How to Discern the Deception of a False Christ and an Antichrist
How to Discern a False Christ and an Antichrist
What is the false Christ? Anyone who claims to be Christ, who pretends to be Christ, who bears witness that he is Christ, is categorized as a false Christ. The presence of evil spirits at work is more obvious with some false Christs, so people can see that they are often under the instruction of evil spirits or are often communicating with evil spirits as the means to impersonate Christ. There are some false Christs who show no discernible signs of evil spirit’s work. But people can see that they are particularly arrogant, domineering, manipulative, aspiring, supercilious, and ambitious to the point that they are driven to act so absurdly as to impersonate Christ. In various religious groups, people are unscrupulously competing for high positions, for control of all those who believe in God. Why do these people have so much desire and need for status? What is certain is that they are extremely arrogant, they seek status above all else, and they see loss of status as loss of their soul. This is enough to prove that such a person lacks a human spirit and belongs to Satan. If such a person finds a way to enter the house of God, they are likely to become an antichrist. If anyone with evil spirits at work on them infiltrates the house of God, they are likely to impersonate Christ and become a false Christ. Whether they are a false Christ or an antichrist, these people are the irredeemable ones who are destined to be punished because they don’t love the truth, don’t obey God’s work, yet they want to control the chosen people of God to nullify God’s work. Such people are the enemies of God. So it is perfectly appropriate to say that they are destined to be targets for punishment. How does one distinguish between a false Christ and an antichrist? A false Christ is easier to distinguish. As long as they dare to bear witness that they are Christ and dare to impersonate Christ, then they are surely a false Christ. But an antichrist is more cunning. They don’t claim that they are Christ, and they don’t bear witness that they are Christ. But they bear witness for themselves so others will esteem them, and they show off so others will worship them. They trap others into following them and keep them on a short leash. Such a person is an antichrist. If one does not bear witness for Christ, always bears witness for themselves, exalts themselves, and requires others to obey, worship, follow, and stick close to them, they belong to the category of antichrists. A true servant of Christ will always bring the chosen people of God to Christ. The purpose of the words they communicate and of their work and service is to bring God’s chosen people to God, so that they can know Christ, obey Christ, and worship Christ. Therefore, such a person doesn’t show off, or exalt themselves. They don’t care whether they have standing in the hearts of God’s chosen people, they don’t care about how they are treated by the people they water and lead. They don’t care who is good to them, who agrees with them, who opposes them, or who speaks negatively of them. They are only concerned about who pursues the truth, who can be made perfect, who is burdened with the work of the church, who is good enough to lead, who is worth training, and who should be promoted. These are the only things they care about. That is to say, they are only concerned about the work of God’s house. The work they do is to maintain the work of God’s house, to provide for God’s chosen people and lead them into God’s words. They don’t care a whit about anything that is irrelevant to these things. Such a person is someone who really serves God, someone who really leads the chosen people of God. Only such a person can be commended by God for their work, and receive the work of the Holy Spirit. If someone is always exalting themselves and bearing witness for themselves, they aren’t concerned about the position of God in people’s hearts, let alone the effects of God’s words on His chosen people, whether or not God’s chosen people know God, and whether or not God’s chosen people can be saved by God. If someone is steadfastly concerned about these things, it proves that they are attentive to God’s will and truly obedient to God’s work. They are someone who serves God. Only those who are truly attentive to God’s will know that God’s greatest concern is whether or not His chosen people can enter His words, whether or not they can obtain the truth in His words, whether or not they can attain a real understanding of Him in experiencing His work. They know that this is God’s greatest concern. If those who serve God can let God’s will be their will, if they are attentive to God’s will, if they really can satisfy His heart in their service by bringing His chosen people to Him, they are people who really serve God. This is not the case with an antichrist, who is not mindful of God’s will. What is an antichrist most concerned about? Antichrists are most concerned