Excursus Five: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and Their Disposition Essence (Part Two)

II. The Difference Between Character and Disposition Essence

Last time, we summarized the character of antichrists. Can you share what it consists of? (The first item is habitually lying, the second is being insidious and ruthless, the third is having no sense of honor and being heedless of shame, the fourth is being selfish and vile, the fifth is latching onto the powerful and oppressing the weak, and the sixth is being more desirous than normal people of material things.) There are a total of six items. Looking at these six items, the character of antichrists is devoid of humanity, conscience, and reason. They have low integrity, and their character is abominable. Say that you don’t know or cannot fathom a person’s disposition, or whether it’s good or bad, but through learning about their character, you discover, for example, that they have an abominable character, such as that of habitually lying, having no sense of honor, or being insidious and ruthless. You can then preliminarily define them as someone without a conscience, a kind heart, or a noble character, as someone who instead has bad, extremely poor, and evil humanity. If such people don’t possess status, then they can be tentatively categorized as evil people; judging by their character, can they be completely and thoroughly defined as antichrists? If we only consider these manifestations of their humanity, such people can be defined as antichrists with 80% certainty. They not only have the disposition of antichrists, and it isn’t simply that their humanity is evil, bad, and poor, so we can preliminarily define them as antichrists. Because no one who is defined as an antichrist possesses good humanity, honesty, kindness, simplicity, uprightness, sincerity toward others, or a sense of honor; no one who does possess these aspects of character is an antichrist. The humanity of antichrists is first and foremost quite poor. They lack conscience and reason, and certainly do not possess the character that people with humanity and a noble integrity have. Therefore, judging by the character of antichrists, if they don’t have status and they are just an ordinary follower or common member of a group doing their duty, but if their character is quite poor, and they possess those traits of an antichrist’s character, we can preliminarily categorize these people as antichrists. What should be done about those who cannot be seen through? They should not be promoted or given status. Some may say, “If we give them status, won’t that determine whether or not they are antichrists?” Is that statement correct? (No, it’s not.) If we give such people status, they will do the things antichrists do, and whatever an antichrist is capable of they will do. Firstly, they will establish independent kingdoms, and in addition to that, they will control people. Will this type of person do things that benefit the house of God? (No, they won’t.) Once such people gain status, they can establish independent kingdoms, act wantonly, cause disturbances and disruptions, form cliques, and carry out all the deeds of evil people. It’s akin to letting a fox into the vineyard, placing the chosen people of God in the hands of evil people, and delivering them over to devils and Satans. Once these people assume power, it’s a foregone conclusion that they are without a doubt antichrists. If one solely determines whether a person is an antichrist based on their character, for many who are unaware of the true facts, who do not understand or cannot discern the disposition essence of antichrists, it might seem a bit excessive. They may think, “Why completely write off or condemn someone based on this alone? It seems unfair to label them as an antichrist before they’ve done anything.” However, judging by the disposition essence of antichrists, they unquestionably lack a good humanity. Firstly, they are definitely not pursuers of the truth; secondly, they unquestionably do not love the truth; moreover, they are absolutely not the kind of people who submit to God’s words, fear God, and shun evil. For those who do not possess such qualities, it is quite evident whether their character is noble or base, good or bad.

At the last gathering, we fellowshipped on various behaviors, ways of speaking and handling matters, and so on, that are manifested through the character of antichrists. If we cannot entirely determine whether a person is an antichrist based on their character, then it is necessary for us to fellowship further on the disposition essence of antichrists. By examining and discerning the character of antichrists in one respect, and in another respect their disposition essence, through combining these two we can determine whether a person only possesses the disposition of an antichrist or is indeed an antichrist. Today, let’s summarize what disposition essences antichrists have. This is a more crucial characteristic that allows us to better identify, discern, or define whether a person is an antichrist.

Regarding disposition, we previously made a concrete summary of it—what are people’s corrupt dispositions? (Intransigence, arrogance, deceitfulness, aversion to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness.) They are more or less these six, and other interpretations of dispositions like selfishness and vileness are somewhat related or similar to one of these six. Tell Me, is there a difference between someone’s character and their disposition essence? What is the difference? Character is primarily measured by conscience and reason. It involves whether a person has integrity, whether their integrity is noble, whether they have dignity, whether they possess human morality, the level of their morality, whether they have a bottom line and principles in how they comport themselves, whether their humanity is good or evil, and whether they are simple and honest—these aspects pertain to human character. Essentially, character is made up of the choices and inclinations toward good and evil, toward positive and negative things, and toward right and wrong that people manifest in their daily lives—these are what it concerns. This basically doesn’t involve the truth; it is only measured using the standard of conscience along with good and evil humanity, and doesn’t really rise to the level of the truth. If disposition is involved, it must be measured using a person’s essence. Whether they prefer good or evil, and, when it comes to justice and wickedness as well as positive and negative things, what they manifest, what their choices and the disposition they reveal really are, and what their reactions may be—these things must be measured using the truth. If a person’s character is relatively kind, if they have conscience and reason, can one say that they don’t have a corrupt disposition? (No, they can’t.) If a person is very kind, do they possess arrogance? (Yes, they do.) If a person is very honest, do they have an intransigent disposition? (Yes, they do.) It can be said that no matter how good a person’s character is, no matter how noble their integrity may be, none of this means that they lack a corrupt disposition. If a person has a conscience and reason, does this mean that they never resist God or rebel against Him? (No, it doesn’t.) So how does this rebellion come about? It’s because people have a corrupt disposition, and in their disposition essence there is intransigence, arrogance, wickedness, and so on. Therefore, no matter how good a person’s character may be, it doesn’t mean that they have the truth, that they lack a corrupt disposition, or that they can avoid resisting, betraying, and rebelling against God and submit to God without pursuing the truth. If they have a good character, are relatively simple, honest, upright, kind-hearted, and have a sense of honor, this just means that they can accept the truth, love the truth, and submit to what God does, because they possess a character that can accept the truth.

A good or bad character is measured using basic criteria such as conscience, morality, and integrity. However, one’s disposition essence must be measured using the six corrupt dispositions mentioned earlier. If a person has a high moral standard, integrity, conscience, reason, and a kind heart, it can only be said that their character is relatively good. However, that doesn’t mean this person understands the truth, possesses the truth, or can handle matters according to the truth principles. What does this confirm? Although they have good character, relatively noble integrity, and a higher moral standard for how they conduct themselves and act, that doesn’t mean they lack a corrupt disposition, that they possess the truth, or that their disposition fully aligns with God’s requirements. If a person’s corrupt disposition shows no change and they do not understand the truth, then no matter how good their character may be, they are not a genuinely good person. Suppose a person experiences a relative change in disposition, that is, they seek the truth in their actions, proactively following the truth principles in how they handle matters, and submitting to the truth and to God, and although their corrupt disposition still surfaces at times, they reveal arrogance and deceitfulness, and in severe cases a vicious disposition, yet overall, the source, direction, and aim of their actions are in accordance with the truth principles, and when they act they do so with seeking and submission. So, can it be said that their character is more noble than those who show no change in disposition? (Yes.) If a person’s character is only naturally good, and in the eyes of others their humanity is good, but they don’t understand the truth at all, they’re full of notions and imaginings about God, they don’t know how to experience God’s words, and they are unaware of how to accept God’s orchestrations and arrangements, let alone how to submit to everything God does, is this a genuinely good person? Strictly speaking, they are not a genuinely good person, but it can be accurately said that their character is pretty good. What does it mean to have pretty good character? It means having relative integrity, being relatively fair and just in one’s actions and interactions with others, not taking advantage of others, being relatively honest, not hurting or harming others, acting with conscience, and possessing a certain moral standard, beyond just avoiding breaking the law and violating ethical relationships—it is something a bit higher than these two standards. When people interact with such a person, they feel that person is relatively upright and they don’t need to guard against them when they are together, because that person doesn’t harm or hurt others and people’s minds are at ease whenever they interact with them—possessing these qualities is indicative of a pretty good person. However, compared to those who understand the truth and can practice and submit to the truth, such humanity isn’t anything noble. In other words, no matter how good a person’s humanity is, it cannot replace understanding the truth or practicing the truth, and it certainly can’t replace a change in disposition.

