Item Twelve: They Want to Withdraw When They Have No Status and No Hope of Gaining Blessings

Today’s fellowship regarding the various manifestations of antichrists is on item twelve: They want to withdraw when they have no status and no hope of gaining blessings. This item also deals with antichrists’ dispositions and it is one of their concrete manifestations. From a superficial perspective, an antichrist will want to withdraw if they lack status and have no hope of gaining blessings. Once they have lost these two things, they will want to withdraw. The superficial meaning appears very easy to understand—it doesn’t seem very complex or abstract, but what are the specific manifestations here? In other words, what sorts of situations cause an antichrist to want to withdraw because of an impact on their status or hope of gaining blessings? Is this something that is worth an in-depth fellowship? If you were asked to share fellowship on this, what would you have to say about its specific details and manifestations? Some people might say, “We’ve fellowshipped on this so many times. Antichrists love status and power, they enjoy having high prestige, and their goal in having faith is to be blessed, to be crowned and rewarded. If these hopes are dashed and lost, then they will lose their interest in believing in God and will no longer want to have faith.” Would your fellowship on this be as simple as just these few words? (Yes.) If that were the case, if this fellowship could be wrapped up with these few statements, then this aspect of antichrists’ manifestations would not merit its own section in our fellowship series on the manifestations of antichrists, nor would it touch on any particular nature essence. However, since this item is related to antichrists’ essence and disposition, as well as their personal pursuits and perspectives on existence, then it must be the case that it is a multifaceted topic. So, what precisely is involved? That is to say, which matters that antichrists encounter involve their status and their hope of gaining blessings? What are their perspectives, thoughts, and attitudes toward these matters? Of course, there will be some overlap between our fellowship on these matters and our previous fellowships on antichrists’ perspectives on various issues, but the focus of today’s fellowship is different, and it comes at the issue from a different angle. Today we will fellowship specifically on the manifestations that present themselves when antichrists lose their status and their hopes of gaining blessings, which can prove that antichrists have an incorrect perspective on pursuit, and that their faith in God is not true; they can also verify that these people indeed possess the essence of an antichrist.

I. Antichrists’ Approach to Being Pruned

First, we should take a look at the behaviors that antichrists manifest when they are pruned, how they handle such situations, what their attitudes, thoughts, and perspectives on pruning are, and what, specifically, they say and do—these matters merit our dissection and analysis. We have fellowshipped quite a bit on topics involving being pruned; this is a common topic that you are all familiar with. Only after being pruned several times do most people experience some transformation—they can seek the truth and handle matters according to principle when doing their duty, and only then does their faith begin anew, and it undergoes some change for the better. It can be said that every instance of being pruned harshly is branded into every person’s heart; it leaves an indelible memory. Of course, every instance of being pruned harshly leaves an indelible memory for antichrists, too, but where do the differences lie? An antichrist’s attitude toward and various manifestations concerning this, as well as their thoughts, perspectives, ideas, and such that come out of this situation all differ from those of a regular person. When an antichrist is pruned, the first thing they do is resist and reject it deep in their heart. They fight it. And why is that? This is because antichrists, by their very nature essence, are averse to and hate the truth, and they do not accept the truth at all. Naturally, an antichrist’s essence and disposition prevent them from acknowledging their own mistakes or acknowledging their own corrupt disposition. Based on these two facts, an antichrist’s attitude toward being pruned is to reject and defy it, completely and utterly. They detest and resist it from the bottom of their heart, and have not the slightest hint of acceptance or submission, much less any genuine reflection or repentance. When an antichrist is pruned, no matter who does it, what it pertains to, the degree to which they are to blame for the matter, how blatant their error, how much evil they commit, or what consequences their evil creates for the church’s work—the antichrist doesn’t consider any of this. To an antichrist, the one pruning them is singling them out, or finding faults to torment them. The antichrist may even think that they are being bullied and humiliated, that they are not being treated as a human, and that they are being belittled and scorned. After an antichrist is pruned, they never reflect on what it was that they have actually done wrong, what corrupt disposition they have revealed, and whether they’ve sought the principles they ought to abide by, acted in accordance with the truth principles, or fulfilled their responsibilities in the matter in which they are pruned. They do not examine or reflect on any of this, nor do they think over and ponder these issues. Instead, they approach pruning according to their own will and with hot-headedness. Any time an antichrist is pruned, they will be full of anger, disobedience, and resentment, and will listen to advice from no one. They refuse to accept their being pruned, and are unable to come back before God to know and reflect on themselves, to address their actions that violate the principles, such as being perfunctory or running amok in their duty, nor do they use this chance to resolve their own corrupt disposition. Instead, they find excuses to defend themselves, to vindicate themselves, and they will even say things to provoke discord and incite others. In short, when antichrists are pruned, their specific manifestations are disobedience, dissatisfaction, resistance, and defiance, and some complaints arise in their hearts: “I paid such a high price and did so much work. Although I did not follow the principles or seek the truth in some things, I did not do this all for myself! Even if I caused some damage to the work of the church, I did not do so on purpose! Who doesn’t commit mistakes? You cannot seize onto my mistakes and prune me endlessly without showing consideration for my weaknesses, and without caring for my mood or self-esteem. God’s house has no love for people and it’s so unjust! Furthermore, you prune me for making such a small mistake—doesn’t this mean you look at me with unfavorable eyes and want to eliminate me?” When antichrists are pruned, the first thing on their mind is not to reflect on what they have done wrong or on the corrupt disposition they have revealed, but to argue, explain and justify themselves, while making conjectures. What conjectures? “I’ve paid such a great price in doing my duty in the house of God only to be pruned. It appears that there is not much hope of me gaining blessings. Could it be that God does not want to reward people, so He uses this method to reveal people and eliminate them? Why should I make any effort if there is no hope of gaining blessings? Why should I bear hardships? Since there is no hope of gaining blessings, I might as well not believe at all! Isn’t the purpose of believing in God to obtain blessings? If there is no hope of that, why should I expend myself? Maybe I should just stop believing and be done with it? If I don’t believe, can you still prune me? If I don’t believe, you cannot prune me.” Antichrists cannot accept being pruned from God at all. They cannot accept and obey through a proper viewpoint and attitude. They cannot reflect on themselves through this and understand their corrupt dispositions so that their corrupt dispositions can be cleansed. Instead, they speculate and study with a mean and narrow mind the purpose of their being pruned. They watch the development of the situation carefully, listen to people’s tones when they speak, observe how people around them look at them, how they speak to them, and their attitude, and use these things to confirm whether they have any hope of being blessed or whether they really are revealed and eliminated. One simple instance of them being pruned produces such great turmoil and so much contemplation in the antichrists’ hearts. Whenever they are pruned, their first reaction is repulsion, and in their hearts, they feel averse to it, they reject it, and fight it, before then examining people’s language and countenance, followed by engaging in conjecture. They employ their brains, their thought, and their petty shrewdness to watch the development of the situation, observe how the people around them look at them, and observe the senior leaders’ attitude toward them. From these things, they judge how much hope they still have of being blessed, whether they have a shred of hope to be blessed, or whether they really are revealed and eliminated. When they are backed into a corner, antichrists again begin to research God’s words, trying in God’s words to find an accurate basis, a sliver of hope, and a lifeline. If, after they have been pruned, someone comforts and supports them and helps them with a loving heart, these things make them feel like they’re still regarded as a member of God’s house, they believe that hope still exists for them to be blessed, that their hope is still strong, and they will dispel any thought of withdrawing. However, the moment the situation is reversed, so that they see their hopes of being blessed have become slim and disappeared, their first reaction is: “If I can’t gain blessings, then I won’t believe in God anymore. Whoever loves believing in God can believe in Him, but in any case I won’t accept being pruned by you, and everything you say when you’re pruning me is wrong. I don’t want to hear it, I’m not willing to listen to it, and I won’t accept being pruned even when you say it’s the most beneficial thing for a person!” When they see their hopes of being blessed go up in smoke, when they see their long-pursued status and dreams of entering the kingdom of heaven about to come to nothing and be lost, they don’t think of changing their manner of pursuit or changing the goals they pursue, but rather they think of leaving and withdrawing, they no longer want to believe in God, and they think they no longer have any hope of being blessed in their belief in God. To antichrists, if their fantasies and hopes of the rewards, blessings, and crowns they wanted to gain when they first started believing in God are gone, then their motivation for believing in God disappears, as does their motivation to expend themselves for God and do their duty. When their motivation is gone, they no longer want to remain in the church, to muddle on in this way any longer, and they want to abandon their duty and leave the church. This is all antichrists think about when they are pruned, and their nature essence is entirely exposed. Overall, in both what they say and what they do, antichrists never accept the truth. What is a disposition of not accepting the truth? Isn’t it being averse to the truth? That’s precisely what it is. The simple act of being pruned is, on its own, quite easy to accept. First, there is no ill will on the part of the person who prunes them; second, it is certain that, judging by the matters in which antichrists are pruned, they must have gone against the arrangements of God’s house, and against the truth principles, that there was an error or oversight in their work that brought disruption and disturbance to the church’s work. They are pruned because of the adulteration of their human will, because of their corrupt disposition, because, lacking an understanding of the truth principles, they act wantonly. This is a very normal thing. Throughout the entire world, any large organization, any group or company has rules and regulations, and anyone who violates these rules and regulations must be punished and kept in line. This is perfectly normal, and perfectly proper. However, an antichrist regards being appropriately kept in line as a result of violating the rules and regulations as others making things difficult for them, unfairly punishing them, finding fault with them, and causing trouble for them. Is that an attitude of accepting the truth? Very clearly, it is not. Without an attitude of acceptance of the truth, is it possible for someone like this to avoid committing errors and causing disruptions and disturbances in their performance of their duty? Certainly not. Is this sort of person well suited to do a duty? Strictly speaking, they are not. It is unlikely that this kind of person will be competent in any task.

Doing a duty is an opportunity that God provides His chosen people with so that they may train themselves, but people do not know to treasure this. Instead, when they are pruned, they throw temper tantrums; they fight it and clamor against it; they are recalcitrant and indignant. It’s as if they were saints who have never made mistakes. Who among corrupt humans does not make mistakes? It is a very normal thing to make mistakes, and God’s house will not hold you responsible or condemn you for this, much less will God’s house curse you, God’s house will simply verbally prune you. Sometimes this may be quite harsh, the words may sound sharp or unpleasant, and your feelings may be hurt. Those who have caused damages to the finances or equipment of the house of God will be disciplined by God’s house using fines or by requesting compensation—does that count as harsh? Or can it be considered proper? You are not asked to provide double compensation, nor are you being extorted, you only need to repay the same amount. Is that not very proper? This is much lighter than the fines given in some countries of the world. In some cities, you will be heavily fined for just spitting on the ground or littering a scrap of paper. Could you defy this, or refuse to pay the fine? If you refused, you would likely be sent to prison, and there would be even harsher legal penalties. Such is the system. Some people don’t understand this, and think that people being pruned in this way by God’s house is too harsh, and that keeping people in line like this is too draconian. If such people are pruned in a slightly harsher manner, and their pride is wounded and their satanic nature stirred, they feel that this is unbearable, and it does not conform to their notions. They believe that, since this is the house of God, people should not be treated in this way, that the house of God should exercise tolerance and patience at every turn, and allow people to act wantonly and do as they please. They think that everything people do is good, and should be commemorated by God. Is this reasonable? (No.) What nature essence do people possess? Are they truly human? To put it more tastefully, they are Satans and devils. To put it more coarsely, they are animals. People do not know the rules of how to behave, they are very scummy, as well as lazy, loving of leisure and averse to hard work, and they want to run amok doing bad things. The most troubling part is that many who do a duty in God’s house always wish to bring the secular world’s philosophies for worldly dealings, methods, and evil trends along with them. They even put their energy into researching, learning, and imitating these things, and as a result create chaos and turmoil in some of the work of God’s house. This is unbearable for everyone, and even some brothers and sisters who are new to the faith say that these people are not pious, that their actions are of worldly trends, and aren’t anything like the actions of a Christian—even these new believers can’t accept the actions of these people. These people pay a little price, have a little enthusiasm, and a tiny bit of drive and goodwill, and they bring whatever nonsense they have learned into God’s house, and apply it to their duty and work, and as a result, they cause disruptions and disturbances to the work of the church, and end up getting pruned. Some people don’t understand this: “Doesn’t God say He will commemorate people’s good deeds? Then why am I being pruned for doing my duty? Why can’t I understand this? How are God’s words being fulfilled? Could it be that they’re all just empty, high-sounding words?” Then why don’t you reflect on whether your actions are good deeds that deserve to be commemorated? What has God required of you? Do the duty you have performed, the work you have done, and the ideas and suggestions you have provided conform to the decorum of saints? Are they in accordance with the required standards of God’s house? Have you thought about the testimony of God, and the name of God? Have you considered the reputation of the house of God? Have you considered the decorum of saints? Do you acknowledge that you are a Christian? You have not considered any of this, so then what have you actually done? Are your actions worthy of commemoration? You have made a mess of the church’s work, and God’s house has only pruned you, without revoking your eligibility to perform a duty. This is the greatest love, the truest love. And yet, you feel annoyed. Do you have any reason to be? You are extremely unreasonable!