about how many people look favorably on their sermons and work, about how many people have a good impression of them, about how many people worship them, about how many people will listen to them and absolutely obey them when they speak. These things are what antichrists are most concerned about. From what they emphasize the most we can see the nature of antichrists. What is the nature of someone who is always concerned about their status in other people’s minds, who is always concerned about who obeys them and who does not listen to them? They are arrogant and self-aggrandizing. They want to control God’s chosen people so that they will treat them as God. Isn’t such a person an antichrist? Yes, indeed. If someone always harbors ulterior motives and purposes for God’s chosen people, and always wants God’s chosen people to treat them as God for their own pleasure and satisfaction, such a person is a typical antichrist. Some people ask, “Corrupt human beings, when doing work, all want others to admire them and praise them; are they all antichrists?” Tell me, is anyone who wants others to praise them, admire them, and envy them an antichrist? Some people say “yes,” other people say “no.” Well, it seems like you don’t know how to distinguish them. Mankind is corrupt and vain. Which one of you is willing to smear dung on your face and then go out and meet others? Nobody. Before going out, you look in the mirror to make sure your face is clean, you want to dress up for others to see. If someone doesn’t pay attention to you, doesn’t even glance at you, you won’t be very pleased, right? But do any of you have the intention to make people treat you as God? No, you don’t. Do you have the ego to try and control God’s chosen people? Do you want to be on an equal footing with Christ? No, you don’t. If you have none of these desires, how can you be considered to be an antichrist? Whether someone is an antichrist or not needs to be distinguished from their nature. If you regard anyone with vanity as an antichrist, then who can be made perfect? Who can qualify for salvation? … Although the antichrists seem to overtly communicate God’s words, communicate the knowledge and experience of the truth, it does not mean that they have the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit does not work on them. But they can steal words from others, words that show experience and understanding, and use these words to gloss over themselves. They can use words that show understanding of the truth and usurp these words as their own to deceive people. When people hear these words, they think, “Well, what this person says is right and good. He really has the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit.” People will adore him. In fact, these are all stolen from others. Tell me, does corrupt mankind have these tricks? Corrupt mankind knows how to steal, how to feign, how to disguise. Stealing someone else’s words is just too easy. After listening to someone else’s fellowshiping, they secretly write down the most powerful and best words, and parrot them several times until they memorize them, and then they go to communicate with others. Sometimes they listen in one location and speak in another location. All so fast, they turn it around and make it their own in an instant. People are capable of this. That is common knowledge. Since the antichrists are on the wrong track, they do not have the work of the Holy Spirit. So it is impossible for them to have a real understanding of the truth. But when an antichrist communicates some words that are admirable, everybody thinks, “Wow, isn’t this the work of the Holy Spirit? Otherwise, how can he have such an understanding of God’s words and the truth?” Actually, you are wrong because such words can be stolen. He can mimic the words of others. Nowadays, there are many religious pastors who steal the words of God and the fellowship of the house of God. After reading them, they preach them as their own sermon to believers on Sundays. When people hear them, they think, “Oh, this sermon is so well spoken. There is really the truth in it.” Then they all donate enthusiastically. You see, their livelihood is now guaranteed. Are there many preachers like that in the religious world? When you show them the true way, they don’t accept it. But they stealthily exploit the spiritual books they took from the house of God and use them for preaching. For what purpose? They use them to make money, deceive people and exalt themselves. They take what was originally God’s words and claim they are their own experience and knowledge. This is the despicable way of the antichrists to deceive others. There are many people like that. We read about the deeds of the Pharisees in the Bible. We see that the Pharisees were most detested by God. If the Pharisees entered the house of God, they would definitely be antichrists. When you find the speech of someone very pleasing, the words they speak consistent with the truth and more informative than those of the ordinary people, then you assume