Character refers to people’s conscience, morality, and integrity. To measure a person’s character, one needs to assess their conscience, morality, and integrity. But what does disposition refer to, and how is it measured? It is measured by the truth, by God’s words. Suppose a person’s character is very good in all aspects, everyone believes they are a good person, and it can be said that they are perfect and complete in the eyes of corrupt humankind, seemingly without flaw or defect; but when measured by the truth, the little bit of their so-called goodness is barely worth mentioning. Upon examining their disposition, one may find arrogance, intransigence, deceitfulness, wickedness, even aversion to the truth, and even more the manifestation of a vicious disposition. Isn’t this a fact? (Yes, it is.) How is a person’s disposition essence measured? It is measured by the truth, by evaluating a person’s attitude toward the truth and God. In this way, that person’s corrupt disposition is completely and thoroughly revealed. Though people may see them as having a conscience, integrity, and a high moral standard, and they are held up as a saint or a perfect person among others, yet when coming before the truth and God, their corrupt disposition is laid bare, they are devoid of any merit, and are shown to share the same corrupt dispositions as the rest of humanity. When God expresses the truth, appears to people, and works, they manifest every single one of the same corrupt dispositions of intransigence, arrogance, deceitfulness, aversion to the truth, wickedness, and viciousness as other people. Aren’t such people perfect? Aren’t they saints? Aren’t they good people? They are only good in the eyes of other people, because people lack the truth, and humankind possesses the same corrupt dispositions. Thus, the standard by which humans measure each other is only based on conscience, integrity, and morality, not on the truth. How does a person’s character appear when it is not measured with the truth? Are they a genuinely good person? Clearly not, because a person who has been assessed and judged as good by other people does not lack any of the corrupt dispositions. So, how do people’s corrupt dispositions develop and become exposed? When God does not express the truth or appear to humankind, people’s corrupt dispositions seem non-existent. However, when God expresses the truth and appears to humans, the corrupt dispositions of so-called saints or perfect people in the eyes of others are fully exposed. From this perspective, people’s corrupt dispositions coexist with their character. It is not that people only have a corrupt disposition when God appears; rather, when God expresses the truth and appears and works among humankind, their corrupt disposition and ugliness are laid bare. At this point, people come to realize and discover that behind a good character there is also a corrupt disposition. Good people, perfect people, or saints in the eyes of others possess a corrupt disposition like everyone else, and no less than any other person—these people’s corrupt dispositions are even more hidden than other people and have more of an ability to mislead. So, what exactly is a corrupt disposition, and what is a disposition essence? A person’s corrupt disposition is that person’s essence; a person’s character only represents some superficial rules of conduct, and it does not reflect the humanity essence of a person. When we talk about the humanity essence of a person, we are referring to their disposition. When we discuss a person’s character, we are referring to apparent aspects such as whether they have good intentions, are kind-hearted, what their integrity is like, and if they have moral standards. Do you now understand what is meant by character and what is meant by disposition essence? This matter can only be grasped implicitly in one’s heart; it cannot be defined with a single word or phrase. It is a very complex matter. If it is defined and explained too narrowly, it may seem standardized but is actually unclear. I won’t apply a definition to it, but will explain it in this way, and if you grasp it implicitly in your heart, you will comprehend it.

There are in total six corrupt dispositions of man: intransigence, arrogance, deceitfulness, aversion to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness. Among these six, which ones are relatively severe, and which ones are more ordinary or common, milder in terms of degree, and less intense in terms of circumstances? (Intransigence, arrogance, and deceitfulness are a bit milder.) That’s right. It seems you have some perception and understanding of the various manifestations of man’s corrupt dispositions. Although these three also belong to the corrupt dispositions possessed by Satan-corrupted humankind, and in terms of essence, they are also detested by God, do not conform to the truth, and are resistant to God, they are relatively mild and shallow in terms of degree, that is, they are a bit more common; they are possessed to varying extents by every member of corrupt humankind. Aside from these three, aversion to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness are comparatively much more severe in terms of degree. If the first three are said to be ordinary corrupt dispositions, then the latter three are extraordinary corrupt dispositions, which are more severe in terms of degree. What does it mean for them to be more severe? It means that these three are more severe in terms of circumstances, essence, and the extent to which individuals resist, rebel against, and oppose God. These three are more severe dispositions that people manifest by directly denying the truth, denying God, clamoring against God, attacking God, testing God, passing judgment on God, and so on. How are these three of man’s corrupt dispositions different from the first three? The first three are more common, they are characteristics of the corrupt dispositions shared by all corrupted humans, that is, every individual, regardless of age, gender, birthplace, race, or ethnicity, possesses these three dispositions. The latter three are present to varying degrees and to a greater or lesser extent in every person, depending on their essence, but within corrupt humankind only antichrists possess these three dispositions—wickedness, aversion to the truth, and viciousness—to the most severe extent. Aside from antichrists, ordinary corrupted humans only reveal the dispositions of wickedness, aversion to the truth, and viciousness to a certain extent, or in certain environments or special contexts. Even though they have these dispositions, they are not antichrists. Their essence is not wicked or vicious, and it is certainly not averse to the truth. This has to do with their character. These people are relatively kind-hearted, they have integrity, they are upright, they have a sense of honor, and so on—their character is relatively good. Therefore, they only reveal the latter three severe corrupt dispositions on occasion, or only in certain environments and contexts. However, these dispositions do not dominate their essence. For example, when individuals with ordinary corrupt dispositions act perfunctorily in the performance of their duties and face God’s discipline, they may refuse to yield to it, thinking, “Others are perfunctory too; why aren’t they disciplined? Why am I the one receiving this kind of discipline and chastening?” What kind of disposition is this refusal to yield? It is evidently a vicious disposition. They complain about God’s unfairness and biased treatment, which has a bit of a quality of opposing and clamoring against God to it—this is a vicious disposition. The vicious disposition of such people reveals itself in these situations, but the difference is that these people have a kind heart, the awareness of conscience, integrity, and relative uprightness. When they complain against God and reveal a vicious disposition, their conscience takes effect. When their conscience takes effect, it engages in a conflict with their vicious disposition, and certain thoughts begin to develop in their minds: “I shouldn’t think this way. God has blessed me a lot, and He has shown me grace. Isn’t it lacking in conscience for me to think like this? Isn’t this resisting God and breaking His heart?” Isn’t this their conscience at work? At this point, their good character takes effect. As soon as their conscience starts to work, their anger, complaints, and refusal to yield fade away, and are put aside and eliminated, bit by bit. Isn’t this the effect of their conscience? (Yes.) So, are they revealing a vicious disposition? (Yes.) They are revealing a vicious disposition, but because such individuals have a conscience and humanity, their conscience can curb their vicious disposition, and make them become rational. When they become rational and calm down, they will reflect and realize that they, too, are capable of resisting God. At this time, a sense of indebtedness and remorse will arise in them without them knowing it: “I was too impulsive just now, resisting and rebelling against God. Isn’t God disciplining me His love? Isn’t this His favor? Why did I act so unreasonably? Haven’t I angered God? I cannot keep doing this; I need to pray to God, repent, let go of the evil I am doing, and end my rebellion. Since I admit that I was acting perfunctorily, I must stop being perfunctory, do things in a serious manner, and seek on how to offer my loyalty through my actions, as well as what the principles for doing my duty are.” Isn’t this the effect of their good character? Undoubtedly, these people have a vicious disposition too, but through the effect of their conscience and weighing things up using their rationality, their good, truth-loving character ultimately prevails. These individuals have viciousness among their corrupt dispositions, so can it be said that they therefore possess a vicious essence? Can it be said that their essence is vicious? No. Objectively speaking, although the corrupt dispositions they reveal include viciousness, because they have a conscience, rationality, and a relative love for the truth, their viciousness is just a kind of corrupt disposition, and not their essence. Why isn’t it their essence? It is because this corrupt disposition of theirs can change. Although they reveal this kind of corrupt disposition, and they can resist and rebel against God, whether it be for a long or short period of time, the effect of their conscience, integrity, reason, and so on in their character prevents their vicious disposition from dominating their behavior or their attitude toward the truth. What is the ultimate result? They can confess their sins, repent, act according to the truth principles, submit to the truth, and accept God’s orchestration, all without complaints. Despite revealing a vicious disposition, the final outcome is that they do not rebel against God or oppose God’s sovereignty—they submit. This is a manifestation of an ordinary corrupt person. Such people merely have corrupt dispositions; they do not have the disposition essence of antichrists. This is accurate.

