my heart on promoting that person. I felt that I’d already sought from the Above, and that there was nothing the matter with promoting them. A few of the brothers and sisters didn’t yet understand the matter too well, and I didn’t fellowship about why we ought to promote that person, what the principles were, or what the truth was—I just forcefully told them the ways in which that person was good, that promoting them was in line with the principles. I coerced them into obeying me, into believing the thing I was doing was right.) You’re talking about a class of problems, a class of states, which match up on the whole with this item. It seems that bit of literal understanding is as far as your understanding of the truth goes, so I’ll have to fellowship on it. If you pretty much understood this item, we’d pass over it and fellowship about the next. It seems, though, that we can’t yet, and have to fellowship on it as planned.

Item eight of the various manifestations of antichrists is: They would have others submit only to them, not the truth or God. In this, there are several expressions of an antichrist’s essence. It’s certainly not just a single matter, a single phrase, a single view, or a single way of handling things; rather, it’s a disposition. What disposition is it, then? It manifests in several ways. The first way is that such people are unable to cooperate with anyone. Is that a way of doing things? (No, it’s a disposition.) That’s right—it’s the revelation of a disposition, one whose essence is arrogance and self-righteousness. Such people can’t cooperate with anyone. That’s the first. The second way it manifests is that they have the desire and ambition to control and conquer people. Is that a disposition? (Yes.) Is it a way of doing things? (No.) Is it distinct from the things you’ve said? You’ve spoken on single events, single ways of doing things—those aren’t an essence. Isn’t this manifestation more severe than the things you said? (Yes.) It gets to the root. And the third way is prohibiting others from interfering, making inquiries, or supervising them in any work they’ve taken on. Is that an essence? (Yes.) There are many behaviors and ways of doing things entailed in each of these essences. Again, this essence matches up with item eight, right? The fourth way is that they pretend to be the embodiment of the truth once they have acquired a bit of experience and knowledge, and learned some lessons, which means that if they can fellowship a bit of truth, they think of themselves as possessed of the truth reality, and wish to show others that they’re someone who has the truth—someone who practices the truth, loves the truth, and has the truth reality. They pretend to be the embodiment of the truth—is this not a matter of a severe nature? (It is.) Does this manifestation match up with item eight? (Yes.) It does. Item eight basically manifests in these four ways. Recite them, beginning with the first. (The first is that such people are unable to cooperate in harmony with anyone.) “In harmony” refers to being able to cooperate; such people are simply unable to cooperate with anyone. They do things by themselves, solo in their doings; “solo” is the defining feature of the first manifestation. Now, the second. (They have the ambition and desire to control and conquer people.) Is this a serious manifestation? (It is.) Well, what’s the defining feature of the second manifestation? Describe it in a word. (Wicked.) “Wicked” is an adjective; it describes their disposition. The word should be “control.” To “control” is an action, one of a sort that arises from such a disposition. And the third manifestation. (They prohibit others from interfering, making inquiries, or supervising them in any work they’ve taken on.) Is that not a disposition that’s common in antichrists? (It is.) It’s a characteristic disposition that’s peculiar to antichrists. Is there an apt word to sum up this manifestation? Yes—“resist.” Whoever comes, they resist them; and forget about them accepting the supervision and inquiries of the brothers and sisters and of ordinary people—they won’t even accept God’s scrutiny. Is that not resistance? (It is.) And the fourth manifestation. (They pretend to be the embodiment of the truth once they have acquired a bit of experience and knowledge, and learned some lessons.) We’ll sum this one up with a fitting word: “pretend.” Pretense is more serious than fakery. The fundamental, characteristic behaviors, ways of doing things, and dispositions that are related to item eight are all to be found within these four manifestations. The defining feature of the first manifestation is “solo.” They don’t cooperate with anyone, but want to act on their own. They don’t heed anyone but themselves and they have others heed them alone, no one else. It’s their way or the highway. The defining feature of the second manifestation is “control.” They wish to control people, and they’ll use a variety of means to control you, your thoughts, your ways of doing things, your heart, and your views. They don’t fellowship the truth to you. They don’t get you to understand the truth principles, and they don’t get you to understand God’s intentions. They want to control you for their own use, so that you’ll speak for them, and do things for them, and labor for them, so that you’ll exalt them and testify for them. They want to control you as their slave, their puppet. The defining feature of the third manifestation is “resist,” which means to resist everything—everything that may constitute discernment or supervision of, or a threat to, their work and speech, they resist and oppose wholesale. The defining feature of the fourth manifestation is “pretend”—what do they pretend to be? They pretend to be the embodiment of the truth, meaning that they require people to remember what they say and what they do, and even record them in their notebooks. They say, “How could it suffice just to keep mental notes? You need to write it in your notebooks. None of you understand what I’m saying—it’s very deep stuff!” What do they take their words to be? The truth. Now, from here, we’ll fellowship about them one by one.