There are some people who have only believed in God for two or three years, and their actions, the way they talk and laugh, and the viewpoints they reveal, and even their facial expressions and movements when speaking with others are unpleasant, and show that they are absolutely nonbelievers and disbelievers. These people should be kept in line, they should be pruned, and rules should be laid down for them, so that they know what normal humanity is, what saintly decorum is, and what a Christian should be like, and so that they learn how to be a human, and can have human likeness. There are some who have believed in God for eight or 10 years, or even longer, but judging by their thoughts and perspectives, words and actions, and the way they handle things and the ideas they come up with when things befall them, it is clear that they are absolutely nonbelievers and disbelievers. These people have listened to quite a few sermons, and they have some experience and insight; they have interacted with their brothers and sisters quite a bit, and should have their own form of everyday language, and yet the majority of them are unable to share testimony, and when they talk and express their views, their language is overly simplistic, and they can’t explain anything clearly. They truly are impoverished, pathetic, and blind—they clearly have an utterly pitiful countenance. When someone like that does a duty and takes on a little responsibility, they always get pruned. This is inevitable. Why will they be pruned? It’s because their actions violate the truth principles too much; they cannot even attain the conscience and reason of normal people, and they speak and act like nonbelievers, it’s as if a nonbeliever has been hired to come to do the work of God’s house. So, how’s the quality of the work produced by these people in the performance of their duties? What is its value? Is there any part of them that is submissive? Don’t they have too many problems and only cause disruptions and disturbances? (Yes.) Then shouldn’t these people be pruned? (Yes.) Some people write scripts about a Christian’s life, about how the protagonist goes through persecution, tribulation, and various situations, and how they appreciate and experience God’s words. However, throughout the entire story, the protagonist hardly ever prays, and sometimes when faced with something, they don’t even know what to say in prayer. Before, some people used to write the same old thing for prayer after prayer; when the protagonist encountered something, they’d pray: “Oh God, I’m so upset right now! I’m so miserable, so totally miserable! Please guide me and enlighten me.” They just wrote trivial words like these, but in the face of a different event, a different situation, a different mood, the protagonist didn’t know how to pray and had nothing to say. This makes Me wonder, if these people depict their protagonists as not praying when they run into problems, do they themselves have the habit of praying? If they don’t pray when they encounter something, then what do they rely on in their daily lives and the performance of their duty? What are they thinking about? Do they have God in their hearts? (They don’t have God in their hearts. They rely on their own thinking and gifts in the things they do.) The result of this is that they are pruned. How do you think I will assess this matter? People such as this should be pruned. These people, who do not make progress, who have brains but lack hearts, have been believers for years, yet they have no idea what to say in prayers when encountering an issue; they have nothing to say to God, nor do they know how to confide in God, and they do not have heart-to-hearts with God. God is the One closest to you, the One who is most worthy of your trust and reliance, and yet you don’t have a single thing to say to Him—so whom are you reserving your innermost thoughts for? No matter whom it is, if you don’t have anything to say to God, then what kind of person are you? Aren’t you a person who is most devoid of humanity? If there is nothing in the script about the protagonist’s humanity, their life as a believer, and how they experience and appreciate God’s words, and so on, if it’s just a hollow shell of a script, then what do you want to show people by making this film? What’s the use in that script you’re writing? Are you bearing witness to God, or to the little knowledge and education you have? The best concrete evidence for testimony to God is how a person prays and seeks, and how their ideas, attitude, perspectives, and their thoughts on God transform, when something befalls them, or when they run into difficulties. Unfortunately, some people have no understanding whatsoever of this. They still don’t know how to pray after several years of faith—it’s no wonder they still haven’t made progress. Their professional skills haven’t improved, and they’ve made no progress in their life entry. Shouldn’t such people be pruned? And so, there is an antecedent to people being pruned. If you refuse to accept pruning, or if you are not pruned, the consequence of this and your outcome will be dangerous. You are fortunate to have people to prune and discipline you now. This wonderful, beneficial thing is something that antichrists cannot accept. They think that when they get pruned, it means that they’re done, that they no longer have hope, that they can see what their outcome will be. They think being pruned demonstrates that they are no longer valued, and no longer a favorite of the Above, and that they are likely to be eliminated. Then they lose motivation in their faith and begin making plans to go out into the world and make a lot of money, to follow worldly trends, to eat, drink, and be merry, and their schemes begin to come to light. This puts them in danger, and their next step will lead them to cross the threshold, to depart from the house of God.

When an antichrist has status and power in the house of God, when they can take advantage and capitalize at every turn, when people look up to and flatter them, and when they think that blessings and rewards, and a beautiful destination all seem to be within reach, then on the surface they appear to be overflowing with faith in God, in God’s words and His promises to mankind, and in the work and prospects of God’s house. However, as soon as they are pruned, when their desire for blessings is threatened, then they develop suspicions and misunderstandings toward God. In the blink of an eye, their apparently abundant faith disappears, and is nowhere to be found. They can hardly muster up the energy to even walk or talk, they lose interest in doing their duty, and they lose all enthusiasm, love and faith. They’ve lost the little bit of goodwill they had, and they pay no mind to anyone who speaks with them. They turn into a completely different person in an instant. They are revealed, aren’t they? When such a person is holding on to their hopes of being blessed, they appear to have boundless energy, to be loyal to God. They can get up early and work until late at night, and are able to suffer and pay a price. But when they’ve lost hope of being blessed, they are like a deflated balloon. They want to change their plans, find another path, and to give up their faith in God. They become discouraged and disappointed with God, and are filled with grievances. Is this the expression of someone who pursues and loves the truth, someone with humanity and integrity? (No.) They are in danger. When you encounter this sort of person, if they are able to render service, then be gentle when pruning them, and find some pleasant-sounding words with which to praise them. Flatter them and puff them up like a balloon, and then they will have a spring in their step. You can say things like, “You are so blessed, you have a shine in your eyes, and I can see you have boundless energy, and you’re sure to be a mainstay in God’s house. God’s kingdom could never be without you, and without you the work of God’s house would suffer a loss. But you just have one tiny flaw. You can overcome it with a little effort and once that’s fixed everything will be fine, then the greatest crown of all is sure to be yours.” When a person like this does something wrong, you can prune them to their face. How should you do that? Just say, “You’re so smart. How could you make such a basic mistake? That shouldn’t have happened! You have the best caliber and are the most educated in our team, and you’re the most prestigious among us. You shouldn’t have been the one to make a mistake like this—how embarrassing! Be sure not to make a mistake like this again, or it’ll certainly be hurtful to God. If you do it again, it will damage your reputation. I won’t say this to you in front of everyone—I’m letting you know about it in secret so that the brothers and sisters don’t get any ideas about you. I’m just trying to make sure you don’t lose face, and taking your feelings into consideration, right? See, isn’t God’s house loving?” Then they say, “Yes.” “So what’s next?” And they will respond, “Keep up the good work!” What do you think of treating them like that? That kind of person just wants to gain blessings by laboring, they never seek the truth principles in their words or actions, and they don’t accept the truth at all. They never think about whether they should be saying what they say or doing what they do, nor do they consider the consequences of what they do, nor do they pray, ponder, seek or fellowship. They just do things according to their own ideas, they do whatever they want. When someone damages their pride or interests with something they say or do, exposes their flaws or problems, or makes a reasonable suggestion to them, then they fume with rage, hold a grudge, and want to get revenge, and in more serious cases, they want to abandon their faith and go report the church to the great red dragon. We have a way to handle this sort of person, namely to avoid pruning them, and coddle them instead.

We have just been fellowshipping about how when antichrists are pruned, they always see it in connection to their hopes of gaining blessings. This attitude and view is incorrect, and it is dangerous. When someone points out an antichrist’s flaws or problems, they feel they have lost their hope of gaining blessings; and when they are pruned, or disciplined, or reproached, they also feel they have lost their hope of gaining blessings. As soon as something does not go their way or does not conform to their notions, as soon as they are exposed and pruned, feeling their self-esteem has suffered a blow, their thoughts go at once to whether they no longer have hope of gaining blessings. Is this not overly sensitive of them? Are they not too strongly desirous of gaining blessings? Tell Me, are such people not pitiful? (They are.) They are pitiful, indeed! And in what way are they pitiful? Is whether one can obtain blessings related to their being pruned? (No.) They are unrelated. Why, then, do antichrists feel they have lost their hope of gaining blessings when they are pruned? Does this not have something to do with their pursuit? What do they pursue? (Gaining blessings.) They never let go of their desire and intent to gain blessings. They have intended to gain blessings from the start of their belief in God, and though they have listened to plenty of sermons, they have never accepted the truth. They have never given up their desire and intent to gain blessings. They have not rectified or changed their views on belief in God, and their intent in doing their duty has not been purified. They always do everything while clutching their hope and intent to gain blessings, and in the end, when their hopes of gaining blessings are about to be dashed, they erupt in anger, and complain bitterly, finally laying bare the ugly state of their doubt about God and their denial of the truth. Are they not courting death? Such is the inevitable consequence of the antichrists’ not accepting the truth in the least, nor accepting being pruned. In their experience of God’s work, all God’s chosen people can know that God’s judgment, chastisement, and His pruning are His love and blessings—yet antichrists believe that this is just something people say, and do not believe it is the truth. So, they do not see prunings as lessons to be learned from, nor do they seek the truth or reflect on themselves. On the contrary, they believe that pruning is born of human will, that it is intentional torment, laden with human intents, and certainly not from God. They choose to resist and disregard it, and even study why someone would treat them so. They do not submit at all. They link everything that happens in the performance of their duty to gaining blessings and rewards, and they regard gaining blessings as the most important pursuit in their life, as well as the ultimate and highest goal of their belief in God. They cling for life to their intent to gain blessings, no matter how God’s house fellowships about the truth, and do not let it go, thinking that belief in God that is not for the sake of gaining blessings is idiocy and folly, that it is a great loss. They think that anyone who gives up their intent to gain blessings has been duped, that only a fool would give up hope of gaining blessings, and that accepting pruning is a display of idiocy and incompetence, something a smart person would not do. This is the thinking and logic of an antichrist. So, when an antichrist is pruned, they are very resistant at heart, and adept at sophistry and pretense; they do not accept the truth in the least, nor do they submit. Instead, they brim with disobedience and defiance. This is liable to lead to opposing God, passing judgment on God, and fighting against God, and in the end, to being revealed and eliminated.