Take wicked dispositions for example: What is the most wicked disposition people reveal before God? It is testing God. Some people worry that they might not have a good destination, and that their outcome may not be guaranteed because they went astray, did some evil, and committed many transgressions after coming to believe in God. They worry that they will go to hell, and are in constant fear about their outcome and destination. They are constantly anxious, and they always ponder, “Will my future outcome and destination be good or bad? Will I go down to hell or up to heaven? Am I one of God’s people or a laborer? Will I perish or be saved? I need to find which of God’s words talk about this.” They see that God’s words are all the truth, and that they all expose people’s corrupt dispositions, and they do not find the answers that they seek, so they continually contemplate where else to inquire. Later, when they find an opportunity to get promoted and put into an important role, they want to sound out the Above, thinking: “What is the Above’s opinion regarding me? If their opinion is favorable, it proves that God has not remembered the evil I did in the past and the transgressions I committed. It proves that God will still save me, that I still have hope.” Then, following through with their ideas, they directly say, “Where we are, most of the brothers and sisters are not very skilled at their professions, and they have believed in God for only a short time. I have believed in God the longest. I have fallen and failed, I’ve had some experiences and learned some lessons. If given the chance, I am willing to shoulder a heavy burden and show consideration for God’s intentions.” They use these words as a test to see if the Above has any intention to promote them, or if the Above has abandoned them. In reality, they do not genuinely want to take on this responsibility or burden; their purpose in saying these words is solely to test the waters, and see whether they still have a hope of being saved. This is testing. What is the disposition behind this approach of testing? It is a wicked disposition. Regardless of how long this approach is revealed for, how they do it, or how much it is implemented, in any case, the disposition they reveal is definitely wicked, because they have many thoughts, misgivings, and worries over the course of doing it. When they reveal this wicked disposition, what do they do that shows they are people with humanity and people who can practice the truth, and confirms that they only possess this corrupt disposition and not a wicked essence? After doing and saying such things, those with a conscience, reason, integrity, and dignity feel discomfort and pain in their hearts. They are tormented, thinking, “I have believed in God for so many years; how could I test God? How can I still be preoccupied with my own destination, and use such a method to get something out of God and make God give me a solid answer? This is too vile!” They feel uneasy in their hearts, but the deed is done, and the words have been spoken—they cannot be taken back. They then understand, “Though I may have a bit of good will and a sense of justice, I am still capable of such vile things; these are the dealings of a vile person! Isn’t this an attempt to test God? Isn’t it extorting God? This is truly vile and shameless!” In such a situation, what is a reasonable course of action? Is it to come before God in prayer, confessing one’s sins, or is it to stubbornly cling to one’s own approaches? (Praying and confessing.) So, over the entire process, from the moment they conceived of the idea to the point of action, and further on to their prayer and confession, which stage is the normal revealing of a corrupt disposition, which stage is the conscience taking effect, and which stage is the truth being put into practice? The stage from conception to action is governed by a wicked disposition. So, isn’t the stage of introspection governed by the effect of their conscience? They begin to examine themselves, feeling that what they did was wrong—this is governed by the effect of their conscience. Following this is prayer and confession, which are also governed by the effect of their integrity, conscience, and character; they are able to feel remorse, repent, and feel indebted to God, and they are also able to reflect on and understand their own humanity and corrupt disposition, and reach the point where they can practice the truth. Aren’t there three stages to this? From the revelation of a corrupt disposition to the effect of their conscience, and then to the ability to let go of the evil they are doing, repent, let go of their own fleshly desires and thoughts, rebel against their corrupt disposition, and practice the truth—these three stages are what ordinary people with humanity and corrupt dispositions should achieve. Because of the awareness of their conscience, and their relatively good humanity, these people can practice the truth. Being able to practice the truth implies that people like this have hope for salvation. In other words, the probability of salvation is relatively high for those with good humanity.

What distinguishes antichrists from those with an antichrist’s disposition? In the first stage, that which antichrists reveal is basically identical on the outside to the revelations of any corrupt human, but the subsequent two stages are different. For example, when a person reveals a vicious corrupt disposition while being pruned, the next step requires their conscience to take effect. However, antichrists do not have a conscience, so what will they think? What manifestations will they have? They will complain about God being unfair, alleging that God is trying to find fault with them and create difficulties and troubles for them at every turn. Following this, they will remain staunchly unrepentant, refusing to accept even their most obvious mistakes or corrupt dispositions, never acknowledging their own errors, and even stepping things up and trying every means to continue their actions in secret. Judging by the corrupt dispositions revealed by antichrists, what is their character like? They have no conscience, they do not know to examine themselves, and they reveal viciousness, malice, attacks, and retaliation. They fabricate lies to conceal the facts, shifting responsibility onto others; they invent schemes to trap others, keeping the true facts from the brothers and sisters; and they vigorously defend and offer justifications for themselves, spreading their arguments everywhere. This is the continuation of their vicious disposition. Not only do they lack the awareness of conscience, and fail to examine, reflect on, and understand themselves, but they also step things up and continue revealing their vicious disposition, clamoring against the house of God, clamoring against and opposing the brothers and sisters, and even more seriously, opposing God. After some time when the situation settles down, will they repent and confess their sins? Although the incident has already passed, the true facts have been revealed, the responsibility is widely known to be theirs, and they should bear this responsibility—can they acknowledge it? Can they feel remorse or a sense of indebtedness? (No.) They persist in their opposition, thinking, “Anyway, I was never at fault, but even if I was, my intentions were good; even if I was at fault, I can’t be blamed for it alone. Why don’t you blame the others—why target me? Where did I go wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong on purpose. All of you have made mistakes so why aren’t you holding yourselves accountable? Moreover, who can go through life without making some mistakes?” Are they repentant? Do they feel indebted? They do not feel indebted and they are not repentant. Some even say, “I paid such a high price—why haven’t any of you noticed? Why hasn’t anyone praised me? Why haven’t I been given a reward? When something happens, you always blame me and find fault with me. Aren’t you just looking for leverage to use against me?” This is their mindset and state. Clearly, this is a vicious disposition—they are staunchly unrepentant, they refuse to acknowledge the facts when they are laid before them, and they are in persistent opposition. Although they may not curse anyone out loud, inwardly they might have done so countless times—cursing the leaders for being blind, and cursing the brothers and sisters for not being good people, and for fawning over them when they had status, but not paying attention to them, or fellowshipping with them, or even smiling at them now that they’ve lost their status. They even curse God in their hearts, and pass judgment on God, saying He is not righteous. From beginning to end, the disposition they reveal is vicious, without the slightest effect of conscience, and without any hint of remorse or repentance. They certainly have no intention of turning back, seeking the truth principles, coming before God to confess sins and repent, or of submitting to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Instead, they persistently argue, oppose, and complain. Both antichrists and those capable of repentance reveal the same corrupt dispositions, but isn’t there a difference in the nature of these revelations? Which of these groups possesses an antichrist’s disposition, and which possesses the essence of an antichrist? (Those who do not repent possess the essence of an antichrist.) Who are those capable of repentance? They are corrupt humans with an antichrist’s disposition, but they are not antichrists. Those with the essence of an antichrist are antichrists, while those with an antichrist’s disposition are ordinary corrupt humans. Between the two, which group is made up of evil people? (Those with the essence of an antichrist.) You are capable of discerning this, right? It depends on which group shows no hint of their conscience accusing them, persists in arguing without turning back or reflecting, and unscrupulously passes judgment and disseminates their arguments when they do something wrong and face circumstances such as being pruned, being replaced or disciplined, and so on. If there were no one to restrain them, would they cease their actions? No. Their hearts would be full of negativity and opposition, and they would say, “Since people treat me unfairly, and God doesn’t show me grace or act on my behalf, I’ll just go through the motions when I do my duty in the future. Even if I do my duty well, I won’t receive rewards, no one will praise me, and I’ll still get pruned, so I’ll just do it in a perfunctory manner. Don’t even think about asking me to handle matters according to principles, or to discuss and cooperate with others in my work, or to seek the truth! I’ll remain indifferent, neither haughty nor humble. If you ask me to do something, I’ll do it; if you don’t ask me to do something, I’ll just leave. Act whatever way you like; I’ll be the way I am. Don’t require too much from me; if your demands are high, I’ll ignore them.” Isn’t this the continuation of a vicious disposition? Can such people repent? (No, they cannot.) This is a manifestation of those with the essence of an antichrist. It is the same when an antichrist reveals a wicked disposition, they also never reflect because they lack a conscience. No matter what corrupt disposition they reveal or what intents, desires, and ambitions they have when anything befalls them, they are never restrained by their conscience. Therefore, when the timing is right and favorable to them, they do as they wish. Regardless of the outcome of their actions, they do not turn back, and they still cling to their viewpoints and retain their ambitions, desires, and intents, as well as the means and methods by which they’ve always done things, without any self-blame. Why do they feel no self-blame? Because such people lack a conscience, they have no sense of honor, and they are dead to shame; within their entire humanity, there is nothing that can restrain their corrupt dispositions, and there is nothing they can use to assess whether the corrupt dispositions they reveal are right or wrong. Therefore, when these people reveal a wicked disposition, regardless of how others view it or what the process and outcome may be, from beginning to end, they feel no self-blame, no sadness, no remorse, no sense of indebtedness, and in their hearts they certainly do not turn back. These are antichrists. Judging from these two examples, what is the most obvious feature of antichrists? (Their lack of conscience and reason.) What kind of manifestation does this lack of conscience and reason lead to? What is the result of the dispositions they reveal? (They cannot reflect or repent.) Can those who cannot reflect or repent practice the truth? Never!