that this person has the work of the Holy Spirit, that they are certainly being used by God. Tell me, is this way of reasoning right? It is not. You cannot go by someone’s words alone. You need to observe their behaviors and actual lifestyle. In addition, you need to see how practical are the things they say. Do they say things of diverse practicality or just those few things? If what they say is copied from others, it will be very limited, and they can only say that much, nothing more. If they are enlightened by the Holy Spirit and taught by experience, they will be eloquent and resourceful speakers. If they only have limited things to say, they will run out of topics in just a few sessions. This is a clear sign that they just copy from others. This is how you tell them apart. A person who really has experience and knowledge will not run out of topics in a few sessions. The more they communicate, the more they can draw upon. A person who truly has reality and the Holy Spirit’s work can communicate prolifically with practical diversity and originality at any time, which is a far cry from the limited repertoires of someone who copies from others. They have nothing to offer when you ask for details or explanations. This proves that their messages come from someone else, not themselves. They are just copycats. That’s why I say you need to know how to tell the difference. There are some brothers and sisters who pursue the truth. After they are edified from listening to the communication of the truth, they can talk a little bit about their understanding, but they cannot talk more. As they are people who pursue the truth, their situation does not involve stealing, which is not the same as the practices of the antichrists. The antichrists aim to deceive people. They want people to treat them as God. They want to control God’s chosen people. That is their intention. For some people on all levels of leadership who pursue the truth, in order to guide God’s chosen people into the words of God, they communicate to the brothers and sisters the insight they have attained from my communication. This is not stealing because their intentions are different. You should tell them apart. Let’s say after gaining some experience and understanding from my communication, you try to repeat a few words when you communicate with others. This is not the same as what the antichrists practice. You cannot mix them up and equate them with each other. Do you understand? The antichrists steal the words of others as a means to deceive people. They don’t pursue the truth. Nor do they have any intention to bring God’s chosen people to God. If someone were an antichrist, this is how they would think, “If I bring God’s chosen people to God and let them worship God instead of man, what will happen with me? Who will worship me? I won’t have any status in their minds.” You see, they always want to keep their status. They are afraid that God may have status in the minds of His chosen people. They are afraid of losing their status. So they cannot lead God’s chosen people to know God under any circumstances. They always want God’s chosen people to worship them, obey them and exalt them, so that they can feel satisfied. A person with this objective, intention and desire is an antichrist. Some people do not disclose that they are an antichrist, and you cannot identify them. You just feel that they work and speak quite correctly and well. You are uncertain. After a long while, nothing has been accomplished with what they communicate, no positive effects have been attained on most of the people they lead and water. This proves that they are antichrists. What kinds of outcomes are brought about by the work of the antichrists? First, people will increasingly adore and obey them. Their position in people’s minds will become increasingly higher, even higher than that of Christ. In addition, people will become more and more arrogant after listening to the words of doctrine they use in their work. For the antichrists have no truth. They are particularly arrogant and believe that they are gifted, have a sharp intellect, and are smarter than others, so they understand more about theoretical reasoning and use this to deceive people. What they reveal is an arrogant disposition. They like to show off, to bear witness for, and to exalt themselves in a roundabout and disguised manner. This is how people are affected by their corrupt disposition and become increasingly arrogant and self-important. They will increasingly exalt themselves, bear witness for themselves and show off. It is so true that people imitate whoever they follow. Therefore, it often takes a stage of their work to discover an antichrist. Most ordinary people cannot directly discern them because the antichrists never testify that they themselves are Christ. They never claim that they are Christ. They overtly talk about God, communicate the words of God and communicate the truth. But they do not bear witness for Christ regardless of how they communicate the truth and God’s word.