II. Antichrists’ Approach to Adjustments to Their Duty

Antichrists have an incredibly stubborn attitude when it comes to gaining blessings. They cling to their intent to gain blessings for dear life, and when they are pruned, they feel resistant, and they try with all their might to dispute it and defend themselves. From this, we can determine that antichrists don’t accept the truth at all. When they are dismissed or their duties are adjusted, they feel very sensitive about the matter of gaining blessings. Why do they feel sensitive about it? Because such people’s hearts are filled with the desire and ambition to gain blessings. Everything they do is for the sake of gaining blessings, not for the sake of anything else. Their greatest wish in life is to gain blessings. This is why, when they are dismissed or their duties are adjusted, they feel their hope of gaining blessings is gone, and they naturally refuse to submit, and keep arguing on their own behalf. They only consider their own interests, and do not consider the work of God’s house. For example, some people believe themselves to be skilled in the written word, so they strenuously demand to do a duty that relates to it. Of course, the house of God will not disappoint them, the house of God cherishes talented individuals, and whatever gifts or strengths people have, the house of God will give them room to make use of them, and so the church arranges for them to do text-based work. But after some time passes, it is discovered that they do not in fact possess this skill, and are incapable of doing this duty properly; they are totally ineffective. Their talent and caliber make them utterly incompetent at this job. So what should be done in such circumstances? Is it possible to just put up with them and say, “You have passion, and although you do not possess much talent, and are of average caliber, as long as you are willing, and not averse to working hard, the house of God will put up with you, and let you carry on doing this duty. It doesn’t matter if you don’t do it well. The house of God will turn a blind eye, and there’s no need for you to be replaced”? Is this the principle by which the house of God handles matters? Obviously not. In such circumstances, suitable duties are normally arranged for them based on their caliber and strengths; that’s one side of it. But it’s not enough to depend on this alone, because in many cases people themselves don’t know what duty they’re suited to do, and even if they think they’re good at it, that might not necessarily be correct, and so they have to try it out and be trained for a period of time; deciding based on whether they are effective or not is the right thing to do. If they are trained for a period of time, and do not get any results or make any progress, and it’s confirmed that it’s not worth cultivating them, their duty should be adjusted, and a suitable duty should be rearranged for them. Rearranging and adjusting people’s duties in this way is the proper thing to do, and is also in line with principle. But some people are unable to obey the arrangements of God’s house, and instead they always follow their fleshly preferences in the performance of their duties. For example, suppose that someone says, “My biggest dream was to be one of the literati or a journalist, but due to my family circumstances and other reasons, I wasn’t able to fulfill it. But now I do text-based work in God’s house. I’ve finally gotten what I wanted!” However, his comprehension of the truth just isn’t good enough, he doesn’t have much spiritual understanding, and he is not up to doing text-based work, so after doing his duty for a while, he is transferred to another one. He complains: “Why can’t I just do the work I want to do? I don’t like any other kind of work!” What is the problem here? God’s house adjusted his duty according to the principles, so why can’t he accept the change? Isn’t this a problem with his humanity? He can’t accept the truth and doesn’t submit to God—this is simply a lack of reason. He always does his duty based on his personal preferences and always wants to make his own choices. Isn’t this a corrupt disposition? Does the fact that you enjoy doing something guarantee that you can do it well? Does the fact that you enjoy doing a certain duty mean that you can do it adequately? Just because you enjoy doing something doesn’t mean you are suited to it, and you might not be able to see through to what you’re suited to. Therefore, you need to possess reason and learn to obey. So, when your duty is adjusted, how should you practice obedience? In one respect, you must believe that God’s house has adjusted your duty based on the truth principles, and not based on your preferences or the prejudices of any leader or worker. You must trust that the adjustment of your duty was decided based on your gifts, strengths, and other actual circumstances, and that it did not stem from the ideas of one person. You should learn to obey when your duty is adjusted. After you have trained in your new duty for a while and have achieved results in performing it, you’ll find that you are more suited to performing this duty, and you’ll realize that choosing duties based on your own preferences was a mistake. Doesn’t this resolve the issue? Most importantly, the house of God arranges for people to perform certain duties not based on people’s preferences, but based on the needs of the work and whether someone’s performing that duty can achieve results. Would you say that the house of God should arrange duties based on individual preferences? Should it use people based on the condition of satisfying their personal preferences? (No.) Which of these aligns with the principles of the house of God in utilizing people? Which aligns with the truth principles? It is choosing people according to the needs of the work in God’s house and the results of people performing their duties. You have some penchants and interests, and you have a bit of a wish to perform your duties, but should your wishes, interests, and penchants take precedence over the work of the house of God? If you doggedly insist, saying, “I must do this work; if I’m not allowed to do it, I don’t want to live, I don’t want to perform my duty. If I’m not allowed to do this work, I won’t have enthusiasm for doing anything else, nor will I give my full effort to it,” doesn’t this show there is a problem with your attitude toward performing duty? Isn’t that completely lacking in conscience and reason? In order to satisfy your personal wishes, interests, and penchants, you do not hesitate to affect and delay the work of the church. Does this accord with the truth? How should one treat things that do not accord with the truth? Some people say: “One should sacrifice the individual self for the sake of the collective self.” Is this correct? Is this the truth? (No.) What kind of statement is this? (It’s a satanic fallacy.) This is a fallacious statement, a misleading and disguised one. If you apply the phrase “One should sacrifice the individual self for the sake of the collective self” to the context of performing your duties, then you are opposing and blaspheming God. Why does this blaspheme God? Because you are imposing your own will onto God, and that is blasphemy! You are trying to exchange the sacrifice of your individual self for God’s perfection and blessings; your intention is to make a deal with God. God does not need you to sacrifice anything of yourself; what God demands is that people practice the truth and rebel against the flesh. If you can’t practice the truth, then you are rebelling against and opposing God. You performed your duty poorly because your intentions were wrong, your views on things were incorrect, and your statements completely contradicted the truth. But the house of God has not stripped you of the right to perform a duty; it’s just that your duties were adjusted because you were not suited for the last one, and you were reassigned to a duty that is suitable for you. This is very normal and easy to understand. You should treat this matter correctly. What is the correct way to treat this matter? When this happens, you must first accept the house of God’s evaluation of you. Although subjectively you may like your duty, you are not actually up to it nor skilled at it, so you cannot do that work. This means that your duty needs to be adjusted. You should obey and accept your new duty. First train at it for a time—if you still think that you’re not good enough, and that your caliber falls short of it, you should tell the church: “I am not up to this duty. If this continues, it will hinder the work.” That’s a very reasonable way of acting! Whatever you do, don’t try to hold on in that duty. Doing so will hinder the work. If you raise the issue early on, the church will arrange a suitable duty for you based on your situation. God’s house doesn’t force people to perform duties. Isn’t experiencing your duty being adjusted a good thing for you? First of all, it can enable you to approach your own preferences and wishes rationally. You may have had a penchant for that in the past, and like literature and writing, but text-based work also requires spiritual understanding. At the very least, you need to understand spiritual terminology. If you lack even the slightest understanding of the truth, just having a bit of skill with the written word won’t be good enough. You will need to achieve spiritual understanding, understand the spiritual vocabulary, and come to possess the language of spiritual life through a period of experience. Only then will you be able to perform text-based work in God’s house. Through a period of experience and going through things, you will find that you lack the language of life experience, you will see your staggering insufficiency, you will know your true stature, and you will enable God’s house and your brothers and sisters to clearly see your caliber and stature. This is a good thing for you. At the very least, this will show you how high or low your caliber is, and enable you to treat yourself correctly. You will no longer have imaginings about your own caliber and penchants. You will know your true stature, you will see more accurately and clearly what you are and are not suited to, and you will be more steadfast and practical as you perform your duty. This is one aspect of it. The other, which is the most important, is that no matter what degree of understanding you gain or whether you can understand these things, when God’s house makes arrangements for you, you must, at the very least, first adopt an attitude of obedience, rather than being choosy or picky, or having your own plans and choices. This is the reason you must possess most of all. If you aren’t able to reflect on what contaminants there are in the performance of your duty, that is fine. All that matters is that you have submission in your heart and can accept the truth, take your duty seriously, and show your loyalty, and that when problems arise or when you reveal corruption, you can reflect on yourself, understand your own deficiencies and shortcomings, and seek the truth to resolve your problems or revelations of corruption. This way, without you realizing it, your life and stature will gradually grow as you perform your duty, and you will come to perform your duty adequately. As long as you sincerely expend for God and never stop seeking the truth to resolve your problems as you experience God’s work, you will receive His blessings, and He will not mistreat you.

When their duties are adjusted, if the decision was made by the church, people should accept and obey, they must reflect on themselves, and understand the essence of the problem and their own shortcomings. This is very beneficial for people, and it is something that ought to be practiced. With something so simple, ordinary people can figure it out and treat it correctly, without encountering too many difficulties or any insurmountable hurdles. When adjustments are made to their duties, at the very least, people should submit, benefit from reflecting on themselves, and have an accurate assessment of whether their performance of their duties is adequate. But this is not so for antichrists. What they manifest is different from normal people, no matter what happens to them. Where does this difference lie? They do not obey, they do not proactively cooperate, nor do they seek truth in the slightest. Instead, they feel antipathy toward the adjustment, and they resist it, analyze it, contemplate it, and rack their brains in speculation: “Why am I not allowed to do this duty? Why am I transferred to an unimportant duty? Is this a means to reveal me and eliminate me?” They keep turning over what has happened in their minds, endlessly analyzing it and ruminating over it. When nothing happens they are perfectly fine, but when something does happen, it begins churning within their hearts as if in stormy waters, and their heads are filled with questions. It may look from the outside like they are better than others at pondering issues, but in fact, antichrists are just more wicked than normal people. How is this wickedness manifested? Their considerations are extreme, complex and secretive. Things that would not occur to a normal person, a person with a conscience and reason, are common fare for an antichrist. When a simple adjustment is made to their duty, people should answer with an attitude of obedience, do as God’s house tells them to, and do what they are able, and, no matter what they do, do it as well as is within their power, with all their heart and all their strength. What God has done is not in error. Such a simple truth can be practiced by people with a little conscience and reason, but this is beyond the abilities of antichrists. When it comes to the adjustment of duties, antichrists will immediately offer arguments, sophistry, and defiance, and deep down they refuse to accept it. Just what is in their heart? Suspicion and doubt, they then probe others using all kinds of methods. They test the waters with their words and their actions, and even coerce and entice people to tell the truth and speak honestly through unscrupulous means. They try to work it out: Just why were they transferred? Why were they not allowed to do their duty? Who, exactly, was pulling the strings? Who was trying to mess things up for them? In their hearts, they keep asking why, they keep trying to work out what’s really going on, so they can find who to argue or settle scores with. They do not know to come before God to reflect on themselves, to look at what the problem is within them, they do not look for a reason in themselves, and they do not pray to God and reflect on themselves and say, “What was the problem with how I did my duty? Was it that I was being perfunctory, and was devoid of principle? Was there any effect at all?” Instead of ever asking themselves these questions, they constantly question God in their hearts: “Why was my duty adjusted? Why am I being treated like this? Why are they being so inconsiderate? Why are they being unfair to me? Why don’t they think of my pride? Why do they attack and exclude me?” All these “whys” are a vivid revelation of the antichrists’ corrupt disposition and character. No one can imagine that over a matter so small as a transfer in duties, antichrists will make such a fuss, cause such a ruckus, and try every means at their disposal to create such big waves. Why would they make a simple thing so complicated? There is only one reason: Antichrists never obey the arrangements of God’s house, and they always closely link their duty, fame, gain, and status with their hope of gaining blessings and their future destination, as if once their reputation and status are lost, they have no hope of gaining blessings and rewards, and this feels like losing their lives to them. They think, “I have to be careful, I mustn’t be careless! God’s house, the brothers and sisters, the leaders and workers, and even God can’t be relied upon. I can’t trust any of them. The person you can rely on most and who is most worthy of trust is yourself. If you’re not making plans for yourself, then who is going to care about you? Who is going to consider your future? Who is going to consider whether or not you’re going to receive blessings? Therefore, I have to make careful plans and calculations for my own sake. I can’t make mistakes or be even slightly careless, otherwise, what will I do if somebody tries to take advantage of me?” Therefore, they guard themselves against the leaders and workers of God’s house, fearing that somebody will discern or see through them, and that they’ll then be dismissed and their dream of blessings will be spoiled. They think they must maintain their reputation and status in order for them to have hope of gaining blessings. An antichrist sees being blessed as greater than the heavens, greater than life, more important than pursuing the truth, dispositional change, or personal salvation, and more important than doing their duty well, and being a created being that is up to standard. They think that being a created being that is up to standard, doing their duty well and being saved are all paltry things that are hardly worth mentioning or remarking on, while gaining blessings is the only thing in their entire life that can never be forgotten. In whatever they encounter, no matter how great or small, they relate it to being blessed, and are incredibly cautious and attentive, and they always leave a way out for themselves. So when their duty is adjusted, if it is a promotion, an antichrist will think they have hope of being blessed. If it is a demotion, from team leader to assistant team leader, or from assistant team leader to a regular group member, they predict this to be a major problem and they think their hope of gaining blessings is slim. What sort of outlook is it? Is it a proper outlook? Absolutely not. This view is absurd! Whether or not someone gains God’s approval is not based on what duty they do, but on whether they possess the truth, whether they genuinely submit to God, and whether they are loyal. These are the most important things. During the period of God’s salvation for people, they must suffer many trials. Especially in the performance of their duty, they must go through many failures and setbacks, but in the end, if they understand the truth and have genuine submission to God, they will be someone who has God’s approval. In the matter of being transferred in their duty it can be seen that antichrists do not understand the truth, and that they do not have the comprehension ability at all.

