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

One of the most obvious characteristics of the essence of an antichrist is that they monopolize power and run their own dictatorships: They do not listen to anyone, they do not respect anyone, and regardless of people’s strengths, or what correct views or wise opinions they may express, or what suitable methods they might put forward, they pay them no heed; it is as if no one is qualified to cooperate with them, or to take part in anything they do. This is the kind of disposition antichrists have. Some people say this is being of bad humanity—but how could it just be commonplace bad humanity? This is an entirely satanic disposition, and such a disposition is supremely vicious. Why do I say that their disposition is supremely vicious? Antichrists expropriate everything from the house of God and the property of the church, and treat them as their personal property, all of which is to be managed by them, and they do not permit anyone else to interfere with this. The only things they think about when doing the work of the church are their own interests, their own status, and their own pride. They do not allow anyone to harm their interests, much less do they allow anyone of caliber or anyone who is able to speak of their experiential testimony to threaten their reputation and status. And so, they try to suppress and exclude as competitors those who are able to speak of experiential testimony, and who can fellowship the truth and provide for God’s chosen people, and they desperately try to isolate those people completely from everyone else, to drag their names thoroughly through the mud, and to bring them down. Only then will the antichrists feel at peace. If these people are never negative, and are able to carry on doing their duty, speaking of their testimony, and supporting others, then the antichrists will turn to their last resort, which is to find faults with them and condemn them, or to frame them and fabricate reasons to torment and punish them, until they get them cleared out of the church. Only then will the antichrists completely relax. This is what is most insidious and malicious about the antichrists. What causes them the most fear and anxiety is the people who pursue the truth and are possessed of true experiential testimony, because people with such testimony are the ones whom God’s chosen people approve of and support the most, rather than those who blather on emptily about words and doctrines. Antichrists do not possess true experiential testimony, nor are they capable of practicing the truth; at best, they are capable of doing a few good deeds to curry favor with people. But no matter how many good deeds they do or how many nice-sounding things they say, these are still incomparable to the benefits and advantages that a good experiential testimony can bring to people. Nothing is a substitute for the effects of the provision and watering provided to God’s chosen people by those who are able to speak of their experiential testimony. And so, when antichrists see someone speaking of their experiential testimony, their gaze becomes a dagger. Rage ignites in their hearts, hatred rises up, and they are champing at the bit to shut the speaker up and stop them from saying any more. If they carry on talking, the antichrists’ reputation will be completely ruined, their ugly faces completely exposed for all to see, so the antichrists find a pretext to disturb the person who is speaking testimony, and to suppress them. Antichrists permit only themselves to mislead people with words and doctrines; they do not allow God’s chosen people to glorify God by speaking of their experiential testimony, which indicates what kind of people the antichrists hate and fear the most. When someone distinguishes themselves with a little work, or when someone is able to speak of true experiential testimony, and God’s chosen people receive benefits, edification, and support from it, and it earns great praise from everyone, envy and hate grows in the hearts of the antichrists, and they try to exclude and suppress that person. They do not, under any circumstances, allow such people to undertake any work, in order to prevent them from threatening their status. People with the truth reality serve to accentuate and highlight the poverty, wretchedness, ugliness, and wickedness of antichrists when they’re in their presence, so when the antichrists choose a partner or co-worker, they never select people with the truth reality, they never select people who can speak of their experiential testimony, and they never select honest people or people who are able to practice the truth. These are the people the antichrists envy and hate the most, and they are a thorn in the side of the antichrists. No matter how much these people who practice the truth do that is good or of benefit to the work of God’s house, the antichrists will try their hardest to cover these deeds up. They will even twist the facts to claim the credit for good things while shifting the blame for bad things onto others, as a means to elevate themselves and belittle other people. Antichrists have a great jealousy and hatred toward those who pursue the truth and are able to speak of their experiential testimony. They are fearful that these people will threaten their own status, and