A person who has only the disposition of an antichrist cannot be classified as being, at essence, an antichrist. Only those who have the nature essence of antichrists are genuine antichrists. To be sure, there are differences in the humanity of the two, and under the governance of different sorts of humanity, the attitudes those people harbor toward the truth are likewise not the same—and when the attitudes that people harbor toward the truth are not the same, the roads they choose are different; and when the roads people choose are different, the resulting principles and consequences of their actions also have their differences. Because a person with only the disposition of an antichrist has a conscience at work, and has reason and a sense of honor, and, relatively speaking, loves the truth, when they reveal their corrupt disposition, there is reproval for it in their heart. At such times, they can reflect on themselves and know themselves, and they can admit to their corrupt disposition and their revelation of corruption, thus enabling them to rebel against the flesh and their corrupt disposition, and come to practice the truth and submit to God. With an antichrist, however, this is not the case. Because they have no conscience at work or conscientious awareness, and less still do they have a sense of honor, when they reveal their corrupt disposition, they do not measure according to God’s words whether their revelation is right or wrong, or whether theirs is a corrupt disposition or a normal humanity, or whether it accords with the truth. They never reflect on these things. So, how do they behave? They invariably maintain that the corrupt disposition they reveal and the road they choose are the right ones. They think whatever they do is right, that whatever they say is right; they are bent on holding to their own views. And so, however great a wrong they may do, however severe the corrupt disposition they may reveal, they will not recognize the gravity of the matter, and they certainly will not understand the corrupt disposition they have revealed. Neither, of course, will they put their desires aside, rebel against their ambition or their corrupt disposition in favor of choosing such a path as that of submission to God and the truth. One can see from these two different outcomes that if a person with an antichrist’s disposition loves the truth in their heart, they have a chance to attain an understanding of it and to practice it, and to attain salvation, whereas the sort of person with the essence of an antichrist cannot understand the truth or put it into practice, nor can they attain salvation. That is the difference between the two.

III. Antichrists’ Disposition Essence

The emphasis of today’s fellowship is still primarily to sum up what exactly is the disposition essence of antichrists. Among the six corrupt dispositions of humans we just discussed, which three are more accurately used to classify people with the disposition essence of antichrists? (Being averse to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness.) Since we’ve reduced the scope to these three, the first three won’t be a part of this fellowship. Then, do people with the disposition essence of antichrists lack the corrupt dispositions of intransigence, arrogance, and deceitfulness? (No.) Then why not use the first three to classify the disposition essence of antichrists? (Because ordinary corrupt humans also possess the first three, and they do not represent a person’s essence.) This is a very accurate summary. Concerning the topic of disposition essence, the first three corrupt dispositions are relatively lighter in degree, while the ones that can truly summarize the disposition essence of antichrists are the latter three—being averse to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness. These three corrupt dispositions can more accurately classify the disposition essence of antichrists. Although the first three are not used to classify the essence of antichrists, every one of those three corrupt dispositions are present in an antichrist, and they are more severe than in common people. Being averse to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness can all be used to summarize and characterize their intransigence, and to describe the degree of their intransigence. Also, the latter three dispositions can similarly be used to summarize and characterize their arrogance and deceitfulness. It is evident that the main characteristics of the disposition essence of antichrists are being averse to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness.

A. Wickedness

Among these three corrupt dispositions—being averse to the truth, viciousness, and wickedness—wickedness is the most comprehensive summary of a disposition in an antichrist’s disposition essence, and it is the most common one in the disposition essence of an antichrist. Why is wickedness used to describe the disposition essence of an antichrist? If it is said that antichrists are quite wicked, then judging by their thoughts, what do they think, say, and do every day that proves they are people with a wicked essence? Isn’t this a question that should be pondered? (Yes.) Then we should begin our analysis and observation from what they think, their speech and manner, and how they conduct themselves and deal with the world, in order to judge whether a wicked essence really exists in these people. Let’s first take a look at what antichrists think about every day. Some people think in their hearts: “Among this group of people, I’m not considered the most capable, nor do I have the highest gifts, so how can I gain more popularity, win everyone’s esteem, bring glory to my ancestors, and have a halo over my head? How can I persuade others and make them listen to me and admire me? It seems that having status is a good thing. Some people really do speak with prestige, and when other people have issues, they go to them—why doesn’t anyone come to me? Why doesn’t anyone notice me? I have brains, ideas, a methodical approach to my actions, and I am capable of using judgment in matters—why does no one pay attention to me or think highly of me? When will I stand out above the others? When will everyone come to me for help and endorse me?” What are these people thinking about? Are they thinking about positive or negative things? (Negative things.) When some people see that others have a good relationship with each other, they think: “How come their relationship is so good? I need to find a way to sow discord and make their relationship turn sour; this way I won’t be isolated and I’ll have a companion.” What are these people doing? Regardless of what method they use, it all boils down to sowing discord. When they see someone doing their duty enthusiastically and spiritedly, and gaining light no matter what they do while performing their duty, they become jealous and contemplate how to undermine that person, how to throw cold water on them and make them feel negative. These thoughts, whether acted upon or not, are negative thoughts. There are also those who think: “How does the newly elected leader view me? I need to get close to this leader. Our relationship isn’t great, and we aren’t too close, so how can I curry favor with them? I have some money on hand, so I’ll find out what they need and then buy it for them. But if they need a computer, I’m not willing to spend that kind of money; if they were to stop being a leader in the future, wouldn’t that money be wasted? If they need something like gloves or clothes, I can afford that, and it’s worth the expense. Money should be spent on the right things, not wastefully. I also have to flatter and please the leader not just with empty words but with real actions—I need to be on the lookout for what this leader likes. Additionally, I’ll help plate up the leader’s food when it’s time to eat every day and wash their dishes when they’re through eating. If the leader criticizes someone, I’ll follow along and echo them; if the leader praises someone, I’ll quickly recommend that person and praise their virtues.” What are these people thinking about? (Pleasing the leader and fawning over them.) There are also those who, while working in the house of God, think: “Others work hard and earnestly; I have to be clever, I can’t be foolish, and I can’t work myself too hard. If the house of God doesn’t need me in the future, then won’t this effort be in vain? Won’t I be working hard for nothing? But if I don’t work at all, I’ll be sent away by the house of God. What should I do? When the leader is present, I’ll work my hardest, break a sweat, and let the leader see; when they’re not around, I’ll go to the restroom, drink water, go out for a stroll, or find a corner to relax in. If others dig three shovelfuls of earth, I’ll dig half a shovelful; if others go back and forth carrying things three or five times, I’ll just do it once. I’ll rest and slack off whenever I can. I shouldn’t be so earnest; if I get sick or exhausted from working too hard, who will feel sorry for me? Who will attend to my illness? Will the leader take care of it? Will God take care of it? Will God be responsible for these things? Therefore, while working, I have to figure out where I can work most conspicuously. When I want to slack off, I have to find out where I’m least likely to get discovered, where I’m least likely to attract attention.” What are these people thinking about? (Slacking off and acting sly.)

1. What Antichrists Do Toward People

What is the character of people who have wicked thoughts all day long? It is one of low integrity and insidiousness. Judging by their disposition, what is this? (Wickedness.) Is there anything upright in the nature of these things that they think about? Is there anything that sounds noble, open, and aboveboard? Is there anything good? (No, nothing.) So, in summary, the first thing manifested in the wicked disposition of people with an antichrist’s essence is that all they think about all day long is evil. Regardless of whether they face a major or a minor issue, their thoughts are filled with evil. Specifically, they do certain things toward people, and they also have different manifestations and practices toward God. So, what things do they do toward people? What kinds of practices do they develop in their thoughts? In the several examples mentioned just now, can you see how this kind of person is constantly plotting against others? They are incessantly plotting, and anyone they have dealings or contact with becomes the object of their schemes. Secondly, although sometimes they don’t speak when doing things, the ways, methods, and sources of their actions are not genuine, and they are not practicing the truth—it is just an illusory appearance. What is the nature of this, and what is this practice? It is trickery and pretense, and they are also tempting others. Since they can put on a pretense and cheat people, can they also lure and mislead people? (Yes, they can.) Additionally, this kind of person is engaged in constant struggle with others over status, reputation, face, and their own interests. They fight for fame, for who has the final say, for who has more ideas, for whose opinions are wiser and more reasonable, for who is endorsed more by everyone, and for who can gain more benefits—this is what they vie for. Even without status, they still plot against people like this, so what about when they have status? Then, the people under their domination are constantly being tormented; they draw in and win over those who do not love the truth, and they attack and exclude those who can accept the truth, with the aim of making everyone listen to them and obey them; they are always forming cliques and sowing discord in groups, and in the end they make everyone belong to them. These things all fall within the scope of their tormenting. Antichrists are thinking about evil all day long, and every disposition they reveal is evil. So, is it accurate to say that the disposition of such people is wicked? (Yes, it is.) In a group where everyone knows their place, sticks to their own work, and does what they ought to do, as soon as an antichrist appears, they sow discord from within, speaking ill of person A in front of person B and vice versa, putting the two at loggerheads. Isn’t this the result of sowing discord? So, what are some manifestations of an antichrist’s plotting? For example, when there is an election in the church, ordinary people without ambition might think, “Whoever is elected, I will submit to it; I will endorse whoever God allows to be leader, and I won’t be a nuisance or cause trouble.” But those with ill intentions don’t think this way. If they see that they have no hope of winning in this election, they start calculating in their hearts: “I need to buy everyone some good things. What is lacking in the church these days? I’ll buy an air purifier and place it in the gathering space so that when everyone breathes in the fresh air, they’ll think of me. This way, when it comes time for the election, won’t I be the first candidate they think of? Therefore, I won’t be acting or spending money in vain.” Thinking of this, they quickly buy the cheapest and most visually appealing air purifier. Additionally, they think: “During this time, I need to be careful. I mustn’t say the wrong things, and I mustn’t say things that are negative and don’t edify people; I’ve got to speak flattering words whenever I meet people and frequently praise others with things like, ‘You look really good! You’re really pursuing the truth! Although you haven’t believed in God for as long as I have, you’ve pursued the truth more than me. Your humanity is good, and people with good humanity like you can be saved—unlike me.’ I ought to appear humble and praise others as better than myself in all aspects, making others feel that they have received sufficient respect.” Isn’t this plotting? Antichrists do such things effortlessly; ordinary people can’t out-plot them. What is the saying among nonbelievers? (You’ve been sold by someone and still help them count the money.) Antichrists perpetrate such things, and most people are the objects of their betrayal and their plotting.