Out of all those who are doing a duty, there will always be some who don’t do anything well. They’re not good at writing articles, because they don’t understand the truth, and they don’t even have a grasp of spiritual terminology, of the language that Christians often use. They may have writing skills and some education, but they are not up to the task. If you have them proofread documents, after a little while it becomes clear that they’re not good at that, either. Their caliber is lacking, and they are always missing things, so you transfer them again. Then they say that they have computer skills, but after doing a duty in that realm for a while, they’re not good at that, either. It seems like they’re a good cook, so you have them make food for the brothers and sisters. It turns out that everyone reports that the meals they make are either too salty or too bland, and they either make too much or too little. Seeing they’re not a good fit for doing the cooking, you arrange for them to share the gospel, but the moment they hear they are going to join the gospel team they feel discouraged, and think, “That’s it. I’m being relegated to the sidelines, and there’s no hope of being blessed. There’s nothing to do but cry.” Then, with a negative and down-in-the-dumps mood, they sink and degenerate, and cannot keep their mind on sharing the gospel and bearing witness to God’s new work. Instead, they are constantly thinking, “When can I go back to text-based duty? When will I be able to hold my head high again? When will I get to speak with the Above again, or participate in the higher-level decision-making? When will everyone be aware that I’m a leader again?” They wait for a few years without being reinstated, then start pondering: “There’s no point in believing in God. I’m just like those people who experience lots of setbacks on the path to becoming officials out in the world, aren’t I?” At the thought of those many setbacks, they become even more dispirited, and feel utterly discouraged. They say, “After all these years of being a believer I haven’t gotten to be a major leader even once. After finally managing to serve as a team leader, I was dismissed, and I haven’t done a good job in other duties, either. I really have terrible luck—nothing ever goes my way. It’s just like struggling through tons of setbacks on the path to becoming an official. Why won’t the house of God promote me? My status and reputation have really hit rock bottom. No one even remembers who I am, and the Above never mentions me. My glory days are over. What am I to do about my lack of success? I love God so much, and I really love the church and the house of God, so why haven’t I enjoyed success? There’s no point in believing in God. I really wanted to realize my grand plans here in God’s house, to put my energy and strengths to use, but God just doesn’t put me in important positions or see me. There’s no point.” What do they mean by constantly making noise about there being no point? They mean that there is no point in doing their duty, pursuing dispositional change, listening to the truth and listening to sermons, reading God’s words, and seeking truth principles. Then, to them, what is there a point in doing? Having an official position, gaining blessings, having their desire and ambition for blessings fulfilled, showing off at every turn, being admired and having prestige. To them, there is no point in anything else. When they feel like there’s no point, when they’re discouraged, then they find their feet moving toward the door of their own accord. They want to leave God’s house, to withdraw. This means that they are in danger. There are some people who do a duty, particularly those who do a nondescript duty that puts them in frequent contact with nonbelievers, and some members of this group have one foot in and one foot out. What does that mean? It means that these people may withdraw at any time, and if their last line of defense collapses, then their other foot will take a decisive step out, and they will thoroughly break from God’s house and leave the church entirely. When it comes to their duties being adjusted, things like where they are transferred to, what duty they do, whether the duty satisfies their personal desires, whether it enables them to be esteemed, and what the position and rank of their new duty are, are all connected by these people to their intent and desire to gain blessings. Based on the attitude and view that antichrists harbor toward the adjustment of their duties, where does their problem lie? Is this a major problem or not? (It is.) What is the problem? (They link the normal adjustment of their duties to their status in the church and whether or not they can gain blessings. When their duties are adjusted, rather than accepting and obeying the arrangements of God’s house, they think they are losing their status and that they can’t obtain blessings anymore, and then they feel that there is no point in believing in God and want to leave God’s house.) Their biggest mistake here is linking the adjustment of their duties with gaining blessings. This was the absolute last thing they should have done. Actually, there is no relationship between the two at all, but because the hearts of antichrists are filled with the desire to gain blessings, no matter what duty they do, they will link it to whether or not they can gain blessings, which means it’s impossible for them to do a duty well, and they can only be revealed and eliminated. This is simply them creating problems for themselves and putting themselves on a doomed path.

How should you treat the matter of performing your duty? You must have the correct attitude, which is the prerequisite for performing your duty well. What duty is appropriate to you should be based on your own strengths. If sometimes the duty arranged for you by the church is not something you are good at or is not something you wish to do, you can raise the issue and resolve it through communication. But if you can perform the duty, and it is a duty you should perform, and you don’t want to do it just because you fear suffering, then there is a problem with you. If you are willing to obey and can rebel against your flesh, then you can be said to be relatively reasonable. However, if you always try to calculate which duties are more prestigious, and you assume certain duties will make others look down on you, this proves you have a corrupt disposition. Why are you so prejudiced in your understanding of duties? Could it be that you can perform a duty well if it is one you chose based on your own ideas? That isn’t necessarily true. What matters most here is resolving your corrupt disposition, and if you don’t, you won’t be able to perform your duty well, even if it’s one you enjoy. Some people perform their duties without principles, and their performance of their duty is always based on their own preferences, so they are never able to resolve difficulties, they always muddle through every duty they perform, and eventually they are eliminated. Can people like this be saved? You must choose the duty that suits you, perform it well, and be able to seek the truth to resolve your corrupt dispositions. Only then will you be able to enter into the truth reality. If you always pursue fleshly comfort and to look good in your duty, you will not be able to perform your duty well. If you are not able to perform any duty well, then you will have to be eliminated. Some people are unsatisfied no matter what duty they are performing, they always view their duties as temporary, they are perfunctory, and they do not seek the truth to resolve the corrupt dispositions they reveal. As a result, they perform their duties for several years without gaining any life entry. They become laborers and they are eliminated. Didn’t they bring this on themselves? Evil people and antichrists never have the correct attitude in their duties. What do they think when they are transferred? “Do you think I’m just a service-doer? When you use me, you make me render service for you, and when you’re done with me, you just send me away. Well, I won’t render service like that! I want to be a leader or worker, because that’s the only respectable job around here. If you won’t let me be a leader or worker and you still want me to toil, you can just forget about it!” What kind of attitude is this? Are they submitting? On what basis do they approach being transferred in their duty? On the basis of impetuousness, their own ideas, and their corrupt disposition, right? And what are the consequences of approaching it this way? First of all, will they be able to be loyal and sincere in their next duty? No, they won’t. Will they have a positive attitude? What sort of state will they be in? (A state of dejection.) What is the essence of dejection? It’s antagonism. And what is the ultimate result of an antagonistic and dejected mood? Can someone who feels that way do their duty well? (No.) If someone is always negative and antagonistic, are they fit to do a duty? No matter what duty they do, they can’t do it well. This is a vicious cycle, and will not end well. Why is that? Such people are not on a good path; they do not seek the truth, they are not submissive, and they cannot properly understand the house of God’s attitude and approach toward them. This is trouble, is it not? It is a perfectly appropriate change in duty, but antichrists say it’s being done to torment them, that they are not being treated like a human being, that the house of God lacks love, that they are being treated like a machine, called upon when they’re needed, then kicked aside when they’re not. Isn’t that a twisted argument? Does someone who says that sort of thing have a conscience or reason? They have no humanity! They distort a perfectly proper matter; they twist a totally appropriate practice into something negative—is this not the wickedness of an antichrist? Can someone who is this wicked understand the truth? Absolutely not. This is an antichrist’s problem; whatever happens to them, they will think about it in a twisted way. Why do they think in a twisted way? Because their nature essence is so wicked. An antichrist’s nature essence is primarily wicked, followed by their viciousness, and these are their main characteristics. Antichrists’ wicked nature prevents them from correctly comprehending anything, and instead they distort everything, they go to extremes, they split hairs, and they cannot handle things properly or seek the truth. Next, they actively fight back and seek revenge, even spreading notions and venting negativity, inciting and roping in others to disturb the church’s work. They secretly spread around some complaints, judge how people are treated by God’s house, some of its administrative rules, how certain leaders do things, and condemn these leaders. What sort of disposition is this? It is vicious. Not only are antichrists resistant and defiant, they rope in even more people to be defiant alongside them, to side with and cheer them on. Such is the nature essence of an antichrist. They can’t even treat the simple adjustment of their duty correctly, or accept and submit to it rationally. Instead, they cause a fuss and give various excuses for themselves, some of which are unseemly and evoke revulsion and loathing in others. After spreading some fallacies and heresies, antichrists will try to salvage the situation for themselves and make others believe in them. If these measures don’t succeed, will antichrists be capable of turning back? If they can’t proceed down this path, will they be able to seek the truth? Will they possess any will to repent? Absolutely not. They will say, “If you stop me from gaining blessings, I’ll stop all of you from gaining them! If I can’t gain blessings, I’ll stop believing!” In the past I’ve spoken about how antichrists are completely unreasonable; the nature essence behind this unreasonableness is that these people are extremely wicked and vicious. The item we are fellowshipping on now is the manifestations and revelations that fully exhibit this nature essence, and it is the most authentic proof of this nature essence. Some of these people become angry if their duties are adjusted even once, and some of them, after being transferred several times, and moving from one duty to another, aren’t able to do any of them well, and ultimately think that they have no hope of gaining blessings, and want to withdraw. In short, regardless of how their duties are adjusted, if any adjustments occur, these people will analyze, judge, and mull them over in their hearts, and will only rest assured if they find that the adjustments are unrelated to them gaining blessings. As soon as they find that the adjustments have the slightest relationship to gaining blessings, or impact their hope of gaining blessings, they will immediately rise up in defiance, exposing their nature essence. If they fail in this defiance, and are exposed and rejected, they will prepare contingency plans for themselves, and leave God’s house firmly and without hesitation, no longer believing that there is a God, and no longer acknowledging that they believe in God. Their day-to-day lives will immediately change, and all the likeness of a believer in God disappears from them. They will immediately resume drinking, smoking, wearing unusual clothes and heavy makeup, and dressing up to the nines. Since they weren’t able to enjoy these things as a believer in God, they will hurry to make up for this lost time. When they consider withdrawing, they will immediately think about their next step, about how they can work hard in the world in order to get ahead, find a place for themselves, and live a good life, as well as where their way out lies. They will soon find a way out for themselves, locate a place for themselves among these evil trends and within this evil world, and determine what they are going to do, be it business, politics, or another kind of undertaking, that will allow them to live a better life than others, bring them happiness and joy for the rest of their time on earth, make their flesh more comfortable, allow them to fully enjoy life, and to partake in entertainment and leisure.