I. A Dissection of Antichrists’ Inability to Cooperate With Anyone

The first item is that antichrists are unable to cooperate with anyone. This is the first manifestation of antichrists’ having others submit only to them, not the truth or God. They can’t cooperate with anyone—that “anyone” encompasses everyone. Whether their personalities are compatible with someone else’s or not, and whatever the circumstances, they just can’t cooperate. This isn’t a question of an ordinary revelation of corruption—it’s a problem in their nature. Some say, “There are certain people whose personalities are incompatible with mine, and I can’t cooperate with them because of that.” That’s not a simple issue of personalities, but one of a corrupt disposition. To have a corrupt disposition is to have an antichrist’s disposition, but that doesn’t mean that one has an antichrist’s essence. If someone can seek the truth, and can obey what others say, whoever they may be, so long as it accords with the truth, won’t it be easy for that person to achieve harmonious cooperation with others? (Yes.) It’s easy for people who can submit to the truth to cooperate with others; people who can’t submit to the truth can’t cooperate with anyone. Some people, for instance, are quite arrogant and self-righteous. They don’t accept the truth in the least, and they can’t cooperate harmoniously with anyone. Now, this is a serious problem—they have an antichrist’s nature, and they can’t submit to the truth or God. People have a corrupt disposition: If they can accept the truth, it’ll be easy for them to be saved; but if they have an antichrist’s nature and can’t accept the truth, they’re in trouble—being saved won’t be easy for them. Many antichrists have been revealed due primarily to their inability to cooperate with anyone, always acting dictatorially. Is that a revelation of a corrupt disposition, or is it the nature essence of an antichrist? Being unable to cooperate with anyone—what problem is that? What does it have to do with having others submit only to them, not the truth or God? If we were to fellowship this item clearly, you’d be able to see that those with the nature essence of an antichrist are unable to cooperate with anyone, that they’ll part ways with whomever they’re cooperating with, and that they’ll even become bitter rivals. On the surface, it may seem like some antichrists have assistants or partners, but the fact is that when something happens, no matter how right others may be, antichrists never listen to what they have to say. They don’t even take it into account, much less discuss it or fellowship about it. They don’t pay any attention at all, as if others may as well not be there. When antichrists listen to what others have to say, they are merely going through the motions or performing an act for others to witness. But when it ultimately comes time for the final decision, it is the antichrists who call the shots; anyone else’s words are wasted breath, they don’t count at all. For example, when two people are responsible for something, and one of them has the essence of an antichrist, what is exhibited in this person? No matter what it is, they and they alone are the one who gets the ball rolling, who asks the questions, who sorts things out, and who comes up with a solution. And most of the time, they keep their partner completely in the dark. What is their partner in their eyes? Not their deputy, but simply window dressing. In the antichrist’s eyes, their partner simply doesn’t exist. Whenever there is a problem, the antichrist thinks it over, and once they have decided on a course of action, they inform everyone else that this is how it is to be done, and no one is allowed to question it. What is the essence of their cooperation with others? Fundamentally it is to have the final say, never discussing problems with anyone else, taking sole responsibility for the work, and turning their partners into window dressing. They always act alone and never cooperate with anyone. They never discuss or communicate about their work with anyone else, they often make decisions alone and deal with issues alone, and in many things, other people find out how things were finished or handled only after the deed is done. Other people tell them, “All problems have to be discussed with us. When did you handle that person? How did you handle him? How did we not know about it?” They neither provide an explanation nor pay any attention; to them, their partners have no use at all, and are just decoration or window dressing. When something happens, they think it over, make up their own mind, and act however they wish to. No matter how many people there are around them, it’s as if these people are not there. To the antichrist, they may as well be air. Given this, is there any real aspect to their partnership with others? Not at all, they are just going through the motions and acting a part. Others say to them, “Why don’t you fellowship with everyone else when you come across a problem?” They reply, “What do they know? I’m the team leader, it’s up to me to decide.” The others say, “And why didn’t you fellowship with your partner?” They reply, “I told him, he had no opinion.” They use other people having no opinion or not being able to think for themselves as excuses to obfuscate the fact that they are acting as a law unto themselves. And this is not followed by the slightest introspection. It would be impossible for this kind of person to accept the truth. This is a problem with the antichrist’s nature.