so they do all they can to attack and exclude them. They prohibit the brothers and sisters from contacting them or getting close to them, or from supporting or praising these people who are able to speak of their experiential testimony. This is what most reveals the satanic nature of antichrists, which is averse to the truth and hates God. And so, too, does it prove that the antichrists are an evil countercurrent in the church, that they are the ones to blame for the disturbance to church work and impedance of God’s will. What’s more, the antichrists often fabricate lies and twist facts among the brothers and sisters, belittling and condemning people who can speak of their experiential testimony. No matter what work those people do, antichrists find excuses to exclude and suppress them, and are judgmental about them, saying they are arrogant and self-righteous, that they like showing off, and that they harbor ambitions. In fact, these people have some experiential testimony and possess some of the truth reality. They are of relatively good humanity, have conscience and reason, and are able to accept the truth. And though they may have some shortcomings, deficiencies, and occasional revelations of a corrupt disposition, they are capable of reflecting on themselves and repenting. These people are the ones whom God will save, and who have hope of being made perfect by God. In sum, these people are suited to doing a duty. They satisfy the requirements and principles for doing a duty. But the antichrists think to themselves, “There’s no way I’m going to put up with this. You want to have a role in my domain, to compete with me. That’s impossible; don’t even think about it. You’re more educated than me, more articulate than me, more popular than me, and you pursue the truth with greater diligence than I do. If I were to cooperate with you and you stole my thunder, what would I do then?” Do they consider the interests of the house of God? No. What do they think about? They think only of how to hold on to their own status. Though antichrists know themselves to be incapable of doing real work, they do not cultivate or promote people of good caliber who pursue the truth; the only people they promote are those who flatter them, those who are apt to worship others, who approve of and admire them in their hearts, those who are smooth operators, who have no understanding of the truth and are incapable of discernment. The antichrists bring these people up to their side to serve them, to run about for them, and to spend each day orbiting around them. This gives the antichrists power in the church, and it means that many people draw close to them, and follow them, and that no one dares to offend them. All these people whom antichrists cultivate are people who do not pursue the truth. Most of them lack spiritual understanding and know nothing but rule-following. They like to follow trends and the powers that be. They are of the sort that is emboldened by having a powerful master—a gang of muddle-headed people. How does that saying of the nonbelievers go? Better to be a squire to a good man than the worshiped forebear of a bad one. Antichrists do precisely the opposite—they act as the worshiped forebears of such people, and set out to cultivate them as their flag-wavers and cheerers-on. Whenever an antichrist is in power in a church, they will always recruit muddle-headed people and those who blindly fool around as their helpers, while excluding and suppressing those people of caliber who can understand and practice the truth, who can take on work—and especially those leaders and workers who are capable of actual work. In this way, two camps are formed in the church: In one camp are those whose humanity is relatively honest, who do their duty with sincerity, and are people who pursue the truth. The other camp is a gang of people who are muddle-headed and who blindly fool around, led by antichrists. These two camps will continue to battle each other until the antichrists are revealed and eliminated. Antichrists always fight and act against those who do their duty with sincerity and pursue the truth. Does this not severely disturb the church’s work? Does this not disrupt and disturb God’s work? Is this force of antichrists not a stumbling block and an obstacle preventing God’s will from being carried out in the church? Is it not a wicked force opposing God? Why do antichrists act this way? Because, in their minds, it is clear that if these positive characters were to stand up and be leaders and workers, they would be antichrists’ competitors; they would be antichrists’ opposing force, and would absolutely not listen to antichrists’ words or obey them; they would absolutely not follow antichrists’ every bidding. These people would be enough to constitute a threat to the antichrists’ status. When antichrists see these people, hatred rises up in their hearts; their hearts will be without peace and reassurance if they do not exclude and defeat these people and ruin their names. Therefore, they must work quickly to cultivate their own power and strengthen their ranks. This way, they can control more of God’s chosen people, and will never again have to worry about a handful of truth-pursuers threatening their status. Antichrists form their own force in the church, taking those who listen