When an antichrist is pruned, and when their duty is adjusted, what they think about is receiving blessings that are very closely related to them. When they think they have no hope left for that, they will want to withdraw, to walk away from God’s house, and want to revert back to a nonbeliever’s life. Based on this, it is evident that a person’s nature essence is extremely important, so aren’t their pursuit and choices also very important? It is merely the difference of one thought: One correct decision, and you may end up continuing to accept God’s salvation, while one wrong choice can turn you into a nonbeliever in the blink of an eye, into someone who has nothing to do with the house of God, with God’s work, or their duty. Just one thought, a single moment or one little matter can completely change someone’s fate. One casual choice, one casual little thought or a simple perspective can alter a person’s destiny, and can determine where they end up in the next moment. When people haven’t encountered any kind of issue, when they have not faced any decision, they feel that they understand many truths, possess stature, and can stand firm. But, when you face a decision, a major principle, or a big issue, what you actually choose, what your attitude toward God is, and what your perspective and attitude toward the matter is, will determine your destiny and whether you stay or go. The choices that antichrists tend to make, and their deepest subjective desires within their hearts, are all contrary to the truth; there is no submission within these things, only antagonism, there is no truth or humanity, only human corrupt dispositions, and human fallacies and heresies. These things will often give rise to thoughts such as leaving the house of God behind and immersing themselves in evil trends, and at any point can cause them to think that, “If I have no hope of being blessed, why not leave God’s house? If that’s the case, I won’t continue to believe or do my duty. If this is how God’s house treats me, then I will no longer acknowledge God.” These sorts of outrageously rebellious thoughts, these heresies and fallacies, these wicked ideas, are often present and lingering in an antichrist’s heart. This is why, even if they do not give up halfway in their course of following God, it is very difficult for them to walk the path till the very end, and most of them will be cleared out and expelled from the church due to the great deal of evil they’ve done and the disruption and disturbance they’ve caused. Even if they can force themselves to hold on until the end, in fact, we can see from antichrists’ nature essence that it’s inevitable that they will withdraw from the church. They may even think deep down, “I absolutely cannot leave God’s house behind. Even if I have such thoughts, I can’t leave. I will stay here even until my death. I will hang on to God’s house; I will follow God until the end.” No matter how their subjective will compels them not to leave God’s house, and how they insist that they must stay in their subjective will, they are ultimately fated to be spurned by God, and to leave God’s house of their own accord, because they are averse to the truth and wicked to the core.

III. Antichrists’ Approach to Their Being Dismissed

We’ve just fellowshipped on two of the manifestations of antichrists, one is when they’re confronted with being pruned, and the other is when adjustments are made to their duty. The focus of our fellowship has been on what attitude antichrists have when such things befall them, and what decisions they make. Of course, regardless of what an antichrist’s perspective and attitude are when they are pruned or when their duties are adjusted, they always link these things to whether or not they will receive blessings. If they are sure that they will not be blessed, that they have no hope at all, then they will naturally withdraw. To a regular person, to someone who does not have any ambitions or desires, neither being pruned nor having their duty adjusted is actually a big deal. Neither will have a great impact on them. They have not been stripped of their right to do a duty, nor has their hope of being saved been taken away, so for a regular person, there is no need to overreact, to be frightened or hurt, or to start making contingency plans. However, this is not so for an antichrist. They see these as very serious matters, because they connect them with being blessed, and this ends up giving rise to all sorts of rebellious thoughts and behaviors in them, which in turn give rise to ideas and plans of withdrawing, of leaving God. Antichrists can even give rise to the idea of withdrawing when things like these, which are exceedingly ordinary, befall them. So, for someone who has status and is responsible for important work in God’s house, what kind of attitude would they have when they’re facing dismissal? How would they handle it, and what choice would they make? Such things are even more illustrative. For an antichrist, status, power, and prestige are the most important kinds of interests, and the things that they equate with their own life. This is why, when an antichrist is dismissed, when they lose their title of “leader” and no longer have status, which means that they have lost their power and prestige, that they will no longer receive the special treatment of being esteemed, supported, and looked up to, as an antichrist who sees status and power as life itself, they find this absolutely unacceptable. When an antichrist is dismissed, their first reaction is like they have been struck by lightning, as if the sky has come crashing down, and their world has collapsed. The thing they’d been able to pin their hopes on is gone, as is their chance at living with all the benefits of status, along with the drive that makes them run amok doing bad things. This is what is most unacceptable to them. Their first thought is, “Now that my status is gone, how will people see me? What will brothers and sisters from my hometown think of me? How will everyone who knows me see me? Will they still fawn over me? Will they be so friendly to me? Will they keep supporting me at every turn? Will they still follow me around? Will they still take care of all the things I need in my life? When I talk to them, will they still be courteous and welcome me with a smile? How will I get by without my status? How will I walk the path that follows? How can I gain a foothold for myself among other people? Now that I’ve lost my status, doesn’t that mean I have less hope of being blessed? Will I be able to obtain great blessings? Will I get any major rewards, or a big crown?” When they think that their hopes of being blessed have been destroyed or that they’ve seriously decreased, it’s as if their head is about to explode, it’s like their heart is being pounded with a hammer, and it’s as painful as being cut with a knife. When they are about to lose the blessing of entering the kingdom of heaven they have so longed for day and night, to them it seems like terrible news that has appeared out of nowhere. Not having any status is, to an antichrist, the same as not having any hope of being blessed, and they become like a walking corpse, their body becomes like an empty shell, devoid of a soul, with nothing to guide their life. They have no hope and nothing to look forward to. When an antichrist faces being exposed and dismissed, the first thing that occurs to them is that they have lost any hope of being blessed. So, at this point, would they just give up? Would they be willing to submit? Would they use this chance to relinquish their desire for blessings, let go of status, willingly be a regular follower, and gladly labor for God and do their duty well? (No.) Could this be a turning point for them? Would this turning point make them develop in a good direction and in a positive way, or would it make them develop in a worse direction and in a negative way? Based on an antichrist’s nature essence, it is evident that being dismissed is absolutely not the beginning of them letting go of their desire for blessings, or the beginning of them loving and seeking the truth. Instead, they will work even harder to fight for the opportunity and hope of being blessed; they will cling to any opportunity that can bring them blessings, that can help them to stage a comeback, and enable them to regain their status. That is why, when facing dismissal, aside from being upset, disappointed, and antagonistic, an antichrist will also fight tooth and nail against being dismissed, and will strive to turn the situation around, to change it. They will struggle with all their might to retain their hope of being blessed, and to keep their status, prestige, and power in their same state. How do they struggle? Through trying to vindicate themselves, through giving justifications, making excuses, and talking about how they did what they did, what caused them to err, how they’ve been staying up all night to help others and fellowship with them, and what it was that caused them to be negligent in this matter. They will completely clarify and explain every part of this matter, so that they can salvage the situation and escape the misfortune of being dismissed.

In what contexts and matters are antichrists most liable to unmask and reveal their satanic nature? It’s when they are being exposed and dismissed, that is, when they lose status. The primary manifestation antichrists exhibit is that they do their utmost to vindicate themselves and engage in sophistry. No matter how you fellowship on the truth with them, they are resistant, and they refuse to accept what you say. When faced with God’s chosen people exposing all the facts of their evildoing, they don’t admit to these things at all, fearing that if they do they’ll be found guilty as charged, and get cleared out or expelled. While refusing to admit to the charges laid against them, they even push their mistakes and responsibilities onto the shoulders of other people. This fact sufficiently shows that antichrists never accept the truth, acknowledge their mistakes, or truly know themselves, and this proves even more that their nature is arrogant and self-righteous, that it is averse to the truth, hates the truth, and doesn’t accept the truth at all, and so they are beyond saving. Those with a modicum of humanity and some reason can admit and accept their own mistakes, bow their heads when confronted with the facts, and feel regret for the evil things they’ve done; antichrists, however, are incapable of these things. This shows that antichrists don’t possess any conscience or reason at all, and that they are totally without humanity. In their hearts, antichrists always equate how high or low their status is with how great or small their blessings will be. Whether it is in God’s house or any other group, to them, people’s status and class are delineated, as are their final outcomes; how high someone’s status is and how much power they wield in the house of God in this life is equivalent to the magnitude of the blessings, rewards, and crown they will receive in the world to come—these things are linked. Does that view hold water? God never said this, nor has He ever promised anything like that, but this is the sort of thinking that arises within an antichrist. For now, we won’t delve into the reasons why antichrists have such thoughts. However, just in terms of their nature essence, they were born with a love for status, and they also hope to have illustrious status and high prestige in this life, to wield power, and want to continue to enjoy all of this in the life to come. So, how will they achieve all this? In the minds of antichrists, they will achieve this by doing some things they are capable of doing and things they want and love to do while they have status, power, and prestige in this life, and then exchanging these things for future blessings, crowns, and rewards. This is the antichrists’ philosophy for worldly dealings, and it is the way in which they believe in God and the perspective they hold in their belief in God. Their thoughts, views, and the way they believe in God have absolutely nothing to do with God’s words and promises—they are totally unrelated. Tell Me, aren’t these antichrists a bit wrong in the head? Aren’t they wicked in the extreme? They ignore and refuse to accept anything God’s words say, they reckon that the way they think and the way they believe in God are right, and they find pleasure in this, enjoying and admiring themselves. They never seek the truth, nor do they examine God’s words to see if they say such things or make such promises. Antichrists take it for granted that they are innately cleverer than other people, innately wise, talented, and highly gifted; they feel they should be the standout figure among other people, that they should be the boss, that they should be looked up to by others, that they should wield power, that they should rule over others, as though all believers in God should be governed by them, and everyone should be there for them to lead. These are all things they want to obtain in this life. They also want to attain blessings which other people can’t in the life to come, and this they regard as a matter of course. For antichrists to have such thoughts and views, doesn’t this make them quite without shame? Aren’t they somewhat deaf to reason? On what grounds do you think this way? On what grounds do you want to have the high esteem of others? On what grounds do you want to govern others? On what grounds do you want to have power and be in a high position among man? Did God predetermine these things, or do you possess the truth and humanity? Are you qualified to assert your status and lead others just because you have some education and knowledge, and because you’re somewhat tall and good-looking? Does that make you qualified to issue commands? Does that make you qualified to control other people? Where in God’s words does He say, “You’re attractive, you possess strengths and gifts, and so you should lead other people and have permanent status”? Has God given you this power? Did God predestine this? No. When brothers and sisters select you to be a leader or worker, are they giving you status? Is it a blessing you deserve in this life? Some people interpret enjoying these things as receiving a hundredfold in this life, and think that as long as they have status and power, and can issue commands and govern lots of people, they must be surrounded by a retinue of followers, and always have people serving them and revolving around them wherever they go. On what grounds do you want to enjoy these things? Brothers and sisters select you to be a leader so that you can do this duty; it is not so that you can mislead people, be held in high esteem and be looked up to by brothers and sisters, and much less so that you can wield power and enjoy the benefits of status, instead it is so that you can do your duty in accordance with work arrangements and the truth principles. Moreover, God has not predestined that someone chosen by brothers and sisters to be a leader cannot be dismissed. Do you think you’re someone who’s being used by the Holy Spirit? Do you think that no one can dismiss you? So what’s wrong with dismissing you? If you’re not expelled, then it’s because you’re pitied and are being given a chance to repent, but you still aren’t satisfied. What are you arguing about? If you want to withdraw and not believe in God anymore because your hopes of being blessed have been dashed, then go ahead and withdraw! Do you think God’s house can’t get by without you? That without you the world will stop turning? That without you the work of God’s house can’t be accomplished? Well, you thought wrong! The loss of any person will not stop the world from turning, or the sun from rising—only God is indispensable, not any human being—the work of the church will continue to operate as usual. If anyone thinks that the church can’t do without them, and that God’s house can’t do without them, aren’t they an antichrist? You’re used to enjoying the benefits of status, aren’t you? You’re used to enjoying being looked up to, being held in high esteem, and being fawned over by others, aren’t you? How are you qualified to enjoy being looked up to by others? How are you qualified to be greeted with smiles by others? Do you also want people to bow down and worship you? If so, doesn’t that mean you’re utterly without shame? When some people get dismissed from their duty, they get more upset and suffer more than if a family member had died. They dig everything up and argue with God’s house, as though no one else could possibly lead the church, as if they have been the only one supporting the church work until now—this is a great mistake. God’s chosen people not leaving God is an effect achieved by God’s words, and they attend gatherings and live the church life because they believe in God and have true faith in God. It’s not the case that God’s chosen people stand firm and attend gatherings normally because these people have understood the truth and watered them well. Church leaders are replaced, time and time again, many false leaders and false workers are dismissed, and God’s chosen people attend gatherings and eat and drink God’s words as usual—this has nothing at all to do with these false leaders and false workers. What’s the point in making those arguments? Aren’t you just making arguments that are absurd and muddled? If you truly possess the truth reality and have resolved many of God’s chosen people’s issues with life entry, then God’s chosen people will know this in their hearts; if you do not possess the truth reality and cannot fellowship on the truth to resolve problems, then the normal development of the church work has nothing to do with you. There are so many false leaders and false workers who, once they get dismissed, keep making excuses, as though they contributed so much to the church, when in fact they didn’t do any real work, nor did they maintain the normal order of church life; without them, God’s chosen people continue to attend gatherings normally and do their duties as usual. If you do not possess the truth reality and can’t do any real work, then you should be dismissed to prevent you from continuing to affect and delay both the church work and the life entry of God’s chosen people. God’s house won’t use you false leaders and false workers—did you think God’s house doesn’t have the power to dismiss you? You have made such a mess of your work, you have caused such trouble and such great losses to the church work, you have caused the Above to worry so much, using you is so troublesome, and it makes people feel such disgust, aversion, and loathing. You are so foolish, ignorant, and stubborn, and don’t deserve even to be pruned, so God’s house wants to kick you out, immediately eliminate you, and be done with the matter. And yet you still want the Above to give you another chance to keep being a leader? Forget it! When it comes to false leaders and antichrists who are without conscience and reason and who commit evil and cause disturbances, once they are eliminated, they are eliminated forever. If you can do real work, then you’ll be put to use; if you can’t do real work and you also commit evil and cause disturbances, then you’ll be eliminated immediately—this is the principle of God’s house for using people. Some antichrists do not yield, and say, “You’re dismissing me for not doing real work—why won’t you give me a chance to repent?” Isn’t this a twisted argument? You’re being dismissed because you’ve committed a great deal of evil, and you’re only being dismissed after being pruned so many times and still absolutely refusing to repent, so what other arguments can you make? You pursued fame, gain, and status and didn’t do real work, you brought the church work to a standstill, and there was a backlog of so many problems and you didn’t handle them—how much did the Above have to worry because of you? While the Above was supporting you and helping you with your work, you were doing things under the table, you were doing so many things that are in violation of the principles, things that are not fit to be seen, behind the Above’s back, arbitrarily spending God’s offerings to buy so many things you shouldn’t be buying, causing so much damage to the interests of God’s house and bringing such great disaster upon the church work! Why don’t you ever speak about these evil deeds? When God’s house wants to dismiss you, you say totally shamelessly, “Can you give me another chance?” Should God’s house give you another chance so that you can keep running amok doing bad things? Aren’t you devoid of any sense of shame to ask God’s house to give you another chance? Can you be given another chance when you don’t know your own nature at all, much less have any remorse in your heart? People like this have no shame, they are dead to shame, and they are evil people and antichrists!