How is the term “cooperation” to be explained and practiced? (Discussing things when they arise.) Yes, that’s one way of practicing it. What else? (Offsetting one’s weaknesses with the other’s strengths, supervising each other.) That fits entirely; practicing like that is cooperating in harmony. Is there more? Soliciting the other’s opinion when things happen—isn’t that cooperation? (Yes.) If one person fellowships theirs, and the other theirs, and in the end, they just go with the first person’s fellowship, why go through the motions? That’s not cooperation—it’s out of line with the principles, and it doesn’t yield the results of cooperation. If you speak on and on, like a machine gun, and don’t give others who’d like to speak the chance, and don’t listen to others even after you’ve spoken all your ideas, is that discussion? Is it fellowship? That’s just going through the motions—it’s not cooperation. What is cooperation, then? It’s when you, having spoken your ideas and decisions, can solicit the other’s opinions and views, then hold your and their statements and views against each other for comparison, with a few people exercising discernment on them together, and seeking the principles, thus coming to a common understanding and determining the correct path of practice. That’s what it means to discuss and to fellowship—that’s what “cooperation” means. Some people, as leaders, can’t see through some matter, but won’t discuss it with others until they’re out of options. They then say to the group, “I can’t handle this matter autocratically; I need to cooperate in harmony with everyone. I’ll let you all express your opinions about it and discuss it, to determine the right thing for us to do.” After everyone has spoken and had their say, they ask the leader what he thinks of it. He says, “What everyone wants is the same as what I want—I was thinking it, too. It’s what I’ve planned to do from the start, and with this discussion, unanimity is guaranteed.” Is this a candid remark? There’s a taint to it. He can’t see through the matter at all, and there’s an intent to mislead and trick people in what he says—it’s meant to get people to esteem him. His solicitation of everyone’s opinions is just a matter of form, meant to get everyone to say he’s not being dictatorial or autocratic. To avoid that label, he employs this method to cover things up. The fact is that while everyone is talking, he’s not listening at all, and not taking what they say at all to heart. And he’s not being sincere in letting everyone speak, either. On the surface, he’s letting everyone fellowship and have a discussion, but in reality, he’s only letting everyone talk in order to find a method that lines up with his own intentions. And once he’s determined the suitable way to go about the thing, he’ll force people to accept what he intends to do, whether it’s correct or not, and make everyone think that his way is right, that it’s what everyone intends. In the end, he executes it by force. Is that what you’d call cooperation? No—what would you call it, then? He’s being dictatorial. Whether he’s right or wrong, he wants to have the sole, final say. Moreover, when something happens and he can’t see through it, he has everyone else speak first. Once they have, he recapitulates their views and looks in them for a method that he likes and finds suitable, and makes everyone accept it. He’s adopting a pretense of cooperation, with the result that he still acts as he means to—still, he’s the one with the sole and final say. He finds faults and pokes holes in what everyone says, giving commentary and setting the tone, then goes on to synthesize all of it into one complete, accurate statement, with which to make his decision, showing everyone that he’s more elevated than others. From the outside, he seems to have heard everyone’s messages, and he does let everyone talk. The fact, though, is that he alone makes the decision in the end. The decision is in fact everyone’s insights and views, just summarized by him, put in a slightly more complete and accurate way. Some people can’t see through this, and so think it’s him who’s elevated. What’s the character of such action on his part? Isn’t it an extreme cleverness? He summarizes everyone’s messages and states them as his own, so that people worship and obey him; and in the end, everyone acts as he wills. Is that harmonious cooperation? It’s arrogance and self-righteousness, dictatorship—he takes all the credit for himself. Such people are so disingenuous, so