Tell Me, do antichrists accept being pruned? Do they admit that they have a corrupt disposition? (No, they don’t admit it.) They don’t admit to having a corrupt disposition, but after they are pruned, they still pretend like they know themselves. They say they are a devil and Satan, devoid of humanity and with poor caliber, and that they are unable to consider things thoroughly, they are unfit for the tasks arranged by the church, and they have not done their duties properly. Then, in front of a majority of people, they admit to their corrupt disposition, they admit that they are a devil, and finally, they also say that this is God refining and saving them, showing people how able they are to accept pruning and how submissive they are to the truth. They don’t mention why they are being pruned or the harm and losses their actions have caused to the church’s work. They avoid these issues and speak hollow words, doctrines, sophistries, and explanatory remarks to make people misinterpret the pruning they receive from God’s house as being undeserved and unfair, as if they have suffered some great injustice. After being pruned, they remain unyielding in their hearts, not acknowledging any of their various evil deeds in the slightest. So, what are all these words that they fellowshipped about admitting to their corrupt disposition, being willing to accept the truth, and being able to submit to pruning? Are these their true feelings? Absolutely not. They are all lies, pretense, and devilish words meant to mislead people and lure them in. What is the aim of their misleading people? (To make people worship and follow them.) Exactly, it is to mislead and lure people into following and listening to them, making everyone think that they are right and good. This way, no one sees through them or opposes them. On the contrary, people believe that they are someone who accepts the truth, accepts pruning, and is repentant. So, why don’t they admit to their evil deeds or acknowledge the losses they have brought to the work of God’s house? Why don’t they bring these matters out in the open for fellowship? (If they were to say these things, people would discern them.) If people discerned them, saw through them, and saw through their humanity and their disposition essence, they would forsake them. Would they still fall for their tricks and be misled by them? Would they still hold them in high esteem? Would they still praise them to the skies? Would they still worship them? They wouldn’t do any of this. Antichrists pretend to know themselves, but in reality, it is all sophistry and self-explanations, all to mislead people and make people stand up for them, which is their ulterior motive. They evade important matters and talk lightly about knowing themselves and accepting pruning to mislead people and lure them in, to make people esteem and worship them. Isn’t this method quite wicked? Some people truly fall for it, and after being misled by the antichrists, they say, “They speak so well—I was very inspired. I cried several times!” At the time, these people highly worship and esteem them, but in the end they turn out to be antichrists; this is the consequence of antichrists misleading others and luring them in. Antichrists can mislead people like this, and there’s certainly no shortage of those who fall for it and are cheated. If one can discern antichrists in this matter, then they are someone who understands the truth and has discernment.

Antichrists torment people often. They have a famous saying, that is: “Little dears, since you don’t yield to me, I’ll make you fall on your hands and knees and worship me in only a couple moves—if you don’t yield then I’ll put you on death row!” What do antichrists want to do? They want to torment people. What kind of person do they want to torment? If you obey them, fawn over them, and worship them, will they torment you? If you are docile and obedient with them, if they see you as non-threatening, that you are just a pushover or a slave, they won’t bother tormenting you. If they do something bad or commit evil deeds, if they find someone who discerns them, who will expose and uncover them, who will pull them down from their position, who will ruin their reputation and undermine their actions, they will think about how to torment that person. Antichrists do not torment people on a whim; rather, they are constantly observing and testing people, seeing who is talking bad about them behind their backs, who doesn’t yield to them, who discerns their actions, who doesn’t pay attention to them, and who refuses to cozy up to them. After observing for a while and finding two or three such individuals, they start to fellowship about these people’s issues during gatherings. Although what they say seems correct on the surface, in reality it is targeted, with a reason and a purpose. What is the reason? They have already investigated thoroughly; these individuals aren’t yielding to them, and they discern them, always trying to expose and uncover them, to get them out of office. They say these things in order to sound a warning to those individuals, to caution them. If these people back off and don’t dare to keep going, and everything goes according to the antichrists’ wishes, then the antichrists ignore them. But if these individuals continue as before, refusing to cozy up to them and still intending to uncover them, report them to the Above, and get them out of office, then they become the antichrists’ next targets for torment. They think of other approaches, and adopt more forceful and severe methods, trying to think of ways to get leverage on them and find opportunities to torment them, not stopping until they get them expelled from the church. Antichrists treat dissenters to this type of torment, and they will not rest until they achieve their goal. The methods antichrists use to torment people are ruthless. They start by finding a pretext and labeling people, and then begin to torment them, not stopping until people obey and yield to them completely—otherwise, it’s not over. In the church, antichrists consistently sow discord and form cliques, aiming to create a faction and take control over the church. Isn’t this a common occurrence? Antichrists form cliques, sow discord, draw in forces, conspire with those profitable to them, who can speak up for them, cover up their evil deeds, and defend them at key moments. They get these people to do things for them, to even report on others and act as their messengers. If they have status, this group becomes their independent kingdom. If they lack status, they and their group form a force within the church, disturbing and interfering with the normal order of the church, and disturbing normal church life and work.

The most common manifestation of the wicked essence of antichrists is that they are particularly good at pretense and hypocrisy. Despite their particularly vicious, insidious, ruthless, and arrogant disposition, they present themselves externally as especially humble and benign. Isn’t this pretense? These people contemplate daily in their hearts, thinking, “What kind of clothing should I wear to make me look more Christian, more upstanding, more spiritual, more burdened, and more like a leader? How should I eat in order to make people feel that I am refined, graceful, dignified, and noble enough? What walking posture should I adopt to give an air of leadership and charisma, to appear like an extraordinary person and not an ordinary one? In my conversations with others, what tone, vocabulary, looks, and facial expressions can make people feel that I am high class, like a social elite or a high-ranking intellectual? How can my attire, style, speech, and behavior make people hold me in high regard, leave an indelible impression on them, and ensure that I remain forever in their hearts? What should I say to win over and warm people’s hearts, and to make a lasting impression? I must do more to help others and speak well of them, frequently talk about God’s words and use some spiritual terminology in front of people, read more of God’s words to others, pray more for them, speak in a low voice to make people perk up their ears and listen to me, and make them feel that I’m gentle, caring, loving, magnanimous, and forgiving.” Isn’t this pretense? These are the thoughts that occupy the hearts of antichrists. That which fills their thoughts is nothing but the trends of nonbelievers, wholly indicating that their thoughts and viewpoints belong to the world and Satan. Some people may dress like a prostitute or even a loose woman in secret; their clothing caters specifically to evil trends and is especially fashionable. However, when they come to the church, among the brothers and sisters they wear a completely different costume and demeanor. Aren’t they extremely adept at pretense? (Yes.) What antichrists contemplate in their hearts, what they do, their various manifestations, and the dispositions they reveal all illustrate that their disposition essence is wicked. Antichrists do not contemplate the truth, positive things, the right path, or God’s requirements. Their thoughts, and the approaches, methods, and goals they choose are all wicked—they all deviate from the right path and are incompatible with the truth. They even go against the truth, and in general, they can be summarized as evil; it’s just that the nature of this evil is wicked—therefore, it is collectively referred to as wickedness. They don’t contemplate being an honest person, being pure and open, or being sincere and loyal; instead, they think about wicked methods. Take, for example, a person who can open up about themselves in a pure manner, which is a positive thing and is practicing the truth. Do antichrists do this? (No.) What do they do? They are constantly pretending, and once they do something bad and start to give themselves away, they furiously hide it, justify and defend themselves, and conceal the facts—then they finally provide their reasons. Do any of these practices measure up to practicing the truth? (No.) Are any of them in accordance with the truth principles? Even less so.