Some leaders and workers can’t do any real work at all, and they still can’t do any after being guided and helped by the Above for some time. They can’t even handle the work of general affairs well, and this shows that they are too lacking in caliber. The Above must also make regular inquiries and inspections of all aspects of the work and ask brothers and sisters to promptly report any problems; the Above also needs to conduct checks, give guidance, and fellowship on the principles regarding all aspects of the work. After the Above finishes fellowshipping on the principles, some people still don’t know how to do things, and they do them badly, and some even run amok doing bad things; no matter what work they’re doing, they never seek with the Above, they never report any problems to the Above, instead they just do things under the table—what problem is this? What is the nature of these people? Do they love the truth? Are they worth cultivating? Do they still deserve to be leaders and workers? Firstly, they don’t seek before they do something; secondly, they don’t make any reports while they’re doing it; and thirdly, they give no feedback after they’ve done it. They act so disgracefully and still they don’t want to be dismissed, and they do not yield after they’re dismissed—aren’t these people beyond help? Tell Me, aren’t most people who are beyond help totally shameless and deaf to all reason? They don’t do anything well, and they’re lazy and covet comfort; when doing any work, they just move their mouths to issue commands, and once they’ve spoken they don’t do anything else. They never supervise, inspect, or follow up on the work, and they feel antipathy and resentment toward anyone who does these things, and want to make that person suffer—aren’t these classic antichrists? This is the disgracefulness of antichrists; they don’t know what they are, they act so disgracefully and they still want to be blessed, they still want to vie for superiority with God’s house and the Above, and they still want to argue—aren’t they courting death by doing this? When pieces of trash such as these get dismissed, they are very indignant and recalcitrant. They really are without shame and without even a shred of reason! When doing their duty, they run amok doing bad things and disrupt and disturb the church work, and when they get dismissed, they not only refuse to acknowledge their own mistakes, they also push the responsibility onto the shoulders of others and look for someone else to take the fall in their place, saying, “They did this, and I’m not the only one responsible for doing that. Everyone discussed that matter together and I wasn’t the one taking the lead.” They take no responsibility at all, as if by taking responsibility they’ll be condemned and eliminated and will totally lose all hope of being blessed. Therefore, they’d rather die than acknowledge their mistakes and admit that they are directly responsible, and instead insist on pushing the responsibility onto the shoulders of others. Judging by their mindset, they will fight God till the very end! Are these people who accept the truth? Are these people who accept God’s judgment and chastisement? To be able to fight God’s house in this way shows that there is something seriously wrong with their disposition. When it comes to how they approach their mistakes, first of all, they don’t seek the truth, and second, they don’t reflect on themselves; they also pass the buck, and when God’s house defines them in a certain way and dismisses them from their duty, they fight God’s house, and they spread their complaints and negativity everywhere they go, trying to win the sympathy of God’s chosen people. They believe in God yet oppose Him—aren’t they courting death? These people really are deaf to all reason! So what if they got dismissed from their duty and lost their status? They haven’t been expelled, and their right to live hasn’t been stripped away; they can repent, start fresh, and get up again wherever it is that they failed and fell down. Antichrists can’t even accept such a simple thing—these people really are beyond saving! Of course, when some antichrists are dismissed, they reluctantly obey on the outside, and they don’t act too dejected or show any antagonism, but does this mean that they are accepting the truth and submitting to God? No, it doesn’t. An antichrist has an antichrist’s disposition and essence, and this is what distinguishes them from a normal person. Though they say nothing on the outside after being dismissed, in their heart they continue to resist. They make no admission of their mistakes, and no matter how much time passes, they will never be capable of truly knowing themselves. This has long since been proved. There is also something else about an antichrist that never changes: No matter where they are doing things, they want to be different, to be looked up to and esteemed by others; even if they don’t have a legitimate post and title as a church leader or team leader, they still want to be head and shoulders above others in terms of their standing and worth. Regardless of whether they can do the work, what sort of humanity or life experience they have, they will devise all sorts of means and go to great lengths to find chances to show off, to secure people’s favor, to win over people’s hearts, and entice and mislead people, in order to gain their esteem. What do antichrists want people to admire about them? Even though they have been dismissed, they think that “a weakened bear is still stronger than a deer,” and that they remain an eagle flying above the chickens. Isn’t this the arrogance and self-righteousness of antichrists, and what’s different about them? They cannot reconcile themselves to being without status, to being a regular believer and an ordinary person, to simply doing their duty well with their feet on the ground, to staying in their place, or to just doing a good job, showing their loyalty, and doing their best, in the work that falls to them. These things come nowhere near satisfying them. They are unwilling to be that sort of person or to do those sorts of things. What is their “grand aspiration”? It is to be esteemed and looked up to, and to hold power. So, even if they do not have a particular title in name, an antichrist will strive for themselves, speak up for themselves and justify themselves, doing everything they can to exhibit themselves, afraid that people won’t notice them or that no one will pay them any attention. They will pounce on every opportunity to become better known, to increase their prestige, to make more people see their gifts and strengths, and show that they are superior to others. While doing these things, an antichrist is willing to pay any price it takes to flaunt and commend themselves, to make everyone think that, even if they are not a leader, and do not have status, they are still superior to ordinary people. Then an antichrist will have achieved their goal. They aren’t willing to be a regular person, an ordinary person; they want power and prestige, and to be head and shoulders above others. Some people say, “This is inconceivable. What’s the use in having status, prestige, and power?” To someone with reason, power and status are useless and they are not things which they should pursue. But to antichrists who burn with ambition, status, power, and prestige are vital; no one can change their perspective, and no one can change the way they live and their goals of existence—this is antichrists’ nature essence. Therefore, if you see someone who does their duty proactively and protects their status when they have it, and still wants to do all they can to protect their own reputation when they lack status—a person of this sort is beyond saving, and they are an antichrist through and through.

Before and after an antichrist is dismissed, when they still fail to obtain status, as well as the power and prestige they want despite making a series of efforts, they will not let go of status and their desire for blessings. They will not set these things aside and turn themselves around to pursue the truth, or do their duty well in a down-to-earth and well-behaved manner. They will never truly repent for whatever they have done wrong, and will instead make repeated assessments such as, “Will I have any hope of gaining status in the future? Without status, do I have any hope of being blessed? Will my desire for blessings be satisfied? What rank am I at in God’s house, in the church? Where am I in the hierarchy?” When they conclude that they do not have great prestige in the church, that they are not looked upon favorably by the majority of people, and that many even use them as a negative teaching example, they feel that their prestige within the church has been completely ruined, that they don’t have the support of most people, and cannot possibly be approved of by most people again, and that their hope of being blessed is virtually nonexistent. When they see all this, when they reach these conclusions in their assessment, their thought and attitude will still not be to put down their own intentions and desires and truly repent to God, or to fully commit themselves to laboring for God, and do their duty loyally. This isn’t what is in their minds—so what is? “Since I’m not going to achieve my aspirations or have any status in God’s house, in the church, then why should I keep following this dead-end path? People can benefit from a change in location. Things might really look up for me if I go someplace else. Why shouldn’t I get out of this place that broke my heart? Why not leave behind this place where I can’t fulfill my aspirations, where it’s difficult to achieve my aspirations?” When an antichrist thinks of these things, doesn’t that mean they are about to leave the church? Would you want someone like that to leave, or to stay? Should they be persuaded to stay? (They shouldn’t be persuaded, and they won’t stay even if people try to persuade them.) No one can get them to stay—this is true. What is the cause of this? When all is said and done, antichrists do not love the truth, so staying in God’s house will just cause them pain. It would be like trying to get a prostitute, a floozy, to assist her husband and educate her children, to be a virtuous woman and a good wife and kind mother. Could she do those things? (No.) It’s a question of one’s nature. So if you see that an antichrist wants to withdraw, then whatever you do, don’t try to convince them otherwise, unless there’s a certain situation, where they say, “Although I’m an antichrist, I wish to labor for God’s house. I’ll force myself not to do any evil and I’ll rebel against Satan.” In a case like this, do they need to be swatted away like a fly? (No.) In a case like this, we can let things take their natural course, but one procedure must be applied: More people must supervise and watch over that antichrist, and at the first sign of trouble, such as them wanting to commit evil, they must be cleansed away quickly. If they can’t bear to be supervised and watched over by others, and they feel mistreated and aren’t willing to labor, then how should a person like this be treated? You should help them on their way and say, “You’re talented, and you should go out into the world of nonbelievers and realize your grand plans. You’re a fish that’s too big for this pond, the church doesn’t suit you. You can’t spread your wings here; this work is unworthy of your talents. If you return to the world, then maybe you’ll get promoted, make a lot of money, and become rich. Maybe you’ll become a celebrity!” Quickly encourage them to leave. If they pursue wealth and status, and they crave the benefits of status, then let them go back to the world to work and earn money, to then become an official and enjoy their life of the flesh. Some may perhaps ask whether treating them this way is treating them without a loving heart. In fact, even if you don’t say such things to them, antichrists will think in their hearts, “Hmph, promoted one day and then dismissed the next. I’m given status and yet I’m watched, supervised, and pruned—what a pain this is! This kind of status isn’t hard for me to find, and if I didn’t believe in God I’d be rich and have leapt up the social ladder in the world by now, I would at least be a city-level cadre. I was born to be an official. I’m outstanding no matter what I do out in the world, I do everything well, I can make a name for myself in any industry, and I’m enterprising.” Even if you don’t say such things to them, they’ll say things like these, and that’s why you should quickly say some pleasant-sounding words that they want to hear and encourage them to quickly leave the church—this will benefit everyone. Antichrists pursue status, power, and prestige; they don’t want to be ordinary people, but instead always want to be head and shoulders over others, until finally they ruin their reputation and standing, and get cursed by God. So, are you willing to be ordinary people? (Yes.) Being ordinary people is actually meaningful. Not pursuing fame and gain, and instead settling for real life, living with peace and joy, being grounded at heart—this is the right path in life. If someone always wants to be superior and to be head and shoulders above others, then that’s the equivalent of them roasting themselves over the fire and placing themselves into the meat grinder—they’re asking for trouble. Why do they have such feelings? Is being head and shoulders above others a good thing? (No, it isn’t.) It’s not a good thing. And yet antichrists insist on choosing this path. Whatever you do, do not follow this path!