arrogant and self-righteous, in cooperating with others, and people will see that, given enough time. Some will say: “You say I’m unable to cooperate with anyone—well, I do have a partner! They cooperate well with me: They go where I go, do what I do; they go wherever I have them go, do whatever I have them do, however I’d have them do it.” Is that what cooperation means? No. That’s called being a footman. A footman does your bidding—is that cooperation? Clearly, they are a lackey, without ideas or views, much less opinions of their own. And beyond that, their thinking is that of a people-pleaser. They’re not meticulous in anything they do, but perfunctorily go through the motions, and they don’t uphold the interests of God’s house. What purpose could cooperation like that serve? Whoever they’re partnered with, they just do their bidding, ever a lackey. They heed whatever others say and do whatever others have them do. That’s not cooperation. What is cooperation? You have to be able to discuss things with each other, and express your views and opinions; you must complement and supervise each other, and seek from each other, make inquiries of each other, and prompt each other. That’s what it is to cooperate in harmony. Say, for instance, you handled something according to your own will, and someone said, “You did it wrong, entirely against the principles. Why did you handle it however you wanted, without seeking the truth?” To this, you say, “That’s right—I’m glad you alerted me! If you hadn’t, it would have spelled disaster!” That’s what prompting each other is. What is it, then, to supervise each other? Everyone has a corrupt disposition, and may be perfunctory in doing their duty, safeguarding only their own status and pride, not the interests of God’s house. Such states are there in every person. If you learn that someone has a problem, you should take the initiative to fellowship with them, reminding them to do their duty according to the principles, while letting it stand as a warning to yourself. That’s mutual supervision. What function does mutual supervision serve? It’s meant to safeguard the interests of God’s house, and also to keep people from taking the wrong road. Cooperation has another function, apart from prompting each other and supervising each other: making inquiries of each other. When you want to handle a person, for instance, you should fellowship with and make inquiries of your partner: “I haven’t encountered this sort of thing before. I don’t know how to handle it. What’s a good way to handle it? I just can’t sort it out!” They say, “I’ve handled problems like this before. The context that time was a bit different than it is in this person’s case; it would be a bit like rule-following, if we handled this the same way. I don’t know a good way to handle this now, either.” You say, “I have an idea I’d like to run by you. This person seems evil, to look at their character, but we can’t be sure for the moment. They can labor, though, so let them do so for now. If they can’t labor, and keep disrupting and disturbing things, we’ll handle them then.” They hear this and say, “That’s a fine way. It’s on the prudent side and completely in line with the principles, and it’s neither suppressive nor a vent for private anger. Let’s handle it that way, then.” The two of you reached a consensus through discussion. Work done that way runs smoothly. Suppose the two of you aren’t cooperating and don’t discuss things, and when your partner doesn’t know how to handle something, they foist it off onto you, thinking, “Handle it however you please. If anything goes wrong, it’ll be your responsibility, at any rate—I won’t be sharing it with you.” You can see that your partner is acting from an unwillingness to take on responsibility, yet you don’t point that out to them, but act rashly according to your own will, thinking, “You don’t want to take on the responsibility? You want to let me handle it? Fine, I’ll handle it, then—I’ll expel them.” The two of you don’t share a mind; each has your own angle—and as a result, the matter is handled haphazardly, in violation of the principles, and a person who’s capable of laboring is arbitrarily cleared out. Is that harmonious cooperation? Harmonious cooperation is the only way to achieve positive results. If one person won’t take responsibility and the other would act arbitrarily, that’s the same as them not cooperating. They’re both acting by their own will. How could such performance of one’s duty be satisfactory?