Just now, we fellowshipped and dissected the first aspect of the disposition essence of antichrists—wickedness. We started with a dissection of what antichrists think about all day, using their thoughts, viewpoints, and the ways and methods with which they respond to various matters to dissect the wicked disposition of antichrists. We also dissected the nature of the various things antichrists do, based on that which exists in their thoughts. We also provided some examples to dissect their disposition essence revealed through these instances. Regarding these examples, have you seen anyone with relatively good humanity among those who exhibit these behaviors and reveal these dispositions? When it comes to a person who has such revelations and manifestations, does their character possess honesty, kindness, simplicity, sincerity, uprightness, and so on? (It does not.) Clearly, they lack these qualities. On the contrary, their character is insidious, ruthless, prone to lying habitually, selfish, vile, and lacking a sense of honor. These features of their character are quite evident. It can be accurately stated that those who have wicked thoughts all day long, and who can do various wicked things, all have very poor character. To what extent is it poor? It lacks conscience, integrity, and especially normal rationality. Can people devoid of these things be considered human? It can be definitively stated that people who lack these things are not human; they are merely wearing the outer shell of a human. Some may ask, “Isn’t that like a wolf in sheep’s clothing?” That is just a metaphor. What are wolves in sheep’s clothing? They are essentially wolves. Is there an essential distinction between wolves and devils or antichrists? Wolves hunt and eat cattle and sheep, not out of greed but as part of their God-ordained nature. However, there is one thing that wolves possess which antichrists do not. If someone adopts and raises a wolf or has saved its life, the wolf will never harm that person and will show gratitude. In contrast, antichrists enjoy God’s grace, leading, and the provision of God’s words, but they plot against God in everything, always in opposition and enmity with Him. They cannot submit to anything God does; they cannot say Amen to it—they want to stand opposed. Is it appropriate to say that antichrists are wolves in sheep’s clothing? Is this metaphor accurate? (No, it isn’t.) In the past, in religion, whoever was labeled an antichrist or evil person was considered a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This was just a metaphor employed by people when they did not understand the truth and the humanity essence and disposition of various individuals. However, when the truth is fellowshipped at this level, using this metaphor becomes less fitting. Devils are devils, and antichrists are equivalent to devils, and they are not worthy of being compared to all the living things God created. Have any of the things God created, like wolves or other carnivores, ever resisted or rebelled against God? Would they clamor against God or oppose Him? Would they pass judgment on, condemn, or attack anything God says? They don’t do such things; they live only in accordance with the instincts and living environment that God appointed them. Whatever God created them to be, that is what they are—without any pretense. But antichrists are different: They have the nature of Satan, and they specialize in acting against positive things and the truth. They are just like the great red dragon: They specialize in committing acts of resistance against God.

2. What Antichrists Do Toward God

After fellowshipping about the various wicked manifestations that antichrists exhibit toward people, let’s fellowship about what manifestations antichrists exhibit toward God within them only thinking about wicked things all day. We have covered much on this topic before, so let’s summarize. We’ll start with milder cases and then gradually transition to more severe ones. First is doubt, followed by scrutinizing God, and there is also suspicion, guardedness, making demands, and bargaining. Is there anything else? (Testing God.) The nature of this behavior is quite serious. As we proceed, the nature of each behavior becomes increasingly more severe—denial, condemnation, judgment, blasphemy, verbal abuse, attack, clamoring, and opposition. While some of these terms may seem to have somewhat similar meanings on the surface, upon closer examination, their depth or emphasis differs. By adopting various perspectives or considering the different approaches of antichrists, we can make distinctions in the nature of these terms.

a. Doubt

Doubt, scrutiny, and suspicion are relatively preliminary manifestations. Some people merely harbor doubt in their hearts, thinking, “Is the incarnate flesh really God? He seems like a person to me. Are all His words the truth? Which of them sound like the truth? Some of what He says may be beyond human speech and knowledge. People may not clearly explain mysteries and prophecies, but can’t prophets also say such things? It is said that God is righteous, but how is God righteous? It’s said that God is sovereign over everything, but then why is Satan always doing bad things? When Satan captures and persecutes us, when it abuses us, why doesn’t God step in? Where is God? Does God really exist?” When people lack genuine faith, don’t recognize God’s sovereignty, don’t know God’s disposition, or God’s essence, and don’t understand the truth, such doubts will arise in their hearts. However, as people gradually experience God’s work, comprehend the truth, and recognize God’s sovereignty, these doubts are progressively resolved and will transform into genuine faith. This is the inevitable path for everyone who follows God. But for antichrists who possess a wicked essence, can their doubts be changed? (No, they cannot be changed.) Why can’t they be changed? (Antichrists are disbelievers—they don’t acknowledge God.) In theory, they are disbelievers, so they persistently doubt God. The objective reason is that people like this inherently refuse to accept the truth and positive things. However, everything God does is positive and the truth. Because antichrists are averse and hostile to the truth, even if everyone acknowledges that every single thing God does is a fact, that all of it is under God’s sovereignty, and that God’s sovereignty—like God—definitely exists, antichrists do not acknowledge or accept that these are facts. In their hearts, doubts about God persist forever. Clearly, these are facts, they are witnessed by everyone, and even those who usually have the smallest faith have their doubts about God eliminated after experiencing God’s work for many years, and they develop genuine faith in God. Antichrists alone cannot change their doubts about God. Objectively speaking, in theory these individuals are disbelievers who do not accept the truth, but in fact, it is because antichrists are averse to the truth and possess a wicked essence—this is the fundamental reason. Regardless of how many people confirm or bear witness to what God has done, or how overwhelming a piece of evidence is put before antichrists’ eyes, they still refuse to believe in the essence of God or that God is sovereign over all things—this is excessively wicked. This can be illustrated by one point: When antichrists see the overwhelming and evident fact of God’s sovereignty over all things, they neither believe in nor acknowledge it, and they even doubt God. However, when it comes to the deeds of the so-called Buddha or immortals that nonbelievers, devils, and evil spirits speak about—deeds that antichrists have not witnessed, and which lack any tangible evidence—they readily believe. This is an extreme display of wickedness. Regardless of how great or earth-shattering God’s actions may be, antichrists still doubt and show contempt, constantly harboring doubts in their hearts. Yet, when devils or Satan do anything bizarre, they are won over, and they bow down in admiration. They cannot generate fear or genuine faith in God, no matter how great the things God does. Conversely, they readily believe in all of Satan’s fabrications, and revere these wholeheartedly. This is a display of wickedness. The fact that antichrists doubt God always exists. They never believe that God is sovereign over all things, and they never acknowledge that God is the truth; regardless of how many people bear witness to or how much evidence is presented for these things, they can neither admit nor believe them. In one respect, this is due to the wicked disposition essence of the antichrists, and in another, it indicates that such individuals are indeed not human, because they lack the thought processes of normal humanity. What does it mean that they don’t possess the thought processes of normal humanity? It means that they lack the correct judgment and understanding of positive things, the truth, and the essence and origin behind all things. Even through reading God’s words, listening to sermons, and experiencing and appreciating God’s words, they cannot confirm or believe but remain in doubt. Clearly, these individuals lack the thought processes of normal humanity. Are people who lack normal thought processes, who cannot comprehend the truth, God’s words, and positive things and facts, still human? (No, they are not human.) They aren’t human, but it can’t be said that they’re animals, because animals lack a wicked disposition; since these individuals do have a wicked disposition, the statement holds true: These individuals indeed are bona fide antichrists, possessing a demonic nature. Doubt is a state in the thoughts that antichrists manifest toward God, and it is also a kind of disposition essence revealed in their behavior, which is the most superficial, fundamental, exterior, and common manifestation.

b. Scrutiny

In their hearts, antichrists are full of doubt concerning God, so do they genuinely accept God’s words, His disposition, and His work? Do they truly submit to all these? Do they genuinely follow God? Clearly, the answer is no. What follows from this? When these individuals come to the house of God, they think: “Where is God? I can’t see Him, I can only hear His voice. Judging by the voice, it seems to be female; judging by the words, She seems educated, not illiterate; but judging by the manner of speaking and the content of Her words, what is She saying? Why does it sound confusing? After listening, many people say it’s the truth, but why doesn’t it sound like it to me? It’s all about matters of humanity, of human disposition, of various states people reveal in their actions—is there life and the way in this? I don’t really understand. Everyone says after listening that they should fulfill their duties loyally, satisfy God, and pursue salvation. Many people even write articles of experiential testimony and bear witness. Is this person God? Does She resemble God? I haven’t seen Her face; if I had, perhaps I could read Her features and have a definite answer. Right now, just hearing Her voice and listening to what She says, I still feel a bit uncertain.” What are they doing? They are scrutinizing, testing, trying to grasp the actual situation, to see if this is indeed God, and then determine whether to follow Her, how to follow Her, and ascertain if they can find an answer in this person for the blessings and destination they want to gain, as well as for their desires, and if they can accurately know through this person what God in heaven is like, whether He truly exists, what His disposition is, what His approach and attitude toward humans may be, and what kind of abilities, skills, and authority He has. Is this not scrutinizing God? Clearly, it is.