Holding High God and Witnessing for God Is the Real Communication of God’s Word
There are several ways of communicating God’s word. One of them is to communicate God’s word by witnessing for Christ. Another way is to cast aside Christ, ignore Christ, by communicating a passage of God’s word as if it had nothing to do with Christ. This way of communicating God’s word is to show off oneself, to make it seem like he is communicating with his own words, like he is communicating about what he is. God should be included in the communication of God’s word. You must bear witness for God when communicating God’s word: Why does God say so? What effects does God want to achieve? What is God’s intention? What disposition of God does it represent? If you say these things clearly, your communication of God’s word will be effective. When you are communicating God’s word, you are witnessing for Christ and holding high Christ. It is to let people know all that Christ has and is. This is the real testimony for God, the real communication of God’s word. If you only speak about the literal meaning of God’s word without ever witnessing for what Christ is, without ever talking about God Himself, God’s disposition, and what God is, this way of communicating God’s word will be ineffective, and you are just witnessing for yourself and showing yourself off. When you communicate God’s word without mentioning what God is, God Himself, God’s intention, God’s disposition, and God’s requirement of man, you are talking about God’s word in vain. When God is isolated from your communication of God’s word, as if you are communicating your own word, then you are communicating God’s word in vain. It is a despicable way of communicating God’s word. Overtly, you are showing people how much you understand God’s word, how well you fellowship God’s word, but you are subtly exalting yourself. When you communicate God’s word, you should bear witness for what Christ is, that Christ is God, so people will really obey, revere and worship Christ when they understand God’s word. This way, the more you communicate God’s word, the more people will know about Christ, the more they will obey Christ. Communicating God’s words as such is the true way to bear witness for Christ, hold high Christ, and work to serve God. The essence of communicating God’s word is to bear witness for God, for God’s work, for all that God has and is, and for God’s disposition as expressed in His word. When communicating God’s word, if you fail to communicate all that God has and is, God’s intention, God’s requirement of man, God’s disposition represented by God’s words, such communication of God’s word is meaningless and ineffective, and you are not communicating God’s word. It can be categorized as an empty talk of God’s word by the letters and doctrines. Communication of God’s word must be combined with God’s intention, with all that God has and is, along with God’s disposition, in order to let people realize all that God has and is, God’s disposition, and to grasp God’s intention and God’s requirement of man in His word. Achieving such effects is the true communication of God’s word. A person who achieves such effects is a true servant of God, as each of God’s words represents what God has and is. Each of God’s words includes God’s intention and God’s requirement of man. This is recognized by all those who believe in God. … If a leader does not communicate God’s words as such, he is showing himself off and speaking of empty letters and doctrines, rather than bearing witness for God. Anyone who gives an empty explanation of God’s word, anyone whose communication of God’s word is completely decoupled from what God is, God’s disposition, and God’s intention is without reality. All that he says is letters and doctrines. When an antichrist communicates God’s word and the truth, he does it by separating God’s word from Christ, from Christ’s being, expression, and disposition, so that people will easily attribute what he says to himself and thus obey him. Such communication of God’s word does not bear witness for Christ, does not truly serve God or bring people to God. Instead, he is using the communication of God’s word to exalt and show himself off in order to let people esteem him, respect him and obey him. He uses the communication of God’s word as a pretext to exalt himself and witness for himself. He is exploiting the communication of God’s word to achieve his despicable purpose. This is the modus operandi of antichrists. You need to be aware of it. Someone who is truly conscientious and rational may appear to be keen on witnessing for himself and showing himself off in order to let the chosen people of God look up to him. But upon receiving the judgment and chastisement of God, he would feel particularly remorseful and loathe himself. He would despise himself for it. He would even curse himself, “It is outrageous of me to occupy the position of Christ in people’s minds!” It demonstrates that this kind of person’s occasional witnessing for himself and showing himself off in his work is merely a show of his corruption. He has no intention to control God’s chosen people and let them worship him as God. Therefore, such a person is different from antichrists. He cannot be put on a par with antichrists. We must be able to differentiate. We cannot immediately equate someone’s arrogance and propensity in witnessing for himself and showing himself off with the traits of an antichrist. In the case of the antichrist, he would consistently exalt and show himself off. Regardless of how the brothers and sisters communicate with him, regardless of how the house of God prunes and deals with him, he will not be remorseful at all. He will exalt himself just the same and want people to treat him as God. He will secretly let people see him as God. Such a person has the nature of Satan and is the authentic antichrist.