to them, obey them, and are sycophantic toward them, and promoting them to be in charge of every aspect of work. Is doing this beneficial to the work of the house of God? No. Not only is it not beneficial, it also creates disruption and disturbance to the church’s work. If this wicked force has more than half of the people on its side, there is a chance it will topple the church. This is because the number of truth-pursuers in the church constitutes a minority, whereas laborers and disbelievers who are just there to eat their fill of bread constitute at least half. In this situation, if antichrists focus their strength on misleading and drawing those people over to their side, they will naturally have an upper hand when the church elects leaders. Therefore, the house of God always stresses that during elections, the truth should be fellowshipped on until it is clear. If you are unable to expose and defeat antichrists by fellowshipping on the truth, the antichrists could mislead people and be elected as a leader, seizing and controlling the church. Would that not be a dangerous thing? If one or two antichrists appeared in the church, it would not warrant fear, but if antichrists were to become a force and achieve a certain level of influence, that would warrant fear. Therefore, antichrists must be uprooted and expelled from the church before they achieve that level of influence. This task is of the highest priority, and it is necessary to do. Moreover, those disbelievers in the church, especially those inclined to worship and follow man, who like to follow force, who like to be accomplices and henchmen to devils, who like to form cliques—such disbelievers and devils as them should be cleared out with all haste. That’s the only way to prevent those rabble from forming a force to disturb and control the church. This is something God’s chosen people must see clearly, something those who understand the truth should burden themselves with. All who burden themselves with the work of the church, all who are considerate of God’s intentions, must perceive these things for what they are. They must especially see the ilk of antichrists for what they are, as well as the petty devils who like flattering and worshiping people, and then put restrictions on them or clear them out of the church. There’s such a great need for practice like this. People like antichrists set out specifically to get on good terms with such muddle-headed people, useless wastrels, and vile people who don’t accept or love the truth. They win them over and “cooperate” with them quite harmoniously, and intimately, and enthusiastically. What sorts of creatures are those people? Aren’t they members of the antichrists’ gangs? If the Above should replace their “worshiped forebear,” these dutiful offspring won’t stand for it—they’ll judge the Above to be unfair, and they’ll join up to defend the antichrists. Can God’s house allow them to prevail? All it can do is cast its net over all of them and clear them all out. They’re demons of the antichrists’ gangs, and not one of them may be let off the hook. People like antichrists seldom act alone; most of the time, they assemble a group to take action with, formed of at least two or three people. However, there are some individual cases of antichrists who act as individuals. This is because they have no talents, or perhaps haven’t gotten their chance. What they have in common with the others, though, is their special love of status. Don’t assume they don’t love status because they have no skills or education. That’s wrong. You haven’t seen through clearly to an antichrist’s essence—so long as someone is an antichrist, they like status. Seeing that antichrists are unable to cooperate with anyone, why is it, then, that they cultivate such a group of muddle-headed people, trash, and vermin to lick their boots? Do they mean to cooperate with these people? If they really could cooperate with them, then the statement that “antichrists are unable to cooperate with anyone” wouldn’t hold water. They can’t cooperate with anyone—that “anyone” refers primarily to positive people, but to take an antichrist’s disposition into account, they can’t cooperate with their accomplices, either. So, what are they doing in cultivating these people? They’re cultivating a group of muddle-headed people who are easy to boss around, who are easy to manipulate, who have no views of their own, who do whatever the antichrists say—who’ll go on together to safeguard the antichrists’ status. If an antichrist relied on themselves, they’d be all alone, and it’d be no easy thing for them to safeguard their status. That’s why they win over a group of muddle-headed people to flock around them each day and do things for their sake. They even mislead God’s chosen people: They talk about how these people pursue the truth and how they suffer; they say they deserve to be nurtured; they even say that when these people have an issue, they inquire of them about it, and ask them about it—that they’re all obedient, submissive people. Are they cooperatively doing their duty? The antichrist is finding a group of people who will act for them, who’ll be their henchmen, their accomplices, in order to consolidate their status. That’s not cooperation—that’s running their own operation. Such is the force of antichrists.