When something comes up amid cooperation, you have to make inquiries of each other and discuss things with each other. Can antichrists practice in this way? Antichrists are unable to cooperate with anyone; they’re always wishing to set up solitary rule. The characteristic of this manifestation is “solo.” Why use the word “solo” to describe it? Because before they take action, they don’t come before God in prayer, nor do they seek the truth principles, much less do they find someone to fellowship with and say to them, “Is this an appropriate course? What do the work arrangements stipulate? How’s this sort of thing to be handled?” They never discuss things or seek to reach a consensus with their coworkers and partners—they just consider things and scheme on their own, making their own plans and arrangements. With a mere cursory read-through of the work arrangements of God’s house, they think they’ve understood them, and then they blindly arrange the work—and by the time others know of this, the work has already been arranged. It’s impossible for anyone to hear their views or sentiments from their own mouth in advance, as they never communicate the thoughts and views they harbor to anyone. Someone may ask, “Don’t all leaders and workers have partners?” They may nominally have someone as a partner, but when it comes time to work, they don’t anymore—they fly solo. Although leaders and workers have partners, and everyone who does any duty has a partner, antichrists believe that they have good caliber and are better than ordinary people, so ordinary people are not worthy of being their partner, and are all inferior to them. This is why antichrists like to call the shots and don’t like to discuss things with anyone else. They think doing so makes them look like an incompetent good-for-nothing. What kind of viewpoint is this? What kind of disposition is this? Is this an arrogant disposition? They think that to cooperate and discuss things with others, to make inquiries of them and seek from them, is undignified and demeaning, an affront to their self-respect. And so, in order to protect their self-respect, they don’t allow transparency in anything they do, nor do they tell others about it, much less discuss it with them. They think that to discuss with others is to show themselves as incompetent; that to always solicit other people’s opinions means they are stupid and incapable of thinking for themselves; that working with others in completing a task or sorting out some problem makes them appear useless. Isn’t this their arrogant and absurd mentality? Isn’t this their corrupt disposition? The arrogance and self-righteousness within them is too obvious; they have lost all normal human reason, and they aren’t quite right in the head. They always think they have abilities, can finish things by themselves, and have no need to cooperate with others. Since they have such corrupt dispositions, they are unable to achieve harmonious cooperation. They believe that to cooperate with others is to dilute and fragment their power, that when work is shared with others, their own power is lessened and they can’t decide everything for themselves, meaning they lack real power, which for them is a tremendous loss. And so, no matter what happens to them, if they believe they understand and that they know the appropriate way to handle it, they won’t discuss it with anyone else, and they will call all the shots. They will prefer to make mistakes over letting other people know, they will prefer to be wrong over sharing power with someone else, and they will prefer dismissal over letting other people interfere in their work. This is an antichrist. They would rather harm the interests of God’s house, would rather wager the interests of God’s house, than share their power with anyone else. They think that when they’re doing a piece of work or handling some matter, this isn’t the performance of a duty, but rather a chance to display themselves and stand out from others, and a chance to exercise power. Therefore, although they say that they will harmoniously cooperate with others and that they will discuss matters together with others when they occur, the truth is, in the depths of their heart, they are unwilling to give up their power or status. They think that so long as they understand some doctrines and are capable of doing it themselves, they don’t need to cooperate with anyone else; they think that it should be carried out and completed alone, and that only this makes them competent. Is this view correct? They don’t know that if they violate principles, they aren’t doing their duties, they aren’t able to carry out God’s commission, and they are merely laboring. Rather than seek the truth principles when doing their duty, they exercise power according to their thoughts and intentions, show off, and parade themselves. No matter who their partner is or what they do, they never want to discuss things, they always want to act on their own, and they always want to have the final say. They are obviously playing with power and using power to do things. Antichrists all love power, and when they have status, they want more power. When they possess power, antichrists are liable to use their status to show off and parade themselves, so as to make others look up to them and to achieve their goal of standing out from the crowd. Thus do the antichrists fixate upon power and status, and will never relinquish their power, ever. Whatever duty they’re doing, whatever realm of professional know-how it entails, they’ll pretend to know about it, even when it’s clear they don’t. And if someone should accuse them of not understanding, and just pretending, they’ll say, “Even if I start studying this now, I’ll understand it better than you. It’s just a matter of looking up some resources online, isn’t it?” This is how arrogant and self-righteous antichrists are. They view everything as a simple matter, and they’d dare take it on wholesale and alone. And as a result, when the Above checks on the work and asks how the matter is coming along, they say it’s more or less taken care of. The fact is that they’ve been flying solo, not discussing things with anyone—they’ve been deciding everything themselves. If you ask them, “Are there principles to the way you’re acting?” they’ll trot out a whole set of theories to prove that what they’re doing is right and in line with the principles. In reality, their thinking is distorted and mistaken. They haven’t discussed things at all with others, but have always had the final say, making the decisions themselves. Decisions made by a single person are bound to contain deviations most of the time, so what disposition is this, thinking themselves right and accurate? It’s an obvious disposition of arrogance. They have an arrogant disposition, and that’s why they’re dictatorial—that’s why they run riot doing bad things. It’s autocracy—a monopoly. This is the disposition of antichrists. They’re never willing to cooperate with anyone, but find it extraneous, unnecessary. They always think they’re better than others, that no one else compares to them. That’s why at heart, antichrists have no wish or will to cooperate with others. They want to have what they say go; they want a monopoly. Only then do they feel delight—only then can they demonstrate their superiority, making others submissive to them and worshipful of them.