When an ordinary corrupt person doesn’t yet have a foundation in their belief in God, when they have not developed true faith in God, they have little faith or stature. When such a person faces a setback, they will think poorly of themselves, and think that God does not love them, that He loathes them. Seeing themselves hitting a wall and failing at every turn, unable to satisfy God, they will feel discouraged; they’ll also experience some weakness and negativity, and sometimes thoughts of leaving the church will occur to them. But this is not the same as being defiant. This is the kind of thought that someone gets when they are dejected and dispirited, and it is an entirely different thing from an antichrist’s withdrawal. When an antichrist wants to withdraw, they would rather die than repent, but when an ordinary corrupt person is discouraged and thinks about leaving the church, with the help and fellowship of others, along with their own active cooperation, and with prayer and seeking, and reading God’s words, God’s words can gradually influence them, change them, and change whether they stay or go, as well as their decision and their mind. At the same time, God’s words can also help them to gradually develop repentance, a positive attitude, and the will to persevere, enabling them to gradually become strong. This is a manifestation of the process of life entry for a normal person. An antichrist, on the other hand, will fight to the bitter end. They will never repent, and would rather die than admit they were wrong, than get to know themselves, than give up their desire for blessings. They do not possess the slightest bit of life entry. So, for someone like that, who is not willing to labor, or who does not do a good job of it, just advise them to leave the church. This is a wise decision, and the wisest way to handle such a matter. Even if you don’t advise them to do so, will you be able to get them to stay? Can you change their method of pursuit or their perspective? You will never be able to change these things. There are some people who are urged to stay, and helped and supported by God’s house, because their negativity, weakness, and the corrupt dispositions they’ve revealed are common to all ordinary corrupt people, and fall within the scope of normalcy. Through fellowshipping on God’s words, through the help and support of others, they can gradually become strong, gain stature, develop faith in God, and be sincere in doing their duty. This is the kind of person we should aid and urge to remain. However, for antichrists who do not wish to labor or do not labor well, encourage them to leave, because, long before you advise them to leave, they have already wished to do so, or have been on the verge of leaving at any moment. These are the various manifestations and thoughts that antichrists have when they face dismissal and wish to withdraw.

IV. Antichrists’ Behavior When They Are Not Promoted

There’s another type of person who doesn’t pursue the truth. Because people of this sort don’t pursue the truth, they don’t do important duties, and consequently they rarely experience being pruned in God’s house, they’ve never experienced being dismissed from their duties, and, of course, they are very seldom reallocated to a different duty. However, when they still haven’t been promoted after believing in God for several years, they begin to frequently assess how much hope they have of being blessed. Especially when they see God’s words saying, “Those who do not pursue the truth cannot attain salvation,” they feel that their hopes of being blessed are very slim, and they start to think about withdrawing. Some of these people who never pursue the truth possess some knowledge and strengths, and because they haven’t been promoted, they feel dissatisfied and start complaining; they want to withdraw but are afraid they’ll lose their chance to be blessed, but if they don’t withdraw, they still won’t get promoted—they feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. What do you think of this matter? Although these people don’t pursue the truth, some among them are relatively studious and driven; no matter what duty they do, they are always willing to acquire the relevant professional knowledge, they always want to be promoted by God’s house, and they long for the day when they can distinguish themselves and thereby gain the status and various advantages they want. On the surface, people of this sort appear to be quiet, unnoticed, and diligent and conscientious when around others, yet their hearts are filled with ambition and desire. What is their motto? Opportunity comes to those who are ready for it. On the surface, they go completely unnoticed and don’t make a show of themselves, they don’t compete or grab for things, yet in their hearts they have a “grand aspiration.” That’s why, when they see someone getting promoted and becoming a leader or worker in the church, they feel a bit more upset and disappointed. No matter who it is who gets promoted, cultivated, or given some important role, to them it always comes as a blow. Even when someone is held in high esteem, praised, and supported by brothers and sisters, they feel jealous and unhappy in their hearts, and some of them will even shed tears in private, often asking themselves, “When will I be held in high esteem and nominated? When will I be known by the Above? When will a leader see my strengths, my merits, my gifts and talents? When will I get promoted and cultivated?” They feel distressed and negative, but they don’t want to keep going on like this, so they privately encourage themselves to not be negative, to have the willpower to persevere, to be undaunted by setbacks and never give up. They often warn themselves: “I am a person with a grand aspiration. I mustn’t be willing to be an ordinary, regular person, I mustn’t be willing to settle for a busy, mediocre life. My faith in God must be outstanding and produce great achievements. If I keep living this kind of quiet and average life, then that’s so cowardly and stifling! I can’t be that kind of person. I will work twice as hard, make good use of every moment, read and recite God’s words more, acquire knowledge and study this profession more. I must accomplish whatever other people can do, and I must be able to fellowship on the things that other people can fellowship on.” After working hard for a while, a church election comes along, but they still don’t get elected. Every time the church is looking for someone to cultivate, promote, and give an important role to, they’re not chosen; every time they think they have hope of being promoted, they’re eventually disappointed, and every disappointment causes them to feel dejected and negative. They believe that being blessed in their faith in God is very distant from them, and so the idea of withdrawing arises in their mind. They’re not willing to withdraw, however, but instead want to strive hard and struggle once again. The more they strive hard and struggle in this way, the more they long to be recommended by someone, to be promoted. They feel this longing more and more, and what they get in return in the end is still disappointment, and this is how their vanity and their desire to be blessed torment them. Every disappointment feels to them like they’re being burned and tempered in a fire. They can’t get what they want; they want to withdraw but feel they can’t; they can’t grasp what they want to grasp, and all they’re left with is disappointment, dejection, and endless waiting. They want to withdraw but they’re afraid of losing great blessings, and the more they want to desperately grab hold of blessings, the less they are able to grab hold of them. The result of this is that they fall into a state where they struggle constantly between their hope for blessings and the torment of disappointment, and this pains their hearts greatly. But will they pray to God about this matter? No, they won’t. They think: “What good will praying do? The brothers and sisters don’t praise me and leaders don’t think highly of me, so can God make an exception and give me an important role?” They know that placing their hopes on others will bring them disappointment and that it’s also not safe to place their hopes of being blessed on God. Because they’ve seen God’s words say, “Those who do not pursue the truth cannot attain salvation,” they feel dejected and disappointed. No one pays them any attention in the church, and they can’t see any hope. When they take a look at their faces, they still can’t see any hope of gaining blessings, and they think, “Should I withdraw or stay? Do I really have no hope of being blessed?” Years pass by as they hesitate and ponder these things over and over, and they’re still not able to get promoted or put in an important position. They want to vie for status but they feel that’s not a very rational or proper thing to do, they feel embarrassed to do it, but if they don’t vie for status, when will they ever get promoted and given an important role? They think of the people who believe in God alongside them, who attend gatherings and do duties together with them. So many of them have been promoted and given roles of importance, whereas they themselves can’t get an important role no matter how hard they try, and they feel bewildered and lacking in a path forward. They never fellowship or open up to anyone else about their ideas, their states, their thoughts and views, their deviations and deficiencies—they’re completely closed off. They appear to speak quite sensibly, and they seem to act in a somewhat rational way, yet their inner ambitions and desires are very intense. They strive hard and struggle, endure suffering and pay a price in order to achieve their ambitions and desires, and they can expend everything for the sake of their hopes of being blessed. However, when they can’t see the result they want to achieve, they become filled with hostility and anger toward God, God’s house, and even toward everyone in the church. They hate everyone for not seeing how hard they try, for not seeing their strengths and their good points, and they hate God, too, for not giving them opportunities, for not promoting them or giving them an important role. With such tremendous jealousy and hatred born in their hearts, can they love their brothers and sisters? Can they praise God? Can they relinquish their ambitions and desires in order to accept the truth, do their duty well with their feet planted firmly on the ground, and be an ordinary person? Can they make this kind of resolution? (No.) Not only do they not have this resolve, but they don’t even have the desire to repent. After concealing themselves in this way for so many years, their hatred for God’s house, for the brothers and sisters, and even for God grows stronger and stronger. How strong does their hatred become? They hope that their brothers and sisters aren’t able to do their duties well, they hope that the work of God’s house will come to a standstill and that God’s management plan will come to nothing, and they even hope that their brothers and sisters will be caught by the great red dragon. They hate their brothers and sisters and they hate God, too. They complain that God is not righteous, they curse the world for lacking a savior, and their demonic countenance is thoroughly exposed. This type of person is usually deeply concealed, and they’re very good at keeping up a pretense on the surface, pretending to be humble, gentle, and loving, when in fact they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They never reveal their secret malevolent intent, no one can see through them, and no one knows what they’re really like or what they’re thinking. Those who associate with them for a while are able to see that they’re very jealous people, that they’re always competing with others and thrusting themselves into the limelight, that they’re so anxious to outdo others, and that they really want to win first place in everything they do. This is how they look from the outside, but is this really how they are? In fact, their desire for blessings is even stronger; they hope that, while they’re quietly working hard, expending themselves, and paying a price, others can see their good points and their work capabilities, and that they can thus be given a role of importance in God’s house. And what’s the result of them being given a role of importance? It’s that they can be highly esteemed by everyone and finally realize their grand aspiration; they can be an outstanding figure among others, someone whom everyone regards highly and looks up to, and all their years of hard work, of price-paying and striving, will be worth it—these are the ambitions and desires these people harbor in their innermost hearts.

People of this sort don’t pursue the truth, yet still they always want to be promoted and given an important role in God’s house. In their hearts, they believe that the more work capability a person has, the more they receive important positions, the more they are promoted and esteemed in God’s house, the greater their chances are of receiving blessings, a crown, and rewards. They believe that if someone isn’t particularly capable in their work, or doesn’t have a particular forte, then they are not qualified to be blessed. They think that a person’s gifts, fortes, abilities, skills, level of education, work capability, and even the so-called strengths and merits within their humanity that are valued out in the world such as their resolve to outdo others and indomitable attitude, can serve as capital for receiving blessings and rewards. What sort of standard is this? Is it a standard that accords with the truth? (No.) It does not accord with the standards of the truth. So, is this not the logic of Satan? Is this not the logic of a wicked age, and of wicked worldly trends? (It is.) Judging from the logic, methods, and criteria that people like this use to assess things, along with their attitude and approach to these things, it would seem as if they had never heard or read God’s words, that they were completely ignorant of them. But, in fact, they are listening to, reading, and pray-reading God’s words every single day. So why doesn’t their perspective ever change? One thing is for sure—no matter how much they listen to or read God’s words, they will never be certain in their hearts that God’s words are the truth, and that they are the criterion for measuring everything; they will not understand or accept this fact from their hearts. That is why, no matter how absurd and prejudiced their outlook may be, they will cling to it forever, and no matter how right God’s words are, they will reject and condemn them. This is the vicious nature of antichrists. As soon as they fail to get an important role, and their desires and ambitions go unfulfilled, their cloven feet are revealed, their vicious nature shows itself, and they want to deny God’s existence. Actually, even before denying God’s existence, they deny that God’s words are the truth. It is precisely because their nature essence denies the truth, and denies that God’s words are the criterion by which everything is measured, that they are able to look upon God with hostility in this way, and think about denying, betraying, and rejecting God, and leaving God’s house when they are still not put into an important position after all that calculating, plotting, and hard work of theirs. Though they don’t appear to be fighting for power and profit with other people, or to be going their own way, or to be openly setting up their own independent kingdom or managing their own status, we can see from their nature essence that they are antichrists through and through. They think that any pursuit of theirs is correct, and no matter what God’s words say, to them these words are not worth mentioning or listening to, and they certainly aren’t worth using. What kind of rubbish are people like this? God’s words have no effect on them at all; they don’t move them, nor do they touch their hearts or appeal to them. So, what do they value? People’s gifts, talents, abilities, knowledge, and strategies, as well as their ambitions, and their grand plans and undertakings. These are the things they value. What are all of these things? Are these things that God values? No. These are things that corrupt human beings revere and esteem, and they are also things that Satan esteems and worships. They run precisely counter to God’s way, His words, and what He requires of the people He saves. But people like this have never thought that these things are of Satan, that they are wicked and go against the truth. Instead, they treasure all of these things, and they firmly and resolutely cling to them, and view them as being above all else, and use them to take the place of pursuing and accepting the truth. Isn’t that outrageously rebellious? And in the end, what will be the only outcome of their outrageous rebelliousness, of them being so unreasonable? That these people will be beyond salvation, and no one will be able to change them. They are destined for this kind of outcome. Tell Me, aren’t these people who are just secretly building up their strength and biding their time? The principle they abide by is that gold will shine sooner or later, that they must learn to secretly build up their strength, bide their time, and wait for the right chance, and in the meantime make preparations, and plan for their future, and for their wishes and dreams. Judging based on the principles they abide by, their principles of survival, the goals they pursue, and what they long for in their inner essence, these people are antichrists, through and through. Some people say, “But don’t antichrists set up their own independent kingdoms, and fight for status?” Well, are people like this capable of establishing an independent kingdom after they gain power? Are they capable of tormenting people? (Yes.) Once they’re in power, would they be capable of doing things in accordance with the truth principles? Would they be capable of pursuing the truth? Would they be able to bring people before God? (No.) What would happen if people like this were given an important position? They would promote people who are gifted, well-spoken, and knowledgeable, regardless of whether those people could do the work; they would promote people who are like themselves, while keeping down all those right people, who have spiritual understanding, pursue the truth, and are honest. When this sort of situation happens, isn’t the antichrist essence of people like this exposed? Doesn’t it become very obvious? There are some people who didn’t really understand when I said at first that all those who want to withdraw when they don’t get an important role and have no hope of being blessed are antichrists. But now can you see that they are antichrists? (Yes.)