What do you say, is it hard to cooperate with other people? It isn’t, actually. You could even say it is easy. But why do people still feel this to be difficult? Because they have corrupt dispositions. For those who possess humanity, conscience, and reason, cooperating with others is relatively easy, and they can feel that this is something joyful. This is because it is not easy for anyone to accomplish things on their own, and whatever the field they’re involved in, or what they’re doing, it is always good to have someone there to point things out and offer assistance—much easier than doing it by themselves. Also, there are limits to what people’s caliber is capable of or what they themselves can experience. No one can be a master of all trades: It is impossible for one person to know everything, to be capable of everything, to accomplish everything—that is impossible, and everyone should possess such reason. And so, no matter what you do, whether it be important or not, you will always need someone there to help you, to give you pointers and advice, or to do things in cooperation with you. This is the only way to ensure that you will do things more correctly, make fewer mistakes and be less likely to go astray—it is a good thing. Serving God, in particular, is a big deal, and not resolving your corrupt disposition could put you in danger! When people have satanic dispositions, they can rebel against and oppose God in any time and at any place. People who live by satanic dispositions can deny, oppose, and betray God at any time. The antichrists are very stupid, they don’t realize this, they think, “I had enough trouble getting hold of power, why would I share it with anyone else? Giving it to others means I won’t have any for myself, doesn’t it? How can I demonstrate my talents and abilities without power?” They do not know that what God has entrusted people with is not power or status, but a duty. Antichrists only accept power and status, they put their duties aside, and they don’t do actual work. Instead, they only pursue fame, gain and status, and only want to seize power, control God’s chosen people, and indulge in the benefits of status. Doing things this way is very dangerous—this is opposing God! Anyone who pursues fame, gain and status rather than properly doing their duty is playing with fire and playing with their life. Those who play with fire and their lives can doom themselves at any moment. Today, as a leader or a worker, you are serving God, which is no ordinary thing. You are not doing things for some person, much less working to pay bills and put food on the table; instead, you are performing your duty in the church. And given, in particular, that this duty came from God’s commission, what does performing it imply? That you are accountable to God for your duty, whether you do it well or not; ultimately, an account must be given to God, there must be an outcome. What you have accepted is God’s commission, a hallowed responsibility, so no matter how important or minor this responsibility is, it is a serious business. How serious is it? On a small scale it involves whether you can gain the truth in this lifetime and it involves how God views you. On a larger scale, it directly relates to your prospects and destiny, to your outcome; if you commit evil and oppose God, you will be condemned and punished. Everything you do when you perform your duty is recorded by God, and God has His own principles and standards for how it is scored and evaluated; God determines your outcome based on all that is manifested by you as you perform your duty. Is this a serious matter? It is, indeed! So, if you’re assigned a task, is it your own matter to handle? (No.) That work is not a thing you can complete on your own, but it does require that you take on responsibility for it. The responsibility is yours; you must complete that commission. What does this touch on? It touches on cooperation, on how to cooperate in service, on how to cooperate to perform your duty, on how to cooperate to complete your commission, on how to cooperate such that you follow God’s will. It touches on these things.

Harmonious cooperation involves many things. At the very least, one of these many things is to allow others to speak and make different suggestions. If you are genuinely reasonable, no matter what kind of work you do, you must first learn to seek the truth principles, and you should also take the initiative to seek the opinions of others. As long as you take every suggestion seriously, and then resolve problems with one heart and mind, you will essentially achieve harmonious cooperation. This way, you will encounter far fewer difficulties in your duty. No matter what problems come up, it will be easy to solve and deal with them. This is the effect of harmonious cooperation. Sometimes there are disputes over trivial matters, but as long as these don’t affect the work, they will not be a problem. However, on key matters and major matters involving the work of the church, you must reach a consensus and seek truth to resolve them. As a leader or a worker, if you always think yourself above others, and revel in your duty like it’s a government post, always indulging in the benefits of your status, always making your own plans, always considering and enjoying your own fame, gain and status, always running your own operation, and always seeking to gain higher status, to manage and control more people, and to expand the scope of your power, this is trouble. It is very dangerous to treat an important duty as a chance to enjoy your position as if you are a government official. If you always act like this, not wishing to cooperate with others, not wanting to dilute your power and share it with anyone else, not wanting anyone else to upstage you, to steal the limelight, if you only want to enjoy the power on your own, then you are an antichrist. But if you often seek the truth, practice rebelling against your flesh, your motivations and ideas, and are able to take it upon yourself to cooperate with others, open up your heart to consult and seek with others, attentively listen to others’ ideas and suggestions, and accept advice which is correct and aligns with the truth, no matter who it comes from, then you are practicing in a wise and correct manner, and you are able to avoid taking the wrong path, which is protection for you. You must let go of leadership titles, let go of the filthy air of status, treat yourself as an ordinary person, stand on the same level as others, and have a responsible attitude toward your duty. If you always treat your duty as an official title and status, or as a kind of laurel, and imagine that others are there to work for and serve your position, this is troublesome, and God will detest and be disgusted with you. If you believe that you are equal to others, you just have a little more of a commission and responsibility from God, if you can learn to put yourself on an even footing with them, and can even stoop to asking what other people think, and if you can earnestly, closely, and attentively listen to what they say, then you will cooperate in harmony with others. What effect will this harmonious cooperation achieve? The effect is huge. You will gain things you never had before, which are the light of truth and the realities of life; you will discover others’ virtues and learn from their strengths. There’s something else: You conceive of other people as stupid, dim-witted, foolish, inferior to you, but when you listen to their opinions, or other people open up to you, you will unwittingly discover that no one is quite as ordinary as you think, that everyone can offer up different thoughts and ideas, and that everyone has their own merits. If you learn to harmoniously cooperate, beyond just helping you learn from the strengths of others, it can reveal your arrogance and self-righteousness, and stop you from imagining that you are clever. When you no longer consider yourself smarter and better than everyone else, you will cease to live in this narcissistic and self-appreciative state. And that will protect you, will it not? Such is the lesson you should learn and the benefit you should gain from cooperating with others.