How to Tell Apart the True and False Christs According to Their Substance
Anyone who pretends to be Christ, who dares to testify that he is Christ or God incarnate, is a false Christ without exception. Some ask, “When God does the work, doesn’t He testify that He is Christ and God incarnate? When God is at work witnessing for God incarnate, it is the testimony of the Holy Spirit, not Christ Himself speaking to others. This is the distinct difference. We have never heard Christ Himself say to people, “I am Christ, I am God incarnate.” Christ never said that. It can be said that anyone who testifies that he is Christ, God incarnate, is bound to be a false Christ. During the period when He worked as God incarnate, God began to express His word, and do the work of judgment and chastisement. He had never testified that He was Christ and God incarnate. It was the Holy Spirit who had spoken and testified for God incarnate. From the word of God, we can clearly see that God occasionally witnesses for Himself from the perspective of the Holy Spirit, and occasionally does it from the perspective of a third-party. Theoretically, since the word of God is spoken by God Himself, God can speak as the first person. However, God has never said as the first person, “I tell you that I am the Christ, I am the incarnation of God.” God has never said such words. It was the Holy Spirit who testifies about Christ, the incarnation of God. This is the truth. In addition, it is also true that no one who had come into contact with Christ had heard Christ say that He was Christ and God incarnate. From the work of God, we all see that God indeed works humbly amid people, never showing Himself off, never wanting all people to know that He is Christ and God incarnate. So there is not a hint of arrogant or opinionated behavior in Christ. What we see in Christ is humility and hiddenness. Christ has never felt that He is great or higher in status than others. This adequately shows God in the flesh is so dignified in His disposition and expression. Christ is so worthy of our love and praises. Imagine how it would be if man had the status of Christ. We all know that even when a person has no status, his nature is arrogant. He always feels that he is better than others. No one sees others as equals. No matter how foolish, how ignorant, how poor and miserable, he feels that he is magnificent and prestigious. He always looks down on others and looks highly of himself. This is the ironclad evidence that man is corrupted by Satan, that is, all people’s life disposition is arrogant. In Christ, we see that Christ never feels that He is magnificent, as if He did not know that He is Christ, and He thought that He is an ordinary person. He is humble and hidden, and He never shows Himself off. In the work of God, from the beginning to the end, when did the Holy Spirit begin to testify for Christ? We should be clear about this point. When reading God’s word, in which passage we can see the Holy Spirit begin to witness for Christ? Can you find it? Do you see His witness of Christ in “Utterances of Christ in the Beginning”? No. For whom it was being witnessed? It was only God’s name, wasn’t it? Under what circumstance was God incarnate being witnessed later on? In addition, after seeing the testimony for God incarnate, as you read on, how many times do you see God mention that He is God incarnate and God Himself? Rarely! We see it clearly in God’s work: God began to witness for Christ, for God incarnate, after the conquest of man. That is, in the first part of The Word Appears in the Flesh when His word was almost finished that God began to witness for God incarnate. It was ten to eleven months after the appearance of God’s word that God began to witness for Christ, which was witnessed by the Holy Spirit Himself. Why did God not witness for Christ at the beginning of His work? God was only speaking at first. As His speech elevated, the mysteries, corruptions of man, and vision of the kingdom were revealed. It was after the conquest of man that God began to witness for Christ. Hence we can reach a conclusion: God started out with His work, that is, first conquered mankind, and then witnessed for Christ. After the word of God was spoken, and the work that should be done was almost finished, then He began to witness for Christ. What can people see from this? When God came, He didn’t reveal His identity at first. He concealed Himself and worked humbly amid people; He only spoke to them. People were conquered by His words. They all prostrated before Him. Perceiving the immense power, omnipotence and wisdom of God’s word, people prostrated in awe. Gradually, they recognized that these were God’s words indeed. It is so God like. It was only then that the Holy Spirit began to witness for Christ. What was the meaning of witnessing for Christ under this circumstance? Why did He not disclose the identity of God in the beginning? It is not something that man could fathom. But the reason behind God’s action was very meaningful. What do we see in the way a false Christ works? He doesn’t have his own word or the truth. He just impersonates Christ outright. He begins by impersonating Christ to let people trust and follow him. Then he proceeds with his pernicious deeds. Why does a false Christ directly impersonate Christ without doing or saying anything at first? This proves that a false Christ possesses Satan’s disposition: arrogance, self-aggrandizement, keenness to impersonate Christ and show off in front of people. God incarnate started out working in a humble and hidden manner. He did not