c. Why it is said that religious pastors and elders are all walking the path of the Pharisees, and what their essence is

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

Man has been corrupted and lives in Satan’s trap. All people live in the flesh, live in selfish desires, and there is not a single one among them who is compatible with Me. There are those who say that they are compatible with Me, but such people all worship vague idols. Although they acknowledge My name as holy, they tread a path that runs contrary to Me, and their words are full of arrogance and self-confidence. This is because, at root, they are all against Me and incompatible with Me. Every day, they seek traces of Me in the Bible and find “suitable” passages at random which they read endlessly and recite as scriptures. They do not know how to be compatible with Me nor what it means to be against Me. They merely read scriptures blindly. Within the Bible, they constrain a vague God that they have never seen, and are incapable of seeing, and take it out to look at at their leisure. They believe in My existence only within the scope of the Bible, and they equate Me with the Bible; without the Bible there is no Me, and without Me there is no Bible. They pay no heed to My existence or actions, but instead devote extreme and special attention to each and every word of Scripture. Many more even believe that I should not do anything I wish to do unless it is foretold by Scripture. They attach too much importance to Scripture. It can be said that they see literal words as too important, to the extent that they use verses from the Bible to measure every word I say and to condemn Me. What they seek is not the way of compatibility with Me or the way of compatibility with the truth, but the way of compatibility with the words of the Bible, and they believe that anything that does not conform to the Bible is, without exception, not My work. Are such people not the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees? The Jewish Pharisees used the law of Moses to condemn Jesus. They did not seek compatibility with the Jesus of that time, but diligently followed the law to the letter, to the extent that—after having charged Him with not following the law of the Old Testament and not being the Messiah—they ultimately nailed the innocent Jesus to the cross. What was their substance? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth? They obsessed over each and every word of Scripture while paying heed neither to My will nor to the steps and methods of My work. They were not people who sought the truth, but people who rigidly clung to words; they were not people who believed in God, but people who believed in the Bible. Essentially, they were watchdogs of the Bible. In order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, to uphold the dignity of the Bible, and to protect the reputation of the Bible, they went so far as to nail the merciful Jesus to the cross. This they did merely for the sake of defending the Bible, and for the sake of maintaining the status of each and every word of the Bible in people’s hearts. So they preferred to forsake their future and the sin offering to condemn Jesus, who did not conform to the doctrine of Scripture, to death. Were they not all lackeys to each and every word of Scripture?

And what of people today? Christ has come to release the truth, yet they would rather expel Him from this world so that they may gain entry into heaven and receive grace. They would rather completely deny the coming of the truth in order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, and they would rather nail the Christ returned to flesh to the cross again in order to ensure the everlasting existence of the Bible. How can man receive My salvation when his heart is so malicious and his nature so antagonistic toward Me? I live among man, yet man does not know of My existence. When I shine My light upon man, he still remains ignorant of My existence. When I unleash My wrath upon man, he denies My existence with even greater vigor. Man searches for compatibility with words and compatibility with the Bible, yet not a single person comes before Me to seek the way of compatibility with the truth. Man looks up to Me in heaven and devotes particular concern to My existence in heaven, yet no one cares about Me in the flesh, for I who live among man am simply too insignificant. Those who only seek compatibility with the words of the Bible and who only seek compatibility with a vague God are a wretched sight to Me. That is because what they worship are dead words, and a God that is capable of giving them untold treasures; what they worship is a God that would lay Himself at the mercy of man—a God who does not exist. What, then, can such people gain from Me? Man is simply too lowly for words. Those who are against Me, who make limitless demands of Me, who have no love of the truth, who are rebellious toward Me—how could they be compatible with Me?

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ

There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately disturb those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of “sound constitution,” but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls? Those who hold themselves in high esteem in God’s presence are the most abject of men, while those who think themselves lowly are the most honored. And those who think they know the work of God and who are, moreover, capable of proclaiming the work of God to others with great fanfare even as they look directly at Him—these are the most ignorant of men. Such people are without the testimony of God, arrogant and full of conceit. Those who believe that they have too little knowledge of God, despite having actual experience and practical knowledge of Him, are those most beloved by Him. Only such people truly have testimony and are truly capable of being perfected by God. Those who do not understand the will of God are opponents of God; those who understand the will of God and yet do not practice the truth are opponents of God; those who eat and drink the words of God, and yet go against the essence of God’s words, are opponents of God; those who have notions about the incarnate God, and moreover have a mind to engage in rebellion, are opponents of God; those who pass judgment on God are opponents of God; and whoever is unable to know God or to bear witness to Him is an opponent of God.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God

Look at the leaders of each religion and each denomination—they are all arrogant and self-righteous, and their interpretations of the Bible lack context and are guided by their own notions and imaginings. They all rely on gifts and knowledge to do their work. If they could not preach at all, would people follow them? They do, after all, possess some knowledge and can preach some doctrines, or they know how to win others over and make use of some tricks. They use these things to deceive people, and to bring people before themselves. Nominally, those people believe in God, but in reality, they follow these leaders. When they encounter someone preaching the true way, some of them say, “We have to consult our leader about matters of faith.” See how people need the agreement and approval of others when it comes to believing in God and accepting the true way—is this not a problem? What have those leaders become, then? Have they not become Pharisees, false shepherds, antichrists, and stumbling blocks to people’s acceptance of the true way? Such people are of the same kind as Paul.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