There’s another part of it, which is that antichrists always wish to have absolute power, to have the sole and final say. This aspect of their disposition also makes them unable to cooperate with others. If you ask them whether they’re willing to cooperate, they say they are, but when time comes to do so, they can’t. This is their disposition. Why can’t they do it? If an antichrist were to be an assistant group head, say, and someone else the group head, that person with the nature essence of an antichrist would go from assistant to head, and the group head would then be their assistant. They’d flip it around. How would they achieve this? They have many techniques. One element of their techniques is that they make use of the times when they’re taking action in front of the brothers and sisters—the times when most everyone can see them—to speak and act a lot and show themselves off, to make people esteem them and acknowledge that they’re much better than the group head, and that they’ve surpassed the group head. And with time, the brothers and sisters come to say that the group head isn’t as good as the assistant group head. The antichrist is delighted to hear this; they think, “Finally, they admit that I’m better than him. I’ve accomplished my goal.” What are the responsibilities and obligations an assistant group head should fulfill, under normal circumstances? They are to cooperate with the group head in carrying out and implementing the work arranged by the church, and to raise things to the group head, and prompt him, and supervise him—and to act together in discussion with him. The group head must play the role of primary leader; the assistant group head must have his back, and cooperate with him in seeing that every work project is taken well care of. Apart from not sabotaging things, everything must be done in cooperation with the group head, so that the work that’s to be done is done well. If the group head’s actions violate the principles, the assistant group head must then raise it to him and help him, and correct the mistake. And with everything that the group head does right and well, and that’s in line with the truth principles, the assistant group head must support and cooperate with it, and make an all-out effort in its service, and be of one heart and mind with the group head to do the work well. If a problem should occur, or if one should be found, the two of them must discuss its resolution. Sometimes, there are two things that must be done at the same time; once the two of them have talked it over, they must each take good care of their own work, separately. That’s cooperation—harmonious cooperation. Do antichrists cooperate in this way with others? Absolutely not. If it’s an antichrist serving as assistant group head, they’ll get to figuring out what they must do to swap positions with the group head, to turn the group head into the assistant and the assistant into the group head, thereby taking charge. They command the group head to do this and that, showing everyone that they’re much better than the group head, that they’re fit to be the group head. In this way, their prestige increases among others, and they’re then naturally chosen as group head. They intentionally make the group head look foolish and lose face, such that others look down on him. Then, with their words, they mock him and satirize him, and expose and belittle him. Bit by bit, the disparity between the two grows bigger and bigger, and the places they have in people’s hearts grow more and more different. The antichrist thus becomes the group head, in the end—they’ve won people over to their side. With a disposition like theirs, can they cooperate in harmony with others, then? No. Whatever venue they’re in, they want to be the mainstay, to have a monopoly, to hold the power in their own hand. Whatever your title, chief or assistant, a big one or a small one, status and power, as they see it, must sooner or later become theirs alone. Whoever it may be doing a duty with them, or doing any work project with them, or even debating an issue with them, they remain a loner who acts on their own. They don’t cooperate with anyone. No one is allowed to have the same prestige or title as them, nor the same ability or reputation. As soon as someone would surpass them and threaten their status, they’ll try to turn the situation around, by any means at their disposal. Everyone is discussing a matter, for instance, and when the discussion is on the verge of yielding a result, they’ll understand this at a glance and know what’s to be done. They’ll say, “Is this really so hard to take care of? Does it still need such discussion? None of what you’re saying will fly!” And they’ll offer a novel theory or high-sounding idea that no one had thought of, ultimately refuting everyone’s views. Once they have, it’ll