In My dealings with people, I listen attentively to what most people say. I make a point of examining people of all sorts, and listening to them speak, and studying the language and style they employ in doing so. You used to assume, for instance, that most people have no more than a bit of education, but don’t know the skills of a trade, and so need not be interacted with. In fact, that’s not right. When you come into contact with these people, or even with some special people, you’re able to understand things deep in their hearts that you can’t see or perceive—things like their thoughts and views, some of which are distorted, and some of which are proper. Of course, that “properness” may be quite far from the truth; it may have nothing to do with it. But you’ll be able to know more aspects of human nature. Is that not a good thing for you? (It is.) That’s what insight is; it’s a way of enhancing your insight. Some may say, “What’s the use of enhancing our insight?” It’s of benefit to your understanding of the various sorts of people, and to your discernment and dissection of various sorts of people, and even more to your ability to help various sorts of people. This is the path on which much work is done. Some people are falsely spiritual and believe, “Now that I believe in God, I don’t listen to broadcasts or the news, and I don’t read the papers. I don’t interact with the external world. All people, of all walks of life and professions, are devils!” Well, you’re wrong. If you have the truth, are you still afraid of interacting with devils? Even God sometimes has dealings with Satan in the spiritual realm. Does He change for it? Not one bit. You’re afraid of having dealings with devils, and within that fear, there’s a problem. What’s actually to be feared is that you don’t understand the truth, that you have an inaccurate comprehension and view of belief in God and of the truth, that you have many notions and imaginings, and that you’re being too dogmatic. That’s why, whether you’re a leader or worker or a group head, whatever job you’re responsible for and whatever role you play, you must learn to cooperate with others and have dealings with them. Don’t spout high-sounding ideas, and don’t always affect nobility, to make people heed you. If you’re always spouting high-sounding ideas, and you’re never able to put the truth into practice, or cooperate with others, you’re making a fool of yourself. Who’d pay you any mind then? How did the downfall of the Pharisees come about? They were always preaching theological theories and spouting high-sounding ideas. As they went on doing so, God was no longer there in their hearts—they denied Him, and even made use of man’s notions, laws, and rules to condemn and oppose God, and to nail Him to the cross. They held their Bibles all day, reading and researching them, able to recite scripture fluently. And what came of that, in the end? They didn’t know where God is, nor what His disposition is, and though He had expressed many truths, they didn’t accept a bit of them, but opposed and condemned Him. Was that not the end of them? You clearly know what the results of that were. Do you have such fallacious views in your belief in God? Are you not sealed off? (We are.) Do you see Me being closed off? I sometimes read the news, and sometimes watch interviews with special guests and other such programs; sometimes, I chat idly with the brothers and sisters, and sometimes, I chat with someone who’s cooking or cleaning. I speak a bit with whomever I see. Don’t think that because you’ve taken on a task, or because you have some special talent, or even because you’ve taken on a special mission, that you’re more special than others. That’s wrong. As soon as you think you’re more special than others, that mistaken view will imperceptibly lock you in a cage—it’ll wall you up from the outside in iron and bronze. You’ll then feel that you’re the highest of all, that you can’t do this and that, that you can’t speak or have communications with such-and-such a person, that you can’t even laugh. And what happens in the end? Who do you turn into? (An isolated loner.) You become an isolated loner. Look how the emperors of old always said things like “I, alone, am such and so”; “I, isolated, am this and that”; “I, alone, think”—always declaring themselves alone. If you always declare yourself to be alone, how great must you think yourself to be? So great that you’ve really become the son of heaven? Is that what you are? In essence, you’re an ordinary person. If you always think yourself great and extraordinary, you’re in trouble. It’ll go south. If you conduct your worldly dealings with such a mistaken view, then the ways and means of your actions will change—your principles will change. If you always think yourself to be set apart, that you’re higher than all others, that you shouldn’t do this or that sort of thing, that doing such things is beneath your status and standing, have things not then gone south? (They have.) You’ll feel, “With status like mine, I can’t just say everything to others!” “With status