While scrutinizing God, can antichrists accept God’s words as their life, and take them as a guide and goal for their daily lives and behavior? (No.) An ordinary corrupt person might scrutinize God for a while and then think, “This path is wrong, I feel uneasy at heart; I can’t find answers through scrutinizing God in this way. How can a believer in God scrutinize Him? What can be gained from scrutinizing God? When believers scrutinize God, God hides His face from them, and they can’t gain the truth. It’s said that God’s words are the truth and that people can find the way and obtain life from within His words. It’s no good for me to act in this way—I can’t continue scrutinizing Him.” As they listen to sermons and read God’s words, they gradually discover that people have corrupt dispositions, and they steadily realize that they cannot be compatible with God, fulfill their duties properly, or do anything well, unless these corrupt dispositions are resolved. They gradually discover that the reason people cannot fulfill their duties well is because their corrupt dispositions and rebelliousness are obstructing them, and because they are acting according to their corrupt dispositions, and aren’t able to handle matters according to the truth principles. Next, they begin to think, “How can I act in accordance with the truth principles? When my corrupt dispositions reveal themselves, how can I resolve them?” The best solution to people’s corrupt dispositions is the truth and God’s words. The most direct way for people to enter into the truth is for them to seek the truth principles, and to find the principles for everything they do. This establishes goals, direction, paths, and methods of practice. Once these are established, people have a path to follow, and when they act, they aren’t likely to violate the administrative decrees, to reveal their corrupt dispositions, or to cause disturbances and disruptions, and they are even less likely to resist God. After going through such an experience, they feel that they have found a suitable path for their belief in God, and that it is the path they need, the one they should enter into, the right path for belief in God and for life, and that it’s much better than scrutinizing Him and always adopting a wait-and-see approach toward Him. They realize that scrutinizing God is futile, and that no matter how much one scrutinizes Him, it won’t resolve the various corrupt dispositions that they reveal, or the problems that arise when they perform their duties. Therefore, they gradually transition from scrutinizing God to the path of seeking the truth principles. This is the normal way of entry and experiential process for ordinary corrupt humans. However, for antichrists, it’s different. From the first day they enter the house of God and cross over its threshold, they think, “Everything in God’s house is so interesting, everything is so new—it’s different from the world of nonbelievers. In God’s house, everyone has to be honest; it’s like a big family, and so lively!” After scrutinizing, getting familiar with, and thoroughly understanding their brothers and sisters, it’s time for them to scrutinize God. They think to themselves, “Where is God? What is God doing? How is He doing it? Scrutinizing God in heaven is difficult; He is hard to fathom and we fall short of this. But now, there’s a convenient shortcut—God has come to earth, making it easy to scrutinize Him.” Some of them are fortunate enough to come into contact with God on earth, seeing this person with their own eyes, which makes it even more convenient for them to scrutinize Him. How do they do this? They scrutinize the cheerful conversations of God on earth, in what matters He uses one manner of speaking and in what matters He uses another, the context in which He laughs and is happy, and what He’s talking about at those times, as well as what He talks about when He’s not happy or when He’s angry. They scrutinize in what situations He ignores people or is quite amicable with them, when He prunes people and when He doesn’t, what matters He pays attention to and what He doesn’t care about, as well as whether He knows when people scrutinize Him, trick Him, or hurt Him behind His back. After scrutinizing the broader aspects, antichrists delve into specifics, such as what God on earth eats, what He wears, and His daily routine. They scrutinize what He likes, where He likes to go, and even what colors He likes or dislikes, whether He prefers sunny or cloudy weather, and if He goes out in bad weather—all these specific details. From start to finish, antichrists are always scrutinizing, ignoring what this person who holds the identity of God has come to do. They say, “I don’t care what You’re here to do; whenever I see You, You will become the subject of my scrutiny.” What is the purpose of their scrutiny? They think, “If I can confirm that You are truly God, then I can steadfastly and wholeheartedly leave everything behind to follow You. Because believing in God is like placing a bet, and since You claim to be God and the incarnate flesh of God, believing in You is equivalent to placing a bet on You. How can I not scrutinize You? If I didn’t scrutinize You, it would be unfair to me. If I didn’t scrutinize You, I wouldn’t be taking responsibility for my own destination, prospects, and destiny. I must scrutinize You to the very end.” Even today, after all their scrutiny, they’re still not sure: “Is this person really Christ? Is He truly God incarnate? It’s not very clear. Anyway, many people are following Him, and the state of the gospel expansion is relatively promising. It looks like it could spread further, so I shouldn’t allow myself to be left behind. But I still need to keep scrutinizing Him.” They are incorrigible.

Antichrists have a wicked disposition essence, so they never cease their scrutiny. In an organization or community of nonbelievers, they scrutinize and exploit all kinds of people, finding out what their superiors like, identifying their vulnerabilities, and then tailoring their actions and catering to their superiors’ tastes to curry favor with them. After entering the house of God, their nature remains unchanged—they continue in their scrutiny. They fail to understand that scrutinizing God is not the path that believers should follow. In scrutinizing God, they will never comprehend God’s actions, or see that everything God expresses is the truth, or understand that all these truths and actions of God are for the salvation of humankind. Antichrists will never understand this point. All they see is that God’s chosen people continually suffer the persecution and pursuit of Satan. They only observe evil people committing evil acts and causing disturbances within the church, and the forces of antichrists in the religious community continuously slandering and condemning God, while God never resolves any of this. Thus, antichrists keep clinging to their own notions and imaginings, adamantly refusing to accept any truths expressed by God. What is the result? Their notions and imaginings become their evidence for resisting God. In the eyes of antichrists, these so-called pieces of evidence are the reasons why they don’t believe in or acknowledge God’s identity and essence. It is precisely because they refuse to accept the truth that they will never, ever see the truths contained beneath these facts, the truths that people should understand and comprehend, and God’s intentions. This is the result of their scrutiny. Faced with these facts, those who pursue the truth, love the truth, and have genuine faith in God, can accept things from God and respond correctly no matter what occurs in God’s house, and they can wait on God, quiet themselves before God and pray to Him, seek to grasp God’s intentions, and also understand and comprehend that God’s good intentions are behind the occurrence of all these things. For the sake of revealing and cutting off evil people, God does many things that people would not think of. At the same time, for the sake of perfecting God’s chosen people, and enabling them to gain discernment and learn lessons, He also uses evil people and their evil deeds to render service. In one respect, God reveals and cuts them off; in another, He enables His chosen people to see what things are positive and negative, whom God approves of, whom God detests, who is eliminated by God, and whom He blesses. These are all lessons God’s chosen people need to learn, the positive results that those who pursue the truth should achieve, and the truths people should understand. However, due to their wicked disposition essence, antichrists will never attain these most precious things. Therefore, they only have one state—while they are in God’s presence, aside from doubting Him, they are constantly scrutinizing Him. Even if they can’t get to the bottom of this, they continue scrutinizing Him. If you ask them if they’re tired, they say, “Not at all. Scrutinizing God is a fun, fascinating, interesting, and engaging thing to do!” Aren’t these devilish words? They possess the countenance of Satan, they have the nature essence of antichrists. They have no intention of accepting the truth or God’s salvation; they are solely here to scrutinize God.

c. Suspicion

Next, we will fellowship about antichrists’ suspicion toward God. What does suspicion literally mean? There are some specific manifestations, thoughts, and behaviors for scrutinizing God, and it is absolutely correct to say that the same is true about suspicions. After scrutinizing God, some people still don’t know what God’s disposition really is or what kind of emotions God has, and they aren’t sure whether God truly exists. They are even less able to determine whether this ordinary person is Christ or whether He possesses God’s essence. They do not understand and are unclear on these things. Afterward, when they have the opportunity to interact with God, they think, “Christ fellowshipped with me about people doing duties in a perfunctory manner; could it be that someone has spoken about me doing my duties perfunctorily and Christ found out about it? Is that why He brought it up when we met? This is definitely because someone told on me, and after Christ found out He targeted me for exposure. Does Christ still like me, knowing what kind of person I am? Does He feel averse toward me, or does He think little of me? Is He preparing to replace me?” After waiting for a while and seeing they haven’t been replaced, they think, “Phew, I was so scared. I was thinking that Christ might be petty, but He didn’t do it. Now I can relax.” Some might say, “During my last meeting with Christ, I spoke incoherently, like an uneducated person, and my speech was a bit off. I exposed my true self. Will Christ have a bad impression of me? Will He eliminate me later? Everything’s fine when I don’t see Him—my problems only come up when I meet with Him. I must not meet with Him again, I have to avoid Him when I see Him, and stay as far from Him as I can, and I absolutely must not have dealings, interactions, or close contact with Christ. Otherwise, He might think little of me.” What kind of thoughts and approaches are these? (Suspicions.) These are suspicions. There are also those who say, “At the last gathering, God asked a simple question, but I didn’t answer it well, which revealed my flaws. Will God think I don’t have good caliber, and will He not cultivate me in the future? Last time, someone exposed something I did, saying I was foolish and acted in a thoughtless way. If God finds out about this, will He still perfect me in the future? What is my status in God’s mind—is it high or low, superior or inferior? Which bracket do I belong to? In the future, whenever I speak with God, I need to draft my words. I can’t speak casually or say whatever is on my mind. I must contemplate more, mull things over more, consider more, organize my language well, and present the most outstanding and skillful side of myself to Christ. How wonderful and perfect that would be!” This is also suspicion.