make people think, “They’re high up, alright; how come we didn’t think of that? We’re just ignorant rabble. That’s no good—we need you at the helm!” That’s the result the antichrist wants; they’re always spouting high-sounding ideas, so that they can come to cut a unique figure, and win the esteem of others. And what impression of them do people wind up with? That their ideas are beyond those of ordinary people, more elevated than those of ordinary people. How elevated? If they’re not there, the group can’t make a ruling or finalize anything, so they must wait for them to come and say something. Once they have, everyone admires them, and if what they say is fallacious, everyone still says it’s elevated. In this, aren’t they misleading people? So, why can’t they cooperate with anyone? They feel, “Cooperating with people is putting myself on a level with them. Can two tigers occupy the same mountain? There can only be one king of the mountain, and that kingship goes to whoever can hold it—and it’s a capable person like me who can do that. You all aren’t that bright of mind; your caliber’s poor, and you’re timid. And add to that, you haven’t cheated or fooled people in the world—you’ve just been fooled by others. I alone am qualified to be leader here!” With them, bad things thus become good things. They flaunt these bad things of theirs—isn’t that shameless? Why do they say these things? And what’s the purpose of their acting like this, then? It’s to be the leader, to take pride of place, no matter how large a group of people they’re in. Is that not their intention? (It is.) So, they think of every way to belittle, demean, and mock everyone, and then to offer up high-sounding ideas of their own, to convince everyone and have everyone do what they say. Is that cooperation? No—what is it? This squares with item eight, which we’re speaking on: They would have others submit only to them, not the truth or God. This is spoken in regard to cooperation. Can antichrists—whatever they’re doing, in their language or in their methods—do their duty in cooperation with others? (No.) They don’t cooperate, but just demand that others cooperate with their statements and methods. Can they take advice from others, then? Certainly not. Whatever advice others may offer them, they’re quite indifferent to it. They don’t ask for details or for reasons, nor do they ask how things really should be handled, much less do they seek the truth principles. Worse still, they don’t even ask Me when I’m in front of them—they treat Me as air. I ask them if they have some problem, and they say no. Clearly, they don’t know what to do about something that’s just happened, yet they don’t ask Me, though I’m there in front of them. Can they cooperate with anyone else, then? No one’s qualified to be their partner, just their slave and footman. Is that not so? Some of them may have partners, but in fact, those partners of theirs are their footmen, much like puppets. They say, “Go here,” and their partner does; “Go there,” and their partner does; their partner knows what they’d have them know, and with what they wouldn’t have them know, they don’t even dare ask. Things are as they say they are. Someone may say to them, “This won’t do. There are some things you can’t be in sole charge of. You have to find someone to cooperate with, someone who’ll supervise you. Moreover, there was some work you didn’t handle so well in the past. You need to find someone of caliber, with an ability to do the work, to cooperate with you and help you—you need to safeguard the work of the church and the interests of God’s house!” What will they say to that? “If you dismiss my partner, there’s no one else fit to partner with me.” What’s this they’re saying? Is it that they’ll have no partner, or that they can’t find that sort of footman and slave? They’re afraid that they won’t be able to find such a slave or footman, such a “partner” who does only their bidding. How would you say this challenge they raise should be resolved? You may say, “Oh, you can’t find a partner? No need for you to work on this project, then—whoever has a partner can do it instead.” Is the problem not thus resolved? If no one’s fit to partner with you and no one can cooperate with you, what sort of thing are you, then? You’re a monster, a freak. Those who truly have reason are at least able to cooperate with the average person, unless that person is too poor of caliber. That wouldn’t work. The first thing reasonable people must do is learn to cooperate with others in doing their duty. They must be able to cooperate with anyone, unless that person’s feeble-minded or a devil, in which case there’s no way to cooperate with them. It’s a very important thing, to be able to cooperate with most people—it’s a sign of normal reason.

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