like mine, I can’t tell others I’m rebellious!” “With standing like mine, I can’t tell others such demeaning things as my weaknesses, defects, faults, and lack of education—I absolutely can’t let anyone know about those things!” That would be exhausting, no? (It would.) If you lived in such an exhausting way, could you do your duty well? (No.) Where does the problem arise? It arises in your views on your duty and status. However great an “official” you are, whatever position you hold, however many people you’re in charge of, really, it’s no more than a different duty. You’re no different from others. You can’t see this for what it is, but always feel at heart, “It’s not a different duty—it really is a difference in standing. I need to be above others; how could I cooperate with others? They may as well cooperate with me—I can’t cooperate with them!” If you’re always thinking like that, always wishing to be above all others, always wishing to stand on others’ shoulders, above them and looking down on them, it won’t be easy for you to cooperate with people. You’ll always be thinking, “What does that person know? If he knew things, the brothers and sisters would have chosen him as leader. So, why’d they choose me? Because I’m better than him. So, I shouldn’t discuss things with him. If I did, it would mean that I’m not great. To prove that I am great, I can’t discuss things with anyone. There’s no one fit to discuss the work with me—no one at all!” This is how antichrists think.

In mainland China, the Communist Party suppresses religious belief. It’s a terrible environment. Believers in God face the danger of being arrested at any time, so leaders and workers don’t gather so frequently. At times, they can’t even hold co-worker meetings once a month; they wait until conditions allow to gather, or until they’ve found a suitable spot. How is the work carried out, then? When there are work arrangements, someone must be found to deliver them. Once, we found a nearby brother to deliver work arrangements to a regional leader. This brother was an ordinary believer, and when he delivered the work arrangements, the regional leader read them and said, “Humph. This is what I expected.” What was he flaunting in front of that brother? He was throwing his weight around, so that anyone looking would say, “Wow, that was so dignified. What style!” And that’s nothing—right afterward, he said, “This is the guy they send to deliver work arrangements to me? His rank isn’t high enough!” This meant: “I’m a regional leader, an important leader. How could an ordinary believer be sent to deliver things to me? Isn’t this overstepping? The Above really looks down on me. I’m a regional leader, so they should at least have sent a district leader to deliver this, and yet they got a lowest, ordinary believer to do it—his rank isn’t high enough!” What sort of person this leader is! How much does he treasure his status, to say the deliverer isn’t ranked highly enough? He treats his title as a pretext for asserting his authority. Is he not a devilish thing? (He is.) He’s a devilish thing, alright. In the work of the church, are we picky about who’s sent to deliver things or to give notices? In an environment like mainland China, brothers and sisters face such great risks while on the way to make deliveries, and yet when this brother arrived with the work arrangements, he was told by the leader that he was not of high enough rank, implying that someone of sufficient rank must be found, someone who corresponded with the leader in terms of standing and status, and that to do otherwise was looking down on the leader—is that not the disposition of an antichrist? (It is.) It’s the disposition of an antichrist. This devilish person can’t do any actual work, and he has no skills, yet he still makes such demands—he still puts such emphasis on status. What’s his catchphrase? “His rank isn’t high enough.” Whoever’s speaking with him, he first asks, “What level leader are you? The head of a small group? Off with you—your rank isn’t high enough!” If it’s the brother Above holding a gathering, he’ll always be moving forward, saying, “This brother is the greatest among the church leaders, and I’m next after him. Wherever he sits, I go right next to him, according to rank.” That’s how clear-cut this is in his mind. Isn’t that shameless? (Yes.) It’s so shameless—he has no self-knowledge! How shameless is he? Enough to disgust people. Even though he has the title of leader, what is he able to do? How well does he do it? He needs to have some results to show before he can flaunt his qualifications—that would be fitting; that would be logical. Yet he differentiates people according to rank without having achieved any results, without having done any work! And what’s his rank then? As a regional leader, he hasn’t done much actual work—he falls short of this rank. If I were to differentiate people according to rank, is there anyone who could come close to Me? No. Do you see Me differentiating based on rank when I interact with people? No—regardless of who I meet, I speak to them a