When some people are dismissed from their post as leader and they hear the Above saying that they won’t be cultivated or used again, they feel incredibly sad, and they cry bitterly, as if they were being eliminated—what problem is this? Does them not being cultivated or used again mean that they are being eliminated? Does it mean that they cannot then attain salvation? Are fame, gain, and status really so important to them? If they are someone who pursues the truth, then they should reflect on themselves when they lose their fame, gain, and status, and feel true remorse; they should choose the path of pursuing the truth, turn over a new leaf, and not get so upset or cry so much. If they know in their hearts that they’ve been dismissed by God’s house because they don’t do real work and don’t pursue the truth, and they hear God’s house saying that they won’t get promoted again, then they should feel ashamed, that they owe God, and that they’ve let God down; they should know that they don’t deserve to be used by God, and in this way they can be considered to have a modicum of reason. However, they become negative and upset when they hear that God’s house won’t cultivate them or use them again, and this shows that they’re pursuing fame, gain, and status, and that they are not someone who pursues the truth. Their desire for blessings is this strong, and they treasure status this much and don’t do actual work, so they ought to be dismissed, and they should reflect on and come to understand their own corrupt dispositions. They should know that the path they’re following is wrong, that they are walking the path of an antichrist by pursuing status, fame, and gain, that not only will God not approve of them, but they will also offend His disposition, and that if they commit all manner of evil, they will be punished by God as well. Don’t you have this problem, too? Wouldn’t you be unhappy if I said now that you have no spiritual understanding? (Yes.) When some people hear an upper-level leader say that they have no spiritual understanding, they feel that they aren’t capable of understanding the truth, that God surely doesn’t want them, that they have no hope of being blessed; yet despite the fact that they feel sad, they’re still able to do their duty as normal—such people have a bit of reason. When some people hear someone say they have no spiritual understanding, they become negative, and they no longer wish to do their duty. They think, “You say I have no spiritual understanding—doesn’t that mean I have no hope of being blessed? Since I won’t get any blessings in the future, what am I still believing for? I won’t accept being made to render service. Who would toil for you if they got nothing in return for it? I’m not that stupid!” Do such people possess conscience and reason? They enjoy so much grace from God and yet they don’t know to repay it, and they don’t even want to render service. People like this are finished. They can’t even render service till the end and they have no true faith in God; they are disbelievers. If they have a sincere heart for God and true faith in God, then no matter how they’re evaluated, this will only enable them to know themselves more truly and accurately—they should approach this matter correctly and not let it impact them following God or doing their duty. Even if they can’t receive blessings, they should still be willing to render service for God until the end, and be happy to do so, without complaints, and they should allow God to orchestrate them in all things—only then will they be someone with conscience and reason. Whether a person receives blessings or suffers catastrophe is in God’s hands, God is sovereign over this and arranges this, and it is not something that people can ask for or work toward. Instead, it depends on whether that person can obey God’s words, accept the truth, and do their duty well according to God’s requirements—God will repay each person according to their deeds. If someone has this bit of sincerity, and they devote all the strength that they can muster to the duty they should do, then that is enough, and they will earn God’s approval and blessing. Conversely, if someone does not do their duty adequately and even commits all manner of evil, and yet they still wish to receive blessings from God, then isn’t them acting this way so lacking in reason? If you feel that you haven’t done well enough, that you’ve expended a great deal of effort but still aren’t able to handle matters with principles, and you feel you owe God, yet He blesses you and shows you grace, doesn’t that mean that God is showing you favor? If God wishes to bless you, then that’s something no one can take away. You may think that you haven’t done very well, but in God’s evaluation, He says that you are sincere and have given it your all, and He wishes to show you grace and bless you. Nothing God does is wrong, and you must praise His righteousness. No matter what God does, it is always right, and even if you harbor notions about what God does, believing that what He does isn’t considerate of human feelings, that it’s not to your liking, you should still praise God. Why should you do this? You don’t know the reason why, right? This is actually very easy to explain: It’s because God is God and you are human; He is the Creator, you are a created being. You are not qualified to demand that God act in a certain way or that He treat you a certain way, whereas God is qualified to make demands of you. Blessings, grace, rewards, crowns—how all these things are given and to whom is up to God. Why is it up to God? These things belong to God; they are not assets owned jointly between man and God that can be equally distributed between them. They belong to God, and God bestows them upon those whom He promises to bestow them upon. If God doesn’t promise to bestow them upon you, you should still submit to Him. If you stop believing in God for this reason, what problems will that solve? Will you stop being a created being? Can you escape the sovereignty of God? God still holds sovereignty over all things, and this is an immutable fact. The identity, status, and essence of God can never be equated with the identity, status, and essence of man, nor will these things ever undergo any change—God will forever be God, and man will forever be man. If a person is able to understand this, what should they then do? They should submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements—this is the most rational way to go about things, and besides this, there is no other path that can be chosen. If you don’t submit then you are rebellious, and if you are defiant and argue, then you are being outrageously rebellious, and you should be destroyed. Being able to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements shows that you have reason; this is the attitude people must have, and only this is the attitude created beings should have. For example, say that you have a little cat or dog—is that cat or dog qualified to demand that you buy it various kinds of tasty foods or fun toys? Are there any cats or dogs that are so unreasonable as to make demands of their owners? (No.) And is there any dog that would choose not to be with its owner after seeing that a dog in someone else’s house has a better life than it does? (No.) Their natural instinct is to think, “My owner gives me food and a place to stay, so I must watch over the house for my owner. Even if my owner doesn’t give me food or gives me food that’s not very nice, I must still watch over their home.” The dog has no other improper thoughts of going beyond their station. Whether its owner is good to it or not, the dog is so happy whenever its owner comes home, its tail constantly wagging, as happy as can be. Whether its owner likes it or not, whether its owner buys it tasty things to eat or not, it always acts the same toward its owner, and it still watches over their home. Judging based on this, are people not worse than dogs? (Yes.) People are always making demands of God, and always rebelling against Him. What’s the root of this problem? It is that people have corrupt dispositions, they cannot stay in the place of created beings, and so they lose their instincts and become Satans; their instincts turn into a satanic instinct to oppose God, to reject the truth, to do evil, and to not submit to God. How can their human instincts be recovered? They must be made to have a conscience and reason, to do the things that a person ought to do, to do the duty they ought to do. It’s like how a dog guards a home, and a cat catches mice—no matter how their owner treats them, they use all the strength they have to do these things, they throw themselves into these tasks, and they stay in their place and make full use of their instincts, and so their owner likes them. If people could manage to do this, then God wouldn’t need to say all these words or utter all these truths. Humans are so deeply corrupted, they are devoid of reason and conscience, and they have lowly integrity; their corrupt dispositions are always causing trouble, being revealed in them, influencing their choices and thinking, making them rebel against God and unable to submit to Him, and making it so that they always have their own subjective wishes, ideas, and preferences, and so that the truth can never take charge within them, and it cannot become their life. All of this is why God must judge them, try them and refine them with His words—this so that they can be saved. On the other hand, antichrists always perform negative roles among people. They are demons and Satans through and through; they not only don’t accept the truth, they also don’t acknowledge that they have corrupt dispositions, and they are also forcefully rapacious, wanting to obtain blessings, a crown, and rewards from God. How far do they go in their struggle? To the point of being absolutely shameless and entirely unreasonable. If, after doing all sorts of evil things, they are revealed and eliminated, they will hold a grudge in their hearts. They will curse God, curse the leaders and workers, and hate the church and all true believers. This fully lays bare the ugly countenance of all evil people and antichrists.

Item twelve of the various manifestations of antichrists is: they want to withdraw when they have no status and no hope of gaining blessings. We will speak in simple terms about what withdrawing means. The literal meaning of withdrawing is to withdraw from one place to another—this is known as “withdrawing.” There are always some people that don’t love the truth in God’s house who voluntarily leave the church and the brothers and sisters because they are averse to attending gatherings and listening to sermons, and they’re not willing to do their duty—this is called withdrawing. This is withdrawing in the literal sense of the word. However, when someone is truly defined in God’s eyes as having withdrawn, it is actually not merely a matter of them having left His house, of them not being seen anymore, or of them having been stricken from the church rolls. The fact is that if a person does not read God’s words, then regardless of the magnitude of their faith, and regardless of whether they recognize themselves to be a believer in God, it proves that they do not acknowledge in their heart that God exists, nor that His words are the truth. To God, that person has already withdrawn and is no longer counted as a member of His house. Those who do not read God’s words are one sort of people who have withdrawn. Another type are people who never participate in the church life, and who never participate in activities that relate to the church life, such as when the brothers and sisters sing hymns, pray-read God’s words, and fellowship on their personal experiences and understanding together. God sees these people as already having withdrawn. There is another sort: those who refuse to do duties. Whatever request God’s house makes of them, whatever kind of work it would have them do, whichever duty it would have them do, in large and small matters alike, even in something so simple as having them pass along an occasional message—they do not want to do it. They, self-proclaimed believers in God, cannot even do tasks that a nonbeliever could be sought out to help with. This is a refusal to accept the truth and a refusal to do a duty. No matter how the brothers and sisters exhort them, they refuse and do not accept it; when the church arranges some duty for them to do, they ignore it and give copious excuses to decline it. These are people who refuse to do duties. To God, such people have already withdrawn. Their withdrawal is not a matter of God’s house having cleared them out or having stricken them from its rolls; rather, it is that they themselves do not have true faith—they do not acknowledge themselves to be believers in God. Anyone who fits into one of these three categories is someone who has already withdrawn. Is this an accurate definition? (Yes.) If you don’t read God’s words, do you count as a believer in God? If you don’t live the church life, if you don’t interact or mingle with your brothers and sisters, do you count as a believer? Even less so. In addition, if you refuse to do your duty, and don’t even fulfill your obligations as a created being, then that is even more serious. These three types of people are those God sees as already having withdrawn. It is not that they have been expelled or cleared out from God’s house; instead, they have withdrawn of their own accord, and given up of their own accord. Their behavior thoroughly reveals that they do not love or accept the truth, and that they are classic examples of people just looking to eat their fill of bread and hoping for blessings.

October 17, 2020

Previous: Item Ten: They Despise the Truth, Brazenly Flout Principles, and Ignore the Arrangements of God’s House (Part Seven)

Next: Item Thirteen: They Control Church Finances As Well As Controlling People’s Hearts

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