Suspicion is another feature of the wicked disposition of antichrists. Apart from doubting and scrutinizing, antichrists also harbor suspicions. In short, regardless of which aspect dominates their thoughts, none of them has anything to do with practicing and seeking the truth. Can these approaches, thoughts, or methods confirm that the disposition essence of antichrists is wicked, then? (Yes.) Whether antichrists are doubting God, scrutinizing God, or harboring suspicions toward God, in any case, they always fail to focus on the truth, they never turn back, and they persistently use these methods to contemplate matters related to God and approach God, without seeking the truth at all. Regardless of how exhausting and hard these actions may be, they tirelessly continue to do them and repeat them. No matter how long they have scrutinized or been suspicious of God for, or whether they have gotten any results or not, they keep following this path as before, continuing to act in this way and repeating their actions. They never examine themselves, thinking, “Is this the method and attitude with which a created being should treat God? What is the nature of how I treat God? What kind of disposition am I revealing? Is treating Him like this in line with the truth? Does God detest it? If I keep doing things God detests, what will be the ultimate result? Will I be abandoned and eliminated by God? Since there will be negative consequences, why can’t I act and practice according to God’s words and requirements?” Do they reflect on these matters? (No.) Why don’t they reflect? Because they lack conscience and rationality in their character. They do not have a conscience, so they perform such unreasonable and absurd actions without being aware of it. Lacking rationality causes them to never understand who they are, or the position, perspective, and status they should assume. They never feel that they are an ordinary person, a corrupt human, or the ilk and offspring of Satan that is detested by God. The things that people should accept are God’s words, God’s requirements, and the truth that God supplies to them; they should not be scrutinizing God as though they were His equals, and laughing and talking with God as if they were interacting with another person—aren’t these things a non-human would do? At this moment, the character of antichrists is revealed, and the wicked disposition essence of antichrists dominates them, making them tirelessly engage in these worthless and meaningless actions that harm others and offer no benefit to themselves. Yet, they can’t let go; they remain unaware of the error of this path and the nature that lies behind these actions. Regardless of the amount of effort, suffering, and failure that are involved in this matter, they feel no self-blame, no accusation, and no indebtedness. They insist on being on equal footing with God, even scrutinizing and despising God from on high, repeatedly doubting and being suspicious of Him. Regardless of how many years they have believed in God, their attitude toward God and how they treat Him have never changed. If they’re not doubting Him, they’re scrutinizing Him, and if they’re not scrutinizing Him, they’re suspicious of Him. It’s like they are possessed by a demon or bewitched—these are several manifestations of the wicked essence of antichrists. Antichrists are naturally wicked; some people who cannot see through to the essence of antichrists might say, “Can’t you abstain from scrutinizing God? Can’t you stop doubting Him? Can’t you stop being suspicious toward Him? If you stop doing these things, you will be able to understand the truth, to treat God as God, to develop genuine faith in God, and to legitimately become one of God’s people; you’ll have an opportunity to become an adequate created being, and won’t you then be worthy of the name of one of God’s chosen people? How wonderful that would be!” However, antichrists retort, “I’m not that foolish. What’s the benefit of being an adequate created being? That’s boring. It’s only interesting when I doubt, scrutinize, and am suspicious of God!” This manifestation of antichrists is like what the great red dragon says: “Fighting with other people and with Heaven is a source of endless fun.” This is an accurate definition and true reflection of antichrists’ wicked nature essence. In summary, antichrists are exceedingly wicked, they are wicked to the extreme. Those who believe in God but outright refuse to accept the truth are wicked people. Many people always want to give antichrists a chance to repent, thinking that they will repent one day—is this argument correct? As the sayings go, “The tiger cannot change its stripes” and “A leopard cannot change its spots.” Therefore, you cannot use standards and methods for dealing with humans to deal with or make demands of antichrists. They are what they are. If they don’t scrutinize or doubt God, or if they’re not suspicious of Him, they feel uncomfortable, because they are governed by their wicked nature.

d. Guardedness

Next, we’ll fellowship about guardedness. Antichrists have one most predominant and clearest thought and viewpoint. They say, “People mustn’t let God control or be sovereign over their destinies; if God is in control of a person’s destiny, then it’s over for them. People must be the ones in control of themselves in order for them to attain happiness, and in order for them to eat, drink, and have fun without worrying. God doesn’t let people eat, drink, and have fun, He doesn’t let them live well; He only makes people suffer hardship. Therefore, we must take charge of our own happiness; we can’t entrust our destinies to God, or passively wait for everything, or let God make preparations, and enlighten and lead us—we can’t be that kind of person. We have human rights, and the right to autonomous action, and free will. We don’t need to report everything to God and seek from God on everything—that would make us look so incompetent; only fools do that!” What are they doing? (Guarding against God.) Some people say, “Be careful when you make an oath before God; think carefully about your words. When man acts, Heaven is watching!” Some pray, “Oh God, I dedicate my entire life and youth to You; I won’t look for a partner or get married.” But after saying this, they regret it, thinking, “Will God bring my words to pass? What if I really need a partner or want to get married? Will God punish me? This is bad!” From then on, they become depressed and joyless, avoiding the opposite sex and fearing punishment. What are they doing? (Guarding against God.) Another kind of person says, “Expending oneself for God is neither easy nor simple. You need to have a backup plan; you need to prepare a way out for yourself before expending for God. Otherwise, when you run out of resources, God won’t take care of you! Expending yourself for God is your business; God being sovereign over all things is another matter. God is sovereign over all things—will He take care of a small person like you? God only takes care of major matters; He doesn’t bother with these minor things. Therefore, you must plan and prepare your way out; if God no longer wants you later and sends you away, He won’t show you any mercy.” What kind of thinking is this? (Guardedness against God.) People are so calculating. Some, after becoming leaders, pay a few prices, and genuinely expend themselves a bit, but due to their bad humanity, abominable disposition, and the disposition of antichrists that they possess, they bring considerable losses to God’s house. As a result, they are sent away. Afterward, they learn to behave themselves and keep a low profile, not confiding in anyone, saying, “I used to always confide in people, so everyone knew what was really going on with me, but then someone reported me to God’s house and I was sent away. So now I have to learn to close myself off, to conceal myself, and to defend and protect myself. I must be cautious about confiding in people, and I shouldn’t even confide in God. I no longer believe that God is the truth, that He is faithful. I have even less trust in the brothers and sisters. No one is worthy of my trust, not even my family members or relatives, let alone those who pursue the truth.” What are they doing? (They are being guarded.) When antichrists experience pruning, failure, slips, and being revealed, they take stock of this, and come up with a saying: “Never intend to harm others, but always guard against the harm they might do to you.” In reality, they have harmed others quite a lot, and in the end, they disguise themselves and come up with this fallacy. After many years of believing in God and experiencing numerous failures and setbacks, as well as God’s revelation and His pruning, under normal circumstances, people should reflect on and know themselves through the lessons of these failures, seeking the truth to solve problems, and finding the reasons for their failures and slips in God’s words, as well as the path of practice they should take. However, antichrists do not do this. After multiple slips and failures, they escalate their behavior, their doubts about God grow in number and become more severe, their scrutiny of God grows more intense, their suspicion of God grows deeper, and likewise, their hearts become filled with guardedness against God. Their guardedness is full of complaints, anger, defiance, and indignation, and they even gradually develop denial, judgment, and condemnation against God. Aren’t they in an increasing amount of danger? (Yes.)

Judging by the attitude of antichrists toward God, toward the environments and people, events, and things arranged by God, toward God’s revealing and disciplining of them, and so on, do they have the slightest intention to seek the truth? Do they have the slightest intention to submit to God? Do they have the slightest faith that all of this is not accidental but is rather under God’s sovereignty? Do they have this understanding and awareness? Obviously not. The root of their guardedness can be said to come from their doubts about God. The root of their suspicion of God can also be said to come from their doubts about God. The results produced by their scrutiny of God make them more suspicious of God, and at the same time more guarded against God. Judging by the various thoughts and viewpoints generated from antichrists’ thinking, as well as the various approaches and behaviors produced under the domination of these thoughts and viewpoints, these people are quite simply unreasonable; they cannot understand the truth, they cannot develop genuine faith in God, they cannot thoroughly believe and acknowledge the existence of God, and they cannot believe and acknowledge that God is sovereign over all creation, that He is sovereign over everything. All of this is due to their wicked disposition essence.

December 19, 2020

Previous: Excursus Four: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and Their Disposition Essence (Part One)

Next: Excursus Six: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and Their Disposition Essence (Part Three)

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