bit if I can, and if I don’t have time, I just greet them and that’s it. This antichrist, though, doesn’t think like that. He sees standing, status, and social worth as more important than anything, as even more precious than his own life. Do you differentiate based on rank when you do your duties together? Some people differentiate by rank in everything they do; at the drop of a hat, they’ll say that other people are going beyond their rank in the work they do and the notices they give. What rank is it that they’re going beyond? Do your own duty well first. You can’t do any duty well or do any work, yet you’re still differentiating based on rank—who asked you to do that? It’s not yet time to make differentiations based on rank. You’re doing it too early; you have no self-knowledge. There are times when we go somewhere and find people there to resolve a problem. Do we look for suitable people based on rank? We basically do not. If you’re in charge of the work, then we’ll go looking for you, and if you’re not there, we’ll find someone else. We don’t differentiate based on rank, nor based on high or low status. If someone takes it on themselves to make such differentiations, they have no self-knowledge, and they don’t understand the principles. If you differentiate based on status, rank, and titles in God’s house as minutely as nonbelievers do, then you’re really lacking in reason! You don’t understand the truth; you’re so lacking. You don’t understand what believing in God is about.

We’ve just talked about the practice of cooperating with others. Is this an easy thing to do? Anyone who can seek the truth, who has a bit of a sense of shame, and humanity, conscience, and reason, can practice cooperation with others. It’s those people without humanity, who always wish to have a monopoly on status, who’re always thinking of their own dignity, status, fame, and gain, that can’t cooperate with anyone. Of course, this is also one of the primary manifestations of antichrists: They don’t cooperate with anyone, nor can they achieve harmonious cooperation with anyone. They don’t practice that principle. What’s the reason for this? They’re unwilling to relinquish power; they’re unwilling to let others know that there are things they can’t see through to, that there are things about which they need to seek counsel. They present people with an illusion, making them think that there’s nothing they can’t do, nothing they don’t know, nothing of which they’re ignorant, that they’ve got all the answers, and that everything is doable, possible, and achievable for them—that they don’t need others, nor help, reminders, or advice from others. That’s one reason. What’s the most glaring disposition of antichrists, besides that? That is, what’s the disposition you’ll be able to see through to when you come into contact with them, from just hearing a phrase or two of theirs? Arrogance. How arrogant are they? Arrogant beyond reason—like a mental disease. If they take a sip of water, for instance, and they cut a pretty figure as they do so, they will bring it up as something to brag about: “Look what a pretty figure I cut when I drink water.” They are particularly good at flaunting themselves and showing off; they’re especially shameless and unabashed. That’s the sort of thing antichrists are. As they see it, no one measures up to them. They’re particularly good at showing off, and they completely lack self-knowledge. Some antichrists are particularly ugly, yet think they look good, with an oval face, almond-shaped eyes, and arched brows. They lack even this shred of self-knowledge. By 30 or 40 years of age, an average person will have more or less accurately appraised their own looks and abilities. Antichrists, however, don’t have such rationality. What problem is at play here? It’s that their arrogant disposition has exceeded the bounds of normal rationality. How arrogant are they? Even if they look like a toad, they’ll say they look like a swan. In this, there’s something of an inability to distinguish what is from what isn’t, and of turning things upside down. Such an extent of arrogance is arrogance to the point of shamelessness; it’s irrepressible. When ordinary people speak well of their own looks, they find it to be unmentionable and get embarrassed. Once they’ve spoken, they feel ashamed for the rest of the day, with a blush on their face. Antichrists don’t blush. They’ll praise themselves for the good things they’ve done and the strengths they have, for whatever ways they’re good and better than others—these words just flow from their mouth, as if they were ordinary speech. They don’t even blush! This is arrogance beyond measure, shame, or rationality. This is why, in the eyes of antichrists, every normal person—especially every person who seeks the truth, and possesses the conscience and reason of normal humanity, and normal thinking—is a mediocrity, has no talent to speak of, is lower than them, and lacks their strengths and merits. It’s fair to say that because they’re haughty and believe that there’s no one who measures up to them—that