witness for Christ until His work was almost finished and yielded the due results that people were already conquered. Here we see that the work of God represents His disposition. God is always humble and hidden, never showing Himself off. God works quietly; He only speaks, works, and conquers and judges mankind. Since people did not have the organ for accepting the truth, they did not realize that it was God incarnate. Therefore, only in the last resort did the Holy Spirit witness for Christ, witness the incarnation and appearance of God. Man was conquered by the word of God, but he didn’t know what the incarnation was about, nor did he know whether He was Christ. At this time the Holy Spirit bore witness, and man instantly awakened, “Wow! He is Christ. No wonder He could speak the word of God, which wields such power and authority.” When the Holy Spirit witnessed for Christ under this circumstance, the effects were particularly good. It is called “When conditions are ripe, success is assured.” This is the wonder and wisdom of God’s work. What do we see from the work of false Christs and Satan? Satan is particularly arrogant; it loves to show itself off. It professes to be Christ to anyone and lets others listen to it. … When I say this now, you should be able to distinguish it a little better. You should know how to do it. First, we have to know that God’s word can conquer people. The word of God is the truth, so that it can judge and chastise man. It can convince man utterly and let him receive the truth in God’s word and understand God’s disposition, righteousness, majesty and wrath. A false Christ cannot express God’s word because he lacks God’s substance and the truth. So he will only speak deceitful words and usurp God’s word out of context. He can only deceive those foolish people to fall for his scam. After the work of God incarnate was done and mankind was conquered, the Holy Spirit then witnessed that He was Christ. We see that there was a background for God’s appearance. Let us recall the Age of Grace as recorded in the Bible. When Jesus was at work, had He ever said that He was Christ, the Son of God? Never. But when He was about to be crucified, He asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Most of them thought He was a prophet, Elijah, Moses, or that He was a rabbi, namely, a teacher. Only Peter said He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus said Peter was instructed by His Father in heaven, and ordered him not to tell it to others. It can be seen that God’s work is very secret. However, a false Christ is worthless trash. He professes to be Christ in front of anyone. This is the despicable part of Satan, which represents Satan’s corrupt and evil disposition. If someone claims that he is Christ, what will you do? We have to think of God’s words to distinguish like this. I read a passage of God’s word, “To study such a thing is not difficult, but requires each of us to know this truth: He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God.” If someone says that he is Christ, he must have the substance and expression of God. If he doesn’t, then he is not Christ. He is false. The word of God continues, “Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining[a] whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance.” We can see from the word of God that if He is really God incarnate, He must have the expression and substance of God. If someone deceives God’s chosen people and says that he is Christ, God’s incarnate flesh, then we need to look at his substance and expression, his work and words, and his revealed disposition, so as to ascertain whether he is Christ. A precise answer can be obtained by judging from these aspects. You are vulnerable to deception if you do not judge from these aspects. First, from his work; second, his words; third, his disposition. His essence can be seen from these major aspects. First, judging from the aspect of work, we should see that if a work is God’s work, He will be able to express God’s word, what God has and is, and God’s righteous disposition. If it is the work of man, he can only express what man has and is and speak of man’s experience and understanding. He is unable to express what God has and is, and unable to speak of God’s work, requirements and disposition, let alone God’s management plan and God’s mystery. This is the aspect of work. Second, judging from the aspect of word, there is a substantial difference between God’s word and man’s word. The word of God represents all that God has and is, and the word of man represents all that man has and is. The word of God represents God’s disposition, and the word of man represents man’s disposition. The word of God is the truth, and the word of man is not the truth and does not belong to the truth. This is distinguishable from the aspect of word. Third, judging from the aspect of disposition, God’s work can express God’s disposition. Man’s work cannot express God’s disposition; it can only express man’s disposition. What does man’s disposition have? Does it have any righteousness, majesty, wrath or the truth? Man’s disposition has none of what God has and is. So the work of man does not involve a hint of God’s disposition. It is very easy to judge from these aspects whether it is God’s word or man’s word, God’s work or man’s work. If man cannot tell the difference, it is easy for him to be deceived by false Christs and antichrists. If you can tell the difference from these three aspects, you will be able to determine who is God incarnate and who is not.
a. The original text reads “as for.”