We have preached the gospel over and over to many leaders within religious circles, but no matter how we fellowship on the truth with them, they do not accept it. Why is this? It is because their arrogance has become second nature, and God no longer has a place in their hearts. Some people might say, “People under the leadership of certain pastors in the religious world really have a lot of drive; it is as though they have God in their midst.” Do you take having enthusiasm for having drive? No matter how lofty those pastors’ theories might sound, do they know God? If they truly feared God deep down, would they make people follow them and exalt them? Would they be able to control others? Would they dare to prevent others from seeking the truth and investigating the true way? If they believe that God’s sheep are actually theirs, and that they should all listen to them, then is it not the case that they regard themselves as God? Such people are even worse than the Pharisees. Are they not genuine antichrists?

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. An Arrogant Nature Is at the Root of Man’s Resistance to God

Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the essence of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What is more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not pursue the life truth. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of clinging to the mere name of the Messiah while opposing the essence of the Messiah by any means possible. These Pharisees in essence were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God was: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah. Is this belief not preposterous and ridiculous?

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew

Demons and evil spirits have been running amok on earth for a time, and have sealed off both the will and the painstaking effort of God so tightly that they are impenetrable. Truly, this is a mortal sin! How can God not feel anxious? How can God not feel wrathful? They have gravely hindered and opposed the work of God: How rebellious! Even those demons, big and small, behave like jackals at the heels of the lion, and follow the evil current, contriving disturbances as they go. Knowing the truth, they deliberately oppose it, these sons of rebellion! It is as if, now that their king of hell has ascended to the kingly throne, they have become smug and complacent, treating all others with contempt. How many among them seek the truth and follow righteousness? They are all beasts, no better than pigs and dogs, at the head of a gang of stinking flies, wagging their heads in smug self-congratulation and stirring up all kinds of trouble,[1] in the middle of a dung heap. They believe that their king of hell is the greatest king of all, little knowing that they themselves are no more than stinking flies. And yet, they take advantage of the power of the pigs and dogs they have for parents to malign the existence of God. As diminutive flies, they believe their parents to be as large as blue whales.[2] Little do they know that, while they themselves are tiny, their parents are unclean pigs and dogs hundreds of millions of times larger than they. Unaware of their own lowliness, they rely on the stench of putrefaction exuded by those pigs and dogs to run amok, vainly thinking to procreate future generations, oblivious to shame! With green wings upon their backs (this refers to their claiming to believe in God), they are full of themselves and boast everywhere of their own beauty and allure, while they secretly fling the impurities on their own bodies onto man. Furthermore, they are exceedingly pleased with themselves, as if they can use a pair of rainbow-colored wings to conceal their own impurities, and by these means they bring their oppression to bear on the existence of the true God (this refers to what goes on behind the scenes in the religious world). How would man know that, as enchantingly beautiful as the wings of a fly may be, the fly itself is after all no more than a tiny creature, with a belly full of filth and a body covered with germs? On the strength of the pigs and dogs they have for parents, they run amok across the land (this refers to the way in which the religious officials who persecute God rely on the strong backing of the government of the nation to rebel against the true God and the truth), unrestrained in their savagery. It is as if the ghosts of the Jewish Pharisees have returned along with God to the nation of the great red dragon, back to their old nest. They have begun yet another round of persecution, picking up their work of several thousand years ago. This group of degenerates is sure to perish on earth in the end! It would appear that, after several millennia, the unclean spirits have become even more crafty and sly. They are constantly thinking of ways to undermine the work of God in secret. With tricks and wiles galore, they wish to reenact in their homeland the tragedy of several thousand years ago, goading God nearly to the point of crying out. He can hardly keep Himself from returning to the third heaven to annihilate them.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (7)

Footnotes:

1. “Stirring up all kinds of trouble” refers to how people who are demonic run riot, obstructing and opposing the work of God.

2. “Blue whales” is used mockingly. It is a metaphor for how flies are so small that pigs and dogs appear as big as whales to them.


Related Movie Extracts

How to Discern the Modern Pharisees

Why the Pastors and Elders Madly Resist and Condemn the Lord Jesus' Return

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A Catholic Priest's Choice

A Victory Amidst Satan’s Test

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Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ

Those Who Do Not Know God Oppose God

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Question 4: People are sinful, but the sin offering of the Lord Jesus is forever effective. As long as we confess our sins to the Lord, He will forgive us. We are sinless in the Lord’s eyes, so we can enter the kingdom of heaven!

Almighty God says, "A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as sinners because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure."

Question 5: Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God….” This shows that everything in the Bible is the word of God. But there are actually people who say that not everything in the Bible is the word of God. Isn’t this denying the Bible and deceiving people?

Almighty God says, “In truth, with the exception of the books of prophecy, the Old Testament is mostly a historical record. Some of the New Testament epistles derive from human experiences, others from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; the letters of Paul, for instance, are from human work, and they were all enlightened by the Holy Spirit. These letters, which Paul sent to the churches, offer words of exhortation and encouragement to the brothers and sisters there; they are not the words of the Holy Spirit. Paul could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit. He was not a prophet, and moreover he did not see visions. These letters were written to the churches of that time in Ephesus, Philadelphia, Galatia, and other places.”

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