because of this reason, they don’t wish to cooperate or discuss things with anyone, in anything they do. They may listen to sermons, read God’s words, see the exposure of His words, or be pruned at times, but in any case, they won’t own up to having revealed corruption and having transgressed, much less to being arrogant and self-righteous. They aren’t able to understand that they’re just an ordinary person, of ordinary caliber. They can’t understand such things. Regardless of how you prune them, they’ll still think they’re of good caliber, that they’re higher than ordinary people. Is this not beyond hope? (It is.) It’s beyond hope. That’s an antichrist. However they’re pruned, they just can’t hang their head and admit that they’re no good, that they’re incapable. As they see it, admitting to their problems, faults, or corruption would be like being condemned, like being destroyed. This is the way they think. They think that as soon as others see their faults, or as soon as they acknowledge that their caliber is poor and that they do not have spiritual understanding, they’ll lose energy in their belief in God and find it meaningless, as their status will no longer be guaranteed—they’ll have lost their status. They think, “Is there a point to living without status? It’d be better to die!” And if they have status, they’re irrepressible in their arrogance, running amok doing evil; and if they hit a wall and get pruned, they’ll want to abandon their post, and become negative and slack off. Want them to act according to the truth principles? Don’t even think about it. What do they believe? “How about you give me a position and let me act on my own? You want me to cooperate with others? That’s impossible! Don’t find me a partner—I don’t need one; no one’s fit to be my partner. Or, just don’t use me—have someone else do it!” What kind of creature is this? “There can only be one alpha male”—this is the mindset of antichrists, and these are their manifestations. Is this not beyond hope? (It is.)

In the first item, which says that antichrists are unable to cooperate with anyone, what’s entailed in that “unable”? That they don’t cooperate with anyone, and that they can’t achieve cooperation with others—are these not two strains of it? These two meanings are entailed in it, as determined by the essence of antichrists. Though people may work in tandem with them, the essence of it isn’t true cooperation—they’re just footmen, providing back-up, running errands and handling affairs for them. It’s nowhere near qualifying as cooperation. How is “cooperation” defined, then? The fact is that the ultimate goal of cooperation is achieving an understanding of the truth principles, acting according to them, resolving every problem, making the right decisions—decisions that align with the principles, without deviation, and reducing errors in the work, so that all you do is the performance of your duty, not doing as you wish, and not running riot. The first manifestation of antichrists’ having others submit only to them, not the truth or God, is that they’re unable to cooperate with anyone. Some may say, “Being unable to cooperate with anyone isn’t the same as having others submit only to them.” Being unable to cooperate with anyone means that they don’t heed anyone’s words or solicit anyone’s suggestions—they don’t even seek God’s intentions or the truth principles. They just act and behave according to their own will. What’s implicit in this? They’re the ones who reign in their work, not the truth, not God. So, the principle of their work is to have others heed what they say, and treat them as if they were the truth, as if they were God. Is that not its nature? Some may say, “If they’re unable to cooperate with anyone, maybe it’s because they understand the truth and don’t need to cooperate.” Is that what’s going on? The more someone understands the truth and practices it, the more sources they make inquiries of and seek from when they act. They discuss things and fellowship with people more, in an effort to minimize damage and the odds of errors occurring. The more someone understands the truth, the more reason they have, and the more willing and able they are to cooperate with others. Is that not so? And the less willing and able someone is to cooperate with others, those who won’t heed anyone else, who won’t consider anyone else’s suggestions, who, when they act, don’t consider the interests of God’s house and are unwilling to seek whether their actions are in line with the truth principles—such people seek the truth all the less and understand it all the less. What is it that they mistakenly believe? “The brothers and sisters have chosen me to be their leader; God has given me this chance to be a leader. So, all I do is in line with the truth—whatever I do, it’s right.” Is this not a misunderstanding? Why would they have such a misunderstanding? One thing’s for sure: Such people don’t love the truth. And something else: Such people simply don’t understand the truth. This is beyond all doubt.

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